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Monday, July 25, 2016

Hamilton Heralded as Hungarian Grand Prix Winner

Photo Credit FOTO STUDIO COLOMBO PER PIRELLI MEDIA


Arriving in Hungary, the 2016 Formula 1 season has officially reached its halfway point. The 10 races prior to the tour's visit to the 4.381-kilometer Hungaroring continues to prove how difficult it is to beat the Mercedes AMG entries. With exception to a Red Bull Racing triumph in the Spanish Grand Prix when the two Mercedes AMG cars beat themselves in the early laps, the German factory team has commanded another season in the open wheel series. However, in 2016, the battle between Mercedes AMG's teammates Nico Rosberg and reigning world champion Lewis Hamilton has grown to be the most Contentious. After a roaring start of the season by Rosberg winning the first four events but followed by Hamilton claiming four of the last five events, the drivers are separated by just one point.

In qualifying, Nico Rosberg edged out Lewis Hamilton in the last minute of the Q3 session to obtain the pole position, The advantage of placement for the Hungarian Grand Prix was short-lived for Rosberg once the lights went out to start the 70-lap event. While Rosberg achieved a reasonable start from his prime grid position with his Mercedes AMG machine, the Red Bull-TAG Heuer driven by Daniel Ricciardo launch was better allowing the Australian to hound the German driver. During that first lap surge, Ricciardo would successfully overtake the race's pole sitter but would not be the leader at the Hungoraring. As the battle between Ricciardo and Rosberg ensued, second-place starting Lewis Hamilton was handed an opportunity to gain the lead of the race. As Lewis Hamilton held the lead in the early laps, teammate  Nico Rosberg fought to pass the Red Bull Racing vehicle. By lap 3, Rosberg had mastered a move around Ricciardo allowing a Mercedes AMG 1-2 running order.

Racing in the middle of summer, drivers competing in the Hungarian Grand Prix were challenged by the hottest track temperatures experienced this season. According to Pirelli, track temperature reached 54 degrees Celsius. Despite the heat and an eventful qualifying session that involved four red flags, the main event on the 14-turn course was conducted as an orderly affair for most teams. Only one retirement took place after 70 laps.

Throughout the Hungarian Grand Prix, the interval between Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg would remain close. A two pit stop strategy was exercised by both Mercedes AMG machines (as was the case with all-but two finishers of the races) resulting in tire changes occurring just one lap apart. Ultimately mirroring each other on pit and tire strategy, the pass for the lead on the opening lap would be the only advantage Lewis Hamilton needed to propel himself to a 48th career Formula 1 victory. Holding on with a 1.977-second margin of victory, Hamilton's 2016 event win was a record-setting fifth for the British driver at the Hungaroring. In post-race transcript, Lewis Hamilton said, "I don't know what the secret is here. Naturally having a great team and everything coming together is key. But it's a track that I think really works well for an aggressive driver".



Photo Credit: Mercedes AMG



Nico Rosberg finished the Hungarian Grand Prix in second place but the event proved quite costly. Rosberg loses his season-long first place spot in the 2016 Formula 1 Drivers' championship standing. Hamilton is now the series' new points leader posting a six-point advantage on Rosberg heading into the next week's German Grand Prix.

Claiming the final podium spot, Daniel Ricciardo in a Red Bull-TAG Heuer grabbed his first top-three position since the Monaco Grand Prix. With Ricciardo's teammate Max Verstappen taking the fifth place finishing position for the 2016 Hungarian Grand Prix, Red Bull Racing closed on Scuderia Ferrari. As Sebastian Vettel placed fourth and Kimi Raikkonen crossed the finish line in sixth, Ferrari maintains second-place in the oveall constructors' championship by one point. Raikkonen's point-scoring run came after a 14th place starting position. Starting the race on soft compound, Raikkonen's race required two stops for supersoft compound Pirelli tires (differing from most teams that started on supersofts and moved to the soft compound).

After a qualifying session where both team cars progressed into the Q3 session (the first instance since adopting the Honda power units in 2015), McLaren Honda was able to only celebrate one driver collecting points in Hungary. Fernando Alonso crossed the finish line in 7th place but Jenson Button experience a hydraulic issue almost immediately into the Hungarian Grand Prix. In attempt to fix the problem, Button and the McLaren team violated Formula 1's radio communication rules. As a penalty, Jenson Button served a drive-through penalty Continuing for most of the race, Button would retire his car on lap 62 when smoke was reported from the McLaren Honda.

Behind Fernando Alonso, Carlos Sainz Jr finished in eighth place for the third consecutive Formula 1 event with a Toro Rosso-Ferrari. Valtteri Bottas took ninth place for Williams Martini Racing while the final point-scoring position in the 2016 Hungarian Grand Prix was obtained by Force India's Nico Hulkenberg.

