2017 Hungarian Grand Prix Preview

Boom! The Championship battle is well and truly wide open after the events of Silverstone two weeks ago. Now, with only one point between Championship leader Sebastian Vettel and Lewis Hamilton, whoever gets the best result in Hungary will be Championship leader going into the 4-week summer break.

Silverstone’s future on the Formula One calendar may be in doubt but this year’s Grand Prix weekend produced some entertaining moments. First, was the misfortune of Daniel Ricciardo pulling up Q1 with a turbo failure before Fernando Alonso and McLaren made a brave move in switching to slick tyres at the end of Q1 to go fastest! Lewis Hamilton took pole for the 5th time at the British Grand Prix and set the fastest lap on the current Grand Prix layout with an incredible 1:26.600. read more

F1 July 2017 Double header Review: Momentum with Mercedes after victories in Austria and Britain?

This is unchartered territory for me! For the first time on this blog, I will attempt to review the action from two Grand Prix in the same post. Through the 71 laps of the Red Bull Ring in Austria and the shortened 51 lap British Grand Prix at Silverstone, it seems evident as the title of the post suggests that Mercedes have regained momentum from Ferrari in the battle to be the team to beat as F1 passed the halfway stage of the season. As well as that, F1 has seen lap records tumble and others close to tumbling; just a shame the Conservative-DUP deal has not. I’m sorry, couldn’t resist…

red-bull-ring-circuitThe Red Bull Ring at the second highest altitude of the season, in the Styrian Mountains of Speilberg, played host to the Austrian Grand Prix. The 30th edition of the event had a tall order to follow of the crazy day of the races in Azerbaijan and the 71 lap race struggled to match it with only 13 racing overtakes after the opening lap carnage.

Bottas leads the way after a questionable start but chaos would ensue behind him [Image from F1 Fanatic]
Bottas leads the way after a questionable start but chaos would ensue behind him [Image from F1 Fanatic]

Indeed, it was an electric start and no more so than for pole sitter Valtteri Bottas who made THE perfect start to off the line which a couple of his rivals believing the Mercedes man had jumped the start. As a number of drivers had differing starts; some poor, some great, they all trickled into turn 1. Daniil Kvyat locked up heavily going up the hill and ran into the strong starting McLaren of Fernando Alonso who in turn collided into home favourite Max Verstappen. The Red Bull and McLaren drivers saw their races end there, Kvyat limped home three laps adrift. read more

F1 2017 July Double header Preview Part Two: Britain

After the crazy action at the Baku Street Circuit in Azerbaijan which was eventually won by Daniel Ricciardo for Red Bull, the 71 lap Austrian Grand Prix at the Red Bull Ring was always going to have a hard time delivering such a show. Indeed, after the opening lap, there were only 13 overtakes for position indicating the race was more of a procession than a spectacle though that is not to say the race went without incident.

The start provided a lot of action as Valtteri Bottas starting from pole position got THE perfect start off the line leaving his challengers suspicious he jumped the start. That was not the case as other drivers had strong starts while others had a nightmare. Max Verstappen and Carlos Sainz had slow getaways from the grid while Fernando Alonso had a great start, as did the Williams pair of Felipe Massa and Lance Stroll. However, come to turn 1 and Daniil Kvyat locked up hard, collecting Alonso and Verstappen with him. The latter two saw their race end there and then, Kvyat was given a drive through penalty as he eventually finished last. read more

F1 July double header Preview leg one: Austria

Daniel Ricciardo was the surprise winner of the topsy-turvy Azerbaijan Grand Prix [Image from red Bull]
Daniel Ricciardo was the surprise winner of the topsy-turvy Azerbaijan Grand Prix [Image from Red Bull]

Wow! That is all I can say about the last round of the 2017 Formula One World Championship as the Baku Street Circuit in Azerbaijan saw an action packed race with numerous incidents that was simply crazy. After a scintillating performance in Qualifying, Lewis Hamilton controlled the race through three different safety car periods, a raging Sebastian Vettel and a race suspending red flag until a loose headrest denied him victory. Vettel meanwhile was given a 10 second stop and go penalty for his road rage and led Hamilton home in 4th. It was the Red Bull of Daniel Ricciardo who like in Malaysia last year benefitted from Hamilton’s misfortune to secure his first victory of the season; the 5th of his career. Amongst the craziness, Lance Stroll became the youngest rookie to finish on the podium and second youngest in F1 history. The Canadian put in a mature performance beyond his years to hold off the likes of Valtteri Bottas, Vettel and Hamilton in the closing stages but was just pipped to 2nd by Bottas who had been a lap down in the early stages after first lap contact with Kimi Raikkonen. Elsewhere, engine woes for Max Verstappen and Jolyon Palmer again, four-way battles into turn 1 and the Force India’s colliding; all that and more can be found in my Review of the Azerbaijan Grand Prix here.

Race Result
1st Daniel Ricciardo, 2nd Valtteri Bottas +3.904, 3rd Lance Stroll +4.009, 4th Sebastian Vettel +5.976, 5th Lewis Hamilton +6.188, 6th Esteban Ocon +30.298, 7th Kevin Magnussen +41.753, 8th Carlos Sainz +49.400, 9th Fernando Alonso +59.551, 10th Pascal Werhlein +89.093, 11th Marcus Ericsson +91.794, 12th Stoffel Vandoorne +92.160, 13th Romain Grosjean + 1 lap, Kimi Raikkonen DNF, Sergio Perez DNF, Felipe Massa DNF, Nico Hulkenberg DNF, Max Verstappen DNF, Daniil Kvyat DNF, Jolyon Palmer DNF read more

2017 Azerbaijan Grand Prix Review: F1’s crazy day at the races won by Daniel Ricciardo

Formula One returned to the Baku Street Circuit for the second year in a row to end the June programme for the 2017 season. It might be questionable why Formula One has ventured into emerging markets, often influenced by oil money such as Abu Dhabi. However, Baku delivered one of the most exciting, drama filled races of the season where as many as 10 different drivers were running in the podium places at any one time. It was a race of many surprises…

Lewis Hamilton was in scorching hot form in Qualifying [Image from formula1.com]
Lewis Hamilton was in scorching hot form in Qualifying [Image from formula1.com]

Lewis Hamilton was in scintillating form in Qualifying as he set the pace in all three parts of Qualifying. However, with Daniel Ricciardo crashing into the wall in Q3 with only a few minutes remaining, it was Valtteri Bottas fastest. Under pressure and in cooling temperatures in which Mercedes needed a couple of laps to get their tyres to optimum temperature, Hamilton did it in one with a 1;40.593; some two seconds quicker than pole position last year. That wasn’t the only story of Qualifying as Max Verstappen almost got a Red Bull onto the second row of the grid for the first time this season, Nico Hulkenberg and Fernando Alonso had their worst Qualifying performances of the season while Jolyon Palmer did not even get started. read more