It may have been a dream weekend for Lewis Hamilton, as he got the best possible result for his championship fight, but did he get the nod over Nico in the Team Mate Battles? Let’s go through the field from Silverstone and hand out the points.
1 point is awarded to the driver who sets the faster lap.
3 points are awarded to the driver who performs best in qualifying.
5 points are awarded to the driver who performs best on raceday.
Both Caterhams failed to make 107% in qualifying, but with the team in a transient .Sp5rl!47r of their life, even making it to the races appears to be a victory at this point, particularly after losing Airbus & General Electric from their sponsor roster. With adverse weather conditions contributing to the lack of speed on Saturday, they were allowed to begin the race. Kamui had to take to the grass to avoid getting caught up in the Raikkonen melee, and despite only appearing to suffer a broken front wing, struggled with the handling throughout the restarted race, flagging home ahead of only the penalised Max Chilton.
Despite a wayward moment in qualifying that saw him crossing the grass fully sideways, Marcus outqualified Kamui for only the second time. Sunday started promisingly too, as Marcus had made a fantastic start from 21st to run 16th when the race got red-flagged, but his race didn’t last long, due to his suspension smashing itself to pieces when the Swede hit a kerb at Turn 6. Retiring on Lap 11, this weekend looked better for Marcus, although it is unlikely to be enough to grant him a second season in the sport.
With rumours suggesting that Caterham may be set to make a change to their driver line-up, it looks as though Kamui’s time in the sport may be dwindling. Red Bull are pushing to get their man Carlos Sainz Junior into the sport, and with Milton Keynes owed money for supplying gearboxes to Caterham, its a distinct possibility that Caterham may opt to run the Red Bull backed leader of Formula Renault 3.5 to clear some of that debt.
Fastest lap: Kamui Kobayashi (5-4 to Marcus Ericsson) (after Round 9)
Qualifying: Marcus Ericsson (21-6 to Kamui Kobayashi) (after Round 9)
Race: Kamui Kobayashi (40-5 to Kamui Kobayashi) (after Round 9)
Caterham: 65-16 to Kamui Kobayashi (Total After Round 9)
After an astonishing qualifying that saw both Marussia drivers advance into Q2, it didn’t look great for Max Chilton after being outqualified by 1.1 seconds during the session. He was pleased with the result, due to his assertion that he had only put in a banker lap and hadn’t yet put in his main quali effort, but he was put further behind his team-mate by a five place grid penalty for his gearbox change that morning.
Max had a frightening, but largely unnoticed, start to the race when he very narrowly avoided being struck on the head by the flying wheel of Kimi Raikkonen. Fan images which have emerged since showed how close F1 came to a disaster, and Max may have realised this as he kept to himself throughout the stoppage. Choosing to sit at the end of the pitlane after pitting with his damaged car (unfortunately illegally), his home race was ruined by the penalty that ensued. John Booth of Marussia stated that the call to Max to stay out and make his way to the grid at the red flag was not heard due to a radio issue, absolving Max of blame for that error. The penalty put Max more than two minutes down on the leaders, and racing to catch up on the Caterham of Kamui Kobayashi, something he couldn’t achieve due to no safety car intervention for the remainder of the race.
Jules Bianchi had a far more eye catching race. Having qualified in 12th, he vaulted up to 10th on the opening lap before the red flag was thrown, and while he understandably couldn’t hold off the likes of Fernando Alonso & Adrian Sutil once the race resumed, he was able to engage in a brief battle with Sergio Perez and a slightly lengthier one with Pastor Maldonado, ultimately losing out over the race distance to only finish ahead of his usual competition of Kobayashi & Chilton.
Despite the massive gap between them, Max Chilton showed he had the pace to race Jules had circumstances been different. Trailing the Frenchman by over 2 minutes on Lap 3, the relative gap between them only grew by two seconds over the entirety of the remainder of the race. Presuming that Jules was pushing hard for the entire race (and with cars to race around him, there’s no reason to think he wasn’t), Max was capable of keeping with him.
