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Saturday, May 18, 2013
In fact the lack of hard results has disguised some remarkable performances from Adrian, especially in the last two races, which are worthy of further investigation.
After the pit stop dramas in Malaysia and assault from Esteban Gutierrez in China Adrian qualified sixth in Bahrain, just 0.011s behind Paul Di Resta. He was confident of a strong race, but early on the first lap he was tagged from behind by Felipe Massa, and sustained a puncture. A long journey back to the pits meant that he lost a lot of time, and by the time he’d changed his tyres, he was a long way behind in last place.
Indeed when he crossed the line at the end of lap 2, immediately after the stop, he was some 81s off second place Sebastian Vettel, who was about to pass Nico Rosberg for the lead.
Some 54 laps later Vettel took the flag as race winner – and by that stage Adrian was 76.7s behind the Red Bull. In other words after that unscheduled first lap stop he completed the remainder of the race 4.3s quicker than Vettel – clear evidence that without the early puncture, he would surely have been challenging for a podium position.
Further proof of Adrian’s pace was that he set the second fastest lap. He was only beaten by a trademark late sprint by Vettel, who as ever was determined to add to his career tally! The margin was only 0.109s, while Adrian’s best was set 11 laps earlier, with a corresponding amount of extra fuel on board.
Heading into the race in Barcelona Adrian was hoping to put his recent bad luck behind him. He was compromised in qualifying when he came out for his final run in Q2 and Jean-Eric Vergne was waved out further down the pitlane. Unable to back off to find space, because another car was coming from behind, he ultimately had to settle for 13th on the grid.
He did at least save some tyres, and quickly made up for qualifying with a strong first lap which saw him surge into eighth place, a position he held until pitting on lap eight.
Alas Adrian’s 2013 bad luck struck again and he was delayed when the right rear wheelnut become cross-threaded, and he was even forced to switch off his engine due to overheating concerns. By the time he accelerated out of the pits he had lost a frustrating 55s relative to a normal pit stop, and for the second race in a row he found himself in last place.
Once again he began lapping quickly, and this time in effect he ran the fourth fastest race pace. He also set the third fastest lap, behind Esteban Gutierrez and Felipe Massa, both of whom set their times after relatively late final stops. Adrian’s best was set much earlier, on lap 38, after his second stop. Fuel corrected it would have been the fastest of the race.
As they say F1 is ‘if’ spelled backwards, but nevertheless Adrian can take some comfort from the pace he has shown, even if the results – an unlucky 13th in both Bahrain and Spain – do not reflect that. Meanwhile everyone at Sahara Force India is very much behind him.
“I felt really sorry for him, because he had the fourth quickest race pace. He would finished fourth or fifth,” says deputy Team Principal Robert Fernley. “Unfortunately it’s one of those things. When was the last time Sahara Force India had a crossed threaded wheel nut? These things just seem to happen at the moment.”
Fernley is adamant that things will come right soon: “He’s just got to be strong and get through it, and it will all come back in the right way. As I said to Adrian, ‘That’s why we employ you, because you’ve got the mental strength to deal with it.’”
Next stop is Monaco. Let’s hope the home of the world’s most famous casino plays Adrian a good hand...
at 7:44:00 PM
While it was business as usual for the Frenchman, as he lapped the track in his Formula 1 car, a new experience awaited him as he passengered Antonio Albacete at the wheel of a massive MAN racing truck. While Jev’s regular transport puts out around 800 horsepower, the huge red truck pumps out an incredible 1200, although of course the weight difference – 5,500 kilos for the truck as against a mere 650 for the race car – means that the F1 car still has the edge when it comes to lap times.
Albacete is an official driver for the CEPSA Truck Team, taking part in the European Truck Championship and will be tackling the first round of the series this coming weekend at the Misano circuit in Italy. Jev has one more week to wait before getting behind the wheel again, for the sixth round of the Formula 1 World Championship in Monaco.
Images © Toro Rosso
Source: Toro Rosso
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2012 Qualifying - 11th, 2012 Race - 8th
“I’m really looking forward to the Monaco Grand Prix. The circuit along with the backdrop of the Principality are just fantastic, and the atmosphere is one of the best in the season.
