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  1. Wonder how the new Toyota GR Supra drives? Two-time Formula One world champion Fernando Alonso took the Toyota GR Supra out for a spin recently at Japan's Fuji International Speedway and has the answer to how it handles on the track. As a Toyota Gazoo Racing driver in the current FIA World Endurance Championship, It is only natural that Toyota wants him to promote its latest sports car. Watch him in the video below as he takes the 335bhp car to its limits and walks us through why the GR Supra is one of the best sports car in the market now.
  2. When Sebastian Vettel qualifies at the front, there is nothing that can stop the German from grabbing the top step on the podium. Out of 88 race starts he has with Infiniti Red Bull Racing - from Australia 2009 to Singapore 2013 - he has 22 lights to flag victories and three Grand Chelem titles (currently tied with Nelson Piquet) - meaning he has qualified in pole, won the race after leading every lap of the race and set the fastest lap of the race in the same weekend. Still his record is one more than Juan Manuel Fangio who has five world championships under his belt, but one less than the legendary Ayrton Senna and Michael Schumacher. Even Fernando Alonso, Niki Lauda and Stirling Moss only have one each and interestingly James Hunt and Kimi Raikkonen have none. As the Singapore Grand Prix concluded - minutes before 10:00pm - with fireworks lighting up the already colourful and vibrant Marina Bay CBD area with stunning backdrop from the Singapore Flyer to Marina Bay Sands and ANZ to Maybank towers and hysterical cheers from the attendees - Vettel recorded his third consecutive win this season, his third consecutive win at the street circuit and his seventh podium overall. The question remains if there is anything that could stop the German driver. Unless Adrian Newey is removed, I doubt so. The problem with F1 right now is not about the lack of overtaking or people getting bored with the same person winning - it's just that rival teams have yet to produce their own Adrian Newey including legendary ones like Scuderia Ferrari and Vodafone McLaren Mercedes. McLaren seem to be a little off pace this year while only one of the two Ferraris seem to be interested in any actual racing. Over the past two years, the sport has evolved from who is winning and fighting for the championship to who had the best recovery or who managed to finish third after a strenuous battle. As stated earlier, as soon as Vettel qualifies on the front grid - you can prepare tomorrow's sports headlines today. Even yesterday at the sixth SingTel Singapore Grand Prix, Vettel won the race after qualifying in pole with a record setting time of 1:42.841 - which is even faster than Kimi Raikkonen's lap record. Not even the tropical climate of heat and humidity or the intervention of the safety car - courtesy of Daniel Ricciardo's Toro Rosso - could hinder or delay the triple world champion from claiming another this season. After 61 laps, Vettel won by a staggering 32.6 seconds over title contender, Fernando Alonso in the Prancing Horse, who leaped from seventh at the starting grid while Kimi Raikkonen catapulted to third from starting 13th on the grid
  3. 30 years after his father claimed victory, Nico Rosberg took the highest step of the podium at the Monaco Grand Prix - fighting off stiff competition from title defender Sebastian Vettel. Rosberg - a resident of Monaco - managed to fend off Vettel till the end while Webber completed the podium despite sustained pressure from Hamilton. A pit stop strategy worked well for the Red Bull team to leap ahead of Hamilton, during the first safety car period - trigged by Massa at lap 30 who managed to replicate a crash similar to Saturday
  4. [extract] Ferrari has announced plans to hold an online auction in aid of those affected by the two earthquakes which rocked Northern Italy
  5. The 2012 Malaysian Formula 1 Grand Prix was again an event full of unpredictability mainly due to the weather. I was glad that I decided to stay home and catch it on telly again as it rained, the race was red flagged after some laps before continuing again some time later. It was so unpredictable that Fernando Alonso driving the Ferrari came in first behind Mexican Sergio Perez of Sauber and Lewis Hamilton in the McLaren Mercedes. Sergio who? Exactly. The rain cause a great many upsets until we got to see the first Mexican in over 40 years to step up on a Formula 1 winner's podium. And then we got to see grown men from Ferrari and Sauber shed tears of joy. Team Ferrari was most pleased that they've managed to secure a win after a very tough and dry 2011 season. Whilst for Sauber, it has managed to score some points and a podium finish after a