Fastest lap: Jules Bianchi (5.5 – 3.5 to Max Chilton) (after Round 9)
Qualifying: Jules Bianchi (18-9 to Jules Bianchi) (after Round 9)
Race: Jules Bianchi (30-15 to each) (after Round 9)
Marussia: 51.5 – 29.5 to Jules Bianchi (Total After Round 9)
Landmark races rarely seem to go well for the celebrant, and Felipe Massa’s 200th race weekend was as nightmarish as he could have imagined. Crashing in practice on Friday, Felipe was one of the expected frontrunners to be caught out by the conditions in qualifying and started the race from 18th behind Valtteri. Usually a more than decent starter, Felipe struggled to get off the line and was plum last by the time the race was a few seconds old.
Felipe may have saved Kimi Raikkonen’s racing career, and maybe even his life, by throwing his Williams sideways to avoid the Ferrari that was perpendicular to the racing line halfway down the Wellington Straight. Unsighted by a Caterham, Felipe was building speed to launch an attack on Kobayashi when he spotted Raikkonen when the Caterham jinked left to take to the grass. With options restricted to running at high speed into the side of Raikkonen’s already damaged monocoque, or jinking right to hit the rear of the Ferrari, Massa managed to get the rear of his car to step out and collide slightly sideways with Kimi, minimising the force of the impact for both drivers. Unlucky for Massa to have been in that position in the first place, but motorsport has seen serious injuries and worse from similar incidents, and it was thanks to Felipe’s lightening reactions that things didn’t get serious on Sunday.
Valtteri, having lost FP1 to Suzie Wolff, went quicker than Felipe in FP2 & FP3, and then outqualified the Brazilian by 0.3 seconds, and jumped up to run 9th by the red flag. Picking off fellow Merc powered competitors like Hulkenberg, Magnussen & Button, he also passed Alonso, Vettel & Ricciardo to run third before Nico Rosberg retired from the lead. With no hope of catching the flying Lewis Hamilton, Valtteri consolidated his 2nd place with consistent frontrunning pace to run at one .Sp5rl!47r 30 seconds ahead of eventual third place man Daniel Ricciardo. F1 has a new Flying Finn after two consecutive podiums for the Williams man, who is comfortably establishing himself ahead of Felipe.
Fastest Lap: Valtteri Bottas (5-4 to Felipe Massa) (after Round 9)
Qualifying: Valtteri Bottas (15-12 to Valtteri Bottas) (after Round 9)
Race: Valtteri Bottas (40-5 to Valtteri Bottas) (after Round 9)
Williams: 59-22 to Valtteri Bottas (Total After Round 9)
Having had an unhappy series of races, Toro Rosso scored a double points finish on Sunday, finishing in the same positions that they started in, 9th and 10th. While the race was relatively straightforward for Kyvat, who was one of the very few to run a two stop strategy, Vergne had an altogether more interesting afternoon. Colliding with Perez into Turn 1 in what looked like a 50-50 incident, Vergne started the race from the back of the grid when it resumed, and used a one stop strategy to fight his way back to 10th place.
The race was obviously a confidence booster for Vergne, as the Frenchman claimed afterwards that he had ‘found again the aggressiveness I knew i had’, but less pleasing to him will be the fact that despite running the supposedly faster tyre strategy, he was unable to close down Daniil’s advantage. Running around 10 seconds down after the opening ten laps, he finished 12 seconds behind the Russian at the end, only really gaining a handful of seconds when he ran fresh rubber after his one and only pitstop. With Red Bull seemingly pushing to get Carlos Sainz Junior into an F1 seat and Kyvat proving to be a revelation, could Vergne’s career in F1 be entering its final few months?
