Rosberg dominates in China to win his first Grand Prix in 111 attempts
Nico Rosberg celebrates his first Formula 1 victory - the 2012 Chinese Grand Prix.
Apr.15 (PVM) Nico Rosberg won his first ever F1 race, after 111 grand prix starts, when he powered to a dominant and faultless victory in the Chinese Grand Prix in Shanghai, giving Mercedes their first
Rosberg, in the Mercedes AMG W03, was in a class of his own in qualifying a day earlier when he took his first ever pole position with a scintillating lap, and on race day from the moment the red start lights went out the German simply drove away from his rivals, made no mistakes and in the end cruised to a well calculated and much deserved victory.
Nevertheless, it was a bittersweet day for the Silver Arrows. As they celebrated victory they would surely be excused for a pitstop error which forced Michael Schumacher to retire while running strongly in second, in the process scuppering a very likely one-two finish on the day.
On the up side it appears that the team have resolved the tyre wear issue on the W03 which is now a contender, having beaten McLaren, and the rest for that matter, head to head in normal conditions – fair and square as they say. Game on! True lovers of grand prix racing won’t be complaining about the implications for the quality of racing yet to come in the Chinese year of the dragon.
Rosberg, beaming from ear to ear, said after the race, “It’s an unbelievable feeling. I’m very happy, very excited. It has been a long time coming for me and team after two years and a bit. We are finally there. It’s nice to see how quickly we are progressing. We didn’t expect to be that fast today but I’m very happy with the pace.”
The victory also returns Mercedes team boss Ross Brawn to the winner’s circle which was so familiar to him during his legendary Ferrari era, and more recently in the Brawn GP days, “I am elated, any race win is special but after a tough time to win a race like that is very special. It was a super super job from Nico. The engineers and drivers knew exactly what they had to do and they did it perfectly. It was stunning, we still had the fear with the tyres but he used them perfectly. It’s just a tragedy that we had the problem with Michael [Schumacher] because he would have been in great shape too. We have started a new adventure, I have been lucky to have a lot of special days and this is certainly a special one.”
Behind Rosberg it was a case of barely controlled mayhem as a dozen drivers rubbed wheels and threw everything at one another in a fierce, race long battle, for second place – seldom have we witnessed such close racing, incident packed but ultimately devoid of controversy and a not easily described day at the magnificent Shanghai International Circuit. This was one of those races we will all want to remember for years to come.
In the end it was Jenson Button who, despite a 10 second delay during a pitstop, carved his way through to take the runner-up spot ahead of his team mate Lewis Hamilton who overcame a five place grid penalty to take third. Along the way the pair had to dispense of the Red Bull pair, the Lotus duo, both Williams, the Saubers and Fernando Alonso – and in no instance was it a simple move. The McLaren boys had to work very hard for the podium.
In retrospect McLaren will be happy having two drivers on the podium, albeit not on the top step, after all they started from fifth and seventh respectively. As for victory, they were the among the first to acknowledgethat Rosberg and Mercedes were simply the best on the day and no way were they beatable in China – victory ordained for the German squad and duly delivered.
Button summed up his afternoon, “I had some really good battles out there. It was a pity because when I exited the pits I had four cars in front of me who I wouldn’t have been up against. If that didn’t happen, I would have had a clear run on Nico. All in all though, it was a fun day, I really enjoyed it out there.”
Hamilton, who has now scored a hat-trick of third places in the three races so far this season and leaves China leading the world championship points standings, said, “We knew Nico would be really quick, and we knew if he got away it would be hard to catch him as it proved. First pole and first win is always special so congratulations. I’m happy to be on the podium after starting seventh, the strategy was good – it was one of the best races of the season. There was a trail of cars behind me at the end, but overall it was a fantastic day.”
Mark Webber took his tally of fourth place finishes, this year, to three out of three after snatching the place from Red Bull team mate Sebastian Vettel on the final lap. Webber was the first driver to stop for tyres and spent most afternoon battling his way up the field.
“You needed a bit of experience today, it was a very, very close grand prix but congratulations to Nico. It was different strategies playing against each other – utter chaos. The difference between fourth and fifth is not massive between team-mates, it was just a few more points that was all. We’ve finished close to McLaren in all three races but there’s a long way to go,” commented Webber afterwards.
Vettel was one of the biggest winners on the day, recovering from 11th on the grid to finish fifth, although he appeared to be heading for a podium spot until the very end, but his two stop strategy in the end was a few laps to far for the Pirelli tyres and what looked like second became fifth in a matter of a couple of laps at the very end.
Possible the most relieved man in the Shanghai paddock after the race was Romain Grosjean who at last finished a grand prix for his Lotus team, having crashed out early in both previous races. Sixth place was a just reward for the Frenchman who had a subdued early stanza of the race, but around mid-distance started making all the right moves and became embroiled in the dozen car battle for podium spots. He was not shy to go wheel to wheel and eventually muscled his way to his ever F1 points finish.
On the other end of the spectrum was Grosjean’s team mate Kimi Raikkonen who was looking his old feisty self throughout the race and looking set for a podium until lap 48 when his two stop strategy took its toll – the Pirelli mediums he had bolted on simply ‘went off the cliff’ – with virtually no traction the 2007 world champion dropped from second to 12th in the space of a couple of laps and eventually taking the flag in 14th.
Raikkonen explained, “We tried to run two stops but we ran out of the tyres in the end. We tried but it didn’t pay off today. There are two choices and we took another one, we thought it was going to work out but it didn’t.”
The Williams revival continued in China with Bruno Senna and Pastor Maldonado finishing seventh and eighth respectively. Senna staying out of trouble to bag a useful haul of points for his team, while Maldonado who simply could not stay out of trouble, surviving some hair raising moments to ensure a double points score on the day for the former world champion squad.
In fact one of the highlights of the day must be the Maldonado versus Fernando Alonso battle – make that slug fest – as the pair slugged it out in good old fashioned style. Both going off track as they tried to out-manoeuvre one another in a most entertaining duel during the last half of the race. The Ferrari simply did not have enough and Alonso crossed the line in in ninth – the Spaniard enduring a day which saw him in the wars with just about everyone and again out classing his team mate Felipe Massa who finished 13th.
The final point went to Kamui Kobayashi, who along with his team mate Sergio Perez, were another pair who were constantly in the thick of the action. Perez running as high as second at one stage. Thus 10 and 11th will be something of a disappointment for the Swiss squad whose Japanese driver started from third on the grid. They would have expected been expecting more on the day.
There is not much time to pause and reflect for the Formula 1 world as they depart China for Bahrain, where engines will be fired up for first free practice in a mere five days time. But for Formula 1 fans, the next race cannot come soon enough, as now Mercedes appear to be real contenders which only makes the championship prospects all the more intriguing.
Alonso holds off stellar Perez for Sepang victory
3/25/2012: Sunday's Malaysian Grand Prix was won by Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso from Sauber’s Sergio Perez and McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton, but it was a race of two halves, and how different they were!
The skies were already dark as cars went out on to the grid and 10 minutes before the start the rain came. Everyone bar the HRTs started on intermediate tyres, Hamilton led team mate Jenson Button off the line, with Lotus’s Romain Grosjean spearing between Mercedes’ Michael Schumacher and the Red Bulls to grab third until he was repassed further round the lap and then clobbered Schumacher into a spin and followed suit himself.
Within a lap Perez was in for wet tyres, followed by Ferrari’s Felipe Massa, Marussia’s Timo Glock and Charles Pic on lap three, then Button, Alonso, Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg, Caterham’s Heikki Kovalainen (who had made stunning progress from 23rd on Lap One to 17th on Lap Two) and team mate Vitaly Petrov.
Hamilton clung on until Lap Five, aquaplaning all over the place, and just skipped back out ahead of his team mate. Perez was up to a stunning third after Sauber’s great strategic move, and even a big off-course moment didn’t hurt him although it brought Red Bull’s Mark Webber within striking distance.
By Lap Six conditions were so bad that the race officials deployed the safety car for the first time officially here. The race continued behind the silver Mercedes until lap nine, when it was red flagged.
Thus Hamilton led Button to a halt on the start/finish line, followed by Perez, Webber, Alonso, Red Bulls’ Sebastian Vettel (who’d had an off), Toro Rosso’s Jean-Eric Vergne (who had yet to pit), Massa, Mercedes’ Nico Rosberg (who’d also been off), the amazing Narain Karthikeyan, who had not stopped thanks to starting his HRT on the full wets and was running a fabulous 10th, Hulkenberg and Force India team mate Paul di Resta, Lotus’s Kimi Raikkonen, Williams’ Pastor Maldonado, Schumacher, Sauber’s Kamui Kobayashi, HRT’s Pedro de la Rosa (who like Karthikeyan had started on full wets), Toro Rosso’s Daniel Ricciardo, Petrov, Glock, Kovalainen, Charles Pic and Williams’ Bruno Senna. Grosjean was thus far the only retirement, going off for good into the gravel in Turn Six on Lap Four.
Button gambled on a change to intermediates at the end of Lap 13, even before the race had officially resumed. Alonso, meanwhile, fought by Webber and Vettel, and pitted for inters on Lap 14 together with Hamilton and Webber.
Sauber brought Perez in a lap later, when Button called in again after colliding with Karthikeyan’s HRT which he clipped with his front wing in Turn Nine. That was the end of the points leader’s chances, but Perez’s were just opening up.
From the 17th lap until the finish, it was Perez against Alonso, the youngster against the old stager, with Hamilton and the Red Bull drivers unable to do anything to challenge either of them.
For a while, Alonso opened the gap; it was as much as 7.7s on the 28th lap, half distance. But then Perez really got the bit between his teeth. More rain was forecast, so now the strategy for all of the drivers was to make their intermediate tyres last as long as they could. And the Sauber is kind to its rubber. Perez began to cut the gap to Alonso: 6.7s on Lap 33, 4.9s by Lap 35, 1.3s by Lap 39. The atmosphere, so drenched earlier, was now electric as everyone willed him on.
Alonso dived for the pits on the 40th lap and took on medium slick tyres, Perez came a lap later and took the harder tyres, as Sauber crucially added more front downforce. By Lap 42 the gap was 7.1s again, and the fairy tale seemed to be over, but nobody told Perez that. Lap by lap he ate into the Ferrari's advantage again; by Lap 49 he was only half a second behind and it seemed only a matter of time. But then he slid wide in Turn 14 leading on to the back straight, and this time the dream really was over. He recovered, and by the chequered flag on Lap 56 the gap was down from 5.3s to 2.2s, but Alonso had it made.
It was one of the best drives of the season thus far from the Spaniard, but though he thoroughly deserved all the plaudits going for grabbing the chance when he saw it, Perez was the 'man of the match' after a truly wonderful performance.
Behind the two leaders there was some great racing, but Hamilton had an untroubled run to third, unable to match their pace, as Webber came through to fourth after Vettel had made contact with Karthikeyan on the 48th lap and torn up his left-rear Pirelli. He was lucky that it happened on the back straight and he was able to pit quickly, but he dropped to 12th, which became 11th when Pastor Maldonado’s tenure of 10th place ended with an apparent Renault engine failure on Lap 54.
Behind Webber, Raikkonen drove a feisty race to fifth for Lotus, while Bruno Senna was another star as he hacked through the field from 22nd on the opening lap to an excellent sixth. Paul di Resta was another to put in an excellent drive in the hugely tricky conditions, finishing seventh for Force India after being unable to keep Senna at bay. The Scot was clear of a huge battle between Vergne’s Toro Rosso and his own team mate Hulkenberg, which Maldonado had been a part of until his engine problem.
That elevated Schumacher to the final points scoring position, on another very disappointing day for Mercedes, with Vettel 11th ahead of Ricciardo’s Toro Rosso, which kept Rosberg’s Mercedes and Button’s delayed McLaren at bay to the flag. Felipe Massa had another horrible day, made even worse by Perez’s performance, to finish 15th, ahead of Petrov who brought his Caterham home 16th ahead of Glock’s Marussia, team mate Kovalainen, Maldonado and Glock’s partner, Pic.
After his great early run Karthikeyan inevitably fell back, but he survived the two brushes with world champions to finish 21st, with team mate De la Rosa 22nd after getting a drive-through penalty after the restart as his team members were late leaving the grid. They later swapped places in the final classification after the Indian had 20 seconds added to his race time for causing the collision with Vettel. Besides Grosjean, Kobayashi was the only other retirement, but understandably it went almost unnoticed in the Sauber pit as they focused on the fight for the lead.
