Wednesday, January 19, 2011
Abu Dhabi’s Yas Marina circuit witnessed a Formula 1 first on Monday night as Pirelli tested its new wet tyre compounds on an artificially wet track under floodlights.
Having conducted its previous test sessions in the second half of last year with its dry tyre compounds, F1’s new tyre supplier is using its final private session before the start of pre-season testing to work on its intermediate and wet-weather compounds.
On Monday evening the Italian firm spent the six hours before midnight running under the lights at Yas Marina, with the track having been doused with water to simulate the kind of wet conditions likely to be experienced at various races during the season.
Pedro de la Rosa carried out the running in the Toyota TF109 Pirelli has used for all of its private tests, with the Spaniard to repeat the same programme on Tuesday night as the tyre firm aims to rack up more than 1,000km in the demanding track conditions.
Pirelli’s F1 director Paul Hembery explained the decision to run in the unique conditions, saying: “This is a unique opportunity to witness a Formula 1 test car on track at night in the wet and on hot tarmac, in an entirely floodlit setting.
Former Team Lotus F1 driver Fairuz Fauzy has been named the reserve driver for team Lotus-Renault for the 2011 Formula One season.
Eric Bouiller, the team principal, announced and introduced Fairuz to the Malaysian media at the Lotus GP facility here yesterday.
Also present at the announcement were Proton Holdings Bhd (PHB) chairman Datuk Seri Nadzmi Mohd Salleh, PHB group managing director Datuk Syed Zainal Taher and other PHB board members.
Bouiller also announced that 25 Malaysian engineers would be employed and based at the F1 facility here as part of a long-term plan.
Fairuz said his aim was to ensure that he would be a primary driver and not just a reserve driver for the team.
“I will be racing for the team in the GP2 series and I hope to win some points and medals with the aim of making it to the main team as a regular,” he said, adding that the F1 and GP2 races would run simultaneously.
“The GP2 will also use the new Pirrelli tyres as the F1 and this will definitely help me to get used to the car.”
Fairuz also revealed that discussions for him to join team Lotus Renault started as soon as he left Lotus Racing.
There were also reports linking him with a move to IndyCar racing in the United States.
He said he would do his best to contribute to the team, who have won world championship medals.
“Team Lotus Renault have very good plans and training facilities and I am sure I will benefit from it,” he said.
Thursday, January 13, 2011
McLaren might not run its definitive 2011 car until the second winter test, having announced that its MP4-26 will be launched in Berlin on 4 February - the day after the opening test of the winter finishes.
The second test takes place at Jerez on 10-13 February.
Force India announced earlier this week that it will definitely use a 2010 machine for the opening Valencia test, but other leading teams look set to kick off with their 2011 cars.
Ferrari has promised a late-January launch for its new challenger, while Renault, Sauber and Toro Rosso have all scheduled unveilings for the start of the Valencia week.
Reigning champion team Red Bull has chosen not to run its latest car at the opening test in recent years, but is reportedly pushing to ensure that it can do so in 2011.
Should McLaren start testing with an older or interim car, it will not be the first time this winter that it has taken a different testing strategy to its main rivals.
Race drivers Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button got an early start to their post-season holidays last November as McLaren opted to use test drivers Gary Paffett and Oliver Turvey for the first Pirelli test in Abu Dhabi.
The team reasoned that the tyres used for the inaugural test would change a great deal before 2011 anyway, and that Turvey and Paffett could provide a better benchmark as they had also taken part in the preceding young driver test days using Bridgestone tyres.
By : Jake Humphrey
It may only be January but another F1 season will be upon us before we know it - and judging by the tweets I've been receiving it can't come soon enough for lots of you! There's a lot going on and you might have read about changes to the BBC team - I'll come onto those in a bit.
But there is no doubt that since taking this job it feels as though my life has has entered a warp-speed stage. I look at the calendar ahead of the season and feel rather daunted by the travel, the hours of live television, the garish Eddie Jordan outfit and the drama that awaits us... but before I know it, we'll be at the final race of the year with the champion crowned.
