Alonso wants improvements for Suzuka Formula One championship leader Fernando Alonso was happy with his third-place finish at the Singapore Grand Prix on Sunday despite seeing his advantage cut to 29 points over race winner Sebastian Vettel.
Vettel inherited the race lead from pole sitter Lewis Hamilton after the Briton retired with a gearbox failure and the German held off the other McLaren of Jenson Button and Alonso's Ferrari to reignite his hopes of a third straight title.
IndyCar team owner Michael Andretti took to Twitter on Sunday for an impromptu question and answer session of a plethora of fan and media questions about the team's offseason plans and his own promotional outlook on the Andretti Sports Marketing side. His answers provide some interesting insight:
I hear Penske Racing has a cool Museum in Phoenix? I heard the guy that runs it is a crazy man
Most embarrassing moment? Hitting safety truck? LOL.? Did not see the yellow flag
What was the most challenging part of being Senna's teammate? He was so good
Schumacher docked ten places for Japan Schumacher has been handed a ten-place grid penalty ahead of the Japanese Grand Prix after stewards in Singapore ruled that the Mercedes driver was to blame for the dramatic crash which took out the Toro Rosso of Jean-Eric Vergne.
Just after the Safety Car restart, with cold tires and brakes, Schumacher was ruled to have misjudged the braking point of Turn 14. The impact left his Mercedes team confused and removed Frenchman Vergne from a points-paying position. After the race, the seven-time World Champion had put the incident down to a technical problem.
NASCAR in full press to keep Allmendinger from going to IndyCar As soon as Roger Penske paraded AJ Allmendinger around the IndyCar paddock NASCAR almost immediately cleared him to drive again for fear he would go back to their #1 enemy - open wheel racing. Roger Penske played them like a fiddle and it worked. Now the full court press is on with the media to make that happen. It started this weekend in New Hampshire - see what the drivers have to say to the media.
“I mean it’s still a tough road,” Brad Keselowski said. “It’s great to see Roger (Penske) support him like he has been and really the whole NASCAR community has reached out in their own ways. I’m happy that the Road to Recovery process has worked for him and I think we’ll all be watching to see what happens.”
Allmendinger was suspended in June after he tested positive for amphetamines. He completed NASCAR’s drug treatment program and was reinstated last Monday.
Giedo van der Garde gave his rivals a racing masterclass with a dominant win from lights to flag in this afternoon's sprint race in Singapore, easily leading home Marcus Ericsson and Fabio Leimer in the last race of the 2012 season.
The Dutchman's victory was set up when the lights went out: a good start from pole was enough to hold fellow front row starter Ericsson and a hard charging Luiz Razia, while a poor start by Felipe Nasr was enough to hold up 2012 champion Davide Valsecchi momentarily and allow Leimer to sneak past into P4 at the first corner.
Vettel slams safety of ‘Singapore Sling’ chicane The controversial ‘Singapore Sling’ chicane at the Marina Bay Street Circuit remains one of the most dangerous in Formula One with further modifications required, world champion Sebastian Vettel said yesterday.
The high curbs on the 10th turn of the track have been toned down since Kimi Raikkonen went airborne late in the inaugural race in 2008, but the trickiness of the sharp left, then right by the old Supreme Court and Cricket Club continue to irritate the drivers.
Vettel managed to steer his Red Bull around the problematic corner without too much bother in dominating the three practice sessions but could only manage a disappointing third in qualifying for today’s Singapore Grand Prix.
Hightower and Castroneves: "We've got chemistry nailed already"
Helio Castroneves, left, and his "Dancing With The Stars" partner Chelsie Hightower visit with racing legend Mario Andretti prior to the IZOD IndyCar Series event at Auto Club Speedway on Sept. 15. Castroneves will return to the ballroom as part of the new season of ABC's "Dancing With The Stars: All-Stars" on Sept. 24.
