Sunday, September 23, 2012

Alonso happy but wants improvements for Suzuka

Formula One championship leader Fernando Alonso was happy with his third-place finish at the Singapore Grand Prix on Sunday despite seeing his advantage cut to 29 points over race winner Sebastian Vettel

Vettel inherited the race lead from pole sitter Lewis Hamilton after the Briton retired with a gearbox failure and the German held off the other McLaren of Jenson Button and Alonso's Ferrari to reignite his hopes of a third straight title.

Alonso has made a habit of converting poor qualifying positions into big points this season to forge ahead of the field and the double world champion was able to draw on his experience to achieve another strong result in Singapore.

"It was the best I could hope for as we were not very competitive this weekend in terms of pace," Alonso told reporters after recording his 81st podium in Formula One, putting him third on the all-time list in that category.

"But we qualified well, which was the best part of the weekend. If you are stuck at the rear of the race then you have a lot of problems," he added.

"It was a very positive weekend. We only lost points to one of our major contenders which is good considering we are not quick enough."

Looking ahead to the Japanese Grand Prix in Suzuka on October 7, Alonso is hoping for an improved performance in qualifying to stay ahead of his rivals with just six rounds remaining in the 20-race season.

"It's a little bit difficult to predict as it has been a year of ups and downs for all the teams. Here we (Ferrari) could only qualify fifth and 13th which is not what we are hoping for," he said.

"We need to do better at Suzuka, it is similar to Silverstone where we did well, so we're hoping for an improved performance."


Alonso's team mate Felipe Massa continues to be the subject of speculation concerning his future at the Italian team and the Brazilian had an eventful race, dropping from 13th to last on the first lap before fighting back to finish eighth.

His battle with fellow Brazilian Bruno Senna after the second safety car restart was a highlight of the race but Massa was unhappy with his compatriot, who almost pushed him into the barriers at Turn 13.

"I think that was really not nice because I was already alongside and he pushed over to my car and wedged me into the wall," Massa said.

"Fortunately nothing happened to my car and I'm a little bit more calm now."

Massa was forced to pit on the first lap but a patient drive enabled him to score valuable points in his quest to hold on to his seat.

"It was a puncture because someone touched me," Massa added. "It's unfortunate but the car today was fantastic.

"I was so happy with the car and the pace and how I was driving today. Even starting 13th, it was a race where we could have finished in the top five with both cars.

"I'm happy with my race but not with what happened at the first corner, but it's true that starting near the back it's more likely this can happen."

Source: Reuters Sports

Räikkönen confirms: The liberties Lotus give is an important factor

Kimi Räikkönen confirmed that he enjoys working in Lotus-team partly because the team gives him certain liberties

Räikkönen hasn't had as many sponsor-duties in Lotus as the other top teams demand from their drivers.

- I have been satisfied with what we have done with this team. It's a good place for me to work, I get quite a lot of liberties etc. That's why I have liked it here, Räikkönen told MTV3 in Singapore.

Räikkönen will continue in Lotus next season also. According to Kimi it isn't up to money to continue in F1 anymore.

- A lot of things are significant. Of course you should get paid for the work you do. But this isn't such a luxury-thing that one is here only for the money. Of course there are many different things in contracts and there's so much more in F1 than just driving, Kimi said.

Räikkönen hasn't yet made any long-term plans for his F1-career.

- I don't have any reason to decide today what I'm going to do in two or three years time. I drive as long as it feels good. If it doesn't feel good when I wake up tomorrow, then I don't have to come here. I can for example go home. I decide myself what I do. I'm sure there are drivers who impose themself here if someone doesn't feel like driving anymore, Räikkönen states.

