On This Day:
A faulty gearbox meant Ayrton Senna was unable to get the advantage over his teammate Alain Prost at the 1988 Australian Grand Prix. He still finished second, with fellow Brazilian Nelson Piquet in third. It was a race of high attrition with only seven drivers finishing. Riccardo Patrese was the fourth and final driver on the lead lap.
Six years later, F1 was back at Adelaide to finish the season. Damon Hill and Michael Schumacher were going head to head for the championship, and a collision between the two on lap 35 seems to have been the German’s fault. Schumacher won the championship, while polesitter Nigel Mansell won the race.
Abu Dhabi recently took Australia’s place at the end of the season, and in 2010 was also the finale. Four drivers went into the race with a chance at the championship – Fernando Alonso in the lead, Mark Webber second, Sebastian Vettel third and Lewis Hamilton a distant hope in fourth. In qualifying, Vettel took pole with Alonso third and Webber fifth. It was set up for a great championship-deciding race!
Abu Dhabi was not the finale last year, but there would be no surprises in the championship. A dominant Vettel was already champion for the second year in a row, and had taken pole. But an unexplained puncture on the first corner put him out of the race, and Lewis Hamilton had the victory in an otherwise quiet race. Fernando Alonso was second.
HRT have been put up for sale by owners Thesan Capital.
McLaren will be supplying electrical engines and various other parts for the Formula E cars that will start their championship in 2014.
Force India are set to announce their driver lineup after the end of the season.
Pirelli have said that they would like Adrian Sutil and Kamui Kobayashi for their test drivers in 2013.
F1 people head to America.
Stat of the Day:
Excluding the backmarkers, the driver who has gained the most positions on average per race this season is Jean-Eric Vergne, gaining 2.94 positions per race. Vergne’s best races were Malaysia (10 places) and Britain. His typically low qualifying position does help. Kimi Raikkonen, however, is second. He has gained 2.75 positions per race, and has consistently qualified well and finished every race. He also gained 10 places in Australia, 9 in Bahrain and 7 in Germany.
Narain Karthikeyan and Timo Glock are the only drivers to not lose positions in any race this season.