• Happy Birthday- Jean-Eric Vergne

    Team: Toro Rosso
    Nationality: French
    Birth date: 25/04/1990
    First F1 race: Australian Grand Prix, 2012
    2012 points: 16
    2012 best finish: 8
    2012 championship position: 17
    Red Bull’s talent production scheme is frighteningly effective: Jean-Eric Vergne is yet another young driver cutting his teeth in his second season of Formula 1, despite only just teetering into his twenties.
    Successful French drivers have been thin on the ground since Oliver Panis last topped the podium 16 years ago. Vergne’s in the ideal position in Red Bull feeder team Toro Rosso to amend that in the future, but there are plenty other contenders for that valued second spot alongside Sebastian Vettel when Mark Webber retires. Vergne still has a lot to improve upon.
    Formula 1 2013 driver profile: Jean-Eric VergneHis biggest weakness is his one-lap speed; comparing him with teammate Daniel Ricciardo shows he was often significantly behind him in qualifying times, and without a strong grid position opportunities to prove his driving skill on race day were limited.
    His career high of eight last year is the exception. Beginning 16th on the grid in the Korean Grand Prix, Vergne tore through the midfield to finish above his teammate and Lewis Hamilton, providing a glimpse of his potential.
    The battle between Toro Rosso’s two young drivers this season will be the intriguing side note to the 2013 season. Vergne has been groomed by Red Bull since he was 17, but there will be no dewy-eyed sympathy for the Frenchman if he doesn’t repay that investment this year.
  • Happy Birthday- Felipe Massa

    Team: Ferrari
    Nationality: Brazilian
    Birth date: 25/04/1981
    First F1 race: Australian Grand Prix, 2002
    2012 points: 122
    2012 best finish: 2
    2012 championship position: 7
    Felipe Massa was left in no doubt where he stood with Ferrari during the German Grand Prix in 2010. Through his radio he heard the now infamous words: “Fernando is faster than you. Can you confirm you understood the message?”
    It was a poorly concealed instruction to move over and let Alonso win the race, and it seems to have summed up his career ever since.
    It’s sad to see how his career has slipped given that in 2008 he came so close to the driver championship, eventually losing by a single point to winner Lewis Hamilton.
    A freak accident during qualifying in Hungary in 2009 ended his season and almost cost him his career when his skull was fractured after being hit by a loose spring from another car. He’s stuck with Ferrari through thick and thin, but if he doesn’t at least come close to Alonso’s pace this season he may lose his seat to a younger star.
  • Vettel and Coulthard Tour New Russian Circuit

    David Coulthard, Sebastian Vettel, Sochi, 2013Sebastian Vettel has had an early look at the future home of the Russian Grand Prix.
    The video above shows Vettel driving the Sochi track, which is still under construction, yesterday. The inaugural Russian Grand Prix is expected to be held in November next year
    Vettel was encouraged by the the layout of the new track: “I think by the looks of it, by the drawing, I think it could be a very interesting and challenging track with some fast corners and hopefully plenty of places to overtake so the racing is quite exciting.”
  • Vettel Takes Second Bahrain Victory

