Spanish Grand Prix Roundup

Action packed Spanish Grand Prix 2015 with Rosberg taking the first win of the season, great display of strategy and some scary moments in the pits.

Best Spanish Grand Prix ever?

The Spanish Grand Prix has a reputation of being a bit dull. Usually, whoever manages to squeeze ahead out of the first corner will win the race and any challenges are purely strategic. While strategy did play a big part of the race, Circuit de Catalunya played host to some awesome overtaking manoeuvres and epic battles.

Verstappen already drive like a champ

Verstappen deserves a special mention. Challenged by Ricciardo he managed to keep his head cool and calmly watch the Australian overshoot the corner after which the young Dutchman took back the place. This may be par for the course for the more experienced drivers on the grid, but from a rookie? I am speechless.

McLaren’s still struggling

Both McLaren drivers were hoping to be able to challenge for points today, but it would appear that the upgrades the team brought to Spain weren’t quite up to the challenge and Button spent the majority of his time at the back of the grid, trying to manage the car more than manage his race. After the race, a dejected Button half-jokingly said he didn’t expect to get any points this year after the way the Spanish Grand Prix turned out for him.

Phew! Jack man danger

Meanwhile, it was a terrifying day in the pits, especially if you’re a jack man. First Alonso had a brake failure which caused him to overshoot the pit box by several feet. Luckily the McLaren jack man managed to jump out of the way at the very last minute, though it did look like a close call for a second. Thankfully no one were injured, which seems a minor miracle when looking at the footage!

Another jack man who’ll probably need a change of underwear can be found in the Lotus garage. Romain Grosjean also overshot the bit box and the jack man was pushed back several feet, landing almost flat on his face. He quickly recovered, scrambled to his feet and was punching down the jack even before anyone managed to come to his aid. Later though, we saw him sitting in the garage clearly coming down from one of the more serious adrenaline-highs of his life. Watching from home, I certainly needed a swig of lager and a few deep breaths afterwards.

Finnishing comments

Bottas showed his class yet again, when under some serious pressure from Kimi Raikkonen. I’m always a fan of Finn-on-Finn, and today was a real treat. Bottas was hunted down by Rakkonen in the Ferrari over the final laps of the race and managed to hang on to his 4th place. Naturally this spurred on the debate on whether Bottas will replace Raikkonen at Ferrari next year.

Did Maldonado crash? Yes. While not one of the most spectacular crashes, he did make contact with Romain Grojean who clipped his rear wing.

Advertisements

Spanish Free Practice 3 | FP3

Let’s face it, free practice sessions in F1 can get a bit dull. Here are some free F1 Spanish practice (see what I did there?) to help boost your Spanish F1 weekend.

English | Spanish

How many laps are left? | ¿Cuántas vueltas quedan?

Where is Lewis Hamilton? | ¿Dónde está Lewis Hamilton?

In the lead | A la cabeza

Formula 1 driver | Fernando Alonso

How fast was he going? | ¿A cuánto iba?

Alonso looked better in red | Alonso se veía más favorecido en rojo

Did Maldonado crash yet? | ¿Ya se ha empotrado Maldonado?

Yes, he did | Sí, lo hizo

No, not yet | No, todavía no

How many laps are left? ¿Cuántas vueltas quedan?

Has anyone seen a McLaren yet? | ¿Alguien ha visto un McLaren por casualidad?   

A special thanks to my friend Fatima Rego who kindly provided the translations.

MIA | Funny F1 Stories

Hello!!

So I’ve not managed to write very much since the Australian Grand Prix although I did find time to watch the races (on playback, days later, yikes!). In between juggling a new job, having my dad visit from Denmark and finally moved into the teeny tiny tight-pocket of a one bed flat that I’ve bought with my boyfriend. New starts and all that – but four weeks in, I am still building furniture, unpacking boxes and constantly running out of clothes to wear.

Excuses, excuses, right? Here are my favourite “missing in action” stories from the F1 world… and their associated excuses!

5 | McLaren Honda and the 2015 season to date. Yes, OK, this might be a cheap shot, but let’s face it; McLaren Honda are so far behind this year, they are in effect ‘missing’ from the grid. Nonetheless, they have promised big changes this weekend in Spain, so I’m hopeful they will ‘rejoin’ the race soon.

