Posted on April 16, 2014


The UBS Chinese Grand Prix is always an intriguing race and strategy has played a significant role in the outcome in recent years. Overtaking is easy here because of the longest straight in F1 at 1.17km, so teams can plan for the fastest strategy knowing that traffic will not be a huge problem. That said, the speed differential between cars due to the new hybrid turbo engines, could see cars with less straight line speed struggle to pass midfield cars with good straightline speed. Unlike many F1 venues, where protecting the rear tyres is key to success, Shanghai is all More…

Posted on April 16, 2014


Ferrari president has said that he has complete confidence in new team principal Marco Mattiacci and added that his Ferrari heritage is more important than F1 knowledge and he has vowed to spend more time in Formula 1 personally. “I decided to appoint a young manager in whom I have a great deal of confidence and someone from the Ferrari family, rather than going around the world looking for some mercenary,” Montezemolo said yesterday. “We are full of talent with quality and capability and and we are full of technical people from whom I now expect an immediate reaction. (Mattiacci’s) More…

Posted on April 15, 2014


This weekend in China the new Team Principal of Ferrari, Marco Mattiacci, will be in charge for the first time. In promoting Mattiacci, the company is taking something of a gamble on one level, as he has very limited knowledge of Formula 1; it’s culture and the complex, difficult people who populate its higher echelons. He will have to learn quickly not only the politics of the sport, but also the culture of winning, which used to run through the corridors of Maranello in the days of Michael Schumacher, Ross Brawn and Jean Todt and which more recently has pervaded More…

Posted on April 14, 2014


Stefano Domenicali has resigned as Team Principal of Ferrari in the wake of the team’s poor start to the 2014 season. He will be replaced by Marco Mattiacci, the former head of Ferrari USA. But the background to the story is not quite as many will imagine. A furious Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo left the Bahrain Grand Prix early after seeing his cars overtaken on the straights as the new hybrid turbo engine lacked performance compared to its rivals. Speaking at an event in Maranello the president said that Ferrari would take what ever decisions were necessary to get More…

Posted on April 13, 2014


Tomorrow (Monday) the appeal against Daniel Ricciardo’s disqualification from second place in the Australian Grand Prix will be heard. The Court of Appeal, an independent body, tasked with resolving issues like this by the FIA, will be the centre of a lot of attention as this case will be important for the governing body to assert its authority, which has been challenged by Red Bull’s approach in Melbourne to the technical and sporting regulations. Depending on who wins, it could affect the way that the technical side of the sport is administered as, if the FIA loses, the use of More…

Posted on April 11, 2014


Formula 1 will have 12 teams and 24 cars on the grid next season after the US based team Haas Racing was granted a licence to compete by the FIA. This follows a consultation process, whereby the team’s plans, financial position and other aspects were carefully assessed by an FIA panel in early March. The panel comprised FIA deputy president for sport Graham Stoker, Charlie Whiting and other FIA figures as well as auditors, with input from Bernie Ecclestone’s FOM as well. The team has just over nine months from now to produce a car to take part in the More…

Posted on April 8, 2014

The Strategy Report

The Bahrain Grand Prix was one of the most exciting races for many years, featuring wheel to wheel battles throughout the field and lots of interesting strategy work, which affected the outcome. There was a Safety Car, which is a rare occurrence at this circuit and it made for a thrilling climax after the restart, with cars using a mixture of different strategies. But even without the Safety Car, this was a fascinating race from a strategy point of view and here we will analyse and explain some fundamental details which led to the race turning out as it did. More…

Posted on April 7, 2014


Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo left the circuit with 12 laps of the Bahrain Grand Prix still to go, missing the final sprint finish after the safety car, but having taken in enough to know that his team is once again in trouble. The new hybrid turbo era has not dawned well for Ferrari, with Montezemolo forced to admit that, “To see this Ferrari is painful.” Earlier the president had called F1 “Formula Boredom” and complained that the fuel regulations were incomprehensible and made for dull racing, where the drivers were forced to trundle around like taxi drivers. Few would More…

Posted on April 7, 2014


The Bahrain Grand Prix was a classic with plenty of strong performances throughout the field. Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg put on quite a show in their fight for the win, but so did the Force India drivers, the Williams drivers and Red Bull drivers among others. So who was your Driver of the Day? Lewis Hamilton Got the jump on team mate Rosberg at the start and held him off on the opening lap. Also fought off an attack at the end of the first stint and then built a lead while the pair were on different strategies. Managed More…

Posted on April 6, 2014


This weekend there has been a lot of talk about the 2014 rules and the possibility of making some changes, under pressure from Red Bull and Ferrari in particular. We’ve had lots of comments, especially in light of the criticism voiced by Red Bull’s Adrian Newey on Friday, and here we post one of the most eloquent and well argued of them, to give a fan’s perspective and to give voice to the views of those who watch the sport week in week out. Both Ferrari and Red Bull and their senior figures have been talking down the sport recently, More…

Posted on April 5, 2014


Renault’s Remi Taffin has said that the French manufacturer is a month behind its rival Mercedes, with Red Bull Racing’s Adrian Newey adding that, as a result, it will be “extremely difficult” for his team to catch Mercedes before it’s too late to save the championship. “We can clearly see that we are something like a month behind, ” said Taffin in the Bahrain paddock yesterday. “During the winter I would say (we were) a month or two (behind). “We really need to focus on this,” he added. “Obviously the fact that we have these back-to-back races is not that More…

