Thursday, 30 June 2011

Who Is Daniel Ricciardo?

Hispania has confirmed Daniel Ricciardo will make his Formula 1 debut at the British Grand Prix. Ricciardo who is still a Red Bull junior driver will take Narain Karthikeyan's race seat, with the Indian staying on as an "official driver". Karthikeyan is expected to return in the race cockpit for just his home GP in Indian.

Ricciardo is on loan from Red Bull so they can rate his racing abilities along side a known quantity in Tonio Liuzzi. HRT owner Jose Carabante states "This agreement is a reward for all the hard work Hispania Racing has shown since we started in Formula One last year,"

"We're proud that the Formula One World Champion team has trusted us in their effort of developing their drivers. Let's hope that this is just the start of a fruitful relationship."

HRT team principal Colin Kolles thanked Red Bull Racing team consultant Helmut Marko who was instrumental in making the deal happen. Kolles: "I'm happy to welcome Daniel to the team; I'm glad the team managed to conclude this deal together with Dr. Helmut Marko who deserves my personal respect"

So if anyone is wondering who is Daniel Riccardo watch below..



Daniel Ricciardo To Race For HRT At Silverstone?

According to Australian newspaper Perth Now Daniel Ricciardo will make his F1 debut at the next Grand Prix which is scheduled for Silverstone next weekend. The Australian will replace Narain Karthikeyan at back marker team HRT in a loan deal agreed with Red Bull.

Reports suggest Ricciardo will replace Karthikeyan for the rest of the season, with Indian driver Karthikeyan stepping back into the seat for his home Grand Prix in late October.

Ricciardo, Toro Rosso's third driver has impressed in Friday practices at GP weekends leading to mounting pressure on current Toro Rosso drivers Jaime Alguersuari and Sebastien Buemi who are both seen at risk of loosing their seats.

There has been no comment from any of the parties involved but an announcement is expected later today.
   
Update: Questioned by "Herald Sun" at Heathrow airport Daniel Ricciardo confirms the rumours. Ricciardo: "It's pretty, pretty exciting, It's awesome, just awesome. To make the first one at Silverstone, it's great, It's a circuit I know well and it's just up the road from my second home in Britain."
  

Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Webber Highly Likely To Be In Red Bull Next Year

Red Bull team boss Christian Horner has revealed it is "very, very likely" Mark Webber will continue with the team in 2012. Speculation had recently linked Lewis Hamilton to the seat after Hamilton visited Horner at the Canadain Grand Prix after a dismal qualifying.

Speaking on Servus TV when asked if Webber would be at Red Bull next year Horner says "Well, that's very, very likely, We have agreed to sit down a bit later and then focus on next year"

When asked about the Hamilton rumors, Horner states with a smile: "I really don't think blue is his color. For Red Bull, the most important thing is the harmony."

Yes, like Mark and Sebastian have such harmony together!! Hamilton has another year on his contract with McLaren and Webber has been on a yearly basis contract so next year I wouldn't be surprised if Hamilton suddenly started liking blue a lot more.
   

Diffuser Ban To cost Red Bull Half A Second

With the introduction of a ban on blown diffusers from the British Grand Prix onward Helmut Marko has suggested Red Bull will loose half a second. Red Bull's motorsport consultant is confident though the world champions can make the deficit back through car set up and new aerodynamic updates set to be introduced at Silverstone.

Marko states "We expect to lose approximately 0.5 seconds per lap without the blown diffuser, However, we made preparations to equalise this in terms of set-up and aero measures. We are optimistic that we will keep our performance level."

Marko went on to once again convey his displeasure at the changes being enforced mid season.

"We would have understood if this was implemented at the end of the season like many other technical developments recently, But to do this halfway through the season is a bit strange and not quite understandable." states Marko.

As much as I don't want it to, it would be kind of amusing if what looks like the FIA's plan to stop Red Bull having such a performance advantage back fired. Lewis Hamilton was not that optimistic at Valencia on his team making headway because of the changes.

Hamilton talking about Silverstone "I think that in the next race [at Silverstone] we may really struggle again. I'm not looking forward to it, I'm really not looking forward to it."

"I'll be going there as prepared as I can, racing as fast as I can, but we really might struggle. We're not fast enough and with the regulations changing I personally think we're going to make another step backwards. I'm a little bit nervous about it. I think we might be affected more than the two teams ahead of us [Red Bull and Ferrari]. It will be even worse for us."
  

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Barcelona GP Gets Ditched For Valencia

Valencia will be the only Spanish date on next year's formula one calendar. According to Spanish station Radio Valencia the Spanish Grand Prix will be held the next ten years in Valencia on the date normally reserved for Barcelona.

With the increase in destinations wanting to host Grands Prix and an already stretched calender, Bernie Ecclestone has been against holding two races in one country, in addition, Barcelona's Circuit de Catalunya contract ends this season.

The Spanish station goes on to say Valencia, the Spanish port city and host of last Sunday's European GP, will take on the role of the Spanish GP in 2012 and beyond. The agreement, reportedly made by Bernie Ecclestone at the weekend is verbal but is expected to be followed in writing in due course.

For as long as I can remember the Barcelona GP was the most boring of them all so good riddance to it but is quite unfortunate that the only other GP in Alonso land isn't much better.

Update: Circuit de Catalunya director Salvador Servia, speaking to Marca sports newspaper about the reports about Barcelona losing its place states they are "invented".

Servia speaking on Onda Cero radio "Spain has just held two successful grands prix. Everything else I would hope are just rumours," he said on Onda Cero radio."I think someone has said 'I want this to happen' and so somebody else said 'This is going to happen'. For next year they have already set the dates"

   

Monday, 27 June 2011

Pirelli On Borefest Gp And Silverstone Tyres

Pirelli's director of motorsport Paul Hembery admits using the super soft Pirelli's might have helped a small bit to liven up the European GP. Pirelli opted to take the soft and new medium compound tyres to the European GP as the super softs would have worn too fast in Valencia's hot conditions.

Speaking to Autosport Hembery: "From our point of view probably the conservative choice of medium did not help."

"If we had gone the super soft route - it would not have worked tremendously well here because it is far too hot for it - but people would have had to use it in qualifying and, if they had just got eight laps out of it, it would have pushed people harder on the soft, perhaps to the limit."

"They would only have needed a couple more laps out of each set on the soft, but some might have done it, some might have not and that might have brought into play a little bit more the performance difference of the cars as the tyres degraded more."

"We have seen that maybe we could have assisted - but I am not sure of that of course because we didn't see the DRS working in many places. It is one for all of us to look back on - we need to look back and see what we could do."

"Having the super soft may well have created a slightly more interesting race, but I have doubts with the overtaking zones that it would not have changed a huge amount. It certainly would not have been as exciting as some of the other races we have seen."

Pirelli's tyre choice could have a significant effect on the next GP which is scheduled for Silverstone as Ferrari have struggled for pace earlier this year on Pirelli's hard compound tyre. Hembery speaking further on what tyres will be choosen for Silverstone was keen to point out it doesn't want to favour any one team with it's selection.

"It is a big challenge for us because we want to make sure that we have good racing. Equally, we don't want too many pitstops. Silverstone could be very hot - and if it is hot, fast and aggressive that for us is a big call."

"If it is cold you don't want to have compounds too hard, which then start sliding and graining. It is something we are analysing. So we will look at the data from Valencia and we need to make a decision by Monday night, or at the latest Tuesday morning."

"The teams have a difference of opinion, We have asked their advice but clearly we don't want to favour or penalise one over the other. We have to take a look at the whole field. We have 12 teams we look at and feel that we are going to make the right choice for them, and also the right choice for us of course."

"Our main concern is to make sure that we don't penalise any team. Some people have decided that from Barcelona the hard tyre favours those with high downforce, so we have to be careful that the strategy based on hard tyres is not going to penalise any particular team. Equally we don't want to be in the situation where we have five pitstops, so it is a balance we have to find."

"You have to think what is right for us - and what is right for us is that we don't want more than four pitstops. We would prefer to have three, but probably Silverstone whatever we do we will probably have four, whatever option we do. As long as we don't have five, that is fundamental for us."

"If it is three or four then it is mixture of how we balance all the requirements of the teams. We will do a table, we will analyse all the team's requirements, and we will base it on what is the best for the majority of the teams."
   

Nearly All Circuits Threaten F1 Boycott Over New Rev Limit

It appears the new compromise on turbo V6 engines with a rev limit of 12,000 revs to be introduced in 2014 isn't going to be sufficient after all.

