Posted by: wrcnf1 | June 19, 2009

FOTA Announces Breakaway Series

Yes it is true!(Link ). Tonight FOTA announced that it was no longer able to work with the FIA and that it would be launching a breakaway series. This decision was made after a lengthy meeting at Renault’s Enstone headquarters in response to the FIA’s no-compromise stance which gave the teams until tomorrow to change their conditional entries. The release was filled with very interesting information but this was my favourite part :

“These teams therefore have no alternative other than to commence the preparation for a new Championship which reflects the values of its participants and partners. This series will have transparent governance, one set of regulations, encourage more entrants and listen to the wishes of the fans, including offering lower prices for spectators worldwide, partners and other important stakeholders.”

“The major drivers, stars, brands, sponsors, promoters and companies historically associated with the highest level of motorsport will all feature in this new series.”

When I first read this news  I was hoping that this could be one last throw of the dice by FOTA to force the FIA into compromising or at least delayng tp have serious discussions. However, having read the quoted section above it is clear to me that if these claims are true then FOTA are very serious and would have been planning their alternative if there was no compromising with the FIA.

FOTA claims to have the support of all major drivers (of course), brands, promoters and sponsors willing to join this series and should this all come to fruition it would mean the death of the ‘other’ series. It wont be hard to convince various brands to follow the best known teams in the world so we have no doubt that this is true.This is necessary if they want to avoid a repeat of the CART/IRL debacle that destroyed American open-wheel racing where both series impacted negatively on each other.

The section I highlighted is sheer brilliance in my opinion as it addresses some of the major concerns of every single person connected to F1 and it strikes to  everything wrong with the FIA lead series at the moment.My biggest problem with all of this is how will it be accomplished and what further drama will we have to endure now that it has been announced. I guess all we can do now is sit back and watch the further developments that are sure to arise.

Posted by: wrcnf1 | June 13, 2009

Video: Loeb Crashes of Acropolis

Just found this video of Sebastien Loeb’s crash.

Posted by: wrcnf1 | June 13, 2009

Acropolis : Rally of Attrition

The Acropolis rally has always been a tough rally on both car and driver and it has shown no signs of easing up in its campaign against man and machine. On Friday, it almost claimed the exciting if not sometimes over-enthusiastic Jari-matti Latvala on SS6 as he was  leading the rally. Latvala arrived at a hairpin too fast and soon found why judgement is critical on this rally especially when the team has given you a job to do for your no.1 (more about this in my next post). Latvala lost about 3 minutes and left Mikko to sweep the road on Saturday.

Saturday was where it really took its tool. Both Dani Sordo and Sebastien Loeb crashed out to leave Citroen without a chance for any points and leaving Mikko his best chance to close the gap to Loeb. Can anyone tell me when was the last time both of the Citroen werent able to finish and get points. All of this left Petter in the great position of 2nd but he was not to benefit from this as he suffered suspension damage. A fighting team that he and Phil Mills have been since they first teamed up, they tried to repair the top mount with and adjustable spanner but it was not meant to be and they retired. Fellow Norwegian Mads Ostberg suffered a similar fate when a damper broke and forced him to retire.

This promoted young Sebastien Ogier to 2nd place more than a minute behind Hirvonen. Ogier was lucky to be there as well as a puncture cost him some time on Friday but he was quickly back on the pace to take his first stage win in the WRC on the next stage. His Citroen juniors teammate Evgeny Novikov also learned a tough lesson on Friday about tyres and the heat of this event as he cooked his tyres soon after taking his first WRC stage win on SS5. This dropped him from fourth to 12th.

With Ogier so far behind, Hirvonen should be in good position for the win and this only leaves Latvala to decide how important 2nd place his to him after he fought back from 11th to finish day 2 in 3rd.

Posted by: wrcnf1 | June 13, 2009

Together We Stand, Divided We Fall

I haven’t had the time recently to blog but I have been keeping a watchful eye on the developing situation with the FIA and the eight FOTA teams who submitted conditional entries. As you will most likely know, the manufacturers want some changes to the proposals for the budget cap and this has caused all the fuss in F1 right now with both parties holding their ground. The situation went from bad to worse today when the FIA published the list of the accepted entries for the 2010 season. See the entry list

The list showed all of this years teams along with the three new teams USF1, Campos and Manor Motorsport. the real problem caused by the list was its showing the Ferrari and Red Bull teams and unconditional entries and the other five FOTA as conditional entries. These unconditional entries were then given one week to change from conditional entries or risk being left out of next years championship. The drama was far from over however as the FIA made the other three entries unconditonal against the will of Ferrari, Red Bull and Toro Rosso.

In my opinion this was clearly a case of Mosly attempting to gain an upperhand in this saga by dividing and conquering FOTA and change the image of FOTA unity. FOTA’s quick response to these developments was decisive and showed one voice as a letter was sent to the WMSC stating that all the teams had the same concerns and that the three ‘uncoditional’ entries were submitted against the will of the teams. The letter also asked for the WMSC to intervene in the matter. This was exactly the point that FOTA needed to make to show the FIA that they have every intention to stand their ground and not be bullied by Mosley.  Read the full story here

I can only hope that in this saga the teams stay unified and even though F1 may be dragged through the mud, it is best that at this point a stand is made to ensure that future of F1 is brighter and more importantly free from the clutches of Max Mosley. In the meantime I am going to prepare for a day watching the Le Mans race which promises to be more interesting than recent races in F1.

Posted by: wrcnf1 | April 26, 2009

Button Takes Win Number Three in Bahrain

Jenson Button took a comfortable win in the Bahrain GP to take three wins from the first four GP’s of the season and moves to 31 points, 11 points clear of teammate Rubens Barrichello. With Barrichello finishing 5th, the Brawn team moves 23 points clear of Red Bull.

The race got off to a great start with Timo Glock getting ahead of Trulli while Hamilton made the best of the KERS system to move ahead of both Button and Vettel to move into 3rd place by the end of the first turn. Hamilton stayed in this position for most of the first lap but Button made the most important move of the race going into turn 1 the second time around. Read More…

Posted by: wrcnf1 | April 25, 2009

Weight, Fuel and Predictions

During the post-qualifying press conference Sebastien Vettel jokingly suggested that the Toyota’s would be stopping before him due to low fuel loads and thankfully the FIA is publishing all the weights and fuel loads. The table is quite interesting with the front runners and is shown below.

1. Trulli        1:33.431   648.5   40.5  14.0
 2. Glock         1:33.712   643     35    12.0
 3. Vettel        1:34.015   659     51    17.9
 4. Button        1:34.044   652.5   44.5  15.5
 5. Hamilton      1:34.196   652.5   44.5  15.5
 6. Barrichello   1:34.239   649     41    14.2
 7. Alonso        1:34.578   650.5   42.5  14.7
 8. Massa         1:34.818   664.5   56.5  19.9
 9. Rosberg       1:35.134   670.5   62.5  22.1
10. Raikkonen     1:35.380   671.5   63.5  22.5
11. Kovalainen               678.5   70.5  25.1

Most notably is that Trulli had a blistering one-lap blast to take pole position over his teammate Glock who was fuelled 2 laps lighter. This however still leaves him stopping 3 laps earlier than Sebastien Vettel who is fuelled to lap 17, 2 laps more than Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton who had identical weights. Read More…

Posted by: wrcnf1 | April 25, 2009

Trulli Leads Toyota Lock Out of Bahrain Grid

Jarno Trulli got the fourth pole position of his career when he beat his teammate Timo Glock by 0.3 of a second and Toyota’s first grid lockout. Trulli later dedicated the pole position to his fellow countrymen who suffered during this months earthquake.

Q3 belonged to the Toyota’s from the opening runs as they were 1-2 after their first stints but were moved off the front by Button and the fast improving McLaren of Lewis Hamilton who were both on hot laps together. Read More…

Posted by: wrcnf1 | April 13, 2009

Back-to-back wins for Button and Brawn

Jenson Button and Brawn GP made it 2 wins from 2 races when Button was awarded the victory after the Malaysian GP was abandoned due to heavy rain. BMW’s Nick Heidfeld took second ahead of Toyota’s Timo Glock who seemed to have had second place wrapped up but was demoted to third upon recalculation of laps after abandonment.

The 5pm race started with Rosberg getting a flying start as he leapt from fourth on the grid to lead the race from Toyota’s Jarno Trulli as Button slipped down the order. This lasted until the first round of pit stops as Button again showed the pace of the Brawn cars as he comfortably opened up a gap on the rest of the field.

As Button pulled away, the rest of the pack provided some exciting action proving that the new rules were starting to make an impact. The wheel to wheel racing between Webber and Hamilton was especially good.

With rain clouds looming, it was clear that race strategy and tyre selection was going to be even more important in the outcome of this race. On lap 18 without a single drop of rain on the track, Ferrari took a gamble and placed Raikkonen on wet tyres which soon went ‘off’ even though Kimi tried his best to baby them around the track.The rain soon came but it was a little too late for Kimi and Ferrari to make full use of them as the other drivers dived into the pits for wets as well. While Ferrari gambled on wets early, Toyota placed Glock on intermediates as others went with wets. This paid off as the track was not wet enough for the wets but as Glock’s fast laps showed, conditions were perfect for intermediates.  This propelled Glock to second place quickly as he was seconds per lap faster than everyone else.

Soon the rain came at full blast and everyone who had eventually followed Glock onto the ‘inters’ had to change to extreme wets and by lap 31 or 32 the saftey car was called just after Button had got back to the front. Soon after the race was stopped and the cars and mechanics were on the track. Within minutes Mark Webber was found walking the grid talking the drivers and after nearly an houhad passed, the race was called off leaving Button on the top step of the podium again.

Posted by: wrcnf1 | March 28, 2009

Brawn 1-2 Leads Qualifying Shake-up

Brawn GP

'Brawn GP' by mypoorbrain

The team that most of us would have voted least likely to make it to the grid two months ago has now become the team that most people would think are unbeatable after todays qualifying session. Brawn GP, the rebranded Honda team, dominated all three sessions qualifying in Melbourne today to take pole position with Jenson Button and closed out the front row as teammate Rubens Barrichello took second. Reb Bull’s Sebastien Vettel found soem late pace to get his RB5 into third spot on the grid followed closely by BMW’s Robert Kubica. Read More…

Posted by: wrcnf1 | March 10, 2009

Video:F1 Testing March 9th

Just found this video on Youtube. It’s in spanish but you can see some of the cars in action, in particular you can take a look at the new Brawn GP car being driven by Jenson Button. Although I hardly pay attention to the times during testing, it was very good to see that Button was pacing the test for most of the day and eventually ended the day in fourth overall.

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