First career Grand Chelem for Nico Rosberg in Russia

Nico Rosberg secured his first career Grand Chelem in Russia as he extended his lead in the World Championship.

Having secured pole position he went on to lead lights to flag while also setting the fastest lap of the race. He was joined on the podium by team-mate Lewis Hamilton, who had started in tenth due to Power Unit problems, and Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen.

There was drama when the lights went out causing a few retirements. Rio Haryanto, Nico Hulkenberg and Sebastian Vettel were the three drivers to fail to finish the first lap. Vettel’s retirement came after Daniil Kvyat made contact with him twice leading to an expletive ridden radio message from the four time world champion. The pair had already come to blows in China after an incident with Kvyat caused Vettel to make contact with his team-mate Raikkonen.

Kvyat received a 10 second stop/go penalty for his role in the first lap accident. Other drivers who received penalties were Carlos Sainz for driving Jolyon Palmer off the track and Felipe Nasr for not obeying race director’s instructions.

Behind the top three on the podium Valtteri Bottas finished in fourth ahead of team-mate Felipe Massa, who made a late stop for the super soft compound tyre. Fernando Alonso was a season best sixth – getting a welcome points finish for McLaren. Kevin Magnussen was another driver getting his first points of the season as he finished ahead of Romain Grosjean. On his 100th Grand Prix weekend Sergio Perez finished in ninth place getting his first two points of the year. Jenson Button was tenth for McLaren meaning they took their first double points finish of the season.

Outside the top ten was Daniel Ricciardo who got caught up in the accident between Vettel and Kvyat at the start. Sainz’s ten second penalty dropped him to 12th, with Palmer 13th, Marcus Ericsson 14th and Kvyat 15th. Nasr, Esteban Gutierrez and Pascal Wehrlein rounded out the race finishers. Max Verstappen was the fourth retirement.

Rosberg now leads the championship by 43 points from Hamilton with Raikkonen now third.

Nico Hulkenberg: 100 GP and the Magic Formula

Like team-mate Sergio Perez this weekend’s Russian Grand Prix will be Nico Hulkenberg’s 100th GP race weekend. Here’s a look at the numbers that make up his magic formula.

6th season

2016 is Nico Hulkenberg’s 6 season as a race driver in Formula One. He has also spent two years as a test driver – in 2009 for Williams prior to making his race debut and 2011 for Force India after a year of racing. He came into Formula One as the reigning GP2 champion.

3 teams

Hulkenberg has driven competitively for three teams in Formula One. He made his debut with Williams in 2010 before moving to Force India to become their test driver in 2011. He was promoted to a race seat for the team in 2012 but moved to Sauber for 2013. Hulkenberg returned to Force India in 2014 and has driven for them since.

1 pole position

The German driver’s sole pole position came at the 2010 Brazilian Grand Prix in changeable conditions. He went on to finish the race in 8th place.

2 fastest laps

As well as the one pole position, Hulkenberg’s key statistics show two fastest laps. The first was at the 2012 Singapore Grand Prix for Force India and the second was at this year’s Chinese Grand Prix.

63% points finish

Hulkenberg has had 84 classified finishes from his 97 race starts. 53 of these have been in the points giving him a 63% points finishing record.

12 consecutive points finishes

His longest streak of points finishes has been 12 – starting at the 2013 US GP and ending at the 2014 German GP, his home race. His highest finish in that time was 5th three times.

4th place

Hulkenberg’s highest finish in a race has been fourth place where he has finished twice. He finished fourth at the 2012 Belgian Grand Prix and the 2013 Korean Grand Prix. His first podium in Formula One has still eluded him.

9th place

His best finishing position in the world championship was 9th in 2014. He currently lies 11th in the 2016 season.

So 6 seasons + 3 teams + 1 pole position + 2 fastest laps + 63% points finishes +12 consecutive points finishes +4th place + 9th place = 100 GP.

 

Sergio Perez: 100 GP and the Magic Formula

This weekend’s Russian Grand Prix will see Sergio Perez enter his 100th race weekend in Formula One. Here is a look at the numbers which make up his magic formula.

