Monthly Archives: January 2013

F1 News 14th January-20th January 2013

This week has seen some shocking news for Williams with Toto Wolff leaving, Marussia’s Timo Glock leaving the team and the sport, Formula One gaining a new doctor and some drivers speaking out about their peers and themselves. Read on my friends…

Glock Leaves Marussia

I think this week’s biggest news shock. It has been announced by Marussia that their driver Timo Glock has left the team and will not be driving in the new season. Timo has been with the team since their debut as Virgin Racing since 2010 and has been helping them over the years get more competitive in the sport.

Team Principal John Booth has announced the reason for Timo’s departure from the team was due to ‘commerical considerations’ that the team have had to make in this economic climate. Booth has also thanked Timo for his time at the team and believes he is a ‘fantastic driver’. Booth has also publically stated that they will not name Glock’s replacement as of yet (even though it has been suggested in the media that Bruno Senna and rookie Luis Raza are maybe in the running for the second seat).

Glock has spoken to the media regarding his departure from the Marussia team gracefully and thanks the team for ‘… allowing him the opportunity to help build the team over the past few seasons and wishes the team every success in the future.’ When asked about the future, Timo is ‘…very excited about the future and the opportunities it presents.’ Timo is expected to race in the German Touring Car Championship this year. I wish him every success in the future.

Wolff Leaves Williams

It has been announced this week that ex Williams Executive Director Toto Wolff has accepted the offer of becoming Mercedes new Executive Director. Wolff has a long history with Mercedes and in his new role he will oversee Mercedes in Formula One and other Motorsports they compete in such as DTM. Wolff will also work together with the team’s other shareholders including Niki Lauda to oversee the team’s activity at Grand Prix weekends.

It is expected that Wolff will also retain his 10% share in the Williams team and will be an non active member of their board. It was also publically stated that Wolff left the Williams team on ‘good terms’ and Team Owner Frank Williams wishes Wolff the best of luck in his new role.

Massa Considered Quitting F1

You read that headline correctly. Ferrari driver Felipe Massa has admitted in an interview this week that he was considering quitting the sport due to his poor performance earlier on in the 2012 season. Felipe admitted that he did ‘…seriously think about stopping and thinking about not staying at Ferrari.’ Massa also admits to talking to a sports psychologist in order to try and work out what was going wrong with his season.

However, mid-season, it was expected mid-way through the 2012 season that Massa’s contract with the Ferrari team would not be renewed, however Felipe’s second half of the season was enough to secure his contract being renewed with the team.

Felipe is confident that the 2013 season will allow him to be ‘… in good shape’ and be able to race Alonso who he regards as being ‘…the best driver he has ever raced with.’ We shall see.

New Doctor

I guess your all wondering what this news is about. Well the FIA have announced that Dr Ian Roberts will be joining the medical staff for the 2013 as a medical rescue co-ordinator. Dr Roberts’s role will be mainly to oversee serious accidents on the track and to oversee medical procedures undertaken on the track.

Dr Roberts has also been a chief medical officer for Silverstone and the British Grand Prix. This news was announced on the eve of Professor Sid Watkins’s memorial service this week. I wish Dr Roberts luck in his new role.

Car Launches

This week has seen Caterham announce that they are to launch this year’s new car the CT03 on 5th February 2013 with their intention to take the wraps off the car before the pre-season testing. Here’s a list of when the Formula One teams are going to launch their new challengers for this season:-

Formula One Team Date of Launch
McLaren 31st January
Force India 31st January
Ferrari 1st February
Red Bull 2nd February
Mercedes 3rd February
Toro Rosso 4th February
Caterham 5th February
Williams 19th February
Sauber TBA
Marussia TBA

 

BRDC needs more government backing

BRDC President Derek Warrick is calling on the government and the National Lottery to provide some extra support to them and British Motor Racing. Warrick believes that the government needs to give the same level of support that they do to the Team GB Olympic team. It is believed that the government will be providing nearly £276 million pounds to help their cause.

Every year, Formula One at Silverstone is battling to stay on the calendar even though it has according to Warrick a 17 year contract to host the event and gives them a bit of security. However, Warrick has stated that ‘the event does not make much money and we really do help because we are struggling and the drivers are struggling for funding in motorsport.’

