A collection of my favorite things about racing
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American Medical News reports hospitals in at least a dozen countries are learning how to translate the split-second timing and near-perfect synchronisation of Formula One pit crews to the high-risk handoffs of patients from surgery to recovery and intensive care.

“In Formula One, they have checklists, databases, and they have well-defined processes for doing things, and we don’t really have any of those things in health care.”

Source: http://blogs.espnf1.com/paperroundf1/archives/2010/10/doctors_use_formula_one_pit_cr.php

Allen Berg Georges Berger Gerhard Berger Eric Bernard Enrique Bernoldi

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Few things in sport are guaranteed to generate publicity like someone high-profile in Formula 1 talking about running a grand prix around the world-famous sites of central London.

After all, what’s not to like? Who doesn’t think it would make one of the most spectacular sporting events the world had ever seen?

That’s clearly what the PR agency which represents one of McLaren’s biggest sponsors was thinking when they invited the media to a lavish event at London’s RAC Club on Thursday to hear Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button talking about what it might be like to race around such a track.

An expensively produced video was played. Hamilton and Button said all the right things – while being careful not to be seen in any way to diminish the importance of Silverstone as the home of the British Grand Prix.

And a virtual race was staged around the track with teams led by the McLaren drivers featuring Rio Ferdinand, Melanie Sykes, Olympic gold medal winner Amy Williams and Radio One DJ Sarah-Jane Crawford.

All in all, an effective way to generate a bit of extra media coverage ahead of next weekend’s ninth round of the world championship at, yes, Silverstone.

In what will doubtless have been fantastic news for the PR agency and sponsor in question, though, the story developed a life of its own even before the event was held, when F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone was quoted in a newspaper saying “maybe we would front it and put the money up for it”.

A London race would see the drivers go past a number of iconic monuments.

Within F1, the idea of a race in London in such circumstances has been greeted with intense scepticism. “Of course it’s not going to happen,” one senior figure said on Thursday. “You know that, and so do I. But it makes a great story, doesn’t it?”

On the back of it, there was an inevitable media whirlwind.

The mayor of London, Boris Johnson, was asked about it, and said he was “broadly positive providing we can satisfy the air quality and noise issues”.

Which, of course, they never could. So, apart from the fact that it’s a PR stunt on which Ecclestone has chosen to offer an opinion, that’s the first reason why it is unlikely ever to happen. There are many more.

Before we get into those, however, it is worth mentioning that Ecclestone has tried to make a London Grand Prix work before.

In the mid-noughties, he discussed it with Johnson’s predecessor Ken Livingstone and the Live Aid promoter Harvey Goldsmith, focusing on the two biggest hurdles – money and logistics.

Holding such a race would mean closing off part of central London for at least three days and disruption for much longer as preparations were made. There is an inherent cost in that.

Then there was Ecclestone’s fee, setting up and securing the circuit, sorting out infrastructure, policing and so on.

On the plus side, a grand prix would showcase London and boost the city’s profile, and probably – all things taken into account – bring in more money than it cost. Not that London, as one of the three biggest tourist attractions in the world, needs any extra publicity.

Five years ago almost to the day, I asked Ecclestone about these very plans. “I spoke about it with the mayor a couple of years ago, I think,” he said. “He was very supportive. But we came to the conclusion that it would be too expensive.”

A source close to Ecclestone expanded on that. “Bernie put a lot of effort into it,” he said. “He said they looked long and hard at it and they couldn’t make it work.

“There was very little money forthcoming from Livingstone, so it had to be self-supporting and they needed a way of getting people in.

“But there was only room for 30,000 people and, with the money they needed to pay to put it on, that would have meant charging £500 a ticket.”

Damon Hill, then the president of the British Racing Drivers’ Club which owns Silverstone, added that he had spoken “to Harvey Goldsmith about it a while back. I think it’s dead. Logistically, it’s a non-starter.”

Which brings us back to the hurdles. The first being the idea that Ecclestone would put up the money for it. That’s not how it works – venues pay a huge fee to the commercial arm of the sport, which Ecclestone runs, for the privilege of hosting F1.

That’s not to say that F1 stumping up the money to host a race is a bad idea. Quite the contrary – some senior figures in the sport believe that’s exactly what it should do to establish itself in America.

There is no market F1 wants to crack more than the US but last autumn Ecclestone played a game of brinksmanship with this season’s new race in Austin, Texas, saying it would not be put on the calendar unless it paid its fee.

A similar situation seems to be developing with the proposed race in New Jersey overlooking Manhattan – an event F1 needs much more than one in London.

Then there’s the fact that Britain already has a very popular grand prix at Silverstone, which has a contract until 2027, with a break clause either side can exercise in 2020.

With countries apparently queuing up for races – Russia is due in 2014, Mexico is also said to be imminent, Thailand is keen – the idea of holding two races in one country is seen very much as a thing of the past.

Equally, this is the second idea for a London Grand Prix that has come up in the past six days – on Friday another newspaper reported plans for a race around the Olympic Stadium.

Asked about this by BBC Sport at last weekend’s European Grand Prix, Ecclestone said: “We’re talking.”

Hardly a surprise, is it, that F1 is so full of cynics?

In F1 – especially where Ecclestone is involved – one learns to never say never. But in a nutshell, what of the London Grand Prix?

Great PR coup? Yes. Likely to happen? Don’t hold your breath.

Source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/andrewbenson/2012/06/could_a_london_grand_prix_ever.html

Adolf Brudes Martin Brundle Gianmaria Bruni Jimmy Bryan Carlo Abate

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Kyle Busch closes on Phoenix sweep By Diego Mejia Sunday, February 27th 2011, 07:28 GMT Kyle Busch could make further NASCAR history this weekend by completing a full sweep of victories in its top-level championships at Phoenix in a single weekend, having already dominated in the Trucks and Natiowide Series races at the one-mile oval. Related posts:

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Source: http://doxcar.com/nascar-kyle-busch-closes-on-phoenix-sweep/

Warwick Brown Adolf Brudes Martin Brundle Gianmaria Bruni Jimmy Bryan

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Red Bull boss Christian Horner was in bullish mood after the Hungarian GP, despite neither RB8 making it to the podium. Sebastian Vettel had to settle for fourth, while Mark Webber slipped back to eighth after running three stops. But … Continue reading

Source: http://adamcooperf1.com/2012/07/30/hungary-a-tough-race-for-rbr-says-horner/

Mário de Araújo Cabral Frank Armi Chuck Arnold Rene Arnoux Peter Arundell

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Ferrari have become the first team to launch their 2011 Formula One car – named the F150. Thw F150 name comes from the fact it is 150 years since Italian unification, the flag bearer for the nation decided it was important to increase exposure of the major event in the country’s long history.  The cars [...]

Source: http://f1fanatics.wordpress.com/2011/01/31/ferrari-launch-their-2011-car-the-f150/

Carlo Abate George Abecassis Kenny Acheson Andrea de Adamich Philippe Adams

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The remarkable story of Fernando Alonso and Ferrari’s incredible season continued at the German Grand Prix as the Spaniard became the first man to win three races in 2012 and moved into an imposing lead in the world championship.

Those three victories have all been very different, but equally impressive. And each has demonstrated specific aspects of the formidable army of Alonso’s talents.

In Malaysia in the second race of the season, at a time when the Ferrari was not competitive in the dry, he grabbed the opportunity provided by rain to take a most unexpected first win.

In Valencia last month, it was Alonso’s opportunism and clinical overtaking abilities that were to the fore.

Fernando Alonso tops the podium in Hockenheim

Other drivers may wonder how to stop Alonso’s relentless drive to a third title. Photo: Getty

And in Germany on Sunday his victory was founded on his relentlessness, canniness and virtual imperviousness to pressure.

Ferrari, lest we forget, started the season with a car that was the best part of a second and a half off the pace. Their progress since then has been hugely impressive.

But vastly improved though the car is, it was not, as Alonso himself, his team boss Stefano Domenicali and Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel all pointed out after the race on Sunday, the fastest car in Germany.

Vettel’s Red Bull – which finished second but was demoted to fifth for passing Jenson Button by going off the track – and the McLaren appeared to have a slight pace advantage over the Ferrari, given their ability to stay within a second of it for lap after lap.

But Alonso cleverly managed his race so he was always just out of reach of them when it mattered.

He pushed hard in the first sector every lap so he was always far enough ahead at the start of the DRS overtaking zone to ensure his pursuers were not quite close enough to try to pass him into the Turn 6 hairpin.

After that, he could afford to back off through the middle sector of the lap, taking the stress out of his tyres, before doing it all over again the next time around.

Managing the delicate Pirelli tyres in this way also meant he could push that bit harder in the laps immediately preceding his two pit stops and ensure he kept his lead through them.

Equally, he showed the presence of mind to realise when Lewis Hamilton unlapped himself on Vettel shortly before the second stops that if he could, unlike the Red Bull driver, keep Hamilton behind, it would give him a crucial advantage at the stop.

It was not quite “67 qualifying laps”, as Domenicali described it after the race, but it was certainly a masterful demonstration of control and intelligence.

And there was no arguing with another of the Italian’s post-race verdicts. “(Alonso) is at the peak of his personal performance, no doubt about it,” Domenicali said.

It was the 30th victory of Alonso’s career, and he is now only one behind Nigel Mansell in the all-time winners’ list. The way he is driving, he will surely move ahead of the Englishman into fourth place behind Michael Schumacher, Alain Prost and Ayrton Senna before the end of the year.

At the halfway point of the season, Alonso now looks down on his pursuers in the championship from the lofty vantage point of a 34-point advantage.

That is not, as Red Bull team principal Christian Horner correctly pointed out in Germany, “insurmountable” with 10 races still to go and 250 points up for grabs. But catching him when he is driving as well as this will take some doing.

Alonso is clearly enjoying the situation, and is taking opportunities to rub his rivals’ noses in it a little.

He is not the only driver to have been wound up by the index-finger salute Vettel employed every time he took one of his 11 wins and 15 pole positions on the way to the title last year.

So it was amusing to see Alonso do the same thing after he had beaten the German to pole position at Vettel’s home race on Saturday.

The exchange between Alonso, Button and Vettel as they climbed out of their cars immediately after the race was also illuminating.

After standing on his Ferrari’s nose to milk the applause, Alonso turned to Button and said: “You couldn’t beat me?” He then pointed to Vettel and said: “He couldn’t either.”

All part of the game, but a little reminder to both men of what a formidable job Alonso is doing this season.

The race underlined how close the performance is between the top three teams this year.

Red Bull had a shaky start to the season by their standards – although to nowhere near the extent of Ferrari – but have had on balance the fastest car in the dry since the Bahrain Grand Prix back in April.

And while McLaren have had a shaky couple of races in Valencia and Silverstone, they showed potential race-winning pace in Germany following the introduction of a major upgrade.

Despite a car damaged when he suffered an early puncture on debris left from a first-corner shunt ironically involving Alonso’s team-mate Felipe Massa, Hamilton was able to run with the leaders before his retirement with gearbox damage.

And Button impressively fought his way up to second place from sixth on the grid, closing a five-second gap on Alonso and Vettel once he was into third place.

This has not been Button’s greatest season, as he would be the first to admit.

Germany was the first race at which he has outqualified Hamilton in 2012 and even that may well have been down to the different tyre strategies they ran in qualifying.

Nevertheless, he remains a world-class grand prix driver and Germany proved the folly of those who had written him off after his recent struggles.

And despite Alonso’s lead in the championship, the season is finely poised.

Germany was a low-key race for Mark Webber, who was unhappy with his car on the harder of the two tyres but remains second in the championship. And Red Bull’s two drivers clearly have the equipment to make life difficult for Alonso.

The McLaren drivers are determined to make something of their season still and Lotus are quick enough to cause the three big teams some serious concern.

Mercedes, meanwhile, have a bit of work to do to turn around their tendency to qualify reasonably well and then go backwards in the race.

“It’s going to be a great, great season,” said McLaren boss Martin Whitmarsh on Sunday. “It already has been a great season.”

And the next instalment is already less than seven days away in Hungary next weekend.

Source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/andrewbenson/2012/07/cool_canny_alonso_looks_diffic.html

Marcel Balsa Lorenzo Bandini Henry Banks Fabrizio Barbazza John Barber

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Lewis Hamilton has always felt at home in Hungary, and will again be in the thick of the action on Sunday after dominating qualifying. Hamilton did two laps that would have been good enough for pole, and is now hoping … Continue reading

Source: http://adamcooperf1.com/2012/07/28/lewis-hamilton-i-just-hope-for-once-we-have-a-good-start/

Enrico Bertaggia Tony Bettenhausen Mike Beuttler Birabongse Bhanubandh Lucien Bianchi

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Mercedes buyout ‘won’t change team’ By Edd Straw Monday, February 28th 2011, 12:50 GMT No changes will be made to the way that Mercedes GP is run after Daimler AG and Aabar Investments took full control of the team, according to the German firm’s motorsport boss Norbert Haug. It was announced this morning that Mercedes and Aabar had acquired the remaining 24.9 per cent of the team, which was owned by the five shareholders involved in the original management buyout of Honda in 2009 – Ross Brawn, Nick Fry, Caroline McGrory, John Marsden and Nigel Kerr. Related posts:

  1. F1: Mercedes working flat out to catch up Mercedes working flat out to catch up By Pablo Elizalde…
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Source: http://doxcar.com/f1-mercedes-buyout-wont-change-team/

Gerhard Berger Eric Bernard Enrique Bernoldi Enrico Bertaggia Tony Bettenhausen

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Michael Schumacher crashed in a wet FP2 session for the second time in a row when he went off in Hungary this afternoon. Schumacher slid straight on into the tyre wall after hitting standing water following a heavy shower mid … Continue reading

Source: http://adamcooperf1.com/2012/07/27/michael-schumacher-i-just-ran-out-of-road/

Tom Bridger Tony Brise Chris Bristow Peter Broeker Tony Brooks

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© Daily Telegraph

Tom Cary says in his column in the Daily Telegraph that the man dubbed ?Baby Schumi? has plenty of time to match or even surpass his compatriot?s record haul of seven world titles after he cinched his first in the Abu Dhabi night.

