Rosberg wins street fight against Hamilton in Monaco

Nico Rosberg Monaco Grand Prix 2014

Nico Rosberg reclaimed the lead of the Formula 1 World Championship from his Mercedes team-mate by beating Lewis Hamilton to victory around the streets of Monte Carlo.

Pre-race talk was focused on the Silver Arrows rivarly following the events that took place in qualifying. In which accusation on whether Rosberg had deliberately locked-up into the Mirabeau corner, resulting in a yellow flag period that prevented Hamilton in taking pole position.

The race stewards spent several hours investigating this incident and despite the paddock’s opinion that it was intention, they found no evidence thanks to the telemetry data and television replays.

So Nico Rosberg kept his pole position and with overtaking so difficult, he held that track position to win the Monaco Grand Prix for the second time.

Rosberg made a superb start from the grid and led Hamilton through Ste Devote.

The race was almost immediately neutralised by the Safety Car, as Sergio Perez’s Force India looped into the barriers at Mirabeau after a collision with Jenson Button’s McLaren.

Rosberg held Hamilton back at the restart and edged away slowly through the first stint as his team-mate gave chase.

A second Safety Car period, caused by Adrian Sutil crashing heavily under braking for the chicane, denied Hamilton his only realistic chance in passing Rosberg by pitting earlier than his team-mate.

Both Mercedes headed into the pits one after the other under the Safety Car, allowing Rosberg to retain the lead.

The 2008 Formula 1 world champion questioned his team’s strategy repeatedly over the radio as the drivers prepared for another restart.

Once again Rosberg controlled the restart well, and drove on unchallenged to victory, despite fears over excessive fuel consumption in the early part of the second stint.

Hamilton shadowed his Silver Arrows team-mate for most of the race, but dropped back in the closing stages after complaining he “couldn’t see” out of his left eye.

Red Bull Racing’s Daniel Ricciardo saw this as an opportunity and closed Hamilton down, but fell short of beating him to second position by just 0.4 seconds.

The Australian thus had to be content with his second consecutive third placed finish.

Ricciardo had earlier made a slow start from third on the grid, but regained the lost ground thanks to problems for his team-mate Sebastian Vettel and Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen.

Four-time world champion Vettel ran third initially after a strong start from the second row, but reported a loss of power shortly after the first restart.

Red Bull replaced parts of his Energy Recovery System unit before the race, following the ERS issue that hampered Vettel in qualifying, and the German complained of a loss of boost pressure from his Renault engine in the race.

A frustrated Vettel rejoined the action after some adjustments in the pits, but was told by the team to retire.

Raikkonen then looked as though he might claim his first podium since returning to Ferrari, having got up to fourth by passing his team-mate Fernando Alonso at the start and driving around the outside of Ricciardo’s Red Bull on the first run through Ste Devote.

But The Iceman’s race was undone by contact with Max Chilton’s Marussia during the second Safety Car period.

Chilton was trying to un-lap himself, and the resulting collision forced Raikkonen into a second stop to replace a punctured tyre on his F14 T.

This condemned the 2007 Formula 1 world champion to a recovery drive through the field, while Alonso maintained his third position in the world championship by finishing in fourth place.

Raikkonen ultimately ended up pointless after a desperate pass on Kevin Magnussen’s McLaren at Loews ended in contact with just a handful of laps remaining.

Magnussen had just been passed by team-mate Jenson Button as Hamilton and Ricciardo lapped a battle for fifth between Hulkenberg’s Force India, the two McLarens, and Raikkonen’s Ferrari.

Raikkonen spotted a chance to dive down the inside at the hairpin, but ran out of road, meaning both drivers lost ground.

Hulkenberg thus held on to claim fifth for Force India, narrowly ahead of Button, while Felipe Massa inherited seventh for Williams.

An engine failure for Valtteri Bottas, an exhaust problem for Jean-Eric Vergne, plus a crash for Esteban Gutierrez at Rascasse, not forgetting the incident between Raikkonen and Magnussen, meant Jules Bianchi crossed the finishing line an eighth for Marussia.

