Congratulates Vettel, says F1 needs change The Formula 1 year just ended has, to put it diplomatically, thrown up several topics for discussion and Ferrari President Luca di Montezemolo did not let the opportunity pass to remark on them, without however wishing to beat any political drum. “Let’s start with this, let’s congratulate Red Bull and Vettel, who had an amazing car and is a great driver,” said Montezemolo. “If for whatever reason, Alonso was to retire, then I’d like Vettel, a driver who has his feet on the ground and a great will to win. It was Schumacher who pointed him out to me a few years ago, as he knew him from the time when Sebastian was still racing karts.
2012 F1 World Champion Q: You've broken all sorts of records by becoming a three time consecutive World Champion; what does it mean to you? Vettel: It's difficult to find the right words. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think there are only two guys who have done that before. Obviously you need to be in the right place at the right time but I also believe that you can create your own luck and work for what is coming up.
Button wins wild Brazilian GP, Vettel 3rd straight title
by Mark J. Cipolloni In a race thrown wide open by off-and-on showers and than all-out rain, McLaren's Jenson Button beat Ferrari's Fernando Alonso by over 20 seconds, but Sebastian Vettel came from last to sixth and scored enough points to win his third straight F1 title. Vettel was spun out by moving chicane Bruno Senna on lap 2 and, with his car damaged, had to claw his way back from last in horrible track conditions to win the title over Alonso by just three points for himself and Red Bull Renault Racing.
Hamilton tops Button Without a doubt McLaren has the best car in F1 right now and Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button proved that all weekend at Interlagos. Hamilton took pole with a time of 1m12.458s, ahead of McLaren teammate Button. The slower Red Bull's occupy row 2 with Mark Webber third and points leader Sebastian Vettel fourth. Felipe Massa is fifth in the leading Ferrari, but his teammate Fernando Alonso will start back in 8th.
Formula 1 After nine months the 2012 FIA Formula One World Championship will finally reach its scintillating conclusion at the Brazilian Grand Prix. With the constructors’ title already secured by Red Bull Racing-Renault, the drivers’ crown will be decided this race between Red Bull Racing’s Sebastian Vettel and Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso. The final race of the year will be held at the 4.309km Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace in Brazil’s largest city, Sao Paulo.
by Mark J. Cipolloni Before 120,000 sun drenched fans in Austin, Texas, polesitter Sebastian Vettel and McLaren's Lewis Hamilton ran off and hid from the rest of the field Sunday on the return of the Formula 1 series to the United States. Hamilton used his DRS to pass Vettel on lap 42 of 56 and then held off the defending World Champion by over 1-second for the win at the new Circuit of Americas.
by Mark J. Cipolloni Sebastian Vettel claimed pole position for tomorrow's United States Grand Prix with a lap of 1m35.657s in his Red Bull-Renault to beat Lewis Hamilton's best time of 1m35.766s for McLaren. Mark Webber will start 3rd in the second Red Bull. It's Vettel's sixth pole of the year and critical for his title hopes because his closest opponent, Ferrari's Fernando Alonso, could do no better than 9th on Saturday.
Formula 1 Sebastian Vettel (1st, 1:37.718): "It was slippery this morning and a bit like driving on ice. It wasn't so easy, but we managed to get into a rhythm. We had a bit of a problem this afternoon and so couldn't run as much as we wanted, but we got two good runs which is important for tomorrow and Sunday. I think there were a couple of surprises today in terms of pace, so we'll see tomorrow. The track will constantly improve – it's good that we are amongst the guys at the top, now we'll try to improve the car to make sure we stay there."
by Mark J. Cipolloni Lotus' Kimi Raikkonen held off Fernando Alonso to win the Abu Dhabi GP as Sebastian Vettel came through from last place to finish third, a sensational drive. Jenson Button was 4th for McLaren while polesitter Lewis Hamilton retired when his car failed him. Pastor Maldonado was 5th for Williams, followed by Kobayashi and Massa. It was the first win for the 2007 Champion since returning from F1 retirement.
