Looking back: The 2018 French Grand Prix

18/06/2019
by Laura Sexton

With the FORMULA 1 GRAND PRIX DE FRANCE 2019 taking place this weekend, we look back at last year’s race at Circuit Paul Ricard to see what we can expect from the approaching event.

France has held Grand Prix races since 1906, taking place across several different circuits. In 2018 the race returned to the calendar for the first time since 2008 at Circuit Paul Ricard in Le Castellet, which is where we head to this weekend.

Last year we saw Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport driver Lewis Hamilton take the win. In anticipation, we look back at the Brit’s win and the drama that took place at the 2018 French Grand Prix.

Off to a flying start

Throwing it back to last year’s French Grand Prix, it was Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel who headed into the weekend leading the Championship, even if only by one point. Having won the previous race in Canada, and two other races in Australia and Bahrain, the German had shown consistent strength against his opponent Lewis Hamilton in the Silver Arrow, who had taken two victories himself.

Nevertheless, the Brit showed great pace throughout the weekend, topping the practice tables on both Friday and Saturday, revealing what was to come. On the Saturday afternoon, Hamilton took pole position, claiming the fastest time in all three sessions. Next to him on the grid was his teammate Valtteri Bottas in a Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport front row lock-out. Behind them was Sebastian Vettel for Ferrari and Max Verstappen in the Red Bull.

With the start of the race proving crucial in the battle for first place at any race, Hamilton shot off the line smoothly and precisely and executed his move well to secure and defend his lead.

Others did not have such great starts.

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First lap mayhem

Heading around the first corner, Vettel fancied his chance of second and pulled a bold move on car number 77 - Bottas. Unfortunately for the German this backfired, with the two colliding. This sent the him to the back of the grid, and the Finnish driver limping behind too. 

It wasn’t long before the FIA started investigating the incident. After some deliberation the driver was deemed the one at fault and was handed a five-second penalty for causing a collision. The aftermath of the collision between Vettel and Bottas resulted in a broken front wing for the Ferrari and a puncture for the Mercedes. Both headed to the pits following the incident, putting them further down the field.

Meanwhile, elsewhere, Toro Rosso driver Pierre Gasly and Force India (now Racing Point) driver Esteban Ocon collided too, bringing out a safety car on the first lap. The safety car was out for five-laps but once it went in Hamilton leapt back into action and sprinted for the horizon.

After getting his front wing repaired, Vettel also tapped the McLaren of Fernando Alonso at turn three at the re-start which sent the McLaren into a spin, as Vettel attempted to make his way back up the field. By lap 10 the German was already up to 11th which turned into eighth by lap 15. By lap 20 he was already back into fifth place and re-joining the front runner pack.

Despite this, he still had to serve his penalty, which was taken during a scheduled pitstop. With the team pulling this off well, Vettel was able to re-join the track without losing his fifth position.

Unfortunately for Bottas, the damage gained from the early collision was enough to ruin his chances of what could have been a podium position. The Finn finished in seventh place behind the Haas of Kevin Magnussen, and of course behind the man who sent him to the back of the grid in the first place.

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A smooth win

Lewis Hamilton lead from start to finish, bar one lap taken for his pitstop. It was a weekend when the sun seemed to shine upon the British driver as he whizzed past, each lap more impressive than the last.

He took the win seven seconds clear of the next car; joining him on the podium was Max Verstappen in the Red Bull and Kimi Räikkönen in the other Ferrari. He moved 14 points ahead of his rival Sebastian Vettel that day, a win that would prove key as he went on to win more races and eventually claim the 2018 Driver’s World Championship. 

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What can we expect from the 2019 race?

Mercedes have dominated the points table for the first seven races of the season. Ferrari seemed to find their pace in Canada however and claimed their first pole position of the season with Sebastian Vettel. Despite leading the entire race, however, the German was handed a five-second time penalty which meant the win went to Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes who crossed the line second. 

Given that the British driver has had such a good start to the season and ruled supreme at the Circuit Paul Ricard last season, we can predict that the two Silver Arrows will once again be strong here. However, Ferrari can’t be ruled out. In Canada the Ferraris were extremely quick, and the incident of losing the win can surely only leave them feeling hungrier for victory.

