Hamilton takes pole as Sainz and Gasly star in rainy Hungary

Mercedes Lewis Hamilton takes his 77th pole position and his 6th at the Hungaroring ahead of team-mate Valterri Bottas and Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen as Renault’s Carlos Sainz and Toro Rosso’s Pierre Gasly will line-up 5th and 6th for tomorrow’s race.

28/07/18

After a difficult Friday, Mercedes bounced back to lock-out the front-row of the grid. Lewis Hamilton and Valterri Bottas struggled with the handling of the car, in particular the rear of the W09. Both survived Q1 and managed to survive Q2 as well when the rain intensified. After the first few runs in Q3, it looked like it was advantage Ferrari as Hamilton and Bottas lagged behind. After pitting for a fresh set of Wet tyres, Bottas and Hamilton both improved with Hamilton displacing the Finn of pole.

After FP3, Ferrari looked to be the favourites heading into Qualifying, in the dry conditions that is. Sebastian Vettel topped Q1 and Q2 but was well off the pace of team-mate Kimi Raikkonen in Q3. Raikkonen, who was on top until both Mercedes drivers bettered his time, definitely deserved 3rd. For Vettel, he’ll be hoping for a strong race and challenging Mercedes as he trails Hamilton by 17 points.

What a performance by Carlos Sainz. Today was an important session for the Spaniard as his seat at Renault could be in danger for next year but after today’s session, he might just stay at the French outfit. Sainz was 2nd in Q2 and very good laps in Q3 saw the Renault driver qualify in in 5th. Nico Hulkenberg on the other hand was unlucky as he set his lap when the conditions worsened in Q2.

Apart from Mercedes, Toro Rosso were very impressive with both drivers in the top 10. Pierre Gasly was able to out-qualify the Red Bull of Verstappen, which is an incredible achievement. For the first time in his F1 career, Brendon Hartley was able to get into Q3. The New Zealander has had a good weekend so far being close to Gasly and after finishing in 10th in Germany, he is optimistic about the race tomorrow.

You would think that the wet conditions and the nature of the Hungaroring, Max Verstappen would be a contender for pole position. However, the Dutchman seemed to struggle a bit, running wide and off the circuit in the final part of Qualifying. It was much worse for Daniel Ricciardo. The Australian was nearly knocked-out in Q1 after he was one of the last drivers to switch to the dry tyres. He switched to the Soft tyre and after a handful of laps, he was safe. He was one of the last drivers to set a lap on the Intermediate tyres and could only mange 12th.

Another qualifying session and once again both Haas drivers were inside the top 10. Albeit 9th and 10th in the wet conditions at the end, nevertheless, the American team will be hoping for a strong points haul in tomorrow’s race.

At a track where McLaren have gotten some of their best results over the past couple of years, the team will be happy with 11th and 16th. Fernando Alonso, who normally goes well in the wet conditions, qualified in 11th and at one point was sitting in 10th place. Stoffel Vandoorne had a new chassis for this weekend and looked to get in Q2 but ran out of time to set a final lap.

It was a good performance by Marcus Ericsson to get into and to out-qualify Sauber team-mate Charles Leclerc who was knocked-out in Q1. The C37 isn’t quite suited to the tight and twisty nature of the Hungaroring but points maybe on offer tomorrow.

It was another good performance by Lance Stroll to get into Q2. However, the Canadian was caught out by the rain, spun and broke the front wing. He was able to return to the pits and couldn’t get back out to set a timed lap. Sergey Sirotkin couldn’t progress to Q2 and will line-up in 20th.

News broke over Friday night that Force India had been placed into administration as the team owes a huge amount of money to Mercedes and to driver Sergio Perez. Nevertheless, the team and it’s members turned up to the circuit determined to race today. Both drivers struggled with Esteban Ocon suffering a brake failure.

Qualifying Result

  1. Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, 1:35:658
  2. Valterri Bottas, Mercedes, 1:35:918
  3. Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari, 1:36:186
  4. Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, 1:36:210
  5. Carlos Sainz Jr, Renault, 1:36:743
  6. Pierre Gasly, Toro Rosso, 1:37:591
  7. Max Verstappen, Red Bull, 1:38:032
  8. Brendon Hartley, Toro Rosso, 1:38:128
  9. Kevin Magnussen, Haas, 1:39:858
  10. Romain Grosjean, Haas, 1:40:593
  11. Fernando Alonso, McLaren, 1:35:214
  12. Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull, 1:36:442
  13. Nico Hulkenberg, Renault, 1:36:506
  14. Marcus Ericsson, Sauber, 1:37:075
  15. Lance Stroll, Williams, no time
  16. Stoffel Vandoorne, McLaren, 1:18:782
  17. Charles Leclerc, Sauber, 1:18:817
  18. Esteban Ocon, Force India, 1:18:914
  19. Sergio Perez, Force India, 1:19:200
  20. Sergey Sirotkin, Williams, 1:19:301

Mercedes confirm Hamilton and Bottas for 2019

Lewis Hamilton and Valterri Bottas have extended their contracts to race with Mercedes for next year.

