Mercedes Unveil the F1 W03

The new Mercedes "Silver Bullet" W03 in Barcelona

Hi Racers

Finally, we get to see what Mercedes have come up with and it looks the “silver bullet” we were expecting.

It features the new stepped nose, and it doesnt look too bad actually. The colour scheme & advertising does tend to lower its impact, which is always good.

W03 in action

Team Principle Ross Brawn had this to say about the W03

“The F1 W03 is a car that I believe, and hope, our team can be proud of, and which will deliver the on-track results that everybody has worked so hard to achieve,” Brawn said. “Notwithstanding the distinctive nose design, which is certainly an acquired taste, the F1 W03 is an elegant interpretation of the current regulations, and a clear step forward over its predecessor in terms of detail design and sophistication.

“Last year, we produced a very bold car and, although its more radical elements didn’t always deliver the results we had hoped for, the experience we gained has been invaluable to the design of the 2012 car. The F1 W03 is also a more integrated package, which reflects the ever-strengthening ties between our technical teams in Brackley and Brixworth, and demonstrates that our Silver Arrows works team is taking the next step forward in terms of on-track performance.”

Unfortunetly, I’m unable to source the Tech Spec’s for the W03 at this stage.

Not long until the start of the 2012 season now!!

Keep Racing,

Vroom Vroom

 

Qualifying Review – Abu Dhabi, Yas Marina Circuit

Yas Marina circuit, Abu Dhabi.

Hi Racers

I love Abu Dhabi. The twilight aspect of this race is incredible. Racing begins during daylight hours, and as dusk approaches, the flood lights take over and its twilight. The cars look incredible, the atmosphere peaks and it’s just an all round incredible track.

In the 3rd year of this track, the main talk was that it was crucial that Webber, Hamilton or Button could break Vettels stranglehold and gain some crucial points in order to try to secure their 2nd place in the world championship.

Qualifying was exciting. Although, there is an aspect that will be surely discussed, and perhaps a new rule put in place for next season. The fact that it’s becoming more and more apparent that the Q3 is a 6 car battle, rather than the 10 cars that are capable of battling out for top qualifying times.

This is mainly because the top 6, are always the usual suspects. Red Bull, McLaren & Ferrari, the other 2 teams, Mercedes and Force India, probably feel that there isn’t much point, and would therefor prefer to save a set of tyres for the race. Fair enough in theory, but it makes for a fairly unimpressive battle. It would be wonderful for the spectators to be able to watch 10 cars, out on track for 10 minutes, battling it out as it should be.

Anyhow, apart from that, the Qualifying was great. Hamilton has been on top form all weekend, and was set to push Vettel off the qualifying perch. Button wasnt far off his team mates pace and it looked set to be a McLaren 1, 2 start tomorrow.

HOWEVER, Vettel, known for his somehow magical way of pulling something out of the depths, manage to smash Hamilton’s incredible fast time at the very last-minute, and meant that Hamilton was pushed into 2nd place. With Button starting 3rd, and Webber 4th.

Webber had some serious pace all weekend, but just couldn’t compete with the McLaren to get up there. He constantly matched times, up until the last flying lap, where he just couldn’t find the extra time.

Webber is consistent at this track, I think he has a good chance of getting a podium, and of course, im wishing on bated breath that he can get a win. If not him, then I’d be happy with Button. If Hamilton happens to win, then I’ll just be glad it’s not Vettel 🙂

Top 3 in Qualifying. Vettel, Hamilton & Button

Here are the qualifying results for you:

1. Sebastian Vettel 1’38.481
Red Bull

2. Lewis Hamilton 1’38.622
McLaren

3. Jenson Button 1’38.631
McLaren

4. Mark Webber 1’38.858
Red Bull

5. Fernando Alonso 1’39.058
Ferrari

6. Felipe Massa 1’39.695
Ferrari

7. Nico Rosberg 1’39.773
Mercedes

8. Michael Schumacher 1’40.662
Mercedes

9. Adrian Sutil 1’40.768
Force India

10. Paul di Resta No time
Force India

Mansell & Vettel. Record Holders for 14 Pole Positions in a single season.

 

On another note, Vettel has matched Nigel Mansells Qualifying record, with 14 pole Positions in a single season! Now, that’s just annoying 😉

Well done to Vettel, it seems, he just cant be stopped….

Vettel admires Buttons "mo".

Special mention to Jenson Button, who is sporting a moustache for “Movember”” to raise awareness and funds for Prostate Cancer. Can that man be any more awesome?

