Thursday, 29 December 2011

Alonso Still Says Schumacher The Man To Beat

Fernando Alonso was asked by TotalRace who he would like to challenge, either in kart racing, street cars or Formula 1. The Spaniard without hesitation replied "I would choose Michael Schumacher, who will always be a champion for all of us, because we respect a a driver who was seven times world champion. He is a driver who has nothing more to prove and was always very fast."

42 year old Schumacher has not made it to the podium since his comeback began in 2010 but Alonso blames it on the under performing Mercedes car. "We know that in Formula 1, the car is the most important part and we know that Mercedes did not have a very good year," says Alonso.

"But I believe that if they have a competitive car, capable of winning races, both [Nico] Rosberg and Michael can be favorites. We have to respect them," adds the Ferrari driver.

Watch Schumacher race Sebastian Vettel at this years Race Of Champions to see if Alonso is talking much sense!

Was This The Day Alguersuari Blew It

An extract from the Formula One Season Review 2011 has been put forward by Spanish media as the day Jamie Alguersuari blew his chances of another season in F1 at Toro Rosso. The footage was recorded in the Toro Rosso pits during Saturday practice at Korea in October and was not shown on the FOM TV feed at the time.

It shows Alguersuari, being told off by Red Bull team consultant Helmut Marko who is the manager of the company's driver programme, with team boss Franz Tost onlooking. As can be seen by the video, Marko is raging with 21 year old Alguersuari, not just for holding up senior team Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel on a flying lap, but also for not accepting the rebuke.

A perplexed Marko says "did you see whats coming behind you" with Alguersuari replying "I saw" but then sarcastically inquiring if he has to move out of the way "every single lap" After a further brief exchange the conversation ends with Marko saying "no that's unacceptable" then turning to team boss Tost saying "Franz talk to him" before a final wave of the hand at Spaniard Alguersuari while adding "we don't accept that"

Saturday, 24 December 2011

Happy Christmas From The F1 Drivers

Christmas video messages from some of the Formula 1 drivers. F1revs also wishes everyone a Merry Christmas and a happy new year!

Ferrari's Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa Christmas message.

Season's greetings from the Sauber F1 Team with Kamui Kobayashi, Sergio Perez and Esteban Gutièrrez.

Red Bull's Mark Webber and a surfboard in sunny Australia wishes everyone a Happy Christmas.

Bruno Senna's season greetings animated video.

Friday, 23 December 2011

Murray Walker Interviews Red Bull's Newey & Horner

Murray Walker interviews Red Bull Racing team principal Christian Horner and chief technical officer Adrian Newey. In the BBC interview, Horner and Newey talk about what makes Sebastian Vettel stand out and how Newey ended up working at Red Bull.

Di Montezemolo, Alonso & Massa Video Interviews

Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo says he is "extremly unhappy about last season" but looks ahead to next season. Fernando Alonso talks about Montezemolo and the respect he has from everyone in Ferrari and says he feels good about next years car. Felipe Massa also discusses the importance of Di Montezemolo who celebrates 20 years as Ferrari's president.

Verstappen Says Barrichello & Sutil Are No Loss To F1

Only weeks after saying the only reason 91 F1 race winner Michael Schumacher could have possibly beat him in the same car was that he was using illegal driving aids, Joss Verstappen with a highest finish of 3rd in his Formula 1 career has now managed to insult some more people.

Writing in his column for De Telegraaf newspaper, Verstappen talks about the many Formula 1 drivers without a seat confirmed for next year including the most experienced driver in F1 history (Rubens Barrichello) and the highly rated Adrian Sutil. Verstappen says "It is not a list of names that I would call a real loss for Formula One" Certainly in the case of Barrichello, 1.3 million Twitter followers might disagree which happens to be nearly twice the amount of the next most popular F1 driver.

On the subject of the Toro Rosso pair of Jaime Alguersuari and Sebastien Buemi, being given the boot extremely late in the year with Alguersuari in particular been given assurances he was staying only a week before, Verstappen is a bit more diplomatic. "It's hard for them, especially so late in the year, but that's Formula One" says Joss the Boss.

Talking about his fellow country man Giedo van der Garde finding a place on the Formula 1 grid, Verstappen says "He has quite a few rivals. Through all the place changes, at the moment Vitaly Petrov, Rubens Barrichello, Adrian Sutil, Jaime Alguersuari, Sebastien Buemi and Tonio Liuzzi are on the outside.

"It is not a list of names that I would call a real loss for Formula One, as for the sport it is good to see some fresh blood. Especially with former World Champion Kimi Raikkonen, GP2 Series champion Romain Grosjean and the talented Nico Hulkenberg, the quality of the grid has only improved."

About the Schumacher illegal driving aids, who knows? It just doesn't sound great coming from Jos 20 years after the event with no new proof other than he couldn't understand how Schumacher could drive the car faster than him.

Thursday, 22 December 2011

Bruno Senna Spotted At Williams

Bruno Senna has been spotted at the Williams factory in Grove. The Brazilian was subjected to physical assessment tests, and met the engineers, reports Globo Esporte. The nephew of the late Ayrton Senna apparently made a good impression on the Williams higher rank that will make the driver choice.

The British racing team is interested in Bruno because of his experience with the Renault engine. Williams changes in 2012 from Cosworth engines to Renault and thus renews a very successful past partnership. Rubens Barrichello also visited the Williams factory this week in an attempt to extend his Formula 1 career to 20 seasons.

Previously Adrian Sutil has been seen as the favourite for the Williams seat but the rumours are Senna carries significant greater sponsorship with him.

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Raikkonen: Snowmobile Crash Almost Embarrassing

Kimi Raikkonen describes coming of his snowmobile at the Swatch Snow Mobile event in Austria as "almost embarrassing" In an interview with Lotus Renault when asked was he planning anymore snowmobile races Kimi replies "I was surprised by how much attention there was over me falling off a snowmobile. You can watch what happened on YouTube and it was probably the smallest and slowest crash I’ve ever had. It is almost embarrassing!"

The 2007 F1 world champion also adds "I won a snowmobile race right before the start of the 2007 season and that year didn’t go badly for me so who knows?"

Raikkonen also talks about Pirelli's tyres being the biggest challenge in his comeback and his impressions of the Lotus Renault team so far. Full interview KIMI RÄIKKÖNEN: “I CAN’T WAIT TO GET BACK BEHIND THE WHEEL”

Kimi's Comeback Easier Than Schumi's?

McLaren doctor Aki Hintsa thinks fellow Finn Kimi Raikkonen will struggle less on his Formula 1 comeback next season than Michael Schumacher has on his return. 2007 world champion Raikkonen is coming back to F1 after a two year spell in the World Rally Championship.

Schumacher was retired for 3 years before being coaxed back into action by Mercedes team principal Ross Brawn in 2010 after Ferrari's president Luca di Montezemolo had first motivated the seven times world champion's desire to return the season before. Schumacher in his comeback wasn't the all conquering driver he was previously and was beaten for the first time in his F1 career by a teammate. This year Schumacher has improved greatly and the difference between him and teammate Nico Rosberg is much closer.

However McLaren doctor Hintsa, who knows Raikkonen well after the Finn's five years at McLaren, chips away at any comparisons between Raikkonen and Schumacher. Speaking in the Finnish newspaper Turun Sanomat, Hintsa says "Physically, Kimi is definitely as strong now as he ever was. It is clear that a return to F1 for Kimi will be easier than it was for Michael Schumacher two years ago.

"First of all, Kimi is so much younger than Michael, and secondly, he was not away for as long and while he was away, he kept driving in a very demanding category" adds Hintsa, referring to Raikkonen’s world rally participation in the 2 years he was absent from F1 and also highlighting the age difference with Raikkonen turning 32 a few weeks ago and Schumacher the oldest on the grid with his 43rd birthday coming up in January.

"At that stage of life a ten year age difference is a major factor in top-level sport, says Hintsa. "When an athlete turns 40, the response time begins to slow down naturally and there’s nothing you can do about it. It is not possible to turn back the clock."

Ross Brawn was asked a while ago about Schumacher's age and told about how all the data points to the average Formula 1 driver being too old at that age, with the quick witted Brawn replying to the reporter "with all due respect Michael[who holds just about every performance record in F1] is not your average Formula 1 driver"

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Alonso And Wife Divorce

Fernando Alonso and his wife of 5 years have divorced. Double F1 world champion Alonso married pop star Raquel del Rosario in November 2006. They issued a short joint statement Tuesday.

