Tag Archives: Lewis Hamilton

#RunIntoOrbit and the Gentle F1 blog

28 Jan

Currently, as it stands I have run 27km of my run into orbit challenge, that’s about 16 miles or so, which is pretty awesome in my book!

I’ve only had to repeat one week of my training plan because I was a bit ill, but at least it means I’m not hurting myself like I was before! I’ve also learnt that by SLOWING DOWN you can run a lot further, yeah I’m not sprinting but it’s still running!!

Onto a different note, easing you in gently, the first F1 test of the season has just finished in Jerez in Spain, and far from any major surprises as it could be. The redbulls, Lotus and Ferrari were all fast, whilst the drama and attention that Lewis Hamilton died away quite quickly after he did a typical Mercedes driver stunt of parking badly. Granted it wasn’t his ego that took up 6 car parking spaces, but a rear break pressure failure that cases him to skid across the gravel into a tyre wall.

Not much else could be said that happened, Paul DiResta is still a lonely meme theme at Force India and the new drivers at Marussia are impressing as was to be expected, they both did well in GP2.

A shame for Davide Valsecchi who couldn’t find a seat in F1 even after winning its feeder series. Not too much of a surprise though, as although he seemed to be a lovely guy, he had a washboard personality….

Our beloved DLR managed to gain a seat in a Ferrari as well, it’s just a shame that it lasted but a few laps before the gearbox blew. A sign to come perhaps? Or not, at least, Fernando Alonso wasn’t worried enough to tweet positive things about it to hide his underlying fear!!

My bet for this year? Why, Mark Webber to win the WDC. Obviously. Hamilton to only make a second place and for Perez to almost win the championship. Just for giggles.

I won’t get started on livarys. McLaren=chrome….. RBR has PURPLE ON IT and the Sauber looks alright now. Yep I think that sums it up!!!

Today: The F1 Glamour

26 May

Boats, Girls, Legs up to the ears of the tallest of the drivers and some motor racing.

It must be the Monaco race!

Although the race is not without its controversies, Currently we have Pastor Maldonado with a 10 place grid drop for “loosing the car and accidentally driving into Sergio Perez” [ie, being a hot headed tit and driving like a moron] and we have Michael Schumacher, who after “Having Bruno Senna drive too slowly and cause a crash” [ie, not being aware of his surroundings, showing his age really] has a 5 place grid drop.

After taking pole initially for the race, this is a massive kick in the venires for the German, who up until this race, has had a piss poor return to the sport.

This promotes my personal favourite driver [he used to drive a green car, I was young ok?] Mark Webber to pole position. Great for my fantasy league as I have predicted him for the race win. Miracles do happen.

Felipe Massa has had a better time of it this weekend as well, making into the top 10 shootout of Q3 for the first time this season, is it enough to improve Ferrari’s no-tolerance approach to losing? Unlikely. However it does put the Brazilian’s confidence through the roof again, which has been lacking since his unfortunate accident in Hungary in 2009. I’ve personally missed it, he’s too much of a lovable cuddly bear to leave F1. He also took no shit from Lewis Hamilton, something which he will forever have my respect for.

There is something a fair bit odd about this year compared to last year. The top teams (McLaren, Ferrari and RedBull) haven’t dominated in the way that usually occurs, infact, it’s been so topsy turvey that nobody knows what’s going on, the Pirelli guys are just smiling and being smug in their chemistry labs!

McLaren seemed to have solved Jenson Buttons “lack of rear grip”, however that could just be because he was going so slowly compared to the rest, that he can’t tell whether he is going backwards or not -he starts 13th tomorrow. Lewis Hamilton had an all-round OK qualifying – he will start the race in 3rd tomorrow.

RedBull have had a tale of two halves again, however, unlike previous weeks where it has been Sebastian Vettel taking the limelight, it’s Mark Webber who will take the pole position grid slot, whilst Sebastian will start from 10th, after the team decided to save tyres.

Lotus, now here is a team who are improving, and are starting to light a fire under the top teams, they regularly do better than Ferrari, and are a clear leader of the mid-field teams… Meaning tomorrow’s race is going to be EPIC.

Today: So that was awkward

12 May

So… my previous post alluded to us all awaiting to what would happen to Lewis Hamilton.

Seems the poor little racing driver has to start from the back of the grid, giving Williams-Renault their first pole position since 1997.

Yes i know Hulkenburg got pole in Interlagos in 2010.

People seem up in arms about it all, saying stuff like:

“If it wasn’t Lewis Hamilton it would only be a 5-place grid drop”

“This always happens to Lewis!”