The final race before Formula 1's summer break, the German Grand Prix set for July 31th at the Hockenheimring.



2016 Formula 1
Hungarian Grand Prix
Race Results


Pos # Car # Driver Team Engine

1 44 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes AMG Mercedes-Benz
2 6 Nico Rosberg Mercedes AMG Mercedes-Benz
3 3 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull TAG Heuer
4 5 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari Ferrari
5 33 Max Verstappen Red Bull TAG Heuer
6 7 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari Ferrari
7 14 Fernando Alonso McLaren Honda
8 55 Carlos Sainz Jr Scuderia Toro Rosso Ferrari
9 77 Valtteri Bottas Williams F1 Mercedes-Benz
10 27 Nico Hulkenberg Force India Mercedes-Benz
11 11 Sergio Perez Force India Mercedes-Benz
12 30 Jolyon Palmer Renault Renault
13 9 Esteban Gutierrez Haas F1 Team Ferrari
14 8 Romain Grosjean Haas F1 Team Ferrari
15 20 Kevin Magnussen Renault Renault
16 26 Daniil Kvyat Scuderia Toro Rosso Ferrari
17 12 Felipe Nasr Sauber Ferrari
18 19 Felipe Massa Williams F1 Mercedes-Benz
19 28 Pascal Wehrlein Manor Mercedes-Benz
20 9 Marcus Ericsson Sauber Ferrari
21 98 Rio Haryanto Manor Mercedes-Benz
22 22 Jenson Button McLaren Honda


Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Happy Hamilton Celebrates Third Consecutive British Grand Prix Win

Photo Credit: Mercedes AMG

If you follow mainstream news, it's hard to ignore the United Kingdom has been engaged in a fast-moving transition in an economical sense. Perhaps the British Grand Prix was an ideally-suited distraction for an English audience welcoming momentum of a Formula 1 power unit as opposed to the forces changing a nation.

The 5.891-kilometer track of Silverstone hosts an event that has been a part of Formula 1 since its inception. The British Grand Prix is also a homecoming for several teams including McLaren, Williams Martini Racing and Manor Racing as well as several drivers. Home turf for 2009 Formula 1 champion Jenson Button and 2016 Formula 1 rookie Jolyon Palmer, the most remarkable current name part of the British brigade is the Mercedes AMG driver Lewis Hamilton. Winning the previous Austrian Grand Prix with a daring but contentious last lap incident with teammate Nico Rosberg, Hamilton continued to demonstrate superiority at Silverstone throughout the weekend leading up to Sunday's main race highlighted by his pole position on Saturday achieved in a dramatic late session run.

The British Grand Prix started on wet weather Pirelli race tires as rain soaked the Silverstone Circuit track surface roughly 15 minutes prior to the event's scheduled start. Due to the water on the track, the field was started behind the safety car. Leading the field for the opening laps of the 2016 British Grand Prix, Hamilton immediately showed the pace that has allowed him to win the previous two events at Silverstone.


Photo Credit: FOTO STUDIO COLOMBO PER PIRELLI MEDIA

The strategy for most of the front-running teams was a two-stop plan. The first stop can early with the transfer from wet weather to intermediate tires. By the end of lap 7, every car on the track had made the switch to the compound. As Silverstone track conditions dried, drivers came to the attention of their crews for medium compound tires between lap 15 and 18. As cars negotiated the wet conditions early, the track proved tricky for many runners to maintain traction. Williams Martini Racing driver Valtteri Bottas attempt to overtake the Force India-Mercedes-Benz race car of Nico Hulkenberg proved costly on lap 10. On intermediate tires, Bottas spun falling from a top-10 position in the race to 13th. The race would not improve for the Finnish Williams-Mercedes-Benz driver as would cross the line in 14th place.

Unable to make it to the first pit stop, Manor Racing driver Pascal Wehrlein lost traction on the wet track and ended his grand prix in the gravel run-off area. Collecting his first Formula 1 point on the Red Bull Ring, an early exit on a rain-soaked Silverstone for Wehrlein is a cruel fate. The British Grand Prix would become a double retirement the Mercedes-Benz powered Manor team when Rio Haryanto slid off-track after 24 laps. Despite being in the back half of the 2016 Formula 1 field, Silverstrone is the first place all season where neither Manor Racing car finished.

As Lewis Hamilton established an unmatched pace, a spirited bout for second place in the British Grand Prix was contested by the second Mercedes AMG race car of Nico Rosberg and the Red Bull-TAG Heuer piloted by Max Verstappen. The drivers battled for a good deal of the race for the runner-up spot with each holding the position through on-track passes.