Source: MTV3
Courtesy: Nicole

Singapore GP: Vettel Wins, Hamilton Retires

Sebastian Vettel was handed the win in a timed Singapore GP and second in the Championship when Lewis Hamilton's gearbox failed

Leading from pole position, Hamilton held a steady 1.5 to 2 second advantage over Vettel through the first round of pit stops.
Appearing to be comfortably maintain his lead, the McLaren suddenly slowed down on lap 23, forcing Hamilton to park it. The Brit's race engineer confirming it was a "gearbox failure" and that the team already knew about it.
Hamilton's demise put Vettel up into P1 with the Red Bull racer holding a three second advantage over Jenson Button while Pastor Maldonado and Fernando Alonso raced for the final podium position.
The Safety Car spiced things up when on lap 33 Narain Karthikeyan put his HRT into the wall.
The drivers dived into the pits with Alonso winning his battle against Maldonado to move up to third while the Williams driver came out a dismal P10. A lap later, while behind the Safety Car, Maldonado was told he had a hydraulic problem and must retire. He did.
Restarting on lap 39 it wasn't long before the race was again behind the Safety Car as Michael Schumacher slammed into the back of Jean-Eric Vergne as the Toro Rosso and Sergio Perez braked for the corner.
Bunched up again the race resumed on lap 43 with Vettel staying ahead of Button and Alonso. The 2011 Singapore GP winner slowly begun to etch out a lead over Button who in turn pulled away from Alonso.
The trio maintained position as they raced to the finish line, which was determined by the two hour mark instead of the number of laps, with Vettel taking his second Singapore victory by 8.3s over Button. Alonso was a further six seconds back.
Paul di Resta secured his best-ever result ahead of Nico Rosberg and Kimi Raikkonen.

01. Vettel Red Bull-Renault 2h00:26.144
02. Button McLaren-Mercedes + 8.959
03. Alonso Ferrari + 15.227
04. Di Resta Force India-Mercedes + 19.063
05. Rosberg Mercedes + 34.759
06. Raikkonen Lotus-Renault + 35.700
07. Grosjean Lotus-Renault + 36.600
08. Massa Ferrari + 42.800
09. Ricciardo Toro Rosso-Ferrari + 45.800
10. Webber Red Bull-Renault + 47.100
11. Perez Sauber-Ferrari + 50.600
12. Glock Marussia-Cosworth + 1 lap
13. Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari + 1 lap
14. Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes + 1 lap
15. Pic Marussia-Cosworth + 1 lap
16. Kovalainen Caterham-Renault + 1 lap
17. De la Rosa HRT-Cosworth + 1 lap
18. Senna Williams-Renault + 2 laps
19. Petrov Caterham-Renault + 2 laps

Did Not Finish
Vergne Toro Rosso-Ferrari 41
Schumacher Mercedes 41
Maldonado Williams-Renault 41
Karthikeyan HRT-Cosworth 33
Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 25

Source: Planet-F1

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Video: BBC Singapore GP - Lewis Hamilton 'really happy' with pole

McLaren's Lewis Hamilton says he is "really happy" to continue his recent strong qualifying form by claiming pole position for the Singapore Grand Prix.

The result is Hamilton's third pole in the last four races, while his team-mate Jenson Button ended the session in fourth place on the grid.

Button admits he has struggled to put together a fast lap so far at the Marina Bay track, but hopes for better in Sunday's race.


Qualifying: Hamilton Secures Singapore Pole

Lewis Hamilton claimed a dominant pole position in Singapore where he'll be joined by Pastor Maldonado on the front row of the grid

Despite Sebastian Vettel having been quickest in all three practice sessions, the German was not able to make it count when it mattered most. He'll be joined on the second row by Jenson Button while Fernando Alonso and Paul di Resta make up the third row ahead of Mark Webber and Romain Grosjean.