'After five years of marriage, we have decided to end our relationship as a couple. This has been a very though about and mutual decision. We are separating from marriage, but never as friends, and there is still a very strong affection and mutual admiration to ensure the happiness of the other.

With this statement, addressed to all who follow our careers, we wish to bring an end to any speculation. With it, we ask that the media respects our personal lives which, as you know, we have always been keen to protect.

With love

Raquel and Fernando'

Rosberg & Schumacher Christmas Speeches & Karaoke

Mercedes Christmas party celebrations with a hippy looking Nico Rosberg delivering a classic line for Mercedes in 2012, "make love, not war and win races" says Nico. Below Michael Schumacher's more traditional motivational speech of getting back on the winning road.

Mercedes AMG F1 karaoke time, featuring Nico Rosberg, Norbert Haug and Ross Brawn.
Below Michael Schumacher gives a stirring rendition of Bohemian Rhapsody!

Rosberg goes for some U2 with "Where the streets have no name"

Hamilton Makes Dreams Come True On Jim'll Fix It

Lewis Hamilton made a 12 year old boy's dream come true on a special remake of "Jim'll Fix It" set to be shown at Christmas. 12-year-old Mitchell Souter from Buckinghamshire, England, wrote a letter to "Jim I'll Fix It" about his hero Lewis Hamilton saying he wanted to "join his team and learn some driving skills"

After arriving at Goodwood, Mitchell said to Hamilton "So who’s driving? Me or You?" reports the Mirror.

A smiling Hamilton replied "You’re a bit young for that for now so I think I’ll take you for a spin" before spending 90 minutes lapping the track in a McLaren 12C supercar while reaching speeds of 160 mph.

On his once in a lifetime experience Mitchell said "I have had the most amazing day. Meeting Lewis Hamilton has been a dream come true and highlight of my racing
career, and I’m only 12 years old.

"I was so excited when I arrived at the race track and I did not know at that time that I was going to meet Lewis. When I did finally meet Lewis he was just a cool guy and we talked loads about racing.

"He is a top driver and a top guy. It was like having all my birthdays and Christmases all together and Lewis Hamilton was with me. I’m still smiling inside out."

The show was produced as a tribute to Sir Jimmy Savile, who died in October. It is hosted by Shane Ritchie and like the original by Sir Jimmy, involves making the dreams come through for children across the country who write in.

This show received 5000 letters and the lucky ones chosen including young racer Mitchell will be shown on Boxing Day on BBC1 at 5.40pm

Schumacher Has Lost The Edge Says Frentzen

German Heinz-Herald Frentzen who was Michael Schumacher's old rival since karting days says the 7 time world champion has lost his "edge" that had separated him from the rest of the grid at his peak.

Frentzen was speaking to Indo-Asian News Service "IANS" at Dubai were drivers for the inaugural i1Super Series were being unveiled. Frentzen further elaborates on why he thinks his fellow German isn't dominating like before, "As you grow older, you tend to hesitate and become indecisive whether or not to push and take risks. You lose precious tenths of a second. I think, Michael is at that stage in his career." says the 44 year old.

Frentzen who along with Schumacher was considered a great prospect before beginning his Formula 1 career admits a few wrong choices cost him dearly. "I think, I took the wrong decisions while Michael (Schumacher) took the right ones," says Frentzen.

"In 1994, I joined Sauber and later that year, I had an offer from Williams as a replacement for Ayrton Senna who died in a crash. I rejected the offer as Sauber had given me a break into F1.

"But when I eventually joined Williams in 1997, things had changed in the team" adds Frentzen whose loyalty to Sauber cost him a Williams in 1995 that beat everyone but Schumacher in his Benetton and in 1996 beat everyone including Schumacher who had then moved to the struggling Ferrari.

Frentzen though doesn't long to be back in Formula 1 and enjoys competing in other series "I had some good races and bad, but after I retired in 2003, I have never really missed Formula One, but have raced on and off in other series"

About competing in the i1Super Series, Frentzen is not concerned about the cars being a lot slower than Formula 1 "It is a challenge because no matter which Formula car you drive, you still need to understand the machine, its capabilities and adapt your driving accordingly and I am quite excited to be part of this series" adds Frentzen.

Monday, 19 December 2011

Christmas At Ferrari With Alonso & Massa As Santa

The Ferrari kids Christmas party, which takes place every year at Maranello. Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa exchange their Ferrari outfits for Santa Claus outfits. For any children reading this, we have verified Alonso is not in fact the real Santa Claus but we are not so sure about Felipe Massa.

Vettel Narrowly Beaten In German Athlete Of The Year

Basketball superstar Dirk Nowitzki narrowly pipped this years F1 world champion, Sebastian Vettel to Germany's athlete of the year. In the vote among 1500 German sports journalists Nowitzki received 3868 points and Vettel got the runner-up spot with 3503 points. The 3rd place went to table tennis star Timo Boll with 1565 points.

When Vettel was asked during the summer to name his ideal teammate he joked "Dirk Nowitzki" because of the fellow German's 7 ft 0 in height.

Saturday, 17 December 2011

Frost Interviews Bernie Ecclestone: Video

Sir David Frost interviews Formula 1 boss Bernie Ecclestone on the Al Jazeera English news channel. Veteran interviewer Frost asks Ecclestone about the ever growing F1 calendar, the chances of Bahrain being cancelled again and Formula 1's likely impact in America were it will have two grands prix from 2013 on.

Ecclestone also talks about retirement, safety in Formula 1 and whether he likes looking at his bank statements showing billion's in the accounts. On the driver front, Ecclestone names 4 times F1 world champion Alain Prost as perhaps the most overlooked talent.

Friday, 16 December 2011

Button & Häkkinen Sign Their Name With Burning Rubber

McLaren's Jenson Button and former McLaren driver and 2 time world champion Mika Häkkinen sign their initials with the spinning rear tyres of a 450bhp Mercedes road car. All to make a statement about being in control by never drinking and driving.

Watch The Race Of Champions 2011 In Full

Watch a replay of the whole weekend unfold at the Race Of Champions 2011 in Dusseldorf, Germany. First two videos are the Nations Cup and last two are the Drivers Cup.

Bernie Isn't Expecting F1 To Be Big In America

Bernie Ecclestone isn't expecting Formula 1 to be a major sport in America in the foreseeable future. Asked by the legendary interviewer David Frost on Al Jazeera, if he expected Formula One to be big in America in 10 year's time, Ecclestone replied: "No, We've got a maximum of two races in America and when you consider the country is as big as Europe and we've got several races in Europe, it's difficult (for the United States).

"If we had a lot more races there and a lot more television it would be okay. It's (also) a bit like the rest of America in that they want to see a profit before they start something and it's not easy to do that.

Formula 1 returns to the schedule next year with a new race in Austin, Texas and the following year with a street race in New Jersey against the backdrop of New York's Manhattan skyline.

America might not flock to F1 but Ecclestone has other new territories on his radar, "Formula 1 will not be big in America. But Formula 1 will be in Russia for 2014, and in South Africa by 2013 even." adds the F1 supremo.

Bernie though cautioned he wasn't keen on extending the calendar any more than the 20 races, "We have enough countries waiting (to come on board) but I think we have to stop now. It's difficult for the people who work in Formula One with all the traveling. They never see their families, that's the big problem." he said.

When questioned about going to Bahrain this year, Ecclestone wasn't too concerned about any unrest, saying "We're happy to go there, if we are invited we'll be delighted."

One thing Ecclestone was proud of in his 30 plus years in the sport was the improvement in safety "If somebody has an accident today in a Formula One car, pick whatever speed you like, you see these guys have a big accident, undo their safety belts and get out - which is wonderful." said the 81 year old.

The Hulk Is Back

Finally Formula 1's worst kept secret has been made official. Nico Hulkenberg will partner Paul Di Resta at Force India in 2012. The decision to replace Adrian Sutil with Hulkenberg had apparently been taken months ago before Sutil's extremely impressive end to the season. There had even been some speculation the reason the announcement wasn't made at the Abu Dhabi grand prix as planned, was that Force India were trying to keep Sutil and back out of Hulkenberg's recent signed contract.