great deal of years finishing at the rear. This is also the first podium finish for Sauber as an independent team instead of branded as BMW Sauber or Sauber Petronas in recent years. Watching Peter Sauber cry is almost like watching a happily-ever-after fairytale ending. Of course it isn't. The F1 calendar for 2012 has just got into full stride. This is only the second race this season but the first proper race held at a track. Melbourne was a city track and we did not see the true potential of the cars. BUT it rained in Sepang and we still didn't manage to see the true potential of the cars. We could see however that some drivers and some cars doing well in the wet, but that's about it really. We also saw upsets. Michael Schumacher started in fourth and was tagged by turn 4 of the opening lap. It caused him a chance for a top three finish that I was also hoping for due to the rain (the chap was called 'rainmeister' if one remembers correctly). He managed to finish 10th giving him some points though. Starting high up in the grid shows us the potential of the Mercedes Petronas F1 car. It seems to me that this latest Ross Brawn designed car is up there with the rest of the leaders. Even with ol' Schumacher at the wheel. Maybe it is because he's at the wheel in a car that is set up for him that he's fast
  6. And so Sebastian Vettel was crowned this year's Formula 1 driver's champion after winning the Japanese Formula 1 Grand Prix in Suzuka recently. He only needed 1 point to win and came in third behind race winner Jenson Button and second place Fernando Alonso. This is his second championship in a row and it also makes him the youngest driver ever to win back to back championships. His performance was, as usual, immaculate and somehow he makes winning so very easy. Of course some people may say that it is down to the car. Red Bull's engineers really constructed a fabulous race car this season but one must note that there are two drivers per team and Vettel seems to be able to out drive and out pace his team mate Mark Webber most of the time. So you've got to hand it to him for actually being bloody talented in the first place. Now add the fact that there are former world champions racing against him this strengthens his case even more. We have two time champion Fernando Alonso (who drove a fantastic race this time around), one time champions Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button and also multiple world champion Michael Schumacher rounding up the list of champions. What Vettel is doing is quite incredible as someone so young can drive so maturely and fabulously quick in all the races to date. The 2011 F1 races will continue, but since we already know who the driver's champion is should we continue watching upcoming races? While the constructors championship is still an open book (but with Red Bull far ahead), does it warrant us to continue watching F1 or just wait till next year? The next race is something new, the Korean GP, on the 16th of October. Results 01. Button McLaren-Mercedes 1h30:53.427 02. Alonso Ferrari + 1.160 03. Vettel Red Bull-Renault + 2.006 04. Webber Red Bull-Renault + 8.071 05. Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes + 24.268 06. Schumacher Mercedes + 27.120 07. Massa Ferrari + 28.240 08. Perez Sauber-Ferrari + 39.377 09. Petrov Renault + 42.607 10. Rosberg Mercedes + 44.322 11. Sutil Force India-Mercedes + 54.447 12. Di Resta Force India-Mercedes + 1:02.326 13. Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari + 1:03.705 14. Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari + 1:04.194 15. Maldonado Williams-Cosworth + 1:06.623 16. Senna Renault + 1:12.628 17. Barrichello Williams-Cosworth + 1:14.191 18. Kovalainen Lotus-Renault + 1:27.824 19. Trulli Lotus-Renault + 1:36.140 20. Glock Virgin-Cosworth + 2 laps 21. D'Ambrosio Virgin-Cosworth + 2 laps 22. Ricciardo HRT-Cosworth + 2 laps 23. Liuzzi HRT-Cosworth + 2 laps DNF Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari 35 photo credit: planetf1
  7. As the Formula 1 Grand Prix crosses the mid-season mark things have gotten even more interesting. Lewis Hamilton of McLaren has won the German Grand Prix at the Nurburgring F1 circuit ahead of Ferrari's Fernando Alonso and Red Bull's Mark Webber in third. Championship leader Sebastian Vettel came in fourth, his lowest finish of this season. Does this win by Hamilton and the second place by Alonso show progress by both McLaren and Ferrari as well as a slowdown in development by leader Red Bull? I have no idea. But it is interesting. Both Ferrari's and McLaren's resurgence seemed to have two races prior to this as the very dull European Grand Prix at Valencia. Both teams came in second and fourth respectively and what this shows is that every time the racing returns