Formula 1 News


German GP: Fernando Alonso takes pole position at Hockenheim
By Andrew Benson Chief F1 writer at Hockenheim

Ferrari's Fernando Alonso took pole position in a thrilling wet qualifying session at the German Grand Prix.

Red Bull drivers Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber were second and third fastest, although the Australian will be demoted five places after a penalty.

McLaren drivers Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton qualified seventh and eighth but will start a place higher.

Mercedes' Michael Schumacher was fourth at his home race ahead of Force India's Nico Hulkenberg, also a German.

“We made a good strategy call doing a pit stop in Q3 and having very fresh tyres for the last few minutes and that helped us a lot improve the lap time”

Fernando Alonso

Williams's Pastor Maldonado was sixth, with Force India's Paul di Resta and Lotus's Kimi Raikkonen in ninth and 10th places and the first drivers not to benefit from Webber's penalty for a gearbox change.

Alonso and Ferrari were in imperious form in the wet conditions - the world championship leader did two laps fast enough for pole position and he ended up 0.405 seconds faster than Vettel.

Before the start of the final session, Alonso had said he felt the conditions were too wet for the cars to run.

He said: "It is good to check the circuit conditions and going into Turn 6 it was not easy for anybody.

"There was a lot of aquaplaning and we are doing 180mph there."

He said he felt he might have owed his pole to a decision to come in and fit fresh tyres for two flying laps at the end of the session.

"We made a good strategy call doing a pit stop in Q3 and having very fresh tyres for the last few minutes and that helped us a lot improve the lap time."
Season so far: in numbers

106 - The number of points separating Fernando Alonso from his teammate Felipe Massa. Hamilton leads Button by 42 and Mark Webber is just 16 points ahead of Sebastien Vettel.

Vettel said: "The lap was not completely clean. I think we had the pace to put the car on pole. I think the lap time was possible.

"We have to look at what Fernando said. Maybe that was a better way to do it. We are in the first row which should be good, starting the inside as well so we see what we can do."

At one point in the top 10 shoot-out Vettel was held up behind Webber and he complained on the team radio: "What is Mark doing holding me up?"

Afterwards, he said: "I lost the lap running into him but he had difficulty in these conditions and he probably didn't see me."

Webber said: "It was a very intense, tricky session for the drivers and engineers. It was a challenge for us. Sometimes to be in seventh gear wasn't possible, to use the Kers [power boost] wasn't possible. When you have wheelspin at 180mph it certainly gets your attention.

"But I was happy with my lap, I'm happy to be up here and from eighth we can still have a very good race."

Button complained that McLaren were still having problems getting their wet tyres up to operating temperature, an issue that has afflicted the team all season.

"The thing that really shows it's a weakness we need to improve on is that the pole position guy is three or four seconds ahead so he's obviously getting them [the tyres] working and we're not," he said.

Unlike Alonso, Raikkonen and Button, Hamilton did not come in for a fresh set of wet tyres for a couple of laps at the end of the session.

He had been fastest until three minutes from the end, when he started to slip down the field.

"I'm a bit disappointed with the end result of course," said Hamilton. "But we were looking good in Q1 in the dry and then in Q2 [in the wet] and it was looking OK and then at the end I don't understand how everyone went quite a bit quicker.

"We were a little bit unfortunate. Me and Jenson were the first two out and so we did our last laps first and the track just kept getting better and better.

"I had one lap at the end but I went straight off; it was like driving on ice for us.

"The great thing is we have big DRS down the back straight so hopefully we'll be doing a lot of overtaking [in the race]."
Last five poles at German GP

2011 - Mark Webber
2010 - Sebastian Vettel
2009 - Mark Webber
2008 - Lewis Hamilton
2006 - Kimi Raikkonen

Rain hit before the start of second qualifying, leading to a mad scramble for all the drivers to get out and set a time before the conditions deteriorated.

The big losers among the top teams were Ferrari's Felipe Massa, Lotus's Romain Grosjean and Mercedes' Nico Rosberg.

All failed to get into the top 10 shoot-out, which was particularly bad news for Grosjean and Rosberg.

They qualified 15th and 17th but will both drop five further places as a result of penalties for changing their gearboxes.



McLaren eye German Grand Prix victory despite poor qualifying
By Andrew Benson Chief F1 writer at Hockenheim

McLaren believe they can win the German Grand Prix despite a disappointing qualifying performance.

Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton will start sixth and seventh but the race is predicted to be dry, in which they have been fast.

Asked if he could finish on the podium, Button said: "We should aim for that. I think we should aim even higher."

Hamilton said: "Fortunately, we have a big DRS [overtaking zone] so hopefully we'll be doing lots of overtaking."

McLaren sporting director Sam Michael believes the team have "very competitive" pace in the dry. "All the data says we should have a very strong race car if it's dry," he said.

“The car is quicker in the dry and the race is supposed to be dry. I think we're in for a very good race”

Jenson Button

Asked if they could win, Michael said: "Yes, that's the aim."