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Interview: Joel Clark – Turning vinyl into artistic masterpieces

12/06/2019
by Laura Sexton

Memento Exclusives chats with artist Joel Clark about his love for motorsport and creating what he sees as a gap in the art world.

Joel Clark is an English artist who creates motorsport inspired artworks, from posters and prints to sculptures, all made from hand-cut vinyl. Memento Exclusives commisioned two pieces for Clark to work on; to create two Renault art pieces, one looking back and one looking at the present day.

Rather than using a pencil or a paint brush, Joel hand-cuts each part of the picture he is trying to create out of vinyl, using a scalpel as his key crafting tool. Joel's art combined with Memento Exclusives' reimagined Formula Car Parts are some what of a match made in heaven.

We delve in to discover what inspires him to create such art.

How it all started

“It all began back in late 2013,” Joel first explains to us. 

“I’d already worked on a few motorsport-based oil paintings in the past, but in 2013 I had this lightbulb moment and thought I’d try creating iconic racing car artworks made out of vinyl, because vinyl is used for car liveries.

“It was a real full circle moment for me - it was like going back to the first job I had, working at Silverstone for a few months after finishing school. So, I put together a few pieces of work and did a local show and got a lot of press coverage. That made me realise I should be going for it!”

Having been drawing cars ever since he could pick up a pencil, we ask Joel just how special it was to work within Silverstone when he was first starting out.

“After I finished school, a sign company based at Silverstone circuit took me on, and it was here I learnt how to hand-cut vinyl, creating hundreds of sponsors logos for local racing teams.

“For me, Silverstone was like my second home, having grown up nearby. So, the job was like a marriage of two ultimate passions – motorsport and design. After a short while, however, I left to go to art college where I studied for six years before entering the world of advertising.” 

But little did he know at the time, that this first job would end up fuelling fantastic creations later in life…

Using vinyl to create art

Now, Joel hand cuts pieces of vinyl to create magnificent pieces of art which capture everyone’s attention. But with so many different forms of art and material, we dig a little deeper to find out why vinyl was the perfect choice for him.

“When I was working in advertising, I benefitted from seeing lots of amazing artworks, but I never once thought, having seen what was out there, that I had anything different to offer. I’d always dabbled in vinyl, but it was only a few years back that I realised it was a great choice – it’s a niche medium. It’s a massive gap in the art world. Plus, vinyl has the same finish as the cars I was depicting.

“Matching the look and feel of the real thing, my works took on a surreal level! And once I applied it to the very first car part I worked on, it really struck home, I thought ‘my god, this looks mad’! A real car door stood in the garden, but with my work on it, it really tricked the eye and made it look like a cartoon door.”

Joel works on a variety of styles of vinyl work too, from posters and prints, to sculptures and car parts, creating ‘pop art’ style pieces that really catch your eye.

“I often affiliate myself with Pop Art because of coming from a graphic design background and then art directing throughout advertising; I was already used to big and bold criteria that caught the eye.

“Vinyl artwork demands this too because you are using block colours, so it’s sort of like a contemporary version of Pop Art to many people. It also allows me to branch out and create pieces from the back of a phone case to the side of a car, to architectural stuff and figurative works.”

The inspiration behind the creative

Besides taking on different styles of art, Joel focuses on a multitude of scenes, imagery and designs, and we quiz him as to where he gets his inspiration from.

“For me, each project is different, as is the approach and the subject. Of course, I try to bring in aspects of things I love, but often I might create a simple concept from something I’ve spotted, as long as it’s workable. But at the end of the day, it’s how I make a living, so I have to think about what is popular in the sport industry too.”

Out of all the works Joel has created, we want to know which piece he has enjoyed creating the most and as an artist what the most rewarding part of his career is.

“I think the Porsche 917 Slice I did was pretty mad! It’s the closest I’ve got to decorating an entire car which ultimately is my goal. The Trans Am Bonnet is another favourite because of the sheer scale of it and the work that went in was just immense. 

“This is why my job is so enjoyable because at the end of the day the amount of satisfaction you get out of having completed something like this is huge and I can’t think of another job where you get this kind of soul food.”

