Both the Drivers and the Constructors Championships have been decided in the favour of Lewis Hamilton [Pictured above; feature image from fEssentiallySports] and Mercedes for an unprecedented 7th time as they arrived in Bahrain for the start of the final three-race leg to bring the 2020 season to a close. So, you may have been forgiven for thinking there was nothing else to fight for this season. Wrong. For both drivers and teams, there are still Championship positions to fight for, race seats for 2021 to try and win as well as just pride for those likely to be leaving the sport.
However, the enduring image of the 2020 Bahrain Grand Prix will be the image of Romain Grosjean and his horrific opening lap incident [something I didn’t think appropriate for the featured image above].read more
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 DNFread more
The Mind of Rowan made a return to commenting on Formula One in Canada a fortnight ago. Lewis Hamilton won the race for the 6th time in his career and is now 1 shy of matching Michael Schumacher’s record of 7 victories in Montreal. He won the race uninterrupted from start to finish and the pole position he secured was the 65th of his career; matching the record of his idol Ayrton Senna and was awarded a rather nice gesture from the Senna family. Whilst Hamilton walked to victory, chaos ensued behind. A quick starting Max Verstappen rose from 5th to 2nd after overtaking Vettel around the outside at turn 1; taking a chunk of the Ferrari front wing with him and fortunately not picking up a puncture. Vettel pitted late for a new front wing which prompted a brilliant recovery drive from the Championship leader as he climbed from 18th and last to finish 4th. That was the first time this season Vettel has failed to finish on the podium. Carlos Sainz caused a huge incident a turn 3 after pushing the Haas of Romain Grosjean onto the grass which put an end to his race and the race of Felipe Massa who was collected by Sainz’s Toro Rosso. Grosjean recovered brilliantly to finish the race in 10th. Other than that, Valtteri Bottas finished 2nd to give Mercedes their first 1-2 finish of the season, Sir Patrick Stewart did a shoey, Force India had an internal squabble, Daniil Kvyat swore his head off and Lance Stroll scored his first points in F1. All that and more can be found in my review of the last race.
2017 Canadian Grand Prix Race Result 1st Lewis Hamilton, 2nd Valtteri Bottas,3rd Daniel Ricciardo,4th Sebastian Vettel,5th Sergio Perez, 6th Esteban Ocon,7th Kimi Raikkonen,8th Nico Hulkenberg,9th Lance Stroll +1 lap,10th Romain Grosjean +1 lap,11th Jolyon Palmer +1 lap,12th Kevin Magnusson +1 lap,13th Marcus Ericsson +1 lap,14th Stoffel Vandoorne +1 lap,15th Pascal Werhlein +2 laps,Fernando Alonso DNF,Daniil Kvyat DNF,Max Verstappen DNF,Felipe Massa DNF,Carlos Sainz DNFread more
The penultimate race of the season in Brazil was certainly eventful. The weather in Brazil is always a factor and it proved to be the case in 2016. The rain led to a delayed start due to Romain Grosjean crashing his Haas on the way to the grid so he did not start a Grand Prix for the second time this season. Inevitably, the race started under the safety car and eventually the drivers were allowed to race from the end of lap 6. This would not be the case as an incredible 33 laps were under the Safety Car as the race was also red flagged twice, taking the total race time to just over three hours!
When the racing did eventually start on lap 7, Max Verstappen showed glimpses of what was to come as he made a late great move on the inside of Kimi Raikkonen at turn 1. It could have been so much more for Verstappen in Brazil as when racing began again on lap 31, he produced another sublime move. This time, around the outside of Championship leader Nico Rosberg at turn 3. He wouldn’t finish ahead of the Mercedes driver though as Red Bull made the same mistake twice in pitting their drivers for Intermediate tyres. The second time, they reverted their drivers back on to the full extreme Wet tyres. This dropped Verstappen to 14th and allowed for his star of the race performance as he rose through the grid to take an astonishing 3rd place.read more
The Brazilian Grand Prix at the Jose Carlos Pace Autodrome always springs some surprises. I predicted anything could happen in Brazil and after the 2016 edition produced one of the longest races of the decade behind Jenson Button’s 2011 victory in Canada; it did not disappoint. There were cheers, celebrations, heartache and tears alongside boos from the fans in the grandstands after 2 Red Flags during the race and an unbelievable 33 tedious laps behind the Safety Car. Then there was the action when it eventually got going and the emotional farewell from Sao Paulo crowd to home favourite Felipe Massa.
