2015 Qualifying & Race Reports: Rounds 7-12
|Choose a Race Report Below|
|Round 7: Canada - Montréal|
|Round 8: Austria - Spielberg|
|Round 9: Britain - Silverstone|
|Round 10: Hungary - Budapest|
|Round 11: Belgium - Spa-Francorchamps|
|Round 12: Italy - Monza|
Round 7: Canada - Montréal
It's a 70 lap race and the race start is 1900 local time, Nico Rosberg in his Mercedes was last years winner beating Daniel Ricciardo in his Red Bull. Pirelli brought the Soft (Prime) and the Super Soft (Option) tyres to this race.
Q1 begins and moments into the session Alonso had a moment as he got close to the Wall of Champions. Meanwhile Vettel was reporting that he had an issue with the MGUH, he was told to box the car. Maldonado was on a flying lap but lost in through turn one. With only minutes remaining Vettel was still in the garage and was facing elimination. Vettel did indeed head out but we didn't know if the issue had been resolved. Hamilton was top but bounced over the kerbs at the chicane. We were in for a couple of shocks though as Massa didn't set a quick enough time, nor did Vettel, they were both out of qualifying! Also out of Q1 were: Merhi, Stevens and Button.
Out of Q2 were: Sainz, Verstappen, Ericsson, Alonso and Nasr.
So, Hamilton v Rosberg, who is going to gain pole here in Canada? It was Räikkönen who set the benchmark, a 1:15.126. That wasn't great bearing in mind that in Q2 the Mercedes put in times around one second quicker. Both of the Mercedes had the super-soft tyres on. Rosberg was the first of the Mercedes to set a time, a 1:14.702. Hamilton then crossed the line with a 1:14.393, around half a second quicker. With minutes to go, both of the Lotus cars headed out at the same time and nearly made contact. However, it was Hamilton's first flying lap that was good enough for pole position here in Canada. Rosberg takes second with Räikkönen in third and Bottas in fourth.
Lights out in Canada! Hamilton get a good start, as does Rosberg and both hold their positions into the first corner. Button served his drive through penalty for an engine change at the end of the first lap. All the way at the back Vettel was fighting and overtook Sainz for 14th place, next was Alonso. It was close between Massa, Alonso and Ericsson through the first corner but no contact was made. It's as you were at the front, Hamilton leading from Rosberg. You could tell Vettel was on the limit as he locked up as he went to pass Alonso at the hairpin. By lap 15, the gap from the Mercedes pair was 3.3 seconds. Räikkönen was the first of the frontrunners to pit. He was put on the soft tyre and came back out in fourth, losing a place to Bottas. On his brand new tyres, Räikkönen span through the hairpin. On lap 30, the race leader Hamilton pitted. It was a 2.8 second stop and he emerged into a clean track.
On the next lap, Rosberg pitted. The gap, after Rosberg was back on-track had come down to 2.5 seconds. At lap 35, the gap was 1.7 seconds, could Rosberg launch an attack? Vettel pitted on lap 36 and he might not need to stop again. Last year, Mercedes ran into major brake issues and this year Rosberg was told that brake wear was critical. A few laps later, his engineer told him that he had managed the situation well. It was another DNF for Alonso as it seemed he had lost power from the car. Vettel was making good progress, he was up to fifth after passing Maldonado. Button also didn't finish the race, it was yet another DNF for him as well. With five laps to go, Hamilton had a lead of 2.5 seconds over Rosberg. It was Hamilton who took the chequered flag here in Canada with Rosberg in second and Bottas finishing on the last step of the podium. Räikkönen finished fourth with Vettel in fifth.
View pictures from the Canadian Grand Prix in the 2015 F1 Gallery.
Round 8: Austria - Spielberg
It's a 71 lap race and the race start is 1300 local time, Nico Rosberg in his Mercedes was last years winner beating his team-mate Lewis Hamilton in his Mercedes. Pirelli brought the Soft (Prime) and the Super Soft (Option) tyres to this race.
