Vettel beats Hamilton to Australian GP win

Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel beats the Mercedes of Lewis Hamilton and Valterri Bottas to claim his and Ferrari’s first win since Singapore GP 2015 as Red Bulls Daniel Ricciardo retires from his home race.


Tyre choice

The top 9 will start on old Ultrasoft tyres with Sergio Perez, Nico Hulkenberg, Esteban Ocon and Stoffel Vandoorne on new Ultrasoft tyres. Marcus Ericsson and Lance Stroll will start on Supersoft tyres with Antonio Giovinazzi, Kevin Magnussen and Jolyon Palmer starting on the Soft compound tyre.


The lights go green and away we go. Everyone has a neutral start with Lewis Hamilton keeping 1st place as they head to turn 1. He is followed by Sebastian Vettel and Valterri Bottas. On the run down to turn 3, Kevin Magnussen is on the inside and Marcus Ericsson on the outside. Both turn in but Magnussen gets onto the kerb and the car slides right into Ericsson. Ericsson spins with Magnussen facing him. Big gainers from the start are Lance Stroll, who is now 14th and Jolyon Palmer, now in 15th.

Lap 3, Sebastian Vettel sets the fastest lap of the race on a 1:29:780 as Daniel Ricciardo make it out the pits to rejoin. Lap 5, the Stewards are investigating the collision at the start between Ericsson and Magnussen. Lap 6, Lewis Hamilton responds to Vettel’s fastest lap and sets a 1:28:786.  Hamilton is still flying on lap with with a new fastest lap of a 1:28:379. The Stewards confirm that there is not going to be any further action between Ericsson and Magnussen at the start. Lap 15, Romain Grosjean pulls into the pits with smoke exiting the rear of the car. Later it was found it that is was a water leak and steam pouring out of the car, not to do with the gearbox.

Lap 16, Esteban Ocon pits for Force India and goes onto the Soft tyre with Fernando Alonso and Nico Hulkenberg pitting a lap later onto the Soft tyre as well. Lewis Hamilton pits on lap 17, he goes onto the Soft tyre and rejoins out in 5th. Jolyon Palmer pulls into the pits. He is retiring from the race due to a problem with his brakes. Hamilton is flying and sets a new fastest lap of a 1:27:551, he has now caught up to the back of Max Verstappen in 4th. Hamilton can not find a way past the Red Bull driver and Mercedes come over the radio saying that passing Verstappen is now very critical. Marcus Ericsson stops just before turn 13. He pulls over to the left hand-side at the marshal post and is out. Sebastian Vettel pits from the lead, he goes onto the Soft tyre and…

Appears ahead of Max Verstappen,who is still ahead of Lewis Hamilton. Vettel is now the race leader in 3rd with Valterri Bottas and Kimi Raikkonen still to make their first pit stop. Vettel is now streaking ahead of with Hamilton still behind Verstappen. Mercedes team principal, Toto Wolff is seen on TV banging his fists off the table in the Mercedes pit garage in reaction to Vettel now being ahead of Hamilton. Lap 25, Bottas and Verstappen pit with Bottas going onto the Soft tyre and Verstappen onto the Supersoft tyre. Lap 26, Raikkonen pits from the lead and goes onto the Soft tyre. Vettel is now leading ahead of Hamilton, Bottas, Raikkonen and Verstappen.

Lap 29, Daniel Ricciardo has pulled off the track at turn 3. His race and horrible weekend for the home favourite is over. Lap 34, Sebastian Vettel still leads ahead of Lewis Hamilton by 5.1 seconds with Valterri Bottas catching Hamilton now only 4.2 seconds behind. Lap 35, Daniil Kvyat is the last driver to make their first pit stop. He goes onto the Soft tyre. Lap 38, Bottas is closing down on Hamilton. The gap is now only 2.8 seconds. The gap is also coming down between Kimi Raikkonen and Max Verstappen in 4th and 5th. 3.6 seconds separates the Ferrari and Red Bull driver. Lap 44, Lance Stroll is in the pits. Not for a pit-stop but for retirement. He is retiring with brake failure that caused him to run wide. Max Verstappen sets a new fastest lap of a 1:26:964.

