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Formula 1 Update
Shanghai: Lewis Hamilton won the Chinese Grand Prix comfortably ahead of his team-mate Nico Rosberg Sunday as Mercedes tightened their grip on the season with their third one-two finish in a row.
The British former world champion got away smoothly from pole position and finished 19 seconds ahead of Rosberg, with Ferrari's Fernando Alonso third in front of the two Red Bulls.
Despite winning three races in a row for the first time in his career, Hamilton still trails Rosberg by four points in the title race as he seeks his second world championship. Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo held off his team-mate and reigning world champion Sebastian Vettel for fourth spot with the Force India of Nico Hulkenberg coming home in sixth. "I can't believe how amazing the car is. I was able to look after the tyres and then I was racing myself," said Hamilton on the podium after the race. "I'm really happy Nico's up here with us. It's great points for the team." In dry conditions, Hamilton got away cleanly from pole position at the start and by lap six he already had a four-second cushion on the field.
Behind him Vettel moved up from third past his team-mate Ricciardo, as did Alonso who got a flying start in the Ferrari. The early drama came behind as Felipe Massa in the Williams dived past Nico Rosberg's Mercedes and banged his left rear wheel against Alonso's car.
Rosberg, seemingly mesmerised by Massa's overtaking manoeuvre, then touched wheels with the other Williams of Valtteri Bottas on his outside but came through unscathed.
It took Rosberg two laps to get back past Massa and when the first round of pit stops began on lap 12, the Williams crew could not remove Massa's damaged rear left.
By the time they finally replaced it, Massa had been relegated to last place and the Brazilian eventually finished way down in 15th.Alonso stopped a lap earlier than Vettel in what proved a masterstroke as, with his rubber up to race temperature sooner, he got past the four-time world champion.
Ricciardo pitted after 15 laps, dropping him behind Rosberg.
Rosberg and Vettel became engaged in a wheel-to-wheel battle for third place on lap 23 from which the Mercedes driver emerged in front.Their fight enable Ricciardo to close on his team-mate and Vettel was asked to move over, as he had in Bahrain, to let the quicker Ricciardo through. But Vettel this time was having none of it. "Tough luck," he said of Ricciardo's position over team radio, and he defended his fourth place only to be passed a couple of laps later.
By lap 33 of the 56 Rosberg had Alonso in his sights and was told to "push hard" to catch the Spaniard over team radio.
Alonso responded by pitting, leaving the familiar sight of two Mercedes at the head of the field for the third race in a row until Rosberg himself stopped for a second time.
Vettel was having a frustrating afternoon and with badly grained tyres suffered the ignominy of at one point being passed by the Caterham of Kamui Kobayashi, much to the Red Bull driver's disgust. Hamilton made his second and final stop on lap 38 and emerged from the pit lane with a 13-second cushion over Alonso. Rosberg was flying, however, and after setting the fastest lap he re-took second place by easily passing Alonso on a straight.
F1 could axe Friday morning practice sessions next year, as teams consider how to cut costs in the absence of a mandatory budget cap.
Although keenly supported by the small teams, and championed by FIA president Jean Todt, the 2015 budget cap was vetoed by the powerful ‘Strategy Group’ teams including grandees Ferrari, Red Bull and Mercedes.The smaller teams are furious, but in a crisis meeting in London last week, they were asked to come back in a fortnight with some cost-cutting rule proposals of their own.
Germany’s Sport Bild claims that one of the measures under consideration is reducing the grand prix weekend by one 90-minute practice session from 2015.
Another proposed rule change is the extension of the current ‘parc ferme’ regulations.
Currently, the specification of the cars is effectively ‘frozen’ only after qualifying, meaning that until then new parts are almost constantly flown in from the teams’ European factories at huge expense.
It is now proposed that, for 2015, ‘parc ferme’ is to come into effect immediately after a sole practice session on Friday afternoon. Sport Bild reports that, at Biggin Hill last week, the teams also discussed limiting aerodynamic updates – for example a maximum of four front wing specification changes per season – but could not unanimously agree.
“There was a meeting last week,” confirmed Mercedes’ Toto Wolff, “and costs were discussed. It is the unanimous opinion of the teams that costs must be drastically reduced.” However, he defended the big teams’ decision to veto the budget cap.
