European Grand Prix – Race

Following yesterday’s Qualifying session, the provisional grid is: LH, HK, RB, SV, JB, KR, NR, FA, MW, RK, NH, AS, TG, RG, SB, GF, KN, JT, JA, LB.

However, as you can see in the fuel-adjusted grid that I added as a comment to my notes on Qualifying, the McLarens are quite light and therefore will be stopping early.

The air temperature is 31°C, track 43°C, wind 2.2m/s, humidity 56%

The teams clear the grid and LH leads everyone away on the formation lap
The McLarens and KR’s Ferrari are starting on the super-soft (option) tyres; most of the other front runners are on the soft (prime) tyres
LH slows to bunch everyone up so he wont be sitting on the grid too long waiting the back of the grid (JA & LB) to form up

01/57 KR up to P4 in Turn 1
Poor start for JB – he’s down to P6 … now P8
Contact – SB has lost his front wing
JB dives up the inside of FA but runs wide

02: LH, HK, RB, KR, SV, NR, FA, JB
RG pits, as do TG and SB – new nose cone for SB

03: LH fastest lap 1:41.807
Replay shows JB was along side SV into Turn 1 but had to back off
Replay shows SB runs into the back of a Toyota – must be TG
Replay of LB spinning – he’s right at the back, other than the three cars who stopped at the end of Lap 1

04: LH f/lap 1:41.146

05/57: LH, HK, RB, KR, SV, NR, FA, JB
LH f/lap 1:40.401
Pit-car for MW: he thinks JB should be behind him because JB cut the chicane

06: MW has taken P8 from JB – was that a pass, a mistake from JB, or were Brawn told to let MW through?

07: LH f/lap 1:39.810

08: LH has a 4.6s lead over teammate HK, who in turn is 1.8s ahead of RB

10/57: LH, HK, RB, KR, SV, NR, FA, MW
BBC confirm JB let MW pass because of the chicane issue
RG spins but keeps the Renault out of the wall

12: JB posted a personal f/lap but he’s still 0.4s off the pace of LH

13: Expect LH to pit in a couple of laps; he’s built a 6.3s lead over HK
Both the McLarens are posting fasting sector times as their cars get lighter and lighter

15/57: LH, HK, RB, KR, SV, NR, FA, MW (JB still in P9)
LH f/lap 1:39.455

16: Jock Clear tells RB he’ll go faster once HK pits, but is he really in the dirty air? He’s over a second behind the McLaren
McLaren mechanics in the pit lane

17: LH pits from P1 – 9.4s stop – another set of super soft tyres – rejoins ahead of MW
SV and RK pitted too
Problem with the refuelling rig for SV – when they pulled off the faulty hose, SV was released so he’ll have to stop again

18: HK pits from P1 – 8.8s stop
FA and SV pit too
Another long stop for SV – over 11s

19: RB f/lap 1:39.427
JB closing on the tail of MW

20/57: KR pits from P2 – 8.4s stop
JB pits too – rejoins behind AS

21: RB pits from P1 – 9.0s stop – soft tyres – rejoins behind LH
NR and MW pit too
MW stays ahead of JB

23: NH & AS pit, as does JA from P16
LH reports his rear brake temperatures are high – he’s told to “lift and coast” to let the aerodynamics do some of the braking
Track temperature has risen to 50°C

24: Blue smoke from SV’s Red Bull … and quite quickly he slows, pull off line and parks
He’s stopped right next to a gap in the wall so the marshals can remove the stranded car quite easily
Remember that’s a brand new engine after one died in practice on Friday

25/57: LH, RB, HK, KR, NR, FA, MW, GF* (JB P9)
*GF has yet to pit

26: LH leads RB by 3s; HK is 4.3s behind the Brawn

27: Slow lap for RB – he’s now 4s behind LH

28: Personal f/lap from GF – he’ll be pitting shortly on his 1-stop strategy, as will KN in P10

29: LB and RG pit from P16 & 17 respectively
RG exits ahead of the Ferrari

30/57: LH, RB, HK, KR, NR, FA, MW, GF* (JB P9)

32: GF finally pits, releasing JB
Drive-through penalty for car 3 (LB) – crossing the white line at pit exit
Wow, Ferrari really made a great choice with LB – shouldn’t they have gone with some fresh blood and used it as a chance for some training?
Pit-car for RB tells him he needs to close on LH if their strategy is going to work