After over three hours and a delayed start by 10 minutes, it was Lewis Hamilton who took the chequered flag to take the Drivers Championship battle to the finale in Abu Dhabi. Two records tumbled with Hamilton’s victory. It was his 52nd victory in F1 and now he has 2nd place in the all-time winners list to himself as well as it being a win at the 24th circuit in his F1 career. No another driver in F1 history has won at so many circuits.read more
Nineteen rounds into the season, only two remain and after Lewis Hamilton’s victory in Mexico, the Drivers Championship is still to be decided. Hamilton’s victory in Mexico was his 8th of the season and the 51st of his Formula One career taking him level with Alain Prost in the all-time winners board. Nico Rosberg finished 2nd as Hamilton’s victory closed his Championship lead to 19 points while the points scoring positions were held by just five teams for the 6th time this season. The teams scoring points remained the top 5 in the Constructors Championship (Mercedes, Red Bull, Ferrari, Williams and Force India). Hamilton could be considered fortunate to have kept the victory after taking to the grass at turn 1 on the opening lap after locking up his front right tyre under braking. He was certainly lucky as Max Verstappen was penalised for taking to the same grass while defending against Sebastian Vettel on lap 68. Verstappen was given a 5 second time penalty while Vettel was penalised for moving under braking meaning the final podium position eventually went to Daniel Ricciardo but only after the race. Vettel celebrated on the podium meaning there would be no shoey in Mexico.read more
Lewis Hamilton controlled the United States Grand Prix from pole position to win his 7th win of the season and the 50th of his career (the third man to reach 50 wins in F1 history). He came into the race 33 points behind teammate Nico Rosberg in the Drivers Championship. Rosberg’s second pit stop came under a Virtual Safety Car period which allowed him to effectively steal second place from Red Bulls Daniel Ricciardo; who it must be said had the measure of the Championship leader. Instead, Ricciardo settled for third and a shoey with Gerard Butler. Sebastian Vettel finished a distant 4th while Fernando Alonso and Carlos Sainz matched their best results of the season to finish 5th and 6th respectively. In 7th was Felipe Massa for Williams and was followed by Sergio Perez for Force India in 8th. Jenson Button finished 9th to give McLaren their second double points finish in three races and their fourth of the season while Romain Grosjean marked his 100th Grand Prix with a point for Haas in their first home race.
So, after the joys of Taylor Swift, Usher and Mr Butler, Formula One moved from Texas, south and across the border into Mexico City for the Day of the Dead and the Mexican Grand Prix!read more
The United States Grand Prix at the Circuit of the America’s was back to its normal self last weekend after the 2015 event was heavily affected by rain. Twelve months on, the race winner may not have been different but the mood seemed to be as artists like Taylor Swift and Usher brought in 266,889 spectators over the weekend. That was a record attendance for the circuit and there certainly wasn’t a blank space in the stands come race day.
The Race Weekend
Lewis Hamilton came into the United States known if there was ever a weekend to start clawing back his teammate’s advantage in the Drivers Championship, it was this one. He started it in mephitical style by finishing the first procure session fastest and 0.315 seconds clear of Nico Rosberg. The nearest challenger to the Mercedes pair was Max Verstappen in the Red Bull but was some 1.9 seconds slower. Roles were reversed between Hamilton and Rosberg in the second session as Rosberg finished 0.291 seconds faster. Hopes of a challenge to Mercedes in qualifying were raised in the final practice session on Saturday morning with Verstappen heading a Red Bull 1-2. McLaren showed progress as both drivers finished in the top 10 in second and third practice while 22-year-old Jordan King made his F1 debut by finishing 20th in the first practice; ahead of Jolyon Palmer and teammate Esteban Ocon.read more
Four races. That is all that remains of the 2016 Formula One Championship: USA, Mexico, Brazil and Abu Dhabi. For Nico Rosberg, he will be hoping for more of the same after his win in Japan a fortnight ago. Apologies for not posting on that race previously, I was suffering from a bad illness. I will now provide a brief review of the Japanese race.
Last time out: Japanese Grand Prix
If Nico Rosberg was anything but controlled in Malaysia, he was more than in control in Japan as he dominated the weekend. The weekend started as he meant to go on by finishing top of the timesheets in all three practice sessions while Renault getting both of their drivers into the top 10 in Third Practice proved to be a surprise.read more
Formula One enters the closing stages of the 2016 season with four races in October before the season concludes with Brazil and Abu Dhabi in November. First up was the Malaysian Grand Prix at the Sepang International Circuit just outside of Kuala Lumpur for the 18th time and the 16th round of the 2016 championship!
The race for the World Championship took an intriguing turn last time out in Singapore. Lewis Hamilton went into the Grand Prix with a 2 point championship lead over his title rival and Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg. He left Singapore, 8 points adrift as having qualified in pole position and then controlled the race, Rosberg took his 8th win of the season. Hamilton on the other hand, never really seemed to get going and finished 3rd. Rosberg’s victory was not a forgone conclusion as Daniel Ricciardo battled him hard to finisdh within half a second of the Mercedes. The win gave Rosberg 273 points in the Driver’s championship while Hamilton’s fortunate 3rd place finish put him on 265. In third place is Daniel Ricciardo on 179 points and 26 points ahead of the best Ferrari in the standings. The Constructors Championship was Mercedes’ for the taking in Malaysia having stretched their lead to 222 points on 538. Although the result is below, more detailed information on the Singapore Grand Prix weekend can be found here.read more