Posted on April 5, 2014


Red Bull Racing design guru Adrian Newey yesterday launched a broadside against the 2014 rules, questioning the environmental imperative for switching to hybrid turbo engines, the cost of the changeover and the relevance of the technology to the outside world. “You have to question the whole thing,” he said. Speaking as part of a panel of team technical experts in the Friday FIA press conference in Bahrain, the 55-year-old didn’t hold back in his criticisms and afterwards further detailed his reasoning to waiting TV and radio crews. “It seems to me that what we have done is create a set More…

Posted on April 4, 2014


Michael Schumacher is starting to “show signs of consciousness and awakening”, according to a statement from his manager, Sabine Kehm. The 45-year-old seven-times world F1 champion has been in a coma since a skiing accident on December 29th 2013 in Meribel, France. Doctors have been trying to wake him for the past few weeks and there were discouraging rumours last week that the attempts were having little success. However, rumours is all they appear to be. Kehm has insisted all along that fans and members of the public should not believe any stories which do not emanate from her office. More…

Posted on April 3, 2014


Fresh from his commanding victory last time out in Malaysia, Lewis Hamilton has arrived in Bahrain with a strong message for those who question how his friendship with Nico Rosberg will survive their battle for honours with Mercedes this year. In what looks like a well considered and prepared line, Hamilton argues that he and Rosberg and not close friends and that he expects their cordial relationship to date to be tested in the heat of battle this year, as both strive to become Mercedes’ first world champion since 1955. “What people need to understand is, people are always talking More…

Posted on April 3, 2014


Why was McLaren faster than Ferrari in Melbourne, but slower in Malaysia? And how much faster was Valterri Bottas than his Williams team-mate Felipe Massa in Sunday’s Grand Prix – enough to make a pass on Jenson Button ahead, as the team believed? With the help of JA on F1 technical adviser Mark Gillan we can attempt to answer these questions, thanks to the latest performance graphs. NB – The vertical axis is the lap time in seconds, with the faster lap times lower down and the slower ones higher up. Click on the graphs to enlarge them. McLaren vs More…

Posted on April 3, 2014


The teams did a significant amount of pre-season testing in Bahrain this year, which will give them a good baseline understanding of the best way to attack this Grand Prix, however this year the race is being held at 6pm local time as a night race for the first time and this will mean that the track conditions will be cooler than in previous races here and the temperatures will fall as the race goes on. Pirelli has brought the soft and medium tyres from its range; although last year the medium and hard were brought, the tyres this year More…

Posted on April 2, 2014


In the back corridors of F1 the next month will be an interesting one, and the next week in particular. Bahrain is set to be a meeting point of key players to discuss changes to the new Formula 1. From a simple raising of the engines’ decibel level, to more radical ideas like shortening the races and abandoning the controversial fuel flow meters, it seems that discussions held so far will channel into a significant meeting of teams, FOM and FIA, a gathering of the F1 Strategy Group to frame a new policy and then possible ratifications of any changes More…

Posted on April 1, 2014

The Strategy Report

Only two races into the new hybrid turbo formula, the intense heat of Malaysia was always going to be a stiff challenge for the teams, but once again an impressive 15 cars from the 22 starters made it to the end. Pace was the ultimate decider of this race, with Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton simply too fast for the rest, leading home a Mercedes 1-2, but behind him there were some good battles in which strategy played a key part in the outcome. Alonso vs Hulkenberg: Different strategies at play Before the race one of the key decisions was whether to More…

Posted on March 31, 2014


[Updated] “Strike one to Lewis,” said Hamilton’s former team mate Jenson Button, after the Malaysian Grand Prix, where the Briton beat his current team mate Nico Rosberg by almost 20 seconds. It was an important psychological blow for Hamilton, but Rosberg seemed calm, knowing that he had extended his lead in the world championship. “I can’t remember the last time in my career I had a gap like that, with a team mate, in the same car,” said Hamilton to a small group of reporters after the race. According to some quotes in the British newspapers, Hamilton claims he “blew More…

Posted on March 30, 2014


A dominant win for Lewis Hamilton, 25 seconds ahead of the next non-Mercedes car, as the Silver Arrows pressed home their competitive advantage in Sepang. There were some strong performances up and down the field, once again, but who stood out for you? Who was your Driver of the Day? Lewis Hamilton Took pole on Saturday in wet conditions and controlled the race from the start. Pulled out a second a lap on the opposition in the opening stint to get a 10 second margin and then protected that to the end. His first Malaysia GP win and the first More…

Posted on March 28, 2014


The war of words over Daniel Ricciardo’s disqualification in Australia went up a level today as Red Bull team boss Christian Horner said that the fuel flow sensors, which the FIA has specified and which were at issue in Australia, are not good enough for F1. Horner confirmed that they and another Renault powered team had suffered a further sensor error during today’s free practice session. Asked whether he felt that the sensors were good enough for F1 he said, “With where it’s at at the moment I would have to say no. We need to work with the FIA More…

Posted on March 27, 2014


Sebastian Vettel has weighed into the debate about his team-mate Daniel Ricciardo’s disqualification in Melbourne and the subsequent decision to appeal, saying that the episode is “bad for the sport”. The four times champion was a spectator in Melbourne after retiring early in the race and congratulated his young team mate on a breakthrough performance. But he said in the paddock in Kuala Lumpur on Thursday that the decision to remove the Australian from the standings because the Red Bull team did not follow the FIA’s instructions on reducing the fuel flow was “a big hit for the team and More…

Posted on March 25, 2014


Christian Horner, boss of the Red Bull Racing team has today explained what their case will be based on at the April 14 appeal hearing into Daniel Ricciardo’s disqualification from the Australian Grand Prix. And he says that the team is very confident it will be able to prove that it didn’t break the rules on fuel flow. “We are appealing on the grounds that we are extremely confident that we have not broken the rules, that we haven’t exceeded the 100kg/hour of fuel that is permitted to be utilised by the car and the engine,” he said. “Our whole More…

