Mirrors Driving School Turns 11

Written by Lauren Taylor 

Mirrors Driving School, located in Bishop Auckland, is celebrating it’s 11th birthday on 15th June 2020. The family run business was established back in 2009 by local lady, Karen Smith, to which her son, Dan Smith, joined the team in 2018; the only mother and son training team in the area! 

Karen is a grade A DVSA ADI (Car) and has been a member of the institute of advanced motorists for 26 years. Dan became a fully qualified DVSA ADI in 2018 and joined his mum in the partnership of Mirrors Driving School. The pair both drive Audi A1s. Karen has an Audi A1 30 TFSI Sport called Merlin, and Dan has an Audi A1 1.6 TDI Sport called Oscar. 

Last year, Mirrors Driving School proudly won Bishop Auckland’s best small business award. In February 2020, the team were asked to give an informative talk to 2505-Bishop Auckland Squadron – Royal Air Force Air Cadets to learn about being safe on and around the roads. 

Earlier, speaking to Karen in an interview, I asked her a series of questions in order to help you get to know herself and the business better. These were:

Why did you decide to become a driving instructor?

“it was something I has always wanted to do. I had always loved to drive but I didn’t find the learning process easy at 17. I became an advanced driver at 24 years old”.

Where did the name ‘Mirrors’ come from?

“Mirrors refers to the Mirror image of my twin sister Louise. When I trained as an instructor, my sister was a massive part of my training, and one day I said if I qualify, I’m going to call my driving school Mirrors!”.

Did you face any difficulties along the way?

“Oh yes! The training is very complex, as it should be! Part 1- theory, part 2- driving test, those were easy enough, but the part 3 is where we demonstrate our ability to teach someone to drive. The training, I felt was very poor. Surprisingly, you’re not trained to teach people as you would imagine, your shown how to pass the test. I quickly recognised that there wasn’t any similarity with the Part 3 pre-set tests and a ‘real life human’ in the seat! I hated the training and doubted myself a lot along the way. I never thought I would qualify. It was expensive too and of course you had to get a car! All before you even qualified or not!”. 

How does it feel to be a female in such a male dominated occupation?

“At first, I felt frowned upon, I felt laughed at, almost as if my male counterparts didn’t think I had it in me. I did my talking on the road and now 100% accepted”.

How many cars has Mirrors had and what were their names?

“2008 – Little star

2010 – Arrow Redford

2014 – Angus

2017 – Oscar (Dan’s Car)

2019 – Merlin”

How did you feel when Dan joined the team?

“Ecstatic! He is where he belongs now”.

How does it feel to be the owner of such a successful business?

“I don’t think of it like that. I don’t ever take it for granted. Our customers are 100% our focus. Their success is ours! They make Mirrors Driving School the success it is today”.

How does it feel knowing that you are making a difference to people’s lives helping them learn to drive?

“Learning to drive is a life changing experience and incredibly emotional, for some. I love being a part of their experience. To watch my learners progress, each and every lesson gives me immense pleasure. Watching them master something that has previously eluded them is just great! But to watch them float my car out of and back to the test centre is both amazing and nerve wracking. My emotions are all over the place! I love it. I’m very, very privileged”. 

Carlos Sainz confirmed 2021 F1 Ferrari driver

Carlos Sainz has been confirmed as the new Ferrari driver for the 2021 season, replacing Sebastian Vettel and partnering Charles Leclerc.

Just two days after Sebastian Vettel confirmed his leave from Ferrari, the Spanish driver has secured a 2 year deal to drive with the red team. Sainz recently drove for McLaren F1 team in which his seat has now been occupied by the Aussie driver Daniel Ricciardo.

Sebastian Vettel, who joined Ferrari back in 2015, replacing Fernando Alonso, confirmed his leave earlier this week and is yet to decide whether he will remain in F1 with another team or retire early. Leclerc had already seized a deal with Ferrari that will end in 2024. But the big question is whats next for Vettel…?

Daniel Ricciardo confirmed as 2021 McLaren driver

Daniel Ricciardo has been confirmed as the new 2021 McLaren F1 driver, replacing Carlos Sainz who has also recently moved teams to Ferrari. The deal was confirmed this morning (Thursday 14th May 2020) that the Aussie would partner Lando Norris for the F1 2021 season.

Daniel recently took up a 2 year deal with Renault F1 team in 2019 which he partnered Nico Hulkenberg in 2019 and Esteban Ocon in 2020. Riccardo’s departure from Renault leaves a free seat at the French team, with Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso being contenders to partner Ocon for the 2021 season. Renault have also been looking at the younger drivers they could consider too; however nothing has been fully confirmed yet.

Opening WRC race at Monte Carlo: Neuville is the winner

Thierry Neuville was the first to lead the opening WRC race at Monte Carlo in his new Hyundai in the second stage test.

In the first stage, he was 6.4 seconds slower than Sébastien Ogier in the first test but then went soaring in the second stage, going 25 seconds faster than anyone else!

However, it all went downhill midday Friday as Elfyn Evans gained a 8.9 second lead over Thierry Neuville as his new teammate Ott Tänak suffered a horrific crash but lucky came out unscathed.

Tänak ran wide off the road during stage four and went tumbling down the embankment, severely damaging the Hyundai. As a result, the car was withdrawn from continuing any more of the stages. Tänak and co driver Martin Jarveoja were taken to hospital as a precaution.

Elfyn Evans finished Saturday’s penultimate stage of Monte Carlo after a battle with teammate Sebastien Ogier he was 4.9 seconds quicker than Ogier with Neuville right behind by only 1.5 seconds in the Hyundai i20.

Sébastien Loeb was fourth in the other Hyundai after swiping a bank on Saturday morning and then spinning on Saturday afternoon. This then allowed Esapekka Lappi to close the gap to 14.1 seconds in the Ford Fiesta.

Thierry Neuville claimed Victory in Monte Carlo on Sunday afternoon. He won all four speed tests to roam from third to first with a 12.6 second lead. Neuville then gained an extra 5 points by winning the live TV power stage; safely securing himself at the top of the leaderboard with 30 points.

Closely behind Neuville was Sebastian Ogier in the Toyota securing 22 and his teammate Elfyn Evans in 3rd to secure 17 points.

Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

It was the last race of the 2019 season and it ended on a high for the top 3 teams with each of them getting a podium: Hamilton in 1st, Verstappen in 2nd and Leclerc in 3rd.

Lewis Hamilton gets away well closely followed by Max Verstappen and Charles Leclerc ahead oh his teammate Sebastian Vettel. Lance stroll ran off the track at the first corner and clips the Toro Rosso of Gasly, who then clips Perez. Kevin Magnussen dives down the inside of Nico Hulkenberg at the hairpin. Leclerc breezes down the side of Max Verstappen’s RedBull. Giovinazzi also suffers a horrific lock up. Vettel passes Verstappen as he tries to fight back as Albon also locks up. Norris squeezes past Sainz. Gasly dives into the pits for a new front wing during lap 2.

Bottas overtakes Perez into 8th during lap 2. Leclerc pits during lap 13 for hard tyres, instantly after, his teammate Vettel was also pitted for hards. However, problems occur with Vettel’s front left tyre and ends up with a 6.9 second stop.

Giovinazzi tried to pass Robert Kubica during lap 23 but they collide and Giovinazzi looses some pieces from his car. Verstappen pitted for new tyres during lap 26 and he comes out behind Leclerc in 3rd.

Leclerc and Verstappen lapped Russel during lap 32 and both receive DRS. Verstappen dives down the inside of Leclerc. Leclerc then goes wheel to wheel with Verstappen going into the chicane but Leclerc comes off worse with Max still ahead.

Bottas was edging closer to Albon during lap 39 and slips past the RedBull. Albon tries to fight back but Bottas manages to stay ahead. Perez powered up to Hulkenberg during lap 46, he hits the breaks late and manages to pass Hulkenberg into the chicane.

Albon dives down the side of Vettel during lap 54 as Vettel had to stamp on the breaks to avoid a collision with the RedBull. However Vettel gets the exit and the DRS and goes side to side with Albon, and manages to squares past him.

Perez went wheel to wheel with Norris during lap 55 and dives straight past the McLaren. Carlos Sainz dives past Hulkenberg but locks up. He successfully manages to keep the position as Ricciardo also slips past his teammate.

After 55 laps, the 2019 season ends with Hamilton securing the win and the fastest lap, with Verstappen in 2nd and Leclerc in 3rd.

Brazilian Grand Prix

An eventful race as Verstappen finished 1st, Gasly 2nd and Sainz 3rd after Hamilton was handed a 5 second time penalty! However, the Ferrari’s had a nightmare of a race after taking each other out during lap 66!

Verstappen was quick off the line passing Vettel into 1st. Hamilton then also passed Vettel as well at turn 1. Leclerc passed several cars placing himself in 11th. Ricciardo and Norris were battling it out as Ricciardo dives past Norris but Norris was aggressively defending 12th place!

Ricciardo and Magnussen collide during lap 8 as Magnussen is forced sideways off track! Ricciardo was then handed a 5 second time penalty for it.

Hamilton dived in the pits for soft tyres during lap 21. Verstappen also pitted with a fantastic 1.9 second stop! However, there was a near miss as Kubica was released from the pits; almost colliding with Verstappen. Kubica was handed a 5 second time penalty for it. Hamilton and Verstappen then passed Leclerc as the exited. Verstappen dives past Hamilton into 1st!

