Posted on October 8, 2011


Our exciting social media competition looking for a Fan Ambassador to join other bloggers from around the world ends at midnight tonight UK time. So now’s the last chance to get your entry in. We are looking for a Fan Ambassador to go to Abu Dhabi in November to have the experience of a lifetime at a Shell V-Power Network of Champions event at Ferrari World- you will be invited to travel business class to Abu Dhabi from London, stay in a 4 star hotel, ride on the fastest rollercoaster in the world and then experience the Yas Marina GP More…

Posted on March 22, 2011


It’s a grey, chilly morning in London. The traffic has been intense, the news programmes are full of the Libya intervention, Japanese earthquake, problems in Yemen and the prospect of the British chancellor bringing in a tax on private jets. And Karun Chandhok has just been given the reserve driver role at Lotus this morning. Formula 1 seems trivial in comparison to the seismic events going on in the world, however sport and politics have already overlapped this season with the cancellation of Bahrain Grand Prix and I’m sure it will overlap again as F1 forges paths into new markets More…

Posted on January 21, 2011


The new FIA Institute Young Driver Academy is taking shape as today 19 youngsters were named, from which 10 will be selected to take part in the 2011 Academy programme. The most experienced of them is Alexander Rossi, an American who has been racing in GP3 and GP2 Asia and is known in the F1 paddock. The selection process to narrow the shortlist down to 10 finalists will take place in Austria on 6/7/8 February under the watchful eye of Academy principal Alex Wurz and his partner Robert Reid, who was a leading rally co-driver and now runs a physical More…

Posted on January 14, 2011


In the last 24 hours a new initiative has been launched called the EV Cup, which is the world’s first electric vehicle championship. It will take place this year and is the start of something we are all going to have to get used to. I’m interested in this because I’m always interested in future trends. In its statutes the FIA now has an “Electric and New Energy Championships Commission” and many of the world’s leading car manufacturers are investing heavily in EVs for the road. It’s not surprising therefore that a group has got together to see if they More…

Posted on January 6, 2011


Ferrari, 5 wins, 2 poles, 3rd in Constructors’ Championship There are so many ways to look at the story of Ferrari’s 2010 season, but let’s start with the helicopter view, the overview in other words. Ferrari hires Alonso (finally) gives him a winning car and despite a few mistakes he establishes himself as clear number one, takes the chances, wins races and then loses the title at the last round due to a bad mistake on strategy by his team. The inescapable conclusion from this is that Alonso owed Ferrari one after his early season mistakes, but he made good. More…

Posted on January 5, 2011


BMW Sauber F1 team, 0 wins, 0 podiums, 8th in Constructors’ Championship It was a season of two halves for the team, with a lamentable first half and a fairly positive second half. Kamui Kobayashi turned out to be a real star and he’s the first Japanese driver I’ve encountered who has a big appeal to European fans. I thought Sato would be popular in Europe but it didn’t work out that way, whereas Kobayashi has a real fighting spirit and an air of cool about him which makes him a fan favourite. His bold pass on Alonso in the More…

Posted on January 4, 2011


Since I posted this morning Ferrari has announced the major changes that team boss Stefano Domenicali hinted at. According to the team’s website, “Neil Martin takes on the role of heading up the new Operations Research department. A 38 year old Englishman, Martin previously worked for Red Bull and prior to that McLaren and he will now report directly to Technical Director, Aldo Costa. “At the same time, Costa’s deputy, Pat Fry will, in addition to his current role, take on the job of head of race track engineering. Up until yesterday, this position was held by Chris Dyer and More…

Posted on January 3, 2011


Toro Rosso, 0 wins, 0 poles, 9th in Constructors’ Championship Probably the least talked about team in F1, I have to admit I’ve always found Toro Rosso a bit of an enigma. Why does Red Bull persist with owning a second team now that the rules prohibit the kind of chassis data exchange which used to make it a low overhead business and now that the main Red Bull team is competing at the highest level? Is there any scope for the team to grow and if so in what ways? It has been for sale at various stages along More…

Posted on January 2, 2011


Renault F1 team, 0 wins, 3 podiums, 0 poles, 5th in Constructors’ championship I found the Renault team very interesting to study this year on several levels. Organisationally, the team had new ownership in the shape of tech investor Gerard Lopez and his Genii company. It retained some participation from the Renault car company, but that ended after the season finished as Genii bought out Renault’s 25% stake. The intention is to sell between 25% and 40% of the company to Group Lotus, which also becomes title sponsor for the next three years. Lopez has all sorts of innovative ideas More…

Posted on January 1, 2011


Williams F1 team, 0 wins, 1 pole, 6th in Constructors’ championship Williams is considered the weather vane of F1 – if it is in reasonable shape, then F1 is in good shape. The team struggled during the manufacturer era, whereas this moment should be good for the team, with the Resource Restriction Agreement pulling the staff numbers and resources of the leading teams down. The team is definitely in transition from the late Frank Williams/Patrick Head days to the Adam Parr/Sam Michael days. This means everything from finding sponsors and drivers to technical direction. In practice it has been this More…

Posted on December 31, 2010


Virgin Racing, 0 wins, 0 poles, 12th in Constructors’ Championship If Lotus’ first season on track turned out more or less how they expected it to, Virgin’s fell below their expectations for a variety of reasons. First they were caught out by a couple of changes in fuel regulations which meant that the fuel tank wasn’t quite big enough to do the race distance. They were given dispensation to change the chassis – something which is expressly banned nowadays for cost saving reasons. Reliability was worse than expected, due to a range of problems, of which hydraulics was the main More…

Posted on December 30, 2010


Lotus Racing, 0 Wins, 0 poles, 10th in Constructors’ Championship Having lived through the political upheaval of 2009, much of which was based on then FIA president Max Mosley’s desire to see new teams come in to F1, for me the 2010 season was notable for the birth of three new teams; Lotus, Virgin and HRT. They got a frosty reception from Ferrari for ‘limping’ into the sport and as the year went on were criticised by Bernie Ecclestone. But they survived and the most effective of them was Lotus. It’s extremely hard as an independent to set up a More…

