Hamilton pole Oz 2014

Formula 1

Hamilton pole Oz 2014



• Lewis scored the 100th pole position for Mercedes-Benz power in Formula One, a record dating back to 1954 

• It was also the 32nd pole of Lewis´ career, putting him equal with Nigel Mansell and one behind Jim Clark 

• Nico qualified in third place, just five-hundredths behind the second placed car of Daniel Ricciardo 

Lewis Hamilton 
It´s been an interesting weekend so far here in Melbourne. Qualifying was a lot harder for everyone with the tricky conditions and it was a real challenge out there today. We were on the edge with the tyres and it was difficult to know which way to go at times. It´s the first time I´ve driven the car on the limit in the wet, but it felt great and I´m so happy with the job the team has done. To be on pole here today is a fantastic result for us. It was great fun and I´m really looking forward to the race tomorrow. It´s going to be tough, but we´ll do our best and see what happens. I am very proud to have scored pole number 100 for Mercedes-Benz in Formula One. I have only driven with Mercedes power since my debut in 2007 and the whole Mercedes team has done an incredible job meeting the challenge of these new rules. It´s just as special to equal Nigel´s record of pole positions for a British driver. I owe it to the great people I´ve worked with throughout my career. 

“It was exciting out there – the weather definitely added to the mix and the whole session went well. Q1 looked like it was going okay for us and then, when the rain fell, it’s the first time we’ve driven these cars on the limit in wet conditions. It was tricky, but at the same time a lot of fun and it was nice to always be up there. The engineer was always on the radio saying the pace was good and that we were P1, P2 P3 and in the battle for the pole position, so it was definitely a really nice first qualifying session with the team. I’m happy for us to have a front row start – it wasn’t looking like this a few weeks ago, so I’m pretty pleased right now.”

Nico Rosberg 
That was a really tricky qualifying session out there this evening. Starting from third place on the grid is not the optimum but okay for me. I know that I have a good race car and that makes me quite confident. With a good start, I should have a nice chance of scoring a strong result. It will be a very interesting race because fuel consumption and tyre wear will be on the edge. So there might be some surprises tomorrow. 

Toto Wolff 
That was the kind of qualifying session where mistakes are so easy to make – and the team delivered. We got the cars on track at the right time and coped well with the changing weather conditions. For the final run in Q3, both drivers chose to run full wet tyres as we were not sure how quickly the circuit was drying. Lewis did a great job to claim pole position with his final lap, while Nico was also P1 when he crossed the line at the end of his last run, although he finished up P3. After so much hard work to reach this point, it´s good that we have come through a tricky session safely and in strong starting positions. We are also proud to have taken the 100th pole for Mercedes-Benz power in Formula One, which is a nice milestone. But the points are won on Sunday and we know that it will be a tough race in terms of fuel consumption and reliability. We will leave no stone unturned overnight to make sure we are in the best possible situation for tomorrow. 

LCH Australia 2014

Formula 1

LCH Australia 2014


Lewis Hamilton : It really was a day of two halves today. While it was disappointing to not get any track time this morning, these little hiccups are going to happen with the new cars and we´ll have to get used to that. It felt like I was on the back foot from there but then we got up to pace quite quickly in P2 and found the balance relatively fast. I feel quite comfortable in the car so overall it´s a positive start but we need to look at the data now and understand where we are. We got a nice foundation for the weekend in the second session today so hopefully we can build on that in P3 tomorrow afternoon and then see where we are in qualifying. 

Nico Rosberg : It was so great to be back in the car today and I´m very pleased with the progress that we made. As always on a Friday, we don´t really know where we are in terms of pace yet and how much fuel everyone else was running in comparison to our programme. It´s definitely going to be very tough on fuel here, as we expected. The screen on my steering wheel shows the fuel target for each lap and we´re going to have to be very disciplined in the race. It´s a pretty good start for us overall and I´m looking forward to the rest of the weekend. 

