2015 Qualifying & Race Reports: Rounds 13-19
|Choose a Race Report Below|
|Round 13: Singapore - Marina Bay Street Circuit|
|Round 14: Japan - Suzuka|
|Round 15: Russia - Sochi|
|Round 16: United States - Austin|
|Round 17: Mexico - Mexico City|
|Round 18: Brazil - São Paulo|
|Round 19: Abu Dhabi - Yas Marina|
Round 13: Singapore - Marina Bay Street Circuit
It's a 61 lap race and the race start is 1300 local time, Lewis Hamilton in his Mercedes was last years winner beating Sebastian Vettel in his Red Bull. Pirelli brought the Soft (Prime) and the Super Soft (Option) tyres to this race.
All drivers were on the soft tyres apart from the Sauber's and Marussia's. Bottas put in the first timed lap, a 1:48.094. Ricciardo then crossed the line with a time of 1:46.805. It took a while before we saw Hamilton's first lap and it wasn't a great one, he set a time of 1:48.627 which put him 15th on the leaderboard. Could you believe it? For the first time this season, Mercedes had to switch to the softer tyre to ensure they'd make it through into Q2. Hamilton's time, on the super-soft tyre was a 1:45.765. It was Kvyat though who was the fastest driver in Q1. Out of Q1 were: Nasr, Ericsson, Maldonado, Stevens and Rossi.
Out of Q2 were: Hülkenberg, Alonso, Perez, Sainz and Button.
So, for once, in a very long time it looked like Mercedes were under serious threat from Ferrari and Red Bull for the fight for pole position. First on the board was Ricciardo, he set a time of 1:44.607. Vettel then crossed the line and went faster, a time of 1:44.305. Hamilton had to abort his first flying lap as he went over the kerb at turn seven. Ricciardo and Bottas both had new sets of super-soft tyres on and went out to do one more flying lap. Ricciardo improves but only up to second, Hamilton meanwhile could only set a good enough time for fifth on the grid! Rosberg could only manage sixth. It was Vettel who took pole position here at Singapore.
Lights out in Singapore!! Vettel got a good start and held his position into the first corner. Both of the Mercedes drivers both got away well but remained fifth and sixth respectively. It was a disaster for Verstappen, he stalled on the grid at the start and was being pushed by the marshals. Vettel was building a lead out in front, he was 5.3 seconds ahead of second-placed Ricciardo. Grosjean was the first to pit on lap 10 and was put on the soft tyres. Massa came into the pits and when he came out collided with Hülkenberg as he rejoined the track. The Virtual Safety Car was deployed but after a short while the real Safety Car was deployed because of the debris.
Both of the Mercedes drivers took advantage and pitted. They both gained a place on Kvyat. By lap 22, the gap from Vettel and Ricciardo was under one second. Meanwhile Hamilton was reporting a loss of power. Moments later his team-mate Rosberg sailed past and he continued to fall back down the field. There were many conversations between Hamilton and Peter Bonnington, his race engineer but the issue couldn't be resolved. Hamilton was called into the garage to retire. Massa also had to retire as his car suddenly went into neutral and that ended his race. A second Safety Car was called out as someone was taking a nice stroll on the track! What is wrong with this guy?
The top three pitted, Vettel, Ricciardo and Räikkönen all pitted and put on the super tyres. With 21 laps to go, the Safety Car went back into the pits and we were off racing again. Vettel got a good getaway and created a gap from Ricciardo. Rosberg was in fourth but was two seconds behind Räikkönen. Verstappen was having a brilliant race, he was clawing his way back up the field from last and was in 9th after overtaking Grosjean. However, it was Vettel who won the Singapore Grand Prix with Ricciardo in second and Räikkönen in third. Rosberg finished in fourth with Bottas in fifth.
View pictures from the Singapore Grand Prix in the 2015 F1 Gallery.
Round 14: Japan - Suzuka
It's a 53 lap race and the race start is 0600 local time, Lewis Hamilton in his Mercedes was last years winner beating his team-mate Nico Rosberg in his Mercedes. Pirelli brought the Hard (Prime) and the Medium (Option) tyres to this race.
