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Latest F1 News and Commentary
Women in Racing…what do we really think?
by Scott Morris Female racing drivers certainly seem to have no problem getting exposure, which covers the financial challenges of becoming a professional racer. But what is keeping them from winning? Some would say it is physical. Others would say it is mental, or cite other factors. We delve into this, and give our perspective on why we do not think we will see a female champion driver in NASCAR Sprint Cup, IndyCar or F1 in our lifetime...but that doesn't mean we would not like to.
by Scott Morris Mercedes GP confirmed today that 7-time F1 World Driving Champion Michael Schumacher is emerging from retirement to race for the newly badged Mercedes Grand Prix team, formerly the Brawn racing team still run by Michael’s main architect of his multiple championships, Ross Brawn.
New F1 team The Virgin Racing Formula 1 team was officially launched in London today, where it was confirmed that one of the sport’s four new entrants has teamed up with Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin brand to embark on an exciting F1 (ad)venture. 300 guests assembled at the Louise Blouin Foundation in Notting Hill, the London district where it all began for the Virgin brand.
New F1 team Lotus F1 Racing has today confirmed that Italy's Jarno Trulli, Finland's Heikki Kovalainen and Malaysia's Fairuz Fauzy have joined the team to spearhead driving duties for its debut Formula 1 season in 2010. After the announcement, Tony Fernandes, Jarno Trulli and Heikki Kovalainen took the time for a short interview.
Schumacher rumored to be next big announcement From the 2010 season, German driver Nico Rosberg (24) will drive for the new Mercedes team in the Formula 1 World Championship, Mercedes-Benz Motorsport announced today. Meanwhile, speculation is running rampant that the real reason Button opted to take on Lewis Hamilton at McLaren became clear after legend Schu's secret comeback talks with Brawn were revealed. Schumacher met old pal Ross Brawn at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix this month.
Button has something to prove with move to McLaren
by Scott Morris So...here we go. For the second time in history, McLaren will have in it's stable the two most recent World Champions, both British mind you. I don't see the potency here that we saw when Prost and Senna were corralled together, but this will be quite interesting. I think it has a unique element to the deal that is quite rare these days.
by Mark J. Cipolloni Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel beat teammate Mark Webber to win the inaugural Abu Dhabi Grand Prix F1 race at the Yas Marina Circuit. Webber held off a charging Jenson Button in his Brawn who completed the podium. Button's teammate Rubens Barrichello was 4th and Nick Heidfeld in his final race for BMW rounded out the top 5. Quotes | Press Conference
Formula 1 Sebastian Vettel (1st): "That was a fantastic race. We had a very good start, it wasn't good enough to overtake Lewis, but I was surprised I was so close to him. Then, when Lewis was on the long straight, he pushed a button and disappeared ahead, but I was able to stay close. We knew we were a little bit heavier and we were always able to catch him up, especially in the last sector. The car was a dream today. There was a lot of pressure, I nearly went a bit wide in the pit lane entrance during my first stop and then there was the scary exit through the tunnel, but I was on the limit and it was enough to get past Lewis. Unfortunately he then had to retire, but up to that point it was a fantastic race with him. After that I had a little bit of a cushion to Mark and Jenson behind and I was able to pace myself, but the car was fantastic until the end. It worked brilliantly on both tire compounds and it was a pleasure to sit in the car this evening. To sum up the season, what can I say? I would say up and down, we are currently very strong and have just gained our fourth one-two finish, so congratulations to the team. They have been pushing a lot, working very hard back in the factory. It's a shame now that the season ends, as we are on a roll! It's just perfect to finish the season in this way on such a high."
by Mark J. Cipolloni McLaren's Lewis Hamilton, put his KERS to good use, took pole position for the inaugural Abu Dhabi Grand Prix at the spectacular Yas Marina Circuit Saturday by over 6/10ths of a second. His margin over 2nd place Sebastian Vettel was the widest margin since the Hungarian GP in 2005. Vettel's Red Bull teammate Mark Webber will start 3rd. Press Conference | Quotes
Formula 1 Lewis Hamilton (1st, 1:40.948): "My pole lap wasn't too aggressive. I was very smooth, and it just kept getting better and better. KERS Hybrid and the engine have been fantastic all season - and today was no exception - but it's the chassis that has really come good lately and we've brought them all together this weekend to create the perfect package. Even more encouragingly, this is all a work-in-progress for next year - and winning tomorrow would be a perfect way to end the season and raise our expectations for 2010. It should be an exciting race - I just want to go out and do the job tomorrow."
by Dave Grayson Kyle Busch is one very fascinating race driver. He has plenty of fans who proudly wear his souvenir shirts and hats while endorsing his primary sponsor: the candy that "melts in your mouth and not in your hand." He seems to have an equal amount of naysayers who boo to the point of becoming hoarse at the mere mention of his name. No matter which group you belong to, we all seem to watch him both on and off the track.
Formula 1 While Mark Webber took a comfortable victory for Red Bull, Jenson Button clinched the 2009 Formula 1 world championship with his 5th place finish in the Brazilian Grand Prix. Sebastian Vettel made it up to fourth from 15th on the grid, but that was not enough to keep his title bid alive. Button's closest rival and Brawn teammate Rubens Barrichello had a puncture eight laps from the end, ending his hope for the championship. Quotes | Press Conference
Formula 1 Mark Webber (1st): "I'm happy with that! You never know in the first stint of a race what's going to happen, although I knew Rubens (Barrichello) and Robert (Kubica) were a bit shorter than me. I was matching Robert's pace to start with and when they made their pit stops, I knew I had a clear run to make a gap to start my second stint. I just cleared Jenson (Button) on my out lap, which was good too. I was just making sure the tires were comfortable for the whole stint. I was a little bit panicky in the second stint as Robert started closing, although my pace was not too bad and I knew he was quite short in the middle stint. I was then able to control the gap to Robert and he backed off towards the end, which gave me a nice run home.
