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Monday, 7 September 2015

Mid-season review 2015: Part three

Finally got round to doing part three of my mid season review. Okay, i know its late. But better late than never right? I wont delay it any longer, lets get to it!

McLaren: What can I say. The first half of their season has not gone the way they had hoped. Just been problem after problem for them. Even when frustration boils over, the drivers remain positive. Which is an important thing. They are both doing the best they can and taking every race as it comes. For two world champions that cannot be easy. However, both drivers have scored points on two separate occasions each. So they at least have something to show for so far. Things are evenly matched between the two as both driver has retired 5 times. None being because of driver error. They are doing everything right and just need to maintain the positive attitude.

Sauber: The team started off the season well with both drivers scoring their maiden points in F1 in Australia. However, Sauber have been waiting longer than other teams for upgrades. This has hindered their chances in points. Although, both drivers have had 3 points finishes so far and only one retirement each. Ericsson's in Malaysia for driver error and Nasr who retied on the way to the grid in Britain due to gearbox issue. The team seems to have a good car with hard working drivers which allows them to challenge the mid-field and fight for points. 

Manor Marussia: They got off to a rough start causing them to miss the season opener in Australia. In the following race the team were able to run Roberto Merhi but not Will Stevens. The team have had several retirements but have been able to get their cars to the finish. The car may be uncompetitive right now but things will slowly start to improve. Half way into the season and Stevens is just leading the head to head battle. It will be interesting to see how they go in races between the two of them as they are only really fighting each other. Onwards and upwards for this team.

Well thats it for my mid season review! I am excited for the second half of the season and extremely glad F1 is back!


Thursday, 27 August 2015

Mid-season review 2015: Part two

This is the second of three parts analysing how the teams have faired so far this season.

Red Bull: They lacked laps in pre-season. The team and not happy with their engine and it is easy to see why. Ricciardo and Kvyat have been on the podium once so far. Results wise, each driver has only retired once, not including when Kvyat didn't start in Australia. However, both are consistent in ending up in the points. Both putting up great battles with other drivers within the field. They are doing great with the lack of power. Showing, they are pushing all the time, getting everything out of the car they can. They have faced a lot of penalties for changing parts of the engine or the engine itself and still manage to get points when they can. Red Bull should be good if the drivers keep extracting everything they can from the cars.

Force India: Not had the best first half of the season. Their car hasn't performed the way they had hoped. This has been evident in their results. Both drivers struggling to get an amount of points they can be happy with. Scrapping for the last few places in the top 10. When it comes to qualifying, Hulkenberg has out qualified Perez 8-2. Wow. that's a big margin. However, Perez is better in the race and beaten Hulkenberg in the race 6-4. Showing qualifying isn't a big issue; Perez gets it right when it matters. The team have two good drivers. As their car improves, the drivers will be able to fight and aim for higher positions. 

Lotus: They have continued to be faced with problems. Have they had a stress weekend this season? Don't think so. Maldonado has retired 6 times so far this season; some his fault, some not. Grosjean only 3. Which does explain why Grosjean is winning in the team mate head to head. Finishing infront of Maldonado 8 times. Furthermore Grosjean has out qualified Maldonado 9-1. And, finished in the points 3 more times. The team hasn't had the best luck overall but Grosjean himself has out performed his team mate in every scenario so far.

Toro Rosso: Going into the season they had two rookies. If any team can show the potential of two new, young drivers its Toro Rosso. All attention was on 17 year old Verstappen who has not disappointed. Showing amazing over takes and achieving a 4th position. On the other side of the garage, Sainz has been quietly getting on with things. He has finished in the points twice as much as Verstappen and is winning the team mate battle for the race and qualifying. Both drivers have shown why they are on the grid. Still young and bound to make mistakes; like Verstappen's accident in Monaco. They have bounced back from bad weekends. Toro Rosso have two incredible drivers who have are showing signs to be deserving a drive in a top seat one day. 

Part 3 will be up in a few days, so keep your eyes out!


Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Mid-season review 2015: Part one

It's that time of the year again! Where the drivers and teams have a well earned rest and the fans wonder what to do until the next race. Yes, that's right. The summer break is upon us. Fear not, I will be doing a three part mid-season review on how the teams have faired so far this season. 