?Here, after all, is a young man, already dubbed ?Baby Schumi? by Germany?s tabloid press, winning the first of what will presumably be multiple world championships, and all at the tender age of 23. Plenty of time yet to match Schumacher’s incredible haul of seven world titles. And yet, their phenomenal ability to drive racing cars apart, there is little similarity between the two men. ?There are still lingering doubts over his racing ability but with such blistering qualifying pace he is nearly always leading from the front anyway. Vettel is set for multiple world championships. Just don?t call him Baby Schumi.?
The Guardian?s Paul Weaver says it was difficult to begrudge Vettel his moment of glory after he won the first of what will be many world titles. He also looks back at some of the season?s highlights.
?An amazing Formula One season produced its final twist here on Sunday when Sebastian Vettel, who had never led the title race, won his first world championship. It is difficult to begrudge him his glory, for he had more poles (10) than any other driver and shared the most wins (five) with Fernando Alonso. There will be red faces as well as red cars and overalls at Ferrari, though, for deciding to bring their man in when they did, only to see him re-emerge into heavy traffic. ?Among the highlights, and every race felt like a highlight after the bore-start in Bahrain, there was that wonderful beginning to his McLaren career by Jenson Button, who won two of his first four races, even though he couldn’t keep up the pace, especially in qualifying. ?Hamilton once again drove his heart out, and outperformed a car that looked a little too ordinary at times. He was superb in Montreal. Then there was Webber, the Anglophile Aussie who was the favourite among most neutrals to win the title. There was that spectacular crash when he ran into the back of Heikki Kovalainen and the most famous of his four wins, at Silverstone, when he said to his team at the end of the race: ‘Not bad for a No2 driver.’ ?But in the end there was only one German who mattered. It was the remarkable Vettel. This will be the first of a clutch of championships for him.?
The Independent?s David Tremayne focuses on the plight of the other title contenders, writing it is easier to feel more sorry for one than the other.
?It was impossible not to feel for both Webber and Alonso. Yet while a frustrated Alonso gestured at Petrov after the race, the Australian, predictably, refused to complain about his pitstop timing. ?A world championship seemed an inevitable part of Sebastian Vettel’s future, but it came a little sooner than most expected, after his recent tribulations. You wouldn’t bet against several more, and if that record-breaking streak continues, perhaps even Schumacher’s achievements will be overshadowed.?
And the Mirror?s Byron Young elaborates further on the petulant behaviour of Fernando Alonso on his slowing down lap after his title dreams ended behind the Renault of Vitaly Petrov.
?Fernando Alonso was hurled into more controversy last night for a wild gesture at the former Lada racer who cost him the title. But the Spaniard brushed off accusations he gave Russian Vitaly Petrov the finger for ruining his title hopes by blocking him for 40 laps as they duelled over sixth place. “The Ferrari ace was caught on television cruising alongside the Renault driver on the slowing down lap and gesticulating from the cockpit. Petrov was unrepentant: “What was I supposed to do? Just get out of his way, pull to the side? I don’t think that is how we race. It was important for the team for me to get points.”

Source: http://blogs.espnf1.com/paperroundf1/archives/2010/11/vettel_set_for_titles_aplenty_1.php

Gerry Ashmore Bill Aston Richard Attwood Manny Ayulo Luca Badoer

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A win for Lewis Hamilton in Hungary has put the McLaren driver back in the World Championship hunt ahead of the August summer break, after a run of three races that produced just four points. Hamilton now lies fourth on … Continue reading

Source: http://adamcooperf1.com/2012/07/29/lewis-hamilton-this-weekend-shows-its-all-to-play-for-still-still/

Rene Arnoux Peter Arundell Alberto Ascari Peter Ashdown Ian Ashley

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Lewis Hamilton has always felt at home in Hungary, and will again be in the thick of the action on Sunday after dominating qualifying. Hamilton did two laps that would have been good enough for pole, and is now hoping … Continue reading

Source: http://adamcooperf1.com/2012/07/28/lewis-hamilton-i-just-hope-for-once-we-have-a-good-start/

Elie Bayol Don Beauman Karl Gunther Bechem Jean Behra Derek Bell

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Rb246 wins Hungary Predictions Championship round is an original article from F1 Fanatic. If this article has been published anywhere other than F1 Fanatic it is an infringement of copyright.

The three prize-winners in the Hungarian round of the Predictions Championship tied with the top score.

Rb246 wins Hungary Predictions Championship round is an original article from F1 Fanatic. If this article has been published anywhere other than F1 Fanatic it is an infringement of copyright.

Source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/f1fanatic/~3/gUME5ejMkEE/

Kurt Adolff Fred Agabashian Kurt Ahrens Jr Christijan Albers Michele Alboreto

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Double DRS set for ban under 2013 rules is an original article from F1 Fanatic. If this article has been published anywhere other than F1 Fanatic it is an infringement of copyright.

In the round-up: Double DRS ban for 2013 ? Hamilton wants to keep trophies ? F1 to drop mid-season test

Double DRS set for ban under 2013 rules is an original article from F1 Fanatic. If this article has been published anywhere other than F1 Fanatic it is an infringement of copyright.

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Manny Ayulo Luca Badoer Giancarlo Baghetti Julian Bailey Mauro Baldi

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Fernando Alonso was in upbeat mood after finishing fifth in Hungary, and he made it clear that he was delighted to have scored a good helping of points on a track which did not suit Ferrari. Although he lost ground … Continue reading

Source: http://adamcooperf1.com/2012/07/29/fernando-alonso-we-did-something-better-than-the-others/

Zsolt Baumgartner Elie Bayol Don Beauman Karl Gunther Bechem Jean Behra

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A win for Lewis Hamilton in Hungary has put the McLaren driver back in the World Championship hunt ahead of the August summer break, after a run of three races that produced just four points. Hamilton now lies fourth on … Continue reading

Source: http://adamcooperf1.com/2012/07/29/lewis-hamilton-this-weekend-shows-its-all-to-play-for-still-still/

Elie Bayol Don Beauman Karl Gunther Bechem Jean Behra Derek Bell

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Lewis Hamilton has always felt at home in Hungary, and will again be in the thick of the action on Sunday after dominating qualifying. Hamilton did two laps that would have been good enough for pole, and is now hoping … Continue reading

Source: http://adamcooperf1.com/2012/07/28/lewis-hamilton-i-just-hope-for-once-we-have-a-good-start/

Mario Andretti Michael Andretti Keith Andrews Elio de Angelis Marco Apicella

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Rate the Race result: 2012 German Grand Prix is an original article from F1 Fanatic. If this article has been published anywhere other than F1 Fanatic it is an infringement of copyright.

F1 Fanatic readers rated the German Grand Prix 7.055, almost the same as the previous race at Silverstone.

Rate the Race result: 2012 German Grand Prix is an original article from F1 Fanatic. If this article has been published anywhere other than F1 Fanatic it is an infringement of copyright.

Source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/f1fanatic/~3/4Ye2ne4D8Pg/

Alex Blignaut Trevor Blokdyk Mark Blundell Raul Boesel Menato Boffa

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Fernando Alonso was in upbeat mood after finishing fifth in Hungary, and he made it clear that he was delighted to have scored a good helping of points on a track which did not suit Ferrari. Although he lost ground … Continue reading

Source: http://adamcooperf1.com/2012/07/29/fernando-alonso-we-did-something-better-than-the-others/

Clemente Biondetti Pablo Birger Art Bisch Harry Blanchard Michael Bleekemolen

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Top ten pictures from the 2012 Hungarian Grand Prix is an original article from F1 Fanatic. If this article has been published anywhere other than F1 Fanatic it is an infringement of copyright.

Ten of the best pictures that tell the story of the 2012 Hungarian Grand Prix.

Top ten pictures from the 2012 Hungarian Grand Prix is an original article from F1 Fanatic. If this article has been published anywhere other than F1 Fanatic it is an infringement of copyright.

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Henry Banks Fabrizio Barbazza John Barber Skip Barber Paolo Barilla

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Mark Webber set the pace in the Saturday practice session on Saturday morning in Hungary, beating Lewis Hamilton to the fastest time by just 0.093s. There were 15 drivers within a second of the fastest time, which meant a few surprises in the established pecking order. Bruno Senna was third in his Williams, ahead of [...]

Source: http://joesaward.wordpress.com/2012/07/28/marks-no-sparks/

Bob Bondurant Felice Bonetto Jo Bonnier Roberto Bonomi Juan Manuel Bordeu

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Ferrari have become the first team to launch their 2011 Formula One car – named the F150. Thw F150 name comes from the fact it is 150 years since Italian unification, the flag bearer for the nation decided it was important to increase exposure of the major event in the country’s long history.  The cars [...]

Source: http://f1fanatics.wordpress.com/2011/01/31/ferrari-launch-their-2011-car-the-f150/

Trevor Blokdyk Mark Blundell Raul Boesel Menato Boffa Bob Bondurant

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My flight back to London from the Spanish Grand Prix was full of tired mechanics, exhausted race engineers and sleepy drivers – all of them recovering from an extraordinary weekend of mixed emotions in Barcelona.

It was a very strange feeling on the plane, alongside plenty of Williams personnel who were torn between celebrating a monumental win for the team, yet understandably concerned about their colleagues who remain in hospital after the pit lane fire on Sunday evening.

People know motorsport in inherently dangerous, and that F1 can never rest on its laurels as far as safety is concerned, however, that doesn’t mean it’s not easy to become blasé about our working environment.

Let’s take the pre-race show we do for example. Along with plenty of other media personnel, photographers and guests, we’re in a pit lane surrounded by fuel, electronically charged KERS units, all manner of other mechanical equipment, not to mention F1 cars leaving garages or scorching past at 60mph. The same applies to the grid.

Williams garage fire

31 people were injured following a fire at the Williams team garage after the Spanish Grand Prix. Photo: Getty

However, with no driver death since 1994 and serious injuries or nasty accidents mercifully rare, it is easy to forget an F1 track still remains a dangerous place.

As the fire blazed in the Williams garage and a horrible acrid smoke filled the air, there was genuine shock this was happening. Most people currently involved in the sport were not around in the dark days when dramatic incidents were common.

It was so unexpected I initially thought it was an old diesel engine starting up, David Coulthard assumed it was a catering fire, and some thought Williams were letting off a flare as a celebration.

The people I’ve spoken to on the flight, and in the departure lounge, actually paint a much more serious picture with Frank Williams and the whole team celebrating their win in the garage as the fuel explosion happened.

At this point is worth mentioning not only the Williams crew who were clearly well trained and dealt with the situation quickly, but also the members of the nearby teams such as Toro Rosso, Force India and HRT who reportedly didn’t think twice before diving in to help the situation.

F1 can seem like such a safe and sterile environment with its perfectly clean garages, and the garage interiors transformed each race by the plastic walls they construct, all in team colours of course. It looks modern, safe and made-for-tv. The reality is that it is still a garage like any other and, for all the commercially driven, PR-controlled world that the viewers see, it remains dangerous.

Thankfully the injuries were limited to just a handful of people. Williams suffered extensive damage to their garage and equipment, including plenty of laptops and other bits of kit which will be frantically replaced before Monaco.

However, as ever, the real cost is human and we’re all thankful it wasn’t more serious.

In fact, it’s not just the garages that can be dangerous places. With just moments left of the race, Eddie Jordan decided he’d love to go and congratulate Frank Williams and went haring off to find him – as only Eddie does. I was sitting in the McLaren hospitality area and Eddie re-appeared just moments latter grimacing in pain.

“I think I’ve broken my ankle,” he wailed. I looked down and his foot was starting to swell outside of his shoe. It transpired he’d tripped on his way to see Frank, and his ankle had taken the brunt of the impact.

Eddie was quite a driver in his day, and like many racing drivers of his era, he lives with damaged ankles from crashing cars.

So, picture the scene. Pastor crosses the line to win and, instead of celebrating, we’re getting Eddie’s foot raised up and tracking down some ice to take down the swelling whilst poor old EJ looks like he might pass out.

I was wondering if I’d have to head outside to host the post-podium celebrations alone, however, ever the soldier, EJ was able to cope with the pain and he hobbled out to cover the end of the race with me.

And what a win.

Pastor has come in for a fair amount of criticism. It’s no secret that he comes with a large chunk of change from Venezuela, which was reportedly one of the big reasons for him replacing Nico Hulkenberg in 2011.

Well, what do we make of his talents now? He’s spent most of the season fighting the Ferraris, and now he’s beaten them. It wasn’t a fluke but genuine pace.

As for Eddie’s foot, well by the time we went on to the F1 Forum the pain was too much and, after the wonderful McLaren doctor Aki strapped it up, we eventually resorted to pushing Eddie around on a tyre trolley to get him around.

Thankfully, as Eddie lives in Monaco, he can now have a rest for a week or so, as we’re heading his way for the next race. And what on earth can Monaco have in store for us?

It’s remarkable to think we’ve had five different race winners in the past five races, and it seems nobody is able to explain why it’s happened or how the following races might play themselves out.

In Spain, we saw Jenson Button and Sebastian Vettel lose pace throughout the weekend. Williams and Ferrari weren’t expected to have the pace to out-race Lotus, whilst Sauber had another strong race.

There wasn’t a Mercedes, McLaren or Red Bull in the top five on the grid.

Who was your driver of the day? I loved watching Lewis’ drive. He has really impressed me this season.

Mind you, one thing that has almost gone unnoticed amongst all the excitement is that we’re already a quarter of the way through the 2012 Formula One season. And if the next 15 races are anything like the first five, then we’re in for some season.

Thanks for sticking with the BBC for the action. We’ve been delighted with the viewing figures and I love seeing your thoughts on Twitter – keep them coming and let’s hope Eddie’s ankle lasts the distance!

Source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/jakehumphrey/2012/05/jake.html

Philippe Adams Walt Ader Kurt Adolff Fred Agabashian Kurt Ahrens Jr

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2012 Hungarian Grand Prix lap chart is an original article from F1 Fanatic. If this article has been published anywhere other than F1 Fanatic it is an infringement of copyright.

