F1 Championship Getting Close – Counting the days

The waiting is over – Click here for Australian F1 2017

 

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China F1 GP – 2016 Haas F1 team feels the reality

Haas F1 Team didn’t score its third straight point-paying finish in the Chinese Grand Prix Sunday at the Shanghai International Circuit, but it did secure another “first” in its debut season. Haas F1 Team drivers Esteban Gutiérrez and Romain Grosjean both finished the race, something that hadn’t been done in the first two races of the 2016 FIA Formula One World Championship in Australia and Bahrain.

Gutiérrez finished 14th to lead the way for Haas F1 Team in Shanghai, while Grosjean finished 19th. Each driver completed 55 of the 56 laps available, lapped by the lights-out Nico Rosberg, who drove his Mercedes to a massive 37.776 second margin of victory over second-place Sebastian Vettel of Scuderia Ferrari.

 

Gutiérrez’s solid run came via a three-stop strategy. The 24-year-old started the race in 18th place on the Pirelli P Zero Yellow soft tire before switching on lap 35 to the Pirelli P Zero Red supersoft tire. Gutiérrez took another set of supersofts on lap 44 that carried him to the finish. It was his first full race distance of the 2016 season, as Gutiérrez suffered retirements in Australia and Bahrain.

 

After celebrating his 30th birthday earlier in the day, Grosjean started 14th and was on the same tire strategy as his teammate. That strategy, however, endured a hiccup when a first-turn skirmish on the opening lap sent Grosjean to the pits for a new front wing. A stack-up involving a number of cars saw the Sauber of Marcus Ericsson cut across the nose of Grosjean’s VF-16. Grosjean was forced to the pits for an unscheduled stop after only one lap, with valuable time needed to attach the new wing. Despite returning to the race in 21st, Grosjean employed the same tenaciousness that earned him back-to-back top-six finishes to open the season. He gained back two positions to cross the stripe in 19th when the checkered flag waved.

 

Despite not scoring any points in Shanghai, Haas F1 Team remains fifth in the constructor standings, 11 points behind fourth-place Williams and one point ahead of sixth-place Toro Rosso.

 

Rosberg’s victory kept him undefeated in 2016 and extended his win streak to six, dating back to last year’s Mexican Grand Prix. His triumph in Shanghai was his second at the 5.451-kilometer (3.387-mile), 16-turn circuit, making him only the third driver to have multiple Chinese Grand Prix victories, joining his Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton and McLaren’s Fernando Alonso. Rosberg leads the championship standings by 36 points over Hamilton.

 

 

“It was a horrific race. The start was terrible when (Marcus) Ericsson turned into me and got my front wing. From there we had the safety car and I thought, ‘OK, we still have a chance to do something.’ But the balance in the car was nowhere near good. I don’t know what happened. Somehow, it’s positive that we had such a difficult race, because we can analyze what we did wrong, what we did right and what we could have done differently. From there, we can come back stronger. It’s a difficult one after the two first races. Not the birthday I was hoping for.”

 

 

“It was fun out there today and to finish the race was a big step. I think we can now build on this performance as we prepare for Russia. I really want to thank the guys because they’re doing a great job. The pit stops were fantastic, really consistent. Unfortunately, we didn’t have DRS (Drag Reduction System), so it was difficult to overtake, but overall it was a solid race. We now need to finish inside the points and that’s what we’ll be focusing on, so I’m really looking forward to the next one.”

“A difficult race for us, but we took two cars to the finish. The drivers did their jobs. Romain was unlucky at the start, losing part of his front wing. He had to come in for a wing change, which lost him track position and time. The car afterward was very difficult to drive. Good for Esteban finishing 14th. He finished his first race for Haas F1 Team. I think we learned a lot this weekend, and all that we’ve learned we’ll take to Russia and see what we can do there.”

