Tag Archives: Heikki Kovalainen

Lewis Hamilton wins Hungarian Grand Prix!

That’s a headline I, and many others, probably didn’t think they’d be writing a few days ago. However, it became clear in practice and then qualifying that the McLaren’s were much improved with Hamilton and Kovalainen qualifying in 4th and 6th respectively. With KERS on their side, there was the potential for both McLaren drivers to get a very good start in Hungary and possibly get a first McLaren podium of the 2009 season.

What actually happened was beyond anyone’s expectations. Lewis did have a good start going up to 3rd, but Sebastian Vettel didn’t start so well which hampered Hamilton’s progress a bit. Undeterred, Hamilton pressed on and attacked and overtook Mark Weber at the first opportunity, on a track which is notoriously difficult to overtake on! When Fernando Alonso pitted after just 11 laps Lewis Hamilton found himself at the front of the pack and leading the race – something he hadn’t done thus far in the 2009 season.

From then on we witnessed a flawless drive form the 2008 World Champion as he came home to take victory and the full 10 points. This was a day of firsts:

McLaren’s first podium of 2009
McLaren’s first victory of 2009
Hamilton’s first podium of 2009
Hamilton’s first victory of 2009
Formula 1’s first KERS victory

Hamilton Wins! (Photo copyright Dimitar Dilkoff/AFP/Getty Images)

Hamilton Wins! (Photo copyright Dimitar Dilkoff/AFP/Getty Images)

Heikki Kovalainen came in 5th making it a very good day for McLaren. Going forward, as a McLaren fan, I can only hope that this form is here to stay. I am under no illusion that Hamilton or Kovalainen will be challenging for the Driver’s Championship, but they can grab some good points, have some good races, and finish 2009 on a comparable high when looking at the first 9 races of the season. It also gives renewed optimism for the 2010 season where McLaren will hopefully be back where they belong – at the top!

Interestingly there have 4 different winners in the last 4 races: Button in Turkey, Vettel in Great Britain, Weber in Germany and now Hamilton in Hungary. Hamilton is now on 19 points and is 8th, 51 points behind leader Button, and Kovalainen is in 12th place on 9 points. McLaren move up to 5th in the Constructor’s Championship with 28 points, with Brawn GP way ahead at the top with 114 points.

This was a great race to watch as McLaren fan after the frustrations of the season so far. Hamilton in particularly, while never grabbing many points, has always been an entertaining driver to watch – just look back his battles with the likes of Weber, Alonso and Raikkonen this season. It’s fantastic to see him not only trying, but succeeding again too.

Away from the race, my thoughts go out to Felipe Massa who has a horrific accident in qualifying yesterday and is currently in a serious but stable state in hospital. The latest I heard is that he is improving, which is great news and I, along with everyone I’m sure, wishes him a speedy a recovery and quick return to the sport he loves and is so very good at.

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Blog Consolidation with F1 & Comics

I have decided to stop writing 3 different blogs (McLaren Fan Blog, A Little Less Geek and The Beach Boys Discography Project) as I don’t have the time, or to be honest the motivation, to do so. I have decided to have one catch-all blog for me to write about any subject I so desire. I used to do this and have imported the posts from my old Blogger account, hereby known as Wax On, Wax Off Version 1.0.

Now, let’s kick things off with a bit about my favourite sport, Formula 1. As a McLaren this season is pretty demoralising so far, and that wasn’t made any better with today’s Turkish Grand Prix which saw Hamilton finish in 13th (up 3 places from qualification) and Kovalainen (same as qualification). Hamilton didn’t drive too badly and was fuelled very heavily making him very uncompetitive early on. The race was once again won by Jenson Button, though his Brawn GP team mate actually retired after an awful start and bad race – the first retirement of a Brawn GP car all season.

Button leads in the Turkish Grand Prix

Button leads in the Turkish Grand Prix

The McLaren team don’t seem to be getting things right this season and are making little to no improvement, in fact some might say they are actually getting worse! maybe they should take a leaf out of the book of the team formerly known as Honda (now Brawn GP if you didn’t know) and give up on this season and concentrate on development for next year’s car. The next race is the British Grand Prix at Silverstone, a race Hamilton won last year, yet this year it looks like Britain could have another victor in the form of Jenson Button, who at this early stage of the season seems the only safe bet for 2009 World Champion.