McLaren's strong dry pace follows the introduction of a major upgrade package for this race, which includes new sidepods, brake ducts and diffuser.

Button said: "I think we should be happy with the progress we have made with the new package.

"For [tyre] degradation and outright pace we're strong but as soon as it started raining we knew we were going to struggle. I'm actually quite impressed we're this far up the grid.

"The car is quicker in the dry and the race is supposed to be dry. I think we're in for a very good race."

Both drivers struggled to get their tyres into the right operating temperature in the wet conditions - a problem that has afflicted them all season to a greater or lesser extent depending on the track and whether they are running 'extreme' wet or 'intermediate' tyres.

"We struggled with the wets here and been not bad on inters, and in Silverstone it was the other way around," Michael said.
Season so far: in numbers

0.44 - Lewis Hamilton has been almost half a second quicker (on average) than Jenson Button across the nine qualifying sessions so far

"There's clearly something we are not on top of when we get into the operating windows we see on wet tyres."

Button out-qualified Hamilton for the first time this season after coming into the pits for a fresh set of tyres for a final two fast laps in qualifying.

Ferrari's Fernando Alonso, who took pole position, did the same, but Michael said the decision not to do the same with Hamilton - who was fastest heading into the final three minutes of the session - was not decisive.

"The way the session was run, with Jenson stopping for another set and Lewis continuing, showed you could have done either [and it not made a huge difference for McLaren]," Michael said.

"Alonso and Kimi [Raikkonen] went four to five seconds quicker and Jenson went 1.4 seconds quicker, so he didn't get the same gain as other teams did."



Maria de Villota leaves hospital and returns to Spain

Marussia have confirmed that test driver Maria de Villota has left hospital and returned to Spain.

The 32-year-old hit a support truck at Duxford airfield earlier this month while testing and had two operations in hospital, losing her right eye.

Maria de Villota

Born in Madrid on 13 January 1980
A former World Touring Car Championship and Superleague Formula driver, she is the daughter of ex-Formula 1 racer Emilio de Villota
Her first taste of F1 came at Paul Ricard in 2011, when she tested a Renault R29
Since 2001, she has competed in various Spanish motor races
In 2010 she finished fourth at the Nurburgring in Superleague Formula
She holds a degree in sports science from the European University of Madrid

De Villota has spent the last 17 days in hospital, but has now been allowed to return home.

"Maria has left Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge and returned directly to Spain," said Marussia in a statement.

"Over the course of the past two weeks, Maria has made significant progress.

"More comfortable and familiar surroundings, plus the support of her wider family and friends, will undoubtedly provide a more conducive environment in which Maria can commence the next phase of her recovery.

"The Marussia F1 Team - the staff, race drivers Timo Glock and Charles Pic, and all those associated with the Team - wish Maria well with the next stage of her recovery."

De Villota had just completed a straight-line aerodynamic test and was returning to mechanics when her car accelerated abruptly and slammed into a team truck at helmet level.

Marussia said on Monday that an internal investigation had found that the car was not to blame.


Sports fan
Super VIP
Hamilton wins at Monza

Last Updated: September 9 2012, 15:13 BST

Lewis Hamilton set aside speculation over his future to take victory in the Italian Grand Prix and refresh his hopes of Formula One world title glory.

After crashing out at the first corner of last Sunday's Belgian Grand Prix along with championship leader Fernando Alonso, and amid the saga of his contract negotiations with McLaren, Hamilton conjured a superb drive at Monza to claim his third win of the season and 20th of his career.

The Briton finished 4.3 seconds ahead of Sauber's Sergio Perez in second place, with Alonso giving the Ferrari fans plenty to cheer with third to establish a 37-point gap in the standings ahead of new second-placed man Hamilton.

The start was routine enough for Hamilton, a straightforward getaway, with no drama alongside Button after McLaren had celebrated the 62nd front-row lockout, and a new F1 record.

Instead, it was Ferrari's Felipe Massa who proved to be the biggest thorn in Hamilton's side as the Brazilian attacked going into the first chicane, Rettifilo.

Hamilton, however, just did enough to keep his old rival at bay, the duo avoiding a collision after becoming entangled on numerous occasions last season.

That allowed Hamilton to begin his march to victory as he was rarely troubled en route, losing the lead only momentarily when a one-stopping Perez managed to run through to lap 29.

Behind him was another masterclass of a drive from Alonso, who had started 10th in the wake of a disappointing qualifying when - with pole there for the taking - a rear anti-roll bar broke in Q3.

Alonso, however, made up three places on lap one, had moved past Lotus' Kimi Raikkonen on lap two, and soon after was running fifth when he cut his was past Michael Schumacher in his Mercedes.

That left him with reigning champion Sebastian Vettel in his sights, and it was not long before the duo were going head to head.

A failed pass into Rettifilo was soon followed by a brave move through the Curva Grande, one which Vettel defended with too much aggression as he forced Alonso on to the grass.

The stewards took a dim view as they handed the 24-year-old German a drive-through penalty, with his woes compounded later on when he retired along the pit straight with wisps of white smoke coming from his car.