Alonso’s totally unexpected victory puts him into the lead of the world championship with 35 points to Hamilton’s 30 and Button’s 25, with Webber fourth on 24, Perez fifth on 22 and Vettel on 18. McLaren still lead the constructors’ world championship, with 55 points, with Red Bull second on 42 from Ferrari on 35 and Sauber on 30. Lotus have 16, Force India 9, Williams 8 and Toro Rosso 6.
Alexander Rossi To F1
ALEXANDER ROSSI IS CONFIRMED AS CATERHAM FORMULA 1 TEAM OFFICIAL TEST DRIVER AND WILL RACE FOR ARDEN CATERHAM IN WORLD SERIES BY RENAULT FR 3.5 IN 2012
3/09/2012: Alexander Rossi has been confirmed today as Caterham F1 Team's Official Test Driver, joining Race Drivers Heikki Kovalainen and Vitaly Petrov in the Anglo-Malaysian team driver line-up. Alexander's Formula 1 role will have him take part in the Formula 1 race weekend events free practice sessions in 2012, along with work in the F1 Simulator; helping him gain further experience at the highest level of global motorsport, as he takes the next step towards a race seat with Caterham F1 Team.
In addition, Arden Caterham Motorsport will race the talented American Rossi (20); joining the team to contend for the 2012 World Series by Renault FR 3.5 Championship, completing the Arden Caterham line up with teammate Lewis Williamson.
Alexander joins the team following a successful first year in 2011 World Series by Renault FR 3.5, where he finished third overall and won the Rookie Championship with 2 wins and 7 podiums. Alexander's role with Arden Caterham motorsport is the ideal alignment to his relationship and duties with the Caterham F1 Team as their Official Test Driver coupled with Friday Formula 1 practice sessions.
For the 2012 season, World Series by Renault FR 3.5 championship will introduce a new car. Testing begins this next week, March 13 – 14th at Paul Ricard circuit in southern France. The last time Alexander race there in 2011 he came away with a victory and he is looking forward to continuing with this trend.
Tony Fernandes, Team Principal, Caterham F1 Team - "Today's announcement marks an important next step for Caterham F1 Team and Alexander's career. As our Official F1 Test Driver, Alexander is a key figure in our long-term plans, and the investment we are making in him now will help him make the most of the natural talent he has at his disposal. We see 2012 as an important year for Alexander, as he will be combining a full calendar in World Series by Renault, a championship he has a very good chance of winning, with his Test Driver role, and giving him the chance to take part in FP1 gives him the platform from which he can grow into an even bigger F1 role."
Alexander Rossi - "I am absolutely delighted that we have been able to make this dual announcement today. My goal to be in Formula One is one step closer after being signed as Test Driver for Caterham F1 Team. I want to thank Tony Fernandes, Kamarudin Meranun and Riad Asmat for their trust in me and long term commitment to my career. The Caterham F1 Team support, coupled with the efforts of my management and investors, has brought my goal of reaching an F1 race seat one step closer. In the past year I have spent time in Hingham at the factory and built solid relationships right across the team. I feel really comfortable with everyone and am looking forward to growing as a professional with Caterham and acquiring as much experience as possible from Friday Practice, the F1 simulator and time with the team."
"Winter training has been very good as Pro Performance, Caterham F1 Team's physios, are looking after all my fitness and nutrition, preparing me for this season and my next step to F1. I am fully ready for the task at hand. I have not been in a car since the F1 rookie test in Abu Dhabi last November, but have been on the simulator. I am very eager for World Series by Renault testing to begin next week and get down to work, where I'll be running with Arden Caterham in the classic green and yellow colors. The 2011 season was good, but now I have that experience under my belt and I'm determined to fight for the championship throughout the 2012 season. This is going to be an incredible year!"
Julian Rouse, Arden Sporting Director - "Everyone here is absolutely delighted to be working with Alexander in 2012. He had a fantastic first year in FR 3.5 in 2011 and we will be working as hard as we can to continue his development and create the opportunity for him to challenge for the championship. We are a new team to the series in 2012, but we have a very talented group of people in place that have a huge amount of experience in many categories including FR 3.5 and with Alexander and Lewis's ability to consider, the aim is to be right at the front straight away."
Garry Horner, Arden Director - "We are happy to have Alexander joining the team in our inaugural year in World Series by Renault. We are confident that with Alexander's experience, we will do very well this season and obtain the results we are expecting to achieve."
Montezemolo: “The truth will only come out in Melbourne”
Maranello, 7 March – There are now very few days left before the team leaves for Melbourne, home of the Australian Grand Prix, where the first of 20 races on the 2012 F1 world championship calendar will take place on March 18. The usual pre-departure work programs are taking place at Maranello. That includes checking over the car used at the last test in Barcelona, fitting the second chassis to be used in the Albert Park pits and preparing the travel cases containing all the necessary material for this long journey. The cars will only return to their place of birth, Maranello’s car assembly floor, after the Bahrain Grand Prix.
The engineers are busy analyzing the results of the test sessions, working both on specific preparation for the early races and on the development of the F2012. To take stock of this latter aspect, Luca di Montezemolo today had a long meeting with Stefano Domenicali and the Scuderia’s top engineers, fresh from his return from the Geneva Motor Show where he presented the brand new F12berlinetta yesterday.
“I found a team that is very concentrated and determined,” Montezemolo told www.ferrarif1.com. “I saw in Domenicali and our engineers a great desire to show what they’re worth and to react to a winter program that didn’t live up to our targets. I must underline these are our words because we will only discover the truth about where we stand compared to the others after Saturday’s qualifying session in Melbourne: today we can only make assumptions. No matter how it goes in Melbourne, I would like to remind everyone that this will be the longest championship in the history of Formula 1 and we certainly won’t be able to draw conclusions after just one race.”
Maria de Villota joins Marussia’s test line-up
3/08/2012: Marussia announced that Maria de Villota will be joining their team asa test driver. De Villota has raced in numerous single-seater and sports car series, including Spanish F3, the Daytona 24 Hours, Euroseries 3000 and the Superleague Formula championship.
The daughter of ex-Formula One driver and British Formula One series champion Emilio de Villota hails from Spain and already has seat time F1 car by completing over 300km for Team Lotus (now Caterham) at Paul Ricard last August.
“I am very happy to be joining the Marussia F1 Team test driver program,” she said. “This is a fantastic opportunity to work closely with a Formula One team and gain important experience to help me progress my career, including the chance to drive the new car later in the year at the Abu Dhabi test. I will be joining the team track side so I’m looking forward to working alongside them at the first race next weekend and this can only help my future ambition to step up to Formula One racing.”
Team principal John Booth added: “We are pleased to welcome Maria to our test driver program, which will enable her to be integrated into a Formula One team environment and gain a vast amount of experience that will be useful to her career progression. We will also provide Maria with the opportunity to sample F1 machinery later in the year, further adding to her racing credentials.”
Ms. De Villota is not the first woman to enter F1. A number of women have already competed in Formula One racing including Italians Giovanna Amati, Maria Teresa de Filippis and Lella Lombardi, Briton Divina Galica and South African Desire Wilson. The best finish for a female driver was Lombardi’s sixth place at the 1975 Spanish Grand Prix.
Barcelona day four - Raikkonen ends on Top
3/04/2012: The final pre-season test of 2012 concluded in Spain on Sunday, with Lotus’s Kimi Raikkonen setting the pace. Less than half a second covered the top six at the Circuit de Catalunya, with Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso second and Williams’ Bruno Senna third.
Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg, Sauber’s Kamui Kobayashi and McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton were next up, with world champion Sebastian Vettel last in the time sheets after gearbox problems on his Red Bull.
With official testing complete, the next time an F1 car will turn a wheel in anger will be in opening practice for the Australian Grand Prix on March 16-18.
Unofficial Sunday test times from Barcelona:
1. Kimi Raikkonen, Lotus, 1:22.030, 121 Laps
2. Fernando Alonso, Ferrari, 1:22.250, 115 Laps
3. Bruno Senna, Williams, 1:22.296, 53 Laps
4. Nico Hulkenberg, Force India, 1:22.312, 101 Laps
5. Kamui Kobayashi, Sauber, 1:22.386, 72 Laps
6. Lewis Hamilton, McLaren, 1:22.430, 115 Laps
7. Vitaly Petrov, Caterham, 1:22.795, 101 Laps
8. Michael Schumacher, Mercedes, 1:22.939, 100 Laps
9. Pastor Maldonado, Williams, 1:23.347, 48 Laps
10. Daniel Ricciardo, Toro Rosso, 1:23.393, 100 Laps
11. Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, 1:23.608, 23 Laps
Recognition of the FIA by the IOC
1/12/2012: By letter dated 9th December 2011, the President of the International Olympic Committee, Jacques Rogge, has announced that the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile has been recognised by the IOC.
The FIA strongly shares the Olympic sporting values as expressed by the IOC and aimed at developing a better understanding between communities worldwide. With this is mind the FIA affirms its commitments to respect the Olympic Charter, in particular:
• To establish and enforce, in accordance with the Olympic spirit, the rules concerning the practice of its respective sports and to ensure their application;
• To ensure the development of its sports throughout the world;
• To contribute to the achievement of the goals set out in the Olympic Charter, particularly in relation to the ongoing development of Olympic values and Olympic education.
The IOC recognition is provisional for a period of two years. The IOC has invited the FIA to introduce as soon as it is possible an Athlete’s Commission so as to make this recognition permanent.
The FIA welcomes this recognition to join the Olympic family and confirms its commitment to participate in the activities of the IOC and its relevant commissions.
Jean Todt, President of the FIA, will be sending a letter to the 129 national sporting club members of the FIA, inviting them to respect and share the values of the Olympic movement.
"I am delighted the FIA is now part of the Olympic family as this is a confirmation of the strength of our sporting credentials as well as a recognition of the values of Respect, Excellence and Friendship which we actively share with the Olympic movement."
Ferrari Formula 1 team sign former Bridgestone technical chief Hamashima
1/11/2012: Ferrari has signed Bridgestone's former technical chief Hirohide Hamashima, it emerged from the Formula One team's 'Wrooom' media event in the Italian Dolomites on Wednesday. The news was announced by Stefano Domenicali, the famous team's boss.
Better known as 'Hammy', Japanese Hamashima, 52 will be in charge of the interaction between the new Ferrari Formula One car and its Pirelli tyre suppliers and other "tyre issues", Domenicali said.
Still without an official name, the 2012 single seater, codenamed 663, will be revealed at the team's headquarters on February 3, just before a Fiorano shakedown.
Official testing begins the following week at Jerez.
Domenicali on Wednesday also denied reports that Ferrari has already secretly inked a new Concorde Agreement with Bernie Ecclestone.
Spa Francorchamps circuit wants clarity on Formula 1 future within weeks
1/11/2012: The local Walloon government is seeking clarity about the future of the fabled Belgian Formula One Grand Prix at Spa Francorchamps within "four or five weeks".
Jean-Claude Marcourt, the government's economics minister, was responding on Tuesday in a parliamentary committee, following media reports that France looks set to return to Formula 1 in 2013.
Those reports suggested France's Paul Ricard circuit will share a single alternating annual date with Spa, the fabled Belgian venue.
Marcourt explained that, in a bid to reduce costs, the government had last year begun to look into possibly alternating its Grand Prix with another European host. A "non binding document" with France was circulated, with an answer necessary by the end of 2011.
"On January 1 there was nothing," Marcourt is quoted by RTL Sport Belgium. "Now the French seem to be catching up. "In four or five weeks, we have to clarify everything. I do not want things drawing out so that we get to the end of the contract not knowing what is going to happen.
"We are awaiting the response from France," he added.
Barcelona - Valencia rejected alternating single Formula 1 races idea
1/11/2012: Valencia reportedly turned down an opportunity to safeguard Spain's presence on the Formula One calendar by alternating an annual date with Barcelona.
Bernie Ecclestone confirmed last year that Spain's two races could in the future share a single annual date.
But this week, it emerged that, amid the European economic crisis, both Valencia's street circuit and the permanent Circuit de Catalunya could lose the support of their respected authorities and fall off the Formula 1 calendar altogether.