In Q1, the track was still damp. Sainz was the quickest out of the two Toro Rosso's as he set a lap time of 1:20.903. Nasr was the first man out on the slicks, the super-soft tyre. Despite two messy moments, Nasr's lap was seven tenths off the pace. Both of the Williams drivers were on the soft tyre. Bottas put in a time of 1:17.297 while his team-mate slipped into third. The track was getting dryer and dryer and soon Hamilton put in a time of 1:13.1 which put him top. There was no elimination for Vettel this week, he was safely through into Q2. Rosberg was in the bottom five with minutes remaining but eventually set a fast enough time. There was one shock though, Vettel's team-mate, Räikkönen was out! Also out of Q1 were: Perez, Button, Merhi and Stevens.
Out of Q2 were: Maldonado, Ericsson, Sainz, Riccardo and Alonso.
Both of the Mercedes' had set their benchmark times. Rosberg setting a time of 1:08.8 while Hamilton was four tenths down with a time of 1:09.2. Massa on the super-softs then crossed the line and went third with a time of 1:09.288, only fractions behind Hamilton. It was in sector 2 where Hamilton was losing out but when he needed to find them few extra tenths, he did so. He put in a time of 1:08.455 while Rosberg's lap was two tenths down. Vettel slotted into third, seven tenths off the pace. With minutes to go, Hamilton and Rosberg went for their final runs. Hamilton however span into the first corner, could Rosberg capitalise? No, he couldn't. Rosberg was matching Hamilton's pole time but lost it with two corners to go! Hamilton is on pole position for the Austrian Grand Prix!
Lights out in Austria! Hamilton got a bad start and his team-mate Rosberg overtook him before the first corner. Vettel was close but couldn't make up any positions from third. Towards the end of the field, there was a big coming together involving Räikkönen and Alonso. The Safety Car was called out. The McLaren was rested on top of the Ferrari, both drivers were OK. Kvyat came into the pits for a change of tyres while the Safety Car was out. On lap seven, the race resumed at full speed. It was a great start from Rosberg as he created a gap from Hamilton. By the end of the lap, the gap was 1.5 seconds. Meanwhile, Button was driving very slowly and his car sounded horrible, he was out of the race, another torrid race for McLaren.
Rosberg kept increasing his lead. It was up to 1.9 seconds. Vettel was lapping 0.8 seconds slower than the leader. Bottas overtook Verstappen for sixth place. Hamilton was starting to decrease the gap Rosberg had. A few laps later though the gap had increased to 2.8 seconds. Bottas made another great overtake, this time on Hülkenberg for fifth place. Rosberg's tyres were losing grip fast, he pitted from the lead. Hamilton went two laps longer than Rosberg and pitted, he came out 4.3 seconds behind Rosberg. Vettel pitted but it was a horrible stop for him, as a result, he lost a position to Massa. Moments later, Hamilton was under investigation for cutting the white line on the pit exit! The stewards gave him a five second time penalty. It's just a good job that Hamilton was 17 seconds clear of Massa in third.
Vettel was closing on Massa but was there enough laps left? With 50 laps gone, Ricciardo still hadn't pitted! On the next lap however, he did. He was put on the soft tyres. All eyes were on the fight between Massa and Vettel now as it looked like Hamilton had backed off a little. Vettel got into the DRS zone but thanks to the Mercedes power unit, couldn't overtake him. Meanwhile, Maldonado was having a good race, he overtook Verstappen for sixth place. It was Rosberg who win the Austrian Grand Prix with Hamilton finishing 3.8 seconds down the road. Massa held on to third place with Vettel in fourth. Bottas finished in fifth with Hülkenberg in sixth.
View pictures from the Austrian Grand Prix in the 2015 F1 Gallery.
