Thursday Thoughts – Three worst F1 circuits

TrackFlags

And the winner (looser?) is ...

Nice topic thrown into the air by the nice Sidepodcast people for the first off-season Thursday – Which are your worst three circuits, and what would you do to fix them?

It is not easy to pick only three worst circuits as there are quite a few not so good ones that come to mind – Bahrain, Shanghai, Barcelona, Valencia, Monaco, Hungary, Singapore, Abu Dhabi. Plus add Turkey that has a good track but no one in Turkey cares …

Anyway, here are my top three worst tracks:

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Pirelli press release on F1 and GP2

1986 Mexican GP F1 win for Pirelli

1986 Mexican GP F1 win for Pirelli tyres (Berger, Benetton-BMW)

Pirelli will return to F1 next season for the first time since 1991. The Milan-based firm will supply all the Formula One teams from 2011-2013 with six types of tyre: four for dry weather, one for rain and one intermediate tyre. Pirelli – which has supplied tyres exclusively for the GP3 championship this year – will also supply the GP2 championship from 2011, becoming the sole provider of tyres for the most prestigious single-seater championships in global motorsport.

Here is the full text of Pirelli press release on F1 and GP2:
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Pirelli becomes F1 tyre supplier, 107% rule returns and more

Pirelli logo

Pirelli - last seen in F1 in 1991

As expected Pirelli will become F1 sole tyre supplier from 2011 season for period of three years. This is one of decisions The World Motor Sport Council meeting that took place today in Geneva. The WMSC also decided that the 107% qualifying rule will return from next season. That means that from 2011, any driver whose best qualifying lap exceeds 107% of the fastest Q1 qualifying time will not be allowed to take part in the race.

FIA also made some decisions that come to effect immediately following recent safety car incident (Schumacher Alonso in Monaco) and Hamilton’s running out fuel at the end of qualifying in Canada. With immediate effect, if a sample of fuel is required after a practice session the car concerned must have first been driven back to the pits under its own power. If the safety car is still deployed at the beginning of the last lap, or is deployed during the last lap, it will enter the pit lane at the end of the lap and the cars will take the chequered flag as normal without overtaking.

Here are the decisions taken by The World Motor Sport Council today in Geneva in full:

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2009 End Of The Year F1 Quiz

quiz header image

It has been a while since the last one but the quiz is back with the end of season edition. The plan was for 40 questions but at the end 36 is the number (for no particular reasson). All questions have something to do with 2009 F1 season although some also go a bit back to F1 history. You may already know the drill – complete all the questions, afterwards all the answers will be revealed. As usual please no googling for answers :-) .

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Formula 1 – 1990 Liveries

It is time for another post in the F1 Livery History series. Here is the final episode of the 90s – season 1990. There were 19 teams on the grid that year and one of them – Coloni – even managed to get classified twice – in 19th as Coloni-Subaru and 18th place as Coloni-Ford *. This F1 season was the only one for Life F1 team. Interesting fact – one of the AGS drivers back in 1990 (and in 1989 and 1991) was the 2009 WTCC champion Gabriele Tarquini.

McLaren-Honda

McLaren-Honda

McLaren-Honda

McLaren-Honda (no tobacco)

Ferrari

Ferrari

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Updated 2010 F1 Sporting Regulations – Replacement drivers allowed to test

FIA

FIA has published the updated 2010 sporting regulations (the changes are highlighted in the attached file). Besides the rule changes reflecting the new points system, the increased number of team (changes to Q1 and Q2) or the refueling ban there are some other interesting paragraphs.

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Formula 1 – 1991 Liveries

It has been a while since the last F1 Liveries History post but the regular off-season feature is back with the look back at the F1 liveries of 1991 season. This was the year when Jordan joined the F1 circus and Michael Schumacher entered the scene (Jordan, Benetton). Eigteen teams, nine different engine suppliers, two tyre brands made up very colourful grid…

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2010 FIA F1 Entry List (November 30 version)

Toyota Sauber

Neither Toyota nor Sauber on the list, yet

While the talk continues on the future of Sauber team FIA came up with yet another version of 2010 entry list. It is rather confusing reading. On one hand it lists Manor as Virgin Racing (witout any official announcement from either Manor or Virgin), on the other hand the Mercedes GP still features as Brawn GP (with a remark that the team has indicated its intention to change its team name to Mercedes Grand Prix prior to the start of the 2010 season). If the rest of the list is to be believed then Red Bull will retain Renault and Toro Rosso Ferrari engines. Despite some claims from Jaime Alguerusuari that his deal with Toro Rosso has been renewed a while ago there is still a TBA where his name should be…

There are only 12 teams on the entry list. There is an interesting remark regarding Toyota:

Toyota Motorsport GmbH remains formally bound by the Concorde Agreement to put forward a team for participation, though it has indicated that it will not be in a position to do so. An announcement will be made regarding this entry in due course.