Photo Courtesy INDYCAR
Her blonde locks cascade from the unleashed helmet as Helio Castroneves arrives on cue to assist Chelsie Hightower from the Indy Racing Experience two-seater.
"What you do is crazy," she relays above the din of the engines to her "Dancing With the Stars: All-Stars" partner following a high-speed ride with Indy car legend Mario Andretti at the wheel. "Crazy."
"Yes, I know," replies the three-time Indianapolis 500 champion. "I'm just glad you didn't throw up."
Born in Las Vegas and raised in Orem, Utah, Hightower has five older brothers who were alternately playful and protective. For the autumn run of the ultimate celebrity dance party, Castroneves is a surrogate older brother from Brazil.
Thoughts of the champion - Davide Valsecchi The newest GP2 champion reflects on his season
GP2 Series: Davide Valsecchi, 2012 GP2 champion: what does that mean to you?
Davide Valsecchi: It's unbelievable! It's a really good feeling, and I'm really, really happy, because this year we had a great season: I drove really well and our car was really competitive almost every time, so I'm really happy that at the end, when it was really important, we had the victory last time in Monza and we were one of the best this weekend too. When it was important, me and DAMS didn't make any mistakes, and we showed this year with four victories, with ten podiums and with six fastest laps that we were the best! I hope tomorrow to have a really good job, and to pay back DAMS for the car they gave to me all season long, and to beat Lotus for the teams' championship.
Max Chilton has claimed his second win of the season in hot and humid conditions in this afternoon's feature race in Singapore, leading home Esteban Gutierrez and Fabio Leimer, while Davide Valsecchi wrapped up the championship by running home just ahead of his title rival Luiz Razia in fourth and fifth positions.
The Englishman's win was set up at the start when poleman Luca Filippi bogged down as the lights went out, handing Chilton an easy run to the first corner ahead of Gutiérrez, Leimer and Jolyon Palmer, with Valsecchi next across the line and relieved to see the cars of Johnny Cecotto, Filippi and Stefano Coletti between him and his championship nemesis.
Singapore GP: Vettel fastest again in final practice Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel was again fastest in the third and final practice in Singapore, setting the fastest time again on the Marina Bay circuit.
The German, who was quickest in both Friday sessions ended the hour more than three tenths faster than Lewis Hamilton's McLaren.
Fernando Alonso was third fastest ahead of the continually impressive Nico Hulkenberg. Kimi Raikkonen and Felipe Massa rounded out the top-6.
Dallara Win Contract to Supply New Chassis for 2014 Japanese Championship Dallara Automobili Spa, the Italian race car constructor is pleased to announce that, after a detailed tendering process it has won the contract to design and supply all the cars to the new Japanese Championship – Super Formula (SF) for 2014. This new championship will replace Formula Nippon.
Development of the new chassis "SF14 " will focus on going back to the three basics of formula cars: cornering speed, braking and improving the car’s overall efficiency by achieving an ideal balance between performance and car safety. The new car should have its first ‘shake down’ test in mid 2013.
IndyCar loses Edmonton raceUPDATE #2 Montreal-based Octane said that to survive the event needed a promise of more spectators and more support from local businesses, and that it was wasn’t confident that would happen. “Despite our tight management policies and all our efforts to offer to the fans a world-class spectacle, we were not able to make this event profitable and nothing allows us to hope for a better profitability next year,” Octane said in a statement. “This year’s attendance was good, but we were also convinced that the event, especially with the quality of the spectacle offered, should have attracted many more spectators over its three days.”
09/21/12 INDYCAR, the sanctioning body for the IZOD IndyCar Series and Firestone Indy Lights, announced today it will not return to Edmonton in 2013.
"When we finalized our schedule for the upcoming 2013 season, it unfortunately did not include Edmonton," said Randy Bernard, CEO, INDYCAR. "We thank the city of Edmonton and all the fans for their support of the event over the last eight years."