Posted on March 24, 2014


The Malaysian Grand Prix is the second round of the 2014 FIA F1 World Championship and – from a reliability point of view – far more of a challenge for the teams than Melbourne. The intense heat and humidity will stretch the cars’ cooling systems to the limit. With the new hybrid turbo power units and the powerful batteries in the Energy Recovery System, cooling is critical this year. We may see several teams being forced to open the bodywork to improve cooling, which will hurt their aerodynamic performance and in some cases the stability of the cars in the More…

Posted on March 23, 2014


Picture an F1 car standing still in the pit lane. The sidewalls of the tyre are nice and straight and the contact patch of the tyre is touching the ground. But imagine what that tyre looks like when loaded up in a high speed corner – it flexes and the shape is no longer that ideal vertical line, so easy to model in a wind tunnel. In modern F1 there is a real premium on understanding this phenomenon and being able to work with the changing shape of the tyre so that the car’s aerodynamics are the best they can More…

Posted on March 21, 2014


As always on JA on F1 we like to bring the fans closer to the sport in many ways and after the first race of the new Formula 1 in Australia, we’ve analysed the performances of some of the leading teams to give a better picture of the relative pace at this early stage of the season. Thanks to JA on F1 technical adviser Mark Gillan, we have some pace charts which give a good idea of the relative speed of the cars and Mark has given us his thoughts on what it all means and what we can expect More…

Posted on March 20, 2014


Ferrari has launched an online mini-survey, seeking fans’ views on the new F1, as we saw it in Melbourne last weekend. There are four simple questions, relating to whether fans enjoyed the spectacle in Australia and the clarity of the rules. The survey can be accessed by clicking on this link: Ferrari Fan Survey We strongly advise readers to take advantage of this opportunity to feed back to one of the leading teams. As well as disappointment that the drivers have to manage the cars’ fuel consumption, giving the impression that they are not pushing to the limit, there has More…

Posted on March 20, 2014


Red Bull ran close to the deadline for submitting an appeal, but the FIA has confirmed that the team has formally decided to appeal the disqualification of Daniel Ricciardo from second place in the Australian Grand Prix last Sunday. The International Court of Appeal will hear the case, this is an independent court, which will draw four or five judges from the panel of judges which is on the panel approved by both the FIA and the F1 teams. It is a different body from the International Tribunal, which heard the Mercedes test case last year, which deals with disciplinary More…

Posted on March 19, 2014


It wasn’t a great weekend in Melbourne for Ferrari and particularly for new recruit Kimi Raikkonen, who trailed his team mate Alonso all weekend and ended up seventh in the race, 25 seconds behind the Spaniard. Raikkonen had a number of problems, with team boss Stefano Domenicali admitting on Sunday night,”We have to give Kimi a car that is better suited to his style.” Today the Finn has identified difficulties with the new brake-by-wire system, an electronic system on the rear brakes, which compensates for instability when the energy is harvested from the rear axle under braking, as one of More…

Posted on March 18, 2014

The Strategy Report

The first Grand Prix run to the new 1.6 litre hybrid turbo formula featured some fascinating strategy details, some inspired decision-making and plenty for the drivers and strategy engineers to work with. This season with the UBS Race Strategy Report we will continue our groundbreaking analysis of the key moments of the race, but with enhanced co-operation from teams, to bring an even more in-depth review of the key decisions, to help bring fans closer to the race action. Aborted start The original start had to be aborted, as the Marussia of Jules Bianchi failed to get off the grid. More…

Posted on March 17, 2014


We have had a lot of readers asking why F1 has introduced a fuel flow rate monitoring regulation this season as part of the new rules for the hybrid turbo power units. This is in the light of Daniel Ricciardo’s disqualification for excessive flow rate in Sunday’s Australian GP. JA on F1 technical expert Mark Gillan has written this advisory note on the matter: It was decided pretty early on in the FiA Technical Working Group meetings (which I was a member of) to agree not only on a maximum fuel quantity (i.e. 100kg) but also to a maximum fuel More…

Posted on March 17, 2014


by Ed Gorman, former F1 Correspondent, The Times I always loved the Australian Grand Prix. Even though I used to experience it through a haze of jet lag – mere newspaper journos were never given enough time in-country to adjust – you could not help enjoying the setting, the people and the passion for the sport. Albert Park is right up there with the best of them – in my day in the paddock that would include Silverstone, Monza, Spa, Monaco, anywhere in Japan, Montreal and Brazil. From the comfort of my sofa 10,500 miles away and without the need More…

Posted on March 17, 2014


The first round of the new F1 championship was full of surprises and notable for new names breaking through into the front ranks. There were many standout drives, but who was your Driver of the Day? Nico Rosberg The 28 year old German took his fourth Grand Prix win with a dominant drive, set up by a perfect start from 3rd on the grid. With team mate Hamilton sidelined early, Rosberg had no challengers and was able to control the pace of the race. Daniel Ricciardo Although the 24 year old was disqualified for a fuel flow infringement on his More…

Posted on March 16, 2014


Daniel Ricciardo’s breakthrough result of second place in the Australian Grand Prix has been taken away by FIA stewards as the 24 year old was disqualified for a fuel flow irregularity. Red Bull immediately responded that it would appeal the decision which robs the 24 year old Australian of his first F1 trophy after 51 races. The outcome is also set to be badly received in Australia, with one local newspaper preparing a front page headline “Grand Farce”. Race organisers are working hard to secure an extension to the contract to host the race, which expires after next year’s event. More…

