Posted on October 31, 2013


[Updated] The F1 driver market is starting to kick into gear for next season with the logjam over who will drive for Lotus appearing close to clearing. Although Pastor Maldonado remains tight lipped, it seems that he has signed or is about to sign for Lotus for next year, Venezuelan oil backer PDVSA having reached an agreement with Williams over severance. “At the moment I don’t have any confirmation. We will see later. I hope to have a clearer idea before the end of the season,” said Maldonado in Abu Dhabi this afternoon. “There is a lot of speculation. It’s More…

Posted on October 30, 2013


We’ve had a great response to our post about the mythical “Perfect Lap” in F1 and some fascinating thoughts and observations made. Several readers have sent in examples of laps that they consider to be perfect, including Ayrton Senna at Monaco in 1988, Juan Montoya at Spa in 2001, Michael Schumacher at Suzuka in 2006, Fernando Alonso at Monza 2006. Meanwhile from this season, it’s been suggested that Sebastian Vettel’s pole lap in Malaysia on intermediate tyres was close to perfect. What do you think? What was the best lap you’ve seen? Please send in your suggestions of laps that More…

Posted on October 30, 2013


This weekend’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix has many points of interest, despite the 2013 drivers’ and constructors’ championships already having been decided. There is a tight battle for second, third and fourth places in the constructors’ race between Mercedes, Ferrari and Lotus, which is worth a significant amount of money to the teams involved. Force India and Sauber are also fighting for sixth position. Race Strategy has always been crucial to the outcome of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. Last year’s race was a fascinating one from a strategy point of view as Sebastian Vettel had to start from the More…

Posted on October 29, 2013


I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the concept of a “Perfect lap” – the lap in which the driver takes the absolute maximum from the car and leaves no time on the table, not even a hundredth of a second. F1 is all about the quest for perfection. At the highest level of driving there is a purity to it; the combination of man and machine, looking to achieve the ultimate around a ribbon of tarmac that makes up the circuit. So is it possible to do a perfect lap? And do the simulation tools, which all teams have More…

Posted on October 29, 2013

The Strategy Report

The Indian Grand Prix was all set up to be a fascinating strategy battle with four of the top ten cars starting the race on the more durable medium compound tyres and six on the soft compound, which was short-lived. Everywhere there were different tactical approaches and possibilities, although some yielded good results, others didn’t work out. Sadly incidents at the start meant that the fastest two of the outliers, Mark Webber and Fernando Alonso were not able to show what they might have done. A strong result for Sergio Perez, however, made the strategy look worthwhile and one wonders More…

Posted on October 29, 2013


Ross Brawn is set to step down as team principal of the Mercedes F1 team at the end of the season, according to the BBC Sport Website and Eddie Jordan. Mercedes has refused to comment and a team spokesman told this website, “The team is making no comment. When we have something to announce we will do so.” However Jordan’s sources have been pretty solid on Mercedes news for the past 14 months, due to long standing connections with one of the most senior figures in the organisation. He predicted the hiring of Lewis Hamilton last year and has run More…

Posted on October 28, 2013


Mexican driver Sergio Perez says he is confident he will remain with McLaren for a second season in 2014, following an impressive drive to fifth in the Indian Grand Prix. The 23-year-old ran deep into the race on the medium tyres and then performed a brilliant pass on Lewis Hamilton and Kimi Raikkonen in the same move to secure fifth at the Buddh International Circuit – his best result of the season. McLaren have yet to officially announce their line-up for next year, McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh has said he expects to field the same two drivers next year More…

Posted on October 28, 2013


[Updated] Tomorrow in London, F1′s commercial boss Bernie Ecclestone begins the defence of a US$170m legal action against him and three other defendants, over the sale of F1 by Bayern LB to CVC in 2005 and the payments around the time of the sale, made by Ecclestone to disgraced Bayern LB employee Gerhard Gribkowsky. Ecclestone has acknowledged making the payments, but denies they were bribes. He says that the payments were in response to Gribkowsky blackmailing him over the conduct of the Bambino Trust. The German threatened to claim to UK Tax Authorities that Ecclestone controlled the trust which would More…