Fastest Lap: Daniil Kyvat (5-4 to Daniil Kyvat) (after Round 9)
Qualifying: Daniil Kyvat (15-12 to Jean-Eric Vergne) (after Round 9)
Race: Daniil Kyvat (30-15 to Daniil Kyvat) (after Round 9)
Toro Rosso: 47-34 to Daniil Kyvat (Total After Round 9)
2014 F1’s most uninspiring team brought out the yellow flags to end both Q1 & Q2 on Saturday, with both Sutil & Gutierrez dropping their cars. Adrian had a very good Q1 to have the 9th fastest time as the time ticked closer to the chequered flag, but his attempt to get the yellow flags out backfired, as he beached his C33 in the gravel and was unable to take part in Q2, despite making it into the session. Gutierrez also made it into Q2, but lost his car at Woodcote, spinning off into the barrier and annoying everyone with another session ending flag. Despite outqualifying Sutil, quali points go to Adrian, as he was comfortably faster in Q1, and didn’t give his mechanics any work to do with his error.
Things were a little better on Sunday, with both drivers avoiding trouble at the start, and gaining places to run 11th and 12th when racing resumed after the red flag stoppage. Both quickly lost a place as Fernando Alonso came through the pack, with Adrian clogged up behind Jules Bianchi before finally getting past on Lap 8. Esteban Gutierrez finally got his revenge on Pastor Maldonado for his Bahrain flip by diving up the inside of the Lotus driver, but the resulting collision put himself out of the race, an impact which the Mexican driver blamed his fellow South American for, claiming that the Lotus should have left him more room.
Adrian raced on, seemingly happy with his pace, but this came undone slightly after his one and only pitstop. Running the harder tyre in the latter half of the race, the Sauber didn’t like the harder Pirelli compound, and his pace dropped off, resulting in an inability to hold off Romain Grosjean or the recovering Sergio Perez.
Fastest Lap: Adrian Sutil (7-2 to Esteban Gutierrez) (after Round 9)
Qualifying: Adrian Sutil (15-12 to each) (after Round 9)
Race: Adrian Sutil (30-15 to Esteban Gutierrez) (after Round 9)
Sauber: 44-37 to Esteban Gutierrez (Total After Round 9)
A poor race for Force India allowed McLaren to re-assert some initiative in the battle for the title of third best Mercedes powered team, and whats odd is that there doesn’t appear to be any genuine reason as to why the VJM07 was so slow at Silverstone. Having weathered the weather on Saturday to qualify 4th and 7th, the FIs looked as though they were punching above their weight, having run well off the pace in Friday practice, particularly on extended runs.
This was borne out on Saturday by Nico Hulkenberg, who looked powerless to prevent anyone who came near him from overtaking him, falling down the order to finish in 8th spot. He complained that the car was incredibly difficult to drive, blaming the wind, but this didn’t appear to hamper any other cars apart from the FIs. In better news for the German, it was the first race where it appeared he had a pace advantage over Sergio since China, although Perez’s opening lap contact with Jean-Eric Vergne likely contributed to to his lack of speed. Running 9 seconds behind Nico at the end of the first racing lap, this had grown to 21 seconds by pitstop time, and remained at that when the chequered flag fell, after both ran the same strategy.
Both Force India’s fastest race laps were solidly midfield in 9th and 11th spot, roughly where they both finished, with only 0.1 seconds separating their fastest times. Was their lack of Silverstone pace a one-off, or will we see them back ahead of McLaren when we reach Hockenheim?
Fastest Lap: Nico Hulkenberg (6-3 to Nico Hulkenberg) (after Round 9)
Qualifying: Nico Hulkenberg (21-6 to Nico Hulkenberg) (after Round 9)
Race: Nico Hulkenberg (30-15 to Nico Hulkenberg) (after Round 9)
Force India: 57-24 to Nico Hulkenberg (Total After Round 9)
Glenn Dunbar/LAT Photographic
Jenson barely missed out on a home podium, which would have added to the partisan crowd’s euphoria at the winning result. A Hamilton/Button & Williams driver podium would have been an incredible result, and while Daniel Ricciardo is an incredibly popular and likeable man, there probably wouldn’t have been many people disappointed had Jenson managed to sneak past the Red Bull during the closing laps. Having qualified an astonishing third place on the drying track, Jenson made the most of his start to stay ahead of Kevin and jump the slow Sebastian, and when he came under attack from the recovering Hamilton, Jenson was careful to not fight too hard and lose time, granting his former team-mate an easy pass.