Qualifying Report
It was dry in Singapore with an ambient temperature of 28C and the track at 30C with very high humidity. Teams all strapped on the Soft (prime) tyre to do multiple laps.
Romain Grosjean set the fastest early time with a 1:50.733, edged down by Pastor Maldonado with a 1:49.976, before Fernando Alonso took over at the top with a 1:49.511. Maldonado hadn't finished, though, and came back with a 1:49.494.
Many of the drivers were finding the edge of adhesion, Perez missed the chicane at Turn 10, Nico Rosberg rallycrossed across the kerbs at Turn 10, Raikkonen went on into the escape road at Turn 7, Lewis Hamilton tried to set a fast lap but locked up the fronts and missed Turn 1. Bruno Senna was flirting with the barrier again after stopping in practice having hit it yesterday.
Nico Rosberg edged the top time down to 1:49.463, Alonso reduced it to 1:49.391. When Lewis Hamilton finally got a clear lap in it was amazingly quick, a 1:48.285 with Jenson Button slotting into P2 behind.
Mark Webber took P2 and then Sebastian Vettel took P2 off him, falling short of Hamilton's time by just 0.002 of a second. The Lotus team's lack of confidence of getting out of Q1 was evidenced by their early switch to the red-walled Super Soft tyres that had been 1.5 seconds quicker in practice
This took Raikkonen to the P1 time of 1:48.169, then succeeded by DiResta and Grosjean. Running into the final three minutes the new teams occupied the bottom five places but with the star of Monza close to the danger zone. 17.Perez, 18,Petrov, 19.Vergne, 20. Kovalainen.
Perez jumped up to P7, and when the perennial Q1 drop-out Jean-Eric Vergne elevated himself to P15 it was Kamui Kobayashi - troubled with oversteer - who was left in P18. He couldn't improve.
So out went: 18.Kobayashi, 19.Petrov, 20.Kovalainen, 21.Glock, 22.Pic, 23.Karthikeyan, 24.De la Rosa.
Petrov had beaten Kovalainen with his hastily rebuilt Caterham - severely mangled in FP3 - and Narain Karthikyean had outqualified Pedro de la Rosa by almost a second. What was most interesting, though, was the progress of the Marussia team, with Timo Glock now just two tenths behind the Caterham of Heikki Kovalainen.
Breathing slightly easier in the pitlane was Ferrari boss Stefano Domenicali, having seen Felipe Massa's time slide to P16.
Qualifying 2
With reports that the stewards were looking at impeding from Timo Glock and Mark Webber, the green light came on again for Q2.
Romain Grosjean was out early and dealt what looked like a hefty blow to the wall at Turn 14. He was able to return to the pits. Team-mate Raikkonen was soon on the board with a 1:48.261, followed by Alonso with a 1:48.058.
This was all put into perspective by a masterful lap from Sebastian Vettel, a 1:46.791 - and yes, still on the same tyres. If that wasn't impressive enough, Hamilton went even quicker with a 1:46.665.
Bruno Senns ended his involvement in Q2 with a hefty whack of the barrier with his familiar right rear wheel but was able to limp back to the pits to retire from the session. Grosjean had been able to continue, though.
As each timed session developed, the track rubbered in, but with much bigger gaps between the front runners than almost any qualifying session this year. Running into the last four minutes the danger positions were: 7.Rosberg, 8.Maldonado, 9.Massa, 10.DiResta, 11.Schumacher, 12.Hulkenberg, 13.Perez, 14.Ricciardo, 15.Vergne, 16.Grosjean (no time), 17.Senna (stopped)
Grosjean produced a wild ride to claim P3, Paul Di Resta put his Force India into P4, Nico Hulkenberg managed P6, Mark Webber made himself safe in P3, Nico Rosberg got his Mercedes into P7, Fernando Alonso (who had slipped down to P10) climbed back up to P5 but team-mate Felipe Massa was P11 and out. Raikkonen then topok over P11.
In the dying moments of the session Pastor Maldonado jumped to P5 and Michael Schumacher squeezed into the top ten in P9.
So out went: 11.Hulkenberg, 12.Raikkonen, 13.Massa, 14.Perez, 15.Ricciardo, 16.Vergne, 17.Senna
Hulkenberg was aggrieved to be sent out when he was by the Force India team, losing tyre temperature as he dodged out of the way of cars on hot laps. Unusually, Raikkonen was 0.7 slower and Massa was 0.8 slower than their respective team-mates.
Qualifying 3
Another anti-climactic session with the two Mercedes cars going out early on a set of scrubbed soft tyres and then coming back into the pits, so they could start from P9 and P10.
Mark Webber started a lap but abandoned it and came back in. That left just Button, Hamilton and Vettel on track to put in times. Jenson Button took P1 with a 1:47.238, this was anihilated by Hamilton with a 1:46.362. Surprisingly Vettel could only manage P3.
These three times were the only ones to be registered with just one minute left of the session to go. Grosjean then went P4, an even wilder ride than Q2 with the Lotus surviving some hairy moments over the kerbs and avoiding the barriers. A stellar lap from Pastor Maldonado put him P2. Alonso grabbed P3, Webber was a long way short of his team-mate in P5 but Vettel himself could only manage P3 behind Maldonado.
Would Button make it an all-McLaren front row? No. Jenson could only manage P4 in front of Alonso but behind Vettel. Christian Horner put the lack of pace down to poor timing of the outlaps. The Singapore Grand Prix has been won by the polesitter for the last three years, but in every one of those there has been a Safety Car period. Hamilton looks strong for the race tomorrow, providing there isn't too much thermal degradation of the super soft tyres in the first stint.
01. Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1m46.362
02. Pastor Maldonado Williams-Renault 1m46.804 + 0.442
03. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1m46.905 + 0.543
04. Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1m46.939 + 0.577
05. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1m47.216 + 0.854
06. Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1m47.241 + 0.879
07. Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1m47.475 + 1.113
08. Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1m47.788 + 1.426
09. Michael Schumacher Mercedes no time
10. Nico Rosberg Mercedes no time
11. Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 1m47.975 + 1.310
12. Kimi Raikkonen Lotus-Renault 1m48.261 + 1.596
13. Felipe Massa Ferrari 1m48.344 + 1.679
14. Sergio Perez Sauber-Ferrari 1m48.505 + 1.840
15. Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m48.774 + 2.109
16. Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m48.849 + 2.184
17. Bruno Senna Williams-Renault no time
18. Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1m49.933 + 2.245
19. Vitaly Petrov Caterham-Renault 1m50.846 + 3.158
20. Heikki Kovalainen Caterham-Renault 1m51.137 + 3.449
21. Timo Glock Marussia-Cosworth 1m51.370 + 3.682
22. Charles Pic Marussia-Cosworth 1m51.762 + 4.074
23. Narain Karthikeyan HRT-Cosworth 1m52.372 + 4.684
24. Pedro de la Rosa HRT-Cosworth 1m53.355 + 5.667

