Chinese GP – Williams

Valtteri Bottas finished seventh and Felipe Massa 15th in the Chinese Grand Prix. Felipe had a great start but then made contact with a defending Fernando Alonso, whilst Valtteri was hit by Nico Rosberg who was braking hard in response to the action ahead. Felipe recovered to sixth with Valtteri in eighth before the first round of pitstops but a problem in Felipe’s first pitstop then dropped him to the back of the field. Valtteri meanwhile chased the Force India of Nico Hulkenberg eventually finishing just half a second behind, as Felipe fought hard to gain positions back to 15th.

Rob Smedley, Head of Vehicle Performance:

“It’s bittersweet really as the car was quick. We had a good strategy and the team worked well together. It’s a real shame for Felipe and the whole team about the pitstop and it is something that we need to investigate to ensure it doesn’t happen again, as it cost us points today. To have one car in the top ten shows that we have the pace and that gives us continued optimism, so we will take the positives forward to Spain.”

Valtteri Bottas:

“It was a good race for me despite some hard contact at the start which cost me a few positions. I also had to drive the whole race without telemetry which isn’t the easiest thing to do. We made progress over the whole weekend which is good. It’s great to make steps forward and we are looking to do the same in Spain in a three weeks’ time.”

Felipe Massa:

“I had another great start today and we were fighting at the top. I felt some contact with Fernando but luckily the car wasn’t damaged so I could carry on. There was a mistake at the first pitstop and that effectively lost me the race as I came back out on track in last position. It is a frustrating situation and something we need to work on to make sure that it doesn’t happen again. We have time now to work hard and improve the car for Spain.”

Chinese GP – Sahara Force India

The team continued its strong points-scoring form in China as Nico Hulkenberg finished in sixth place ahead of Sergio Perez in ninth. The 10 points scored today leave the team with 54 points and third in the constructors’ standings.

Nico Hulkenberg:

“Finishing in sixth and bringing both cars home in the points again was a very positive result for the team. It was actually a pretty straightforward race for me after we got in front of Massa: I had to manage my tyres, my pace and avoid mistakes, and it only got tricky at the end when Bottas was getting a bit closer. We have beaten all other customer Mercedes cars, which are our main competition at the moment, but we have also seen some other teams up their game so we will need to keep pushing.”

Nico Hulkenberg.


Sergio Perez:

“To start from P16 and finish in ninth place is a good recovery after a difficult qualifying session yesterday. I made a good start and after that I just focused on making the two-stop strategy work. I think everybody suffered with tyre graining and I picked up a few flat spots, but we still made it work. It was not easy to overtake today, even the cars were on a different strategy, so I think ninth place was the maximum. It means I’ve scored points in three out of four races, but I was hoping for more today after the weekend we had in Bahrain. It’s also clear that all the teams around us are finding pace so we have to keep working hard to be ready for Barcelona.”

Sergio Perez.

Chinese GP – Caterham F1

And some good images from Caterham as well:

The boys.

The boys.


Marcus Ericsson.

Marcus Ericsson.







Kamui Kobayashi.

Kamui Kobayashi.


Kamui Kobayashi:

“Finishing 18th isn’t the final position we’d want, but after a really good battle with Jules I’m relatively pleased with how today’s race went. However, it’s a real shame that my move on him on the last lap now doesn’t count due to the mistake with the chequered flag, something we had nothing to do with. We’d had a really good battle for the last few laps of the race and I got him on what was the last lap, until it turned out the chequered flag had been waved a lap too early by mistake – until we found that out after the race it had been good to see what a small victory like that does for the team as it lifted everyone at the end of a very tough first four races of 2014.

“I didn’t have a great start but still made up a couple of places on lap one and was having a good fight with Maldonado until lap 18 when he got past. The guys did a very good pitstop when we came in for the first time for new mediums on lap 11, helping me stay ahead of him until halfway through the second stint, but our car is simply not competitive enough on options tyres to hold him and once he was ahead I didn’t have the pace to fight back, so from that point we were focused on beating the Marussias.

“We stuck to the original three-stop strategy and that gave us a few interesting moments, particularly with Vettel who I was told I could pass as he was fuel saving and on old tyres, and I was on new softs on the third stint. I hear he wasn’t too pleased about that but relative to him I had the pace then to immediately pull away and did so to avoid compromising our plan.