Bernard added: "More importantly this has not affected our plans for a minimum of 19 races next season, and we remain optimistic that we will return to having two races in Canada as early as 2014. We anticipate announcing our full 2013 IZOD IndyCar Series schedule the first week of October."
Audi to run hybrids for FIA World Endurance Championship Following Audi's defeat at the hands of Toyota's TS030 HYBRID at the last round of the WEC at Interlagos earlier this month, Audi will switch to running two hybrid versions of its R18 coupe from the next round of the FIA World Endurance Championship in Bahrain.
The German manufacturer has mounted a split campaign between the hybrid R18 e-tron quattro and the non-hybrid R18 ultra since bringing its 2012-spec LMP1 machines on stream at the Spa 6 Hours in May. It will now run a pair of e-tron quattros over the final three rounds of the WEC, which means that Tom Kristensen and Allan McNish will have the same machinery as points leaders Andre Lotterer, Benoit Treluyer and Marcel Fassler.
Audi cited a number of reasons for the new strategy.
A statement pointed to the advantages of the e-tron over the ultra "in certain topographic track conditions and when lapping other cars in traffic". The Bahrain International Circuit incorporates a number of hairpins, which means it should favor the hybrid.
It always wants to even up the fight between Lotterer, Treluyer and Fassler and Kristensen and McNish, who are separated by just 7.5 points at the top of the WEC points table. Audi Sport boss Wolfgang Ullrich said he would now be giving "both our driver teams identical material in the battle for the championship".
Singapore GP: Vettel also tops practice 2 Sebastian Vettel again claimed the fastest time in practice 2 for the Singapore GP, with a lap of 1m48.340s on super soft tires.
Vettel ended up three-tenths clear of Jenson Button, with Fernando Alonso third and Mark Webber fourth in the other Red Bull.
Lewis Hamilton was fifth, 0.746s down on Vettel. Paul Di Resta was sixth, just ahead of Force India teammate Nico Hulkenberg, with Nico Rosberg eighth, Felipe Massa ninth and Romain Grosjean rounding out the top-10.
2013 MotoGP Provisional calendar Date Grand Prix Circuit 31 March Qatar* Doha/Losail 14 April TBC TBC 21 April TBC TBC 05 May Spain(STC) Jerez de la Frontera 19 May France Le Mans 2 June Italy Mugello 16 June Catalunya Catalunya 29 June Netherlands** Assen 14 July Germany Sachsenring 21 July United States*** Laguna Seca 18 August Indianapolis Indianapolis 25 August Czech Republic Brno 01 September Great Britain Silverstone 15 September San Marino & Riviera di Rimini Marco Simoncelli Misano 29 September Aragon Motorland 13 October Malaysia Sepang 20 October Australia Phillip Island 27 October Japan Motegi 10 November Valencia Ricardo Tormo-Valencia * Evening Race ** Saturday Race *** Only MotoGP class STC (Subject to the Contract) TBC (To be confirmed)
Luca Filippi lit up the Singapore circuit with his run to pole in this evening's qualifying session in Singapore, claiming the top spot in the Series' first ever night run in a red flag shortened session ahead of Max Chilton and Esteban Gutierrez.
The Italian took the top spot with two minutes remaining with a time of 1:59.444, claiming pole by less than a tenth mere seconds before Nigel Melker hit the barriers underneath the main grandstand and brought the session to an early close.
With the track now dry thanks to the warm temperatures and the first F1 practice session, conditions were ideal for a scorching battle under the spotlights: the Lotus pair James Calado and Gutiérrez set the early running, along with Felipe Nasr, but when Series leader Davide Valsecchi took the top spot eight minutes in it looked as though he had taken another step towards the title.
Singapore GP: Vettel tops practice 1 World champion Sebastian Vettel was fastest in the opening practice for the Singapore Grand Prix just beating McLaren's Lewis Hamilton by less than a tenth of a second.
The two ended the first 90 minutes nearly a second faster than Jenson Button and Ferrari's points leader Fernando Alonso.
