Slept in and miss the Monaco Grand Prix? Forget to DVR it too? No worries I have the results and the highlights for you below!
SPOILER ALERT: Results below!
It was Nico Rosberg who had a practically perfect weekend. He won the pole position and the race! Just like his father before him, young Nico can finally say that he grabbed a Monaco GP victory. Sebastian Vettel took second place and his teammate Mark Webber grabbed third. There was a ton of other action going on during the entire race, the best of which you can see below in the highlights video!
Did you happen to miss the Chinese GP over the weekend? Did you forget to record it too? Ok well then we apologize that you suck but again we are here to help. Below are the official results and a post race recap from the NBC Sports boys.
WARNING: SPOILER BELOW
Unfortunately Lewis Hamilton could not repeat as the China winner. Instead it was Fernando Alonso who pushed his Ferrari to victory over the weekend. He was followed (distantly) by Kimi Raikkonen and Lewis Hamilton managed a third place finish. There were a few good battles and a few hiccups as well. Learn all about it in the post race report below!
Yesterday was the final race of a crazy and unpredictable 2012 Formula One season. We saw 8 different winners in 8 races at the begining of the season as well as tremendous ups and downs at the front and back of the grid. There was controversy, triumph, elation, and anger. When it was all said and done it would come down to one final race in the home country of Ayrton Senna. Sebastian Vettel came into the weekend holding onto the points lead but thanks to Lewis Hamilton’s win at the USGP and Fernando Alonso’s strong finish, the Spaniard was still very much alive for the championship.
The weekend started off with Lewis Hamilton capturing the pole and his teammate Jenson Button coming in P2, locking out the front row. Right behind the two McLarens were the Red Bull’s of Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber respectively. In order for Fernando to win the title he needed to finish the race or finish at least 5 positions ahead of Vettel. When the race started the clouds opened up and provided a wet track for the start. As the pack bunched up at turn 1 Vettel spun which opened up a massive ray of light for Fernando.
For a long time it looked like Fernando might just pull through and get the points he needed to get his third world championship. However, staying ahead meant staying out on dry tires on a track that was becoming increasingly damp. Eventually Fernando had to switch to intermediate tires and just when he did the track dried up again. In fact the entire field made several tire changes to try and cope with very indecisive weather. Despite the shoe swapping Fernando managed to make it to second place while Jenson Button was leading the race. Although, Sebastian Vettel was in 7th place, exactly where he needed to be to finish 3 points ahead of Fernando and win the championship.
Just when it looked like Fernando might start pushing for the race win Vettel moved up to 6th place. Then on the final lap an accident brought out the safety car, locking in the positions thus giving Sebastian Vettel his third straight world championship title. Vettel is only the third driver in Formula 1 history to win three titles in a row. The other two are the great Fangio and none other than Michael Schumacher. To achieve such a task at only 25 years old will definitely put Vettel in the history books.
The finish of this race also meant the end of Michael Schumacher’s F1 career as a driver, Lewis Hamilton’s final race with McLaren, and the end of SPEED’s broadcast coverage of F1 in the United States. Times certainly are “a changin’” Let us hope they are changing for the better.
While still technically in the middle east, and despite having a very similar track layout, the snore-fest that was the Indian GP was a stark contrast to the absolutely crazy weekend that was the Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi yesterday. The weekend started very well for Lewis Hamilton. Despite announcing his departure from McLaren and being on the verge of mathematical elimination from the championship, Lewis and his crew showed that they will continue pushing hard until the season is over. He was one of, if not the fastest car during practice and he put on a dominant performance during qualifying.
Speaking of qualifying, that was the point which the weekend got interesting. Sebastian Vettel, fighting downforce and braking issues managed to earn a P3 qualifying spot but once Q3 was over his team immediately ordered him to stop the car. Doing as he was told, Vettel pulled his Red Bull car over to the side of the front straight and hitched a ride in the safety car back to his pit. It is still unclear why his team asked him to shut the car down but it is against FIA regulation to not return a car to the pit under its own power after qualifying unless it has a certain amount of fuel left in its tank for independent analysis purposes. Vettel’s car was 150ml (or approximately 10 tablespoons) short of that required amount. As such officials disqualified him from the session and he woudl have to start the race on Sunday dead last, from the pit lane.
This was obviously horrible news for Red Bull Racing but awesome news for Ferrari. With Fernando Alonso qualifying 6th, he had a pretty good chance to take back the championship lead and maybe even build a points cushion for the last three races of 2012. However, things did not quite work out that way for Alonso. Despite starting in dead last, Sebastian Vettel clawed his way through the accident prone mid-field and fought his way to the front pack. For the most part that did not mean squat to Lewis Hamilton who was running away from the entire field; Until lap 20 when his car suffered some type of electrical malfunction and gave out, completely voiding his awesome performance all weekend up to that point.
