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Sunday, 14 November 2010

Vettel World Champion

As Alonso was blocked behind Vitaly Petrov for lap after lap and Webber was trapped behind him, Sebastian Vettel streaked away to victory in front of Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button.

This makes Vettel the youngest ever F1 champion.

By any standards this has been an exciting season.  This was the first time Vettel has led the points table all year and what a time to do it.

The safety car deployed when Schumacher was taken out by Liuzzi gave opportunity for the two Renaults of Kubica and Petrov and the Mercedes of Nico Rosberg to jump in for tyres.

That was enough to destroy the race of both Massa and Webber who could not climb to better positions than 7th and 8th behind the two Renaults.  Rosberg came on fourth to compensate in some way for his team mate's retirement.

So that's it until March 11-13th, 2011 in Bahrain.

Next year there will be five world champions competing - Schumacher, Alonso, Button, Hamilton and now Vettel.

Maybe next year Webber will become the sixth.

Will All Four Championship Contenders Finish?

As this incredible season ends today, we see still four drivers who could be champion by the end of the race.

Much will depend on whether all four can stay on the track.

So much is at stake and emotions are running high.  The young guns Vettel and Hamilton head the grid.

Webber and Vettel have come together before this year.

Hamilton will be more relaxed knowing he has to win.  Nothing else will be good enough.

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Abu Dhabi 2010

The big F1 news topic this week is who will close out the 2010 world drivers title?

Red Bull have already won the constructors title.  This is a huge result for Adrian Newey in particular who now holds more F1 titles than Michael Schumacher.

If last year's result in Abu Dhabi is repeated there will be a 1-2 again for Red Bull and in the same order as Brazil - Vettel first, Webber second.

Last year Button was third in the Brawn and Hamilton's McLaren did not finish.

The highest finishing McLaren was Kovalainen on 11th and the highest Ferrari was Raikkonen in 12th.

A similar result this weekend would put Vettel and Webber on equal points with Vettel having more wins 5-4.

It would be big F1 news indeed if Alonso came in 11th this year.  He has stated he is 100% certain of becoming world champion on the basis that he 'only needs to finish second'.

Last year Hamilton was on pole in qualifying.

Monday, 8 November 2010

Red Bullish

Sebastian Vettel stormed home in front of his team mate Mark Webber in Brazil followed by Ferrari's Fernando Alonso.

With this result Red Bull have locked out the manufacturers title.  Jubilant celebrations were led by Webber wielding a fire extinguisher and letting it off over Vettel and the mechanics.

Now only the driver's title remains to be secured and the next race will reveal all.

Unless Alonso appears to be about to finish lower than fourth in the late stages of the race then Vettel, having by then lost all hope of the title, will somehow need to let Webber past him to take the title if he leads in the final laps in Abu Dhabi.

A win by Webber will need Vettel to displace Alonso into third to avoid Alonso still taking the title.

Either way this is a great result from the former Stewart/Jaguar team.  Interesting then to see Rubens Barrichello who drove for Stewart in 1997 still on the grid and finishing 14th in Brazil on Sunday.  His team mate and pole-sitter Nico Hulkenberg slipped to 8th place at the finish.

Button is now out of the title race and his team mate Hamilton can only be champion of he wins and Alonso Webber and Vettel fail to score.

Saturday, 6 November 2010

Hulk Takes Pole

In an excellent result for Cosworth, Williams and above all Nico Hulkenberg, the tables are turned in Brazil.

The young german driver in his debut season at Williams, secured a brilliant lap to head the times and take pole position ahead of fashionable favourites - Vettel, Webber, Hamilton and Alonso.

Interestingly the last win for a Cosworth F1 engine was also in Brazil - as long ago as 2003.
Giancarlo Fischella brought home the Jordan Cosworth first.

It is a stunning result for the engine company, founded by Mike Costin and Keith Duckworth in 1958, to secure a pole in their return year.

Their first race win was at Goodwood 1960 in the brilliant hands of Jim Clark.  In 1967 came their first F1 win - Jim Clark again, Lotus 49, Zandvoort Netherlands (I was there).

It is ironic that Williams are ditching Cosworth for a French Renault engine next year.

Hulkenberg deserves a medal for clearing his rivals by over a second.

If he can carry this form through to the race it will have an intriguing effect on the championship.

Button could only manage 11th continuing from Korea with problems of grip levels.

Picture credit:

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Grand Prix Brazil

In 2009 Mark Webber won the Grand Prix in Brazil.

Kubica came in second with Hamilton third and Vettel fourth.

In the same race, Jenson Button won the 2009 World Drivers Championship by coming in fifth.

This year, such a result would greatly strengthen Mark Webber's position.

It is probably the most difficult race to call for many years and despite being the penultimate race of the season, the championship is still open to five drivers using basic maths,

Monday, 1 November 2010

McLaren 1-2 in Brazil

To have a realistic chance of the F1 championsip this year, McLaren need a 1-2 finish at Interlago, Brazil.

They have stated they will back Button to make a sterling effort to hold on to his 2009 championsip status so no team orders or other private arrangements to favour Hamilton are expected.

They will also need someone like Mercedes or Renault to take the third podium place and for the Red Bulls to trip over each other, maybe taking Alonso's Ferrari with them.

Last race it was Rosberg who fell foul of Webber's spinning Red Bull.

Of course a good clean race is preferred as always, with everyone arriving safely at the finish line with their machinery intact.

An engine or gearbox failure by the McLaren rivals would help their cause too of course.

Saturday, 30 October 2010

Button Will Not Give Up

Jenson Button has not given up his 2009 world title and will not do so.

Button can still retain the title if the Red Bull's engines or gearboxes give way again, Vettel and Webber take each other out, Alonso fries his Ferrari etc etc.

Martin Whitmarsh describes him as a fighter and has given no overt indication that Hamilton will be favoured.

In Brazil he described the McLaren as undrivable with no grip under braking or acceleration.  Hamilton managed to take second place in ostensibly the same chariot.

Alonso's Championship in Question

The 100,000 dollar fine dished out by the FIA after Hockenheim in July may have a true cost greater than the financial one.

If the current championship leader Fernando Alonso goes on to win the 2010 F1 Championship he will need a margin of 8 points or more.  The current margin is 11 points.

Otherwise the victory will be devalued in the minds of his rivals and fans.

Whether Red Bull or McLaren will support one of their drivers has so far not been confirmed.
If one of their drivers secures the championship without any obvious team orders, the sport will be seen as a race between individuals rather than just a slickly managed brand promotion.

Further comment at

Thursday, 28 October 2010

Ferrari Have Not Won World Championship | di Montezemolo

As reported in La Gazzetta in Italy, Luca Cordero di Montezemolo says that Ferrari have not yet won anything.

