Archive for the ‘Brazil- Sao Paulo’ Category

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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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Hulkenberg Takes Surprise Pole in Brazil

November 6, 2010

Nico Hulkenberg set the fastest time in qualifying for tomorrow’s Brazilian Grand Prix in Sao Paulo this afternoon, a second faster than Sebastian Vettel who starts second and Mark Webber who starts third.

As the track started to dry out in Q3, the drivers pitted for the soft tyres, and while the Red Bulls, Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton looked quick, they weren’t quick enough to beat Hulkenberg.

Alonso, who leads the championship by 11 points, will start fifth, incidentally on his final recycled engine after engine failure earlier in the weekend. Hamilton will start ahead of him in fourth alongside Webber on the second row.

Hulkenberg’s Williams teammate, Rubens Barrichello, will start sixth, with Robert Kubica seventh, Michael Schumacher eighth, Felipe Massa ninth, and Vitaly Petrov tenth.

Jenson Button failed to get into the top ten shoot-out, and will start 11th, his championship hopes appearing to have diminished. Kamui Kobayashi starts 12th, Nico Rosberg 13th, Jaime Alguersuari 14th, Sebastien Buemi 15th, and Nick Heidfeld and Vitantonio Liuzzi 16th and 17th, also dropping out in Q2.

Adrian Sutil was the one joining the new teams in Q1, dropping out in 18th, but will start 23rd after receiving a five-place grid-drop penalty for his antics in Korea two weeks ago. That leaves Timo Glock 18th on the grid, Jarno Trulli 19th, Heikki Kovalainen 20th, Lucas di Grassi 21st, Christian Klien 22nd, and Bruno Senna 24th.

So will the title be decided tomorrow? If Alonso wins the race, or finishes second or third with his competitors behind him, he will secure the championship with one race left to go. But no doubt his title contenders won’t be giving up without a fight.

The race starts at 4pm UK time.

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Button 2009 World Champion as Webber Wins in Brazil

October 18, 2009

Jenson Button drove like a champion in this afternoon’s Brazilian Grand Prix to be crowned Formula One World Champion 2009, with Mark Webber taking victory.

Button held it together, putting in some impressive overtaking manoeuvres to prove that he is the worthy champion of the season. While a first lap collision saw the end of Jarno Trulli, Adrian Sutil and Fernando Alonso’s races, Button held his nerve to take the championship with one race left to the season.

Button, who sang Queen’s We Are the Champions over the radio at the end of the race, said: “It is amazing. After the last few races I’ve had this one make up for it and I am world champion baby!” He added: “I never expected to be world champion in F1. We have done it today!”

An emotional Ross Brawn said of Button’s performance: “He had a great race. He knew what he had to do.” He said that it still had to sink in.

And when you look back to just weeks before the start of the season when Honda pulled out of F1 with it looking like Button and teammate Rubens Barrichello would not make the grid in Australia, it is amazing just what the Brawn team have achieved, taking both the drivers’ and the constructors’ title in the same weekend. But at the start of the race it didn’t look hopeful for Button, as with Barrichello on pole it seemed likely the title would go down to the last race in Abu Dhabi in two weeks time.

The Senna ‘S’ on the first lap normally always claims its victims, but everyone got round in one piece, with the hairiest moment being Heikki Kovalainen tripping up and very nearly collecting Giancarlo Fisichella as he went into a spin. But the first lap carnage came after turn five, when Trulli and Sutil collided sending Trulli to the left, and Sutil over the grass to the right, collecting Fernando Alonso as he came back across the track.

Contact between Kimi Raikkonen and Sutil in the first few corners saw damage to Raikkonen’s front wing, and the Finn was soon being passed on track. As the safety car came out, Lewis Hamilton, who had started 17th, pitted, with McLaren switching him to a one-stop strategy. But it was Kovalainen’s stop that caused havoc in the pitlane, as he drove away with his fuel hose attached, spilling fuel, which ignited in Raikkonen’s face as he drove out of his pitbox and down the pitlane behind Heikki. Fortunately, both were able to make a getaway, with the Brawn mechanics releasing Kovalainen’s hose.