Mercedes: The team are not having it as easy as they did last year. The constructors yes, is likely to be theirs again. The drivers championship for 2015 is still likely to be between the two Mercedes driver. However, Vettel is not far behind. They seem to be making more noticeable mistakes this season. Could this be them feeling the pressure? Hamilton so far has 5 wins to Rosberg's 3. While some may say Hamilton is the more dominant driver this year, both drivers have been on the podium in all but one race so far. The rivalry seems much more calm this year. The teams only problem being in the previous race in Hungary and the Monaco pit stop drama with Hamilton. While they still seem to have a gap to other teams, they are aware of the ever catching Ferrari and Williams cars. 

Ferrari: There were high hopes going into the season. With a new driver of 4 time world champion Sebastian Vettel partnering Raikkonen; two drivers who are known for getting on well. While Raikkonen has endured bad luck and 3 retirements, he has also been on the podium once. But, the stats aren't on his side when compared to Vettel. The German won the Malaysian grand prix this year in only his second race for the team. He then added another win to his tally in Hungary and had 7 podiums this year. Nearly as many as the two Mercedes drivers. The Italian based team seems transformed this year. Vettel has seemingly brought a new lease of life to the team. Something I am sure has been helped by Vettels win. The moral in the team seems high and looks set to continue. How long till they can challenge Mercedes every race? Or are they already doing that? 

Williams: They were leapfrogged by Ferrari at the start of the season and are now not the only team close to challenging Mercedes. Massa seemingly has the edge on the young Finn Bottas. Both were impressive off the line in Silverstone. However strategies and team orders got in the way shortly followed by the weather. Despite struggles the Williams team are one that carries on and can make a quick comeback. Thats what we should all be expecting them to do. They have a strong team and drivers; its only a matter of time. 

Part two will be up soon! So keep checking my blog in the next few days!


Tuesday, 4 August 2015

My experience going to the F1 Show

Last month on the 10th July I was part of the audience on the F1 show which was live on SkySportsF1. As my dad and I arrived in London and made our way to the Sky Studios I wondered 'how I had got here?' The answer to that: I made it happen and had a bit of luck.

I am a big fan of SkySportsF1, I watch practice, qualifying and the race on their channel. Along with the F1 show and I frequently check their website to read any articles they may have posted. One day I just happened to see 'be in the audience of the F1 show'. So, I clicked on it and decided to submit the application for dad and I to go on the 10th July. Although I thought we probably wouldn't get picked, I did it anyway. It was very simple, you just had to put down your name and the name of your guest and which dates you could attend. I did this around a month before. It stated on the application form that you would hear a week before the show.

I had completely forgotten about it when I checked my emails on my phone. It was an email saying dad and I had got tickets and there was a link to our tickets and how we could get there and where to park. I was over the moon. Until, dad said he couldn't go due to prior commitments. I was then heartbroken. However, a few days later he complained to me about the state of my room (which is nothing new); and said we wouldn't be going on friday if it was messy. I then just looked at him with confusing. He then broke the news that he had got out of it and we were going. I was over the moon again!

The day came, I got home from sixth form and threw on my F1 shirt and off we went to London! My family are always early to things so it was no surprise me and dad got there with 15 minutes to spare. We had to wait outside with a small queue of people. While lining up we started chatting to a nice man standing next to us. He had been applying to be on the show for 3 years! Wow. That made me feel incredibly lucky to have been picked the first time I applied!

Once our names were ticked off the whole group were let through the gates and taken to one of the Sky buildings. We were put in a room with the previous race (The British Grand Prix) playing on a ginormous TV! It was a very lovely room with water and lots of seats. Once everyone had arrived a member of the team came and talked to us explaining what was going to happen. After we were taken to the studio doors and lined up outside. It all felt so surreal, especially as I suddenly heard heels, turned around and saw Natalie Pinkham smiling as she went past! That's when it really hit me where I was and what was about to happen.

Once in we were originally placed at the back, before being moved forward and then next to the sky pad! I had seen it on TV and I was right next to it! Also, Johnny Herbert and Alex Lynn (the guests for the show) were doing a piece using the sky pad! All of a sudden Johnny came over and asked me to tap his finger for good luck! I never thought I would be able to say that sentence. He was a very chatty person. There was about eight of us stood on one side of the sky pad and he talked to all of us. As Johnny and Alex's bit was being filmed we could see a screen and once or twice dad and I saw ourselves on there! Incredible. We were on TV!

