Archive for the ‘Red Bull Racing’ Category

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Vettel Steals Title in Abu Dhabi

November 14, 2010

Sebastian Vettel stole the 2010 Formula One World Championship from under Fernando Alonso and teammate Mark Webber’s noses this afternoon, after winning the final race of the season in Abu Dhabi.

Vettel, who started from pole got a clean getaway, keeping second-place starter Lewis Hamilton behind him into turn one, while Jenson Button claimed third from championship leader Alonso.

Within just a few corners Mercedes teammates Nico Rosberg and Michael Schumacher made contact, the latter finding himself in a spin, and while the rest of the field tried to tip-toe around him, Vitantonio Liuzzi found he had nowhere else to go and his front wing ended up on top of Schumacher’s car.

The safety car was deployed and the mid field peeled into the pits, including Rosberg and Vitaly Petrov. At the restart at the end of lap five, Vettel led Hamilton, Button, Alonso and Webber, and after unsuccessfully trying to pass Alonso, Webber pitted on lap 12 to switch to the harder of the two compound tyres. He rejoined the track in 16th, behind Jaime Alguersuari, and spent the next couple of laps trying to pass him.

Ferrari tried a new tactic on lap 14, pitting Felipe Massa from fifth to try and get him ahead of Webber and ruin his race, to increase Alonso’s chances of taking the championship, but Massa rejoined behind Webber, just before Webber passed Alguersuari for 14th.

On lap 15, seeing that Webber and Massa were a fair bit faster on the medium compound tyre, Ferrari pitted Alonso to cover off Webber, and while they got him out ahead of the Red Bull driver, it proved to be what decided the title, as Alonso found himself staring at the back on Petrov’s gearbox for the rest of the race, unable to pass on a circuit which has proved in its two years to not open up many overtaking opportunities, and therefore meaning he couldn’t score enough points.

As Alonso got stuck behind the Renault, Red Bull and McLaren then chose to keep Vettel, Hamilton and Button out instead of bringing them in for fresh tyres – the aim to ensure they stayed ahead of Kamui Kobayashi and Robert Kubica in fourth and fifth respectively, and both of whom were running long into the first stint on the harder compound tyre.

McLaren eventually chose to pit Hamilton on lap 23, and he rejoined behind the squabbling pair. On lap 25 Kubica passed Kobayashi, with Hamilton following suit on lap 26, but after that Hamilton was unable to pass Kubica. On lap 25, Vettel pitted, but unlike Hamilton was able to stay ahead of Kubica.

Button took the lead of the race until lap 39, when McLaren pitted him, realising he wasn’t going to pull out anymore of a lead over Kubica. He rejoined behind Hamilton, and the pair continued their fight against the Renault driver.

On lap 46, Kubica finally pitted for his mandatory pit stop, and having built up a 23 second lead over the Petrov-Alonso-Webber chain, he was able to rejoin the track ahead of them all, causing yet another headache for Alonso. Hamilton and Button regained second and third, and from then Vettel had the race under control.

As he crossed the line he had no idea his win meant he had won the championship, until Alonso and Webber crossed the line in seventh and eighth behind Rosberg, Kubica and Petrov in fourth, fifth and sixth, and the team told him he was the new champion. Alguersuari and Massa rounded out the top ten.

Vettel’s win gave him a final total of 256 world championship points, four ahead of Alonso on 252, with Webber on 242 and Hamilton on 240.

Following his win and being told he had won the title, Vettel let out all his emotions, crying both over the radio and on the podium. Despite the mistakes that he has made this season, in the last few races he has proved he really deserves this title.

McLaren have secured second in the Constructors’ Championship on 454 points, with Ferrari on 396, 102 behind Constructors’ Champions Red Bull on 498.

So that’s it for the 2010 season. The 2011 season will begin in Bahrain next March.

 

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Vettel on Pole for Final Race of 2010

November 13, 2010

Sebastian Vettel will start the final race of the 2010 Formula One season from pole, his tenth of the season, after setting a lap time of 1:39.394 in qualifying for tomorrow’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

Lewis Hamilton will start from second having missed out by less than a tenth of a second. Championship leader Fernando Alonso will start from third ahead of main rival Mark Webber who will start fifth, with Jenson Button splitting the pair in fourth.

Webber was disappointed with his lack of pace and subsequent grid position, and with Alonso ahead in third, the pressure will no doubt be getting to him if he is to take his first title. Hamilton, who sits 24 points adrift of Alonso will need a win, with Alonso failing to finish in the points, and Vettel finishing no higher than third, with Webber no higher than sixth to take the title. For Vettel, he needs a win or second position to get ahead of Alonso.

