Tag Archives: Monaco 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.

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

Wow! New Jersey Now?!

So, New Joisey is getting themselves a fancy ass F1 race eh? Sounds intriguing, but it will be a street circuit, which could be problematic as most street circuits (barring Monaco) are lame, but who knows, maybe it will be good. I am a bit confused as to why the US was left off of the F1 calendar for so long, and now, all of a sudden, there are going to be two races here. If it was all about money, that can’t be the case, because there were probably many major cities clamoring for a race behind the scenes. And if it’s about reviving the economy, I don’t buy that as it’s only one weekend out of the year and, traditionally, most F1 races don’t make back any sort of profit. Again, I say most, although there are certainly some great races on the calendar.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m excited to see how the track is going to look and what the lap will be like and the fact that the US has two separate places to go to, but the realist in me says that something will have to give. Will this race take over the spot from Turkey? Or Bahrain? What about Australia? Or possibly Korea? Or might this be a case of switching off every year like the German and Japanese Grands Prix do? I would love every race to succeed, but I am also torn at the prospect of possibly losing more of the European circuits (minus Valencia… that thing can get the hell out).

Again, the optimist in me – which constitutes a very, very miniscule portion of me – would love for this to work out so well that the US finally embraces F1, but the realist in me just doesn’t see how this will work out in the long run. Bernie loves money, and I think that most countries are enticed by the prospect of a race, but in the end, the only person who will win in this deal will be Bernie because, again, most of these races always loses money. And when that happens, it’s only a matter of time before this NASCAR loving country attempts to pull the plug.

Story link.

An Amazing, Enthralling, Wet Canadian Grand Prix

I don’t think anyone saw that coming. Forget Monaco. Don’t even talk about the Chinese Grand Prix. And you can take the Turkish GP and toss it in the garbage. The Canadian Grand Prix was once again the highlight of the F1 season to date and provided thrilling racing right to the very last lap. Luckily, I was there to witness it in all its glory. This is the reason that I didn’t make predictions for this weekend, although, even if I had attempted to, they would have been entirely wrong as I would have had a Ferrari on the podium and never in a million years would I have had Button winning. But this was Montreal, and anything can – and did – happen.

Friday – Practice Day.

Friday was gorgeous. We got to the track around 10:30 or so and were in our stands in time to see the first practice session end, with Rosberg on top of the timesheets, and then we sat around taking pictures and generally soaking up the beautiful sun and great scenery that Circuit Gilles Villenueve and grandstand 11 have to offer. In the afternoon, it was Alonso giving the Tifosi in the crowd something to be optimistic about as he went fastest of all. The weekend was looking good for them and for the McLarens. Red Bull of course was not showing their hand, but they didn’t really have to as most would have thought that Vettel would be up to his usual fast tricks in qualifying.

Canadian GP Friday

Canadian GP Friday

Canadian GP Friday - McLaren Tattoo Guy

Canadian GP Friday

Nick Heidfeld

Fernando Alonso

Felipe Massa

Michael Schumacher

Fernando Alonso

Friday Crowd

Vintage F1 Cars

Vintage F1 Cars

Gilles Villenueve's Ferrari - Vintage F1 Cars

Jarno Trulli Opposite Lock

Felipe Massa

Heikki Kovalainen

Mark Webber

Jenson Button

Saturday – Qualifying Day.

Qualifying started at 1:00 so we had time to take a leisurely trek to the track and we ended up there about 11:30 or so and had lunch. Q1 and Q2 were pretty much what you would expect, with the big hitters doing a few laps each and then going back to the garage to await Q3. And once again, the Ferraris provided some hope as they were clearly loving the tires and the track. Vettel showed that he was indeed the fasted overall, with Alonso and Massa close behind. Webber was next followed by Hamilton, Rosberg and Button. Schumacher followed him with the two Renaults rounding out the top ten. This is sort of the status quo in F1 right now, with these five teams making up the Q3 session pretty much every race.

Nick Heidfeld

Lewis Hamilton

Sunday – Race Day.