On Tuesday, Catalonia government spokesperson Francesco Homs was quoted by Marca sports newspaper as recalling that the idea of alternating a single race with Valencia was raised last April. He said the proposal was rejected by Valencia.
Homs did, however, assure journalists that this year's Spanish Formula One Grand Prix in Barcelona, scheduled for mid April,
Formula 1 technical advisor Steve Clark moves from Mercedes to Ferrari
1/11/2012: The Ferrari Formula One team is congregating this week at Madonna di Campiglio, an Italian ski resort, for its annual pre-season media event.
One of the first pieces of news to emerge from the Dolomites is the move from Mercedes of Steve Clark to the famous Italian squad.
Briton Clark was Brackley based Mercedes GP's highly respected senior technical advisor.
Italy's Autosprint, reporting from the 'Wrooom' event, said the switch could be announced officially by team boss Stefano Domenicali on Wednesday.
Marca, a Spanish sports newspaper, said 42 year old Clark's new role will be similar to the axed Chris Dyer's, in charge of Ferrari's race engineers Andrea Stella (Fernando Alonso) and Rob Smedley (Felipe Massa). He formerly worked with Ferrari technical director Pat Fry at McLaren.
PURE to fire up first 2014 FIA specification Formula 1 V6 engine in July
Tuesday, 10 January 2012: Craig Pollock believes there will be only a single independent engine maker in Formula One in 2014.
The BAR team founder and Jacques Villeneuve's former manager is now in charge of PURE (Propulsion Universelle et Recuperation d’Energie), a new company that intends to supply a turbo V6 engine to Formula 1 teams when the rules change in two seasons' time.
Currently, there are four engine suppliers on the grid: Ferrari, Mercedes-Benz, Renault and the British independent Cosworth.
"I am convinced that there will be four engine manufacturers in Formula One in 2014," Pollock reportedly told Speedweek. "These are Renault, Ferrari, Mercedes, and PURE."
He said he met recently with Formula 1 Chief Executive Bernie Ecclestone, who according to Pollock knows that PURE is a "serious project".
Pollock said the design of the PURE V6, sketched by the FIA and Ferrari's former engine boss Gilles Simon, is complete and will be fired up for the first time in July this year.
"We are six months ahead of our own timetable," he revealed.
Sahara Force India confirms Paul Di Resta and Nico Hulkenberg for 2012
12/16/2011: Sahara Force India Formula One Team today confirmed that Paul Di Resta and Nico Hulkenberg will form its line-up for the 2012 season.
Paul continues with the team for his second season in a race seat, while Nico steps up from his role as reserve driver. Together they form one of the most exciting pairings on the grid.
Dr. Vijay Mallya, Team Principal and Managing Director: “I am delighted to present our line-up for the 2012 season. In Paul and Nico we have two extremely talented drivers with tremendous potential.
“I think Paul caught the eye of everybody in the pit lane during his rookie season. His speed, maturity and racecraft confirmed that we were right to believe in him and we look forward to working with him again next year.
“As for Nico, we identified him as a rising star at the end of 2010 and chose to evaluate him during the course of this season. Despite having only limited time in the car, he convinced us that he deserved a race seat for 2012.
“Our new line-up means we say ‘goodbye’ to Adrian Sutil, who has been with the team since we entered the sport. He has been an integral part of our success over the past four seasons and we wish him well for the future.”
Paul Di Resta: “I’m really looking forward to my second season of Formula One and continuing to grow and develop with Sahara Force India. I’ve said all along that I love being part of this team: they are ambitious, hungry for success and we work well together. I’m really excited about 2012 and there is a real sense of belief that we can continue to push the top teams and take another step forward. I’d also like to thank the team for all their hard work this year and for all the support they’ve given me. I’ll take some time out over the next few weeks to recharge my batteries and hopefully come back even stronger in 2012.”
Nico Hulkenberg: “I’m obviously delighted to be staying with Sahara Force India and to be given the chance to race next year. It wasn’t easy to watch from the sidelines this season, but I did my best to help the team and show what I was capable of. I’m extremely motivated for 2012 and would like to thank everyone for believing in me and giving me this chance. I’m keen to get down to work over the winter to develop our new car and help the team build on this year’s achievements. The first test in Jerez can’t come soon enough.”
Source: Sahara Force India Formula One Team
Scuderia Toro Rosso announces all-new driver line-up for 2012
Scuderia Toro Rosso will have a completely new driver line-up for the 2012 Formula 1 season, made up of Daniel Ricciardo and Jean-Eric Vergne. It will be the first time since the team’s 2006 debut that it will begin the year with an all new line-up. Both drivers have come through the Red Bull Junior Driver programme and the decision to promote Daniel and Jean-Eric to Scuderia Toro Rosso was taken by the team in conjunction with Red Bull.
Franz Tost: “I am pleased that we have been able to reach an early decision on our drivers for next year, because it means we can all give our full attention to 2012, without any distractions. Over the past year, both Daniel and Jean-Eric have proved their worth and I expect them to make a significant contribution to the team’s performance next year. Daniel has the benefit of having actually raced in Grands Prix for much of this year, while Jean-Eric proved he could adapt quickly to the demands of driving a Formula 1 car. As they have both worked with the team and its engineers very recently, this should allow us to get up to speed right from the start of winter testing in a couple of months time. I must also thank Sebastien Buemi and Jaime Alguersuari for all their hard work over the past three seasons. They have delivered some excellent performances which have helped the team move forward and develop. We wish them well for the future. However, one has to remember that when Scuderia Toro Rosso was established in 2005, it was done so with the intention of providing a first step into Formula 1 for the youngsters in the Red Bull Junior Driver programme. It is therefore part of the team’s culture to change its driver line-up from time to time in order to achieve this goal.”
Twenty two year old Ricciardo, from Perth, Australia has already experienced life in F1, firstly by driving for Toro Rosso during Friday’s first free practice session at Grands Prix in the early part of 2011, before driving full time for Hispania Racing in the second half of the year. In 2008 he won the Formula Renault 2.0 Championship and the following year, he won the British Formula 3 series. In 2010, Dan finished runner up in the Renault 3.5 series, combining his racing with reserve driver duties for both Red Bull F1 teams.
Daniel Ricciardo: “This is a really big deal for me and something I have wanted ever since I was driving for Toro Rosso on Friday mornings at the races in the first part of last season. To be honest, I am still jumping up and down with excitement at the news. In the second half of 2011 I learned a lot from the people I worked with, racing in eleven Grands Prix and I want to thank them for the opportunity they gave me. I have to say that joining Scuderia Toro Rosso was always my real goal, so a big thank you to Red Bull for giving me this fantastic opportunity and now I can’t wait to get to work once testing begins.”
Frenchman Vergne has already worked with Scuderia Toro Rosso, most recently, driving in Free Practice 1 at three of the last four Grands Prix of the 2011 season. The twenty one year old Frenchman followed in his new team-mate’s footsteps, winning the 2010 British Formula 3 Championship and coming second in this year’s Renault 3.5 series.
Jean-Eric Vergne: “First of all, I must thank Red Bull for all their support so far and for believing I am ready to take on the ultimate challenge of racing in Formula 1. Christmas has come early for me this year! Having driven for them a few times this year and also testing for Red Bull Racing in Abu Dhabi, I definitely feel ready to make the move, even if I know there is a big difference between testing and actually racing. I enjoyed working with the guys at Toro Rosso this year and I can’t wait to be part of the team for real. Sitting on the grid in Melbourne next March cannot come soon enough.
Source: Scuderia Toro Rosso
F1: Ferrari leaves FOTA
12/02/2011: Ferrari has informed FOTA President Martin Whitmarsh that it is leaving the organisation made up of the teams competing in the Formula 1 World Championship.
It was a difficult decision and a great deal of thought went into it. It was taken reluctantly after analysing the current situation and the stalemate when it came to debate on some issues that were at the core of why the association was formed, indeed with Ferrari and Luca di Montezemolo as the main instigator and promoter of ideas. It’s not by chance that the President of the Maranello company held that same position and job title within FOTA up to the end of 2009.
Some of the major achievements of the association during these years, also worked out in conjunction with the FIA, centred around cost reduction, which was of significant benefit to everyone, the big teams and the small ones. Ferrari was on the front line in this area, even before the birth of FOTA and it intends to continue down this route to ensure the sustainability of the sport in the long term. Now however, it is necessary to find some new impetus to move it along because FOTA’s drive has run its course, despite the excellent work of current President, Martin Whitmarsh in trying to reach agreement between the various positions for the common good.
Ferrari will continue to work with the other teams to make the current RRA, Resource Restriction Agreement, aimed at controlling costs, more effective and efficient, modifying it to make it more stringent in key areas such as aerodynamics, to rebalance some aspects such as testing and to expand it to areas currently not covered such as engines.
Ferrari wants to work with all parties for the future of a sport that expresses the highest level of motor sport technology
Formula 1, like the rest of the world in fact, is currently going through a delicate period. Ferrari wants to work with all parties for the future of a sport that expresses the highest level of motor sport technology. We must return to a situation where Formula 1 is really a test bed for advanced technological research, the results of which can be transferred to Granturismo cars.
In addition, we must not forget that this sport must become more user friendly and more accessible to the general public and furthermore, it cannot be the only professional sport where it is practically impossible to do any training: the number of days of testing must be increased so that the drivers, especially the young ones who lack experience and the teams, can be adequately prepared, as well as providing more opportunities for them to come into contact with spectators and sponsors.
2011 Brazil - Webber ends season on high with win
11/27/2011: Formula One result from the race at the Interlagos circuit - After a dismal year without any wins, Australian Mark Webber took victory in Brazil, his first since the Hungarian Grand Prix in 2010, and in what some would see as the ‘curse of the Brazilian pole position’ Sebastian Vettel had to concede to his Red Bull team-mate when his RB7 suffered low gearbox oil pressure forcing the young German to short shift and nurse the car to the chequered flag ahead of a hard charging Jenson Button in the McLaren.
Fernando Alonso pulled off a stunning pass on Button in Turn 6 early in the race crossed the line in fourth for Ferrari ahead of his Brazilian team-mate who broke FIA protocol and entertained the crowd with some 'smokin' donuts just before entering the pit lane after the race.
Three Mercedes powered cars, the Force India of Adrian Sutil, the Mercedes GP of Nico Rosberg and the Scottish rookie Paul Di Resta in the second Sahara backed car rounded out the top eight drivers.
Japanese ace Kamui Kobayashi played his part in securing the required points for the Sauber F1 team in their chase for the championship money agead of the Lotus Renault of Vitaly Petrova and Scuderia Toro Rosso cars of Jaime Alguersuari and Sebastien Buemi.
Mexican rookie Sergio Perez finished the race in thirteenth, holding off the Williams of Rubens Barrichello and the MGP W02 0f Michael Schumacher, who dropped to the back of the field after a coming together with Bruno Senna, resulting in a rear wheel puncture for the multiple world champion.
2011 Brazil - Formula 1 qualifying result - Record 15th pole for Vettel
11/26/2011: The usual suspects progressed through to the final ten in a dry Q3 which saw the amazing Sebastian Vettel in the Red Bull posting a pole position time of 1’11.918 one tenth ahead of his team-mate Mark Webber for the race in Sao Paulo and in the process securing a record breaking fifteenth pole position for 2011 in another Red Bull front row lock-out.
The two McLarens of Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton fill the second row after Fernando Alonso found a couple of tenths in his Ferrari to line up on the third row just ahead of Nico Rosberg in the silver Mercedes.
2008 race winner Felipe Massa and Adrian Sutil, who might be in his last race for the Force India team, will start in seventh and eighth, Bruno Senna in ninth position may not have set the fastest lap time, but was clearly the most popular with the local fans as they applauded the nephew of the great Ayrton.
In tenth, Michael Schumacher opted to stay in the garage and save tyres, probably feeling he could not improve on his Q2 time.
Rapidly changing weather conditions prompted teams and drivers to record a banker lap in Q1 to secure passage to the following stage, and while the rain continued to stay away in Q2 as two seconds covered the top 17 drivers.
Bernie Answers COTA
Asked by a reporter from Reuters at the Interlagos circuit whether he thought the Texas race might still take place, Ecclestone wasn't very positive
"I doubt it," he said, holding a copy of the Austin statement in his hands.
"The truth is they're not complying with the terms and conditions of the contract. And as we make the contract, we will award the event or not award the event. They are not awarding anything to us.
