Argyll Rally 2018

The Mull Car Club along with Dunoon Presents Argyll Rally returned on Saturday the 23rd of June for the second time in 2 years after a successful 2017 return.

24/06/18

Rallying returns to Argyll and Dunoon!

IMG_1548

One of the very first cars to pass through Stage 4

 

Built on the success of the return of rallying in Argyll in 2017, the event along with the help of their title sponsor Dunoon Presents roared throughout the hills and valleys of Dunoon and the surrounding areas.

The 8 stages would be held at 4 locations: Bishop’s Glen, Glenbranter, Beinn Lagan and Coire Ealt.

  • Glenbranter: Stages 1 & 5 (Sponsored by gti direct)
  • Beinn Lagan: Stages 2 & 6 (No spectators allowed)
  • Coire Ealt: Stages 3 & 7 (No spectators allowed)
  • Bishop’s Glen: Stages 4 & 8 (Sponsored by the 51st State & La Cantina)

The start of the rally was held at the car park at the Argyll Ferries, rather than the town centre this year as works at the Queen’s Hall are still taking place. The drivers then headed to stage 1 at Glenbranter.

IMG_1420

The drivers would stop and wait until they were told to go. They were interviewed in the meantime.

Around 56 cars took part in the initial stages but due to reliability issues, some drivers dropped out and decided not to take any further part in fear of damaging their cars more.

The stages was being run with the fastest seeded 2WD cars running first through the stages followed by a small gap then the fastest seeded 4WD cars that followed.

In rallying, a time gap is allowed as a safety barrier. This is used in case the car ahead crashes, spectators are on the track and that the dust has died down to let the driver see where they are going. Dust was a big part in the Bishop’s Glen stages.

IMG_1557

Dust was kicked up as the cars flew past.

Cars competing in the 2WD category included: Fords ranging from the Escort Mk2 to the Fiesta ST models, Peugeot‘s ranging from the 206, 106 and the 106 GTI models, the MG ZR model, BMW‘s ranging from the 325i and the M3 models and the Talbot Sunbeam model.

Car competing in the 4WD category included: Fords ranging from Fiesta R5 to the Focus WRC models, Subaru with the popular Impreza model, Hyundai i20 R5 model, the Mitsubishi‘s ranging from the Evo 4, Evo 9 and the Evo V models and the Skoda Fabia model.

IMG_1520

The drivers weren’t hanging around and pushing flat-out throughout the stages.

My Day

I got up early and went down to the car park to watch the cars head off to the first stage at Glenbranter. I decided to go to the Bishop’s Glen stage as it was the closest stage in terms of travelling distance. After leaving the car park, I headed to the Bishop’s Glen where I followed the signs which led me to just after the designated spot for spectators. It was a very good spot so I decided to stay and wait after Stage 4 and just wait for Stage 8.

Reflection

From a spectator point of view, the event this year was far better than last year. There was more promotion and advertising and most importantly more signs telling spectators where to go and how to get there. The organisers have obviously listened to feedback about last year’s event and built on the success of 2017. One of the main issues last year was the apparent lack of signs which confused people in where to go.

In only their second year of returning to Argyll and Bute to rally, both Dunoon Presents and Mull Car Club have done a great job and I cannot wait for the event to return next year.

The day would not have been possible if not for the marshals who volunteered and gave up their time to help with the event. Thanks to them, the event as a whole ran smoothly.

Hamilton wins in France and takes back Championship lead

Mercedes Lewis Hamilton wins the French GP ahead of Red Bulls Max Verstappen and Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen as Sebastian Vettel finishes in 5th after making contact with Valterri Bottas at the start of the race.

24/06/18

Qualifying Result

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

Hartley* originally qualified in 17th places but took various engine penalties.

Race

Lewis Hamilton, Valterri Bottas, Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo will start on the Supersoft tyre with the Ferrari duo of Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen will start on the Ultrasoft tyre. Nico Hulkenberg and Sergio Perez will start on the Soft tyre with Pierre Gasly, Marcus Ericsson, Fernando Alonso and Stoffel Vandoorne will start on the Supersoft tyre as well with everyone else on the Ultrasoft tyre.

