Posted on May 8, 2009
James Allen on F1 – The official James Allen website on F1 | Formula 1 / F1 | Page 280

I went along to Nelson Piquet’s press briefing yesterday afternoon. The poor lad is under some pressure at the moment, with speculation that he has this race and Monaco to save his seat. So far this season he has not impressed, struggling particularly in qualifying. Twice 15th on the grid, twice 17th he admitted that lack of testing had caused this problem, “Not getting pre-season (testing), not running low fuel, and then suddenly, when you put everything together, you can’t get the maximum out of it. Or you push too much and you end up overdriving the car. I think More…

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Posted on May 7, 2009
James Allen on F1 – The official James Allen website on F1 | Formula 1 / F1 | Page 280

Today had two distinct parts for Lewis Hamilton, but they both had to do with breaking eggs. In the morning he took part in a Vodafone promotion whereby the public challenged him to do something and he ended up making a spanish omelette. I know, it’s not an obvious pr activity for a Formula 1 driver, but it’s better than being suspended on a harness above a stage, as he was in Turkey last year, again by Vodafone. In the afternoon he realised the truth of the saying “You can’t make an omelette without breaking eggs”, as the fall out More…

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Posted on May 7, 2009
James Allen on F1 – The official James Allen website on F1 | Formula 1 / F1 | Page 280

Both Ferrari drivers will have a major upgrade this weekend, but Kimi Raikkonen will have a new chassis which is 10kg lighter than Felipe Massa’s to accomodate him and the KERS system. Raikkonen himself is 10kg heavier than Massa, he revealed today. Ferrari’s biggest problem has been a lack of downforce compared to the opposition. “The car is handling well, the balance is good, there’s just not enough downforce,” said Raikkonen. The new Ferrari has detailed aerodynamic changes everywhere. The sidepods are more rounded, there is a new engine cover with new exhaust exits as well as a new floor More…

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Posted on May 7, 2009
James Allen on F1 – The official James Allen website on F1 | Formula 1 / F1 | Page 280

One of the striking images from the Bahrain GP was Fernando Alonso being carried from his car, having fought his way to the finish in seventh place depsite having no drinks bottle. That in itself is not unusual, but what made Alonso’s situation really severe was a further problem inside the car. “I had very specific problems with not having enough water in the car because I lost five and a half kilos in the race, this is not normal, ” said Fernando. “There was a problem with the radiator, we had some hot gas going into the cockpit. It More…

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Posted on May 7, 2009
James Allen on F1 – The official James Allen website on F1 | Formula 1 / F1 | Page 280

The FOTA teams met yesterday in London to discuss developments in the 2010 rules and to co-ordinate a response to the FIA’s introduction of a £40 million budget cap for next season. The statement, as usual, was fairly bland and uninformative, but did hint at the seriousness of the situation, as it sees it, “FOTA held a positive and constructive meeting and agreed to continue working together in a methodical manner for the definition of further cost-reduction in 2010 and 2011, progressing along the path begun in 2008. FOTA has concerns with the decisions taken at the last WMSC meeting More…

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Posted on May 6, 2009
James Allen on F1 – The official James Allen website on F1 | Formula 1 / F1 | Page 280

Kimi Raikkonen will be in Regents Street, London this morning, opening the new Ferrari store. It’s a big site, I went past it yesterday and it’s full of Ferrari branded goodies. It’s amazing to think that it’s a year since Raikkonen last won a Grand Prix. He dominated the Spanish GP last season from pole, but since then he’s failed to make the top step. He would probably have won in Canada if he had not been hit in the pit lane by Lewis Hamilton and he was on target in France until his exhaust started burning a hole in More…

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Posted on May 5, 2009
James Allen on F1 – The official James Allen website on F1 | Formula 1 / F1 | Page 280

This weekend’s Spanish Grand Prix at Barcelona will almost feel like the start of the season again, with so many teams bringing substantially updated cars. In most cases this is a response to the ruling that double diffusers, as used on the Brawn car, are legal. It will be fascinating to see who goes up and who goes down. Here’s my take on the things to look out for. Ferrari The reigning constructors’ champions have had a disastrous start to the 2009 campaign in terms of results and the car has not shown strong performance at any track, really. They More…

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Posted on May 5, 2009
James Allen on F1 – The official James Allen website on F1 | Formula 1 / F1 | Page 280

The promoters of the 2010 British Grand Prix at Donington have been given until June 30th to provide the local council with the paperwork it needs in order to get the planning permission signed off so that the race can go ahead. At a meeting of the North West Leicestershire council this evening it was decided to give the track once last chance to sort out its administrative problems. The promoters, Simon Gillett’s company Donington Ventures Ltd, has been hit with a £2.5 million lawsuit by the circuit’s owners, Wheatcroft and Sons for unpaid rent. The court hearing for that More…

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Posted on May 3, 2009
James Allen on F1 – The official James Allen website on F1 | Formula 1 / F1 | Page 280

The would-be promoters of the 2010 British Grand Prix, face a crunch meeting with the local North West Leicestershire council on Tuesday which, if it goes wrong, could mean the end of plans for the race at Donington. Already squeezed by a £2.5 million law suit from circuit owners the Wheatcroft family, Simon Gillett’s Donington Ventures group must persuade the council to give them more time to get the Wheatcrofts to sign a crucial section 106 spectator safety document, without which the race cannot go ahead. According to the council leader, speaking in the News of the World today, either More…

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Posted on May 3, 2009
James Allen on F1 – The official James Allen website on F1 | Formula 1 / F1 | Page 280

I did an interview with Max Mosley for the Financial Times on Friday in London, all about the budget cap introduced to F1 for next year, the first part of which was posted yesterday. We covered a lot of topics, but I couldn’t help asking him about Ron Dennis’ departure from McLaren. He made an interesting comment about how the McLaren situation had played into his hands this week, “I don’t hate Ron Dennis, “ he said. “But he was always very obstructive. And he would have been difficult in this situation (budget caps), whereas Martin Whitmarsh may not agree More…

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