Posted on December 31, 2012


On the last day of 2012 it seems an appropriate time to look back on the events of the year and pick out some highlights for discussion. It was a very good year of racing with some fantastic on-track moments and some significant ones off track too. Here are some of my personal favourites; let us know in the comments section below what you found the best moments of 2012. Hamilton wins the duel in Austin A great race in a great season and one that reminded everyone that Lewis Hamilton should have been fighting for the world title, but More…

Posted on December 28, 2012


In the fourth of our team-mates analysis pieces here on JA on F1 we’ve turned the spotlight on the back of the grid and the intriguing youth versus experience duel that took place at Marussia. Young Frenchman Charles Pic became the vastly experienced Timo Glock’s third different rookie team-mate in as many seasons at the start of the year, the latter eight years older than the 22-year-old GP2 graduate. Unsurprisingly therefore given their relative experience levels, Glock continued to be Marussia’s lead driver in both name and reality: the German outqualifying Pic 13 times and recording a better race finish More…

Posted on December 27, 2012


On a technical level there were some interesting innovations on the cars this year as the F1 teams and engineers worked hard to get around regulation changes. The most significant change was the governing body, the FIA, wanting to restrict the practice of exhausts blowing into the diffuser area of the floor. During 2011 teams had adopted increasingly extreme solutions and this had resulted in huge gains in down force. Red Bull was dominant in 2011 because it optimized this practice. For 2012, engines were not allowed to be mapped in such a way that they continued to pump out More…

Posted on December 24, 2012


As it’s the Christmas Holidays, we have put together a podcast special, for the enjoyment of F1 fans around the world. We asked you the readers for questions to put to a panel of F1 insiders and we selected the 12 best, which are answered here. We got a great response with 222 fantastic questions. Here is a taste of them; to enjoy the whole podcast click on the link below. – What was the best overtake of the year – is there an official award for this? – When teams are thinking of employing a driver, what data do More…

Posted on December 22, 2012


In the third part of our series comparing team-mates’ head-to-head records at the end of 2012, we’ve taken a look at something slightly different in analysing how the very close battle for supremacy played out at Force India between Paul di Resta and Nico Hulkenberg. Unlike the respective pairings we’ve covered at McLaren and Mercedes, di Resta and Hulkenberg’s time as team-mates has ultimately lasted just one year with the latter having decided to switch to Sauber for 2013. Their head-to-head data is therefore limited to just 20 races – but it’s a comparison still very much worth making given More…

Posted on December 21, 2012


Formula 1 television coverage in the UK will have its first permanent lead female presenter next season after the BBC announced Suzi Perry as Jake Humphrey’s successor. The corporation has been on the look-out for a new F1 anchor since Humphrey announced in September that he had taken up the offer to head up BT’s new Premier League football coverage from 2013. Several months of speculation as to the possible identity of the popular Humphrey’s replacement followed and this afternoon the news was finally revealed, with the BBC opting for a face well known to the corporation’s motorsport output albeit More…

Posted on December 21, 2012


Luca di Montezemolo has used his annual pre-Christmas dinner with journalists to outline his desire to see the team’s designers take off the shackles and be bolder with its 2013 car. A lack of innovation in the Maranello design office has been widely perceived as the root cause of Ferrari’s failure to win a world title in the last four seasons, although a more aggressive approach  in the conception of this year’s F2012 was supposed to have been taken only for some initial design interpretations to backfire come winter testing. But on the day Ferrari announced some changes to its More…

Posted on December 20, 2012


Today is the last day that readers in the UK can order the JA on F1 2012 season review – The Year of Living Dangerously in time to get it delivered before Christmas. So if you are looking for a last minute present for an F1-loving loved-one, this could be the thing for you! The book is a collection of the best posts from the JA on F1 website from this season, with plenty of new additional content, linking the posts and also adding more insight and a retrospective feel. Priced just £10-99 plus P&P, the large format paperback book More…

