Tag Archives: Massa

Two Time – Lewis Hamilton

Today’s blog will attempt to put Lewis Hamilton’s 2014 World Championship win into perspective.

The 2014 season was of course dominated by the Mercedes AMG F1 team for which Lewis drives with team mate Nico Rosberg.

Lewis Hamilton, MercedesAMGF1

Photo courtesy Mercedes AMG F1.

During the season the Mercedes AMG F1 team qualified on pole 18 out of 19 times; Nico started from pole 11 times compared to Lewis’s 6, with Felipe Massa in the Mercedes powered Martini Williams being the only man to break the Mercedes Benz AMG F1 pole monopoly when he qualified on pole for the Austrian Grand Prix.

Mercedes Benz AMG F1 drivers also recorded 13 fastest race laps 7 of which were recorded by Lewis and 6 by Nico. The remaining fastest laps were recorded by Kimi Räikkönen driving a Ferrari, Felipe and team mate Vallteri Bottas driving for Martini Williams, Sergio Perez driving a
for Force India and Daniel Riccardo driving for Red Bull.

Lewis and Nico also won 16 of the 19 2014 Formula One season races; 11 to Lewis, 5 to Nico and 3 to Daniel Riccardo.

Lewis became the 16th multiple Formula One World Champion and the fourth Britain to do so after Graham Hill ’62/’68, Jim Clark ’63/’65 and Jackie Stewart ’69/’71/’73.

The 2014 constructors championship was won by Mercedes Benz for the first time, there were no championships for constructors in 1954 and 1955 when Juan Manuel Fangio won two drivers championships driving for the Mercedes Benz team.

Mika Häkkinen drove Mercedes powered McLaren’s to consecutive drivers championships in 1998/’99 as did Lewis his to his first championship in 2008. McLaren won the constructors championship in 1998, so Mercedes motors have now powered three world drivers champions to six drivers championships, but just two constructors championships.

An interesting aside is that Mercedes Benz bought out the 2009 Constructors champions Brawn GP at the end of 2009 and there is a paper trail at Companies House which links Brawn GP through the Honda Racing F1 Team and British American Racing to the Tyrrell Racing Organisation founded on the 9th of January 1964 with the company number 00787446.

Therefore over the last fifty years the legal entities registered under Company Number 00787446 lay claim to; the 1969 World Drivers and Constructors championships won by Jackie Stewart run by Tyrrell Racing Organisation under the Matra International banner, the ’71 Driver and Constructors Championships won by Jackie running under the Tyrrell Racing Organisation name as was Jackie’s final Drivers title in ’73, the 2009 World Drivers and Constructors titles won by Jenson Button and Brawn GP and now Lewis Hamilton’s and Mercedes Benz AMG F1’s drivers and constructors championships making five drivers championships and four constructors championships in all.

Thanks for joining me on this ‘Two Time’ edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be looking at a life times love affair with racing from New Jersey. Don’t forget to come back now !


Goodwood Favourites – Formula One

Today’s post features a few of my favourite Formula One ’74 to present day cars that appeared at Goodwood last week.

McLaren M23, Fittipaldi, Goodwood Festival of Speed

First up Emerson Fittipaldi gives GALPOT a wave coming back down the hill in his 1974 McLaren M23 chassis #5.

Maki Cosworth F101A, Goodwood Festival of Speed

After Honda’s disappearance from the Formula One grid at the end of the 1968 season there was no Japanese presence in Formula One until the 1976 Japanese Grand Prix. However this was not for the want of trying, Kenji Mimura founded the Maki Team in 1974 and their futuristic F101, which bore a passing resemblance to the experimental 1972 Ferrari 312 Snowplough attempted to unsuccessfully to qualify for the 1974 British and German Grand Prix. After Howden Ganley broke his legs at the Nurburgring the team retired to Japan to rework their ideas for 1975.

LEC CRP1, Wright, Goodwood Festival of Speed

Mike Pilbeam’s portfolio of attractive Formula One cars includes the LEC CRP1 seen above which was driven by David Purley in 1977 to a season high 13th place in Belgium shortly before surviving a 178 g deceleration from 108 mph to 0 in 25 inches / 66 cm against the sleepers during practice for the 1977 British GP. This particular car driven by Gary Wright had not been seen in action for 35 years.

