2017: Australian GP Round-Up

Free Practice 1

  1. Lewis Hamilton – Mercedes – 1:24.220
  2. Valtteri Bottas – Mercedes – 1:24.803 – +0.583
  3. Daniel Ricciardo – Red Bull – 1:24.886 – +0.666
  4. Max Verstappen – Red Bull – 1:25.246 – +1.026
  5. Kimi Raikkonen – Ferrari – 1:25.372 – +1.152
  6. Sebastian Vettel – Ferrari – 1:25.464 – +1.244
  7. Felipe Massa – Williams – 1:26.142 – +1.922
  8. Romain Grosjean – Haas – 1:26.168 – +1.948
  9. Nico Hulkenberg – Renault – 1:26.183 – +1.963
  10. Sergio Perez – Force India – 1:26.276 – +2.056

Lewis Hamilton was the fastest in the opening practice session of 2017, beating new team-mate Valtteri Bottas by half a second. Daniel Ricciardo was third for Red Bull. Mercedes were the only team to use the Ultrasoft tyres.

Free Practice 2

  1. Lewis Hamilton – Mercedes – 1:23.620
  2. Sebastian Vettel – Ferrari – 1:24.167 – +0.547
  3. Valtteri Bottas – Mercedes – 1:24.176 – +0.556
  4. Kimi Raikkonen – Ferrari – 1:24.525 – +0.905
  5. Daniel Ricciardo – Red Bull – 1:24.650 – +1.030
  6. Max Verstappen – Red Bull – 1:25.013 – +1.393
  7. Carlos Sainz – Toro Rosso – 1:25.084 – +1.464
  8. Romain Grosjean – Haas – 1:25.436 – +1.816
  9. Nico Hulkenberg – Renault – 1:25.478 – +1.858
  10. Daniil Kvyat – Toro Rosso – 1:25.493 – +1.873

Lewis Hamilton maintained his five tenths advantage but this time it was Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel in second. Valtteri Bottas ended the session in third. Jolyon Palmer brought out red flags by crashing at the final corner in the first half of the session. Marcus Ericsson and Max Verstappen also had off track excursions while Felipe Massa’s Williams stopped out on track.

Free Practice 3

  1. Sebastian Vettel – Ferrari – 1:23.380
  2. Valtteri Bottas – Mercedes – 1:23.859 – +0.479
  3. Lewis Hamilton – Mercedes – 1:23.870 – +0.490
  4. Kimi Raikkonen – Ferrari – 1:23.988 – +0.608
  5. Nico Hulkenberg – Renault – 1:25.063 – +1.683
  6. Daniel Ricciardo – Red Bull – 1:25.092 – +1.712
  7. Romain Grosjean – Haas – 1:25.581 – +2.201
  8. Carlos Sainz – Toro Rosso – 1:25.948 – +2.568
  9. Daniil Kvyat – Toro Rosso – 1:26.049 – +2.669
  10. Kevin Magnussen – Haas – 1:26.138 – +2.758

Sebastian Vettel seized the advantage in the third and final practice session. The Ferrari driver broke the lap record, going four tenths faster than Valtteri Bottas. Antonio Giovinazzi was a last minute replacement at Sauber with Pascal Wehrlein withdrawing from the remainder of the weekend.

Qualifying

  1. Lewis Hamilton – Mercedes – 1:22.188
  2. Sebastian Vettel – Ferrari – 1:22.456
  3. Valtteri Bottas – Mercedes – 1:22.481
  4. Kimi Raikkonen – Ferrari – 1:23.033
  5. Max Verstappen – Red Bull – 1:23.485
  6. Romain Grosjean – Haas – 1:24.074
  7. Felipe Massa – Williams – 1:24.443
  8. Carlos Sainz – Toro Rosso – 1:24.487
  9. Daniil Kvyat – Toro Rosso – 1:24.512
  10. Daniel Ricciardo – Red Bull – No Time Set

Lewis Hamilton secured the first pole position of the season with a lap-time nearly three tenths faster than Sebastian Vettel. Antonio Giovinazzi, Kevin Magnussen, Stoffel Vandoorne, Lance Stroll and Jolyon Palmer dropped out in Q1 – from 16th to 20th respectively. Sergio Perez narrowly missed out on a spot in Q3 out-qualifying former team-mate Nico Hulkenberg, Fernando Alonso, Esteban Ocon and Marcus Ericsson. There was disappointment for local hero Daniel Ricciardo in Q3 who crashed out leading to a subsequent five place grid penalty for a new gearbox. Hamilton was fastest having already secured provisional pole. Vettel, Valtteri Bottas, Kimi Raikkonen, Max Verstappen, Romain Grosjean, Felipe Massa, Carlos Sainz, and Daniil Kvyat rounded out the top ten.