23/07/18

Mercedes become the first team on the F1 grid to have secured both their drivers for 2019.

Revealed on the 19th, Hamilton confirmed after months of speculation that he had re-signed with Mercedes enabling the Brit to race with the German team for the next two years.

Hamilton’s deal is reportedly worth £40 million annually and if accurate, this will maintain the 4 time world champion’s status as the the highest-paid British sportsman.

Hamilton joined Mercedes in 2013, after leaving McLaren in 2012, and has since secured 3 world title in 2014, 2015 and 2017.

Less than 24 hours after the deal between Hamilton and Mercedes was confirmed, Mercedes also confirmed that Valterri Bottas was also going to be kept for 2019 with an option to stay on for 2020.

Bottas signed for Mercedes in early 2017 in replace of 2016 world champion Nico Rosberg, who’d retired from the sport just a week after he’d won the title in Abu Dhabi.

What does this mean for the driver market?

With Hamilton and Bottas confirmed for next year, the next piece of the puzzle is likely to come very soon.

Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo had been linked with either a move to the Silver Arrows or Ferrari and even McLaren at one stage but with Red Bull signing an agreement with Honda with the Japanese company supplying engines to Red Bull, Ricciardo is set to stay along-side Max Verstappen for next year.

The next piece which is likely to fall next is whether Ferrari renew Kimi Raikkonen’s contract or they sign Charles Leclerc to partner Sebastian Vettel for next year. Raikkonen is performing well and has taken 7 podium finishes so far this year while Leclerc, who is in his debut year in F1, is impressing at Sauber.

Behind the top 3 teams, there is still a lot of deciding to do with as the mid-field could look very different next year.

Nico Hulkenberg looks to be staying with Renault for next year but who will partner him looks like to be between 4 drivers. Current driver Carlos Sainz Jr, Force India’s Esteban Ocon and Sergio Perez or quite possibly McLaren’s Fernando Alonso.

At Haas, Kevin Magnussen is likely to stay but team-mate Romain Grosjean’s future with the American team is undecided. Grosjean, Force India’s Sergio Perez, Leclerc, Sainz and Antonio Giovinazzi are all in the frame to partner the Dane.

The biggest change could happen at McLaren. McLaren want Alonso to stay but does the Spaniard want to stay? His future is undecided. Stoffel Vandoorne’s seat looks to be under threat as the Belgian is having a difficult season so far. Raikkonen, Sainz, Perez and Lando Norris are linked to the team for next year.

Possible 2019 Driver-Line-ups

  • Ferrari: Vettel & Raikkonen/Leclerc
  • Red Bull: Verstappen & Ricciardo/Sainz/Gasly
  • Renault: Hulkenberg & Sainz/Ocon/Alonso/Perez
  • Force India: Perez & Ocon/Kubica/Wehrlein/Russell/Stroll
  • Haas: Magnussen & Grosjean/Perez/Leclerc/Giovinazzi/Sainz
  • Williams: Stroll & Sirotkin, Sirotkin & Kubica/Russell/Wehrlein
  • Toro Rosso: Gasly & Hartley/Norris/Ticktum/Sainz
  • Sauber: Leclerc & Ericsson, Ericsson & Raikkonen/Giovinazzi/Perez, Raikkonen & Giovinazzi
  • McLaren: Alonso & Vandoorne/Norris/Sainz/Perez/Ricciardo/Raikkonen, Vandoorne & Norris/Sainz/Perez/Raikkonen

 

Hamilton wins chaotic German GP as Vettel crashes out whilst in the lead

Mercedes Lewis Hamilton survives all the odds to battle his way from 14th on the grid to win the German GP ahead of team-mate Valtteri Bottas and Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen as Sebastian Vettel crashes out whilst in the lead of the race.

22/07/18

Grid Formation

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

Race

There are dark clouds forming over the circuit with the threat of rain looming and raindrops should start to fall about an hour into the race. Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel starts on pole but the German driver has never won on this track. Where can Lewis Hamilton finish after starting 14th and what progress can Daniel Ricciardo make starting in 19th? Ricciardo will start on the Medium tyre and Hamilton will start on the Soft tyre. The top 10 will start on the Ultrasoft tyre with everyone else bar Esteban Ocon, who will start on the Ultrasoft tyre, will start on the Soft tyre.

The lights go out and it’s a great start for Sebastian Vettel who leads ahead of Valterri Bottas and Kimi Raikkonen with Max Verstappen in 4th hounding the Finnish driver. Into turn 1 on lap 2, Lewis Hamilton overtakes Esteban Ocon for 12th. Romain Grosjean has dropped to 7th with Nico Hulkenberg 6th and Kevin Magnussen 5th. Lap 3, Vettel leads by 1.5 seconds ahead of Bottas, Raikkonen and Verstappen as the top 4 start to pull away from the rest of the field. Daniel Ricciardo meanwhile is now 18th as Hamilton overtakes Fernando Alonso for 11th into turn 8.