Pastor Maldonado was an impressive fifth fastest for Williams ahead of Mark Webber in the second Red Bull.
Europe woes spreading throughout car industry Daimler AG (DAI) and Porsche AG provided evidence that the worst European car market in 17 years has started to spread to the luxury brands, mirroring a broader recession that has spilled from southern Europe to Germany.
Stuttgart, Germany-based Daimler said yesterday that operating profit at Mercedes-Benz Cars will fall this year, lowering a previous target of matching the 2011 figure, while Porsche plans to build fewer than the 155,000 cars and sport-utility vehicles originally planned for next year.
Daimler, Porsche, Bayerische Motoren Werke AG (BMW) and Volkswagen AG (VOW)’s Audi brand have so far proved resilient to the plunge in sales that has plagued Fiat SpA (F), PSA Peugeot Citroen and Renault SA. (RNO) The German automakers have been sustained by a robust domestic market and booming exports to China and the U.S. The German market is now also showing signs of weakening.
Esteban Gutierrez has started his weekend in fine style by taking the top spot in this afternoon's rain affected free practice session in Singapore, leading the way as the circuit started to dry in the closing minutes ahead of Fabio Leimer and Stefano Coletti.
The Mexican set the best time of 2:14.339 with just four minutes remaining in the session, leaving the possibility of an improvement from anyone in the field: unfortunately with everyone looking to move up at the same time, there was not enough space for the clear lap needed to top Gutierrez's time.
Twelve months ago Gunnar Jeannette was on his way to clinching his first American Le Mans Series championship at Petit Le Mans – the same weekend the sportscar version of the unique car that has captured the imagination of fans around the world was revealed.
Now, Jeannette and the Nissan DeltaWing will come together at the 2012 Petit Le Mans where the young American star will team up with Spaniard Lucas Ordonez for the car’s American debut.
The 30-year-old Jeannette is a race car driver and adventure sports enthusiast with vast experience at Road Atlanta. He is a former factory driver for Panoz Motorsports in LMP1 and GT as well as a past instructor at the Georgia circuit.
2013 Formula 1 Provisional calendar A leaked version of the provisional calendar for F1's 2013 season is doing the rounds in the Singapore paddock.
Several media sources have now published the 20-race schedule, which has Melbourne opening the 2013 championship next March, and Brazil again hosting the finale at the end of November.
New Jersey is the only new race, taking place in mid-June just a week after Canada, while Valencia has as expected dropped off the calendar which for 2013 features an unprecedented eight back-to-back weekends.
F1 Is CVC's Most Profitable InvestmentUPDATE Government-backed funds in Kuwait and Singapore "have acquired a stake in CVC Capital Partners, the buyout firm, which counts F1 motor racing and the owner of Madame Tussauds among its investments." Entities connected to the Kuwait Investment Authority and the Government Investment Corp. of Singapore and an unidentified Asian fund "have bought 10% of CVC's management company in a deal, which reinforces its status as one of the most influential private investors in the world."
The transaction "was struck in June" and was outlined to investors in CVC's funds at the time. It was also discussed at the firm's annual conference in London last week. The new investors "gain a share of the profits made by the management company and get preferential access to investment opportunities." CVC has been "planning a flotation of F1 in Singapore although it was delayed earlier in the year because of the Eurozone crisis," and people close to the firm said that it is "not likely to be revived in the immediate future" Sky News
Charles Burns Named GM of Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix
One of the most respected and experienced men in motorsports has joined the Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix team. Charles Burns has been named General Manager of the Grand Prix and will oversee all day-to-day operations of the popular annual event, which will be held May 31-June 2, 2013.
Burns, 44, has worked with the IZOD IndyCar Series and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for over 12 years, serving as Director of Security since 2003. The Indiana native has extensive operational and security experience, helping to direct 12 Indianapolis 500-mile races, seven Formula One Grand Prix events and numerous NASCAR and MotoGP races.
