Posted on February 28, 2010


The official pre -season testing ended with a frantic day at Barcelona as the 11 F1 teams who have a working car got their final runs in before the freight gets sent of to Bahrain and a new season of F1 begins. Whether they will be joined there by Campos, USF1 and/or Stefan GP we will probably learn in the next week. As expected it looks like the closest season for many years with four teams fighting for the overall victory and several others only a few tenths of a second behind. The rule changes outlawing refuelling seem to have More…

Posted on February 28, 2010


The penultimate day of testing at Barcelona was affected by rain, which fell during the morning and again in the early afternoon, forcing some teams to change their plans for the day and focus on what they most needed to achieve in the limited running time. The track temperature was ten degrees colder than the day before, which also affects the way the tyres work. For several drivers, like Nico Rosberg and Jenson Button, it was the last day of testing. Getting the tyres warmed up for a single lap is something Button needs to get absolutely right if he More…

Posted on February 28, 2010


Virgin Racing’s ultimate boss Sir Richard Branson dropped in to Barcelona today to see his new F1 car testing and to deliver some well chosen words in response to Ferrari’s attack earlier this week on the new teams. The now infamous attack by the “Horse Whisperer” on the Ferrari website this week laid into the new teams and claimed that Virgin and Lotus, the two new teams which have been out testing are “limping” into the season. Branson clearly felt that this was not something he could allow to go without a response. Always one with an eye for a More…

Posted on February 26, 2010


Nico Hulkenberg topped the times today in Barcelona in the Williams Cosworth. The 22 year old set a time of 1m20.614, compared to Jenson Button’s pole from last season at 1m 20.527. He was fractionally faster than Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso. The time was set on the second flying lap of a three lap run on super soft tyres towards the end of the day. It is the first time that Williams has really shown its colours this winter testing season. It has been fairly conservative up to this point, bedding in the new Cosworth engine in the early tests. A More…

Posted on February 25, 2010


Today the 11 teams who have got their cars ready for the start of the new season were on track for the first day of the final official test at Barcelona. Mark Webber set the fastest time, but the headline lap times are not really important at this stage, that will come in the later stages of the test when we start to get the low fuel qualifying specials. What was interesting today was that the teams were working hard on the adjustable front wings which have become a crucial device on the long runs with heavy fuel loads. Since More…

Posted on February 25, 2010


The final official test starts this morning in Barcelona, with 11 teams out on track – all the teams competing this season except for USF1 and Campos. The four day test is the final chance for the teams to test out new developments before the first race in Bahrain on 14 March. The first two tests were largely about proving reliability, while the more advanced teams started to push the performance side a lot more in Jerez last week. For this week a wide range of new aerodynamic upgrades is expected. Teams like McLaren and Ferrari have produced significant packages More…

Posted on February 24, 2010


Today I met up with retired FIA president Max Mosley at a restaurant in South Kensington, London. Some of the F1 writers from the British national newspapers were also there, there were six of us in total. A month short of his 70th birthday, he looked extremely fit and relaxed, not having a full work schedule any more. He ate sparingly, a salmon tartare, one glass of Sancerre and an espresso. He said that he was planning to move back to London in April, as his need to be in Monaco was solely linked to his FIA work. I asked More…

Posted on February 24, 2010


Yesterday, amid all the drama around Ferrari and USF1, we had another bouncy communication from Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso. He has been speaking with Don McRae of the Guardian, who has a good relationship with Ferrari’s communications department and has done some very good pieces with Felipe Massa in recent years. Alonso says that the bookies have got it right in backing him as favourite for the title, “Put the money on me now!” he jokes. But he underlines the optimism he has already shown about the competitiveness of the Ferrari, “I expect Ferrari, McLaren, Mercedes and Red Bull to be More…

Posted on February 23, 2010


For anyone interested in the ongoing troubles of USF1, it’s worth checking out Autosport tonight. They have a well researched and thorough piece on the situation from an anonymous team insider, alleging that the whole thing has been poorly planned by team principal Ken Anderson and that the staff are uncertain whether they will be paid this week. Autosport have also put the allegations to Anderson who calls them “one-sided”. The source suggests that the only person who can rescue the situation is multi-millionaire You Tube backer Chad Hurley, “(We) feel Hurley has no intention of abandoning us even though More…

