2013 Qualifying & Race Reports: Rounds 7-12
|Choose a Race Report Below|
|Round 7: Canada - Montréal|
|Round 8: Great Britain - Silverstone|
|Round 9: Germany - Nürburgring|
|Round 10: Hungary - Budapest|
|Round 11: Belgium - Spa-Francorchamps|
|Round 12: Italy - Monza|
Round 7: Canada - Montreal
This year, Pirelli brought the Medium (Prime) and Super Soft (Option) tyres. It's a 70 lap race and the race start is 1800 local time. Lewis Hamilton in his McLaren was last years winner beating Romain Grosjean in his Lotus-Renault.
The drivers went out on the Super Soft tyres but the track was till damp after a short drizzle of rain just before qualifying started. However, drivers realised that it was too wet and so the came straight back into the pits to put on the intermediate tyres. The top drivers soon got used to the track conditions and it was Vettel who finished fastest in Q1. Grosjean and di Resta were out after a dreadful session. In Q2, a few drivers were making mistakes into the second chicane.
Massa stuck his Ferrari into the barriers at turn three. Shockingly, the two McLaren drivers were out of Q2. Q3 then. Vettel led the pack out of the pits with Räikkönen closely behind him. It was Bottas who was the driver of qualifying here though, he set a time of 1:25.897 which put him 3rd on the grid. Hamilton set a time of 1:25.512 which put him on the front row in second but it was Vettel who set the fastest time in Canada, a time of 1:25.425 put him on Pole for the Canadian Grand Prix.
Lights out in Canada!! Vettel and Hamilton got decent starts and no collisions occurred into the first corner. Alonso made a pass on Bottas down the back straight, Bottas tried to defend but there is nothing he could have done. By lap 3, Vettel had built a 3.2 second lead. Räikkönen meanwhile, dropped a place into 10th. On lap 7, the gap between Vettel and Hamilton was 4.4 seconds and it looked like Vettel was slowly increasing the gap. On lap 11, Vettel tapped the wall, he got no damage and continued. On lap 16, Vettel pitted from the lead and put on a set of medium tyres. Hamilton now led the race but he pitted on lap 19 and like Vettel, put on medium tyres. By lap 25, Vettel led Hamilton by 13.1 seconds.
On lap 31, Rosberg, from 5th place pitted on lap 31 and rejoined in the same position. By lap 32, Vettel was cruising and was 17.6 seconds ahead of Hamilton. On lap 36, Webber collided with van der Garde and lost a piece of his front wing as a result. On lap 42, Alonso was fighting with Webber and tried to get past him into the chicane but to no avail, however, Alonso got a good exit off the final corner and used DRS to pass Webber around the outside of turn one. On lap, 48, 49 and 50, Alonso, Hamilton and Vettel pitted respectively. Towards the end of the race, Alonso was closing the gap on Hamilton and finally overtook him on lap 60. Meanwhile, 14.4 seconds down the road, it was Vettel who took the chequered flag at the Canadian Grand Prix with Alonso finishing in 2nd place and Hamilton on the last step of the podium in 3rd place.
Round 8: Great Britain - Silverstone
This year, Pirelli brought the Medium (Prime) and Super Soft (Option) tyres. It's a 52 lap race and the race start is 1300 local time. Mark Webber in his Red Bull was last years winner beating Fernando Alonso in his Ferrari.
So, here we are back in the UK. In Q1, nothing exciting really happened. The drivers that stood out were Bottas and Gutierrez. In Q2 however, things started to get interesting. McLaren were hoping upgrades would put them further up on the grid but that wasn't the case for Button, he could only manage 11th on the grid. For Massa it was even worse, he starts behind Button in 12th place. Perez was also out. In Q3, it looked like it was going to be a fight between the Mercedes and Red Bull's. Di Resta set a time of 1:30.736 which put him 5th on the grid. Webber set a time of 1:30.220 which put him in 4th position.
Towards the end of Q3, we had Vettel, Rosberg and Hamilton on the track putting in very good sector times. Vettel managed to put himself 3rd on the grid. Rosberg set a time of 1:30.059 which put him 2nd on the grid. Who was on Pole? You're right. It was Hamilton. He set a blistering time of 1:29.607 which put him on Pole Position for the British Grand Prix. Alonso had a shocker, he will start 10th on the grid. Let's hope Mercedes have been working on Sunday's pace and convert what's an unbelievably fast car on Saturdays but can do nothing but go backwards on Sundays.