Round 9: Britain - Silverstone
It's a 52 lap race and the race start is 1300 local time, Lewis Hamilton in his Mercedes was last years winner beating Valtteri Bottas in his Williams. Pirelli brought the Medium (Prime) and Hard (Option) tyres to this race.
Stevens was the first to set a lap in the Marussia but it was Hamilton who set the benchmark time, a 1:34.009. It looked quite a steady lap from him though. Rosberg was also on a lap and his time was four tenths quicker than Hamilton's. The stewards had a "zero tolerance" approach for running wide at Copse and they stayed true to their word as Verstappen had his two lap times voided as a result. Vettel, after his third attempt managed to get up to fifth place. Alonso, on the medium tyre put his car in tenth place but would probably be fighting with the Sauber's and Marussia's towards the bottom of the grid. Both McLaren's couldn't make it through to Q2 though. Räikkönen finished the session top.
Out of Q2 were: Perez, Grosjean, Verstappen, Maldonado and Ericsson.
Hamilton's first flying lap was a 1:32.248 which was one tenth faster than Rosberg's first flying lap. Ricciardo set a time of 1:33.943 but was immediately beaten by Räikkönen. All cars went back into the garage for a new set of boots and they were off again for their final flying laps. Bottas, who was third, set off but couldn't beat the times of the Mercedes cars. Hamilton, on his last lap was down by two tenths in the first sector and didn't improve on his time. Rosberg however was going two tenths quicker than Hamilton's time but lost it in the second and third sectors. Hamilton will start the British Grand Prix on pole position! It wasn't a great day for Ferrari as Räikkönen and Vettel were fifth and sixth respectively. Massa was third with Bottas in fourth.
Lights out in Britain! Both of the Williams drivers got brilliant starts and overtook both of the Mercedes into the first corner, that was unexpected! Hamilton nearly fell behind Bottas but regained his position at turn four. Meanwhile, McLaren were having another torrid weekend, Button was out as his team-mate, Alonso, through no fault of his own, crashed into the side of him. Alonso continued but needed a new front wing. The Safety Car was called out as Grosjean ended up on the gravel. At the restart, Hamilton tried to get past Massa but locked up at the final corner which allowed Bottas back through. Rosberg was hanging back in fourth. Vettel wasn't having a great start as he was falling back and was passed by Kvyat and Perez.
The Williams looked good here but could they hold their advantage over the Mercedes? Massa led from Bottas by one second. Hamilton was the first of the front runners to pit and was put onto the hard tyres, it was a 2.4 second pit stop from Mercedes. Massa was the next to pit and this allowed Bottas to take the race lead. Next, Bottas and Rosberg pitted and came out together but Bottas got the better of Rosberg. Most importantly though, Hamilton had taken the lead of the Grand Prix thanks to his earlier pit stop and his brilliant in-lap. 3.3 seconds was the gap. On team-radio, many teams were expecting rain and it did come. Drivers started to struggle including the top four. Hamilton ran wide at Copse and his lead from Massa was down to 5.4 seconds. Rosberg finally got past Bottas and was now looking to overtake Massa. Hamilton pitted for the intermediate tyres and this gave Rosberg the lead.
It looked like it was the right call as the rain was getting heavier. Rosberg, still on the dry tyres was struggling and losing a lot of time. Hamilton overtook Massa who was also still on the dry tyres. Vettel made a great decision too as he pitted early for the intermediate tyres and was now in third! Both of the Williams pitted and came out in fourth and fifth. Hamilton's lead was now nine seconds. Rosberg tried to close the gap but to no avail. Hamilton won the British Grand Prix! Rosberg finished in second with Vettel in third, Massa in fourth and Bottas in fifth.
View pictures from the British Grand Prix in the 2015 F1 Gallery.
Round 10: Hungary - Budapest
It's a 70 lap race and the race start is 1300 local time, Daniel Ricciardo in his Red Bull was last years winner beating Fernando Alonso in his Ferrari. Pirelli brought the Soft (Prime) and Medium (Option) tyres to this race.
