Posted on March 18, 2009
James Allen on F1 – The official James Allen website on F1 | Formula 1 / F1 | Page 293

There has been a mixed response internationally to the new points system agreed by the FIA yesterday. Here on JA on F1, it’s pretty clear from your comments that you are against it. Also we have been running a Polldaddy poll and the results are 80-20 against. Over in Spain, Marca newspaper has a similar 80-20 against ratio. Meanwhile in Italy, La Gazzetta dello Sport has been running a poll and – with a huge response – the result is a dead heat 50-50. What I find interesting in many of your responses is that you had been really looking More…

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Posted on March 17, 2009
James Allen on F1 – The official James Allen website on F1 | Formula 1 / F1 | Page 293

I nearly choked on my Rich Tea biscuit when the news came through about the £30 million budget cap voted through today by the FIA world motor sport council. The teams did likewise. They did not expect this after presenting such a unanimous front the other week in Geneva. Their confidence that their unified voice would be taken into account by the FIA, when deciding rules and policy, was misplaced. Instead Max Mosley has gone much further than the teams wanted to in stripping costs out of the sport. FOTA has just put a statement out which makes clear how More…

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Posted on March 17, 2009
James Allen on F1 – The official James Allen website on F1 | Formula 1 / F1 | Page 293

Jean Todt, who guided Ferrari’s F1 team to it’s greatest era of success, with 13 world championships in the period from 1999 to 2007, has stepped down from all his administrative roles at the company, Ferrari has just announced at a shareholders’ meeting. “Todt has been one of the fundamental protagonists of the Ferrari story in the last 15 years, ” said Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo. ” All these years together, the wins but also the difficult moments, have created a bond between Ferrari and Todt which will last for ever.” Todt (63) arrived at Maranello in 1993 to More…

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Posted on March 17, 2009
James Allen on F1 – The official James Allen website on F1 | Formula 1 / F1 | Page 293

The FIA World Council made some very significant decisions today and the one which is leading the news bulletins is the decision to ensure that the driver who wins the most races becomes world champion regardless of how many points he has scored. The more significant move is the one to introduce a £30 million budget cap, which is a red rag to FOTA teams and which would effectively create a two class F1, but I’ll deal with that point in a later post. I got the sense from responses to my blog when Bernie Ecclestone suggested medals as a More…

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Posted on March 17, 2009
James Allen on F1 – The official James Allen website on F1 | Formula 1 / F1 | Page 293

Today is the final day of the group pre-season test programme for Renault and Brawn. McLaren and Williams continue until Thursday. It’s the last chance the teams in Jerez will have to try out new parts and fine tune their cars on the track before Melbourne. We have Brawn, McLaren, Williams and Renault all operating with a single car. So far this month the two main stories have been the stunning performance of the Brawn Mercedes cars, which came so close to never seeing the light of day after Honda pulled out of F1 and the trouble McLaren has been More…

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Posted on March 16, 2009
James Allen on F1 – The official James Allen website on F1 | Formula 1 / F1 | Page 293

Fernando Alonso set the fastest time on the second day at Jerez today. His lap of 1 min 18.343 was 5/100th faster than Rubens Barrichello’s best in the Brawn. This compares with the time of 1min 19.945, he set on the final day of the last Jerez test a fortnight ago. This does not mean that Renault has suddenly vaulted ahead of Brawn, as they were some way behind in Barcelona – a second and a bit. Jerez arguably suits their car better than Barcelona at the moment, Alonso was quick there earlier this month. Renault had a slow start More…

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Posted on March 16, 2009
James Allen on F1 – The official James Allen website on F1 | Formula 1 / F1 | Page 293

Mario Theissen put out a quick Q & A today with some comments about FOTA, a look back at the winter testing and a quandry about whether to use KERS or not at the first race. He makes no mention of the Brawn phenomenon. BMW’s testing has gone pretty well, but not outstandingly. Many, including myself, though that they would start the year with an advantage over Ferrari and McLaren because they devoted more energy earlier to the 2009 programme than their rivals. But despite topping the time sheets occasionally at tests, they have yet to show blistering pace. Robert More…

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Posted on March 14, 2009
James Allen on F1 – The official James Allen website on F1 | Formula 1 / F1 | Page 293

Felipe Massa ended this week’s Barcelona test with a positive message for Ferrari fans around the world, “We have the car we had hoped for.” The only problem is, there’s another car in front of it. The F60 has suffered a few reliability problems this week, a leak in the cooling system prevented Raikkonen from completing a race distance on Tuesday, while Massa lost some time with a hydraulics problem. However the pace of the car has been class leading, leaving aside the Brawn-Mercedes, and Massa heads for Melbourne feeling that he has a car which is capable of fighting More…

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Posted on March 13, 2009
James Allen on F1 – The official James Allen website on F1 | Formula 1 / F1 | Page 293

Today McLaren swung into action to respond to the waves of speculation about their poor testing performance and to manage expectations ahead of the new F1 season. Regular readers of JA on F1 will know that I was in Barcelona this week and reported seeing the difficulties the driver Heikki Kovalainen was having with the car, as well as analysing the lap times for further evidence of problems. New team principal Martin Whitmarsh went public on Friday with a frank admission that the car is not fast enough and that it has some problems, “”Initial testing of MP4-24, which first More…

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Posted on March 13, 2009
James Allen on F1 – The official James Allen website on F1 | Formula 1 / F1 | Page 293

It’s official! The Brawn is the fastest car in the F1 field with two weeks to go before the start of the season! It is an extraordinary story. The Barcelona test, which finished on Thursday, could well go down as one of the most remarkable events in recent F1 history, as a team which seemed dead in the water at Christmas, bounced back and not only set the fastest outright lap of the week, but showed that it is faster over the race distance than the Ferrari! Amazingly for a brand new car, reliability was very good too. The car More…

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