Brazilian GP: Barrichello on pole in wet qualifying
Vettel's title chances evaporate Heavy rain and treacherous track conditions caused hefty delays during qualifying at Interlagos on Saturday afternoon. Vitantonio Liuzzi had a big accident after aquaplaning on the pit straight, but by far the biggest scalp of the session is Sebastian Vettel, whose slim title hopes are in tatters after failing to graduate through Q1. "Obviously it's extremely disappointing. That's life," said the German, but he was far less calm when he climbed out of his Red Bull having qualified 16th for a crucial race. Press Conference | Quotes
Formula 1 Rubens Barrichello (1st, 1:19.576): "I'm so happy to have qualified on pole for my home Grand Prix today particularly after such an unusual qualifying session. It's the first time in seventeen years that I've got out of the car twice during qualifying! I'm very proud of what we achieved today. We were lucky to make it through Q2 when we should have gone for intermediates but it was a great drive in Q3. It's a good situation to be starting from the front and have your own race pace rather than be in the pack. However the job is only half done and I'm keeping my feet firmly on the ground and just focusing on having a good race tomorrow. It's great for all the fans at Interlagos who sat through all the rain delays and kept supporting me to have a Brazilian starting from the front tomorrow."
by Mark J. Cipolloni Sebastian Vettel kept his and Red Bull's F1 title hopes alive by winning the Japanese Grand Prix from pole Sunday. Jarno Trulli gave home team Toyota its second runner-up finish in a week by beating Lewis Hamilton's McLaren to second, with the world champion just holding off Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen for third. Press Conference | Quotes
Formula 1 Sebastian Vettel (1st): "What a race! We already had pole position and strategy-wise we were the favorites, but, you know - first of all you have to do the start! We were pretty confident that we could defend our position, as we've had good starts in the past, but it was closer than I thought it would be! Going into Turn 1, I suddenly saw a silver arrow on my left-hand side, but I had the inside line so it was my advantage. After that I put my head down and tried to push with every single lap. The car was fantastic and I was able to create a gap quite quickly. We were two laps longer than Lewis (Hamilton) and a lap longer than Jarno (Trulli) in the first stint, so it all worked out and I was pretty much in control of the race.
Formula 1 Qualifying for the 2009 Japanese grand prix will be remembered for its multitude of crashes, with Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel emerging with pole position. The flu-struck Toyota driver, whose teammate Jarno Trulli qualified on the front row, struck the barriers hard and his head even made contact with the conveyor-belt protection. Press Conference | Quotes
Formula 1 Sebastian Vettel (1st, 1:32.160): "I did my best not to get distracted today; it was a strange session with a lot of incidents. The most important thing is that all the drivers are okay. In qualifying, it's usual that you're looking for the limit, as it's about just one fast lap time, but Turn 9, where the people went off, is quite difficult. If you go too wide on that curb you're basically just a passenger, as you can't get rid of the speed. There's not much run off, so the wall is close and people hit it. For the other cars, sometimes you're lucky and the red flag is called just as you're about to warm up your tires, but sometimes it's called when you've started your flying lap. The car worked fantastically today and we were quickest in Q1, Q2 and Q3.
Formula 1 Defending World Champion Lewis Hamilton (McLaren) won easily from pole position in today's Singapore Grand Prix. Hamilton's job was made a bit easier after pitlane drive-thru penalties demoted his two closest rivals Nico Rosberg and Sebastian Vettel. Timo Glock (Toyota) and Fernando Alonso (Renault) completed the podium with Vettel soldering home in 4th. Press Conference | Quotes
Formula 1 Lewis Hamilton (1st): "This is the perfect end to a fantastic weekend. The race was physically very tough for all the drivers, but it was actually quite straightforward for me. I made a good start and I knew I was running longer than the guys behind me, so I was able to bridge the gap back to them. It was a very nicely controlled race in that way. The team did radio me about a small problem with KERS - but I didn't have a problem in the cockpit and was able to just disable it and then re-engage it. It worked fine after that. We came here hoping for a good result - and I wanted to redeem myself after the last lap in Monza - and we got it!"
Formula 1 Lewis Hamilton won his third pole position of the season in Singapore Saturday night, after a crash by Rubens Barrichello brought the qualifying session to an early end with a red flag. Sebastian Vettel will join Hamilton on the front row while his Brawn title rivals struggled. Mark Webber completes the second row for Red Bull. Press Conference | Quotes
Formula 1 Lewis Hamilton (1st, 1:47.891): "It's an absolutely fantastic result. We came here with several technical upgrades, and we didn't know if we'd be up there - particularly after Friday practice, which wasn't spectacular for me. My pole lap was very relaxed: the car has just got better and better as the track has evolved, and I think I would have gone faster on my final lap if the session hadn't been aborted. I didn't expect to be on pole today, but our pace has been really good. We'll need to see what fuel loads everyone else is running, but I feel quite confident in what we're doing and I'm in the best position for the race tomorrow."
Formula 1 The World Motor Sport Council finds that Renault F1 team members Flavio Briatore, Pat Symonds and Nelson Piquet Jr. conspired to cause a deliberate crash at the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix. The World Motor Sport Council therefore finds Renault F1, which, under article 123 of the International Sporting Code, is responsible for the actions of its employees, in breach of Articles 151(c) and point 2(c) of Chapter IV of Appendix L of the Code, and Articles 3.2, 30.3 and/or 39.1 of the Formula One Sporting Regulations.
Brawn 1-2 in Italian GP Using a 1-stop strategy to their advantage, Rubens Barrichello and Jenson Button finished 1-2 in the Italian GP F1 race at Monza Sunday for a Brawn GP 1-2. Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen gave the tifosi something to cheer about by bringing his Ferrari home 3rd for the final podium position. Press Conference | Quotes
Formula 1 Rubens Barrichello (1st): "Monza has always been a great track for me and it feels just wonderful to win here again. We made some great decisions this weekend and the work that we achieved on Friday was the key to setting up the result today. We had to think strategically in qualifying because of the KERS cars and our one-stop strategy really paid off. I had a great start to get ahead of Heikki and from there I had the pace that we needed to beat the two-stopping cars who started ahead of us. I want to say a huge thank you to everyone at the factory, here at the track and at Mercedes-Benz High Performance Engines in Brixworth for designing, building and developing such a great car and engine. I'm driving a fantastic car with a fantastic Mercedes-Benz engine and the team is doing a fantastic job! It's going to be a good and healthy fight for the championship over the next few races and I'm really looking forward to that."
