Monthly Archives: July 2012

Hungarian Grand Prix Review

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The Hungarian Grand Prix doesn’t usually product much overtaking as this race was no different, although despite the lack of passing it was a fairly tense race with the final result uncertain until the last corner.

 

Hamilton started on pole but can’t have been too confident of his chances if he knew that only once in the last 7 Hungarian GPs has the pole-sitter gone on to win the race. He was also concerned as his recent starts hadn’t been impressive.

 

However, Hamilton made a great start and led into turn one, despite locking up and running a little bit wide.

 

He went on to lead the entire race despite a lot of pressure from the very quick Lotus cars of Grosjean initially and later on Raikkonen. It was only the fact that it is so difficult to pass around this circuit that allowed Hamilton to manage his tyres to the end and keep the black and gold cars at bay.

 

Button found this to his cost as McLaren tried a three stop strategy but he couldn’t make it work as he was stuck behind the slower Williams of Bruno Senna for several laps.

 

Hamilton won the race and is back in the hunt for the title, but the McLaren was arguably not the quickest car as both Lotus drivers impressed as Raikkonen took second place with Grosjean third.

 

Red Bull also showed they have a competitive car with Vettel in fourth place after pressurising Button in the early stage of the race.

 

Alonso put in a good damage-limitation drive to secure valuable points in 5th place in the Ferrari that was never really in with a chance of a podium, let alone the win, but he maintains a healthy lead in the title race.

 

After this race it looks like the title fight will be extremely interesting and could well go down to the final race. Alonso has his healthy lead of 40 points to Webber but the Ferrari hasn’t looked the strongest car for a few races now and that lead could quite quickly disappear.

 

Lotus look to be on the verge of their first win and both Red Bull and McLaren now look to have a stronger car than the Ferrari and so Alonso may soon start to struggle to pick up many points, even the 5th place he got today might be difficult to achieve.

 

Webber leads a pack of five drivers all within 8 points of each other in the hunt for the title with Vettel, Hamilton and Raikkonen all in with a chance of the championship.

 

If Lotus can continue in the form they showed today, with some major packages in the pipeline, Raikkonen is almost the favourite to hunt down Alonso. He’s a Spa specialist so the next race will be crucial for his entire season.

 

Vettel and Webber also have a chance and perhaps now Red Bull need to consider team orders. Hamilton is on a bit of a charge as well and this win might give him the impetus he needs to take his second title.

 

All to play for with 9 races to go, who will win the title?

 

 

 

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German Grand Prix Preview

German GP 2010

 

This year’s German Grand Prix is from the new Hockenheim circuit, that was shortened a few years ago to make it better for the crowds to view the spectacle.

Historically Ferrari have gone well here but in recent years it’s been a good track for McLaren as well with Lewis Hamilton winning in 2008.

 

However, the most famous, or should I say infamous result was the 2010 race when Fernando Alonso won after team orders were used to get him past team mate Felipe Massa.  The famous quote being that of Rob Smedley to Massa: “Fernando is faster than you!”.

I’ve not really got a good idea of who is likely to win this weekend as it’s been such a topsy-turvey season and the weather is also quite uncertain for the race.  Predictions seem to indicate a dry Friday for practise but then likely a wet qualifying session and then showers for race day, so it’s anyone’s guess!

I feel we’re likely to see a close race between Red Bull and Ferrari with McLaren being not too far behind, but track temperature is going to be key, if it’s hot expect Ferrari and McLaren to be more competitive, if it’s cold then Red Bull will be harder to beat.

It will be interesting to see if Mark Webber can keep up his good form this season and beat Sebastian Vettel again, if he can then he must have a chance of being crowned champion at the end of the season.

We may finally see Lotus get their first victory here as well, they seem to be able to challenge depending on the tyres, if they can get their car to work on both compounds we could see a victory for the team at last.

Mercedes will also be keen to impress on their home track and with two German drivers in front of their home fans perhaps they can put a good result together.

Williams have also been quoted as saying they expect to go well here, but I feel the winner is likely to be a Red Bull, or Fernando Alonso with Hamilton having a slim chance too.

It should be another good race as the track does produce some good action with its mix of high speed straights and tight and medium speed corners.


British Grand Prix Review

Webber leads the British Grand Prix

After the torrential rain that dominated practise and qualifying, with the terrible forecasts for the race, it was typical of the British Weather that we saw a completely dry race.

Fernando Alonso looked like he was going to win for much of the race as he dominated early on but eventually the pace of the Red Bulls shone through and Mark Webber took the lead with just three laps to go.  Webber is now the second driver after Alonso to win two races this season and the other teams must now be worried about the pace of the Red Bull car.

The Ferrari was pretty much on the pace of the Red Bull on the harder compound tyre but struggled a little with the softer tyres, this was the story for a lot of the teams and it is only the fact that the Red Bull seems more consistent on either set that Webber was able to win the race.

So while Red Bull dominate, Ferrari have made some excellent progress and are not far behind, Massa pulled off one of his best races so far this season to come home in fourth, not too far behind Vettel.

It now looks like a straight fight between Alonso and the Red Bull drivers, but you have to say that Alonso is favourite despite the Red Bull appearing to be the quicker car as he has the full backing of his team and his team mate is unlikely to take any points from him all season.  The same cannot be said for Red Bull as both drivers are fighting hard over every point and despite the team favouring Vettel in the past surely they cannot do the same this season with Webber performing so well.  Having said that you can’t really see them favouring Webber either due to the political situation in the team and the perception that brand Vettel will shift more cans of pop.

McLaren disappointed again and despite no pit stop issues for a change, they simply don’t have the pace to compete and the season looks like being over for both their drivers in terms of the championship.  I can see them winning the odd race but they simply aren’t going to produce the consistency of results they need to win overall.  Hamilton struggled to h0ld on to the 8th place he started on the grid while Button did produce a decent drive to finish 10th after starting 16th.

Lotus now seem to have established themselves as the third team and had similar issues to Ferrari but the other way around, they were the quickest car out there on the softer tyres which makes you wonder why they didn’t use them for the second and third stint rather than just the final one.  This underlines the fact that the tyres are so unpredictable this season and the teams by and large still don’t understand them.

Raikkonen finished a creditable fifth while Grosjean was probably the driver of the day coming from 9th on the grid to finish in 6th place.

Mercedes had a reasonable day with Schumacher coming home 7th to beat both McLarens while Williams disappointed yet again.  Sauber were also disappointing but it seems as though they may have been gambling on a wet race.

I had some problems updating the results after the race as I tried to do it too soon, the results are fetched from the F1.com site that appeared to have updated but in actual fact they’d updated the “front” page to show the result but the actual results page still had qualifying results on it.  This meant that the script produced some very odd results and it took me about three hours to fix.  Apologies for the inconvenience, it seems to be correct now but please do check and let me know if you find any issues, thanks for your patience!

So, it’s off to Germany for the next round on July 22nd, Mclaren have done well here in the past so perhaps we can see a racer contested by more than just two teams.