Here come the Bridgestones ...
With the exception of Monaco Grand Prix Bridgestone this season has been following the concept of leaving a gap in rubber stiffness between the two allocated tyres for each race. That means that for example drivers have had to use super soft and medium or soft and hard rather than super soft and soft or medium and hard compounds at each GP (unless the race is declared wet).
For the four races from the Hungarian Grand Prix to the Italian Grand Prix Bridgestone will allocate consecutive compound pairings for each of these races.
Pedro de la Rosa - testing Force India or getting tested by them ?
Pedro de la Rosa’s test for Force India F1 last week sparked speculations about his possible move to Vijay Mallya’s team. Current Force India drivers do not seem to care too much but that is not stopping the media. As this is a hot topic in India, Kaushal asked me for a post on Pedro de la Rosa and his career. I tought why not, and why not to make it an opening post of a series on Formula 1 drivers who never really made it in F1.
Adrian Newey did it again. After winning races and titles with both Williams and McLaren he ended his winless streak and added another race win to his already impressive tally of Formula 1 race wins.
Williams raced Newey built cars between 1991 and 1997 winning 59 races in the process (Red Bull’s website says 58, I counted 59). McLaren relied on Newey car design between 1998 and 2005 winning 41 races in that period. I am not sure if all these 100 race wins can be contributed to Newey’s design or not. I haven’t found any source that would state this high number of race wins for Newey built cars, most sources say “over 80″. What we can say for sure now is that he has won one more.
Many people believed that it is only matter of time before Newey designed Red Bull car wins a race. But I think no too many expected that it will be STR instead of RB …
The STR03 first appeared in April test in Barcelona and scored first points on its race debut in Monaco. Then came it’s ninth race weekend, the pole position and the win.
Photo: Red Bull/GEPA
Sebastian Vettel, 2008 Italian GP
This was a funny Formula 1 weekend. Rain in Monza turned this classic but recently often processional race into a grand theater. As expected, we have a first time Monza winner. But few would have expected that this would be Sebastian Vettel – now the youngest ever Formula 1 race winner (and pole position holder). This was also the first time since 1957 German GP (win for Maseratti) that Italian team other than Ferrari won Formula 1 race.
It is often the case that when we have a surprise winner it is a fluke result. Just look back at Fisichella’s win in Brazil with Jordan or Panis’ win in Monaco with Ligier. Vettel’s Monza win doesn’t fit into this fluke category though. Yes, Vettel had luck on his side during the qualifying. But his and his team’s race performance was well worth the race win.
It was a big day for both Sebastian Vettel and Scuderia Toro Rosso today in Monza. Here is a selection of photos (in high resolution if you click on the thumbnail and then again on the photo in case in does not show up large enough).
Photos: Red Bull/GEPA
Sebastian Vettel, Monza 2008
Today for the first time since Shanghai 2006 the German / Italian national anthem combo played after Formula 1 race. It was not for Michael Schumacher, it was not for Ferrari. It was for Sebastian Vettel and Toro Rosso (formerly known as Minardi).
It was in November 2006, right after Sebastian Vettel was announced as 2007 BMW Sauber test driver, when I first time paid attention to this guy in Macau during the GP. It was summer 2007 when he scored his first F1 point after standing in for Robert Kubica in Indianapolis. It was in Japan last year when this guy cried last year after smashing into Mark Webber behind the safety car while perhaps set for the podium finish. It was in Shanghai 2007 where he scored his first Formula 1 points for Toro Rosso, it was also there in Shanghai where he almost crushed my hand while shaking it after the race .
Welcome to the Live Blog debate covering the 2008 Italian Grand Prix. Join the discussion below !
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Sebastian Vettel became yesterday the youngest ever pole setter in Formula 1 history beating the previous record set by now 2 time world champion Fernando Alonso back in 2003 (Malaysian GP). This is also the very first time Toro Rosso car will start the race from the P1, a feat that the team never achieved in its previous life as Minardi. This is also only the first time any Red Bull car is on pole position. Here is the photogallery from the remarkable day for Scuderia Toro Rosso. Click on the thumbnails to open the high resolution files:
Pole position for Sebastian Vettel
This has been one of the most thrilling qualifying sessions I can recall. The water kept coming down on the track and some big names got themselves in trouble. There were not too many surprises in Q1, except Fisichella taking Force India to Q2 for the first time ever. But then Q2 and the fun started. Several drivers got their laps together before the weather deteriorated, some left it too late … Lewis Hamilton, Kimi Raikkonen, Robert Kubica were the big casualties. Felipe Massa was the last driver to actually do a lap that was good enough for top ten after Q2. For the second race in a row Nick Heidfeld outqualified Robert Kubica, for the 3rd race in a row both Toro Rosso cars advanced to Q3. And that wasn’t the end of the story …
Sebastian Vettel was the fastest guy on track in Q3 claiming his maiden Formula 1 pole position. Sebastien Bourdais completed the best day yet for Toro Rosso team with P4. Mark Webber, another member of the extended Red Bull family will start from P3.
The best placed driver from the top teams will be Heikki Kovalainen who will start from the front row, next to pole setter Vettel. Felipe Massa only qualified sixth.
Rain or shine it promises to be very exciting Sunday in Monza tomorrow…
Italian GP qualifying results:
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2008 Italian GP
The Saturday practice started wet and then got even wetter. The times do not reveal much as the drivers did their laps in very different conditions. Some drivers like Mark Webber thought the track is dangerous, Nick Heidfeld said on the radio that the sessions should probably be cancelled. For the record the fastes Saturday morning time belongs to Timo Glock.
If the the weather remains like this for qualifyng we may end up with an interesting grid for tomorrow’s race.
Welcome to Live Blog coverage of the Saturday practice session for 2008 Italian F1 GP. Join the debate below.
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