2014 Formula 1 Report:  USA Edition

Drafting the Circuits

Week 20

Grand Prix                          Date                   Tire Compounds      

Grand Prix of Monaco       May 22-25         Supersoft/Soft

Grand Prix of Canada        June 6-8            Supersoft/Soft

Grand Prix of Austria        June 20-22


Drivers’ championship:

1.  Lewis Hamilton            100

2.  Nico Rosberg                  97

3.  Fernando Alonso          49

4.  Sebastian Vettel            45

5. Daniel Ricciardo            39

6.  Nico Hulkenberg          37

7.  Valtteri Bottas              34

8.  Jenson Button               23

9.  Kevin Magnussen         20

10.  Sergio Perez                 20

11.  Kimi Raikkonen           17

12. Felipe Massa                 12

13.  Romain Grosjean        4

14.  Jean-Eric Vergne          4

15.  Daniil Kvyat                   4


Constructors’ championship:

1.  Mercedes                       197

2.  Red Bull                         84

3.  Ferrari                           66

4.  Force India                   57

5.  Williams                       46

6.  McLaren                        43

7.  Toro Rosso                    8

8.  Lotus                             4



The Formula 1 family lost a legend on Monday, May 19th.    3 time F1 champion Sir Jack Brabham passed away peacefully at the age of 88 in his native Australia.

Brabham won his first two titles with Cooper but won his final title in in a Brabham, a car of his own design.  As Mark Webber said “what he achieved taking on the best in the world and winning one of his three world titles in his own machinery is the stuff of pure legends.”

Ron Dennis, of McLaren and Jean Todt, FIA President, also described Brabham as a justified legend.

Sir Jack Brabham won 14 Grand Prix races and remains the only racer to win a title in a car of his own construction.  The respected pioneer was an inspiration to the likes of Mark Webber and Daniel Ricciardo and many other Australians who pursued this sport of automobile racing.

Godspeed Sir Jack Brabham!


 In Season testing Spain

All the teams tested in Barcelona this past week.  In trying to address the poor response to the 2014 engine sound,  an amplifier was used by Nico Rosberg to increase the sound generated by his Mercedes engine.

This new exhaust seemed to do nothing to increase the sound although sound engineers monitoring the level recorded an increase of 3 db.  According to Rosberg, performance did not change, and neither did the volume!


 Max Chilton of Marrussia led the first testing day and Pastor Maldonado led the second day.

Marussia and Lotus led a session.  Well done!

Susie Wolff got her first outing in the Williams FW 36, finishing 5th on the timesheets on day 2.

Caterham did not participate in the second day of testing due to damage sustained when Kamui Kobayashi crashed in the afternoon session of the Tuesday test.


Park your yacht, it is time for the greatest spectacle of the Formula 1 calendar.

It is time for Monaco!


 F1 will lead a great day of racing including the race in Monte Carlo, the Indianapolis 500 and the NASCAR marathon Coca Cola 600

There is nothing like the spectacle of Monaco.  This track is too tight to tame and the drivers often speak of the experience as driving a bicycle in your bathroom.  For some, like Nico Rosberg, Monaco is home.  Crash here and you can watch the rest of the race from your own couch.

But what makes Monaco so formidable and treacherous?

The harbor, the casino, the tunnel.  What kid did not think it was the coolest thing to race through a tunnel!

Monaco is all about the closeness!..


 The barriers are close, the water is close, and the fans are on top of the action.  With the added torque and snappy nature of this years turbocharged formula, Monaco is bound to be a free for all from the get go…which is Thursday, not Friday.

Felipe Massa has remarked that this years race will be the years toughest.  With the torque this year, the cars are driven a lot more sideways……which puts them CLOSE to the barriers!

Qualifying is paramount at this street circuit as passing is extremely difficult.  The best chance to pass is the harbor chicane as the drivers exit the tunnel.  Last year, Sergio Perez made his way past many rivals here until Kimi Raikkonen shut him down and put Perez into the barrier.

kimi sergio

 So what to expect this year?  If there is one track where Mercedes might not have an edge, this is it.  Mercedes will have to be careful here as any little sparring between the Silver Arrows pair could result in one driver in the wall.

Red Bull racing will emerge here to threaten the Mercedes duo and we might see our first race of the year where a victory eludes the dominant Mercedes team.

So what is needed to package an efficient winning car for a Monaco race win?  Downforce, a bullet proof gearbox and brake caliper cooling are important for a car that can navigate the many slow corners found in this bumpy and low grip street circuit.

Power is not a critical here but downforce is.  What does that mean? I am picking Sebastian Vettel to reemerge this week with a performance that places him on the top step of the podium.

For those who use Twitter, you can follow me @steve_aibel or check us all out @RacingDTC for Drafting the Circuits.