F1 2016: German GP Preview

Following the Hungarian Grand Prix, the German Grand Prix is the last race before the summer break. Lewis Hamilton leads the championship by six points following his win last time out, but a win for Nico Rosberg on home soil would see him move back to the top of the table.

The Hungarian Grand Prix was a somewhat uneventful race but it did have some close battles, particularly between Red Bull and Ferrari. In their fight for second in the constructors championship Ferrari have the edge – but only just. Just one point separates the two teams so it is finely poised.

In Hungary it was Daniel Ricciardo who joined the Mercedes duo on the podium but Sebastian Vettel had a late charge and could have taken it. Similarly, Kimi Raikkonen closed in on fifth placed Max Verstappen but was unable to find a way pass. Raikkonen was voted Driver of the Day for his charge through from 14th.

Circuit: Hockenheimring
Number of Laps: 67
Circuit Length:4.574km
Number of Corners: 17
Lap Record: 1:13.780 Kimi Raikkonen (2004)
Previous German Grand Prix winners still on the grid: 4
Most Successful Team: Ferrari (22 wins)
DRS Zones: 2    
Pirelli Tyres: Supersoft, Soft and Medium

The German Grand Prix was last held in 2014 – at the Hockenheimring – having been cancelled last year. That race was one by Rosberg and he will undoubtedly be looking to repeat that feat this year.

The track features a mix of fast long straights as well as technical corners. Due to the nature of the circuit there are some heavy braking zones into medium to low speed corners. Drivers will change gear approximately 49 times per lap and will reach a top speed of 350kmh. The Hockenheimring is also considered a power circuit.

Pirelli have brought the same tyre compounds as were used in Hungary – the Supersoft, Soft and Mediums.

F1 2016: German GP Tyre Choices

Driver tyre choices for the German Grand Prix are as follows:

DRIVER Medium Soft Supersoft
Lewis Hamilton 1 4 8
Nico Rosberg 1 4 8
Sebastian Vettel 1 3 9
Kimi Raikkonen 1 3 9
Valtteri Bottas 1 5 7
Felipe Massa 1 5 7
Daniel Ricciardo 1 4 8
Max Verstappen 1 4 8
Kevin Magnussen 1 5 7
Jolyon Palmer 1 5 7
Nico Hulkenberg 3 4 6
Sergio Perez 3 4 6
Daniil Kvyat 1 4 8
Carlos Sainz 1 4 8
Fernando Alonso 1 3 9
Jenson Button 1 3 9
Marcus Ericsson 1 3 9
Felipe Nasr 1 3 9
Pascal Wehrlein 1 4 8
Rio Haryanto 1 4 8
Romain Grosjean 1 5 7
Esteban Gutierrez 1 5 7

F1 2016: Hungarian GP – FP1 Times & Laps

Free Practice 1

Times

Drivers

  1. Lewis Hamilton – Mercedes – 1:21.347
  2. Nico Rosberg – Mercedes – 1:21.584 – +0.237
  3. Sebastian Vettel – Ferrari – 1:22.991 – +1.644
  4. Kimi Raikkonen – Ferrari – 1:23.082 – +1.735
  5. Daniel Ricciardo – Red Bull – 1:23.174 – +1.827
  6. Max Verstappen – Red Bull – 1:23.457 – +2.110
  7. Fernando Alonso – McLaren – 1:23.935 – +2.588
  8. Jenson Button – McLaren – 1:23.961 – +2.614
  9. Romain Grosjean – Haas – 1:24.013 – +2.666
  10. Sergio Perez – Force India – 1:24.073 – +2.726
  11. Nico Hulkenberg – Force India – 1:24.120 – +2.773
  12. Felipe Massa – Williams – 1:24.154 – +2.807
  13. Valtteri Bottas – Williams – 1:24.370 – +3.023
  14. Carlos Sainz – Toro Rosso – 1:24.579 – +3.232
  15. Marcus Ericsson – Sauber – 1:24.981 – +3.634
  16. Charles Leclerc – Haas – 1:25.181 – +3.834
  17. Felipe Nasr – Sauber – 1:25.256 -+3.909
  18. Esteban Ocon – Renault – 1:25.260 – +3.913
  19. Daniil Kvyat – Toro Rosso – 1:25.324 – +3.977
  20. Rio Haryanto – Manor – 1:27.012 – +5.665
  21. Pascal Wehrlein – Manor – 1:27.249 – +5.902
  22. Jolyon Palmer – Renault – 1:28.560 – +7.213

