Italian GP Practice Two: Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari ahead of Mercedes

Sebastian Vettel spun across the gravel in the afternoon at Monza Watch as P2 pacesetter Sebastian Vettel spun across the gravel in the afternoon at Monza Sebastian Vettel surged to the fastest time of Friday at the Italian GP, but then spun, as Ferrari outpaced Mercedes on a dramatic opening day at Monza. After the session started with a 200mph crash for Sauber’s Marcus Ericsson, which the Swede emerged unscathed from, Vettel was the driver who provided the pace on the timesheet by leading a Ferrari one-two at the team’s home track. Italian GP TV times: When to watch Sky F1 All the key broadcast times for the Italian GP live only on Sky Sports this weekend.

Mercedes were third and fourth, with lead runner Lewis Hamilton finishing 0.287s adrift of Vettel’s pace-setting 1:21.105 time. “I can’t get over how quick this Ferrari is and how light it is on the tyres,” said an impressed Paul di Resta from the Sky F1 commentary box. Vettel was going faster and faster on the supersoft tyres during the qualifying simulations, but eventually pushed too hard at the Parabolica and spun backwards through the gravel. 1:44 A huge crash for Marcus Ericsson in Practice Two A huge crash for Marcus Ericsson in Practice Two His Ferrari rear wing sustained minor damage against the barriers and cost Vettel some running time in the later high-fuel race simulations. “I know what doesn’t work, so that’s good to know!” said Vettel after the session. “At least I got out of the sandpit, which was difficult as a child – but nowadays I don’t want to spend much time there.” 2019 F1 race calendar revealed.

The Formula 1 Gossip Column But the early indications from the timesheet appear to confirm pre-weekend expectations that Ferrari, fresh from a commanding victory at Spa last Sunday, are favourites for pole and victory at F1’s fastest circuit ahead of Mercedes. The dry running of P2 also underlined Red Bull’s fears, with Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo fifth and sixth respectively but one second off Vettel’s pace. Watch Sky F1 on your mobile phone Race Control is now available on the Sky Sports app and your mobile phone “This is definitely the worst track for us so I didn’t expect miracles.

Certainly, in qualifying trim we are slow,” said Verstappen. The Dutchman finished a tenth ahead of Ricciardo despite his team-mate running the new ‘C-spec’ engine from Renault. Ricciardo is taking engine penalties as a result and will start Sunday’s race from the back row. Red Bull will now decide whether Verstappen also takes the upgrade for the weekend’s race, although the 20-year-old would still remain within his penalty-free engine allocation for the season. Meanwhile, having proved fastest in the wet running of the morning, Force India’s momentum since the team’s summer-break takeover continued apace as their cars lapped at the head of the midfield pack. Charles Leclerc was ninth in the sole-remaining Sauber, despite missing the early stages of the session after his team-mate’s crash as the team inspected his car’s DRS wing. It appears a DRS failure, when the rear-wing flap failed to close as usual under braking, pitched Ericsson into his frightening accident when the Sauber smashed into the barriers and then barrel rolled down the side of the track. Ericsson was able to walk away from the shunt and doctors in the medical centre gave the Swede the all-clear. With the Sauber driver not completing a timed lap, struggling McLaren finished with the slowest times ahead of what looks set to be another trying weekend for Fernando Alonso and Stoffel Vandoorne.

Italian GP Practice Two Timesheet Driver Team Time

1) Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1:21.105
2) Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari +0.270
3) Lewis Hamilton Mercedes +0.287
4) Valtteri Bottas Mercedes +0.698
5) Max Verstappen Red Bull +1.049
6) Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull +1.191
7) Esteban Ocon Force India +1.825
8) Sergio Perez Force India +1.837
9) Charles Leclerc Sauber +1.860
10) Nico Hulkenberg Renault +1.958

The Italian GP is live only on Sky Sports F1 this weekend. Sunday’s race begins at 2.10pm with build-up from 12.30pm. Get Sky Sports F1.

Sebastian Vettel wins in Belgium after dramatic lap 1 crash

Sebastian Vettel wins in Belgium after dramatic crash

Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel beat title rival Lewis Hamilton in the Belgian Grand Prix to cut his lead to 17 points. Vettel passed Hamilton on the first lap just in time before a safety car was deployed following a multi-car crash at the first corner, and dominated thereafter. Fernando Alonso, Nico Hulkenberg and Charles Leclerc were uninjured after the German rammed Alonso’s McLaren and launched it over Leclerc’s Sauber.