Toleman Hart TG184, Davidson, Goodwood Festival of Speed

There were numerous vehicles which Ayrton Senna had driven present at Goodwood, and the Toleman TG184 above driven by Alistair Davidson may be one of them, an acquaintance who has spent twelve months researching the TG184 chassis tells me each of the five TG184’s has a slightly different rivet pattern where the roll bar connects to the top of the monocoque and is currently looking for body off photo’s of the TG184’s to confirm which car is which.

Jordan Ford 191, Sirgue, Goodwood Festival of Speed

In 1991 Eddie Jordan graduated to Formula One with one of the most attractive Formula One cars ever seen, designed by Gary Anderson, a fist full of Pepsico dollars, works supplied Ford Cosworth engines and Andrea de Cesaris as his lead driver. The team finished a highly creditable 5th in the constructors championship and Andrea 9th in the drivers championship. The team will also be remembered for introducing Micheal Schumacher to the top table of the sport in Belgium. Owner Didier Sirgue is seen at the wheel above.

Williams Mercedes FW36, Goodwood Festival Of Speed

Finally with Mercedes Benz motors and Martini money the Williams team is back on the ascendent this year with Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas at the wheel. The FW36 above unfortunately had to remain silent to avoid contravening the no testing agreement currently in operation amongst Formula One teams.

Thanks for joining me on this “Goodwood Favourites” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be celebrating the 120 Anniversary of Motorsport participation with Mercedes Benz at Goodwood. Don’t forget to come back now !


Dreaming About Someone Else’s Car – Ferrari F138

Since Alberto Ascari finished second driving a Ferrari on their debut in the second round of the World Drivers Championship in 1950 Ferrari have made 868 further championship Grand Prix starts, scored 207 championship Grand Prix pole positions, 221 championship Grand Prix victories contributed to 15 World Drivers Championships and won 16 Constructors championships, the latter first being introduced in 1958.

Ferrari F138, Massa, Young Diver Test, Silverstone

When Fernando Alonso seen below left Renault to sign up to replace Kimi Raikkönen at Ferrari for the 2010 season few could have imagined that four seasons later his tally of 11 wins, 2 poles and 8 fastest laps would not have added any further championships to Scuderia Ferrari’s unsurpassed tally.

Ferrari F138, Alonso, British Grand Prix P2, Silverstone

Such has been Ferrari’s technical disadvantage that despite being regularly hailed as the best driver on the Formula One circuit by pundits Fernando has managed three 2nd place finishes in the season end championship standings in 3 of the last four years.

Ferrari F138, Alonso, British Grand Prix P2, Silverstone

The 2013 season started quite well for the Spaniard with a second place to Raikkönen’s Lotus followed by wins in China and Spain interrupted only by a rare retirement in Malaysia, there after the best Fernando could manage was four second place finishes while his championship rival since 2010 Sebastian clocked no less than 11 victories out of 14 following the Spanish Grand Prix to claim his and Red Bulls 4th successive title.

Ferrari F138, Massa, Young Diver Test, Silverstone

So Fernando finished second in the 2013 points standings yet again and perhaps crucially for 2014 championship aspirations, let slip that for his 32nd Birthday he might like something other than a Ferrari.

Ferrari F138, Alonso, British Grand Prix P2, Silverstone

Fernando’s team mate Felipe Massa, seen driving the F138 during the Young Driver Test at Silverstone below, has been the Ferrari defacto No.2 driver since 2006 when he replaced Rubins Barrichello to drive alongside Michael Schumacher.

Ferrari F138, Massa, Young Diver Test, Silverstone

Felipe’s best shot at winning a World Drivers Championship came in 2008 when he comprehensively out drove his team mate and reigning 2007 World Champion Kimi Raikkönen in 2008 only to lose the championship by a songle point to Lewis Hamilton.

Ferrari F138, Massa, British Grand Prix P1, Silverstone

In 2009 Felipe’s season was cut short when a spring fell off his compatriot Ruben’s Barrichello’s Brawn and caught Felipe’s helmet. Lucky not to loose his eye, Felipe returned to Formula one the following season since when he has scored 3 podium finishes, 2 fastest laps and was ordered to hand over lead of the 2010 German Grand Prix to his team mate Alonso.

Ferrari F138, Alonso, British Grand Prix P2, Silverstone

Last season saw Felipe score a season high third place finish in the Spanish Grand Prix and finish 8th in the season end drivers championship standings having contributed to Ferrari’s third over all finish in the constructors championship.

