Hot F1 topics of the week – BMW out, Schumacher in and then Renault

michael-schumacher-interview

We all probably expected this to be a quiet week. It all turned out a bit differently.

BMW decided to pull the plug on F1. They surprised not only the public but also their drivers who had no idea such an option was even on cards (at least that is what Heidefeld, Kubica and Klien said). The focus of BMW debates is now shifting from “Why they decided to quit ?” to “What is next ?”

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Stewards decisions – No penalty for Raikkonen, Renault suspended from European GP

Renault team suspended from European GP

Renault team suspended from European GP

Kimi Raikkonen escaped without penalty following the investigation of an incident at the start of the race. While I do not wish any driver loosing his podium finish I would welcome some explanation from stewards while this incident was investigated after the race while two weeks ago similar incident involving Mark Webber was investigated right away (and resulted in drive through penalty).

Red Bull was reprimanded for the unsafe release of Mark Webber during a pitstop when he almost collided with Kimi Raikkonen.

Renault team was not that lucky. The team has been suspended from the European GP for Fernando Alonso wheel loss incident. Here is the stewards decision:

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Mark Webber stays on with Red Bull in 2010

Mark Webber - happy to stay with Red Bull

Mark Webber - happy to stay with Red Bull

There are many question marks about the 2010 Formula One grid but one thing seems to be certain now – Mark Webber will stay with Red Bull. The German GP winner agreed a new deal with his to keep him at Red Bull in 2010.

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Nelson Piquet stays on, will race in Hungary

Nelson Piquet continues with Renault

Nelson Piquet continues with Renault

The immediate future of Nelson Piquet seems to be in F1 with Renault. The Brazilian driver will race in Hungary next weekend. This has become obvious from ING Renault F1 press release ahead of Hungarian Grand Prix. In it the team discussed the upcoming race with both their drivers Fernando Alonso and Nelson Piquet. Here is what Nelson Piquet has to say on Hungarian GP:

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July, the month when F1 teams often change drivers

Sebastien Bourdais, will he return for Hungarian GP ?

Sebastien Bourdais, will he return for Hungarian GP ?

Cristiano da Matta, Patrick Friesacher, Juan Pablo Montoya, Jacques Villeneuve, Christijan Albers and Scott Speed have one thing in common. All of them were sacked by their teams in July (between 2004 and 2007). The 2008 season was a rarity. We haven’t seen a single driver change for the entire season. At the moment there is only one rookie on 2009 grid – Sebastien Buemi – who filled the gap created by Coulthard’s retirement (and Vettel’s move to DC’s place at Red Bull).

But July is here again and it looks more and more likely that the tradition of parting ways with drivers in summer month will continue afte one year break.

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WMSC decisions June 24, 2009 – Peace and 2010 F1 entry list

The World Motor Sport Council met in Paris on 24 June 2009. The following decisions were taken:

FORMULA ONE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP

All currently competing teams have committed to the FIA Formula One World Championship.

There will be no alternative series or championship and the rules for 2010 onwards will be the 2009 regulations as well as further regulations agreed prior to 29 April 2009.

As part of this agreement, the teams will, within two years, reduce the costs of competing in the championship to the level of the early 1990s. The manufacturer teams have agreed to assist the new entries for 2010 by providing technical assistance.

The manufacturer teams have further agreed to the permanent and continuing role of the FIA as the sport’s governing body. They have also committed to the commercial arrangements for the FIA Formula One World Championship until 2012 and have agreed to renegotiate and extend this contract before the end of that period.

All teams will adhere to an upgraded version of the governance provisions of the 1998 Concorde Agreement.

The following teams have been accepted for the 2010 FIA Formula One World Championship.

Team (Constructor)
SCUDERIA FERRARI MARLBORO (FERRARI)
VODAFONE McLAREN MERCEDES (McLAREN MERCEDES)
BMW SAUBER F1 TEAM (BMW SAUBER)
RENAULT F1 TEAM (RENAULT)
PANASONIC TOYOTA RACING (TOYOTA)
SCUDERIA TORO ROSSO (STR TBA)
RED BULL RACING (RBR TBA)
AT&T WILLIAMS (WILLIAMS TOYOTA)
FORCE INDIA F1 TEAM (FORCE INDIA MERCEDES)
BRAWN GP FORMULA ONE TEAM (BRAWN TBA)
CAMPOS META TEAM (CAMPOS COSWORTH)
MANOR GRAND PRIX (MANOR COSWORTH)
TEAM US F1 (TEAM US F1 COSWORTH)

In view of this new agreement and with the prospect of a stable future for Formula One, FIA President Max Mosley has confirmed his decision not to stand for re-election in October this year.

Gearing up for Silverstone

As the biggest number of visitors to this site comes from United Kingdom I believe that the British Grand Prix is the race of the season that most regular or ocassional readers may actually go to. For those who plan to go and want to show up in their favourite team colours, here are the links to 2009 F1 teams merchandise:

Brawn GP

Brawn GP is probably the most popular team when it comes to merchandise these days. One of the reasons may be that the team is new and nobody has any caps or shirts from previous seasons :-) . But their popularity also has something to do with the team’s performances … The latest addition to their products range is the Jenson Button flag.

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Mr. Briatore can’t really be serious, or is he ? – Updated

Flavio Briatore

Flavio Briatore

Flavio Briatore (as probably everybody else) does not like loosing. But I think his remarks on the current situation in Formula 1 went a bit too far …

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The Renault F1 crash in Dubai – Videos

It has been all over the news. Mohammad Bin Sulayem, 14 times Middle East rally champion, now head of the local automobile federation was taking part in a drag race with a Ford GT40 at the Dubai Autodrome. But shortly after he accelerated down the straight he lost control of the car, spun and smashed into the pit wall. He was OK but the same can’t be said about the car. Here are two videos:

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Renault threatens to quit F1

renault-logo

Renault’s chief operating officer Patrick Pelata issued at the Geneva Motor Show a direct threat to quit F1 if the teams do not get bigger share of the revenue and the cost are not reduced beyond the cost saving measures agreed recently by FIA and FOTA:

“We are seeking to bring down contract costs and receive more of the revenues. We want to remain part of the emotion and the spectacle of Formula One but there are really no taboos if talks fail.”

Will Bernie Ecclestone take a note and back down or will it take another manufacturer following Honda and pulling out before something changes in the way the revenues are shared ?

What current F1 teams I would and what teams I would not miss ?

honda-dreams-over

There was not much talk about more teams leaving Formula One for quite some time. The cost saving measures seemed to have done the trick. But last few days the F1 exit talks surfaced again. The 2009 season seems to be the make or break for Toyota. Some fresh rumours surfaced also about future of Renault (not sure how much of this is true and how much is made up), Pitpass also raised some concern about Force India finances … Well, in market conditions as we see right now, there is always the possibility of somebody following Honda and exiting F1. Bernie Ecclestone already told us whom he would miss and whom he would not want to loose:

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KERS – Where do the F1 teams stand – summary

KERS - the green source of headache for many

KERS - the green source of headache for many

The introduction of KERS (Kinetic Energy Recovery Systems) into Formula 1 has turned into rather controversial issue. One hand this brainchild of Max Mosley is here to show to the outside world how green and road relevant F1 can be. On the other hand this for F1 new technology has been a massive drain on financial resources of the teams at the time when FIA , FOTA and even Bernie Ecclestone talk about need to drastically reduce the cost of Formula One.

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