The memorial day weekend was huge for motorsports. Here in’merica we had the Indy 500 going on, and just down the road in Charlotte, North Carolina the good ol’ boys were having the NASCAR Coca-Cola 600. But before all that the F1 guys were going head to head on the streets of Monte Carlo for the 2011 Monaco Grand Prix AKA the most glamorous race on the F1 calendar. This is the race that all the billionaires bring their yachts out for, and jewelry companies do promotional stunts like encrusting Lewis Hamilton’s and Jenson Button’s helmets with diamonds. However Monaco is about more than just rich and powerful, there was a race going on too!
As usual Sebastien Vettel started from the pole so I’m not even going to talk about qualifying since that dude just can’t seem to be stopped in that area. Starting behind Vettel was Jenson Button who had a good showing in qualifying and behind them in row two were Mark Webber and Fernando Alonso. When the lights went out the group put the hammer down and took off into turn one and for the most part it came off clean. Hamilton got roughed up while being passed by Michael Schumacher while Vettel was busy running away from Button.
On lap 10 Hamilton pulled a brilliant move on Schumacher in the Ste Devote part of the track and took his position back from the legendary German driver. Then later on Hamilton got in trouble for punting Felipe Massa and then Pastor Maldonado. Both infractions earned Lewis penalties from the stewards but neither one was harsh enough to affect his race position. Where was Sebastien Vettel while all the craziness was happening mid-pack? He was busy extending his lead over Jenson Button. However Vettel’s gap started to fade as his tires were staring to give up on him. He had only made one stop for the entire race so far and it looked as if the team was actually going to attempt to push him to the end of the race that way. Just when it seemed that Red Bull’s gamble was going to go bust on them Vitaly Petrov had a hard meeting with the wall at the “swimming pool” and brought out the red flag. Luckily the Russian driver was conscious and talking as he was taken away in the ambulance. The red flag allowed Vettel to come back in and put super soft tires on to restart the race with and retain his lead. Alonso was able to get around Button for second place and the race ended in that order with Vettel taking the win, Alonso coming in second and Button scoring a third place finish.
It is starting to look like Vettel is on his way to a succesful repeat of his 2010 championship… For a full Monaco GP post race report check out SPEED and stay tuned for the Canadian Grand Prix on June 10th!
[Photo: Mark Thompson/Getty Images]
Tags: · 2011 Monaco GP, 2011MonacoGP, F1, Fernando Alonso, FernandoAlonso, Formula 1, Formula One, Formula1, FormulaOne, jenson button, JensonButton, Lewis Hamilton, LewisHamilton, Monaco Grand Prix, MonaoGrandPrix, News, Racing, RBR, Red Bull Racing, RedBullRacing, Scuderia Ferrari, ScuderiaFerrari, Sebastien Vettel, SebastienVettel, Vodafone McLaren Mercedes, VodafoneMcLarenMercedes
The past weekend saw the inaugural Korean Grand Prix in Yeogam at the Korean International Circuit. Just like in So Cal, Korea was also very wet and windy over the weekend as well. In fact, the rain got so bad at the circuit that there were actually reports of the asphalt breaking up at one of the turns. The rain refused to let up by the time the race started and the first 17 laps or so were behind a safety car. However, the rain backed off just enough to allow the field to go green and things went underway.
Every car on the grid struggled to find grip as they slipped and slid around nearly every turn. This came to a head when points leader Mark Webber lost control only two laps after the race went green and hit the wall just before being hit by Nico Rosberg who had no where else to go. This incident was a big shake up in the points race and would allow a chance for either Lewis Hamilton or Sebastien Vettel to make up so much needed ground. For a while it looked like Vettel would be the main benefactor of Webber’s misfortune but then Vettel’s engine popped and took him out of the race as well.
With both Red Bull cars out of the race McLaren and Ferrari both smelled blood. However, Ferrari smelled it first and Fernando Alonso took charge as well as the lead for the rest of the race and eventually the win. Due to tire problems Lewis Hamilton couldn’t challenge Alonso for the win but he did hold on to 2nd place which helped him gain ground in the points and Felipe Massa drove a solid race and took home 3rd.
Now, as it stands Fernando Alonso is leading the points title while Mark Webber sits 11 points back and Lewis Hamilton is now third in the title run being 21 points behind Fernando. Jenson Button is still technically alive for the championship but its highly unlikely.