Source: Planet-F1

Räikkönen is an ideal teacher to Grosjean in theory

It's soon 9 o'clock in the evening... Romain Grosjean walks to the interview-corner smiling politely and calm as a lamb.

All over-aggressivity which has stamped the youngster's driving from time to time seems to have fallen off.

Grosjean flew to Singapore with his new trainer Benoit Camparque. Camparque is an ex Europe Champion in judo and an Olympic sportsman, who trained Teddy Riner in London when he became the gold medalist in boxing.

Grosjean met the judo-stars in London and that's where he got the idea of co-operation.

Then how did Grosjean end up with judo-teachings - his weakness is certainly not avoiding battles?

– I wanted to change certain things and now I have a new person with me. It's great when the trainer has know-how from the top level and he himself has been a representative sportsman. I don't think that a certain fighting streak is bad. If you are too aggressive in judo, then you also get out, Grosjean justifies.

Knowledge from Alonso and Räikkönen

On Sunday the 26-year old Frenchman will drive his career's 20th GP. He drove 7 of his races with Fernando Alonso and 12 so far with Kimi Räikkönen.

Which one has changed more ever since you began - you as a driver or as a teammate when comparing Alonso to Räikkönen?

– I would say that we have both changed a lot. I myself am now more mature as a driver and as a person than I was three years ago. Kimi on the other hand is very different from Fernando - just as a Finn is different from a Spaniard.

– They have different characters, but what is common for both of them is how hard they work during the whole GP-weekend. They only concentrate on the race, they always look for improvements in the car and in their own driving and they never give up at any point, Grosjean sums up.

Did you have time to learn something from Alonso during your short time together?

– I learned some stuff. I saw the way he worked, although it wasn't his best time. For me it was good to have such a great champion as a teammate.

An enviable ability to finish the race

Have you learned more from Räikkönen?

– I have learned different stuff. One has to remember that I am now three years older and also more experienced.

– The most important lesson that I have learned as Kimi's teammate is his spectacular ability to always finish with points. He knows how to avoid the hassle and he always brings the car to the finishing line. That's an example for everybody, Grosjean emphasizes.

Alonso critisized after Belgium how certain young F1-drivers still follow the GP2-culture.

It crashes every now and then in GP2-races. Is the GP2-mentality Grosjean's, Pastor Maldonado's, Sergio Perez's and Bruno Senna's mutual problem?

– We are all different. When it comes to me the errors look more blatant since I have been fighting in the top. There is a lot at stake in the top, an immense amount of pressure and hence each mistake grows bigger than it is.

