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.
After barely making it to the first test at Jerez after firing up the car for the first time the day before the test started, Lotus showed that the Mercedes engine is a lovely piece of kit. Two of the four days of the Barcelona were topped by Lotus, including the top time of the weekend.
While Lotus thrived, the likes of Red Bull, Ferrari, Williams Mercedes and McLaren all struggled for consistency during the first test at a track on the 2015 Formula One calendar. Sure, Mercedes is likely to dominate F1 for the second straight year but everyone looks a little vulnerable in testing.
Since the Arab Spring protests that started in 2011, Formula One’s stop in a country with protests has been very controversial. Many think that the race should be cancelled because a Grand Prix is just a way to legitimize the Bahrain government because of the economic impact of the race. Other’s think that making a decision based on political reasoning isn’t something F1 should do because it’s a sport.
Still, the race took place again amid the protests. For the second year running we had an all Renault engine podium and it was actually the exact same podium in the exact same order as last year as Sebastian Vettel picked up his second straight Bahrain Grand Prix win.
The first race of the season is always an interesting one. Teams are coming to grip with new tyres, figuring out how their cars work best and where they stand in the field this year. Some teams struggle when unloading to start the season, others have it well under control.
This year, it was the Lotus team that had it figured out when the lights went out for the first time this season. While Red Bull had dominated practice and qualifying, their pace didn’t seem to translate to the race. It was Kimi Raikkonen who was the only driver to really make a two-stop race work en route to opening the season with a win.
After being disqualified from qualifying and starting from the pit lane, it appeared as though Sebastian Vettel would see his lead in the World Drivers’ Championship shrink, if not disappear altogether. However, the speed of the Red Bull combined with some luck with the safety car mitigated the damage.
Fernando Alonso was able to shrink the lead but didn’t take the win. Kimi Raikkonen benefited from a great start and a little bit of luck to win his first race since returning to Formula One. Continue reading
Having put in 110 starts so far in his F1 career, it seemed as though that Nico Rosberg’s claim to fame would be being the son of 1982 World Drivers’ Champion Keke Rosberg and being high on the list of most starts without a win. In race weekend #111, Nico managed to not only secure his first pole position in dominant fashion but scored an emphatic victory for his first Formula One Grand Prix win. Continue reading
Last week saw the drivers and teams of competing in the 2012 Formula One World Championship return to the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona for the final pre-season test before the start of the championship. This was the final opportunity for the teams to tune their cars up before the first official session of the season. Not surprisingly for a new season with some new rules, we saw some unexpected names and teams put in good performances during the test. Continue reading