We sadly had to see an early retirement from Valtteri Bottas during lap 52 as he pulled his slightly smoking car onto the side of the track.

Verstappen and Hamilton went wheel to wheel during lap 59 at turn 1 as Verstappen managed to stay ahead. Albon passed the two Ferrari’s up into 3rd.

Leclerc passed Vettel into 4th during lap 66. However it all went downhill as they make contact with each other and both suffer punctures which results in an early retirement for them both!

Heartbreak for Albon during lap 70 as Hamilton slammed into the side of him and spun him off track, resulting in an early retirement for him after being in track to almost achieving his first F1 podium! Hamilton was then handed a 5 second time penalty; consequently losing his podium and dropping to 7th!

After 71 laps, Verstappen passed the line in 1st, followed by Gasly in 2nd and Hamilton 3rd. However, Hamilton was stripped of his podium after receiving a 5 second time penalty and Carlos Sainz finished 3rd! With Gasly and Sainz both achieving their first ever F1 podium finishes!

2020 F1 Driver Line-Up

Mercedes

Lewis Hamilton (44)

Valtteri Bottas (77)

Ferrari

Sebastian Vettel (5)

Charles Leclerc (16)

Redbull

Alex Albon (23)

Max Verstappen (33)

McLaren

Lando Norris (4)

Carlos Sainz (55)

Renault

Daniel Ricciardo (3)

Esteban Ocon (31)

Toro Rosso

Pierre Gasly (10)

Daniil Kvyat (26)

Racing Point

Sergio Perez (11)

Lance Stroll (18)

Alfa Romeo

Kimi Raikkonen (7)

Antonio Giovinazzi (99)

Haas

Romain Grosjean (8)

Kevin Magnussen (20)

Williams

George Russell (63)

Nicholas Latifi

United States Grand Prix

It was a weekend to celebrate for Mercedes as Lewis Hamilton gained his 6th world championship after finishing 2nd at the US Grand Prix. His teammate Valtteri Bottas won the US Grand Prix and finished 2nd (his highest finish yet!) in the drivers championship.

Bottas got an excellent start off the line closely followed by Verstappen, Sainz and Albon make contact and run off track! They re-join as Stroll runs off wide. Hamilton passed Leclerc into 4th. The Ferrari’s went wheel to wheel as Leclerc passed his teammate Vettel. Norris and Ricciardo were battling it out as Norris passes Vettel up into 6th!

Sadly, during lap 8, we saw an early retirement from from Vettel as his suspension broke and he left the track as he exclaimed “I think the suspension has just failed”.

During lap 17, over Hamilton’s radio, James exclaimed “we believe other cars are on a 2 stop strategy so we’ll just stick to our original plan”

Toto said over Bottas’ radio during lap 24 “Okay you can attack him now”. Shortly after, Bottas passed his teammate Hamilton into 1st.

Stroll defended kvyat during lap 30, as his teammate Perez manages to slip past the Toro Rosso.

Bottas pitted for new tyres during lap 36 and came out behind his teammate but ahead of Verstappen.

Bottas and Hamilton went wheel to wheel during lap 51. Bottas ran wide off the track and Hamilton gets ahead. However, during lap 52, Bottas managed to pass him and regained the lead of the race.

After 56 laps, Bottas won the United States Grand Prix with Hamilton 2nd and Verstappen 3rd, as Hamilton picks up his 6th Drivers Championship win.

Mexican Grand Prix

The drivers championship title battle is still on as Lewis Hamilton finished in 1st, closely followed by Sebastian Vettel 2nd and valtteri Bottas in 3rd.

The Ferrari’s got an excellent start off the line closely followed by Alex Albon and the two Mercedes behind him. Verstappen and Hamilton collided and run off track, dropping down the grid (should there have been a penalty?). The two McLaren’s moved up the grid as Sainz passed Hamilton into 4th place! Vettel also clipped the back of his teammate Leclerc’s tyre.

Verstappen managed to pass Bottas into the hairpin during lap 4. However Bottas fights back and passes Verstappen again. Verstappen exclaimed over the radio “check my rear tyre” to which Christian Horner replied “looks like a right rear puncture max, a right rear puncture” as max dragged the RedBull back to the pits on 3 tyres!

The Mexican crown went wild as Perez slid down the the side of Daniil Kvyat during lap 10.

Norris had a nightmare with his pit crew during lap 13 as he was released before his front left tyre was properly secured! He was forced to pull to the side of the pits as his crew went sprinting down the pit lane.

Leclerc pitted for new tyres during lap 16 with a 2.3 second stop.

Verstappen clipped the Haas of Magnussen during lap 22. Max exclaimed over the radio “can you check my wing, he just turned in on me”.

Hamilton pitted for hard tyres during lap 24 with 2.4 second stop

It was Gasly vs Sainz during lap 36 as Sainz just manages to stay ahead of him by inches. While this was happening the blue flags were waved as Sebastian Vettel was being held up behind them.

Vettel pitted for hard compound tyres during lap 97.

Leclerc was in the pits again during lap 43 for hard tyres. However, he suffered a horrific stop as the pit crew had problems with his right rear tyre.

Daniel Ricciardo dived down the side of Perez during lap 63 but locked up and ran right off the track onto the grass. He then came out ahead of Perez however he gave him the place back.

Kvyat tried to make a move down the side of hulkenberg during lap 70 but clipped his back tyre and sent him spinning into the barriers for a retirement 1 lap from the end of the race!

After 71 laps, Hamilton wins the Mexican Grand Prix followed by Vettel in 2nd and Bottas in 3rd.

Also, do you think that Hamilton or Verstappen should have got a penalty/warning for the incident at the beginning?

Japanese Grand Prix

Bottas swept in to claim victory in japan with Vettel 2nd and Hamilton 3rd. It was a lucky day for Mercedes with both drivers on podium and winning their 6th consecutive constructors championship.

Bottas flew past Vettel off the line after Vettel and a very risky “jump” start. Verstappen and leclerc also touch which sent Verstappen off the track!

The Ferrari team told Leclerc to box during lap 2 however he didn’t listen and continued around the track numerous more times. As a consequence, with all the debris Hamilton lost his wing mirror as he exclaimed over the radio angrily “I’ve lost a wing mirror!!”.

Alex Albon and Lando Norris collided with each other at the chicane during lap 4; sending Lando wide off the track!

Leclerc was in full power mode as he passed verstappen during lap 9 into 16th. He then passed Kvyat into 15th during lap 12. And finally, he passed Raikkonen into 14th during lap 14!

Sadly, during lap 15 we had to see the retirement of Max Verstappen from the Japanese Grand Prix as he slowly drive his Redbull into the garage and hopped out the car.

Hamilton exclaimed his anger during lap 23/24 as he spoke over the radio “how hVe I lost that much time?!”. This was closely followed by “I’m basically out of the race with a pit stop behind”.

Hulkenberg took his Renault past Kvyat during lap 27 closely followed by Perez in his pink racing point.

Leclerc then slipped past Gasly during lap 35 up into 6th place.

Hamilton pitted for new tyres during lap 42. Toto Wolff said over the radio “okay time to push hard now” to which Hamilton replied “what do you think I’ve been doing?!”.

Kvyat held up Vettel during lap 51 to which Hamilton tried to go round the outside of him but he failed to do so.

Perez crashed out on the 53rd (last) lap of the race! He collided with Gasly’s Toro Rosso which sent him spinning into the barriers. Bottas then crossed the checked flag in 1st followed by Vettel in 2nd and Hamilton in 3rd.

After the race, Ricciardo was promoted to 6th place after Leclerc was handed 2 penalties equating in an overall 15 second penalty! The first was for his collision with Verstappen and the 2nd was for dangerous driving. As a consequence, Leclerc finished the Japanese Grand Prix in 7th.

Russian Grand Prix

The Ferrari’s had an excellent start in Sochi however it sadly went downhill from there as Vettel ended his race with an early retirement and Leclerc finished in 3rd; handing Hamilton 1st and Bottas 2nd.

As the lights went out in Sochi, the two Ferrari’s get off to an excellent start as Vettel and Hamilton go wheel to wheel, just as Vettel squeezes past him into 2nd. Carlos Sainz and Lewis Hamilton went wheel to wheel battling for 3rd! Vettel then slipped past his teammate, Leclerc, to take the lead of the race! Grosjean retired his car on the first lap as he collided with Ricciardo and Giovinazzi. Giovinazzi was handed a 10 second time penalty after the race. Kimi Raikkonen was also given a penalty for jump starting the race.

During lap 6, the Ferrari team said to Leclerc over the radio “Sebastian will let you by next lap”. Bottas passed Sainz during lap 7 and Ferrari also said to Vettel over the radio “let Charles by” in which Vettel replied “we’ll have to close up” indicating that his teammate was too far away to let him past.

Hulkenberg passed Perez during lap 15 as Sebastian Vettel set the new fastest lap. Verstappen flew past Sainz during lap 17.

Leclerc pitted for medium compound tyres with a 2.5 second stop during lap 22.

Alex Albon passed the former RedBull driver Pierre Gasly during lap 24. We sadly had to see the retirement of Daniel Ricciardo during lap 25 as he suffered a rear left puncture and aerodynamic problems from the earlier crash with Grosjean and Giovinazzi.

Vettel then pitted for medium compound tyres too during lap 27 with a 3 second stop allowing Leclerc to slip past and regain the lead of the race.

