Posted on March 3, 2009
James Allen on F1 – The official James Allen website on F1 | Formula 1 / F1 | Page 297

Little snippet caught my eye today in the Gazzetta dello Sport newspaper. Flavio Briatore was on Italian radio, talking about the stories that Alonso has already signed for Ferrari for 2011 (with an option to drive in 2010 if Raikkonen has another poor season). If you want to learn more about this story, by the way, scroll down to a post I did on it at the very end of December. I’m not sure which way he would prefer it, talking about his star driver once it’s been confirmed he’s going to the opposition (2006 season) or talking about him More…

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Posted on March 2, 2009
James Allen on F1 – The official James Allen website on F1 | Formula 1 / F1 | Page 297

It’s raining in Jerez and is forecast to rain again tomorrow, so not much is getting done once again. These pre-season tests have been blighted – by rain in Europe and by sandstorms in Bahrain. Everyone is rushing to get things done in time for the new season, but it seems someone up high is sending a message about the wisdom of making such a radical cut in testing! Anyway I’m hearing some interesting stuff from out there. Apparently it is starting to look as though only four teams will start the season using new the KERS system; Ferrari, McLaren, More…

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Posted on March 1, 2009
James Allen on F1 – The official James Allen website on F1 | Formula 1 / F1 | Page 297

At the Williams team pre-season briefing the other day, I was mucking about with a Flip video camera and here is a clip of Nico explaining the big difference between last year’s cars and this years and the key to driving the 2009 spec cars. Sorry it’s a bit quiet, I’ll get the audio better next time… Anyway as you can see, Nico looks very skinny. He’s had to lose some weight to compensate for the extra weight of the KERS hybrid system in the cars this season, as have all the drivers (not that he had much to lose). More…

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Posted on March 1, 2009
James Allen on F1 – The official James Allen website on F1 | Formula 1 / F1 | Page 297

Things are really starting to hot up now as the new season approaches and the final two tests before the first race are upon us. This week Jerez, next week Barcelona. We will know who’s looking good and who’s not in the next fortnight. The new Force India package has been launched and this team are demanding that we take them seriously. There is every reason to. They have made a very smart technical and strategic alliance with McLaren. This means that in addition to a McLaren man moving in as the CEO of Force India, they will run the More…

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Posted on March 1, 2009
James Allen on F1 – The official James Allen website on F1 | Formula 1 / F1 | Page 297

Ron Dennis’ 28 year tenure as team principal of McLaren ends today. His number two, Martin Whitmarsh, aged 50, takes over the role at a fascinating time for the team and the sport in general. Under Dennis McLaren has been one of the most successful teams of the last three decades, although there have been marked downturns in their fortunes along the way, when the team struggled for competitiveness, like the period between the 1991 world title won by Senna and the 1998 one for Hakkinen. Since Hakkinen’s second title in 1999, there was a long and frustrating wait for More…

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Posted on February 28, 2009
James Allen on F1 – The official James Allen website on F1 | Formula 1 / F1 | Page 297

Honda F1 team looks like it has been saved by a management buyout headed by Ross Brawn and now it needs to be renamed and rebranded. So what shall it be called? If we had a bit more time we could propose to the BBC that they do a reality game show to find a name, along the lines of the ones where they find a lead actor for Oliver or Sound of Music. Graham Norton could come flouncing on to our screens on a Saturday night to host it, with Bernie and Max as the gnarly old judges. It’s More…

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Posted on February 28, 2009
James Allen on F1 – The official James Allen website on F1 | Formula 1 / F1 | Page 297

Following the news that Niall Sloane, executive producer of F1, has quit the BBC, I saw on the Guardian media website that the BBC has appointed Ben Gallop as head of F1. I’ve asked around and apparently he comes from the online side of the media business rather than TV and has no F1 background. Mark Wilkin, who is the editor of the F1 programme will report to him. Mark does have a strong F1 background and is also a very experienced producer/director. He held the same role when the BBC last had F1 in 1996. There seems to be More…

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Posted on February 27, 2009
James Allen on F1 – The official James Allen website on F1 | Formula 1 / F1 | Page 297

I was sad to see in Charlie Sale’s column in the Daily Mail today that Niall Sloane, the executive producer of the BBC’s F1 coverage has quit. Sloane is a football man, a former player in fact, who took charge of the F1 brief when the BBC won back the rights last March. He spent most of 2008 setting up the presentation team and the coverage schedule, which was announced earlier this week. According to Sale, Sloane lost out on the job of BBC Head of Sport to his colleague Barbara Slater and is leaving the corporation after 27 years.

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Posted on February 27, 2009
James Allen on F1 – The official James Allen website on F1 | Formula 1 / F1 | Page 297

I’ve written extensively about the moves afoot to bring down costs in Formula 1 over the last couple of months and talked about how the FIA intended to produce a set of rules for 2010 based on areas of non-compete on the cars to reduce costs for everyone. The key proposal is for the big teams, who choose to spend money on a technology, to be made to sell that technology to a smaller team at a capped price. Today the FIA put out a statement which shows that it is going for this sooner rather than later, in an More…

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Posted on February 26, 2009
James Allen on F1 – The official James Allen website on F1 | Formula 1 / F1 | Page 297

Just had a very enjoyable day at Williams HQ in Grove where a few of us were treated to a series of briefings by the team. The drivers Nico Rosberg and Kazuki Nakajima were there, we had a talk around the car by technical director Sam Michael and then a briefing on the team’s health, FOTA and other general F1 matters from Sir Frank Williams and team CEO Adam Parr. They even threw in some lunch, all very trendy, with small tapas-sized portions and lots of them. Being Williams though it was roast beef and fish and chips in the More…

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