Tag Archives: Daniil Kvyat

2017 F1 Grand Prix of the United States — Results & aftermath

Hamilton moves closer to title with dominant win in Texas as Mercedes clinch fourth straight Constructors’ Championship; Vettel salvages P2, Raikkonen third after Verstappen penalized

Mercedes’ ace Lewis Hamilton had a superb weekend for both himself and the team at an American track that has come to seem like a second home to the Englishman. Starting from pole at The Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas, the championship points leader was able to overcome a fast start by the last remaining obstacle to the pursuit of his fourth Formula 1 crown, Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel. Vettel was quicker on the opening lap and got by Hamilton with authority. For a brief moment it seemed that Ferrari could put their miserable 3-race tailspin behind them and get back on level footing with mighty Mercedes. But Hamilton’s Silver Arrow proved the stronger car as the laps accumulated and the tires settled in. Hamilton closed down the German relentlessly and by getting to within DRS range was able to pass Vettel on Lap 6, taking a lead he would never really relinquish again.

Pics courtesy GrandPrix247.com

Perhaps because of Ferrari having to trim downforce off the car to match Mercedes’ pace at this long flowing track the Prancing Horses were not quite as good on their tires as they had been in other races. While Vettel had to stop for fresh rubber on Lap 17, Hamilton ran until Lap 20 (although one could argue this was a lap too late as he really hit the cliff by then). Hamilton was then able to run his Soft tires until the end of the race on his way to the victory, while Vettel threw the dice for a second tire change on Lap 39 of 56. It didn’t pan out for the Scuderia man — he had lost too much track position. In the end Hamilton won decisively by over 10 seconds while Vettel pushed his way back to the front and then was let through by his teammate Kimi Raikkonen for P2, keeping the Drivers’ Championship mathematically alive for another race weekend. Hamilton’s win in the States also helped earn the Mercedes factory team their fourth Constructors’ title on the trot. And to think that most people thought Hamilton was mad to jump from McLaren to Merc back in 2013. It was also Hamilton’s astounding fifth win at COTA in six attempts.

Raikkonen was awarded the last step on the podium in controversial fashion after Red Bull’s Max Verstappen made a stunning pass on him for P3 on the very last lap of the race. But the Dutch wunderkind who hurtled himself all the way up from a 16th place starting position after engine penalties, slicing through the field like a hot knife along the way, was deemed by the stewards to have exceeded track limits in gaining the advantage on Kimi. He was hit with a 5-second time penalty while waiting in the podium green room and had to give way to Raikkonen in shocking fashion. The 20-year-old phenom was justifiably livid at the decision in a race where track limits seemed to have been abused all day long with no similar consequences. In the end, though, the now fourth place Vertsappen could only take satisfaction in adding to his growing resume of superb overtaking drives, as well as signing a new multi-year contract with Red Bull, a smart move by the team in locking up such a prodigious if still maturing talent. Adding to the mixed feeling for Red Bull after the US Grand Prix their other driver, Daniel Ricciardo, suffered engine failure on Lap 16. It was a major disappointment for the Aussie after a roaring start from P4 on the grid and some hot and heavy wheel-to-wheel action with Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas.

Bottas lost ground late and finished P5 but it was still enough of a points haul to put Mercedes over the top for the title. Force India’s Esteban Ocon drove well despite battling the flu and finished P6, while his teammate and jousting partner Sergio Perez came home P8. That consolidated the team’s fourth place in the Constructors’ title, a remarkable result for the little Force India team. Carlos Sainz was extremely impressive in his maiden run for the factory Renault team, driving superbly to a P7 finish. Felipe Massa took P9 for underachieving Wiliams and Sainz’s old teammate Daniil Kvyat was P10 in his return to his Toro Rosso seat after a two-race enforced absence by the team.

Top 10 finishers of the US Grand Prix:

POS NO DRIVER CAR LAPS TIME/RETIRED PTS
1 44 Lewis Hamilton MERCEDES 56 1:33:50.991 25
2 5 Sebastian Vettel FERRARI 56 +10.143s 18
3 7 Kimi Räikkönen FERRARI 56 +15.779s 15
4 33 Max Verstappen RED BULL RACING TAG HEUER 56 +16.768s 12
5 77 Valtteri Bottas MERCEDES 56 +34.967s 10
6 31 Esteban Ocon FORCE INDIA MERCEDES 56 +90.980s 8
7 55 Carlos Sainz RENAULT 56 +92.944s 6
8 11 Sergio Perez FORCE INDIA MERCEDES 55 +1 lap 4
9 19 Felipe Massa WILLIAMS MERCEDES 55 +1 lap 2
10 26 Daniil Kvyat TORO ROSSO 55 +1 lap 1

Complete race results available via Formula1.com.