Posted on December 29, 2010


McLaren, 5 wins, 1 pole, 2nd in Constructors’ Championship McLaren were one of the most interesting teams to follow during 2010, as they bedded in the relationship between Lewis Hamilton and his new team mate Jenson Button, who arrived at the team as world champion. Many people predicted tension and conflict but there were two reasons to suspect that this would not be the case. First Button isn’t that kind of character and second the team bent over backwards to make him feel welcome and to remove all obstacles to him feeling at home. I sensed that the disastrous Alonso More…

Posted on December 24, 2010


Fancy you know a bit about Formula 1? Were you paying attention this season? Then try your hand at the JA on F1 Christmas Quiz. We’ve put together 20 Questions to test your knowledge of F1 from this season and from the past. This isn’t meant to be some obscure chassis-spotting exercise, but a collection of fun questions to answer over the holiday period. There’s no prize, just see how quickly you can solve it. Try it without using Google first, see how far you get. Good luck! Answers will be posted on December 26th. For obvious reasons, please don’t More…

Posted on December 4, 2010


We’ve had a great entry to Stars in Average Cars competition, with some very amusing top five lists. The emphasis was on entertainment here, the once we liked best we’ve selected below, together with some choice Darren Heath images. Each will receive a signed copy of the JA on F1 2010 season review book. And now I think that’s enough lists… Enjoy! Aaron James’ list 1. Kobayashi- a terrifying mix of Takuma Sato’s bravery and the racecraft of Ayrton Senna, Kobayashi has set this season’s F1 season alight (well it was his engine alight for the first few races!. I More…

Posted on November 26, 2010


I asked JA on F1 readers to name their top five drivers of the year by Monday 29th November, the prize for the first ten entries which match my choice of top five will win a signed copy of my 2010 season review book, “Five rivals, one Champion”. We’ve had almost 700 entries so far; some very entertaining ones and some very well considered. For a bit of fun I have also asked one or two friends in and around F1 for their Top Five and today we have the veteran Williams, Benetton and Toyota engineer, Frank Dernie. Here is More…

Posted on November 16, 2010


All year we have been running a Driver of the Day survey after each Grand Prix, but it’s that time of year again, where we need to establish the Top Five drivers of the year, in order, with your Driver of the Season at the top. Once again the first ten entries which match my selection, will receive a free signed copy of our review book of the season; James Allen on F1 2010: Five Rivals, One Champion, which is due to be published on 29 November. This will also be the closing date for entries. Unlike last year there More…

Posted on November 14, 2010


As usual we have had many great comments and some interesting points of view put forward about the outcome of today’s championship. I wanted to give the fans a voice tonight and so I’ve picked out this post from JM Randle, which expresses his view on this epic season and gives a good assessment of our new world champion. “With an hour or two having passed since the race finished, first and foremost we have to congratulate Sebastian Vettel – a combination of a truly awesome racer, able to extract the maximum from his car over both one lap and More…

Posted on November 13, 2010


Sebastian Vettel took pole position for the final round of the 2010 World Championship ahead of Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso. It was his 10th pole position of the season and a record equalling 15th pole of the season for Red Bull Racing. Mark Webber could manage only the fifth fastest time, which deals his title hopes a real blow. He has to hope for misfortunes to the others tomorrow, as starting behind Alonso on the road and with less points, he’s in a difficult position. Alonso made some changes to his car, reverting to settings from Friday, while Hamilton More…

Posted on September 6, 2010


There have been discussions going on all year behind the scenes to frame new rules for the 2013 season and it is beginning to look as though F1 is going to grasp the nettle and make some really exciting changes. 2013 has been a key date on the horizon for some time as it offers the sport a massive opportunity, one it cannot really afford to squander. It amounts to a chance to reshape F1 to be exactly what it needs to be to set itself up for a bright future as both thrilling to watch and relevant to the More…

Posted on August 31, 2010


In the aftermath of the Belgian Grand Prix, Sebastian Vettel has come in for a fair bit of criticism for putting himself out of contention once again and damaging his championship chances. Spa was his third retirement of the season. He is now 31 points off the championship lead. He’s made things more difficult for himself, but with 150 points up for grabs, he can still recover. He’s under the spotlight for a collision with Jenson Button, which put the world champion out of the race and he made five visits to the pits, including a drive through penalty. It More…

Posted on August 5, 2010


The Hungarian Grand Prix has developed a reputation as a bit of a dull race over the years, although there have been some races where due to strategy reasons, the race has been enthralling. One that springs to mind was the 1998 classic, when Ferrari’s Ross Brawn switched Michael Schumacher on a three stop strategy, which required him to knock out 20 laps of qualifying level intensity to beat the McLarens of Mika Hakkinen and David Coulthard. Mark Webber faced a similar task on Sunday, as he and his engineer took the decision not to pit under the safety car More…

Posted on July 18, 2010


I had a great time today hosting a radio show for the first time with ex Ferrari driver Eddie Irvine, rock star Chris Rea and F1 journo Adam Cooper. We did a two hour radio special on TalkSport, the UK’s leading commercial sports radio station. I’ve done many inserts into their shows, but never hosted one before. It was great fun and we had Christian Horner, Karun Chandhok and others including Ian Phillips and Times F1 correspondent Kevin Eason. Horner added a new element to the saga of the front wing swap from Silverstone – he said that after Vettel’s More…

Posted on July 15, 2010


F1 in Schools WebsiteF1 in Schools, the global engineering challenge for school children, of which I am proud to be a patron, has had two major breakthroughs recently. First the world championship finals due to take place in Singapore this year have been boosted by a sponsorship deal with LG Electronics. And then at Silverstone last weekend, one of the participants, Kelly Ashbridge, who has represented her school in Carlisle in F1 in Schools, got the chance to interview Red Bull technical chief Adrian Newey, an active patron of the programme. Through F1 in Schools, Kelly has become interested in More…

