Posted on June 30, 2013


FIA president Jean Todt has demanded that F1 tyre supplier Pirelli attend a meeting of the Sporting Working Group, which was already scheduled to take place on Wednesday and is now set to be dominated by the quest for a safe solution to the tyre failures suffered by Pirelli in Silverstone. THE SWG comprises FIA representatives as well as the Sporting Directors of each of the 11 Formula 1 teams. Todt wants the Italian company to offer a proposal at the meeting of how it plans to correct the situation after five drivers suffered blow outs during the British Grand More…

Posted on June 30, 2013


Nico Rosberg claimed victory at the British Grand Prix in an extraordinarily eventful race that illustrated Formula One in its greatest and most negative light, with five tyre failures marring what was a spectacular race. Lewis Hamilton was the first victim of a high speed delamination as he led the race in the opening stages and handed the lead to a fast starting Sebastian Vettel. He had managed to jump Rosberg from the start line and inherited the lead on lap eight following Hamilton’s misfortune. There were further tyre failures in the following laps for Felipe Massa, Jean-Eric Vergne, Esteban More…

Posted on June 29, 2013


Lewis Hamilton spread delight across the Northamptonshire countryside today as he took a dominant pole position at his home Grand Prix, heading a Mercedes front-row lock out with Sebastian Vettel completing the top three. But there was dismay for Paul di Resta, who qualified in fifth place only for his Force India car to be found 1.5kg underweight. He was moved to the back of the grid. Following their strong one lap pace in Free Practice, qualifying looked set to be a battle between the Mercedes pair and the Red Bulls as they swapped fastest time throughout the hour. And More…

Posted on June 28, 2013


Nico Rosberg set the fastest time in Free Practice for the British Grand Prix on a gloomy day at Silverstone, with Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel completing the top three. After a rain-disrupted FP1, the afternoon session saw a break in the poor conditions and the field were able to complete some important dry laps ahead of what is predicted to be a dry weekend. With this in mind, today’s rain prohibits us from gaining too much information about the expected pacesetters as temperatures are expected to increase for qualifying and the race itself. However, the dry running will give More…

Posted on June 28, 2013


Antonio Felix da Costa and Carlos Sainz Jr will drive the Red Bull F1 car at the Young Drivers Test at Silverstone next month. Da Costa, 21, (above) is the next driver in the Red Bul young driver programme poised to come into F1 and is a strong contender for a Toro Rosso seat next year in place of either Daniel Riccardo or Jean Eric Vergne, one of whom will either be promoted or dropped at the end of this season. The retirement of Mark Webber is pushing Red Bull into evaluating the Toro Rosso pair now. Christian Horner said More…

Posted on June 28, 2013


This week has been entirely taken up for me with FIA Sport Conference week at Goodwood House. It is the first time that the FIA has hosted such an event and they asked me to be conference moderator, which meant animating five 90 minute panel discussion sessions over three days, featuring over 50 speakers, as well as a Q&A with FIA Race Directors Charlie Whiting and Herbie Blash. The topics under discussion this week revolved around the main challenges facing the sport; specifically safety, sustainability and affordability. FIA president Jean Todt set the tone in the opening speech when he More…

Posted on June 27, 2013


Mark Webber called time on his F1 career today, with the announcement that he is going to join Porsche in sportscar racing, for a crack at the Le Mans 24 hours. The news comes as little surprise after the story had been rumoured for many months, with Webber never denying it. The path was clear after the Malaysian Grand Prix fallout in March with team mate Sebastian Vettel, where the German ovetook his team mate to win the race, despite team orders to the contrary. Webber has also been critical of the direction F1 has taken lately, especially with the More…

