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Malaysian Grand Prix 2012 Qualifying : Hamilton gets pole, Button second in all McLaren front row

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Sorry for being out of action for the Australian Grand Prix, too much work, missed some of today’s qualifying also. Karun Chandhok is commentating for Star Sports now, so things surely have changed. Sepang looks like a good place to start tracking the season.

I am starting a new thing, wherein I will be penning my thoughts as the sessions progress. The third session of qualifying is about to start and Star Sports just showed 30 seconds of footage with 10 seconds focusing  on a driver’s wife/girlfriend with race control headphones on before going into a commercial break again.

Iceman Kimi Raikkonen is the first man out on track in his Lotus Renault followed by last year’s champion Sebastien Vettel in his Red Bull and McLaren’s Jenson Button. Red Bull seems to be totally off pace so far this season although they tasted some success in Melbourne.

After the 1st three cars have set a flying lap, its Lewis Hamilton in P1,  leading Jenson Button who leads Kimi Raikkonnen.

www.hoch-zwei.net

As more cars set their 1st Q3 times, Sebastien Vettel only manages a P6 in his Red Bull. I am eagerly awaiting the 2 Mercedes and the Ferraris at this point. Nice Rosberg and Michael Schumacher are on their warm-up laps even as I write.

As they head onto their flying laps, Michael is inside the best time on Sector1 (Lewis Hamilton’s) while Rosberg is much slower in the 1st Sector and outside Hamilton’s P1 time. Schumi is just outside Hamilton’s time in sector 2 where Lewis Hamilton’s McLaren gained the most time and is the fastest.

Haven’t felt this excited by a Michael Schumacher flying lap in a long time, Schumi is off Hamilton by .18 of a second at the end of his flying lap, but its nice to see Michael Schumacher at the top again (almost). The Mercedes cars opting only for 1 lap in Q3, I wonder why, it was always awesome to see Michael doing flying laps 1 by  and getting awesome times in. Here is a photo from Friday with Michael surveying the track in trademark style on his scooter.

Michael Schumacher Sepang on track on scooter

Red Bull and Lotus are now pushing in their second laps in the last 20 seconds of Q3. Some random commentary chatter about Red Bulls (its Sebastien Vettel only) using harder compound tyres putting the race ahead of qualifying. Webber still gets P3 and Button is pushed to 5th position by Kimi Raikkonen’s 4th best time.

But wait Jenson Button fights back with a P2 time now. It’s an all McLaren front row with Button’s time, Michael Schumacher has to be content with a second row P3. Kimi Raikkonen has a 5 place penalty to contend with so his P4 isn’t actually a P4.

And the qualifying sessions ends, the final order being (before penalties):

Pos  No  Driver  Team  Q1 Q2 Q3  Laps
1 4 Lewis Hamilton  McLaren-Mercedes  01:37.8 01:37.1 01:36.2 14
2 3 Jenson Button  McLaren-Mercedes  01:37.6 01:36.9 01:36.4 14
3 7 Michael Schumacher  Mercedes  01:37.5 01:37.0 01:36.4 14
4 2 Mark Webber  Red Bull Racing-Renault  01:37.2 01:37.4 01:36.5 19
5 9 Kimi Räikkönen  Lotus-Renault  01:38.0 01:36.7 01:36.5 13
6 1 Sebastian Vettel  Red Bull Racing-Renault  01:38.1 01:37.4 01:36.6 14
7 10 Romain Grosjean  Lotus-Renault  01:38.1 01:37.3 01:36.7 14
8 8 Nico Rosberg  Mercedes  01:37.7 01:37.0 01:36.7 14
9 5 Fernando Alonso  Ferrari  01:38.2 01:37.4 01:37.6 16
10 15 Sergio Perez  Sauber-Ferrari  01:37.9 01:37.5 01:37.7 17
11 18 Pastor Maldonado  Williams-Renault  01:37.8 01:37.6   14
12 6 Felipe Massa  Ferrari  01:38.4 01:37.7   15
13 19 Bruno Senna  Williams-Renault  01:38.4 01:37.8   13
14 11 Paul di Resta  Force India-Mercedes  01:38.3 01:37.9   15
15 16 Daniel Ricciardo  STR-Ferrari  01:38.4 01:37.9   14
16 12 Nico Hulkenberg  Force India-Mercedes  01:38.3 01:37.9   13
17 14 Kamui Kobayashi  Sauber-Ferrari  01:38.4 01:38.1   12
18 17 Jean-Eric Vergne  STR-Ferrari  01:39.1     7
19 20 Heikki Kovalainen  Caterham-Renault  01:39.3     9
20 21 Vitaly Petrov  Caterham-Renault  01:39.6     6
21 24 Timo Glock  Marussia-Cosworth  01:40.9     8
22 25 Charles Pic  Marussia-Cosworth  01:41.3     8
23 22 Pedro de la Rosa  HRT-Cosworth  01:42.9     4
24 23 Narain Karthikeyan  HRT-Cosworth  01:43.7     6