Lap 4, Lewis Hamilton overtakes Charles Leclerc for 10th place into turn 6. A replay of the start shows that Max Verstappen actually got a very good start and was side-by-side with Kimi Raikkonen into turn 1 with the Dutchman thinking better of it and slotting into 4th. Lap 6, Sebastian Vettel’s gap to Valterri Bottas has increased to 2.5 seconds as Hamilton overtakes Carlos Sainz for 9th place into turn 6. Lap 7, Daniel Ricciardo, who started on the Medium tyre, is now 15th as Sergio Perez overtakes Romain Grosjean for 7th place into turn 6. Lap 8, Hamilton overtakes Grosjean round the outside of turn 6 for 8th place.

Lap 9, Lewis Hamilton overtakes Sergio Perez for 7th place into turn 6 as Sebastian Vettel’s gap at the front has grown to 3.8 seconds. Lap 10, after overtaking Marcus Ericsson, Daniel Ricciardo now overtakes Esteban Ocon for 13th place. Lap 11, Hamilton now overtakes Nico Hulkenberg for 6th place into turn 6. Lap 15, Hamilton overtakes Kevin Magnussen for 5th place as Kimi Raikkonen pits from 3rd, goes onto the Soft tyre and rejoins in 4th just ahead of Hamilton.

Lap 18, Daniel Ricciardo finally overtakes Fernando Alonso for 12th place into turn 6 as Sebastian Vettel’s lead has increased to 4.7 seconds ahead of Valterri Bottas. On the new set of Soft tyre, Kimi Raikkonen is flying setting fastest lap after fastest lap. Lap 20, Nico Hulkenberg pits from 7th, goes onto the Medium tyre and rejoins in 16th. Lap 22, Kevin Magnussen pits from 6th, goes onto the Medium tyre and rejoins in 11th with Charles Leclerc also pitting, going onto the Soft tyre. After Sergio Perez’s pit-stop, Ricciardo is now 6th a mere 25 and a half seconds behind Lewis Hamilton in 5th.

Lap 26, Sebastian Vettel pits from the lead, goes onto the Soft tyre and rejoins in 4th behind Kimi Raikkonen in 3rd and in front of Lewis Hamilton in 5th. Lap 29, Valterri Bottas pits from the lead, goes onto the Soft tyre and rejoins in 5th. Daniel Ricciardo has pulled over and is out. The Australian reports a loss of power and stops at turn 11 as Red Bull team-mate Max Verstappen pits from the lead, goes onto the Soft tyre and rejoins in 5th. Lap 30, Raikkonen leads ahead of Vettel, Hamilton who hasn’t pitted, Bottas and Verstappen. Behind the top 5, Kevin Magnussen is in 6th ahead of Nico Hulkenberg, Romain Grosjean, Sergio Perez and Carlos Sainz.

Lap 39, Kimi Raikkonen lets Sebastian Vettel past for the lead into turn 6. Raikkonen was on older older tyres and Vettel behind with his rear tyre overheating. Lap 42, Vettel has extended his gap to 2.5 seconds while Bottas has closed up to the back of Hamilton in 3rd. Hamilton pits at the end of lap 42. The Brit goes onto a set of Ultrasoft tyres and rejoins in 5th. Lap 44, the rain is starting to fall at turn 6. How heavy will it be? Lap 45, Charles Leclerc and Fernando Alonso pitting going onto the Intermediate tyres. Lap 47, Max Verstappen pits. The Dutchman rejoins in 5th on the Intermediate tyre.

The trouble at the moment is that it was only raining at turn 6. The Intermediate runners and Pierre Gasly who was on the full Wet tyre, comes into the pits and switches to dry tyres again. That has ruined Max Verstappen’s race who is now 45 seconds behind Lewis Hamilton in 4th.

After spinning at the exit of turn 1 a couple of laps ago, Charles Leclerc runs wide at turn 3. Sergio Perez spins as well at turn 8 and rejoins as Valterri Bottas overtakes Kimi Raikkonen for 2nd. They are all tip-toeing around in the 2nd and 3rd sector as it is wet there. Lap 52, race leader, Sebastian Vettel is out! The German is off at turn 13 after running wide and losing the rear of the car. Bottas pits but Mercedes had the wrong tyres out. Bottas is now on the Ultrasoft tyre. Raikkonen pits. The Finn goes onto the Ultrasoft tyre and rejoins in 3rd behind Bottas. Vettel is distraught.

