Posts Tagged ‘Sebastian Vettel’

2013 Formula One Grand Prix of Korea. Sebastian Vettel Cruises to Win Seventh Race of the Season

October 6, 2013

Webber accuses Pirelli of not caring about drivers after suffering puncture in Korea before car explodes into flames (…but team-mate Vettel avoids carnage to cruise to victory)

By SIMON CASS

PUBLISHED: 02:47 EST, 6 October 2013 | UPDATED: 04:09 EST, 6 October 2013

 

Mark Webber hit out at Pirelli after suffering a puncture which forced him out of the Korean Grand Prix which was won by his team-mate Sebastian Vettel.

The Australian started 13th but had moved through the pack to be in contention for a spot on the podium before he ran over debris from Sergio Perez’s disintegrated tyre.

His car then burst into flames after spinning off before Webber accused the tyre manufacturer of not caring about the drivers.

 
 
Champion again in all but name: Sebastian Vettel celebrates his fourth successive victory

Champion again in all but name: Sebastian Vettel celebrates his fourth successive victory

 

 
Podium: He finished ahead of Lotus' Kimi Raikkonen and Romain Grosjean

Podium: He finished ahead of Lotus’ Kimi Raikkonen and Romain Grosjean

 

 

 

 

 

RACE CLASSIFICATION

1. Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull)
2. Kimi Raikkonen (Lotus)
3. Romain Grosjean (Lotus)
4. Nico Hulkenberg (Sauber)
5. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)
6. Fernando Alonso (Ferrari)
7. Nico Rosberg (Mercedes)
8. Jenson Button (McLaren)
9. Felipe Massa (Ferrari)
10. Sergio Perez (McLaren)

‘That is how it is. The drivers aren’t super important – it is what other people want,’ he said.

‘The tyres are wearing a lot and they also explode a bit – but that is for Pirelli to sort out.’

Webber added: ‘I think I got a Pirelli puncture from a Pirelli tyre. Don’t think they’ll be putting that on a poster.’

Vettel, meanwhile, made it four wins on the spin as he closed on his fourth world title with yet another commanding victory.

But at least the smattering of locals that made it to Mokpo, not to mention a global television audience of millions, were treated to a cracking grand prix – once you had taken the German and his Red Bull out of the equation.

Crashes, fires and overtakes were the order of the day for the rest of the field, not that the runaway championship leader had to bother with such matters.

Vettel got off the line smoothly from pole while Lewis Hamilton – who had to settle for fifth – was under pressure from the off as Romain Grosjean in the Lotus was on his tail.

And by the tight turn three the Frenchman was making a move stick up the inside to pass the Mercedes.

That overtake was clean but behind the field was squabbling was five cars trying to make the corner together. The biggest loser was Felipe Massa who span, almost taking out his Ferrari teammate in the process. Massa’s punishment was to drop to second last but was soon carving his way back through the pack.

Smokey: Mark Webber's car goes up in flames after being hit by Adrian Sutil

Smokey: Mark Webber’s car goes up in flames after being hit by Adrian Sutil

 

 
 
Burning: A view of Webber's car from the on-board camera

Burning: A view of Webber’s car from the on-board camera

 
Trying his hardest to get past: Lewis Hamilton fighting with Grosjean near the start

Trying his hardest to get past: Lewis Hamilton fighting with Grosjean near the start

 

Jenson Button, however, was headed in the opposite direction, his McLaren requiring a new front wing and nose on lap four after some early contact.

At the front, Vettel was stretching away from Grosjean but not at the rate of knots he managed in Singapore, pace which promoted yet more speculation that Red Bull were sailing very close to the wind regarding the regulations. 

Such accusations were flatly denied by both Vettel and team principal Christian Horner and they certainly were not affecting the triple world champion’s focus at the Korean International Circuit.

Meanwhile, Webber, after being hit with a ten-place grid penalty for hitching a lift from Alonso in Singapore, was making swift progress through the field, the Australian up to eighth from 13th on the grid by lap eight.

 
Out of sight: Vettel cruised to his seventh victory of the season

Out of sight: Vettel cruised to his seventh victory of the season

 

Making little impression on the front two, Hamilton was into the pits at the end of lap nine for the harder prime tyre closely followed by Alonso.