Alonso hopeful Ferrari upgrades will help Fernando Alonso has already driven a Formula 1 car here in Singapore today, but it’s all within the rules because he was at the wheel of a Ferrari in a simulator, as part of a promotion run here by the team’s longest serving technical partner Shell. In fact, Scuderia Ferrari is involved in various activities alongside the oil company as the two marques celebrate competing together in 500 Grands Prix this weekend.
At his regular press meeting, held in a gazebo round the back of the team office, Fernando began by giving his views on this unique race on the calendar. “I have always had a competitive car here, except in 2009, even if we still managed to finish on the podium that year,” said the Spaniard. “It is a challenging track, with no room for mistakes, which means that, in this respect, it is like Monaco. You have to take risks, you have to find your limits, but without making any error. At other circuits, if maybe you run wide on the grass on one corner in free practice, you just lose the lap, but here you lose the whole session. It is challenging physically because it is a long race held in hot and humid conditions and it is also challenging mentally, because of the stress of not making any mistakes over the whole weekend.”
Massa: One lap of Singapore is like two in Monaco Modern life for a Formula 1 driver is not just about driving a car and having meetings with engineers. The team sponsors and partners also need the drivers to do some work on their behalf. So today started early for Felipe Massa, whose first port of call was the recently opened Ferrari Store in downtown Singapore. The Brazilian kept the fans happy, signing autographs and posing for photographs and after that, it was time to honor the fact that this is Shell’s 500th Grand Prix in partnership with Scuderia Ferrari. Two cars provided the backdrop, a Ferrari Challenge race car, painted with a special livery to commemorate the 500 races and, much to the delight of the younger fans, a Ferrari Formula 1 car, suitably liveried in Shell colors, made out of Lego bricks.
Hunter-Reay enjoys Champion's Day in Manhattan: Less than a week after winning the IZOD IndyCar Series championship, Ryan Hunter-Reay was standing on top of the world again. Only this time it was the Empire State Building's observation deck.
The location for a photo shoot with the Astor Cup and Q&A with media on Sept. 19 was among the multitude of stops the IZOD IndyCar Series champion made on the initial day of the Champion's Tour of New York.
"What a great day and what great memories -- from the top of the Empire State Building, which I learned today took just one year and 45 days to build, to being with my old friend and car owner Dave Letterman on his show," said Hunter-Reay, who clinched his first series title Sept. 15 at Auto Club Speedway in a season-long battle with a stout lineup of competitors.
Singapore GP: Thursday Press Conference DRIVERS Timo GLOCK (Marussia) Nico HULKENBERG (Force India) Bruno SENNA (Williams) Kimi RAIKKONEN (Lotus) Sebastian VETTEL (Red Bull Racing) Sergio PEREZ (Sauber)
Q. Timo, obviously you finished second here in 2009. Is that one of the reasons why you say this is your favorite race?
Timo GLOCK: No, in general it's just the event here, the show. The first time we were here in 2008 I just the track and the event and for sure being on the podium was a great experience and good to be back to it and enjoy the time here.
Q. So what is it about the track itself?
TG: The European races have enough run-off areas and here it's a bit different, the same like Monaco. If you do a mistake you end up in the wall and that's the challenging part here.
(GMM) Eddie Jordan has had a starring role in the 2013 'silly season', recently predicting with confidence that a retiring Michael Schumacher is set to be replaced by Lewis Hamilton.
But where did that Mercedes scoop come from? "Bernie (Ecclestone) told me," German reports on Thursday quote the former F1 team boss and now TV pundit as saying.
Along with the Hamilton saga and the uncertain future of Ferrari's Felipe Massa, whether Schumacher stays or goes is regarded as a key to the entire 2013 driver market.
So what if there is no room for the seven time world champion at Mercedes?
"I would take him immediately," Peter Sauber, whose Mercedes-backed sports car team provided the springboard for Schumacher's formula one career more than two decades ago, smiled to Germany's Auto Motor und Sport.
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