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…
My 2009 driver line up prediction is doing well. I expect not much to change and McLaren are the first to agree with me . Martin Whitmarsh to Autosport:
“We welcomed Heikki on board at the start of the year. He is under contract to Vodafone McLaren Mercedes, and will continue to race for us in the 2009 season.”
After having as many as 8 different drivers racing for them since 2004 season it looks like Ron Dennis and co. are finally happy with the line up they have.
Teams do have their good years and their bad years. Seeing McLaren winning races and fighting for titles in 2007 and 2008 it is easy to forget that they haven’t won any titles since the days of Mika Hakkinen, haven’t won a single race in 2006 and finished distant 5th in constructors table in 2005.
The last 2 posts – the video preview of Hungarian GP where Button won in 2006 and Briatore’s engine cries – reminded me of the fall from grace of 2 other mighty teams – Renault and Honda.
– BAR Honda 2nd, 11 podiums, 119 pts
– Renault 3rd, 5 podiums, 105 pts
Here comes the second Grand Prix video preview – this time 2008 Hungarian GP:
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
Flavio Briatore spoke with Gazzetta dello Sport. Quite a bit of the talk was about the current state of Formula 1. But he also said this:
“The problem is that us, Renault, have stuck to the letter of the current regulations on frozen engines, and we’ve been buggered: others didn’t do that and are far ahead, while we suffer. It’s not fair.”
Is he suggesting the others are cheating ? Or is he admitting that Renault engine guys simply haven’t bothered to exploit all the loopholes in the engine freeze rules ?
Does he know something we don’t or is he simply being pathetic ?
To make it even more difficult to keep the engine statistics up-to-date Red Bull team has decided to keep David Coulthard on the same Renault engine for the third race in a row in Hungary this weekend. Well on paper it is third race in a row but his British GP barely lasted a lap . Here are the reasons behind the unusual decision – Fabrice Lom, Renault, in charge of Red Bull engine supply:
“This is the first time we have taken this decision. First of all his V8 has not done too much running. Plus, having our two drivers out of synch on the engine cycle means that we won’t be putting all our eggs in the same basket. This decision will also help us in the second half of the season in terms of the logistical challenge. And finally, it means that David will not have to use the same engine in Spa and Monza, which are two of the toughest challenges on the calendar.”
In the early days of two race rule there were worries the teams may choose deliberately not to finish the race to be able to run with fresh engine in next one. It actually happened in 2005 when BAR retired both cars (Button and Sato) on the final lap of Australian GP and again in Australia in 2006 when Button stopped his smoking car meters from the finish line. Now we have a team choosing to use the same engine for third time .
Photo: Red Bull/GEPA
Williams – those blue or blue and white cars, at least that is how they have looked in these past few years. But it hasn’t been that long ago that Williams painted their cars red. They used red liveries for 2 years back in the nineties. Can you recall when was that ? What drivers drove for the teams in those 2 years ?
Here are few pictures that might help …
It looked way too easy when Hamilton passed his team mate after his second pit stop. The presenters at the Star TV studio were rather ironic after the race saying that there are “no team orders in F1″ , the whole bar where I was watching the race was full of boos. So were there team orders or is Hamilton that much better than Kovalainen that he simply made that look that easy ? At the end, it did not take him that long to overtake Felipe Massa …
So were there team orders or not ?
Photo: Daimler Media
Adrian Sutil is another German driver sporting new helmet design at his home Grand Prix. Here are few pictures (click on photos to enlarge):
Adrian Sutil with his new helmet
Adrain Sutil – 2008 German GP helmet
Adrian Sutil with his new helmet
Photos: Force India F1
Nick Heidfeld has a new helmet design for the German GP this weekend. He used both – his usual one and the new one on Friday. Here are several pictures of Nick Heidfeld and his Hockenheim helmets.
Photos: © BMW AG
Sebastian Vettel will race for Red Bull racing from 2009 season alongside Mark Webber. The announcement was made today, ahead of Vettel’s home Grand Prix. This is what Christian Horner had to say:
“We are delighted that Sebastian will be joining us next year. With David Coulthard announcing his retirement as a Formula One driver a fortnight ago at the British Grand Prix, after careful consideration, it seemed natural to announce his replacement here at Sebastian’s home race in Hockenheim. As he was already part of the Red Bull family, choosing Sebastian as Mark Webber’s team-mate was not a difficult decision. However, we have always stated that our aim is to have the strongest available driver line-up and Vettel’s selection also matches these criteria.”
And here is a video of the big happy Red Bull family having fun – it involves jumping motorbike, Sebastian Vettel, Mark Webber, David Coulthard, Franz Tost, few other faces and Hockenheim.
If you have problems playing the video here you can see it also on Facebook and F1Wolf Club
These Red Bull guys keep coming up with interesting promo stunts…
Hm, so Michael Schumacher decided to retire to save Felipe Massa’s job … I am not sure if this is true or not but that is what is in the news today:
“I stopped because I didn’t want my friend Felipe Massa to be unemployed. I would have had no problem going up against Kimi Raikkonen.”
Several F1 sites report that Schumi said this in interview with Swiss paper Blick. I tried to see if some webtranslator would do the trick and help me to locate the original article but I failed. It may be in Blick but I haven’t found it yet.
But if this really is true, should we now detest little Felipe or be grateful to him ?