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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Williams F1 Team: 600 GP and the Magic Formula

Having started in 1977, the Williams F1 Team will celebrate their 600th race this weekend at the British Grand Prix. What more fitting location than their home race, and also the location of their first race win back in 1979, and their 100th race win 18 years later. They will actually start their 600th race, however, at the German Grand Prix in July. Williams currently have no points, following a difficult start to their 2013 season, however they will be hoping to pick some up this weekend. Here’s a look back at the numbers that make up their ‘magic formula’ and their time in the sport.

9 Constructors Championships

The Williams F1 Team have been constructors champions on nine occasions. The first of these came in 1980 when Alan Jones and Carlos Reutemann joined forces to score 120 points – nearly double their nearest rivals. Both drivers drove again for the team in 1981 and retained the title, with a narrower 34 point margin. Williams then won another back-to-back pair of world championships in 1986 and 1987, with Nigel Mansell, Nelson Piquet and Riccardo Patrese behind the wheel. The team enjoyed another successful period from 1991 to 1998 (inclusive) when they won the championship five times (1992, 1993, 1994, 1996, and 1997), came second twice (1991 and 1995) and third in 1998. 1997 has so far proven to be their last constructors’ championship.

7 Drivers Championships

Along with their nine constructors titles, Williams have enjoyed success in the drivers’ championship as well, winning it seven times. Alan Jones took their first driver championship in 1980 with Keke Rosberg winning it in 1982. In 1987 Nelson Piquet secured his third world championship – his first and only for Williams. Nigel Mansell became Williams’ next world champion in 1992 followed swiftly by Alain Prost in 1993. In 1996 Damon Hill became the second Brit to win the drivers’ championship for the team, while Jacques Villeneuve was their last world championship to date in 1997. All but one of their drivers’ championships came as part of the double, with the team winning the constructors trophy in the same year.

114 race victories

On their way to 16 championships, Williams have won 114 races – the most recent being the 2012 Spanish Grand Prix. Swiss driver Clay Regazzoni took Williams’ first race win when he won their home race – the British Grand Prix – in 1979. Alan Jones then won four of the next five races meaning they won a third of the season. Over the years the team have brought the grand total to 114 victories – their 100th being at the 1997 British Grand Prix, this time won by Jacques Villeneuve. In the past ten years, race victories have dwindled and the team endured a 7 season barren spell between Juan Pablo Montoya’s 2004 Brazilian Grand Prix victory and Pastor Maldonado’s 2012 Spanish Grand Prix success.

127 pole positions

Williams have taken 127 pole positions during their time in Formula One. Their first was secured by Alan Jones at the 1979 British Grand Prix. The race has proved to be a happy hunting ground for the team, giving them their first race win and first pole position. In both 1992 and 1993, Williams had 15 pole positions – the highest amount in one season for them.

297 podiums 

As well as 114 race victories, Williams drivers have stood on the podium 297 times – just three shy for a 50%  podium rate from races entered. In 1992 Williams secured the top two steps of the podium for six out of 16 races, including the first three races. That season Nigel Mansell and Riccardo Patrese had 21 podiums between them, a total they broke in 1993 with 22 podiums. That remains their highest amount of podiums in one season.

36 drivers

From Patrick Neve in 1977 to Pastor Maldonado and Valterri Bottas in 2013, Williams have seen 36 drivers in their cars. Being a British team, they have had a fair share of British drivers including Nigel Mansell, David Coulthard and Jenson Button. In fact, they have had six British drivers in total – the most of any nationality. 18 nationalities have been represented in Williams’ 36 years. Six Brits, five Brazilians, five Germans, three French, two Finnish, Swiss, and Belgian drivers have driven for Williams. Nationalities also include Australian, Argentinean, American, Irish, Italian, Canadian, Colombian, Spanish, Austrian, Japanese and Venezuelan. Nigel Mansell contested seven seasons for Williams – the most of any of their drivers.

6 engine suppliers

Williams have worked with six engine suppliers since the team was established in 1977. Starting off with Ford, Williams have also worked in partnership with Honda, Renault, BMW, Cosworth, and Toyota. They currently use Renault engines but announced a deal with Mercedes last month, as they look ahead to the new era of turbo engines from 2014. In the past ten years, Williams have worked with five different engine suppliers, although some were those they had worked with before.

4 tyre suppliers

When Williams F1 started out in Formula One, they used Goodyear tyres, right up until 1998. They used Bridgestone for two years, before becoming one of the teams to use Michelin during F1’s ‘tyre-war’. From 2006, all teams used Bridgestone tyres, until that deal ended at the end of 2011. Pirelli have been the tyre supplier since the start of the 2012 season and could sign a deal which will see them stay with the sport beyond 2013.

So, there we have it. Obviously this is just a small look at some of the numbers that make up Williams 600 GP. From the small team established by Frank Williams and Patrick Head back in the 1970s, to the team with over 600 employees in 2013, it really has been quite a journey. A journey that Sir Frank Williams still remains very much at the forefront of.  If you take 9 constructors championships + 7 drivers championship + 114 race victories + 127 pole positions + 297 podiums + 36 drivers + 6 engine suppliers + 4 tyre suppliers, what do you get? 9 + 7 + 114 + 127 + 297 + 36 + 6 + 4 = 600 GP, the magic formula.