The lights go out and it’s a good start by Hamilton as Vettel hits Bottas at turn 1. Hamilton leads ahead of Verstappen and Carlos Sainz. Vettel is down in 14th with front wing damage. Gasly and Esteban Ocon are out with Bottas trailing back to the pits as the Finn has a left-rear puncture. Vettel pits, changes onto the Soft tyre and gets a new nose cone. Fernando Alonso also pits and goes onto the Soft tyre.

The replay shows that Vettel locked-up and tagged Bottas, spinning the Mercedes. Gasly lost the rear of the car going into turn 3 and hit his fellow Frenchman Ocon. Hamilton leads behind the Safety Car ahead of Verstappen, Sainz, Ricciardo, Kevin Magnussen, Charles Leclerc, Kimi Raikkonen, Romain Grosjean, Sergio Perez and Nico Hulkenberg. Vettel and Bottas now sit 17th and 18th after their respected pit-stops.

Racing resumes on lap 6 as the Safety Car pulls into the pits. It looks like Alonso had spun at turn 3 as Vettel overtook round the outside. Raikkonen overtakes Leclerc for 6th. Lap 8, Vettel is now 13th with Bottas still down in 16th. Down into turn 8, Vettel overtakes Ericsson for 12th. Lap 9, Vettel now overtakes Stoffel Vandoorne for 11th as Ricciardo overtakes Sainz for 3rd down into turn 8. Lap 10, Vettel receives a 5 second time penalty for causing an incident with Bottas at the start as Raikkonen overtakes Sainz for 4th into turn 8.

Lap 14, Lewis Hamilton leads Max Verstappen by 3.6 seconds as Sebastian Vettel currently sits in 8th and Valterri Bottas in 12th. Lap 15, Bottas overtakes Sergio Perez round the outside of turn 2 for 11th place. Lap 16, Nico Hulkenberg overtakes Romain Grosjean for 9th round the outside of turn 8. Lap 17, Vettel overtakes Charles Leclerc into turn 8 and up into 7th. Lap 18, after setting a new fastest lap of the race, Hamilton has increased the gap to Verstappen to now 4.3 seconds.

Lap 19, Valterri Bottas overtakes Romain Grosjean for 10th down the inside of turn 11 as Sebastian Vettel overtakes Carlos Sainz for 5th into turn 8. Lap 21, McLaren tell Fernando Alonso that there is a chance of rain in around 20 minutes. Lap 26, Max Verstappen pits from 2nd, goes onto the Soft tyre and ahead of Vettel in 4th. Sergey Sirotkin has received a 5 second time penalty fro driving too slowly behind the Safety Car.

Lap 27, Carlos Sainz pits from 6th, goes onto the Soft tyre and rejoins in 15th. Lap 28, Valterri Bottas overtakes Charles Leclerc for 8th as Daniel Ricciardo pits on lap 29, goes onto the Soft tyre and rejoins behind Vettel in 5th. Sergio Perez and Kevin Magnussen pit. Force India decide to retire Perez from the race due to a suspected engine issue as Magnussen rejoins the race in 13th. Both Force India’s are out of the race now with Ocon retiring at the start.

Lap 32, Romain Grosjean has received a 5 second time penalty for causing a collision at the start of the race as Charles Leclerc pits. He rejoins in 16th on the Supersoft tyre. Race leader, Lewis Hamilton pits from the lead on lap 34. The Brit goes onto the Soft tyre and rejoins in 2nd behind Kimi Raikkonen who hasn’t pitted yet. Daniel Ricciardo overtakes Sebastian Vettel into turn 11 for 4th as Raikkonen pits from the lead, goes onto the Supersoft tyre and rejoins in 5th on lap 35.

So on lap 37, Lewis Hamilton leads from Max Verstappen, Daniel Ricciardo, Sebastian Vettel, Kimi Raikkonen, Valterri Bottas, Nico Hulkenberg, Kevin Magnussen and Stoffel Vandoorne. Lap 39, Hulkenberg pits from 7th and rejoins in 10th after his first stop of the day. Lap 40, Raikkonen has caught up to Ferrari team-mate Vettel who is struggling on his very old Soft tyres. Vettel allows Raikkonen through down into turn 8.