We sadly saw the retirement of Vettel during lap 28 with MGUK problems as he slowly pulled his car over to the side of the track with the team saying over the radio “stop the car now, stop the car” or which Vettel replied “are you serious?”. Hamilton then pitted under the safety car with a 2.6 second stop and comes out ahead of Leclerc.

Russell went into the barriers during lap 29 resulting in an early retirement after suffering break problems.

Leclerc tried to pass Bottas during lap 36. However, Bottas was just too far ahead for him to succeed.

Gasly nearly took out his teammate Kvyat during lap 37 as he went too fast into turn 2 and ended up locking up and having to run off the track.

Albon drove down the side of Carlos Sainz during lap 49 with a fantastic overtake.

After 53 laps, Hamilton wins the Russian Grand Prix with Bottas in 2nd and Leclerc in 3rd.

Singapore Grand Prix

It was a fantastic weekend overall for Ferrari as they got their first 1,2 finish of the season, with Vettel 1st, Leclerc 2nd and with Verstappen closely behind in 3rd.

Leclerc got an excellent start as the lights went out in Singapore with Hamilton and Vettel closely behind him. Verstappen swept past Bottas into 4th place. Hamilton was having to defend for his life against Vettel as his Ferrari was just too quick this weekend. Sainz also picked up a puncture on the first lap after he made contact with Hulkenberg.

It was Daniel vs Daniil during lap 10 as Ricciardo slipped past the inside of Kvyat closely followed by stroll passing the Toro Rosso too.

Vettel and Verstappen both pitted for new tyres during lap 20. Vettel had a 3s stop and Verstappen had a 2.4s stop.

Ferrari pitted Leclerc during lap 21 for new tyres with a 2.4s stop. Leclerc slipped just behind Vettel when exiting the pits. He wasn’t happy about Ferrari’s decision to pit him then and he exclaimed “what the hell?!” over the radio.

Vettel slipped down the side of Gasly during lap 30; forcing him to go off the track! Verstappen also passed Stroll.

Vettel retook the lead during lap 31 as he overtook Giovinazzi who was the recent race leader.

Albon overtook Giovinazzi during lap 34 up into 6th place with his RedBull. Giovinazzi then collided with Ricciardo in which Ricciardo exclaimed “I have a puncture or something”. Giovinazzi was then handed a 10 second time penalty after the race.

Russell ended up in the barriers during lap 36 as Grosjean clipped the side of his Williams, sending him into the barriers and resulting in his first ever retirement from an F1 race.

Stroll and Hulkenberg were battling it out during lap 41 as Hulkenberg came out on top. Stroll then locks up and gains a puncture which then also allows Giovinazzi to pass him too.

During lap 43, the Racing Point team said to Perez over the radio “checo we need to stop the car on track, stop the car on track” for an early retirement due to mechanical issues.

Ricciardo and Grosjean colluded during lap 48 as Grosjean just manages to squeeze past him, Magnussen passed gasly at turn 14 then Sainz also passed Ricciardo too.

The first proper accident of the race occurred during lap 50 as Kvyat collided with Raikkonen. Raikkonen suffered broken suspension and retired from the race as Kvyat drove away to carry on the race.

After 61 laps under the dark, night sky, Vettel crossed the checked flag to win the Singapore Grand Prix closely follows by his teammate Leclerc in 2nd and Verstappen in 3rd.

A special mention to Daniel Ricciardo who started at the back and got up to 4th at one point! But due to collisions and problems he ended up finishing 14th. Lewis Hamilton also wasn’t very happy with his race result as after the race he exclaimed “ah that was a poor effort man, that was not good. You don’t go from second to fourth.”

Italian Grand Prix

Charles Leclerc grabbed his 2nd ever race win at the Italian Grand Prix after a fantastic performance here in Monza. We also saw a great performance from the Renault’s this weekend as Daniel Ricciardo finished 4th and Nico Hulkenberg in 5th. Max Verstappen also had an excellent race after starting at the back of the grid in 20th to finish in 8th!

Leclerc got an excellent start as the lights went out in Monza followed by the 2 Mercedes. Verstappen gained a broken front wing as he clipped the back of a racing at the first chicane on the first lap. Also during the first lap, Hulkenberg passed Vettel!

We saw an excellent fight between Sainz and Albon during lap 3 as Albon slid past the McLaren. However, Sainz wasn’t giving up easily and fought back. They touched and Albon ran off into the gravel and slipped back onto the track whilst loosing a few places on the grid.

Daniel Ricciardo slipped past his teammate Nico Hulkenberg during lap 5 up into 5th place!

Lap 6 was packed full of action as Sebastian Vettel spun off the track in his Ferrari and then clipped the front of Lance Stroll’s racing point whilst trying to rejoin the track! Vettel then exclaimed “I think we have damage… the front left”. Stroll then also spun off the track and when he tried to rejoin the track he forced Gasly off into the gravel at the Ascari Chicane! Stroll then screamed “he just came back on the circuit like an idiot!”. Vettel was given a 10second stop and go penalty. Stroll was also given a drive through penalty too.

Leclerc had some excellent defending during lap 23 as Hamilton pulled out to pass him but failed. Leclerc was on the inside as Hamilton had to run onto the gravel and use the escape road after trying to pass the Ferrari. Leclerc was then shown the black flag.

Sainz’s race came to an end during lap 28 as he pulled out of the pits with a loose wheel and ended up with an early retirement pulling over to the side of the track.

Daniil Kvyat also ended up with an early retirement during lap 30 as he slowly pulled his Toro Rosso over to the side of the race track.

Leclerc locked up during lap 36 and had to go through the chicane, allowing Hamilton to get right up close to him. However Leclerc then defended Hamilton off.

Hamilton exclaimed “I don’t have much tyres left” during lap 42 to which the team replied “just keep that pressure on Lewis, you’re forcing him into errors”. Lewis Hamilton then had a horrific lock up that made him go down the run off area at the 1st chicane which then allowed Bottas to pass him into 2nd place; dropping himself into 3rd.

There was half a second between Bottas and Leclerc during lap 50 until Bottas ran wide at the first chicane allowing Leclerc to get away.

After 53 laps, Leclerc took his Ferrari over the white line to get his 2nd ever F1 race win at the Italian Grand Prix! Bottas finished 2nd followed with Hamilton in 3rd. Ricciardo and Hulkenberg finished in 4th and 5th! And Max Verstappen had an excellent race after starting at the back of the grid in 20th to finish in 8th! What a race!

Belgian Grand Prix

It was a weekend with mixed emotions as we sadly had to say goodbye to the F2 driver Anthoine Hubert. On a more positive note, the Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc got his first F1 win after an outstanding performance all weekend!

The Ferrari’s got an excellent start closely followed by the Mercedes’ as the lights went out in Belgium. There was contact between the Alfa Romeo of Kimi Raikkonen and the RedBull of Max Verstappen at turn 1. This sadly left Max with an early retirement from the race as he lost his steering! Vettel then overtook Hamilton down the Kemmel straight. Also during the first lap, Carlos Sainz had to retire from the race as he went off the track just feet away from the pit lane exit.

The safety car ended on lap 4 and we also saw a minor lock up from Sebastian Vettel in his Ferrari going tin La Source.

Alex Albon had an amazing start to his RedBull debut as during lap 15, he hammered down the side of Kevin Magnussen into 11th place!

Pierre Gasly and Sergio Perez both flew past Kimi Raikkonen during lap 17 as they began climbing up the grid.

A sweet tribute was made to the F2 racing driver Anthoine Hubert who sadly lost his life in the F2 race the day before. The crowd gave a standing ovation during the whole of lap 19 in memory of him (he was car number 19).

Hamilton managed to pull himself past Sebastian Vettel during lap 32 placing himself comfortably in 2nd place.

Daniil Kvyat passed Daniel Ricciardo during lap 34 closely followed by Alexander Albon in which Horner exclaimed via the radio “Excellent”.

Grosjean was very annoyed during lap 41 as he got overtaken by Nico Hulkenberg and Lance Stroll. He once again exclaimed his anger to his team via the radio.

The last lap of the race was a dramatic one as Giovinazzi crashed into the barriers at Bruxelles. Lando Norris then lost all power too and ended up shutting his car down and pulling it over to the side sadly finishing in 11th place after being on track for his highest ever F1 finish (5th).

Charles Leclerc finally got his first ever F1 win here in Belgium, after an emotional weekend for him he performed fantastically and finally got what he deserved. He dedicated the race to Anthoine saying “this ones for Anthoine”. He then followed with “Feels good but yeah, difficult to enjoy on a weekend like this”.

Sadly at 18:35 on Saturday 31st August, we said goodbye to an amazingly talented, young, inspirational driver. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Anthoine Hubert himself, his friend and his family and to the motorsport community. We also would like to wish Juan Manuel Correa a speedy and healthy recovery and hope to see him again soon.

In memory of Anthoine Hubert ~ 22.09.96 – 31.08.19

Remembering Anthoine Hubert

Sadly at 18:35 local time, on Saturday 31st August 2019, the 22 year old Anthoine Hubert suffered a horrific crash at Spa, Belgium, taking his life. He was involved in a collision with Juan Manuel Correa at approximately 170mph. Correa was taken to Liege hospital and is believed to be in a stable condition. The race was immediately red flagged and stopped after the incident. Formula 2 have also announced that Sunday’s race has been cancelled “out of respect”

Our thoughts and prayers go out to Anthoine, his family and his friends, may he rest in peace. We also pray for Juan and hope for the best for him.