The rest of the front runners – Vettel aside –  were in on the following lap with Grosjean emerging just ahead of Hamilton. The Mercedes man was all over the back of the Lotus gearbox but just about managed to hang on.

In came Vettel at the end of lap 11, promoting Webber, yet to stop, to the lead as Hamilton continued to tussle with Grosjean.

But the Australian was not in the same race and his teammate and was in at the end of lap 12 so as not to slow Vettel’s progress.

Unbeatable: Even several safety cars couldn't stop the German from securing another win

Unbeatable: Even several safety cars couldn’t stop the German from securing another win

Still, after making his option tyres last that bit longer, Webber could at least start to think of a podium finish.

Meanwhile, Webber’s replacement at Red Bull next season, Daniel Ricciardo, had hauled himself up into third place after being the only driver who chose to start the race on the prime Pirelli’s.

The start of lap 19 was as far as Ricciardo could take his Toro Rosso before stopping, the switched strategy not looking likely to do much for his chances of an eye catching finish as he returned to the track in ninth.

At the front, Vettel was receiving gentle reminders form his team to preserve his tyres as the gap to Grosjean fluctuated between four and five seconds.

Matters became processional in the middle phase of the race with tyre preservation the priority. 

 

 

 

Sparks fly: Nico Rosberg's front wing producing sparks after he overtook Lewis Hamilton

Sparks fly: Nico Rosberg’s front wing producing sparks after he overtook Lewis Hamilton

Button was back in the pits at the end of lap 22 for his second stop having managed just 18 laps on the primes, emphasising that the Korean tarmac was proving more abrasive than most had anticipated.

Hamilton was also on the radio complaining of a lack of life in his tyres as he continued to fall back from Grosjean at an alarming rate.

Indeed Hamilton lost a remarkable five seconds to his team-mate Rosberg in just two laps as his tyres fell off the cliff.

 

 

 

But those problems were nothing compare to those of Paul di Resta, yet to be confirmed as a Force India driver for next season. On lap 27 the Scots car snapped out of his control at Turn 11, pirouetting him into the tyre barriers and out of the race.

Meanwhile, Hamilton was powerless to prevent Rosberg pulling a DRS move on down the back straight on Lap 28. But, as the German pulled out to overtake, a shower of sparks shot from under his front wing as the nose of his Mercedes came loose.

Ahead: Vettel makes a quick getaway from the start pursued by Hamilton and Grosjean

Ahead: Vettel makes a quick getaway from the start pursued by Hamilton and Grosjean

 

Assistance: Paul di Resta, who was forced to retire early, is helped under a fence by marshals

Assistance: Paul di Resta, who was forced to retire early, is helped under a fence by marshals

Scooter: A disgruntled Di Resta was then carried away by an official

Scooter: A disgruntled Di Resta was then carried away by an official

The need for Rosberg’s repairs further compromised Hamilton who had to wait an extra lap for his stop and made his displeasure known to his team via the radio.

And as if to add insult to injury Hamilton, along with Webber who had also made his second stop, was to be on the receiving end of yet more Pirelli problems.

As Perez entered turn one, he suffered a major lock up on the right front. And as the Mexican accelerated down the back straight the rubber let go in spectacular fashion causing Webber, who had just emerged from the pits, to take evasive action to avoid the flying debris.

As ever Vettel, this time along with Grosjean, was the chief beneficiary of the safety car deployment on lap 31 required to clear the debris.

Good friends: Fernando Alonso and Mark Webber before the race

Good friends: Fernando Alonso and Mark Webber before the race

 

In came the race leader and the second place man for a stop under the safety car. And behind it they stayed for a serene six laps of tyre saving action.

There was nothing serene about the restart on lap 37. As the cars jostled for position, Hamilton dropped to fifth after being passed by Nico Hulkenberg and Grosjean lost second to Lotus team-mate Raikkonen.

But it was the banzai move of Force India’s Adrian Sutil that caused the most damage as he slewed backwards into Mark Webber. Off flew the Red Bull into the escape road before bursting into flames, Webber, to his credit, calmly climbing out of the cockpit.

More calamity ensued as the fire marshal’s jeep somehow replaced the safety car at the head of the field as the pack was required to slow for a second time.

But once that communication breakdown had been sorted out, Vettel once again kept his cool to stay at the front once the safety car was withdrawn once more.