Lap 41, Valterri Bottas pits. It’s a very slow pit-stop for the Mercedes crew with Bottas now 9th after a problem with the rear jack which hampered the fitting of the right rear tyre. Lap 41, Sebastian Vettel pits, serves his time penalty and rejoins in 5th. Lap 41, Stoffel Vandoorne makes his first pit-stop of the day and rejoins in 14th. Vandoorne’s pit-stop allows Bottas to get up into 8th with Charles Leclerc now in 10th.

Kimi Raikkonen is on a charge and is hunting down 3rd place Daniel Ricciardo with the gap decreasing every lap. The gap is now just over 1 second as the pair navigate lapped traffic. On fresher tyres, Stoffel Vandoorne has overtaken McLaren team-mate Fernando Alonso for 12th. Lap 47, Raikkonen has a look down into turn 1 in which Ricciardo defends it well. Raikkonen overtakes round the outside of Ricciardo at turn 8 and up into 3rd. Lap 48, Alonso pits and rejoins in 17th.

Valterri Bottas is less than a second behind Kevin Magnussen in 8th. Lap 50, Carlos Sainz reports back to his Renault team that he is losing power. Sainz is a sitting-duck for Kevin Magnussen and Valterri Bottas behind as they overtake the Renault driver down into turn 1. Lap 51, Lance Stroll has suffered a high-speed puncture with the left-front puncture. The Canadian has stopped just after turn 11 as the VSC has been deployed. Lewis Hamilton starts the final lap behind the VSC. The VSC ends through the middle of the last lap. Hamilton wins ahead of Verstappen and Raikkonen.

Race Result

  1. Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, 53 Laps (3rd win of 2018 & Championship lead)
  2. Max Verstappen, Red Bull, +7.090s
  3. Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari, +25.888s
  4. Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull, +34.736s
  5. Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, +61.935s (Fans Driver of the Day)
  6. Kevin Magnussen, Haas, +79.364s
  7. Valterri Bottas, Mercedes, +80.632s (DHL Fastest Lap Award)
  8. Carlos Sainz, Renault, +87.184s
  9. Nico Hulkenberg, Renault, +91.989s
  10. Charles Leclerc, Sauber, +93.873s
  11. Romain Grosjean, Haas, + 1 Lap
  12. Stoffel Vandoorne, McLaren, + 1 Lap
  13. Marcus Ericsson, Sauber, + 1 Lap
  14. Brendon Hartley, Toro Rosso, + 1 Lap
  15. Sergey Sirotkin, Williams, + 1 Lap
  16. Fernando Alonso, McLaren, + 1 Lap
  17. Lance Stroll, Williams, + 2 Laps
  • Sergio Perez, Force India, DNF
  • Esteban Ocon, Force India, DNF
  • Pierre Gasly, Toro Rosso, DNF

 

 

Hamilton heads Mercedes lock-out in France

Mercedes Lewis Hamilton takes his 75th career pole position ahead of team-mate Valterri Bottas and Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel as Sauber’s Charles Leclerc reaches Q3

23/06/18

Lewis Hamilton and Valterri Bottas easily survived Q1 with Hamilton topping the first session. At the start of Q2 when small droplets of rain started to fall, both Hamilton and Bottas followed Red Bull in strapping on the Supersoft tyre unlike the Ferrari duo.

As the rain died, Hamilton and Bottas switched back to the Ultrasoft tyre with Hamilton ending the session quickest. Hamilton’s first lap in Q3 was a very good 1:30:222 and nearly a tenth ahead of Bottas. Hamilton and Bottas improved in their final runs with Hamilton pipping his team-mate by improving to a 1:30:029 with Bottas on a 1:30:147.

It was a mixed day for Ferrari. Sebastian Vettel didn’t look to be in the fight for pole in the early stages but by beating both Red Bulls, the German will be happy at least. It does look like the new Mercedes engine upgrade has helped the German team. Kimi Raikkonen was on the same pace as Vettel throughout the session but ended up 6th behind both Red Bulls and only 2 places ahead of Charles Leclerc.