Posted on December 20, 2012


It has been confirmed that Caterham Sporting director Steve Nielsen will leave the team in January after two years as Sporting Director. He is understood to be moving to a different team. Nielsen was part of the group alongside Mike Gascoyne and Bob Bell at the Renault team in the early 2000s and was there through the Alonso years right up to the move to the black and gold of Lotus Renault GP in 2011, when he moved on to Caterham. But his career goes back further to stints at Team Lotus, Tyrrell and Arrows, under Tom Walkinshaw. Nielsen is More…

Posted on December 20, 2012


Mike Gascoyne has successfully completed his maiden solo transatlantic sailing trip after making it from Europe to the West Indies. The Caterham Composites CEO captained the teams ‘Caterham Challenge’ racing yacht, that is currently active in World yacht racing, and reached Grenada on Friday December 14. “Just arrived back home after 3 weeks away, so much has happened and so many experiences, strange feeling but good to be home and safe,” Gascoyne tweeted.”No traffic jams in the middle. No M25 misery. Just a journey to unlock the door to your future. Act on your dreams.” Gascoyne has been a keen More…

Posted on December 18, 2012


[Updated] Britain will have four drivers on the F1 grid next season after Max Chilton was confirmed in the second Marussia seat for 2013. The 21-year-old from Reigate impressed with two wins in GP2 this year, ultimately finishing fourth in the standings, with Marussia’s junior team and his promotion to a race seat at the senior F1 outfit seemed inevitable after he was announced as its reserve driver from the Japanese GP and made his race weekend debut in first practice in Abu Dhabi. Chilton, who is likely to bring a budget with him given his father is the vice-chairman More…

Posted on December 17, 2012


Lotus has finally confirmed that Romain Grosjean will retain his seat at the team for next season, with the Frenchman vowing to put the lessons learnt from his turbulent 2012 into practice. Although the 26-year-old had been expected to be kept on alongside Kimi Raikkonen for a second straight season the delay in the reconfirmation suggested the Enstone team’s hierarchy was carefully taking its time to ensure Grosjean was ready to make improvements in 2013. As while the Frenchman, after resurrecting his career in GP2 following his brief ill-fated initial F1 stint with the same team in 2009, showed his More…

Posted on December 17, 2012


Adrian Sutil says that there are no legal reasons why he cannot return to F1 as a Force India driver for next season. Sutil, who will turn 30 in January, lost his Force India drive in 2011 after being convicted in a German court of wounding Lotus F1 team executive Eric Lux in a night club brawl in Shanghai. But with Nico Hulkenberg moving on to Sauber for 2013, Sutil and his agent have worked hard behind the scened to force his way into contention. And he says that his criminal record will not be a barrier to getting visas More…

Posted on December 15, 2012


With just 16 days left in 2012, there are still some important loose ends yet to be tied up in F1 circles with the question mark over a 20th race for next year, the new Concorde Agreement requiring signature and some seats on the grid still to be filled. According to its own statutes, the FIA has until January 1 to confirm the 2013 calendar, with a slot left open on July 21 for a race to replace the postponed New Jersey event at the recent FIA World Council. That meeting and the FIA prize giving, took place in Istanbul More…

Posted on December 14, 2012


We are delighted to learn today that JA on F1 has been voted the best F1 blog in the Silverstone Media Awards, as voted by F1 fans. Silverstone organised an online poll, inviting fans to nominate the F1 news sources they most trusted and appreciated and the winners of the various categories are listed below. Thanks to all JA on F1 readers who voted for this site. We have never entered any awards competitions, but it’s good to win one where the fans themselves nominate the winners. It says a lot about the response to this site’s objectives of bringing More…

Posted on December 14, 2012


Mercedes’ F1 programme is set for significant change after it was announced today that Motorsport Director Norbert Haug has left the company after 22 years at the helm. Haug recently celebrated his 60th birthday, so there is a sense that his time had come to move aside and let a new generation take over. However there is more to it than that. It is a major moment for Mercedes and signals a change of direction and of culture. Haug, a former motoring journalist turned corporate player, has been at the helm since 1990 and brought Mercedes into F1 in 1993, More…