Mark Webber reckoned he should have finished fifth – and he wasn’t the only driver to lose out on a three-stop strategy.

2012 Hungarian Grand Prix lap chart is an original article from F1 Fanatic. If this article has been published anywhere other than F1 Fanatic it is an infringement of copyright.

Source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/f1fanatic/~3/kJyn4vr2jSo/

Gerhard Berger Eric Bernard Enrique Bernoldi Enrico Bertaggia Tony Bettenhausen

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At the Circuit de Catalunya

The smile on Pastor Maldonado’s face dropped in the immediate aftermath of the frightening fire that broke out in the Williams garage after the Spanish Grand Prix, but it soon came back again once he was told nobody had been seriously hurt. You can bet it will stay for quite some time.

Maldonado started this season as a man who owed his place in Formula 1 to the millions provided to his Williams team by the Venezuelan government.

After yet another bizarre and unexpected twist in this most unpredictable of seasons, he leaves Barcelona as a grand prix winner and talking about a possible championship challenge.

Maldonado drove a superb race at the Circuit de Catalunya, mature and controlled in a way of which few in the paddock believed him capable.

He came into F1 with a reputation for being quick but fiery and a bit accident-prone. In his first season last year he fitted the mould.

This season started in the same way – Williams’s upturn in form had him battling with some unfamiliar rivals close to the front. But he started the season wrecking what would have been a strong points finish in the first race of the season when he crashed chasing Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso for fifth place on the final lap.

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Since then, though, Maldonado has turned a corner with some strong performances. But no-one – not even Williams – expected what happened in Spain.

The Mugello test before this race went well, and Williams knew they had improved their car. They thought they had made a step forward, Friday practice confirmed it, but not in their wildest dreams did they imagine they would qualify on the front row.

Second place, half a second behind Lewis Hamilton, was impressive enough, but it became pole position after the McLaren driver’s penalty and, despite losing the lead to Alonso at the start, Maldonado always looked in contention for victory.

Alonso is the most formidable of rivals, but Maldonado kept him in sight in the first and second stints, before Williams succeeded in ‘undercutting’ the Ferrari at the second stops.

Ferrari almost certainly made a mistake in leaving the Spaniard out for two laps before his stop – nearly all of which he spent behind Marussia’s Charles Pic, who was subsequently penalised for not letting Alonso by.

But Maldonado’s pace on his first lap out of the pits suggested he might well have taken the lead anyway.

The pressure never relented, though. After the final stops, Alonso came back at Maldonado, but the Williams driver raced like a veteran and always looked in control of the situation.

The win does not change the reality of why Maldonado has his drive – but it certainly proves beyond all doubt that he deserves his place in F1, even if one inevitably has to wonder what the Williams would be capable of with Alonso or Hamilton behind the wheel.

To his credit, Maldonado does not seek to hide the financial support he is given, nor the fact that he is basically a state-sponsored driver who has the personal backing of his President, Hugo Chavez. In fact, he embraces it.

“I’m very lucky to have a country behind me, pushing so hard, to see me here in Formula 1 and especially to be here, between these guys,” he said in the post-race news conference, as he sat between Alonso and another world champion, Kimi Raikkonen.

“I’m pretty happy for Venezuela, I’m happy for Williams as well. They did a wonderful job to give me a great car for this race. We are getting better and better, race after race.”

There has been no magic in Williams’s revival this year after several seasons in which they seemed to be inexorable decline.

There have been changes at the top of the engineering team, and a focus on fixing obvious, major operational and technical problems.

“We made big changes in the factory,” Maldonado said. “We have new staff in some of the departments and completely changed the approach to building the car.
“I need to say that this year’s car has great performance, great potential to become even stronger than it is and, for sure, this is great for motivation, to motivate the team, the factory, to keep pushing like that. I think this is the way. We are motivated and we need to keep pushing.”

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Whether Williams can maintain this form remains an open question – but the same goes for every other team in this incredibly topsy-turvy season.

There have been five different winners from five different teams in the first five races. It is the first time that has happened since 1983, when Williams were reigning world champions and were also, incidentally, the fifth winner.

Monaco could easily provide the sixth winner in six races, as Raikkonen’s Lotus team also seem on the verge of a victory.

The 1983 season eventually settled down into a title fight between three teams. This one may well go the same way, but you wouldn’t count on it right now.

The new tyres created by Pirelli this year have left all the teams scratching their heads.

One weekend you can be winning, the next you can be nowhere and not know why, as world champions Red Bull found out in Spain, following Sebastian Vettel’s victory in Bahrain last time out.

As Alonso put it after the race: “We were 57 seconds behind Vettel in Bahrain, and we were lapping (his team-mate Mark) Webber here. No one understands probably. Not us either.”

There is a recognition throughout the sport that this unpredictability is adding to the superficial appeal of F1, especially as the years of Michael Schumacher’s domination with Ferrari are not so very long ago.

Nevertheless, there is also a growing sense of unease – largely unspoken publicly until now, apart from Schumacher’s comments after Bahrain – that it’s somehow not quite real.

The tyres, some feel, are introducing too much of a random element that demeans the sport in some ways. That F1, whisper it, may have gone too far the other way.

Fun, though, isn’t it?

Source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/andrewbenson/2012/05/maldonados_maiden_victory_over.html

Kurt Ahrens Jr Christijan Albers Michele Alboreto Jean Alesi Jaime Alguersuari

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I must confess, at the start of the year I wasn’t sure what to expect from Formula 1 in 2012. The question for me was: how could a sport that has enthralled us so much in recent seasons deliver again – while at the same time hold its own in a year so packed with stunning sporting spectacles?

We’ve had the European Football Championship, now followed swiftly by Wimbledon and then almost immediately the London Olympics will be upon us. It’s a veritable feast for those sports lovers keen to sit down on the sofa in June and not get up again until late August (if I wasn’t working I’d be one of them!).

Among such sporting riches I wondered just how F1 would make its voice heard. Well, here we are, almost at the midway point of the season and it seems I needn’t have worried.

Due to the fact that my brain has probably only a hundredth of the power of Adrian Newey’s and works at roughly a tenth of the speed of Sebastian Vettel’s, there are many things I still can’t work out about this sport. One of them: just how does it manage to keep on delivering storylines that even Brookside in its heyday would have been proud of?!

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Jake and the team arrive in Silverstone last year.

Since the BBC team and I got involved it’s been one drama after another. In 2009 alone we had the Brawn GP ‘phoenix-from-the-flames’ act, Felipe Massa’s nasty accident in Hungary and then Jenson keeping us all guessing until we got to Brazil.

2010 then delivered arguably the most competitive season the sport has ever seen with five drivers in with a shout of the title, and the least fancied of the lot eventually winning it.

Meanwhile, last year was all about the record-breaking domination of our back-to-back champion, as Seb found his feet in the sport – and his place in the history books – with the most amazing performances week after week that all of us, bar Mark Webber, just watched in awe.

And then 2012 arrived. The year of the Union Flag. The year we all celebrate being British, and the Queen being on the throne almost as long as this sport has existed. The year that Wayne Rooney and England would chase glory in the east of Europe, while the likes of Chris Hoy and Usain Bolt would do the same in the east of London.

And among the flotillas, the flypast and the flag waving, Formula 1′s job was to remind the British public that if you want to celebrate Britain, then celebrate this sport!

In an age of low profits and high anxiety, it’s only natural that we lean on the things we know and trust, and we should include Formula 1 in that bracket. To most of us, it’s always been here.

We should not only celebrate it because it employs thousands and contributes millions to the British economy each year. We shouldn’t just feel pride because eight of the current teams are based on these shores, or that this was the country where Formula 1 actually began – but because in times like this, what we need is a bit of escapism, something to entertain us. And this sport is currently doing both.

And best of all, this weekend it’s the British Grand Prix!

I have incredibly fond memories of this race, and we always try to find a way on the show to tell the story of you, the F1 fans, who attend in your thousands. And whether it’s chants of ‘BBC’ from the grandstand or ‘Eddie, Eddie, Eddie’ as the crowds gather round us in our pre-show build-up, we appreciate the support you’ve shown us over the years.

Having arrived on a three-man tandem bike and hovered overhead in a helicopter in the past, we’ve decided on a quintessentially British, extrovert way of arriving for this year’s grand prix. If you’re there on the Thursday you won’t miss us! I suggest that sometime late-morning you look to the skies and give us a wave… that’s all I’m saying.

However, it’s the drivers who will again provide the real entertainment this year. And after the British fans braved the rain of 2011 and despite there being no British winner since 2008, I truly hope that this year is a race to remember. As well as a grand prix that lives up to the high standards this season has set.

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Will 2012 match up to Mansell’s classic win in 1986?

If Valencia is anything to go by then it looks like Silverstone will be a cracker. We won’t have the sweltering conditions that some races have given us, but with another mixed-up grid full of mixed-up strategies, once again I hope it will have us guessing until the very end.

And we’re also at a crucial stage of the season as far as the title is concerned. Can Fernando Alonso now string some success together and build a championship lead? Meanwhile Mark Webber can really show what consistency can do. If Lotus really harbour title aspirations then now is the time to start turning pace into wins, and what kind of form will Michael be in now he’s bagged his first podium since 2006?

And that leaves the three lions. Paul Di Resta continues to show flashes of brilliance and stunning raw speed – surely it’s just a matter of time until he makes a move to a big team. But he’s also got the likes of Sergio Perez and Romain Grosjean battling for the crown of top rookie.

Is Jenson going to be cut adrift after struggling on Saturdays and having to fight for scraps in recent races? And as for Lewis, he may well arrive at Silverstone like a bear with a sore head after the way his Valencia race ended, but I predict he will make it British Grand Prix win number two on Sunday.

So, if you can’t make it to the race then don’t take down your Jubilee bunting and put the fizz back under the stairs just yet. Chill a bottle, settle down in front of the TV and watch a British love affair unfold that is every bit as special as we’ve seen so far this summer.

And if you are coming to the race, then make sure you bring that Union Flag. This feels like a year that we’ve fallen in love with being British again, so as the world tunes in to see what Northamptonshire has to offer on Sunday, let’s help make it a race to remember.

And after the race, head to Luffield for the grand prix party, as we’re hosting the F1 Forum live on stage and we want you to be part of the show.

Source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/jakehumphrey/2012/07/lets_celebrate_a_great_british.html

Paolo Barilla Rubens Barrichello Michael Bartels Edgar Barth Giorgio Bassi

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Lewis Hamilton has come in for criticism © Getty Images

Lewis Hamilton?s decision-making ability has come into question after he crashed into the side of Felipe Massa on lap one, causing his early retirement from the Italian Grand Prix. This incident has raised questions about his temperament and ability to bounce back. Kevin Garside of the Daily Telegraph questions how much we should really be expecting from Hamilton. ?Perhaps this is how it must be with Hamilton, an instinctive racer compelled to chase the impossible through gaps that don?t exist. He took the best part of an hour to compose himself before walking out into the sun to face the cameras. This was Hamilton?s third DNF of the season but the first of his own making. Occasions like this are perhaps reminders to us not to expect too much. ?On the days when Hamilton?s insane alliance of guts, skill and derring-do appear capable of delivering the world it is easy to forget he is only 25, an age when it is all too common for boys to believe themselves men.? Byron Young of the Mirror also pulls no punches about Hamilton?s performance and was heavily critical of the manoeuvre which meant he left the weekend pointless. ?To say that his dive down the outside at Della Roggia chicane was optimistic would be generous. Mystifying, definitely, with so much at stake. So often Hamilton has made them stick but yesterday the outcome was all too predictable.?

Source: http://blogs.espnf1.com/paperroundf1/archives/2010/09/hamilton_decisionmaking_under_1.php

Adolf Brudes Martin Brundle Gianmaria Bruni Jimmy Bryan Carlo Abate

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Narain Karthikeyan has made a surprise return to Formula One after being announced as one of Hispania HRT’s drivers for the 2011 season. The Indian driver was unveiled as the first racer to be working with the Spanish based squad, who look likely to enter into a second season of racing despite on-going financial concerns. [...]

Source: http://f1fanatics.wordpress.com/2011/01/07/karthikeyan-makes-surprise-f1-return-with-hrt/

Enrico Bertaggia Tony Bettenhausen Mike Beuttler Birabongse Bhanubandh Lucien Bianchi

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The Formula 1 world is basically”on hold” at the moment with regard to any political decisions because of the recent legal activity in Germany, relating to the Gribkowsky Affair. There has been little real progress on the Concorde Agreement, the F1 entries have been put in by the teams and rejected by the FIA, which [...]

Source: http://joesaward.wordpress.com/2012/07/25/the-concorde-agreement-2/

Don Beauman Karl Gunther Bechem Jean Behra Derek Bell Stefan Bellof

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My flight back to London from the Spanish Grand Prix was full of tired mechanics, exhausted race engineers and sleepy drivers – all of them recovering from an extraordinary weekend of mixed emotions in Barcelona.

It was a very strange feeling on the plane, alongside plenty of Williams personnel who were torn between celebrating a monumental win for the team, yet understandably concerned about their colleagues who remain in hospital after the pit lane fire on Sunday evening.

People know motorsport in inherently dangerous, and that F1 can never rest on its laurels as far as safety is concerned, however, that doesn’t mean it’s not easy to become blasé about our working environment.

Let’s take the pre-race show we do for example. Along with plenty of other media personnel, photographers and guests, we’re in a pit lane surrounded by fuel, electronically charged KERS units, all manner of other mechanical equipment, not to mention F1 cars leaving garages or scorching past at 60mph. The same applies to the grid.

Williams garage fire

31 people were injured following a fire at the Williams team garage after the Spanish Grand Prix. Photo: Getty

However, with no driver death since 1994 and serious injuries or nasty accidents mercifully rare, it is easy to forget an F1 track still remains a dangerous place.

As the fire blazed in the Williams garage and a horrible acrid smoke filled the air, there was genuine shock this was happening. Most people currently involved in the sport were not around in the dark days when dramatic incidents were common.