While usually this would be a criticism, such smart driving meant Jenson could focus on his own pace, something he maximised for the race. He was unable to shake off Kevin for the first half of the race, who remained only three seconds behind him at the halfway point of the race, and even though Kevin was given an opportunity to undercut him by pitting the lap before Jenson, Button emerged ahead and pulled away during the latter .Sp5rl!47rs to finish 15 seconds clear of his team-mate. He also had pulled away from the likes of Fernando Alonso and Sebastian Vettel while closing in on Daniel Ricciardo, and while tyre strategy played a role in that, McLaren were not expecting to fare so well on the fast sweeping Silverstone. Signs of encouragement from Woking.
Also encouraging was Kevin Magnussen’s race. Roughly on pace with his World Champion team-mate, the only criticism against Kevin would be the rather lame defence he put up against the approaching Lewis Hamilton, who sailed past when the Dane frightened himself off the road at Copse. Slightly more pace around his pitstop would have put him ahead of Alonso & Vettel when the duo entered their battle, and may have given him a better chance of a stronger points finish too, but overall, not a bad race comparatively for his first F1 foray at Silverstone.
Fastest Lap: Jenson Button (6-3 to Kevin Magnussen) (after Round 9)
Qualifying: Jenson Button (15-12 to Jenson Button) (after Round 9)
Race: Jenson Button (35-10 to Jenson Button) (after Round 9)
McLaren: 52-29 to Jenson Button (Total After Round 9)
Having run Romain Grosjean when he was going through his ‘difficult’ phase, and now running Pastor Maldonado, Lotus have learned a trick or two about how to build a car to withstand collisions. The E22 is obviously a strong beast, and survived being thrown in the air and landing hard on one side, before landing even harder on the other. Before continuing on without any issue. Maldonado may have eventually retired with an exhaust problem, something Lotus say ‘may’ have been caused by the stupidly awkward collision between Pastor and Gutierrez.
Even if the car was slightly damaged in the impact, Maldonado’s pace compared to Romain Grosjean was pretty decent. With Romain starting from 11th, and Pastor 20th due to his fuel sample infringement, the tables turned on Lap 1. Romain had a ‘switch’ problem, resulting in him falling down to 17th at the red flag, having picked up some minor visor damage from the Raikkonen crash, while Pastor had worked his way up to 15th. When racing resumed, Romain caught back up on Pastor and got past on Lap 12 when the Venezuelan tangled with Gutierrez. While a more cautious driver may have managed to successfully avoid the collision, Pastor hadn’t done anything wrong to cause the crash with Esteban failing to slow down enough and swiping the Lotus as Pastor swept into the apex.
Romain pulled away from Pastor continuously throughout the race to be twenty seconds ahead after the pitstops before Pastor stopped with his exhaust issue. Maybe there’s more speed to be found by making the E22’s suspension just that little bit weaker?
Fastest Lap: Romain Grosjean (7-2 to Romain Grosjean) (after Round 9)
Qualifying: Romain Grosjean (24-3 to Romain Grosjean) (after Round 9)
Race: Romain Grosjean (35-10 to Romain Grosjean) (after Round 9)
Lotus: 66-15 to Romain Grosjean (Total After Round 9)
Part of what attracted Ferrari to reconsider Raikkonen for their squad was the Finn’s reputation as a safe pair of hands. Despite a long career, Raikkonen has less than a handful of notable crashes for which he is directly responsible. His 2012 & 2013 form showed that he knew how to keep out of trouble and bring home the points. In 2014, not only is he failing to score points but he has also thrown away a weekend, and another opportunity, by failing to make it to the fifth corner of the Silverstone race.