The winter break is the same. Knowing when the season starts meant that even before we signed off in Abu Dhabi we had already announced how many weeks it was until the 2011 season. So I've spent most of the winter (in between sore throats/colds/flu) ticking off the weeks until we're back in Bahrain.
I can't believe it's time to turn our attention towards Sebastian Vettel's defence of his crown already.
I vividly remember coming off air in November, having signed off from the final F1 Forum of 2010, and immediately feeling really down. I mentioned it to Martin Brundle, who told me that it's par for the course. After giving so much both mentally and physically to a gruelling nine-month schedule, it's natural that you experience a dip the moment the adrenalin leaves your body and the slog is over.
Mind you, my dip wasn't quite as big as Ferrari's, was it? I'm sure over the winter you've read the revelations that team principal Stefano Domenicali considered walking away after the Scuderia's strategy calls contributed to Red Bull's double success. Well, to understand what Domenicali must have been feeling, you need to realise how much emotion is involved in a sport more famed for its technical element.
Many of the Red Bull engineers and mechanics have worked for that team throughout all the name changes, back-of-the-field struggles and double retirements they have experienced in less successful years, so you can imagine the outpouring of joy that greeted Vettel's title in Abu Dhabi. And from men who spend their days in the macho world of racing there were plenty of tears as the best partiers in the paddock lived up to their reputation of working hard and playing hard, too.
As I left them to their celebrations, I walked into the pit lane and looked along the garages, where I was met with the clearest example of what suspect calls on the pit wall can lead to.
Right next door to the loud music and joy emanating from the Red Bull garage, there was just one lonely mechanic standing and talking on the phone in a still, silent Ferrari garage.
The money they'd spent, the car they'd devoted thousands of hours to, the flights they'd taken and the dreams they'd had eventually came to nothing. The car was now obsolete, the season over and all because of one split-second decision on the pit wall. That is what makes this such a fascinating sport.
I think we all felt a bit odd at the end of the season. Imagine how it was for our own former Red Bull driver David Coulthard, seeing the team you raced for achieving the ultimate success. He must have had all sorts of emotions.
You'll get the chance to hear for yourself next season just how emotional grand prix racing makes David because, as well as chasing around the paddock with Eddie and me, he is stepping up into the commentary box.
I'm really excited about a 13-time winner sharing his knowledge in the race with you. Remember, David has raced most of the guys on the grid, has first-hand experience of the inner workings of current champions Red Bull and, most importantly, has driven contemporary F1 machinery.
There is no doubt that it is a daunting prospect for him but I think he will fly once he settles in. I always tell him that the pre- and post-race "waffle", as I jokingly refer to it, is important and an interesting way of adding depth to a race weekend. However, we don't directly affect people's enjoyment of the actual racing.
In my mind, the commentary is a somewhat more responsible role for that reason and is also the trickiest job going. I wouldn't swap the pit lane for the commentary box for all the sand in Bahrain!
Although David is moving to the commentary box, the 'three-o' of myself, DC and EJ will remain. We love working together and, when you get an on-screen chemistry that people seem to enjoy, it would be foolish to break it up.
However, David will need to hustle his white jeans to the commentary box a little earlier so immediately pre- and post-race will be a chance for EJ to get on his soap box and share his views at a time when the audience is joining us in their droves for the racing.
The most fascinating part of any race weekend for me has always been settling down to watch the grand prix with Eddie and David as they discuss the race unfolding while regaling me with anecdotes of their first-hand experience. Well, I won't get that anymore but my loss is certainly your gain and I think we've a really strong team in place for 2011.
And who will be alongside David in the box? His long-time friend, one-time business partner and full-time expert on the sport - Martin Brundle.
Martin has had more races behind the microphone than behind the wheel - and what better qualifications can you have than to have taken part in the sport for so long, commentating on almost every race for the past 14 years? I thought in 2010 his instincts, ability to read the race and general enthusiasm for the sport he has dedicated his life to were as prevalent as ever.
