Massa announces loss of mind

January 15, 2012 by

Felipe Massa’s at it again.  Ferrari’s clear Number Two just turns out to be full of Number Two, as evidenced here thanks to ESPN.

I for one approve of this: it means that Massa will continue at Ferrari in the grand Rubens Barrichello tradition before signing for a midpack team, such as the future Caterham.  At least, until they realize that, when they need drivers that can actually win races to acquire sponsorship cash, Massa, while previously fast, isn’t who he was before his 2009 Hungarian accident.  And in the process, he can make statements as Rubinho has, stating his frustration towards his team and their inability to provide a car that, like the 1997 Williams (driven by Villeneuve), a monkey can win races in.

To close, with a quote from Galaxy Quest:

“Never give up.  Never surrender.”

Younger drivers goes to the absolute extreme

July 24, 2009 by

In an effort to find ever younger drivers, Formula One teams have finally reached the youngest possible candidates: fetuses.
“Well, Jaime Alguersuari is making his debut at 19, so obviously the younger ages can cope with driving F1 cars,” said an anonymous team principal.  “Therefore, we need to hire talent as early as possible, which involves hiring unborn babies.  We have a complex process to isolate those babies with the greatest winning potential, which includes DNA scans, ultrasounds, and random choices based upon location.”

This raises an important question, though, which those at CTTR asked the mysterious principal: will this inspire breeding specifically to create a genetically engineered F1 driver?
“Well, though we haven’t yet accomplished that, it is in the future,” he said.  “As soon as we develop the technology, we will indeed create F1 drivers from birth.  This will allow us to control every aspect of the driver to result in the driver being an exact personality match with the team.  Though if that happens, I hear McLaren is already looking into android technology…”

Silverstone Qualifying Liveblog

June 20, 2009 by

Welcome to Silverstone, home of perhaps the final official British Grand Prix to be held at the first ever Grand Prix track.

Red Bull was quick in practice, but destroyed their tires–can Jenson Button live the dream and take pole?

The twenty minute Q1 session has begun.

Sorry–stream just skipped, we’ve got 17 minutes to go in Q1.

Following Fisichella, the official CTTR Deadbeat Teammate multiple time winner.

And he goes first–only since he set the first flying lap.

Kimi goes P4 behind Sutil, Bourdais, Fisi.

And goes to P8 instantly.

14:50 to go, it’s Bourdais, Sutil, Glock, Heidfeld, Fisi, Kubica, Trulli, Buemi, Raikkonen.

Force India has been mega-quick–could they get a point in the race?

Trulli goes P1, Button to P2, Glock to P3, Massa to P4.

Bourdais is in P5 at the moment.

Kovalainen desperate and getting seriously sideways on his first flier.

Raikkonen sets fastest time for sector 2.

11:30 to go.

Trulli goes to P1.

Vettel is out.

10:00 to go, Trulli/Webber/Rosberg/Vettel/Barrichello/Nakajima/Alonso/Glock/Button/Hamilton.

Webber to P1! Just over a tenth quicker than Trulli who is in second.

Vettel to first.

Alonso to P4.

Kubica to P14–BMW’s slow everywhere.

Heidfeld to P13.

Bourdais to P10.  Nice!

Kovalainen in 20th, setting personal best sectors but it still isn’t enough.

6:35 to go.

Hamilton is in only 13th–behind even Sutil and Bourdais.

Heidfeld goes off-roading and manages to return to the circuit.

Massa is in 18th, Raikkonen 16th.  Horrible weekend for Ferrari.

With 4:00 to go, it’s Webber/Vettel/Trulli/Alonso.

Drop zone is Raikkonen, Heidfeld, Massa, Buemi, Kovalainen–some very big names indeed.

Raikkonen to SIXTH.

Kovalainen crosses the line again–17th.  Yikes.

Massa to ninth.

Everybody’s attention is on Heikki–he’s actually inside the top 15 so far on this lap.

