Abu Dhabi

Last Race: 23rd Nov Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi GP Results
Pos Driver
1 Lewis Hamilton
2 Felipe Massa
3 Valtteri Bottas

Team-Mate Wars: Hungarian GP

Wednesday 30th July 2014

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Developing a taste for it.

Developing a taste for it.

Lewis notched up another victory despite Mercedes hiding all his soft tyres, while Dan is putting serious manners on Seb.

Mercedes
Nico Rosberg 3 - Lewis Hamilton 8

Race: Hamilton
Lewis was about to borrow the Mario Balotelli-inspired 'Why Always Me?' T-shirt from Felipe Massa, when we had that race. More than anything it proved that we have a lot to look forward to when both Mercedes are shuffled into the pack without a significant advantage over the rest of the field. It shows up who can race. We have Kimi Raikkonen to thank for the fact that marshals are still not picking up pieces of Mercedes and Ferrari (and maybe some Williams too) from Turn 1 at Budapest.

Though let it not be forgotten, Lewis was fortunate to escape an embarrassing first lap spin with all four corners intact.

In the Winners and Losers column it was noted how strange it was for Mercedes to put Hamilton onto Medium tyres when he had a stack of new Softs sitting in the garage, while Nico was given Softs. Autosport's Gary Anderson has reminded me of a comment Toto Wolff made at the beginning of the year, that in managing the driver relationship they would keep the pair of them on the same strategy. No wonder Niki Lauda said it was 'panic stations' on the Merc pitwall.


Red Bull
Daniel Ricciardo 9 - Sebastian Vettel 2

Race: Ricciardo
Sometimes you can be handed a bit of luck and not make the most of it (see below). With Dan Ricciardo he took it and returned it with interest. He qualified behind Vettel for a change, but once he got in the lead he had his eyes firmly on the prize. His overtake on Hamilton was one of the best of the year and only surpassed by Lewis's rocket into Turn 4 when he relegated Vergne after a single lap. The hard bit over, Alonso realised that fighting may lose him P2 or even P3. Also, from what he learned at Hockenheim he knew that the smiling assassin was not going to give up.

Vettel's car looked like it was a real handful with the World Champion correcting some snap oversteer moments a couple of times with breathtakingly quick instant responses. But one just got away from him...

The real reason Daniel smiles so much...


Ferrari
Fernando Alonso 10 - Kimi Raikkonen 1

Race: Alonso
Kimi's always gone pretty well at the Hungaroring, so it was a big mistake not to use that set of Softs in Q1, especially when you consider that the long-standing weather forecast had been rain on Sunday. Even so, he managed to salvage a good result from P16 on the grid - not as good as his team-mate, who was able to fend off two Mercedes on a dry track. That's not happened much this year.


McLaren
Jenson Button 8 - Kevin Magnussen 3

Race: Button
"We win as a team and we lose as a team," said Jenson Button afterwards, whilst moaning as an individual. The strategy call from hell, which demoted him from an effective P1 to an ultimate P10, probably wasn't as disastrous as it seemed. Given the pace of the cars who finished in the top four on a dry track, the McLaren was probably destined for P5 ahead of Felipe Massa.


Williams
Valtteri Bottas 6 - Felipe Massa 5

Race: Bottas
Valtteri Bottas suffered doubly in the race; once when the Safety Car divide split the field in two, and once when a delayed tyre stop put him at a big strategic disadvantage. He qualified in front of Massa, made a place up at the start, but the fates conspired. It was good to see Felipe having a straightforward race, but the FW36's appetite for tyres meant they were never going to be pushing the Red Bulls around for long.


Toro Rosso
Jean-Eric Vergne 5 - Daniil Kvyat 6

Race: Vergne
Jean-Eric reminded everyone of the talent that had him almost matching Dan Ricciardo last year. His defence of P5 (and then P4, P3 and P2) against Rosberg was impressive, though he would ultimately fade back to P9 in the race. Kvyat's race didn't get going, but for once he'd been outqualified.


