Category Archives: Drivers

The Few Changes to the Formula One Grand Prix Drivers Lineup

At last after three months of recess and of course boredom for F1 fans, the stage of scintillating action is now set. The winter testing is done and tested and of course there were some surprises, especially with Ferrari’s immaculate testing.  As the countdown to the real show starts before the Australian GP, why not a look at the new faces that will grace the grid? Here you go:

1.       Rio Haryanto, Team Manor

The 23 year old Indonesian is making his debut in F1 having already impressed by coming in 4th at the 2015 GP2 series. However, there are still questions of his ability in the big considering his team, Manor, was more impressed by the irresistible £10m in sponsorship Rio brings in more than his ability. As they say, time will tell.

2.       Esteban Gutierrez, Team Haas

Remember Esteban Gutierrez? Of course you remember the Mexican driver who featured at Sauber in the 2013 to 2014 season. Gutierrez later joined Ferrari as a reserve driver and he believes that a year observing Vettel and Raikkonen puts him in a good place to fight for points with new F1 entrants Haas. He has 38 races under his belt and has already joined the record books as the 2nd youngest driver to set the fastest lap after Rosberg.

3.       Pascal Wehrlein, Manor

The relationship between Mercedes and Manor as engine suppliers has miraculously given Wehrlein a seat and the German will definitely work to prove his worth. He is the youngest driver to win the German Touring Cars title in 2015 and obviously, Mercedes know that a seat for him at Manor is invaluable for the their long-term interests. He might not have any F1 experience, but with high-tour racing experience and Manor’s ambitions, the German will be able to fight for points.

4.       Jolyon Palmer, Renault

Renault is back in F1 and isn’t it a good feeling? Remember the wins by Alonso and much more glory they achieved before then? Well, Palmer the scion of GP2 champion Jonathan Palmer has the pedigree to push for podium. The car might be ideal, but the 2014 GP2 Series champion has what it takes to push hard.

In terms of the drivers’ lineup, nothing has changed much except probably the departure of Pastor Maldonado or the ‘crashator’ as fans called the Venezuelan who was prone to crashes. There will also be a bit of musical chairs as Kevin Magnussen replaces Maldonado having left McLaren as a test driver. Romain Grosjean will also be linking with entrants Haas after leaving Renault despite the feeling that this was the perfect seat considering his French links.

The rumors associating Valtteri Bottas with Ferrari have also been quashed now that Kimi Raikkonen has surprisingly retained his seat at the Scuderia team.

It is time to get back to the action and experts are already predicting a title challenge by Ferrari considering the impressive testing. Already Nico Rosberg has said the new Ferrari car is closer than ever and maybe Bernie Ecclestone might have to eat humble pie about the boring races when the real action starts in Melbourne.

How Accidents and Incidents Affect F1 Racing Mood

formula1_accidentsAs this year’s F1 season comes to an end this year, as a fan, you cannot claim not to have enjoyed all the 18 races. All the same, the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix will not disappoint you. Away from the circuits, you cannot help but admire the rivalry between teams. It is also interesting to see how teammates compete with each other. Cases of teammates hitting out at each other are not new. It is not an unusual occurrence. As a matter of fact, it adds flavor to the event.

Revisiting Hamilton’s exit at the Spa

Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg are a case in point. During the Belgium Grand Prix at the Spa-Francorchamps in August, Hamilton had to retire. This was after teammate Nico Rosberg crashed into the back of his car. Rosberg admitted to being responsible. Ironically, Rosberg did not win that race. He came second after trailing behind Daniel Ricciardo. Rosberg apologized even though he had initially stated that he thought he had the right to make the overtaking maneuver that cost Hamilton the race.

Rosberg’s support from unexpected quarters

Team Mercedes disciplined Rosberg all the same. Surprisingly, Sebastian Vettel threw his weight behind Rosberg. Vettel, in his supporting remarks, said that the accident was a normal occurrence. He did not see why it drew all the fuss and media attention. Earlier, Hamilton had said that Rosberg had acted on purpose. In Vettel’s opinion, no professional F1 driver would wish to be considered disloyal. He further added that anyone trying to pull such tricks on others usually ends up failing.

Sad win for Hamilton at Suzuka

All the same, the incident left Hamilton trailing by 29 points behind his teammate. Hamilton managed to recover so well from this incident. He won the Japanese Grand Prix hence regaining the deficit and extending the lead over Rosberg by 10 points. Rosberg came in second place. A somber mood covered the race following a crash by Jules Bianchi. The Frenchman picked serious injuries and was taken to hospital.

Victory with no celebrations

There were no victory celebrations. The top three drivers simply took a swig and put the giant bottles on the floor. Such is the anticlimax of F1 races whenever a colleague gets involved in a serious accident. A dense fog and heavy rain descended on Suzuka. This made it impossible for drivers to see more than a few meters ahead. Cars had to rely on the guidance of the safety car before retiring to the pit lanes after one lap. Hamilton’s victory was his first ever at Suzuka.

St Devote – notorious Monte Carlo corner

At the Monaco Grand Prix, drivers have to be cautious at the St. Devote corner. In 2013, there was a 14-car pileup during the GP2, a precursor to the main F1 event. Drivers had to be shown how to tackle the corner safely. Considering that this is a street race, event organizers are always on high alert. St Devote is one spot where all drivers approach with caution.