Posts Tagged ‘ferrari’

BBC F1 video montages

June 22nd, 2010 No comments

Since taking over from ITV last year, the BBC’s Formula One coverage has just gotten better and better.

I love the fact that every practice, qualifying and race session is available on the web and the red button. I do miss James Allen’s commentary, but on the whole, the BBC team is first rate. The 5 Live commentary for the practice sessions is also really good, especially Anthony Davidson (although I’d rather see him back on the track).

One of the things I look forward to each race weekend is the little video montages that the BBC put together. They are pure, bite-sized pieces of F1 goodness.

Just take a look at this one from Turkey commemorating 800 races for the Scuderia.

Categories: Opinion Tags: ,

Who are Ferrari kidding?

May 4th, 2010 No comments

The word Marlboro may not be printed anywhere on the chassis, the but Ferrari F10 still looks like a giant pack of smokes.

Last week a report in the Times claimed Ferrari are using subliminal advertising in the ‘barcode’ design on their Formula One cars and drivers’ overalls.

Despite tobacco advertising being banned from the sport, Philip Morris have a contract with Ferrari until 2011. Ferrari also remain the only team to have a tobacco brand in their official name: Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro.

Today Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo called it all a bunch of nonsense:

Frankly, I find this argument completely pointless and it is verging on the ridiculous to claim that the colour red or a graphic design which shows a bar code could induce people to smoke.

Now I’m not saying that when I look at a Ferrari I feel the sudden urge to light up, but the Marlboro red and white is so synonymous with Ferrari that I honestly almost see the Marlboro logo there.

I’m not saying Ferrari should be forced to paint over the barcode. I can’t see it actually encouraging any impressionable young people to smoke. And let’s not forget tobacco advertising gave us one of the greatest liveries in the history of the sport.

But let’s be honest. A tobacco company is not going to spend millions of dollars on sponsorship unless it thinks it is going to promote it’s brand. Ferrari is not a charity and Philip Morris is not stupid.

Every time someone reads the Scuderia’s official title or sees those oddly spaced white stripes, Marlboro will be getting their money’s worth.

Update: This reminded me of a great animation from Spanish paper, Marca. Watch how the Marlboro logo morphs into a barcode in 2007

Categories: Opinion Tags:

Ferrari unveil the F10

January 28th, 2010 No comments

Ferrari became the first team to unveil their 2010 car at a press conference that was streamed live on the internet.

2009 was a bad year for the Scuderia with Felipe Massa crashing heavily at Hungary and the poorly performing F60 claiming only a single victory in the whole season. Ferrari stopped development of last year’s car early to work on the F10, a tactic that had seemed to work well for Brawn GP (Honda) the year before.

In 2009, Brawn’s secret weapon was the double-diffuser. The teams have agreed to outlaw the controversial design next year but it is clearly a vital part of this year’s car. Ferrari’s chief designer, Nicholas Tombazis said:

The diffuser was fundamental: to optimise performance we had to review the car’s whole rear axle, changed the steering to make more room for the diffuser. The diffuser is much bigger and better performing compared to last year’s.

Ferrari obviously don’t want to give any secrets away as the whole diffuser was hidden at the launch. We will have to wait until Valencia to see what they have come up with.

Of course, the F10 is a beautiful car, but so was the F60 and the McLaren MP4-24 for that matter. The old motor sport saying that if it looks good it goes good didn’t seem to apply to those cars, at least at the start of the season.

As always, we will just have to wait until we see them on track.

Images: Ferrari

Categories: Cars Tags: ,

Alonso confirmed at Ferrari (finally)

September 30th, 2009 No comments

Alonso puzzleFormula One has never been able to keep a secret and today the latest worst kept secret was finally confirmed: Fernando Alonso will drive for Ferrari.

Alonso’s contract is for three seasons starting 2010, partnering Fellipe Massa with Giancarlo Fisichella as reserve driver.

