Danica needs to retaliate more Danica Patrick didn’t talk to the media after a 32nd-place finish in the Wypall 200 on Saturday at Phoenix International Raceway. Her crew chief hopes that she made at least one small statement on the track.
After contact with Tony Raines and Alex Kennedy while a lap down, Patrick tapped Kennedy to get past him with about 70 laps left in the race.
“That’s about the coolest thing I’ve seen all day,” her spotter, T.J. Majors, told her.
Patrick seemed ready to retaliate against Raines, too – “I know what to do when I get by him,” Patrick said – but was told under caution that Raines had apologized for getting loose underneath the JR Motorsports driver.
Dejected Ferrari: We made the wrong decisions Heading into a weekend which promised so much for Ferrari, the Italian team ended the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix with the Fernando Alonso lying just four points behind new World Champion Sebastian Vettel in the Drivers’ Championship, marking its longest losing streak since the 21-year stretch between 1979 and 2000.
With Vettel having become another new title winner and the sport’s fifth different Champion in as many years, Ferrari are yet to celebrate one of their drivers picking up the crown since Kimi Räikkönen’s in 2007.
Stefano Domenicali, Team Principal:
‘There is a great sadness at this moment because to come so close to our goal and to see it slip away for just a few points really hurts.
We made a wrong decision in terms of strategy for three reasons: we marked a rival with two cars, we were unduly concerned about the wear rate of the soft (Super Soft compound) tires and we did not take into consideration the difficulty of getting past other cars on the track.
No holiday ahead for new champion Vettel GMM) He is F1's new world champion, the youngest in the sport's history, and his name will soon be engraved on a trophy also hailing the likes of Senna and Fangio.
But for Sebastian Vettel, there will be no holiday.
The German will be leaving Abu Dhabi on Monday for a press conference in Salzburg, and then he will make the return 5000 kilometer journey without pause to Yas Marina for the Pirelli tire test.
It is Red Bull's other driver Mark Webber heading for an early holiday.
Italian minister says Montezemolo should quit over title loss
Luca di Montezemolo is swarmed by the media after Ferrari was beaten
(GMM) Luca di Montezemolo should resign immediately as Ferrari president after the Italian marque blew Fernando Alonso's title hopes in Abu Dhabi.
That was the emotional charge late on Sunday by Roberto Calderoni, a minister in the Berlusconi cabinet.
Despite being the points leader going into the 2010 finale and needing just a fifth place to be champion, Spaniard Alonso was pitted early by Ferrari in response to Mark Webber's pitstop and finished seventh.
"Despite the ability of the excellent Alonso, Ferrari has managed to lose a championship already won," said Calderoni.
Abu Dhabi Grand Prix offers glitzy glimpse of things to come in Austin As the day ends, pit crews soap and scrub down tires at the paddock. Rad Weaver of San Antonio pauses, smiles and takes a look around him.
"When you think about all they have accomplished here in just three years," he said on a balmy evening Friday at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, "coming here makes me realize how much more work we've got to do."
In just a few years, Abu Dhabi's leaders carved up an uninhabited desert isle, transforming it into a Formula One marina to rival Monaco. On the Yas Marina circuit, the race cars roar and screech underneath the Yas Hotel, the spectators gaping from above. Next door at Ferrari World Abu Dhabi, wanna-be drivers get their thrills at what's billed as the world's largest indoor theme park.
Valsecchi hangs on for final 2010 victory Davide Valsecchi jumped his rivals at the start to take the lead after the first corner of this afternoon’s sprint race in Abu Dhabi, leading all the way to the flag for his first win of the season by absorbing race long pressure from Luiz Razia and Romain Grosjean.
The Italian’s victory was set up when the lights went out: poleman Josef Kral was slightly delayed off the line, handing front row starter Razia a clear line to turn one, but the Brazilian went too deep. Valsecchi and Grosjean were side by side out of the corner and into the lead, and when Razia chopped back on track the Frenchman had nowhere to go and dropped back to third to avoid being squeezed on either side.
Another NASCAR White Elephant goes belly up After being sued by its co-lender, Wells Fargo & Co. has started foreclosure proceedings against the NASCAR Plaza office tower.