Alonso and Hamilton ‘best friends’?

Firstly, Fernando Alonso this week has announced that he will stay at the Ferrari team after 2013 even if the team fails to deliver this season. This is fantastic news for Ferrari who don’t want to lose their driver to another team, however this will not provide the incentive and drive that Ferrari need in order to be competitive this season.

Alonso also this week has announced that Lewis Hamilton is ‘…the strongest driver in the sport right now.’ It would seem over the past few years that Hamilton and Alonso’s relationship has seemed to have ‘thawed’ from their years as team-mates at McLaren in 2007. Alonso has also praised Martin Brundle from Sky Sports F1 (see previous F1 News articles for further details) in his view that Lewis may win in a Mercedes F1 car this year and will be surprised if he doesn’t just do that.

‘More testing, less races’ says Alonso

Again this week Fernando Alonso this week has stated that he would like more testing and less races within the Formula One calendar. This year’s calendar is down to 19 races due to New Jersey not being able to fulfil their commitment, however Alonso would like to see go down to 18 races.

Alonso states his reasons why is due to ‘…not being easy to maintain a consistent performance throughout the season.’ Also, he has also stated that drivers have commitments after the season that need to be fulfilled by the team and the sponsors and it can have an effect on performance.

Is Charles Pic a ‘pay driver’?

Well, that is the question. Charles Pic’s move to the Caterham team for the 2013 season is seen by many as Caterham choosing a ‘pay driver’ to race for them. However, Charles himself as publically refused this claim by saying that he is at the team ‘…based on his performances and his driving talent [and has] a several year contract with the team.’

When is Force India announcing their second driver?

That is what the Formula One paddock and media want to know. I want to know. Ever since Nico Hulkenberg’s move to Sauber, the team are not any closer to announcing who will be partnering Paul Di Resta this season. I have for the last few months believed that the team’s Test Driver Jules Bianchi and ex Formula One dtiver Adrian Sutil are in the running for the driver and this is true.

The team has also said this week that their second driver announcement will not be announced at the launch of their 2013 car as many suspected within the Formula One paddock.

‘We Want Bianchi in Formula One’ says Ferrari

Ferrari Team Principal Stephano Domelicali has announced this week that he is trying to get Force India’s Test Driver Jules Bianchi a role within Formula One. Bianchi is a driver from the Ferrari Academy and is believed to have a ‘great future’ within the sport and comes highly rated.

I will keep you updated on news regarding Bianchi and Force India as soon as I hear anything.

Sauber switching to Mercedes’s engines for 2014

It has been stated this week that due to the changes in engine and technical regulations within the sport, Sauber are thinking of switching to Mercedes engines for 2014. Sauber have refused these claims by saying that ‘…we have used Ferrari engines for 10 years now and they are our first point of contact for engines in 2014.’

New Issue of GP International Magazine out NOW!

The final piece of news this week. If your a avid Formula One fan like me, you’ll be happy to know that the latest issues of GP International magazine is out now. In case you haven’t heard of the magazine, it is a brand new magazine out every month that brings the latest news, articles and some stunning pictures from the sport.

Out NOW!

Out NOW!

This month’s issue sees the magazine celebrate 50 years of the McLaren with some stunning pictures, interviews and articles which shows the development of the team from its founding years with Bruce McLaren, Ron Dennis turning around the team, the Senna and Prost years, an interview with Mika Hakkinen and articles on Lewis Hamilton, Jenson Button and Fernando Alonso.

And it was a cracking read. As a McLaren fan, I was engrossed in the magazine and also the history of this great team which I love so much. And GP International captured the spirit of the team extremely well. While reading the magazine, I was transported back to some of my best Formula One memories such as Mika Hakkinen and Lewis Hamilton winning their world championships, the battle between Hamilton and Alonso and also Jenson entering the team and also his epic win in Canada 2011.

And this is why so many F1 fans like myself are now finding themselves buying this magazine every single month. They have the same joy and passion for the sport that us fans have. And that is something your willing to part £4.95 an issue for!

GP International is available from selected Tescos and WH Smiths stores, on Twitter under @GPImag and on the app store for iPhone.