Posted on February 23, 2010


Ferrari has launched an astonishing attack on Max Mosley, the FIA under his management and the whole new teams adventure, which has changed F1 pretty substantially in the last 12 months. Last season we got increasingly used to feisty posts on the Ferrari site, which posted a record 300 million page impressions in 2009. Before Monaco there was a stinging put down of the aspirant new teams, implying that if they came in the series would be no better than GP3. Now they have gone a stage further. The cars and freight will be sent for the first race in More…

Posted on February 22, 2010


The thrusting Stefan GP team took its first backwards step today when it was forced to call off its planned test in Portugal due to a lack of tyres. The team does not have an entry but is hoping that it will be given one soon if USF1 or Campos fails to make it. Bridgestone, which is in the final year as tyre supplier to F1, is not obliged to supply tyres to the Serbian outfit and according to Stefan GP, it hasn’t come up with 2010 tyres for them to test. After weeks of pushing hard and issuing go More…

Posted on February 22, 2010


The new season is almost upon us and I wanted to say thanks to everyone who has bought a copy of my review of the 2009 season, “A Revolutionary Year”. For those who haven’t seen it, it is the story of the season through the eyes of selected blog entries, month by month. It’s fascinating to look back on a season and see how the stories developed. There are reports on every race, looking behind the scenes at why they happened as they did. The stunning photos are all by Darren Heath. The response among F1 insiders and readers alike More…

Posted on February 21, 2010


After a rainy first couple of days, the second Jerez test actually turned out to be quite revealing and a picture has emerged of how the teams line up with the new season now less than a month away. So far most of the testing has been reliability based, with some performance work this week by the more advanced teams. Next week’s final test in Barcelona will be more about performance and many teams will bring major updates to their cars in preparation for the first race. From what we saw this week, the field is close enough for this More…

Posted on February 20, 2010


It has been widely reported today that the USF1 team has asked the FIA for permission to miss the first four races of the season, starting at the beginning of the European season. Team founder Ken Anderson spoke to the New York Times on Friday and admitted that the team was not currently good to go, but suggested that some funding would be available provided that the FIA gives them this massive concession soon, “If we get a decision quickly, it triggers funding and we’re good to go,” he said. “We’re working with the FIA to clarify how many races More…

Posted on February 19, 2010


The struggling Campos Meta 1 team has had a significant change of ownership with one of the partners, Jose Ramon Carabante, taking the majority shareholding. He has installed former Midland and Force India team principal Colin Kolles as team principal of the new team. The move follows Campos’ abortive efforts to sell the team to A1GP boss Tony Teixeira. Tonight Kolles issued a statement, announcing the development. It said that Kolles was tasked with making sure that “the team is fully operational and ready to make its Bahrain debut next month.” Carabante said, “I would like to thank Bernie Ecclestone, More…

Posted on February 19, 2010


The second Jerez test has been quite a frustrating affair for the teams, but at least they are all in the same boat. Today there was plenty of dry running, but nevertheless the shortage of track days and the amount of them which have been wet has serious limited the teams’ ability to learn about the new Bridgestone tyres for this season. There are now just five days left of testing, unless an extra day in Barcelona is granted by the Testing committee. And although Bridgestone have brought with them the soft, medium and hard compounds from the range, time More…

Posted on February 17, 2010


Lotus hit the ground running today as the second Jerez test kicked off in mixed conditions as 11 of this season’s cars were on track. Also getting some important mileage under his belt was Scotsman Paul di Resta in the Force India. But it was another fairly unproductive day due to intermittent rain. On the whole the reliability of the new cars from the established teams has been very impressive, but for a new team to clock up 76 laps on its first day with no major problems is very good indeed. This is a new team in the sense More…

Posted on February 16, 2010


The third official test starts tomorrow. Analysing the lap time sheets from last week in Jerez, it is clear that the front running teams have already begun experimenting with the tyres and how to use them in qualifying and the race. This is critical this year because the fastest ten cars will have to start the race on their qualifying tyres so it’s essential to make sure you pick the right one. The work done by Ferrari and Mercedes last week in particular gives us some clues about how the race weekends might play out and it tells us a More…

Posted on February 14, 2010


We are half way through the official testing season and there are many interesting story lines emerging. Everyone is looking to get a feel for who’s ahead, but as I posted a few days ago, I’m inclined to believe the engineers I speak to who say that it’s looking pretty close and there is no outstanding car this season. Looking back over the first two tests, though, I am struck by a human interest story most of all. Felipe Massa is back in business. In fact so strong has the little Brazilian been over the last two weeks, that it’s More…

