Our Latest 2015 F1 Round Up

Formula 1. The pinnacle of motor racing, and the showcase of the best drivers in the world, racing the best cars in the world. We decided to lightly delve into the world of F1 and begin delivering round by round reports of the action!

Welcome to the latest batch of race reports by our very own Bryan Andrews!

Round 8 – Spielberg Austria

Lewis Hamilton claimed pole on his first timed run during Q3, 0.2 seconds faster than Nico Rosberg in second, Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel was 3rd after showing impressive pace during free practice, Felipe Massa took the fourth spot followed by Nico Hulkenberg with an impressive showing for Force India in fifth place, ahead of the second Williams of Valtteri Bottas in sixth place.

F1 Lewis Hamilton
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes

 

On race day,  Hamilton failed to convert his pole position advantage after a poor start left him in second place behind his teammate. His attempts to retake the lead were curtailed by the deployment of the safety car on lap one following a collision between Kimi Raikkonen and Fernando Alonso, when Raikonnen lost control under power as both exited a corner. Alonso’s car ending up on top of Raikkonen’s Ferrari, inches away from Raikkonen’s face, fortunately both drives escaped without injury.

When racing resumed Hamilton was unable to make any headway against Rosberg and following their only pitstops of the race received a 5 second penalty after crossing the lane marking on the pit exit, this effectively sealed the result midway through the race, their placing remaining unchanged at the chequered flag. Felipe Massa held off a late race charge from Vettel to take the final podium spot for Williams.

Round 9 – Silverstone

In qualifying Lewis Hamilton took pole position for Mercedes with teammate Nico Rosberg alongside in 2nd place, Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas lined up 3rd and 4th respectively following an impressive showing for Williams at their home grand prix, Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel completed the top 6.

Both Mercedes drivers found themselves down the order on race day after a lightning starts by Massa and Bottas in the Williams. Hamilton had to fend off a determined challenge from Bottas for second place during lap 1, but fortunately for Hamilton the safety car was deployed at the end of lap one following the incident involving both McLarens and both Lotus cars. 3 of the 4 retired with only Alonso managing to continue, albeit with a damaged car.

F1 Fernando Alonso, McLaren
Fernando Alonso, McLaren Honda

At the restart Hamilton made an ambitious attempt to take the lead from Massa, the move failed and Hamilton ran wide allowing Bottas to take 2nd place from him in the process.

Over the course of the next few laps confusion appeared to descend on the Williams pit wall. Bottas clearly the faster of the two cars was initially told to “hold station” behind Massa, only to be told several laps later that he was free to race for the lead. Sadly this didn’t last for long as Hamilton opted for an early pit stop.

Massa and Rosberg pitted shortly after, but after putting together a blistering in lap and strong out lap Hamilton passed both cars as they were leaving the pits. Bottas pitted the following lap and was able to rejoin just in front of Rosberg, and these positions remained unchanged until rain began to fall on lap 36.

Initially rain only fell on part of the circuit, but this was enough to cause Bottas to briefly lose the rear of his car allowing Rosberg to pass him for 3rd place, and soon afterwards Massa for 2nd place.

The rain began to fall again, and this was bad news for Williams who had struggled in the earlier shower as both cars were quickly caught and then passed by Sebastian Vettel in the Ferrari, at the chequered flag it was Hamilton who took his 3rd British GP victory, followed home by Rosberg in 2nd and Vettel claiming the final podium spot in 3rd, after showing so much promise the Williams cars came home in 4th and 5th places leaving pundits to speculate what could have been if Bottas had been released and allowed to use his pace earlier in the race.

Round 10 – Hungary

Qualifying followed with the usual format by now with Hamilton taking pole from Rosberg in 2nd, Sebastian Vettel took 3rd place on the grid with Daniel Ricciardo taking 4th for Red Bull, Kimi Raikkonen and Valtteri Bottas rounded out the top 6.

The race was initially a sombre affair following a minutes silence on the grid to honour Jules Bianchi who passed away on 17th July 2015 after succumbing to injuries sustained at the Japanese Grand Prix in 2014.

Once again both Mercedes cars made poor starts which allowed Sebastian Vettel to take the lead from 3rd on the grid.

Behind him, drama and chaos unfolded as Hamilton followed calamity after calamity, finding himself down the order after a failed attempt to pass Vettel for the lead. Another mistake at the chicane midway through the first lap cost him another 6 places, and Raikkonen managed to pass Rosberg for 2nd place.

Both Ferrari’s then broke away from the pack with Rosberg unable to keep pace with them. Hamilton then set about trying to rebuild his race by putting together a fast stint which saw him pass Massa, Perez and then Ricciardo. He then set about reeling Nico Rosberg in, however this charge was curtailed following the deployment of the safety car after Nico Hulkenburg’s front wing failed in spectacular fashion.

The majority of drivers behind the top 4 opted to pit during the safety car period to put on the softer tyre. The track clean-up took 6 laps and racing resumed with 20 laps to go. Unfortunately, Hamilton had yet another calamity when he collided with Ricciardo’s car at the restart, this resulted in a badly damaged front wing for Hamilton meaning he had to pit for a replacement. Then just to add insult to injury he then had to serve a drive through penalty for causing the collision.

Vettel continued to lead the race, whilst Raikkonen who had been running as high as 2nd place eventually had to retire with a hybrid system failure.

Nico Rosberg held 2nd place, but with 4 laps to go he gained a puncture following a racing incident with Ricciardo, and after a trip to the pits he re-joined well down the order in 8th place.

Hamilton meanwhile had been steadily working back through the field and would eventually finish two places ahead of his teammate in 6th place.

