So, F1 almost lost Williams team …

The glory days - Williams dominated F1 in 1996

The glory days - Williams dominated F1 in 1996

Only 2 days ago I posted the article “What current F1 teams I would and what teams I would not miss ?” I listed three current teams that I believe F1 can’t afford to loose. Yesterday the news broke out that one of those three – Williams – was close to giving up.

Not that long ago (2002-2003) Williams were still one of the top teams fighting for race wins and top championship places. But following the split with their engine partner BMW during 2005 season there were not too many reasons to celebrate for the Grove based team. Williams moved from the top 3 towards midfield (and lower midfield) with regular points and an odd podium here and there being the most they could hope for.

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Team orders and Formula 1 – Does the ban still make sense ?

Felipe Massa, helped Kimi in Brazil, helped by Kimi in Shanghai

Felipe Massa, helped Kimi in Brazil, helped by Kimi in Shanghai

The way Felipe Massa overtook Kimi Raikkonen yesterday in Shanghai sparked again some debates on the legality of such move. There were however no such voices coming out of the Formula 1 circles and even the person most affected by that move, Lewis Hamilton, accepted what has happened as normal team work.

The team orders used to be normal practice in Formula 1. However the 2002 Austrian GP fiasco, when Rubens Barrichello was ordered to slow down before the start finish line to allow Michael Schumacher to take the win, resulted in ban on team orders.

So officially the team orders are banned, specificaly the team orders that can affect the outcome of the race. But despite the ban they are still around, used and generally accepted and even predicted. Only the last 2 seasons brought several high profile occurences of team orders:

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European Grand Prix – Mini history – Part 7

2006 European GP

2006 European GP

This is the final part 7 of the European Grand Prix mini history series – years 2006 – 2007.

The 2006 season was all about the title fight between Fernando Alonso and Michael Schumacher and the European GP was not too different. This was by no means a classic and in line with the usual practice the race win was decided in the pitlane. Fernando Alonso claimed the pole position ahead of Ferrari duo Michael Schumacher and Felipe Massa. Alonso had better start and kept the lead. Behind them a little Liuzzi (Toro Rosso), Ralf (Toyota) and Coulthard (Red Bull) get together resulted in Safety Car. After the restart Alonso and Schumacher pulled away and from then on it was all between these two. Kimi Raikkonen (McLaren) lead the race too for a while during the pit stop times but that was about it. After the first round of pit stops Alonso still had the lead. Then Alonso made his second stop on lap 38, Schumacher stayed out until lap 41. Those few flat out laps made all the difference and Schumacher rejoined the race in the lead. He went on to win what was to be his last F1 race at Nurburgring. Alonso finished second, Massa third, Raikkonen 4th.

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Alonso gives a hint on drivers equality at McLaren

Alonso Hamilton Hungary 2007

It had to be expected that there willl be lots of talk about the 2007 Hungaroring events ahead of this weekend race. So it is no surprise that this topic has been touched also during the press conference yesterday. And this is what Alonso had to say when asking about his feelings one year on:

Much happier this year for sure. Last year again it is true that I had a possibility to fight for the championship and it was okay. I knew that this year it was not possible any more. But if I was racing for McLaren now at this moment maybe I would be in the same position as I am now without the possibility to win. So at least I am happy to be with Renault with the full support of the team and knowing that everybody is working night and day to give me the best car possible. One day we will be seventh, one day we will be fifth and hopefully one day we will be on the podium and everybody on the podium will be there with some excitement.

This seems to me to be the strongest hint yet from Alonso on the “equal” treatment the McLaren drivers get. He has done a good job so far not talking about the details of his 1 year stint with McLaren but it looks like he may be ready to start leaking some bits and pieces :-) .

