Tag Archives: European Grand Prix

2012 Canadian Grand Prix Results

Well, the one-stop strategy was tried and in full effect… it just failed miserably for a few of the front runners and predicted winner especially. In the end, it was Lewis Hamilton, whose record in Montreal is either a win or a DNF so far in his career, meaning that I really should have picked him to win as he had a pretty good shot. This makes it seven winners from seven races and means that the championship is still wide open and anyone can take it in the remaining 13 races.

Usually, Canada provides some good racing, and it provided some good moments to be sure, but not if you are a fan of the Prancing Horse. With Felipe Massa spinning out of his own accord and Fernando Alonso trying to nurse some very well worn tires for over 45 laps, neither of the two I picked to have good results finished that well. Alonso’s tires fell off the cliff in the final three laps, making him easy prey for Hamilton, Perez, Grosjean and Vettel, all of whom passed the struggling Ferrari in the last few laps of the race. To his, and his team’s, credit, the McLaren driver had the right strategy for the day called all along. Even when Hamilton came in for his second stop and both Alonso and Vettel stayed out, it looked like the race would be over for him. Either they would put in a few fast laps to come in and stay ahead after the pit stops, or they would stay out and just run out the few remaining laps to the checkered flag. However, the team must have known something – or got very lucky – as they were adamant that Alonso and Vettel would be stopping again before the end and that Lewis would catch them in the rotation. However, the longer they stayed out, the more Hamilton had to push, and the faster he wound up catching them both as their tires began to fall apart. As Kimi Raikkonen proved earlier this year, when the tires fall of the cliff, they fall off hard, and both Red Bull and Ferrari made critical errors that they might come to regret later on in the season. Lewis is one of the most consistent drivers on the grid for scoring points, and now leads Alonso in the Driver’s Championship by two points.

Yes, there is a long way to go, but with every point becoming more and more valuable, no driver can ill afford to have a blunder or blown strategy call anymore. Both Ferrari and Red Bull will learn from this, but Hamilton is going to only find strength in this win and it could be a three horse race as they start to come down to the wire. Look for these three to lead the way and start to pull clear of the rest of the field soon enough.

1. Lewis Hamilton

2. Romain Grosjean

3. Sergio Perez

4. Sebastian Vettel

5. Fernando Alonso

6. Nico Rosberg

7. Mark Webber

8. Kimi Raikkonen

9. Kamui Kobayashi

10. Felipe Massa

 

In other racing news, the next race is one of my most detestable: The European Grand Prix in Valencia. And it comes as no surprise to me that the race is struggling to find an audience. As I have said before, it makes no sense for one country to have two races, and even Bernie said as much, then went ahead and did the damn thing anyway! Now, the director of the circuit was quoted as saying, “Two races for Spain is meaningless. Like everything, you have to rationalise.” If that isn’t proof enough of what I had been preaching since this race’s inception, nothing is. Bernie, stop lining your goddamn pockets, pull your head out of your ass and either alternate the race (bad idea) or get rid of the parade lap that lacks the pomp and theater of Monaco (best idea) known as the Valencia circuit.

European GP Roundup and News

Although I missed this past weekend’s European Grand Prix, it took place in Valencia, so in reality, I didn’t miss a thing. In fact, the only two notable things to come from the weekend were that Fernando Alonso came in second, and that every car finished the race. Yes, you read that correctly. Every single car actually finished the race. At least last year Mark Webber went flying and flipping all over the place to give the race a little more gravitas than normal, but this year, it seems like it turned into a long, boring parade in which Vettel dominated from the word go… again. I’d have more, but all you really need for Valencia is who won the race because it is generally the most boring race out there and still needs to go away. Bernie should just count his losses on this one and let it go. Valencia is just simply a bad, boring race to watch and it proved that once again this year. Here is the finishing order.

