Archive for October, 2009

Webber wins in Brazil. Nobody notices.

October 18th, 2009 No comments

Jenson Button, Brazil, 2009Mark Webber picked up the second win of his long Formula One career at the Brazilian Grand Prix on Sunday. Unfortunately for Mark, Jenson Button drove a fantastic race from 14th on the grid to finish 5th and in so doing clinched the 2009 Drivers’ Championship, stealing Webber’s glory somewhat.

Brawn GP also picked up the points they needed to win the Constructors’ Championship.

For the fifth time in a row the Interlagos circuit played host to the Championship decider. And what a race it was.

After a washed out qualifying that saw both Button and Vettel dropped in the first session, determined drives from Button, Vettel and Hamilton gave us one of the most thrilling races of the season.

After dispatching Romain Grosjean and Kazuki Nakajima, Button became stuck behind Toyota’s Kamui Kobayashi who was filling in for Timo Glock. The young Japanese driver in his first Formula One race put in a gutsy performance. He seems to come from the Takuma Sato school of driving; not afraid to throw his car around the track with willful abandon. Jenson described him as “absolutely crazy.” I agree! Let’s hope he gets a drive next year.

Lewis Hamilton made the most of his KERS powered McLaren by switching to a one-stop strategy when the safety car came out on the first lap. He started from 17th on the grid but drove an aggressive race, passing Alguersuari and Grosjean on a single lap before making Barrichello’s day even worse by passing him on lap 62 to finish 3rd. Hamilton’s podium moves McLaren to 3rd in the Constructors’ Championship, one point ahead of Ferrari.

Speaking of Ferrari, Kimi Raikkonen proved how cool he was when a trailing fuel hose from the back of Kovalainen’s McLaren briefly turned him into a human torch. This seemed to have little effect on the Finn and he went on to finish 6th.

The new Yas Marina circuit in Abu Dhabi looks spectacular but it’s hard to imagine it producing a more thrilling race than Brazil. Interlagos had it all: unpredictable weather, loads of overtaking, spectacular crashes, even very nearly a trackside punchup between Adrian Sutil and Jarno Trulli.

This is what Formula One should be.

2009 Brazilian Grand Prix Race Results

Pos Driver Team Grid Time Points
1 Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 2 32:23.081 10
2 Robert Kubica BMW Sauber 8 32:30.707 8
3 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 17 32:42.025 6
4 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 15 32:42.733 5
5 Jenson Button Brawn-Mercedes 14 32:52.086 4
6 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 5 32:56.421 3
7 Sebastien Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari 6 32:59.072 2
8 Rubens Barrichello Brawn-Mercedes 1 33:08.535 1
9 Heikki Kovalainen McLaren-Mercedes 16 33:11.481 0
10 Kamui Kobayashi Toyota 11 33:26.081 0
11 Giancarlo Fisichella Ferrari 19 33:33.746 0
12 Vitantonio Liuzzi Force India-Mercedes 20 33:34.469 0
13 Romain Grosjean Renault 13 lapped 0
14 Jaime Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari 12 lapped 0
RET Kazuki Nakajima Williams-Toyota 9 crash, 30 laps 0
RET Nico Rosberg Williams-Toyota 7 retired, 27 laps 0
RET Nick Heidfeld BMW Sauber 18 retired, 21 laps 0
RET Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 3 crash, 0 laps 0
RET Jarno Trulli Toyota 4 crash, 0 laps 0
RET Fernando Alonso Renault 10 crash, 0 laps 0

Image: Brawn GP

Categories: 2009 Season Tags: , ,

Lotus 2010 Formula One car first pictures

October 15th, 2009 No comments

Senna, JPS LotusLotus F1 Racing, the Malaysia-based team granted the 13th entry in the 2010 Formula One World Championship, has revealed a scale model of its new Formula One car.

The model, a product of the recent collaboration between Lotus F1 Racing Chief Technical Officer Mike Gascoyne and the team’s technical partners, will be used for wind tunnel testing.

Considering the team’s application was only approved a month ago they seem to be making remarkable progress although, as Gascoyne says, the car has already been in development for some time:

The  start  of  any  windtunnel  testing  is  an  important  step  in  the  development  of  a  new  Formula  1  car,  but  it  is  particularly  exciting  for  us  as  we  continue  preparations  for  our  first  season.  It  has  been  a  very  busy  time  since  our  entry  was  confirmed  by  the  FIA.

