Category Archives: Featured

TBT: Fernando Alonso’s First Formula One Victory!

Written and Edited by Bruna Brito and Aiden Hover

F̶e̶l̶i̶z̶ ̶N̶a̶v̶i̶d̶a̶d̶ … Happy Birthday Fernando Alonso!

The two-times world champion is turning 40 today, and to celebrate his incredible career, we at DIVEBOMB decided to look back at his first-ever Formula One victory ahead of this weekend’s Hungarian Grand Prix at the same venue.

The Hungaroring is a great place for the statisticians: Jenson Button achieved his first win here in 2006, Heikki Kovalainen scored his first (and only) win here in 2008, Lewis Hamilton achieved his first of 78 victories with Mercedes, and young Mick Schumacher won his first Formula Two race in 2019. Today, however, we focus on Fernando Alonso’s debut Formula One win at the 2003 Hungarian Grand Prix!

On that day, Fernando Alonso became the youngest driver in history to win a championship Grand Prix. Already the youngest person to achieve a Formula One Pole position (achieved in Malaysia that March) he had enjoyed his 22nd birthday just 26 days before the Hungarian Grand Prix, and so, upon winning, beat Bruce McLaren’s record achieved at the 1959 US Grand Prix by 78 days.

The Two times champion is looking forward to returning to the track in which he scored his first win, 18-years ago!

“I’m looking forward to it. Obviously, it’s a circuit where there isn’t much time to breathe with lots of tight corners. It feels like a big go-kart circuit. We all love driving there because I think the driver has quite a bit more input than some circuits. I’ve had some good results in Hungary, most notably in 2003 when I took my first ever Formula 1 win. I’ve also scored a few podiums too and the pole position in 2009 was good. I feel like the team is improving all the time, especially after the performance at Silverstone where both cars finished in the points, so we’re hopeful of another good weekend,” 

Heading into the 2003 Hungarian Grand Prix, the young Spaniard lined up on pole. He had beaten out Juan Pablo Montoya by a surprising 0.492 seconds, crossing the racing line at 248.6 km/h to set an impressive time of a 1:21.688.

2003 was Fernando’s second season in Formula One (having served as a test driver during 2002) and the pole in Hungary served as only his second in his career whilst it was the 33rd for Renault as constructor and the 137th for Renault as engine supplier! 

Alonso started on the clear side of the track and led into the first corner. Behind, the two Williams drivers Ralf Schumacher and Montoya, who had started second and fourth respectively, began to squabble and fell backwards. Whilst Mark Webber, who had started 2nd, also seemed to struggle to match the Renault’s pace, allowing Alonso to pull out a 7-second gap by lap 13 when he came into the pits for fuel. Webber followed him into the box. Fernando re-joined the race not far behind the McLaren of Kimi Räikkönnen before the Finn pitted on lap 16, along with Rubens Barrichello and Montoya – regifting the lead to Alonso. 

Fernando continued to lead comfortably until his 2nd stop on lap 30, joined again by Mark Webber on lap 31 – though this time, the Spaniard’s advantage was great enough to allow him to rejoin ahead of Räikkönen whilst Webber dropped down to 9th

As the laps ticked down, Alonso seemed set to comfortably win following a dominant showing. He even lapped the reigning champion, Michael Schumacher – sending a message to the fans at home and in Spain that the guard was beginning to change. Further behind, Montoya spun and had to fend off his teammate to ensure his podium. 

After 70 laps, however, Fernando Alonso crossed the line to win a surely dominant race, and the first of his career – beating 2nd place Kimi Räikkönen by an impressive 16.8 seconds with Juan Pablo Montoya claiming 3rd and the fastest lap of the race!

Whilst this victory was his only in 2003, it cemented him in the record books as the youngest ever Grand Prix winner at the time and proved to the world the pure talent that the young Fernando Alonso possessed. It would be this pure talent that would eventually see him secure the 2005 and 2006 drivers championships as well as compete for many more. 

Alonso’s career is an extensive one with success throughout in many different categories, so perhaps here is maybe not the best place to summarise it. However, it is clear how much his honest personality and his remarkable attitude towards motor racing always allowed him to be true to himself and battle whatever came before him with a great passion. This passion took the hearts of a nation and was able to enchant the Spanish people into a trance that would last as long as Fernando Alonso was driving a fast car – wherever or whatever it may be. These Spanish fans support Fernando with such passion rivalled only by the Tifosi in Monza. The screams as he passes send chills to the bones and the love they give sends warmth to the heart as every single one of them aspires to be the fighter that Fernando Alonso had convinced them was possible. We rarely see a sportsman capture the hearts of so many and it is this innate ability that makes Fernando Alonso Días one of the greatest drivers of all time, along with Ayrton Senna and his loving Brazilian fans or Michael Schumacher and his die heart Tifosi Italian and German supporters.

Throughout 2021, Fernando Alonso has done incredibly well. Recovering from a road cycling accident that almost saw him miss pre-season testing, he has fought back to show the world and his adoring fans that he still has what it takes upon his Formula One return. He currently sits 11th in the standings and has played an integral role in Alpine’s 7th place as he has consistently demonstrated his insane overtaking and scoring ability.

With this, all that is left to be said is,

 Happy Birthday, Fernando, 

and thank you.

Hungry for Hungary! – Weekend Preview!

Two weeks on from an extremely dramatic British Grand Prix, Formula One embarks on the tight twisty track of the Hungaroring for this weekend’s Hungarian Grand Prix! Will Max Verstappen be able to enact his revenge? Or will Lewis Hamilton win yet again at a track he loves so dearly?

