Lewis Hamilton takes championship lead after Hungarian GP win

Lewis Hamilton has taken the championship lead for the first time this season following his win at the Hungarian Grand Prix.

It was his team-mate Nico Rosberg who started from pole position but Hamilton took control after the first corner and, apart from pit stops, never lost the lead.

The Red Bull duo battled for the lead at the start of the race but ultimately it was Hamilton who came out on top with Rosberg dropping to third. The Mercedes driver quickly disposed of Daniel Ricciardo and it was another Silver Arrows 1-2 come the end of the race. Ricciardo finished third – his third podium in as many years at the Hungaroring.

Behind the top three Sebastian Vettel finished fourth for Ferrari although he was close to a podium finish. He started reeling Ricciardo in in the closing stages of the race but ran out of time to pass him, instead finishing just seven tenths behind the Red Bull. That wasn’t the only close battle in the last 20 laps as Raikkonen fought with Max Verstappen. It isn’t the first time this season that the grid’s oldest driver has gone wheel to wheel with the youngest – Raikkonen trailed Verstappen at the Spanish Grand Prix, the Dutchman’s first win.

Both drivers were complaining over the radio about each other throughout their fight. Raikkonen complained that Verstappen was moving about too much and if he continued then they would make contact with each other. Verstappen had been given warnings about exceeding track limits and he complained over his team radio that Raikkonen was exceeding them too. They did have a minor coming together as Verstappen moved into the space Raikkonen was already occupying. It resulted in Raikkonen losing part of his front wing but both were able to continue. The gap over the line was just four tenths of a second and Raikkonen demonstrated his frustration by passing the Red Bull driver after they reached the chequered flag.

Fernando Alonso finished where he had started the race – in seventh – while team-mate Jenson Button battled hydraulic issues from early on and eventually became the race’s only retirement. Carlos Sainz was eighth for Toro Rosso with Valtteri Bottas ninth and Nico Hulkenberg tenth.

Sergio Perez was 11th ahead of Jolyon Palmer – who had been running in the points before a spin dropped him down the order again. Esteban Gutierrez finished 13th – picking up a five second penalty for ignoring blue flags –  with Romain Grosjean 14th and Kevin Magnussen 15th. Daniil Kvyat, Felipe Nasr, Felipe Massa, Pascal Wehrlein, Marcus Ericsson, and Rio Haryanto completed the 21 finishers.

There is a quick turnaround with the next race being this weekend in Germany.

F1 2016: Hungarian GP – FP2 Times & Laps

Free Practice 2

Times

Drivers

  1. Nico Rosberg – Mercedes – 1:20.435
  2. Daniel Ricciardo – Red Bull – 1:21.030 – +0.595
  3. Sebastian Vettel – Ferrari – 1:21.348 – +0.913
  4. Max Verstappen – Red Bull – 1:21.770 – +1.335
  5. Lewis Hamilton – Mercedes – 1:21.960 – +1.525
  6. Kimi Raikkonen – Ferrari – 1:22.058 – +1.623
  7. Fernando Alonso – McLaren – 1:22.328 – +1.893
  8. Jenson Button – McLaren – 1:22.387 – +1.952
  9. Nico Hulkenberg – Force India – 1:22.449 – +2.014
  10. Sergio Perez – Force India – 1:22.653 – +2.218
  11. Esteban Gutierrez – Haas – 1:22.673 – +2.238
  12. Felipe Massa – Williams – 1:22.681 – +2.246
  13. Carlos Sainz – Toro Rosso – 1:22.689 – +2.254
  14. Valtteri Bottas – Williams – 1:22.773 – +2.338
  15. Romain Grosjean – Haas – 1:22.864 – +2.429
  16. Daniil Kvyat – Toro Rosso – 1:22.948 – +2.513
  17. Kevin Magnussen – Renault – 1:23.347 – +2.912
  18. Marcus Ericsson – Sauber – 1:23.437  – +3.002
  19. Jolyon Palmer – Renault – 1:23.528 – +3.093
  20. Felipe Nasr – Sauber – 1:23.986 – +3.551
  21. Pascal Werhlein – Manor – 1:23.992 – +3.557
  22. Rio Haryanto – Manor – 1:24.265 – +3.830

