2009 style front wing on BMW Sauber car
(Updated, more pictures added including Honda 2009 wing)
The winter testing for 2009 Formula One season begins in Barcelona today. The are is some added excitement about the testing this winter as all the teams will have to come up with brand new cars for next season, very different from the 2008 Formula 1 machinery. So far all we have had were speculations, more speculations, and few photos of Williams wings. Today BMW Sauber put their new wings to test (and public display) – large, wide and low front wing, small, narrow and high rear wing. That “Credit Suisse” painted part of the front wing seems to the movable one. All the winglets, horns and mini fins are gone. They still however run the car with grooved tyres, but those will not be used in Formula 1 from 2009 season.
Canadian GP organizers ended talks with Bernie Ecclestone
As it is often case in Formula 1 the money and greed prevailed, the sport and fans are the loosers. Following the news coming out of Montreal on Sunday the chances that the Canadian GP may reappear on 2009 F1 calendar when its final version is released in December are now close to zero. Finding themselves far away from meeting demands from Bernie Ecclestone the organizers of the Canadian GP ended the talks aimed at keeping the Formula 1 race in Montreal.
Québec province’s Minister of Economic Development, Raymond Bachand:
Here are the race results of the WTTC, Motorcycle Grand Prix and GT Cup races from Macau:
Windsor Arch Macau GT Cup race result:
1. Darryl O’YOUNG – HKG – Porsche 997 GT3 Cup – 31:01.710
2. Danny WATTS – GBR – Porsche 997 GT3 Cup – 31:03.830
3. Keita SAWA – JPN – Lamborghini Gallardo GT3 – 31:10.891
4. Cesar CAMPANICO – POR – Ferrari F360 Challenge – 31:12.353
5. Samson CHAN Kai Yiu – HKG – Porsche 997 GT3 Cup M -31:19.035
6. Nicholas THOMAS – NZL – Porsche 996 GT3 Cup – 31:25.428
7. Eddie YAU Junior – HKG – Lamborghini Gallardo GT3 – 31:26.462
8. Richard MEINS – GBR – Ferrari F360 Challenge – 31:30.183
9. Tunku HAMMAM – MAS – Porsche 911 GT3 Cup S – 31:31.060
10. Francis TJIA – NED – Ferrari F360 Challenge – 31:31.713
2008 Macau Formula 3 race - incident after incident
I just returned from Macau. What a weekend it was ! If someone likes the good old motor racing then Macau GP is definitelly the place to be. Zero glamour and lots of action ! Stay tuned for my Macau GP reviews, photos and videos.
For now the 2008 Windsor Arch Macau GP Formula 3 race result:
1. Keisuke KUNIMOTO – JPN – Tom’s – 41:01.864
2. Edoardo MORTARA – ITA – Signature Plus – 41:03.574
3. Brendon HARTLEY – NZL – Carlin Motorsport – 41:05.870
4. Mika MAKI – FIN – Signature Plus – 41:10.306
5. Renger van der ZANDE – NED – Prema Powerteam – 41:12.140
6. Laurens VANTHOOR – BEL – RC Motorsport – 41:14.839
7. Oliver TURVEY – GBR – Carlin Motorsport – 41:14.998
8. Walter GRUBMULLER – AUT – Hitech Racing – 41:16.559
Edoardo Mortara looks like the man to beat this weekened in Macau. He was the quickest driver also in the 3rd session in Macau. He ended the final practice 0.117 ahead of Carlo van Dam.
There were several incidents in the final practice. Jaime Alguersuari crashed at the San Francisco Bend badly damaging his car. Another front runner, Carlo van Dam, had his off at the Lisboa but managed to stop the car before hitting the barriers.
Friday qualifying saw a change on the top – Carlo van Dam clocked the fastest time ahead of Sam Bird, Keisuke Kunimoto and the fastest driver in previous three sessions Edoardo Mortara. It was exciting session with Sam Bird on pole and improving in the first sector of his next lap when Kei Cozzolino hit the barriers at the Fishermen’s Bend. The session was red flagged with less than 4 minutes remaining. Only the cars with garages towards the exit of the pitlane had enough time to make one more run after the restart. It looked like Sam Bird may hold on to his pole but then Carlo van Dam grabbed the pole with only seconds remaining. Macau Formula 3 continues tomorrow with Qualifying Race.
