Hamilton keeps his cool to win British Grand Prix

Lewis Hamilton kept his cool in wet-dry conditions to win his home race at Silverstone.

The British Grand Prix was started behind the safety car due to a downpour just half an hour before the race start. Hamilton started from pole position albeit behind the safety car for five laps.

When drivers were finally released to race a number jumped straight into the pit-lane to switch from the full wets to intermediate tyres. The leaders stayed out with Hamilton leading Nico Rosberg, Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen across the line. Drivers found the conditions tricky as many of them encountered aquaplaning.

Pascal Wehrlein aquaplaned at the first corner and was just a passenger as his car became beached in the gravel. This brought out a virtual safety car, neutralising the field and Hamilton, Rosberg and Verstappen used this opportunity to pit.

Hamilton was in control at the front of the race while Rosberg and Verstappen fought for second place, passing each other a number of times. Rosberg was penalised after the race by ten seconds when his team told him information over the radio about how to deal with a gearbox problem. This is not allowed in the current radio regulations. This promoted Verstappen to second while Rosberg maintained third due to the advantage over fourth.

Ricciardo finished fourth ahead of Kimi Raikkonen and Sergio Perez. Nico Hulkenberg and Carlos Sainz also finished in the points in seventh and eighth respectively. Sebastian Vettel endured a difficult afternoon, finishing down in ninth. After being the first driver to switch to slicks he spun into the first corner. He later picked up a penalty for forcing Felipe Massa off the track. Daniil Kvyat was the tenth and final points finisher.

Massa finished 11th ahead of Jenson Button, Fernando Alonso – who had his own off track excursions – Valtteri Bottas and Felipe Nasr. Esteban Gutierrez was the last finisher while Kevin Magnussen was classified but failed to actually cross the line. Jolyon Palmer, Rio Haryanto, Romain Grosjean, and Marcus Ericsson joined Wehrlein on the sidelines.

 

Hamilton wins in Austria despite Rosberg collision

Lewis Hamilton won the Austrian Grand Prix despite a last lap incident with his team-mate.

It was the British driver who started from pole position with Nico Rosberg starting sixth following a gearbox penalty. Hamilton maintained his lead at the start with Nico Hulkenberg, who also started on the front row, dropping down the order. Jenson Button – starting a season best third for McLaren – slotted into second and was able to keep Kimi Raikkonen behind him for seven laps of the race.

Ferrari were looking strong, having started the race on a different tyre compound to the Mercedes duo. Following pit-stops it was Sebastian Vettel who led but a tyre blow-out on lap 27 put him out of the race. Raikkonen’s own stop had dropped him behind the Red Bull pairing of Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen which compromised his afternoon.

Hamilton lost out to team-mate Rosberg, who pitted first, and from there on in it looked like Rosberg’s race to lose. Having won on the previous two occasions Formula One has visited the Red Bull Ring – since its return to the calendar in 2014 – it looked like the German driver could be making it a hat-trick, despite losing out in qualifying. Hamilton closed the gap and on the last lap it became apparent that he was close enough to make a pass.

The pair collided after Rosberg failed to leave Hamilton enough space – not the first time the two of them have come to blows on the race track. Hamilton emerged unscathed after being forced wide while Rosberg’s front wing came loose. He was subsequently given a ten second penalty and a reprimand for causing a collision and not pitting an unsafe car.

Hamilton continued to win the race while Rosberg limped home in fourth – his penalty not affecting his finishing position. Joining Hamilton on the podium were Verstappen and Raikkonen. Ricciardo finished fifth ahead of McLaren’s Jenson Button who finished a credible sixth having started third. Romain Grosjean returned to points with Haas in seventh ahead of Carlos Sainz and Valtteri Bottas. Pascal Wehrlein picked up his first ever points in Formula One with a tenth place finish – Manor’s first point since Monaco 2014. Sergio Perez had been running in tenth before brake failure caused his retirement in the closing stages of the race.

Joining Perez on the sidelines were team-mate Nico Hulkenberg, Fernando Alonso, Felipe Massa, Daniil Kvyat and Vettel.

The next race is the British Grand Prix which will take place at Silverstone this weekend.

 

Advantage Rosberg as he wins European Grand Prix in Azerbaijan

Having seen his lead slashed to just nine points in the last two races, Nico Rosberg took back the championship advantage with a win at the European Grand Prix.

It was the first race held at the Baku City Circuit in Azerbaijan and it was Rosberg who took pole position before going on to win the race. He was never really challenged at the front and set the fastest lap on the way to his fifth win of the year.

Anticipation was high at the start of the race – as it is at any new circuit – with many expecting at least a safety car. All 22 drivers made it relatively unscathed through the first corner although there was some contact. There were no safety cars throughout the race and the four retirements came as a result of car failures, rather than driver errors.