Lets hope with the start of a brand new season in 2012, we can start to see a fresh burst of confidence from the other drivers and get a nice battle going.

Enjoy the race tonight racers.

 

Until then,

Keep Racing

Vroom Vroom

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Italian – Monza Grand Prix Post Race Review

Alonso praises the passionate Italian crowd after nabbing 3rd in Monza

Hi Racers

Talk about a shambles!

This race started with Liuzzi thinking he could somehow get from the back of the pack to the front in one move, he almost did, unfortunately he managed to take out another 4 cars in the process like bowling pins! I’m not quite sure why he was so aggressive when essentially, at most he may he been able to get up a few positions, but he went all the way onto the grass in an aggressive pass, couldnt correct, skidded across the grass and ploughed into everyone. The top 6 were VERY lucky to miss the carnage.

Liuzzi Bowls.....

STRIKE!! What.. a MESS!

Total Carnage, Liuzzi has been handed a 5 grid Penalty.

Alonso did an incredible start and moved to the front of the pack and led the race. Vettel was behind, with the usual front-runners, Button, Webber, Hamilton.

Lewis Hamilton vs Michael Schumacher

On lap 3 once the safety car came back in and Hamilton must have been having a nap, and that was to be his demise for this race. Schumacher took the chance and passed, and this was the beginning of the main battle of the race. Hamilton was stuck behind Schuey for what felt like FOREVER, i would say 20 laps at least? Eventually, Button, who had done his pit stop and was moving back up through the pack, eventually caught up and made Hamilton look like a fool, passing both Hamilton AND Schumacher in the space of 2 laps.

Schuey eventually gave up and pitted and Hamilton then had to try to catch up to the top 3 who were now around 20 seconds ahead on track.

While all this was going on, Webber tried to pass Alonso, made contact and destroyed his front wing. Without realising his front wing was crumbled totally under him, as he tried to hobble back to the pits, he wasnt really pottering as SLOWLY as what he should be, went around a corner, and BAM! Breaks/suspension completely locked up and he was off the track and into the barriers… retirement.

Webber makes contact after attempting a pass on Alonso in Monza

Following this, generally the race was fairly uneventful. Vettel was now so far in front, he may as well stopped for a coffee. Button was 2nd, and Alonso 3rd. Hamilton was still trying feverishly to repair the damage after his disasterous efforts to pass Schumacher for the first half of the race.
In the end, Hamilton DID catch up to Alonso on the final lap, but not enough to attempt a pass, so he finished the race in 4th.
Here are the TOP 10:
Vettel 1:20:46.172
Button +9.5 secs
Alonso +16.9 Secs
Hamilton +17.4 Secs
Schumacher +32.6 Secs
Massa +42.9 Secs
Alguersuari + 1 Lap
di Resta + 1 Lap
Senna + 1 lap
Buemi + 1 Lap
Incase you missed it, here is the Post Race Press Conference, once again, its recorded on my phone, so dont even bother having a go about the quality.

Surely that finger must be sore? Vettel wins again.

After another win the statistical nerds were in overdrive and its been calculated that should Vettel recieve a podium in Singapore, he has all but confirmed his 2nd consequitive Championship win.
Webber, and the other front runners have confirmed they are now focusing on 2nd and 3rd place in the Championship Standings and will continue to fight for that.
Next up, we have Singapore. This is a great track. It combines a night race, and the fact its a street circuit to make it a great addition to the race calender.
Until then, Keep Racing
Vroom Vroom

Post Race Review – Spa Francorchamps, Belgium

The surprising podium at Spa. Red Bull 1,2 and Button 3rd.

Hi Racers,

We were given a real treat last night at the Spa Francorchamps Belgium Grand Prix when Red Bull turned the tables in a great race to see them secure their tenth 1,2 Podium.

The race began dry, with none of the suspected, and well-known rain in sight.

Webber, once again, had issues with his start, and was instantly swamped and fell to around 8th place before reaching the first corner.

First corner saw a large scuffle with Jaime Alguersuari minding his own business, then being slammed by rookie Bruno Senna, who later received a drive through penalty for his troubles. Not a great start for the driver, and the team, who are in the middle of a legal battle after replacing Heidfield mis season with Senna.

Vettel and Alonso were out front, but it became quickly apparent that the new Pirelli tyres were going to cause some serious issues. Blistering on the tyres was evident, and pit stops started in a flurry. Webber, who was down the pack, decided to take the opportunity to take an early stop and change his already damaged softs from qualifying to a harder compound ( which surprised quite a few people actually).

