Archive for the ‘Racing’ Category

Pole starter Valtari Bottas has just won the Azerbaijan F1 Grand Prix, in front of his team-mate, and Vettel for Ferrari. After starting in pole, and after a well agitated race, the Finn could score his second win and get back to the lead of the overall championship. Not only this, but this is the 4th double for Mercedes F1 team.

Bottas started 1st, 2nd was Hamilton, 3rd Vettel, 4th was Verstappen and a good start for Perez as 5th. After penalties, Raikkonen, Gasly, and Kubica were obliged to start last, and for the first time in his career, Kubica was starting 18th. The race start was rough between the two Mercedes, Hamilton went immediately for the attack on Bottas, who blocked and did not give him the chance. Vettel was a spectator, just behind him there was a fight between Perez and Verstappen who ended in the favor of Perez. Leclerc lost his start, 10th.

After another tough fight, between Perez and Verstappen, and after 6 laps, the dutch man could regain his position. In the 7th lap, Raikkonen started the Pit stop craze, Hulkenberg followed, in the 10th lap, Perez, Stroll and Ricciardo went in. Leclerc, in that part of the race went on the hunt, overtaking one after another the drivers in front of him, and was even 3.0 s faster than Hamilton, which lead to the pit of Bottas in 13th lap and Hamilton a lap later. Right after the pits, Vettel was faster than the two Mercedes, but still a bit slower than his team-mate who was then first and leading the race.

The will to catch the two was there, but Vettel did not have enough pace, Leclerc was loosing it, due to old tyres, and on the 34th lap, he was overtaken by Bottas, and Hamilton, and Vettel. He pitted in the 35th lap. Wanting to do another of his impressive overtakes, Ricciardo misses the turn, and almost caused a crash with Kvyat, the two breathed, it was safe, but Ricciardo went back on the Russian, end of the story, both of them in the pits leaving the race. Another loser, is Gasly, who did an impressive race, but was obliged to leave it after loosing power.

The extra point of the fastest race goes to Leclerc 1m 43s 009, he had rhythm, he had a great pace, but once more, luck wasn’t on the side of Ferrari.

The quali session for the 2019 F1 Chinese Grand Prix ended with a Mercedes F1 team front row lock-up and 2nd row preserved by Ferrari. After them come the two RedBull and right after is the two Renaults and Finally the two Hass’s for the 5 row.

Though dominating the FP1 and FP2, Ferrari had something missing for the quali session, or was it maybe the Mercedes found some pace to secure a one – two start tomorrow. It was clear that the Italian were faster in the straight, they even could win up to 0.7 s in the straight alone, but lose everything in the rest of the circuit.

Sebastian Vettel is under review for overtaking Verstappen in the before last corner while the dutch was in a flying lap, he found up coming from behind and away from the racing line, a hurrying Vettel. This caused the young dutch to remain 5th and not have a better chance to improve.

The difference in pace is still huge that only five people are into the second gap. Mercedes maintained first with Bottas, who had an advantage to his teammate through the weekend, what can they translate that into the race, or will Ferrari have a wake-up Call from what happened in Bahrain?

 

 

After a sour loss in Australia, Ferrari brought its A-game to Bahrain GP, the Italian team dominated all the qualification sessions with good margins. It was mostly Leclerc who was in the front, Vettel could only be first in the second free practice. Came the race, Ferrari had a front row lock-up, Mercedes was in the second raw, and Verstappen was fifth, his best Bahrain GP qualification.

Leclerc, scoring his first pole position in F1, had the right to dream of a first win. Things did not work well for him in the race start, being overtaken by Vettel, who squeezed him in the first turn, leaving the door open to Bottas to pass by and even at risk of being overtaken by Hamilton. Not a problem, he got his head down, and went for it. In the lap two, he got rid of Bottas, and left him for an easy prey to Hamilton who took the opportunity to get back to second, in the 5th lap, in the main DRS zone, he got back to first, and he dictated the pace since.

A bit in the back, things did not work well for Grosjean who was touched from the back by Stroll, causing damage to his car, and leading him to quit the race. Sainz who wanted to bully Verstappen out, got a taste from the anger of the dutchman, blocked, touched, damage to the car, pit stop, and last in the race. Ricciardo had an amazing start, he was easily 7th in the first laps, and even got to 6th. The stewards did not bother with all the touching, shoulder rubbing and squeezing, they decided that race incidents happen. However, Kvyat who was a victim of Giovanazzi small touch from behind, was awarded a 5 seconds penalty, for speeding in the pits.