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The Czech F1 GP media storm

Prague - the object of F1 rumours

Prague - the object of F1 rumours

It is amazing to see how quickly the F1 media picked up the story that Czech Republic is targeting F1 street race in Prague. Well it is not Czech Republic, it is not Prague, it is Mr. Antonin Charouz. And he is not exactly planning F1 race in Prague. He is talking about building a race race track somewhere in Prague that perhaps one day (in his dreams) may host F1 race. But news about someone planning to build a semi street race track at the outskirts of Prague would hardly attract as much attention as news about Czech Republic or Prague targeting F1 race…

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New Concorde agreement signed

It looks like there may be peace in F1 for a while. The press release on the FIA website confirms that FIA President Max Mosley signed the 2009 Concorde Agreement. Full statement from FIA:

Following approval by the World Motor Sport Council, late last night FIA President Max Mosley signed the 2009 Concorde Agreement, heralding a renewed period of stability for the FIA Formula One World Championship.

The Concorde Agreement – a contract between the FIA, F1’s Commercial Rights-Holder and the participating Teams – sets out the basis on which the Teams participate in the Championship and share in its commercial success.

The WMSC has also approved a slightly revised set of stable Sporting and Technical Regulations (to apply from the 2010 Championship onwards), which have been agreed by the FIA and the Teams and which will be published shortly on the FIA’s website.

The new Concorde Agreement, which runs until 31 December 2012, provides for a continuation of the procedures in the 1998 Concorde Agreement, with decisions taken by working groups and commissions, upon which all teams have voting rights, before going to the WMSC for ratification.

In addition, as agreed in Paris on 24 June 2009, the Teams have entered into a resource restriction agreement, which aims to return expenditure to the levels that prevailed in the early 1990s.

With the 2009 Concorde Agreement and the resource restriction agreement in place, the FIA looks forward to a period of stability and prosperity in the FIA Formula One World Championship.

There is no mention if all the teams signed the agreement. Autosport.com however reports that BMW Sauber has been given deadline (August 5) to sign up if they plan to work out some take over plan that would keep the team racing following BMW decision to exit F1 after 2009 season.

Few tips for F1 fans – paddock access and F1 car parts

Puma Motorsport website still offers fans chance to go behind the scenes at Formula One through their cool consumer initiative called Fan Reports. I tweeted about this a week or so ago but forgot to mention it here on the site. The idea is that PUMA will take a fan to different races this year, including Silverstone, Interlagos and Monza, and provide them with a paddock pass, as well as access to one of the PUMA sponsored teams. All you need to do is go to their website, sign up and then put forward your argument as to why you should be chosen. As a recent lucky winner of great prize in different competition I can only recommend everybody to try your luck. You never know …

Those who would like to own some bits and pieces of real Formula One cars may head to Toyota online store and check out their F1 parts sale. The items start from about EUR200 for wheel rims or break disks to EUR5000 for engine cover with underfloor & rearwing.

FOTA meets again today, three days left to submit 2010 entries

Williams signed up for 2010, will other current teams follow ?

Williams signed up for 2010, will other current teams follow ?

Following the constructive but not exactly conclusive talks in Monaco the FOTA representatives will meet again today, this time in London.

The comments coming out of all the camps (FIA, Bernie and FOTA) after Monaco were much calmer and much less confrontational than much of the talk in the past few weeks. However FOTA still felt it is important to send a signal of unity to FIA. They did so by all teams signing a letter requesting 2010 rules to be scrapped and F1 to revert to 2009 regulations only adding the clauses that all already agreed on (like the ban on refueling).

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Red Bull
Sebastian VETTEL
Daniel RICCIARDO
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Fernando ALONSO
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Jenson BUTTON
Kevin MAGNUSSEN
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Romain GROSJEAN
Pastor MALDONADO
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