Monthly Archives: July 2012

Points standings after Hungarian Grand Prix

Driver Standings

Driver Points
1 Fernando Alonso 164
2 Mark Webber 124
3 Sebastian Vettel 122
4 Lewis Hamilton 117
5 Kimi Raikkonen 116
6 Nico Rosberg 77
7 Jenson Button 76
8 Romain Grosjean 76
9 Sergio Perez 47
10 Kamui Kobayashi 33
11 Pastor Maldonado 29
12 Michael Schumacher 29
13 Paul di Resta 27
14 Felipe Massa 25
15 Bruno Senna 24
16 Nico Hulkenberg 19
17 Jean-Eric Vergne 4
18 Daniel Ricciardo 2
19 Timo Glock  0
20 Charles Pic  0
21 Vitaly Petrov  0
22 Heikki Kovalainen 0
23 Pedro de la Rosa 0
24 Narain Karthikeyan 0

Constructor Standings

Team Points
1 Red Bull-Renault 246
2 McLaren-Mercedes 193
3 Lotus-Renault 192
4 Ferrari 189
5 Mercedes AMG 106
6 Sauber-Ferrari 80
7 Williams-Renault 53
8 Force India-Mercedes 46
9 Toro Rosso-Ferrari 6
10 Caterham-Renault 0
11 Marussia-Cosworth 0
12 HRT-Cosworth 0

Aborted start was due to Schumacher stopping out of position

The FIA has clarified as to why the start of the Hungarian Grand Prix was aborted.

Viewers only saw flashing orange lights at the start/finish line, then Michael Schumacher being pushed back into the pit lane, and then a team radio snippet of him stating that he turned the engine off.

It has emerged that Schumacher only turned off his engine due to the flashing orange lights, which were used because the Mercedes driver himself had not parked within his designated spot on the grid.

Schumacher eventually started the race from the pit lane, before a drive-through penalty, a loss of tyre telemetry, and a puncture forced him to retire.

Hamilton fends off Lotuses for Hungary win

Lewis Hamilton has taken a well-deserved victory in Hungary, after holding off both Romain Grosjean and Kimi Raikkonen at different periods of the race. The Lotuses eventually finished 2nd and 3rd, with championship leader Fernando Alonso 5th. Mark Webber and Jenson Button had poor races, while Michael Schumacher’s race pretty much over before it even begun. Here is what happened:

The first start was aborted, due to an engine problem resulting in Michael Schumacher stalling on the grid. At the second start, Lewis Hamilton held his lead, while Sebastian Vettel hassled Romain Grosjean for 2nd. However, the Lotus held his position, and Jenson Button soon took advantage and moved up to 3rd.

Mark Webber made an excellent start on the medium tyre, leaping up to 7th. Championship leader Fernando Alonso moved up to 5th, while struggling teammate Massa fell to 9th.

Schumacher pitted at the end of the first lap for medium tyres, but his race was completely ruined, after he was handed a drive-through penalty for speeding in the pit lane.

After the opening laps, Alonso began to lose pace, and a sizeable queue of cars began to form behind the Ferrari. Raikkonen in 6th attempted to get into position to make a pass, but a KERS failure meant that the Lotus failed to make a move. Kamui Kobayashi surprised many by taking his first pit stop as early as lap 8, taking on the medium tyre.

The top 2 began to tear away from the rest of the field, going 6 seconds ahead of the dueling Button and Vettel behind. Hamilton managed to eke out a 2.5 second lead, and managed to hold it all the way to his first pit stop.

Button was the first of the frontrunners to stop, and just about held his lead against Vettel, once the Red Bull took on the option tyre. Him and Grosjean were the only frontrunning drivers on the softer compound, and soon began to catch their on-track rivals. Alonso lost out the most at the first stops, losing 5th place to Kimi Raikkonen.

Despite being on the faster tyre, Romain was unable to pass the McLaren, partially due to the nature of the track, and also because of him being unable to close the gap in the DRS zone. Vettel, in the same situation, stated to his team that “I can do much faster than this”, being held up by Button.

With overtaking proving more and more difficult, both McLaren drivers were told to switch to “Plan B” – believed to be a 3-stopper. Button was the first of the two to pit again, releasing Vettel into 3rd, and taking on another set of options. However, he emerged behind Bruno Senna, and got stuck behind the Williams for several laps.

Once Vettel took on new tyres, he emerged easily ahead of Jenson. Having seen what happened, the Lotus team opted to pit Grosjean early, to avoid the same type of incident. Hamilton then pitted, and once the second round of stops had calmed down, the top 3 had closed in to within 3 seconds of each other. Raikkonen inherited the lead, with a 14-second gap between him and Hamilton, although he was yet to make a second stop.