He says that Ferrari were not fools before, nor are they geniuses now, simply because Alonso leads the championship.

He was pleased to see Massa on the podium before his home race in Brazil.

He concluded that he wants the image of Ferrari as competent and capable but with humility and focus to be sustained until Abu Dhabi.

For full story see here.

Sunday, 24 October 2010

Alonso Wins Korean GP

Fernando Alonso won the Korean Grand Prix in atrocious weather today.

The race was initially suspended after three laps only. After a restart under the safety car, the cars followed around for 13 laps while stewards waited for a safe window in the weather.  Drivers' comments came in on the radio, and only Lewis Hamilton seemed keen to resume racing.

Vettel kept his lead until, on lap 46, his engine gave way.

Hamilton came in second with Massa third.

Jenson Button seemed to be driving a different car today and struggled just in front of the back markers.  He described the car as undriveable while his team mate fought up to second place.

Hamilton's description of the track was also very different from Button's.  Hamilton felt things weren't too bad with plenty of grip under the rain surface.  Button described the track as looking like a lake and his being unable to brake or accelerate without the tyres giving way.

McLaren still say however that they will not favour one driver, as do Red Bull so it seems only Ferrari are prepared to put their efforts behind one man for the drivers' championship.

Saturday, 23 October 2010

Korea Grid

The grid order for tomorrow's Korean Grand Prix is - Vettel, Webber, Alonso, Hamilton, Rosberg, Massa.

Jenson Button was over a second slower than Vettel back in 7th place and over six tenths slower than Hamilton.

Rosberg was over four tenths quicker than Schumacher in their Mercedes cars.

The only top cars that came close to each other were the top three with only 0.18 second separating all three.

Friday, 22 October 2010

Webber Second Practice

Mark Webber headed second practice edging out Alonso and Hamilton.

Robert Kubica continued his strong form in fourth with Button and Massa behind him.

Several drivers have criticised the pit entry on the apex of blind bend before the pit straight.

Korea F1 Practice

First practice shows up some interesting F1 news from Korea.

Lewis Hamilton took the quickest time late in the session followed by Kubica, Rosberg, Vettel, Button and Schumacher.

Webber was 7th quickest with Massa 12th and Alonso 15th.

The two week old track surface is holding up OK.  Whilst construction work is still going on and builders dust has found its way onto the track, all should be well by Sunday.

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Smooth is Quick | Jenson Button in Korea

The F1 GP drivers will have to get used to a slippery surface in Korea this weekend.

The new tarmac is still 'green' and will take time to bed in.

For those of us that have experienced indoor karting, the maxim 'smooth is quick' will resonate as being applicable on fresh tarmac or the painted concrete surfaces typical on those circuits.

F1's biggest smoothie Jenson Button may well have a driving style that is ideal for the new Korean circuit.

Having watched him perform indoors at the NEC, without ever stepping out the back of the car like all others who were demonstrating quick road cars, he will have a lot to gain over the more aggressive drivers.

Monday, 18 October 2010

Webber Looking for Korea First

Mark Webber's career has never looked closer to a World Championship title than this season.

Korea will throw up some interesting variables with such a new track surface.

It may favour drivers who are good with limited traction such as Jenson Button and Sebastian Vettel.

The drivers will go to the Korea GP circuit three days early to assess the new track.

Friday, 15 October 2010

Webber Can Relax. Or Can He?

Hamilton and Button must be thinking at least passingly of the DNFs they have had in recent races.
Had Button not been speared by Vettel at the Bus Stop in Spa, he would still be looking strong.  If Hamilton had not tangled with Massa at Monza and then Webber in Singapore then he would too.

The last three races are at Korea and Brazil then Abu Dhabi for the final.

If Vettel finishes first and Webber second in each race then they will enter the last race on equal points.

So it will then be whoever finishes ahead of the other at Yas Marina who will be champion.

This scenario appears unlikely.  Either Alonso or Hamilton or Button must surely win one of the next two races.

If alternatively one of them comes in second and pushes Vettel into third they will be assisting Webber who holds a 14 point lead right now.

A couple of wins by Hamilton will put him in contention to become champion in the last race and Alonso is on equal points with Vettel so any good result by him will assist him toward a decisive last race.

So the only man who can relax in any way while others fight it out behind him is Webber.  But if he has a DNF...

Sunday, 10 October 2010

F1 News Japan

With two laps to go, Vettel sets a fastest lap.  He holds his lead from Webber, Alonso, Button and Hamilton.

Lap 53 and Vettel takes it home to give a Red Bull 1-2.

Third place is taken by Fernando Alonso with Button picking up valuable points behind him and then Hamilton.

On the last lap Webber grabs fastest lap.

MSC comes in sixth.

The championship standings are now Webber-220 points, Vettel-206, Alonso-206, Hamilton-192, Button-189.

F1 News | Japan Grand Prix

An eventful Grand Prix in Japan...

First F1 News was Massa going off on lap 1.  On lap 4 Kubica retired.

The safety car stayed out from lap 1 until lap 7.

After losing 5 places from a gearbox change, Hamilton lost third gear during the race.

Button stayed out on hard tyres and held the lead up to lap 38.  He rejoined in 5th, leaving the order -Vettel, Webber, Alonso, Button, Hamilton.

Having been chased for over 10 laps by Michael Schumacher, Rosberg goes off with an apparent wheel failure on lap 49.

Saturday, 9 October 2010

Japan Grand Prix Wash Out

The washout in Japan means that qualifying will be at 2am UK time on Sunday.

Saturday, 2 October 2010

Montezemolo Speaks Out

Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo told La Gazzetta dello Sport this week that he wants Felipe Massa to take points off rivals in the remaining races.

The paper described Alonso as 'la carta vincente' and quoted di Montezemolo as saying that 'Those who race for Ferrari do not race for themselves but for the 'Cavallino' ' referring to the Ferrari prancing horse emblem.

Sunday, 26 September 2010

Singapore Results | Hamilton Second DNF

F1 News from Singapore:-

Well it did not quite finish line astern...

Webber drove a hard race to come home third instead of Hamilton.  Hamilton tangled with Webber and had a nul points, just as at Monza.

Button held station from the grid in fourth and Rosberg slotted in fifth, filling the spot vacated by Webber.

Barrichello held his 6th place gridspot.  Michael Schumacher languished in 13th.

Massa blasted from last to tenth.

The standings now are Webber 202 - Alonso 191 - Hamilton 182 - Vettel 181 - Button - 177.
Alonso is the man on form and now has four wins, equalling Webber.  The next three are difficult to separate.  Had Hamilton avoided Massa at Monza and Webber here today he would likely be leading the championship by a few points.  As it is he is still within striking distance but relying on Alonso and Webber to miss a beat sometime in the next four races.