Ferrari F138, Massa, Young Diver Test, Silverstone

Unsurprisingly Felipe was not retained for 2014 and he has found a new job at Williams where he will be team leader, Alonso meanwhile may yet rue the day he told a reporter that he would like “someone else’s car” for his 32nd Birthday as Ferrari President Luca di Montemozolo appears to have taken the humorous comment to heart and reemployed a very much in form Kimi Raikkönen, the same driver he sacked to take on Fernado Alonso in the first place.

Ferrari F138, Massa, Young Diver Test, Silverstone

Without question if the 2014 Ferrari F14T is even vaguely reliable the goings on at Maranello should be fascinating as the team comes to terms with having signed two drivers capable of taking points of each other and possibly letting a rival from another team win the drivers championship.

You can follow Ferrari through their website on this link, on their facebook page linked here and twitter feed linked here.

Thanks for joining me on this “Dreaming About Someone Else’s Car” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be starting a new series of Saturday blogs on Buckler cars. Don’t forget to come back now !


Wrong Footed By Safety Car – Ferrari F10

For 2010 Ferrari produced it’s 56th World Championship challenger the Ferrari F10, seen here earlier this month at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, that was driven by incumbent number two Felipe Massa and Kimi Räikkönen’s replacement Fernando Alonso in the de facto number one Ferrari seat.

Ferrari F10, Goodwood Festival Of Speed

The credits for the design of the Ferrari F10 are attributed to Technical Director Aldo Costa, Engine and Electronics Director Luca Marmoni, Chief Designer Nicholas Tombazis …

Ferrari F10, Goodwood Festival Of Speed

and Chief Aerodynamicist Marco de Luca. A team of several dozen will have worked on constantly improving the design and performance of the front wing alone.

Ferrari F10, Goodwood Festival Of Speed

The independent front torsion bar suspension is activated by the diagonal elements that rise from the bottom of the wheel hubs to a position within the chassis above the wishbones. The semi-automatic, electronically controlled sequential gearbox has seven forward speeds plus a mandatory reverse.

Ferrari F10, Goodwood Festival Of Speed

800 hp is claimed from the 2.4 litre / 146 cui V8 which is restricted to 18,000 rpm. The motor is mounted at 3.5° to horizontal to improve the airflow under the car that generates much of the cars downforce.

Ferrari F10, Goodwood Festival Of Speed

The 2010 season proved a success for Ferrari, team leader Fernando Alonso won
5 races in Bahrain, Germany, Italy, Singapore and Korea. Going into the last race of the 2010 season Alonso only had to finish 4th to claim the championship.

An unforced team error when the team failed to call Fernando in during a safety car period meant that Fernando was on the wrong tyres at the wrong time unable to challenge Vitaly Petrov for fourth place while rival Sebastian Vettel won the race and the championship driving a Red Bull.

Felipe Massa finished 6th in the championship having been robbed of his only opportunity to win the German Grand Prix by team orders directing him to let Fernando Alonso through to win the race. The one-two result stood despite a US$100,000 fine which Ferrari attracted for the team order call which were expressly forbidden at the time.

Ferrari finished third in the manufacturers championship behind Red Bull and McLaren.

Thanks for joining me on this “Wrong Footed By Safety Car” edition of ‘Getting a li’l psycho on tyres”, I hope you will join me again tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !


Young Driver Test – Silverstone

Last Friday I popped over to Silverstone for the final day of the three day Formula One “Young Driver Test”.

Ferrari Trucks, Young Driver Test, Silverstone

On the way over to the paddock there was an imposing array of Ferrari tractor units.

Red Bull Transporters, Young Driver Test, Silverstone

Even though paddock access was restricted there were a few fans hoping to catch a glimpse of Sebastian Vettel on his way from the Red Bull hospitality suite to the pits.

Massa, Ferrari F138, Young Driver Test, Silverstone

The on track action started at 9 am sharp most of the cars were running with an array of extra airspeed sensors, such as that seen on Felipe Massa’s Ferrari F138, not usually seen on the race cars.

Parffett, McLaren MP4-28, Vergne, Torro Rosso STR8, Young Driver Test, Silverstone

McLaren’s Kevin Magnussen and Torro Rosso’s Daniel Ricciardo set the pace on day one and day two respectively, on Friday Gary Parffet and Jean Eric Vergne took over the respective cars seen at Becketts above.

Wolff, Williams FW35, Young Driver Test, Silverstone

Making her second appearance in testing for the Williams team was Susie Wolff who recorded 89 laps, nearly two Grand Prix distances recording ninth best time of the day, just under a second slower than Williams team leader Pastor Maldonado recorded the day before.

