F1 2017: Australian Grand Prix Race Recap

rr F1 AUS

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.

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

F1 2013: Brazilian Grand Prix Race Recap

{this recap was previously published by FOX Sports and can be found through this link}

Sebastian Vettel won the 2013 Brazilian Grand Prix, despite losing the lead on the start to Nico Rosberg. Mark Webber finished second behind his teammate, after scrapping with third place Fernando Alonso multiple times throughout the race. Jenson Button, who started on the hard compound tires, opposite the rest of the field, would finish fourth after a charge through the field. Though Rosberg started second and went into T1 first, he would soon drop down the order on a wetter race setup, finishing fifth. Though Lewis Hamilton had made his way to third on the first lap, a drive through penalty after a collision with Valtteri Bottas would drop the Briton down to a ninth place finish. Sergio Perez, Felipe Massa, and Nico Hulkenberg would split the Mercedes teammates, with Daniel Ricciardo rounding out the points paying positions.

Early stages of the race were impossibly thrilling, as the top four changed places and pushed each other as hard as possible. Webber and Alonso in particular provided much entertainment. Then, as Vettel began to increase his lead, the action shifted to the middle part of the field. Button charged from a poor starting position, passing his fellow drivers easily and with determination. After the Hamilton-Bottas incident, things got messy, with Vettel diving into the pits ahead of his teammate. He had to wait for the crew to bring his tires instead of Webber’s. Though rain fell continuously through the latter half of the race, it was never enough to force a switch from the dry tires.

Continue reading

F1 2013: Brazilian Grand Prix Qualifying Recap

Sebastian Vettel (1:26.479) won pole for the 2013 Brazilian Grand Prix, after driving rain delayed Q3 by multiple ten minute delays. He was entirely unbeatable, setting a pole time six tenths faster than second fastest Nico Rosberg. Though all drivers began Q3 on full wet tires, all dropped back into the garage for intermediates as the track conditions improved. Fernando Alonso and Mark Webber qualified to start Sunday’s race on the second row, with Lewis Hamilton and Romain Grosjean behind. Despite the changing conditions, only Sergio Perez crashed in the three qualifying sessions at Interlagos.

Q1 saw mostly early times set the pace as the intermittent rain increased partway through the session. Though it looked as though Toro Rosso made the wrong call on holding Jean-Eric Vergne momentarily, the track improved late in the session, and he moved on to Q2. Kovalainen had also looked set to be dropped, but he moved up to fifth fastest with a solid lap from his Lotus. He would fare less well in Q2, managing only to qualify eleventh fastest as the rain increased. Perez ended that session with a heavy crash into the wall, pushing his McLaren onto the kerb while hustling in an attempt to move on to Q3. Neither he nor teammate Jenson Button would do so, qualifying their McLarens fourteenth and fifteenth. Between the driving rain and debris from Perez’s crash, race control delayed the start of Q3 by a total of 40 minutes.

Continue reading

F1 2013: United States Grand Prix Race Recap

{this recap was previously published by FOX Sports and can be found through this link}

Sebastian Vettel won the 2013 United States Grand Prix, with Romain Grosjean taking second from Mark Webber on the start. They would remain in that order to the end, despite Webber’s late charge to near Grosjean, though further down the order the scrapping was often briefly intense amongst many different drivers. Adrian Sutil brought out a Safety Car on the first lap, misjudging his distance to Pastor Maldonado on the outside and crashing into the barriers near T12. He was unhurt and the field spent four laps behind the SC just after the start. Lewis Hamilton, Fernando Alonso and Nico Hulkenberg had a scrap on the final lap, but the older driver outfoxed the Sauber driver to keep fifth. Sergio Perez, Valtteri Bottas, Nico Rosberg, and Daniel Ricciardo rounded out the top ten.

Continue reading