4 | In fourth position I bring you a blast from the past. Senna was always legendary, both on and off the track. In fact, he was so quick in the 1993 European Grand Prix, that his pit crew didn’t manage to get ready for him when he came in for his pit stop! Instead Senna continued through the pit lane, rejoined and came in a lap later. This did in fact contribute to his win, as his short cut through the pit lane helped him jump ahead and set fastest lap.

3 | Fernando Alonso might have ended his love affair with Ferrari this season but in 2011 at Silverstone it was all ablaze. In fact, at the drivers parade before the British Grand Prix, Fernando had so much fun driving the vintage Ferrari he missed the bus taking the drivers back to get ready for the race! As a result, multi-millionaire Alonso was forced to run for the bus.

Fernando Alonso looking disgruntled

2 | Lewis overslept. It’s no secret that Monaco Grand Prix 2014 was a bit of a debacle for Lewis Hamilton, partially because of his team mate Nico Rosberg ran off in the final part of qualifying which compromised what could have been a pole lap for Lewis, partially because he overslept! While he did make it to the race in time, he failed to overtake Nico, who won from pole.

1 | I will make no apologies for being predictable. My favourite missing F1 driver is Kimi Raikkonen, who missed a pre-race commemoration ceremony with footballer Pele in the honour of Michael Schumacher. His excuse? “I was having a s***”.

Want to see the famous exchange yourself? Check out this *uncensored* video:

Arrivabene: Contract chase a motivation for Kimi

Interesting stuff from Kimi Raikkonen Space!

KRS

GP BAHRAIN F1/2015Ferrari boss Maurizio Arrivabene is refusing to bow to pressure to extend Kimi Raikkonen’s contract and is instead using it as a motivating tool for the Finnish driver.

Raikkonen’s contract expires at the end of the year but he has an option to continue into 2016 based on his performance. Speculation about his future stepped up a gear over the weekend as he arrived in Bahrain with three consecutive defeats to team-mate Sebastian Vettel, but on Sunday he arguably gave his best performance since returning to Ferrari last year.

Arrivabene said he was not ready to offer Raikkonen the contract just yet, but would instead dangle it over his driver as motivation to deliver more results.

“I’m happy with the drivers that we have, but this does not mean that I am going to sign with Kimi tomorrow,” Arrivabene said. “We are very clear, I repeat again: I said to…

View original post 171 more words

The Spirit of Grand Prix Past… Australian Grand Prix History

Amidst the tumultuous news regarding Bottas’ back injury, Sauber’s lucky break with Giedo Van Der Garde dropping his suit against the team and alarming rumours that Alonso may not return to his McLaren seat at all, I felt it prudent to put the F1 alarmist media palaver surrounding this year’s Australian Grand Prix into a bit of perspective.

image

5 things you probably didn’t know about the Australian Grand Prix.

Something old. While the first Australian Grand Prix was held all the way back in 1928, and having been a stable event on the motorsport circuit Down Under, it didn’t become part of the F1 calendar until 1986.

A family affair. As Nico Rosberg will be attempting to out-perform Lewis Hamilton this weekend and make the Melbourne circuit his own, it is interesting to remember that his father, Keke Rosberg, made history as he won the first ever F1 Australian Grand Prix in Adelaide 1986.

All time winner. McLaren have always had a great track record in Australia, maybe because of their Kiwi associations through founder Bruce McLaren, but fact remains that with 12 race wins they remain the most successful F1 team across the Australian circuits.

Brundle’s original sky bundle. When the Australian Grand Prix moved to Albert Park in 1996, the 1st lap saw Martin Brundle (the top-bellied bloke from Sky’s coverage) crash in spectacular fashion by launching himself into the air.

The first team orders. While team orders are now accepted as part of the sport, this is only a recent development. When David Coulthard let team mate Mika Hakkinen pass him on the last lap of the Melbourne Grand Prix in 1998, effectively handing over the win, in order to honour a pre-race agreement stating whoever were though the first corner first would win the race. This little trick subsequently resulted in team orders being banned.

The night before… The Australian Grand Prix

I don’t know about you, but I could do with a little sunshine break away from the cold and rainy British shores. Regrettably this year’s budget has already been blown on a place for me and my boyfriend to live and so didn’t quite stretch to a trip down under. Not to fear, as at least I will have the immense pleasure of getting up at 5 am to sit in a garden chair among paint pots and half-finished ikea furniture and watch the race. I am not a morning person by the way, and fewer things will ever demonstrate my love of F1 quite as thoroughly as my willingness to get up before 10 am on my day off. Frankly, even 10 would be hopeful most weekends.
image

What makes the Australian Grand Prix worth getting up early for?