The Race

  1. Sebastian Vettel
  2. Lewis Hamilton
  3. Valtteri Bottas
  4. Kimi Raikkonen
  5. Max Verstappen
  6. Felipe Massa
  7. Sergio Perez
  8. Carlos Sainz
  9. Daniil Kvyat
  10. Esteban Ocon
  11. Nico Hulkenberg
  12. Antonio Giovinazzi
  13. Stoffel Vandoorne

Sebastian Vettel took his first victory since 2015, beating pole sitter Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes’ new recruit Valtteri Bottas. Hamilton kept in front when the lights went out but was unable to drop Vettel. It was the Ferrari driver who took the lead when he stayed out longer before making his first pit stop. Eventually Vettel’s advantage was nine seconds as he crossed the line to win with Mercedes unable to fight back. Hamilton finished second ahead of Bottas who had a late charge. Kimi Raikkonen was a distant fourth for Ferrari with Max Verstappen fifth and Felipe Massa sixth. Massa was the last of the unlapped runners with Sergio Perez, Carlos Sainz, and Daniil Kvyat seventh, eighth and ninth respectively. Esteban Ocon was the tenth and final points scorer.

Nico Hulkenberg finished 11th ahead of Antonio Giovinazzi and Stoffel Vandoorne who was the last finisher. Fernando Alonso retired with suspension issues on the 50th lap having run in a points paying position for a lot of the race in tenth. Kevin Magnussen retired having had an eventful race which started with a collision with Marcus Ericsson. Lance Stroll’s F1 debut came to a premature end after 40 laps with Daniel Ricciardo also retiring having started the race from the pit-lane a couple of laps down. Marcus Ericsson, Jolyon Palmer, and Romain Grosjean also retired.

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Fernando Alonso provisionally cleared to race in China subject to conditions

Fernando Alonso has been given the go ahead by the FIA to participate in this weekend’s Chinese Grand Prix.

Question marks had been raised over whether or not the Spaniard would be allowed to race following being made to sit out the Bahrain Grand Prix. The FIA deemed he was not fit to race following the injuries he picked up in his heavy Austrailian Grand Prix crash.

A statement released by the FIA states that Alonso may participate in FP1 but must then undergo further examinations following that session. This will then determine whether or not he can continue with the remainder of the weekend.

 

F1 2016: Bahrain Grand Prix Preview

 

Following business as usual for Mercedes with a 1-2 finish in Australia, it’s time for the second race of the season – the Bahrain Grand Prix.

While the results for Australia may look very similar – two Mercedes and a Ferrari driver on the podium – the story behind it is very different. Ferrari got the jump on Mercedes after an aborted start and Sebastian Vettel looked strong for the win before a red flag and a wrong strategy call put paid to that. Kimi Raikkonen in the second Ferrari suffered an airbox fire, leading to his retirement from the race.

Circuit: Bahrain International Circuit
Number of Laps: 57
Circuit Length: 5.412km
Number of Corners: 15
Lap Record: 1:31.447 Pedro de la Rosa (2005)
Previous Bahrain winners still on the grid: 5
Most Successful Team: Ferrari (4 wins)
DRS Zones: 2
Pirelli Tyres: Medium, Soft and Supersoft

The big news going into the weekend is that the most successful driver at the Bahrain Grand Prix, Fernando Alonso, will not be on the grid. The McLaren driver suffered a heavy crash at the Australian Grand Prix and is still feeling the effects. After an FIA medical check-up he has been forced to sit out the weekend due to broken ribs. This means that GP2 champion Stoffel Vandoorne will get his Formula One debut earlier than expected, fulfilling his reserve driver role with McLaren.

While the Australian Grand Prix takes place on a street circuit, the Sakhir circuit is purpose built and in the middle of a desert. Due to the start/stop nature of the track, there is a heavy impact on the brakes. The Power Units will also face higher stress than they experienced at the previous race.