Posted on June 26, 2013


Reigning world champions Red Bull have claimed victory at Silverstone in three of the last four years and arrive at this weekend’s British Grand Prix as favourites to add to that tally. According to JA on F1 technical adviser and former Williams chief engineer Mark Gillan, the secret behind their success at the Northamptonshire venue is that their car is the best out there in terms of aerodynamic efficiency – something which is crucial on the sweeping terms of Silverstone. “Silverstone is certainly a circuit where better drivers seem to thrive,” said Gillan. “It’s technically quite difficult and very demanding More…

Posted on June 26, 2013


Formula 1 race director Charlie Whiting believes the sport is set to enter a new era of excitement when it introduces 1.6-litre V6 turbocharged engines next season. Whiting was speaking on the opening day of the FIA Sport Conference Week, hosted by our own James Allen, which looks at the vision for motorsport over the coming years as well as the challenges facing the sport in terms of safety, sustainability and affordability. Whiting highlighted that fuel efficiency will be key, with 2014 cars requiring around 50kg less fuel than this year to complete a race distance. “We have new powertrain More…

Posted on June 26, 2013


Ferrari are hopeful they can deliver a strong result at this weekend’s British Grand Prix as they believe the F138 will suit the high speed corners of Silverstone. The team are currently second in the constructors’ championship, 56 points adrift of leaders Red Bull while Fernando Alonso is second in the drivers’, 36 behind leader Sebastian Vettel. Alonso’s team-mate Felipe Massa is seventh. Alonso, who won the British Grand Prix in 2011, finished a strong second in Canada and Massa scored a battling eighth but both were hampered by a lack of pace in qualifying, something team principal Stefano Domenicali More…

Posted on June 25, 2013


Silverstone has the fastest corner combinations on the F1 calendar and is loved by the drivers. It can be a real headache for the engineers and strategists, however as it often shows up aerodynamic instabilities and it can be very difficult to get a good read on the tyres and the strategy, especially as there is usually rain during the practice sessions. Last year’s race was won on a different strategy call by Red Bull compared to Ferrari, which worked in Mark Webber’s favour. The track was built on a wartime airfield and therefore is in a windy spot, which More…

Posted on June 23, 2013


The British Grand Prix at Silverstone is one week away. Not got a ticket yet? Don’t worry, because here is your chance to win 2 tickets for all three days of the British Grand Prix, seated in the Grandstand at Farm Curve on race day, with the Roving Seating option for Friday and Saturday, which allows you to sit in some of the other stands. There is also a car park pass thrown in. All you have to do to win is answer this question: When was the last time the British Grand Prix was won from pole position? Leave More…

Posted on June 22, 2013


Renault Sport F1 unveiled its new 2014 F1 engine, dubbed the Energy F1, at an event in Paris on Friday. The timing was rather unfortunate, as the F1 media was on red alert waiting for the announcement of the verdict in the Mercedes Pirelli Tribunal hearing, but the significance of the Renault announcement -particularly the message it contained – is not to be ignored. Following on from Mercedes, which presented its 2014 engine to selected media at the start of the year, Renault pulled the cover off an engine which – it clearly feels – aligns F1 more with the More…

Posted on June 21, 2013


[Updated]The FIA International Tribunal has handed Mercedes a reprimand over its part in the controversial Pirelli tyre test and stopped it from taking part in the Young Drivers’ test next month. Pirelli has also been reprimanded; it will be interesting to see what their reaction is as they felt that they should not have been part of the proceedings in the first place. Their lawyer Dominique Dumas said yesterday that “we do not come under the jurisdiction or authority of the FIA”. At the same time the FIA also said that it “wishes that lessons are learnt from this case More…

Posted on June 20, 2013


Mercedes and Pirelli appeared today before the first ever sitting of the FIA International Tribunal, under chair of judges Edwin Glasgow QC, an experienced lawyer in FIA hearings. Glasgow said the judgement will come ‘by tomorrow.’ The team was there to answer a charge that it had breached the F1 Sporting Regulations by testing a current car during the season. Tyre supplier Pirelli was also called to explain why it did not open the test up to other competitors. Red Bull team boss Christian Horner surprised everyone by making an appearance in person as an observer, while several other teams More…

