Archive for June, 2009

Steve McQueen and Lewis Hamilton: The Duel – revealed!

June 30th, 2009 No comments

Tag Heuer MonacoTag Heuer have been running a competition where if you guess who will win a race between Steve McQueen and Lewis Hamilton you can win some really nice prizes.

First prize is a limited edition Tag Heuer Monaco watch.  Second prize is a (presumably replica) Lewis Hamilton helmet and third prize is a ‘private driving day in F1’, whatever that is.

The competition closed on 10th June and unfortunately I didn’t win. 🙁  But at least we now know who won ‘The Duel’.

We featured the teaser video in an earlier post about Formula One adverts, and now here is the final cut of Duel, ‘the cinematic road race between Steve McQueen and Lewis Hamilton’.

To be honest, you probably won’t be surprised who wins…

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How long until Toyota wins a Grand Prix?

June 29th, 2009 No comments

Jarno Trulli, Britain, 2009Despite being one of the most well-funded teams in Formula One, Toyota have still not won a Grand Prix; something that every other team on the grid besides Force India have managed to do.

Toyota’s debut season was in 2002 and, despite scoring a point in their first race in Australia (when half the field was wiped out in the first corner), the team had little success until 2005 when, after scoring points in nearly every race, they finished second in the Constructors’ Championship.

It has now been seven years and although Toyota have committed to racing until 2012, the bosses in Japan must be wondering when their massive investment will translate into a win.

But is seven years such a long time to go without a win in Formula One?  Well, yes, actually.  While teams have come and gone in the past without their drivers ever standing on the top step, when you compare Toyota to the other teams on the grid at the moment their development begins to look a bit stunted.

Here is a table showing the debut year and maiden win year for each of the current F1 teams:

Team Debut year Maiden win year Years before win
BMW Sauber 2006 2008 2
Brawn GP 2009 2009 0
Ferrari 1950 1951 1
Force India 2008
McLaren 1966 1968 2
Red Bull 2005 2009 4
Renault 1977 1979 2
Toro Rosso 2006 2008 2
Williams 1978 1979 1
Toyota 2002

I suppose you could argue that Toro Rosso actually took 23 years to score a maiden victory, if you include the Minardi years, but then Minardi never had a budget of $400m.

Image: Toyota

Categories: Teams Tags:

Max is going, will Bernie be next?

June 25th, 2009 No comments

Bernie Ecclestone, Max Mosley, June 2009Despite Max Mosley’s insistence that he wasn’t forced out, that his departure from his position as President of the FIA was always ‘planned, agreed, arranged’, the fact that he will not be standing for re-election in October is clearly a victory for the teams.

On the face of it, the FOTA-FIA war was about budget caps and two-tier regulations, but really it was about Max Mosley and his autocratic style of running the sport.  After Wednesday’s announcement, Ferrari President Luca di Montezemolo called Mosley a ‘dictator’.

Max himself said:

As far as I’m concerned, the teams were always going to get rid of me in October; well, they still are.

Now the teams have their stable regulations and have got rid of Max, will FOTA turn its attention to his mate Bernie?

In March, there was a threat to boycott the season opening Australian Grand Prix over claims that the teams were owed tens of millions of dollars in unpaid fees by the commercial rights holder.  In the end the teams backed down, but there is no doubt that FOTA is stronger because of its recent victory and they may try to use the momentum to push through changes to the commercial side of the sport as well.

The teams have long been unhappy that they only receive 50% of the sport’s revenues and there have been questions over the wisdom of taking Formula One to half empty venues like Turkey over other older and better attended circuits.

Max will turn 70 next year and Bernie himself is 10 years older.  I can’t see Ecclestone offering his retirement any time soon and I don’t think the teams actually want to get rid of him but I wouldn’t be surprised if FOTA managed to wring a slightly more favourable deal out of him now.

Image: AP Photo/Gareth Watkins

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Final 2010 FIA Formula One World Championship entry list

June 24th, 2009 No comments

FIAAll is sweetness and light in the Formula One World again.