You can listen to replay of radio commentary of two Friday’s sessions here (tri-lingual Portuguese, Cantonese and English):
Macau Formula 3 Friday Practice Radio
Macau Formula 3 Friday Qualifying Radio
Edoardo Mortara fastest in Macau on Thursday
The 55th Macau GP begun on Thursday with the first practice and qualifying sessions. The fastest times in both Formula 3 session went to Italian driver Edoardo Mortara (Signature Plus), the runner up in 2008 Formula 2 Euroseries championship. Carlo van Dam, Roberto Streit and Roger van der Zande were all near the top in both sessions.
Macau is the track where it impossible not to crash and there were of these on Thursday. In the first practice Mika Maki crashed heavily at Fishermen’s Bend, Kazuya Oshima and Walter Grubmuller went off at Maternity Bend.
We expect some big changes in the look of the Formula 1 cars in 2009 but as the season progresses the cars change even without new rules. Let’s have a look how the 2008 F1 cars looked in Melbourne and compare them with their look in Brazil:
Ferrari – Melbourne
Ferrari - Brazil
Fernando Alonso returned Renault to the top of the podium
Sebastian Vettel, Robert Kubica, Fernando Alonso, Felipe Massa, Lewis Hamilton – arguably the class of the 2008 Formula 1 field. Picking these five for my top 5 was the easy part. But how to rank them from 5 to 1 ?
All these five drivers outclassed their team mates, in Alonso’s case brutally. Those two with very equal machinery finished the season almost equal – one with 1 more point, the other one with 1 more win. Those three with less comepetitve cars in hand did not hesitate and took their chances when they came their way. All of them however also lacked the consistency, all of them had their days off or periods of slump. So here is how I rank the top 5 drivers of 2008 Formula 1 season:
Kimi Raikkonen's last win came way back in April in Spain
The 2008 Formula 1 driver rankings continue with part 3 – ranks 10 to 6. I did not have too difficult time to select the five drivers for this post but giving them their ranks was a bit different story. Here is how I settled it:
10th Kimi Raikkonen
Ferrari had bad start to the season in Australia but few races later, after Spanish GP, it looked like Kimi may be the man to beat in 2008. Unfortunately for him, that was the high point of his season. The mid season slump took him out of contention and by the time his form returned all he could do was to support Felipe Massa. He was outqualified by his team mate 12:6 and that says something about the roots of his problems. At the end Raikkonen managed to reclaim the 3rd place in drivers championship but only because the second McLaren driver was nowhere near the top and the BMW Sauber and Kubica lost the plot in the final 2 races. He made my top 10, but only just.
Nick Thomas will race in the Windsor Arch Macau GT Cup Grand Prix
Ferry tickets, hotel room, grand stand ticket and thanks to Nick Thomas (on the picture above) also the paddock passes – all set and ready to go.
The 55th Macau GP long weekend will start this Thursday, November 13th. The first Macau GP was organized back in 1954. Since 1983 the Formula 3 race is part and the highlight of the race weekend programme in the former Portuguese enclave.
Although Macau never hosted and likely never will host Formula 1 race the Macau GP has strong F1 connection. The first Macau GP Formula 3 race winner was Ayrton Senna, the other winners include among others Michael Schumacher, Ralf Schumacher or David Coulthard.
18 out of 22 2008 F1 drivers raced in Macau before
This year 22 drivers started the Formula 1 season. Eighteen of them raced in Macau before. Can you name some or all of them ?
See 2008 Macau GP Formula 3 Entry List here
The only purpose for this post is to mark this little landmark over here – the post number 1,000 on this blog. It took approximately 1 year and 9 months to get here. Thank you all who read this blog regularly and warm welcome to all those who end up here by accident .
Sebastien Bourdais - should he stay or should he go ?
I started my 2008 F1 driver rankings yesterday with Part 1, here comes Part 2 covering the ranks 15 to 11:
15th David Coulthard
DC almost made it to Part 1 but at the end I found him a bit less disappointing than Heikki Kovalainen. Although Coulthard scored the only podium for Red Bull this year he was still clearly outperformed by his team mate. The 2:16 qualifying statistics says it all. Coulthard also got involved in many racing incidents ruining several races for himself and for few other drivers. The way the final race of his F1 careers went pretty much sums up his 2008 season.