So, could anyone beat Hamilton. He was fastest in all the practice sessions. Rosberg was the first person out of the pits in Q1 on the harder compound, the medium tyre. Rosberg was off the mark with a 1:25.262 but his team-mate Hamilton crossed the line and put in a 1:24.293. After several laps, the leaderboard started to take shape. Ricciardo was fourth fastest while Vettel split the Mercedes up front with a 1:24.901. Button, on the soft tyre went up to sixth with a 1:25.160. Alonso put in a 1:24.563 which pushed Button into the dropout zone. Hamilton finished Q1 the fastest. Out of Q1 were: Button, Ericsson, Nasr, Merhi and Stevens.
Out of Q2 were: Hülkenberg, Sainz, Perez, Maldonado and Alonso.
Again, Rosberg was first out on-track for the final shootout. Hamilton followed suit. Both were on a set of used soft tyres. Rosberg's first flying lap was a 1:22.766 while Hamilton's was a 1:22.408, three tenths faster. Vettel went third, half a second down on Hamilton's time. Ricciardo went fourth in his Red Bull. After a short break, the two Mercedes' headed out for one final flying lap. Rosberg went purple in the first sector, as did Hamilton. However, Rosberg's time wasn't good enough to beat Hamilton's first flying lap. Hamilton put in a slightly quicker lap time and finished 0.575 seconds faster than Rosberg. Vettel couldn't split the Mercedes.
Lights out in Hungary!! Vettel had a brilliant start and got the jump on Hamilton and Rosberg. Räikkönen also capitalised on the bad starts from both of the Mercedes' drivers and was up to second. No-one was expecting that! Hamilton ran wide at turn 6 and went off into the gravel, he managed to keep going but rejoined the track in tenth place. A lot of work needed to be done by Hamilton now. Massa was in front of Hamilton. Meanwhile, at the front, Vettel was putting in great lap times, he set a time of 1:27.913 and the gap between him and his team-mate was 2.7 seconds while the gap to Rosberg was almost 10 seconds. On lap 20, Hamilton was up to fifth and made his first pit-stop and switched to the soft tyres.
At the halfway point, Hülkenberg, Sainz and Alonso all pitted for the medium tyres. The gap between the two Mercedes' drivers was closing. Hamilton was only 5.2 seconds behind Rosberg now. Hülkenberg's race was about to end as, on the pit straight, his front wing simply detached from his car and went underneath him. He went straight on into the tyre wall at high speed. As a result, the virtual Safety Car was deployed. Rosberg and Hamilton pitted. Both of the Ferrari's also pitted. Räikkönen was having MGU-K issues and his team couldn't resolve the issues, he had lost a lot of performance. The Safety Car was called out to clear the debris and once it was called back in, the racing resumed.
Hamilton didn't get a great getaway and Ricciardo tried to overtake him into the first corner but contact was made. Hamilton locked up and hit Ricciardo. Hamilton came off worse though and some of his front-wing was missing. He had to come in for a new nose as he was losing too much time. Hamilton was issued a drive-through penalty for the collision with Ricciardo. He took the penalty on lap 55 and came back out in 15th place. Ricciardo was still going and catching Rosberg who had Vettel in front of him. Again, down into turn one, Ricciardo tried to overtake Rosberg but the move didn't come off, his front-wing hit Rosberg's rear-left tyre and he got a puncture! Rosberg slowly made his way back to the pits. Hamilton, believe it or not was now in front of Rosberg! Kvyat was having his best race of his F1 career as he was in second as Räikkönen had retired due to the MGU-K issues.
However, out in front, untroubled, it was Vettel who took the chequered flag here in Budapest as Formula 1 now enters the summer break. Kvyat finished in second with Ricciardo in third. Hamilton took sixth with Rosberg in eighth. McLaren had a brilliant race as Alonso and Button finished fifth and ninth respectively. On the podium, all drivers devoted the race to Jules Bianchi who passed away last week. Next race, Spa, in four weeks time as Formula 1 enters the summer break.
