Tag Archives: Mercedes GP

The Hamilton Highlight Reel Continues in Malaysia

We all expected rain, there was none. Most expected the Red Bulls to break down, they didn’t. Just what can you rely on in Formula 1 these days? The answer to that question is Lewis Hamilton. Yesterday’s race in Sepang was just another example of superb driving and passionate racing from the 2008 World Champion. In the first lap alone Hamilton made up 8 places from the 20th place he started, to 12th.

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Aside from the tussle between Jenson Button, Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa, the cameras were rightly on Hamilton for the majority of the race, despite the runaway success of Sebastian Vettel and Mark Weber at the front. For those bemoaning this season for it’s lack of overtaking, Hamilton was there to give a master class, as he passed one driver after another. It was with ease that he did this until he came upon the Renault of Vitaly Petrov, who proved to be a more troublesome rival than Hamilton’s previous victims.

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When Hamilton finally got past Petrov he was accused of excessive weaving, something which the stewards saw fit to warn him about but not take the matter any further. Of course this has angered some people, forgetting how Hamilton has been on the very harsh end of some decisions in recent years, not forgetting McLaren’s £100,000,000 fine for the whole Ferrari ‘spy-gate’ situation while Renault get told not to do it again after fixing a race by having one of their drivers crash his car on purpose! I think it’s about time someone in a McLaren car got let off lightly.

It was a magnificent drive by Lewis Hamilton, who ended up finishing 6th, and would have progressed even further had his good friend Adrian Sutil proven to be the one car he couldn’t get past. With an equally good Mercedes engine in his Force India car, Sutil defended excellently against the rampaging Hamilton.
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While not being able to match Lewis Hamilton’s success, Jenson Button did well to improve from his 17th place qualifying position on the grid to 8th place in the race. He went up the outside at the start of the race and Lewis went up the inside, and whether it be luck, judgement or both, it was the inside line that gave Lewis the advantage. For the second race in a row Jenson Button made a decision to come in for a tyre change early and this looked like it may be fortuitous and see him ahead of the Ferraris and Lewis Hamilton after their pit stops. It did get him past Alonso and Massa but not Hamilton, though only by a whisker as the two were side by side when Hamilton rejoined the race track. Button ended up being overtaken by Massa and looked like he would fall victim to Alonso too but the Spaniards car disagreed and came to a smoke engulfed halt at track side.

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After what appeared to be a disastrous Saturday’s qualifying, McLaren came back fighting and made sure they stayed well in the title race. I personally found the race very entertaining and particularly exciting it times. being a McLaren fan has had its advantages this season as the lion’s share of the action and intrigue has surrounded Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button. With The Red Bull failures in Bahrain and Australia, Mercedes (Michael Schumacher) and Ferrari’s break down in Malaysia, McLaren can hold there heads up high as the kost reliable of the 4 front running teams, something which will serve them very well over the course of a season.

Before I go, just let me remind you of the predictions I made for the Malaysian Grand Prix:

1st – Vettel – Correct
2nd – Weber – Correct
3rd Rosberg – Correct
6th Hamilton – Correct
9th Button – Incorrect, but only one place out!

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Filed under Adrian Sutil, Felipe Massa, Fernando Alonso, Ferrari, Force India, Jenson Button, Lewis Hamilton, Malaysian, McLaren, Red Bull, Vitaly Petrov

Hamilton will win the Championship in 2010

This is the opinion of the F1 Racing reader panel, the results of which were revealed in the March 2010 issue – a mini preview of which can be seen on their website.

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Lewis Hamilton topped the poll with 26.1%, narrowly beating Fernando Alonso into 2nd (25.4%) and Michael Schumacher in 3rd (20.9%). Sebastian Vettel wasn’t too far behind in 4th with 16.3%, and there was a bigger gap to Felipe Massa in 5th (6.0%) and Jenson Button in 6th (5.3%).

What’s interesting is that neither Schumacher nor Vettel’s team mates appear in the results of this voting, which as the results add up to 100% I can only assume that Rosberg and Weber weren’t offered as options to the panel. Though they will be driving the same car as their team mates, it seems that F1 Racing does not deem them in with a chance of winning the Championship. They are probably right but I’d have liked to have seen them included just to see what kind of an impact they made on the results.

As a McLaren fan I concur with Lewis Hamilton being the number 1 pick. When I started to support Hamilton in 2007 it wasn’t just because he was British it was due to him being a damn good driver, something he proved last year even more so than during his Championship winning season of 2008. Testing has looked a lot better this year for McLaren but we won’t really know where the teams stand until 2 weeks time in Bahrain. If the McLaren MP4-25 is competitive then Hamilton has to be one of the favourites to take the title.

Jenson Button didn’t fare as well in the poll and many still think he’s made a mistake going to a team which is built around and for Lewis Hamilton. Button has done very well in testing and appears to be fitting into the McLaren team very well, but only time will tell if he made the right decision to leave Brawn, now Mercedes GP.

Featured in the same issue of F1 Racing is an interview with Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button, conducted by ex F1 World Champion Damon Hill. A preview of the interview can be read here.

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Filed under Brawn GP, Constructors, Drivers, Felipe Massa, Fernando Alonso, Jenson Button, Lewis Hamilton, Mark Weber, McLaren, Mercedes GP, Michael Schumacher, Nico Rosberg, Sebastian Vettel

Jenson Button signs for McLaren, who announce it on Twitter!