In the second half of the top ten, Felipe Massa set the sixth fastest time, with Rubens Barrichello seventh, Michael Schumacher eighth, Nico Rosberg ninth, and Vitaly Petrov tenth.

In Q1 the usual suspects found themselves in the dropout zone – Sebastien Buemi, Jarno Trulli, Heikki Kovalainen, Timo Glock, Lucas di Grassi, Bruno Senna and Christian Klien in 18th to 24th respectively. Jaime Alguersuari just pipped his Toro Rosso teammate to get through to Q2, the two cars the only of the established teams without an F-duct.

In Q2 Robert Kubica, Kamui Kobayashi, Adrian Sutil, Nick Heidfeld, Nico Hulkenberg, Vitantonio Liuzzi and Alguersuari dropped out in 11th down to 17th respectively.

Vettel is in the best position for tomorrow’s race, and he’ll be hoping to stay there if he’s to get the best shot at the title. Hamilton will be on the attack straight away, unless the stewards penalise him for his incident with Massa in Q2. Webber has a fight on his hands if he’s going to take the title, and he’ll be hunting Alonso straight off the start to give him the best possible chance.

So with the grid a bit more shaken up than normal, anything could happen in tomorrow’s race. But who is going to walk away with the ultimate prize? Four men remain in the hunt, and while Alonso is in the best position, it could still be anyone’s for the taking.

The race starts at 1pm UK time tomorrow, and you wouldn’t want to miss it.

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Vettel Wins in Brazil, Red Bull Secure Constructors’ Championship

November 8, 2010

Sebastian Vettel won this afternoon’s Brazilian Grand Prix, leading home teammate Mark Webber for a Red Bull one-two to secure the team’s first constructors’ championship.

Vettel got a great start from second on the grid, immediately passing pole-sitter Nico Hulkenberg to take the lead. Webber quickly followed his teammate past the German driver, while Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso battled it out for fourth, the latter finally winning the position after Hamilton outbraked himself into turn four. While the Red Bulls charged off into the lead, Alonso was left to try and pass Hulkenberg, who was a second-per-lap slower than the two Red Bulls. Alonso finally passed the German on lap seven, and it was then down to Hamilton to try and get through.

Hamilton struggled as Hulkenberg defended well, and it wasn’t until the German pitted on lap 15 that Hamilton finally made his escape.

In the meantime, Jenson Button pitted from tenth on lap 12 to try and avoid getting caught up in the traffic trailing Hulkenberg, and it paid off as by Hulkenberg’s stop, Button was able to leapfrog him.

Hamilton put in some faster laps in clear air, and by the time he pitted on lap 21, he was able to rejoin the track well ahead of Hulkenberg, and ahead of teammate Button, the two McLarens sixth and seventh.

Alonso pitted on lap 25 as it became apparent Hamilton’s pace was quicker on the harder compound tyre. Red Bull then pitted both Vettel and Webber on laps 26 and 27 respectively.

On lap 26, after Kamui Kobayashi locked his left-front brakes into turn one, Hamilton was able to snatch fifth, and a lap later he was back into fourth after Nico Rosberg pitted for his scheduled stop.

With 20 laps remaining, Vitantonio Liuzzi found himself in the wall at turn two, and the safety car was deployed. Hamilton, who had been complaining of lack of grip, pitted for fresh tyres, and Button followed him in a lap later. McLaren timed it just right as both drivers were able to maintain their positions, but on track, they were out of sync with the front-runners as the backmarkers were bunched up in between.

At the restart, Vettel was able to get a clear lead as Webber, Alonso and the McLarens had to lap the out of position cars – something that proved to be rather chaotic.

With no other dramas and the five title contenders remaining as the top five in the race, Vettel led Webber over the line for a Red Bull one-two, with Alonso in third and Hamilton and Button fourth and fifth. Red Bull were able to secure the Constructors’ Championship, while Vettel brings the gap down to 15 points from Alonso in the drivers’ championship, with Alonso just eight ahead of Webber heading into the final round in Abu Dhabi next weekend. Hamilton is 24 points behind Alonso, and while he is mathematically still in with a chance, it seems to all be over for him. For Button, his hopes of retaining his title are over as he slips back to 47 points adrift from Alonso.

