Tag Archives: Sergio Perez

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 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 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 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

Indian Grand Prix Thoughts and Results

Well, the first every Indian Grand Prix just took place and everyone is calling it a huge success! But of course they would because they want to generate buzz and hype and make it out to be better than it was so that Indian doesn’t become the next Turkey, or Korea. But let’s get down to brass tacks here, this race was BORING. My god was it dull. If we face the true facts they end up looking like this: Vettel stormed off into the distance again, the passing on the track was dull and unexciting and didn’t come that often, and the only meaningful pass for a position happened in the pits when Alonso overtook Webber. Sure, Schumacher had a big day coming through the field, but even he wasn’t highlighted that much of the race. I don’t really care how great the track is to drive for the racers because the fans are the ones who turn up or tune in to watch, and if nothing happens, why am I watching? At least the typical Massa v Hamilton fight came into being again.

And I know that its great when a driver can get the grand slam (pole position, leading every lap and fastest lap) but that’s not exciting. If there is no change for the lead… AT ALL, then I’m not going to be very interested. Sure, it’s the end of the season and the points no longer truly matter, but still, there was no drama or story to this race, and I was unenthralled. And I’ll just say this one more time, but just because the drivers love the “rhythm” they can get into doesn’t mean that fans will find it interesting to watch. That whole section where they find that rhythm is single-file only and that makes for very uninteresting viewing. I really hope there is more of a story next year, because if no one is going to put up a fight or challenge anyone for a position, then what’s the point in racing? But I digress. Hopefully the championship can come right down to the wire again next year, as it has in year’s past, so that the title isn’t out of reach when new tracks are being ushered in. I think that is another major factor. If the title is still up for grabs, this race has a lot more implications, but it didn’t have anything to suck the viewer in with. Either way, hopefully it sticks around because if it ends up like those other tracks, it will be a big disappointment. Here’s how they finished.

1. Sebastian Vettel

2. Jenson Button

3. Fernando Alonso

4. Mark Webber

5. Michael Schumacher

6. Nico Rosberg

7. Lewis Hamilton

8. Jaime Alguersuari

9. Adrian Sutil

10. Sergio Perez

Japanese Grand Prix Predictions / Results

Well this is discouraging. I meant to post these last weekend obviously, but for some reason WordPress is simply putting them into draft state instead of publishing them when I want to. So, this is a predictions and results post then I guess. As most F1 fans will have guessed, or know by now, Sebastian Vettel did secure the 2011 driver’s title and is now the youngest back-to-back world champion. He did this by not taking any chances and finishing the race in third place, behind the smooth driving Jenson Button and the hard charging Fernando Alonso. So now, with the driver’s title secured, it is all about the constructor’s title (which I’m pretty sure Red Bull will garner) and who will be second in the championship. This is a hotly contested battle, with Button ahead of Alonso by eight points who is ahead of Mark Webber by another eight. As the battle moves to South Korea for the second time, and the race calendar grows smaller still, we will find out who wants that spot more. That is the race to watch. Let Vettel win the rest I say, I want to see a Button v. Alonso v. Webber v. Hamilton fight. And I think I will get to.

Also, I have to say, I had Kobayashi as my dark horse, and he did not dissappoint… not in qualifying anyway. In the race he was outpaced and did not finish in the points. In his place was Sergio Perez, otherwise, the top 10 had all the usual suspects.

I forgot to update this blog with results a few weeks ago, but based on recent results (i.e. Vettel winning all the time) I didn’t really feel the need, as that was what happened again. He simply shot off into the distance once again and won comfortably. However, because Button finished second, Vettel didn’t actually, officially win the title… yet. But he now only needs one point (a tenth place or higher finish) to take the title, and should accomplish that comfortably this weekend at Suzuka. He can play it safe, but I have a feeling that because he is the fastest car out there, he will still be on the podium, but I don’t think it will be the top step. I can see Button winning away from either Vettel or Alonso, but again, Vettel will take the championship this weekend, and I will get a free downloadable car in GT5. Here is how I think it will all shake down on Sunday.

1. Jenson Button

2. Fernando Alonso

3. Sebastian Vettel

4. Lewis Hamilton

5. Felipe Massa

6. Mark Webber

7. Michael Schumacher

8. Nico Rosberg

9. Vitaly Petrov

10. Kamui Kobayashi

I’m throwing Kobayashi in there as a wild card because he is Japanese, racing in front of his home fans, and based on what he did last year, should be able to pass a lot of people into the hairpin. Webber has also said this weekend that he thinks there is going to be some action in the race, saying that the KERS and the DRS might catch a few people out during the race. We shall see, as Suzuka has, in the past, produced some of the best, most memorable moments in Formula One History. Hopefully there is more of the same this weekend.