I do not believe the claims that the drivers at McLaren are equal. I have no problems with any team having number one and number two, I have problems with being told all the time that it is not the case … We only need to look back to Hockenheim to see one example. And if that is not enough, then check the interview Felipe Massa gave to Autosport (Jonathan Noble) yesterday

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2008 Hungarian F1 GP – Video Preview

Here comes the second Grand Prix video preview – this time 2008 Hungarian GP:

Get the Flash Player to see this content.

This video includes:

- Look back at winners of all previous Hungarian Grands Prix – from Nelson Piquet to Lewis Hamilton
- Flashback to 2007 Hungarian GP
- Race preview with Nico Rosberg and Sam Michael

This video can also be viewed at F1 Wolf Club, on Facebook and on one day perhaps also on Dailymotion

Music: music.podshow.com

Are McLaren paying the price for inexperienced drivers line up ?

McLaren Mercedes team are currently at worst the 2nd best team on the grid. The last French GP did nothing to make me feel otherwise. Heikki Kovalainen finished 4th after starting from 10th (following his 5 place grid penalty). Without the drive through penatly Lewis Hamilton would not have finished too far from podium either despite starting from P13…

But yet despite their strength the team lies at 3rd place in constructor standings, 16 points behind 2nd BMW Sauber and 33 points behind Ferrari. Their drivers are currently at 4th and 6th place. Compare it with their standings after 8 races last year. Top 2 drivers at the table, the team leading the constructors table by 25 points ahead of Ferrari…

The car is good, the car is reliable (only 2 retirements, both due to accidents, see the 2008 season stats here), so where is the problem ?

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Super Aguri – What a difference a year makes

Super Aguri Celebrations 6th Place Sato Canadian GP 2007

A year ago Takuma Sato finished 6th and scored 3 points in Canada. His overtaking maneuvre on Fernando Alonso was one of the highlights of the entire 2007 Formula 1 season. Following that race team’s managing director Daniel Audeto was full of confidence predicted a race win for the team in 2008 …

“I am very happy because three points for us is a fantastic result. Now finally people will believe what I said before: that next year we are going to win our first Grand Prix. The team we have are very professional and very motivated. They work in the same direction, with no politics, no bureaucracy and no bullshit. We have had a team principal that really understands our business and we have a really good driver line-up.”

This is all of Super Aguri that I could see in Canada a year later at 2008 Canadian GP:

Super Aguri banner at Canadian GP 2008

What a difference a year makes, 365 little days …

Flashback – Kubica and Vettel, Conway and Sutil

There were some impressive performances in Monaco last weekend. Robert Kubica, Sebastian Vettel and Adrian Sutil in Formula 1, Mike Conway in GP2. Here are podiums from Macau GPs in 2005 and 2006.

Coincidence or do these guys really know how to handle cars on tight street tracks ?

Drivers and teams – How they compare with 2007 season after 5 races

Monaco ChicaneFormula 1 is about to begin its weekend of glamour in Monaco. Before getting into some serious Monaco related posts, let’s have a look where the teams and drivers stand after 5 races and compare it with where they were a year ago. Rememeber that last year the 5th race of the season was Monaco, this year it was Turkey. So 2007 point tally is after Monaco, 2008 is before Monaco.

First the drivers:

Drivers points - Comparison 2007 and 2008 after 5 races

Driver 2007 2008 Difference
Kimi Raikkonen 23 35 +12
Felipe Massa 33 28 -5
Lewis Hamilton 38 28 -10
Robert Kubica 12 24 +12
Nick Heidfeld 18 20 +2
Heikki Kovalainen 3 14 +11
Mark Webber 0 10 +10
Jarno Trulli 4 9 +5
Fernando Alonso 38 9 -29
Nico Rosberg 5 8 +3
Kazuki Nakajima 0 5 +5
Jenson Button 0 3 +3
David Coulthard 4 0 -4
Giancarlo Fisichella 13 0 -13
Rubens Barrichello 0 0 0
Adrian Sutil 0 0 0
Sebastian Vettel 0 0 0

Only drivers that took part in 2007 and are still involved in 2008 season are included in the table. For some the stats may be a bit misleading. It is hard to compare Fernando Alonso’s results in 2007 in top of the field McLaren with his 2008 midfield Renault run for example. But it is interesting to look at drivers like Kimi Raikkonen, Lewis Hamilton, Felipe Massa, Mark Webber, Robert Kubica, Nick Heidfeld.