Posted on April 23, 2010


There has been quite a bit of movement in recent weeks regarding the acquisition of a new tyre supplier for next season. Bridgestone have announced their intention to pull out and despite lengthy negotiations, revolving around them being paid to supply tyres and also receiving added value from other PR activities, it seems that they are inclined to stick to that position. Michelin entered the frame with a radical proposal to change the wheel rim size and open the competition up to other suppliers – to reintroduce an element of competition. This got Cooper Avon and more recently Pirelli interested More…

Posted on April 10, 2010


I’ve been interested by the discussions about bringing back KERS this past week, following the FOTA meeting in Malaysia at which it was on the agenda. KERS, for anyone not familiar with the term, is Kinetic Energy Recovery System, which harvests energy from braking, stores it as electrical energy and then reintroduces it to the system as a power boost. Under last year’s rules it was worth about 80hp for around 7 seconds per lap. I always thought it was a good idea for F1 to have something like this to keep it in step with the road car industry’s More…

Posted on April 9, 2010


The official F1 live timing app, for which JA on F1 provides the live text commentary, has been updated for 2010 and is also available for the new ipad, which hit the shops in the USA this week and will be in the UK soon. It’s a very cool app and one I’m delighted to be involved in. The app was launched last year and was voted by Apple one of the best 25 launches of 2009. It gives live timing and the ability to follow the race a new way using a 3D track map. This has been refined More…

Posted on March 25, 2010


Mark Webber has hit back at suggestions that he may retire from Formula 1 at the end of this season. The 33 year old Australian arrived in the Melbourne paddock today with stories swirling around him thanks to an intervention from Lewis Hamilton, who suggested that he might retire at the end of the season, ”I don’t know how long he [Webber] plans to stay in F1, but I get the sense that it’s one of the years if he wants to finish on top and perhaps call it a day,” he said. But Webber said, “I’m very motivated, enjoying More…

Posted on March 25, 2010


The parc ferme rules in F1 are an important part of the ritual of a race weekend. From the moment qualifying starts on Saturday to the moment the cars go to the grid on Sunday, they are in parc ferme conditions, which means that no work or modifications can be done on the cars without FIA approval. It’s great for the mechanics, who get a guaranteed evening off, especially welcome at this time of the year. In Bahrain many teams did all-nighters on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. After qualifying the cars used to be handed over to the FIA and More…

Posted on March 24, 2010


I was interested to see the results of the recent fan survey conducted by FOTA with the support of LG Electronics and F1 Racing. They are fairly predictable, with Ferrari coming out on top with 30% of the support, well ahead of McLaren on 19% and Mercedes on 10%. 22% of fans said that they had no particular favourite team. On the driver side, Michael Schumacher has not lost his fan base and he tops the poll with 19.5%, ahead of Fernando Alonso on 9.7%, Kimi Raikkonen on 7.2%, Felipe Massa on 6.1% and Lewis Hamilton on 6%. Again it More…

Posted on March 22, 2010


We receive many messages asking, “How do I get a job in F1?” Renault has announced that it is expanding its intern programme, known as the Altran Engineering Academy, for this year and is offering a placement at the engine department at Viry as well as the team’s chassis HQ in Enstone. Renault is keen to encourage young engineers to come into F1 and three graduates of the programme have gone on to full time jobs with the team, one is still working there today. Last year’s winner was Helen Makey (pictured) Renault’s managing director Bob Bell says that ideas More…

Posted on March 11, 2010


It’s been a busy day at Bahrain, albeit totally lacking in tension. The drivers and teams all seem very calm ahead of the new season. The new teams are understandably a little more edgy, but generally I am amazed how calm everyone is. That doesn’t mean that there hasn’t been a lot going on. Alain Prost is to act as a steward this weekend, alongside three of the more traditional steward types, in order to add credibility to penalties handed out to drivers. Also the World Motor Sport Council has today been discussing the 107% rule and decided to look More…

Posted on March 11, 2010


The first day of the new season kicked off with a trip to a Mercedes dealership on a highway out of Bahrain’s capital Manama, to see Michael Schumacher and Nico Rosberg. This was one of those occasions which was more interesting for what it looked like rather than what was said. It was a bit of a mess organisationally, with the principals over an hour late and then delayed further by a decision to do a TV scrum before the formal press conference, rather than the other way around. So by the end of it we had lost a whole More…

Posted on March 8, 2010


I went up to Cosworth recently to have a look around and find out how the testing has been going. Cosworth is returning to F1 after an absence of three years and in many ways they symbolise the new post-manufacturer F1 era, as the power behind Williams and the new teams. There was quite a bit of scepticism about Cosworth when the FIA issued its list of new teams accepted for 2010, all of whom would be using Cosworth engines. In some quarters it was suggested that having Cosworth engines was the only way to be accepted, but there were More…

Posted on March 5, 2010


Of the new teams in Formula 1 it looks as though the radical Virgin Racing car is probably going to be the fastest, once it hits its stride, but preparations for the season have been undermined somewhat by reliability problems in testing. The car has been unable to hold on to its hydraulic fluid and during its first test a front wing fell off. This has been a little embarrassing for technical director Nick Wirth, who has staked his reputation on a car which has never been anywhere near a wind tunnel, but instead was designed only using CFD or More…

Posted on March 1, 2010


World Champion Jenson Button spoke to a few of the leading F1 websites today on a phone-in from the McLaren Technology Centre. He seemed very upbeat after the testing and clearly believes that he has a competitive car. However he said that the last few weeks have proved to him that the first few laps of the race are going to be vital, “It’s like an endurance race, like Le Mans, ” he said. “The car works very differently from high to low fuel loads in terms of balance. It is a different way of driving from last season. We More…

Posted on February 28, 2010


Virgin Racing’s ultimate boss Sir Richard Branson dropped in to Barcelona today to see his new F1 car testing and to deliver some well chosen words in response to Ferrari’s attack earlier this week on the new teams. The now infamous attack by the “Horse Whisperer” on the Ferrari website this week laid into the new teams and claimed that Virgin and Lotus, the two new teams which have been out testing are “limping” into the season. Branson clearly felt that this was not something he could allow to go without a response. Always one with an eye for a More…