Force India
Nico Hulkenberg 7 - Sergio Perez 4

Race: Perez
Perez sounded just about as miserable and sorry as a driver can be after he'd just retired from the race. Whether it was the fact that he'd just deconstructed the second Force India car in an accident (which the Force India team assure us is considerably less than the $500,000 we first reported) or the fact that he had to face the engineer who told him off for not lifting and coasting enough in the last race. Certainly it's one thing using a bit too much fuel and another thing failing to return your VJM07 to the pits in less than showroom condition. i.e. in bits all over the start/finish straight. Or maybe it was the fact that he missed the ideal opportunity to get some serious points over Hulkenberg who had clipped him and gone out in a most-un-Hulkenberg like fashion.
Checo also managed to have some pitlane fun with Esteban Gutierrez - which they really should settle in the paddock mano a mano, the Mexican way, lucha libre style. That would surely match the Max Chilton versus Jules Bianchi Marussia cage fighting planned for later in the year.

Lotus
Romain Grosjean 8 - Pastor Maldonado 3

Race: Maldonado
Maldonado went out at the beginning of Q1 and with few cars out on track and little happening, Ben Edwards and David Coulthard started talking about the car's increased reliability for half a lap, just long enough for it to coast to a halt. Grosjean showed that when it works it is quite capable of making Q2. In the race he lost control behind the Safety Car. That never looks good on your cv. Pastor's slide into a Marussia was hardly.


Sauber
Esteban Gutierrez 5 - Adrian Sutil 6

Race: Sutil
As predicted, the Sauber team have got a lot closer to the pack now that FRICS has been made a thing of the past. Adrian outqualified Esteban but the Mexican got a better start and jumped his team-mate. He also managed to survive an intra-Mexican battle with Perez in the pitlane, who probably judged correctly that the Sauber driver wasn't going to fight too hard.


Caterham
Marcus Ericsson 1 - Kamui Kobayashi 10

Race: Kobayashi
Yet again Kamui got himself between the two Marussias, who have had their FRICS taken away. It's not much of a struggle for Kamui to stay in front of his Swedish team-mate.


Marussia
Max Chilton 3 - Jules Bianchi 8

Race: Bianchi
Bianchi produced another moment of magic/devastation for Marussia/Ferrari by getting into Q2, which allowed Suzi Perry yet another of her "cougar moments" with Jules in the paddock afterwards. This is presumably why Max tries so strenuously to avoid getting into Q2.


Star of the race
Lewis Hamilton 4, Daniel Ricciardo 3, Sergio Perez 2, Jules Bianchi 1, Valtteri Bottas 1,

Overtaking Move of the Race
Lewis Hamilton 4, Daniel Ricciardo 2, Valtteri Bottas 1, Kamui Kobayashi 1, Sebastian Vettel 1, Nico Hulkenberg 1, Fernando Alonso 1

Sat on the Naughty Step
Pastor Maldonado 3, Max Chilton 2, Christian Horner 1, Kevin Magnussen 1, Ecclestone 1 (for suggesting it would be no problem to lose cars off the grid), Kimi Raikkonen 1, Charlie Whiting 1 (safety issues in Germany), Perez 1 (the totting up system)

Media Watch

Jack Nicholls was a very competent replacement for James Allen in Hungary, but got tangled up with the hardest brake supplier on the grid to pronounce at speed. "And that was Ricciardo Campetto from Brembo Bakes..."

Meanwhile if you wanted to have a Carry On, "oooh-er-missus" moment in your quote collection you should look no further than Allan McNish who was talking about Kimi Raikkonen's big problem: "He needs to be able to feel it going in, which is what he hasn't been able to do this year."

Kimi's problem on turn-in with the Ferrari F14T.

David Coulthard on Lap 67 talking about Nico Rosberg's charge: "It's going to be easy pickings for him to get past Hamilton and Alonso..."

Andrew Davies

Vettel's Maiden Ferrari Run

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