Max Verstappen was the early pacesetter but it wasn’t for long as Hamilton soon crossed the line a set a time of 1:33.595. His team-mate Rosberg soon followed the set a time which was three tenths slower than Hamilton. Ericsson had a moment as he went off at Spoon but managed to get his car out of the gravel and continued on his way, there was no damage to his car. Williams looked good here as Bottas was up to third with Massa in fourth. Ferrari were late to the scene but Räikkönen went third fastest with Vettel in fifth. Verstappen stopped on-track and it seemed he was out of the session. It was Hamilton who finished the fastest in the first part of qualifying.
Out of Q2 were: Hülkenberg, Sainz, Maldonado, Alonso and Verstappen.
It was advantage to Rosberg as he set a time of 1:32.584 while his team-mate Hamilton was only 0.076s off with his first attempt. Williams continued to look good as Bottas set a time which was good enough for third on the grid. Vettel meanwhile was six tenths of a second slower than Rosberg in fourth. Most of the cars went back in to the pits. Kyat was the only car on-track and we soon saw his car was in pieces. He crashed into the barrier and wrecked his Red Bull. He was okay. He put a wheel on to the grass and it send him spinning off, there was nothing he could do. The session was red-flagged and as there was less than one minute left, the session didn’t resume. It was Rosberg’s first lap which was good enough for pole position here in China. Hamilton will start alongside him with Bottas in third and Vettel in fourth.
Lights out in Suzuka!! Rosberg and Hamilton got good starts but it seemed Hamilton had the edge and they were both side-by-side going into the first corner. Hamilton was on the inside going into turn two and edged Rosberg off-track. Vettel and Bottas soon overtook him, Hamilton led the Grand Prix. It seemed Ricciardo's race was pretty much over as he had a puncture, he had to make his way around the track and into the pits for new tyres. Three laps down and Hamilton had a lead of three seconds over Vettel. Both of the Lotus' drivers were driving well, Grosjean was in sixth from eighth and Maldonado was seventh from 11th. Räikkönen was catching Rosberg, he was only 1.4 seconds behind. Bottas was the first to pit from the front runners and was put on the medium tyres, he came back out in seventh.
Vettel was next to pit and switched to the hard tyre and was out in fifth. Räikkönen was called in on the next lap. Mercedes' attempted the undercut with Bottas who pitted a few laps earlier. Rosberg was now on the hard tyre but the undercut didn't come off, he was still behind Bottas. On team-radio Rosberg was told to push and overtake Bottas, he did just that into the chicane, Rosberg was up to third. Meanwhile, right at the front, Hamilton had a 11.3 second lead over Vettel. Both were now settling down for their stints. It wasn't all plain sailing for Hamilton as he reported big vibrations with his tyres. As a result, he headed in for his second and final pit-stop.
Rosberg was called in for his second stop hoping he'd undercut Vettel. Rosberg put in great lap times and when Vettel did pit, it was enough, Rosberg was now up to second. Towards the end of the race, Vettel was slowly catching Rosberg and was only 1.7 seconds behind. With 11 laps to go, Hamilton led the race by 12 seconds. It seemed Vettel couldn't get passed Rosberg as the gap started to increase. However, it was Hamilton who took the chequred flag here in Japan! Rosberg finished in second, Vettel in third and Räikkönen in fourth.
View pictures from the Japanese Grand Prix in the 2015 F1 Gallery.
Round 15: Russia - Sochi
It's a 53 lap race and the race start is 1200 local time, Lewis Hamilton in his Mercedes was last years winner beating his team-mate Nico Rosberg in his Mercedes. Pirelli brought the Soft (Prime) and the Super Soft (Option) tyres to this race.
All cars were on the soft tyres apart from the Saubers and the Marussia's. We had yellow flags for a brief second as Maldonado went off-track. Verstappen was the first to set a lap time, a 1:40.529. The McLaren's then came out of the pits and were both on the super-soft tyres. Rosberg on his first run put in a time of 1:38.556 while his team-mate Hamilton was one second off on his first run. Vettel then set a time of 1:38.598 but that was on the softer tyre. Both of the Mercedes drivers were safe and went back into the pits for the rest of the session. Bottas put in a good lap which put him up to sixth. Out of Q1 were: Alonso, Ericsson, Stevens and Merhi. Sainz didn't take part due to his crash in FP3.
Out of Q2 were: Kvyat, Nasr, Button Maldonado and Massa.