Hulkenberg received a 10-place grid penalty at the next race for the incident. Alonso related it to the first-lap crash at this race in 2012, in which Lotus driver Romain Grosjean was given a race ban for causing a similar incident, which also took out the Spaniard. Alonso was catapulted over Sauber’s Charles Leclerc, just missing the Frenchman’s head”Again a very big-time missing braking point,” Alonso said. “That time Romain had a race ban. “It is tough to understand how you can miss (the braking) so much. It is not a couple of metres. You arrive at a speed that it is impossible to negotiate the corner. So, sad for that but happy that we are all fine.” The big difference between the 2012 and 2018 crashes was that Grosjean was a repeat offender in terms of first-lap crashes that year, while Hulkenberg is one of the sport’s most consistent performers. ‘Don’t mind me’: Alonso flies through the air. He was involved in a similarly dramatic crash at the same corner in 2012.

The crash also may have been the first time a grand prix driver was saved from injury by the new halo head-protection device, introduced this year. Television replays showed Alonso’s car bounced off the halo on Leclerc’s car and Alonso said: “I flew over his car and the halo was a good thing to have today. I think for him it helped, looking at the replay. We don’t need to prove it is a good thing to have.” That was not the only incident at the first corner. Daniel Ricciardo’s Red Bull hit Kimi Raikkonen’s Ferrari, forcing both into eventual retirement despite initially rejoining. And Hamilton’s team-mate Valtteri Bottas, starting from the back because of engine penalties, damaged his front wing and needed to pit for a new one. Hulkenberg said: “I misjudged my braking point a little bit and there was no real time to recover it. “We are due to see the stewards at 17:30 (CET). Of course I can understand that he is upset and frustrated. So am I, and he has every right to be, but it is racing and these things unfortunately do happen.” No wonder he is retiring: Water sprays from the car as the Spaniard lands back on the ground

The battle at the front It seemed inevitable that a safety car would be deployed with so many damaged cars and debris on the track but race director Charlie Whiting delayed his call to deploy it for a crucial amount of time. Hamilton and Vettel were well clear of the chaos behind and the German tracked the Mercedes off the start, settled into its slipstream up the long Kemmel straight and swapped into the lead. Vettel briefly had to fight off an attack from Force India’s Esteban Ocon, who started third and tried a look down the inside into the Les Combes chicane.

Sebastian Vettel: “I had a great start. I’m not sure Lewis saw me as he pushed me to the left in the first lap, but after last year I ended up short, and this year it was the other way around. This year was better. “As soon as I was ahead I relaxed. I had a good restart after the safety car, and after that it was a very smooth race. We turned everything around and then controlled the race.”

Lewis Hamilton: “Congrats to Seb. I did everything I could and we ultimately did well, but he drove past me like I was not there. We have to keep pushing to see what we can do. “They have got a few trick things going on in the car. I did what I could – we did what we could – so we have to keep working.” Lewis later tweeted:

Max Verstappen: “It was good. After Turn One I just had to be focused on how to get past those guys. “Compared to a Force India, how difficult it is to get past those guys on the straight is disappointing and we tried to make the best of it. “It’s great to see how many people come to the grand prix. It gave me goosebumps.” On team-mate Daniel Ricciardo leaving: “We always had equal material and still have, and we try to have the best result as a team. Everyone knows Daniel is leaving but we want two cars in the points.”

 

Pierre Gasly: Red Bull replace Daniel Ricciardo with Frenchman for 2019 season

Pierre Gasly: Red Bull replace Daniel Ricciardo with Frenchman for 2019 season

The 22-year-old, who drives for Red Bull’s junior team Toro Rosso, will line up alongside Max Verstappen. Australian Ricciardo will leave for Renault at the end of this season. “This incredible opportunity is another step forward in my ambition to win grands prix and compete for world championships,” said Gasly. He only made his F1 debut at the Malaysian Grand Prix last October, but has scored 26 points for Toro Rosso this year, with a best finish of fourth in Bahrain. Red Bull have struggled for consistency this year, but have won three races – two by Ricciardo and one by Verstappen. “Red Bull has always looked to fight for championships or victories and that’s what I want,” added Gasly.

 

Daniel Ricciardo to leave Redbull Racing Formula 1 team

Daniel Ricciardo is set to leave the Redbull Racing Formula 1 team to join Renault.

The Australian F1 star sensationally announced that he will join the French squad from next year on a two-year deal that will see him race in Renault yellow until the end of the 2020 season.

Ricciardo has been widely expected to re-sign with Red Bull after potential vacancies at Ferrari and Mercedes slipped away.

Reaction from fans on Twitter has been that of utter shock –

But after five seasons, seven race victories and two pole positions, Ricciardo is moving on.

“It was probably one of the most difficult decisions to take in my career so far,” he said in a statement released by Renault.

“But I thought that it was time for me to take on a fresh and new challenge.

“I realise that there is a lot ahead in order to allow Renault to reach their target of competing at the highest level but I have been impressed by their progression in only two years, and I know that each time Renault has been in the sport they eventually won.

“I hope to be able to help them in this journey and contribute on and off track.”

Embed from Getty Images

Cyril Abiteboul, managing director of the team, added: “Daniel’s signing underscores our determination to accelerate our progress towards the forefront of the sport.