Posted on March 13, 2014


Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo has written an open letter to the Ferrari fans, or tifosi as they are known in Italy, asking them to stick with the team in what promises to be a challenging season, but also challenging the FIA and the organisers to be careful on a couple of levels. One of the most interesting passages is where he says, “Such an important set of changes to the regulations is bringing some grey areas, for example fuel, software, consumption… In these I am fully expecting the FIA to be vigilant – as I’m sure they will be More…

Posted on March 13, 2014


The FIA has made some subtle last minute changes to the F1 qualifying rules for this season, to ensure that cars go out in the third and final part of the session. And FIA Race Director has cleared up some important details about how other aspects of the racing this year will be policed. All cars will be given an extra set of the softest tyres brought by Pirelli. The cars which qualify between P11 and P22 are allowed to use them in the race, but the cars which qualify in the top ten have to use them in Q3 More…

Posted on March 13, 2014


Felipe Massa has spoken about his former team mate Michael Schumacher on the eve of the first Grand Prix meeting since Schumacher was injured in a ski accident and revealed that he has a Michael Schumacher tribute on his crash helmet. “I always think about him every day, pray for him every day so I really hope that things can go back and be OK for him,” said Massa in Albert Park paddock this afternoon. “For sure it was a shame to see what’s happened but I keep thinking about him, he’s on my helmet and we’ll keep praying and More…

Posted on March 12, 2014


After a winter in which they have coped with a huge rule change, introducing complex hybrid turbo engines, the F1 teams arrive in Melbourne less well prepared for the first race than at any time in recent memory. Only Mercedes and Williams can be said to have achieved the 5,000km target mileage in the three winter tests, while Ferrari were not far off with 500km less. Others, like Red Bull (1,700km) and their fellow Renault powered teams including last year’s Melbourne winners Lotus, are underprepared and will find Melbourne a struggle this year. Reliability of the new 1.6 litre engines More…

Posted on March 7, 2014


Pirelli has released the schedule for the new 2014 in season testing plan, which will see each of the F1 teams given a day to test updates and new products to avoid a repeat of the problems, failures and disagreements of last season. Things reached a head last May when Mercedes and Pirelli conducted a test, which the other teams were not informed about, after the Spanish Grand Prix. This led to both parties appearing in front of the FIA’s International Tribunal. The panel of independent judges found blame to be equally shared between Pirelli, Mercedes and the FIA. Pirelli More…

Posted on March 7, 2014


With Bernie Ecclestone’s criminal trial in Germany just over a month away and having himself opened up the discussion on possible successors, it has emerged that former Sainsbury’s CEO Justin King is favourite with bookmakers for the role, ahead of Richard Scudamore or the Premier League and Red Bull boss Christian Horner. At this stage CVC Capital Partners, who would be tasked with deciding in the event that Ecclestone needed replacing, have said nothing beyond what CVC Co-Chairman Donald Mackenzie told London’s High Court in November during the Constantin Medien case, “It won’t be easy (to find a successor). And More…

Posted on March 7, 2014


Although Michael Schumacher’s manager Sabine Kehm issued a statement on Friday saying simply that “Michael is still in the wake-up phrase. The situation has not changed,” the Gazzetta dello Sport’s Pino Allievi has written that the German is now breathing by himself without a respirator and doctors believe that he is hearing the voices of his friends, among them FIA president Jean Todt and Ross Brawn. Todt is apparently speaking to his friend in English, as he did in their successful Ferrari days. Schumacher remains in a coma nine weeks after the skiing accident which gave him a severe head More…

Posted on March 6, 2014


“We have to get back to competitiveness as soon as possible and we will get there much faster than people imagine, ” declared McLaren boss Ron Dennis this morning, breaking his silence for the first time since seizing back control of the company from Martin Whitmarsh. “I believe we will win races this year, how many I don’t know and when I don’t know. The company was unfit and I said to them that if they match my commitment we will win. If they don’t match it they won’t be with the company.” Dennis was on feisty form at a More…

Posted on March 5, 2014


When you watch next weekend’s Australian Grand Prix, some of what you see and hear on your screens will be being operated by technicians sitting next to an airfield in Kent, collaborating in real time with colleagues 10,500 miles away. This is something a little different – the first time we’ve been behind the scenes at F1′s Technical Headquarters in Biggin Hill, in the South of England and we’ve made a video of it with our colleagues from Tata Communications. As well as much of the equipment needed to put on a Grand Prix at 19 venues around the world, More…

Posted on March 5, 2014


With less than two weeks from the end of the final test in Bahrain to the first practice session in Melbourne and only a handful of days now until the freight leaves for Australia the teams are literally in a race to turnaround the test cars, parts and support equipment in time to get them to Australia and have everything in place for set-up day, writes JA on F1 technical adviser Mark Gillan. The factories will be 100% operational right now in ensuring that the cars leave with enough spares for the first race. For example ideally one wants 6 More…

Posted on March 3, 2014


In seven weeks from now F1′s commercial boss Bernie Ecclestone will appear in court in Munich charged with bribery and today he has admitted that his legal challenges are distracting him from his day to day role as the CEO of Formula 1. He has also said that he is actively looking for someone to share the work load and ultimately to succeed him. Speaking to the Financial Times, Ecclestone, 83, struck a markedly less defiant tone than he has in recent weeks when he said, “I’ve been spending time on this [civil] case and to spend time on Munich More…

Posted on March 3, 2014


The winter testing is over and now the teams have just over a week to prepare for the new F1 season which kicks off in Melbourne. It’s been clear throughout the three tests in Jerez and Bahrain with the radical new hybrid turbo power units that we are seeing a different competition in F1 from recent years with Mercedes looking strong and Red Bull struggling, but what is the pecking order going into the first race and what trends are there to consider? As ever, with the help and input of JA on F1 Technical adviser Mark Gillan, formerly chief More…