Vettel 3rd, Alonso 7th McLaren's Lewis Hamilton handily won the pole position for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix over the Red Bulls of Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel. McLaren driver Hamilton led Q1 and Q2, then produced a 1m40.630s early in Q3 to ensure pole. Webber's 1m40.978s pushed Vettel off the front row. Pastor Maldonado grabbed an impressive fourth on the grid for Williams while Kimi Raikkonen rounded out the top-5 for Lotus.
Wins 4th straight to widen point lead Sebastian Vettel led every lap in his Red Bull Renault to win the Indian GP from pole, his fourth straight F1 win. He widened his point lead over Ferrari's Fernando Alonso to 13 points who finished second on Sunday. Mark Webber was third in the second Red Bull with the McLarens of Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button rounding out the top-5.
by Mark J. Cipolloni Sebastian Vettel continued his recent dominance of the F1 field by topping every practice session for the Indian GP and then winning the pole position by only turning a single lap in final qualifying and then watching from pit lane as driver after driver tried in vain to beat his time. Of course they were not good enough to do that and Vettel had his 35th pole position of his young career, third on the all-time list already.
with ‘First Lap Ceremony’ Circuit of The Americas today began the final countdown to the 2012 FORMULA 1 UNITED STATES GRAND PRIX by officially christening its new, Grade 1 racing surface with a “First Lap Ceremony,” featuring a collection of celebrity drivers, local dignitaries and VIP clients, and a sampling of the types of race cars that will compete at the Circuit during the 2013 motorsports season. The invitation-only event was presented by Pirelli, the exclusive tire provider for Formula 1 racing, and featured members of the Lotus F1 Team.
Vettel wins third straight in Korea, takes point lead
by Mark J. Cipolloni Sebastian Vettel cruised to his third race win in a row today at the Korean Grand Prix, 8.2 seconds ahead of his Red Bull-Renault team mate Mark Webber in second place. Fernando Alonso was third in his Ferrari, 13.9 seconds behind. Felipe Massa was fourth behind his Ferrari teammate. Kimi Raikkonen in the Lotus-Renault was fifth. With Vettel's third consecutive grand prix win on Sunday, a visibly disappointed Fernando Alonso has in Korea finally lost his long-standing championship lead. Red Bull's German is now 6 points ahead of Spaniard Alonso with just four races still to run.
by Mark J. Cipolloni Mark Webber beat Red Bull teammate Sebastian Vettel to Korean Grand Prix pole position with a stunning last lap. Vettel went fastest in Q1 and Q2, and was 3/10ths faster than anyone else in Q3 after first runs. But then Webber found a half-second to set a 1m37.242s. Vettel, slowed by moving chicane Felipe Massa, came up short by 0.074s. Lewis Hamilton's McLaren will start third with Fernando Alonso Ferrari back in fourth.
Vettel wins in Japan, closes on third straight title
by Mark J. Cipolloni Sebastian Vettel is now in position to win his third straight F1 title with a dominating win in the Japanese Grand Prix. The 2-time reigning champion is now just four points behind Fernando Alonso, who's championship lead took a massive hit after he was crashed out on lap 1 by Kimi Raikkonen who cut his rear tire. With five races to go Vettel has momentum on his side after back to back victories.
Formula 1 Sebastian Vettel took his fourth straight pole position for the Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka . The world champion led the way in Q2, and won the pole comfortably in Q3. Mark Webber was send and gave Red Bull their first sweep of the front row in 2012 after dominating qualifying the past two years. Local favorite Kamui Kobayashi will start third. He was fourth fastest for Sauber, but will move up when third-placed Jenson Button is given his gearbox change penalty.
Leaves sport with 7 titles, 91 wins Seven-time Formula One world champion Michel Schumacher today announced his retirement from the sport at the end of the 2012 season during a press conference at the Suzuka circuit in Japan.
Michael Schumacher I have decided to retire from Formula One at the end of the season, although I am still able to compete with the best drivers of the world. This is something that makes me proud, and this is part of why I never regretted my comeback.