We  had  been  working  on  the  entry  for  several months so we already had aspects of the team infrastructure in place; the finances, the factory and the top  management.  Once  our  entry  was  confirmed  in  mid?September,  we  were  able  to accelerate  our  recruitment and car development process and this is really where we are at now.

While other teams have started development on their 2010 cars, Lotus is the first to release any pictures. We will have to wait until next year to see the final paint job (and I know it’s not really the same team) but I hope they go with the old black and gold livery of the John Player Special years.

Categories: Cars Tags: ,

Prediction game: Round 16 – Brazil

October 14th, 2009 5 comments

Rubens Barrichello, Japan, 2009Rubens Barrichello is the most experienced driver in Formula One. Yet despite his 286 races and 17 years in the sport  he has never won in Brazil.

This weekend that needs to change if he wants to keep his Championship hopes alive; Jenson Button goes to Interlagos with a 14 point lead.

There are a few ways Button can seal the Championship on Sunday but if Barrichello can win his home race then the Championship decider will come down to the final race of the season in Abu Dhabi (at a new circuit no-one has driven before.)

Sebastian Vettel is theoretically still in the fight and, while he will have his work cut out for him to close the 16 point gap to Button, seven-time World Champion Michael Schumacher thinks he could do it:

I think it helps to think of a fact which I was always sticking to during my career: It is not over until it is over; you have to fight until the end.

It looks like Jenson Button will have to try pretty hard to not win the Championship this year but rain is forecast for this weekend and as we saw in 2008 anything can happen when the track is wet.

To make your predictions in round 16 of the F1 Buzz prediction game (and be in with a chance to win some nice prizes), just leave a comment on this post with your driver predictions for the race in the following format:

Fastest lap:

Remember, the deadline for entries is start of qualifying on Saturday, that’s 16:00 GMT.

Good luck!

Image: Brawn GP

Categories: Prediction Game Tags:

Wheel covers to be banned in 2010

October 9th, 2009 No comments

David Coulthard's brakes glow red, China, 2008Along with KERS, it seems the teams have agreed to ban wheel covers for 2010.

This is a good thing!

Extended rim shields first started to be used on the rear wheels in 2006 and were designed to increase brake cooling and reduce turbulence.

In 2007 Ferrari added covers to the front wheels of their F2007. These front rims or ‘spinners’ were different from the rear rims in that they were designed to direct airflow underneath the car to the diffuser and so increase downforce.

Williams’s technical director, Sam Michael, has said that the wheel covers can have “quite an adverse effect on the following car” and this is no doubt the reason behind the ban.

Personally, I think there is an even better reason for banning them. They look awful.

Wheel covers look bad on road cars and they look even worse on racing cars. At least Ferrari painted theirs to look like the wheels they were covering. Those fluorescent yellow things on the Brawn cars make me want to claw out my eyes.

Image: Red Bull

Categories: Cars Tags:

That’s not cheating. It’s pushing the technical requirements!

October 7th, 2009 No comments

Brabham BT46B 'Fan Car'The Official Formula 1 Website has an interview with Niki Lauda and Bernie Ecclestone where they talk about Flavio Briatore and the Renault race fixing scandal  and reminisce about the good old days.

Back in the 70’s you didn’t cheat by purposely crashing into a wall.  No, you cheated by building an obviously illegal car with a whopping great suction fan on the back, winning one race and then withdrawing it before it could be declared illegal:

Q: How were the two of you working together in the years 1978 and 1979?
NL: We cheated together!
BE: Never!
NL: We did. Remember the Swedish Grand Prix in 1978 when we were running the car with the ventilator [the famous Brabham BT46B ‘fan’ car]. I won with that car.
BE: Stop. That was not cheating. It was pushing the technical requirements to the limit. You were able to keep that victory. Later on they banned the ventilator. It was much too good for the time.
NL: True. At that time I was a bit stupid. All practice and qualifying I had to drive with a 200-litre fuel load, while all the others where low on fuel. I was fuming. I only made it to P12 on the grid. In the course of the race I knew why: so nobody would guess how fast the car really was – otherwise they would have banned it before the start.
BE: Thanks Mr Lauda. People from other teams came to our pits for a little spying, so I said to (Brabham team manager) Herbie Blash very audibly, ‘De-fuel the car’. So they all were putting their minds at rest when they saw our meagre qualifying time. They had no idea that we didn’t de-fuel the car.