to Europe, major (or minor) changes occur. Teams would usually wait to deploy their latest mechanical and aerodynamic changes to the cars during this period. Teams who somehow seem to crawl suddenly gain a lot more speed. It also sometimes shows that in Formula 1, you cannot slow down development even though these days FIA comes out with tons of new rules and regulation to keep racing in check. Those that have been following Formula 1 would notice that the tire changes actually crucial. It was so crucial in this last race where Felipe Massa and Sebastian Vettel waited till lap 59, the penultimate lap before pitting for new tires. Things were down to the wire and during this last pit-stop, Vettel managed to exit earlier than Massa who was in front before the pit-stop and claimed a strongly fought fourth place. A few years ago this would never have happened in Formula 1. Racing is good these days. Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso both drove maturely and deserved their podium finished. And for us fans it is even better as Red Bull isn't winning all the time. Results 0. Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1h37:30.334 02. Alonso Ferrari + 3.980 03. Webber Red Bull-Renault + 9.788 04. Vettel Red Bull-Renault + 47.921 05. Massa Ferrari + 52.252 06. Sutil Force India-Mercedes + 1:26.208 07. Rosberg Mercedes + 1 lap 08. Schumacher Mercedes + 1 lap 09. Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari + 1 lap 10. Petrov Renault + 1 lap 11. Perez Sauber-Ferrari + 1 lap 12. Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari + 1 lap 13. Di Resta Force India-Mercedes + 1 lap 14. Maldonado Williams-Cosworth + 1 lap 15. Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari + 1 lap 16. Kovalainen Lotus-Renault + 2 laps 17. Glock Virgin-Cosworth + 3 laps 18. D'Ambrosio Virgin-Cosworth + 3 laps 19. Ricciardo HRT-Cosworth + 3 laps 20. Chandhok Lotus-Renault + 4 laps Retirements Liuzzi HRT-Cosworth 44 Button McLaren-Mercedes 42 Barrichello Williams-Cosworth 23 Heidfeld Renault -Massa Leads Vettel- photo credit: planetf1
  8. [extract] It rained during the British Formula 1 Grand Prix at Silverstone on the 10th of July. This basically meant that racing was at its finest (subjectively speaking that is). Ferrari managed to break its dry spell in this wet race with Fernando Alonso taking the win with the usual suspects, Sebastian Vettel coming in second and his Red Bull counterpart, Mark Webber taking third. It is Ferrari
  9. Lewis Hamilton claimed victory at the China Formula 1 Grand Prix held on the 17th of April 2011. It was quite a feat as just before the race the McLaren mechanics were hard at work repairing Hamilton's car which suffered a fuel leak. It was a major victory of sorts as this is the 3rd race of the 2011 season and finally someone has ended Sebastian Vettel's run of victories. He came in second nonetheless ahead of Red Bull's other driver, Mark Webber who himself drove a fabulous race. He started from 18th on the grid and made it to 3rd on the second last lap of the race. Now for those that thought F1 lacked overtaking, this one had a lot of it. But before we talk about overtaking, let's talk about the start of the race. The grid's top 10 were Vettel, Button, Hamiton, Rosberg, Alonso, Massa, Alguersuari DiResta, Buemi, and Petrov. As stated Lewis Hamilton managed to get onto the start line 35seconds before the pitlane was deemed closed. What we were told in the commentary was that he actually started with some body parts still not fitted onto his car. At the start, there was no major accidents. No bits of carbon or wings or tires here and there. It was pretty decent with pole position holder Vettel botching up his start a little and allowing Jenson Button pass as well as a very aggressive Lewis Hamilton. Vettel was third at the end of the first lap with Nico Rosberg of Mercedes GP and the two Ferraris of Alonso and Massa following closely. Michael Schumacher must have been on form at the start as he went from fourteenth to ninth. Mark Webber who started at 18th actually opted to start with the harder Pirelli tires. By lap 9 he was even overtaken by the Sauber of Sergio Perez and at lap 10 he pitted to go with the softer choice that all the front liners used at the start. However, his move must have actually paid off as he could then choose the softer compound throughout the race. A 3rd placing from a start at 18th due to the choice of tires. Actually tires made a whole lot of different at the China GP. Those that did 3 stops were better than those that did 2 stops. On Lap 30 Hamilton passed Alonso (who was on a 2 stop strategy) on Turn 14 of the circuit and later stated that he had never never overtaken anyone there before unless it was a backmarker. The softer Pirellis were to