At the chequered flag it was Vettel who took the victory from Kvyat in 2nd, with Ricciardo taking the final podium spot. Amazingly after such a horrendous race Hamilton actually increased his lead in the championship standings going into the summer break.

Top 6 Driver Championship Standings

  1. Lewis Hamilton – 202pts
  2. Nico Rosberg – 181pts
  3. Sebastian Vettel – 160pts
  4. Valtteri Bottas – 77pts
  5. Kimi Raikkonen – 76pts
  6. Felipe Massa – 74pts

Constructors Championship

  1. Mercedes – 383pts
  2. Ferrari – 236pts
  3. Williams – 151pts
  4. Red Bull – 96pts
  5. Force India – 39pts
  6. Lotus – 35pts

Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF) Maintenance

Car Dealers! Discover why informing customers about Diesel Particulate Filter maintenance can improve your customer satisfaction ratings!

It’s time for some inside knowledge! Our Client Support Director Steve Robson has noticed concerns being raised by some of our Dealers relating to Diesel Particulate Filters (DPFs) on customer vehicles. I’m here to present his worthwhile advice in the hope of helping you and your customers!

DPFs are notoriously expensive. They are typically located close to the “engine end” of the exhaust system on most diesel vehicles. They are simply designed to trap soot emissions and help protect the environment, however, the filter can only hold so much before it clogs up.

The DPF sensors which are typically located either side of the filter itself, send data to the ECU. When the ECU senses a build-up of soot it starts a process called an “Active Regeneration Cycle” in an attempt to recharge the DPF by heating up the soot to 600 celsius. This turns the soot into a harmless ash which is then expelled via the exhaust tailpipe.

Herein lays the problem!

The ECU will only initiate Active Regeneration Cycle when the vehicle is being driven at an optimal running temperature, and cannot be initiated in low-speed urban driving conditions, especially when the engine coolant is cold.


Most customers are unaware of this,  so those that drive for prolonged periods at a low speed in stop-start, urban driving conditions, can unwittingly and prematurely clog up the DPF.


The first they usually know about it is when a dashboard warning lamp flashes on. If the driver ignores the light and if the ECU cannot initiate and complete the Active Regeneration Cycle, eventually the DPF will block.

The ECU will then force the vehicle into “Limp Mode” and the customer will end up at the workshop. In many cases, premature blockage of the DPF will require replacement at high cost.


It is only sensible that the customer is aware of how and why this happens. Customers can potentially avoid this issue by occasionally driving the vehicle on a long, clear stretch of road (as long as it is safe to do so), at a constant speed of at least 50 mph and at least 2,000 rpm for a minimum of 15 minutes.


Any interruptions in that 15 minute journey will not allow the Active Regeneration Cycle to recharge the DPF.

In Summary. By advising the customer at point of sale or vehicle handover about correct maintenance of the DPF, it could save you and the customer an awful lot in cost, time, effort, and stress minimise damage to your customer satisfaction rating.


Thank you for reading this WAS Blog post on DPF filter maintenance and awareness.

 

Number Of Untaxed Vehicles In UK Rises

Recent figures show an increase in the number of drivers caught without road tax following the recent abolishment of the paper tax disc.

Data released by AutoExpress and obtained by the DVLA reveal that since the paper tax disc was scrapped  six months ago, the number of enforcement cases where drivers had no road tax had risen by almost 50 per cent.

The DVLA shows 117,490 cases were recorded between October 2014 and March 2015, compared to just 82,999 and 86,939 in the previous two six-month period when the tax disc was still in operation.

A spokesman for the DVLA told AutoExpress: “We continue to operate a comprehensive package of measures which makes vehicle tax easy to pay but hard to avoid.

“We write to every new vehicle keeper when they buy a used vehicle to remind them that they must tax the vehicle before they can use it. If they don’t, they become eligible for enforcement action.”

My own experience!

At present there seems to be some confusion as to what happens when you buy a used car or motorcycle. I recently purchased a used Yamaha R6 from a private seller, and both he and I, and his wife ,and my friend had to really look through the V5 document and make our own interpretations of the procedures!

I signed the V5 document and kept the little tear-away “proof of new ownership” strip.  The seller retained the main body of the document with the responsibility of posting it to the DVLA to inform them of a change of ownership.

Not knowing quite what to do from here, I visited the DVLA website as soon as I arrived back home and began a monthly road tax Direct Debit. My advice is have you road tax in place as soon as possible!


Thank you for reading this WAS Blog post on the number of untaxed vehicles within UK rises.

Twitter Car Dealers – A Hidden Gem

Step aside the rat race, and meet a collective well informed group of motoring professionals eager to develop, engage, and grow. Meet “Twitter Car Dealers”.

With LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter driving engagement as the powerhouses of the social media platforms, it’s very difficult to find a hidden gem. That “place” you can visit, chat, promote, and build a solid business relationship with other like-minded professionals in the motoring world. Well our Managing Director Alan Davison was invited to join Twitter Car Dealers, a small but highly active website that was “built by car dealers to discuss car dealer stuff”.

Alan described the site as a “hidden gem of social media” and would encourage all dealers large and small to spend a few minutes signing up and getting involved.

 

What is Twitter Car Dealers?

Twitter Car Dealers is a portal that allows you to engage with other motor trade professionals. It is closed to anyone not associated with the “trade”, meaning you can talk openly and frankly about issues that concern your livelihood. It is a website where you can give and receive advice on best practice, catch all the new developments in the trade, and keep up to speed with the latest industry news that will affect your business.

Most importantly, you can forge strong relationships with people that face the same daily challenges that you do, and you can find some great trading partners and get good honest feedback on any issue you share with the group.

To find out more, pop along to twittercardealers.ning.com to see what this hidden gem can bring to your business!


Thank you for reading this WAS Blog post on Twitter Car Dealers.