Posted on July 25, 2009
James Allen on F1 – The official James Allen website on F1 | Formula 1 / F1 | Page 264

Fernando Alonso took his first pole position since Monza 2007 today in a chaotic session at the Hungaroring in Budapest. The timing systems failed in the closing laps, which meant that no-one knew who was on pole and what the top ten grid positions were as the drivers assembled in parc ferme. It emerged that it was Fernando Alonso, who was surprised to find that he had taken his 18th career pole. Renault have improved the car a lot in the last couple of races, with a variety of experimental front wings available for Alonso this weekend. The Spaniard only More…

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Posted on July 24, 2009
James Allen on F1 – The official James Allen website on F1 | Formula 1 / F1 | Page 264

It was a hot and dusty day at the Hungaroring. We’d forgotten what it felt like to be hot at a race track. Today was forecast to be the warmest of the three days, but it’s not going to be chilly at any stage, I don’t think. There is a fresh feeling around the paddock, the political stuff goes on, but it is behind the scenes now and doesn’t seem to be taking up the bandwidth it was in June. Rubens Barrichello, who was in a bad mood last time we saw him in Germany, as he thought he had More…

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Posted on July 24, 2009
James Allen on F1 – The official James Allen website on F1 | Formula 1 / F1 | Page 264

There was a 2008 retro feel about the leaderboard today after first practice in Budapest as McLaren’s Heikki Kovalainen and Lewis Hamilton topped the time sheets. It was extremely close, with a second separating the top 19 cars over an 82 second lap. Afterwards it was generally agreed that Red Bull and Brawn remain the teams to beat, albeit that they expect trouble at the start from the KERS cars of McLaren and Ferrari, which are likely to qualify right behind them and pass them at the start. Interestingly it seems that Webber is again the stronger of the two More…

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Posted on July 23, 2009
James Allen on F1 – The official James Allen website on F1 | Formula 1 / F1 | Page 264

Felipe Massa is one of a number of drivers to react with concern to the debut of 19 year old Jaime Alguersuari in the Toro Rosso. Alguersuari has done very little mileage in an F1 car, and what he has done was in a straight line, but he qualifies for a superlicence because he won last season’s British F3 championship. “For me he’s too young,” said Massa. “He’s never driven a Formula 1 car, or he has driven it in a straight line, or whatever. For me it’s wrong. It’s not good for him. He can burn himself very quickly.” More…

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Posted on July 23, 2009
James Allen on F1 – The official James Allen website on F1 | Formula 1 / F1 | Page 264

Jenson Button was his usual honest self at his press briefing today in Budapest, facing up to the challenge and giving an insight into the level of research he has done into the track and how it suits the opposition. On Red Bull he said something very interesting, which is that he hopes the updates Brawn has brought here this weekend will “be enough to challenge the Red Bulls,” suggesting that he clearly feels that Brawn has fallen behind them lately. This may seem obvious given the mauling he’s taken in the last two races, but bear in mind that More…

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Posted on July 22, 2009
James Allen on F1 – The official James Allen website on F1 | Formula 1 / F1 | Page 264

As we get ready to head for Budapest, the Concorde Agreement is due to be signed, which should bring in a new co-operation between the teams, the commercial rights holders and the FIA. I noted some comments yesterday by Mario Theissen, the team principal of BMW Sauber, about the need for the teams to have more say over the venues visited by the Formula 1 circus. I’ve heard these sentiments expressed many times before, but it will be interesting to see what traction they get this time around. Presently there is no race in North America, the largest market for More…

Posted on July 20, 2009
James Allen on F1 – The official James Allen website on F1 | Formula 1 / F1 | Page 264

In the midst of all the polemics over the 2010 rules and new teams, little has been heard from Cosworth, who will be supplying the engines for all three new teams. But there are a lot of questions around Cosworth which need answering. Are they up to speed? Will the engines be reliable and competitive, seeing as they have not been in F1 since 2006? Have they got enough people? There have also been suggestions that having a Cosworth contract was an unspoken condition of getting an entry, so how does Cosworth feel about the way the entry process was More…

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Posted on July 20, 2009
James Allen on F1 – The official James Allen website on F1 | Formula 1 / F1 | Page 264

It is ironic that as one 19 year old is given his big break into Formula 1, news comes through of an 18 year old who died in pursuit of that same dream, while racing in Formula 2. The death of Henry Surtees, the son of 1964 world champion John, has rocked the motor sport community. Surtees died on Sunday following a freak accident at Brands Hatch where he was hit on the head by a loose wheel, which had been knocked off the car of Jack Clarke, stepson of F1 racer Julian Bailey. Clarke  had spun and hit the More…

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Posted on July 20, 2009
James Allen on F1 – The official James Allen website on F1 | Formula 1 / F1 | Page 264

Toro Rosso has confirmed today that 19 year old Jaime Alguesuari will replace Sebastien Bourdais from this weekend’s Hungarian Grand Prix onwards. In a frank and open statement by the team, Alguersuari admitted that this would be one of the most difficult debuts ever in F1, while team boss Franz Tost said that he expects ‘nothing’ from the teenager, at least for the first three races. In other words, “There’s no pressure, but there is,” Tost said, ”I am well aware that over the next few months the team and Jaime will face a major challenge, especially because of the testing More…

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Posted on July 18, 2009
James Allen on F1 – The official James Allen website on F1 | Formula 1 / F1 | Page 264

A few readers have commented this week about the fact that Toro Rosso has one of the worst records in the field for dropping drivers. So far in their short history they have dropped Scott Speed, Tonio Liuzzi and now Sebastien Bourdais. I’ve never quite got my head around Toro Rosso. It was once  Minardi and was bought up by Red Bull  boss Dietrich Mateschitz to fulfil several functions; to help out F1 by keeping another team on the grid, an extra non-manufacturer voice  politically, an extra branding opportunity, but mainly as a place to give young drivers from the More…



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