Category Archives: News Articles

Points standings after Bahrain Grand Prix

Driver Standings

Driver Points
1 Sebastian Vettel 77
2 Kimi Raikkonen 67
3 Lewis Hamilton 50
4 Fernando Alonso 47
5 Mark Webber 32
6 Felipe Massa 30
7 Romain Grosjean 26
8 Paul di Resta 20
9 Nico Rosberg 14
10 Jenson Button 13
11 Sergio Perez 10
12 Adrian Sutil 6
13 Daniel Ricciardo 6
14 Nico Hulkenberg 5
15 Jean-Eric Vergne 1
16 Valtteri Bottas 0
17 Esteban Gutierrez 0
18 Jules Bianchi 0
19 Charles Pic 0
20 Pastor Maldonado  0
21 Giedo van der Garde  0
22 Max Chilton  0

Constructor Standings

Team Points
1 Red Bull 109
2 Lotus 93
3 Ferrari 77
4 Mercedes 64
5 Force India 26
6 McLaren 23
7 Toro Rosso 7
8 Sauber-Ferrari 5
9 Williams-Renault 0
10 Marussia-Cosworth 0
11 Caterham-Renault 0

Heikki Kovalainen to drive for Caterham in Bahrain and Spain practice sessions

After only 3 races out of the cockpit, former Caterham driver Heikki Kovalainen will drive for the team in the next two race weekends in the practice sessions.

He will take the place of Alexander Rossi, who was originally set to drive in these sessions. Kovalainen will drive in Giedo van der Garde’s car for FP1 and possibly FP2 for both race weekends.

Caterham say the reason for the switch is because of Rossi’s move to the Caterham GP2 team, replacing Ma Qing Hua. However, seeing as Heikki was originally dropped because of financial reasons, rumours are growing that the Finn is preparing a comeback with his former team.

Pirelli replaces soft tyre with medium compound for Bahrain

Pirelli has made the call to drop the soft compound tyre for the Bahrain Grand Prix, after heavy degradation in last weekend’s Chinese Grand Prix.

No driver spent more than 7 laps on the soft tyre in China, and several drivers were quick to criticise the option tyre. With this in mind, the teams will now be using the medium and hard compounds for next Sunday’s race. Last year saw the use of the soft and medium tyres at the Sakhir International Circuit.

Despite the change, Pirelli are estimating that most drivers will run 3-stop strategies next weekend.

 

Red Bull claim new record with 2.05 second pit stop in Malaysia

Red Bull Racing have officially completed the fastest pit stop ever seen, with a 2.05 second stop being recorded during the Malaysian Grand Prix.

Mark Webber made his second pit stop on Lap 19 of the Grand Prix, and remained stationary for just over 2 seconds. This breaks the previous record, held by McLaren at the 2012 German Grand Prix, of 2.31 seconds for Jenson Button.

Amazingly, Red Bull managed to break McLaren’s record five times during the Malaysian Grand Prix, although not each pit stop was faster than the one before. They are as follows:

Driver Lap Time
Mark Webber 19 2.05
Sebastian Vettel 5 2.13
Mark Webber 7 2.13
Mark Webber 31 2.21
Mark Webber 43 2.26

It is almost certain now that some team – probably Red Bull – will breach the 2-second barrier during this season.

Team orders are ugly and unpopular, but they have to be made – and obeyed

The use of team orders by more than one major team this weekend has left a sour taste with many F1 fans. The fanbase is divided – at Red Bull, there are those who feel Sebastian Vettel should have respected the order to hold position, and those who claim that he should race as hard as he could, regardless of the situation.

In the case of the Mercedes team orders, things are more clear-cut. Nico Rosberg passing fuel-saving Lewis Hamilton would have had no adverse affect on the team’s standing in the championship, and it was a more “pure” outcome – if they weren’t teammates, Rosberg would have passed Hamilton easily.

I fully agree with those who argue that Nico shouldn’t have been held up, and that he deserved to take the podium spot. However, the fact that he still obeyed team principal Ross Brawn shows a degree of respect within the team, something that is not apparent at Red Bull.

If another team orders debate arises at Red Bull, neither driver will think twice about ignoring such an instruction from the pit wall. This might be fun to watch, but it raises huge risks for the team, and can destroy any professional friendship between the drivers and/or their bosses. Sebastian and Mark would do well to avoid a repeat of Turkey 2010 in the future.

Whether the fans like it or not, Formula 1 is a team sport at heart, and the team should always come first. Ferrari understand this, having ironed out any hope of a rivalry between Alonso and Massa in recent years. Meanwhile, the current constructors’ champions are faced with dealing with two ego-fuelled rebels, who will now lock horns on-track at the first opportunity. It doesn’t take a genius to calculate that Ferrari’s system is more consistent and safe.

Vettel’s ignoring of his team’s instructions has unraveled any remaining friendliness between himself and Webber, that much is certain. Compare this to Rosberg’s choice, which has gained him respect within the team, and by Hamilton. If such an issue arises again, both drivers should be able to deal with it in a professional manner which benefits the team. Red Bull have no hope of this.

This isn’t about adrenaline-fueled glory runs, or brazen chest-bashing. It’s about understanding that the team is more important than the individual driver, and how sacrifices should be made for long-term benefits. If a three-time world champion can’t comprehend this, the Red Bull have a serious problem on their hands.