Written by Aiden Hover, Edited by Tanishka Vashee 

The Hungaroring, located to the northeast of Budapest, became the venue of the first Grand Prix behind the ‘Iron Curtain’ in 1986 after Bernie Eccelstone failed to secure an event in the USSR. Since then, the Home of Hungarian motorsport has proven to be a true test for both driver and car. Often referred to as ‘Monaco without the walls,’ the 4.381-kilometre circuit boasts 14 storied and tricky turns with very few straights. This often forces teams to opt with high levels of downforce with minimal opportunity to reach top speeds on such a ‘go-kart’ style track. A track such as this poses a challenge that all the drivers relish with great enthusiasm as finding a smooth rhythm here is integral to a quick lap time.

A track as tricky as this one is sure to have played host to some iconic and truly legendary moments –  and the Hungaroring does not disappoint! With its difficulty, the track stands as a proving ground for some of F1’s greatest – awarding debut F1 victories to two-time champion Fernando Alonso and one-time champion Jenson Button in 2003 and 2006 respectively. It also marked the beginning of a new era in 2013, as Lewis Hamilton won his first Grand Prix with Mercedes, and we all know where that led to. 

The twisty flowing corners of the track also lends itself to some memorable wheel to wheel action; such as Ayrton Senna against Alain Prost in 1988, or, more recently, Lewis Hamilton against Max Verstappen in 2019 – featuring a strategic masterclass from Hamilton’s Mercedes team. Hamilton, who has won in Hungary a record-breaking 8 times, again features in Hungarian drama, this time in 2007! In the midst of a dramatic qualifying session in which Fernando Alonso sat on provisional pole, the two McLaren drivers were set to pit for fuel and a fresh set of tyres ahead of one final push for pole with Alonso scheduled to come in just ahead of his rookie teammate. Remarkably, however, Alonso chose not to leave his pit box upon being told to go as he instead opted to hold up his teammate and refuse him a final shot for pole! 

What can fans look forward to this year?

Having been on the losing end of a dramatic collision with Lewis Hamilton at Silverstone two weekends ago, Max Verstappen will be eager to enact his revenge and once again take the top spot. His teammate in Sergio Perez will also be eager to right the wrongs of Silverstone where he too scored zero points. Meanwhile, in the Mercedes camp, Sir Lewis Hamilton will be hoping to continue his storm back to the front of the championship whilst his teammate will be looking to follow in his footsteps.

The battle for best of the rest continues as Ferrari look to be strong once again in Hungary as it’s a style of track that seems to suit their car, similar to Monaco. McLaren’s Lando Norris will surely continue his streak of impressive points finishes after a near-miss of a podium last time out with Daniel Ricciardo achieving his best finish this season in Britain. Meanwhile, Aston Martin will be hoping to forget their Silverstone blues and come back swinging in Hungary!

Fernando Alonso returns to a track he loves so dearly off the back of an impressive showing in Silverstone, proving that both he and his Alpine still have what it takes to do well in this sport, along with his teammate in Esteban Ocon. Alpha Tauri also look strong heading into Hungary as their car suits the twisty nature of the circuit whilst their drivers, Pierre Gasly and Yuki Tsunoda, both seem to be gelling well with the car and team following a respectable performance in Britain – narrowly missing out on a double points finish.

Alfa Romeo will likely struggle in Hungary as their performance as of late hasn’t been anything to write home about, however, Antonio Giovinazzi scored points during their visit to Monaco several months ago. Williams, meanwhile, will be looking to continue their charge through the pack with George Russell looking to score his third consecutive Q3 appearance –  at the venue he scored his first-ever Q2 appearance in 2020. Haas, on the other hand, will see anything that’s not dead last as a victory as they must surely be looking forwards to the upcoming summer break.

With that then, be sure not to miss out on any of the action this weekend as well as any of the support events, such as the ever-exciting W-series!

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WOMEM CRUSH WEDNESDAY: WSERIES – THE 2021 GUIDE

Written by Bruna Brito, Edited by Tanishka Vashee

What’s W Series?

Defined as a “ free-to-enter championship, launched in October 2018, that provides equal opportunities for women and eliminates the financial barriers that have historically prevented them from progressing to the upper echelons of motorsport.” The mission is to provide acceptance that female and male racing drivers can compete with one another on equal terms when given the same opportunities.

Calendar

After the start of the pandemic, the 2020 championship was canceled, so now for 2021, we will have 8 rounds, starting with a double in the Red Bull Ring, with Alice Powell, as the very first winner of the season, and Jamie Chadwick in the second round. Followed by a win for Alice Powell again, in Silverstone.

This weekend we will have the return of the competition, in Hungaroring, in the city of Budapest for race number four of the season. The next ones will be Spa- Francorchamps, as the same weekend as F1, a favorite for many W Series drivers then Zandvoort, alongside Formula 1 again,  in September, Circuit of the Americas, first-ever race outside of Europe.

Finishing the season in Autodromo Hermanos Rodríguez, on 29 and 30th of October.

Drivers

Abbie Eaton – Escurie W (@AbbieEaton44  )

29 years old – British

She started at age 15 in a regional competition as a British GT and in 2018 started as a test driver for the Amazon’s The Grand Tour series.

This is her first year of the W Series.

Abbie Eaton

Abbi Pulling – Puma W Series Team (@AbbiPulling  )

18 years old – British

One of the youngest in the category, she made her debut at the race in Silverstone this year and finished in 8th place. Abbi is being mentored by Alice Powell, who is also a part of the W Series! She has competed in Ginetta Juniors, GT5, British F4, and Formula Renault.