It was an average day for Red Bull but by with both Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo splitting the Ferrari’s, Team Principal Christian Horner will be happy. Verstappen now leads the intra-team qualifying battle 5 – 3 in his favour and both are looking forward to tomorrow’s race.

Carlos Sainz continued his good form by out-qualifying team-mate Nico Hulkenberg. Sainz ended up “best of the rest” and hopes to score at Renault’s home race. Hulkenberg missed on Q3 and will start 12th.

What a performance from Charles Leclerc. First of all, with Leclerc and Marcus Ericsson making it through to Q2 it was the first time this season this feat had been achieved. With Leclerc getting through to Q3, it was the first time a Sauber driver had been able to do this since the 2015 Italian GP. This is a massive boost for the team to be comfortably ahead of the likes of both Toro Rosso’s, both McLaren’s and both Williams.

It was a welcome return for Haas to get both cars into Q3 with Romain Grosjean having a slight advantage ahead of team-mate Kevin Magnussen. Although, Grosjean’s solid performance so far in the session came to a halt when the Frenchman lost the rear of the car into the fast right-left and ended up in the wall – damaging the front nose and the right-front suspension. Grosjean’s incident hampered Magnussen’s initial run with the Dane ending up in 9th at the end of the session.

Force India looked to be in trouble in the first of qualifying with both Esteban Ocon and Sergio Perez sitting in 17th and 18th but after setting great laps, both made it through to Q2. Ocon was unlucky to miss out on Q3 at his home race in 11th while Perez was 4 tenths back in 13th.

Both Pierre Gasly and Brendon Hartley were very close together in Q1 but it was Hartley who failed to make it through to Q2. The New Zealander will start last after multiple grid penalties. Gasly made it through to Q2 but couldn’t advance and will start 14th at his home race.

It was a surprise to see both McLaren cars knocked out of Q1. What made the difference was the pace of both Sauber’s which put the pressure on McLaren to perform in which they didn’t. At their engine supplier’s home race, Fernando Alonso and Stoffel Vandoorne were 16th and 18th but as we know, McLaren’s race pace is far better than their qualifying pace. Surprisingly, both Alonso and Vandoorne were seemingly upbeat and hoping for a good race tomorrow.

It was another dreadful performance from the Williams team with both drivers qualifying on the last row of the grid. Both Sergey Sirotkin and Lance Stroll made mistakes with Sirotkin locking-up on his final run and Stroll running wide and getting airborne for a few seconds. Just to put matters into perspective, Sirotkin was 0.474s and Stroll was 0.567s off of Vandoorne’s time in 18th.

Qualifying Result

  1. Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, 1:30:029
  2. Valterri Bottas, Mercedes, 1:30:147
  3. Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, 1:30:400
  4. Max Verstappen, Red Bull, 1:30:705
  5. Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull, 1:30:859
  6. Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari, 1:31:057
  7. Carlos Sainz Jr, Renault, 1:32:126
  8. Charles Leclerc, Sauber, 1:32:635
  9. Kevin Magnussen, Haas, 1:32:930
  10. Romain Grosjean, Haas, no time
  11. Esteban Ocon, Force India, 1:32:075
  12. Nico Hulkenberg, Renault, 1:32:115
  13. Sergio Perez, Force India, 1:32:454
  14. Pierre Gasly, Toro Rosso, 1:32:460
  15. Marcus Ericsson, Sauber, 1:32:820
  16. Fernando Alonso, McLaren, 1:32:976
  17. Brendon Hartley, Toro Rosso, 1:33:025
  18. Stoffel Vandoorne, McLaren, 1:33:162
  19. Sergey Sirotkin, Williams, 1:33:636
  20. Lance Stroll, Williams, 1:33:729

 

Home success for any of F1’s 3 French Drivers?

France last hosted an F1 race in 2008 at the circuit Magny-Cours and after a 10 year hiatus, F1 returns to France to the circuit Paul Ricard with the greatest number of French drivers F1 has seen in a long time.

22/06/18

France has had limited success in F1 with their one and only champion, Alain Prost, taking his 4 titles in the mid-late 80s and early 90s.