Formula 1 Lewis Hamilton (1st, 1:24.066): "It was a very close session. The car felt very good, and I was able to really put the lap together. I had a single shot at pole - and that's the most exhilarating and exciting feeling you can have as a racing driver. We didn't anticipate being this quick before the weekend, but I'm now in the best position to make the most of the start and to get out of the first corner cleanly. It's fantastic to have Adrian starting alongside me tomorrow and we both want a clean start and to enjoy the grand prix."
F1 Italian GP Lewis Hamilton has won the pole for the Italian GP at Monza with a last minute run to unseat Adrian Sutil in his Force India. Hamilton's early Q3 time of 1m24.605s had looked to be fast enough until Sutil delivered a stunning 1m24.261s on his final run. That lap put Sutil onto provisional pole, but Hamilton answered with a lap of 1m24.066s to retake first place. Press Conference | Quotes
Formula 1 Adrian Sutil (1st, 1:23.924): "Everything went well today. The car was working perfectly and we can be very happy about the result. It was a very, very good time that came as a result of some good work, a great set-up and getting the tires to work well. We didn't try specifically to go fastest but if you are on top of your game and the car is working well there's no reason why you couldn't be P1 at the end of the session. It was a very productive day on a very cool track and it's good to have some fun right now."
by Mark J. Cipolloni With rumors that his job is on the line, Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen won the Belgium GP Sunday ahead of polesitter Giancarlo Fisichella's Force India. Using the 80-hp advantage of KERS, Raikkonen powered past Fisichella in the early laps and then held the Italian at bay the rest of the way with Fisichella just car lengths from his rear wing. Press Conference | Quotes
Formula 1 Giancarlo Fisichella (2nd): "It's been another great day and it was an amazing result today. Before coming to Spa if you had asked all the team if we would have been happy to finish eighth we would have said it was a fantastic result but second is a dream, just great. Actually if I can be honest I am a little disappointed as I felt we could have won the race. I was unlucky with the safety car when Kimi came past me at the restart and overtook me with the KERS. Actually behind him I was quicker but with the KERS I couldn't get past as it was impossible to be quick on the long straight. But we can't take it away from the fantastic result, both at the track and in the factory to get this result. After yesterday I was pretty confident to score points, it's positive for the championship and for the coming races. A big thank you to everyone."
Formula 1 Giancarlo Fisichella (1st, 1:46.308): "This is one of my favorite circuits, I did well in the past and I was sure we would be competitive again this year. I didn't expect to be on pole though! It feels just great, like a dream. I am so happy for myself, for the team, for the mechanics, the engineers, who have done a fantastic job. They did a great step forward for Valencia for the last race considering our budget and our resources. This morning we had a small accident when I hit a rabbit, but my engineer said it would be lucky and it was ! What a result. I am now not only looking for points, but for more. We've got this far we need to finish the job!"
Formula 1 "Pole position?" said Giancarlo Fisichella, clearly double-checking that he had heard his engineer correctly over the Force India pit-to-car radio system. The Roman veteran, at the head of a confusingly shuffled grid order, stunned the formula one world as he took his Mercedes-powered car to the fastest time in qualifying at Spa-Francorchamps. His Career is at stake and he might be aided by a slightly low fuel load. Press Conference | Quotes
First F1 win since 2004 Rubens Barrichello drove his Mercedes powered Brawn GP to victory in Valencia, Spain Sunday, beating McLaren polesitter Lewis Hamilton. It was the 10th F1 win for Barrichello and his first since China in 2004 when he was with Ferrari. Kimi Raikkonen, driving for his job at Ferrari, was third. Heikki Kovalainen was 4th for McLaren and Nico Rosberg rounded out the top-5 for Williams. Press Conference | Quotes
Formula 1 Rubens Barrichello (1st): "What a fantastic day. I am so delighted with the win after what was a really tough race out there. It's just amazing and a weekend that I will never forget. Even after five years, you don't forget how to win and the feeling is so good! Although we were fuelled heavier than the McLarens, I knew that I would have to push really hard throughout the race. My engineer Jock was great today, he really encouraged me and helped me to maintain the pace, and the team did a fantastic job with two excellent pit stops. I want to thank everyone who has supported me and this victory is dedicated to the whole of Brazil but particularly to my great friend Felipe Massa. I hope he is back racing against me soon."
Formula 1 With McLaren again proving they have improved their car to now being the best in F1 again, Lewis Hamilton took his first pole position of the 2009 season, and the 14th of his career after being a backmarker the first half of the season. Hamilton took the pole with his first attempt in Q3, ahead of his McLaren teammate Heikki Kovalainen. Press Conference | Quotes
Formula 1 Lewis Hamilton (1st, 1:39.498): "I'm really happy with the balance - the car feels great, particularly in the slower corners. After winning in Hungary, we came here not knowing if the others would have closed the gap: clearly, we're still competitive. We haven't seen this level of performance for a long time: last year, I was able to do only one run in easy qualifying session but, this year, we've had to use every second of the sessions to get through. I managed a couple of very good laps today, so we'll start the race from a very competitive position - but a lot will depend on strategy and how the start goes. Congratulations to Heikki, he did a fantastic job - it's been very close between us all weekend, so this is great to see. We've got the front row to ourselves - and that's something we've all wanted for a very long time."
Slams Briatore Nelson Piquet Jr. has released the following statement to make excuses why he was not able to perform at the same level as his Renault F1 teammate Fernando Alonso. He has received notice from the Renault F1 team of its intention to stop him from driving for them in the current F1 season. Piquet says he is happy to end the worst period of his career, and happy that he can now move on and put his career back on the right track and try to repair his reputation.
Formula 1 The BMW Group will not continue its Formula One campaign after the end of the 2009 season. Resources freed up as a result are to be dedicated to the development of new drive technologies and projects in the field of sustainability. BMW will continue to be actively involved in other motor sports series. The landmark decision to restructure BMW Motorsport’s activities was made at the Board of Management’s meeting yesterday.
by Mark J. Cipolloni On what can only be described as a bizarre Grand Prix weekend that saw wheels and a spring falling off cars, and one driver (Felipe Massa) seriously injured in a freakish accident, Lewis Hamilton claimed the first victory of 2009 in the Hungarian Grand Prix. Ferrari took second place with Kimi Raikkonen while his teammate Massa is still in the hospital in a induced coma. Quotes | Press Conf.