“We have to be honest,” he is quoted by Speed Week. “There are big differences in the agendas of the teams.
“If you think about Red Bull, Mercedes and Ferrari – and also McLaren who are with Honda from next year – the main objective is to represent a multinational, global brand.
“And that is of course very different from the small teams who are simply there to race in formula one.
“But formula one is all of these teams together, the big and the small, and you have to respect that and find solutions that will help everyone in the long term.
“The budget cap is a difficult one, because there are some teams who do not want it. And also by their very design it would be very difficult to control, such as for Ferrari who have the formula one team all under the same roof as the major global company,” Wolff explained.
Last edited by Katy; 05-06-2014 at 11:47 PM.
Ferrari: Raikkonen will prove his class
Ferrari insist Kimi Raikkonen will rapidly get on top of his early 2014 struggles and reassert himself as a Formula One frontrunner.
Raikkonen has found it difficult to get comfortable with the F14 T and has been outperformed by team mate Fernando Alonso as a result - he is yet to beat the Spaniard after the first four Grands Prix of the season, and has racked up 11 points to Alonso's 41. In China, he finished more than 50 seconds adrift of his team mate.
Raikkonen also trails Alonso in qualifying, although he did have the edge in Bahrain where he lined up fifth, four spots ahead of his team mate.
Ferrari's chassis technical director James Allison believes Raikkonen will soon be back to his best however, tipping the Finn for a rapid resurgence.
"Kimi is working extremely well with this team, collaborating extremely well with his engineers, with the other car, and helping us drive this car forwards; helping to show us where it is weak and helping us to make it stronger," Allison said.
"He has class written all over him, and we know that within a very short space of time we will also be seeing the results on the track."
Allison also paid tribute to Alonso, saying his form over the opening four races has been phenomenal.
"With Fernando we have seen an extraordinary level of performance, scavenging every possible point at every possible opportunity," he said. "We have to say thank you to him for what he has managed to do with the car so far this year.
"We are very fortunate to have two good drivers with impeccable pedigree. Until we deliver both our drivers a car they can really put to work on a track, we are just fortunate to have these guys helping us drive the programme forward."
Allison believes it is imperative for Ferrari to continue finding gains at every remaining Grand Prix, in order to continue the improvement the team enjoyed between Bahrain and China.
"The performance we saw at China - was that the real performance of the car, or was it Bahrain?," he said. "In fact it is a mistake to think in those terms, because it wasn't the same car at those tracks: between Bahrain and China we improved the car quite substantially.
"That is the key to having a successful season: you need to keep improving at every race. If we can do that successfully, bringing a meaningful amount of performance to every race, we will keep seeing a step forward."
Mercedes to test F1 exhaust set-up aimed at making cars louder:
Mercedes plans to conduct the first Formula 1 track running of the exhaust tweaks aimed at making engines noisier in next week's post-Spanish Grand Prix test.
Following a meeting between the engine manufacturers and the FIA this week to discuss the engine sound issue, it has been agreed that one of the ideas put forward should be evaluated during the two-day Barcelona test.
The FIA has been working with the car-makers to come up with a solution that will increase the noise of the engines, following complaints from fans about how quiet the new turbo units are.
Mercedes has already conducted detailed research in to the noise issue, and has faith that an attachment to the exhaust to amplify the sound will be enough to solve the problem.
The attachment, which will act like a megaphone, has already produced encouraging results during engine dyno tests at Mercedes' headquarters, which is why it has been given the green light to test.
The promised improvements to the noise will be evaluated by the FIA as work continues on trying to introduce the changes later on this season.
Changes to the exhaust design to boost the noise will be easier for teams to accept than more extensive changes to the engine that could affect competitiveness.
Renault's head of track operations, Remi Taffin, said in China that F1's current engines could not be fundamentally altered because they were designed to be so energy efficient.
"If you look at rally cars, their turbos make a good noise because they use fuel through the exhaust, which is not something we are looking at because we have a fuel limitation," he said.
"Everything is possible but when you settle the energy regulations, you more or less settle what is going to happen."
great i love formula1 Car racing. I love to watch it live.
It's too bad it's been a long time since there's been an update on this Formula 1 thing.
I have never watched live
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