Melbourne will keep the Formula 1 race until 2015

Both Victoria state Premier John Brumby and Bernie Ecclestone confirmed today that new deal has been reached to keep the Australian GP in Melbourne until 2015. The race will start at 5pm to better suit European audiences. Not sure how happy the local opposition will be after hearing this news, but from a visitor point of view I can say – Great news !

To see how it was in Australia this year, check my posts from 2008 Australian GP:

Australian GP 2008 – My Thursday in Melbourne

Australian F1 GP 2008 – Friday Photos

Australian GP – My Saturday In Melbourne – Practice and Qualifying

Australian GP – The great F1 experience – But for how much longer ?

It is official – David Coulthard to retire at the of 2008 season

First of the 2009 driver rumours has been officially confirmed by the subject of the rumour himself. As suggested earlier this week, David Coulthard announced today his decision to retire from Formula 1 racing at the end of 2008 F1 season.

“I would like to announce today my decision to retire from racing in Formula One at the end of this season. I will remain actively involved in the sport as a consultant to Red Bull Racing focusing on testing and development of the cars. I have an open mind as to whether or not I will compete again in the future, in some other form of motorsport, so I am definitely not hanging up my helmet.

The decision to make this announcement at the British GP should be an obvious one for all to understand, as I have achieved two of my thirteen F1 victories at Silverstone and I am a member of the British Racing Drivers’ Club, which hosts this event.

I am proud of my work at Red Bull Racing and will continue to race with the same focus until the last lap in Brazil. Thereafter I will continue to help the team develop and move towards their ultimate goal of winning races.”

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2008 British Formula 1 GP – Wolf’s Race Preview

Silverstone 2007

The future of the Formula 1 race at Silverstone remains very much in doubt, but 2 things are certain. This is the venue of the first ever Formula 1 race back in 1950, and this will be the venue of British Formula 1 Grand Prix this coming weekend :-) .

Most of the teams sound confident following last week’s test at the same track but the fight for the win will likely be between Ferrari and McLaren. Felipe Massa will start the race as a championship leader for the first time in his career. Kimi Raikkonen won here last year and his Ferrari will be fitted with a fresh engine for this race following his troubles in France. Lewis Hamilton claimed pole position at Silverstone in 2007, the race however did not go that well for him. He dropped back behind both Raikkonen and Alonso after not setting up his car too well for the race. As this is his home race he may fuel light for the qualifying and go for pole position glory. But with high per lap fuel consumption at Silverstone going too light may compromise his race. Heikki Kovalainen will want to build on his solid race performance 2 weeks ago…

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Ahead of 2008 British Grand Prix – From the news

David Coulthard

Rumour described as “strong” suggests that David Coulthard may announce his retirement from F1 during the upcoming British GP that may be his last home Formula 1 race. No one suggests that this would be his last race however. He made recently several remarks that would not any “retirement” annoucement from Coulthard shocking, including his speach after Canadian podium. It would also make some sense out of Vettel’s claim that he knows a little bit of the internal situation and is very confident about his future. I would however also not be suprised if we hear Coulthard coming out soon rubbishing all the retirement talks.

Last year Red Bull ran a special Faces for Charity livery at Silverstone, in 2005 again Red Bull had The Force with them and special Star Wars livery on their cars. This year we are about the see the Batmobile and special Batman livery on – suprise surprise – the usually most boring team with most boring livery – Toyota … Can’t wait to see that one :-) .

Kimi Raikkonen will very likely make use of one penalty free unscheduled engine change ahead of 2008 British GP following the troubles he faced for half of the Magny Cours race 2 weekends back.

And Toro Rosso have been promised stability for 2009 by Dietrich Mateschitz, they should only expect uncertainty from 2010 onwards …

2008 San F1 – RBR and STR Bull Run

Kotenok has posted several videos from 2008 Red Bull and Toro Rosso Bull Run in Pamplona. Here is one as a teaser.


