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

2016: A Beginner’s Guide to Formula One

Have you ever wondered what Formula One is all about? There’s no better time to start watching the sport than at the start of a new season. The sport is about to embark on a record breaking 21 race season and if you’re wanting to watch, but you’re not sure what’s going on, here’s a brief guide.

The Basics

From reigning world champions Mercedes to new team Haas, eleven teams make up the current Formula One grid with each team fielding two race drivers. Driver experience levels range from complete rookie to veteran of 250+ Grand Prix.

Jenson Button is the most experienced current Formula One driver. He has started 284 Grand Prix and has won one world championship. The reigning world champion is Lewis Hamilton, fresh off the back of his third world title in 2015. The driver with the most world championships on the current grid is Sebastian Vettel (four). Other world champions on the grid are Fernando Alonso (two) and Kimi Raikkonen (one).

For the first time ever, 2016 will see the calendar feature 21 races. The season starts in Australia and ends in Abu Dhabi.

Points are awarded per race for the top ten positions as follows:

  • First – 25
  • Second – 18
  • Third – 15
  • Fourth – 12
  • Fifth – 10
  • Sixth – 8
  • Seventh – 6
  • Eighth – 4
  • Ninth – 2
  • Tenth – 1

The drivers champion is the driver with the most points at the end of the season. The constructors champion is the team with the most points at the end of the season. The team points are made up of both their drivers’ points.

The Drivers

As previously mentioned, there are five world champions currently on the Formula One grid. Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen both drive for Ferrari, Jenson Button and Fernando Alonso both drive for McLaren and Lewis Hamilton drives for Mercedes – the reigning champions.

Drivers race with permanent numbers – a rule brought into the sport in 2014. Previously the world champion had driven with number one on his car with his team-mate racing with number two. Number three was on the car of the team who finished second in the championship and worked out so on and so forth. These permanent numbers were picked by drivers for a variety of reasons, whether it was a special number to them or a random choice.

There are three rookies on this year’s grid – Jolyon Palmer at Renault, Pascal Wehrlein and Rio Haryanto at Manor.

The Race Weekend

The race weekend is split into three main sections – practice, qualifying and the race.

Free Practice sessions take place on Friday and Saturday. On Friday there are two hour and a half long practice sessions, with the exception being the Monaco Grand Prix where they take place on Thursday. Unlike in the past, race drivers generally take part in the Friday practice sessions although occasionally teams may choose to run their test drivers.

The third and final practice session is an hour long and takes place on the Saturday morning prior to qualifying.

Qualifying has had a shake up ahead of the 2016 season but will still be made up of three sessions – Q1, Q2, and Q3. This decides the grid order for Sunday’s race but could be shaken up by grid penalties. Penalties can be received for a number of reasons including impeding another driver during qualifying, causing an incident at a previous race, or changing a component of the car when you’re not supposed to.

The race is then held on a Sunday with the number of laps depending on the length of the circuit or the amount of time a lap takes. Races can not exceed two hours in length and if a situation arises where the two hour limit is reached before the planned end of the race, the race is stopped at the end of the lap the lead driver is on when they hit two hours.

The Nitty Gritty

Tyres

Pirelli are the sole tyre supplier in Formula One and, like qualifying, there has been some adjustments made to the tyre rules ahead of the 2016 season.

There are five dry tyre (‘slick’) compounds – Ultrasoft, Supersoft, Soft, Medium and Hard – and two for wet weather – Intermediate and Full Wet. Each driver gets an allocation of three sets of Full Wet, four sets of Intermediate, and 13 slick tyres per weekend. In a difference to previous years Pirelli will nominate three tyre compounds per race. For Australia, for example, these three compounds are Supersoft, Soft and Medium.

From these three compounds Pirelli will give each driver two sets that must be used during the race. Drivers will also receive a set of the softest compound to use in Q3. Should a driver not make Q3, they can carry these tyres through to the race.

This leaves drivers to select how they will split the remaining ten tyres of their allocation. Team-mates do not have to make the same selections. They can choose from any of the three compounds nominated for that race weekend. Rules stipulate that a driver must make use of at least two slick compounds during a race however there is an exception to that rule. If it becomes a wet race and they have to use the Intermediate or Full Wet compound then they do not have to use two dry compounds.

Power Units

Without getting too in depth about the Power Units, essentially drivers are allowed five unpenalised Power Unit changes throughout the season. The Power Unit comprises different components. A full explanation of these can be found on the Formula One website.