Posted on October 28, 2013


Red Bull’s newly crowned four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel has no big weaknesses and is developing into the perfect driver, according to Red Bull chief technical officer Adrian Newey. The 26-year-old became the youngest driver to win four world championship titles when he triumphed in Sunday’s Indian Grand Prix – his eighth win in 10 races and 10th of the season. Vettel, who joined Red Bull in 2009 after being promoted from the team’s junior outfit Toro Rosso, and has since gone on to win the title in four of the next five years to join the likes of Juan More…

Posted on October 27, 2013


Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel clinched his fourth world championship with his sixth consecutive victory of the season in Indian Grand Prix. Mercedes’ Nico Rosberg took only his third podium of the season with a confident drive to second with Lotus’ Romain Grosjean producing a sensational drive through the field to take third having started 17th. Felipe Massa led the race at one point before finishing fourth for Ferrari while Sergio Perez secured his best result of the season with fifth in the McLaren. And Force India’s Adrian Sutil did a long first stint to bring him into the points and More…

Posted on October 27, 2013


He certainly divides opinion among fans around the world, but Sebastian Vettel has been heaped with praise from the Formula One community following his fourth consecutive title at the Indian Grand Prix. After a dominant drive to his tenth win of 2013, the young German claimed to be ‘speechless’ at the reality of joining Fangio, Prost and Schumacher as a quadruple Champion. However, he went on to speak candidly about a tough season that has seen his frequent podium finishes ruined by a chorus of boos from fans around the world. “I want to say a big thank you to More…

Posted on October 27, 2013


Fangio, Prost, Schumacher, and now Sebastian Vettel. The Red Bull driver has become only the fourth four-time Formula One World Champion with an untouchable drive to victory in the Indian Grand Prix, ahead of Nico Rosberg and Romain Grosjean, who put in one of the drives of the season to go from 17th to 3rd in the Lotus. It was fitting that Vettel should clinch it with a win. It is the 36th victory of the German’s career – his sixth in succession, a new record – taking his tally of wins in 2013 to ten. It is the 36th More…

Posted on October 26, 2013


Sebastian Vettel has put himself in the box-seat for a fourth consecutive World Championship at the age of 26, with a dominant display in qualifying for the Indian Grand Prix, ahead of Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton. It is the 43rd pole of the German’s career, his third in a row in India, and the seventh of 2013. Such is Red Bull’s dominance at this moment that Vettel’s pole time was 7/10ths of a second faster than Rosberg could manage. Both Mercedes went with the soft tyre because they felt from the practice runs that they had better race pace More…

Posted on October 26, 2013


The Marussia F1 team has been waiting a long time, but this weekend in India it was announced that they have finally signed a bilateral commercial agreement with Bernie Ecclestone which brings them into line with the other ten teams in F1. The deal means that all the teams in F1 are now tied in until 2020, while a bilateral agreement is also in place between Ecclestone’s company and the FIA. Bearing in mind that the leading teams like Ferrari, McLaren and Red Bull signed commercial agreements with Ecclestone in March 2012, it has taken a long time for Marussia More…

Posted on October 25, 2013


Alain Prost and former GP2 Championship winning squad DAMS have joined forces to set up a Formula E team, e.dams, to compete in the series when the inaugural season gets underway in September 2014. The four-time World Champion together with DAMS owner, Jean-Paul Driot, launched the team on the Champs-Elysées in Paris, becoming the fifth team to join the Formula E grid for the first race in Beijing. It is a move of relative ease for DAMS, who have the technical and logistical capability to run a competitive team. The Le Mans based squad took Romain Grosjean to his 2011 More…

Posted on October 25, 2013


Sebastian Vettel and Red Bull showed no signs of loosening their grip on the 2013 World Championship as they completed another dominant Friday ahead of this weekend’s Indian Grand Prix. A KERS issue for Vettel in the opening stages of FP2 was quickly remedied, allowing him to repeat his pace in this morning’s session and complete a clean sweep in Friday practice. Mark Webber kept the forthcoming four-time Champion honest as he ended both sessions in second place on a weekend that is set to bring the Red Bull team much joy. But once again Romain Grosjean and Lewis Hamilton More…