A five-second penalty for serving an earlier penalty for an out-of-position start under the Safety Car, means he will be demoted to ninth, but that wasn’t a main issue as Marussia was able to score their maiden points in Formula 1.

The Lotus of Romain Grosjean will thus inherit eighth, while Magnussen recovered from his incident with Raikkonen to round out the scorers in tenth.

So a fascinating intra-team battle between Rosberg and Hamilton. The Mercedes W05 is the quickest car in the field and with the Silver Arrows drivers fighting for superiority, it’s going to be exciting and thrilling contest for the rest of the season.

Monaco Grand Prix race results, after 78 laps:

1.  Nico Rosberg       Mercedes              1h49m27.661s
2.  Lewis Hamilton     Mercedes                   +9.210s
3.  Daniel Ricciardo   Red Bull-Renault           +9.614s
4.  Fernando Alonso    Ferrari                   +32.452s
5.  Nico Hulkenberg    Force India-Mercedes        -1 lap
6.  Jenson Button      McLaren-Mercedes            -1 lap
7.  Felipe Massa       Williams-Mercedes           -1 lap
8.  Romain Grosjean    Lotus-Renault               -1 lap
9.  Jules Bianchi      Marussia-Ferrari            -1 lap
10.  Kevin Magnussen    McLaren-Mercedes            -1 lap
11.  Marcus Ericsson    Caterham-Renault            -1 lap
12.  Kimi Raikkonen     Ferrari                     -1 lap
13.  Kamui Kobayashi    Caterham-Renault           -3 laps
14.  Max Chilton        Marussia-Ferrari           -3 laps


Esteban Gutierrez  Sauber-Ferrari             59 laps
Valtteri Bottas    Williams-Mercedes          55 laps
Jean-Eric Vergne   Toro Rosso-Renault         50 laps
Adrian Sutil       Sauber-Ferrari             23 laps
Daniil Kvyat       Toro Rosso-Renault         10 laps
Sebastian Vettel   Red Bull-Renault            5 laps
Sergio Perez       Force India-Mercedes        0 lap
Pastor Maldonado   Lotus-Renault               0 lap

Drivers’ championship:

1.  Nico Rosberg      122
2.  Lewis Hamilton    118
3.  Fernando Alonso   61
4.  Daniel Ricciardo  54
5.  Nico Hulkenberg   47
6.  Sebastian Vettel  45
7.  Valtteri Bottas   34
8.  Jenson Button     31
9.  Kevin Magnussen   21
10.  Sergio Perez      20
11.  Felipe Massa      18
12.  Kimi Raikkonen    17
13.  Romain Grosjean   8
14.  Jean-Eric Vergne  4
15.  Daniil Kvyat      4
16.  Jules Bianchi     2

Constructors’ championship:

1.  Mercedes              240
2.  Red Bull-Renault      99
3.  Ferrari               78
4.  Force India-Mercedes  67
5.  McLaren-Mercedes      52
6.  Williams-Mercedes     52
7.  Lotus-Renault         8
8.  Toro Rosso-Renault    8
9.  Marussia-Ferrari      2
10.  Sauber-Ferrari        0
11.  Caterham-Renault      0

Next race: Canadian Grand Prix, Montreal. June 6-8.

Rosberg takes Monaco Grand Prix pole despite Mirabeau incident

Rosberg qualifying

Nico Rosberg claimed his second successive Monaco Grand Prix pole position despite going off at the tight Mirabeau corner on his final flying lap.

The German was the faster of the Mercedes duo on the first runs in the top ten shootout, shading Lewis Hamilton by 59 thousandths of a second.

But then he made a mistake on his final Q3 lap, locking up and sliding up the escape road at Mirabeau.

But as Hamilton, who was behind Rosberg on track, was slow in the middle sector of his final lap because of the resulting yellow flags, the 2008 Formula 1 world champion was unable to attempt to defeat Rosberg.