A love like no other

Working in Silverstone and having such a love for the sport, Joel says that he has been able to attend a fair few Formula 1® races. 

“My first Grand Prix was in 1985 but I’d been going to Silverstone before that with my dad to vintage car race meets. You’d see pre and post war events and so I learnt a great deal of my motorsport history from there. Then I went to a few Grand Prixs in the 1990s, which in my opinion was one of the best eras of the sport.

 

“I also used to live in Melbourne and went to the Australian Grand Prix; I used to ride my bike to work along the track in fact.

“The biggest thing I’m doing this year (2019) is coming to Paddock Club at Silverstone with Memento Exclusives – I’m ridiculously excited. It’ll be my first Grand Prix in a few years, and I can’t wait to be back in that world. A feeling comes over me and I just adore being there. And for me, this year will be by far the most exciting.”

And finally, we want to know which driver the talented artist will be supporting.

“I used to be an Alonso fan before he retired. These days I like Sebastian Vettel, he’s very likeable and sound, so I’ll be cheering for him.”

Discover Joel Clark’s latest art on the Memento Exclusives store.

Three thrilling and unpredictable Canadian Grand Prix wins

04/06/2019
by Laura Sexton

It’s race week: the FORMULA 1 PIRELLI GRAND PRIX DU CANADA 2019 is coming up and so we look at some of the best races and wins the Montreal circuit has seen in recent years.

The track, named Circuit Gilles Villeneuve after the Canadian driver who sadly lost his life to the sport in Belgium back in 1982, is a favourite track of many drivers and fans alike.

Canada joined the F1 Calendar back in 1967 following six non-championship years of racing. When it started out, the race alternated between two tracks, Mosport Park in Ontario and Mont-Tremblant in Quebec. However, after the lack of entrants finishing races between 1968 and 1970, the circuit was deemed too dangerous. It then found its new home in Montreal in 1978, the circuit we know and love today.

And since then, there have been some epic wins at the circuit, particularly in the 21st century; some of which many might argue are among F1’s finest.  

Jenson wins a record-breaking race

For many, and certainly when looking at more recent years, the 2011 Canadian Grand Prix stands out as being one of the most thrilling and unpredictable races ever. And for a race that broke records for being the longest recorded, at 4 hours and 4 minutes, it was far from a slow-paced afternoon.

The rain-stricken event is remembered as one of Jenson Button’s finest drives - winning from last place in his McLaren and overcoming an abundance of challenges. The first of which saw the start begin under a safety car due to the wet conditions, with Button originating from seventh on the grid. However, on lap nine he collided with his own teammate, Lewis Hamilton, squeezing him into the wall and creating a wave of flying debris. This of course meant that Button had to pit, and another safety car inevitably came out. 

Button then received a penalty for speeding behind the safety car which put him down into 15th place. Although he managed to make up places, this was short-lived as torrential rain brought out yet another safety car before the race was red flagged on lap 25 of 70. This stoppage lasted for two hours, before it started up yet again behind a safety car for another nine laps. 

Only three laps after the safety car retreated, however, another was brought out as Button and Alonso collided with each other on lap 37. This put Button into a firm last place by lap 40 but despite this, good tyre choices meant he was able to fight his way back up the field. By lap 65 out of 70, the Brit was up to second place after getting past Red Bull's Mark Webber and Mercedes' Michael Schumacher.

Sebastian Vettel, meanwhile, who was leading the race in his Red Bull, was next on Button's list. Just when fans thought it couldn't get any crazier, the German surrendered to the pressure and slipped up, allowing Button to get past him on the final lap and take home a heroic win, defying the odds against him.

See the Jenson Button collection here

Hamilton unveils his talent

The 2007 Canadian Grand Prix may not go down in history in the same way as the 2011 race, however it is remarkable for its own reasons. It was this race which kick started the beginning of Lewis Hamilton’s success in F1.
It was his inaugural season in Formula 1® and was only the sixth race of his career, but that did not stop him from showing the world his abilities.