Teams

  1. Mercedes – 1:20.435
  2. Red Bull – 1:21.030 – +0.595
  3. Ferrari – 1:21.348 – +0.913
  4. McLaren – 1:22.328 – +1.893
  5. Force India – 1:22.449 – +2.014
  6. Haas – 1:22.673 – +2.238
  7. Williams – 1:22.681 – +2.246
  8. Toro Rosso – 1:22.689 – +2.254
  9. Renault – 1:23.347 – +2.912
  10. Sauber – 1:23.437 – +3.002
  11. Manor – 1:23.992 – +3.557

Laps

Drivers

  1. Kimi Raikkonen – Ferrari – 46
  2. Nico Rosberg – Mercedes – 45
  3. Daniil Kvyat – Toro Rosso – 43
  4. Nico Hulkenberg – Force India – 41
  5. Kevin Magnussen – Renault – 41
  6. Felipe Massa – Williams – 39
  7. Sergio Perez – Force India – 38
  8. Esteban Gutierrez – Haas – 38
  9. Valtteri Bottas – Williams – 38
  10. Daniel Ricciardo – Red Bull – 36
  11. Marcus Ericsson – Sauber – 36
  12. Rio Haryanto – Manor – 36
  13. Max Verstappen – Red Bull – 35
  14. Jenson Button – McLaren – 34
  15. Sebastian Vettel – Ferrari – 31
  16. Felipe Nasr – Sauber – 31
  17. Romain Grosjean – Haas – 28
  18. Carlos Sainz – Toro Rosso – 24
  19. Pascal Wehrlein – Manor – 22
  20. Fernando Alonso – McLaren – 21
  21. Jolyon Palmer – Renault – 12
  22. Lewis Hamilton – Mercedes – 4

Teams

  1. Force India – 79
  2. Ferrari – 77
  3. Williams – 77
  4. Red Bull – 71
  5. Toro Rosso – 67
  6. Sauber – 67
  7. Haas – 66
  8. Manor – 58
  9. McLaren – 55
  10. Renault – 53
  11. Mercedes – 49

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.

Kimi Raikkonen to remain with Ferrari for 2017

Kimi Raikkonen will drive for Ferrari next season it has been confirmed.

There had been much speculation over the Finnish driver’s future, with drivers such as Sergio Perez, Max Verstappen and Romain Grosjean being linked to his seat. The team has put an end to all the rumours by confirming that Raikkonen will race for the team for a seventh season.

They released the following short statement:

Scuderia Ferrari announces that it has renewed its technical and racing agreement with Kimi Raikkonen. The driver line-up for the 2017 racing season will still consist of the Finnish driver and Sebastian Vettel.

Raikkonen first joined Ferrari in 2007 and we went on to win his first – and only – World Championship. He left the team, and F1, at the end of the 2009 season before returning to the sport in 2012.He returned to Ferrari in 2014 and he has raced with the Scuderia ever since.

During his time at Ferrari he has won nine races, stood on the podium 33 times, and started from pole position five times. This weekend’s British Grand Prix will be his 100th with the team.

Pirelli confirm tyre test schedule for 2017 spec tyres

From 2017 onwards Pirelli will be introducing a wider tyre in line with the new regulations.

Pirelli have already been carrying out tyre testing with Ferrari and Red Bull but using the current tyre widths with prototype materials and structures. The testing has been carried out at Fiorano and Paul Ricard, and three more circuits are set to join the testing calendar.

There will be ten sessions over 24 days in which the 2017 tyres will be tested, starting with a two day event at Fiorano with Ferrari. This will take place on 1st & 2nd of August on an artificially dampened track to test the intermediate and full wet tyres. On 3rd & 4th August Red Bull will test the slick tyres for the first time at Mugello. The testing will take place using modified 2015 specification cars. Three teams will initially take part in the testing – Ferrari and Red Bull being joined by Mercedes. They will be obliged to share all the data gathered during the tests with all other teams.

The testing schedule will be as follows:

  1. August 1st & 2nd – Ferrari – Fiorano – Wets
  2. August 3rd & 4th – Red Bull – Mugello – Slicks
  3. September 6th & 7th – Ferrari – Barcelona – Slicks
  4. September 6th – 8th – Mercedes – Paul Ricard – Slicks
  5. September 21st & 22nd – Mercedes – Paul Ricard – Wets
  6. October 12th & 13th – Mercedes – Barcelona – Slicks
  7. October 14th – 16th – Red Bull – Abu Dhabi – Slicks
  8. November 2nd & 3rd – Red Bull – Abu Dhabi – Wets
  9. November 14th – 16th – Ferrari – Abu Dhabi – Slicks
  10. November 29th – ALL TEAMS – Abu Dhabi – Both

The test day at Abu Dhabi at the end of the season will see all 11 teams get to trial the 2017 spec tyres – which will be 60mm wider for the front tyres and 80mm wider for the rear tyres – to validate the data from the previous tests.