During the adverts Johnny, Alex, Natalie and Simon Lazenby interacted with the audience. Furthermore after the show was done, all four stayed to chat to us and have photos! I had thought about what I would say to each one but I hadn't made up my mind! Alex was very lovely and easy to talk to. I had been watching him in GP2 and I told him I thought he was doing really well. I told Natalie I wanted to do exactly what she does. That resulted in her hugging me and giving me tips! Johnny and Simon were both easy to talk to, me and dad had a joke with both of them. It was amazing how nice they were and willing to give up time to talk to you and were more than happy to have their photos taken with you.

It was an incredible experience. I still can't believe how lucky I was to have got to meet such genuinely nice people. As someone who is a big fan of Formula 1 and wants to work on the media side, it was great to see how the show is filmed and how it all works. There was nothing negative about the day at all. Like I said, incredible experience. I would say its worthwhile to at least apply if you can. I will never forget the experience and I will try to go again. 

I will leave you with a selection of photos from the day. There's even one with the Silverstone trophy; although we weren't allowed to touch it!


Thursday, 30 July 2015

Hungary race review: 2015

There was a sombre feel going into the race weekend. Everyone's mind on the tragedy which had befallen the sport the previous weekend. Jules Bianchi was a talented young driver who had the potential to be a champion one day. Taken too soon from his family, friends and dedicated fans around the world. Everyone pushed their hardest to create a thrilling and dramatic race; one Jules would have been proud of.

Massa caused an aborted start by not lining up on the grid properly. That gained him a 5 second stop and go penalty for him to take during his first pit stop. One of many penalties the stewards gave out. The start was spectacular, a sign of things to come. With both Mercedes enduring a bad start, Vettel flew past both Mercedes with Raikkonen right behind him. Rosberg and Hamilton battled it out for a few corners before Hamilton ran wide and dropped down into tenth. Meanwhile there was contact between Bottas and Ricciardo, causing the Australian to fall down the pecking order to seventh.

The safety car was brought out when Nico Hulkenberg's front wing broke sending the German straight into the tyre barrier at the end of turn one. The restart was one which kept many fans on the edge of their seats. Hamilton made contact with Ricciardo. Lewis was later given a drive through penalty for his actions. Raikkonen was not able to fend off Rosberg due to his engine problem. He later lost a place to Ricciardo before he retired on lap 57. Max Verstappen ran into the back of Bottas during the restart which lost Bottas time and moved the youngster up to seventh.

Rosberg and Ricciardo were catching Vettel who had led from the first lap of the race. When they collided which resulted in Rosberg getting a puncture. That left Rosberg and Hamilton with work to do to fight through the field for points. Also meant Kvyat moved up to second as Ricciardo needed to pit for a new front wing. The race ended with Kvyat scoring his first ever podium finish in F1 beating his team mate. Both Mercedes managed to finish in the points with Rosberg eighth and Hamilton sixth. The Brit now goes into the summer break knowing he is 21 points ahead of his team mate.

Toro Rosso were running both cars in the points until Sainz suffered an issue with fuel pressure and had to retire the car. However, if you were in Max Verstappen's garage you would have had reason to celebrate. Verstappen finished 4th, his highest race finish in only his first season in F1. Lotus had a similar day. Both cars were running in the points at one point. The team were plagued with penalties, with Maldonado earning himself 3. This caused Maldonado to drop out of the points and finish fourteenth. Grosjean finished seventh, probably hoping to have brought more points home than that.

Sauber had a good day at the office. Marcus Ericsson finished tenth on a track that the team knew didnt suit their car. Nasr wasn't far behind and finish eleventh. The team have been struggling with pace lately but are bringing big upgrades after the summer break. McLaren finally had some good luck and left the track knowing they just achieved their first double points finish of the season. Fernando Alonso finished fifth which gives the team a reason to be happy. Button also added to the number tally by finishing ninth.