The next race is in but a week’s time, just south of the border from Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez in Mexico City. Can Sebastian Vettel prolong the inevitable or will Lewis Hamilton join the German in the elite 4-time F1 Champions’ club? Hope to see you then to find out!

2016 F1 Grand Prix of Spain — Qualifying results

Mercedes’ Hamilton rebounds with dominant pole in Barcelona, Rosberg second best in qualifying; Ricciardo grabs P3 for surging Red Bull

After a run of tough luck that saw him playing second fiddle to his streaking Mercedes teammate, Lewis Hamilton regained a measure of momentum with a dominant pole in Saturday qualifying for the Spanish Grand Prix. Bedeviled by gremlins in his last two quali efforts, Hamilton’s Silver Arrows had no issues as he dusted off his points-leading rival Nico Rosberg by an impressive quarter of a second. But Hamilton must covert his P1 start into victory to begin to claw back an advantage on Rosberg, who has won all four races so far in 2016 and a stunning seven in a row dating to last season. If the defending champ can have a clean run to victory tomorrow he might be able to get back into Rosberg’s head and begin working on undermining the German’s heretofore unflappable confidence just as he has done in the past.

Team Red Bull not only made the biggest news with a huge personnel shakeup during the fortnight between the last race in Russia but also seemed to confirm that their chassis is improving by leaps and bounds. Red Bull made the dramatic move of promoting teen sensation Max Verstappen from their junior Toro Rosso team and demoting the controversial Daniil Kvyat back down to Toro Rosso, from whence he originally came. Perhaps eyeing a future where other powerhouses like Ferrari might come courting the Dutch wunderkind, Red Bull made sure to lock him up in one of their premier seats for the foreseeable future. But coming as it did after Kvyat had two race-altering incidents with Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel in the prior two contests the timing did seem a bit like a rebuke to the Russian. Regardless, Red Bull were all smiles after seeing Ricciardo grab P3 on the last lap of Q3 with Verstappen also coming in at a very competitive P4 in his first outing in earnest in his hot new ride.

The improved performance of Red Bull’s RB12 spelled bad news for Ferrari, as Kimi Raikkonen was pushed back to P5 and Sebastian Vettel to P6. Continue reading

2016 F1 Grand Prix of Russia — Results & aftermath

Rosberg reigns supreme in Russia to continue undefeated 2016 start; Hamilton battles back for 2nd; Raikkonen salvages 3rd for Ferrari after Vettel knocked out in first-lap crash

Nico Rosberg continued a flawless start to his 2016 Formula 1 season with his fourth consecutive victory in four races. The Mercedes driver and championship points leader started from pole in Russia and sped away as the lights went out, never to be touched by the chaos that unfolded behind him. No one could challenge his lead the rest of the race and he solidified his status as this year’s driver to beat. Not coincidental to the supremely confident start to his season, Rosberg’s win in Sochi was his seventh victory overall dating to last season, making him only the fourth driver in F1 history to achieve such a feat. The German contender, who is seeking his first-ever Drivers’ title, now has a daunting 43-point lead over his closest pursuer, teammate and archival Lewis Hamilton.

Pictures via GrandPrix247.com

Pictures via GrandPrix247.com

But Hamilton managed a gritty drive of his own after engine troubles in qualifying relegated him to P10 on the starting grid. The current consecutive World Champ clawed his way through the field, exhibiting just enough patience to leaven his usual aggression and fight toward the front, finishing and impressive P2. Again, however, there were some problems with Hamilton’s engine even amidst his impressive comeback run and he was forced to back off his pursuit of Rosberg with a water pressure issue. If Hamilton can get any luck going his way it’s clear that he is still a match for anyone on track, including his teammate. But with as well as Rosberg is driving and how fortune seems to have turned its favor upon him, Hamilton needs for his team to quickly bulletproof his Silver Arrow if he is to pose any real threat going forward and contend for victories on even footing.

