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 !
Several current as well as hopeful Formula 1 tracks made the news these few days, here is a recap:
Bahrain – The organizers rubbished the reports they are planning to stage the GP as a night race in the future. One wonders where these reports came from. Why would they need to run the race in the night with only 2 (or 3? ) hours time difference from most of the European tracks ?
Sepang – The Malaysian organizers however confirmed they are considering night race – Dato Mokhzani Mahatir, chairman of the Sepang circuit:
“We have actually been talking aboug a night race with Bernie Ecclestone since September 2006. Since then he has spoken with Singapore and Melbourne as he’d like to see the F1 broadcast from here in Europe at a more decent hour. Having a race in Asia at night makes sense for that. Singapore and Melbourne are temporary street circuits whereas we are a permanent facility. Putting up lighting systems would allow us to hire the circuit out more.”
Melbourne – Here it looks unlikely the night race will happen, although Mark Webber has been quoted saying this to Adelaide’s Sunday Mail:
“We should try to make night work. It could be exactly what the event needs — who knows? We should fight to have a night race.”
and on Bernie Ecclestone hard line attitude:
“You can’t constantly keep having the same toys in the sand pit. He’s (Ecclestone) certainly got his head screwed on and he will do what is best for the sport.”
In the meantime there has been slight change in the time schedule for the 2008 Australian GP – The race in Melbourne will start at 3:30pm local time.
Silverstone – This is a week old news already… Although the development plans seem to be on the right track, the negotiations over new contract with CVC and Bernie Ecclestone will not be easy. Ecclestone (in his own words) will not hesitate to cut the British GP off the F1 calendar …
St. Petersburg – While slamming Melbourne (and Sydney) and Silverstone, Bernie Ecclestone is on his way to Russia to yet again discuss possible Russian Grand Prix, this time in St. Petersburg.
Algarve – Meanwhile in Portugal … A new F1 style track is nearing completion in the south of the country. The reports say that one team has already booked the facility for testing next January. The ultimate goal however is to return Formula 1 race back to Portugal. The last one was held in Estoril back in 1996 and won by Jacques Villeneuve.
Alcaniz – Amid all the bad publicity Spain received in past week or so, there are reports about another Spanish F1 venue springing up. Barcelona (Montmelo) and Valencia (street track) will host the F1 races this year. The permanent circuits in Valencia and Jerez are popular venues for F1 test. “La Ciudad del Motor de Alcaniz” is to become yet another test facility. It is designed by Hermann Tilke with advice from Pedro de la Rosa and due for completion in 2009.
A1 Ring – The attempts to revive former F1 track in Austria seem to have come to end. The track held its last GP in 2003. It was later bought by Red Bull and set for major redevelopment. The protests from ever present Austrian enviromentalists and failed talks with local authorities lead Dietrich Mateschitz to stop the project aimed at winning back the Austrian GP.
Williams – No, this is not another city but the Williams F1 team … Williams have announced plans to establish a permanent base for its test team in Spain. This is where all the Spanish (and Portuguese) test tracks may come handy .
Continue below to see La Ciudad del Motor de Alcaniz video.
Williams decided against the official 2008 car launch. With their sponsors and drivers long in place they do not see much reason for official launch event. So here is something to remember their 2007 challenger.
After the disastrous 2006 season came a big step forward in 2007 for AT&T Williams team. Several new backers, Toyota engines, Nico Rosberg with a year of experience under his belt that was what Williams was entering the season with. They finished it with a podium, regular points finishes and 20 points ahead of Toyota (their engine supplier) team in the constructors table. Here is the screensaver to remember 2007 Williams in F1.
You can download it here: 2007 Williams F1 Screensaver
Please check the screensaver tag for more F1 screensavers.
While the “big” announcement on Fernando Alonso is now after the Renault ruling expected anytime soon, there were some other interesting developments elsewhere over the past few days.
The Jerez tests were kind of a shoot out for the Force India seat. There are no clear winners yet, but there is one obvious looser – Ralf Schumacher. Even he himself now admits, the Jerez outing might have been his last appearance in Formula 1 car…
Unlike Ralf, the other serious candidates – Fisichella, Liuzzi and Klien – did not do themselves too much harm.
