Monthly Archives: January 2012

Adrian Sutil found Guilty

In a nightclub in China on April 17th, Sutil threw a glass at Mr. Lux, Slitting his neck, Narrowly missing a major artery and leaving him bleeding. Mr. Lux required 24 stitches.

Adrian Sutil claimed that he had meant to throw the contents of his glass over Mr. Lux (Not the actual glass) But the glass slipped, leaving Mr. Lux with a slit throat. It was believed that Mr. Lux would drop the case but announced on May 17th that he would in fact go ahead with the charges.

The Judge passed down a sentence of 18 months suspended sentence and a €200,000 fine, money to be given to charities.

Adrian Sutil’s manager today said “This (conviction) does not mean Adrian has no future in Formula One. There will be no consequences with the FIA, and his driving ability has never suffered.”

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F1 Weekly Media Roundup

Whitmarsh Insists that Raikkonen return is good for F1

McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh insists that the return of former World Champion Kimi Raikkonen is good for Formula One. The former McLaren driver returns to the sport with Lotus after two years driving in the World Rally Championship.

“Kimi is a great guy, with a super talent,” Whitmarsh told the F1 Website “He was very successful during his five seasons at McLaren, winning 12 Grands Prix for us and, although he narrowly failed to win a drivers’ world championship during that time, he could easily have become world champion in both 2003 and 2005 if he’d had a bit more luck or a little more reliability. Even as things were, without that extra bit of luck and reliability required to win world championships, he still won 12 Grands Prix for us and some of those wins were truly majestic.

Whitmarsh added that he didn’t doubt Raikkonen could be a contender at the front of the field if Lotus give him a car capable of challenging. “No fewer than six world champions will be competing in F1 this season – more than ever before – and each of them, including Kimi, is not only a fantastic racing driver but also a colourful character with a robust fans’ following and a unique global allure,” he said. “If the Lotus car is quick, Kimi will be quick in it; it’s as simple as that in my view.”

Volkswagen linked with F1

German media is reporting that Volkswagen want to get back into Formula One as an official engine supplier before attaching their name to a team.

Wolfgang Durheimer, The motorsport director of Volkswagen said “I will be presenting my concept to the board this year, that not only include the Motor Sport series we are already represented in”.

Wirtschafts Woche, The newspaper that broke the news says that a source inside VW claim that the desire is to get into Formula One as an Engine Supplier before buying a major stake in a team, Most likely Toro Rosso.

Robert Kubica now driving again

Polish Formula One driver who was badly injured in a rally crash nearly a year ago, has returned to the wheel of a powered vehicle, according to reports in Italy. The Omnicorse website reports that the Pole is now able to drive a Renault Megane with an automatic gearbox.

The former BMW Sauber and Renault F1 team driver re-broke his leg in an icy slip recently but is now managing some steps without crutches, the report also said. Kubica is reportedly spending five hours a day on physiotherapy, with movement in his previously badly injured right arm now almost “back to normal”.

Sky Sports to broadcast pre-season testing

Sky Sports have this week revealed that they are to show all pre-season test sessions as well as every car launch and to make things better, its all live!

Rachel Brooks and Craig Slater, who will be the regular presenters of Sky Sports F1, Will also come live from the track during all pre-season testings. They will also show the car launches live.

The Sky Sports F1 Channel will launch in early March.

Glock upbeat despite car delays

Marussia driver Timo Glock is positive about the Marussia car despite delays with the launch. The team has run into problems with the car launch which means it will miss the first season test and possibly the second test aswell.

Marussia will however run its 2011 car at the first two tests to give rookie Charles Pic as much time behind the wheel as possible.

The new ‘platypus’ nose

In order to increase safety, for 2012 the FIA has decided to lower the height of the car’s front section, primarily to lessen the chance of one’s car’s nose intruding into the cockpit of another in the event of a side-on collision. As can be seen in this diagram, the height of the chassis immediately ahead of the cockpit can still be up to 625mm above the reference plane (PR), but then in the space of 150mm it must fall to 550mm. This is expected to lead to some rather awkward-looking, stepped-nose designs on the 2012 cars, including Ferrari’s new machine.

(Source: http://www.Formula1.com )

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The 2011 F1 Sweeney Awards

The 2011 F1 Sweeney Awards are an award ceremony (With no prize!) I did on Twitter on November 28th. All awards are my personal judgements! Enjoy!

The Sweeney Award for “Best Driver” Goes to Sebastian Vettel

The Sweeney Award for “Best Pole Position” Goes to Mark Webber, Because he was the first man to get pole (Apart from Vettel). The other was Hamilton, But Webber got 4 poles, Hamilton got 1.

The Sweeney Award for “Best Race” Goes to Canada

The Sweeney Award for “Funniest Moment” Goes to The unfortunate marshall!