Advertisements

F1 News 7th January-13th January 2013

This week is all about Red Bull, be it Adrian Newey, Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel. Also Sergio Perez is featured heavily this week due to him starting his new job at McLaren as team-mate to Jenson Button. And also Lewis Hamilton is spoken of this week a lot to. There is also the latest developments’ regarding Grand Prix circuits and Grand Prix test drivers. Sit back with a cup of tea and enjoy reading the latest edition of F1 News…

Alonso rejects Marko’s criticism

This week has seen Red Bull’s Head of Development Helmut Marko publically speaking out in their magazine ‘The Bulletin’ about Red Bull Racing’s two drivers Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel and also one of their rivals Fernando Alonso. Marko has stated that Fernando is ‘…too busy with politics and funny comments… ’ that may have affected his chances of securing the title away from Vettel. Alonso has rejected these claims by saying that ‘…he enjoys the banter with Red Bull and they are very strong rivals for myself and for my team.’

Marko has talked about Webber and Vettel publically. Marko believes that Mark cannot ‘…cope with the pressure [of being Vettel’s team-mate].’ Marko states further that Mark ‘…can’t maintain form [in a season]… and that ‘…2 races a year, he is unbeatable… [and] Vettel snatched his chance to be successful within the team when the chance arrived.’

I think that is a bit unfair on Mark if I’m honest. As Mark is a world class driver. When Mark has the pace and performance with the car, he is unbeatable and can certainly beat Vettel in this form. Maybe Mark may need to work on getting a consistent level of performance throughout the season in order to challenge Vettel and to challenge for the title but I personally rate Mark very highly indeed.

Speaking about Vettel, Marko has nothing but praise for him that stating that Vettel ‘…and his driving was flawless and a phenomenon. He ignores all media aspects related to the job [such as avoiding reading articles about himself in the media] and just concentrates on the job.’ Yes, Marko is correct saying Vettel does not read about himself in the media and concentrates on his job, which is the way it should be. But I think Marko has failed to realise that not just the talent of Vettel has helped Red Bull shape where they are today. He has to remember that Formula One is a team sport that strives for perfection and high standards all the time and that if everyone plays their part success is rewarded.

‘Title wins affecting 2013’ says Adrian Newey and Red Bull

Sebastian Vettel narrowly clichéd his third consecutive driver’s world championship and helped Red Bull Racing’s third consecutive constructor’s championship with a spectacular race in Brazil. But in order for Red Bull and Vettel to do so, Adrian Newey has announced that this has had a slight impact on the development of the 2013 car, the RB 9.

Newey this week when questioned on the matter states that to win both championships he had to ‘…introduce new developments for every race which is difficult to do so and develop next year’s car [which could compromise next year’s car].’ Red Bull will be announcing next week if the RB9 will be ready for the first pre-season test at Jerez on the 5th February 2013.

Both Team Principal Christian Horner and Mark Webber have publically praised the work that Adrian does hailing him as ‘…one of the greatest designers and is a powerful influence’. And I tend to agree with Horner and Webber. The amount of success that Newey has had with teams such as McLaren and Williams and achieving championship success is staggering and I believe may well be better than Colin Chapman.

Red Bull Launch Date for RB9

Final piece of Red Bull related news this week. Red Bull Racing have announced that they will be launching their car for the 2013 season the RB9 on the 3rd February 2013. It will be unveiled a few days before the start of pre-season testing at Jerez, despite claims of the car not being ready in time. It seems that Red Bull have followed teams such as McLaren, Force India, Sauber and Ferrari by launching it at the last possible moment before testing. The world awaits.

Perez wants maiden championship win

First related news on Sergio Perez. Sergio this week announced to the F1 community that he believes he can win for McLaren in 2013. Perez has publically said that he ‘…is not feeling pressures of working for a long term in Formula One… and cannot wait to get to work…’ and is optimistic that he can fight for the championship. I think the Formula One community to awaiting to see if all the hype surrounding Perez can translate onto the track and settle into the team successfully.

‘Perez has equal status at McLaren’ says McLaren

Martin Whitmarsh has announced that the arrival of Sergio Perez to the team has no effect on how McLaren treat their drivers. Whitmarsh has said at the unveiling of Perez on Wednesday that ‘…Perez has equal status within the team.’ However, it could be seen that Jenson Button may inherit the role of ‘team leader’ within the team but that has been discounted. But I think that Jenson who has been in the team longer will play a role into the direction and development of the team and the car this year in order to try and battle for the championship.