As per the title, this is what was announced on the official McLaren F1 Twitter:

VODAFONE McLAREN MERCEDES SIGNS REIGNING WORLD CHAMPION JENSON BUTTON TO MULTI-YEAR DEAL

The full press release can be read over at the Vodafone McLaren Mercedes website, which at the time of writing is receiving so muich traffic that it won’t load up! Understandably. It’s the signing the Formula 1 world has been waiting for.

Subsequent tweets went as follows:

We wanted all you guys, our loyal Twitter followers, to be THE VERY FIRST to know!!!

Jenson: “I’ve followed the McLaren team ever since I was a small boy, and it feels unbelievable to finally be a part of it!”

Lewis: “I’m thrilled we’ll both be flying the flag for the United Kingdom. I’m already looking forward to Silverstone – it’ll be massive!”

Martin Whitmarsh: “We’re ambitious, we’re motivated and we’re hungrier than ever. We want to win both World Championships next year.”

It’s a great service to those of us who follow the McLaren Twitter feed to get the scoop on such an important piece of news. Some criticism has been thrown at the level of Twitter usage by the Mclaren team, but I’ve always found they go above and beyond to keep us fans informed and take it that extra mile.

Exciting times for McLaren, who start the 2010 with the number 1 and number 2 cars and the past 2 drivers world champions! I wonder if Mercedes GP / Brawn GP are the first constructor to start the season as reigning constructors champions and have neither of the drivers still with them that won them that championship?

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Filed under Brawn GP, Constructors, Drivers, Jenson Button, Lewis Hamilton, McLaren, Mercedes GP

Kimi Raikkonen out of Formula 1 in 2010, Jenson Button to McLaren now just a formality

Kimi Raikkonen’s manager Steve Robertson has announced that the Finnish ex World Champion will be taking a sabbatical in 2010 after talks with McLaren broke down. Robertson was quoted as saying:

Kimi and McLaren were unable to reach an agreement, so he will not drive at the F1 level – at least not next year.

A gap year means nothing for Kimi. He is more interested in fighting for wins and the world championship. F1 will miss Kimi. He worked hard over the summer – doing things in a Ferrari that only the best drivers are capable of.

With the recent Mercedes acquisition of 75% of Brawn GP and the rumours of them wanting an all German team of Nick Heidfeld and Nico Rosberg, it was looking more and more likely that Jenson Button would be signing for McLaren, leaving Kimi Raikkonen without a competitive option in 2010.

For Kimi Raikkonen to have pulled have out of talks with McLaren is surely a clear indication that the official signing of Jenson Button is all but a formality now and will be happening sooner rather than later, possibly even today.

With an eye on the World Rally Championship in 2010, it’ll be interesting to see what Kimi Raikkonen’s options are for Formula 1 in 2011 and whether a race seat for a top team will be open to fight for.

For some great comments about the Kimi Raikkonen and Jenson Button situation I urge everyone to read the comments left by one of our valued readers here.

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Filed under Brawn GP, Constructors, Drivers, Jenson Button, Kimi Raikkonen, McLaren, Mercedes GP, Nick Heidfeld, Nico Rosberg

The world reports Jenson Button has signed for McLaren, good for Mclaren but bad for Mercedes GP?

The latest news sweeping the online world is that Jenson Button has signed a 3 year deal with McLaren worth £6 million a year. I must stress that at this time this is not confirmed, but heavily suspected to be true. After yesterday’s news of Mercedes buying into Brawn GP, Jenson Button moving to McLaren seems more likely than ever. The signing of Jenson Button will save McLaren a fair few millions of pounds a year than if they’d signed Kimi Raikkonen.

Jenson Button – soon to be driving the #1 car for McLaren?
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I’ve had some feedback which suggests that I have been unfair when talking about Jenson Button and that he has far more fire in his belly than I have given him credit for. Admittedly my judgement of Jenson Button is only based on the past few seasons where before last season he was almost non-existent, and last year I was pretty unimpressed despite him winning the World Championship. I’m more than willing to be proven wrong and if I am, and this move to McLaren is actually happening, then that’ll mean more championship points for the team I love and more positive blogging to be done!

I can’t help thinking that Mercedes GP are making a mistake in letting Jenson Button go, because as much as I don’t see his apparent driving skills, he’s a better proposition than either Nick Heidlfeld or Nico Rosberg. The former is consistent but unspectacular and the latter is a wiz in qualifying but never seems to translate that to podium finishes. It’s all very well Mercedes wanting an all German line up of drivers but shouldn’t the potential to succeed be the bigger factor in signing a driver?

Mercedes have said they will announce their drivers for 2010 in the next week or so, but if Jesnon Button is announced as a McLaren driver before then I think Mercedes will be forced into bringing their announcement forward – it would be as obvious as the Ferrari signing of Fernando Alonso earlier in the year.

As for Kimi Raikkonen, well this leaves him taking that money spinning sabbatical that he has spoken about. He has maintained that he will only drive for the right team and with no competitive drive options left one can only assume that the 2007 world champion will not be on the grid in Bahrain next March.

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Filed under Bahrain, Brawn GP, Constructors, Drivers, Fernando Alonso, Ferrari, Grand Prix, Jenson Button, Kimi Raikkonen, McLaren, Mercedes GP, Nick Heidfeld, Nico Rosberg