All but two of the world’s circuits, (China and Korea) have issued an ultimatium to F1's governing body. Either the rev limit remains at 18,000 in 2014 and beyond or the circuits will drop F1 and instead host Indycar events.

The letter, dated one day after last week's F1 Commission meeting in London, said the sound of the new engine rules in the future "is to be the same as the current (V8) engine" Ecclestone as expected is aware of the letter and is supporting the promoters. 

Ron Walker who penned the letter stated as Ecclestone has many times that powerful, noisey engines are a key part of the appeal of F1. Walker goes on to say in The Express the sound of the new engine "would be like a tin can rattling"

"We are not going to have our customer base destroyed. I told them that the circuits would not run it. The sound is part of the brand,"

I have only two questions, what were China and Korea thinking not signing that letter? and when is Jean Todt going to give us fans a break by swapping his presidency for a more suitable Green Peace role?
   

Thursday, 23 June 2011

Is This The Future For Hamilton?

Austrian magazine Sport Woche went one step further with the recent speculation about Lewis Hamilton and Red Bull with their latest front cover.


Red Bull consultant Helmut Marko further stirring things by stating to the magazine "It is the goal of us to have the two best available drivers. We want to win both world championships. And it's also good for Vettel, if he can work with the best when it is demanded."

One stumbling block might be pay with Forbes recently quoting both Vettel and Hamilton earning around 20 million euro a year. Can or does Red Bull want to spend 40 million on its driver line up per year? Hamilton recently stated "Vettel does nothing I would not achieve, If I had a better car, I would also do better."

I'm sure Martin Whitmarsh will be happy so see that magazine cover! Not!
   

The Track And Favourites For Valencia

As in Canada there will be two DRS zones. The first will be between Turns 10 and 12 and the second between Turns 14 and 17. Also featured as in Canada will be a single detection point, just prior to Turn Eight.




The favourites for the European Grand Prix are

  • S Vettel - 2/1
  • L Hamilton - 5/1
  • F Alonso - 7/1
  • M Webber - 11/1
  • J Button - 12/1
  • F Massa - 12/1
  • N Rosberg - 90/1
  • M Schumacher - 130/1

Even with the engine mapping changes it seems to be pretty much the same picture on the odds as the previous GP in Canada. If Some Schumi or Nico fan gets lucky with a bet on either they really will have got lucky with them odds!

European Grand Prix TV Coverage (BBC)

Friday

BBC Red Button Freeview
0855-1035 Live coverage of the 1st practice session.
1255-1435 Live coverage of the 2nd practice session.


Saturday

BBC Red Button Freeview
0855-1035 Live coverage of the 3rd practice session.

BBC 1 & BBC 1 HD
1210-1420 Live coverage of Qualifying.


Sunday

BBC 1 & BBC 1 HD
1210-1530 Live coverage of Race.

BBC Red Button Freeview
1530-1630 Post-race analysis and debate.
  

Trulli Threatens To Quit F1

Jarno Trulli has admitted he could be close to leaving Formula One. The Italian has struggled with the Team Lotus power steering system saying it does not give him enough feel for his precise driving style. "That's why Kovalainen goes quicker than me" Trulli tells Italy's La Gazzetta dello Sport.

"These are not good times. After 2010 I expected to be fighting in the middle but we are still at the back, building up experience as a team. I want to see how things evolve, It's tough not fighting for high places any more. I could have a look around and leave F1, without quitting racing."

Trulli admitted he would be interested in moving to Le Mans sports cars if he got a strong team then added "But I'm not thinking about it now, I want to keep my mind clear. Then we'll see,"

When Team Lotus owner Tony Fernandes was recently asked by the BBC if Trulli's seat was safe his response was firm stating "yes, yes, yes, yes, He brings something many people don't see - a lot of experience in development of the car,"
     

Lux Files Legal Complaint Against Sutil

What was threatened by Genii Capital CEO Eric Lux has now happened. Lux has filed an official legal complaint against Force India driver Adrian Sutil, for grievous bodily harm.

Lux, whose company Genii Capital own the Renault F1 team, was left needing 16-24 stitches to his neck after an incident in a nite club following the Chinese Grand Prix. Lux's lawyers stated at the Spanish GP in May a complaint would be filed, something which has now been confirmed. ESPN report a spokesman for the prosecutor "There is a pending complaint for grievous bodily harm against Herr Sutil"

Sutil's manager Manfred Zimmermann previously stated any complaint would be fought, and maintained his belief that Sutil would be cleared of any wrongdoing. Zimmermann said "We are confident the court will come to the conclusion that this was not about Adrian attacking anybody" Sutil himself admitted shortly after the incident occurred he had "hurt another person unintentionally"

At the time the most in depth version of events I came across was from a German newspaper, which one I can't recall. It reported, Sutil was at the club with Lewis Hamilton to celebrate his mates win in the Grand Prix that weekend. The Renault guys were also their in the same VIP section.

It became crowded and Hamilton’s body guards were making more room for him and in the goings on after that a woman spilt drink on Sutil. As Sutil was complaining to the woman Lux got involved and whatever happened between them Sutil went to throw a drink in Lux’s face but instead caught him with the glass causing the injury.

If that version of events is true or not I don’t know but the meaning to throw the drink and catching Lux with the glass seems to add up from what Sutil is saying it been an accident and Lux saying it wasn't. Either way Sutil is facing big problems and could loose his Force India seat over it. According to Team Pricipal Vijay Mallya he will take "appropriate action", adding "If and when he's charged, I will assess the situation."
  

Lawsuit Filed By Austin Citizens Over GP Funding

A lawsuit has been filed by three Austin citizens who oppose state funding of the US Grand Prix scheduled for next year. One of the citizens is a teacher who lost her job in a recent round of spending cutbacks.

A grant of $25m public money from the Texas state's Major Event Trust Fund is due to be used to take care of the sanctioning fee owed to Bernie Ecclestone. The $25m is an annual payment starting July 31 2011 and continuing for the next nine years.

The payment was guaranteed to Bernie Ecclestone by Texas State Comptroller Susan Combs in a letter on May 10 last year. It is against Combs the suit has been filed to prevent “the unlawful plunder of public funds for promoters of a Formula One race at a time when the State of Texas claims it cannot afford to adequately fund essential services, such as its public education system.”

The legal suit has been filed against Combs on the basis that the proper processes relating to the Major Event Fund were not correctly followed, and that Combs was not then authorized to guarantee the payment to Ecclestone. The suit also states that "offering public funds after the site selection has been made is an illegal gift for private purpose.”

Also claimed is  "the incremental increase in state and local tax income derived from the F1 event – and which justifies the use of the METF funding – has not been properly calculated."
    

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

V6 Turbo Engines From 2014

A compromise has been reached over the introduction of green engines. Originally planned were 1.6 litre 4 cylinder turbo engines to be introduced in 2013. With only Renault still in favour of the original plan the compromise is to introduce 1.6 litre V6 turbo engines and at a year later than originally planned for a swap over.

Below are the engine specs for 2014.
  • 1.6-litre, six-cylinder turbos with energy recovery and fuel restrictions to replace current 2.4-litre normally aspirated V8s.
  • Fuel efficiency to increase by 35%.
  • Maximum revs of 12,000rpm.
  • Power of energy-recovery systems to double.
  • Overall power to remain at approx 750bhp.
  • Checks and balances to ensure costs are contained and performance across all engines remains comparable.
  • Plan for advanced 'compound' turbos to be introduced in subsequent years.   

The engine changes were agreed at a meeting of the F1 Commission on Wednesday. The new rules must now be approved by the the FIA on Monday which is expected to be a formality.
    

Domenicali: Very Important For Massa To Keep Improved Form

Stefano Domenicali has stressed the importance of Felipe Massa maintaining his Canadian GP form through the rest of the season. Massa has one year left on his contract but replacement rumours fail to go away after a poor start to the season after being dominated by team mate Fernando Alonso last year. The latest words from Domenicali in The Independent don't excatly extingish the chances of Massa leaving sooner than his contract ends.

Domenicali talking about Massa's above par performance in Canada: "That is what we want to see from Felipe, It's why I'm always pushing when we have difficult moments, saying that we need to deliver because we believe in him."

"In Canada he did a great job because he didn't give up, even in the last few centimetres of the race. That is what I want to see from him from now up until the end of the season. It's very important for him, but also for the team."