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China GP F1 – 2016 Nico pulls a hat-trick

Nico dominates, Lewis battles back on a dramatic afternoon in Shanghai

  • Nico took his 17th career victory today – his second at the Shanghai International Circuit, four years after sealing his first Formula One win at the same venue 1202293_2515971_1024_683_SNE12419
  • Lewis produced a battling drive to finish P7 from the back of the grid – despite incurring significant damage to his car in a first lap incident
  • Today’s result marks the 100th podium finish for the Mercedes-Benz Silver Arrows in Formula One
  • Nico (75) leads the Drivers’ Championship by 36 points from Lewis (39) in P2
  • MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS (114) lead Ferrari (61) by 53 points in the Constructors’ Championship
Driver
Chassis No.
Grid
Result
Fastest Lap
Nico Rosberg
F1 W07 Hybrid/03
P1
P1
1:40.418 (Lap 38)
Lewis Hamilton
F1 W07 Hybrid/01
P22
P7
1:40.662 (Lap 32)
Strategy
Start
Stop 1
Stop 2
Stop 3
Stop 4
Stop 5
No.6
Soft
Soft
(Lap 20)
Medium
(Lap 36)
N/A
N/A
N/A
No.44
Soft
Soft
(Lap 01)
SuperSoft
(Lap 05)
Soft
(Lap 06)
Soft
(Lap 21)
Medium
(Lap 30)
Weather
Clear, dry, mild
Temperatures
Air: 20.3 – 21.9 °C
Track: 37.3 – 45.3 °C

Nico Rosberg
It’s been a fantastic few days for me here in China. First of all, the fans have been amazing from the moment I arrived. They’re so enthusiastic, which gives us drivers a very special feeling. Then, racing wise, it was an almost perfect weekend. Only the start could have been better – but luckily I was able to pass Daniel later on the straight and from then on I could build up a gap. I must say, I’ve never had a better balance in my car than I had today. It was really perfect, so a big thanks to everyone who helped me achieve that. I also want to thank all the women in my life – my wife, my daughter and my mother. Their support is unbelievable and that’s really what makes it possible for me to be doing what I’m doing. I’m a very happy man today and, after three races I can be really pleased about how my season has gone so far. But it’s a very long year ahead and there’s a lot of points still on the table, so I’m not losing my focus. Now I look forward to Russia, where I started my good run of qualifying results last year. Hopefully I can get on a nice run like that again.

Lewis Hamilton
That was definitely a difficult weekend. I got a good start – but it’s always tricky being at the back and trying not to get caught up in the domino effect of any contact at the first corner. I tried to avoid whatever happened in front of me but I just got tangled up in it. It was just a bit unfortunate, really. From there it was always going to be a battle – but I had a lot of fun fighting back through! There were plenty of overtakes, from what I can remember! I gave it everything I had and P7 was about the limit. There was nothing left in the tyres at the end and, although it’s pretty good for overtaking here, I had quite a lot of damage to the car which made it difficult to get close on the brakes. From what I could feel there was definitely some aero loss and possible suspension damage too, as the car seemed to be flexing all over the place. But that’s racing – it happens sometimes and at least I still managed to get a few points on the board. It’s a pretty big hit points-wise today – but I’ll just have to do what I can to make it up over the next few races. Onwards and upwards…

Toto Wolff, Head of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport
That was a rollercoaster race today. Nico enjoyed the perfect weekend: he was totally dominant this afternoon, always in control of his performance and did really a flawless job. For Lewis, the circumstances couldn’t have been more different. He got a great start, tried to stay out of trouble in the first corners and still got collected by a Sauber, who was avoiding another car coming back on track. His front wing was lodged under the car for a while, which damaged the leading edge of the floor and cost him a chunk of downforce for the rest of the race – though it was hard to know exactly how much during the race. We did something different with him under the Safety Car, cycling through the SuperSoft tyre with no loss of position, in order to open up some strategic options later in the race. He put in a great recovery drive and pulled off some great overtakes – but the damage to the car meant the tyres didn’t last as long as we had hoped and made it hard to catch cars through Turn 13 before the back straight. He still did a great job and kept charging to the end – but it was damage limitation again for him this afternoon. We are just three races into the longest season in Formula One history, so this isn’t the time to be looking at Championship tables or points gaps. We just need to keep scoring points right now, continue to work on our reliability after some wobbles this weekend and keep working very hard to bring more performance to the car and Power Unit. Today looked like it could have been a three-way fight with Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull if our rivals had a cleaner race – so there is no margin for us to relax.