There are only two races left in the season now (Brazil and Abu Dhabi) and the title chase has just gotten interesting!
[Photo: Ker Robertson/Getty Images]
Tags: · F1, Fernando Alonso, Formula 1, Formula One, korean gp, korean grand prix, Lewis Hamilton, Mark Webber, News, Racing, Sebastien Vettel
The 2010 Singapore Grand Prix has come and gone and in its wake it has left a path of destruction that has shaken up the points battle a bit. The race started off with a bang when Fernando Alonso nearly drove 2nd place qualifier Sebastien Vettel into the wall as he forcefully snatched the lead away. While Fernando was trying his best to run away from Vettel the mid-packers started to engage in what I can only liken to a “Lord Of the Rings” style epic battle on wheels. Let’s just say no one seemed to care about smashing their multi-million dollar race car into the other guy if it meant gaining a position.
This became especially apparent in lap 36 when Mark Webber was held up by lapped traffic and Lewis Hamilton attempted an opportunistic pass on the Aussie driver. “Attempted” is the operative word here as Lewis couldn’t quite complete his mission. You see, Lewis made his move as they were going into turn 7 but right as Lewis went to make his apex he didn’t realize that Webber didn’t back off an inch so the two collided. Webber came out ok but poor Lewis broke his wheel, forcing him to retire and possibly ending his championship run.
Fernando Alonso went on to win the race with Sebastien Vettle coming in second, and Mark Webber in third. Fernando’s win puts him just 11 points behind first place Mark Webber in the championship race while Lewis Hamilton’s DNF punted him from 5 points behind Webber to 20 points behind! With only 5 races left in 2010 Lewis will need a miracle just to catch up.
The next race on the schedule is the Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka Circuit 10 days from now. Make sure you don’t miss it!
[Photo: Paul Gilham/Getty Images]
Tags: · 2010 Singapore GP, F1, Fernando Alonso, Ferrari, Formula 1, Formula One, Lewis Hamilton, Mark Webber, News, Racing, Red Bull Racing, Scuderia Ferrari, Sebastien Vettel, Sinapore Grand Prix Results, Vodafone McLaren
Over the weekend the F1 grid returned to Italy for the fastest grand prix on the circuit and despite only one lead change things still got dicey. Things started off with Lewis Hamilton making an epic mistake by stuffing his right front tire into Felipe Massa’s rear left side. The collision resulted in Lewis completely losing his wheel and taking himself out of the race early. His early race retirement caused him to lose his points lead to Mark Webber who finished the race in 6th place and moved 5 points ahead of Hamilton.
Jenson Button actually had a strong command over most of the race and held onto the lead until just after the halfway point when Fernando Alonso took over. Jenson tried to fight back but he had his mirrors full of Felipe Massa. At that point it was all she wrote as Fernando drove his way straight into the winner’s circle followed by Jenson and Massa.
Fernando’s win moved him up to a distant third in the points but with 5 races left in 2010 that is more than enough time to become a serious threat. Especially if the front runners like Webber and Hamilton make any more serious mistakes.
Check out the SPEED TV Trio’s recount of the Italy GP here.
[Photo: Paul Gilham/Getty Images]
Tags: · 2010 Italian Grand Prix, F1, Felipe Massa, Fernando Alonso, Formula 1, Formula One, jenson button, Lewis Hamilton, McLaren Mercedes, News, Racing, Red Bull Racing, Scuderia Ferrari
Over the weekend the F1 party made its final stop in Hungary before it takes its summer break which is nearly a month long. Some of the controversy from the last few races died down a bit but Ferrari’s team orders were still fresh in the minds and on the mouths of almost every person on the grid. However, there weren’t too many opinions shared as understandably all the teams wanted to focus on the race at hand.
As usual the weekend started off with the Red Bull team dominating qualifying and Sebastien Vettel capturing the pole position and Mark Webber qualifying 2nd lining up against his hot shot teammate. The two Ferrari’s of Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa earned their grid spots just behind the Red Bull team and were poised to pounce when the time was right.
When the lights went out on Sunday only one Ferrari, piloted by Fernando was able to make a move on Red Bull. Just as Mark Webber was shoving Vettel out of his way, Alonso took it upon himself to get in between the fight and steal 2nd place away from Sebastien. As Mark Webber ran away from the rest of the grid we saw a few shocking things happen: first was Lewis Hamilton’s Vodafone McLaren Mercedes suffered a driveshaft failure putting him out of the race and ending his championship points lead. The next gasp came when Nico Rosberg came into the pits for a tire change when one of his wheels literally came off and rolled through several pit crews before bouncing 20 feet straight up into the air and landing on a crew member. Luckily the crewman only suffered minor injuries.
