2017 Mexico Grand Prix Blog

Well it wasn’t the race he wanted but Lewis Hamilton has done it. The Mexico Grand Prix saw him crowned 2017 Drivers’ Champion and in doing so become the first Brit to ever win four World Titles. Many congratulations, Lewis joins an elite list of just five drivers to ever have achieved this feat.

Onto the Grand Prix itself and whilst it could not be described as a ‘classic’, the tension at Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez on Sunday was palpable. A messy start, at the expense of both title contenders, did little to help matters.

Max Verstappen and Sebastian Vettel lightly touched at Turn 2, but in the process Vettel’s front wing was damaged. Advantage Hamilton, until a split second later when the Mercedes driver went for a gap at Turn 3 and his right rear tyre was clipped by Vettel and punctured. “Did he hit me deliberately?” asked Hamilton. We don’t think so but make up your own mind on that one.

So, both Vettel and Hamilton went back into the pits at the end of lap 1 and re-joined in last and second last place. Not really what anyone wanted to see but you could almost hear the groans from Maranello. Ferrari knew only too well that a second-place finish from Vettel was the minimum that was required.

One driver not inconvenienced was Max Verstappen, who found himself now leading the race unchallenged. His radio message “Simply, simply lovely” summed up the situation pretty well. And so it turned out as he dominated the race from that moment on to record his third Grand Prix victory.

The biggest worry for Red Bull Racing yesterday afternoon was not the challenge from other drivers but their own engine’s reliability. One thing we learnt is that the Renault power unit does not like racing at altitude. A total of four Renault powered cars: Ricciardo; Hulkenberg; Hartley; Sainz; retired during the race due to engine failures. Despite Verstappen’s victory, these are worrying times at Viry-Châtillon.

Reliability must be their key priority for next season but if Renault can get it right, that will bring Red Bull Racing, McLaren and Renault themselves right into play. The chassis on all three is good and there’s no reason why they shouldn’t be mixing it up with Ferrari & Mercedes next season.

If you would like to join us at the F1 Season Finale, please call us on +44 (0)207 107 1640 or email us at f1@edgeglobalevents.com

2017 United States Grand Prix Blog

The first thing to mention is what a fantastic city Austin is. If you haven’t been, then you should, especially if you’re into music. The party atmosphere on 6th Street is unlike anything you will find on the rest of the F1 calendar. The Texan’s pride themselves on their food & hospitality and you will get a fantastic reception wherever you go.

Onto the Grand Prix itself and COTA served up another treat. On paper the results may look predictable – Alonso retired, Ferrari not quite quick enough for Mercedes etc… The reality was very different and we were treated to a race that provided excitement, lots of overtaking and wheel to wheel racing throughout.

Sebastian Vettel got off to a flying start, taking the lead from Lewis Hamilton at Turn 1, however, the Mercedes man quickly reeled in his prey regaining the lead on lap 4. It was then business as usual for Hamilton who went on to record his 5th victory in 6 years of racing at Circuit of the Americas. He now has both hands firmly on the Drivers’ Trophy.

From current champions, onto future ones and we would be remiss not to mention Max Verstappen. The Dutch driver took a 15-place grid penalty and started down in 16th but quickly sliced his way through the field up into 6th. The top cars were understandably more difficult to pass, but pass some of them he did and by the end of the race Verstappen found himself in 4th place and hot on the heels of Kimi Raikkonen, before overtaking the Finn on the final lap.

A brilliant podium, or so everyone thought, but in the drivers’ waiting room Verstappen was handed a five-second time penalty for leaving the track during his move on Raikkonen. This was the correct decision if we apply the letter of the law but extremely unpopular with Red Bull Racing & the Verstappen camp. More importantly, it has also been heavily criticised by neutral F1 fans the world over. People want to see competitive racing with the type of grandstand finishes that Verstappen delivered on Sunday. The onus is now on the FIA to make sure this can happen in future races.

If you would like to join us at the F1 Season Finale, please call us on +44 (0)207 107 1640 or email us at f1@edgeglobalevents.com

2017 Japanese Grand Prix Blog

It’s that time of year when Formula 1 races come thick and fast. A week after we said goodbye to Malaysia, we moved on to the Land of the Rising Sun for the 2017 Japanese Grand Prix. Suzuka is a favourite for fans and drivers alike. The first sector and ‘S’ bends are arguably the most exciting in Formula 1 and it’s fair to say we were rubbing our hands at the thought of the cars taking to this superb track.

One car stood out this weekend, and that was the Mercedes AMG F1 W08 EQ Power+ of Lewis Hamilton. The Brit took pole on Saturday and in the process shattered the track record, setting a 1:27.319. He also controlled the Grand Prix on Sunday, leading from start to finish. The Red Bull of Max Verstappen was gaining during the final laps but there was an air of inevitability that Hamilton was always going to win this race.

