Daily Archives: September 11, 2011

Vettel rivals concede 2011 title

All of Sebastian Vettel’s title rivals have all but given up hopes on challenging for the 2011 championship crown.

This comes after a crushing victory for the German, slicing past Fernando Alonso in the early stages and dominating the race from there.

Teammate Mark Webber, who has barely led a lap this year, never mind win a race, was the first to concede the title:

"I think we're all battling for second now. Seb needs to have a very, very 
incredibly disappointing finish to the season for anyone to take the 
championship off him at this point.

He's in a great position. He's done a great job. And clearly the car was good 
today, so it was a missed opportunity for me."

Fernando Alonso was next up, stating that the title was well out of reach:

"Sure, it would have been fantastic to do the double after 2010, but we must 
stay cool and concentrate and try to reach targets that are within our reach: 
today we did just that. It’s true the title has gone now, but there is still 
great motivation: we want to win races and try to defend the position I have 
just reached in the drivers’ championship."

Lewis Hamilton was more blunt with his statement, saying:  “I doubt it’s still possible to beat Sebastian for the title, but we’ll keep pushing.”

Vettel has a 112-point lead over Fernando Alonso, and a 117-point lead over Button and Webber, with Hamilton a further 9 points adrift. There are 150 points up for grabs in the final 6 races of the season.

In order to win the championship at the next round in Singapore, Vettel must win the race, with Fernando Alonso 4th or lower.

In-season testing to return to Formula 1 in 2012

Ferrari's own circuit will play host for in-season testing next year

Ferrari's own circuit will play host for in-season testing next year

All Formula 1 team bosses have officially signed off plans for next year’s testing schedule, which is confirmed to have a single in-season test in Mugello.

Many teams, as well as FIA president Jean Todt, have been pushing to return a limited amount of testing to the sport, after 2 years of only pre-season tests.

With this agreement, the teams will be obliged to three tests in Jerez (Feb 7-9) and Barcelona (Feb 21-24, Mar 1-4).

Then, a new test session will take place in Mugello on May 1st, which takes place after the first 4 flyaway races of the 2012 season. This will mean that teams will be able to re-evaluate and develop their cars before the Spanish Grand Prix two weeks later.

Mugello last played host to an F1 car in January 2009, when Felipe Massa unveiled the Ferrari F60.

5-place grid penalty for Liuzzi in Singapore

Vitantonio Liuzzi will take a 5-place grid drop for the Singapore Grand Prix after causing carnage on the first lap in today’s Italian GP.

Liuzzi took to the grass (not out of necessity) on the approach to the first chicane, but on returning to the track he moved to avoid a slower car, and spun. His HRT then slammed into Nico Rosberg and Vitaly Petrov further up the field.

The stewards have concluded that the accident was avoidable, and Liuzzi will almost certainly start from the back of the grid in two weeks time.

Here is a video of the accident (sorry for the awful music):

Points standings after Italian Grand Prix

Driver Standings

Driver Points
1 Sebastian Vettel 284
2 Fernando Alonso 172
3 Jenson Button 167
4 Mark Webber 167
5 Lewis Hamilton 158
6 Felipe Massa 82
7 Nico Rosberg 56
8 Michael Schumacher 52
9 Vitaly Petrov 34
10 Nick Heidfeld 34
11 Kamui Kobayashi 27
12 Adrian Sutil 24
13 Jaime Alguersuari 16
14 Sebastien Buemi 13
15 Paul di Resta 12
16 Sergio Perez 8
17 Rubens Barrichello 4
18 Pastor Maldonado 1
19 Jarno Trulli 0
20 Vitantonio Liuzzi 0
21 Jerome D’Ambrosio 0
22 Heikki Kovalainen 0
23 Narain Karthikeyan 0



Pedro de la RosaTimo Glock

Daniel Ricciardo

Karun Chandhok




Constructor Standings

Team Points
1 Red Bull-Renault 451
2 McLaren-Mercedes 325
3 Ferrari 254
4 Mercedes GP 108
5 Renault 70
6 Force India-Mercedes 36
7 Sauber-Ferrari 35
8 Toro Rosso-Ferrari 29
9 Williams-Cosworth 5
10 Lotus-Cosworth 0
11 HRT-Cosworth 0
12 Virgin-Cosworth 0

Vettel dominates Italian Grand Prix

Sebastian Vettel led nearly every lap of the Italian Grand Prix, and extended his near-unbeatable points lead. Fernando Alonso took the lead at the start, but was quickly beaten by the Red Bull within a few laps.