Driving for McLaren, the young Brit had out qualified his teammate and rival, Fernando Alonso who was currently leading the championship, to take his first pole position. However, off the line Alonso and Nick Heidfeld had a much better start, and although Hamilton was able to cover Heidfeld, his teammate flew past and into the lead.

The race itself was chaotic, with four safety cars in total sent out throughout the duration. The worse incident was that of BMW-Sauber diver Robert Kubica who crashed his car at the hairpin and was extremely lucky to walk away unharmed. By the end of the race only 12 drivers made it to the chequered flag.

Despite Alonso's lead, however, the Spaniard went in too deep at one of the corners and drove across the grass before re-entering the track in third, behind Hamilton and Heidfeld. Meanwhile, by lap 16 Hamilton was already over 11 seconds ahead of the rest of the pack. Other events in the race saw Adrian Sutil end up in the barrier of turn four, stop/go penalties for Alonso and Rosberg, a failed pitstop for Anthony Davidson, and a retirement for David Coulthard. 

In a race which saw so many potentials for failure, Hamilton kept his cool and managed to avoid the drama, showing off his incredible composure and excellent driving abilities.

See the Lewis Hamilton Collection here

Ricciardo takes his first victory

In 2014, a year in which Mercedes were beginning to show what we’d later discover to be a long run of success and domination, we saw another great race in Montreal.

With the Mercedes drivers of Hamilton and Rosberg locking out the front row at the start of Sunday with the German on pole, the team was looking unbeatable, having won all the races of the season so far. At the start there was a battle between the two of them for the lead, in which Hamilton recovered from being squeezed onto the grass. 

However, in a twist of events, both Mercedes cars radioed their team with a similar problem – a loss a power – halfway through the race. Unfortunately for the race leader, Hamilton, the problem was not going to get better and he had to retire the car after developing a rear-brake failure too.

Rosberg, on the other hand, stayed out but was put under pressure by the cars behind. With only three laps to go, Ricciardo managed to find a way past Sergio Perez in the Force India who had degrading tyres, before hurtling closer to Rosberg.

However, the Australian driver pulled a fantastic move on the German driver on the final chicane. Meanwhile a last-minute battle between Felipe Massa and Sergio Perez ended in a nasty crash which saw both drivers seek medical attendance – luckily both were relatively unharmed. 

Ricciardo's determination won him the race and despite Mercedes suffering issues, he highlighted his endurance and strength in the sport. 

See the Daniel Ricciardo Collection here

And we had to mention…

In 1991 Nigel Mansell was set for the win, but after celebrating a lap too early, his car ran out of fuel and Nelson Piquet passed him to win the race – his final career win.

In 1995 Jean Alesi won the Canadian Grand Prix on his birthday, his first and only F1 win after starting from fifth on the grid. Driving behind Schumacher for most of the race, a well-timed pitstop allowed him to slide into the lead.

In 2008, only one year after his horrific crash at the circuit, Robert Kubica won the race after Lewis Hamilton and Kimi Raikkonen collided in the pitlane.

In 2001, Both Schumacher brothers, Michael and Ralf battled it out for the win and in the end, it was Ralf who took the victory in a first ever 1-2 brother finish.

Perfect F1 gift ideas for Father’s Day

30/05/2019
by Laura Sexton
Celebrate the father figures in your life with these Formula 1® gifts, perfect for Father’s Day or any special gifting occasion.
With Father’s Day around the corner (16th June in case you forgot!) why not treat the fathers and father figures in your life to an F1 gift from Memento Exclusives. If you’re not sure what to get, here are our suggestions…
 

1. Signed Vettel Photograph

Ferrari fanatics and followers of the four-time world champion, Sebastian Vettel, will love one of these photographs, signed by the driver himself. 
The photo was taken at the FORMULA 1 SINGAPORE AIRLINES SINGAPORE GRAND PRIX 2018 in which the German driver finished third, driving the Ferrari SF71H. 
The 2018 FIA Formula One World Championship™ season was a challenging one for the German driver as he battled it out with Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport driver Lewis Hamilton in the hunt of a fifth world championship title. Vettel finished the season second overall in the Driver Standings.
Measuring 48cm height x 88cm length, this photo, one of only 50 worldwide, is the ideal gift for Father’s Day.
 
