Another week has passed, it is time again to look at what was it like on the F1 blogs and webs.
Michael Schumacher will test again for Ferrari next week, this time alongside Kimi Raikkonen. You will definitelly look at this differently after reading this article that brings some light on all the behind scenes moves that lead to Schumacher’s retirement, Alonso’s signing for McLaren and Raikkonen’s for Ferrari. This article seems to be quite old, but for some reason it appeared few days ago among the “latest features” on F1i dot com. Very interesting (and long) reading – Michael Schumacher – The strange story of his retirement.
NASCAR made it to F1Wolf thanks to Jacques Villeneuve. And thanks to comment from regular reader and commentator “zblkhwk” we have some more insight to what actually happened there. Check the comments below the Tale Of Two Formula 1 Drop Outs post.
Singapore continues its preparations for the F1 race and sends a group of people to Adelaide to get some experience. Let’s hope the ticketing fiasco will remain the only serious glitch …
Organizers in Valencia released more information on their track and grandstands – check and see where would you like to watch the European GP from.
We are supposed to be aware of the brands that flash in front of our eyes during the Formula 1 coverage. Are we watching the F1 the way we should be ?
And to stay with the brands – check out how some of the car manufacturers’ logo evolved including some those involved in Formula 1.
See you again a in week with Spotted by Wolf.
It has been a year since I got bored during the holidays and started this Formula 1 blog. So Happy 1st Birthday to F1Wolf ! OK, it did not start as F1Wolf right away… This is how the blog looked for first few months:
Then in July 2007 F1Wolf.com domain came along and with it a design change:
I was not too happy with it though, and so in September 2007 I launched the current theme with Stefan Johansson’s turbo Ferrari
Thank you all who come to read these pages regularly, leave comments or link to this site ! It is definitely fun writing when you know people are reading . I hope you stay (or for newcomers become) loyal F1Wolf readers, join the current pack and have fun with the Prediction Game that you can join right now here or if you do not have enough of it you can also join F1Wolf on Facebook .
And I will go now to pop some Mumm
Drop out no 1 – The looser
Jacques Villeneuve – Has been dropped by the Bill Davis Racing NASCAR team after hitting a wall and causing a multi-car accident during a qualifying for the Daytona 500. (reported by grandprix.com)
Drop out no 2 – The winner
Ralf Schumacher – After 11 years in the Formula 1 World Championship, Ralf Schumacher (32) will race this year with the Trilux AMG Mercedes C-Class in the DTM, Mercedes-Benz Motorsport announced today. Ralf Schumacher’s DTM debut will take place at the season opener in Hockenheim on 13th April 2008. (Daimler Media)
The latest round of Wolf’s selection from the webs and blogs is here.
The season start is getting closer and all sorts of predictions for the season are appearing on F1 blogs. Williams are pleasant surprise and here is a sum of some reasons why they are perhaps the best of the rest.
News that McLaren will take a their place in the pit lane between Williams and BMW and not at end (after finishing last on the constructors table last year) circulated the web. There has been nothing official yet, but the rumours were that the deal was brokered by Bernie Ecclestone. But did he actually had to broker a deal ? How are the garages in the pit lane actually alocated to the teams ? F1 To Go asks this question and tries to find some answers.
The 24 Le Mans will feature several F1 names this year with Peugeot fielding several big names.
Roy Scheider, probably best known for his role in Jaws, passed away last week. The AutomoBlog found a great car chase video from a movie featuring Roy Scheider.
Ferrari seem to be early favourites going into 2008 season. They are however doing well off the track too the F1 financial report reveals.
Force India will pursue the arbitration against Toro Rosso and Super Aguri, the customer cars issue is still on the table …
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It is getting close. We are now only 30 days from the Australian GP.
Athough we did not have chance to see Ferrari side be side with McLaren during the tests for quite some time, it looks at the moment that Ferrari is the team beat. They were comprehensively faster than Toyota in Bahrain and the gap in the early days was scary …
Force India revealed their car in Mumbai in a grand ceremony. Their livery sure does look different. We haven’t had so much gold colour on a F1 car for a long time.
Bernie Ecclestone fired some shots in the direction of Australia and the future of the race in Melbourne does not look too good. There were track related news coming from all over the place, good news for places, bad news for others, Silverstone being the other one in Bernie’s firing range.