Find more videos like this on F1Wolf Club

… and one more from the arena:
Find more videos like this on F1Wolf Club

You can view several more videos from Pamplona at the F1 Wolf Club page.

Photo gallery inside this post !

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2008 F1 Qualifying – Team mates head to head statistics

Qualifying performance is one of the important benchmarks used to evaluate relative performance of team mates. Here is an overview of qualifying results in 2008 Formula 1 season. The table displays the results as achieved in qualifying, not the final position on the starting grid – grid penalties are not reflected in this table. I included this table also in the 2008 season stats.

2008 Formula 1 Qualifying - Team Mates Head to Head

  AU MA BA SP TU MO CA FR GB GE HU EU BE IT SI JP CN BR SCORE
RAI 16 2 4 1 4 2 3 1 3 6 6 4 4 14 3 2 2 3 6
MAS 4 1 2 3 1 1 6 2 9 2 2 1 2 6 1 5 3 1 12
                                       
KUB 2 6 1 4 5 5 2 7 10 7 4 3 8 11 4 6 12 13 13
HEI 5 7 6 9 9 13 8 12 5 12 16 8 5 10 6 16 7 8 5
                                       
ALO 12 9 10 2 7 7 4 4 6 5 7 12 6 8 15 4 4 6 18
PIQ 21 13 14 10 17 17 15 11 7 17 10 15 12 17 16 12 11 11 0
                                       
ROS 7 16 8 15 11 6 5 15 18 13 15 9 15 5 9 15 15 18 14
NAK 14 18 16 12 16 14 12 16 15 16 17 11 19 18 10 14 17 16 4
                                       
WEB 15 8 11 7 6 9 10 8 2 8 8 14 7 3 13 13 6 12 16
COU 8 12 17 17 10 10 13 9 11 10 13 17 14 13 14 11 16 14 2
                                       
TRU 6 5 7 8 8 8 14 5 14 4 9 7 11 7 11 7 9 2 14
GLO 9 10 13 14 15 11 11 10 12 11 5 13 13 9 8 8 13 10 4
                                       
BUT 13 11 9 13 13 12 19 17 17 14 12 16 17 19 12 18 18 17 8
BAR 11 14 12 11 12 15 9 18 16 18 18 19 16 16 18 17 14 15 10
                                       
VET 10 15 19 18 14 18 20 13 8 9 11 6 10 1 7 9 8 7 13
BOU 18 19 15 16 18 16 16 14 13 15 14 10 9 4 17 10 10 9 5
                                       
FIS 17 17 18 19 19 20 18 19 20 20 19 18 20 12 20 20 20 19 10
SUT 19 21 20 20 20 19 17 20 19 19 20 20 18 20 19 19 19 20 8
                                       
HAM 1 4 3 4 3 3 1 3 4 1 1 2 1 15 2 1 1 4 14
KOV 3 3 5 6 2 4 7 6 1 3 2 5 3 2 5 3 5 5 4
                                       
SAT 20 20 22 22                             2
DAV 22 22 21 21                             2

Please do let me know if you spot any errors.

The shark fin 4.0 – Force India F1

First came Red Bull, then Renault, then Toro Rosso, now after 2 days of waiting, here comes Force India and their version of shark fin engine cover:

More pictures inside the post.

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Are McLaren hard done ? Seems to be so, here is another proof

The events of last weekend in France brought out suggestions someone is out there to get McLaren. On one hand string of penalties to Hamilton and Kovalainen on the other hand not even an investigation into Trulli’s defending 3rd position from Heikki, no action taken against unsafe Ferrari of Kimi Raikkonen.

So are McLaren hard done ? The following photos (inside the post) may provide some answer:

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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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No flag to Raikkonen no penalty to Trulli – Was that right ?

Several things happened yesterday that could have changed the podium line up. While Hamilton’s drive through penalty is still one of the talks of the race the opinion of the majority is that the penalty was justified. From what I have seen I tend to agree with that. There were however 2 other incidents that I am not sure were handled correctly by the race control.

