Archive for November, 2008

Michael Schumacher may be your next designated driver

November 30, 2008

In conjunction with Bacardi’s “Champions Drive Responsibly” campaign promoting that one should always designate a drive when drinking, 28 people across the world will have a chance to ride around the Ascari circuit with Michael Schumacher.

“I am eager to spread this message that drinking and driving don’t mix. It is a topic I personally feel strongly about, I have not driven the Ascari circuit before so this will be a new and exciting experience for me as well,” said Schumacher

Hopefully the contest winners don’t take the slogan too literally and get drunk before the ride-along…

2009 Driver Lineups – Force India Mercedes, 1 seat possibly confirmed

November 28, 2008

The Force India team is going through a major restructuring process, after firing key members of it’s braintrust, switching from Ferrari engines to Mercedes-Benz (as well as getting techinical help from McLaren) something that may not change is the driver lineup.

According to various sources, Italian driver Giancalo Fisichella will come back for 2009 after many rumors after the Ferrari to McLaren switch that test drivers Paul di Resta and Pedro de la Rosa would replace Fisi and #2 driver Adrian Sutil.

There has been no word on the future of Sutil, but it appears that he may be out of his ride for next year, I’ll keep you posted on any updates.

Renault believe Webber is their main rival for next year

November 24, 2008

Conspiracy theorists around the world are going absolutely bonkers over rumors that Renault, Red Bull’s own engine supplier, conspired to knock Mark Webber out of the running for the 2009 championship early.

These rumors were spawned by the fact that Webber was hit by a Nissan X-Trail SUV this week in Tasmania while on his charity bicycle race.  Nissan, as not many Americans know, is partially owned by Renault.  Therefore, it is eminently logical that Renault paid Nissan to remove Webber from the running for 2009.

“Of course, it’s logical,” said an unnamed Renault source.  “We passed on Mark a few years back, and now that the caliber of his talent is obvious, we need to remove him from contention so that Alonso can win and not get annoyed and throw another two-year-old-esque hissy fit like he did back in 2007.”

The truthfulness of the content of this article is by no means certain.

Webber – unluckiest driver in F1, now with 50% more terrible luck

November 23, 2008

While racing bicycles in his own charity event in Tasmania, Mark Webber was hit by a car while riding and broke his right leg.

While many websites reported Webber to be in much worse condition than he actually was, he could’ve been hurt worse, other than the broken leg that required surgery to insert pins in it for it to heal properly, he also scraped his arms up a little, but all tests came back with good results.

Mark is not expected to do any testing with the Red Bull team until at least the new year, which is a major setback for the team trying to prepare themselves for the 2009 season.

Note to French F1 fans – Better book a trip if you want to see a live race until 2011

November 23, 2008

Because Bernie Ecclestone won’t allow anybody to suffer through another race at Magny Cours ever again. Actually, he’s looking for a new venue that can afford the asking price to host a Formula 1 race in the long-term.

“I think it is quite sure (there will be no race in 2010),” Ecclestone told French daily newspaper L’Equipe.

“We want to find the right spot because the French GP has to be long-lasting.”

After the sudden (yet unsurprising) cancellation of the French GP at Magny Cours, there has been many tracks in France that have been thrown around as possible replacements, ranging from favorite test track Paul Ricard to a street race (oh noes) in the Paris suburbs, but that plan was vetoed by the local government,

Another plan would possibly include the construction of a new circuit, either in Sarcelles or Flins, both of which are near Paris.

“I’ve always thought it was the right spot for us, that it was the new location that suited the French Grand Prix,” he added.

“We went to Magny-Cours for the wrong reasons, for political reasons, so let’s try and avoid a repeat.”

No Canadian GP for 2009, this time for sure :(

November 18, 2008

After negotiating between the Canadian government, Canadian GP officials and the FIA for weeks, they all failed to reach an agreement that would put the race back on the F1 schedule for 2009.

According to a statement made by the City of Montreal (translated by the BBC) the FIA had made unreasonable demands in the final contract offered to them on October 28th, and they also wanted a government or bank guaranteed amount of $114 million over the next 5 years in order for the race to be put on the calendar. They also said that no private promoter would be willing to put forth that kind of money considering that the race wouldn’t bring anywhere near what the FIA was wanting.

Gerald Tremblay, mayor of Montreal had this to say on the subject: “Despite our endeavours, the unreasonable demands of Formula One exceeded the taxpayer’s ability to pay.”

First Indy, now Montreal are gone, which means no races in North America for 2009. 😦

F1: A skinny man’s sport, now getting skinnier

November 14, 2008

Now, I’m not one to brag about thin, because I’m really not, I’m about 5’8″ and 180 lbs, but there wouldn’t be any way that I would be able to compete in F1 and run well. And next year, with KERS being mandated that will add some unwanted weight in the cars, some of the taller (while not necessarilly fat) drivers like Robert Kubica (who is about 6’1″) and Mark Webber (also 6’1″ and weighs about 155 lbs) feel that they will be at an unfair disadvantage.

Webber said today that he feels all drivers tipping the scales at over 70 kg (about 155 lbs) will be penalised with the introduction of the KERS system and that it is “a concern for all the heavy drivers like me.”


thanks to f1live for the info!

Mark’s about to get busted

November 12, 2008

Mark Webber has done it.

Autosport.com:

I am always a big fan of having fresh ideas from other teams, whether it is a driver or an engineer. I think it is good. It can help sometimes.

Oh no!  It’s a potential Stepneygate all over again!

Vijay Mallya giving us a bold prediction

November 11, 2008

After firing technical cheifs Colin Kolles and Mike Gascoyne  and beginning a new technical alliance with McLaren-Mercedes, Force India boss Vijay Mallya is giving us a bold prediction for next season and the 2010 season.

I think i can certainly aspire to winning races maybe in 2010. For 2009 I will be very happy if we are regularly in the points. That would already be a major step forward.

Well, considering that current drivers Adrian Sutil and Giancarlo Fisichella haven’t done much of anything since arriving at FI, I wouldn’t quite guarantee victories, or for that matter points. But wait, he may be changing the butts in the seat as well.

“They will recommend what they believe to be in the best interests of my team and I have to decide. And I would be hard pressed to ignore their advice.

There are rumors that current McLaren test driver Pedro de la Rosa may get one of the seats and current Mercedes DTM driver Paul di Resta may get an F1 ride in a McLaren or Force India car.

thanks to pitpass and F1 live for the info!

2009 Driver Lineups – Toyota (Confirmed)

November 5, 2008

Jarno Trulli will enter the final year of his contract with the Toyota team and Timo Glock reportedly has a multi-year deal with the team. There is some speculation that Toyota may pull out of F1 to focus more on their NASCAR program and a return to sports car racing.