All the front-runners ( the usual, Vettel, Webber, Alonso, Hamilton ) had all pitted by Lap 10. Button was further down the pack, still making his way back through after his disastrous Qualifying session.

By this point in the race, it was a blink and you’ll miss it situation with so much overtaking happening that no-one could keep up. Pit stops were happening all the time, but with so much action on track, here was almost no pit stop visual all race!

The main battle was a fierce one between Alonso and Hamilton, who were driving wheel to wheel and many drivers making some SERIOUSLY brave overtaking moves on this incredibly sweeping, fast track. It made for some great viewing.

Webber moves forward through the pack after a pass on Alonso.

 

Webber pulled an incredible pass on a startled Alonso on the downhill run to Eau Rouge and this was driving at its purest. No help from the DRS or KERS here! Just sensational driving.

Throughout the race, Schumacher was making his way from his starting point on the grid of LAST, and was somehow in the middle of the pack, weaving and ducking through drivers like they were candy, and making his way up to the top 10.

Hamilton finds himself in the confetti after a collision with Kobayashi

 

The safety car was deployed after Hamilton received a nasty knock from Kobayashi as he attempted to pass ( Hamilton later tweeted that he took responsibility for this after not allowing Kobayashi enough room to pass, even though he had the line ) Hamilton ploughed off the track in a spectacular flurry of broken advertising and slammed into the wall. A very disappointing end for Hamilton, who had been VERY fast and consistent all weekend. It was now up to Button to achieve results for the McLaren team.

Vettel, after pit stops and some more overtaking was now in the lead and pulling away from Alonso. Button had streamed through the pack and was now 4th, Webber 3rd.

Webber managed another fantastic overtake to get himself past Alonso and into 2nd. Alonso was now obviously struggling after tyre damage and the inability to risk another pit stop so close to the end of the race.

Button finds his feet in Spa and secures a podium.

 

Button was fast approaching, and at this point, Webber was streaming forward towards Vettel. With about 8 laps to go, and around 6 secs behind, I was hoping for a spectacular end with a fight between Webber & Vettel ( and perhaps a repeat of the team orders debacle?) however, this wasnt to be. On lap 41 of 44 Button made his pass on a struggling Alonso to secure himself a podium after an incredible drive from 13th.

Red Bull were certainly the dark horses of this race, Spa is not a track the Red Bull’s tend to be successful at, and it seems that sheer determination, commitment and sensational driving and strategies nabbed them their 10th career Red Bull 1,2 Podium Finish.

The finger returns.

 

This was Vettels first ever win at Spa – and the Red Bull’s first also, so it made for an emotional win all round for them.

Schumacher - 20 years on. In his commemorative Gold Helmet.

 

Special mention to Schumacher, who, on his 20 YEAR anniversary in Formula 1, clawed through the pack in super form to drive himself from LAST to 5th place!

Here is a quick stat breakdown – honestly, there was so much stuff going on, I couldn’t mention all of it.

RESULTS ( Top 10 )

1 – Vettel

2 – Webber

3 – Button

4 – Alonso

5 – Schumacher

6 – Rosberg

7 – Sutil

8 – Massa

9 – Petrov

10 – Maldonado.

There were a few DNF’s

Hamilton – Accident

Perez – Rear Axel Damage

Ricciardo – Mechanical Failure

Buemi – Accident Damage

Alguersuari – Accident Damage

All in all, it was an incredible race, and gave the viewers a really great race to come back to after what seemed like such a LONG mid-season break.

Team mates congratulate each other after a great drive.

 

The championship standings now look a little impossible to be honest, Vettel is now 100 points ahead of his nearest contender ( Webber in 2nd place ) and is now on MORE points that when he won the championship last year.

The hardest hit was Hamilton, after his DNF, means he went from 3rd to 5th.

Alonso, and Button are 3rd and 4th. Very Very close, other than Vettel way ahead.

Next we head to Monza – which is another great track, and also another of the tracks that, admittedly, Red Bull arent comfortable and suited to. However, after what we saw last night, you never can tell when those Red Bulls will surprise everyone.

Until next time,

Keep Racing!

Vroom Vroom

Mercedes unveil W02

The first photo has been unveiled of the Mercedes W02 to be driven by Schumacher and Rosberg for 2011.

You may  notice that Mercedes have adopted the wide flat nose that gave Red Bull so much success in the 2010 season. Cant blame them really!!!

I think this car looks really stylish, the teal colouring is impressive and the overall design ( of course ) fits in with the 2011 regulation changes ( F Duct removal etc ).

Its getting exciting now – not long for the season opener!

Vroom Vroom