‘Sauber can win’ says Perez

Sergio Perez has stated this week that he believes that Sauber can win in 2013 if the car is strong and consistent. Perez did come close to winning last year with Sauber at the Malaysian Grand Prix but he did achieve two podiums last year. Sauber last year was one of the teams who seemed to have a pretty good grasp of the rules and had a strong car because of it. The potential is there for Sauber, but will it all come together?

‘I want Kobayashi to return to Formula One in 2014’ says Perez

Final bit of news on Sergio Perez this week. Sergio has stated that he would like his team-mate at Sauber Kamui Kobayashi to return to Formula One in 2013. Kobayashi was not retained by Sauber and released from his contract and trying to raise the funds required to obtain a drive for the new season. However, Kamui could not raise the funds and is targeting a drive for 2014.

Perez believes that Kamui ‘…is a great driver and a great guy and deserves to be in the sport in 2014.’ And I would have to agree with Sergio, Kamui is a great racing driver, exciting to watch and I want more than anything to see him return to the sport next year with a cracking drive.

Brundle tips Hamilton for a win this season

Martin Brundle this week has stated that Lewis Hamilton ‘…may enjoy unexpected success for Mercedes.’ Lewis Hamilton has said since his move to the team that he is playing down expectations of success in his first year with the team. However, Brundle believes that Lewis has every chance of it. Brundle believes that ‘… his raw pace could help Mercedes… and I will be very surprised if he does not win this year.’ When asked if Lewis’s move to Mercedes will help his old team-mate Jenson Button at McLaren, Brundle replied that ‘Jenson will prosper as team leader at McLaren with the news of Lewis leaving the team and will concentrate on leading the team.’

‘We chose to let Lewis go’ says Ron Dennis

McLaren owner Ron Dennis has spoken to the media about Lewis Hamilton leaving the team for Mercedes. Dennis has stated that ‘…the team [McLaren] could have retained the services of Lewis if we wanted to, but we chose to let him go.’ Dennis has also publically spoken about the status of McLaren being in Formula One by saying that ‘…the F1 team will not spilt from the sport and is part of our core business as a group.’

German GP deal done?

It seems that the deal for the German Grand Prix to be staged this year at the Nurburgring circuit is going ahead. Bernie Ecclestone has announced that the deal to host the Grand Prix with the circuit is happening and hopes ‘…to be concluded imminently.’

It seems that there have been a range of problems trying to host the Grand Prix at the Nurburgring. Firstly, there is a race agreement in place with Hockenheim to host the German Grand Prix jointly together. However, there has been financial problems with this arrangement which have all been settled. Bernie believes that the race will be run on the 7th July as planned. The circuit is also up for auction later this year sadly.

Turkish Grand Prix deal falls through

Sad news that the Turkish Grand Prix deal for this year has fallen through. The organisers who host the Grand Prix have been trying to organise the funds for the Grand Prix to replace the gap filled by New Jersey who have not been able to fulfil its promise. Talks broken down due to the lack of financial arrangement and not being able to raise the 20 million needed to host the Grand Prix and the Prime Minister not having the funds to help the cause.

‘I’m not changing my driving style’ says Maldonado

Pastor Maldonado had an eventful 2012 season with a first surprise win at Spain, got involved with racing incidents, made a lot of mistakes but was penalised as the season went on. Due to being involved in these incidents, Maldonado has received a fair bit of criticism from the media and the drivers but he is adamant that ‘…he is not changing his driving style due to the success I have achieved, by winning every category I have competed in and I think I should continue to do so.’

Test Driver news

Several Test Drivers have announced their intentions to either resign with their prospective teams or try to find a race seat for this year. Ferrari Test Driver Marc Gene has announced that he has resigned with the team for another year. Gene who used to drive for Williams in 2004 is happy to stay with the team for another year. Red Bull have announced that Sebastian Buemi has resigned as their Test Driver for another year. Lotus Test Driver Jerome D’Ambrosio is trying to chase the remaining two drives for 2013 with Force India and Caterham. D’Ambrosio made his Formula One debut driving for the Virgin Team (which is now Marussia) and was left without a seat for 2012. D’Ambrosio has announced his intention ‘…to strive to drive in Formula One.’ Will Jerome be racing next year? I don’t know.