An in-depth look at why Lewis Hamilton left McLaren
by Brian Carroccio "I want to race for you one day," were the words a ten-year old Lewis Hamilton told longtime McLaren boss Ron Dennis in 1995. Apparently, not lacking in self-confidence the young Hamilton, then a stand out go kart racer, made the legendary McLaren Formula One (F1) team principal Dennis aware that his services were available. Three years later Hamilton would join the McLaren affiliated Mercedes driver development program, and a storybook partnership was born.
While Schumacher leaves team Following the signature of the commercial agreement with FOM this week by Mercedes-Benz, the MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS Formula One Team is pleased to announce that Lewis Hamilton has signed a three-year agreement to race for the team from the 2013 Formula One season. The recruitment of the 2008 world champion marks the start of a new chapter for the MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS Formula One Team. Lewis will replace Michael Schumacher, who has contributed significantly to the development of the Silver Arrows works team over the past three years.
Wins over Button and Alonso Don't count Sebastian Vettel out of the F1 world championship just yet. Vettel took a vital victory and closed to 29 points behind leader Fernando Alonso who came home third for Ferrari. Jenson Button was second for McLaren while polesitter Lewis Hamilton retired with hydraulic failure while leading. Paul di Resta was a fantastic fourth for Force India while Nico Rosberg rounded out the top-5 for Mercedes ahead of the Lotus pair of Kimi Raikkonen and Romain Grosjean.
by Mark J. Cipolloni McLaren's Lewis Hamilton put in a sensation lap to win the pole position for the Singapore Grand Prix over the Williams of Pastor Maldonado and the Red Bull of Sebastian Vettel who can only manage third after being quickest in all three practice sessions. Hamilton's lap of 1m46.362s was his third pole in the last four races. Jenson Button was 4th in the second McLaren and points leader Fernando Alonso was 5th for Ferrari.
“We’re getting stronger all the time” Three podium places and a front-row grid position are the highlights for the Sauber F1 Team after 13 out of 20 races in the FIA Formula One World Championship 2012. Last weekend’s Italian Grand Prix saw the team reach the 100-point mark – that’s already 56 more than their total for the whole of the 2011 season. Here, CEO Monisha Kaltenborn reflects on the points accumulated so far – and the ones that got away.
by Mark J. Cipolloni He didn't see the checkered flag first, but Fernando Alonso was the big winner on Sunday. In front of Ferrari's adoring Tifosi at historic Monza, the Spaniard managed to extend his championship lead from 24 to 37 points, after seeing his 40-point lead diminish in the Spa crash a week ago. Having qualified a miserable tenth on Saturday, Alonso pulled off Sunday's feat by finishing third, behind his new nearest challenger Lewis Hamilton (1st) and Sauber's charging Sergio Perez (2nd).
Hamilton nips Button Lewis Hamilton used the powerful Mercedes engine in his McLaren to win the pole for the Italian GP, 0.123s clear of teammate Jenson Button. Felipe Massa was third for Ferrari followed by another Mercedes powered car of Paul di Resta. Fernando Alonso, who was fastest in Q1 and Q2 had some sort of mechanical problem and was a disappointing 10th quick in Q3 for Ferrari.
by Mark J. Cipolloni Jenson Button led all the way to win the Belgian Grand Prix F1 race at Spa Sunday for McLaren Mercedes. Button's job was made a little easier when Romain Grosjean and Lewis Hamilton got together in the run up to Turn 1 at the start and the spectacular accident that saw Grosjean's Lotus fly over the top of Alonso wiped out most of Button's closest challenges. Press Conference
by Mark J. Cipolloni McLaren-Mercedes' Jenson Button was on perfect form at Spa Saturday afternoon and has won pole position for the Belgian GP with a time of 1m47.573s. Sauber's Kumai Kobayashi was a surprise 2nd for Sauber-Ferrari with Pastor Maldonado rounding out the top-3 in his Williams-Renault. It was Button's first pole for McLaren and his first pole since Monaco in 2009 when he drove for Brawn. Press Conference
Scenes from 2012 Motorsports Hall of Fame Induction
by Mark Scheuern A strong and energetic contingent of friends, family, fellow legends and motorsports and automotive industry insiders converged in downtown Detroit Wednesday night to usher an illustrious group of seven motorsports icons representing the Class of 2012 into the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America at the organization’s 24th Annual Induction Ceremony at the historic Fillmore Theater.