Daniel Ricciardo continued his strong Monaco Grand Prix weekend by beating his Red Bull Racing team-mate Sebastian Vettel to third, with the Scuderia of Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen claiming the third row.

Jean-Eric Vergne qualified seventh after winning his personal battle with McLaren’s Kevin Magnussen.

The second Toro Rosso driver, Daniil Kvyat, impressed by surviving a crash in Q1 at the chicane that ripped off his front wing by making it to Q3 in ninth, ending up ahead of Force India’s Sergio Perez.

Jenson Button, winner in Monaco in 2009, was the biggest-name casualty in Q2, ending up P12 behind Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg.

Williams driver Valtteri Bottas was P13, with Romain Grosjean and Pastor Maldonado behind him as the Lotus team continued to have a difficult weekend.

Felipe Massa ended up only P16 after being unable to participate in Q2.

The Williams driver let Caterham driver Marcus Ericsson through at Mirabeau in the closing stages of Q1, but the Swede had to correct a rear-end slide under braking for the right-hander and hit Massa, who was holding a wide line.

Both cars nosed into the barrier and neither was able to get back to the pits, although Massa did get his car going again but then ground to a halt.

This incident meant that the battle to avoid elimination in Q1 was interrupted and there were few late changes, with Sauber pairing Esteban Gutierrez and Adrian Sutil ending up P17 and P18.

Marussia pairing Jules Bianchi and Max Chilton filled the tenth row, with the Caterhams of Kamui Kobayashi and Ericsson at the back.

And yet the major talking point post-qualifying was that Rosberg incident.

There was a divided opinion in the paddock that the Silver Arrows driver had deliberately made the mistake to prevent his team-mate in scoring pole position.

Comparisons were made to a similar incident back in 2006, when Michael Schumacher parked his car at La Rascasse to stop Fernando Alonso challenging for pole. The race stewards looked into the incident then and threw Schumacher back to the end of the grid.

As for the 2014 incident, Rosberg said he made a genuine error. The stewards spent several hours investigating and in the end found no evidence of a deliberately move to prevent Hamilton from challenging to pole position.

And yet, the rivarly between Rosberg and Hamilton had just been stirred up even further following the news that more engine power was used for 2008 Formula 1 world champion to win the previous race in Spain… The Monaco Grand Prix is going to be a fascinating contest between the Silver Arrows.

Monaco Grand Prix, qualifying times:

1. Nico Rosberg          Mercedes              1m15.989s
2. Lewis Hamilton        Mercedes              1m16.048s
3. Daniel Ricciardo      Red Bull-Renault      1m16.384s
4. Sebastian Vettel      Red Bull-Renault      1m16.547s
5. Fernando Alonso       Ferrari               1m16.686s
6. Kimi Raikkonen        Ferrari               1m17.389s
7. Jean-Eric Vergne      Toro Rosso-Renault    1m17.540s
8. Kevin Magnussen       McLaren-Mercedes      1m17.555s
9. Daniil Kvyat          Toro Rosso-Renault    1m18.090s
10. Sergio Perez          Force India-Mercedes  1m18.327s
11. Nico Hulkenberg       Force India-Mercedes  1m17.846s
12. Jenson Button         McLaren-Mercedes      1m17.988s
13. Valtteri Bottas       Williams-Mercedes     1m18.082s
14. Romain Grosjean       Lotus-Renault         1m18.196s
15. Pastor Maldonado      Lotus-Renault         1m18.356s
16. Felipe Massa          Williams-Mercedes     No time
17. Esteban Gutierrez     Sauber-Ferrari        1m18.741s
18. Adrian Sutil          Sauber-Ferrari        1m18.745s
19. Jules Bianchi         Marussia-Ferrari      1m19.332s
20. Max Chilton           Marussia-Ferrari      1m19.928s
21. Kamui Kobayashi       Caterham-Renault      1m20.133s
22. Marcus Ericsson       Caterham-Renault      1m21.732s

107 per cent time: 1m22.985s

Hamilton victorious once again

Hamilton winner Spain 2014

Lewis Hamilton achieved his fourth successive victory in Formula 1 after holding off a late challenge from Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg in the Spanish Grand Prix.

