Category: F1

Hamilton takes win at 2020 British GP

As if the Covid-19 pandemic isn’t drowning Formula 1 enough, Lewis Hamilton winning again doesn’t exactly make things more interesting for anybody. But that’s the case at Sunday’s British Grand Prix, Silverstone where Hamilton pulled off another win as he beat the hard charging Max Verstappen by a little over 5 seconds. Hamilton held Verstappen at bay in the final lap of the race to win his third race of the year.  Behind the Mercedes and Red Bull was Charles LeClerc, who brought Ferrari a much-needed podium finish after four rounds.

It looked like another Mercedes 1-2 until the final laps as Hamilton and team mate Valtteri Bottas held the top two spots for almost an entire race. Bottas dropped out 3 laps before the end to allow the others to catch up. The Finn ended up with 11th spot.

Hamilton now leads by a massive 88 points in the Drivers’ standings; that’s 30 points from Bottas. Mercedes, meanwhile, have 146 points to lead second place Red Bull with 78 points in the Constructors.

Both Renaults of Daniel Ricciardo and Esteban Ocon were in the top ten, fourth and sixth thanks to late tyre punctures sustained by Bottas and Carlos Sainz. It was Ricciardo’s best finish in Renault colors, while Ocon claimed his best effort in F1 since the 2018 Italian GP.

McLaren had their best finish this season, thanks to Lando Norris’ fifth spot. Norris finished ahead of the second Renault.

Pierre Gasly put AlphaTauri squad on the map at the British bout with a solid seventh place finish. The AlphaTauri driver even overtook four-time champion Sebastien Vettel on his way to a 7th spot.

The bottom feeders eight through tenth were Alexander Albon in the second Red Bull, Lance Stroll and Vettel, who picked his lowest score of the year in tenth and in recent memory, for that matter.

The next race moves to the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona for Round 5’s Spanish GP from 14 – 16 August.

Drivers’ quotes

Lewis Hamilton Valtteri Bottas

Hamilton: “That last lap was one of the most challenging laps I have ever had. Up until that point, everything was going relatively smoothly, the tyres felt great and I was doing some management. It was a heart-in-your-mouth feeling and then I was just trying to keep the speed up without damaging the car.”

Verstappen: “I believe we made the right decision to pit for fastest lap at the end. We did the right thing and who knows if I would also have got a puncture, you just can’t predict these things as it does not happen very often in F1 these days. At the end of the day Mercedes deserved to win as they were faster than us. I was four or five tenths off Mercedes every lap but a second faster than the cars behind, so it was a pretty lonely race.”

LeClerc: “It was a difficult day, but a good one. I am very satisfied with this result. We know we were a bit lucky, but sometimes these things happen and you need to be there to take the opportunity. Of course, we don’t want to be fighting for fourth place for too much longer, but at the moment that’s what our car is capable of.”

Ricciardo:  “The race really came alive and that was really good. We had some pace at the end and I was able to get Lando and then Carlos had a problem. I saw Charles [Leclerc] getting closer and maybe with a couple more laps we could have had a podium! We have another chance next week.”

Gasly: “It was a very strong race and probably one of the best ones from me. I think we were P12 at the time and I had to fight my way through the crowd. It was tough but very enjoyable and I had many great battles with Vettel, Stroll and Giovinazzi. I struggled to get close to Sebastian, but then I had one shot to pass him and I knew I had to try and make it work. It doesn’t happen every day that you’re able to overtake a Ferrari on the outside.”

Vettel: “That was a very difficult race, because I couldn’t challenge anyone. Many of those behind me were a bit faster and managed to get past, as I was struggling massively to find grip in this car, even though I tried lots of different things this weekend.”

2020 British GP results

1         44       Hamilton                  1:28:01.283  25

2         33       Verstappen   +5.856s        19

3         16       Leclerc                     +18.474s      15

4         3         Ricciardo                 +19.650s      12

5         4         Norris            +22.277s      10

6         31       Ocon             +26.937s      8

7         10       Gasly             +31.188s      6

8         23       Albon            +32.670s      4

9         18       Stroll              +37.311s      2

10       5         Vettel            +41.857s      1

Drivers standings

1         Hamilton                  88

2         Bottas            58

3         Verstappen              52

4         Norris            36

5         Leclerc          33

6         Albon            26

7         Perez            22

8         Stroll              20

9         Ricciardo                 20

10       Sainz             15

Hamilton wins Hungary GP to tie Schumacher’s wins record

After three races into the shorten 2020 Formula One World Championship, Lewis Hamilton held a firm lead in the Drivers’ Standings. His latest maximum points came from a victory at the Hungarian Grand Prix last weekend. Hamilton’s win at the Hungaroring puts him at 86 wins on the all-time list, equalling the brilliant Michael Schumacher’s win record. In runner up spot was Max Verstappen who got ahead of Hamilton’s team mate Valtteri Bottas.

With max points, Hamilton is way in front in the standings with 63 points from his team mate, 58 points. Mercedes-AMG F1 Team have 121 points against Red Bull’s 55 points in the Constructors’ rankings. Mercedes’ rivals Ferrari continue their downward spiral as Sebastien Vettel and Charles LeClerc both had an uneventful race, with Vettel 6th and LeClerc 11th.  