Posted on March 2, 2014


The Bahrain International Circuit has today honoured the seven times world champion Michael Schumacher by renaming Turn 1 after him. The German remains in a coma in hospital in France after a skiing accident at New Year, despite attempts to wake him. Schumacher’s connections with the circuit extend to consultation on the design and also it was the scene of his comeback to F1 in 2010, with Mercedes, after three years of retirement. It is likely to be the first of a series of gestures like this over the coming year, as the sport comes to terms with the terrible More…

Posted on February 28, 2014


Today February 28th, has been a very busy one in F1, with not only the testing going on in Bahrain, but also deadlines for new teams to enter the sport in 2015 and for engines to be homologated as well as a meeting of the F1 Strategy Group. There are three headlines arising from the day which F1 fans need to be aware of. Double points still in place but only for last race The Group discussed the suggestion that the controversial idea of awarding double points at the final race should be extended to the last three races. This More…

Posted on February 28, 2014


The F1 teams’ Association, or FOTA as it was known, has been disbanded. The seven remaining members of the union decided not to continue after meetings in the last week. A spokesman told the BBC, “I can confirm that FOTA has been disbanded, as a result of insufficient funds to continue, and lack of consensus amongst all the Teams on a revised non-contentious mandate”. FOTA was formed in 2007, with Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo the driving force, along with McLaren’s Ron Dennis and Flavio Briatore, then head of Renault. The idea was to stick together in crucial negotiations with More…

Posted on February 27, 2014


Tomorrow, February 28th, is the deadline for the new hybrid turbo F1 power units to be homologated. This means that the engine makers, Mercedes, Ferrari and Renault have to send the FIA a sample engine and the specification of this engine and Energy Recovery System is then fixed for the season. It is clear from the testing so far that Mercedes and Ferrari are in a position to do this, but Renault has been playing catch up after suffering a range of problems with the energy storage side of its power unit. So what will happen next? Will Renault be More…

Posted on February 26, 2014


The final pre-season test begins tomorrow in Bahrain, giving teams just four more track days to prepare their cars for the new F1 season, which starts on March 14th with free practice in Melbourne. It is already clear that, with the radical changes in technical regulations this year, and cars now running 1.6 litre hybrid turbo power units, some teams are in better shape than others. For Red Bull and the other Renault powered teams, for example, it is a crucial test as they have done very limited running compared to their rivals. With this in mind there was a More…

Posted on February 24, 2014


Susie Wolff will become the first female driver to take part in a Grand Prix weekend for over 20 years when she drives the Williams in two Free Practice sessions, the team has announced. Wolff, who has been part of the back room driving staff at Williams since 2012, drove in the Young Drivers Test at Silverstone last July and has been given the opportunity to get some more mileage, under the spotlights of a Grand Prix weekend. The team has not specified which two events she will participate in. She will also get a full test day at one More…

Posted on February 22, 2014


If ever there was a case study of how quickly things can change in F1, it is the Williams team. They won the Spanish Grand Prix in May 2012, failed to get a podium for the rest of the season, then had a dismal 2013 with only 5 points scored (four of them in the penultimate race). Now the signs are that Williams is going through a renaissance; the team has the right hybrid turbo power plant in Mercedes and it’s announced a series of sponsors in recent days with an even bigger one to come on March 6. It More…

Posted on February 21, 2014


Following on from yesterday’s powerful statement by a High Court judge regarding Bernie Ecclestone, Formula 1′s commercial boss for the last 30 years, the sport is holding its breath to see what action the sport’s major shareholder, CVC Capital Partners, will take next and specifically whether they will seek to remove the 83 year old from his executive role in the sport he built up. Ecclestone has already stood down from the board of F1′s holding company pending his criminal trial in Germany in April. But will CVC follow through on a threat to remove him if he was found More…

Posted on February 16, 2014


At a recent F1 related event I was approached by a senior figure from one of the leading F1 teams; “This Formula E series, what do you think? Will it happen?” The question, laced with a mixture if curiosity and scepticism, still arises. “We are on schedule,” says Formula E chief executive Alejandro Agag, when I put this question to him in his office in London’s Hammersmith area. “We just ran a test with the car using the large battery for the first time (on a test track outside Paris) and we did 55 laps with no glitches. Williams have More…

Posted on February 13, 2014


Michael Schumacher has now been in a coma since December 29th – 46 days ago. The process of “waking him up” has been underway for two weeks; this is done by means of reducing the chemical sedation, which was keeping him in a medically induced coma, to control the swelling in his brain following his severe head injury. Schumacher suffered the injury when skiing in the French alps and is still in Grenoble Hospital. In a statement released today by Schumacher’s manager, Sabine Kehm, the family are continuing to carefully guard his condition and there is no mention of the More…

Posted on February 12, 2014


Ferrari boss Stefano Domenicali says that his team has started the new era of hybrid turbo technology “in the right way” and added that in new signing Kimi Raikonnen he has a driver who knows that for Ferrari, “finishing second is a tragedy.” In an extensive interview with Gazzetta dello Sport today, the 48 year old team principal says that there he is pleased with the way his team has responded to falling short the last few years – he has a photo on his office wall of the 2010 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix debacle which cost Fernando Alonso and More…

Posted on February 11, 2014


One of the more bizarre episodes in F1 of the last couple of years has now been resolved with an out of court settlement between Paul di Resta and Anthony Hamilton, father of Lewis. Hamilton briefly managed Di Resta, but the pair fell out spectacularly in 2012 over a mooted sponsorship deal for an energy drink and it led to Hamilton suing Di Resta for wrongful termination of contract and loss of earnings. The court case at the end of last year in London was painful to watch for both sides, with the evidence coming out on how their relationship More…

