Archive for the ‘Serious news’ Category

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.

Lie Gate

April 7, 2009

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.

Megasupernews post

March 18, 2009

Let’s take it slow, first of all, yesterday news broke of the new scoring system (check the post below this one for more) and there was some mixed reactions throughout the paddock.

Our buddy Jenson Button said that the new system to be confusing for fans, and that the  new rules are “an incentive to always go for the win” but added that it could “be risky because, after nine races, we could find ourselves with a driver that has already won the title while the guy who’s second is only 18 points behind”.

While one of the proponents of the rules, Bernie Ecclestone said that the idea behind this changes is to “get the drivers racing and the guy running second has a reason to go for the win instead of just saynd that ‘it’s only 2 more points’ that’s  the real motivation to get past someone”.

Also, we found out today that long time Ferrari team principal Jean Todt is leaving the team, resigning not only from his position as team principal but also from his spot on the team’s board of directors. Ferrari Chairman Luca di Montezemolo had this to say about Todt:

“Jean Todt has been one of the leading protagonists of the Ferrari story of the last 15 years, skill and passion have always characterised his work and have won him my persona respect and affection, the one of the Company as a whole and of the Prancing Horse enthusiasts everywhere. I would like to wish him the very best for the future which I hope will prove extremely satisfying both personally and professionally. All of these years we’ve spent together – victories and tough times included – have forged a link between Jean Todt and Ferrari that will never be broken.”

And finally, Renault confirms that they will have their variant of the KERS system in place on both its cars at Melbourne, as will  Ferrari, McLaren and BMW Sauber.

Victory Medallions

March 17, 2009

After many rumors about adopting a medal system similar to the olympics or modifying the points to better reward drivers who win races, the FOM and WMSC have agreed that future F1 champions will be the driver who wins the most races, starting this season.

Here’s the breakdown:

  • The driver who wins the most races will win the world champioship, even if they have less points than another driver
  • The current points system (10, 8, 6 etc.) will still be in effect and will decide the other points positions
  • If two drivers win the same number of races that is more than anyone else, the total points that they have accumulated will be the first tiebreaker
  • The constructors championship will not be affected

Scuderia Toro Rosso – Sebastien & Sebastien show returns

March 16, 2009

Toro Rosso’s latest contender, the STR4, has been unveiled to the press at Barcelona’s Circuit de Catalunya this morning. The Ferrari-powered car was revealed by Frenchman Sebastien Bourdais and F1 newcomer Sebastien Buemi.

Having finished sixth in the 2008 standings after taking a pole and win with Vettel at Monza, the team is looking to improve further up the grid this year. Team manager Gianfranco Fantuzzi stressed the effort that has gone into their latest model: “For the first time ever, we have made the actual chassis in-house, whereas last year it was produced by Carbotec in Austria. This has been a big challenge for us and the chassis took up 100 percent of our energy up to the start of the season. We also had to take on more staff with good qualifications in the fields of laminating and trimming. Infact, before tackling the STR4, we actually made a 2008 STR3 chassis to see how it would work out and that proved to be a very valuable experience.”

Giorgio Ascanelli, Technical Director
Giorgio Ascanelli, Technical Director

Technical Director Giorgio Ascanelli stresses that the STR4 is a solely Italian-built product: “Red Bull technology does extremely significant work in defining the essential characteristics of the new car: its length, wheelbase, weight distribution and its basic metric characteristics. However, as we run a different engine to our sister team, it involves a different fuel system and fuel tank. Therefore, our car is completely different that of Red Bull Racing and is designed here by us.” The Italian has confidence in the ex-Minardi squad from Faenza: “It’s going to be an interesting season. I think it’s good that the guys here get the chance to control their own destiny in a way, but at the moment we only have about a dozen people on the design side so we’re a decade out in terms of manpower!”


February 27, 2009

Honda fans may need some heavy duty paper towels after hearing this news, according to Speed’s Adam Cooper, Nick Fry, Nigel Kerr Ross Brawn and 2 other directors of the Honda F1 team have agreed to a buyout of the Honda team, the team will be named Brawn sport.