The home team, Renault, have been in and out of F1 since debuting in 1977 and due to that competing under various names throughout their time in the sport. Although supplying engines, most famously to Williams, Benetton and Red Bull, the team only have 2 constructor titles to their name which came in 2005 and in 2006.

The Renault name returned to F1 in 2016 as a fully backed team and are taking the steps necessary to be back at the fore-front of F1 once again.

For 2018, France has their own team (Renault) and 3 drivers to cheer on. Can anyone of them score points this weekend?

Renault’s 2018 Season so far

Renault have enjoyed a successful start to the season and sit 4th in the constructors championship. The driver pairing of Nico Hulkenberg and Carlos Sainz Jr is arguably one of the best on the grid as both are consistent and quick.

After a double-points finish in Canada, in which Hulkenberg and Sainz finished 7th and 8th, Renault are now on 56 points and are ahead of last year’s points tally after just 7 races of 18 points. This result now puts the team 16 points clear of McLaren, who are also powered by Renault.

An outside chance of a podium is on the cards this season if things go the right way.

Pierre Gasly (Toro Rosso)

The super talented Frenchman is enjoying his F1 career so far and has already impressed the more senior team that is Red Bull. Red Bull have put a lot of faith into Gasly – and it’s paying off. Gasly made his F1 debut in last year’s Malaysian GP and has already scored on two occasions this year.

An out-standing drive in Bahrain in which the Toro Rosso driver comfortably finished ahead of the likes of both McLaren’s, both Haas’s and both Renault’s to 4th was an incredible feat after starting the race in 5th.

A 7th place would follow at the Monaco GP in which Gasly showed that he could keep it clean and at the same time, be quick. Gasly currently sits in 11th place with 18 points.

Esteban Ocon (Force India)

Esteban Ocon started his F1 career at Manor Racing and made his debut at the 2016 Belgian GP. The ever consistent Frenchman was promoted to Force India for 2017 in which he failed to score on just 2 occasions.

Although, his start to 2018 has not been ideal. Force India seem to have slipped backwards a bit but the team look to have finally got their rhythm back. Ocon has scored on 3 occasions (10th in Bahrain, 6th in Monaco and 9th in Canada) so far this year and sits in 13th place with 11 points.

As a Mercedes young driver, Ocon has huge potential and the chance to be promoted to the senior team in a year or two’s time.

Romain Grosjean (Haas)

Romain Grosjean has flown the flag for France in the past when joining the sport in 2009 and then rejoining in 2012. Grosjean has been the most successful Frenchman since Prost, picking up 10 podiums along the way. Grosjean was part of the Lotus, then turned Renault team, to the end of 2015 to where he moved to F1 newcomers Haas.

Grosjean has enjoyed his time at Haas so far, picking up in total 57 points in the last two years for the American squad. Grosjean, has yet to score any points this year and finishing just 4 of the 7 races so far in 2018.

It’s time Grosjean got a break in 2018.

 

Vettel takes Championship lead after Canadian GP win

Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel cruises to a dominant victory in Canada ahead of Mercedes Valterri Bottas and Red Bull’s Max Verstappen as McLaren’s Fernando Alonso retires on his 300th GP start.

10/06/18

Qualifying Result

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

Gasly* originally qualified in 15th but had to take a 4 place grid penalty after a power-unit change.

Race

Sebastian Vettel sits on pole for the first time in Canada since 2013 but can he convert that into a win? Well see. Vettel leads into turn 1 as Valterri Bottas defends from Max Verstappen. Down into turn 6, there’s massive contact made between Brendon Hartley and Lance Stroll. Hartley tried to go round the outside of Stroll round turn 5 as Stroll oversteered wide. Huge contact is made with both ending up at turn 6 and out of the race. Such a shame for home-favourite Stroll.

The Safety Car is deployed with Vettel leading Bottas, Verstappen, Lewis Hamilton, Daniel Ricciardo and Kimi Raikkonen. Charles Leclerc is now 11th after starting 13th with Sergey Sirotkin is now 13th after starting 17th. Stoffel Vandoorne and Marcus Ericsson have made pit-stops at the end of lap 1 with both going onto the Supersoft tyre. Lap 4, the Safety Car is in and racing resumes on lap 5.