by Stephen Cox I'd like you to conduct an experiment. Go to your local racetrack this weekend. Makes no difference if it's a drag strip, oval or road course, big or small. Just go. Look around, estimate the average age of the fans and let me know what you find. Did you see a lot of kids there? Not likely. Racing fans are aging and there aren't enough new, young fans to take their place. Which begs an interesting question...At the Mecum Monterey auction last weekend, someone coughed up 5.5 million dollars to purchase the L&M Porsche 917/10 that won the Can Am championship more than forty years ago.
by Brian Carroccio Saturday, looked as though a long, painful Odyssey for Jacques Villeneuve was going to end. Leading the NASCAR Nationwide Series race in Montreal, when the white flag waved, the 1997 Formula One (F1) world looked poised to capture the win. However, with about a half lap remaining, Justin Allgaier made contact with Villeneuve and drove off to the victory. Villeneuve finished third. Villeneuve, who had such a promising start to his career, has at 41, become a dislikable, arrogant, petulant shadow of his former self.
Formula 1 HRT Formula 1 Team has gone through a restructuring process in which it has settled at a new base, practically renewed the staff entirely and new drivers have arrived, but there’s one figure that has stood throughout this whole process: Narain Karthikeyan. The Indian driver faces his second season as an official driver of the Spanish team and his experience has been vital in consolidating and evolving the F112. Having arrived at the midway point of the season, Narain assesses this start to the season alongside the Spanish team.
by Brian Carroccio KV Racing Technology driver Rubens Barrichello has been pretty chatty of late. Whether its his desire to have a "competitive car," his distaste for "being 15th," or his belief that his old Formula One (F1) team Williams would have been better off with him this season, Rubens has been more than willing to share his opinion.
by Stephen Cox One way or another, everyone buys their ride. It is a universal truth. The exceptions are so few and far between as to be irrelevant. This applies to IndyCar, NASCAR and Formula 1. It applies to your local quarter-mile dirt track. It applies to the 24 Hours of LeMans and ALMS and everything in between.
Formula 1 HRT Formula 1 Team and Pedro de la Rosa have written a golden page in the history of Spanish motorsport this season. The union of both has resulted in the first time in Formula 1 history that a Spanish driver takes part in an entire World Championship with a Spanish team. At the age of 41, the driver from Barcelona is taking on his fourteenth season in Formula 1, but he maintains the same motivation and hunger as the first day to ensure that this project consolidates itself in the pinnacle of motorsport.
by Stephen Cox A car was more than transportation when I was a kid. Your car represented who you were. Everyone knew what a car meant... freedom! The liberty to go where you want, to be with your friends and to get into mischief. An automobile was true, genuine freedom and every one of us wanted it. Not so anymore. The average high school kid is far more concerned with grabbing the latest iPad or the coolest cell phone than driving the right automobile.
by Mark J. Cipolloni McLaren's Lewis Hamilton did not put a wheel wrong from pole position and held on to win the Grand Prix of Hungary Formula 1 race at the Hungaroring in Budapest. Hamilton was first pressured by the Lotus Renault of Romain Grosjean and later by his teammate Kimi Raikkonen but led every lap except for pit stops to win by 1-second.
Beats Grosjean and Vettel Lewis Hamilton will start in front for the first time since the Malaysian Grand Prix after a dominant performance in qualifying at the Hungaroring for Sunday's Grand Prix of Hungary. The Briton was the only driver to get into the 1m20s on his final Q3 lap. That was enough to earn him a third pole of the year and the 150th for McLaren. Lotus' Romain Grosjean was more than four tenths down in second.
German GP Fernando Alonso beat Sebastian Vettel winning the German Grand Prix at Hockenheimring. The Ferrari outpaced the Red Bull-Renault by 3.7 seconds, finishing the race from the pole, and continued the streak of the last five German Grand Prix to have been won from the front row. Sebastian Vettel second place finish is being followed up by race officials for his move in over taking Jenson Button.
