No more cooling vents in 2009 ?
Aldo Costa talked to Gazzette dello Sport on Ferrari’s progress with KERS development. Besides telling the world that Ferrari is still behind the schedule with the KERS he also revealed some details on the look of next year’s Formula 1 cars:
“The front wing will be striking because it will be as wide as the car’s track (the distance between the wheels on the same axle). A lot of them will come off because, since they cover the wheels, it will be easy to lose them in crashes. On top of that, the rear wing will be taller and narrower, the bodywork smoother and more sealed off because we won’t have the current liberty of opening air vents anymore, and this has forced us to heavily re-design the cooling system.”
Rubens Barrichello - is the end of his long F1 career near ?
The 2009 grid is filling up. BMW Sauber announcement last week they would continue with Robert Kubica and Nick Heidfeld in 2009 means that half of the current teams has confirmed both their drivers for next season. Ferrari, McLaren, BMW Sauber and Williams will enter 2009 season with unchanged race drivers line ups. The only confirmed change so far is Sebastian Vettel replacing retiring David Coulthard in Red Bull. And although there has been no official confirmation from Toyota yet, the fact that Kazuki Nakajima remains with Williams for another season may be a clear indication that both Glock and Trulli will stay on (as widely expected anyway).
So, 6 teams and 12 seats are but there are still 8 question marks left:
Good day for Renault in Japan
After the 2007 wash out we had this year an opportunity to see what kind of racing can the new Fuji Speedway offer in dry weather. With “regular” although rather cold conditions few would have expected cars other than McLarens and Ferraris in the front. Even Fernando Alonso said ahead of the race that the race start will be for him more about defending his position then tryin to gain some places. But Raikkonen, Hamilton and Kovalainen had other ideas. Raikkonen had the best start but late breaking into the corner by probably both Hamilton and Kovalainen made the race interesting. Raikkonen went straight instead of turning right, Kubica and Alonso squeezed ahead of Kovalainen. And Hamilton somehow managed to drop back behind Massa. The TV followed the corner 1 chaos for a while and by the time the director switched back to the race Kubica and Alonso were comfortably leading the race with Heikki Kovalainen 3rd.
Japanese Grand Prix did not go the way people here expected, at the end the correct guesses of fastest lap and pole position made quite some difference. Great score from Luis Miguel Sainz, not that good from Kotenok on the other end of the Round 16 ranking .
Looks like racing in the Far East and the time difference caused some problems, several regulars did not seem to wake up on time and place the predictions … The current standings can be found as usual on the left sidebar or on the Prediction Game page.
Round 16 Results:
Sebastien Bourdais and Felipe Massa, 2008 Japanese GP
Another race, another controversy. And yet again it involved both main title contenders Lewis Hamilton and Felipe Massa.
Incident no 1 – Race start – Hamilton (and Kovalainen) vs Kimi
I watched the video replay of the race start few times (at the moment you can see it here). Raikkonen had quite good start and it looked like he is ahead of both McLarens. Kovalainen was next to him, Hamilton behind. Hamilton however seemed to be quicker and squeezed between Kovalainen and Raikkonen. Watching it from the front it looked like these three are next to each other. Then just before turning into the first corner Hamilton moved in Raikkonen’s direction leaving Raikkonen with nowhere to go but straight. It is hard to say if Hamilton touched Raikkonen or not. Raikkonen says that both McLarens hit him, Hamilton (when commenting on the penalties imposed on himself and Massa) insisted that he did not hit anybody:
Fernando Alonso Japanese GP 2008
Against all the odds Fernando Alonso won his second race in row after the title contenders got it all wrong. Alonso now has as many wins as Kimi Raikkonen this year … Robert Kubica finished second, Kimi Raikkonen returned to the podium in third place. Kubica keeps himself in the title fight but Kimi is now officially out. Nelson Piquet seems to serious about keeping his Renault F1 drive after finishing 4th. Felipe Massa claimed one point for 8th (pending stewards investigation for the Massa vs Bourdais incident). Lewis Hamilton just aboyt outlapped himself on the last lap and scored zero. As it stands 6 points separate Hamilton and Massa. The drive through penalties for Hamilton and Massa will however probably be the main talking points of this race (videos of the incidents involving Massa and Hamilton at the bottom of this post) …
Update: Sebastien Bourdais was given 25 seconds penalty for his out-of-the-pitlane tussle with Felipe Massa. As a result Bourdais dropped to 10th place, Massa was elevated to 7th and Mark Webber to 8th, Heidfeld to 9th. The gap between Massa and Hamilton is now only 5 points … Yet another talking point …
2008 Japanese F1 GP Result:
Welcome to the Live Blog coverage of Japanese Formula 1 Grand Prix – The Race Day. Join the debate below !
This Live Blog has now ended, you can replay it inside this post:
Lewis Hamilton, 2008 Japanese GP
Lewis Hamilton will start the 2008 Japanese Grand Prix from the pole position, well ahead of his main title fight rival Felipe Massa, who only managed P5. Kimi Raikkonen returned to the front row for the first time since French Grand Prix. It does look good for Hamilton with Heikki Kovalainen and Fernando Alonso also ahead of Felipe Massa on the grid.
It was good session for Toyota and Toro Rosso, both teams had 2 cars in Q3. Toro Rossos do seem to be a bit heavier than other cars in top ten. BMW Saubers struggled in Q1 with Kubica only just making it to Q2 and Heidfeld eliminated. Kubica however pulled his act together and qualified solid 6th.
Welcome to the Live Blog coverage of 2008 Japanese F1 GP qualifying session ! Join the debate below:
This Live Blog has now ended, you can replay it inside this post.
Mark Webber 2008 Japanese GP Saturday Practice
The last practice session happened on track still wet from earlier rain. Car started the session on extreme wets but moved on to intermediates later. No green tyres this time. Both Massa and Hamilton did rather well but did not get involved in the last minute quick times dash. The fastest lap went to Robert Kubica ahead of Timo Glock and Nelson Piquet. Not much pace on display from Kimi Raikkonen this time. The track was still quite wet at the end of the session so we may be up for at least damp qualifying … Bottom positions for Honda and Force India. Force India cars spent better part of the session in the garage with some technical issues.
Saturday Free Practice Times:
1. R. Kubica – BMW Sauber – 1:25.087
2. T. Glock – Toyota – 1:25.171
3. N. Piquet – Renault – 1:25.415
4. N. Heidfeld – BMW Sauber – 1:25.474
5. K. Nakajima – Williams – 1:25.056
6. D. Coulthard – Red Bull – 1:25.614
7. F. Massa – Ferrari – 1:25.709
8. M. Webber – Red Bull – 1:25.785
The F1 circus moves from Singapore to Japan. There are only three races left to decide the F1 titles, three races left to determine the Prediction Game champion. This is round 16.
So place your predictions as usual in the comments below this post:
– Top eight finishers in the race
– Pole position
– Fastest lap
The summary of the rules and current standings – click here
Round 15 results – click here.
Do not forget – the predictions must be placed before the qualifying starts. Better do not leave it to the very last moment !
Join us for live blog debate covering the Saturday practice session for 2008 Japanese F1 GP:
This live blog has now ended. You can replay it inside this post.