Welcome to the SpeedRead archive

You have reached the SpeedRead archive. To the right, you can look up all posts from 2008 to July, 2014.If you have come here looking for the SpeedRead website, it has moved to speedread.us

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Big news at Mercedes

The brand new Mercedes team made some news today, settling its dispute with Henkel, after a former company employee signed a sponsorship deal without the company’s approval, as well as agreeing to a deal with Petronas.

What? There was bigger news?

Oh yeah, the team signed some German driver to a three-year contract.

That’s right, heeeeeeeeeee’s baaaaaaaaaaaaaaack.

International German Motorbike Championship Day 1

Seven-times champion Michael Schumacher has come out of retirement to driver for old boss Ross Brawn.

The 41-year-old will partner with Nico Rosberg, 15 years his junior.

“After three years I have the energy back and I'm ready for some serious stuff,” Schumacher was quoted by the BBC. “I want to have fun out there and I feel as fresh as ever. I've recharged myself after a three-year break. The challenge is what I look for - I want to know it.”

Schumacher, who called off a return last year subbing for the injured Felipe Massa at Ferrari due to a neck injury, the result of a motorcycling accident, says he is fit as a fiddle and ready to go. He credited his return to Mercedes, who gave him his F1 break.

“I got a call from Ross asking me to race again, telling me Mercedes were going to be involved. The only reason I came back was because of old friends at Mercedes. I spent years trying to get into F1 with Mercedes but it wasn't possible before. I hope I'll be judged by what I've done before but Mercedes is a strong partner and I'm thrilled to be back.”

US F1, Campos Meta say they will be on the grid

Newcomers US F1 and Campos Meta found themselves once again defending their commitment to participating in 2010 after comments by Bernie Ecclestone cast doubts on their ability to make it on the grid in March.

“I'm surprised Bernie said that. We will be there. We're in good shape,” US F1’s Peter Windsor told the BBC.

Adrian Campos echoed Windsor’s surprise. “My opinion is Bernie does not have all the information. We are working very hard.”

Ecclestone’s statements appeared in the Times.

Cosworth, supplying engines to both teams, did not express concerns when asked by the BBC.

“There is no indication that operationally there are any issues,” Cosworth commercial director Mark Gallagher said.

Teams scupper combined launch plans

The Formula 1 teams have shelved a plan to launch on the same day
, due to concerns about the ability of several teams to meet the Luca date and over press coverage, but will revisit the idea for 2011. 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


Thursday, December 17, 2009

Kobayashi to Sauber

Sauber have signed Kamui Kobayashi, who impressed subbing for Timo Glock last season at Toyota, for 2010.

F1 Grand Prix of Japan - Practice

The tester finished sixth in Abu Dhabi.

It is undetermined who will be his teammate at the former BMW squad, now back in the hands of Peter Sauber. Giancarlo Fisichella, Pedro de la Rosa, and Nick Heidfeld have all been mentioned in connection with the team. 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


Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Renault sells majority stake to investment group

Team retains engine manufacturing base

Renault will remain in Formula 1, but the French auto manufacturer has sold approximately 75 percent of the Enstone operation to Luxembourg-based investment firm Genii Capital.

F1 Young Drivers Testing - Day One

Renault maintains control over engine manufacturing facility in Viry-Chatillon, and the team will continue to supply Red Bull for 2010, as well.

Red Bull's engine supply had been in doubt while Renault weighed its options.

What effect this will have on drivers, including Robert Kubica, who had been signed to replace the departing Fernando Alonso, is unknown. The team is slated to run on a limited budget. What is assured is the team will continue to compete as Renault.

Renault had claimed to have multiple suitors to the team. One was David Richards' Prodrive.

A letter of intent should be concluded next year. 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


Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Branson launches Virgin

Sir Richard Branson surprised the F1 world by officially launching Manor GP as Virgin Racing.

