Dietrich Mateschitz and Gergard Berger
Interesting and quite surprising news came out of the Red Bull camp. The energy drinks company bought back the 50% stake in Scuderia Toro Rosso from Gerhard Berger taking full control over the former Mindardi team.
“I am very grateful to Gerhard for his huge input. Together we turned Toro Rosso into a team that qualified on a regular basis in the top 10 and collected world championship points.”
Here is another part of the trip back in time with the F1 Liveries History series of posts, we are back in 1990s. Season 1999 was the last season for Stewart team before it turned into Jaguar in 2000. But it was also the first season for BAR (British American Racing), the former Tyrell. BAT (British American Tobacco) took full control of the team from 1999 season and planned to enter with two differently painted cars representing their different brands – one in Lucky Strike the other in 555 livery. They were not allowed to do so and so they came up with the infamous schizophrenic F1 car . The other funny livery is the Ferrari one from Belgium where Marlboro brand was replaced with Formula 1 logo … This was also the last year for red painted Williams (Winfield livery).
Hm, and I see at least 2 beer brands on those cars, that is I believe more than we could see on 2008 F1 cars.
Sebastien Bourdais, no plan B yet
Testing, ugly cars, accidents, drivers future speculations and ideas of those in charge make this off season rather interesting .
We are all yet to digest Ecclestone’s idea of having drivers rewarded with medals instead of points and we have FOTA coming with their suggestions to spice up the show. The teams (at least some of them) are dicsussing some radical change to to qualifying (yet again). From what has been said it does look like the plan is to have sort of elimination race on Saturday to decide the grid.
I am taking way too many photos … It took me over a week to go through all the pictures from Macau GP but they are all sorted out now. See the gallery inside this post, simply click on the thumbnails to enlarge the photos. You can check the Race Photos page for more photos from my F1 and other racing travels. My photos are also on Flickr and F1WolfClub.
Pedro de la Rosa - testing Force India or getting tested by them ?
Pedro de la Rosa’s test for Force India F1 last week sparked speculations about his possible move to Vijay Mallya’s team. Current Force India drivers do not seem to care too much but that is not stopping the media. As this is a hot topic in India, Kaushal asked me for a post on Pedro de la Rosa and his career. I tought why not, and why not to make it an opening post of a series on Formula 1 drivers who never really made it in F1.
Bernie Ecclestone has been in the news quite a bit in recent days. His divorce, the Canadian GP future, the medals… I do not really care about his divorce at this moment but I would like to return to the other 2 topics for a while. (read on)
Mark Webber was hurt in a road accident during his Mark Webber Pure tasmania Challenge. He suffered multiple fractures to his arms and legs when he was hit by a car. Webber was cycling along a road near Port Arthur in the southeast of Tasmania when he was involved in a collision with a four-wheel drive vehicle. Police say he was treated at the scene and airlifted to hospital in Hobart. His injuries are said to be not life-threatening. Webber Challenge media manager Nancy Cook:
“Mark’s been involved in a minor accident, he’s fine. He’s being treated, he’s really disappointed that he’s not going to be able to continue but he’s well and being looked after.”
Mark Webber is expected to be out of action for the rest of the year as a result of this accident.
See pictures from the Webber’s charity challenge inside tis post.
Only two weeks after the end of 2008 Formula One season all the F1 teams except Toyota returned to the track to begin preparations for 2009 season. Thanks to major rules and regulation changes this winter season promises to be exciting one. It will take a while before teams roll out anything that is close to the cars they will race next year. At the moment each team seems to be collecting different sorts of data and in different ways. This means that the times we see on the timesheets mean very much nothing. So let’s look at what the teams were up to in Barcelona this week:
McLaren worked with 2 cars. Both of them with simulated 2009 levels of downforce, one of them with KERS (the MP4-23K). Both cars also ran the slick tyres that will return to Formula 1 next year. Gary Paffet tested for all three days, Pedro de la Rosa on Monday only before moving to the Force India garage for the other 2 days of testing.
Moto GP Champion Valentino Rossi started his Formula 1 Ferrari test at Mugello track. Rossi drove the Ferrari F2008 F1 car for 20 laps on his first day of testing. Same as the recent Sebastien Loeb’s Red Bull F1 test this Rossi’s test is a gift for the World Championship title, Rossi’s 6th in MotoGP.
Here are few photos from Rossi’s Ferrari F1 test at Mugello:
Sebastien Loeb received a gift for his fifth World Rally Championship title from Red Bull – F1 test in Barcelona this week. As we could see from the Barcelona times Loeb handled the switch from his Citroen C4 WRC to a Red Bull Racing F1 car very well, finishing the day safely in the middle of the time table. Here is a video from his preparations for the Barcelona test – seat fitting at Red Bull Racing’s Milton Keynes Factory and the subsequent test at Silverstone.
Sebastien Bourdais still not assured of his 2009 F1 drive and increasingly frustrated
End of 2007 season meant also the end of pay drivers in Formula 1. The last of them disappeared with Spyker team and so we haven’t seen any of them on the 2008 Formula 1 grid. This might also be one of the reasons why no driver lost his seat this year (except of course Super Aguri guys).
But if we are to believe Sebastien Bourdais (interview for GPUpdate.net), the pay driver institution is about to return.
Pedro de la Rosa in Force India car, signs of things to come ?
The winter testing has started and after months of speculations we finally got some live presenation of what the 2009 Formula 1 cars may look like. It does not look that good , and according to Christian Klien these are the worst looking F1 cars, ever …