Hamilton commented after the race, “I was on my own for the majority, it’s a very different kind of challenge and I was pushing hard out there – particularly for the fastest lap at the end. I can’t wait for Silverstone now, although I’ll miss the energy the fans bring, so I hope I can perform for them there as I know they’ll be watching from home.”

Verstappen, who’s a clear challenger to Hamilton’s and Mercedes’ title hopes this season, could manage second best at the Hungaroring, which better suited the Mercedes cars.  “I thought the race was over before it had even started. I braked, locked a wheel, came off the brakes and tried to brake again but went straight on into the wall on the out lap. I couldn’t believe it but I managed to reverse out of the wall and get to the grid. The race could have been very different if I was stuck in seventh place for a few laps that’s for sure. To be second here between the two dominant Mercedes cars is an unbelievable result.”

Lance Stroll picked up a hard earned fourth place for BWT Racing Team with team nate Checo (Sergio) Perez finishing seventh for double points.  “P4 is a good result and I have to thank the team for such a great job today and all weekend. It was fun to fight Max [Verstappen] at the start of the race and run in P2 in the changeable conditions. We actually ended up in quite a lonely race to P4, but the main thing is that we were able to score a good haul of points for the team, and so did Checo.”

Ferrari had called the race in Hungary, “hard to swallow” for good reasons. Both Vettel and Leclerc lacked pace all race long with their SF1000s and the result did not live up to expectations. Vettel finished sixth with team mate just outside the points in eleventh.

Renault claimed its third consecutive eighth place finish as Daniel Ricciardo scored four points in a busy Hungarian Grand Prix. “Eighth was all we could achieve in the end, though. We’ve had eighth in every race so far. It’s not bad, but I do feel we have the speed for more from the first three races. We’re not far from top six finishes, it’s coming, and we know bigger points are around the corner.”

The next race for the circus moves to the Silverstone circuit in a couple of weeks.

2020 Hungarian Grand Prix, Sunday – LAT Images

2020 Hungarian GP results

1         Hamilton              1:36:12.473 

2         Verstappen          +8.702s       

3         Bottas +9.452s       

4         Stroll         +57.579s     

5         Albon     +78.316s     

6         Vettel        +1 lap

7         Perez      +1 lap

8         Ricciardo           +1 lap

9         Sainz        +1 lap

10       Magnussen         +1 lap

Drivers standings

1         Hamilton                  MERCEDES 63

2         Bottas            MERCEDES 58

3         Verstappen              RED BULL    33

4         Norris            MCLAREN    26

5         Albon            RED BULL    22

6         Perez BWT  22

7         Leclerc          FERRARI      18

8         Stroll   BWT   18

9         Sainz  MCLAREN    15

10       Vettel FERRARI      9

Inaugural F1 Vietnam GP postponed, indefinitely

In view of the continued global spread of novel coronavirus and after ongoing discussions with Formula One Ltd, the holder of copyrights and licenses for F1, as well as the FIA & the Hanoi People’s Committee, the Vietnamese Motorsports Association (VMA), the Vietnam Grand Prix Limited Liability Company (VGPC) regrets to announce the postponement of the Formula 1 VinFast Vietnam Grand Prix 2020 as scheduled.

Due to take place on 3 – 5 April, the decision to postpone comes after extensive consideration of the ongoing and developing coronavirus situation as well as after the recent WHO declaration of the outbreak as a global pandemic, and follows guidance from all relevant authorities whose collective concern is the health and well-being of the Vietnamese people as well as travelling Formula 1 fans, staff and championship participants.

This has been a very difficult decision to reach, especially as preparations for Hanoi to join the world’s most prestigious sporting event with a world-class, state-of-the-art F1 circuit had just entered their final stages.

VGPC will continue to work closely with Formula 1, the FIA, the Hanoi People’s Committee and the VMA to monitor the situation and will look to announce an alternative date and provide a further update for our ticket purchasers, sponsors and partners in due course.

The organizers’ thoughts go to all those directly and indirectly affected by the current coronavirus situation, as well as those for whom this announcement will be a disappointment as they looked forward to an exciting inaugural race in Vietnam.

UPDATED: Formula 1 Teams charge into 2020 season with new challengers

With about a month before the 2020 Formula 1 season kicks off in Australia, F1 Teams do their customary introductions to promote new challengers and driver lineups.

We start with the Reigning Champion Mercedes-AMG F1 Team. The Champs put their new Mercedes-AMG F1 W11 EQ Performance challenger on track at Silverstone for its initial testing. This is the 11th F1 car by the Silver Arrows since their return to the Series.

Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas return for another season to defend the team’s championship honors. Both drivers pilot the car that had 10,000 new parts. The car continues to run on a 1.6-liter V6 hybrid engine, since 2014.

Ferrari

Ferrari’s 2020 challenger is called the SF1000. The SF1000 denotes the Prancing Horse as the first team ever to take part in 1000 Formula 1 Grands Prix. This year, Ferrari observe its 70th anniversary in the series.

