Austria Round Two sees Lewis Hamilton dominant and another dramatic late charge by Lando Norris: 2020 Styrian Grand Prix Review

For the first time in Formula One history, a circuit has held successive races in the dame season and the Red Bull Ring in the Styrian hills hosting the first-ever Styrian Grand Prix and it did not disappoint. We did not get a carbon copy of the previous weekend. Due to the weather Qualifying was in doubt so the second practice times could’ve been used to set the grid. The treacherously wet qualifying we did get was intense and mixed the grid up with a few drivers out of position setting up an intriguing race with multiple teammate squabbles which ended in tears for Ferrari.

While the ten F1 teams remained in Austria we did see some developments with the first regarding the addition of two more races to the already scheduled 8 and the surprise return of Fernando Alonso to the sport with Renault in 2021. I will pass comment on them later but first, for the reigning World Champion, racing at the Red Bull Ring in successive races represented a redemptive weekend. read more

F1 returns, Reliability issues galore, Red Bull, Ferrari and Hamilton pain, but it’s Bottas who wins: 2020 Austrian Grand Prix Review

After seven months, 217 days, F1 returned with the first race of the delayed 2020 F1 season at the Red Bull Ring in the Styrian Hills of Austria. We don’t know just how many races we will get in 2020 but judging by the Austrian Grand Prix, the chaotic, thoroughly entertaining races often with twists and turns that defined the second half of 2019 look set to continue.

For a race that saw all 20 drivers finish for only the 9th time in F1 history, reliability was key for the wrong reasons this year as nine cars failed to finish. When asked about it by Sky Sports Martin Brundle, Red Bull team principal Christian Horner cited it being the season opener being a key factor. It has merit. We do see chaotic season openers and nine also failed to finish on the first race of the hybrid era in 2014; only 7 finished the opening race in 2008. The first races of a season can be problematic for reliability but could the extra shutdown with lockdown have contributed? With these sort of races there always going to be loads of stories of missed opportunities. That is certainly what we saw in Austria but the one constant was the race leader [Pictured in the feature image above; image from formula1.com]. read more

Verstappen’s Interlagos redemption, Mercedes struggle and the Ferrari’s collide: 2019 Brazilian Grand Prix Review.

Just when both Championships had been decided and it looked like F1 would be slowly winding down for the year, we get this! A chaotic Brazilian Grand Prix that was thoroughly worth the watch and perhaps the most dramatic since the rain-soaked German Grand Prix in July. The old school Interlagos circuit in Sao Paulo is no stranger to dramatic races and the 2019 edition saw 52 overtakes, 46 pit stops (including a new world record), two unlikely maiden podiums, teammates colliding and woe for Mercedes. And all that without a drop of rain as Red Bull and Max Verstappen took their third victory of the season.

Verstappen really likes Interlagos. He produced a masterclass drive there back in a wet 2016 race and should have won here last year if not for that incident with Esteban Ocon while he was leading. He had been keen not to talk of it as redemption coming into the weekend but deep down there must have been a niggling thought there as the post-race team radio messages suggest. read more

F1 2019: Updates and what to look out for in the remaining two races

Both the Constructors and Drivers Championships have been decided with Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes ensuring a record-breaking sixth successive double success. So, with two races to go, you may be forgiven for thinking there is nothing left to play for as the F1 219 season winds down with the penultimate race of the season at Interlagos this weekend. That said, there are still several thongs to look forward to before the chequered flag in Abu Dhabi in two weeks…

Constructors-Battle for 6th

Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull all loo set to finish 1st, 2nd and 3rd for the third successive year and with McLaren holding a 42 point leade over Renault for 4th, it looks like the only tasty battle in the Constructors Championship is the battle for 6th. read more

Bottas wins but Hamilton secures meteoric sixth title: 2019 USA Grand Prix Review.

The Circuit of the America’s (COTA) is probably one of the best circuits designed by Hermann Tilke in recent times and it was the site of F1 history. Previously, only one driver had won more than Juan Manuel Fangio’s five world championships. Now, there is two as Lewis hamilton wrapped up the 2019 Championship for his 6th title. An absolutely phenomenal achievement.

