Merry Christmas from F1Wolf

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What Formula 1 lost in 2008

Two Honda teams started 2008 season, none will be back in 2009

Two Honda teams started 2008 season, none will be back in 2009

The 2008 Formula One season was one the most exciting in recent memory. We have had new races, new faces, new race winners and a new champion. But 2008 was also year of losses for Formula One. Here is brief overview of what (who) we will not see next year:

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2008 Flashbacks – Button buys HondaJet

Jenson Button - bought Honda jet, lost Honda drive

Jenson Button - bought Honda jet, lost Honda drive

I was browsing through the photos on my hard driver and stumbled upon images of this nice little aircraft. Back in May Honda announced it began taking orders for its small executive jets – the HondaJet. They also revealed name of their first European customer – Honda Formula One driver Jenson Button. Button placed orders for two HondaJets, priced at USD3.9 million each, for an aviation charter business he plans to form.

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2008 F1Wolf’s Driver Of The Year Award – And the winner is …

driver of the year

The voting for the 2008 Driver of the Year has ended. There were total 1093 votes in the poll and 24 more votes below the award post with top 3 drivers. The bonus points for top three made the margins at the top a bit bigger but at the end they haven’t affected the final order at all. There were 20 drivers included in the poll and every driver received some points. Here are the results:

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The Formula 1 Off Season News Round Up – Part 6

Jenson Button betting his F1 future on the Brackley team

Jenson Button betting his F1 future on the Brackley team

The entire last week was about cost saving and testing. Fortunately Sunday night also provided some great fun.

Early last week rumours started to circulate that all four independent team plus Renault are to sign up for the budget Cosworth engine from 2010. There was a Thursday deadline for the teams to make up their minds. But after Friday’s WMSC meeting it seems that the deadline has been extended till December 20, 2008. Renault issued some careful statement refusing claims they are going against FOTA but failed to deny they are thinking about switching to Cosworth engines from 2010. For 2009 however they were allowed to rework their frozen Renault engine in order to catch up with the better rest.

While Honda F1 team members still lick the exit wounds the rest took to the test tracks last week. Toyota did some behind the close doors running in Bahrain, the others went to Jerez. I will prepare the December testing summary after this week testing is over but here are at least some brief notes:

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2008 Race of Champions Live Video (now highlights)

The annual Race of Champions is on today at Wembley Stadium. You can (could) watch the live video here, now you can see the highlights:

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2008 FIA Prize Giving Gala – Few photos

A lot was going on in Monaco on Friday the 12th. World Motor Sport Council was busy rubber stamping the cost saving measures, the winners of 2008 championships were busy collecting their trophies. Here are few photos from 2008 FIA Prize Giving Gala. I think Hamilton is wearing exactly the same outfit he had on when I bumped into him in the hotel lift in Monaco in 2007 :-) :

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The Formula 1 Off Season News Round Up – Part 5 – Quote of the week from Williams

Williams would never choose to leave Formula One

Williams would never choose to leave Formula One

We can’t say this off season is boring although last week started a bit quietly. Toro Rosso announced on Monday that the Honda refugee Takuma Sato will get another chance to prove himself in Jerez.

Around the same time both German F1 circuits came out saying that they may ot have money to hold the Formula One races in the future.

Then on Thursday FOTA met in London to discuss the cost cuts and spicing up the qualifying. The teams came up with a plan to propose a new low-cost engine for 2011 and other substantial cost-cutting measures for the next two years include drastically reducing the current 30,000km testing limit by half. The new engine is to be 1.8-litre turbocharged unit featuring energy recovery systems and consuming 30% less than current F1 engines.

While FOTA members talked the media started to be full of reports of something big brewing in Honda offices.

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So, Honda is out of Formula 1, what’s next ?

See Ya ! Message Honda sent to Formula 1 today

See Ya ! Message Honda sent to Formula 1 today

This was very quick sequence of events. First less than 2 days ago Nick Fry announced there will be no posh lunch with media, then Shuhei Nakamoto (blamed by many for the uncompetitve 2007 car) left the team. Half a day later rumours about something serious going on at Honda surfaced. By late last night it was open secret that Honda is planning a pull out from Formula One. Now it is official, Honda is yet again leaving the sport.

Although surprising (there was not much talk about Honda considering departure from F1) this step is rather logical. Honda spent huge money on their Formula 1 program but they never really made it.

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Honda to announce Formula 1 departure ?

Where will they be next year ?

Where will they be next year ?

They started the year running and supporting 2 Formula One teams – Honda and Super Aguri. not being able to find a buyer they pulled the plug on Super Aguri after 4 races. Now one of the biggest spenders in Formula One are about to pull the plug on the entire Formula One operation. The official announcement is expected early today, according to Reuters at 1:30pm Japan time. The news about Honda pull out are all over the place, but nothing at the moment on Honda websites.

The reports are that Honda aims to find a buyer for the team by March, if not they will simply shut it down. It is not clear if the pull out will be complete or if Honda will continue to supply engines. We may need to wait for the official annoucement.

I must say I found the one day old news about Honda cancelling the expensive media lunch a bit weird but I haven’t expected that to be a prelude to something this much bigger. Now I am going to digest this news and wait for some official word from Honda. But it looks like instead of asking where are some new Formula 1 teams going to come from we may start wondering how many teams are actually going to stay …

Heikki Kovalainen explains 2008, but what’s in the bag for him and McLaren for 2009 and beyond ?

Silverstone, the only pole position of the year for Kovalainen

Silverstone, the only pole position of the year for Kovalainen

The news yesterday were full of Heikki Kovalainen’s remarks in the interview to Motorsport Aktuell. I wonder how many people actually have read the interview. Even the Motorpsort Aktuell website only talks about that interview, that probably is for its printed version. But let’s assume that excerpts from the interview were accurate.

Here is what Heikki Kovalainen is said to have said:

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My 2008 Formula 1 trips – Photo review

Melbourne, Montreal, Valencia, Singapore – these were my 2008 Formula 1 destinations. Melbourne and Montreal were new for me, Valencia and Singapore new even to Formula 1. Montreal and Singapore were also 2 of only 4 sell out races in 2008. Here is a mini photo review of the events that unfolded in front of me and my Nikon in 2008:

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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
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Nico ROSBERG
Lewis HAMILTON
Sauber
Adrian SUTIL
Esteban GUTIEREZ
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Nico HULKENBERG
Sergio PEREZ
Williams
Felipe MASSA
Valtteri BOTTAS
Toro Rosso
Daniil KVYAT
Jean Eric VERGNE
Caterham
Marcus ERICSSON
Kamui KOBAYASHI
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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
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19-21 September - Singapore
3-5 October - Japan
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31 October-2 November - USA
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