The Silver Arrows were in a class of their own, with more than a second per lap over their rivals.

Hamilton nailed the start from pole position and held a lead through the early stages.

Rosberg attempted an alternative strategy compared to Hamilton, by running three laps longer in the first stint and switching to Pirelli’s hard tyre rather than taking another set of the mediums on which they both started.

The race appeared to hinge on whether Rosberg could stay within a couple of seconds of Hamilton through his stint on the slower tyre, in order to jump him with an earlier final pit-stop.

But Hamilton stayed out of reach and was four seconds up when Mercedes decided to pit him for the final time on lap 43 of 66.

That gave him track position for the final stint, but the penalty of 23 laps on the slower tyre, while Rosberg faced the prospect of trying to catch and pass his team-mate on-track with his final set of the quicker tyres.

Rosberg was able to edge closer to the leader in the final laps, but fell short by just 0.6 seconds. This result means Hamilton is now the new championship leader. The first time since he won the Canadian Grand Prix of 2012.

Behind the dominant Mercedes cars, Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo claimed his maiden podium finish in Formula 1 by taking third.

The Williams of Valtteri Bottas held that position initially, after an excellent start from fourth on the grid, but was jumped at the first round of pitstops and was powerless to prevent the Red Bull of reigning champion Sebastian Vettel jumping him for fourth at Turn 10 in the closing stages.

The four-time world champion drove a brilliant race from P15 on the grid to finish only one place behind his team-mate.

Red Bull pitted Vettel early to get him out of sequence with the rest, and the German made full use of an aggressive three-stop strategy to climb the order, producing some bolshy overtaking moves when required.

Home crowd favourite Fernando Alonso used a similar three-stop strategy to beat Ferrari team-mate Kimi Raikkonen to sixth position.

Raikkonen delivered his strongest performance of the season relative to his team-mate, but was powerless to prevent Alonso passing on fresher tyres in the late stages of the race, despite making it as difficult as he reasonably could.

Romain Grosjean delivered the first points of the season to the Lotus team by bringing the twin-tusk E22 home in eighth position.

The Force Indias of Sergio Perez and Nico Hulkenberg claimed the final points on offer by jumping the slow McLaren of Jenson Button at the start and rounding out the top ten.

A three-stop strategy did work out for Felipe Massa, who started ninth but trailed home in P13 behind the McLaren pairing of Button and Kevin Magnussen.

So a fantastic result for Mercedes. Five out of five for the Brackley-based team, with Lewis Hamilton achieving his fourth race win in a row. Can the Silver Arrows be beaten? It’s going to be a challenge for the others to catch up.

Spanish Grand Prix race results, after 66 laps:

1.  Lewis Hamilton     Mercedes              1h41m05.155s
2.  Nico Rosberg       Mercedes                   +0.636s
3.  Daniel Ricciardo   Red Bull-Renault          +49.014s
4.  Sebastian Vettel   Red Bull-Renault        +1m16.702s
5.  Valtteri Bottas    Williams-Mercedes       +1m19.293s
6.  Fernando Alonso    Ferrari                 +1m27.743s
7.  Kimi Raikkonen     Ferrari                     +1 lap
8.  Romain Grosjean    Lotus-Renault               +1 lap
9.  Sergio Perez       Force India-Mercedes        +1 lap
10.  Nico Hulkenberg    Force India-Mercedes        +1 lap
11.  Jenson Button      McLaren-Mercedes            +1 lap
12.  Kevin Magnussen    McLaren-Mercedes            +1 lap
13.  Felipe Massa       Williams-Mercedes           +1 lap
14.  Daniil Kvyat       Toro Rosso-Renault          +1 lap
15.  Pastor Maldonado   Lotus-Renault               +1 lap
16.  Esteban Gutierrez  Sauber-Ferrari              +1 lap
17.  Adrian Sutil       Sauber-Ferrari              +1 lap
18.  Jules Bianchi      Marussia-Ferrari           +2 laps
19.  Max Chilton        Marussia-Ferrari           +2 laps
20.  Marcus Ericsson    Caterham-Renault           +2 laps