I don't envy the work that lies ahead for Martin, though. It might seem like a small change on paper but, in reality, while DC will be sharing his views on drivers, strategy and taking us as close to the cockpit as possible, Martin will need to be aware of every little story, political development and technical development as he calls the action. Racing drivers only exist to be the best, so expect to see him giving it his all to make it a huge success.
Clearly, however, the changes I've talked about mean that Jonathan Legard will no longer be part of our team - I know I'm going to really miss him.
I first met 'Ledgy', as we affectionately call him, at Craven Cottage, where we were both covering football. It was November 2008 and we had both been lined up for the new F1 season. We got talking and were both brimming with excitement and anticipation about the adventure ahead.
I remember before the 2009 season started and we were both incredibly nervous about taking on something as important and prestigious as F1 and I told him how worried I was about the challenge ahead. His instant reply was: "We can both either have an easy life or an exciting life and I know which one I want!"
That is typical Jonathan - always encouraging, incredibly enthusiastic, a good friend to us all, and without doubt the hardest working member of the BBC's F1 team, doing an incredibly difficult job. I know I speak for every member of the production when I say we're all going to miss his entertaining company and his absolute dedication to the job. All the best for the future Jonathan!
One thing you may well also miss is standard-definition coverage. Finally, we are delighted to bring you F1 in high definition, which I think will make the sport even more dramatic and addictive than ever.
So why will you miss SD? Well, mainly because in HD I think Eddie's shirts might be un-viewable. I've warned him, but I'm still expecting something outrageous come March!
So, the clock is ticking for the new season and March will be here in a flash. We have a new Indian driver, a new Indian Grand Prix, the prospect of three British drivers battling it out if Scottish DTM champ Paul di Resta gets the nod at Force India, six world champions on the grid... and once again the whole season will be live and uninterrupted of the BBC.
I can't wait to share the 2011 season with you all. Feel free to leave comments below about the kind of stuff you would like to see in our coverage this year and remember that throughout the season I post plenty of exclusive pictures and other juicy stuff on my Twitter page.
Eight weeks and counting...
The BBC will broadcast Formula 1 in high definition for the first time this coming season.
The move comes after F1 commercial body FOM confirmed that all broadcasters will be supplied with a high-definition feed for the first time.
David Coulthard's move to the commentary box alongside Martin Brundle sees Eddie Jordan become main analyst.
Jake Humphrey will continue to present with Ted Kravitz and Lee McKenzie reporting from the pit lane.
BBC head of F1 Ben Gallop said: "It's fantastic that Eddie is rejoining the team, and this year in a more expanded role.
"He's such a core character with his outspoken views, unrivalled contacts in the sport and his ability to unearth the stories from the paddock.
"We're also delighted to be broadcasting in HD, something we know fans have been waiting for and it will really add something extra to our coverage for 2011."
Jordan added: "It's been a great two years so far and I'm really looking forward to getting back on the circuit; the 2011 season looks like it has plenty in store for us all.
"The new set-up will give me even more opportunity to get to the heart of the issues in F1 and tell the real stories to the viewers."
It was announced on Tuesday that Brundle was taking over from Jonathan Legard as main commentator, with Coulthard becoming co-commentator.
Coulthard will continue as a pundit alongside Jordan, but will head up to the commentary box in time for the start of the race , at which point Jordan will be the BBC's analyst in the paddock.
F1 is the latest sport to be broadcast in HD on the BBC, following Wimbledon, all live golf, the Grand National and the Six Nations.
Wednesday, January 5, 2011
We will put in the full inventory over the next couple of weeks, but you can already start to shop right now ! In case you do not find what you are looking for, just drop us an email with your product request and we will upload that particular product as soon as possible if we have it on stock.
Do not hesitate to leave your comments on the storefront, in order to make it a very interactive shop for everyone.
We look forward to hear from you soon !
Friday, December 17, 2010
Join us for a week-end full of great finds at the Annual 1st Formula1 CHRISTMAS SALE.
Lots of great bargains on all the popular brands like Ferrari, Vodafone Mclaren, Mercedes GP, Red Bull etc...
