Posted on April 30, 2009
James Allen on F1 – The official James Allen website on F1 | Formula 1 / F1 | Page 281

Good week for: Kimi Raikkonen – the 2007 champion has bought a £20 million dream home on the outskirts of Zurich, where he can shut the door behind him and not give another thought to slow Ferraris, KERS or the media. Ice cream anyone? Honda – Despite seeing the car it paid for winning three out of four races, the company says that ditching the F1 programme will help it stay profitable in 2009. KERS – After lots of wobbles as teams lost confidence in KERS in China, in Bahrain it was proven to be a ‘must have’ for any More…

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Posted on April 30, 2009
James Allen on F1 – The official James Allen website on F1 | Formula 1 / F1 | Page 281

Yesterday’s news from the FIA world council was the appetiser, but today comes the main dish, the real story; the announcement of the full budget cap plan, which is set to redraw the business model of Formula 1. It will be the first time in the sport’s history that the amount a team can spend is controlled. You could argue that this should have happened years ago, before the manufacturers drove the costs through the roof. The teams have already been informed of the details but are not willing to comment ahead of the official announcement. My understanding is that More…

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Posted on April 29, 2009
James Allen on F1 – The official James Allen website on F1 | Formula 1 / F1 | Page 281

Today’s verdict by the World Motor Sport Council to issue a three race ban for McLaren, but to suspend it for 12 months has received a fairly balanced reaction. Given the original incident, where Trulli was allowed to pass Hamilton behind the safety car in Melbourne, what happened in the stewards’ room there and in Kuala Lumpur and what has transpired since with McLaren going out of its way to demonstrate that it has accepted mistakes were made and changed the governance of the team, this is a well balanced and light judgement. To go further would have been excessive. More…

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Posted on April 29, 2009
James Allen on F1 – The official James Allen website on F1 | Formula 1 / F1 | Page 281

The FIA World Motor Sport Council announced at lunchtime today after a brief hearing in Paris that McLaren will not be forced to miss any races this season, nor will it lose any constructors’ championship points. Instead it has decided to suspend the sentence it planned to hand down, namely a three race ban. Interestingly, given that this is the second time in two years that McLaren has faced disrepute charges, the suspension is for a period of one year. It’s hard to imagine that they would do anything like this again – and the team was at pains to More…

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Posted on April 29, 2009
James Allen on F1 – The official James Allen website on F1 | Formula 1 / F1 | Page 281

There seems to be a division of opinion about what is going on between Brawn GP and Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Group. There are stories that a deal has been done for this year and next, while there are strong suggestions coming out of the team that other parties are interested and Branson should pony up some more serious money if he wishes to go forward. Branson was in the Bahrain paddock at the weekend, holding a press conference to announce that Rubens Barrichello and Niki Lauda had both paid €200,000 to fly into space on the Virgin Galactic spaceship. More…

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Posted on April 28, 2009
James Allen on F1 – The official James Allen website on F1 | Formula 1 / F1 | Page 281

Daimler, the parent company of Mercedes Benz has today announced a £1.1 billion loss for the first quarter of 2009. Last year in the same period it made a profit of £1 billion. This frightening result is partly as a result of writing off a large sum from its failed investment in Chrysler. But it is also because sales are down 34% and the outlook for the rest of the year is bleak. And the scary bit from the point of view of the company’s involvement in F1 is that it is now committed to slashing costs. “We want to More…

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Posted on April 28, 2009
James Allen on F1 – The official James Allen website on F1 | Formula 1 / F1 | Page 281

Alex Wurz has reinvented himself as a pioneer of road safety, rather like Michael Schumacher. The difference is that Wurz has set up a company called Test and Training International, to set up road safety training centres and he has been commissioned by the Egyptian government to build a massive new site new Cairo. Wurz was Honda’s test driver until their withdrawal last winter. The position of test driver is unclear at Brawn. Wurz has been coming along to Grands Prix this season, hanging out at Brawn, but not wearing team kit. Wurz’s F1 racing career came to an end More…

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Posted on April 28, 2009
James Allen on F1 – The official James Allen website on F1 | Formula 1 / F1 | Page 281

Jenson Button took his third win of the season on Sunday in fine style. This was a victory which demanded a great deal of care, because he didn’t have the fastest car out there on the day, not even on the qualifying day, even though the Brawn had appeared to have the legs of the others in Friday practice. He also had to be aggressive on the opening lap, to regain the place lost to Lewis Hamilton at the start. F1 fans around the world are now debating whether Button can capitalise on the superb start he has made to More…

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Posted on April 27, 2009
James Allen on F1 – The official James Allen website on F1 | Formula 1 / F1 | Page 281

Bahrain was a good weekend for the McLaren team. Although fourth place will not feel like win for them after the slow start to the season, the team is heading in the right direction and was only a few tenths off the pace here. The circuit somewhat flattered their car, with its long straights and lack of high speed corners, but all teams agree that McLaren have clearly made a big step forward. As team principal Martin Whitmarsh explains below they have done this by making constant small steps at every race, whereas teams like Ferrari and BMW have put More…

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Posted on April 26, 2009
James Allen on F1 – The official James Allen website on F1 | Formula 1 / F1 | Page 281

I’m absolutely buzzing. Sitting here in the press room in Bahrain, tapping out my stories and I get a text from the Palladium in London to tell me that the ITV F1 coverage of the Brazilian Grand Prix has won the BAFTA for best sports programme. It is the third year in a row that the team I was part of has won this most prestigious award. We won for the show which covered Jenson Button’s 2006 Hungarian GP win, for the 2007 Canadian GP show where Lewis Hamilton won his first race and now the ultimate TV moment in More…

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