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F1: Hungarian GP Review

Last week’s Hungarian Grand Prix was a great race for Mark Webber and for Red Bull in general, but not what Sebastian Vettel wanted. After a mistake behind the safety car where he let Mark get too far ahead, which he subsequently received a drive through penalty for. That penalty cost him a fairly easy win and also the second place, which was the real killer blow to his patience.

He was clearly much faster than Alonso for the entirety of the race after that point but simply couldn’t get past him due to the nature of the circuit with its tight turns and narrow layout. However, even though the race ended up being handed to him, Mark Webber drove yet another fantastic race. When he needed to produce the laps of his life to build a lead big enough to pit and still come out in the lead after the safety car, he rose to the challenge and did 42 laps on those super-soft tyres.

Aside from Red Bull, Ferrari had a fairly decent race with a second and fourth position finish. McLaren struggled for the second race in a row with an absolutely dismal weekend. They had Lewis retire with a car issue which appears to be engine or gearbox related, and Jenson, after a poor qualifying could only manage 8th in the race. The team lost the lead in both the drivers’ and constructors’ championships. They’ll be looking to make a huge improvement in Spa to try to get back in front. They’ve got a tough task ahead but if anyone is likely to pull it off, it’s McLaren.

It was a great result for Vitaly Petrov with a 5th place. He out-qualified his talented team-mate Robert Kubica and after Kubica had a collision with Sutil in the pit lane he cemented his first weekend as the top Renault driver. Nico Hulkenberg was the best of the Williams drivers in 6th. Rubens Barrichello was in 10th after an exciting but dangerous overtaking move on Michael Schumacher. Pedro De La Rosa had his first points finish of the year in 7th and his team-mate Kobayashi had an 9th place finish for Sauber.

While Williams and Sauber have been steadily improving recently, Mercedes, McLaren and Force India have been going in the opposite direction. Mercedes had a terrible race. First, Nico Rosberg had a horror pitstop where a wheel came loose and speeded down the pit lane narrowly avoiding pit crew until eventually it was stopped by a williams engineer who took quite a hard hit but was fine after.

After Nico retired, near the end of the race Rubens was faster than Michael and wanted to take that last point scoring place off him. After a couple of laps Michael made a mistake in the final corner which put Rubens right on his tail going into the main straight. he got a good slipstream and was going to easily pass him but Micahel pushed him towards the pit wall, far beyond the white line of the edge of the track. Luckily a serious accident was narrowly avoided but Schumacher has been handed a 10 place grid penalty at the next race in Spa, which is probably going to put him near the back of the grid at that race. It’s unfortunate for him especially after finishing outside of the points at this race but it was a deserved punishment.

Also notable is all new teams achieving double car finishes for the first time. This is a great achievement for Cosworth who haven’t had a single failure so far this year from what i believe. This result just underlines their excellent reliability, especially considering their multiple year absence from the sport.

The next race is in Spa in about 3 weeks. It’s a classic track and it should be great this year so I’m really looking forward to it. I hope we get as many teams as possible evenly matched and some good racing up and down the grid.

Categories
Miscellaneous

F1: Silverstone GP Review

Last week’s British GP I thought was a really interesting race. It all came down to the start. Mark Webber got off the line fantastically well to get up the inside of Vettel. Hamilton was looking for a way to slot into second but went into the first turn too hot and slightly tagged Sebastian’s back right tire. That seemingly insignificant tap was enough to puncture the tire and wreck Vettel’s race.

From there Webber led a controlled and fairly comfortable race. Hamilton pushed him hard but in the end his pace just wasn’t quite there to catch Webber, and it was fairly clear to see that the red Bull had speed in hand. Jenson Button started 14th and after a fantastic first lap and a good pit stop strategy he finished off a great recovery drive to 4th.

Vettel was almost a lap down after he rejoined the race after a long slow lap on the punctured tire and a very early pit stop. He went to the end on the hard tire and overtook most of the grid before finishing 7th. The overtake on Sutil for that position was very aggressive and could have ended badly but he just about got away with it. It was a great recovery from a terrible situation but 7th is still not where he thought he would be.

Other notable performances include both Williams cars getting into the top 10. Barrichello proved again that the team are making good progress with their car and he was unlucky to not have stayed in front of Button after the stops. Hopefully they can keep improving or at least maintain these steady results.

Nico Rosberg had his third podium of the year and shows that Mercedes are still there and this season is only half way through, so people shouldn’t be writing them off yet at all. Michael Schumacher was less impressive in 9th but he will likely continue to improve.

It was also another impressive display from Kamui Kobayashi who followed up his 7th place in Valencia with a 6th at Silverstone. He’s really starting to show the form he had at Toyota last year in those couple of races he had in Timo Glock’s place and is justifying his seat at Sauber. Pedro De La Rosa is still struggling but hopefully he’ll get the reliability and speed back in the next race and get into the points.

The next race is coming up this coming weekend from Hockenheim in Germany. I don’t know much about that track so I’m excited to see how the layout is for F1.

Categories
Miscellaneous

I’m shocked that Michael Schumacher was…

I’m shocked that Michael Schumacher was demoted to 12th place after the GP today. The feeling seemed to be that he was in the right, and that even if he was wrong, he would only lose that one position back to Alonso. Seems harsh to me. Full race review soon.