Further back, Alonso managed to muscle his way past Hamilton to take sixth. But the Mercedes man had was clearly in no mood to give any further quarter and quickly elbowed his way past the Ferrari to reclaim the place.

Determined to reclaim third Hamilton set about retaking fourth, the Sauber man having also benefitted by pitting under the safety car.
Off the circuit: Felipe Massa spins off at turn three on the first lap

Off the circuit: Felipe Massa spins off at turn three on the first lap

The duel was taking longer to complete that Hamilton would have hoped as Hamilton edged past only to lose the place down the back straight as Hulkenberg hit the DRS button.

The battle was bringing Alonso back into the picture, while Button, once again trying to make his tyres last longer than anyone else, was also in the hunt.

The tussle provided an action packed finale to an event filled race, and certainly enhanced Hulkenberg’s chances of a top drive next season as he held off the chasing pack in the final throes prompting Hamilton to ask his teams for suggestions as to how to get by.

But none of the drama was heading in Vettel’s direction, the race leader’s only concern being to look after that marginal front-right tyre.

Whether being told to drive as hard as he could like in Singapore or conservatively like in Korea, a fourth successive title is just a matter of time.

Track girls

Track girls

 

 
Track girls

 

 
Track girls
 

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‘There is something fundamentally wrong’: F1 bosses worried about the future of the sport as costs continue to escalate

September 22, 2013

‘There is something fundamentally wrong’: F1 bosses worried about the future of the sport as costs continue to escalate

By CHRIS LINES, ASSOCIATED PRESS

PUBLISHED: 05:34 EST, 21 September 2013 | UPDATED: 05:34 EST, 21 September 2013

Formula One team bosses say the rapidly escalating costs of the sport – set to climb even higher next season – mean there is something ‘fundamentally wrong’ with the sport which must be corrected. 

The switch to V6 turbo engines next season, along with the re-introduction of in-season testing, means already financially-stretched teams will face a significant increase in costs. 

‘Talks between teams to agree on cost-reduction methods have collapsed without any agreement, failing to bridge the gap between the smaller teams and the big four of Red Bull, Ferrari, McLaren and Mercedes, who were resistant to any restrictions,’ Caterham team founder and Air Asia chief Tony Fernandes said.

 
Escalating costs: F1 bosses are worried about the future of the sport as costs rise

Escalating costs: F1 bosses are worried about the future of the sport as costs rise

 

 
Switch: The sport will swap to V6 turbo engines next year which could prove prohibitive

Switch: The sport will swap to V6 turbo engines next year which could prove prohibitive

‘When I came into Formula One, people talked to me about cost coming down, but I don’t think there’s been a single year it’s come down. Next year will be the highest year, so there’s something fundamentally wrong. 

‘The teams lost out an opportunity to get costs under control. Self-interest overrode the sport and we are as much to blame for this problem as a (new) engine. We screwed it up. It’s as simple as that.’

Toro Rosso team principal Franz Tost voted against the reintroduction of in-season testing, which was originally axed as a cost-saving measure but brought back in 2014 at the behest of the big teams. 

‘The teams are stupid enough to do tests during the season,’ Tost said. ‘On the one had they’re complaining they don’t have money, on the other hand they throw it through the window. 

‘And who wants the tests? The rich teams. As usual.’

 
Missing out: Small teams will suffer, according to Torro Rosso boss Franz Tost

Missing out: Small teams will suffer, according to Torro Rosso boss Franz Tost

 

 
On the move: Kimi Raikkonen in action in practice 3

On the move: Kimi Raikkonen in action in practice three

Lotus team principal Eric Boullier said costs had come down significantly since the manufacturer era of last decade when the likes of Renault, BMW, Toyota and Honda had their own teams. 

However he still urged more talks between teams, governing body FIA and the commercial rights holder headed by Bernie Ecclestone, to stabilize regulations to reduce compliance costs. 

Bob Fearnley, deputy principal of Force India, agreed regulation needs to be imposed from the top as there is too much competition between the teams for them to ever reach an agreement. 

‘The teams have demonstrated that they are not capable of being able to agree a cost control, so the answer is to take it outside of the teams’ control. It’s up to the FIA to decide a formula, bring that in and implement it.’