Posted on June 19, 2013


Tomorrow (Thursday June 20) at 9-30am local time Ross Brawn of Mercedes and Paul Hembery of Pirelli will appear before the first ever FIA International Tribunal in Paris. This is the conclusion of a process started by Red Bull and Ferrari when they protested Mercedes’ 1,000 km test at Barcelona in the week following the Spanish Grand Prix. The FIA Sporting Regulations explicitly prohibit the testing of current cars once the F1 season has started. The hearing is set to last into the early afternoon and the FIA has indicated that a judgement will be made public as soon as More…

Posted on June 18, 2013


Lotus F1 boss Gerard Lopez has sold a 35% stake in the team to Infinity Racing, a consortium of investors with US and Middle Eastern backgrounds. The team hopes that this investment will give the team the financial boost it needs to challenge current top dogs Red Bull and Ferrari for wins and championships. Lopez’ Genii Capital concern will continue to hold a controlling stake of 65% in the team and Lopez remains as Chairman and his partner Eric Lux as a director. Infinity’s chairman is Mansoor Ijaz and the deputy chairman is Suhail Al Dhaheri, CEO of the Abu More…

Posted on June 17, 2013


It has been reported this evening that my old broadcasting colleague Murray Walker is fighting cancer. Approaching his 90th birthday, Murray was already dealing with a fractured pelvis from a fall; blood tests during his treatment revealed a form of cancer in the lymphatic system. Fortunately it has been found early in its development, so there is a degree of optimism about the treatment of it. “They’ve caught it incredibly early. It’s treatable, the doctors say my condition is mild and I’m very hopeful,” said Murray. His mother lived to over 100 and the veteran commentator always used to say More…

Posted on June 17, 2013


The Canadian Grand Prix at Montreal is in discussions with Bernie Ecclestone’s company about a new contract to retain the race for 10 years, according to a Reuters report today. And the news highlights the push by F1′s commercial rights holder, backed by CVC Capital Partners to secure long term contracts with host venues. Although CVC’s senior partner Donald McKenzie said recently that the proposed floatation of F1 may need to be postponed once again to 2014, getting a full calendar of events on long term contracts is a key component of the sale; circuit hosting fees are at around More…

Posted on June 15, 2013


BRDC president Derek Warwick says that the nightmare of last year’s British Grand Prix still hangs over this year’s event, but hopes that fans will turn out this year and support the event for the long term. Tickets sales are down this year in a season which has yet to see a British race winner. There are also bad memories from last year’s event where torrential rain caused chaos. Many fans were asked not to attend on Saturday so the organisers could get the car parks ready for race day. Around 400 public events were cancelled in the UK that More…

Posted on June 14, 2013


Williams are to provide the battery system that will be used in the FIA Formula E championship which is set to debut in Autumn 2014. Williams Advanced Engineering, a division of the Williams group which commercialises Formula 1-based technologies, will partner Spark Racing Technology to design and assemble the units. The single seater fully-electric championship is set to start in September 2014 with 10 city centre races – eight of which have already been announced in the form of London, Rome, Los Angeles, Miami, Beijing, Putrajaya (Malaysia), Buenos Aires and Rio de Janeiro. Bangkok is under consideration for one of More…

Posted on June 13, 2013


A frustrated Pirelli has today issued a statement with the tyre specifications for the next three Grands Prix, noting that it has not be able to introduce its revised 2013 tyres, due to a lack of testing and a failure of the F1 teams to agree to the change. The revised tyres, aimed at solving the delamination issue, which some teams suffered in Bahrain and Spain, were brought to Canada last weekend, but only received scant testing due to adverse weather conditions. Pirelli was keen to substitute them for the old construction, claiming that the old ones were not unsafe, More…