Liuzzi loses control and slams into Petrov and Rosberg

Liuzzi loses control and slams into Petrov and Rosberg

At the start, Fernando Alonso made a miracle start, taking to the grass to leap into the lead. At the back, an out of control HRT launched into several cars, including Nico Rosberg, Kamui Kobayashi and Vitaly Petrov. Daniel Ricciardo failed to start off the grid, while Bruno Senna and Kobayashi pitted for soft tyres.

The safety car peeled off the track on Lap 3, and the racing recommenced. Sebastian glanced at the lead at the second chicane, but Fernando was having none of it. Michael Schumacher swept past a slow-starting Lewis Hamilton for 3rd.

Even without DRS, Vettel shoved his way past Alonso – using the grass like the Ferrari did at the start. Mark Webber tried a move on Felipe Massa, but ended up clipping the back of Massa, taking off the Red Bull’s front wing, and spinning the Ferrari.

Later that lap, Webber crashed into the barriers as a result of the damage. The battle for 2nd place soon emerged, as Alonso began to lose pace. After being held up for several laps, Lewis Hamilton tried to pass Schumacher for 3rd, but the Mercedes wouldn’t back down.

As Button joined the back of this group, the McLaren’s strategies were becoming ruined, as Alonso and Vettel sailed into the distance. Lewis desperately tried to get past, but was pushed onto the grass, allowing Button through. The Variente Ascari gave Jenson the opportunity to take 3rd, which he graciously accepted.

Michael pitted at the end of Lap 17, setting the McLarens free to chase Alonso. Jenson opted to stop a lap later, followed closely by Hamilton on Lap 19. However, he emerged behind Schumacher, to his utter disgust. Alonso pitted on Lap 20, but was now 15 seconds behind the race leader.

Round 2 of Hamilton vs Schumacher begun, with the Mercedes cutting off the McLaren at every opportunity. Lewis got beside Michael on every single lap, but excellent straight-line speed kept Schumacher in front.

Eventually, after nearly 20 laps of tussling, Michael succumbed to Hamilton, and the McLaren moved into 3rd. Meanwhile, the other McLaren was now challenging Fernando Alonso for 2nd.

Once the Ferrari began to pick up pace near the end of the stint, Button took to the pits. Both Alonso and Hamilton pitted a lap later, with the positions remaining the same. An error by Fernando allowed Jenson to take the position a lap later.

With Vettel miles in front, and Button having good pace in 2nd, the focus switched to the battle for 9th. Sebastien Buemi on the primes struggled to hold back Bruno Senna on options, who had pitted on the first lap after the carnage. A brave dive down the inside of the Toro Rosso granted the Renault 9th place.

Hamilton was on the back of Alonso on the last lap, but just didn’t have enough pace to pass the Ferrari. This left Vettel free to take his second victory at the Italian Grand Prix, with Button 2nd and Alonso clinging on to 3rd.

Lewis Hamilton must have been disappointed with 4th, Michael Schumacher 5th and Felipe Massa 6th. Jaime Alguersuari has become the 9th driver in a row to take points after qualifying 18th, finishing 7th. Paul di Resta was 8th, Bruno Senna 9th, with Sebastien Buemi finishing off the top 10.

The Lotuses were an excellent 13th and 14th, with Maldonado heading Barrichello for 11th and 12th. Timo Glock was 15th, and Daniel Ricciardo was unclassified, after finishing the race 14 laps behind Vettel.

In theory, Sebastian could now wrap up the title at the Singapore Grand Prix in two weeks time.