Saturday, November 24, 2012

Qualifying: Hamilton pips Button to pole

Lewis Hamilton will bid farewell to McLaren from the front of the Brazilian GP grid having pipped Jenson Button to pole position

The McLaren driver, who is off to Mercedes next season, had dominated Friday's running before losing out to Button in final practice.
As such many expected a battle of the McLarens for pole position and that's exactly what we got as Hamilton posted a 1:12.458 to beat Button by 0.05s.
Mark Webber was third quickest, 0.123s off the pace, while Sebastian Vettel could only manage fourth.
The German, though, won't be too upset as his title rival, Fernando Alonso, is down in eighth place.
01 Lewis Hamilton McLaren 1:12.458
02 Jenson Button McLaren 1:12.513 0.055
03 Mark Webber Red Bull 1:12.581 0.123
04 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull 1:12.760 0.302
05 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1:12.987 0.529
06 Pastor Maldonado Williams 1:13.174 0.716
07 Nico Hulkenberg Force India 1:13.206 0.748
08 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1:13.253 0.795
09 Kimi Raikkonen Lotus 1:13.298 0.840
10 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1:13.489 1.031
11 Paul di Resta Force India 1:14.121
12 Bruno Senna Williams 1:14.219
13 Sergio Perez Sauber 1:14.234
14 Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1:14.334
15 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber 1:14.380
16 Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso 1:14.574 
17 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso 1:14.619
18 Romain Grosjean Lotus 1:16.967
19 Vitaly Petrov Caterham 1:17.073
20 Heikki Kovalainen Caterham 1:17.086
21 Timo Glock Marussia 1:17.508
22 Charles Pic Marussia 1:18.104
23 Narain Karthikeyan HRT 1:19.576 
24 Pedro de la Rosa HRT 1:19.699

Source: Planet-F1

Sunday, November 18, 2012

US GP: Hamilton Triumphs In America

Lewis Hamilton said he wanted the US GP win and that's exactly what he secured on Sunday and in doing so played an integral role in the title race

Starting from pole position Sebastian Vettel led off the line, first ahead of Mark Webber and a few laps later ahead of Hamilton while his title rival Fernando Alonso slotted into fourth place.
The order changed on lap 18 when Webber retired with a suspected alternator failure, elevating Alonso to third and closing Vettel's advantage in the Championship to 20 points.
However, that was narrowed even further on lap 42 when Hamilton, having dogged the German for several laps, used traffic and DRS to take the lead off the Red Bull driver.
Hamilton tried to pull away but this time it was Vettel's turn to dog the McLaren driver with the help of his DRS.
Vettel, though, was unable to mimic Hamilton's move and the tenacious McLaren driver went on to clinch his fourth victory of the season. It was also his second US GP triumph as Hamilton won the race the last time F1 was in America.
Vettel, who let rip about traffic in the form of an HRT costing him the lead, brought his RB8 home in second place, extending his lead over Alonso in the Championship to 13 points. The Spaniard completed the podium in a distant third place.
It was an exciting race for those off the podium as they fought tooth-and-nail even running three abreast during the early stages. Overtake over overtake - and several without the use of DRS - resulted in a thrilling race for the 100,000-plus fans packed into the Circuit of the Americas grandstands.
Felipe Massa, who had taken a grid penalty after Ferrari broke the seal of his gearbox in order to put Alonso on the clean side of the grid, finished fourth ahead of Jenson Button and Kimi Raikkonen.
01. Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1h35:55.269
02. Vettel Red Bull-Renault + 0.600
03. Alonso Ferrari + 39.200
04. Massa Ferrari + 46.000
05. Button McLaren-Mercedes + 56.400
06. Raikkonen Lotus-Renault + 1:04.400
07. Grosjean Lotus-Renault + 1:10.300
08. Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes + 1:13.700
09. Maldonado Williams-Renault + 1:14.500
10. Senna Williams-Renault + 1:15.100
11. Perez Sauber-Ferrari + 1:24.300
12. Ricciardo Toro Rosso-Ferrari + 1:24.800
13. Rosberg Mercedes + 1:25.500
14. Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari + 1 lap
15. Di Resta Force India-Mercedes + 1 lap
16. Schumacher Mercedes + 1 lap
17. Petrov Caterham-Renault + 1 lap
18. Kovalainen Caterham-Renault + 1 lap
19. Glock Marussia-Cosworth + 1 lap
20. Pic Marussia-Cosworth + 2 laps
21. De la Rosa HRT-Cosworth + 2 laps
22. Karthikeyan HRT-Cosworth + 2 laps
Did Not Finish
Webber Red Bull-Renault 17
Vergne Toro Rosso-Ferrari 15

Source: Planet-F1

Räikkönen hoping for more good weather

Kimi Räikkönen reckons that more warm weather is just what his Lotus needs as he prepares for Sunday's inaugural race at the Circuit of The Americas