Romain Grosjean“If we take the positives we can say that we’ve completed a few practice starts, and we’ve proven that Renault have done a good job from the laps we completed. It’s certain that we have a lot of work ahead and we still need to learn the tyres, the brakes and find a good setup. We’re taking a few steps every time we go out in the car and for sure we’ll get where we want to be.” 
Pastor Maldonado“I’m feeling really ready for tomorrow. I spent a lot of today waiting to get in the car as we had some problems, which I think are still normal to have so early in the season with these new cars. It was clear that we’re not the only ones to suffer on track and we have to work very hard, and maybe harder than the others, to try to catch up and be ready for tomorrow. We need to sit down with the engineers and re-plan our strategy for free practice.”

SEBASTIAN VETTEL : “In a way it’s a relief today, the fact that we were running, we didn’t have any problems, the balance was good and the performance looked alright. In the end Friday times are not worth a lot, but it’s better to be close to the top rather than somewhere towards the back, so I’m very happy with that. We will do what we can to prepare for tomorrow and Sunday, but let’s see where we are then – the most important thing is that we finish.”
DANIEL RICCIARDO“I knew the guys were doing everything they could since testing but still, we didn’t expect to do that many laps today, so I’m really happy and pleased for them. I think we have to be pretty positive with where we ended up today. We expected Mercedes to be quickest, but we were within a second of them today so that’s a lot better than we thought. Let’s see if it’s the same story after qualifying tomorrow, but for today we’re pleased.”

Marcus Ericsson: “That was a more difficult start to my first full Grand Prix weekend than I’d have liked, but hopefully that means we’ve got all the problems out of the way on day one! This morning it was an electrical issue with the engine that meant I only did one lap – out on the main straight the power suddenly dropped but I was still able to get the car back to the pits and when we had a look at it we found it was an electrical problem so that was fixed over lunch. In the afternoon we were back out at the start of FP2 but this time, when I boxed, there was a hydraulics leak. A bit like with Kamui’s car, fixing anything like this under the engine cover takes a lot longer than it used to with the old engines, so that was the end of the session for me and more work for the boys.
“Despite that I’m still very positive. Even with the good reliability we built up in Bahrain, we still came here knowing it could be a difficult weekend and I know I have to just stay focused on doing the best job I can when the car’s running as it should. There’s a lot of work ahead of us but we’ll do whatever we can to be back on track tomorrow and when it’s all fixed I’m ready.”
Kamui Kobayashi: “One lap in both practice sessions is obviously not a good way to start the season, particularly after our reliability had been good in the Bahrain tests, but we know what the problems are on side and we’re all working very hard to fix them for tomorrow. The problem on my car was to do with the fuel system – it was fine on the installation lap but when I boxed we had a small fire under the engine cover which came from a fuel system leak. The fire was out immediately but when we’d found the problem we knew it couldn’t be fixed in time to run in FP2 so made the decision to remove the Power Unit so we could fix the issue and aim to run properly tomorrow.
“Despite how the weekend has started I’m still pretty positive about what could happen tomorrow and on Sunday. We might be a small team but everyone works as hard as anyone else in the pitlane and if we can get back to the Bahrain test reliability levels I think we can still have a good weekend.”

Pos  Driver             Team/Car              Time       Gap      Laps
 1.  Lewis Hamilton     Mercedes              1m29.625s           37
 2.  Nico Rosberg       Mercedes              1m29.782s  +0.157s  31
 3.  Fernando Alonso    Ferrari               1m30.132s  +0.507s  28
 4.  Sebastian Vettel   Red Bull-Renault      1m30.381s  +0.756s  41
 5.  Jenson Button      McLaren-Mercedes      1m30.510s  +0.885s  33
 6.  Daniel Ricciardo   Red Bull-Renault      1m30.538s  +0.913s  38
 7.  Kimi Raikkonen     Ferrari               1m30.898s  +1.273s  32
 8.  Valtteri Bottas    Williams-Mercedes     1m30.920s  +1.295s  38
 9.  Kevin Magnussen    McLaren-Mercedes      1m31.031s  +1.406s  34
10.  Nico Hulkenberg    Force India-Mercedes  1m31.054s  +1.429s  33
11.  Jean-Eric Vergne   Toro Rosso-Renault    1m31.060s  +1.435s  35
12.  Felipe Massa       Williams-Mercedes     1m31.119s  +1.494s  31
13.  Sergio Perez       Force India-Mercedes  1m31.283s  +1.658s  36
14.  Adrian Sutil       Sauber-Ferrari        1m32.355s  +2.730s  36
15.  Esteban Gutierrez  Sauber-Ferrari        1m32.468s  +2.843s  26
16.  Daniil Kvyat       Toro Rosso-Renault    1m32.495s  +2.870s  36
17.  Jules Bianchi      Marussia-Ferrari      1m33.486s  +3.861s  29
18.  Romain Grosjean    Lotus-Renault         1m33.646s  +4.021s  12
19.  Max Chilton        Marussia-Ferrari      1m34.757s  +5.132s  29
20.  Marcus Ericsson    Caterham-Renault                          1
21.  Pastor Maldonado   Lotus-Renault
22.  Kamui Kobayashi    Caterham-Renault
Kamui Kobayashi Bahrain