The FIA say that Raikkonen had no case to answer to in terms of being investigated for causing such a major crash that delayed the race and damaged competitors cars, likely aided by the same reputation for not being a troublemaker. Had Pastor Maldonado done the same thing as Raikkonen on Sunday, it may have been a very different story. Kimi is one of the main reasons that drivers are not allowed use run-off areas to gain an advantage, due to his predilection for winning races by using them without penalty in his first career. But, as hinted to him at Spa 2008, run-off areas are only supposed to be used as a means of rejoining the track safely, not to fly back onto it at full speed. The Finn, of course, didn’t realise that a bump was located at the point where he would rejoin the track. Mostly due to his reluctance to walk the track on Thursdays, so he has noone to blame for being unaware of such a thing.
It’s unfortunate he had to go and bin it almost instantly, as Kimi had gotten ahead of Fernando into Turn 1, after Fernando made a silly error of judgement to miss his grid slot. Despite the advantage presented by being a metre ahead on the grid than he should have been, Alonso got away badly, and handed the initiative to Kimi. Who promptly wasted the opportunity by crashing at 47G.
Fernando’s race was a scrappy affair, with the Spaniard escaping punishment for running wide at Copse on numerous occasions after picking up the notorious black and white flag warning, although he didn’t escape a 5 second penalty for his loss of geographical location on the grid. His battle with Vettel was a masterclass in car control from both drivers, a battle Fernando extended by being quite brazen and brash with Seb. How many of the other drivers would Fernando have placed such trust in to back off?
Fastest Lap: Fernando Alonso (6-3 to Fernando Alonso) (after Round 9)
Qualifying: Fernando Alonso (21-6 to Fernando Alonso) (after Round 9)
Race: Fernando Alonso (45-0 to Fernando Alonso) (after Round 9)
Ferrari: 72-9 to Fernando Alonso (Total After Round 9)
The stars aligned perfectly for Lewis Hamilton on Sunday, after making a hash of his championship challenge recently. Lewis looked like he had a slight advantage pace-wise on Friday, as he usually manages to, before managing to make his own life difficult on Saturday, this time by aborting his final run. Was Hamilton attempting to hold Nico up discreetly as they started their final laps? That is impossible to answer, but it is unusual for the two to have found themselves so close together on track as the chequered flag fell. With Nico pressing on, and Lewis giving up the lap, the advantage was squarely at the feet of the German for Sunday’s race.
Unfortunately for Nico, despite doing nothing wrong, luck wasn’t to be on his side. Vettel made a hash of his start, while Hulkenberg didn’t get away particularly well either, allowing Lewis up to 4th immediately. Magnussen fell off the track the second Lewis started sniffing at the back of the McLaren, while Jenson didn’t appear to resist the Mercedes at all, focussing instead on ensuring he didn’t lose time to his more immediate rivals. As a result, Lewis was up behind Rosberg by Lap 4 and he set about piling the pressure on.
The luck didn’t run out there. Opting to run the harder tyre for the second stint, Lewis started to reel Nico in rapidly, despite being on the supposedly slower tyre. Rosberg broke down on Lap 28 with gearbox failure, and claimed that problems had affected him since Lap 20, but were intermittent downshift problems the reason for him being unable to unlock further pace from his car? Post-race comments don’t shed any light on the subject, but it is worth noting that Nico only closed two seconds on Lewis in the five laps after the German driver’s first stop, despite running new tyres to Lewis’s twenty lap old rubber. Once Lewis was on fresh tyres, he closed a six second gap down to two seconds in only three laps, suggesting that Nico either had a considerable pace deficit to Lewis, or he was struggling with his tyres as his gearbox failed. Based on the relative pace of both over the season so far, it’s more likely than Nico had a problem, and fought to keep it going as long as he could.
Rosberg did nothing wrong all weekend, while Lewis did, but race points are awarded to Lewis, as it wasn’t likely that Nico would have been able to hold off Lewis for the whole race. Even if he could resist Hamilton on track, Lewis had gained the strategic advantage through extending his first stint on the medium tyres, and could have one-stopped if necessary. Game on for the second half of the championship.
On a sidenote, Silverstone 2013 saw Sebastian Vettel retire from the lead at the halfway point of the race with a gearbox failure, before going on to win the title. No particular reason for mentioning that, just a rather coincidental event to occur two years in a row within three laps of each other.