F1 Top Five at Singapore

Ferrari's Fernando Alonso edged out Sebastian Vettel for the starting order in today's Singapore GP.

They were followed by Hamilton-Button-Webber in that order.

There are 125 points available for the winner of the remaining five races.

The current order in the drivers championship is Webber-Hamilton-Alonso-Button-Vettel.

The F1 points system gives 25 points to the winner then 18-15-12-10-8-6-4-2-1.

If they finish in grid order today, the standings will be Webber 197 - Hamilton 197 - Alonso 191 - Vettel -181 - Button 177.

This is unlikely of course but a review of  the points system is a good indicator of current form and its effects.

Based on the last race, the two McLaren's will out-drag the front row with Button leading Hamilton after the first bend.  Hamilton will be slightly nervous after his accident with Massa at Monza on lap one.  However Massa starts at the back of the grid in Singapore after gearbox problems so is well out of the way.

Picture credit:

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Schumacher Neck

According to a report in, Schumacher has been out on his bike again at the Sachsenring.


Monday, 13 September 2010

Alo Alo Alo

Or 'Ole ole ole' as they must be saying in Spain this morning.

Fernando Alonso put in a fine performance to take victory in his first Italian Grand Prix for Ferrari at Monza 2010.

After Jenson Button beat him to the first corner, Alonso had to focus hard to regain the lead he took with his pole position.

Webber has regained his championship lead with his sixth place after Hamilton was overly aggressive in trying to pass Massa on lap one and damaged his car, retiring ignominiously into the gravel trap with his front right wheel flapping like a sail.

Alonso now takes his place behind Hamilton and Webber with 166 points to Hamilton's 182 and Webber's 187.  Button is now one point behind Alonso with Vettel two points behind Button.

This is one of the closest title fights in F1 history.

Saturday, 11 September 2010

Hamilton Wings It

Lewis Hamilton regretted his decision to run a low downforce rear wing.  He described the car after qualifying only fifth as  'sliding everywhere'.  He said he had no idea how things would go tomorrow.

Meanwhile Jenson Button took his first front row of the season alongside Alonso on pole.

Massa came in third and Webber fourth.

Button's larger wing enabled him to brake later and corner at higher speeds.

This more than offset the greater drag on the straights.

Alonso was delighted with his pole in front of the tifosi.

Friday, 10 September 2010

Monza Practice

In free practice today, Red Bull surprised yet again with their pace.

In first practice Button set the fastest time but in second practice, Sebastian Vettel was quickest from the two Ferraris of Alonso and Massa.  Hamilton, Button and Webber completed the top five times.

Many people were expecting Monza to be a circuit where the Red Bull strengths would not show through and that the out and out speed of the McLaren would dominate.

Tomorrow will tell of course but so far, at least in Vettel's hands, Adrian Newey and team seem to have produced an optimum set up for this low downforce circuit.

Hamilton favoured a smaller rear wing than Button.  Button's larger wing can run in low drag with the F-Duct while giving greater downforce where needed.

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

Order a Ferrari | Team Orders | F1 News

Ferrari are well known for their waiting lists on new orders.  Team orders are seemingly something different.

In the World Motorsport Council hearing today, Ferrari have escaped further punishment for instructing Felipe Massa to listen to the comment at the German Grand Prix that Fernando Alonso was 'faster than you'.

Massa's engineer, Rob Smedley,  gave the above thinly coded message, prompting Ferrari to be fined for a breach of the rules banning team orders.

Many expected points to be deducted from the drivers and the team and possibly a further fine imposed.

However this has not been the case.  The 100,000 dollars already imposed will be the limit.

From a racing viewpoint, this decision keeps Alonso in the title race.

Monza this weekend is pivotal for Ferrari, not only as their home race but to act as a benchmark for the rest of the season.

The FIA have stated that the team orders rule will shortly be further clarified.

Sunday, 5 September 2010

Goodwood 2010

September 16-19 will bring the excellent Revival meeting back to Goodwood.

If ever you doubted the joys of attending the event - take a look at the video below...
What a day out we had!

F1 Aerodynamics

If you are interested in F1 aerodynamics,  this link is a good one to look at.

The article is very well written and illustrated and a good example of Craig Scarborough's work.  I only came across it today after researching general F1 aero issues but is very good technical journalism.

Red Bull Wing Flex

We have now had collisions between, Vettel and Webber in Turkey, Webber and Kovalainen in Valencia and Vettel and Button at Spa.  Each involves Red Bull F1 cars of course.  Is that relevant?

The latest accident has caused many to write that a flexing, twisting wing caused or contributed to the accident at Spa, Belgium.

It is true that video footage shows the wing writhing like a surf board on a wave immediately prior to Vettel losing control.

The question is was this the cause of the accident?

Here are the events:-

Vettel's wing flexed as he tried to pull out of Button's slipstream.  

Vettel lost control as his wing twisted right then left.

Vettel hit Button's radiator, putting him out of the race.

A relatively small, soft front wing behind a large rear wing is going to create aerodynamic instability.  This is unavoidable.

What next then?:  When the new and revised (again) tests have been carried out at Spa, discuss and create rules with the specific object of facilitating safe and simple overtaking.  The debate over what caused the Spa accident will inevitably remain inconclusive.  All three accidents referred to above involved braking,  changes of direction and overtaking moves at very close quarters.

The rules should not be so obtuse that the entire field is unhappy about their interpretation.  Aerodynamics should not take the ascendancy of basic racing.

Saturday, 4 September 2010

Vettel Takes Out Button

I have just watched this bbc video

Not Jake Humphrey and Martin Brundle driving to Spa (also very entertaining however) but the one of the Vettel - Button collision at Spa.

For some strange reason it reminded me of the Senna/Prost collisions and the Hill/Schumacher one.

It all looked so incredibly deliberate.  Vettel brakes, changes direction and then appears to steer his car, aiming it straight and Button's radiator thereby putting him out of the race and possibly the championship.  Watch it again and imagine he meant it, just to adjust your critical eye.  Good effort wasn't it?  Now imagine this was the last race of the season and Vettel was leading the championship in front of Button.

Should this be treated like the Nelson Piquet move that gave Alonso the win?  It it a case of weird team orders to allow Webber to hold position in the championship?  Was Vettel paid to help Hamilton retake the championship lead and inhibit Button's chances of retaining the title.  Of course not, this is rubbish of course - but maybe it illustrates the difficulty stewards face when adjudging 'sporting scandals'.  The circumstances often look identical to all intents and pruposes. What they are judging is intent and motive not just the events themselves.