Räikkönen was immediately out on-track with Vettel and Rosberg not far behind. Vettel set a time of 1:42.591 but it seemed drivers were trying to warm up the tyres on the first lap and going for the hot lap second time around. Bottas set the first benchmark, a 1:37.912. Rosberg then crossed the line and went top with a 1:37.113. Hamilton's lap was three tenths slower. On Hamilton's second flying lap he locked up going into turn 13 and as a result, flat-spotted the tyres and it was all over for him. For the second race in a row, Rosberg takes pole position. Bottas will start 3rd with Vettel in 4th and Räikkönen in 5th.
Lights out in Russia! Both of the Mercedes' drivers got great starts but it was Rosberg who managed to stay ahead past the first kink and into the second corner. Hamilton was in the slipstream but couldn't overtake. Towards the back, there was a incident between Ericsson and Hülkenberg and as a result, the Safety Car was called out. Verstappen also got caught up in the action and had to pit as he had a puncture. Rosberg got a great restart and Bottas also took advantage and overtook Räikkönen for third place. On team-radio Rosberg said he had a throttle issue, could he maintain the problem? The two Ferrari's were having a good battle into turn 2 as Vettel tried to overtake Räikkönen but couldn't make it stick. Meanwhile, at the front Hamilton was leading the race! Rosberg was struggling with his throttle and was also passed by Bottas. Rosberg was eventually going round the track at very low speed and made his way into the pits, his race was over.
Hamilton led Bottas by three seconds. Meanwhile, we had another Safety Car as Grosjean had crashed into the wall at turn 3. Hamiton and Bottas didn't pit but a few of the drivers further down the field did. On lap 17, the race resumed and the battle between Vettel and Räikkönen was still playing out, Räikkönen ran wide at turn 2 which allowed Vettel to take third place. With Vettel gaining on Bottas, Williams decided to pit him and he came back out in 11th place promoting Vettel to second. Meanwhile, right at the front, Hamilton was leading the race by 15 seconds and was still on the super-soft tyre. Vettel pitted next and did manage to come out ahead of Bottas. Hamilton then pitted and with no pressure from others, had a decent stop and came back out with a 7.4 second advantage.
With 10 laps to go, it was clear that drivers who had pitted very early on had a great chance for a bunch of points here today. Ricciardo was in fourth with Perez in third. Bottas, with a faster car and fresher tyres overtook Ricciardo and was closing in on Perez for the last podium place. However, Ricciardo had to retire as he had reported a problem with his suspension. With one lap to go Hamilton was warned on team-radio not to use DRS but led Vettel by 7.8 seconds. Perez was in third, with Bottas in fourth and Räikkönen in fifth. Bottas overtook Perez as did Räikkönen but a few corners later Räikkönen tried to overtake Bottas but made contact. Bottas was out with Räikkönen damaging his car and this allowed Perez to regain third place! Out in front however it was Hamilton who took the chequered flag here in Russia with Vettel in second and Perez taking a brilliant third place.
View pictures from the Russian Grand Prix in the 2015 F1 Gallery.
Round 16: United States - Austin
It's a 56 lap race and the race start is 1900 local time, Lewis Hamilton in his Mercedes was last years winner beating his team-mate Nico Rosberg in his Mercedes. Pirelli brought the Medium (Prime) and the Soft (Option) tyres to this race.
Due to extensive rain on the Saturday, qualifying took place on race-day. The rain had settled down overnight but it was still present in the air and on-track. All cars were restricted to the full-wet tyres and within a few minutes we had all 20 cars on the track as they wanted to set early lap times just in case the rain worsened. Hamilton's lap was a massive 2.8 seconds faster than any other's on the track. Sainz though had a moment and hit the barriers. The session was red-flagged while his car was recovered. Ricciardo set a very good time and was only 0.8 seconds behind Hamilton. Rosberg moved up to second with a great lap, the track was slowly getting drier and drier. Out of Q1 were: Ericsson, Nasr, Rossi, Stevens and Sainz.