The Sweeney Award for “Best Win” Goes to Jenson Button (Canada)

The Sweeney Award for “Best 2nd position” Goes to Fernando Alonso for outperforming the car at Abu Dhabi

The Sweeney Award for “The Most Memorable Retirement” Goes to Lewis Hamilton in Canada

The Sweeney Award for “Most Boring Race” Goes to Valencia… Good Job!

The Sweeney Award for “Worst Driver” Goes to Lewis Hamilton

The Sweeney Award for “Best Rookie” Goes to Sergio Perez

The Sweeney Award for “Best Line in Commentary” Goes to Martin Brundle in Canada… “David Coulthard has landed… Obviously you didn’t get my text saying ‘get me a sandwich!’ ”

The Sweeney Award for “Best Backmarker (HRT, Virgin, Lotus)” Goes to Heikki Kovalainen, Lotus

The Sweeney Award for “Worst Backmarker (HRT, Virgin, Lotus)” Goes to Narain Karthikeyan, HRT

The Sweeney Award for “Worst Overtake” Goes to Lewis Hamilton on Kamui Kobayashi, Belgium

The Sweeney Award for “Best Overtake” Goes to Mark Webber on Fernando Alonso, Belgium

The Sweeney Award for “Best Race Recovery” Goes to Mark Webber, China

The Sweeney Award for “Best Improved Driver” Goes to Michael Schumacher

The Sweeney Award for “Best Tweeting Team” Goes to Lotus (Caterham)

The Sweeney Award for “Most Missed Driver” Goes to Robert Kubica

The Sweeney Award for “Paddock Personality” Goes to Jenson Button, He is always ready for a laugh and an all round nice guy

So that was the 2011 F1 Sweeney Awards! Please feel free to share, Comment or Tweet me on Twitter (@BenSweeneyF1).

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Sky Sports to Show Pre-season testing

Sky Sports have today announced that they will show all pre-season tests in February and
March. Sky Sports are set to launch a dedicated F1 Channel – Sky Sports F1 – In March, and will go live for six days per Grand Prix weekend.

Rachel Brooks and Craig Slater, who will be the regular Sky Sports F1 presenters, will also be live at the circuits for pre-season testing.

They will also present all F1 car unveilings live. The list of all F1 pre-season test dates + confirmed car launches are below.

McLaren 1 February Woking
Ferrari 3 February Maranello
Force India 3 February Silverstone
Lotus 5 February Online
Sauber 6 February Jerez
Red Bull 6 February Online
Test 1: Tuesday February 7th – Friday 10th Jerez
Test 2: Tuesday February 21st –  Friday 24th Catalunya
Test 3: Thursday March 1st – Friday 4th Catalunya

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Caterham reveal 2012 Car

Caterham F1 Team (Formerly Lotus) Have reveled its 2012 Car. In the February edition of F1 Racing Magazine, There was exclusive photos of the CT01. It is the first F1 2012 car to be shown and will be followed next by McLaren who are launching the MP4-27 on February 1st.

The CT01 keeps it Green and Yellow livery but will this year be powered by a Renault engine. The car remains mostly similar to last year, except for slimmer side-pods and (Most noticeably) A completely different nose. The nose lowers half-way down and this is expected to be the new design for all cars due to the new safety regulations.

These are the two pictures of the car:

Photo: F1 Racing Magazine

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Petrov expects F1 decision within 1 week

Dropped Lotus (Formerly Renault) driver Vitaly Petrov expects a decision on his 2012 F1 career within the next week. The Russian began his F1 career with Renault in 2010, partnering Polish Robert Kubica. The team kept him for 2011, where he scored his first podium in Australia. However, The Ranualt car failed to develop at the same rate as its competitors. They dropped Petrov, Nick Heidfeld and Bruno Senna for the 2012 campaign in favour of Kimi Raikkonen and Romain Grosjean with Jerome d’Ambrosio taking the 3rd driver role.

Petrov has recently been linked with a seat at Caterham to replace Italian Jarno Trulli. He has also been linked with the Hispania seat, but Dutch rookie Giedo Van De Garde is most popular for the seat.

Petrov has also been in talks with Pirelli about securing the role as test driver, to test their tyres.

“If I said something it will be made into lots, I cannot say anything about what I will do this year,” Petrov told reporters after making an unexpected appearance at a Pirelli presentation in Abu Dhabi. “But please wait a little bit, another week. I want to say something but I can’t say at the moment. I want to stay in F1 because if I lose one year then it will be very difficult to come back and to take some places for 2013. So it is important to stay.”

Asked why he was attending the event at the Yas Marina circuit, the 27-year-old added: “They asked me to come and be part of this event, so I drive some cars and talk to some people and work with them.”

