Hamilton takes hat-trick win in China

Fiasco Sports, Formula 1

Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton claimed his third consecutive race victory, finishing first at the Chinese Grand Prix. 

Race winner Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso. Photo: Clive Mason/Getty Images

British driver Lewis Hamilton has broken a personal racing record, winning three consecutive rounds in the Formula 1 Drivers Championship.

Hamilton lead from pole, taking the chequered flag at the Shanghai circuit, finishing ahead of his German teammate Nico Rosberg. 

Hamilton drove away from the start, racing his own race ahead of the rest.

Rosberg endured telemetry dramas throughout the entire Grand Prix, forcing the German to report the data from his steering wheel to the data engineers, costing Rosberg at the very beginning of the race.

Red Bull Racing were unable to catch Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso, with the Spaniard able to race his #14 Ferrari to third, despite clashing with former teammate Felipe Massa at the start of the race.

Australia’s Daniel Ricciardo fell shy of his first podium finish in Formula 1, crossing the line only 1.2s behind Alonso, despite starting the race on the front row.

Ricciardo and German teammate Sebastian Vettel battled mid-race, with Vettel being told by team principle Christian Horner to surrender his position to Ricciardo because the Australian was faster.

Vettel quoted, “tough luck” on the radio communications and let Ricciardo race Vettel for fourth position.

Vettel was outshone by his new Australian teammate, finishing behind the Red Bull rookie in fifth place.

Both Force India drivers scored points, Nico Hulkenberg racing his way to the end to defeat Williams driver Valtteri Bottas for sixth and Sergio Perez falling seconds shy from Kimi Raikkonen’s Ferrari to finish ninth. 

Rookie Toro Rosso driver Daniil Kyvat finished tenth, the 19-year-old consistently scoring points.

McLaren failed to make it into the points, Jenson Button finishing 11th and Kevin Magnussen crossing the line 13th.

Rosberg still leads the Formula 1 Drivers Championship, Hamilton close behind in second.

Mercedes extend their comprehensive lead in the Constructors Championship.

Round 5 of the Formula 1 World Championship will be hosted in Barcelona for the Spanish Grand Prix on 11 May.

Chinese Grand Prix Results

Pos Driver Team Time/Gap
1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1h36m52.810s
2 Nico Rosberg Mercedes +18.686s
3 Fernando Alonso Ferrari +25.765s
4 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull-Renault +26.978s
5 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault +51.012s
6 Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes +57.581s
7 Valtteri Bottas Williams-Mercedes +58.145s
8 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari +1m23.990s
9 Sergio Perez Force India-Mercedes +1m26.489s
10 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso-Renault +1 lap
11 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes +1 lap
12 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Renault +1 lap
13 Kevin Magnussen McLaren-Mercedes +1 lap
14 Pastor Maldonado Lotus-Renault +1 lap
15 Felipe Massa Williams-Mercedes +1 lap
16 Esteban Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari +1 lap
17 Kamui Kobayashi Caterham-Renault +1 lap
18 Jules Bianchi Marussia-Ferrari +1 lap
19 Max Chilton Marussia-Ferrari +2 laps
20 Marcus Ericsson Caterham-Renault +2 laps
RET Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 27 laps
RET Adrian Sutil Sauber-Ferrari  4 laps

– See more at: http://fiascosports.com/hamilton-takes-hat-trick-win-in-china/#sthash.7Gj9w88L.dpuf

Australia v Vettel

Formula 1, The Australia Times

Published on The Australia Times Issue 3

Sebastian Vettel. Source: Wikimedia Commons

Sebastian Vettel. Source: Wikimedia Commons

By Loren Hazelwood @LorenHazelwood

Sebastian Vettel. A name well-known in Australian households for being the German that caused fans to yell at their TV sets every time he was near or in front of our Australian Mark Webber.

He’s won world championship after world championship, and the more he won, the more frustrated Australian fans have become, saying, “Why can’t Webber achieve the same results?”

Well, this year should be completely different for our Aussie fans.

With Webber now retired and racing for Porsche, young-pup Daniel Ricciardo has graduated from his team at Torro Rosso, joining the German at the top of Formula 1. And to most people’s surprise (Vettel’s in particular), the young Aussie has outperformed his teammate on numerous occasions this season.

With the new generation of Australian racing overseas, Ricciardo has built respect with his new teammate, managing to outshine his world champion colleague.