Posted on February 25, 2010


Today the 11 teams who have got their cars ready for the start of the new season were on track for the first day of the final official test at Barcelona. Mark Webber set the fastest time, but the headline lap times are not really important at this stage, that will come in the later stages of the test when we start to get the low fuel qualifying specials. What was interesting today was that the teams were working hard on the adjustable front wings which have become a crucial device on the long runs with heavy fuel loads. Since More…

Posted on February 25, 2010


The final official test starts this morning in Barcelona, with 11 teams out on track – all the teams competing this season except for USF1 and Campos. The four day test is the final chance for the teams to test out new developments before the first race in Bahrain on 14 March. The first two tests were largely about proving reliability, while the more advanced teams started to push the performance side a lot more in Jerez last week. For this week a wide range of new aerodynamic upgrades is expected. Teams like McLaren and Ferrari have produced significant packages More…

Posted on February 22, 2010


The thrusting Stefan GP team took its first backwards step today when it was forced to call off its planned test in Portugal due to a lack of tyres. The team does not have an entry but is hoping that it will be given one soon if USF1 or Campos fails to make it. Bridgestone, which is in the final year as tyre supplier to F1, is not obliged to supply tyres to the Serbian outfit and according to Stefan GP, it hasn’t come up with 2010 tyres for them to test. After weeks of pushing hard and issuing go More…

Posted on February 21, 2010


After a rainy first couple of days, the second Jerez test actually turned out to be quite revealing and a picture has emerged of how the teams line up with the new season now less than a month away. So far most of the testing has been reliability based, with some performance work this week by the more advanced teams. Next week’s final test in Barcelona will be more about performance and many teams will bring major updates to their cars in preparation for the first race. From what we saw this week, the field is close enough for this More…

Posted on February 20, 2010


It has been widely reported today that the USF1 team has asked the FIA for permission to miss the first four races of the season, starting at the beginning of the European season. Team founder Ken Anderson spoke to the New York Times on Friday and admitted that the team was not currently good to go, but suggested that some funding would be available provided that the FIA gives them this massive concession soon, “If we get a decision quickly, it triggers funding and we’re good to go,” he said. “We’re working with the FIA to clarify how many races More…

Posted on February 19, 2010


The struggling Campos Meta 1 team has had a significant change of ownership with one of the partners, Jose Ramon Carabante, taking the majority shareholding. He has installed former Midland and Force India team principal Colin Kolles as team principal of the new team. The move follows Campos’ abortive efforts to sell the team to A1GP boss Tony Teixeira. Tonight Kolles issued a statement, announcing the development. It said that Kolles was tasked with making sure that “the team is fully operational and ready to make its Bahrain debut next month.” Carabante said, “I would like to thank Bernie Ecclestone, More…

Posted on February 16, 2010


The third official test starts tomorrow. Analysing the lap time sheets from last week in Jerez, it is clear that the front running teams have already begun experimenting with the tyres and how to use them in qualifying and the race. This is critical this year because the fastest ten cars will have to start the race on their qualifying tyres so it’s essential to make sure you pick the right one. The work done by Ferrari and Mercedes last week in particular gives us some clues about how the race weekends might play out and it tells us a More…

Posted on February 12, 2010


Lotus unveiled their new team, car and drivers in London this evening. It was a professional and understated presentation, the key themes were passion and heritage rather than promises and hype. Team boss Tony Fernandes is a builder of brands and here he has pulled together various strands into this team, leaning heavily on the heritage of the Lotus name. But the Chapman family who founded Lotus are fully behind him and were at the launch, also behind him are Mike Gascoyne and his experienced technical team made up of former Toyota, Super Aguri and Renault staff. There are 160 More…

Posted on February 12, 2010


Michelin has publicly admitted for the first time that it is in talks with the FIA about making a return to F1 as a sole tyre supplier. According to Bloomberg Michelin’s Jean Dominique Senard gave an interview in which he admitted to “formal discussions” with the FIA and said, “We might consider returning but there are some very clear conditions.” These revolve around an insistence by Michelin that the rules were changed to showcase tyres which had a positive environmental effect and a wider appeal to the motor industry than at present in order to “show the performance they can More…

Posted on February 10, 2010


The second official test is underway in Jerez ahead of the the 2010 F1 season and you can follow the action live on our Twitter Aggregator site JA on F1 Tweets Having listened to the many suggestions kindly submitted by our readers, we have updated the site since last week’s Valencia roll-out. We have added a server due to its popularity, so the site should be faster and updated more frequently. Autorefresh will be added once we’re happy the new set-up is working well. Thanks for all your great feedback – we’ve removed retweets and the search text highlighting as More…

Posted on February 10, 2010


The car everyone has been waiting to see broke cover this morning in Jerez, ahead of the second official F1 test. On paper, Red Bull are favourites for the championship this year because they had the fastest car at the end of the season and had taken a direction in design and philosophy that other teams have clearly copied with their 2010 cars. The new Red Bull is an evolution of last year’s car and as long as Adrian Newey and his team have got their sums right and haven’t built in any reliability issues, this should mean that the More…

Posted on February 9, 2010


Today saw the penultimate launch of the ‘established’ teams in Formula 1. Force India unveiled their VJM03 to the world and tomorrow it will run for the first time in the test at Jerez. Tonio Liuzzi will drive the car for the first two days and then Adrian Sutil will take over for the final two days. Last year’s car turned out to be one of the revelations of the season on the low downforce tracks in particular. Giancarlo Fisichella stuck his car on pole in Spa and raced to second place, while Adrian Sutil got a front row slot More…

Posted on February 9, 2010


Three months into his tenure as FIA president, a period in which he has kept a low profile and got on with work behind the scenes to restructure the FIA and put new policies in place, Jean Todt has broken cover and started to talk about his agenda for office and the things he wants to get done. He said that he took on the unpaid role of FIA president because of his “passion” for the motoring and motor sport. Yesterday at a small gathering of media in Paris he spoke about controlling costs, the possibility of new team “no-shows’ More…