Formula 1 Fernando Alonso won his second straight pole position for Ferrari in the wet and will start first for tomorrow's German Grand Prix at Hockenheim. Alonso put in a lap of 1m40.621s to beat World champion and local hero Sebastian Vettel by 0.4 seconds. His Red Bull teammate Mark Webber, who will drop five places due to a penalty for a gearbox change, was third.
Ferrari have always maintained a positive attitude
by Andrea Stella A win in Valencia and a second place in Silverstone a fortnight ago shows that Scuderia Ferrari is on good form going into this weekend’s German Grand Prix. The race engineer who supports Fernando Alonso from the pit wall actually joined his driver on the European GP podium, to collect the Constructor’s trophy and the quickest way to explain Andrea Stella’s curriculum vitae is that, in the past, when they drove for the Prancing Horse, he also worked for the second and third placed men on that podium, Kimi Raikkonen and Michael Schumacher.
British GP It finally stopped raining at Silverstone and under partly sunny skies Mark Webber won the British Grand Prix at Silverstone in his Red Bull-Renault, passing pole sitter Fernando Alonso in the closing laps, the Ferrari driver finishing second. 3.0 seconds behind. Webber started on option tires and was on hards at the end while Alonso was on the softer but deteriorating tires, enabling Webber to get him.
by Mark J. Cipolloni Fernando Alonso claimed first pole position since the 2010 Singapore Grand Prix after outdueling Red Bull's Mark Webber in a drying and delayed British GP qualifying session at Silverstone. The session was interrupted for over an hour and a half due to heavy rain.. Full wets were still the best choice for the remaining six minutes of Q2, intermediates were the way to go in the pole shoot-out. Webber was 0.8 seconds ahead at 1m51.793s in the closing minutes, only for Alonso to pip it by 0.047s. Webber tried to get pole back but just missed.
Renault Round nine of the 2012 FIA Formula One World Championship takes place at the Silverstone Circuit in the heart of Great Britain. The track has been a power track historically, its first incarnation as part of a World War II airfield saw cars rocket down the runways, with the straights separated only by hay bales! Since that auspicious start, the circuit has undergone numerous modifications, but its character has always been dominated by long straights and high speed turns.
John Rhodes The London Grand Prix by Santander may be powered by imagination, but it is underpinned by scrupulous research. World renowned architectural consultancy Populous, whose work includes London’s O2 Arena and the recent redevelopment of Silverstone, have come up with an event plan which is genuinely achievable. Populous architect John Rhodes explains
Alonso wins in Valencia to the delight of Spaniards
by Mark J. Cipolloni After runaway race leader Sebastian Vettel stopped on track with a mechanical failure of his Red Bull Renault, Ferrari's Fernando Alonso pulled off yet another surprise F1 win today on the streets of Valencia, Spain. Alonso easily held off Kimi Raikkonen's Lotus while Michael Schumacher fought valiantly all day to secure the final podium position, but not before Lewis Hamilton had problems late and then crashed with Maldonado as he was fading down the field.
Vettel beats Hamilton and Maldonado for Valencia pole
by Mark J. Cipolloni Sebastian Vettel out drove Lewis Hamilton and Pastor Maldonado to win pole position in a spectacular qualifying battle ahead of the European Grand Prix in Valencia. Vettel put in a spectacular lap in the revised Red Bull, to beat Hamilton and Maldonado by nearly four tenths of a second with a 1m38.086s lap. Hamilton's McLaren will start second ahead of Maldonado's Williams.
Catching up with Alexander Rossi on his way up to F1
by Mark J. Cipolloni We have been following young Alexander Rossi’s career since his Formula BMW USA days when he won the USA championship easily and then went to the Formula BMW World Finals and beat the best young kids in the world. I remember Antonio Ferrari, who Rossi drove for in Formula BMW USA, called me over during the Champ Car weekend in Denver, Colorado about five years ago and he said, in his heavy Italian accent, “Cipolloni, let me tell you about this young boy driving for me, Alexander Rossi. He’s the best I have ever had drive for me. Keep your eye and him, I think he will be the next American in Formula 1.”