From there it was Kimi Raikkonen who took over the lead in his Renault-powered Lotus. Great news for Kimi. Horrible news for Lewis, and completely indifferent to Fernando Alonso who just wanted to make sure he stayed in front of Vettel and that Vettel did not get any closer to him. Unfortunately for Alonso, Vettel who passed just about everyone else on the track after starting from pit lane was right behind him sitting in third place. Fernando’s only hope to leave the race ahead of Sebastian in the points was to win but the Spaniard could not catch Kimi “The Iceman” Raikkonen.
Lotus, not used to being in a winning position for quite sometime could not help but constantly remind Kimi what was at stake. A seasoned driver and former champion Kimi responded on the radio “Leave me alone, I know what I’m doing!” (true story!). The iceman knew what he was doing indeed as he kept both Fernando and Sebastian at bay to take his first win of the season and Lotus’ first win ever (in their current incarnation anyway).
Finishing in second place was Fernando Alonso who is still well in the fight for the championship, and rounding out the podium in third was Sebastian Vettel who would leave Abu Dhabi 10 points ahead of Fernando.
There are only two races left now: the return of F1 to the United States at the Circuit Of the America’s, and the final race in Brazil. Can Fernando come back in just two races and win his third career championship? Or will Sebastian stay on top to get his third consecutive title? The fight continues two weeks from now when Formula One finally returns to America at the United States Grand Prix in Austin, Texas.
For the second time in history Formula 1 returned to the Jaypee International Circuit for the Airtel Grand Prix Of India. Last year in the inaugural event, Sebastian Vettel dominated the weekend by taking the pole position and leading pretty much every lap and going on to win the race. If you watched the race, you could have easily been fooled into thinking it was a rebroadcast from 2011 because the same thing pretty much happened again. All in all the race itself was pretty uneventful. Lewis Hamilton had a pretty awesome pit stop in which his team changed all four tires and his steering wheel in just 3.3 seconds and a few drivers lost their tires but other than that it was a typical Vettel ass-whoopin on the field. Fernando Alonso kept himself in the points fight by finishing second and Vettel’s teammate Mark Webber captured third.
Vettel’s victory gives him a chance to possibly lock in his third straight title at Abu Dhabi but Fernando Alonso (who is 13 points behind) would have to have a serious blunder. Kimi Raikkonen remains in third place but he is in a very distant third with only 173 points to Fernando’s 227 points and Sebastian’s 240 points. The good news for Kimi though is that he was officially resigned to Lotus for 2013, so while his hopes for a 2012 championship are gone he still has a seat for 2013.
As I mentioned earlier the race was pretty uneventful but if you still want a full post race report check out the SPEED results show.
The Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka Circuit has special meaning to many hardcore F1 fans and drivers alike. Suzuka was the stage in which Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost had their battles for the championship. To win where Senna decided his titles is a big freaking deal and something that is not lost on any F1 driver to this day. Beyond that several drivers at the top of the points battle had specific missions to accomplish. Following a third place performance in Singapore, Fernando Alonso needed to step his game up to keep Sebastian Vettel from chipping away at his points cushion even more. With a win in Singapore, Vettel smelled blood and he needed to really attack Japan to put even more pressure on Fernando Alonso. Lewis Hamilton needed a good performance to give people something else to talk about besides his departure from McLaren at the end of the year to go to Mercedes GP. Felipe Massa just needed to not screw up since his job at Ferrari is hanging in the balance. Finally, there was Kamui Kobayahsi who was hunting for a good performance in front of his home country.
So, how did it all play out?
Well Sebastian Vettel came into the race with a leg up after capturing pole position on Saturday. On Sunday when the lights went out, a funnel cluster into turn one claimed several victims. Most notably Fernando Alonso! Felipe Massa was able to fight through the mess and chase Vettel for the rest of the race. Meanwhile, young Kobayashi managed to run up front in third place. He did not quite have what he needed to bring the fight to Massa but for the most part he held his position. At the end of the race he faced some serious contention from Jenson Button but managed to hold him off. In the end Sebastian Vettel won the race (also had fastest lap), Felipe Massa gave himself some extra job security by finishing second, and Kamui Kobayashi became a part of history by being only the third Japanese driver to podium in F1, the second Japanese driver to podium in Japan, and also earned his first personal podium ever!
Meanwhile back at the points. Due to Vettel’s win and Fernando’s DNF, the Ferrari driver is now only 4 points ahead of the young German two-time champ with only 5 races to go. Sebastian is the first driver to get back-to-back victories this year. If this is a start of a trend it can mean serious trouble for Fernando Alonso’s championship hopes. Up next is the Korean GP and I predict that Fernando will probably give us one of his best performances ever to make sure he stays ahead in the points battle.
