Posted on January 31, 2010


Today in Valencia, the BMW Sauber and Renault teams revealed their new cars ahead of the first day of testing tomorrow. BMW Sauber went first in the morning, Peter Sauber showing off the first car since acquiring the team back from BMW and showing off his two new drivers, Kamui Kobayashi and Pedro de la Rosa. The team has yet to be apply for a name change and is staying “BMW Sauber” for the moment, according to Sauber. It is noticeable that the BMW colours are still to be seen around the nose of the car and to the casual More…

Posted on January 31, 2010


Stefan Grand Prix from Serbia, has announced that it has done a deal to use many of the Toyota F1 assets, a deal that was on the table for all the new teams entering F1 this season. Meanwhile word is reaching me that A1 GP boss Tony Teixeira has now agreed a deal to acquire Campos, the money is yet to be handed over, however. Campos has a slot on the grid this season, Stefan does not, but wants one badly. And, intriguingly, with several new teams struggling one way or another, it appears that a deal may have been More…

Posted on January 30, 2010


It’s only early days and we have yet to see how fast the new cars are from each team. We have seen only the new Ferrari and McLaren cars, inert on a stage. On Monday in Valencia, when most of the serious teams hit the track, we will start to see the picture forming of who is where and that picture will become clearer over the following three tests. But the readers of JA on F1 have been voting on who they think is the man to beat at this stage of the game. Just under 5,000 votes have been More…

Posted on January 29, 2010


The two McLaren drivers Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button were quite a double act today at the launch of the new McLaren MP4/25. Hamilton welcomed his new team mate warmly, even suggesting that Button would get priority treatment in the event that the team could only produce one new piece of equipment for a race. In contrast to Ferrari and Mercedes, where there are obvious competitive tensions, the McLaren drivers are keen to appear well and truly loved up. It was obvious from the start of the presentation today. Hamilton spoke of how he had always looked up to Button More…

Posted on January 29, 2010


McLaren today unveiled its new car the MP4-25 at a ceremony in Newbury at the headquarters of its main sponsor Vodafone. “Our goal is clear, we aim to win”, said team principal Martin Whitmarsh. He went on to say that this car is the most highly developed car they have ever unveiled, “You never know of course if we have missed something – there are a number of things on this car that I have never seen on an F1 car and I find that heartening. But you never know – there might be some things that are like the More…

Posted on January 28, 2010


McLaren are putting the finishing touches to their new MP4/25 car in Woking this evening and in the early hours of the morning will be driving it down the motorway to Newbury for the launch tomorrow. Meanwhile Ferrari have unveiled their car today and are preparing to drive it to Valencia for its first test on Monday. Both teams are hoping that 2010 will be their year after disappointing 2009 campaigns. Much has been said today about the new Ferrari and the drivers have spoken about who they believe the main opposition will be for this season. But tonight a More…

Posted on January 28, 2010


Ferrari has become the first team to launch its new car in a ceremony at Maranello this morning. The tone was of renewal; a team leaving behind the skeletons of a disastrous 2009 campaign and striding forward confidently with powerful new people and new assets like Fernando Alonso and Santander. Alonso upped the ante when he spoke of the pride the Ferrari supporters will feel when they win the championship, as he hopes. Dubbed the F10, the new car has echoes of last year’s Red Bull car, particularly the nose. The sidepods are smaller than last year’s. The colour scheme More…

Posted on January 27, 2010


Mercedes boss Ross Brawn has had more to say on the dynamic between his two drivers this season. He said that he has great faith in Nico Rosberg and that he does not want Michael Schumacher to dominate the team. He makes it clear that he feels that favouring one driver damages the motivation of the other. Speaking in an interview with F1.com, Brawn spoke of Rosberg benefitting from being Schumacher’s team mate to set him up for life after Schumacher’s retirement. “I never wanted Michael to dominate, ” he said. “(At Ferrari) Michael dominated because he was the best. More…

Posted on January 26, 2010


The Formula 1 test season starts next week in Valencia, the first of four official F1 tests before the opening Grand Prix in Bahrain on 14 March. We will be analysing the testing performances here on JA on F1, looking at how the cars are developing. And on Monday of next week, to co-incide with the first day of testing, we will be launching an exciting new service which will help to cover the action and bring the fans and the sport a little closer together. The tests are open to the public and it’s a very good value way More…