With some searing pace, Raikkonen pushed as much as he could, then pitted on lap 46. He emerged 2nd, only 3 seconds behind Lewis, and with much fresher tyres. Entering the final 20 laps, there was only 6 seconds covering the top 4.

Further back, Pastor Maldonado was battling Paul di Resta for 12th place. As the Force India made a mistake, the Williams driver attempted to out-brake Di Resta, but ended up thumping the Force India off the track to take the position. The stewards took a dim view of the knock, and handed Maldonado a drive-through penalty.

Interestingly, both Raikkonen and Hamilton were informed of KERS issues with their cars, limiting their ability to pass and defend against each other. With 15 laps to go, the Lotus was within a second of the McLaren.

Amidst the battle for the lead, Michael Schumacher’s Mercedes was finally retired. After all the issues with the start, the team soon lost tyre telemetry, and opted to retire the car with 9 laps to go.

Although Raikkonen appeared to have the faster car, he was simply unable to make a move on the McLaren. The gap remained close all the way to the flag, and Lewis Hamilton crossed the line 1.03 seconds ahead of the Lotus. Grosjean held 3rd, with Vettel chasing him down similar to Raikkonen.

Alonso did well in damage limitation, holding 5th against Button, Senna and Webber. Felipe Massa was invisible all race, finishing 9th, with Nico Rosberg 10th in a dismal weekend for Mercedes.

Hamilton storms to Hungary pole position

Lewis Hamilton has taken his 22nd career pole position, and the 150th for the McLaren team. He will start the Hungarian Grand Prix ahead of Romain Grosjean, who qualified 0.3 seconds behind.

Sebastian Vettel and Jenson Button were 3rd and 4th, while the Ferrari drivers struggled for pace, while Webber and Schumacher didn’t even make it into Q3. Here is what happened:

Q1

With a scorching 45 degree track temperature, the Lotus cars were unsurprisingly the first out. Kimi Raikkonen’s 1:23.273 was the first fast lap of the day. Fernando Alonso was set to pip that time, but was held up by a Marussia.

Raikkonen soon improved by another half a second. Second-placed Jenson Button could only manage a 1:23.3 for the time being. However, teammate Lewis Hamilton took another 3 tenths off the fastest time.

Felipe Massa made several attempts to set a lap time, but on each occassion was held up by Michael Schumacher. On the fourth lap, he managed to move into 5th, but was held up again on his subsequent lap.

Lewis was the first to move into the 1:21 zone, after 6 laps on the medium tyre. Bruno Senna continued on his good practice pace, taking second position. Oddly, Fernando Alonso was struggling, and was forced to take on the softer tyre to continue into Q2, even if he was beaten by Paul di Resta.

With only a few minutes left on the clock, Button, Perez, Vettel and Webber all were teetering above the drop zone. All but Sebastian went out again to improve their lap times. Vettel was very nearly caught out by a charging Kamui Kobayashi, but survived in 17th place.

Drivers knocked out in Q1:

18) Daniel Ricciardo – 1:23.250

19) Heikki Kovalainen – 1:23.576

20) Vitaly Petrov – 1:24.167

21) Charles Pic – 1:25.244

22) Timo Glock – 1:25.476

23) Pedro de la Rosa – 1:25.916

24) Narain Karthikeyan – 1:26.178

Q2

The Mercedes drivers were the first out on track, Michael Schumacher abandoning his first lap after a mistake at turn 4. Nico Hulkenberg and Felipe Massa quickly went into the 1:21 zone, spurring a stream of fast laps from other drivers.

Again the Red Bulls struggled, initially going 5th and 6th, while the Lotuses took first and second. Soon after, Hamilton slashed another 0.5 seconds off the fastest time.

The Ferraris improved to 2nd and 3rd, Alonso finding it difficult to beat even Massa. After a flurry of activity, Mark Webber was left in 10th place, and Bruno Senna pushed him even further down the order. A dust cloud pulled up by Pastor Maldonado distracted Michael Schumacher, leaving him in 17th place.

Mercedes concluded a dismal afternoon, with Nico Rosberg 13th, and little prospects for the race.

Drivers knocked out in Q2:

11) Mark Webber – 1:21.715

12) Paul di Resta: 1:21.813

13) Nico Rosberg – 1:21.895

14) Sergio Perez – 1:21.895

15) Kamui Kobayashi – 1:22.300

16) Jean-Eric Vergne – 1:22.380

17) Michael Schumacher – 1:22.723

Q3

After an impressive Q2, Nico Hulkenberg was straight out on track for Q3 – albeit on the medium tyre compound.