And he goes to P14.  We’ll have to see if he stays there.

Sutil is in 16th, Fisichella in 14th.  So much for Force India being quick.

Hamilton crosses the line…one lap to go.

Sutil has DESTROYED the car with 0:45 to go.

Red flag for the session–no time for more laps, so Q1 is OVER.

Replay of Sutil’s crash–brakes or something broke and sent the car into the tyre wall at serious speed.

Knocked out in Q1:

16th Fisichella, 17th Bourdais, 18th Sutil, 19th Hamilton, 20th Buemi.

Hamilton describes the car as “dead slow.”  Refreshing to hear a driver/team admit that he’s in the worst car on the grid.

Buemi goes out for a last test lap with 0:14 to go–won’t get a flier.

Stig gets airtime.

Video of Kovalainen’s lap–sideways everywhere, fighting the car like crazy.

And Q2 begins.

15 minute session as usual.

Vettel out first.

…And my stream dies.  Sorry!

Rant on the FOTA breakaway

June 18, 2009 by

This is my rant and honest opinion on the FOTA teams forming a breakaway series in 2010, I’m keeping this short, and to the point.

Do any of you kids old folks readers remember back in the early 90s where CART was the big thing in US motorsports, not NASCAR? Well if you do, then you may be thinking that the FOTA breakaway sounds alot like the CART/IRL split, only backwards. The FOTA breaks away because they want to spend more money than what the new FIA regs would allow, whereas the CART/IRL split which was based on Tony George wanting to build open wheel cars with production based engines cheaper than it would to run a CART team.

Then, of course there was all sorts of drama, CART running the US 500 the same weekend as the Indy 500, teams leaving CART to go to the IRL, 2 rounds of bankruptcy, losing the majority of the fan base, etc., etc.

Now, I don’t know about you, but I’m fearing that this split may send F1 into a downward spiral if the FOTA series takes all the big name teams, drivers, sponsors where it will leave them no choice but to join the FOTA series while most of the fans have taken their motorsport interest elsewhere.

Just my 2 cents.

BREAKING: FOTA to form breakaway series in 2010

June 18, 2009 by

After numerous threats towards the FIA, and negotiations with the FIA on the new budget restrictions for 2010, the Formula 1 Teams Association (FOTA) have decided to take its member teams (which account for all but  2 teams currently competing in F1; Williams and Force India) and form their own series.

All the FOTA teams met at the Renault headquarters in Enstone, UK and discussed their dissappointement with the FIA’s regulations and its ‘stance against the organization’.

“The teams cannot continue to compromise on the fundamental values of the sport and have declined to alter their original conditional entries to the 2010 World Championship,” said a statement issued by FOTA after the meeting.

As posted earlier, all the FOTA teams had entered, provisionally for the 2010 F1 campaign, knowing that the breakaway could happen at any time. Max Mosely urged the FOTA teams to not form the breakaway series, but the FIA would not change their regulations on the budget cap for 2010, the teams’ determined today that they could not agree to the new terms or compromise.

Putting Your Foot Down

June 16, 2009 by

After negotiations with FOTA on reaching an agreement on financial restrictions for 2010, the FIA have decided that the 45 million euro budget cap would be in effect for 2010.

Member teams of FOTA threatened to pull out of the 2010 campaign if that regulation stayed and form a breakaway series. All the teams competing this year have placed entries for 2010, and only 5 teams (Ferrari, Red Bull, Toro Rosso, Williams and Force India) have conditionally “agreed” to these regulations while 4 other teams, BMW, Brawn GP, Toyota and McLaren still have conditional entries and may still pull out and enter the FOTA breakaway if that were to happen.

Statement from the FIA:

As a result, the meeting could not achieve its purpose of comparing the FIA’s rules with the FOTA proposals with a view to finding a common position.

