Lewis Hamilton Dominates First Race of 2015

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The first race of the 2015 Formula One Season got undeway at Melbourne on Sunday 15th March 2015.

Lewis Hamilton sat on pole. The lights went out and the race finally started. Hamilton got off to a great start. The cars piled into the first corner. Contact was made between a few cars which resulted in Maldonado spinning off on the very first corner. The yellow flags were waved and the safety car was called out. On lap 2 the safety car remained out on track while Grosjean was forced to retire. An awful start so far for the Lotus team with now both cars out of the race. At the end of lap 3 the safety car comes in and Hamilton instantly creates a large gap from himself and the rest of the pack.

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Severeal laps pass as the Mercedes pull away. Lap 14 Perez and Button make contact which results in Perez spinning his car out. He manages to get it back in one piece onto the track. Over the next few laps Vettel manages to get himself past Massa in the Williams as Raikkonen overtakes some cars to work his way up the field. Then on lap 34 Max Verstappen retires on his debut in the Toro Rosso with a engine problem.

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Raikkonen pits in lap 40 there’s a problem but the team don’t seem to be aware shortly after Kimi Raikkonen is forced to retire on lap 41 due to a loose wheel. The final lap arrives only 11 cars remain on track. Lewis Hamilton crosses the line and wins the race and his teammate Nico Rosberg finishes in second. Just over 30 seconds later Vettel finishes 3rd in his debut start for Ferrari.

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Championship Standings

1. Hamilton 25.
2. Rosberg 18.
3. Vettel 15.
4. Massa 12.
5. Nasr 10.
6. Ricciardo 8.
7. Hulkenberg 6.
8. Ericsson 4.
9. Sainz 2.
10. Perez 1.
11. Button 0.
12. Raikkonen 0.
13. Verstappen 0.
14. Grosjean 0.
15. Maldonado 0.
16. Kvyat 0.
17. Magnussen 0.
18. Bottas 0.

Constructors

1. Mercedes 43.
2. Ferrari 15.
3. Sauber 14.
4. Williams 12.
5. Red Bull 8.
6. Force India 7.
7. Toro Rosso 2.
8. McLaren 0.

Second Round of Testing Barcelona Catalunya

2 weeks ago the teams done their first round of testing at the Jerez race track now that they have had some time to learn from their early testing the teams will now continue to learn more about their cars.

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Day 1

1. Pastor Maldonado, Lotus, 1m 25.011s, 69 laps
2. Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari, 1m 25.167s, 74 laps
3. Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull, 1m 25.547s, 59 laps
4. Sergio Perez, Force India, 1m 26.636s, 34 laps
5. Felipe Nasr, Sauber, 1m 27.307s, 79 laps
6. Max Verstappen, Toro Rosso, 1m 27.900s, 94 laps
7. Jenson Button, McLaren, 1m 28.182s, 21 laps
8. Pascal Wehrlein, Force India, 1m 28.329s, 32 laps
9. Pascal Wehrlein, Mercedes, 1m 28.489s, 48 laps
10. Susie Wolff, Williams, 1m 28.906s, 86 laps
11. Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, 1m 30.429s, 11 laps

Pastor Maldonado topped the timings on the first day he took advantage of using the soft tires. However his day with Lotus didn’t go perfect he had to stop twice during his 69 laps because of sensor issues. Kimi Raikkonen drove his Ferrari for over 70 laps and posted the second fastest time its also important to mention the car ran without any problems for the whole time. Ricciardo, Perez, Nasr and Verstappen had a good day by completing a lot of laps and seemed positive about it. The same can’t be said for Button though as a faulty seal on the MGU-K part of his Honda power unit caused them problems the team will have to now redesign it. Pascal Wehrlein had a great day as he mentioned later on he done some testing with Force India and because Lewis Hamilton took unwell early on he got to drive the Mercedes as well. Susie Wolff done a good number of laps in the Williams.