1. Sebastian Vettel

2. Fernando Alonso

3. Mark Webber

4. Lewis Hamilton

5. Felipe Massa

6. Jenson Button

7. Nico Rosberg

8. Jaime Alguersuari

9. Adrian Sutil

10. Nick Heidfeld

In other, more interesting news, there are now officially official new engine regulation for the 2014 season. Formula one will downsize again, this time to 1.6 liter V6 engines with a maximum RPM of 15,000. Supposedly this will appease those who didn’t want the 4 cylinder engines and still make the sport appear to be environmentally conscious. It was also revealed that Audi would have come into the sport if the 4 cylinder engines were approved, which would have made for an interesting field, but I still think that F1 is nothing with 4 cylinder engines (even though I know that 4 cylinders with turbos have been fielded in the past). Also, it should be noted that F1 does have a distinctive sound. I brought this up when I talked about going to Montreal. I do believe it has lost some of its power moving down from the V10s to the V8s, and now it will lose even more with the switch to a turbo’d V6. There will still be a distinctive wail, but it really won’t have the same impact that it used to.

Also, the Austin GP got its funding from the state and is moving ahead. This is good news and hopefully should be the last hurdle (other than actually completing the track) to get over before the US GP at Austin is put on next year.

Silverstone is up next. I will be out of town again for this race, so updates will be scattered. However, I can tell you that the tire choices are medium/hard compounds, making for some scrambling from Ferrari to try and figure out how to make their car work on those, and that the track was updated and changed last year so the layout will be new to all the teams and be sort of like going to a new venue. It should be interesting how that plays into Vettel’s hands. And yes, I think Vettel will win. Some other team needs to prove me otherwise, because unless it rains and he has a brain fart, he will simply dominate the field like normal.

Bernie’s Hypocrisy and Odd F1 Cars

It was revealed in a recent letter that the proposed GP in Rome will most likely never happen. This is due to F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone stating that one race per country is enough and that the Monza circuit would have precedence over Rome in the new 20 race schedule. However, as I look over the calendar, I notice that there is a country with two Grands Prix in it currently. Spain. They have both the Spanish GP and the European GP. Now, I don’t know about you, but I have been constantly berating the European GP in Valencia for a few years because it is boring and goes against what Bernie wants, which is for no country to have two races. This is part of the reason why Germany switches between both of its tracks. All I’m saying is that the European GP should be moved out of Spain because 1) I think it’s a bad race, and 2) it really does go against what Bernie is trying to accomplish, and if it stays there, it will only reinforce the fact that he is a senile old bat who has lost touch with the sport and how it should be run.

Also, in preparation for the arrivals of the team’s new car designs, here is a good slide show of ten of the weirdest F1 cars ever to take to the track. The unmistakeable Tyrrell P34 and the March 711 are both crazy faves of mine.

Race Nine: European Grand Prix

Mark Webber’s Reb Bull gained some wings and threw the whole race into disarray in the process. The European Grand Prix this past weekend will go down in my book as a complete hack job joke of a race, based mainly on the “rules and regulations” as well as the “penalties” that were handed out. At the start of the race, everything was going just fine. There was a ton of action in the first couple of laps with people changing position and cars flying all over the track as the racing has fast and frantic. All in all, it seemed like the Valencia circuit was going to provide a race for once. But that was all to change on lap 15. On the fast back straight, Mark Webber was chasing down Heikki Kovalainen’s Lotus, when he failed to brake in time, flew over the back of his car and flipped in the air. His car landed on its spine and eventually back onto the wheels before hurtling into the tires. I screamed, gasped and was wowed by the spectacle. Its not every day that a Formula One car takes flight, but it was appropriate that it happened to be a Red Bull that did it.