Hulkenberg a former GP2 champion made his mark in Formula 1 by getting pole position in changeable conditions at the Brazilian grand prix last year for Williams. However money talked and Williams listened and replaced Hulkenberg with a man he had beaten the year before as a team mate in GP2, the latest GP2 champion Pastor Maldonado. Hulkenberg ended up at Force India, testing on Friday mornings and has impressed the team sufficiently now to get a full time seat.

Talking about his team pairing for next year, Team boss Vijay Mallya:"I think Paul caught the eye of everybody in the pitlane 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."

Commenting on the departing Sutil who had been with the team since 2007 and who is now favourite for the Williams seat, Mallya says "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."

Looking forward to getting back to racing, Hulkenberg says "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."

Delighted to be with the team next year Paul Di Resta says "I'm really looking forward to my second season of Formula 1 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."

Manager Sees Massa Turning The Tide

Felipe Massa’s manager Nicolas Todt has stated Ferrari's belief in the Brazilian after a disastrous campaign that saw Massa become the first Ferrari driver since 1992 to complete a season without finishing on the podium.

Massa spent this season being dominated by his team mate Fernando Alonso and the Brazilian's manager speaking to Motorsport-Total says "It was obviously a very average season for Felipe, but he himself is the first to admit this."

Todt refutes suggestions Massa's performance decline has anything to do with his near fatal accident in 2009, "Honestly, I do not think the accident changed Felipe", says Todt, and suggesting it is instead a confidence thing, "Self-confidence plays a large role in getting results. Ferrari have supported Felipe. He has people who believe in him fully, otherwise Ferrari would not have extended his contract. This is a good sign."

With rumours circulating of Robert Kubica being lined up for a Ferrari test in the Spring and Ferrari's president Luca di Montezemolo saying recently concerning Massa, "We expect great things from him in 2012, and then we'll decide how to proceed", there is substantial pressure on the 2008 world championship runner-up.

However Todt remains philosophical "Three years ago Felipe was almost world champion, two years ago we did not know whether he would ever race again. Life is so unpredictable, but many great drivers have been through hard times and turned the tide." says Massa's manager.

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Senna and Petrov Scare Macy Gray & F1 Afterparty

The Skid Experience with Vitaly Petrov and Bruno Senna at the Brazilian grand prix weekend. Also features clips of the after-party for fans and drivers and the F1 Rocks concert with Macy Gray and Jesse J.

Alguersuari: Very Surprised By Toro Rosso Decision

Jamie Alguersuari says he was "very surprised" to hear he is not going to be with Toro Rosso next year. In a unexpected move earlier today, Toro Rosso replaced both Alguersuari and Sebastien Buemi with Red Bull junior drivers Daniel Ricciardo and Jean-Eric Vergne.

Speaking to Spanish daily sports newspaper Marca Alguersuari says "I am very surprised by the decision, just a week ago after winning the Challenge das Estrelas in Florianópolis I talked with Helmut Marko and Franz Tost and they told me they had plans for me in 2012. They did it with enthusiasm and showed a lot of confidence in me"

Alguersuari though was philosophical about the decision, "I am not a victim because for seven years I have enjoyed the privilege of being with the best team in the world and the best means, they brought me here, they won me the British F3 International Series at 18 years old and they have achieved the best results from a driver of 21 years old in Formula 1 in 2011, said the Spaniard.

Alguersuari goes on to say "It is a drama, because I have many plans for present and future, at all levels: professional sports. The surprise lasted me a couple of hours, I needed to speak with my family. I was watching the Street, were I was in Madrid, and realized that life is full of opportunities and challenges.

"Back on the AVE(high-speed rail in Spain) and seeing the headlines I've come to realize that there are almost five million unemployed in Spain."

That has to be the most philosophical and understanding response to being replaced by someone else at work I have ever seen or heard. Especially considering Toro Rosso gave Alguersuari no warning and left the decision extremely late in the year giving him and Buemi minimal chance of finding another seat in F1 for 2012

All Change At Toro Rosso

In a somewhat ruthless move Toro Rosso have replaced Sebastien Buemi and Jaime Alguersuari with Daniel Ricciardo and Jean-Eric Vergne. The reasoning is Red Bull believe Buemi or Alguersuari just weren't good enough to be a prospective Red Bull driver alongside Sebastian Vettel in the future.

Australian Riccardo replaced Narain Karthikeyan at HRT mid season and was very impressive alongside his team mate, former Red Bull driver Vitantonio Liuzzi. Riccardo went on to out qualify Liuzzi 6 times out of 10 and in races both cars finished Ricciardo was ahead of Liuzzi a very impressive 4 times out of 5.

A little over a week ago Riccardo was talking about there being a chance of him at Caterham in 2012 as he expected Toro Rosso to keep their current line up. Even more recent Alguersuari had an interview with the Spanish sports newspaper Marca in which he stated RBR consultant Helmut Marko had told him, his key to getting a Red Bull drive in 2013 was to win a race next year with Toro Rosso. Unlikely before, impossible now!

Jean-Eric Vergne who topped all the time sheets at the Abu Dhabi young driver test in the RB7 will become the third Frenchman to race in Formula 1 in 2012, alongside Marussia's Charles Pic and Lotus's Romain Grosjean.

Team boss 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."

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."

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."

Related: Alguersuari: Very Surprised By Toro Rosso Decision

Video Of Raikkonen's Snowmobile Crash

Video of Kimi Raikkonen coming of the skidoo at the Swatch Snow Mobile event last weekend. Apologies for the non-English commentary.

Alguersuari Says Winning A Race Is Key To Red Bull Drive

Jaime Alguersuari in an interview with Spanish sports newspaper Marca was asked what he will have to do to replace Mark Webber at the main team for 2013, The Toro Rosso driver answered: "What do I have to do?

"According to (RBR team consultant) Helmut (Marko), I have to win a race with Toro Rosso. Those were his words in Japan, so I'll try. I have 20 races to try it and I have as good a chance as any, however small," laughs Alguersuari.

Alguersuari also praises RBR chief technical officer Adrian Newey and thinks the Red Bull will still be the car to beat in 2013. Alguersuari says "I think the best is always the best, and to date it has been (car designer Adrian) Newey. He's a genius, an artist, and I see no reason why Red Bull's dominance is going to be stopped now."

Update: Bet Alguersuari wasn't expecting this to happen the day after his Marca interview came out All Change At Toro Rosso & Alguersuari: Very Surprised By Toro Rosso Decision

Vettel Looses Trainer To Ice Hockey Team

World champion Sebastian Vettel will be on the look out to find a new physiotherapist and fitness trainer. Auto Motor und Sport reports that Vettel's former coach Tommi Parmakoski has accepted an offer to work with a Finnish women's hockey team.

The two time world champion worked three years with Parmakoski and had a great deal of respect for the Finn. After winning the world championship in Japan, Vettel said about Parmakoski "He was the one not allowing me at any stage this year to lose the grip, start to fly, or think about things that are not in our control. It is down to people like Tommi who push more than 100 percent to do his job and keeps us on the right track."

Parmakoski aged 28 and a former ice hockey goalkeeper said in 2011 about Vettel: "At the race track Sebastian is the boss. Away from the track, I am."

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Whitmarsh Talks About The BBC/Sky Impact

McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh is asked by Peter Windsor about the impact on viewing figures of the new BBC/Sky deal. Windsor questions Whitmarsh about the thinking "less is more" by saying how Sky gets only about a million viewers for a top premier league football match. Whitmarsh answer seems to imply only Sky viewers are open to brand exposure through other media outlet devices like laptops, phones, ipads and tablets so less terrestrial TV viewers doesn't matter so much.

You can watch some really good interviews by Peter Windsor at The Flying Lap

Monday, 12 December 2011

Webber Interview At FIA Awards

Red Bull's Mark Webber is interviewed by NDTV at the FIA Awards. Webber talks about DRS, cricket and his Tasmania Challenge.

Vettel: Schumacher Is An Idol To Me

World champion Sebastian Vettel in an interview with NDTV at the FIA awards in New Delhi, India. Vettel talks about being compared to his hero, the seven time Formula 1 world champion Michael Schumacher. When asked for his favourite drivers off all time Vettel names Schumacher, Ayrton Senna and Jochen Rindt.

BBC F1 Fights Back With Ben Edwards

After loosing key staff to the new Sky Formula 1 team, the BBC has made a fight back by securing the services of the highly rated Ben Edwards reports Edwards who is a former racer himself,  has commentated on various forms of motorsport  including F1 in the past.