Prost, Lotus E21, Young Driver Test, Silverstone

Nicolas Prost, son of four time World Champion Alain, driving the Lotus E21 set third fastest time on Friday.

Sutil, Force India VJM06, Young Driver Test, Silverstone

Second best time of the day was recorded by Force India regular Adrian Sutil trying out the new tyres that will be used at the Hungarian Grand Prix next week.

Vettel, Red Bull RB9, Young Driver Test, Silverstone

Fastest time of all three days was recorded by Sebastian Vettel, who like Sutil was testing the Hungarian Spec Pirelli’s.

McLaren MP4-28, Young Driver Test, Silverstone

After the test there was a ‘sold out’ pit lane walk about during which most of the teams put a car out for display. The well worn wheel nut above is seen on the McLaren.

Caterham CT03, Young Driver Test, Silverstone

Caterham put on a demonstration of pit stop drill, blink and you’ll miss it at this close range.

My thanks to Tony “Giraffe” Gallagher for additional track access.

Thanks for joining me on this “Young Driver Test” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres”, I hope you will join me again tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !


Number 2 Drivers – British Grand Prix

Last Friday I popped along to Silverstone last Friday to see the first two practice sessions for the British Grand Prix. This was my first visit to Silverstone for Formula One action since 1981 when John Watson won the race for McLaren.

Rosberg, Mercedes Benz, F1 W04, British Grand Prix, P2, Silverstone

Today’s blog focuses on how the 11 teams number 2 drivers got on, above Nico Rosberg driving his Mercedes F1 W04 finished the opening day of practice at the top of the time sheets. Nico qualified second for the race and won after team mate Lewis Hamilton blew a tyre and then Sebastian Vettel retired with transmission problems. Despite having visiting pit row for the second time this season, twice more than his team mate Nico is still three seven points behind his team mate Lewis Hamilton, who has yet to win and fifty points behind Championship leader Lewis Hamilton.

Webber , Red Bull Renault, RB9, British Grand Prix, P2, Silverstone

Last years British Grand Prix winner Mark Webber, seen driving his Red Bull Renault RB9 above, similarly set a faster time than his team mate Sebastian Vettel on the opening day of practice. Mark qualified 4th behind his team mate for the race and dropped to 15th after making contact with Romain Grosjean on the opening lap and recovered to finish in second place on his final British Grand Prix appearance. Mark announced at the British Grand Prix that he would be retiring from Formula One at the end of the season and joining Porsche’s Le Mans program for 2014.

Massa , Ferrari, F138, British Grand Prix, P1, Silverstone

Ferrari’s Felipe Massa is seen driving his F138 in the first practice session he was slowest of the the eleven drivers to set a time in the morning and in the afternoon knocked a wheel of the front when he came off the drying track in the afternoon and again set the slowest time of the 22 drivers in the afternoon. Felipe could only qualify 12th for the race, but despite a high speed blow out did well to recover a sixth place finish by the end of the race.

Sutil , Force India Mercedes, VJM06, British Grand Prix, P2, Silverstone

Adrian Sutil driving a Mercedes powered Force India VJM06 set 8th fastest time on day one, qualified 7th for the race and spent a long period running in third place behind Vettel and Rosberg but then got swamped at the end to finish 7th.

Ricciardo, Torro Rosso Ferrari, STR8, British Grand Prix, P1, Silverstone

Daniel Ricciardo one of several drivers in the frame to replace the retiring Mark Webber at Red Bull, finished the opening practice session at the top of the time sheets, he qualified his Ferrari powered Torro Rosso STR8 an impressive 6th, seven places ahead of his team mate Jean Eric Vergne. After running in 4th place for much of the race he too was swamped at the end to finish 8th.

Bottas, Williams Renault, FW35, British Grand Prix, P1, Silverstone

Williams were celebrating the 600th Grand Pix at Silverstone unfortunately Valtteri Bottas driving his Renault powered FW35 could not repeat his fine Canadian 7th fastest qualifying performance. Starting 16th Valttteri came home 12th in the race.

Gutiérrez, Sauber Ferrari, C32, British Grand Prix, P1, Silverstone

Mexico’s Esteban Gutiérrez started the British Grand Prix from 17th place on the grid in his Ferrari powered Sauber C32 and climbed to 14th by the end of the race.