Safety Car and Virtual Safety Car

If there is an incident on track the Safety Car may be deployed. Drivers must line-up behind the Safety Car – which becomes the pace setter – in the order they were in when it came out. You cannot overtake under the safety car. The Virtual Safety Car is when there is no need for the physical safety car to come out but drivers must drive to a certain lap-time if there is an incident on track.

The Viewing

Formula One can be viewed two ways in the UK – on Channel 4 and on Sky Sports. Sky Sports F1 broadcast all races completely live, while Channel 4 will broadcast ten races live with the remainder as extended highlights packages.

The sport is a new acquisition by Channel 4 following the decision of the BBC to pull the plug early in their contract due to budget cuts.

Want to go further?

The official Formula One website has a comprehensive Inside F1 section which explains in further detail the ins and outs of the sport, including the regulations.

Previous Beginners Guides on The H Duct were published in 2011 and 2012.

Pirelli confirm driver tyre choices for Australian Grand Prix

Pirelli has confirmed the tyre choices the drivers have made for the season opening Australian Grand Prix.

A new rule brought in for 2016 will see drivers make their tyre selections from three compounds nominated by the tyre supplier. Pirelli has opted to bring the Medium, Soft and Supersoft compounds to Australia. The rule allows scope for a bigger variation of strategies not only between teams but also team-mates.

Over the course of the weekend drivers will have 13 sets of tyres available to them and here is how they have split their selections:

DRIVER Medium Soft Supersoft
Lewis Hamilton 1 6 6
Nico Rosberg 2 5 6
Sebastian Vettel 2 5 6
Kimi Raikkonen 2 5 6
Valtteri Bottas 1 5 7
Felipe Massa 1 5 7
Daniel Ricciardo 2 4 7
Daniil Kvyat 2 4 7
Kevin Magnussen 1 5 7
Jolyon Palmer 1 5 7
Nico Hulkenberg 2 5 6
Sergio Perez 2 5 6
Max Verstappen 2 4 7
Carlos Sainz 2 4 7
Fernando Alonso 1 5 7
Jenson Button 1 5 7
Marcus Ericsson 1 6 6
Felipe Nasr 2 5 6
Pascal Wehrlein 4 4 5
Rio Haryanto 4 4 5
Romain Grosjean 1 5 7
Esteban Gutierrez 2 4 7

In terms of differing strategies, only Mercedes, Sauber and Haas have team-mates differing from each other. Lewis Hamilton has opted for one set of medium compound tyres while Nico Rosberg has gone for two with one less set of the softs. The same has happened sat Sauber and at Haas. Only the Manor duo of Rio Haryanto and Pascal Wehrlein have taken more than two sets of the medium compound tyre, instead going for four.

F1 2016: Pre-season test Barcelona Preview 22nd – 25th February

At this stage last year teams had already taken part in two pre-season tests.  With the first race of the season due to take part in Australia on the 20th March, there are just two pre-season tests this year for teams to start to get to grips with their 2016 machines.

Both of these pre-season tests will take place at the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona – the first of which kicks off tomorrow morning.

All 11 teams will be present at the test although only Sauber will be without their 2016 car. Instead their drivers will run the 2015 car with a revised livery. While teams such as Williams, McLaren, and Haas have revealed photographs of their new cars online, testing will be the first opportunity to see all the new cars as they take to the track for the first time.

Toro Rosso will be running an interim livery – with the real deal set to be unveiled at the second test – while Renault’s livery is also expected to change before the first race.

Testing line-up:

TEAM DAY 1 DAY 2 DAY 3 DAY 4
Mercedes Lewis Hamilton Nico Rosberg Lewis  Hamilton Nico Rosberg
Ferrari  Sebastian Vettel Sebastian Vettel Kimi Räikkönen Kimi Räikkönen
Williams Valtteri Bottas Valtteri Bottas Felipe Massa Felipe Massa
Red Bull Daniel Ricciardo Daniel Ricciardo Daniil Kvyat Daniil Kvyat
Force India Alfonso Celis Jr Sergio Perez Nico Hulkenberg Alfonso Celis Jr
Renault Jolyon Palmer Jolyon Palmer Kevin Magnussen Kevin Magnussen
Toro Rosso Carlos Sainz Max Verstappen Carlos Sainz Max Verstappen
Sauber Marcus Ericsson Marcus Ericsson Felipe Nasr Felipe Nasr
McLaren Jenson Button Fernando Alonso Jenson Button Fernando Alonso
Manor Pascal Wehrlein Pascal Wehrlein Rio Haryanto Rio Haryanto
Haas Romain Grosjean Esteban Gutierrez Romain Grosjean Esteban Gutierrez

Alfonso Celis Jr will be the only test/reserve driver in action, splitting the running with  Force  India’s regular race drivers Sergio Perez and Nico Hulkenberg. For Kevin Magnussen, Romain Grosjean and Esteban Gutierrez it will be their first outings with new teams. 2016 rookies Jolyon Palmer, Pascal Wehrlein and Rio Haryanto will also be in action.