It was so unexpected I initially thought it was an old diesel engine starting up, David Coulthard assumed it was a catering fire, and some thought Williams were letting off a flare as a celebration.

The people I’ve spoken to on the flight, and in the departure lounge, actually paint a much more serious picture with Frank Williams and the whole team celebrating their win in the garage as the fuel explosion happened.

At this point is worth mentioning not only the Williams crew who were clearly well trained and dealt with the situation quickly, but also the members of the nearby teams such as Toro Rosso, Force India and HRT who reportedly didn’t think twice before diving in to help the situation.

F1 can seem like such a safe and sterile environment with its perfectly clean garages, and the garage interiors transformed each race by the plastic walls they construct, all in team colours of course. It looks modern, safe and made-for-tv. The reality is that it is still a garage like any other and, for all the commercially driven, PR-controlled world that the viewers see, it remains dangerous.

Thankfully the injuries were limited to just a handful of people. Williams suffered extensive damage to their garage and equipment, including plenty of laptops and other bits of kit which will be frantically replaced before Monaco.

However, as ever, the real cost is human and we’re all thankful it wasn’t more serious.

In fact, it’s not just the garages that can be dangerous places. With just moments left of the race, Eddie Jordan decided he’d love to go and congratulate Frank Williams and went haring off to find him – as only Eddie does. I was sitting in the McLaren hospitality area and Eddie re-appeared just moments latter grimacing in pain.

“I think I’ve broken my ankle,” he wailed. I looked down and his foot was starting to swell outside of his shoe. It transpired he’d tripped on his way to see Frank, and his ankle had taken the brunt of the impact.

Eddie was quite a driver in his day, and like many racing drivers of his era, he lives with damaged ankles from crashing cars.

So, picture the scene. Pastor crosses the line to win and, instead of celebrating, we’re getting Eddie’s foot raised up and tracking down some ice to take down the swelling whilst poor old EJ looks like he might pass out.

I was wondering if I’d have to head outside to host the post-podium celebrations alone, however, ever the soldier, EJ was able to cope with the pain and he hobbled out to cover the end of the race with me.

And what a win.

Pastor has come in for a fair amount of criticism. It’s no secret that he comes with a large chunk of change from Venezuela, which was reportedly one of the big reasons for him replacing Nico Hulkenberg in 2011.

Well, what do we make of his talents now? He’s spent most of the season fighting the Ferraris, and now he’s beaten them. It wasn’t a fluke but genuine pace.

As for Eddie’s foot, well by the time we went on to the F1 Forum the pain was too much and, after the wonderful McLaren doctor Aki strapped it up, we eventually resorted to pushing Eddie around on a tyre trolley to get him around.

Thankfully, as Eddie lives in Monaco, he can now have a rest for a week or so, as we’re heading his way for the next race. And what on earth can Monaco have in store for us?

It’s remarkable to think we’ve had five different race winners in the past five races, and it seems nobody is able to explain why it’s happened or how the following races might play themselves out.

In Spain, we saw Jenson Button and Sebastian Vettel lose pace throughout the weekend. Williams and Ferrari weren’t expected to have the pace to out-race Lotus, whilst Sauber had another strong race.

There wasn’t a Mercedes, McLaren or Red Bull in the top five on the grid.

Who was your driver of the day? I loved watching Lewis’ drive. He has really impressed me this season.

Mind you, one thing that has almost gone unnoticed amongst all the excitement is that we’re already a quarter of the way through the 2012 Formula One season. And if the next 15 races are anything like the first five, then we’re in for some season.

Thanks for sticking with the BBC for the action. We’ve been delighted with the viewing figures and I love seeing your thoughts on Twitter – keep them coming and let’s hope Eddie’s ankle lasts the distance!

Source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/jakehumphrey/2012/05/jake.html

Richard Attwood Manny Ayulo Luca Badoer Giancarlo Baghetti Julian Bailey

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2012 Hungarian Grand Prix grid is an original article from F1 Fanatic. If this article has been published anywhere other than F1 Fanatic it is an infringement of copyright.

Lewis Hamilton takes pole position from Romain Grosjean for the Hungarian Grand Prix.

2012 Hungarian Grand Prix grid is an original article from F1 Fanatic. If this article has been published anywhere other than F1 Fanatic it is an infringement of copyright.

Source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/f1fanatic/~3/0ip0pS-MTSc/

Gerhard Berger Eric Bernard Enrique Bernoldi Enrico Bertaggia Tony Bettenhausen

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2013 calendar to have 20 races but no Valencia is an original article from F1 Fanatic. If this article has been published anywhere other than F1 Fanatic it is an infringement of copyright.

In the round-up: 20 races again in 2013 ? Marko says Vettel penalty was too harsh ? Alonso focussed on beating Webber.

2013 calendar to have 20 races but no Valencia is an original article from F1 Fanatic. If this article has been published anywhere other than F1 Fanatic it is an infringement of copyright.

Source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/f1fanatic/~3/uJTIa4uH5ms/

Gino Bianco Hans Binder Clemente Biondetti Pablo Birger Art Bisch

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Sebastian Vettel has no regrets about the disputed passing move on Jenson Button in Germany which saw him demoted to fifth place by a Penalty. ?I think I said everything on Sunday, the only thing I wanted to do was … Continue reading

Source: http://adamcooperf1.com/2012/07/26/sebastian-vettel-i-think-we-should-go-out-and-race/

Paul Belmondo Tom Belso JeanPierre Beltoise Olivier Beretta Allen Berg

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Blog readers will know that during race weekends there tend to be fewer posts after qualifying is over. This is because I am busy working on a product called GrandPrix+. This is an electronic magazine that one gets in PDF format on one’s own computer, between three and six hours after the race. It is [...]

Source: http://joesaward.wordpress.com/2012/07/25/did-you-know-2/

Julian Bailey Mauro Baldi Bobby Ball Marcel Balsa Lorenzo Bandini

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Toto Wolff has become an Executive Director of Williams Grand Prix Holdings PLC with immediate effect, stepping up his role within the company from that of Non-Executive Director. In his new role Toto will assist and support Sir Frank Williams in his continuing position as Team Principal. As a shareholder in and Executive Director of [...]

Source: http://joesaward.wordpress.com/2012/07/24/toto-wolff-gets-a-bigger-job-at-williams/

Tony Brise Chris Bristow Peter Broeker

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Lewis Hamilton has come in for criticism © Getty Images

Lewis Hamilton?s decision-making ability has come into question after he crashed into the side of Felipe Massa on lap one, causing his early retirement from the Italian Grand Prix. This incident has raised questions about his temperament and ability to bounce back. Kevin Garside of the Daily Telegraph questions how much we should really be expecting from Hamilton. ?Perhaps this is how it must be with Hamilton, an instinctive racer compelled to chase the impossible through gaps that don?t exist. He took the best part of an hour to compose himself before walking out into the sun to face the cameras. This was Hamilton?s third DNF of the season but the first of his own making. Occasions like this are perhaps reminders to us not to expect too much. ?On the days when Hamilton?s insane alliance of guts, skill and derring-do appear capable of delivering the world it is easy to forget he is only 25, an age when it is all too common for boys to believe themselves men.? Byron Young of the Mirror also pulls no punches about Hamilton?s performance and was heavily critical of the manoeuvre which meant he left the weekend pointless. ?To say that his dive down the outside at Della Roggia chicane was optimistic would be generous. Mystifying, definitely, with so much at stake. So often Hamilton has made them stick but yesterday the outcome was all too predictable.?

Source: http://blogs.espnf1.com/paperroundf1/archives/2010/09/hamilton_decisionmaking_under_1.php

Peter Ashdown Ian Ashley Gerry Ashmore Bill Aston Richard Attwood

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Just a fortnight after his superb win at Silverstone Mark Webber endured a difficult German GP, starting eighth after his gearbox penalty and finishing in exactly the same spot 67 laps later, having lost out to both Saubers alomng the … Continue reading

Source: http://adamcooperf1.com/2012/07/23/mark-webber-i-had-nothing-to-fight-with/

Fernando Alonso Giovanna Amati George Amick Red Amick Chris Amon

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Raikkonen says two-year F1 break hasn’t slowed him is an original article from F1 Fanatic. If this article has been published anywhere other than F1 Fanatic it is an infringement of copyright.

Kimi Raikkonen says missing out on two years of F1 hasn’t compromised him since his comeback.

Raikkonen says two-year F1 break hasn’t slowed him is an original article from F1 Fanatic. If this article has been published anywhere other than F1 Fanatic it is an infringement of copyright.

Source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/f1fanatic/~3/fhgXE1UYVIE/

Jean Alesi Jaime Alguersuari Philippe Alliot Cliff Allison Fernando Alonso

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This week’s GP+ comes directly from the paddock in Hockenheim. It is a 75-page e-magazine in PDF format, with all the hot news from the German Grand Prix. In this issue we give you the ins and outs of the race weekend. We have a look at an Formula 1 musician! Mark Webber’s new deal [...]

Source: http://joesaward.wordpress.com/2012/07/22/five-hours-and-30-minutes-after-the-race/

Mario Andretti Michael Andretti Keith Andrews Elio de Angelis Marco Apicella

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Ferrari boss Stefano Domencali agrees with Fernando Alonso?s assertion that the team still doesn?t have the fastest car ? despite the Spaniard?s healthy championship lead. Domenicali stressed that Ferrari cannot afford to fall behind in the development race, given the … Continue reading

Source: http://adamcooperf1.com/2012/07/22/stefano-domenicali-we-need-to-improve-the-car/

Paolo Barilla Rubens Barrichello Michael Bartels Edgar Barth Giorgio Bassi

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Narain Karthikeyan has made a surprise return to Formula One after being announced as one of Hispania HRT’s drivers for the 2011 season. The Indian driver was unveiled as the first racer to be working with the Spanish based squad, who look likely to enter into a second season of racing despite on-going financial concerns. [...]

Source: http://f1fanatics.wordpress.com/2011/01/07/karthikeyan-makes-surprise-f1-return-with-hrt/

Marco Apicella Mário de Araújo Cabral Frank Armi Chuck Arnold Rene Arnoux

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I have just got home from Germany and have had a little look around to see what is being reported, and I have had a good laugh, particularly about Sauber and Volkswagen. There was the marvellous suggestion that ex-Mercedes Benz boss Jurgen Hubbert might have been an intermediary with Volkswagen talks. I could not find [...]

Source: http://joesaward.wordpress.com/2012/07/24/making-up-rumours/

Erwin Bauer Zsolt Baumgartner Elie Bayol Don Beauman Karl Gunther Bechem

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The German Grand Prix marked the half-way point of the 2012 season, and its fair to say it produced another exciting weekend of action. Alternating bi-annually with the Nurburgring, Hockenheim showed us why the venue is so legendary. Although it now lacks the character of the forest section, the shortened circuit provides more than enough [...]

Source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/Formula1Fancast/~3/5rPDL8FFIWs/german-grand-prix-winners-losers

Peter Broeker Tony Brooks Alan Brown Walt Brown Warwick Brown

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In April and again in June, I reported on the developing situation at Group Lotus. This knocked a few noses out of joint at the time, but since then much of what I said was happening has proven to be true, or in the process of coming to pass. There have been some fairly major [...]

Source: http://joesaward.wordpress.com/2012/07/24/some-remarks-from-mike-kimberley/

Edgar Barth Giorgio Bassi Erwin Bauer Zsolt Baumgartner Elie Bayol

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Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel celebrate with Red Bull boss Christian Horner on the podium © Getty Images

Sections of the international media have questioned Red Bull’s strategic approach to the world championship. After Sebastian Vettel won the Brazilian Grand Prix from the team’s points leader Mark Webber at Interlagos, Der Spiegel noted: “Red Bull gives (Fernando) Alonso wings”. Not switching the places means that Spaniard Alonso can take his Ferrari to just second place this weekend in Abu Dhabi and be champion, whereas the alternative strategy would have set up Webber for a straight fight. “It is not easy for Webber to drive in a team that considers him a burden to be up against Vettel,” said La Gazzetta dello Sport. Tuttosport noted that it seems “the Austrian team would be happier to lose than to see Webber beat Vettel”. “No team orders at Red Bull. Another own goal,” headlined La Repubblica. Joan Villadelprat wrote in his El Pais column: “Had Red Bull opted for Webber a few races ago, the Australian would probably now be champion.” Red Bull, however, is unrepentant. Team owner Dietrich Mateschitz told Salzburger Nachrichten newspaper that “second under proper conditions can often be more valuable than a first”. But there is a feeling that the team is not simply giving up the fight for the drivers’ title. One columnist in Brazil’s Globo wondered if Vettel’s radio message in Abu Dhabi might sound something like ‘So … Mark is faster than you’. “I’m always in favour of leaving the fight on the track with equal chances for both sides,” said Rubens Barrichello. “But I wonder if they would do that if the situation was in reverse. ?Mark has done a great job this year and he has been told by his team what position he is in,” said Lewis Hamilton. “Against adversity he has kept at it. I want to see Mark win.” Webber believes that, if a strategy is deployed, it will only be on the “last lap” of the season this weekend. “Sebastian is part of a team,” said Niki Lauda, who believes Webber should be backed fully by Red Bull. “If he does anything it should be helping Webber and not just on the last lap.” Webber is quoted by Bild newspaper: “It makes sense. Otherwise it would mean that Ferrari’s team orders would have paid off for Fernando.” Red Bull team boss Christian Horner hints that sense will ultimately prevail. “We have already given too many presents to Fernando this year,” he is quoted by Autosprint.

Source: http://blogs.espnf1.com/paperroundf1/archives/2010/11/red_bull_under_the_spotlight.php

Michael Bartels Edgar Barth Giorgio Bassi Erwin Bauer Zsolt Baumgartner

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There was a certain inevitability, given the history of Michael Schumacher’s career, about the fact that his first podium finish since his comeback involved a degree of controversy.

In Valencia, Schumacher drove the latest in a series of strong races to finally deliver on the potential he has shown with Mercedes more or less since the start of the year.

In the end, the controversy was much ado about nothing – the man who is notorious for pushing the boundaries of acceptability did nothing wrong.

