Hamilton victorious at Singapore and takes championship lead

Singapore GP 2014 winner

Lewis Hamilton achieved his 29th career victory in Formula 1 and has now taken the lead of the world championship, as his Mercedes team-mate and rival Nico Rosberg retired with technical issues.

Rosberg led Hamilton by 22 points coming into the Singapore Grand Prix, but now trails his rival by three after a disastrous race.

Having narrowly missed out on pole position to Hamilton by a tiny margin of 0.007 seconds in qualifying, the expectation was for another close contest between the Silver Arrows duo.

But Rosberg’s problems began before the start, when his team discovered a glitch on the W05 and was forced to swap its steering wheel.

Rosberg then had to start the race from the pitlane when he found he could not pull away from the grid for the formation lap.

As the five red lights went out, Hamilton sprinted into the immediate lead chased by the Red Bulls of Sebastian Vettel and Daniel Ricciardo.

Into Turn 1, Fernando Alonso outbraked himself and was forced to hand the position back to Vettel. As for Rosberg, his technical troubles continued.

Rosberg made little progress during the first stint, failing even to pass Marcus Ericsson’s Caterham as he battled problems that were affecting his DRS, energy recovery systems and his gearbox.

He eventually retired at on lap 13 during the first pitstop, after yet another steering wheel change. But the car refused to re-engage first gear.

With his main championship rival removed from the race, Hamilton looked set for a comfortable win, but his superiority came under threat when the Safety Car made an appearance following the collapse of the front wing on Sergio Perez’s Force India at half distance.

Mercedes decided not to pit Hamilton (yet to run the soft compound Pirelli) under the Safety Car, requiring him to stop again under racing conditions.

So the 2008 world champion began pushing with fastest laps following the race restart, in order to open a big enough gap to the chasing pack to get in and out of the pits with his lead intact.

However, the chasing Red Bulls of Vettel and Ricciardo were attempting to make their first set of soft tyres last to the end of the Singapore Grand Prix, easing the pressure on the leader.

Hamilton stretched out more than 25 seconds over Vettel before making his final pitstop with nine of the scheduled laps to run, but this wasn’t enough to keep him ahead.

Hamilton just fended off Ricciardo into Turn 3 as Vettel claimed the lead, but with fresher set of tyres Hamilton easily retook the position and drove on to win by a comfortable 13.5 seconds margin as the race ran past the two-hour limit with a lap of the scheduled 61 to run.

Having jumped Vettel at the first round of pitstops, Alonso conceded track position to both Red Bulls by pitting under the Safety Car.

The 2005/06 world champion sat behind Ricciardo waiting for his rivals’ tyres to fall apart, but the Red Bulls held on to score their first double podium finish of the season, with Vettel bagging his best result of a difficult year in second position.

Felipe Massa’s Williams re-passed the fast-starting Ferrari of Kimi Raikkonen for fifth at the first round of pitstops and raced on to a lonely finish.

While Jean-Eric Vergne (twice penalised five seconds for exceeding track limits) scored a season’s best sixth after gambling on a third pitstop after the Safety Car and using his fresher soft tyres to pass a train of cars in the closing stages with some bold late-braking moves.

Perez recovered from his wing failure following contact with Adrian Sutil’s Sauber, to execute a similar strategy to Vergne and finish seventh as the tyres on the cars around him gave up towards the end.

Raikkonen paid dearly for his earlier loss of track position, and trailed home eighth despite pitting for fresh tyres under the Safety Car.

Nico Hulkenberg and Kevin Magnussen rounded out the top ten, as the tyres on Valtteri Bottas’ Williams – which ran as high as sixth at one point – gave up on him. Eventually finished in a pointless P11.

McLaren’s Jenson Button also looked on course to score points, after a fine start and good strategy carried him from P11 on the grid to seventh, but the 2009 world champion’s car broke down seven laps from the finish.

So a fantastic result for Lewis Hamilton. Leading the championship by three points with five races left in a exciting season. It still all to play for Nico Rosberg especially the double points in the season finale, but the winning form is with Hamilton.