So who will be crowned champion in Abu Dhabi? Qualifying is live next Saturday 13th, with the race live on BBC1 at 1pm on Sunday 14th November.

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Vettel on Pole for First Ever Korean GP

October 23, 2010

Sebastian Vettel will start the first ever Korean Grand Prix from pole, after setting a time of 1:35.585 in qualifying, less than a tenth of a second ahead of teammate Mark Webber.

Vettel and Webber lock out the front row yet again this season, but championship leader Webber will have to start on the dusty side of the new grid. Fernando Alonso will start third, despite looking for a long time like he had pole in the bag. Lewis Hamilton will start fourth, with Nico Rosberg fifth and Felipe Massa sixth.

Jenson Button struggled throughout qualifying for grip, and he will start from seventh ahead of Robert Kubica, Michael Schumacher and Rubens Barrichello who will start eighth, ninth and tenth respectively.

Elsewhere in qualifying, Hamilton was fastest in Q1, while Button struggled to get heat into the prime tyres, setting a time in tenth. In the dropout zone were the usual suspects, Vitantonio Liuzzi out in 18th, joining the new teams with Jarno Trulli 19th, Timo Glock and Heikki Kovalainen 20th and 21st, and Lucas di Grassi, Sakon Yamamoto and Bruno Senna 22nd to 24th, respectively.

In Q2, Webber was fastest, while Button continued to struggle, and Nico Hulkenberg, Kamui Kobayashi, Nick Heidfeld, Adrian Sutil, Vitaly Petrov, Jaime Alguersuari and Sebastien Buemi found themselves out in 11th to 17th. Petrov will start 20th following his penalty for causing the first lap collision in Japan two weeks ago.

The race will start at 7am UK time tomorrow.

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Vettel Back on Top in Suzuka

October 10, 2010

Sebastian Vettel led from pole to take an important win in today’s Japanese Grand Prix to edge him closer to Mark Webber in the bid for the world championship, while first corner collisions saw the end to several drivers’ races, and Lewis Hamilton continued to have problems as after a troublesome weekend, his brand new gearbox lost third gear.

After qualifying was postponed to the morning of the race, Vettel and teammate Webber locked out the front row of the grid, and pretty much stayed where they were. At the start, Robert Kubica, who started third, split the Red Bulls, but after Vitaly Petrov and Nico Hulkenberg’s collision straight off the start, and Felipe Massa and Vitantonio Liuzzi’s coming together at the first corner, the safety car was deployed for five laps, and by lap three, Kubica had lost his right rear wheel, and he was forced to pull over at the hairpin.

The Red Bulls were then left in their own race, while a good start for Lewis meant he was able to make up for starting eighth after a five-place grid-drop penalty for changing his gearbox, and he was soon into fifth behind Fernando Alonso and teammate Jenson Button.

The safety car returned to the pits at the end of lap six, and Vettel was leading from Webber, Alonso, Button and Hamilton. By lap 23 Hamilton became the first of the front-runners to pit, and the McLaren team were hoping to get him out in clear air in order for him to put in some fast laps to get closer to Alonso and a potential podium, but when he exited the pits in seventh, he found himself behind Kamui Kobayashi and in dirty air. However, within a few laps he was able to get into the slipstream of the BMW Sauber, and he passed him down into turn one.

Button, who had taken a gamble on the harder compound tyre to start the race on, took the lead as the leaders pitted, but was unable to pull out enough of a gap to ensure he remained ahead of Hamilton after his stop. Hamilton had put in some fast laps to get ahead of his teammate, but he soon ran into difficulty, and after it became apparent he had lost third gear, he started slipping back into Button’s clutches, and had to hand over fourth.

On lap 49, after the two Mercedes drivers had spent some time fighting over sixth, Nico Rosberg crashed out into the wall at turn five, after what appeared to be a failure of his left rear wheel. With just five laps to go, it looked like the safety car would have to be deployed, but the marshals were able to remove the car from the side of the track, and in the meantime, Kobayashi gave us some on-track action as he made a move on Barrichello, and a lap later passed teammate Nick Heidfeld to take seventh position.

Vettel took his third win of the season, leading home Webber for a Red Bull one-two, with Alonso in third. Button took fourth, while Hamilton finished fifth to take his first points since the Belgian Grand Prix. Schumacher finished sixth, with Kobayashi in seventh, Heidfeld eighth, Barrichello ninth and Sebastien Buemi in tenth, the last of the points-scorers. Jaime Alguersuari, Heikki Kovalainen, Jarno Trulli, Timo Glock, Bruno Senna and Sakon Yamamoto finished 11th to 16th, respectively, each having been lapped at least once. As well as Rosberg, Kubica, Hulkenberg, Massa, Petrov and Liuzzi’s retirements, Adrian Sutil also failed to finish the race, following engine failure, while Lucas di Grassi failed to start the race after crashing his Virgin on the way to the grid.

