Tag Archives: Lewis Hamilton

Jenson Button wins Formula 1 Championship & Lewis Hamilton races to 3rd in Brazil

I’ve been quite critical of Jenson Button over this season, as have a lot of others. As a Lewis Hamilton fan it was hard to watch Jenson race to victory after victory at the start of the season while Lewis struggled to get into the second part of qualifying with his underperforming McLaren MP4-24.

Button has the advantage of driving a car that had a lot of money and time pumped into it by virtue of Honda forgoing success in the 2008 season to concentrate on the 2009 season. Of course that didn’t quite go to plan when late last year Honda announced they wouldn’t be taking part in the 2009 season – at this point Jenson Button, and team mate Rubens Barrichello, were without a ride for the 2009 season. The rest of the Brawn GP story, as they say, is history and perhaps both drivers were deserving of such a superior car for sticking with the team.

There’s no doubting that for the first 7 races the Brawn GP were far superior to any others on the grid, with the Red Bulls being the closest in terms of performance. Even though the likes of McLaren and Ferrari have turned up year after with superior cars, this felt different, and I almost resented the Brawn’s performance and Jenson’s success. As the season progressed and other cars got better, specifically the McLaren, the playing field evened out. The only problem, if you can call it that, is that Button had built up such a lead that only his team mate had any chance of catching him, with an outside chance going to either Sebastian Vettel or Mark Weber at Red Bull. This meant that even though Button was under-performing he was still going to be the champion and for me that spoiled the season a little bit.

Moving on to the Brazilian Grand Prix and I was firmly behind Barrichello and wanted him to take both the victory at Interlagos and then the Championship from Button at the very first Abu Dhabi Grand Prix two weeks later. As Vettel had qualified 14th there was no chance he was going to challenge Jenson. Hamilton qualified in 17th which was pretty poor but as always I’d be behind in, hoping he’d be able get past a few people and get some points, maybe even enough to match or get past Kimi Raikkonen on the leader board.

What I witnessed on Sunday was Button having the race of his life and putting on a performance worthy of a champion. With his lead having been eroded over the weeks and there being a strong chance of Barrichello winning after starting from pole position, Button was obviously fighting for his championship and for the first time this season felt very much under pressure. I just wish he’d raced like that for the previous 8 races rather than relying on his cushion of points amassed earlier in the season. Because of his fantastic performance I was pleased for him when he became champion, though at the same time extremely gutted for Barrichello who once again had no luck during his home race.

Congratulations Jenson Button, the 2009 Formula 1 Drivers World Champion, and to Brawn GP, the 2009 Formula 1 Constructors Champions.

2009 World Champion (Photo Credit: ANTONIO SCORZA/AFP/Getty Images)

2009 World Champion (Photo Credit ANTONIO SCORZA/AFP/Getty Images)

After qualifying in 17th, Hamilton also had an amazing race and thanks to a great tactical decision of pitting and changing tyres while the safety car was out early in the race, along with some great driving, he managed to overtake Barrichello with a few laps left and come home in 3rd, another podium finish. Importantly, this meant he overtook Raikkonen and has a 1 point lead going into the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – hopefully he can keep the 5th place while helping McLaren remain in 3rd in the Constructors Championship.

Lewis leads the way (Photo Credit: Mauricio Lima/AFP/Getty Images)

Lewis leads the way (Photo Copyright: Mauricio Lima/AFP/Getty Images)

While there a few lesser places still to be decided, like Vettel and Barrichello’s fight for second place, we go into the first ever Abu Dhabi Grand Prix with both the Drivers and Constructors Champions already crowned. Still, next season should be fantastic, as long as the FIA don’t throw too many spanners into the works!

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Filed under Barichello, Brawn GP, Button, Ferrari, FIA, Formula 1, Hamilton, McLaren, Raikkonen, Vettel

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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Filed under Comics, Disneyland Paris, Formula 1

Lewis Hamilton Promoted to 3rd in Australian Grand Prix!

Jarno Trulli has been penalised for his behaviour while the safety car was out towards the end of the race and as such he drops to the truth, the new race classification is as follows (courtesy of F1 Fanatic):

1. Jenson Button
2. Rubens Barrichello
3. Lewis Hamilton
4. Timo Glock
5. Fernando Alonso
6. Nico Rosberg
7. Sebastien Buemi
8. Sebastien Bourdais
9. Adrian Sutil
10. Nick Heidfeld
11. Giancarlo Fisichella
12. Jarno Trulli
13. Mark Webber
14. Sebastian Vettel
15. Robert Kubica
16. Kimi Raikkonen

As can be seen – Lewis Hamilton has now been promoted to 3rd, just a pity he didn’t get to enjoy the moment on the podium. This is fantastic news for both Lewis and McLaren and it’s nice to see a penalty decision go in favour or Hamilton for once.

Lewis Hamilton - 3rd in Australia!

So, one race down and 6 points scored – if you’d told Lewis 24 hours ago that he’d be finishing 3rd today I think he’s thought you were mad!