The Finn put his strong qualifying down to warmer temperatures, and will be hoping for more of the same on race day.
Though he was outqualified by team-mate Romain Grosjean, Raikkonen will still line up in a very respectable fourth on the grid after Grosjean was handed a five-place grid penalty as a result of a gearbox change ahead of the qualifying session.
"That was probably better than I expected," said Raikkonen of qualifying fourth. "Because of the difficulties in the practices, it finally got a bit more hot and the tyres started to work so it helped us.
"Usually we've been more strong in the race, so hopefully it should be a bit warmer tomorrow and it should be better for us. Hopefully it's another thing tomorrow that improves our car and we can fight more."
While Raikkonen's last F1 victory came amid sweltering heat in Abu Dhabi, his Lotus certainly won't be benefitting from those kinds of temperatures in Texas on Sunday.
Like many of his fellow drivers, he is also concerned about starting on the left-hand side of the grid, where grip is particularly low.
"It's been very slippery anyhow, the circuit, and then the racing line goes more or less over the right-hand side so we expect it's going to be very slippery on the left. We'll have to wait and see tomorrow what happens," he said.
Raikkonen also denied that set-up changes played a part in the sudden improvement in grip he experienced - though he did still spin in Q1.
"It was very difficult to get them working at all until the qualifying and then we got them to work much better. It's still not like we want them to work but it was much better," he said.
"I knew already in the first qualifying that the tyres were much better than this morning or yesterday. It just seemed to improve and we found better pressures for the end. It's just getting better and better all the time.
"I don't think the circuit has improved for us, it's just the tyres - if you get them switched on then everything changes. It's not like the circuit suddenly changes for us, it's just the tyres."
Source: Planet-F1

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Qualifying: Vettel takes first CoTA pole

It was a tale of two title hopefuls as Sebastian Vettel claimed the inaugural pole position at the Circuit of the Americas while Fernando Alonso was down in ninth