Hamilton takes title lead as seventh winner of 2012
Formula 1 Lewis Hamilton took the lead of the world championship on Sunday by winning his first race of the 2012 season in Canada. The Briton becomes the seventh different winner of the year after the opening seven grands prix, and pulls two points clear of former championship leader Ferrari's Fernando Alonso. Hamilton won with a two-stop strategy, so therefore had to pass one-stoppers Sebastian Vettel and Alonso with mere laps to the checkered flag.
Formula 1 Sebastian Vettel easily won his second pole position of the 2012 Formula 1 season by a 0.3-second margin in Canadian Grand Prix qualifying in Montreal Saturday afternoon. Vettel put down a 1m13.905s and then sealed the deal with a 1m13.784s on his second run to put himself out of reach. McLaren's Lewis Hamilton will start on the outside of the front row, having grabbed second from Fernando Alonso's Ferrari.
by Mark J. Cipolloni Red Bull driver Mark Webber won the most prestigious F1 race of the year winning the Monaco Grand Prix ahead of a train of cars led by Nico Rosberg's Mercedes (0.6 sec back), Fernando Alonso's Ferrari (0.9 sec back), Sebastian Vettel in the 2nd Red Bull and Lewis Hamilton for McLaren. Webber led from pole and only relinquished the lead during pit stops.
Schumacher wins Monaco GP pole, Webber to start 1st
by Mark J. Cipolloni Considered too old by F1 standards, Michael Schumacher, the winningest driver in F1 history showed the youngsters how it is done on the streets of Monaco Saturday by turning the fastest lap all weekend at 1m14.301s in qualifying for Sunday's Monaco GP. However, Mark Webber, who was second fastest in his Red Bull, will start on pole because Schumacher has to serve a 5-place grid penalty after he collided with moving chicane Bruno Senna in Spain.
by Bob Heathcote Marc Gene drove in the Ferrari Driving Days held at Laguna Seca in California this past weekend. The Ferrari reserve driver 'allegedly' unofficially beat the track record with a lap of 1m05.78s driving a Ferrari F2003-GA. The official record is currently held by Sebastien Bourdais who had a time of 1m05.88s in 2007 while driving a Panoz DP01 Champ Car. Our Bob Heathcote was there to capture this and all the action in these captioned photos.
Driving Mercedes SLS at Monaco GP It's a scene that happens hundreds of thousands of times a day around the world: two people meet in a lift, greet each other and begin to chat about work and life. The twist in this particular story, though, is that the elevator is in Monte-Carlo; the two men are resident in the same apartment building, separated by little more than a few floors; and both have written their own chapters in the very exclusive grand prix racing history of Mercedes-Benz.
by Mark J. Cipolloni F1's astonishing season continues to live up to the hype, as a fifth driver and constructor on Sunday won the fifth grand prix of 2012. Not only is the victory Pastor Maldonado's first, his walk up the steps at the Circuit de Catalunya was the first taste of the podium in his two-season F1 career. It's also the first Venezuelan triumph in the sport's history, and a hugely popular victory for Williams, the once-great British team headed by Sir Frank Williams, whose 70th birthday was warmly celebrated in the paddock on Saturday.
F1 in Barcelona, Spain McLaren's Lewis Hamilton turned a lap of 1m21.707s to win the pole for the Spanish GP in Barcelona. The surprise was the performance of Williams Renault driver Pastor Maldonado who slotted in 2nd to pip local hero Fernando Alonso's Ferrari off the front row in the final seconds. The Lotus duo of Romain Grosjean and Kimi Raikkonen rounded out the top-5. Hamilton parked his car on the circuit on his cool-down lap, likely. UPDATE: Hamilton has lost pole position and will start dead last on Sunday (See Hot News)
Mercedes Benz Feature For many years, a Grand Prix in Barcelona was synonymous with almost no overtaking - there were an average of just two overtaking moves per race between 2008 and 2010. That all changed last year: not only did 'normal' (i.e. non-DRS assisted) overtakes increase by a factor of ten - with a total of 22 - but DRS enabled a further 29 overtakes, for a race total of 51; in other words, 25 times more than in the previous three years.