Massa in Canada got caught out passing a backmarker, loosing grip on the wet surface offline, clipping the wall and damaging his front wing. Despite the major setback, he fought his way back to pip Kamui Kobayashi for sixth place right at the finish.
     

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Schumi: Mercedes Worse Than We Hoped Or Even Expected

Michael Schmacher has expressed the Mercedes team's disappointment with this years car after hopes had been raised in Barcelona pre-season testing were Schumacher topped the time sheets. The seven times champion speaking to Autosprint magazine:

"Overall, it's clear that the season up to now has gone worse than all of us had hoped, In fact, considering the good conclusion to winter testing, it's worse than we had actually expected."

"The fact that on the car we have several areas of work in progress, As long as we worry about solving those, the development of the project suffers at times."

"The positive thing about it is that this time we are able to take all these experiences and this knowledge towards next year. In fact I'm confident that we'll take good steps forward during the rest of this year. We have plenty of work to do, but we are prepared."

"All our attention is focused on building the team. That's what we focus on at the moment, with no exception nor limitation."

Schumacher had the best race since his comeback began a year ago, in a weather effected Canada GP where he ran as high as second before being picked off by the DRS passes of Button and Webber leaving him fourth.
   

Engine Mapping Clampdown At Valencia

The FIA has written to all the teams making it clear they will not be allowed to change engine map settings between qualifying and the race with immediate effect. The move is to prevent teams using extreme engine maps to burn more fuel in qualifying getting a short distance performance advantage.

Engine maps are used like a power boost in qualifying, with teams maximizing the pressures from the engine that go through the blown diffuser and generate downforce. Such a method is not workable over race distance because of reliability issues arising from the increased temperatures the floor of the car is subject to. Also of importance is the extra fuel load needed for a race distance with extreme mapping is 15 kilos, which would eat up any aerodynamic advantage gain.

The engine mapping is a major theory towards Red Bull's qualifying dominance this year compared to a much closer performance advantage in races. McLaren's principle race engineer Phil Prew backed up this assumption "I think tyre optimisation may be one area, and the use of elaborate engine modes may be another - with the generation of downforce being quite highly influenced with the exhaust flows." stated Prew earlier this year.

The car has to be plugged into a computer to adjust the settings which makes changing them in a pitstop too time consuming. So qualifying should be very interesting this Saturday with many Red Bull rivals sure to be dropping their heads if Vettel sticks the Bull on pole again.
      

Almost Certain Postponement For New Engine Rules

The decision to introduce 4 cylinder 1.6 litre turbo engines for 2013 will almost certain be postponed to a later date before the end of the month according to Italian magazine Autosprint.

Bernie Ecclestone, a staunch critic of the new rules believes the new toned down more road car like noise of the engines would have a vast negative effect on viewing figures as the unique noise of the Formula One car is a major attraction at Grands Prix.

It is believed an attempt to overturn the rules being introduced was narrowly defeated in a recent vote of the World Motor Sport Council. According to Auto Motor und Sport Wednesday's meeting with the F1 commission is Bernie's plan B with the 80 year old also considering legal action.

It does appear now though FIA president Jean Todt has agreed to consider a delayed introduction date with an announcement coming before the end of the month. Todt was facing an uphill battle to keep the 2013 rule change on track as engine makers Ferrari, Mercedes and Cosworth no longer support the four-cylinder turbo's.

Increased costs involved are the main stumbling block for the engine suppliers. Jean Todt's only ally is fellow French engine supplier Renault who have threatened to quit F1 if the 2013 rules do not debut as scheduled.

Well bye bye Renault as I and most other fans would rather have them missing than listening to glorified lawn mower engines race around the track. If the FIA really wants to make an effort to go green why not rearrange the calender by scheduling races closest in the world together saving vast amounts of air miles. This wouldn't be popular because it seems it's more about being seen to be doing the right thing than actually doing it.

Also with the FIA it can't be the right thing to do unless it robs the fans in some way, few examples being
- qualifying being ruined now for the sake of an extra set of tyres not being allowed in Q3.
- wet races being spent behind safety cars until the track is nearly dry.
- trying to gag drivers from speaking their minds with Hamilton close to being banned for six races for a bad joke in the heat of the moment.

Bernie Ecclestone sums it up best about Todt being more concerned about outside opinion to the determent of the sport. Ecclestone speaking about Jean Todt "He has been travelling around the world doing what Max didn’t do too much – kissing the babies and shaking the hands. It is probably good for the FIA but we don’t need it in Formula 1."
     

Monday, 20 June 2011

McLaren Keen On Button Contract Extension

Jenson Button is set to be handed a new and improved McLaren deal in the next few weeks according to Autosport. Recent speculation had suggested Ferrari interist in Button but the English mans preference is to stay at McLaren.

McLaren have Button under option for another year meaning it is on the teams side to sign him or not. A simple sign up is unlikely as Button's reputation keeps soaring skyward. What McLaren would look to do is sign him on better terms in exchange for a multi year commitment from the 2009 champion.

Lewis Hamilton's future looks less certain. Fustration at Vettel running away with the Championship came to a head at Canada. With Hamilton expecting to challenge for pole at the Canadian Grand Prix he ended up fifth leading to an unplanned visit to Christian Horner.

The Red Bull team leader was said to be taken by surprise with the visit and no doubt would have counted it a good suprise as Hamilton despite his critics of late is one of Formula One's hottest comodities. It must be stated again the Red Bull visit may have nothing to do with a drive in the future with the team. Lewis could have been just their to congratulate Horner on yet another Red Bull pole!

Meanwhile Nico Rosberg has made it known he would be open to an approach from McLaren.

So here is what is going to happen, well with maybe a big maybe!

Red Bull jump at chance to get Hamilton and buy him out of remaining Mclaren option for massive amount of dosh while at the same time letting Mark Webber save face by saying he is going to retire first. McLaren tie Button down to lucrative multi year deal with Rosberg replacing Hamilton's empty seat and Di Resta taking Rosbergs vacated seat at Mercedes.

McLaren Team Boss Hits Out At "BBC Axe F1" Story

McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh has become the latest voice to hit out at what he claims are “significant inaccuracies” in a Sunday newspaper report alleging the BBC is poised to axe Formula One as part of its cost-saving drive.

Speaking to The Daily Telegraph Whitmarsh stressed the importance of Formula One staying on free to air television and also highlighted some of the many inaccuracies put forward in The Sunday Times "BBC Axe F1" story.

Whitmarsh in The Daily Telegraph:

"Formula One insiders have been surprised by the recent newspaper reports, since they contain significant statistical inaccuracies, In terms of average viewership, peak viewership and average share of viewership - the three key indices for TV executives – more people are watching Formula One this year than last year or indeed than in recent previous years."

“For example, the average share of viewership for the BBC’s coverage of the recent Chinese Grand Prix, which Vodafone McLaren Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton won, was more than 50%."

“In other words, as many people were watching Formula 1 in the UK that Sunday morning as were watching every other channel combined – including all terrestrial channels and all satellite channels – a staggeringly impressive statistic. And the TV viewing figures for other recent Grands Prix have been massively impressive too."

“It’s crucial to the commercial model of Formula one that TV coverage should remain free-to-air, and therefore universally accessible, and therefore widely consumed and enjoyed by large numbers of viewers – and the BBC delivers that in the UK."

“Moreover, besides the quantity of viewership, the quality of the BBC’s coverage is consistently high too – which is just as important. Also important is the demographic data – which shows that F1 is now attracting an increasing number of younger and female viewers, which is also very positive."

“Formula 1 is the pinnacle of world motorsport – always has been, always will be. As such, it’s appropriate that the BBC should continue to cover it."

“I think it would be very sad, and most unwise, if the BBC were to disappoint so many millions of British sports fans by axing it, and that’s why I don’t believe for a moment that they’d seriously consider doing such a thing.”


A BBC spokesperson also stated on Sunday's "BBC to Axe F1" story “No decisions have been taken and therefore these claims remain speculation.”

Update: Bernie Ecclestone has now too added his voice in support of BBC. Ecclestone: "We want Formula One to stay free to viewers, That is 100%."

"The BBC have done a great job for us and we like their shows and the people obviously like it because so many are watching."

"They did warn me that they were facing problems but, so far, nothing more has been said. I hope they want to keep us because it is such a success and I will do my best to keep Formula One on the BBC."

Related: BBC Anchor Speaks Out About F1 Axe Article
    

Sunday, 19 June 2011

Marko Questions Conspiracy Against Red Bull

Red Bull motor racing consultant Helmut Marko has questioned the FIA timing of the blown exhaust clampdown suggesting it is targeted to slow Red Bull down in the Championship charge.