choice instead of the harder Prime tire. Surprising, but it caused a lot of upset, especiallyy with the Ferraris. In simple terms, the lighter 3 stopping cars actually did far better lap times and even by their third stop, the driver up front could be so far ahead of a 2 stopper like Alonso. However, Fernando Alonso also added that their 2 stop strategy wasn't totally Ferrari's undoing but the Ferrari's aren't up to par as yet. But say what you want as Vettel was on a 2 stop strategy and he basically suffered. Actually more incidents happened at the China GP. It had all the drivers on their toes with a whole lot of overtaking involved. Lewis Hamilton took 1st place ahead of the two Red Bulls. Jenson Button had to be content with 4th after being out driven at the last moment by a flying Mark Webber. Mercedes GP did well with Nico Rosberg into taking 5th. Felipe Massa of Ferrari in 6th with Fernando Alonso in 7th. Michael Schumacher in 8th and Lotus Renault's Petrov was around 30 seconds behind in ninth. A dry race with overtaking. It must have been down to the Pirelli tires. It looks like the moral of the story is that you actually need tires that aren't so consistent (or can I say, crappy tires) to have added excitement in F1. The next race is on 8th of May at Istanbul Park, Istanbul, Turkey. Race Results 01. Lewis Hamilton McLaren 1:36:58.226 02. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull +5.198 03. Mark Webber Red Bull +7.555 04. Jenson Button McLaren +10.000 05. Nico Rosberg Mercedes Grand Prix +13.448 06. Felipe Massa Ferrari +15.840 07. Fernando Alonso Ferrari +30.622 08. Michael Schumacher Mercedes Grand Prix +31.026 09. Vitaly Petrov Renault +57.404 10. Kamui Kobayashi Sauber +1:03.273 11. Paul di Resta Force India +1:08.757 12. Nick Heidfeld Renault +1:12.739 13. Rubens Barrichello Williams +1:30.189 14. Sebastien Buemi Scuderia Toro Rosso +1:30.671 15. Adrian Sutil Force India +1 Lap 16. Heikki Kovalainen Team Lotus +1 Lap 17. Sergio Perez Sauber +1 Lap 18. Pastor Maldonado Williams +1 Lap 19. Jarno Trulli Team Lotus +1 Lap 20. Jerome d' Ambrosio Virgin Racing +2 Laps 21. Timo Glock Virgin Racing +2 Laps 22. Vitantonio Liuzzi HRT F1 Team +2 Laps 23. Narain Karthikeyan HRT F1 Team +2 Laps DNF 24. Jaime Alguersuari Scuderia Toro Rosso +47 Laps photo source:planetf1
  10. The 2011 FIA Formula 1 Grand Pirx began at Melbourne, Australia on the 27th of March with a victory to reigning world champion Sebastian Vettel and his team, Red Bull Racing. He started from pole and basically took the lead from the start with a minor challenge from Lewis Hamilton of McLaren Mercedes who came in second in front of Vitaly Petrov of Renault. This race started without much excitement and suspense with only Rubens Barrichello losing it on the gravel on turn 3 and then Michael Schumacher suffering from a puncture. This race also marks the first race in which Pirelli is the tire supplier and I have to say that the tires weren't as bad as they were reported to be during pre-season tire tests. And back to super senior Schumacher, the punctured tire due to being tagged by J. Aguersuari during the first few corners caused damage to his car's floor causing him to retire after around 20 or so laps. There was some surprise to see Lewis Hamilton coming in second when it seemed that the McLaren was slightly down in lap times during initial tests. He manged to keep Vettel in sight and exchanged fastest laps times with Vettel throughout the race. Of course it still wasn't enough for him to actually get absolutely close for neck to neck racing. But this is only the first race and things change really quickly in Formula 1. There was a slight problem for Hamilton during the race though, the front skid plate at the bottom of his car came loose and started scraping the tarmac. One important ruling after completing the race is that the skid plate has a certain level of thickness left in them and if it got too thin, the FIA stewards would have deemed the car was running lower than the prescribed ride height. So far, no news on this would mean that Hamilton is secure in his second place. For me the man who had a heck of a race must have been Fernando Alonso of Ferrari. At the end of the first lap he was placed 9th. He managed to claw right up to 4th position at the end of the race with a pit stop jump in position over Red Bull's Mark Webber. He was only a second adrift of 3rd place Petrov and if the race went a few laps longer could have taken that position. The other Ferrari driver, Filipe Massa finished in 9th. I suppose this was a decent start for most of the teams. Red Bull's victory is not surprise with Alonso of Ferrari stating that Vettel's driving was from another planet. What surprised me was the performance of the Lotus Renault. It also