Tag Archives: Kamui Kobayashi

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.

2012 Canadian Grand Prix Preview

That time of year is upon us. I can’t believe it’s been one full year since I was sitting in a grandstand in the Senna S curve watching Formula One cars and getting a great tan. This weekend, despite the protesters wishes, the whole of Montreal will be reverberating to the sounds of 2.4 liter V8 engines as the best drivers take to the Circuit Gilles Villenueve. I am actually glad not to be there this year because of those hoodlums, but I still always wish I could be anywhere that sweet, sweet sound is being made. Anyway, let’s get right to it. As always, Lewis Hamilton looks quick, and we know he generally likes this track (he took his maiden win here). Over one lap, both he and the two (surprisingly enough) Ferraris looks to be the front runners for this race. However, the Mercedes has been decidedly slow all weekend and may have something up its sleeve for qualifying and the race. I also wouldn’t count out Vettel, who seems to be liking the Red Bull, despite its lack of straight line speed.

We also know that Montreal is probably going to give us the best racing of the year, so enjoy it while you can. With multiple spots to pass (the Senna curves, the hairpin, into the final corner, etc), the ever present threat of unpredictable weather – remember the two hour rain delay because of the torrential downpour last year when I almost developed hypothermia? Well I certainly do – a possible one-stop strategy, crashes and safety cars, this is going to be a great race.

1. Fernando Alonso

2. Lewis Hamilton

3. Felipe Massa

4. Sebastian Vettel

5. Nico Rosberg

6. Jenson Button

7. Roman Grosjean

8. Kimi Raikkonen

9. Michael Schumacher

10. Kamui Kobayashi

2012 Monaco Grand Prix Predictions

Who can master the streets of the Principality this weekend? My money is on Hamilton. I wish it wasn’t but he is fast and Webber is bad on starts and I don’t see the Red Bull holding that pole position for the entire race. I really hope that Webber can hold off Hamilton and Rosberg for that matter, but Webber just doesn’t seem like he can. It doesn’t seem like he, or the car, can keep up the pace. And what happened to the Lotus cars? They just seemed to fall off the map. I was expecting on picking Grosjean or Raikkonen for the win, but not now. Grosjean is in with a chance for a podium at least, but I was expecting more. Great lap from Schumacher, but his penalty really, really hurt him (obviously). Felipe looks like he has some more life and fight in him, and I look for him to finish in the points, but I wanted to see him continue his ascension as he did in Q2. Either way, here is my list.

1. Lewis Hamilton

2. Mark Webber

3. Romain Grosjean

4. Fernando Alonso

5. Felipe Massa

6. Nico Rosberg

7. Michael Schumacher

8. Kimi Raikkonen

9. Sebastian Vettel

10. Kamui Kobayashi

 

2012 Spanish Grand Prix Results

Huh.. that one certainly came out of left field.

1. Pastor Maldonado

2. Fernando Alonso

3. Kimi Raikkonen

4. Romain Grosjean

5. Kamui Kobayashi

6. Sebastian Vettel

7. Nico Rosberg

8. Lewis Hamilton

9. Jenson Button

10. Nico Hulkenberg

2012 Bahrain Grand Prix Predictions

Well, it’s been a bit uneventful this weekend, and that’s a good thing. Off the track, there has been an incident involving the Force India team who decided to sit out of free practice two because they wanted to get an early jump on leaving the track early for fear of more problems with protesters after dark. They are committed to qualifying and the race though, so we will see what, if anything happens (both to the team and with the protesters).