Nico Rosberg comes into the event off the back of another victory and will be going for his eighth in a row. Ferrari are the most successful constructor at the race and will no doubt be hoping to repeat their success of the last race, before the red flag came out. Daniel Ricciardo came home fourth behind the leading trio, ahead of Felipe Massa and points for Haas on their debut. While Romain Grosjean was overjoyed, his team-mate didn’t enjoy such success. Esteban Gutierrez was involved in the racing incident which saw Alonso retire in spectacular fashion.

Rounding out the top ten in Australia were Nico Hulkenberg, Valtteri Bottas, Carlos Sainz and Max Verstappen. Verstappen showed his frustration at getting caught up behind his team-mate so Toro Rosso could have an interesting weekend ahead in terms of driver management. Outside the top ten were the Renault duo with Jolyon Palmer ahead of Kevin Magnussen, although the latter did have to recover from a first lap puncture. McLaren duo Jenson Button and Alonso did feel positive about their pace following practice and qualifying, but strategy left Button down in 14th.

 

Nico Rosberg wins action packed Australian Grand Prix

The more things change the more they stay the same. You’d be forgiven for thinking that not much had changed in Formula One if you looked at the results of the 2016 Australian Grand Prix without knowing the story behind them.

Another Mercedes 1-2 finish with Sebastian Vettel once again on the podium for Ferrari at the end of the race, but when the lights went out it was a much different story. Lewis Hamilton set the headline times in practice and took pole position in a maligned qualifying session – the 50th of his career. The talking point prior to the race weekend was the new elimination style qualifying session that would see cars eliminated throughout the three sessions, rather than a number being put out at the end of each.

That was the plan anyway. Instead it turned into a clock watching exercise with many drivers climbing out of their cars before they had formally been eliminated. Hamilton had pole position wrapped up and was out of his car with three minutes of the session remaining, such was the scale of the ridiculousness of the new system. It was 1 – 0 Hamilton over team-mate Nico Rosberg but it was to be a different story on Sunday.

Daniil Kvyat’s car broke down following the warm up lap meaning just 21 cars took the start of the race. Better numbers than last year, however, when just 15 actually managed to make the lights going out. When the race did get started it wasn’t the Mercedes duo – who had locked out the front row – who led by the end of the first lap.

Vettel swept into the early lead with team-mate Kimi Raikkonen taking up second spot. Rosberg and Hamilton lost out, with Hamilton dropped right down the order to seventh in the early phases of the race. Ferrari started to pull away and with the first stop of pit-stops out of the way it looked like Vettel would be hard to beat. A red flag gave the advantage back to Mercedes who were able to gain back lost time.

The red flag was brought out following a “racing incident” between Fernando Alonso and Esteban Gutierrez. Deemed a racing incident by the FIA and both drivers involved, it was a big impact with very little being left of the McLaren when it eventually came to a halt beside the barriers after being sent airborne. Thankfully both drivers emerged from their cars unaided and waving to the crowds. There was a brief delay as the debris was cleared up before racing resumed.

While both Mercedes had the medium tyres on after the stoppage, Vettel chose to continue on his set of supersofts. This meant he would have to pit again for tyres while the Mercedes duo would not. The main question was now could Vettel pull out enough of a gap to allow him a free pit-stop?

The answer was no. Rosberg took over the lead of the race as Vettel pitted and came out in fourth. He passed home favourite Daniel Ricciardo before chasing down on Hamilton. An uncharacteristic Vettel error on the penultimate lap – when the gap was down to less than a second – meant that he eventually finished in third.

Behind the trio Ricciardo came home in fourth – setting the fastest lap on his way – ahead of Williams’ Felipe Massa. An overjoyed Romain Grosjean was sixth, taking points on new team Haas’ debut, with Nico Hulkenberg seventh and Valtteri Bottas eighth. The Toro Rosso duo of Carlos Sainz and Max Verstappen finished ninth and tenth respectively although their inter-team battle was not without fireworks.

As they got caught up behind a string of cars, Verstappen was busy on the radio telling the team that he should be in front of his team-mate. His engineer gave him the OK to overtake Sainz but it was clear he would have to do it on his own as the Spaniard would not be pulling over willingly. After many laps of squabbling and angry radio messages from Verstappen, the pair eventually touched with both lucky to escape with only very minor damage and able to continue to the end.

