It looks like the end of the F1 dream for Adrian Campos, at least for now. Jose Ramon Carabante (previously a shareholder in Campos Meta team) has taken full control of the team. Colin Kolles (Jordan, Midland, Spyker, Force India) has replaced Adrian Campos as a team prinicipal. Chavski is back… The other people on Kolles’ team are Mike Krack (ex-BMW) and Geoff Willis (Honda, Red Bull).
Almost exactly 2 years ago it looked like we will have full grid of 12 teams and 24 cars from 2008 season. On April 28, 2006 Prodrive were given the F1 entry. Max Mosley commented that “Prodrive have the best combination of financial backing, technical capability and motorsport experience.”
Almost exactly a year later, May 13, 2007, the new boys, Super Aguri, scored their first ever championship point after only 1 season and 4 races in Formula 1. Few months later, in August 2007, the news came out that the team’s title sponsor, SS United, does not pay. From then it was all downhill for Super Aguri …
In late November 2007, it became clear that we will not see 24 cars F1 grid in 2008. Prodrive have announced they will not enter Formula 1.
By the end of January 2008 Max Mosley expressed his doubts we will end the 2008 season with 11 teams. There were doubts whether Super Aguri will even make it for Australian GP. They just about made it to Melbourne for the season opener, but only 2 days later Dietrich Mateschitz announced he is putting his share in Toro Rosso up for sale …
Then came May 6, 2008 and the withdrawal of Super Aguri from Formula 1. This is all like the 2002 deja vu. Expectations of full grid for 2002 season thanks to Toyota’s entry to Formula only to see first Prost and then Arrows to disapear. The grid went from 11 teams down to 10 instead of up to 12 before the 2002 season was over …
I realized this weekend that the 2008 Australian GP was the 10th Formula 1 race I went to. As I am getting ready for my 11th in about 1 month time this may be a good opportunity to recap the events that happened at the races I went to:
2004 Chinese Grand Prix
- Jacques Villeneuve returned to F1 with Renault
- In a taxi on the way to track I opened the China Daily paper I found in the hotel room. And there it was, small article announcing that Ford is leaving F1 at the end of the season. Jaguar is left looking for new owner, Jordan and Minardi start wondering what engines will they use…
- Rubens Barrichello wins his last Formula 1 race (this is true at the time of writing).
2005 Malaysian Grand Prix
- Takuma Sato got sick and Anthony Davidson raced for BAR-Honda instead
- Both BAR-Honda drivers, Button and Davidson, famously retired on lap 2 after engine failures
- Jacques Villeneuve spun off in front of me in Turn 1 and beached the car in gravel
- Jarno Trulli scored first ever podium for Toyota
2005 Chinese Grand Prix
- in the hotel room I read Red Bull is buying Minardi
- this race turned out to be the last race for Minardi, Jordan, Sauber and BAR in their former selves
- this was also last race for Barrichello in Ferrari and probably last Formula 1 race for Narain Karthikeyan
- Michael Schumacher colided with Christijan Albers… on the warm up lap …
- Juan Pablo Montoya colided with a loose manhole cover
- Narain Karthikeyan crashed heavily just after the banked corner leading to the long back straight
2006 Malaysian Grand Prix
- First 1-2 finish for Renault since they took the team over from Benneton
2006 German Grand Prix
- Jacques Villeneuve again crashed out in front of me in what turned out to be his last Formula 1 race, I saw the last of the former F1 champ in Formula 1
- some of my photos here
The 2008 Formula 1 season is just around a corner, the gap between now and Australian GP is already smaller than the summer break between Hungarian and European Grands Prix.
I have been posting screensavers from 2007 Formula 1 season during the winter break and I just realized that 3 of them still did not make it. So as a final farewel to the last season here are all of the 2007 Formula 1 screensavers, including the missing ones – Red Bull, Toro Rosso and Toyota.
Kimi Raikkonen 2007 Screensaver – 2007 Ferrari Screensaver – 2007 McLaren Screensaver – 2007 BMW Sauber F1 Screensaver – 2007 Renault F1 Screensaver – 2007 Williams F1 Screensaver – 2007 Red Bull F1 Screensaver – 2007 Toyota F1 Screensaver – 2007 Honda F1 Screensaver – 2007 Super Aguri Screensaver – 2007 Toro Rosso F1 Screensaver – 2007 Spyker F1 Screensaver
Bring on the 2008 F1 season !
Spyker entered Formula 1 in Shanghai 2006 but 2007 was their first full F1 season. Was supposed to be. Before the season came to close, the former Jordan / Midland team was sold again, this time to Vijay Mallya. The 2007 season ended up to be the one and only F1 season for Spyker F1. The orange cars spent most of it at the back of the grid but they had their moments of glory. Sutil was fastest in wet Monaco practice, Winkelhock lead the race during the European GP mayhem and the team even managed to score a point. Here is the screensaver to remember the only F1 season for the Spyker F1 team. In 2008 the team will race as Force India.
You can download it here: 2007 Spyker F1 Screensaver
Please check the screensaver tag for more F1 screensavers.