I knew that rain was forecast. It was a 60% chance, which is pretty good odds. However, no one could have predicted the amount or the voraciousness of the rain that was to come. Watching the Ferrari support race was fun with the damp track and the lively nature of the cars, so I thought that the race would be pretty fun as well – as long as it didn’t rain any more. Boy, was I in for a shock. The start of the race was extremely uneventful as the cars started behind the safety car to clear water from the track before actually setting off. And once they did, it was action from the get-go. In the first corner (where I was sat) Webber was spun from behind and dropped back in the pack as the rest of the drivers blew past in a cacophony of highly strung V8 power and noise. For my money the V10s still sounded better, but these V8s are still something to behold. Case in point, the last time I was in Montreal, I wore earplugs, but I felt they were not needed this time around as the V8s don’t have the same aural presence or staccato that the V10s once had. This isn’t to say that these cars aren’t loud though. You could hear the engines in the city proper, which is almost two miles away!

After a few laps, the rain began to let up and the track began to clear of some of the water. Button, the star of the race, spectacularly came together with Hamilton soon after the rain let up right in front of the pit wall, causing his teammate to break the suspension on his car, ending Hamilton’s race right in front of the grandstand I was in (I’m serious about this grandstand 11 people). Some drivers then dove into the pits to slap on the intermediate tires as opposed to the full wet, which proved to be something of a disaster when the rain finally came down like God was pissing on all of us. Seriously, this rain was unbelievable. In fact, it was so bad that the entire race was red flagged (meaning stopped entirely) and the cars queued up on the starting grid. It was soon apparent that there was not going to be an end in sight for the rain and the drivers bailed from their machines and into the pits.

This left the crowd wondering what to do. Most, like my father and me, opted to wait it out and watch the entire race. Some others opted to leave the track and go home as they were cold, wet and disgruntled and didn’t know when the race would start again. These people were suckers as they missed the finish of probably the most exciting F1 race in four or five years. I was also a sucker in that I was only wearing my Ferrari shirt and a long sleeve shirt over that as well as my Ferrari flag as a cape. This did not keep me dry in the least and by the end of the race I was shivering so hard that I couldn’t hold a camera steady to take pictures and my dad thought I was going to get hypothermia. In fact, my shoes were so completely soaked through with water that they weighed over five pounds combined and didn’t even get fully dry after a full cycle of the dryer. But it was all worth it in the end. After two hours and five minutes, the race was restarted and the action began anew.

It was pretty clear that the rain was now going to hold off enough that a dry line could begin to form. And when a dry line begins to form, that means drivers are going to take a chance and put on slick tires. This means lots of interesting action for the fans and crashes and incidents galore. Some of the first cars out on track with the slicks were the backmarkers, meaning the bigger teams could watch their times to see if the dry tires were worth the chance. Turns out they were and soon everyone was sporting them. Just a few laps after the restart of the race, everyone had on dry weather tires and the racing got very intense. Button came together with Alonso and put him into the wall, causing the McLaren driver to pit again and on lap 40 of 70, he was at the very end of the pack. Felipe Massa also had an incident with the wall when he (as predicted by me) attempted to pass a very slow driver and slid the car into the wall, damaging the front end, but not ending his race. With other drivers crashing, including Nick Heidfeld pretty spectacularly after driving over his own front wing, Button began to catch the pack and was mounting a charge. All throughout the field battles were raging for the coveted podium steps. Vettel seemed to be in a league of his own, while behind him, it was a race to the finish between Schumacher, Webber and Button! Yes, Button made up over 20 positions in just about 20 laps. He was on an absolute tear and from the back of the pack made a spectacular couple of passes to catch, and pass, both Webber and Schumacher. But he wasn’t done yet. He was taking full seconds out of Vettel’s lap times, but everyone knew it was too close to the end and he didn’t have enough left in the tank to mount a full charge on the Red Bull. But Canada is different. Weird things happen in Canada. On the very last lap, at turn five, Button finally got close enough, or Vettel just lost his brain for a second, but a mistake was made and Vettel spun his car on the grass. This caused the crowd, and myself, to lose our collective minds! Button had done the impossible. He had started eighth. He had been in the pits six times. He had been relegated to the back of the pack with 30 laps to go, and now he was in the lead with half a lap left! It was unheard of. It was unprecedented. It was the Canadian Grand Prix. As he crossed the line, the crowd erupted. Everyone (with the exception of the Red Bull team and its fans I would guess) was jumping up and down and cheering for Button. And the race wasn’t even over yet as Felipe Massa also made a move on the last lap over Kamui Kobayashi to take sixth place right at the end of the lap. I don’t know what the times look like, but it was a literal photo finish for those two drivers with Massa crossing the line probably about a thousandth of a second before the Sauber driver. The end of this race will go down as one of the best finishes of the year and even though it probably won’t make any difference for the outcome of the season, it goes to show that perseverance is everything and that Canada is always the race to go to.