Formula 1 Lewis Hamilton (1st): "It's an incredible feeling to be back on the top spot after what feels like such a long time and such a struggle. This was one of my best races - I never gave up and, more importantly, neither did anyone in this team. I'm so proud of all the guys. We didn't expect to win today - we didn't think we quite had the overall pace - but the car was just perfect to drive, it felt fantastic for the entire race. We need to take as much as we can from this weekend. We'll continue to push because that's the only way this team knows. Now we want to be winners on a regular basis. Finally, my thoughts are with Felipe today. Despite our celebrations, it's important to remember that there's a guy lying in a hospital bed tonight, and I think I speak on behalf of everyone when I say that we all had Felipe in our hearts and minds today and we wish him a speedy recovery."
Hungary GP: Alonso on pole after Q3 timing confusion
Renault cars start 1-2-3 Fernando Alonso is the surprise pole sitter for the Hungarian grand prix following a bizarre qualifying session near Budapest. Confusion reigned in parc ferme in the wake of the session, as the circuit's timing system had failed in the decisive moments of Q3. It was some time before the Renault driver's top spot was confirmed, ahead of the two Red Bulls led by Sebastian Vettel. Press Conference
Franz Tost and Giorgio Ascanelli discuss team upgrades
Toro Rosso F1 team Scuderia Toro Rosso will tackle the final eight races of the season with a new technical upgrade package and one new driver – you will have to wait a few more days to find out who he is. Team Principal Franz Tost and Technical Director Giorgio Ascanelli answer the obvious questions.
Formula 1 My Father has been incredible, particularly in the early days, because when you are very young, in your early teens, you can’t make all the big decisions for yourself and you need support. Dad was always very much a single-seater man and, as he said, “I wouldn’t like you to race taxis and I think the best racing car drivers in the world are in single-seaters,” so that was always the path we followed. I think back to how incredibly balanced he was with me, when I was out of the car, in terms of the total lack of pressure he put on me to go and do my best.
F1 Mark Webber (1st): "It's an incredible day. I wanted to win so badly after Silverstone, as I thought I had a good chance there, then after yesterday's pole I knew I was in a good position to try and win the race today. The only thing that I thought was going to test me was the rain, but even that held off. It was testing to get the victory today, I lost Rubens completely at the start; I thought he was gone a little bit to the left so I went to the right and banged into him. That's not normally my style and I got a drive-through penalty for that, so had to recover. My engineer kept me calm and I pushed as hard as I could when I needed to, so it's a great day.
by Mark J. Cipolloni Despite a drive-through penalty for a first lap infraction, Mark Webber put the bit between his teeth and turned some of the fastest laps of the race to win his first ever Formula 1 race comfortably over his Red Bull teammate Sebastian Vettel at the Nurburgring in Germany. Felipe Massa finished 3rd to complete the podium. Press Conference | Quotes
F1 Mark Webber (1st, 1:32.230): "This is a very special day for me. I've been close to getting pole a few times in the past. Today we're here and the team has done a great job. We've been quick all weekend and all the teams and drivers got really tested in that session. It was very, very chaotic and to deliver the lap time when it absolutely counted was very important to me. Getting the best time is fantastic.
by Mark J. Cipolloni Red Bull driver Mark Webber has won his first ever F1 pole today in Germany. In a qualifying session spoiled by intermittent rain showers, Webber turned a lap of 1m32.230s to top Rubens Barrichello's 1m32.357s time in his Brawn. Press Conference | Quotes
by Mark J. Cipolloni Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel dominated today's British GP from start to finish at what might be the final F1 race at Silverstone. Vettel pulled away at a rate of over 1 second per lap and came out of his first pitstop with a massive 22 second lead. From there he backed off into cruise mode and at the finish was 15.1 seconds up on his teammate Mark Webber for a Red Bull 1-2. Rubens Barrichello was 3rd for Brawn. Press Conference | Quotes
Formula 1 Sebastian Vettel (1st): "This is such a fantastic circuit. I think all the drivers enjoy it with its fast corners, it's a dream really - so to stay focused and keep your eyes open all the time during the race is not easy! The way the team has brought the car to where it is now is fantastic - and we've proven it's a step in the right direction, so I'm very pleased. I also want to thank Silverstone. I enjoyed this race so much - when I looked in the grandstands everyone was standing up and clapping and when I took the chequered flag the atmosphere was so great. This is what I was dreaming of when I watched British grands prix when I was younger when Mansell was driving. It's almost unreal now to think that I'm here and I've made it. I've won this grand prix and I'm very happy."
by Mark J. Cipolloni Formula One's fastest driver, Sebastian Vettel, put his Red Bull on pole for the 2nd straight race. Vettel, fastest in both Q2 and Q3, manhandled his Adrian Newey creation around the flat Silverstone circuit. Rubens Barrichello was 2nd in his Brawn ahead of Vettel's teammate Mark Webber. Championship leader Jenson Button was only sixth, behind Toyota's Jarno Trulli and Williams’ Kazuki Nakajima.
Formula 1 Titled "The FIA and FOTA," here is the full statement issued on Tuesday by the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile as it divulges its detailed side of the story while the situation between F1's governing body and the Formula One Teams Association continues to deteriorate. If an agreement is not reached by Friday June 19th, FOTA members Renault, Ferrari, McLaren, Red Bull, Toro Rosso, Toyota, BMW and Brawn will be removed from the 2010 championship entry list and replaced by new teams having accepted FIA President Max Mosley's budget-cap plan.