Posted on October 24, 2013


The FIA ethics committee has dismissed presidential candidate David Ward’s complaint about the way current president Jean Todt has gone about his campaign for re-election to a second term. Ward was upset by letters of support gathered early by Todt and his team and suggested that the Frenchman had used a trip on FIA business to garner support for the election. He lodged the complaint last month, with the hearing taking place in Paris last Friday. But the committee said it “did not see any evidence of any kind supporting the allegation that people were coerced into signing the Letters More…

Posted on October 24, 2013


Brazilian Felipe Massa has said he is in talks with Williams – among other teams – with regards a race seat for next season. The 32-year-old is in need of a drive after Ferrari chose to replace him with Finn Kimi Raikkonen, who is re-joining the Italian team alongside Fernando Alonso. “I’m talking with a few teams, including Williams,” said Massa. “I will not go to a small team. I will go to the team that has possibilities to build a good car. Massa, who narrowly missed out on the 2008 world title to Lewis Hamilton, added: “I’m not a More…

Posted on October 24, 2013


India’s Supreme Court has agreed to hear a petition on Friday which seeks the cancellation of this weekend’s Indian Grand Prix over a tax dispute. Campaigner Amit Kumar has accused the race’s promoters Jaypee Sports International (JPSI) of not paying all their taxes for the 2012 race. Should the race get cancelled, Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel would automatically become world champion for the fourth successive year as he currently holds a lead of 90 points over nearest rival Fernando Alonso and there would only be 75 available in the three remaining races. However, Indian motorsports chief Vicky Chandhok said he More…

Posted on October 24, 2013


India’s search for a driver to break into Formula 1 in a meaningful way has received a boost after Akhil Rabindra, 17, beat rivals from across Asia-Pacific to top his regional qualifier and progress to the FIA Institute’s 2013/14 Young Driver Excellence Academy. The 17-year-old will now take part in the academy’s fully-funded training programme, which starts in December. It aims to help drivers develop their motorsport careers while increasing safety skills. Ahead of this weekend’s Indian Grand Prix, Rabindra impressed in three days of tests and evaluations at the Sydney Motorsport Park against drivers from a number of major More…

Posted on October 24, 2013


The Wings For Life charity, which is part-founded by Red Bull owner Dietrich Mateschitz, is to run a 2014 campaign for Formula One fans to compete with one another in raising money for research in to spinal cord injury. The challenge is aimed at groups or individuals who have a passion for the sport and are able to raise funds in return for some exclusive prizes, including a tour of Red Bull’s Milton Keynes factory and signed team memorabilia. In November 2014, the final winner will be chosen and will be handed the opportunity to drive the Red Bull simulator More…

Posted on October 23, 2013


Russian driver Danill Kvyat will replace Daniel Ricciardo at Toro Rosso next season, alongside Jean-Eric Vergne after beating off competition from Felix da Costa and Carlos Sainz Jr – but who is the 19-year-old and what is his level of experience in motorsport? Well Kvyat has secured two wins in the last four races of the GP3 Championship, a support series to Formula 1, to trail championship leader Facu Regalia by just seven points heading into the doubleheader decider in Abu Dhabi next month. If the 19-year-old goes on to win the title, in his debut season, he would follow More…

Posted on October 23, 2013


Team principal Stefano Domenicali says Ferrari considered signing Polish driver Robert Kubica but now doubts whether the 28 year old will be able to return to Formula 1 following injuries sustained in a rally crash. Kubica was set to drive for Renault in 2011 when he suffered injuries in a rallying accident. He has since returned to driving, competing in the World Rally Championship (WRC). The Pole leads the WRC2 standings, the second tier in the WRC, and will take part in Wales Rally GB next month. But despite saying earlier this year that he is keen for a return More…

Posted on October 22, 2013


Pre-event strategy content: Buddh International Circuit, October 25-27 Although the new Buddh International Circuit, just outside Delhi has proved popular with drivers in its two seasons on the calendar, the event will not take place next year and its place on the calendar from 2015 onwards is in doubt for financial and administrative reasons. This is a shame, as it is a great circuit for F1 cars with a challenging mixture of fast corners and slower technical corners, which really shows a good car from a bad one. Strategy wise last year was a bit flat as the tyre choice More…