There has long been speculation that Kimi Raikkonen would make way for Alonso next year (a year before his contract was up) but Felipe Massa’s accident and then the Renault race fixing investigation held up the announcement which was expected at Monza.

Like one of those sliding puzzles, Alonso’s move to Ferrari now frees up a space at Renault and the game of musical chairs can begin.  Where will everyone be sitting when the music stops and who will be left standing?

McLaren say nothing has been decided yet but there are rumours that Kimi may return to the Silver Arrows in place of fellow Finn Kovalainen (and that Spanish bank Santander will pay Kimi’s 2010 Ferrari salary.)

Robert Kubica has been tipped to take over Alonso’s seat at Renault while Nico Rosberg could switch places with Rubens Barrichello at Brawn.

While Adrian Sutil will probably stay at Force India, Tonio Liuzzi may be under pressure from Nick Heidfeld to keep his seat there.

The good news for those drivers worried about losing their seats is that there will (hopefully) be at least three new teams on the grid next year.  None of them have announced their driver lineup yet but McLaren test driver Pedro de la Rosa  has been linked with Campos while Manor or Lotus could provide a way back in to F1 for BBC commentator Anthony Davidson.  I actually think Davidson is a really good commentator but I also think his Formula One career was prematurely interrupted just as it seemed to be getting off the ground.

Somewhat surprisingly we may even see Nelson Piquet Jr return in 2010.  Manor team boss, John Booth, could offer the Brazilian a drive in 2010.  He was quoted by the Telegraph as saying (without a hint of irony):

I’ve not spoken to him at the moment, but he’s a smashing little driver. I’ve no personal problems with him, but it is unclear what his current position is with regards sponsorship

Ferrari press release

Categories: Drivers Tags: , ,

Schumacher’s back!

July 29th, 2009 No comments

Felipe Massa and Michael SchumacherForget BMW leaving Formula One.  That’s old news.  The big shock is the announcement today that seven-time World Champion Michael Schumacher will return to drive for Ferrari in place of the injured Felipe Massa.

This comes just 24 hours after Schumacher’s manager, Willi Weber, discounted rumours of a comeback by saying he was 200% sure someone other than Michael would be driving in Valencia.

Today Ferrari issued the following statement on their website:

Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro intends to put Michael Schumacher in Felipe Massa’s car untill the brazilian driver will be able to race again. Michael Schumacher said he is ready and, over the next few days, will undertake a specifc training programme at the end of which confermation will be given of his participation in the Championship with effect from the European Grand Prix on the 23rd of August.

Schumacher is a close friend of Felipe Massa and was a mentor to the young Brazilian when he was his team mate at Ferrari in 2006.  No doubt this influenced his decision to return to F1.  On his website Schumacher wrote:

The most important thing first: thanks God, all news concerning Felipe are positive. I wish him all the best again.

I was meeting this afternoon with Stefano Domenicali and Luca di Montezemolo and together we decided that I will prepare myself to take the place of Felipe.Though it is true that the chapter Formula 1 has been closed for me since long and completely, it is also true that for loyalty reasons to the team I cannot ignore that unfortunate situation. But as the competitor I am I also very much look forward to facing this challenge.

He won’t be the only one looking forward to it.

While Ferrari don’t have the crushing dominance they did in 2004 when Schumacher won 12 of the first 13 races, Kimi Raikkonen and Felipe Massa have put the Red Cars on the podium three times so far this year.  How incredible would it be if Schumacher returned to give the Scuderia their first victory of the season?

Michael won’t be able to test the F60 — with KERS and an adjustable front wing — before the European Grand Prix but I’m sure it won’t take Schumacher long to get used to the extra buttons on the steering wheel.

It’s going to be a fascinating European Grand Prix with Schumacher going head to head with Hamilton, Vettel and his old team mate Rubens Barrichello.

And when Michael gets to Monza in September the Tifosi are going to go mental.

Image: Reuters

Categories: Drivers Tags: , ,