Posted on February 13, 2010


The second official test ended today in Jerez with Lewis Hamilton and McLaren setting the benchmark time. But we have still to see any of the runners going for outright pace in low fuel qualifying mode. This will come at the final test in Barcelona and possibly for some teams next week in Jerez. It was a day of two parts, after a damp start there was dry meaningful running in the afternoon and it brought some positive news for the Virgin Racing team, who managed 63 laps and got close to the pace of the established teams. After a More…

Posted on February 13, 2010


It rained on Friday in Jerez, in the afternoon it rained hard enough for the track to be empty for stretches of time. So two of the three days so far have been washed out. Saturday is forecast to be dry however. The same happened last year in the pre season tests, but this year it’s even more critical because there is so little track time available. For Virgin, Red Bull and Force India, who are running their cars for the first time it’s a frustrating week. Frustrating also for Nico Rosberg who somehow seems to have ended up getting More…

Posted on February 12, 2010


Lotus unveiled their new team, car and drivers in London this evening. It was a professional and understated presentation, the key themes were passion and heritage rather than promises and hype. Team boss Tony Fernandes is a builder of brands and here he has pulled together various strands into this team, leaning heavily on the heritage of the Lotus name. But the Chapman family who founded Lotus are fully behind him and were at the launch, also behind him are Mike Gascoyne and his experienced technical team made up of former Toyota, Super Aguri and Renault staff. There are 160 More…

Posted on February 12, 2010


Michelin has publicly admitted for the first time that it is in talks with the FIA about making a return to F1 as a sole tyre supplier. According to Bloomberg Michelin’s Jean Dominique Senard gave an interview in which he admitted to “formal discussions” with the FIA and said, “We might consider returning but there are some very clear conditions.” These revolve around an insistence by Michelin that the rules were changed to showcase tyres which had a positive environmental effect and a wider appeal to the motor industry than at present in order to “show the performance they can More…

Posted on February 11, 2010


Today was the first dry day of running in the second official test of the pre-season. Ten of the 13 teams who will contest this year’s world championship were in Jerez on the second of four days. Forecasts suggest it may turn out to be the only dry day’s running at this test. After remarkable reliability in the first test at Valencia, today several teams lost time due to technical problems. The most extreme of these was Virgin Racing, which managed just 11 laps before the front wing came off. The team called a halt to testing for the day, More…

Posted on February 10, 2010


The second official test is underway in Jerez ahead of the the 2010 F1 season and you can follow the action live on our Twitter Aggregator site JA on F1 Tweets Having listened to the many suggestions kindly submitted by our readers, we have updated the site since last week’s Valencia roll-out. We have added a server due to its popularity, so the site should be faster and updated more frequently. Autorefresh will be added once we’re happy the new set-up is working well. Thanks for all your great feedback – we’ve removed retweets and the search text highlighting as More…

Posted on February 10, 2010


The car everyone has been waiting to see broke cover this morning in Jerez, ahead of the second official F1 test. On paper, Red Bull are favourites for the championship this year because they had the fastest car at the end of the season and had taken a direction in design and philosophy that other teams have clearly copied with their 2010 cars. The new Red Bull is an evolution of last year’s car and as long as Adrian Newey and his team have got their sums right and haven’t built in any reliability issues, this should mean that the More…

Posted on February 9, 2010


Today saw the penultimate launch of the ‘established’ teams in Formula 1. Force India unveiled their VJM03 to the world and tomorrow it will run for the first time in the test at Jerez. Tonio Liuzzi will drive the car for the first two days and then Adrian Sutil will take over for the final two days. Last year’s car turned out to be one of the revelations of the season on the low downforce tracks in particular. Giancarlo Fisichella stuck his car on pole in Spa and raced to second place, while Adrian Sutil got a front row slot More…

Posted on February 9, 2010


Three months into his tenure as FIA president, a period in which he has kept a low profile and got on with work behind the scenes to restructure the FIA and put new policies in place, Jean Todt has broken cover and started to talk about his agenda for office and the things he wants to get done. He said that he took on the unpaid role of FIA president because of his “passion” for the motoring and motor sport. Yesterday at a small gathering of media in Paris he spoke about controlling costs, the possibility of new team “no-shows’ More…

Posted on February 8, 2010


Many readers have been in touch asking for clarification of the latest changes to the sporting regulations. Last week the F1 Commission met to discuss the proposals to change some of the sporting regulations to improve the show this season, things which have been discussed for some time, even voted on before. Many items were on the table including tyre usage, compulsory pit stops, overtaking lanes and extra points for pole and fastest lap. Many were rejected, but the revision to the points system was approved so now the winner has a much bigger advantage over second place – 7 More…