– You have maybe a tenth of a second to do the right or wrong decision. Life becomes more difficult when you are up against F1-champions who have a lot of experience. The battles in the back aren't seen the same way, Grosjean justifies.

France is expecting a new winner

How tough was it to be only a spectator in Monza GP due to your ban?

– It really wasn't the most exciting race from my point of view. However it was good to be on the pitwall with the radio and listen to everything Kimi did during the whole weekend. My team learned a lot from that. I hope that what we have thought about in theory, will also help us in the future and that it also works in practice.

What kind of an impact did Grosjean's three podiums have on the F1-interest in France?

– Of course good results are good for France, but winning would mean really much. It has been a long time since a Frenchman won a GP-race. I believe that fans have again started to like F1. If I would get a victory for their pleasure, then I would be very proud of it.

Grosjean eagerly admits, that 4-time WDC Alain Prost is always brought up first when a Frenchman talks about F1.

Turun Sanomat, Singapore



Romain Grosjean

Born 17.4.1986 in Genova, Switzerland

Nationality: French

Wife: Marion Jolles

Teams: Renault 2009 and Lotus 2012

GP2-champion 2011

19 GPs, 3 podiums, 76 points. 

Courtesy: Nicole

Räikkönen reveals his Lotus-option

Kimi Räikkönen confirmed in MTV3:s interview in Singapore, that he and Lotus have an option when it comes to the next season

However the option hasn't yet been used and that's why Räikkönen doesn't want to talk about next season.

- The team and I have an option. Before they are signed you never know what is going to happen. We have seen earlier in F1, sadly, that even though you have a contract it doesn't mean that you would drive somewhere, Räikkönen told to MTV3 referring to how Ferrari kicked him out despite his contract.

According to information MTV3 has, Räikkönen's and Lotus-team's options expire at the end of September. According to inside sources the relationship is good on both sides and it's probable that Räikkönen continues in Lotus.

- I don't have any reason to do anything else, Räikkönen assures about his continuance in F1.

Räikkönen emphasizes that the information concerning him switching teams, spread by the media, are not coming from himself.

- After every race they seem to know terribly well where everyone is going to drive. According to them things change every second day, Räikkönen said about the rumour mill on the paddock.

Source: MTV3
Courtesy: Nicole

Practice Three: Vettel secure the hat-trick

Sebastian Vettel edged Lewis Hamilton in final practice, a session that saw several drivers, including Sergio Perez, Mark Webber and Vitaly Petrov, smack the barriers

With the track temperature sitting at 33'C, Practice Three got underway with Kamui Kobayashi getting the ball rolling as he crossed the line with a 1:56.339 before losing out to his team-mate Sergio Perez, who was over three seconds quicker.
The runs from the Sauber drivers sparked a flurry of activity with Kimi Raikkonen and Nico Hulkenberg both having a turn at the front while there were problems for Fernando Alonso. The Spaniard missed out on the early running as his Ferrari are up on jacks as his team worked on the left side of the car.
Perez was the first to brush the barriers, hitting them with rear right of his Sauber. The Mexican driver - rather tentatively - headed back into the pits have damaged the car's wishbone.
Lewis Hamilton hit the front only to lose out to his team-mate Jenson Button. This started a brief McLaren battle with the duo trading blows before Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel got involved.
Timo Glock's practice came to a halt just before the halfway mark as stopped his Marussia down a slip road after complaining that his throttle was sticking.
Finally out on track Alonso shot to the top of the timesheets before he was overhauled by Sebastian Vettel, the first driver into the 1:49s. All times to date had been set on the harder of the two Pirelli compounds, the softs.
Bruno Senna was the first driver out on the super soft tyres and improved to second, 1.1s better than his previous best in what was a clear indication of the different in speed between the two tyres. Problems for Webber, who smacked the wall, causing a right rear puncture.
No such problems for Vettel, who put the super softs on for the final ten minutes and bettered his P1 time by 1.6s! Alonso and Massa moved up behind the German as they started their super soft tyres, prompting others to venture out on the red-branded tyres for the final few minutes of FP3.
Vitaly Petrov brought the session to a premature end as he crashed at the final corner, hitting the barrier not once but twice before his Caterham came to a halt in the pit lane entrance forcing race control to throw the red flags with two minutes remaining.
The drivers headed back into the pits, avoiding Petrov's car, and the clock counted down with Vettel assured of a third P1.
1 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull 1:47.947 15 laps
2 Lewis Hamilton McLaren 1:48.272 0.325 15 laps
3 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1:48.623 0.676 11 laps
4 Nico Hulkenberg Force India 1:48.859 0.912 16 laps
5 Kimi Raikkonen Lotus 1:48.865 0.918 17 laps
6 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1:49.458 1.511 13 laps
7 Paul di Resta Force India 1:49.684 1.737 15 laps
8 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1:49.699 1.752 16 laps
9 Bruno Senna Williams 1:49.715 1.768 14 laps
10 Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1:49.981 2.034 14 laps
11 Mark Webber Red Bull 1:50.110 2.163 12 laps
12 Jenson Button McLaren 1:50.524 2.577 10 laps
13 Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso 1:50.664 2.717 16 laps
14 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber 1:50.777 2.830 15 laps
15 Romain Grosjean Lotus 1:50.840 2.893 15 laps
16 Pastor Maldonado Williams 1:51.012 3.065 15 laps
17 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso 1:51.059 3.112 17 laps
18 Sergio Perez Sauber 1:51.272 3.325 10 laps
19 Charles Pic Marussia 1:52.290 4.343 16 laps
20 Vitaly Petrov Caterham 1:53.781 5.834 12 laps
21 Heikki Kovalainen Caterham 1:54.326 6.379 14 laps
22 Narain Karthikeyan HRT 1:54.421 6.474 14 laps
23 Timo Glock Marussia 1:54.630 6.683 9 laps
24 Pedro de la Rosa HRT 1:54.875 6.928 14 laps