What came next is what makes me upset. First off, let me just say that I am a Ferrari Fan. However, in this instance I don’t think that anyone in the F1 community (besides diehard McLaren or Hamilton fans) will disagree with me when I say that Ferrari, and many others in the field, got screwed. Big time screwed. And it all had to do with Lewis Hamilton once again. A few years ago I gave him the nickname of Lucky Lewis, and it hasn’t failed to work for him. It fits him so well its obscene sometimes. This time, Lucky saw the safety car coming out of the pits, hesitated, then went right around them to get to the pits faster and get back out into the field in a better position. Being that both Ferrari’s were behind Lewis at this point, they did the right thing for once, and ended up having to do a slow in lap, causing them to fall very far down the order after their stops. I knew something was up when I saw Hamilton in the pits, during the safety car period, but no sign of either Ferrari. How did he get there so quick? Why is Alonso not on his tail? What’s going on here? Turns out that by skittering around the safety car, Lucky saved himself more than a minute of time and ended up regaining the track back where he started; in second place. But he had broken the rules and needed to be suitably punished right? In theory that’s what should have happened, however, because he was in second, and Kamui Kobayashi was in third at the time, he could pull out a generous lead on him and not have to worry about anything after the race stewards informed him of a drive-through penalty. What this meant is that he had to drive slowly through the pits at the designated speed limit, then re-enter the race. In practice, this should hamper a driver who has committed a penalty. In reality, it made no difference. Hamilton entered the pits in second, and came out in the same position. What this boils down to is that no penalty was served. If you break the rules on the track, there will be no consequences. This is what the FIA just laid out on Sunday. It’s fairly plain to see this in the way other penalties were handled after the race as well, because the FIA handed out five-second penalties to nine other drivers. FIVE SECONDS! Whoopty-freaking-doo. You know what this changed? One place. Alonso to eighth, Buemi to ninth. WOW! What a harsh penalty! Oh, wait, you’re right, that’s not a penalty at all. In fact, it seems that of the ten people who broke the rules in this race, no one was penalized. The team that was penalized was Ferrari, and THEY FOLLOWED EVERY RULE TO THE LETTER. Thanks FIA. Thanks Formula One. I never thought you could become as big of a joke as the World Cup and soccer, but you are really starting to become a farce.

Here is how the finishing order went. I’m not even going to compare these to my predictions because as far as I’m concerned, this was a totally lost race. Well done to Sebastian Vettel though, who drove a perfect race and was on fire all weekend. Well done must also be given to Kamui Kobayashi who drove over 50 laps on one set of tires, then passed both Alonso and Buemi in the closing laps to come home in seventh.

1. Sebastian Vettel

2. Lewis Hamilton

3. Jenson Button

4. Rubens Barrichello

5. Robert Kubica

6. Adrian Sutil

7. Kamui Kobayashi

8. Fernando Alonso

9. Sebastian Buemi

10. Nico Rosberg

European Grand Prix Predictions

I think this weekend’s race will see the normal batch of people heading to the top once again. Valencia is a track that doesn’t really put on a good show normally, and whoever qualifies at the front, usually remains there. For this reason, it is vital to put in a quality qualifying lap. I think that none of the front runners has showed their true pace, but Alonso always likes to perform well in front of his home Spaniards, and the raft of changes to the F10 seems to have made it work better for him. Whether or not he gets the win, I don’t know (though I am predicting him for it), but I think he will be up front at any rate. Here is my finishing order:

1. Fernando Alonso

2. Lewis Hamilton

3. Mark Webber

4. Felipe Massa

5. Sebastian Vettel

6. Jenson Button

7. Nico Rosberg

8. Robert Kubica

9. Adrian Sutil

10. Michael Schumacher

Race Eight: Canada

As is usually the case, the Canadian Grand Prix lived up to the lofty expectations that I had of it. However, I was wrong on a few of my predictions, but that in a bit.

The start of the race was a hectic affair that found no less than four cars involved in altercations. At the back, it was Vitaly Petrov and another car coming together (after Petrov jumped the start), while at the front, it was Felipe Massa and Tonio Liuzzi coming together. In fact, Liuzzi got spun around and fell to the back of the pack, but ended up storming through the race ending up ninth. This race was more exciting in the first 15 laps then most races are over their entire running. Canada is a special place where there are big speeds, little room and big crashes because of it. And although I predicted a big altercation at the first corner (sort of correct) I was surprised that there was not one safety car. I had predicted two or three I think, but this turned out to be a very subdued and well driven Canadian Grand Prix. True, there were many passes and lots of action on the track, but no one got overly ambitious and brought out the safety car. In fact, it was the first race held at the Circuit Gilles Villenueve since 2004 that did not feature the appearance of the safety car. So you can see why I made that prediction.

