Posted on January 31, 2013


McLaren launched its new 2013 challenger today, an evolution of the 2012 model, which was the fastest car for significant parts of the season, including the beginning and end. On the face of it, the new MP4/28 looks similar to the 2012 car, but there are several very significant changes and it takes what was good car and makes it, in all probability, even faster. They have made changes which give them a lot of scope for development as the year goes on. It is a strong gauntlet thrown down by the Woking team to its rivals Red Bull and More…

Posted on January 31, 2013


They may have lost Lewis Hamilton, but McLaren moved forward into the future with a proud and confident message, underlining their 50 years of F1 heritage, as they launched their 2013 challenger today. Jenson Button said he aims to win the world championship and believes the car capable of it. The new silver McLaren does not have Hamilton’s name on the side for the first time in seven years, instead Jenson Button and Sergio Perez lead the challenge against the Red Bull, Ferrari, Lotus and Mercedes team. The 50th anniversary was acknowledged by a cavalcade of former McLaren race winning More…

Posted on January 29, 2013


The changing face of F1 broadcasting was illustrated again yesterday when SKY Italia launched its new pay TV F1 programming in a ceremony at Monza. Italy is moving to a model similar to the UK, where SKY has every race weekend live on a pay channel while BBC covers half live and the rest highlights only, on free to air terrestrial TV. The previous free-to-air incumbent of the rights in Italy, RAI, is expected to take the BBC-equivalent role in Italy with just nine races live and the rest on highlights, but it hasn’t come to the table yet, with More…

Posted on January 29, 2013


Red Bull driver Mark Webber has finally responded to disparaging comments made by the team’s special adviser Helmut Marko, with a scathing rebuttal, which is likely to create tensions within the team this season. Marko made some surprisingly frank comments about Webber earlier this month in the Red Bulletin, the company’s in-house sports and leisure magazine, “It seems to me that Webber has on average two races per year where he is unbeatable, but he can’t maintain this form throughout the year, ” said Marko. “And as soon as his prospects start to look good in the world championship, he More…

Posted on January 28, 2013


Lotus became the first F1 team to unveil its new car, when it pulled the wraps off the E21 in front of an audience live online via You Tube and on Sky Sports News in the UK. The launch was handled by team owner Gerard Lopez and team principal Eric Boullier, while technical director James Allison together with the drivers Romain Grosjean and Kimi Raikkonen pulled the wraps off the car. Raikkonen said that he believes the team has what it takes to win the world title. Boullier said third place is the target for the 2013 season, which is More…

Posted on January 28, 2013


There have been some interesting developments behind the scenes in F1 in the last week, all related to the fact that there is currently no agreement in place binding in the teams, governing body and commercial rights holder, known as the Concorde Agreement. A meeting was held in Maranello, with a select group of top teams and Ecclestone while the FIA’s Charlie Whiting convened a meeting of the Technical Working Group and Sporting Working Group in London. But in the current regulatory vacuum, the outcome was that Whiting would forward the recommendations of the Groups directly to the World Motor More…

Posted on January 25, 2013


Less than a week after losing his Formula One seat with Marussia F1, Timo Glock has joined BMW as a factory driver in DTM. The move comes following the Germans impressive first taste of the new machinery, at Valencia this week. Today’s move sees Glock reunited with the company that started his racing career and gave him his first chance in a Formula One car. “We are delighted to have Timo Glock back at BMW Motorsport,” said BMW Motorsport Director Jens Marquardt. “Over the course of his career, Timo has proven on more than one occasion how valuable he is More…

Posted on January 24, 2013


Robert Kubica, the former F1 driver who is recuperating from a partially severed arm, today tested a Mercedes from the German Touring Car series DTM, in Valencia. The 28 year old Pole, who was badly hurt in a rally accident almost two years ago, covered 114 laps, or 456.570 kilometres today. Kubica has said that it is too early to talk about a return to F1 competition, but he has taken part in some rallies and is gradually stepping up the intensity and level of his driving activities. Today he experienced downforce again – although nothing like the levels and More…