Posted on February 10, 2014


Over the weekend it emerged in the French media that former Citroen and Peugeot motorsport boss Olivier Quesnel is in pole position to take over from Eric Boullier as team principal of Lotus F1 team The role is currently filled on an interim basis by team owner Gerard Lopez, who told L’Equipe newspaper on Saturday that Quesnel is the first choice, but that “The decision is not yet made.” Quesnel, who has a glittering career of success in rally and sportscars, was on the list of candidates four years ago when Lopez hired Boullier for the role and he was More…

Posted on February 9, 2014


The priority for Formula 1 this year is to get costs under control and there are signs that the first steps towards achieving that may be within reach. It was announced by the FIA at Christmas time that a budget cap would be brought in for 2015 and behind the scenes in recent weeks there have been extensive discussions which have proved more fruitful than in the past. The main stakeholders are all engaged: the teams, the FIA and the commercial rights holder. F1 almost tore itself apart in 2009 when then FIA president Max Mosley tried for force a More…

Posted on February 7, 2014


The Lotus E22, the final car to hit the track in this pre season build up, should finally get a run out today at Jerez, Spain. It is due to be given a shakedown in preparation for the crucial Bahrain tests starting in a couple of weeks. Pastor Maldonado will drive the car and he tweeted, “Finally back to the track work, planing a filming day in Jerez today. Looking forward to drive the new E22.” Lotus elected to skip the Jerez group test last week, which in retrospect looks like a reasonable plan given the troubles that Renault powered More…

Posted on February 5, 2014


Felipe Massa’s quote at the weekend about the new ‘brake-by-wire’ systems on the 2014 F1 cars taking some getting used to has sparked a lot of discussion on the JA on F1 site, with readers wanting to know more about what it is and how it works. Let’s start with an explanation from the Sauber F1 team, “The braking system concept is totally new, taking the form of a brake-by-wire system for the first time at the rear wheels. This has become necessary due to the significantly increased performance of the ERS, which requires much greater variations in rear wheel More…

Posted on February 4, 2014


The subject of awarding double points at the end of the F1 season has proved controversial since its introduction at Christmas. As things stand the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix winner will collect 50 points and the driver finishing third will score 30 – more than the winner gets at any other 2014 Grand Prix. Bernie Ecclestone, whose idea this was, is now pushing for the last three races to be awarded double points, which would require unanimous approval from the teams. But with the obvious problems faced by Renault powered teams at this early stage of the season – Red More…

Posted on February 4, 2014


Eric Boullier started work yesterday at McLaren as Racing Director, a position from which he will carry out the responsibilities of a Team Principal, albeit with a different job title. It was reported last week that there has been a further change, with the departure of Marcin Budkowski, the Polish born Head of Aerodynamics since 2012 at McLaren, who had been due to work alongside Peter Prodromou, Adrian Newey’s right hand man at Red Bull Racing, as well as his existing colleague Doug McKiernan, Chief Aerodynamicist, who remains with the team. But in a further twist, it now appears that More…

Posted on February 2, 2014


The first test session at Jerez last week threw up some major surprises and interesting talking points, including the failure of Renault and the innovative aerodynamics on the McLaren. Here JA on F1 technical adviser Mark Gillan, former chief operations engineer at Williams and Toyota explains how the F1 teams approach the pre-season tests and analyses what they will be doing now, back at base, to get ready for the next test in Bahrain. What the F1 teams were aiming to achieve at the Jerez test The 2014 energy recovery system (ERS) boosted F1 cars are extremely complex systems so More…

Posted on February 2, 2014


Felipe Massa ended the Jerez test, his first for Williams, in an upbeat mood describing the situation at Williams as “better than expected” and tipping his former team mate Fernando Alonso to have the upper hand at Ferrari over his replacement Kimi Raikkonen. Asked by Italian media why he he had said Alonso would come out on top Massa said, “Because he is very intelligent, he’s already worked out the new regulations and he knows what he needs to do to be quick straight away. He combines talent with savvy. He has a lively intelligence and that is what is More…

Posted on February 1, 2014


Ross Brawn exited Mercedes at Christmas and this week has given strong indications that he will not return to a frontline job in F1. Speaking at the Motor Sport Hall of Fame evening on Wednesday, he said that he had “no plans” to return to F1. This weekend he has gone further at a fishing event in Scotland, telling an audience that he has retired “and it’s not tongue in cheek.” The 59 year old has made a fortune, selling his eponymous team to Mercedes for €123 million in 2009 and earning multi million salaries every year since the late More…

Posted on January 30, 2014


Marussia today rolled out its 2014 challenger in Jerez, the first car from the Banbury based team to be powered by Ferrari. Now in its fifth season of F1 competition, the team rolls into the new season with a spring in its step after securing the coveted 10th place in the Constructor’s Championship last season. So far the Ferrari power train seems to have been behaving itself in the early running for the teams in Jerez and the technical design group at Marussia, under the experienced John McQuilliam, has produced a car which the team hopes will challenge for a More…

Posted on January 30, 2014


The numbers didn’t lie yesterday; there was clearly something wrong at Renault. On day two of the Jerez test the four Mercedes-powered cars completed a total of 212 laps; the two Ferrari runners, 100; and the three Renault-powered cars just 19 laps. Even adding the Day 1 total, another 19 laps, cars powered by the new Renault Energy F1-2014 engine had completed just 38 laps. Problems in the integration and management of the batteries in the powerful energy storage system have been identified as the culprit, although Red Bull is understood to have suffered an issue on the turbo. “Trepidation” More…