Posted on December 13, 2012


We have been running our annual end of year opportunity for readers to tell us who were their top five drivers of the season and this year we had a larger entry than in 2011; just under 800 entries. This is probabiy due to the fact that the competition between the leading drivers was so close this year, with several outstanding performances. As a fun sideline prize, three entries which match my selection, will be selected at random to receive a free signed copy of our review book of the season; James Allen on F1 2012: The Year of Living More…

Posted on December 11, 2012


We’ve had a huge response to the top five drivers of the year vote on JA on F1 over recent days, with just under 800 replies left on the site as of Monday night. Although the composition of the respective reader top fives have been naturally reasonably varied given there are 24 drivers to select from, the #1 ranked position has almost exclusively been contested between the three men who claimed 12 of the 20 wins between them in 2012 – world champion Sebastian Vettel, runner-up Fernando Alonso and four-time 2012 race winner Lewis Hamilton. Indeed, a massive 96% of More…

Posted on December 10, 2012


Sam Michael believes there are no hidden motives behind Lewis Hamilton leaving McLaren and that the driver’s desire to take on a new challenge simply outweighed everything else, even the chance to continue driving a proven race-winning car. The McLaren sporting director gave his assessment on Hamilton’s momentous decision to swap Woking for Mercedes from 2013 while looking back on some of the major talking points of the season alongside a panel of fellow experts in the December edition of the JA on F1 podcast (click here to download). When Hamilton’s three-year Mercedes deal was made public at the end More…

Posted on December 7, 2012


It’s that time of year again. Time for the readers of JA on F1 to rank their Top Five drivers of the season and for us to formally launch the new book JA on F1 2012 – The Year of Living Dangerously, which is published today. And, as per tradition, we invite you to rank the drivers into a Top 5 and post your answers below. We will be giving a signed copy of the new book to three readers’ selections that match mine. These will be picked at random from matching entries. I will publish my own Top 5 More…

Posted on December 7, 2012


Christian Horner is convinced there is still scope for Red Bull to “grow and evolve” as a team into 2013 and beyond in its bid to maintain the momentum built up over the last three years. The Milton Keynes outfit became only the fourth outfit in history, after McLaren, Williams and Ferrari, to win three or more consecutive constructors’ championships this year but precedents of teams winning four in a row are even rarer, with only McLaren (1988-1991) and Ferrari (1999-2004) having achieved the feat. While getting to the top in F1 is notoriously tough, staying there over a prolonged More…

Posted on December 7, 2012


Ten lucky fans will be going behind the scenes at the MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS factory in Brackley, England next Monday 10th December. We have been running a competition this week with over 700 entries in 48 hours. Thanks to Mercedes and our partners UBS we have this opportunity to go behind the scenes to experience how a Formula 1 team factory works, to visit the various departments and to see where Lewis Hamilton’s and Nico Rosberg’s 2013 F1 car is being built. The ten lucky winners, selected at random are: Victoria Palmer Hitul Mistry Baghetti Nikki Ponsford Carwyn Bowen Sean More…

Posted on December 6, 2012


A unique collection of sought-after Formula 1 memorabilia and experiences, including Ayrton Senna’s racing gloves from his 1991 championship-winning year and Jenson Button’s race seat from this year’s Australian GP, are to be auctioned off in the New Year to raise money for the Grand Prix Mechanics Charitable Trust. The Trust, which celebrated its 25th anniversary this year and which James Allen is among the trustees, has been chosen as the first official charity of Motor Sport magazine’s Hall of Fame awards, which will be held for the fourth time in February when a further quartet of  legends of the More…

Posted on December 6, 2012


The World Motor Sport Council met yesterday to ratify some detailed changes to the F1 calendar for 2013 and to the sporting and technical regulations. The main headline is that the FIA and the commercial rights holder Bernie Ecclestone are keen to insert a 20th race, to fill the gap left by the postponed New Jersey race. The German Grand Prix will move to July 7th (from 14th July) to make room for a race on July 21st. The Turkish Istanbul Park race track has confirmed an agreement in principle to host the race, which would fall one week before More…