F1 Jenson Button, Brawn-Mercedes (1st, 1:26:24.848): “I wish I could have had the whole team up there on the podium with me today! This was definitely a victory for us all, everyone at the track, back at the factory in Brackley and at Mercedes-Benz High Performance Engines in Brixworth. Today we really showed what this car and engine can do and to beat our closest competitors fair and square is a great feeling. I had a good start from the dirty side of the grid and it was really important to maintain second position into the first corner. I took my opportunity on the first lap when Sebastian went wide and from there we controlled the race. Once we knew that Sebastian was going for a three-stop strategy, we filled the car up at my first stop and I just tried to be as consistent as possible to keep him behind me. It's not nice to see a car catching you so quickly, even when you know he is on low fuel, but once he pitted I was able to push harder. I had a smile on my face for pretty much every lap today, the car felt that good, and I was able to back off in the last stint to conserve the engine. This is the first time that the car has been absolutely perfect for me and it means so much to the team to see just how good this car is. To go to Silverstone for our home race leading the Championships is a wonderful feeling but we know that we have to keep pushing to maintain our advantage.”
Formula 1 Jenson Button's charge to the 2009 world championship continued in style on Sunday, as pretenders Sebastian Vettel and Rubens Barrichello mounted flawed challenges at Istanbul. The Brawn driver's advantage over Sebastian Vettel, who by some is considered the Briton's most likely challenger for the crown, blew out to more than double the Red Bull racer's points tally of 29. Press Conference | Quotes
Famous name returns to its roots It is the news that millions of fans across the globe have waited 15 years to hear – the prospect that the familiar British racing green and gold marque of Team Lotus may be back on the F1 world championship grid in 2010. This announcement will come as a surprise to those who have dreamt, but dared not believe, that the iconic Team Lotus name would once again appear in F1.
by Mark J. Cipolloni Fastest in all three qualifying sessions, F1's best driver, Sebastian Vettel, put his Red Bull Renault on pole for the Turkish GP ahead of the season dominating Brawn Mercedes cars of Jenson Button and Rubens Barrichello. Vettel's Red Bull teammate Mark Webber will start 4th Sunday and Jarno Trulli rounds out the top 5 in his Toyota. Quotes | Press Conference
Formula 1 Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull-Renault (1st, 1:28.316): “We have a good car here and a good chance for the race. I expected to face more difficulties in qualifying today, I mean it wasn't easy, but we made it to pole. We now have the best position to start from and it's definitely an advantage to be on the clean side of the track in terms of grip level. This is just the half-way point though, the main task comes tomorrow. It's a long race here, very tough and very hot so it won't be easy for the cars or the drivers – but it should be exciting. I'm looking forward to it.”
by Mark J. Cipolloni Starting from his pole position, Jenson Button easily won the Monaco Grand Prix today, 7.6 seconds ahead of his Brawn-Mercedes teammate Rubens Barrichello for a one-two finish for Brawn GP. Kimi Raikkonen was third for Ferrari, 13.4 seconds behind the leader, followed by his teammate Felipe Massa in fourth, some 15.1 seconds behind. The win is Button's fifth of sixth races in the season so far.
by Mark J. Cipolloni Formula 1 points leader Jenson Button put his Brawn GP car on pole position for Sunday's Monaco Grand Prix. But the real surprise of the session was the strong form of Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen, who shares the Principality's crucial front row of the grid with the dominant Brawn runner. Button's teammate Rubens Barrichello will line up 3rd ahead of Sebastian Vettel's Red Bull entry. Felipe Massa will start 5th for Ferrari. Quotes | Press Conference
Formula 1 Jenson Button, Brawn-Mercedes (1st, 1:14.902): “It's so important to qualify well in Monaco and I am really happy to have achieved pole position here today. It means a lot to me, they all do, but this one is so important for the race tomorrow. It was definitely a lap to remember and I was really on the edge the whole way round! It was a real fight today and I thought that Rubens would have the upper hand in qualifying as he has been so strong all weekend. I struggled on Thursday to find a good balance and we had a few issues that needed to be worked on, however we made some changes since then. I really have to thank everyone at the factory in Brackley and at Mercedes-Benz for producing such a strong and responsive car which allows us to make progress quickly. It's not going to be easy in the race tomorrow as Monaco is just so unpredictable but starting from pole is without doubt the best position be in.”
Formula 1 N. Rosberg - Williams Toyota FW31 “We had a difficult start to the weekend and I really didn’t feel comfortable in the car because of a simple lack of grip to begin with. So we made plenty of set-up changes and we found a significant improvement. By the end of P2, I was much happier and I would say there is more in the car as I had traffic and never really had a clean lap. We also suffered no problems or damage to the car which is a constant issue in Monaco. And let me say, it is great to drive on this track.”
Formula 1 Jenson Button, Brawn-Mercedes (1st, 1:37:19.202): “We thought that three-stops would be the quicker strategy here and that was what we fuelled for in Q3 yesterday. I had a good start from pole but Rubens had an absolute flier and I couldn't hold him off. Having lost the lead and with the prospect of being caught behind Rosberg, we made the decision to switch to a two-stop strategy. The car felt so heavy with the fuel on board after my first stop but I worked really hard on my final two stints to make the strategy work for me. To come away with the win is a little unexpected but it means so much to continue our run of success. Obviously Rubens is disappointed not to have got the win today and he has been a huge help over the weekend in helping me overcome the issues that I faced on Friday. His turn will certainly come. There's a great feeling within our team and I am very proud of them for producing such a great car. A special thanks to all the guys back at the factory in Brackley and to Norbert Haug and Mercedes-Benz High Performance Engines. They supported our team through the difficult times and we couldn't have achieved this without them.”
by Mark J. Cipolloni Jenson Button can hardly believe how well his career has turned around now that F1 genius Ross Brawn has taken over from floundering Honda. Button won Sunday's Spanish GP at Barcelona leading home his teammate Rubens Barrichello in another Brawn GP 1-2. It was Button's 4th win in the first 5 races of the 2009 season and he is well on way to his first F1 title. Press Conference | Quotes
Formula 1 Jenson BUTTON: It could have gone very, very wrong. We timed it quite well I think. But then I had (Robert) Kubica who I thought was on an out lap and I had to let him past when he caught me up. The guys said you have got four seconds in the last sector. Four seconds is slower than a proper lap time to get across the finish line, so I had to get a gap as I didn't know if he was going to continue and I only got across the line with a couple of seconds to spare.
