Posted on August 30, 2013


Ferrari team principal Stefano Domenicali says the team are planning to switch all their efforts to the 2014 car at the end of September. Teams face a big decision as to when to stop developing this year’s car to allow them to divert more resources to next year when the regulations change dramatically with the introduction of new 1.6 litre V6 turbo engines. Ferrari are third in the constructors’ championship, 94 points behind Red Bull with eight races remaining. In the drivers’ standings, Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso is second, 46 points adrift of Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel, with team-mate Felipe Massa More…

Posted on August 29, 2013


Jean Todt will be opposed in the forthcoming FIA presidential elections by David Ward, who was a key ally of former FIA president Max Mosley. Ward announced his decision today and has resigned as Secretary General of the FIA Foundation to prepare his campaign. “After much careful thought I have decided to stand as a candidate in the 2013 FIA Presidential election,” said Ward in a statement. “The election period begins in September and it will be necessary for me to approach FIA members to secure nominations. In these circumstances I think that the correct course of action is to More…

Posted on August 29, 2013


McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh believes Kimi Raikkonen wants to leave Lotus but thinks the Finn will ultimately end up staying with the Enstone-based team next season. Lotus boss Eric Boullier has said he is optimistic of keeping Raikkonen, amid speculation the team is struggling with its finances, but the Finn has been linked with a move to Ferrari and Red Bull. Raikkonen, the 2007 world champion, who won the opening race of the season in Australia, is fourth in the drivers’ standings, 63 points adrift of Red Bull’s leader Sebastian Vettel, having lost ground in recent races. “Obviously Kimi More…

Posted on August 27, 2013

The Strategy Report

The Belgian Grand Prix was not one of the most exciting races of the 2013 season but the weekend featured some fascinating strategic decision making, which had a significant bearing on the outcome of the race. In a slight departure from the normal scope of this report, in addition to looking at the race strategies, we will also look at the strategic decisions taken at the end of qualifying on Saturday, which affected both qualifying and the race. Decisive moments in Qualifying In many ways the qualifying session in Spa was more entertaining than the race and it certainly featured More…

Posted on August 27, 2013


Ferrari and Mercedes both admitted they had work to do to challenge Red Bull for the title but they have no intention of giving up on the chase. Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel took a commanding victory in Sunday’s Belgian Grand Prix at Spa, taking the lead from Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton on the first lap and never looking back as he took his fifth win of the season and 31st of his career. Three-time champion Vettel stretched his lead to 46 points over Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso, who finished a strong second at Spa, with Hamilton, who completed the podium, a further More…

Posted on August 27, 2013


One of the notable stories in the background of the Belgian Grand Prix weekend was the renewed push on Michelin to come back to F1, either to compete with or to replace Pirelli. And in yesterday’s Le Figaro newspaper in France, the current boss of Michelin sport, Pascal Couasnon, confirmed that the company was ready to come back to F1, as long as the decision is made by the end of October and the FIA is willing to change the character of the sport, away from fast degrading tyres. Michelin also wants an undertaking that during its tenure F1 would More…

Posted on August 26, 2013


Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel took a big step towards a fourth world title with a dominant victory in a Belgian Grand Prix at Spa Francorchamps which saw plenty of overtaking. Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso got his title challenge back on track with an impressive drive to second while Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton took his fifth podium of the season. McLaren’s Jenson Button came close to a podium before taking sixth while Daniel Ricciardo climbed through the field to grab a point for Toro Rosso – but who was your Driver of the Day? Sebastian Vettel Passed Hamilton at the start and More…

Posted on August 25, 2013


Sebastian Vettel opened up a lead of 46 points over Fernando Alonso in the drivers championship – almost two race victories’ worth of points, with a commanding win in the Belgian Grand Prix. It was his 31st career win, putting him equal with Nigel Mansell, and the fifth of 2013. He started second on the grid, but took the lead from pole sitter Lewis Hamilton on the straight after Eau Rouge on the opening lap and drove away from the Mercedes driver, who finished third, a full 27 seconds behind the winner. Red Bull had set the car up all More…

