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2015 Australian Grand Prix in pictures

2015 Australian Grand Prix

Here we go again, another season of Formula 1 images starting in the best place on the calendar, Australia! You can relive the 2015 season opener after the break with our gallery of 89 images, all clickable to 2560px mega image sizing.

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Lewis Hamilton wins 2015 Australian Grand Prix

2015 Australian Grand Prix

Lewis Hamilton has made a perfect start to his world championship title defence with a seemingly easy win at Albert Park yesterday.

It was a funny week for Formula 1, with the Giedo van der Garde v Sauber saga dominating headlines, the return and then no show of Manor, Valtteri Bottas’ injury withdrawal and the failure of Kevin Magnussen and Daniil Kvyat to start after their cars died on the out lap before the race.

Only 13 cars started the grand prix and it seems a miracle that 11 of them finished. The expectations were that more cars would run into reliability problems.

In the end Hamilton defeated his teammate Nico Rosberg by 1.3 seconds. You sense Hamilton would have been able to hold off Rosberg if a serious challenge for lead was mounted. It wasn’t.

Sebastian Vettel claimed the final podium step in his Ferrari debut, a few seconds ahead of Felipe Massa.

The real winners, though, were Sauber who had their two preferred drivers finish strongly. Felipe Nasr marked his F1 debut with a fifth place and Marcus Ericsson came home eighth. Last year Sauber didn’t manage a single championship point, now they have 14 after just one race. Who knows what the courts will dictate for them in Malaysia and beyond, but after a terrible week that’s one team party that would have been a blast last night.

The Toro Rosso kids had a fun time with the grown ups too. Sadly for Max Verstappen he was forced to retire, but Carlos Sainz finished in a credible ninth place.

Jenson Button did finish the race in his McLaren. But he was stone motherless last, two laps off the pace, and the only finisher who didn’t score a championship point. It was valuable testing time for the struggling McLaren-Honda outfit.

It’s easy to tell how boring this race was when the highlight was the post-race podium interviews conducted by Arnold Schwarzenegger. Yes, that Arnold Schwarzenegger!

I had a shiver of horror go down my spine when Arnie was announced for fear that this interview would end in high farce. Fair dues to the Hollywood icon because either he has a clue or is a genuinely good actor and thankfully he handled the role well.

So, who knew Arnie was a Formula 1 fan!

There will be more exciting times ahead in this 2015 F1 season, but save from the sunny weather and mostly clean racing this was as dull as it gets for a season opener.

Well done Lewis, well done Nico, well done Mercedes, you were just too damn good.

Formula 1

F1 winter testing: Barcelona II

Nico Rosberg, Mercedes AMG W06

Formula 1 pre-season testing is all done and the post-rationalising from the teams telling us what a great job they were able to do is well underway. As the saying goes, when the flag drops the bullshit stops and we’ve got less than two weeks until the Australian Grand Prix.

After the break is a list of times for the final four days of testing in Barcelona. Mercedes AMG and Williams shared the spoils with their drivers setting the fastest times across the week.

Nico Rosberg claims the title of fastest man in pre-season with his 1:22.792 lap on day two, a full 1.2 seconds faster than his nearest challenger on the day.

It’s no surprise, then, that reigning constructors’ champions Mercedes AMG look to be the team to beat once again this season.

Formula 1 Mercedes-Benz

2015 Mercedes AMG F1 W06 revealed

2015 Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 W06

After showing off its new car via twitter last week Mercedes AMG went with a low key launch for its 2015 Formula 1 car on the morning of testing in Jerez.

World champion Lewis Hamilton and teammate Nico Rosberg were on hand to take the covers off the F1 W06 Hybrid for the second time. Rosberg then took to the track to begin the car’s official test season.

Toto Wolff, Head of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport says his team will not be taking anything for granted as it prepares to defend its dominant 2014 season.

“From outside, winter might look like a rest time in Formula 1. But this couldn’t be further from the truth,” Wolff said. “Long before the end of last season, development work on our 2015 car became the main priority. The winter months are the most intense, with everybody at Brackley and Brixworth working around the clock to prepare for the season ahead.

“There’s a famous Babe Ruth quote I always say to people: ‘Yesterday’s home runs don’t win today’s games.’ We are fully aware that success is not only hard won but can also be short-lived without the right approach.”

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2014 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix in pictures

2014 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

Another Formula 1 season has come and gone and, as usual, it’s been a hell of a ride. Lews Hamilton’s win in Abu Dhabi secured his second world crown and put the perfect exclamation mark on a season of dominance for Mercedes AMG.