Verstappen, suffering from a slow puncture, started the pitstop wars, in the 12th lap, just after him were Leclerc and Hamilton, and the biggest loser from all that was Vettel. Hamilton who kept a brand new soft tyre kit, thinking he could dominate in his second stint, found himself loosing pace to Leclerc flying to a certain win, and being chased by Vettel. Yet at the 23rd lap, and after overtaking the Brit, Vettel was +8.0 seconds from his teammate. Mercedes gamble paid off after getting the medium tyres on, Hamilton had a better race pace then Vettel, and went for him. First try was in the 37th lap, but Vettel kept his place, the old rivalry taught them both some tricks, and let them know each other move. In the 38th lap, Hamilton went for it again, and in the same turn 4, he left Vettel spinning, his new favourite sport since the Italian Gp in Monza. He should leave playing Mario Kart we all think. Getting back on his feet from the overtake, but damaging his wheels, he created vibration in his car, thing that made him loose his front wing in the back DRS straight, and getting back, after pitting to the 9th place.

Ferrari, did not lose hope, Leclerc was in the game yet, but in the 46th lap, things started to change. Leclerc declared a loss of power, and a loss of dreams. Some say it was because of ignition, and the cylinders are not working, some say he lost his turbo recycling valve and balance monitor. The result is, he was 5 second paced off to Hamilton. There a new chase started, Hamilton even grew wings, seeing the win being offered to him. Leclerc lost to Bottas, but the Renault team cars decided it is time to go home, and both Ricciardo and Hulkenburg quit the race, getting the safety car in, and saving Leclerc from finishing fourth. The race ended behind the safety car, and we all think it was damage limitation for all, Verstappen would have his teeth clinking until now from desire to overtake.

So Ferrari were the biggest loosers, Renault also, despite starting 7th, sainz ended up in the pits, this made Kubica end up winning 4 places and two laps behind the lead.

The biggest winner, besides Hamilton, who got the things offered to him, was the young Lando Norris, who finished 6th, proving once more that the Mclaren is winning in reliability and performance. Raikkonen finished 7th after starting 9th.

This is a bit from what the drivers said after the race :

LECLERC: “It happens. Unfortunately it was not our day. Of course I’m extremely disappointed. A very hard one to take but thanks to the team… Congratulations to Lewis and Valtteri

HAMILTON : “It was a really, really hard race today. Charles did such a great job so it must be devastating for him. The fight with Vettel was great fun for me

BOTTAS: “It was a difficult race for me, the balance of the car was everywhere – I was making a lot of mistakes

Two weeks from now, we will go to China, to see even more performance extracted from these cars, and maybe a change of winds of luck direction towards Ferrari. As the world champion is concerned, Mercedes is still keeping a comfortable one-two, Ferrari needs to re-read its paper, Verstappen is third.

This just in, Mercedes F1’s driver Lewis Hamilton won the Bahrain Grand prix with not a bit, but a lot of luck. The Brit who started third had the win offered to him by major luck forces due to a spin of Vettel, his favourite sport apparently, in the 37th lap turn 4 and Leclerc losing power.

The Monégasque who lost to his teammate in the start, and to Bottas in the first lap, recovered in the 5th lap to get back to first, he kept dominating the race up until the 46th lap, he declared that he had power problems, and that kept carrying on, until being overtaken by Hamilton, then Bottas, and was saved from offering the last step of the podium to Max Verstappen by the intervention of the Safety Car. This is the 8th Grand Prix to finish behind the safety car. Still, this is Leclerc first podium, and he got a well deserved extra point for the fastest lap of the race.

Mercedes, deserved a one-two win in Australia, Bottas had a stuggering pace, but in Bahrain, who was fully dominated by Ferrari, they had the win offered to them this time.

Will problems ever be over at Ferrari Side, or will this lack of luck be carried on up until the end of the season? this goes without saying, but From the second half of the 2018 season, and the start of the 2019 season, Ferrari wasn’t able to score enough points to put them in a good place for a fight.

Another big deception is for Renault, with both drivers out of the race, and the luck wasn’t in favour of Romain Grosjean. It was a good race overall for everyone, McLaren’s Lando Norris finished his race in 6th,