He then added "It's normal, They have been messing around now for four months, there's two partners arguing and two different groups arguing with each other and in the end none of them have got the money."
Asked whether his contract was really "unrealistic and unfeasible" as stated by Bobby Epstein the head of the COTA ownership group, Ecclestone replied: "Yeah, well they shouldn't sign it. My advice to them is don't sign it. And they probably won't get the opportunity."
COTA Pulls out the old "Blame Bernie" tactic
According to the release from the people from the Circuit of The Americas (COTA) sent out today they have agreed to pay F1 their sanctioning fee to hold a race in 2012 with conditions.
AUSTIN, Texas – November 24, 2011 – Circuit of The Americas has responded to Formula One Management’s contract requirements by agreeing to an immediate cash payment of the sanctioning fee for the 2012 United States Grand Prix (USGP). In addition, Circuit of The Americas has offered to establish an advance payment schedule for USGP races beyond 2012.
The offer comes after several weeks of talks, and once accepted, will secure the USGP on the Formula 1 race calendar.
“We have been ready to send Mr. Ecclestone a sanctioning fee check for some time now,” said Bobby Epstein, founding partner of Circuit of The Americas. “He hasn’t received it yet because the new contract presented to us two weeks ago contained unrealistic and unfeasible demands. We have signed and returned a contract similar to what we anticipated receiving. This race should be a reality, but if we are going to make the 2012 race date, we must receive a countersignature in the coming few days. We believe the teams, fans, sponsors and local business share our enthusiasm and hope that their voices will be heard.”
In this carefully worded statement COTA has basically told F1 and it's boss Bernie Ecclestone that the original contract needed some changes. They said “We have signed and returned a contract similar to what we anticipated receiving” In other words....Here is a contract we want along with a check. Take it or leave it.
This is COTA's attempt at trying to turn this into a Win/Win situation for themselves. If Bernie excepts the deal then they get an F1 race on their terms. If not then they, and the easily manipulated press, can use the tried and true action of blaming Bernie Ecclestone.
Frankly I don't believe that the shrewd man who made Formula 1 one the the most profitable and popular sports on this planet would care if he gets the blame if it means losing out in a business deal. He never has before. Why would anyone expect it now?
Pedro de la Rosa will drive for HRT F1 Team in 2012
Madrid, 21st November 2011: HRT F1 Team continues to take important strides towards the consolidation of its solid project for 2012. After the recent technical announcements and with the new headquarters established in Spain, HRT takes a further step forward by announcing that Pedro de la Rosa will be a driver for the team next season. Reaching an agreement with the driver from Barcelona was a long desired target and a fundamental pillar for HRT F1 Team in its renewed project, which began in July after Thesan Capital acquired the team.
Pedro de la Rosa will join the team next January and will do so for two years. The alliance was possible thanks to the interest of all the parties involved; although in the end it was the support of his current team, Vodafone McLaren Mercedes, which enabled the deal to come through.
Born on the 24th of February 1971 in Barcelona, Pedro de la Rosa has been a pioneer in Spanish motorsports and has built up a prestigious reputation worldwide through his results in Formula 1 over the years. He is, without a doubt, an important acquisition for HRT F1 Team for the 2012 campaign.
Pedro de la Rosa: “This is a very important step in my sporting career and one of the most meditated ones I’ve taken. I’m at a very good stage in terms of maturity and am prepared to take on this challenge, which motivates me hugely. When deciding on joining this project, for me there were three decisive factors: my desire to return to the active competition, the fact that HRT is a Spanish team and getting to know the people leading this project, Luis Pérez-Sala being amongst them. I’m here to work hard, with modesty and humility, accepting where we are now but keeping in mind where we want to be in 2 years time. For me, this is the time to put into practice everything that I have learnt over the years at international top level racing teams so that we can grow together. I am proud that Spain has an F1 team and that I have this opportunity to be its driver. I can only show my gratitude towards HRT for having trusted in me for t his. Lastly, I can’t forget to thank McLaren for allowing me to take this step. I have been very happy over the eight seasons I spent with them, growing as a driver and person. Without them I wouldn’t be here today”.
Colin Kolles, HRT Team Principal: “The team’s objective has always been to reinforce itself in every aspect: economically, technically and in a sporting aspect. Without a doubt, the addition of Pedro de la Rosa for next year will be a fundamental foundation in the development of our project. We are a young team that needs to continue progressing and with this incorporation I am convinced that we will do just that. Apart from being a great person he is an experienced driver as his career and prestige in Formula 1 prove. I give him my most sincere welcome. I am sure that he will adapt perfectly and that together we will achieve great things”.
Luis Pérez-Sala, HRT Sports Advisor: “We have been working very hard for months on next season with the aim of making HRT F1 Team a more stable, competitive and reliable team and, little by little, this hard work is paying off. Having Pedro on board for this project is great news and with his ability and experience we are sure that we can take an important stride. I would like to thank Pedro for his trust and Vodafone McLaren Mercedes for its predisposition to reach a positive agreement for everybody”.
Source: HRT F1 Team
Macau victory for Daniel Juncadella
11/20/2011: Today, Daniel Juncadella (Prema Powerteam) celebrated the biggest victory of his motorsport career to date. At the 6.12 kilometres long Guia Circuit, the Spaniard won the 58th Macau Grand Prix, one of the world’s most prestigious Formula 3 races. After an action-packed race, Marco Wittmann (Signature) finished third behind Felipe Nasr (Carlin). Thus, a driver from the Formula 3 Euro Series wins the race in the former Portuguese colony for the third year in a row.
In the opening stages, Signature driver Marco Wittmann looked all-set for a success. Starting from pole position, he took the lead and was able to hold on to this position after the first safety car intervention that was caused by a startline collision. Euro Series’ champion Roberto Merhi (Prema Powerteam) had stalled at the start, Laurens Vanthoor (Signature) wasn’t able to avoid the Spaniard’s car in time and thus collided with Daniel Abt (Signature). At the second re-start following an accident by Felix Rosenqvist (Mücke Motorsport), Wittmann had to let four drivers past on the run up to the Lisboa corner, including Daniel Juncadella, who moved up into the lead. In the following laps, Wittmann made it back into the top 3, but a final safety car phase with two laps remaining stopped his progress.
Daniel Juncadella (Prema Powerteam): “Winning the Macau Grand Prix is an incredible feeling, I didn’t expect this. I have never cried as much as when this win was safe. The second safety car phase was my luck. Another important thing was to stay out of trouble in the first few laps and not to take too many risks.”
Marco Wittmann (Signature): “I am very disappointed, because I could have done better. My start was good and I was still in front after the first safety car phase. At the second restart, I didn’t have a chance to keep my position. After that, I pushed to close up again, but unfortunately, then a third safety car phase followed that blew my chances of victory.”
Kimiya Sato (Motopark): “My start was really good and I was already in the top six. On the run up to the Lisboa corner, a driver hit my car from behind as he locked up under braking. I am really angry. The speed was definitely enough for a top ten finish. Now, I am only twelfth.”
Source: F3 Euroseries
F3 Macau GP: Front row of the grid for Marco Wittmann and Roberto Merhi
18th November, 2011: In second qualifying for the 58th Macau Grand Prix, that took place in dry conditions, Marco Wittmann (Signature, 2:12.790 minutes) came out on top. This year’s runner-up of the Formula 3 Euro Series only came to the fore in the final seconds of a thrilling qualifying session, toppling Euro Series’ champion Roberto Merhi (Prema Powerteam, 2:12.854 minutes), who ended up second. At the 6.12 kilometres long Guia Circuit in the former Portuguese colony, the two Formula 3 Euro Series’ drivers were separated by only 0.064 seconds.
Nevertheless, Roberto Merhi will not be starting from second place on the grid into tomorrow’s qualification race at 14.00 h (7.00 am CET). Due to a collision with Felix Rosenqvist (Mücke Motorsport, 2:13.528 minutes) in yesterday’s first qualifying, Merhi will be dropped seven places on the grid.
In qualifying, Wittmann and Merhi were followed by António Félix da Costa (Hitech Racing, 2:13.115 minutes), Valtteri Bottas (Galaxy Double R Racing, 2:13.192 minutes) and Alexander Sims (Tom’s, 2:13.407 minutes). The three former drivers from the Formula 3 Euro Series ended up third, fourth and fifth.
Marco Wittmann (Signature): “Today, things went really well for me. First place in qualifying at Macau is a great feeling. After Roberto had taken first place from me, I had to give everything on the final lap once more. Although I didn’t have a slipstream, the lap was great. For the race, I am very confident: we were quick here both in the rain and on a wet track.”
Roberto Merhi (Prema Powerteam): “First of all, I have to say that Marco has done a good job. For me, the weekend hasn’t been easy so far. In yesterday’s qualifying, I collided with Felix Rosenqvist and now, I will be dropped seven places on the grid as a penalty. In this morning’s free practice, I had an accident. However, I still believe that we have the potential to win at Macau, because I was on the pace in every session.”
Source: F3 Euroseries
Fastest time for Roberto Merhi in first qualifying
17th November, 2011 Roberto Merhi (Prema Powerteam, 2:28.860 minutes), the reigning Formula 3 Euro Series champion, showed off his skills in first qualifying for the 58th Macau Grand Prix. At the rain-soaked 6.12 kilometres long Guia circuit, the Spaniard set the fastest time from Marco Wittmann (Signature, 2:30.535 minutes) and Felipe Nasr (Carlin, 2:30.639 minutes). Together with fourth place for Daniel Juncadella (Prema Powerteam, 2:30.867 minutes), three drivers from the Formula 3 Euro Series provisionally are on the first two rows of the starting grid. Second qualifying takes place on Friday, November 18th.
Roberto Merhi already moved up to the top of the time sheets at the start of the first qualifying session. Eventually, he had a margin of 1.675 seconds from Marco Wittmann. However, not everything went well for the Spaniard, who is already beyond reach in the overall standings of the FIA Formula 3 International Trophy. With a little less than seven minutes remaining, he ran into the back of Felix Rosenqvist’s car (Mücke Motorsport, 2:32.457 minutes) under braking for the Lisboa corner. The session was briefly interrupted. Shortly after qualifying had resumed, second-placed Marco Wittmann slid into the barriers.
Alexander Sims (Tom’s, 2:31.306 minutes) was followed by Japanese driver Yuhi Sekiguchi (Mücke Motorsport, 2:31.634 minutes) in sixth place. In spite of his accident, Sekiguchi’s team-mate Felix Rosenqvist ended up tenth in first qualifying.
Roberto Merhi (Prema Powerteam): “Conditions were somewhat easier on the first two laps, because the track still wasn’t that wet, but I didn’t always get the right line in the upper part of the track. On my fastest lap, there was more water on the track, but I got a better line. In the collision with Felix, I couldn’t see a thing due to the spray. I am sorry, I completely missed my braking point.”
Marco Wittmann (Signature): “Macau in the rain is probably the biggest challenge in motorsport. At the start of qualifying, I lost a lot of time in traffic and after that, conditions became considerably worse. However, I am quite satisfied with second place. We still have to work on the set-up of the car.”
Source: Formula 3 Euroseries
F1: Austin off 2012 calendar 'for sure' - Ecclestone
2011-11-17: Austin's Formula One project is close to collapse, with Bernie Ecclestone saying the event will fall off the 2012 calendar "for sure".
With the Texas state funding also in jeopardy and track construction halted, the main problem is a disagreement between Tavo Hellmund - who held the original race contract - and the separate company that is building the Circuit of the Americas.
Asked by the Press Association if the impasse means Austin will be erased from next year's race schedule at the World Council meeting next month, F1 chief executive Ecclestone admitted: "Yes, it will be, for sure."
He insisted: "We've done everything we bloody well can do to make this race happen."
Ecclestone explained that the circuit cannot simply negotiate to have the contract transferred from Hellmund, because "we've cancelled Tavo's contract as he was in breach".
And "these other people haven't got a contract," he said. "All we've asked them to do is get us a letter of credit.
"If people don't have the money they find it difficult to get the letter of credit, and so we don't issue a contract," said Ecclestone. "All we've asked them to do is get us a letter of credit"
He told the Independent that if the Circuit of the Americas gets its act together, it could sign a new contract for "10 years from 2013".
But the Daily Express quotes Ecclestone as saying: "I would be surprised if it happened."
