As the Formula One series reached Budapest’s own Hungarioring many thought rain would be the story of the weekend. However, when race day came on Sunday the weather could not have been better. In fact the weather was so good, the track was so grippy that Pirelli predicted that many drivers would probably only make one pit stop for the entire race. Pirelli turned out to be right in that respect. Not only were they right, but pit stops were a key factor.
The weekend started with Lewis Hamilton taking pole position during a great qualifying session and when the lights went out on Sunday he certainly did his part not to squander his front row position. Although a hiccup in his first pit stop put him down to 4th position. Luckily for Lewis, Sebastien Vettel, Mark Webber, and teammate Jenson Button all had pit troubles as well. With some determination Lewis was able to fight his way back to the front, but all the while he had both Lotus cars on his tail.
Kimi Raikkonen and Romain Grosjean fought each other hard for the opportunity to attack Lewis for the lead, but their battle slowed them just enough for Lewis to hold on to his lead and take his second win of the season. Kimi stayed ahead of Romain for second place and Grosjean took third.
Lewis’ win brings him up to fourth place in the points, bumping Kimi to fifth. Sebastien Vettel (who finished fourth) held on to third spot in the points and Fernando Alonso (who finished fifth) still leads the point with a very comfortable 40 point cushion over Mark Webber.
For a full post-race report watch the SPEED results show.
[Photo: Mark Thompson/Getty Images]
Tags: · Events, F1, FernandoAlonso, Formula1, FormulaOne, GrandPrixOfHungary, HungarianGP, HungarianGrandPrix, KimiRaikkonen, LewisHamilton, LotusRacing, MarkWebber, Motorsports, News, RedBullRacing, RomainGrosjean, ScuderiaFerrari, SebastienVettel, TeamLotus, VodafoneMcLaren
Over the weekend Formula One returned to Spain for the second time this year on the streets of Valencia and the talk of the weekend remained the phenomenon of seven different winners in seven races. With Sebastien Vettel throwing down a blistering fast lap during Qualifying and taking the pole position most were starting to think the 2011 champion would end the streak. When the race started Vettel had an excellent start and returned to old form as he shot out and built a hefty lead over Lewis Hamilton and Romain Grosjean. It was starting to look like Vettel was going to indeed become the first two time winner of the year until his car mysteriously shut-off on lap 34 of 57 in a rare mechanical failure which ended his day.
Vettel’s mechanical issues allowed hometown hero Fernando Alonso to take the lead in front of an absolutely roaring crowd, but he faced serious pressure from the Frenchman Romain Grosjean. Grosjean was hard charging and chasing Fernando down until his car also shut-off on lap 41 which took an immense amount of pressure off the Ferrari of Fernando Alonso. Over the radio the Lotus team informed Romain that the alternator failed which caused an electrical failure, thus shutting down the motor. Since Lotus runs a similar Renault engine set up as Red Bull, it was speculated that the alternator was possibly the culprit in Vettel’s shut-down as well. With Romain out, points leader Lewis Hamilton took over second place but had a four second gap to Alonso. While Lewis was figuring out how he would close on Fernando, his rear view mirrors were full of the Lotus of Kimi Raikkonen who was smelling blood, or more likely the quickly degrading tires of both Hamilton and Alonso.
As the race closed in on the last 10 laps Lewis was stil working on closing that 4 second cap on Alosno but Kimi began to ease off of Hamilton, perhaps he was worried about pushing too hard and having the same alternator failure as his teammate. As the race got down to the last 6 laps McLaren was hoping that Fernando’s tires would begin to fail, which would allow Hamilton to steal the win in the end. However with Lewis suffering his own tire troubles Kimi Raikkonen took Hamilton down and grabbed second place on lap 55 of 57. Lewis then almost lost third place to Pastor Maldonado right after falling to Raikkonen but Lewis held him off for a few turns until Pastor got a little too aggressive and punted Lewis Into the wall with only two laps remaining. The hit took the front wing off Maldonado which put him out as well allowing Michael Schumacher to take over third place and Mark Webber moving up to fourth.
At that point it was all she wrote as Fernando Alonso finally won in Valencia becoming the first two-time winner of 2012, followed by Kimi Raikkonen taking second place, and the great one Michael Schumacher grabbing third.