Four-time champion Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc are back as pilots for a second year driver pairing. Both drivers are in the Catalunya track for the first testing of the season, starting 19 February.

Marking its 70th year in F1, Ferrari have participated in 991 races and won 238 of them. In the new season, Ferrari intend to push for glory and expect both drivers to battle for top honors at every race.

McLaren

McLaren took the covers off their 2020 F1 Challenger MCL35 last week at their headquarters in Woking. The 2020 team feature Carlos Sainz and Lando Norris in their second year as the team’s driver tandem.

The McLaren MCL35’s papaya and blue livery remains similar to last season. The car is powered by a Renault E-Tech 20 engine.

McLaren and the other F1 teams are preparing for the pre-season test in Catalunya from 19 – 21 February. Next, the teams conduct a second test from 26 – 28 February.

Renault

Renault F1 Team previewed its R.S. 20 challenger with drivers Daniel Ricciardo and Esteban Ocon, recently. The 2020 challenger, powered by the E-Tech 20 engine, is set for full reveal at the Catalan track in Barcelona on 19 February.

Ricciardo is into his 2nd season with Renault, while Esteban Ocon, a graduate of the Mercedes driver development program, joins the French squad from a year spent at Mercedes-AMG F1 team as test driver. The Frenchman has raced for the now defunct Force India squad from 2017 – 2018.

Red Bull Racing

Red Bull Racing’s RB16 debuted at Silverstone in its familiar colors. The RBR squad feature Max Verstappen and Alexander Albon, who’s called up from sister team Toro Rosso.

RBR prepare for the first of two three-day tests starting 19 February at the Circuit Catalunya.

Toro Rosso becomes Alpha Tauri Team

At the Alpha Tauri Team unveiling recently in Salzburg, the squad presented its 2020 challenger, the AT01, and title partners AlphaTauri. They’ve gone from Energy drink to a fashion label, owned by Red Bull.

The AlphaTauri F1 cars took to the track in Misano, before being transported to the first testing site at Catalunya. The driver pairing comprises Pierre Gasly and Daniil Kvyat.  “There’s a new chapter coming with Scuderia AlphaTauri. I like fashion as well, so for me it’s great to be combining a fashion brand with Formula 1. I think it’s a great adventure that is starting now and I’m really excited to get started properly on track and take the brand to another level,” Gasly said.

Alfa Romeo Racing

The Team formerly known as the Sauber F1 team has unveiled its 2020 challenger, the C39, at the Fiorano. The Alfa Romeo Racing team conducted a first shakedown of the C39 in pre-launch ‘snakeskin’ livery at the track. Kimi Raikkonen was on hand in Fiorano to take the car out for a first shakedown.

The livery of the C39 by Centro Stile Alfa Romeo took its inspiration from one of the Brand’s dominant icons, the heraldic ‘Biscione’. The snakeskin pattern not only endows the car with an exotic look, it also camouflages its normal appearance and disguises its secrets until the official launch at the Circuit Catalunya.

C39 Unveiled

Alfa Romeo Racing C39 presentation by RAIKKONEN Kimi (fin), GIOVINAZZI Antonio (ita), KUBICA Robert (pol), CALDERON Tatiana (col), VASSEUR Frederic (fra), Team Principal of Alfa Romeo Racing, and MONCHAUX Jan (fra), Technical Director.

Prior to the start of the pre-season test at Circuit de Catalunya, Alfa Romeo Racing took the covers off the new-liveried C39 with drivers Kimi Räikkönen, Antonio Giovinazzi, test/reserve driver Robert Kubica and development driver Tatiana Calderon.

Since taking in Alfa Romeo Racing, the race car has that familiar Alfa Romeo racing colors. For 2020, the paintwork is developed by Centro Stile and theme represents the “Speed-Pixel”: a graphic evocation of speed and time in what is the year of the brand’s 110th  anniversary. There is also a return to a simplified quadrifoglio design and an enlarged Alfa Romeo script on the engine cover which is now overlapping the main logo. Alfa Romeo Racing squad aims to battle regularly in the midfield and a shot at the top five on the grid.



F1 Vietnam Grand Prix has an official emblem

Formula 1 2020 Calendar

Formula 1 is getting set to descend on the South East Asian country of Vietnam in 2020. Vietnam becomes only the third country in this minor Asian region to host an F1 race after Malaysia and Singapore. The promoters, Vietnam Grand Prix Corporation, today announced official logo and the track’s grandstands’ titles for the upcoming race to be held from 3 – 5 April.

The Vietnamese GP takes place on the Hanoi Circuit. The track grandstands take up the country’s most famous and important landmarks, major cities and provinces. Hanoi circuit features 23 turns and a distance of 5,607 km. With a combination of high speed and slow corners, the track has a good blend of street and regular circuit configuration. There are as many as three overtaking points.

Here’s a breakdown of the Grandstands at F1’s newest track:  

•      Thăng Long Grandstand – Located along the Starting Grid, this stand takes its title from Hanoi’s traditional name – meaning a rising dragon – and symbolizes the constant growth and development of the city.