Kamui Kobayashi    Caterham-Renault           34 laps
Jean-Eric Vergne   Toro Rosso-Renault         24 laps

Drivers’ championship:

1.  Lewis Hamilton    10
2.  Nico Rosberg      97
3.  Fernando Alonso   49
4.  Sebastian Vettel  45
5.  Daniel Ricciardo  39
6.  Nico Hulkenberg   37
7.  Valtteri Bottas   34
8.  Jenson Button     23
9.  Kevin Magnussen   20
10.  Sergio Perez      20
11.  Kimi Raikkonen    17
12.  Felipe Massa      12
13.  Romain Grosjean   4
14.  Jean-Eric Vergne  4
15.  Daniil Kvyat      4

Constructors’ championship:

1.  Mercedes              197
2.  Red Bull-Renault      84
3.  Ferrari               66
4.  Force India-Mercedes  57
5.  Williams-Mercedes     46
6.  McLaren-Mercedes      43
7.  Toro Rosso-Renault    8
8.  Lotus-Renault         4
9.  Sauber-Ferrari        0
10.  Marussia-Ferrari      0
11.  Caterham-Renault      0

Next race: Monaco Grand Prix, Monte Carlo. May 22-25.

Hamilton denies Rosberg to Spanish Grand Prix pole

Hamilton Spain 2014

The battle between the Mercedes drivers heats up with Lewis Hamilton claiming his 35th career pole position in Formula 1 at the Circuit de Catalunya.

The 2008 world champion denied his team-mate Nico Rosberg in the top ten shootout despite the fact Rosberg was quickest in both Q1 and Q2.

And yet Hamilton delivered when it mattered in Q3 to grab the top spot by 0.168 seconds in a tense final-lap duel.

With Mercedes continuing to dominate, the rest were fighting for third and it was Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo who emerged as best of the rest, even though it was a second off from Hamilton.

Valtteri Bottas qualified fourth for Williams, comfortably ahead of Romain Grosjean, who continued the recent upward trend for Lotus E22 with fifth position.

The Ferraris lapped at a similar pace, ending up sixth and seventh with Kimi Raikkonen shading team-mate and crowd favourite Fernando Alonso.

McLaren’s Jenson Button qualified in eighth ahead of Felipe Massa. The latter looking set for a stronger grid position but for a disappointing Q3 lap in the Williams.

Defending world champion Sebastian Vettel will start in tenth after being unable to complete a lap during Q3. His Red Bull RB10 grind to a halt before his run, prompting a red flag.

Nico Hulkenberg was fastest of the drivers to fail to make the top ten shootout. The Force India driver was bumped out of the Q3 slots by Bottas late on, despite being less than a tenth slower than home hero Alonso, who just scraped through.

Sergio Perez qualified in P12 ahead of Daniil Kvyat and Esteban Gutierrez, while Kevin Magnussen is classified as P15 despite not running in Q2 following an engine problem striking his McLaren.

Jean-Eric Vergne was P16 despite not running on track and will drop a further ten places on the grid for shedding a wheel during Friday afternoon practice session.

Adrian Sutil, who complained about a problem with his Sauber over the team radio, was the fastest of those who failed to escape Q1.

He was bumped down to P17 in the last few seconds of the first segment of qualifying by Button, who put on the quicker medium Pirelli in order to ensure he was not knocked out.

Max Chilton was P18, outqualifying his Marussia team-mate Jules Bianchi by six tenths of a second, with Marcus Ericsson doing a good job in the lead Caterham to end up just ahead of Kamui Kobayashi.

As for Pastor Maldonado, the Lotus driver will start last after crashing even before starting his flying lap.