Oh, you knew that was going to happen? Well, now it is official, and we have learned:
  • Virgin Racing will have the smallest budget on the grid: £40million
  • Virgin Racing will have the most stylish jackets

Virgin Racing Media Launch

When explaining his decision to move from champions Brawn GP to his own squad, Branson said:

"Our first year in F1 was tremendous for the Virgin brand, so why not go in again with a new team from scratch?"

The mogul continued to say with “engineering prowess, great drivers and a great affinity with the public” on its side the team was destined for great things.

Timo Glock had been revealed as a driver previously. He will team with Lucas di Grassi, Brazilian GP2 standout and ex-Renault test driver. 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


Monday, December 14, 2009

Trulli, Kovy for Lotus

Lotus F1 have confirmed its drivers for 2010: Toyota refugee Jarno Trulli and Heikki Kovalainen, late of McLaren.

Japanese Formula One Grand Prix: Qualifying

Both were signed to three-year deals.

Malaysian Fairuz Fauzy fills the test driver role.

The team also revealed its new logo today, keeping the famous Lotus colors.

Sponsor problem for Merc

Henkel, a German company, says it does not have a sponsorship deal with Mercedes (ex-Brawn), claiming the deal was put together by an ex-employee without consent.

The contract was for a three-year deal.

Lloyds subsidiary buys into Manor/Virgin

An arm of Lloyds Banking Group has purchased a minority stake in Manor GP
, soon to be Virgin Racing.

The deal is believed to be worth about £10m, according to the Financial Times.

The team is slated to reveal its drivers, along with its formal partnership with Richard Branson’s Virgin Group, Tuesday. 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


Friday, December 11, 2009

New scoring system

The FIA announced a new scoring system, in part due to the expanded grid for 2010, during the first meeting of the F1 Commission.

The Commission was created as part of the new Concorde Agreement.

Points will be awarded for first through tenth:

  1. 25
  2. 20
  3. 15
  4. 10
  5. 8
  6. 6
  7. 5
  8. 3
  9. 2
  10. 1

Other decisions included allowing Brawn to re-brand itself Mercedes and a push for ideas on how to spruce up the show.

Catch up on all the FIA has to say

Virgin territory

Virgin Racing is set to be officially unveiled next week in London after months of speculation about an agreement with newcomers Manor GP.

F1 Mar 2009

The team have Timo Glock signed up and will be using Cosworth power.

In other driver news, rumors still persist Mercedes is trying to make a deal with Michael Schumacher.

Germany's Bild newspaper is the latest to fan the flames, saying the team has offered the seven-time World Champion a one-year deal.

Who goes where? Keep up with the latest with the BBC's F1 2010 - driver line-ups.

Joint launch

F1's teams look set to try to jointly launch their 2010 challengers on the same day
, according to reports coming out of Monaco .

Mercedes' Nick Fry and Lotus' Tony Fernandes said their teams had agreed in principle to the event slated for the end of January at Valencia .

It remains to be seen if all the teams, especially the new ones, can have something ready in time.

"I won't have a car at that time. I could come with a Matchbox car," Fernandes said.

Silverstone set for 17 years

After losing the British Grand Prix to Donington, only to see Donington Ventures Leisure Limited fail to secure funding and put the race in jeopardy, Silverstone and Bernie Ecclestone agreed to a new 17-year deal to stage the race Monday.

"We've always had the belief the British Grand Prix was an important cornerstone of Formula One but, with Bernie, you're never quite sure," Silverstone managing director Richard Phillips said. "At the end of the day, though, you have to have a British Grand Prix."

Seemingly always under fire for the condition of the facilities, Silverstone plans several upgrades. The track says the long-term commitment the sport made to the track will enable it to get the investment it needs to compete with newer facilities. 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


Friday, December 4, 2009

Raikkonen heads to rally

Kimi Raikkonen has agreed to a deal with Citroen’s junior rally team for 2010.