Did the Pakistani bowlers intend to cross the line and create a no ball?  Did Piquet intend to orchestrate Alonso's win.  Did Schumacher really mean to nobble Hill's car?

The actual circumstances of each incident are radically different and yet, viewed on a monitor vaguely similar.

Who would want to be a sports judge, steward or referee?

Monday, 30 August 2010

Bull Wings Banned in Barcelona

Sorry no story here.  Just an odd headline.

Hamilton Floats his Boat

The Red Bull front wing could be seen floating up and down like a fishing float in a lake as the water flowed again in Spa, albeit intermittently.

There was no obvious difference following the new endplate load tests.

As Mark Webber faltered at the start, Lewis Hamilton swept through and held station for the rest of the race.  Apart from one slide on a wetting track, he continued unassailed to the finish to take the lead in the drivers championship.  Webber battled back, Button was speared from behind byVettel's nose puncturing his radiator.  The Red Bull's nose certainly could be seen to deflect in that camera shot.   Kubica had an excellent race and eventually regained the third place he had on the original grid for Renault.

Probably Hamilton or Button will be able to keep their noses up and ahead at Monza.  By that time the new bib test will have been implemented to see if any cars have articulation or flex in the floors.

Personally, I admire any innovation that comes within the rules as published and gives competitive advantage.  That was what made Colin Chapman a great engineer.  Well done Adrian Newey.

Sunday, 29 August 2010

Blazing Belgium

The start to the Belgian Grand Prix today should be a no-holds-barred fight for the first lap.

Neither Webber on pole or Hamilton alongside him are known for giving way in a side by side battle as Vettel found out recently.

Behind Webber in third sits Kubica, know as one of the hardest guys to get past, and behind Hamilton in fourth is none other than Sebastian Vettel.

Then come Button and Massa. On his 300th GP Rubens was 7th which he should be delighted with.

Button has proven his worth in changeable conditions, dodging the showers and changing tyres at the right time.

Rounding out the championship contenders - Fernando Alonso is a lowly 10th.

Friday, 27 August 2010

Belgian Six Pointer

In football, some matches are billed as a cup final before the day.

When two teams meet who face each other prematurely and would otherwise produce a spectacle worthy of a final.

This weekend the teams move to Spa in the Belgian Ardennes hills.  This is generally viewed as the 'drivers circuit' with legendary corner names like Eau Rouge, Stavelot and La Source.

This is just such a weekend.  What is called in football a six-pointer.

see news london for full story.

Belgian Six Pointer

In football, some matches are billed as a cup final before the day.

When two teams meet who face each other prematurely and would otherwise produce a spectacle worthy of a final.

This weekend the teams move to Spa in the Belgian Ardennes hills.  This is generally viewed as the 'drivers circuit' with legendary corner names like Eau Rouge, Stavelot and La Source.

This is just such a weekend.  What is called in football a six-pointer.

see for full story.

Tuesday, 24 August 2010

Spa 2010 | Belgian Grand Prix

Last year at Spa,  Kimi Raikonnen took Ferrari's first victory of the season, Force India came in second with Fisichella being quicker for most of the race. Beaten by KERS at the start, it was not possible to take the win but only a second separated first and second at the end.

Fisichella had secured pole, a remarkable result for the team.

Vettel closed the championship gap on Button, with third place.  Button had his first DNF of the year after being hit from behind by Grosjean.

Image credit:

Wednesday, 11 August 2010

Wings and Things

If Red Bull gives you wings then McLaren gives you F ducts...

Chaparral gave us wings actually.  In 1966 they entered a Can-Am car with a high mounted wing which inspired other formulas including F1.

Jim Hall and Hap Sharp started the company in 1962
and soon produced a mid-engined semi monocoque design.

In 1970 they produced the  Chaparral 2J which had twin fans to accelerate air beneath the car and create downforce.  (familiar?)

Successes include the 1966 Nurburgring 1000 kms. (Phil Hill and Jo Bonnier driving), and the 1978 Indy 500 with a Chaparral prepared Lola (Al Unser).

image credit:

Tuesday, 10 August 2010

F1 Autographs | 1963 | 1964

Two autographed programmes from the 1963 British Grand Prix and the 1964 International Trophy at Silverstone are open to offers.

Autographs of Jim Clark, Bruce McLaren, John Surtees (twice), Graham Hill (twice), Jack Brabham, Dan Gurney, Innes Ireland (twice), Lorenzo Bandini. Phil Hill, Richie Ginther, Denis Hulme, John Whitmore, Roy Salvadori, Mike Parkes, Mike Hailwood, Chris Summers, Bob Olthoff, Raymond Baxter and Andrew Hedges.

Offers to

Monday, 9 August 2010

Newey News

After crashing his Ginetta G50 on his weekend off at Snetterton, F1 top designer Adrian Newey was stretchered out and taken to hospital.

He crossed the grass and was then T-boned by the following car.

Newey was not seriously injured and should be free to get the Red Bull mods. ready for Spa.

Want to be an F1 Publisher?

Fancy yourself as an F1 blogger with your own .com and twitter site?

All offers to

Sunday, 8 August 2010

Belgian Grand Prix 2010 | Spa

The Belgian Grand Prix has always been a gold standard venue set in Spa-Francorchamps in the Ardennes hills of Belgium.

In the last ten years only in 2003 and 2006 were there no races.  Of the remaining races of the last decade, Ferrari have won five races and McLaren three.

Last year Kimi Raikkonen won, the previous year Massa and in 2007 Raikkonen again. In '04 and '05 Raikkonen won again and in 2001 and '02 Michael Schumacher.

The weather is notoriously fickle.

So who will take the honours this year?  The circuit favours out and out top speed and very courageous drivers, notably eau rouge bend as it sweeps out of a deep compression and up hill.  The circuit also suits high downforce with its long fast bends.

If Massa is allowed to do so this could be a race where he dominates.

Monday, 2 August 2010

Schumacher Says Sorry

On his own website, the following comment appears:-

"Ich wollte ihn logischerweise nicht gefarhden mit meinem Manover. Wenn er dieses Gefuhl hatte dann sorry, das war nicht meine Absicht."

"Logically I did not want to jeopardize him with my manoeuver.  If he had this feeling then sorry that was not my intention."

Alex Wurz Speaks Out

A former F1 driver and GPDA Director gave his personal opinion of the Barrichello Schumacher incident to BBC Sport as follows:-

"If Schumacher has not seen what is happening behind him the car should be illegal because a mirror has to function as a mirror for rearwards view."  "I feel a bit emotional about it."  "This line should not be crossed."   Alex Wurz to BBC Sport.