Tomorrow at 12:00pm - Sunday at 5:30pm
Location 102C PUNGGOL FIELD #17-418
Created By 1st Formula 1 - Official Motorsports Merchandise
SHARE THIS WITH YR FRIENDS - JOIN US FOR A GREAT DISCOUNTS OFF ALL F1 MERCHANDISES.
THE SALE IS OPEN ON BOTH SATURDAY 18 DEC & SUNDAY 19 DEC 2010.
THE TIME IS FROM 12NOON TO 5 PM ON BOTH DAYS.
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
Title contenders Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button are hopeful of a strong showing at the Singapore Grand Prix.
They believe modifications to their car will improve its pace at the street track after McLaren struggled at similar circuits earlier in the year.
Hamilton said: "We head into the weekend with renewed confidence following some positive tests and some developments in the wind tunnel."
Button added that "a lot had changed" since McLaren's poor race in Hungary.
The Hungaroring, like Singapore, is a low-speed track requiring high-downforce and McLaren were nearly two seconds off the pace set by Red Bull at that race in July, and 0.5secs slower than Ferrari.
But following a controversy over flexible bodywork, teams have been forced to make modifications to their cars and McLaren believe this will hit Red Bull and, to a lesser extent, Ferrari.
In addition, McLaren are introducing some major aerodynamic developments to their car that they hope will make it more competitive.
Team principal Martin Whitmarsh said he was "feeling positive that we'll once again be in a position to race at the front".
Hamilton, who crashed out of the Italian Grand Prix on Sunday, heads into the Singapore race on 26 September five points adrift of Red Bull's championship leader Mark Webber.
Ferrari's Fernando Alonso is third, followed by Button and Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel. All five are covered by just 24 points - less than a driver earns for a win.
Button said: "The Singapore Grand Prix will be a very interesting weekend because I think it'll give us a clearer idea of the destiny of the world championship.
"The last time we were at a low-speed, high-downforce track was in Hungary back at the start of August.
"Our car wasn't particularly competitive there, and maybe we haven't had a properly representative view of the top teams' relative pace because we've just visited two high-speed circuits.
"But, equally, a lot has changed since that race in Budapest - not least, some quite hefty revisions to the rulebook regarding bodywork flexibility and, additionally, a lot of work by the engineers at McLaren to ensure our car is now better suited to slower circuits.
"Singapore will be interesting for all of us - we'll not only get an idea of the speed of the Ferrari and Red Bull, but we'll get to see for the first time whether all our efforts over the past two months have helped put us back in the ballpark at high-downforce tracks."
Hamilton, who won in Singapore last year, added: "It's difficult to say accurately how competitive we'll be in Singapore.
"If Monza most closely resembled a track like Canada, then Singapore is far closer to places like Monaco and Hungary, where we've struggled relative to the competition.
"But the engineers are positive that we've made some good progress, so I'm looking forward to getting out on track and sampling the changes for real.
"The race should give us a clearer indication of exactly where we stand as the championship closes down over the next five races, but I definitely want to score as many points as possible in this grand prix."
Andrew Benson blog - BBC
The containers started streaming into the F1 paddock at Marina Bay yesterday morning, with Force India, Williams and Renault ahead of the queue and the first to get their cars unpacked and parked in their garages.
By mid-afternoon, the pitlane was a hive of activity, with cranes unloading the crates of equipment and cars under the direction of Formula 1 logistics handlers, DHL.
The crew of the 12 teams can expect things to be in order when they take over their respective garages to prepare for Formula 1's only global night race at the Marina Bay street circuit from Friday to Sunday.
On the circuit, it was a picture of calm as workers put the finishing touches, giving curbs a new coat of paint and washing the track along the start-finish straight.
In and out of the paddock, there was a noticeable absence of the tension that marked the week leading to the inaugural SingTel Singapore Grand Prix in 2008 and last year's race.
"We have definitely worked out most of the teething issues after staging two successful rounds of the Formula 1 Championship. Everything is much more smooth-sailing now," Jonathan Hallett, Singapore GP's media and communications director, told MediaCorp.