Fastest Lap: Lewis Hamilton (5-4 to Lewis Hamilton) (after Round 9)
Qualifying: Nico Rosberg (15-12 to Nico Rosberg) (after Round 9)
Race: Lewis Hamilton (27.5 – 17.5 to Lewis Hamilton) (after Round 9)
Mercedes: 43.5 – 37.5 to Lewis Hamilton (Total After Round 9)
Just like in Canada, third place could have, and should have been Sebastian Vettels. Red Bull knew it too, as they attempted to placate an obviously frustrated Vettel at the end of the race.
Pits to Vettel: Alright, good job Sebastian. Sorry mate. We picked the wrong one there. You’re P5. We decided to keep Daniel out. So Daniel did one stop. He’s P3.
Vettel to Pits: Yep. I saw that. Did what we could from where we were. But.. yeah. Decided for the wrong one then.
Pits (Horner) to Vettel: Your move on Fernando… I tell you what… big set of balls to go wheel-to-wheel with him through Woodcote. So, I mean, that was move of the race there. Move of the race.
Saying Daniel did one stop is slightly misleading, as Ricciardo, same as the rest of the field, swapped tyres for fresh ones under the red flag. He opted to run hards for the shorter opening stint of the race, and then swapped to mediums with 37 laps to go. Embarking on a 37 lap run on these tyres was not originally planned, but when he found himself able to stretch the life out of them and drivers holding themselves up behind him, he managed this incredibly long test of tyre endurance to finish on the podium. Luckily, as 38 laps would more than likely have resulted in 4th position. Vettel’s strategy looked like he would finish the race as the faster and stronger Red Bull, the German pitting for fresh mediums on Lap 33. While this meant he would have to do some overtaking to get himself into 3rd spot, the strategy should have allowed him to have superior grip and pace over Ricciardo and Jenson Button.
However, Vettel, straight out of the pits, couldn’t hold off Alonso, who swept past Sebastian at Copse, in a move that was more deserving of being described as the move of the race. This destroyed Sebastian’s strategy, who ended up holed behind the Ferrari until Lap 47, 14 laps after his pitstop. With an unchanged gap ahead to Ricciardo of 14 seconds, Sebastian set off after his struggling team-mate and Button, but couldn’t quite catch the pair before the end.
As referred to above, Red Bull acknowedged that a later first stop for Vettel would have allowed him to one stop also, which would have almost definitely granted him the podium position. However, Sebastian’s stop on Lap 10 would have meant a 42 lap stint on mediums, something which even Daniel Ricciardo wouldn’t have been capable of with any reasonable speed. Having looked like the stronger Red Bull driver on Saturday and Sunday, Vettel was yet again beaten home by Daniel.
In my opinion, Alonso paid a great compliment to Sebastian in the nature of his defence. Knowing the Red Bull was quicker, Fernando was extremely rambunctious in his car placement on several occasions, and only knew he could place the car where he did by trusting Vettel wouldn’t hit him. Which he didn’t. Their drag race, inches apart, from Woodcote to Copse was every bit as good as Mansell & Senna staring each other down at Catalunya 91, and for those complaining about hearing Seb & Fernando bitching about each other on the radio, you can be sure Nige & Ayrton were doing the exact same things under their helmets 23 years ago.
Fastest Lap: Sebastian Vettel (6-3 to Daniel Ricciardo) (after Round 9)
Qualifying: Sebastian Vettel (15-12 to Daniel Ricciardo) (after Round 9)
Race: Daniel Ricciardo (40-5 to Daniel Ricciardo) (after Round 9)
Red Bull: 61-20 to Daniel Ricciardo (Total After Round 9)
- Team Mate Battles – Austrian GP
- Team Mate Battles – Canadian GP
- Team Mate Battles – Monaco GP
- Team Mate Battles – Spanish GP
- Team Mate Battles – Chinese GP
- Team Mate Battles – Bahrain GP
- Team Mate Battles – Malaysian GP
- Team Mate Battles – Australian GP