Fernando’s win shoots him up to first place in the points, with Mark Webber moving up to second past Lewis Hamilton and Sebastien Vettel. Now the F1 grid gets about a month break as next on the schedule is the German Grand Prix at Hockenheim starting July 20th.
To get another take on the European Grand Prix check out the SPEED post-race report.
[Photo: Paul Gilham/Getty Images]
Tags: · 2012EuropeanGP, 2012EuropeanGrandPrix, EuropeanGP, EuropeanGPValenciaSpain, EuropeanGrandPrix, F1, FerandoAlonso, Formula1, FormulaOne, KimiRaikkonen, LewisHamilton, Motorsports, News, NicoHulkenberg, PastorMaldonado, PaulDiResta, RomainGrosjean, SebastienVettel, spain, Valiencia
In a weekend surrounded by controversy of the social political environment of Bahrain the FIA decided that the show would go on and the Bahrain Grand Prix went ahead as scheduled. Hacker group Anonymous attempted to hack the F1 website issuing a warning that if the organization went forward with the race further cyber attacks would ensue but it really seemed as if things went off without a hitch for the most part. When the lights went out on Sunday it was Red Bull who was back in old form with Sebastien Vettel taking the lead but towards the last half of the race he had to deal with major contention from Kimi “The Iceman” Raikkonen and Kimi’s teammate Romain Grosjean. As Seb was on the soft tire he fought degradation which helped Kimi (who was on mediums) close the gap even further as the race wound down. However, once Sebastien pulled into the pits and switched to medium tires Kimi could not close on the young German the way he did in previous laps.
When the Checkered flag dropped it was Sebastien Vettel taking his first victory of the year followed by Kimi with his first podium of the year in second place and his teammate Romain Grosjean capturing third. Sebastien’s win gives him a 4 point advantage over Lewis Hamilton in the championship battle. We will just have to see if Red Bull can hold onto that lead or if McLaren and Hamilton will come back with a vengeance.
For a post race wrap-up watch the SPEED trio talk it over.
[Photo: Mark Thompson/Getty Images]
Tags: · 2012BahrainGPResults, 2012BahrainGrandPrixResults, Bahrain, BahrainGP2012, BahrainGrandPrix2012, F1, Formula1, FormulaOne, GroupLotus, KimiRaikkonen, LotusF1Team, Motorsports, News, RedBullRacing, RomainGrosjean, SebastienVettel
The Formula One season finally came back this weekend as all the teams brought their shiny new 2012 cars down under for the Australian Grand Prix. The talk of the silly season was the new “step nose” that most teams adapted in order to comply with new rules on having the nose of the car at a specific height. However McLaren found away to keep with the rules without having such a drastic dip in the nose line of their car. Many wondered if this would turn out to be a hindrance or a help. Well when Lewis Hamilton qualified on pole followed by his teammate Jenson Button, that question was answered! Surprisingly the Red Bull cars struggled to keep pace with McLaren and Mercedes GP. In an even bigger surprise French driver Romain Grosjean with Lotus GP took the third spot in qualifying but fell victim to contact during the race which ended his chances at a podium finish for the black and gold. Jenson Button managed to get around Lewis as the field dove into the first corner at the start of the race and thats where he remained until the checkered flags fell. Lewis fought hard to keep up with Jenson but some Red Bull pit stop trickery allowed Sebastien Vettel to get past Hamilton for second but Lewis held on for third place. With McLaren taking two of the three spots on the podium does this mean it is their year? Will Red Bull come back fighting? Will Ferrari wake up? I guess we will find out next weekend when Formula 1 goes back to Malaysia!
[Photo: TORSTEN BLACKWOOD/AFP/Getty Images]
Tags: · 2012AustralianGP, F1, F12012, FelipeMassa, FernandoAlonso, Formula1, Formula12012, FormulaOne, FormulaOne2012, JensonButton, LewisHamilton, LotusGP, McLaren, MercedesGP, MichaelSchumacher, Motorsports, News, RomainGrosjean, ScuderiaFerrari, SebastienVettel, VodafoneMcLaren