Posted on June 13, 2013


During Free Practice 3 at the recent Canadian Grand Prix in Montreal I had the chance do something I have never done before in 23 years in F1; to go on a team’s pitwall stand. I’ve listened in on team radio and observed in plenty of garages, but never sat plugged into the famous ‘prat perch’ and got an detailed insight into operations. It gave me a chance to get closer to the sport and to really understand how a team like Marussia operates. And it was an eye opener. With Marussia technical director Pat Symonds staying in the UK More…

Posted on June 13, 2013


The sponsorship marketplace in Formula 1 is looking “pretty good” at the moment with several new brands coming into the sport, according to Formula 1 business expert Zak Brown, however he adds that there remains a big pressure on teams to continue to find ways to raise money. Teams are facing soaring costs heading into next year, with the new 1.6-litre V6 engines set to be introduced to the sport. As a result, the price of the powerplants will rise from around £6-10 million per year to around £18 million. That sizeable increase will put pressure on the midfield and back More…

Posted on June 11, 2013


Three times world champion Sebastian Vettel has signed an extension to his Red Bull contract, taking it to the end of 2015. The German, who is 25 now and will be 28 at the end of the new agreement, has been linked with long term moves to Ferrari and Mercedes in recent months, but Red Bull has been able to secure his signature on a fresh deal, albeit only another year. There have been rumours that Vettel had some kind of understanding with Ferrari. Italian sources say that Alonso has been working behind the scenes to ensure that the team More…

Posted on June 11, 2013

The Strategy Report

What made the Canadian Grand Prix unusual was the fact that after a wet qualifying session, where no dry running was done at all, teams had all new Pirelli slick tyres to race on. This meant that potentially less stops would be possible as the tyres had more life. Against that the track was green because of the rain, so no-one knew what the tyre life would be like in the first stint. The result was a fascinating strategy battle with lots of different approaches taken by the various teams. Although it was a runaway win for Sebastian Vettel, the More…

Posted on June 10, 2013


McLaren’s Jenson Button said he has “never been so pleased to get out of a car” after he finished a lowly 12th in Sunday’s Canadian Grand Prix, once place behind his team-mate Sergio Perez. The result ended McLaren’s impressive 64-race streak in the points and highlighted their current plight. The team are sixth in the constructors’ championship, 164 points behind leaders Red Bull while neither Button or Perez has come close to scoring a podium. Button, the 2009 world champion, tried a one-stop strategy in Montreal, while his team-mate Sergio Perez did two stops, however both drivers struggled and finished just three More…

Posted on June 10, 2013


The Montreal weekend was a positive one for Jean Eric Vergne, Toro Rosso’s young driver, who secured sixth place in the race, a personal best for him and the team’s best result since Sebastian Vettel’s win in Italy 2008. What is most pleasing for Vergne is that it was the result of a complete weekend, where he put it all together from start to finish, including qualifying, starting seventh on the grid. It is surprising how rarely that happens, the complete weekend. “We shouldn’t get carried away with sixth place,” said the Parisian, “The road is still long. But I’m More…

Posted on June 10, 2013


Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel became the first driver to win three times in 2013 with victory in the Canadian Grand Prix to extend his lead in the drivers’ championship. Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso limited his losses in Vettel, finishing second after starting sixth on the grid, while Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton took his third podium of the season in third. Toro Rosso’s Jean-Eric Vergne scored his best ever finish in sixth while Force India’s Paul di Resta and Ferrari’s Felipe Massa produced an impressive recovery drives from the rear of the grid to finish in the points – but who was your More…

Posted on June 9, 2013


Sebastian Vettel produced an almost faultless drive to claim a lights to flag victory at the Canadian Grand Prix and extend his World Championship lead over Fernando Alonso, who came home second ahead of Lewis Hamilton. But the day was marked with tragedy as a 38 year old marshal was killed while recovering the damaged car of Esteban Gutierrez. He was hit by a mobile crane and died of head injuries. He made a small mistake into Turn One on Lap 52, running down the escape road and losing four seconds in the process, but it was the only time More…