Marko speaking to German Bild-Zeitung newspaper: "Inventions such as the double diffuser and the F-duct were both banned at the end of the year,"

"Now we see a ban in the middle of the season. That's pretty strange."

"What we hope now is that it doesn't hit us any harder than it does Renault, Mercedes and McLaren, while Ferrari is most certainly looking to gain an advantage,"

Charlie Whiting told the teams on Thursday that restrictions on the diffusers will apply starting at Silverstone in July.

Related: Which Team Will Be Hit Hardest By The Diffuser Ban

Button To Ferrari?

Ferrari is targeting Jenson Button as a replacement for Felipe Massa News Of The World reports. Massa inconsistency is a source of frustration for Maranello as they look for a stronger team mate for Fernando Alonso.

According to the article Ferrari are interested in obtaining Button's services and have already checked he is available. Ferrari are impressed with his consistency in being on the podium and constantly chasing race wins.

Button's three year McLaren contract expires at the end of next season, exactly the same time as the contract of Massa's with Ferrari expires. To add fuel to the story Jenson has stated in the past he would like to drive for Ferrari.

With Button linked to Ferrari and rumors of Lewis Hamilton linked with Red Bull it would be a crushing blow for the McLaren dream line up if they lost both drivers.

BBC Anchor Speaks Out About F1 Axe Article

The BBC F1 anchor Jake Humphrey has spoken out concerning The Times article about F1 being dropped.

Humprey on twitter: "Lots of 'Sunday Times' questions. SO MANY inaccuracies in that article. F1 does incredible business on the BBC-it's spiritual home! #bbcf1 "

"I've no inside info on it's future...but I know little else gets the audience share and the millions that we do. #bbcf1 is a huge success."

For those outside UK who don't understand how important it is BBC keeps the coverage, here is the setup. BBC provides live coverage of practice sessions, qualifying and race.

The race and qualifying get 3/4 hour previews and the race gets hour review after included. All of the above happens under the standard license fee and coverage is non stop including NO advertisements.

Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation who just happens to own the Sunday Times in which the "axe article" appeared in has been known to have an interest in acquiring the viewing rights for Formula One.

The problems with Murdoch's sky showing Formula 1 are

1- Pay for sky satellite dish which gets you some free channels
2- Pay to subscribe to Sky Sports
   or Pay to box office for every GP weekend depending how is sold.
3- Have to watch advertisements which ITV highlighted does not work with Formula 1.

With the above it would be a great shame for F1 to go off main stream TV to some satellite station where the amount of money you have to spare decides whether you can watch or not.

It doesn't seem right some 8 or 9 year old kid, maybe a young Lewis Hamilton or Jenson Button won't be able to watch Formula 1 because his parents can't afford the extra money to buy it on satellite TV. All so some shmuck in a suit can sit somewhere and count his millions.

Saturday, 18 June 2011

HRT Owner Close Call On Jail Time

Hispania team owner Jose Ramon Carabante has been sentenced to three months in prison for a crime of fraud committed by the sale of land for the construction of homes between 1997 and 1998. According to Spanish Marca sports newspaper the 59-year-old Spaniard will not actually serve time and will just pay a fine of 450 euro.

The ruling has been a crime of misappropriation in the case of a site which was sold to build homes that were not carried out. Ramon Carabante was the sole director of the company responsible for the promotion of housing and was responsible for signing contracts for the sale and management of the money coming into the account.

Of the 41 affected by crime, a total of 38 of them recovered the money invested in mid-2010.

Carabante is the major shareholder of his struggling formula one team HRT. On Friday the team principal Colin Kolles said the team were aiming to finish tenth in the constructor's championship above Lotus and Virgin.

Friday, 17 June 2011

Which Team Will Be Hit Hardest By Diffuser Ban?

The FIA is pressing onward with its blown diffuser clampdown following a meeting with the technical working group and Charlie Whiting Thursday. Despite some discontent at the decision teams have been told to severely limit their off-throttle diffuser exhaust blowing starting at next month's British Grand Prix.

What the ban means is teams will be limited to using just 10% of engine over-run when the driver is off the accelerater, which will prevent the clever mapping systems that have pumped almost full throttle exhaust flow through engines when the driver was not on the power.

More importantly how will it effect the pecking order from Silverstone on depends very much on who you ask.

Ferrari's team boss Stefano Domenicali seems to be the most optimistic and with the pressure on him lately he probably needs to be. Speaking to Sporting Life Stefano hoped the ban will kick start his team's season.

"We need to see at Silverstone what will be the change in effect with regard to the regulations about the exhaust, After Silverstone we will then be able to make a judgment, and if there is one, all I can say is that I hope it (the ban) affects us less than the others."

A little less optimistic is McLaren Team Chief Martin Whitmarsh “I don’t think it will create a fundamental change to the picture, But it will hurt some more than others. Depending on how optimistic you are feeling that day, you like to think that it will hurt others more than you."

“It will change according to which team, who’s exploiting these tactics the most. It’s been a moving feast. It's quite possible we will close up in qualifying by half a second (if there is a ban)," Whitmarsh speaking to Auto Motor und Sport.

Jenson Button is thinking or hoping the ban will impact Red Bull the most "They (Red Bull) use the exhaust gases into the diffuser non-stop on a qualifying lap, but not in the race."

"In qualifying, it means a lap-time deficit of half to one second, although our race modes aren't going to be that different." Button is quoted in Swiss newspaper Blick.

Meanwhile in a interview with ESPNF1, World Champion Sebastian Vettel predicted that other teams will be hit harder. "If it is happening then I think it will hit everyone, I think if you look at the concept of our car then we are not bad off if it [the ban] happens."

"I think there are other people that will lose more, for instance the Renault or Mercedes teams which are completely relying on that technique."

"Surely it will hit everyone as we all rely on it in terms of performance. It does make us quicker, and if you ban it it will slow us down. But I think, compared to others, we won't be at a disadvantage."

The technique was started by Red Bull's engine supplier Renault in the middle of last year, and the sport's pace-setting team is believed to be the most advanced in its exploitation of the technology. It is then Red Bull who are thought to be the team that stands to lose the most.

The question Why Is Red Bull So Fast In Qualifying Compared To Race?? seems to back up the claim of Red Bull standing to loose the most as the "hot blown diffuser" concept is most aggressively used during qualifying. To use the technique in the race to such an extent cancels itself out because of the greater fuel load needed.

Well what we can be sure of is who it will affect the least as Sauber, Toro Rosso, Williams, Virgin and Hispania aren't using a "hot-blown blown diffuser".

Thursday, 16 June 2011

Ecclestone Lashes Out At Hamilton Critics

With fellow drivers, ex Formula 1 drivers and the press all ganging up against Lewis Hamilton and his aggressive driving style, the owner of Formula 1 isn't. Bernie Ecclestone has came to Hamilton's defence comparing his driving style to Ayrton Senna which is the ultimate accolade in F1.

Speaking to The Independent Ecclestone says "People have been wrong to rubbish Lewis, What we want is people racing, and all the people who watch it want that."

"If you analyse what's been happening and how other drivers have been performing, Lewis shows up very well, and so do Sebastian [Vettel] and Jenson [Button]."

"So let him race. That's what people like him do. I was very, very good friends with [Ayrton] Senna, and if you look at what he did, he was a racer too, and people had to move over for him."

"Perhaps Lewis has made one or two questionable moves, but so have many of the others, and nobody bothers to look what's happening further down the field. It's always been like this".

"We saw a lot of people racing in Canada on Sunday, and Jenson did a super job. That's what the fans want to see."

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Webber And The V Word

Mark Webber has again came out with how much he adores his team mate or rather not. Goaded by Germany's Sport Bild Webber was asked if he speaks a lot with his German team mate Sebastian Vettel. Mark answered: "No. Why? There's no reason for it."

The newspaper digging a bit further for a reaction went on to say did he and Sebastian not discuss the Bahrain situation for example with Mark's reply: "I'm 34 years old, I read the newspaper. Why should I ask him for his opinion?"

When asked was there too big a gap between his contemporaries and F1's newest generation, Webber admitted: "Yes, could be. You could be right."

Webber then had enough of the line of questioning saying "Why do we always have to talk about Sebastian Vettel? If you want to know about him, ask him."