Lewis Hamilton was set to go fastest, but a massive slide at turn 8 ended his lap. In the first 5 minutes, only Raikkonen, Grosjean, Hamilton and Button set times, the other drivers waiting in the pits.

Sebastian Vettel was set for provisional pole, but lost 0.2 seconds in the final few corners. Pastor Maldonado had to carve his way past both McLarens and Vettel, but still managed 4th place for the moment.

Vettel gave up rather quickly in Q3, leaving the Lotuses, McLarens and Alonso to battle it out at the front. The Ferraris found themselves down in 6th and 7th place, Alonso managing to pip Massa. Kimi Raikkonen was only 5th, but teammate Grosjean nearly beat Hamilton, taking 2nd place. Vettel remained in 3rd, with Button close behind in 4th.

But nobody was able to topple Hamilton’s lap. Despite Grosjean’s final attempt coming close, the McLaren had already set another lap, 0.3 seconds faster than his Lotus rival. The race is Lewis’ to lose tomorrow, but the weather may play a huge part in proceedings…

Points standings after German Grand Prix

Driver Standings

Driver Points
1 Fernando Alonso 154
2 Mark Webber 120
3 Sebastian Vettel 110
4 Kimi Raikkonen 98
5 Lewis Hamilton 92
6 Nico Rosberg 76
7 Jenson Button 68
8 Romain Grosjean 61
9 Sergio Perez 47
10 Kamui Kobayashi 33
11 Pastor Maldonado 29
12 Michael Schumacher 29
13 Paul di Resta 27
14 Felipe Massa 23
15 Nico Hulkenberg 19
16 Bruno Senna 18
17 Jean-Eric Vergne 4
18 Daniel Ricciardo 2
19 Timo Glock  0
20 Charles Pic  0
21 Vitaly Petrov  0
22 Heikki Kovalainen 0
23 Pedro de la Rosa 0
24 Narain Karthikeyan 0

Constructor Standings

Team Points
1 Red Bull-Renault 230
2 Ferrari 177
3 McLaren-Mercedes 160
4 Lotus-Renault 159
5 Mercedes AMG 105
6 Sauber-Ferrari 80
7 Williams-Renault 47
8 Force India-Mercedes 46
9 Toro Rosso-Ferrari 6
10 Caterham-Renault 0
11 Marussia-Cosworth 0
12 HRT-Cosworth 0

McLaren and Button set world record with 2.31 second pit stop

A new world record has been set for the fastest pit stop in history, achieved by the McLaren team, with the help of Jenson Button.

Button’s second and last stop at the German Grand Prix took only 2.31 seconds, an absolutely incredible record.

The previous record was believed to be held by Ricardo Patrese, at the Belgian Grand Prix in 1993. His Bennetton team apparently did the stop on 3.2 seconds, but there appears to be no footage of the pit stop itself.

However, this time around, the cameras were waiting to capture this record. At the moment, only a low-quality video is on YouTube, but the sheer speed is still clear to see:

Vettel penalised, drops to 5th place

Sebastian Vettel has been handed a 20-second penalty for his illegal overtake on Jenson Button.

With two laps to go, Sebastian took to the run-off area to pass Jenson, not having a single wheel on the track in the process. He emerged on the track ahead of the McLaren driver. The stewards decided that this constituted an illegal overtake, and served the Red Bull driver the penalty.

This drops Vettel to 5th place in the German Grand Prix standings, while Kimi Raikkonen now inherits third position. Kamui Kobayashi’s day has been improved, the Japanese driver moving up to fourth.

The points standings will be up soon to reflect this change.

Stewards to investigate Vettel pass

Sebastian Vettel’s second position is under threat, as the stewards have announced an investigation into an illegal overtake in the German Grand Prix.

Two laps from the end, Vettel approached the hairpin of the track, on the outside of Jenson Button. While the McLaren gave him room at the exit, Vettel went straight to the run-off area, floored the throttle, and re-entered the track ahead of the McLaren.

On the team radio, Button stated:

"I’m not sure that was correct the way Sebastian got past.

The most important thing is he wouldn’t have overtaken me if he was on the circuit."

Both drivers dodged questions on the matter afterwards, so it will be left to the stewards to see if Vettel keeps his 2nd place. Personally, I feel that Vettel made no attempt to legally pass Button, and wouldn’t have been able to overtake him without putting all 4 wheels off the track.