Posted on February 8, 2010


Many readers have been in touch asking for clarification of the latest changes to the sporting regulations. Last week the F1 Commission met to discuss the proposals to change some of the sporting regulations to improve the show this season, things which have been discussed for some time, even voted on before. Many items were on the table including tyre usage, compulsory pit stops, overtaking lanes and extra points for pole and fastest lap. Many were rejected, but the revision to the points system was approved so now the winner has a much bigger advantage over second place – 7 More…

Posted on February 6, 2010


When Renault announced that it had decided to sell a majority stake in its F1 team to tech investor Gerard Lopez, many people in the sport questioned what the strategy was. Was it a way for the manufacturer to pull out of the sport while appearing to stay involved? Was it a fig leaf to cover up the embarrassment of a pullout? Is this team still Renault, even though as much as 75% of the UK based team is now owned by Lopez? And why did they turn down an offer from David Richards, who wanted to rebrand the team More…

Posted on February 5, 2010


Ferrari technical director Aldo Costa says that the new Ferrari is on target as the numbers they got from the first track test this week in Spain correlated with the figures that they had from the wind tunnel. Ferrari were on top throughout the three days in Valencia, largely due to running lower fuel loads the their main opposition, McLaren and Mercedes. Close analysis of the lap times shows that Alonso was slightly faster than Massa at this first test, based on estimated, fuel corrected times. Alonso ran mainly 2009 levels of fuel, whereas Massa also spent a little time More…

Posted on February 4, 2010


Nick Heidfeld has finally landed the Mercedes testing and 3rd driver role. The team announced this morning that the experienced 32 year old will complete the all German line up in the new team. In his junior days he was a test driver for McLaren Mercedes but did not get taken on in an F1 race seat. He was at Sauber in 2001 when Mercedes and McLaren again overlooked him and chose his team mate Kimi Raikkonen instead. His career has had several false starts and never delivered the race wins his speed and engineering prowess deserved. With drives and More…

Posted on February 3, 2010


In front of a crowd of 40,000 fans at Valencia, Fernando Alonso had his first drive in a Ferrari today and set the fastest time of the week. On a historic final day of this first test, there were three world champions on track with Michael Schumacher and Jenson Button also getting a feel for the Mercedes and McLaren respectively. “It was an important day for me, first time in a Ferrari,” said Alonso. “A very emotional day this morning and also last night. I think I maximised the day in terms of laps and time on the track and More…

Posted on February 3, 2010


The new Virgin Racing team today became the first of the new teams to unveil their 2010 car. It is quite appropriate timing as the debate intensifies about new teams, their viability and the possibility that they are to be allowed to miss up to three races this season. Virgin have distanced themselves from that debate with this new car, which in itself is a mould breaker as it was designed entirely using Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) with no time whatsoever in a wind tunnel. It is the first time in F1 that this approach has been taken. At the More…

Posted on February 2, 2010


Stefan GP has announced that it has taken the extraordinary step of sending equipment out to Bahrain, the site of the first race of the season, even though it has not yet got an entry for the championship. It has its sights set on the entry currently held by Campos Meta. And Stefan GP have announced a test at Portimao at the end of February, with the likelihood that Toyota backed Kazuki Nakajima will drive the car. “Stefan Grand Prix writes history! SGP becomes the first team in F1 history who did send a 40 foot container full of equipment More…

Posted on February 1, 2010


I’m delighted to announce JA on F1 Tweets, an exciting new service for the 2010 season. The idea of this subsite is to bring the sport and the fans closer together by pulling together tweets from inside and outside the sport in one place. What’s so special about it? The key is that you don’t have to be a twitter user to enjoy the wealth of insight and information about the sport that is available from twitter – and often nowhere else! Think of this like a playlist; I’m the filter and this is my personal choice of Tweets I More…

Posted on January 31, 2010


Stefan Grand Prix from Serbia, has announced that it has done a deal to use many of the Toyota F1 assets, a deal that was on the table for all the new teams entering F1 this season. Meanwhile word is reaching me that A1 GP boss Tony Teixeira has now agreed a deal to acquire Campos, the money is yet to be handed over, however. Campos has a slot on the grid this season, Stefan does not, but wants one badly. And, intriguingly, with several new teams struggling one way or another, it appears that a deal may have been More…

Posted on January 30, 2010


It’s only early days and we have yet to see how fast the new cars are from each team. We have seen only the new Ferrari and McLaren cars, inert on a stage. On Monday in Valencia, when most of the serious teams hit the track, we will start to see the picture forming of who is where and that picture will become clearer over the following three tests. But the readers of JA on F1 have been voting on who they think is the man to beat at this stage of the game. Just under 5,000 votes have been More…

Posted on January 29, 2010


The two McLaren drivers Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button were quite a double act today at the launch of the new McLaren MP4/25. Hamilton welcomed his new team mate warmly, even suggesting that Button would get priority treatment in the event that the team could only produce one new piece of equipment for a race. In contrast to Ferrari and Mercedes, where there are obvious competitive tensions, the McLaren drivers are keen to appear well and truly loved up. It was obvious from the start of the presentation today. Hamilton spoke of how he had always looked up to Button More…

Posted on January 29, 2010


McLaren today unveiled its new car the MP4-25 at a ceremony in Newbury at the headquarters of its main sponsor Vodafone. “Our goal is clear, we aim to win”, said team principal Martin Whitmarsh. He went on to say that this car is the most highly developed car they have ever unveiled, “You never know of course if we have missed something – there are a number of things on this car that I have never seen on an F1 car and I find that heartening. But you never know – there might be some things that are like the More…

Posted on January 28, 2010


McLaren are putting the finishing touches to their new MP4/25 car in Woking this evening and in the early hours of the morning will be driving it down the motorway to Newbury for the launch tomorrow. Meanwhile Ferrari have unveiled their car today and are preparing to drive it to Valencia for its first test on Monday. Both teams are hoping that 2010 will be their year after disappointing 2009 campaigns. Much has been said today about the new Ferrari and the drivers have spoken about who they believe the main opposition will be for this season. But tonight a More…

