Posted on April 19, 2014


Lewis Hamilton has put himself in the box-seat for a hat-trick of race victories by mastering the wet conditions in Shanghai to take pole position for the Chinese Grand Prix, heading Daniel Ricciardo and Sebastian Vettel. The 34th pole of the Briton’s career, his third of 2014, was thoroughly dominant, as he topped each phase of qualifying with a margin over the Red Bull pair and the sister Mercedes of Nico Rosberg. However, come the top ten shoot-out and Hamilton stepped up a gear, initially holding provisional pole by 6/10ths of a second over the pack as the intermediate tyre More…

Posted on April 18, 2014


Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton set the pace on the first day of running in Shanghai, but Fernando Alonso’s performance in the Ferrari meant that it was not the customary Mercedes 1-2 on the time sheets. In front of new boss Marco Mattiacci, the Spaniard set the second fastest time, just over a tenth slower than Hamilton. He had been the pace setter in the morning session. Nico Rosberg was third, ahead of the Red Bull pair, with Daniel Ricciardo ahead of world champion Sebastian Vettel. Hamilton had a problem with the suspension on his Mercedes earlier in the day, but was More…

Posted on April 16, 2014


The UBS Chinese Grand Prix is always an intriguing race and strategy has played a significant role in the outcome in recent years. Overtaking is easy here because of the longest straight in F1 at 1.17km, so teams can plan for the fastest strategy knowing that traffic will not be a huge problem. That said, the speed differential between cars due to the new hybrid turbo engines, could see cars with less straight line speed struggle to pass midfield cars with good straightline speed. Unlike many F1 venues, where protecting the rear tyres is key to success, Shanghai is all More…

Posted on April 16, 2014


Ferrari president has said that he has complete confidence in new team principal Marco Mattiacci and added that his Ferrari heritage is more important than F1 knowledge and he has vowed to spend more time in Formula 1 personally. “I decided to appoint a young manager in whom I have a great deal of confidence and someone from the Ferrari family, rather than going around the world looking for some mercenary,” Montezemolo said yesterday. “We are full of talent with quality and capability and and we are full of technical people from whom I now expect an immediate reaction. (Mattiacci’s) More…

Posted on April 15, 2014


This weekend in China the new Team Principal of Ferrari, Marco Mattiacci, will be in charge for the first time. In promoting Mattiacci, the company is taking something of a gamble on one level, as he has very limited knowledge of Formula 1; it’s culture and the complex, difficult people who populate its higher echelons. He will have to learn quickly not only the politics of the sport, but also the culture of winning, which used to run through the corridors of Maranello in the days of Michael Schumacher, Ross Brawn and Jean Todt and which more recently has pervaded More…

Posted on April 13, 2014


Tomorrow (Monday) the appeal against Daniel Ricciardo’s disqualification from second place in the Australian Grand Prix will be heard. The Court of Appeal, an independent body, tasked with resolving issues like this by the FIA, will be the centre of a lot of attention as this case will be important for the governing body to assert its authority, which has been challenged by Red Bull’s approach in Melbourne to the technical and sporting regulations. Depending on who wins, it could affect the way that the technical side of the sport is administered as, if the FIA loses, the use of More…

Posted on April 11, 2014


Formula 1 will have 12 teams and 24 cars on the grid next season after the US based team Haas Racing was granted a licence to compete by the FIA. This follows a consultation process, whereby the team’s plans, financial position and other aspects were carefully assessed by an FIA panel in early March. The panel comprised FIA deputy president for sport Graham Stoker, Charlie Whiting and other FIA figures as well as auditors, with input from Bernie Ecclestone’s FOM as well. The team has just over nine months from now to produce a car to take part in the More…

Posted on April 8, 2014

The Strategy Report

The Bahrain Grand Prix was one of the most exciting races for many years, featuring wheel to wheel battles throughout the field and lots of interesting strategy work, which affected the outcome. There was a Safety Car, which is a rare occurrence at this circuit and it made for a thrilling climax after the restart, with cars using a mixture of different strategies. But even without the Safety Car, this was a fascinating race from a strategy point of view and here we will analyse and explain some fundamental details which led to the race turning out as it did. More…

Posted on April 7, 2014


Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo left the circuit with 12 laps of the Bahrain Grand Prix still to go, missing the final sprint finish after the safety car, but having taken in enough to know that his team is once again in trouble. The new hybrid turbo era has not dawned well for Ferrari, with Montezemolo forced to admit that, “To see this Ferrari is painful.” Earlier the president had called F1 “Formula Boredom” and complained that the fuel regulations were incomprehensible and made for dull racing, where the drivers were forced to trundle around like taxi drivers. Few would More…

Posted on April 7, 2014


The Bahrain Grand Prix was a classic with plenty of strong performances throughout the field. Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg put on quite a show in their fight for the win, but so did the Force India drivers, the Williams drivers and Red Bull drivers among others. So who was your Driver of the Day? Lewis Hamilton Got the jump on team mate Rosberg at the start and held him off on the opening lap. Also fought off an attack at the end of the first stint and then built a lead while the pair were on different strategies. Managed More…

Posted on April 6, 2014


If Formula 1 in 2014 is a battle of the taxi drivers, as Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo called it this morning, then it could catch on. Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg gave an exemplary display of close racing today to have a race-long battle in the Bahrain Grand Prix, with Hamilton claiming victory at the Sakhir circuit following an enthralling race, in which Sergio Perez completed the podium. He now has two victories to Rosberg’s one, but the German still leads the world championship. It is the 24th victory of Hamilton’s career, equalling the tally of Juan Manuel Fangio, More…