Posted on December 6, 2012


New triple title winner Sebastian Vettel’s signed race suit sold for three times its estimated value in the special ‘world champions’ auction organised by Red Bull’s spinal cord injury charity, Wings for Life. The suit, which the German wore during the season-opening Australian GP back in March, had been given an estimated value of £3,000-£4,000 prior to the auction by Bonhams in London but ultimately sold for £11,000, £5,000 more than any other item. With signed suits from all six world champions on the 2012 grid having been up for grabs, Vettel’s title rival Fernando Alonso’s sold for £6,000 with More…

Posted on December 6, 2012


Formula 1 has signed a major new commercial deal with Rolex which will see the luxury watchmaker become the sport’s official timekeeper as part of a long-term partnership. The agreement, which is believed to be worth around £15 million per annum, will also see Rolex design F1’s official timepiece with the Swiss brand’s logos to also be positioned around grand prix circuits and at several corners next season. The joint statement announcing the new partnership also made clear that Rolex’s presence in F1 is “due to develop over the coming seasons”. Ecclestone and long-time Rolex ambassador Jackie Stewart were on More…

Posted on December 5, 2012


The final JA on F1 podcast of 2012 is a real cracker, with a panel of F1 experts in the studio analysing the key talking points of the F1 season and we also have interviews with World Champion Sebastian Vettel and Red Bull Boss Christian Horner. In the studio we have McLaren Sporting Director Sam Michael, Oliver Weingarten, general secretary of the F1 Teams’ Association, leading F1 journalist Mark Hughes, and F1′s top photographer Darren Heath, who brings some fascinating observations on driving styles from standing trackside, with input from Pirelli’s motorsport boss Paul Hembery and insight into F1 business More…

Posted on December 4, 2012


At JA on F1 we are always trying to bring the fans closer to the sport; last month we took ten lucky fans behind the scenes at the MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS factory in Brackley, England. The visit was such a success that we are able to offer another tour! We have an opportunity to take another ten fans behind the scenes to experience how a Formula 1 team factory works, to visit the various departments and to see where Lewis Hamilton’s and Nico Rosberg’s 2013 F1 car is being built. This superb opportunity comes thanks to our partner UBS and More…

Posted on December 4, 2012


Kimi Raikkonen completed every lap, bar the last one of F1’s longest ever season, the only driver to do so, while only half of this season’s races were won from pole position. And the Brazilian Grand Prix featured the most overtakes ever in a wet F1 race – these are just a few of the headlines from an analysis of the 2012 F1 season in numbers. Although it appeared that qualifying was more important than ever this year, in fact the highest number of wins from pole for a driver was three for Sebastian Vettel – a very different statistic More…

Posted on December 3, 2012


Two innovators were honoured at the Autosport Awards last night as recipients of the Pioneering and Innovation Awards, sponsored by Tata Communications. Professor Sid Watkins, who passed away earlier this year, was celebrated for his contribution to safety in F1 and motorsport generally via the FIA Medical Team. 1996 world champion Damon Hill was there to sum up Watkins and the Team’s contribution, “F1 has made incredible progress, and to see where it came from, and where it has now got to, is a testament to Sid’s incredible determination and work.” “He was the last person you would want to More…

Posted on December 2, 2012


Ferrari’s traditional end of season sign-off, the Ferrari World Finals, has been the scene of some triumphant scenes in the last decade, but not today. Over 15,000 Ferrari fans are in Valencia to see the last rounds of Ferrari’s own racing series and to see a demonstration run of the F1 car. Fernando Alonso will attend the event, but there is not much to celebrate after the team missed the drivers’ title by 3 points, having enjoyed an advantage of over 40 points after the summer break. He will drive the unloved F2012 car for the last time. Next season More…

Posted on December 2, 2012


The FIA’s new Formula E electric vehicle racing series moved a step closer to reality yesterday with a launch in Rome, which will become the second world city – and the first in Europe – to host a round after Rio de Janeiero. FIA president Jean Todt and Formula E’s CEO Alejandro Agag attended the event hosted by the Mayor of Rome. The inaugural series in 2014 will feature ten races, so there are eight more slots to be filled by host cities in the coming months. There will be ten teams entered, with 20 drivers and 40 cars between More…



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