The track is one of a kind with extremely narrow streets that will punish every little mistake. This is a great challenge between me, the car and the track, and I always have a lot of fun driving there. In terms of performance, I’m quite positive. We’ve seen that the softer tyre compounds suit us quite well, which gives me confidence we’ll have a good weekend.”
Esteban Gutierrez, Sauber
2012 Qualifying - n/a, 2012 Race - n/a
“Driving on the limit through the narrow streets of Monaco is something special that I am really looking forward to. It’s one of my favourite tracks. I’ve driven there in GP2 twice and competing there in a Formula One car will be even more challenging and interesting. It’s a high-downforce track with a lot of slow corners, and management of the rear tyres will be crucial. After the positive race in Barcelona, I am focusing on building on my performance there.”
Tom McCullough, Sauber head of track engineering
“The circuit in Monaco is a real challenge for the drivers and the team. The track improves throughout the weekend and it’s important to give the drivers a set-up that gives them confidence as the barriers are very close. For Esteban it will be his first experience in a F1 car in Monaco, but his GP2 experience has given him a good reference. This will be the first race of the season where we use both the soft and supersoft tyres. We have some further updated aero parts to add to the package we took to Barcelona. Coming off the back of our better race pace in Barcelona, our aim is to qualify stronger, as this is particularly important in Monaco where overtaking is so difficult.”
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|Mark Webber celebrates 2012 Monaco GP victory|
Last year seven time world champion Michael Schumacher took Pole position since his return to Formula 1 racing, but he started from sixth on the grid following five-place grid penalty. Schumacher’s grid penalty advantaged Mark Webber top start from second.
“[In three words, Monaco is] dramatic, glitz and busy. [If I were a fan] I’d watch [from] the left-right combination at the entry to the swimming pool, after Tabac. [My best memory of Monaco is] my first win in 2010 - it’s right up there with my best memories of all time.” Webber said.
Defending world champion Sebastian Vettel is claims that overtaking is possible in Monaco but swifts need to take risk and also he cautions that smallest mistake will make biggest lost in tricky street circuit.
“Monaco is one of my favourite tracks and driving it is an absolute challenge. You can’t even make the smallest mistake; if you do, you’re lucky if it’s just that your lap time is bad. If you’re not paying attention, you’ll end up in the barrier. Overtaking is possible, but only with risk - the best place for that is before the chicane.” Vettel said.
“We come out of the narrow tunnel at more than 300km/h and race to the first gear-chicane - whoever brakes later wins. Ideally you have a good qualifying session and start from far forward.” The German added.
Images © Red Bull Racing
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|Kimi Raikkonen, Monaco Grand Prix, 2012|
Following a tricky Monaco Grand Prix last year, Lotus' trackside operations director Alan Permane says that they will fight with upgrade package especially new front wing for difficult street race.
“Similar to Barcelona, we will be bringing a new rear wing which follows the same concept as the one we ran in Monaco last year. There will also be a new front wing and some modifications to the floor, so plenty to keep us occupied.” Alan Permane said
“We’re confident in the upgrade package for this race and the car has worked well at every circuit so far this season, so there’s no reason it won’t be strong here.” He added
Raikkonen was win Monaco Grand Prix in 2005 with McLaren from Pole, the Finn hints that Monaco GP is challenging, very difficult and also overtaking is almost impossible. As his outfit more focusing on improves qualifying pace for front row starts.
“It’s useless to put races in different categories, because all of them are as important as each other if you want to win a championship. However, as a real special race there is nothing like Monaco; there is no better feeling than to get things going well there.” Raikkonen said.
“To race in the streets of Monte Carlo is really different from everywhere else and it’s a challenge I look forward to every year. It is very, very difficult - almost impossible in fact - to have a clean weekend down there. I’ve only managed to get it right once before and you really experience the greatest feeling you can get by winning it. My win in 2005 ranks up there with my most memorable, so to win it again would be just as special.
“It’s such a narrow, twisty track; you have to be extra sharp and focused through every single metre. It gives such a good feeling; a fast lap around Monaco. Overtaking is almost impossible, so to really enjoy racing there you have to be in the front. We have to focus on qualifying. It’s a difficult place to race as it’s so narrow and - as I said before - passing is nearly impossible.” The Finn added.
Images © Lotus
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