 

2. Mini Helmet Collection

During Formula 1® races, one thing that makes the drivers more recognisable as they whiz past, is their helmets, and avid F1 fans will love seeing the new designs each season. So, this Father’s Day why not gift someone one of our mini helmets, which are the ideal size for showcasing on shelves and desks.
Within our collection you’ll find an array of 1:2 scale licenced F1 helmets, from Charles Leclerc's 2019 and Lewis Hamilton's 2018, to Kimi Raikkonen's 2018 and Fernando Alonso's 2017 test helmet.
Want to add a display case to the gift? No problem, we also sell museum-grade helmet display cases, so the receiver of your gift can proudly and stylishly display the product.
 
 

3. Amalgam Mini Collection

Got a favourite F1 car or driver? Get your hands on one of our Amalgam scale model cars, the perfect gift for doting fans who truly appreciate car designs. Intricately hand-crafted using CAD data supplied by the F1 teams, these models are fantastic centrepieces.
The products are created in association with original F1 engineers to provide replica interiors and exteriors and come beautifully packaged making your gifting experience even better.
In our collection, you'll find models such as Sebastian Vettel’s and Charles Leclerc’s Ferrari 2019 SF90s, and Lewis Hamilton's Mercedes AMG F1 W09 EQ Power+, among others. You’ll also find Amalgam Nose Cones, ideal for mounting on the wall.
 
 

4. Mercedes Brake Disc Table AMG Petronas Motorsport

Add a piece of F1 action to your family member’s living room with our hand-crafted Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport table created using Lewis Hamilton’s carbon brake disc.
Crafted from a piece of solid oak, the table-top has been shaped to perfectly fit the carbon brake disc. Polished with refined Danish oil and inset with the official Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport plaque, the oak table top is fitted with a toughened glass to protect the original racing heritage.
Acting as a sophisticated drinks table, this re-engineered product will certainly have everyone talking at your next family gathering.
 
 

 5. Lewis Hamilton Bodywork in Acrylic

Treat someone special to a piece of bodywork from Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport car, showcased in acrylic – the ideal gift for Mercedes and Hamilton fans.
Each piece of bodywork has been hand-carved from Hamilton’s race-used MGP-W06 side pod, the car which was raced in the 2015 FIA Formula One World Championship™, a winning season for both team and driver.
Looking front on, you can admire the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport livery shine, and from the back you’ll see the intricate honeycomb structure of the carbon fibre. The team's logo, Lewis Hamilton's signature and a description of the embedded part are all printed within the acrylic itself.
 
 
6. F1 Gear Ratio Clock
Tell time in style with our F1 Gear Ratio Clock featuring a genuine race-used F1 gear ratio. Gear ratios are placed under immense stress and are regularly retired from use. The parts play a crucial role in the F1 car set-up and can be adjusted to suit each track and determine acceleration and speed.
This gift has been mirror-polished, so wherever your father or gift-receiver chooses to place it, it will shine. The clock is a unique, contemporary timepiece, and on further examination you’ll see the unique part identification number from its Formula 1® history.
This subtle gift is both practical and fun and adds a touch of motorsport to the house without taking up too much room.
 
 

Our top 3 memorable Monaco moments

22/05/2019
by Laura Sexton

Although it’s been near impossible to choose only three, we’ve picked out our top memorable moments and races in Monte Carlo.

The Monaco Grand Prix is rarely short of drama, and with the FORMULA 1 GRAND PRIX DE MONACO 2019 weekend ahead, we focus on three moments that have caused excitement and controversy over the years.

 1. Schumacher gets banished to the backThe 2006 Monaco Grand Prix weekend was controversial to say the least, and it all began when Qualifying was brought to a halt rather unexpectedly.

After setting the fastest lap, Michael Schumacher parked his Ferrari at La Rascasse, meaning all other cars on the track had to slow for the parked car, unable to set their own fast laps. 

Despite holding provisional pole, Schumacher was in no way unthreatened. Fernando Alonso was leading the championship with three wins and three second places already in the bag. As Schumacher parked his car, Alonso was on a flying lap which would have beaten the German’s time had it been completed. But unfortunately, the Spaniard never got to complete his lap, as yellow flags meant all other drivers on the track had to abandon their laps.