According to court filings, property owner Corporate Plaza Partners defaulted a year ago, when a $95 million loan Wells and Regions Financial Corp. made in 2007 came due; the outstanding balance was more than $70 million. Corporate Plaza Partners is an affiliate of Indianapolis-based Lauth Group Inc., which developed the tower next to the NASCAR Hall of Fame.
NASCAR Plaza stands 19 stories tall and measures 390,000 square feet. The building at South Caldwell and East Stonewall streets is perhaps the largest and most visible symbol of the stress Charlotte’s commercial real estate market is facing as a result of the recession. The tower opened last spring but is more than 60% vacant.
A foreclosure hearing has been scheduled for Nov. 30.
Abu Dhabi stewards keep Hamilton's title hopes alive (GMM) Lewis Hamilton's slim championship hopes are still alive after stewards decided not to penalize him on Saturday night.
With a Friday reprimand already over his head, the Briton was summoned to the FIA officials after collecting a bollard and almost Ferrari's Felipe Massa after delaying the Brazilian during an out-lap in Q2 in Abu Dhabi.
The 25-year-old said on the radio that it had been Massa's fault, to which the Brazilian replied that Hamilton must be "crazy".
Sunday on Wind Tunnel Wind Tunnel added another guest to Sunday’s line-up. Mark Kent, Director of GM Racing, will be on the show to talk about Friday’s announcement that Chevrolet will return to the IZOD IndyCar Series in 2012 with Penske Racing.
Guest Hosts Mike Joy (Host, NASCAR on FOX)
Adam Alexander (Host, NASCAR on TNT & SPEED Anchor)
Featured Interview Mark Kent (Director of GM Racing)
Expert Analyst Bob Varsha (Host, Formula One on SPEED)
Toyota and Tesla - Counting on an image boost The usually grim-faced Toyota President Akio Toyoda was all smiles Friday, trumpeting a newfound friendship with U.S. luxury electric carmaker Tesla.
Toyoda received as a gift from Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk a red roadster.
Toyoda's appearance struck a contrast to others in the past year that were dominated by apologies about Toyota's massive global recalls of some of its most popular cars.
Shaking hands with Musk, Toyoda told reporters the Japanese automaker had much to learn from Tesla.
"The speedy decision-making that's part of its makeup is what we really want to absorb," he said at a Tokyo Lexus showroom. "Toyota began as a venture. I think this will give us an opportunity to bring back that spirit."
Ride the Ferrari rollercoaster We’ve got a very interesting story in today’s Statesman newspaper about Ferrari World. It’s only been open a few days, so former Statesman writer Angela Shah was one of the first to visit this over-the-top attraction, the largest indoor amusement park in the world.
F1 drivers Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa take a ride. Check out their faces at the start of the ride. After that, they seem to realize that the worst is over. If you stop the video around the 26 second mark, however, it looks as if something ( a wallet?) flies out.
Fiat to open flagship store in downtown LA Imagine what a good tie-in this will be with the Long Beach IndyCar race if Fiat brings its Fiat or Dodge brand to IndyCar as rumored. - It'll be on the site of a Chrysler dealership that was abandoned six years ago, reports the Downtown News. The Chrysler Group is expected to be the owner/operator (unusual in the dealership business), with the brand lineup made up of Chrysler, Jeep, Ram Truck, Dodge and Fiat. This would be the first North American dealership for Fiat, which acquired a 20 percent stake in Chrysler last year.
"They're going to make this their flagship store for the West Coast and the factory is going to own the store," said Darryl Holter, chief administrative officer of the Shammas Group, which owns seven auto dealerships on the Figueroa Corridor, including the Porsche outlet across from the future Chrysler shop. Holter, who also chairs the Figueroa Corridor Business Improvement District, has spearheaded the development of the burgeoning auto center in the area loosely bounded by the Santa Monica (10) Freeway and USC. Adding five new brands is a shot in the arm for that vision, he said. "It is a big deal because for one thing it conforms to the original plans to take some of the lessons we've seen from auto malls in suburban areas and put that into a densely populated urban environment, and try to learn from some of that but adapt it in our own way," Holter said.
