The weekend started with literal and figurative dark clouds hanging over Suzuka. The weekend started with rain as the teams returned to the site of Jules Bianchi’s fatal accident in similar weather conditions. The skies cleared over the weekend but it didn’t give way to a particularly exciting weekend. Lewis Hamilton won the race in a dominant effort but all the real interesting happenings in Formula One aren’t happening on-track.
As much as I don’t like bestowing massive praise on a relatively young event but the Singapore Grand Prix has quickly established itself as one of the signature events of the F1 season. Along with the old standards of Monaco, Silverstone and Monza, this is one of the races that everyone seems to race with extra motivation to win.
With that in mind, it was quite a surprise to see Mercedes off the pace in Singapore. In fact, with the lights shining bright, it was Ferrari that was fastest through the night. Sebastian Vettel scored a grand slam by qualifying on pole, setting the fastest lap, leading all the laps and winning the race.
When you’re on the road, it’s hard to keep track of the Formula One scheudle. I was so out of the loop that I missed that Roberto Merhi has been replaced for five of the next seven races by Alexander Rossi. Rossi sits P2 in GP2 so it’s not like he’s coming out of nowhere. But being an F1 rookie and running for Manor, I don’t rate his chances that well. Whose chances do I like? That’s why we have the Power Rankings.
The Italian Grand Prix is one of the most prestigious and historic Grands Prix on the F1 calendar. While the current state of F1 made the winning manufacturer a foregone conclusion, the post-race drama gave a little intrigue to an otherwise less-than-thrilling Italian Grand Prix.
In the end, it was Lewis Hamilton who crossed the line first and then survived a stewards’ inquiry after the race to win the Italian Grand Prix.
Coming off the annual summer break, Formula One returned from vacation with the Belgian Grand Prix. If you were expecting F1’s annual summer vacation to spark a shake-up in the running order, you were going to be disappointed. At the front, it was all Mercedes with the two works cars dominating the race led home by Lewis Hamilton.
The Hungaroring isn’t one of the more passing-friendly circuits on the F1 calendar. It’s mostly turns with the occasional short straight to give you hope of a pass. However, the addition of DRS and a complete disregard for anyone else on the track has slowly turned the Hungarian Grand Prix one of the more exciting races on the calendar.
So we had a few crashes, a safety car, a total of nine penalty points awarded for four different incidents. The race could generally be described as chaotic. Well, except at the front where Sebastian Vettel took the lead off the lights and never looked back.
While the death of Jules Bianchi weighs heavily on the grid, the drivers and teams of the Formula One World Championship are back in action this week as they go to Budapest for the Hungarian Grand Prix. While the Hungaroring is a dreadfully dull circuit that seldom provides action, there have been exceptions. At the very least, it gets us ready for Formula One’s summer break that will see four weeks between Hungary and Belgium.
As per usual, it was a Mercedes 1-2 in the British Grand Prix. The difference was how we got to that result made the race much more exciting than the standard Mercedes 1-2. Lewis Hamilton won but he sure looked unlikely to pull that off for a good portion of the race.
Meanwhile, for all the action on-track, there was even more action happening off track as the teams start gearing up for the 2016 season.
It comes but once a year. It’s not Christmas but Homecoming. The teams of the Formula One World Championship get their annual trip to Silverstone which allows them to enjoy some home cooking and to sleep in their own beds. For seven of the teams, the British Grand Prix is their home race so there is a lot of pride on the line as the factories clear out and the behind the scenes folk make their annual pilgrimage to the track for a Grand Prix.
That being said, even with pride on the line, it’s still a Mercedes world and everyone else is racing in it.
For the second and final time during the 2015 Formula One World Championship season, the teams stayed on late after a race to do a rare midseason test. All teams but Marussia stayed in Austria and shipped in some new components and drivers to get some running done to improve their cars.
Of course, all of the paddock’s efforts to catch Mercedes once again proved to be futile as the Silver Arrows lead both days of the test. Anybody remember Ferrari’s domination to be this boring? I don’t.