On his future plans including any thoughts of Ferrari Webber was states "I will decide in the coming months,"

"Ferrari is something special, but it would make the most sense to stay at Red Bull. I feel good, I'm happy here with the guys and the mechanics, everything. We will talk but there's no hurry, there's enough time."

I would tend to agree with Webber on staying at Red Bull. Unless some big changes are in the pipeline for both teams like say a one way plane ticket for Adrian Newy to Maranello why would Webber want to go to a slower team with an arguably more formidable team mate in Alonso.

Webber on his race in Canada in video.          


And Vettel on a birthday gift for Webber below.


Hamilton Tries NASCAR

Lewis Hamilton and Tony Stewart swapped cars in a Mobil 1 sponsored event at The Glen USA. Hamilton took the wheel of a NASCAR for the first time with Tony Stewart also jumping in a F1 car for the first time.

Hamilton was first to go out, doing setup laps in the McLaren Mercedes MP4-23. He  fired off with a burnout then preceded to hammer out 2 laps as the wet track surface began to dry. Stewart completed five laps in his Chevrolet to get accustomed to an extra part of track he was never on before in his record five Cup victories at The Glen.

Lewis before getting his hands on the 5.8 litre V8 Chevrolet was pretty excited. "I never in a million years thought I'd have the opportunity to drive a NASCAR," said Hamilton, "I don't know what to expect. I know in NASCAR, you blow engines. We very rarely do that nowadays." 

Stewart was a little apprehensive with the damp conditions, "I think I've raced one time in my career in the wet," he said. "That was about five years ago. This ought to be a very interesting day, for sure. I got to run in the simulator yesterday quite a bit, but it didn't have a rain program."

First off down the track was Hamilton in the NASCAR, spinning the tyres as he left and completed six laps. When he got back Lewis done an impressive burnout with the crowd roaring and Stewart grinning from ear to ear and stating "The good part is when you see somebody doing a burnout like that, you know they're having a good time, That was icing on the cake."

To say Hamilton enjoyed his stint in the NASCAR would be quite a significant understatement. Lewis: "I just feel like a kid. It's good to feel like a kid again, It's one of the coolest things I've done outside of racing Formula One. The competitive side of is so serious. After a tough weekend, I was worried even this morning."

Next down the track was Stewart in the McLaren 2008 Championship winning car. After a shaky start he got the McLaren up to speed setting a best time of 1 min 42 seconds, eight seconds faster than Hamilton's best set up lap although the track was much wetter then.

Steward was equally ecstatic about his experience "I couldn't even get it up high enough in the revs to get it to actually pull away in first gear. I kept having to reset it," Stewart said. "I kept trying to tell myself, just get on the gas a little bit. As a competitor, you want to go out and find the limit. At the same time, you realise that if you make a mistake, the penalty for that mistake is going to be pretty harsh, so you may back it off a little bit just to enjoy the experience."

"Once we got rolling though, it was unbelievable. It's just amazing what the capabilities of the car are. I told the guys on pit road that it's probably going to make my crew chief a little more stressed during the weekends now because I'm going to want it to handle like that all the time. That was truly the experience of a lifetime."

The event which was free attracted between 8,000 and 10,000 fans. Watkins Glen president Michael Printup was ecstatic "I can't get rid of my goosebumps and my chills," Printup said. "It was amazing, and it was amazing to have these fans out here. For me, personally, I haven't come down from Cloud Nine. And I think I'm going to stay there at least for the rest of the day."

Hamilton was later asked about his future in Formula 1 and about the meeting with Christian Horner.

"I think for NASCAR, I mean I've grown up wanting to be world champion and I've definitely not achieved all that I want to [in Formula 1]," said Hamilton. "So definitely I'll be spending as much time as I can there until I do achieve what I've always wanted to do."

"In terms of where I am, again I'm just very fortunate to be a part of McLaren. It's one of the best teams there with great history and we've now got a car which is capable of winning, as my team-mate showed at the weekend."

"We are the only other team that has won grands prix this year so I don't see why you'd particularly want to move when you have the most competitive car."

"So as long as we have the car that can do the job, then there will be no reason to leave."

When asked specifically about the Horner meeting Hamilton replied "Well I know all the managers, the bosses and I know lots of people at the teams."

"I know Stefano Domenicali and we chat all the time and with Norbert Haug we chat all the time and Christian - when I was going from Formula 3 to GP2 I went and had a meeting with Christian when he was [running] the Red Bull [backed] team back in Formula 3000 I think it was."

"But I know everyone, so I speak to all the people during the weekend."

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Possible Return For Kubica In Brazil?

Robert Kubica's manager Daniel Morelli is hopeful the Pole could return to race the final grand prix of the season in Brazil. Morelli says the recovery is going well but it is Kubica's hand being the main concern now as the right leg is not a problem anymore.

Morelli speaking to Gazzetta dello Sport "Recovery is progressing positively, the right leg is fine, if that was the problem, then Robert would practically be ready. No, that's not our worry."

"The Italian GP is held in September, so it's in just three month's time, but we can think about the final race of the season."

"In any case, when Robert gets in the simulator, he'll immediately understand whether he's able to come back, how and when, without the need of a stop-watch."

Renault team principle Eric Boullier says they will wait to August when Kubica starts to make his full rehabilitation before making any plans.

Boullier: "We obviously are 100% committed behind Robert, and I have offered to put in place all the rehabilitation on the racing side for him to be comfortable before making the decision."

"We are now having discussions with his management to see how we can do it. There is not always the same concern for everybody, but I would like to wait to see Robert's decision to see if he is back or not, and then work out if we go to a different plan or not."

"I have been told he will be starting his full rehabilitation in August, which is late. But we have to make a decision around then."

Meanwhile the first photos of Kubica since his accident have been released from a Polish website. Here's the link  http://www.fakt.pl/Kubica-wraca-do-zdrowia,galeria-artykulu,106167,1.html

Schumacher Contract Extension Depends On Car

Ross Brawn when asked about Michael Schumacher extending his contract beyond when it expires 2012 has stated he sees no reason why not if they can come up with a good car. There had been speculation in the German press of Schumacher extending the contract because of him saying in Canada it typically takes 5 years to build a winning car which his current contract wouldn't cover.

When asked on German television about an eminent announcement on Schumacher extending his contract Brawn states "No, there was absolutely no reason to drive that speculation." He also stated the issue of Schumachers contract has not been discussed. Brawn went on to add "I am very happy with our two drivers, they are not the reason we are not winning races"

"Both our drivers have contracts at the moment and our priority is to make the car better. We definitely have another year with Michael and if with next year's car we can get the results we want, then I see no reason why we shouldn't go on, but at the moment there are no talks"

Schumacher himself when asked about any contract extension plans stated "At the right time we will talk about it, but right now would make no sense"

In Canada Schumacher had easily his best race since the comeback began a year ago. If wasn't for the DRS it is debatable whether Webber or Button could have got by him in the closing laps which left the seven times champion fourth.

Monday, 13 June 2011

Nico Rosberg Post Race Video Blog (Canada GP)


Nico talks about his race and what it was like driving in the wet conditions.

"Hamilton's Mad" Yet Red Bull Are Sniffing

Triple world champ Niki Lauda has called on the FIA to crack down on Lewis Hamilton's overly aggresive driving. After a dismal race Monaco were Hamilton was heavily criticised for hitting Felipe Massa and Pastor Maldonado while attemping overtakes it was more of the same in Canada.

Before retiring after 7 laps Lewis had already spun Webber on the first corner then crashed into his own team mate Button while attempting another pass ending his own race.

Lauda commentating on German TV "He is completely mad. If the FIA does not punish him, I do not understand the world any more. At some point there has to be an end to all the jokes. You cannot drive like this, as it will result in someone getting killed."

Another former champion and steward this weekend, Emerson Fittipaldi also cautioned Hamilton "I think Lewis is an exceptional talent, a world champion, but sometimes he is too aggressive when he tries to overtake," Fittipaldi said. "It was like that in Monaco with Felipe, placing half of the car in the sidewalk and putting Felipe in a difficult position, at least.

"I think there has to be a limit for being aggressive, respecting the others and still being competitive. You can be competitive, but you have to respect the others."

Meanwhile Hamilton has been linked to a Red Bull move again.

According to Autosport: "Hamilton met for private talks with Red Bull Racing chief Christian Horner at the team's office buildings on Saturday evening - where the two spent at least 15 minutes together chatting in private."

"Although it is not known exactly what they talked about, as one Red Bull source cheekily dismissed the get-together as nothing more than a 'social visit', it would be unlikely that the pair did not discuss future intentions."