Posted on October 21, 2013


Daniil Kvyat has beaten off strong opposition from Felix da Costa and Carlos Sainz Jr to land the second Toro Rosso seat for next season, replacing Daniel Ricciardo. The news that the 19 year old has a confirmed seat means that next year there will be at least one Russian on the grid, when F1 arrives in Sochi for the inaugural Russian Grand Prix. He becomes the second Russian driver to make it to F1, after Vitaly Petrov who raced in 57 Grands Prix for Renault, Lotus and Caterham. The choice is interesting; after Mark Webber announced his retirement from More…

Posted on October 21, 2013


Sauber F1 Team has been beavering away on a series of videos for its You Tube channel which allow fans to see inside an F1 car – literally! They have cut an F1 car in half and with various technical staff and drivers to explain, they show some key aspects of the car. Nico Hulkenberg shows in cross section how his seat fits, for example, while even fine details like timing transponders are illustrated. Users can click on areas of the car they wish to learn about and a fresh You Tube window plays a video on it. All the More…

Posted on October 21, 2013


The window for candidates to enter the race for the FIA presidency opens in four days time (October 25) and this weekend there were a couple of interesting developments. Incumbent Jean Todt’s campaign has been boosted by the vote of support of Middle East powerbroker Mohammed Bin Sulayem, who had weighed up standing against the Frenchman, but has now decided to pull back. Bin Sulayem is President of the Automobile and Touring Club of the United Arab Emirates. In June this year, Todt appointed him chairman of the FIA’s new Motor Sport Development Task Force, which is tasked with establishing More…

Posted on October 21, 2013


Although the news that Red Bull’s leading aerodynamicist Peter Prodromou and his right hand man are to leave the championship winning team came as a surprise, further investigation has revealed that the move had been rumoured for a long time on the engineering grapevine. Prodromou is one of the closest working associates of the design maestro Adrian Newey. It was reported as news during the Japanese GP race weekend and since then the story has evolved as a clearly irked Red Bull team principal Christian Horner has made it clear that Prodromou has a contract until 2015 and he will More…

Posted on October 20, 2013


There has been significant interest among F1 fans around the world regarding the way Red Bull managed its two drivers in the Japanese Grand Prix. Mark Webber was ahead of Sebastian Vettel, then was switched onto a three-stop strategy and ended up finishing behind him. Red Bull got a 1-2 finish. With the help of JA on F1 technical adviser Mark Gillan, who headed Williams’ track operations last year, we’ve got a fuel corrected graph, which expresses the lap times of the three leading drivers during the race. There are several conclusions we can draw from this and some useful More…

Posted on October 19, 2013


On Monday the F1 Strategy Group will meet for the first time and a new era of F1 rule making will begin, which excludes small and medium sized teams. They fear it could lead ultimately to the sport polarising into a few top “works” teams with the rest running customer cars. The F1 Strategy Group is a new body which has been born out of the bilateral agreement between the FIA and the commercial rights holders CVC and Bernie Ecclestone, signed last month. Where previously, the teams would all meet to have an input into new ideas and directions for More…

Posted on October 18, 2013


Today 10 lucky JA on F1 readers got the chance to go around the Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 team headquarters in Brackley and saw where the cars are made. In the latest initiative aimed at bringing the fans closer to the sport, we were able to show them the “behind the scenes” of how a top F1 team operates and they were able to get a sense of what 2014 holds in store. The group also got a flavour of the process of making an F1 car, from the drawing office, to the fabrication, composites and testing processes through to More…

Posted on October 17, 2013


Mercedes engine boss Andy Cowell says the new 1.6 litre turbo engines, which will be introduced next year, will not be the dominant factor – however he does expect there to be more of a difference between rival power units compared to this year. Mercedes, Ferrari and Renault will supply units to teams next year, with Cosworth leaving the sport at the end of 2013. The new units, which will have more relevance to road cars, will replace the current V8s. “I think we could see more of difference across the power units next year,” Cowell told the October edition More…

Posted on October 15, 2013

The Strategy Report

The Japanese Grand Prix was different from recent races in so far as Sebastian Vettel did not drive away from pole position and control the race. He had to come through from third in the opening stint and needed race strategy to take the victory, in the face of a particularly strong performance by Lotus’ Romain Grosjean. Red Bull split the strategies, putting Mark Webber on three stops and leaving Sebastian Vettel on two. Here’s our in depth analysis of why they did that and whether Webber or Grosjean could have won, looking at several defining moments in the race. More…