Then just a short time later Sebastien Vettel was slapped with a drive through penalty for holding up the field by staying longer than 10 car lengths behind the safety car after an incident. As I’m writing this I am sure he is still pretty pissed off about it.
While all of that craziness was going on Mark Webber continued one of the best F1 drives ever seen, making a set of soft compound option tires stretch for a 45 lap stint! Once he built a comfortable 23 second gap on 2nd place he came into the pits to switch to the hard compound tires and finished off the race capping off a dominant performance. Since Lewis Hamilton suffered a DNF Mark Webber has officially taken over the lead in the championship points! Check out a full race report on SPEED.
[Photo: Clive Mason/Getty Images]
Tags: · 2010 Hungarian Grand Prix, F1, Felipe Massa, Fernando Alonso, Formula 1, Formula One, Lewis Hamilton, Mark Webber, Michael Schumacher, News, Racing, Rubens Barrichello, Sebastien Vettel
Before the Indy Cars started a boring race that ended spectacularly (you’ll see in the post after this), Formula 1 put on a show in Sebastien Vettel’s hometown of Hockenheim, Germany which temporarily re-named “Vettelheim” in honor of Sebastien Vettel. The weekend started off dramatically with many drivers crashing hard during a rainy practice on Friday and Sebastien Vettel edging out Fernando Alonso for pole position by just .002 of a second at the end of Q3 in qualifying on Saturday. To make things even more dramatic for Sebastien, Alonso’s teammate Felipe Massa qualified in 3rd position. This meant Red Bull’s young ace would have to start the race with two angry Ferrari’s right behind him.
It was Ferrari’s performance in qualifying that showed the world that they were definitely not going to lay down and let Red Bull or McLaren take away a championship which they feel is still within their reach. Despite having only one win so far this season (with Fernando Alonso taking the win at the first race in Bahrain) Ferrari strongly believes they have a fighting chance at the driver’s championship.
As the lights went out to signal the start of the race Sebastien tried to pull a classic Schumacher move and slice in front of Fernando Alosno but he failed miserably as both Felipe and Fernando split him and lead the pack 1-2 into turn 1. Felipe was actually the biggest benefactor from Sebastien’s blunder as he took first place with Fernando ducking in behind him. However, things didn’t stay quite in this order for the whole race.
At around lap 19 of the race as Felipe and Fernando weaved through slower traffic Fernando attempted a few moves to pass his teammate but both tries were expertly shut down by Massa. It was at this point (lap 22) that Fernando got on the radio and expressed his frustration stating that “this is ridiculous” expressing that he has a faster pace than Felipe and should be let by. Now, Ferrari can’t simply tell Felipe to “let Fernando pass you” because that would be considered “team orders” which are against the rules in F1. Instead the team got on the radio to Felipe and said something to the effect of “Fernando has a much faster pace than you, please respond if you understand this message.” Felipe did not respond but he did eventually and blatantly let Fernando pass him to take first place.
The race ended with a 1-2 finish by Ferrari with Fernando Alonso taking first and his bitter teammate Felipe Massa taking second while Sebastien Vettel landed third place.
When F1 officials learned of the radio transmission between the Ferrari pit and Felipe Massa they were not happy. They allowed Fernando Alonso to keep his victory however, Ferrari was fined $100k for violation of the “no team orders” rule. They were also submitted to the World Motorsport Council (WMSC) for further possible penalties. That is certainly a tough break for Ferrari who fought valiantly to get a much needed win.
[Photo: Mark Thompson/Getty Images]
Tags: · 2010 German Grand Prix, F1, Felipe Massa, Fernando Alonso, Formula 1, Formula One, Formula1, Hockenheim Germany, jenson button, Lewis Hamilton, News, Racing, Red Bull Racing, Scuderia Ferrari Malboro, Sebastien Vettel, Vodafone McLaren
While Audi was kicking butt in LeMans, F1 was putting on their own show in another French speaking country. Once again the Canadians got to enjoy the pageantry of F1 while us Yankees had to settle with watching it on TV. If you did get a chance to watch you would have seen Lewis Hamilton dominate the weekend and go on to win the race leading a McLaren 1-2 finish with Fernando Alonso’s Ferrari bringing up third. Lewis drove a pretty masterful race and with his teammate Jenson Button in tow they pulled off a second consecutive 1-2 finish. Lewis and Jenson now lead the driver’s points standings respectively while many are starting to question of the Red Bull show is over. Check out SPEED’s full post-race report for the juicy details.