F1Weekly podcast # 650

Kamui Kobayashi Bahrain

Clark and Nasir share their final thoughts on where the teams stand after testing and what should we expect from the Australian Grand Prix. Special interview this week is with Grandprixphoto.com founder Peter Nygaard.

Please enjoy these thoughts from Kamui Kobayashi.

Kamui Kobayashi : “We start the season in Melbourne and I’m excited about getting back to racing F1 cars again! Last time I raced in Melbourne (in 2012 with Sauber) I was sixth and while I don’t think that’s a realistic target for us this year, I think the race will be very interesting. There could be reliability problems for lots of teams, us as well obviously, but by the end of the tests our reliability was ok, certainly better than a few other teams, and that could be very important on Sunday in Melbourne.

“Obviously for me this is my first race back, and I’m really pleased it’s with Caterham. I guarantee that they are working as hard as anyone else to have a good year in 2014 and I’ve been very impressed with how determined they are to succeed. They have a very good base to work from in Leafield, so there’s no reason we can’t have a good year, particularly with what we have planned to improve the car as the season goes on.

“We still don’t know exactly where we are on performance, partly because you never do in tests because you don’t know what everyone else is doing, but also because we didn’t really have a chance to do a proper quali sim in Bahrain. We have some new parts coming to Australia, including some revisions to the front wing, so we’ll be working on them on Friday and Saturday morning and know more about where we are when qualifying’s finished on Saturday.”

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Formula 1



Romain Grosjean – I Imagine There Will Be A Few Surprises! 

After a frustrating pre-season, Frenchman Romain Grosjean contemplates the challenge ahead, explaining how he is expecting plenty of surprises and drama at the first race of the season… 

How well prepared do you feel heading in to the start of this season?

Probably not as well prepared as last year, that is for sure! We’ve taken everything we can from the limited running we did in Bahrain and we’re working with that to ensure we can make the best start to the season given the circumstances we face. In Bahrain, every time we ran we improved and there are certainly areas where we are heading in the right direction. These cars are even more complicated than people first thought. With the new power unit there is a lot of work still to be done, both on our side and also on Renault Sport F1’s side. We need to get things together and achieve what we know we are capable of when we have a reliable package. 

Will Melbourne effectively become another test session?

No, the aim is to finish the race and maybe score points. We’re not yet in the place we want to be competitively, but we will be there to compete and you never know what could happen with everyone else too. I don’t think any team can say that they are where they want to be heading to the start of the season. Yes, we’re not in a nice situation but it doesn’t mean that it’s game over. We’ll try to score as many points at every opportunity during the season.


With all the new buttons on the steering wheel and new technical challenges to consider, how well prepared for Australia do you feel from a driving perspective?

It’s a little bit challenging at the moment to be honest! We’re changing settings sometimes four or five times a lap which is a little bit too much. However, it was the same first time out with KERS back in 2009 (at Monza). It was a disaster – I remember we had to change the maps around five times in at least five corners. It’s just part of adapting to the new technology; it’s hard to get everything working together immediately. But it makes it more rewarding when we do get everything working as we want.


How do you keep that smile?

Ah, well I think that it’s natural for me! No, it’s useless to run away or get upset. It’s better to sit down together, go through everything we have done, find the positives, and then trust in the people who have to do the work that they do. The best I can do is to drive the car as quickly as I can. 