Brazilian Lucas Di Grassi who was dropped from Virgin in 2010 is also expected to remain as a Pirelli tester. Pirelli’s motorsport director, Paul Hembery was asked about Petrov and said:

“We will see how it goes,” he said. “There is always a lot of tyre development work to do, and we are eager to have a driver who has experience of racing from the previous year.”

Petrov was highly critical of Renault after a disappointing result in last November’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix and was then replaced by Frenchman Romain Grosjean for this season.

“I think I understand I should not talk about the team like this, but what is done is done and I don’t need to be angry about what happened,” he said. “Already it is the New Year, it is finished so I am fully ready for next year. It is racing. Sometimes you have a good result, sometimes you have a bad one. So I think it is better not to talk about it.”

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Pirelli reveal tyres for 2012

Official Tyre Supplier for Formula One have revealed the tyres they will have for the 2012 F1 Season. Last year, Pirelli came back to F1 after Bridgestone pulled out. They brought a radical new tyre that was so degradable that it was estimated you would need to stop between 3-5 stops per race! This was a complete change to the very durable Bridgestone tyres in 2010 and there was some criticism at the start.

However, The Pirelli tyres have produced some fabulous racing with many drivers having to pit a lot more than other drivers. For example, Red Bulls Mark Webber is very hard on his tyres while McLaren’s Jenson Button is very gentle.

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Watson: F1 is more entertaining now.

Former F1 driver John Watson has said that F1 is very entertaining now with DRS, KERS and the new Pirelli tyres. The Northern-Irishman says that even though World Champion Sebastian Vettel was very dominant last year, The combination of DRS, KERS and the super degradable Pirelli tyres produced some fantastic action in 2011.

Watson who won five Grand Prix’s and finished runner up in 1982 during his 12 year F1 career, said that 2011 was a fantastic year for Formula One.

“Obviously it was dominated by a single team and a single driver but we had a lot of technology come in – we had the DRS, the drag reduction system, the reintroduction of KERS, the Kinetic Energy Recover System, and we had Pirelli tyres. That in itself provided a lot of overtaking, not necessarily what I would call motor racing, but it provided a lot of entertainment and for the audience they saw racing cars doing something they hadn’t seen them do in quite a while and that was passing one another.

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d’Ambrosio joins Lotus as reserve driver

Sacked Virgin driver, Jerome d’Ambrosio is to join Lotus as a third driver it was announced earlier. The belgian who made his Formula One debut im Australia last year was dropped from the team in favour of French rookie Charles Pic.

d’Ambrosio will attend all races next season as a back up driver for Kimi Raikkonen and Romain Grosjean and will step in for them if required.

“It’s a great feeling to be joining Lotus F1 Team,” said d’Ambrosio. “It’s an exciting next step in my career. I contested a complete season in Formula One as a race driver for a smaller team where I learnt a lot about Formula One. Now, I have the opportunity to work with one of the top teams with great potential for my future development. With my recent race experience, I know I can make a valuable contribution.”

“Of course, I would love to be racing, but racing with a top team. Being associated with Lotus F1 Team should be more beneficial and this is the choice I have made. This opportunity is one I couldn’t afford to miss. My desire to get back in a race seat in the future is motivating me to do the best job possible in my new position.”

Team boss Eric Boullier added: “To have a third driver who is highly motivated, fresh and talented and who contested the full 2011 season is highly beneficial for us. In Jerome we have someone we know well who integrates beneficially with the squad. He impressed as reserve driver for us in 2010 and at the end of that year he made a strong showing in the young driver test. He also showed strongly in his rookie season as an F1 race driver. I am looking forward to working with Jerome again and think he is a perfect addition to our driving strength.

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Raikkonen back in F1 seat

2007 Formula One Drivers Champion, Kimi Raikkonen has returned to F1 today, getting back in the 2009 Renault car to warm up for his comeback in March. He spent a few hours driving at the Ricardo Tormo track in eastern Spain.

“The Iceman” Is to return to F1 at the season opening race in Australia after two years of Rallying.

Lotus, formerly Renault, said in a statement that the 32-year-old aimed to drive as many laps as possible in the two days in Valencia to get acquainted with his new team and reacclimatise himself with a Formula One car.

They issued a picture of Raikkonen, who last drove a Formula One car in 2009, on his first lap in the R30 – painted in Lotus’s black-and-gold livery – at the Ricardo Tormo track.

“It was nice to get back in the car,” Raikkonen told Sky Sports television at the circuit. “It was quite a few years since I have driven last time, so of course it takes a little while to get used to it. But the main driving, braking, turning and normal things doesn’t take many laps. “Of course to start learning about the car and the team and tyres and everything, that will take time,” he said.

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