by Mark J. Cipolloni Sebastian Vettel is back. After completely dominating F1 the past two years and then struggling at the beginning of 2012, Vettel started from pole and outdueled the fast Lotus Renaults of Kimi Raikkonen and Romain Grosjean to win the Bahrain GP. A big step for Lotus with two drivers on the podium, but Vettel drove a perfect race and was unbeatable.
by Mark J. Cipolloni Sebastian Vettel, who has struggled this year after winning two F1 world championships in a row, put in a sensational time on his final lap to win pole position for the Bahrain GP. Vettel, the qualifying master the last two years, had a lap of 1m32.422s beat Lewis Hamilton's McLaren who will start 2nd on Sunday with a time of 1m32.530s. Mark Webber in the second Red Bull will start third with a time of 1m32.637s.
Formula 1 Sunday was a wheel-to-wheel F1 thriller, but the sport's newest winner Nico Rosberg was surprisingly untouchable in Shanghai. Jenson Button finished second in his McLaren-Mercedes, 20.6 seconds behind. His teammate Lewis Hamilton finished in third, 26 seconds behind the winner. The win is the first for Mercedes as a constructor since 1955. Mark Webber in the Red Bull-Renault was fourth, his teammate Sebastian Vettel rounded out the top-5.
Formula 1 in Shanghai For the first time since the 1950s, the front row of a grid has been locked out by a Mercedes works team. Nico Rosberg scored a dominant pole in Shanghai, and because Lewis Hamilton's second-placed McLaren must move back five places, the sister W03 of Michael Schumacher will race teammate Rosberg to the first corner on Sunday. "I feel sorry for Lewis but it's good for us," smiled Schumacher.
Wins at Sepang in horrible conditions with inferior car Fernando Alonso is F1's shock world championship leader, after Malaysian rain shook up the order at Sepang. "It's a tough time for us at the moment, but we will remember this day," said the Ferrari driver, who finished ahead of another surprise podium-sitter, Sauber's Sergio Perez. The young Mexican was catching Alonso at a rate of knots when he made a mistake. But Alonso was perfect with his inferior Ferrari and held on to win.
by Mark J. Cipolloni Using their superior McLaren chassis, coupled with their powerful Mercedes engine, Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button will again start 1-2 for the Malaysian Grand Prix at Sepang. 7-time world champion, who retired and then unretired, will start third to give Mercedes engines a 1-2-3 on the grid. Mark Webber will start 4th in his Red Bull-Renault and Kimi Raikkonen 4th in his Lotus Renault. Sebastian Vettel will start 6th for the 2nd race in a row.
New title leader Button ends Red Bull F1 dominance
by Mark J. Cipolloni 2012 championship leader Jenson Button on Sunday proved Red Bull's era of dominance may be over. After two titles on the trot, Red Bull and Sebastian Vettel finished second in Melbourne as McLaren's 2009 champion Button sped to an early 7-point lead over German Vettel only to see the German claw his way back to just 2 seconds down at the finish in an inferior car to the McLaren.
Hamilton wins first pole of 2012 The McLaren drivers and beaming returnee Romain Grosjean on Saturday looked to have knocked Red Bull from its dominant perch. "McLaren had an upgrade at the last test and it's performed here at Albert Park," said former team driver and BBC commentator David Coulthard. Lewis Hamilton beat his teammate Jenson Button to pole in Melbourne, but just a few tenths behind is the reigning GP2 champion Grosjean.
Including Charlie Whiting’s Q&A on new rules for the 2012 F1 season Formula 1 governing body the FIA has announced a series of regulation changes ahead of next weekend's season opening Australian Grand Prix, with tire allocation, the personnel curfew and DRS (Drag Reduction System) usage all being tweaked. If both Friday Practice sessions are run in wet conditions, one set of slick tires can now be used the next day, in a bid to keep mileage levels high. In addition, stricter personnel curfew laws have been put in place and, in a final rule clarification, the Race Director now has more power over the use of the DRS when it is raining.