•      Hải Phòng Grandstand – positioned by Turn 1, this is named after the major port city that also functions as an industrial centre and the largest seaport in the North of Vietnam. This is also the third largest city in the country, the second in the North and one of the five municipalities.

•      Hạ Long Grandstand – Positioned at the winding arc that makes up Turns 2-4, this Grandstand is named after Ha Long Bay, the world-famous UNESCO World Natural Heritage, considered to be one of the most beautiful natural settings on the planet and also renowned as the mythical home of dragons.

•      Huế Matrix One Grandstand – This Grandstand is situated at the tricky Turn 7-8 sequence and is named after the central Vietnamese city – another UNESCO Heritage Centre – that was the seat of Nguyen Dynasty emperors and the national capital from 1802 to 1945. The Hue Matrix One Grandstand is sponsored by MIK Group.

•      Đà Nẵng Grandstand – this stand is located just past Turn 10 and is named after Vietnam’s fourth largest city, the key economic region of the Central area of Vietnam, famous for its white sand beaches, Ba Na Mountain, Son Tra peninsula & Marble Mountain….

•      Nha Trang Grandstand – Set just before Turn 11, this is named after the famous coastal resort city in southern Vietnam famed for its beaches, diving sites and offshore islands in Nha Trang Bay, commonly referred to as ‘The Pearl of the East Sea” and one of Vietnam’s most popular tourist destinations.

•      Sài Gòn Grandstand – Situated at Turn 12, this is named after Vietnam’s largest city’s former name. One of the most important economic, cultural, political and educational centers of Vietnam, it is famous for its Ben Thanh market as well as the stunning Nguyen Hue street, Independence Palace, Notre Dame Cathedral and most recently the Landmark 81 building – tallest in Southeast Asia.

•      Cần Thơ Grandstand – found by Turn 13, this Grandstand takes its name from the bustling city in southern Vietnam’s Mekong Delta region, celebrated for its canal network, nearby floating markets and fruitful orchards.

•      Phú Quốc Grandstand – located by turn 22-23, this grandstand is named after the largest island in Vietnam also known as Jade Island due to its picturesque beaches and magnificent landscapes such as the Phu Quoc National Park, An Thoi archipelago, Van Ninh fishing village and the Vinpearl Safari Phu Quoc (the first and largest semi-wild zoo in Vietnam).

 For the inaugural Vietnam GP, tickets are already on sale. If you haven’t gotten your tickets, you might want to check out www.f1vietnamgp.com or call the hotline: at 1900 232428 or 0915 73 44 66

2020 Formula 1 Calendar

This season’s Formula 1 calendar features 22 races around the world. Vietnam is listed third on the calendar after the Australian and Bahrain Grands Prix.

115 MARAUSTRALIAMelbourne
222 MARBAHRAINSakhir
35 APRVIETNAMHanoi
419 APRCHINAShanghai
53 MAYNETHERLANDSZandvoort
610 MAYSPAINBarcelona
724 MAYMONACOMonte Carlo
87 JUNAZERBAIJANBaku
914 JUNCANADAMontreal
1028 JUNFRANCELe Castellet
115 JULAUSTRIASpielberg
1219 JULGREAT BRITAINSilverstone
132 AUGHUNGARYBudapest
1430 AUGBELGIUMSpa-Francorchamps
156 SEPITALYMonza
1620 SEPSINGAPORESingapore
1727 SEPRUSSIASochi
1811 OCTJAPANSuzuka
1925 OCTUNITED STATESAustin
201 NOVMEXICO CITYMexico City
2115 NOVBRAZILSao Paulo
2229 NOVABU DHABIYas Island

Bottas wins F1 Japanese GP; Mercedes nails Constructors title

The F1 Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka saw Valtteri Bottas capture his sixth win lifetime to help Mercedes firm up the Constructors’ title. Team mate Lewis Hamilton was third, behind rival Sebastien Vettel.

Formel 1 – Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport, Großer Preis von Japan 2019. Valtteri Bottas Lewis Hamilton Formula One – Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport, Japanese GP 2019. Valtteri Bottas Lewis Hamilton

With 1 and 3, Hamilton and Bottas become the only two drivers in the standings with a shot at the drivers’ trophy.  Mercedes’ constructors title is the sixth consecutive title since the Silver Arrows made its entry in the sport as a factory team.  There are four races left in the season…

The start of the race was clear cut, it was Mercedes versus Ferrari off the grid. Vettel hesitated at the start and that allowed Bottas to shoot ahead. Meantime, Charles LeClerc got a wheelspin and was picked off by Max Verstappen. He tried to block the Red Bull but unsuccessful.

It was Bottas, followed by Vettel, Leclerc, Verstappen and Hamilton on the first lap.  The Mercedes drivers and Vettel went for a two-stopper. After his first stop, he resumed the attack on the lead Mercedes on lap 17.  Bottas managed to come out ahead of Vettel after his stop. Hamilton would pit later and retook the race third.