Pre-season testing doesn’t give a clear picture of the order the teams will end up come the first race of the season, but it gives somewhat of an indication. It will be an important eight days for the likes of McLaren, Manor and Haas but for very different reasons.

McLaren endured a torrid 2015 season and this struggle started at pre-season testing where they failed to string laps together. They will be hoping for better reliability in the early stages of the year. For Manor it is a brand new line-up with a brand new car. They will have Mercedes engines for the 2016 season, having raced with older Ferrari power in the past. And finally, for Haas it is their first season in Formula One with a brand new car. They are hoping to score points in their maiden season and have a promising line-up in experienced driver Grosjean and former Sauber driver and Ferrari tester Gutierrez.

Ferrari will be hoping that they can close the gap to Mercedes and mount a sustained challenge throughout the whole season. For Williams it is another opportunity to make steps forward, having finished third in the championship for the past two seasons. Renault have returned to the sport as a works team for the first time since the 2009 season while Red Bull will hope to put their engine problems behind them. Toro Rosso will run Ferrari engines this year – having ran with Renault Power Units last year – with Force India coming off the back of their best season in Formula One. Mercedes will remain the team to beat having won the championship convincingly for the past two seasons.

McLaren unveil “innovative” MP4-31

 

Lewis Hamilton secures Italian Grand Prix pole position

Nico Rosberg took a new engine prior to the start of qualifying, reverting to his Spa engine while practice pacesetter Lewis Hamilton continued to use Mercedes’ upgraded unit. Both Red Bulls also took engine changes along with the Toro Rossos of Carlos Sainz and Max Verstappen and the McLaren duo.

Q1

Nico Hulkenberg was impeded on his first flying lap by the Sauber of Marcus Ericsson – an incident which was investigated by the stewards after the session. Lewis Hamilton set the initial pace, going three tenths of a second clear of team-mate Nico Rosberg. Max Verstappen’s Toro Rosso spent most of the session in the garage as the team worked on his car. He only got out with less than a minute left meaning he only had time for sectors and not a flying lap. He lost huge chunks of his bodywork on the track. The Mercedes cars and the Ferraris were the only ones to set their lap-times on the medium compound tyres rather than the softs which were used by the rest of the field.

  1. Lewis Hamilton 1:24.251
  2. Nico Rosberg 1:24.609
  3. Kimi Raikkonen 1:24.662
  4. Sergio Perez 1:24.801
  5. Nico Hulkenberg 1:24.937
  6. Valtteri Bottas 1:24.979
  7. Sebastian Vettel 1:24.989
  8. Felipe Nasr 1:25.121
  9. Marcus Ericsson 1:25.122
  10. Romain Grosjean 1:25.144
  11. Felipe Massa 1:25.184
  12. Carlos Sainz 1:25.410
  13. Pastor Maldonado 1:25.429
  14. Daniel Ricciardo 1:25.633
  15. Daniil Kvyat 1:25.742
  16. Jenson Button 1:26.058
  17. Fernando Alonso 1:26.154
  18. Will Stevens 1:27.731
  19. Roberto Merhi 1:27.912
  20. Max Verstappen No Time Set

Q2

Nico Rosberg set the initial fastest lap but was quickly beaten by team-mate Lewis Hamilton by seven tenths of a second. Sebastian Vettel’s first effort was enough to go second before Kimi Raikkonen edged ahead. The gap to the front was reduced to three tenths of a second between Hamilton and the leading Ferrari driver. In the dropzone after the first runs were Felipe Nasr, Romain Grosjean, Carlos Sainz, Daniel Ricciardo, and Daniil Kvyat. Ricciardo did not get out to set a lap-time and will start the race from the back any due to his engine penalties.

