Posted on December 31, 2013


There has been overwhelming support for seven-time world champion Michael Schumacher from key figures around the world as the German remains in a “critical” condition following a ski accident in France. On Tuesday morning, doctors at the CHU hospital in Grenoble said that following a second operation, scans show there has been a “slight improvement” in the 44-year-old’s condition. Former US president Bill Clinton tweeted his support: “Thinking today of Michael Schumacher and grateful for all he’s done w/‪@clintonfdn and for others. My prayers are with him and his family.” Fellow German and ex-footballer Didi Hamann: “Thoughts with Michael Schumacher More…

Posted on December 31, 2013


Doctors tending to Michael Schumacher at the CHU hospital in Grenoble, France have said that they carried out a second operation on the German last night following a scan which had revealed that there has been a “slight improvement” in his condition. However doctors stressed that he remains in a “critical” condition. At around 10pm last night the operation was carried out, after his family gave their consent, and it lasted around two hours. “Another brain scan was carried out and we could see a slight improvement and allowed us to tell the family that we would be able to More…

Posted on December 30, 2013


“There are those who keep out of mischief, and then there are the adventurers,” the five times world champion Juan Manuel Fangio said in the 1990s. “We racing drivers are adventurers; the more difficult something is, the greater the attraction that comes from it. “Michael Schumacher is the greatest of the adventurers.” This quote from the Maestro has always struck me as the best explanation of what drives a true racing driver, but it also sums up the character of Schumacher. He rarely took the easier path. Whether it be motorcycle racing, in which he suffered a bad accident in More…

Posted on December 29, 2013


It has now become clear how severe the situation is for seven times world champion Michael Schumacher, following his ski accident this morning. According to a statement this evening from the hospital in Grenoble where he is being treated, the German is in a “critical” condition, in an induced coma following emergency surgery to reduce swelling in the brain. The next 48 hours are critical, according to neurological experts, to observe whether the swelling continues or not. After that neurological tests can be carried out to assess what damage the brain has sustained. Schumacher was skiing off piste in one More…

Posted on December 29, 2013


[Updated] Michael Schumacher is in hospital in Grenoble undergoing tests this evening, following a skiing accident in Meribel this morning. There have been conflicting reports of his condition, with initial reports that it was serious, then comments from the director of the resort and indications from Mercedes that it was not as serious as first reported by French media. However, according to sources in Italy and France, close to this site, “the injury is serious, but not life threatening.” He was skiing off piste with friends, when he crashed, hitting his head on a rock. He was wearing a helmet More…

Posted on December 29, 2013


One announcement that didn’t get much traction over the Christmas period, but which is significant nevertheless, was Richard Cregan’s move from Abu Dhabi to Russia, to oversee delivery of the new Russian GP at Sochi. The inaugural Russian race is scheduled for October, on a repurposed track set on the site of the Winter Olympics which take place in a few weeks from now. The event has had a long gestation, backed by Russian president Vladimir Putin, and has not been without its difficulties. It’s a young team at Sochi, full of enthusiasm, but there have been mountains to climb More…

Posted on December 27, 2013


We have been running our annual end of year opportunity for readers to tell us who were their top five drivers of the season and this year we had a great response with just under 600 entries. As a fun sideline prize, the first five entries which match my selection, will receive a free signed copy of our review book of the season; James Allen on F1 2013: Winning at All costs, which is on sale now in our Online Shop. The number one driver was easy to choose this year, but the next four are tricky as few drivers More…

Posted on December 25, 2013


A very Happy Christmas to everyone who celebrates it and to those who do not; compliments of the season. As a bonus, after a really fantastic year on JA on F1, we’ve done a special fans’ eye podcast featuring some JA on F1 readers giving us their views on the season just gone and looking at F1′s pathway ahead with new rules for 2014. We discuss Sebastian Vettel, Fernando Alonso and others, look at which UK TV coverage they prefer and why, we talk about attitudes to the Pirelli tyres and to the 2014 hybrid turbo engines. The session was More…

