Well, that was a hectic few months. Finally, my AS exams are complete and to say I am happy to reach the end of that particular journey is undoubtedly an understatement. It’s been a busy few weeks and I am glad to get back to the normal routine of being snowed under by lessons, rather than revision!
Regardless, it is now time to rekindle my hobby and indeed, this blog. So, what’s happened in the world of Formula One while I have been under a pile of paperwork and remarkably hefty lever-arch folders. Well, here comes an astoundingly brief and ever so slightly satirical synopsis of my views on two months of F1 news:
Thriller in Bahrain
The 2014 Bahrain Grand Prix became an instant classic as Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton took their gloves off and laid their cards on the table, to devastating effect. As Mercedes stretched their legs, intra-team battles between the Red Bull, Force India, Williams and Ferrari pairs kept viewers entertained throughout. A great race and few would bet against it being the best race of the year come the end of the season. It would have been a worthy winner, yet the events of yesterday have since changed that!
Mercedes Test…Without Political Fallout!
Yes, Mercedes along with their rivals stayed behind after the Bahrain Grand Prix to complete the first in-season test. While there are no points for testing, Mercedes still took the opportunity to demonstrate their pace, topping the timesheet on both days. Sharing’s caring, as Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton shared the honours over the two days.
Gene Haas Accepted
US motorsport giant Gene Haas had his application to form a Formula One team accepted. The patriotic boss declared his intentions to have an American driver alongside an experienced name and base the team in the US. This was later seen as unsustainable as it would be a logistical nightmare
Well, this was a big one. Stefano Domenicalli, long term servant of Ferrari resigned from his role as Team Principal. While the period had been a relatively baron one in terms of adding to the trophy collection at Maranello, the Italian was a popular paddock personality. It seemed at the time to be a case of Ferrari looking to rebrand the team in light of yet another fruitless start to yet another season.
Red Bull Lose Appeal
Quite frankly a likely result, Daniel Ricciardo’s appeal to have his second place in Australia reinstated ended in disappointment for Red Bull. Ultimately, if the Aussie had the penalty for the illegal fuel flow rate overturned, it would set a dangerous precedent. It could potentially lead to teams rewriting the rule book, stating that their recordings and sensors take precedence over the FIA’s.
The Unknown Chosen One
Marco who? Mr.Mattiacci was hardly a household name among Formula One circles, yet the Ferrari executive was launched into the spotlight as the replacement for Domenicalli. With no F1 experience, pundits questioned Ferrari’s motives for signing the Italian. Perhaps he was drafted in as a short term solution to steady the ship? In all honesty, no-one really knows!
Hamilton Romps To Victory
After the frantic Bahrain Grand Prix, China was somewhat of a quiet affair. Lewis Hamilton led Nico Rosberg home as Sebastian Vettel had somewhat of a mini-meltdown on team radio as he was asked to allow his young teammate through for the second race running. Oh, and Fernando Alonso hauled his Ferrari onto the podium once again in typical Fernando fashion – punching above his weight in the less than impressive F14T.
Tributes to Senna and Ratzenberger
The tragic events of Imola in 1994 were remembered as the lives of Roland Ratzneberger and Ayrton Senna were celebrated, 20 years after their untimely deaths.
New Chassis For Vettel
After four less than impressive races, (barring the comparatively excellent podium in Malaysia,) Vettel announced that he would have a new chassis for Spain. The story sounded like the classic case of a placebo. Even four time World Champions need a bit of change every now and again.
Hamilton Holds On
Lewis Hamilton won the Spanish Grand Prix in sublime fashion, holding off Nico Rosberg who was charging fast at the end of the race. Soaking up the pressure like a sponge, Hamilton’s fourth win on the spin took him to the top of the table. Later it emerged that in holding off Nico, Lewis needed to use a prohibited engine mode, much to the distaste of Nico. Act one, as the rivalry began to simmer.
Chilton On Top
Perhaps an unlikely headline. Max Chilton topped day one of the second in-season test, as Marussia made great progress. What’s more, Pastor Maldonado topped the second day’s running in the Lotus. Testing timesheets may not be representative, but it was nice to see some fresh faces at the head of proceedings.
Formula One Mourns Sir Jack
The sad news of the passing of Sir Jack Brabham hit the headlines prior to the Monaco Grand Prix. The three time World Champion was one of the sports greatest drivers, winning his third title in 1966 in a car built by his own team.
Rosberg Reigns In Monaco
Nico Rosberg claimed a second consecutive win in Monte-Carlo, however the weekend was not without its controversies. The German made an uncharacteristic mistake in Q3 on his final attempt, heading down the run-off area at Massenet. The subsequent yellow flags ruined Lewis Hamilton’s final run, and as Martin Brundle adeptly put it; “Rosberg’s mistake earned his Pole Position and spoilt our fun!” Hamilton was frustrated and to compound his misery, he was wrong-footed strategically and then took a speck of dirt to the eye in the race. Nightmare weekend for the Brit.
Oh, and there was the small matter of Marussia scoring points!
JB Not About To Quit
Jenson Button expressed his desire to remain in Formula One for the foreseeable future. The Brit seemed to hint at possible contract negotiations and recent comments from Eric Boullier suggest that an extended stay at McLaren is perhaps on the cards. Are we really surprised; not particularly.
One of the greatest races of all-time had fans across the world engrossed. Mercedes lost MGU-K power half-way through the race, before Lewis Hamilton’s brakes failed while the pair were side by side along the back straight. A five way battle for the lead reached a remarkable climax, as a struggling Sergio Perez lost power himself towards the end of the race after being in prime position to snatch an unlikely victory. Eventually, Daniel Ricciardo seized the opportunity to take his first win, as the race ended in dramatic fashion, with Perez and Massa coming to grief at Turn One. A huge accident, with opinion divided over who was to blame.
That’s a wrap. Two months condensed into a brief synopsis. From now on, blogging will hopefully resume as usual, with the Austrian Grand Prix marking the first race back. Not a bad way to return to the blogging scene, on a circuit which is littered with history.
It’s good to be back!