Tag Archives: Paul di Resta

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 Bahrain Grand Prix Results

Turns out that only one protester was killed during the Grand Prix weekend. So all in all, not too bad for Bernie I guess, although F1 was marred by sharing headline space on the international papers with the goings on in Bahrain when they should have stayed out once again. No matter the result of this race, F1 did not gain any new fans.

Also, how freaking insane is this season so far? Four races and four different winners. I think next week might see the fifth if either Hamilton or Raikkonen can get to the front of the pack. Who knows? Anything seems possible this season. Hell, it’s so crazy I didn’t have even one position in the top 10 correctly called! Usually I can hit on at least one of them, but nothing is for certain in 2012. Also, if anyone noticed, the previous race featured an all Mercedes podium, while this one featured all Renault powered cars. And the race before that almost featured all Ferrari powered vehicles… well, not almost, but 2/3 of the podium isn’t bad. Seriously, anything can happen. Should be the slogan for this season. The Spanish Grand Prix is up next.

1. Sebastian Vettel

2. Kimi Raikkonen

3. Romain Grosjean

4. Mark Webber

5. Nico Rosberg

6. Paul di Resta

7. Fernando Alonso

8. Lewis Hamilton

9. Felipe Massa

10. Michael Schumacher

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

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

2012 Australian Grand Prix Predictions

It’s been a long, grueling winter (well, not so much here in Minnesota, but it was cold a few times) but we are finally back to hearing those sweetly sonorous engine notes that vibrate your soul. The winter times that the teams laid down are not very indicative of what we will see in this race, and in fact, neither were the times in Friday practice, so nothing is really known at this point. What is suspected, is that the Red Bulls are still going to be dominant, with McLaren, Ferrari and Mercedes edging ever closer to them. However, with Mercedes patented new F-duct system to help with top speed and Ferrari’s supposed problems with the car, I think that it will take longer than a single race to get it all sorted for everyone. There are now 20 races this year, so there is tons of time for a team to make a bad start and get it all gathered in, but it also very hard to actually do that. If a car is sorted at the start of the season, it will generally run well throughout.

We are also going to see that the midfield teams are much closer this year, so if they make some strides, we could see the likes of Force India, Lotus, Sauber, Williams and even Caterham edging into the points more often. I have my top ten below, but of course, all of this is total speculation as the slate is totally clean and there is very little data to go on. I think Vettel, despite not being happy with the car right now, will take this opening round, and that it will be a hard-fought battle through the rest of the pack for the remaining points. I don’t think he gets out to the huge start he normally does, but I do think that he takes the checkered flag in Melbourne. Finally! Let’s go racing!

1. Sebastian Vettel

2. Lewis Hamilton

3. Fernando Alonso

4. Mark Webber

5. Jenson Button

6. Michael Schumacher

7. Kimi Raikkonen

8. Paul di Resta

9. Felipe Massa

10. Heikki Kovalainen

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.