Posted on December 23, 2013


The new rule for 2014 awarding double points for the final race, announced by the FIA after an F1 Commission meeting earlier this month, may be dropped before the season even starts. The idea has not attracted many supporters, with drivers, many fans and even Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo against it. Montezemolo has invited all the F1 teams to Maranello in 2014 to discuss long term strategy for the sport and this will be one of the talking points. Meanwhile the new F1 Strategy Group, featuring the leading teams, will meet in the New Year, for the first time More…

Posted on December 21, 2013


Esteban Gutierrez will get a second season as a race driver for the Sauber F1 Team after Carlos Slim’s Telmex company committed to invest in the team once again. Russian teenager Sergey Sirotkin will have to settle for the Reserve Driver role, in which he was confirmed today. Slim has been part of the Sauber set up for three seasons now, funding first Sergio Perez’ drive there and more recently Gutierrez. But there is a sense that the Mexican billionaire hasn’t committed the kind of funding he’s capable of to the sport, despite everyone looking to him to do so. More…

Posted on December 20, 2013


As Ferrari launched its 2014 turbo F1 engine in Maranello, the team’s disappointing 2013 came to a point of closure. Felipe Massa ended an eight-year stint with Ferrari, as the team chose to sign Kimi Raikkonen in his place, alongside Fernando Alonso for next year. So, as part of our series of comparisons, we’ve run the numbers on their time together. The Brazilian, who will drive for Williams next season, spent four seasons with Alonso as his team-mate and according to the statistics, Massa was comfortably outperformed by the Spaniard during that period. However, it needs to be born in More…

Posted on December 19, 2013


Mercedes have had quite a day’ first they announce the exciting news that they are to add two big names from main rivals Red Bull to their ever-growing roster of technical staff by employing Mark Ellis and Giles Wood. Then Nico Rosberg suffered a Pirelli tyre failure at 320km/h on the final day of the three day Bahrain test, ending Mercedes’ activity at the test. Rosberg was moved to Tweet about it: “Just spun at full speed 320km/h on Bahrain straight cause my tyre blew up without warning,” he wrote. “Thanks to that need to get some toilet paper now” More…

Posted on December 18, 2013


It’s that time of year again, where we need to establish the Top Five drivers of the year, in descending order, with your Driver of the Season at the top. This is the fifth year we’ve run this popular competition. And to add a bit of fun to it, all responses will be entered into a draw and the the first five entries which match my selection, which will be revealed next week, will receive a free signed copy of our review book of the season; James Allen on F1 2013: Winning at all costs, which is on sale now. More…

Posted on December 17, 2013


Pirelli will begin a three-day tyre test on Tuesday at the Bahrain International Circuit as they look to develop their 2014-specification tyres. The F1 Commission granted the Italian manufacturer the session on safety grounds ahead of next season. All 11 teams were invited to take part but only four teams accepted the invitation – Red Bull, Ferrari, Mercedes and Toro Rosso. They will all run 2013-spec cars to a programme decided by Pirelli. World champions Red Bull have interestingly decided to run reserve driver Sebastien Buemi, rather than Daniel Ricciardo, who joins the team from Toro Rosso to partner Sebastian More…

Posted on December 17, 2013


Sauber last week announced that Adrian Sutil will join the team next season but they did not say who would partner the German. Esteban Gutierrez will be hoping for a second chance, but much will depend on whether Sergey Sirotkin’s money and superlicence come through. Did Gutierrez do enough this season to keep his seat? As part of our series of analysis of the head-to-head records of team pairings, here’s the analysis of the Mexican’s season alongside Nico Hulkenberg at the Swiss team. It was a tough start to the year for Sauber but after the summer break, they unlocked More…

