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Race highlights - Russia 2016

First lap action brings out the safety car in Sochi

Sidepodcast: Race highlights - Russia 2016

by Christine Blachford

An afternoon of racing in Russia has been completed, culminating in a somewhat predictable podium, four drivers retiring from the race, one safety car, one engine issue, and just 26 pit stops throughout the 53 laps. After first lap chaos brought out the virtual and then the actual safety car, the bunched up field spread out once again to limit the number of battles occurring on track.

Bottas secures front row grid slot beside Rosberg

Hamilton suffers engine trouble once again

Sidepodcast: Bottas secures front row grid slot beside Rosberg

by Christine Blachford

For the second race in a row, qualifying did not go defending champion Lewis Hamilton’s way. The Brit made his way into Q3 but couldn’t participate due to the same engine problem that caught him out in China. That left Nico Rosberg untroubled in his quest for pole position, the German finishing ahead of Sebastian Vettel in the Ferrari. Vettel’s five place grid drop, however, means that it will be Valtteri Bottas, who completed an impressive lap for Williams, who lines up on the front row of the grid tomorrow.

Sebastian Vettel hit with five place gearbox penalty in Russia

Gearbox and engine changes cost Ferrari

Sidepodcast: Sebastian Vettel hit with five place gearbox penalty in Russia

by Christine Blachford

Sebastian Vettel has had a difficult start to his Russian race weekend, enduring a curtailed practice session after his Ferrari stopped out on track, and now picking up a five place grid penalty before qualifying has even begun. Ferrari decided to change the gearbox on Vettel’s car after finding damage that is reportedly left over from the German’s first lap collision with his teammate in China.

World Motorsport Council sign off on 2017 engine regulations

Power unit supply and sound on the agenda

Sidepodcast: World Motorsport Council sign off on 2017 engine regulations

by Christine Blachford

After Formula One bosses tried and failed to come to an agreement about engines, the F1 Commission finally got the teams to come together and submit a proposal for 2017’s power unit regulations. The WMSC have ratified the proposed changes, with the FIA saying: “The global agreement on power units covers four key areas relating to the cost and supply price, obligation to supply, performance convergence and the sound of the power units.”

Race information - Russia 2016

F1 heads back to Sochi for a spot of motor racing

Sidepodcast: Race information - Russia 2016

by Christine Blachford

The Russian Grand Prix has moved from its spot at the end of the calendar to take a more prominent position at the front of the 2016 season - this time it is the fourth round and so we're headed their next. A couple of drivers are looking forward to making their home visits count, but most watching from the outside are wary about what the Russian race can deliver after a rocky start to Sochi's F1 history.

Put the kettle on here - Christine's Rankings, Week 5

Red Bull and Toro Rosso drivers take centre stage

Sidepodcast: Put the kettle on here - Christine's Rankings, Week 5

by Christine Blachford

The Chinese race gave our drivers a chance to take some time in the spotlight, particularly considering how much drama there was before, during and after the event itself! This week feels more like Red Bull and their sister team Toro Rosso have dominated things, with Daniel Ricciardo being his particularly awesome self, and all four of them getting up to things that no racing driver should experiment with (ie. being in a band).

Pirelli agree increased in-season testing plan for 2017 tyres

Two phase testing to take place during the year

Sidepodcast: Pirelli agree increased in-season testing plan for 2017 tyres

by Christine Blachford

There’s been a storm brewing between the FIA and Pirelli recently, regarding the tyres for next season. The new tyres are significantly different as they are wider and according to Pirelli have “a much larger thermal zone.” The Italian supplier wanted to increase the amount of in-season testing specific to the tyres during 2016 so they’d be ready for the new year.

Massa suffers double tyre failure during China Friday practice

First practice interrupted by two red flags

Sidepodcast: Massa suffers double tyre failure during China Friday practice

by Christine Blachford

The first practice session in Shanghai was a stop-start affair, with two red flags during the ninety minutes of running. The first came after Felipe Massa’s rear left tyre punctured, and tipped his Williams into a spin through the gravel. After recovering to the pit lane, Massa headed out again and the exact same issue happened a second time – the team realising they’d made an error somewhere and patching him up for some flawless running in the afternoon.

Fernando Alonso provisionally cleared to race in China

McLaren driver given the go ahead by FIA

Sidepodcast: Fernando Alonso provisionally cleared to race in China

by Christine Blachford

The FIA stewards have given McLaren driver Fernando Alonso their go ahead to race this weekend at the Shanghai circuit, after undergoing the process they call “reintegration.” He is allowed to race in the weekend ahead providing he passes a further test following first practice to ensure he is fully fit. The Spaniard was forced to sit out the last race in Bahrain due to rib injuries sustained at the first round in Australia, and he was replaced by rookie Stoffel Vandoorne.

Race information - China 2016

Get up to speed for the third round in Shanghai

Sidepodcast: Race information - China 2016

by Christine Blachford

This week, Formula One heads to Shanghai for the third stop on the 2016 calendar. We've had two action packed race weekends already and it's time for China to see if they can deliver more of the same. The qualifying format debacle has thankfully been resolved (for now), we've got our full complement of drivers fit and healthy to race again, and everyone is looking forward to getting back out on track.

The toughest battle comes from within

Toro Rosso's trio of tasks for the 2016 season

Sidepodcast: The toughest battle comes from within

by Christine Blachford

Being a new team gives you some leeway in terms of expectations. Everyone else has to deal with the scrutiny that comes from having experience in the sport, which brings with it the assertion that you should be on top of things by now. For the 2016 season, it looks like Toro Rosso have finally managed to pull things together and could be in with a real shot of putting together an impressive season of running.