Lap 50, Lewis Hamilton is having to negotiate lapped cars with Valterri Bottas closing the gap now down to 2.1 seconds. The battle for 10th place is currently being held by Fernando Alonso but he has Esteban Ocon and Nico Hulkenberg right behind. Ocon makes a move into the penultimate corner round the outside but it doesn’t pay off but he is right behind as they go onto the main straight. Ocon pulls to the right hand-side with Hulkenberg behind getting a great tow going to the right of Ocon. All 3 drivers are three abreast as they head into turn 1. Ocon makes the overtake with Hulkenberg following through. Alonso has been mugged, dropping from 10th to 12th. Lap 54, Alonso pulls into the pits and retires with only a handful of laps to go. Front wing damage is to blame as it was effecting the rest of the cars aerodynamics.

Kimi Raikkonen sets the fastest lap of a 1:26:538. Sebastian Vettel comes round to take the opening race win of the 2017 season ahead of Lewis Hamilton and Valterri Bottas. Vettel was awarded “Driver of the Day” by the fans.

Race Results

1.Vettel  2.Hamilton  3.Bottas  4.Raikkonen  5.Verstappen  6.Massa  7.Perez  8.Sainz  9.Kvyat  10.Ocon  11.Hulkenberg  12.Giovinazzi  13.Vandoorne  DNF Alonso, Magnussen, Stroll, Ricciardo, Ericsson, Palmer and Grosjean

Race Stats

  • It was Vettel’s 43rd career victory, his fourth for Ferrari, and his and the Prancing Horse’s first since the 2015 Singapore Grand Prix, 28 races ago.
  • Sebastian Vettel is the first non-Mercedes driver to lead the world championship since he was on top at the end of his title-winning campaign in 2013.
  • Valtteri Bottas capped his debut race for Mercedes with his tenth career podium.
  • In finishing tenth, Esteban Ocon picked up his first F1 point in what was his tenth race.

Constructors Championship

  1. Ferrari 37pts
  2. Mercedes 33pts
  3. Red Bull 10pts
  4. Williams 8pts
  5. Force India 7pts
  6. Torro Rosso 6pts
  7. Renault 0pts
  8. Sauber 0pts
  9. McLaren 0pts
  10. Haas 0pts

Hamilton storms to Melbourne Pole

Mercedes Lewis Hamilton takes the first pole position of 2017 ahead of Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel and Mercedes team-mate Valterri Bottas as Red Bulls Daniel Ricciardo crashes out in Q3.


Giovinazzi replaces unfit Wehrlein at Sauber

Sauber driver Pascal Wehrlein has pulled out of the Australian GP weekend and will be replaced by Ferrari third driver Antonio Giovinazzi. The German has suffered a back injury sustained in a crash in January’s Race of Champions and due to this, he missed the first Pre-Season Test. Sauber said it was entirely the driver’s decision.

Williams to change Stroll’s gearbox after crash

Williams have confirmed that they are changing the gearbox on Lance Stroll’s FW40 following the rookie’s crash in FP3. Stroll brought out the red flags near the end of final practice after running wide and hitting the barriers on the exit of Turn 10. Stroll is expected to be given a five-place grid penalty ahead of his maiden race.



Fernando Alonso and Stoffel Vandoorne are the first two cars out on track and Alonso sets the quickest lap of a 1:27:45. Sebastian Vettel is next on the Supersoft tyre and goes quickest on a 1:25:733. Kimi Raikkonen, also on the Supersoft tyre, runs wide at turn 15 and backs off completely. Valterri Bottas goes quickest on a 1:24:514 with Lewis Hamilton behind in 2nd on a 1:24:535. Vandoorne is told to “Box this lap. We have a fuel flow issue, very low power.”

Daniel Ricciardo goes fifth fastest on a 1:25:754 on the Ultrasoft tyres. Lewis Hamilton goes overall quickest on a 1:24:191. Lance Stroll is out on track for his first lap of the session after Williams have been fixing his car after hitting the barriers at the exit of turn 10. He goes 18th on a 1:27:143. Raikkonen heads back out on the Ultrasoft tyres after he scrapped his first flying lap. Jolyon Palmer completes his first lap of a 1:28:244, that puts him 19th. Raikkonen jumps from 11th to 2nd on a 1:24:464.