Williams had bad luck and both cars fell out of the points. Massa's chances of a good points finish was hindered by his penalty. And Bottas lost time after the collision with Ricciardo. Force India had a worse day. After Hulkenberg's incident with his front wing, Perez later retired due to a brakes problem. Manor also had a retirement in Will Stevens. Although he was still classified as he didn't retire till close to the end of the race. Merhi finished fifteenth in what was a quiet race for him.

This race was thrilling and had lots of people of the edge of their seats. I sure was! It is going to make the summer break a lot harder. Three weeks with no race, I have no idea what I'm going to do! But if there are going to be more races like this then I wont complain too much. Would be worth the wait.


Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Maylasia race review: 2015

Malaysia the second race of the 2015 season, one of my questions was how many cars will finish this time? This race was not what people were expecting. A wet qualifying session meant Vettel lined up second next to reigning champion Hamilton on pole. Could Rosberg pass Vettel or would Ferrari be able to challenge Hamilton? Ferrari showed great improvement in their car this season. Vettel challenged and WON the race. Ferrari is back everyone. This year it wont just be Hamilton and Rosberg fighting for the championship win this year.

Vettel started 2rd on the grid. He got a good start and this helped keep Rosberg behind. After the safety car on the 4th lap involving a Sauber, both Mercedes pitted while Vettel stayed out. Ultimately working to his advantage as he was able to maintain speed and cruise home to his first victory for Ferrari in only his second race with the team. His team mate Raikkonen did not have such a great day. He faced a challenge from the start after a first lap collision with Nasr in the Sauber resulted in him having a puncture and losing time. However, he battled his way through the field to finish a respectable 4th. Mercedes only had to worry about Vettel today and just did not seem to have the pace to catch the Ferrari once he was ahead.

Will Stevens' Marussia had a fuel system problem and was not able to qualify or take part in the race. However, his team mate Mehri did start the race and in fact managed to finish. Giving the team valuable data to help improve both cars. McLaren didn't have a better day. Both their cars retired. Alonso's first race for McLaren this year had to retire on lap 20 due to power unit issue. Button had a turbo problem and had to stop on lap 40. Shame not to get the cars to the finish.

Marcus Ericsson's race finished soon after it started as he spun his Sauber. Subsequently bringing out the safety car. His team mate Nasr who started 16th on the grid, finished a respectable 12th. However, was unable to finish any higher. Both Force India's had uneventful races in 13th and 14th. Not being able to score points this time round. Penalties for both Perez and Hulkenberg for separate incidents prevented them from being higher up and scoring points. Another team who had an uneventful race was Williams. The drivers had each other for company with Bottas passing Massa on the last lap for 5th. Williams were Mercedes main rival last year, doesn't seem the same this year.

Red Bull struggled today finishing just 9th and 10th. Kvyat not being helped by being spun from contact with Hulkenberg. Other than that they had quiet races. With their sister team Toro Rosso scoring more points than them finishing 7th and 8th. With the 17 year old Max Verstappen becoming the youngest ever F1 points scorer. His team mate Carlos Sainz had an unfortunate spin which put him to the back of the pack in the early part of the race. However, he used the safety car to his advantage and stayed out when most people pitted for fresh tyres and fought to finish behind Verstappen in 8th. The Lotus driver of Grosjean also spun like Sainz, but because he was tapped by the Force India of Perez; which affected his race. Luck wasn't with the Lotus team. Maldonaldo was given a penalty for exceeding the safety car time. Furthermore, his brakes soon gave Maldonado a reason to retire.

Battles were everywhere. Front of the pack, mid-field. It is difficult to predict who will come where in races! This was not a boring race. There was a record broken, a winner who didn't drive a Mercedes power car and lots of battles. This season is going to be pretty memorable if races continue to be like this.



Saturday, 11 April 2015

Australia race review: 2015

That week in march was the one I had been waiting for all year. It meant one thing and one thing only, F1 IS OFFICIALLY BACK. It was time for the first race of the 2015 season. Time when we know roughly what to expect but always throws up surprises. That is what that race weekend did.

Only 15 cars were able to start the race. Manor Marussia were unable to participate. Bottas injured his back in qualifying so was not fit enough to race. McLarens Kevin Magnussen's car engine failed and Kvyat had a gearbox problem on the formation lap. The race hadn't even begun yet and so much had happened!