Abbie Pulling

Alice Powell – Racing X (@alicepowell  )

28 years old – British

She was the youngest Formula Renault UK driver and the first woman to win the championship. The first woman to score in GP3. She participated in the 2020 season of Formula E as well as the W Series. She won the first race of that year in the W Series.

Alice Powell

Ayla Agren – M.Forbes Motosports (@AylaAgren  )

27 years old – Norwegian

She raced the Formula Ford-spec F1600 and Indy. After a few years, she was forced to stop her career due to lack of funding, currently, in addition to the W Series, she is a spotter for the Indy 500. This is the first time she will be participating in the series.

Ayla Agren

Beitske Viesser – M.Forbes Motosports (@beitskevisser  )

26 years old – Dutch

She raced in Formula Renault 3.5 and the European Le Mans Series where she was part of the only all-female team to race as Le Mans 24h.

Beitske Viesser

Belen Garcia – Scuderia W (@ beautifications)

27 years old – Spanish

She started her career relatively late compared to other drivers, at age 15, when she got her chance in Kart. She raced for Spanish F4 winning the Women’s F4 Championship. This is her first year at the W Series.

Belen Garcia

Bruna Tomasseli – Veloce Racing (@brunatomaselli  )

23 years old – Brazilian

She raced in the Brazilian Formula Jr. and in the South American F4. She moved to the US where she ran a USF2000 National Championship. An avid Ferrari fan, a Tifosa if you will. 

Bruna Tomasseli

Emma Kimilainen – Ecurie W (@EmmaKimilainen)

31 years old – Finnish

She started in Kart at age 3, that is, she learned to drive before speaking, and competed in the Formula Masters Series and Formula Palmer Audi. For financial reasons, she stayed away from the tracks for 4 years.

Emma Kimilainen

Fabienne Wohlwend – Bunker Racing (@FWohlwend5)

23 years old –  Liechtensteiner 

 Her family put the whole house on wheels so the girl could live her dreams, she participated in the Italian F4, Audi TT Cup, and European Ferrari Challenge.

Fabienne Wohlwend

Irina Sidorkova – Academy (@IraSidorkova   )

18 years old – Russian

Dubbed the baby of W Series, she competed in several national categories. She also raced F4 in Russia and Spain, took second place in the last race, a great performance for a rookie.

Irina Sidorkova

Jamie Chadwick – Veloce Racing (@JamieChadwick   )

24 years old – British

The 2019 W Series champion. She was also the first woman to win a British GT and a British BRDC F3. In 2020 she was announced as a development driver in F1 by the Williams team.

Jamie Chadwick

Jessica Hawkins – Racing X (@1JessicaHawkins   )

26 years old – British

At age 12 she started in British Karting and raced in several categories after that. Jessica is also a stunt driver, has recorded films such as Fast and Furious and 007. She is also part of the Aston Martin F1 team as an ambassador.

Jessica Hawkins

Marta Garcia – Puma W Series Team (@martarcing   )

20 years old – Spanish

She started karting at the age of 6, won the CIK-FIA Karting Academy Trophy and the Trofeo delle Industrie. She took a good amount of victories in the first-ever edition of the W Series and finished fourth in the standings.

Marta Garcia

Miki Koyama – Sirin Racing (@mkhouse001   )

23 years old – Japanese

Miki had to work hard to get into motorsport. She has been working since she was a teenager to make her racing career a reality. She raced in Japanese F4, and won 3 years in a row in the Kyojo Cup.

Miki Koyama

Nerea Marti – Academy (@nereamarti32)

19 years old – Spanish

Another baby! She was the first woman to win the Valencia Community Karting Championship in 2018. She also raced in the Rotax España Series and the Spanish F4.

Nerea Marti

Sabré Cook – Bunker Racing (@Sabre_Cook  )

27 years old – American

She started small in the kart and at the age of 13, the same year she had already taken the title of TAG Junior. She was the first woman to win the SKUSA Pro Tour National Championship.

Sabré Cook

Sarah Moore – Scuderia W (@ smgirlracer26)

27 years old – British

She raced and won titles at the Ginetta Junior Championship and several other categories in the UK. Sarah plays a very important role for the LGBTQ+ community within motorsport.

Sarah Moore

Vittoria Piria – Sirin Racing (@VickyPiria)

27 years old – Italian

 Vicky made history by being the first woman to race in GP3, she also raced in Euro F3 and other categories. She has been nicknamed the busiest W Series driver, for she makes a lot of television appearances and is Ferrari’s first ever driving instructor. 

Vittoria Piria

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Driver Predictions: Why Giovinazzi’s 2021 performances are critical on Alfa Romeo’s future approach

Written by: Danny Jones Edited by: Haneen Abbas

Alfa Romeo’s recent re-signing with Sauber, now gives them the opportunity to control who they place in both of their seats, unlike previously, where Ferrari would place a Driver Academy member in that place. Since 2019, Ferrari placed Antonio Giovinazzi in that space, and to the surprise of many, retained his seat for 2021, alongside Kimi Raikkonen. However, Giovinazzi’s performances have started to come under scrutiny. The Italian has struggled to make his mark in the sport thus far, only racking up 4 points in the 2020 season, and a sole point in Monaco in 2021. Giovinazzi has yet to fully wow anyone in the F1 paddock, but neither is a driver who is consistently struggling. 2021 is a year that Giovinazzi is required to improve, to show Alfa Romeo bosses that he deserves to keep the seat, if he wants to continue his stay in F1. 

