Posted on April 22, 2009
James Allen on F1 – The official James Allen website on F1 | Formula 1 / F1 | Page 284

Fernando Alonso interests me greatly, as regular readers will know, particularly his pronouncements and predictions. He rarely wastes his breath on hype or pr. He’s focussed on what is possible and regularly achieves it, as he showed at the end of last season when he took sensational wins in Singapore and Japan. To see today that he still believes Renault can develop quickly enough for him to have a crack at the title is very interesting. “It’s still an early stage in the year and already the team has made incredible progress, which gives me the belief that we can More…

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Posted on April 21, 2009
James Allen on F1 – The official James Allen website on F1 | Formula 1 / F1 | Page 284

Good week for: Concrete bollards These largely overlooked and unheralded pieces of roadside furniture were given a welcome boost by Renault boss Flavio Briatore, who compared them with the F1 world championship leader Sebastian Vettel Peerless in the dry in qualifying, masterful in the wet on Sunday, the 21 year old is now soaking up the hype once reserved for Lewis Hamilton. Bernie Ecclestone is building him up as ‘better than Lewis’. Sebastien Buemi As the most junior of F1′s three Sebastiens, the Swiss risks being lost in the crowd, but he’s winning plaudits for his driving this year. Lucky More…

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Posted on April 20, 2009
James Allen on F1 – The official James Allen website on F1 | Formula 1 / F1 | Page 284

Almost a week after the diffuser appeal was thrown out by the International Court of Appeal in Paris, the FIA has issued a full explanation of how the decision was arrived at. It’s a lengthy document, very technical and it gives all the reasons why the judges found the way they did. There were multiple grounds submitted for appeal, all of which were thrown out, from procedural error by the Melbourne stewards to going against the spirit of the overtaking working group to unecessary expense involved in copying the device. At the core of it was a judgement on whether More…

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Posted on April 20, 2009
James Allen on F1 – The official James Allen website on F1 | Formula 1 / F1 | Page 284

A lot of people are confused by the performance of Lewis Hamilton in the Chinese Grand Prix. Rain is a great leveller in Formula 1. Talented drivers who do not have the car to compete in normal conditions can shine on a wet track and we have seen plenty of that over the years. Wet races in the last couple of years seem to have been dominated either by Sebastien Vettel or by Hamilton. Hamilton delivered his masterpiece at Silverstone last July, but in Shanghai this weekend he had a very different kind of race, which showed that having the More…

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Posted on April 19, 2009
James Allen on F1 – The official James Allen website on F1 | Formula 1 / F1 | Page 284

Form is temporary, class is permanent. That is the great adage of the sporting world. So what are we to make of what’s happening at the moment in F1? Is this the start of a change of order, with great names like McLaren, Renault and Ferrari in decline and new teams like Red Bull and Brawn the new top dogs? Anyone who says that would be guilty of serious short term thinking or buying hype. Those three teams deserve great respect for their record of success spanning many years, they are not to be written off so easily. You look More…

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Posted on April 19, 2009
James Allen on F1 – The official James Allen website on F1 | Formula 1 / F1 | Page 284

Ferrari team principal Stefano Domenicali started the weekend by sending an email to his team asking them to react to the poor start to the season “with pride”. The team came away from Shanghai empty handed again and now only they and Force India are left without a point. It could have been worse, if Adrian Sutil had held on to his sixth place, but the German driver crashed heavily five laps from the end. However Domenicali was able to draw some pride from the way the early part of the race unfolded. In his post race briefing he was More…

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Posted on April 19, 2009
James Allen on F1 – The official James Allen website on F1 | Formula 1 / F1 | Page 284

Renault boss Flavio Briatore said this weekend that the current pecking order undermines F1’s credibility. But today was a great race with great performances at the front from Sebastien Vettel and Mark Webber, who scored a Red Bull one two. Jenson Button and team mate Rubens Barrichello were struggling to get the wet tyres to work as well as Red Bull and managed third and fourth places. Meanwhile the grandee teams whom Briatore believes should be at the front, Ferrari, McLaren and Renault had another difficult day. Ferrari got no points again for the third race, Renault turned P2 on More…

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Posted on April 18, 2009
James Allen on F1 – The official James Allen website on F1 | Formula 1 / F1 | Page 284

Ross Brawn’s team has been in the eye of the storm lately, what with the protests over the double diffuser and the criticisms of people like Flavio Briatore. Brawn is a thick skinned individual, but he will have felt the personal attacks of Ferrari’s lawyer in the appeal court hearing last week. Of course he’s been around long enough to know that you take the heat when you are the team to beat, he’s been in that situation at Benetton and Ferrari and controversy has been in the air in those times too. He’s a big man, he can take More…

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Posted on April 18, 2009
James Allen on F1 – The official James Allen website on F1 | Formula 1 / F1 | Page 284

The fuel weights have been released showing that Sebastien Vettel was 17 kilos lighter than the Brawn of Rubens Barrichello in qualifying this afternoon, this is worth about 6 laps. Based on these figures I reckon that Vettel will stop around lap 12 or 13, the classic first stint for a three stopper, and he could well be looking at running the soft tyres in that short first stint to get them out of the way. The Red Bull is not able to match the way the Brawn looks after the soft tyre on a long run and this looks More…

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Posted on April 18, 2009
James Allen on F1 – The official James Allen website on F1 | Formula 1 / F1 | Page 284

A very exciting qualifying session today, with some stellar performances. Despite losing time with problems with driveshafts in morning practice Red Bull came up trumps in qualifying, Sebastien Vettel took his second career pole position, the first for Red Bull, ahead of Renault’s Fernando Alonso. Vettel’s Red Bull team mate Mark Webber made it a clear sweep of Renault engined cars in the top three. The other Renault of Nelson Piquet was 17th and, although he didn’t have the new parts on his car you wonder how much longer Renault will persist with him after another indifferent start to a More…

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