‘We need a revised path to Formula One’ says Surtees

World Champion John Surtees has announced that a new system needs to be implemented within the sport to ‘…ensure that talent comes through the sport.’ Surtees then explains this further by suggesting that ‘A driver’s success is rewarded by the advancement of their career such as introducing scholarships for the next category and keep it going until they reach Formula One.’

Surtees who used to run a team within Formula One knows too well how driver choices impact not only on a driver but also on a team too. Due to the current economic climate, teams may now be forced to ask a driver to either provide significant funds or sponsorships with significant funds in order to get a seat into the sport instead of choosing a driver based solely on pure talent. But Surtees himself ‘…had to take a paid driver but had to take on a non paid driver that I believed in.’

I think Surtees may have a point. I think that teams should be taking on drivers based on their talent and if that comes with sponsorship, then that is a bonus. However, I do understand that the teams more than ever need more money in their budgets in order to survive within the sport and also stay competitive. I think that Formula One needs to be something that aspiring drivers ought to achieve through graft, talent and determination instead of paying their way to be there. But the talent, graft and determination should attract a sponsor to back a driver anyway…

No Fanvision at GP tracks for 2013

That’s right. Fanvision that is present at Grand Prix circuits to allow paying spectators to watch instant replays is not going to be at the track any longer. This is due to the company who provides the service not being able to get a new deal with Formula One Management. This is a great shame for the fans who use their hard earned money to attend a Grand Prix and look forward to watching any incidents that occurred while on track…

Disorganised stewarding at Grand Prix?

The final bit of news this week comes from Jackie Stewart who has announced this week that from the Brazil ‘Vettel’ saga (where it was claimed that Vettel overtook Vergne through yellow flags which he did but was proven by the FIA to be untrue) that there needs to be ‘…four constant stewards at Grand Prix’ to avoid this happening again.

The Brazil ‘Vettel’ saga should have been according to Stewart raised on the Sunday after the race instead of the following Wednesday and he believes that this is due to ‘…disorganised functioning of the stewards… and that four consistent stewards should be present at each Grand Prix, instead of four different stewards at a Grand Prix.’ Stewart also believes that FIA president Jean Todt should have spoken out about this issue but believes ‘…he is biding his time’ to discuss the matter. I believe Stewart may have a point. There have been many occasions that the stewards have implemented decisions that have changed from Grand Prix to another which have either helped or hindered drivers. The president of the FIA needs to make a decision and quickly before the start of the new season.

F1 News 31st December 2012-6th January 2013

Welcome to the New Year! I hope you all had a fantastic Christmas and I wish you all the best for 2013! Let’s begin with our first F1 News of this brand new year.

Ferrari hunting Vettel?

Again, Ferrari’s president Luca Di Montezemolo has publically stated that he would like Sebastian Vettel to become a Ferrari driver if and when Fernando Alonso leaves the team as a driver.

Di Montezemolo believes that Vettel could be a ‘potential Ferrari driver’ as early as 2014 for a pre-contract with the team. This is a claim that Vettel himself denies. Sources claim that Michael Schumacher may have placed a few words into the Ferrari’s president’s ears about the talent and driving style of Sebastian Vettel but this has not been denied or confirmed by any party involved.

Do I think Alonso would give way to Vettel joining the team in 2014? Not without a fight anyways. Do I think both drivers who fought for this year’s driver’s championship would actually become team-mates? No. Will Alonso want a repeat of Lewis Hamilton when he joined the McLaren team? No. We shall find out when the driver market opens for 2014 in this upcoming year what will happen, or what we would like to happen (which in my case would be for them to be team-mates and this would actually test the drivers on equal and fair equipment ).

Bottas wants success

Williams’s new driver Valtteri Bottas who replaces Bruno Senna for the new season ahead is targeting success in his first year in the sport and in the team. Williams’s Team owner Frank Williams has highly praised Bottas since his appearance in the Friday practice 1 sessions last year by stating that Bottas ‘is a really talented young driver that he has ever come across’.

However, Bottas has spent three years with the team, preparing him for his role as a test and reserve driver in 2012 leading up to his race drive which starts in Melbourne in March. Bottas has stated that he wants throughout the new season to ‘…get up to speed and bring home the points for the team’.