“wa wa wa wa wa”

Notice how little I care, mainly because it isn’t always him. It is always just a bigger deal when it happens to a highly regarded racing driver.

ALSO. it wasn’t even LH who was at fault, it was his team. However how best do you punish a racing team? You pick on where they get there results. the driver….

Personally, I think the penalty is correct. The team didn’t follow the rules, even if it was an accident. He could have been disqualified from racing, so he definately didn’t get the worst possible outcome.

So, Mclaren fans, get over it. It’s not like he can’t race.

Today: An unexpected result

12 May

Watching Qualifying for the Formula One today, I was expecting a Redbull pole with Ferrari yet again under performing whilst only one of the Mercedes cars made an impact.

So… I was right… but totally wrong.

I say I’m right because in all intense and purposes, if these scenarios were reversed then I would be right.

Redbull didn’t get pole and in a strange event, Sebastian Vettel didn’t even try and be last to cross the line with the fastest lap. settling for a more conservative approach, a better result that my favourite driver however, Mark Webber, who falsely assumed his safety in Q2, and watched as his time was smashed and smashed again. Finally starting in P12.

Mclaren were a team of 2 halves, whilst Lewis Hamilton topped each of the qualifying sessions, Jenson Button had a fluke change of heart towards his car, suffering understeer through out. Something the FOM thought would be useful to mention in every session. Not. Pole for Lewis Hamilton, 0.5 seconds ahead of his nearest rival and 11th for Jenson Button who apparently had an understeer problem…

Ferrari were expected to just be on the track. Nobody expected anything, and Felipe Massa delivered that prediction, quite successfully by starting in 17th. Fernando Alonso seems to have received black magic from his home crowd and starts 3rd…

The rest of the field is quite predictable with 2 exceptions, Williams were again a story of 2 halves where Bruno Senna qualified 18 after encountering alot of traffic and spinning on his final flying lap, parking up in the gravel, Pastor Maldonado however parked his car on the front row with Lewis Hamilton. Good luck Pastor, if you do go backwards at the start please don’t do a Daniel Ricciardo.

Sauber hit it good as well with both cars in the top 10, showing good pace for the race!

i’m excited for the race, we will have to see why Lewis Hamilton had to stop on track, as if it is something like say… a gearbox change as the rumours around the track are saying, he won’t start on Pole! Maybe Maldonado won’t go backwards? Hopefully Mark Webber will just go forwards.

Now you’ll have to excuse me, I’m just watching the rest of GP2 (basically Formula One but without the manners), Sky really have opened up motorsport to the wider commmunity!

Today: It’s because i’m black

29 May

Monaco GP.

The most exciting queue of traffic on the calender. Not known for it’s overtaking todays race quite certainly broke the mould.

Safety cars, a red flag, race restart and drive through penalties. Some people seem more hard done by than others.

Lewis Hamilton made the mistake of running on the inside of people whilst others had the racing line, causing an avoidable accident (twice) which then led to the retirement of the 2 drivers.

Now, i know Lewis Hamilton is such a sore loser, i have made fun of this fact several times because he really is like a child who has had his ice cream taken from him. However i think his ‘jokes’ went a bit too far this time.

He hasn’t had a good weekend. He got a penalty for cutting the chicane and demoted to 9th in qualifying, i’m surprised he didn’t complain about the track not being straight enough, then he tried to take himself through the inside of the slowest corner of the track alongside Massa, and ended up colliding. Massa then seemed to throw his toys out the box and get all out of shape and drag himself along the wall.

He had it coming! He was a naughty boy and he deserves every penalty he gets. In his frustrations he then blames the team for calling him in and just not being ready…

Martin Brundel hits it perfectly;

“With Lewis, it’s always someone else’s fault”

But today he seems to be afflicted by the stewards so much that he has to be arrogant enough to say “i dunno, maybe it’s cuz i’m black“. Horrendous things to  say – he did say “that’s what Ali-G says” but does that really allow him to say things like that? Granted this thing has probably been blown right out of the water, but he should be aware that he is a hero to alot of people.

Tact Lewis. We get you’re mad, but maybe you should have just downed a few Tequila shots like the rest of us, instead of slyly suggesting the FIA are racist…

Today: The Reality

16 Nov

Sunday saw the final race of the F1 season, and before i go into a brushed over analysis of what i thought about the race, firstly I would like to say a big congratulations to Sebastian Vettel. Who, against the odds, against the bookies, (and mainly against Fernando Alonso and the oddly on-pace McLarens) defeated all the rivals to end up on top. 4 points is apparently the defining difference that makes this years WDC, and he got it!