Contact is made between Sergio Perez and Carlos Sainz with Perez skidding and managing to avoiding any contact with any other driver. Perez is now 14th as the incident between Hartley and Stroll is under investigation by the stewards. Also the incident between Perez and Sainz is under investigation as Vettel leads by 2.2 seconds.

Lap 10, Perez pits and goes onto the Supersoft tyre. Lap 12, Esteban Ocon pits, goes onto the Supersoft tyre and rejoins in 15th. Vettel’s lead has increased to now 4 seconds ahead of Bottas who is nearly 2 seconds ahead of Verstappen. Lap 14, Nico Hulkenberg pits, goes onto the Supersoft tyre and rejoins ahead of Ocon in 13th. Lap 16, Sainz pits, goes onto the Supersoft tyre and rejoins in 13th – behind team-mate Hulkenberg but ahead of Ocon.

Lap 17, Verstappen and Hamilton pit. Both go onto the Supersoft tyre and rejoin in 5th and 6th. Can Ricciardo jump Hamilton? The Australian pits on lap 18, goes onto the Supersoft tyre and jumps Hamilton for 5th! Lap 20, Fernando Alonso pits, goes onto the Supersoft tyre and rejoins in 14th. Ferrari tell race leader Vettel to switch to “Plan B”.

Lap 23, Vettel’s lead to Bottas is now 4.8 seconds with Raikkonen 13 seconds behind Bottas in 3rd. Kevin Magnussen pits, goes onto the Supersoft and rejoins in 15th. Mercedes tell Hamilton that he might be jumped by Raikkonen by the time the Ferrari driver makes his pit-stop. Meanwhile, after battling hard earlier in which Leclerc was able to hold of Alonso, the Spaniard is now ahead of the Sauber driver after the round of pit-stops.

Lap 29, Vettel’s lead has come down to 3.5 seconds ahead of Bottas with Raikkonen now over 14 seconds behind Bottas. Raikkonen is driving very well and can jump Verstappen, Ricciardo and Hamilton for 3rd when the Ferrari driver make his pit-stop. Mercedes reveal that Hamilton was suffering a drop-off in power due to a cooling problem before his first pit-stop and sounds like he is still dealing with the apparent issue.

Lap 34, Raikkonen pits, goes onto the Supersoft tyre and rejoins behind Hamilton in 6th. Mercedes tell Hamilton that it’s “Hammer time!”. Vettel’s lead is now 6 seconds ahead of Bottas, the only three drivers who are still left to pit in this race. Lap 36, Bottas pits from 2nd, goes onto the Supersoft tyre and rejoins in a comfortable 2nd ahead of Verstappen. Lap 37, Vettel pits, goes onto the Supersoft tyre and rejoins comfortably in the lead.

So Vettel leads from Bottas, Verstappen, Ricciardo, Hamilton, Raikkonen, Hulkenberg, Sainz, Grosjean, who hasn’t pitted and Ocon. Lap 42, Alonso is retiring from his 300th GP start in F1. The team tell him to return to the pits and retire from the race. Lap 46, Perez pits, goes onto another set of Supersoft tyres and rejoins in 14th. Lap 50, Romain Grosjean pits, goes onto the Supersoft tyre and rejoins in 12th.

Vettel still leads by 5 seconds ahead of Bottas with Verstappen holding down 3rd. Ricciardo in 4th has dropped off from the back of his team-mate and his now 7 seconds behind Verstappen. Hamilton is right behind Ricciardo with Raikkonen a further 5 and a half seconds behind Hamilton in 6th. Leclerc benefited from Grosjean’s pit-stop and is now 10th but only 3 seconds ahead of Pierre Gasly in 11th.

Lap 56, Bottas was catching Vettel but by lapping Sainz, the Finn ran wide and undone all of his hard work as the gap is back up to 6 seconds. McLaren confirm that it was an exhaust failure that forced Alonso to retire and both Stroll and Hartley have been to the Medical Centre with Hartley going to hospital for further checks.