Good news for the HRTs finally, they make the race cut this time unlike the disappointment in Australia. Although, I sometimes wonder if its even worth it. They are so off the race pace that it makes no sense for them to be in formula one racing,what do you think ?

Narain Karthikeyan’s sponsors have to do some soul searching and get him a better drive, who knows what he can do in a Sauber or a Red Bull.

Force India is not living up to their pre-season hype and is struggling to keep pace not making it to the Q3 also.

Onto the Press conference now, Lewis Hamilton isn’t swearing this season, what’s up with that ? Also its Michael’s best qualifying since Monza 2011, where he was 5th. That’s just wow !

With rain predicted for tomorrow, Steve Slater would bet on Lewis Hamilton, really Steve ? The lady host would bet on Michael Schumacher though, finally some support. sorry I don’t know who your are or your name Smile

Jenson Button ‘assists’ Lewis Hamilton the photographer !

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Looks like Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button have found alternate vocations, thanks to Vodafone VIP. Jenson Button assists Lewis Hamilton in a professional photoshoot. The video shows good camaraderie between the two Brits, McLaren would be happy about that.  Lewis Hamilton was pretty happy with his new job :

· “So I chose to be the photographer. Jenson was happy with me being the photographer. He wanted to be the assistant because he probably thought he could be lazier but it turned out that he had to do everything. My role was having to direct where all the bits and pieces had to be, position the girls and get them to put on the expressions that I liked and then I had to get the shot done in a very short period of time. I did a pretty good job.” He Said

Jenson was quick to get to grips with the outfit selection, as well as the intricacies of lighting, composition and camera setups, while Lewis also tackled his role confidently. “I’ve done several photo shoots”, Lewis commented, “so I kind of see how photographers behave and act. And obviously I’ve seen Austin Powers so that’s where I really took my inspiration from!”

Check out the behind the scenes video and some exclusive photos :

Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button Vodafone VIP behind the scenes

Jenson Button posing for Lewis Hamilton

Jenson Button filling in for the model.

Lewis Hamilton Photography

The Alleged photographs by Lewis Hamilton 🙂

Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button with fashion models

Lewis Hamilton set the timer for this one !

Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button

Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button              Jenson Button with fashion models

Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button with fashion models

Jenson Button posing for the camera              Lewis Hamilton posing for the camera

Generally fiddling around on the set for the photo shoot !

About Vodafone VIP :

The film is just one element of Vodafone VIP, which gives customers access to the best of British festival, fashion and Formula 1™ events. Whether it’s the 2011 FORMULA 1 SANTANDER BRITISH GRAND PRIX, music festivals or exclusive front row seats at London Fashion Week shows, Vodafone will be supplying customers with the hottest tickets and money can’t buy experiences. All Vodafone customers can register for Vodafone VIP by going online.

Written by Formula One Addict

June 30th, 2011 at 3:23 pm

Jenson Button committed to end career at McLaren Mercedes

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Jenson Button of McLaren

Jenson Button is a loyal Brit, he has expressed his willingness and his inclination to continue with his stint at McLaren and to end his formula one career at McLaren only. The Brit has a contract with McLaren till 2012. Fresh from is title victory with Brawn GP, Jenson Button had joined the McLaren team in the 2010 formula one season.

Button said that he was very happy with McLaren and was enjoying his time spent with the McLaren formula one team.

