Approximately 60,000 spectators came out in Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire over the weekend to see Formula One World Champion Sebastian Vettel and seven-times GP winner Mark Webber drive their Red Bull Racing cars on the city’s streets.
Milton Keynes hosted the free event in honour of another Championship winning season where Vettel and Webber came directly from the end-of-term FIA awards’ ceremony in Delhi.
The team members, celebrating their double World Champion success, were joined by David Coulthard, who drove a Nascar, Red Bull stunt rider Chris Pfeiffer and F1 presenter Jake Humphrey.
“It’s great to be here in Milton Keynes which is where the cars are built and everyone from the factory works. It’s nice to say thank you and to see all the fans from the area,” said Sebastian Vettel commenting on the event.
Despite the recent deaths of IndyCar driver Dan Wheldon and MotoGP rider Marco Simoncelli on te tracks, Michael Schumacher has said that motorsport safety has been greatly improved in recent years and that these kind of tragedies are more a product of fate than anything else.
“If something has to happen, that is something I would call fate, and fate is something we are all faced with,” Schumacher said. According to the Formula One champion, total safety in this kind of sport is impossible and that the nature and goal of the drivers is to push their cars to limit rather than think of the risks involved.
Wheldon, a British national, died after colliding with the catchfence and catching on fire on the track during a 15 car accident in Las Vegas while Italian Simoncelli died when he lost control of his bike and then his helmet and crashed into two other drivers in Sepang.
Marco Simoncelli sadly passed away on Sunday after sustaining critical head and neck injuries on the second lap of the MotoGP race at Sepang in Malaysia.
The Italian was battling it out for fourth place with Alvaro Bautista when he lost the front end of the bike at turn 11. Normally a rider would just carry on sliding out towards the gravel traps if he loses the front end, but unfortunately for Marco the front wheel gripped the tarmac again pulling him straight into the path of Colin Edwards and Valentino Rossi.
Casey Stoner claimed another victory at the MotorLand circuit on Sunday, giving the Australian his eighth win of the season and Repsol Honda their 100th win. The important vicoty puts the Australian 44 points clear of defending World Champion Jorge Lorenzo. Dani Pedrosa finished the round in second place behind his team mate, while Lorenzo made his way to the final podium spot.
Marco Simoncelli finished 6 seconds behind Lorenzo to take fourth, a strong finish for the Italian considering he ran off the track on his first attempt at passing the YZR-M1 of Ben Spies on lap 9. The Yamaha rider had a great start off the outside of the first row, leading into turn one in front of fellow front row starters Stoner and Pedrosa, but the two Honda riders got past him by lap two, and the American finally finished the race in fifth place.
Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa had his usual great start, taking the hole shot ahead of Lorenzo and Stoner at the start of the eni Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland MotoGP race in what was to be a 30 lap fight to the finish at the Sachsenring circuit.
The Spaniard’s win is his fifth Grand Prix victory at the Sachsenring circuit and only his second race after returning from surgery for his broken collarbone.
At the end of lap one, Lorenzo was in the lead ahead of the three Repsol Honda’s of Pedrosa, Stoner and Dovizioso, who fought amongst each other for second until the Australian made his attack on lap 5 to take the lead, only to have Lorenzo regain the lead status a few laps later. The Mallorcan then tried desperately to defend his line, until lap 21 when Pedrosa got a huge drive out of the last corner to launch himself into the lead for the last time.
A fantastic race saw Jorge Lorenzo stalk down Casey Stoner to clinch his second win of the season at the Gran Premio d’Italia TIM, while Andrea Dovizioso passed his team mate on the last lap to finish second.
Stoner started from pole position to break from the field early and looked set to have victory in the bag, until with 9 laps remaining, Lorenzo began to chip away at the Australian’s more than 2 second lead, finally catching and taking over the lead with six laps to go. The Spaniard’s win closes the World Championship standing lead of Casey Stoner to 19 points.
Dovizioso hunted down and passed Stoner on the very last lap to grab second position in front of his home crowd. The Italian remains third in the Championship with 119 points, ahead of Valentino Rossi with 91.
The Texan had a good start, allowing him to narrowly avoid the drama of the first lap, when pole starter Italian Simoncelli took out Spies’ team mate Jorge Lorenzo in the third corner. Simoncelli had hoped to finally reach the podium in the Saturday race, but the Italian fell victim to a cold tyre early on.
Stoner led team mate Andrea Dovizioso to the finish, where the Italian claimed his third top three finish of the 2011 season. Stoner is now 28 points ahead of Lorenzo in the Championship while Dovizioso remains third, but is now only nine points behind the Spaniard.