NASCAR Reacts To Chevy’s IndyCar Rebirth Chevrolet is king in NASCAR, where it won the Manufacturer’s Championship for the 34th time in the Sprint Cup Series this year. The return of the “Red Bow-Tie” to IndyCar was a major topic of conversation Friday at Phoenix Int’l Raceway.
“Thank God we finally have an American-made engine back at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway,” said Tony Stewart, the two-time NASCAR Cup champion who won the 1997 Indy Racing League championship and has competed in five Indianapolis 500s.
“It’s great news for IndyCar,” said IndyCar Series driver Danica Patrick, who is competing in a limited NASCAR Nationwide Series schedule this season. “IndyCar has desperately needed some competition out there. What I remember about Chevy from the last time they were in the IndyCar Series is they had big qualifying engines and they could be fast but at times they were worse on fuel mileage. I think about those things and how that would play in a race and create overtaking and shake things up. They were good at winning some poles because they were fast.
NASCAR hosting racing youth from Bahrain, Qatar NASCAR is hosting young people from Bahrain and Qatar as part of a diplomatic program of the U.S. State Department. The State Department said Friday that 11 young adults involved in auto racing would travel to Charlotte, N.C., and Miami Nov. 15-23. They are scheduled to visit the NASCAR Hall of Fame and to attend races. The trip is sponsored by SportsUnited, a State Department exchange program that brings foreign athletes to the United States. Associated Press
RPM at Phoenix, plan on being at Homestead While the four Richard Petty Motorsports teams were prepping cars for the first NASCAR Sprint Cup practice at Phoenix International Raceway on Friday morning, the regular chain of command was nowhere to be found. Robbie Loomis, executive director of racing operations, was scheduled in before qualifying. Sammy Johns, director of operations was preparing to run a half-Ironman in the Beach to Battleship Triathalon in Wilmington, N.C. In the lounge of the #43 transporter was Dr. Eric Warren, former technical director of Evernham Motorsports who revised his role at RPM specializing in simulation projects, who jokingly deferred responsibility to Mike Shiplett, crew chief of the #43 team. "We're here to sit on the pole and win the race," Shiplett said, sounding like Loomis. Shiplett is encouraged about this weekend's activities after his driver, AJ Allmendinger, won the pole at Phoenix in April and finished 15th. And since Allmendinger participated in the Goodyear tire test at Homestead in September, Shiplett feels the team will be strong in the season finale next weekend. "I think he'll be good there," Shiplett said. "He really liked the new tires - thought they had more grip and were able to fall off. When you have speed and fall off that makes for great racing. That puts the racing back in the driver's hands." As far as whether RPM will have cars for next week, Shiplett says everything is right on schedule. "We have our Homestead cars ready and are expecting delivery on the engines today," Shiplett said. "We'll put the engines in on Monday, chassis dyno the cars on Tuesday, Wednesday we'll do the final scales and the cars will be ready to go to Homestead. FoxSports
Perez dominates Abu Dhabi feature race Sergio Perez crushed his rivals with an unmatched display of speed on his way to a dominant win in today's feature race in Abu Dhabi, securing second place in the championship as he easily led the way home, greeting the checkered flag over twenty seconds ahead of Oliver Turvey and Sam Bird. The Mexican's victory was set up when the lights went out: polesitter Turvey bogged down slightly as he got away, allowing Perez an easily line into the lead at turn one.
Teammate Davide Valsecchi was also slow to get away, handing Romain Grosjean a simple line inside and through for P4, which improved by one when Fabio Leimer and Turvey touched wheels at the first corner, with the Swiss driver coming off worse. Further back Giedo van der Garde and Jules Bianchi came together too: the Dutchman was left stranded on the outside of turn one, and when Adrian Zaugg also tipped into a spin a few corners later there was no choice but to bring out the safety car.
Pedrosa hospitalized Repsol Honda Team rider Dani Pedrosa has been advised to rest for four more weeks to fully recover from the effects of his recent collarbone injury and subsequent surgery. The Spaniard visited Doctor Xavier Mir at the Dexeus Univertity Institute Hospital in Barcelona on Thursday to undergo further medical tests to determine the reasons for the numbness and lack of strength in his shoulder and left arm, which had affected Pedrosa’s performance in the final races of the 2011 season.