Posted on April 6, 2014


This weekend there has been a lot of talk about the 2014 rules and the possibility of making some changes, under pressure from Red Bull and Ferrari in particular. We’ve had lots of comments, especially in light of the criticism voiced by Red Bull’s Adrian Newey on Friday, and here we post one of the most eloquent and well argued of them, to give a fan’s perspective and to give voice to the views of those who watch the sport week in week out. Both Ferrari and Red Bull and their senior figures have been talking down the sport recently, More…

Posted on April 5, 2014


Nico Rosberg headed Lewis Hamilton to give Mercedes its first front-row lock out of 2014 by dominating qualifying for the Bahrain Grand Prix, eclipsing the remainder of the field by 0.9s. Daniel Ricciardo came closest to the Mercedes pair but will drop to 13th for tomorrow’s race due the penalty received in Malaysia for an unsafe release. On the weekend of his 150th Grand Prix start, it was Rosberg’s fifth career pole, the German equalling the tally of his 1982 World Championship winning father, Keke. After establishing a comfortable margin throughout the weekend, qualifying saw little change as the duo More…

Posted on April 4, 2014


This weekend the Sakhir circuit in Bahrain marks a decade as part of the sport of Formula One and it has named a corner after seven times world champion Michael Schumacher, who remains in a coma after a ski accident. Following a civil conflict that led to the race being abandoned in 2011, and which is still in the background to the event each year, the Middle East’s first F1 venue this weekend stages its 10th grand prix and to raise the bar and ring the changes, it is hosting its first night race. Here, Shaikh Salman, the CEO of More…

Posted on April 3, 2014


The teams did a significant amount of pre-season testing in Bahrain this year, which will give them a good baseline understanding of the best way to attack this Grand Prix, however this year the race is being held at 6pm local time as a night race for the first time and this will mean that the track conditions will be cooler than in previous races here and the temperatures will fall as the race goes on. Pirelli has brought the soft and medium tyres from its range; although last year the medium and hard were brought, the tyres this year More…

Posted on April 2, 2014


In the back corridors of F1 the next month will be an interesting one, and the next week in particular. Bahrain is set to be a meeting point of key players to discuss changes to the new Formula 1. From a simple raising of the engines’ decibel level, to more radical ideas like shortening the races and abandoning the controversial fuel flow meters, it seems that discussions held so far will channel into a significant meeting of teams, FOM and FIA, a gathering of the F1 Strategy Group to frame a new policy and then possible ratifications of any changes More…

Posted on April 1, 2014

The Strategy Report

Only two races into the new hybrid turbo formula, the intense heat of Malaysia was always going to be a stiff challenge for the teams, but once again an impressive 15 cars from the 22 starters made it to the end. Pace was the ultimate decider of this race, with Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton simply too fast for the rest, leading home a Mercedes 1-2, but behind him there were some good battles in which strategy played a key part in the outcome. Alonso vs Hulkenberg: Different strategies at play Before the race one of the key decisions was whether to More…

Posted on March 30, 2014


Lewis Hamilton made up for the ground lost last time out in Australia, dominating the Malaysian Grand Prix from lights to flag, heading a Mercedes one-two with Nico Rosberg in second and Sebastian Vettel in third. It was the first Mercedes 1-2 of the modern F1 era. It is his first win in Malaysia and the 23rd win of Hamilton’s career, joining Nelson Piquet with the eleventh most victories in Formula One. And after claiming pole position only for his Mercedes car to suffer engine issues and a subsequent retirement in Melbourne, there were no such troubles today with the More…

Posted on March 29, 2014


Lewis Hamilton maintained his clean sweep of 2014 pole positions by claiming the top spot in Malaysian Grand Prix qualifying, heading Sebastian Vettel and Nico Rosberg at a treacherously wet Sepang circuit. The second pole of the year for Hamilton is 33rd of the Briton’s career, equalling Jim Clark’s British record and the tally of four-time World Champion Alain Prost. “The lap was far from being my optimum,” said Hamilton, who trailed Rosberg when they were using intermediate tyres early in the session, but had the edge on full wets. “I should have been able to eke out a little More…

Posted on March 28, 2014


Nico Rosberg continued Mercedes’ pacesetting form by topping the times in Free Practice for this weekend’s Malaysian Grand Prix, ahead of Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel. The top three cars were 7/100ths of a second apart; six cars were separated by just 0.2 seconds. The Australian GP winner set a benchmark time of 1:39.909, with Raikkonen and Vettel joining the German in dipping below the 100-second barrier, all with the use of the medium tyre, the softer of the two compounds on offer this weekend. The option tyre gave an improvement of around 0.8s for the leading cars, but suffered More…

Posted on March 27, 2014


Fernando Alonso believes there is plenty more to come from Ferrari’s F14 T, despite a less a muted start to the season in Australia. Following a fourth-place finish in Melbourne, more than 35 seconds adrift of winner Nico Rosberg’s Mercedes, Alonso bemoaned a lack of performance, adding the team “needs to improve”. Speaking today in the Sepang paddock today, however, Alonso, when asked if he had revised his opinion following time to digest the Melbourne race, the two-time champion admitted that while it feels like a repeat of the team’s troubled early races of the past few seasons, there is More…

Posted on March 24, 2014


The Malaysian Grand Prix is the second round of the 2014 FIA F1 World Championship and – from a reliability point of view – far more of a challenge for the teams than Melbourne. The intense heat and humidity will stretch the cars’ cooling systems to the limit. With the new hybrid turbo power units and the powerful batteries in the Energy Recovery System, cooling is critical this year. We may see several teams being forced to open the bodywork to improve cooling, which will hurt their aerodynamic performance and in some cases the stability of the cars in the More…