Singapore Grand Prix, race result after 60 laps:

1 Lewis Hamilton       Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team    2h00m04.795s
2 Sebastian Vettel    Infiniti Red Bull Racing    2h00m18.329s
3 Daniel Ricciardo    Infiniti Red Bull Racing    2h00m19.068s
4 Fernando Alonso    Scuderia Ferrari    2h00m20.184s
5 Felipe Massa    Williams Martini Racing    2h00m46.956s
6 Jean-Eric Vergne    Scuderia Toro Rosso    2h01m01.596s
7 Sergio Perez    Sahara Force India F1 Team    2h01m03.833s
8 Kimi Raikkonen    Scuderia Ferrari    2h01m05.436s
9 Nico Hulkenberg    Sahara Force India F1 Team    2h01m06.456s
10 Kevin Magnussen    McLaren Mercedes    2h01m07.025s
11 Valtteri Bottas    Williams Martini Racing    2h01m09.860s
12 Pastor Maldonado    Lotus F1 Team    2h01m11.710s
13 Romain Grosjean    Lotus F1 Team    2h01m12.824s
14 Daniil Kvyat    Scuderia Toro Rosso    2h01m16.803s
15 Marcus Ericsson    Caterham F1 Team    2h01m38.983s
16 Jules Bianchi    Marussia F1 Team    2h01m39.338s
17 Max Chilton    Marussia F1 Team    –


Jenson Button    McLaren Mercedes    –
Adrian Sutil    Sauber F1 Team    –
Esteban Gutierrez    Sauber F1 Team    –
Nico Rosberg    Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team    –
Kamui Kobayashi    Caterham F1 Team    –

Drivers’ championship

1 Lewis Hamilton    241
2 Nico Rosberg    238
3 Daniel Ricciardo    181
4 Fernando Alonso    133
5 Sebastian Vettel    124
6 Valtteri Bottas    122
7 Jenson Button    72
8 Nico Hulkenberg    72
9 Felipe Massa    65
10 Sergio Perez    45
11 Kimi Raikkonen    45
12 Kevin Magnussen    39
13 Jean-Eric Vergne    19
14 Romain Grosjean    8
15 Daniil Kvyat    8
16 Jules Bianchi    2
17 Adrian Sutil    0
18 Marcus Ericsson    0
19 Pastor Maldonado    0
20 Esteban Gutierrez    0
21 Max Chilton    0
22 Kamui Kobayashi    0

Constructors’ championship

1 Mercedes    479
2 Red Bull/Renault    305
3 Williams/Mercedes    187
4 Ferrari    178
5 Force India/Mercedes    117
6 McLaren/Mercedes    111
7 Toro Rosso/Renault    27
8 Lotus/Renault    8
9 Marussia/Ferrari    2
10 Sauber/Ferrari    0
11 Caterham/Renault    0

Next race: Japanese Grand Prix, Suzuka. October 4-6.

Hamilton edges Rosberg to Singapore pole by 0.007s

Singapore GP 2014

Championship contender Lewis Hamilton achieved his 36th career pole position at Marina Bay, Singapore by beating his Mercedes team-mate by seven thousandths of a second.

Hamilton was only sixth quickest on his first run in the Q3 top ten shootout but despite a lock-up at Turn 1 on his final lap, a particularly strong run through the middle part of the lap allowed him to beat Rosberg by a tiny margin.

Red Bull Racing locked out the second row, with Daniel Ricciardo again out-qualifying his world champion colleague of Sebastian Vettel. The difference was only half-a-tenth.

Fernando Alonso was fifth fastest, only a tenth behind the leading Red Bull, although Ferrari team-mate Kimi Raikkonen was not able to do better than seventh after suffering a power problem on his second run.

In between the Scuderia is Felipe Massa. The Williams driver putting in an impressive lap to go provisional pole on the first-run times, but was only able to make a tiny improvement on his second lap.

Williams team-mate Valtteri Bottas was eighth and was unable to improve on his second run.

Kevin Magnussen was ninth for McLaren, only 0.569 seconds off Hamilton’s pole position time, while Daniil Kvyat was slowest in Q3 after having only one set on super-soft rubber available for the final qualifying session.

Jenson Button and Jean-Eric Vergne were in the top ten in Q2 on their first runs, but with both Williams drivers setting slow times after choosing to run used super-softs for their first run, were always in danger of missing the cut.

They were bumped down to P11 and P12 when Massa and Bottas improved on a fresh set of Pirellis.

Button was able to improve on his second run, but a lock-up at the hairpin cost him time and he missed the cut by 23 thousandths of a second, ending up P11.

Vergne was unable to improve on his second run, complaining about front-end grip and suffering a costly lock-up, meaning he qualified P12.

The Force India pairing of Nico Hulkenberg and Sergio Perez also both failed to improve on their second runs, ending up P13 and P15 respectively.

