A Review of the Year: F1 – June, July & August

Part three of a review of the year (2013) in Formula One, following part one (January & February) and part two (March, April & May).

June 2013

Paul di Resta, Fernando Alonso and Mark Webber topped the three practice sessions prior to qualifying at the Canadian Grand Prix. Sebastian Vettel secured pole position ahead of Lewis Hamilton and an impressive Valtteri Bottas. Vettel went on to win the race.

Force India celebrated 100 GP at the Canadian Grand Prix.

A marshal was tragically killed after falling in front of a recovery truck picking up a stricken Sauber after the race.

Sebastian Vettel put an end to the increasing speculation that he would be moving to Ferrari in 2014. He signed a contract extension that will see him stay at Red Bull until the end of 2015 at least.

A date was set by the FIA’s International Tribunal for the case against Mercedes and Pirelli. Mercedes said: “We welcome the opportunity to explain the full facts of the Pirelli test in an open and transparent manner at the International Tribunal”. The hearing took place on June 20th.

The results of the International Tribunal saw Mercedes banned from the Young Driver Test and reprimanded, sharing the costs of the trial with Pirelli. The full findings can be found here.

The first driver to win a Formula One world championship race for Ferrari, Jose Froilan Gonzalez, passed away aged 90.

Lotus announced that they had sold 35% of the team to an investment company – Infinity Racing Partners Limited.

Renault revealed images of their 2014 Formula One engine. They also revealed that it was called Energy F1-2014.

Christian Horner received an OBE in the Queen’s birthday honours list.

Williams chose the British Grand Prix, the location of their first race win and their 100th race win, as the location of their celebrations for their 600th Grand Prix. Their actual 600th start was at the German Grand Prix in July.

Perhaps the biggest news of June, however, was Mark Webber’s announcement that he would be retiring from the sport at the end of 2013. Rumours had been rife surrounding his future and he announced at the end of June that he would be leaving Formula One and joining Porsche’s sportscar team in the World Endurance Championship.

Daniel Ricciardo and Nico Rosberg topped the first three practice sessions at the British Grand Prix. Lewis Hamilton took pole position but it was Rosberg who won the race. Mark Webber and Fernando Alonso both also finished on the podium.

July 2013

At the start of July Pirelli announced that Kevlar-belted tyres would be used at the German Grand Prix, with a new compound being introduced from the Hungarian Grand Prix onwards.

Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel topped practice ahead of qualifying for the German Grand Prix. Hamilton took pole position but Vettel won the race – his first race win in the month of July and his first home Grand Prix victory.

A FOM camera man was injured in the pit-lane after being hit by a loose wheel. As a consequence, the FIA put further safety measures in place to ensure the incident did not happen again.

The Young Driver test was expanded to include regular race drivers following the fall out from Mercedes’ ‘secret’ Pirelli test. Carlos Sainz Jr was the fastest ‘young driver’, behind Sebastian Vettel and Daniel Ricciardo.

Daniel Ricciardo tested for Red Bull at the Young Driver Test as they continued to assess drivers to replace Mark Webber.

Honda revealed that they would be making Milton Keynes their base for their European racing operation.

Marussia revealed that they would be using Ferrari engines from 2014 onwards. The partnership means that their three year relationship with Cosworth will be coming to an end.

Williams announced that Pat Symonds would be joining the team as their new chief technical officer.

In other technical news, Ferrari confirmed speculation that James Allison was returning to the team. His arrival at the start of September would see him take on the title of chassis technical director.

Sebastian Vettel topped the first two practice sessions for the Hungarian Grand Prix. Romain Grosjean was fastest in FP3 but it was Lewis Hamilton who secured pole position. He went on to win the race – his first victory for Mercedes – with Kimi Raikkonen securing second and Vettel third.

Adrian Sutil celebrated his 100th Grand Prix at the Hungarian Grand Prix.

The Hungarian Grand Prix was the last race of 2013 won by someone other than Sebastian Vettel.