Vettel was the second big-name retirement as hopes of a dream one-two for McLaren were scuppered when Button pulled off track on lap 33 complaining of a lack of drive.

Just a week after thrusting himself back into title contention with his win in Belgium, now 78 points adrift, the 32-year-old would again appear to be out of the reckoning.

Button's exit elevated Alonso to third, which unsurprisingly became second soon after when he eased past Massa, and at that stage two Ferrari drivers on the podium was on the cards.

But Perez suddenly put in a number of lightning laps. First he flashed by Massa - who went on to finish fourth - and soon after Alonso, making no mistake in contrast to Malaysia earlier this year when he threw away the prospect of a win with an error and with the latter in his sights.

If Vettel's retirement was bad enough for Red Bull, worse followed in the closing stages when team-mate Mark Webber dropped three places from seventh to 10th with a spin on to the grass, only to retire in the pits a lap from home.

The upshot leaves Hamilton as Alonso's nearest challenger, with Lotus' Kimi Raikkonen a further point down in third after the Finn today finished fifth, whilst Vettel is a further point adrift. Webber is now 47 points down overall.

A happy Hamilton said: "It's a fantastic win in front of the best crowd. I'm happy for the team. It's been the best day."

Perez was beaming from ear to ear as he said: "That was a great race for me for my team. It's unbelievable to get a podium in Monza. It's really special."

Taking the bulk of the cheers from the crowd, Alonso was content enough with third as he said: "It was a difficult race starting 10th, but we knew we had the quickest car, so to recover the way we did was good."

The Mercedes duo of Schumacher and Nico Rosberg were sixth and seventh, followed by Paul Di Resta in his Force India, the Sauber of Kamui Kobayashi and Williams of Bruno Senna




Sports fan
Super VIP
Korea GP Race Results

P Driver Team Time
1 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull +1:36:28.651
2 Mark Webber Red Bull +8.200
3 Fernando Alonso Ferrari +13.900
4 Felipe Massa Ferrari +20.100
5 Kimi Raikkonen Lotus +36.700
6 Nico Hulkenberg Force India +45.300
7 Romain Grosjean Lotus +54.800
8 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso +69.500
9 Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso +71.700
10 Lewis Hamilton McLaren +79.600


Sports fan
Super VIP
Etihad Abu Dhabi Grand Prix 2012

Pos Driver Team Grid Time diff. Pts

1 K.Raikkonen Lotus 4 1:45:58.667 25
2 F.Alonso Ferrari 6 +0.800 18
3 S.Vettel Red Bull 24 +4.100 15
4 J.Button McLaren 5 +7.700 12
5 P.Maldonado Williams 3 +13.000 10
6 K.Kobayashi Sauber 15 +20.000 8
7 F.Massa Ferrari 8 +22.800 6
8 B.Senna Williams 14 +23.500 4
9 P.di Resta Force India 12 +24.100 2
10 D.Ricciardo Toro Rosso 16 +27.400 1
11 M.Schumacher Mercedes 13 +28.000 -
12 J.Vergne Toro Rosso 17 +34.900 -
13 H.Kovalainen Caterham 18 +47.700 -
14 T.Glock Marussia 21 +56.400 -
15 S.Perez Sauber 11 +56.700 -
16 V.Petrov Caterham 20 +64.500 -
17 la Rosa HRT 22 +71.700 -
RET C.Pic Marussia 19 +14 laps -
RET M.Webber Red Bull 2 +18 laps -
RET R.Grosjean Lotus 9 +18 laps -
RET L.Hamilton McLaren 1 +36 laps -
RET N.Karthikeyan HRT 23 +48 laps -
RET N.Rosberg Mercedes 7 +48 laps -
RET N.Hulkenberg Force India 10 0 -


Sports fan
Super VIP
United States Grand Prix 2012
Pos Driver Team Grid Time diff. Pts
1 L.Hamilton McLaren 2 1:35:55.269 25
2 S.Vettel Red Bull 1 +0.600 18
3 F.Alonso Ferrari 7 +39.200 15
4 F.Massa Ferrari 11 +46.000 12
5 J.Button McLaren 12 +56.400 10
6 K.Raikkonen Lotus 4 +64.400 8
7 R.Grosjean Lotus 8 +70.300 6
8 N.Hulkenberg Force India 6 +73.700 4
9 P.Maldonado Williams 9 +74.500 2
10 B.Senna Williams 10 +75.100 1
11 S.Perez Sauber 15 +84.300 -
12 D.Ricciardo Toro Rosso 18 +84.800 -
13 N.Rosberg Mercedes 17 +85.500 -
14 K.Kobayashi Sauber 16 +1 lap -
15 P.di Resta Force India 13 +1 lap -
16 M.Schumacher Mercedes 5 +1 lap -
17 V.Petrov Caterham 21 +1 lap -
18 H.Kovalainen Caterham 22 +1 lap -
19 T.Glock Marussia 19 +1 lap -
20 C.Pic Marussia 20 +2 laps -
21 la Rosa HRT 23 +2 laps -
22 N.Karthikeyan HRT 24 +2 laps -
RET M.Webber Red Bull 3 +40 laps -
RET J.Vergne Toro Rosso 14 +42 laps -


Sports fan
Super VIP
Vettel seals title hat-trick

Last Updated: November 25 2012, 18:57 GMT

Sebastian Vettel rode a heartstopping rollercoaster of a Brazilian Grand Prix en route to becoming the youngest three-time Formula One world champion.