The other news is that the Mercedes is once again very quick over a timed lap. If the team can repeat what they did in China, then good for them, but I don’t see it happening. I think that Nico probably got that huge monkey off his back though, just as Jenson did before him many years ago, and that winning will come more easily, but this weekend it won’t. This is due mainly to the weather here. I believe that the hotter temps will see the Mercedes team struggle once again with tire degredation and that the McLaren and Red Bull teams will once again rise to the top. However, I am not counting Nico out of the podium, but I feel that over a race distance, Jenson is going to be able to preserve his tires better and have the pace to take the top step. If, however, I am proven wrong (which, let’s be honest, isn’t all that far-fetched) and the Mercedes DO continue their winning ways, then the rest of the field is going to have to really be on their toes and bring some heavy updates in a few weeks. And with this season already being screwy with three different winners over three different races, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Hamilton, Webber, Vettel or even Schumacher on that top step instead of a Button or Rosberg. In fact, based on my track record of predictions this year, it’s pretty likely you could count on everything I predict being completely wrong! Oh well, we’ll just have to see how the race unfolds. Hopefully things continue to run smoothly over there and we see a race that is as good as first three have been.

1. Jenson Button

2. Nico Rosberg

3. Mark Webber

4. Lewis Hamilton

5. Sebastian Vettel

6. Sergio Perez

7. Michael Schumacher

8. Kimi Raikkonen

9. Fernando Alonso

10. Kamui Kobayashi

 

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 Australian Grand Prix Results

Well, well, well. It seems as though it won’t be a Red Bull runaway this season. However, we may just see McLaren go on a tear. After locking out the front row, the duo from Woking went straight to work on the rest of the field and romped out to a huge lead. This would prove to be insurmountable in the case of Jenson Button, who had an absolute serene day at the front of the pack, only being closed in on during the safety car period. Lewis Hamilton, who started on pole, came under pressure midway through the contest from Sebastian Vettel, starting from sixth, and was passed in the pit stop rotation resulting from that safety car. Mark Webber put up a good fight for fourth, which is his best finishing position ever in his home race, but was never really close enough to challenge for a podium.

The biggest movers of the day had to have been the Ferraris at the start, with both Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa jumping right up into points positions. However, while Alonso was able to keep a reasonable pace with the front runners for awhile, it all proved too much for his car and he eventually fell off the pace and claimed a “best of the rest” fifth. Massa meanwhile ended up being swallowed up by backmarkers and was run into in the closing stages, having to retire the car. Other big movers were both Kimi Raikkonen, coming up to claim seventh from 18th on the grid after some closing lap incidents in front of him, and Sergio Perez, who started dead last in 22nd and finished eighth. He probably could have made up more positions but his one-stop strategy made for some dodgy tires at the end of the race.

The biggest losers from this race were undoubtedly Mercedes and Williams. Both of the Mercedes team were expecting to run faster, with Nico Rosberg even saying that he thought he had a car that could challenge for the win, and Michael Schumacher starting in fourth. Neither of the cars finished in the points, as Schumacher damaged the gearbox and Rosberg obtained a punctured rear tire from Perez on the last lap. The Williams team also came away disappointed as their main man Pastor Maldonado started in eighth and had a great fight going with the Ferrari of Alonso for most of the race. They had the pace in their car and it was a shame that Maldonado ended up smacking the wall on the final lap.

All in all, I would say that this was one of the better opening rounds of any season I’ve watched. It was incident filled, but not to the extent that it caused too many stops with safety cars. There were some good fights on track and there are some great stories that are about to burst forth. For instance, the battle between the midfield teams is amazingly tight this year, with both Saubers scoring points and the Lotus and Williams looking mighty respectable. In fact, if you look at the Constructor’s points, Sauber is ahead of Ferrari right now! Whether that will last is to be seen, but if both of their drivers continue to end up in the points and Ferrari has to continue relying on Alonso to secure all of their points, there are a few teams that will eventually garner more points than the squad from Maranello. As a bonus, we won’t even have to wait that long to see how this season continues to shape up, as the Malaysian Grand Prix is next weekend already! Mark your calendars, it’s going to be spectacular!

1. Jenson Button

2. Sebastian Vettel

3. Lewis Hamilton

4. Mark Webber

5. Fernando Alonso

6. Kamui Kobayashi

7. Kimi Raikkonen

8. Sergio Perez

9. Daniel Ricciardo

10. Paul di Resta