The order would change slightly after the second stop, Hamilton led -Vettel and Bottas, after Bottas dove in the pitlane. Hamilton would go in lap 42 and  attacked the minute he rejoined the track, but Vettel covered well. Past mid-part of the race, Bottas led the race with Vettel and Hamilton. Six laps from the end, Hamilton made a final push for runner-up spot but Vettel wouldn’t have it. Alex Albon finished fourth for Red Bull from Carlos Sainz, Behind Sainz, everybody finished a lap down on the leaders. LeClerc was demoted from sixth to seventh after a post race review, as he was penalized for blocking Verstappen at the start. Verstappen, meanwhile, didn’t finish the race.

2019 Formula 1 Japanese Grand Prix results

1     V.Bottas 52   1:21:46.755  25

2     S.Vettel  52   +13.343s       18

3     L.Hamilton    52   +13.858s        16

4     A.Albon 52   +59.537s       12

5     C.Sainz   52   +69.101s       10

6 D.Ricciardo 51   +1 lap     8

7     C.Leclerc       51   +1 lap     6

8     P.Gasly   51   +1 lap     4

9     S.Perez   51   +1 lap     2

10   N.Hulkenberg       51   +1 lap

Drivers standings

1     Hamilton       MERCEDES        338

2     Bottas    MERCEDES    274

3     Leclerc         FERRARI 221

4     Verstappen  RED BULL RACING   212

5     Vettel     FERRARI 212

6     Sainz      MCLAREN        76

7     Gasly      TORO ROSSO     73

8     Albon     RED BULL RACING    64

9     Ricciardo       RENAULT        42

10   Hulkenberg   RENAULT        35

Constructors rankings

1     MERCEDES    612

2     FERRARI 433

3     RED BULL RACING HONDA 323

4     MCLAREN RENAULT    111

5     RENAULT       77

6     SCUDERIA TORO ROSSO HONDA  59

7     RACING POINT BWT MERCEDES    54

8     ALFA ROMEO RACING FERRARI 35

9     HAAS FERRARI     28

10   WILLIAMS MERCEDES 1

Vettel proves his mantle with F1 Singapore Grand Prix win

It’s the first win of the seaosn for four-time F1 Champion and Ferrari’s Sebastien Vettel who topped his team mate Charles LeClerc at the 61-lap Marina Bay Street Circuit, on Sunday. The conditions proved that the mean streets in downtown Singapore were well suited for the Ferraris. It was Ferrari’s 84th 1-2 finish in F1. The Red Bull of Max Verstappen came in in third to demote the Mercedes cars to fourth and fifth, where Lewis Hamilton finished ahead of his team mate.

At race start, LeClerc led Hamilton and Vettel under the night lights of the magnificent Marina Bay street circuit. Vettel pushed to try to get past Hamilton on the opening lap, but didn’t succeed.

After the race leaders and the rest of the field settled, the lead Ferrari maintained the lead. In the first stop, Ferrari called Vettel in for a stop first as he was pursued by a hot Verstappen, who ran fourth at the time,  Ferraris were on a one-stopper. LeClerc pitted on lap 20, a lap later than his team mate. He retook the track in second behind Vettel.

The other contenders took their pitstop strategies in stride. It was until lap 35  that there’s some drama on track with the safety car called out when George Russell and Romain Grosjean collided. By then, Vettel led the race quite comfortably, almost 5 seconds ahead of LeClerc. The usual suspects were all there, it was Vettel, LeClerc, Verstappen, Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas.

After the middle part of the race, there were two more safety car periods. The final safety car period basically sealed the deal for the Ferraris as they were able to maintain the one-two and reduce tyre wear until the chequered flag. The order would finish in such: Vettel from LeClerc, Verstappen, Hamilton and Bottas.

Behind Bottas came the second Red Bull of Alexander Albon who led home McLaren’s  Lando Norris, Toro Rosso’s Pierre Gasly, Renault’s Nico Hulkenberg and Alfa Romeo’s Antonio Giovinazzi.

So it would be Vettel’s day as he got to the top step of the podium after an absence of over a year, dating back to Belgium 2018. It was his fifth win in Singapore, which is a record for any driver at the Marina Bay track. His 14th win with Ferrari also puts him third in the list of all-time Ferrari winners between Michael Schumacher on 72 and Niki Lauda on 15. It was his 53rd career win and Ferrari’s 238th.

A jubilant Vettel remarked, “It was about time! I never stopped believing in myself and today, with the great help of the team here and in Maranello, we got the result we should always be aiming for. I was playing a waiting game until I got the call on the radio to pit for new tyres. I had not expected to stay out so long but the decision was key, because I was able to rejoin with a clear track ahead of me and I could run at my own pace making up ground on all the others, to the extent that I was in the lead by almost five seconds at the time the Safety Car came out. From then on, the race was continually interrupted, with a further two restarts, but I still managed to maintain concentration and avoid making any mistakes.”

The next round, the 16th of the season, is next weekend in Russia, at the Sochi Autodrom.