Behind Rosberg it was Sebastian Vettel who finished second, finishing ahead of Sergio Perez. The Mexican driver had qualified in second but was demoted to seventh following a gearbox change as a result of an accident in free practice. He fought back and pulled off a late move on Kimi Raikkonen to secure his second podium of the season.

Raikkonen had picked up a five second penalty during the race due to crossing the white line on the entrance to the pit-lane. He had been running in third but without a five second gap to Perez in fourth, he would have dropped behind the Force India anyway. Lewis Hamilton finished in fifth having spent a lot of the race on the radio to his engineer complaining about a problem. Due to the radio bans – which restrict engineers from specifically telling their driver what to do – Hamilton was unable to fix the issue, and it eventually resolved itself. It was a day of damage limitation as he had started tenth following a qualifying crash.

Behind Hamilton, Valtteri Bottas was the leading Williams home ahead of Daniel Ricciardo, Max Verstappen and Nico Hulkenberg. Felipe Massa picked up the final point by finishing in tenth.

Jenson Button was just outside the points in eleventh with team-mate – and European Grand Prix ambassador – Fernando Alonso retiring with nine laps remaining. Felipe Nasr finished in twelfth ahead of Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen, who had started from the pit-lane. Jolyon Palmer, Esteban Gutierrez, Marcus Ericsson and Rio Haryanto were the remaining race finishers.

Joining Alonso on the sidelines was Pascal Wehrlein who retired his Manor with brake issues. Both Toro Rossos endured suspension issues and were forced to retire – Daniil Kvyat in the first ten laps and Carlos Sainz after 30.

The result means Rosberg now has a 24 point lead over Hamilton as they head to Austria where Rosberg has won the last two races.

Hamilton’s fifth Canadian GP victory edges him closer to Rosberg

Lewis Hamilton has won the Canadian Grand Prix for a fifth time, beating Sebastian Vettel and Valtteri Bottas to the chequered flag.

Having qualified on pole position, Hamilton lined up on the front row of the grid alongside team-mate and championship leader Nico Rosberg. When the lights went out it was Vettel in the Ferrari who got the best start, however. The Ferrari driver darted around the outside of Hamilton who then was forced to fend off a challenge from Rosberg.

Rosberg was forced wide at the first corner and dropped down the order compromising his race. Vettel enjoyed a brief lead before pitting on lap 11 during a Virtual Safety Car period, putting on the Supersoft tyres. This committed him to at least a two stop as the Soft compound tyre was mandatory during the race and he had started on the Ultrasoft compound.

Hamilton stayed out but it was advantage Vettel as with fresher tyres he started to bring the gap at the front down. He locked up a number of times, however, struggling to get the tyres working as conditions were not ideal. After the race Vettel jokingly complained about the wildlife, in particular about two ‘seagulls’ who caught his attention causing him to lock-up at turn one.

The German was unable to close the gap to Hamilton and it was the Mercedes driver who crossed the line first for his fifth Canadian Grand Prix victory. Vettel finished five seconds down but well clear of Bottas in third – giving Williams their first podium of the year.

Max Verstappen held off Rosberg to finish fourth with the latter getting himself into a spin on the final lap of the race at the final chicane. This came after he had been forced to make a late stop due to a slow puncture, further compounding his difficult race. Kimi Raikkonen was a quiet sixth ahead of Daniel Ricciardo and Nico Hulkenberg. Carlos Sainz put in an impressive drive to rise from 20th on the grid to finish ninth with Sergio Perez getting the final point.

Fernando Alonso finished 11th for McLaren on a day that saw his team-mate’s race come to a smoky end. Jenson Button managed just nine laps before he was forced to pull over with flames coming from his car. Daniil Kvyat was 12th ahead of the twice lapped cars of Esteban Gutierrez, Romain Grosjean, Marcus Ericsson, Kevin Magnussen, Pascal Wehrlein, Felipe Nasr, and Rio Haryanto.

Felipe Massa had been the only driver to finish in the points at every race so far this year but that came to an end when he retired with Power Unit issues. Jolyon Palmer also retired.

The result means Hamilton is now just nine points behind Rosberg in the championship standings with Vettel slotting into third. The next race is this weekend’s European Grand Prix at the Baku Circuit in Azerbaijan.

Monaco win reignites Lewis Hamilton’s championship

Following four wins by his team-mate Nico Rosberg and a DNF in Spain, Lewis Hamilton got his 2016 championship hopes back on track with a victory in Monaco.

