Formula 1 report No 10

by Dave Bass

Rolex British GP Silverstone

Lap record 1m 33.401s held by M. Webber Red Bull – 2013

This was the 67th British GP, but the 51st to be held at this iconic circuit. The first race here was on the 13th May 1950 with King George V1 in attendance and was the first race of the newly formed F1 World Championship. The race was won by Giuseppe ‘Nino’ Farina driving an 8 cylinder supercharged Alfa Romeo 158.

FP1 – a typical British start to the weekend with 14°C, chilly and overcast. Only 1 reserve driver ran, Giovinazzi who was in the Haas. Vet sampled the ‘shield protection system’ on his installation lap. Mas ran over the revised kerbs at turn 9 with sparks and bodywork flying over the circuit. Bot, Ham, Ver, Ric & Räi were the top five runners.

FP2 – the temperature went up a little in the afternoon to 17˚C with Mas back in his car. Bot, Ham, Räi, Vet & Ver made up the top five.

FP3 – Saturday morning was damp and overcast and down to 15˚C and the rain came 40 minutes into the session. A few went out to test on inters for the final few minutes. Ham, Vet, Bot, Räi & Hül were the top five drivers.

Qualifying in the afternoon was damp and cool at just 16˚ C. A few drivers ventured out on slicks, but not for long as the rain came down again. Ric stopped on track with a turbo problem bringing out the red flag for 5 minutes; the end of his qualifying. The rain stopped just before the end and Alo did a lap on slicks only to post the fastest lap of the session! Ver, Ham, Hül & Bot made up the top five.

Q2 and it was slick time on the almost perfect track. Ham, Bot, Vet, Räi & Hül were the top five. Then came the top ten shootout; a fast and furious 12 minutes saw Ham get his 5th pole position at this with Räi, Vet, Bot & Ver the top five. Bot and Ric both had to have new gearboxes giving them 5 place grid penalties. Alo also had new parts fitted to his power unit and was demoted to the back of the grid.

The weather was still overcast, but the temperature was up to 21˚C. The race almost started but Pal stopped on the formation lap with a hydraulic pressure problem so the start was aborted meaning they had to have a second formation lap reducing the race to 51 laps. Kvy went off and on returning crashed into his team mate taking the Spaniard out of the race and bringing out the safety car for 3 laps. There was a great battle between Vet & Ver for third place which continued until Vet pitted on lap 18. Kvy was given a drive through penalty for his incident at the start. After a flurry of pit stops Ham was still leading the Ferrari duo. Alo did well to get up to 14th place only to retire on lap 33 with a loss of power. Again the two Force India drivers were in battle, but this time Oco was ahead of Per. Both Ferrari drivers suffered with a puncture.

Ham got his 5th win at this circuit to equal J. Clark & A. Prost as well as his 3rd consecutive to equal N. Mansell & D. Hill. Bot drove extremely well from his 9th place start to finish in 2nd place and give the team their second 1 – 2 finish of the season. Räi joined them on the podium in his normal gloomy manner. Ric carved his way through the field from 19th to finish a credible 5th and sadly due to his late tyre failure Vet dropped way down in 7th place; both Force India drivers in the points and Mas managed to salvage the final point for Williams.

Ham took 1h 21m 27.430s to complete the 51 laps and recorded the fastest lap with a 1m 30.621s on lap 48 which is a new lap record.

Formula 1 report Nº 11

Pirelli Magyar Nagydij. Hungaroring

Lap record 1m 19.071s held by M. Schumacher Ferrari – 2004
Work started on this circuit at Mogyorón on 1st October 1985 and was ready in just 8 months, the quickest build of any Formula 1 circuit. It was also the first GP to be held as it was then behind the Iron Curtain. The circuit is situated in a natural valley with Mogyorón now being the third most visited venue by tourists after the Danube Bend area and Lake Balaton. This will be the 32nd race to be held here with only 13 of the 31 being won from pole position.

FP1 – a glorious start to the weekend with an ambient temperature of 21ºC. There were two reserve drivers running in the first free practice session, Giovinazzi in the Haas of Magnussen and Celis Jnr in the Force India of Ocon. Gro hit the wall at turn 9, then Gio crashed heavily at turn 11 causing substantial damage to the Haas, resulting in red flags out for 6 minutes. Pal ran over the kerbs after running wide at turn 4 damaging his front wing and causing a puncture; another red flag, but it was as the session ended, there were a lot of lock ups and spins. Ric, Räi, Ham, Ver & Bot were the top five.

FP2 in the afternoon – Mag and Oco were back in their cars. Pal also spent a lot of time in the garage as his mechanics repaired the damage from his off in the morning. Weh hit the wall at turn 11 bringing out the red flags for 10 minutes and towards the end of the 90 minute session Pal hit the wall again. Ric, Vet, Bot, Räi & Ham were the top five drivers.

FP3 – another warm 27ºC sunny day for the final 1 hour practice on Saturday morning. Ric stopped on track when he was stuck in 5th gear. Mas after 12 laps feeling unwell returned to the garage and withdrew. A clear session apart from the usual spins & offs. Vet was on top with a time of 1m 17.017s smashing the lap record of Barrichello 1m 18.436s way back in 2004. Räi, Bot, Ver & Ham made up the top five.

Q1 in the afternoon was again warm 26ºC & sunny. Red Bull worked hard between the sessions to get Ric out after his stoppage in the morning. Sauber also had a job on their hands changing the engine in Eri’s car. Vet, Ver, Räi, Ham & Ric were the top five.

Q2 session also went smoothly. Ham, Vet, Ver, Räi & Bot made up the top five, but out went both Force India cars along with Gro, Kvy & Pal. Vet did a flying lap to claim his 48th career pole & second of the season with Räi giving the team its third front row lock out of the season. Hül had a 5 place grid drop for having an unscheduled gearbox change and Kvy was handed a 3 place drop for impeding Str in Q1.

It was a hot start for the race on Sunday with the ambient temperature up to 30˚C. A great battle at the start between the leaders until Ver hit the side of Ric taking the Australian out of the race and causing a safety car situation for 4 laps. Gro & Hül also had a coming together as did the two Force India drivers. Ver was given a 10 second time penalty for causing the accident at turn 3. Gro had to pit early with a slow puncture, but left with a loose wheel and had to pull off the circuit. Haas were later fined 5,000€ for releasing the car in an unsafe condition. di Resta was told to retire the Williams as it was suffering with an oil leak with 10 laps remaining. Hül also retired but was classified as his brake problem was only 2 laps from the end. Vet won his second GP at this circuit with Räi giving Ferrari their first 1 – 2 finish here since 2004. Bot was suffering with his tyres and was told to let Ham past as at that time he was faster and the team hoped he could catch and pass the Ferrari duo. As he did not, he allowed his team mate back to claim the third step on the podium. Full credit to Ham for being a good team player. Alo in his McLaren/Honda posted the fastest lap with a 1m 23.086s time on lap 55. Mag had a 5 second time penalty for forcing a driver (Hül) off the circuit dropping him down from 11th to 13th.

Vet now leads the driver’s championship by 14 points over Ham with Bot only 19 points further adrift.

Mercedes lead over Ferrari has been reduced from 55 to 39 points with Red Bull 134 points adrift in third place.