Tell us a little about Albert Park itself – why is it such a cool place?

Albert Park is still one of my favourite Grand Prix circuits, so it will be good to get there and get the season started and there’s always a great atmosphere. It’s a fantastic track and the changing scenery as you drive through the park is incredible. Of course it’s a great country and I always enjoy visiting Australia.

We know it can be a tricky circuit and the weather can make things pretty difficult too – two years ago we had lots of rain and even had to finish qualifying on Sunday morning! Hopefully the weather will be good this year – it’s been looking pretty hot recently. I guess you can say that everyone will be in the same position of not knowing what to expect, and with all the car changes I imagine there will be a few surprises! For us the weekend will be maximising the time on track, aiming to finish the race and getting the best result possible.

Pastor Maldonado – Everything Is Possible

Enstone debuntant Pastor Madonado is focused and determined to extract the very best possible in his first race for Lotus F1 Team 

How’s the relationship evolving at your new home in Formula 1?

Everything feels good and it’s going in the right direction. Even though there are a lot of resources and people, it feels so close knit and efficient. I like the team and I already have a good relationship with everyone I am working with. Hopefully it will get better and better during the year. For sure we are in a difficult moment because we didn’t run enough with the car in pre-season testing, but you can feel that the team are fully focussed on working hard to solve problems quickly. I’m looking forward to attacking and being competitive as soon as possible and right through to the end of the season.

What do you think of Australia?

It’s a great country and Melbourne is a wonderful city. It’s just great. I always love races that are close to the city because you have more people coming and it really feels like you are involved and part of their life for the short time you are there. There are all the benefits of the city to appreciate and the fans really get behind the event. It’s maybe one of the best races of the year.

What are your thoughts after pre-season testing?

Obviously I would have like to have had more laps! These are very complicated cars and Formula 1 should be about pushing the boundaries and developing new technology so it is very exciting. Maybe we have lost a bit of the great noises from the engine, but still they are powerful cars and a challenge to drive. It’s certainly going to be a spectacle, just as we had last year or maybe even better. For sure we need to keep running and keep adapting ourselves to the new rules, which are extremely different but this is something that just needs time. 

What about the E22 and its potential?

I think the potential of the E22 is huge. We just need to work harder than the other teams, even though time is against us. I think the car is good and it will only get better. We need to put everything together and try to get 100 percent from the team, car and me from a driving point of view. All is possible at the moment and we are very optimistic to progress and get back to the top. 

What are the challenges of Albert Park?

To be honest I love the track. The main challenges are that the track surface changes a lot over the weekend, especially from free practice to qualifying. The drivers and engineers need to try to predict how the track is going to evolve, especially for qualifying as this is crucial for the final position on Sunday. 

How difficult is it going into the first race with so much that is unknown?

It is exciting. It will be especially demanding for the team. I think all the drivers will have to work more closely with their teams than in previous years on every aspect inside and outside the car. We have been working a lot in the simulator, and even though it is just a simulation we learn a lot from this. Communication will be essential to have a good race – managing the fuel, the tyres, the settings on the steering wheel, the engine, power recovery, power delivery and so on. It will be very demanding to concentrate and focus on the many different aspects in the car, as well as the actual driving of these new generation Formula 1 cars.

What could be possible in Albert Park?

Everything is possible. Especially because there are so many variables this season, particularly in the early races. We just need to stay calm and keep focused. It is not an ideal situation for many of the teams, but we just need to work together to improve. I have a lot of confidence in everyone at Enstone and everyone from Renault Sport F1 involved with the power unit too. Everyone has solved problems in the past so helpfully we can have quick answers that solve the issues we face now. This will be very important in terms of our performance and showing our potential. I’m feeling optimistic for our new challenge in 2014.