Driver Profile: Max Verstappen

Team: RedBull Racing

Country: Netherlands

Podiums: 27

Grand Prix’s entered 93

Highest Race Finish 1st (x7)

Highest Grid Position: 1st

First Win: 2016 Spanish Grand Prix

First Entry: 2015 Australian Grand Prix

Car Number: 33

Date Of Birth: 30/09/1997

Place Of Birth: Hasselt, Belgium

•Arrived as F1’s youngest ever competitor at just 17 years old

•The son of former F1 driver Jos Verstappen

•He spent the 2015 season with Toro Rosso

•He became a driver for RedBull by replacing Daniil Kvyat halfway through the 2016 season

•He won the 2016 Spanish Grand Prix at his RedBull debut at the age of 18; becoming the youngest ever winner of a Grand Prix

•He has a sister called Victoria

Liverpool 4-1 Norwich

The first game of the 19/20 premier league season began with a win for Liverpool FC as they went straight to the top of the league after beating Norwich 4-1.

Liverpool rushed to the lead in the 7th minute as Grant Hanley scored an own goal!

The action didn’t stop there either as Mohammed Salah scored a goal for Liverpool in the 19th minute.

Virgil Van Dijk then popped another in the Norwich net in the 28th minute making it 3-0 to Liverpool.

Divock Origi then scored the last goal for Liverpool in the 42nd minute making it 4-0 to Liverpool.

Norwich then began the fight as Teemu Pukki scored the only goal of the 2nd half in the 64th minute.

Hungarian Grand Prix

Max Verstappen dominated the race right until the end when Lewis Hamilton passed him and took the win for Mercedes.

Vertsappen got an excellent start to the race closely followed by the two silver arrows. Bottas locked up but managed to hold that 2nd place position until he locked up once again which consequently allowed Hamilton to pass him. Leclerc passed Bottas but Bottas clipped Leclerc’s back left tyre and took a chunk out of his front wing.

Sebastian Vettel also passed Bottas during lap 2 which dropped him right back into 5th place due to his broken front wing.

The two Toro Rosso’s put up an excellent battle with each other during lap 18. Eventually Albon was forced out wide by his teammate which resulted in Kvyat going ahead.

Verstapppen pitted for new tyres during lap 25. Lewis Hamilton is also told ‘it’s hammer time’.

Lewis Hamilton pitted during lap 32 and came out 2nd as the time gap between himself and Verstappen took a rapid increase.

Lando Norris went wheel to wheel with Kevin Magnussen during lap 33 and he manages to pass him.

Verstappen made a mistake during lap 38 whilst trying to lap Daniel Ricciardo which consequently closed the gap between himself and Hamilton. Hamilton tried his best to pass Verstappen and just sneaks past him but straight away he ran off track into turn 4! This meant that Verstappen stayed in front.

Hamilton pitted for medium tyres during lap 49. Could this have caught RedBull out?

Hamilton exclaims ‘I don’t know how much tyres will be left at the end’ during lap 62 but is instantly told ‘it doesn’t matter Lewis just give it everything’.

Vertsappen was not happy during lap 63 as he told his team ‘tyres are bad!’.

Bottas and Norris were battling for 8th during lap 65. Bottas managed to get ahead.

Hamilton passed Verstappen down the main straight into turn 1 during lap 66; gaining the lead of the Hungarian Grand Prix.

Vettel passed his teammate Leclerc during lap 68, clenching 3rd place.

After 70 laps, Hamilton won the Hungarian Grand Prix with Max Verstappen in 2nd and Sebastian Vettel in 3rd.

German Grand Prix

People say it was the best race of the season. It was certainly action packed as Max verstappen wins the German Grand Prix followed by Sebastian Vettel in 2nd (who had began the race at the back of the grid in 20th!) and Daniil Kvyat in 3rd in the very wet and rainy hockenheimring.

The two Mercedes get away first as the lights go out at the hockenheimring. Bottas runs wide into the run off zone through turn 1 but re joins the track in 2nd. Giovinazzi also runs wide in turn 2 but again rejoins the track.

The safety car was deployed during lap 2 as Sergio Perez spins his racing point into the barriers.

Kimi Raikkonen passed Kevin Magnussen during lap 8 whilst Sebastian Vettel was following behind in his Ferrari; trying to move up the grid.

Lap 15 sadly saw the retirement of Daniel Ricciardo as his engine blew up thus ending his race.

Carlos Sainz spun off track during lap 19 at turn 16 but managed to get his McLaren back out on the track.

Sebastian Vettel pitted for soft (red) tyres during lap 24.

Max Verstappen took his Red Bull for a 360° spin during lap 26 as he had no grip on the wet track with his tyres.

We sadly saw the retirement of Lando Norris during lap 27 as he slowly pulled his McLaren to the side of the track after loosing all power in his car.

There was another retirement during lap 29 as Charles Leclerc spins off the track and crashed into the barriers, sadly getting his Ferrari stuck in the gravel in the process.

Also during lap 29, Lewis Hamilton spins off and crashes into the barrier, looses his front wing and then cuts across the grass to the pit lane entry (later earning himself a penalty) and suffers a horrific 50 second stop as the team weren’t ready for him!

Lewis Hamilton is awarded a 5 second time penalty during lap 34 for going the wrong side of the barrier at the pit lane entry!

Nico Hulkenberg retired from his home Grand Prix during lap 41 as he spins off the track, crashes into the barrier and gets stuck in the gravel.

Lance Stroll pits for soft (red) tyres during lap 45.

Hamilton, Gasly, Sainz and Albon were all battling for 3rd during lap 46 and Sainz and Hamilton go wheel to wheel! Hamilton gains that 3rd place position. Albon went wide and dropped from 4th position to 8th as Raikkonen also passes him followed by Sebastian Vettel.

Verstappen, Bottas, Sainz, Gasly, Albon and Grosjean all pitted for new tyres during lap 47.

Hamilton dropped right back to 12th place during lap 48 after serving his 5 second time penalty.

Kvyat passes Stroll up into 2nd place during lap 51!

Valtteri Bottas retires from the race during Lap 57 as he spins off track and slams into the barriers.

Sebastian Vettel passes Lance Stroll up into 3rd place during lap 63! Also during the lap, Gasly has to retire from the race as he runs into the back of Alexander Albon.

Sebastian Vettel passes Kvyat during lap 63 into 2nd place after starting the race right at the back of the grid in 20th!

Max Verstappen wins the German Grand Prix followed by Sebastian Vettel in 2nd and Daniil Kvyat in 3rd!

The stewards then penalised both Alfa Romeo’s after the race for infringements at the start of the race. Due to the penalties, Robert Kubica moves up into 10th place and scored Williams’ first points of the season!

British Grand Prix

We saw a fantastic race from the silver arrows as they dominates the race from start to finish. We also saw an action packed battle between Red Bull and Ferrari as they all battled for their positions on the grid.

The Mercedes were both straight off the line, in front was Bottas closely followed by Hamilton in 2nd. Daniel Ricciardo and Lando Norris went wheel to wheel through copse trying to gain positions. Norris managed to stay ahead.

Hamilton passed Bottas into Luffield during lap 4 however this didn’t last long as Bottas re-took the lead into copse.

The action between the Red Bull’s and Ferrari’s began during lap 11 as Veerstappen tried to take Leclerc but the Ferrari managed to stay ahead. Vettel also got involved with the action as he attempted to pass Verstappen but unfortunately he failed to succeed.

Leclerc and Verstappen both pitted during lap 14. Red Bull set the new world record for the fastest pit stop with a 1.91 second stop! Straight after, Verstappen pulls out of the pit lane right next to Leclerc and they go wheel to wheel out of the pit lane! Could this have been an unsafe release from Red Bull? Verstappen came out ahead of Leclerc however his glory didn’t last long as he ran wide and allowed Leclerc to slip past. They then went wheel to wheel down into brooklands but Leclerc managed to stay ahead.

Verstappen almost managed to pass Leclerc during lap 19 but the Ferrari managed to keep him behind with some fascinating defending.

The safety car and yellow flags were deployed during lap 20 as Giovinazzi spun off at the Vale chicane and deposited his car into the gravel. Hamilton also pitted under the safety car and still managed to lead the race.

Albon and Norris went wheel to wheel through Abbey during lap 24. Ricciardo passed his teammate Hulkenberg. Perez and Hulkenberg made contact and Perez lost his front wing!

Also during lap 24, Leclerc and Verstappen carried on their battle as the went wheel to wheel once again and Leclerc managed to barge through however Verstappen managed to force his way back through.

Leclerc passed Gasly through Village during lap 36.

Verstappen passed Vettel during lap 37. Vettel then pounded his car into the back of Verstappen which ploughed them both off track and sent verstappen into the air! Vettel apologised to Verstappen after the race; portraying a true sense of sportsmanship.

Lewis Hamilton set the fastest lap (1.27.369) during lap 56 and won the British Grand Prix as he crossed the line with the rapper Stormzy waving the checked flag. Bottas finished 2nd and Leclerc 3rd. We saw a fantastic race from Pierre Gasly as he ended in 4th! His highest race finish!

Austrian Grand Prix

An eventful race with lots of action as the young Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc dominated the race right till the end when the Red Bull driver Max Verstappen claimed the win from him.

Leclerc got a fantastic start from the line keeping that 1st place position however, Verstappen had a horrific start as his car didn’t move from the line straight away; forcing the Mercedes to dive around him. We also saw a fantastic performance from Lando Norris in his McLaren as he went wheel to wheel with Lewis Hamilton for 3rd place! Sadly, he had to slot in behind Hamilton due to him having more power but what a fantastic performance!

