Formula 1 Report Nº 13
Bot has signed with Mercedes for another year, Oco has signed a 2 year deal to drive for Renault alongside Ric. Per has signed a new 3 year deal with racing Point.
2019 Formula 1 Johnny Walker Belgian GP Spa Francorchamps.
Lap record 1m 46.286s held by V Botts Mercedes (2018).
Back in 1920, Jules de Their, (manager of the newspaper La Meuse) and Henri Langĺois Van Ophem (Chairman of the Sports Commission) at the RACB (Royal Automobile Club Belgium) planned to create a race on the roads connecting the towns of Malmedy, Stavelot & Francorchamps. Although organised for 1921, it was called off as only one car was entered and car racing started in 1922. 1924 was the first 24 hours of Spa with the European GP the following year. Racing was interrupted by WW2 until returning in 1947.
This was the 64th Belgian GP, but only the 52nd to be held at this venue. The first Formula 1 World Championship race held here in 1950 was 35 laps of the then 14.120km on public roads through the wooded hills of the Ardennes South West of Liege and was won by J M Fangio driving an Alfa Romeo. For the 1983 race, the circuit was shortened to 6.949kmwith more minor alterations being made, due mainly to the upgrading of the safety regulations and the lap increased slightly to the present 7.004kms in 2009. The circuit boasts the longest straight on the calendar and the cars are on full throttle for 67% of the lap. This area has its own micro-climate so the weather can make or break the race weekend. Schumi still holds the record for most wins at Spa with 6.
There are 2 DRS zones at this circuit; the first being along the Kemmel straight (between turns 4 & 5) and the second along the main (start/finish) straight.
FP1 was a warm 18ºC, bright & sunny start to the weekend in the Ardennes forest. Str lost the right hand side of his engine cover & there were a few spins & lock-ups. Vet, Lec, Ver, Alb & Bot
FP2 in the afternoon saw Rus back in his FW42. Mag was in the garage for a while & Per stopped on track with smoke & flames pouring from the back of his RP19. Lec, Vet, Bot, Ham & Per were the top five.
FP3 on Saturday morning saw Gas lose his mirror glass. Ham crashed into the barrier at turn 12 causing a lot of damage to the front end of his W10. Lec, Vet, Bot, Ric & Ver made the top five.
Q1 in the afternoon saw Kub stop with smoke & flames billowing from the back of his FW42. Ham qualified in the final 13 minutes & in the dying seconds Gio stopped with smoke & flames from the back of his Alfa. Lec, Vet, Ver, Bot & Ham were the top five.
Q2 after a delayed start, was a trouble-free session. Lec, Vet, Ham, Bot & Ric were the top five.
Q3 Lec got his 3rd pole position with Vet giving Ferrari their first front row lock out since Bahrain. Ham, Bot & Ver made up the top five. Ric & Hül had 5 place drops. Alb, Kvy & Str dropped to the back of the grid after having additional power unit elements.
Race day at the fabulous Spa Francorchamps circuit was a lot cooler at 16ºC.
The day started on a sombre note after the horrific accident in the F2 race when 22 year old French driver Anthoine Hubert lost his life. The whole paddock was in mourning and as a mark of respect there was a 1 minute’s silence before the national anthem.
Kub had to start from the pit lane. Lec had a very good start as did Ric & Alb. Vet & Ham had a battle with problems behind them as Ver ran into Räi launching the Alfa onto 2 wheels. With damaged steering Ver went into the barriers clipping Räi again. Str hit Ric trying to avoid the mayhem in front & Ric, Räi & Sai all pitted. The safety car was due in at the end of lap 3, but Sai stopped with a loss of power keeping it out for another lap. It was a good exciting race with plenty of overtaking. Gio crashed at the end of the penultimate lap & Nor stopped with a loss of power. Lec got his first win in F1. Ham & Bot joined him on the podium.