F1GrandPrixRussia-2016-2

Ferrari had yet another frustrating, topsy-turvy day. Their ace, Sebastian Vettel, who qualified P2, received a 5-spot grid penalty for a gearbox change, meaning he had to start back in P7. And being pushed into the midfield cost Vettel dearly when the Red Bull of Daniil Kvyat punted his Ferrari from behind not once but twice as they made their way through the opening corners. Continue reading

2016 F1 Grand Prix of China — Results & aftermath

Mercedes’ Rosberg scores hat trick in China; Vettel recovers from first lap collision to take P2 for Ferrari, Kvyat P3 for resurgent Red Bull

When people say Formula 1 is a boring form of motor racing it’s probably best to ask if they’ve seen an F1 race in the last three years. The Chinese Grand Prix’s opening lap once again put the lie to such ignorant bloviating, as collisions amongst several contenders scrambled the running order and made the 56-lap contest a desperate struggle for survival much less points. In the end, pole-sitter Nico Rosberg avoided the melee at the start and ran a flawless race, winning by a whopping 37.7 seconds over the damaged field. It was his third straight victory for Mercedes to open the season and his remarkable sixth straight win dating back to last year. That puts the previously much maligned German in the elite company of Sebastian Vettel, Alberto Ascari & Michael Schumacher as the only F1 drivers to achieve such an impressive win streak. It also continued a perfect points haul for Rosberg in 2016, consolidating his early season lead in the quest for his first ever Drivers’ Championship.

Pictures courtesy GranPrix247.com

Pictures courtesy GrandPrix247.com

Better yet for Rosberg, his arch nemesis and teammate Lewis Hamilton had a nearly disastrous weekend. The reigning champion was not only relegated to the rear of the field due to mechanical issues in qualifying but also saw the team’s decision to start him from the back of the grid rather than the pit lane backfire spectacularly. Hamilton got caught up with the dreaded backmarker scramble and lost his front wing to a collision with Sauber’s Felipe Nasr down into Turn 1. That required a desperate rethink by Hamilton’s strategists to get him back in the points, which eventually led to a mind numbing five pit stops for tires and repairs. In the end, however, Hamilton pulled off an epic drive in a badly damaged Siver Arrows to come home P7, a valuable points haul a long season when a lesser driver may well have settled for early retirement and nothing at all.

Ferrari’s quixotic 2016 continued with good results that still could have been much better. Teammates Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen collided at the start when Red bull’s Daniil Kvyat tried to make an overtaking move inside of Vettel into Turn 1, forcing the two Prancing Horses into each other. Vettel’s car was damaged less so than Raikonnen’s but both Ferraris required premature pit stops for repairs. With determination and excellent strategy after that unfortunate incident, Vettel was able to will himself to an amazing P2, while Raikkonen drove a gritty race of his own for P5. Vettel was contrite towards Raikkonen for his part in the shunt after the race but spared no words of contempt for Kvayt in the podium green room for the Russian’s perceived recklessness.

Despite Vettel’s harsh condemnation of his aggressive driving at the start, Red Bull’s Kvyat unapologetically claimed his opportunistic P3. His teammate, Daniel Ricciardo, who showed impressive pace all weekend, was hobbled by an early puncture after running over debris which hamstrung the Aussie’s overall ambitions of taking the fight to Ferrari. Ricciardo still managed to finish P4 and the combined results showed that the improved Red Bull chassis has the pace to challenge for the podium once again after an off year in 2015.

Williams had an OK result with Felipe Massa taking P6 and Valtteri Bottas coming home P10. But they have got to be concerned about their rivals’ steady improvement to start the year, which appears to be pushing them backwards in the results. In fact, the ostensibly inferior Toro Rossos of Max Verstappen and Carlos Sainz split the Williams team with a solid P8 and P9 respectively.

All in all it was crazy contest, with Ferrari showing championship challenging pace and Red Bull making remarkable strides to put themselves back into serious contention. But it looks like once again they’ll all be chasing Mercedes for the Championship. Only this year the racing gods seem to smiling on Rosberg rather than Hamilton.

Top 10 finishers from China:

1 NICO ROSBERG GER MERCEDES 1:38:53.891 25
2 SEBASTIAN VETTEL GER FERRARI +37.776s 18
3 DANIIL KVYAT RUS RED BULL RACING +45.936s 15
4 DANIEL RICCIARDO AUS RED BULL RACING +52.688s 12
5 KIMI RÄIKKÖNEN FIN FERRARI +65.872s 10
6 FELIPE MASSA BRA WILLIAMS +75.511s 8
7 LEWIS HAMILTON GBR MERCEDES +78.230s 6
8 MAX VERSTAPPEN NED TORO ROSSO +79.268s 4
9 CARLOS SAINZ ESP TORO ROSSO +84.127s 2
10 VALTTERI  BOTTAS FIN WILLIAMS +86.192s 1

Complete race results available via Formula1.com.