The local Austin American Statesman reports that the heavy machinery and "even the portable toilets" were being removed from the site on Wednesday.
F1: Construction halts as 2012 US GP crisis deepens
Austin's Formula One project continued to collapse this week, with news construction of the Circuit of the Americas has been halted.
Bernie Ecclestone cast doubt on the health of the project last weekend in Abu Dhabi, prompting the Texas comptroller to question whether state funds should be released.
The next domino to fall was the organisers' instruction for workers to down tools and not pick them up again "until a contract assuring the (race) will be held" in 2012.
"The failure to deliver race contracts gives us great concern," said project partner Bobby Epstein.
Comptroller Susan Combs also linked the turmoil with the recent announcement that a privately-funded Grand Prix will be held in New York in 2013.
"Additional races have the potential to reduce the number of attendees to a Texas race, thereby decreasing the economic impact," she said. "The ongoing controversies are a concern and we will continue to monitor them
The project began to fall apart recently when it emerged that promoter Tavo Hellmund, of Full Throttle Productions, was turning his attention to other projects.
"It is the responsibility of Circuit of the Americas to bring it (the US GP) across the finish line," Hellmund's company said in a statement.
"For the sake of everyone, we are hopeful that they can reach an agreement with Formula One."
PIRELLI’S 2012 TIRES MAKE THEIR DEBUT
2011-11-15: Pirelli’s 2012 tires will make their debut at the young driver test in Abu Dhabi from 15-17 November.
The three-day test is designed for teams to try out new drivers, who have completed no more than two grands prix previously and are in a possession of an International A licence, but it is also an excellent opportunity for Pirelli to try out some of the 2012 range of tyres, with in-season testing currently banned for this year.
The tyre design has changed slightly for next year: the latest evolutions of the P Zero tyres feature new profiles for the front and rear, and a selection of totally new compounds with only the supersoft compound unaltered. The 2012 tyres have a squarer profile, designed to distribute wear more evenly across the footprint, while the softer compounds have been adjusted to reduce the risk of blistering.
This new range of tyres is designed to bring the relative performance of the compounds closer together, thereby making strategy even more important next year. The new tyres are also designed to increase performance, making the 2012 tyres some of the most extreme that Pirelli has ever produced. The combined kilometres of running that the young drivers will complete from Tuesday to Thursday this week will be extremely useful when it comes to providing Pirelli’s engineers with real data.
According to the current FOTA (Formula One Teams Association) agreement, the teams have 100 sets of tyres each to use for testing during the year. Most of these sets have already been used during the four pre-season tests, but on average teams have 10-15 sets left each. On top of that, the teams will receive eight extra sets of tyres, made up of the current range of compounds as well as some soft compound development tyres.
Based on the data that is gathered, the experimental compounds will then be adjusted in time for the next scheduled Formula One test – the first of the 2012 season – which is due to be carried out at Jerez from February 7-9.
“Now that the season is virtually over, we’re already well underway with our preparations for 2012. We ran some experimental tyres on Friday in Abu Dhabi, and we’ll also be running some new tyres in Brazil. Together with the information we accumulate during the young driver test, we’re gathering plenty of data in preparation for next year, where we will see a reduction in lap times between the compounds to hopefully make racing even closer.
Although the young drivers don’t have the same experience as the regular drivers, this three-day test will be a good education for them. It’s also very important in terms of information-gathering, for both ourselves and the teams, as we aim to make the tyres an even more prominent feature of the action in 2012.”
Button happy to win 2011 McLaren Formula 1 points battle with Hamilton
Tuesday, 15 November 2011: Jenson Button has admitted he is happy to have won the inter-team battle at McLaren in 2011.
After his critics said he was entering the "lion's den" at the British Formula One team by pairing with Lewis Hamilton last year, Button has become the only driver in his team-mate's Formula 1 career to beat him in the end of season points standings.
"It's great to get more points than a team-mate who is so competitive," he admitted after sealing the achievement in Abu Dhabi on Sunday, despite Hamilton winning.
"You have to win races, you've got to get more points than your team-mate, consistently do a good job on race weekends," he added.
The duo are now tied on wins in 2011 with three apiece, and one race remaining in Brazil next weekend.
"I know them both well enough that they will want to be the driver who comes out of the year with four wins," said their team boss Martin Whitmarsh.
But for the second time in recent days, Hamilton disagreed with his boss.
"That's not the case," he insisted. "We both want to win, but it doesn't matter whether he gets it or I get it. We still end up on a high. That's my view."
And as for the inter-team battle, Hamilton added: "For me it's irrelevant if he (Button) has finished ahead of me because we want to win the championship."
Instead, he hopes to bounce back from his personal problems in 2012, by reinstalling a comfort "bubble" around him at Grands Prix in the form of his mother and brother.
"It was great having my mum in Abu Dhabi," said Hamilton. "It is difficult with my brother because he is racing all the time, but I would like to have him here more often."
Former McLaren driver and BBC commentator Martin Brundle admits he is not sure why that is so important to Hamilton.
"Frankly, I don't understand this concept that family and friends can or should make a difference to your on track performance," he said, "but I'm from a different generation and I never experienced the spotlight and pressure that the likes of Hamilton do."
Hamilton - Spooked form claim by McLaren Formula 1 team boss is rubbish
10 November 2011: [Hamilton] Lewis Hamilton has described as "rubbish" boss Martin Whitmarsh's claim that he has been spooked by the good form of Jenson Button this year.
McLaren principal Whitmarsh floated the Button explanation recently when contemplating Hamilton's uncharacteristically bad 2011 season.
But according to the BBC on Thursday, Briton Hamilton dismissed the theory that he has withered beneath Button's pressure as "rubbish" and suggested Whitmarsh might have been "misquoted".
"He (Whitmarsh) made some comments which I disagree with," he said. "It's rubbish.
"My issues have been much, much bigger than that, more personal," added Hamilton, who recently split with his pop star girlfriend Nicole Scherzinger.
He admitted however that his team-mate Button, 38 points and 3 places ahead in the drivers' standings, has a "great bubble" of support around him at Grands Prix, featuring his father, manager, friends and girlfriend.
"He's in a much stronger position than me so I wouldn't expect anything less than the results he's been getting," said Hamilton.
"I lost that (sort of) bubble. It is a priority for me to create that atmosphere around myself because it's a happy bubble."
Formula 1000 Championship Series: Shades of a junior Formula 1
By: Jim Freeman, Independent writer
The Formula 1000 Championship Series is shaping up to be one of the most influential junior auto racing series in North America. Not only is the Series run like that of the premier road racing series in the world. Formula 1, but one major factor is the low cost of participation by the teams. A very important piece of the puzzle in today’s economy.
Budgets for the Series are projected below $100,000 and that includes buying a car. Outside of club racing, this is unheard of. The Championship offers everything you would expect from a professional racing series; high-profile events in support of some of the most premier road racing series in the country and at some of the most prestigious tracks in North America, a significant prize purse and awards to the overall champion, worldwide exposure through webcasts of all races on SpeedcastTV and the potential of broadcast television exposure as well. Every aspect of this Championship is first-class.
The cars of the Formula 1000 Championship Series are the most advanced at this level of the sport with electronic paddle shifters, open aerodynamics and engines that scream at over 12,000 rpms. Another note is that this is not a spec series, in that there are numerous chassis and engine combinations that make up the field, which make for easy identification by the spectators.
As of November 1st, the Series has already received 18 registered drivers for the 2012 season, with several more expected before the season opener in March. The Championship features standing starts as in Formula 1, which adds just another area of excitement for the fans.
With several other junior league series floundering on the wayside, the Formula 1000 Championship is positioned to become the biggest thing to happen to junior open-wheel racing in a very long time. I can only imagine what 20 of these cars will sound like echoing throughout the tracks at which they participate.
Not part of the Road to Indy, The Formula 1000 Championship Series is geared more towards the advancement of young drivers into the European world of auto racing. The cars feature equipment geared towards European formula, however this can be a major step for a young driver in American open-wheel racing as well. If a driver can exceed in this Championship, there is no reason why they cannot advance to Indy Lights or other series here in the States.
The Series has procured numerous events for their 2012 schedule with a couple remaining to be set once the main events set their dates. I for one will be watching this Series with great intent and I fully expect to see some of the brightest future stars come out of this Championship.
2011 F-1 Season Pit Stop Analysis
2011-11-08 15:30 GMT The combination of DRS and Pirelli tyres has made 2011 a bumper year for Formula One, but not just in terms of on-track passing manoeuvres. The characteristics of the Pirelli tyres, designed to improve the racing, have also seen the total number of pit stops rise steeply - so far, there have been an average of 58 stops per race. Slick pit work has always been important in Formula One, but the frequency with which the pit crews have been in action this year has brought both speed and consistency to the fore.
How many pit stops have there been so far in the 2011 season?
There have been 1013 trips through the pits in the 17 races so far this season. Of these, 25 were accounted for by penalties - 21 drive-through and four stop-go's. This leaves the total number of pit stops in the 2011 season at 988
Which races saw the most number of pit stops, and which the fewest?
The races with the most pit stops were Hungary (85), Turkey (80) and Spain (77). The fewest stops were made in Italy (35), Monaco (41) and Australia (44).
What has been the incidence of drive-through and stop-go penalties?
A total of 25 penalties have been served during the races this season: 21 drive-through penalties and four stop-go penalties. The stewards have imposed a total of 49 penalties during the season, including eight reprimands and two exclusions. The offence which has occurred most often is that of 'Causing a collision', which has been penalised 12 times during the races.
How is pit stop speed measured?
Two separate factors can be evaluated when assessing pit stop speed: the 'wheel-stop' time, i.e. the time taken to change all four wheels from the point when the car reaches a standstill in the pits, and the total pit-lane time - i.e. the time between entering and leaving the speed-limited section of the pit lane. Teams measure wheel-stop times using in-house methods - and a stop below three seconds in race conditions is considered extremely competitive. The total pit-lane times are measured centrally, and therefore form the most reliable basis for comparison.
Who has recorded the fastest pit stops in 2011?
In 17 races, Red Bull has recorded the fastest individual stop on eight occasions. MERCEDES GP PETRONAS has done so seven times (including in three of the last four races), and McLaren and Ferrari once each. However, in order to build a complete picture of pit stop speed, the average pit stop time is more representative. The team calculates this using a method that discounts repair stops, which require different procedures and are not therefore 'clean' tyre changes. Additionally, stops carried out under the safety car are ignored if pit lane traffic significantly affected performance.
Who has completed the fastest stops on average this season?
Red Bull set the fastest average time of the weekend nine times (Malaysia, Turkey, Spain, Canada, Europe, Hungary, Belgium, Italy, India). MERCEDES GP PETRONAS did so five times (China, Germany, Singapore, Japan, Korea). McLaren has twice been fastest (Australia and Britain) and Force India once (Monaco). In seventeen races, the fastest single stop and the fastest average stops have been set by the same team nine times. Using the average stop-time calculations, an overall league table can be drawn up, reflecting the consistency in speed of each team.
After 17 races, it stands as follows:
Rank Team Time: 1 Red Bull Best 1 Mercedes GP Best 3 McLaren + 0.3s 4 Force India + 0.4s 5 Ferrari + 0.5s 6 Renault + 0.9s 7 Williams + 1.1s 8 Lotus + 1.3s 8 Sauber + 1.3s 8 Toro Rosso + 1.3s 11 Virgin + 1.6s 12 HRT + 3.2s
F1 : Formula 1 panel says no to customer cars but approve 2012 team names
04 November 2011: The unofficial news emerging from the Formula One Commission on Thursday was the approval of team name changes and the 2012 calendar(see below)
The sources, however, were much quieter about the big ticket discussion, the speculated liberalisation of the Concorde Agreement to allow the purchase and sale of full 'customer cars' between competing teams.
"In general, but not always, when a controversial topic is discussed by the Formula 1 Commission and the result is not immediately made public, then it has not been approved," wrote Livio Oricchio in his O Estado de S.Paulo column.
Indeed, Italy's Autosprint, also reporting after the Geneva meeting broke, thinks the most likely outcome for the future is a further tightening of the existing rules, which could endanger partnerships such as the one between McLaren and Force India.
Upon announcing the extension of its partnership with Williams on Thursday, for example, HRT F1 found the need to state explicitly that the gearbox and KERS deal "strictly follows the terms agreed in the Concorde Agreement".