“Obviously though the real battle for us was with the Marussias and when I came out on new softs after my final pitstop I was able to catch Chilton quickly and then closed the gap to Bianchi in a few laps, despite the traffic at that point in the race which always makes our own race very difficult. It was a really good battle with Jules, clean racing and I finally passed him going into the hairpin at the end of the back straight, having feinted left in turn 11 so I had a better run on him on to the straight which set him up for the pass into turn 14. As I say, through no fault of our own that result now doesn’t count but we’ll just have to dig deeper in Spain and fight back there.

“Even though we had a good race with Maldonado for the first third of the race it’s clear we don’t have the outright pace to fight Lotus or Sauber yet, but we have a good package coming for Spain and we are determined to try and close the gap. The first four races have been hard, but having both cars finish today shows the progress we and Renault have made with reliability. Now we have to build on that and use the next couple of weeks to recharge ourselves so we can come back stronger in Barcelona.”

Marcus Ericsson:

“For me the whole race was dominated by understeer. On every set of tyres the balance just wasn’t there and that meant I couldn’t really push at all. It’s good that we got to the end of the race, but if I hadn’t had that understeer I’m sure I’d have been quicker.

“My start wasn’t perfect and I was behind both Marussias at the end of lap one. We did the first stint on softs and they started graining pretty quickly so we boxed for mediums for the second stint on lap 10. We added a bit more front wing to try and help with the understeer but it didn’t really help so I just couldn’t push any more than I was. It was the same for the third and fourth stints which we did on softs but by that point I was pretty much on my own so just focused on getting to the end of the race.

“This is obviously the last of the early season flyaways and when we start the European season in Spain it’ll be back at a track I know really well. As a rookie that’s obviously good for me and with the amount of time I’ll be in the factory and in the simulator between now and then, and with the new parts we have coming in Barcelona, I’m sure we’ll come back stronger there and ready to make progress there and in the next few races.”

Chinese GP – Lotus F1

Some nice images from the team:

Romain Grosjean (l) with race engineer, Ayao Komatsu.

Romain Grosjean (l) with race engineer, Ayao Komatsu.






Not forgetting Pastor Maldonado of course.

Not forgetting Pastor Maldonado of course.


Pastor Maldonado finished 14th whilst Romain Grosjean was forced to retire from the Chinese Grand Prix on lap 28 because of a gearbox problem.

Romain made the team’s first top 10 start of 2014 and was fighting for points before his early exit, whilst Pastor made eight positions during the course of the race after having started from the back of the grid due to engine-related issues forcing him to miss Saturday’s qualifying.

Romain Grosjean:

“We started by losing fourth gear but it got worse and essentially we lost all gears. It’s the first time we’ve had a problem like this so we’ll have to understand what happened. It had been quite nice in the race as we’d been fighting for ninth position so we were in the points, which is a good improvement from before. We didn’t make it to the end of the race today but let’s hope we finish in the points in Barcelona.”

Pastor Maldonado:

“Today wasn’t my best race ever but we finished. My pace wasn’t fantastic but at least we moved forwards and I pushed as hard as I could. We will look at the data as we seemed to lack pace on the straights which made it difficult to overtake and also difficult to defend. It will be nice to have a race weekend without any problems, and that’s what we are all working for when we head to Europe.”

Top of the Flops

Clive Couldwell:

Well written summary of the current F1. Well said Joe.

Originally posted on joeblogsf1:

A while ago now, in the UK, there was a popular music chart television programme, made by the BBC, called Top of the Pops. It ran for 42 years. It was a countdown to find out what was the Number One that week. It drew a vast audience and every singer and every band wanted to be on it. Looking back now, in the age of whizzbangs and wonderment, it was all rather tame – and the clothing and hairdos were giggle-inducing – but it worked wonders for the pop music industry and kept the toothsome DJs amused with a constant stream of teenage girls, wanting to be in the audience, and willing to do whatever it took to get there… It worked because there was a structure, suspense and if some of the groups were awful (cue: The Bay City Rollers), there was always someone you liked. It was…

View original 672 more words

‘F1 in Schools’ winner

A team of students from North Leamington School – Whittle Wonders - were jumping for joy yesterday after being crowned F1 in Schools UK National Champions 2014 and winning a place at the 2014 F1 in Schools World Finals in Abu Dhabi.