Posted on March 23, 2014


Picture an F1 car standing still in the pit lane. The sidewalls of the tyre are nice and straight and the contact patch of the tyre is touching the ground. But imagine what that tyre looks like when loaded up in a high speed corner – it flexes and the shape is no longer that ideal vertical line, so easy to model in a wind tunnel. In modern F1 there is a real premium on understanding this phenomenon and being able to work with the changing shape of the tyre so that the car’s aerodynamics are the best they can More…

Posted on March 23, 2014


Red Bull’s Wings For Life charity are offering the chance to compete along side Mark Webber and other stars as part of the foundation’s World Run, whilst the top 50 fund raisers will receive a tour of Red Bull’s Milton Keynes factory. The World Run, which takes place on May 4th, will see thousands of runners compete concurrently in thirty-five different locations around the world, all starting at 11am GMT, to raise funding for the spinal cord injury charity. The UK host will be Silverstone, where along with Webber, International rugby players George North and Thom Evans will do their More…

Posted on March 21, 2014


As always on JA on F1 we like to bring the fans closer to the sport in many ways and after the first race of the new Formula 1 in Australia, we’ve analysed the performances of some of the leading teams to give a better picture of the relative pace at this early stage of the season. Thanks to JA on F1 technical adviser Mark Gillan, we have some pace charts which give a good idea of the relative speed of the cars and Mark has given us his thoughts on what it all means and what we can expect More…

Posted on March 20, 2014


Ferrari has launched an online mini-survey, seeking fans’ views on the new F1, as we saw it in Melbourne last weekend. There are four simple questions, relating to whether fans enjoyed the spectacle in Australia and the clarity of the rules. The survey can be accessed by clicking on this link: Ferrari Fan Survey We strongly advise readers to take advantage of this opportunity to feed back to one of the leading teams. As well as disappointment that the drivers have to manage the cars’ fuel consumption, giving the impression that they are not pushing to the limit, there has More…

Posted on March 20, 2014


Red Bull ran close to the deadline for submitting an appeal, but the FIA has confirmed that the team has formally decided to appeal the disqualification of Daniel Ricciardo from second place in the Australian Grand Prix last Sunday. The International Court of Appeal will hear the case, this is an independent court, which will draw four or five judges from the panel of judges which is on the panel approved by both the FIA and the F1 teams. It is a different body from the International Tribunal, which heard the Mercedes test case last year, which deals with disciplinary More…

Posted on March 19, 2014


It wasn’t a great weekend in Melbourne for Ferrari and particularly for new recruit Kimi Raikkonen, who trailed his team mate Alonso all weekend and ended up seventh in the race, 25 seconds behind the Spaniard. Raikkonen had a number of problems, with team boss Stefano Domenicali admitting on Sunday night,”We have to give Kimi a car that is better suited to his style.” Today the Finn has identified difficulties with the new brake-by-wire system, an electronic system on the rear brakes, which compensates for instability when the energy is harvested from the rear axle under braking, as one of More…

Posted on March 18, 2014

The Strategy Report

The first Grand Prix run to the new 1.6 litre hybrid turbo formula featured some fascinating strategy details, some inspired decision-making and plenty for the drivers and strategy engineers to work with. This season with the UBS Race Strategy Report we will continue our groundbreaking analysis of the key moments of the race, but with enhanced co-operation from teams, to bring an even more in-depth review of the key decisions, to help bring fans closer to the race action. Aborted start The original start had to be aborted, as the Marussia of Jules Bianchi failed to get off the grid. More…

Posted on March 17, 2014


We have had a lot of readers asking why F1 has introduced a fuel flow rate monitoring regulation this season as part of the new rules for the hybrid turbo power units. This is in the light of Daniel Ricciardo’s disqualification for excessive flow rate in Sunday’s Australian GP. JA on F1 technical expert Mark Gillan has written this advisory note on the matter: It was decided pretty early on in the FiA Technical Working Group meetings (which I was a member of) to agree not only on a maximum fuel quantity (i.e. 100kg) but also to a maximum fuel More…

Posted on March 17, 2014


by Ed Gorman, former F1 Correspondent, The Times I always loved the Australian Grand Prix. Even though I used to experience it through a haze of jet lag – mere newspaper journos were never given enough time in-country to adjust – you could not help enjoying the setting, the people and the passion for the sport. Albert Park is right up there with the best of them – in my day in the paddock that would include Silverstone, Monza, Spa, Monaco, anywhere in Japan, Montreal and Brazil. From the comfort of my sofa 10,500 miles away and without the need More…

Posted on March 16, 2014


Nico Rosberg justified Mercedes’ billing as 2014 Formula One favourites by producing a faultless drive to claim victory in the Australian Grand Prix, the German finishing some 24 seconds ahead of Red Bull Racing’s Daniel Ricciardo and Kevin Magnussen, both of whom claimed their first podium finish. The fourth win of Rosberg’s career came on a day when only his team-mate could have offered a challenge. However, for pole sitter Lewis Hamilton the chance of battling with Rosberg for the top step never materialised. At the start, the second following Jules Bianchi’s failure to get away, Rosberg shot into the More…

Posted on March 15, 2014


Lewis Hamilton clinched pole position for the Australian Grand Prix in a thrilling session that saw high winds and a rain shower make for an dramatic climax, with home favourite Daniel Ricciardo taking second place ahead of Nico Rosberg. It is the 32nd pole of Hamilton’s career, equalling compatriot Nigel Mansell with the sixth highest tally of all time. Mercedes’ Friday pace was clear once again this morning as Rosberg set the fastest time and Mercedes continued their dominance – in dry conditions at least. They looked set to fill the front-row with little exertion. However, with a quickening wind More…