Red Bull’s Mark Webber reported to his team that Schumacher had his DRS overtaking aid, which boosts straight-line speed, open as they passed waved yellow caution flags late in the race.

The rules say a driver must slow down significantly for yellow flags; Schumacher did – case closed.

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His third in the European Grand Prix has been a long time coming. It was Schumacher’s first podium finish since the 2006 Chinese Grand Prix, when he was driving for Ferrari, but it should arguably have happened already this season, by far his strongest since his comeback at the start of 2010 after three years in retirement.

In 2010 and 2011, Schumacher struggled compared to team-mate Nico Rosberg.

In the first year of his comeback, Schumacher was nowhere near him; by the second half of last year the two were evenly matched in races, but the younger man out-qualified the veteran 15-4 over the whole season.

This season, finally, has been different. On performance, there has been virtually nothing to choose between them in qualifying or races.

Each has scored a pole position – although Schumacher lost his in Monaco to a grid penalty – and only a dreadful reliability record on the seven-time champion’s car has stopped him scoring many more points than he has.

While Rosberg has completed every lap, Schumacher has finished only three races and of his five retirements only one has been his fault.

So where might a podium have come based on his performances prior to this one?

Schumacher was running third in Australia when he retired, but he would probably have finished fifth there. His tyre degradation was too severe to challenge Lewis Hamilton’s McLaren or hold off the Red Bulls of Sebastian Vettel and Webber, who filled the three places behind winner Jenson Button.

Mercedes think Schumacher would have gone on to finish second to a dominant Rosberg in China had he not retired immediately after his pit stop because a front wheel had not been fitted correctly.

But other teams believe the two McLarens would have beaten Schumacher and possibly the Red Bulls, too.

His pole lap in Monaco was particularly impressive and that would almost certainly have been converted into at least a podium finish. But first there was a five-place grid penalty for causing a crash in Spain, and then he retired from the race with a fuel-pressure failure.

When it finally came, the podium finish owed something to the unusual circumstances of the race and a lot to Hamilton being taken out by Williams’s Pastor Maldonado. But it would be hard to argue Schumacher didn’t deserve it on the balance of the year.

When he announced his comeback, he said he wanted to win another world title. But as soon as it became obvious from early in 2010 that he was going to struggle, he has always maintained that getting back on to the pace would be a long-term matter.

No-one expected it to take as long as it has. But perhaps that is to underestimate how much he lost in his three years away, his age – he is now 43 – and the incredible depth of talent in today’s field.

Schumacher is still some way short of the driver he once was, a man who could consistently dance on a limit beyond that of anyone else.

But taking this season on average, there is now virtually nothing to choose on pace between him and Rosberg – the one exception being China, where the younger man had the best part of half a second on his team-mate.

That, though, puts Mercedes in an intensely awkward position and facing a very difficult decision – because Schumacher’s contract runs out at the end of this year.

The problem is, good as Rosberg is, few outside Mercedes believe he is a match for the three towering talents of this generation – Fernando Alonso, Hamilton and Vettel.

Yet this is a team with aspirations to win the world title and some would argue they are putting themselves at an automatic disadvantage with their current driver line-up.

So do they offer Schumacher another contract on the basis of his improved performance, continue to benefit from the undoubted marketing benefits of his presence in the team as a driver and hope they can build a car that is better than a Red Bull, a McLaren and a Ferrari? Or do they go for someone else?

They are known to be interested in Hamilton, the only one of the big three who is potentially available to take his place.

But Hamilton may well not be available – he seems more likely to either stick with McLaren or to try to persuade Red Bull they should take him on given the reasonable possibility they could lose Vettel to Ferrari at the end of next year.

Yet how long can Mercedes expect Schumacher – who will be 44 next January – to be able to continue at this level?

In which case, should they gamble on a younger man who may represent the future, someone like the increasingly impressive Paul di Resta, for example, who just happens to be a Mercedes protege?

What would you do?

Source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/andrewbenson/2012/06/schumacher_finally_makes_his_r.html

Karl Gunther Bechem Jean Behra Derek Bell Stefan Bellof Paul Belmondo

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AVONDALE, Ariz. — Barring an unforeseen scheduling hiccup, two-time NASCAR champion Tony Stewart and 2008 Formula 1 World Champion Lewis Hamilton will swap race cars in an exhibition later this year, Stewart-Haas Racing spokesman Mike Arning confirmed Saturday. Hamilton Stewart The seat swap comes at the hands of Mobil 1, a mutual sponsor for the two drivers, and is expected to take place at Watkins Glen International sometime during the summer.The cars involved will not be show cars. Related posts:

  1. Tony Stewart: NASCAR’s clampdown on criticism OK SYRACUSE, N.Y. — Count two-time NASCAR Cup champion Tony Stewart…
  2. Police in Australia question NASCAR driver Tony Stewart SYDNEY — NASCAR star Tony Stewart has been questioned but…
  3. Tony Stewart returns to North Dakota for dirt track race WEST FARGO, N.D. …

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Source: http://doxcar.com/nascars-tony-stewart-f1s-lewis-hamilton-to-swap-cars/

Mark Blundell Raul Boesel Menato Boffa Bob Bondurant Felice Bonetto

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Mercedes buyout ‘won’t change team’ By Edd Straw Monday, February 28th 2011, 12:50 GMT No changes will be made to the way that Mercedes GP is run after Daimler AG and Aabar Investments took full control of the team, according to the German firm’s motorsport boss Norbert Haug. It was announced this morning that Mercedes and Aabar had acquired the remaining 24.9 per cent of the team, which was owned by the five shareholders involved in the original management buyout of Honda in 2009 – Ross Brawn, Nick Fry, Caroline McGrory, John Marsden and Nigel Kerr. Related posts:

  1. F1: Mercedes working flat out to catch up Mercedes working flat out to catch up By Pablo Elizalde…
  2. F1: Haug: No doubt Mercedes will win again Haug: No doubt Mercedes will win again By Jonathan Noble…
  3. F1: Mercedes denies management friction Mercedes denies management friction By Jonathan Noble Tuesday, September 28th…

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Source: http://doxcar.com/f1-mercedes-buyout-wont-change-team/

Michael Bleekemolen Alex Blignaut Trevor Blokdyk Mark Blundell Raul Boesel

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2012 German Grand Prix lap charts is an original article from F1 Fanatic. If this article has been published anywhere other than F1 Fanatic it is an infringement of copyright.

Delays due to damage was the story of the day for many drivers, particularly those trying to make progress from starting near the back.

2012 German Grand Prix lap charts is an original article from F1 Fanatic. If this article has been published anywhere other than F1 Fanatic it is an infringement of copyright.

Source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/f1fanatic/~3/S4kgb1XVDvA/

Eric Bernard Enrique Bernoldi Enrico Bertaggia Tony Bettenhausen Mike Beuttler

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The German Grand Prix marked the half-way point of the 2012 season, and its fair to say it produced another exciting weekend of action. Alternating bi-annually with the Nurburgring, Hockenheim showed us why the venue is so legendary. Although it now lacks the character of the forest section, the shortened circuit provides more than enough [...]

Source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/Formula1Fancast/~3/5rPDL8FFIWs/german-grand-prix-winners-losers

Bill Brack Ernesto Brambilla Vittorio Brambilla Toni Branca Gianfranco Brancatelli

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Fernando Alonso took pole position for the German Grand Prix at Hockenheim in conditions that he felt were “on the limit” as rain soaked the circuit. He ended up beating Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber. Michael Schumacher was fourth ahead of Nico Hulkenberg, Pastor Maldonado, Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton, Paul di Resta and Kimi [...]

Source: http://joesaward.wordpress.com/2012/07/21/the-hockenheim-puddle-jumpers/

Keith Andrews Elio de Angelis Marco Apicella Mário de Araújo Cabral Frank Armi

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Over the course of the last decade or so, the sheer lack of overtaking in Formula One caused the sports governing body, the FIA, to take drastic action. An increasing reliance on aerodynamic efficiency meant that following a car in its slipstream became a nightmare. It was nearly impossible to pass, no matter how much [...]

Source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/Formula1Fancast/~3/_mS5ZRz8ZIw/is-this-system-helping-or-hindering-formula-one

Gerhard Berger Eric Bernard Enrique Bernoldi Enrico Bertaggia Tony Bettenhausen

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Free Practice One ended in encouraging fashion for McLaren, as Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton occupied first and second place. Button?s time of 1.16.595 early in the session was enough to secure top spot, which will come as good news for the Woking based outfit, who have brought multiple mechanical and aerodynamic upgrades to Hockenheim. [...]

Source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/Formula1Fancast/~3/h6y9ksVAfIQ/german-grand-prix-fp1-roundup

Elio de Angelis Marco Apicella Mário de Araújo Cabral Frank Armi Chuck Arnold

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Oh to be a fly on the wall at the drivers’ briefing ahead of the Spanish Grand Prix next month.

The controversial decision not to penalise either Nico Rosberg for his aggressive defence against Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso at the Bahrain Grand Prix or Hamilton for overtaking by going off the track has led to considerable debate within Formula 1.

So much so, that Alonso, a man who weighs his words carefully, has decided to speak out about it. After learning of the ruling, the Ferrari driver said to his 400,000-plus Twitter followers: “I think you are going to have fun in future races! You can defend position as you want and you can overtake outside the track! Enjoy!”

Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton

Nico Rosberg (left) and Lewis Hamilton may have differing views at the drivers’ meeting. Photo: Getty

Alonso had earlier said of Rosberg’s driving: “If instead of such a wide run-off area there had been a wall, I’m not sure I’d be here to talk about it.”

On the face of it, and at first glance, the stewards’ decision does appear difficult to understand.

With both Hamilton on lap 10 and Alonso on lap 24, Rosberg veered dramatically to the inside – and, unusually, right across to the white line that demarcates the edge of the circuit.

Both Hamilton and Alonso went off the track in avoidance, to varying degrees. Whereas Hamilton kept going and succeeded in passing the Mercedes, Alonso backed off and tried for the outside line, but had lost too much momentum to pull a move off.

Article 20.4 of the sporting regulations says: “Manoeuvres liable to hinder other drivers, such as deliberate crowding of a car beyond the edge of the track or any other abnormal change of direction, are not permitted.”

So why was Rosberg not penalised?

The stewards said his defence was legitimate because although it was Rosberg who started to deviate from his line first, he did so in a “constant and continuous straight-line manner” and neither Hamilton nor Alonso had “a significant portion of their car… alongside” Rosberg’s.

In other words, because Rosberg moved first, he was always clearly in front and it was therefore effectively the other driver’s decision to keep moving to the inside to the point that he was off the track.

In Hamilton’s case, if you watch the TV footage back, you can clearly see this is the case.

It is less obviously so with Alonso – and the stewards had to use the footage from the Ferrari’s onboard camera before they came to a conclusion.

I have not seen the footage, but I’m told it showed again that a) Rosberg moved first; and b) at no point was “a significant portion” of Alonso’s car alongside the Mercedes.

During the race, viewers heard Alonso say over his team radio: “He pushed me off the track. You have to leave a space. All the time you have to leave a space.”

This, though, is not actually what the regulations say.

A new rule, article 20.3, was introduced this year to formally enshrine that “any driver moving back towards the racing line, having earlier defended his position off line, should leave at least one car width between his own car and the edge of the track on the approach to a corner”.

But this only applies when he is making a second move – there is nothing in the rules to stop drivers going right to the edge of the track in their first defensive move.

In other words, you might think – as Alonso did – that Rosberg’s driving was unfair, overly aggressive, even dangerous, but the rules contain nothing the stewards could use to penalise him.

There is no obligation, I’m told by a senior figure, to leave room for a rival, unless he is partially alongside. The question then becomes, how far alongside does a driver have to be before the man he is overtaking has to leave him room with his first move?

That’s where it starts to get awkward.

“It’s no different,” a senior insider says, “to a conventional overtaking manoeuvre when one driver dives down the inside, gets halfway alongside and they collide. One guy says: ‘You should have given me room.’ The other says: ‘You weren’t far enough alongside.’ Often drivers’ perception of a situation differs from the reality.”

The stewards have to use their judgement, including factors such as speed differential between the cars, when a driver moved, how many moves he made, and so on.

Back, though, to what the rules do say. Article 20.2 says drivers “must use the track at all times”. This is why Rosberg said over his team radio: “Hamilton passed me off the track.”

Which Hamilton clearly did. So why was he not penalised?

The stewards, I’m told, asked: “What advantage did Hamilton gain by going off the track?” And they concluded that if he had gone to the outside, he was carrying so much momentum he would have passed anyway.

The most obvious of several counter-points to that is: “Yes, but Hamilton did go off the track when you have established he didn’t need to, and he did pass him by doing so, so he should be penalised.”

At least two leading drivers share this view, I’m told. But you have to bear in mind that Hamilton is not the most popular driver on the grid and his rivals are “always looking for ways to nail him”, as one source put it on Monday.

The problem arose in the first place because concrete run-offs surround the circuit in Bahrain. Drivers can use these with impunity, safe in the knowledge that if they are forced off the track they are not going to spin on wet grass or hit a wall.

Had there been grass there, Hamilton would not have been able to pull off the same move (another argument for a penalty being applied) and Alonso might have backed off sooner.

Equally, had there been grass there – or even a wall – Rosberg might well have given them both a bit more room.

The stewards weighed it all up and felt that, in this instance, penalising Hamilton would have been overly harsh.

The result is some drivers believe Hamilton should have been penalised, some believe Rosberg should have been, and Alonso is saying the stewards’ ruling gives drivers carte blanche to overtake off the track or crowd their rivals as much as they like.

Which is why that drivers’ meeting in Barcelona promises to be so interesting.

Source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/andrewbenson/2012/04/unanswered_questions_for_rosbe.html

Mauro Baldi Bobby Ball Marcel Balsa Lorenzo Bandini Henry Banks

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This week FOM, the Formula One Management company run by Bernie Ecclestone, has announced it will be providing native High Definition Formula One coverage for the very first time.  This heralds the entrance of the sport into the super clear broadcast territory. High Definition television has been available for some time now in the United [...]

Source: http://f1fanatics.wordpress.com/2011/01/13/formula-one-goes-high-definition/

Michael Andretti Keith Andrews Elio de Angelis Marco Apicella Mário de Araújo Cabral

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“All good, mate,” is probably Mark Webber’s favourite phrase. It’s a fair bit more loaded with meaning than it sounds, and it sums up the way he will be feeling after the Monaco Grand Prix.

The Australian’s second win in three years in Formula 1′s most prestigious race, and his first of the season, had been coming for a while and it confirms Webber’s return to form after a difficult 2011.

It will have been particularly sweet as it came at another race in which he has had an edge on team-mate Sebastian Vettel, whose romp to the world title last year was probably harder on Webber than anyone.

When a driver takes 11 wins and 15 pole positions in 19 races, as Vettel did last year, most of his rivals can console themselves with the thought that he has a better car than they do. Not so his team-mate, who suffered through 2011 with dignity and largely in silence.

Mark Webber

Mark Webber (right) is congratulated by Prince Albert II (left) of Monaco after winning the Monaco Grand Prix. Photo: Getty 

This season, though, has seen a Webber more like the one who led the championship for much of 2010 before falling at the final hurdle.

There was virtually nothing to choose between the two Red Bull drivers for most of that season – and this year Webber is back to that position.

Although it has taken until Monaco for Webber to draw level with Vettel on points, the qualifying score is four-two in Webber’s favour.

It would almost certainly have been five-one had Red Bull not erroneously decided not to send him out for a second run in the second session of qualifying in Spain two weeks ago, thinking he had done enough to make it through to the top-10 shoot-out.

Out-qualifying Vettel so comprehensively again in Monaco, on a track where all the drivers admit the man in the cockpit can make that bit more of a difference than on more mundane tracks, will have been particularly sweet.

The two Red Bull drivers have been more evenly matched in races this year, but while it took until his Monaco victory for Webber to draw level with Vettel in the championship, that is not necessarily an accurate reflection of their relative pace.

Webber scored four consecutive fourth places in the first four races as Vettel took a win, a second and a fifth. But only in Bahrain was Vettel demonstrably faster – and Webber would almost certainly have taken the second place his team-mate did in Australia had it not been for a pit-stop delay.

A win in Monaco, to become the sixth different driver to win in the first six races of the year confirms – as if confirmation were needed - that Webber is a major contender for the championship again this year.

He admitted after the race in Monaco that “last year was a little bit of a mystery; the gap was sometimes really, really extreme”. One imagines Vettel feels very much the same about this season.

Monaco was another example. There was Webber on the front row while Vettel was back in 10th having used up all his ‘super-soft’ tyres just getting into the top-10 shoot-out – exactly as had happened in Spain.

Red Bull have been struggling comparatively in qualifying all year, but their race pace has been strong almost everywhere. So it was again in Monaco, where Vettel, on a different strategy, suddenly became a factor for victory mid-way through the race.

“That wasn’t in the plan,” Webber joked afterwards, admitting he had been a little nervous about his team-mate’s progress. Eventually, though, the tyres on Vettel’s car cried enough – and he had to settle for fourth.

Team boss Christian Horner could not explain after the race how Vettel was so competitive in the race in the same car in which he had struggled in qualifying. But the answer will almost certainly lie somewhere in the behaviour of the Pirelli tyres, the secrets of which are proving elusive to the teams so far this season.

It says something for Red Bull’s professionalism and competence as a team that although aspects of their car’s performance are flummoxing even a man as brilliant as their designer Adrian Newey, they find both drivers tied on points just three off the championship lead.

Equally, it speaks volumes for the quality of Fernando Alonso’s driving so far this year that he is the man they are chasing, despite being in a car that has not yet been fast enough to set a pole position.

The Spaniard was in impressive form again in Monaco. From fifth on the grid, he made another great start and ran fourth to the first pit stops, when he jumped Lewis Hamilton’s McLaren thanks to a stunning in-lap, on which he set the fastest times of the race until that point on both the first sectors.

Alonso and Ferrari team boss Stefano Domenicali both admitted afterwards that he could potentially even have got ahead of second-placed Nico Rosberg and perhaps Webber, too, had he stayed out a little longer. But, as they said, you only know this in hindsight.

Still, third place was enough to vault him past Vettel into a clear championship lead. No wonder Horner said after the race: “Fernando has driven very well. He’s going to be a key factor all the way through this championship for sure.”

He wisely added that it would be wrong to rule out McLaren, despite another lacklustre performance in Monaco, and the same should also be said of Mercedes.

Mercedes bounced back with a bang in Monaco after a dip in form in Bahrain and Spain following Rosberg’s dominant win in China last month.

And after a difficult start to the season, it was Michael Schumacher who stuck the car on pole, which he lost as a result of the five-place grid penalty he earned for running into the back of Williams’s Bruno Senna in Spain.

Schumacher was unlucky in the race, tagged by Lotus’s Romain Grosjean at the start, and then retiring with a fuel pressure problem after running seventh for a while.

It will take a few more performances like that to convince everyone that the veteran German can be a consistent force at the front, and he is almost certainly too far behind to be a factor in the championship battle.

But his presence at the front, should it continue, will add an intriguing dimension to an already fascinating season.

“All good,” as Webber would doubtless say.

Source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/andrewbenson/2012/05/andrew_benson.html

Philippe Alliot Cliff Allison Fernando Alonso Giovanna Amati George Amick

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Marussia Virgin Racing have launched their car to take on the 2011 world championship in a lavish London ceremony. The Marussia name now preceeds Virgin following a major tie up with the Russian sportscar manufacturer and the team at the end of 2010.  It has led to the new car being designated as the MVR-02. [...]

Source: http://f1fanatics.wordpress.com/2011/02/07/marussia-virgin-racing-launch-their-2011-car/

Carlo Abate George Abecassis Kenny Acheson Andrea de Adamich Philippe Adams

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Kimi Raikkonen set the pace in the Q1 session in Hockenheim, with rain threatening and the teams rushing to get times on the board. Second fastest was Sergio Perez’s Sauber, ahead of Nico Rosberg, Fernando Alonso, Pastor Maldonado, Lewis Hamilton, Felipe Massa, Nico Hulkenberg, Paul di Resta and Sebastian Vettel. Michael Schumacher scrambled into the [...]

Source: http://joesaward.wordpress.com/2012/07/21/finn-land/

Jean Behra Derek Bell Stefan Bellof Paul Belmondo Tom Belso

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Alonso: 2011 tyres will hurt top teams By Matt Beer Monday, February 28th 2011, 19:07 GMT Fernando Alonso says he is not in favour of the move towards less durable tyres for 2011, as he fears this will end up penalising faster cars. Related posts:

  1. F1: Teams expect 2011 tyres test in summer Teams expect 2011 tyres test in summer By Jonathan Noble…
  2. F1: Cooper Avon enters race for 2011 tyres Cooper Avon enters race for 2011 tyres By Jonathan Noble…
  3. F1: Alonso: Passing just as hard in 2011 Alonso: Passing just as hard in 2011 By Jonathan Noble…

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Source: http://doxcar.com/f1-alonso-2011-tyres-will-hurt-top-teams/

John Barber Skip Barber Paolo Barilla Rubens Barrichello Michael Bartels

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Free Practice One ended in encouraging fashion for McLaren, as Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton occupied first and second place. Button?s time of 1.16.595 early in the session was enough to secure top spot, which will come as good news for the Woking based outfit, who have brought multiple mechanical and aerodynamic upgrades to Hockenheim. [...]

Source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/Formula1Fancast/~3/h6y9ksVAfIQ/german-grand-prix-fp1-roundup

Conny Andersson Mario Andretti Michael Andretti Keith Andrews Elio de Angelis

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This week FOM, the Formula One Management company run by Bernie Ecclestone, has announced it will be providing native High Definition Formula One coverage for the very first time.  This heralds the entrance of the sport into the super clear broadcast territory. High Definition television has been available for some time now in the United [...]

Source: http://f1fanatics.wordpress.com/2011/01/13/formula-one-goes-high-definition/

Bill Aston Richard Attwood Manny Ayulo Luca Badoer Giancarlo Baghetti

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Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton set the pace in a session when the track was damp but not really wet, although it did rain during the session. The cars featured a significantly updated package. Third quickest was Fernando Alonso in his Ferrari, ahead of Michael Schumacher, Sergio Perez and Nico Hulkenberg. Nico Rosberg was seventh [...]

Source: http://joesaward.wordpress.com/2012/07/20/oh-what-a-grey-day/

Jaime Alguersuari Philippe Alliot Cliff Allison Fernando Alonso Giovanna Amati

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2012 German Grand Prix Thursday pictures is an original article from F1 Fanatic. If this article has been published anywhere other than F1 Fanatic it is an infringement of copyright.

Pictures from Thursday at the Hockenheimring as the teams and drivers prepare for the German Grand Prix.

2012 German Grand Prix Thursday pictures is an original article from F1 Fanatic. If this article has been published anywhere other than F1 Fanatic it is an infringement of copyright.

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Bob Bondurant Felice Bonetto Jo Bonnier Roberto Bonomi Juan Manuel Bordeu

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Narain Karthikeyan has made a surprise return to Formula One after being announced as one of Hispania HRT’s drivers for the 2011 season. The Indian driver was unveiled as the first racer to be working with the Spanish based squad, who look likely to enter into a second season of racing despite on-going financial concerns. [...]

Source: http://f1fanatics.wordpress.com/2011/01/07/karthikeyan-makes-surprise-f1-return-with-hrt/

Vittorio Brambilla Toni Branca Gianfranco Brancatelli Eric Brandon Don Branson

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This Formula 1 season has so far been a perfect storm of unpredictable results, thrilling races and a closely fought title battle.

Who would have predicted that a man who has not once had the fastest car would be leading the world championship as it neared its halfway stage?

Yet Fernando Alonso, whose Ferrari started the campaign more than a second off the pace, goes into this weekend’s British Grand Prix with a 20-point lead.

Who would have predicted that the defending world champion, who took 15 pole positions in 19 races last year, would fail to get into the top 10 qualifying shoot-out?

New Pirelli tyre

Formula 1 teams will have the opportunity to test a new hard tyre compound that Pirelli are developing for the future during the practice sessions of the British Grand Prix. Photo: Getty

Yet that is exactly what happened to Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel in China – and very nearly again in Monaco.

Who would have predicted that last year’s runner-up, a man who is renowned for his delicacy with tyres, would struggle for pace in a season in which the fragile Pirellis are the defining characteristic? Yet there is Jenson Button having a terrible time in the McLaren.

Who would have predicted that a driver who owes his place to sponsorship money and who was previously known best for inconsistency and mistakes would win a race? Williams’s Pastor Maldonado did exactly that in Spain.

Or that it would take until the eighth grand prix for the season to have its first repeat winner? Step forward Alonso again.

F1 has been maligned for years as being boring and predictable – overtaking, people said, was too hard and working out who was going to win too easy.

No longer. There has been so much action in the eight races so far this season that you almost don’t know where to look.

There are concerns that F1 has now gone too far the other way, that it is too unpredictable, that too much of a random element has been introduced by the fast-wearing, hard-to-operate Pirelli tyres that are at the root of this new direction.

In essence, the fear is that F1 has been turned from an exercise in precision engineering into a lottery.

And there is unease in certain quarters that the drivers are always having to race “within themselves”, with tyre life their biggest concern.

Yet through the fog of uncertainty and apparent haphazardness, a pattern has emerged.

As the competitive edge swung wildly from one team to another in the opening races, it was revealing that the positions at the top of the championship were very quickly occupied by the best drivers – Alonso, Vettel, his Red Bull team-mate Mark Webber and McLaren drivers Lewis Hamilton and Button.

The list of different winners continued, until Alonso’s spectacular win in Valencia last time out, but through it all the big hitters continued to be the ones who scored most consistently.

Despite that, there has undoubtedly been a welcome element of unpredictability, and the top teams have not had it their own way.

So while Red Bull, McLaren, Ferrari, Mercedes and Lotus – the teams who have won every world title for the last 15 years – have all figured at the front, Williams and Sauber have also been up there mixing it with them. As, on occasion, have Force India.

This is partly to do with the tyres. This year’s Pirellis have been deliberately designed with an unusually narrow operating-temperature window. Getting – and keeping – them there is far from easy, and the big teams do not have exclusivity on clever engineers.

The unusually great importance of the tyres has so far lessened the effect of aerodynamics – for so long the determining factor in F1.

Just as importantly, the regulations have now been pretty stable for the last four years. When that happens the field always tends to close up. Both Sauber and Williams have serious engineering resources of their own, and have clearly built very good cars.

Through all of this, one man has stood out above all others.

Alonso has long been considered within F1 as the greatest all-round talent, and this year the Spaniard has driven with a blend of precision, aggression, opportunism, consistency and pace that is close to perfection.

He has taken two stunning wins and scored consistently elsewhere. In fact, had Ferrari’s strategy brains been a little sharper, he may have had four victories by now – that’s half the races. And all without anything close to the best car.

Of the two wins he has taken, Alonso himself rates the wet race in Malaysia as the better.

For me, though, the one in Valencia shades it, for the skill and determination he showed in battling up to second place from 11th on the grid before Vettel’s retirement from the lead handed him the win.

Some of the overtaking moves Alonso pulled on the way to that win were utterly breathtaking in their audacity, the way he balanced risk and reward and made it pay off.

Hamilton’s season has been almost as good, but he has been let down by a number of operational errors from McLaren, ranging from bungled pit stops to refuelling errors in qualifying. He now faces an uphill battle to get back on terms with his old rival.

Alonso has long regarded Hamilton as the man he fears most in this title battle, but one wonders if he might change his mind following Valencia.

After two years of domination, Red Bull have stumbled a little this year. Yet operationally they have still been the best team and their car has always been among the strongest on race day.

After a difficult first three races, either Vettel or Webber have now been on pole for four of the last five.