The race at Interlagos proved to be one of the most dramatic in the sport's history as the destiny of the title swung one way and then the other between Red Bull star and Ferrari's Fernando Alonso.

The conditions over Sao Paulo played havoc, resulting in a catalogue of incidents, not least Vettel dropping to last place after the first few corners following a collision with Williams' Bruno Senna.

But through drizzle, light rain, then heavy rain, multiple pit stops, it was Vettel who emerged the man, coming home sixth to finish three points ahead of Ferrari's Fernando Alonso.

The 31-year-old Spaniard could do no better than second behind race winner Jenson Button, his third victory of the season as McLaren team-mate Lewis Hamilton crashed out in his final race for the marque.

Vettel is now the ninth driver to become a triple world champion, and only the third - alongside Schumacher and Juan-Manuel Fangio - to win three in a row.

"It's difficult to find the right words - correct me if I'm wrong but there are only two guys who have done that before," said Vettel.

"You have to be in the right place at the right time, but you have to create your own luck for what is coming up.

"I don't know what to say. We're here in Sao Paulo, the place where he was born, came from and was buried.

"To come here and win the championship for a third time, I don't really know what to say. It's not sunk in. I've hardly had any time for myself.

"It's very difficult to find the right words because everything that could go wrong did go wrong.

"Imagine being the wrong way round on the first lap at turn four, but we kept the car damage to a limit.

"Then we lost the radio, then I did a pit stop at the wrong time. It was unbelievable, and with the conditions as well.

"So to be told I'm champion again was unbelievable, but unfortunately the guys couldn't hear my answer because the radio was broken!"

The race was utterly compelling and totally chaotic, in particular the start of the 71 laps which proved to be a disaster for Vettel, who has eclipsed the legendary Ayrton Senna's record.

From fourth on the grid, Vettel was relatively slow away and through the Senna curves the German had dropped to ninth.

The danger was obvious and it soon materialised as he was tagged by Senna, sending him into a spin and facing the wrong way.

Vettel was fortunate none of those he could see approaching him ran into his car, allowing him to spin his way back on to the track, but running at the back of the pack.

Vettel believed at the time he would have to return to the pits, his voice seemingly cracking with emotion, perhaps fearing his hopes of history were disappearing.

The information, however, from Red Bull was that the damage to the floor on the left-rear of his car was not reparable, but he could carry on.

Sensationally, after six laps as pandemonium exploded all over the track given the greasy conditions with light rain falling, Vettel was back up to eighth.

Ahead of him, following a stunning move into turn one at the start of lap two on Red Bull's Mark Webber and Ferrari team-mate Felipe Massa, Alonso was third, the minimum required for him to take the title.

Those first few laps were almost impossible to call such was the amount of action that unfolded as positions and the championship chase swung like a pendulum.

The second Williams of Pastor Maldonado and Lotus' Romain Grosjean also departed as the rain grew in intensity, sparking a flurry of pit stops to take on the intermediate Pirelli tyres to aid grip, notably Hamilton, Alonso and Vettel.

However, Button and Force India's Nico Hulkenberg stayed out on their dry rubber, the latter eventually leading a race for the first time in his career at the start of lap 19 when he passed the Briton into turn one.

When those behind were forced to switch back to dry tyres given the intermediates began to wear, Hulkenberg and Button found themselves 45 seconds clear of a group led by Hamilton who had stopped twice.

But when Alonso complained over the radio of the debris on track from a number of incidents, within a couple of minutes the safety car was deployed to assist the marshals to clear the circuit.

In one fell swoop, Hulkenberg and Button's clear advantage was wiped out as the safety car stayed out for seven laps, returning after lap 29.

For a while a relatively straightforward race unfolded, with the odd incident spicing up proceedings, before the drizzle became heavier.

That was just before Vettel pitted for a third time, but in taking on another set of dry tyres, it soon proved a bad move.

At the same time Hamilton's McLaren career came to a sad end as he suffered a broken front-left suspension as Hulkenberg slid into him into turn one as they came up behind backmarkers.

As he walked back into the garage, Hamilton was given a standing ovation by the entire team given he joins Mercedes next season.

That allowed Button to take a lead he held on to through to the end, and whilst Alonso passed Massa for second, it was not enough given Vettel was seventh at the time, which soon became sixth when the retiring for a second time Michael Schumacher allowed him by with a few laps remaining.

At the end of lap 70 Force India's Paul di Resta spun in the heavy rain, crashing into a wall on the final turn, so bringing out the safety car for a second time and effectively ending the race.

It allowed Button the victory, and more crucially, Vettel his third world title.