Posted on January 25, 2010


Here are some more images of today’s Mercedes launch. You can see the colour and effect of the Silver Arrow livery, which is much lighter than the colour of the McLaren Mercedes cars. Petronas is the main sponsor, along with MIG, a Swiss brokerage which backed Brawn last season. Aabar, the Abu Dhabi investment vehicle, is a shareholder in the Mercedes team. Nico Rosberg and Michael Schumacher form an all German line up for Mercedes’ first season Michael Schumacher has kept the red helmet colour to which he switched during his Ferrari days. Corinna Schumacher was at the launch. And More…

Posted on January 25, 2010


Mercedes Grand Prix is up and running, the third time in the company’s history that it has had its own team at the highest level of the sport. At a ceremony today in Stuttgart the all German driver line up of Michael Schumacher and Nico Rosberg was unveiled along with the distinctive colour scheme. The legendary Silver Arrows were a powerful force in Grand Prix racing before the war and then dominated it when they returned in the mid 1950s. They won everything because their investment was huge and the technology was superior to the opposition and in Juan Manuel More…

Posted on January 24, 2010


This weekend has been quite low key in anticipation of a big week ahead. It’s the quiet before the storm. Tomorrow Michael Schumacher and Nico Rosberg will pull the covers off the first Mercedes F1 car for 55 years and by next Sunday we will know what three of the main contenders for the world championship look like; Mercedes, Ferrari and McLaren. And then testing will begin and the new season will be up and running. It’s all about to kick off. But there have been a few points worth noting this weekend, as we gear up for the action, More…

Posted on January 23, 2010


Nico Rosberg has come out strongly in a fantastic interview today by my colleague Frederic Ferret in L’Equipe sports newspaper in France, claiming that he is not afraid of going up against a driver he considers the “best driver ever”. The 24 year old faces a very different season from the one he anticipated when he signed for Brawn last summer. Instead of Jenson Button alongside him, he has the seven times world champion Michael Schumacher and already, given Schumacher’s track record with team mates and approach to racing, there has been a lot of talk about how Rosberg will More…

Posted on January 22, 2010


Three months into his tenure and new FIA president Jean Todt has started moving some of the pieces in his staffing jigsaw, with former convener of the stewards and FIA liaison man Alan Donnelly and former technical consulant Tony Purnell moved aside from roles in F1. Things are starting to hot up now in the reshuffle of personnel. The key appointment due to be made soon is F1 commissioner, a new and powerful position. The commissioner will be the face of the FIA at F1 events and the touch point for the teams and FOM with the governing body. The More…

Posted on January 21, 2010


Felipe Massa is set to test a 2008 Ferrari at Barcelona on Friday. He will take the car over from Valentino Rossi, who has been enjoying another taste of F1 power this week. Ferrari are able to do this because the car is now two years old, which is the embargo set by the testing committee to protect against new technology. The car is now part of the stable of cars managed by Ferrari’s F1 Clienti department, which looks after old F1 cars for its wealthy customers. No other team does this and it’s quite an undertaking to maintain all More…

Posted on January 20, 2010


Michael Schumacher has swapped his racing number from Four to Three ahead of this season’s world championship. The move was approved by Mercedes, who have had it accepted by the FIA. “Michael has a preference for odd numbers, ” said a team spokesman. “He asked if he could be the odd number and we were happy to accept.” Nothing particularly odd about that, one might say. It’s simply a case of Schumacher being superstitious about racing with odd numbers on his car. He did it throughout his Benetton and Ferrari careers. “Ross [Brawn] knows that I like odd numbers,” Schumacher More…

Posted on January 20, 2010


New Renault team principal Eric Boullier has admitted today that the team is leaving it late to sign a second driver to partner Robert Kubica and that the choice is limited. “Today we have a situation where there are not many drivers available on the market,” Boullier told Autosport. “I speak about drivers with Formula 1 experience and drivers who are rookies but successful enough and graduated enough to get into Formula 1. The key thing is that we do consider driver performance and driver development state.” Boullier’s list has two experienced drivers and two inexperienced ones. He said that More…

Posted on January 19, 2010


Pedro de la Rosa has pulled off a major coup and landed the second seat at BMW Sauber. He will be team mate of exciting rookie Kamui Kobayashi. For the 38 year old Spaniard it is a case of third time lucky, having had one career with Arrows and Jaguar and then a brief cameo as a McLaren driver when the team dropped Juan Pablo Montoya in 2006. “I always firmly believed I would be given another chance as a team driver,” said De la Rosa. Sauber has been looking to hit the right balance between a driver with some More…