Posted on October 15, 2013


JA on F1 together with our partner UBS has been running a competition this past week, offering 10 lucky readers the chance to go behind the scenes at the MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS Formula One Team headquarters in Brackley, near Silverstone, to see how the team builds the cars and to ask questions. The winners will be accompanied by our own James Allen to give insights into any areas of interest you may have in current F1, including race strategy, driver moves and more. The tour takes place on Friday October 18th, starting at 10-30am. We’ve had a fantastic response, with More…

Posted on October 14, 2013


Williams driver Valtteri Bottas has criticised team-mate Pastor Maldonado after the two drivers narrowly avoided a collision at the final chicane on the last lap of the Japanese Grand Prix. Maldonado, 28, dived down the inside of Bottas at the chicane, forcing the Finn to take avoiding action and cut the chicane. Maldonado crossed the line 16th, one place ahead of Bottas, who was struggling with high tyre degradation at the time. Bottas, 24, believes they would have crashed if he had attempted to take the corner. The Finn said: “There was no space on the track. It was not More…

Posted on October 14, 2013


Ferrari team principal Stefano Domenicali says Felipe Massa will not be reprimanded by the team after he ignored team orders during the Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka. On lap eight, Massa, 32, was running ahead of Alonso when the Brazilian’s race engineer Rob Smedley gave him the instruction: “Multi-function strategy A. Multi-function strategy A now please,” over team radio. Massa, who is racing for his career as he has yet to secure a seat on the grid next year, chose not to move over, however the Brazilian was later overtaken by the Spaniard on lap 20 in a legitimate pass More…

Posted on October 14, 2013


Red Bull’s Mark Webber feels the decision to switch to a three-stop strategy in Sunday’s Japanese Grand Prix was a mistake. The Australian, who is leaving the sport at the end of the year to race for Porsche in sportscars, was running second behind the Lotus of Romain Grosjean, after a slow getaway from pole, when the call was made. As a result, the 37-year-old had to do one more stop than Grosjean and race winner Sebastian Vettel – which surprised the Australian. Webber said: “After that first stop the guys said ‘We’re still on two [stops] – no problem, More…

Posted on October 14, 2013


Nico Hulkenberg is the driver in demand at the moment after a series of outstanding performances at the wheel of the Sauber. The 26 year old German is firmly believed to have signed a contract to move away from Sauber next year, but interestingly, there are conflicting reports about where he is headed. Several pundits, including BBC’s Eddie Jordan, believe he is going back for Force India, for whom he raced in 2012, while Gazzetta dello Sport in Italy has announced that he has signed for Lotus, the official announcement due imminently. Hulkenberg, now managed by Werner Heinz, who managed More…

Posted on October 13, 2013


Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel edged closer to his fourth successive world title with his fifth successive victory of the season in the Japanese Grand Prix. The German’s team-mate Mark Webber produced a late fightback to claim second with Lotus driver Romain Grosjean, who led for most of the race, a strong third. Nico Hulkenberg produced another brilliant drive in the Sauber to finish sixth, one place ahead of team-mate Esteban Gutierrez who scored his first points in F1. But who was your Driver of the Day? Sebastian Vettel Fought back from a bad start to take his ninth win of More…

Posted on October 13, 2013


Sebastian Vettel won the Japanese Grand Prix, after a race long challenge from Lotus’ Romain Grosjean, who led for most of the race. Pole sitter Mark Webber passed Grosjean for second place two laps from the end to make it a Red Bull 1-2. Fernando Alonso finished fourth, ahead of Kimi Raikkonen and Nico Hulkenberg, who put in another strong performance. It was Vettel’s fourth win in five years at Suzuka and his ninth win of 2013 and the 35th win of his career. It was also the first time he has won five consecutive races. Vettel now has a More…