The FIA verdict stated that Barrichello's car had been 'illegitimately impeded.'

Heavyweight Questions

If there is nothing wrong with the wings then there must be something wrong with the tests...

Red Bull were so far ahead in Hungary that it was almost like another Formula.  FZero??

Maybe the FIA could consider hanging a 200kg load on the front wings during scrutineering.

Any heavy volunteers from other teams in the pit lane??

Sunday, 1 August 2010

Vettel Penalty | Webber Win

Sebastian Vettel's mistake, backing Alonso into the field behind the safety car resulted in a stop-go penalty and cost him the race.

On BBC David Coulthard opined on lap 18 that Vettel may back up Alonso under the safety car to allow Webber to take his tyre change and still give Red Bull a one-two victory.  This would have been useful but Vettel, saying after the race he was sleeping was adjudged to have allowed too big a gap to the safety car and was penalised.

Whatever the case Webber now retakes the lead in the drivers championship.

McLaren had a bad day with Hamilton retiring with transmission problems and Button coming in eighth.

Schumacher and Barrichello had a late skirmish which resulted in Barrichello calling this the most dangerous move he had ever been subjected to in his career.  Had the concrete barrier been any longer he may have been squeezed into the wall.  Schumacher denied any malicious intent.  He was given a ten place grid penalty for the next race by the stewards.

Saturday, 31 July 2010

Bull Fighting Banned

Bull fighting may now be banned in Barcelona but Red Bull are fighting like never before to get the 2010 F1 World Championship.

1.7 seconds between Sebastian Vettel's Red Bull and the fastest McLaren of Lewis Hamilton...Vettel took pole for the Hungary GP.

At this stage of the season that is a margin McLaren will not be at all happy with.  This will put even more focus on the fixed wing vs flexi wing debate.

Thursday, 29 July 2010

Massa Hassle

Felipe Massa on the anniversary of his accident in Hungary could do without the hassle of being asked to let Alonso past in the race.

His recovery from injury has been heartwarming and impressive to all onlookers.  Out of respect for his courage and ability he should be allowed to race on equal terms for the rest of the season.

Wednesday, 28 July 2010

Flex Those Wings

If McLaren and Mercedes want to catch up with Red Bull and Ferrari, it is clear that they need to get their front wings to flex at loads higher than the FIA test weight of 50kgs.  That way they will be within the maximum limit of 10mm endplate deflection in test conditions.

Hamilton, Button, Rosberg and Schumacher will then have at least the potential for higher exit speeds and greater stability in high speed turns.  Realising that potential is obviously far more complex.  What they don't have is Adrian Newey.  As he has said before - it is not just the blown diffuser that gives them an edge.

No it appears to be the way the flexi wing offsets the negatives of this device.

For those of us who remember Nico's father in the stunning 'ground effects' Williams FW10 of 1985, lapping Silverstone at 160mph average speed, this tweaking is a far cry from full blown ground effects but in these days of competition limiting restrictions small details count for a lot.

Monday, 26 July 2010

Driver or Team? F1 News

The FIA will decide what to do with Ferrari's strategy and priorities.  However what if Ferrari find themselves in a similar position for the rest of the season...

If Ferrari allow Massa to concede his lead and come second in each of the next eight races this would be worth 56 points to Fernando Alonso - equivalent to two additional wins and six free points to spare.

This clearly puts those teams such as McLaren who allow their drivers to race at a disadvantage.  Their drivers will continue effectively to take points off each other thereby diluting each team's chances of winning the drivers title.

Ferrari Made to Pay for Alonso Win

Ferrari won the German Grand Prix with Felipe Massa being passed by his team mate Fernando Alonso late in the race.

The pass allowed by Massa was based on the premise that to quote Rob Smedley, 'Fernando is faster than you.'

Have a look at the lap times on this link and see what you think:-
Along with the 100,000 dollar fine, Ferrari are to meet with the FIA as the matter was referred to them by the stewards.

FIA may consider other sanctions as the stewards consider the team orders rules have been breached.  This is entirely theirs to judge.

Sunday, 25 July 2010

Allow Race Drivers to Race Drivers

Potentially the closest racing will always be between equal cars.

Red Bull allow Webber and Vettel to race each other as do McLaren.

If teams are to be allowed to switch positions then they should run one driver each.

Under current rules, such a move cannot de directed but a driver can let his team mate by as his own decision.

However drivers should not throw in the towel even if their car is underperforming.

Remember when Ayrton Senna's McLaren held off Mansell's Williams at Monaco in 1992 even though his tyres had no grip at all?  This is racing and drivers should do the same within teams.

Otherwise only half the field could be racing for the second half of the season.

100,000 Dollar Ferrari Victory

The FIA have fined Ferrari 100,000 dollars for the pass Fernando Alonso made on Felipe Massa to take the lead in the German Grand Prix.

A three way fight between Massa, Alonso and Vettel was possible until this move.

Alonso was falling back toward Vettel with Massa appearing slower on his final set of tyres and holding up Alonso.

Saturday, 24 July 2010

Vettel in Fine Fettel

Pole position goes to Sebastian Vettel for the 11th time in his F1 career at his home race in Hockenhem.

In the last two minutes of qualifying he snatched pole from Fernando Alonso's Ferrari.

Friday, 23 July 2010

Button Wins in Wet

Who can forget Jenson Button coming through the rain to win the China GP...

He gained a great reputation from his intelligent choices in the rain at the races in Australia and China already this year.

With the expectation of rain again in Germany, the specialists - Regenmeister Schumacher, Button and Vettel - will be worth watching again.

Jim Clark

Memories of Jim Clark will never leave Hockenheim. This is where his F2 car left the circuit and the great driver died. Many remember his winning a grand prix and then going on to win the touring car race in a Lotus Cortina. His apparently effortless smooth driving was simply awesome for a young fan to see.

Vettel and Schumi Going Heim

After the GP at the 'Home of British Motor Racing', now F1 moves to the Home of Hocken.

News is that the blowtorch McLaren diffuser will again be on display.  Melting rear suspension may no longer be an issue.

As other teams still try to catch up with Red Bull's exit speed off the apex, blown diffusers are still in the news.  Adrian Newey maintains that this one element is only part of the story and will not be disclosing the whole story any time soon.

Michael and Sebastian will be desperate to impress the home fans in Germany.  Rosberg and Sutil, the other German drivers in the top ten of the 2010 points table, are also going home this weekend.

Monday, 12 July 2010

Webber Nose How

Mark Webber put Vettel's nose out of joint by dominating the British Grand Prix. After having his Red Bullnose removed just before qualifying, given to his team mate and then losing out on pole position, Webber flew around Silverstone and led from start to finish.

