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As there was no F1 report in the June magazine, we have cut down the next 4 reports to get them all in this month.  There will be plenty to report on in August with all the races during July.

Here is an insight to the rule changes for 2019:

The race fuel allowance will be increased from 105kg to 110kg, allowing drivers to race at full power at all times.

Driver weight will be separate to the weight of the car, meaning the heavier drivers will not be at a disadvantage.

Drivers will be required to wear biometric gloves to increase safety and facilitate medical rescue.

Discussions will continue regarding aerodynamic changes for next year which include adjustments to the front wing, making it easier for the drivers to follow closer and aid overtaking.

Proposals will be presented by the FIA for the 2021 power unit regulations with the teams continuing to use 1.6ltr V6 turbo hybrid engines but without the MGU-H exhaust recovery system.

2018 Formula 1 Azerbaijan GP Baku street circuit

Round 4. 51 laps @ 6.006km/3.753ml = 306.306km/191.410ml.

Lap record 1m 43.441s N. Sebastian Vettel (2017).

Baku is situated 28mtrs below sea level making it the lowest national capital in the world and the largest city below sea level. The first ever oil well was drilled just south of Baku and now supplies 85% of the world’s oil.

As this year the race was moved from round 8 to round 4 it became the first of the European races taking that title from Spain and with much lower temperatures than last year.

There is a mixture of long straights and unforgiving tight twisty sections around the city streets, with 2 DRS zones.  The first activation zone is 54mtrs after turn 2 along the back straight and the second, along the long start/finish straight. It is said to be the fastest street circuit in the world and boasts the second longest straight on the F1 calendar with the distance from pole position of 330mtrs to the first corner.

The top ten shoot out was fast and furious as usual with the ten drivers trying to consolidate their positions, Vet did it in style to get his 3rd consecutive pole of the season and 53rd of his career. Ham; Bot; Ric; Ver; Räi made up the top five, both Force India cars in the top ten for the first time this season.

Racing began at 16:10 local time.  There were a few minor incidents on the first lap when Sir clashed with Per and had to retire with a broken front end. Eri & Oco had a coming together with the Force India driver being the second retiree.  The S/C was deployed from lap 2 to with the restart on lap 6. Per was handed a 5 second time penalty for overtaking at the restart before the S/C line. Eri was also penalised with a time penalty for causing a collision. Then came the race-changing incident when Ric ran into the back of team mate Ver taking both cars out.  The S/C was deployed again, this time filtering through the pit lane to clear debris from the track. During the S/C period Gro was warming up his tyres and crashed into the barrier, then it was a short sharp dash to the chequered flag. Vet attempted a pass on Bot, locked up and went wide being passed by Ham, Räi & Per. Bot then got a puncture from the debris when leading the race giving Ham his luckiest win of his career and first since Austin last year. Räi & Per joined Ham on the podium, Vet salvaged 4th after his mistake, Sai 5th and the first time in the points 6th place after a brilliant drive from 13th on the grid was rookie Leclerc.

Post-race the stewards handed Sir a three place grid drop for the next round in Spain as well as 2 penalty points on his licence.

Formula 1 Gran Premio de España Emirates 2018.

Circuito de Barcelona – Cataluña.

Round 5. 66 laps @ 4.655km/2.893ml 307.104km/190.834ml.

Lap record 1m 21.670s held by K. Räikkönen Ferrari (2008).

This was the 28th race to be held at this fantastic circuit that was first used as a world championship race in 1991. Of the 27 races held here. it has been won 20 times from pole position and 24 times from the front row. There are again two DRS zones with the first along the back straight between turns 9 & 10 with the second along the 1km start / finish straight. The circuit was completely resurfaced for this year’s race.

Ham got his 74th pole and his 3rd consecutive at this circuit as well as making a new track record of 1m 16.173s. Bot, Vet, Rai & Ver made up the top five.

Race day with a cool 15° C start and Ham got away very well holding on to his lead.  The first corner, which as usual produced some very close wheel to wheel racing, saw Gro taking evasive action to avoid a collision with his team mate, but he spun off into the gravel, returning to the track in a cloud of dust and smoke and ran into Hül & Gas taking them out with him.  S/C was deployed for 6 laps to clear the cars and the debris. Van was handed a 5 second time penalty for returning to the track on the wrong side of the bollard. Räi, for the second year in a row, retired early from the race. Oco pulled off the circuit with a smoking VJM11 causing the VSC to be deployed and drivers stopping for new tyres. Vet had a problem being stopped for 5.9 seconds allowing Ver to get passed, who then hit the Williams of Str breaking his front wing. Van was the next casualty pulling off the circuit with a loss of power. Ver carried on with his damaged wing flapping in the wind and bits flying off (should have been given a black flag for that).  After an action packed 66 laps Ham took the win. Bot and an undeserving Ver joined him on the podium. Vet & Ric made up the top five places, with Mag in 6th place.

Gro was given a 3 place grid drop for the next race at Monaco and 2 penalty points for causing the accident on the first lap.

Formula 1 Grand Prix de Monaco 2018.

Round 6. 78 laps @ 3.340km/2.075ml 260.520km/161.887ml.

Lap record 1m 14.439s held by M. Schumacher Ferrari (2004).

The first race to be held at the Principality was way back in 1929, initiated by cigarette manufacturer Anthony Noghés who also set up the Automobile Club de Monaco and under the auspices of Prince Louis 11 with Louis Chiron the Monégasque driver at that time. 16 drivers competed for the prize of 100,000 French francs which went to eventual winner William Grover – Williams driving a Bugatti T35B.

This was the 76th race held around the streets of the Principality but only the 65th World Championship race as it did not take place in 1951, ‘53 or ’54 and the1952 race was held but not part of the World Championship. Only 29 of the 64 races have been won from pole

Ric was on pole, setting a new track record. Vet, Ham, Räi & Bot made up the top five, with Oco 6th.  Sir had a problem on the grid as the team did not have all wheels fitted at the 3 minute signal for which the Russian was handed a 10 second stop/go penalty. Alo had to retire with a transmission problem. Str ran into back of Lec and had to pit for repairs. Har was handed a 5 second time penalty for speeding in the pit lane and towards the end Lec crashed into Har after having brake failure exiting the tunnel taking both cars out. S/C for a couple of laps. Ric, after struggling with a loss of power, took his 7th career victory, first ever from pole and first at Monaco. Vet & Ham joined him on the podium. Ver recorded the fastest lap (a new lap record) in 1m 14.260s.

Formula 1 Grand Prix du Canada 2018. Circuit Gilles Villeneuve Round 7.

70 laps @ 4.361km/2.710ml.  305.270km/189.695ml.

Lap record 1m 13.622 held by R. Barrichello Ferrari (2004).

This will be the 39th race to be held at this circuit first used in 1978, originally known as “Ile Notre Dame” built on a man-made island on the St Lawrence Seaway laid out amid lakes and parkland.

The FIA put in a third DRS zone this year to aid more overtaking.  The first (new) is along the back straight between turns 7 & 8, the second & third remain the same with only one detection point between turns 11 & 13 and the pit straight leading to T1.

Vet gave Ferrari their first pole here since 2001 (Schumi), Bot, Ver, Ham & Räi made up the top five. Str had a puncture and veered across hitting Har who crashed into the wall. S/C for 3 laps.  On the restart Sai & Per played a kissing game with their tyres, the latter going off across the run-off area at turn 1. Alo stopped his very sick sounding McLaren on lap 42. Vet joined the elite club with his 50th career victory. Bot & Ver joined him on the podium.

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