Vettel had been the driver to beat heading into qualifying having topped all three practice sessions. And it was more of the same on Saturday afternoon.
The reigning World Champion posted a 1:35.657 to beat Lewis Hamilton to the coveted grid slot by a less-than-expected 0.109s.
Mark Webber will line-up third while Romain Grosjean qualified fourth but will drop down the order after a gearbox change penalty.
Abu Dhabi winner Kimi Raikkonen and Michael Schumacher were fifth and sixth while Championship hopeful Alonso could only manage ninth.
Qualifying Report
The Texan sun was beating down on the Circuit of the Americas with a really encouraging crowd of around 80,000 in attendance, many from Mexico and Venezuela. The ambient temperature was 20C and the track at 31C.
Romain Grosjean went into the session knowing that he had a five-place grid penalty from a gearbox change from FP3. Cars went out set up to run multiple laps with the front-runners using the Pirelli hard tyre and some of the new teams going with the medium right from the start. Also using mediums were Romain Grosjean and Paul diResta, whose cousin Dario Franchitti was one of the many American drivers in attendance.
Kimi Raikkonen set the first meaningful P1 at 1:41.058. This was hacked into by team-mate Grosjean with a 1:39.078 which he subsequently reduced to a 1:37.865. Bruno Senna popped up at the top of the timesheets with a 1:37.850, but then Grosjean reclaimed his place back with a 1:37.486. Felipe Massa, who looked quicker than Alonso for most of qualifying, slotted into P2.
Sebastian Vettel, who had been fastest in all three practices then set the new benchmark at 1:37.165 with Mark Webber slotting into P2 and Pastor Maldonado taking P3. Such was the nature of the diminishing fuel load and the lack of wear on the tyres that cars could continually circulate - like a Formula Ford qualifying session - with the times getting quicker and quicker and few coming back down the pitlane.
Some drivers gave their tyres a slow lap breather while a few hammered on round. Coming into the final three minutes the danger positions were: 15.Perez, 16.Kobayashi, 17.Rosberg, 18. Ricciardo,19.Glock, 20.Pic, 21.Kovalainen, la Rosa, 23.Karthikeyan, 24.Petrov.
As times continued to fall, Narain Karthikeyan dumped his HRT off track at Turn 2 bringing out the yellow flags. This left Nico Rosberg in a tricky position because he'd slipped back to P18 and couldn't improve in the first sector. Round came the Mercedes and he eased off to go a tenth of a second slower in S1 and then set personal bests in S2 and S3, he scraped forward to P17. Daniel Ricciardo couldn't improve.
Lewis Hamilton, meanwhile was having fun with P1 and took it down to 1:37.058, before Vettel annihilated that with a 1:36.558.
Petrov improved to P21 beating his team-mate Kovalainen (who said he was blocked) but not the two Marussias. Despite their pre-qualifying worries, HRT were well inside the 107% time.
So as the Texan dust settled out went: 18.Ricciardo, 19.Glock, 20.Pic, 21.Petrov, 22.Kovalainen, la Rosa, 24.Karthikeyan.
It had been a tremendous result for the non-KERS using Marussia team who had beaten the KERS-equipped Caterhams. It was also a tremendous result for the spectators who had seen 8 laps from Vettel instead of the usual 3 or 4 and 12 laps from Grosjean.
Qualifying 2
The multiple lappery of Q1 was going to be repeated in Q2 but with everyone on the medium tyre. Kimi Raikkonen was out early again setting the benchmark time at 1:37.672. He came round again and lowered it to 1:37.457.
Lewis Hamilton then gave another indication that Vettel might have a real fight on his hands for pole with a 1:36.795 lap which Mark Webber could not beat. Vettel could, though, with a breathtaking 1:35.971.
Times were falling fast as the fuel loads came down again and at the four-minutes-to-go mark the danger zone was: 7.Raikkonen, 8.Button, 9.DiResta, 10.Schumacher, 11.Senna, 12.Grosjean, 13.Vergne, 14.Alonso, 15.Rosberg, 16.Kobayashi, 17.Perez
At least that was an order for a few seconds as drivers improved radically. One person who wasn't going to improve at all was Jenson Button who radioed that he had lost power and cruised back to the pits, his engine still running. Alonso jumped to P4 pushing Jenson to P9 and when Grosjean grabbed P6 he was down to P10. Then Michael Schumacher administered the coup de grace by claiming P5, pushing Button to P11, which became P12 seconds later when Hulkenberg jumped into the top ten.
Interestingly the two Ferraris circulated round and while Massa improved to P2, Alonso could only stay P7.
So out went: 11.Senna, 12.Button, 13.DiResta, 14.Vergne, 15.Perez, 16.Kobayashi, 17.Rosberg
It had been another miserable session for McLaren, let down by another mechanical failure. However the biggest contrast in fortunes had been with Nico Rosberg who could not get a lap out his Mercedes while his team-mate was a mighty 1.4 seconds quicker.
As for the South American contingent at Austin, the Mexicans were despondent, but the Venezuelans were still in the contest.
Qualifying 3
The advice to drivers must have been to put in a slow first lap before going for a time, and so Alonso, Massa and Hamilton all did 1:42s and 1:43s first time round the block. Nobody had told this to Romain Grosjean who took provisional pole with a 1:37.227.
It was the same for Red Bull's Mark Webber who went straight for a time and took P1 with a 1:36.845. Lewis Hamilton responded with a 1:36.209, while Vettel - not surprisingly - trumped them both with a 1:35.877.
With two minutes of the session to run the order was: 1.Vettel, 1.Hamilton, 3.Webber, 4.Grosjean, 5.Raikkonen, 6.Schumacher, 7.Alonso, 8, Maldonado, 9.Massa, 10.Hulkenberg
Schumacher was trying his hardest and in the process went off at the tricky Turn 19 which had caught out Maldonado earlier. Hulkenberg jumped to P6. Lewis set the fastest middle sector on his way to a 1:35.928 - closing in on Vettel, but not close enough. Yet.
Alonso improved to P7 and was then pushed down again when Massa took P4. Schumacher hurdled back past them into P5. Vettel then made his pole safer with a 1:35.657 and Lewis came up just short with a 1:35.766 - fractions away from a big upset.
So, a grid of Vettel, Hamilton, Webber, Raikkonen, Schumacher and Massa in the front three rows. Grosjean was P4, faster than his Lotus team-mate, but takes a penalty.
Fernando Alonso ended up in a pretty miserable P9, faster than just Maldonado, although with Grosjean moving back to P9 with his gearbox penalty that will leave him in P8 but on the dirty side of the grid. It is widely anticipated that those on even numbers, on the dirty side, will suffer with poor grip at the start tomorrow.
It might even cross Ferrari's mind to change Massa's gearbox and move him back five places, so that Alonso can start both higher and on the clean side of the grid. With Button qualifying disastrously their constructors' battle with McLaren is almost won.
Whatever the case it is going to be hard work for Alonso to keep the championship alive tomorrow starting behind Vettel, Hamilton, Webber and Raikkonen. But if anybody can do it...
01. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1m35.657
02. Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1m35.766
03. Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1m36.174
04. Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1m36.587
05. Kimi Raikkonen Lotus-Renault 1m36.708
06. Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1m36.794
07. Felipe Massa Ferrari 1m36.937
08. Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 1m37.141
09. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1m37.300
10. Pastor Maldonado Williams-Renault 1m37.842
11. Bruno Senna Williams-Renault 1m37.604
12. Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1m37.616
13. Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1m37.665
14. Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m37.879
15. Sergio Perez Sauber-Ferrari 1m38.206
16. Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1m38.437
17. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m38.501
18. Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m39.114
19. Timo Glock Marussia-Cosworth 1m40.056
20. Charles Pic Marussia-Cosworth 1m40.664
21. Vitaly Petrov Caterham-Renault 1m40.809
22. Heikki Kovalainen Caterham-Renault 1m41.166
23. Pedro de la Rosa HRT-Cosworth 1m42.011
24. Narain Karthikeyan HRT-Cosworth 1m42.740

Source: Planet-F1

Practice Three: Vettel claims US practice hat-trick

Sebatian Vettel topped the timesheets in Saturday's final practice in Austin which saw Lewis Hamilton take second and Fernando Alonso saved by a late charge