Vettel just avoided being eliminated and was one of the first out on-track in Q2. Vettel's time was a 1:59.757 but that will soon be beaten I'm sure. Hamilton soon topped the leaderboard but then Rosberg went nearly half a second quicker. The Mercedes' had a gap of nearly two seconds over everyone else! Ricciardo could only manage to go 1.6 seconds off Hamilton's time. Many drivers were aquaplaning at turn 10 and it seemed that the rain was getting worse yet again. Hamilton tried a second flying lap but it still wasn't good enough, he remained around one tenth off Rosberg. Out of Q2 were: Alonso, Bottas, Grosjean, Button and Maldonado.
Q3 didn't take place as it was deemed unsafe. So Rosberg will start on pole with Hamilton in second, Ricciardo in third, Kvyat in fourth, Vettel in fifth (he'll start 15th thanks to a penalty), Perez in sixth, Hülkenberg in seventh and Räikkönen in eighth.
Lights out in Austin! Hamilton got a better start than Rosberg and overtook him into the first corner. It looked like Hamilton pushed Rosberg off the track at the first corner! Rosberg went off-track and lost a few places. Rosberg was down to fifth. Both of the Red Bull drivers were keeping up with Hamilton, it seemed in these conditions the Red Bull was performing very well. Hamilton was only 1.2 seconds ahead of Kvyat. Both of the Sauber's collided at the first corner and then we soon saw Alonso and Massa collide. As a result of all the debris, a Virtual Safety Car was deployed. We were soon racing again and Rosberg caught Ricciardo off guard and overtook him and was now in third place. Rosberg then overtook Kvyat for second place, next up was his team-mate Hamilton for the lead.
The track was getting drier and drier and soon the track would be dry enough for slick tyres. However, up front the Red Bull was still performing well and Ricciardo had a crack at Hamilton for the lead and it paid off! Ricciardo was leading the race! Rosberg was also getting closer and closer to Hamilton. Hamilton's tyres were suffering and he was losing grip fast. Ricciardo soon made a gap out in front. Rosberg then passed Hamilton for second place. Hamilton was called into the pits for a new set of tyres. Ricciardo, Rosberg and Kvyat all pitted. The track was forming a dry line and the Red Bull's started to suffer. Vettel was having a great race as he overtook Kvyat. Rosberg had a lead of 11 seconds as he overtook Ricciardo.
Ericsson stopped on-track at turn 11 and the Safety Car was called out. Vettel went on to the medium tyres which was an interesting choice. Rosberg's 11 second gap was wiped out. Hamilton didn't pit. With 24 laps to go the Safety Car went back into the pits. Rosberg got a great restart. After a few laps Rosberg increased the gap from Hamilton to two seconds. Kvyat had a big crash and the Safety Car was called out yet again and this time Hamilton did pit and came back out in second. Vettel also pit again which was surprising. With a few laps to go we saw Rosberg off the track! He had gifted Hamilton the lead. Vettel was ever closer to Rosberg but couldn't manage to overtake him. Hamilton won the United States Grand Prix and is a triple World Champion!! Rosberg just managed to stay ahead of Vettel while Verstappen finished in fourth, a fantastic race from him.
View pictures from the United States Grand Prix in the 2015 F1 Gallery.
Round 17: Mexico - Mexico City
It's a 71 lap race and the race start is 1900 local time and is a new addition to the Formula 1 calendar for the 2015 season. Pirelli brought the Medium (Prime) and the Soft (Option) tyres to this race.
Nasr set the initial pace with a 1:23.400 but then Bottas crossed the line and he set a time of 1:22.622. The Mercedes' then crossed the line, Hamilton first with a 1:21.397 while Rosberg was 0.221 slower. Unfortunately Räikkönen was out of qualifying. Ricciardo was on the soft tyre as was Vettel. Both of the Mercedes' were still on the medium tyres however. With only minutes remaining, Alonso was in trouble as he was in the drop-zone and it didn't look like he could improve on his time.
Out of Q2 were: Sainz, Grosjean, Maldonado, Ericsson and Räikkönen.
Before Q3 had actually started both of the Mercedes' were waiting at the end of the pit-lane. Hamilton had a little lock-up on his first flying lap and he managed a 1:20.120. Rosberg then crossed the line and it was a better lap from him, a 1:19.690. Vettel went third, 0.370 off Rosberg's time. Both of the Force India's were still in the pits and didn't come out until towards the end of the session. Hülkenberg could only manage 9th while Perez at his home Grand Prix could only manage 10th. On their second runs, Hamilton did improve but it wasn't good enough for pole which meant Rosberg will start the race from the front. In third was Vettel, Kvyat in fourth and Ricciardo in fifth.