Incident one – Raikkonen’s exhaust pipe

If there is a car on track that may pose danger the stewards can call it back to the pits to get rid of the danger. There is even this nice black flag with orange circle for that purpose. When Raikkonen’s car suddenly lost some pace on lap 36, a piece of the loose exhaust pipe appeared to be bouncing arround chassis hanging there only on a piece of wire. It was only matter of time before that piece of car gets loose and flies away. Ferrari were aware of that and based on post race words from Domenicali chose to let it fly away itself rather than bringing the car to the pits and cutting it away. Even when Raikkonen came for his regular pit stop nothing was done with the pipe in order not to waste valuable seconds…

Question: Why was it not possible to remove the exhaust at the pit stop?

Domenicali: It had already fallen off. It was already flying away. There was the cable of the lamda and we decided not to cut that because we were maybe losing more seconds, and we had Trulli pushing behind so we took that into consideration, and I have to say that in terms of strategy, in terms of teamwork everything was done correctly.

So everybody was aware that piece Kimi’s car will eventually get loose and fly off and nobody found that to be a potential danger to other drivers or to spectators ? I am happy for Kimi to be able to finish the race and in 2nd place under such circumstances. But I do wonder why the race control did not take any action to make sure his car poses no danger. After listening to the French GP digest at Sidepodcast I see that I am not alone …

Incident two – Trulli vs. Kovalainen

One journalist suggested at the post race press conference that Trulli and Kovalainen touched the wheels while fighting for the 3rd place with a lap to go. I do not think their wheels touched although they came very very close. It however looked to me that Trulli did make a sudden movement in Kovalainen’s direction when the cars were almost side to side forcing Kovalainen off the track. Was this a display of excellent racing we all want to see or an example of dangerous defensive driving from Jarno Trulli ? After watching the replay several times I do wonder why Trulli’s maneuvre was not at least investigated by the stewards …

At the end no flag to Raikkonen no penalty to Trulli – Was that right ?

2008 French F1 GP – Wolf’s Race Review

We sure have seen better races then 2008 French GP but we still got few servings of racing excitement despite utter Ferrari domination.

The only chances for others to mess with Ferrari were either at the race start, rain intervention or something going terribly wrong for one or both Ferrari drivers. At the race start all the fighting took part behind the two red cars and 1-2 order Kimi-Felipe has been set from the beginning. Kimi was 2-3 tenths faster and safely pulled away from Massa. The race at least at the top looked settled early on. The first round of pit stops changed nothing and Kimi seemed to be set for a win. Then however came lap 36 (just about half the race distance) and Raikkonen’s car began to slow down. The reason became obvious quickly. A big hole burned in the side of Raikkonen’s car and the exhaust pipe kept bouncing around hanging only on a piece of wire. Raikkonen kept on going but it did not take long for Massa getting ahead of him and claiming the lead. Surprisingly Raikkonen’s car held together till the end and Kimi returned to the podium after 2 races without any points. Felipe Massa cruised to the finish and claimed his 8th career win. This win also means Massa now leads the championship for the first time in his F1 career …

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2008 Prediction Game Round 8 Results

Here are the results of Round 8 of the Prediction Game. We have some shake up in the order and also a new leader ! The overall standings are at the left sidebar, you can also check them at the Prediction Game page.

2008 Prediction Game Round 8 Results:

24 – Ben
22 – Kaylen, Rich
20 – mcw3, daniel
19 – zblkhwk, deaddogsmoking, Ram
18 – Klokan, F1Wolf, dieGo
17 – kotenok, blazena, Queen Bee, brabhamburger, shaun, Draconte
16 – Steve Robertson, nieuwe, Rob The Flying Dutchman, Arun S, Luis Miguel Sainz, f1 portal (Mike)
15 – stew, igi
13 – xxMarinaxx

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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

Archives

2010 Mercedes GP F1 Merchandise