Jolyon Palmer was just outside the points in eleventh ahead of his team-mate who picked up a first lap puncture and ended up a lap down. Kevin Magnussen was able to recover this following the red flag period. Sergio Perez was a quiet 13th with Jenson Button 14th following poor tyre strategy. Felipe Nasr and Pascal Wehrlein were 15th and 16th respectively.

Elsewhere Raikkonen retired with an airbox fire, while rookie driver Rio Haryanto failed to take the restart after the red flag due to an issue with his car.

 

F1 2016: Australian GP Qualifying Times & Laps

Times

  1. Lewis Hamilton – Mercedes – 1:23.837
  2. Nico Rosberg – Mercedes – 1:24.197
  3. Sebastian Vettel –  Ferrari – 1:24.675
  4. Kimi Raikkonen – Ferrari – 1:25.033
  5. Max Verstappen – Toro Rosso – 1:25.434
  6. Felipe Massa – Williams – 1:25.458
  7. Carlos  Sainz – Toro Rosso – 1:25.582
  8. Daniel Ricciardo – Red Bull – 1:25.589
  9. Sergio Perez – Force India – 1:25.753
  10. Nico Hulkenberg – Force India – 1:25.865
  11. Valtteri Bottas – Williams – 1:25.961
  12. Fernando Alonso – McLaren – 1:26.125
  13. Jenson Button –  McLaren – 1:26.304
  14. Jolyon Palmer – Renault – 1:27.601
  15. Kevin Magnussen – Renault – 1:27.742
  16. Marcus Ericsson – Sauber – 1:27.435
  17. Felipe Nasr – Sauber – 1:27.958
  18. Daniil Kvyat – Red Bull – 1:28.006
  19. Romain Grosjean – Haas – 1:28.322
  20. Esteban Gutierrez – Haas – 1:29.606
  21. Rio Haryanto – Manor – 1:29.627
  22. Pascal Wehrlein – Manor – 1:29.642

Laps

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

F1 2016: Australian GP: FP1 Times & Laps

Free Practice 1

Wet changeable conditions – slick and wet weather tyres used.

Lap Times

Drivers

  1. Lewis Hamilton – Mercedes – 1:29.725
  2. Daniil Kvyat – Red Bull – 1:30.146 – +0.421
  3. Daniel Ricciardo –  Red Bull – 1:30.875 – +1.150
  4. Nico Hulkenberg – Force India – 1:31.325 – +1.600
  5. Max Verstappen – Toro Rosso – 1:31.720 – +1.995
  6. Nico Rosberg – Mercedes – 1:31.814 – +2.089
  7. Fernando Alonso – McLaren – 1:33.060 – +3.335
  8. Jenson Button – McLaren – 1:33.129 – +3.404
  9. Sergio Perez – Force  India – 1:33.370 – +3.645
  10. Kevin Magnussen – Renault – 1:34.060 – +4.335
  11. Valtteri Bottas – Williams – 1:34.550 – +4.825
  12. Felipe Massa – Williams – 1:34.679 – +4.954
  13. Felipe Nasr – Sauber – 1:34.796 – +5.071
  14. Jolyon Palmer – Renault – 1:35.477 – +5.752
  15. Marcus Ericsson – Sauber – 1:37.956 – +8.231
  16. Pascal Wehrlein – Manor – 1:40.401 – +10.676
  17. Kimi Raikkonen – Ferrari – 1:40.754 – +11.029
  18. Esteban Gutierrez – Haas – 1:41.780 – +12.055
  19. Rio Haryanto – Manor – 1:43.372 – +13.647
  20. Romain Grosjean – Haas – 1:43.443 – +13.718
  21. Sebastian Vettel –  Ferrari – No Time Set
  22. Carlos Sainz – Toro Rosso – No Time Set

Teams

  1. Mercedes – 1:29.725
  2. Red Bull – 1:30.146 – +0.421
  3. Force India – 1:31.325 – +1.600
  4. Toro Rosso – 1:31.720 – +1.995
  5. McLaren – 1:33.060 – +3.335
  6. Renault – 1:34.060 – +4.335
  7. Williams – 1:34.550 – +4.825
  8. Sauber – 1:34.796 – +5.071
  9. Manor – 1:40.401 – +10.676
  10. Ferrari – 1:40.754 – +11.029
  11. Haas – 1:41.780 – +12.055

