Tag Archives: USGP

Formula One: Improving the Show – Tune in to the #USGP Early!

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If you’re the type of Formula One fan that likes to tune into Race Day coverage 5 minutes before the start having grown tired of former driver pundits sitting on the fence over pre-race predictions, you might want to make an exception for today’s US Grand Prix.

As Formula One Management continue to evaluate new ways in which to engage with fans, one focus of this weekend is a plan to “showcase the talent”. Formula One drivers, with a few notable exceptions, have long been criticised for lacking personality and not engaging with fans. Formula One Management plans to start to address this in the build-up to the US Grand Prix this weekend with a new addition to the Show.

WWE legend Michael Buffer has been drafted in for the race and will announce each of the drivers as they take to the grid ahead of the race. At this time, it is unclear what format this will take, and how driver introductions will be incorporated into the pre-race schedule, but if Buffer’s profile in WWE is anything to go by, an approach of ‘Go big or Go home’ will be on the agenda. Perhaps in a bid to inspire drivers to come out of themselves in their introductions, Usain Bolt, who bought showmanship to the world of athletics, is a guest of Formula One Management this weekend at the Grand Prix, no doubt he’ll be offering advice to a few of the drivers less comfortable being the centre of attention. Can you imagine the likes of Pascal Wehrlein mimicking Usian Bolt’s classic moments seen here:

One driver likely to thieve in this feature of an F1 race will be Daniel Ricciardo, never afraid to out his personality out there for the world to enjoy:

For drivers still looking for inspiration for the big roll call, perhaps they should check out these classic moments from WWE. Will Formula One management open a social media poll for the best introduction?

Another key point of interest in the build-up to the USGP will be the actions of drivers during the National Anthem, and rather than read about the actions of any driver in a post-race write-up, fans would do well to watch for themselves and hear the rationale for any actions directly from the drivers.

Should any driver elect to take a knee or simply not attend the National Anthem ceremony ahead of the Grand Prix, there are two key points to remain mindful of. First, the process of drivers coming together at the front of the grid to collectively pay respect to the National Anthem of the country in which a Grand Prix is taking place was actually only introduced in 2014 at the request of Russian Grand Prix officials. It is not a long-held tradition within the sport. Secondly, Sebastian Vettel’s reprimand for missing the start of the Japanese National Anthem 2 weeks go set a precedent for other drivers. If a driver misses the National Anthem or behaves in a manner outside of the recommended procedure they can expect a reprimand and penalty points. Armed with this knowledge driver’s can make an informed decision around how to present themselves ahead of the Grand Prix with team’s well positioned to define a rational penalties with a precedent having been set.

So, if for no other reason than to hear the voice of Michael Buffer and to see Daniel Ricciardo throwing some magnificent pre-race shapes. Every F1 fan should take the time to tune into today’s pre-race show, Live on Sky Sports and Channel 4.

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Formula One: Hamilton talks to the fans

A relaxed Lewis Hamilton took part in a Facebook Live event hosted by Mercedes AMG Petronas sponsor Epson earlier today. During the session Lewis took live questions from followers across social media.

Sharing insights on his favourite circuit, Macau and the Nordscheife, details on how a mistake in qualifying in Brazil 2015 cost him pole, and how he values having an input in the team look, it could be suggested the session was of higher quality than interviews conducted by professional elements of the media of late.

With the FIA calling Lewis Hamilton to the Thursday drivers press conference for the second race in succession it will be interesting to see if the media can extract a similar level of engagement.

Formula One: Austin – Lewis Hamilton 3 times World Champion!

Lewis Hamilton - Champion

Lewis Hamilton clinches his third World Drivers’ Championship in thrilling United States Grand Prix with Nico Rosberg completing a historic Silver Arrows 1-2

  • Lewis took his 10th win of the season, the 43rd of his Formula One career, en route to sealing his third World Drivers’ Championship crown
  • The result sees Lewis become the 10th driver to win three or more titles and the only Briton to successfully defend his crown
  • Today also saw Lewis become the first driver to claim ten or more victories in consecutive seasons
  • Nico Rosberg finished second to clinch his 12th podium of the season and 38th of his Formula One career
  • The result marks the 25th 1-2 finish for the Silver Arrows in Formula One and the 50th for Mercedes-Benz power
  • Both drivers started on intermediate tyres, with each pitting twice for option (soft) compound slicks
  • MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS now lead Ferrari by 200 points in the Constructors’ Championship

Lewis Hamilton
It’s an overwhelming moment. Remembering my first British Championship, when my dad and me drove home singing ‘We Are the Champions’. Thinking about how much my family sacrificed – my Mum, my Dad, my whole family. And also thinking about my fans. They give me so much energy and I hope I inspire them to never give up on their hopes and dreams. The race today was really amazing and anything could have happened. The last 10 – 15 laps were extraordinary – it was just a crazy, crazy race. I was in the lead, then I was fourth and the conditions were really tricky. Nico was driving really well, too. All the way through, I was thinking; “The Championship is there somewhere… how can I get it?” It was so close I could smell it and there was never a  moment I didn’t believe I could do it. It’s just incredible to equal Ayrton, too. My target was always three titles as he was the one who inspired me. There is no one I want to equal now – I just want to carry on as far and long as I can. For any driver, you want to win in anything you compete in – but this is the ultimate goal. Championships mean greatness – yours and your team’s! This Team has been so amazing. I feel incredibly thankful. I thought I would win with this team, so that’s why I moved… and I did!

