A somewhat delayed race report… Sadly the last one of the season, so this is my last race report for 110 days :(
Mark started his last race from P3 but dropped to P5 in the last lap, as both Red Bull’s dropped position, Seb falling to P2 before regaining his position at the start of lap 2. The Mercedes had great starts with Nico leading for the first lap and Lewis reaching P3, just ahead of Nando. At lap 4 we bid adieu to Monsieur RoGro as his engine gave way. Lap 7 saw our leaving Aussie make his way into the final podium position, just before Sutil and Perez had a small run in as Perez pushed up for P12. Mark works his way up further, turning the race into a Red Bull 1-2. Nico’s start took a turn and he drops even further back down the field tp P6 behind Felipe. Lap 32, Massa is given a drive through penalty for crossing the white line of the pit entry, yelling over his radio that ‘That’s unbelievable, unbelievable! That’s unacceptable, unacceptable!’ Lap 47, Bottas loses his left rear in a collision with Lewis, spinning off the track and giving Lewis a puncture as well as a drive through penalty after limping back to the pits for a new tyre. The Red Bulls scramble into the garage for fear of a safety car coming out, resulting in a 12 second stop for Seb, with Mark queueing behind. With rear suspension issues, Charles became the 3rd person to leave the race.
Sebastian wins his 9th race in a row!! Mark finishes his last race in 2nd place, flying around the track on his slowing down lap helmetless and waving to a cheering crowd; a crowd that cheered even louder when he took a dive on the podium.
Race results: Seb, Mark, Nando, Jense, Nico, Checo, Felipe, Hulk, Lewis, Dan
Okay so I maaay have forgotten to do the quail but whatever :)
Seb get away at the start (surprise surprise), but RoGro comes close, passing park just ahead of Lewis. Sutil makes his way into the barrier, and yellow flags are out, Seb shooting out as soon as they go green on lap 5. Maldonado needs a front wing change - given even more to complain about :P Lap 13 Mark finally manages to pass Lewis! The race is fairly…. uneventful…. But there is some tight wheel to wheel action between the Williams. Webber is gaining and dropping and gaining and dropping, yoyo-ing behind our resident Monsieur ;) Heikki suffers KERS failure, dropping places, meanwhile Nando passes Hulkie into 5th place… Not getting a ride on the Hulkenberg train today. Pic is given a drive through for holding up Hamilton and Jense passes Ricciardo in the last couple of laps to take the final point position! Bottas amazes us all by taking his first F1 positions with 8th place as his (‘sabotaged’) teammate is lapped :O
SEBASTIAN VETTEL WINS AGAIN, SETTING A RECORD WITH 8 CONSECUTIVE WINS IN ONE SEASON!! Celebrating yet again with donuts ;)
Top 10: Seb, RoGro, Mark, Lewis, Nando, Hulkie, Checo, Valtteri, Nico, Jense
Lots of rumours and offers and confirmations and suggestions and what not so let’s get down to it!
Who’s in and who’s out?
That’s all kids! Time to gear up for Austin this weekend!
Sooo a lot’s been happening… or rumoured to be happening (but it’s basically the same thing down in this fandom :P ) in the world of F1
Everyone’s been hot on Kimi, who threatened to boycott the remaining races, both before and after stomping out of the last GP in style (or rather, in flip flops). Lotus and Quntum have finalised their deal, so Kimi might get some $$$ after all, and it means that (days ago) they were going to be confirming the Hulk as their second driver in days (fab because he’s been on a rooollll). Alonso was in hospital after being slammed into the ground at 28Gs!!! After somehow surviving he walked out of the hospital with just a bit of back pain :) Williams might sign a contract with Brawn… But they already have someone in his position and they don’t want to sack him so… Maybe 2 Team Principals? :P Force India have decided that their mission in life is to beat McLaren (whilst they can) And there’s been much debate and faff about what will happen next season: Prost saying Seb will do well, Rosberg saying Red Bull won’t dominate (and of course everyone just KNOWS that Seb ONLY wins because of the car… so those two events are CLEARLY mutually exclusive).
Of course there’s been more gossip on seats seats seats for 2014: Magnussen to replace Perez? Hulk to Lotus? Chilton staying at Marussia? Maldonado to Sauber?
That’s about it though!