Fernando Alonso is safe from being knocked out but team-mate Stoffel Vandoorne isn’t so lucky, he is out. Marcus Ericsson makes it through, pushing team-mate for this weekend, Antonio Giovinazzi out. Lewis Hamilton is quickest ahead of Kimi Raikkonen and Max Verstappen.

Out: Giovinazzi – 16th, Magnussen – 17th, Vandoorne – 18th, Stroll – 19th and Palmer – 20th.


Valterri Bottas is the first to make it onto the track and first to set a lap time of a 1:23:215. Lewis Hamilton follows in behind Bottas with a 1:23:251. Sebastian Vettel goes third on a 1:23:458. Everyone is on new Ultrasoft tyres except from Fernando Alonso on an old set of Ultrasoft tyres. Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen set their times to go 5th and 6th. Vettel goes back out again on a new set of Ultrasoft tyres. He improves but stays 4th on a 1:23:401.

Esteban Ocon fails to improve and is out, Romain Grosjean goes 7th with Marcus Ericsson, Nico Hulkenberg and Alonso all improve, but not enough to escape the drop-zone. Grosjean’s improvement pushes Sergio Perez out of the top 10. Valtteri Bottas is quickest ahead of Lewis Hamilton and Kimi Raikkonen.

Out: Perez – 11th, Hulkenberg – 12th, Alonso – 13th, Ocon – 14th and Ericsson – 15th.


Valterri Bottas is out first and is closely followed by Sebastian Vettel. The sectors are close between them with Lewis Hamilton behind going even quicker. Bottas crosses the line on a 1:22:798 then Vettel and he is on provisional pole on a 1:22:796. For only a few seconds as Hamilton crosses the line on a 1:22:496. The camera moves to an onboard with Daniel Ricciardo but he loses the car, it’s spinning and into the tyre wall. The home favourite is out. “OK, I’m alright. Sorry guys,” says Ricciardo.

The session is red flagged and stopped at 8 minutes to go. The replay shows Ricciardo going slightly wide as he enters turn 14, the rear of the car swings round through the gravel trap and the car comes to a stop with the rear hitting the barrier. It looks like quite a lot of damage is done. His car is taken away and the session restarts.

Romain Grosjean is the first car out on track for his one and only lap. Bottas and Hamilton head back out for their final run as Grosjean completes his. He goes 5th on a 1:24:074. All the cars head back out for their final run. Bottas is quick is Sector 1 but Hamilton is quicker. Bottas claws time back in Sector 2 but Hamilton is still quicker. Bottas comes round on a 1:22:481 but Hamilton comes round on a 1:22:188. max Verstappen goes 5th, Kimi Raikkonen improves but stays 4th but Vettel comes round and snatches 2nd off of Bottas. Felipe Massa goes 7th with Carlos Sainz 8th and Daniil Kvyat 9th.

Top 10: Hamilton – 1st, Vettel – 2nd, Bottas – 3rd, Raikkonen – 4th, Verstappen – 5th, Grosjean – 6th, Massa – 7th, Sainz – 8th, Kvyat – 9th and Ricciardo – 10th (no time)

Qualifying Result

1.Hamilton  2.Vettel  3.Bottas  4.Raikkonen  5.Verstappen  6.Grosjean  7.Massa  8.Sainz  9.Kvyat  10.Perez  11.Hulkenberg  12.Alonso  13.Ocon  14.Ericsson  15.Ricciardo*  16.Giovinazzi  17.Magnussen  18.Vandoorne  19.Palmer  20.Stroll*

Ricciardo* due to his crash sustained in Qualifying,  Ricciardo was given a 5-place grid penalty for ma gearbox change.

Stroll* was given a 5 place-grid penalty after damaging his gearbox when he made contact with the barriers in FP3.


Australian GP Preview

Here is the 2017 Australian GP Preview with the race only 3  days away. What will be the out-come in Qualifying and more importantly, the race.


Track facts

  • Lap record: 1:24:125, Michael Schumacher, 2004
  • Laps: 58
  • Circuit length: 3.295 miles
  • Race distance: 191.117 miles
  • Corners: 16
  • First held: 1996
  • Tyre compounds: Soft, Supersoft and Ultrasoft

History of the Australian GP

The country first held its first grand prix in 1985 in Adelaide. The next years and Nigel Mansell suffered a tyre blow out which cost him the world championship that year. In 1994, Adelaide also saw Damon Hill and Michael Schumacher collided and saw Schumacher take his first world championship. The venue for the Australian grand prix changed to Melbourne in 1996.