Laps

Drivers

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

Teams

  1. McLaren – 27
  2. Red Bull – 27
  3. Mercedes – 25
  4. Renault – 25
  5. Ferrari – 18
  6. Toro Rosso – 17
  7. Force India – 14
  8. Haas – 14
  9. Sauber – 13
  10. Manor – 13
  11. Williams – 12

F1 2016: Australian GP: FP2 Times & Laps

Free Practice 2

Lap Times

Drivers

  1. Lewis Hamilton – Mercedes – 1:38.841
  2. Nico Hulkenberg – Force India – 1:39.308 – +0.467
  3. Kimi Raikkonen – Ferrari – 1:39.486 – +0.645
  4. Daniel  Ricciardo – Red Bull – 1:39.535 – +0.694
  5. Carlos Sainz – Toro Rosso – 1:39.694 – +0.853
  6. Fernando Alonso – McLaren – 1:39.895 – +1.054
  7. Jenson Button – McLaren – 1:40.008 – +1.167
  8. Sebastian Vettel – Ferrari – 1:40.761 – +1.920
  9. Sergio  Perez – Force India – 1:41.256 – +2.415
  10. Daniil Kvyat – Red Bull – 1:42.411 – +3.570
  11. Esteban  Gutierrez – Haas – 1:42.891 – +4.050
  12. Pascal Wehrlein – Manor – 1:43.401 – +4.560
  13. Romain Grosjean – Haas – 1:43.731 – +4.890
  14. Rio Haryanto – Manor – 1:44.304 – +5.463
  15. Nico Rosberg – Mercedes – 1:47.356 – +8.515
  16. Kevin Magnussen – Renault – No Time Set
  17. Jolyon Palmer – Renault – No Time Set
  18. Felipe Massa – Williams – No Time Set
  19. Valtteri Bottas  – Williams –  No  Time Set
  20. Marcus Ericsson – Sauber – No Time Set
  21. Felipe Nasr – Sauber – No Time Set
  22. Max Verstappen – Toro Rosso – No Time Sset

Teams

  1. Mercedes – 1:38.841
  2. Force India – 1:39.308 – +0.467
  3. Ferrari – 1:39.486 – +0.645
  4. Red Bull – 1:39.535 – +0.694
  5. Toro Rosso – 1:39.694 – +0.853
  6. McLaren – 1:39.895 – +1.054
  7. Haas – 1:43.731 – +4.050
  8. Manor – 1:43.401 – +4.560
  9. Renault – No Time Set
  10. Williams – No Time Set
  11. Sauber – No Time Set

Laps

Drivers

  1. Pascal Wehrlein – Manor – 24
  2. Rio Haryanto – Manor – 22
  3. Carlos Sainz – Toro Rosso – 16
  4. Fernando Alonso – McLaren – 16
  5. Jenson Button – McLaren – 13
  6. Daniil Kvyat – Red Bull – 10
  7. Esteban Gutierrez – Haas – 10
  8. Daniel Ricciardo – Red Bull – 9
  9. Nico Hulkenberg – Force India – 8
  10. Sergio Perez – Force India – 8
  11. Romain Grosjean – Haas – 8
  12. Kimi Raikkonen – Ferrari – 7
  13. Sebastian Vettel – Ferrari – 7
  14. Lewis Hamilton – Mercedes – 6
  15. Jolyon Palmer – Renault – 5
  16. Nico Rosberg – Mercedes – 4
  17. Kevin Magnussen – Renault – 2
  18. Felipe Massa – Williams – 2
  19. Valtteri Bottas – Williams – 2
  20. Marcus Ericsson – Sauber – 0
  21. Felipe Nasr – Sauber – 0
  22. Max Verstappen – Toro Rosso – 0

Teams

  1. Manor – 46
  2. McLaren – 29
  3. Red Bull – 19
  4. Haas – 18
  5. Toro Rosso – 16
  6. Force India – 16
  7. Ferrari – 14
  8. Mercedes – 10
  9. Renault – 7
  10. Williams – 4
  11. Sauber – 0