July 20, 2012
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Maldonado made the most out of limited dry running
Pastor Maldonado surprisingly topped the timesheets for second practice for the German Grand Prix, but the session was again disrupted by rain, even heavier than that in FP1.
Michael Schumacher suffered the worst luck, crashing out with four minutes to go in the session. He languished in 23rd, having not set a time in the dryer conditions earlier on.
In the opening stages, only Bruno Senna went out on track, to assess his repaired car after Valtterri Bottas crashed his Williams in first practice.
As conditions improved, the Ferrari drivers and Romain Grosjean traded fastest laps at the top of the timesheets. While it momentarily appeared as if the track would be dry, rain quickly poured again, ruining all chances of car development for the teams.
As well as Schumacher, Daniel Ricciardo was also caught out in the tricky conditions, running wide and getting stuck in the gravel at turn 13.
Times from FP2:
1. Pastor Maldonado Williams-Renault 1:27.476 14
2. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1:27.564 +0.088 24
3. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1:27.902 +0.426 24
4. Sergio Perez Sauber-Ferrari 1:28.402 +0.926 26
5. Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1:28.420 +0.944 20
6. Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 1:28.495 +1.019 22
7. Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1:28.513 +1.037 23
8. Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1:28.516 +1.040 16
9. Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1:28.877 +1.401 21
10. Kimi Raikkonen Lotus-Renault 1:29.327 +1.851 22
11. Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1:29.364 +1.888 26
12. Felipe Massa Ferrari 1:29.719 +2.243 15
13. Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1:29.785 +2.309 24
14. Charles Pic Marussia-Cosworth 1:30.090 +2.614 19
15. Timo Glock Marussia-Cosworth 1:30.220 +2.744 16
16. Bruno Senna Williams-Renault 1:30.291 +2.815 22
17. Heikki Kovalainen Caterham-Renault 1:30.331 +2.855 26
18. Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1:30.437 +2.961 14
19. Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1:30.617 +3.141 16
20. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1:31.207 +3.731 20
21. Vitaly Petrov Caterham-Renault 1:32.241 +4.765 22
22. Narain Karthikeyan HRT-Cosworth 1:32.349 +4.873 17
23. Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1:32.777 +5.301 18
24. Pedro de la Rosa HRT-Cosworth 1:42.566 +15.090 8
July 16, 2012
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Romain Grosjean will drop 5 places on the grid for the German Grand Prix next weekend.
The Lotus team has revealed that it has been forced to change the gearbox on Grosjean’s car, after a problem developed in the closing laps of the British Grand Prix.
Technical director James Allison noted “we are very fortunate that Romain didn’t have the problem earlier in the race.” The Lotus car was adjusted before the Silverstone race, to reduce strain on the alternator, which had failed previously at the European Grand Prix.
Under current technical regulations, gearboxes must last 5 races in a row. Unlike engine rules, there is not a stipulated amount of gearboxes that can be used, rather a certain amount of races in which each must be raced.
July 11, 2012
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Webber has turned down a switch to Ferrari
After his recent victory at the British Grand Prix, Mark Webber has announced that he will stay on at Red Bull until at least 2013.
Webber admitted that he had held discussions over moving to Ferrari, but felt that staying with the Milton Keynes squad was the right choice.
Since joinin Red Bull in 2007, Mark has achieved 10 pole positions, 9 wins and 31 podium finishes. He currently lies second in the driver’s championship, 16 points off Fernando Alonso, and 13 ahead of teammate Sebastian Vettel.
In an announcement today, Webber stated:
"I’ve been with Red Bull Racing since 2007 and have achieved nine Grand Prix wins
during that time. I’m high on confidence at the moment and firing on all cylinders.
I know the team well and I’m very comfortable here; we have grown together over
the years and it feels like absolutely the right thing to stay with Red Bull for
The team is constantly working hard to improve in all areas and we’ve shown that
together we can win races. It’s great to be able to make this announcement off
the back of the win in Silverstone at the weekend and I’m looking forward to
competing on the edge and pushing myself in every race again next season.
There were discussions with Ferrari, but my decision was to stay here.
Obviously with Seb [Vettel], we’ve worked very, very close together for a long
period of time now. I think no-one would really have envisaged how long we have
worked together, so that’s probably been a bit of a surprise.
There are not many team-mates staying together for that long in Formula One, but
it’s proved to be a successful partnership with both of us working very hard with
the key technical members of the team. It’s been a potent operation.
We’re still competitive when we hit the track, no question about it, especially
in 2010 and this year. Last year there wasn’t much racing between Sebastian and
I, but in 2009, 2010 and this year, there have been some great battles.
That’s been enjoyable for the team, sometimes stressful too as it’s not easy for
both of us to be at the front and I can understand that, as both of us are
thinking about ourselves sometimes, but ultimately we know that we need to get
the cars home and get the best results for us and the team."
July 9, 2012
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I’m sure you’ve noticed a lack of articles in recent days, sorry about that. I was off in Silverstone for the race last weekend, and haven’t had a chance to update the blog.
On the plus side, I’ll be putting up a few articles about the fan experience of the British Grand Prix, as well as a few photos I took across the weekend.
That’ll be later though – I’m absolutely wrecked, and need a good night’s sleep! Normal service will resume tomorrow…
July 3, 2012
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Maria De Villota was taking part in her first F1 test
Marussia’s test driver Maria de Villota has been seriously injured, possibly sustaining “life-threatening injuries” in a testing crash in Duxford today.
The 32-year-old female driver was entering the pit section after her first run, when her MR-01 suddenly accelerated into the back of an articulated lorry, at around 20-30mph.
The lorry had a loading board extended at the time, and it is believed that De Villota’s helmet collided with it first, as the rest of the car would have gone underneath the lorry.
While it is still unclear how this sudden acceleration occurred, it is possible that she was caught out by the car’s anti-stall system, which can throw a car forward if the driver is not careful. The only other F1 car De Villota has driven – a Renault R29 – did not have an anti-stall feature installed.
BBC Cambridgeshire presenter Chris Mann described the crash:
"She got into the car, fired it up and did a test run at probably about 200mph in
The car was slightly misfiring but there didn't seem to be any concerns.
She came back into the area we were in with the engineers. She slowed down but then
suddenly, inexplicably accelerated through the crowd and smashed into the side of
The top of her car and her helmet seemed to take the brunt of it. She didn't move
for about 15 minutes. Fire crews were there within seconds and the ambulance within
After a while we thought we saw some movement of her hands but she appeared to be
unconscious or unable to move for quite some time."
De Villota joined the Marussia team in March, and has reportedly been waiting for this testing day all year. Based on reports so far, we will have to wait and see will she be able to take part in another one again.