Without the title-winning driver on the podium in Vettel, it was at first left to Alonso to sum up his feelings about being runner-up again.

Alonso said: "I feel very proud of my team and of the season we have had.

"We have lost the championship now, but not here in Brazil, instead in some other other races (Belgium and Japan when he was involved in first corner accidents).

"When you do do something 100 per cent you have to happy and proud for the team, and we will try again next year."

As for race winner Button, he said: "I want to congratulate the whole team.

"This is the perfect way to end the whole season, and it bodes well for 2013."

Behind Alonso, team-mate Felipe Massa was third, followed by Webber and Hulkenberg ahead of Vettel, with Schumacher at least ending his six-race barren run - the worst of his 308-race career - with points for seventh.

Toro Rosso's Jean-Eric Vergne was eighth, Kobayashi ninth and then Raikkonen 10th, whilst crucially Caterham's Vitaly Petrov was 11th ahead of Marussia's Charles Pic.

With the Russian in such a place it allowed Caterham to claim 10th spot in the constructors' championship, and with it the millions of pounds that come with it, edging out Marussia at the death.

Alonso added: "It was good, what we wanted with the mixed conditions, and one of the most difficult races we have ever driven.

"There was a lot of risk to crash and have an accident, which we could not afford because we needed a podium finish to have any chance.

"We started seventh and finished on the podium one more time, as usual, which can only be achieved by perfection from the team.

"We came here hoping for a little miracle, and we had this little present of fighting for the title through to this race.

"It didn't quite happen, but thanks to the team for a perfect season."

Button, meanwhile, said goodbye to Hamilton as he said: "It is sad Lewis is not here in his last race for the team

"I'd like to bid him farewell and I hope he has a good career with his new team

"Also congratulations to Sebastian. Winning three in a row is very impressive."


Sports fan
Super VIP
Brazilian Grand Prix 2012
Pos Driver Team Grid Time diff. Pts
1 J.Button McLaren 2 1:45:22.656 25
2 F.Alonso Ferrari 7 +2.700 18
3 F.Massa Ferrari 5 +3.600 15
4 M.Webber Red Bull 3 +4.900 12
5 N.Hulkenberg Force India 6 +5.700 10
6 S.Vettel Red Bull 4 +9.400 8
7 M.Schumacher Mercedes 13 +11.900 6
8 J.Vergne Toro Rosso 17 +28.600 4
9 K.Kobayashi Sauber 14 +31.200 2
10 K.Raikkonen Lotus 8 +1 lap 1
11 V.Petrov Caterham 19 +1 lap -
12 C.Pic Marussia 22 +1 lap -
13 D.Ricciardo Toro Rosso 15 +1 lap -
14 H.Kovalainen Caterham 20 +1 lap -
15 N.Rosberg Mercedes 9 +1 lap -
16 T.Glock Marussia 21 +1 lap -
17 la Rosa HRT 24 +2 laps -
18 N.Karthikeyan HRT 23 +2 laps -
RET P.di Resta Force India 10 +3 laps -
RET L.Hamilton McLaren 1 +17 laps -
RET R.Grosjean Lotus 18 +66 laps -
RET P.Maldonado Williams 16 +70 laps -
RET B.Senna Williams 11 0 -
RET S.Perez Sauber 12 0 -