2019 Singapore Grand Prix results

1     5     Sebastian Vettel         1:58:33.667      

2     16   Charles Leclerc         +2.641s 

3     33   Max Verstappen         +3.821s 

4     44   Lewis Hamilton         +4.608s 

5     77   Valtteri Bottas         +6.119s 

6     23   Alexander Albon          +11.663s    

7     4     Lando Norris    +14.769s    

8     10   Pierre Gasly            +15.547s    

9     27   Nico Hulkenberg       +16.718s    

10   99   Antonio Giovinazzi         +27.855s

Drivers standings

1     Lewis Hamilton    GBR       MERCEDES 296

2     Valtteri Bottas      FIN       MERCEDES 231

3     Charles Leclerc    MON       FERRARI      200

4     Max Verstappen   NED       RED BULL RACING       200

5     Sebastian Vettel   GER       FERRARI      194

6     Pierre Gasly  FRA       TORO ROSSO 69

7     Carlos Sainz ESP       MCLAREN 58

8     Alexander Albon  THA       RED BULL RACING        42

9     Daniel Ricciardo   AUS       RENAULT     34

10   Daniil Kvyat   RUS       TORO ROSSO 33

Constructors rankings

1     MERCEDES 527

2     FERRARI      394

3     RED BULL RACING        289

4     MCLAREN 89

5     RENAULT     67

6     TORO ROSSO 55

7     RACING POINT BWT 46

8     ALFA ROMEO RACING       35

9     HAAS   26

10   WILLIAMS      1

Two wins in a row for LeClerc

It was only a week agp that Ferrari’s rookie Charles LeClerc took his maiden win at the Spa-Francorchamps. Before he even got soaked into it, the Italian Grand Prix at Monza which happened to be Ferrari’s home race saw the Ferrari Rook take his second win, again beating the two Mercedes drivers Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas. Although a little late in the season, LeClerc is proving he is the main staple of the team instead of 4-time F1 Champion Sebastien Vettel. Speaking of Vettel, he skidded in the early part of the race and had to battle his way back to end up 13th. LeClerc’s win means Ferrari has 237 wins in F1 and their 9th at Monza.

The race start had LeClerc in front of the two Mercedes, while Renault’s Nico Hulkenberg beat out Vettel for fourth position. Vettel would snatch fourth back in an instant.

Lap 6, Vettel was too eager to get close to the second Mercedes and collided with Lance Stroll’s car at the Ascari. He reoovered but was way back in 19t , after a stop to change the front wing and having to serve a 10-second stop and go.

Up front, the Mercedes didn’t give much room to Leclerc as they gave chase. The Rook however managed to maintain a small lead over Hamilton, up to the point when the Mercedes was due for  a stop on lap 19. Ferrari decided the pit the race leader the lap after. It was then an interesting battle between Hamilton and LeClerc happened at the Roggia turn. The Ferrari’s tyres weren’t up to temperature yet. But, the rookie wouldn’t give in even with Mercedes cars chasing him to the brink. LeClerc was able to hold them off.  Ferrari attributed this to the new Power unit, the speed of the car, the specially-tuned aerodynamics and the amazing drive of LeClerc. The LeClerc-Mercedes pursuit went on for 33 laps.

In the final stages, LeClerc held his own as the Mercedes settled into their respective positions. The Ferrari finished just 850 thousandths of a second ahead of Bottas’ Mercedes. Hamilton was third, while the two Renaults of Daniel RIcciardo and Hulkenberg were fourth and fifth. Alexander Albon took sixth for Red Bull with Sergio Perez and Max Verstappen in seventh and eighth. Final points went to Alfa Romeo’s Antonio Giovinazzi and McLaren’s Lando Norris.

The Formula 1 World Championship resumes in a fortnight’s time in Singapore.

LeClerc commened, “It felt ten times stronger than anything I have ever experienced in my whole career. It was very special. The first stint was quite controlled, but the second stint was a bit less strong on my side, because I had to focus on the car behind me a lot as the gap was closing. It was very difficult and I had a lot of pressure on me.”