In default of a proper dialogue, the FOTA financial proposals were discussed but it became clear that these would not be capable of limiting the expenditure of a team which had the resources to outspend its competitors. Another financial arms race would then be inevitable.

The FIA Financial Regulations therefore remain as published.

Laziness, does NOT have it’s perks

June 14, 2009 by

Well after taking a little “vacation” from the blog, I’m back and with some big, big happenings of late going on in the F1 world. I’m going to try my best to be brief here, there’s many, many discussion points that have been controversial, at best.

  1. This past Friday, the FIA announced the 13 teams that would compete in the 2010 world championship, all 10 teams from this season, plus 3 new teams; USF1 Engineering, Campos Grand Prix and Manor
  2. Ferrari, Toro Rosso and Red Bull Racing have threatened to pull out of the 2010 campaign if the FIA does not change their minds on rule changes for next season, but according to the FIA, their entries are unconditional due to contractional obligations with sponsors and drivers
  3. Toyota, Renault, BMW, McLaren and Brawn GP are conditional entries, that are still unsure whether or not they will compete in 2010, if they do not uconditionally agree with the rules by this Friday, their entries will be dropped
  4. The only 2 teams that have officially accpeted the new regulations is Williams and Force India
  5. The rules that have caused so much conontroversy are a budget cap ($62 million US) for car development, and a bigger role of the teams in governing the sport, which doesn’t sit well with FOTA and its member teams
  6. FOTA has threatened to take their teams and form a breakaway series if the rule changes are not implemented (think CART and IndyCar split, except with a more valid reason)
  7. The European car makes in F1 have sided with FOTA and will follow them into a breakaway series if that were to happen
  8. Lewis Hamilton has said that he would follow McLaren/Mercedes-Benz wherever they decide to go
  9. I did my best to describe these quite confusing events, I probably messed something up here, and if I did, please leave a comment

Phew, what a post, when updates are available, I will post them.

Monaco Quali Liveblog

May 23, 2009 by

Well, considering that I managed to find a decent stream right as Hamilton smashed the car in Q1, here goes….qualifying from the most fantastic track on the calendar.

Current last five:  Buemi, Kubica, Fisichella, Bourdais, and Heidfeld.

BMW’s been slow all weekend.  Kubica cannot be happy.

Riding with the BBC as the quali session resumes after a red flag for Hamilton.

Massa first out–he nearly spun the car on his first outlap and destroyed the nose.  Ferrari replaced it, gave him some mind management in the pits(!) and sent him back out.

Kimi completes his next flier, but he’s 1.6 seconds off the pace.

Massa on a decent flier after two warmup laps.  Half a second off in the second sector.

Only to 9th.

Kimi puts in a much better lap which moves him to SECOND.  Massa is as usual getting murdered in Monaco quali.

Vettel to P4.  Top ten:  Barrichello, Raikkonen, Button, Vettel, Nakajima, Sutil, Hamilton, Kovalainen, Rosberg.

Massa to P4.

2:00 to go.

Kubica starting a flier.

Button goes half a second quicker than anybody–giant shot of Richard Branson’s beard.  My viewing is enhanced.  NOT!

Kubica goes P13.  Will it be enough?

Webber to 5th.  Piquet to 10th.  Hamilton 13th now.

Alonso to P8.

Vettel abandons his second to last lap due to a…yellow flag?

Heidfeld is 18th and basically screwed.

Checkered flag!

Massa to P2.

Kubica to P17, toast.

Rosberg QUICKEST?  Impossible.

Buemi in the end was EIGHTH.  Fantastic performance by the rookie.

Both Force Indias through to Q2!

Heidfeld, Kubica, Trulli, Bourdais, Glock, the final five.  Toyota’s toast.  Simply toast; even behind BMW.

Replay of Glock going in circles in the Swimming Pool chicane.

Time for a five minute break before Q2.

Eddie Jordan:  “Toyota is slow in slow speed corners.”  Captain Obvious to the rescue!

