Sunday, August 5, 2007
Tuesday, July 31, 2007
This also just in. The ruling WMSC had made 5 days ago will be appealed against says FIA president Max Mosley. The announcement was made following correspondence with Luigi Macaluso, President of CSAI (Commissione Sportiva Automobilistica Italiana), the Italian Motorsport authority. Macaluso claims that several McLaren representatives were aware of the leaked documents. Max Mosley believes that the ruling might have been different had Ferrari been given a chance to explain their part rather than just use what had been laid for evidence.
Let's see what is to become of Liuzzi and more importantly, the World Championship, especially in light of very recent events.
Monday, July 30, 2007
Friday, July 27, 2007
Sakon Yamamoto to Spyker
The Japanese racer, Sakon Yamamoto has been signed on by Spyker for the rest of the season. He will be replacing the sacked Albers. Yamamoto, who has raced with Super Aguri-Honda for half the season last year, is obviously delighted. He had this to say about being selected:
"I am very pleased to get the opportunity to race in Formula 1 again. I know all the circuits we are going to very well, having raced at them with Aguri last year. I also know the team from my test in 2005 so I feel ready for the chance. I want to do the best I can and help the team achieve their objective of moving up the field. I'm looking forward to working with them."
Scott Speed - Speeding out of STR???
Scuderia Toro Rosso racer Scott Speed is angry with his team and might be replaced either in the next few races or at the end of the season. Apparently, Speed is furious with a reprimand he got for spinning off into retirement at the European Grand Prix after three laps when it began to rain. Speed accused team principal Franz Tost of physically "abusing" him. Even though the incident was played down by Tost, there is no doubt that Speed is clearly not happy with the team and might just be around for much longer. Speed said this about incident and his future in F1:
"To be honest, the only thing I'm worried about is my relationship with Red Bull, because obviously Franz Tost and Gerhard Berger have been pushing the same dishonesty to the media, and I'm worried that might have ruined my relationship with Red Bull. Because Red Bull has been amazing to me, and I think we fit together really good, and it's a shame to let these two people ruin the whole thing. As far as my future in F1 is concerned, you couldn't pay me enough money to race for those two people again. If it was with a different team, that would be great, but I would also like to do something else with Red Bull, even if it was outside F1."
"To be honest, the only thing I'm worried about is my relationship with Red Bull, because obviously Franz Tost and Gerhard Berger have been pushing the same dishonesty to the media, and I'm worried that might have ruined my relationship with Red Bull. Because Red Bull has been amazing to me, and I think we fit together really good, and it's a shame to let these two people ruin the whole thing. As far as my future in F1 is concerned, you couldn't pay me enough money to race for those two people again. If it was with a different team, that would be great, but I would also like to do something else with Red Bull, even if it was outside F1."Alonso Hungry for Hungary Win
Fresh after his win at the Nürburgring, Alonso is gunning for victory at the Hungaroring, in a bid to equalise/overtake his team-mate Lewis Hamilton in the Driver's Championship. Alonso received a huge boost in confidence and in the standings after closing the gap to Hamilton by 10 whole points. Alonso, who was coming under attack from a now-awake Räikkönen really needed those points if he was to have any chance of staying second. It did seem for a while that with Ferrari's superior speed and Räikkönen's "awakening", it would only be a matter of time before Räikkönen caught up with him and overhauled him. Alonso had this to say about the upcoming race:
Räikkönen refuses to bow out of Championship "In Hungary it would be good to win in the dry. More than anything to see that we have improved the car a bit and because Hungary suits the McLaren very well - it's a slower circuit, like Monaco. In the last few races they (Ferrari) have been three tenths per lap quicker. Sometimes things go right, other times they don't. This time everything worked well and we took advantage of it, unlike other times. I will remain the same. I'll try to be on the podium and finish ahead of everybody else. As I always said, the Championship is long and whoever is more consistent or stronger in the 17 races will win the title."
"In Hungary it would be good to win in the dry. More than anything to see that we have improved the car a bit and because Hungary suits the McLaren very well - it's a slower circuit, like Monaco. In the last few races they (Ferrari) have been three tenths per lap quicker. Sometimes things go right, other times they don't. This time everything worked well and we took advantage of it, unlike other times. I will remain the same. I'll try to be on the podium and finish ahead of everybody else. As I always said, the Championship is long and whoever is more consistent or stronger in the 17 races will win the title."
Ferrari's Kimi Räikkönen has refused to bow out of this year's Championship and said that he's not out of it as yet. He also said that he could've won the European Grand Prix had it not been for a hydraulic problem. Probably true, given the fact that he was quicker than both Alonso and team-mate Massa. Still, he maintained that despite having superior pace over the McLarens, Ferrari simply had to improve their reliability. He also said that even though there was one race less, the gap to the front remained the same (thanks to Hamilton's first point-less race).
FIA releases provisional calendar for 2008.