Posted on August 25, 2013


Mark Webber has revealed that the decision has already been taken to replace him at Red Bull Racing with Daniel Ricciardo. Speaking to James Allen in the build up to Sunday’s Belgian Grand Prix on Australian Network 10, 10 Webber said, “The decision is made. We all know who it is. I’m happy with that decision. It’s good for him and it’s good for Australia.” Ricciardo for his part appears not to be aware of progress and is waiting for Red Bull to tell him whether he has the seat and present him with a contract. He is already contracted More…

Posted on August 25, 2013


Red Bull Racing’s Adrian Newey and his technical staff have launched a new programme with the team’s title partner Infiniti to offer engineering graduates the opportunity to complete a twelve month internship at the team’s Headquarters in Milton Keynes, as part of the ‘Infiniti Performance Engineering Academy’. The scheme – set up to bring through the next group of future F1 innovators – will begin in September 2014 and includes work in both Milton Keynes and at the Infiniti Technical Centre, just eight miles down the road in Cranfield. The candidates will be whittled down to two interns who will More…

Posted on August 24, 2013


For the second race in succession, Lewis Hamilton edged out Sebastian Vettel for pole position in the closing seconds of qualifying. Hamilton’s career has been peppered with moments of inspiration and today saw another as he snatched pole for the Belgian GP from under Vettel’s nose in the closing stages of qualifying, as the rain fell. It was the 31st pole position of Hamilton’s career and his fourth in a row this season -the first time he has done that in his F1 career. Vettel starts second tomorrow, with Mark Webber third, Nico Rosberg fourth ahead of Paul di Resta More…

Posted on August 24, 2013


Kimi Raikkonen has spoken about his contractual situation with Lotus and the interest in him from Red Bull Racing, saying Lotus know what they have to do to keep him. After showing consistently impressive form since his comeback, the Finn is in demand and has been speaking to several leading teams. Raikkonen has consistently said that he is happy at Lotus and that being in the right environment is as important to him as everything else. But as one of the highest paid drivers in F1, he needs the confidence that the team will be able to deliver to his More…

Posted on August 24, 2013


The F1 drivers taking part in the Belgian Grand Prix have accepted the official explanation of the punctures of Fernando Alonso and Sebastian Vettel yesterday, when presented with a piece of metal off Kimi Raikkonen’s Lotus, which was retrieved from Turn 13 after the end of yesterday’s running. Meanwhile there are strong indications from sources in the F1 paddock that Michelin is lining up a return to the sport, which would be supported by the FIA. Ferrari test driver Pedro de la Rosa, who is also a leading light in the Grand Prix Drivers’ Association, told BBC Sport Online that More…

Posted on August 24, 2013


This weekend at the Belgian Grand Prix, Ferrari drivers Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa took part in an event with team partner Shell reliving the spirit of the 1955 Belgian Grand Prix and celebrating 60 years of the partnership between the two companies. A film was shown to an invited audience, which has also been made available on You Tube and is posted below.

Posted on August 23, 2013


Red Bull Racing have entered the second half of the 2013 Formula One season with their tails firmly up, as they completed a dominant one-two on the first day of practice at the Belgian Grand Prix. Sebastian Vettel set a fastest time, 6/100ths of a second faster than team mate Mark Webber. Although the team were quick to point out that Friday times mean little, with varying fuel loads making a big difference to lap times, the Red Bull cars looked well balanced and fast in both single lap and long run pace. With the Ardennes forest offering up its More…

Posted on August 22, 2013


A defiant Fernando Alonso spoke today for the first time about the unprecedented public criticism of him by Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo after the Hungarian Grand Prix. Ferrari published an article days after the Hungarian race, with Montezemolo calling for the team to fight together, with a knife between the teeth and noting “the latest comments from Fernando Alonso, which did not go down well with Montezemolo, nor with anyone in the team. So, when Montezemolo called the Spaniard this morning to wish him a happy birthday, he also tweaked his ear, reminding him that, “all the great champions More…