Practice Three begun in much the same way the previous two had with drivers flying off the track at Turn 19 even whilst on their installation laps. Jean-Eric Vergne was the early pace-setter as Toro Rosso went straight into the action with Daniel Ricciardo taking second behind his team-mate.
Vergne was overhauled by Nico Rosberg who in turn was beaten by Michael Schumacher. The seven-time World Champ posted a 1:39.483 to hold the P1 slot after the first 15 minutes of action. However, only seven drivers had set times.
There were early woes for Sergio Perez and Charles Pic as the faster Sauber driver attempted to find the gap that wasn't there down the inside of Turn Seven. Instead he tagged Pic, pushing the Marussia around before spearing it in the side. A shake of the head from their mechanics as both cars are damaged.
Back at the front the big boys came out to play with Jenson Button sliding into second place, 0.3s short of Rosberg's P1 time. He continued lapping to take first, 0.2s up on the German's time. His team-mate Lewis Hamilton worked his way up the timesheets from tenth to sixth and then to fourth while Sebastian Vettel was 17th on his first effort. He went on to improve to 15th and then 11th.
Button meanwhile lowered the benchmark time to a 1:37.659 while Hamilton climbed to second behind his team-mate before taking first off him by 0.046s. Vettel found some pace and slotted into third behind the McLaren duo.
Vergne was the first casualty of the session as he broke his front suspension when he hit a kerb. He was forced to park his Toro Rosso out on track with both front tyres pointing inwards.
Fernando Alonso had a late start to his morning as the Spaniard only put in his first lap time with 20 minutes remaining. As such he caught the yellow flags from Vergne' stricken car and despite his efforts struggled to move into the top 10. In fact, Alonso was pushing so hard he had several off track moments, which also ruined what could have been a solid lap on the medium tyres.
The final few minutes saw all the drivers swap to the medium compound which take several laps to heat up. But once he had heat in the rubber, Vettel jumped into the lead with a 1:36.490 while Hamilton took second off Pastor Maldonado and the very late-improving Alonso.
01 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull 1:36.490 18 laps
02 Lewis Hamilton McLaren 1:36.748 0.258 20 laps
03 Pastor Maldonado Williams 1:37.001 0.511 21 laps
04 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1:37.180 0.690 21 laps
05 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1:37.247 0.757 24 laps
06 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1:37.262 0.772 27 laps
07 Mark Webber Red Bull 1:37.298 0.808 18 laps
08 Sergio Perez Sauber 1:37.415 0.925 20 laps
09 Nico Hulkenberg Force India 1:37.495 1.005 20 laps
10 Jenson Button McLaren 1:37.538 1.048 20 laps
11 Bruno Senna Williams 1:37.569 1.079 21 laps
12 Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1:37.760 1.270 21 laps
13 Kimi Raikkonen Lotus 1:37.765 1.275 26 laps
14 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber 1:37.953 1.463 23 laps
15 Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso 1:38.547 2.057 23 laps
16 Paul di Resta Force India 1:38.653 2.163 22 laps
17 Romain Grosjean Lotus 1:38.753 2.263 11 laps
18 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso 1:39.689 3.199 12 laps
19 Timo Glock Marussia 1:40.407 3.917 23 laps
20 Vitaly Petrov Caterham 1:40.753 4.263 19 laps
21 Heikki Kovalainen Caterham 1:41.011 4.521 19 laps
22 Charles Pic Marussia 1:41.466 4.976 19 laps
23 Pedro de la Rosa HRT 1:43.563 7.073 21 laps
24 Narain Karthikeyan HRT 1:44.043 7.553 23 laps

Source: Planet-F1

Friday, November 16, 2012

Räikkönen's driving is at its best

Good races with a poorer car is a big thing for the driver, although the big audience usually don't notice those kinds of performances

The media scolded Kimi Räikkönen three years ago, claiming he had lost his motivation because that year's Ferrari had no chances to succeed.

Räikkönen himself is of a completely different opinion.

– You know yourself when you have drove well. If you don't have a car you can make it with, then you can be for example 10th in each race although you would have drove better than when winning races. It doesn't mean that your motivation would crumble if you don't get good results with a poor car, Räikkönen says in TS-interview.

– I drove really well that season. If I would quickly compare then I don't think that I would have drove better before that.

Räikkönen probably drove his career's best race when he won the Belgian GP with the Ferrari in 2009.

– Back then we really didn't have a good car. Giancarlo Fisichella should probably had won the race because I couldn't get anywhere with that car. So much depended upon me getting the car to work for myself in that race.

Praisal from Stella

Räikkönen's race engineer from that time, Andrea Stella, works now with Fernando Alonso. He admits that both drivers are spectacular when they get everything out of every car.

– Three years ago Kimi did completely wonders with that car at some point of the season and snatched points in the same pace the leading drivers did. When Fisichella came to Ferrari and got the same car he couldn't even get within a second of Kimi.

– Kimi drove a few completely magical races already in 2007. China was a race like that when his mid-term tires were worn out but still he continued bombing the same lap times.

Good driving in autumn's races

Räikkönen won after three years in Abu Dhabi where he kept Alonso's attacking in check.

– I think that I have drove as good in the last races as I did in 2009. It went well especially in Abu Dhabi. I don't think that anything would be missing from my driving. Of course when you don't have the best cars it's more difficult to get everything in place. You get bigger differences with this car if your setups are in place or not, Räikkönen clears.

– I got the car to work the way I wanted in Abu Dhabi, that's why the qualification and race went so well, Kimi said.

Räikkönen's race engineer in Lotus is Mark Slade.

– The best races are those who are the most difficult to win. While driving they are least enjoyable but afterwards you can then sigh and say WOW, we did a really good job. We remember those victories.

