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Monday, 10 November 2014

Brazilian race review: 2014

The penultimate race. Rosberg seemed to have the perfect week; leading every practice session and getting pole position. But, the question on everyone's mind was, could he keep ahead of Hamilton in the race?
It became apparent the race was mostly going to be about tyres. That made the race more interesting. Tyres didn't seem to be a big issue this season and I quite enjoyed them being a big factor in this race.
You could argue the tyres helped Rosberg as Hamilton had a spin and lost time. However, I fully believe Rosberg deserved to win. You could tell by how he was driving that he wants this a lot. He is showing everyone what he can do and that he deserves to be champion as much as Hamilton does.
I was happy to see Gutierrez running a points position in the open stages. However, his tyres were over heating and that lost him places. Sutil didn't have a better race either, starting from the pit lane and then having an uneventful race. Another team that had an uneventful race was Force India. Perez missed out on a lot of track time before qualifying and that hurt his chances this weekend. Saying that, it wasn't all bad. Hulkenberg was able to take some points away from this weekend. He was a driver who did a different strategy and he had a long first stint which was impressive.
Williams, what can I say. Bit of a mixed weekend. Massa lost a lot of time due to his 5 second penalty and stopping in McLarens spot (I'm sure he's had a good laugh about that). But he managed to get a podium on the track in his home country. You could see in his face how much it meant to him. Bottas lost time in his pits stops which meant he lost places. Not one of his best races. McLaren had a mixed weekend too. Button achieved 4th and showed why he should be here next year. Magnussen on the other hand experienced a lot of degradation with the tyres which ruined the race for him. He did manage to score some point so its not all bad.
Ricciardo had to retire his car due to issues. However, he has put it behind him and is targeting a podium in the last race. Vettel didn't have a great start but managed to fight back and get a good amount of points. Toro Rosso didn't get any points unfortunately. Kvyat did well to finish 11th since starting 17th. Vergne was negative towards the race after. But both of them are looking ahead to the last race of the season and trying to make it better.
The two Ferrari's gave us a battle to enjoy near the end of the race. Alonso had to save fuel at the end after pushing a lot during the race. Raikkonen two stopped and it worked to his advantage. He had a good battle with Button at one point and they both showed great respect towards the other. Ferrari had a positive weekend and that will motivate them for the last race. Maldonado in the Lotus tried to two stop but could not make that strategy work. The same happened with Grosjean. They became more competitive at the end of the race but did not manage to get any points.
Overall, it was thrilling. A great race to have before the last one! Set everything up nicely. I have mixed feelings towards the last race. It will be so exciting to finally know who is champion but its sad to know it will be over for another year.

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

US race review: 2014

After 3 weeks away, last weekend the race was held in the US. During those 3 weeks, important things happened in the F1 world.
First Caterham went into administration and then Marussia ended up doing the same. It's a real shame and I hope we see them back on the grid soon. It really makes people think about how money is an issue and how things can change. However, one Caterham driver made an announcement shortly after they went into administration. Marcus Ericsson will be at Sauber next year. Personally, I was surprised but I think he deserves to be on the grid next year. Sauber obviously agree.
Anyway, back to the race. Mercedes had the result they wanted. Another 1-2, these guys have an outstanding car. Hamilton and Rosberg both drove a good race but Hamilton just drove a little bit better to get the top place on the podium.
Ricciardo got the last remaining place on the podium after undercutting both Williams cars during the pit stops. Well done to Red Bull pit crew! He did well to get third. Let's not forget his amazing over takes! Ricciardo dares to overtake where no one else does. Vettel had his work cut out since he was starting from the pit lane. However, that didn't phase him. If anything it probably gave him more encouragement. Not only did he get into points, he came a respectable seventh.
Force India had an awful day. First, Perez crashed into Sutil which ended both of their races. All I'm going to say about that is Perez was very optimistic to think he could pass there. After struggling for the last few races you hoped Hulkenberg would be able to pull something out of the bag. Unfortunately not, reliability got the best of him. Sauber got one car to the finish and not last. I really wanted Sauber to show everyone what they could do but you could tell Gutierrez gave it his best. They are still lacking a bit of speed which hopefully they can get sorted for next year.
Lotus, McLaren, Toro Rosso, Vettel and Raikkonen all battled it out for 7th-12th. Those battles for me, was the highlight of the race! Showed great driving and respect from each driver. They all seemed equally matched, it just came down to who had their tyres in the best condition and if they could actually pass.
Alonso and both Williams' had a quiet race to be honest. Alonso was overtaken which is rare and Ricciardo passed both Williams'. This shows the 3 cars have a bit more pace than the ones lower down but not enough to catch up with runaway winners Mercedes.
This weekend it was very odd having two teams missing. The race didn't seem right without them. There is always that thought in my mind as to who was winning the Marussia/Caterham battle. A very vital part of F1 was missing. Hopefully issues get sorted soon.