Hamilton leads behind the Safety Car ahead of Valterri Bottas, Kimi Raikkonen, Max Verstappen, Nico Hulkenberg, Sergio Perez and Esteban Ocon. Sergey Sirotkin has pulled over and is out. Lap 55, Hamilton leads on his Ultrasoft tyre as lapped drivers are able to overtake the Safety Car. Double misery for Williams as they retire Lance Stroll. The Safety Car is in and racing resumes on lap 58.

Lap 58, Valterri Bottas on newer Ultrasoft tyres hounds Lewis Hamilton through turns 6,7 and 8. The Brit stays ahead. Lap 59, Hamilton has increased his to over a second. Lap 63, Carlos Sainz has been given a 10 second time penalty for overtaking under the Safety Car. Meanwhile, Bottas has been told to “maintain station” and not to attack Hamilton.

Lap 67, Lewis Hamilton comes round to win the German GP ahead of Valtteri Bottas and Kimi Raikkonen.

Race Result

  1. Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, 67 Laps (Fans Driver of the Day & Fastest Lap Award)
  2. Valterri Bottas, Mercedes, +4.535s
  3. Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari, +6.732s
  4. Max Verstappen, Red Bull, +7.654s
  5. Nico Hulkenberg, Renault, +26.609s (Best finish at a German GP)
  6. Romain Grosjean, Haas, +28.871s (First points round Hockenheim)
  7. Sergio Perez, Force India, +30.556s
  8. Esteban Ocon, Force India, +31.750s
  9. Marcus Ericsson, Sauber, +32.362s
  10. Brendon Hartley, Toro Rosso, +34.197s
  11. Kevin Magnussen, Haas, +34.919s
  12. Carlos Sainz, Renault, +43.069s
  13. Stoffel Vandoorne, McLaren, +46.617s
  14. Pierre Gasly, Toro Rosso, +1 Lap
  15. Charles Leclerc, Sauber, +1 Lap
  16. Fernando Alonso, McLaren, +
  • Lance Stroll, Williams, DNF
  • Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, DNF
  • Sergey Sirotkin, Williams, DNF
  • Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull, DNF

Vettel on Pole as Hamilton breaks down in Germany

Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel takes his 55th career pole position with pole position ahead of Mercedes Valterri Bottas and the Ferrari of Kimi Raikkonen as Mercedes Lewis Hamilton breaks down in the first part of Qualifying.

21/07/18

As did Lewis Hamilton did on home soil two weeks ago, Sebastian Vettel did the same by putting his Ferrari on pole. It was a superb lap by the German to start his 55th career pole position and his 5th pole of the season. Vettel, was happy to be on pole and felt that pole was there for the taking as he came into Qualifying. It was another good showing from Kimi Raikkonen but the Finn will be kicking himself of a small mistake into turn 12 as the front-row of the grid was possible.

Valterri Bottas was the sole Mercedes flying the flag in Q2 and Q3 after Lewis Hamilton lost hydraulic pressure. Bottas topped Q2 and was on provisional pole position for a few seconds after his 2nd run before Vettel bettered his time. Mercedes boss Toto Wolff was surprised to see Bottas so close to Vettel after the Finn managed to pull back time in the final sector. It was an odd Saturday for Hamilton. The Brit came into the paddock looking a bit sheepish and did not seem 100%. Hamilton and Mercedes confirm that he was alright and a fight-back is once again on as the Brit looks to start in 14th.

After his first run in Q3, Max Verstappen was nearly 8 tenths behind Vettel’s time. The Dutchman managed to reduce the gap to just over 6 tenths to go 4th. Red Bull look particularly strong in the 1st and 3rd sectors but it’s the 2nd sector where there is 2 long straights which hamper the Austrian team. Coming into the weekend, Daniel Ricciardo knew that he would be starting at the back of the grid due to the team opting to fit a new MGU-K, control electronics and energy store to his Red Bull. The Australian ran in Q1 and decided not to in Q2.

Haas are once again “best of the rest” and have been all weekend. With the absence of Ricciardo and Hamilton, Kevin Magnussen and Romain Grosjean managed to qualify in 5th and 6th. Hopefully a clean race by both drivers will allow the American team to close down the 19 point gap to Renault.

It was a good day for Renault with both Nico Hulkenberg and Carlos Sainz Jr in the top 10. Although behind Haas, both drivers are optimistic for the race tomorrow. Hulkenberg ran a new spec front wing which seemed to give the German a helping hand.

It was another impressive performance by Charles Leclerc to get into Q3 once again and out-qualify team-mate Marcus Ericsson. Points are on the cards for the race tomorrow. Sauber finished 1st and 2nd in FP3 with Leclerc topping the wet practice session. Ericsson, however had a little moment when the Swede lost the rear of the car going into turn 13. He spun into the gravel but was able to continue. The Red Flag was brought out allowing the marshals to clear the track of gravel.