From time to time FIA comes with some super smart cost saving idea. One that they planned to sneak into the new Concorde Agreement were the customer cars. FIA sold this idea as a sure thing. It attracted 11 new Formula 1 wannabies. FIA selected Prodrive as the 12th Formula 1 team to join the current 11 from 2008 season. Here is a brief summary of what followed:
It looked like for the first time since the days of Prost and Arrows we may have full grid. Super Aguri and Toro Rosso seem to have also counted on the customer car era and did nothing to develop their own cars. Super Aguri team was not allowed to enter the F1 with an Honda clone in 2006, so they opted temporarily for the most modern eligible chassis available – four years old 2002 Arrows. In 2007 however they simply painted 2006 Honda car in Super Aguri colors and immediatelly jumped from the back of the grid to midfield.
Oh my…. What a season. This is a team that under its old identity BAR Honda finished 2nd in the constructors table in 2004. This is the team that recorded its first race win in 2006. This the team who’s driver Jenson Button finished 3rd in driver’s table in 2004 and scored more points than any other driver in the second half of 2006 season… They hoped for further step up in 2007, if not for a title fight than at least few more race wins… To promote enviromental issues they entered the season with an unique Earth livery, with no sponsors messages on the car. The weight of the whole Earth was apparently too much for them to carry …
The Australian Grand Prix was an eye opener. The Honda cars were solid midfield cars, far behind the leading Ferraris and McLarens. Both cars finished lap down, barely getting out of Q1. The pattern for the rest of the season has been set. The 3 week break before Malaysian GP did not help them much, more the opposite. By the Malaysian GP the main competion for Honda began to appear – Toro Rosso, Spyker, Super Aguri and Ralf Schumacher. Getting to top ten in 2007 meant to the team about the same as getting on podium in 2006. Scoring points in 2007 was on par with race win a year ago. Podiums and wins were totally out the reach for Honda. On several ocassion Honda was outperformed by their baby team Super Aguri, racing more less the 2006 Honda car. That was the clear indication of how bad the 2007 Honda car, the RA107 was.
Part 13, the final part of 2007 Formula 1 high resolution downloads – 14 pictures of Spyker team and their drivers Adrian Sutil, Sakon Yamamoto and Christijan Albers. Unfortunatelly I do not have any shots of Marcus Winkelhock. All the photos are free but for personal use only. Right click on the links below and save. Enjoy ! These are photos from the one and only season of Spyker in Formula 1.
So after wenting my disapointment with the latest issue of the F1 racing magazine I actually flipped the pages and read some stuff. There is an article on the customer cars issue and it is quite surprising that not much of what is said in there surfaced on the web so far.
So what is it that F1 Racing has learnt ?
There has been a meeting among the team principals on Saturday morning of the Brazilian GP at which Bernie said the following:
“It suited us (Bernie, Max) two years ago to foster and develop the idea of customer cars. But we don’t like the idea any more so I don’t think it’s going to happen.”
Two new sights (among others) in Brazil, but these do not look too cool…
If the thing that is on Vijay Mallya’s jacket is the new Force India team logo, hm disapointment to say the least… Not very creative team name, boring logo …
Yes, I understand the reasons for having India prominently displayed, but there must be hundreds of better options. Going out and asking the big community of F1 fans in India for their ideas and suggestions would I am sure bring out better ideas than these… In F1 one would expect first class stuff but this looks like a takeway meal that ended up by mistake on a table in Michelin 5 Star Restaurant… One would expect better from a guy who managed to throw the best party in Monaco this year…
Robert Kubica’s new helmet design does look cool by itself, no doubt. But it also makes him invisible in his car. Perhaps that was the purpose, who knows…
One next season’s question has already been answered. Vijay Mallya announced today in Brazil the name change of his newly acquired team:
“I have applied to the FIA to change the name of the team to Force India F1.It’s now an internal process for the FIA.
The logo is decided, it will be the in the colours of the Indian flag. The livery of the car will obviously be determined by the sponsors we’ll have – because a sponsor wants the colours of the car to also be compatible with their own branding. But the Force India logo with the Indian flag will obviously feature quite prominently.”
Bernie Ecclestone already gave his blessings to the new name. The remaining F1 teams probably will not care how another team is called and will approve too. Approval of the FIA’s World Motor Sport Council is expected to come on Wednesday.
I somehow feel that the new owners could have been more creative… Perhaps they are saving all the creativity for the exciting livery
I did not not plan to get back to driver rumours topic so soon after the last post, but the rumour mill is gathering speed.
Mr. Mallya seems to be taking his job seriously and plans to use the brain instead of heart. This however may not be a good news for both – the possible Indian candidates for the race seat and for Ralf Schumacher’s chances:
“I know Ralf well from my role as a sponsor of the Toyota team and I personally hold him in high regard, but a driver line-up is not something that should be decided by the heart but by the brain.
“I want drivers that can raise the standards in the team. I always get asked if we will have an Indian driver and my response is – if I can find one who is ready, yes. But only under the parameters just said.
“Drivers are a crucial part of the team so the driver line-up is a serious matter and not a sympathy contest.”
Oh Ralf, this must hurt …