Q2 begins.  Fifteen minute session.

Nakajima is out first.

Raikkonen to P1 – 1:15.332.

Webber 0.020 off in the first sector.

Vettel to P1. 1:15.217.

Nakajima to P4.  Webber to P7.

Rosberg to….P1!  1:14.846.  Four tenths up.

Vettel does a 1:14.926.

Barrichello first–Webber first….Massa only to P5.

Kovalainen to P1!

Quicker times almost every lap.

Piquet spins into the final corner and BARELY doesn’t whack off the wall.

Alonso to P8.  Quickest in the final practice but can’t get it done so far in Q2.

6:15 to go.

Fisichella gets DQ’d for cutting the swimming pool chicane.

Final five:  Piquet, Buemi, Sutil, Bourdais, Fisichella.  Eh?  Apparently Bourdais didn’t get kicked out in Q1 like I was shown.

Updated Q1 dropout:  Hamilton, Kubica, Heidfeld, Trulli, Glock.

Fisichella on track–apparently with two of his times from Q1 gone he still was quick enough to participate in Q2.

Still only to P15.

Button is slow apparently–no idea why.

Sutil looking good–goes to P13.  Can he make it to Q3 on a last ditch flier?

Massa begins his final lap.

Buemi to P11–one more lap.

Raikkonen to P1 by 3 tenths.

Barrichello to P4.

Button is seriously slow–what’s wrong?

Alonso to P9–Button is only EIGHTH?  Three seconds off in the second sector.

11th through 15th:  Buemi, Piquet, Fisichella, Bourdais, Sutil.

Nakajima makes it to Q3 for the first time in 2009.

Five minute break before the ten minute shootout!

Massive interview with Hamilton.

Apologizing to the team–he looks about as dejected as is humanly possible.  Forces a smile.

Q3 in a moment after a completely pointless interview with Eddie Jordan.

And Q3 has begun.

Vettel out first.  BBC suspects Kimi will be on pole.

Kovalainen looking good.

Only Webber and Nakajima are still in the pits.

Vettel does a 1:16.206.

Button to P2-1:16.3.

Barrichello to P4 behind Raikkonen.

Button a tenth quicker in the first sector of his second lap.

Rosberg to P1 by 0.604!  Light fuel surely.

Button 0.052 down in sector 2 relative to Rosberg.

Vettel to P1!

Button to P3.  “Not enough”

Barrichello to P2 by only 0.075.

Kovalainen to P6.  Not too bad compared to Barcelona.

Webber finally out while Vettel comes in for tyres before a final run.

Rosberg in too.

4:00 to go.

Nakajima is “ninth but out of the top ten.”  Martin Brundle emulating Murray Walker?

Kimi is relatively slow–only to P7.  Webber to 9th but apparently on a better lap now.

Kimi 0.3 off after S2.  He goes to P2!  Not too bad, 0.027 off.

Rosberg out for a final “do or die” lap with a minute to go.

Vettel, Raikkonen, Rosberg, Barrichello, Button, Webber, Massa, Kovalainen, Alonso, Nakajima.

Massa to 3rd.  Alonso to P9 still.

Raikkonen is 0.1 quicker.  Button is 0.28 quicker in S1!

Kimi goes P1, 1:14.9.

Button to P1 with a 1:14.9!

Barrichello to P3 only.

Vettel coming around….P4.  Kovalainen to 7th.

Massa parks it.

Alonso to P9.  Webber to P8.

Another Button pole.  MSC, v2.0.

That lap was FANTASTICALLY quick from Jense–brilliant.  Nick Fry claps Richard Branson on the back.

Button, Raikkonen, Barrichello, Vettel, Massa, Rosberg, Kovalainen, Webber, Alonso, Nakajima are the top ten.

Kimi in the top three–the press conferences are starting to cry already.

This has been Monaco qualifying with CTTR–goodbye and we will see you for the race!