Kimi Raikkonen is in his 19th season of F1 in 2021, and with the regulation changes forthcoming, a retirement for the Iceman is on the cards, and Alfa Romeo boss Frederic Vasseur, has not ruled out the possibility of making 2 driver changes for 2021. A main contender to take an Alfa Romeo seat is Robert Shwartzman. The Russian, currently competing in F2, racked up the most wins of any driver in 2020, as he finished 4th in the championship, while winning the constructors championship with PREMA. He is one of the favourites for the 2021 drivers championship, and with his 2 wins in Silverstone and Baku so far this season, his 3rd place in the championship, certainly keeps him in the title mix, at the midpoint of the F2 season.. He was in the money for a Haas or Alfa Romeo seat in 2021, but never came to fruition, but 2022 could be the year that Shwartzman moves to F1. If Shwartzman does win the title, or is able to prove competitive again, Alfa Romeo would certainly have an eye on the Russian.

If Alfa Romeo were to look elsewhere, they have numerous options. Theo Pourchaire is the only Sauber academy member in single seaters, who is currently competing in F2. However, Pourchaire is only 17, and has little single-seater experience, albeit very talented. It is unlikely that he would be competitive in his 1st season of F2, so a 2nd season in 2022 may be logical for him, with a potential seat in 2023. Frederic Vasseur has also expressed that Pourchaire would not be ready to step up in 2022.

Possibly their most logical choice would be signing another FDA member, most probably, in Callum Ilott. The Brit was unfortunate not to receive an F1 seat in 2021, despite finishing 2nd in F2, and gained the role of Ferrari reserve. Ilott is set to compete in GT World Challenge Europe in 2021 but is likely to do testing with Ferrari on a regular basis. An ex-Sauber academy member, Ilott has proved his speed multiple times in F2, and would be a worthy candidate for that Alfa Romeo seat. Additionally, Ilott has done practice sessions with Alfa Romeo in Portugal and Austria, and has strong links with the team.

Alfa Romeo could also look towards Valtteri Bottas, who looks likely to leave Mercedes at the end of 2021. Reports have recently been floating around that Alfa are having a serious look at the Finn for a 2022 seat, and Bottas does have plenty of experience, whilst still being in his ‘prime years’. It would be a logical choice for Alfa Romeo, as Bottas would be able to support any rookis, such as Ilott or Shwartzman, if they were promoted alongside him. Additionally, Mercedes have said they would help Bottas find a seat if he were to leave the team, and with spaces running out quickly, Alfa Romeo would be a probable path for Bottas to go down. 

With Kimi Raikkonen’s time in F1 looking likely to come to an end in 2021, and Antonio Giovinazzi’s performances unlikely to improve to the point where he looks a genuine shot for future F1 success, a double change for Alfa Romeo is on the cards. The experience available in Valtteri Bottas would mean he would be an almost certain move for Alfa Romeo, if he were to become available, and would bring huge benefits as F1 enters its new regulations. Alongside him, Shwartzman’s excellent performances in F2 over the last 2 seasons would be difficult to ignore, and if he continues to impress in the championship, there is a strong chance that he will line up for the Swiss team in 2022.

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Tyre Strategies for the 2021 Hungarian Grand Prix

This weekend we are heading to Hungary for the 36th Hungarian Grand Prix and the 11th Grand Prix of the 2021 Formula 1 season. The Hungaroring has a length of 4.381 kilometers, with the race distance being a total of 306.63 kilometers. There will be 70 laps of the race, and of course every motorsport fan is curious about the tyre strategies that will be followed for this weekend’s grand prix.

Written by Dimitris Grigoratos, Edited by Morgan Holiday

The available tyre compounds will be the C4 (Soft), the C3 (Medium) and the C2 (Hard). With the Hungaroring being a circuit of high downforce and lateral, normal amounts of traction, tyre stress and asphalt grip, and low asphalt abrasion and braking, teams are expected to follow a strategy of only one pit stop as the circuit doesn’t place particularly heavy demands on tyres, especially in warm temperatures.

As many drivers have stated in the past, the Hungaroring feels more like a kart circuit due to the fact that there is a non-stop series of corners where tyres are constantly working. Different strategies have been followed in the past years with teams even choosing two-stop strategies as Mercedes-AMG Petronas did with Lewis Hamilton back in the 2019 Formula 1 season, where he managed to overtake Max Verstappen for the win. However, the two-stop strategy isn’t the most preferred one, as teams usually prefer stopping only once. The average time lost during pit stops is about 22 seconds.

According to last season’s race, the soft tyre is the fastest, with the medium tyre being 0.5 seconds slower per lap, and the hard tyre being 0.8 seconds slower per lap.

All in all, this weekend race is expected to be fascinating and as there are not many overtaking opportunities, the tyre management and the tyre strategies will be highly important for the drivers and for the teams.

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RIO HARYANTO – Is he any good?

Rio Haryanto has the honour of being, the one and only Indonesian to ever race in Formula 1. Haryanto was Born in Solo, Indonesia on 22 January 1993. He is the son of Sinyo Haryanto, a businessman. But his F1 campaign wasn’t exceptional, nor a matter for national pride. So we should begin by examining his ability on-track, is He any good? Let’s see a recap of his racing career first.

Written By Zaki Ali Rahman, Edited By Hazel Alagappan

According to driverdb.com Rio started his racing career in Karting from 2005 and spent two years there until 2007. The highlights of his karting career include when he won the 2006 Asian Karting Open Championship in ROK Junior and Formula 125 Junior Open class. He also finished 2nd overall in the 2007 Rotax Max Challenge Asia in Junior class. 