Super Aguri is the last team to launch a new car, the team however cancelled the planned February 19 launch. All the other Formula 1 teams have already revealed their 2008 liveries, except for Williams, unless the leaked one is the one.
The tickets for Singapore Grand Prix went on sale today, but better do not get me started on this one. I will make a post on that once I calm down … All I can say now is I hope that they do better job with the lighting of the track than they did with mess they dare to call ticketing …
Back to track action. The tests in Spain suggest that a strong group is forming behind Ferrari and McLaren. BMW Sauber seem to have overcome their initial balance issues, Williams front wing problems look to be solved, Renault is right there with these 2 and Red Bull and their ugly finned car is doing quite OK.
Toyota struggled a bit early on in Bahrain but they did pick up some pace. Honda still struggles and is not picking up any pace …
McLaren took up on the challenge from Red Bull and submitted their own entry into the “Ugly and Uglier” contest with their newest wheel cover design (on show in Jerez right now).
And rumours surfaced that McLaren may not have to spend the 2008 in the last pit garage …
If you are on Facebook, join the F1Wolf group and help me to figure out what to do with it .
The season countdown will be back in 10 days.
I haven’t seen any official news yet. There are however 2 blogs at least reporting the story that Bernie brokered a deal to move McLaren away from the wrong end of the pitlane towards the front.
You can see more at F1-To Go and F1Fanatic.
Interesting. I like the picture F1-To Go has with the article
The Wolf is back with the articles and posts from the webs and blogs.
Force India launched their VJM01 in grand ceremony in Mumbai. F1 Chronicles feels there were too many actresses and too few fans present. I think that Mr Mallya could have shown a bit more respect to his drivers by learning how to pronounce their names. You may watch the launch video on Force India web, it is still there. Mallya also revealed that EADS and Airbus help with Force India car development. Let’s hope they do not forget that the wings on F1 car serve different purpose than the aircraft wings .
The Singapore night race has its fans and its opposition. Here is a view from a blogger from Singapore, himself a regular F1Wolf reader and commentator.
The “Barcelona Hamilton Affair” continues to be discussed. Bloggers keep expressing their views, while one of the monkey dressed people explains he is not a racist.
Luca Baldisserri, Ferrari’s sporting director thinks that Lewis Hamilton is a bit heavy and hard on the rear tyres without the driving aids. I am not sure if that is the case, but this video (after the Alonso chants early on ) shows Lewis sliding quite a bit.
Super Aguri made it to the news again. Their car passed the crash test and received the OK from FIA. And it would not be a proper F1 week without a new speculation on Super Aguri buyers / investors.
In the US the Champ Car and Indy Racing League seem to be headed for a merger. What implications it may have on F1 in the USA ?
And an idea of MustCommentMonday came from Sidepodast. So if you never ever comment on blogs, try to make our days, make it a habit and do comment on Mondays at least .
The time passes so fast… I can’t believe 60 days has already passed since the launch of these countdown posts. Well, we are 40 days from Melbourne and things are slowly starting to shape up.
Max Mosley aired his concerns about the future of Super Aguri. At the same time news of an Indian consortium lead by Spice Group CEO Andaleeb Sehgal talking to Super Aguri also surfaced. Investment in return for a seat for Narain Karthikeyan was the message that Super Aguri’s elder cousins at Honda did not like that much … Takuma Sato at last revealed some car and testing related information today:
“We were supposed to go to Valencia last week with the SA07B with some upgrades, but that was cancelled. Next week we’ll go to Jerez and then after that we should have two consecutive three-day tests at Barcelona, so that will be a total of nine days testing. We’ll be using an interim car to start with, and we probably won’t have the fully updated car until the last Barcelona test. Then I hope we can bring along the whole new package to Melbourne for the first race, the Australian Grand Prix.”
Singapore GP schedule has been released and as all the F1 sessions are in the late afternoon and evening on all 3 days, the program is set – beach in the morning, grandstands in the afternoons, party time in the night. Can’t wait
Honda had their 2008 car launch in Brackley. The livery looks better than in 2007, the car, despite being completely new, seems to a complete dog of a car again, at least at this stage of the development. The initial optimism quickly disapeared after the Barcelona test…
Renault also held their launch in Paris. Their livery, unlike Honda, does not look better than in 2007. The car however, unlike Honda, does seem to be progressing quite well, maybe we are seeing the famous 6 tenths from Fernando Alonso in action again
Eight teams spent their weekend in Barcelona testing and Red Bull cars were given a fin. Some people spent the weekend abusing Lewis Hamilton and should have had their backsides kicked hard.