Posted on January 28, 2010


Ferrari has become the first team to launch its new car in a ceremony at Maranello this morning. The tone was of renewal; a team leaving behind the skeletons of a disastrous 2009 campaign and striding forward confidently with powerful new people and new assets like Fernando Alonso and Santander. Alonso upped the ante when he spoke of the pride the Ferrari supporters will feel when they win the championship, as he hopes. Dubbed the F10, the new car has echoes of last year’s Red Bull car, particularly the nose. The sidepods are smaller than last year’s. The colour scheme More…

Posted on January 27, 2010


Mercedes boss Ross Brawn has had more to say on the dynamic between his two drivers this season. He said that he has great faith in Nico Rosberg and that he does not want Michael Schumacher to dominate the team. He makes it clear that he feels that favouring one driver damages the motivation of the other. Speaking in an interview with F1.com, Brawn spoke of Rosberg benefitting from being Schumacher’s team mate to set him up for life after Schumacher’s retirement. “I never wanted Michael to dominate, ” he said. “(At Ferrari) Michael dominated because he was the best. More…

Posted on January 26, 2010


The Formula 1 test season starts next week in Valencia, the first of four official F1 tests before the opening Grand Prix in Bahrain on 14 March. We will be analysing the testing performances here on JA on F1, looking at how the cars are developing. And on Monday of next week, to co-incide with the first day of testing, we will be launching an exciting new service which will help to cover the action and bring the fans and the sport a little closer together. The tests are open to the public and it’s a very good value way More…

Posted on January 25, 2010


Here are some more images of today’s Mercedes launch. You can see the colour and effect of the Silver Arrow livery, which is much lighter than the colour of the McLaren Mercedes cars. Petronas is the main sponsor, along with MIG, a Swiss brokerage which backed Brawn last season. Aabar, the Abu Dhabi investment vehicle, is a shareholder in the Mercedes team. Nico Rosberg and Michael Schumacher form an all German line up for Mercedes’ first season Michael Schumacher has kept the red helmet colour to which he switched during his Ferrari days. Corinna Schumacher was at the launch. And More…

Posted on January 25, 2010


Mercedes Grand Prix is up and running, the third time in the company’s history that it has had its own team at the highest level of the sport. At a ceremony today in Stuttgart the all German driver line up of Michael Schumacher and Nico Rosberg was unveiled along with the distinctive colour scheme. The legendary Silver Arrows were a powerful force in Grand Prix racing before the war and then dominated it when they returned in the mid 1950s. They won everything because their investment was huge and the technology was superior to the opposition and in Juan Manuel More…

Posted on January 24, 2010


This weekend has been quite low key in anticipation of a big week ahead. It’s the quiet before the storm. Tomorrow Michael Schumacher and Nico Rosberg will pull the covers off the first Mercedes F1 car for 55 years and by next Sunday we will know what three of the main contenders for the world championship look like; Mercedes, Ferrari and McLaren. And then testing will begin and the new season will be up and running. It’s all about to kick off. But there have been a few points worth noting this weekend, as we gear up for the action, More…

Posted on January 23, 2010


Nico Rosberg has come out strongly in a fantastic interview today by my colleague Frederic Ferret in L’Equipe sports newspaper in France, claiming that he is not afraid of going up against a driver he considers the “best driver ever”. The 24 year old faces a very different season from the one he anticipated when he signed for Brawn last summer. Instead of Jenson Button alongside him, he has the seven times world champion Michael Schumacher and already, given Schumacher’s track record with team mates and approach to racing, there has been a lot of talk about how Rosberg will More…

Posted on January 22, 2010


Three months into his tenure and new FIA president Jean Todt has started moving some of the pieces in his staffing jigsaw, with former convener of the stewards and FIA liaison man Alan Donnelly and former technical consulant Tony Purnell moved aside from roles in F1. Things are starting to hot up now in the reshuffle of personnel. The key appointment due to be made soon is F1 commissioner, a new and powerful position. The commissioner will be the face of the FIA at F1 events and the touch point for the teams and FOM with the governing body. The More…

Posted on January 21, 2010


Felipe Massa is set to test a 2008 Ferrari at Barcelona on Friday. He will take the car over from Valentino Rossi, who has been enjoying another taste of F1 power this week. Ferrari are able to do this because the car is now two years old, which is the embargo set by the testing committee to protect against new technology. The car is now part of the stable of cars managed by Ferrari’s F1 Clienti department, which looks after old F1 cars for its wealthy customers. No other team does this and it’s quite an undertaking to maintain all More…

Posted on January 20, 2010


Michael Schumacher has swapped his racing number from Four to Three ahead of this season’s world championship. The move was approved by Mercedes, who have had it accepted by the FIA. “Michael has a preference for odd numbers, ” said a team spokesman. “He asked if he could be the odd number and we were happy to accept.” Nothing particularly odd about that, one might say. It’s simply a case of Schumacher being superstitious about racing with odd numbers on his car. He did it throughout his Benetton and Ferrari careers. “Ross [Brawn] knows that I like odd numbers,” Schumacher More…

Posted on January 20, 2010


New Renault team principal Eric Boullier has admitted today that the team is leaving it late to sign a second driver to partner Robert Kubica and that the choice is limited. “Today we have a situation where there are not many drivers available on the market,” Boullier told Autosport. “I speak about drivers with Formula 1 experience and drivers who are rookies but successful enough and graduated enough to get into Formula 1. The key thing is that we do consider driver performance and driver development state.” Boullier’s list has two experienced drivers and two inexperienced ones. He said that More…

Posted on January 19, 2010


Pedro de la Rosa has pulled off a major coup and landed the second seat at BMW Sauber. He will be team mate of exciting rookie Kamui Kobayashi. For the 38 year old Spaniard it is a case of third time lucky, having had one career with Arrows and Jaguar and then a brief cameo as a McLaren driver when the team dropped Juan Pablo Montoya in 2006. “I always firmly believed I would be given another chance as a team driver,” said De la Rosa. Sauber has been looking to hit the right balance between a driver with some More…