Posted on June 9, 2013


Next season will be the busiest on record for the F1 teams; a 21 race calendar is taking shape for 2014 while on Saturday in Montreal the Sporting Working Group approved a package of test days and aerodynamic reductions which are set to save money, while bringing back four test sessions. The package agreed by the SWC will now be put forward to the FIA World Motor Sport Council taking place on 28 June at Goodwood House, England. The package envisages the end of the Young Drivers test session, a reduction in straight line aerodynamic test days from eight to More…

Posted on June 8, 2013


Sebastian Vettel was able to master the difficult conditions at an overcast and wet Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, taking pole position for the Canadian Grand Prix, beating Lewis Hamilton by a tenth of a second. But the undoubted star of qualifying was 23 year old Finn Valtteri Bottas. Bottas was among the front runners throughout all three parts of qualifying, but saved his best for last with a stunning performance in Q3 to leave some big names trailing in his wake. Meanwhile McLaren, which has owned this Montreal circuit for the past three seasons, had a poor session with Sergio Perez More…

Posted on June 7, 2013


Fernando Alonso has bounced back from a below par performance at the Monaco Grand Prix to head the Formula One field in Free Practice around the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal, ahead of Lewis Hamilton and Romain Grosjean. The Ferrari driver set the fastest lap in a qualifying simulation on the supersoft tyre and also put in a strong long run performance with fast, consistent laps. But Red Bull also looked consistent on the long runs and Mercedes looked strong on single lap pace again. Following heavy rain overnight much of Free Practice 1 was run in wet conditions, with More…

Posted on June 7, 2013


Lewis Hamilton has never been outqualified by a team mate four races in succession. Here in Montreal, arguably his most successful track, where he has won three times, he knows he has to regain the upper hand over Nico Rosberg, author of pole at the last three events. And it is going to be in the braking that he will do it. Montreal is all about the brakes. And a lot of Hamilton’s speed has always come from his ability on the brakes. “The braking has been a bit of a killer for me this year,” Hamilton admits in his More…

Posted on June 7, 2013


One aspect of the Mercedes testing saga which drew some brief interest this week was Lewis Hamilton tweeting about Miami when he was actually at the controversial Pirelli test in Barcelona. The team explain it away thus: Hamilton was in Miami until the Wednesday of that week on a Blackberry sponsor event and tweeted a photo on Thursday about where he had been, not saying that he was still there. It highlighted once again the potential pitfalls of Twitter. Hamilton fell foul of the medium last year when he tweeted – and made public – a set up sheet of More…

Posted on June 6, 2013


Caterham has launched a racing academy aimed at providing a path for young motorsport talent from junior formulae right up to Formula 1. The Caterham Racing Academy is an evolution of its driver development programme which started in 2010. It aims to provide a bespoke development plan for each driver that will cover every aspect of a modern day racing driver’s life. They will work on racecraft and engineering feedback, mental and physical training and media and sponsor relations. Crucially, the drivers will also receive financial support providing they meet their performance-based targets. The prize fund will make a contribution More…

Posted on June 6, 2013


[Updated] The FIA has decided that Mercedes and Pirelli have a case to answer over the test which took place last month in Barcelona with a 2013 car and the current race drivers and they will be required to appear before an International Tribunal to defend themselves against a charge of breaching the rules. Ferrari has been exonerated for the test it carried out using a 2011 car. The FIA statutes suggest that it can take up to 45 days to convene an International Tribunal, but the process can be fast tracked. Mercedes has acknowledged the summons and said that More…

Posted on June 5, 2013


Welcome to the JA on F1 podcast for June. This month we have a great mix of personalities, intrigue and insights into the money flow in F1. We talk to a Hollywood legend, the world champion team boss, a former F1 driver and we get right to the heart of the stories of the moment, with analysis of the secret Mercedes Pirelli test and JA on F1 technical adviser and former Williams chief engineer Mark Gillan tells us what potential benefit Mercedes may have got from the test. F1 Business expert Zak Brown CEO of Just Marketing looks at where More…

