Tag Archives: Bruno Senna

2012 European Grand Prix Results and Maria de Villota Update

In my last piece, I wrote that Valencia needs to be gotten rid of because it is just a parade lap with the same weather, but lack of history and theater that makes Monaco so special still. Well, I know when I am wrong. And how wrong I was! Did I need to wait this long to write this? No. Was I just lazy and not willing to sit at my computer for a few minutes to write this? Yes. But now I am and it was a phenomenal race that had me yelling and screaming and jumping and fist-pumping throughout. In a few words, it was the best race we have seen this season. As if we didn’t have enough of a wild ride already with seven different winners in the first seven races, Fernando Alonso comes through from 11th on the grid (with the aid of some bad luck for other runners, including two alternator failures on the Renault and the Renault powered Red Bull, and another horrendous pit stop for Lewis Hamilton). Plus, it was a remarkable showing for both Michael Schumacher, making his way to third on the podium, and Mark Webber, who started a lowly 18th to finish fourth. Overall, quite the exciting race, and one that will hopefully propel this season forward to continue as one of the greatest ever.

1. Fernando Alonso

2. Kimi Raikkonen

3. Michael Schumacher

4. Mark Webber

5. Nico Hulkenberg

6. Nico Rosberg

7. Paul di Resta

8. Jenson Button

9. Sergio Perez

10. Bruno Senna

In much sadder news, it was revealed today that the test driver for Marussia F1, Maria de Villota, after a freak accident during testing wherein she crashed into one of the team’s support trucks, is in critical, yet stable, condition, but has lost her right eye. No doubt the car she was driving is being inspected and picked apart and having loads of information culled from it to see just what happened to destroy this promising young woman’s racing career in one fell swoop. Marussia will hopefully find the problem and things will be done to correct it, but it no way can replace what would have been a very big achievement for a woman race car driver. I wish Maria all the best in her long recovery. Because of this accident, I have to believe that the FIA will take an even harder look and do more testing on the front roll cage. After Felipe’s freak accident and now this (along with many other freak roll-over and tire detachment accidents), there might be some more new rules coming down the pipeline shortly.Maria de Villota

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2012 Grand Prix of Monaco Results

What can I say? I tried to get cutesie with my pick and it came back to bite me as the Grand Prix of Monaco became just another parade lap with the pole sitter taking the victory. There was the threat of rain, but of course, the skies didn’t open up until about five minutes after the race was won. How exciting would that have been? If that downpour had happened just 10 minutes earlier… well, we would have had quite a different race on our hands. As it ended up though, we did get our sixth different winner from six races, and now both Vettel and Webber are tied on points, while Fernando’s third place finish has him out in front… just. Really though, the Grand Prix of Monaco has always been more about brokering deals and the spectacle of the town rather than the race. Honestly, when was the last truly epic race there? The last vivid memory I have of any race there was in 2009, and that was AFTER the race when Button parked in the wrong spot and had to run the entire length of the front straight to collect his trophy.

Either way, the season is shaping up to continue to be unpredictable. And with the next race usually being the undisputed best race of the season in Canada (Montreal is both an amazing city and provides some of the best on track action the entire year) we are going to be in for even more unpredictability. Can Hamilton shake off his funk and become the seventh winner in seven races? What about the turn of speed that Massa just showed. And how about Kimi or Schumacher or Grosjean (if the last two can stay out of trouble that is). All I know is that I wish I were back in Canada like last year, because it is always a spectacular time… even if it does rain for over two hours non-stop and I almost develop hypothermia and end up standing in a porta-potty just to retain warmth, wait out the rain and wring out my sopping clothes!

1. Mark Webber

2. Nico Rosberg

3. Fernando Alonso

4. Sebastian Vettel

5. Lewis Hamilton

6. Felipe Massa

7. Paul di Resta

8. Nico Hulkenberg

9. Kimi Raikkonen

10. Bruno Senna

2012 Chinese Grand Prix Results

Well, what an interesting race! In the early stages, I thought that it would just be a processional until the checkered flag, but the battle for second place (after Schumacher’s retirement) really heated up over the last 20 laps or so. In fact, so heated was the battle that in two laps, Kimi Raikkonen went from second spot to 12th! Such is the pace of all the cars this season that you can never count on one dominant team. However, I do still believe that the McLarens are the class of the field this season, and had it not been for poor qualifying, troubles in the pits for Jenson, the gearbox change for Lewis and the cooler temps, it would have been a very different outcome. But those are a lot of “ifs” in a race that saw Nico Rosberg finally record his first – and very convincing – win after taking his first pole position as well. The Mercedes benefitted from those cooler temps and the long straights where it could flex its top speed and walk away from the rest of the pack. Will the same prove true in Bahrain, if everything goes smoothly and no one gets brutally shot? I’m betting no. My money next week will still be on the McLarens, as they will be in warmer temps, and there isn’t as much opportunity to have the DRS activated as much as it was in China with those two tremendous straights. But my predictions for then will have to wait, although not very long. Bahrain is up next in what should be one of the more interesting races, both on and off the track, in a very long time.