Rio moved up to the upper levels of car racing in 2008 where he raced in Formula Asia 2.0, Formula Renault Asian Challenge, and Formula BMW Pacific. His 3rd position overall in Formula Asia 2.0 was the highlight that year.

 In 2009 He raced in some events, but the highlight of that year was the championship he took in Formula BMW Pacific with 11 wins and 12 podiums. Haryanto started racing in Formula3(Formerly GP3) in 2010 racing with Manor Racing, where he won 1 race. He also became the test and reserve driver for Marussia Virgin Racing. In 2011 He still raced in GP3 with the same team, GP2 final rounds, and Auto GP with DAMS team. He stepped up to GP2 from 2012 to 2015 where his highest finishing position overall was 4th in 2015 with Campos team.

 In 2016 Marussia F1 Team was rebranded to Manor Racing Team. Haryanto was called to race for the team alongside Pascal Wehrlein. Unfortunately He didn’t score any points but Wehrlein did get a point in the 2016 Austrian Grand Prix. Haryanto only raced half season for the team because his sponsors were unable to meet the team’s financial demands. He was demoted to reserve driver status ahead of the 2016 Belgium Grand Prix. He was replaced by Esteban ocon for the rest of the season.

After His career in Formula 1 He took a break from racing for a few years. In 2019 He return to racing where He raced in Blancpain GT World Challenge Asia – GT3 ProAm. Haryanto raced with the team T2 Motorsports alongside David Tjiptobiantoro. He got a podium in the 3rd event of the season in Chang circuit, Thailand. In 2020 He raced in Asian Le Mans Series, still racing with T2 Motorsports. 

In conclusion, and with the benefit of context, does this make Rio Haryanto a good driver? In the authors humble opinion yes, because he showed that he had the capacity to race at the upper echelons of Formula One, even if it proved to be temporary. His performance records in other categories are not particularly damning or notable.

The Craziest Race in Formula E history

We have just 3 more races left of the 2020/21 Formula E season but after today’s London E-Prix we will have only 2. We’re in the British capital for the second of two races this weekend at ExCel Circuit for the first-ever indoor-outdoor Formula E circuit.

Written by Olly Radley, Edited by Bruna Brito

On pole, it’s Mercedes-EQ driver, Stoffel Vandoorne who put it on pole from Group 2. Oliver Rowland starts P2 and Alex Lynn who was on pole yesterday starts 3rd. De Vries had a brilliant qualifying session this morning getting into Superpole from Group 1 along with his teammate and Jaguar’s Mitch Evans starts 5th. The Teams’ Championship leaders, DS Techeetah start from 22nd and 23rd behind the championship leader, Sam Bird who starts 21st.

Stoffel Vandorne

As the 5 red lights dropped we didn’t see any movement in the pack other than Mitch Evans getting a bit tense through the first few corners. Around 5 minutes into the race, Nyck De Vries made a bodacious move into Turn 10 on Alex Lynn for the podium place in P3. Once De Vries made that overtake he gained another position due to Rowland ahead taking his first attack mode. A lap later, Vandoorne followed suit, keeping position, but Rowland regained his 2nd place as De Vries also took his first attack mode.

Nyck De Vries

With around 35 minutes to go, we saw a very bizarre incident between Sebastian Buemi and René Rast. It all began when Buemi ran straight into the back of Rast into T10 and then shunted the German into the wall on exit, Rast accumulated lots of damage from this and seemed to drive straight back into Buemi due to some sort of damage to his car. The incident left plenty of debris strewn across the track and Rast’s race over. The safety car was deployed to remove the stricken Audi and a 10-second stop-and-go penalty was given to Buemi.

The safety car returned to the pits just a lap later and once Oliver Rowland’s attack mode ran out he was pounced on by De Vries behind, making it a Mercedes 1-2. Vandoorne then took his final attack mode with 30-minutes remaining.

This was the last minute of the same moment of the London E-Prix. From this point on, chaos ensued. Down the start/finish straight, André Lotterer pincered championship contender Antonio Felix Da Costa into the wall, which ended the Portugueseman’s race and gave Lotterer a drive-through penalty. A safety car was required to retrieve the DS Techeetah from the wall at Turn 1. During the safety car, Lucas Di Grassi, who was in a comfortable position, drove through the pitlane, which was faster than staying out on track, and by doing so, took the lead of the E-Prix – a long investigation was launched for this. On the safety car restart, Stoffel Vandoorne, who had been jumped by Di Grassi, was whacked out of contention by Oliver Rowland behind as he locked up trying to defend. Rowland got damage and a 5-second time penalty.

Di Grassi and Lynn then took their attack mode behind De Vries who inherited the lead, and the pair overtook the Dutchman, putting De Vries in 3rd. Evans and Frijns engaged in a battle, in which the Kiwi missed Attack mode the first time round, but overtook the Dutchman once he did take attack mode.

Race control then dealt Di Grassi a drive-through penalty for his pit overtakes maneuver, but his team, Audi, didn’t tell him. Instead, we saw videos of Alan McNish, Audi Team Principal, sprinting to the stewards to argue the penalty. His point was that Di Grassi stopped in the lane and so it was a legal stop. 

Then Bird and Nato started a battle as Nato desperately defended into Turn 10 as Bird went for an overtake and pushed Bird straight into the wall at the apex. The crash locked their wheels but miraculously they carried on. 