Here is the final finishing order:

1. Jenson Button

2. Sebastian Vettel

3. Mark Webber

4. Michael Schumacher

5. Vitaly Petrov

6. Felipe Massa

7. Kamui Kobayashi

8. Jaime Alguersuari

9. Rubens Barrichello

10. Sebastian Buemi

My Race Outfit. Not Meant to Ward Off Rain

Sunday's Crowd

Ferrari Support Race

Ferrari Support Race

Me. And this is before the really heavy rain hit.

Heikki Kovalainen

Michael Schumacher

Jenson Button

Lewis Hamilton

Mark Webber

Fernando Alonso

Sebastian Vettel

Felipe Massa

Fernando Alonso

Sebastian Vettel

First Lap After Safety Car. Webber Spun Out.

Vettel, Alonso, Massa Fight For Position

Massa on slick tires

Schumacher, Webber, Button Battle For Position

Pastor Maldonado Crash

Jenson Button Victory!

Massa after passing Kamui Kobayashi to take sixth.

Monaco Grand Prix Results

One week. One more excruciating week until I board a flight for Montreal to see my first F1 race in six years. I am suitably excited because of the action that took place this past weekend in Monaco. The Monaco Grand Prix was one of the best of the season, and certainly one of the most exciting to ever take place around the streets of the principality.

At the start, there was frantic action up front as Vettel rocketed away from the pack. Toward the middle, Schumacher and Hamilton were having a great battle that resulted in a very ballsy pass by Hamilton into Ste Devote. And while Vettel, Button and Alonso began to separate themselves from the rest of the pack, Hamilton then got into it with Massa about halfway through the race, running into him at the hairpin. On the next lap, Massa got into the built up rubber pebbles in the tunnel and he smacked the wall hard, destroying his suspension and his race. Hamilton would eventually get a drive-through penalty and his race would be effectively over. However, up front, it was coming down to the final few laps, as both Button and Alonso had made multiple stops, while Vettel was attempting to finish the race having made only one stop. This was uncharted territory for the Pirelli tires, as he was trying to make them last for over 55 laps! However, with only six laps to go, a three-car pile up occurred at the swimming pool complex with Vitaly Petrov having to be taken away in the back of an ambulance (he was later released having suffered no severe injuries) and the race being red-flagged. This ultimately brought up a weird rule that had been changed for this season. In years past, if a race had gone past 75% of the race distance, it would be called off if red-flagged. However, it seems that that rule had been phased out and the race was going to continue after the cars were cleaned up and the track was ready to go. As the cars sat on the grid, they all received attention from their mechanics, and, in another odd twist, the used tires were allowed to be swapped out for new ones. What this meant is that the very worn tires that Vettel had been using and abusing for many laps were allowed to be switched, resulting in a very normal ending to an exciting race. Had that accident not have happened, Alonso even said he would have tried to make a move, as it wouldn’t have mattered to him if he were to have crashed. Also, had that accident not occurred, who knows how much longer Vettel could have raced on those tires. Would they have burst? Would Alonso have made that move? Would Button have pushed both of them into a mistake? Would all that traffic have affected the running order? No one can say, but the fact of the matter is that with the tires being changed on the grid before the restart, there was not going to be any more heat on Vettel from the Ferrari or the McLaren. Thankfully, if this happens again in the future, Pirelli has said they support not being able to change the tires on the grid, making the final few laps that much more exciting for the audience, and that much more excruciating for the drivers. As it ended up though, I did get the first two podium positions correct and just mixed up 3rd and 4th. I’m fairly pleased with my predictions on this one! Here is how the Monaco Grand Prix finished.

