The only exciting part of this race was the banging and crashing at the start. For the third consecutive Grand Prix, it was Lewis Hamilton who won the race. Without an interruption from the safety car, Hamilton stormed away with his largest margin of the victory of the season. At least the race officials did something to keep us on our toes.
As part of the changes to all of the technical regulations, the 2014 Formula One World Championship season included a rules change that allows four two-day in-season test sessions for teams to work on their cars and gather data about new parts and Pirelli tyres.
The first of these test sessions was in Bahrain following last weekend’s Bahrain Grand Prix. If you include the pre-season testing, that makes 13 days out of 23 (12 days of pre-season testing, 9 days of race weekends and 2 days of this test) of official running that has been held on this one track. So it should surprise anyone that Mercedes was still at the head of the field after this test.
People were looking for all sorts of reasons why the first two races of the season weren’t as epic as everyone was hoping. Much blame was laid at the feed of the new engines being too quiet. Mercedes engines absolutely dominating proceedings wasn’t helping much. Pirelli tyres, as always, were blamed too.
It turns out, though, that all we really needed to get an exciting race from the new generation of Formula One was a late safety car to bunch the field together and allow people to run all over each other in order. Despite some close side-by-side racing at the end, it was Lewis Hamilton that led the race essentially from first corner to the last as he picked up his second win of the season.
Testing isn’t the complete story but it certainly does give you an insight into how the season will play out. The Red Bulls weren’t expected to be in the same timezone as the Mercedes-powered cars but they’re running for podiums. However, the insight that said that Mercedes GP would be blindingly fast proved to be right as Lewis Hamilton led the team home in a 1-2 finish.
The margin of victory wasn’t two laps. Cars were still running at the finish. There were even enough cars to fill all the points paying positions. None of the doomsday scenarios for the first race of the turbo V6 and ERS era came to fruition.
However, as it was predicted by many people heading into this weekend, the Mercedes team was at the head of the field. It wasn’t Lewis Hamilton who won the race as expected but his teammate Nico Rosberg who took the checkered flag in the first race of 2014.
This year’s Hungarian Grand Prix was a downright stonker of a race featuring a grand total of five on-track passes (two passes on equal tyres and no DRS). And you wonder why I’m constantly down on this race and this track. Lewis Hamilton qualified for the race on the pole and shockingly managed to convert that into a win on the notoriously hard to pass track.
Fortunately, if you were looking for excitement, there was all sorts of interesting Formula One news since the last race. As is often the case at the Hungaroring, you just have to look off-track for the action.
The story of the day at the British Grand Prix was the same as what it always seems to be this season. Tyres have been an issue all season but it came to a head in Britain. The race was exciting but it had an unexpected added aspect of danger as there were a number of tyre failures. Nico Rosberg may have crossed the line first but he certainly wasn’t the story of the race.
Given the recent history of the Canadian Grand Prix and the controversy over the Mercedes GP tyre test, one would have assumed that tyres would have played a factor in the outcome of the race. While the tyres were a story, they weren’t the deciding factor of the Canadian GP as Sebastian Vettel stormed off into the distance en route to a dominant win. Don’t worry, though, there was plenty of off-track drama to keep us entertained.
The Monaco Grand Prix is absolutely unparalleled in motorsport for glamour and pageantry. Unfortunately, Monaco is almost unparalleled in terms of its ability to turn Formula One into a parade. If it wasn’t for a pair of safety cars and a red flag, this year’s edition of the race would have also been a parade. This year, it was Nico Rosberg who picked up the win in this season’s most prestigious race but is certainly wasn’t without a tonne of controversy for his Mercedes team.
This past weekend was the final pre-season test ahead of the 2013 Formula One World Championship. Once again, the teams returned to the Circuit de Catalunya for one final tune-up before the season-opening Australian Grand Prix which was only two weeks after the conclusion of the test.
So who would enter the new season with the momentum from a strong showing in the final test?