Formula 1 Red Bull Racing Video

I’m your boogie man

Daniel Ricciardo, 2014 Hungarian Grand Prix

This time next week we’ll be well and truly in Australian Grand Prix mode. To help get you ready for the forthcoming season, and with a local Aussie flavour, here’s a 13-minute highlights package from 2014 that’s all about Daniel Ricciardo.

Last season Dan made his mark on the world of F1. It was a big challenge to take on the well-entrenched four-time world champion on the other side of the garage at Red Bull. Not only did Ricciardo take Vettel on, he beat him handsomely.

Moreover, Daniel showed he has balls of steel when he is on a charge. He made overtaking moves stick that he had no right to make. And he did it cleanly. Ricciardo was a breath of fresh air in 2014 and his three race wins amidst a season-long Mercedes AMG domination shows he is a superstar in the making.

Let’s hope we see a lot more of Daniel soaked in champagne atop the podium in 2015 and beyond.

Formula 1 Mercedes-Benz

Mercedes AMG F1 tweets for advice re Nico and Lewis

2014 Belgian Grand Prix

Yes, you read that right!

While some degree of fallout from the Nico Rosberg contact on Lewis Hamilton from the Belgian Grand Prix was inevitable the heights it has reached is rather astounding. From team bosses making outlandish statements in public, to Lewis claiming Nico did it on purpose, to the general media hyperbole.

It’s not helped by the largely British-focused media wanting to see their home boy get the post-season chocolates. And, yes, Nico did make a mistake in clipping Lewis’ left rear tyre. But does anyone seriously believe that Nico hit Lewis as part of  a planned and deliberate move?

Rosberg may not be the wheel-to-wheel racer that Hamilton is, as the general commentariat believes, but there’s no way he did that on purpose.

Anyway, without wanting to get further sucked into the soap opera the Mercedes garage has become, we were somewhat amused to see the team has taken to twitter overnight to seek advice from the general public.

No, we don’t think any of the feedback will be read by the team’s decision makers, let alone influence their thinking, but it’s still an intriguing approach to take given the profile the topic is commanding.

You can see the tweets from Mercedes after the break (follow the links for full responses). As you’d expect there were plenty of smart arses in the peanut gallery. Here’s a selection of our favourite responses:

On how to implement team orders
@dwaynepin I would start by re hiring Ross Brawn.
@ewanorandy Maybe tell Rosberg to let Hamilton win… that’s what most people want

On the question of suspending a driver for breaking team rules
@gokrazyinc yes suspend, to make sure this does not happen again!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
@McLaren_Soul Look, you can’t suspend Nico after a racing incident but defend Lewis when he disobeys team orders or takes Nico out of track

Smart social media strategy, or just plain dumb?

[via twitter]

Caterham F1 in pictures Ferrari Lotus McLaren Mercedes-Benz Red Bull Racing Toro Rosso

2014 Belgian Grand Prix in pictures

2014 Belgian Grand Prix

We could get used to watching Daniel Ricciardo winning Formula 1 Grands Prix. What about you?

With his Belgian Grand Prix victory Daniel has made it two wins in a row, for a career total of three race wins. Mark Webber had nine wins and Sebastian Vettel a very handy 39 wins (one with Toro Rosso).

Those of you quick on your sums will have worked out Red Bull Racing now has 50 grands prix wins in total. Let’s hope Daniel keeps on closing the gap to Sebastian, even if it is a massive mountain to climb.

Oh yeah, there’s a stack of pics for you after the break, too!

Formula 1 Mercedes-Benz Red Bull Racing

2014 Belgian GP: Post-race press conference

2014 Belgian Grand Prix

It’s always great waking up the morning after an Aussie has won a Formula 1 race. One of the pleasures that comes with Daniel Ricciardo’s win at the Belgian Grand Prix is reading the thoughts he gave to the media after the race.

Remarkably, Daniel Ricciardo’s three wins so far this season is only one behind Nico Rosberg’s four victories. And while we do hear a lot from Daniel, of course, the press focused on the contact between Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton. That contact not only ruined Hamilton’s race but gave Daniel a small opportunity to win and, thankfully, he was able to rise to the challenge.

[Pic: Red Bull/Getty Images]

Formula 1 Mercedes-Benz Red Bull Racing

Daniel Ricciardo wins 2014 Belgian GP

2014 Belgian Grand Prix

Daniel Ricciardo has enhanced his already soaring reputation after he won a dramatic Belgian Grand Prix. It’s Daniel’s third Formula 1 race victory and the first win by an Australian at the admired Spa circuit since Sir Jack Brabham won on the old 14km layout in 1960.