Best debut drives

  • Kevin Magnussen – McLaren – 2014 – 2nd
  • Lewis Hamilton – McLaren – 2007 – 3rd
  • Mark Webber – Minardi- 2002 – 5th
  • Felipe Nasr – Sauber – 2015 – 5th
  • Kimi Raikkonen – Sauber – 2001 – 6th

Qualifying is on Saturday 25th March and the Race is on Sunday 26th March. Look out for Twitter and Facebook posts by myself over the course of the race weekend regarding to when each post goes up about the Qualifying and the Race.


F1 New Round-up #3

Here is some F1 News from over the past month including Toto Wolff and Niki Lauda renewing their contacts at Mercedes and the passing of John Surtees.


Williams retains Di Resta as reserve driver

Williams have announced that former F1 driver Paul Di Resta will remain as the team’s official reserve driver for the 2017 F1 Season.

Di Resta took on the role in 2016, and for the new season he will once again spend extensive time at races to ensure he is fully accustomed with the FW40, should he be required to step into the cockpit during the season.

Wolff and Lauda renew Mercedes contract

Team bosses Toto Wolff and Niki Lauda have signed new contracts with Mercedes, tying them to the world championship squad until the end of 2020.

Both Wolff and Lauda have huge names within Mercedes and F1 since 2013. Both have helped Mercedes win 3 consecutive constructors championships with 3 driver titles for Lewis Hamilton and retired world champion Nico Rosberg.

GP2 renamed as FIA Formula 2 Championship

The GP2 Series has been rebranded as the FIA Formula 2 Championship.

It accomplishes an ambition set out by Jean Todt in his manifesto before he was elected for a second term as FIA president by completing the governing body’s motorsport ladder, starting with Formula 4, then progressing through Formula 3 and F2 to Formula 1.

John Surtees dies at 83

John Surtees, famously the only man to win world championships on both two and four wheels, has died at the age of 83.

1934 – 2017

He won six F1 races in 111 starts between 1960 and 1972, and also drove for Honda, Lotus, Cooper, Lola and BRM. Surtees was world champion in the 350cc motorcycling category as well as 500cc from 1958-60.





F1 Pre-Season Testing Review

Pre-Season Testing is done and now the countdown to the first race of the season starts. Testing has taught us a lot about the new regulation change, the order of the teams and the potential problems facing the teams of the upcoming season.


The new regulations have shown their worth

By looking at the fastest time round the Barcelona circuit which was set by Kimi Raikkonen’s Ferrari, we can see that what the engineers of teams, experts and pundits were saying at the end of 2016 are true. Before Testing last year, people reckoned that the cars would be quicker by 4-5 seconds. Raikkonen’s blistering lap of a 1:18:634 beats the lap record at the circuit set by Raikkonen himself back in 2008 of a 1:21:670.  Raikkonen was 3.366 seconds up on last year’s pole position.

The “shark fin” has returned. Last since on F1 cars in 2010, they have appeared on the cars this year. This has sparked debate with Red Bull Team Principal Christian Horner not being in favour of them. I personally don’t mind and they actually enhance the look of the cars a lot more.

Is it Mercedes or Ferrari at the front?

When new regulations are introduced in F1, it usually hits reigning champions the hardest. But apart from some little problems, Mercedes look quite comfortable and look to be the team to catch in Australia. The statistics can prove that as well. Mercedes completed the most laps of any team on 1096 laps between Lewis Hamilton and Valterri Bottas and the power-unit is considered the best so far. But….

It looks like Ferrari are back. After a quiet Christmas and New Year for Ferrari, it looks like the hard-work has paid off so far. Ferrari had a mostly reliable test with Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen on top of the time-sheets most days of Pre-Season. We can’t say that Ferrari are right there with Mercedes but we hope that they are very close.