A car has already been built, as it was to be released as the Honda RA109 before the team shut down, the car should be ready for the final preseason test at Barcelona after shake downs at the team base in Brackely, England.

There’s yet to be a definitive word on drivers, but Bruno Senna & Rubens Barrichello are favored to pilot the two cars.

moar here

BMW Sauber F1.09

January 20, 2009

They won their first Grand Prix in 2008 and finished a convincing third in the constructors’ championship. Now BMW Sauber are hoping their new car will power them to even greater things in 2009.

After testing a heavily revised hybrid car over the winter, the wraps finally came off the F1.09 at a special launch ceremony at the Spanish circuit of Valencia on Tuesday, with race drivers Nick Heidfeld and Robert Kubica in attendance.

The F1.09 completed its first installation lap shortly after and will begin its first test programme at the track later in the day. BMW Motorsport Director Mario Theissen said its target is to regularly challenge for victories in 2009 and to fight for the championship title.

“The one-two in Canada and a total of 11 podium finishes in 2008 set an exacting standard,” he said. “In 2009 we are looking to maintain our first-class reliability record while at the same time enhancing our performance levels so that we can be at the front of the pack on a consistent basis. We are aware that we are aiming extremely high. This is the final step in our development, and that’s generally the hardest one to take.”

The concept phase for the F1.09 began back in February 2008 and the 2009 regulation changes – reduced aerodynamics, the introduction of KERS and the return of slick tyres – mean the new car cuts a very different figure from all of its predecessors.

Its nose is higher and much wider than before. The huge front wing consists of three elements and stretches across the full width of the car. The rear wing, on the other hand, is considerably slimmer – in line with the new regulations – and stands unusually high against the onrushing air. Intricate aerodynamic add-ons, such as air deflectors and cooling air exits, have been reduced to a minimum. Another eye-catching feature are the sidepods, which are now higher at the front. The front axle has also been modified and the rear axle is a new design.

Willy Rampf is responsible for the F1.09 concept and will oversee operations at the race track in his capacity as technical coordinator. Managing Director of BMW
Sauber AG, Walter Riedl, will lead the technical department at the team’s Hinwil plant in Switzerland and has responsibility for the development of the car.

While the chassis is the work of the Hinwil team, the KERS technology has been developed in Munich. There, Markus Duesmann (head of powertrain) and his team also have the job of preparing the BMW V8 engine for the extra mileage stipulated in the regulations. Each driver is allocated eight engines for the 2009 season.

It may be all-change in terms of the engineering behind the car, but the men behind the wheel will be the same as in 2008. The team will once again line up on the grid with the Pole Kubica and German Heidfeld as their driver pairing. And 26-year-old Austrian Christian Klien also stays with the team as test and reserve driver.

BMW Sauber have conducted intensive preparations for 2009 as they attempt to achieve their latest ambitious aim. These have included early testing with KERS and new aero elements.

“The team started work early on the wide range of changes,” said Heidfeld. “I’m confident that we’re in good shape and am looking forward to the first race, when we’ll see whether the balance of power has shifted at all.”

Theissen concluded: “In the three years since the BMW Sauber F1 Team was formed, we have always met the goals we set ourselves and are confident that we can do so again this season.”

Williams FW31 & Renault R28

January 19, 2009

Renault and Williams both gave their 2009 cars their first public outings on Monday morning at the start of this week’s multi-team test session at the Algarve Motor Park circuit in Portugal.

The Renault R28 was presented to the press by drivers Fernando Alonso and Nelson Piquet, along with team boss Flavio Briatore, while Williams tester Nico Hulkenberg starred with the FW31, running in an interim testing livery. The team’s 2009 race livery will be revealed prior to the season-opening Australian Grand Prix in March.

Both cars will be testing alongside those of rival teams McLaren, Toyota and Toro Rosso. McLaren track debuted the new MP4-24 at the Portimao circuit on Saturday following its UK launch last Friday, and Toyota ran their new TF109 for the first time at the Portimao venue on Sunday.

Testing continues in Portugal until Thursday. In neighbouring Spain, BMW Sauber will launch their new F1.09 – and start testing it – at Valencia on Tuesday.