Posted on January 28, 2014


Mercedes this morning rolled out the Silver Arrow W05 that it hopes will be shooting for victory this season. The first Mercedes of the post-Ross Brawn era was unveiled by the new management team of Toto Wolff and Paddy Lowe, with the drivers Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg. Mercedes has been steadily building up for this moment. The engine department, based a few miles from the team’s HQ near Northampton, has been working for a long time on the hybrid small capacity power plant that is going to be such a huge part of success this season. Performance, efficiency and More…

Posted on January 27, 2014


We’ve had a huge response from readers about these new look 2014 F1 cars, with getting on for 1,000 comments over the weekend. And one noticeable strand of comment has been fans trying to figure out what the unusual noses on these cars look like. The right buzzword to describe this new look design is something F1 commentators and media will be desperately searching for ahead of the new season, so we’d like to throw them a lifeline by asking fans to come up with a new buzzword for the F1 noses. Here are a few of the suggestions we’ve More…

Posted on January 26, 2014


We have now seen 2014 F1 cars launched by six of the 11 F1 teams, with Toro Rosso due to reveal its challenger – now powered by the same Renault engine as the sister Red Bull team – due to launch on Monday. Already we have seen lots of different interpretations of the radically different technical regulations, particular in the nose section of the car. So here is the initial feedback of JA on F1 technical adviser Mark Gillan, former chief operations engineer at Williams, Jaguar Racing and Toyota. McLaren MP4-29 McLaren are the first to release pictures of the More…

Posted on January 24, 2014


McLaren revealed its MP4/29 2014 car online at noon today, with a handful of photos of the car shot in the boulevard at the technical centre in Woking but no accompanying soundtrack from the team about the upheaval that has taken place in the management. With speculation rife that Eric Boullier, who quit Lotus this week, will be the new team principal at McLaren, the team did not go into any details. Boullier served under former McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh as deputy chairman of the F1 Teams’ Association and the Frenchman is hotly tipped to replace him in his More…

Posted on January 24, 2014


Lotus F1 has announced today that Gerard Lopez has replaced Eric Boullier as team principal with immediate effect. There is speculation that the Frenchman may be moving to McLaren as team principal. Following on from the coup at McLaren last week with Martin Whitmarsh being ousted by Ron Dennis, it’s been a turbulent week for two of the leading teams. “In order to continue strengthening its management structure, to further increase Genii’s role in the team and to close the gap between its strategic, commercial and sporting activities, Lotus F1 Team is pleased to announce that its co-Chairman, Gérard Lopez, More…

Posted on January 23, 2014


There has been a lot of talk about the “ugliness” of the new F1 cars, especially with the “proboscis” noses which the teams have arrived at due to the regulations. And today Williams revealed its new challenger in all its glory, with the new nose in full display. It is a very different look from the past and it’s hard to find positives about it. It will be interesting to measure fan reaction to this latest unfortunate move by the sport, but like all changes the initial reaction will probably be the strongest. As for the car itself and the More…

Posted on January 22, 2014


The Sahara Force India team has surprised the F1 paddock by releasing the first image of a 2014 hybrid turbo F1 car, ahead of McLaren’s planned online launch on Friday. The side shot of the VJM07 gives little away but reveals a striking new livery for the season, with new sponsorship from Sergio Perez’ backer Claro, owned by Mexican Carlos Slim. This is the third F1 team Slim has been involved with, after Sauber and McLaren. The nose of the car is believed not to be the actual 2014 nose. Many teams are reporting that the nose section of these More…

Posted on January 21, 2014


McLaren has described 2014 as a “transitional year” and there is certainly a lot of change going on; with the management coup, which has seen Ron Dennis ousting Martin Whitmarsh as CEO and the departure of the F1 team’s title sponsor Vodafone after seven years. It appears that there will be no new title sponsor announcement as part of Friday’s online car launch. Although the team’s long term financial health looks positive, with Honda due to arrive in 2015 with free engines and significant subsidy, many in F1 circles are questioning what sort of budget the team will have in More…

Posted on January 21, 2014


Caterham boss Tony Fernandes has said that his team’s failure over the last four years, particularly 2013 where the team finished last out of 11 teams, has made his team stronger. Announcing his driver line up of Kamui Kobayashi and Marcus Ericsson at a launch event in the team’s Leafield HQ this morning, Fernandes said, “It’s a critical season. Most people have written us off. From failure you draw some strength. “Frankly we have to try to do something different. We haven’t performed as a team since I started this team and we have taken something of a radical approach. More…

Posted on January 20, 2014


Lotus F1 team today announced a new sponsorship deal with Saxo Bank, the long time cycling sponsor putting its toe in the water of F1 for the first time. The deal means fresh budget for the team, which the owner Gerard Lopez admitted recently was over €100 million in debt. It also gives some bilateral marketing benefits with the cycling team which competes for top honours in cycling’s blue riband events like the Tour de France and Giro d’Italia. After Lopez’ interview in Auto Motor und Sport last week in which he admitted the debts but said that the team More…

Posted on January 17, 2014


Next week sees the home entertainment release of “Rush”, the movie about the rivalry of James Hunt and Niki Lauda, directed by Oscar winner Ron Howard. The DVD, Blu-ray and Limited Edition Steelbook will be out on 27th January and we’ve got five copies of the Blu-ray to give away in our latest JA on F1 competition. Rush was a hit last year in the cinemas, with Daniel Bruhl and Chris Hemsworth attracting favourable reviews for their portrayals of Lauda and Hunt during the intense 1976 F1 season, where Lauda almost lost his life in a fiery accident. Bruhl was More…

