Posted on March 12, 2009
James Allen on F1 – The official James Allen website on F1 | Formula 1 / F1 | Page 293

Everyone is buzzing with the performance of the new Brawn Mercedes car in Barcelona, particularly that lap Jenson did on Wednesday of 1m 19.127 to end the day fastest. There is a lot of speculation within F1 circles and the wider public about how he did that time, whether it is genuine or whether they are running an underweight car to attract sponsors, as some teams have done in the past. Even Fernando Alonso has paid tribute to the Brawn team today, saying that his Renault couldn’t do those lap times whatever configuration it was in! Well I’ve taken a More…

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Posted on March 11, 2009
James Allen on F1 – The official James Allen website on F1 | Formula 1 / F1 | Page 293

Here’s a shot of the practice start I was talking about in my post on Tuesday. Kovalainen in front, Raikkonen behind, but the Ferrari was ahead after 300 metres or so, fantastic grip off the line and it’s the first part of the start which makes the difference. I mention it because it also caught the attention of some of the engineers from other teams I spoke to. I’m finding this McLaren under-performance story fascinating. There are many who think it’s a new approach to testing in a season when testing will be banned from two weeks from now onwards. More…

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Posted on March 11, 2009
James Allen on F1 – The official James Allen website on F1 | Formula 1 / F1 | Page 293

Ross Brawn’s team still has a long way to go, the car has no sponsors on it, the Mercedes engine deal is rumoured to be for just one year and they have to find partners in an economic crisis, but for 2009 things are a lot rosier for this team than they might appear. For one thing, Ross is not running the team on a shoestring, he has been given a budget not just to compete, but to impress. Honda estimated that it would cost them €100 million to close the team down and rather than do that, with all More…

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Posted on March 11, 2009
James Allen on F1 – The official James Allen website on F1 | Formula 1 / F1 | Page 293

We are experimenting with Twitter when covering live events, like the testing programme in Barcelona or major press conferences. It’s all very new, but we are having fun and hope you will appreciate the immediacy of the information. If you tell us it works well, we will seek to use this as a way of covering the action during the season. It will not be LIVE all the time but we will work out a way of letting you know when we plan a session. Feel free to download the widget on your websites. Follow us on Twitter at “jamesallenonf1” More…

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Posted on March 10, 2009
James Allen on F1 – The official James Allen website on F1 | Formula 1 / F1 | Page 293

I come away from the Barcelona test feeling that this is going to be a great season of racing, but in a very different way from the McLaren vs Ferrari battles of the last two years. The testing performances we have seen so far suggest that McLaren has, if not a mountain, then certainly a big hill to climb, while Ferrari, BMW and Toyota look very strong, one might almost say equally strong. If the performance we’ve seen here is carried over to the early part of the season, as it has been in recent years, then you could see More…

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Posted on March 10, 2009
James Allen on F1 – The official James Allen website on F1 | Formula 1 / F1 | Page 293

Ross Brawn has faced the media for the first time as a team owner today at Barcelona. He spoke for around 20 minutes about his new life as a team owner, the performance of the new car, his plans for the future and the decision not to hire Bruno Senna. The most significant comments he made regarded the former Honda CEO Nick Fry. Stories emanating from Japan were that Honda did not want Fry to be part of the management buyout. Perhaps the way around this is that he has not taken a stake in the team, which apparently is More…

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Posted on March 10, 2009
James Allen on F1 – The official James Allen website on F1 | Formula 1 / F1 | Page 293

If you liked that James Bond sequence where he drove the BMW Q had given him using by remote control using his phone, you’ll enjoy this wacky bit of video. I remember a few years ago F1 engineers were talking about how it was possible for an F1 car to drive itself. Well take a look at this. It’s a Vodafone viral for the Blackberry Storm, but it shows McLaren are getting funkeeeee! And please, no comments about how it might be faster than the car they’ve got at the moment! [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FiLoANg6nNY]

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Posted on March 10, 2009
James Allen on F1 – The official James Allen website on F1 | Formula 1 / F1 | Page 293

Had dinner with Sebastien Buemi’s Dad last night and he explained the problems the Toro Rosso team is having with deciding what names to use over the radio to differentiate between the two drivers, Buemi and Sebastien Bourdais. Both are called Sebastian, both are nicknamed ‘Seb’, both have the initials SB, both are French speaking and guess what, both of them have the same middle name… Olivier! What are the chances of that? They are scratching their heads. It’ll have to be car 11 and car 12, so literally they will be saying, “Come in number 11 your time is More…

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Posted on March 9, 2009
James Allen on F1 – The official James Allen website on F1 | Formula 1 / F1 | Page 293

One of the high points of the day was seeing Rubens Barrichello back in the F1 paddock wearing Brawn team gear. Or at least what passes for it at the moment, it’s Henry Lloyd grey sailing wear from the looks of things. No sponsors, it’s all very 1960s really having these unbranded people and an unbranded car. Anyway, Rubens looks great, pretty thin, like most of the drivers with the new KERS diet a must in 2009. It’s been a tough few months for him, not knowing if the team was going to survive and if it did, whether he’d More…

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Posted on March 9, 2009
James Allen on F1 – The official James Allen website on F1 | Formula 1 / F1 | Page 293

One of the most striking things about the way the testing has been going has been the performance of Toyota. In the hands of both drivers the car has proved reliable as well as fast over long runs, the ideal triple crown, really. You sense that this could be the year of the breakthrough for Toyota which is still looking for its first win in F1. Jarno Trulli certainly seemed to think that is the case, when I caught up with him this evening. “We hope so, we are optimistic,” he said. “Only the race results will tell us the More…

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