Yes as a Mark Webber fan i was bitter, i was heart broken – much less than i am sure the man himself was – but i just sat in silence, knowing that the team i have become rather attached too has just been made a double world Champion for the 2010 season.

Knowing alot of Vettel fans, i was delighted to see my twitter feed rammed pack full of delighted (and one instance @tommyb89, drunken) messages of joy. It was nice to see that they didn’t even expect it either! And thankfully, I have come around to being happy for them, which if you’re a highly competetive person, is a very hard thing to do!

The race itself saw the championship contenders in a bit of a mix. The McLarens who have been distinctly off-pace the last few races seemed to glide over the lightly dusted surface, and almost rain on Vettel’s parade. Mark Webber was limping behind in an almost heartbreaking 5th and then Alonso was there somewhere too…..

There are a few key things to note from the race, 1- Liuzzi is probably the most UNLUCKIEST driver of this season, with the incident with Schumacher, thankfully both survived unscathed!

The resulting safety car saw numerous people pit…. then after….. O MW…. o FA….. strategy gone wrong? response gone wrong? hindsight is one of those things i don’t particuarly want to think about now. Fact is, they got held up behind Algesuari, (ish), then Petrov, in one of his drives of the season, didn’t put a foot wrong for almost 3/4 of that race. Decimating any title hope that Fernando Alonso and Mark Webber had.

Kubica also succeded in annoying another championship contender – Lewis Hamilton. For a LONG time. and it was only when he pitted that Hamilton managed the jump.

The race in itself was dull, the fact that the title was being decided there made it ever more frustrating. Not an amazing race to end the 2010 seaon on. But definately a good result. Who honestly saw that one coming ehy?

The 2011 season starts in around 110 days and with that it seems a lot of new drivers are coming in. Hulkenberg has lost his race seat for next year, HRT has lost the deal with toyota, Di Grassi has lost his seat….. questions are still being raised over the fate of young Petrov and Mr Liuzzi, and then we’ll also be losing Nick Heidfeld.

Although the driver transfers are all part and parcel of the F1 criteria, it is a sad fate to see such young talented individuals leave. However it does seem like people are planning on leaving in 2012. So who knows! maybe we’ll just get an out-flux of golden oldies leaving and no young drivers?

Keep an eye out on the young driver tests this week. Today RBR‘s Daniel Ricciardo (My future favouritest driver) topped the timesheets in the RB6. That’s above di Resta, who has been driving a Force India for half the season’s FP1’s.

Future star right there? DEFO.

I’ll leave you with these images, the first chmpionship that RBR has ever won. The 2010 constructors. And Sebastian Vettel, 2010 WDC.

2010 Constructors with a 1- 2 in Interlagos, Brazil.

The first real shower of a World Champion

Today: Frenzied

14 Nov

Today is the last race of the season.

 

And is you hadn’t have guessed it’s going to be a fight to the finish. Mark Webber starting in 5th with Fernando Alonso stroking his cat in front of him will surely kick up some interesting over-takes (hopefully)

Alonso is using his engine from Monza (as far as i’m aware) so I’m hoping for a minor (major) failure on the straight. or a turn. or on the starting grid.

For all his skill on the race-track it’s a shame that if Alonso wins by less than 7 points, it will be tarnished by the events that happened in Hockenheim. Surely he would have passed Felipe Massa in the coming laps? – Past events.

Lewis Hamilton. Twitter new-boy and it seems he has found the pace this weekend! Granted nobody could remove pole from Sebastian Vettel, but he sure put in the hard work. Only a miracle can allow him the title. But the race win is in his grasp.

Not much needs to be said on the Red Bull Drivers, and if i started having to discuss them i’m sure i could go on for at least a novel. Or a series of them…..

Although the battle at the front is going to be intense, it shouldn’t be forgotton that Vitaly Petrov out-qualified Robert Kubica this weekend. AND didn’t put his car in the wall. which is always a good thing! There is still a battle amongst the mid-field teams for prime positions – battles which could affect the race leaders.

So whilst Martin Brundle goes on about how this is a race for the 4 remaining title challengers, It’s more ofa race for the people behind. Who will not just be fighting for points/a finish, but also for Race seats. – which to be honest, you kind of need to beable to challenge for anything.

Today: The F1 Wash Cycle

7 Nov

So, we’re coming to the end of the season, the colours have been separeated from the darks, and the whites are first in the wash cycle.

