2014 Formula 1 Report:  USA Edition

Drafting the Circuits

Week 14

Formula 1 Lights Up The Night In Bahrain!

Grand Prix                          Date                   Tire Compounds

Bahrain Grand Prix            April 4-6            Medium/Soft

Chinese Grand Prix            April 18-20       Medium/Soft

Grand Prix of Spain           May 9-11


Drivers’ championship:

1.  Nico Rosberg                 61

2.  Lewis Hamilton            50

3.  Nico Hulkenberg          28

4.  Fernando Alonso          26

5.  Jenson Button               23

6.  Sebastian Vettel             23

7.  Kevin Magnussen         20

8.  Valtteri Bottas               18

9.  Sergio Perez                    16

10. Daniel Ricciardo           12

11. Felipe Massa                   12

12.  Kimi Raikkonen           7

13.  Jean-Eric Vergne          4

14.  Daniil Kvyat                   3


Constructors’ championship:

1.  Mercedes                       111

2.  Force India                    44

3.  McLaren                        43

4.  Red Bull                         35

5.  Ferrari                           33

6.  Williams                       30

7.  Toro Rosso                    7


Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix

There has been a lot of discussion this season about the new formula, especially concerning the sound of the engine, or lack there off.

But plain and simply, the race in Bahrain was extremely entertaining!  NIGHT RACE! WIND!  SAND!  And great racing on the track.

Although Mercedes dominated again, this was the first time we saw the two Mercedes pilots battle it out on the track.  Due to a NASCAR-like late safety care, the field bunched up and the final 10 laps were battle racing for points at the sharp end of the field.

Bahrain Podium 

A spectacular rollover occurred when Pastor Maldonado’s Lotus speared the Sauber of Esteban Gutierrez as the fought for the same piece of desert in turn 1 set up the last lap day to the finish.

Sauber Rolls After Collision With Maldonado

As Hamilton and Rosberg took off into the Bahrain night to settle this amongst themselves,  it appeared the Nico had the advantage.  Rosberg had the benefit of the softer compound  while Hamilton was running the medium compound which had shown to be slower by approximately 6.5 tenths per lap.  The last 10 laps featured great side by side racing with both drivers making moves to attack and defend.  Rosberg  looked like he was going to take to point, but some smart tactical racing kept Hamilton in the lead.   Hamilton prevailed, but it took all of his considerable talent to hold of the driving Rosberg who could not strike another attack as his tires overheated in the last 3 laps.

Mercedes Duel in the Desert Night

Joining Hamilton and Rosberg on the podium was Force India’s Sergio Perez who drove a brilliant race.  This result coupled with  as tong 5th place from Nico Hulkenberg brought Force India into 2nd place in the constructors championship.  Force India is having a fantastic start to the season and has obviously grown.  Vijay Mallya, Team Principal and Managing Director labelled this as “one of the greatest days ion the history of our team.”

Red Bull Racing continued to move forward their program.  Points for both Daniel Ricciardo and Sebastian Vettel are evidence of Red Bulls steady progress while Ferrari is still struggling to get to the front as they occupied the final points position of 9th for Alonso and 10th for Raikkonen.

Notables from Bahrain

  • This was the 900th grand Prix race
  • This was Jenson Buttons 250th Grand Prix race
  • Adrian Sutil was given a 5 place grid penalty dying qualifying for obstructing Romain Grosjean.  This dropped him to the back of the field for the start of the Grand Prix.
  • Daniel Ricciardo qualified 3rd, but had to drop back 10 places for the unsafe release penalty in Malaysia.
  • Lotus’ Pastor Maldonado was given a 5 place grid penalty for the Chinese Grand Prix after initiating contact with Esteban Gutirrez which resulted in the Sauber being flipped and rolled in turn 1.  Maldonado was also given a 10 second stop and go during the race for the same incident.  Finally , Maldonado was awarded 3 penalty penalty points on his Superlicense.
  • 2 teams are set to join the F1 circus for 2015.  Gene Haas of NASCAR’s Stewart Haas racing is one of those teams
  • Cost Cap plans for 2015 have been tabled

Penalty Points on Super License

Pastor Maldonado     3

Valtteri Bottas            2

Kevin Magnussen     2

Jules Bianchi             2

Adrian Sutil               2

“If a driver accrues 12 penalty points his licence will be suspended for the following Event, following which 12 points will be removed from the licence. Penalty points will remain on a driver’s Super Licence for a period of 12 months after which they will be respectively removed on the 12 month anniversary of their imposition.”


2014 Malaysian Grand Prix – Race result

Pos Driver                Team                      Time/Gap
 1. Lewis Hamilton        Mercedes                  1h38m42.743s
 2. Nico Rosberg          Mercedes                  +1.085s
 3. Sergio Perez          Force India-Mercedes      +24.067s
 4. Daniel Ricciardo      Red Bull-Renault          +24.489s
 5. Nico Hulkenberg       Force India-Mercedes      +28.654s
 6. Sebastian Vettel      Red Bull-Renault          +29.879s
 7. Felipe Massa          Williams-Mercedes         +31.200s
 8. Valtteri Bottas       Williams-Mercedes         +31.800s
 9. Fernando Alonso       Ferrari                   +32.500s
10. Kimi Raikkonen        Ferrari                   +33.400s
11. Daniil Kvyat          Toro Rosso-Renault        +41.300s
12. Romain Grosjean       Lotus-Renault             +43.100s
13. Max Chilton           Marussia-Ferrari          +59.900s
14. Pastor Maldonado      Lotus-Renault             +1m02.800s
15. Kamui Kobayashi       Caterham-Renault          +1m27.900s
16. Jules Bianchi         Marussia-Ferrari          +1 lap
17. Jenson Button         McLaren-Mercedes          +2 laps

    Kevin Magnussen       McLaren-Mercedes        40 laps
    Esteban Gutierrez     Sauber-Ferrari          39 laps
    Marcus Ericsson       Caterham-Renault        33 laps
    Jean-Eric Vergne      Toro Rosso-Renault      18 laps
    Adrian Sutil          Sauber-Ferrari          17 laps

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