One of my favorite (and most controversial) stops on the F1 calandar as of late is Signapore. It has all the glamor of Monte Carlo but in a night time setting. In fact they use so much lighting equipment that if you look at the track from an aerial view, it looks like a bright ribbon of light twisting around the city! Pretty awesome! Awesome as it was though, it was serious business for the likes of Fernando Alonso, Lewis Hamilton, Kimi Raikkonen, and Sebastien Vettel. Fernando came into the weekend with a comfortable points lead in the championship and set a goal for a podium finish. Normally you would expect his goal to be a victory but after a lack luster practice and qualifying performance he did not feel like he had the car to win.
Lewis Hamilton on the other hand did feel like he had the car to win. He blew everyone away in qualfying with a blistering lap to capture pole position and when the lights went out on Sunday he took full advantage of his position and proceeded to run away from the pack. For most of the race he avaraged a 1.5 to 2 second gap over Sebastien Vettel but disaster struck Hamilton on his third stint as his transmission gave out forcing him to retire from the race. From that point Sebastien Vettel took over the lead and eventually went on to win the race. Lewis’ teammate Jenson Button captured second place, keeping McLaren in the constructor’s championship battle, and Fernando Alonso achieved his podium goal by grabbing third place, but only after a few hard fought battles with Sergio Perez.
With Fernando’s third place win he was able to maintain his points lead. Lewis Hamilton on the other hand fell from 2nd place to 4th, but he still has 6 races to claw his way back! Sebastien Vettel’s victory has bumped him up to 2nd place and Kimi Raikkonen remains a threat in third place. Next up on the calandar is Suzuka Circuit in Japan, the site where many great champions have found victory. Will Japan be kind to Fernando? Or will it favor someone else?
For a full Singapore GP wrap up check out the post-race report from the guys at SPEED.
So I missed a step over labor day weekend with the Belgium Grand Prix (Jenson Button won it BTW) but I am back in the swing of things now with a quick report on the Italian Grand Prix that took place over the weekend. Naturally, the Ferrari camp was in good spirits since they were racing on their home turf and coming into the weekend with Fernando Alonso in the points lead. However, even though there was a sea of red in the crowd, it was silver cars dominating the weekend. It started when Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button qualified first and second respectively making for an all-McLaren first row.
A Ferrari did make it up front for qualifying but it was the Ferrari of Felipe Massa (who is rumored to be racing for his job at this point) rather than Fernando Alonso who ended up qualifying 10th. When the lights went out on Sunday Lewis charged hard to stay out front but Felipe Massa immediately got around Button for second place.
That order would change up more than a few times through out the race though as Fernando Alonso and Sergio Perez fought their way past Felipe to the front of the pack. Jenson on the other hand suffered an engine failure and DNF’d the race. Sergio Perez managed to get past Alonso and grab second place. For a moment Fernando was worried about his points but then Sebastien Vettel (who was back in sixth) suffered car troubles and DNF’d also!
Sergio lead the race for a few breif moments when Lewis came in for tires but once the Brit got back out he hunted down Perez and took back the race lead and held on to win. Sergio finished a career best 2nd place while Fernando Alonso protected his points lead by finishing third.
It should be noted that Mark Webber also had car troubles which left both Red Bull cars with zero points across the board for the weekend. For a full post race report check out the SPEED wrap up.
Formula One returned to the Hokenheimring in Germany over the weekend for the German Grand Prix, the home GP of Sebastien Vettel, Timo Glock, and of course Michael Schumacher. Three Germans in total gunning for the win but it was Fernando Alonso who dominated the weekend. First the Spaniard captured the pole in qualifying and once the lights went out on Sunday that was all she wrote as Fernando led the race from start to finish becoming the first three time winner of the season and also becoming the points leader. Sebastien Vettel was in second place. I say “was” because he passed Jenson Button for second place position on the last turn of the last lap but in doing so took all four wheels off track to complete the pass. After review the race stewards gave Vettel a 20 second penalty which pushed him back to fifth place, bumping Jenson to second and Kimi Raikkonen to third.
OK, first things first. I totally forgot about the British GP in my last post race report so allow me to formally say “my bad”. Now on to business. Over the weekend Formula 1 returned to the Silverstone Circuit for the British Grand Prix, the home GP of the McLaren team (and both their drivers Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button) as well as the Red Bull Racing team. However with all the British pride on the grid it was Ferrari putting on a show for the crowd as Fernando Alonso was kicking butt all weekend. He started by qualifying on pole in the wet, then on race day the skies parted and sunshine hit Silverstone, to which he took full advantage of. On a dry track it seemed like he would be unstoppable as he was able to brilliantly manage his tires despite the fact that his team was a bit thrown off by the sudden run of good weather.
Fernando pushed and pushed and it looked like he was well on his way to earn his third win of the season but as the race started to wind down, so did his tires. Mark Webber, who was on fresher tires was able to capitalize on Fernando’s misfortune and grabbed the lead away from the Spaniard and continued to drive on to a victory at Red Bull Racing’s home GP. Fernando took second (retaining the points lead), and Sebastien Vettel earned third place.