 
Arrival: Lewis Hamilton arrives in the paddock ahead of qualifying

Arrival: Lewis Hamilton arrives in the paddock ahead of qualifying

Aside from cost reduction, another means of sustaining the teams is for more of the money earned by the commercial rights holder to be passed on to the teams. 

‘We may have missed an opportunity to just sit down with the commercial rights holder and re-negotiate something which could have been more in favor of the teams, but we failed,’ Boullier said. 

Tost said getting more money flowing from TV rights and sponsorships to funnel down to the teams was not the answer. 

‘It’s easy to say we should get more money, but give the engineers one million and they ask for two. Give them four million and they ask for eight.’ 

 
Pastor Maldonado

Boullier agreed, saying increased revenue must work in concert with tighter regulations to control spending. 

‘The more money you get, the more money we will spend if you don’t have any safeguards around you,’ Boullier said.

‘The more open the regulations are, the more we will spend money and waste money.’

 

 

More…

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Unstoppable Vettel goes on boos cruise: Ferrari no match for Red Bull at Monza

September 9, 2013

Unstoppable Vettel goes on boos cruise:  Ferrari no match for Red Bull at Monza

By JONATHAN MCEVOY

PUBLISHED: 08:23 EST, 8 September 2013 | UPDATED: 16:20 EST, 8 September 2013

 

Lewis Hamilton could at least make a joke about his plight. He said winning the championship would be ‘like climbing Mount Everest, doing it without oxygen, running up it, in swimming trunks’. 

Alas, the most famous Formula One fans in the world, the tifosi, did not acknowledge Sebastian Vettel’s dominance with so much style when they took to the pit straight at the close of the Italian Grand Prix. 

Flags were waved, ticker-tape filled the air and cheers soared in this traditional pilgrimage at Monza, Italian motor racing’s  madrigal in tarmac. 

 
Bubbling over: Sebastian Vettel (left), Mark Webber and Fernando Alonso celebrate on the podium in Monza

Bubbling over: Sebastian Vettel (left), Mark Webber and Fernando Alonso celebrate on the podium in Monza

 
 
Finish: Sebastien Vettel celebrates uet another win this season in Italy

Finish: Vettel crosses the line to celebrate yet another victory this term

 

 
Familiar faces: Fernando Alonso (left) finished second, while Mark Webber (right) ended up in third

Familiar faces: Fernando Alonso (left) finished second, while Mark Webber (right) ended up in third

 

 

ITALIAN GRAND PRIX

1. Sebastian Vettel,  Red Bull 1:18:33.352 
2. Fernando Alonso, Ferrari +00:05.467
3. Mark Webber, Red Bull +00:06.350 
4. Felipe Massa, Ferrari +00:09.361 

5. Nico Huelkenberg, Sauber +00:10.355 
6. Nico Rosberg, Mercedes +00:10.999 
7. Daniel Ricciardo, Toro Rosso +00:32.329 

8. Romain Grosjean, Lotus +00:33.130 

9. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes +00:33.527 

10. Jenson Button, McLaren +00:38.327

Fastest Lap: Lewis Hamilton,1:25.849, lap 51.

But on Sunday the booing for the victorious Vettel carried an intensity rare even for these parts, where they are routinely as one-eyed as Cyclops. Red is their colour, Ferrari is their creed, so when another German, Michael Schumacher, was  strangling the life out of the sport by dint of his monotonous success, he was worshipped as a god. 

But Vettel’s feats – winner of three consecutive world titles and holder of a 53-point lead over his nearest challenger, Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso, the runner-up – are deemed worthy of ear-splitting  condemnation. 

His Red Bull overalls carry no allure. The decibel levels barely fell when John Surtees, world champion for Ferrari in 1964 and conducting the podium interviews, urged the fans to calm down. 

No problem: The German locked up at the beginning of the race but faced little other danger

No problem: The German locked up at the beginning of the race but faced little other danger

 

 
Tight: Fernando Alonso and Mark Webber's battle for second place was thrilling

Tight: Fernando Alonso and Mark Webber’s battle for second place was thrilling

 

 
Crash: Paul Di Resta spectacularly flew out of the race in the first lap

Crash: Paul Di Resta crashed out of the race on the opening lap to cap another bad day at the office

Now Vettel has been booed at  Silverstone and in Montreal and Monza. He is considered ripe for vilification, which one suspects hurts him rather more than he dared to admit. His serial victories are part of it, but so too is his unsporting behaviour in ignoring instructions not to push against his team-mate Mark Webber for the win in Malaysia in March. (Didn’t Herr Schumacher push the boundaries a touch?) 