View pictures from the Hungarian Grand Prix in the 2015 F1 Gallery.
Round 11: Belgium - Spa-Francorchamps
It's a 44 lap race and the race start is 1300 local time, Daniel Ricciardo in his Red Bull was last years winner beating Nico Rosberg in his Mercedes. Pirelli brought the Medium (Prime) and Soft (Option) tyres to this race.
Formula 1 is back after the four week summer break. In Q1, it was Bottas who headed out of the pits first on the medium tyres. Merhi followed him out but he was on the soft tyres. Bottas set a lap time of 1:50.195. Hamilton was next across the line with a time of 1:49.577. He was then beaten by Rosberg who was slightly quicker with a 1:49.498. Button's first lap was only a 1:52,819 which, at the time, was only good enough for 16th. Verstappen, who takes a 10-place grid penalty for an engine change, put in a 1:51.375, good enough for 14th. Perez, on the soft tyre then crossed the line and put in an impressive time of 1:49.006. Hamilton and Rosberg both stayed on the medium tyres and dipped below 1:49 to go first and second respectively. Out of Q1 were: Nasr, Button, Alonso, Stevens and Merhi.
Out of Q2 were: Hülkenberg, Kvyat, Ericsson, Räikkönen and Verstappen.
In Q3, Bottas was first out yet again with Hamilton coming out as well. Hamilton's first flying lap was a 1:47.449 with Rosberg's lap not good enough to beat his team-mate. He was only four tenths off however. Perez went fastest of all in the first sector, he was having a great session. After the first batch of laps, all drivers came back into the pits, put on new soft tyres and headed out again. Bottas crossed the line and went provisionally third with Grosjean in fourth and Perez in fifth. Hamilton's second lap was a 1:47.197 which was good enough to secure pole position here at Spa. Rosberg took second, Bottas third and Grosjean in fourth.
Lights out in Spa! Hamilton got an average start and held his position into the first corner. Rosberg dropped back and was fifth by the first corner. Perez made a great start and was challenging Hamilton for the lead! Rosberg quickly made up one position and was up to fourth. Meanwhile, further down the field, Maldonado reported a loss of engine power, he was out of the race. Four laps in and the gap between Hamilton and Perez was at two seconds. Ricciardo pitted early on lap eight which elevated Rosberg to third. Verstappen made a fantastic overtake on Nasr along the outside at Blanchimont, he was up to 11th.
Bottas had troubles at his pit-stop as he had one soft tyre on and three medium tyres on, what a mix up there by Williams. He was given a drive-through penalty for that. Rosberg pitted and put on the medium tyres, Perez was close but he held his position. Hamilton pitted next which saw Vettel take the lead but he had yet to pit. Hamilton was now on the medium tyre and soon clocked the fastest lap of the race, a 1:54.938. He was 3.4 seconds ahead of Rosberg. Ricciardo stopped at the Bus Stop chicane and the Virtual Safety Car was deployed. Some drivers took the opportunity to pit. Grosjean, Massa and Verstappen all pit. Halfway into the race, Hamilton led from Rosberg by 2.2 seconds.
Hamilton could see the gap was decreasing and put in a series of good laps, the gap was back up to 4.6 seconds. After their final stops, the gap was 5 seconds. Both were on the soft tyres again. Vettel was in third, 30 seconds adrift of the Mercedes. However, his long stint on the medium tyre didn't pay off, his rear-right tyre exploded! No points for Vettel today. There were only a few laps left in the race. He will be an unhappy boy. However, further up the field it was Hamilton who took the chequered flag here in Belgium with Rosberg in second. Vettel's blowout resulted in Grosjean finishing on the last step of the podium, a great race from Lotus. Mercedes then, back to winning ways.