Happy tumbling until Austin :)
So here are the highlights for those of you who weren’t awesome enough to actually watch the race :P
Seb pulls away at the start, taking 1st from Mark who falls to 3rd behind Rosberg, with Romain getting away spectacularly up to 4th! Hamilton looks good until turn 1 where he drops to 5th as Jense goes into the back of PdiR causing front wing damage. Down at the back Kimi clashes with Pic and is out of the race before he even reaches the 2nd turn!!! Crushing result for all the iceman fans hoping for a repeat of Seb’s performance at AbuDhabi last year. Jense pits at only lap 3 for front wing damage ending up at the back of the grid. Seb continues the lead, pitting back to first as the grid shuffles with everyone’s pits. Laps 25 to 27 see excitement in the midfield as Sutil, Hamilton, Massa, Hulkenberg and Alonso pass and repass. Hulk pits lap 29 and is released right into the path of Checo Perez who brakes furiously to avoid a crash, reulting in a drive through penalty for Hulk, dropping him far down the grid. After a bit more shuffling, Grosjean pits at lap 38, ending up crucially ahead of the Ferraris. Alonso then takes his second pit to softs at lap 45 and comes out to swerve off the track, and passing Jev, an incident to be investigated after the race, as Massa swerves away and cuts the turn. Despite multiple warnings from race engineer Rocky, our 4 time champion continuously sets fastest lap, which is soon taken by Romain and then Nando on his new soft tyres. Just before the race ends, Seb worries his team further as he races among back-midfield, lapping even more racers, just as new found star Hulkenberg passes both Torro Rossos at once! Sebastian Vettel finishes the Grand Prix victorious, spinning more doughnuts, before retiring his car to Park Ferme after receiving amusing radio warnings from his team. Sebastian Vettel takes this as his 7th consecutive race win, equalling Michael Schumacher’s record, as well as Red Bull Racing’s 100th podium finish!
Finishing positions: Vet, Web, Ros, Gro, Alo, Dir, Ham, Mas, Per, Sut, Mal, But, Gut, Hul, Bot, Ric, Ver, VDG, Pic, Bia, Chi.
So, pre-race has already started and I still haven’t posted qualifying highlights so here we go
All usual stuff, in Q1 except for Sutil not making it through - what happened to the Force India we had at the beginning of the year?! then in Q2 Jense was out, sadly no big surprise. And then shock horror at Alonso’s lap not making it through to the top 10! Seems ‘Nando has gone even more downhill since the summer than we expected! Then in Q3 Mark got his second pole of the season :) Maybe a race win to finish off his season? Our 4 time champion is starting in P2., followed by the 2 mercs, Hamilton, who spun off the grid due to suspension failure, right behind his teammate. Hulk and RoGro continue their positive streak in Q3, although perhaps a slightly disappointing result for Grosjean… Then, outrage of the day, despite qualifying 5th, after failing FIA post-quali checks, Kimi has been disqualified from qualifying at will start at the back of the grid.
So going into the race today, this is how our grid looks:
So yet again a day late, but not much has happened this week anyway…
So, aside from Red Bull partying like mad, and all the hoorays for Seb and the team (apart from the FIA who fined the team for Seb’s donuts :( ) what’s been going on? Newey rumours have escalated, and there’s talk that he’ll leave RedBull and possibly even F1 at the end of 2014. Hamilton claimed (before the race) that Alonso at RBR would be far ahead of where Vettel is now… Despite Vettel being the youngest person for almost every record :P Lotus officially narrows down their 2nd 2014 seat to Maldonado and Hulkenberg and are rumoured to have gone with the cheaper option of Maldonado, despite the popular opinion of Hulkenberg being far better… Ross Brawn is set to leave Mercedes at the end of 2014, which, according to Hamilton, is no great loss for the team.
10 to 1 in the morning seems as good a time as any to relive the race :) Let’s get down to it.