Posted on January 16, 2014


The future of McLaren’s team principal Martin Whitmarsh is in question tonight after former team boss Ron Dennis retook control of the company as CEO, promising changes to make the team win again. In a statement issued by the team this evening Dennis said that he would conduct a thorough review of track activity, after McLaren last year registered its worst performance since 1980 with not a single podium finish. At the end of last year Dennis and Whitmarsh were engaged in a struggle for power, but a shift in shareholder sentiment seems to have swung things back Dennis’ way. More…

Posted on January 16, 2014


Formula 1 was thrown into turmoil today as the prosecutors in Munich announced that they intend to bring Formula 1 CEO Bernie Ecclestone to trial on bribery charges this Spring. The move has meant that while he still has an executive role, his powers have been curbed. At a meeting of the F1 board, following the Munich announcement, Ecclestone stood down as a director. But the board decided to keep him in his position of CEO, running the day to day business of the sport, albeit with two significant restrictions. His activities will be closely monitored and subject to scrutiny More…

Posted on January 15, 2014


Amid increasing rumours about the financial viability of the Lotus F1 team, the team’s owner (via his Genii Capital concern), Gerard Lopez, has confirmed the team’s significant debt and spelled out that the investment discussions with the mysterious Quantum Motorsport group are dead. He added that Kimi Raikkonen, who walked out on the team two races from the end of the season, had “got part of his salary, and he will get the rest.” Speaking to Michael Schmidt, from leading German motorsport magazine Auto Motor und Sport, Lopez confirms that the team’s debt is £114 million, of which £80 million More…

Posted on January 14, 2014


The controversial new rule for 2014 awarding double points for the last race is likely to have unintended consequences, like influencing the way that the smaller teams in F1 design the cars. This is one of six key points to look out for in 2014, according to JA on F1 technical adviser Mark Gillan. “The smaller teams could well completely change their design process in an attempt to secure these points, as it could make a significant difference to their constructor’s position. If I were running operations for one of the smaller teams I would definitely do it,” said Gillan, More…

Posted on January 13, 2014


John Button, father of Jenson and one of the most charismatic people in the F1 paddock of the last 15 years has died at the age of 70. His loss is a source of great sadness to me as he was one of my favourite people in the sport. He is believed to have suffered a heart attack at his home in the South of France. John was a terrific man; very funny, irreverent and loved by many in F1 regardless of their team affiliation or whether they had ever had anything to do with him or Jenson. He could More…

Posted on January 10, 2014


The man in charge of managing the F1 Grands Prix on the circuit, Charlie Whiting, has said that the Drag Reduction System (DRS) has been a boost to F1 and is here to stay. Giving the Watkins Memorial lecture at Autosport International show in Birmingham, Whiting said that he had listed to some of the criticism from fans, who felt that DRS has made overtaking too easy at many events and downgraded the skill of the driver. But he is still of the opinion that it requires great skill to use the system properly. DRS is a switch that drivers More…

Posted on January 9, 2014


A little moment of F1 history – the photo Fernando Alonso took of the huge crowd of tifosi beneath the podium at last year’s Italian Grand Prix – is coming up for sale next month. It was a moment celebrated by many fans of the sport. And a one-off signed print of that photo is going under the hammer at a Coys auction in London on Friday February 7th in aid of Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital, a favourite cause of F1 commercial boss Bernie Ecclestone. The event is being held for the second year. The drivers and team principals More…

Posted on January 9, 2014


Former Ferrari and Jaguar driver Eddie Irvine has been sentenced to six months by a judge in Italy for his part in a nightclub brawl. The case stretches back to December 2008 when Irvine, 48, got into a dispute with the son of a prominent figure in Milan, which led to a brawl in the Hollywood nightclub in Milan. The dispute related to a text message sent by Irvine to an ex girlfriend of Gabriele Moratti, whose mother was once Mayor of Milan. Neither man is expected to actually serve the jail sentence, as it has been appealed and that More…

Posted on January 8, 2014


The police in France investigating the ski accident of Michael Schumacher have given a press conference today with their initial findings and it appears that the Go Pro camera mounted on his helmet was not only rolling when he crashed, but it shows “in perfect clarity” what happened. It has allowed the police to see in detail what happened, to confirm the witness statements and then using the video they have been able to carry out a reconstruction of the accident. The findings from the video and the reconstruction will be presented at a public inquest at which responsibility for More…

Posted on January 5, 2014


It is exactly a week since Michael Schumacher fell and hit his head in a skiing accident in France; the German remains in a “stable but critical” condition, according to his manager, Sabine Kehm. The FIA President Jean Todt, who cut short a New Year holiday in Bali to fly to Schumacher’s side, has returned to Paris after five days spent with his former protege and his family in Grenoble’s CHU hospital. Kehm has angrily refuted claims by former F1 driver Philippe Streiff that Schumacher’s life is “no longer in danger” – a notice he claims to have received from More…

Posted on January 3, 2014


Michael Schumacher today greets his 45th birthday coupled to a life support machine at the CHU Hospital in Grenoble. Outside the hospital a silent vigil has been organised by Ferrari, the team with whom he won 72 Grands Prix and 5 world championships. Beginning at 11am local time, fans and club members attending the vigil are being encouraged to dress in red and bring flags. The vigil will bring together Ferrari club members from France and Italy in particular. Ferrari’s Renato Bisignani told the BBC that the vigil would be “a sign of our closeness to Michael Schumacher, done in More…

Posted on January 1, 2014


As the calendar page turns to 2014, thoughts focus on the new F1 season which is now just 73 days away. The change to the technical regulations is the biggest for a generation and no-one is really sure how the racing will be affected. Reliability is going to be vital, Mercedes’ Niki Lauda has said he thinks it could be the decisive factor in the end for the championship. F1′s popularity has been hit by the domination by Sebastian Vettel and Red Bull and what many people will be waiting to see is whether the change to the hybrid turbo 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…



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