Teams

  1. Mercedes – 1:21.347
  2. Ferrari – 1:22.991 – +1.644
  3. Red Bull – 1:23.174 – +1.827
  4. McLaren – 1:23.935 – +2.588
  5. Haas – 1:24.013 – +2.666
  6. Force India – 1:24.073 – +2.726
  7. Williams – 1:24.154 – +2.807
  8. Toro Rosso – 1:24.579 – +3.232
  9. Sauber – 1:24.981 – +3.634
  10. Renault – 1:25.260 – +3.913
  11. Manor – 1:27.012 – +5.665

Laps

Drivers

  1. Lewis Hamilton – Mercedes – 34
  2. Nico Rosberg – Mercedes – 34
  3. Valtteri Bottas – Williams – 33
  4. Sergio Perez – Force India – 29
  5. Nico Hulkenberg – Force India – 29
  6. Daniel Ricciardo – Red Bull – 28
  7. Fernando Alonso – McLaren – 28
  8. Esteban Ocon – Renault – 28
  9. Max Verstappen – Red Bull – 27
  10. Felipe Massa – Williams – 27
  11. Carlos Sainz – Toro Rosso – 27
  12. Rio Haryanto – Manor – 23
  13. Sebastian Vettel – Ferrari – 22
  14. Romain Grosjean – Haas – 22
  15. Charles Leclerc – Haas – 22
  16. Kimi Raikkonen – Ferrari – 19
  17. Marcus Ericsson – Sauber – 19
  18. Jenson Button – McLaren – 18
  19. Felipe Nasr – Sauber – 18
  20. Daniil Kvyat – Toro Rosso – 16
  21. Pascal Wehrlein – Manor – 9
  22. Jolyon Palmer – Renault – 6

Teams

  1. Mercedes – 68
  2. Williams – 60
  3. Force India – 58
  4. Red Bull – 55
  5. McLaren – 46
  6. Haas – 44
  7. Toro Rosso – 43
  8. Ferrari – 41
  9. Sauber – 37
  10. Renault – 34
  11. Manor – 32

Sauber’s F1 future secured following takeover by Swiss finance company

Sauber will continue in Formula One following a takeover by Swiss investment company Longbow Finance S.A.

The Formula One team’s future has been the topic of much speculation of late due to financial difficulties. Today’s news means that Sauber can continue in the sport. It has also been confirmed that there will be no changes to the the company or team name.

Sauber was founded in the 70s by Peter Sauber and they made their Formula One debut in 1993 with Mercedes engines. In 2005 the team was sold to BMW and they raced as BMW Sauber from 2006 until 2010, although BMW pulled out at the end of the 2009 season. Up until the acquisition by Longbow Finance, Peter Sauber had owned 66.6% of the team – having bought it back in 2010 – with Team Principal Monisha Kaltenborn owning the remaining stakes.

“Monisha and I yesterday signed an agreement which secures the future of the Formula 1 Team and the Sauber Group,” Peter Sauber revealed in a statement. “I am very happy that my courageous investment to buy the team back, which I made six years ago, with the intention to secure the base in Hinwil and the place in Formula 1 has proved to be correct.”

As a result of the takeover Peter Sauber will retire and will be succeeded by Pascal Picci as Chairman of Sauber Holding. Kaltenborn will remain as Team Principal and CEO.

“We are very pleased that by reaching an agreement with Longbow Finance S.A., we can secure the future of Sauber at the pinnacle of motorsport,” Kalenborn said. “We are convinced that Longbow Finance is the perfect partner to again make the team competitive and successful in Formula 1. At the same time the new structure will allow us to finally further expand our third party business in which we commercialise our know-how. This solution is in the best interest of our employees, partners, loyal suppliers, the base in Hinwil and for the Swiss motorsport. We are very grateful that Longbow Finance believes in the competences efficiency and capabilities of Sauber Group, and we look forward to a new exciting future.”