2012 Silver Arrow Mercedes-Benz this morning marked two world premieres at the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona, with the unveiling of the 2012 Silver Arrow, the MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS F1 W03, and the first public sneak preview of the brand-new Mercedes-Benz SL63 AMG. The new high-performance roadster, which develops 537 PS while delivering weight savings of 125 kg and 30% improved fuel economy, was introduced by Nico Rosberg and Michael Schumacher.
At Jerez circuit ahead of official testing The Williams F1 Team unveiled its 2012 FIA Formula One World Championship season entry, the Williams Renault FW34, at the Jerez circuit in Spain today. This year marks the team’s 35th year competing in the sport which it will do with a revitalized line-up. The mechanical and aerodynamic design and development direction of the FW34 has been driven by a new technical leadership.
STR7 also has stepped nose Toro Rosso followed in the footsteps of Sauber and unveiled the car with which they will contest the 2012 FIA Formula One World Championship at Jerez on Monday afternoon. The Ferrari-engined STR7 will make its on-track debut on Tuesday morning, when this week’s opening pre-season test gets underway at the Spanish track. The Italian team’s 2012-spec line-up, Australian Daniel Ricciardo and Frenchman Jean-Eric Vergne, were in attendance at the pit-lane launch.
Did Adrian Newey design another winner? Red Bull Racing’s 2012 challenger, the RB8, which will contest this year’s Formula One campaign and defend the Team’s two successive World Championship titles, has been unveiled. It too has a stepped nose like all the other F1 cars except McLaren, who may have missed out on their design once again. Adrian Newey also chose a more traditional push-rod front suspension, unlike Ferrari and Sauber that went with a pull-rod layout.
Hinwil/Jerez de la Frontera Today, Monday, the Sauber F1 Team launched its new car for the 2012 FIA Formula One World Championship. Drivers Kamui Kobayashi (25) and Sergio Pérez (22) unveil the Sauber C31-Ferrari at the Jerez de la Frontera circuit in Spain, where on Tuesday official Formula One pre-season testing will get underway. For filming purposes the C31 will cover its initial laps today.
Model E20 Today Lotus Renault revealed their 2012 F1 chassis, the E20, at there Enstone factory decked out in black and gold. The team made the presentation in an online broadcast. The car features a stepped nose design like all the other cars launched so far except McLaren. The car has a traditional exhaust layout, unlike last year when they tried a radical forward facing exhaust. As far as the exhausts are concerned, their forward exhausts would now be illegal under the new rules.
Formula 1 Ferrari unveiled the 2012 car on Friday morning. After being forced to cancel its launch ceremony because of heavy snow at Maranello, the team published the first images of its car on its official website instead. The F2012 is the fifty eighth car built by Ferrari with the express purpose of taking part in the Formula 1 World Championship. It adopts a well established tradition of being named after its year of manufacture.
Formula 1 Sahara Force India unveiled its 2012 challenger today as Paul Di Resta and Nico Hulkenberg pulled the covers off the VJM05 at Silverstone. They were joined by reserve driver, Jules Bianchi, as the team’s new car was presented for the first time. The car features a lowered nose and high front suspension similar to that of the new Ferrari F2012 and the Caterham.
Formula 1 The continuation of our double world-champion driver line-up, further consolidation of our championship-winning engineering team and a subtle, yet deep-reaching technical update of our car all underpin the world-class strength, experience and ambition that exists at Vodafone McLaren Mercedes ahead of the 2012 FIA Formula 1 World Championship. This morning’s technical presentation of the MP4-27 at the McLaren Technology Centre showcased a natural evolution of last year’s six-race-winning car.
Alan Jones, 1980 F1 Champion 1980 world champion Alan Jones thinks Sebastian Vettel is the best driver on this year's F1 grid. Ferrari's Fernando Alonso triggered international headlines this week when his recent comments about Vettel, the back-to-back and reigning world champion at Red Bull. Vettel, 24, became the sport's youngest ever double champion last season when he dominated his rivals, thrashing runner-up Jenson Button's points tally and collecting handfuls of wins and poles.
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