Why was it so easy? Well the main reason is that having started in 2nd spot the Ferrari of Sebastian Vettel quickly dropped through the field before retiring on lap 4, a spark plug failure enough to end his race. Ferrari will understandably be downbeat. A statement from the team today read:

‘Kimi’s performance proved that the team and the car are capable of getting the job done and until the maths says it’s over, we will keep trying.’

The problem is, sooner rather than later, it may well be mathematically impossible. With 100 points left available, Lewis has a 59-point lead. This is good for British Sport and the thousands of Hamilton fans out there, but if you’re a neutral a DNF for Hamilton would be excellent news for the Championship.

And this is not an impossibility when you look at the remaining races. In 2015 Austin was hit by monsoon like conditions causing eight retirements during the race. Whilst last year appallingly wet conditions at Interlagos resulted in 5 safety cars, two stoppages, 5 retirements and a DNS.

Red Bull are also enjoying somewhat of a resurgence with two double podium finishes in seven days. From Hamilton’s point of view there is surely nobody he would like less than Max Verstappen to be racing against him in the final four races. Mercedes need to remain 100% focussed to get their man over the line.

If you would like to join us at the F1 Season Finale, please call us on +44 (0)207 107 1640 or email us at f1@edgeglobalevents.com

2017 Malaysian Grand Prix Blog

After 19 years on the F1 calendar, this year’s Malaysia Grand Prix was to be the country’s last. The hot, humid climate and frequent downpours at Sepang create an air of unpredictability about the circuit. We’ve enjoyed some fantastic races as a result and are sad to see it go.

With only five races to go, we’re down to the business end of the F1 season. Ferrari have had a September to forget but has it cost them the Championship? Probably is the honest answer. However, the beauty of our Sport is its unpredictability. A DNF for Lewis Hamilton would see the Drivers’ race thrown wide open.

Malaysia was a good result for Hamilton but it was driver and not car who earned pole position. Kimi Raikkonen ran him close and one can’t help but feel Vettel would have beaten him to number 1 spot had he completed Qualifying.

The race itself threw up more surprises as Red Bull’s Max Verstappen scored a comfortable victory over Hamilton’s Mercedes. More telling still, Valtteri Bottas could manage only 5th place behind Sebastian Vettel, even though the Ferrari man started from the back of the grid.

On the subject of Vettel, we have seen some cracks appear in the armour of the four-time world champion. He faced no further punishment for his ‘collision’ with Lewis Hamilton in Baku. And the German seems to have escaped again after a bizarre post-race crash with Lance Stroll at Sepang. There were fears that a replacement gearbox would result in a five-place grid penalty in Japan but Ferrari seem optimistic that Vettels’ Malaysia gearbox can be used again.

What does this all mean for the remainder of the season? Red Bull and Ferrari are closing the gap but neither can currently match the Silver Arrows in terms of straight-line speed. Suzuka, Austin and Mexico will play to this strength. After better than expected results in Singapore and Malaysia, Mercedes look to be holding all the aces.

If you would like to join us at the F1 Season Finale, please call us on +44 (0)207 107 1640.

2017 Formula 1 Season Preview

So who will Mercedes choose to replace Nico Rosberg? Pascal Wehrlein is in prime position but lacks experience. We believe the Silver Arrows may overlook him in favour of a more headline name. Valtteri Bottas, Fernando Alonso and Carlos Sainz have all been touted. An announcement is expected before the end of the year so watch this space…
Driver experience is certainly a key concern for all teams next season because Formula 1 will introduce its biggest overhaul of aerodynamic regulations in nearly 20 years. The key changes are: wider cars; wider tyres; wider front & back wing and faster cars. Force India’s Sergio Perez was recently quoted as saying Formula 1 drivers will be “destroyed” after pre-season testing due to the heavily-revamped cars. These changes are likely to result in a major shakeup in F1’s pecking order and it promises to be a thrilling spectacle.

EDGE offer the most exclusive hospitality in Formula 1 and we are proud to work with Red Bull Racing, Sahara Force India & Ferrari. We believe that all of these teams could provide a serious challenge to Mercedes reign at the top of Formula 1 next season. If you would like to attend a Grand Prix in 2017 please call us on +44 (0)207 107 1640.

2016 F1 Season Review

Congratulations to Nico Rosberg who won the 2016 F1 Drivers’ Title after a season long battle with team mate Lewis Hamilton, which culminated with a thrilling race in Abu Dhabi.
Mercedes dominated the headlines in 2016 but we may have seen the first signs that times are changing. Red Bull’s Max Verstappen had an incredible season and has firmly staked his claim as a future superstar. Daniel Ricciardo has his own title aspirations and we could well see a ‘Lewis vs Nico’ style battle between these two drivers next year.

2016 was a year of retirements with Felipe Massa, Jenson Button & Nico Rosberg stepping down, along with McLaren chief Ron Dennis. All four have been a credit to Formula 1 and have brought pleasure to their millions of fans over the years. We wish them the very best in the future.