The two teams "will compete independently in the Formula One constructors' championship", added the media statement.
Along with Ferrari, one team arguing in favour of customer cars is Toro Rosso, who last year was forced to become a full constructor despite previously enjoying a much closer collaboration with its parent Red Bull Racing.
"The precise cause of this change in regulation (in 2010) is hard to determine," team boss Franz Tost told Sportwoche.
"Today, we see big corporations working together, which from an economic perspective makes complete sense. But in Formula One a close collaboration between teams is not possible, which to me is absolutely the wrong way."
So for now, enhancing the Red Bull-Toro Rosso relationship will have to be done within the existing limits, with Tost revealing that "in the medium term it is our goal to have the same engine manufacturer (Renault) as Red Bull".
Currently, Toro Rosso is powered by Ferrari.
F1: Formula One panel approves name changes, 2012 calendar
04 November 2011: The F1 Commission on Thursday approved name changes for three Formula One teams ahead of the 2012 season.
Next year, Team Lotus will become Caterham, Renault will be called Lotus, and Virgin will adopt the name of its Russian supercar partner Marussia.
Brazilian Livio Oricchio wrote in his O Estado de S.Paulo column that the Renault team no longer has "anything to do with the French carmaker" and in fact owes money to the Boulogne-Billancourt marque.
And the Telegraph reports that although Virgin will now be known as Marussia, Sir Richard Branson's brand "will continue to pay money" to the team.
"As part of the new deal, believed to be for four years, Virgin will not have any equity but will continue to pay sponsorship", the report added.
The changes - voted on by the 26 members including Bernie Ecclestone, Jean Todt, race promoters, teams, manufacturers and sponsors - are pending the approval of the FIA's World Motor Sport Council meeting in December.
Also discussed in Geneva was the 2012 calendar, with events in Austin, Korea and Bahrain reportedly in doubt and Turkey apparently hoping to slot back in with a reduced sanctioning fee.
But a source close to Texas' scheduled 2012 US Grand Prix reports that the F1 Commission confirmed next year's calendar as originally published by the FIA.
Team Lotus sign American Alexander Rossi for Abu Dhabi test
11/03/2011: Alexander Rossi will have a busy end to the 2011 season, competing for Caterham team AirAsia in the forthcoming GP2 Finale in Abu Dhabi and then taking part in the F1 Young Driver Test for the GP2 team’s senior counterparts Team Lotus.
The GP2 Series newcomer showed great pace in both recent GP2 tests at Barcelona and Jerez and finished the final test session P2 after just three days in the new car. The team have high hopes for the young American who adapted very quickly, proving he could be a contender in the GP2 2011 Finale race Abu Dhabi, 11th – 13th November. He will also be given the chance to take the next step up to F1 with one full day in the post-F1 race at the Yas Marina Circuit, taking place from 15th – 17th November.
Team Principal Riad Asmat: “We are very excited to have Alexander Rossi back onboard for the Abu Dhabi GP2 race and the subsequent F1 test. He worked very well with the GP2 team during the tests in Spain and it will be great to continue that working relationship in addition to giving him more exposure to the F1 environment with Team Lotus. He has shown maturity and confidence on track so the decision to put him in the car for the GP2 Finale was a simple one to make and we want to give him the chance to experience the pressure of an F1 environment so the young driver test is the natural place to give him that chance. We are all looking forward to both events and I am sure he will perform to the best of his ability whenever he is on track.”
Caterham Team AirAsia Team Manager Phill Spencer: “I am very happy Alexander will be joining our GP2 team again in Abu Dhabi. He has shown great potential in the car and built up a good rapport with the team and especially his engineer during the post season tests. We have come a long way since the beginning of this year, it has been a roller coaster season with some highs and lows but I feel confident that with Alexander we can finish 2011 on a positive note.”
Alexander Rossi: “I am very excited to finally announce I will be competing in Abu Dhabi with Caterham Team AirAsia and will have the chance to put more F1 miles on my CV with Team Lotus. After the positive GP2 tests in Jerez and Barcelona I feel we have a good chance of a strong result in the GP2 races and I will definitely be going into the weekend fully focused and motivated for a race win - looking at the team’s past results I see no reason why we can’t achieve that. For the F1 test I will be looking to learn as much as possible, do the best job I can and soak up every minute, in and out of the car.
“The Yas Marina circuit is really pretty impressive. The track itself has some quite slow corners and not a great deal of overtaking opportunities, but it seems to combine a road course with a circuit course. In the first two sectors you can be quite brave with what you’re doing but in the marina section there’s very little run-off area as the walls are really close, so you have to restrain yourself somewhat. Every lap requires two different driving styles and that in itself makes it fun and very interesting to race for both the drivers and the engineers.”
HRT extends Williams F1 gearbox deal
11/03/2011: HRT Formula One Team has extended its existing deal with Williams F1 for the supply of its gearboxes until the end of the 2012 season. The team is not ruling out a further extension after that. The new deal also provides for a greater technical collaboration that should contribute to improving the performance level of HRT F1 Team.
Besides providing the latest technology in gearboxes, Williams F1 will also supply the team with KERS and its related technology for the first time in the Spanish team’s history.
The collaboration with Williams F1 highlights the team’s commitment to stability and development for next season’s car, the F112, which the team has been working on over the past few months from its technical office in Munich. The team’s design centre houses over 60 people, both in DO and aerodynamics’ departments, working under the supervision of Jacky Eeckelaert and aerodynamicist, Stephane Chosse. A team which will continue to grow in the forthcoming weeks.
The deal with Williams F1 strictly follows the terms agreed in the Concorde Agreement and both teams will compete independently in the Formula 1 Constructors’ Championship.
Colin Kolles, HRT Team Principal: “In these past two years we have established a fruitful collaboration with Williams F1 and are pleased to continue having them play an important role in the development of our team. Apart from the experience we have accumulated in these years together, they will not only provide us with the latest technology in gearboxes but we will also reap the benefits of having KERS for next year, this being an important step for our team.
We have grown as a team with Williams F1’s support and we are pleased to continue counting on them in the future, given their trajectory, prestige and renowned experience in Formula 1. This agreement strengthens the development of the 2012 car that is currently taking place at our technical office in Munich. At HRT we are working on thoroughly improving the performance of our cars and our target is still to finish in the top ten in 2012. This deal brings us one step closer to that objective”.
Alex Burns, Williams F1 CEO: "I am delighted that we are extending our agreement with HRT, in both its scope and duration. We have enjoyed a good working relationship with HRT in 2011 and look forward to continuing this in 2012 and beyond. The fact that they have selected Williams F1's gearbox and KERS technology for their car is a credit to all of the Williams F1 people involved in our cost-effective engineering and manufacturing in these areas."
Vettel wins #11 to take F1 Grand Slam
October 30th 2011: Formula One result from the race in New Delhi - Sebastian Vettel in the Red Bull took another lights to flag win, looking good to equal Michael Schumacher’s record of race wins in a year, recording the fastest race lap and in the process setting a new record for most laps led in an F1 season to pass Nigel Mansell's 692 laps led from 1992, a Grand Slam in F1 terms, pole position, fastest lap and victory.
Jenson Button brought his McLaren home in second, combined with Lewis Hamilton's race points, secures second place in the 2011 constructors' title, Fernando Alonso in the Ferrari Italia 150 completed the podium trio.
Weather: Dry | Air: 31ºC | Track: 38ºC | Humidity: 19%
1 1 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull 2 4 Jenson Button McLaren +8.4s 3 5 Fernando Alonso Ferrari +24.3s 4 2 Mark Webber Red Bull +25.5s 5 7 Michael Schumacher Mercedes GP +65.4s 6 8 Nico Rosberg Mercedes GP +66.8s 7 3 Lewis Hamilton McLaren +84.1s 8 19 Jaime Alguersuari Toro Rosso +1 lap 9 14 Adrian Sutil Force India +1 lap 10 17 Sergio Perez Sauber F1 +1 lap 11 10 Vitaly Petrov Lotus Renault +1 lap 12 9 Bruno Senna Lotus Renault +1 lap 13 15 Paul di Resta Force India +1 lap 14 20 Heikki Kovalainen Team Lotus +2 lap 15 11 Rubens Barrichello Williams F1 +2 lap 16 25 Jerome d'Ambrosio Marussia Virgin +3 lap 17 22 Narain Karthikeyan HRT F1 +3 lap 18 23 Daniel Ricciardo HRT F1 +3 lap 19 21 Jarno Trulli Team Lotus +5 lap Ret. 6 Felipe Massa Ferrari +28 laps Ret. 18 Sebastien Buemi Toro Rosso +36 laps Ret. 12 Pastor Maldonado Williams F1 +48 laps Ret. 24 Timo Glock Marussia Virgin +58 laps Ret. 16 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber F1 +60 laps
Today is a fantastic performance, It is great to be winning the first ever Grand Prix of India. To put this arena so well is fantastic. Whole in one it is fantastic. The country is impressive and inspiring if you keep your eyes and your ears open. It looks very different and in the end it is a great country. I want to thank everyone for our win. It has been achieved thanks to the whole team, thanks to Renault. Thanks a lot to India. I am happy and proud to be part of a first successful event sold out.
It is the first Grand Prix of India. I am very happy to be the first driver to win the Indian Grand Prix. We pray that every time nothing happens as Marco Simoncelli and Dan Wheldon disappeared last weekend and we will never forget these young committed two drivers.
The car is fantastic. The team is enjoying the performance. We enjoy every lap of the race and every race. When I walk in the garage, I see that the guys are working very hard. We are still hungry. We are not loosing any motivation We do not want to end this win. We should not forget how quickly this can come to an end. But we are really happy about this day.
It is a fantastic achievement. Thanks India and I am looking at the two next races. I have great motivations and the best thing that could have happened to me is to have won today. Motivation is fantastic. The circuit helped. It is very challenging. It is very easy to go over the limit and to end up in the dust. Then you have to fight your way back. It is not so easy with traffic. Obviously you want to get through with a great car.
The start was important. I was focusing a lot on turn 3. It was crucial to have a clean exit. I was able to pull away in the first laps. Jenson pitted. We had to react. The second sting was more tricky to manage. The tires were a bit of an issue. But I found the rhythm again. After Jenson pitted, we reacted the lap after. Then I was able to push. Of course there is no trophy for fastest lap. We wanted to have Jenson in the mirrors and that is where we kept him.
I love India and the people of India. I kept my eyes opened and appreciated the visit to the Taj Mahal that I did. It was an inspiration and something I would never forget. A great circuit. Our job about racing: the circuit is fantastic. Great to be here and this is one of the race that will be settling very quickly and we will be very happy to come back. We all enjoyed it and will be happy to be back.
It is a good sign. Incredible India. I agree. Expectations were not very clear. I took a bit of time to discover the country. It is different to imagine. It is a country interesting to travel around. Some things you have to be used to. The people are very helpful friendly and it is a good thing.
It is always clear than when there is a new track there are many questions to answer. Like tire choice. We knew about the soft tires. We were not sure if we had to pit twice or three times. These days we get an idea about the track. It is different when it is new. We have more data for next year and we can understand more for the car and for the set-up. It is more difficult for strategy, set-up when the track is new. As of now, our life will be a lot easier.
I am fantastically happy. I got a good start and then I was trying to match Sebastian’s pace. I felt very good and as soon as Sebastian was in the rhythm
Yesterday I had a disaster in qualifying but it was a good race It was a tough weekend last week with two fatalities. I knew Dan very well. It is a very sad race. I think we should dedicate this race to Marco and Dan.
I had Mark behind me. I was able to pull away. It was a fun race. We did a good job. The pace is not quite there. But we will make up.
The race was very different. I had a good start and then it was about judging where to put the car on turn 3. You have to be very careful where to put the car on turn 3. Mark pushed me very hard. We had a go on turn 4. In the end it was tricky. The guys on the team did a tremendous pit stop. The pace was good. But when Sebastian was in the rhythm, we could not touché him. We did not have the pace.
It is a very special circuit. I hope we put on a great show. The people are really getting into the action. It is fantastic.
I hope that Sebastian is not untouchable. He is difficult to challenge. We tried everything today. But Sebastian and Red Bull were untouchable. We hope we can challenge him.
