Posted on March 27, 2009
James Allen on F1 – The official James Allen website on F1 | Formula 1 / F1 | Page 290

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 290

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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Posted on March 26, 2009
James Allen on F1 – The official James Allen website on F1 | Formula 1 / F1 | Page 290

There’s a strong story doing the rounds here in Melbourne that Richard Branson’ s Virgin group is going to announce a sponsorship deal with Brawn GP tomorrow (Friday). Branson himself is believed to be on his way out here to make the announcement. It is well known that Virgin looked seriously at buying the team from Honda over the winter, but pulled out because, among other reasons, it felt the sport’s environmental credentials were not as strong as they need them to be. I imagine also that they were put off by the uncertainty about the performance of the car More…

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Posted on March 26, 2009
James Allen on F1 – The official James Allen website on F1 | Formula 1 / F1 | Page 290

As predicted here the protests against the diffusers of the Brawn, Williams and Toyota cars have been thrown out by the Melbourne stewards. But this does not mean that the matter is closed. The plaintiff teams have appealed and that means that the three teams whose diffusers were questioned will race under appeal on Sunday. As it’s unlikely that an appeal can be heard before the Malaysian GP next Sunday, I imagine that the story will roll on there as well so the results of the first two races will be subject to appeal. It’s a bit of a mess, More…

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Posted on March 26, 2009
James Allen on F1 – The official James Allen website on F1 | Formula 1 / F1 | Page 290

The latest dispute over diffusers has generated a fresh wave of media ink, along with the appropriate dose of disbelief, humour and frustration at the capacity of F1 to generate news of fresh upheaval. For our part, we could not help seeing the funny side of the issue, as well as the potential for a “cunning” new business proposition for the powers-that-be … with all due respect, of course, to all involved, including all price-comparison site creators and advertisers, etc. Do YOU have any suggestions? [ RSS subscribers, SFW visuals required ]

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Posted on March 26, 2009
James Allen on F1 – The official James Allen website on F1 | Formula 1 / F1 | Page 290

Here’s some video I shot of the Ferrari event this morning. After reflecting on his recent misfortunes in the early races of the season, Massa talks about his feelings on the proposed winner takes all points system. Before you ask, the lady on the right is Dr Lisa Lilley, Shell’s fuel doctor. [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FnTEoi3kCDo]

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Posted on March 26, 2009
James Allen on F1 – The official James Allen website on F1 | Formula 1 / F1 | Page 290

It’s been a fairly calm day for the start of the new season. The predicted protest from the teams over the diffuser row has happened and the stewards are looking into it as I write this in the Melbourne press office, with the sun setting outside. I’ve felt all along that the three cars in question, from Brawn, Williams and Toyota will be declared legal. Charlie Whiting, the FIA’s top technical man, has approved the cars and you sense that he actually admires the innovative solutions the teams have come up with. Whatever the outcome we’ll have an appeal in More…

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Posted on March 25, 2009
James Allen on F1 – The official James Allen website on F1 | Formula 1 / F1 | Page 290

Just landed in Melbourne and I see that Red Bull has confirmed that it will protest the diffuser on the Brawn car, which it believes is worth half a second per lap. Seven teams believe that the interpretations of Williams, Toyota and Brawn are outside the rules. It’s one of those classic F1 moments you often get with a rule change, where someone spots a loophole, gets a performance advantage from it and the others cry foul. You can bet that if they had thought of it they would have gone for it, because that’s the nature of the beast. More…

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Posted on March 25, 2009
James Allen on F1 – The official James Allen website on F1 | Formula 1 / F1 | Page 290

I’m surprised more hasn’t been made of the stories in the last day or so about the meeting between Flavio Briatore, Ron Dennis and Bernie Ecclestone, where Flavio is supposed to have threatened a FOTA boycott of Melbourne if the teams were not paid some money they claim BE owes them under the terms of the extended Concorde Agreement. According to Ecclestone in the Times, “Flavio said, ‘We’re not going to put our cars on the plane, we’re not going to Melbourne.’ He started it aided and abetted by Ron Dennis.” The pair are reported to have backed down after More…

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Posted on March 23, 2009
James Allen on F1 – The official James Allen website on F1 | Formula 1 / F1 | Page 290

Stefano Domenicali leads the Ferrari team into world championship battle next week for only the second year. The jovial 43 year old is the modern face of Ferrari, the man who has maintained the team at the highest level of competitiveness despite the departures of Schumacher, Brawn, Todt, Byrne and Martinelli. Today in Gazzetta dello Sport he gives an interview which shows the team’s state of mind going into this campaign. Main rival McLaren is behind, but for how long? BMW and Toyota are a new threat and of course the Brawn team have a head-start, but Stefano thinks their More…

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