They were split by Esteban Gutierrez, showing a strong turn of pace in the upgraded Sauber.

Romain Grosjean was slowest of those who made it to Q2 and was very vocal on the team radio about an engine problem that cost him time.

Adrian Sutil came close to escaping Q1, but failed to relegate Perez into the dropzone with his final lap in Q1 and ended up P17.

Pastor Maldonado blamed a power unit problem on his final run for failing to reach Q2.

He was unable to fully recharge the battery, meaning he was lacking full power on his final lap, ending up P18, behind Jules Bianchi.

The Marussia driver put in a superb lap on his final effort to jump ahead of his team-mate Max Chilton, who ended up P21, with Caterham’s Kamui Kobayashi doing a good job to separate the pair.

Marcus Ericsson joined the session late after the Caterham team had to work flat out to solve an electrical problem that had struck in free practice, ending up last.

So an extremely close qualifying session with the top seven covered by less than half-a-second. It was another Mercedes front-row but Red Bull and Ferrari are not far behind.

Qualifying positions, Singapore Grand Prix:

1 Lewis Hamilton      Mercedes    1m45.681s
2 Nico Rosberg    Mercedes    1m45.688s
3 Daniel Ricciardo    Red Bull-Renault    1m45.854s
4 Sebastian Vettel    Red Bull-Renault    1m45.902s
5 Fernando Alonso    Ferrari    1m45.907s
6 Felipe Massa    Williams-Mercedes    1m46.000s
7 Kimi Raikkonen      Ferrari    1m46.170s
8 Valtteri Bottas    Williams-Mercedes    1m46.187s
9 Kevin Magnussen    McLaren-Mercedes    1m46.250s
10 Daniil Kvyat    Toro Rosso-Renault    1m47.362s
11 Jenson Button       McLaren-Mercedes    1m46.943s
12 Jean-Eric Vergne    Toro Rosso-Renault    1m46.989s
13 Nico Hulkenberg    Force India-Mercedes    1m47.308s
14 Esteban Gutierrez    Sauber-Ferrari    1m47.333s
15 Sergio Perez    Force India-Mercedes    1m47.575s
16 Romain Grosjean    Lotus-Renault    1m47.812s
17 Adrian Sutil    Sauber-Ferrari    1m48.324s
18 Pastor Maldonado    Lotus-Renault    1m49.063s
19 Jules Bianchi        Marussia-Ferrari    1m49.440s
20 Kamui Kobayashi    Caterham-Renault    1m50.405s
21 Max Chilton      Marussia-Ferrari    1m50.473s
22 Marcus Ericsson    Caterham-Renault    1m52.287s

Hamilton recovers from poor start to win at Monza

Italian GP 2014 podium

Championship contender Lewis Hamilton overcame a poor start to win the Italian Grand Prix at Monza.

This was Hamilton’s sixth win this season and his 28th in Formula 1.

Just twenty-two points separate the Mercedes drivers and it shows how fortunes can ebb and flow between Hamilton and Nico Rosberg.

Starting on pole position, Lewis Hamilton was slow away from the grid.

This removed any chance of a repeat of the collision between the Silver Arrows, which handed Red Bull Racing’s Daniel Ricciardo victory in the previous Grand Prix in Spa-Francorchamps.

Rosberg streaked away at the front as Hamilton fell behind the Williams of Felipe Massa and the fast-starting McLaren of Kevin Magnussen, who launched his way up from fifth on the grid to second place.

Hamilton struggled initially with his car becoming stuck in ‘RS mode’, but he soon got back to full speed and began to charge.

The 2008 world champion took advantage of Massa passing Magnussen at the second chicane on lap five to take third on the following run to the first Lesmo, before driving around the outside of Massa at the first chicane on lap ten.

By then Rosberg had already straight-lined the first chicane and Hamilton set about closing down his title rival further.

The Mercedes duo traded fastest laps initially, as Massa tried in vain to go with the leaders, but Hamilton then began to assert his speed advantage over Rosberg as the first half of the race wore on.

He closed to within 1.5 seconds of his Mercedes team-mate but could not leapfrog Rosberg in the pits as the leaders stopped on consecutive laps.

Hamilton was much quicker than Rosberg in the following laps on Pirelli’s harder tyre, and Rosberg gave the victory away to his team-mate by locking up his brakes and again straight-lining the first chicane on lap 29.

From that moment, Hamilton eased away to record his sixth victory of the season by just over three seconds.

Massa completed a lonely run to third place, thus recording his first podium finish since the 2013 Spanish Grand Prix.