Posted on December 16, 2013


Mark Webber’s decision to quit Formula 1 at the end of this season brought to an end a seven-year association with Red Bull. The Australian partnered Sebastian Vettel for his final five seasons, during which Vettel won the title four times and finished second once. During the same period, Webber managed three third place finishes in the standings, plus a fourth and sixth. But how close was Webber to his more decorated team-mate? Overall, Vettel had the edge in qualifying, outperforming Webber 77 times to 22. The German also had the more impressive pole record, with 44 to the Australian’s More…

Posted on December 15, 2013


Ferrari held its traditional pre-Christmas gathering at Maranello for the employees of the company and its president Luca di Montezemolo presented outgoing driver Felipe Massa with a 2008 engine, which almost carried him to the world championship that year. He thanked the team for all its hard work, but laced it with a warning, that the failure to develop the car after a strong start to the season, must not happen again, it was not, he said, “The sort of season we would have wished for, especially after a positive start, that we all hoped would continue. In part, that More…

Posted on December 15, 2013


Continuing our series of analysis of the head-to-head records of team mate pairings, here’s the analysis of Jules Bianchi and Max Chilton’s seasons at Marussia. The Anglo-Russian team fielded an all-new line up in 2013, dispatching with Timo Glock and Charles Pic and bringing in rookies Chilton and Bianchi. The team’s goal was to beat rivals Caterham and finish 10th in the constructors’ championship, after agonisingly losing the position at the final race of last season, and they achieved it this year courtesy of Bianchi’s 13th place in Malaysia. Bianchi was impressive all season and looked to have the measure More…

Posted on December 14, 2013


With the signing of Adrian Sutil at Sauber following on from Sergio Perez at Force India, the expected pieces of the middle order driver market have been falling into place. There remains the question of who will partner Sutil next season, with Esteban Gutierrez hoping for a second chance, but much will depend on whether Sergey Sirotkin’s money and superlicence are forthcoming. Sutil had been building relationships with Sauber for some time, visiting the factory in Switzerland and his girlfriend could be seen in the paddock in the final races of the season hanging out with Sauber team boss Monisha More…

Posted on December 14, 2013


The FIA has introduced a penalty points system and pole position trophy for Formula 1 in 2014. If drivers accrue 12 points during a year, they will be handed a one-race ban. The points will then be reset. “Penalty points will remain on a driver’s Superlicence for a period of 12 months after which they will be respectively removed on the 12-month anniversary of their imposition,” said the FIA. Motorsport’s governing body also announced a pole position trophy that will be awarded to the driver who scores the most P1 grid slots during the season. Four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel More…

Posted on December 13, 2013


Christmas is fast approaching and if you want something rather unusual to play with, we have 5 special edition Lego boxes which each contain six Lego Ferrari cars, courtesy of our friends at Shell. And once you’ve made them you can take part in a series of driving challenges with them to test your skills and creativity. The cars have a motor function when you drag them backwards and let them go. Make a whacky course or a jump for them to drive down, video it on your smartphone and you could win a prize. The driving challenges can be More…

Posted on December 12, 2013


Sergio Perez’s Formula One future has been secured today after being announced as Nico Hulkenberg’s team mate at Force India, at an unveiling in London’s Mexican Consul. This confirms that both Adrian Sutil and Paul Di Resta will need to look elsewhere for a 2014 seat. But for Perez, whose future had been thrown in to the air following his surprise departure from McLaren, he had options with Force India, Sauber and even a switch to Indycar as a possibility for future plans. However, he will now join Force India to create a strong driver line-up. Force India will go More…

Posted on December 11, 2013


World champion Sebastian Vettel has described the plans to award double points for the final race of the season from 2014 as “absurd”. Following a meeting of the F1 strategy group and the Formula 1 commission in Paris on Monday, the FIA announced a host of rule changes, including the regulation which will see the winner of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix score 50 points, rather than 25. It is intended to mean that it’s mathematically more difficult for the title to be decided several races before the end of the season. But Vettel, 26, told German newspaper Sport Bild: More…

