F1 2017: Russian Grand Prix Race Recap

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Valtteri Bottas won the 2017 Russian Grand Prix with a decisive move on Kimi Raikkoknen at the start and a sweeping acceleration around Sebastian Vettel through the first turn. The German finished ahead of his Ferrari teammate. Though Vettel tired to claw back the gap after late pit stops, he could not take away Bottas’ first F1 win. Lewis Hamilton, who suffered from an overheating Mercedes in the early stages, finished fourth, with Max Verstappen rounding out the top five. His teammate Daniel Ricciardo retired early on, his right rear brakes on fire.

Though Romain Grosjean and Joylon Palmer collided on the first lap, bringing out the Safety Car, the race generally proceeded without the excitement shown in the first few races of the 2017 season. Most drivers made their ultrasoft starting tires last to at least the halfway point of the race.

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F1 2017: Chinese Grand Prix Race Recap

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Lewis Hamilton won the 2017 Chinese Grand Prix, controlling the race from the start. Though Sebastian Vettel clawed his Ferrari closer in the final stages, he could not challenge for the race win, finishing second. Max Verstappen put on a good show, passing through the field from starting sixteenth to finish third, holding off teammate Daniel Ricciardo at the end. Despite power issues throughout the race, Kimi Raikkonen completed the top five.

Early laps saw a Virtual Safety Car after contact beached Lance Stoll’s Williams in the gravel. Antonio Giovinazzi brought out a physical Safety Car, crashing onto the front straight. The first quarter of the race saw plenty of action, as the Red Bull and Ferrari teammates squabbled. Bottas factored little, spinning behind the SC and dropping to the mid-pack for much of the race. Despite a slow start to 2017, the Chinese Grand Prix lagged little, with plenty of action for the duration.

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On Grid Girls…

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Here and now, in a global racing village and the 21st century, is no place for grid girls. This is no place for brolly dollies. This is no place for stilettos & PVC knickers as billboards. Not at the track. Not on a race course. Not when there are fast machines burning fuel and rubber. Not when we’re supposed to be enjoying the technological advancement of our supposedly most enlightened age.

Don’t tell me “sex sells.” Of course it does. But aren’t the cars and bikes and machines and circuits sexy? They undulate and thrust, moan and purr, vibrate and test the endurance of participant and fan alike. That sounds pretty sexy. Bonus points for the cars and bikes and machines and circuits as actual objects able to be objectified, not humans.

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F1 2017: Australian Grand Prix Race Recap

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Sebastian Vettel won the 2017 Australian Grand Prix, a race marked by mechanical failures and attrition. Lewis Hamilton got a good start from pole, but could not maintain the lead in the single pit stop of the race. Vettel stayed out, allowing Hamilton to be caught in traffic for a couple of laps, and kept the lead the rest of the race. Valtteri Bottas rounded out the podium for Mercedes. Kimi Raikkonen and Max Verstappen completed the top five, with the youngster trying for the race fast lap at the end. Only thirteen of the twenty drivers finished the race, despite a remarkable clean race. Notably, despite a retirement, Fernando Alonso kept his McLaren in the final points paying position for much of the race.

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F1 2015: Australian Grand Prix Race Recap

Lewis Hamilton won the 2015 Australian Grand Prix, a race of attrition both before and after lights out. Though plenty of daring moves occurred in the early laps, especially as rookies took the fight to more experienced drivers, the final laps were marked mainly by marking time between the Mercedes teammates and impossible dreaming from fans for points for Jenson Button.

Nico Rosberg held steady in second through the entire race, with the Mercedes drivers finishing thirty seconds ahead of Sebastian Vettel in third, a podium for his first race with Ferrari. An incident on the first lap between Kimi Raikkonen, Felipe Nasr, and Pastor Maldonado pushed the Venezuelan into the wall and brought out the Safety Car. The former two drivers continued on with minimal damage, but it ended Maldonado’s race. His teammate Romain Grosjean pitted, only to retire after a slow start. Max Verstappen and Raikkonen also retired. The rookie’s Toro Rosso stopped while he sat in the points while the Finn suffered a series of pit stop missteps that resulted in an improperly attached left rear.

Only fifteen cars started at Albert Park, with neither Manor having turned a wheel all weekend, and Valtteri Bottas deemed unfit to race with an annular tear in his lower back. He failed escape tests on the morning of the race. Kevin Magnussen’s McLaren failed with a puff of smoke on his sighting lap. He hopped out and left the car on the side of the track. Daniil Kvyat ran wide through a gravel trap on his own sighting lap, then also pulled to the side and left his Red Bull for the marshals to retrieve. Christian Horner later indicated that fifth gear failed, and the Russian lost all power.

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F1 2015: Australian Grand Prix Qualifying Recap

Lewis Hamilton {1:26.327} won pole for the 2015 Australian Grand Prix, dominating the rest of the field in a display of Mercedes speed. Teammate Nico Rosberg qualified second fastest with a sloppy  first lap losing the German time in the final session of qualifying and only one run at pole. Felipe Massa, Sebastian Vettel, Kimi Raikkonen, and Valtteri Bottas rounded out the top six qualifiers.

Q2 proved to be a fight between sister teams Red Bull and Toro Rosso, as one driver from each moved on to Q2. Home favorite Daniel Ricciardo did so to qualify seventh, while teammate Daniil Kvyat managed only thirteenth. Carlos Sainz would qualify eighth, while Max Verstappen will start twelfth. In perhaps the most disappointing results, Jenson Button and Kevin Magnussen dueled between themselves for an all McLaren back row. Manor did not participate in the qualifying sessions, and appeared unlikely to compete in the Grand Prix, running into trouble on many levels.

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