Posted on March 29, 2009
James Allen on F1 – The official James Allen website on F1 | Formula 1 / F1 | Page 289

Great atmosphere in the pits and paddock as the clock runs down towards the start of the race. There is a general acceptance that the Brawn cars are going to drive away at the front of the field. Their pace over long runs is even more impressive that their qualifying pace. Rubens did a great job yesterday on low fuel in the early part of qualifying, because the Brawn team did not do any work on low fuel running during their all too brief seven days of testing. There simply wasn’t time with all the other things they had to More…

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Posted on March 28, 2009
James Allen on F1 – The official James Allen website on F1 | Formula 1 / F1 | Page 289

F1′s commercial rights holder Bernie Ecclestone isn’t here in Australia, he’s back in London doing deals. One which broke cover this weekend was a deal he’s been working on for ages with Universal Music group, the biggest recorded music outfit in the world. They own dozens of the labels you grew up with like Polydor, Decca and A&M. According to a joint statement the concept is called “F1 Rocks” and it is a series of multi-artist live music events from the Grands Prix. That part isn’t new, after all the Who are playing here tomorrow night and good old Status More…

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Posted on March 28, 2009
James Allen on F1 – The official James Allen website on F1 | Formula 1 / F1 | Page 289

The fuel weights have been published by the FIA for the first time, under the new rules for this season. There are some very interesting things here. For a start the Brawn cars are, as we expected, massively quick, given that Jenson Button’s car has 22 laps worth of fuel in it (59 kilos). Allowing for the fuel he will need to get to the grid and do the formation lap, this means Jenson will probably make his first stop on lap 20. Barrichello will go one lap longer, to 21. This is quite a long first stint for a More…

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Posted on March 28, 2009
James Allen on F1 – The official James Allen website on F1 | Formula 1 / F1 | Page 289

A dozen or so of the British media’s finest representatives sat down with Sir Richard Branson this afternoon to get some more detail. He’s a very tall man, slightly stooped, very pale looking. We sat in the Brawn hospitality area and, having looked in vain through all his pockets for his ‘cheat sheet’ notes Branson decided to just go for it and think on his feet. As always with journalists there was a faint whiff of scepticism about this sponsorship deal with Brawn, the suggestion being that money has yet to change hands. This feeling was reinforced when Nick Fry More…

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Posted on March 28, 2009
James Allen on F1 – The official James Allen website on F1 | Formula 1 / F1 | Page 289

The appeal lodged by some of the leading F1 teams against Brawn, Williams and Toyota, will be heard in Paris on 14th April, which is the Tuesday before the Chinese Grand Prix. This means that the results of the first two Grands Prix of the season are subject to the appeal. The stewards here in Melbourne threw out the protests of Ferrari, Red Bull and Renault on Thursday into the ‘double decker’ diffusers, which give significantly more downforce than the others are getting. Flavio Briatore is incandescent about this, frustrated as he is by his team’s performance and by the More…

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Posted on March 28, 2009
James Allen on F1 – The official James Allen website on F1 | Formula 1 / F1 | Page 289

There are some great characters among the journalists in the press office. Frank Schneider of Bild newspaper, the German equivalent of the Sun, is one of them. He’s got spiky hair and wacky glasses, is pure tabloid and always in trouble with one of the teams. Today the paper is likely to be in the dog house with McLaren Mercedes for this piece of Photoshop madness, “Hamilton and the silver snail” (as opposed to Silver Arrow) reflecting the fact that Lewis Hamilton is unlikely to feature in the top ten on the grid….

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Posted on March 28, 2009
James Allen on F1 – The official James Allen website on F1 | Formula 1 / F1 | Page 289

I followed curiously as Sir Richard Branson, accompanied by two dolly birds in Virgin T shirts made their way from the swipe gates to the Brawn GP garage to announce the sponsorship deal. Branson knows a thing or two about getting publicity and this was an old-fashioned attention grab, which worked a treat. He was answering questions from Sky TV Italy, flashbulbs popping all around him. At one point he turned to one of the girls and said, “I think we’re doing rather well, don’t you?” The Brawn mechanics were still putting the stickers on the back-board for the press More…

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Posted on March 27, 2009
James Allen on F1 – The official James Allen website on F1 | Formula 1 / F1 | Page 289

Finally after all the talk the protests and the politics we got some track action today. It was very weird starting the first session at 12-30pm and the second one at 4-30pm, basically two and a half hours later than normal. I got to the track for 8-45 am and there was hardly anyone here! Many of the teams were saving money on catering by taking advantage of the breakfast included at the hotel. By the time the second session was underway the shadows were lengthening and all the drivers commented on how hard it was to see in certain More…

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Posted on March 27, 2009
James Allen on F1 – The official James Allen website on F1 | Formula 1 / F1 | Page 289

A thought occurs to me. The seven teams who unsuccesfully protested the diffusers of Brawn, Williams and Toyota are actually in a worse position than before. With the appeal not likely to be heard for at least a couple of weeks, what do they do now? Do they put their own copy of the Brawn diffuser in the wind tunnel and burn up valuable tunnel time, which could be spent on something else, trying to make it work with their car, when the whole thing could be wasted if the appeal succeeds? Or do they not spend that time in More…

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Posted on March 27, 2009
James Allen on F1 – The official James Allen website on F1 | Formula 1 / F1 | Page 289

An exhilarating hour spent in the pit lane during the first practice session. Strangely unfamiliar for me as it’s three years since I was last down there, having had to yield my pit lane pass to Steve Rider back in 2006. I used to live in the pits, back in the day, knew every nook and cranny, had eyes in the back of my head for cars coming in, going out, mechanics rushing. It takes me 20 minutes to get used to the rush and the energy. I quickly get used to it again. The energy is always astonishing. You More…

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