1. Nico Rosberg

2. Jenson Button

3. Lewis Hamilton

4. Mark Webber

5. Sebastian Vettel

6. Romain Grosjean

7. Bruno Senna

8. Pastor Maldonado

9. Fernando Alonso

10. Kamui Kobayashi

2012 Malaysian Grand Prix Results

I know I’ve expounded on the amazing possibilities and potential benefits of a wet race, and this weekend certainly showed what can happen when the skies open up. It wasn’t as if the rain was unexpected, but I think it caught out people with the intensity of it for those first few laps of the race. By lap nine the whole shebang had been red flagged and the cars sat around on the grid for over a half hour before starting up again. And that is when things became really interesting. Turns out that Ferrari actually made a correct call at a correct time, when in years past it always seemed like they were on the back foot and couldn’t make a correct call to save their lives. But on Sunday in Malaysia, they got it right, and the bells that no one in Maranello thought would ring out this season, did. Fernando Alonso once again proved he is the best driver on the grid by taking a very under performing Ferrari to the checkered flag in first, with the young Mexican Sergio Perez hot on his heels for second.

What some (myself somewhat included) are now calling a conspiracy, saw the surging Sergio consistently gaining on the Ferrari in the closing laps to the tune of upwards of a second a lap. With just over 10 laps left, Perez made a mistake and ran wide in a corner where most drivers will never go off. The fact that the Sauber team are using engines supplied by Ferrari, and that Perez is a protege of the Ferrari young driver program makes the off all the more intriguing. Just before Perez’s off, a message came across the radio telling Perez to be careful and that the team needed the points. His off also happened to be in a spot where he wouldn’t be in any danger of not finishing, as their were no gravel traps around; just wide open tarmac to run off onto. What this means to me is that they don’t want to cross their engine supplier and outshine their ace when that might piss off the people at the house of the Prancing Horse. They want to make sure though, that Ferrari knows what they have in their driver, and that he is ready to ascend to the spot that Felipe Massa currently holds. Massa has been given every opportunity to prove that he can compete with Fernando, including having an entirely new chassis constructed and flown in for this race. And though he was much closer in qualifying, his race pace was abysmal. If he doesn’t perform in China, I do believe that his time in the team is going to be up. The team is trying to score valuable points, and with only one driver ever securing those in the Constructor’s Championship, they will never be higher than fourth, or possibly even fifth this year considering how well Lotus and now Sauber are coming along. The other thing to take into consideration might be that the Ferrari really is a handful and that Alonso is simply driving out of his Spanish mind. It could be like in 2009, when Massa had that spring hit him in the helmet and the team brought in the back up drivers of Luca Badoer and then Giancarlo Fisichella and neither of them could get any sort of performance out of the car. Perhaps this car is like that, and no one will be able to tame the beast the way the Spaniard does. Of course, all of this comes back to that ban on in season testing. As soon as that ban came into play, it seems that Ferrari fell off the face of the earth. They just can’t seem to keep up with developing a car that they can’t test. Regardless, it is going to be extremely interesting to see how this all progresses, but don’t expect Massa to remain in that second car as the teams start the European leg of the tour if he does not respond in a big way three weeks from now in China.

1. Fernando Alonso

2. Sergio Perez

3. Lewis Hamilton

4. Mark Webber

5. Kimi Raikkonen

6. Bruno Senna

7. Paul di Resta

8. Jean-Eric Vergne

9. Nico Hulkenberg

10. Michael Schumacher

Brazilian Grand Prix Results and Winter Stories Already!

And so closes the 2011 Formula One season. In Brazil, as is traditional. And as is becoming tradition for this race, the winner came not from pole, but from second on the grid. Mark Webber brought home his first win of the season in a fully Red Bull dominated race. And were it not for Sebastian Vettel’s car having a gearbox problem (or so the team says) Mark would have finished a distant second methinks. But aside from that, the battle for second in the championship came down to this race as well, and with Alonso, Button and Webber all in the hunt, it would be up to those three men to fight it out. As it turns out, it wasn’t much of a fight, as in the second half of the race, the Ferrari of Fernando Alonso became anemic and very uncompetitive against the surging Jenson Button, who flat out destroyed Alonso down the straight with his DRS enabled. From there, the team told him that he could do qualifying paced laps till the end, and he did so to finish third, and in doing so, securing second behind Vettel. Webber, with his win and Alonso’s fourth took third in the final standings, by one point from Alonso. Hamilton finished a distant fifth after his gearbox let go while chasing Felipe Massa. If not for Schumacher having a coming together with Senna and Hamilton’s gearbox letting go, I would have once again called exactly who finished in the top 10. However, because of those two going down or out, the finishing order looked like this:

1. Mark Webber

2. Sebastian Vettel

3. Jenson Button

4. Fernando Alonso

5. Felipe Massa

6. Adrian Sutil

7. Nico Rosberg

8. Paul di Resta

9. Kamui Kobayashi

10. Vitaly Petrov

And so it is on to next season and already there is a lot of intrigue. With the US Grand Prix looking like it is about 100% unlikely to take place and a returning driver in the Ice Man, Kimi Raikkonen taking a spot at Lotus Renault in place of the still injured Robert Kubica, there will be plenty of stories. Plus, coming up in just a few days time, a lot of this current crop of drivers will know whether they will be still be Formula One drivers or not. This includes Vitaly Petrov, Adrian Sutil, Rubens Barrichello and quite a few others. Also, there is now the story emerging that Bernie Ecclestone is saying that Europe is finished in F1 and that there will be only five races to be held there out of the 20 on the calendar in the next few years. WHAT LUNACY! I’m pretty sure I call for Bernie’s head every year, but seriously, can someone please get this senile octogenarian out of a position of power soon!?!

2012 can’t come soon enough. Next up, the Australian Grand Prix in March.

Italian Grand Prix Results

Thanks to an unbelievably high rate of attrition for the Italian Grand Prix this past weekend, my results were skewed a bit, however, I did manage to correctly guesstimate the results of three of the drivers including both Ferraris and, of course, Sebastian Vettel. After a blistering start by Fernando Alonso (which I now come to expect, but also realize is a very fleeting show by the Spaniard) Vettel managed to push past and never once looked back. Vettel romped to such an easy and relaxing victory that the television never really even looked in on him for the entire race. It’s almost automatic now to see him fly off into the distance and just concentrate on who will come in second or third, because that seems to be the more prevalent race.

In any case, the first corner of the first lap was a very interesting one this time as all the cars sped down to the extremely tight chicane and Alonso blasted out in the lead. Behind him, and from the back of the grid, Vitantonio Luizzi lost control of his car when it ended up on the grass and he barreled into a bunch of unsuspecting cars, including Nico Rosberg and Vitaly Petrov, both of whom looked poised to score good points this race. The incident was quite dramatic and Luizzi has actually received a five grid-spot penalty for his action, which I don’t understand as he was pretty much driven off the circuit after making a great start and then lost control once he was pushed toward the grass. But such is the oddness behind the calls made by the higher ups in F1.

After the debris was cleaned up and the safety car dove into the pits, it was just a matter of time before Vettel shot past and once he did it was all over for the rest of the field. Behind him, the battle over second came to the fore, as Jenson Button eventually passed Lewis Hamilton, Michael Schumacher and then Fernando Alonso to take the spot. He has put in a lot of great drives this year and deserves his reputation as an unerringly smooth and meticulous driver.

As it stands, Vettel is so far out in front that if he… sorry, WHEN he wins the next race in Singapore, he will officially clinch the world title. Alonso is currently second in the driver’s standings, but by such a large margin that catching up is impossible. So, here’s an early congratulations to the 2011 world champion Sebastian Vettel, and here are the results of the 2011 Italian Grand Prix.

1. Sebastian Vettel

2. Jenson Button

3. Fernando Alonso

4. Lewis Hamilton

5. Michael Schumacher

6. Felipe Massa

7. Jaime Alguersuari

8. Paul di Resta

9. Bruno Senna

10. Sebastian Buemi

Italian Grand Prix Predictions

Well, this is getting a little embarrassing now. In fact, this season is turning into such a domination by the German driver Sebastian Vettel, that you would think it was 2002 all over again and this is just a mini-Schumacher in the cockpit and the red car had held its breath too long and turned blue. But that was how he has been advertised, and he’s certainly living up to the hype. Sebastian Vettel once again grabbed pole position, his 10th of the season, ahead of the Italian Grand Prix at Monza. His lap time was half a second quicker than the McLarens of Hamilton and Button. I find that astonishing. He is supernatural sometimes and I am pegging him for the win. At some point I am sure he will be passed, as there are two separate DRS zones this race, but in the end, his Red Bull will simply be too strong for all the other cars. As for the other runners, Ferrari is obviously now fully committed to their 2012 car and whatever points they can scrape together are just to be spoiling other racers days, but in the end, they will not be placing additional modifications on the cars come other races. The Renault of Petrov was surprisingly quick, beating out both Mercedes, but it’s a long race and I think that the Mercedes will move their way up the board. I also think that the Force India cars, which have always been known for being very fast in a straight line and not that quick on twisty circuits, will come up a bit and Sutil will get some points.

1. Sebastian Vettel

2. Lewis Hamilton

3. Fernando Alonso

4. Jenson Button

5. Mark Webber

6. Felipe Massa

7. Michael Schumacher

8. Nico Rosberg

9. Adrian Sutil

10. Vitaly Petrov