Monthly Archives: September 2011

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
2425

26

27

Pedro de la RosaTimo Glock

Daniel Ricciardo

Karun Chandhok

00

0

0

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.

Vettel unchallenged to Italian Grand Prix pole position

Sebastian Vettel took a commanding pole position for the Italian Grand Prix.

Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button were set to challenge the Red Bull, but both gave up on their final laps, allowing Sebastian to take the front spot on the grid.

Fernando Alonso was 4th, with Mark Webber 5th. Here is the full report:

Q1

Pastor Maldonado pits without a front wing

Pastor Maldonado pits without a front wing

Jaime Alguersuari set the first competitive time of Q1, – a 1:26.610. Jenson Button improved the fastest time by over 2 seconds, while Alonso and Vettel went 2nd and 3rd.

Hamilton and Vettel each lowered the benchmark by 0.4 seconds several seconds after each other.

A brief yellow flag came out on the main straight, as Pastor Maldonado knocked off his front wing, spinning as he entered the pit lane.

Mark Webber was the last car to leave the pits, and was also one of the few not to put on a new engine for this weekend. He was unusually off the pace, classified 7th.

Maldonado finally set a lap time with 2 minutes to go. With the Lotuses not challenging for 17th place, it became clear that only one midfield car would be knocked out of Q1. Kamui Kobayashi, Sebastien Buemi and Bruno Senna all fell into the drop zone, before Jaime Alguersuari was pushed into 18th place.

Drivers knocked out in Q1:

18) Jaime Alguersuari – 1:25.334

19) Jarno Trulli – 1:26.647

20) Heikki Kovalainen -1:27.184

21) Timo Glock – 1:27.591

22) Jerome D’Ambrosio – 1:27.609

23) Daniel Ricciardo – 1:28.054

24) Vitantonio Liuzzi – 1:28.231

Q2

Paul di Resta's gamble failed to pay off, and was eliminated in Q2

Paul di Resta's gamble failed to pay off, and was eliminated in Q2

Jenson Button set a 1:23.427, before Vettel quickly went 3 tenths faster. Sebastian then became the first man of the weekend to break the 1:22 barrier.

Fernando Alonso pushed his car to the max, but only managed 4th. Lewis Hamilton was 7th, but impressively set that time on the medium tyres, unlike his rivals.

He soon went out on the softer tyres, going 3rd. The top 10 runners all opted not to do a final run, which was especially risky for Paul di Resta in 10th. It proved to be decisive, as Bruno Senna sliced into 10th place by 0.006 seconds.

Drivers knocked out of Q2:

11) Paul di Resta – 1:24.163

12) Adrian Sutil – 1:24.209

13) Rubens Barrichell0 1:24.648

14) Pastor Maldonado – 1:24.726

15) Sergio Perez – 1:24.845

16) Sebastien Buemi – 1:24.932

17) Kamui Kobayashi – 1:25.065

Q3

Vettel heads Hamilton and Button on the grid

Vettel heads Hamilton and Button on the grid

The Ferraris were the first out for Q3, and were met with a roar of approval by the crowd. Alonso set a 1:22.999, 3 tenths faster than Felipe Massa.

Button swiftly went fastest, before Vettel beat the fastest lap of the weekend once again. Lewis Hamilton went within one tenth of Sebastian.

Vettel was set to go even quicker, but a spectacular powerslide in the middle of the Ascari chicane cut short his run. Nico Rosberg took on the medium tyres, but was nowhere near the frontrunners.

All 10 cars went out on track for the final two minutes. Lewis Hamilton ruined his final lap under braking, and Jenson Button gave up his last run. Mark Webber disappointed with 4th, and the Ferrari’s challenge failed to materialise. This left Vettel with a clear pole position, and his final lap of 1:22.275 wasn’t even necessary.