Posted on August 22, 2013


Daniel Ricciardo insists that he has not yet been given confirmation that he has landed the Red Bull seat alongside Sebastian Vettel for next year. But he looked and sounded confident as he faced the media in the Spa paddock this afternoon. Since Kimi Raikkonen’s manager Steve Robertson announced that he had ceased talks with Red Bull, the way has looked clear for Ricciardo, as he was apparently the only other driver on the shortlist. But the Aussie insists that the Red Bull management is making him wait. Whereas Raikkonen dodged the media today, citing illness, Ricciardo faced the music More…

Posted on August 21, 2013


Pat Symonds is targeting a big push on the development of Williams’ 2014 car as he begins work with the team in his new role as technical director. The 60-year-old left Marussia last month to take up his new role at the Grove-based team who have scored just one point this season and sit ninth in the constructors’ championship. While Symonds is still hoping for an improvement this season, starting with this weekend’s Belgian Grand Prix – which will be his first race with his new team – he is aware focus needs to switch to 2014 to prepare for More…

Posted on August 21, 2013


McLaren’s managing director Jonathan Neale believes it will be “a real challenge” for the team to contend for race victories in the second half of the season. Britain’s Jenson Button and Mexican Sergio Perez have not managed to finish on the podium this season with Button’s fifth place in China McLaren’s best result. That’s quite a drop in performance for a team which has won at least one race in each of the last 10 years, apart from 2006. Before the summer break, Button said he hoped the team would be able to challenge for wins in the second half More…

Posted on August 20, 2013


Kimi Raikkonen’s future in Formula 1 continues to top the headlines ahead of this weekend’s Belgian Grand Prix, with speculation that the Finn is set to return to Ferrari, the team he won his only world championship with in 2007, intensifies. On Monday, his manager Steve Robertson said the 20-time Formula 1 race winner would not be driving for world champions Red Bull next season, with Toro Rosso driver Daniel Ricciardo set to get the seat alongside reigning champion Sebastian Vettel. That seemingly leaves Raikkonen, 33, with two options – stay with Lotus for a third season or move back More…

Posted on August 20, 2013


The Summer Shutdown has ended and F1 is going racing again! The Spa Francorchamps circuit, home of the Belgian GP, has a very strong history in F1, going right back to the first year of competition in 1950 and is one of the drivers’ and engineers’ favourite tracks. It has the longest lap of any modern F1 track at over seven kilometers. Last year one of the key issues for teams to decide in their strategy planning was whether to go for a low down force set up, with less wing, to help straight line speed in sectors one and More…

Posted on August 19, 2013


It now looks likely that Red Bull Racing is set to promote junior driver Daniel Ricciardo to the second seat alongside Sebastian Vettel next season, after Kimi Raikkonen’s manager confirmed that his driver is no longer in discussions with the Milton Keynes team. As journalists scrambled after the weekend to try to stand up a story in Sport Bild Germany, suggesting the deal is done for Ricciardo, Steve Robertson told Autosport that his client was no longer in talks for the drive. Ricciardo is the only other candidate. “Kimi will not be driving for Red Bull in 2014. We held More…

Posted on August 17, 2013


The F1 teams heading back to work after the enforced summer shutdown with next week’s Belgian Grand Prix, will be relieved to learn that Pirelli has bowed to their wishes and decided against increasing the size of the rear tyres for 2014. Just before the shutdown it emerged that Pirelli had requested some changes to the dimensions of the tyres for next year – they wanted to increase the rear-tyre width by 20mm to 400mm and the diameter to increase from 660mm to 690mm. But today sources within Pirelli have confirmed to this website that the tyres will stay the More…

Posted on August 15, 2013


Rumours that Kimi Raikkonen has signed a contract to drive for Ferrari next season have been played down by the Italian team. With Raikkonen’s contract up for renewal at the end of the season, the Finn has been linked with a move to the Red Bull seat being vacated by Mark Webber. Raikkonen, 33, has finished each of the 30 races he has contested since his return to the sport with Lotus in 2012, finishing in the points in all but one of them. He is second in the drivers’ championship, 38 points behind leader Sebastian Vettel in the Red More…

