Monthly Archives: March 2019

Lewis Hamilton wins Bahrain Grand Prix after Charles Leclerc suffers cruel engine problems

Lewis Hamilton secured a dramatic victory in the Bahrain Grand Prix after a cruel engine problem denied Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc a maiden win.

Leclerc, in just his second race for Ferrari, was set to become the third-youngest winner in Formula One history after a commanding drive.

Hamilton celebrates alongside third-place Leclerc

But with just nine laps to run, Hamilton took advantage of the Ferrari’s lack of speed to sail past the young Monegasque and take an unlikely win, the first of his championship defence.

Valtteri Bottas was also the fortunate recipient of Leclerc’s demise to steal second place, and secure an improbable one-two for Mercedes.

The Finn, who won in Melbourne a fortnight ago, retains his lead in the championship by one point. Leclerc took the chequered flag in third as the race ended under a safety car after Daniel Ricciardo’s Renault engine failed.

Bahrain Grand Prix qualifying: Charles Leclerc upstages team-mate Sebastian Vettel to take pole position, Lewis Hamilton third

Charles Leclerc upstaged Sebastian Vettel to claim a surprise pole position at the Bahrain Grand Prix.

The young driver, who was only in his second race for Ferrari beat Vettel by nearly a third of a second as the Italian manufacturers responded well to their troubles at the first race of the season in Melbourne.

It’s a Ferrari one-two while Hamilton will start the grid in third

Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes had no answer to Ferrari’s pace,with the world champion to line up third, with team-mate Valtteri Bottas fourth.

Mercedes ripped up the testing form book to dominate in Melbourne a fortnight ago, but the silver cars were handed a thrashing under the lamps that light up this Sakhir circuit.

Yet, it was the performance of Leclerc who, aged just 21 years and five months, and in only his second season in F1, delivered a message of intent to elder statesman team-mate, Vettel.

Michael Schumacher son, Mick, to make Formula One test debut for Ferrari next week

Mick Schumacher will make his official Formula One debut in a test for Ferrari next week.

The 20-year-old, son of seven-time world champion Michael, will drive for the Italian team in Bahrain – on Tuesday, April 2 – before testing for Alfa Romeo at the same venue a day later.

Mick Schumacher is set to follow in his father’s footsteps

Schumacher Jr, who begins his Formula Two campaign – the feeder championship to F1 – at the Sakhir Circuit later this week, said: “I am obviously more than excited and would like to thank Ferrari for giving me this opportunity.

“I am really looking forward to what I’m sure will be a great experience.

“But for the moment, I am consciously putting all thoughts of the test to one side, because I am also very much looking forward to competing in my first F2 race and would like to focus a hundred per cent on the weekend to come.”

Australian Grand Prix: Valtteri Bottas passes Lewis Hamilton on first corner to claim emphatic season opening win

Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas pounced past Lewis Hamilton into the first corner as the Finn cantered to the chequered flag to win the Australian Grand Prix.

Bottas completed a one-two lockout of the front row for the Silver Arrows in qualifying at Melbourne’s Albert Park with Hamilton going 0.112 seconds quicker for his 84th career pole.

Bottas took the lead at the first corner and held on to win in Melbourne

But it was Bottas who led into the first corner with an excellent start guiding him into first position past his team-mate, eventually finishing more than 20 seconds clear.

“How about that?!” he said on the radio after taking the victory.

Bottas said: “I don’t know what just happened. I don’t know what to say, the start was really good.

“The car was so good today, it was truly enjoyable. It was definitely my best race ever. I can’t wait for the next race.”

Hamilton said: “It’s a good weekend for the team so I have to be happy for everyone. Valtteri drove an incredible race today and truly deserved the win today.”

Hamilton praised his team-mate after the race

The Briton pitted early – lap 10 – as Bottas put the hammer down with a string of fastest laps on tyres that had carried him nearly 20 times around the 3.295-mile circuit.

Only Red Bull’s Max Verstappen made his soft tyres last longer than the Finn as he pitted on lap 27 as the Mercedes returned to the lead.

From the halfway point, there was only ever likely to be one winner as Bottas opened up a 20-second lead over Hamilton.

The five-time world champion appeared to labour on his medium compounds, telling his team he was struggling for rear grip as Verstappen made his case for the second step on the podium.

But the Dutchman ran into the grass on turn one as he closed in on Hamilton, losing ground to the reigning champion and finishing third.

Australian Grand Prix: Lewis Hamilton lands pole for season opener in Melbourne

Lewis Hamilton set a new track record – and then beat it again – as he took pole position for the Australian Grand Prix.
The reigning world champion clocked a one minute 21.014-second lap in Q2 and went more than half a second faster to claim his 84th career pole and sixth consecutive at Albert Park.

Hamilton is on pole for tomorrow’s race.

He will start alongside team-mate Valtteri Bottas who went faster than Hamilton with his first flying lap in Q3 but was pipped by 0.112 seconds to complete a Mercedes lockout of the front row.

Hamilton had been top of every practice session going into Saturday’s qualification under blue skies in Melbourne and set a new track record with a tidy lap in the second qualifying session, surpassing it in the top 10 shootout.

Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel qualified third, 0.704 seconds behind the five-time world champion, and will be joined on the second row by Red Bull’s Max Verstappen who was 0.130 seconds further behind.

Vettel’s team-mate Charles Leclerc starts fifth ahead of Haas drivers Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen, while British rookie Lando Norris clocked a lap of one minute 22.304 seconds and will start eighth.

Australian Grand Prix 2019: UK start times, TV channel and live stream for F1 season opener in Melbourne

Formula One is set to roar back into life with the 2019 season getting underway at the Australian Grand Prix this weekend.

Lewis Hamilton is looking for a sixth world championship after lifting the title once again last season.

Lewis Hamilton will begin his F1 title defence at the Australian Grand Prix

And its all change with the title-challenging teams with Charles Leclerc replacing Kimi Raikkonen at Ferrari, while Max Verstappen has been joined by Pierre Gasly at Red Bull.

The opening race of the campaign is always an exciting weekend as the teams look to get their cars ready for the season ahead.

Will Hamilton kick off his title defence with a victory down under? Here’s how to find out.

Australian Grand Prix: Lewis Hamilton lays down marker in Melbourne with fastest lap in second practice

Lewis Hamilton looked in fine form ahead of the 2019 season opener as Mercedes finished both first and second in the second Australian Grand Prix practice session.

The reigning world champion had said his team had “work to do” after Ferrari proved faster in pre-season testing in Barcelona.

Hamilton was fastest in both practice sessions

But no-one could match the Silver Arrows under blue skies at Melbourne’s Albert Park in second practice on Friday afternoon.

First Valtteri Bottas went around in one minute 22.648 seconds to lead the pack halfway through the 90-minute session with his first lap on soft tyres – half a second quicker than his pace on mediums.

Then Hamilton went purple in his first sector and laid down a marker ahead of Saturday’s qualifying session with a time of 1min 22.600secs.

The Mercedes team, who have won the constructors championship for the last five seasons, look in imperious form with the remaining pack at least 0.8 seconds behind the 34-year-old Briton.

Formula 1 race calendar 2019: When is the Australian Grand Prix? Lewis Hamilton set to begin his title defence

Lewis Hamilton is set to kick off the defence of his Formula 1 world title in Melbourne.

Mercedes star Hamilton stormed to the F1 crown last season, beating Ferrari’s Sebsatian Vettel by 88 points to win his fifth Championship.

Formula One race calendar 2019

The British superstar won 11 races, including six out of seven between race weekends 11 and 17 in a stunning year for the 34-year-old.

Hamilton and team-mate Valtteri Bottas will lead Mercedes’ title charge again this season while Vettel has been joined by youngster Charles Leclerc at Ferrari.

Formula One race director Charlie Whiting dies, aged 66, on eve of 2019 season

Charlie Whiting, Formula One’s long-serving race director, has died on the eve of the 2019 season.

The 66-year-old suffered a pulmonary embolism in Melbourne where he was due to officiate the curtain-raiser of the new season.

FIA president Jean Todt led the tributes to the former chief engineer, saying he “embodied the ethics and spirit of this fantastic sport”.

Whiting was a popular figure in the sport

Whiting’s entry into Formula One came as part of the Hesketh Racing team in 1977, but it was through his work at Brabham that he made his name.

As chief mechanic for the outfit owned by Bernie Ecclestone, he played an integral role in the championships won by Nelson Piquet in 1981 and 1983.

After leaving Brabham in 1988, Whiting moved on to serve as FIA technical delegate and then became FIA director and safety delegate from 1997.

Andy Murray: Two-time Wimbledon champion says he is ‘pain free’ and hopes to resume tennis career

Andy Murray is no longer feeling any pain in his hip but remains unsure whether he will be able to play top-level tennis again.

The former world number one had his second hip operation five weeks ago as he bids to overcome a problem that has troubled him for a number of years.

Andy Murray broke down in tears when announcing he may be forced to retire ahead of the Australian Open

Speaking at Queen’s Club while announcing a long-term partnership with British clothing brand Castore, Murray said: “I want to continue playing, I said that in Australia. The issue is I don’t know whether it’s possible.”

Murray laid bare his struggles at a tearful press conference ahead of the Australian Open, announcing he was planning to retire after this summer’s Wimbledon but that the Melbourne tournament may be the last of his career.

That may yet turn out to be the case but Murray will attempt to break new ground by returning to top-level singles action.

He said: “I’m a lot happier now than I was, certainly the last 12 months, because I have no pain in my hip now and I was in pain for a long time. The rehab is slow but it’s been going pretty well.

“I just need to wait and see how things progress. If it’s possible, I’d certainly love to compete again.”

Andy Murray is a two-time Wimbledon champion

Castore was set up by brothers Phil and Tom Beahon in 2015 and Murray first wore the clothes on a match court in his dramatic five-set loss to Roberto Bautista Agut in the first round in Australia.

While a long-term partnership would indicate Murray is hoping to play for several more years, the Scot is also thinking ahead.

He will become a shareholder in the company and help with product development as Castore looks to establish itself in the tennis market.

Murray, who has invested in a number of British start-ups, said: “It’s high-quality clothes and the fact it’s a young British company, it’s two brothers who have played sport, there’s synergy there obviously with my story.