Times from Q3:

1) Sebastian Vettel – 1:22.275

2) Lewis Hamilton – 1:22.725

3) Jenson Button – 1:22.777

4) Fernando Alonso – 1:22.841

5) Mark Webber – 1:22.972

6) Felipe Massa – 1:23.138

7) Vitaly Petrov – 1:23.530

8 ) Michael Schumacher – 1:23.777

9) Nico Rosberg – 1:24.477

10) Bruno Senna – No time set

Vettel back on top in Italian second practice

Vettel pipped Hamilton to the fastest lap

Vettel pipped Hamilton to the fastest lap

Sebastian Vettel edged Lewis Hamilton to the fastest time in second practice for the Italian Grand Prix.

The Brit was leading the session, but was unseated by 0.036 seconds by the Red Bull. Hamilton was set to go faster again, but was held up by Jaime Alguersuari on his final flying lap.

The extremely hot track temperatures – up to 40 degrees on the tarmac – slowed the cars throughout the session, with no car beating Lewis’ fastest lap from FP1.

Sebastien Buemi provided the action in this session, crashing out at Parabolica corner after setting only 5 laps, after clipping the grass under braking.

The Ferraris improved to 4th and 5th, the Saubers 8th and 9th, with both Renaults 10th and 11th.

Nico Rosberg had another abysmal session, finishing 21st, and 5 seconds off the pace. Teammate Michael Schumacher broke into the top 3, finishing 0.3 seconds off Vettel.

Daniel Ricciardo was in last place, emerging from the pits with only a few minutes to go.

Times from FP2:

 1.  Sebastian Vettel      Red Bull-Renault      1:24.010           37
 2.  Lewis Hamilton        McLaren-Mercedes      1:24.046   0.036  21
 3.  Michael Schumacher    Mercedes              1:24.347   0.337  39
 4.  Felipe Massa          Ferrari               1:24.366   0.356  33
 5.  Fernando Alonso       Ferrari               1:24.433   0.423  31
 6.  Mark Webber           Red Bull-Renault      1:24.468   0.458  32
 7.  Jenson Button         McLaren-Mercedes      1:24.508   0.498  30
 8.  Sergio Perez          Sauber-Ferrari        1:25.097   1.087  39
 9.  Kamui Kobayashi       Sauber-Ferrari        1:25.182   1.172  37
10.  Bruno Senna           Renault               1:25.325   1.315  38
11.  Vitaly Petrov         Renault               1:25.450   1.440  31
12.  Adrian Sutil          Force India-Mercedes  1:25.496   1.486  39
13.  Paul di Resta         Force India-Mercedes  1:25.683   1.673  37
14.  Jaime Alguersuari     Toro Rosso-Ferrari    1:25.758   1.748  29
15.  Rubens Barrichello    Williams-Cosworth     1:26.202   2.192  36
16.  Pastor Maldonado      Williams-Cosworth     1:26.353   2.343  40
17.  Sebastien Buemi       Toro Rosso-Ferrari    1:28.347   4.337   5
18.  Jarno Trulli          Lotus-Renault         1:28.559   4.549  32
19.  Heikki Kovalainen     Lotus-Renault         1:28.605   4.595  32
20.  Timo Glock            Virgin-Cosworth       1:28.804   4.794  25
21.  Tonio Liuzzi          HRT-Cosworth          1:29.162   5.152  34
22.  Nico Rosberg          Mercedes              1:29.184   5.174  29
23.  Jerome D'Ambrosio     Virgin-Cosworth       1:29.622   5.612  34
24.  Daniel Ricciardo      HRT-Cosworth          1:29.841   5.831   7

Hamilton a second ahead in first practice

Hamilton was well ahead in FP1

Hamilton was well ahead in FP1

Lewis Hamilton was miles ahead of the opposition in first practice for the Italian Grand Prix.

A 1:23.865 was enough to put Lewis 0.9 seconds ahead of teammate Jenson Button, who was a further 4 tenths ahead of Sebastian Vettel.

Behind Mark Webber in 4th was Adrian Sutil, albeit 2.5 seconds away from the leading McLaren. Nico Hulkenberg took over the second Force India, taking 12th position.

