Thursday, December 4, 2014

F1 2014: Unforgettable

4 different drivers, Team Principal changes: 1 interim; Cowboy hats in Italy, winter ones in Sochi; Singapore parties; track runs; Tous Avec Jules; missed 2 races but we never lost our team spirit; Crowdfunding; What a comeback, what a team. F1 2014: unforgettable.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Keep fighting, cowboy!

Keep smiling

It's not how we wanted the season to end, but that smile never disappears. He has impressed me since day 1. He's all about constant fighting, improvement, positiveness and never giving up. And that's what I like most about him: we learn from the negative, build on the positive and the best is always still to come. There's been lows, but he's always come back fighting to create the highs that have become the best of memories. Keep pushing Dani Juncadella and more importantly, keep smiling like you do. The best is yet to come and here's to many more seasons working together! It's been a pleasure! 

Sunday, June 1, 2014

On paper a P16 is just that, a P16. But when you know how much effort and work goes into it all, it means much, much more than that. Three races in, today's DTM result is Dani Juncadella's best of the season, and it finally feels as if it's all starting to fall into place! Onwards & upwards. The best is yet to come...!

Sunday, April 20, 2014

"Tough luck!"

"Seb, let Daniel past, he's faster than you"
"What tyres is he on?"
"The same ones as you, but you still need to let him past"
"Tough luck"!

Chinese Grand Prix, 20 April 2014

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Checo's Cheeky Corner

Stop the clocks. Let's go back a year: Bahrain 2013 - a Checo Perez with a lot to prove at McLaren needed a good result that race... And he went for it: An aggressive Mexican battled it out against his teammate at the time, Jenson Button. A very intense wheel-to-wheel mid-race duel culminated at Bahrain's Turn 4, where Checo showed tough racing instincts while trying to be too ´cheeky´ at the end of the straight and turn into corner 4 on the inside... Ending up with a damaged front wing after having banged wheels twice.

A year later, Checo is driving for a new team, Force India, has a new teammate, Nico Hulkenberg, and wants to prove a point again, but his Turn 4 Bahraini moves haven't changed... And he went for that exact inside line manoeuvre at Turn 4 to overtake his teammate again. This time he made it stick beautifully, maintaining the Incredible Hulk behind him and finally crossing the line in third position, giving the team its first podium since Belgium 2009 and only the second in the team's history. Aggressive, dangerous, dirty, determined... Many ways to describe his driving in Bahrain throughout the years, but Turn 4 is certainly Checo's Cheeky Corner! 

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Can Vandoorne do a Rosberg & Hamilton?

Stoffel Vandoorne. 22 years old. He's a GP2 rookie driving for ART Grand Prix, and today in Bahrain he won his first ever GP2 race on his debut weekend in the series.

Only 2 rookies in GP2 history - also driving for ART - have ever won the Championship in their first year: Nico Rosberg (2005) and Lewis Hamilton (2006). They both graduated to Formula One the year after winning their respective championships. Only one other driver has ever come close to repeating this achievement, and that was Nico Hulkenberg in 2009 - he won the GP2 Series after ending up 6th in the 6-round GP2 Asia Series 2008-2009.

10 years later, can Vandoorne become the third driver to win in his rookie year? His fight for the title has started perfectly. Not even Rosberg or Hamilton won a race on their debut weekend - they had to wait until later on in the year (Nico, race 9; Lewis, race 5). The potential is certainly there and McLaren are following him closely. Next stop, F1?

Thursday, April 3, 2014

The 250 club

Jenson Button joins an exclusive club this weekend, as he becomes the fifth driver in Formula 1 to reach the milestone of 250 Grand Prix starts. He follows Rubens Barrichello, Michael Schumacher, Riccardo Patrese and Jarno Trulli's footsteps.

I remember being at his 200th Grand Prix celebration in Budapest, 2011. A nice informal gathering of friends, family, F1 family, team members, team PR's and errr... biscuits - Button biscuits! - in the McLaren Hospitality in the Paddock. He then went on to win the race that weekend. 50 races later, will he be able to do the same in Bahrain? The answer, this Sunday!