'Not bad for a number two', he was heard to say over the radio as he crossed the finish line. Not bad indeed.

The general opinion expressed by former drivers is that any preference to support a driver slightly ahead in the championship mid-season is premature to say the least.

-- Post From My iPhone

Thursday, 8 July 2010

Mansell at British Grand Prix

The great Nigel Mansell, probably the most popular driver ever to race at Silverstone will be officiating with the steward's this weekend.

Any overly close racing, speeding, blocking or other proper old-fashioned racing moves will be excused so it should be a good weekend.

Just a shame he is not also driving for Williams or Ferrari 'for the fans' sake.

Rossi to Ferrari F1

As is well known, Valentino Rossi is recovering from his broken shin at Mugello last month.  He tested yesterday at Misano with a pin and screws in his leg.

F1 GP News still suspects that Valentino Rossi will partner Fernando Alonso for the 2011 F1 World Championship.

Rossi will be seeking to emulate past master John Surtees by moving from world motorcycle champion to Ferrari F1.

As previously posted, Ferrari desire someone further to enhance the brand.  Felipe Massa is an excellent driver.  However an Italian in the Italian team becomes the dream team.

Picture Credit:

Wednesday, 7 July 2010

Wings and other Devices

As Williams are due to run their version of the Red Bull-inspired exhaust blown diffuser at the British Grand Prix, the mind goes back to earlier attempts at improving air flow over aerodynamic devices.

From Bernie Ecclestone's Brabham days in 1978,  this radical design led to the expression the 'fan car'.  Similar innovations are what made F1 such a fascination for the technically minded among us.

Now there are calls for maximum engine power output restrictions and further design limitations.

A loosening of the limits would again release the brilliant engineers in F1 to show what they can come up with.  From the Chaparral days in 1962 Jim Hall and Hap Sharp brought the wing into motor sport with immediate success.  Now aerodynamics are an integral part of any F1 design.

Monday, 28 June 2010

Two Wins for Germany

As Germany cruised past England in the World Cup last 16, Sebastian Vettel led home two Brits in the Grand Prix at Valencia.

England equalised with a disallowed but clear Lampard goal. It seemed an incident that will finally silence the shouts of 'Kein Tor' in the 1966 World Cup final. That was a far less clear cut goal so maybe the books are balanced at last.

Meanwhile Mark Webber's Red Bull truly gave him wings as he launched off the back of Kovalainen's Lotus and disappeared into the air.

Germany spotted the frequent disappearance of England's full backs as being a hole to be filled. Our would be wingers seem to forget they are defenders and were caught out by intelligent counter attacking - unable to run back to their duties for the third and fourth Germany goals.

What can be learned from all this? Stay on the ground, do what your job description dictates. Generally less battles will then be lost.

Sunday, 27 June 2010

Vettel Dominant in Valencia

Sebastian Vettel takes his fourth pole of the year in front of team mate Mark Webber and McLaren's Lewis Hamilton.

Compatriot Michael Schumacher came in 15th, his worst qualifying result of the year.

As England face Germany in the last 16 World Cup match, will the result be a Vettel or a Schumacher for Germany?

Sunday, 13 June 2010

Lewis and Jenson are Top Two Canadian Podium Mounties

McLaren driver Lewis Hamilton brought home his McLaren in first place today in Canada capitalising on his excellent pole position yesterday leading home his team mate Jenson Button.

Montreal is where Lewis first mounted the top step of the winners podium.

Just 15 points separated the top five drivers in F1 tables before Canada.  That left Webber retaining his lead but by only five points ahead of Button. Now 19 points split the top five with Hamilton leading ahead of Button.

The 2010 championship has long lost its 'boring' status that followed the first race.  Five separate drivers have won races.  There is no runaway leader or team as yet with McLaren, Red Bull and Ferrari all competitive.

Thursday, 10 June 2010

Racing Drivers Race Drivers

With McLaren now apologising for communication errors contributing to their drivers battling for a place and Red Bull seeing the need to reassure the public that their drivers can still race despite their recent collision in Turkey- a question arises.

Is not the purpose of motor racing for drivers to race?  Under normal circumstances the closest racing is likely to be between drivers with exactly equal machinery.  Team orders are expressly not allowed.

Clearly the teams will always have an interest in maximising manufacturers points.  However the fact that each team has two drivers would be of no interest if they always followed each other in line like ducks in a row.

Motor racing excites as a competition between individuals.  The technology between teams is interesting but with increasing standardisation enforced by the rule makers, the days when a fascinating innovation such as those often initiated by Lotus or Brabham are long gone.  Any variation is persecuted by other teams as a potential unfair advantage.  The diffuser controversy last year is a good example of this.

Now no team can turn up at a race with a new ground effects system, a rear mounted fan, twin front wheels or any other similarly exciting innovations from past years.  These innovations were once what made F1 such an interesting sport for those fascinated by mechanical engineering and design.

For these reasons racing between individuals must continue and the teams have acknowledged this with the caveat that neither driver should compromise the other.

Sunday, 30 May 2010

Humphrey Carries iPad

BBC presenter Jake Humphrey, well known for always imitating Denis Norden in carrying a clipboard whenever he speaks, broke the mould this weekend with a new Apple iPad on his arm.

F1 is known to be a testbed for technology, so in this sense something that is such a breakthrough as the iPad is an appropriate tool for a BBC F1 presenter to carry.

In the race, Vettel took out Webber to demote him from the lead into third place.  Hamilton held off a challenge from Button to regain the lead and win.  Webber thereby retains his lead in the F1 championship.

Saturday, 29 May 2010

Web Searches Limits

Aussie Mark Webber has again searched his limits to come up with yet another pole position, this time in Turkey.

He eclipsed Hamilton, Vettel and Button who follow him on the grid and these four are ahead of a certain Mike S in his Merc.

Webber, Vettel, Schumi and the Kube, are on the clean side of the grid so the start should be a major feature of the race.

Only 0.076 seconds separate Schumacher and Button so although Button messed up turn 8 on his hot lap by his own admission, MSC is certainly closing the gap and getting up to speed at least in qualifying.

Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Webber Hungry for Another One

Mark Webber will be keen to repeat his success in the last two grand prix as the teams hit Turkey.

The circuit would appear to favour McLaren more than was the case in Monaco.  There are opportunities to overtake and use their well-developed F-Duct sytem while the Red Bull component is in development phase.

Webber will not be drawn on his chances for the 2010 World Championship.
However with Adrian Newey's design excellence behind him, this will probably be the most favourable circumstance he has or ever will be in.  He should take the opportunity - many have been highly impressed with his team mate Vettel but Webber's skills and recent drives have shown that he may be the man to beat at Red Bull right now.