Lights out in Britain!! Hamilton got a lightning start and continued to lead the race, Rosberg fell back behind Vettel. Webber suffered some damage to his front wing and his dropped down to 15th place. By lap 5, Hamilton had increased the gap from Vettel. On lap 6, Hamilton's right-rear tyre deflated and he slowly made his way back to the pits for some new tyres, Vettel now led the race. On lap 11, Massa also suffered right-rear tyre deflation and spins, he also made his way back to the pits for new tyres. On lap 13, can you believe it, Vergne suffered a right-rear deflation of the tyre. What is going on here? As a result, the Safety Car came out and went back in on lap 21. Vettel still led from Rosberg. By lap 28, Vettel had a 2.1 second lead from Rosberg with Sutil in 3rd and Alonso in 4th. Hamilton was slowing making his way up the field from 13th.
On lap 35, Rosberg pitted which put pressure on Vettel. On lap 39, we saw Vettel drive slowly, he was out of the Grand Prix but it wasn't a tyre issue, his gearbox had gone and as a result we had another Safety Car. Rosberg pitted immediately. On lap 45, we were racing again. Perez suffered yet another tyre failure and pitted from 18th. He went back into the garage. By the end of the race, Rosberg led from Webber who was closing down on him. Hamilton got past Räikkönen into 4th place. But it was Rosberg who won the British Grand Prix with Webber in 2nd, Alonso in 3rd and Hamilton who made a stunning recovery as he finished in 4th. After the race, all attention turned to Pirelli after the five tyre failures we saw during the race. Hamilton said that it was "unacceptable" and that "it's only till someone gets hurt that someone will do something about it".
Round 9: Germany - Nurburgring
This year, Pirelli brought the Medium (Prime) and Soft (Option) tyres. It's a 60 lap race and the race start is 1300 local time. Fernando Alonso in his Ferrari was last years winner beating Jenson Button in his McLaren.
It was Williams 600th Grand Prix this weekend and both drivers were hoping to put in a good performance, that didn't happen. In Q1, Bottas and Maldonado didn't set a quick enough time to get into Q2. In Q2, we had some big names that were knocked out. Firstly, Rosberg, he was out, he set a time but kept and dropping down the field and it was to late to come out and put another lap in. Perez was also knocked out. Again, Mercedes and Red Bull looked quick here and the Ferrari's looked off the pace. Alonso could only manage 8th on the grid with his team-mate, Massa, ahead of him in 7th. Ricciardo put in a time of 1:30.528 which put him 6th on the grid. Webber put in a time of 1:29.608 which put him 3rd. Vettel was next in 2nd but it was Hamilton who set the fastest time of 1:29.398 which put him on Pole for the German Grand Prix. Let's hope Mercedes can stay in front this time on race day and continue to put pressure on Red Bull.
Lights out in Germany!! Both of the Red Bull drivers get good starts and both overtake Hamilton down into the first corner. On lap three, we see Massa spin and stall his car, he is out of the race. Hamilton pits on lap seven from 3rd place and switches to the Medium tyres and rejoins in 10th place. On lap nine, Webber pits, but there was a problem, the rear-right tyre didn't go on properly and the tyre jumps and hits somebody in the pit lane. Let's hope he's OK. Meanwhile, both of the Mercedes drivers' are on different strategies but Rosberg doesn't let Hamilton pass. On lap 14, Hamilton eventually gets past Rosberg. By lap 20, Vettel was still in the lead with Grosjean close behind him. On lap 24, Bianchi's car caught fire and as a result we had a Safety Car as it was in a dangerous position near the track.
On lap 26, many drivers pitted, Vettel, Grosjean, Räikkönen, di Resta, Rosberg and Webber all took the opportunity to pit. By lap 33, Vettel led from Grosjean by one second with Hamilton in 7th due to losing out to the Red Bull's at the start and tyre issues. On lap 41, Grosjean pitted and soon after on lap 42, Vettel also pitted. Hamilton made his final stop and came back out in 10th place. On lap 51, Hamilton passed di Resta and Maldonado. Up front though, it was Vettel who won his home Grand Prix in Germany with Räikkönen close behind in 2nd place and Grosjean in 3rd. Alonso finished in 4th place and Hamilton in 5th as he passed Button on the last lap.