marked Petrov's first podium finish and a first podium finish for the Renault-Lotus team-up. It also looks like THIS Lotus team is the one I'd put my money on instead of the one that's now called Team Lotus, run by AirAsia CEO Tony Fernandez. Oh yes, there was a disqualification for the Sauber team. Both cars were deemed to have run illegal rear wings causing a change in the final race results. Quite sad news as one Sauber finished 7th. I suppose sometimes the teams try too hard to interpret the rules and it falls flat on their faces. This race also marks more use of the KERS energy recovery system for that extra push during overtaking and down on the straights as well as the use (by some of the teams) of something called the DRS or drag reduction system, which to my understanding is pretty simple technology. This is one of the big changes in Formula 1 this year whereby the cars can have an electronically movable rear wing that (obviously) reduces drag and theoretically will assist overtaking during the course of a race. The DRS utilized the on track electronic timing system at designated points on the circuit, when the trailing car is within one second of the car in front the system will be armed and the driver will have access to the DRS. He will not however be able to use the system until another designated point of the track around 600 metres before the next corner. The last point is subject to ongoing adjustment as the system is bedded in. There will be markings on the circuit to indicate the points where the timing assessment is made and where the driver may use the system to assist spectators and TV viewers. All for the sake of entertainment I suppose. Whatever the case, the F1 circus moves over the Sepang, Malaysia. Race weekend is on th 8th, 9th and 10th of April 2011. Results 01. Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1h29:30.259 2. Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes + 22.297 3. Petrov Renault + 30.560 4. Alonso Ferrari + 31.772 5. Webber Red Bull-Renault + 38.171 6. Button McLaren-Mercedes + 54.300 7. Perez Sauber-Ferrari + 1:05.800 8. Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari + 1:16.800 9. Massa Ferrari + 1:25.100 10. Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari + 1 lap 11. Sutil Force India-Mercedes + 1 lap 12. Di Resta Force India-Mercedes + 1 lap 13. Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari + 1 lap 14. Heidfeld Renault + 1 lap 15. Trulli Lotus-Renault + 2 laps 16. D'Ambrosio Virgin-Cosworth + 3 laps Not classified/retirements: Glock Virgin-Cosworth 50 Barrichello Williams-Cosworth 49 Rosberg Mercedes 22 Kovalainen Lotus-Renault 19 Schumacher Mercedes 19 Maldonado Williams-Cosworth 10 Revised results 1. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull 2. Lewis Hamilton McLaren 3. Vitaly Petrov Renault 4. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 5. Mark Webber Red Bull 6. Jenson Button McLaren 7. Felipe Massa Ferrari 8. Sebastien Buemi Toro Rosso 9. Adrian Sutil Force India 10. Paul di Resta Force India 11. Jaime Alguersuari Toro Rosso 12. Nick Heidfeld Renault 13. Jarno Trulli Lotus 14. Jerome D'Ambrosio Virgin Not classified/retirements/disqualified: Sergio Perez Sauber 58
  11. Formula 1 has a new world champion in the shape and form of Sebastian Vettel. The Red Bull driver, who seemed to have started the 2010 Formula 1 season on a high, then faltered mid-season and then making a strong comeback even with a fabulous mid-season charge by Double World Champion, Fernando Alonso. Whatever the case, Formula 1 has a new World Champion and it was decided at the last race of the 2010 calendar, in Abu Dhabi last Sunday. I'd also have to add that it must be terribly disappointing for Alonso, who entered this race as championship leader. Finishing 7th basically scuppered all hope of winning the title. It is so frustrating watching the Alonso's race as he was basically behind Renault's Petrov, who somehow managed to hold up a two time world champion for almost two-thirds of the whole race
  12. The Italian Formula 1 Grand Prix that was held last Sunday was won by Ferrari's Fernando Alonso. Considered as Ferrari's home race, the win is a poignant one for the team in what was quite an event filled race this time around. Of course, by event filled, this basically means the mad dash to the first corner at the start and the pit lane tire change strategies. The start and first lap tussles claimed Lewis Hamilton who couldn't continue after his steering column gave way due to a come together with Felipe Massa. The planned tire changes which caused various strategies to be mapped out and this time, team HRT to be fined a good US$20,000 for injuring one of their mechanics who was adjusting HRT driver Sakon Yamamoto's radio during the Japanese driver's pitstop when the lollipop man released him off. The mechanic had to be driven to the nearest hospital to get his injuries looked at. What the outcome of this race was that Mark Webber is now once again Championship leader, overtaking Lewis Hamilton, who crashed out on the first lap, in the points. This outcome came regardless of the fact that Webber himself finished in sixth position. He was pretty frustrated as he started fourth, lost some track positions due to a bad start, then had a tussel with the Williams driver Nico Hulkenberg who refused to yield even though he was driving much slower than Webber (hey, its racing for position and finished seventh behind Webber