Posted on March 13, 2014


The FIA has made some subtle last minute changes to the F1 qualifying rules for this season, to ensure that cars go out in the third and final part of the session. And FIA Race Director has cleared up some important details about how other aspects of the racing this year will be policed. All cars will be given an extra set of the softest tyres brought by Pirelli. The cars which qualify between P11 and P22 are allowed to use them in the race, but the cars which qualify in the top ten have to use them in Q3 More…

Posted on March 13, 2014


Felipe Massa has spoken about his former team mate Michael Schumacher on the eve of the first Grand Prix meeting since Schumacher was injured in a ski accident and revealed that he has a Michael Schumacher tribute on his crash helmet. “I always think about him every day, pray for him every day so I really hope that things can go back and be OK for him,” said Massa in Albert Park paddock this afternoon. “For sure it was a shame to see what’s happened but I keep thinking about him, he’s on my helmet and we’ll keep praying and More…

Posted on March 12, 2014


After a winter in which they have coped with a huge rule change, introducing complex hybrid turbo engines, the F1 teams arrive in Melbourne less well prepared for the first race than at any time in recent memory. Only Mercedes and Williams can be said to have achieved the 5,000km target mileage in the three winter tests, while Ferrari were not far off with 500km less. Others, like Red Bull (1,700km) and their fellow Renault powered teams including last year’s Melbourne winners Lotus, are underprepared and will find Melbourne a struggle this year. Reliability of the new 1.6 litre engines More…

Posted on March 11, 2014


Fernando Alonso has been revealed as the most marketable driver in Formula One after an independent study found him to have the highest level of appeal, influence and trust in the sport, whilst Jenson Button beat compatriot Lewis Hamilton to the most marketable in the UK market. Repucom, a world leader in sports market research which is used by many of the teams and sponsors in F1, has compiled a list of the most marketable drivers in Formula One, using a set of measurements to show that Alonso holds the highest global appeal, ahead of Hamilton and Felipe Massa. The More…

Posted on March 8, 2014


Now that the final car of 2014 has been revealed in the form of a Martini liveried Williams, the team at JA on F1 have compiled a list of their top five best looking cars and the reasons for choosing. Have a look through and post your thoughts below giving your own top five. And it is with Thursday’s announcement of Martini’s return to Formula One that we begin. The FW36 ran through pre-season testing under a plain blue colour scheme as the highly expected Martini deal, inked months ago, was scheduled to be announced in the following week. It More…

Posted on March 7, 2014


Pirelli has released the schedule for the new 2014 in season testing plan, which will see each of the F1 teams given a day to test updates and new products to avoid a repeat of the problems, failures and disagreements of last season. Things reached a head last May when Mercedes and Pirelli conducted a test, which the other teams were not informed about, after the Spanish Grand Prix. This led to both parties appearing in front of the FIA’s International Tribunal. The panel of independent judges found blame to be equally shared between Pirelli, Mercedes and the FIA. Pirelli More…

Posted on March 7, 2014


With Bernie Ecclestone’s criminal trial in Germany just over a month away and having himself opened up the discussion on possible successors, it has emerged that former Sainsbury’s CEO Justin King is favourite with bookmakers for the role, ahead of Richard Scudamore or the Premier League and Red Bull boss Christian Horner. At this stage CVC Capital Partners, who would be tasked with deciding in the event that Ecclestone needed replacing, have said nothing beyond what CVC Co-Chairman Donald Mackenzie told London’s High Court in November during the Constantin Medien case, “It won’t be easy (to find a successor). And More…

Posted on March 7, 2014


Although Michael Schumacher’s manager Sabine Kehm issued a statement on Friday saying simply that “Michael is still in the wake-up phrase. The situation has not changed,” the Gazzetta dello Sport’s Pino Allievi has written that the German is now breathing by himself without a respirator and doctors believe that he is hearing the voices of his friends, among them FIA president Jean Todt and Ross Brawn. Todt is apparently speaking to his friend in English, as he did in their successful Ferrari days. Schumacher remains in a coma nine weeks after the skiing accident which gave him a severe head More…

Posted on March 6, 2014


“We have to get back to competitiveness as soon as possible and we will get there much faster than people imagine, ” declared McLaren boss Ron Dennis this morning, breaking his silence for the first time since seizing back control of the company from Martin Whitmarsh. “I believe we will win races this year, how many I don’t know and when I don’t know. The company was unfit and I said to them that if they match my commitment we will win. If they don’t match it they won’t be with the company.” Dennis was on feisty form at a More…

Posted on March 5, 2014


When you watch next weekend’s Australian Grand Prix, some of what you see and hear on your screens will be being operated by technicians sitting next to an airfield in Kent, collaborating in real time with colleagues 10,500 miles away. This is something a little different – the first time we’ve been behind the scenes at F1′s Technical Headquarters in Biggin Hill, in the South of England and we’ve made a video of it with our colleagues from Tata Communications. As well as much of the equipment needed to put on a Grand Prix at 19 venues around the world, More…

Posted on March 5, 2014


With less than two weeks from the end of the final test in Bahrain to the first practice session in Melbourne and only a handful of days now until the freight leaves for Australia the teams are literally in a race to turnaround the test cars, parts and support equipment in time to get them to Australia and have everything in place for set-up day, writes JA on F1 technical adviser Mark Gillan. The factories will be 100% operational right now in ensuring that the cars leave with enough spares for the first race. For example ideally one wants 6 More…

