Formula 1 Race Report No 2
Co-founder of Williams, Patrick Head has returned to the team in an advisory position, hopefully this will lift the team off the bottom of the grid.
Five of the circuits on this year’s calendar are in their final year of the contracts, Silverstone, Barcelona, Hockenheim, Monza & Mexico none of which should be lost just to be replaced by middle & Far East races.
2019 Formula 1 Gulf Air Bahrain GP Sakhir round 2
Bahrain International circuit 57 laps @ 5.412km /3.363ml = 308.484km / 191.688ml.
Lap record 1m 31.447s held by P. de la Rosa (2005).
The inaugural race here was in 2004 and was the first F1 GP in the Middle East. For that year only it was a 5.303km (3.295ml) lap with Schumi winning from pole position and posting the fastest lap. This will be the 15th GP at the Sakhir circuit as there was not a race in 2011 due to the civil unrest in the country. It switched to being a night race in 2014; the circuit boasts a 1.1km long start finish straight making it good for overtaking into turn 1. Of the 14 races held here it has been won from pole position on 6 occasions. Ferrari has achieved 4 pp & 6 wins, Mercedes with 5 pp & 3 wins & Red Bull with 2 pp & 2 wins. Current drivers with victories here are Vet with 4 wins & Ham with 2 wins.
There was an extra DRS zone added for this year’s race between turns 10 & 11 to improve and create more overtaking. The first zone is between turns 3 & 4; the second (new) between turns 10 & 11 and the third along the main straight. There was also an extra set of lights fitted to compensate for the larger rear wings giving drivers starting further down the grid a clearer view for the start.
Lec got his first pole position making him the second youngest pole sitter after Vet as well as being the first ever Monégasque driver to do so. The youngster’s time was also a new track record.
At 6pm local time under floodlights and 26ºC with strong gusty cross winds, all drivers got away with Vet having a great start; Lec not so good, dropping to 3rd place behind Bot who had got passed Ham. Str & Gro touched causing damage to both cars. Ver & Sai also touched with the latter having a broken front wing. Lec found his pace again and passed Bot, then challenged Vet passing him into turn 1. Kvy spun after being clipped by Gio – no damage for either car. The pit stops started at the end of lap 8 when Per came in with the remainder following suit. Gro eventually retired on lap 17 with damage caused by his first lap incident. When Ham passed Vet the German clipped the kerb and spun round ripping off his front wing having to go for an unscheduled pit stop which dropped him down to 9th place. Lec with his power loss was down by 25km/h on the straights and being caught by both Mercedes drivers losing out to them both. Sai retired with only 4 laps remaining followed closely by both Renaults, causing the safety car to be deployed making it a safety car finish.
Ham took the surprise win with Bot & Lec joining him on the podium. Lec got his first podium finish and first fastest lap with a 1m 33.411s on lap 38.
Formula 1 race report No 3
Back now in time to 7th May 1989 when round 3 of the championship was the Monaco GP. The 77 lap race was won by A Senna in a McLaren – Honda V10 in 1h 53m 33.251s with his team mate A Prost and S Modena driving a Brabham – Judd V8 joining him on the podium. Prost also recorded the fastest lap of 1m 25.501s on lap 59.
2019 Formula 1 Heineken Chinese GP. Shanghai International circuit Round 3.
The 1000th formula 1 world championship race.
56 Laps @ 5.451km /3.387ml = 305.066kms /189.559mls.
Lap record 1m 32.238s held by M. Schumacher Ferrari (2004).
The Shanghai circuit (Shang meaning “above or ascend”) was constructed in 18 months on a transformed swamp land in the Jaiding district northwest of the city in readiness for the 2004 GP. This was the 16th GP to be held at this circuit and there have been some very exciting wet and dry races. The first race was held in September 2004 as round 16 of the then an 18 race calendar and was won from pole by R Barrichello driving a Ferrari V10. The event was then moved to the earlier part of the season for 2009.
Of the 15 races held here 9 have been won from pole position. Ham holds the record at this circuit with 6 pole positions & 5 victories.
As usual there are 2 DRS zones, along the back straight between turns 13 and 14 which is the second longest straight on the calendar at 1.170kms with the second zone along the start/finish straight.
Bot got his first pole at this circuit and 7th of his career. Ham, Vet, Lec & Ver made up the top five.
The race started at 2.10pm local time but was cloudy with very strong winds and only 19ºC. Kub & Ver both spun off on the way to the grid & Alb had to start from the pit lane. It was a fairly clean start and Ham got away well to take the lead as Bot got wheel spin on the white line. With the exception of Kvy having oversteer and hitting both McLaren cars almost turning Nor on to his side, VSC was deployed to clear the debris. Both McLaren cars went into the pits for repairs and rejoining at the back of the pack. Kvy was handed a drive-through penalty for causing an accident. Hül was the first to retire from the race on lap 16 with an MGU-K problem (the 4th retirement for the team so far). Kvy was next out on lap 51 with damage caused on his first lap incident and the same for Nor, just 6 laps from the end so he was still classified.
It was a great race with plenty of overtaking manoeuvres. Ham took the chequered flag for his 6th win in China and 75th of his career. Bot & Vet joined in on the podium. Gas recorded his first ever fastest lap clocking 1m 34.742s on lap 55.
Ham is now leading the driver’s championship by 6 points from Bot with Ver 23 points further adrift.