Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – Race

November 23, 2014 by · 3 Comments
Filed under: formula1 

It’s the final race of the season; Mercedes have wrapped up the Constructors’ Championship, but which of their drivers will take the Drivers’ Championship?

There’s been lots of talk about Caterham, Marussia and driver shuffles – see my Qualifying notes.

ROS came out ahead in Qualifying; GRO will only be able to take 4 of his 20 place penalty, so he’ll also have to serve a drive-through penalty in the race; VET and RIC will start from the pit lane after Red Bull were determined to have been running illegal front wings.

Provisional grid: ROS, HAM, BOT, MAS, KVY, BUT, RAI, ALO, MAG, VER, PER, HUL, SUT, GUT, MAL, KOB, STE, GRO, VET, RIC.
MAG & VER still have free choice of tyres, whereas the top 8 must start on the same set of super-soft tyres on which they set their fastest Q2 times.

As the sun sets, the air temperature is 26°C; track 33°C; humidity 63%
Tyre choices: prime = soft (yellow lettering); option = super soft (red)

The mechanics clear the grid; ROS leads everyone away on the formation lap
Radio from HAM – there’s a lot of grip
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Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – Qualifying

November 22, 2014 by · 3 Comments
Filed under: formula1 

Lots of news ahead of the final race of the season; obviously a lot relating to teams’ (lack of) finances:

  • “Swedish Formula 1 rookie Marcus Ericsson has terminated his Caterham contract with immediate effect.” [BBC]
  • “Caterham’s administrator has told the BBC the team has made 230 staff redundant” [BBC]
  • “Caterham have announced that they will retain Japanese driver Kamui Kobayashi for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.” [BBC]
  • “Ecclestone has waived freight costs and chartered a plane for [Caterham] staff attending the season-ending race.” [BBC]
  • “Former Marussia reserve driver Will Stevens will make his F1 race debut with Caterham in this weekend’s [race]” [FIA]

In non-Caterham news:

  • BBC calculate how the Lewis Hamilton v. Nico Rosberg battle might play out.
    Current points standings [my blog]
  • “F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone doubts if the ‘stupid’ scenario of double points being awarded at the final race of the season will continue next year.” [BBC] (Hold on – wasn’t it Bernie’s idea in the first place?)
  • “Formula 1 driver Jules Bianchi is no longer in an artificial coma and is breathing unaided, his parents have said in a statement.” [BBC]
    “He is breathing unaided and his vital signs are stable, but his condition is still classified as ‘critical’. His treatment now enters a new phase concerned with the improvement of his brain function.” [FIA]
  • “Ferrari have confirmed that Fernando Alonso will leave the team at the end of the 2014 Formula One campaign.” [FIA]
  • “Sebastian Vettel will replace Fernando Alonso at Ferrari next season, after the Italian team confirmed a three-year deal with the four-time world champion.” [FIA]

Free Practice results:

  • FP1: HAM (1:43.476), ROS, ALO, VET, RIC
  • FP2: HAM (1:42.113), ROS, MAG, VET, BOT
  • FP3: ROS (1:41.424), HAM, MAS, ALO, VET

Penalties:

  • Lotus driver Romain Grosjean has been given a 20-place grid penalty at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix for changing elements of his power unit. With only 20 cars on the grid, the penalty means that Grosjean will also have to serve a time penalty. Regulations state that an outstanding grid drop of one to five places will equate to a five-second penalty, a drop of six to 10 places equates to a 10-second penalty while qualifying in the bottom 10 will result in a drive-through penalty. [BBC]

OK, so finally on to Qualifying…

Air temperature 26°C; track 33°C; humidity 65%
Temperature will drop as the sun sets – it’s 5pm in Abu Dhabi, and already a degree or so cooler than FP3

Tyre choices: prime = soft (yellow lettering); option = super soft (red)

Qualifying session 1 (Q1)
Will Stevens (STE) in the Caterham is first out of the pit lane
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Championship standings after the Brazil GP