Paddy Lowe, Executive Director (Technical)
Starting on Lewis’ side, one of the debates we actually had overnight was whether to do a bit more work to the car and start him from the pit lane, which ironically would have been a better decision in hindsight given what happened at the first corner. Equally, Lewis had by far his best start of the season, which ironically contributed to him being caught up in the cascade of collisions ahead of him. So, a perfect storm of unfortunate circumstances all round put him on the back foot straight away. We could see that there were problems with the car – both aerodynamic and mechanical – affecting him through the low-speed corners in particular. Under the safety car, we chose to perform consecutive pit stops with Lewis to get rid of the SuperSoft and enable us to run the rest of the race on the Soft, which was the stronger race tyre. As it transpired, his first set of softs were cut from the first corner incident – something we were unaware of at the time – which meant we were then forced to run the medium at the end of the race, rendering our SuperSoft eliminating tactic redundant. So, overall, Lewis did a great job to recover what he could with a car that was significantly underperforming. On Nico’s side, he actually had a less good start, losing a place into the first corner – although he was obviously running a less grippy tyre compound than the cars around him. He was, however, able to re-pass Daniel quite quickly once DRS became available and went on to have a straightforward race from there – running a soft / soft / medium strategy as intended from the beginning. An uneventful race from his perspective – but that’s not to underestimate the top job he did to manage the car safely within its limits and claim a well-deserved third victory of the season – and the 100th Formula One podium for the Silver Arrows in the process. We now look forward to Russia – targeting a clean and successful weekend on both sides of the garage.

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China F1 GP- 2016 McLaren Honda some solid racing

“It was fun racing the quicker cars today” #ChineseGP
Shanghai International Circuit, Sunday April 17

Despite showing flashes of pace throughout the weekend, both drivers able to push hard inside the top 10, we finished the Chinese Grand Prix just out of the points – in 12th (Fernando Alonso) and 13th (Jenson Button).

As the race progressed, it became apparent that the MP4-31 could not quite match the pace of the top 10 runners. Despite the team executing five flawless pit-stops, and running alternative strategies (Fernando did a two-stopper; Jenson a three-), the drivers crossed the finish line just a few seconds apart, strongly suggesting that they had delivered their respective maxima this afternoon.

Despite the immediate disappointment, there are positives to take away from the race weekend: both cars ran flawlessly throughout every session, Fernando completed his first race distance of the season, and the team has learned a great deal more about the strengths and weaknesses of MP4-31.

FERNANDO ALONSO
MP4-31-02
Started                       11th
Finished                    12th
Fastest lap                1m42.226s on lap 36 (+2.402s, 19th)
Pit-stops                   Two: laps 16 (2.76s), and 32 (3.05s) [Pri/Back-Up/Back-Up]

“Today wasn’t easy. We didn’t quite have the pace to record a good result and finish in the points. We chose a two-stop strategy and tried to benefit from that, but the early Safety Car didn’t help us, and our race didn’t really work out as planned after that. That’s the way it is, but it’s a shame.

“We need to look in detail at the areas in which we need to improve – we ran among a lot of different cars this afternoon, so we should have some useful reference points from which to gauge our respective strengths and weaknesses.

“On a positive note, today’s race was the first proper long run I’ve completed in this year’s car – I didn’t ever finish a 50-lap stint during testing, and I retired early in Melbourne because of the accident.

“There’s a long way to go, but we’ll keep improving. I’m already looking forward to the next race.”

JENSON BUTTON
MP4-31-03
Started                       11th
Finished                    13th
Fastest lap                1m40.298s on lap 46 (+0.474s, 3rd)
Pit-stops                   Three: laps 4 (2.58s), 27 (2.86s) and 44 (2.49s) [Opt/Back-Up/Back-Up/Opt]

“My start was good: I made up a lot of places and was able to take the battle to the other cars. Our pace on the Option tyre during the first stint was also pretty good – it was fun racing the quicker cars.