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Filed under Formula 1, Hamilton, Trulli

Brawn GP 1st and 2nd in Australian Grand Prix

After Jenson Button qualified in pole and Rubens Barichello qualified in 2nd yesterday, it put F1 new boys Brawn GP in an incredible position to shake up Formula 1 and give the established teams something to think about. They certainly have just that, as Button and Barichello mirrored their starting positions to take the first two positions in the first race of the season and Brawn GP’s first ever race.

Jenson gets the win for Brawn GP

Jenson gets the win for Brawn GP

The race wasn’t without incident and if it hadn’t been for a collision between Robert Kubica and Sebastian Vettel, who were 2nd and 3rd, then Barichello would have had to settle for 4th place and Brawn GP would not have had their historic 1-2.

The aforementioned incident didn’t just affect Barichello as it also meant Lewis Hamilton came in 4th, picking up 5 points. Yes, this is the same Lewis Hamilton who has lacked in practice and yesterday qualified in 15th – only to then be dropped to 20th because of a gearbox change, but was then promoted to 18th when both Toyotas were disqualified from qualifying. You keeping up? There was even a point he was in 3rd but he must have passed Jarno Trulli after the safety car came out and he had to give that place, and 3rd on the podium, back to Trulli.

This has to be taken as a massive confidence boost for McLaren, who even before the Kubica/Vetel incident were making great improvements. Just a shame that Heikki Kovalainen had retire earlier in the race.

The full classification is as follows (courtesy of Forumla1.com):

1 Jenson Button Brawn-Mercedes 58 1:34:15.784
2 Rubens Barrichello Brawn-Mercedes 58 +0.8 secs
3 Jarno Trulli Toyota 58 +1.6 secs
4 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 58 +2.9 secs
5 Timo Glock Toyota 58 +4.4 secs
6 Fernando Alonso Renault 58 +4.8 secs
7 Nico Rosberg Williams-Toyota 58 +5.7 secs
8 Sebastien Buemi STR-Ferrari 58 +6.0 secs
9 Sebastien Bourdais STR-Ferrari 58 +6.2 secs
10 Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 58 +6.3 secs
11 Nick Heidfeld BMW Sauber 58 +7.0 secs
12 Giancarlo Fisichella Force India-Mercedes 58 +7.3 secs
13 Mark Webber RBR-Renault 57 +1 Lap
14 Sebastian Vettel RBR-Renault 56 +2 Laps
15 Robert Kubica BMW Sauber 55 +3 Laps
16 Kimi Räikkönen Ferrari 55 +3 Laps
Ret Felipe Massa Ferrari 45 +13 Laps
Ret Nelsinho Piquet Renault 24 Spin
Ret Kazuki Nakajima Williams-Toyota 17 Accident
Ret Heikki Kovalainen McLaren-Mercedes 0 Accident damage

I’m delighted for Button, Barichello and Grand GP, but I’d be lying if I didn’t say I am more pleased for Hamilton and McLaren getting some good points and Ferrari getting none!

Kudos also to Sebastian Buemi for getting a point in his first ever Formula 1 race.

We all new this season was going to be both interesting and exciting and this first race has proven just that. It was fun watching it whilst tweeting on Twitter and reading and sharing thoughts with other F1 fans. It’s also good to clear up moments of confusion.

It was also nice to have the Grand Prix back in BBC1 and therefore have no advert breaks – we got to see the whole race uninterupted, as it should be! Next race is in Malaysia and is only 1 week away, and at a slightly better start time for us here in the UK; 9am.

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Filed under Barichello, Brawn GP, Buemi, Button, Ferrari, Formula 1, Hamilton, Kovalainen, Kubica, McLaren, Twitter, Vettel

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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Filed under FIA, Hamilton, Kovalainen, McLaren, Nakajima

Formula 1 will be decided on wins not points!

It’s a rule changed that was talked about a little while ago that had fans in uproar, and it became a reality today as the FIA announced that the 2009 Formula 1 World Championship will be decided by the number of wins and not the most points.

Wins over points

Wins over points

My initial reaction, was that of anger and despair! To think that the Championship could go to someone who does really well in 5 races but badly in the 12 other, to the point that they wouldn’t even need to finish those other races! Points will only come into the equation if there is a tie with the most number of wins.

The way this new points system works would have seen Felipe Massa crowned as Champion last year instead of Lewis Hamilton because Massa won 6 races to Lewis’s 5. Even as a huge Hamilton fan I have to admit that isn’t such a bad scenario as the first few races aside, it’s arguable that Massa was consistently the best driver of the 2008 season.

With an incredibly open field for 2009 there is scope for the 2009 season to be won by any number of drivers and I fully expect race wins to be shared amongst many drivers which will more than likely see a 2, 3 or maybe even A 4-way tie at the top which means that the Championship will actually be determined on points after all. We could be in for some very competitive races as drivers drive for the chequered flag.

The more I think about the new system, the more I think it may actually work. Only time will tell and come the last race in Abu Dhabi (wow, that sounds weird – I almost wrote Sao Paulo) we’ll all be in a much better position to see if the race win system works.

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