Posted on August 13, 2013


The influential Italian sports paper Gazzetta dello Sport has today published its rankings of the F1 drivers for the season so far. The Italian media is very fond of what they call “pagelle”, which are marks out of 10 after every event. It’s a well established part of Italian sports media coverage and has been copied here and there in the UK media and elsewhere. But in Italy it carries a bit more weight. So it is worth reporting and considering to see whether readers here on JA on F1 agree with their marks. It’s also interesting to compare with More…

Posted on August 11, 2013


Codemasters have announced that the latest edition of their Formula 1 franchise – F1 2013 – will hit the shelves this autumn and feature a new twist – classic race drivers and cars. And we’ve spoken exclusively to the Creative Director behind the game franchise. Alongside the latest cars and drivers from the 2013 season – with the likes of Lewis Hamilton in a Mercedes and Sergio Perez now in a McLaren – gamers will also be able to race as their heroes such as Nigel Mansell in his 1980s and 1990s Williams cars. Alain Prost, Gerhard Berger, Mario Andretti, More…

Posted on August 10, 2013


Since late June when Mark Webber announced his decision to retire, one of the most intriguing stories in F1 has been the question, who will replace him? The list of applicants is long, and allegedly includes Fernando Alonso, but the list of candidates is short: Daniel Ricciardo and Kimi Raikkonen. Some recent quotes from Ricciardo’s team mate Jean Eric Vergne and from his Toro Rosso team boss Franz Tost shed some light on the considerations and deliberations going on behind the scenes and why Vergne was cut from the original short list of three to replace Webber. “Red Bull is More…

Posted on August 9, 2013


Daniel Ricciardo or Kimi Raikkonen? This is the choice the Red Bull management team is mulling over this Summer Break, when looking at who should partners Sebastian Vettel next season. On the face of it, filling a seat in the most consistently competitive car of the last three years is a nice problem to have. And while both candidates have much to recommend them, both carry a risk, albeit in different ways. With Ricciardo the risk is obvious – he’s less experienced and although clearly quick, his consistency at a high level has yet to be proven. According to Red More…

Posted on August 9, 2013


Formula E, the new all electric racing series due to start in September 2014, is set to receive a substantial boost from a deal with the Fox Sports Network for coverage on TV and online of the 10 race series. The deal, to be announced this afternoon, means that much of the globe is covered, with 80 territories under the Fox umbrella; the USA, Latin America and South East Asia in particular, with the UK and parts of Europe still to be filled in. The Fox Sports network is currently a big player in Formula 1 broadcast coverage, with the More…

Posted on August 9, 2013


Lotus team principal Eric Boullier says he is optimistic Kimi Raikkonen will stay with the team in 2014 despite the 2007 world champion being linked with Red Bull. Raikkonen, 33, won the season opening race in Australia and is currently on a consecutive points-scoring run that stretches back 27 races to last year’s Bahrain Grand Prix. The Finn has failed to score points just once since returning to the sport with Lotus last season and is in contention for the drivers’ world championship for the second consecutive year. He is second in the drivers’ standings, 38 points behind leader Sebastian More…

Posted on August 8, 2013


Mercedes team principal Ross Brawn says winning the drivers’ and constructors’ titles with a team bearing his name in 2009 was his biggest singular achievement to date. Brawn spent 10 years with Ferrari, where he won five drivers’ and six constructors’ championships with the team, before taking a year out of the sport and returning with Honda in 2008. At the end of the season, Honda decided to pull out, but rather than close the team, Brawn and Nick Fry brokered a deal to save the outfit, renaming it Brawn GP. Jenson Button went on to win the title, with More…

Posted on August 7, 2013


Formula 1 has seen a number of business sectors come and go since the championship began more than 60 years ago. An analyst for UBS, a global partner of Formula 1, has looked into those changes and come up with a number of interesting conclusions. There are two main reasons why companies decide to engage in sponsorships: the specific nature of the product and its relevance to sport. Therefore companies such as oil, tyres and automotive are more inclined to spend money sponsoring an F1 team. Those companies will be more resilient to downturns in the business cycle, and therefore More…