Lights out in Mexico!! Both of the Mercedes' got great starts and Hamilton couldn't overtake Rosberg down into the first corner. Vettel meanwhile got a puncture, he managed to trawl his way back to the pits for a new set of tyres. He made contact with Ricciardo. Alonso in his McLaren had to retire as he had a lack of power. Vettel came back out in 19th as he was now on the medium tyre. By lap four the gap from Rosberg to Hamilton was 0.8 seconds. Both were trading lap times. On lap 10, Bottas was the first to pit, it was very early on and he was put on to the medium tyres. On lap 19 Vettel span as he tried to overtake Button. Up front, Rosberg was slowly increasing the gap, by lap 21 the gap was 2.6 seconds.
Kvyat who was in third was the first to pit from the frontrunners. He put on the medium tyres. On lap 24, Räikkönen made contact with Bottas. Räikkönen's rear suspension was smashed and his race was over, Bottas continued. On lap 27, Rosberg pitted and came back out on the medium tyre. Two laps later Hamilton pitted. Around 20 laps later, Rosberg was seen in the pits again. The Mercedes' were so far ahead of the rest of the field they had a free pit-stop in hand and were worried about the tyre wear. Hamilton questioned this decision but did eventually pit after his team were waiting for him at his pit-box. He rejoined 3.5 seconds behind Rosberg. Vettel was having a horrible day, we saw that he had gone off-track and as a result, he was out and the Safety Car was called out.
Many drivers pitted including both of the Red Bulls who were running third and fifth. Both switched to the soft tyres. The Safety Car went back in and the racing resumed. Rosberg got a good restart while Bottas managed to overtake Kvyat. Bottas was now in third. Both of the Mercedes' drivers were pushing each other as both made small mistakes towards the end of the race. Massa who was only 1.3 seconds behind Ricciardo was urged to push to try and overtake the Red Bull. However, out in front it was Rosberg who won the Mexican Grand Prix with Hamilton in second and Bottas in third. Ferrari had a torrid day as both cars didn't finish the race.
View pictures from the Mexican Grand Prix in the 2015 F1 Gallery.
Round 18: Brazil - São Paulo
It's a 43 lap race and the race start is 1600 local time, Nico Rosberg in his Mercedes was last years winner beating his team-mate Lewis Hamilton in his Mercedes. Pirelli brought the Medium (Prime) and the Soft (Option) tyres to this race.
Hülkenberg was the first out on-track and moments later the crowd went wild, that only meant one thing, Massa was out too. Hülkenberg's first lap was a 1:13.824 while Massa's was a 1:13.369. Mercedes were next and they went straight on to the soft tyres. Rosberg set a time of 1:11.746 while Hamilton went a bit quicker with a 1:11.682. Alonso's session was over though. We saw him on the grass at turn 11 with no power. Massa was on a flying lap but was held up by Nasr who was driving very slowly, he might get a penalty for that. Out of Q1 were: Maldonado, Button, Rossi, Stevens and of course, Alonso.
Out of Q2 were: Nasr, Sainz, Perez, Ericsson and Grosjean.
Both of the Mercedes' headed out almost straight away. Rosberg was first to cross the line with a time of 1:11.461 but Hamilton couldn't beat that as he was slightly slower, a 1:11.549. Bottas and Hülkenberg were next to cross the line but were more than half a second behind. We saw Hamilton on his next flying lap make a big lock-up at turn 10. Vettel meanwhile put himself in third, 0.618 seconds off the pace. Hamilton's time couldn't beat Rosberg's time. Rosberg got pole position yet again while Hamilton had to settle for second again. Vettel was in third with Bottas in fourth.
Lights out in Brazil! Hamilton tried to overtake Rosberg into the first corner but Rosberg held him off. Sainz had issues before the race but did take part but it didn't last long, he was out. Ricciardo was the first to pit on lap six which was very early. Grosjean moved up to 11th with an overtake on Nasr. On lap 14, the race leader Rosberg pitted and it wasn't the best pit-stop but it allowed Hamilton to lead the race. Hamilton pitted on the next lap but couldn't manage to overtake Rosberg, he came out around 1.7 seconds behind. Hamilton was cutting the gap lap-by-lap and it was less than a second but he still couldn't manage a pass.