1. Sebastian Vettel

2. Fernando Alonso

3. Jenson Button

4. Mark Webber

5. Kamui Kobayashi

6. Lewis Hamilton

7. Adrian Sutil

8. Nick Heidfeld

9. Rubens Barrichello

10. Sebastian Buemi

 

Montreal Tickets

Montreal Tickets

Monaco F1 Grand Prix

Monaco F1 Grand Prix

Monaco GP

Monaco GP

Monaco GP

Monaco GP

Monaco GP

Monaco GP

Spanish Grand Prix Results and Monaco Predictions

This’ll be sort of a double post this time around because I forgot to recap the Spanish Grand Prix from last weekend, and the Monaco Grand Prix is happening this weekend. I wasn’t too far off in my predictions, but at the start it sure looked like I was going to be. After a raucous and, frankly, amazing start, the Ferrari of Fernando Alonso was at the head of the pack. Not only did nobody see this happening, but I was surprised at how long he held off the faster Red Bull of Sebastian Vettel and the McLaren of Lewis Hamilton. However, with the crowd behind him, Alonso charged off in the lead for about 20 laps. Then things went the way I thought they would. Alonso’s Ferrari couldn’t keep up with the aerodynamically superior cars after the initial pitstops and he was eventually lapped by both the front runners. It must have been an odd feeling to not only lead your home grand prix, but then to be lapped by the people you were running in without having an accident or any mechanical problems of any kind. After the race, Ferrari’s technical director, Aldo Costa, stepped down from his position. It just goes to show that this team hasn’t been the same since it had that amazing grouping from the late 90s and early 2000s. A few key people make all the difference. However, imagine where this team would be without Alonso behind the wheel. Granted, I really like Felipe Massa, but he is nowhere close to the same driver that Alonso is. But I digress. As it happened, the Spanish Grand Prix featured a ton of action in the first few laps, then turned into the normal parade that we have come to expect out of Formula One. Which is a shame, but at the same time, that won’t change this next weekend in Monaco. Here are the results of the Spanish Grand Prix.

1. Sebastian Vettel

2. Lewis Hamilton

3. Jenson Button

4. Mark Webber

5. Fernando Alonso

6. Micheal Schumacher

7. Nico Rosberg

8. Nick Heidfeld

9. Sergio Perez

10. Kamui Kobayashi

Will the story be any different after this weekend? Judging by the timesheets, I would have to say yes, as Fernando Alonso seems to have a bead on all things Monaco. However, I thought that last year too and he then went and stuck it in the wall because he was trying so hard to control the car and make it fast that he had to be on the limit or above it for the entire time. This year, I think he will do better, but the Red Bulls still seem to have something up their sleeves. Here then, are my picks.

1. Sebastian Vettel – will get his first Monaco victory after coming close last year

2. Fernando Alonso

3. Mark Webber

4. Jenson Button

5. Lewis Hamilton

6. Felipe Massa

7. Michael Schumacher

8. Nico Rosberg

9. Vitaly Petrov

10. Nick Heidfeld

Really? F1 Without Monaco? What is Bernie Smoking Now?

Why? Why is Bernie still in charge? He must be the only person on the planet who can’t see that he is a complete and utter idiot. I mean, Formula One without Monaco?! He must be off his meds even more than usual to be spouting that sort of crap. That race is the “crown jewel” of the Formula One calendar and not having it would be a blow to the whole sport. And the only reason that Monaco doesn’t pay to play is that they have it in their contract that they don’t have to use Bernie’s monopoly to broadcast the race. Otherwise they totally would have to pay in, and it must be that Bernie maybe needs more cash (however that may be considering he is a multi-multi-millionaire. And yes, the race cap is at 20 a year, but so what? I’ll tell you which you can get rid of: Valencia, Turkey and possibly China as well. These events are boring, underattended and in some cases – like China – hated by the teams. Leave Monaco, get a USGP that is real, and stop with Russia, another Italy and for godsakes DO NOT go to India! Here is the article for those who want to try and figure out Bernie’s logic… although no one can. Not even he.

Bernie Ecclestone

Not even Mick Jagger can comprehend Bernie's insanity.