  1. Lewis Hamilton 1:23.383
  2. Sebastian Vettel 1:23.577
  3. Kimi Raikkonen 1:23.757
  4. Nico Rosberg 1:23.864
  5. Felipe Massa 1:23.983
  6. Valtteri Bottas 1:24.313
  7. Sergio Perez 1:24.379
  8. Romain Grosjean 1:24.448
  9. Marcus Ericsson 1:24.457
  10. Nico Hulkenberg 1:24.510
  11. Pastor Maldonado 1:24.525
  12. Felipe Nasr 1:24.898
  13. Carlos Sainz 1:25.618
  14. Daniil Kvyat 1:25.796
  15. Daniel Ricciardo No Time Set

Q3

Going through to the pole position shoot out were both Mercedes, both Ferraris, both Force Indias, both Williams, a Sauber and a Lotus. Nico Hulkenberg set the first flying lap – a 1:25.317 – which was bettered by Nico Rosberg and then Felipe Massa. Lewis Hamilton took provisional pole by three tenths of a second ahead of the Ferrari duo who were separated by mere thousandths of a second. Hulkenberg crawled back to the pit-lane reporting that he had lost power. The times dropped on the second runs but no-one was quick enough to beat Hamilton’s time. Raikkonen improved to second – just two tenths off the pole time – with Vettel third and Rosberg fourth.

  1. Lewis Hamilton 1:23.397
  2. Kimi Raikkonen 1:23.631
  3. Sebastian Vettel 1:23.685
  4. Nico Rosberg 1:23.703
  5. Felipe Massa 1:23.940
  6. Valtteri Bottas 1:24.127
  7. Sergio Perez 1:24.626
  8. Romain Grosjean 1:25.054
  9. Nico Hulkenberg 1:25.317
  10. Marcus Ericsson 1:26.214

Lewis Hamilton notches up third home win at British Grand Prix

Lewis Hamilton has won the British Grand Prix for the third time following a fortuitous pit-stop decision that saw him swap to intermediate tyres at just the right time.

Hamilton was joined on the podium by team-mate Nico Rosberg while Sebastian Vettel also benefited from a well timed pit-stop to join the Mercedes duo on the podium once again.

It was a race of mixed conditions – largely dry until a couple of rain showers towards the end. Off the line the Mercedes duo were caught out by both Williams drivers, who had locked out the second row of the grid after Hamilton secured pole position by just a tenth from his team-mate. Felipe Massa took the race lead off the line while Valtteri Bottas slotted into second before running too wide and opening the door for Hamilton to get back ahead. The battle at the front was called off following the deployment of the safety car at the end of the first lap.

The safety car was brought out due to an incident which saw both Lotus drivers and Jenson Button retire. Daniel Ricciardo tagged Romain Grosjean, sending the Lotus driver into his team-mate Pastor Maldonado. As Fernando Alonso attempted to avoid the pair he collected his own team-mate, resulting in Button retiring from the race. The incident was investigated after the race but no further action was taken. Ricciardo later retired from the race due to an engine problem while Alonso went on to score his first point of the season. The safety car returned to the pits at the end of lap three and racing resumed. Hamilton attempted to pass Massa but locked up and gave Bottas the opportunity to get back ahead.

Massa and Bottas were asked not to fight each other but Bottas believed he had the speed to pull away from the chasing Mercedes duo. Hamilton’s pit stop strategy allowed him to leap frog Massa and take the lead of the race. There was a brief period under Virtual Safety Car conditions to allow marshals to retrieve Carlos Sainz’s stricken Toro Rosso.  Light rain started to fall around lap 36 of the race and some drivers – including Kimi Raikkonen, Marcus Ericsson, and Alonso – chose to go straight onto the intermediate tyres. The conditions proved not to warrant the change and Ericsson was unfortunate to pit again for slicks when heavier rain started to fall. In the changeable conditions Rosberg launched a charge on team-mate, slashing the gap. Hamilton reported he had no grip and pitted for intermediate tyres, a decision which proved to pay off when the rain got heavier. Vettel also pitted and went from sixth to third.

There were six retirements from the race in total along with Felipe Nasr who failed to make the start due to a gearbox failure on his out-lap to the grid. Sainz, Ricciardo, Max Verstappen, Maldonado, Grosjean, and Button were the other retirements from the race. At the front the top three were followed by the Williams duo, perhaps ruing a lost opportunity to fight for the win. Daniil Kvyat was sixth, ahead of Nico Hulkenberg in seventh, Raikkonen eighth, Sergio Perez ninth and Alonso tenth. Ericsson, Roberto Merhi, and Will Stevens also finished the race, although the latter lost his front wing after clipping the barrier but returned to the pits and continued.

Following the cancellation of the German Grand Prix the next action will take place in three weeks time in Hungary.

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