Posted on January 19, 2010


It’s pretty widely accepted now that this is the most exciting F1 season in prospect for a generation. The return of Michael Schumacher and the moves of Fernando Alonso, Jenson Button and Nico Rosberg as well as the potent threat of Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber at Red Bull, make this the best championship on paper anyone can remember. F1 insiders are just as excited as F1 fans about the season ahead. It’s still early days yet and we don’t yet know who will have the fastest car, but the bookmakers are already giving odds on who will win the More…

Posted on January 16, 2010


There will be no re-tuning of the engines competing in Formula 1 this season, after extensive discussions on ways of equalising engines drew a blank. The Mercedes, Ferrari and Renault engines will all be as they were in 2009. The V8 engines in use in F1 at the moment are all frozen in specification, with no performance developments allowed. However manufacturers are allowed to request changes in the interests of reliability. In that process, some changes were made which definitely improved performance, so by the end of 2008 there was quite a difference in performance between the best and worst More…

Posted on January 15, 2010


After Fernando Alonso and Stefano Domenicali, it was Felipe Massa’s turn to speak today at the Ferrari event in Madonna di Campiglio. He talked of various things, but I was interested in what he said about his relationship with new team mate Fernando Alonso, the support he got from Ferrari and about fatherhood. Although Alonso has been the headline act this week, with Domenicali speaking of his arrival at Ferrari as possibly heralding a “new era”, Massa is newsworthy too. His return from a potentially career ending injury is one of the great human interest stories of the 2010 season. More…

Posted on January 14, 2010


Fernando Alonso held his first press conference in Ferrari colours today. He spoke about his desire to win many championships with Ferrari, to end his career there and denied requesting number one status at any stage of his career. He also said that he expects to have a good relationship with team mate Felipe Massa. His theme was that joining Ferrari was the culmination of a long journey in his career, that he was now at home in the Ferrari family. But being Alonso, he couldn’t resist an edgy comment about his McLaren days, suggesting that he felt like a More…

Posted on January 13, 2010


Ferrari team principal Stefano Domenicali has revealed today that the meeting of Formula 1′s Sporting Working Group (SWG) to discuss how to spice up the show, is imminent. It is thought that nothing radical is on the table, but a revision to the new points system and some method for retaining race strategy without refuelling is to be discussed. “There’s going to be a meeting in the next couple of weeks to reconsider some items of the regulations, among which is the scoring system,” he said. “In the agenda we do not only have the fact that we have to More…

Posted on January 13, 2010


Ferrari is hosting its annual media and sponsor event in the Italian ski resort Madonna di Campiglio this week and that means that there will be plenty of Ferrari-related headlines for the next few days. Today it was the turn of team principal Stefano Domenicali to speak. He talked about Ferrari’s need to get back to the front of the grid, he spoke about the importance of fuel consumption this season, now that refuelling is banned and he talked about history, recent history. “Let’s not forget Fernando is the only driver on the track who in his career has beaten More…

Posted on January 12, 2010


The new teams in F1 have been forced on the PR offensive today in light of negative stories about them as the new season approaches. Campos, Virgin and USF1 have come out with some clarifications as the pressure mounts to get their teams on track ahead of the pre-season testing and the first race. Campos has spoken to the BBC today and set the record straight on his talks with potential last minute investors. He said that with the money due from FOM and from a second pay driver, whom he hoped to sign soon, he would be on budget, More…

Posted on January 12, 2010


Nelson Piquet has decided to give up on F1 and pursue a career in the United States in one of the NASCAR series. The Brazilian was at the centre of the Singapore crash fixing scandal which resulted in Renault team boss Flavio Briatore and director of engineering Pat Symonds being banned from the sport by the FIA. Last week those bans were overturned by a Paris court, but the FIA has given notice of appeal. Throughout all of this Piquet received no punishment, as he was granted immunity from prosecution by the FIA in return for spilling the beans on More…

Posted on January 11, 2010


McLaren has reshuffled its engineering staff at the race track, giving both Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button new race engineers, who have been promoted from junior roles. Hamilton will work with 31 year old Andy Latham, while Button will be engineered by 39 year old Jakob Andreason, who was number two engineer on Hamilton’s car for the last few years. It is a statement of how careful they are trying to be to appear even handed between the two drivers. With painful experiences of Fernando Alonso’s year at the team, where allegations were made of preferential treatment towards Hamilton, McLaren More…

Posted on January 11, 2010


Seven times world champion Michael Schumacher is to take part in a three day GP2 test at Jerez, starting tomorrow, as he limbers up for a return to Formula 1 testing with Mercedes in February after three years away from the sport. With only one test in an F2007 Ferrari last summer behind him, Schumacher wants to get back up to speed as quickly as possible. GP2 is the feeder level series for F1, one level down. It is backed by Renault. It replaced F3000, which was the feeder level series in 1991 when Schumacher was coming through the ranks. More…

Posted on January 10, 2010


Today’s Gazzetta Sportiva, the Sunday edition of the Gazzetta dello Sport has a full page dedicated to revealing some details of the 2010 Ferrari which will be launched later this month in time for the Valencia test from 1-3 February. It looks pretty aggressive, judging from the drawing by F1′s pre-eminent technical journalist, Giorgio Piola. He is not always right but after over 40 years in the business and with some impeccable contacts at Ferrari, we can be fairly confident that the information is valid. Piola suggests that there are strong echoes of last year’s Red Bull, arguably the most More…

Posted on January 10, 2010


The two McLaren drivers for 2010, Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button have had some revealing things to say this week as F1 gets going again after the New Year. The in house battle at McLaren will be a real talking point this year and the pair are approaching it in different ways. Hamilton has come out strongly to challenge Fernando Alonso, who will square up to him in a Ferrari this season. If it were not for the return of Michael Schumacher, this renewal of an old and bitter rivalry would have become the leading story line of F1. Meanwhile More…