Mercedes was expected to dominate the race but a clumsy move by polesitter Nico Rosberg on Lewis Hamilton, who made a lightning start from P2 to claim the lead, threw the race result wide open. Rosberg clipped Hamilton’s left rear tyre leaving the Briton with a puncture and pouting bottom lip. Rosberg, too, lost momentum when his front wing had to be replaced and opened the door for Ricciardo who was good enough to capitalise on the glimmer of hope that came his way.

Hamilton’s undertray was damaged when he limped back to the pits and proceeded to whinge his way through the grand prix until he finally got his way and the team brought him in to retire with a handful of laps remaining.

Rosberg was able to work his way back to P2, finishing just a few seconds behind Ricciardo, but he wasn’t missed by a loud contingent of race fans who booed him during the post-race podium celebrations. A harsh reaction perhaps, although his own team has Rosberg in its sights. The contact with Hamilton was clearly Rosberg’s, fault but it was much closer to being a racing incident than any deliberate sabotage. Still, the end result saw Rosberg extend his championship lead by 18 points.

Valtteri Bottas drove a relatively quiet race to claim the final podium step, a position he’s made his own in recent times. Kimi Raikkonen showed outstanding pace at times on a track where he was won four times previously and finished P4.

The closing race scrap for positions P5–P8 was breathtaking, with four drivers mixing it wheel-to-wheel and regularly swapping positions. In the end the results fell to Sebastian Vettel, Kevin Magnussen, Jenson Button and Fernando Alonso.

Sergio Perez and Daniil Kvyat rounded out the top 10, not that either were able to attract much camera time. While Andre Lotterer’s F1 debut lasted just one lap.

Ricciardo’s win has cemented his third place position in the drivers’ championship, he’s now only 36 points behind Hamilton, who is 29 points behind Rosberg.

[Pic: Red Bull/Getty Images]

UPDATE: Kevin Magnussen was handed a 20 second post-race penalty from the stewards after forcing Fernando Alonso off track. That pushes Magnussen fro P6 down to P12.

Caterham Formula 1

Le Mans winner Lotterer to join Caterham

Andre Lotterer

Three-time 24 Hours of Le Mans winner André Lotterer will replace Kamui Kobayashi at the Belgian Grand Prix this weekend. At this stage the 32-year-old German has been given one race to impress in Formula 1 and Kobayashi will remain on Caterham’s driving roster.

Lotterer, known for his role with the Audi LMP1 program, has driven a Formula 1 car in the past, although not for some time having previously been the official Jaguar test driver back in 2002.

“I am delighted to be given the opportunity to take part in a Formula One race weekend,” Lotterer said. “I want to thank Caterham F1 Team for this chance. I’m ready for this challenge and I cannot wait to jump in the car and make the most out of the weekend ahead.

“I will need to get settled and used to the car quickly, as the team has worked on a number of updates and we will need to have as much time as possible out on track to optimise the car’s performance.

“I really enjoy racing at the legendary circuit of Spa-Francorchamps, it’s one of my favourite tracks and it’s very close to where I grew up, so this makes the weekend even more special and one to remember.”

It has been rare in recent years for drivers to move into F1 from sports car racing and it could be a difficult weekend for Lotterer at Caterham, a team which has struggled for consistent results so far in 2014.

Formula 1 Mercedes-Benz Video

A lap of Spa-Francorchamps with Lewis Hamilton

Belgian Grand Prix preview with Lewis Hamilton

A desperately overjoyed Lewis Hamilton climbs into the Mercedes-Benz simulator and gives us a preview of the much loved Spa-Francorchamps circuit ahead of this weekend’s Belgian Grand Prix.

Lewis has one Belgian GP winner’s trophy in his cabinet (actually that’s not true, McLaren will have kept it). That win was back in 2010 and he’ll be hoping to add to that with victory on Sunday. As always the race is must watch viewing for any F1 fan.

Formula 1

The majesty of Spa and the future of F1

2013 Belgian Grand Prix

Nigel Roebuck is one the first Formula 1 writers I can remember. I had a collection of his season annuals from the mid–late 1980s. I like that he’s still covering F1 because, in a small way, it takes me back to my youth and helps for a moment to delay the advancing years.

In his role as editor-in-chief of Motor Sport Magazine Roebuck has written a preview for this weekend’s Belgian Grand Prix. He starts with some very current views, analysing the current season. Of equal value, though, is his reflection on the sport in the immediate post-Senna era and what F1 can do to help its future:

As Spa looms, followed by Monza, there is no getting away from the fact that neither the Belgian nor the Italian Grands Prix have anything like the longterm security of more nondescript ‘rich’ races, where the size of the crowd is irrelevant. Bernie Ecclestone, while confirming that Azerbaijan is shortly to be taken into the bosom of the World Championship, recently cast doubts on Monza’s future as a ‘commercially viable’ Grand Prix venue.