Formula 1 Jenson Button took pole position for the Spanish Grand Prix in dramatic style. 2nd behind his Brawn GP teammate at the time, he crossed the line to start his final flying lap just two seconds before the checkered flag came out. At that point his Brawn teammate Rubens Barrichello was on pole, but he was bumped from that position by the Red Bull of Sebastian Vettel and then Button took it away. Press Conference
Formula 1 Nico Rosberg (1st, 1:21.588): "Today was our first run with the new aero components on the car and they all seemed to work well. They're giving us a few tenths extra per lap so we've made definite progress. Everyone has brought new developments here though so we will see how things look in qualifying. We also ran some tire compares today. It's not obvious which direction will be the right one, so strategy is going to be very important and will have a major impact on the race."
by Mark J. Cipolloni Jenson Button claimed his third win in four races in winning Sunday's Bahrain Grand Prix. Fastest of the non-double diffuser cars was Sebastian Vettel in second for Red Bull, with pole-sitter Jarno Trulli (Toyota) third and Lewis Hamilton taking fourth for McLaren. Vettel lost the race due to his inability to pass Hamilton's slower McLaren early on. Quotes | Press Conference
Formula 1 Jenson Button, Brawn-Mercedes (1st, 1:31:48.182): “It was a great race today and I'm so happy to have seen the checkered flag without a safety car or red light in front of me! To achieve my third victory of the season is amazing and we are going back to Europe with a strong lead in both championships. I couldn't wish for anything more. It has been a tough weekend for the team which makes this win even more rewarding as we didn't have the pace that we expected. I was really happy with my first lap. I knew that I had to overtake Sebastian quickly and got him round the outside on turn one. I had a couple of attempts at Lewis round the first lap and almost got him at the last corner.
by Mark J. Cipolloni Jarno Trulli and Timo Glock qualified their Toyotas 1-2 for Sunday's Bahrain GP. It was the first time ever that both Toyotas locked out the front row for an F1 race. Sebastian Vettel was 3rd fastest in his Red Bull ahead of Jenson Button's Brawn, Lewis Hamilton's McLaren and Ruben Barrichello's Brawn. Sebastien Bourdais was dead last again as his F1 days appear numbered. Quotes | Press Conference
Formula 1 Pascal Vasselon, Toyota (Senior General Manager Chassis): “We're obviously delighted with today's result. We have been competitive throughout the weekend so we were targeting pole and things went as expected - though the gap to the cars behind us is a bit bigger than we anticipated. Both drivers did a great job and from the very first lap in Q1 we could see the pace was there so we just had to manage it over the sessions. Tomorrow's race will be very interesting because the tire situation generates huge differences between the two specs and it opens windows for very different strategies.
Formula 1 The FIA released the full reasons behind the verdict in the appeal against the diffuser designs of Brawn GP, Toyota and Williams. The Paris hearing which took place last week saw the protest lodged by Renault, Ferrari, Red Bull and BMW Sauber rejected. The parties presented oral arguments at the hearing, and answered questions put to them by the parties and by the Court.
Formula 1's best driver, Vettel, wins again Red Bull Racing recorded an historic first grand prix win in Chinese rain on Sunday, Sebastian Vettel leading home teammate Mark Webber for a dominant one-two. "It's my second win in the wet," said German youngster Vettel, recalling his first win from pole for junior team Toro Rosso at Monza last year. "I don't think I will mind if we have some more rain!" 45 seconds down the road, Brawn's Jenson Button completed the podium, but he retains his championship lead, 6 points ahead of Rubens Barrichello, who finished behind the sister car in Shanghai. Press Conference | Quotes
Formula 1 Sebastian Vettel (1st):“It's unbelievable – I'm so, so happy. Ten laps from the end I tried to control the gap between me and the car behind and adapt my pace. I was trying to have everything under control, but it was difficult. At some points I was trying to bring the car home, but that meant I lost focus, so then I just tried to take it corner by corner, not looking too far ahead. On the last two laps I backed off a bit, as I didn't want to risk aquaplaning on the water at the side of the track. And then... well it's just fantastic. Winning my second race, one with Toro Rosso and one with Red Bull, makes me extremely happy and I hope we can continue working in this direction! I'm extremely proud and happy. I'm so happy to have won the race, it was an enormous and great job by the whole of Red Bull. I want to say a massive thank you to them all, everyone has worked so hard, so thanks to the team and also to Red Bull. Greetings to Austria!”
Vettel wins Red Bull's first ever pole Most admit he is F1's most talented driver and he proved it again on Saturday in Shanghai. Sebastian Vettel secured Red Bull's first ever pole position in qualifying for the Chinese grand prix. A jubilant Vettel, who last year captured sister team Toro Rosso's debut pole and win at Monza, played it cool with very few laps throughout the session to beat Fernando Alonso to the front row and lead a Renault 1-2-3 on the grid. Press Conference | Quotes
Formula 1 Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull Racing)- 1st: I’m very, very happy - it’s unbelievable. It was a bit last minute! I only had one run in each qualifying session but, as you can see, you don’t need more! It wasn’t easy, we had a problem with the car and had to run as little as possible. The car was really quick though, Mark had two runs in each session and was always up there, so I didn’t have any concerns. Still, if you have only one lap, you can’t make any mistakes.
by Mark J. Cipolloni Brawn GP's Jenson Button and Rubens Barrichello look set to repeat their performance in the first to F1 races of the year this weekend in Shanghai. Button finished Friday on top of the timesheets and Rubens in third position just two-tenths behind. Proving F1 is 95% car, after topping the morning timesheets, Lewis Hamilton's 2009 form slipped to thirteenth place, a couple of tenths off the pace of his McLaren teammate Heikki Kovalainen, and more than a second away from Jenson Button's best. Quotes | Press Conference
Formula 1 Jenson Button, Brawn-Mercedes (1:35.679, 1st): “The balance of the car really improved over the last couple of runs today after we had been struggling a little to find the right set-up early on. We completed a great deal of work with the two very different tire compounds to establish what condition they would be in after longer runs. There seemed to be a lot of traffic on track today so my main concern was finding some clear air. It was a useful first day of running but we still have some work to do tomorrow to be happy with the balance for qualifying.”
McLaren restructures to create independent auto co.
F1 At a press conference held this morning at the McLaren Technology Centre in Woking, Surrey (UK), McLaren Group Chairman Ron Dennis announced a major restructuring of the McLaren Group. McLaren has for more than two years been engaged in a program to develop a range of pure McLaren sports cars that will build on the great successes of the McLaren F1 and Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren.
