The German MotoGP has marked the halfway stage of the 2015 season with motorsport competitors now taking a well deserved break. Britain’s Lewis Hamilton continues to rule the Formula 1 tracks as Mercedes once again looks to dominate the Constructors’ Championship with 18 podium finishes in nine races. Here’s how the season has unfolded so far.
Mercedes began the 2015 campaign with a one-two at the Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne.
Since then, team drivers Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg have finished within the top three in every race.
This comes on the back of an impressive 16 out of 19 wins in 2014 for the Silver Arrows.
The duo’s main rival this year is Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel.
The German joined the team on a three-year deal following the departure of Fernando Alonso.
The Italian team finished 2014 in fourth, however this year a top three place is looking more likely.
After finishing second last season Austria’s Red Bull are struggling. They lie in fourth, one place behind Williams.
Remembering Jules Bianchi
The world of motorsport is in mourning for Jules Bianchi, who died from head injuries sustained in a crash at last year’s Japanese Grand Prix. Two points seem a small reward after 34 races with Marussia, but the Frenchman’s Formula One career was only just starting to flourish.
Beginning in karting and rising up through the ranks, Jules Bianchi signed for the Marussia Formula 1 Team in 2013 and was quickly named as one of the most promising drivers for the future.
The Frenchman took ninth place in the Monaco Grand Prix in May last year and in doing so scored Marussia’s first and only points.
The team ran into financial difficulties at the end of last year and appeared finished in Formula 1 when their assets were auctioned off over the winter. But Bianchi’s finish and the prize money that came with it inspired new investors to take over the team and this year were resurrected as Manor.
Since the 25-year-olds death was announced tributes have been pouring in from Formula 1 drivers past and present.
Third WRC title in sight
Tributes also poured in from the wider world of motorsport with a host of big names, including World Rally Champion Sebastien Ogier, expressing their sadness via social networks. No matter how many safety innovations the sport makes, it will always retain some elements of danger, which the Frenchman is willing to face again in what could be his third triumphant season.
Sebastian Ogier is having yet another impressive year.
The Frenchman picked up his fifth win in seven rallies in Poland at the start of July after holding off Volkswagen Polo R team mate Andreas Mikkelsen to claim a victory by 11.9 seconds after almost 300km of furious competition in scorching temperatures.
Only Kris Meeke and Jari Matti Latvala have managed to win races this season in Argentina and Portugal.
Ogier could make it six out of eight at Rally Finland later this month bringing him one step closer to becoming the World Rally Champion for a third consecutive time.
Valentino Rossi’s resurgence
With seven MotoGP titles to his name, current points leader Valentino Rossi now appears to be back where he truly belongs. The 36-year-old Italian is defying the march of time while hoping his experience will be enough to hold off nearest rival Jorge Lorenzo, who’s only 13 points adrift going into the next race.
Valentino Rossi’s expertise and experience is unquestionable as is the fact he doesn’t possess the fastest bike.
The Italian’s first win came almost two decades ago in 1996 when he won his first World Championship Grand Prix on a 125cc bike in the Czech Republic.
Since then he has gone on to win seven MotoGPs, the last time coming in 2009.
Rossi could make it eight this year so long as he manages to stay ahead of Jorge Lorenzo. The Spaniard has closed the gap on the Italian after winning in Spain, France, Italy and Catalunya.
Meanwhile, Marc Marquez is currently lying in fourth place in the overall standings but prevailed in Germany, giving him a major confidence boost going into the Indianapolis Grand Prix on August.
In the next edition of Speed we’ll be looking at the Hungarian Formula One Grand Prix. In the meantime, we end the programme with some of the best images from the Red Bull Romaniacs endurance motorbike race which was held in Romania.