Points standings after Australian Grand Prix

Driver Standings

Driver Points
1 Kimi Raikkonen 25
2 Fernando Alonso 18
3 Sebastian Vettel 15
4 Felipe Massa 12
5 Lewis Hamilton 10
6 Mark Webber 8
7 Adrian Sutil 6
8 Paul di Resta 4
9 Jenson Button 2
10 Romain Grosjean 1
11 Sergio Perez 0
12 Jean-Eric Vergne 0
13 Esteban Gutierrez 0
14 Valtteri Bottas 0
15 Jules Bianchi 0
16 Charles Pic 0
17 Max Chilton 0
18 Giedo van der Garde 0
19 Nico Rosberg 0
20 Pastor Maldonado  0
21 Daniel Ricciardo  0
22 Nico Hulkenberg  0

Constructor Standings

Team Points
1 Ferrari 30
2 Lotus-Renault 26
3 Red Bull-Renault 23
4 Mercedes 10
5 Force India-Mercedes 10
6 McLaren-Mercedes 2
7 Toro Rosso-Ferrari 0
8 Sauber-Ferrari 0
9 Williams-Renault 0
10 Marussia-Cosworth 0
11 Caterham-Renault 0

Two DRS zones for all races except Monaco and Suzuka

With only a week to go until the start of the 2013 season, the FIA have confirmed that two DRS zones will be implemented for all racetracks on the calendar, with the exceptions of Monaco and Suzuka.

In a new rule for 2013, drivers will only have use of the DRS device in the designated zones during practice and qualifying. The DRS zones are as follows:

  • Australia – Pit straight & Turns 2 to 3
  • Malaysia – Pit straight & back straight
  • China – Pit straight & back (main) straight
  • Bahrain – Pit straight & Turns 10 to 11
  • Spain – Pit straight & Campsa to La Caixa
  • Monaco – Pit straight
  • Canada – Pit straight & back straight
  • Silverstone – Hangar Straight (Becketts to Stowe) & Wellington Straight
  • Nurburgring – Pit straight & back straight
  • Hungary – Pit straight & Turns 1 to 2
  • Belgium – Bus Stop to La Source & Eau Rouge to Les Combes
  • Monza – Pit straight & Lesmo 2 to Ascari
  • Singapore – Pit straight & main straight
  • Korea – Pit straight & second (longest) straight
  • Japan – Pit straight
  • India – Pit straight and main straight
  • Abu Dhabi – Two main straights (not pit straight)
  • USA – Pit straight & back straight
  • Brazil – Pit straight & Turns 3 to 4

Bianchi ousts Razia at Marussia for 2013

In a surprise move, it has been announced that Luiz Razia has already been dropped by the Marussia team for the 2013 season, despite not having even turned a wheel in the new car.

It appears as if one of Razia’s sponsors failed to come through on a payment to the Marussia team, and after over a week of hushed rumours around the paddock, Luiz has been ousted before the season has even begun. The young Brazilian had completed 23 days on his contract before today.

He has been replaced by Jules Bianchi, who only yesterday had lost out to Adrian Sutil on the Force India second driver seat. Bianchi comes with Ferrari backing, meaning that Marussia are in a good position to receive Ferrari engines for the 2014 season, if Cosworth do not renew their contract.

Despite the shock move, Razia was adamant that he deserved his spot in the team, and valiantly vowed to fight his way back into F1:

"I'm in a kind of shock, because you expect to be in F1, you are there, announced, 
testing, and then you are out - and not because of a driver fault. I did everything 
right in what I could do, but it was really just a circumstantial thing that happened, 
and that was it.

But I still am here. My career is still shining and I can overcome this difficult 
situation. It is just something that has happened to me. Sometimes life does this 
to you.

My main goal is to be in F1, so all my effort is there. I am now without any grounds, 
but I will go with my family, and we will be sad for a while, but I will get back to 
the category."

 

Adrian Sutil beats Jules Bianchi to final Force India seat

With only 16 days left until the start of the F1 season, Force India have finally completed their driver line-up. Adrian Sutil will return to the cockpit after a 1-year hiatus, being chosen over young driver Jules Bianchi.

Sutil was convicted in January 2012 of an assault on Genii Capital CEO Eric Lux, and was given an 18-month suspended sentence. This led to his dismissal from the team for the following season.

Even with worries that he may not be allowed into China (where the assault took place), Sutil has been granted a spot in his old team. He drove for it when it was called Spyker (2007), then Force India from 2008 to 2011.

Jules Bianchi, who was also in contention for the final F1 seat of 2013, has been retained by the team as a reserve driver, and the team have hinted that they will consider him as a future driver in years to come.

Renault reveals look at 2014 V6 engine

Renault have become the second engine manufacturer to show a glimpse of what is to come in the 2014 season, as they showed off pictures of their new turbo V6 engine, set to be introduced next year.

Mercedes had previously given select journalists an audio sample from their new power plant, which was reported to be “sweeter” sounding than the current V8 platform.

Now, Renault have provided a new insight into the new engine formula, which they claim will be a huge boost for the sport and its manufacturers.

Renault Sport chief Jean-Michel Jalinier said that “It will be a better tool to communicate than the current V8 engine.We can get some fans back to F1.”

Technical director Rob White noted that the new engines are still going to be “very loud” and “very violent”, which may come as some relief to concerned F1 purists.

“You can see on the test bed that even with relatively slow shifts on a relatively low transient dyno, that gear shifts are rapid and violent. And the big glowing red thing at the back of the engine in front of the gearbox [Energy Recovery System - called ERS] is also going to be a thing of some spectacle.”

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