“When the Safety Car came out, there was mayhem in the pit-lane because Nico [Hulkenberg] was trying to slow everyone down to help his team-mate. After that stop, we seemed to be sitting in a strong position, but we were running the Medium compound, and we just seemed to stand still compared with the others.

“We tried to do a two-stopper – which didn’t work out – so then we decided to fit the Option for the final stint. Given our position just outside the points, we thought we might as well give it a go.

“Perhaps fitting the Option at the end was the wrong choice – I could have stayed out until the end on the Medium, but I decided to have some fun by fitting softer [ie, faster] rubber – but it just couldn’t make its performance last to the end. Still, as I say, it was worth having a crack at it.”

ERIC BOULLIER
Racing director, McLaren-Honda
“Ultimately, we didn’t have quite enough race pace to score points today, especially with such scant attrition ahead of us.

“Having said that, both Fernando and Jenson maximised their race strategies, the fact that they finished more-or-less nose to tail after 56 hard-driven laps underlining that Fernando had efficiently mined the most out of a two-stop approach while Jenson had pugnaciously realised the maximum available out of his necessarily more dynamic three-stopper.

“Moreover, although we still need to find more straightline speed, the power units in both our cars performed with commendable reliability throughout all three days of today’s grand prix, yesterday’s qualifying hour, and all the practice sessions that preceded them. So our friends at Honda should be lauded for that achievement. Equally, we’re encouraged by the power unit developments they have in the pipeline, and as a result we’re confident that our overall performance will continue to improve apace.

“Operationally, we made no mistakes all weekend, and our pit-crew performed with their customary aplomb. Well done, guys.

“Last but not least, it’s encouraging to note that, when we fitted Options to Jenson’s car for his fourth and final stint, he immediately began to fly, clocking the then-fastest lap of the race on lap 46, a spirited circumnavigation of the Shanghai International Circuit that was thereafter eclipsed by just two other drivers.”

YUSUKE HASEGAWA
Honda R&D Co Ltd head of F1 project & executive chief engineer
“Throughout the eventful weekend of changing weather conditions and qualifying red flags, the drivers and the team have performed at their best, and it was a positive weekend to bring two cars home.

“We are obviously disappointed that we could not score points, but I think the race result is a good indication of where we currently are. The entire team did solid work today which will hopefully lead to better results in the future races.”

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China F1 GP- 2016 – Who stopped where and how

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by | April 17, 2016 · 3:08 pm

2016- F1 Melbourne- Usual Winner but competition is close

 

2016 Australian Grand Prix – Race

NICO ROSBERG WINS FIRST RACE OF NEW TYRE REGULATIONS

TOP SIX DRIVERS USE FIVE DIFFERENT STRATEGIES

  EIGHT DRIVERS USE ALL THREE COMPOUNDS AVAILABLE

Melbourne, March 20, 2016 – Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg won the first race of the new 2016 tyre regulations, with three compounds available per race and teams allowed a large element of choice in their allocations. Eight drivers used all three compounds available, in a race that was characterised by a red flag stoppage after 18 laps. A variety of strategic choices – which was the intention of the new regulations – were possible at the re-start, with Mercedes and Ferrari notably opting for opposite tactics. Nonetheless, the top three were separated by less than 10 seconds at the finish: underlining the closeness of the competition under the latest tyre rules.

Paul Hembery, Pirelli motorsport director: “The grand prix started and ended with a tactical tyre battle, but a red flag after 18 laps reset the race, giving it a very different complexion with tyre changes allowed. After starting with the same used supersoft compounds, Ferrari and Mercedes chose opposite strategies in the second part of the race, with Mercedes running two-thirds of the total distance on the medium tyre but closely challenged by Vettel on the soft. This goes to show how the new regulations have helped to open up a number of different approaches to strategy, with nine of the 16 finishers taking advantage of all three compounds on offer and five completely different strategies covering the top six places. As well as the expected battle at the front, Romain Grosjean finished an excellent sixth for the Haas team on its debut by effectively not making a pit stop at all: instead swapping from soft to medium during the restart, which was an inspired decision. The same strategy was used by Valtteri Bottas”.