– I put Abu Dhabi in the same class as Suzuka 2005 when Kimi won from the 17th grid. This was a new similar performance, Slade said.

The radio message became a classic

They remember the radio communication with Lotus as well as Räikkönen's victory.
Slade knows Räikkönen and he adviced his colleague Simon Rennie to keep quiet. However he did what he was supposed to do when the tire temperatures were put to test behind the SC.

– The gang pressed him to tell this and that to Kimi. I said to Simon 'don't tell'. I adviced that it's not worth the trouble.

– There's nothing strange about that. It's completely okay that sometimes you have to inform the driver. Of course Kimi is very concentrated at that point. The comment in the radio is just his way of answering. He didn't meant it the way he said. He just expressed that he is concentrating fully and knows exactly what he is doing. That's what Kimi is like when he really is at his best, Slade emphasized.

Now the hunt for podiums continues in America.

– I myself have always had fun in America. The feeling there is different than anywhere else. It's the "America", Räikkönen smiles.

Turun Sanomat


Courtesy: Nicole

Practice Two: Two from two for Vettel

Sebastian Vettel continued his run at the Circuit of the Americas, topping second practice despite missing half the session with a water leak

Vettel picked up where he left off this morning, hitting the front almost immediately with a 1:40.7. However, after just three laps he headed back into the pits leaving it to his rivals to take control of the timesheets.
Lewis Hamilton was the next to lead the way followed by Mark Webber, Jenson Button, Fernando Alonso and Nico Rosberg. The Mercedes driver had the benchmark time down to a 1:40.096 after the first 15 minutes of practice, which saw everyone excluding Pedro de la Rosa and Narain Karthikeyan set a time in a busy start to second practice.
Drivers were still struggling to stay on the track with Felipe Massa running wide at Turn 19 and Hamilton using the run-off area surrounding the blind Turn One at the top of the hill.
With 30 minutes gone Rosberg was still in the P1 slot while Vettel was stuck in his garage as his Red Bull mechanics worked on his RB8, which had suffered a water cooling problem.
His team-mate Webber hit the front with a 1:39.485 and continued lapping, dropping the benchmark time to a 1:39.277 before he was overhauled by Massa.
Webber and Kimi Raikkonen were the first of the front-runners to head out on the medium Pirellis, both swapping over with 40 minutes remaining. Webber went quickest with a 1:38.958 and then even quicker on his second flying lap. Hamilton climbed to second ahead of Button while Vettel improved to fourth when he finally returned to the track for the final 25 minutes.
In what seemed like only a matter of time Vettel hit the front with a 1:37.718, 0.757s up on Webber. Alonso improved to third ahead of Hamilton and Button.
The final 10 minutes saw the drivers swap back to the white-marked Pirellis and with heavier fuel loads worked on race set-up. This meant Vettel finished the session unchallenged in the P1 slot.
01 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull 1:37.718 17 laps
02 Mark Webber Red Bull 1:38.475 0.757 36 laps
03 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1:38.483 0.765 35 laps
04 Lewis Hamilton McLaren 1:38.748 1.030 31 laps
05 Jenson Button McLaren 1:38.786 1.068 32 laps
06 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1:39.029 1.311 33 laps
07 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1:39.448 1.730 32 laps
08 Bruno Senna Williams 1:39.531 1.813 38 laps
09 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber 1:39.653 1.935 36 laps
10 Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1:40.115 2.397 30 laps
11 Kimi Raikkonen Lotus 1:40.166 2.448 32 laps
12 Pastor Maldonado Williams 1:40.230 2.512 35 laps
13 Romain Grosjean Lotus 1:40.286 2.568 32 laps
14 Sergio Perez Sauber 1:40.326 2.608 35 laps
15 Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso 1:40.435 2.717 30 laps
16 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso 1:40.516 2.798 32 laps
17 Nico Hulkenberg Force India 1:40.700 2.982 34 laps
18 Paul di Resta Force India 1:41.430 3.712 35 laps
19 Heikki Kovalainen Caterham 1:42.476 4.758 38 laps
20 Timo Glock Marussia 1:42.652 4.934 33 laps
21 Vitaly Petrov Caterham 1:42.846 5.128 38 laps
22 Charles Pic Marussia 1:43.538 5.820 38 laps
23 Pedro de la Rosa HRT 1:44.453 6.735 16 laps
24 Narain Karthikeyan HRT 1:45.114 7.396 20 laps

Source: Planet-F1

Practice One: Vettel claims first CoTA P1

Sebastian Vettel put in a late charge to beat Lewis Hamilton to the first P1 at the Circuit of the Americas by 1.4s in a practice that saw drivers slipping and sliding all over the place