Posted on January 24, 2013


Lewis Hamilton has been at the headquarters of Mercedes Grand Prix team for the last couple of days, driving the 2013 car on the simulator, meeting all the staff and facing a select group of UK media, including JA on F1, for the first time as a Mercedes GP driver. He dismissed stories about team principal Ross Brawn being replaced by McLaren’s Paddy Lowe and said that he was not expecting miracles from the 2013 car, given that Mercedes was two seconds per lap of the pace at the benchmark Suzuka circuit in October last year and implied that the More…

Posted on January 24, 2013


Mercedes F1 team principal Ross Brawn spoke today about the goings on behind the scenes at the team in recent days, suggesting that the move for Paddy Lowe is part of his long term succession plan but emphasising that he is very much in charge of the team. “I am the team principal. I am in charge of sporting, technical and racing matters,” he said emphatically, when asked if Mercdes ran the risk of emulating the failed Jaguar Racing experiment, where no-one was sure who was in charge. News has surfaced in recent days of a plan formed by Mercedes More…

Posted on January 23, 2013


The Lotus F1 Team has announced that it will pull the covers of its 2013 challenger, the E21, in an online ceremony on Monday 28th January, making it the first 2013 Formula 1 contender to break cover. Fans can join in the fun, as the whole event will be streamed live from the team’s base in Enstone; the launch will be broadcast on the team’s YouTube channel – http://www.youtube.com/lotusf1team – from 19:15 (GMT) / 20:15 (CET). We will have technical analysis of the new car soon after the launch here on JA on F1. So be sure to check in More…

Posted on January 23, 2013


Pirelli is hosting a press conference at its base in Milan this morning, laying out plans for the 2013 season and it is claiming a half second a lap improvement in performance over 2012. And the company president said that Pirelli intends to renew the contract with F1 after it expires in December and that he is “confident” it will happen. In Formula 1 it promises “a revolution” with tyres featuring new softer compounds and constructions which will suffer more thermal degradation than last years’, forcing the teams to make two stops as a minimum and “increasing the overtaking opportunities More…

Posted on January 22, 2013


New Mercedes head of motorsport Toto Wolff has denied speculation that he plans to replace Ross Brawn as team principal of the Mercedes F1 team, but refused to be drawn on stories that he plans to hire McLaren technical director Paddy Lowe, Speaking in a Mercedes organised teleconference, in which JA on F1 participated, Wolff (41) said, “It would be foolish to talk about replacing anyone… That is speculation in the media, I think I would be aware of that. Ross is there and he is part of the team and I hope Ross is going to stay as long More…

Posted on January 22, 2013


This year will see the 50th anniversary of the McLaren racing team, and the Woking-based squad has announced that it will host a number of events throughout the year leading up to its celebration half a century on from the inauguration of Bruce McLaren Motor Racing, on September 2nd 1963. The eight-time Constructors’ Championship winners will display a special ‘McLaren 50’ logo on this years MP4-28 and on their team shirts, whilst a heritage video is also in the making to mark the achievement. Ron Dennis CBE, executive chairman, McLaren Group and McLaren Automotive, said: “McLaren’s history is long and More…

Posted on January 22, 2013


by Steve Nevey, F1 technical business expert, formerly with Red Bull Racing Formula 1 is all about who has the most money, yes? No! I once overheard somebody say to a Formula 1 boss, “So, you produce racing cars”. The reply was, “No. Actually, we produce knowledge and intellect. The car is just a brief manifestation of that intellect.” It’s true. If a team lost its cars in transit, or through some freak incident at its headquarters, it could rebuild them. If a team lost its data, then it’s in trouble. Monisha Kaltenborn, the Team Principal of Sauber F1, has More…

Posted on January 21, 2013


Williams F1 team has been left in a tricky position by a decision by one of its shareholders and senior managers, Toto Wolff, to take up the role of executive director with Mercedes F1. Wolff will become a 30% shareholder of Mercedes Grand Prix, Niki Lauda will hold 10%, however in a rather awkward conflict, Wolff will retain his 15% shareholding in the Williams team, for the time being at least. It was important that Wolff’s retained shareholding was part of the message from the point of view of the financial picture at Williams and with regards to share price, More…