Source: Planet-F1

Friday, September 21, 2012

Kimi's lacking grip, downforce, pace

Kimi Räikkönen fears the lack of grip and ultimately the lack of pace shown in Singapore on Friday could hurt his title challenge if Lotus can't find a solution

Having worked his way up to third in the Drivers' standings, the 2007 World Champ is just 38 points behind Fernando Alonso and has a good chance at winning his second title.
But not if he struggles like he did on Friday.
The Lotus driver finished Friday night's action down in 12th place, over two seconds down on Sebastian Vettel's P1 time and revealed that he was lacking grip, downforce and basically speed.
"It was not the easiest day, we don't have enough grip for some reason," Raikkonen said.
"I guess we're lacking downforce. And it seems to be a bit difficult, at least today. It's just not quick. Maybe we are not improving as the others [are].
"The same issues are there on both tyres. When you put new tyres it always feels better for the beginning. I think we can improve for tomorrow, but we're not going to find unfortunately two seconds.
"Usually we improve on Saturday time wise, but like I said we can't catch up two seconds from today to the front, and they will improve also.
"It just shows that we are not as fast as we should be. Hopefully we can find something, and be a bit more happy than we are at the moment."
Put to him that his E20 was better when running heavy fuel loads, Raikkonen said: "I don't know. It felt okay at the beginning, and the rear went away."
The Finn now fears that should Friday's lack of pace continue, it could put a serious dent in his title challenge.
"If we keep doing like this were not going to have any chance, but we have to try to improve. There's still quite a few races left, so hopefully we can be stronger than today."

Source: Planet-F1

Practice Two: Two From Two For Vettel In Singapore

Seb Vettel continued his great form in Singapore as he set the pace in Prac Two, which was red flagged when Bruno Senna brushed the wall, breaking his suspension