The next race weekend is in two weeks, April 29 – May 1 from Sochi, Russia. Hope to see you then!

2015 F1 Grand Prix of Japan — Qualifying results

Mercedes returns to dominance in Qualifying at Suzuka: Rosberg P1, Hamilton P2 & Bottas P3 — Kvyat suffers massive shunt in Q3

In Japan, Mercedes power was back on track at high speed Suzuka as expected after their subpar performance last week at the slow, narrow confines of Singapore’s Marina Bay street circuit. Not only did the Silver Arrows take first & second in Saturday Qualifying but the Mercedes-powered Williams of Valtteri Bottas grabbed 3rd spot on the grid and his teammate Felipe Massa was able to come home P5. However, it wasn’t Championship leader Lewis Hamilton who took pole for Sunday’s race but rather his desperate teammate, Nico Rosberg. With the races dwindling and his opportunity to catch Hamilton slipping away, the German contender and closest pursuer beat out the Englishman for the fastest time by less than .08 seconds.

Kvyat-2015F1GPJapan

Q3 was brought to a premature end when Red Bull driver Daniil Kvyat suffered a lurid, barrel roll shunt late in that final qualifying session after clipping the grass at the hairpin and losing control. Despite the frightening looking crash, the 21-year-old Russian exited his destroyed RB11 chassis under his own power. Assuming the team can put a car together for him by tomorrow’s race, Kvyat will now have to start from the pit lane. His Red Bull teammate Daniel Ricciardo had a drama-free session but after his great run in Singapore where the Aussie ace finished second overall Ricciardo could only coax his underpowered Renault-engined car up to P7 on the grid.

Ferrari care back to earth after last week’s delirious double-podium result, with Singapore winner Sebastian Vettel able to split the Williams for a P4 start but Kimi Raikkonen only good enough for the 6th fastest time after finishing 3rd last race. Team Lotus’ talented Frenchman Romain Grosjean, who is rumored to be heading to the Haas F1 team next year for their maiden season, was P8. Rounding out the top 10, Sergio Perez continued his hot second half for Force India with a solid P9.

Top 10 Qualifiers for the Japanese Grand Prix:

POS. NO. DRIVER TEAM Q1 Q2 Q3 LAPS
1 6 NICO ROSBERG  MERCEDES 1:33.015 1:32.632 1:32.584 16
2 44 LEWIS HAMILTON  MERCEDES 1:32.844 1:32.789 1:32.660 15
3 77 VALTTERI  BOTTAS  WILLIAMS 1:34.326 1:33.416 1:33.024 11
4 5 SEBASTIAN VETTEL  FERRARI 1:34.431 1:33.844 1:33.245 11
5 19 FELIPE MASSA  WILLIAMS 1:34.744 1:33.377 1:33.337 12
6 7 KIMI RÄIKKÖNEN  FERRARI 1:34.171 1:33.361 1:33.347 10
7 3 DANIEL RICCIARDO  RED BULL RACING 1:34.399 1:34.153 1:33.497 17
8 8 ROMAIN GROSJEAN  LOTUS 1:34.398 1:34.278 1:33.967 19
9 11 SERGIO PEREZ  FORCE INDIA 1:35.001 1:34.174 16
10 26 DANIIL KVYAT  RED BULL RACING 1:34.646 1:34.201 15

Complete Qualifying results available via Formula1.com.

Tomorrow’s race from the Land of the Rising Sun airs live in the States at 1 AM Eastern on NBC Sports Network. With only 5 races to go after Japan, a win by Hamilton would give him a stranglehold on the Championship. But he’ll have to overtake his hard caring teammate Rosberg to make that happen. Hope to see you then as the drama unfolds from Suzuka!