  • There will be no breakaway championship.
  • There will be no new rules.
  • The FIA will remain the sport’s governing body.
  • A new Concorde Agreement will be signed that will commit the teams until 2012.
  • The teams will have two years to reduce costs to 1990s levels.
  • Max Mosley will not stand for re-election in October.

Basically, FOTA won the war – or at least the battle.

Following the World Motor Sport Council meeting in Paris on Wednesday the FIA have published a press release listing the 13 teams that will take part in the 2010 FIA Formula One World Championship.  They are the same as before, except that this time there are no conditional entries.

Interestingly, Brawn and the two Red Bull teams still show their engine suppliers as ‘TBA’.


All currently competing teams have committed to the FIA Formula One World Championship.

There will be no alternative series or championship and the rules for 2010 onwards will be the 2009 regulations as well as further regulations agreed prior to 29 April 2009.

As part of this agreement, the teams will, within two years, reduce the costs of competing in the championship to the level of the early 1990s. The manufacturer teams have agreed to assist the new entries for 2010 by providing technical assistance.

The manufacturer teams have further agreed to the permanent and continuing role of the FIA as the sport’s governing body. They have also committed to the commercial arrangements for the FIA Formula One World Championship until 2012 and have agreed to renegotiate and extend this contract before the end of that period.

All teams will adhere to an upgraded version of the governance provisions of the 1998 Concorde Agreement.

The following teams have been accepted for the 2010 FIA Formula One World Championship.


In view of this new agreement and with the prospect of a stable future for Formula One, FIA President Max Mosley has confirmed his decision not to stand for re-election in October this year.

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Mosley: Now we have peace

June 24th, 2009 No comments

Max MosleyCommon sense seems to have finally prevailed.  It is being reported that an agreement has been reached between FOTA, who had threatened to form a breakaway championship, and the FIA, who had threatened to sue them if they did.

Apparently Bernie Ecclestone, the F1 commercial rights holder, and Luca di Montezemolo, the FOTA chairman, held a series of meetings last night and this morning before today’s World Motor Sport Council meeting in Paris.  These culminated in an agreement by the FOTA teams to not start a breakaway series and by FIA president, Max Mosley, to not stand for re-election in October.

After an initially hostile response to the FOTA breakaway announcement last Friday, where Mosley threatened to take legal action against the teams, he seemed to soften his stance during the British Grand Prix weekend when he realised FOTA wasn’t bluffing.  The signs in the grandstands supporting FOTA and calling for him and Bernie to go couldn’t have helped either.

There was a brief flash of defiance from Max on Tuesday when a letter he wrote to FIA member clubs was leaked:

This is an attack on the FIA’s right to regulate its Formula One World Championship but, worse, it is a wholly unjustified criticism of and direct challenge to the entire structure and purpose of the FIA.

No president of the FIA could allow this to go unanswered. I have therefore responded on your behalf (see attachments). We are also preparing legal proceedings in case these are needed to protect the FIA’s rights in its Championship and to discourage any dissident Formula One team from engaging in illegal acts.

In it, he also hinted he would stand for re-election again in October:

I must now reflect on whether my original decision not to stand for re-election was indeed the right one.

Now it seems he will stand down as FIA president as originally planned.  Mosley is quoted by the BBC as saying:

There will be no split. We have agreed to a reduction of costs. There will be one F1 championship but the objective is to get back to the spending levels of the early 90s within two years.

I will not be up for re-election, now we have peace.

Frankly, I’m a bit surprised.  Of course, a split would have been the worst of all possible outcomes but the way FOTA were talking it was starting to seem like a breakaway was inevitable.  I suppose that’s why Max eventually caved.

It is obvious that Bernie Ecclestone played a central role in this outcome.  As he said:

My marriage broke up because of Formula One, so I am sure as hell not going to let things disintegrate over what is, in the end, basically nothing.

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