Webber, despite his relations with Vettel having been turbulent to say the least, said the boo-boys were ‘not right’. Vettel was trying his best to be sanguine, smiling his way through the controversy, as is his wont

‘It is in their genes,’ he said. ‘Fernando was there and the tifosi support Ferrari so it was natural. ‘But I said to the guys on the  in lap that the more booing we get the better we have done. That obviously proved how strong we were. Maybe the people don’t like to see the same driver, the same team on the podium. There are a lot of Red Bull fans, but they are  difficult to spot here.’ 

Way ahead: Sebastian Vettel's dominance is shown with this picture of his lead ahead of the Ferrari's

Way ahead: Sebastian Vettel’s dominance is shown with this picture of his lead ahead of the Ferrari pair

 
Drivers' standings

For Vettel, a fourth title is effectively already won in the absence of some unimaginable turnaround. The 26-year-old has won both the last two races, at Spa and Monza, circuits that team principal  Christian Horner had called their achilles’ heel. 

The race itself was hardly gripping entertainment. Starting from pole, Vettel led into the first corner and never looked like relinquishing his advantage over the next 53 laps to notch his third victory at Monza, scene of his first career win, for Toro Rosso in 2008.

The championship now moves from Europe to the Far East and America before concluding in Brazil seven races hence. Alonso’s experience on the podium was the opposite of  Vettel’s. He was cheered to the heavens and stayed behind afterwards to take pictures of the carnival vista on his phone.

 
Footballers heaven: From left to right, Sebastian Giovinco, Ronaldo, Bernie Ecclestone, Carlos Tevez and Fernando Llorente before the race

Footballers heaven: From left to right, Sebastian Giovinco, Ronaldo, Bernie Ecclestone, Carlos Tevez and Fernando Llorente before the race

 

 
Wheel spin: England cricketer Stuart Broad sits with the Red Bull crew

Wheel spin: England cricketer Stuart Broad sits with the Red Bull crew

It transported him away from the traumas of the previous day, when he sarcastically called the team ‘geniuses’ for their qualification strategy. Alonso is volatile but brilliant. On Sunday he drove with his usual tenacity to move up from fifth on the grid to take second. 

‘Some people still try to create some tension between team and driver but here is the better symbol: zero tension and we fight for the championship always,’ he said.

Hmm, those close to the Spaniard tell a different story: the tensions have been very real. Alonso’s team-mate Felipe Massa, who is tipped to be jettisoned for Kimi Raikkonen next season, was asked to let the Spaniard through. He duly obliged. Webber, nursing a faulty gearbox, finished third and Massa fourth. 

Hamilton’s prospects were drastically compromised before the race even began. By his own admission he had driven like ‘an idiot’ in qualifying. He started 12th and finished ninth despite suffering radio failure and a slow puncture. He got out of the car to concede the title from 81 points adrift. 

Well deserved: Nico Hulkenberg of Sauber surprisingly battled to fifth place, well ahead of Lewis Hamilton in the Mercedes (behind)

Shock: Nico Hulkenberg of Sauber surprisingly battled to fifth place, well ahead of Lewis Hamilton in the Mercedes (behind)

 
Goodbye: It was Webber's last ever race in Europe

Goodbye: It was Webber’s last ever race in Europe

 
Ferrari support: The Italian fans let Vettel know who they were routing for

Ferrari support: The Italian fans let Vettel know who they were routing for

‘I was angry and definitely thought that could be it,’ he reflected an hour or so later, with his dog Roscoe snoring at his feet.

‘But I’ve been back with my engineers and I’m not going to give up. I’ve got to win every race basically. It is the tallest order. But I’m going to try. 

‘I handled the disappointment of qualifying well. I got over it way, way faster than I ever have in my life. I came here this morning  energised, drove harder than ever, I felt like I had nothing left in my heart at the end. 

‘I was angry because it sucks when you do all that work, and everyone in the factory and the garage does all that work, and you only get two points. You only make three places up. But that’s the way it goes.’

