Category: Features

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.

Scrutineering Special: BBC F1

Following on from the Sky Sports F1 Scrutineering Special here is your chance to now share your views on the UK’s other Formula One Broadcaster. They took over from ITV back in 2009, and now share coverage with Sky Sports F1. BBC F1 broadcast ten races live with the rest covered by extensive highlights packages and shows. But what have you thought of their coverage in 2012?

  • What have you thought of the BBC F1 coverage in general?
  • What has been your favourite feature?
  • What have you not enjoyed about the coverage?
  • What do you think about the team who front the coverage?
  • Where have they got it spot on?
  • Where have they gone wrong?
  • What would you like to see in coverage next year?
  • If you had access to Sky but continued to watch BBC coverage, what is it that made you stick?

Of course Jake Humphrey will be moving onto pastures new in 2013, so Suzi Perry will be replacing him as the coverage’s anchor. How do you think she will get on and do you agree with the decision?

You can get involved by tweeting me your thoughts @hannahhou/@thehduct or getting involved via The H Duct Facebook Page. You can also email your thoughts to You don’t have to stick to the above questions, they are just a starting point – you can share any view, positive or negative, you have about BBC F1’s 2012 coverage. Your views will be added to a Scrutineering Special about BBC F1! Happy sharing!

PS. You can check out the 2013 Sky and BBC guide here to see what’s what.
PPS. If you haven’t read any Scrutineering posts you can head this way!

Scrutineering: Sky Sports F1

With car launches at the end of this month, and winter testing just four weeks away, the 2013 Formula One season is already nearly upon us – here is how it is shaping up so far! While so many other things are changing in the sport, there will be at least one constant and that is that Sky Sports F1 will once again exclusively be broadcasting all races live. After securing the services of top pundits and commentators in 2012, such as Martin Brundle, Ted Kravitz, and Damon Hill, Sky Sports F1 will return for 2013 with the same line-up. But how did they get on in their first year?

‘Overall it was very good’

On Twitter I asked what people had thought of Sky Sports F1’s first season of coverage, and the feedback was generally positive. After their shaky start in Australia, where pre Free Practice coverage was far too long and was interrupted by ad breaks and interviews, it has been onwards and upwards for the broadcasters. Having to essentially take over from BBC F1, who do still broadcast the Formula One, but had been the sole broadcaster in the UK, was not any mean feat. BBC had been much acclaimed and their coverage is loved by many so Sky Sports F1 had a tough act to follow.

The Team

After the deal was announced way back at the Hungarian GP in 2011, there was much speculation about who would move to Sky from BBC, and would they bring in any new presenters.

Main anchor Simon Lazenby has been with Sky Sports since 1998 and has covered cricket and rugby, along with fronting Sky Sports News. His reviews from fans were mixed – some dubbed him ‘fake Jake’ (in reference to BBC F1 presenter Jake Humphrey), others claimed he was lazy and did not seem to be interested in F1, and people even said he frowned too much. It wasn’t all negative, however, as others found him interested and engaging, and said they enjoyed watching him more than they had Jake.

Georgie Thompson, another seasoned Sky Sports presenter, joined Simon Lazenby on presenting duties, taking the reigns during Free Practice on a Saturday while also fronting The F1 Show with Ted Kravitz (more later). She often accompanied Anthony Davidson in analysing coverage via the SkyPad, however, she did not overly impress some fans. She was described as being ‘useless’, ‘pointless’ and ‘boring’, and fans added that she brought nothing to the show.

Johnny Herbert, Damon Hill, and Allan McNish were brought in an expert pundits to work alongside Simon Lazenby. Fans thought they were a great addition to the line-up, and only wish that Allan McNish had been used more. Others felt that they needed to relax more and that they did not seem to be enjoying the atmosphere, and rather the coverage at times seemed too corporate.

In the pit-lane Ted Kravitz and Natalie Pinkham were on hand to keep viewers up-to-date with what was going on. Both moved from the BBC to Sky for the 2012 season. Fans enjoyed Ted’s Notebook while others particularly singled him out as being a ‘plus point’ of the coverage and said his insight was ‘great’.

Up in commentary David Croft was joined by Anthony Davidson for practice and Martin Brundle for qualifying and the race. Fans said at times Crofty became TOO excitable. Martin Brundle was also singled out as a ‘plus point’ while others said he was great. Fans enjoyed Anthony Davidson’s insights and analysis.