Williams team-mate Valtteri Bottas was the pre-race favourite to take that final podium spot, having qualified third, but a terrible start dropped him outside the top ten on the opening lap.

The Finn spent most of the rest of the race slipstreaming his way back through the field, usually passing rivals before the entry to the first chicane, and eventually made his way back to fourth place.

Reigning world champion Sebastian Vettel lost fifth in the closing stages to Red Bull team-mate Daniel Ricciardo.

Vettel gambled on making an earlier pitstop than anyone else to gain track position, but could not make his hard tyres last well enough to hang on to the chequered flag.

Ricciardo benefitted the alternative strategy – running long in the first stint and stopping late – and made some impressively decisive passing moves as he recovered well from a poor start.

Vettel defended hard into the first chicane with five laps left to run, but was passed easily down the inside into the second chicane on tyres eight laps older than Ricciardo’s.

Magnussen finished seventh on track, but was penalised five seconds for forcing Bottas off the track at the first chicane during the Finn’s earlier slipstreaming charge, dropping McLaren’s rookie to tenth place.

Sergio Perez thus inherited seventh for Force India, after a close battle with the McLaren of Jenson Button, who ran sixth early on but lost track position to Perez at the stops.

The pair ran side-by-side through the Lesmos at one point, but Button could not force his way decisively back ahead of the Force India.

Kimi Raikkonen finished in ninth on a disappointing day for Ferrari at the Scuderia’s home race.

Team-mate Fernando Alonso started seventh, but recorded his first mechanical non-finish for five years after his F14 T suffered an ERS failure.

Toro Rosso’s Daniil Kvyat should have inherited the final point for tenth when Magnussen’s penalty was applied, but the Russian frighteningly straight-lined the first chicane at high speed on the penultimate lap and trailed home P11, complaining of a brake problem.

So a great result for Team Brackley. Their seventh one-two finish this season. Just twenty-two points the difference between the Mercedes drivers.

It’s going to be an interesting fight for title honours with six races remaining.

Italian Grand Prix race results, after 53 laps:

1 Lewis Hamilton    Mercedes    1h19m10.236s
2 Nico Rosberg    Mercedes    3.175s
3 Felipe Massa    Williams-Mercedes    25.026s
4 Valtteri Bottas    Williams-Mercedes    40.786s
5 Daniel Ricciardo    Red Bull-Renault    50.309s
6 Sebastian Vettel    Red Bull-Renault    59.965s
7 Sergio Perez    Force India-Mercedes    1m02.518s
8 Jenson Button    McLaren-Mercedes    1m03.063s
9 Kimi Raikkonen    Ferrari    1m03.535s
10 Kevin Magnussen    McLaren-Mercedes    1m06.171s
11 Daniil Kvyat    Toro Rosso-Renault    1m11.184s
12 Nico Hulkenberg    Force India-Mercedes    1m12.606s
13 Jean-Eric Vergne    Toro Rosso-Renault    1m13.093s
14 Pastor Maldonado    Lotus-Renault    1 Lap
15 Adrian Sutil    Sauber-Ferrari    1 Lap
16 Romain Grosjean    Lotus-Renault    1 Lap
17 Kamui Kobayashi    Caterham-Renault    1 Lap
18 Jules Bianchi    Marussia-Ferrari    1 Lap
19 Esteban Gutierrez    Sauber-Ferrari    2 Laps
20 Marcus Ericsson    Caterham-Renault    2 Laps


Fernando Alonso    Ferrari    ERS issue
Max Chilton      Marussia-Ferrari    Spun off

Drivers’ championship:

1 Nico Rosberg    238
2 Lewis Hamilton    216
3 Daniel Ricciardo    166
4 Valtteri Bottas    122
5 Fernando Alonso    121
6 Sebastian Vettel    106
7 Jenson Button    72
8 Nico Hulkenberg    70
9 Felipe Massa    55
10 Kimi Raikkonen    41
11 Sergio Perez    39
12 Kevin Magnussen    38
13 Jean-Eric Vergne    11
14 Romain Grosjean    8
15 Daniil Kvyat    8
16 Jules Bianchi    2
17 Adrian Sutil    0
18 Marcus Ericsson    0
19 Pastor Maldonado    0
20 Esteban Gutierrez    0
21 Max Chilton    0
22 Kamui Kobayashi    0

Constructors’ championship:

1 Mercedes    454
2 Red Bull-Renault    272
3 Williams-Mercedes    177
4 Ferrari    162
5 McLaren-Mercedes    110
6 Force India-Mercedes    109
7 Toro Rosso-Renault    19
8 Lotus-Renault    8
9 Marussia-Ferrari    2
10 Sauber-Ferrari    0
11 Caterham-Renault    0

Next race: Singapore Grand Prix, Marina Bay. September 19-21.