"Everything this year is proceeding according to plan. Similarly, the teams have also grown accustomed to adapting to the special logistics a street circuit like ours presents."
But the lack of frenzy belies an explosive order of business that will ignite when the cars start roaring around the track.
Arriving in Singapore for the 15th stop of the 19-leg season, only 24 points separate championship leader Mark Webber and Red Bull team-mate Sebastian Vettel.
McLaren's Lewis Hamilton, Ferrari's Fernando Alonso and defending champion Jenson Button in the other Mclaren are between the Red Bull pair and with the five drivers desperate to be at the top step of the podium at the end of 61 laps on Sunday night, tempers threaten to be paper thin.
This is in part reflected in ticket sales, which have been brisk, selling out in 10 of the 16 categories and organisers anticipate a full house for all three days of the Grand Prix.
Justin Chew, Singapore Tourism Board's executive director for hospitality, F1 and sports, is also expecting a huge contingent of overseas fans to be at the Marina Bay street circuit.
"From what we can see of the take-up rate from overseas, the European crowd is returning in force after skipping last year's edition because of the economic
slowdown," Chew told MediaCorp.
"But we won't know the exact numbers until after the race."
Unlike previous years, hotels, too, around the circuit expect to be close to capacity during the weekend despite the high room rates of $1,000 and above.
Ernawati Setijo, Marina Mandarin's director of marketing communications, said they are nearing 80 per cent occupancy and expect to pass that figure in the next few days.
Said Setijo: "Without prior experience with Formula 1 in 2008, I think everyone entered the F1 weekend blind, trying to find what package worked.
Friday, August 27, 2010
Thursday, August 26, 2010
The agreement follows a comprehensive evaluation by UBS of the commercial benefits of all global sponsorship properties. Formula 1™ is a year round, highly visible, and popular sport with an especially strong presence in many of UBS’s key growth markets such as Asia, Middle East and Latin America. The long-term partnership will provide excellent branding and hospitality opportunities that fit with UBS’s global footprint and business strategy.
Key benefits of the partnership include;
- Global reach: currently 19 events in 18 countries on 4 continents
- Growth markets: Formula 1™ is present and growing strongly in strategically important markets for UBS such as Asia, Middle East and Latin America
- Brand awareness: global television audience in 2009 of more than 520 million people across 187 countries; making Formula 1™ one of the most-watched annual sports in the world
- Client entertainment: fascinating opportunities for key client hospitality across the globe
- Year round presence: Formula 1™ season lasts eight months of the year
Oswald Grübel, UBS Group Chief Executive, said:“UBS has been searching for a global sponsorship platform that has appeal to our clients, promotes our brand globally and makes good commercial sense. Our new partnership with one of the largest and most popular sporting organizations in the world will fulfil all these criteria, and it constitutes a key element of our newly launched branding activities. The global reach of F1™ complements the many local activities we support."
Bernie Ecclestone, Group CEO of Formula 1™, said:“UBS is a global company where performance, teamwork and superior execution are integral to their clients’ success. These values complement those of Formula 1™ and I’m delighted to welcome UBS to Formula 1™.”
In line with all commercial contracts, the financial terms of the agreement will not be disclosed by UBS or Formula 1™. Commercial attractiveness was however a key consideration for UBS and the agreement compares favourably with other forms of brand awareness and client hospitality.
Thursday, August 19, 2010
The Formula 1 Singapore Grand Prix is returning for its third year next month, from September 24 to 26.
And this year, organisers have said road closures would be further minimised.
Roads will now be closed on six days - half of what it was in 2008 when Singapore held the inaugural race, and one day less than last year.
There were road closures on seven days in 2009.
The Singapore Tourism Board said the reduction is possible because of experience gained in the first year and basic installations already in place.
Race fans who also love music can look forward to watching Mariah Carey, Missy Elliot, Daughtry and Adam Lambert among other performers at the Padang.
For the first two years, more than 190,000 spectators are said to have watched both races live, 30 per cent of whom are foreign visitors.