With the Australian GP getting closer, Bernie Ecclestone sent strong message down under, that F1 may not want to go to Australia in the future.
Christian Klien and Marko Asmer were hired as testers by BMW Sauber, Sakon Yamamoto by Renault.
The 2008 Formula 1 Season Countdown will be back in 10 days.
Welcome to the new regular weekend feature – Spotted by Wolf. Selection of interesting articles from F1 and other racing websites and blogs.
The possible purchase of a part or whole of Super Aguri created quite a buzz. Grand Prix dot Com offered different view than most of the other media.
Honda launched their new car and one their drivers, Rubens Barrichello is on course to become the most experienced F1 driver ever. He is only few races short of Patrese’s all time record 256 F1 starts. But how many races exactly is he short ? is the question Ollie of BlogF1 asks.
It looks like the team mate rivalries are not limited to F1 only, MotoGPs Dani Pedrosa had some nice things to say about his team mate Nicky Hayden.
The Facebook mania reached the F1 blogs too. Sidepodcast started a Facebook group, F1Wolf followed . I am not exactly sure of the benefits, but let’s try and see. By the way, feel free to join F1Wolf on Facebook.
Besides Renault and Honda new Williams livery has been revealed by mistake. Jef, a F1Wolf reader, emailed me photos of what might be the 2008 Williams racing livery, with the new sponsor logos. Check the photos here, here and here.
If you wonder, why the 2008 European GP will not use the existing track in Valencia (often used for testing) but a brand new street track, this blog post brings an interesting insight and comparison.
The award for the weirdest thing I read this week goes to the Pat Symonds (Renault) and one his answers to F1 Racing magazine:
“Overall, F1 should be a constructors’ formula and therefore I fall on that side.I don’t really like the idea of only six teams running four cars. All sorts of things can happen; for example when Fernando was talking to Red Bull we advised him that his Renault engines wouldn’t be as reliable as ours.”
Is he serious ? Would Renault be really ready to punish Red Bull for signing Alonso with less reliable engines ?
And the final note. As I spent bigger part of January travelling around the globe, my post frequency was not exactly regular. Therefore all the commentators with 10 and more comments during last month can go on the Friends of F1Wolf wall. For January that would be Shaun, Paris and zblkhwk. So if you want to appear, send me a 125 x 125 button that you want to feature during
January, sorry I meant February .
Only 50 days left and the Aussie GP will be on the way. To mark the occassion I started a poll on the left sidebar – vote for your 2008 F1 Champion. If you haven’t done so, make sure you also join the 2008 F1 Wolf Prediction Game.
In the past 10 days we had some official and some unoficial car launches. First Red Bull launched in a low key way their RB4 in Jerez. Williams and Renault rolled out their new F1 cars in Valencia, with Renault planning the official launch for next week. Right after them Rubens Barrichello took the new Honda RA108 for a spin.
Drivers are slowly beginning to show they new lids, you can follow the new 2008 driver helmets here. Fernando Alonso is settling in Renault again, and seems to be reminding himslef of the good old times with his new helmet too.
There were Super Aguri sale rumours circulating, but if anything has been sold to Alejandro Agag, Super Aguri team is not aware of it. The team is the last one yet to officially confirm both drivers and the only one that did not test in Valencia.
The Valencia test attracted most of the F1 attention this week, Ferrari, McLaren and Williams doing pretty well. Heikki Kovalainen seems to have get used to McLaren car very quickly and very well.
The season haven’t even started and there are already claims that some teams may have found a way around the TC ban. FIA was also in action. Max Mosley is ready to introduce and confident to police a budget cap as early as from 2009 season. Slight change in the rules is on the way for 2008 season – teams will be allowed one penalty free engine change per car per season.
Max Mosley can’t seem to able to stop mumbling about the spy gate. He warned that the next team caught spying faces exclusion.
F1 Racing magazine finally devoted the cover to Kimi Raikkonen, few months after he won his F1 title. ING signed up as a sponsor of the beloved Hungarian GP. Lewis Hamilton signed up with McLaren until the end of 2012 season, and no doubt Ron Dennis added something to Hamilton’s paycheck too.