In three out of four races this year, Ricciardo has blitzed Vettel in qualifying, and has also finished races in front of the German, causing a bit of tension in the pit paddock at Red Bull.

At the Chinese Grand Prix in Shanghai, Vettel was in front of Ricciardo, with both running different tyre strategies. Red Bull team principal Christian Horner immediately went on the radio to Vettel sending him a team order to let through our Aussie racer.

Vettel’s reply was simply, “Tough love.”

Ricciardo then raced Vettel passing him into Turn 1, enabling Ricciardo to finish fourth, with Vettel fifth overall.

Although Vettel is currently in front of Ricciardo in the Drivers’ Championship, this won’t stop Ricciardo over-achieving at his new squad.

With the new 1.6-litre turbo-charged power trains, this season of Formula 1 has been nothing but completely unpredictable.

We thought we’d see many surprises, but would never predict seeing an Australian finally stand on the podium in Melbourne only to later be stripped of second place due to a fuel system failure.

Everyone could see from the Australian Grand Prix that Ricciardo had pace, and that he knew how to drive these innovative cars.

With a year that has so far been dominated by Mercedes, with Lewis Hamilton taking the last three race victories, it’s easy to say that Red Bull seem not to have the pace and straight-line speed they had over the last four years.

Vettel has been struggling with the new car technology, and it wouldn’t be surprising if Ricciardo passed the world champion in the Drivers’ Championship.

Australia only has two Formula 1 World Champions including Alan Jones and Sir Jack Brabham. Webber was extremely close but was outshone by Vettel; can our Ricciardo defeat the German and make it three drivers to take the momentous championship? Only time will tell…

Nosing into the 2014 Formula 1 Season

Formula 1, Spultured

Ricciardo RB10 stop Jerez D3_600

So most of us motorsport fans are thinking, what is the deal with the new Formula 1 front-ends? They look weird, but knowing the deal with Formula 1 there is a reason why the cars have changed.

The FIA have decided to add new rules into the sport for 2014, making this year’s cars arguably the most unattractive of our time, but hey… It will be better for the trees.

Formula 1 has changed the size of the engine to a turbo-charged 1.6-litre V6 in a bid to make the cars more environmentally friendly.

Not only have the cars changed for this year, but so have the teams. In fact you could say there was a bit of shuffling going on in the pits during the off-season. Three rookies will also attack the field this year, and Kamui Kobayashi is back for Caterham.

Unfortunately for us Aussies, there is only one Australian participating in the Formula 1 season this year. Young Daniel Ricciardo replaces Mark Webber at Infiniti Red Bull Racing, partnering new-dad Sebastian Vettel.

The biggest test of this year you ask? Well, Kimi Raikkonen back at Ferrari – of course. Going back to a former team with a former world champion by the name of Fernando Alonso is sure to be interesting and very competitive.

And because of our good German friend Sebastian Vettel winning the past four Drivers’ Championships, the FIA has decided to introduce a ‘double points’ feature for the final round, just to make it a little more interesting. Even though the Red Bull driver won the last championship with races to spare, the FIA believe this will spice up the final round.

Another fun fact, drivers this year are able to choose what number they want to race with for the Formula 1 season. Interestingly, Pastor Maldonado chose unlucky 13.

Pre-season testing kicked off a few weeks ago in Jerez, which saw the favourites for this year, Red Bull, flying back to headquarters in England to work on electrical faults. Further testing got under way in Bahrain over the weekend and you know it’s going to be a strong season when the testing can’t identify who will win the first round in Australia.

So, in summary – new cars, new engines, new points advantages, new numbers… I mean, this season is going to be more unpredictable than ever, so please don’t head down to your local TAB and place a bet on the Australian Grand Prix. In case you’re wondering, it all kicks off March 14 on the streets of Melbourne.

#KeepCalmF1SeasonIsNear

@LorenHazelwood

A Tribute to Retiring Webber

Formula 1, Spultured

mark_webber_5

Australian Formula 1 driver Mark Webber last night ended all of the rumours circulating the pit paddock and announced he will be moving from the Infiniti Red Bull Racing team to be apart of Porsche’s World Endurance Championship sportscar program.

We can’t ignore the fact that Webber and his young German teammate Sebastian Vettel did not get along like a house on fire, but this was not a considering factor of why the Australian decided to leave the sport.

