Archive for June, 2009

Silverstone Qualifying Liveblog

June 20, 2009

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

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

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

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

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.