Formula 1 Report Nº 14
Italian GP round 14. 53 laps @ Gran Premio Heineken D’Italia. Autodromo Nazionale di Monza.
Lap record 1m 21.046s held by R. Barrichello Ferrari (2004).
Monza is known as Il tempio della velocita (The Temple of Speed) and has a lot of history and passion. Situated in the Royal Villa of Monza Park, it has two active circuits; the 5.793km Grand Prix track and a 2.405km junior track alongside the 4.250km oval which has been unused for decades. In 1955, ’56, ’60 & ’61the race was 10kms long when it incorporated the road and the banked oval track. From 1962 the race has been held exclusively on the race circuit. Chicanes were added in 1972 to slow cars down. With full throttle used for 76% of the lap and a top speed of 370km/handthe average lap speed as high as 247.585 km/h, it still remains the fastest circuit on the F1 calendar. It has a 450mtr run from pole position to the first corner.
Austrian driver Jochen Rindt was killed at this circuit during practice in 1970 after an accident at the Parabolica wearing just a lap belt. On impact he slid underneath the belt and the buckle garrotted him. He remains the only posthumous F1 World Champion. On the following day the race was won by Clay Reggazzoni, his first FI GP win.
This was the final European Grand Prix of the season. There are 2 DRS zones; the first between turns 7 & 8 ‘Curva Del Seraglio’ with the second along the start/finish straight approaching turn 1.
FP1 was cool and wet at 16ºC. The drivers were out on the full wets before later changing to inters. Räi went off and got stuck in the gravel. Per crashed into the barrier at Ascari, then Gas beached his car on the kerb at the first chicane. Slick tyres were used for the final 10 minutes and there were a lot of lock-ups, spins and offs. Per & Räi did not record a time. Lec, Sai, Nor, Ham & Alb were the top five.
FP2 in the afternoon was a little warmer at 19ºC. Marshals cleared gravel from the circuit at the second chicane deposited by Mag from his off. Rain meant no improvement on times, with more spins and offs. Top five were Lec, Ham, Vet, Bot, & Ver.
FP3 on Saturday morning was sunny & dry. FIA opted to have the ‘sausage kerb’ removed at the Parabolica after a horrific accident in the F3 race earlier. Vet, Ver, Bot, Lec & Ric were the top five.
Q1 Per caused a red flag stopping at the Curva Grande. Ver lost power & out with him went Per & Gro. Top five were Lec, Hül, Bot, Ham & Ric.
Q2 had some minor spins & offs. Ham, Lec, Vet, Ric & Bot made up the top five´
Q3 saw both Toro Rosso drivers go out along with Nor, Mag & Gio. Räi went off at the Parabolica causing the red flags yet again. Lec got his first pole in Italy. Ham, Bot Vet, & Ric made up the top five. Hül, Sai, & Str were all given a reprimand for playing a significant role in backing up the cars.
Monza began at 20ºC but dry. Ver, Per, Gas & Nor started at the back of the grid & Räi in the pit lane as they all had multiple new power unit elements. Räi ran into the back of Ver who in turn hit Per. Ver had to pit for repairs. Vet had a spin at Ascari and on returning to the track was hit by Str who also spun off. Vet pitted for repairs which dropped him to the back of the pack but only until Gro spun also at Ascari and took over the final spot. Vet was handed a 10 sec stop/go penalty and Str a drive-thru penalty for returning to the track in an unsafe manner. Alb was given a 5 sec stop/go for leaving the track and gaining an advantage, Räi 10 sec s/g for starting the race on the wrong tyres. Lec was shown the black & white flagwhen Ham attempted a pass. Sai had to pull off the circuit with a loose wheel after his pit stop. Kvy stopped on track & Ham locked up and missed the chicane which allowed Bot to take second place and hunt down Lec. Mag retired. There were some good overtaking manoeuvres and some exciting close racing moments. Lec got his second successive win and Bot & Ham joined him on the podium.