 6 Seasons

Perez is currently competing in his sixth season of Formula One. Making his debut in 2011, the Mexican driver moved up from GP2 after he finished a personal best second in the championship. He started his Formula One career with Sauber.

3 Teams

Over the course of his career, Perez has driven with three teams in Formula One. As previously mentioned he started off with Sauber – also signing for the Ferrari Driver Academy. After two seasons with Sauber he moved to McLaren for a season before moving to Force India for 2014 where he has remained since.

3 Fastest Laps

Perez has had a fastest lap for each of his three teams. His first came at the 2012 Monaco Grand Prix for Sauber. The second was at the 2013 Malaysian Grand Prix for McLaren with the third coming at the 2014 Austrian Grand Prix for Force India.

5 podiums

The Mexican driver has stood on the podium five times so far in his Formula One career. His first podium was at the 2012 Malaysian Grand Prix where he impressed to finish second for Sauber. He followed that up with a third in Canada that same year. It was a hat-trick of podiums in 2012 for Perez when he also finished the Italian Grand Prix in second place. He has finished third twice while driving for Force India – once in Bahrain and also at last year’s Russian Grand Prix.

57% points finish rate

Of the 82 times he has had a classified finish in Formula One, 47 of those have been in the points. That gives him a points finish rate of 57%. Despite entering his 100th Grand Prix this weekend, he has only had 96 race starts giving him a classified finishing rate of 85%.

12 points finishes

The most points finishes Perez has had in one season is 12. This happened in 2014 – his first season driving for Force India. He failed to start the race in Malaysia giving him 18 race starts for that season. His best finish was third in Bahrain.

5 consecutive points finishes

Perez’s biggest string of points finishes in a row is 5. This again was in 2014 when he finished Belgium, Italy, Singapore, Japan, and Russia in the points before retiring in Austin.

9th place

His best finish in the Formula One World Championship was ninth place, where he finished last season. His average championship position is 11th but he currently lies 15th in this year’s championship.

So 6 seasons + 3 teams + 3 fastest laps + 5 podiums + 57% points finishes rate + 12 points finishes + 5 consecutive points finishes + 9th place = 100 GP.

F1 2016: Russian GP -FP1 Laps & Times

Free Practice 1

Times

Drivers

  1. Nico Rosberg – Mercedes – 1:38.127
  2. Lewis Hamilton – Mercedes – 1:38.849 – +0.722
  3. Sebastian Vettel – Ferrari – 1:39.175 – +1.048
  4. Kimi Raikkonen – Ferrari – 1:39.332 – +1.205
  5. Felipe Massa – Williams – 1:39.365 – +1.238
  6. Daniel Ricciardo – Red Bull – 1:39.650 – +1.523
  7. Valtteri Bottas – Williams – 1:39.802 – +1.675
  8. Daniil Kvyat – Red Bull – 1:40.218 – +2.091
  9. Sergio Perez – Force India – 1:40.287 – +2.160
  10. Carlos Sainz  – Toro Rosso – 1:40.654 – +2.527
  11. Jenson Button – McLaren – 1:40.663 – +2.536
  12. Fernando Alonso – McLaren – 1:40.771 – +2.644
  13. Sergey Sirotkin – Renault – 1:40.898 -+2.771
  14. Felipe Nasr – Sauber – 1:41.085 – +2.958
  15. Max Verstappen – Toro Rosso – 1:41.134 – +3.007
  16. Esteban Gutierrez – Haas – 1:41.238 – +3.111
  17. Romain Grosjean – Haas – 1:41.385 – +3.258
  18. Jolyon Palmer – Renault – 1:41.671 – +3.544
  19. Marcus Ericsson – Sauber – 1:41.962 – +3.835
  20. Pascal Wehrlein – Manor – 1:42.483 – +4.356
  21. Rio Haryanto – Manor – 1:42.687 – +4.560
  22. Alfonso Celis – Force India – 1:43.432 – +5.305

