Posted on February 14, 2014

The first pre-season test in Jerez was a revelation in terms of who went well and who did not. One of the talking points to emerge was the gap in lap times set by this year’s cars and those set at the Spanish circuit last year. This year, McLaren rookie Kevin Magnussen set the week’s fastest time with a lap of 1:23.276. In 2013, however, Felipe Massa went quickest, recording a lap time of 1:17.789 on third day of the four-day test. The more than five-second gap raised a few eyebrows but teams were quick to point out this year’s More…

Posted by:
Posted on February 14, 2014
Screen shot 2014-02-14 at 12.35.13

Sauber have signed female IndyCar racer Simona de Silvestro to a role it has dubbed ‘affiliated driver’. The 25-year-old Swiss driver has been racing in the US since the age of 18, initially competing in Formula BMW and then the Atlantic Championship before graduating to IndyCar, where she has raced for the past four years. Last year, she scored a podium finish with second place in the first race of a double-header in Houston, Texas. She was named Indianapolis 500 Rookie of the Year in 2010, and placed 13th last season racing for KV Racing Technology. She now joins Sauber More…

Posted by:
Posted on February 13, 2014
Screen Shot 2014-02-13 at 17.03.48

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 by:
Posted on February 12, 2014
Screen Shot 2014-02-12 at 06.01.11

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
Screen Shot 2014-02-09 at 13.12.16

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
Screen shot 2014-02-05 at 10.42.21

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…

Strategy Report
Innovation and Technology brought to you by TATA Communications
Senna DVD
Download the Chequered Flag Podcast here
Darren Heath
Sport Right Now