As the clock hit zero and the final lap began, Lucas Di Grassi did not pull into the pits and so after he crossed the line he was shown the black flag by the stewards. Because of this, Alex Lynn, who failed to take his win after pole yesterday, inherited the win and takes his first-ever win in Formula E at his home race. De Vries came home 2nd and takes the championship lead with 2 rounds to go. Mitch Evans got 3rd place ahead of Robin Frijns.

Lynn seemed to lack race pace yesterday eventually finishing 3rd behind De Vries, today he was brilliant behind the wheel of his Mahindra and confidently took his first-ever win after Di Grassi was black-flagged on the final lap. Nyck De Vries of course came second after bending his steering early on in the race. Evans got caught up with Max Gunther on the second safety car restart and spent a large part of the race without a wheel cover. Robin Frijns came 4th with the fastest lap, taking 13 points and moving into 2nd in the championship. Jake Dennis was on for a good result but served a drive-through late on, ruining his chance of points from 17th on the grid. Sam Bird picked up a grid penalty for his crash with Nato late on. 

In the championship now, Nyck De Vries leads into the final 2 races in Berlin with 95 points, ahead of Frijns who’s up to 2nd with 89 points. Sam Bird remains 3rd with 81 points despite getting a DNF again this weekend and Jake Dennis picked up only 2 points moving him into 4th and joint on points with Bird. Da Costa remains on 79 points after he was wiped out by Lotterer and now Alex Lynn is up to 6th after his win today from 15th. 

We had a cracking race today and in my eyes, it was the craziest race in Formula E history. That’s it for 3 weeks, we’ll see you again in Berlin for the Season 7 finale, anyway from me it’s bye for now.

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Michele Alboreto – Underrated Drivers

Michele Alboreto is often referred to as a “kind hearted driver”, for the polite attitude he showed towards his teams. His career lasted 14 seasons, and he’s warmly remembered by Italian fans as the last Italian driver to win a race with the illustrious red team from Maranello.

Michele was born in Milan on December 23rd, 1956. He grew up watching F1’s roaring cars from behind the fences of the Monza circuit, dreaming of driving them one day.

In 1976, he crowned his dream of becoming a single-seater driver, taking part in Formula Monza with Scuderia Salvati, driving a car he helped build with his own hands. The car was very difficult to drive, even had a crooked chassis, but Alboreto’s great driving style definitely stood out, despite not achieving great results.

Alboreto stayed in Formula Monza for the 1977 season, this time putting in some great results that allowed him to take third place in the final standings. His team, noticing his great talent and the potential for a successful career, helped him get into Formula Italia in 1978.

His rookie season in the category was very successful. He managed to pick up one win, clinging fourth place in the final standings. These great performances helped him make his debut at the last race of the Italian Formula 3 season, getting an incredible fourth place. That same year, he also went on to win the Formula Fiat Abarth championship, further testament to the young driver’s talent.

In 1979 Michele raced in two different categories: he stayed in the Italian Formula 3, taking second place in the standings, and also competed in the European Formula 3, taking sixth place in the championship, with the title won by the great Alain Prost.

In 1980, Alboreto again raced in both the Italian and European Formula 3, ending up third in Italy, and incredibly winning the European championship. 

The next season, Michele got into Formula 2, driving for Minardi. Despite the car not being competitive enough to constantly battle for the lead, he managed to get a third place in Pergusa and an incredible win in Misano, ending his rookie season in eighth place in the standings. That same year, though, he got the call from Tyrrell to drive in F1 for the first time, taking part in the San Marino Grand Prix. He qualified in P17, ahead of his teammate Eddie Cheever. Despite not being able to finish the race due to an incident caused by Beppe Gabbiani, Alboreto had done enough to earn a full-time drive with Tyrrell for the rest of the season. A really uncompetitive car made him unable to score any points for the whole season, but his performances made Tyrrell want to keep him for the 1982 season.

In 1982, Tyrrell provided the Italian with a much improved car, allowing him to have a very satisfying season. He was able to constantly fight for points, even taking his first podium in Imola and winning his first race at the final round in Las Vegas.

In 1983, Michele stayed with Tyrrell, but had a slightly more disappointing season. He did manage to win a race in Dallas, but he scored points in only one other grand prix with a sixth place in Zandvoort, meaning he ended the season in P12. However, Alboreto had high hopes for 1984, as he signed for the reigning Constructors’ Champions, Maranello’s Scuderia Ferrari, becoming the first Italian driver to race for the Prancing Horse since Arturo Merzario in 1973.

His first podium in red came only at the third race of the season in Zolder. The rest of the season, though, was pretty disappointing. His Ferrari 126 C4 was very underperforming compared to the McLarens, and he only managed to take three more podiums, a P3 and two P2s, ending the season in fourth place, 41.5 points away from World Champion Niki Lauda.

1985 was Michele’s best season ever. Ferrari provided him with an incredibly fast car. Even before the start of the season, he said: “If I don’t win the 1985 championship, I shall be beaten on the ears with a stick”. The claim proved to be well-founded, as, before the Italian Grand Prix in Monza, he managed to get on the podium in every race he finished, taking two wins in Canada and Germany, except in Zandvoort, where he ended up fourth. The title now seemed to really be on the horizon, being only three points behind championship leader Alain Prost. However, he had to retire from all the five final races of the season, while Prost comfortably went on to win the title with a 20 points advantage.