The UK Champions will not only have the experience of a lifetime in Abu Dhabi, they also receive tickets to the 2014 British GP at Silverstone, a Williams F1 team factory tour, an Arden Racing Academy presentation and the Codemasters F1 2013 game for each team member.

Whittle Wonders (L-R): Ryan McLaren, Tom Bradford, Thomas Govern, Harry Birch.

Whittle Wonders (L-R): Ryan McLaren, Tom Bradford, Thomas Govern, Harry Birch.

It’s been many months of hard work for the team of 15 and 16 year olds, who not only took victory overall but also won the Portfolio Award and Fastest F1 Car Award with their car racing along the F1 in Schools 20 metres race track in a time of 1.128 seconds.

Led by Team Manager, Thomas Bradford, 15, with fellow students Harry Birch, 16, Testing Engineer; Ryan McLaren, 15, Manufacturing Engineer and Thomas Govern, 15, Design Engineer, the team were on a well-deserved high following the Awards presentation at the event held at the Big Bang Science and Engineering Fair in Birmingham.

The team were presented with the National Champions trophy by F1 in Schools Patron and Williams F1 Team Head of Vehicle Performance, Rob Smedley. After receiving the trophy Team Manager, Thomas Bradford, said:

“We’re really pleased to have won. I think we had the best car today. It was the fastest and well engineered. We’ve been working on the car for a year, designing, evaluating and refining it. It’s going to be brilliant to go to Abu Dhabi and now we’ll continue with the work on our car. We already have some ideas of how we want to improve it for the World Finals and hopefully it’ll be even faster as well.”

The 2014 F1 in Schools National Finals pitted 30 winning F1 in Schools Regional Finals teams against each other, all vying for a trip to Abu Dhabi. The competition, with Formula One at its heart, challenges teams of between three and six students to form a Formula One team, designing, manufacturing, testing and racing an innovative F1 in Schools car, as well as producing a pit display and printed portfolio, and giving a verbal presentation of their work to a panel of judges.

16 awards were presented, rewarding the hard work and high standards of work produced by the teams of students. Runners-up to Whittle Wonders was a team of students from Robert Mays School, Odiham called Colossus F1 and this team also won the Verbal Presentation Award. The third placed team was Infinity from St John Payne School, Chelmsford and they also won the Best Engineered Car Award. The Best Rookie Team Award was presented to newcomers, Venom, from Strode College, Street.

The Team Identity Award was won by Infusion Racing from LSA Technology and Performing Arts College and the Sponsorship and Marketing Award was presented to Symscape Quantum Racing from The Crypt School, Gloucester. Surge Racing from Latymer High School, Hammersmith took the Innovative Thinking Award and the Judges Discretionary Award went to Rapid Input from Dunfermline High School.

Whittle Wonders' winning race car.

Whittle Wonders’ winning race car.

Red Dragon Racing from Connah’s Quay High School impressed the judges to win the Pit Display Award and the Research and Development Award was won by BCS Racing from Barry Comprehensive School. The FIA Women in Motorsport Award was given to the girls from Team Nero from Regent House Grammar School, Newtownards, Northern Ireland.

The exceptional support given to the students by their teachers was also recognised with the Teacher of the Year Award won by Gary Carleton, the tutor for Northern Ireland team, Ignition from Cookstown High School.

Andrew Denford, Founder and Chairman, F1 in Schools summed up the F1 in Schools UK National Finals 2014 saying:

“We’ve enjoyed a very exciting National Finals this weekend. The level of work produced by the students is outstanding and is a credit to all the participants for the effort they put in to meeting the challenge presented by F1 in Schools. Our congratulations go to Whittle Wonders from North Leamington School. It is the third year of competition for the school and after improving each year, they have finally reaped the ultimate reward with a place at the National Finals and a trip to Abu Dhabi to represent the UK.”

The F1 in Schools UK National Finals 2014 took place with the support of The Institution of Engineering and Technology, Autodesk, Silverstone Circuit, Jaguar Land Rover, WNT, City University London, Tomorrow’s Engineers, FOM, Young Engineers, FIA Women in Motorsport, Edge Foundation and The College of Teachers.


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