And this is exactly what he needs to do. Williams experienced some success last year with an unexpected win in Spain and had a very competitive car at their disposal on several occasions. Bottas needs to prove to the Williams team quickly that getting rid of Bruno Senna was not a mistake and that he deserves this chance with the team. I await Bottas’s first Grand Prix.

Bernie to go?

With Bernie Ecclestone facing a trial regarding bribery, rumour has it that Bernie may have to leave the world of Formula One behind. If Bernie is found guilty, he would have to leave the sport that he has built up over the last few decades. Bernie’s ‘partner in crime’ Gribkrowsky has been jailed for up to eight and a half years for his crimes and has hailed Ecclestone has his ‘accomplice’.

Ecclestone has thoroughly denied the charges but this has left CVC looking for possible replacements if Bernie is found guilty. Again, it has been left to Ferrari president Luca Di Montezemolo to express what he believes is the paddock’s view on the situation ‘…this could be bad for Formula One.’

Yes, I would agree with Luca as this would send shocks to everyone through the sport if Bernie was found guilty and could affect circuits and contracts that Bernie has made for Formula One. However, until the courts decide Bernie’s fate, we need to make sure that Formula One still runs smoothly. I will update you all on this matter as soon as I hear anything.

Brabham to return to Formula One?

Sir Jack Brabham founded the Brabham team and was run by Bernie Ecclestone in 1960 may be returning back to the sport. Brabham last raced in Formula One in 1992 with Damon Hill at the wheel. However, due to the team being bought out in 2009 by a German automotive company with an intention to race in 2010 (which did not happen) and a legal issues that are needed to be sorted out, Brabham’s son David has hinted ‘there is a possibilty’ the team may well be back competing in the sport.

Let’s hope this gets sorted out soon. Would be amazing to see Brabham and the Brabham name racing again!

De La Rosa back at McLaren?

Can this be true? The team that Pedro De La Rosa left as a test driver to drive for HRT has taken him back? Well, De La Rosa has publically denied that he is back at McLaren and would not ‘…expect McLaren to take him back.’ Pedro unfortunately has been left without a drive for the 2013 season due to the HRT team going into liquidation and up for sale. But he is optimistic that he will find a test driver/reserve driver position in a Formula One for this season. Will it be McLaren? I hope so.

Riccardo wants to improve

2013 is the year that Toro Rosso driver Daniel Riccardo wants to improve on last year’s season and his performance. Riccardo I believe has failed to live up to the hype that was surrounding him at the start of the 2012 season and really needs to produce the goods for next season.

I hope that Daniel can. As I have seen flashes of brilliance and driving talent throughout the last season that shows when Riccardo has the car and the pace behind him, he can bring the car home and bring home the much needed points for the Toro Rosso team. However, this season is make or break for him, if he fails to deliver, he’ll be dropped from the programme and replaced quicker than a McDonalds burger. Just ask Sebastian Buemi and Jaime Algersuari…

Nurburgring to host German GP

Yes, the classic track is back to host the German Grand Prix for this year! It has been rumoured that the track organisers did not have the necessary funds required to host the event and had terminated talks with Bernie Ecclestone. However, that has all been solved and the event is to go ahead in July. I cannot wait!

New Challenge for Pirelli

For the brand new season, Pirelli have yet again produced a tyre that could make the season be like the season we have just experienced. Pirelli have produced a ‘more aggressive tyre’ that allows them to give the team ‘a proper challenge’ for the upcoming season. And the fact that there are no major technical changes until the introduction of turbo engines in 2014, this will only make the racing exciting, thrilling and unpredictable… please god that it is….

Bianchi Vs Sutil

Your final news item people and it’s just come in as I am writing to press. It is all heads off between Jules Bianchi and Adrian Sutil for the final race seat at Force India (that was vacated by Nico Hulkenberg who left for Sauber) for this season. Jaime Algersauri is now out of the running due to him accepting a move to BMW’s DTM team.

At this stage, nothing has been announced by either driver or the team itself. But who would I bet my money on you ask? Bianchi. Why? Sutil has had his chance in the sport, failed to impress and it went. I will update you on this story as soon as I receive any information.