  13. Somehow Sebastian Vettel of Red Bull seems to start in pole position but fail to capitalize on this. At the Hungarian Formula 1 Grand Prix last Sunday, his team mate, Mark Webber was instead the victor. With Lewis Hamilton of McLaren crashing out of the race, it looks like the championship chase is still an open book too. The race basically got on to a usual 'follow the leader' kind of opening lap but there was an incident that shook things up a little in lap 17. The Petronas Mercedes of Nico Rosberg lost a wheel right (below) after he pitted for a tire change. Upon pulling out the tire started detaching itself from the car and nearly hit some other team's pit crew. He was in sixth before the incident. Pit lane incidents seem to be in abundance in Hungary, Robert Kubica of Renault was released too early by his lollipop man and he ran into Force India's Adrian Sutil just as he was about to enter the pit entry box. Due to this the Force India car couldn't continue but Renault was able to send Kubica out again where the race stewards slapped on him a 10-second stop-go penalty for an unsafe release from the pits. There was a safety car incident that also allowed Lewis Hamilton to take the lead, but on lap 24 his transmission gave way on turn three. This makes it the second retirement suffered by the McLaren driver. This and another incident played things out to Mark Webber who was by this time running in fourth position. The incident in question is when the race stewards decided that Sebastian Vettel had to receive a 5 second drive through penalty for exceeding 10 cars lengths behind the safety car. Being the race leader at one point of the race, he had backed up the pack of cars too far from the safety car which was about to pull in to the pit lane. Mark Webber also emerged the victor due to staying out longer as everyone pitted due to the safety car. Pulling fast laps somehow ensured that when he pitted for the second time, he still had a good 20seconds lead over the number two, Fernando Alonso in the Ferrari (which seem to be quietly performing after last week's team orders fiasco). Results 1. Webber Red Bull-Renault 1h41:05.571 2. Alonso Ferrari + 17.821 3. Vettel Red Bull-Renault + 19.252 4. Massa Ferrari + 27.474 5. Petrov Renault + 1:13.100 6. Hulkenberg Williams-Cosworth + 1:16.700 7. De la Rosa Sauber-Ferrari + 1 lap 8. Button McLaren-Mercedes + 1 lap 9. Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari + 1 lap 10. Barrichello Williams-Cosworth + 1 lap 11. Schumacher Mercedes + 1 lap 12. Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari + 1 lap 13. Liuzzi Force India-Mercedes + 1 lap 14. Kovalainen Lotus-Cosworth + 3 laps 15. Trulli Lotus-Cosworth + 3 laps 16. Glock Virgin-Cosworth + 3 laps 17. Senna HRT-Cosworth + 3 laps 18. Di Grassi Virgin-Cosworth + 4 laps 19. Yamamoto HRT-Cosworth + 4 laps Did not finish Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 25 lap Kubica Renault 25 Rosberg Mercedes 17 Sutil Force India-Mercedes 17 Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari 2 photos: planetf1
  14. Ferrari has a 1-2 victory at the German Formula 1 Grand Prix at Hockenheim and Ferrari should not be proud about it. The reason was that Felipe Massa, after fighting tooth and nail for P1 against team mate Fernando Alonso and pole sitter Seb Vettel in the early stages of the race had to 'give way' to Alonso, letting Alonso win for the sake of the points in the driver's championship. I have just watched Scuderia Ferrari commit what was supposedly banned (team orders) in F1 by the most cunning way where Massa's engineer had said "So Fernando is faster than you? Can you confirm you understand that message?". Now of course Ferrari didn't say