Maldonado's race ended in the first lap when he was involved in an incident which saw him go into a wall. Things got even worse for Lotus when Grosjean suffer with power loss only a few laps in. Ending their race weekend early.

On the 32nd lap when we hoped the rest of the cars would finish, Max Verstappen had an engine problem and had to retire. He was running in a points position. So even though he broke the record for youngest person to ever start a Formula 1 race, he didn't break the record for youngest points scorer, yet. There's still time. His team mate Sainz Jr came 9th and picked up his first points in F1.

Another team who had a mixed week was Sauber. Who had a lot of attention due to the court battle with Giedo Van Der Garde. Everyone didn't know who would be driving. Things were eventually sorted and Marcus Ericsson and Felipe Nasr were both able to race and I bet they're glad they did. With 5th and 8th place they both scored their first points. Sauber seem to have a strong car this year. Turn around from last year. Luckily they ended their week on a high.

Mercedes continued to dominate with a 1-2, Hamilton beating Rosberg for the top spot on the podium. Behind, the Ferrari of Vettel over 30 seconds behind. Bet that was a great feeling for Vettel, first race with Ferrari and already on the podium. However, his team mate Raikkonen didn't have the same luck. After contact in the first lap, he ultimately had a problem with the wheel and had to retire on lap 40. Williams' Felipe Massa came home in 4th. Not that fair from Vettel. Pace seems to be quite even between Ferrari and Williams, but can either one of them challenge Mercedes?

Red Bulls Daniel Ricciardo finished 6th. Strong result on his side of the garage. Jenson Buttons McLaren was the 11th car out of 11 to finish. Just out of reach from getting a point. He did have some good battles with former team mate Perez who was in the Force India. However, Perez was that little bit faster and got 1 point from finishing 10th. His current team mate Hulkenberg battled his way from 13th to 7th. What a great drive from him! Positive start for them after the delays they had for pre-season testing.

F1 is definitely not boring. So we obviously hoped for more cars to finish but the race was exciting and entertaining. Great start to the season. Hopefully there is more of this to come; with more cars finishing!


Tuesday, 10 March 2015

The F1 fans and stereotypes

Hello! So something that's really been bugging me lately is stereotypes. Why is it so weird if we don't fit into the stereotype?
I grew up slowly getting in to F1. I would walk into the room, see it was on and leave because I thought it was a male thing. When its not. F1 is and should be a place for everyone no matter what their age or gender. I once tweeted about wanting to see the film 'Rush' and someone replied saying 'do you even know who they are?' It was at that moment when my body filled with anger. I wouldn't be wanting to see a film if I didn't know who the people in it where. Yes, I'm not the stereotypical F1 fan. Its not a big deal.
Susie Wolff fully deserved all the publicity she received when she first participated in a practice session. Maybe F1 was known as a 'mans world' but not anymore. Women are being more widely accepted and Susie is an example of this. She has beaten stereotypes and doubt about her driving skills and got where she has today. And I'm proud of that. However, in my opinion gender should not matter in whether you can compete or be a fan of F1.
I must admit at first I was hesitant to tell people that I love F1. But now I don't care who knows. Yes some people were a bit shocked but a lot of people just treated me like any other F1 fan. I feel stupid for worrying about it in the first place. Like I said, I may not be the typical fan. I like shopping and clothes but I love F1 as well. Two very different things but they make me who I am. F1 is more important to me than things like shopping in all honesty.
So, if you have an interest in something and it goes against a stereotype then fuck it, who cares? One day stereotypes will be a thing of the past. If it makes you happy and you love it then why does it matter why anyone thinks? Going against a stereotype isn't a bad thing. Be proud of what you are interested in, never let what anyone says get you down.

Sunday, 8 March 2015

Pre-season testing

Testing is a very exciting time for everyone. It means Formula 1 is slowly and surely coming back. However, I wish they did show testing on TV. I think for some viewers (like myself) it would help us understand more of the technical side of F1.

I love testing, its a chance to get to grips to any changes that have been made. Whether that's technical or the design of the car and/or drivers. I like to use this time to remember who's number belongs to who and the same with helmets. That way during qualifying and the race I will know who is who.