Posted on October 12, 2013


Mark Webber took his first pole position at Suzuka, the 12th of his career, the first since Korea last year, beating his team mate Sebastian Vettel into second place, with Lewis Hamilton third. It ended Vettel’s run of pole positions in 2013 and his sequence in Japan – he had been looking for his fifth Suzuka pole in a row. However Vettel was told at the start of the Q3 session that he had no KERS. Red Bull’s Christian Horner estimated that KERS is worth 4/10ths of a second. The team had changed the KERS system on Vettel’s car after More…

Posted on October 12, 2013


There has been a ramping up of speculation this week about the position of Ross Brawn at Mercedes. In the gap between the Korean and Japanese Grands Prix the team principal was linked with a move to McLaren and Honda, but has denied this. In Suzuka he clarified his situation, saying that he will stay with the team as long as he is the “reference” for the team, in other words that his role has authority. Mercedes has a lot of chiefs, from Chairman Niki Lauda and CEO Toto Wolff, both of whom also have shareholdings, to Paddy Lowe, who More…

Posted on October 11, 2013


The motorsport world is in mourning for Maria de Villota, who was found dead in a hotel room in Seville. She was 33. According to the BBC, a police spokeswoman said: “We are assuming it was a natural death, but we cannot confirm anything.” De Villota rose to prominence in the last year as a campaigner for safety after she lost an eye in a testing accident with Marussia F1 team at Duxford in the summer of 2012. She became an ambassador for the FIA and appeared on the platform at the FIA Sports Conference week in Goodwood in June, More…

Posted on October 11, 2013


Champion-elect Sebastian Vettel set the pace on the first day of practice at Suzuka today, with Mercedes and Lotus well matched in pursuit and hoping to find a way to spring a surprise on him. Vettel finished ahead of team mate Mark Webber and the Mercedes of Nico Rosberg with Lotus’ Kimi Raikkonen fourth. Lewis Hamilton was not able to set a representative time as he had to back off on his qualifying simulation and ended up sixth. Webber was using a replacement chassis this weekend after the accident and fire in Korea last weekend. His replacement at Red Bull More…

Posted on October 10, 2013


This year’s Japanese Grand Prix could be the title decider, as it was in 2011. If Sebastian Vettel wins the race with Fernando Alonso ninth or lower then Vettel is champion. Vettel needs only 49 points from the remaining five races to guarantee the title; that is assuming Alonso wins all the remaining races but the Ferrari does not have the pace to do that. The Suzuka circuit has a special place in the drivers’ hearts, along with Spa Francorchamps, as it provides a great driving challenge with its high speed corners and the first sector of the lap in More…

Posted on October 10, 2013


Murray Walker, a commentator who at times was even more popular than his sport, celebrates his 90th birthday today. To mark the occasion, James Allen headed down to see his former ITV F1 colleague to share some memories and discuss what made him the special broadcaster that he was. “I don’t feel 90,” Walker told the October edition of the JA on F1 podcast. “I think if you’ve got a passion in life, and for me it’s motorsport, it something to keep you going. I feel fine and I’m looking forward to a lot more years of motorsport.” Check out More…

Posted on October 10, 2013


Kimi Raikkonen will not be accompanied by his long time engineer Mark Slade, when he makes his transfer to Ferrari next year, according to reports in Italy. Slade worked closely with Raikkonen during his McLaren years and was hired by Lotus when the Finn made his dramatic comeback last season. But in the intervening years, when Raikkonen was at Ferrari, he worked first with Michael Schumacher’s engineer Chris Dyer, with whom he won the 2007 world championship and then with Andrea Stella, who is now joined at the hip with Fernando Alonso. According to Gazzetta dello Sport today, “Ferrari has More…

Posted on October 9, 2013


Nico Hulkenberg’s standout drive at the weekend in Korea, where he finished fourth and his strong recent form have made him a candidate for a number of seats for next season. The driver market is quite fluid at the moment and there are opportunities. But we keep hearing that driver weight is an issue and a potential stumbling block for tall, heavy drivers like Hulkenberg. We flagged this up on JA on F1 several months ago, but now that the serious talking has begun, it’s front of mind. So here is an insight into why weight is suddenly such a More…