Autosport, though, did stress that there is "no suggestion that it was anything more than a preliminary chat, or that the talks will definitely develop into something in the future."

FIA Detailed Analysis Of Button/Hamilton/Alonso Incidents

The FIA stewards have taken the unusual step of releasing detailed explanations as to why Jenson Button, Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso have all escaped any punishment after the incidents involving the eventual race winner.

In regard to the Button/Hamilton incident which retired Hamilton while attempting a pass on team mate Button.

The Stewards have reviewed the Incident involving Car 3 (L. Hamilton) and Car 4 (J. Button) on their 7th lap of the race. The Stewards reviewed the lines of several cars, including the two cars involved, using multiple angles of video evidence over several laps, the speed traces of both drivers, the GPS tracking data from the cars and have heard the drivers and team representatives.

The Stewards concluded that:
Exiting Turn 13 there was a legitimate overtaking opportunity for Lewis Hamilton as his speed was greater than Jensen Button’s.

Both drivers took lines substantially similar to many of the other drivers, and did not move as far to the left as the preceding driver, Michael Schumacher. At the moment after Hamilton moved to the left to pass, Button looked into his mirror. It appears from the position of Hamilton at that moment [and is confirmed by the drivers] that Button was unlikely to have seen Hamilton.

At the point of contact Button had not yet moved as far to the left of the track as he had on the previous lap, or that Schumacher had on that lap. The Stewards have concluded that it was reasonable for Hamilton to believe that Button would have seen him and that he could have made the passing maneuver. Further, the Stewards have concluded that it is reasonable to believe that Button was not aware of Hamilton’s position to his left.

Therefore, the Stewards decide that this was a “racing incident” and have taken no further action
.


In regard to the Button/Alonso incident in which Alonso was left beached on the kerb and out of the race.

The Stewards have reviewed video evidence and heard from the drivers and team representatives regarding the incident on Lap 38 at Turn 3 between Car 5 (F. Alonso) and Car 4 (J. Button.)

Car 5 was on an out lap having pitted. Car 4 appeared to be firmly established on the inside line prior to the entry of the corner and drove onto the kerb to avoid Car 5 on the outside.

In view of the conditions and the statements by both drivers and their team representatives, the Stewards decide that this was a “racing incident” and have taken no further action.


Hopefully the stewards continue these explanations as it leaves everything more open. Particularly the Button/Hamilton accident was a great analysis of how they came about their decision.

Safety Car Done It's Best To Ruin A Great Race

The Canadian Grand Prix was a classic but it seemed the safety car choices of deployment and length out kind of robbed us a bit. I'm all for safety of drivers but safety cars over involvement in the race got absolutely ridiculous.

First controversial decision: Starting the race under safety car conditions with Fernando Alonso feeling robbed as he was considering starting on intermediates.

If any driver is intending to start the race on intermediates, never mind a double world champion the track is obviously not safety car start conditions. Under wet safety car starts everyone has to be on the full wets meaning Alonso was robbed of that strategic element.

"We had our best qualifying of the year and we found ourselves starting behind the safety car, when I felt that for me, the intermediates were the best tyre," said Alonso

BBC F1 commentator Martin Brundle talking about doing a normal start: "These are the finest drivers on the world and I think they're capable of dealing with these conditions."

Second controversial decision: As if the safety car start wasn't enough, it is then kept out for 4 laps before peeling into pits. The start is done, why not go in after first lap?

Next time safety car is deployed is after Hamilton crash with it used for 3 laps, nothing bad there.

The next time everyone's favourite car comes out is lap 26 after it starts raining heavy. In years before in such a situation they would just leave things until some driver aquaplanes off then deploy it. The drivers have requested in such conditions for the safety car to come out before an accident happens which seems right. So in that instance can't complain as conditions were pretty bad.

Third and most infuriating decision: After the red flag and race started again under safety car conditions as it has to, The length of time that car goes round and round and round until the track reaches intermediate tyre level! Lap 26 to 34 with Jenson sticking on inters next lap followed by the rest a lap later. What was the safety car at?

I'm sure I'm not the only one who felt completely robbed of the chance to see the cars battling in full wet conditions. Its times like these legends are born. Senna in Donington 93, Schumacher in Spain 96, Vettel in Monza 08. Maybe some young star of the future could have made a name for himself with rain being the great leveler making car not matter so much, maybe Schumi could have shown us a trip down memory lane, but we shall never know because the safety car kept going around until the track was near bone dry(ok slight exaggeration!)

So great race even with the some what baffling safety car decisions. Lets hope this new overly cautious approach is a one off because of the new tyres or a Bernd Maylander sudden urge for TV time cause it was pretty irritating to say the least.

Update: Here is what a spectator in the crowd experienced which sums the whole thing up "Standing drenched in the first corner for over two hours people were in surprisingly good spirits. That is until the safety car emerged for lap after lap while a dryer racing line formed. The boos might not have been heard on the TV feed but they absolutely echoed around the track."
 

Marshall Trips And Plays Chicken With F1 Car


video

He won't forget that moment anytime soon.

Saturday, 11 June 2011

So Vettel Sticks It On Pole Again

Well if there was anywhere Sebastian Vettel wasn't likely to get pole it was here. With the long straights and lack of high-speed corners Montreal is not suited to championship leaders Red Bull.

Try as Seb did on Friday to keep the championship exciting and ruin his chances this weekend by stuffing the Bull in the wall, come qualifying he can't help but stick in on pole again. With good chance of rain for race and the ever present wall of champions should be a classic tomorrow.

If you consider the bookies to know anything we don't, below are the Paddy Power favourites to not so favourites.

S Vettel - evens

F Alonso - 9/4

L Hamilton - 13/2

F Massa - 12/1

M Webber - 12/1

J Button - 14/1

N Rosberg - 40/1

M Schumacher - 66/1


Clip below: A couple good reasons why the wall of champions is called so with commentary by the legendary Murray Walker and Martin Brundle.


Ecclestone Made Last Ditch Bid To Salvage Bahrain

It has emerged Bernie Ecclestone made an extraordinary late bid to keep the Bahrain Grand Prix on the calendar. Just hours before the Gulf state abandoned efforts to stage the Grand Prix Ecclestone had proposed to the FIA about moving the race to 4 December.

From the FIA: "The commercial rights holder (FOWCL) proposed to the FIA that the GP of Bahrain be rescheduled for 4 December, with the GP of India reinstated on its original date of 30 October."

"The FIA replied the same day, asking FOWCL to provide guarantees that any new date proposal is acceptable both to the teams and to the organizers in Bahrain."

The FIA has released a detailed chronology of the events as they developed which is here below in its entirety.
  

Chronology Of The Decisions  

* Prior to the World Council meeting of 8 March 2011:
Taking into account the unrest in the country, the organisers of the GP (Bahrain Motor Federation), having expressed their inability to host the GP on the date of 13 March, were given the opportunity by the WMSC of proposing, no later than 1 May, an alternative date for the Grand Prix. The President of the FIA asked the commercial rights holder (FOWCL) to finalise this date proposal.

* 1 May: at the organisers’ request, the President of the FIA agreed to extend this deadline until 3 June, the date of the WMSC meeting.

* Prior to the World Council meeting of 3 June 2011:
In order to provide the WMSC with precise information on the conditions for organising a GP in Bahrain, the President of the FIA commissioned one of the FIA Vice‐Presidents for Sport, Mr Carlos Gracia, accompanied by his assistant, Mr Carlos Abella, to meet individuals from various horizons and draw up a report of recommendation.

* WMSC meeting of 3 June: the President of the FIA informed the members of the WMSC that the FIA had received numerous letters, both against and in favour of staging the GP of Bahrain. After reading and discussing the content of the report, the WMSC approved by a unanimous votei the proposal submitted by the commercial rights holder for the Championship (represented by Bernie Ecclestoneii, who is also the representative of the Formula One Constructors, appointed by the World Council) to hold the GP of Bahrain on 30 October in place of the GP of India and to postpone the latter until December (a date to be determined between 4 and 11 December).

* 7 June: letter from FOTAiii (representing the majority of the Formula One Teams) to the FIA, expressing a position hostile to the staging of the GP of Bahrain.