Pirelli is wasting no time in preparing for the 2011 Formula One season, its first in more than two decades.
The tiremaker has hired former F1 driver Nick Heidfeld as its official test driver, and has already begun initial testing of its F1 race tires.
Heidfeld will use Toyota's F1 car from last year, the TF109, to test the new rubber that all the teams will use from 2011 onwards.
The 33-year-old raced in F1 for 10 years, scoring 12 podium finishes. He is currently chairman of the Grand Prix Drivers' Association.
Heidfeld will drive the car in a series of test sessions on several different circuits beginning this month, and Pirelli said tire development work will “focus on finding the delicate compromise needed between performance, durability and spectacle next season.”
Pirelli said all current Formula One teams will get the chance to test its new F1 race tires after the season-closing Abu Dhabi Grand Prix in November.
Thursday, August 5, 2010
The majority of the drivers immediately dived into the pits for a change of tyres, and Kubica's lollipop man
gave him the all-clear too soon.
"There wasn't anything I could do," Sutil added. "They released him into my path and I just crashed into him, and my car was damaged too badly to continue."
Kubica was initially able to return to the track, only to be handed a 10-second stop-go penalty for an unsafe release from the pits for which Renault were later fined $50,000.
The Polish driver failed to express any sympathy for Sutil, but rued his own exit from the race a few laps later.
"I saw the lollipop go up and I started to go but unfortunately we collided, forcing me to retire with damage to the front suspension," he said.
"It would have been nice to have at least finished the race because there are so many Polish fans here.
"Looking at how the race evolved, we could probably have got a good result."
Schumacher was handed a 10-place grid penalty on Sunday after almost pushing Rubens Barrichello into the pit wall.
Ex-F1 driver Warwick told 5 live: "Throwing a black flag would have shown a better example to our young drivers.
"But by the time we got the video evidence we ran out of time and we had to do it retrospectively."
Mercedes driver Schumacher apologised to Williams driver Barrichello after initially defending the move which saw him almost edge his former Ferrari team-mate into the wall at 180mph during the closing stages of Sunday's race.
Warwick, whose 22-year-old brother died while driving a racing car, was on the stewards panel in Budapest as part of the FIA's move to introduce former drivers as race adjudicators this season.
The 55-year-old, who competed in 162 Grands Prix for the likes of Toleman, Renault, Arrows and Brabham, said Schumacher's handling of the race was "disappointing".
He said: "We interviewed Rubens and Michael and it was kind of disappointing how Michael handled it, and we had no option but to give him a 10-place penalty.
"If we had enough laps [we could have disqualified him] but you have to have video evidence and make sure all four stewards are in agreement."
But while he would have liked to have taken action during the race, Warwick believes that the penalty imposed retrospectively virtually rules Schumacher out of the running at Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium.
"You have to view the evidence you have and you could disqualify him from the next Grand Prix, or two Grands Prix," he said.
"But we felt a 10-place penalty is a big penalty to carry for Spa. It kind of puts him out of the race at Spa, and hopefully he will learn from that and remember that the new stewards will not tolerate that driving."
After reviewing the incident, 41-year-old Schumacher said: "I have got to say that the stewards are right with their judgment: the manoeuvre against [Barrichello] was too severe.
"I obviously wanted to make it difficult for him to overtake me and I also showed him clearly that I did not want to let him past, but obviously I did not want to endanger him with my manoeuvre."
The penalty marks the latest disappointing episode in seven-times World Champion Schumacher's return to the sport after three years in retirement.
The German had high hopes of challenging for an eighth crown with Mercedes, but he has been off the pace and has failed to match team-mate Nico Rosberg.
Warwick, whose own glory days in the sport were in the 1980s and early 1990s, thinks that as a result the Mercedes man is already looking towards next season.
He added: "He has been disappointed with the Mercedes and its performance. He is a winner and all he cares about is winning races and winning the World Championship.
"I think his mindset is already looking to 2011 and winning his eighth."
Critics have said that Schumacher's move on Barrichello on Sunday has tainted his legacy as a champion in the sport.