Edwards who will be the lead commentator is known for his enthusiastic, energetic style as can be heard from the clip below(if don't know which is Edwards you will closer to the end of the clip!) His approach linked to that of Murray Walker could gel well with David Coulthard's more relaxed yet effective approach rather like the classic Walker/Brundle years.

Update 13 December: Edwards has confirmed the rumours on Twitter, "So, it looks as though it's really happening. I will be the BBC F1 commentator in 2012 and I can't wait! It took a while for things to be sorted, and thanks to ITV for being so understanding. Really looking forward to working with the crew."

6 Rapid Reasons Why Kubica Won't Be Back At Renault

Some people are still pedaling the idea Robert Kubica will make a comeback with the team he last raced with(Lotus Renault) citing Roman Grosjean was brought in because he will move over when Kubica is ready. Here are just a few of the reasons we will not see Kubica back with Lotus Renault(named Lotus next year)
  • Lotus Renault and Kubica' management relationship is so bad they criticise each other in public
  • Kubica's contract runs out in 3 weeks & Boulier describes his relationship with the Pole at "point zero"
  • Grosjean has told the French media his contract is for the whole season
  • Kimi Raikkonen is contracted for two years
  • Speculation is Kubica will test a 2010 Ferrari next spring rather than an old Renault as had been offered
For those still not convinced, could Lotus Renault really afford to have both Raikkonen & Kubica on the payroll?

Bernie Says Hamilton's Management A Disaster

Bernie Ecclestone has criticised Lewis Hamilton's management company labeling it a disaster for Hamilton. The 2008 F1 world champion was previously managed by his father Anthony until the beginning of the 2010 season. Hamilton is now managed by XIX Entertainment which is run by Simon Fuller, whose clients include the Beckhams, Jennifer Lopez, Annie Lennox, Will Young and Andy Murray.

For the first year in Formula 1, Hamilton has ended the season beaten by his team mate and Ecclestone speaking to the Guardian suggests the McLaren driver's influences off the track had a part to play, "I think he had some personal problems during the year which affected him quite a lot. A lot to do with these things, it depends an awful lot on the people you surround yourself with, and who are in a position to influence you. I think he just fell into a lot of people that I think weren't good for him. When his dad was looking after him, his dad was a bit more - obviously it didn't suit Lewis, which was why they split, I think he didn't appreciate how much help his dad was." said the F1 Supremo.

About Hamilton's management company XIX Entertainment, Bernie says "I think it's a disaster" Ecclestone adds "He gets to meet people that probably he wouldn't have met, and [who] have probably the wrong sort of influence on him. He's at the age, perhaps, and he has the amount of money, where when he's influenced, he can carry things through, which he wouldn't normally have done."

Sunday, 11 December 2011

Sauber CEO: Other Countries Can Learn From India

Sauber F1 CEO Monisha Kaltenborn has said teams arrived in India for the inaugural grand prix with doubts but left impressed with the promotion and planning of the event. On Friday the FIA awarded Jaypee Sports International Limited - the owners of Buddh International Circuit, the Best F1 Race Promoter's Award for 2011.

Interviewed by The Times Of India, Kaltenborn talking about the first Indian grand prix says "People have been very surprised. With all the negative background, we came here with a lot of doubts. Once we saw the track and all the activities planned around it, our perception changed immediately,

"We were all impressed by the unique way in which the media reported the event. I believe other countries can learn from India. The best aspect was the warmth with which we were accepted in this country and it has reflected with the Indian promoter picking up the FIA award last night. Of course, they can correct some things like the dog not running on the track next year!"

Kaltenborn, who was born in India before moving to Austria as a child, would love to pick up a young talented Indian driver for the Sauber line up. "In the Sauber team what matters to us is talent. We have history of picking up young drivers with potential like Kimi Raikkonen, who have gone on to become world champions. I personally would be delighted to see an Indian driver in my team," adds F1's most powerful woman.

Di Resta Says It's The Car And Not Vettel

Force India's Paul Di Resta has came out and said what maybe more than a few Formula One drivers are thinking. Speaking about Sebastian Vettel in an interview with Gazzetta dello Sport, Di Resta says "another driver in the same car would probably have achieved the same results"

In 2006, Di Resta was a team mate of Vettel's in the Formula 3 Euro Series and beat the future two time F1 world champion. Taking a closer look at the 2006 season, the two drivers were exchanging the points lead throughout, but Vettel's focus wavered towards the end of the year. According to BMW-Sauber's motorsport director Mario Theissen, the loss of form by the German was attributed to the busy schedule Vettel had to undertake as the team's test driver in the last three Grands Prix of the 2006 F1 season.

Putting any excuses aside Di Resta still came out on top and he says "We had the same car, same engine, same tyres and I beat him, I don’t want to diminish Vettel’s achievement (this year), but he won the championship because he had the best car. He did his job, but another driver in the same car would probably have achieved the same results. I hope one day to have the same opportunity."

Both Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton have also previously made it clear they feel Vettel's achievements are more down to the car rather than the driver. Although there is a difference in Alonso and Hamilton saying it rather than a rookie. It is good to see the usually too reserved Di Resta speak out and shows a lot of belief in his own talents when you consider he is a Formula 1 rookie.

A warning about looking too much into comparing drivers talents and rivalries between F3 and F1. In 1983, the F3 championship went down to the final laps of the last race between two equal cars. The man who won and who could have just as easily lost was arguably the greatest Formula 1 driver of all time, Ayrton Senna. The man who lost and who could just as easily have won was Martin Brundle who never won a single race in Formula 1.

Red Bull's Milton Keynes Celebration

Red Bull Racing's "Home Run" celebration in Milton Keynes. Introduced by RBR team consultant David Coulthard and featuring RBR drivers Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber. The Formula 1 RB7's are unleashed on the streets of Milton Keynes as a thank you to the local fans.

Saturday, 10 December 2011

Raikkonen Comes Off Snowmobile And Hurts Hand

Kimi Raikkonen during his first run Saturday at the Swatch Snow Mobile lost control of his 75-horsepower snowmobile at a corner and came off reports On landing the Finn injured his left hand. The 2007 F1 world champion was immediately helped by two paramedics but fortunately for Kimi's Formula 1 comeback plans the injury is not serious. However Raikkonen who now is wearing a small bandage on his left hand will be taking no further part in the competition.

Raikkonen recently signed a comeback deal with Lotus Renault who lost their previous star driver Robert Kubica through injury before the season began. With that in mind one could see Lotus Renault now wanting to curtail the Iceman's activities to save anymore frights.

Update: Lotus Renault on Twitter "Kimi went off during a snow mobile competition in Austria today but he's absolutely fine. We just spoke to Kimi. There's nothing to worry about, he only has a sore wrist. He might have it checked again on Monday, but that's all."

Dan Wheldon Memorial Kart Race Video

Video clip of the two-hour endurance go-kart race to honor two-time Indianapolis 500 winner and former IndyCar Champion, Dan Wheldon. The event was held on a cold night at Daytona Milton Keynes on Monday 5th December.

Pro drivers taking part included Jenson Button, Dario Franchitti, Anthony Davidson, David Coulthard, Guy Smith, Jonny Kane, Rob Huff, James Hinchcliffe, Johnny Herbert, Marino Franchitti, Martin Brundle, Alex Brundle, Mike Conway, Derek Hayes, Adam Carroll, Chris Buncombe, Richard Dean, Steven Kane, Sam Hancock, Luke Hines, Marc Hynes, Nic Minassian, James Rossiter, Peter Dumbreck, Richard Lyons, Sam Bird, Duncan Tappy, James Thompson, Tom Sisley, Ollie Hancock and Danny Watts.

There was a 'pay for penalties' aspect to the race that allowed drivers to bribe officials into handing out penalties to their rivals, which helped toward raising £20,000 for the Alzheimer's Society. Through talent or bribes or maybe a bit of both, Button with co-driver Clive Wheldon, Dan's father won the race. Franchitti finished second with co-driver Holly Wheldon, Dan's sister.

Friday, 9 December 2011

Sid Watkins Honoured For Lifetime Achievement

FIA Institute Honorary President Prof. Sid Watkins was honoured at the FIA Gala Awards with the FIA Academy Gold Medal for Motor Sport. The award is for an individual that, either through exceptional success, or outstanding effort, has made a substantial contribution to motor racing. Previous recipients include Sir Stirling Moss, Mario Andretti, Sir Jack Brabham, HSH Prince Rainier and Michael Schumacher.