* 9 June: letter of reply from the FIA (cf. FIA press release dated 9 June 2011 (http://www.fia.com/en‐G/mediacentre/pressreleases/f1releases/2011/Pages/fia‐fota‐090611.aspx)

* 9 June: the commercial rights holder (FOWCL) proposed to the FIA that the GP of Bahrain be rescheduled for 4 December, with the GP of India reinstated on its original date of 30 October. The FIA replied the same day, asking FOWCL to provide guarantees that any new date proposal is acceptable both to the teams and to the organisers in Bahrain.

* 10 June: the organisers in Bahrain decided to abandon their plans to hold a Grand Prix in 2011.

* 10 June: Bernie Ecclestone (FOWCL) proposed to confirm the original calendar (Indian GP, 30 October). The FIA asked the WMSC members to express their view on this proposition via a fax vote (answer to be received no later than 12:00 Tuesday 14 June).


i In a vote by a show of hands, provoking no objections or abstentions (according to the Internal Regulations of the FIA, voting can be carried out by secret ballot if at least one Member of the World Council so requests).

ii At the World Council, the Formula One teams also have a Delegate from the Formula One Commission, who is a member by right and votes on all matters relating to Formula One (this Delegate is designated by the Team that has been taking part in the Championship the longest: Stefano Domenicali ‐ Ferrari).

iii In its letter of 7 June, FOTA invoked Articles 65, 66 and 198 of the International Sporting Code.



Explanatory note for the attention of the media:
* Formula One is governed principally by the Concorde Agreement and the Sporting and Technical Regulations. The International Sporting Code is only relevant insofar as it does not conflict with the Concorde Agreement and the Formula One Technical and Sporting Regulations. Both the International Sporting Code and Concorde provide that in the event of conflict, Concorde prevails.

* Concorde and the Regulations provide that the FIA approves the calendar proposed by the Commercial Rights Holder.

* Articles 65 and 66 refer to "Supplemental Regulations". [These are a compulsory official document issued by the promoters of a sporting competition requiring the approval of the FIA.] There are no "Supplemental
Regulations" in Formula 1. It is, therefore, wrong to suggest that the teams have a power of veto over any calendar decision made by the FIA.

* Article 198 of the International Sporting Code is clearly inapplicable. Article 198 states “Any event withdrawn from the calendar once it has been published will lose its international status for the year in question.” Firstly, the Bahrain Grand Prix was not withdrawn from the calendar, it was merely postponed pending reconsideration at a later date. Secondly, and more importantly, Article 198 conflicts with Article 5.5 and 5.6 of the F1 Sporting Regulations and is, therefore, not applicable to the FIA Formula One World Championship.

Friday, 10 June 2011

Possible Thundershowers For Canadian GP Race

We could have our first wet race this year. There is a 50% chance of light showers for qualifying and depending what forecast you read light showers to thunder showers are predicted for the race on Sunday.

Montreal last experienced a wet race in 2000, with Michael Schumacher leading home Rubens Barrichello in a Ferrari one-two.

Ferrari current pilot Fernando Alonso when asked about the rain predicted seemed like he wouldn't mind a wet weekend. States the Spaniard "I would have no problem with rain, Anything that deviates from the norm can only improve our situation."
   

Webber Looks Like Staying At Red Bull For 2012

Mark Webber is set to continue at Red Bull next year. As the Australian turns 35 this year he is on a year by year contract.

Red Bull Racing team principle Christian Horner states "Mark has made it clear he wants to continue with Red Bull next year."

"One of the questions we had was does he still have the motivation and desire. We believe he does and we're happy to continue."

Webber and Sebastain Vettel were very closely matched last season but this year Vettel has had a clear edge winning 5 of the 6 races so far this season.

Mark has blamed the tyres but has admitted it is up to him to adapt, speaking in Montreal he says "They are very different and the drivers are very sensitive to that (change), It's like a golfer or a tennis player changing his equipment."

"When you're at this level and trying to gain an edge with tiny details, the small changes can make big differences. But it's up to the drivers to adapt."

One thing the Aussie has been good at getting this year and something Vettel is known to always really want to get is the fastest lap. Mark has got it in 4 out of the 6 Grand Prix this season. So if you see Webber in the wall in the closing laps of a Grand Prix under no pressure and for no apparent reason you will know what has happened!
 

Thursday, 9 June 2011

Button Expects Mercedes To Be Biggest Competitor Canada

Jenson Button is expecting Mercedes rather than Red Bull to be McLaren's main competitor at this weekends Canadian Grand Prix. With the long straights and lack of high-speed corners Montreal is not suited to championship leaders Red Bull with many installing McLaren favourite for the win.

Button himself is tipping Mercedes to put on a strong showing. Button: "I think qualifying is going to be pretty tricky, I think we will be a lot closer to the Red Bulls if not quicker than the Red Bulls, but you have to look at what Ferrari has got with their DRS and also Mercedes."

"There are a lot of straights here and we are very good at using our DRS. The system we have for using it is very good, we seem to be able to use it in more places than other people."

"But, with the long straights here, I think they can get about 20 km/h with DRS, the Mercedes, and I think most other teams are about 12 km/h. It is a massive difference around here, so in qualifying they are going to be very, very quick."

"They [Mercedes GP] are possibly our biggest competitors I would say, which I think is a little bit of a surprise to most people - or will be. They will be very competitive here."

Jenson is one of the smarter guys in F1 but I wouldn't go running to the bookies just yet to place a big one on Schumi or Rosberg taking the win though with Schumi 70/1 and Rosberg 33/1 maybe an extremely small one is in order. Who would ever have thought Michael Schmacher could race in a GP and have 70/1 odds against him winning it.
  

Canadian Grand Prix TV Schedule (BBC)

Friday

BBC Red Button Freview
1455-1635 Live coverage of the 1st practice session.
1855-2035 Live coverage of the 2nd practice session.


Saturday

BBC Red Button Freview
1455-1605 Live coverage of the 3rd practice session.

BBC 1 & BBC 1 HD
1715-1915 Live coverage of Qualifying.


Sunday

BBC 1 & BBC 1 HD
1700-2015 Live coverage of Race.

BBC Red Button Freview
2015-2115 Post-race analysis and debate.
    

Todt Considered Banning Hamilton For Outburst

FIA president Jean Todt admitted he considered banning Lewis Hamilton for 6 months following Hamilton's now infamous interview in which he called Felipe Massa and Pastor Maldonado stupid then preceded to mimic an Ali G joke about being picked on because he was black.

Fearing the consequences of the interview Hamilton returned to the Monaco track with his father late on race day to apologize to the FIA. He has since also wrote a letter to FIA president Jean Todt apologizing.

Speaking to the Daily Telegraph Jean Todt “I am trying to maintain a good harmony amongst everybody, I have tried to avoid controversy. I could have leaked the letter but it’s between him and the FIA.”

Todt, who was present at Monaco, said he had  intentionally avoided interfering in the affair.

“My office was next to the stewards, every time I went to see them I avoided making any comment. For me what Lewis said was unacceptable but I didn’t want to overreact."

"I could have asked our judicial court to address the problem but we never officially opened the case. He went to the stewards to apologize. He went with his father."

"Maybe it would have been better to put him in the court; to ban him for six grands prix. But he wrote to me and I wrote to him and the thing is over.”

6 months! seems a bit excessive to put it mildly that it was even considered. Hamilton just said two of his fellow drivers were stupid and threw in an Ali G joke about the stewards for good measure(well maybe an extremely ill taste one that was always going to be taken the worst possible way).

With 6 months the penalty for race jokes gone wrong minus apologetic letter I have figured out a few penalties for up coming flash points in the F1 paddock.

Webber shaped fist in Vettel shaped smile after one too many times beaten to pole postion.
FIA action - six year ban, though quashed at appeal after Webber reminded the FIA the good he tried to do for the sport by chucking Jake Humphrey in pool and that it wasn't his fault Humphrey didn't stay their.

Alonso suddenly loosing his cool on live TV and preceding to jump up and down on his Ferrari while frantically raving  "I can't believe I signed to drive this piece of S*** for the next 5 years"
FIA action - 6 months ban for destruction of waste property, can spend it with good mate Hamilton for his upcoming offense.

Hamilton after another disappointing performance were stewards give him 8 drive through penalties and 15 warnings, speaking to reporter Lee McKenzie, a irritated Hamilton suggests "This is Jean Todt's fault, if he was into the same kind of stuff Max Mosley was into he wouldn't be so uptight and this would not have happened"
FIA action - Lifetime ban or 6 months with Fernando Alonso who is also serving ban for destruction of S***
Lewis chooses lifetime ban.