The same team will return for 2013.

The Coverage

Viewers said they felt that Sky Sports F1 lacked the “zing” that BBC have, however this could be expected as it has been their first year of broadcasting. They felt that the coverage improved as the season progressed and they started to find their way. Some fans enjoyed the technical features, while others suggested that the coverage appeared very biased at times towards particular teams, but this always seems to be the case with broadcasting of Formula One.

People enjoyed The F1 Show and F1 Legends but felt the same stuff was repeated too much on the channel. There is only so many times you can watch Paul di Resta in a helicopter over Silverstone. Back to the main coverage and fans had mixed views about the SkyPad. Some loved it, some hated it. Others felt that it could be used better, or just ditched completely as at times there seemed to be too much “faffing around”. Fans felt the race build-up contained too much fluff and filler.

McLaren cartoon Tooned was broadcast on Sky and viewers were glad to see that Martin Brundle’s famous grid-walk remained.

Onwards and Upwards?

After a generally good start to their F1 broadcasting, it seems it is only onwards and upwards for Sky Sports F1 in 2013.


Thanks to everyone who contributed their thoughts. If you would like to share your views on the BBC F1 coverage get in touch via Twitter, Facebook, or by emailing

F1 2013: BBC and Sky Guide

As was the case in 2012, Formula One coverage in the UK will be available on Sky and the BBC. Recently both Sky and BBC have been revealing their plans for the season ahead in recent days. BBC have confirmed that Suzi Perry will replace Jake Humphrey presenting their coverage while Sky Sports F1 will have an unchanged presenting line-up. As in 2012, BBC will broadcast just ten races live with Sky Sports F1 showing all 20 races live.

How will it work?

17th March – Australian GP
24th March – Malaysian GP
14th April – Chinese GP
21st April – Bahrain GP
12th May – Spanish GP
26th May – Monaco GP
9th June – Canadian GP
30th June – British GP
7th July – German GP
21st July – TBC (European event)
28th July – Hungarian GP
25th August – Belgian GP
8th September – Italian GP
22nd September – Singapore GP
6th October – Korean GP
13th October – Japanese GP
27th October – Indian GP
3rd November – Abu Dhabi GP
17th November – US GP
24th November – Brazilian GP

The races in bold indicate which races the BBC will broadcast in full while all of the others will be shown as extended highlights. As in 2012 BBC’s first live race will be race three of the season – the Chinese GP – followed by the Spanish GP a month later. Notably, BBC will not show Monaco live this year, instead showing the Canadian GP. As you can see above, there is one spot in the calendar still to be filled by an as yet unconfirmed European event. If this spot is filled then BBC will broadcast it live, and if not then they will be left with nine races.

While only ten (or nine) races will be broadcast live on the BBC, fans can still get full coverage of all 20 races on BBC 5 Live with a live commentary on the BBC F1 website. The rest of the team will be confirmed in “due course”, according to the BBC.

Over on Sky Sport’s F1 their line-up remains unchanged. Simon Lazenby will return to front the coverage along with Georgie Thompson. The pair will be joined by commentators David Croft and Martin Brundle, with Anthony  Davidon also offering his opinions on the action. Johnny Herbert and Damon Hill will be returning as well. Ted Kravitz and Natalie Pinkham will be on hand in the pit-lane to keep viewers up to date as the sessions unfold. Their coverage starts on the 15th February with The F1 Show along with coverage of winter testing.

Keep an eye on The H Duct for build up to the 2013 season. 

Scrutineering Special: Sky Sports F1

Scrutineering has been looking at people, teams, and personnel in motorsport for the past few months, incorporating fan views into posts about Felipe MassaGordon SheddenProfessor Sid Watkins, the Sauber F1 Team and Gary Paffett amongst others. And so, to mark the 25th post, here is the first Scrutineering Special!

At the recent FIA Gala in Istanbul, Sky Sports F1 won “Best TV Broadcast Award for Outstanding Coverage” after their first year of broadcasting Formula One. The award had previously been won by BBC in 2011. But, do you agree with Sky Sports F1 winning in 2012? It’s now time to share your views.