Formula 1 Jenson Button, Brawn-Mercedes (1st):“What a crazy race! It was really exciting out there and I'm delighted that we came out on top today. I didn't have the best of starts and was surprised at the lack of grip on my side of the grid. I went in deep at turn one and got a big snap of oversteer which dropped me to fourth but I was able to get past Alonso at the end of lap one and overtake Trulli and Rosberg at the first pit stops. I was happy with the car and our pace was good but the weather really threw the race wide open. Choosing the tires was difficult but we made the right calls at the right time, particularly when it started raining so hard and so quickly. I have to say a massive thank you to my engineer Andrew Shovlin who was on the podium with me today and the whole team for their work on the strategy and in the pits. Last weekend we said that we had a fairytale start to the season and I am so proud that has continued here.”
by Mark J. Cipolloni Jenson Button won his second straight victory for Brawn GP in the Malaysian Grand Prix, a race that had to be red-flagged just after half-distance due to heavy thunderstorms. The race was never restarted as the 2-hour clock ticked away. Note: Results revised as Timo Glock was moved to 3rd and Nick Heidfeld to second as they go back to the last completed lap. Quotes | Press Conference
Formula 1 Jenson Button, Brawn-Mercedes (1:35.181, 1st):“Achieving pole position today in Malaysia is possibly even more special than last week in Australia. It's not easy to get one pole but two successive poles is just fantastic and it's a first for me in my Formula One career. It's a great feeling and proves that our car works well on different types of circuit. We were really struggling with the balance yesterday and I had a lot of rear locking however we made some changes to the car overnight which really improved it for today and it felt really good throughout qualifying. It's a big turnaround and I have to say thank you to the team for their hard work in such tough conditions. They did a fantastic job. We are hoping that the rain stays away tomorrow but you just never know at this circuit and we will be working hard tonight to make sure we are prepared for all eventualities.”
by Mark J. Cipolloni Jenson Button put his Brawn Mercedes on pole for the 2nd straight F1 race in Sepang, Malaysia Saturday. His time of 1m35.181s was just faster than Jarno Trulli's Toyota who clocked in at 1m35.273s. F1's best driver by far in the best car, Sebastian Vettel, put his Red Bull third on the time sheets at 1m35.518s, but will start 10 grid positions down to P13 due to his penalty in Australia. Rubens Barrichello (Brawn) and Timo Glock (Toyota) rounded out the top-5. Quotes | Press Conference
by Scott Morris "When life hands you lemons, make lemonade!" It’s a cliché, but I am not sure what else would more fittingly describe Lewis Hamilton's drive in the Australian Grand Prix. The McLaren team started out the season in lackluster pace, causing many to raise a brow of suspicion and levy accusations of "sandbagging." However, qualifying for the Australian Grand Prix pretty much eliminated any speculation of "sandbagging" as the 2008 World Champion qualified 18th, and was relegated to dead last after a gearbox swap.
by Mark J. Cipolloni Ross Brawn is a brilliant designer. After so many winning years at Ferrari that brought Michael Schumacher 7 world titles, Jenson Button has won the Australian Grand Prix, leading home his teammate Rubens Barrichello in a Brawn GP 1-2 on their F1 debut. Third place went to Lewis Hamilton after Jarno Trulli was penalized. Quotes | Press Conference
F1 Jenson Button (1st): "What an amazing day! This is just a fairytale ending to the first race of our career together at Brawn GP. It may have looked like an easy victory but it really wasn't easy at all out there today but we brought the car home and that's all that matters. This win is for me, my family and my team. It's been a traumatic few months and I want to say a massive thank you to them all for being so strong and never losing belief. This weekend we have achieved everything that we deserve for all of our hard work over the past few months. And what's so exciting is that there is so much more to come from myself and from this team. I can't wait to get to Malaysia!"
Australian GP in Melbourne As many have predicted from preseason testing, Brawn GP have locked out the front row for the F1 season opener in Melbourne, Australia. Jenson Button turned the fastest lap in both Q2 and Q3 to take pole position ahead of teammate Rubens Barrichello. Robert Kubica will start 3rd in his BMW. Quotes | Press Conference
F1 in Mebourne Jenson Button "To put the car on pole at our debut race is a fantastic achievement and I have to give so much credit to Ross, Nick and everyone at the factory in Brackley. The last four months have been incredibly tough for the team and to go from a situation where you don't even know if you are going to be racing to achieving pole at the first race of the season is just incredible. Tomorrow is obviously the most important day of the weekend and there is a lot of work to be achieved to come away with a successful result however we have to remember where we have been and really enjoy this moment."
Australian GP: Illegal diffuser cars dominate Friday
F1 at Albert Park in Melbourne The shadows of the early evening grew longer as Melbourne prepared for its 'twilight race' debut, leaving observers wondering if Williams has returned to top form, after Nico Rosberg headed the times in both 90 minute sessions. His teammate Kazuki Nakajima was also quick, but so too were the other runners (Brawn and Toyota) who are accused of using dubious rear diffusers. Quotes | Press Conference
F1 at Albert Park in Melbourne The shadows of the early evening grew longer as Melbourne prepared for its 'twilight race' debut, leaving observers wondering if Williams has returned to top form, after Nico Rosberg headed the times in both 90 minute sessions. His teammate Kazuki Nakajima was also quick, but so too were the other runners (Brawn and Toyota) who are accused of using dubious rear diffusers.
by William Tucker In a follow-up to a series of articles on AutoRacing1.com about how the way to pollution-free energy independence is through electric cars that derive their battery recharge from power supplied by nuclear power plants, comes an article titled "There is no such thing as nuclear waste" by William Tucker, who is also the author of "Terrestrial Energy: How Nuclear Power Will Lead the Green Revolution and End America's Long Energy Odyssey." As Mr. Tucker explains, almost 100% of nuclear waste is reusable, as the French have proved.
Formula 1 The final day of testing of the BMW Sauber F1 Team for the 2009 season has now passed. After taking the F1.09 for its maiden outing in Valencia on January 20th, Robert Kubica tested the car in Bahrain, Jerez and Barcelona. Those who know the Pole would not expect him to be happy with every aspect of preparations for the forthcoming season; for Robert this would be tantamount to lethargy. After all, why only be good when you can be better?