  15. After becoming airborne in the European GP due to a massive crash with a Lotus, Red Bull's Mark Webber wins this edition of the British Formula 1 Grand Prix held last Sunday. This time, aggressive driving and a bit of luck, his tussle with his team mate, and pole position holder, Sebastian Vettel, somehow caused Vettel to go a little wide and got a puncture. That gave him the lead over Lewis Hamilton of McLaren by the first few corners, who ended the race in second. Third place went toward Nico Rosberg, driving the Mercedes. Ferrari had an early incident with Massa colliding with Alonso and Massa suffering a puncture too. The race pace of the Red Bull is as good as the pace it had during qualifying. Webber managed to pull a lead over Hamilton and this somehow held even though there was a Safety Car incident, due to Pedro de la Rosa's front wing debris on the track after a small accident. The drive of the day could be handed to Jenson Button of McLaren though as he started all the way down in P14 and worked his way through the field. His storming effort, like a knife through nice soft butter, was effectively held back by Nico Rosberg. Button's 4th place must have felt like a bigger victory altogether. The biggest loser in this British GP is Fernando Alonso. He was given a drive through penalty due to overtaking Robert Kubica of Renault wrongly. This was as all four wheels of his Ferrari was off the track and this constitutes an offence. I suppose Alonso's argument was that Kubica had defended his position aggressively and that caused him to veer off the track. The race stewards thought otherwise and gave his that penalty. He started in 3rd and finished 14th due to this. Mark Webber's win was not without any incidents off the track. It seems that Red Bull had handed Webber's new specification front wing to his team-mate, Seb Vettel, even though the wing was already fitted on his car. It is safe to assume that he wasn't very pleased with the incident. When he won, his response on the radio to team principal Christian Horner was
  16. It seems the three weeks break has done wonders for Red Bull as Mark Webber gets his first win of the 2010 season. He started from pole position and steamed ahead of his team mate Sebastian Vettel at the start of the Spanish F1 Grand Prix at the Catalunya Circuit in Barcelona. The race was basically pretty straightforward as there was no overtaking on the track whatsoever. Fernando Alonso of Ferrari was second (to the delight of Spanish fans as he's Spanish) and third was Sebastian Vettel. I'd have to say that the only pit stop was used by most of the front runners to strategize an overtaking maneuver and only those taking up the rear of the field were taking a crack at each other. Moments of action were when Sebastian Vettel lost out the Lewis Hamilton of McLaren in the pit stop but unfortunately for Mr. Hamilton, he suffered a puncture on the penultimate lap causing him to hit the tire barriers and be classified in 14th. Tough luck. The other McLaren, driving by the reigning world champion Jenson Button lost out to the venerable Michael Schumacher. He spent 40 laps or so stuck behind Herr Schumacher, unable to overtake. It seems the Brawn Mercedes that Michael Schumacher was driving has a few updates. Particularly the longer wheelbase which seems to suit Schumacher's driving style (at the expense of Nico Rosberg's style, it seems) and the aero upgrades
  17. So you're a Formula 1 driver for Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro and you have the option of a company car. What do you choose? Fernando Alonso, a two time world champion and now a driver with Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro basically chose something not red and not a Ferrari. The Spanish driver had chosen a Maserati GranCabrio over Ferraris like the cabriolet Ferrari California or Gran Turismos like the the 599GT or even the 612 Scaglietti. Maybe after driving a Rosso Corsa coloured (that racing red) Ferrari for work Mr. Alonso has decided to go for something less flamboyant and more comfortable yet still within the Fiat Group but still without a fixed roof like the Ferrari he races for a living. Of course a Fiat 500cc would technically suffice but that would be too underwhelming for a world champion. So the GranCabrio with its elegant cabriolet fixtures, a darker shade of Grigio Granito (granite grey) for the exterior in combination with two-tone upholstery which is a combination of Pearl Beige and Bordeaux leather and a matching a soft top of the same shade is the champion's choice. A good choice of car (and colour) if you want to maintain some anonymity. It is luxurious yet understated as it won't turn as many heads as a red Ferrari, even with its top down. I love the looks of the hardtop GranTurismo version. It has taken Maserati a few years to develop it into a soft top but I have to say that this cabriolet version is a worthy addition to the Maserati stable. The Maserati GranCabrio is a Maserati with Pininfarina coachwork and has near supercar performance. The GranCabrio has a V8 engine of 4.7 liters and 440 hp with a 6-speed automatic transmission. Maserati says it can do 