It was all smiles and handshakes down at Mercedes after a genuine out and out debut win from Lewis Hamilton on the hottest day of the season so far with track temperatures over 50 degrees at the hungaroring come race day. The slightly revised Pirelli rubber held up well and provided good racing despite the extreme temperatures, which was a relief to one man in particular:
If Mercedes have found/stumbled into something with the tyres and the W04 has gone on something of a rubber diet it could be a real problem for Red Bull, as Sebastian Vettel was unable to get in front of Hamilton at the start of the race and got stuck in traffic. While Lewis cruised round the still born McLaren (which was on old tyres) after his bit stop, Seb got stuck behind Jenson for 12 laps ruining his chances of challenging for the victory. Grosjean continued his wild fluctuations in form with a sublime pass on Massa only to be penalised for going outside the limits of the track by the tiny-est of margins. He’s definitely got potential as his 3rd place on the grid showed but any form of contact now gets notched down as a point in the “do not re-hire” column at Lotus. Needs a few clean races alongside podiums to secure his future at Enstone (more in the half term report below)
There is no real reason to post this, just thought you might all enjoy it
The other surprising news to come out of the weekend that the other man in that picture, Fernando Alonso (ha bet you were expecting Nelson Piquet Jr news – or not) after 4 years of being in love with Ferrari may have thrown his hat in the ring for the second Red Bull seat next year. Despite the four year man-team love fest that has seen Massa reduced to serving cocktails in the team lounge it has delivered no championships despite 2 near misses against the young German. Personally I think this Fernando throwing down the gauntlet to Seb for 2015 when all of the drivers (except Alonso) will be out of contract (after Vettel negotiated a new 1 year only deal for 2015) and likely aiming to join the Scuderia to emulate the great German. So will it be Kimi, Ricciardo or Alonso for Red Bull next year? My money is still on Ricciardo and the team trying to prove their young drivers program – after all they already have Seb and Alonso hasn’t had a great reputation for putting up with anything less than subordinate team mates (see picture above – hey maybe there was a reason for it after all)
The Half Term Report
Red Bull – 1st
Sebastian Vettel – 1st
Business as usual for the German after finally breaking his home win duck (and possibly just in time as it appears Germany could be dropped in favour of Austria thanks to his own team), he may be put under some pressure to extend his lead post break before the fly aways to concentrate all the resources on next years car.
Goal: Carry on
Mark Webber – 5th
Mark Webber’s final year in F1 is now very much a swansong he’s out to have fun really.Goal: Race win / try and win a drinking contest with Kimi
Mercedes – 2nd
Lewis Hamilton – 4th
A win before the half term break for Mercedes lead man puts his season properly on track, probably too far away to challenge for drivers title this year but could spice up the second half of the seasonGoal: Beat Rosberg in Quali, Points and Race wins over the season
Nico Rosberg – 6thWhile the individual drivers places for Mercedes may come as a shock given their position in the constructors Nico has won 2 races this year, although neither as out right and convincing as Hamilton last weekend. Lewis has started to get the better of him on a Saturday but needs to keep the Sundays tidier to keep that tally ticking over
Goal: Stop breaking down mostly and try and keep the score board ticking over. 2 wins already in his pocket this year but needs to assert his position if Mercedes challenge from the off next year
Ferrari – 3rd
Fernando Alonso – 3rd
Fernando is having a quiet season this year by his standards, the starts are still electric but the car isn’t quite there but its no 2012 either. Needs something to kick start his season and start hunting down Seb.
Goal: Needs wins, and to start beating Vettel every weekend
Felipe Massa – 7thHe’s back, no he’s not, yes he is, no he’s not! The only real hope for Massa next year is Ferrari banking on stability for the new rule changes. Poor once again. Despite his impending retirement Mark Webber looks 300x more with it than the Brazilian.
Goal: Turn the good Saturdays into good Sundays. Regular podium finishes or even a win really.
Lotus – 4thKimi Raikkonen – 2nd
Another stellar year for the Finn after opening his account with the maximum 25 points the Ice Man has been seen on the steps nearly every race this season. However Saturdays have started to be a concern.
Goal: Needs to claim wins and he knows it, alongside sorting out where he’s driving next year
Romain Grosjean – 8thThe crash kid continues to be pantomime character of the paddock but is slowly settling down. However with Lotus being hard up at the moment he needs to get his act together to push the Enstone team up in the constructors for more cash
Goal: Stop hitting things, more points
Force India – 5th
Paul Di Resta – 10th
A great year for Paul after being looked over for top drives over the winter, however his patience seems to be wearing thin and his Saturdays have been diabolical
Goal: Sort out Saturdays and beat the McLarens
Adrian Sutil – 11th
A solid comeback year for the German who has had some great races this year (notably Monaco), more of the same and less breaking down.
Goal: Points and beating McLarens
McLaren – 6th
Jenson Button – 9th
An atrocious year for McLaren sees them languishing down in 6th place come the half way mark of the season but Jenson has started to drag the carcass forward and remains team leader
Goal: More points than Force India, keep beating Perez
Sergio Perez – 12th
After a slow start, followed by some fire Perez isn’t looking too hot or too cold come the summer, needs to get back in the points more often and help McLaren get back 5th spot
Goal: More points finishes and a few marquee performances wouldn’t hurt either
Scuderia Toro Rosso – 7th
Jean Eric Vergne – 13th
Its somewhat a surprised that JEV leads the Toro Rosso entry as Ricciardo has been getting all the plaudits. Still needs to sort out Saturdays to capitilise on his fine race craft.
Goal: Its probably too late for the Red Bull drive but beating Ricciardo has to now be the target
Daniel Ricciardo – 14th
His Saturdays have been spectacular and his Sundays steadily improving, he needs to keep it going and get points to land the grand prize
Goal: Beat his team mates points total and keep up the performance
Sauber – 8th
Nico Hulkenberg – 15th
The man with the least amount of luck in F1 continues his streak after being handed a dud of a car, single handedly carrying the team despite now not getting paid. Lets hope that Russian cash translates to performance
Goal: More points? or erm Move again maybe? He never stays for more than a year anyway
Esteban Gutierrez – 18th
Fish out of water, and pointless so far this season, he looks like he’s on his way to the scrap head with Russian money coming to replace him. Unimpressive
Goal: Up his game / Look at sportscars for next year
Williams – 9th
I’ve not really got anything to say about the two Williams drivers, both are doing well with what they have.
Marussia – 10th
Jules Bianchi – 19th
Has done very well and been helped out by a rubbish team mate, impressive all year despite his last minute arrival.
Goal: Keep scalping Max
Max Chilton – 22nd
We didn’t expect much lets be honest and we’ve been dutifully delivered not much. Poor and royally trounced by his team mate. Medicore GP2 drivers (Kamui aside) will never make the grade come F1
Goal: Find out if his brother has any team owner numbers in the BTCC
Caterham – 11th
Ermmmmm, nothing special here. 2 pay drivers, neither particularly special, no benchmark. Pic has been the erm pick of the bunch but another lackluster year here