Earlier in the week F1 medic Watkins stepped down as FIA Institute President after eight years in the role, marking his retirement from full-time involvement in motorsport after a career spanning 50 years.

Watkins, who revolutionised safety and medical standards in motorsport said: "I'm very proud of the safety developments that have been achieved not just in Formula One but across all levels of motor sport through the work of the FIA and FIA Institute. It is an honour to have been awarded the FIA Gold Medal and to be mentioned amongst those great names and I'd like to thank the FIA Academy for acknowledging my small part in racing history."

Jean Todt, FIA President, said: "I would like to express my heart-felt thanks, emotion and warmth to Sid from everyone in the motor sport community and FIA family. This FIA Academy Gold Medal for Motor Sport is in recognition of his outstanding achievements in motor sport and safety throughout a 50-year career."

Vettel Picks Up His World Championship Trophy

Sebastian Vettel was handed the world championship trophy by FIA president Jean Todt at the official prize giving Gala in New Delhi on Friday.

Vettel said "It’s great to be here in India at the FIA Gala to collect my second Drivers’ Trophy. I have had the trophy in my house all year and didn’t want to give it back, so this means a great deal to me. It’s hard to put into words how it feels to win again; the team stayed focused and made few mistakes and I would like to thank them for all their impressive efforts. I would also like to thank Renault who worked so hard all year. The history of Formula One means a lot to me and it’s special to know that we are now somehow a part of that."

Bernie Ecclestone presented Red Bull Racing team principal Christian Horner the 2011 Constructor's Trophy. Upon receiving the trophy Horner said "It’s phenomenal what the team has achieved this year, To win 12 races and take 18 pole positions and 27 podiums to defend our title is something we are very proud of. I would like to thank every member of the team, including Mark and Sebastian for all their hard work. Receiving the award tonight is fantastic and a great end to what has been an incredible year. Seb’s achievement of becoming a double Formula One World Champion is incredible; the fact he is the youngest ever to do this is testament to the exciting young talent that he is."

Horner Previews Red Bull's Milton Keynes Celebration

Christian Horner previews Saturday's Milton Keynes celebration and also talks about Mark Webber's mental strength in dealing with Sebastian Vettel's near perfect season.

The Milton Keynes event features Vettel and Webber and will take place from 1230 to 1500 this Saturday. The destination is at the Midsummer Boulevard which is just five miles from the team's factory.

Joining Vettel and Webber are team principal Horner, chief technical officer Adrian Newey, Red Bull stunt rider Chris Pfeiffer, Red Bull team consultant and BBC F1 pundit David Coulthard and BBC F1 anchorman Jake Humphrey.

FIA Award BBC The Broadcaster Of The Year

Formula 1's governing body the FIA has named BBC as the Formula 1 broadcaster of the year. Force India boss Vijay Mallya presented the award at the traditional FIA end of year award ceremony.

BBC has entered into an extremely controversial deal with Sky starting next year where the BBC will show half the races live with the rest delayed. Pay subscriber Sky will show all.

Sebastian Vettel was awarded the championship trophy with Jenson Button and a reluctant to be bothered with the event Mark Webber taking the runner up spots.

Mark Webber's Dad Thoughts On Mark

Allan Webber has admitted he thought Mark missing out on the Championship last year "knocked him about a little bit". Allan working as an official at the five-day Swisse Mark Webber Tasmania Challenge was interviewed by The Mercury, Tasmania's largest daily newspaper.

Allan bought Mark his first go-Kart at aged 14 and says "We started from humble beginnings, and it's all worked out pretty well. He's a pretty popular lad all around the world, really, and hopefully that's got something to do with his upbringing. He's got a wicked sense of humour, and that's good."

Last year Webber was in touching distance of the championship going into the final race and Allan says "I think not winning the championship last year knocked him about a little bit, I think he will be stronger next year and I really hope he can do better."

Webber won the DHL trophy for the highest number of fastest laps this year but had difficulties putting together a good whole GP weekend. The main issue was adjusting to the characteristics of new Pirelli tyres. Also continually loosing places of the start line further compromised his race strategies.

Webber also especially at the start of the season had the main car trouble in the team so here is hoping like Allan that Mark has a lot stronger 2012.

Eddie Jordan Gets Hall Of Fame Award

Eddie Jordan has been presented with the Motorsport Ireland Hall of Fame Award for everything that he has contributed to motorsport both in Ireland and internationally over the past 40 years.

Former racer and F1 team owner Jordan: "I am absolutely delighted to be here to accept this prestigious honour. I have had a long association with Motorsport Ireland and it is 20 years ago now since the F1 team started and I am proud that we had so many Irish people centrally involved with the team success.

"I hope we will see a second Irish Grand Prix team sometime in the future. The team always had great support from Ireland and I think everyone was proud of the highlights – the four Grand Prix wins, the battle for the Constructors and drivers titles in 1999 and providing the debut drives for Michael Schumacher and others. I want to thank everyone in Motorsport Ireland for this award which I am truly delighted and honoured to receive,"

Eddie confirmed earlier this week he will be staying on with the BBC F1 team to continue his analysis alongside David Coulthard and anchorman Jake Humphrey.

Where Does Vitaly Petrov Go Now

Despite having a year left on his contract, Vitaly Petrov has lost his Lotus Renault seat to Roman Grosjean. It is rumoured Petrov was the preferred driver choice as recently as a few days ago and with Grosjean testing a BMW DTM car just this week backs the claim.

So how did it go wrong for Petrov?
Part of the problem according to motorsport-total is that Lada still owes Lotus Renault money, allegedly because Vladimir Putin was busy in recent weeks with the election in Russia. Also Grosjean became more attractive with extra funds from French oil company Total becoming available with the fellow French driver.

What now for the Vyborg Rocket?
What helps Petrov greatly is the Russian grand prix scheduled for 2014 making both Putin and Bernie Ecclestone wanting to see the Russian in Formula 1. The likeliest destination for Petrov is with the mostly Russian owned team of Marussia-Virgin.

Charles Pic was recently signed by Marussia so it is unlikely he will be replaced. The key is that Marussia's other driver Timo Glock has a get out clause in his contract if he gets an offer from a better team which right now looks like any team!

Update 10 December: Rumours of an announcement next Friday from Marussia concerning Petrov.

Video Interview With New Lotus Driver Roman Grosjean

New Lotus Renault driver Roman Grosjean shares his excitement about being back in a race seat in Formula 1. The French man had previously raced along side Fernando Alonso in 2009 in the team.

Raikkonen Going Snowmobile Racing in Austria

New Lotus Renault driver Kimi Raikkonen is to go snowmobile racing this weekend in the fifth edition of the Swatch Snow Mobile. Raikkonen will race with the Red Bull Mobile Team in the event held in the Alps, Austria.

Last year Formula 1 drivers Adrian Sutil, Nico Hülkenberg, Sakon Yamamoto, Alex Wurz and Christian Klien entered the event with none of them making it into the top three. This year Raikkonen is joined with former Lotus Renault stand in driver Nick Heidfeld with Hulkenberg, Yamamoto and Klien coming back again.

Some highlights from last year below.

More information at

Update 10 December:  Raikkonen Comes Off Snowmobile And Hurts Hand

Thursday, 8 December 2011

American GP: News From Turn 1 At Austin

Officially the United States Grand Prix is back on and Austin TV station Kxan reports from turn one at the Circuit of The Americas in Austin. Webpage mentioned at end of video is Formula One back on track for Austin

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Rosberg On Schumacher "He's not what you would call a bastard"

Interviewed by Gazzetta dello Sport, Nico Rosberg was asked was he surprised to be beating his team-mate Michael Schumacher on arrival at Mercedes. Rosberg replies "Very much so, even though I had expected I would do well. I knew it would be very tough to beat him, that's why I'm happy with what I've done both last year and this year.

"He's not what you would call a bastard. When I ask him a question, he never lies to me. You can work with him. That was a nice surprise, after having heard so many rumours." Wonder where them rumours originate from and it is nice that Nico clears it up that Schumacher is in fact not "a bastard" or does not lie when asked questions by team-mates!

