Posted on August 22, 2009
James Allen on F1 – The official James Allen website on F1 | Formula 1 / F1 | Page 260

Lewis Hamilton took his first pole position of the season and the 14th of his career at Valencia today, beating his McLaren Mercedes team mate Heikki Kovalainen into second place. Rubens Barrichello was third for Brawn GP. Sebastian Vettel was fourth with Jenson Button fifth. The other title contender, Mark Webber was down in 9th place. Hamilton tacked the session with great confidence, doing only one run and saving a set of tyres in the second part of qualifying. He said afterwards that it has been a long time since he had the car to do this. But he was More…

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Posted on August 21, 2009
James Allen on F1 – The official James Allen website on F1 | Formula 1 / F1 | Page 260

I went from the Kimi Raikkonen press briefing this afternoon to the Fernando Alonso one and there was an interesting little cameo which came to light. There were some quotes yesterday from Luca Badoer saying that he had no help from Kimi Raikkonen, but Badoer said sportingly that this was “Kimi’s character.” This was interesting when taken in conjunction with the quotes from Felipe Massa to the effect that he had not had any kind of get well message from Raikkonen. Perhaps mindful of this, when he was asked whether he had helped Badoer, who struggled today, Raikkonen said “No More…

Posted on August 21, 2009
James Allen on F1 – The official James Allen website on F1 | Formula 1 / F1 | Page 260

The Red Bull team has a lot of work to do if it is to challenge for the win here this weekend, according to Mark Webber. The Aussie who lies second in the world championship, 18.5 points behind Jenson Button, says that the team expected Valencia to suit their car less well than other tracks coming up, like Spa, but nevertheless he is concerned by the difference in lap times with the Brawns in particular, “We’ve got a bit of work to do tonight,” he said. “We are not at our normal level at the moment. Seems to be [that More…

Posted on August 21, 2009
James Allen on F1 – The official James Allen website on F1 | Formula 1 / F1 | Page 260

Another day, another confident, proactive statement from Jean Todt. This one is a peach. Not 24 hours after his rival for the FIA presidency Ari Vatanen released his manifesto, Todt releases a statement saying how delighted he is with the response from the key FIA players around the world to his manifesto. He lists a series of tributes, saying how they are behind Todt all the way. There are some big names and clubs there. It’s a very strong message to Vatanen, who has been visiting the F1 paddock in recent weeks, that Todt has put the spade work in More…

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Posted on August 21, 2009
James Allen on F1 – The official James Allen website on F1 | Formula 1 / F1 | Page 260

Sebastian Vettel will be a Red Bull driver for at least another two seasons, with an option to stay for 2012 as well. The 22 year old German has developed in the last 12 months into one of the sport’s leading drivers and with Red Bull producing a race winning car this year the combination has become very strong. His decision to stay is no great surprise but it is timely as the driver market is starting to really kick in now and this announcement needed to be made to stop any speculation about Vettel’s future. Mark Webber was recently More…

Posted on August 21, 2009
James Allen on F1 – The official James Allen website on F1 | Formula 1 / F1 | Page 260

McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh said this morning in Valencia that he is not in discussions with any drivers regarding the seat currently occupied by Heikki Kovalainen. He also talked openly about Fernando Alonso’s expected move to Ferrari and its effect on the driver market. The Finn admitted yesterday that his performances have been disappointing this season, particularly in races and that he has had talks with the team about how he can get more from himself and the car. He has put extra hours in on the simulator ahead of this weekend. Meanwhile Nico Rosberg openly discussed the possibility More…

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Posted on August 20, 2009
James Allen on F1 – The official James Allen website on F1 | Formula 1 / F1 | Page 260

Today has seen the publication of Ari Vatanen’s FIA presidential manifesto and also a further document on proposed changes to the FIA statutes from his rival for the role, Jean Todt. Both men talk of teamwork, change and transparency. Vatanen goes one stage further and talks of ‘honesty’. The pair worked together at Peugeot in the 1980s, most notably in the Paris Dakar rally, where Todt famously flipped a coin to decide which of his two drivers, Vatanen or Jacky Ickx would win the event. Now they are squaring up for a battle and they are starting to get proactive. More…

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Posted on August 20, 2009
James Allen on F1 – The official James Allen website on F1 | Formula 1 / F1 | Page 260

Romain Grosjean is the first Frenchman for over 20 years to drive for Renault. It’s a great honour for him and one he’s waited patiently for. I went along to hear what he had to say this afternoon and he seemed very excited about his opportunity, but according to people who have observed him closely, he has some demons which he needs to overcome if he is to make the most of this chance and establish himself as a Renault driver for 2010. Apparently the huge accident he suffered in GP2 at Monaco this year (see below) really rang his More…

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Posted on August 20, 2009
James Allen on F1 – The official James Allen website on F1 | Formula 1 / F1 | Page 260

Robert Kubica had a wry grin on his face this afternoon when a few of us caught up with him at his press briefing. The Pole has had a couple of weeks to digest the news that his BMW team will not be in F1 next year and this means upheaval and change for him. He knows that it’s a case of what might have been, but he also has to look forwards. Astonishingly the way he heard about the news was first from an internet site which ran a speculative piece before the announcement and then soon after he More…

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Posted on August 19, 2009
James Allen on F1 – The official James Allen website on F1 | Formula 1 / F1 | Page 260

Another video from McLaren and this one is quite interesting. Lewis Hamilton won the last race in Budapest and was quick all weekend. He had a last minute front wing arrive from the UK on the Saturday morning and this seemed to make the car more stable and here he reveals that they also had a new rear floor on the car. There are more updates for Valencia this weekend and we’ll find out what those are tomorrow. He talks about coming back from holiday and getting ‘back to the grind’, which is pretty hilarious – his idea of grind More…

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