Button was quoted as saying

“When I finish racing here, I won’t be racing in Formula 1 anymore. I’m very happy here. I want to enjoy my racing and I’m really enjoying my time here. I can’t see any reason to be anywhere else.”

“It’s a position that most drivers would love to be in and I’ve worked very hard for it. I might be around for three years, five years…I don’t know.”

McLaren Team principal Martin Whitmarsh seemed happy hearing reports of Jenson’s fondness for the team, he was quoted as saying :

“If Jenson says he is totally committed and wants to do x more years, then I suspect that we could quickly come to an agreement.

He’s a tremendous asset to the team and when we get around to that, I hope that it will be a quick and easy conversation.”

‘Where does Lewis Hamilton fit into all this ?’ is a good question though, is he also committed to the McLaren team or is he looking for a switch to one of the better teams at this stage (Redbull racing comes from the rumourville). I remember reading at a few places that Lewis Hamilton might decide to swtich to the faster Red Bull cars. Whether  or not there is any basis for the rumours, only time will be able to tell.

Martin Whitmarsh also talked about the plans for the Turkish Grand Prix :

Winning in China was a fantastic reward for all the hard effort that’s been undertaken both at the race track and at the McLaren Technology Centre to turn MP4-26 into a race winner.

“We’re excited and encouraged by the pace and consistency that both drivers have shown in the opening three flyaway races, but the return to Europe brings fresh challenges.

“We’re under no illusions that we need to improve our qualifying and race pace if we are to remain a threat at the front.

“Additionally, many teams will be readying significant upgrade packages for the Turkish Grand Prix – so nobody can afford to sit still. For this race, we’ll be evaluating a number of small modifications, which include some aerodynamic refinements to the bodywork, during Friday practice.

“Our pace of development is what can win us this championship — and we go into Turkey determined to ensure our upgrades deliver practical gains and are able to confer a useful margin to both drivers.

“Our one-two finish in Turkey last year was one of our most exciting races – and the memory of that result will doubtless spur on the whole team next weekend.”

 

Image: McLaren Media

Written by Formula One Addict

April 29th, 2011 at 5:44 pm

Jenson Button drives the McLaren MP4-23 F1 car at Mount Panorama

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Good old Jenson Button was having fun this Tuesday at Australia’s Mt. Panorama circuit, here is a press release and some really nice photos from the sessions.

 

Jamie Whincup and Jenson Button at BATHURST Mt. Panorama

TUESDAY 22 MARCH 2011: Ahead of defending his Australian F1™ race grand prix crown, Vodafone McLaren Mercedes ace and 2009 World Champion Jenson Button wrote history today, becoming the first-ever race driver to take on Australia’s iconic Mount Panorama circuit in an F1™ race car.
 
The historic event proved to be irresistible to motorsport fans, with thousands flocking to line the Mount Panorama circuit to see a Formula 1™ car soar around the legendary track. Button completed five laps in the MP4-23 car, before five-times Bathurst champion, TeamVodafone’s Craig Lowndes, himself wrote his own new chapter in Australian motorsport history, becoming the first-ever Australian driver to pilot a Formula 1™ car around the famous Mount Panorama circuit.

 Jenson Button at BATHURST Mt. Panorama Helicopter
 
The unique event, organised by Vodafone with the support of Bathurst Council, was inspired by Jenson himself, who after taking Lowndes’ team mate, TeamVodafone driver Jamie Whincup’s V8 Supercar, for a spin around Melbourne’s Albert Park circuit last year, declared his desire to have a crack at The Mountain.
 
For V8 Supercar legend, Craig Lowndes, the event presented him with a-once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to drive a Formula One car around a track he knows (arguably) better than anyone else.

Jamie Whincup and Jenson Button at BATHURST Mt. Panorama
 
When Button took to the wheel of the TeamVodafone V8 Supercar, he fulfilled a dream- to thread a V8 racecar through the famous walls of Mount Panorama, a race he grew up watching as a young child in the UK.

Jamie Whincup and Jenson Button at BATHURST Mt. Panorama in F1 car and V8 exchange
 
Both Button and Lowndes paid tribute to fans, thanking them for travelling all across Australia to be part of this unique event and also for their kind donations to the Queensland and Victoria Flood Appeal.
 