Sports fan
Super VIP
2013 FIA Formula One Race Calendar

01 Australia (Melbourne) 15 - 17 Mar

02 Malaysia (Kuala Lumpur) 22 - 24 Mar

03 China (Shanghai) 12 - 14 Apr

04 Bahrain (Sakhir) 19 - 21 Apr

05 Spain (Catalunya) 10 - 12 May

06 Monaco (Monte Carlo) 24 - 26 May

07 Canada (Montréal) 07 - 09 Jun

08 Great Britain (Silverstone) 28 - 30 Jun

09 Germany (TBA) 12 - 14 Jul

10 Hungary (Budapest) 26 - 28 Jul

11 Belgium (Spa-Francorchamps) 23 - 25 Aug

12 Italy (Monza) 06 - 08 Sep

13 Singapore (Singapore) 20 - 22 Sep

14 Korea (Yeongam) 04 - 06 Oct

15 Japan (Suzuka) 11 - 13 Oct

16 India (New Delhi) 25 - 27 Oct

17 Abu Dhabi (Yas Marina) 01 - 03 Nov

18 United States (Austin) 15 - 17 Nov

19 Brazil (São Paulo) 22 - 24 Nov


Sports fan
Super VIP
Unofficial test kilometres completed (Drivers):
1. Esteban Gutierrez, Sauber - 2,768
2. Nico Rosberg, Mercedes - 2,640
3. Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes - 2,584
4. Sergio Perez, McLaren - 2,538
= Nico Hulkenberg, Sauber - 2,538
6. Max Chilton, Marussia - 2,536
7. Paul di Resta, Force India - 2,520
8. Jean-Eric Vergne, Toro Rosso - 2,455
9. Charles Pic, Marussia - 2,364
10. Valtteri Bottas, Williams - 2,352
11. Fernando Alonso, Ferrari - 2,351
12. Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull - 2,343
13. Felipe Massa, Ferrari - 2,336
14. Romain Grosjean, Lotus - 2,270
15. Mark Webber, Red Bull - 2,265
16. Pastor Maldonado, Williams - 2,218
17. Giedo van der Garde, Caterham - 2,149
18. Jenson Button, McLaren - 2,091
19. Daniel Ricciardo, Toro Rosso - 2,051
20. Kimi Raikkonen, Lotus - 1,182
21. Jules Bianchi, Force India/Marussia - 1,165
22. Adrian Sutil, Force India - 1,159
23. Luiz Razia, Marussia - 500
24. James Rossiter, Force India - 270
25. Pedro de la Rosa, Ferrari - 226
26. Davide Valsecchi, Lotus - 74

Unofficial test kilometres completed (Teams):
1. Sauber - 5,307
2. Mercedes - 5,224
3. Ferrari - 4,913
4. McLaren - 4,629
5. Red Bull - 4,608
6. Williams - 4,570
7. Caterham - 4,513
8. Toro Rosso - 4,506
9. Force India - 4,481
10. Marussia - 3,669
11. Lotus - 3,527

917 sets of Pirelli tyres were used in pre-season testing:
30 sets of the supersoft specification
190 sets of the soft specification
383 sets of the medium specification
221 sets of the hard specification
61 sets of the intermediate specification
32 sets of the wet specification

The longest runs on each compound at Barcelona were:
Supersoft - 16 laps
Soft - 31 laps
Medium - 36 laps
Hard - 24 laps
Intermediate - 47 laps
Wet - 48 laps

Unofficial aggregate times from the two pre-season tests at Barcelona:
1. Nico Rosberg, Mercedes, 1:20.130
2. Fernando Alonso, Ferrari, 1:20.494
3. Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, 1:20.588
4. Felipe Massa, Ferrari, 1:21.266
5. Jenson Button, McLaren, 1:21.444
6. Nico Hulkenberg, Sauber, 1:21.541
7. Adrian Sutil, Force India, 1:21.627
8. Kimi Raikkonen, Lotus, 1:21.658
9. Paul di Resta, Force India, 1:21.664
10. Sergio Perez, McLaren, 1:21.848
11. Romain Grosjean, Lotus, 1:22.188
12. Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, 1:22.197
13. Pastor Maldonado, Williams, 1:22.305
14. Valtteri Bottas, Williams, 1:22.468
15. Esteban Gutierrez, Sauber, 1:22.553
16. Mark Webber, Red Bull, 1:22.658
17. Charles Pic, Caterham, 1:23.115
18. Jules Bianchi, Marussia, 1:23.167
19. Jean-Eric Vergne, Toro Rosso, 1:23.223
20. Davide Valsecchi, Lotus, 1:23.448
21. Daniel Ricciardo, Toro Rosso, 1:23.628
22. Max Chilton, Marussia, 1:24.103
23. Giedo van der Garde, Caterham, 1:24.235


Sports fan
Super VIP
Practice 3

Pos No Driver Team Time/Retired Gap Laps

1 8 Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1:26.929 14
2 3 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1:27.000 0.071 7
3 4 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1:27.241 0.312 10

4 14 Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1:27.533 0.604 9
5 7 Kimi Räikkönen Lotus-Renault 1:27.625 0.696 12
6 19 Daniel Ricciardo STR-Ferrari 1:27.849 0.920 19
7 18 Jean-Eric Vergne STR-Ferrari 1:27.860 0.931 16
8 15 Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1:28.069 1.140 15
9 11 Nico Hulkenberg Sauber-Ferrari 1:28.253 1.324 18
10 12 Esteban Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari 1:28.253 1.324 20
11 9 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1:28.486 1.557 13
12 1 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull Racing-Renault 1:29.808 2.879 9
13 2 Mark Webber Red Bull Racing-Renault 1:30.073 3.144 16
14 22 Jules Bianchi Marussia-Cosworth 1:30.388 3.459 17
15 21 Giedo van der Garde Caterham-Renault 1:30.598 3.669 20
16 20 Charles Pic Caterham-Renault 1:30.959 4.030 19
17 5 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1:33.236 6.307 7
18 6 Sergio Perez McLaren-Mercedes 1:33.527 6.598 8
19 16 Pastor Maldonado Williams-Renault 1:39.232 12.303 13
20 17 Valtteri Bottas Williams-Renault 1:39.779 12.850 13
21 23 Max Chilton Marussia-Cosworth 1:42.872 15.943 13
22 10 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:47.246 20.317 9


Sports fan
Super VIP
Raikkonen wins in Melbourne

Kimi Raikkonen steadily worked his way to the front to beat Fernando Alonso to the first victory of the 2013 Formula One season in Australia.
Raikkonen: Fine victory in season-opening race
Raikkonen: Fine victory in season-opening race

Starting seventh on the grid, the Lotus driver quickly made up places before taking the attack to Sebastian Vettel and the two Ferraris.