The action started early, from the very first installation lap, as the drivers slipped and slid their way around on the new surface. In fact, the track surface was so slippery that Nico Hulkenberg told his team it was like driving on a "wet" track.
Kamui Kobayashi had the honour of setting the first-ever lap time on the CoTA, a 1:54.846. However, the Sauber driver struggled to keep his car pointing in the right direction as almost every second corner resulted in a slide or a twitch. He lowered the benchmark to a 1:51 and then a 1:48.517.
Lap after lap the Sauber driver improved his time with Mark Webber playing a brief cameo in the P1 slot before losing out to Kobayashi with a 1:45.866. That was the P1 time after the first 30 minutes with Webber second ahead of Bruno Senna, Kimi Raikkonen, Sergio Perez and Daniel Ricciardo.
Webber hit the front again while his team-mate Sebastian Vettel went ninth on his first time lap and flew off the track on the second. The German, though, was by no means the only driver testing the limits as Michael Schumacher and Jean-Eric Vergne also had moments. Vettel's next lap boosted him up the order to second with Lewis Hamilton taking third. Hamilton's next lap had him taking first with a 1:42.603.
Fernando Alonso was the next to lead the way but was topped by Hamilton with a 1:40.918. As the grip levels increased, the lap times dropped, although that didn't mean the drivers were yet sticking to the tarmac with Jenson Button and Felipe Massa flying off at Turn 19. Sergio Perez had a near-miss with the pit lane entry barriers.
With 30 minutes remaining Hamilton was leading the way with a 1:40.175, 0.353s up on Button while Alonso was a further 0.07s down. Vettel was 11th but soon after improved to fourth as he ventured out for another run. Alonso upped his pace but remained third. It was more of the same as Vettel went quicker but stayed second, Alonso went quicker but stayed third and Hamilton went quicker to hold a 0.648s advantage with ten minutes to go.
Putting in the laps Hamilton went even quicker but that didn't stop Vettel from taking the P1 slot off him with a 1:38.692, which was 0.8s up on Hamilton's best and 1.6s quicker than Alonso's. And then he went even quicker - 0.5s up on his previous best - as the chequered flag fell.
01 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull 1:38.125 30 laps
02 Lewis Hamilton McLaren 1:39.543 1.418 28 laps
03 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1:40.337 2.212 29 laps
04 Jenson Button McLaren 1:40.528 2.403 29 laps
05 Mark Webber Red Bull 1:40.650 2.525 30 laps
06 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1:40.966 2.841 26 laps
07 Nico Hulkenberg Force India 1:41.023 2.898 29 laps
08 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber 1:41.036 2.911 28 laps
09 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1:41.159 3.034 32 laps
10 Sergio Perez Sauber 1:41.473 3.348 29 laps
11 Paul di Resta Force India 1:41.783 3.658 29 laps
12 Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso 1:41.825 3.700 28 laps
13 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso 1:41.833 3.708 29 laps
14 Kimi Raikkonen Lotus 1:41.880 3.755 23 laps
15 Romain Grosjean Lotus 1:41.998 3.873 27 laps
16 Pastor Maldonado Williams 1:42.539 4.414 30 laps
17 Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1:42.588 4.463 25 laps
18 Charles Pic Marussia 1:43.288 5.163 23 laps
19 Heikki Kovalainen Caterham 1:43.443 5.318 28 laps
20 Vitaly Petrov Caterham 1:43.522 5.397 23 laps
21 Timo Glock Marussia 1:44.464 6.339 24 laps
22 Bruno Senna Williams 1:44.548 6.423 29 laps
23 Pedro de la Rosa HRT 1:46.917 8.792 13 laps
24 Ma Qing Hua HRT 1:48.559 10.434 19 laps

Source: Planet-F1

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Video: Press Conference with Top 3 drives at Abu Dhabi GP 2012


Kimi Is Back On Top With Abu Dhabi Win

Kimi Räikkönen claimed the first win of his comeback as he took the chequered flag in Abu Dhabi ahead of Championship protagonists Fernando Alonso and Sebastian Vettel.

It was a grand prix of defining moments as Lewis Hamilton took the lead from pole position ahead of Raikkonen and Pastor Maldonado while Fernando Alonso took fifth off Mark Webber with an attacking move.
Meanwhile, Sebastian Vettel, who started in 23rd place from the pit lane, had early troubles as his front wing was broken in an incident with Bruno Senna on the first lap.
On the ninth lap the Safety Car was deployed for the first time when Nico Rosberg and Narain Karthikeyan crashed as the Merc driver attempted to pass. Instead he misjudeged the closing speed and hit the HRT, launching over it before slamming in the barriers.
Under the Safety Car with the field bunched up, Vettel went off the road and hit a polystyrene block that did further damage to his already broken wing. He pitted on lap 14 for a new front wing and dropped to the back.
Six laps later the race had a new leader as Hamilton, who was 3.4s ahead of Raikkonen, slowed down and retired as his McLaren "lost all power".
Up into first place Raikkonen slowly but surely edged away from Alonso and Jenson Button only to lose his advantage on lap 39 when Romain Grosjean, Sergio Perez and Paul di Resta had some argy-bargy that resulted in Grosjean and the innocent Webber retiring. Perez was handed a ten second stop/go penalty for causing the carnage.
With the field bunched up, Raikkonen, Alonso, Button and Vettel pulled away from the chasing pack with Vettel passing Button with three laps remaining. Alonso meanwhile hunted down Raikkonen and, with two laps to go, was with DRS activation. The Ferrari driver, though, was not able to take advantage.
Raikkonen took the chequered flag and his first victory since Spa 2009, putting the Lotus name on the top step of the podium for the first time since Ayrton Senna's win at the 1987 American GP.
Alonso was second ahead of Vettel. The Red Bull racer's podium means he still holds a 10-point advantage in the title race.
01. Räikkönen Lotus-Renault 1h45:58.667
02. Alonso Ferrari + 0.852
03. Vettel Red Bull-Renault + 4.163
04. Button McLaren-Mercedes + 7.787
05. Maldonado Williams-Renault + 13.007
06. Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari + 20.076
07. Massa Ferrari + 22.896
08. Senna Williams-Renault + 23.542
09. Di Resta Force India-Mercedes + 24.160
10. Ricciardo Toro Rosso-Ferrari + 27.400
11. Schumacher Mercedes + 28.000
12. Vergne Toro Rosso-Ferrari + 34.900
13. Kovalainen Caterham-Renault + 47.700
14. Glock Marussia-Cosworth + 56.400
15. Perez Sauber-Ferrari + 56.700
16. Petrov Caterham-Renault + 1:04.500
17. De la Rosa HRT-Cosworth + 1:11.5