GP2 Series back in action at Yas Marina


GP2 Series back in action at Yas Marina

First three-day pre-season test session opens tomorrow in Abu Dhabi
The 2014 GP2 Series officially kicks off tomorrow with the first test session of the year at the Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi. Teams and drivers have gathered for three days in order to prepare for the tenth season of the category which will open in twenty-five days’ time in Bahrain alongside the Formula One Grand Prix.
Many fresh faces mix with more familiar ones as the field reshuffles. Reigning champions RUSSIAN TIME will fight for another crown with 2012 GP3 Series Champion Mitch Evans and rookie Artem Markelov. Carlin who finished second in the 2013 standings on the same amount of points as their Russian rivals have retained Felipe Nasr who will be partnered with Julian Leal this season. Racing Engineering have bet on Stefano Coletti and rookie Raffaele Marciello to repeat last season’s top form whilst DAMS have chosen to put their faith in the experienced pair of Stéphane Richelmi and GP2 race winner Jolyon Palmer.
Two newcomers form ART Grand Prix’s 2014 duo as Stoffel Vandoorne and Takuya Izawa join the GP2 field. Meanwhile, Daniel Abt has moved to Hilmer Motorsport with last year’s GP3 Series runner up Facu Regalia completing the line-up. First driver to be signed for 2014, Simon Trummer has remained at Rapax alongside GP2 race winner Adrian Quaife-Hobbs. Rene Binder moved to Arden International with the British squad also welcoming rookie André Negrao. EQ8 Caterham Racing have staked their claim to finish the season at the top of the standings with the duo of Rio Haryanto / Alexander Rossi.
At MP Motorsport, Daniiel de Jong has been confirmed for a second season. He will be joined for this three day test session by GP2 race winner Jon Lancaster. Recently confirmed at Trident, Johnny Cecotto will be paired for this test with rookie Axcil Jefferies from Zimbabwe. Venezuela GP Lazarus announced last Friday that Nathanaël Berthon was joining them for the season with the clear objective to help the team fight for podiums. Conor Daly will also be testing for the Italian team in Abu Dhabi. The American driver and GP3 graduate already has a GP2 race weekend under his belt at Sepang last year where he scored two points. Last but not least, Campos Racing return to GP2 with a rookie pairing formed by Arthur Pic and Kimiya Sato.
Pirelli have selected two different compounds for these three days: Medium (Prime) and Super Soft (Option). Each driver will be supplied with five sets of Prime and two sets of Option.
The session will start tomorrow at 09:00 local time and will run until 12:00. After a two hour break, the proceedings will resume until 17:00.
Drivers’ Entry List
Mitch Evans
Artem Markelov
Felipe Nasr
Julian Leal
Raffaele Marciello
Racing Engineering
Stefano Coletti
Racing Engineering
Jolyon Palmer
Stéphane Richelmi
Stoffel Vandoorne
ART Grand Prix
Takuya Izawa
ART Grand Prix
Daniel Abt
Hilmer Motorsport
Facu Regalia
Hilmer Motorsport
Adrian Quaife-Hobbs
Simon Trummer
Rene Binder
Arden International
André Negrao
Arden International
Rio Haryanto
EQ8 Caterham Racing
Alexander Rossi
EQ8 Caterham Racing
Daniiel De Jong
MP Motorsport
Jon Lancaster
MP Motorsport
Axcil Jefferies
Johnny Cecotto
Nathanaël Berthon
Venezuela GP Lazarus
Conor Daly
Venezuela GP Lazarus
Arthur Pic
Campos Racing
Kimiya Sato
Campos Racing





  • Having started day two of Rally Guanajuato Corona in second position, Mads Østberg and Jonas Andersson were forced to retire after SS12. They will rejoin tomorrow under Rally 2 rules.
  • Kris Meeke and Paul Nagle enjoyed an error-free day, improving from thirteenth to ninth position by this evening and recording a first stage win.
  • There are four stages left for the Citroën Total Abu Dhabi World Rally Team drivers to score points at this Mexican round of the WRC. 


After a very successful first leg, Mads Østberg set off this morning to attack the stages in the Sierra de Lobos. However, on Ibarrilla 1, the Norwegian hit a bank just 200 metres shy of the finish.

It was only after passing the stop control that the crew noticed that part of the suspension was broken. Despite their attempts to repair the damage before the next stage with “a Viking fix”, Mads Østberg and Jonas Andersson ended up running out of time. They will be allowed to rejoin tomorrow under Rally 2 rules.