Called STR4 Toro Rosso became the final team to unveil its 2009 car at Barcelona on Monday morning, revealing its challenger to the public for the first time in the Circuit de Catalunya pit lane. Scuderia Toro Rosso tackles its fourth season in Formula One with a lot to live up to, having finished sixth in the 2008 Constructors’ Championship.
New F1 team owner Ross Brawn introduced his new F1 team yesterday and provided these answers to questions about the team he purchased from Honda. Testing is underway today and he talks about his expectations given the late start they are getting.
F1 Teams Association (FOTA) The Formula One Teams Association (FOTA) today outlined its roadmap for Formula One at a press conference at which senior management figures from all 10 current Formula One teams shared the stage together. Setting out its proposed agenda for the evolution of the sport, FOTA unveiled a dynamic package of unanimously agreed proposals which, pending the approval of the FIA, will take effect in 2009 and/or 2010.
Formula 1 The Force India Formula One Team's 2009 challenger, the VJM02, will make its track debut today at the Circuit de Jerez, southern Spain, with Giancarlo Fisichella at the wheel. The VJM02 represents a radical departure from the design ethos of its predecessor, the VJM01. This year's contender incorporates a Mercedes-Benz V8 engine and McLaren gearbox. Technical | Drivers | Dr. Vijay Mallya
Force India Debut Force India is now entering its second year in the championship. How do you intend to build on the first season? When we started as Force India at the beginning of the 2008 season we were quite pleased with the progress we made, we were midfield until we got to Europe. We showed some early gains and I was encouraged by the progress, but then in comparison to other teams I think it's fair to say that we flattened out.
Force India launch Mark Smith, design director Design director Mark re-joined Force India in November 2007 to lead design and production of the team's current challenger the VJM02. Mark takes responsibility for the day to day running of the Design Office and Research and Development.
by Pete McCole Looking to bring America back into prominence in Formula One, the new USF1 team announced their plans to field an entry in the 2010, with the team based out of the heart of stock car country in Charlotte, N.C. Team principal Ken Anderson, a former team engineer for the Williams F1 team and developer of the Windshear wind tunnel in Concord, N.C., announced his plans alongside former F1 team manager and SPEED TV commentator Peter Windsor, who will serve as sporting director for the new racing venture.
Formula 1 The transcript from today’s exclusive press announcement on SPEED™ for the newly formed USF1 program to be based in Charlotte, NC and on the track for the 2010 FIA Formula One World Championship racing season. Participating were host Bob Varsha, team principals Ken Anderson and Peter Windsor and American racing icons Mario Andretti and Dan Gurney.
by Mark J. Cipolloni At 9.30am, in a chilly Jerez pit lane the covers finally came off the new Adrian Newey designed Red Bull RB5 F1 car. The waiting press, television and photographers were given their first glimpse of Newey’s latest design when Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel (in wooly hat) removed the blue drape to reveal Red Bull Racing’s challenger for 2009.
Formula 1 Launch The BMW Sauber F1 Team raised the curtain on its 2009 season in Formula One in Valencia this morning. Robert Kubica (24) and Nick Heidfeld (31) unveiled the new BMW Sauber F1.09 shortly after nine o'clock. Kubica then took the car for its first lap of the southern Spanish circuit. The team goes into its fourth season with the ambitious aim of fighting for the World Championship title.
Formula 1 Launch Williams unveiled their new 2009 car, the FW31, at the Algarve circuit in Portugal on Monday. Sporting their winter test livery, the new car features the expected low, long front wing and short, high rear wing in keeping with this year's F1 regulations.
Formula 1 launch Renault's R29, and its slightly changed livery, were presented to the world at the Algarve circuit on Monday morning. Given today's world recession, the team opted for a low-key launch at the track where the team will be testing later this week.
Formula 1 With an unprecedented series of rule changes introduced ahead of the 2009 season, the new Vodafone McLaren Mercedes MP4-24 represents a significant departure from its world championship-winning predecessor. Incorporating new bodywork regulations and the much-heralded return of slick tires, the team’s new challenger not only looks radical but also incorporates a host of new innovative features under the skin, such as a sophisticated kinetic energy recovery system (KERS).
Formula 1 TF109 – or Toyota Formula 1 2009 to give it its full name – is hot property. The first images revealed a stunning production which combines the latest technology with a very human passion to succeed. This potent combination has been working on TF109 since October 2007. In a departure from recent Panasonic Toyota Racing productions, TF109 takes on a new shape, dictated by the FIA, with wider front wings, narrower rear wings and fewer additional aerodynamic devices the fashion for 2009.
Panasonic Toyota Racing starts '09 with world premiere
Formula 1 Panasonic Toyota Racing officially began the 2009 Formula 1 season in cyberspace today with the world premiere of the team’s latest car, the TF109. The team’s eighth season in Formula 1 sees major rule changes so the TF109 looked considerably different to its predecessor, featuring wider front wings and narrower rear wings among other modifications.
Stefano Domenicali - The season and the Ferrari drivers
Ferrari At today's news conference on the occasion of Wrooom 2009, the Formula 1 and MotoGP Press Ski Meeting in Madonna di Campiglio, Ferrari's Stefano Domenicali spoke about his forecast for the upcoming season and how this year will be a particular one in the history of Formula 1, with major changes as far as the regulations are concerned and that it will be very important to keep the goals in sight in such a fast changing environment.
At Mugello in Italy The F60 is the fifty fifth single-seater built by Ferrari specifically to compete in the Formula 1 World Championship. The name of the car was chosen to celebrate the Scuderia's participation in all 60 editions of the Formula 1 World Championship since 1950 to date. The project, which goes by the internal code name of 660, represents the Scuderia's interpretation of the regulations that come into force this year, which include very many new elements.
Formula 1 The Flybrid Kinetic Energy Recovery System (KERS) is a very small and light device that meets the FIA regulations for the 2009 season. The layout of the device is tailored exactly to meet the customer's requirement resulting in a truly bespoke solution that fits within the tight packaging constraints of a F1 car. Their system was on display at the Autosport International show.
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