Posted on January 19, 2010


It’s pretty widely accepted now that this is the most exciting F1 season in prospect for a generation. The return of Michael Schumacher and the moves of Fernando Alonso, Jenson Button and Nico Rosberg as well as the potent threat of Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber at Red Bull, make this the best championship on paper anyone can remember. F1 insiders are just as excited as F1 fans about the season ahead. It’s still early days yet and we don’t yet know who will have the fastest car, but the bookmakers are already giving odds on who will win the More…

Posted on January 18, 2010


Both Renault and Sauber are set to launch their cars and announce their drivers on 31 January in Valencia ahead of the first test the next day. There is still a seat available at both teams. This is unusual and it has to do with the changes of ownership at both teams and the change of circumstances, with manufacturers backing out – completely in BMW’s case and partially in Renault’s. It also reflects the fact that the in the era of the Resource Restriction Agreement, the driver market has changed with teams looking to spend half what they were spending More…

Posted on January 16, 2010


There will be no re-tuning of the engines competing in Formula 1 this season, after extensive discussions on ways of equalising engines drew a blank. The Mercedes, Ferrari and Renault engines will all be as they were in 2009. The V8 engines in use in F1 at the moment are all frozen in specification, with no performance developments allowed. However manufacturers are allowed to request changes in the interests of reliability. In that process, some changes were made which definitely improved performance, so by the end of 2008 there was quite a difference in performance between the best and worst More…

Posted on January 15, 2010


After Fernando Alonso and Stefano Domenicali, it was Felipe Massa’s turn to speak today at the Ferrari event in Madonna di Campiglio. He talked of various things, but I was interested in what he said about his relationship with new team mate Fernando Alonso, the support he got from Ferrari and about fatherhood. Although Alonso has been the headline act this week, with Domenicali speaking of his arrival at Ferrari as possibly heralding a “new era”, Massa is newsworthy too. His return from a potentially career ending injury is one of the great human interest stories of the 2010 season. More…

Posted on January 14, 2010


Fernando Alonso held his first press conference in Ferrari colours today. He spoke about his desire to win many championships with Ferrari, to end his career there and denied requesting number one status at any stage of his career. He also said that he expects to have a good relationship with team mate Felipe Massa. His theme was that joining Ferrari was the culmination of a long journey in his career, that he was now at home in the Ferrari family. But being Alonso, he couldn’t resist an edgy comment about his McLaren days, suggesting that he felt like a More…

Posted on January 13, 2010


Ferrari team principal Stefano Domenicali has revealed today that the meeting of Formula 1′s Sporting Working Group (SWG) to discuss how to spice up the show, is imminent. It is thought that nothing radical is on the table, but a revision to the new points system and some method for retaining race strategy without refuelling is to be discussed. “There’s going to be a meeting in the next couple of weeks to reconsider some items of the regulations, among which is the scoring system,” he said. “In the agenda we do not only have the fact that we have to More…

Posted on January 13, 2010


Ferrari is hosting its annual media and sponsor event in the Italian ski resort Madonna di Campiglio this week and that means that there will be plenty of Ferrari-related headlines for the next few days. Today it was the turn of team principal Stefano Domenicali to speak. He talked about Ferrari’s need to get back to the front of the grid, he spoke about the importance of fuel consumption this season, now that refuelling is banned and he talked about history, recent history. “Let’s not forget Fernando is the only driver on the track who in his career has beaten More…

Posted on January 12, 2010


The new teams in F1 have been forced on the PR offensive today in light of negative stories about them as the new season approaches. Campos, Virgin and USF1 have come out with some clarifications as the pressure mounts to get their teams on track ahead of the pre-season testing and the first race. Campos has spoken to the BBC today and set the record straight on his talks with potential last minute investors. He said that with the money due from FOM and from a second pay driver, whom he hoped to sign soon, he would be on budget, More…

Posted on January 12, 2010


Nelson Piquet has decided to give up on F1 and pursue a career in the United States in one of the NASCAR series. The Brazilian was at the centre of the Singapore crash fixing scandal which resulted in Renault team boss Flavio Briatore and director of engineering Pat Symonds being banned from the sport by the FIA. Last week those bans were overturned by a Paris court, but the FIA has given notice of appeal. Throughout all of this Piquet received no punishment, as he was granted immunity from prosecution by the FIA in return for spilling the beans on More…