November 14, 2014 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: formula1 

My last points update was after Singapore, so this update includes 3 races:

  • Japan (HAM, ROS, RIC, VET, BUT, BOT, MAS, VER, HUL, PER)
  • Russia (HAM, ROS, BOT, BUT, MAG, ALO, RIC, VET, RAI, PER)
  • USA (HAM, ROS, RIC, MAS, BOT, ALO, VET, MAG, MAL, VER)
  • Brazil (ROS, HAM, MAS, BUT, VET, ALO, RAI, HUL, MAG)
  Drivers
1 HAM (334)
2 ROS (317)
3 RIC (214)
4 VET (159)
5 ALO (157)
6 BOT (156)
7 BUT (106)
8 MAS (98)
9 HUL (80)
10 MAG (55)
11 RAI (53)
12 PER (47)
13 VER (22)
14= GRO (8)
14= KVY (8)
16= BIA (2)
16= MAL (2)
18= SUT, GUT, CHI, KOB, ERI (0)
 
  Constructors
1 Mercedes (651 points)
2 Red Bull (373)
3 Williams (254)
4 Ferrari (210)
5 McLaren (161)
6 Force India (127)
7 Toro Rosso (30)
8 Lotus (10)
9 Marussia (2)
10= Sauber, Caterham (0)

There is just one remaining race: Abu Dhabi (Nov 21-23) … but there are double points up for grabs.

Brazil Grand Prix – Race

November 9, 2014 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: formula1 

Although Qualifying was dry, the forecast for the race still calls for thunderstorms.

Tyre choices (in the dry) are: prime=medium (white markings), options=soft (yellow).
Air temperature 23°C; track 48°C; humidity 67%

Provisional grid: ROS, HAM, MAS, BOT, BUT, VET, MAG, ALO, RIC, RAI, GUT, HUL, SUT, GRO, VER, MAL, KVY*, PER*.
*penalties: KVY +7 (engine change); PER +7 (causing collision).

My GridBids picks are: HAM, ROS & ALO.

It’s the penultimate race of the season but don’t forget there’s double points up for grabs in Abu Dhabi. There are still some driver seats to be settled, so there’s still a lot to fight for.
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Brazil Grand Prix – Qualifying

November 8, 2014 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: formula1 

A week after the US GP, the circus moves to Brazil. The field is still down to 18 cars, although Caterham and Marussia are both on next year’s entry list, with Marussia listed as “Manor F1″ [BBC].

However two days later BBC reported that “Marussia Formula 1 team has ceased trading and all staff will be made redundant, administrators FRP have announced”.

Penalties carried over from Texas:

  • PER has a 7 grid spot penalty for the collision with SUT
  • KVY has the remainder of his 10 place penalty for an engine change in Texas, so he’ll drop 7 places

Mercedes topped Free Practice times as usual:

  • FP1: ROS (1:12.764), HAM, KVY, ALO, MAS
    Daniel Juncadella, driving PER’s Force India in FP1, put it in the barriers, causing a lot of damage and bringing out the red flags.
  • FP2: ROS (1:12.123), HAM, RAI, RIC, BOT
    Just 15 minutes into FP2, VER loses power and parks his Toro Rosso; red flags while the car is removed.
    Looks like ALO’s Ferrari engine has gone bang – smoke and flames as he stops; red flags again.
    Another red flag as GUT’s Sauber breaks down at the end of pit exit.
  • FP3: ROS (1:10.446), HAM, MAS, BOT, RIC

My GridBids picks are: HAM, ROS & ALO.

Obviously everyone’s focused on the ROS/HAM battle for the Drivers’ Championship. Double points in the final race mean it’s still undecided at the moment.

The weather forecast is for rain, maybe even thunderstorms, for both Quali and the race.
Tyre choices (in the dry) are: prime=medium (white markings), options=soft (yellow).
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