 

 

 

More…

 

 

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Italian GP: ‘The atmosphere at Monza gives you goosebumps’

September 8, 2013
Italian GP

4 September 2013Last updated at 15:44 GMT

96

Italian GP: ‘The atmosphere at Monza gives you goosebumps’

The final race of the European leg of the season sees the world of Formula 1 descend upon the legendary Monza circuit for the Italian Grand Prix this week.

Motorhomes will be assembled for one final time before the teams head off for seven ‘fly-away’ races outside of Europe to finish the 2013 season.

Can Sebastian Vettel win to further strengthen his grip on the world title?

Or will Fernando Alonso secure a victory that would help him close the gap on the championship leader?

The Spaniard will be relying on Ferrari’s famed support at the circuit to roar him on.

The track

Monza track facts

Race distance: 306.720km

First grand prix held: 1950

Circuit length: 5.793km

Laps: 53

2012 winner: Lewis Hamilton

2012 pole: Lewis Hamilton

Lap record: 1:21.046 secs – R Barrichello (2004)

Monza is one of the fastest circuits on the Formula 1 calendar, but it is also one of the most difficult to overtake on. Of the last 13 races, 10 have been won by the driver on pole.

One of the best opportunities for overtaking is on the straight after the Parabolica corner. Cars that successfully stay close enough to the one in front through that corner are well placed for making a pass.

Long straights form a significant aspect of the Monza layout and with the cars reaching speeds of over 200mph, a low downforce set up is important. Consequently teams produce Monza-specific front and rear wings to minimise drag.

The venue

Having held a race in all but one of the Formula 1 season’s since 1950, Monza is a circuit and destination seeped in history.

In fact, should a fan who attended the circuit’s first grand prix be transported through time to the present day, they will hard pressed to see much difference at the circuit, with little having changed over the past 73 years.

Play media

Sparks fly from the rear of Gerhard Berger's Ferrari
 

F1 – What creates Monza’s magic?

Monza is famed for its atmosphere, with the passionate ‘tifosi‘ full of vocal support for their beloved Ferrari, turning the stands into a sea of red. Italians often refer to the circuit as “La Pista Magica” – the magic track.

Should a Ferrari driver win the race, the podium can become a daunting place for those who finish second and third, as fans of The Prancing Horse invade the track and surround the podium.

What the drivers say…

Monza magic

Image of Andrew BensonAndrew BensonChief F1 writer
Monza circuit

Monza, the home of the Italian Grand Prix, is a true theatre of motor racing. The place oozes atmosphere and the race is always one of the highlights of any Formula 1 season.

Ferrari – the team are inescapable there – is the central character in a long-running drama to which history has added depth and meaning.

The race takes place against the backdrop of a lovely city in early September.

Cool, misty mornings usually give way to hot, sunny days. The trees cast moody shadows on the celebrated track, which has seen so much – both triumph and tragedy.

The ghosts of the past seem to seep out of the circuit’s structure, especially at the old concrete banking, now long disused but still a reminder of what went before.

And through it all there is Ferrari, a link between the past, the present and the future.

The woods in the famous royal park throb with the support of the hundreds of thousands of fans who flock to the place carrying banners for heroes past and present, willing their team on to the victory that would send the place wild, as it last did in 2010.

No pressure, then, Fernando…

Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel: “This track brings back great memories for me, mainly from my first win there in 2008 with Toro Rosso. I can’t describe the feeling of standing on the top of the podium for the first time, and Monza was one of the best places to experience it because of the thousands of passionate fans that stand beneath, it gives you goosebumps.”

Red Bull’s Mark Webber: “I like Monza a lot because it’s very Formula 1 in terms of its history and its atmosphere. All of the greats have raced there and I have an affinity with Italians from my Minardi days. The track is one of a kind, it’s an incredibly fast circuit with high top speeds, so there’s a lot of heavy braking. The Tifosi really make the atmosphere of the weekend – they go ballistic and they’re very passionate about a certain red team.”

McLaren’s Jenson Button: “I’ve always loved Monza. I really enjoy circuits that have a bit of history to them, and Monza has that in abundance – it’s one of the greatest tracks on the calendar. When you have the car hooked up beneath you, you get into a special kind of rhythm around Monza: you’re going so fast that the whole lap just flows together. There’s nowhere quite like it.”

