Posted on March 2, 2014
Screen shot 2014-03-02 at 15.37.24

Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes ended pre-season testing in ominously potent style today, with the Briton topping the times in Bahrain, ahead of Valtteri Bottas and Fernando Alonso. But Hamilton did not eclipse the fastest time of the winter, set by Felipe Massa on Day 3 in 1m 33.258s With only 12 days now remaining until the new 1.6 litre turbo-charged engines are fired up for the first free practice session in Melbourne, today offered the teams their final chance to confirm reliability and assess short run pace, and in those regards there were varying degrees of success and failure. Hamilton More…

Posted on March 2, 2014
Screen Shot 2014-03-02 at 08.15.59

The Bahrain International Circuit has today honoured the seven times world champion Michael Schumacher by renaming Turn 1 after him. The German remains in a coma in hospital in France after a skiing accident at New Year, despite attempts to wake him. Schumacher’s connections with the circuit extend to consultation on the design and also it was the scene of his comeback to F1 in 2010, with Mercedes, after three years of retirement. It is likely to be the first of a series of gestures like this over the coming year, as the sport comes to terms with the terrible More…

Posted on March 1, 2014
XPB.cc

Felipe Massa reconfirmed Williams’ strong showing in testing by posting the fastest time on the penultimate day of Formula One pre-season testing in Bahrain today, ahead of Nico Rosberg and Kimi Raikkonen. The former Ferrari driver also logged 99 laps as elsewhere Red Bull Racing and Lotus once again struggled. After completing over 230 laps around the Sakhir circuit across the opening two days this week, today saw the team demonstrate the FW36′s raw pace, Massa setting the fastest time seen in Bahrain this year, a 1:33.258, in the final minutes of the day on Pirelli’s supersoft tyre. Massa had More…

Posted on February 28, 2014
XPB.cc

Today February 28th, has been a very busy one in F1, with not only the testing going on in Bahrain, but also deadlines for new teams to enter the sport in 2015 and for engines to be homologated as well as a meeting of the F1 Strategy Group. There are three headlines arising from the day which F1 fans need to be aware of. Double points still in place but only for last race The Group discussed the suggestion that the controversial idea of awarding double points at the final race should be extended to the last three races. This More…

Posted on February 28, 2014
XPB.cc

Sergio Perez maintained his position as pacesetter at this week’s final Formula One pre-season test in Bahrain, heading a tightly-bunched  top three completed by Fernando Alonso and Daniel Ricciardo, Mercedes and Lotus, meanwhile, were force to cut their running short for the second day in succession. Lewis Hamilton’s penultimate day in the Mercedes W05 before the Australian Grand Prix did not start well – a trip to the gravel trap bringing out the first of four red flags on the day. There were no lingering problems following the Briton’s stop, however, and he soon was back out and conducting a More…

Posted on February 28, 2014
FOTA

The F1 teams’ Association, or FOTA as it was known, has been disbanded. The seven remaining members of the union decided not to continue after meetings in the last week. A spokesman told the BBC, “I can confirm that FOTA has been disbanded, as a result of insufficient funds to continue, and lack of consensus amongst all the Teams on a revised non-contentious mandate”. FOTA was formed in 2007, with Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo the driving force, along with McLaren’s Ron Dennis and Flavio Briatore, then head of Renault. The idea was to stick together in crucial negotiations with More…

Posted on February 27, 2014
XPB.cc

Force India’s Sergio Perez set the pace as the final four days of pre-season testing got underway in Bahrain today, the former McLaren driver finished ahead of Valtteri Bottas and Kimi Raikkonen on another worrying day for Renault and its customer teams. With just four days until the teams turn their attention to Melbourne it was another strong day for Mercedes-powered cars, with all but Rosberg completing more than 100 laps and building on the reliability that they have shown throughout the winter. As for the works Mercedes driver, even he put in 89 laps, but described it as a More…

Posted on February 27, 2014
Screen Shot 2014-02-27 at 13.04.08

Tomorrow, February 28th, is the deadline for the new hybrid turbo F1 power units to be homologated. This means that the engine makers, Mercedes, Ferrari and Renault have to send the FIA a sample engine and the specification of this engine and Energy Recovery System is then fixed for the season. It is clear from the testing so far that Mercedes and Ferrari are in a position to do this, but Renault has been playing catch up after suffering a range of problems with the energy storage side of its power unit. So what will happen next? Will Renault be More…

Posted on February 26, 2014
XPB.cc

The final pre-season test begins tomorrow in Bahrain, giving teams just four more track days to prepare their cars for the new F1 season, which starts on March 14th with free practice in Melbourne. It is already clear that, with the radical changes in technical regulations this year, and cars now running 1.6 litre hybrid turbo power units, some teams are in better shape than others. For Red Bull and the other Renault powered teams, for example, it is a crucial test as they have done very limited running compared to their rivals. With this in mind there was a More…

Posted on February 25, 2014
Screen shot 2014-02-25 at 11.00.32

Following months of speculation that Rob Smedley would follow Felipe Massa to Williams F1, the former Ferrari engineer has today been announced as Head of Vehicle Performance at the Grove squad. He will join the team between the Malaysian and Bahrain Grands Prix. Smedley will take up a newly created position in the team, working alongside engineers trackside while assisting with the of the FW36 development across the season. His engineering experience will also see him support Andrew Murdoch and Jonathan Eddolls, the respective race engineers of Massa and Valtteri Bottas. The team also announced that in an effort to More…



COUNTDOWN TO NEXT RACE
Strategy Report
Innovation and Technology brought to you by TATA Communications
Senna DVD
Download the Chequered Flag Podcast here
MTS
Darren Heath
Sport Right Now