Truthometer: We predicted a two-stop strategy as being fastest, starting on supersoft and then switching to soft on laps 16 and 37. Instead, also due to the red flag, Rosberg won after starting on supersoft and then changing to medium during the restart. Hamilton used the same strategy, pitting before the red flag.

Fastest times of the day by compound:

Medium Soft Supersoft
First  ROS 1m30.557s  VET 1m30.137s  RIC  1m28.997s
Second  HAM 1m30.646s  RIC  1m31.278s  VET 1m29.951s
Third  VES  1m31.516s  ROS 1m31.298s  RAI  1m30.701s

Longest stint of the race:

Medium   Hamilton  – Magnussen  41 (laps)
Soft   Ricciardo  24
Supersoft   Vettel  17

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2016 – F1, Melbourne, Qualifying a new format – Complete Rubbish

A new era of qualifying began today in Melbourne, with drivers being eliminated one-by-one. The new format gave everybody plenty to get used to, as drivers and teams worked out the best compromise between setting a quick time and managing the tyre allocation in order to maximise opportunities for the race. Lewis Hamilton’s pole position time for Mercedes (the 50th of his career) was close to 2.5 seconds quicker than his pole last year and three-tenths off the pole record: a clear indication of the performance increase from the latest-generation cars.

MELBOURNE (AUSTRALIA) - 19/03/2016 © FOTO STUDIO COLOMBO PER PIRELLI MEDIA (© COPYRIGHT FREE)

MELBOURNE (AUSTRALIA) – 19/03/2016
© FOTO STUDIO COLOMBO PER PIRELLI MEDIA (© COPYRIGHT FREE)

Paul Hembery, Pirelli motorsport director: “More so than ever, today was all about learning and thinking on your feet. The teams headed into a brand new qualifying format with relatively little tyre data, as a result of the rain that limited running yesterday. More detailed work was done in the dry conditions of FP3 today, with some drivers only trying the supersoft compound for the first time. When it came to qualifying, the aim of the game hasn’t fundamentally changed: it’s still to get through the session using as few sets of tyres as possible. However, we already saw a number of different ways of achieving that goal, which will make for some interesting strategies tomorrow: especially for those outside the top eight, who will have a free choice of starting tyres.”

How the tyres behaved today:
Medium Not used that much so far this weekend. It is one of the two mandatory sets in the race together with the soft.
Soft The favoured race tyre: will generally be chosen for the longest stints tomorrow. Around 1.2s faster per lap than the medium*
Supersoft The only tyre used in qualifying, around 0.7s faster per lap than the soft*
*Data to be confirmed after full analysis

Race strategy: The rain and limited running yesterday, as well as a brand new set of tyre regulations, mean that race strategy is hard to predict. More information will follow after full data analysis.

F 3 – TOP 3 TIMES

1.HAM – Mercedes   1m25.624s   Super Soft – New
2.ROS – Mercedes   1m25.800s   Super Soft – New
3.VET – Ferrari   1m25.852s   Super Soft – New

QUALIFYING TOP 8

1   Hamilton   01m23.837s   Supersoft new
2   Rosberg   01m24.197s   Supersoft new
3   Vettel   01m24.675s   Supersoft new
4   Raikkonen   01m25.033s   Supersoft new
5   Verstappen   01m25.434s   Supersoft new
6   Massa   01m25.458s   Supersoft new
7  Sainz   01m25.582s   Supersoft new
8  Ricciardo   01m25.589s   Supersoft new

LONGEST STINTS SOFAR

SOFT   Verstappen   17 laps
SOFT   Sainz J   17
SUPERSOFT   Ericsson   15
SUPERSOFT   Nasr   15
SUPERSOFT   Massa   15
SUPERSOFT   Bottas   15
INTERMEDIATE   Wehrlein   13
MEDIUM**   Haryanto   5

**Nearly unused sofar

BEST TIME BY COMPOUND SOFAR

MEDIUM   Ricciardo   1m32.394s
INTERMEDIATE   Hamilton   1m38.841s
SOFT   Rosberg   1m26.149s
SUPERSOFT   Hamilton   1m23.837s

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