Now if we can move on to another obsession of mine, comic books! In this last week I have read volumes 1-7 of the New Avengers series and volumes 1 & 2 of the Mighty Avengers in order to get completely up to date with the Avengers storylines before and past the Civil War story arc which I read in July 2007 and up to the Secret Invasion story arc.

Secret Invasion - who can you trust?

Secret Invasion - who can you trust?

I finished the main Secret Invasion trade paperback this morning and I really enjoyed it, and all the New and Mighty Avengers volumes that I read leading up to it. After being disappointed by The Ultimates 3 I took a break from Marvel, but this was a fantastic return to form. I have a few tie-ins to read and then it’s onto the post Secret Invasion New and Mighty Invasion volumes. Will Iron Man ever regain the trust of Captain America?

On the way are Buffy Season 8 Volume 4, The Boys volume 4 and Marvel 1985 – the latter being one I have wanted to read for some time now and have finally got round to ordering. Though i still have to wait until August, it’s encouraging to see volume 12 of Fables is now available to pre-order. This is possibly, depending when you ask me, my favourite comic book series of all time.

By the way, the URL of this blog is dlrp.wordpress.com – the dlrp stands for Disneyland Resort Paris which is our favourite place in the whole world. We went there on holiday 9 times between 2002 and 2007 but have not been back since our son Lucas was born on may 6th 2008. The plan is to go back again for his 2nd birthday in 2010.

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FIA back down as F1 teams object

The following is a press release from the FIA:

On 17 March, the FIA World Motor Sport Council unanimously rejected FOTA’s proposed amendment to the points system for the Formula One Drivers’ Championship. The ‘winner takes all’ proposal made by the commercial rights holder (who had been told that the teams were in favour) was then approved.

If, for any reason, the Formula One teams do not now agree with the new system, its implementation will be deferred until 2010.

Well, as it happens the Formula One teams were not in agreement and so the win system will wait till 2010 to be introduced, as long as the Formula One teams agree one would assume?

I’d just about got my head round the new system but I’m not upset to get back to the old system, as I’m sure the driver’s won’t be either, a few of whom had spoken out about the new system over the past few days.

In some promising news as a McLaren fan, testing in Jerez, Spain went a bit better and even culminated with Heikki Kovalainen posting one of the fastest laps of the week, only to have that beaten by almost half a second as Kazuki Nakajima recorded the fastest lap of the whole week’s testing.

(c) AFP and Yahoo. Kovi in Jerez

(c) AFP and Yahoo. Kovi in Jerez

Though it’s clear things are still not 100% at McLaren, they do seem to be improving, even just a little bit. I can only hope that between now and the first race in Australia, in just 9 days, McLaren will have sorted things out and both Hamilton and Kovalainen can be competitive. Roll on the 2009 Formula 1 season, one that is full of promise and intrigue.

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Pole Position, but the enemy is close.

After a mistake in his penultimate lap of Q3 it looked like Hamilton could have some chasing to do at the start of the Chinese Grand Prix tomorrow, but a lightning quick last lap saw him streak to his 7th pole position of the season, more than 3 tenths of a second ahead of closest rival Kimi Raikkonen.

However, things are not as rosy as they seem; Hamilton shares the front row of the grid with 2007 Champion and team-mate of Felipe Masa, Kimi Raikkonen. Sitting in the second row of the grid are Hamilton’s current Championship challenger and Raikkonen’s Ferrari team-mate, Felipe Masa as well as Hamilton’s ex-team-mate Fernando Alonso. Alonso said this week that he will try to help Masa win the Championship. In 5th place, and lining up in the 3rd row on the grid, is Hamilton’s team-mate at McLaren and nearest ally, Heikki Kovalainen.

If Hamilton doesn’t get a good start tomorrow he could be in for the fight of his life and it’ll be time to truly test his mettle and rise to meet the expectations of his many fans, and shut the critics up. Hamilton can seek solace in the fact that Robert Kubica, who is currently 3rd in the Championship and statistically the only driver other than Masa who can beat Hamilton for the Championship, qualified in a lowly 11th place.

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