It was a mixed day for Force India with Sergio Perez getting into Q3 and managing to qualify in 10th. Esteban Ocon was knocked out in Q1 for the first time since Monaco last year. Force India’s long-run pace seems to be good so points are on offer tomorrow.

Believe it or not but 11th place for Fernando Alonso is McLaren’s best qualifying result since Monaco. Stoffel Vandoorne struggled once again with the Belgian saying on Friday night that FP1 and FP2 was his worst for a long time.

Today was a breakthrough for Williams. Sergey Sirotkin was able to get through to Q2 and qualify in 13th ahead of tomorrow’s race. Lance Stroll struggled once again qualified in 19th place. Little to celebrate on Claire Williams’s birthday.

It was a difficult day for Toro Rosso with Pierre Gasly and Brendon Hartley knocked-out in Q1. Gasly admitting that their was little to do to improve. Points will be a tough ask tomorrow.

Qualifying Result

  1. Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, 1:11:212
  2. Valterri Bottas, Mercedes, 1:11:416
  3. Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari, 1:11:547
  4. Max Verstappen, Red Bull, 1:11:822
  5. Kevin Magnussen, Haas, 1:12:200
  6. Romain Grosjean, Haas, 1:12:544
  7. Nico Hulkenberg, Renault, 1:12:560
  8. Carlos Sainz Jr, Renault, 1:12:692
  9. Charles Leclerc, Sauber, 1:12:717
  10. Sergio Perez, Force India, 1:12:774
  11. Fernando Alonso, McLaren, 1:13:657
  12. Sergey Sirotkin, Williams, 1:13:702
  13. Marcus Ericsson, Sauber, 1:13:736
  14. Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, no time
  15. Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull, no time
  16. Esteban Ocon, Force India, 1:13:720
  17. Pierre Gasly, Toro Rosso, 1:13:749
  18. Brendon Hartley, Toro Rosso, 1:14:045
  19. Lance Stroll, Williams, 1:14:206
  20. Stoffel Vandoorne, McLaren, 1:14:401

F1 2018 in the old points system – Part 2

After winning the British GP, Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel holds a narrow lead of only 2 points ahead of championship rival Lewis Hamilton. Meanwhile, Kimi Raikkonen’s 3rd place moves the Finnish driver to 3rd in the championship just ahead of Daniel Ricciardo and Valterri Bottas.

13/07/18

The points system Formula One currently uses has been used since 2010 allows for the top 10 finishers to claim points and as follows: 1st – 25pts, 2nd – 18pts, 3rd – 15pts, 4th – 12pts, 5th – 10pts, 6th – 8pts, 7th – 6pts, 8th – 4pts, 9th – 2pts and 10th – 1pt.

The points system used in Formula One between 2003 to 2009 was as follows: 1st – 10pts, 2nd – 8pts, 3rd – 6pts, 4th – 5pts, 5th – 4pts, 6th – 3pts, 7th – 2pts and 8th – 1pt.

British GP Result

  1. Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, 10pts
  2. Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, 8pts
  3. Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari, 6pts
  4. Valterri Bottas, Mercedes, 5pts
  5. Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull, 4pts
  6. Nico Hulkenberg, Renault, 3pts
  7. Esteban Ocon, Force India, 2pts
  8. Fernando Alonso, McLaren, 1pt

Kevin Magnussen and Sergio Perez who finished in 9th and 10th are not awarded points

Vettel’s consistency puts him on top

The French GP was a disappointment for Sebastian Vettel. The German was on course for a podium finish before the lights went out but lap 1 contact with Valterri Bottas meant that with a time penalty, Vettel finished 5th while Lewis Hamilton would go onto win. Vettel would strike back with a 3rd place finish in Austria just as Mercedes suffered a double-DNF. By winning on Mercedes and Hamilton’s home turf (and at one of Ferrari’s worst tracks of the year) in Britain, the championship lead was his by a margin of 2 points.

Reverting back to 2018, Vettel’s lead was extended by 8 points over Hamilton.

Raikkonen jumps Ricciardo and Bottas

Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen is still proving why the Scuderia should be keeping him for next year after 3 consecutive podium finishes. 3rd in France, 2nd in Austria and then 3rd in Britain has catapulted the Finn to 3rd on 48 points. Since Monaco, Daniel Ricciardo hasn’t been on the podium but the Australian lies just 4 points off Raikkonen as Valterri Bottas in 5th lies just 5 points off the Finnish driver.

Reverting back to 2018, Raikkonen is in 3rd, 10 points ahead of Ricciardo who is 2 points ahead of Bottas.

Magnussen claims “best of the rest” spot

Haas’s Kevin Magnussen has been able to jump Renault’s Nico Hulkenberg and McLaren’s Fernando Alonso for 7th place in the championship. The Dane has scored 7 points in the last 4 races (6th in France and then 5th in Austria) which has put the Dane on level points with Hulkenberg and one point ahead of Alonso.