Despite defending himself and suggesting the stop had been a mistake, others were not so convinced. The stewards investigated and concluded that the move was a deliberate means to stop his rival from taking pole - pole being hugely important at Monaco as the race itself does not offer many opportunities to overtake.

The careless parking saw Schumacher banished to the back of the grid for the race, meaning Alonso ended up on pole and went on to win the race too.

You can shop our Alonso collection on our online store.

You can shop our Schumacher collection on our online store.

 2. Lewis wins dramatic rain-drenched race

Lewis Hamilton may now be a five-time world champion but back in 2008 he was only working on his first. And the Monaco Grand Prix that year has to be one of our favourite wins of his. However, it wasn’t the easiest drive for the Brit, with many incidents, overtakes and weather issues.

It was Brazilian driver Felipe Massa in one of the Ferraris that started on pole position, with his teammate Kimi Raikkonen in second; meanwhile Hamilton started in third place. However, early in the race Hamilton hit the barrier at Tabac and had to pit, meanwhile Massa began to build a large lead over his opponents as he set off in search of the chequered flag. It was a wet race which resulted in many crashes including one involving David Coulthard and Sebastian Bourdais which brought out a safety car.

After which, Massa’s lead began to diminish and by this point Robert Kubica in the Sauber BMW was behind Massa. The pair battled it out amongst themselves for first place, swapping positions multiple times, which saw Massa run wide allowing Kubica past. But there was a bigger threat behind – Hamilton. Due to the rain and a mix of pitstops, Hamilton managed to overtake both drivers in front. Having put on the right tyres at the right time, he and the team were in a winning position. Hamilton then started to pull away and created a long enough lead to be able to pit once more for dry tyres, as the rain dried up. Another crash, this time involving Nico Rosberg was cause for a second safety car, but despite this, Hamilton still went on to win the race ahead of Kubica and Massa.

You can shop our Hamilton collection on our online store.

 3. Senna hands the win to Prost Throwing it back now to 1988, Alain Prost and Ayrton Senna who claimed the title of the ‘King of Monaco’ during his reign in F1 due to winning the race six times including five consecutive wins. However, we are going to talk about the year Senna didn’t win. 

It began with Senna setting an incredible qualifying lap which was around 1.4 seconds faster than his teammate Prost who qualified in second place. 

As the race kicked off, Senna disappeared off into the horizon meanwhile Prost lost his position to Ferrari's Gerhard Berger.
With the circuit being so difficult to overtake round, Alain Prost fought hard for 54 laps, eventually gaining his second place back, however his teammate Senna was so far in the distance - almost a minute ahead - it was looking likely that Prost would finish behind. 

However, no one expected such a twist. With 11 laps to go, McLaren radioed Senna, telling him to slow down and make sure the team got a 1-2 finish. Having agreed to this, Senna then crashed his car on lap 65, practically handing his teammate (and rival) Prost the win and unfortunately destroying the team’s hopes of a 1-2 finish.

Having been so strong the whole weekend, Senna’s mishap proved how easy it is to throw away a win and how unpredictable a race around the Monte Carlo circuit can be.

You can shop our Senna collection on our online store.

And we have to mention these…

With so many exciting moments throughout the Monte Carlo circuit’s history, we wanted to give a few more notable mentions.
At the Monaco Grand Prix in 1950, a wave from the harbour flooded part of the track at Tabac corner which resulted in a pile up, eliminating ten cars from the race.
In 1982 the final laps of the race were edging on unbelievable. Prost crashed out, with Riccardo Patrese then taking the lead before he spun his car. This left Didier Pironi in the lead; however, this was short lived as he ran out of fuel before his successor Andrea de Cesaris also ran out of fuel. Having managed to recover from his spin, Patrese ended up crossing the line in first place.
In 1984, Senna drove a less competitive Toleman car and started from 13th of the grid, for what was an extremely wet race. He managed, however, to claw his way through the pack, revealing his skills at driving in the rain. He ended up closing in on Alain Prost. However, despite getting past Prost, the race was stopped due to the weather, and the result was taken from the previous lap, in which Prost lead and Senna was second.