33: LB serves his drive-through penalty

34: JA pits again

35/57: LH, RB, HK, KR, NR, FA, MW, JB
RB f/lap 1:39.421
Pit-car for JB tells him to have a go at passing MW if he can
Blue flags for the Ferrari of LB, telling him to let the leaders lap him

36: LH has picked up his pace too – keeps his lead to 4.2s
JB has MW in his sights
LB spins again – I can’t see him keeping this seat for long

37: RB f/lap 1:39.354
LH responds by setting a new fastest Sector 1 time
McLaren mechanics in the pit lane

38: LH pits from P1 – team don’t have the right front tyres ready!
KR f/lap 1:39.276
LH’s stop was over 11s – that’s probably cost him the win!

39: RB f/lap 1:39.071
KR pits from P2
BBC say McLaren got a late call – the mechanics keep the tyres in the warmers as long as possible and couldn’t see LH enter the pit lane

40/57: RB, KR, NR, LH, FA
RB f/lap 1:38.900
KN has a rear left puncture

41: RB pits – 6.8s – rejoins ahead of LH
KR pits again – why?
KN makes it back to the pits on 3 tyres

42: Pit-car for LH tell him RB is 4s ahead but they believe they have the better tyres
Brawn getting ready for JB

43: FA pits from P4 – 6.5s stop
JB pits too – 6.0s

44: NR pits from P2 – 7.2s
MW pits too – 8.1s – rejoins behind JB and RK – that’s good news for Brawn
Replay shows lots of brake dust coming off the front left of SB’s car; spins under braking; stopped on track

45/57: RB, LH, KR, HK, NR, FA, JB, RK; retirements: SV, SB
LB pits again, from P17 – he’s only got KN behind him

47: RB has a 6.5s lead over LH, who in turn is 6.7s ahead of his teammate
JB f/lap 1:38.874
JB is ~7s behind FA – probably too far behind to be able to take P6

49: Personal f/lap for LH but he’s still over 6s behind RB

50/57: RB, LH, KR, HK, NR, FA, JB, RK; retirements: SV, SB

51: BBC commentators are already talking about RB’s first victory since China in 2004 – good thing Murray Walker is no longer with them! 🙂

52: Pit-car for RB warns him that LH is putting in quick laps but there’s only 5.5 laps lap

54: Slower lap from JB – he’s not going to catch FA and RK is almost 8s behind him

55/57: RB, LH, KR, HK, NR, FA, JB, RK; retirements: SV, SB
Personal f/lap from LH
TG fastest in Sector 1

56: TG f/lap 1:38.683 – he’s down in P14

57/57 – final lap: KN pits

RB takes the chequered flag – that’s got to feel good!
No doubt RB will be very emotional, especially given FM won this race last year
LH takes P2; KR P3
HK squeaks over the line just ahead of NR
FA P6; JB P7; RK P8

Pit-car radio for RB – Ross Brawn says well done as Rubens blubs 🙂

Provisional results: RB, LH, KR, HK, NR, FA, JB, RK; MW, AS, NH, GF, JT, TG, RG, JA, LB, KN
DNF: SB, SV

RB parks in parc ferme – as he gets out the car he taps the top of his helmet, where there’s a Get Well wish for FM; expect more tears 🙂

Huge grins from RB on the podium
LH almost for to take his cap off
It’s funny – Rubens is on the top step and he’s only just taller than Lewis & Kimi 🙂
Jock Clear collects the Constructors’ trophy

Interviews:
RB: “It’s been fantastic”; “the car was really brilliant”
LH: “we win or lose together”; “we can’t take second place for granted”
KR: “we needed to go 100% all the time”; “we’re not where we want to be”
RB: “I had to push all the way”; tyres were consistent; “brilliant job by the team”; “I want to be here on Monday too”
LH: struggling with tyres in 2nd stint; “very close to the wall every time” in the 3rd stint
KR: “first target was to keep Rosberg behind”
RB: “I’m so delightful” 🙂 I’m sure he means delighted 🙂

I’ll post the updates points table shortly.

The next race is the Belgian Grand Prix at Spa-Francorchamps (woot!) next weekend (28-30 August).

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