2019 Formula 1 Italian Grand Prix results

1     16   Charles Leclerc       FERRARI      53   1:15:26.665       25

2     77   Valtteri Bottas       MERCEDES 53   +0.835s  18

3     44   Lewis Hamilton       MERCEDES 53   +35.199s       16

4     3     Daniel Ricciardo       RENAULT     53   +45.515s       12

5     27   Nico Hulkenberg       RENAULT     53   +58.165s       10

6     23   Alexander Albon  RED BULL      53       +59.315s       8

7     11   Sergio Perez BWT   53       +73.802s       6

8     33   Max Verstappen   RED BULL      53       +74.492s       4

9     99   Antonio Giovinazzi       ALFA ROMEO       52   +1 lap    2

10   4     Lando Norris MCLAREN RENAULT     52   +1 lap

Drivers standings

1     Lewis Hamilton    GBR       MERCEDES 284

2     Valtteri Bottas      FIN       MERCEDES 221

3     Max Verstappen   NED       RED BULL RACING HONDA       185

4     Charles Leclerc    MON       FERRARI      182

5     Sebastian Vettel   GER       FERRARI      169

6     Pierre Gasly  FRA       SCUDERIA TORO ROSSO HONDA 65

7     Carlos Sainz ESP       MCLAREN RENAULT 58

8     Daniel Ricciardo   AUS       RENAULT     34

9     Alexander Albon  THA       RED BULL RACING HONDA       34

10   Daniil Kvyat   RUS       SCUDERIA TORO ROSSO HONDA 33

Constructors rankings

1      MERCEDES 505

2     FERRARI      351

3     RED BULL RACING HONDA       266

4     MCLAREN RENAULT 83

5     RENAULT     65

6     SCUDERIA TORO ROSSO HONDA 51

7     RACING POINT BWT MERCEDES 46

8     ALFA ROMEO RACING FERRARI      34

9     HAAS FERRARI  26

10   WILLIAMS MERCEDES     1

LeClerc scores Maiden Win at Belgian F1 GP

A year earlier, you’ve probably never heard of Charles LeClerc. Even Ferrari’s massive media hype will not deter F1 fans from 4-time Champion Sebastien Vettel.

Last Sunday at the spectacular Spa-Francorchamps Circuit, fans finally got to know the rookie LeClerc as he scored his first ever win. The kid from Monaco managed the 44 lap race to perfection; he’s also the first from Monaco to take an F1 win. The two Mercedes were right there as well with Lewis Hamilton second and Valtteri Bottas third. LeClerc’s illustrious team mate Vettel was fourth to complete an all Ferrari and Mercedes white wash. LeClerc becomes only the third winner this season, after Hamilton and Max Verstappen.

The race was LeClerc’s all the way. He  got away well from pole to keep the lead. Behind him, Vettel was overtaken at the first corner by Hamilton but retook the place getting by again at the end of the Kemmel straight.

After a restart, LeClerc managed to pull away from the group, running at a consistent pace. He would soon relinquish the lead for a bit when he had to pit for new shods. Vettel took the lead but had to give the lead back to his team mate on lap 27.

At the halfway mark, Vettel and Hamilton got into a scrap for few laps. Once he had lost the place, the team changed his strategy, bringing him in for another set of soft tyres to run for the final ten laps of the race. Vettel would drop another position to Bottas in the process.

LeClerc had no issues in the front, though the Mercedes cars tried to inch closer. He also hit the fastest lap of the race for an extra point.

In the final stage, there was a nail biting moment, as LeClerc fought off a hard-charging Hamilton, who never got quite close enough to use the DRS. But, that was it…Hamilton couldn’t do it and it was LeClerc’s win, less than a second ahead of the reigning champion.

Ferrari got their 236th win, while LeClerc becamethe youngest driver to take pole and the win at Spa-Francorchamps. He is also the youngest ever driver to win a Grand Prix at the wheel of a Ferrari.

The series is  back on track right from next week in Monza for the Italian Grand Prix.


LeClerc commented in post-race, “It is difficult to enjoy a first victory on a weekend like this. The race itself was good and nothing would have been possible without the amazing car the team gave me. We made good improvements in terms of race pace and tyre management this weekend. The last few laps weren’t easy. I saw Lewis coming closer and closer in the mirror, so I put my head down and tried to focus on the work I had to do in the car. At the end, I managed to cross the line in first place!”

2019 F1 Belgian GP results

1     Charles Leclerc       FERRARI      1:23:45.710    

2       Lewis Hamilton       MERCEDES   +0.981s

3     Valtteri Bottas       MERCEDES +12.585s   

4       Sebastian Vettel       FERRARI         +26.422s      

5      Alexander Albon  RED BULL RACING         +81.325s      

6     Sergio Perez RACING POINT BWT     +84.448s      

7     Daniil Kvyat   SCUDERIA TORO ROSSO        +89.657s      

8       Nico Hulkenberg       RENAULT        +106.639s      

9       Pierre Gasly  SCUDERIA TORO ROSSO        +109.168s    

10   Lance Stroll   RACING POINT BWT       +109.838s

Drivers standings

1     Lewis Hamilton    GBR       MERCEDES 268

2     Valtteri Bottas      FIN       MERCEDES 203

3     Max Verstappen   NED       RED BULL RACING HONDA       181

4     Sebastian Vettel   GER       FERRARI      169

5     Charles Leclerc    MON       FERRARI      157

6     Pierre Gasly  FRA       SCUDERIA TORO ROSSO HONDA 65

7     Carlos Sainz ESP       MCLAREN RENAULT 58

8     Daniil Kvyat   RUS       SCUDERIA TORO ROSSO HONDA 33

9     Kimi Räikkönen    FIN ALFA ROMEO RACING FERRARI     31

10   Alexander Albon  THA       RED BULL RACING HONDA       26

Constructors

1     MERCEDES 471

2     FERRARI      326

3     RED BULL RACING HONDA       254

4     MCLAREN RENAULT 82

5     SCUDERIA TORO ROSSO HONDA 51

6     RENAULT     43

7     RACING POINT BWT MERCEDES 40

8     ALFA ROMEO RACING FERRARI      32

9     HAAS FERRARI  26

10   WILLIAMS MERCEDES     1

Verstappen wins 2nd race of the year at rain-hit German GP

In a topsy-turvy rain-soaked German Grand Prix in Hockenheim, Max Verstappen was the big winner for Red Bull Racing. The two Mercedes finished out of the points for the first time in the season. Lewis Hamilton ended up 11th and Valtteri Bottas crashed out of the race. It took a horrid weather to stop Mercedes’ progress in the championship, so be it…at least we have an interesting race to witness.