Reverting back to 2018, Hulkenberg occupies 7th, 2 points ahead of Alonso who is 1 point ahead of Magnussen.

Drivers Championship

After Britain

Vettel now leads but by only 2 points

Constructors Championship

After Britain

Mercedes 8 point gap after Monaco has turned into a 8 point advantage for Ferrari after Britain

 

 

Vettel wins as Hamilton fights back to 2nd at British GP

Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel wins the British GP ahead of Mercedes Lewis Hamilton who was involved in a first-lap incident with 3rd place driver Kimi Raikkonen.

08/07/18

Grid Formation

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

Pit-lane start: Sirotkin, Stroll and Hartley

Race

Can Lewis Hamilton take a 5th consecutive British GP win? History is on his side but he’ll have the Ferrari’s of Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen, his Mercedes team-mate Valterri Bottas and the threat of Red Bull to contend with. Nico Hulkenberg, Carlos Sainz, Lance Stroll and Brendon Hartley will start on the Medium tyre with everyone else starting on the Soft tyre.

The lights go out and Sebastian Vettel leads into turn 1 with Valterri Bottas in 2nd as it’s a poor start for Lewis Hamilton. Behind Kimi Raikkonen goes down the inside of Hamilton into turn 3 and Hamilton is spun around by the Finn. Hamilton drops down to the back of the grid. Vettel leads ahead of Bottas, Max Verstappen as Raikkonen overtakes Daniel Ricciardo into turn 9. Replay shows that Raikkonen locked-up and hit Hamilton, causing the Brit to spin.

Lap 3, Lewis Hamilton seems to be okay with little damage as he close up to the back of Romain Grosjean in 13th place. Lap 4, Sebastian Vettel has extended his lead to over 4 seconds. Sergio Perez spun at the start after locking up and then being tagged by Marcus Ericsson. Lap 5, Hamilton has now made his way in 11th as Vettel’s leads extends to 5 seconds. Lap 6, Hamilton overtakes Kevin Magnussen for 10th place. Vettel leads from Bottas, Verstappen, Raikkonen, Ricciardo, Nico Hulkenberg, Charles Leclerc, Esteban Ocon, Carlos Sainz and Hamilton.

Lap 7, the Stewards have given Kimi Raikkonen a 10 second time penalty for causing a collision between himself and Lewis Hamilton. Lap 8, Hamilton overtakes Carlos Sainz for 9th. Lap 9, Hamilton overtakes Esteban Ocon for 8th as the Stewards are looking at an incident between the Haas drivers of Kevin Magnussen and Romain Grosjean at the start of the race. Lap 10, Hamilton overtakes Charles Leclerc for 7th down into turn 15. Lap 11, Hamilton overtakes Nico Hulkenberg for 6th down into turn 15. Hamilton now in 6th is now 27 seconds behind Sebastian Vettel who is in the lead.

Lap 14, Kimi Raikkonen pits from 4th. The Finn takes the time penalty before the mechanics get to work on changing his tyres. Fernando Alonso and Sergio Perez pits as well. Raikkonen rejoins in 11th and on the Medium compound tyre. Lap 15, Raikkonen overtakes Carlos Sainz for 9th down into turn 6. Alonso and Perez went onto the Medium tyre. Lap 16, Raikkonen overtakes Esteban Ocon for 8th place down into turn 6. Lap 17, Raikkonen now overtakes Charles Leclerc for 7th down into turn 6 and then overtakes Nico Hulkenberg for 6th down into turn 15.

Lap 18, Max Verstappen pits from 3rd. The Dutchman goes onto the Medium tyre and rejoins in 5th. Lap 18, Daniel Ricciardo pits, goes onto the Medium tyre and rejoins in 5th just ahead of Kimi Raikkonen. Charles Leclerc pits, goes onto the Hard tyre, exits the pits and pulls over and retires from the race. Esteban Ocon and Carlos Sainz pit. Lap 21, Sebastian Vettel pits form the lead, goes onto the Medium tyre and rejoins in 2nd ahead of Lewis Hamilton. Raikkonen goes wide at turn 1 and loses time to Ricciardo. Nico Hulkenberg pits and goes onto the Hard compound tyre the same as team-mate Sainz.

Lap 22, Valterri Bottas pits, goes onto the Medium tyre and rejoins in 3rd behind Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel. Lap 23, Hamilton allows Bottas through into turn 6 as the Brit is yet to stop. Lap 26, Hamilton pits from 3rd. The Brit goes onto the Medium tyre and rejoins in 6th. Everyone in the top 6 have pitted with Vettel leading Bottas, Max Verstappen, Daniel Ricciardo, Kimi Raikkonen and Hamilton. Lap 27, Romain Grosjean pits and rejoins in 15th on the Medium tyre. Everyone except Lance Stroll have pitted.

