Autoblog recaps the 2015 Chinese Formula One Grand Prix. Unusual for China, it was a bright, sunny day with no chance of rain. But other than that bit of sunshine, it was not the competition we were hoping for.
It's been a long time since a woman has competed in Formula One – over two decades, in fact – but that could stand to change in the near future if Susie Wolff continues making headway into grand prix racing. And in her latest advancement, she's been named by Williams Martini Racing as the team's official test driver for next season.
We weren't sure if Alter Ego Nico Rosberg, the one who flew into Brazil and showed Mercedes AMG Petronas teammate Lewis Hamilton that he knew also knew how to grab an entire race weekend by the scruff of the neck, arrived in Abu Dhabi. In both Friday practice sessions Hamilton showed Rosberg the way.
Formula One got the drawn out Driver's Championship it wanted, which won't be decided until the last race in Abu Dhabi, and it didn't even need double points to do it. A trip below the equator turned around more than merely weather patterns, Nico Rosberg throwing his Mercedes AMG Petronas around the Interlagos track faster than teammate Lewis Hamilton every time it counted, beginning with Free Practice 1.
Thankfully, the weekend's Formula One dramas all concerned events that happened off the track, with both Caterham and Marussia going into administration, after which a rumored boycott by the small teams was avoided. That gave the 18 drivers left on the grid freedom to focus on making the most of the Texas sunshine for Sunday's US Grand Prix.
The Sochi International Street Circuit used to host the Russian Formula One Grand Prix has a few things in common with the Valencia Street Circuit that was used to host the European Grand Prix. Both are built among existing infrastructure used for other events, both contain long, narrow stretches run between concrete walls and chain link fencing, and both are, shall we say, not exactly exciting.
To paraphrase Guy Fawkes V for Vendetta, 'Remember, remember the twenty-first of September.' That's the day the 2014 Formula One Championship took another big turn – and at one of the year's least interesting races, traditionally – putting Lewis Hamilton back at the top of the standings. Not only that, it did so by borrowing the template from the British Grand Prix this year: put Hamilton in front, retire Nico Rosberg.
In the two weeks it's taken Formula One to move from Belgium to Italy, fleet-footed rumor has outrun the driver transfer market – Fernando Alonso can't issue enough denials of a departure from Ferrari, McLaren isn't sure what it wants to do with its drivers, Lotus has found out why it stinks this year and that the problem can't be fixed this year, and Nico Rosberg is said to have donated a team-ordered six-figure fine to charity to atone for his Belgian waffling. Oh, and Lewis Hamilton reg
Though you might not know it from the past few years, Williams was once among the most accomplished Formula One teams on the grid. It's won nine constructors' championships, seven drivers' titles and 114 grands prix, putting it behind only Ferrari and McLaren in those tallies. But it's slipped far from those glory days, finishing the past few seasons in eighth or ninth place and scoring only one race win in the past ten years.
The 2014 German Formula 1 Grand Prix is the hump-day race in the season and the penultimate chance for drivers and teams to rack up points before the summer break. Trying to stay on top after his first DNF of the year at the British Grand Prix, Mercedes AMG Petronas driver Nico Rosberg didn't have to wait until the race for misfortune to find Lewis Hamilton; his British teammate crashed out of the Q2 qualifying session due to a brake failure, then had to change his gearbox due of the crash, a ca
Formula One facilities seem to have a habit of expanding into road-car factories and development centers. In Maranello, the Ferrari factory grew out of the Scuderia's operation. In Woking, the McLaren Production Centre sprung up alongside the existing McLaren Technology Centre that houses the F1 team. And now Williams Grand Prix Engineering has inaugurated the new Williams Advanced Engineering facility in Grove, Oxfordshire, UK.
Qualifying for the British Formula One Grand Prix was just as much a surprise for fans as it was for teams. Certain team weather radar displays didn't accurately pinpoint storm systems over the track, and in the case of at least two teams, the lack of data was compounded by poor decision making. That's how both Ferraris and both Williams got kicked out of qualifying in Q3 – the drivers already on track took advantage of a dry spell between rains, but Ferrari and Williams waited too long to
The last time Formula One raced in Spielberg, Austria the track was called the A1 Ring, Juan Pablo Montoya and Ralf Schumacher were the pilots for Williams, the field contained other not-so-venerable names like Ralph Firman and Justin Wilson and V10 engines were bolted to the bulkheads – the only Mercedes units being in the backs of the two McLarens, one of which was driven by Kimi Räikkönen, who finished second behind Michael Schumacher.
Americans have had a tenuous relationship with Formula One racing. There hasn't been an American driver on the grid since Scott Speed in 2007 and a grand prix winner (let alone a world champion) since Mario Andretti retired in 1982. The United States Grand Prix has been an on-and-off affair over the years with more homes than a foster kid, and there hasn't been an American team on the grid since the 1970s. But that's all starting to change.