Posted on December 10, 2013


We are delighted to launch the new book “JA on F1 2013 – Winning at all costs”, which is published today. The book is a large format paperback, 240 pages, with stunning color images from Darren Heath and a Foreword from David Coulthard. The book priced at £10.99. All books ordered through this site are signed by me. I’ve been in the offices of our e-commerce partners Grand Prix Legends, signing the books and they look great. But it is a limited edition collectable and many have already been pre-ordered so if you fancy one for your Christmas stocking you’d More…

Posted on December 10, 2013


A helmet used by Sebastian Vettel to win his home Grand Prix this year has broken the record for the largest sum paid for an F1 driver’s helmet, at £72,100. The helmet went under the hammer at a Bonhams’ auction in aid of Wings for Life, the spinal injury charity which is linked to Red Bull. Vettel has a new helmet design for more or less every race – so each one is unique – which is one of the aspects that adds value on the rare occasion one of them comes up for sale. Nevertheless, it is quite surprising More…

Posted on December 10, 2013


The rule changes announced today by the FIA, following meetings of the new F1 Strategy Group and the F1 commission, range from the pragmatic to pure Hollywood. At the pragmatic end of the scale, the cost cap is long overdue and vital to maintain the medium sized and smaller teams, which are close to the brink financially. At the Hollywood end, the idea of awarding double points for the last race is breathtaking at first glance, so odd does it seem and so out of keeping with F1′s history. It will add another 100 points to the mix, meaning another More…

Posted on December 9, 2013


In an effort to prolong the Championship race of a Formula One season, the F1 Strategy Group and the Formula One Commission have announced that double points will be awarded at the final race of the season, from 2014 onwards. The decision, which is just one of a raft of changes decided unanimously in Paris today is aimed at forcing teams and drivers to maintain their progression and performance in to the final lap of the season. This therefore means that 50 points will be available for victory at next year’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, and 86 for a on-two, More…

Posted on December 9, 2013


In the next of our series of analysis of the head-to-head records of team mate pairings, we look at Jenson Button and Sergio Perez’s season together at McLaren. With Lewis Hamilton leaving for Mercedes, Button had a new team mate for 2013 in the form of Perez. The Mexican joined the Woking-Based outfit after a strong season for Sauber where he scored three podiums and came close to winning the 2012 Malaysian Grand Prix. It proved to be a difficult year for McLaren, who failed to score a single podium all season for the first time since 1980. The team More…

Posted on December 8, 2013


After missing out on the vacant seat at Toro Rosso, Antonio Felix Da Costa has been named as Red Bull’s test and reserve driver for 2014, alongside Sebastian Buemi. The Portugese Red Bull Junior driver was overlooked for the seat made vacant by Daniel Ricciardo’s move to Red Bull, with Russian GP3 Champion Danii Kyvat being favoured by Helmut Marko. Red Bull clearly still regard Da Costa very highly as he sat in as reserve driver during the 2013 season at races that clashed with Buemi’s World Endurance Championship events, and has also completed two Young Driver tests for the More…

Posted on December 7, 2013


Sebastian Vettel collected his fourth world champions’ trophy last night at the FIA prizegiving gala in Paris, but one of the more heartwarming stories was Robert Kubica collecting the FIA Personality of the Year award, as voted by the media. It was the first time that the FIA gala has featured awards given by popular vote. Kubica won the B class of the World Rally Championship this year, overcoming the handicap of his arm injuries, which ended his Formula 1 career. The Pole won five of the seven nominated events this year to seal the title with one round remaining. More…

Posted on December 6, 2013


Today in Paris Jean Todt was re-elected FIA president for a second four-year term. The election was unopposed after the withdrawal of former FIA Foundation head David Ward and the decision of the Emirati powerbroker Mohammed Bin Sulayem not to stand. Todt now has a clear mandate for a second term and, if his stewardship of Ferrari is anything to go by, he is likely to roll his sleeves up in the second term and get some things done. Critics have argued that he has not done enough in his first term to address some fundamental problems with the sport More…