It’s a big job for a sole contributor compiling a season’s worth of F1 images too. Apologies for the delay in getting these images to you, but I’m not scared to admit there’s a sense of relief in posting the last gallery of photos for the year.

Never fear, the lure of F1 is great and I’ll be back again in 2015, hope to see you here.

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2014 Abu Dhabi GP: Post-race press conference

2014 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

As you might expect the post-race press conference after the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix was all about the newly crowned world champion Lewis Hamilton. It’s good for the fans that he was on the podium so that we can get a first-hand account of his thoughts after a big season.

Similarly, it would have been nice to see Daniel Ricciardo on the podium so we might have been able to get some more insight into his breakout year in Formula 1. Instead we have to make do with the words supplied to us by Red Bull:

“I think it was pretty much a faultless race from all sides, from the strategy, to myself and the pit stops, everything was good so we did everything we needed to,” Daniel said. “I had fun passing, it wasn’t boring out there, so it was pretty much what I asked for. One spot better would have been nice, but fourth is really cool from the pit lane.

“It’s been pretty much a perfect season, as perfect as it can be without holding a world title, so no real regrets, no complaints. It’s nice to not only start the season well, but to finish it well also and I think all the way through it was good—we had a strong summer as well, so the start, middle and end were pretty good!”

If last summer was a strong one, let’s pray this summer is a bit stronger for Daniel and Red Bull. It will need to be of they’re to catch the all conquering Silver Arrows.

Formula 1 Mercedes-Benz

Lewis Hamilton wins 2014 Abu Dhabi GP

2014 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

Lewis Hamilton secured his eleventh race win for the season and his second world championship with victory in the 2014 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix overnight.

The 29-year-old Briton made a lightning start from P2 on the grid, powering into the lead leaving his championship rival and teammate Nico Rosberg in his wake. Rosberg wasn’t able to mount a serious challenge and his title hopes were dashed mid-race when his ERS system failed, meaning he lost the ability to boost engine performance by 120kW for 33 seconds per lap.

Despite his engineer asking him to retire with two laps to go, Rosberg held on to finish the race having dropped to a lowly P14 and was also lapped by Hamilton.

Felipe Massa made a late charge and although Hamilton’s winning margin was a reasonably slender 2.5 seconds the Williams driver wasn’t able to get close enough to challenge for the lead of the race. In the end Massa will be happy with P2, his highest finishing position this season.

Valtteri Bottas finished third and proved he’s got some serious potential. The 30 points he collected were enough to elevate him to fourth in the world championship.

After starting from the pitlane due an illegal wing used in qualifying Daniel Ricciardo impressed everyone, but surprised noone to charge his way through the field to finish the race in P4. He also set the fastest lap and a podium finish may have been possible had he been able to start from the P5 he qualified in. Still, it’s a been a great year for Daniel and we hope Red Bull is able to provide him with a decent car in 2015.

Jenson Button finished fifth in what could be his final race in Formula 1. It would be a quiet and understated ending for the likeable Brit if that were the case. As a world champion he probably deserved the right to say goodbye, assuming McLaren has already made up its mind on who will drive for the team next year.

The Force India pairing of Nico Hulkenberg and Sergio Perez finished in sixth and seventh, ahead of Sebastian Vettel and the Ferraris of Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen.

Hamilton’s win is the 33rd of his career, which now moves him ahead of Fernando Alonso on the all time winners list. In addition to his 2008 title, he now joins Jim Clark (1963, 1965) and Graham Hill (1962, 1968) as Britons who have won two world championships.

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Do you think Lewis will do this tonight?

Alain Prost and Ayrton Senna collide at the start of the 1990 Japanese Grand Prix

Lewis Hamilton is no stranger to winning an F1 world championship in dramatic circumstances; remember those closing laps in 2008? Yet three years—1989, 1990 and 1994—stick in the memory as moments when the world champion was decided in highly controversial circumstances.

With two races to go in 1989 Ayrton Senna trailed his fierce rival Alain Prost by 16 points in the title race and needed to win the Japanese Grand Prix in order to take the championship to the final race in Adelaide. On lap 47 we saw one of the most iconic incidents in Formula 1 when the two collided. If both cars retired that was enough for Prost to claim the title. But more controversy was to follow after Senna was able to restart and go on to win the race, only to be later disqualified.

The following year the tables were turned in the Senna v Prost battle. This time Senna held the upper hand and Prost needed to win at Suzuka to keep his championship hopes alive. The image above shows what happened when the two cars fought for position into the first corner. Senna clipped the back of Prost’s car and forced both cars out of the race. Senna became world champion for the second time.