2015 F1 Grand Prix of Belgium — Results & aftermath

Hamilton back on form for Mercedes with dominant victory at Spa, Rosberg 2nd best; Grosjean surprises with fantastic P3 for Lotus

Photos via GrandPrix247.com

Photos via GrandPrix247.com

The Belgian Grand Prix at Spa-Fracorchamps, the first race in anger after the long summer break at a legendary circuit renowned for drama and danger, did not disappoint. While Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton returned to form and stamped his authority on the race from pole to the checkered flag, all behind him was chaos. His teammate and closest rival, Nico Rosberg, had a poor start under the new “no clutch coaching” rules and was swamped immediately by the onrushing Williams of Valtteri Bottas, Sergio Perez’s Force India and Daniel Ricciardo’s Red Bull. While Rosberg would fight back to come home 2nd his chances of catching Hamilton were essentially doomed with that sluggish start. And now 28 points adrift, so might Nico’s chances of breaking Lewis’ stranglehold on the Drivers’ Championship.

Grosjean-F1GPBelgium2015

Aside from Hamilton’s renewed dominance, the other big story of the Belgian GP was Lotus’ Romain Grosjean. The mercurial Frenchman started from P9 after a a 5-spot grid penalty for an engine change on Friday. But Grosjean was undeterred and carved his way through the field, his improved Lotus chassis showing a fine balance of power and stability that suited the always tricky-fast Spa circuit. With the help of a good pit stop he emerged in 7th place on Lap 10. He passed Daniel Ricciardo’s Red Bull on Lap 18 for P4 and then Perez on Lap 20 to take P3. That seemed to convince Grosjean that was exactly where he belonged. By the end of the race and after another round of pit stops he was in hot pursuit of Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel for that last step on the podium with the laps  — and Vettel’s old tires on a one-stop strategy  — running out. And as fate would have it, on the penultimate lap Vettel’s right rear tire blew directly after the two cars tore up Eau Rouge nose to tail. Vettel suffered the ignominy of limping home with nearly the entire field passing him while an emotional Grosjean raced home for a much needed podium for beleaguered Lotus.

Red Bull’s Daniil Kvyat, who finished 2nd in the last Grand Prix in Hungary, had another outstanding drive on Sunday. Continue reading

2015 F1 Grand Prix of Hungary — Results & aftermath

Vettel and Ferrari ascendent in Hungary; Kvyat & Ricciardo take 2nd & 3rd for Red Bull; Rosberg loses chance to pass Hamilton in the points late in wild race

Only in one of the wildest, most topsy-turvey Formula 1 races you will ever see would Sebastian Vettel’s masterful win for resurgent Ferrari seem like the secondary story of the day. But that’s how it felt on Sunday in Hungary in a Grand Prix featuring shunts, punctures, penalties and mechanical failures galore, as well as a remarkable 2-3 finish by Red Bull’s Daniil Kvyat and Daniel Ricciardo in their previously underwhelming RB11 chassis. It was easy to overlook the remarkable achievement of Vettel and his improved Prancing Horse scoring his first-ever win at the Hungaroring when even woeful McLaren managed to finally score double points in 2015. But the German former four-time World Champion stamped his authority on the race the moment the lights went out for the start, making a power move right on by pole-sitter Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes along the outside going into Turn 1. Vettel’s teammate, beleaguered Finnish veteran Kimi Raikkonen, followed close behind the space Vettel had created and all at once both Ferarris had passed both Mercedes. That left Silver Arrows teammates Hamilton and Nico Rosberg duking it out for 3rd. And then, no doubt frustrated by his ragged start, Hamilton lost his composure. The English championship leader tried to shove his way by Rosberg but had to bail out when he got too close going into a turn, sending him skittering off track into the gravel. While he was never stuck and kept rolling, a gaggle of cars passed him as he extricated himself and unlucky Lewis found himself in P10 before the end of the first lap. That seemed to set the tone for Hamilton’s race, as he proceeded to bull his way around the the Hungaroring in a seemingly futile effort to make up by brute force all the ground he lost on that eventful first lap.

F1GPHungary2015-start

Meanwhile up at the front, the race settled into a false sense of calm that belied the even greater chaos yet to come, with Vettel & Raikkonen running 1-2 and Rosberg 3rd. But right around Lap 40 Raikonnen began to experience ERS issues and dropped several dozen horsepower. The continued bad luck for the Finn left him in the unfortunate position of “blocker” for teammate Vettel and it became inevitable that the rest of the contenders would swamp him, which they soon did. With potentially his best car of the year and badly needing a strong result to stay in Ferrari’s good graces Raikkonen instead was forced to retire on Lap 60. At least no one could say that it was Kimi’s fault this time but that probably won’t help him keep his seat.

Prior to Raikkonen’s dropping out there was an eventful Safety Car period initiated when the Force India of Nico Hulkenburg had front wing failure on Lap 43 and shot straight off into the tire barrier. Continue reading