[Photo: Bryn Lennon/Getty Images]
Tags: · 2010 Canadian Grand Prix, F1, Fernando Alonso, Formula 1, Formula One, jenson button, Lewis Hamilton, Mark Webber, News, Racing, Red Bull Racing, Scuderia Ferrari, Sebastien Vettel, Vodafone McLaren
In between watching Iron Man 2, celebrating Mother’s Day, and my birthday I tried to keep up with what weekend motorsport news. This weekend Formula 1 was back from its short break and ready to take over Barcelona, Spain. There were a few pics for the win in Spain, namely Fernando Alonso (Spain being his home track), and the young dynamo Sebastien Vettel (just because hes a badass). However it was Sebastien’s teammate Mark Webber who gave an absolutely dominating performance and took the win for Red Bull Racing. Can you believe it? Mark freakin’ Webber! Good job Mark! Check out a full race report from speed by clicking the red text.
Tags: · 2010 Spanish Grand Prix, F1, Fernando Alonso, Formula 1, Formula One, Lewis Hamilton, Mark Webber, Michael Schumacher, News, Racing, red bull F1 team, Red Bull Racing, Sebastien Vettel
The F1 grid landed in Malaysia over the weekend and battled unpredictable weather mixed in with severe heat at the Sepang Circuit. There was a lot of pre-race speculation on the ability of Red Bull Racing to get their ace driver Sebastien Vettel through an entire race. In case you forgot Sebastien had two consecutive DNF’s due to mechanical reasons and both came after dominant performances. The pressure was on the Red Bull garage to complete an event much less win. Fortunately it seems as if the Red Bull team does well under pressure because not only did Sebastien finish the race he won and with teammate Mark Webber right behind himRed Bull Racing got their first 1-2 finish of the season! Now that the fastest driver is in a car with no issues McLaren and Ferrari need to start sweating. It looks like there will be a three-way battle for the title this year.
Check out the full post race report on SPEED.
[Photo: Mark Thompson/Getty Images]
Tags: · 2010 Malaysian GP, F1, Felipe Massa, Fernando Alonso, Formula 1, Formula One, jenson button, Lewis Hamilton, Mark Webber, News, Racing, Red Bull Racing, Sebastien Vettel, sepang circuit
Posted on 03.29.10 | Andrew Beckford
There was talk after the Bahrain GP that perhaps the FIA took the gonads out of F1 competition with their new rules and such. In fact some were even referring to the Bahrain GP as the “Boring GP”. However all that was erased over the weekend in Australia. There was a ton of passing and dicing, including a demolition derby into turn one during the first lap. As I suspected Sebastien Vettel was on a mission to redeem the win he felt was rightfully his after his dominating performance at Bahrain was nullified by a busted header during the final laps.
This time Vettel shot his way to the front and wasn’t going to let a cracked exhaust header keep him from victory. Technically he accomplished this goal, because it wasn’t a cracked exhaust header that kept him from victory it was a busted wheel! Once again a dominant performance was dashed by a car malfunction. You can imagine that someone from Renault is getting yelled at right now by the young German.
After Vettel was taken out of the race by his own car Jenson Button took over the lead and held on as a epic battle between hometown boy Mark Webber, Robert Kubica, Lewis Hamilton, Felipe Massa, and Fernando Alonso raged on behind him. But those guys weren’t able to kick up enough dust to disturb Jenson’s drive and he cruised along to victory followed by Kubica (2nd) and Massa (3rd).
I would have loved to see Mark Webber win in his home country or Lewis get a repeat win in the place where he made his F1 debut but Jenson Button was just delt the right hand in this round. It looks like the old McLaren/Ferrari battle may be making a comeback for 2010.
[Photo: Paul Gilham/Getty Images]
Tags: · 2010, Australian Grand Prix, Events, F1, Felipe Massa, Fernando Alonso, Formula 1, Formula One, jenson button, Lewis Hamilton, Melborne Australia, News, Racing, Robert Kubica, Sebastien Vettel