Toto Wolff, Head of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport

First of all, a huge congratulations to Lewis. He has driven like a Champion all season and now rightly takes his place in a special group with a third title. I have no doubt there is more to come from him, so if we can keep delivering a car that is capable of doing the job then anything is possible for him. For Nico is has been an unlucky year in many ways. But he has shown his fighting spirit once again today and that will not change in the seasons to come. Looking back at today, we saw a fantastic race from start to finish and I hope that everybody watching was as entertained as we were – particularly the people in the grandstands who braved the weather this weekend. On the pit wall it was a very difficult race to manage, with so many decisions to make and so many marginal calls with the safety cars. We tried to play it fair and square as we always have done and perhaps not every call was the right one. But in the end Lewis had the World Champion’s luck on his side and when you drive the way he has done this season you earn that luck. The first corner was certainly a tense moment and Nico was clearly not happy. It’s never going to happen that a driver is completely happy to see a rival winning. But we have three races left and it’s crucial that we don’t allow today’s incident to have further consequences. We will go away, have a few days of cooling off, and then talk. Looking ahead, we have three races still to go. I have never been in that situation where everything is comfortable and I can sit back and enjoy the race as a fan, so I’m looking forward to seeing our two drivers fight flat out with nothing to lose.

Paddy Lowe, Executive Director (Technical)
What a day! Massive congratulations first and foremost to Lewis. A third World Championship is a great credit to all the hard work he has put in not only this season but over a fantastic Formula One career to date. It is very much deserved and I think he can rightly stake his claim as a legend of the sport. At the same time, all credit to Nico today. He’s had a tough season in terms of luck but has kept pushing throughout. He drove superbly today and, bar one small mistake which handed Lewis the lead, would surely have won the race. It’s been an emotional day – not just for Lewis and the team but also for the sport. We saw a truly incredible race – one of the most exciting for many years – which atoned for what had been a pretty grim weekend. The fans here in Austin have been fantastic despite the conditions and very much deserved the entertainment we saw today as a reward for their dedication.

Formula One: Austin through Infographics – Pirelli

GP USA F1/2015

Lewis Hamilton has won the United States Grand Prix and the 2015 World Championship, following an action-packed race that went from wet to dry conditions. All the drivers started on new intermediates, waiting for the right crossover point when the track would be dry enough to move onto slicks. Both Hamilton and his team mate Nico Rosberg, who finished second, completed one opening stint on the intermediates followed by two stints on the soft tyre.

The timing of the pit stops proved to be the key to victory, with the pit wall and drivers having to make tactical calls despite no dry running before the start, which deprived the teams of the usual tyre wear and degradation information.

Two safety cars (as well as two virtual safety cars) shaped the strategy, with Hamilton stopping during the second safety car period – just before the finish – but not during the first safety car period, earlier in the race.

Those who stopped during the first safety car period looked like they had an advantage, but the second safety car period eliminated a large part of that, by allowing those who hadn’t yet stopped to do so while containing the pit lane time loss.

Hamilton emerged from his second and final pit stop in second place, but used the speed advantage of his fresh P Zero Yellow soft tyres to claim the lead from Rosberg, who had started from pole following the qualifying session this morning.

The highest-placed three-stopper was Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel, who ended up on the podium. Vettel made his second stop onto the medium tyres, rather than the soft tyre used by his direct rivals. However, he then made a third stop during the final safety car, at the same time as Hamilton, having started from 13th on the grid.

With the race start held in wet conditions, there wasn’t the usual obligation to run both slick compounds. Most drivers chose to use the faster soft tyre throughout the dry part of the race, but Vettel was the first of the frontrunners to use the more durable medium.

Force India’s Sergio Perez was the only driver to make the intermediate-soft-medium strategy work, finishing fifth after stopping twice. The Mexican finished ahead of McLaren’s Jenson Button and Toro Rosso driver Carlos Sainz, who went from last following an off in qualifying to sixth at the race finish: also stopping three times. The highest number of pit stops was completed by Sauber’s Felipe Nasr, who was in the pits five times but still finished in a points-scoring ninth.

Paul Hembery, Pirelli motorsport director: “After several delays and washouts, we finally got the race we had been waiting for, where the wet conditions at the start added another fascinating tactical variable rather than just being an impediment to the action. As was inevitable with no dry running before the start, the teams had to read and react to the changing situation rather than rely on prior information, so it was the drivers who were able to work with their teams best under these challenging circumstances who won out. Congratulations to Lewis for a well earned third championship title, after a brilliant season. Right to the end, the final outcome of this grand prix was unclear, ensuring a thrilling finale to the race that the fans deserved most of all, after a weekend that is certainly going to be very memorable…”

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