Lotus’s Kimi Raikkonen: “It’s true that I have never won in Italy. For one reason or another things just haven’t worked out for me, but it doesn’t mean I can’t drive the track. Just because I have not won at a circuit in the past it doesn’t mean that I won’t win or get a good result there in the future.”

Lotus’s Romain Grosjean: “It’s a race I wasn’t allowed to contest last season and as a racing driver all you want to do is race, so I can’t wait to take to the track for the first time in practice on Friday morning. It’s a very historic venue; a beautiful circuit in a fantastic location and racing there is always great. I have to admit, though, it’s not only the racing I’m looking forward to, as Italian cuisine is superb. I’ll be visiting a couple of restaurants during my stay.”

Sauber’s Nico Hulkenberg: “Monza is the only true high-speed circuit of the season. I still remember sealing my GP2 title there in 2009. After the race on Sunday morning I was the champion.”

A classic Italian GP

The 1988 Italian GP is famous for two reasons – it was the event that spoilt McLaren’s winning clean sweep of all that year’s races, and it was a Ferrari one-two at home only a month after the death of the team’s legendary founder Enzo Ferrari.

Between them, Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost won 15 of the 16 races in 1988, sweeping all before them in the brilliant McLaren-Honda MP4/4.

Play media

Jean-Louis Schlesser crashes into Ayrton Senna
 

Classic F1 – Italian Grand Prix 1988

With Senna and Prost having locked out the front of the grid, they were the overwhelming favourites to claim another victory at Monza.

Prost got the better of Senna early in the race but the Brazilian fought back to reclaim the lead by the end of lap one.

For the next 34 laps, nothing changed at the front of the grid and it looked as though McLaren were set for a one-two until Prost pulled out with engine problems on lap 35.

With two laps to go, Senna was taken out by the Williams of Jean-Louis Schlesser and Ferrari took full advantage, with Gerhard Berger taking victory ahead of team-mate Michele Alboreto.

ITALIAN GRAND PRIX, DAY ONE

  • Friday 6 September: First practice at 08:55 BST on BBC Two, plus live text commentary online. Second practice at 13:00 BST on BBC Two plus live text commentary online

ITALIAN GRAND PRIX, DAY TWO

  • Saturday 7 September: Final practice at 09:55 BST on BBC Two, plus live text commentary online. Qualifying at 12:10 BST on BBC One plus live text commentary online

ITALIAN GRAND PRIX, DAY THREE

  • Sunday 8 September: Race coverage at 12:10 BST on BBC One & BBC Red Button at 13:00 BST, plus Radio 5 live at 13:00 BST, and live text commentary online. F1 Forum, 15:15 BBC Red Button. Highlights, 19:00 BBC Three & BBC Red Button

Vettel crowned World Champion in Abu Dhabi

November 15, 2010

 

GPUpdate

Vettel crowned World Champion in Abu Dhabi

2010 Abu Dhabi Formula 1 Grand Prix: Sunday race results
 

Sebastian Vettel has won the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix and clinched the 2010 Formula 1 World Championship title. The German becomes the youngest ever overall winner in the sport after closest rivals Fernando Alonso and Mark Webber finished only seventh and eighth at Yas Marina on Sunday evening.

Four drivers went into tonight’s race with a chance of taking the F1 crown although Spaniard Alonso was the favourite of most, as the championship leader started third and two places ahead of closest challenger Mark Webber.

However, the results of a first-lap crash between Michael Schumacher and Vitantonio Liuzzi proved to be critical in deciding the outcome of this year’s title.

Vettel led at the start, with his left-rear wheel just being missed by the front of Lewis Hamilton’s McLaren as Jenson Button shot past Alonso and up to third.

Vettel leads the field as Button takes Alonso for third
Vettel leads the field as Button takes Alonso for third

Attacking Rubens Barrichello into Turn 6, Schumacher’s Mercedes span across the track; the seven-time World Champion was lucky to avoid injury when t-boned by the unsighted Force India of Liuzzi, with the Silverstone team being unable to take back sixth place in its constructors’ battle with Williams.

With much debris on-track and both drivers thankfully walking away, the second Mercedes of Nico Rosberg dived into the pits along with Vitaly Petrov’s Renault, Jaime Alguersuari’s Toro Rosso, Lucas di Grassi’s Virgin Racing and the Hispanias of Bruno Senna and Christian Klien.