Nigel Stepney came out and said he never thougt that him passing Ferrari data to McLaren will result in McLaren using them, or something along those lines.
And finally, Lewis Hamilton revealed he knows how not to behave, and it was no one other than Fernando Alonso who taught him the lesson:
“He showed me just how not to behave as an F1 driver. He was (the leader) at the beginning, wasn’t he, but it changed. Well, he thought he was at the beginning,. But I don’t think that should be the case, we should be a team. It should be equal.”
FIA has been in action again. Max Mosley seems to be on track to impose the budget caps from season 2009 already.
“Starting in 2009, there will be a cap on expenditure for all Formula One costs other than engines, drivers and expenditure exclusively for promotion and marketing. Because of the variety of arrangements, particularly shareholdings, team principals’ remuneration will not be included in the cap.”
The budget cap figure for 2009 and perhaps for 2010 and 2011 is expected to be set after a meeting between FIA technical advisor Tony Purnell and financial representatives of the teams on January 31 in Paris. The Financial Working Group is expected to finalize the details of the regulations before June 2008. Mosley warns of different action should not sufficient progress be made by then:
“If the Financial Working Group are unable to devise a satisfactory method of checking expenditure or if a majority of the competing teams do not agree the proposals by 30 June 2008, the cost reduction measures voted by the World Motor Sport Council on 7 December 2007 will be adopted for 2009 in their entirety.”
That would be the radical measures like the wind tunnel limits advertised by Max Mosley few weeks ago. While I think that limiting the massive spending is the step in the right direction I am not that sure it will work. Teams will be looking for the ways how to get around this especially those in a need to catch up during the season. Mosley is clearly aware of that, therefore the warning. I really want to see how is he going to police the budget cap. Especially when 3 costly areas are left out…
The FIA and the team bosses came up also with sensible proposal not to penalize one engine change per car per season. That would mean that the first 2008 engine change for a driver will not be followed by the 10 place grid penalty. This proposal needs get an approval of the World Motorsport Council and the vote is expected soon. A rare voice of reason
And another 10 days gone, we are now only 2 months from the start of the 2008 Formula 1 season. Since the 70 days mark 4 teams launched their 2008 cars. First came Ferrari followed by McLaren only a day later. Toyota did not wait too long and introduced another boring red and white car. The last ones so far to unveil the 2008 challenger were BMW Sauber. They also announced their new partner – T-Systems.
Super Aguri did not launch yet but will do so on February 19, at least that is what they say. What car will it be remains to be seen.
The driver’s line up is close to being complete. Giancarlo Fisichella was confirmed by Force India on January 10. Vitantonio Liuzzi is staying in F1 but as a third driver only. The only team that has not officially confirmed the drivers is Super Aguri.
There are still some test drivers jobs available. Villa and Asmer are tipped for BMW Sauber, Kiwi A1 driver Jonny Reid says he is close the a testing deal in F1.
Prodrive team announced they are shelving their F1 plans for now. Who knows where the 12th team will come from …
Williams team will be commemorating their several anniversaries with 6 different interim liveries during the winter testing season – the company’s 30th year of racing, its 500th entry in a Formula One Grand Prix (2008 Turkish Grand Prix). Williams team will also record its 50,000 racing lap during the 2008 season. On top of it some Frank Williams personal specials – The Monaco Grand Prix will be his 600th Formula One Grand Prix as a F1 entrant, and he will become F1′s longest serving entrant with 39 years in F1. Williams may also be celebrating a new investor with Icelandic money reportedly on the way.
Jenson Button aims for the title, but in 2009. Martin Blundell thinks Massa will win it, and he has a support of one of the competitors in the F1Wolf.com Prediction Game too. Yes, there is first vote for a driver other than Raikkonen or Hamilton.
Ben Evans thinks 2008 will be Ferrari landslide. Kimi Raikkonen said that drivers who think F1 is too dangerous probably shouldn’t be in the sport.
Michael Schumacher said he will attend some races in Europe and he also finally found his place in the Ferrari team. He will be developing and testing the cars. Anthony Hamilton will go to all the races.
The teams are calling for budget cap (and probably already looking for ways how to get around it ). The engine freeze period was cut from 10 to 5 years.
The first official test got underway in Jerez, and at the time of the writing (I am now on the plane somewhere over the Pacific ) it was all about Ferrari…
The countdown will return in 10 days.