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Coulthard’s RB3 sold on eBay for 210,050 Euro

The eBay auction of David Coulthard’s RB3 with the ‘Faces for Charity’ livery used at Silversone 2007 has been announced quite a while ago. The online auction was held by Red Bull on Sunday night.

It does not happen that often that barely a year old F1 car is auctioned on eBay. There were bids and the lucky winner has bought himself a neat piece of F1 memorabilia for 210,050 Euro. It did not come cheap but it is money spent for a good cause. The proceeds are to go to the Wings for Life charity that funds research into spinal injuries. The identity of the new owner has not been made public, yet. I can exclusively reveal that it is not me :-) .

Final Goodbye to 2007 Formula 1 Season – All the screensavers

The 2008 Formula 1 season is just around a corner, the gap between now and Australian GP is already smaller than the summer break between Hungarian and European Grands Prix.

I have been posting screensavers from 2007 Formula 1 season during the winter break and I just realized that 3 of them still did not make it. So as a final farewel to the last season here are all of the 2007 Formula 1 screensavers, including the missing ones – Red Bull, Toro Rosso and Toyota.

Kimi Raikkonen 2007 Screensaver2007 Ferrari Screensaver2007 McLaren Screensaver2007 BMW Sauber F1 Screensaver2007 Renault F1 Screensaver2007 Williams F1 Screensaver2007 Red Bull F1 Screensaver2007 Toyota F1 Screensaver2007 Honda F1 Screensaver2007 Super Aguri Screensaver2007 Toro Rosso F1 Screensaver2007 Spyker F1 Screensaver

Bring on the 2008 F1 season !

2007 BMW Sauber F1 Screensaver

Nick HeidfeldI am out of reach of the internet today, so for the regular visitors a pre-recorded message :-)

The best of the rest, third fastest team on the 2007 F1 grid, second place in the constructors table (after McLaren’s exclusion). BMW Sauber suprised many in 2007. Here is the BMW Sauber 2007 screensaver to remeber the so far best ever season for the Swiss based former Sauber team.

You can download the screensaver here: 2007 BMW Sauber F1 Screensaver

Please check the screensaver tag for more F1 screensavers.

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2014 Teams and Drivers

Red Bull
Sebastian VETTEL
Daniel RICCIARDO
Ferrari
Fernando ALONSO
Kimi RAIKKONEN
McLaren
Jenson BUTTON
Kevin MAGNUSSEN
Lotus
Romain GROSJEAN
Pastor MALDONADO
Mercedes
Nico ROSBERG
Lewis HAMILTON
Sauber
Adrian SUTIL
Esteban GUTIEREZ
Force India
Nico HULKENBERG
Sergio PEREZ
Williams
Felipe MASSA
Valtteri BOTTAS
Toro Rosso
Daniil KVYAT
Jean Eric VERGNE
Caterham
Marcus ERICSSON
Kamui KOBAYASHI
Marussia
Jules BIANCHI
Max CHILTON

2014 F1 Calendar

14-16 March - Australia
28-30 March - Malaysia
4-6 April - Bahrain
18-20 April - China
9-11 May - Spain
22-25 May - Monaco
6-8 June - Canada
20-22 June - Austria
4-6 July - Great Britain
18-20 July - Germany
25-27 July - Hungary
22-24 August - Belgium
5-7 September - Italy
19-21 September - Singapore
3-5 October - Japan
10-12 October - Russia
31 October-2 November - USA
7-9 November - Brazil
21-23 November - Abu Dhabi

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