In the drivers’ standings, Webber edges even further ahead on 220 points, with Vettel and Alonso both on 206 points, and Hamilton and Button on 192 and 189 points each. 31 points now separate the top five. In the constructors’ standings, Red Bull are 45 points ahead of McLaren.

The next race is in Korea in two weeks time, with qualifying on Saturday 23rd October, and the race on Sunday 24th.

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Webber Takes Pole in Exciting Spa Quali

August 28, 2010

Mark Webber secured yet another Red Bull pole this afternoon, when F1 returned from its four week summer break, setting a time of 1:45.778, a tenth fastest than Lewis Hamilton, who charged his way to the front row of the grid.

All 24 cars headed out onto the track for the start of Q1, with rain threatening halfway through the session. The track still hadn’t completely dried out from earlier rain, and Vitaly Petrov became a casualty to the turn 9 kerb, causing a red flag to hault the session, just 90 seconds in. Once Petrov’s Renault was removed from the side of the track, the lights turned green, but the rains soon came after the cars dived back out onto the track.

All the drivers were on the soft compound tyre as they headed out for a banker lap, and as the rain started to fall heavier, it was a case of making it round the track to set a time, without running off the road. Jarno Trulli and Lucas di Grassi touched into turn 14, and the pair spun off the track, almost collecting Michael Schumacher, while Adrian Sutil ran wide in the gravel. Schumacher then set the first time, followed by a faster lap time from Jenson Button. The rain started to get heavier, but Hamilton was charging, setting the fastest time of anybody, before they all dove back into the pits. Sebastian Vettel looked to be in danger of the dropout zone, setting the 17th fastest time just after Hamilton set his fastest time, but the German was able to restore his hopes a little while later, heading out on intermediate tyres.

As the track started to dry out the drivers started heading out onto the track on fresh slicks, leaving the McLarens in the garage. Robert Kubica topped Hamilton’s time with two minutes to go, while Kamui Kobayashi and Pedro de la Rosa proved it wasn’t entirely dry out on track as they both ended up in the gravel and out of contention. Nico Rosberg ended up setting the fastest lap in the 1:54s in the closing seconds of the session, leaving Trulli, Kobayashi, Bruno Senna, Sakon Yamamoto, de la Rosa, di Grassi and Petrov in the dropout zone and out of the running in 18th down to 24th.

The track continued to dry in Q2, and the 17 drivers headed out for a banker lap. Hamilton topped the time sheets, with an improved overall time from Q1 with 1:46.211, while Schumacher, Rosberg, Jaime Alguersuari, Vitantonio Liuzzi, Sebastien Buemi, Heikki Kovalainen and Timo Glock found themselves in the dropout zone. Schumacher receives a ten-place grid-drop penalty for his incident with Rubens Barrichello in Hungary, and will start 21st, while Rosberg will start 17th following a five-place grid-drop penalty for changing his gearbox. The bottom 14 will line up on the grid with Alguersuari 11th, Liuzzi, Buemi, Kovalainen, Glock and Trulli, 12th down to 16th, Rosberg 17th, Kobayashi, Senna and Yamamoto 18th to 20th, Schumacher 21st, and de la Rosa, di Grassi and Petrov 22nd to 24th, respectively.

Q3 saw the ten remaining drivers head out for a banker lap as the lights went green, with Hamilton in the lead, setting the fastest lap, with Felipe Massa setting second, Button third, and Fernando Alonso fourth. Kubica then made a move to set first, with Vettel snatching second, before Mark Webber scored the fastest time. Barrichello, Sutil and Nico Hulkenberg then set their fastest times, putting Alonso down to tenth.

The drivers pitted for fresh rubber, and as they started to head out onto track, it started to rain. As the track got wetter, it looked like a dead cert that Webber would take pole, with Kubica separating him from Vettel, and sure enough, Alonso crossed the line at the chequered flag unable to improve on tenth, Massa pulled into the pits before he had a chance to cross the line, after running wide earlier in the lap, and Vettel crossed the line to remain third. But, Button, who by that point was down to sixth, was able to improve in the McLaren, pulling out a time good enough for fifth, and, while despite the rain, the last man on track, Hamilton, pulled out a blinder to set a time a tenth off Webber, for second, demoting Kubica from the front row.