Posted on January 21, 2013


The Marussia F1 team has confirmed this morning that Timo Glock will not be driving its car this season. The 11th hour announcement, just two weeks before the start of the F1 pre-season tests, came with an acknowledgement from the team that this move was forced by a need to survive financially; Glock was paid a salary by the team and clearly his replacement will be a driver with a solid budget. Given the Russian connections and sponsor backing that Vitaly Petrov enjoys, it looks very much as though he will be the replacement. “The ongoing challenges facing the industry More…

Posted on January 18, 2013


“When an F1 driver was involved in a big accident he wasn’t sure when he woke up whether he would see God or Sid Watkins. In the medical profession he was one and the same.” With these words Peter Hamlyn, eminent neurosurgeon and professional heir to Sid Watkins, paid tribute to the man who changed not only the field of neurological medicine, but also Formula 1 and wider sports medicine, at a memorial service, held today in at the St Marylebone Church in Central London. Sir Jackie Stewart, FIA president Jean Todt, Damon Hill and Ron Dennis were among the More…

Posted on January 17, 2013


The final player to take the stage at Ferrari’s pre-season warm up event in Madonna di Campiglio was Fernando Alonso. The Spaniard, who narrowly missed out on his third world title at the final round in Brazil last year, is refreshed and ready to challenge again with the new Ferrari, which will be launched in just over two weeks time. Ferrari got their sums wrong on the 2012 car and started the season around 1.5 seconds off the pace. This year Alonso sees no reason why the new car, developed in the Toyota wind tunnel in Cologne by a strengthened More…

Posted on January 17, 2013


The return to form of Felipe Massa was one of the more heartening stories of the second half of last season. In the 11 races prior to the Belgian GP last year the Brazilian had scored just 25 points, but in the remaining nine races from Spa onwards he scored 97 points, with two podiums. Speaking at the Ferrari Wrooom event in Madonna di Campiglio this morning, Massa said that this was down to a shift in his own mental approach rather than to any changes on the car which may have suited his style, “It is not that the More…

Posted on January 16, 2013


Ferrari team principal Stefano Domenicali took the stage today at the Ferrari pre-season Wrooom event in Madonna di Campiglio. He said that the 2013 season would be “complex” in terms of managing resources, ruled out a move for Sebastian Vettel while Fernando Alonso is with the team and confirmed that Pedro de la Rosa will join the team in a support capacity. All of these are worth deeper consideration. First the challenges of competing in 2013 while developing a 2014 car. Ferrari finds itself in a tricky position with regards to wind tunnel time, as its own tunnel is being More…

Posted on January 15, 2013


A selection of amazing items of F1 memorabilia, including a pair of Ayrton Senna’s gloves, donated by his friend Jo Ramirez, Jenson Button’s race seat and a Sebastian Vettel steering wheel will go under the hammer at the Motor Sports Hall of Fame evening on Monday 25th February at the Royal Opera House London. The auction will raise funds for the GP Mechanics Trust, of which I am a trustee. But enthusiasts who are unable to attend and want to get in on the bidding can do so HERE There are some fantastic items including highly polished engine parts from More…

Posted on January 14, 2013


As the new year kicks into life there is plenty of action at Ferrari; the team is beginning work on a new base for its F1 team which is due to open in time to develop the 2015 car, on a site between the Cavallino restaurant and the existing team headquarters, known as Gestione Sportiva. At the same time the team announced today that from February 1 it will have a new head of communications, Renato Bisignani, formerly of Renault F1, who will replace Luca Colajanni, who held the position for over a decade. This change has been rumoured since More…