Did Not Finish
Pic Marussia-Cosworth 42
Grosjean Lotus-Renault 38
Webber Red Bull-Renault 38
Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 20
Karthikeyan HRT-Cosworth 8
Rosberg Mercedes 8
Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 1

Source: Planet-F1

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Vettel disqualified from qualifying

Sebastian Vettel will start Sunday's Abu Dhabi GP from the very back of the grid after being disqualified for a fuel infringement

The Red Bull racer had qualified his RB8 in third place but stopped out on track on his in-lap after reportedly being told by engine supplier Renault to do so.
However, under F1 regulations all drivers have to make it back to the pits after qualifying and they have to do so with one litre of fuel in the tank. And as Vettel had not made it back, this prompted a stewards' investigation.
Article 6.6.2 of the Technical Regulations states: "Competitors must ensure that a one litre sample of fuel may be taken from the car at any time during the Event.
"Except in cases of force majeure (accepted as such by the stewards of the meeting), if a sample of fuel is required after a practice session the car concerned must have first been driven back to the pits under its own power."
The stewards called Vettel and his team into their offices to explain the stoppage but once it was learnt that the car was also short of fuel he was disqualified.
"The stewards heard from the driver and team representatives and studied telemetry evidence that showed the reason why the car was stopped," said a FIA statement.
"The Stewards accepted the explanation and considered the incident as being a case of force majeure.
"However a report was received from the Technical Delegate that showed during post-qualifying scrutineering an insufficient quantity of fuel for sampling purposes."

Source: Planet-F1

Solid qualifying gives Kimi a chance

Poor qualifying has consistently been Lotus' Achilles heel this season, but a fifth place start for Kimi Räikkönen in Abu Dhabi gives him a shot at a podium finish

Kimi Räikkönen will start from fifth place for tomorrow's 2012 F1 Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi, and does so with every expectation of being able to gain at least one place early in the race to put him into position to compete for a podium place.

"Qualifying was good," said Raikkonen. "The car hasn't felt fantastic all weekend but we decided we weren't going to change the car's set-up from where it was for the last race. 

"It was the right choice because in the end the circuit came to us in qualifying where the car was the best it has been so far here," he continued. "We'll give tomorrow our best shot; Let's see if we can make a good start to get right behind the Red Bulls, and then we'll see what happens after that."

Alan Permane, the team's trackside operations director, felt that "we could have possibly managed even more with both drivers," especially with Romain Grosjean ending up in tenth place after making it through to Q3.

"Fifth on the grid is very good for Kimi and means we should be well placed for tomorrow," he continued. "Romain was looking set for a strong lap too, matching Kimi for the first two sectors, but he lost half a second on the final sector; we'll be looking at what went wrong there."

"It wasn't a great qualifying lap for me today, and P10 is not where we want to be on the grid," Grosjean admitted. "In the last run in Q3 I had no grip so wasn't able to find more pace. The car had felt fine before that and we looked good through the other qualifying sessions. 

"It just means I have some more work to do in the race and I think there's more to come from me and the car," he added. 

Permane was equally bullish about the team's chances in race trim on Sunday at the Yas Marina Circuit. "As has been the trend this season, we're confident in terms of where our race pace should be relative to our opposition," he said.

"We completed a promising long run on Friday afternoon; we have no problems or issues with tyre wear, warm-up, or anything like that so there are no reasons why we should not have a good evening tomorrow," he added. 

"Overtaking is slightly easier here; however, Romain will have his work cut out," Permane admitted. "That said, he completed some nice overtaking moves last time out, so let's hope for the same here."

Grosjean also had a moment in the pit lane with Fernando Alonso after what Ferrari felt was an unsafe release by Lotus right in front of the world championship contender, but even if that is looked into by the race stewards it's thought unlikely to result in anything more than a financial penalty levied on Lotus.