Vettel passed Norris into turn 3 during lap 4 but Norris wasn’t giving up without a fight as he goes wheel to wheel with the Ferrari; both fighting for the positions.

During lap 7 Verstappen exclaims “I need more power mate” as he passes Lando Norris into turn 3 placing himself up into 6th.

Norris powers past the Alfa Romeo of Kimi Raikkonen into 6th during lap 14.

Bottas and Vettel both pitted during lap 22 however, Ferrari weren’t ready for Vettel and consequently he suffered a 6.1 second stop!

Vettel set the new fastest lap during lap 30 whilst Hamilton pitted. Hamilton had a horrific 11 second stop after he had to change his front wing as well as his tyres.

Gasly and Raikkonen were battling for positions during lap 32 as Gasly eventually successfully passes the Alfa Romeo.

The Dutch fans went wild as Verstappen passed Vettel into 3rd place during lap 50.

Verstappen exclaimed “I’m loosing power” during lap 56. Also during this lap, he then passes Bottas up into 2nd place.

Lap 68 was where all the action began as Leclerc and Verstappen were wheel to wheel battling for 1st. Unfortunately for max, this was a tricky part of the track to overtake and Leclerc was doing some fantastic defending too.

Leclerc and Verstappen were one again wheel to wheel during lap 69 however this time they collide! Verstappen forced Leclerc to run off the track as Verstappen claims the lead of the Austrian Grand Prix.

Vettel passed Hamilton into turn 4 during lap 70 putting himself up into 4th as Hamilton suffers a horrific lock up; causing him to loose the position.

Lap 71 saw Verstappen temporarily win the Austrian Grand Prix as the FIA were investigating the incident between himself and Leclerc (no further action was taken) followed by Leclerc in 2nd and Bottas in 3rd.

Leclerc Powers Through To Pole In Austrian Qualifying

The Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc was on pole for the 2nd time in his F1 career at the Austrian Grand Prix after setting a new track record!

During Q1, we saw the incident between Raikkonen and Hamilton where he pulled straight off the track in front of the Alfa Romeo; awarding Hamilton a 3 place grid penalty.

We also saw Daniil Kvyat get annoyed as he has to run wide off the track to avoid a collision due to the back log of traffic on the track. As a consequence, he couldn’t get out of Q1 due to his lap times being effected.

Q2 began with Hamilton complaining that he didn’t have enough speed on the straights. Landon Norris was on track to set his personal best lap. Magnussen locked up and slightly ran off track. Both Alfa’s go 6th and 7th fastest.

Q3 saw Hamilton go fastest first, however this was quickly replaced by Bottas which was then replaced by Leclerc. Very tapped goes 3rd fastest splitting up the two Mercedes. Vettel ends his qualifying session in 10th as he leaves his car.

Leclerc goes on pole with a 1:03.003 followed by Hamilton (yet to receive his 3 place grid penalty) followed by Verstappen 3rd, Bottas 4th, Magnussen 5th, Norris 6th, Raikkonen 7th, Giovinazzi 8th, Gasly 9th and Vettel 10th.

French Grand Prix

It was another 1- 2 finish for Mercedes as Lewis Hamilton picked up 1st followed by his teammate Valtteri Bottas in 2nd at the Paul Ricard Circuit in Southern France. We also saw a fantastic race for the McLaren’s this weekend as Sainz ended the race in 6th and Norris in 9th. This was due to the two 5 second time penalties that Daniel Ricciardo received after the race!

Mercedes got a fantastic start as the lights went out in France with plenty of action behind them as the two McLaren’s were putting up a fight behind them. Carlos Sainz was wheel to wheel with Max Verstappen fighting for positions. Perez ran off the track resulting in him having to use the escape road. Unfortunately, he picked up a 5 second time penalty for leaving the track and gaining an advantage.

George Russell clipped a bollard during lap 5 as he was battling with his teammate Robert Kubica for the positions.

Vettel gathered a DRS advantage during lap 7 and manages to pass the McLarens; slowly bringing him up the grid.

Ricciardo gathered DRS during lap 19 and managed to pass Gasly in the car he formally used to drive.

During lap 24, we saw Hamilton pit and put on the Hard Compound (white stripe) tyres.

There was an interesting battle between Ricciardo and Grosjean during lap 28 as they came wheel to wheel when entering the chicane.

It all went downhill for Norris during lap 43 as the team announced over the radio that they have an issue with his car. They then proceeded to tell him that he isn’t allowed to use DRS.

The two Toro Rosso’s were battling it out during lap 45 as Kvyat went wheel to wheel with Albon going into the corner. Albon managed to stay ahead of his teammate.

Sadly, during lap 47 we had to see the retirement of Romain Grosjean in his home Grand Prix as he slowly pulled into the pits and rolled his car into the garage.

Lap 53 (final lap) was very eventful as Ricciardo and Norris both leave the rack as they are fighting for final positions with Raikkonen and Hulkenberg. Ricciardo then left the track to overtake Kimi Raikkonen.

Hamilton wins the French Grand Prix closely followed by his teammate Bottas in 2nd and the Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc in 3rd.

After the race, the FIA decided to award Daniel Ricciardo two 5 second time penalties which consequently dropped him from 7th to 11th.

Driver Profile: Sebastian Vettel

Team: Ferrari

Country: Germany

Grand Prix’s Entered: 227

World Championships: 4

Highest Race Finish: 1st (x52)

Highest Grid Position: 1st

First Win: 2008 Italian Grand Prix

First Entry: 2007 United States Grand Prix

Car Number: 5

Date of Birth: 03/07/1987

Place of Birth: Heppenheim, Germany

  • Vettel was born and raised a bull (Red Bull) but is now very much a prancing horse (Ferrari)
  • Started his F1 career as a test driver for BMW Sauber in 2006
  • He replaced Robert Kubica in 2007 as he was injured
  • He joined Toro Rosso and was kept as a driver in 2008
  • He became the youngest pole sitter (21 years old) at the 2008 Italian Grand Prix
  • He was promoted to Red Bull in 2009
  • He won his first world championship in 2010
  • He signed a 3-year contract with Ferrari in 2015
  • He’s won 4 world Championships (2010, 2011, 2012, 2013)
  • He gives all his race cars names
  • He has a younger brother, Fabian and 2 older sisters, Melanie and Stefanie
  • He has 2 daughters, Emilie and Matilda with Hanna Prater

Driver Profile: Lewis Hamilton

Team: Mercedes

Country: United Kingdom

Grand Prix’s entered: 233

World Championships: 5

Highest Race Finish: 1 (x75)

Highest Grid Position: 1st

First Win: 2007 Canadian Grand Prix

First Entry: 2007 Australian Grand Prix

Car Number: 44

Date Of Birth: 07/01/1985

Place Of Birth: Stevenage, England

  • ‘Still I rise’ Lewis’ life motto. It is located on the back of his helmet and the back of his shoulders.
  • His half-brother, Nicholas, has cerebral palsy
  • Hamilton began karting in 1993
  • In 2007, he began his F1 career with McLaren
  • In 2008, he became the youngest ever world champion
  • After 4 years with McLaren without finishing higher than 4th in the driver’s standings, he switched to Mercedes in 2013
  • He then became re-united with his karting teammate Nico Rosberg when joining Mercedes
  • After Rosberg retired, Vettel Became Hamilton’s closest rival (and still is)
  • He’s won 5 world championships (2008, 2014, 2015, 2017, 2018)  

Canadian Grand Prix

It was a disappointing day for Ferrari fans after Sebastian Vettel had a fantastic qualifying session and a great race however he had to give his win up to Lewis Hamilton after the FIA awarded him a 5 second time penalty for an unsafe re entry and forcing another driver off the track!

Ferrari had a fantastic start to the race as the lights went out in Canada and Sebastian Vettel flew away from the line. Closely followed behind him were Charles Leclerc and Lewis Hamilton fighting for 2nd and 3rd and then behind them was Ricciardo and Gasly fighting for 4th and 5th! We also saw a yellow flag in sector one as Alexander Albon lost his front wing. As this happened, poor Grosjean got entangled in the debris from Albon.

We sadly had to say goodbye to Lando Norris during lap 9 as he locked up and consequently his brakes caught fire; melting the rear suspension.

It was all go during lap 15 as Daniil Kvyat was the first to pass Kevin Magnussen closely followed by Sergio Perez as Magnussen slowly began to drop down the grid.

Perez and Grosjean touch wheels during lap 32 as Grosjean slightly slips off the track very briefly. Grosjean responded with ‘ an we report that to the race control’ as he was clearly annoyed by the incident. No further action was taken.

Valtteri Bottas went wheel to wheel with Daniel Ricciardo down into the chicane during lap 35. Fortunately for Ricciardo, he managed to hold onto 5th place for a little longer.

Lewis Hamilton went very wide going down into turn 10 during lap 40 allowing Sebastian Vettel to get ahead.

All the action arose during lap 48 as Vettel went wide, ran off the track onto the grass, then cut back onto the track in front of Lewis Hamilton. However, as he regained the track, he had no grip on his back tyres, as he viciously fights to keep out of the way of Hamilton, it simply doesn’t happen.

Max Verstappen was flying during lap 51 as he rushed past both the Renaults of Hulkenberg and Ricciardo placing himself nicely in 5th.

Magnussen vents his anger as he says ‘this is the worst experience I’ve ever had in any race car ever’ during lap 55. This is due to the fact that he had hardly any pace and consequently couldn’t fight his way up the grid.