View pictures from the Belgian Grand Prix in the 2015 F1 Gallery.
Round 12: Italy - Monza
It's a 53 lap race and the race start is 1300 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 Soft (Option) tyres to this race.
In Q1, it was Will Stevens who was first out of the pits. Meanwhile, Hülkenberg was on a flying lap but was heavily compromised by Ericsson on the entrance to Parabolica. He might get a penalty for that. Mercedes brought an upgraded engine to Italy this weekend but Rosberg had to go back to the engine he used in Spa for unknown reasons. Hamilton set a time of 1:24.649. His second lap was nearly half a second quicker, 1:24.251. Verstappen didn't look like he was going to put in a time, his car was sat in the pits for a while. Rosberg's lap was three tenths adrift of Hamilton's time. Kyvat in his Red Bull was up to eighth. Out of Q1 were: Button, Alonso, Stevens, Merhi and Verstappen who didn't set a time.
Out of Q2 were: Maldonado, Nasr, Sainz, Kvyat and Ricciardo.
Hülkenberg was the first to set a flying lap, it was a 1:25.317. Rosberg dipped below 1:24 to briefly go top with a 1:23.942 but soon got demoted by Massa, Hamilton, Vettel and Räikkönen. Hamilton's lap, a 1:23.397 sitting nicely at the top of the leaderboard. The cars went back into the pits for a new pair of boots and headed out for thier last flying lap. Vettel's lap was good enough for second but then Räikkönen crossed the line and went faster! Rosberg had to settle for fourth while it was Hamilton who got pole position here at Monza. Massa will start fifth with his team-mate Bottas in sixth.
Lights out in Monza! Räikkönen got a horrible start while Hamilton made it into the first corner safely ahead of Vettel. Räikkönen was at the back of the grid as a result of his poor start. Rosberg didn't have a great start either, he was down to sixth. Massa was up to third. The gap after the first lap between Hamilton and Vettel was 1.5 seconds. Rosberg overtook Perez into the chicane at the start of lap two. A shocking day for Lotus, Grosjean had pulled off-track with smoke pouring from his car while Maldonado was forced to retire! Massa was doing a great job, he had Bottas and Rosberg behind him. Rosberg tried to overtake Bottas several times but was warned on team-radio that his brakes were getting very hot, he backed off. After 15 laps, Hamilton led from Vettel by eight seconds.
Rosberg was the first of the front-runners to pit, he put on the medium tyres and attempted the undercut against Massa. The next lap Massa did pit and the undercut for Rosberg worked, he overtook Massa while he was in the pits. The gap at the front kept growing, Hamilton had increased his lead to 11.8 seconds after 20 laps. Vettel pitted from second and on the next lap Hamilton was called in for his pit-stop, he came out comfortably in the lead. Rosberg was now catching Vettel, he was only four seconds behind. With 16 laps to go, the gap was between 4.5-4.7 seconds, Rosberg couldn't close the gap. Hamilton was cruising out in front. However, with two laps to go, Rosberg's engine caught fire, he was out! That's Mercedes' first retirement of the season can you believe. On team-radio Hamilton, for some reason, was told to put in fast laps, he had a 20 second gap over Vettel and the reasoning was unknown. However, it was Hamilton who won here in Monza with Vettel in second, Massa taking a brilliant third place and Bottas in fourth.
After the race, Mercedes' were summoned to the stewards. It was to do with the tyre pressures. Pirelli had set minimum and maximum PSI requirements for the tyres after what happened to Vettel in Spa and Hamilton's right-rear tyre was apparently 0.3 PSI below the minimum while Rosberg's right-rear was 1.1 PSI below the minimum. However, nearly three hours after the chequered flag had dropped, the stewards took no further action against Mercedes'. Hamilton's victory stands and goes 53 points ahead of Rosberg going into Singapore.
View pictures from the Italian Grand Prix in the 2015 F1 Gallery.