As Vettel, Felipe Massa and Fernando Alonso all took the a turn at the front, Raikkonen made the most of quick laps and timeous pit stops to work his way into the lead with his two-stop strategy.

Driver Standings

1 Kimi Raikkonen 25
2 Fernando Alonso 18
3 Sebastian Vettel 15
4 Felipe Massa 12
5 Lewis Hamilton 10
6 Mark Webber 8
7 Adrian Sutil 6
8 Paul Di Resta 4
9 Jenson Button 2
10 Romain Grosjean 1

The Finn crossed the line a comfortably ten seconds ahead of Alonso while Vettel dropped to third despite having led the early running.

Massa brought his F138 home in fourth place, beating Lewis Hamilton, who had attempted to use a two-stop strategy only to have to come in for a third. Mark Webber was sixth at his home grand prix.

One of the most notable results, though, has to be Adrian Sutil who, despite contesting his first grand prix in 15 months, led on two occasions for several laps before falling back to seventh place. And he beat team-mate Paul di Resta


Sports fan
Super VIP
Practice One - Webber sets the pace in Malaysia 22 Mar 2013

Practice for the 2013 Formula 1 Petronas Malaysia Grand Prix got off to a slow start in warm conditions in Sepang on Friday morning, as Mark Webber set the pace by a fraction from Australian Grand Prix winner Kimi Raikkonen.

It took the best part of 30 minutes before any real times were set, and after Lewis Hamilton and then Nico Rosberg had set the pace for Mercedes, Webber and Red Bull team mate Sebastian Vettel took over.

As many drivers then focused on long runs on the orange-marked hard tyres, Webber’s 1m 36.935s remained the session’s best time. Raikkonen had problems with a sensor on his Lotus’s KERS battery, which prevented him running for a long time, but he then banged in a 1m 37.003s, just 0.068s off the Australian.

Vettel was third on 1m 37.104s from Fernando Alonso, who lapped his Ferrari in 1m 37.319s. Rosberg was next on 1m 37.588s from Adrian Sutil’s Force India on 1m 37.769s, Felipe Massa’s Ferrari on 1m 37.771s, Paul di Resta’s Force India on 1m 37.773s, Hamilton on 1m 37.840s and Romain Grosjean’s Lotus on 1m 37.915s.

There were few incidents among the frontrunners; Alonso locked up and ran wide on one lap at Turn 1, and Sutil damaged his front-wing endplate after running too far over the kerb exiting the final corner.

Further back, Esteban Gutierrez spun his Sauber going into Turn 14, but ended up just behind team mate Nico Hulkenberg who has a new car after his fuel system problems in Melbourne. The German posted 1m 39.054s, the Mexican 1m 39.204s. That left them 14th and 15th, behind Jenson Button in 11th on 1m 38.173s in the troubled McLaren MP4-28, Pastor Maldonado on 1m 38.673s for Williams and Sergio Perez who set his 1m 38.830s very early in the session in his McLaren.

Valtteri Bottas was 16th on 1m 39.208s in the other Williams and headed the Toro Rossos of Jean-Eric Vergne and Daniel Ricciardo on 1m 39.284s and 1m 39.567s respectively. Giedo van der Garde rose to the occasion for Caterham with 1m 40.728s, which left him just ahead of fellow rookie Jules Bianchi who was learning the track on his way to 1m 40.996s in the Marussia. Charles Pic was 21st in the second Caterham, on 1m 41.163s, with Max Chilton 22nd in the other Marussia on 1m 41.513s, another time that was set early on.


Sports fan
Super VIP
Practice Two - Raikkonen on top in rain-hit Malaysia 22 Mar 2013

Tyre debris flicked up by Esteban Gutierrez. His choice of full wet tyres is not proving to be the wisest as he struggles for grip

Kimi Raikkonen set the fastest time in the second free practice session for the 2013 Formula 1 Petronas Malaysia Grand Prix in Sepang, before rain half an hour from the end prevented anyone from challenging his position.

Raikkonen edged out Sebastian Vettel and Felipe Massa, by 0.019s and 0.92s respectively, with 1m 36.569s for Lotus compared to the Red Bull's 1m 36.588s and the Ferrari's 1m 36.661s.

Fernando Alonso was fourth in the second Ferrari F138 on 1m 36.985s, before Mark Webber for Red Bull on 1m 37.026s, Romain Grosjean for Lotus on 1m 36.206s, Nico Rosberg for Mercedes on 1m 37.448s, Paul di Resta for Force India on 1m 37.571s, Lewis Hamilton for Mercedes on 1m 37.574s, Adrian Sutil for Force India on 1m 37.788s and the McLarens of Sergio Perez and Jenson Button on 1m 37.838s and 1m 37.865s respectively.

More than most, Mercedes focused mainly on longer runs on the medium tyres, rather than on outright speed like many of their competitors.

Outside the top dozen, Nico Hulkenberg narrowly edged out Sauber team mate Esteban Gutierrez, with 1m 38.068s to 1m 38.38.645s. Both spun; the Mexican dropped it out on the track, the German in the pit road once the rain had left the road very slick.