Liuzzi makes heavy contact with Schumacher's stationary Mercedes at Turn 6
Liuzzi makes heavy contact with Schumacher’s stationary Mercedes at Turn 6

Vettel led comfortably at the Lap 6 restart, with Hamilton at points managing to reduce the gap to as low as one second before the German stretched the advantage back up to 1.9 prior to coming in. However, the Heppenheim man’s title was chiefly sealed by events taking place behind him.

With Vettel leading Hamilton, Button and Alonso, fifth placed Webber dived into the pits for an early stop and aggressive strategy at the end of only the 11th lap, with this being following by a pit visit from Alonso – attempting to cover the Australian – four laps later.

However, these particular strategies from Red Bull and Ferrari proved to be predominantly harmful as both drivers rejoined the race behind Rosberg and Petrov, who had already both pitted under the Safety Car.

Receiving support from their respective mechanics, both the Spaniard and Australian title contenders were unable to pull off passes on their ways to respective seventh and eighth places behind the resistant Russian.

At the front, Vettel – who was unaware of the events going on behind him – made his sole stop on Lap 24, shadowing second placed Hamilton who had been in one tour earlier. Button then led for some 15 laps although, despite the Frome man’s best efforts, he was unable to jump neither of the men in front of him.

Vettel’s drive to victory was aided by the fact that Hamilton’s progress was dramatically slowed by the other Renault of Robert Kubica, which after passing the Sauber of Kamui Kobayashi around the outside of Turn 11 – scene of a pass for Hamilton as well – demonstrated strong pace on its way to a top five result behind Rosberg, who made the most of a clear track after his own early stop.

Sebastian Vettel: 2010 FIA Formula 1 World Champion
Sebastian Vettel: 2010 FIA Formula 1 World Champion

Another pit beneficiary was Alguersuari, who rounded off his season with two points in ninth after narrowly escaping Q3 elimination on Saturday.

Massa’s Ferrari, which had been used to pit and rejoin ahead of Webber in order to protect Alonso – a strategy which also failed pay off – finished tenth as tyre wear took its toll.

Although Jarno Trulli may have suffered front wing damage and lost his rear wing during the race, Lotus celebrate tenth place in the Constructors’ Championship at the end of their maiden season. The fourth retirement tonight was Virgin’s Lucas di Grassi, who stopped on-track with gearbox problems.

Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Season Finale. Vettel World Champion

November 15, 2010

Vettel crowned 2010 F1 World Champion in epic Abu Dhabi Grand Prix race

Sebastian Vettel is feeling on top of the world now that he has clinched his maiden Formula One title. The newly crowned World Champion for 2010, won the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix last year, but lost out to McLaren’s Jenson Button for the top prize. Today, he again scored the season finale victory on the Yas Marina circuit for the Red Bull team.

 
See large picture

Podium: race winner and 2010 Formula One World Champion Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull Racing, celebrates.

“I’m a bit stressed to be honest, I don’t know what I’m supposed to say… It’s been an incredible year, we’ve always kept believing in the team, and the car, and I have kept believing in myself… I’m speechless!” admitted the 2010 World Champion. “We have only led this championship once, when it matters.”

What a difference a year makes, as the German started from pole position today, and cruised to victory in the race, as well as in the Drivers’ Championship. He was in third position in the battle for the title coming into the race but with the win secures the top spot, by four points over Fernando Alonso.

Alonso, who was leading in the hunt against his three closest rivals, was unlucky after deciding to pit early on. The Ferrari driver consequently put himself out of contention with the help of a safety car miscue, and ended up with a seventh place finish. Red Bull’s Mark Webber, who was second in the points, finished one place behind the Spaniard in eighth position.

As Vettel crossed the finish line, he sounded very emotional over the team radio: “Ah unbelievable, thank you boys, thank you I love you.”

He later added, “The car was phenomenal. The start was crucial, and it was very tight with Lewis, but after that it settled down.”

Vettel sets a record himself in Formula One history, becoming the youngest ever champion in the sport. Amazingly he had not led in the standings throughout the season until the end of the race today. The 23 year old and his team, are familiar with the taste of success, after securing the Constructors’ Championship last week in Brazil. There will be more celebrations ahead for Vettel and his team as they have achieved the double with the season now coming to a close.

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