After two days of tests, consisting of a CAT scan, an MRI scan, electromyography and Eco-Doppler tests, the need for further surgery was ruled out. Following his four-week rest period Pedrosa, who secured second place in the MotoGP World Championship at the final race of the year in Valencia last Sunday, will start rehabilitation and return to physical training in order to regain full fitness for the first MotoGP tests of the 2011 season, which take place in Malaysia at the beginning of February.
Vettel and Webber lead final practice in Abu Dhabi
Fast man again, Sebastian Vettel
The Red Bull duo to Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber topped the third and final practice session for tomorrow's F1 finale in Abu Dhabi. The other two drivers in the championship hunt, McLaren's Lewis Hamilton was third and points leader Fernando Alonso 4th in his Ferrari.
However, we do not yet know whether the Ferraris are sandbagging. They both set their times earlier on and returned to the pits for the final minutes of the session, only popping back out at the end to take part in the practice starts after the end.
Track temperature was a blistering 43 degrees C for the start of this afternoon’s third and final free practice session of the 2010 Formula One championship season. Qualifying is up next.
Abu Dhabi: Friday Press Conference TEAM PRINCIPALS Stefano DOMENICALI (Ferrari) Christian HORNER (Red Bull) Adam PARR (Williams) Martin WHITMARSH (McLaren)
Q: First question to you all. We have had a fantastic World Championship this year with four drivers in contention at the end of the series. What do you think has been a major contribution to the excitement of the championship? Is it the rules, new circuits? Adam, what do you think it is?
Adam PARR: I am very honored to be here with the championship contenders. I think it is Formula One. The thing about Formula One unlike most sports is there are so many variables. There's the car, there's the drivers and there's the way the car develops during the year. There is each of the different circuits, the weather and then there is strategy and so forth. You have got so many variables that when you have got very many excellent teams like those sitting around me it is very hard for anybody to really dominate. It is just Formula One at its best.
Lewis Hamilton (1st, 1:40.888): "We've been hoping for some time to improve our revised rear wing. It hasn't really been working fully since we first tested it at Suzuka, so we've not been able to use it to its fullest extent. We knew that it had potential though - and to have it finally working properly is a huge plus for us. The car feels good, so I'm hopeful for a good qualifying result tomorrow afternoon. Of course, it will be tough, because the Red Bulls tend to pull out half a second in Q3, but our pace is closer to theirs than it's ever been. Of all the weekends this year, this time I feel like we really do have the right package to challenge the fastest cars. I think we can fight for the front row. My visit to the stewards was just to explain what happened out on track with Bruno [Senna]. It was a bit of a misunderstanding: he was trying to start his lap, and I was trying to come into the pits. I'll go and speak to Bruno to make sure everything's cool."
Selected quotes from Chevy IndyCar announcement Comments from selected motorsports and corporate executives about Chevrolet's return to the IZOD IndyCar Series starting in 2012 with a new twin-turbocharged, direct-injected V-6 racing engine powered by renewable E85 ethanol fuel (listed in alphabetical order):
JOHN BARNES (CEO, Panther Racing, IZOD IndyCar Series):"Firstly, I think this is a very special day for the IZOD IndyCar Series, and obviously we're very happy that our old friends from Chevrolet and General Motors will be returning to open-wheel racing and the Indianapolis 500 beginning in 2012. GM is a major part of Panther Racing's history, and they were instrumental in helping us achieve our two IndyCar championships and all 15 of our IndyCar race victories. Those of us involved in this series have been saying for over a year now that there is a lot of positive momentum in the IZOD IndyCar Series, and Chevrolet's announcement today only reinforces the strength and direction of our sport. We also need to take time to recognize the unbelievable support that Honda has given the IZOD IndyCar Series since becoming the sole engine supplier in 2006. The reliability of their motors and the commitment they have for open-wheel racing and our league is a big reason why our sport is as strong as it currently stands today. Let's hope that even more engine manufactures take note of where our series is heading and jump on board with Honda and Chevy. Teams, sponsors and fans should be very excited for the future of open-wheel racing and the direction in which we are heading."