The Midfield is close, very close

The midfield in made up of nearly all of the rest of the teams. Red Bull look to head this but is it to early to include Red Bull in this group. I am pretty sure Red Bull are on par with Ferrari but at this point, we don’t know. Williams, Force India, Torro Rosso, Haas and Renault make up the rest of the midfield so far. Williams, who were top of the times for the 1st day of the 2nd test, could be an unknown quantity heading into the season. The big question is whether their testing pace was for real, and if so, will it put them at the head of the midfield pack or make them true podium contenders? Sauber and McLaren are nearer the back of the pack for the now.

Can it get any worse for McLaren-Honda?

Entering the 3rd year of the once legendary partnership between McLaren and Honda, things should be a lot better than 2015, right? Well, not exactly. Throughout the two tests McLaren made the headlines for one reason. Breaking down. Due to this McLaren accumulated the lowest amount of laps of any team with only 425 laps. McLaren and star driver, Fernando Alonso had been very vocal in saying  that this wasn’t good enough. Honda have put the breakdowns to unexpected vibrations from the Honda engine causing the power unit to effectively shake itself into breaking down. The overall times haven’t shown any promise either with Stoffel Vandoorne 18th and Alonso 19th. All will be revealed when the cars hit Melbourne.

Liberty Media’s successful first act

Before Testing even began, Liberty Media, F1’s new owners, allowed Formula 1 teams to film and upload short videos on their social media channels during the first week of testing. Liberty Media is keen to exploit digital and social media. Teams uploaded a series of videos on Twitter over the course of the test, featuring cars leaving the garage, practice pitstops and short interviews. This for me, and other F1 fans, gave us an insight in more depth as to what happens during Testing. As Pre-Season Testing is not shown on TV, it showed what the teams and drivers were up to. Hopefully this will continue into the future.





Test 2 Round-up

The second test for Formula One is over and now the countdown begins until the lights go green in Melbourne for the Australian GP. Here you will find a round-up from the four days of Test 2.


Day 1 – A familiar face returns to the top of the times

  • A new face appeared at the top of time-sheets with Felipe Massa and Williams making up for lost time. Daniel Ricciardo and Red Bull showed some decent pace. Another positive start for Ferrari as Sebastian Vettel clocked up 168 laps.
  • Mercedes had to change the floor on Lewis Hamilton’s car in the Morning session as it was damaged. Changing the floor then, gave Bottas more running in the afternoon session
  • Renault had to change Jolyon Palmer’s engine in the morning session and that limited running to 15 laps.
  • Pascal Wehrlein enjoyed a positive day back after missing the 1st Test due to a back injury sustained at the Race of Champions.

Day 2 – Mercedes quickest as Alonso says it all

  • Valterri Bottas and Mercedes roared to the top of the time-sheets setting the fastest lap of the test. Another very strong day for Williams with Felipe Massa P2. Ferrari had their test disrupted by Kimi Raikkonen crashing lightly.
  • Force India, Torro Rosso and Haas had a great day with the teams nearing or at 100 laps.
  • Max Verstappen and Red Bull had their morning interrupted with an MGU-K problem and then at the end of the afternoon session, the car stopped on track.
  • Jolyon Palmer and Renault suffered a hydraulics issue in the morning and only 29 laps to show.
  • Fernando Alonso quotes: “The team (McLaren) are ready to win, expect Honda” after another difficult day.

Day 3 – Ferrari on top as teams pass a century

  • Sebastian Vettel and Ferrari appeared at the top of the time-sheets once again, breaking the lap record. A generally average day for teams as Ferrari, Force India, Haas and Red Bull managed over 100 laps per driver.
  • Stoffel Vandoorne could only manage 48 laps for McLaren as the car broke down twice due to an electrical issue.
  • Due to his lack of running yesterday, Jolyon Palmer was given the whole day in the car but an ERS problem stopped him from getting more laps.
  • Both Williams drivers of Felipe Massa and Lance Stroll raked up mileage between them with that being the target for the day.

Day 4 – Lap record broken as Ferrari look as favourites

  • An outstanding lap by Kimi Raikkonen and Ferrari saw the lap record broken for the 3rd time in a row. The Ferrari did stop on track during the afternoon session though. Lewis Hamilton and Valterri Bottas were rumoured to be running on high fuel runs.
  • Red Bull and Max Verstappen suffered a turbo failure in the afternoon session. It was also a productive day for Carlos Sainz and Torro Rosso.
  • Romain Grosjean and Haas stopped on track with a water leak with the car.
  • Another day of stoppages for Fernando Alonso and McLaren with just 43 laps to show but it was also Alonso’s best lap time during the two tests.

