Archive for the ‘Europe- Valencia’ Category

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Vettel Wins in Valencia, While Webber Escapes Horrifying Crash

June 27, 2010

Sebastian Vettel claimed victory in Valencia this afternoon, while teammate Mark Webber was involved in an horrific accident, that saw him fly upside down, over the top of the Lotus of Heikki Kovalainen.

The two Red Bulls got off to two opposite starts, pole sitter Vettel taking an early lead while Webber found himself going backwards as Lewis Hamilton, Fernando Alonso, Felipe Massa, Robert Kubica, Jenson Button, Rubens Barrichello and Nico Hulkenberg all got passed him.

While Hamilton made an early move past Webber, he was unable to make his move on Vettel stick into turn two, and the two made contact, damaging Hamilton’s front-wing end-plate.

On lap eight, Webber was the first to pit, but the Red Bull found his already-poor position of ninth, got even worse as he exited in 18th.

But the drama didn’t end there, when several laps later, Webber found himself upside down in a collision with Kovalainen, while fighting for position at the back of the field. The horrific crash saw Webber launch off the back of the Lotus, flying upside down, before landing on his side and sliding into the barrier at turn 12. Despite the impact, Webber walked away from the accident.

The safety car was deployed and Button was the first of the front runners to be able to pit. The front four of Vettel, Hamilton, Alonso and Massa, continued round the track, Vettel ahead of the safety car, Hamilton overtaking it for what later turned into a drive-through penalty, while Alonso and Massa got caught up behind the safety car.

All four eventually pitted, Hamilton taking a new front wing for the earlier damage. Alonso and Massa got held up queuing in the Ferrari pits, and both lost out when rejoining the track.

At the restart, Vettel ran wide into the final turn, but kept Hamilton at bay, the pair leading Kamui Kobayashi, who was yet to pit, Button, Barrichello, Kubica, Sebastien Buemi, Adrian Sutil, Alonso and Hulkenberg into the first corner, as the top ten.

Hamilton was then served his drive-through penalty for overtaking the safety car, serving it on lap 27, after building up a considerable gap to third-placed Kobayashi, who had been backing the pack up. Hamilton maintained second, much to the annoyance of Alonso, who had initially complained about Hamilton.

Hamilton then started to take time out of Vettel, but was unable to catch him, the German finishing first, ahead of Hamilton and Button, who had claimed third when Kobayashi finally pitted.

Barrichello finished fourth, Kubica fifth, and Sutil sixth, ahead of Kobayashi in seventh, who managed to catch and pass Alonso and Buemi, stealing points from the squabbling pair, following his pitstop in the closing laps. Buemi finished in eighth, with Alonso ninth and Pedro de la Rosa tenth.

Stewards investigations are still pending for several of the top ten finishers, including Button, Barrichello, Kubica, Sutil, Buemi and De la Rosa, as well as Hulkenberg, Vitaly Petrov and Vitantonio Liuzzi for speeding behind the safety car. All could receive penalties, and it could effect the finishing positions, with the possibility of Kobayashi elevating to third. The results of the investigation will follow.

Hamilton’s second place helps to retain his lead in the championship on 127 points, six ahead of Button on 121. Vettel elevates to third on 115, with Webber still on 103 and Alonso on 96.

The next race is in Britain in two weeks time, with the renewed Silverstone circuit once again hosting the British Grand Prix, after very nearly losing out to Donnington. Qualifying is on Saturday 10th July, with the race live on Sunday 11th at 1pm.

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Vettel Scores Yet Another Red Bull Pole in Valencia

June 26, 2010

Sebastian Vettel put Red Bull back on pole again this season, in qualifying for tomorrow’s European Grand Prix in Valencia, this afternoon.

The Red Bull driver set an early time in the final shoot out of Q3, with a time of 1:37.587, while Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button made mistakes on their final laps, and Mark Webber failed to touch Vettel’s time, settling for second, less than a tenth off his teammate’s time.

Hamilton will start in third, with Fernando Alonso in fourth, Felipe Massa fifth, Robert Kubica sixth, with Button seventh. Both Williams drivers made it through to Q3, and Nico Hulkenberg will start eighth, ahead of teammate Rubens Barrichello in ninth. Vitaly Petrov, who also made Q3, will start tenth.

Down and out in Q2, Sebastien Buemi will start highest of the lot in 11th, with Nico Rosberg, the first of the two Mercedes failing to make Q3, in 12th. The two Force Indias of Adrian Sutil and Vitantonio Liuzzi will start 13th and 14th, respectively, while Michael Schumacher will start from his worst position of the season in 15th, the German very nearly failing to make Q2, in the drop out zone, at the end of Q1. Pedro de la Rosa will start 16th, with Jaime Alguersuari in 17th.