So when it came to saturday, and the white cycle was mid spin, we catch a glimpse of a blue sock. SHOCK. we cannot stop the cycle and open the door, surely the damage is already done?

The blue sock in the white wash? how would the whites feel about that? their cycle being tinged by the sock!

Will the sock run through the rest of the cycle without hindering the whites? Or will the sock run its colour and taint the whites cycle?

————————————————————————————————————————————————–

Nico Hulkenberg qualified a surprising pole position, granted in the changeable condtions Interlagos offers, but a fantastic lap, 1.1 seconds ahead of the unmistakenably fast Red Bulls, and trumping Ferrari as well as his Williams Team Mate Reubens Barichello.

Much Like Sebastian Vettel did in his rookie year for Torro Rosso, when he started on Pole Position he held the position to take the victory – again in the wet.

Hulkenberg has a hefty challenge ahead of him, a dry race prediction and the 4 championship contenders breathing down his neck, I wouldn’t blame him if he didn’t want to look into his mirrors before the lights drop tomorrow. However he seems to have the dryest set up of all the front runners, hence his jaw dropping achievement in qualifying yesterday.

The race today will throw up some interesting results, if the top 5 manage to survive past the first corner the rest of the race should yield a few surprises.

However much i want Mark Webber to finish up on the top step, and however much I want Red Bull to wrap up the WCC, Wouldn’t it be nice to have a blue sock thrown in the mix?

Today: 1 – 2 (DNF)

24 Oct

SO

Korean GP this weekend, after all the speculation as to whether the thing would actually go ahead, everybody racked up nervously over the past week, anxiously doubting what they would be expecting on the 5 hour drive from Seoul.

It seemed apart from the media bridge and the placements of seats IN the grandstands, everything seemed complete. The newely laid track was scrutinised by all drivers and race engineers, and even Martin Brundle had a crack at it.

Cautious thoughts were raised about the oil seeping through the top of the track surface (a natural process for all newely laid tarmac… needs a few weeks to sort itself out) making it very slippery. The pit lane – a completely different surface altogether left the front jack man from prety much all the teams with sore shins, as the concrete that was down just made the cars do this nice little slide when the brakes were applied.

The entrance to the pitlane became more of an issue when FP1 graced our screens, cars slowing to enter the pitlane, were behind a blind corner, on the racing line :/

The times during all three practice sessions dropped off from about 2min 30sec to 1min 40secs or less, everybody having to learn the track. This probably revealed the most adaptable and quickest learner on the grid, Robert Kubica, who although decided to remain distinctly average throughtout FP1 and FP2, demoted the rest of the field to nul by setting the fastest time in FP3 – fastest of anyone in free practices.

Qualifying led to no real surprises, Quali-king Sebastian Vettel made pole with Mark Webber blocking out the dirty side of the grid in second. Petrov suffered his 5 place grid drop and started the race in 20th, whilst there was more controvery over the 7-time world champion Michael Schumacher blocking his former team mate Reubens Barichello. When the issue was pointed out in the media interviews afterwards, MS waited to apologise. It seemed accepted with a pinch of salt – old wounds don’t heal completely it seems.

THE RACE.

“It’s raining, quite alot” – Legard is way ahead of us in pointing out the obvious. Charlie whiting decided it safest to start behind the safety car, which they all did, for 4 laps.

Red flag and everyone starts twiddling their thumbs in their cars (Felipe Massa), re-doing their make-up (Lewis Hamilton), re-doing their hair (Nico Rosberg) or were discussing the differences between the safety car in spray and an F1 car with Bernd Maylander (Mark Webber, Fernando Alonso ).

Cup of tea later and they decide to start following the leader again. THEN FINALLY they let them go go go! time seemed to fly at least for Nico Rosberg who seemed to jump everyone and was doing fantastic until Mark Webber decided that running a little bit over the curb was a brilliant idea. 2 retirements. (and some more following the leader)

Racing continued with Sutil seeming to explore across everbody else’s racing line like a sheep dog, and Liuzzi taking some excursions. Jarno Trulli was the next retirement with some unfortunate Hydraulic issues. 3 retirements.

Lucas Di Grassi assisted Virgin by adding more DNF’s to their race tally, unlucky aquaplaning, whilst Sebastian Buemi took a first class ticket off the track taking Timo Glock with him, earning himself a grid drop at the next race. Vitaly Petrov seemed to think that the race didn’t have enough carnage spread across the track, so put his shiny yellow Renault into the pitwall. Pretty hefty impact, which won’t do his 2011 race seat any good. Sutils explorations soon caught up with him, as he collided with Kamui Kobayashi, and also earned himself a grid drop for knowing e had break issues. (I think the issues are called ‘standing water’)

Sebastian Vettel had it all going for him until his engine just went. He pulled a Heiki Kovalinen to put his own car out on track.