The other big story was that of the tires. With Bridgestone bringing the super soft and the medium compound tires, every driver complained of big time graining and degradation from the tires. Even the Bridgestone officials were shaking their heads at this saying that the tires would not last as long as the drivers needed them to. They were proven wrong of course, and many of the drivers ended up doing as many as 40 laps on one set of tires!

After the dust had settled, it was Lewis Hamilton who took the checkered flag. He was followed home by Button and Alonso. The Red Bulls were fourth and fifth and ended up there mostly because of poor tire choice and some problem with Vettel’s car. Either way, it shows that the McLarens are very good, Alonso is a beast of a driver, and that the Red Bulls – though fast at certain times – were not doing to well with the high speeds and low downforce of this track. Here is how they finished and then how I predicted the race.

1. Lewis Hamilton

2. Jenson Button

3. Fernando Alonso

4. Sebastian Vettel

5. Mark Webber

6. Nico Rosberg

7. Robert Kubica

8. Sebastian Buemi

9. Vitantonio Liuzzi

10. Adrian Sutil
So how did I do, well, OK I guess. Here is my list and how I thought it would come out. Although, I did say that I just threw up some names hoping they would fall correctly. I really did not see Buemi scoring that high, especially not without any safety car periods, but that’s Canada for you. I will say that I correctly predicted Mark Webber, and came closer than I though on many of the top names, but was really off farther down the list.

1. Jenson Button

2. Sebastian Vettel

3. Lewis Hamilton

4. Fernando Alonso

5. Mark Webber

6. Felipe Massa

7. Adrian Sutil

8. Michael Schumacher

9. Nico Rosberg

10. Robert Kubica

The next race is in two weeks is the European Grand Prix in Valencia, Spain. This is one of the more boring races on the calendar, so pray for rain!!

On Friday, I mentioned that I would run down a little of Le Mans, and it was a great weekend for Audi, as they swept the top three podium spots, even though they were thoroughly outqualified by the much faster Peugeots. It seems that they had the reliability and the race pace to go the distance and made a name for themselves once again. Good for them.

Race 11: European Grand Prix

I’m not sure if this has happened before, but I finally got one right…the winner anyway. Rubens Barrichello scored an emotional victory for Brawn GP in Valencia at the European Grand Prix. It was his first win in over five years and the first to be in anything other than a Ferrari. Coming in second place, after leading for much of the race, was Lewis Hamilton in the McLaren, while Kimi Raikkonen got a great start and jumped three places to third by the end of the race. Rounding out the points paying positions were Heikki Kovalainen in fourth, Nico Rosberg in fifth, Fernando Alonso in sixth, Jenson Button in seventh and finally Robert Kubica in eighth.

So, how close did I come to being correct? I had Barrichello winning followed by Button and Webber. So I had the winner right, and I also had points for Button, Raikkonen, Hamilton and Rosberg, so not too bad.

With this win, Rubens has leapfrogged the two Red Bull drivers and taken over second place in the championship. He is now only 18 points ahead of the charging Rubens, who is only a few points ahead of both Webber and Vettel – neither of whom scored any points on the weekend.

Of course, the emotional part is not just due to the fact that he won the race as a 37-year-old, or the fact that it had been five years, it was down to the fact that he was racing for Felipe Massa, his Brazilian countryman who was hit by a spring from Rubens’ car at the last race. He really wanted to win this one for Massa, and ended up doing so in fine style.

Also, it is nice that Formula one is back in action because we are now less than a week away from the next grand prix. This one is held at the daunting and always interesting Spa-Francorchamps circuit. If you want to see just how much of a great race this one can be, all you have to do is look to last year where in a dry race that turned wet, Kimi Raikkonen and Lewis Hamilton had a hell of a battle in the final laps and Lewis went on to what he thought was a victory, only to have it taken away after the race. I don’t want to see that happen again – the penalty part – but if the race turns wet…look out because anything can, and will, happen. Here’s hoping it’s a fantastic race.