I want to congratulate the team for winning the second place for constructor. This means we are strong for the next two races. I am very excited with the challenge from Abu Dhabi and Brazil. This is very exciting. Second in the championship...you beat everyone except one person and this is the person that you want to be...
I am very pleased with this podium. It is fantastic to be on the podium on occasion of a first ever Grand Prix. As for us at Ferrari, we did dot make the perfect start. We did not start on the clean side. We lost a few positions. The second pit stop was a bit complicated as we did two extra laps. The hard tires were not as good as the stops. The team did the right call. We were calm and we tried to take the advantage from the extra two laps.
In the last stint it was a bit of a question mark. Even if we were third at that point of the race, we were not sure how it would go. If more laps, the podium would have been more difficult. I am so pleased to be on the podium for this first ever race in India. Mixed Feelings after sad days for motorsports with two fatalities and we will remember these two fantastic friends. The start was not perfect. After that I tried to recover. I lost a little bit more. But overall, this did not compromise the race.
But I want to thank my mechanics. Thanks to the whole team, we have had fantastic performance today. We have had a great day today. The circuit was fantastic for 60 laps. It is very nice to drive. It was a narrow line from normal line. It will improve. The circuit has a bit of everything: Hairpin, good start. Two DRS zone which worked OK with more overtaking possibilities and a good combination of corners in 5th and 6th gear which we love to drive.
Passionate people came for the race. It is what we need. Already the level is very hard. So congratulations. When you host a first race, there are things that will improve. The paddock is working, but next year it will be every be better. Electricity for instance that was not working so well on Thursday.
The circuit itself will improve too. There was too much sand the first day. Now the circuit is in a very good conditions. There were a bit of issued on the kerb with my team-mate, there will be a better solution on this subject to avoid any risk or any accident. Little things!
Two races left and 13 points away from Jenson. There are 50 points still available in the last two races of the season. Finishing second is better than fifth...But it is not a big priority for us to get a better position in the championship. This season, I will remember my win in Silverstone or a few great podiums. But once the championship is not in our hand... what can we do? The team worked well on my car. car, team, me... my priority will be 2012!
Source: FIA and Quotes courtesy Agnes Carlier
India qualifying result - Sebastian Vettel takes pole #13
October 29th 2011 08:04 Formula One result from the qualifying sessions in New Delhi - On a very slippery surface and a quickly evolving track, Sebastian Vettel in the Red Bull secured pole position for the 13th time this season and the 28th in his career as the yellow flags came out for the Ferrari of Felipe Massa who exceeded the design capabilities of the Italia 150 suspension when he took too much kerb and broke off the right front wheel and headed for the yellow DHL advertisement on the barriers.
Mark Webber completed the Red Bull front row grid lock-out with Lewis Hamilton, despite posting the second fastest time, getting demoted three places following his penalty from Friday.
Fernando Alonso qualified fourth, but starts from third, Jenson Button starts fourth with the fifth fastest time, escaping a penalty after setting his quickest lap as the Ferrari, which was sixth fastest, was heading off track, the yellow warning lights turning on as the Briton passed the scene of the Brazilians driver error.
Nico Rosberg in the Mercedes GP was seventh fastest, followed by Adrian Sutil in the Force India, the two Scuderia Toro Rosso drivers Sebastien Buemi and Jaime Alguersuari, the penalised Vitaly Petrov in the Lotus Renault and Michael Schumacher, unhappy with his performance today.
Ecclestone - Formula 1 should have even more races in the United States
October 28th, 2011 09:02: The championship should drop some more European Formula One races and replace them with events in the USA, Bernie Ecclestone said.
The sport's Chief Executive confirmed to reporters in India that, by 2013, Formula One will have three North American races, two in the US and one in Canada.
Asked if the New York race endangers the Austin round, he is quoted by Auto Motor und Sport: "Not as far as I know.
"We used to have three or four races in America, so we need two more. It is a big country. We have nine races in Europe and America is about the same size. "So maybe we should have four in Europe and four in America," he said.
At the same time, the 81 year old admitted that with Korea wanting to downsize its annual sanctioning fee, that event could be dropped.
"There are lots of things in life you can't afford, and you don't have to have them," said the Briton. "It (Korea) was strange. They didn't really get behind it."
Ecclestone said the Formula 1 calendar is unlikely to expand beyond 20 races, but said Spain will continue to host two races in Barcelona and Valencia. He also expressed disappointment that one of his favourite drivers Karun Chandhok is not racing in India this weekend.
"I thought he had signed a contract for it," said Ecclestone.
Future New York Formula 1 street race to be called America Grand Prix
Tuesday, 25 October 2011: The second USA race on the 2013 Formula One calendar could be called the American Grand Prix, it has emerged.
The sport and New Jersey are expected to jointly announce on Tuesday that a street race on the Hudson River, with New York's famous Manhattan skyline in the background, will take place.
The Associated Press cited an unnamed official as revealing that the tentative name for the event is the 'Grand Prix of America'.
That is because the more familiar United States Grand Prix title is already assigned to the 2012 event scheduled to take place on a bespoke circuit in Austin, Texas.
"It (the news) is incredible," said West New York mayor Felix Roque, according to the BBC. "This is going to be an economic boom for this whole region."
The USA has been absent from the Formula 1 calendar since Lewis Hamilton won the last race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in 2007.
Death of racer Dan Wheldon in IndyCar makes waves in Formula 1 world
Tuesday, 18 October 2011 08:07 The death of IndyCar driver Dan Wheldon is making waves even in the world of Formula One.
As a Briton and a former track rival of contemporaries including Jenson Button, the 33 year old was well known in the Formula 1 paddock and his death has been felt as a big blow.
Not surprisingly, Formula One figures suggest IndyCar has a lot to learn from Formula 1.
"It is the most dangerous form of motor racing at the moment," 1979 World Champion Jody Scheckter, who wants his son Tomas to quit IndyCar, told the BBC.
Also criticised since the crash has been the small size of the Las Vegas speedway, the large number of competing cars, the skills of some of the drivers and the very nature of high speed oval racing.
Former Super Aguri driver Anthony Davidson, a former junior rival of Wheldon's, said: "The safety record in IndyCar is not good and I would never drive there. It's just not worth it. The cars are agricultural."
Agreed David Coulthard, who moved to German touring cars after retiring from Formula 1 in 2008, in his Telegraph column: "I could have moved my family over there and made a life for myself in the United States.
"But the risk to reward ratio was simply too high for me. Formula one, I felt, was at an acceptable level but IndyCar was, and is, probably 20 years behind Formula 1 in terms of safety."
Added 1992 World Champion Nigel Mansell: "Formula one does an exemplary job."
Coulthard added: "With any luck it (Wheldon's death) will spur on the IRL to improve its safety record. Say what you like about Max Mosley but one thing that we in Formula One must all thank him for was his response to (the deaths at) Imola in 1994."
Jackie Stewart agreed: "I think there needs to be more discipline by the (IndyCar) governing body. If drivers do consistently collide with each other, there should be heavier penalties."
British Racing Drivers' Club President Derek Warwick said: "They need to understand the quality of the drivers that are in the field as well.
"With Formula One the drivers are all great drivers who have won championships from working their way up from Formula 3 to GP2 before they get a super licence to be able to race.
"I sometimes question the depth of talent in IndyCar races and that will lead to inexperience and the inexperienced generally end up having accidents. They need to tweak what they're doing a little bit," said the 162 Grand Prix veteran.
Former McLaren driver Mark Blundell, who has also raced in America, added: "These kinds of cars shouldn't have been running on these kinds of circuits."
Stewart told Sky Sports: "It was such high speed on such a small track with too many cars together and not that many top racing drivers in there.
"It may be that we have to have smaller engines with smaller horsepower and slower speeds in IndyCar racing."
But Johnny Herbert, who flirted with a switch to America after retiring from Formula 1 in 2000, thinks IndyCar fatalities are inevitable.
"They will continue as long as this extreme form of motor sport exists," the Briton wrote in his column for The National.
"The tremendous speed at which the cars travel, while separated by inches on those steep oval tracks, means you will likely see more deaths, no matter what safety measures are implemented."
Petrov handed 5 place Indian Formula 1 grid penalty for Schumacher crash
Sunday, 16 October 2011 12:43 For causing the accident that took Michael Schumacher out of the Grand Prix in Korea, Russian Lotus Renault GP racer Vitaly Petrov was given a five place grid penalty for the Indian Formula One Grand Prix in a fortnight.
While in a passing attempt on the Ferrari of Fernando Alonso in the DRS zone at the Yeongam circuit, and then subsequently defending against the Spaniard re-passing into Turn 3, Petrov was going too fast, out-braked himself and drove straight into the back of the Mercedes MGP W02 of Michael Schumacher dislodging the rear wing of the silver car, knocking off the front wing of the R31 and narrowly missing the Italia 150 on the outside of the bend.
The Russian driver was also given a reprimand by the race stewards.
The race stewards also dished out a 5000 Euro fine to the HRT F1 team for an unsafe release of Australian rookie Daniel Ricciardo following a tyre change pit stop. (Race Control message - 15h47: Incident involving car 22 under investigation for an unsafe release from pit stop)
Red Bull secures 2011 Formula 1 constructor title with tenth Vettel win
Sunday, 16 October 2011 09:59 His run of Formula One pole positions ended in Korea, but the newly crowned back to back World Champion Sebastian Vettel on Sunday returned to the top step of the podium.
"Ten wins (in 2011) my friends!" the German said on the radio after greeting the chequered flag 12 seconds ahead of Lewis Hamilton, who was wearing a better mood than after securing pole 24 hours earlier.
"It was a good result for me after the races I've had lately," said the McLaren driver.
Sunday's result means Red Bull has clinched its second consecutive constructors' crown.
"I want to also say a lot of thanks to Renault, the engine this year has been faultless," said Vettel, on the day Red Bull announced the deepening of its sponsor deal with Japanese car maker Infiniti, a sister marque.
Button wins the battle in Japan
but Vettel wins the war with his 2nd Formula 1 championship title
Sunday, 09 October 2011 10:02 Jenson Button won the Japanese Formula One Grand Prix but, as the Suzuka spectator's sign confirmed, "Today is Vettel's day".“This was a hard race, the last five or six laps were extremely tough, I had to really look after the tyres and try to save a bit of fuel to get the car home, but it was an amazing victory.
“Sebastian [Vettel] came across at me on the start, he kept coming and didn’t stop, so I got on the grass and had to back out of the throttle, otherwise there would’ve been an almighty shunt into Turn One. He said he didn’t see me until he saw me backing out, so that lost me a place.
“But fighting back was so, so satisfying: the performance has been in the car all weekend. It’s such an emotional victory for me: there’s so much history at this circuit, and the crowd here has been amazing, this is second only to a home victory for me.
“I want to thank every single person here in Japan who’s supported us, hopefully we’ve planted a happy memory in their minds, because a lot of Japan has been through difficult times this year. We did our best and we put on a fantastic show.
“Seb has done a great job all season and he deserved the title. He was given the equipment and just got on and did what was required of him. But, for us, there’s still more that we can achieve this year: I’d love to go out and fight to win the next few races, and I think we have the car and the team to go and do that. We’ll keep pushing and hope to get some more wins this year, but we’re also in a very good place right now, and I think that’s key to success in 2012.”
Reigning World Champion Sebastian Vettel mathematically clinched his second consecutive title by finishing third, also behind Fernando Alonso.
"We would have loved to win it but Sebastian is World Champion," said Red Bull team boss Christian Horner on BBC television.
Vettel, despite failing to win a fourth consecutive race on the trot, was emotional as he thanked his team in the post race press conference: "Sorry this (speech) is so long," smiled the 24 year old German.“A lot of people have been quite confident about the title, but one of the important things was that we didn’t allow ourselves to drift away with the thought too much.
"Instead we concentrated on every single step and everything we have done this year and everything we have achieved, then wow. I want to thank all the guys and girls in the factory in Milton Keynes, as it’s not just us here pushing very hard, it’s them as well, from the post office to the design office to the engineering office here at the track, their effort is just incredible. It’s hard to imagine you know, we have two cars and two drivers only and we carry that weight on our shoulders every time we go on track.
"Sometimes we don’t treat the cars as good as we should, but we always try to get every single bit out of them every race weekend. But it’s phenomenal what’s happened, we set ourselves the target to win the Championship this year and so, to win it by Japan with four more races to go, is difficult to put into words, it’s as confusing as the first one. I never imagined I would win one Championship and so to win this second one is amazing.
