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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 newsldn.com

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.