Posted on October 9, 2013


Caterham F1 owner Tony Fernandes says it is “not essential” that his team beat Marussia and finish 10th in the constructors’ championship this season. There are 11 teams but prize-money is only awarded to the top 10 teams in the constructors’ championship. Caterham beat Marussia to 10th in the final race of the season last year, but currently trail their rivals in 2013 with five races remaining. “It’s not essential,” said Fernandes in October’s edition of the JA on F1 podcast. “I don’t think I’ll be able to raise enough to cover the payment. If we don’t, we don’t, we’ll More…

Posted on October 9, 2013


FIA president Jean Todt this week set out his agenda for a second term in office, with the launch of his new website Jean Todt and Team. Todt’s challenge is to demonstrate what has been achieved in his four years at the helm of the FIA and to get the electorate, which comprises sporting and mobility clubs around the world, to consider him a safe pair of hands which is on a pathway of modernisation of the institution. Much of what has been achieved is outside the world of F1 and of the leading FIA championships. The website says, “Jean More…

Posted on October 8, 2013

The Strategy Report

The Korean Grand Prix was a slow-burner, which came alive in the final part of the race. Once again Sebastian Vettel controlled the race, but he did not dominate it as he had in Singapore. Meanwhile race strategy again played a huge part in the outcome, with Lotus’ Kimi Raikkonen again using strategy to make his way from 9th on the grid to 2nd at the flag while teams had to deal with two safety cars. The race also saw some highly unusual happenings: a fire truck on circuit, without the knowledge of Race Control and a front nose failure More…

Posted on October 7, 2013


Welcome to the JA on F1 podcast for October. This month we have two F1 legends, a team owner, the man who would be FIA president and a glimpse into the future with 2014 technology. Murray Walker needs no introduction, the legendary commentator celebrates his 90th birthday this month and, as a colleague of his for many years, I went for a frank and personal chat with the great man. Alain Prost is currently F1’s only four times world champion, but he’ll soon be joined on that number by Sebastian Vettel. His in house rivalry at McLaren with Ayrton Senna More…

Posted on October 7, 2013


One of the big stories of 2013 has been the rise of Mercedes as a force in F1 with wins and pole positions for Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton. And they are one of the favourites for 2014, when F1 moves to a new technology formula. And now JA on F1 together with our partner UBS is delighted to offer readers the chance to go behind the scenes at the MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS Formula One Team headquarters in Brackley, near Silverstone, to see how the team builds the cars and to ask questions. We are offering 10 people the chance More…

Posted on October 6, 2013


Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel closed in on his fourth successive world title with a commanding victory in the Korean Grand Prix. Lotus’ Kimi Raikkonen produced another trademark drive through the field to finish second ahead of another strong showing from team-mate Romain Grosjean. Nico Hulkenberg was mighty in the Sauber, punching above his weight to secure his best result of the season in fourth while Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton battled tyre problems to take fifth. But who was your Driver of the Day? Sebastian Vettel Won his eighth race of the season to move to the brink of his fourth world More…

Posted on October 6, 2013


Sebastian Vettel won the Korean Grand Prix from pole position, beating Kimi Raikkonen and Romain Grosjean to the flag. It was Vettel’s 34th win, his 8th of the season and the fifth win in six races. Like the same stage last year it is a strong run of form, which looks set to bring him the championship again. He now has 272 points to Fernando Alonso’s 195, while Kimi Raikkonen moved ahead of Lewis Hamilton for third in the championship. It is likely Vettel will clinch in either India or Abu Dhabi, unless he wins and Alonso doesn’t finish in More…

Posted on October 5, 2013


Fernando Alonso has got involved in a spat with Pirelli over the tyres in use this weekend in Korea. They are the same supersoft and medium compound tyres used in Singapore, but Alonso criticised them after qualifying, saying that Ferrari seemed to have a particular problem with graining on the supersofts this weekend and if he pushed them too hard in the first sector he risked not being able to complete the lap. “The tyres cannot do five kilometres. If you push them, you finish the tyres. It’s something that is not normal,” he said in the paddock after qualifying. More…

Posted on October 5, 2013


Sebastian Vettel took pole position for a Korean Grand Prix in an anticlimactic qualifying session, by two tenths of a second ahead of Lewis Hamilton. The German set the pole lap on his first run and was able to cruise back to the pits on the second run, knowing that the Mercedes cars had not beaten him. It was the 42nd pole position of his career, his 6th of the season and the third race in a row. The threat from the Mercedes was there, but Vettel had it all under control with a lap which got the maximum out More…