Schumacher kicking the arses of all BBC F1 presenters for lack of respect of a living legend.
FIA action - Nothing, come on..what you expect? he's Michael Schmacher.
    

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Reports Of Briatore In Talks For Ferrari Team Boss Role

According to Dutch site F1today.nl it is reported by various Monaco sources, and also in Italy, Ferrari is in talks with Flavio Briatore in the hope of installing him team principle later this year in place of Stefano Domenicali.

As has been stated before it does seem an ideal match up. He is Italian, knows the ropes, has been successful as Team boss with multiple world titles and knows Fernando Alonso very well, with whom he won two titles.

Ferrari so far this season have not a single pole or win. Behind closed doors Luca di Montezemolo, the Ferrari President is reported to be furious with the current results. He is demanding changes so Ferrari can keep its image high by fighting for victories and the Championship.
 
Update: Ferrari have responded to this rumour as in the words of  Ferrari’s head of communications Luca Colajanni   "It’s complete bullshit!"

Haha time will tell!

Ecclestone: Bahrain Grand Prix Cannot Go Ahead

Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone has told BBC October's reinstated Bahrain Grand Prix cannot go ahead.

Ecclestone "Hopefully there'll be peace and quiet and we can return in the future, but of course it's not on. The schedule cannot be rescheduled without the agreement of the participants - they're the facts."

Ecclestone's assessment comes after 11 Formula One teams objected on Tuesday to the rescheduling of the race for later this year.

Red Bull Looks To Toro Rosso For Vettel's Number Two

Helmut Marko, Red Bull's controversial consultant has admitted the team would most likely promote a Toro Roso driver if Mark Webber does not stay beyond 2011. While most key players including teammate Sebastian Vettel, Christian Horner and Adrian Newey recently had their contracts extended, Red Bull Racing is holding off re-signing Webber until his ongoing performance and motivation is gauged.

Speaking to Italian magazine Autosprint Marko states "We will try to do what we did three years ago with Sebastian Vettel, when David Coulthard retired, Of course, this will not be automatic, If a driver does not meet all of the professional requirements, we will not offer him the opportunity to drive at Red Bull."

With a Red Bull Racing seat the most coveted in Formula One and neither Toro Roso driver looking anything special it seems like Red Bull want to go the Ferrari route of a number one and number two driver.
  

Why Is Red Bull So Fast In Qualifying Compared To Race??

It is a variety of issues that makes the Red Bull have such a big gap in qualifying only for that advantage to be dwarfed come race, with the most crucial about to be nullified.

In qualifying low fuel weight the RB7 is in its optimal aerodynamic configuration.The flexible front wing is lowest down to the track at the perfect level. With more weight on the rear axle because of more fuel the car is aerodynamically compromised by pushing the back down while lifting the front wing up loosing the advantage.

Another advantage in qualifying is the rear wing. The superiority in speed traps suggests the Red Bull can gain 17 km/h with wing open with McLaren just 12 km/h. Since the wing in qualifying can be open everywhere, while in the race only in one place, and then only if one is close behind another car, the influence of an efficient wing is greatly increased in qualifying.

Playing their part in qualifying are the characteristics of the Pirelli tyres, new also this year. The Red Bull brings the tyre quickly in her working window making it ideal for short stints.

But according to Auto Motor und Sport the real secret lies in the choice of engine characteristics. In qualifying Renault's customers use the most aggressive mapping for the engine and the exhaust. The reports say the 2.4 litre Renault was designed specifically to produce an aerodynamic effect off-throttle, while others have struggled to adapt. "We lost several engines testing this," confirms Mercedes Norbert Haug.

In the race Red Bull drivers have to settle for moderate settings so that the engine and the exhaust aren't over worked. In the most extreme engine mode the combustion takes place with an open exhaust valve. The complete combustion pressure is directed into the exhaust, which would create overheating and reliability issues if tried over a race distance. In addition, the fuel consumption would increase with this setting by up to ten percent. The Red Bull would then have 15 kilos more fuel at the start, which would eat up the aerodynamic advantage gain.

The problem for the Red Bulls are the diffuser exhaust blowing is banned after Sunday's Canadian Grand Prix. The total ban of exhaust blowing could cost some Renault and also Ferrari-powered teams as much as eight tenths second per lap.

FIA president Jean Todt comments "It (exhaust blowing) is a pointless consumption of fuel." Auto Motor und Sport states the Renault engine is designed to be at open throttle when not accelerating, with Ferrari also at risk of reliability and driveability problems in the event of the ban. Specifically, Ferrari argues that it opens the valves in that situation to reduce pressure in the crankcase, while Mercedes and Cosworth have an entirely different approach to their valve workings.

The ban on exhaust blowing was planned before the Spanish Grand Prix. The delay until after Montreal was argued by Renault engine supplier on the grounds that, because of the basic architecture of the engine it creates a reliability issue.

We need something to stop Mr Vettel running away with the Championship and this could well be it as McLaren were already showing extreme competitiveness with the flying bulls in recent races.

Update: 
In the meeting with the technical working group and Charlie Whiting on Thursday Ferrari opposed a compromise set forward by Red Bull. Also of late Stefano Domenicali has spoken out on optimism of the ban helping kick start Ferrari's season. It appears then the information of Ferrari being one of the teams affected most was inaccurate.

Another change since article was wrote is Mercedes is expected to be affected as they have perfected the technique of late.

The 8/10ths has been cut to 3/10th to 5/10th by experts. As Martin Whitmarsh has said recently it has been a moving feast how much one team compared to the other is exploiting the hot blowing technique. 

See   Which Team Will Be Hit Hardest By Diffuser Ban
   

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Renault Quit Threat

Renault have threatened to quit the sport if the new "green" four cylinder turbo regulations are not introduced in 2013. With Ferrari and Mercedes pushing them to be delayed and Bernie Eclestone completely against the new engines it is understandable FIA president Jean Todt is getting frustrated with the situation.

Todt quoted in Spanish newspaper Diario Sport talking about the current F1 engine suppliers "It is they who proposed the regulations, and the FIA who accepted them,"

"The proposal didn't fall from the sky; we had 11 meetings with all the representatives of those involved. When I talk to those responsible at Renault they tell me they will go out of F1 if this new engine does not come in 2013. When I talk to Mercedes and Ferrari they ask me to postpone the introduction for a couple of years."

"They are not against the rules but want them postponed. So in the coming days I will keep up the contacts personally to see where we are.

In the same interview Jean Todt praised the humbleness of World Champion Sebastain Vettel and despite Vettel running away with this years, Todt says the championship is still wide open.

Flawed Research Reinstated Bahrain Grand Prix

FIA president Jean Todt justified the decision to reinstate the Bahrain GP on the back of a report issued after a fact-finding mission by representative Carlos Gracia. However since then the viability of the report has been called into question.

Campaign group Avaaz who are closing in on half a million anti Grand Prix supporters, suggested that human rights groups consulted by the FIA had close links to the government.

Former FIA president Max Mosley spoke about the man the FIA sent on the fact finding mission to Radio 4  "The problem there was they sent someone to look at Bahrain but the gentleman they sent, a very, very nice man called Gracia, speaks no English and, as far as I know, speaks no Arabic."

"He was then taken around by the representatives of the government and had no knowledge of what was really going on, and above all didn't ask to see the people who a human rights lawyer would like to see."

When asked about the suggestions Gracia did speak to opposition groups, Mosley said "Apparently they are very close to the government and I don't think he would have been allowed to speak to them if not."

Bernie Ecclestone himself now has doubts. "We listened to that report from the FIA and that was saying there were no problems at all in Bahrain. But that is not what I am hearing and I think we can see that we need to be careful." stated Mr Ecclestone.

Ecclestone maybe awakened by such a public backlash on the FIA decision seems also to be trying to find a way out of the disastrous rescheduling by wanting now to push Bahrain back to December making it the last Grand Prix of the season. If Bahrain were the last race of the season it would be much easier to ditch if the countrys situation doesn't improve.

Ecclestone quoted in The Telegraph "The way things are at the moment, we have no idea what is going to happen. Better that we move Bahrain to the end of the season and, if things are safe and well, then that is fine, we can go. If they are not, then we don't go and there are no problems"

The team principals have been in discussion over the last 24 hours over the matter and a statement is expected later today. It is reported Ecclestone has contacted them all to suggest they demand a FIA fresh vote.

Update: According to BBC, FOTA has written to the FIA stating that its members do not want to race in Bahrain on the new October 30 date, or later in the year as was earlier mentioned.

 
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