Posted on January 11, 2013


More spectacular racing, with F1 cars having more power than grip on corner exits and an opportunity to showcase technology and innovation, putting F1 back at the cutting edge – these are the likely hallmarks of Formula 1 as it will be under the new formula in 2014, according to experts who are building the new engines. A visit to AMG Mercedes High Performance Powertrains (HPP) in Brixworth today yielded some fascinating insights into how F1 is set to change and what fans will see next season. And we got the chance to see one of the new generation V6 More…

Posted on January 10, 2013


Yesterday the new FIA Formula E series announced its first team entry, following up on recent announcements on race venues in Rio and Rome. Lord Drayson’s team is the first of 10 which will contest the new series when it starts in 2014. Further venue and team announcements are due to follow in the coming months, including, it is understood, a race in London. Recently I met up with the promoter of Formula E, Alejandro Agag for an interview which makes for interesting reading for anyone interested in new ideas. Agag has been around F1 for several years, and his More…

Posted on January 10, 2013


When you are in the public eye, giving interviews, sometimes you get misquoted or a quote is mistranslated. It happens in F1 all the time. But when that interview is in your own in-house magazine, you do not have that excuse. So how are we to read the comments this week in the Red Bulletin from Red Bull special adviser Helmut Marko appearing to slate the team’s own driver, Mark Webber? “Red Bull puts him in a car – a possible winner – and suddenly along comes this young kid and he snatches the booty from under Mark’s nose. Psychologically More…

Posted on January 9, 2013


McLaren today officially unveiled its new driver Sergio Perez, in McLaren colours, at media events in the team’s HQ at Woking and in Central London And the 22 year old Mexican made a bullish start, saying that he hopes to fight for the world title from the first race onwards and that he will be disappointed if he does not beat Jenson Button during their scheduled three-year partnership. Button will start his 229th Grand Prix in Melbourne while Perez will be starting only his 38th. To have landed a McLaren seat so soon is remarkable, but Perez is mindful that More…

Posted on January 7, 2013


Lotus F1 boss Gerard Lopez has set his team a bold objective for this season: finish in the top three of the Constructors’ championship table this year and end the season on the same level as the best teams. Last season Lotus ended up fourth after a strong year, particularly with Kimi Raikkonen, who was third in the Drivers’ standings ahead of both McLaren drivers. But if their other driver Romain Grosjean had been more consistent they might have gone some way towards bridging the 75 point gap to McLaren. The Frenchman scored just 96 points compared to his team More…

Posted on January 4, 2013


It is already clear that we will be hearing a lot about Mercedes in 2013, much of it from in and around the team. But what kind of Mercedes challenge can we expect this year? Niki Lauda, the new non-executive chairman of the team, said before Christmas that there is a big job to be done to improve the way the Brackley based team operates and noted that, “While everyone else is on (Christmas) vacation, I will use the time to do everything to bring Mercedes to the front again — because that’s where we belong,” Meanwhile Michael Schumacher, who More…

Posted on January 3, 2013


With just over a month to go to the start of F1 testing and 72 days to the first race in Melbourne, let’s look at some of the things which are likely to define the 2013 season. Close racing With no significant change to the aero regulations and teams obliged to commit significant resources to their 2014 cars, it’s likely that we will see the field bunched up in the first half of 2013, as the gains become harder to find and massive resources are required to cope with the significant design changes in the 2014 regulations. However it’s unlikely More…

Posted on January 1, 2013


Sebastian Buemi has revealed to Swiss paper Blick that his chances of returning to the F1 grid with Sahara Force India are finished, after he was informed by the team that he is out of the running. According to veteran Blick writer Roger Benoit, this leaves Jules Bianchi (pictured above with FI’s Bob Fearnley) in pole position for the seat, with former FI driver Adrian Sutil still a possibility. Bianchi’s case is apparently being helped by discussions with Ferrari over a supply of engines for 2014. It seems that there is a possibility that Force India could switch to the More…



COUNTDOWN TO NEXT RACE
Strategy Report
Innovation and Technology brought to you by TATA Communications
Senna DVD
Download the Chequered Flag Podcast here
MTS
Darren Heath
Sport Right Now