Posted on August 6, 2013


Welcome to the JA on F1 podcast for August. It’s the Summer Shutdown in F1, so what better way to while away the days than to listen to this insightful half hour about all things F1? And share it with your friends? In this edition I speak to Lotus boss Eric Boullier and hear about how his team is able to punch above its weight budget-wise, his chances of retaining star driver Kimi Raikonnen for 2014 and how the team has coped with the loss of Technical Director James Allison to Ferrari Mercedes boss Ross Brawn has overseen a resurgence More…

Posted on August 6, 2013


Following on from criticism from Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo that Mercedes’ form over the five races since its controversial Pirelli test in May damages the credibility of the championship, we’ve done a couple of graphs analysing the car’s race tyre performance over the last three events, with the help of JA on F1 technical adviser Mark Gillan. In the first graph we compare Lewis Hamilton’s lap times with those of Sebastian Vettel in the Red Bull and Kimi Raikkonen in the Lotus. The vertical axis is the lap time, (faster lap times towards the bottom, slower lap times higher More…

Posted on August 5, 2013


Caterham F1 Team Principal Cyril Abiteboul says that during a season of changeable fortunes, his outfit are already ahead of their 2014 targets and are setting their sites on an aggressive approach to catch the midfield. Speaking as part of Caterham’s Half-Term Report, the Frenchman discussed their season thus far and how their plans for the coming years are an exciting prospect. He believes that changes in both the aerodynamic and engine specifications taking place next year has encouraged a strong focus on taking an advantage in to the new-era of Formula One. “In parallel with the improvements we’re making More…

Posted on August 5, 2013


Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo believes that Mercedes’ form since the test it conducted with Pirelli in Barcelona in May damages the credibility of the championship. Since the test, Mercedes has won three of five Grands Prix and moved ahead of Ferrari into second place in the Constructors’ Championship. Mercedes has 208 points and Ferrari 194, with Red Bull on top with 277pts. In a wide-ranging interview in Corriere della Sera, which was reproduced on the Ferrari.com site, Montezemolo welcomed the return of testing next season and made comparison with the situation we had this season where its restriction led More…

Posted on August 5, 2013


Bernie Ecclestone’s legal problems relating to the sale of F1 are mounting up after it was revealed that a court in London has demanded that the F1 Group hand over a raft of documents relating to the 2006 sale of F1′s commercial rights-holding business to current owners CVC. According to the Financial Times, among the papers the court wants to see are due diligence reports on F1 at the time of the sale and the refinancing, CVC’s loan application to Royal Bank of Scotland, documents relating to new revenue streams at the time of the sale including the then forthcoming More…

Posted on August 2, 2013


Mercedes has just released a You Tube video which will give fans an idea of what the new generation 2014 small capacity hybrid turbo engines will sound. The recording was done with one of the development units at Mercedes’ High Performance Engines division at Brixworth, near Silverstone. The new powertrains are due to be introduced next season and some concern has been expressed by fans as well as by stakeholders like Bernie Ecclestone about the sound. Mercedes has been the most proactive engine builder so far in releasing details and content about the 2012 engines. They hosted a media event More…

Posted on August 2, 2013


As F1 heads into its summer break there are quite a few question marks hanging over the calendar for next year – especially races in two vital emerging markets – after F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone said that the Indian Grand Prix would “probably not” happen next season, while the Russian Automobile Federation has missed the deadline to formally lodge the race at the new Sochi venue on the calendar. Sochi has been given a provisional date of October 19, but a dispute between the RAF and the promoter in Sochi has led to the missed deadline. According to a statement More…

Posted on August 1, 2013


The drive-through penalty handed to Romain Grosjean for been judged to have left the track in completing his overtake of Felipe Massa has become quite a talking point among JA on F1 readers following the Hungarian Grand Prix. Lotus driver Grosjean, who was also given a 20-second post-race penalty for clashing with McLaren’s Jenson Button, went on to finish sixth having looked like he was in contention for at least a podium earlier in the race. The vast majority of those commenting on the incident have been sympathetic to Grosjean, suggesting he didn’t deserve the penalty. Phil said: “Super impressed More…



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