The following is the provisional calendar released by the FIA.
|14th September||Belgium||Spa Francorchamps|
That's all there is for now. Keep watching this space for more.
|3.||Felipe Massa||Scuderia Ferrari||59|
|4.||Kimi Räikkönen||Scuderia Ferrari||52|
|10.||Mark Webber||Red Bull-Renault||8|
|10(=).||David Coulthard||Red Bull-Renault||8|
|14.||Takuma Sato||Super Aguri-Honda||4|
Thursday, July 26, 2007
Come Sunday, and rain was expected around the start of the race. This complicated issues a bit as all the teams were on dry tyres and none of them were expecting rains. All the 22 cars were off on their formation lap and very cleverly, Markus Winkelhock/Spyker decided to switch to wet weather tyres at the very end of the lap. A lap down and the heavens had opened up. 4 out of 5 cars spin out at the same corner - the first one. One of them was Hamilton. While the others' engines had shut down, Hamilton kept his running for over 2 minutes before a crane came and helped him back. Although it was not supposed to be done, it was. Racing with assistance is not allowed. But I think given the conditions, it was okay for him to do so. All cars came and pitted to change their tyres to wet weather. Räikkönen made an uncharacteristic error and spun at the pit lane entrance forcing him to stay out on track to do another lap on the dry tyres. With so much of chaos, after 4 laps, the race was stopped to enable drivers and engineers to discuss the car and wait for track conditions to improve. 5 cars, however, were not making the restart and they were: Jenson Button (Honda), Adrian Sutil (Spyker), Nico Rosberg (Williams), and the two Toro Rossos of Vitantonio Liuzzi and Scott Speed as they had all spun out. Now, according to the rules, whenever there's a restart, the last car to lead will restart in 1st. This meant that first time racer Markus Winkelhock was on pole, thanks to their quick decision to start on the wet tyres and Räikkönen, as a result of his botched up entry into the pit lane, found himself in 7th place on the grid behind Kovalainen, Webber, Coulthard, Alonso, Massa and of course, Winkelhock.
At the restart, the Safety Car led for two laps before starting the race. The restart, incidentally, was a rolling start. That means that instead of the drivers waiting on the grid for the lights to go out and then start, they straightaway start as soon as the safety car goes into the pits, but no overtaking is allowed till your car crosses the start-finish line. Markus Winkelhock very wisely moved out of Massa's and Alonso's way. Massa came under immediate attack from Alonso but hold him off. In another lap or so, the track had begun to dry very rapidly and all drivers make a stop to switch from wet weather tyres to intermediate ones.
Räikkönen starts to drive his usual self - on the limit and quickly comes third behind Alonso and Massa. He goes so fast that not only is he gaining .5-.6s on Alonso, but is also gaining time on Massa by about .2-.3s. Winkelhock, meanwhile, retired following a hydraulic problem on lap 13, as did Takuma Sato on lap 19 and Räikkönen on lap 34. Other casualties included Ralf Schumacher who was racing his home race and was sent across the gravel trap by Nick Heidfeld in an accident. Nick apologised and Ralf forgave him later on. Of course, the blame partly laid with Ralf who exited the Coca-Cola corner poorly. With Räikkönen out of the way and Massa leading the race, it looked like Massa would win, which until the time Räikkönen retired looked like he could challenge for victory. Well, anyways, the race was set with Massa leading and Alonso close on his heels with Mark Webber (a distant) third. Just as we thought it would be a Ferrari victory with just 12 laps to go, rain was predicted in about 10 minutes. With 7 laps to spare, all the drivers pitted again to change back to wet weather tyres and that was when the McLarens had the clear advantage. Just as the Ferraris had it in the dry, the McLarens were really quick in the wet and Alonso was closing in on Massa really, really quickly. With 3 laps to go, Alonso overtook Massa in the most daring fashion. Had to hand it to Massa though, he defended really well even on the tyres that didn't suit the car. But all he did was just delay the inevitable, really... Still, Alonso's overtaking move was really, not Schumacher-like, but really breath-taking. Massa and Alonso touched, with Massa's tyre mark showing on Alonso' sidepod. He didn't look happy about that later on. After overtaking, Alonso opened up a gap of 8.1s in just 3 laps. Hamilton, meanwhile, made the most of this situation and charged at the two Renaults in front of him. With 1 lap to go, to get into the points, he had to overtake 2 cars. Tall order, but he did manage to overtake Fisichella and came very close to Kovalainen. All this very clearly showed that while the Ferrari was good in the dry and the wet-to-dry conditions, McLaren clearly ruled the wet.