Hulkenberg secured a point after a magnificant race leaving him with a NEED to pit a few laps from the end of the race, Algesuari finished above Jenson Button, who in turn finished above Kovalinen and the 2 HRT’s.

Fernando ‘eyebrows’ Alonso took the victory, Lewis Hamilton and Felipe Massa followed him swiftly over the line as darkness fell over the first race weekend at Korea.

A good weekend all in all. The track should be perfect for next year and all the curbs will be in place, as well as some accomodation and apparently more parking facilities!

Eyebrows now leads the championship by 11 points, with 2 races to go. Although RBR are still confident they WILL win both championships, the fans confidence was knocked a bit at the time. But we’re a resiliant bunch. The victory will be ours.

The party afterwards will defo be worth getting arrested for sneeking into aswell…

 

Today: A small room, 5 F1 fans, and work to be done

15 Oct

Physics is a rather abstract degree choice for most ‘normal’ people. Infact i wouldn’t say anybody is normal on my course…

As a third year I currently have a project to complete, worth a double module, and I get to do something fancy with a spectrometer, take pretty pictures, then fret about why my image suggests that stars aren’t even hot enough to start fusion. I’m predicting alot of calibration time will be required…..

I have been located on the 5th floor of my building – mainly to protect the rest of the physics department from unfortunate distraction, but also because that’s where pretty much where all the stuff is i’m going to be using. Putting a telescope in the basement isn’t particuarly useful (but a good location to store the broken ones). I am in a room with 5 other people, now out of the 100 or so people in my year, there are a couple of people who like F1 (we’re the wierder of the wierd people, but not the worst) and yes, all but 2 of them are located on the 5th floor, in a tiny room, for 7 hours on a Monday, and 4 hours on a Thursday, every couple of weeks there is at least a 2 hour discussion on anything BUT our projects.

Thankfully our supervisor hasn’t quite figured this out, when i say our supervisor, i mean theirs. Mine leaves me to it most of the time!

What type of things do we like discussing? Well they are all McLaren fans and have all come to the same conclusion that I think most people have: They don’t want Alonso to win, they would prefer Vettel or Webber to take the crown – favourite there is Webber, and they have silently given up any realistic hope on either Button or Hamilton making it to be WDC.

As McLaren fans, i’m going to generalise them into thinking that they still think they have a mathematical chance. They do, but with Hamilton’s current record in finishing his races, al i have to say is “LOL”.

I do feel pretty gutted for Hamilton, he had a good race in Suzuka after suffering that gearbox change, then lost 3rd gear…. I’d check with the supplier Lewis.

Button barely made an impression on the TV, same for Alonso. Infact whenever the tv crew decided to film the front runners, boring doesn’t really describe it.

The beginning was where the action happened, Petrov got away to a good start (as the Renault’s generally do) but then did a Vettel and pulled in just a tad to quick. Bad luck there i say, Stewards say 5 place grid drop. Massa just got most things wrong. Driving incidence yes, but an unfortunate end for Liuzzi. Not what the Italian really needed! Then during the safety car period, poor Kubica who made it past Mark Webber (who had a SHOCKING start again) had a tyre fall off. A fate which would soon be experienced by Rosberg later in the race.

The bonus of Rosberg going out? Lotus have made it to 10th in the constructors championship. Lotus are my adopted new team, most people who have watched F1 have ‘adopted’ a new team to follow, The 5 who reside up on the 5th all have different choices, mainly split between Virgin and Lotus ( I Like green….) with HRT being the team we discuss most about. Confused? yeah… we all are too.

The problem with being 5 scientists talking about F1 is that we all think we’re right, I normally am. It’s the mentality we have been brought up with throughout uni, you have to believe you are right to get anywhere with anybody, when deciding through problems we have to justify what we have done, so we have to talk like we are incredible.

Exhausting.

Korean GP next week, looks like the track is down, and cars can you know… drive round it. They say they just have some ‘landscaping issues’ left to deal with. I think building grandstands and putting places for the fans to watch is pretty important but then again, i’ll be watching from under my duvet as it will be 2am/6am again.  So i won’t really notice anything except the sultry sound of Ant Davidson and Karun Chandhok commentating saying how er… lovely the track is looking!