Out in Q1, Kamui Kobayashi joins the three new teams, and he will start in 18th, ahead of Jarno Trulli, Heikki Kovalainen, Lucas di Grassi, Timo Glock, Karun Chandhok and Bruno Senna, down in 19th to 24th, respectively.

So will Red Bull and Vettel convert pole into victory tomorrow, or will Hamilton and McLaren manage to make it a hat-trick of wins in the Valencia sun?

Whatever is set to happen, the race will start at 1pm on BBC2 tomorrow, leaving BBC1 to make way for the England vs. Germany World Cup match.

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Barrichello Scores First Win in Five Years

August 23, 2009

Rubens Barrichello won his first race in five years in Valencia this afternoon, as the perfect strategy saw him snatch the win from McLaren.

Lewis Hamilton made the perfect getaway from pole, and led the race up until the second round of pitstops where an error made by the McLaren mechanics enabled Barrichello to leapfrog the race leader to take victory.

Barrichello had held his nerve up until that point, leapfrogging Heikki Kovalainen running second in the sister McLaren in the first round of pitstops. After spending the second stint hunting down and maintaining the gap to Hamilton, Rubens saw the opportunity to pass him in the second round of stops after the McLaren mechanics failed to get the Briton’s tyres out in time. The error cost Hamilton time, and inevitably the race. Barrichello passed the chequered flag just over three seconds ahead of Hamilton, with Kimi Raikkonen taking the last step on the podium.

Barrichello said: “It has been fantastic. It has been a weekend that I’ll never forget.”

Jenson Button in the sister Brawn, had less luck than his teammate, and a poor getaway saw him lose three places in the first corner. After chasing the Red Bull of Mark Webber for the majority of the race, a quick out lap in the second round of pitstops, coupled with a slow in lap by Webber, saw Button finish seventh, with Webber out of the points in ninth. An engine failure for Sebastian Vettel enables Button to maintain his lead in the drivers’ championship over the Red Bulls, and puts Barrichello back into second place, and 18 points adrift from the Brit.

Kovalainen brought his McLaren home in fourth, having been unable to match his teammate’s pace, and losing third place to Raikkonen. Nico Rosberg finished in fifth, with Fernando Alonso in sixth, Button seventh, and Robert Kubica rounding off the points scorers in eighth.

Barrichello’s win puts the Brazilian back in the hunt for the title, and with six rounds to go, it is becoming more likely that the title fight will once again go down to the wire in Abu Dhabi in November.

Rubens can now head to Belgium next weekend knowing that he has finally got a win under his belt for Brawn, and that the championship can still be his for the taking.

 

The next round will be in Belgium next weekend, with qualifying on Saturday 29th and the race live on BBC One at 1pm on Sunday 30th.

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Hamilton on Pole in Valencia

August 22, 2009

Lewis Hamilton followed his first win of 2009 by taking pole in Valencia this afternoon, his first since China last year.

In a hot qualifying session, the reigning champion showed that McLaren’s comeback in Hungary a month ago, was not a one off, leading teammate Heikki Kovalainen home for a McLaren front row for the start of tomorrow’s race.

Hamilton set the pace early on in qualifying, only being beaten to P1 in both Q1 and Q2 by the Brawns of Button and Barrichello respectively, as he remained in the pits saving his tyres. Hamilton’s pace heated up even more in Q3, when as the only driver of ten on brand new soft tyres, set the pace 1.3seconds faster than Kimi Raikkonen on his first lap. Even with a well timed change of tyres, and crossing the line to start his last flying lap with 10 seconds left on the clock, Lewis didn’t need to complete another lap, no one could beat his previously set time anyway.

Rubens Barrichello starts third in the first of the Brawns, with teammate and championship leader Jenson Button in fifth. Sebastian Vettel starts fourth, with teammate Mark Webber in ninth. Kimi Raikkonen is the first Ferrari, in sixth, with Nico Rosberg seventh, Fernando Alonso eighth, and Robert Kubica rounding off the top ten.

Luca Badoer, who is standing in for the injured Felipe Massa in the second Ferrari, starts 20th and last, after a poor qualifying session, his first in a decade.

Rookie Romain Grosjean, who replaces Nelson Piquet at Renault, impressed in his first F1 qualifying session, momentarily getting his Renault up to fourth in Q1. It wasn’t to be in Q2 though, and the Frenchman starts the first race of his F1 career from 14th.

For Hamilton and McLaren, they have put their early races of the season behind them to start from the front row of the grid for the first time this season, and they’ll be hoping to make it two wins in a row tomorrow. Heikki Kovalainen, who was told by his team this week that he needs to perform to retain his seat for next year, certainly upped his game, narrowly missing out on pole on his final lap, in the final corner.

After three F1-free weekends, the fight is back on, and although McLaren pose no threat to Brawn and Button’s title hopes, they will be hoping for a good result, and that they can keep the Red Bulls behind them.