Frustration for Vettel during lap 58 as he was given a 5 second time penalty by the FIA for an unsafe re-entry to the track and for forcing another driver off the track. Vettel responds with ‘I had nowhere to go…seriously I had nowhere to go… I did see him’.

Sainz dropped down the grid during lap 68 as Lance stroll passed him first closely followed by Daniil Kvyat.

Lap 70 saw Valtteri Bottas set the new fastest lap with a 1:30.078. Also, Sebastian Vettel takes the checked flag passing it in 1st place. However, Lewis Hamilton wins the Canadian Grand Prix due to the 5 second time penalty.

As the drivers were pulling up at the end of the race, Vettel wheeled his Ferrari straight into the garage. He also then switched the position signs so that Hamilton had 2nd in front of his car and Vettel had 1st where his car would be if he hadn’t put his car away. Perhaps he was a little annoyed…?

Chelsea 4 vs 1 Arsenal Europa League Final

Eden Hazard was on fire during his last game with Chelsea FC before moving to Real Madrid, scoring 2 goals.

 After a quiet 1st half with no goals, Oliver Giroud was the first to get the action started, scoring the first goal for Chelsea in the 49th minute. What a Coincidence! The Former Arsenal Striker Scores against his previous team.

The action didn’t stop there as Pedro popped another goal in the 60th minute. This was closely followed by Eden Hazard’s first goal in the 65th minute.

Arsenal thought the comeback was on as Alex Iwobi scored for Arsenal in the 69th minute.

However this slowly came to an end as Eden Hazard scored his final goal ever for Chelsea in the 79th minute!

Chelsea then celebrated by lifting the cup in Baku, Azerbaijan.

Liverpool 2 vs 0 Tottenham UEFA Champions League Final 2019

It was fascinating Champions League Final with two English teams fighting the cup! And after Liverpool threw away the Premier League, they were delighted to bring home the Champions League trophy; crowning them kings of Europe.

It wasn’t long before the action started when Mohammed Salah scored the Liverpool Penalty in the 2nd minute! The Tottenham Midfielder Moussa Sissoko gave away the penalty to Liverpool less than 30 seconds into the final Madrid after the ball brushed his arm. After a long VAR decision Liverpool were then awarded the penalty.

The action didn’t stop there until the Liverpool sub Divock Origi struck the ball into Tottenham’s net in the 87th minute.

After finishing 2nd to Manchester city in the premier league, Jurgen Klopp was delighted to bring home the trophy after his final in a row!

Monaco Grand Prix

Back to the famous street race in the south of France! After Last years fantastic performance from Daniel Ricciardo all weekend, we saw a fantastic battle between Verstappen and Hamilton for 1st place this year. We also saw a very disappointing weekend for the Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc in his home Grand Prix as he had a very rough weekend overall in Monaco.

As the lights went out, Hamilton got an excellent start ahead of everyone else. His teammate Bottas and the Redbull driver Max Verstappen were wheel to wheel behind fighting for 2nd position. We also saw some contact between the Alpha Romeo of Kimi Raikkonen and the Racing Point of Lance Stroll. Leclerc was also battling with Carlos Sainz to gain some positions.

The 2nd lap into the race and Leclerc gets his first overtake on Lando Norris up into 13th place, leaving Leclerc wanting to power on more and move up the grid.

However, during lap 7, Leclerc slightly clipped the side of the Hass of Romain Grosjean lucky barely damaging the cars.

There was yet another drawback for Leclerc as during lap 9, he clipped the barrier and slightly collides with the side of Hulkenberg’s Renault. Sadly, Leclerc suffers a horrendous puncture and he scraped the Ferrari back to the pits on 3 wheels.

During lap 11, Verstappen pulled into the side of the Mercedes of Bottas in the pits. Verstappen gained a five second time penalty for an unsafe release.

The yellow flags came out during lap 16 as George Russell spun his Williams at Racasse, blocking Giovinazzi and Leclerc from passing but allowing Hulkenberg and Kubica to squeeze through and pass the incident.

We sadly had to witness the retirement of Charles Leclerc during lap 18 after a very rough race for him in his home Grand Prix.

Raikkonen got very frustrated during lap 38 as the Racing Point driver Lance Stroll once again collided with him.

It was Magnussen vs Perez during lap 45 as going down into the chicane, they touch wheels and collide forcing Magnussen to cut the chicane to stay ahead.

Lap 48 saw the front of the grid all fighting to pass the back markers. All were successful in passing except Valtteri Bottas as he got stuck behind the Racing Point of Lance Stroll.

Lewis Hamilton made his first concern about his tyres during lap 56 saying that they are too much of a poor condition and he can suffer because of it.

The next main tyre concern came from Hamilton during lap 59 as he expressed ‘I don’t know what your thinking keeping these tyres on man’ to his team.

Verstappen was given more power during lap 70 as he tried to overtake Hamilton. Unfortunately for him, Hamilton blocks him from passing.

Once again it was Verstappen vs Hamilton as Verstappen tried to go down the inside of Hamilton and they collide! Hamilton had to cut the chicane to stay on the track.

Lap 78, Hamilton crossed the checked line and wins the Monaco Grand Prix, followed by Verstappen in 2nd and Vettel in 3rd. However, Max had to take his 5 second penalty, making Vettel 2nd, Bottas 3rd and himself 4th. We also saw a fantastic race from Pierre Gasly as he finished 5th! Lets hope that the next race in Canada is as exciting!

My Favourite Race: Monaco

So as some of you may know, Monaco is my favourite race of the season. This is due to many various reasons that I would like to share with you! I’ve decided to give you all a detailed insight into the track and the many benefits of this race. I hope you all enjoy; don’t forget to leave me feedback/comments!

To start with, here are some basic facts about the Monaco Grand Prix:

  • Located in the South East of France
  • Called the Circuit De Monaco
  • Fist Grand Prix held here was in 1950
  • The race consists of 78 laps
  • The circuit length is 3.337km
  • It is a street circuit built on an actual road in Monaco
  • Its famous for the Fairmont hairpin
  • The tunnel runs underneath the Fairmont Hotel
  • It takes 6 weeks to build the track

So now you know the basic information about the track, I’d like to take the time to give you some F1 driver history about the track:

The Redbull driver Max Verstappen currently holds the fastest lap record with a 1:14.260! (of course, we have the race this weekend, could someone change it?)

The last winner of Monaco was Daniel Ricciardo in 2019 with a fantastic time of a 1:42:54.807. He dominated the race all weekend being fastest in practice and qualifying and it really all paid off for him. When he won the race and went onto the podium, he celebrated with his famous ‘shoey’ celebration. This is where he drinks champagne from his racing boot! He then continued the celebrations when he did the famous fall into the pool like Mark Webber.

The British driver Graham Hill was another famous face to the track. He won the race 5 times in a row in the 1960s. This earned him the title as the ‘King of Monaco’. He has also won the most races in Monaco (8 in total)

The famous Brazilian driver Ayrton Senna currently holds the record for the most wins in row with 6 wins from 1989 to 1993.

Many famous faces have raced the track and won too:

  • Mark Webber – 2012, 2010
  • Jenson Button – 2009
  • David Coulthard – 2002, 2000
  • Michael Schumacher – 2001,1997,1995,1994
  • Ayrton Senna – 1993,1992,1991,1990,1989,1987
  • Alain Prost – 1988,1986,1985,1984
  • Niki Lauda – 1975,1976
  • Jackie Stewart – 1973,1971
  • Graham Hill – 1969,1968,1965,1964,1963,1961,1960,1956
  • Juan Manuel Fangio – 1957,1950

Now although there have been many happy memories at Monaco, there have also been some sad ones too. The Monaco circuit can actually be quite dangerous too with its many twists and turns and sharp corners. The 1994 Monaco Grand Prix was one to be remembered. The previous race at Imola, Italy, Roland Ratzenberger and Ayrton Senna were both killed from massive head injuries from on-track injuries. Monaco was the next race on the calendar after this incident. 2 weeks just after these incidents has happened, during the Monaco race, the Austrian driver Karl Wendlinger crashed his Sauber inside of the famous tunnel and ended up in a coma and missed the rest of the season!

Sadly, there have been some terrible deaths at the circuit:

  • Norman Linnecar – 1948
  • Luigi Fagioli – 1952
  • Dennis Taylor – 1962
  • Lorenzo Bandini – 1967

Now finally, I’d like to take the time to discuss the reasons why Monaco is my favourite race:

The first reason is because its so unique compared to the other races on the calendar. It is built on a normal road in Monaco and I just find it interesting how something can be changed so easily for one weekend.

Secondly, as you may know, Daniel Ricciardo is my favourite driver and the race that he had in 2018 was just mesmerising. He drove so perfectly all weekend and then for him to celebrate with the ‘shoey’ and the jump in the pool just topped it all off.

Thirdly, I think the route of the circuit is amazing. I love how the twists and turns of the circuit can be so challenging for the drivers sometimes too. This makes the race so unpredictable too as you never know what will happen. My favourite sports of the track are the famous corner hairpin where again there are many opportunities for the drivers to overtake or crash. I also love the tunnel that runs underneath a building. I think that it’s so interesting that the drivers just disappear underneath a building for a short time and come out of the other side straight into another risky corner.

Finally, I love how pretty Monaco is. The hilltops surrounding the circuit in the distance enhance the track and the beautiful French Rivera that again surround a section of the track make it stand out so much. You also always get to see the luxury boats and hotels in the surrounding areas too that just give the Monaco Grand Prix that extra enhancement.