The track temperature was down to 28'C as Practice Two got underway on a dry Marina Bay circuit. Sergio Perez got the ball rolling with a 1:54.830 but it wasn't long before he was dropped well down the order as the drivers were quickly down to business with Paul di Resta hitting the front.
Jenson Button was the next top lead the way before Lewis Hamilton overhauled Button with a 1:50.561. Sebastian Vettel edged ahead of the two McLarens despite complaining of front end braking instability. The defending Singapore Champ was 0.064s quicker than Hamilton.
There was a spin for Vitaly Petrov, a moment for Felipe Massa and some kerb riding from Hamilton, all adding to the excitement of Formula One's only flood-lit grand prix.
Hamilton, having previously been blocked by the HRT of Narain Karthikeyan, came back to retake the P1 slot by four-tenths ahead of Vettel while Fernando Alonso improved to third place.
Bruno Senna took the dubious honour of being the first driver to brush one of the walls surrounding the street circuit just after Turn 19 and in doing so appeared to break his left suspension. His Williams came to a halt in the middle of the track bringing out the yellow flags as the marshals pushed his car to safety. But with no escape road or crane near by the red flags were eventually waved.
The session resumed five minutes later with Felipe Massa taking the P1 slot before losing out to Hamilton, who was on the super soft tyres. He was dropped as Mark Webber went a tenth quicker despite using the soft tyres before Felipe Massa, Button and then Vettel all had a turn at the top.
But it was Vettel who finished there as he made it two from two for Friday, edging Button by three-tenths while Alonso was third. Kobayashi had a late spin.
01 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull 1:48.340 27 laps
02 Jenson Button McLaren 1:48.651 0.311 24 laps
03 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1:48.896 0.556 26 laps
04 Mark Webber Red Bull 1:48.964 0.624 26 laps
05 Lewis Hamilton McLaren 1:49.086 0.746 28 laps
06 Paul di Resta Force India 1:49.300 0.960 30 laps
07 Nico Hulkenberg Force India 1:49.339 0.999 32 laps
08 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1:49.790 1.450 32 laps
09 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1:50.039 1.699 28 laps
10 Romain Grosjean Lotus 1:50.161 1.821 23 laps
11 Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1:50.263 1.923 23 laps
12 Kimi Raikkonen Lotus 1:50.345 2.005 24 laps
13 Pastor Maldonado Williams 1:50.636 2.296 32 laps
14 Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso 1:50.791 2.451 26 laps
15 Sergio Perez Sauber 1:51.122 2.782 28 laps
16 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber 1:51.450 3.110 21 laps
17 Bruno Senna Williams 1:51.452 3.112 11 laps
18 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso 1:52.009 3.669 31 laps
19 Timo Glock Marussia 1:52.218 3.878 29 laps
20 Heikki Kovalainen Caterham 1:52.576 4.236 27 laps
21 Charles Pic Marussia 1:52.863 4.523 27 laps
22 Vitaly Petrov Caterham 1:52.936 4.596 25 laps
23 Pedro de la Rosa HRT 1:54.448 6.108 25 laps
24 Narain Karthikeyan HRT 1:54.514 6.174 30 laps

Source: Planet-F1

Practice One: Vettel leads title rivals

Reigning World Champ Sebastian Vettel set the pace in a damp first practice in Singapore, edging the McLaren of Lewis Hamilton by 0.049s

With the track very wet in some places and completely dry in others after an earlier rain shower, Practice One got underway with a tentative 2:24.476 for Timo Glock.
With thirty minutes gone only four drivers had set times with Jean-Eric Vergne in the P1 slot with a 2:04.866, which put him two-tenths up on Romain Grosjean, who is back in his Lotus having served his one-race ban.
Nico Hulkenberg was the next to lead the way before he was dropped by Fernando Alonso who clocked a 2:01.573 as the sun set over the Marina Bay circuit and the lights begun to take effect. He lost out to Kamui Kobayashi, who was the first driver into the 1:50s as he posted a 1:58.550.
Halfway through the session the top three were Kobayashi - down to a 1:54.017 - Nico Rosberg and Michael Schumacher, however, only 14 drivers had set times with Sebastian Vettel and the two McLarens not amongst those who had.
Rosberg hit the front with a 1:53.416 as his team-mate joined the list of those riding the kerbs. The kerbs have had some work done to them since last season when several came loose during the course of the weekend.
Kimi Raikkonen overhauled Rosberg with a 1:53.268 as Felipe Massa and Lewis Hamilton finally made their mark on the timesheets with 35 minutes remaining. They went ninth and 15th on their first flying laps.
Sergio Perez had a turn at the top as did Sebastian Vettel, Hulkenberg, Pastor Maldonado, Vettel again and Hamilton. The McLaren driver, who won the 2009 Singapore GP, lowered the benchmark to a 1:51.172.
As the clock counted down - and the chance of rain this session decreased - Vettel hit the front and held onto the position through the final 20 minutes. Hamilton came the closest to his time, 0.049s adrift, while a late charge from Button put him third. He was, however, still 0.893s down with Alonso the only other driver to get within a second of Vettel's best.
01 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull 1:50.566 24 laps
02 Lewis Hamilton McLaren 1:50.615 0.049 15 laps
03 Jenson Button McLaren 1:51.459 0.893 17 laps
04 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1:51.525 0.959 20 laps
05 Pastor Maldonado Williams 1:51.576 1.010 20 laps
06 Mark Webber Red Bull 1:51.655 1.089 19 laps
07 Nico Hulkenberg Force India 1:51.658 1.092 24 laps
08 Paul di Resta Force India 1:51.943 1.377 21 laps
09 Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso 1:52.275 1.709 24 laps
10 Sergio Perez Sauber 1:52.296 1.730 19 laps
11 Bruno Senna Williams 1:52.629 2.063 25 laps
12 Kimi Raikkonen Lotus 1:52.716 2.150 16 laps
13 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber 1:52.839 2.273 23 laps
14 Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1:52.986 2.420 21 laps
15 Romain Grosjean Lotus 1:53.028 2.462 20 laps
16 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1:53.080 2.514 17 laps
17 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso 1:53.189 2.623 25 laps
18 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1:53.227 2.661 26 laps
19 Timo Glock Marussia 1:54.908 4.342 20 laps
20 Heikki Kovalainen Caterham 1:55.091 4.525 16 laps
21 Charles Pic Marussia 1:55.335 4.769 22 laps
22 Vitaly Petrov Caterham 1:55.760 5.194 22 laps
23 Pedro de la Rosa HRT 1:56.656 6.090 21 laps
24 Ma Qing Hua HRT 1:58.053 7.487 20 laps