(Photo: The Button biscuit from Hungary 2011 to celebrate Jenson's 200th Formula 1 Grand Prix)

"It's crazy, it feels only like yesterday that I was celebrating my 200th, with a win for McLaren in Hungary back in 2011. It means I've been around for a long time! I'm very happy with my career, even though there have been highs and lows. One of the things I'm most proud of is the way I've stacked up against my teammates. I've had 10 of them in 15 seasons, so I've needed to prove myself to the new guy say beside me virtually every year. It's a very funny sport in that respect because even after everything you've achieved, you've still got to prove yourself again and again" - Jenson Button.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Mercedes take the Petronas towers home!

Photo credit: @MercedesAMGF1

Malaysia: Mercedes' land

Mercedes end the Malaysian Grand Prix leading the Constructors' Championship by 25 points and with both their drivers at the very top of the Drivers' classification. Fast, strong, reliable... And with Lewis Hamilton not only winning the race from pole, but also setting the fastest lap of the race. No wonder its all smiles there, a smile they could've all very possibly stolen from Daniel Ricciardo!

Lewis had never won this race despite having started from pole position a couple of times, but today was different: "I've had difficult times in Malaysia but what a great day its been today", he said. "The team did a great job and I've learned so much from today, I will make sure I take it onto the next race". Hamilton is calm, thinking positive. He has grown as a driver - here's another example: "I wasn't worried about it raining during the race this time. Other years when I've been told over the radio that there's high chances of rain, I've hoped it didn't, but this time I didn't care what happened. I knew I had qualified fastest in the rain, so I was calm about it" and comfortably in the lead, I'd add. Even his teammate agreed: "I would have preferred to win but Lewis was better today", said Nico Rosberg after the race.

Australian nightmare
Stripped off his podium finish in front of his home crowd in Melbourne, a tyre problem, an unsafe release, wing damage and a stop and go penalty in Malaysia and a 10 grid penalty for Bahrain... Can Daniel Ricciardo's nightmare end, PLEASE?!

"Valtteri is faster than you"
Well, Felipe Massa heard those words again, but this time he didn't let his teammate past. He believes what he did was correct and I have to say, I agree with him. Once team orders come into play, racing drivers stop being racing drivers.

The talented
In Australia he became the youngest Formula 1 driver to score points, and today Daniil Kvyat has improved that, becoming the youngest driver to score in two consecutive races. In only two Grands Prix he has demonstrated he certainly deserves to be where he is.

And then there's Hulkenberg, oh Nico Hulkenberg. What a driver. Today was yet another stellar performance from the Incredible Hulk, who finished fifth and is now sixth in the Drivers' Championship.

Its not how you start but how you finish
It's certainly been one of the most difficult race weekends for Kamui Kobayashi: He went straight into qualifying with only 12 practice laps under his belt. But Sunday is the important day of a race weekend and Kamui-San certainly delivered. He made the most out of his chances and after an excellent start, he raced at a very good pace, ending 13th. This result, combined with Marcus Ericsson's P14, put Caterham back in tenth position in the Constructors' Championship, ahead of Marussia.

"13th in our second race of the season is a very good result for the team, especially after such a bad weekend until the race! I had a great start and no brake problems this time going into turn one. The car performed much better than it had all weekend", said Kobayashi.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Talent shines in Melbourne

The first race of the 2014 season, and the first Australian on an Australian podium... At least for a few hours! Ricciardo was stripped of podium. Its all about the fuel flow, but you can't take away what Dan achieved, in front of his home crowd and in his first race as a Red Bull driver. The pressure was on and he delivered.

But what Australia will be remembered for is for Kevin Magnussen's stellar performance - best rookie result since Lewis Hamilton's debut with McLren! Also the first ever Dane driver on an F1 podium! What a viking!

The other rookie of the weekend was definitely Daniil Kvyat. He went on to score points in his first ever F1 race (don't forget he comes straight from GP3), stealing one of Vettel's records on the way: the Russian is now the youngest driver to have scored a point in F1, only 19 years and 322 days old (27 days younger than the German).