The 36-year-old believed it was perfect timing to join Porsche’s program, as he believes it is a sensational challenge and the perfect timing for his future work.

With Webber announcing this ground-shaking news, I thought it was time that I’d look at the highlights of the Aussie’s racing career and how it all started.

It all began in 1991, when Mark started racing sprint go-karts around Australia competing against some great names in Australian motorsport. It was only a few years later in 1994 when Webber started racing in open-wheelers.

Formula Ford in Australia in the mid-nineties was the lead way for young Australian drivers who wanted to further their motor racing career.

Mark Webber in his Formula Ford

Mark Webber in his Formula Ford

Mark Webber then struggled with funds for his racing, going over to the UK with virtually no money. Webber raced at the prestigious Formula Ford Festival in 1995 at the Brands Hatch circuit, finishing an astonishing third place on debut.

The 19-year-old at the time was then offered a factory drive with Van Diemen to compete in the European and British Formula Ford championships. Webber went on to win the 1996 British Formula Ford festival that year, which in many cases was known to be a gateway for Formula 1.

After competing in Formula Ford for three years, Webber graduated to Formula 3000 with Alan Docking Racing for the 1997 championship in Europe. Without having a stronger financial backing like Webber and his team had in the Formula Ford season, Webber and the team nearly had to pull out of racing the category halfway through. Fortunately an Australian personal investor came on board and financially helped Webber out.

Webber was approached at the end of his Formula 3 campaign by Mercedes-AMG to compete in a sports car race. He traveled all around the world racing at Japan, Europe and the United States, but his sports car career came to an early end after an aerodynamic fault, which caused Webber to go airborne and flip twice in practice for the 1999 24 Hours of Le Mans race. Webber escaped without injury, but this ended the Mercedes campaign and saw Webber return to open-wheel racing.

Mark Webber's aerodynamic failure at Le Mans

Mark Webber’s aerodynamic failure at Le Mans

Webber made his first steps in Formula 1 in 1999, testing for Arrows F1 team. It wasn’t until 2002 when Mark made his debut racing in Formula 1, where he was teamed up with Minardi Asiatech. Webber impressed on his debut, racing at his home Australian Grand Prix. He qualified 18th for the race, but managed to climb his way through the field to grab fifth place, claiming the first ever points for the Minardi Asiatech team.

2009 marked an important year when Webber was racing for Red Bull that Webber qualified on pole for the first time in Formula 1 at the Nüburgring. This was the first time an Australian driver had claimed pole position since Alan Jones back in 1980. He went on to achieve his first Formula 1 victory despite receiving a drive through penalty early in the race for causing an avoidable collision at the start. Webber went on to dominate the race and win ahead of his teammate Vettel, heading a Red Bull 1–2.

Mark Webber's debut in Formula 1 finishing in fifth

Mark Webber’s debut in Formula 1 finishing in fifth

After the German Grand Prix, Webber was ready to take charge in the championship campaign for 2010, having great success in the season taking victories at the Spanish, Monaco and Hungarian Grand Prix’s. Webber unfortunately lost the championship battle to his younger teammate Sebastian Vettel, but finished in third place.

As the tension grew between Vettel and Webber at Red Bull, Webber was determined to go better in 2011. The Australian had to wait all year to claim victory at the Brazilian Grand Prix, but remained consistent throughout the year to claim third place in the driver’s championship.

After coming so close the previous year’s before for the championship title, Webber in 2012 won the British and Monaco Grand Prix’s, which he claims to this day are his sweetest victories.

Webber this year haven’t yet claimed a race victory and is currently sixth in the championship, so it was very interesting to find out that he announced the end of his Formula 1 campaign. He has come so close, yet for the 36-year-old other plans have come in the way and the Aussie believes Porsches is the way to go.

Mark Webber celebrating at Monaco in 2012

Mark Webber celebrating at Monaco in 2012

Despite having a huge crash at Le Man’s many years ago in his AMG-Mercedes, Webber believes he can overcome his fear of racing at Le Mans and give it a red hot go.

All the best to Webber and his sports car career, it will be sad to see an Australian leave the sport who has brought much joy to the Formula 1 paddock and will be sadly missed.

Let’s see if our young Aussie driver at Toro Rosso Daniel Ricciardo can take his seat at Red Bull Racing!