Posted on June 4, 2013


Six years ago, Robert Kubica had a huge accident at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, crashing into a wall at 180mph while trying to overtake Jarno Trulli in the Canadian Grand Prix. Incredibly, the Pole escaped serious injury, emerging with only a slight concussion and a sprained ankle, thanks to the work of the FIA to improve safety standards in Formula 1. The sport’s approach to safety has changed dramatically since the death of Ayrton Senna in the 1994 San Marino Grand Prix with the FIA’s crash tests for Formula 1 cars becoming more and more stringent. The FIA’s technical delegate Jo More…

Posted on June 4, 2013


Montreal is always one of the most interesting races of the season from a strategy point of view. With a very high likelihood of safety cars, a low grip surface and very easy overtaking, it is always an entertaining race and hard to predict. Red Bull leads both championships at the moment, but has never won in Montreal. McLaren has ruled for the last three years but has an uncompetitive car this year. And will this be the race where three-times winner Lewis Hamilton gets the upper hand over his resurgent team mate Nico Rosberg? After the extreme of Monaco, More…

Posted on June 3, 2013


The first production model of the Infiniti Q50, which was tested and evaluated by three time world champion Sebastian Vettel, has rolled off the assembly line at the manufacturer’s Tochigi production plant. The Q50 is the first of a new generation of Infiniti cars which premiered at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit in January and aims to set new benchmarks in terms of styling, advanced technology and performance. Vettel, 25, spent time with Infiniti engineers in Japan early in the development process to give them feedback on chassis dynamics, performance and handling. Along with Red Bull reserve More…

Posted on June 3, 2013


Reigning world champion Sebastian Vettel swapped his Red Bull F1 car for an Infiniti road car when he spent some time at French circuit Paul Ricard a day after finishing second in the Monaco Grand Prix. The German, 25, evaluated the latest Infiniti road cars and their competitors as part of his new role as the company’s director of performance. He gave detailed feedback on vehicle attributes such as handling, steering feel and response to experts from Infiniti’s European dynamic performance team as they look to tap into the three-time world champion’s expertise. Vettel said: “As new Infiniti cars are More…

Posted on June 3, 2013


Caterham will make its Le Mans 24 Hours debut later this month after linking up with the Greaves Motorsport LMP2 squad. Racing under the Caterham Motorsport banner, Caterham F1 reserve driver Alexander Rossi, 21, will join double LMP2 class-winner Tom Kimber-Smith and Eric Lux behind the wheel of the #41 Zytek Z11SN-Nissan in the LMP2 category for the race which takes place on the weekend of 22 and 23 June. Caterham Group technical officer Mike Gascoyne, who has worked for McLaren, Jordan and Renault, will lead a group of Caterham engineers, technicians and data analysts working on the project. Gascoyne said: More…

Posted on June 3, 2013


Three times world champion Sebastian Vettel has said in an interview with the German Welt am Sonntag newspaper, one of the more serious papers in Germany, that he may quit F1 in five years time. The 25 year old has won the world championship for the past three seasons and enjoys a strong lead in this year’s points table after six of 19 rounds. There has always been speculation that he might leave Red Bull and join Ferrari, part of a destabilising process which is common in F1 when a team and driver combination is winning. But he has always More…

Posted on June 1, 2013


A statement was issued by the FIA on Friday night which takes the story of the secret tyre tests conducted in May by Ferrari (with a two year old car) and Mercedes (with a current car) to the next level, in calling them to co-operate with a disciplinary inquiry. Ferrari being drawn in is an interesting development, given that they were one of two teams, along with Red Bull, to protest against Mercedes over its test. On the face of it Ferrari’s test with a two year old car was within the rules. At the same time Pirelli has issued More…



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