Before retiring with alternator failure in Valencia the German put in a performance as crushing as any in his title-winning years (2010 and 2011), thanks to a major aerodynamic upgrade at the rear of his car.

Up and down the pit lane, rivals fear Red Bull have moved their car up to another level.

The confirmation – or otherwise – of that will come at Silverstone this weekend. Its blend of high-speed corners provide one of the most stringent tests of a car’s quality on the calendar.

Last year, following a one-off rule change that hampered Red Bull more than anyone else, the British Grand Prix was won by Alonso.

But if the Red Bull proves as effective around the sweepers of Northamptonshire as it did at the point-and-squirt right-angles of Valencia, even Alonso at his most perfect will find it hard to fend it off.

Both this weekend and for the rest of the year.

Source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/andrewbenson/2012/07/andrew_benson_the_season_so_fa.html

Kurt Adolff Fred Agabashian Kurt Ahrens Jr Christijan Albers Michele Alboreto

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Second Driver of the Weekend win for Mark Webber is an original article from F1 Fanatic. If this article has been published anywhere other than F1 Fanatic it is an infringement of copyright.

Mark Webber was voted Driver of the Weekend for the second time this year after winning the British Grand Prix.

Second Driver of the Weekend win for Mark Webber is an original article from F1 Fanatic. If this article has been published anywhere other than F1 Fanatic it is an infringement of copyright.

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Juan Manuel Bordeu Slim Borgudd Luki Botha JeanChristophe Boullion Sebastien Bourdais

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Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel celebrate with Red Bull boss Christian Horner on the podium © Getty Images

Sections of the international media have questioned Red Bull’s strategic approach to the world championship. After Sebastian Vettel won the Brazilian Grand Prix from the team’s points leader Mark Webber at Interlagos, Der Spiegel noted: “Red Bull gives (Fernando) Alonso wings”. Not switching the places means that Spaniard Alonso can take his Ferrari to just second place this weekend in Abu Dhabi and be champion, whereas the alternative strategy would have set up Webber for a straight fight. “It is not easy for Webber to drive in a team that considers him a burden to be up against Vettel,” said La Gazzetta dello Sport. Tuttosport noted that it seems “the Austrian team would be happier to lose than to see Webber beat Vettel”. “No team orders at Red Bull. Another own goal,” headlined La Repubblica. Joan Villadelprat wrote in his El Pais column: “Had Red Bull opted for Webber a few races ago, the Australian would probably now be champion.” Red Bull, however, is unrepentant. Team owner Dietrich Mateschitz told Salzburger Nachrichten newspaper that “second under proper conditions can often be more valuable than a first”. But there is a feeling that the team is not simply giving up the fight for the drivers’ title. One columnist in Brazil’s Globo wondered if Vettel’s radio message in Abu Dhabi might sound something like ‘So … Mark is faster than you’. “I’m always in favour of leaving the fight on the track with equal chances for both sides,” said Rubens Barrichello. “But I wonder if they would do that if the situation was in reverse. ?Mark has done a great job this year and he has been told by his team what position he is in,” said Lewis Hamilton. “Against adversity he has kept at it. I want to see Mark win.” Webber believes that, if a strategy is deployed, it will only be on the “last lap” of the season this weekend. “Sebastian is part of a team,” said Niki Lauda, who believes Webber should be backed fully by Red Bull. “If he does anything it should be helping Webber and not just on the last lap.” Webber is quoted by Bild newspaper: “It makes sense. Otherwise it would mean that Ferrari’s team orders would have paid off for Fernando.” Red Bull team boss Christian Horner hints that sense will ultimately prevail. “We have already given too many presents to Fernando this year,” he is quoted by Autosprint.

Source: http://blogs.espnf1.com/paperroundf1/archives/2010/11/red_bull_under_the_spotlight.php

Rene Arnoux Peter Arundell Alberto Ascari Peter Ashdown Ian Ashley

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Red Bull has issued an intriguing Q&A with Mark Webber, who confirms that he turned down Ferrari. Q: Was signing with Red Bull Racing for 2013 an easy decision? MW: In the end, yes it was. It?s been an interesting … Continue reading

Source: http://adamcooperf1.com/2012/07/10/mark-webber-qa-there-were-discussions-with-ferrari/

Martin Brundle Gianmaria Bruni Jimmy Bryan Carlo Abate George Abecassis

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Kyle Busch closes on Phoenix sweep By Diego Mejia Sunday, February 27th 2011, 07:28 GMT Kyle Busch could make further NASCAR history this weekend by completing a full sweep of victories in its top-level championships at Phoenix in a single weekend, having already dominated in the Trucks and Natiowide Series races at the one-mile oval. Related posts:

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Source: http://doxcar.com/nascar-kyle-busch-closes-on-phoenix-sweep/

Kurt Adolff Fred Agabashian Kurt Ahrens Jr Christijan Albers Michele Alboreto

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The Formula One calendar has expanded over the years, now with 20 races during an eight-month-long season. This year?s penultimate event will see the debut of the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas, which follows on just 12 months after the introduction of the Indian Grand Prix in New Delhi. It seems to be [...]

Source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/Formula1Fancast/~3/qKan5Oq1eYo/the-top-ten-circuits-f1-should-bring-back

Erwin Bauer Zsolt Baumgartner Elie Bayol Don Beauman Karl Gunther Bechem

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Rate the race result: 2012 British Grand Prix is an original article from F1 Fanatic. If this article has been published anywhere other than F1 Fanatic it is an infringement of copyright.

The British Grand Prix earned a rating higher than seven out of ten from F1 Fanatic readers, though it wasn’t quite up to the high standard set by previous 2012 races.

Rate the race result: 2012 British Grand Prix is an original article from F1 Fanatic. If this article has been published anywhere other than F1 Fanatic it is an infringement of copyright.

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Jaime Alguersuari Philippe Alliot Cliff Allison Fernando Alonso Giovanna Amati

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De Tomaso has filed for bankruptcy, bringing into danger the future of the company that was once a serious player in the exotic sports car world and in F1. It was founded in 1959 by Argentine exile Alejandro de Tomaso, who had settled in Modena because of his desire to go racing. The company, which [...]

Source: http://joesaward.wordpress.com/2012/07/10/another-brand-bites-the-dust/

Art Bisch Harry Blanchard Michael Bleekemolen Alex Blignaut Trevor Blokdyk

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The wreckage of Jochen Rindt’s car at Barcelona © Getty Images

An excellent insight into the world of F1 as it used to be can be found on the regularly-interesting Letters of Note website. It publishes a hitherto unseen letter from Jochen Rindt to Lotus boss Colin Chapman written shortly after Rindt?s crash at Barcelona which was a result of the wing system on Lotus 49 collapsing at speed.

?Colin. I have been racing F1 for 5 years and I have made one mistake (I rammed Chris Amon in Clermont Ferrand) and I had one accident in Zandvoort due to gear selection failure otherwise I managed to stay out of trouble. This situation changed rapidly since I joined your team. ?Honestly your cars are so quick that we would still be competitive with a few extra pounds used to make the weakest parts stronger, on top of that I think you ought to spend some time checking what your different employes are doing, I sure the wishbones on the F2 car would have looked different. Please give my suggestions some thought, I can only drive a car in which I have some confidence, and I feel the point of no confidence is quite near.?

A little more than a year later Rindt’s Lotus suffered mechanical breakdown just before braking into one of the corners. He swerved violently to the left and crashed into a poorly-installed barrier, killing him instantly.

Source: http://blogs.espnf1.com/paperroundf1/archives/2010/09/the_point_of_no_confidence_is.php

Tony Bettenhausen Mike Beuttler Birabongse Bhanubandh Lucien Bianchi Gino Bianco

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Caption Competition 16: Ecclestone and Massa is an original article from F1 Fanatic. If this article has been published anywhere other than F1 Fanatic it is an infringement of copyright.

What are Bernie Ecclestone and Felipe Massa talking about? It’s over to you to see who can supply the funniest caption for this picture.

Caption Competition 16: Ecclestone and Massa is an original article from F1 Fanatic. If this article has been published anywhere other than F1 Fanatic it is an infringement of copyright.

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Rubens Barrichello Michael Bartels Edgar Barth Giorgio Bassi Erwin Bauer

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This week FOM, the Formula One Management company run by Bernie Ecclestone, has announced it will be providing native High Definition Formula One coverage for the very first time.  This heralds the entrance of the sport into the super clear broadcast territory. High Definition television has been available for some time now in the United [...]

Source: http://f1fanatics.wordpress.com/2011/01/13/formula-one-goes-high-definition/

Gino Bianco Hans Binder Clemente Biondetti Pablo Birger Art Bisch

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Michael Schumacher?s 2010 comeback was somewhat abortive.  The results, the driving standard and the overtakes were well below par for the former champion.  He even let his team mate beat him for the first time in his career.  So why can Schumacher, the fallen Ferrari hero, win the world championship for an 8th time? It?s [...]

Source: http://f1fanatics.wordpress.com/2011/01/14/why-michael-schumacher-could-win-the-2011-world-championship/

Birabongse Bhanubandh Lucien Bianchi Gino Bianco Hans Binder Clemente Biondetti

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“All good, mate,” is probably Mark Webber’s favourite phrase. It’s a fair bit more loaded with meaning than it sounds, and it sums up the way he will be feeling after the Monaco Grand Prix.

The Australian’s second win in three years in Formula 1′s most prestigious race, and his first of the season, had been coming for a while and it confirms Webber’s return to form after a difficult 2011.

It will have been particularly sweet as it came at another race in which he has had an edge on team-mate Sebastian Vettel, whose romp to the world title last year was probably harder on Webber than anyone.

When a driver takes 11 wins and 15 pole positions in 19 races, as Vettel did last year, most of his rivals can console themselves with the thought that he has a better car than they do. Not so his team-mate, who suffered through 2011 with dignity and largely in silence.

Mark Webber

Mark Webber (right) is congratulated by Prince Albert II (left) of Monaco after winning the Monaco Grand Prix. Photo: Getty 

This season, though, has seen a Webber more like the one who led the championship for much of 2010 before falling at the final hurdle.

There was virtually nothing to choose between the two Red Bull drivers for most of that season – and this year Webber is back to that position.

Although it has taken until Monaco for Webber to draw level with Vettel on points, the qualifying score is four-two in Webber’s favour.

It would almost certainly have been five-one had Red Bull not erroneously decided not to send him out for a second run in the second session of qualifying in Spain two weeks ago, thinking he had done enough to make it through to the top-10 shoot-out.

Out-qualifying Vettel so comprehensively again in Monaco, on a track where all the drivers admit the man in the cockpit can make that bit more of a difference than on more mundane tracks, will have been particularly sweet.

The two Red Bull drivers have been more evenly matched in races this year, but while it took until his Monaco victory for Webber to draw level with Vettel in the championship, that is not necessarily an accurate reflection of their relative pace.

Webber scored four consecutive fourth places in the first four races as Vettel took a win, a second and a fifth. But only in Bahrain was Vettel demonstrably faster – and Webber would almost certainly have taken the second place his team-mate did in Australia had it not been for a pit-stop delay.

A win in Monaco, to become the sixth different driver to win in the first six races of the year confirms – as if confirmation were needed - that Webber is a major contender for the championship again this year.

He admitted after the race in Monaco that “last year was a little bit of a mystery; the gap was sometimes really, really extreme”. One imagines Vettel feels very much the same about this season.

Monaco was another example. There was Webber on the front row while Vettel was back in 10th having used up all his ‘super-soft’ tyres just getting into the top-10 shoot-out – exactly as had happened in Spain.

Red Bull have been struggling comparatively in qualifying all year, but their race pace has been strong almost everywhere. So it was again in Monaco, where Vettel, on a different strategy, suddenly became a factor for victory mid-way through the race.

“That wasn’t in the plan,” Webber joked afterwards, admitting he had been a little nervous about his team-mate’s progress. Eventually, though, the tyres on Vettel’s car cried enough – and he had to settle for fourth.

Team boss Christian Horner could not explain after the race how Vettel was so competitive in the race in the same car in which he had struggled in qualifying. But the answer will almost certainly lie somewhere in the behaviour of the Pirelli tyres, the secrets of which are proving elusive to the teams so far this season.

It says something for Red Bull’s professionalism and competence as a team that although aspects of their car’s performance are flummoxing even a man as brilliant as their designer Adrian Newey, they find both drivers tied on points just three off the championship lead.

Equally, it speaks volumes for the quality of Fernando Alonso’s driving so far this year that he is the man they are chasing, despite being in a car that has not yet been fast enough to set a pole position.

The Spaniard was in impressive form again in Monaco. From fifth on the grid, he made another great start and ran fourth to the first pit stops, when he jumped Lewis Hamilton’s McLaren thanks to a stunning in-lap, on which he set the fastest times of the race until that point on both the first sectors.

Alonso and Ferrari team boss Stefano Domenicali both admitted afterwards that he could potentially even have got ahead of second-placed Nico Rosberg and perhaps Webber, too, had he stayed out a little longer. But, as they said, you only know this in hindsight.

Still, third place was enough to vault him past Vettel into a clear championship lead. No wonder Horner said after the race: “Fernando has driven very well. He’s going to be a key factor all the way through this championship for sure.”

He wisely added that it would be wrong to rule out McLaren, despite another lacklustre performance in Monaco, and the same should also be said of Mercedes.

Mercedes bounced back with a bang in Monaco after a dip in form in Bahrain and Spain following Rosberg’s dominant win in China last month.

And after a difficult start to the season, it was Michael Schumacher who stuck the car on pole, which he lost as a result of the five-place grid penalty he earned for running into the back of Williams’s Bruno Senna in Spain.

Schumacher was unlucky in the race, tagged by Lotus’s Romain Grosjean at the start, and then retiring with a fuel pressure problem after running seventh for a while.

It will take a few more performances like that to convince everyone that the veteran German can be a consistent force at the front, and he is almost certainly too far behind to be a factor in the championship battle.

But his presence at the front, should it continue, will add an intriguing dimension to an already fascinating season.

“All good,” as Webber would doubtless say.