Over, already? Nonsense…

April 19, 2009 by

After the worst first 3 races for Ferrari since the early 80s where both drivers have failed to score a championship point, Kimi Raikkonen believes that the Tifosi’s bid to win the championship is already over. The iceman was quoted this week at Shanghai saying that Ferrari are “never going to be in a position to win the championship (this year) but hopefully we can improve the car and try to win some races later on this season, that’s the realistic aim.”

Well I will admit that it’s been a rough start for the red cars, many of the teams who were thought to be contenders like McLaren and BMW have been struggling mightily as well. Until today, Heikki Kovalainen failed to complete 1-race lap, the Saubers of Kubica and Heidfeld have lost their way since Australia and Lewis Hamilton has found himself in uncharacteristic positions. All those teams have combined to score 12 points, which is nearly less than half of what Jenson Button has scored driving impressivley in the Brawn GP car.

So before Kimi can come out complaining that his season is over, he should look at the big picture, realizing that he’s a capable enough driver with a team who has won numerous championships. They’re just in a rough spot at the moment which everyone encounters at least once in their lives, it’s simply a matter or perserverance.

Lie Gate

April 7, 2009 by

After much confusion after the Australian Grand Prix between Lewis Hamilton and Jarno  Trulli under the final safety car which resulted in McLaren’s disqualification of that race, the WMSC has ordered the team to a meeting on April 29. The incident started when Trulli’s car went off the track and Hamilton was not sure to go by the Toyota or to let him back in place, the radio transmission between Hamilton and his engineer follows:

Phil Prew (race engineer to Hamilton): OK Lewis, you just need to make sure your delta’s positive over the safety car line. After the safety car line the delta doesn’t matter, but no overtaking. No overtaking.

Lewis Hamilton: The Toyota went off in the second to last corner I overtook him is that OK?

PP: Understood, Lewis. We’ll confirm and get back to you.

LH: He was off the track. He went wide.

PP: Lewis, you need to allow the Toyota through. Allow the Toyota through now.


(Hamilton yields to Trulli, unseen on TV screens)

LH: He’s slowed right down in front of me.

PP: OK, Lewis. Stay ahead for the time being. Stay ahead. We’ll get back to you. We’re talking to Charlie (Whiting, race director).

LH: I’ve let him past already.

PP: OK, Lewis. That’s fine. That’s fine. Hold position. Hold position.

LH: Ask Charlie I already overtook him and I’ve just let him past so…

PP: I understand Lewis. We are checking. Now can we go to yellow G5, yellow Golf 5.

LH: If I don’t have to let him past then I should be able to take that position back, because he made a mistake.

Dave Ryan (team manager): Yes, we understand Lewis. Let’s just do it by the book. We’re asking Charlie now. You are in P4, if you hold this position. Just keep it together.

PP: OK Lewis, your KERS is full, your KERS is full. Just be aware. You can go back to black F2, black Foxtrott 2.

LH: Have you found out from Charlie on whether I can take it back or not?

We’re till waiting on a response Lewis, still waiting.

PP: Lewis, work on your brakes please. Front brakes are cold.

DR: Lewis, If we are able to use, to deploy KERS that would be good. If you can deploy KERS please do so now.

PP: OK, Lewis, this is the last lap of the race. At the end of the lap the safety car will come in, you just proceed over the line without overtaking, without overtaking. We are looking into the Trulli thing, but just hold position.

After the race where Jarno Trulli was initially penalized for passing Hamilton under the safety car, Hamilton denied to race stewards that the above conversation with his engineer took place. But, after the FIA released the radio transaction, they were asked again about the conversation and admitted that it took place and subsequently, the FIA disqualified both McLarens.

Now, today McLaren announced that long time sporting director David Ryan had been fired from the team after instructing Hamilton and his engineer to lie about the conversation they had regarding the safety car scenario with Trulli.