Thank you all for reading this exclusive blog entry about Monaco. I hope that the race this year is as interesting as the previous ones! What are your predictions?

Spanish Grand Prix

It was yet another 2-1 win for the silver arrows at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya as Lewis Hamilton struck the checked flag first closely followed by his teammate Valtteri Bottas in second.

Hamilton was off to a fantastic start after beating his teammate off the line whilst going wheel to wheel into the first turn with him. Vettel and Verstappen were both behind them going when to wheel all fighting for their positions. Going into turn 2, Vettel locked up and allows not only Leclerc but also Bottas through too! Pierre Gasly ran wide off the track whilst fighting for a position above Leclerc.

Vettel was forced to let his teammate past during lap 12 on the racing line, allowing Leclerc to access 4th place.

Daniil Kvyat was fighting endlessly to pass the Alfa Romeo of Kimi Raikkonen during lap 25. He successfully made the overtake on the outside line going into turn 4.

Leclerc allowed Vettel to pass during lap 36 after they previously swapped positions earlier in the race. Also, Kvyat passed Kevin Magnussen as he went to the right-hand side of the track, allowing Kvyat to successfully pass him on the left.

It was disaster for Norris and Stroll as they both went off the track during lap 46. This resulted in a safety car. Lando Norris just clipped the back-left hand side of the Racing Point.

The safety car ended during lap 56 (10 laps after the incident!) and all the action began. Leclerc and Gasly went wheel to wheel fighting for their positions. Whilst this was happening, Magnussen was on the inside of Grosjean. Grosjean ran wide so Magnussen got the chance to slide past him. Whilst all of this action was happening, Daniil Kvyat took his Toro Rosso for a slide off the track into the gravel. Finally, as the action was winding down, Kevin Magnussen and Pierre Gasly were fighting for their positions on the rundown towards turn 4.

Later on in lap 56, Magnussen and Grosjean were up for another battle yet again! However, this didn’t last long as Grosjean ended up going down the escape road and re-joins the track behind Magnussen.

Grosjean was causing quite the stir during this race as during lap 58, he as battling with Carlos Sainz for another overtake. Once again, Romain Grosjean is forced off the track, down the exact same escape route, and once again re-joins the track in front of Sainz.

This excitement didn’t last long as Sainz passed Grosjean during lap 59 of his home Grand Prix! The crowd roared with excitement.

Finally Lap 66 arrived and Lewis Hamilton crossed the line, closely followed by his teammate Valtteri Bottas in 2nd and the Redbull driver Max Verstappen in 3rd. This was the 5th 1-2 finish for Mercedes! What a season for them!

Liverpool 4 vs 3 Barcelona Champions League Semi-Final 2019

Liverpool are into the 2019 Champions league semi-final after overcoming Barcelona with a fantastic second leg at Anfield after a 3-0 defeat at Nou Camp in the first leg.

The first leg of the semi-final at Nou Camp saw a 3-0 win for Barcelona as the former Liverpool player Luis Suarez kicked off the action with a goal in the 26th minute. This was then followed by 2 goals from his teammate Lionel Messi in the 75th and 82nd minute.

With a slim chance of hope, Liverpool fought well and hard in the second leg back at Anfield and what a shocker it was! Divock Origi was the first to get the action started when he scored his first goal in the 7th minute!

The action didn’t stop there as after half time, Barcelona were left stunned as Georginio Wijnaldum struck another goal in the 54th minute making it 2-0!

Liverpool struck once again the 56th minute when Georginio Wijnaldum scored yet another goal making it 3-0 to the reds!

The final goal was smashed in the back of the Barcelona net yet again by the man who started off the action Divock Origi in the 79th minute; making the final score 4-0!

With a shocked Barcelona side unable to respond, the whistle was blown with the home fans staying on their feet to cheer their team to victory in yet another success into the Champions League Final for the second year running!

Few people believed in the reds with the teams top two strikers, Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino out injured, but manager Jurgen Klopp urged his players to keep their spirits and keep believing.

The reds with meet Tottenham FC on the 1st June in Madrid to decide the title. The trophy will be coming home to an English team in June! What are your predictions for the game and who will win?

Azerbaijan Grand Prix

Another outstanding race from the Silver Arrow of Valtteri Bottas in Baku as he once again dominated the race for another 1st position Victory!

The race began with the two Mercedes battling for that initial 1st position. Bottas won the position and was already on track for another victory. Also in the lap, we saw an amazing start from Sergio Perez who began 4th ahead of Max Verstappen!

Perez’s position in 4th was short and sweet as Max Verstappen gained DRS during lap 5 and managed to pass him. Whilst this was happening, Leclerc managed to pass Carlos Sainz in his Ferrari. Daniel Ricciardo also managed to Daniil Kvyat into the point scoring position, 10th. This was followed by a swift overtake from his teammate Alexander Albon also on Kvyat.

During lap 10, Charles Leclerc managed to pick up slipstream and passed Max Verstappen into 4th place in his Ferrari, powering down the track for more.

Lap 17 saw Carlos Sainz pass the HAAS of Romain Grosjean using slipstream and a little bit of DRS whilst driving down the track.

All the action occurred in lap 25 as Robert Kubica went into the pits for his first change of tyres. Grosjean took his HAAS for a spin off the track allowing not only Ricciardo to pass him but Stroll and Raikkonen too! Also during lap 25, Valtteri Bottas passed Charles Leclerc and once again regained the lead. Daniel Ricciardo went straight onto the escape road and cut off Daniil Kvyat who had to slam the breaks on to prevent a collision with either Ricciardo or the safety barrier. Daniel Ricciardo then began to reverse without checking his surrounding and collided straight into the side of Kvyat!

It was a sad time for Redbull as Pierre Gasly slowly came to a holt and placed his car slightly off the side of the track for an early retirement to the Azerbaijan Grand Prix. The safety car was then deployed.

The safety car ended in lap 41 which excited Max Verstappen as he applied too much power and almost placed his Redbull into the barriers.

Lewis Hamilton was trying his hardest to power past his teammate and claim 1st from his teammate as they were on track for the teams fourth 1-2 finish. Hamilton failed to pass his teammate and remained in 2nd place.

All of the glory was on Charles Leclerc as he lapped Nico Hulkenberg in the DRS zone. He then also claimed the fastest lap; gaining another point for his team!

Finally, it was victory for Valtteri Bottas in Baku after a fantastic race once again form the Silver arrows! This was closely followed by his teammate Hamilton in 2nd and the Redbull driver Max Verstappen in 3rd.

Sunderland 1 vs 1 Portsmouth

After a fierce fight between the two teams, the game ended in a tie with a lot of frustration between them as they both failed to achieve automatic promotion from league one.

The game started on a high for Sunderland as Tom Flanagan popped the ball in the back of the Portsmouth net in the 9th minute of the game.

Sadly, the excitement didn’t last long for Sunderland as Jamal Lowe scored for Portsmouth bringing the score round to 1-1.

Shortly after the goal, the game was suspended for 5 minutes as a Portsmouth fan threw a lit flare into the Sunderland crowd below. The fan was then caught and later arrested.

Sunderland had many opportunities to score but sadly every time they neared the goal, the referee blew the whistle to stop play. Could this have been a biased judgement from the referee?

At the end of the game, as the fans began to leave the stadium, a fight broke out on the pitch involving several players from each team. This was due to the constant battling between the two teams with them both competing for promotion into the championship. A couple of push and shoves from each team lead to an argument between them.

The teams face yet another battle this Saturday (11/05/19). My personal predictions are that it will be yet another very close call between the two teams. This is because each time they have come head to head, the score has always been really close, and they are both working really hard to be promoted. Unfortunately, only one of them can succeed. In my opinion it will be close and will probably end up in extra time; possibly even penalties! Who do you think will win?

Disaster for Leclerc in Azerbaijan Qualifying

It was a disappointing drive for Charles Leclerc during the Azerbaijan qualifying session as he took his Ferrari for a spin into the barriers during the second phase.

Leclerc expressed that he will learn from his mistakes and the disappointment of missing the change for pole position on the grid and possibly a race win! As the car went into the barriers, he spoke over the radio “I am stupid… I am stupid”.

After the crash, Leclerc was left qualifying 8th for the race. Although the team attempted a different race strategy to benefit Leclerc, it wasn’t successful, and he had to settle for 8th on the grid.

Speaking to Sky Sports F1, Leclerc expressed his feeling towards the incident. He said “There is nothing wrong with the Ferrari, it’s just that myself… I won’t put myself down again, I did it enough… I did a mistake and I will learn from it to come back stronger”.

Despite this incident, Leclerc managed to finish 5th during the race, securing some more points for himself and for his team.

Williams Incident Azerbaijan Practice 1

During practice 1 in Baku, Azerbaijan, George Russell ran over a loose drain cover in his Williams; creating thousands of pounds worth of damage to the car.

The drain cover had already been ran over by the Ferrari Driver Charles Leclerc which had loosened it. Shortly after, Russell ran over it with his Williams and completely demolished the underneath of his car. The whole underneath of his FW42 Chassis was demolished; forcing the race to be red flagged and suspended. Russell spoke “I got the biggest shock through my body, and the whole engine turned off”

To add to all of the chaos, as Russell’s Williams was being taken back into the pits on the back of the recovery vehicle, the crane that was attached to the car was too high up and hit a bridge; spilling hydraulic fluid, oil and grease all over the car.