Posted on March 3, 2014


In seven weeks from now F1′s commercial boss Bernie Ecclestone will appear in court in Munich charged with bribery and today he has admitted that his legal challenges are distracting him from his day to day role as the CEO of Formula 1. He has also said that he is actively looking for someone to share the work load and ultimately to succeed him. Speaking to the Financial Times, Ecclestone, 83, struck a markedly less defiant tone than he has in recent weeks when he said, “I’ve been spending time on this [civil] case and to spend time on Munich More…

Posted on March 3, 2014


The winter testing is over and now the teams have just over a week to prepare for the new F1 season which kicks off in Melbourne. It’s been clear throughout the three tests in Jerez and Bahrain with the radical new hybrid turbo power units that we are seeing a different competition in F1 from recent years with Mercedes looking strong and Red Bull struggling, but what is the pecking order going into the first race and what trends are there to consider? As ever, with the help and input of JA on F1 Technical adviser Mark Gillan, formerly chief More…

Posted on March 2, 2014


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 1, 2014


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


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


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


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


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


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 24, 2014


Susie Wolff will become the first female driver to take part in a Grand Prix weekend for over 20 years when she drives the Williams in two Free Practice sessions, the team has announced. Wolff, who has been part of the back room driving staff at Williams since 2012, drove in the Young Drivers Test at Silverstone last July and has been given the opportunity to get some more mileage, under the spotlights of a Grand Prix weekend. The team has not specified which two events she will participate in. She will also get a full test day at one More…

Posted on February 22, 2014


If ever there was a case study of how quickly things can change in F1, it is the Williams team. They won the Spanish Grand Prix in May 2012, failed to get a podium for the rest of the season, then had a dismal 2013 with only 5 points scored (four of them in the penultimate race). Now the signs are that Williams is going through a renaissance; the team has the right hybrid turbo power plant in Mercedes and it’s announced a series of sponsors in recent days with an even bigger one to come on March 6. It More…

Posted on February 21, 2014


Following on from yesterday’s powerful statement by a High Court judge regarding Bernie Ecclestone, Formula 1′s commercial boss for the last 30 years, the sport is holding its breath to see what action the sport’s major shareholder, CVC Capital Partners, will take next and specifically whether they will seek to remove the 83 year old from his executive role in the sport he built up. Ecclestone has already stood down from the board of F1′s holding company pending his criminal trial in Germany in April. But will CVC follow through on a threat to remove him if he was found More…

Posted on February 13, 2014


Michael Schumacher has now been in a coma since December 29th – 46 days ago. The process of “waking him up” has been underway for two weeks; this is done by means of reducing the chemical sedation, which was keeping him in a medically induced coma, to control the swelling in his brain following his severe head injury. Schumacher suffered the injury when skiing in the French alps and is still in Grenoble Hospital. In a statement released today by Schumacher’s manager, Sabine Kehm, the family are continuing to carefully guard his condition and there is no mention of the More…

Posted on February 11, 2014


One of the more bizarre episodes in F1 of the last couple of years has now been resolved with an out of court settlement between Paul di Resta and Anthony Hamilton, father of Lewis. Hamilton briefly managed Di Resta, but the pair fell out spectacularly in 2012 over a mooted sponsorship deal for an energy drink and it led to Hamilton suing Di Resta for wrongful termination of contract and loss of earnings. The court case at the end of last year in London was painful to watch for both sides, with the evidence coming out on how their relationship More…

Posted on February 10, 2014


Over the weekend it emerged in the French media that former Citroen and Peugeot motorsport boss Olivier Quesnel is in pole position to take over from Eric Boullier as team principal of Lotus F1 team The role is currently filled on an interim basis by team owner Gerard Lopez, who told L’Equipe newspaper on Saturday that Quesnel is the first choice, but that “The decision is not yet made.” Quesnel, who has a glittering career of success in rally and sportscars, was on the list of candidates four years ago when Lopez hired Boullier for the role and he was More…

Posted on February 9, 2014


The priority for Formula 1 this year is to get costs under control and there are signs that the first steps towards achieving that may be within reach. It was announced by the FIA at Christmas time that a budget cap would be brought in for 2015 and behind the scenes in recent weeks there have been extensive discussions which have proved more fruitful than in the past. The main stakeholders are all engaged: the teams, the FIA and the commercial rights holder. F1 almost tore itself apart in 2009 when then FIA president Max Mosley tried for force a More…

Posted on February 7, 2014


The Lotus E22, the final car to hit the track in this pre season build up, should finally get a run out today at Jerez, Spain. It is due to be given a shakedown in preparation for the crucial Bahrain tests starting in a couple of weeks. Pastor Maldonado will drive the car and he tweeted, “Finally back to the track work, planing a filming day in Jerez today. Looking forward to drive the new E22.” Lotus elected to skip the Jerez group test last week, which in retrospect looks like a reasonable plan given the troubles that Renault powered More…

Posted on February 5, 2014


Felipe Massa’s quote at the weekend about the new ‘brake-by-wire’ systems on the 2014 F1 cars taking some getting used to has sparked a lot of discussion on the JA on F1 site, with readers wanting to know more about what it is and how it works. Let’s start with an explanation from the Sauber F1 team, “The braking system concept is totally new, taking the form of a brake-by-wire system for the first time at the rear wheels. This has become necessary due to the significantly increased performance of the ERS, which requires much greater variations in rear wheel More…

Posted on February 4, 2014


The subject of awarding double points at the end of the F1 season has proved controversial since its introduction at Christmas. As things stand the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix winner will collect 50 points and the driver finishing third will score 30 – more than the winner gets at any other 2014 Grand Prix. Bernie Ecclestone, whose idea this was, is now pushing for the last three races to be awarded double points, which would require unanimous approval from the teams. But with the obvious problems faced by Renault powered teams at this early stage of the season – Red More…

