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!
If you did not get a chance to catch round two of the Formula One world championships and you need to know who wins then I am here to help! WARNING: SPOILER ALERT..
Sebastian Vettel took the victory in a damp (sometimes very wet) Malaysia this weekend with his teammate Mark Webber taking second and Lewis Hamilton grabbing third. Last weekend’s winner Kimi Raikkonen struggled in the wet but still managed to stay in the points by taking 7th place.
For highlights check out the video below and for a post race wrap-up with three very familar F1 fans check out the second video below!
It was back in 2010 when an investment group announced that they had designs on building a world class race track near Austin, Texas in an effort to bring Formula 1 back to the United States after a 5 year abscence. Along the way there were ups and downs but in the end they got the track finished and it was finally ready to hold its first official F1 event; which took place yesterday in front of over 100,000 fans. As a matter of fact the event sold out completely. Every last cheap seat to the super luxury suites were sold and accounted for by the time race weekend arrived.
So now that it is Monday, what happened? Did it all go off without a hitch? To put it shortly: Yes. The teams and drivers descended upon Austin, Texas at the beginning of the week and glitz & glamor aside it was business as usual. The only real talking point as far as the track went was the fact that the surface was very slippery since it was so very new. Before the F1 event only a few race cars have run the circuit so the asphalt was not “rubber-ed in” at all, making for a slick track. This made practice and qualifying very interesting! However, despite the slippery asphalt the cream still rose to the top as Red Bull, McLarren, and Ferrari still topped the charts.
On Saturday it was Sebastian Vettel who captured the pole position. Lewis Hamilton put up a valliant effort but missed Vettel’s time by a tenth of a second. Mark Webber qualified third which put Lewis in dangerous territory.
Then, we have the points battle. Sebastian Vettel came to America with a mission to clinche the driver’s title for himself and the constructor’s title for Red Bull. After the math was done it was determined that in order for Vettel to clinche the driver’s championship he had to win the race and Fernando Alonso had to finish 5th or worse. If Vettel finished second then Fernando could do no better than 9th, and if Vettel finished 3rd then Fernando would have to score no points at all. The third scenario seemed pretty unlikely so Vettel had to concentrate on winning.
Once the race went under way and the drivers charged up “Phil Hill” things seemed to go Red Bull’s way as Vettel and Webber began to run away from the group. However, Fernando charged his way from 9th place up to 4th. About mid way through the race Hamilton made his way around Webber then set his sights on Vettel. Meanwhile Fernando started to smell blood as Mark Webber’s race car started to have issues. The Aussie’s car finally gave up and Fernando Alonso grabbed third place and held on for all it was worth.
Vettel must have been shaken by the news that his teammate was no longer there to protect him because Lewis Hamilton caught Sebastian in lapse of concentration and pulled off a brilliant pass to take the lead. Hamilton went on to win the race with Vettel taking second place and Fernando Alonso kept his championship hopes very much alive by finishing third. Despite Mark Webber’s DNF, Vettel’s second place finish was enough for Red Bull to secure the constructor’s title and secure them a heafty check to add to next year’s budget.
The driver’s championship on the other hand will all come down to the final race of the season in Brazil next week. Without clinching in Texas, Vettel cannot drive with his “nothing to lose” attitude that he had in the final race of last year. Meanwhile Fernando Alonso will be racing with every ounce hes got to try and win his third championship.
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.
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.
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.
Just one week after the season opener in Australia the Formula 1 field was ready to go in Malayisa. The weather was an issue in Malasyia from the second the field showed up as the tempratures swung from very hot to pouring rain. Hamilton managed to capture another pole position in qualifying just as he did in Australia and he was determined not to throw it away during the race like he did once before. When the lights went out in Malaysia Hamilton held off his teammate Jenson Button (who qualified 2nd) in the first corner and retained the lead. Unfortunately Hamilton’s lead was short lived as just 9 laps into the race a severe downpour hit the circut forcing the officials to red flag the race.
After an hour of waiting out the rain the drivers were allowed to resume the race but all the teams were scrambling with trying to work out when to switch tires and what type of tires they should switch to in an effort to predict what mother nature would do next. McLaren dropped the ball when they kept Hamilton out longer and had Button come in to the pits first. When Hamilton came in Button grabbed the lead away from his teammate but then he suffered contact with rookie Indian driver Narain Karthikeyan which damaged the nose on Button’s McLaren forcing him to come back into the pits. From there Fernando Alonso took the lead. Hamilton was holding on to second but lost position to Sergio Perez as Hamilton struggled to find grip.
In the end Fernando Alonso took the checkered flag with Sergio Perez in tow managing his first ever Podium finish, followed by Lewis Hamilton capturing third.