Update: Here’s a video I found of Michael Schumacher doing the exact same thing 9 years ago. No penalty (or investigation) was given. (Overtake at 2:45)

Alonso takes dominative victory at Hockenheim

Fernando Alonso has taken his 3rd victory of 2012, as he continues to assert his authority over the rest of the field. The Ferrari driver crushed the opposition, dominating the race from start to finish. Sebastian Vettel pipped Jenson Button to 2nd on the second-last lap, but is under imvestigation for an illegal pass.

The Saubers took 5th and 6th places, taking an alternate strategy, while Felipe Massa, Romain Grosjean, Mark Webber and Lewis Hamilton all suffered disastrous races. Here is what happened:Fernan

At the start, Alonso held his lead against Vettel, while Nico Hulkenberg defended against Michael Schumacher. First-lap carnage resulted in Felipe Massa, Bruno Senna and Romain Grosjean all pitting for repairs.

Lewis Hamilton had slipped down to 10th, and it soon became clear why – his rear left tyre was flat, and the McLaren crawled back to the pits.

The Saubers were 10th and 11th, and Kamui Kobayashi made a brave move on Perez. However, he appeared to hand the place back several laps later. Once clear, he moved past Paul di Resta for 9th. Meanwhile, Hamilton continued to complain of a damaged car, but still set times comparable to the frontrunners.

Teammate Button was making progress, taking Nico Hulkenberg and Michael Schumacher in a matter of laps. By the first set of stops, he was comfortably 3rd, and being told that he could win the race.

Further back, champions Raikkonen and Schumacher went wheel-to-wheel, the Mercedes driver making a daring move, passing the Lotus for 5th. However, he failed the pace to stay ahead, and was re-passes several laps later.

After pitting, Mark Webber was released into 11th position. He struggled on the prime tyres, taking his time passing Pastor Maldonado and Paul di Resta, both of which were off the pace. He tried a move on Kamui Kobayashi, but the Sauber driver defended his position well.

The battle for the lead began to materialise, with Vettel closing in on Alonso, and Button keeping a wary eye on the two, 5 seconds down the road. Interestingly, the lapped Lewis Hamilton began to come into play.

Going faster than the Ferrari or Red Bull, Hamilton passed Vettel on the straight, to the annoyance of Sebastian. Soon after, he was all over the back of Alonso, who didn’t feel the need to let him past. This allowed the top 3 to bunch up before the second round of pit stops.

Button was the first of the trio, taking on the primes once again. Both Alonso and Vettel pitted in response to the McLaren, but Jenson’s move had already placed him in 2nd place.

While Hamilton had passed the leaders, and assisted Button in his battle, he had run out of steam himself. Pushing for so long had ruined his 1-stop strategy, and was forced to pit from 16th place. With 10 laps to go, he gave up, and pulled into the garage to reture. Meanwhile, Webber was having a similarly torrid afternoon, stuck in 10th place and not going anywhere.

The Caterhams duelled for 20th place at the hairpin, with Heikki Kovalainen eventually winning out.

Up front, Fernando held firm against the McLaren’s charge, and soon Vettel began to hassle Button for 2nd place. With heavily worn tyres, he couldn’t stop Vettel’s assault, although the Red Bull took to the run-off area to take the position – something that may be investigated by the stewards.

While this battle was going on, Alonso had pushed out a sizeable lead, and comfortably took the chequered flag, having dominated the whole race. Vettel led home Button by 3 seconds, while Kimi Raikkonen’s 3-stop strategy failed to pay off.

Kamui Kobayashi and Sergio Perez impressed with 5th and 6th for Sauber, taking different tyre strategies to the rest of the field. Michael Schumacher, running a 3-stopper, chased them down at the end, but was forced to settle for 7th. Webber was a disappointing 8th, while Nico Hulkenberg and Nico Rosberg concluded the top 10.

Alonso now leads the driver’s championship by 34 points to Webber, with Vettel only 2 points behind his teammate. Kimi Raikkonen, with 95 points, is now ahead of Lewis Hamilton

Perez penalised for impeding Raikkonen and Alonso

Sergio Perez will drop 5 places on the grid for tomorrow’s German Grand Prix.

The Sauber driver was found to have impeded both Kimi Raikkonen and Fernando Alonso during Q2. He finished the session 12th, but will now drop down to 17th position for the race.

The stewards stated that the penalty was imposed “due to the driver being involved in two similar offences in the same session.” After the incident with Raikkonen, the Lotus driver complained to his team over the pit radio.

Perez is the fourth driver to suffer a grid penalty this weekend. The other three are Mark Webber, Nico Rosberg and Romain Grosjean, all for unscheduled gearbox changes to their cars.

 

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