Leading flag to flag, Lewis Hamilton won the 2016 British Grand Prix convincingly with a 6.9-second lead over the next car that crossed the finish line. Hamilton's 47th career victory in Formula 1, is closes to within four grand prix wins of Alain Prost in the overall record books. Having won his home event four times (including three consecutive years with his 2016 victory), Lewis Hamilton declared the British Grand Prix as the "Best weekend of the whole year!" in post-race transcript. "The engineers and mechanics did a great job, so big thanks to all of them once again. And then the crowd… I mean, where do they all come from? It’s absolutely amazing! Nothing we see in any other country even comes close – and that for me just shows the passion us Brits have for sport, regardless of the weather. It’s pouring down and these guys are just like “yeah, we love it!” This is beyond my wildest dreams, honestly." described Hamilton who enjoys a great personal attachment to the race at Silverstone.


Photo Credit: Mercedes AMG

Losing 7 points on Hamilton in the championship initially with a second-place finish, Rosberg and his Mercedes AMG team's conduct was a subject to an investigation. A radio communication between Rosberg and his crew regarding an issue with his race car led to unlawful instructions being given to the driver. Due to Formula 1's strict and specific rules on radio instructions, the communication between the Mercedes AMG team and Nico Rosberg cost him the runner-up spot. Given a 10-second penalty for violating the radio rules, Rosberg was demoted to third while Max Verstappen was elevated to second place in the final results. Entering the next race in Hungary, Nico Rosberg possesses just a single point lead on teammate Lewis Hamilton in the season's standings.

Max Verstappen out-qualified his Red Bull Racing teammate Daniel Ricciardo for the first time on the Silverstone Circuit Saturday and parlayed it into a second consecutive podium finish. Ricciardo in the second Red Bull-TAG Heuer took the checkered flag in fourth place. Kimi Raikkonen finished as the fifth driver to cross the finish line. Earlier in the week prior to the British Grand Prix, Raikkonen and Scuderia Ferrari agreed to rejoin for a 2017 season. Red Bull Racing and Ferrari are in heavy competition in the 2016 constructors' championship second place position. Ferrari leave the British Grand Prix ahead of Red Bull Racing by just 9 points.

After a disappointing Austrian Grand Prix for Force India, Silverstone resulted in both team drivers taking points. Sergio Perez took sixth place roughly 8/10ths of a second ahead of teammate Nico Hulkenberg.

Forced to 11th place at the start of the grand prix, Sebastian Vettel was stalled in his progression up the field in 52 laps. A five-second time penalty assessed to the German Ferrari driver for a late incident with Felipe Massa did not affect him in the final results where he crossed the line in 9th place. Toro Rosso driver Daniil Kvyat came from a 15th place starting position to grab the final point available in the 2016 British Grand Prix. The race was a double-point scoring outing for Scuderia Toro Rosso as Carlos Sainz Jr. bettered Kvyat's effort with 8th place.

Formula 1 drivers and teams receive an upcoming off-week from competition while the Hungarian Grand Prix is set for July 24th.


2016 Formula 1
British Grand Prix
Race Results 


Pos #/ Car #/ Driver/ Team/ Engine

1 44 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes AMG Mercedes-Benz
2 33 Max Verstappen Red Bull TAG Heuer
3 6 Nico Rosberg Mercedes AMG Mercedes-Benz
4 3 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull TAG Heuer
5 7 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari Ferrari
6 11 Sergio Perez Force India Mercedes-Benz
7 27 Nico Hulkenberg Force India Mercedes-Benz
8 55 Carlos Sainz Jr Scuderia Toro Rosso Ferrari
9 5 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari Ferrari
10 26 Daniil Kvyat Scuderia Toro Rosso Ferrari
11 19 Felipe Massa Williams F1 Mercedes-Benz
12 22 Jenson Button McLaren Honda
13 14 Fernando Alonso McLaren Honda
14 77 Valtteri Bottas Williams F1 Mercedes-Benz
15 12 Felipe Nasr Sauber Ferrari
16 9 Esteban Gutierrez Haas F1 Team Ferrari
17 20 Kevin Magnussen Renault Renault
18 8 Romain Grosjean Haas F1 Team Ferrari
19 98 Rio Haryanto Manor Mercedes-Benz
20 30 Jolyon Palmer Renault Renault
21 9 Marcus Ericsson Sauber Ferrari
22 28 Pascal Wehrlein Manor Mercedes-Benz


Sunday, July 10, 2016

Record Pole Run for Hamilton Marks Eventful British Homecoming

Photo Credit: Mercedes AMG

The British Grand Prix is among one of the original mainstays on the Formula 1 calendar since its inception in 1950. The previous Second World War airfield in Silverstone was first competed upon for a grand prix race in 1948 for which the circuit has undergone a series of redesigns. The current track for Formula 1 competition is a 5.891-kilometer, 18-turn configuration.

