Posted on October 16, 2009
James Allen on F1 – The official James Allen website on F1 | Formula 1 / F1 | Page 246

Renault’s Fernando Alonso ended the second practice session fastest, on a chilly day at Interlagos. The Spaniard, who had spent most of the session in the bottom half of the time sheets, clocked a time of 1m 12.314, 5/100ths of a second faster than last year’s pole time set by Felipe Massa. It is likely that the time, set at the end of the session, was done on low fuel and new tyres, as he often has on Fridays this season. Many of the front runners did not do low fuel runs at the end of the session. Massa, who More…

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Posted on October 16, 2009
James Allen on F1 – The official James Allen website on F1 | Formula 1 / F1 | Page 246

There is a postscript today to the story of Nelson Piquet and the Singapore crash fixing scandal. Nelson’s father has spoken to Gazzetta dello Sport’s Pino Allievi about the background to the story and it makes very interesting reading. He has no sympathy for Renault boss Flavio Briatore, who has been banned from motorsport for life, “He deserved it,” says Piquet. “Admittedly it wasn’t his idea, but to convince a young driver to do something like that is huge. He should stay far away from racing.” Piquet reveals that he was keen to move his son on from Renault at More…

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Posted on October 15, 2009
James Allen on F1 – The official James Allen website on F1 | Formula 1 / F1 | Page 246

Felipe Massa is playing an interesting game at the moment, with regards to his team mate for next season, Fernando Alonso. First at a lunch for Brazilian journalists yesterday in Sao Paolo, he claimed that Alonso must have known about the Singapore crash plot, even though he was cleared of involvement by the FIA, “Fernando knew, ” he said. “Of course he knew, I’m 100% certain of that. In a team it is impossible not to know the strategy of the other driver.” Many of the drivers say the same thing privately, but have not wanted to say it publicly. More…

Posted on October 14, 2009
James Allen on F1 – The official James Allen website on F1 | Formula 1 / F1 | Page 246

Here is something a little bit special; the first on-board camera laps of the circuit which will host the final round of this year’s world championship – the Yas Marina circuit in Abu Dhabi. Even the F1 teams haven’t seen this material yet – and they will want to because there are some amazing features, not least the pit lane exit, which is a tunnel with a corner in it! The track is 3.45 miles long and has 21 corners. It’s going to be quite tough on brakes as it has four big stop zones, where the cars come down More…

Posted on October 14, 2009
James Allen on F1 – The official James Allen website on F1 | Formula 1 / F1 | Page 246

Following on from Jean Todt’s letter yesterday criticising the negative campaigning of his rival Ari Vatanen, the Finn has done an interview in today’s Gazzetta dello sport in which he calls for a “complete clean up” of the FIA. Vatanen claims that 70% of the mobility clubs and ‘around half’ of the sporting clubs are on his side. “Me and my team believe that we have more than half of the votes. We are giving people hope and they are grasping it” he says. “The majority of clubs feel the need for a new FIA, more democratic, which takes care More…

Posted on October 14, 2009
James Allen on F1 – The official James Allen website on F1 | Formula 1 / F1 | Page 246

Simon Gillett’s Donington Ventures group has gone on a last chance dash to the City to try to raise £135 million to save its British Grand Prix deal. The company is basically looking for a 7 year loan of £135 million and is offering to pay 15% interest on investors’ capital, plus a 5% bonus. The offer document says that the money is “to fund redevelopment, repay existing debt, fund working capital, prefund interest on the notes and pay amounts due to the landlord under the lease.” The interest payments Donington would be liable for would be £20 million per More…

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Posted on October 13, 2009
James Allen on F1 – The official James Allen website on F1 | Formula 1 / F1 | Page 246

FIA presidential hopeful Jean Todt has sent out a statement to the membership of the FIA clubs today underlining his policy ideas and attacking his rival Ari Vatanen for using dirty tricks and personal attacks in his campaign. With the election now just over a week away, the tone and meaning of Todt’s message is interesting. His point is that he has sought all along to conduct a dignified campaign, whereas he feels Vatanen has been very negative about the FIA, what it stands for today and has gone around belittling what it has achieved in order to stand out More…

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Posted on October 13, 2009
James Allen on F1 – The official James Allen website on F1 | Formula 1 / F1 | Page 246

The Brazilian Grand Prix is always a hard one to predict, just ask Lewis Hamilton. But when rain is forecast, anything can happen. And this weekend is not looking great. Showers are forecast for Friday and Saturday and on race day they are talking about thunderstorms. On each day there is a 60% chance of rain. Last year the rain played havoc with the race and set us up for one of the most thriling climaxes to a Grand Prix in years. It started to rain in the closing stages and the front-runners didn’t want to take any chances so More…

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Posted on October 12, 2009
James Allen on F1 – The official James Allen website on F1 | Formula 1 / F1 | Page 246

Today Felipe Massa did his first laps in a Formula 1 car since the horrific accident in July, which threatened his career. The Brazilian drove a privately owned 2007 car, fitted with Bridgestone GP2 tyres and covered 100kms on the team’s Fiorano test track, next to the factory in Maranello. He will do more laps tomorrow. Ferrari described it as ‘not a proper test’, rather as ‘a way to regain confidence with his natural habitat; the racetrack.’ But Massa’s return is a victory in itself. He has overcome a savage accident which had the potential not only to destroy his More…

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Posted on October 11, 2009
James Allen on F1 – The official James Allen website on F1 | Formula 1 / F1 | Page 246

Ferrari has put out a statement confirming that Felipe Massa will drive an F2007 Ferrari tomorrow at its Fiorano test track, but has stressed that together with the team, Massa has come to the conclusion that his best interests would be served by not trying to race again this season at the final event in Abu Dhabi. I have to say that this looks like a smart move. Prior to flying over to Europe a week ago, Massa was reported by Brazilian colleagues to be determined to drive in the final race. But having undergone some training and two days More…

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