August 2013

August saw teams take the mandatory two week summer break with factories shutting down.

During the summer break Kimi Raikkonen took part in a GP3 test for his friend Afa Heikkinen, team manager of Koiranen GP. He told the GP3 website: “I was curious to see how the car handled and it was actually fun to drive.”

David Ward announced that he would be standing in the FIA Presidential election. He formerly held the position of Director General of the FIA Foundation.

Here is how the season looked in numbers at the half-way stage.

Fernando Alonso and Sebastian Vettel topped the practice sessions when racing resumed in Belgium after a month’s break. Lewis Hamilton denied Vettel another pole position but Vettel took the race win, starting his dominating string of nine victories in a row.

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Adrian Sutil: 100 GP and the Magic Formula

At this weekend’s Hungarian Grand Prix, Force India driver Adrian Sutil will celebrate his 100th race. Having made his Formula One debut in 2007, Sutil has completed all of his career so far with a team based at Silverstone – progressing from Midland’s test driver to Spyker’s race driver and remaining with the team as they became Force India. Here we look at some of the numbers that make up Sutil’s magic formula.

6 seasons

Adrian Sutil made his Formula One debut in 2007 alongside Heikki Kovalainen, Robert Kubica, Anthony Davidson and Lewis Hamilton. He had a year out of the sport in 2012 but fought off competition from Jules Bianchi to return to the sport with Force India in 2013. He is therefore in the middle of his sixth season and currently lies 11th in the championship.

6 team-mates

During his time in Formula One Sutil has had six different team-mates, however this has not been one a season. In 2007 Sutil in fact had three different team-mates: Christian Albers (races 1 to 9), Marcus Winkelhock (race 10, which he led briefly), and Sakon Yamamoto (races 11 to 17). Sutil scored the team’s first and only point at the Italian Grand Prix. While racing for Force India, Sutil has partnered Giancarlo Fisichella (2008/2009), Vitantonio Liuzzi (2009/2010) and Paul di Resta (2011/2013).

11 times per season

This is the average number of times Sutil out-qualifies his team-mate per season, excluding 2013. His best qualifying record against a team-mate (or team-mates) was in 2007 when he out-qualified his three team-mates a total of 15 times out of 17. In 2010 he was ahead 16 times from 19 races while in 2009 it was 10 times out of 17 races. He currently lags behind di Resta 3 – 6, however, so far in 2013.

34% of his finishes are in the points

Sutil has 69 classified race finishes to his name, 24 of which were in the points. It is worth bearing in mind that Spyker were not a regular points scoring team (they scored just once, as mentioned above) and Force India took a while to start scoring consistently.

24 points finishes

As mentioned above, 24 of Sutil’s classified finishes were in the points. Sutil scored nine times in 2010 and 2011. He has finished four out of nine races in the points so far in 2013. Two of his points finishes were under the old points system when points were awarded down to eighth place. In terms of top five positions, Sutil has finished there four times.

15th is average championship position

Over the course of five full seasons, Sutil’s highest championship position has been ninth (in 2011). In his first season he finished 19th, dropping to 20th in 2008. He progressed to 17th in 2009 before achieving 11th in 2010. He currently lies 11th in this year’s championship.

1 team …essentially

Sutil has essentially spent his entire F1 career (to date) with one team, although the ownership has changed hands a few times. He started off as Midland F1’s test driver and, when the team was bought by Spyker, he was updated to race driver for 2007. The team once again was sold and from 2009 onwards has been known as Force India. The team have continued to grow year on year, with both Sutil and di Resta running strongly at the front of the midfield in 2013.

3 test driver appearances

In 2006, when Sutil was one of Midland’s third drivers, he made three test driver appearances in Friday practice and these were at the European, French and Japanese Grand Prix.

So, there we have it.  6 seasons + 6 team-mates + 11 times per season + 34% points finishes + 24 points finishes + 15th average championship position + 1 team + 3 test driver appearances = 100 GP.

Force India recently celebrated a milestone of their own, reaching 100GP.