Home of the Honey Badger. F1’s new favourite, Daniel Ricciardo, will be racing in front of his home crowd this coming weekend at Melbourne Albert Park. Last year he actually managed a podium finish in second place until he was stripped of the honours due to using too much fuel. Let’s hope the taste of champers won’t leave him with a bitter aftertaste again this year…

What’s all this nonsense about Sauber and Giedo van der Garde? Well, it’s a right hot mess if you ask me!! When it comes down to it, Sauber only had two vacancies but signed contracts with three people to fill these. This has left more than one person with a bitter taste in their mouth and has raked up an almighty s***storm in preparation for the season opener in Melbourne. Until now all signs suggest that Van der Garde’s claim is true and while it is highly unlikely that he will be racing this coming weekend, it remains to be seen how much the F1 team have to cough up to settle the matter and if they will have the finances to do so. Some doomsday sayers are even speculating whether this could cause the Swiss team to go bust. Either way, I think it is highly unlikely that we will see Giedo at the wheel of an F1 car again, as I find it hard to imagine any team offering him a seat following this, despite how just his claim may or may not be. The sad truth is that in anything where money is involved; politics rule, not sportsmanship.

Is Alonso pulling a sickie? Probably not. The official word is that he is extremely frustrated (as much as one can be sitting about in a multi million pound mansion in Dubai) at having to stay at home after being advised by doctors not to race again so soon after his accident in Barcelona pre-season testing. McLaren insist that upon a full investigation into the accident they are unable to explain the cause of it. Go back 20 years and this was par for the course but in modern F1 it is virtually unheard of. Naturally this has led to some pretty wild theories swarming about the internet, ranging from conspiracy theorists claiming McLaren is hiding the truth about the car not being safe enough to race in, to Alonso having a stroke while driving. For now all that remains certain, is that Alonso is on the bench while Kevin Magnussen steps in to take the wheel in Melbourne. Where he managed to get a podium on his debut last year, by the way…

And I haven’t even begun to tell you about the history of the race, about the sticky hot 80’s duels in Adelaide between Senna and Prost, or how Rosberg‘s father Keke went on to win the first ever Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix in 1986. But not to worry, I’ll make sure to post some more interesting facts over the coming race weekend, so please subscribe to my blog or follow me on Twitter to stay in touch!

One Week to Go!

Next weekend sees the F1 paddock descend on Melbourne for the first race of 2015. In my eyes, this is the true beginning of the F1 season and I am as excited as a little girl about to meet her favourite Disney Princess (which is Jasmine by the way). Recently however; I’ve been caught up in house move and new job, and I think it is only fitting to summarise recent events as preparation for the oncoming excitement in Australia.

There were a couple of crashes in pre-season testing. Both Alonso and Maldonado were unlucky and had to take a trip to the A&E. Thankfully Pastor Maldonado was able to recover relatively quickly but Fernando Alonso suffered a bad concussion and has been advised against racing in Melbourne next weekend. Crashing head-on into a barrier at 150 mph is not without consequences it seems.

This opens up the floor for everyone’s favourite Dane (not counting myself, of course) who, as reserve driver for McLaren, will be taking over the wheel for the Australian Grand Prix. Kevin Magnussen drove for McLaren alongside Jenson Button last season, but was demoted to reserve driver for 2015 to make way for the return of Fernando Alonso, much to the dismay of the Danish F1 fans.

Another happy return will see Manor-Marussia competing with the 2014 chassis (with a new nose compliant with this year’s regulations update) and all things being equal it seems Brit Will Stevens driving it… Who his team mate might be is still unclear but rumours have circulated around Giedo van der Garde as a possible candidate.

It is also worth mentioning that Susie Wolff suffered a collision with former Williams reserve driver Felipe Nasr during pre-season testing and as a result didn’t get as much time in the Williams car as we all hoped. Susie’s next appearance on-track is scheduled for the Spanish Grand Prix in May where she will be taking over the wheel from during free practice 1.
image

If you haven’t already, go follow Susie on twitter for regular updates! And no, I don’t get anything for referring you, she happens to be worth following.