Nico goes on to firmly deny any favoritism exists in the team because of Brawn's long relationship with the seven time world champion. "On the track I always have the same opportunities he has. I'm lucky to be in such a situation, because in this case too I had expected worse, considering that Brawn and Michael have been working together for a lifetime. Instead Ross is equidistant. He's a phenomenal reference point for me too." says Rosberg

Rosberg admits he expected more from Mercedes when he joined but is looking forward to next year hoping Mercedes recent technical director recruitment campaign will make a difference. Rosberg says "I decided to stay because I'm sure the situation will change, Mercedes is doing everything to create a winning structure. Ross Brawn has told me Aldo Costa is great and the other new technicians are very good too.

"Almost all my friends are Italian, support Ferrari and ask me when I will drive a red car. But I'm not falling for it, because I'm German and to carry on driving for Mercedes is the greatest thing. I just lack a winning car, but I'm sure I'll have it in 2012. I can't wait."

Funny Nico should say about all his friends wanting him to drive a red car because the source of the "Rosberg to Ferrari" rumours in late summer appeared to have been started by one of Nico's friends saying he visited Maranello!

Webber's Tasmania Challenge Video Day 1

Video highlights of Mark Webber's Tasmania Challenge which all proceeds from are donated to charity. Talking about the challenge and the rewards of the fundraising in the Daily Mail Webber says "It's so nice to get letters from families and loved ones to say they've benefited from the unit that I've built in Melbourne, We raised over $1 million in the last few years so it's been very, very rewarding.

"You can have an event like this where people can test themselves. It's not just a 5k fun run, but it's an event where people have got to apply themselves, be disciplined and learn a lot more about themselves, and the flip side of that is we can then offload what we can financially to the people who really need it."

Full Daily Mail article here were Webber discusses Bahrain, contracts and next year.

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Schumacher vs Vettel, Race Of Champions

Seven time F1 world champion Michael Schumacher faces two time F1 world champion Sebastian Vettel in the quarter finals at the Race Of Champions 2011.

Ricciardo To Caterham: "There's A Chance"

Daniel Ricciardo has conceded there is a chance he could replace Jarno Trulli at Caterham(Team Lotus) next year. Trulli has a contract with Caterham for 2012 but it is speculated that the Italian must give way if a driver brings the necessary cash which Red Bull would have for their driver Ricciardo. Australian driver Ricciardo had been on loan to back-marker team HRT. Interviewed by the West Australian newspaper, Ricciardo also says he thinks Red Bull junior team Toro Rosso is going to keep their current lineup for next year.

Ricciardo: "At the moment it seems like Toro Rosso are going to stay with who they've got, It wasn't put down 100 per cent, but it was the wording I was making out. There's a good chance if I'm on the grid next year it's going to be with another non-Red Bull outfit, but I guess the good news is I'm still contracted by Red Bull. They've agreed to continue with me."

When questioned about Trulli's seat at Caterham, Ricciardo says "I would like to say there's a chance, but at least for me that's probably all it is for now, just a chance, It would be a step up from this year, so it's not really a bad thing.

"I doubt they'll still be able to fight for points next year. They'll still be towards the further end, but I think they're progressing well. If (Heikki) Kovalainen was to be my teammate, it's someone very good to measure up to. He's won a grand prix before and he's smashed Trulli this year."

Ricciardo is keen not to be stuck in a reserve role this year, "I'm obviously proud of getting there and doing something that I've dreamed of since I was a kid, but it's probably like everything," he said.

"I've got there now, but I'm not happy just to settle just for that. I want to keep going forward and I believe I can."

Ricciardo has had a very impressive rookie season which unfortunately seems to be over looked because he was in clearly one of the two worst cars on the grid. Ricciardo out qualified team mate and former Red Bull driver Vitantonio Liuzzi 6 times out of 10. In races both cars finished Ricciardo was ahead of Liuzzi a very impressive 4 times out of 5.

Monday, 5 December 2011

Christian Horner Talks Sky F1 Viewing Figures

At the Autosport awards Christian Horner and new Rupert Murdoch employee Steve Ryder joke about the Formula 1 coverage next year on BBC and Sky. Ryder jokes about "tapping" being a sensitive word now and Horner jokes about the majority of fans watching F1 on BBC next year with only 10 watching Ryder on Sky.

Related- BBC & Sky Australian GP Viewing Figures

Ferrari F1 & Video Art (RPM)

Commissioned by Ferrari to celebrate the 458 Spider, video artist Marco Brambilla showcases his 3D film RPM which premiered at the Art Basel in Miami.

Button & Vettel Funny Speechs At Autosport Awards

Jenson Button speech after winning the 2011 British Competition Driver of the Year Award where he makes fun of host Steve Ryder and Sebastian Vettel's dress code.

Video below with Sebastian Vettel winning the International Racing Driver of the Year award. Features Vettel doing a Kimi Raikkonen impression and also getting Button back for his remarks toward Vettel earlier in the evening.

Sunday, 4 December 2011

Race Of Champions Highlights 2011

French WRC Rally driver Sebastian Ogier won the Race Of Champions with 8 time Le Mans 24-Hour race winner Tom Kristensen taking the runner up spot. Ogier beat Martin Tomczyk rather easy in the semi final with Kristensen having more trouble with Michael Schumacher, just shading the 7 time F1 world champion over the line.

The match-up of the day was Schumacher against the current F1 world champion Sebastian Vettel in the quarter finals. Schumacher got away badly of the line but put in the better two laps to finish ahead of his younger fellow German.

Watch the full Race Of Champions replay here

All the news from ROC at the official  website

Schumacher & Vettel ROC Win Highlights

Michael Schumacher and Sebastian Vettel win the nations cup for team Germany at the Race Of Champions for the fifth consecutive year.

Saturday, 3 December 2011

The New Look 2012 F1 Cars

Video by Auto Motor Und Sport showing the differences in Formula 1 cars next year. The whole article is here although in German.

Race Of Champions Online Coverage & Program

Saturday 3 December

17:00 Doors open
17:40 Exhibitions
19:00-22:00 ROC Nations Cup

Sunday 4 December

12:00 Doors open
12:30-13:20 ROC Legends Cup
13:30 Exhibitions
14:00-17:00 Race Of Champions

You can watch all the action live at Race Of Champions,

Related:  Schumacher vs Vettel, Race Of Champions
              Watch The Race Of Champions 2011 In Full

Friday, 2 December 2011

Brazilian Grand Prix FOM Race Edit

The official Formula One Management race edit of the Brazilian Grand Prix.

Ferrari And Red Bull Confirm FOTA Exit

Ferrari and Red Bull Racing have confirmed earlier speculation they were exiting FOTA. Teams must give a two month notice period to leave the organisation meaning it will be the start of February next year before the two teams officially depart. The two departures are centered around the teams failing to reach an agreement over the Resource Restriction Agreement.

Red Bull says in a statement "Red Bull Racing can confirm it has served notice to withdraw from FOTA (Formula One Teams' Association), The team will remain committed to finding a solution regarding cost saving in Formula 1."

Ferrari released the following statement,

Maranello, 2 December – 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.

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.

Senna & Petrov Drift While Macy Gray Screams

Lotus Renault drivers Bruno Senna and Vitaly Petrov test their drift skills on a water soaked Pirelli test track in Brazil with a scared Macy Gray in the passenger seat.

A poll on Pirelli's Facebook Page asked fans which trick they wanted the two Lotus drivers to do. Drifting was the highest rated at 42% and Senna demonstrates some more below.

Thursday, 1 December 2011

Schumacher vs Button In Race Of Champions

Michael Schumacher and Jenson Button have been drawn to face each-other in the group stages for the Race Of Champions this weekend in Düsseldorf, Germany. The annual event is a tournament where some of the world’s best drivers face each-other through a series of head-to-head races in identical cars on a parallel track. World champion Sebastian Vettel will face Lotus Renault driver Vitaly Petrov, GP2 champion Romain Grosjean and 8-time Le Mans 24-Hour race winner, Tom Kristensen. Each driver faces each of the others in their group and those with the most wins move on to the quarter-finals. From the quarter finals on it's a knockout tournament.