"I have a lot of good memories from Formula One, from watching it when I was young, to now and I feel fortunate and blessed to experience today. There were so many excited people when we did the drivers’ parade today and that was my last thought when I put my helmet on.
"For drivers, it doesn’t get much better than this, a sunny day and all the fans excited to see what you do, I think that’s what life is about. And so, to wrap up the Championship here is difficult to put into words, it’s more than fantastic.”
Source: FIA, McLaren Media, Red Bull Racing Media
Force India not for sale
Statement from Dr. Vijay Mallya, Chairman & Team Principal, Force India Formula One Team Ltd.
New Delhi October 7, 2011: Dr. Vijay Mallya: "I was shocked to read a media report that I am selling the Force India Formula One team. This is completely untrue and without any basis whatsoever. I take great pride in having been able to put an Indian team on the Formula One World Championship grid and have worked very hard to greatly improve the performance of the team. Now that India is finally on the Formula One World Championship calendar, my commitment to Force India becomes even stronger. As Team Principal, I will continue to run the team and I have no plans whatsoever to exit.”
Source: Force India
F1: Mclaren builds for the future by re-signing Jenson Button to new multi-year contract
Vodafone McLaren Mercedes is delighted to confirm that it has re-signed 2009 Formula 1 world champion Jenson Button to a new multi-year contract.
Jenson's re-signing is a move that will strengthen Vodafone McLaren Mercedes' long-term stability as it continues to grow and develop its race-winning form into further world championship successes.
Jenson Button said: "I've never felt more at home at a team than I do at Vodafone McLaren Mercedes. "I've won four of the greatest races of my life here, I'm currently lying second in the drivers' world championship, and I feel that I'm driving better than ever.
"You can only achieve that with the right level of support - and I truly believe that the passion and determination to win are stronger here at Vodafone McLaren Mercedes than anywhere else.
"As a grand prix driver, those are incredibly powerful feelings to share and be part of, and they've only reinforced my desire to commit my long-term future to this team. I've made no secret of my ambition to continue winning races and world championships, and I fully believe this is the place where I can achieve those aims.
"We at Vodafone McLaren Mercedes know how to win, and we're busy refining an organisation that will enable us to keep on doing that for years to come."
Lewis Hamilton said: "It's great news that Jenson has chosen to stay with Vodafone McLaren Mercedes. Jenson has been a great person to work with, and a genuine team-player, from the moment we welcomed him on board.
"Vodafone McLaren Mercedes is a team with a unique and successful tradition in Formula 1, which I'm proud to be part of. It was the best moment of my career when I won the drivers' world championship with this team. Jenson and I are as hungry and as ambitious as ever to win races and world championships in the future."
Vodafone McLaren Mercedes Team Principal Martin Whitmarsh said: "Jenson is a great driver and a great guy. In fact, I can safely say that he's one of the most capable and respected drivers we've ever had, and I'm therefore absolutely delighted that he'll continue to work with us into the future.
"He's a considerable credit to this organisation, and I'm proud to be his Team Principal. "I feel sure that he'll now build on the considerable success he's already achieved with us, and will be even more successful with us in years to come.
"I think he and Lewis say it better than anyone. Their comments show just how much they respect and trust each other, and they once again continue to prove what we as a team have always known: that Vodafone McLaren Mercedes has the very best driver line-up in all of Formula 1."
Source: Vodafone McLaren Mercedes
F1: Drivers ask for Hamilton discussion at Suzuka
Formula One drivers have asked to discuss Lewis Hamilton's recent driving during a meeting ahead of the Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka.
That is the claim of Italian specialist magazine Autosprint after the McLaren driver's latest run-in last weekend in Singapore, where Felipe Massa physically confronted the Briton.
Ferrari's Massa sarcastically suggested 26-year-old Hamilton should call upon his father for help, while Anthony Hamilton blamed a failure of support by his son's new management led by entertainment agent Simon Fuller.
Former driver Hans-Joachim Stuck, meanwhile, has suggested Hamilton needs a "therapist", while David Coulthard thinks he needs a wise manager like Martin Brundle.
"It doesn't have to be a manager necessarily," the Scot wrote in the Telegraph, "but you need someone to be able to sit down and talk to you with complete honesty. To tell you you're being an idiot."
Autosprint claims Hamilton's rivals have asked FIA race director Charlie Whiting to allow a conversation about his overly aggressive driving style during the Suzuka briefing.
McLaren team boss Martin Whitmarsh acknowledged 2011 has "not been a good season for Lewis Hamilton" but said the tone of the latest criticism "is wrong".
"Lewis is still a young guy, he is learning and he will learn from all of this. He will win races and I am sure he is going to win more championships," he added.
Source: Global Motorsport Media press release
F1 : 2011 Singapore Formula 1 race result – Vettel 1 step closer to title #2
Sunday, 25 September 2011 11:02
Formula One result from the race in Marina Bay - Sebastian Vettel cruised to a comfortable win in a clear demonstration of the superiority of the Red Bull RB7 and the talent befitting a reigning Formula One champion on his way to securing a second drivers' title.
A late charge by Jenson Button took the supremely fit Briton in the McLaren closer to the leader, but traffic in the form of two battling Williams drivers in the final laps halted his ambitions of repeating his Canadian good fortune, giving him his fourth consecutive podium.
The sister Red Bull of Australian Mark Webber passed the chequered flag in third, Fernando Alonso in the Ferrari ended off the podium in Singapore for the first time in 4 years, while Lewis Hamilton fought his way back through the field after a coming together with the Ferrari of Brazilian Felipe Massa cost him a front wing change and a drive-through penalty.
Paul Di Resta, the last man on the lead lap, again showed his top talent confirming his unofficial title of "rookie of the year" when he brought his Force India VJM04 home in sixth.
The Safety Car came out mid-way through the race after Michael Schumacher misjudged the gap and touched the rear tyre of the Sergio Perez Sauber launching the Mercedes spectacularly into the air and coming down with a hard impact into the trackside barrier.
Weather: Dry | Air: 31ºC | Track: 32ºC | Humidity: 69%
1 1 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull 2 4 Jenson Button McLaren +1.7s 3 2 Mark Webber Red Bull +29.2s 4 5 Fernando Alonso Ferrari +55.4s 5 3 Lewis Hamilton McLaren +67.7s 6 15 Paul di Resta Force India +43.3s 7 8 Nico Rosberg Mercedes GP +1 lap 8 14 Adrian Sutil Force India +1 lap 9 6 Felipe Massa Ferrari +1 lap 10 17 Sergio Perez Sauber F1 +1 lap 11 12 Pastor Maldonado Williams F1 +1 lap 12 18 Sebastien Buemi Red Bull +1 lap 13 11 Rubens Barrichello Williams F1 +1 lap 14 16 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber F1 +2 laps 15 9 Bruno Senna Lotus Renault +2 laps 16 20 Heikki Kovalainen Team Lotus +2 laps 17 10 Vitaly Petrov Lotus Renault +2 laps 18 25 Jerome d'Ambrosio Marussia Virgin +2 laps 19 22 Daniel Ricciardo HRT F1 +4 laps 20 23 Vitantonio Liuzzi HRT F1 +4 laps 21 19 Jaime Alguersuari Red Bull +5 laps Ret. 21 Jarno Trulli Team Lotus +14 laps Ret. 7 Michael Schumacher Mercedes GP +33 laps Ret. 24 Timo Glock Marussia Virgin +52 laps
Singapore, Another pole and another victory, I am so pleased with the result. There is no room for mistake. There are so many moments where you should make a decision really quickly. We could pull the gap quite easily. It was easy with 30 laps to go after the safety car. I could get back in the rhythm straight away. It was quite busy around here the whole race.
You loose quite a lot of time at the restart. I was in control. Fantastic result. I really love the track and the challenge. The car was fantastic. Engine wise everything worked well and Renault did a fantastic job.
Qualifying, the race , everything worked out, for the championship we will have another chance next time. I had a tear on the podium, but also something in my eye. But I really love the track here. Last year I had a great battle with Fernando and Finished second. So it is great to come back and to have a win.
It is nice that you cross the line and that you know that you have done your best. In the heat we kept our head cool. A perfect day in the office if I may say. The car was great.
I was surprised that I was able to pull away that much. It put us in a very comfortable position. In the second sting we had a bit gap again. The safety car did not make our life easy. But it was not a big problem. I had a nice smooth race and used DRS when I had to.
We were in a luxury position really today. We were very comfortable with our car much quicker than behind. It was hard to pace yourself and think that you have to take care of the tyres. In the end, we did the right calls especially with the traffic and you may sacrifice a couple of seconds to make sure that you do not compromise your race and that there is no misunderstanding.
This win means a lot to me, it is a great result, just well done and great, I am very pleased with my win, we are all pulling in the same direction, it is a fantastic situation.
I feel capable of course to score one point. But I still have to do it. With the quality of races we had until now... statistically the chances are on our side, but you can never write the story before it is written.
I have not thought of anything else than racing in this race. I made it clear what I wanted in the race. Win. A bit similar to Abu Dhabi. I just know my target was to win. It is good to achieve that target.
The race was in control. When I face traffic, I face traffic. I know I have to take my time and we loose the same time. Jenson just the same. We had the same gap. I took it easy with the traffic. You never know what these guys are fighting for. It is difficult to know what they are after. So it is important to have everything under control. No risk necessary.
My season when I look back is not “magic”. It has been an incredible year and record in terms of reliability whether car or engine. Nothing went wrong with the car so far. Everything has been coming together as we wished it to happen. We enjoyed every moment of the season and we hope that it will continue.
We all coming to Singapore and to Asia. The excitement is great in Singapore and in Asia and people and spectators get hooked to Formula 1. It is spectacular to see the car so close at a venue like Singapore. There are lots of concerts. It is spectacular to come here.
We all enjoy events like Singapore. Once we are racing, we cannot see the people. But we are able in the driver’s parade. People are standing up and cheering for us. We are privileged to be part of that. This enthusiasm makes our job very enjoyable.
In the pit stop I avoided an accident. It was more of a misunderstanding than anything else and I saw the lights and the lollipop in the pits. I back off and it was all right.
Great result to be second here. Most drivers were perfect. Some drivers were frustrating like Kobayashi. But when it gets to the last lap, we know that they are pushing hard. We can forgive them. I lost a bit of time behind Kobayashi. The traffic is disappointing overall.
I spent over a lap behind Kobayashi. There is no real reason. This is something we need to solve for the future. But I did not take any risks and when I was able to push on the tyres it was fantastic and a good finish and good points for the next race. I had a great start. A good launch. Then I had a bit of trouble. We were not too sure where to go.
I am pretty happy to be second. I know it was going to be long. I had not driven the car on full tanks all weekend. I did not want to damage the tyres. I was comfortable after ten laps. Our pace was very good. But it was difficult to close on Seb.
He was just too quick. My pace was not quick enough. I was always careful with fuel till the last sting. I could not have done any quicker. I enjoyed it and we had to have a go. My pace was good but we can’t challenge the red bulls. They are too quick. We know we’ve got to work if we want to improve in the next five races.
It was pretty messy on the track. If you pick up loads of debris or if you run wide you end up in the wall. You are always very close on walls and barriers. Ending on a high is good for us.
This race we have been on the pace compared to the RED BULL: This circuit shows a good car. Our pace was better here. We have been lapping cars. The difference in the field is incredible.
Suzuka is tough. Red bulls are always fast . But our cars in high speed corners are much better than they used to be. We can give the RED BULLS a good challenge again in Suzuka.
Great battle with Fernando Alonso. I am pleased for the team to be on the same podium with Sebastian Vettel. In the end, I lost a bit, but Seb has a great win. It is great to be on the podium. It is a charming venue here in Singapore. It is nice for the guys of the team to have such a good result and I want to thank them all for a great job here.
The battle was enjoyable, but it was a difficult start. We need to continue work on the starts. Ultimately it cost me a position today. Today we deserve our positions. It was a good battle. I enjoyed the restart also. We went for the softs and had traffic.
In the end, third is not too bad. Sooner or later I want to be on the second step. But we’ve got a very good result here tonight. That is all we can do. I enjoy Suzuka, it is a great track. It is a great venue. I also am looking forward to India. We’ve got to execute the remaining of the plan.