Posted on January 8, 2010


F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone is fronting a powerful European consortium making a late surge to buy troubled Swedish car company, Saab. His partners in the consortium are Renault F1 owner Gerard Lopez, via his Geniii Capital vehicle and Swedish real estate entrepreneur Lars Carlstrom. Saab is currently owned by General Motors and is loss making. Ironically for a man who is suspicious of the internet, Ecclestone’s bid is based on the latest thing in automotive innovation – internet in cars. On its website this afternoon, Genii Capital said that it had been brought into the bidding process at a late More…

Posted on January 7, 2010


One of the strong messages coming out of the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this week is that 2010 is the year of 3D TV becoming a reality and sport is set to be one of the early adopters. American sports network ESPN has announced that it will be broadcasting games from this year’s football World Cup in 3D, as part of an offering of 85 shows starting in June. “The sports genre is probably the best suited to exploit this technology,” Sean Bratches, an executive vice president at ESPN told the New York Times. One of the pioneers More…

Posted on January 7, 2010


Former FIA president Max Mosley has spoken out today about the civil court verdict in the Briatore case this week, which ordered the FIA to overturn the lifetime ban on the Italian. He said that the matter was ‘not over’. Meanwhile the FIA has reiterated that Briatore is still subject to the sanction banning him from managing drivers, which puts Red Bull’s Mark Webber in a tricky position. Speaking to the Times newspaper today, Mosley said, “The idea that in the end, when all the dust has settled, Briatore will get off is fiction — it won’t happen.” In the More…

Posted on January 5, 2010


The FIA has issued a strong response to the verdict in the Flavio Briatore case. It says that both men are still guilty of conspiring to cause the accident in Singapore and its punishment stands until it has exhausted all of its options, which include an appeal. It also hints at putting a new system in place which will make sure that people like Briatore and Symonds will not be able to compete in F1 in future. (See separate story on licences) “The Court has rejected the claims for damages made by Mr. Briatore and Mr. Symonds and their claim More…

Posted on January 5, 2010


Flavio Briatore has issued a statement following his victory in the Paris court today against the FIA. Briatore and his Renault F1 colleague Pat Symonds successfully challenged the bans imposed on them by the FIA’s World Motor Sport Council in September 2009 over the Singapore crash fixing scandal. The Italian made it clear that he respects the FIA as a body and as a sportsman it took a great deal for him to go outside the jurisdiction of the FIA to the civil courts to seek justice. It is highly unusual for a civil court to overrule a sport’s governing More…

Posted on January 5, 2010


Details of the judgement in the Flavio Briatore case are emerging and it could lead to F1 team principals and senior engineers becoming FIA licence holders in future, just like drivers. The court judgement shows that the FIA has been ordered to publicly advertise in French newspapers of Flavio Briatore and Pat Symonds’ choice the fact that they have had their bans overturned. The court described the FIA’s disciplinary procedure in this case as “irregular” and decided that the FIA could not punish the men with bans as neither was a licence holder subject to their jurisdiction. The result is More…

Posted on January 5, 2010


Flavio Briatore and his former Renault colleague Pat Symonds have won their court case against the FIA in Paris. The judge has ordered that the bans against both men must be lifted and has ordered the FIA to send out a message to all teams to that effect. It has 15 days in which to do so. The FIA has indicated that it may well appeal. The case was related to the Singapore crash fixing scandal in which Nelson Piquet Junior alleged that Briatore and Symonds got him to crash deliberately in order to help his team mate Fernando Alonso. More…

Posted on January 5, 2010


Kimi Raikkonen has given his first interview since becoming a Red Bull Citroen rally driver and it reveals some interesting points about his views on the way F1 is heading and on his own future plans. Clearly he feels that F1 is not on the right track, not for him anyway. Speaking in the German language edition of the Red Bulletin, Red Bull’s in house sports magazine, he says that there are too many negative things going on which overshadow the racing in F1. This took away a lot of the pleasure for him of driving and he feels that More…

Posted on January 4, 2010


I’ve had a lot of enquiries in the last few days about who will engineer Michael Schumacher at Mercedes. Many people wanted to know which of the two Brawn engineers he might get or whether Michael would be hiring in one of his ex Ferrari engineers. I’ve contacted the team and the answer is that Schumacher will work with Andrew Shovlin, who engineered Jenson Button to the world championship last season. I’m sure they will get on well, Shovlin is experienced, calm and very intelligent. He’s a real family man and a very nice person, as well as a fiercely More…

Posted on January 3, 2010


Ron Dennis has emerged from the shadows into which he retreated last season after the Melbourne lie-gate scandal. And he has some strong things to say about what he considers unfair treatment at the hands of peers and particularly, without naming him, former FIA president Max Mosley. He also talks about his obsessive behaviour and his new life as a man about town in London. The main thrust of what he has to say regarding the reasons behind his exile from F1, after 30 years of pursuing greatness, is the fact that he feels he has paid a very high More…

Posted on January 3, 2010


Michael Schumacher will be blowing out the 41 candles on his birthday cake today. But his strict training regime will probably mean that he may not be able to eat much of it, despite his notoriously sweet tooth! He is set to drive for the first time four weeks from now in Valencia. The seven times world champion is building up to a dramatic comeback at the Bahrain Grand Prix and according to Bild and Gazetta dello Sport he will have limited time to test the Mercedes car before the first event. As it’s Sunday I’ve not been able to More…

Posted on December 31, 2009


It’s New Year and the end of a decade. The “noughties” were pretty good in F1 terms with some very talented drivers battling it out for glory. I spent most of it very close to the action as the commentator on British TV network ITV and I observed and worked with all the drivers very close up. I would argue that the decade ends with a stronger cast of drivers than we had at the start. I’m really excited about the array of talent in F1 now, with three out and out aces, one potential ace and some very strong More…

Posted on December 30, 2009


We are coming to the end of this Christmas series. I hope you have found it interesting and thought provoking. Thanks for all your comments. The sport is fully engaged at the moment in thinking about its short term future; how to spice up the racing, how to balance sport with entertainment and how best to harness the power of the online media to boost the following. I thought it would be interesting to look a little further ahead and that is what this series has been all about. The final post is on simulation tools, commonly used today by More…



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