Meanwhile, Hamilton will again been head to head with Button.  Had it not been for his overheated engine, irt is possible that Button would still be leading the championship.

Expect Schumacher too to make further progress and to show his skills on this fast circuit.  He now has a car more tailored for him rather than having to adapt to Button's legacy car.  The 2010 ex-BrawnGP would have been design to Button's specification to a large extent and Schumacher's style is quite different.

Sunday, 16 May 2010

Monaco Lap by Lap

Lap 7 and Alonso has moved from last to 15th already.

Webber has retained his lead from pole and is followed by Vettel Kubica and Massa.

Lap 14. Alonso is hassling Kobayashi hard. The Japanese wobbles and Alonso is into 14th.

Lap 16. Now Alonso is giving Kovalainen's Lotus grief. He slides past on lap 17! Who said you cannot overtake at Monaco?

Lap 18 and Hamilton pits. Who will he reenter behind? Alonso!
Lap 21. Alonso is now sitting in 10th. behind MSC.
Lap 23 Vettel and others pit leaving Alonso 8th.

Lap 25. Rosberg now finds himself behind the leader Webber. He has yet to stop for tyres.

Lap 31. Alonso moves up to 6th in front of Schumacher. Barrichello parks facing the traffic on lap 32 and another safety car is invoked.
Lap 33. The safety car moves off and racing resumes. Alonso now only has Hamilton between him and his team mate.
As we approach half distance, three Renault engines are still holding together and lead the pack. Vavavoom.
Lap 40: The Renaults are still shaking it. Massa can see all three ahead. Webber has pulled out a 2.6 second lead.
Lap 43: The Mercedes mobile ad is out again. It looks quite good from behind but the side view is a bit if a stretched limo. Why can't they use a
Lap 45: The safety car drivers go back for another coffee. The taxi rank has few takers today. Why are most Mercedes taxis?
Lap 47: Two energy drinks lead La Regie followed by a Fiat a mobile phone network and another Fiat. (sponsors-eye view).
Lap 49: Would it be more fun in one of those nice boats in the harbour?
Lap 52: If only the road was a bit wider. The no overtaking signs should have been taken down before the race. Good thing Alonso ignored them.
Lap 56: Is it still newsworthy to say Schumacher is leading his team mate? Probably never was.
Lap 58: 3/4 distance. Is Bruno Senna sponsored by a hormone replacement therapy company? We don't believe it. Strange name though for an F1 car.
Lap 62: I never had any trouble with my old Renault 4, 5 or 12, so a win looks likely for one of the three. My brother in law had the original 5 GT turbo which was frighteningly quick in his hands.
Lap 65: The circuit still looks strikingly like a car park access road. A driver could easily be mistaken. I think that is what Barrichello said to the interviewer anyway explaining why he retired.
Lap 70: 8 to go. Kubica is still in striking distance of the two leading Red Bulls. If Rossi gets a Ferrari seat next year rather than him, I am sure he would push harder and not settle for third.
Lap 75: Trulli's Lotus has vaulted an HRT and the Merc is out again to pick up a fare. Trulli certainly won't be driving back to his hotel. The Lotus is on fire.

With 2 laps now left this could be the end of the action.
No overtaking under a safety car. Just in case anyone was contemplating it.

So Webber wins his second race in a row and leaded the drivers' table.

Late news. Schumacher appeared to pass Alonso under the final safety car.

Monaco Tunnel Full of Carbon Fibre

Already on lap 2 and the tunnel is full of carbon fibre as Hulkenberg skins the barrier over 100 metres. Punctures will follow as no sweepers can work in there.

Lap 3 and Button is out with what looks like a blown engine.

-- Post From My iPhone

Ferrari Monaco Win

Ferrari have not won in Monaco since 2001 and Alonso starts from the pit lane today.

Massa will be eager to impress with his illustrious team mate effectively sidelined.

Webber starts on pole for the second successive race.

-- Post From My iPhone

Saturday, 15 May 2010

Alonso Slices Side off Ferrari

In final practice, Fernando Alonso has just taken the side off his Ferrari using the barrier as an angle grinder.

He appears unhurt. In the temporary pits of Monaco, his mechanics raised their arms in anticipation of a busy time before qualifying

-- Post From My iPhone

Friday, 14 May 2010

Schumacher Looking for Car Park

While other drivers were looking for the optimum racing line during practice, Michael Schumacher was alleged to be seen looking for the best place to park his Mercedes during qualifying.

This worked last time he was in Monaco. While other drivers struggled to set a pole time, Schumacher simply parked his Ferrari and the grid slot was his.

We are tipping MSC for a win on Sunday.

Sunday, 9 May 2010

Alonso Splits Bulls

Fernando Alonso split the Red Bulls on the podium today with his fine second place between the winner Webber and Vettel in third.

Hamilton went straight ahead into the barriers with two laps to go losing his second spot.  A sudden tyre deflation seemed to be the issue there.

The championship has now closed up with Hamilton losing the chance to slot in behind Button who retains his lead but is followed in the standings by Alonso.

The conspiracy theorists are twittering about Schumacher now having a car designed for him.  He certainly reversed the order of things in the team with Rosberg struggling all weekend and finishing 13th with Schumacher 4th in front of Button.

Hamilton took fastest lap.  Vettel negotiated the last 10 laps with severe brake problems.  Button's race was spoiled by being stuck behind Schumacher after a slow pit stop with a wheel nut rolling into the pit lane, a dragging clutch and no dash info.

Thursday, 6 May 2010

Button Up Barça

Jenson Button describes Barcelona as a circuit that rewards precision not aggression.

Add that to his win last year and he looks to be favourite for the race rather than the more aggressive Hamilton.

Alonso has been talking up his championship challenge since China and will be keen to impress at his home race.

Vettel will be bull fighting in Spain of course too.

Wednesday, 28 April 2010

Alonso and Rossi 2011

F1 News is that it is looking increasingly likely that Valentino Rossi will partner Fernando Alonso for the 2011 F1 World Championship.

Rossi will be seeking to emulate past master John Surtees by moving from world motorcycle champion to Ferrari F1.

As previously posted, Ferrari desire someone further to enhance the brand.  Felipe Massa is an excellent driver.  However an Italian in the Italian team becomes the dream team.

Who would win in the popularity contest - Alonso or Rossi?

Picture Credit:

Sunday, 18 April 2010

Button Nails It

Jenson Button made it two wins out of four to lead the 2010 F1 title race in China.

With wet conditions varying from bad to horrendous, Button made a brave early call to stay out when others came in for tyre changes.

The last few laps were tense as, with no team orders, Hamilton chased Button down to a close second.