Four years later the championship fight made it to the last race of the season in Adelaide. It was desperately close, with Michael Schumacher a single point ahead of Damon Hill. On lap 36 Schumacher was leading the race but ran wide at Turn 5 allowing Hill to catch up and as the pair fought for position going into Turn 6 the result was seemingly inevitable. Contact was made, both men retired and Schumacher won his first world championship.

We’re not categorically saying Prost (1989), Senna (1990) and Schumacher (1994) deliberately caused those infamous accidents. But watch the videos after the break and then put yourself in Lewis Hamilton’s shoes. Would you deliberately cause a race-ending incident in order to secure yourself a Formula 1 world championship?

[Pic: F1 Fanatic]

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2014 Abu Dhabi GP: Lewis v Nico title fight

Lews Hamilton v Nico Rosberg, 2014 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

Lewis Hamilton enjoys a 17 point lead over Nico Rosberg heading into tonight’s final grand prix of the year. He is the favourite to win the 2014 F1 world championship. But with double points on offer in Abu Dhabi Nico Rosberg needs to only finish fifth (20 points) to close the gap. Of course, if that is the case then Lewis would only need a P9 (4 points) result to deny Rosberg.

We thank Sky Sports F1 for the graphic above which shows in a simple format what each driver needs to do to win the title, based on Rosberg’s results.

[Pic: @SkySportsF1]

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2014 Abu Dhabi GP qualifying report

2014 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

Nico Rosberg needs a lot to go right for him this weekend to wrest the world championship from the grasp of Lewis Hamilton and he started well by earning himself pole position for tonight’s race.

Rosberg’s time (1:40.480) was comfortably faster than Hamilton’s (1:40.866) who made a few minor mistakes. It would be easy to say the pressure is getting to Lewis and maybe it is, but if he can stay out of trouble and finish the race he should be celebrating his second world championship.

Valtteri Bottas (1:41.025) edged out a flying Felipe Massa (1:41.119) for P3 but as the image above shows, the only story in town is all about the Lewis v Nico title fight.

Qualifying in P5 and P6 were Red Bull teammates Daniel Ricciardo (1:41.267) and Sebastian Vettel (1:41.893) but they have both been disqualified for running an illegal front wing.

Speaking before the Stewards had disqualified him Ricciardo said: “I’m really happy with quali; we knew after FP3 we had a bit of work to do, but we knew when the sun went down the temperature would drop so we stayed optimistic that our set up would work better in the evening and we made some good changes for that.

“I was the happiest I have been all weekend during quali. We are fairly close to the Williams and not too far off at least one of the Mercs, so not a bad session.”

Daniel and Sebastian will start from the back of the grid and any points they can claim will be a bonus.

The top 10 was rounded out by Daniil Kvyat (1:41.908), Jenson Button (1:41.964), Kimi Raikonnen (1:42.236) and Fernando Alonso (1:42.866).

It will be all eyes on the front of the grid at the start of the grand prix. Lewis Hamilton needs third or better to guarantee his title win. Let’s hope we see an exciting and fair race.

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2014 Brazilian Grand Prix in pictures

2014 Brazilian Grand Prix

Nico Rosberg’s win at the 2014 Brazilian Grand Prix will give his confidence a nice boost going into the title deciding double points bonanza in Abu Dhabi.

Wouldn’t it be the ultimate troll on British F1 fans if Nico could beat Lewis Hamilton to the title with four fewer race wins!

Formula 1 Mercedes-Benz

2014 Brazilian GP: Post-race press conference

2014 Brazilian Grand Prix

This morning’s 1–2 result for Mercedes AMG at the Brazilian Grand Prix was their eleventh of the year, the best ever in a single season, eclipsing the 10 1–2 results secured by Alain Prost and Ayrton Senna at the wheel of the legendary McLaren MP4/4 in 1988.

In the post-race presser there was a bit of focus on the history made by Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton. Also of note are some of Hamilton’s answers where he’s clearly trying to get into the mind of Rosberg as the pair head into the title deciding final race in Abu Dhabi.

Meanwhile, in what’s probably his worst race weekend all year, Daniel Ricciardo remained philosophical: “When I went into Turn One, the car went to the right and I knew there was a problem. I came into the pits and the team told me it was suspension failure and we retired.

“It had been a bit of a boring race, we were close to everyone but not close enough to have many fights. It’s a shame, but I had a pretty good run until now, so I can’t be too greedy. It would be good to finish on the podium at the final race of the season.”

The full press conference transcript featuring Nico Rosberg, Lewis Hamilton and Felipe Massa can be read after the break.

[Pic: Sky Sports F1]