On lap 34 Verstappen made a brilliant overtake into turn one on Perez. Both of the Mercedes' pitted again but no positions changed. Rosberg still led the race from Hamilton. On lap 37, Maldonado drove into the side of Ericsson at turn one and as a result got a five-second time penalty. On lap 43, the gap was hovering between 2.5 seconds and at times Hamilton was closing the gap but Rosberg would then increas the gap with a faster lap. Towards the end of the race, the clouds were getting darker but there was no threat of rain during the race.
On lap 58, Hamilton had a big lockup but he got away with it and didn't damage his tyres. The gap was at 1.5 seconds. Vettel was having a quiet race but he was slowly catching Hamilton but he wasn't in contention for second place. It looked like Hamilton backed off with less than 10 laps remaining. It was Rosberg though who won here in Brazil and takes back-to-back wins. Hamilton finished in second with Vettel in third.
View pictures from the Brazilian Grand Prix in the 2015 F1 Gallery.
Round 19: Abu Dhabi - Yas Marina
It's a 55 lap race and the race start is 1300 local time, Lewis Hamilton in his Mercedes was last years winner beating Felipe Massa in his Williams. Pirelli brought the Soft (Prime) and the Super Soft (Option) tyres to this race.
Ricciardo was the first out on the track on the soft tyre. Hamilton and Rosberg soon headed out but they were on the super-soft tyre. Ferrari were taking a different approach as both of their drivers were on the soft tyre. Hamilton went fastest of all with a 1:40.974, Rosberg's time was only 0.1 second off. Button ran wide a little and set a time of 1:43.619. Alonso was quicker with a 1:43.187. Both of the Mercedes' looked safe and came back into the pits for the remainder of the session. However it looked like Ferrari had messed up as Vettel was in the dropzone and he was out of Q1. His team-mate was safely through into Q2 however. Also out of Q1 were: Alonso, Ericsson, Stevens and Merhi.
Out of Q2 were: Verstappen, Button, Maldonado, Nasr and Grosjean.
Everyone bar Sainz was straight out on-track. Perez set the pace however with a 1:41.184. Hamilton was next but he could only set a time of 1:41.016. Rosberg did manage to set a faster time as he set a 1:40.738, two tenths quicker than Hamilton's time. Everyone who had set a time went back into the pits for a short break and soon headed out again. Perez put in a great lap as he got within half a second of the Mercedes. Hamilton's second flying lap was looking good and with one sector to go it looked like it was good enough for pole, and it was! However, Rosberg was on an even better lap and he did take pole position here in Abu Dhabi as his time was three tenths quicker.
Lights out in Abu Dhabi! Rosberg got a great start while Hamilton was immediately under pressure by Räikkönen. Hamilton held his position however. Towards the back there was contact between Alonso and Maldonado. Alonso trawled his way back to the pits for a new front wing while Maldonado was out of the race. Vettel who started all the way down in 15th was up to 12th by lap four. By lap seven Rosberg had a lead of 1.7 seconds over Hamilton. Räikkönen was three seconds off Hamilton. On lap eight, Ricciardo pitted and switched to the soft tyre. On lap 11 the race leader pitted and was also put on the soft tyre. On the next lap, Hamilton pitted. Vettel who had yet to pit was now in 2nd place. Hamilton on the fresher tyres breezed past Vettel heading into turn eight. Rosberg was slowly increasing his lead up front, the gap by lap 18 was 6.2 seconds.
Hamilton put in a string of fast laps and was closing the gap to Rosberg. It was down to less than one second before Rosberg came into the pits for his second stop on lap 33. Hamilton however stayed out and didn't capitalise as on team-radio we heard that they were extending his stint. Rosberg was consistently quicker and it looked like Hamilton couldn't do anything now. Hamilton wanted to try and go to the end on the set of tyres but the team didn't allow it, he eventually pitted on lap 43 and was put on another set of soft tyres and came back out over 10 seconds behind Rosberg. It was Rosberg who took the chequered flag here in Abu Dhabi with Hamilton in second and Räikkönen in third. Vettel had a great race as he finished in fourth.
View pictures from the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix in the 2015 F1 Gallery.