“It is also a recognition of the work accomplished over the past two and a half seasons.

“Daniel’s undoubted talent and charisma are a huge bonus and statement for the team. We will have to repay his faith in us by delivering the best car possible.

“We welcome him to our growing team in 2019 with a great deal of pride, but also humility.”

Ricciardo will partner Nico Hulkenberg next year, with the Red Bull-contracted Carlos Sainz reportedly poised to join McLaren.

The two-year deal puts Ricciardo on the same contract cycle as Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel, with all three drivers’ current deals coinciding with the expected arrival of new F1 technical regulations in 2021.

Lewis Hamilton claims thrilling pole in wet Hungary

Lewis Hamilton claims thrilling pole in wet Hungary

Britain’s world championship leader leaves rival in his wake with an awesome qualifying lap in dreadful weather in Hungary new Lewis Hamilton will begin from the entrance of the grid tomorrow. For the second time in six days, the heavens appeared to present Lewis Hamilton a chance to make use of his expertise in the rain to rescue a day that appeared in any other case to be getting away from him.

A wet qualifying session in Hungary saw Hamilton win his 77th pole in a Mercedes that within the dry seemed to be decisively slower than Sebastian Vettel’s Ferrari. Simply because the race in Germany final week had allowed Hamilton to say a victory that in any other case would have been Vettel’s, his pole represented a psychological blow to his title opponent. If he can comply with it up with victory within the race at present to increase his lead within the championship, it can go away Vettel the complete four-week summer time break to ruminate upon both…

Lewis Hamilton: Mercedes boss Toto Wolff makes Ferrari admission at German Grand Prix

Lewis Hamilton: Mercedes boss Toto Wolff makes Ferrari admission at German Grand Prix

That’s in accordance with Mercedes group principal Toto Wolff. Hamilton will begin 14th on the grid on this afternoon’s race (2.10pm) in Hockenheim after a hydraulics problem ended his qualifying session early yesterday. It’s a third setback in as many races for the four-time world champion, with the Brit and team-mate Valtteri Bottas DNF’ing in Austria earlier than a primary lap coming-together with Kimi Raikkonen took a house win away from him at Silverstone a fortnight in the past. Hamilton battled again to complete second and preserve the hole to race-winner and rival Sebastian Vettel, with the German on pole immediately and eight factors forward within the standings. Vettel is all however sure to construct on his lead on the prime of the championship though the style through which Hamilton climbed by the grid on the British Grand Prix, having dropped to 20th on the third nook of the primary lap, is encouraging. At the very least that’s in accordance with Wolff, who additionally admits that the Silver Arrows – who a minimum of have Bottas beginning in second – have their work lower out to catch as much as Ferrari after latest races. “That was a tricky qualifying session for us, we have been preventing with one hand tied behind our backs after shedding Lewis’ automobile so early within the session,” Wolff declared. “From what we are able to see within the knowledge, we had an hydraulic failure as Lewis used the Flip 1 kerbs in a standard means. “Then, with failed energy steering from the lack of hydraulic stress, he ran wider and that is once we noticed the automobile bouncing dramatically on the TV.  “Clearly, this can be a vulnerability we’ve underneath the excessive hundreds you see when operating the kerbs, and one thing we should get on prime of. “Will probably be a tall order for Lewis to return by the sphere tomorrow however we noticed already in Silverstone how nicely he can battle again.  “For Valtteri, it was a mega remaining lap that put him on provisional pole, particularly within the third sector, the place he was quickest of all people by an enormous margin.  “However Sebastian and Ferrari have been simply that bit stronger than us immediately.  “They have been notably robust within the center sector and it is clear they’ve discovered quite a lot of energy within the final races – and that we have to catch up.  “Will probably be a difficult race however we noticed very shut matched lengthy runs from all people in apply [on Friday].  “The situations can be cooler, so it is going to be attention-grabbing to see if and the way that modifications the aggressive order.” Hamilton has solely received one of many final 5 races and is unlikely to make it two in six in Germany this afternoon, upping the ante in opposition to Vettel because the season approaches its mid-season break.

Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas agree new Mercedes offers

Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas agree new Mercedes offers

Mercedes have accomplished their driver line-up for 2019 with Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas having signed new offers with the world champions prior to now 24 hours. Hamilton’s two-year contract extension is value as much as £80 million, making him the best-paid driver on the grid, whereas Bottas’s deal is for one yr with the choice of an extension to 2020. Whereas no monetary particulars have been launched by the staff, the long-awaited deal is known to be value as much as £40 million a yr for the Briton, which incorporates performance-related bonuses, cementing his place because the best-paid British sportsman. Sebastian Vettel, who leads Hamilton by eight factors within the championship earlier than this weekend’s German Grand Prix, is assumed to earn £30 million per yr at Ferrari.