Claire Williams has expressed her anger and concerns from the weekend and is in the process of claiming some insurance money back from the weekend incident. She said “At this stage I couldn’t tell you the exact numbers but its not in the tens of thousands its in the hundreds of thousands”

Other drivers have also expressed their concerns/anger including the Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton who said, “how could they have not checked and sealed the drains?”. The alfa Romeo driver Kimi Raikkonen said, “obviously it was far from ideal for everybody and we looked like we were armatures here today”. He also added “It should not be like this”

Chinese Grand Prix

The 1000th formula one race! The Mercedes team had a fantastic time as they dominated the race being top overall for most of the time. Lando Norris had a shocking experience as his McLaren took a leap into the air after a collision with the Toro Rosso of Kvyat.

Lewis Hamilton had a fantastic start as he leapt from the start line closely followed by his team mate Bottas. Shortly after the race started, Daniil Kvyat had a horrible lock up in his Toro Rosso and collided with both McLarens. He ran into Carlos Sainz first then hit the side of Lando Norris’ car; sending him up into the air! After this happened, all of the 4 top teams cars were side 2 by 2, all fighting for their places.

There was a sudden team order from Ferrari during lap 11 when Leclerc was ordered to let Sebastian Vettel pass. Leclerc was not very happy about this but obeyed the orders.

We saw Nico Hulkenberg Slowly pull his Renault into the pits during lap 17. We then saw the team wheeling his car into the pits for an early retirement with what looked like another mechanical issue.

Lap 20 was an interesting battle between Verstappen and Leclerc. Verstappen had a swift overtake on Leclerc but suffered a severe lock up going around the corner which allowed Vettel to catch up and go straight past him back into 5th place!

It was Raikkonen vs Magnussen during lap 26 when when Raikkonen went shooting past him up into 10th place down the hairpin into turn 6. Also during the lap, Alexander Albon has a fantastic overtake on Antonio Giovinazzi in his Alfa Romeo.

Raikkonen was yet again in beast mode during lap 29. He began to pass the Haas of Romain Grosjean but he wasn’t giving the place up easily. Luckily for Kimi, he was swift enough to powerfully pass and gain his position.

We encountered a very interesting pit stop for the Mercedes during lap 37. Lewis Hamilton went flying into the pits as his teammate was also pulling into the pits. Hamilton left the mechanics and Bottas was straight in after him. A very interesting and swift stop for the Mercedes team.

Bottas overtook the Ferrari of Charles Leclerc during lap 39 and placed his Mercedes back up into 2nd place.

We sadly had to see the retirement of Daniil Kvyat during lap 43 as the team rolled his Toro Rosso into the garage.

It was a sad time for Lando Norris as his first ever Chinese Grand Prix ended in a retirement during lap 53. After his incident in the first lap, the team once again rolled his McLaren into the garage so close to the end of the race.

Lap 56 was the finishing lap for the Chinese Grand Prix as Lewis Hamilton took his Mercedes over the finishing line closely followed by his teammate Bottas in 2nd and Verstappen in 3rd. We also saw a surprise guest to the Grand Prix as Alain Prost, the former F1 driver, was happily waving the checkered flag at the finish line. What a way to end the race!

Bahrain Grand Prix

It was disappointment all around for Ferrari at the second race of the season in Bahrain. The Mercedes team grasped a lucky 1st and 2nd after Sebastian Vettel crashed and Charles Leclerc suffered from battery problems.

Ferrari had an outstanding start to the race as Vettel rushed past his teammate Leclerc who was on pole position to grasp 1st place. Leclerc then closely followed him fighting for his place back with the two Mercedes battling it out behind him and even go wheel to wheel as they fight for the position. Bottas manages to get a successful overtake on Leclerc and brings himself forward to 2nd place. Also among the overtaking action, the Racing Point of Lance Stroll got entangled up in a collision with the HAAS of Romain Grosjean.

Just into lap 2, Leclerc leapt his Ferrari forward into 2nd place after an amazing overtake on the Mercedes of Valtteri Bottas after he had a minor lock up allowing him to pass. His team mate Lewis Hamilton battled it out once again both fighting their hardest for the position. After a long fight Hamilton managed to pass his teammate Bottas with flying colours.

During lap 4, we saw the McLaren driver Carlos Sainz go wheel to wheel surprisingly with the Red Bull driver Max Verstappen. However, Max managed to keep the position and Sainz unfortunately suffered from front wing damage and dropped right to the back of the grid.

Lap 6 saw Leclerc have an outstanding overtake on his teammate Sebastian Vettel putting him up into the lead. Vettel tried to fight back for the position but unlucky for him, Leclerc was just too fast. Later in the lap, Vettel managed to get into the DRS zone and once again had a go at fighting for his position back but once again Leclerc was just top fast for him.

In lap 12, we saw the Sauber driver Giovinazzi collide with the Toro Rosso of Kvyat. Giovinazzi placed his hand in the air after the collision. Now was this to say sorry or was it because he was annoyed at him? Lewis Hamilton also swapped onto the Soft compound tyre, whilst this was happening Bottas tried to have a sneaky overtake on Max Verstappen but unfortunately Max managed to keep his position and set the new fastest lap with a 1.3’’’5.387! Just after this, Bottas managed to overtake Verstappen as he went wide! What an eventful lap!

Hulkenberg took his Renault in front of the Sauber of Kimi Raikkonen in Lap 21. This was Hulkenberg’s 158th start in Formula one! What an amazing career he has had!

Entering the DRS zone in lap 38 Lewis took the left-hand side of the Ferrari of Sebastian Vettel and overtook him. Seconds after this, Vettel went spinning off the track down into turn 4! He also lost his front wing and damaged his left rear tyre. What unfortunate experience for him as he cried out to his team via the radio “I need new tyres… BOX BOX BOX!”

The two Renaults were battling it out during lap 39. Ricciardo had an unfortunate lock up which allowed his team mate Hulkenberg to slip past him as they touch going around the corner. Hulkenberg ran over Riccardo’s front wing and crushed the side of it!

Leclerc cried for help from his team during lap 46 as he claimed there were some problems brewing in the engine of his Ferrari. The team replied to him that they would investigate the situation and report back to him.

Going down towards the final corner of lap 48, the Mercedes of Lewis Hamilton passed Leclerc due to his ongoing engine problems. Poor Leclerc!

Lap 54 was a one to forget for Renault as Hulkenberg pulled off into the runoff area at the end of the straight; closely followed by his teammate Daniel Ricciardo. Ricciardo exclaimed “everything just cut out”. What a disappointing end to both Renault drivers’ races. During this ongoing action, Bottas was also fortunate to pass Leclerc due to his engine problems; thus, rendering him 3rd position.

Lewis Hamilton passed the checked flag in lap 58 closely followed by his fellow teammate Valtteri Bottas in 2nd and the poor Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc in 3rd after slipping back 2 positions in the grid down to engine problems.

Australian Grand Prix

Well what an interesting start to the 2019 Formula One season! Valtteri Bottas dominated the grid at the opening race of the 2019 season closely followed by his team mate Lewis Hamilton also grasping a podium position and finally the Red Bull driver Max Verstappen claiming 3rd.

It was a disappointing day for the Renault driver Daniel Ricciardo as he lost his front wing going into turn one on the first lap of his home Grand Prix in Melbourne, thus sadly having to retire from the race later on. It was believed that he ever so slightly went off the track and caught his front wing on a patch of grass that was slightly higher than the track.

Lap 11 saw the first retirement of the season from the McLaren driver Carlos Sainz after having some engine issues. After slowly pulling into the pits with his engine on fire, Carlos hopped out of his car as safety stewards came rushing with fire extinguishers.

During Lap 16, the Haas driver Romain Grosjean suffered a terrible pit stop after his mechanics couldn’t fit his front left tyre back onto the car! The final time for the stop was an agonising 10.8 seconds.

The new McLaren driver Lando Norris created an outstanding overtake against the Sauber driver Antonio Giovinazzi after he couldn’t keep the line that he wanted to in order to keep Norris behind him. This was closely followed by a swift overtake by Romain Grosjean after taking the inside lane down to turn 13.

All the action was created during lap 31 as the Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel battled it out with the Red Bull driver Max Verstappen all in the fight for the 3rd place position. Max got the better getaway going into turn 2 and went wheel to wheel going towards turn 3 with Vettel. Max slid past Vettel and claimed the 3rd podium position. Lap 31 also sadly saw the retirement from Daniel Ricciardo after his incident during the fist lap of his home grand prix and Romain Grosjean also had to retire from the race after suffering from yet another mechanical failure. His front suspension broke thus rendering him a retirement.

The Toro Rosso Driver Daniil Kvyat took a slide off the track during lap 37 just after he successfully passed one of the pink Racing Point cars. Lap 37 also saw a battle between the Red Bull of Pierre Gasly, the Toro Rosso of Daniil Kvyat and the Racing Point of Lance stroll all fighting for their positions on the grid. Valtteri Bottas also set the new fastest lap of the race.

Finally, the ending of the race saw the wonderful Mercedes of Valtteri Bottas pass over the checked flag of the opening race to the 2019 season in Melbourne after a fantastic performance from the offset. He was 21 seconds clear from his teammate Lewis Hamilton! We also saw an applaud from the garage of last season’s Force India driver Esteban Ocon after he became the new 2019 Mercedes reserve driver.  What an action-packed opener to the season! Let’s hope there is this much fun in the next race in Bahrain!