Posted on February 2, 2014


The first test session at Jerez last week threw up some major surprises and interesting talking points, including the failure of Renault and the innovative aerodynamics on the McLaren. Here JA on F1 technical adviser Mark Gillan, former chief operations engineer at Williams and Toyota explains how the F1 teams approach the pre-season tests and analyses what they will be doing now, back at base, to get ready for the next test in Bahrain. What the F1 teams were aiming to achieve at the Jerez test The 2014 energy recovery system (ERS) boosted F1 cars are extremely complex systems so More…

Posted on January 28, 2014


Rewind back to January 2007: Kimi Raikkonen’s first ever pre-season test in Ferrari-red overalls was taking place. It was also in Spain and he went on to win the world championship. Seven years later he has not only chosen to race with the same number, but he is back testing with the Italian team, once again in Spain. Kimi’s start to the season at Ferrari today was a totally different story to back in 2007, however, a story of new challenges, a new car, a new engine… and patience. A lot of it. “We’ve been working very hard to get More…

Posted on January 28, 2014


They say you shouldn’t run before you can walk and that’s exactly what happened here in Jerez today. As pre-season testing got underway there was a lot of treading lightly and a few missteps but not a lot of speed on show – at least not straight away. It was to be expected, however. The start to the first day of a new era was always going to be a slow but steady one despite many wanting to get the on-track party started immediately in order to hear the sound of the new V6 engines for the very first time. More…

Posted on January 27, 2014


We’ve had a huge response from readers about these new look 2014 F1 cars, with getting on for 1,000 comments over the weekend. And one noticeable strand of comment has been fans trying to figure out what the unusual noses on these cars look like. The right buzzword to describe this new look design is something F1 commentators and media will be desperately searching for ahead of the new season, so we’d like to throw them a lifeline by asking fans to come up with a new buzzword for the F1 noses. Here are a few of the suggestions we’ve More…

Posted on January 26, 2014


We have now seen 2014 F1 cars launched by six of the 11 F1 teams, with Toro Rosso due to reveal its challenger – now powered by the same Renault engine as the sister Red Bull team – due to launch on Monday. Already we have seen lots of different interpretations of the radically different technical regulations, particular in the nose section of the car. So here is the initial feedback of JA on F1 technical adviser Mark Gillan, former chief operations engineer at Williams, Jaguar Racing and Toyota. McLaren MP4-29 McLaren are the first to release pictures of the More…

Posted on January 23, 2014


The controversial rule to award double points at the final race of the season is set to go ahead after a meeting in Geneva on Wednesday between Formula 1 team bosses where they did not attempt to overturn the ruling. The idea, which was formed by F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone, first surfaced late last year with the idea of making it mathematically more difficult for the title to be decided several races before the end of the season. At the time, reigning four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel described the plans to award 50 points rather than 25 for a race More…

Posted on January 21, 2014


Caterham boss Tony Fernandes has said that his team’s failure over the last four years, particularly 2013 where the team finished last out of 11 teams, has made his team stronger. Announcing his driver line up of Kamui Kobayashi and Marcus Ericsson at a launch event in the team’s Leafield HQ this morning, Fernandes said, “It’s a critical season. Most people have written us off. From failure you draw some strength. “Frankly we have to try to do something different. We haven’t performed as a team since I started this team and we have taken something of a radical approach. More…

Posted on January 20, 2014


Lotus F1 team today announced a new sponsorship deal with Saxo Bank, the long time cycling sponsor putting its toe in the water of F1 for the first time. The deal means fresh budget for the team, which the owner Gerard Lopez admitted recently was over €100 million in debt. It also gives some bilateral marketing benefits with the cycling team which competes for top honours in cycling’s blue riband events like the Tour de France and Giro d’Italia. After Lopez’ interview in Auto Motor und Sport last week in which he admitted the debts but said that the team More…

Posted on December 27, 2013


We have been running our annual end of year opportunity for readers to tell us who were their top five drivers of the season and this year we had a great response with just under 600 entries. As a fun sideline prize, the first five entries which match my selection, will receive a free signed copy of our review book of the season; James Allen on F1 2013: Winning at All costs, which is on sale now in our Online Shop. The number one driver was easy to choose this year, but the next four are tricky as few drivers More…

Posted on December 25, 2013


A very Happy Christmas to everyone who celebrates it and to those who do not; compliments of the season. As a bonus, after a really fantastic year on JA on F1, we’ve done a special fans’ eye podcast featuring some JA on F1 readers giving us their views on the season just gone and looking at F1′s pathway ahead with new rules for 2014. We discuss Sebastian Vettel, Fernando Alonso and others, look at which UK TV coverage they prefer and why, we talk about attitudes to the Pirelli tyres and to the 2014 hybrid turbo engines. The session was More…

Posted on December 23, 2013


The new rule for 2014 awarding double points for the final race, announced by the FIA after an F1 Commission meeting earlier this month, may be dropped before the season even starts. The idea has not attracted many supporters, with drivers, many fans and even Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo against it. Montezemolo has invited all the F1 teams to Maranello in 2014 to discuss long term strategy for the sport and this will be one of the talking points. Meanwhile the new F1 Strategy Group, featuring the leading teams, will meet in the New Year, for the first time More…

Posted on December 21, 2013


Esteban Gutierrez will get a second season as a race driver for the Sauber F1 Team after Carlos Slim’s Telmex company committed to invest in the team once again. Russian teenager Sergey Sirotkin will have to settle for the Reserve Driver role, in which he was confirmed today. Slim has been part of the Sauber set up for three seasons now, funding first Sergio Perez’ drive there and more recently Gutierrez. But there is a sense that the Mexican billionaire hasn’t committed the kind of funding he’s capable of to the sport, despite everyone looking to him to do so. More…