Rosberg took the third podium place with his former 'regenmeister' team mate languishing in 10th.

The Renaults had a good showing in 5th and 7th.

Saturday, 17 April 2010

Vettel in 4/4 Time | F1 News

With his Renault engine hitting maximum revs in several places on the circuit, his time also was music to the ears of Vettel fans as he achieved four pole positions in four races.

Somehow he pulled out a purple sector 1 in final qualifying when he had struggled in all previous sessions.

Notable too was Jenson Button outqualifying Lewis Hamilton. Hamilton was many people's favourite for the place.

Red Bull have again locked out the front row in front of Alonso and Rosberg, Button and Hamilton.

MSC came in 9th.

Friday, 16 April 2010

Red Bull Gives You Wings

Following on from the previous post many are still asking why both wheels flew from Buemi's car.

The answer is obvious of course...

Because Red Bull gives you wings.

On a more serious note, the team are very busy debating whether to replace the new uprights or revert to the previous models.

Meanwhile the battle for driver ascendancy inside the quickest teams continues. In similar cars - Hamilton outpaced Button today and Rosberg was quicker than Schumacher. They were only practicing of course. The qualifying begins tomorrow...

Buemi Drives Wheels off Red Bull | Bull in a China Shop

Under heavy braking approaching 5g, Sebastian Buemi's Red Bull ditched both front wheels simultaneously from 200mph.

A suspension upright was blamed by the team. The stress on the opposite component caused by the failure created the simultaneous shedding of the wheels. Why did not the wheel tethers prevent the wheels from flying off? Because they were held on the uprights!

His team mate was withdrawn as a precaution.

This is big news in China and the puns are flying.

Thursday, 15 April 2010

OK China | F1 News

As the F1 teams move to China, news will be imminent as to who will move ahead of the pack.

Will Michael Schumacher starts to show his old form now he has got used to racing again after his three year absence?

Sebastian Vettel will be no slouch, that is for sure. Jenson Button will be keen to show he is a match for Lewis Hamilton.

Felipe Massa's potential rival for next year's Ferrari seat, Robert Kubica, will no doubt prove that the Renault campaign is strong.

Sunday, 4 April 2010

Two Stewarts and a Tyrrell | F1 News

Bizarre F1 news result for the Malaysian GP podium you may think!

It's just a good time to pause and reflect on how Red Bull and Mercedes GP got started in their current incarnations.

Honda bought out BAR who in turn took over the operation founded by Ken Tyrrell. Then Ross Brawn took over Honda and this year his Brawn GP team became Mercedes.

Red Bull inherited the Jaguar F1 team which in turn was rooted in the team Jackie Stewart founded.

Interesting too is the design link between cars on the grid. Adrian Newey designed the Red Bull having formerly moved from Williams to McLaren Mercedes.

So when people get emotional about the 'coming home' posters for Lotus in Malaysia and the purity of linking Proton with the historic Lotus name it is balancing to reflect on the origins of other teams.

-- Post From My iPhone

Sunday, 28 March 2010

Button Calls the Tune

Jenson Button was even more enthusiastic than usual after his brilliant win in Melbourne

It may be that some cynics had suggested his fine wins last year were a result of Ross Brawn's tactics in a similar manner to the suggestion of some that Schumacher's wins were all due to the same man's tactical naus.

Whatever the case, Button himself, the team manager and Button's engineer all confirmed that it was Button alone who called the early tyre change while the track was still wet.

This brave move, although initially making the car very difficult to control, came good and Button's foresight contributed to an historic win today.

It was good too to see Robert Kubica bring home the Renault second and in many ways was reminiscent of the days of Rene Arnoux who often scored points on days when Renaults were not generally accepted as being competitive.

In contrast to Button, Massa's engineer Smedley was telling him over the radio when to brake and accelerate and Hamilton was called in for a tyre change which proved to be a poor choice. Hamilton finally realised that the cars ahead of him would not be stopping again after a tenacious charge to catch up.

Picture Credit:

-- Post From My iPhone

Saturday, 27 March 2010

F1 News | The Clean Side of Melbourne

Vettel Alonso Massa Schumacher...

That is how the grid reads from the clean side of the track. This is where the fast starters will excel as they find more grip. Conversely - Webber, Button, Rosberg and Barrichello may struggle to get away and their fine qualifying performances may not give an advantage.

This may mean that Alonso will pass Webber on the first lap in front of his home crowd and Schumacher may pass his team mate as they approach turn 1.

Red Bull's qualifying pace has been questioned by McLaren. They put this down to ride height adjustment facilities which they had considered to be outside the rules.

Monday, 15 March 2010

First Points to Alonso

Fernando Alonso started the 2010 campaign with a win, collecting 25 points under the new system. His fastest lap was a full second quicker than anyone else which shows the potential of the Ferrari.

After Sebastian Vettel's excellent pole position, he slipped back to fourth place with exhaust problems.

Michael Schumacher came in a creditable sixth. His race pace was competitive but he struggled to gain places on the first lap with full fuel tanks. By his own admission he needs to get up to speed with the impact of the new rules excluding refuelling. He learned his craft in flat out sprints between fuel stops.

Heikki Kovalainen brought in the Lotus at 15th. This was a lowly position for him after losing his seat at McLaren to Jenson Button but was a creditable first race back for the historic Lotus name.

Tuesday, 9 March 2010

F1 | 2010

The pundits seem to be divided between Hamilton, Vettel and Alonso for the 2010 F1 world title.

What do we think?

This year fuel economy will be critical with no fuel stops and tyre changes only.

This appears to favour Jenson Button who unlike Hamilton is renowned for his smooth driving style and being kind on rubber.

Vettel will no doubt be very quick from the outset. The Renault engine may be an achilles heel however.

Alonso and Massa are expected to be taking points off each other and doing their best to get on.

So what of Michael Schumacher? His age appears to be against him at 41. However over the whole season the thought here is that his experience, level head and strategic backing from Ross Brawn will win out. This will be coupled with solid reliability from the Mercedes engine and additional engineering backup.

Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Rossi to Ferrari

Seven times world champions Valentino Rossi and Michael Schumacher have a lot in common

Last week Rossi lapped within two tenths of Raikkonen's lap record at the Barcelona circuit. His pace and ability to learn are not in doubt.

Italy is looking for a new favourite now that Schumacher has left for Mercedes.

Schumacher may have had in mind following John Surtees to be a champion in motorcycling as well as Ferrari F1. However a series of accidents on two wheels hampered his progress and then delayed him returning to F1.

Now both drivers are aiming for eight championships.

Ferrari will likely replace one of their drivers with Rossi in 2011, and again will have a driver with the highest status in their premier brand.