Sauber are currently the only team to have scored no points in 2016. They have also been forced to sit out both in-season tests so far – one in Barcelona and one at Silverstone. Marcus Ericsson and Felipe Nasr currently drive for the team but notable drivers in their history include Sergio Perez, Nico Hulkenberg, Robert Kubica, Nick Heidfeld, Kimi Raikkonen, Felipe Massa, and Jacques Villeneuve.

F1 2016: Hungarian Grand Prix Preview

The Hungarian Grand Prix has been on the Formula One calendar since 1986, with the circuit having been purpose built for the sport.

Lewis Hamilton goes into the weekend having won his home race at Silverstone where he reduced the championship gap to just a point. Nico Rosberg has led from the start of the season but the momentum is currently with Hamilton. The three leading teams at the minute – Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull – have all won at the circuit at the Hungaroring in the past.

Circuit: Hungaroring
Number of Laps: 70
Circuit Length:4.381km
Number of Corners: 14
Lap Record: 1:19.071 Michael Schumacher (2004)
Previous Hungarian Grand Prix winners still on the grid: 6
Most Successful Team: McLaren (11 wins)
DRS Zones: 2    
Pirelli Tyres: Medium, Soft and Supersoft

The circuit has been resurfaced for the 2016 event and Pirelli have brought the Medium, Soft and Supersoft compound tyres. Thermal degradation can be an issue due to the high temperatures normally experienced. The Hungaroring requires an emphasis on mechanical grip with a number of low speed corners. It has a low average speed while brake wear is medium.

It is often compared to Monaco due to being a tight and twisty track, although obviously there is a lot more run off. This means that drivers normally place a lot of emphasis on qualifying as track position can be key.

The championship is finely poised at the top with just a point separating Hamilton and Rosberg. Kimi Raikkonen is third, six points ahead of Daniel Ricciardo with Sebastian Vettel just eight points ahead of Max Verstappen. Last year saw the Mercedes duo suffer a number of misfortunes allowing Vettel to win. He had been leading a Ferrari 1-2 before Raikkonen unfortunately retired. Daniil Kvyat and Ricciardo were second and third respectively. Ricciardo has previously won the race in 2014.

A number of drivers in Formula One history took their first wins in the sport at the Hungaroring including Jenson Button and Fernando Alonso. Following Button’s highs in Austria, the team were disappointed to finish 12th and 13th in tricky conditions at Silverstone. They scored their best results of the season last year in Hungary so will no doubt be trying to repeat their form this year.

Both Williams drivers finished outside the points at the British Grand Prix while both Force India drivers finished in the points. There are 19 points between the two teams and Force India are aiming to close the gap and claim fourth in the constructors championship. Ferrari are just six points ahead of Red Bull while Mercedes are well clear at the top.

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.

 

F1 2016: British GP – Qualifying Times & Laps

Qualifying

Times

  1. Lewis Hamilton – Mercedes – 1:29.287
  2. Nico Rosberg – Mercedes – 1:29.606
  3. Max Verstappen – Red Bull – 1:30.313
  4. Daniel Ricciardo – Red Bull – 1:30.618
  5. Kimi Raikkonen – Ferrari – 1:30.881
  6. Sebastian Vettel – Ferrari – 1:31.490
  7. Valtteri Bottas – Williams – 1:31.557
  8. Carlos Sainz – Toro Rosso – 1:31.989
  9. Nico Hulkenberg – Force India – 1:32.172
  10. Fernando Alonso – McLaren – 1:32.343
  11. Sergio Perez – Force India – 1:31.875
  12. Felipe Massa – Williams – 1:32.002
  13. Romain Grosjean – Haas – 1:32.050
  14. Esteban Gutierrez – Haas – 1:32.241
  15. Daniil Kvyat – Toro Rosso – 1:32.306
  16. Kevin Magnussen – Renault – 1:37.060
  17. Jenson Button – McLaren – 1:32.788
  18. Jolyon Palmer – Renault – 1:32.905
  19. Rio Haryanto – Manor – 1:33.098
  20. Pascal Wehrlein – Manor – 1:33.151
  21. Felipe Nasr – Sauber – 1:33.544

Laps

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