1986 was a season to forget for Alboreto and Ferrari, ending the season in ninth place, with the only stand-out performance being a P2 in Austria. 1987 and 1988 were slightly better years, taking several podium places, but poor car reliability meant he had to retire from half the races he takes part in. He ended the two seasons respectively in seventh and fifth place, and at the end of 1988, he announced he would part ways with Ferrari after a relationship that lasted five years.

Alboreto would go on to spend the rest of his career driving for backmarkers in the form of Tyrrell Larrousse, Arrows, Footwork, Scuderia Italia and Minardi. At the end of the 1994 season, he finally announced his retirement from F1, 14 years after his first race with Tyrrell.

Michele died tragically in 2001 while testing an Audi prototype for the 24h of Le Mans. He was a very quick driver, showing his great talent on multiple occasions. However, uncompetitive and unreliable cars prevented him from winning that elusive World Title, thus often not being remembered among the greats of the sport.

CAREER STATS: 215 GPs, 5 Wins, 23 Podiums, 2 Pole Positions, 5 Fastest Laps, Best Championship Result: 2nd (1985)

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Throwback Thursday: The Time Three Drivers Qualified On Pole

Morgan Holiday, Edited by Tanishka Vashee 

Only once in the history of Formula One have multiple drivers set the exact same lap time for a pole position in a qualifying session. Even weirder is the fact that on that occasion, it wasn’t just two but three drivers who set the exact same fastest time. That occasion was Jerez in 1997.

The 1997 season of Formula One was coming to a close, with Jerez set to be the 17th and final round. Williams had clinched the Constructors championship win the previous round, but the driver’s championship standings were still to be decided. Jacques Villeneuve  of Williams and Ferrari’s Michael Schumacher were in contention for the title. Schumacher was only one point ahead of Villeneuve, and so the two went into the final round with everything to play for.

On the 25th of October, 1997, Qualifying for the European Grand Prix was held, wherein 22 drivers had one hour to set 12 lap times. Their fastest lap time would determine their starting order for the race the following day.

The system used to record the lap times set by the drivers would measure their lap times to one thousandth of a second. 14 minutes into the session Jacques Villeneuve set a fastest lap of 1:21.072. Another 14 minutes later, Schumacher set a lap with the exact same time. Close to the end of the hour, Heinz-Harald Frentzen became the third driver of the session to set a 1:21.072.

As per the regulations in the result of a tie, pole position went to the driver who set the time first. And so they lined up for Sunday’s race: Villeneuve, Schumacher, and Frentzen, leaving Damon Hill, who technically set the second fastest time, to start P4.

Oddly enough, Formula One’s most interesting qualifying session wasn’t even the main talking point of the weekend. In the race both Schumacher and Frentzen got better starts than Villeneuve, leaving him in third place after the first lap. But on lap 48, Villeneuve, back in second place and trying to overtake for the lead, was turned in on by Schumacher deliberately. Unfortunately for Schumacher, he ended up having to retire, while Villeneuve went on to finish third and thus won himself the driver’s championship. 

The crash was deemed a racing incident by the stewards at the time, but Schumacher was later disqualified from the 1997 championship as a result. Max Mosley, the FIA’s President at that time, stated that they “concluded that although the actions were deliberate they were not premeditated”. Ferrari and Schumacher took no other fines or penalties for the incident, getting away quite fortunate in the end, as the consequences could have (any perhaps should have) been much worse.

Amidst all this drama, McLaren’s Mika Hakkinen took the race win, his first ever in Formula 1. But even that victory was fraught with controversy as McLaren and Williams were accused of colluding to give Hakkinen the win. Although these accusations were dismissed by the FIA at that time, it came out years later that Ron Dennis and Frank Williams did indeed have an agreement that if Villeneuve was in a position to win the championship, they would concede the win to McLaren.

All in all, Jerez 1997 was a weekend to remember for most Formula 1 fans, although not always because of the unique outcome of qualifying. Certainly if this sort of qualifying session were to happen today, the teams have the telemetry and technology to much more easily tell who deserves pole position. We may never know what the fourth decimal to each driver’s time was at Jerez 1997, and which driver was truly fastest. But whatever the case, it’s still a good story.

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Has the Verstappen-Hamilton rivalry officially commenced?

Written by: Danny Jones. Edited by: Haneen Abbas

Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton’s crash at the British Grand Prix seems to have turned an intense championship battle into a rivalry for the ages. What was a tense, yet friendly championship battle has imploded after the two drivers dramatically collided at Copse, with the war of words between Red Bull and Mercedes heating up a further few degrees? 

A collision had seemed inevitable for a while, with the two previously going wheel-to-wheel at Bahrain, Imola, Portugal, Spain and France. Imola provided minor contact between the two after Verstappen aggressively muscled his way down the inside toward Tamburello, which minorly damaged the Mercedes’ front wing after Hamilton straddled over the kerbs. Just two rounds later, Verstappen bravely forced his way up the inside at the start, with Hamilton using all his experience to avoid contact with the Dutchman.

After a few dominant Verstappen performances, Hamilton’s return to his home race at Silverstone, he has welcomed a full capacity crowd all abiding on the Britons side. After an epic qualifying lap from Hamilton, the prospect of a thrilling weekend intensified, further so after Verstappen’s victory in sprint qualifying. Verstappen claimed the start, but Hamilton looked aggressive from the get-go at Silverstone, looking for a gap to overtake the weaving Verstappen down the Wellington Straight, before attempting a move around the outside into Brooklands, with the Dutchman clutching on to the lead. Contact had seemed probable during the previous eight corners, but when the two arrived at Copse, disaster struck for Red Bull. 

