2014 Formula 1 Report: USA Edition
Drafting the Circuits
Grand Prix Date Tire Compounds
Belgium Grand Prix August 22-24 Medium/Soft
Italian Grand Prix September 5-7 Hard/Medium
Singapore Grand Prix September 19-21 Soft/Supersoft
Summer Break Season Review Part 2
Formula 1 has taken its annual mid summer break for the majority of August. With a return to racing two weeks away, it’s a great time to look back and see what has transpired in the first 11 races. Last week we took a look at the sharp end of the running order. This week we will focus on the mid pack and back markers who often add interest to every Formula 1 event.
Ferrari has struggled this season! It’s as simple as that.
Although they currently occupy third place in the Constructors Championship, this is mainly due to the heroic efforts of Fernando Alonso. Alonso has wrung all he can each week out of the F-14 T.
Unfortunately Kimi Raikkonen has not. Raikkonen has struggled with a car unsuited to his driving style, which favors more front end grip.
Alonso has dominated the pairing, outscoring his teammate 115 points to 27. Long story short for Ferrari, not good enough!
Watch to see if Williams overtakes the Scuderia quickly in the points standings. With Spa and Monza suited to the increased horsepower of the Mercedes engine, I am expecting Williams to be well ahead of Ferrari when the campaign leaves Europe for the Singapore night race.
Force India has experienced a strong season mainly based on races 2 thru 7 where Nico Hulkenberg scored consistently. Sergio Perez, on the other hand, has been inconsistent and has had too many races without points being tallied.
Perez did, however, secure a podium for Force India in Bahrain which was their first since 2009. Perez also led in Canada and could have easily scored another podium had he not wrecked with Felipe Massa. So a strong second half of the season for Force India is entirely possible as I am not sure the full strength of the Force India entry has been realized.
When looking at McLaren, one has to wonder if they are waiting for next season when Honda joins the squad as the engine manufacturer. Currently sitting in 6th position and behind Force India can not make Ron Dennis happy.
But Dennis is smart and wily! He could be assembling his eggs in the 2015 basket. Sound familiar? This was the strategy taken by Mercedes as they tackled the 2014 formula before the other squads. Honda has the benefit of watching what worked and what did not. Expect them to come onboard like a hungry fire breather ready to challenege from the get go!
Jenson Button has improved performance lately, scoring points in 5 of the last 6 racers, while rookie Kevin Magnussen scored a podium in his first career race in Australia. The big questions for McLaren is who will secure race seats in 2015, and will either driver be with the team in 2016 when Vettel and Alonso become available! It has also been reported that Alonso has an escape clause that would allow him to leave in 2015. So what’s exciting at McLaren? They seem to be the key to the 2015 driver rotation!
I have enjoyed watching Toro Rosso this season. Jean-Eric Vergne has raced and qualified well at times but some mechanical failures have lowered his points count. Daniel Kvyat has done very well for a rookie showing a level head and good speed. Kvyat reminds me of a young Valtteri Bottas, soaking up experience and knowledge on the F1 stage. Expect to see more points for the remainder of the season and it would surprise no one to see Kvyat outscore Vergne by seasons end.
This is a team that I love to see do well as just the Lotus name inspires many F1 fans. Unfortunately, they did not show up prepared to run this season. Not only have they suffered at the hands of a weak Renault engine, the E22 chassis has been very inconsistent and the drivers have not been able to press any advantage on any type of course.
This may well result in their losing Romain Grosjean for next years campaign. Pastor Maldonado is signed for the 2015 season as is his Venezuelan sponsor PDVSA. Renault will no longer power the Lotusteam as they have secured engines from Mercedes. This should help them if Mercedes remain the dominant power unit.
It is always a golden moment when a Formula 1 effort secures those first points. For Marussia, this happened in Monaco when Jules Bianchi delivered a ninth place performance worth 2 points. After 4 years with nothing to show, those points could be worth a portion of the season ending prize distribution, which will be a tremendous help to the future of the team. Well done Marussia.
And your car from above looks like the rebel logo from Star Wars so I would award a few points for that…..but that’s just me.
Sauber and Caterham are both without any points this season. For Sauber, this is quite the disappointment and for Caterham, this was enough for team owner Tony Fernandes to sell the team and move to greener pastures.
Both teams are struggling and will need to improve if they are to jump ahead of Marussia. For Sauber this is entirely possible, as both drivers have sniffed at points. For Sutil, he has finished 11th twice and Gutierrez delivered a 12 place position in Australia. I would expect Sauber to run along ahead of Marussia by seasons end…let’s see!
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