Posted on January 11, 2010


McLaren has reshuffled its engineering staff at the race track, giving both Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button new race engineers, who have been promoted from junior roles. Hamilton will work with 31 year old Andy Latham, while Button will be engineered by 39 year old Jakob Andreason, who was number two engineer on Hamilton’s car for the last few years. It is a statement of how careful they are trying to be to appear even handed between the two drivers. With painful experiences of Fernando Alonso’s year at the team, where allegations were made of preferential treatment towards Hamilton, McLaren More…

Posted on January 11, 2010


The FIA has decided to appeal against the decision of the Tribunal de Grande Instance in Paris last week to overturn the lifetime ban of former Renault boss Flavio Briatore. The case relates to the Renault plot in which Nelson Piquet Jr deliberately crashed his car in the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix. A statement this afternoon from the FIA said that its president, Jean Todt, had consulted with the FIA Senate (on which former president Max Mosley sits) and the FIA’s lawyers and they had reached a unanimous conclusion to launch the appeal. The statement said that, “In his election More…

Posted on January 11, 2010


Seven times world champion Michael Schumacher is to take part in a three day GP2 test at Jerez, starting tomorrow, as he limbers up for a return to Formula 1 testing with Mercedes in February after three years away from the sport. With only one test in an F2007 Ferrari last summer behind him, Schumacher wants to get back up to speed as quickly as possible. GP2 is the feeder level series for F1, one level down. It is backed by Renault. It replaced F3000, which was the feeder level series in 1991 when Schumacher was coming through the ranks. More…

Posted on January 10, 2010


Today’s Gazzetta Sportiva, the Sunday edition of the Gazzetta dello Sport has a full page dedicated to revealing some details of the 2010 Ferrari which will be launched later this month in time for the Valencia test from 1-3 February. It looks pretty aggressive, judging from the drawing by F1′s pre-eminent technical journalist, Giorgio Piola. He is not always right but after over 40 years in the business and with some impeccable contacts at Ferrari, we can be fairly confident that the information is valid. Piola suggests that there are strong echoes of last year’s Red Bull, arguably the most More…

Posted on January 10, 2010


The two McLaren drivers for 2010, Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button have had some revealing things to say this week as F1 gets going again after the New Year. The in house battle at McLaren will be a real talking point this year and the pair are approaching it in different ways. Hamilton has come out strongly to challenge Fernando Alonso, who will square up to him in a Ferrari this season. If it were not for the return of Michael Schumacher, this renewal of an old and bitter rivalry would have become the leading story line of F1. Meanwhile More…

Posted on January 8, 2010


F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone is fronting a powerful European consortium making a late surge to buy troubled Swedish car company, Saab. His partners in the consortium are Renault F1 owner Gerard Lopez, via his Geniii Capital vehicle and Swedish real estate entrepreneur Lars Carlstrom. Saab is currently owned by General Motors and is loss making. Ironically for a man who is suspicious of the internet, Ecclestone’s bid is based on the latest thing in automotive innovation – internet in cars. On its website this afternoon, Genii Capital said that it had been brought into the bidding process at a late More…

Posted on January 7, 2010


One of the strong messages coming out of the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this week is that 2010 is the year of 3D TV becoming a reality and sport is set to be one of the early adopters. American sports network ESPN has announced that it will be broadcasting games from this year’s football World Cup in 3D, as part of an offering of 85 shows starting in June. “The sports genre is probably the best suited to exploit this technology,” Sean Bratches, an executive vice president at ESPN told the New York Times. One of the pioneers More…

Posted on January 7, 2010


Former FIA president Max Mosley has spoken out today about the civil court verdict in the Briatore case this week, which ordered the FIA to overturn the lifetime ban on the Italian. He said that the matter was ‘not over’. Meanwhile the FIA has reiterated that Briatore is still subject to the sanction banning him from managing drivers, which puts Red Bull’s Mark Webber in a tricky position. Speaking to the Times newspaper today, Mosley said, “The idea that in the end, when all the dust has settled, Briatore will get off is fiction — it won’t happen.” In the More…

