Posted on April 5, 2009
James Allen on F1 – The official James Allen website on F1 | Formula 1 / F1 | Page 287

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 287

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 287

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 287

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 287

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 287

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 287

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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Posted on April 3, 2009
James Allen on F1 – The official James Allen website on F1 | Formula 1 / F1 | Page 287

A sensational press conference has just concluded here in Sepang, where new McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh admitted that his sporting director Davey Ryan deliberately set out to lie to the stewards in Melbourne and that he told Lewis to follow his lead. Whitmarsh suspended Ryan this morning and the New Zealander is on his way back to England as we speak. Speaking to a packed media centre, Whitmarsh said that this matter did not go any higher in the McLaren organisation and that he was not consulted before Ryan and Hamilton went to the stewards, “We knew what had 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 287

Here’s a snapshot of the reaction from some of my international colleagues in the media. First to Germany, where, true to form, leading tabloid Bild have making mischief with Photoshop again. Last week Hamilton was morphed onto a snail’s body, today he’s got Pinocchio’s nose and is described as the ‘lying world champion’ Ouch! Next on to Spain, where El Pais simply has the headline, “Lying for a podium.” They feel that this has been a damaging moment for the world champion, but do not feel that the matter requires any further punishment. That said, many in Spain are rubbing 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 287

The fallout from McLaren’s Melbourne radio fiasco has begun with sporting director Davey Ryan suspended from duty and sent home from Malaysia. He is taking the rap for the heavy punishment the team and its driver Lewis Hamilton have received for misleading the stewards on an overtaking issue behind the safety car in Melbourne. Team principal Martin Whitmarsh said: “In my 20-odd years working for McLaren, I doubt if I’ve met a more dedicated individual than Davey. He’s been an integral part of McLaren since 1974 and has played a crucial role in the team’s many world championship successes since More…

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