At the restart the champion came alive in Button, and while it was Barrichello who had the lead, it was Button making the moves, passing Romain Grosjean on the first lap after the restart, and Kazuki Nakajima on the second. It took him longer to pass rookie Kamui Kobayashi, who stands in for Timo Glock at Toyota after his crash in Suzuka two weeks ago, but after pulling an impressive move into the first corner a bit later in the race, it was all about holding his nerve and bringing it home.

After the first round of pitstops, it was clear Barrichello had lost out, with both second and third placed Webber and Robert Kubica leapfrogging him. With Hamilton one stopping, Barrichello needed to stay in third for six world championship points, with Button no higher than eighth to keep his title hopes alive. But after Barrichello’s second stop, Hamilton soon caught the Brawn driver and passed him for third. Contact between the two resulted in a right rear puncture for Rubens and he had to pit for a third time, and he could manage no higher than eighth and one world championship point.

Going into the race, Sebastian Vettel had been a contender for the title, and having started 15th, just behind Button, Red Bull were hoping for a clean getaway, through the first few corners, but with a safety car to shake things up a bit. That was what they got, and while Webber stormed to victory with a solid performance, Vettel put in a solid drive to finish fourth, to take second in the drivers’ standings with one race to go.

While the champagne is set to flow for Button and Brawn after taking the title, Mark Webber deserves praise for his impressive victory, his second of the season. The Australian driver was able to leapfrog Barrichello in the first round of  pitstops, and after pitting later than his rivals, he was able to maintain the lead as he exited the pits following his first stop. He produced a faultless drive, finishing ahead of Robert Kubica and Lewis Hamilton. Vettel came through in fourth ahead of the new champion Button in fifth. Despite his first lap woes, Raikkonen came through in sixth ahead of Sebastien Buemi in seventh, and Barrichello in eighth.

Less lucky, Nick Heidfeld ran out of fuel on the track shortly after his first stop, where his fuel rig failed to put fuel into the car, Nico Rosberg retired with gearbox failure, and Kazuki Nakajima went flying off the track at turn four after contact with Kobayashi.

While Button cannot be toppled from the top spot in the championship, second is left to decide, with Vettel now just ahead of Barrichello. Hamilton now sits in fifth behind Webber, having taken a point out of Raikkonen. In the constructors’ championship, while Brawn and Red Bull have secured first and second, McLaren have now snatched third from Ferrari. But with the last round in Abu Dhabi being somewhat of an unknown, anything could happen before the season draws to a close.

 

The next race is in two weeks, with qualifying on Saturday 31st October and the race live on BBC One at 1pm on Sunday 1st November.

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Pole for Barrichello, Rain Puts Button 14th

October 17, 2009

Rubens Barrichello took pole in a qualifying session which lasted over two and a half hours, after storms suspended both Q1 and Q2 in Brazil today.

Qualifying two weeks ago in Japan was eventful, and qualifying for tomorrow’s Brazilian Grand Prix was just as eventful, with Giancarlo Fisichella aquaplaning at turn two bringing out the red flag early on in Q1, Sebastian Vettel failing to get to Q2, along with Lewis Hamilton who had a spin at turn five. When Q2 finally started, it was Vitantonio Liuzzi’s crash along the pit straight that saw the second red flag of the afternoon, that stopped the clock for over an hour.

It was Jenson Button who lost out in Q2 when it finally got under way, as when the track started to dry out he struggled, failing to put in a fast enough time to get into the top ten shoot out, and he will start tomorrow’s race in 14th.

But while the rain had the biggest say of the day, it was Barrichello who shone through taking pole as the clock stopped in Q3. It looked like it could have been Mark Webber’s, even Jarno Trulli and Nico Rosberg looked like they could snatch the pole as the track dried out and their lap times got faster, but it was Rubens who delivered in front of his home crowd.

With Button down in 14th, and Vettel down in 16th, it is looking like the championship will be thrown wide open tomorrow, ahead of the last round in Abu Dhabi in two weeks time. All Barrichello needs is five points more than Jenson to keep his hopes alive going into the final round. If they stay where they are, and Barrichello wins, with Button out of the points, there will be just four points between them.

Vettel will need to put in the performance of his life tomorrow to be in with a chance in Abu Dhabi, but it is now looking more and more likely it is just about the two teammates.

The only question is, will it rain tomorrow? And if it does, can Barrichello keep it together when it matters?