Saturday, March 17, 2012

Australia FP3 & Qualifying

The track was dry today which made free practice 3 very enjoyable to watch as all cars were running a lot. Topping the session was Lewis Hamilton followed surprisingly by Romain Grosjean who managed to put in a very good lap just as the time was up. The Ferrari's had a tough time ending up at 16th and 18th place.

FP3 results.

Two hours later it was finally time for the qualifying, all cars were out early setting times in Q1, the 7 cars who didn't make the cut was the usual suspects, HRT, Marussia and Caterham, who was joined by Kimi Raikkonen who made a mistake on his last run and didn't have time for a last lap.

In Q2 Alonso was fast out setting a time only to go off and get stuck in a sand trap and was due to that out of the picture very fast. His team mate Felipe Massa wasn't much better though as he didn't make it into Q3 and only made the 16th fastest time. Perez in one of the Saubers got a gearbox problem so he wasn't able to run in Q2 and he also got 5 places penalty for replacing it. The other four drivers who didn't make the cut was Paul di Resta who finished 15th, Bruno Senna at 14th, Kamui Kobayashi at 13th and Jean Eric Vergne at 11th.

Q3 started out with Hamilton setting a blazing fast 1:24:922 which was .7 of a second faster than the second runner after the first set of the option tyres. Red Bull didn't look too good but as Vettel usually are able to put down a great time at the end of qualifying nothing was set in stone yet. Going of for the second runs most of the drivers improved but no one was able to touch Hamilton's time, the closest one being Button about 1/10 of a second behind. As the last seconds of Q3 ran out Schumacher was at third but Grosjean who was out on his last lap managed to grab that spot which proves that the Lotus have a great car this year. The best placed Red Bull was Webber at 5th followed by Vettel and Rosberg who capped out the main contenders and possibly the cars who will battle for first in the race.

The HRT's didn't manage to finish within 107% of the fastest time in Q1 and won't be allowed in the race tomorrow.

Qualifying results.

Something noteworthy is that in the last five years the driver who got pole position in Australia have also been the Championship winner at the end of the season. So is this might be the year of Hamilton.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Argentinian GP 2013

There's talk of an Argentinian GP being held in 2013 and supposedly the only thing left before it's official is Mr. Ecclestone's signature. The track would be 5km long with a 900 meter main straight where top speeds could reach 320kph and a lap time of around 1m 33s.

Australia Free Practice 1 & 2

The first and second free practice was driven earlier today and as expected the HRT's was pretty much a disaster, only getting around the track 3 times before the car stopped for Karthikeyan while de la Rosa didn't even have a finished car to drive. On the other side of the grid was McLaren and Mercedes who both impressed very much and took the top spots in FP1 while Red Bull probably was sandbagging a bit.

Two hours later in FP2 HRT finally got both their cars running but wasn't all all near the same pace as the other cars, Marussia on the other hand seemed to keep up pretty well. Once again the Mercedes looked very good and especially Schumacher who topped the practice being followed by Hulkenberg in the Force India and Saubers Sergio Perez.

Both sessions had a pretty damp track which led to some cars going off and almost hitting walls, the only one who didn't manage to get back on track however was Felipe Massa who got stuck in a sand trap and had to be towed back to the pits during FP1.

Results: FP1, FP2

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

1 Day To Go

Both Mercedes and Sauber just released very interesting videos, first off we have the Mercedes one in which Michael Schumacher explains the start procedure of a Formula One race. The Sauber video is their official trailer for the 2012 season and features many beautiful shots of their maybe not so beautiful car running on the Barcelona track.

But first, here's a picture explaining the DRS zones in Australia, yes there are two of them:

Monday, March 12, 2012

Australia Preparations

Here's a few pictures from the first cars arriving and the pits starting to take shape. Only five days left now!