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Monday, March 24, 2008

Monday news

BMW targeting a win

BMW’s Dr. Mario Theissen is targeting a race win this season after accomplishing his goal of changing the top two into a top three, according to Autosport.

BMW certainly has put itself in a good position, if it can consistently put its cars in the top eight. With the points weighted as they are, BMW will continue to be a player in the championship. I have no doubt if the conditions are right, we will see a BMW driver on the top step of the podium before season’s end.

Massa's seat is safe

Ferrari are shooting down rumors that they are interested in swapping out struggling Felipe Massa for Toro Rosso’s Sebastian Vettel. Team principal Stefano Domenicali said the team is convinced that Massa can turn things around starting in Bahrain.

ITV reports Toro Rosso boss Gerhard Berger called the rumor “bulls**t” when question by its own Louise Goodman.

Both Massa and Vettel are on multi-year contracts for their respective outfits, for what that’s worth.

Change that "dangerous" qualifying

Well, well. I wondered aloud yesterday when someone would call for a change in qualifying, and Crash.net reports several teams and drivers are already pressuring the FIA to change the “dangerous situation” created by the new third session rules before Bahrain.

McLaren’s Hamilton and Kovalainen were among a number of drivers who were tooling around after their final hot laps in Q3 to conserve fuel -- a result of the rule change that prevents the Q3 drivers from re-fuelling before the start of the race the following day.

The problem is others were still flat out on final qualifying hot laps, coming across boulevard cruisers, and having to make lightning fast adjustments to avoid contact. Not to mention the effect on their lap time.

Crash reports Robert Kubica suggested the FIA enforce a lap time for cars heading back to the pits after qualifying. There is already such a requirement in place for the formation lap.

Seems reasonable.

Malaysia becomes a night race

Finally, Bloomberg reports Bernie is getting his wish, and Malaysia will be a night race next season. China and South Korea are next on the list. Australia has been resistant, and Bernie has threatened the future of the Australian GP.

Bernie is eyeing TV ratings as later start times are better for the predominantly Europe-based TV audience. Malaysian officials apparently were receptive to the fact that cooler weather also might put more people in the seats, and a later time might allow for more support races.

While night racing is an interesting concept, I have to question the limited amount of testing that has been done leading up to this year’s inaugural race. It’s one thing to zip around an oval a couple of hundred times under the lights, that’s basically a big arena, but a road or street course under the lights presents a number of unknowns. Some of these guys are questionable drivers by daylight... Don't miss the top stories of the day, subscribe to the SpeedRead Web newspaper now! -- Email SpeedRead -- Learn more about author C.D. Six

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1 comment:

About Knit*Six said...

If Ferrari are denying the rumor about Massa, it MUST be true ;-)

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