Video: Interview with Fernando Alonso after Qualifying at Abu Dhabi GP 2012

Fernando Alonso described Ferrari's qualifying session as 'perfect' despite his fastest time seeing him start Sunday's race seventh on the grid


Qualifying: Hamilton secures 25th career pole

For the third successive season Lewis Hamilton will start the Abu Dhabi GP from the front row, although this time it will be from pole position

The McLaren driver had been the man to beat in Saturday's final practice but feared that his MP4-27 would not have the pace needed to beat the Red Bulls in qualifying.
That, though, didn't prove to be the case.
Hamilton put in a flying 1:40.630 to edge Mark Webber by 0.348s as the Aussie booted his team-mate and Championship leader Sebastian Vettel off the front row.
Vettel's woes, though, did not stop there as he failed to make it back into the pits after qualifying, stopping his RB8 on the side of the track.
Pastor Maldonado was fourth for Williams ahead of Kimi Raikkonen and Jenson Button while Chamionship hopeful Fernando Alonso could only manage seventh, 0.952s down.
01 Lewis Hamilton McLaren 1:40.630
02 Mark Webber Red Bull 1:40.978 0.348
03 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull 1:41.073 0.443
04 Pastor Maldonado Williams 1:41.226 0.596
05 Kimi Raikkonen Lotus 1:41.260 0.630
06 Jenson Button McLaren 1:41.290 0.660
07 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1:41.582 0.952
08 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1:41.603 0.973
09 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1:41.723 1.093
10 Romain Grosjean Lotus 1:41.778 1.148
11 Nico Hulkenberg Force India 1:42.019
12 Sergio Perez Sauber 1:42.084
13 Paul di Resta Force India 1:42.218
14 Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1:42.289
15 Bruno Senna Williams 1:42.330
16 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber 1:42.606
17 Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso 1:42.765
18 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso 1:44.058
19 Heikki Kovalainen Caterham 1:44.956
20 Charles Pic Marussia 1:45.089
21 Vitaly Petrov Caterham 1:45.151
22 Timo Glock Marussia 1:45.426
23 Pedro de la Rosa HRT 1:45.766
24 Narain Karthikeyan HRT 1:46.382

Source: Planet-F1

Practice Three: Hamilton leads McLaren 1-2

Lewis Hamilton topped the Abu Dhabi weekend's second McLaren 1-2 in a practice session that saw Sebastian Vettel have just six minutes of running

With the track temperature a blistering 46'C, Kamui Kobayashi was the first to get down to business with a 1:49.193 at the start of Saturday's final practice. The Sauber driver continued lapping on a free race track, lowering the benchmark to a 1:45.628.
The Japanese driver's run sparked of a flurry of activity while the track temperature fell by three degrees in the first 15 minutes of the session.
Kimi Raikkonen was the next to lead the way while his Lotus team-mate Romain Grosjean lined up behind him. But it was all change as Lewis Hamilton came flying through, setting fastest times in the first and third sectors on his way to a 1:44.264.
The McLaren driver lost out to Pastor Maldonado only to come back him the next lap while Michael Schumacher, who Hamilton will replace at Mercedes next season, climbing to third place. Hamilton had the benchmark time down to a 1:42.851 at the halfway mark although at that point Sebastian Vettel had not set a time.
Mark Webber and Fernando Alonso joined Hamilton at the top of the timesheets, however, the two chasers were already a second slower when Hamilton put his foot down and extended his advantage to 1.471s over Vettel's team-mate. Alonso was a further 0.015s adrift.
As for Vettel, with 20 minutes remaining he was still stuck in the pits without a time to his name as his Red Bull mechanics were bleeding his brakes. He finally ventured out with six minutes on the clock as his main rivals begun their soft tyre runs.
That saw Webber improve to third, Grosjean take fourth ahead of Maldonado and Hulkenberg. However, it was still a McLaren 1-2 as Hamilton upped his pace in first place while Button went quickest but remained second. Vettel came across the line third quickest, 0.484s down.
01 Lewis Hamilton McLaren 1:42.130 18 laps
02 Jenson Button McLaren 1:42.420 0.290 17 laps
03 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull 1:42.614 0.484 7 laps
04 Mark Webber Red Bull 1:42.743 0.613 18 laps
05 Nico Hulkenberg Force India 1:42.750 0.620 19 laps
06 Romain Grosjean Lotus 1:43.015 0.885 18 laps
07 Pastor Maldonado Williams 1:43.064 0.934 19 laps
08 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1:43.133 1.003 15 laps
09 Kimi Raikkonen Lotus 1:43.184 1.054 22 laps
10 Paul di Resta Force India 1:43.338 1.208 19 laps
11 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1:43.480 1.350 17 laps
12 Sergio Perez Sauber 1:43.571 1.441 19 laps
13 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1:43.593 1.463 20 laps
14 Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1:43.635 1.505 18 laps
15 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber 1:44.010 1.880 21 laps
16 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso 1:44.025 1.895 17 laps
17 Bruno Senna Williams 1:44.071 1.941 19 laps
18 Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso 1:44.149 2.019 19 laps
19 Heikki Kovalainen Caterham 1:45.301 3.171 21 laps
20 Timo Glock Marussia 1:45.879 3.749 19 laps
21 Charles Pic Marussia 1:46.036 3.906 18 laps
22 Vitaly Petrov Caterham 1:46.261 4.131 22 laps
23 Pedro de la Rosa HRT 1:46.554 4.424 20 laps
24 Narain Karthikeyan HRT 1:47.032 4.902 22 laps

Source: Planet-F1