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Saturday, 1 November 2008

Lewis Hamilton? World Champion?

Lewis Hamilton World Champion 2008
Lewis Hamilton 2007

Lewis Hamilton lost the Formula 1 world championship by the narrowest of margins in 2007. In 2008 he’s back with a vengeance and wants that world champion title even more than ever – the question is, will he manage it? Will he become the youngest ever F1 world champion? There's only one way to find out – I know what I’ll be doing on Sunday evening...

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Monday, 17 March 2008

Australian Grand Prix 2008 Review

It's that time of year again, the start of the Formula 1 season. Not too many personnel changes this year, Alonso gone to Renault, Kovalainen gone to McLaren. Fisichella gone to Force India (the new name for the troubled Spyker/Midland/Jordan Team), Piquet Jr. filled Fisichella's seat at Renault. Glock come to Toyota to replace Ralf Schumcher (thank god he's gone), Sebastian Bourdais (4 times Champ Car champion) has come to Toro Rosso and finally Nakajima has come to Williams after his drive at Brazil last year.
The biggest tech change for this season is the banning of Traction and Launch control (a reversal of their introduction in 2001) as well as engine braking.
So, qualifying. Hamilton on pole, Kubica 2nd and Kovalainen 3rd. Raikkonen failed to set a time in Q2 after having a fuel problem at the end of Q1 and Alonso qualified 12th in between both Hondas.
After the qualifying - the race. Quite an eventful race, with only 6 people officially finishing (Barrichello got DSQ for exiting the pit lane whilst it was closed). Lewis Hamilton made up for his mistakes in the last races of last year, winning the first race of this season. Nick Heidfeld and Nico Rosberg make up the other two places on the podium and because so few people finished, Kimi Raikkonen, who retired due to engine problems, even got 1 world championship point (it could make all the difference of course). The most exciting moment of the race must be Timo Glock's crash as he ran wide onto the grass, hit some bumps, got some air, span twice and ended up against the wall. Another notable event was Massa trying to pass Coulthard, ending when Coulthard retired with a lot of damage to his car and Massa's race ended a lap later when his Ferrari engine failed. Poor Coulthard.

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Monday, 22 October 2007

Brazilian Grand Prix 2007 Review

Ferrari finish the championship with everything, the drivers and constructors championships. It all started in turns 1 and 2, where Lewis Hamilton was overtaken by teammate Fernando Alonso, and then in turn 4, when wide trying to overtake the Spaniard. Then, just to rub salt in the wound, Hamilton’s engine started cutting out, supposedly because he could not engage a gear, costing him 40 seconds. This left Hamilton with a hard fight through the field, not helped by him having to have one more pitstop than most of his rivals, leaving him the 7th person to drive past the line, after somewhat ironically having been overtaken by the 2 ferraris. Massa lead the field most of the way, only letting Raikkonen past after the 2nd set of pitstops, much to the disappointment of the very enthusiastic Brazilian crowd. Raikkonen started 2nd, finished 1st after his teammate let him through, not much more to say. After overtaking Hamilton into the first corner, Alonso didn’t really have any problem holding onto his 3rd place, only once coming under pressure from Robert Kubica in the BMW Sauber. Nico Rosberg put in a very good performance in the Williams to finish 4th, leading the BMW Sauber drivers Robert Kubica and Nick Heidfeld, who finished 5th and 6th respectively. After being overtaken by Hamilton in the last few laps, Jarno Trulli put in a sterling performance to get that final world championship point.
Other performances of note include Nakajima’s debut, in which he rather overenthusiastically entered his pit box, knocking down two of the pit crew and Mark Webber in the Red Bull car, which he was running in 5th until the well known Red Bull gearbox problems reared its head for the final race of the season.
So, the championship ends with Kimi Raikkonen on 110 points and thus winning the championship from a distinctly outside chance, with the 2 other rivals, Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso, drawing on 109 points (though Hamilton comes second because he had more second places than Alonso). Then Ferrari end the constructors championship on 204 points, more than double that of their nearest rival, BMW Sauber, who ended the season on 101 points.

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