A shocking start as Hamilton shoots forward from P3 to P2, with Webber down to P7 by lap 2, a characteristically poor start. Kimi pushes up to P5, Massa jumping forward amazingly to take P2 from Hamilton, as teammate Alonso struggles, falling to P10 after a bump with Button. (Meanwhile back-markers have a big shenanigan about something or other… :P ) As the race just begins to calm Vettel pits on lap 2 to mediums ending up down in P17 (‘YES HOLD HIM BACK! NOW GO ALONSO GO!!’ or ‘NOOO SEB MY BABY WHAAAAAT ROCKY THIS BETTER BE A GOOD STRATEGY’). But Alonso follows right after with a slow pit, taking him down to P20. As most of the top ten go in to pit, Grosjean fights his way up to P10 (WOOHOO GO ROGRO - because everybody like Gro :) ), followed by Vettel who is up to P13 by lap 6, whilst Alonso is still down in P20 (‘GO SEB GO! YOU CAN STILL WIN YES YES YES’ or ‘LET’S GO ALONSO FIGHT BACK UP’). Laps later, Massa pits from leading handing the race over to Mark, with immanent champion, Vettel already up to P6. Somewhere amidst crazy overtaking, Gutierrez is given a drive through penalty for his jump start (‘BUT HE GAINED NO ADVANTAGE BECAUSE HE STOPPED AGAIN NOOOO’). By lap 21 Vettel finally passes Perez, into P2 before flying away, with Massa, 19 seconds behind in P6, the closest driver on the same strategy (‘OH YES SEB YOU’VE GOT THIS, LET’S GO’ or ‘EUGH, not again… I’m going back to bed’) Rosberg takes his 2nd pit very early, taking a new set of mediums and P13 on lap 28, Mark pitting next lap onto softs into P2, 12 seconds behind his teammate (‘GO MARK GO, YOU HAVE FRESH TYRES CLOSE THE GAP!!’). On lap 32 roles are reversed again as Seb pits to another set of mediums into P2 11.5 seconds behind Mark (‘COME ON SEB!! HE HAS TO PIT AGAIN, YOU’VE GOT THIS!’ or ‘SERIOUSLY? Red Bull are CLEARLY giving Seb the better strategy…’). One lap later, Webber pits, squeezing in 0.6 seconds behind the Aussie who’ll replace him. Getting onto Red Bull’s good side, Ricciardo decides he needs new rubber and ends up in P8 on lap 34. Sutil on old, old, old tyres is passed by Kimi who takes P3 behind the bulls (‘YES ICEMAN, TAKE THEM DOWN’ - again, no one dislikes Lotus boys), just before Alonso pits yet again into P16 (‘NANDOOOOOOO YOU NEED TO STOP VETTEL!!!!’ or ‘YES YES SEB YOU’VE GOT THIS, ALONSO’S HISTORY!’) Just as we think Mark is having a good race, his alternator fails, and he’s called in to retire (‘I KNOW HIS CAR ISN’T FAILING. RED BULL’S SETTING HIM UP TO LOSE’). Rosberg flies up from nowhere, stealing P2 from Kimi and speeding away (‘WE WILL GET THIS BACK, DRIVE KIMI DIRVE!!’ or ‘Woooohooooo GO NICOOOOO!!!’). Our other Nico struggles however, retiring 2 laps after his pit, we wave goodbye to the Hulk at lap 56. As we near the end, the race gets… racey with a big Lotus kerfuffle some yelled and mumbled swearing on Raikkonen’s radio (apparently Permane doesn’t share the fanbase’s opinions on the Iceman). Gro gets past, which isn’t all that hard as Kimi’s old tyres are trashed, being passed by Perez and Hamilton (‘NOOO ICEMAN NOOOO, WHY DID YOU TRY TO 1 STOP??’). Finally, 1 lap before it’s all decided, Kimi pits into P7, setting the fastest lap as a favourite Brit retires (poor Jense :’( )
As perhaps predicted, SEBASTIAN VETTEL IS HAILED VICTORIOUS AT BUDDH INTERNATIONAL CIRCUIT, FINISHING 30 SECONDS AHEAD OF ROSBERG IN P2. NOT ONLY BECOMING 1 OF 4 4-TIME WORLD CHAMPIONS BUT ALSO THE YOUNGEST TO DO SO, AND 1 OF 3 TO DO SO CONSECUTIVELY.
RBR is probably still celebrating now, as they should be ;)
Race results (top 10)
For anyone having confusion about the race time tomorrow:
If you DO NOT change your clock, the race starts at 10:30 GMT
If you DO change your clock (1 hour back), the race starts at 9:30 GMT
(sky sports coverage from:
9:00 if you DO NOT change your clock;
8:00 if you DO change your clock)
I hope this helps with all the questions that have been on my dash :)
So for the low down on this week’s qualifying…
All through qualifying the cars were all over the place and everyone was like ‘why do we even bother with tracks and white lines if they’re just gonna drive where they want??’ with the most spectacular demonstration of this from Webber in Q2 when he wasn’t even near the track… But it only slowed their lap times so Charlie and the stewards were like ‘whatever, sucks for them’. Down in Q3, the usual suspects dropped out, with Bianchi quicker than the Caterhams as a nice surprise. Maldonado was taken out with them, not helping the rumours about him getting the sack; as well as (shock of the day) Romain Grosjean! After podiuming at the past few races some people were all ‘DAMN THE STUPID TEAM DECISIONS’ and others were just ‘awww poor Gro :( ’ but it pretty much sucked either way… Then in Q2 both Torro Rossos dropped as well as the Force Indias, Bottas and Gutierrez. No big surprises there and all the Brits were happy to have both McLarens in Q3. This wasn’t long lasting because they finished in P9 and P10, as star of the season, Vettel, set the fastest lap ever of the circuit, fans insisting that it wasn’t just his car as we watched Webber settle for P4. Another outstanding performance by Hulkenberg which was nice to see yet again, and some were outraged, others pleased by Massa yet again outqualifying to Alonso who starts P8 making Vettel’s chances of securing the championship this weekend all the more likely!
This left us with the final qualifying positions of::