Posted on January 6, 2010


Flavio Briatore has been hitting the airwaves in a limited way over the last 24 hours, after his victory over the FIA in the Tribunale de Grande Instance in Paris, which overturned the lifetime ban imposed by the FIA World Motor Sport Council last September. He spoke about his feelings on former FIA president Max Mosley’s role in his ban and he said point blank that he was not involved in the crash fixing scandal which rocked the sport last season. In a telephone interview on Italian TV station RAI, he spoke more openly about Max Mosley than he has More…

Posted on January 5, 2010


The FIA has issued a strong response to the verdict in the Flavio Briatore case. It says that both men are still guilty of conspiring to cause the accident in Singapore and its punishment stands until it has exhausted all of its options, which include an appeal. It also hints at putting a new system in place which will make sure that people like Briatore and Symonds will not be able to compete in F1 in future. (See separate story on licences) “The Court has rejected the claims for damages made by Mr. Briatore and Mr. Symonds and their claim More…

Posted on January 5, 2010


Flavio Briatore has issued a statement following his victory in the Paris court today against the FIA. Briatore and his Renault F1 colleague Pat Symonds successfully challenged the bans imposed on them by the FIA’s World Motor Sport Council in September 2009 over the Singapore crash fixing scandal. The Italian made it clear that he respects the FIA as a body and as a sportsman it took a great deal for him to go outside the jurisdiction of the FIA to the civil courts to seek justice. It is highly unusual for a civil court to overrule a sport’s governing More…

Posted on January 5, 2010


Details of the judgement in the Flavio Briatore case are emerging and it could lead to F1 team principals and senior engineers becoming FIA licence holders in future, just like drivers. The court judgement shows that the FIA has been ordered to publicly advertise in French newspapers of Flavio Briatore and Pat Symonds’ choice the fact that they have had their bans overturned. The court described the FIA’s disciplinary procedure in this case as “irregular” and decided that the FIA could not punish the men with bans as neither was a licence holder subject to their jurisdiction. The result is More…

Posted on January 5, 2010


Flavio Briatore and his former Renault colleague Pat Symonds have won their court case against the FIA in Paris. The judge has ordered that the bans against both men must be lifted and has ordered the FIA to send out a message to all teams to that effect. It has 15 days in which to do so. The FIA has indicated that it may well appeal. The case was related to the Singapore crash fixing scandal in which Nelson Piquet Junior alleged that Briatore and Symonds got him to crash deliberately in order to help his team mate Fernando Alonso. More…

Posted on January 5, 2010


Kimi Raikkonen has given his first interview since becoming a Red Bull Citroen rally driver and it reveals some interesting points about his views on the way F1 is heading and on his own future plans. Clearly he feels that F1 is not on the right track, not for him anyway. Speaking in the German language edition of the Red Bulletin, Red Bull’s in house sports magazine, he says that there are too many negative things going on which overshadow the racing in F1. This took away a lot of the pleasure for him of driving and he feels that More…

Posted on January 4, 2010


I’ve had a lot of enquiries in the last few days about who will engineer Michael Schumacher at Mercedes. Many people wanted to know which of the two Brawn engineers he might get or whether Michael would be hiring in one of his ex Ferrari engineers. I’ve contacted the team and the answer is that Schumacher will work with Andrew Shovlin, who engineered Jenson Button to the world championship last season. I’m sure they will get on well, Shovlin is experienced, calm and very intelligent. He’s a real family man and a very nice person, as well as a fiercely More…

Posted on January 3, 2010


Ron Dennis has emerged from the shadows into which he retreated last season after the Melbourne lie-gate scandal. And he has some strong things to say about what he considers unfair treatment at the hands of peers and particularly, without naming him, former FIA president Max Mosley. He also talks about his obsessive behaviour and his new life as a man about town in London. The main thrust of what he has to say regarding the reasons behind his exile from F1, after 30 years of pursuing greatness, is the fact that he feels he has paid a very high More…

Posted on January 3, 2010


Michael Schumacher will be blowing out the 41 candles on his birthday cake today. But his strict training regime will probably mean that he may not be able to eat much of it, despite his notoriously sweet tooth! He is set to drive for the first time four weeks from now in Valencia. The seven times world champion is building up to a dramatic comeback at the Bahrain Grand Prix and according to Bild and Gazetta dello Sport he will have limited time to test the Mercedes car before the first event. As it’s Sunday I’ve not been able to More…



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