Teams

  1. Mercedes – 1:38.127
  2. Ferrari – 1:39.175 – +1.048
  3. Williams – 1:39.365 – +1.238
  4. Red Bull – 1:39.650 – +1.523
  5. Force India – 1:40.287 – +2.160
  6. Toro Rosso – 1:40.654 – +2.527
  7. McLaren – 1:40.663 – +2.563
  8. Renault – 1:40.898 – +2.771
  9. Sauber – 1:41.085 – +2.958
  10. Haas – 1:41.238 – +3.111
  11. Manor – 1:42.483 – +4.356

Laps

Drivers

  1. Valtteri Bottas – Williams – 34
  2. Nico Rosberg – Mercedes – 32
  3. Lewis Hamilton – Mercedes – 31
  4. Daniil Kvyat – Red Bull – 26
  5. Jolyon Palmer – Renault – 25
  6. Daniel Ricciardo – Red Bull – 24
  7. Sergey Sirotkin – Renault – 24
  8. Sergio Perez – Force India – 22
  9. Max Verstappen – Toro Rosso – 22
  10. Marcus Ericsson – Sauber – 22
  11. Alfonso Celis – Force India – 23
  12. Carlos Sainz – Toro Rosso – 21
  13. Felipe Nasr – Sauber – 21
  14. Pascal Wehrlein – Manor – 21
  15. Romain Grosjean – Haas – 20
  16. Jenson Button – McLaren – 19
  17. Sebastian Vettel – Ferrari – 19
  18. Fernando Alonso – McLaren – 18
  19. Kimi Raikkonen – Ferrari – 18
  20. Esteban Gutierrez – Haas – 18
  21. Felipe Massa – Williams – 14
  22. Rio Haryanto – Manor – 8

Teams

  1. Mercedes  – 63
  2. Red Bull – 50
  3. Renault – 49
  4. Williams – 48
  5. Force India -45
  6. Toro Rosso – 43
  7. Sauber – 43
  8. Haas – 38
  9. McLaren – 37
  10. Ferrari – 37
  11. Manor – 29

F1 2016: Russian Grand Prix Preview

Nico Rosberg is currently in control of the 2016 a Formula One World Championship. With three wins from three he currently has a 36 point lead over team-mate Lewis Hamilton.

Following the Chinese Grand Prix Formula One has travelled to Russia for the third running of the Russian Grand Prix at the Sochi Autodrom. Both of the previous races here have been won by Hamilton but can he get his season back on track with a third victory this weekend?

Circuit: Sochi Autodrom
Number of Laps: 53
Circuit Length: 5.848km
Number of Corners: 18
Lap Record: 1:40.071 Sebastian Vettel (2015)
Previous Russian Grand Prix winners still on the grid: 1
Most Successful Team: Mercedes (2 wins)
DRS Zones: 2
Pirelli Tyres: Medium, Soft and Super Soft

The Sochi Autodrom features a mixture of long straights and technical corners. The track is quite wide and features low kerbs, allowing drivers to attack into corners. With a lot of the lap spent at full throttle it is a race with high fuel consumption and is also tough on brakes. It features the longest run down to Turn 1, allowing plenty of opportunity for overtaking especially on the first few laps.

Rosberg comes to Russia on the back of a six race winning streak and his confidence will no doubt he soaring. On the other side of the garage Hamilton suffered disappointment in China when he had to start from the back following a gearbox change and engine problems. He fought back to finish seventh – taking some crucial points. Ferrari – who have looked closest to challenging Mercedes so far – had more woes in China when their drivers collided on the first lap. Both cars finished the race, with Sebastian Vettel in third, but the team will have to get on top of the issues that have hampered them so far. These issues include wrong strategy calls.

Elsewhere local boy Daniil Kvyat comes to his home race off the back of a podium finish. Red Bull have looked strong in the opening three races of the season, compounded by a third and fourth last time out. For both Force India drivers it is 100th race entry in Formula One. Sauber, Manor and Renault are still searching for their first points of the year with McLaren hoping to improve on their one point so far courtesy of Stoffel Vandoorne.