Round 10: Hungary - Budapest
This year, Pirelli brought the Medium (Prime) and Soft (Option) tyres. It's a 70 lap race and the race start is 1300 local time. Lewis Hamilton in his McLaren was last years winner beating Kimi Räikkönen in his Lotus-Renault.
After a three week gap (after this race is the Summer break) we are back in Hungary where both of the Red Bull drivers were fastest in the first two practice sessions with Grosjean fastest in the final practice session. The track temperature was hot here, it was reaching 50°. In Q1, all of the usual teams were out but one driver did stand out of the pack, it was di Resta, he was out.
In Q2, despite McLaren bringing upgrades to the race, Button couldn't set a fast enough time to get into the top 10 shootout, his team-mate, however, scraped through in 9th place. Despite Mercedes not looking as strong in the practice sessions that all changed in Q3. Räikkönen could only manage 6th on the grid but his team-mate, Grosjean put in a very good lap of 1:19.595 which put him 3rd on the grid. Alonso managed 5th on the grid. Back to the Mercedes drivers', Rosberg put his car 4th on the grid but it was Lewis Hamilton who put in a stunning lap of 1:19.388 which put him on Pole for the Hungarian Grand Prix.
Lights out in Hungary! Hamilton gets a good start as Vettel just has enough speed to stay where he started going into the first corner. By lap 9, Hamilton led Vettel by 1.6 seconds. On lap 10, Hamilton made his first pit-stop but came out behind Button. On lap 12, Vettel pitted from the lead and crucially came out behind Hamilton and Button. For a number of laps, Vettel was stuck behind Button which allowed Hamilton to pull away ahead. By lap 31, Hamilton led Vettel by 12.2 seconds. On lap 32, Hamilton made his second pit-stop and rejoined in 4th place behind Webber but in front of Räikkönen. On lap 34, Hamilton made an impressive move on Webber at Turn Two to take third place. On lap 45, we saw Bottas at the start/finish straight, he was out of the Grand Prix.
On lap 51, Hamilton made his third and final pit-stop and again, came out behind Webber but made quick work of him as he, yet again, passed him at Turn Two. By lap 61, Vettel was getting closer and closer to Räikkönen, the gap was 0.7 seconds. By this point, Hamilton led by 11 seconds. On lap 66, we saw a lot of smoke come out of Rosberg's car, he was out due to the hot temperatures here, Mercedes were all very nervous on the pit wall as Hamilton just had a few laps to go. It was Hamilton who won the Hungarian Grand Prix! It's the first win for Hamilton since he joined Mercedes. Räikkönen just managed to stay ahead of Vettel to finish in 2nd. Hamilton drove a sublime race today, we now enter the summer break and it's safe to say Hamilton is in the Championship fight. Bring on Spa!
Round 11: Belgium - Francorchamps
This year, Pirelli brought the Hard (Prime) and Medium (Option) tyres. It's a 44 lap race and the race start is 1300 local time. Jenson Button in his McLaren was last years winner beating Sebastian Vettel in his Red Bull.
F1 is back after the summer break and we are here in Belgium. We will jump straight into Q1. Firstly, the track was wet so drivers went out on the intermediate tyres. Rosberg got off the mark with a 2:06:865 with Hamilton going second quickest despite being held up by both of the Marussia drivers. Times were all over the place but by the time Q1 had finished Alonso was the fastest. Van Der Garde finished third in Q1, that's right, third. In Q2, things calmed down a little but it was Perez and Hülkenberg that didn't set good enough times to get into the top 10 shootout. No surprise here but, Van Der Garde didn't get into the top 10 shootout either!
Just as Q3 was about to start it started to rain again and it was Di Resta who went out on the intermediate tyres while all of the other drivers were already out on the Medium tyres but it was too wet! Di Resta set a time of 2:02.332 and looked like it was going to be good enough for Pole as it looked like the track was getting wetter and wetter, it wasn't. Drivers were going quicker and quicker as the track was drying out. Firstly, it was Rosberg who had provisional Pole, then it was Webber and then Vettel went quicker. However, Hamilton crossed the line just after Vettel as he set a time of 2:01.012 that put him on Pole for the Belgium Grand Prix.