Lap 65, Vettel leads by 7.8 seconds while Bottas is coming under threat by Verstappen who is only 2.3 seconds behind the Mercedes driver. Lap 67, the gap is now 1.6 seconds between Bottas and Verstappen as Ricciardo and Hamilton are lapping drivers. Lap 69, under a second now – the fight is on! Onto the final lap, Vettel comfortably leads and crosses the finish line to win and take the championship lead. Bottas beats Verstappen to 2nd with Ricciardo holding onto 4th ahead of Hamilton. Leclerc scores points in 10th for Sauber.

Race Result

  1. Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, 68 Laps (Fans Driver of the Day & 50th GP win)
  2. Valterri Bottas, Mercedes, +6.496s
  3. Max Verstappen, Red Bull, +7.702s (DHL Fastest Lap Award)
  4. Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull, +19.625s
  5. Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, +21.408s
  6. Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari, +27.308s
  7. Nico Hulkenberg, Renault, + 1 Lap
  8. Carlos Sainz, Renault, + 1 Lap
  9. Esteban Ocon, Force India, + 1 Lap
  10. Charles Leclerc, Sauber, + 1 Lap
  11. Pierre Gasly, Toro Rosso, + 1 Lap
  12. Romain Grosjean, Haas, + 1 Lap
  13. Kevin Magnussen, Haas, + 1 Lap
  14. Sergio Perez, Force India, + 1 Lap
  15. Marcus Ericsson, Sauber, +2 Laps
  16. Stoffel Vandoorne, McLaren, +2 Laps
  17. Sergey Sirotkin, Williams, +2 Laps
  • Fernando Alonso, McLaren, DNF
  • Lance Stroll, Williams, DNF
  • Brendon Hartley, Toro Rosso, DNF

 

Di Grassi wins as Vergne’s points gap shrinks

Audi’s Lucas di Grassi wins the first motor-race in Switzerland since 1954 in an enthralling and decisive race with DS Virgin’s Sam Bird and Dragon’s Jerome d’Ambrosio rounding out the podium as Techeetah’s Jean-Eric Vergne finishes 10th after a late drive through penalty.

10/06/18

Qualifying Result

1.Evans  2.Lotterer  3.Bird  4.D’Ambrosio  5.Di Grassi  6.Buemi  7.Prost  8.Lopez 9.Abt  10.Rosenqvist  11.Piquet  12.Heidfeld  13.Mortara  14.Da Costa  15.Lynn 16.Sarrazin  17.Vergne  18.Engel  19.Filippi  20.Turvey

Race

For the first time since 1954, motor-racing gets under way with Pole-sitter Mitch Evans leading the way ahead of Andre Lotterer and Sam Bird. Nelson Piquet has hit the back of Daniel Abt car with the rear wing of the Audi car missing. Lucas Di Grassi has moved up to 5th with Championship leader Jean-Eric Vergne now 16th.

With 4 laps gone, Evans leads by 1.5 seconds ahead of Lotterer, Bird, Di Grassi and Sebastian Buemi. Abt and Piquet have received a black flag with an orange disc meaning that they will have to pit because of damage sustained. Vergne has now moved up to 11th with Di Grassi now challenging Bird for 3rd. Lap 8, Edoardo Mortara is out as Vergne passes Nick Heidfeld on lap 9 for 10th. The Fanboost results are in with Abt, Di Grassi and Buemi will all receive a boost of energy in their second car.

Lap 13, Di Grassi has overtaken Bird for 3rd place at the final corner. Meanwhile, Felix Rosenqvist has overtaken Nico Prost for 8th with Vergne in 10th catching Prost down. Lap 16, Di Grassi overtakes Lotterer down into turn 1 with Bird now trying to overtake Lotterer. Vergne has overtaken Prost for 9th. Lap 17, Vergne now onto the back of Rosenqvist goes for the move down into turn 1. Rosenqvist tries to defend the place by going round the outside but goes into the barrier instead. Rosenqvist is able to get out of the barrier but his race is effectively over.

Lap 18, Down into turn 1, Di Grassi overtakes Evans for the lead of the race. Lap 19, Buemi overtakes Bird for 4th with Vergne overtaking D’Ambrosio for 7th. The Full-Course yellow is out due to debris on track. Every driver is in as they take advantage of the full-course yellow. Di Grassi still leads ahead of Evans, Lotterer, Buemi and Bird as a slow swap-over for Vergne means that he is now 9th instead of 7th.