Posted on December 19, 2013


Mercedes have had quite a day’ first they announce the exciting news that they are to add two big names from main rivals Red Bull to their ever-growing roster of technical staff by employing Mark Ellis and Giles Wood. Then Nico Rosberg suffered a Pirelli tyre failure at 320km/h on the final day of the three day Bahrain test, ending Mercedes’ activity at the test. Rosberg was moved to Tweet about it: “Just spun at full speed 320km/h on Bahrain straight cause my tyre blew up without warning,” he wrote. “Thanks to that need to get some toilet paper now” More…

Posted on December 18, 2013


It’s that time of year again, where we need to establish the Top Five drivers of the year, in descending order, with your Driver of the Season at the top. This is the fifth year we’ve run this popular competition. And to add a bit of fun to it, all responses will be entered into a draw and the the first five entries which match my selection, which will be revealed next week, will receive a free signed copy of our review book of the season; James Allen on F1 2013: Winning at all costs, which is on sale now. More…

Posted on December 15, 2013


Ferrari held its traditional pre-Christmas gathering at Maranello for the employees of the company and its president Luca di Montezemolo presented outgoing driver Felipe Massa with a 2008 engine, which almost carried him to the world championship that year. He thanked the team for all its hard work, but laced it with a warning, that the failure to develop the car after a strong start to the season, must not happen again, it was not, he said, “The sort of season we would have wished for, especially after a positive start, that we all hoped would continue. In part, that More…

Posted on December 10, 2013


We are delighted to launch the new book “JA on F1 2013 – Winning at all costs”, which is published today. The book is a large format paperback, 240 pages, with stunning color images from Darren Heath and a Foreword from David Coulthard. The book priced at £10.99. All books ordered through this site are signed by me. I’ve been in the offices of our e-commerce partners Grand Prix Legends, signing the books and they look great. But it is a limited edition collectable and many have already been pre-ordered so if you fancy one for your Christmas stocking you’d More…

Posted on December 6, 2013


Today in Paris Jean Todt was re-elected FIA president for a second four-year term. The election was unopposed after the withdrawal of former FIA Foundation head David Ward and the decision of the Emirati powerbroker Mohammed Bin Sulayem not to stand. Todt now has a clear mandate for a second term and, if his stewardship of Ferrari is anything to go by, he is likely to roll his sleeves up in the second term and get some things done. Critics have argued that he has not done enough in his first term to address some fundamental problems with the sport More…

Posted on December 6, 2013


The rise of Twitter in recent years has allowed us to measure which drivers are the most talked about, at least on social media, thanks to some data sent to us by our friends at Buzz Radar. The table below shows who were the most talked about drivers on the leading social media platform during 2013 and Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso comes out clearly on top, with his score boosted by high levels of interaction as well as featuring heavily in most races. He was also at the centre of the storm with Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo this year and More…

Posted on December 4, 2013


For our final podcast of the year we look back at the 2013 season and analyse the big stories as well as looking at how the F1 drivers performed. With me are Marussia Sporting Director Graeme Lowdon, Autosport’s Grand Prix editor Mark Hughes, sponsor finder and CEO of Just Marketing Zac Brown, and JA on F1 reporter Holly Samos as well as our technical adviser Mark Gillan. We also have contributions from Sir Jackie Stewart and Niki Lauda. It’s a lively listen: We ask “How good a year of F1 was 2013?”, we analyse why some teams are struggling to More…

Posted on November 28, 2013


The most anticipated story of 2013 has finally reached its endgame: Ross Brawn will leave the Mercedes F1 team on December 31st, it was announced today. The news comes as no real surprise, as it was foreshadowed a few weeks ago in press reports. Brawn had made his decision at the time, but had requested that the announcement come after the season had ended. It ended well and Brawn can sign off having lifted Mercedes to second in the constructors’ championship, a significant achievement, given where they were in 2010-12. Now they have a platform to challenge the Red Bull More…

Posted on November 25, 2013


The Brazilian Grand Prix brought the curtain down on the 2013 season, one that promised a lot at the outset, but ultimately ended up a very one sided championship. How to sum up the season? It was the end of an era in many respects; the last race for V8 engines, the last race for Mark Webber and possibly a few others who don’t know it yet, like Paul di Resta, depending on driver market movements in the coming weeks. It was the last race, for the moment at least, for Cosworth engines and Felipe Massa’s last race for Ferrari. More…

Posted on November 22, 2013


Mercedes’ Nico Rosberg was the fastest driver in a wet final Friday afternoon practice session for Sunday’s Brazilian Grand Prix, ahead of World Champion Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber. Heikki Kovalainen popped in a fast time at the end for Lotus to go fourth quickest. Rosberg set the pace for most of the session in the Mercedes, but was pressed in the closing stages of the afternoon session by Vettel and Webber. With unpredictable weather forecast for the rest of the weekend – some forecasts say it will be warm and dry, others say rain – the Mercedes certainly looks More…

Posted on November 19, 2013

The Strategy Report

Not by any means a classic race, the 2013 US Grand Prix, but an interesting one from a number of perspectives. The strategy was quite clearly defined by the conservative tyre choice made by Pirelli. There was little variation across the field with only Jean Eric Vergne starting the race on the hard tyre, while everyone else went with mediums and made one scheduled stop. But there are some interesting talking points and indicators of future trends, which are worth considering from this race. Pre-Race Strategy Expectations Pirelli once again announced the two hardest tyres in the range for the More…