    Drivers spraying rosewater on the podiumRed Bull’s Sebastian Vettel took his second win in four races this year as he dominated the Bahrain Grand Prix.
    The world champion headed Lotus drivers Kimi Raikkonen and Romain Grosjean, who denied Paul di Resta a first career podium in the closing laps.
    Paul di RestaThe Scot had, like Raikkonen, done one fewer pit stops than the other leading runners but could not hold Grosjean.
    Lewis Hamilton took fifth for Mercedes as Fernando Alonso rescued eighth after suffering a rear wing failure.
    The Spaniard’s wing panel twice became stuck open when he used his DRS overtaking aid, forcing him to pit both times for mechanics adjust it.
    There were close on-track battles and plenty of overtaking between a number of drivers, including a bad-tempered tussle between McLaren’s Jenson Button and Sergio Perez, but Vettel was in a league of his own.
    “[It was a] faultless, seamless race from start to finish,” said Vettel. “I knew it was crucial to get into the lead and look after the tyres, the pace was phenomenal, the car was great. I could push every single lap and look after the tyres.
    “I lost out to Fernando at the first corner, but I could get him back. I saved some Kers and could out-accelerate him into Turn Six. Out of Turn four I did the same on Nico, a little bit of Kers and got him into Turn Five.”
    “[It was] incredible the pace we had today, we surely did not expect that.”
    Action from the raceHis win extends his lead over Raikkonen in the championship to 10 points, with Hamilton third a further 13 behind and Alonso fourth, 30 behind Vettel.
    The German held off a challenge from Alonso on the opening lap, losing out through Turns One and Two before re-passing the Ferrari with a brave move around the outside into Turn Five.
    He then passed pole-winner Nico Rosberg’s Mercedes, skilfully around the outside of Turn Five into Turn Six and drove away into a race of his own, making three stops on his way to a third consecutive victory in Bahrain.
    Behind him, Raikkonen used a two-stop strategy to move up to from eighth on the grid to take second, while Grosjean, making three stops, passed Di Resta for third with six laps to go.
    1. Sebastian Vettel (Ger) Red Bull 1hr 36min 00.498secs
    2. Kimi Raikkonen (Fin) Lotus +00:09.111
    3. Romain Grosjean (Fra) Lotus 00:19.507
    4. Paul Di Resta (GB) Force India 00:21.727
    5. Lewis Hamilton (GB) Mercedes 00:35.230
    6. Sergio Perez (Mex) McLaren 00:35.998
    7. Mark Webber (Aus) Red Bull 00:37.244
    8. Fernando Alonso (Spa) Ferrari 00:37.574
    9. Nico Rosberg (Ger) Mercedes 00:41.126
    10. Jenson Button (GB) McLaren 00:46.631
    11. Pastor Maldonado (Ven) Williams 01:06.450
    12. Nico Hulkenberg (Ger) Sauber 01:12.933
    13. Adrian Sutil (Ger) Force India 01:16.719
    14. Valtteri Bottas (Fin) Williams 01:21.511
    15. Felipe Massa (Brz) Ferrari 01:26.364
    16. Daniel Ricciardo (Aus) Toro Rosso +1 lap
    17. Charles Pic (Fra) Caterham 1 lap
    18. Esteban Gutierrez (Mex) Sauber 1 lap
    19. Jules Bianchi (Fra) Marussia 1 lap
    20. Max Chilton (GB) Marussia 1 lap
    21. Giedo van der Garde (Ned) Caterham 2 laps
    retd Jean-Eric Vergne (Fra) Toro Rosso 41 laps
  • Rosberg Takes Pole in Bahrain

    Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg took pole position for the Bahrain Grand Prix from Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel and Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso.
    Rosberg beat Vettel by 0.254 seconds with Alonso a further 0.083secs behind.
    Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton and Red Bull’s Mark Webber qualified fourth and fifth, but will be demoted five and three places as a result of grid penalties.
    That means Ferrari’s Felipe Massa will start fourth ahead of Force India’s Paul di Resta.
    The Scot’s team-mate Adrian Sutil qualified seventh and will start sixth, ahead of Webber, Lotus’s Kimi Raikkonen, who qualified ninth, Hamilton and McLaren’s Jenson Button.
    Hamilton earned a five-place penalty after suffering a tyre failure in final practice which damaged his gearbox, requiring it to be changed.
    The Englishman, who will start ninth, said he felt it was unfair to be penalised as a result of a problem caused by external factors but added he would try his best to make up.
    Webber will start seventh following a three-place penalty as he was blamed for causing a collision with Toro Rosso’s Jean-Eric Vergne in China last weekend.
    Button scraped through into the top 10 shoot-out in the uncompetitive McLaren and took 10th place having not set a time in the final part of qualifying.
    Starting grid:
    1. Nico Rosberg (Ger) Mercedes 1min 32.330secs
    2. Sebastian Vettel (Ger) Red Bull 1:32.584
    3. Fernando Alonso (Spa) Ferrari 1:32.667
    4. Felipe Massa (Brz) Ferrari 1:33.207
    5. Paul di Resta (GB) Force India 1:33.235
    6. Adrian Sutil (Ger) Force India 1:33.246
    7. Mark Webber (Aus) Red Bull 1:33.078* Three-place grid penalty
    8. Kimi Raikkonen (Fin) Lotus 1:33.327
    9. Lewis Hamilton (GB) Mercedes 1:32.762* Five-place grid penalty
    10. Jenson Button (GB) McLaren no time
    – – – – – – – – – –
    11. Romain Grosjean (Fra) Lotus 1:33.762
    12. Sergio Perez (Mex) McLaren 1:33.914
    13. Daniel Ricciardo (Aus) Toro Rosso 1:33.974
    14. Nico Hulkenberg (Ger) Sauber 1:33.976
    15. Valtteri Bottas (Fin) Williams 1:34.105
    16. Jean-Eric Vergne (Fra) Toro Rosso 1:34.284
    – – – – – – – – – –
    17. Pastor Maldonado (Ven) Williams 1:34.425
    18. Charles Pic (Fra) Caterham 1:35.283
    19. Jules Bianchi (Fra) Marussia 1:36.178
    20. Giedo van der Garde (Ned) Caterham 1:36.304
    21. Max Chilton (GB) Marussia 1:36.476
    22. Esteban Gutierrez (Mex) Sauber 1:34.730* Five-place grid penalty