Chilton, Marussia Cosworth, MR02, British Grand Prix, P2, Silverstone

Max Chilton in the Cosworth powered Marrusia MR02 was the slowest qualifier but thanks to penalties for Paul di Resta and Giedo van der Garde he started his home Grand Prix from 20th and finished 17th.

van der Garde, Caterham Renault, CT03, British Grand Prix, P2, Silverstone

van der Garde started the British Grand Prix from last place after ignoring blue flags, shown to signal that he was about to be lapped, in Canada and finished the race 18th and last unlapped runner.

Grosjean, Lotus Renault, E21, British Grand Prix, P2, Silverstone

Driving his Renault powered Lotus E21 Romain Grosjean started the British Grand Prix from 7th on the grid but was involved in a collision with Mark Webber on the opening lap he finished the race 19th 1 lap down last car still running.

Perez, McLaren Mercedes, MP4-28, British Grand Prix, P2, Silverstone

Finally Sergio Pérez suffered a tyre failure during practice on the opening day that would be a portent for 4 similar failures on race day. Starting from 13th on the grid Sergio suffered a second puncture on race day that forced his retirement due to the damage to his Mercedes powered McLaren MP4-28 caused by the flailing remains of the tyre on lap on lap 46.

More on the British Grand Prix at Motorsports Unplugged.

Thanks for joining me on this “Number 2 Drivers” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again for an Independence Day edition tomorrow. Don’t for get to come back now !


It’s Not A Pick Up Truck – Ferrari 150° Italia

Having snatched World Drivers Championship defeat from the jaws of Victory at the Abu Dahbi Grand Prix in 2010, where Fernando Alonso went into the last race of the season with a 15 point lead over third placed Sebastian Vettel but left 4 points in arrears to the German in the final Championship standings, Ferrari regrouped for 2011 building a new vehicle with the design credited to Aldo Costa and Nicholas Tombazis which was known at its launch as the F150 in celebration of Italy’s 150th unification anniversary.

Ferrari 150° Italia, Autosport International, NEC, Birmingham

Formula One attracts controversy like flies to jam and a large number of jokes by even the most technical minded Formula One anoraks aside it was not long before Ford objected to Ferrari’s use of the trade marked F150 name and eventually Ferrari settled on the 150° Italia in which the ‘°’ stands for the ordinal cento cinquantesimo or one hundred and fiftieth in English.

Ferrari 150° Italia, Autosport International, NEC, Birmingham

Technically Ferrari’s 2011 2.4 litre/146 cui V8 powered challenger was caught on the hop having failed to spot the potential handling benefits of off throttle blown diffusers, a failure which echoed Enzo Ferrari’s assertion that aerodynamics are for teams that cannot build engines.

Ferrari 150° Italia, Autosport International, NEC, Birmingham

As a consequence Alonso was rarely in contention for podium finishes as Red Bull and McLaren who had refined their off throttle blown diffusers, won the opening 8 races of the 2011 season with Sebastian Vettel in the Red Bull winning 6 and Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button driving McLarens winning the remaining two.

Ferrari 150° Italia, Autosport International, NEC, Birmingham

For the ninth race of the season the British Grand Prix Ferrari had managed to persuade all the teams that they should run without off throttle blown diffusers, which basically hooked up an electronic engine programme to wind up the engine speed when the driver was off throttle to force hot air through the exhaust into the diffusers which produced additional downforce when running off throttle through the corners.

Ferrari 150° Italia, Autosport International, NEC, Birmingham

In the prevalent wet conditions which dried through the race Alonso, starting third, managed to beat the Lewis Hamilton driving a McLaren and Sebastian Vettel in his Red Bull to score the Ferrari teams only victory in 2011.

Ferrari 150° Italia, Autosport International, NEC, Birmingham

By the next race the teams despite objections from Ferrari and the Ferrari powered Sauber team reverted to running off throttle blown diffusers in anticipation of a ban on these devices for 2012.

Ferrari 150° Italia, Autosport International, NEC, Birmingham

Ferrari ended up a distant third in the manufactures championship behind Red Bull who scored six further victories to take their 2011 total to 12 and McLaren who scored four further victories in the 19 race season.

Fernando finished the 2011 championship 4th behind Vettel, Jenson Button and Mark Webber who scored just one point ahead of the Spaniard. De facto Ferrari number 2 driver Felipe Massa was lucky to keep his Ferrari seat for 2012 after he finished 6th in the championship 99 points behind Lewis Hamilton having failed finish any higher the 5th all season.

Thanks for joining me on this “It’s Not A Pick Up Truck” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !