Posted by: wrcnf1 | March 7, 2009

Honda F1 is now Brawn GP

Brawn GP car

Brawn GP car

After weeks of speculation about the future of the Honda F1 team it was finally announced last night (Thursday March 5th) that the management buyout would take place. Contrary to previous speculation, Ross Brawn takes over the role as team principal and it is not yet clear what role Nick Fry will play in this venture. The team also confirmed that it would be using Mercedes engines and it would retain the services of Jenson Button and Rubens Barrichello.

It’s great that the management buyout was able to go through not only to save the team, but also the jobs of so many employees who must have been in a very awkward position not Read More…

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Posted by: wrcnf1 | February 28, 2009

Marcus Gronholm Returning to the WRC!

After retiring from the WRC at the end of the 2007 season after finishing second to Sebastien Loeb, Marcus Gronholm gets behind the wheel of a world rally car again in April for the Rally of Portugal. The surprising news is that Gronholm will not be returning with a blue oval badged Focus but with a Subaru run by the Prodrive team.

Gronholm’s car will be a modified version of the 2008 car used by Petter Solberg and Chris Atkinson as Prodrive attempt to give Gronholm the most competitive spec car possible. Gronholm had a test with the car in Norway before accepting the offer  from Prodrive and has plans for further tests before the event which starts on April 5th.

While Gronholm has revealed that the event will be a one-off for him, however he has said to autosport.com that “after the rally I have to analyze my feelings and to see what happens next.” This is good news for the sport as Gronholm is one of  rallying’s most interesting characters with his usual straight talking interviews and humour and lets not forget how long he goes without blinking when driving a stage. I think this is necessary for the WRC as it now has just two car manufacturers and a champion driver in Loeb who seems to be near impossible to beat.

Although Marcus has already said that he will be aiming for a win at the start as he wants to compare his speed to the regular drivers, the excitement that Gronholm will bring to Portugal will be enormous and he will possibly find it hard not to challenge for the win if he finds himself in a i position. Many factors will play a  part in his competitiveness and most of all would be Subaru that he will be driving. It has been revealed that the car will be fitted with Ohlins dampers for the event and Prodrive have stated that the car is an evolution of the 2008 car although they couldn’t homologate for 2009.

Should Prodrive provide a competitive car in Portugal I believe Marcus will be competitive. He is very familiar with the stages having driven the safety car on last years event and Marcus has kept himself sharp with European Rallycross events as well. To keep Gronholm focused on his task, his regular co-driver Timo Rautiainen will sit next next to him in Portugal.

Posted by: wrcnf1 | February 24, 2009

USF1 Press Conference In 5 mins

Recent stories about a US Formula One team called USF1 will be confirmed in 5 minutes on Speedtv channel with a Live Press Conference. Speedtv.com states that regular programming will be interrupted for the live press conference which will include Peter Windsor and Ken Anderson. US Racing legends Mario Andretti and Dan Gurney are also expected via taped interviews and phone.

Visit the speedtv.com page

Posted by: wrcnf1 | February 18, 2009

F1 Around the Web

I am very busy today and therefore I have no time to write an article so below are some links to some of my favourite blogs and news headlines.

Virgin Group Bidding for Honda F1?

I visit sidepodcast.com often but I found this link via Twitter this morning. Since this blog was posted I also found the story on BBC stating that Honda has confirmed that Richard Branson’s Virgin Group has made a bid for the Formula 1 team.

Virgin make a bid to buy Honda F1

F1Fanatic.co.uk is another great blog I visit and today he discusses the latest GP2 graduate to F1, Sebastien Buemi.  Sebastsien Buemi: Another GP2 prodigy fit for F1?

Ferrari, BMW and Toyota Testing Video

I found Grandprixtv.net via Twitter and today they have video of testing in Bahrain. It seems to be taken from a news story (not in English) but you can still see video of the 2009 cars in action.