Hamilton beats championship rival Rosberg to Monza pole

Italian GP 2014

Lewis Hamilton took his first pole position since May’s Spanish Grand Prix by setting the pace in qualifying at Monza.

The Mercedes driver dominated all three segments for qualifying at the Italian Grand Prix. His team-mate and championship rival Nico Rosberg had to settle with second place.

Hamilton set his provisional pole lap of one minute, 24.109 seconds on his first run in Q3. This was four tenths clear over Rosberg and it was good enough to score his 36th career pole in Formula 1.

Rosberg did improved his lap time thanks to a second Q3 attempt, but it was not enough to knock his team-mate off top spot.

Valtteri Bottas and Felipe Massa locked out the second row for Williams, both drivers unable to improve on their second runs.

But behind them was the big winner of the final seconds of qualifying, Kevin Magnussen, who leaped from eighth to fifth with his final attempt.

His McLaren team-mate Jenson Button was sixth after failing to improve on his final run, just ahead of Fernando Alonso.

The Ferrari driver had made a slight improvement on his final attempt to relegate Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel to eighth position.

Daniel Ricciardo and Sergio Perez in the Force India completed the top ten at Monza.

Daniil Kvyat was the quickest of those eliminated in Q2 despite a valiant attempt to snatch a place in the pole position shootout on the last lap.

However, the Toro Rosso driver will be given a ten-place grid penalty for using his sixth engine of the season.

Raikkonen ended up P12 ahead of Jean-Eric Vergne, with Nico Hulkenberg unable to match his Force India team-mate Perez and down in P14.

Adrian Sutil prevailed in the intra-Sauber battle with Esteban Gutierrez by improving on his final run.

This was a difficult qualifying session for Lotus. Pastor Maldonado edged out his team-mate Romain Grosjean, but both will start right at the back.

Grosjean was only able to complete five laps thanks to the team having to fix a fluid leak detected in the build-up to the session.

Kamui Kobayashi, reinstated in the lead Caterham after sitting out the Belgian Grand Prix, was a superb P19 ahead of Jules Bianchi thanks to a combination of an excellent lap and a tow from team-mate Marcus Ericsson.

Ericsson ended up in P22, three tenths behind the Marussia of Max Chilton.

So it’s another Silver Arrows front row with the top six cars powered by the Mercedes-Benz power unit.

Sunday’s Italian Grand Prix is going to be fascinating and the race to the first chicane on the opening lap between the Mercedes drivers is going be frantic following what happened at Spa…

Qualifying positions, Italian Grand Prix:

1 Lewis Hamilton     Mercedes    1m24.109s
2 Nico Rosberg    Mercedes    1m24.383s
3 Valtteri Bottas    Williams-Mercedes    1m24.697s
4 Felipe Massa    Williams-Mercedes    1m24.865s
5 Kevin Magnussen    McLaren-Mercedes    1m25.314s
6 Jenson Button    McLaren-Mercedes    1m25.379s
7 Fernando Alonso    Ferrari    1m25.430s
8 Sebastian Vettel    Red Bull-Renault    1m25.436s
9 Daniel Ricciardo    Red Bull-Renault    1m25.709s
10 Sergio Perez    Force India-Mercedes    1m25.944s
11 Kimi Raikkonen    Ferrari    1m26.110s
12 Jean-Eric Vergne    Toro Rosso-Renault    1m26.157s
13 Nico Hulkenberg    Force India-Mercedes    1m26.279s
14 Adrian Sutil    Sauber-Ferrari    1m26.588s
15 Esteban Gutierrez    Sauber-Ferrari    1m26.692s
16 Pastor Maldonado    Lotus-Renault    1m27.520s
17 Romain Grosjean    Lotus-Renault    1m27.632s
18 Kamui Kobayashi    Caterham-Renault    1m27.671s
19 Jules Bianchi    Marussia-Ferrari     1m27.738s
20 Max Chilton    Marussia-Ferrari     1m28.247s
21 Daniil Kvyat    Toro Rosso-Renault    1m26.070s*
22 Marcus Ericsson    Caterham-Renault    1m28.562s

*Ten-place grid penalty for a power unit change