Honda welcome and ready for Chevy challenge Statement from Erik Berkman, Honda Performance Development President, regarding the return of Chevrolet to IZOD IndyCar Series competition, beginning in 2012:
"We want to take this opportunity to welcome Chevrolet back to the IZOD IndyCar Series. Although we are certainly proud of HPD's numerous accomplishments during our tenure as single engine supplier to the Series - including an active and unprecedented streak of five consecutive Indianapolis 500s completed without an engine failure - we have repeatedly and unequivocally expressed our desire for engine competition within the Series, dating even from our first days of sole supply, in 2006.
"We look forward to renewing our relationship with Chevrolet as competitors on the race track and giving the fans of open-wheel racing a spirited and challenging rivalry."
Hamilton's pace gives Alonso title boost in Abu Dhabi (GMM) Lewis Hamilton threw a potential spanner in the works on Friday by setting the fastest practice time in Abu Dhabi.
Mark Webber and Fernando Alonso have been largely billed as the 2010 championship favorites for the season finale, with Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel – the Interlagos winner - tipped to play a supporting role.
But it was McLaren's Hamilton, who is also in with a narrow shout of the title, who was quickest in practice when the sun set on Friday night.
The Briton was superb at the circuit in 2009, and he was quicker late on Friday than championship challengers Vettel, Alonso and Webber respectively.
FIA steward Pirro hits back at Ferrari bias claims (GMM) Emanuele Pirro hit back on Friday amid criticisms of his appointment as a FIA steward for the 2010 championship finale.
Critics say the Roman-born former F1 driver and Ferrari fan is too closely aligned to the famous Italian team, whose Fernando Alonso is leading the championship with just this decisive race left to run.
The apparent conflict of interest was highlighted not only by Britain's Daily Mail but also the largest-circulation European newspaper, Bild Zeitung.
"Even the third largest daily newspaper in Italy denounced that an Italian should be officiating the final race when Ferrari is fighting for the title," 48-year-old Pirro told Germany's Auto Motor und Sport.
He added: "For me, this is a very responsible task, and even if I have my own favorite, I am able to be impartial.
Hamilton tops practice 2 in Abu Dhabi Lewis Hamilton ended the first day of F1 practice at Yas Island in Abu Dhabi with the fastest time - 1m40.888s ahead of Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel and Ferrari's Fernando Alonso. The other championship contender - Mark Webber - was fourth.
Turvey powers to pole in Abu Dhabi Oliver Turvey went one better from his fine performance in today's practice by claiming pole position for the feature race in a dramatic qualifying session in Abu Dhabi ahead of Dani Clos and Sergio Perez. The Briton spent the whole session at the sharp end of the timing sheets, but a late lap of 1:48.559 couldn't be bettered by his rivals, handing Turvey his first GP2 Series pole position by almost half a second.
With temperatures soaring this afternoon following a quiet practice session and a sudden downpour of rain just afterwards, the drivers were immediately on the pace: Perez, Turvey and Jules Bianchi were fighting fiercely for the top spot from their first flying laps, alternating the quickest times between them as they circulated. Ten minutes in and Turvey was on top (by just 0.009s), at fifteen Bianchi led the way, and with temperatures starting to slide it was difficult to know what to expect from the second set of tires.
Hulkenberg still without ride for 2011 Williams driver Nico Hulkenberg secured a surprise pole position in the recent Brazilian Grand Prix on a track that he had never before raced on. Although he eventually crossed the line in eighth place, the young German was happy with his weekend and is now looking forward to another strong race in Abu Dhabi this weekend, another circuit he has never seen before.
There is also the matter of his drive for next season and despite his stunning performance in Brazil there is still no word on where he will be....
Sebastian Vettel set the fastest time of Friday's first practice session in Abu Dhabi in what was essentially an exercise in circuit cleaning so the times below are largely meaningless. This afternoon's times will be more indicative of who in on pace and who is not.
The session started out wet after a morning shower, but dried late in the session.
IndyCar moves to stop Penske 'Unfair Advantage' Roger Penske always has had an unfair advantage in racing. In fact a book was written about Penske called just that - 'Unfair Advantage. With the rumor that Penske and Chevy have hooked up and will announce a new IndyCar deal today at 10 AM (along with Penske's Ilmor engine shop) has everyone in the IndyCar paddock saying, "here we go again."