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.
With not much happening on the transfer market and no testing till next week it was team news and team rumours that made the headlines towards the end of last week and over the weekend.
The Alonso “no news” seems to be confirming my theory that nothing will happen until the Renault spy case is dealt with. We may still have few weeks before things start moving and drivers begin the final shuffle.
So, let’s get to Renault. With all the opinions being voiced there seems to be media pressure piling up for severe punishment for Renault. It looks like the only party that still says Renault should not be penalized is Flavio Briatore. There are warnings coming from all over the web that FIA and Mosley may face serious backlash should Renault get away lightly. It is widely expected that Renault will be at least fined and will have some or all points taken away (and as a result will become McLaren’s neighbours at the end of the pit lane next year). However as Renault already admitted to things that were never proven to McLaren in their case, some (like GrandPrix dot com) even suggest a possibilty of a ban.
48 hours passed and Flavio still has no news to announce. According to Alonso’s manager Luis Garcia Abad, Alonso will take time before he makes up his time and “will decide when he knows the best option for his future”.
The rumours coming out of Renault suggest that the talks have stalled. While Briatore would be willing to accept 1 year contract with Alonso, Carlos Ghosn, the Renault CEO allegedly says firmly “It is 3 years of nothing.”
In the meantime the Toyota and Red Bull rumours are still alive and kicking and Alonso seems to be acting like he has lots of options to choose from.
The other piece of information that appeared is that Nico Rosberg still may find himself racing for McLaren next year. German press reports that Frank Williams would be willing to accept around US$22 million from McLaren for Rosberg’s release. At the same time, Willy Weber, Michael Schumacher’s manager, advises Rosberg not to do it. He warns “McLaren could very quickly destroy his career, Hamilton is their number one, even if officially they will not say it.”
The FIA’s International Court of Appeal has rejected McLaren’s case. There will be no changes to Brazilian GP results, and that means Kimi Raikkonen is now definitelly 2007 Formula 1 champion. I repeat one more time especially for F1 Racing magazine – it is Kimi Raikkonen who is the champion ! In the words of Jean Todt “a final and desperate attempt to change the result obtained on the track was rejected”. Before I head off to Macau for Saturday and Sunday, here are some immediate reactions:
After their disastrous 2006 season many people (me included) said, that this year will be the make or break one for the Williams team. The danger of taking the Jordan route after Honda deserted them was definitelly real. They however managed to turn the things around. Toyota power replacing the Cosworth engine was an important step. Not that Cosworth V8 was a bad engine, but financial side of the deal with Toyota was definitelly much sweeter for Williams than buying engines off Cosworth… On top of that the team secured the title sponsor AT&T, without even giving them the most lucrative place on the car. That went to another major new sponsor – Lenovo. Mark Webber left and Alex Wurz was promoted from testing duties to a race seat alongside Nico Rosberg. Their winter testing form was promising, things did not look too bad for Williams ahead of 2007 season.
As the Tuesday deadline from Briatore to Alonso expired, one would expect some announcement to come from that direction. But it came from elsewhere. Williams F1 team confirmed Kazuki Nakajima and Nico Rosberg as their 2008 race drivers.
Statement from the team:
“After two seasons of racing for AT&T Williams, Rosberg is an established and highly regarded talent and he will form the mainstay of the team’s continued drive towards the front of the field.”
And from Frank Williams:
“I am delighted to confirm that Nico will be racing for the team for his third consecutive year after demonstrating impressive and widely applauded form in 2007. Nico will be ably partnered by Kazuki, who has impressed the team over the past year. He has pace and the right aptitude to develop into a competitive Formula One racer and over the course of the next season, we will provide him with all the necessary support and assistance to hone his talents.”
Somehow I am not sure this will stop the Rosberg to McLaren rumours anytime soon. Therefore until the McLaren line up is confirmed I only going to fill up one blank spot on the 2008 drivers list – Nakajima for Williams.
You can download 2007 Williams photos here.
Part 7 of 2007 Formula 1 high resolution downloads – Williams and their drivers Nico Rosberg, Alex Wurz and Kazuki Nakajima. All the photos are free but for personal use only. Right click on the links below and save.
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