 

F1 2016: Russian Grand Prix Tyre Choices

Driver tyre choices for the Russian Grand Prix are as follows:

DRIVER Medium Soft Supersoft
Lewis Hamilton 1 4 8
Nico Rosberg 1 4 8
Sebastian Vettel 1 6 6
Kimi Raikkonen 1 6 6
Valtteri Bottas 1 3 9
Felipe Massa 1 3 9
Daniel Ricciardo 1 2 10
Daniil Kvyat 1 2 10
Kevin Magnussen 1 5 7
Jolyon Palmer 1 5 7
Nico Hulkenberg 1 4 8
Sergio Perez 1 4 8
Max Verstappen 1 4 8
Carlos Sainz 1 4 8
Fernando Alonso 1 5 7
Jenson Button 1 5 7
Marcus Ericsson 1 5 7
Felipe Nasr 1 5 7
Pascal Wehrlein 2 5 6
Rio Haryanto 2 5 6
Romain Grosjean 1 2 10
Esteban Gutierrez 1 2 10

Once again Pirelli have brought the Medium, Soft and Supersoft tyres. For the first time this season there are no variations on tyre choices between team-mates, but there are big differences between teams.

While the Medium tyre has been favoured at other tracks it is largely the Super Soft this weekend. All teams, bar Manor, have selected just one set of the Medium compound. Manor has opted for two sets per driver.

Mercedes has chosen four sets of Softs with eight of the Super Soft, while Ferrari has split its selection evenly between the two compounds. Red Bull has gone all out with the Super Softs – choosing ten sets to just two Softs. Williams has gone for an in-between strategy to Mercedes and Red Bull.

 

Farquhar, Kneen and Dunlop amongst Tandragee winners

Ryan Farquhar, Dan Kneen, and William Dunlop were amongst the winners at last weekend’s Tandragee 100.

Kneen – making his debut for Mar-Train racing – won the first race but subsequently received a 60 second penalty for a jump start. Derek Sheils was also penalised, dropping the duo down the order to tenth and eleventh respectively. This meant that Farquhar was named the winner with Dunlop second and Malachi Mitchell-Thomas continuing his Mid-Antrim form in third. The Mar-Train team has since launched an appeal against the penalty for  Kneen. Finishing thirteenth in the race was Gareth Keys, coming from the second group on his return to road racing following an accident at last year’s Spring Cup in Scarborough.

In the three lapper Junior Support race – which was red flagged and results declared – it was James Chawke winning ahead of Scott Miller and Warren Reeve. In the later Senior Support race Joe Newbould was the winner with Michael Weldon second and Paul Williams in third.

It was Mitchell-Thomas who led the early stages of the Supersport race but he had to settle for third in the end. Dunlop continued his strong form from last season to take his first win of the year on his CD/IC Racing Yamaha. Kneen was second ahead of the aforementioned Mitchell-Thomas. Michal Dokoupil finished a fine seventh on his Tandragee debut.

In the Classics Jamie O’Brien led home Mark Parrett and John Pemberton. Rhys Hardistry was the lead 250cc GP rider, finishing narrowly ahead of Davy Morgan who in turn was clear of Neil Kernohan. Anthony McColgan was victorious in the Forgotten Era class, besting Robert McCrum, Des Buttler and Gary Miller.

Sam Wilson won the 125cc class ahead of Adam McLean and Paul Robinson, with Dokoupil winning in Supersport 400s. He finished seven seconds clear of Seamus Elliott and Darryl Tweed. Farquhar was the lead rider of two in the 450cc class – Dave Walsh was the second.

For the final race of the day – the feature Around a Pound Tandragee 100 – Kneen put the disappointment of the first race behind him to win. He finished ahead of Sheils, who had also been penalised in race one. Mitchell-Thomas joined his BE Racing team-mate on the podium. Derek McGee finished the race in fourth ahead of Dunlop in fifth. Farquhar, Michael Sweeney, Paul Jordan, Morgan, and  Elliott rounded out the top ten finishers.

The next action on the Irish roads is this weekend’s Cookstown 100.