A classic event for the motor racing tour, the British Grand Prix's place as the 10th round in the 2016 Formula 1 series allowed it to immediate follow a surrealistic Austrian Grand Prix. Winning the race in a wild and controversial battle with teammate Nico Rosberg, Brit Lewis Hamilton arrives with the support of a friendly home crowd at Silverstone. In qualifying, Hamilton was intent to claim his fourth pole for the British Grand Prix.

Backed by a speedy Mercedes AMG race car, Lewis Hamilton almost foiled his own pole in the session. Sitting a top time early in the Q3 session, Hamilton's initial effort was celebrated by his home country crowd before the audience and driver were confronted with a sense of loss. Stewards judged Lewis Hamilton had fallen out of the racing boundaries on the Silverstone track section out of turn 9. Prior to qualifying, drivers were informed track limits would be enforced under a situation of zero-tolerance in certain areas of the Silverstone Circuit. Hamilton's pole time was disallowed leaving the reigning world champion in a late scramble to propel his Mercedes AMG back to the optimum position for the start of Sunday's British Grand Prix. Within the late stage of qualifying, Hamilton triumphantly reclaimed the pole position with a lap record of 1-minute, 29.287 seconds. Lewis Hamilton is looking for his third consecutive British Grand Prix victory on Sunday.

Starting on the front row of the British Grand Prix is 2013 race winner Nico Rosberg in the second Mercedes AMG 0.319 seconds slower than the pole sitting time. Contending for the all-important World Drivers' Championship, this season has put both drivers in the deepest direct conflict in their fourth year as teammates. Less than a week after the Austrian Grand Prix's last lap scuffle and an acrimonious exchange of words in post-race, Hamilton and Rosberg appears to be playing nice so far this weekend at Silverstone.  

A Red Bull Tag Heuer race car will be positioned right behind each front row starting Mercedes AMG. Occupying the second row, Max Verstappen emerged from qualifying faster than teammate Daniel Ricciardo. In the short history of Red Bull Racing current driver lineup, the British Grand Prix will be the first time Verstappen will start ahead of Ricciardo in a grand prix event.

Behind the Red Bull Racing owned second row, Scuderia Ferrari accounted collectively as the third-fastest time in qualifying. Possessing two former winners of the British Grand Prix. Kimi Raikkonen will start fifth in the first race since the announcement the Finnish driver will be returning to Ferrari next season. Raikkonen claimed an advantage of 6/10ths of a second over his teammate Sebastian Vettel. Vettel qualified 6th for the British Grand Prix but will have to start in 11th place following a gearbox change made to his Ferrari.

Ferrari S.p.A.

Promoted to sixth place on the starting grid, Williams Martini Racing driver Valtteri Bottas posted a runner-up finish in the 2014 event at Silverstone. Carlos Sainz Jr. is positioned in seventh spot alongside Force India driver Nico Hulkenberg. With the British Grand Prix track known for fast cornering, more encouraging signs are revealed by the Honda engine for 2016. Fernando Alonso splits Force India teammates Hulkenberg and Sergio Perez with his McLaren Honda race car in ninth place.

A race for 52 laps on the Silverstone Circuit, the British Grand Prix is set for 1 PM local time (8 AM eastern time).


2016 Formula 1
British Grand Prix
Starting Lineup


Pos # Car # Driver Team Engine

1 44 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes AMG Mercedes-Benz
2 6 Nico Rosberg Mercedes AMG Mercedes-Benz
3 33 Max Verstappen Red Bull TAG Heuer
4 3 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull TAG Heuer
5 7 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari Ferrari
6 77 Valtteri Bottas Williams F1 Mercedes-Benz
7 55 Carlos Sainz Jr Scuderia Toro Rosso Ferrari
8 27 Nico Hulkenberg Force India Mercedes-Benz
9 14 Fernando Alonso McLaren Honda
10 11 Sergio Perez Force India Mercedes-Benz
11 5 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari Ferrari
12 19 Felipe Massa Williams F1 Mercedes-Benz
13 8 Romain Grosjean Haas F1 Team Ferrari
14 9 Esteban Gutierrez Haas F1 Team Ferrari
15 26 Daniil Kvyat Scuderia Toro Rosso Ferrari
16 20 Kevin Magnussen Renault Renault
17 22 Jenson Button McLaren Honda
18 30 Jolyon Palmer Renault Renault
19 98 Rio Haryanto Manor Mercedes-Benz
20 28 Pascal Wehrlein Manor Mercedes-Benz
21 12 Felipe Nasr Sauber Ferrari
22 9 Marcus Ericsson Sauber Ferrari