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Monaco Grand Prix wins that left everyone talking

15/05/2019
by Laura Sexton

With the FORMULA 1 GRAND PRIX DE MONACO 2019 just around the corner, we take a trip down memory lane to look at some of the most memorable wins at the Monte Carlo circuit.

Monaco may be famed for its glamourous culture, but the Grand Prix has historical significance too. The race was part of the pre-Second World War European Championship with its first race held in 1929 before it joined the World Championship of Drivers in 1950.

Since then it’s seen many different winners and thrilling moments. Here are just some of our favourites.

Ayrton Senna - the King of Monaco

As the most successful driver around the Monaco circuit to date, we simply had to mention Ayrton Senna. Winning the Monaco Grand Prix six times during his career, including five consecutive wins from 1989 to 1993, you cannot say one without thinking of the other.

In 1992, we saw one of his greatest victories at the circuit, driving for McLaren. Qualifying in third position on a track which is notorious for its lack of space to overtake, Senna was able to move himself up into second place before the first corner, getting past the Williams of Riccardo Patrese. 

Racing behind his rival Nigel Mansell in the other Williams, who was revealing great pace, Senna held tight throughout the race, keeping close to the man in front. When Mansell unfortunately suffered car issues and had to pit, Ayrton managed to overtake Mansell. Despite Mansell catching up, the difficult circuit meant that the driver was unable to take back the lead. Ayrton Senna took his 5th win at Monaco in this year.

Shop our Ayrton Senna collection on our online store.

Jenson Button’s sprint to the finish

In 2009 it was Jenson Button's turn to win the race which is renowned as being one of tracks all drivers want to win at during their career. The drive for the Brit had been as stress-free as you could get on a circuit such as Monaco. With his team Brawn playing their cards right and choosing the super-soft tyre despite other drivers having trouble with them, by the last couple of laps Button had a big enough lead that he was able to cruise to the finish line.

However, this win was made more memorable for what happened after the race. At Monaco, the top three drivers are supposed to park their cars in front of the Royal Box but, distracted by winning, Button parked his car in the pits. Knowing he was needed at the Royal Box, where Prince Albert awaited, Jenson had to jump out of his race car and was seen sprinting down the start-finish straight, waving as his fans looked on.

Shop our Jenson Button collection on our online store.

Nico Rosberg wins three on the trot

German driver Nico Rosberg is among a handful of drivers to be able to score back to back wins at the Monte Carlo circuit, winning three Monaco Grand Prix races between 2013 and 2015 for his team, Mercedes AMG Petronas.
The 2013 Monaco Grand Prix was possibly one of the most dramatic we've seen in recent years. During which, Rosberg managed to avoid conflict taking place in abundance further down the field – which resulted in two safety car periods and a red flag after two big incidents – to win the race.

His 2015 win was dramatic for different reasons and has been likened to that of Senna's win in 1992. It was his teammate Lewis Hamilton who was leading the race, but after the team decided to pit Hamilton and keep Rosberg out on older tyres, Rosberg and Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel were both able to finish ahead of him. Despite running on fresher tyres, the tight circuit meant that Lewis was in no position to take the places back and finished in third place. Rosberg took his third Monaco win of his career.

Shop our Nico Rosberg and Mercedes AMG Petronas collection on our online store.

Daniel Ricciardo gets the win he deserved

In 2016 the Australian Red Bull driver suffered heartbreak in Monaco as his first place was snatched from him after a pitstop mishap. Qualifying on pole position after a flying lap, Ricciardo set himself up for what could have been the perfect race. 

When Red Bull decided to pit Ricciardo, they expected Mercedes to follow but instead they left Hamilton out until lap 31 so he could go for slick tyres. This meant Lewis took the lead and despite Ricciardo catching him up, both pitted for a second time. Unfortunately, this pitstop did not go according to plan for Red Bull, with it taking nine seconds and costing the driver the win.