Posted on December 6, 2013


The rise of Twitter in recent years has allowed us to measure which drivers are the most talked about, at least on social media, thanks to some data sent to us by our friends at Buzz Radar. The table below shows who were the most talked about drivers on the leading social media platform during 2013 and Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso comes out clearly on top, with his score boosted by high levels of interaction as well as featuring heavily in most races. He was also at the centre of the storm with Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo this year and More…

Posted on December 5, 2013


Romain Grosjean’s season ended in a cloud of smoke in the Brazilian Grand Prix as his Lotus’ Renault engine expired on the first lap of the race. However, it was a rare disappointment in a very strong final half of the season where the Frenchman scored four podiums in five races. It marked a turnaround in form for the 27-year-old who has struggled to better his 2007 world champion team-mate Kimi Raikkonen over a two-year period. Grosjean was called a “first lap nutcase” by Red Bull’s Mark Webber after a series of first and second lap incidents in his first More…

Posted on December 5, 2013


Red Bull’s charity partner, Wings For Life, is holding an auction for some very special items worn by Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber, which is to take place at a Bonham Auction in Oxford, next Monday December 9th. The charity, which conducts research projects and clinical trials in to the cure for spinal cord injury, have selected one helmet from Vettel and two from Webber, now retired from F1. 2013 saw Vettel take his first German Grand Prix victory at the Nurburgring, wearing a suitably topical helmet. The glittering helmet coloured in Germany’s national colours will sit alongside two helmets More…

Posted on December 4, 2013


For our final podcast of the year we look back at the 2013 season and analyse the big stories as well as looking at how the F1 drivers performed. With me are Marussia Sporting Director Graeme Lowdon, Autosport’s Grand Prix editor Mark Hughes, sponsor finder and CEO of Just Marketing Zac Brown, and JA on F1 reporter Holly Samos as well as our technical adviser Mark Gillan. We also have contributions from Sir Jackie Stewart and Niki Lauda. It’s a lively listen: We ask “How good a year of F1 was 2013?”, we analyse why some teams are struggling to More…

Posted on December 4, 2013


The organisers of the New Jersey Grand Prix have vowed to fight to get their race onto the 2015 F1 calendar after the World Motor Sport council rubber stamped a 19 race calendar for next season which does not feature the second US race. It had originally been slated for a date in early June. Leo Hindery Jr and his team have struggled to delivery the project due to the complexity of the location, the permissions required the financing of the project and the time scale. The race, with a backdrop of the New York skyline, is a personal ambition More…

Posted on December 4, 2013


Continuing our series of analysis of the head-to-head records of team mate pairings, here’s the analysis of Paul di Resta and Adrian Sutil’s season at Force India. At least one driver, maybe both, will miss out on a seat with the team next year after Force India announced that Nico Hulkenberg will return to the outfit in 2014. Most people expect ex-McLaren driver Sergio Perez to get the second seat, but with the team breaking with tradition and not naming both drivers at the same time, it seems there is still room for negotiation. Sutil and Di Resta were first More…

Posted on December 3, 2013


Sahara Force India today announced the news that most observers had been expecting for some time; that Nico Hulkenberg will return to the team for 2014. The German driver has impressed greatly during this season, with some exceptional qualifying and race performances in the Sauber, but despite knocking on the door of the top teams, he has not been able to create an opening. So he goes back to the team for which he drove in 2012. It is his third move in four seasons. Force India never wanted him to leave in the first place, but he felt that More…

Posted on December 2, 2013


Following on from last season’s very popular analysis of the head-to-head records of team mate pairings here’s the analysis of Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg’s first year as team-mates at Mercedes. It was the end of an era when Hamilton left McLaren for Mercedes at the end of last season, but has had an impressive first season with the Brackley-based team, outperforming Rosberg who has been at the team for three years, although the trend was towards Rosberg after the summer break and post the Pirelli tyre specification change. The Briton has complained all season that he has been unable More…



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