But there may be good news that will prevent Penske from having a leg up on everyone yet again.
Speedtv.com reports that - The 2012 IndyCar Series rules aren’t yet finished, but according to Tony Cotman, the respected Kiwi who has been tasked with writing the new IndyCar chassis and engine regulations, preventing a powerhouse duo like GM and Penske from dominating the series is something he’s had in mind from the moment he took the job.
“No exclusive agreements between teams and manufacturers are allowed. Every team will have the same specification engine, depending on which manufacturer they use, at all times. If and when an upgrade becomes available, it will be done to all engines before it is released to the field. No one will have anything—a camshaft, valve, injector, piston or whatever—before the next guy. Everyone will receive the same treatment.”
The next area of the 2012 rules Cotman is working on involves making engines available to those who want to use a particular power plant.
“Now we have to decide how to divvy up the engines. I do not think that a manufacturer should dictate where their engines do or don’t go. The goal [for the series] is to have as close to a 50/50 split as possible, or whatever the ratio is based upon how many engine manufacturers we have. Even distribution is our goal for the new 2012 rules.”
There appears to be a bit of an exception in the case of the companies involved in Friday’s announcement, which Cotman addressed.
“In this case, Penske brought Chevy; I don’t think we’re going to stop teams from bringing manufacturers to the series. That’s just good business for the sport. If Andretti or Conquest wants to bring a new manufacturer in, for example, they are welcome to and will have every right to work with them. We won’t prohibit teams from working with ‘their’ manufacturers, but there will not be any special treatment that comes from it.” [Editor's Note: And if you believe that one we have a bridge to sell you. As long as Penske is again allowed to do his special engine deal on the side, he'll get the advantage.]
Williams announces technical collaboration Sainsbury’s and Williams F1 today announced a collaboration that will see Formula One-inspired technologies being developed at the Williams Technology Centre (WTC) in Qatar used to help the supermarket group increase its energy efficiency and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The partnership will also see advanced vehicle simulator technology used to support the training and development of Sainsbury’s drivers to enhance both energy efficiency and safety.
Today’s announcement covers two specific projects, with further areas of related collaboration under active discussion.
The first project will explore the adoption and use of Williams F1’s proprietary stationary high-momentum MLC flywheel systems in Sainsbury’s extensive network of depots and stores in the UK. The novel energy storage technology is expected to help Sainsbury’s support the introduction of distributed renewable energy generation, reduce energy consumption and increase reliability. The technology is a transient energy storage system, first developed for use in Formula One racing and it is now being scaled for a wide range of industrial and civil applications at the WTC which is headquartered at the Qatar Science & Technology Park in Doha, Qatar.
Lotus team announces young test drivers Lotus Racing has today confirmed its driver line-up for the forthcoming Young Driver Test in Abu Dhabi. The two drivers are Vladimir Arabadzhiev (Bulgaria) and Rodolfo González (Venezuela). Both drivers will be on track in chassis T127-02.
Riad Asmat, Lotus Racing Chief Executive Officer, gave his comments on the line-up, saying “We are very pleased to have confirmed that Rodolfo and Vladimir will be driving for us in Abu Dhabi. They both come from countries with growing interest in motorsport, and the chance to give emerging drivers the opportunity to step up to Formula One™ is central to the Lotus Racing philosophy of embracing young talent. Everyone in the team is looking forward to working with them over the two day test and I am delighted we could give them this opportunity.”
Van der Garde leads the way in final practice Giedo van der Garde won the first battle for dominance in this morning's practice session in Abu Dhabi, coming out on top in the last lap of a fierce skirmish on the timing screens ahead of Oliver Turvey and David Valsecchi. The Dutchman's best time of 1:50.600 gave him this morning's bragging rights by two tenths from his rivals in warm, sunny conditions as the drivers reacquainted themselves with the modern circuit.
With the F1 teams yet to arrive at the circuit ahead of the session there was no rubber on the track to give the drivers a hand, and the early running was tempered by the need to avoid the walls at all costs ahead of this afternoon's qualifying session.
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