An American Dream

The final F1 link comes from Clive Allen’s F1 Insight blog. Clive should have his own newspaper column for F1 as far as I am concerned as his attention to detail and some of the emotions he can stir up in his pieces  are above those of many magazine articles I have read. Yesterday he blogged about USF1 and it’s a must read.

Well folks those are my links to some of the best F1 stories around the web and I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.

Posted by: wrcnf1 | February 16, 2009

Rally Norway: Loeb Wins

The name Sebastien Loeb must now summon some of the worst thoughts in WRC drivers of his time none more so than Mikko Hirvonen and the Ford rally team. The Ford camp must be completely confused as they probably believed that this was their place to strike back at Citroen after Citroen’s Irish dominance but Loeb had other thoughts.

After having a slender lead of 4.8 seconds over Loeb with Latvala trailing by some 25 seconds in the morning loop, Mikko Hirvonen purposely slowed to give up his narrow lead on day 1. This handed Loeb a 2.6 second lead heading into day 2, setting up the perfect battle. Read More…

Posted by: wrcnf1 | February 15, 2009

Honda Saved By Brazilian Investors?

Within minutes of making a post about the future of Honda F1 yesterday, I found news on Sidepodcast.com and F1wolf.com that the Guardian was reporting that the team was saved by Brazilian investors backing Bruno Senna. I have been waiting to see whether the story is reported on any of the major websites but it hasn’t been. However the story also appears on the Times website.

These rumours are definitely making a lot of sense with many suggesting that that the team has been saved for four races initially and are going to be using Mercedes as the engine supplier.The article also reports that Ross Brawn will be the head of management and that Honda will help with about 35 million towards the team’s season costs.

I hope this is true so that we can see the team race the car they started development on so long ago. Plus it would be nice to see Bruno Senna in F1 and compare him to Jenson Button.

Posted by: wrcnf1 | February 14, 2009

Will Honda Race in 2009?

This question was on my mind quite a bit during January when there was so much speculation about the prospective buyers of the Brackley based team. At that time there were numerous names being thrown out by the press and then being dismissed with the last rumour being that Nick Fry was trying to get the team with a management buyout. Since that story broke along with the ensuing discussion about the ethics of Fry being involved with the processing of other potential bids and then trying to buy the company himself, the Honda story has gone cold. Read More…

Posted by: wrcnf1 | February 13, 2009

Rally Norway: Solberg Draws first blood but Hirvonen Leads

Petter Solberg took his first stage win with his new rally team on the opening stage of Rally Norway last night. Petter couldnt ask for a better start to the rally as he brought his Xsara home in a time close to six-tenths of a second clear of second placed Mikko Hirvonen as 20,000 of his countrymen watched. Petter was obviously excited as he remarked “we’re back in business! It’s just like the old days”. It was the first time that Petter took the lead of a rally since he took a joint lead during Rally Jordan last year and the first time in almost two years that he held the lead by himself . Read More…

Posted by: wrcnf1 | February 12, 2009

Mark Webber Is Back

Mark Webber was back behind the wheel of a Formula 1 car just 81 days after he was involved in a serious road accident while cycling in Australia last November. The accident left Webber with a badly broken leg but the gritty Australian promised to be back for the first test and delivered on his promise. Read More…

Posted by: wrcnf1 | February 12, 2009

Hours Away from Rally Norway

Tor Andre Børresen

Photo: Tor Andre Børresen

In approximately 10 hours from now Rally Norway gets started with about 50 competitors and among them are 10 Norwegians. The event organisers and home spectators must be thrilled to have at least three local drivers capable of winning the event and among them none other than former world champion Petter Solberg. Petter joins his brother Henning Solberg and Mads Ostberg to try to win the overall event. Andreas Mikkelsen, the youngest driver to score a point on a WRC event, will also be compete but his chances of fighting with the top drivers will be small as he is entered in the PWRC category in a Subaru N14.  Read More…

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