Behind the top 6, Nico Hulkenberg is in 7th with Esteban Ocon, Fernando Alonso and Kevin Magnussen rounding out the top 10. After 2 consecutive fastest laps of the race, Lewis Hamilton’s gap to Kimi Raikkonen is down to 6 seconds. Lap 31, Daniel Ricciardo pits from 4th. The Australian goes onto as set of Soft tyres and rejoins in 6th. Lap 33, Marcus Ericsson has crashed. The Swede has crashed at turn 1 with the Sauber driver getting out of the car. The Safety Car has been deployed.

Sebastian Vettel pits from the lead as Valterri Bottas stays out. Vettel goes onto a set of Soft tyres as Max Verstappen and Kimi Raikkonen pit. Raikkonen and Verstappen went onto a set of Soft tyres. Bottas leads ahead of Vettel, Lewis Hamilton, Verstappen, Raikkonen and Daniel Ricciardo. Fernando Alonso and Carlos Sainz also pitted with both going onto the Soft tyre. Stoffel Vandoorne pits as well going onto the Soft tyre. Bottas and Hamilton were the only 2 out of the top 6 not to pit. Will this be another strategy mistake from Mercedes?

Lap 38, racing resumes as the Safety Car pulls into the pits. Kimi Raikkonen overtakes Max Verstappen down into turn 6 with Verstappen overtaking Raikkonen round the outside of turn 7. Romain Grosjean and Carlos Sainz have made contact with both in the barrier after making contact. The Safety Car is called out again. The replay shows that Sainz tried to overtake Grosjean round the outside of turn 9 with Sainz not leaving Grosjean enough room thus making contact.

Lap 42, racing resumes once again as the Safety Car pulls into the pits. It’s another good restart by Valterri Bottas who leads Sebastian Vettel and Lewis Hamilton. Fernando Alonso overtakes Kevin Magnussen for 9th as Bottas defends from Vettel down into turn 6. Magnussen re-overtakes Alonso for 9th. Lap 43, Kimi Raikkonen overtakes Max Verstappen round the outside of turn 15 for 4th place. Lap 44, Bottas defends heavily through turns 6,7 and 8. Lap 46, Verstappen has spun at turn 16. Lap 47, down into turn 6, Vettel overtakes Bottas for the lead! Verstappen has got problems as the Dutchman has dropped to 14th place. Verstappen is out as Hamilton overtakes Bottas for 2nd into turn 6.

Sebastian Vettel lead on lap 48 ahead of Lewis Hamilton, Valterri Bottas and Kimi Raikkonen with Daniel Ricciardo not far behind in 6th. Lap 49, Raikkonen overtakes Bottas down the inside of turn 6 for 4rd place. Bottas is starting to struggle on his older Medium tyre as Ricciardo closes on the Finn. Onto the 52nd and final lap, Vettel still leads ahead of Hamilton, Raikkonen, Bottas and Ricciardo.

Sebastian Vettel win and takes Ferrari’s first win in Silverstone since 2011. Lewis Hamilton and Kimi Raikkonen round out the podium as Fernando Alonso overtakes Kevin Magnussen for 8th. Pierre Gasly and Sergio Perez are under investigation as the pair made contact when Gasly was trying to overtake in the dying laps of the race. Sauber are also under investigation for the unsafe release for Charles Leclerc.

Gasly was awarded a 5 second time penalty at the end of the race

Race Result

  1. Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, 52 Laps (DHL Fastest Lap Award & 51st Career win)
  2. Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, +2.264s (Fans Driver of the Day)
  3. Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari, +3.652s
  4. Valterri Bottas, Mercedes, +8.883s
  5. Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull, +9.500s
  6. Nico Hulkenberg, Renault, +28.220s
  7. Esteban Ocon, Force India, +29.930s
  8. Fernando Alonso, McLaren, +31.115s
  9. Kevin Magnussen, Haas, +33.188s
  10. Sergio Perez, Force India, +34.708s
  11. Stoffel Vandoorne, McLaren, +35.774s
  12. Lance Stroll, Williams, +38.106s
  13. Pierre Gasly, Toro Rosso, +39.129s
  14. Sergey Sirotkin, Williams, +48.113s
  15. Max Verstappen, Red Bull, DNF
  • Romain Grosjean, Haas, DNF
  • Carlos Sainz Jr, Renault, DNF
  • Marcus Ericsson, Sauber, DNF
  • Charles Leclerc, Sauber, DNF
  • Brendon Hartley, Toro Rosso, DNF

 

Hamilton on Pole for record 6th time in Silverstone

Mercedes Lewis Hamilton hangs onto Pole Position after beating Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen and team-mate Valterri Bottas to his 50th pole position for Mercedes.