The 11th round of the Formula 1 World Championships was going Mercedes’ way after Saturday’s qualifying where they secured positions 1 and 2. But, the tide turned against them on Sunday. Verstappen was the winner, but it was Ferrari’s Sebastien Vettel who overcame the odds from last place on starting grid to second place at the finish.

At race start, Vettel quickly made up grounds from 20th to 14th and up 12th, after dispatching Daniel Riccairdo in a Renault. Verstappen tagged the Mercedes cars as the rest of the field struggled for grip on a damp track. Hamilton gambled on slicks rather than intermediates. It would soon became a nightmare for him

After the first stop and a safety car period, the restart saw Charles LeClerc zip past Nico Hulkenberg and Kevin Magnussen for fourth. Few cars behind, Vettel jumped from tenth to seventh.

The rain came pouring round about the halfway mark of the race which made it more interesting. LeClerc fell victim to the weather as he crashed into the barriers, while running second at the time. Vettel had to switch to intermediates and retook the track in eighth.

Another safety car period at the three quarters mark following Hulkenberg’s crash. The surviving Ferrari ran ninth after a stop for tyres.

In the final stint, Hamilton ran wide and hit the wall, damaging his front wing. He dropped out of the race. Later, Bottas would crashed out from the lead. With the two Mercedes gone, Verstappen led from the field as everyone got promoted. Vettel, meantime, carved his way to the front with relative ease.  Another restart was required but it didn’t stop Vettel as he took out Carlos Sainz and Lance Stroll to get up to third, with three laps to go.

Final two laps, the Ferrari made quick work of Daniil Kvyat’s Toro Rosso to take the chequered flag in second place behind Verstappen. If there were more laps, Vettel could have snatched the win from the factory Red Bull…

Although Mercedes had the worst race of the season they still lead the standings, way ahead. Hamilton was classified 11th but somehow finished ninth in the classification. Robert Kubica took home a point for Williams by finishing tenth.

The next round takes place in Hungary, next weekend/

Top three drivers’ quotes:

Verstappen: It was definitely not an easy race and very tricky with the changing conditions. The Team made all the right calls. They were giving me the right information and keeping an eye on all the other teams and sector times. They were really on top of things and everyone worked so well together. It has been one of my most difficult races and it is great to come out on top. For sure I enjoy driving in the wet but also you need a good car for that. You can find a bit of pace in yourself but today we had both things right and I’m very happy with the result.

Vettel: That was quite a race. I enjoyed it even though it was a tricky race, something of a lottery. I made up a lot of ground immediately after the start and in the first couple of laps, even though it was difficult to see. After that, it was quite hard to get into a rhythm as I did not feel so comfortable on the intermediates and their degradation was quite high. It was hard to tell if the lack of grip was because of the track being greasy or because the tyres were going off. There are so many decisions to make, but overall we stayed on track and in the race. In mixed conditions when it was starting to dry on the slicks I felt comfortable and that’s when we made up the most ground.

Kvvyat: It’s incredible to be back on the podium in what could be called my ‘second career’. I thought it would never happen again in my life, so I’m so incredibly happy. There’s so many emotions I still need some time to let it all sink in!
 

2019 F1 German GP results

1     Max Verstappen   RED BULL            1:44:31.275  

2    Sebastian Vettel       FERRARI     +7.333s 

3     Daniil Kvyat   TORO ROSSO        +8.305s 

4     Lance Stroll   BWT        +8.966s 

5     Carlos Sainz MCLAREN    +9.583s 

6     Alexander Albon     TORO ROSSO    +10.052s      

7       Romain Grosjean HAAS    +16.838s      

8     Kevin Magnussen HAAS   +18.765s      

9     Lewis Hamilton       MERCEDES    +19.667s      

10   Robert Kubica       WILLIAMS        +24.987s

Drivers standings

1     Lewis Hamilton    GBR       MERCEDES 225

2     Valtteri Bottas      FIN       MERCEDES 184

3     Max Verstappen   NED       RED BULL RACING HONDA       162

4     Sebastian Vettel   GER       FERRARI      141

5     Charles Leclerc    MON       FERRARI      120

6     Pierre Gasly  FRA       RED BULL RACING HONDA     55

7     Carlos Sainz ESP       MCLAREN RENAULT 48

8     Daniil Kvyat   RUS       SCUDERIA TORO ROSSO HONDA 27

9     Kimi Räikkönen    FIN ALFA ROMEO RACING FERRARI     25

10   Lando Norris GBR       MCLAREN RENAULT 22

Constructors rankings

1     MERCEDES 409

2     FERRARI      261

3     RED BULL RACING HONDA       217

4     MCLAREN RENAULT 70

5     SCUDERIA TORO ROSSO HONDA 42

6     RENAULT     39

7     RACING POINT BWT MERCEDES 31

8     HAAS FERRARI  26

9     ALFA ROMEO RACING FERRARI      26

10   WILLIAMS MERCEDES     1