So a great comeback from Lewis Hamilton after being outpaced by Nico Rosberg in the first two segments of qualifying. It’s going to be fascinating contest to see which Mercedes driver will have the advantage in Sunday’s Spanish Grand Prix.

Qualifying positions, Circuit de Catalunya:

1. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m25.232s
2. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m25.400s
3. Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull-Renault 1m26.285s
4. Valtteri Bottas Williams-Mercedes 1m26.632s
5. Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1m26.960s
6. Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1m27.104s
7. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1m27.140s
8. Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1m27.335s
9. Felipe Massa Williams-Mercedes 1m27.402s
10. Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 1m27.685s
11. Sergio Perez Force India-Mercedes 1m28.002s
12. Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso-Renault 1m28.039s
13. Esteban Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari 1m28.280s
14. Kevin Magnussen McLaren-Mercedes No time
15. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault No time*
16. Adrian Sutil Sauber-Ferrari 1m28.563s
17. Max Chilton Marussia-Ferrari 1m29.586s
18. Jules Bianchi Marussia-Ferrari 1m30.177s
19. Marcus Ericsson Caterham-Renault 1m30.312s
20. Kamui Kobayashi Caterham-Renault 1m30.375s
21. Pastor Maldonado Lotus-Renault No time
22. Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Renault No time**

107 per cent time: 1m32.837s

*Five-pace penalty for gearbox change
**Ten-place penalty for unsafe release

Jack is back! In 24: Live Another Day

24 Live Another Day

It has been four years since the real-time television series 24 was last broadcasted and after several attempts to turn the popular drama into a film, the temptation to continue the Jack Bauer story was hard to resist for the producers and network.

Kiefer Sutherland returns as Jack Bauer, an ex-CTU agent whom after saving America countless times in the past eight seasons of 24, has gone into hiding in the final episode of ‘Day 8’ to avoid detection from Russian and American agents out looking for him.

So what’s in store for Jack Bauer in 24: Live Another Day? Well, the new ‘limited event television series’ will still feature that famous ticking clock and split-screens, but events in time will jump forward in between certain episodes. There will be just twelve episodes compared to the usual twenty-four.

As for the premise, four years after dishing out his own brand of justice and evading capture, Jack Bauer finds himself on the run in London (once again), he attempts to thwart a global disaster. Meanwhile, Jack’s closest confidante Chloe O’Brian has been aiding and abetting the federal fugitive.

Yes, fans favourite Chloe O’Brian played by Mary Lynn Rajskub is back, along with several characters from the show including Kim Raver as Audrey Raines (Jack’s love interest in season 6) and William Devane as President James Heller.

Joining the cast in 24: Live Another Day are Michael Wincott, Gbenga Akinnagebe (The Wire), Yvonne Stahovski, Benjamin Bratt, Tate Donovan, Michelle Fairley (Game of Thrones) and the excellent Stephen Fry.

The new setting of London is a masterstroke and it’s going to be fascinating how the producers will showcase the city in a new light against the backdrop of conspiracies, WikiLeaks and threats.

It’s refreshing to hear from 24 executive producer Howard Gordon, saying how much we miss the ex-CTU agent:

Jack Bauer has always been an exciting, thrilling character, and I confess that I’ve missed him. I think the audience has too. The character has evolved through the years, and this new and exciting event series format is perfect to tell the next chapter of his story and continue to reflect how the world is changing. Fans can rest assured that the Jack they know and love will be back.

As for Kiefer Sutherland, the actor added it was an honour to replay the character once again:

The response to 24 is unlike anything I have ever experienced as an actor before. To have the chance to reunite with the character, Jack Bauer, is like finding a lost friend. The story ideas from Howard Gordon are exciting and fresh, and will not disappoint. Great thanks to 20th Century Fox Television, Imagine Television and the FOX network for this opportunity. Make no mistake, my goal is to knock your socks off. See you soon.

I am really looking forward to 24: Live Another Day and after watching the trailer, you can never underestimate how truly awful your day has been when compared to Jack Bauer!