Lights out in Spa! Hamilton gets a good start and leads into La Source. I'm pleased to say we had no incidents into the first corner unlike last year. Vettel gets a good drive out of La Source and overtakes Hamilton down the straight. By lap 2, Vettel had built a 1.4 second lead. By lap 6, Alonso was in 3rd place after a series of overtakes. On lap 12, Hamilton made his first pit-stop and put on another set of Medium tyres. On lap 14, Alonso pitted and came out just after Hamilton. On the next lap, Alonso overtook Hamilton at La Source as he left the door wide open. On lap 19, Vettel still led the race by seven seconds from Alonso. On lap 26, Räikkönen's race was over due to a front brake issue, it was his first retirement since his return to the sport. On lap 31, Vettel pitted and put on a set of Hard tyres.
On lap 28, Maldonado tried to overtake Gutierrez at the Bus Stop Chicane but got it all wrong and ran wide, he rejoined but tapped Sutil and hit the other Force India, di Resta. As a result, Maldonado got a 10 second stop-and-go penalty. By lap 35, Hamilton was still in 3rd but his team-mate was only 2.4 seconds behind him. Webber who was behind Rosberg was reeling him in, a podium wasn't out of the question for Webber. Meanwhile, up front on lap 38, Vettel had a 11 second cushion over Alonso in 2nd place and it was Vettel who took the chequered flag here in Belgium. Hamilton did finish in 3rd with his team-mate, Rosberg, behind him. Next up, Monza, Italy in two weeks.
Round 12: Italy - Monza
This year, Pirelli brought the Hard (Prime) and Medium (Option) tyres. It's a 53 lap race and the race start is 1300 local time. Lewis Hamilton in his McLaren was last years winner beating Sergio Perez in his Sauber.
Vettel looked strong here and it would require a thumping lap to beat him to Pole. In Q1, as normal, nothing exciting happened so we will move onto Q2. Hamilton had a big moment as he went off the track at Parabolica, that was his flying lap ruined. Hamilton was still in 9th after setting an early lap and remained in trouble. He then got held up at Sutil, again, at Parabolica and as a result, was out of Q2 and will start 9th on the grid. Vettel was again, fastest in Q2 with Webber in 2nd and Alonso in 3rd place.
Q3 then. Webber was the early pace-sitter as he set a time of 1:23.990. Alonso was getting a toe off Massa and was hoping he could beat Vettel, he couldn't, in fact, for Ferrari, things didn't go according to plan. Massa ended up in front of Alonso. Massa will start in 4th with Alonso in 5th place. However, Hülkenberg set a time of 1:24.065 which put him in 3rd place, a great lap there. But, you guessed it, Vettel set the quickest time in Q1, a 1:23.755 put him on Pole for the Italian Grand Prix.
Lights out in Monza! Massa got a stunning start and even tried to overtake Vettel into the first corner. Vettel locked up, not once, not twice but three times into the first corner and as a result got a massive flat spot on his front-right tyre. Unfortunately for di Resta he locked up going into the first chicane and was out of the Grand Prix. On lap three, Alonso made a very good overtake on Webber to take 3rd place. On lap six, it was bad news for Hamilton, on the team-radio his team informed him that they couldn't hear him. On lap eight, Massa let Alonso through into the first corner and Alonso was now in 2nd place. As all this was happening, Vettel was getting further away at the front.
On lap 13, Hamilton finally got the message that he needed to pit as he had a slow puncture, things for Hamilton were not looking good here. By lap 16, Hamilton was in 16th place behind Räikkönen. Meanwhile, Vettel was 6.5 seconds ahead of Alonso. On lap 24, Vettel pitted which meant we had a Ferrari 1-2 at the front for the time being. On lap 27, Alonso pitted and his team put in a fantastic pit-stop of 2.7 seconds. By lap 34, Vettel led the race by 11.1 seconds from Alonso. On lap 39, Hamilton pitted from 5th place and came out in 14th. Towards the end of the race, Hamilton passed a few drivers' and was in 9th place. However, it was Vettel who took the chequered flag with Alonso finishing in 2nd place with Webber in 3rd and Massa in 4th place. Hamilton finished in 9th place.