Group A
Filipe Albuquerque, DTM driver & reigning ROC Champion of Champions
Andy Priaulx, World Touring Car 3 time Champion
David Coulthard, 13 Formula 1 race wins
Travis Pastrana, Rally America 4 time winner & X-Games legend

Group B
Mattias Ekstrom, DTM driver & triple ROC Champion of Champions
Martin Tomczyk, 2011 DTM Champion
Jan Kopecky, Intercontinental Rally Challenge 3 time runner-up
Sébastien Ogier, 5 WRC rally wins in 2011

Group C
Michael Schumacher, 7 time Formula 1 World Champion
Jenson Button, 2009 Formula 1 World Champion
Brian Deegan, 13 X-games medals including Rally Cross gold in 2011
Juho Hanninen, 2011 S-WRC champion & 2010 IRC champion

Group D
Sebastian Vettel, 2010 & 2011 Formula 1 World Champion
Tom Kristensen, 8 time Le Mans 24-Hour race winner
Vitaly Petrov, Formula 1 driver for Lotus Renault GP
Romain Grosjean, 2011 GP2 Champion

The tournament begins on Saturday evening with the Race Of Champions Nations Cup. Schumacher and Vettel will be aiming for a fifth consecutive title together for Team Germany.

Group A
Team France (Sébastien Ogier & Romain Grosjean)
Team Nordic (Tom Kristensen & Juho Hanninen)
Team USA (Travis Pastrana & Brian Deegan)
SAT1 Team Germany 2 (Timo Glock & Timo Scheider)

Group B
Team Germany (Michael Schumacher & Sebastian Vettel)
Team Slavic (Vitaly Petrov & Jan Kopecky)
Team Great Britain (Jenson Button & Andy Priaulx)
Team All Stars (David Coulthard & Filipe Albuquerque)

Race Of Champions Online Coverage & Program

 Race Of Champions Website

Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Vettel Visits Renault Sport F1 Factory In France

World champion Sebastian Vettel visits the Renault Sport F1 factory in France to thank the engine supplier who powered him to two successive world titles.

Red Bull Decline Bike Swap Offer For Vettel

Red Bull Racing have declined an invitation for world champion Sebastian Vettel to swap his F1 car with fellow German and 2011 Moto2 champion Stefan Bradl's bike.

La Gazzetta dello Sport quotes Bradl "I would gladly try a Formula One single seater and Sebastian could get on my bike. Yes, the change would be harder for him than for me."

Vettel was keen on the idea reports German tabloid Bild but the double world champion knew the dangers. "If you have a little slide, the car runs off. On a bike, you fall right off." said Vettel.

The problem is when Red Bull Racing consultant Helmut Marko was asked about the chances of the demonstration swap he replied with a resounding "no" adding "Not under any circumstances, the danger that Sebastian could get hurt on a bike is too great."

After the Robert Kubica ordeal teams will want to wrap their F1 stars in cotton wool if they could and you can hardly blame them.

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Vintage Alonso & Massa In Vintage Ferrari's

Felipe Massa and Fernando Alonso put on vintage racing gear to drive 60-70 year old Ferrari's. Massa in a 815 Auto Avio Costruzioni and Alonso in a 125 S.

Kimi Raikkonen Video Interview With Lotus Renault

Kimi Raikkonen talks about his often questioned motivation. Raikkonen also discusses what are the main challenges awaiting him, suspecting the new tyres will be the main one. The 2007 world champion also admits he will need some neck strengthening exercises to cope with the G forces of F1 again.

  Raikkonen's F1 Comeback Official
  Kimi Räikkönen Resume

Raikkonen's F1 Comeback Official

Kimi Raikkonen's comeback has been made official after months of speculation and recently a near certain deal with Williams failing. Kimi will be on the Formula 1 grid next year with Lotus Renault after signing a two year deal.

Kimi Raikkonen: "I'm delighted to be coming back to Formula 1 after a two-year break, and I'm grateful to Lotus Renault GP for offering me this opportunity. My time in the World Rally Championship has been a useful stage in my career as a driver, but I can't deny the fact that my hunger for F1 has recently become overwhelming. It was an easy choice to return with Lotus Renault GP as I have been impressed by the scope of the team's ambition. Now I'm looking forward to playing an important role in pushing the team to the very front of the grid."

Team owner Gerard Lopez: "All year long, we kept saying that our team was at the start of a brand new cycle. Backstage we've been working hard to build the foundations of a successful structure and to ensure that we would soon be able to fight at the highest level. Kimi's decision to come back to Formula 1 with us is the first step of several announcements which should turn us into an even more serious contender in the future. Of course, we are all looking forward to working with a world champion. On behalf of our staff, I'd like to welcome Kimi to Enstone, a setting that has always been known for its human approach to Formula 1."

It is not known who will partner Raikkonen for next year but Vitaly Petrov appears to have the best chance as the Russian has a contract and good sponsorship. Eric Boulier would be pushing for his managed driver Roman Grosjean but Boulier's own job isn't safe after Lotus Renault's performance this year.

Kimi Raikkonen Video Interview With Lotus Renault
Kimi Räikkönen Resume

Friday, 25 November 2011

Raikkonen To Williams Comeback Off

It appears Kimi Raikkonen's comeback with William's has hit a major stumbling block. According to German magazine Auto Motor Und Sport the comeback was aborted last week. The Williams seat will now be fought over between current driver Rubens Barrichello, Williams young driver Abu Dhabi tester Valtteri Bottas and Force India's Adrian Sutil.

The reasons for Raikkonen's Williams comeback failing are unknown with speculation he was asking to much(12 million euro rumored) and also reports he wanted a 20 percent stake in the team with the latter denied by a major Williams shareholder.

With the Williams deal over it appears there is still a chance of Raikkonen being in F1 next year with Renault admitting Raikkonen was in contact the week before the Abu Dhabi grand prix. However allegedly last year Raikkonen was in negotiations with Renault and they ending badly. Raikkonen later said about Renault something to the effect of it isn't cool to drive a slow car! Right now though both are more in need of each other with Raikkonen appearing more desperate to get back in F1 and Renault looking like loosing their star driver Robert Kubica.

Update 28 Nov: Strong rumors Kimi Raikkonen is shortly going to be announced as a Lotus Renault driver for next year.

Hamilton vs Button In Press Ups

McLaren drivers Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton compete against each other to see who can do the most timed press ups.

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Hamilton & Button Reflect On Brazil GPs

In Johnnie Walker, Step Inside The Circuit, McLaren drivers Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton look back on their Brazilian grands prix.

Kubica's Manager: "Renault Has Changed Robert's Words"

Robert Kubica has never said that he would not start next season claims Daniele Morelli, the manager of the Pole in Gazzetta dello Sport.

On Wednesday Renault issued the following statement from Kubica: "Even if I've been working very, very hard over the course of the last few weeks, I came to the conclusion that I am not yet certain to be ready for the 2012 season. I have called the team and I have informed them of the situation,"

On Thursday Kubica's manager revealed he was not happy with the way Renault quoted Robert and speaking in Gazzetta dello Sport, Morelli says "I don't understand why Renault has changed Robert's words, It's not true he won't be ready for 2012: he stated he doesn't have certainty that he will be in shape for the first tests in February. We count on and hope to be ready, but in any case the delay will be a few months, 2013 was never mentioned.

Morelli drops strong hints the Kubica/Renault relationship is as good as over by adding "Renault will go its way with regards to the drivers, while we will look for alternative solutions. [The contract] does not extend to 2012, it ends at the end of December, so from 1st January will we be free to go in whatever direction."

Morelli is also expecting Kubica to be as good as before the rally accident and attractive to the top teams if he comes back. Morelli: "Plans have gone out of the window, but if Robert comes back that's because he will be competitive like before and attractive for the top teams.

"He is a bit overweight, but his right leg is almost the same as the left one muscle-wise. His elbow's external brace will be removed on Tuesday, so from that point on he will be free from that scrap metal. The hand's sensitivity is OK, the only limit is strength: the forearm's muscles have been immobilized for a long time so there's a lot of work to do, but it's a matter of time, by the end of January the strength should be adequate."

On how Kubica will return to Formula one Morelli says "Not with a kart, because it's too extreme vibration-wise and for the lack of power steering. We'll start gradually and we'll see the responses after almost a year of inactivity. Robert is charged up: the tough times were in September/October, when the forearm's rotation was limited and progress wasn't so quick. But in the last month there's been a nice acceleration."

The squabbling between Kubica's management and Renault has been going on for months now with differing reports coming from both sides on the poles rehabilitation progress and how Kubica will make the comeback. One senses though this time the relationship is close to over and it is hard to imagine seeing Kubica sitting in a Lotus Renault again. Maybe a Ferrari but not a Lotus Renault!

Schumacher & Hamilton Refuse Helmet Safety Update

Last month at the Japanese Grand Prix, it was believed all the drivers were wearing helmets fitted with the latest safety update designed after Felipe Massa's near fatal crash in 2009.