JENSON BUTTON 
 
Jenson on his first impressions on the track
These guys are crazy – they really are. This place is fantastic. Television just doesn’t do it justice. When I drove around earlier in a Mercedes road car it even felt fast. I think I’m going to have more fun in the V8 car than the F1 because you can actually use all the kerbs and get a good flow. I’m really excited about the challenge. It’s
the second time I’ll be driving a V8 and I’ve got so many good memories of watching the V8s on TV and hopefully one day I get to drive one for real and it not just be four laps.
 
Jenson on fulfilling his childhood dream of driving at Bathurst
As a driver you have your favourite tracks. Like Macau and Silverstone for instance. But this is the one I haven’t had the possibility of driving and I’m going to fulfil a childhood dream in not only a V8 but also in a Formula 1 car – which I think is pretty special myself.
 
Jenson Button on the advice given to him by TeamVodafone V8 Supercar legend, Craig Lowndes
He jokingly said it’s flat everywhere and that if you don’t come back with wing mirrors that’s pretty normal!
 
Jenson Button on how it felt to be the first driver to pilot an F1™ at Mt. Panorama
This is an iconic race track and it’s great to celebrate the unofficial fastest lap in a F1 car. That was phenomenal. It was such a rush. Once you get over the straights being quite hard to control the car over it is such a pleasure. It’s just a pity I don’t have more laps to test it out.

Jenson Button on how different was it driving the V8 compared to watching them on TV?
I didn’t expect so much grip. It took me a while to get used to it. I haven’t hammered a car over kerbs like that for 12 years so it was a new experience for me and something I’ve missed.
 
Jenson Button on what it was like up on top of the mountain in a V8?
I was holding on tight all the way. It takes everything out of you. It was the experience I’ve wanted to have for many years and I’ve finally done it. In a way it’s probably not a good thing because it’s made me more hungry to come back.

Written by Formula One Addict

March 23rd, 2011 at 7:49 pm

Force India Formula One : Poised for 2011 season

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Vijay Mallya had one aim for his formula one team, he wanted to bring his team to a level that would ensure a podium finish for the team at the first Indian Grand Prix and quite frankly they are almost there. Mr. Vijay Mallya has not run the Force India F1 team as a side business but like a sport entity should be run, with passion, determination and ofcourse force. He also has the distinction of being one of the few people with top level categories for them 🙂 .

This is just a small article showcasing how the team looks for the 2011 season, the team calls its 2011 challenger the VJM04.

The VJM04 Unleashed–Force India’s 2011 challenger !

vjm04-testing-pits

The team seems all charged up for the 2011 season, while poster boy Adrian Sutil was retained for the 2011 season as primary driver, Nico Hulkenberg will be the reserve driver and Brit blood (Scottish for some 😛 ) Paula Di Resta has come into the team as the secondary driver. Vitantonio Liuzzi is out of the team (surprised ? ).

force india f1 drivers sutil hulkenberg and resta

Testing has been proceeding well for the team and Adrian Sutil seemed happy with the recently concluded testing at the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona. Adrian’s comments after the test were :

Adrian Sutil
A very productive day in general for us. We made some good progress with the balance and we’ve now got a basic set-up that feels smooth and easy to drive. I also got a run on the supersoft tyres, which we didn’t manage to do yesterday. Of course we also put the KERS on the car. It ran reliably and allowed us to complete the full test programme: very promising for this point in testing. It’s still early days for the system but we have got ourselves into a good rhythm and can feed this back into the factory to get some more performance for the next test.

Dominic Harlow, circuit engineering director also added his thoughts :

A good final day’s testing concentrating on KERS set-up, reliability and also some aero tests that remained on our program. Adrian also looked at some ride height sweeps and a few procedural checks. It’s been a productive four days for the team and overall the car seems to be performing reliably and according to expectations in all the major areas.

The comments are very much in contrast with those of the McLaren pair of Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button. In other news, Martin Whitmarsh has issued a whip to the  various drivers taking gripes at the new F1 tyre suppliers Pirelli.

“Being a tire supplier is a thankless task,” Martin Whitmarsh said.

“The quick deterioration is a characteristic, requested by the teams and organization, to improve the show.”

Images : Force India F1 Media

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