So, at the end of the race, these were the results:
1. Fernando Alonso (McLaren-Mercedes)
2. Felipe Massa (Scuderia Ferrari)
3. Mark Webber (Red Bull-Renault)
4. Alexander Wurz (Williams-Toyota)
5. David Coulthard (Red Bull-Renault)
6. Nick Heidfeld (BMW)
7. Robert Kubica (BMW)
8. Heikki Kovalainen (Renault)
9. Lewis Hamilton (McLaren-Mercedes)
10. Giancarlo Fisichella (Renault)
11. Rubens Barrichello (Honda)
12. Anthony Davidson (Super Aguri-Honda)
13. Jarno Trulli (Toyota)
The list of retirees (with lap on which they retired and reason) are:
1. Kimi Räikkönen (Scuderia Ferrari) Lap 34 - Hydraulic
2. Takuma Sato (Super Aguri-Honda) Lap 19 - Hydraulic
3. Ralf Schumacher (Toyota) Lap 19 - Accident
4. Markus Winkelhock (Spyker-Ferrari) Lap 13 - Hydraulic
5. Jenson Button (Honda) Lap 2 - Spin
6. Adrian Sutil (Spyker-Ferrari) Lap 2 - Spin
7. Nico Rosberg (Williams-Toyota) Lap 2 - Spin
8. Scott Speed (STR-Ferrari) Lap 2 - Spin
9. Vitantonio Liuzzi (STR-Ferrari) Lap 2 - Spin
Out of the car and into the weight-checking area, Alonso had a few words with Massa, who was obviously pissed at the fact that Massa came so close to finishing their or his race/s. Here's the transcript:
Alonso: You did it intentionally, as in Barcelona.
Massa: No, I did not.
Alonso: You broke my sidepod there - go and have a look at it!
Massa: Go f**k yourself!. You won and you say something like this.
Alonso: Mate, it can't break itself.
Alonso: I have fought with Heidfeld, with everybody, what you did with three laps to go can't be done.
Massa: He wins and says that. You must learn.
Alonso: It is you who has to learn. I have fought with everybody and with three laps to go, we touch!
Alonso: Bravo you!
Massa: You say that I did it on purpose, like I did that on purpose in Barcelona?. You were remained behind.
(As this point Ron Dennis steps in)
Dennis: Boys calm down.
Massa: Tell him to!Well, that's it for now then. Till the next race, which by the way, is the Hungarian GP on 5th August to be telecast live on Star Sports at 5:30 pm (IST), it's bye from me.
Thursday, July 19, 2007
Let's talk about Winkelhock. Markus Winkelhock, relatively unknown till Adrian Sutil's (so far) teammate, Christijan Albers was sacked due to sponsor problems, was a test driver for Spyker with no superlicence that is needed to race in F1. Christijan Albers was thoroughly outpaced, both in qualifying and in the races, by his rookie teammate, Adrian Sutil. Not that at their level, competition is much, but still... What I mean is that Spyker's main aim usually is to finish the race and finish is as high as possible. And so, between these two, Sutil has generally qualified higher and atleast finished more races than Albers. Perhaps the last straw for Spyker boss, Colin Kolles, was at the French Grand Prix, held a week before the British one, when after his pitstop, Albers took the fuelling hose with him all the way down the pitlane, and consequently, retire. That did not go down well with the bosses and heads of Spyker. After the Silverstone GP(where Sutil retired 'coz of a blown engine and Albers finished last), it became official that Spyker had parted company with Albers. It then became a case of test drivers jumping into the fray to occupy the vacant seat. Our Indian racer, Narain Karthikeyan was also supposedly in the running. (Although I never thought he would make it.) Winkelhock, at that time was a very vague possibility and Christian Klien was the one touted to replace Albers. That did not happen and Spyker have done something of a favour to Winkelhock by letting him race in his home GP. As you might already know, a home GP is very special to a racer. It gives him extra motivation and maybe, just maybe, he tries harder than he already is, to do better and go faster. Winkelhock has been given this one race. If he impresses, he's in. Else, he's out. I'm keeping my fingers crossed and hoping he'll finish his very first race, perhaps higher than his slightly more experienced teammate, Sutil.
Next up, it's about Kimi Räikkönen. This extremely talented Finnish driver wants to break his German jinx and fin(n)ish first in the race. He's always had bad luck here. With just a single podium to his name at this circuit and a retirement whilst leading, Räikkönen, has this to say about the race:
"I don't know what it is about Germany. I have never had any luck there during my entire Formula One career. I've always been competitive at the Nürburgring and at Hockenheim, but something always happened to stop me from winning. Let's hope that I can turn around things here my first time with Ferrari. I had one podium finish at the Nürburgring with my former team, but a couple of times I had to stop while I was leading in the race: that is a bad memory. Although I have to say that I like the place."
Well, all the best Kimi... And watch out for teammate, Massa. I don't think he's too happy with you stealing what could have been his victory, at France. Let's see.
Lastly, work in the largest Arabian emirate of Abu Dhabi, on the F1 track to be built as a part-permanent, part-non-permanent circuit has begun and work is well underway. They'll be making their F1 appearance in 2009. With the announcement that F1 will be leaving the US in 2008, Bernie Ecclestone, F1 supremo, is determined that the "show must go on." Besides, the East is sitting up and taking notice of the sport and so it's really not that surprising after all. Here's to a successful Abu Dhabi GP.
Well, that's all there is for today. Watch this space for more.