In exactly one week (YES, ONE WEEK), we would have already seen the Australian grand prix. This makes me so happy and excited. Feels like I've been waiting years for this race! I cant wait 7 days. Luckily in just a few days it will be practice sessions and then qualifying followed by the race itself. I have never been more excited. I feel like a kid in a chocolate factory.

Australia will be a change. Big driver changes happened with Vettel going Ferrari and Alonso going to McLaren. Sadly, due to his incident in testing he is unable to take part in Australia. Nevertheless he will be back!

Testing has given us an idea of what to expect. Mercedes still have the lead. However, other teams like Williams are catching up and the Ferrari isn't looking too bad either.

These next few days could not go faster. I am ready for the season to start and this will be my first full F1 season in which I will write a blog post about every race and whatever else F1 related.


Sunday, 1 February 2015

We are back!

First off I would like to say sorry for the lack on posts lately! Been a quiet time in the F1 world. However, WERE BACK! Testing started in Jerez today and I've been waiting all year (literally) for this day.
We've seen all the car designs for this year, some more questionable than others. But, it was exciting to see all the drivers standing with their car. The most disappointing thing for me is that testing is not being broadcasted on TV. I for one would love to see what they do. Be a chance for us all to really get to grips on rule changes.
But, lets not focus on the negatives! F1 is officially back for this season. Might not be the first race, for now its close enough. Australia doesn't seem that far away now!
The day of the first test is always unexpected. Today was full of surprises. Rosberg completed 150 laps! Wow. After having the fastest time all morning; Vettel in the Ferrari beat that time and then improved on it later on. For me that wasn't the only surprise. Marcus Ericsson put in an impressive second quickest time of the day. Is today showing that the Ferrari engine has improved and both Sauber and Ferrari will be a lot competitive and faster this season? A lot of people say the first day can be a bit misleading but only time will tell.
My life revolves around F1 and over the winter season I was lost. I struggled. I feel happier and complete now its back. My life can continue as will this blog. My time away not posting weekly gave me time realise how much I love and need F1. I am back to my old self and I am thankful for that. I owe everything to F1 and I am very dedicated to the sport.

Sunday, 11 January 2015

2015 Current Driver Line-up: Part 2

This is the second final part of the current 2015 driver line up.

Force India: Perez and Hulkenberg
The team have shown they are competitive and after a successful season I'm sure they were very satisfied by their line up. However, I'm sure they are extremely pleased that Perez had a podium position in 2014. Hulkenberg is very consistent, although he struggled during the second half of the season. Both are talented drivers and the team have shown a lot of improvement in 2014. 

Toro Rosso: Verstappen and Sainz
This is a completely new line up. One which ended up being controversial due to Verstappen's Young age. Toro Rosso obviously see great potential in the record breaker. We shall see how he gets on. Sainz drove for Red Bull at their young driver test in 2013 so we can presume Toro Rosso have had their eye on him for a while. This is a team known for bringing in younger drivers to F1, they know how to work with them and I'm excited these two on the grid. 

Sauber: Ericsson and Nasr
After a pointless season, Sauber have changed their driver line up. Ericsson really showed improvement in the second half of the season. Unfortunately, due to Caterhams problems, he missed the last few races which was disappointing. However, I was glad to see he would still be on the grid as I think he has a lot more to show. Nasr was runner up in GP2 in 2014. He had some really good battles with Palmer and moved up a lot of positions during races. There is no doubt that these two will get the very best out of the car. We will have to see if they can help turn Sauber around. 

Lotus: Grosjean and Maldonado
The team had a disappointing season in 2014 and I'm sure changing to a Mercedes powered engine will make them more competitive. It was clear both drivers got a little bit frustrated b the fact they have stayed with Lotus shows that they believe in them. However, Grosjean did look for other seats but decided to stay. He said teams are wrong to forget him. He has driven well in the past, he just couldn't do much in 2014. Lotus have a lot of faith in Maldonado as they have stood up for him and said he is better than he gets credit for. Why would Maldonado leave a team that believes in him  and praises him? There is no reason. Hopefully these two can have a better season in 2015.

With the changes in the driver line up, it is bound to be interesting. I look forward to seeing how the drivers do and cope with any issues they have. All of the drivers are talented and put 100% into everything they do. For me, the drivers are the most interesting part of F1.