The new feature on the helmets is a bulletproof Zylon strip across the top of the visors. The downside of the safety enhancement is the strip adds 50 grams of weight to the helmet, and affects the visor tint coatings and also the tear-off strips.

Turun Sanomat reports that the zylon visor is not yet mandatory with Japanese helmet manufacturer Arai's Peter Burger stating "(Michael) Schumacher and (Lewis) Hamilton don't use it because it saves them an extra 50 grams, Perhaps with the g-forces it adds up to a bit more (than 50 grams)"

World Champion Sebastian Vettel does use the zylon strip with Burger adding "I had to carefully explain to him why to use something that is not actually compulsory, It was supposed to become mandatory in Japan but the FIA only sent a letter to each driver strongly recommending that they use it."

The last time Schumacher and Hamilton went against the thinking of most other drivers in the paddock was when the two of them refused to sign a document wanting to ban the (thought dangerous)DRS at Monaco.

Infiniti F1 Art of Performance Brazilian GP

Red Bull Racing and Infiniti talk about getting the best performance from car and driver. David Coulthard states the importance of starting at a young age with Sebastian Vettel revealing he started karting at three and a half years old.

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Bruno Senna Looking Forward To Brazilian Vibes

Lotus Renault driver Bruno Senna is looking forward to properly racing in the Brazilian grand prix for the first time, not counting his weekend last year with back markers HRT. Bruno talks about the special atmosphere at the Interlagos circuit. With speculation Roman Grosjean will take Senna's seat next year the pressure is on Bruno to have a really good performance at his home grand prix.

Massa Tells Barrichello To Retire

Felipe Massa has advised fellow Brazilian Rubens Barrichello to retire rather than seek out sponsorship to continue his career.

39 year old, 11 grand prix winner Barrichello revealed this week he has been looking for sponsors to increase the chances of keeping his Williams seat for 2012. If Rubens is successful it would be his 20th consecutive season on the grid.

Reported in the Brazilian media Massa says "In my opinion, Rubens has had an incredible career in Formula One, driven for the best teams and won races. Many drivers would love to have had his career.

"What I said was not 'to run, you're old', What I would advise is to stop racing, because of his team and everything that is happening in the category, There are 12 teams and at least 6 of them ask for money from their drivers. For the career that Rubens has had, I cannot see him ending this way, needing to pay to race in Formula 1."

On Brazilian television network Rede Globo, Barrichello responds in kind to Massa's advice. Rubens says "Felipe is coming from the side of a caring friend. 'It's not worth you suffer,' he says. I've heard that a lot of various people, including my father"

It is interesting to note Felipe gave Rubens the same advice in 2008 and we all know what happened the next year with Barrichello getting two wins and fighting for the championship in the Brawn.

Brazilian Grand Prix TV Coverage (BBC)

BBC Red Button Freeview
1155-1335 Live coverage of the 1st practice session.
1555-1735 Live coverage of the 2nd practice session.

BBC Red Button Freeview
1255-1405 Live coverage of the 3rd practice session.

BBC 1 & BBC 1 HD
1500-1725 Live coverage of Qualifying.

BBC 1 & BBC 1 HD
1500-1810 Live coverage of Race.

BBC Red Button Freeview
1810-1710 Post-race analysis and debate. 

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Felipe Massa On 100 Grands Prix At Ferrari

Felipe Massa talks about his highs and lows at Ferrari. Felipe will start his 100th grand prix at Formula 1's most famous team in his home race in Brazil. Also includes Jules Bianchi discussing the technology transfer from Formula 1 to road cars.

Jarno Trulli Laps Interlagos Circuit On Simulator

Team Lotus driver Jarno Trulli previews the Brazilian Grand Prix with a lap of Sao Paulo's Interlagos circuit on the simulator.

F1 News Roundup From Abu Dhabi & Brazil

Inside Grand Prix News covers the latest news from the Formula One paddock. This episode includes Jean-Eric Vergne in the young drivers test in Abu Dhabi, the winner of the DHL fastest laps trophy this year(Mark Webber) who incidentally Vergne said he could do no worse than!, the American grand prix situation in Austin, Lotus Renault's four options for next year, Red Bull Racing workers 11,000 euro bonus, Cosworth's award, Nelson Piquet waving the chequered flag in Brazil and the Brembo brake facts for the Interlagos circuit in Brazil.

Monday, 21 November 2011

Pedro de la Rosa In 2 Year Race Deal With HRT

Pedro de la Rosa will return to Formula One racing next season after signing a two-year deal with HRT. The 40-year-old Spaniard is currently a reserve driver for McLaren but is willing to go to the back marker HRT team to get the chance to return to racing.

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 active competition, the fact that HRT is a Spanish team and getting to know the people leading this project, Luis Perez-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 two 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 this.

"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."

HRT Team principal Colin Kolles: "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."

McLaren Team Principal Martin Whitmarsh: "Pedro's contribution to Vodafone McLaren Mercedes has been fantastically valuable, perhaps even more valuable than may be apparent to outsiders, in fact ever since he joined us in 2003. As a test driver, he's been extraordinarily hard-working, on track and latterly more often, in our simulator and his feedback has been reliable and expert.

"But his contributions have gone wider and deeper than that, Pedro is the archetypal team player, a big motivational presence in our team and perhaps because of that, he's someone whom I personally will always count as a true friend.

"In 2010 and 2011 he drove some races for the Sauber team and although he's always approached his test and development work with McLaren with energy and enthusiasm, he remains a racer at heart. For that reason, we understand and support his decision to join HRT as a race driver and we wish him well. It goes without saying, however, that he'll be missed."

Hamilton & Button Preview The Brazilian GP

Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton preview the Interlagos Circuit with Vodafone Inside Track.

Red Bull Brazil Track Record & Preview

Sebastian Vettel: "Brazil is going to be exciting because Interlagos is known for its passionate fans, anti-clockwise driving and the extreme altitude of the track. Sao Paulo is about 1000 metres above sea level, which costs us some power. The long left corners are a strain on our neck muscles because the track is anti-clockwise, which is opposite to normal. That's why i usually do some special training before Sao Paulo to get my muscles used to it. One of the best overtaking places is in the first chicane, the so-called Senna S. it's perfect for braking as you can drive in the slipstream of the car in front, to be able to pass. One important thing is, if it rains, which is certainly possible in Sao Paulo, aquaplaning can be extreme here."

Mark Webber: "Brazil is one of the best races of the year. It's a track which reminds me of brands Hatch and the Formula Ford racing there because it's a like a bowl in terms of the atmosphere. The Brazilian people love their motorsport and are extremely passionate about it, obviously off the back of Piquet, Senna, Fittipaldi and Rubens - they've had some really great drivers. There are nice memories for me from Brazil. I've always done well there so i hope i can get a nice result, it would be a great way to end the season with a good last race."

Brawn & Rosberg Discuss Telemetry In F1

Mercedes team principal Ross Brawn and driver Nico Rosberg talk about the importance of telemetry in Formula 1 and how its use has changed in the last 10 years.

Vergne Says He Would Do No Worse Than Webber

After an impressive young drivers test in Abu Dhabi, Red Bull tester Jean-Eric Vergne has claimed he would be as good as regular driver Mark Webber if given the chance.

In an interview by French news magazine Le Nouvel Observateur Vergne says "When I came back (from the test) I saw the comments of (engineering boss) Ian Morgan and they were very positive, I cannot hide it, I know that the top teams are cautious of young drivers, the only one (McLaren) that dared to go with a young guy recently was Hamilton, and it worked.

"We have had a similar preparation, I did three days of testing and physically had no problems. So I think if I was put in the Red Bull, I would do no worse than Webber. That's my impression, anyway, after these tests.

"But I know that the road is still long and where I go next is Brazil. This is my last practice session with Toro Rosso before I know what I will be doing next season"

Update: Vergne's friend and mentor Renaud Derlot, who has been involved with the Frenchman's career for the past seven years, has told commentator Jean-Louis Moncet's Auto Plus blog; "I can tell you that how the journalist quoted Jean-Eric is wrong. I record everything he (Vergne) says and I was the only one to do it that day because the journalist did not. I spoke with the journalist last night and he apologised not only to me but also to Jean-Eric." says Derlot.

Below an onbard of Vergne in the RB7 doing a few laps at a wet Silverstone track.

Friday, 18 November 2011

Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Highlights

The official race edit of the 2011 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

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