Source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/andrewbenson/2012/05/andrew_benson.html

Bob Bondurant Felice Bonetto Jo Bonnier Roberto Bonomi Juan Manuel Bordeu

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Which races should DRS be used at? is an original article from F1 Fanatic. If this article has been published anywhere other than F1 Fanatic it is an infringement of copyright.

Should DRS be available at every race on the calendar? Cast your vote here.

Which races should DRS be used at? is an original article from F1 Fanatic. If this article has been published anywhere other than F1 Fanatic it is an infringement of copyright.

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Giovanna Amati George Amick Red Amick Chris Amon Bob Anderson

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Red Bull has issued an intriguing Q&A with Mark Webber, who confirms that he turned down Ferrari. Q: Was signing with Red Bull Racing for 2013 an easy decision? MW: In the end, yes it was. It?s been an interesting … Continue reading

Source: http://adamcooperf1.com/2012/07/10/mark-webber-qa-there-were-discussions-with-ferrari/

Michele Alboreto Jean Alesi Jaime Alguersuari Philippe Alliot Cliff Allison

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Jeff Gordon Ends Drought Jeff Gordon snaps 66-race winless streak by taking the Subway Fresh Fit 500 at PhoenixJeff Gordon Ends Drought AVONDALE, Ariz. — Just before peeling off what he called a lame burnout near the finish line, Jeff Gordon screamed into his radio, the emotion pouring out with his voice. [+] Enlarge Jared C. Related posts:

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Source: http://doxcar.com/jeff-gordon-wins-at-phoenix-to-snap-66-race-drought/

Michael Bleekemolen Alex Blignaut Trevor Blokdyk Mark Blundell Raul Boesel

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Romain Grosjean?s hopes of a first Formula One victory at next weekend?s German Grand Prix have taken a significant hit, as the Lotus man has been handed a five place grid penalty. ESPN report that the Frenchman?s Lotus E20 will need a gearbox change ahead of the race at Hockenheim, which will result in a [...]

Source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/Formula1Fancast/~3/iKHUu_Sop_c/grosjean-set-for-five-place-grid-penalty

Cliff Allison Fernando Alonso Giovanna Amati George Amick Red Amick

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Will Christian Horner regret not utilising team orders in Brazil? © Getty Images

Michael Spearman of The Sun, says that the £65,000 fine Ferrari received for breaching the team orders ban in Germany will seem like loose change if Fernando Alonso wins the drivers? title in Abu Dhabi.

?The extra seven points Alonso collected when Ferrari ordered Felipe Massa to move over for him in Germany earlier in the season are now looking even more crucial. ?And the £65,000 fine they picked up for ruthlessly breaking the rules will seem loose change if Alonso clinches the title in his first year with the Maranello team. ?Red Bull could have switched the result yesterday given their crushing dominance and still celebrated their first constructors’ championship just five years after coming into the sport. ?That would also have given Webber an extra seven points, leaving him just one behind Alonso.?
The Guardian?s Paul Weaver says that if Fernando Alonso does take the drivers? title in Abu Dhabi, Ferrari owes a debt of gratitude to Red Bull for their decision not to employ team orders in Brazil.
?If Alonso does take the title next week it would not be inappropriate were he and Ferrari to send a few gallons of champagne to Red Bull’s headquarters in Milton Keynes. ?While Red Bull should be heartily applauded for the championship they did win today their apparent acceptance that Ferrari might carry off the more glamorous prize continues to baffle Formula One and its globetrotting supporters. ?Their refusal to make life easy for Webber, who has led for much of the season and is still seven points ahead of Vettel, means that whatever happens in the desert next week Alonso, the only driver who was capable of taking the championship in the race today, only has to secure second place to guarantee his third world title.?
The Independent?s David Tremayne is also of the opinion that Red Bull may regret not using team orders in Brazil.
?Had Red Bull elected to adopt team orders and let Webber win ? something that the governing body allows when championships are at stake ? Webber would have left Brazil with 245 points ? just one point off the lead. For some that was confirmation of his suggestion that Vettel is the team’s favoured driver ? which generated an angry call from team owner Dietrich Mateschitz in Austria and was much denied by team principal, Christian Horner. ?And it sets up a situation where, if the result is repeated next weekend, as is likely, Vettel and Webber will tie on 256, five behind Alonso.?
The Mirror?s Byron Young has put Lewis Hamilton?s fading title chances down to an inferior McLaren machine and he admits the 2008 World Champion now needs a miracle.
?Sebastian Vettel’s victory sends the world title fight to a four-way showdown for the first time in the sport’s history. ?Hamilton goes there as part of that story with a 24-point deficit to Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso, but with just 25 on offer in the final round in six days’ time it would take more than a miracle. ?Driving an outclassed McLaren he slugged it out against superior machinery and stiff odds to finish fourth.?

Source: http://blogs.espnf1.com/paperroundf1/archives/2010/11/team_orders_in_spotlight_again_1.php

Gianfranco Brancatelli Eric Brandon Don Branson Tom Bridger Tony Brise

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There was a certain inevitability, given the history of Michael Schumacher’s career, about the fact that his first podium finish since his comeback involved a degree of controversy.

In Valencia, Schumacher drove the latest in a series of strong races to finally deliver on the potential he has shown with Mercedes more or less since the start of the year.

In the end, the controversy was much ado about nothing – the man who is notorious for pushing the boundaries of acceptability did nothing wrong.

Red Bull’s Mark Webber reported to his team that Schumacher had his DRS overtaking aid, which boosts straight-line speed, open as they passed waved yellow caution flags late in the race.

The rules say a driver must slow down significantly for yellow flags; Schumacher did – case closed.

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His third in the European Grand Prix has been a long time coming. It was Schumacher’s first podium finish since the 2006 Chinese Grand Prix, when he was driving for Ferrari, but it should arguably have happened already this season, by far his strongest since his comeback at the start of 2010 after three years in retirement.

In 2010 and 2011, Schumacher struggled compared to team-mate Nico Rosberg.

In the first year of his comeback, Schumacher was nowhere near him; by the second half of last year the two were evenly matched in races, but the younger man out-qualified the veteran 15-4 over the whole season.

This season, finally, has been different. On performance, there has been virtually nothing to choose between them in qualifying or races.

Each has scored a pole position – although Schumacher lost his in Monaco to a grid penalty – and only a dreadful reliability record on the seven-time champion’s car has stopped him scoring many more points than he has.

While Rosberg has completed every lap, Schumacher has finished only three races and of his five retirements only one has been his fault.

So where might a podium have come based on his performances prior to this one?

Schumacher was running third in Australia when he retired, but he would probably have finished fifth there. His tyre degradation was too severe to challenge Lewis Hamilton’s McLaren or hold off the Red Bulls of Sebastian Vettel and Webber, who filled the three places behind winner Jenson Button.

Mercedes think Schumacher would have gone on to finish second to a dominant Rosberg in China had he not retired immediately after his pit stop because a front wheel had not been fitted correctly.

But other teams believe the two McLarens would have beaten Schumacher and possibly the Red Bulls, too.

His pole lap in Monaco was particularly impressive and that would almost certainly have been converted into at least a podium finish. But first there was a five-place grid penalty for causing a crash in Spain, and then he retired from the race with a fuel-pressure failure.

When it finally came, the podium finish owed something to the unusual circumstances of the race and a lot to Hamilton being taken out by Williams’s Pastor Maldonado. But it would be hard to argue Schumacher didn’t deserve it on the balance of the year.

When he announced his comeback, he said he wanted to win another world title. But as soon as it became obvious from early in 2010 that he was going to struggle, he has always maintained that getting back on to the pace would be a long-term matter.

No-one expected it to take as long as it has. But perhaps that is to underestimate how much he lost in his three years away, his age – he is now 43 – and the incredible depth of talent in today’s field.

Schumacher is still some way short of the driver he once was, a man who could consistently dance on a limit beyond that of anyone else.

But taking this season on average, there is now virtually nothing to choose on pace between him and Rosberg – the one exception being China, where the younger man had the best part of half a second on his team-mate.

That, though, puts Mercedes in an intensely awkward position and facing a very difficult decision – because Schumacher’s contract runs out at the end of this year.

The problem is, good as Rosberg is, few outside Mercedes believe he is a match for the three towering talents of this generation – Fernando Alonso, Hamilton and Vettel.

Yet this is a team with aspirations to win the world title and some would argue they are putting themselves at an automatic disadvantage with their current driver line-up.

So do they offer Schumacher another contract on the basis of his improved performance, continue to benefit from the undoubted marketing benefits of his presence in the team as a driver and hope they can build a car that is better than a Red Bull, a McLaren and a Ferrari? Or do they go for someone else?

They are known to be interested in Hamilton, the only one of the big three who is potentially available to take his place.

But Hamilton may well not be available – he seems more likely to either stick with McLaren or to try to persuade Red Bull they should take him on given the reasonable possibility they could lose Vettel to Ferrari at the end of next year.

Yet how long can Mercedes expect Schumacher – who will be 44 next January – to be able to continue at this level?

In which case, should they gamble on a younger man who may represent the future, someone like the increasingly impressive Paul di Resta, for example, who just happens to be a Mercedes protege?

What would you do?

Source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/andrewbenson/2012/06/schumacher_finally_makes_his_r.html

Jaime Alguersuari Philippe Alliot Cliff Allison Fernando Alonso Giovanna Amati

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Few things in sport are guaranteed to generate publicity like someone high-profile in Formula 1 talking about running a grand prix around the world-famous sites of central London.

After all, what’s not to like? Who doesn’t think it would make one of the most spectacular sporting events the world had ever seen?

That’s clearly what the PR agency which represents one of McLaren’s biggest sponsors was thinking when they invited the media to a lavish event at London’s RAC Club on Thursday to hear Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button talking about what it might be like to race around such a track.

An expensively produced video was played. Hamilton and Button said all the right things – while being careful not to be seen in any way to diminish the importance of Silverstone as the home of the British Grand Prix.

And a virtual race was staged around the track with teams led by the McLaren drivers featuring Rio Ferdinand, Melanie Sykes, Olympic gold medal winner Amy Williams and Radio One DJ Sarah-Jane Crawford.

All in all, an effective way to generate a bit of extra media coverage ahead of next weekend’s ninth round of the world championship at, yes, Silverstone.

In what will doubtless have been fantastic news for the PR agency and sponsor in question, though, the story developed a life of its own even before the event was held, when F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone was quoted in a newspaper saying “maybe we would front it and put the money up for it”.

A London race would see the drivers go past a number of iconic monuments.

Within F1, the idea of a race in London in such circumstances has been greeted with intense scepticism. “Of course it’s not going to happen,” one senior figure said on Thursday. “You know that, and so do I. But it makes a great story, doesn’t it?”

On the back of it, there was an inevitable media whirlwind.

The mayor of London, Boris Johnson, was asked about it, and said he was “broadly positive providing we can satisfy the air quality and noise issues”.

Which, of course, they never could. So, apart from the fact that it’s a PR stunt on which Ecclestone has chosen to offer an opinion, that’s the first reason why it is unlikely ever to happen. There are many more.

Before we get into those, however, it is worth mentioning that Ecclestone has tried to make a London Grand Prix work before.

In the mid-noughties, he discussed it with Johnson’s predecessor Ken Livingstone and the Live Aid promoter Harvey Goldsmith, focusing on the two biggest hurdles – money and logistics.

Holding such a race would mean closing off part of central London for at least three days and disruption for much longer as preparations were made. There is an inherent cost in that.

Then there was Ecclestone’s fee, setting up and securing the circuit, sorting out infrastructure, policing and so on.

On the plus side, a grand prix would showcase London and boost the city’s profile, and probably – all things taken into account – bring in more money than it cost. Not that London, as one of the three biggest tourist attractions in the world, needs any extra publicity.

Five years ago almost to the day, I asked Ecclestone about these very plans. “I spoke about it with the mayor a couple of years ago, I think,” he said. “He was very supportive. But we came to the conclusion that it would be too expensive.”

A source close to Ecclestone expanded on that. “Bernie put a lot of effort into it,” he said. “He said they looked long and hard at it and they couldn’t make it work.

“There was very little money forthcoming from Livingstone, so it had to be self-supporting and they needed a way of getting people in.

“But there was only room for 30,000 people and, with the money they needed to pay to put it on, that would have meant charging £500 a ticket.”

Damon Hill, then the president of the British Racing Drivers’ Club which owns Silverstone, added that he had spoken “to Harvey Goldsmith about it a while back. I think it’s dead. Logistically, it’s a non-starter.”

Which brings us back to the hurdles. The first being the idea that Ecclestone would put up the money for it. That’s not how it works – venues pay a huge fee to the commercial arm of the sport, which Ecclestone runs, for the privilege of hosting F1.

That’s not to say that F1 stumping up the money to host a race is a bad idea. Quite the contrary – some senior figures in the sport believe that’s exactly what it should do to establish itself in America.

There is no market F1 wants to crack more than the US but last autumn Ecclestone played a game of brinksmanship with this season’s new race in Austin, Texas, saying it would not be put on the calendar unless it paid its fee.

A similar situation seems to be developing with the proposed race in New Jersey overlooking Manhattan – an event F1 needs much more than one in London.

Then there’s the fact that Britain already has a very popular grand prix at Silverstone, which has a contract until 2027, with a break clause either side can exercise in 2020.

With countries apparently queuing up for races – Russia is due in 2014, Mexico is also said to be imminent, Thailand is keen – the idea of holding two races in one country is seen very much as a thing of the past.

Equally, this is the second idea for a London Grand Prix that has come up in the past six days – on Friday another newspaper reported plans for a race around the Olympic Stadium.

Asked about this by BBC Sport at last weekend’s European Grand Prix, Ecclestone said: “We’re talking.”

Hardly a surprise, is it, that F1 is so full of cynics?

In F1 – especially where Ecclestone is involved – one learns to never say never. But in a nutshell, what of the London Grand Prix?

Great PR coup? Yes. Likely to happen? Don’t hold your breath.

Source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/andrewbenson/2012/06/could_a_london_grand_prix_ever.html

Mark Blundell Raul Boesel Menato Boffa Bob Bondurant Felice Bonetto