Nevertheless in 2018, Ricciardo was able to finally claim his Monaco Grand Prix win. It was no easy race however, with many challenges to factor in from threats from the Ferrari of Sebastian Vettel behind, to power issues. Instructed to only use six gears, the driver was told to keep going despite the problem, which on any other circuit could have meant retiring the car. The nature of the track meant that despite this and the approaching Ferrari, Red Bull and Daniel Ricciardo were able to cross the chequered flag in first place.

Shop our Red Bull collection on our online store.

Our top 3 unforgettable moments at the Spanish Grand Prix

09/05/2019
by Laura Sexton

With the FORMULA 1 EMIRATES GRAN PREMIO DE ESPAÑA 2019 fast approaching, we look back at three of the sports most iconic moments at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.

With its maiden race back in 1991, which saw Nigel Mansell battle it out with Ayrton Senna, this year marks the 28th Formula 1® race to take place at the circuit in Barcelona. Since then we’ve seen a variety of different winners, a multitude of thrilling battles, and plenty of unpredicted outcomes. But which moments go down in our books as some of the best?

 

1. Alonso wins his home grand prix for the first time

Being the only Spaniard to ever win a FIA Formula One World Championship™ (in fact two) as well as earning himself 97 of Spain's 99 podiums, Fernando Alonso will go down in F1 history as one of the best talents the sport has seen.

After winning his first FIA Formula One World Championship™ in 2005, Alonso then went on to win the Spanish Grand Prix in 2006 driving for Renault making him the first countryman to win on home turf, ahead of taking his second championship title that year.

Winning by a huge margin of 18.502 seconds over Ferrari’s Michael Schumacher, the Spaniard lead the race from pole position, only giving up his lead temporarily while pitting. Despite being a relatively steady win for the Spaniard, other drivers didn't have the same composure during the race with Montoya spinning on lap 18 and Fisichella hitting the gravel on lap 26.

The win marked his third of the season and 11th career win and what’s more, he achieved it in front of home crowds. Alonso went on to win again at his home Grand Prix in 2013, marking his final career win in Formula 1®.

You can shop our Alonso collection from race-used gear including his 2013 helmet, to replica suits and scale model helmets on our online store.

2. Max wins in debut drive for Red Bull and breaks record

After a change in the driver line up for Red Bull and Toro Rosso in 2016 with Daniil Kvyat swapping places with Max Verstappen, crowds and audiences across the globe were anticipating what the young Dutch talent could bring to the team, but no one was expecting success so soon.

With both Mercedes drivers Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg colliding on the first lap, it opened opportunities for the other teams and drivers. Max qualified in 4th position behind his teammate Daniel Ricciardo, ahead of both Ferrari drivers.

This meant there was a thrilling battle at hand between both Red Bulls and Ferraris, with different strategies playing out among the four racing drivers. Verstappen was on a two-stop strategy, but regardless of Kimi Räikkönen keeping close on his heels (in the end finishing only 0.616 seconds behind) and adding pressure, the young driver was able to keep him at bay.

Despite winning the race, it was his Australian teammate who lead the majority of the race, but after the team offered him a three-stop strategy and Max and two-stop, it proved crucial in who would then reign supreme.

Not only did Verstappen win in his debut drive for Red Bull but he broke the record for the youngest ever F1 winner in history.

You can shop our Red Bull collection on our online store featuring artwork and reinvented branded products.

3. Maldonado claims unexpected victory

The 2012 season kick started as every F1 fan’s dream, with seven different winners in the first seven races, halting the continuity that so many seasons follow where one or two teams dominate from the start. Spain, the fifth race on the calendar, did not fail to bring unforeseen excitement.

Starting from pole, after McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton received a grid penalty, the Venezuelan Williams driver Pastor Maldonado was quickly overtaken by Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso before turn 1, making a win for the driver appear less probable. However, despite only being his second season in F1, he proved fans wrong and with the team’s carefully timed pitstop, was able to effectively undercut the experienced Spanish driver and extend his lead.

The extraordinary race win was both significant for Maldonado and for Williams – it was the driver’s only win and pole position in F1 to date and it marked the team’s first win since 2004 and has been their most recent victory.

You can shop our Williams collection on our online store including Ayrton Senna memorabilia and branded products such as wheel rims and steering wheels.