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Day 2

1. Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull, 1m 24.574s, 143 laps
2. Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari, 1m 24.584s, 90 laps
3. Felipe Massa, Williams, 1m 24.672s, 88 laps
4. Sergio Perez, Force India, 1m 24.702s, 121 laps
5. Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, 1m 24.923s, 89 laps
6. Nico Rosberg, Mercedes, 1m 25.556s, 66 laps
7. Fernando Alonso, McLaren, 1m 25.961s, 59 laps
8. Jolyon Palmer, Lotus, 1m 26.280s, 77 laps
9. Marcus Ericsson, Sauber, 1m 27.334s, 113 laps
10. Carlos Sainz Jr, Toro Rosso, 1m 28.945s, 100 laps

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Daniel Ricciardo had a great day with his Red Bull team by topping the timings. Massa and Raikkonen were also not far off the fastest time and Raikkonen did go on to say they had planned to do more than 90 laps but small issues held them back. Perez put in more much needed laps the Force India needs after missing the first round of testing completely. Both Hamilton and Rosberg took turns driving the Mercedes and seemed happy with the car. McLaren had their best day yet with Alonso driving a total of 59 laps. Jolyon Palmer drove the Lotus and Marcus Ericsson drove the Sauber both drivers seemed happy with the testing. Carlos Sainz Jr went off at turn 9 during his testing but overall still managed 100 laps.

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Day 3

1. Pastor Maldonado, Lotus, 1m 24.348s, 104 laps
2. Max Verstappen, Toro Rosso, 1m24.739s, 129 laps
3. Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, 1m26.076s, 101 laps
4. Marcus Ericsson, Sauber, 1m 26.340s, 53 laps
5. Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, 1m 26.407s, 105 laps
6. Daniil Kvyat, Red Bull, 1m 26.589s, 111 laps
7. Felipe Massa, Williams, 1m 26.912s, 55 laps
8. Pascal Wehrlein, Force India, 1m 27.333s, 81 laps
9. Valtteri Bottas, Williams, 1m 27.556s, 49 laps
10. Jenson Button, McLaren, 1m 29.151s, 24 laps

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Maldonado again appeared on top of the timings he seemed very happy and positive about the car and how they achieved so many laps. Verstappen in the Toro Rosso used super soft tires to set the second fastest time and done an impressive 129 laps. Hamilton came third with things looking okay for Mercedes but Ericsson spent a lot of time in the garage with gearbox issues he managed only 53 laps. Vettel had a bad start by spinning the Ferrari into the gravel early on but went on to do 105 laps. Kvyat had a good day with Red Bull. Both Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas got to test the car and were also seen practicing pit stops. Pascal Wehrlein continued to test for Force India and Jenson Button had a very bad day with McLaren with more problems popping up with the car.

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Day 4

1. Romain Grosjean, Lotus, 1m 24.067s, 111 laps
2. Nico Rosberg, Mercedes, 1m 24.321s, 131 laps
3. Daniil Kvyat, Red Bull, 1m 24.941s, 104 laps
4. Felipe Nasr, Sauber, 1m 24.956s, 73 laps
5. Valtteri Bottas, Williams, 1m 25.345s, 129 laps
6. Carlos Sainz Jr, Toro Rosso, 1m 25.604s, 88 laps
7. Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, 1m 26.312s, 76 laps
8. Nico Hulkenberg, Force India, 1m 26.591s, 36 laps
9. Fernando Alonso, McLaren, 1m 27.956s, 20 laps

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Romain Grosjean once again took the Lotus to the top of the timings and Romain Grosjean seemed very pleased with the progress that the car is making. Rosberg, Kvyat, Nasr and Bottas had a good day with no problems. Carlos Sainz Jr also had a good day with Toro Rosso until he crashed later on. Vettel and Hulkenberg both appeared okay with no problems. Fernando Alonso had a crash after doing 20 laps it is still not known why this happened it could be a problem with the car or the strong gusty winds at the track I checked the nearest weather station just beside the track for that day and strong winds were reported with high gusts. Fernando Alonso was taken to hospital and appears to be doing well.

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Overall analysis

Just like with the first round of testing at Jerez it is important to not read much into the timings as the teams did say sometimes you are testing reliability and not the speed. Most teams do seem to have improved with Lotus looking like the team who have worked really hard to get the car going well again. McLaren still have a huge list of problems that they need to get fixing.