  • What have you thought of the Sky Sports F1 coverage in general?
  • What has been your favourite feature?
  • Have you watched much on the dedicated channel, such as F1 Legends?
  • What have you not enjoyed about the coverage?
  • What do you think about the team who front the coverage?
  • Where have they got it spot on?
  • Where have they gone wrong?
  • What would you like to see in coverage next year?

You can get involved by tweeting me your thoughts @hannahhou/@thehduct or getting involved via The H Duct Facebook Page. You can also email your thoughts to You don’t have to stick to the above questions, they are just a starting point – you can share any view, positive or negative, you have about Sky Sport’s F1 first year of broadcasting Formula One. Your views will be added to a Scrutineering Special about Sky Sport’s F1! Happy sharing!

Scrutineering: Robert Kubica

Robert Kubica is a Polish racing driver who raced in Formula One between 2006 and 2010 (inclusive) before a rally accident in the build up to the 2011 season brought an end to that period. He has since returned to a racing car and recently won the Ronde Gomitolo di Lana, a provincial rally held in Italy. Driving a Subaru Impreza he finished a minute ahead of his nearest rival. This week’s Scrutineering will take a look back at Robert Kubica’s racing career and include some fan views and thoughts!

Pre-Formula One

As is commonplace with the majority of Formula One drivers, Robert Kubica started racing in karts. When he got his first kart he was too young to compete in the Polish Karting Championship but when he eventually did he was hugely successful and won six titles in three years.  He also enjoyed success in the Italian Junior Karting Championship, the European Junior Karting Championship, the Junior Monaco Kart Cup, and the International German Karting Championship, meeting the likes of Lewis Hamilton and Paul di Resta along the way.

After karting he took part in Formula Renault, the Formula Three Euro Series where he finished the season 13th due to a delayed start, and Formula Renault 3.5 – a series which he won. He also took part in the Macau GP where he came second on two occasions.

Formula One (2005 – 2010)

After winning the World Series by Renault championship, Kubica was given a test drive role within the Renault F1 Team in 2005. He moved to BMW Sauber for 2006 as a test driver but, after Jacques Villeneuve was unable to continue, Kubica was promoted to a race seat and impressed on his Formula One racing debut. He completed the final six races of the year and picked up six points. He finished on the podium at the Italian GP and became the first Polish driver to stand on the Formula One podium.

Kubica was retained for 2007 and he had an impressive season, ending the year in sixth place. It was a mixed year for Kubica, and a horror crash in Canada saw him forced to sit out the US GP on medical grounds. It was a true testament to the safety of modern day Formula One cars when he emerged from a crash which saw his feet hanging from the front of his broken car, and many fearing the worst, with nothing more than concussion and a sprained ankle. He had eleven points scoring positions during the year, including a fourth place at his return to racing at the French GP.

2008 saw Kubica challenging for the championship and finishing in fourth place, tied on points with Kimi Räikkönen. He appeared on the podium seven times throughout the year, including taking his first ever win, at the Canadian GP which had proved to be so dramatic for him just a year earlier. He remained with BMW Sauber for 2009 but slipped down the standings to 14th with just 17 points and only one podium – a second at Brazil.

For the 2010 season Kubica made a move to the Renault F1 Team to replace his friend, Ferrari bound Fernando Alonso. He partnered Vitaly Petrov and scored the majority of the team’s 163 points, which saw them finish fifth in the championship. Kubica finished the year in eighth place with a further three podiums to add to his tally. He was due to continue his campaign in 2011, but a pre-season rally accident saw his racing career thrown into doubt.

Formula One Statistics

Poles: 1
Wins: 1
Podiums: 11
Points Finishes: 46/76
Fastest laps: 1


After winning his first rally, as mentioned at the start, Kubica has been linked with a move to the World Rally Championship. He still has problems with the mobility of his arm, meaning he is restricted in what he can race, ruling single seaters out. Hopefully he will be able to continue racing, wherever it may be, as he has demonstrated raw speed and skill, which allowed him to fight with the best in Formula One.

What the fans say and like!

  • It is great to hear he is back in action after his crash – a talent like his would be a shame to be wasted
  • Formula One is worse without him
  • His win at the Canadian GP a year after his crash was very fitting
  • He was the first Polish driver in Formula One
  • His 2006 Italian GP podium
  • Would have definitely been a championship contender


In a slight change to Scrutineering, the next edition will be a special so keep an eye out on Twitter @hannahhou/@thehduct and The H Duct Facebook page for ways to get involved!