Pole position went to Daniel Ricciardo on Saturday while Rosberg joined him on the front row of the grid. Hamilton had to settle for third with Sebastian Vettel joining him on the second row. On Sunday there was a safety car start due to heavy rain earlier in the day creating a very wet track. There were seven laps behind the safety car before racing could commence in anger.

As Ricciardo pulled away, Rosberg struggled with his car – brake problems being the official line – before he was asked by Mercedes to allow Hamilton through. The championship leader complied with his team’s request and Hamilton soon set off after Ricciardo. When the track conditions changed Ricciardo pitted for intermediates while Mercedes kept Hamilton out on track so that when he pitted it would be for slick tyres.

When Hamilton eventually pitted for the ultrasoft compound tyres, Red Bull pitted Ricciardo for the supersoft tyres to cover him off. Ricciardo was left waiting, however, when the tyres were not ready for his stop – costing him a lot of time. He rejoined the track just behind Hamilton and despite some pressure and getting close to passing, he eventually dropped off and finished seven seconds back.

Elsewhere there were a number of dramatic moments for other drivers. Jolyon Palmer crashed into the barriers into Ste. Devote when the safety car came in at the start, causing a Virtual Safety Car period. He lost it on the slippery white lines on the pit straight and was a passenger as he hit the barriers. Team-mate Kevin Magnussen also crashed, although later on in the race. He first of all was hit by Daniil Kvyat before the Dane ended up in the barriers himself.

Felipe Nasr defied team orders to allow his team-mate through, resulting in Marcus Ericsson attempting a move at Rascasse. The move failed and both drivers ended up in the barrier. The both managed to get going again however both ultimately retired. Ericsson has a three place grid drop for Canada.

Other retirements were Daniil Kvyat, Kimi Raikkonen and Max Verstappen. Raikkonen lost his front wing and attempted to drive back to the pits but had to pull over on track due to the front wing getting lodged under his front tyres. Verstappen had his third accident of the weekend – following practice and qualifying incidents – ending his race early, a real case of hero to zero following his Spanish Grand Prix victory.

Behind the top two finishers Sergio Perez completed a strong race to finish in third place, holding off Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel. Fernando Alonso finished in fifth place for McLaren – their best finish so far this year – with Nico Hulkenberg sixth and Rosberg seventh. Carlos Sainz finished in eighth place ahead of Jenson Button in ninth and Felipe Massa tenth.

The result has seen Hamilton close to within 24 points of his team-mate with Ricciardo now third. The Ferrari duo are now just separated by a point in fourth and fifth place – Raikkonen ahead of Vettel.

 

Max Verstappen makes history with first Grand Prix victory

Max Verstappen became the youngest ever winner in Formula One history when he crossed the line first at last weekend’s Spanish Grand Prix.

The 18 year old – who only swapped to Red Bull Racing from Toro Rosso in the lead up to Spain – held off Kimi Raikkonen to secure his first victory in the sport. Raikkonen, who has also raced against Max’s dad Jos Verstappen, is the oldest driver on the grid and led Ferrari’s charge on the day.

Sebastian Vettel joined Verstappen and Raikkonen on the podium on a day which saw Ferrari take over 30 points over Mercedes championship lead. The Mercedes duo, who had started first and second, made contact at the fourth corner resulting in them both retiring from the race. It was deemed to be a racing incident by the stewards with blame being apportioned to both drivers, rather than one in particular.

This left the door open for a fight for the lead which was contested by four drivers throughout the race – both Red Bull drivers and both Ferrari drivers. There was a mix in strategies as Verstappen and Raikkonen made a two stop work and held on on older tyres at the end. Vettel and Ricciardo on the other hand went for three stops which left them unable to close the gap to their team-mates.

Thankfully for Ricciardo they had built up enough of a gap to Valtteri Bottas in fifth, meaning he was able to pit following a puncture in the closing stages of the race.

On a day when his former team-mate was vindicating the early team switch, Carlos Sainz also impressed with a sixth place finish. He had run third in the opening stages of the race as well entertaining his fans at his home race. Sergio Perez picked up more points for Force India ahead of Felipe Massa and Jenson Button. Daniil Kvyat set the fastest lap of the race on his way to tenth on his first race back at Toro Rosso.

Outside the top ten were Esteban Gutierrez and Jolyon Palmer with Felipe Nasr 14th. Kevin Magnussen was penalised ten seconds after forcing his team-mate off the track on the final lap. Pascal Wehrlein and Rio Haryanto were the final two classified finishers.

Romain Grosjean was just one of five retirements, while a software issue brought Fernando Alonso’s home race to a disappointing end. Nico Hulkenberg pulled off at the side of the track with a smoking car. The Mercedes duo were the first two retirements and their incident brought out an early safety car.

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.