Vitaly Petrov set the fastest speed in the traps (347 km/h) en route to 6th. The Ferraris were off the pace in 7th and 8th, with Sergio Perez and Jaime Alguersuari breaking into the top 10.

Bruno Senna and Nico Rosberg were well off the pace of their respective teammates in 16th and 18th. All Lotus, HRT and Virgin cars were outside of the 107% rule for this session.

Times from FP1:

 1.  Lewis Hamilton        McLaren-Mercedes      1:23.865           18
 2.  Jenson Button         McLaren-Mercedes      1:24.786   0.921   19
 3.  Sebastian Vettel      Red Bull-Renault      1:25.231   1.366   25
 4.  Mark Webber           Red Bull-Renault      1:25.459   1.594   24
 5.  Adrian Sutil          Force India-Mercedes  1:26.550   2.685   23
 6.  Vitaly Petrov         Renault               1:26.625   2.760   20
 7.  Fernando Alonso       Ferrari               1:26.647   2.782   20
 8.  Felipe Massa          Ferrari               1:26.676   2.811   24
 9.  Sergio Perez          Sauber-Ferrari        1:26.694   2.829   28
10.  Jaime Alguersuari     Toro Rosso-Ferrari    1:26.696   2.831   15
11.  Michael Schumacher    Mercedes              1:26.699   2.834   21
12.  Nico Hulkenberg       Force India-Mercedes  1:26.826   2.961   21
13.  Rubens Barrichello    Williams-Cosworth     1:26.836   2.971   25
14.  Kamui Kobayashi       Sauber-Ferrari        1:26.996   3.131   29
15.  Pastor Maldonado      Williams-Cosworth     1:27.365   3.500   25
16.  Bruno Senna           Renault               1:27.385   3.520   23
17.  Sebastien Buemi       Toro Rosso-Ferrari    1:27.433   3.568   25
18.  Nico Rosberg          Mercedes              1:27.492   3.627   24
19.  Heikki Kovalainen     Lotus-Renault         1:29.539   5.674   10
20.  Karun Chandhok        Lotus-Renault         1:30.148   6.283   19
21.  Daniel Ricciardo      HRT-Cosworth          1:30.609   6.744   27
22.  Tonio Liuzzi          HRT-Cosworth          1:30.619   6.754   24
23.  Timo Glock            Virgin-Cosworth       1:31.052   7.187   12
24.  Jerome D'Ambrosio     Virgin-Cosworth       1:31.899   8.034   22

Heidfeld and Renault split, Senna confirmed for rest of 2011

Heidfeld has officialy left Renault

Heidfeld has officialy left Renault

Nick Heidfeld and the Renault F1 team have made a settlement outside of court, with the German confirmed to be leaving the team.

Heidfeld was booted out of his race seat for Bruno Senna in Spa, and Nick promised to take Renault to the Labour Court. However, Renault have confirmed that an agreement has been made between the two parties, including an “amicable settlement”.

A statement from team principal Eric Boullier reads as follows:

"Our disagreement with Nick has been the subject of much media coverage lately, and 
we are pleased to have reached a swift and reasonable solution.

Our separation process was already a painful one, and neither of us wanted to go 
through another legal hearing. We’re very grateful to Nick for the highly valuable 
contribution he’s made to the team. We certainly had good times together, in 
particular remembering our podium finish in Malaysia."

Heidfeld made a standard statement on his disappointment to be leaving the team, before briefly noting:

"One thing is for sure – I’ll be back racing at the highest level soon."

If Nick is referring to F1, then he may be out of luck. As far as I see it, the only potential drives for 2012 would be at Williams or possibly Lotus. If Williams were to be the case, then Heidfeld could join Pastor Maldonado at the squad, seeing as the team are in financial difficulty, and Rubens Barrichello doesn’t bring much sponsor money.

However, this is still a low possibility, and we may have seen the last of Nick Heidfeld in Formula 1.

Meanwhile, Bruno Senna has been confirmed as staying in the second Renault seat, as expected.

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