Austin’s F1 future may well be under threat with the proposed plans for a Grand Prix in Miami but F1 reported the attendance as being above last years 269,899 and 111,580 for race day. That is all despite there being another significant race in Texas that weekend; the NASCAR Cup Series at the Texas Motor Speedway for the second time after both events clashed in 2014. read more

Hamilton on the brink of sixth title after surprise win: 2019 Mexican Grand Prix Review

The Mexican Grand Prix has only been back on the F1 calendar since 2015, but it has already become a fan favourite. That is shown in the organisers winning the FIA best Promoter Award four years running and shown again by a spectacular podium show in the stadium section. Well, not if you’re Sebastian Vettel who was not impressed with the trophy (after 120 career podiums, that’s just ungrateful). With several dramatic twists, turns and controversial moments, the 2019 race delivered even if it was slightly underwhelming that tyre management became the main factor in the race.

Qualifying saw the first bit of drama and controversy. With Valtteri Bottas having a pretty scary crash at turn 13 late in Q3, the pole position shootout was essentially neutralised. However, Max Verstappen set a purple sector to take pole position. Red Bull had looked strong for much of the weekend but pole was a relative surprise. read more

Long overdue win for Valtteri Bottas as Mercedes seal record equalling title: 2019 Japanese Grand Prix Review

There were so many questions heading into the Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka this year and mostly, would we even have a Grand Prix. Typhoon Hagibis had already seen two Rugby World Cup games abandoned as a precaution. In the end, Qualifying was moved from its Saturday spot to Sunday morning before the race.

It has contributed to the debate of how the Grand Prix weekend should be structured as runners persist about how the Qualifying session could be edited. However, on track, Sebastian Vettel marched to a rather unexpected pole position and out-qualified Leclerc for the first time in nine. read more

Preview Talking Points coming into the Japanese Grand Prix

With five races remaining of the 2019 F1 season, it is the turn of Suzuka to host the 16th round of the Championship with the Japanese Grand Prix. Situated in Ino, the famous figure of eight circuit has seen some entertaining and decisive races over the years with no fewer than 12 world champions ships being decided in Japan but could the 2019 edition add to that?

The Drivers Championship
The top five of the Drivers Championship. [Image from BBC Sport].

Well, in the Drivers Championship, it cannot. After his surprise win in Russia, Lewis Hamilton is almost o the verge of a sixth world championship. Hamilton sits top of the standings on 322 points with a 73 point lead over his teammate Valtteri Bottas in 2nd. With Bottas not winning a race since round four in Azerbaijan and the recent set of races going against him, it would seem his title challenge is over. Charles Leclerc is in third with 215 points, 34 adrift of Bottas in second so it looks a very long shot for Ferrari’s young superstar to mount a very late title challenge. read more

Vettel’s surprise fifth Singapore win: Thoughts on the 2019 Singapore Grand Prix

There is something special about seeing the sight of Formula One cars under the lights in the Singapore night. Since the Marina Bay circuit hosted its inaugural race in 2008, it is one I look forward too every season and is always full of incident and revelations. A round 14 of the 2019 season, it represents the stat of the final third of the season and sets up a potential Championship battle thought over a matter of weeks ago.

Ferrari’s pace in Singapore was a real turn for the books. The tight, slow turns of the 23 turn circuit were thought to favour Mercedes and Red Bull who were expected to be fighting for the win. It was not expected to favour Ferrari. That was how it looked after the Friday practice sessions when Ferrari were 0.8s off the race as first Max Verstappen and then Lewis Hamilton topped the timesheets. However, the nose and aero upgrades brought by Ferrari made the difference from Saturday onwards as Vettel headed a Ferrari 1-2 in final practice. It could have been that in Qualifying too as Vettel made mistakes on his final Q3 run before abandoning his final effort. Instead, Leclerc produced a stunning effort for his third successive pole position and fifth of the season. As the Monogasque said after Qualifying, it was not expected at all… read more

10th Birthday for the Singapore Grand Prix; 2018 Singapore Grand Prix Preview

Ten years! I was still in high school and in year 11, Kimi Raikkonen was the reigning champion while his teammate Felipe Massa was in the title battle with Lewis Hamilton when Formula One first raced in Singapore. It feels hard to believe that Singapore has been on the F1 calendar for ten years now. Even so, it feels like it has its special place on the F1 calendar despite the Crashgate controversy in its first running and a race I eagerly anticipate every year. The night race of Formula One is really something.

History of the Singapore Grand Prix

The inaugural Singapore Grand Prix and Formula One’s first ever night race was held 28th September around the Marina Bay Street Circuit. Felipe Massa was on pole position while Fernando Alonso took a surprising victory with Nico Rosberg in 2nd for Williams and Lewis Hamilton 3rd for McLaren. The result allowed Hamilton to maintain his title lead as he went on to secure the Championship that year and while that race was covered in controversy (more on that later), a lot of the groundwork for the event took place much earlier. read more