Posted on February 6, 2010


When Renault announced that it had decided to sell a majority stake in its F1 team to tech investor Gerard Lopez, many people in the sport questioned what the strategy was. Was it a way for the manufacturer to pull out of the sport while appearing to stay involved? Was it a fig leaf to cover up the embarrassment of a pullout? Is this team still Renault, even though as much as 75% of the UK based team is now owned by Lopez? And why did they turn down an offer from David Richards, who wanted to rebrand the team More…

Posted on February 5, 2010


Ferrari technical director Aldo Costa says that the new Ferrari is on target as the numbers they got from the first track test this week in Spain correlated with the figures that they had from the wind tunnel. Ferrari were on top throughout the three days in Valencia, largely due to running lower fuel loads the their main opposition, McLaren and Mercedes. Close analysis of the lap times shows that Alonso was slightly faster than Massa at this first test, based on estimated, fuel corrected times. Alonso ran mainly 2009 levels of fuel, whereas Massa also spent a little time More…

Posted on February 4, 2010


Nick Heidfeld has finally landed the Mercedes testing and 3rd driver role. The team announced this morning that the experienced 32 year old will complete the all German line up in the new team. In his junior days he was a test driver for McLaren Mercedes but did not get taken on in an F1 race seat. He was at Sauber in 2001 when Mercedes and McLaren again overlooked him and chose his team mate Kimi Raikkonen instead. His career has had several false starts and never delivered the race wins his speed and engineering prowess deserved. With drives and More…

Posted on February 3, 2010


In front of a crowd of 40,000 fans at Valencia, Fernando Alonso had his first drive in a Ferrari today and set the fastest time of the week. On a historic final day of this first test, there were three world champions on track with Michael Schumacher and Jenson Button also getting a feel for the Mercedes and McLaren respectively. “It was an important day for me, first time in a Ferrari,” said Alonso. “A very emotional day this morning and also last night. I think I maximised the day in terms of laps and time on the track and More…

Posted on February 3, 2010


The new Virgin Racing team today became the first of the new teams to unveil their 2010 car. It is quite appropriate timing as the debate intensifies about new teams, their viability and the possibility that they are to be allowed to miss up to three races this season. Virgin have distanced themselves from that debate with this new car, which in itself is a mould breaker as it was designed entirely using Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) with no time whatsoever in a wind tunnel. It is the first time in F1 that this approach has been taken. At the More…

Posted on February 2, 2010


Stefan GP has announced that it has taken the extraordinary step of sending equipment out to Bahrain, the site of the first race of the season, even though it has not yet got an entry for the championship. It has its sights set on the entry currently held by Campos Meta. And Stefan GP have announced a test at Portimao at the end of February, with the likelihood that Toyota backed Kazuki Nakajima will drive the car. “Stefan Grand Prix writes history! SGP becomes the first team in F1 history who did send a 40 foot container full of equipment More…

Posted on February 2, 2010


Ferrari’s Felipe Massa again set the benchmark times the the first F1 test of the new season at Valencia and there were high mileages all around as everyone covered around 100 laps of the circuit in the day. On his second day in the car he lapped in 1m 11.722s on the first flying lap of an 11 lap run early in the day. This is just 7/10ths off the fastest time at the circuit set in 2008. Massa didn’t do any particularly long runs today, most were 18 laps or less. The Ferrari managed another impressive haul of 124 More…

Posted on February 1, 2010


Today the new cars from seven teams hit the track and Formula 1 2010 really took off. Although there are still 40 days to go to the first Grand Prix in Bahrain, the new season kicked off in style with a frantic day of car launches and testing in Valencia. We had first sight today of new cars from Toro Rosso, Williams and the Mercedes W01, the keenly awaited follow up to the championship winning Brawn. Michael Schumacher took the wheel in the afternoon for his first laps in a contemporary F1 car since the end of 2006. Missing from More…

Posted on February 1, 2010


I’m delighted to announce JA on F1 Tweets, an exciting new service for the 2010 season. The idea of this subsite is to bring the sport and the fans closer together by pulling together tweets from inside and outside the sport in one place. What’s so special about it? The key is that you don’t have to be a twitter user to enjoy the wealth of insight and information about the sport that is available from twitter – and often nowhere else! Think of this like a playlist; I’m the filter and this is my personal choice of Tweets I More…



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