Posted on April 7, 2009
James Allen on F1 – The official James Allen website on F1 | Formula 1 / F1 | Page 286

The papers are full of the ‘rift’ between Lewis Hamilton and his McLaren team over the Melbourne ‘lie-gate’ scandal. They talk of the relationship being ‘on a knife-edge’. So will it happen? Will Lewis leave the team that has nurtured him since he left primary school? And if that were to happen, which team would he move to? We have been here before with Lewis. He and his father Anthony were very unhappy about the politics swirling around the team during the 2007 championship, when McLaren were embroiled in the spy scandal surrounding Nigel Stepney and Mike Coughlan. Many things More…

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Posted on April 6, 2009
James Allen on F1 – The official James Allen website on F1 | Formula 1 / F1 | Page 286

As the teams return to the UK and the dust begins to settle on an explosive weekend, we start to contemplate the next stage in the saga over Lewis Hamilton and McLaren ‘deliberately misleading’ the stewards. The feeling on Saturday was that Hamilton’s frank and astonishing ‘mea culpa’, held in the FIA press conference room, was enough to satisfy the FIA. McLaren, however, still have a lot more explaining to do. “We recognise Lewis’s efforts to set the record straight today,” an FIA spokesman told Reuters. “It would appear that he was put in an impossible position. We are now More…

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Posted on April 5, 2009
James Allen on F1 – The official James Allen website on F1 | Formula 1 / F1 | Page 286

It’s a shame that Jenson Button has yet to see the chequered flag at full racing speed at the end of a full race. Both his wins have been terrific, but this one today was really special and you have to pay tribute to the masterful way that the Brawn team, Button and his engineer Andrew Shovlin managed the changing conditions. Others, like Glock and Heidfeld made greater gains by gambling on wet tyres, and Heidfeld gambled several times with the result that he made only one pit stop compared to Button’s four. But then Glock and Heidfeld had nothing More…

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Posted on April 5, 2009
James Allen on F1 – The official James Allen website on F1 | Formula 1 / F1 | Page 286

Interested to see that Ross Brawn has started responding to the criticism levelled at him by Flavio Briatore that he has misused his position as chair of the technical working group by not declaring his hand on the diffuser issue whenthe rules for 2009 were being discussed. Brawn raised the subject early last year, he says and proposed that the rules be tightened up. “In March 2008 that was offered. If I’m frank I didn’t say ‘look we are going to do this diffuser if you don’t accept this rule’ because I’m not going to tell people what we’re doing, More…

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Posted on April 5, 2009
James Allen on F1 – The official James Allen website on F1 | Formula 1 / F1 | Page 286

Two races in and still no points on the board for Ferrari. Of course they can point to the effort put in to win last year’s title and to the row over the two step diffusers which Brawn, Toyota and Williams have, but the fact of the matter is that both of these races have offered opportunities for Ferrari and McLaren to score points but they haven’t taken those chances. In two normal dry races, maybe the diffuser three would have had an advantage, but these last two races have given the non diffuser teams opportunities, in Melbourne the two More…

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Posted on April 4, 2009
James Allen on F1 – The official James Allen website on F1 | Formula 1 / F1 | Page 286

After a dominant performance in qualifying in Melbourne, Brawn GP has been made to work a lot harder here in Sepang by the Toyota team and I think Toyota can win this race tomorrow. It looks as though the Brawn is about 2/10ths faster around here than the Toyota, but thats close enough for Trulli and Glock to put real pressure on Button, so he will have to keep the car on the limit, which could be interesting in this heat. Reliability is still not assured for Brawn, look at Barrichello’s gearbox, for example and they have not done much More…

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Posted on April 4, 2009
James Allen on F1 – The official James Allen website on F1 | Formula 1 / F1 | Page 286

This is going to be close! In Practice 3 this morning, Rosberg was fastest by a tenth, from Webber, Massa and Trulli, the three of whom were separated by a few hundredths. Then Trulli, Glock, and Vettel were all within six hundredths of each other. The question mark hangs over Brawn. There is no doubt that their margin over the rest is not what it was in Melbourne, certainly as far as single lap performance is concerned. Jenson Button’s long runs yesterday were competitive, but he has been struggling with understeer in fast corners and today he’s losing time in More…

Posted on April 4, 2009
James Allen on F1 – The official James Allen website on F1 | Formula 1 / F1 | Page 286

In all the excitement of the McLaren and Hamilton apologies, we are forgetting that the cars have been running and that today they will go out and qualify for the Grand Prix. So what is the state of play here in Sepang. Well yesterday the Brawns were not dominant, even though every one expects them to be later today and tomorrow. The feeling is that they have between three tenths and half a second on the field, depending on which tyre they are on and set up. Yesterday Jenson Button wasn’t too happy with the balance of his car in More…

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Posted on April 3, 2009
James Allen on F1 – The official James Allen website on F1 | Formula 1 / F1 | Page 286

Things are moving so fast here in Sepang it makes your head spin. Lewis Hamilton has just made an appearance in the media centre and given what has to be the most frank and open admission of guilt and sincere apology we have seen in this sport. He sat alone on the stage and spoke for a little over ten minutes , his voice cracking at times, his body language full of anguish and regret. “I went into the meeting wanting to tell the story and I was misled. I was instructed and misled by my team manager to withhold More…

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Posted on April 3, 2009
James Allen on F1 – The official James Allen website on F1 | Formula 1 / F1 | Page 286

In an intensely feverish atmosphere here in Sepang, as the situation around McLaren and Lewis Hamilton ramps up and threatens to spiral out of McLaren’s control, a bit of light relief has been offered by Sebastien Vettel. The German driver says in the Red Bull press release reviewing today’s track action, ” It’s very hot and no matter how much you prepare, the first outing is a bad surprise. Fortunately I’ve got a bag with dry ice in it, which I put next to my balls, so at least they stay nice and cool.” Two questions, Seb. 1. What happens More…

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