07/07/18

It was always going to be close. It’s been the story of the season so far on how Mercedes and Ferrari compare on single lap pace. Lewis Hamilton and Valterri Bottas ran the Medium tyre in Q1 and ended up 2nd and 3rd with Sebastian Vettel who was on the Soft tyre in 1st. Now on the Soft tyre, Hamilton regained the advantage by going fastest in Q2. By Q3, it was Vettel who piped Hamilton to provisional pole position. By the time the chequered flag fell, Hamilton put in a storming lap to beat Vettel to claim pole position for the 6th time in Silverstone. Bottas finished 4th and was disappointed to be there.

It’s not often that you see a Ferrari driver topping a Friday practice session. Vettel put the cat amongst the pigeons by going quickest in FP2 – but this came at a price. The German had injured his neck and was getting regular massages to help him. This pain did not distract the 4 time world champion as he put his Ferrari on provisional pole position. Piped by Hamilton, Vettel will line up 2nd with now a 1 point lead in the Championship to protect. I was surprised, in a nice way, to see Raikkonen going fastest in the first sector. A mistake at the end of the lap put pay to potential pole position in which the Finn was unhappy about.

It sounds bad to say it but by getting both cars on the 3rd row of the grid is what Red Bull were expecting. Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo have been evenly matched all weekend but the Dutchman piped his Australian team-mate to 5th and 6th. Ricciardo suffered a DRS issue in which the DRS did not operate in the final part of Q3 costing him a couple of tenths. Will Red Bull be able to fight with Mercedes and Ferrari or will they be looking behind trying to fend off the chasing pack?

If only everything went right in Australia. For the second time in two race weekends, Haas are officially “best of the rest”. Romain Grosjean crashed in FP1 which brought the Frenchman’s morale down after his first points of the year in Austria but he bounced back to make it into the top 10. Kevin Magnussen couldn’t match the pace of the Red Bulls this time but 7th is a very good effort.

On a track were the team expected to struggle, Charles Leclerc proved the team and everyone wrong by getting into Q3 for the 2nd time this season. Both Sauber drivers escaped Q1 but Marcus Ericsson was knocked out in Q2 and 0.6 seconds behind Leclerc as the Monegasque progressed to Q3. Leclerc would qualify 9th, ahead of Ocon’s Force India and 4 tenths behind Grosjean’s Haas.

After a double DNF in Austria, Force India will be pleased to have a car in the top 10 and one not far off it. Esteban Ocon managed to squeeze into Q3 for the 5th time this season while Sergio Perez was knocked out in Q2 ending up in 12th. Points will be on offer but be set for a huge scrap between all the mid-field teams.

Not a day to remember for Renault. They have looked on the ropes all weekend and the big shock was that Carlos Sainz was knocked out of Q1. He blamed traffic on his final lap and ended up 16th. Nico Hulkenberg kept up his record of always out-qualifying a team-mate here but couldn’t get into the top 10 just missing out in 11th.

Despite qualifying in 13th, Fernando Alonso hailed this qualifying session as the best of the year so far. Once again the two time world champion maximised the performance of his McLaren to qualify above the expected position. The characteristics of Silverstone, downforce and power demands, highlight’s McLaren’s overall weaknesses. On the other hand, Stoffel Vandoorne had a dreadful qualifying session and called the car “undriveable” blaming this as part of the reason of the 9 tenth gap between himself and Alonso.

Brendon Hartley suffered a high speed suspension failure in FP3. The New Zealander is okay but the car was too badly damaged to qualify. Toro Rosso bought a few upgrades to this weekend to push them up the pecking order but Pierre Gasly suggested otherwise as the Frenchman qualified in 14th.

What a disaster. Just to add to their misery this year, both Williams cars were knocked out in Q1 at their home race. Lance Stroll spun at Brooklands and ended up beached and out of Qualifying thus bringing out the Red Flag. Then, Sergey Sirotkin would spin off but he was able to get out of the gravel and make it back to the garage. His only lap left him 18th with Stroll not able to set a lap and finishing 19th.

Qualifying Result

  1. Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, 1:25:892
  2. Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, 1:25:936
  3. Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari, 1:25:990
  4. Valterri Bottas, Mercedes, 1:26:217
  5. Max Verstappen, Red Bull, 1:26:602
  6. Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull,1:27:099
  7. Kevin Magnussen, Haas, 1:27:244
  8. Romain Grosjean, Haas, 1:27:455
  9. Charles Leclerc, Sauber, 1:27:879
  10. Esteban Ocon, Force India, 1:28:194
  11. Nico Hulkenberg, Renault, 1:27.901
  12. Sergio Perez, Force India, 1:27.928
  13. Fernando Alonso, McLaren, 1:28.139
  14. Pierre Gasly, Toro Rosso, 1:28:343
  15. Marcus Ericsson, Sauber, 1:28:391
  16. Carlos Sainz, Renault, 1:28:456
  17. Stoffel Vandoorne, McLaren, 1:29:096
  18. Sergey Sirotkin, Williams, 1:29:252
  19. Lance Stroll, Williams, no time set
  20. Brendon Hartley, Toro Rosso, did not take part