Source: Planet-F1

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Kimi Räikkönen's jester-side is revealed

The new book "Duudsons - 100 ways to save yourself from boredom" also reveals the playful side of Kimi Räikkönen

The Scandinavian daredevils have already become worldfamous and they have become immensly popular in USA, Asia, Europe as well as in Finland also. Duudsons also want to help other small jesters to endure the boring basic weekday and are hence publishing 100 tricks to get some buzz in life.

They have also included own experiences and the coolness of the daredevils has also infected other known Finns. They tell in the book about the event when they visited Kimi Räikkönen's luxurious yacht in Monaco. Back then Kimi's agent had to endure tough times both from his protegé as from his buddies also. 

– When we were in Kimi's yacht in Monaco we found his agent sleeping on the couch. Kimi revealed totally surprising artistic talents when he secretly filled his agent by drawing the most amazing drawings with a pen. Of course we helped him out the best we could. We didn't hold back our creativity, Duudson's revealead.

Duudson's had a party on Kimi's boat year 2011, when they participated in the Gumball-rally. Back then one stage of the rally was in Monaco at the same time as the F1-race.

Source: MTV3
Courtesy: Nicole

All eyes on Hamilton in Singapore

The first practice of the 2012 Formula 1 Singapore Grand Prix is just two days away but even with all 24 drivers in town, the world's media is interested in mainly on one man - Lewis Hamilton.

In recent weeks, Hamilton's off-track affairs have dominated headlines after he admitted his future was undecided at long-term employer McLaren, and a reported cooling of relations with team-mate Jenson Button.

Rumour has it that Hamilton could be leaving McLaren at the end of the season and moving to Mercedes.

During an interview with Channel NewsAsia, both Hamilton and McLaren declined to comment on this issue.

But the 27-year-old opened up when he spoke about Singapore and the unique and challenging conditions the Singapore Grand Prix has to offer.

"It is definitely not one of the easiest places. It is still one of the hardest places to overtake," said Hamilton, who won the Singapore Grand Prix in 2009. 

He said: "You have one straight. We have the drag reduction system, but still. I tried overtaking last year or whenever it was and the guy took me out, so it's definitely not easy to overtake here.

"But it's an incredible circuit and massively demanding. But starting as high up as possible towards the front will ensure a much easier race."

Hamilton arrived in Singapore in top condition after winning two of the last three Grand Prix races.

He is optimistic and confident, knowing a win will narrow the current 37-point lead Ferrari's Fernando Alonso has at the top of the driver's standings.

"Yeah, yeah we're very, very happy with how the development is going. The performance is improving through the most important part of the year, which is the second half of the year. So it's getting pretty intense and the competition is very, very close. But they're doing a great job," said the 2008 world champion.

Source: CNA