F1Minute // Bitesize Formula One News

F1Minute // Bitesize Formula One News

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F1Minute is a short, sharp sixty second show providing access to all the latest happenings in F1. Giving you the facts, the figures and quotes for every story, F1Minute tells you all you need to know, without taking too much out of your day.


Vettel wins ahead of double Mercedes podium in Bahrain  

Sebastian Vettel took race victory ahead of both Mercedes drivers, after a double pit stop delay for Bottas and Hamilton cost both the chance of race victory. Hamilton also picked up a five second penalty for driving unnecessarily slowly in the pit lane ahead of Daniel Ricciardo. This all happened under the safety car, which was out to sort out the mess following a crash between Lance Stroll and Carlos Sainz.

Valtteri Bottas takes first F1 pole position in Bahrain  

Qualifying got underway with more McLaren woes: Stoffel Vandoorne was knocked out in the first session, and although Fernando Alonso got through to Q2, he was unable to participate due to an engine problem. Other teams had split drivers with Wehrlein up in Q2, but his Sauber teammate not, and a similar story for Toro Rosso and Force India.

Ferrari post fastest free practice times in Bahrain, but both drivers also break down  

First practice at the Sakhir circuit was completed in super hot conditions, so teams weren’t gathering particularly relevant data for the rest of the weekend. Mercedes were running longer and heavier, so finished middle of the timesheets, whilst it was Ferrari on top. Sebastian Vettel went fastest, but Kimi Räikkönen broke down due to mechanical troubles. Stoffel Vandoorne also stopped out on track in his McLaren, whilst Felipe Massa had something of a spin but finished in the top five anyway.

McLaren confirm Jenson Button as Alonso’s Monaco replacement  

It didn’t take long for McLaren to find a ready and willing substitute for Fernando Alonso, after revealing this week that the Spaniard would be missing the Monaco Grand Prix in favour of racing a McLaren car in the Indy 500. The team are bringing back Jenson Button, who retired at the end of the 2016 season as a full time F1 racer, to become the reserve driver this year and focus on other interests.

Fernando Alonso to race the Indy 500, missing the Monaco Grand Prix  

McLaren announced today that they would be racing a car, powered by Honda, in the Indy 500 event set to take place in May. The team’s car will be run by Andretti Autosport, and will be driven by the one and only Fernando Alonso. The timing of the Indy 500 means Alonso will miss out on the Monaco Grand Prix which takes place on the same weekend, May 28th.

Lewis Hamilton wins the Chinese race to equal Vettel points  

It was a wet start to the race, with almost all the drivers opting for intermediate tyres. Lance Stroll went off into the gravel immediately, causing a virtual safety car, meaning many quickly took the option to change to slicks. Antonio Giovinazzi followed up with a huge crash into the main straight pit wall. He was fine but the real safety car was called.

Hamilton and Vettel set up Shanghai showdown with front row positions  

As is often the way with qualifying, all the action seemed to happen in the first and last sessions. Max Verstappen suffered a power unit problem on his Red Bull that meant his fastest lap was only good enough for 19th on the grid. Meanwhile, Antonio Giovinazzi, perhaps suffering from the lack of preparation time, spun on his final flying lap and crashed into the barriers.

Free Practice 2 in China cancelled due to poor weather conditions  

There was exceptionally limited running during Free Practice Friday in Shanghai, with drivers being unable to prepare properly for the rest of the Chinese Grand Prix Weekend. FP1 endured a 40 minute red flag period due to misty conditions that grounded the medical helicopter, and the session was brought to a premature end after Nico Hülkenberg beached his Renault in the gravel.

Malaysian Grand Prix to end after 2017 running  

The future of the Malaysian Grand Prix has been in doubt following action taken by the local government to cut costs. It was anticipated the contract would end after the 2018 event but that has been brought forward so that this year’s running will be the last. At the time, Malaysia’s tourism minister said: “From the longer term perspective, it’s probably the correct decision because it’s more expensive and no longer that attractive.”