Hamilton aggressively moved towards the old pit wall, in a space barely wide enough for him to fit in. As Verstappen flicked left to carry the racing line into the corner, Hamilton, stranded on the inside, understeered wide, resulting in 1eight0 mph contact, midway through the corner. Hamilton clipped Verstappen’s rear wheel, with the two3 year old, careering into the wall, experiencing a 51G impact, thankfully able to walk away, before being taken to hospital for precautionary checks. This was potentially the moment that caused things to turn sour between the two.

Verstappen e Hamilton exaltam batalhas "duras, porém limpas" em 2021 |  fórmula 1 | ge

Fans and team principles were quick to pin the blame on one driver, causing an instant split between the F1 community. Hamilton had his view on the radio saying: 

‘I was ahead going in there, man. Fully alongside, it was my line. He turned in on me, man’, 

A few seconds later, Christian Horner, made his comment on team radio:

‘That corner, he was never anywhere near alongside.’ Every driver who has driven this circuit knows that you don’t stick a wheel up in the inside at Copse. That is an enormous accident. It was 100% Max’s corner. So, you know, as far as I’m concerned, full blame lays on Hamilton who should never have been in that position. You could have had a massive accident. Thank God he’s walked away unscathed. So, I hope you’re going to deal with it appropriately.’

Before saying to Channel 4: ‘It was dirty driving’, and then saying to Sky Sports: “I’m just very disappointed that a driver of his calibre should make a move like that. It’s dangerous, it looked desperate.” and “Wasn’t much of a penalty really was it?”

Helmut Marko then entered with his usual controversial view saying:

“You can’t do that with the normal sporting code. I don’t know what the maximum penalty would be, but such dangerous and reckless behaviour should be punished with a suspension or something.”

Hamilton would eventually receive a 10-second penalty but would recover to win the race, which ended in joyous celebrations in front of his own crowd, with the Brit sprinting across the circuit to greet the delighted British crowd. However, when questioned on the incident Hamilton claimed: ‘You know he’s [Verstappen] very aggressive. And then today, I mean I was fully alongside him, and he didn’t leave me space.’ Hamilton then claimed ‘he doesn’t need to apologise for the accident’

Several hours later, Verstappen responded angrily on social media. ‘Watching the celebrations while still in hospital is disrespectful and unsportsmanlike behaviour’, referring to Hamilton’s exuberant celebrations at the end of the race, and a small number of fans who cheered, whilst his Red Bull violently hit the wall. 

Verstappen also wrote: ‘The penalty given does not help us and doesn’t do justice to the dangerous move Lewis made on track’

The implosion of the Verstappen-Hamilton battle has invoked memories of previous title resentment between Prost and Senna, and Hamilton’s previous fallout with Nico Rosberg. Senna and Prost’s rivalry is the most portrayed in F1, with their iconic collisions at Suzuka in 1nineeightnine and 1ninenine0 deciding World Championships, with the two publicly igniting their hate for each other. Hamilton’s previous title war with Rosberg was similar, with the two (who were previously best friends) developing an intense rivalry, which climaxed at their infamous crash at the two016 Spanish Grand Prix.

It had seemed only a disrespect with the team principles before, but Horner’s comments calling Hamilton an ‘amateur’ and referred to his attempted move as ‘dirty driving’, have started creating a more intense battle between the two camps, and with drivers and team personnel starting to have jabbed at each other, it is starting to brew into something F1 may not have seen before. Additionally caused by Hamilton’s refusal to apologise to Verstappen, or accept any of the blame.

Hamilton and Verstappen’s collision can instantly start to be compared to two of the best-documented F1 rivalries. With the two pointing the finger at each other, and the public outrage from both sides, it suggests that what was once a respectful title battle between the two, is developing into an F1 battle for the generation. Christian Horner and Toto Wolff are no strangers to arguments with each other, most recently on the Flexi-wing debate, but the Copse collision has just added more fuel to the fire, heating the war of words between the two sides further. 

It is notable that the nature of the accident is what turned the tide. Firstly, the penalty itself, where Mercedes believe it was a racing incident, while Verstappen and Horner claim the penalty was pointless, as it changed nothing, particularly after Hamilton recovered for the win. Helmut Marko has suggested a race ban for Hamilton, and Red Bull are reportedly attempting to request further action on Hamilton. However, Mercedes believe Hamilton was entitled to the corner, while Red Bull believe that Verstappen was clearly in front. Red Bull is also unhappy with Hamilton’s prodigious celebrations after the race, particularly when it was unclear what health situation Verstappen was in, whilst Mercedes celebrate hugely on social media. 

F1: Contra fake news, Hamilton e Verstappen selam acordo de paz

There are still questions to be asked at the end of the British GP weekend, particularly further views on the incident from Verstappen and Hamilton. Although it seems unlikely that Red Bull will be successful in taking further action against Hamilton, the severity of the impact on the title charge means that senior management may be inclined to escalate the matter. 

Whatever unanswered questions remain from Silverstone, Red Bull’s title grasp has been severely flattened, and while a stellar driver from Hamilton won him the race, it will go down as one of the most controversial. The words said from Mercedes and Red Bull suggests that the rivalry has taken a turn, and can now be compared to the two rivalries previously mentioned. The aspect of two teams battling for the championship is mouth-watering, Verstappen’s comments on social media show that almost all respect has been thrown out the door. With 13 rounds still to go, the Hamilton win has certainly boosted Mercedes chances at the championship, but it is obvious that their crash at Silverstone today has developed into F1’s newest rivalry.

He has had no rivals"– Max Verstappen on Lewis Hamilton | The SportsRush

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