Posted on March 30, 2009
James Allen on F1 – The official James Allen website on F1 | Formula 1 / F1 | Page 290

I’m sitting in Melbourne airport in the departure lounge waiting for a 1am flight to Kuala Lumpur. I’m not alone, there are plenty of F1 people milling around, rather bleary eyed waiting for the plane. Ferrari are on the flight, along with some French and English journalists, a few photograpers and others. It’s an eight hour flight and it will be tiring, but it’s not a bad flight to catch as it gets in to KL at 6-30am, so you don’t lose a whole day travelling. I was rather surprised at the check-in to see Ferrari team boss Stefano Domenicali More…

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Posted on March 30, 2009
James Allen on F1 – The official James Allen website on F1 | Formula 1 / F1 | Page 290

Rubens Barrichello had an unbelievable afternoon in Melbourne on Sunday, which deserves a closer look. He started and finished second, but in between it was far from plain sailing, with two collisions, both of which caused bodywork damage. It is one of those, ‘How did he get there?’ races, so I thought I’d go through the race history and try to explain it. At the start he bogged down when the anti-stall mechanism kicked in as he left the line. He was swallowed up by the cars behind him, and entered the first corner in amongst the cars from row More…

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Posted on March 29, 2009
James Allen on F1 – The official James Allen website on F1 | Formula 1 / F1 | Page 290

I will never forget the feeling I had when I saw this Brawn car for the first time on the Monday morning in Barcelona on the 9th of March. It looked different, the detail on the car was so refined, and it went like stink. Here was the most dominant F1 car we’ve seen since the Ferrari of 2004 and it was born out of the wreckage of the Honda team. Today they got a one-two finish in the first Grand Prix, making monkeys of the opposition as they went. How must Honda be feeling now? They pulled out of More…

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Posted on March 29, 2009
James Allen on F1 – The official James Allen website on F1 | Formula 1 / F1 | Page 290

It was Ross Brawn himself who made the connection, when we were talking on Saturday morning about the last team to win on its F1 debut; Wolf in 1977. “Yeah, I was working for them then,” he grinned. Ross started out at Williams, but when Sir Frank got involved with Walter Wolf, Ross was seconded to go and work on the black and gold cars. What an amazing symmetry that 32 years later Ross should repeat the feat with cars bearing his own name. Brawn was the story in Melbourne this weekend, from every angle; the staggering pace of the More…

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Posted on March 29, 2009
James Allen on F1 – The official James Allen website on F1 | Formula 1 / F1 | Page 290

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 290

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 290

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 290

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 290

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 290

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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