175mph with its canvas (only, no hard top) top up and does the 0-100km/h sprint in 5.3seconds. As I said, the 0-100km/h figures is only near supercar performance but as its a cabriolet it won't matter most people buy cabriolets to cruise top down at some seaside holiday resort at less than ballistic speeds. I suppose the additional 100kgs that was added when engineering the GranCabrio from the GranTurismo had blunted the acceleration a little. Although the hardtop wasn't very light in the first place as it weighed 1890kgs. Anyway, according to Maserati's media spokespeople, Mr. Alonso was particularly impressed by the space offered by the GranCabrio, perfect for four adult passengers. The GranCabrio is in fact the first four-seat convertible for Maserati. I noticed that most racing drivers always choose sensible cars to drive when they're not on the track. The late great Senna had a R107 500SL convertible as a daily driver instead of a out and out fire breathing monster. So I gather it is the same with Fernando Alonso. The Maserati GranCabrio is being marketed throughout Europe starting in this month of March. Expect to see them in Singapore sometime soon. But expect to see Fernando Alonso in Sepang within the next few weeks driving his usual workhorse instead of this Maserati.
  18. - Alonso rules Bore-rain So the inaugural Formula 1 race of the 2010 season at Bahrain had ended with Ferrari doing a one-two double whammy finish, making Fernando Alonso's maiden run in a Ferrari a very successful one for him. Of course the very unlucky Sebastian Vettel in the Red Bull was leading for most of the race but close to the end lost power due to the exhaust manifold suffering from a crack. Imagine that. A manifold crack automatically makes a F1 race car lose something like 20 to 30 bhp and the chances of winning a race straightaway becomes slim. I did not bother watching out for the rookie teams Lotus Racing, Virgin Racing and Hispania Racing. After noting that most of them were easily 6 seconds off the faster cars pace during Friday and Saturday I somehow knew that they would all feature at the rear and I wasn't rooting for any of them making an upset. I actually couldn't be bothered whether they finished or not because the whole race was not that interesting even when the cars started losing their fuel and gotten lighter although I was quite pleased that both Lotus' managed to finish (officially that is). The race was supposed to be an eye opener, a fabulous start to a new season filled with suspense and drama plus four world champions dueling it out. The oldest being the seven time world champion 41 year old Michael Schumacher showing that he's still competitive by grabbing sixth place. But somehow after watching the whole race I still feel that there is not enough drama in F1. The only drama that somewhat interests me was the fact that there was some controversy in some teams' double diffuser which took advantage of the small gap which was required for the team to stick the starter motor at the rear of the cars. However, the FIA will clear up all questions by the next race and things will be back to normal after this. Schummi: "It's the start and then after it is just sort of go your pace and not do mistakes," he told the BBC. The new rules now state that there shall be no refueling throughout the race and only tire changes, with everyone required to use both compounds in the race. There is also a ban on traction control whereby the driver's right foot is effectively the only traction control they have. Which is a good thing as it would separate the real drivers from the half baked ones. But when the actual race happened, I still noticed that it was still pretty hard to overtake at Bahrain and the ultra skillful drivers were passing people during the pit stops or just lapping slower cars. Now add the fact that the cars have double the fuel load, they run like bloated whales for the first 20 or 30 laps and nothing really happens till after the cars lose all those fuel in their tanks. So basically watching this year's F1 was still like last years F1, not much overtaking and not much track drama even with all the new rules. Even ESPN has called Bahrain, Bore-rain. Heck, even Michael Schumacher said it was good fun but rather boring. That's what he told the BBC post race. I wonder how things would be for the next race (Australia, 28th March). Maybe we should add 20mm Gatling guns to the side pods or get rid of the front wing and put a battering ram in its place so that things become more interesting. If you can't overtake, shoot 'em or ram 'em out of the way. Mad Max meets F1. Now there's a race that'll be mighty interesting, but rated R for excessive violence instead of a PG13 rating.
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