 

As well as the aforementioned specific tyre test dates the following tests will also take place:

  1. 12th & 13th July – Mercedes – Silverstone – Slicks
  2. 16th July – Ferrari – Fiorano – Wets
  3. 18th & 19th July – Red Bull – Vallelunga – Slicks

These are with the prototype 2016 spec tyres, and not the 2017 tyres. Mercedes will carry out this testing during the official Silverstone test at which ten other teams will be present.

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.

 

F1 2016: Austrian GP – FP3 Times & Laps

Free Practice 3

Times

Drivers

  1. Sebastian Vettel – Ferrari – 1:07.098
  2. Kimi Raikkonen – Ferrari – 1:07.234 – +0.136
  3. Lewis Hamilton – Mercedes – 1:07.308 – +0.210
  4. Daniel Ricciardo – Red Bull – 1:07.639 – +0.541
  5. Max Verstappen – Red Bull – 1:07.761 – +0.663
  6. Valtteri Bottas – Williams – 1:07.814 – +0.716
  7. Felipe Massa – Williams – 1:07.831 – +0.733
  8. Nico Hulkenberg – Force India – 1:08.285 – +1.187
  9. Jenson Button – McLaren – 1:08.304 – +1.206
  10. Fernando Alonso – McLaren – 1:08.327 – +1.229
  11. Sergio Perez – Force India – 1:08.442 – +1.344
  12. Esteban Gutierrez – Haas – 1:08.475 – +1.377
  13. Pascal Wehrlein – Manor – 1:08.534 – +1.436
  14. Romain Grosjean – Haas – 1:08.550 – +1.452
  15. Kevin Magnussen – Renault – 1:08.569 – +1.471
  16. Daniil Kvyat – Toro Rosso – 1:08.786 – +1.688
  17. Jolyon Palmer – Renault – 1:08.939 – +1.841
  18. Carlos Sainz – Toro Rosso – 1:09.008 – +1.910
  19. Rio Haryanto – Manor – 1:09.116 – +2.018
  20. Marcus Ericsson – Sauber – 1:09.137 – +2.039
  21. Felipe Nasr – Sauber – 1:09.557 – +2.459
  22. Nico Rosberg – Mercedes – 1:10.959 – +3.861

Teams

  1. Ferrari – 1:07.098
  2. Mercedes – 1:07.308 – +0.210
  3. Red Bull – 1:07.639 – +0.541
  4. Williams – 1:07.814 – +0.716
  5. Force India – 1:08.285 – +1.187
  6. McLaren – 1:08.304 – +1.206
  7. Haas – 1:08.475 – +1.377
  8. Manor – 1:08.534 – +1.436
  9. Renault – 1:08.569 – +1.471
  10. Toro Rosso – 1:08.786 – +1.688
  11. Sauber – 1:09.137 – +2.039

Laps

Drivers

  1. Daniil Kvyat – Toro Rosso – 32
  2. Kevin Magnussen – Renault – 31
  3. Pascal Wehrlein – Manor – 28
  4. Rio Haryanto – Manor – 28
  5. Felipe Massa – Williams – 27
  6. Jolyon Palmer – Renault – 27
  7. Kimi Raikkonen – Ferrari – 25
  8. Sergio Perez – Force India – 25
  9. Marcus Ericsson – Sauber – 25
  10. Daniel Ricciardo – Red Bull – 22
  11. Valtteri Bottas – Williams – 22
  12. Nico Hulkemberg – Force India – 22
  13. Esteban Gutierrez – Haas – 22
  14. Max Verstappen – Red Bull – 21
  15. Romain Grosjean – Haas – 20
  16. Sebastian Vettel – Ferrari – 19
  17. Lewis Hamilton – Mercedes – 19
  18. Felipe Nasr – Sauber – 19
  19. Jenson Button – McLaren – 18
  20. Fernando Alonso – McLaren – 17
  21. Nico Rosberg – Mercedes – 16
  22. Carlos Sainz – Toro Rosso – 11

Teams

  1. Renault – 58
  2. Manor – 56
  3. Williams – 49
  4. Force India – 47
  5. Ferrari – 44
  6. Sauber – 44
  7. Toro Rosso – 43
  8. Red Bull – 43
  9. Haas – 42
  10. Mercedes – 35
  11. McLaren – 35