For now, at least, Monza survives, and – as with Spa – I am much looking forward to it. I couldn’t hide my dismay, though, when an Italian colleague told me last week of the construction of an asphalt run-off area – in place of the previous gravel trap – at the exit of the iconic Parabolica. Is this to be yet another ‘white line’ corner, with mistakes punished only by stewards?

Follow the link below for the full article.

[Source: Motor Sport Magazine | Pic: Sahara Force India Formula One Team]

Formula 1

They don’t sound like this anymore!

2013 Belgian Grand Prix

A bit over a week from the 2014 Belgian Grand Prix here’s a great soundtrack reminding us how good Formula 1 cars used to sound. Go put some headphones on, take the jump to the YouTube clip below, listen and enjoy.

It’s a binaural recording of a previous generation V8 flying through Eau Rouge at Spa. Even the fading sound as the car bullets over Radillon and along the Kemmel Straight is worth another listen.

We’ll be surprised if you don’t say to yourself: “F@#k that sounds good!”

[Source: WTF1 | Pic: Toro Rosso/Getty Images]

Caterham F1 in pictures Ferrari Lotus McLaren Mercedes-Benz Red Bull Racing Toro Rosso

2013 Belgian Grand Prix in pictures

2013 Belgian Grand Prix

Here’s your lot, recapturing Vettel’s dominance, from the scenic Ardennes mountains. It’s a majestic circuit in a beautiful location. Everyone loves Spa-Francorchamps!

We loved Mark Webber’s scenic bike ride and we also loved the many views of Eau Rouge. It’s easy to dismiss the corner in these times when an F1 car can just nail it flat down the hill and over the blind crest of Radillon.

You probably need to see it with your own eyes to appreciate just how steep that climb is. How fearsome it would be, flat out in an F1 car, heading into the unknown searching for the relative safety of the Kemmel Straight. We can only imagine the feeling one’s body would experience with the fluctuation of G forces and messages being fired into your brain from your watering eyes.

Just amazing.

Knowing what we know now about the Greenpeace protest, it’s also interesting to see the evidence of the signs being installed as the cars were lining up on the grid to start the race.

Ferrari Formula 1 Mercedes-Benz Red Bull Racing

Sebastian Vettel wins 2013 Belgian GP

Sebastian Vettel wins 2013 Belgian Grand Prix

Sebastian Vettel cruised to an easy victory at the 2013 Belgian Grand Prix. The Red Bull ace had to work hard on the first lap to overtake pole sitter Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes AMG) but once that was done he remained unchallenged.

Fernando Alonso (Ferrari) was the big improver the head of the field, finishing second after starting from P9. Lewis Hamilton had to content himself with P3.

Nico Rosberg (Mercedes AMG) finished where he started in P4, while Mark Webber (Red Bull) dropped two places to finish fifth. Although, there was word just before the race began that Webber had clutch issues which may explain his slow getaway off the line and why he dropped three places after the first lap.

Toro Rosso will be pleased that their drivers made good ground after their qualifying woes. Starting from P19 Daniel Ricciardo managed to fight his way to P10 to claim a championship point, while Jean-Eric Vergne improved from P18 to P12.

Aside from a bit of a kerfuffle with Pastor Maldonado (Williams) and the two Force India drivers which sent Paul di Resta in for an early shower not much else happened.

Tonight’s win is Vettel’s 31st career victory which places him equal fifth on the all-time tally alongside Nigel Mansell. What odds he’ll join Fernando Alonso on 32 wins at Monza in a couple of weeks?

Ferrari Formula 1 Lancia Maserati Mercedes-Benz

VIDEO: 1955 Belgian Grand Prix

1955 Belgian Grand Prix

Shell is celebrating its associtation with the 2013 Belgian Grand Prix by transporting us back in time to the 1955 race. They do this by making available a 30 minute documentary of the race and we suggest you find the time to watch before tonight’s instalment if you can.

It’s fair to say a lot has changed in Formula 1 in the last 58 years, as the image above shows. We’re sure you’ll recognise it but in case you don’t the photo is taken at the old pit complex, on the downhill run after La Source and you can see Eau Rouge and Radillion in the background.

Yes, that is a dog running across the track. No, there is no barrier between the track and pit lane. And, yes, it is raining at Spa! Although, that photo was taken during qualifying and the race was run in brilliant sunshine.

The race was completed on the old 14km Spa-Francorchamps layout and only Blanchimont, La Source and Eau Rouge/Radillion remain from the original layout. You can compare the old and current circuits HERE.

All that’s left to do now is sit back, relax and enjoy finding out how Juan Manuel Fangio went about claiming his fifteenth F1 victory.

[Thanks to Wes for the tip]