But Warwick said: "Let's not forget he has won 91 races and seven world titles.
"He is a great champion, a legend, and is up there with the greatest and we need to give him time.
"He has been three years out of the car and come back alongside Nico Rosberg who has done a great job."
Monday, July 26, 2010
Team principal Stefano Domenicali, team manager Massimo Rivola and drivers Felipe Massa and Fernando Alonso were summoned to face the stewards following the race at Hockenheim.
After what appeared to be a coded message from Massa's race engineer Rob Smedley on lap 47, the Brazilian then let Alonso past two laps later, the Spaniard going on to claim the 23rd win of his career.
After meeting with the stewards, Ferrari were deemed in breach of article 39.1 of the FIA 2010 sporting regulations that states "team orders which interfere with a race result are prohibited".
They were also charged with a breach of article 151c of the FIA International Sporting Code.
That relates to "any fraudulent conduct, or any act prejudicial to the interests of any competition or to the interests of motor sport generally".
The stewards have also referred the matter to the FIA World Motor Sport Council for further consideration.
The Italian team were found guilty by race stewards of 'bringing the sport into disrepute' for ordering their other driver, Brazil's Felipe Massa, to relinquish the lead to his team-mate.
The FIA hearing is expected to be held in Paris next month, when the range of options open to the Council extends to expelling Ferrari from the world championship.
Although that is unlikely, the sport's most famous marque could realistically expect to have yesterday's result expunged. A suspension for a number of races is another possibility.
Red Bull team principal Christian Horner said: 'That is the clearest team order I have seen. It's wrong for the sport. The regulations are pretty clear - team orders are not allowed.'
A Ferrari spokesman said the team will not be appealing the stewards' verdict.
Wednesday, June 23, 2010
As the driver in-form with arguably now the best car underneath him heading into the forthcoming European Grand Prix, F1 2010 World Championship leader Lewis Hamilton has warned his rivals that he has ‘some unfinished business’ in Valencia – and that he plans to finish it off.
Hamilton has taken the chequered flag as runner-up around the harbourside streets of the Spanish city in both editions so far, even setting pole position in 2009 only to find himself pipped to the highest step on the podium by Brawn GP rival Rubens Barrichello.
Twelve months on, however, and nobody has been able to knock the 25-year-old down from his pedestal since the Turkish Grand Prix, with back-to-back triumphs in Istanbul and Montreal vaulting the 2008 F1 World Champion to the top of the title standings – and he makes it very clear that with his McLaren-Mercedes MP4-25 improving by the race and tipped to be in its element in Valencia, he is chasing both a hat-trick of victories and third time lucky this weekend.
“I’m really looking forward to racing in Valencia,” Hamilton confessed. “I had a great, attacking race there last year – but I’ve finished second for the past two seasons, so I feel like I have some unfinished business!
“I also think it’s good for the championship to have a variety of circuits – we’ve just come from a fast, flowing road course in Canada, to a tight street track in Valencia, and next month we’ll be at Silverstone – one of the fastest tracks of the year, and a circuit with incredible history. As a driver, that sort of variety makes the racing exciting and unpredictable, which is all you can really ask for.
“The last few grands prix have had some fantastic racing – it would be great for all the Spanish fans if we can have a great race here too. It’s not a circuit where we’ve seen too much passing in the past, but I think this year could be different – the grid is so tight and there were battles all through the field in Montreal last week, so I think we could have a close and exciting race this year.”
Hamilton’s enthusiasm for what lies ahead is shared by team-mate and title-winning successor Jenson Button, who sits just three markers adrift of his countryman in the points table after finishing a close second to him in both Turkey and Canada. The Frome-born ace’s record in Valencia is on paper substantially less impressive – with a lowly and distant seventh place there last season the highlight – but now fully in possession of the tools to do the job, the 30-year-old expects to put up a strong fight this weekend.
“As a team, we’ve taken maximum points in the last two races and it feels like we’ve really gathered considerable momentum,” the nine-time grand prix-winner underlined. “The team really is functioning as a single unit, so I think we head into Valencia hopeful of being able to once again capitalise on that determination and ambition.