Test 1 Round-up

The first test for the Formula One 2017 season has been and gone and now we wait for the second test very soon. It’s very easy to draw many conclusions from just one test but it’s impossible not to. Here you will find a round-up from the four days of Test 1.


Day 1 – Mercedes start off where they started and Ferrari play cool

  • As expected, a few problems hampered teams on day 1 but no-one could match Mercedes. Sebastian Vettel and Ferrari completed the most laps and look like close challengers to Mercedes. A sensor problem in the gearbox for Red Bull limited Daniel Ricciardo running to only 50 laps.
  • Felipe Massa’s 103 laps for Williams was also impressive. An exhaust problem for Sergio Perez limited Force India’s running and overheating bodywork for Renault and Nico Hulkenberg lost time on track for them as well.
  • An oil system leak for McLaren and Fernando Alonso put major doubts that the team have made little steps forward. Alonso could only manage 29 laps in the end, the least mileage that day and not particularly quick either.

Day 2 – Ferrari on top as Mercedes continue to impress

  • Kimi Raikkonen and Ferrari posted another good day for the Scuderia at the top. The bullet proof Mercedes with Lewis Hamilton in the Morning and Valterri Bottas in the afternoon raked up 168 laps and also ran the double-decker T-wing. A more productive day for Red Bull in P3 with Kevin Magnussen and Haas raking up the most mileage and P4.
  • A good day for Force India and Torro Rosso raking up decent mileage in P5 and P6. Williams had a dismal day with Lance Stroll damaging his car and ending their day.
  • Antonio Giovinazzi filled in for the recovering Pascal Wehrlein and had a impressive day for Sauber.
  • McLaren continue to struggle with Honda having to change the power unit on Stoffel Vandoorne’s car losing 5 hours of on track time and only managing 40 laps.

Day 3 – Lap times are proven to be quicker as Stroll bins it

  • Valterri Bottas and Mercedes set the fastest time of the Test so far but Ferrari end the day with the highest mileage. A notable performance from Marcus Ericsson for Sauber clocking 125 laps and P6. A good day for Renault as well with Palmer P4 and Hulkenberg P5.
  • Rookie Lance Stroll spun and hit the barrier and causing significant damage to his Williams which ending his day of testing but raking up 98 laps before the incident happened.
  • An improved day for McLaren as Fernando Alonso completed 72 laps, the pace still isn’t there but reliability is slowly improving.
  • Alfonso Celis Jr raked up 70 laps in his one and only day for Force India but also got used to the car and was doing tyre work throughout the day.

Day 4 – Ferrari quickest as Pirelli get valuable testing done.

  • Pirelli took the option of getting some valuable wet weather testing done in the morning session. Williams decided not to take part as there was too much damage on the car that Stroll crashed yesterday.
  • For the second time this test, Kimi Raikkonen and Ferrari topped the time-sheets. An electrical problem for Mercedes hampered Lewis Hamilton’s day in the morning session. Haas’s Romain Grosjean raked up the most mileage. Renault would have wanted more laps over the whole test but were happy with P3 and P9.
  • Another average day for McLaren as Stoffel Vandoorne raked up 67 laps but the team are far from confident. A disappointing day for Torro Rosso with only 1 lap.

Total Laps per Team

  1. Mercedes 558 laps
  2. Ferrari 468 laps
  3. Sauber 349 laps
  4. Haas 343 laps
  5. Red Bull 294 laps
  6. Renault 293 laps
  7. Force India 259 laps
  8. Williams 213 laps
  9. McLaren 208 laps
  10. Torro Rosso 183 laps

Quickest Times per Driver

  1. Valterri Bottas  Mercedes  1:19:705
  2. Sebastian Vettel  Ferrari  1:19:952
  3. Kimi Raikkonen  Ferrari  1:20:872
  4. Lewis Hamilton  Mercedes  1:20:983
  5. Daniel Ricciardo  Red Bull  1:21:153
  6. Jolyon Palmer  Renault  1:21:396

The second Formula One test of 2017 will take place on March the 7th – 10th in Spain, Barcelona.