Posted on November 19, 2013


This weekend we launched the new limited edition JA on F1 2013 Yearbook, on which we are now taking pre-orders. It will be published and orders despatched on December 7. Now, for two days only, we have a special promotion: Anyone who has pre-ordered a copy of the book by Thursday 21 November will automatically be entered into a special draw to attend a unique day driving the Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 team simulator at the team’s Brackley headquarters (yes the actual one Hamilton and Rosberg use!), taking place on Thursday November 28th This opportunity comes to us thanks to More…

Posted on November 17, 2013


Sebastian Vettel took care of some unfinished business in Austin today as he claimed a straightforward victory in the American Grand Prix, ahead of Romain Grosjean and Mark Webber. It is the 38th win of his career, taking him to twelve in 2013 and adding another record to his ever-growing CV. He is the first man to win eight consecutive Formula One races in a single season. For Grosjean this was the sixth podium of the season and a hard fought one, built on a strong start and then soaking up the pressure from Mark Webber in the final stages. More…

Posted on November 17, 2013


Over the years on JA on F1 we have had some amazing competitions, aimed at bringing the fans closer to the sport, but now we have the best one ever. Thanks to our partner UBS we have the opportunity for eight lucky readers to go to the Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 team headquarters in Brackley, England on Thursday November 28th to drive on the team’s simulator. Top team’s F1 Simulators are very sophisticated, expensive and normally top secret, only the drivers and very special guests get to see them, let alone drive on them. But we have been given a More…

Posted on November 15, 2013


It was once again a Red Bull Friday in Austin today as Sebastian Vettel headed Mark Webber in practice for the American Grand Prix, ahead of Mercedes’ Nico Rosberg. After narrowly losing the race victory to Lewis Hamilton last year, Austin remains an un-ticked box for Vettel and Red Bull and today’s pace illustrated that they are in no way letting their foot off the gas. He is also looking to set a new record of eight consecutive wins in a season. And on the basis of his form here in qualifying simulation and long runs on both types of More…

Posted on November 15, 2013


In all the drama of the 11th hour arrival at the Austin circuit yesterday of Heikki Kovalainen, there were strong words from Lotus’ reserve driver Davide Valsecchi, who was passed over for the promotion. GP2 champion Valsecchi has attended every race this year in Lotus colours, waiting for the chance to drive the car, but when the opportunity presented itself, with the injury to Kimi Raikkonen, the team went for Kovalainen. The Italian was called by team principal Eric Boullier on Wednesday and given the news. They went with Kovalainen because of his greater race experience in F1 and his More…

Posted on November 13, 2013


The world championship has been decided, but Formula 1 still has plenty of energy for its second visit to Austin, Texas, which proved a huge hit with teams, drivers and fans last season. Austin is the tenth different venue for the Formula 1 US Grand Prix, but this one is considered a real winner. The new Circuit of the Americas, which runs anti clockwise, is a wonderful mixture of many of the most famous circuits on the F1 calendar; it has more corners at over 250 km/h than Spa and more below 100kph than Hungary, which is quite a combination! More…

Posted on March 9, 2012


Pre season testing is concluded, the new season is about to start and the signs are that the Caterham team has closed the gap to the midfield runners down to around half a second per lap; potentially close enough to race them. And Caterham F1 team boss Tony Fernandes believes that the team is ready to kick on in other ways, including the way it presents itself. Speaking in the team’s e-zine Caterham Notes he said that he sees his team having a “good and strong” 2012. Fernandes was born in the Chinese year of the Dragon, and with this More…

Posted on November 23, 2011


Heading into the final race of the 2011 Formula One World Championship we are able to reflect on how overtaking has changed through the installation of DRS and the new Pirelli tyres, as well as the return of KERS, thanks to data from Mercedes. And Toro Rosso’s Sebastian Buemi turns out to be the pass master, the driver who has done the most overtakes. With a deliberate focus on increased overtaking 2011 was set to be, at the very least, a very interesting experiment aimed at producing a better spectacle for fans. The overtakes can be split down according to More…

Posted on April 29, 2010


Today I had the unique opportunity to drive around the new Silverstone circuit as a passenger in a 2 seater with my old friend and sparring partner Martin Brundle at the wheel. It was drizzling and quite greasy when we were out there, but you still get a feel for the flow of the track and the exciting new sequence of corners, starting with the astonishing new Abbey curve. This video is the first onboard lap showing the new corners at racing speeds, with a live commentary for JA on F1 users by Martin himself. Early next week you will More…

Posted on October 28, 2009


I’m delighted to announce that on November 27th we will be publishing a book looking back on the 2009 season. It is a review of the goings-on both on and off the circuit in what has certainly been the most action packed season I’ve ever covered. The book is the story of the 2009 season told through the eyes of the James Allen on F1 blog, with updates and extra editorial from me. It has the behind the scenes insights into all the big stories of the year from the F1 breakaway threat and the Renault crash scandal to Ferrari’s More…

Posted on October 24, 2009


Last week I showed video of the first on-board laps of the new Yas Marina Island circuit in Abu Dhabi. Here’s some footage from the same two seater F1 event, which I have edited up to give an idea of what the spectacle will look like on TV next weekend. The event is set to be the first F1 race to start in daylight and go into the night. I’ve also got some data on the track, from one of the teams. This gives you a bit of an idea what kind of track it is in terms of fuel More…

Posted on September 8, 2008


Check out all the new features uploaded this week, which include an in-depth profile of Ferrari’s new boss, Stefano Domenicali, I get to see what’s cooking with Robert Kubica and we test our mathematics skills with the paddock’s top strategists.



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