2014 Formula 1 Report:  USA Edition

Drafting the Circuits

Week 16

Grand Prix                          Date                   Tire Compounds      

Grand Prix of Spain           May 9-11            Medium/Soft

Grand Prix of Monaco       May 22-25        Supersoft/Soft

Canadian Grand Prix        June 6-8            Supersoft/Soft

Drivers’ championship:

1.  Nico Rosberg                 79

2.  Lewis Hamilton            75

3.  Fernando Alonso          41

4.  Nico Hulkenberg          36

5.  Sebastian Vettel            33

6. Daniel Ricciardo           24

7.  Valtteri Bottas               24

8.  Jenson Button               23

9.  Kevin Magnussen         20

10.Sergio Perez                   18

11. Felipe Massa                   12

12.  Kimi Raikkonen           11

13.  Jean-Eric Vergne          4

14.  Daniil Kvyat                   4


Constructors’ championship:

1.  Mercedes                       154

2.  Red Bull                         57

3.  Force India                   54

4.  Ferrari                           52

5.  McLaren                        43

6.  Williams                       36

7.  Toro Rosso                    8


Chinse Grand Prix

The first series of fly away races are complete and Mercedes have utterly dominated both the drivers and constructors championships.   As the teams return to Europe for the bulk of the summer races, Mercedes have to feel extremely comfortable with what they have done with the 2014 specifications.

Although Nico Rosberg leads the driver’s championship, it is Lewis Hamilton who returns to Europe with momentum on his side.  His runaway victory in China was his third in a row and Hamilton is full of confidence at this point.

Hamilton China vicotry


As Hamilton flashed away, the China start could have become eventful. Contact was made between Felipe Massa and Fernando Alonso as well as between Nico Rosberg and Valtteri Bottas.  None of the machines were damaged, but Massa was hindered later when a balky pit stop resulted from trying to fit the wheels on the opposite side of the car.  Rosberg  ran his entire race without telemetry which was lost before the formation lap.

Rosberg china

 The pole winner was actually gifted the win one lap early when the checkered flag flew on lap 55 instead of lap 56 lap.  Caterham’s Kamui Kobayashi actually made a pass on Jules Bianchi’s Marussia, which was disallowed because of the error from the flag man.

Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso who had a stronger showing this weekend and filled the final slot on podium. Kimi Raikkonen struggled again, not making it into Q3 and finishing in 8th position.  Still, as Raikkonen mentioned “for the team it was probably our best weekend…not a bad debut for new team principal Marco Mattiacci.

GP CINA F1/2014

 Four time champion Sebastian Vettel again finished behind Daniel Ricciardo.  This was a good points day for Red Bull, especially considering the issues they have had with the RB-10.  Late in the race, Vettel was asked to let Ricciardo through and his response of “tough luck” seemed to indicate that he was going to make his teammate race for the position. Vettel, however, pulled aside and Ricciardo sped away finishing in 4th, 20 seconds ahead of the German.

The series heads to Spain next and hopefully many teams will bring upgrades to their cars.

Pitside Chatter

 Red Bull Sensor Issue

Red Bull racing lost their appeal to the FIA to reinstate Daniel Ricciardo’s points lost during the Australian Grand Prix.  Red Bull has also been deemed responsible for the costs associated with bringing their appeal to the FIA.

Surprisingly, Red Bull again struggled with sensor readings this week in China.  They did however follow the FIA instructions and were able to use their own sensor readings after approval from the FIA.

Interesting in this case are reports that the fuel used by Red Bull from sponsor Total, is degrading an O ring in the sensor which damages the seal and kills the sensor.   Fabrice Lom, FIA head of powertrain, said that several teams have made modifications to the sensors which also could contribute to the sensor issues.  By the Spanish Grand Prix it is expected that no teams will be able to modify the sensor as an FIA directive has made this illegal.

Stefano Domenicali Replaced By Marco Mattiacci as Ferrari team principal

After 6 years as Ferrari team principal, Stefano Domenicali has stepped down as head of the Scuderia.  “After a poor start to the season, it’s time to make an important change.”  He has been replaced by Marco Mattiacci, former head of Ferrari North America.

GP CINA F1/2014


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