Posted on October 4, 2013


Red Bull’s Adrian Newey is the most successful design engineer in the history of Formula 1, winning over 100 races and 17 drivers’ and constructors’ championships. But he was kicked out of school and has no A level qualifications. The story of how he turned his life around from wild teenager to the benchmark designer in the world’s most technically advanced sport is compelling. His career forms the spine of modern F1, along with his nemesis Ross Brawn and it features triumph and tragedy. He has worked with many of the greats and is able to give context to Sebastian More…

Posted on October 4, 2013


Lewis Hamilton set the fastest time, taking the fight to Sebastian Vettel and Red Bull on the opening day of the Korean Grand Prix weekend, with the top four cars from Mercedes and Red Bull separated by 0.171s. It was the first race weekend for six events where Vettel has not been the pace setter in FP2 and offers some encouragement after Vettel’s domination of the recent Singapore Grand Prix. Hamilton also set the pace in FP1, whose main talking point was a heavy accident for Kimi Raikkonen in the Lotus. The Finn is carrying a back injury into the More…

Posted on October 3, 2013


Red Bull’s team principal Christian Horner has dismissed suggestions his team are running a form of traction control – which is banned – on their car. Former F1 team principal Giancarlo Minardi suggested Red Bull were using the system – which stops the rear wheels spinning and has been banned since 2009 – after watching the action trackside at the Singapore Grand Prix. At one stage in the race, Vettel was lapping an incredible two seconds quicker than anyone else as he clinched his sixth victory of the season on the Marina Bay Street Circuit. Minardi said Red Bull’s Renault More…

Posted on October 3, 2013


Sauber team principal Monisha Kaltenborn says that Brazil’s Rubens Barrichello – Formula 1’s most experienced driver – is in contention for a seat at the Swiss team next season. Barrichello, who has started a record 322 races, finished as championship runner up to then Ferrari team-mate Michael Schumacher in 2002 and 2004. He left the sport at the end of the 2011 season, with 11 wins and 14 pole positions to his name, after Williams decided not to retain him. The 41-year-old has since raced in American single-seater series IndyCar and Brazilian stock cars as well as attending several Formula More…

Posted on October 3, 2013


Lotus driver Kimi Raikkonen says he does not believe his back problem will stop him competing in this weekend’s Korean Grand Prix. The Finn needed a pain-killing injection before qualifying last time out in Singapore after a flare up of his long-standing back problem caused discomfort in final practice. It is understood that the back issue dates back to his Formula 1 rookie year in 2001 with Sauber when he had a testing accident at Magny Cours. Reserve river Davide Valsecchi was called up as a precaution in Singapore, but Raikkonen, 33, went on to qualify 13th and then finish More…

Posted on October 3, 2013


Marussia have retained Jules Bianchi for a second season after the Frenchman delivered a string of impressive performances in his debut year. The 24-year-old joined the team only a few weeks ahead of the new season, as a replacement for Luiz Razia, and as a result only had two days of pre-season testing. But he has consistently outperformed team-mate Max Chilton – who is still in negotiations with the team about his seat next year. Bianchi, who is a member of the Ferrari Driver Academy, had been linked with a number of teams but decided to stay put with Marussia, More…

Posted on October 2, 2013


The Korean Grand Prix is working to establish itself in the F1 calendar and win a place in the hearts of the participants, but it is an uphill struggle. However the circuit does tend to provide quite a good race and there are important decisions to be made on car set up and strategy which can affect the outcome. This year with a big step between tyre compounds, it should make the race more interesting, as Singapore was. With Sebastian Vettel 60 points clear of Fernando Alonso in the championship and with a car which is now fully optimised, the More…

Posted on October 2, 2013


Presidential candidate David Ward has written to FIA Clubs around the world, who will vote to elect a president in December, suggesting that the FIA’s election rules could prevent any candidate from being eligible to challenge the incumbent Jean Todt. Ward has been upset by letters of support already gathered by Todt and his team and has already challenged him for using a trip on FIA business to garner support for the election. His latest letter, designed to embarrass Todt, claims that because Todt has already got letters of support from 11 of 12 North American clubs in a meeting More…



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