“Even though it’s a street circuit, it’s got quite a different feel to other street tracks like Monte Carlo or Singapore. For a start, it’s quite a bit faster – there are some low-speed corners with some fairly unforgiving walls at the apex, but there are also some high-speed changes of direction and some long straights, so it’s quite an interesting place set-up wise. It’s not as if you completely rely on downforce; there’s a trade-off, and that should suit our package.
“Valencia is also the final race before two important stop-offs in the UK – our home race at Silverstone and, before that, the Goodwood Festival of Speed. Both are events where the British fans will be out in-force, and as world champion, I’m looking forward to them. Silverstone will be an incredible experience, and I get to achieve a childhood dream of driving one of Alain Prost’s classic McLarens, the MP4/2C, at Goodwood. Sometimes, I can’t believe how lucky I am.”
Monday, June 14, 2010
Pole sitter Lewis Hamilton didn’t think it was a gamble for his McLaren Mercedes team to start Sunday’s Formula One Canadian Grand Prix on softer option tires.
Few believed him, but at the end of 70 laps at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve it was Hamilton and his McLaren Mercedes team that held all the aces and the giant’s share of the pot from F-1’s only visit to this side of the Atlantic Ocean.
He crossed the finish line a full 2.2 seconds ahead of teammate Jenson Button to give the British-based team a 1-2 result.
Hamilton was 9.2 seconds in front of third-place finisher Fernando Alonso in a Ferrari.
Sebastian Vettel, who before the race had criticized McLaren’s decision to run the Saturday qualifying laps on the option tires, was fourth for Red Bull with teammate Mark Webber rounding out the top five.
To many among the 110,000 sold-out crowd at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, however, it looked early on as if Hamilton had lost his gamble when he pulled into the pits under green flag conditions to change to the harder compound tires after just eight laps.
But as the race wore on Hamilton reeled in first Vettel, then Webber, then Alonso to take control. It marks the second win in Canada for the 25-year-old Hamilton.
The victory also lifted Hamilton to the top of the world championship with 109 points, three ahead of Button and six ahead of Webber, who had held the lead going into the Canadian GP.
Hamilton called his win the toughest of his career.
“It was the toughest race I’ve ever been in,” he said. “We had great pace all the way through but we had to fight traffic all the way as well. So far this season, I would have to say it was the ultimate challenge.”
There was one moment, however, that could have ruined Hamilton’s day. On exiting after his first pit stop, he came close to locking wheels with Alonso.
“On our in-lap to change tires, I was ahead of Alonso but he had some problems and ended up coming out beside him,” he said.
“He was in my blind spot, but he managed to race us to the end of pit lane and got out in front of us.”
From that point on, Hamilton said, the race was hard fight for every turn on every lap. But he added, the hard fighting made his win all the more satisfying.
“It has been a tremendous weekend, it has been fantastic,” Hamilton said. “I got here on Wednesday and things have gone so well. I’ve had incredible support from the fans.”
Button, the defending F-1 champion, heaped praise on his younger teammate, calling his race phenomenal.
“This guy (Hamilton) was phenomenal,” Button said. “It is good to finish close to (him) and good to get some points.”
Alonso complained, however, that it was the traffic, and not Hamilton’s faster McLaren Mercedes that cost him the victory on Sunday.
“We went from getting 25 points (for the win) to 15 points (for third) because of traffic,” he said.
“Ferrari is moving in the right direction but today we kept being held up (by back markers).”
Late in the race — on Lap 62 — the McLaren engineers were urging Hamilton to ease up in order to save his tires, which were beginning to show some severe wear.
But on the very next tour of Circuit Gilles Villeneuve’s 4.61 km loop Hamilton responded with a time of one minute, 18.025 seconds — the fastest lap of the day of any of the 2X starters on the grid.
With three laps to go he had increased his lead over Button to 3.5 second before finally heeding his team’s pleas to lift of the gas, at least a little bit.