Jean Eric-Vergne continued to hold the upper hand over Toro Rosso partner Daniel Ricciardo, with 1m 38.738s and 15th place to 1m 38.904s and 17th, with Pastor Maldonado placing his Williams between them with 1m 38.801s.

Jules Bianchi again performed well for Marussia on his first acquaintance with Sepang; the Frenchman lapped in 1m 39.508s for 18th place ahead of Williams' Valtteri Bottas on 1m 39.660s, the Caterhams of Charles Pic and Giedo van der Garde on 1m 40.757s and 1m 40.768s apiece, and team mate Max Chilton on 1m 41.438s.


Sports fan
Super VIP
A short burst of rain struck the Sepang International Circuit five minutes from the end of the second period of qualifying ahead of Sunday's Malaysian Grand Prix.

It made for an all-guns-blazing top shoot-out on the intermediate wet tyres, with reigning triple world champion Vettel again emerging top dog to claim the 38th pole of his F1 career.

The surprise is who will start alongside him on the front row as Ferrari's Felipe Massa managed to edge team-mate Fernando Alonso at the death.

It will be the first time in three years Massa has started from such a position on the grid, going back to the opening Bahrain Grand Prix of the 2010 season.

Behind the leading trio will be Lewis Hamilton, who admitted coming into the weekend his lack of confidence in his Mercedes in the wet, but who temporarily was on pole before falling down the order.

Red Bull's Mark Webber and Nico Rosberg in his Mercedes occupy the third row of the grid, followed by Australian Grand Prix winner from last weekend in Kimi Raikkonen who lines up seventh on the grid.

McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh had expressed his hope ahead of qualifying for some rain to spice things up and give his drivers a chance.

But Jenson Button could only manage eighth and Sergio Perez 10th, with Force India's Adrian Sutil separating the McLaren duo.

The rain certainly played its part in Q2 also, preventing Lotus' Romain Grosjean and Force India's Paul Di Resta from getting in a second timed run, and with it a crack at the top 10.

The Frenchman will start 11th ahead of Sauber duo Nico Hulkenberg and Esteban Gutierrez who line up 12th and 14th either side of a strong 13th place for Daniel Ricciardo in his Toro Rosso.

As for Di Resta, he had two attempts at a second hot lap, but ran wide on his first run as rain was starting to fall over one area before spinning through 270 degrees at the same corner on his second effort.

The Scot will now start 15th alongside Williams' Pastor Maldonado.

Toro Rosso's Jean-Eric Vergne and Valtteri Bottas in the other Williams were the drivers this week to join the Marussias and Caterhams in the bottom six.

Vergne will line up 17th and Bottas 18th, but the major surprise was Jules Bianchi in the Marussia finishing just half a second away from a place in Q2.

Marussia have made considerable strides this season, and with Ferrari academy driver and former Force India reserve Bianchi behind the wheel, the Frenchman is proving a revelation.

Bianchi will line up 19th, finishing just under a second clear of Caterham's Charles Pic, with Marussia team-mate Max Chilton 1.2secs down and starting 21st.

At least British rookie Chilton, who had been slowest in each of the three practice sessions, again avoided last place on the grid as that honour belongs to Caterham's Giedo van der Garde.

Vettel finished nine tenths of a second clear of Massa after making the switch to a set of fresh intermediate tyres towards the end of Q3, which gave him the edge.

"It was an interesting qualifying session," said Red Bull star Vettel.

"In Q2 we were quite on the edge, so probably the rain helped a bit because I would have had to have gone out again.

"Then in Q3, with the circuit drying, it was better to change tyres. We confirmed that early, did the right thing.

"I'm a bit surprised by the gap because it was quite tricky out there with some parts of the track wet and some dry.

"For the race, it will all be about managing the tyres."

Massa, who also enjoyed a second set of fresh inters, said: "I'm not sure if we would have been second and third in the dry, so it was a good qualifying from us.

"We took the right decision to change the tyres and I managed to put a good lap in."

Alonso, on the occasion of his 200th grands prix, is hopeful of building on his runner-up position in Melbourne last Sunday.

"We're not sure of the performance, the car's race pace, we're a little inconsistent, sometimes good, sometimes not," he said.

"In Melbourne the race pace was okay, so we've no reason not to be optimistic for tomorrow."


Sports fan
Super VIP

Pos Driver Lap Time

1 Vettel 1:45.520
2 Webber +4.200
3 Hamilton +12.100

4 Rosberg +12.600
5 Massa +25.600
6 Grosjean +35.500
7 Raikkonen +48.400
8 Hulkenberg +53.000
9 Perez +72.300
10 Vergne +87.100
11 Bottas +88.600
12 Gutierrez +1 lap
13 Bianchi +1 lap
14 Pic +1 lap
15 van der Garde +1 lap
16 Chilton +2 laps
RET Button +3 laps
RET Ricciardo +5 laps
RET Maldonado +11 lap
RET Sutil +29 laps
RET di Resta +34 laps
RET Alonso +55 laps