Pascal Wehrlein to sit out second race in China  

Wehrlein is still getting back up to speed after his Race of Champions accident in December last year, and is set to sit out the second round of the 2017 season, after missing out in Australia a fortnight ago. The German driver said: “For me, the most important thing is that I can train intensively to ensure a 100% performance from my side as soon as possible. Hopefully this can be in Bahrain but if not, then we will take the time it needs until Russia to make sure I am completely ready.”

Sebastian Vettel takes 2017’s first race victory in Australia  

The race in Albert Park was perhaps not as chaotic as we might have imagined, but it delivered a fascinating start to the season with Sebastian Vettel returning to the top step of the podium for the first time in over a year. Ferrari navigated their one-stop strategy well, timing it right to jump Lewis Hamilton for the lead midway through the race. Lewis came in for some late pressure from his teammate Valtteri Bottas, but held him off for a double Mercedes podium.

Daniel Ricciardo crashes out of home qualifying in Australia  

Lewis Hamilton took pole position for the first race of the 2017 season, which may not have been too much of a surprise, but it was a shock to see Red Bull driver Daniel Ricciardo end his session in the wall. The Australian got into the top ten but failed to set a time in Q3, instead mangling his car in front of the home crowd.

Wehrlein withdraws from Australian Grand Prix for Sauber  

The Sauber team were forced to make a late replacement for the still-recuperating Pascal Wehrlein after the German driver confirmed he was withdrawing from the first race of the year after two practice sessions. Wehrlein suffered a back injury in a Race of Champions crash in December, and now says: “My fitness level is not as it should be for a full race distance because of my training deficit."

Mercedes rule the roost as practice in Australia begins  

We were all expecting the Mercedes team to continue their domination but Hamilton’s half a second head start over his teammate during FP1 and FP2 was still something of a surprise. Red Bull were best of the rest in the morning session, whilst Ferrari were holding back and letting the rest of the field clean up the dirty track.

Paul Hembery changes roles at Pirelli  

Since Pirelli re-joined Formula One ahead of the 2011 season, we have become very familiar with Paul Hembery – the spokesperson in the paddock for the Italian tyre manufacturers. Hembery has handled the triumphs and the criticism in equal measure and with relatively good grace, but now it’s time for a change.

First week in Barcelona wraps up with wet tyre testing  

Pirelli have long argued that they haven’t been given enough time to fully test their wet tyre offerings, so today, the final test day this week, in Barcelona, they got a full day. The track was artificially dampened before the session began, and also at lunchtime, to keep the drivers running on the blue full wet tyres and the green intermediates wherever possible.

Williams caught short by Stroll crash on second day of testing  

Although McLaren are gaining their fair share of headlines about mechanical issues during the first week of testing in Barcelona, it was Williams who had to curtail their programme at lunchtime on day two. The team completed a good first day with Felipe Massa behind the wheel – 103 laps with the third fastest time. Massa then handed the car over to rookie Lance Stroll who didn’t have quite such a good day.

Sauber sign Tatiana Calderón as development driver for 2017  

The Sauber team have new faces all over the place at the moment – they’ve welcomed Pascal Wehrlein to the team for 2017, but he’s had to be deputised by Antonio Giovinazzi in testing due to injury. And now they’ve signed a new development driver, Tatiana Calderón for the 2017 season. The Colombian racer will combine her development driver duties with a stint in the GP3 series, which she also participated in last year.

Hamilton appeals for F1 social media use during Mercedes car launch  

Mercedes revealed the W08 today with Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas both getting the opportunity to take the new machinery out for a spin on a very windy and wet Silverstone track. The car looks good, fast, and doesn’t feature the shark fin we’ve seen at the other launches, instead a smaller t-shaped piece of carbon fibre is currently at the rear of the car.

Mallya hits out at Renault boss and anyone who doubts Force India  

Vijay Mallya made an appearance at the launch of Force India’s 2017 car today, and he wasn’t pulling any punches about the team’s optimism for the coming season. Sergio Pérez and Esteban Ocon were on hand to pull the covers off the VJM10 during the launch at Silverstone, revealing a car with a similar paint scheme to last year, the now expected shark fin, the lower rear wing, and an unsightly bump at the front of the car leading down to the nose.

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