Lap 30, Bird in 5th is defending from Jose-Maria Lopez in 6th. Evans, Lopez, Lotterer and Buemi have received a drive through penalty each for over-speeding under the full-course yellow. Amazing scenes here in Switzerland! As Evans and Lotterer come into the pit-lane to take their penalty, Championship leader, Jean-Eric Vergne has also been given a drive through penalty!

Lap 33, Di Grassi still leads ahead of Bird as Prost goes straight on at the final corner. Prost is out as Vergne takes his penalty. Vergne is now 12th, Evans 5th, Lotterer 4th and Lopez 8th. What a twist in this race. Lap 34, Vergne overtakes Maro Engel for 11th and now Oliver Turvey is next in 10th. Lap 36, Lopez lock-ups and runs wide at turn 1 going from 8th to 12th. Buemi has overtaken Evans for 5th with Heidfeld pressuring the pole-sitter for 6th. Lap 38, Heidfeld has overtaken Evans for 6th.

Lap 39, Lucas Di Grassi comes across the finish line to take his first win of the season ahead of Sam Bird with Jerome d’Ambrosio finishing in 3rd.

Race Result

1.Di Grassi  2.Bird  3.D’Ambrosio  4.Lotterer  5.Buemi  6.Heidfeld  7.Evans  8.Da Costa  9.Turvey  10.Vergne  11.Engel  12.Lopez  13.Abt  14.Sarrazin  15.Rosenqvist  16.Lynn  DNF Prost, Filippi, Piquet and Mortara

Formula E Season 4: 3 races to go

There are just 3 rounds to go in this year’s Formula E Season and still everything is to play for. Championship leader Jean-Eric Vergne has a 40 point lead over rival Sam Bird while Techeetah hold a 44 point lead over Audi in the Teams championship. Who will come out on top?

06/06/18

News stories to look for

Can Renault leave on a high?

In their final season as “Renault e.Dams” before Nissan take over the team, it has not been a terrific season for the French squad. The Season 1, 2 and 3 champions have fallen to 6th in the championship – 116 points behind leaders Techeetah. The team have taken at least 1 win in each season but have so far not been able to stand on the top-step of the podium this season despite claiming 3 podium finishes. The very best that Renault can hope for is to 4th in the championship as the top 3 are out of reach.

Can Heidfeld salvage a terrible season

Mahindra’s Nick Heidfeld has endured a terrible season claiming only 22 points. The German driver started off the season well with a 3rd place in the season opener but since suffered 3 races on the trot where he did not finish and therefore picking up only 6 points since. Bad luck, reliability issues and instances of lapse of concentration has left Heidfeld 64 points off team-mate Felix Rosenqvist. Heidfeld will be hoping for a consistent and clean end to the season.

The battle to finish “not last”

Dragon Racing and Andretti Formula E are battling it out in the battle not to finish last in the Teams Championship. Dragon currently hold a 6 point advantage over Andretti in 9th and 10th. Neither of these teams have finished last before in the Championship. 8th placed NIO Formula E Team have a 19 point advantage over Dragon and should finish 8th but if a good result comes around in the next 3 races, they could jump Venturi Formula E Team who are in 7th place only 11 points ahead of NIO.

Season stats so far

Most Wins

  1. Jean-Eric Vergne, Techeetah, 3 wins
  2. Felix Rosenqvist, Mahindra Racing, 2 wins
  3. Sam Bird, DS Virgin Racing, 2 wins
  4. Daniel Abt, Audi Sport Abt Schaeffler, 2 wins

Most Fastest Laps

  1. Lucas di Grassi, Audi Sport Abt Schaeffler, 3 Fastest Laps
  2. Daniel Abt, Audi Sport Abt Schaeffler, 2 Fastest Laps
  3. Nelson Piquet Jr, Panasonic Jaguar Racing, 1 Fastest Lap
  4. Sam Bird, DS Virgin Racing, 1 Fastest Lap
  5. Jose Maria Lopez, Dragon Racing, 1 Fastest Lap
  6. Jerome d’Ambrosio, Dragon Racing, 1 Fastest Lap