Archive for December, 2008

Two words you never hear together

December 14, 2008

Formula 1 and cheap. With the recent global economic downturn, the Honda team ceasing operations and putting themselves up for sale has forced the FIA to introduce cost cutting measures. These measures are effective January 1, 2009 and are listed below.

  • Engine life must be doubled (meaning instead of lasting 2 races, they must last 4, but for whatever reason teams can run 3 races)
  • Teams are limited to 8 race engines per driver and 4 test engines per driver (20 total)
  • Rev limit lowered to 18,000 RPM
  • Teams who purchase engines from manufactures will be discounted 50% from last year
  • No more testing during racing season, except on race practice days
  • No windtunnel testing beyond a 60% scale and a speed greater than 50 metres/second
  • Race factories to be closed 6 weeks out of the year to be inline with local laws
  • Less man power on race weekends, information between teammates must be shared (i.e. tyre pressures, fuel mileage) to avoid the usage of spotters

These measures are expected to save teams at least 30% from what they’ve spent in the past.

2009 Driver Lineups – Force India Mercedes (Confirmed)

December 14, 2008

After keeping us on the edge of our seats for a couple months, Vijay Mallya pulled a Sopranos, with the announcement that drivers Adrian Sutil and Giancarlo Fisichella would be reatained for the 2009 season after much speculation pointing to both drivers being out at Force India.

Where we are for 2009…

December 8, 2008

Well, here’s the list of confirmed drivers, and what we may expect from the rest; changes are in red.

Ferrari:  Kimi Raikkonen, Felipe Massa.  NO CHANGE

McLaren:  Lewis Hamilton, Heikki Kovalainen.  NO CHANGE

BMW-Sauber:  Nick Heidfeld, Robert Kubica.  NO CHANGE

Toyota:  Jarno Trulli, Timo Glock.  NO CHANGE

Renault:  Fernando Alonso, Nelson Piquet.  NO CHANGE

Red Bull:  Sebastian Vettel, Mark Webber.

Williams:  Nico Rosberg, Kazuki Nakajima.  NO CHANGE

Force India:  Giancarlo Fisichella, second driver to be decided

Toro Rosso:  None yet.

Honda:  Don’t know whether they’ll even be participating next year.

What ever happened to the Silly Season?!?!  This is all boring!

We need SUSPENSE!  We need unexpected driver changes!  We need Super Aguri!  We need…

ZSOLT BAUMGARTNER!

Cosworth – FIA’s oh s**t plan

December 5, 2008

After the sudden departure of the Honda F1 team yesterday, the FIA has announced that Cosworth is the leading canidate to become the spec-engine supplier for Formula 1 in 2010 if the plan is accepted with the teams & drivers. There would also be a spec-gearbox made by Xtrac and Ricardo Transmissions (XR).

The new Cosworth piece would either be a V10 built exclusively by Cosworth and distributed by the teams, or the engine would remain a current “frozen” engine that would be built to the specifications of Cosworth and the FIA, either way the XR transmission will find its way to be the standard gearbox in 2010 with the engine decision still in the air.

Many teams have resented the idea of a spec engine and hope that there will not be a standard engine for 2010.

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Honda F1 Team Up For Sale

December 5, 2008

This is not a sarcastic post nor a practical joke, this is for real. Amid the economical downturn, and races being  dropped, new cost cutting regulations and talks of a standard engine & chassis in the future it came with great surprise that yesterday, Takeo Fukui, president of Honda Motor Company sent out this letter announcing the depature of Honda from F1 and its sale.

“We, Honda Motor Co., Ltd., have come to the conclusion that we will withdraw from all Formula One activities, making 2008 the last season of participation.

“This difficult decision has been made in light of the quickly deteriorating operating environment facing the global auto industry, brought on by the sub-prime problem in the United States, the deepening credit crisis and the sudden contraction of the world economies.

“Honda must protect its core business activities and secure the long term as widespread uncertainties in the economies around the globe continue to mount. A recovery is expected to take some time.

“Under these circumstances, Honda has taken swift and flexible measures to counter this sudden and expansive weakening of the marketplace in all business areas. However, in recognition of the need to optimize the allocation of management resources, including investment regarding the future, we have decided to withdraw from Formula One participation.

“We will enter into consultation with the associates of Honda Racing F1 Team and its engine supplier Honda Racing Development regarding the future of the two companies. This will include offering the team for sale.

“In its third era of Formula One activities, Honda has been participating in Formula One races from the 2000 season, initially with BAR, by adopting a new format of jointly developing racing machines. Subsequently, in a move to meet the changing environment surrounding Formula One, we switched to running a 100 percent Honda-owned team commencing with the 2006 season.

“Surmounting many challenges, the Honda Team achieved a Grand Prix victory in 2006, enabling Honda to receive overwhelming support from Honda fans around the world that were looking forward to greater success. It, therefore, has been an extremely difficult decision for us to come to this conclusion without having been able to fully meet the expectations of our fans.

“By making the best of what we have learned during these times of economic turmoil, coupled with the spirit of challenge gained through active participation in racing, we intend to continue with our commitment in meeting new challenges.

“Finally, we would like to take this opportunity to sincerely thank our fans and all those who have supported Honda’s Formula One efforts, including everyone in the world of Formula One.

“Thank you very much.”

Takeo Fukui
President and CEO
Honda Motor Co., Ltd.

If no other teams withdraw before the Australian Grand Prix, there will only be 18 cars taking the grid. Which now begs the question if the FIA should put in effect the rule that teams are able to field 3 cars instead of 2 ifthe car count dwindles to 16 now instead of waiting until the car count drops to 16.

source