Still learning about the Mexican stages, Kris Meeke nonetheless showed commitment and focus. After improving in the second loop, the Briton managed to record his first stage win on SS18 to move up into ninth position in the overall standings.

The final leg is made up of four stages, including a 56 kilometre-long test. SS22, El Brinco, will serve as the Power Stage in which bonus points will be up for grabs. The rally is scheduled to finish in Leòn at 2.30pm.


Mads Østberg: “I was pushing on the first stage. Shortly before the finish, there was a quick section ahead of a braking point for a right-hand bend. My pace notes weren’t right. I didn’t brake hard enough, so we carried too much speed and hit a bank on the outside of the corner as we exited it. We managed to finish the stage but the suspension was too damaged to be able to continue. We worked as hard as possible to carry out repairs but we just didn’t have enough time to make it to the start of the next stage.”

Kris Meeke: “The stages are really complicated when you haven’t experienced them before. You have to find the right rhythm. The roads are slippery with some very narrow, twisty sections. I was struggling to feel confident on the first pass. We are doing everything for the first time, which is part and parcel of the learning process. Once you’re more familiar with the stages, everything is a lot more straightforward. So, the feeling was a lot better this afternoon and I think you can see that in the times.”

Yves Matton (Citroën Racing Team Principal): “Mads’ strategy was to drive at a strong pace in order to consolidate his second position. Unfortunately, an ill-judged pace note means his name has been added to the long list of drivers caught out at this Rally Mexico. Although he tried to repair the damage, he was unable to continue. He will rejoin tomorrow under Rally 2 rules to prepare for the next round of the WRC in Portugal. Kris’ goal was to complete all of the stages. He drove at a sensible pace to ensure he built up some more experience. He is improving on a rally where he is competing for the first time.”


SS12 – Ibarrilla 1 (30.33km) – Rally leader Sébastien Ogier set the fastest time. In the final section of the stage, Mads Østberg ran wide exiting a corner and damaged the suspension on his car. Although he made it to the end of the stage, he retired on the road section leading to Otates. Sixth fastest time for Kris Meeke, who moved up to twelfth overall.

SS13 – Otates (53.69km) – On the day’s longest stage, Sébastien Ogier finished ahead of Jari-Matti Latvala. Kris Meeke moved back into the top 10. Andreas Mikkelsen and Robert Kubica retired.

SS14 – Ibarrilla 2 (30.33km) – Sébastien Ogier kept up his series of stage wins. Fourth fastest on this test, Kris Meeke continued to improve.

SS15 – Otatitos (43.06km) – Another fourth fastest time for Kris Meeke on this long stage, lasting over thirty minutes. Meanwhile, Sébastien Ogier extended his lead at the front.

SS16 – El Brinco 1 (8.25km) – Kris Meeke moved up a place in the overall standings during this live televised stage to grab ninth position. Sébastien Ogier went fastest once again, just ahead of Mikko Hirvonen.

SS17 and SS18 – Super Special 3 and 4 (2.21km) – After  a spin on the first run, Kris Meeke went on to set the fastest time on the day’s final stage. Jari-Matti Latvala went fastest on SS17.


1. Sébastien Ogier / Julien Ingrassia (Volkswagen Polo R WRC) 3:36:42.2
2. Jari-Matti Latvala / Miikka Anttila (Volkswagen Polo R WRC) +1:00.3
3. Thierry Neuville / Nicolas Gilsoul (Hyundai i20 WRC) +4:37.0
4. Elfyn Evans / Daniel Barritt (Ford Fiesta RS WRC) +5:24.0
5. Martin Prokop / Jan Tomanek (Ford Fiesta RS WRC) +8:02.5
6. Benito Guerra / Borja Rozada (Ford Fiesta RS WRC) +10:33.6
7. Chris Atkinson / Stéphane Prévot (Hyundai i20 WRC) +12:18.3
8. Mikko Hirvonen / Jarmo Lehtinen (Ford Fiesta RS WRC) +16:09.4
9. Kris Meeke / Paul Nagle (Citroën DS3 WRC) +17:18.9
10. Yuriy Protasov / Pavlo Cherepin (Ford Fiesta R5) +17:35.0

The Premiere Motorsport Podcast