Kubica and Vettel make up the second row, with Button and Massa on row three. Barrichello and Sutil will start seventh and eighth, with Hulkenberg and Alonso in ninth and tenth on row five.

Webber’s pole adds to Red Bull’s string of all-but-one for the season, but with the straight-line speed of the McLaren, Hamilton will be fancying his chances through Eau Rouge at the start of tomorrow’s race.

With 20 points separating the top five drivers in the standings, there is everything to play for in tomorrow’s race. Will the weather spring its usual surprise on the drivers, and rain? And will McLaren’s straight-line speed advantage in sectors one and three give them the complete upper hand over Red Bull? We will see tomorrow. The race starts live on BBC1 at 1pm.

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Webber Takes Victory in Hungary

August 1, 2010

Mark Webber won today’s Hungarian Grand Prix, while Sebastian Vettel found himself with a drive through penalty, and pitlane chaos saw the end of the race for three drivers.

Webber got a good start, but it was Fernando Alonso who made a charge from third on the grid to split the Red Bulls, with Vettel taking an early lead. Vitaly Petrov was making moves from seventh on the grid to pass Lewis Hamilton for fifth in the second corner, but the McLaren driver dived around the outside of the Russian a lap later to reclaim his position.

Vettel began to take a second per lap out of Alonso in second, who in turn appeared to be holding up Webber, Felipe Massa and Hamilton in third down to fifth, respectively.

Jenson Button, who had started 11th, dropped back in the first corner, despite getting a good start, and soon found himself down in 15th. On lap 15, the reigning champion pitted for fresh tyres, a lap before the safety car was deployed for debris on the track.

Vettel got a late call to come into the pits, and was followed several seconds later by Alonso, Massa and Hamilton. While the two Ferraris got away with having to queue for a fresh set of tyres, the mechanics weren’t ready with Massa’s tyres, and the Brazilian found himself behind Hamilton. Webber remained on the track, behind the safety car, and for a while, there was a concern it would hinder his race.

Meanwhile, the mid-field found themselves in a scrap in the pitlane, with Nico Rosberg losing his right-rear wheel while exiting his pitbox, the wheel bouncing through the BMW Sauber pitbox. Renault tried to release Robert Kubica at the same time as Adrian Sutil was diving into his pitbox, one ahead of the Renault team. The two drivers collided, ending Sutil’s race, and resulted in a ten second stop-go penalty for Kubica. The Renault driver eventually retired.

While Vettel found himself over ten car lengths behind Webber at the restart, resulting in an eventual drive through penalty for the German, Webber found himself getting away from Vettel very early on. Hamilton retired from the race on lap 24, suffering from mechanical problems.

After Vettel took his penalty, and Webber eventually came in for his pitstop, the Australian had a gap of over 20 seconds to Alonso, and rejoined the track in the lead ahead of Alonso, and Vettel, who had managed to stay ahead of Massa after his penalty and was fighting with Alonso for second. The difficult nature of the track meant Vettel was unable to pass Alonso, but further down the field, Rubens Barrichello managed to pass Michael Schumacher, in the closing laps of the race. The Mercedes driver was then put under investigation by the stewards for pushing the Williams driver into the pitwall as he made his pass, but the Brazilian was able to make the move stick.

Webber crossed the line nearly 18 seconds ahead of Alonso, with Vettel close behind in third. Massa followed in fourth, with Petrov in fifth, his best finish of the season. Nico Hulkenberg finished sixth, ahead of Pedro de la Rosa in seventh, scoring his first points of the season. Button crossed the line in eighth, ahead of Kamui Kobayashi in ninth, and Barrichello in tenth, the last of the points-scorers.

Webber’s win elevates him in the fight for the title, putting him in the lead on 161, four points ahead of Hamilton, still on 157 after his second retirement of the season. Vettel sits third on 151, with Button fourth on 147, and Alonso fifth on 141. 20 points separate the top five, with Massa sixth on 97 points. In the constructors’ standings, Red Bull take the lead on 312 points, eight ahead of McLaren on 304, with Ferrari further behind on 238.

Formula One now takes its summer break, with a two-week factory shut down for each team over the next four weeks, with the sport returning at the end of August, with qualifying for the Belgium Grand Prix on Saturday 28th, and the race live on BBC1 on Sunday 29th August.