Nesta Oil Rally of Finland - Day Two

The Finn is slated to take part in 12 of 13 events for the team. It is a one-year deal.

Raikkonen was impressive in his rally debut earlier this year before crashing out in spectacular fashion.

The BBC reports Citroen announced Raikkonen will pair with Kaj Lindstrom as co-driver. Lindstrom was Tommi Makinen’s co-driver in the 90s.

Renault considers multiple suitors

Renault is considering several bids to take over it’s F1 operation in addition to Prodrive, Jonathon Noble reports for AUTOSPORT.

The French concern held a meeting yesterday considering it’s F1 future.

Noble reports an organization led by businessmen Gerard Lopez may have the edge on David Richards’ company, despite feelings within the F1 team, due in part to Bernie Ecclestone’s blessing being given to Lopez’s Genii Capital company.

Renault is due to make a formal decision following a meeting next week.

Hildebrand pleased with testing debut

American J.R. Hildebrand was happy with how things turned out after his three-day test with Force India at Jerez.

Hildebrand completed a total of 142 laps during the test.

“Looking at it from a bit of a different perspective now that it's over, it's pretty incredible to have gotten the opportunity to drive a modern Formula 1 car,” Racer quotes the American.” I felt like I made the most of my time both in and out of the car over the last week, and am very satisfied with how things turned out... It was an amazing experience to work with the Force India team.”
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


Thursday, December 3, 2009

Sauber gets the nod

It took a while, but the FIA finally confirmed Sauber will get the 13th spot on the 2010 grid.

BMW Sauber F1 Team Car Launch 2008

The announcement confirms the team wil be sold back to founder Peter Sauber, who bought the team from BMW on the condition it would be approved.

The FIA published an official statement today.

Meanwhile, Renault was holding another meeting today concerning the team’s future.

According to the BBC, rumor has it the company is looking to pull back to being an engine supplier.

But what of the team? Prodrive’s David Richards may be in the fold.

“We cannot comment on the Renault situation, but it is well known that our intention is to get into F1,” a team spokesman is quoted by Reuters. “We proved our credentials earlier this year when we had a strong business case for an entry, but having had an engine deal with Mercedes-Benz in place we were not willing to sacrifice our competitiveness.”

Young driver test concludes

Daniel Ricciardo topped the final day at Jerez, which saw a third day of action for American JR Hildebrand in the Force India.

  1. Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull, 1:17.418
  2. Paul Di Resta, Force India, 1:18.736
  3. Gary Paffett, McLaren, 1:18.746
  4. Mike Conway, Brawn GP, 1:19.096
  5. Nico Hulkenberg, Williams, 1:19.226
  6. Bertrand Baguette, BMW Sauber, 1:19.356
  7. Oliver Turvey, McLaren, 1:19.358
  8. Marcus Ericsson, Brawn GP, 1:19.382
  9. Lucas di Grassi, Renault, 1:19.602
  10. JR Hildebrand, Force India, 1:19.873
  11. Pablo Sanchez Lopez, Ferrari, 1:21. 147
  12. Daniel Zampieri, Ferrari, 1:21.279
  13. Marco Zipoli, Ferrari, 1:21.725
  14. Brendon Hartley, Toro Rosso, 1:22.493
  15. Mirko Bortolotti, Toro Rosso, 1:23.271
  16. Ho-Pin Tung, Renault, 1:32.477
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


Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Day two at Jerez

F1 Young Drivers Testing - Day Two

The youngsters are back in action. Ferrari liked Bianchi so much they snapped him up.

  1. Gary Paffett, McLaren, 1:18.718
  2. Nico Hulkenberg, Williams, 1:19.184
  3. Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull, 1:19.243
  4. Paul Di Resta, Force India, 1:19.411
  5. Esteban Gutierrez, BMW Sauber, 1:20.190
  6. Mike Conway, Brawn GP, 1:20.222
  7. Marcus Ericsson, Brawn GP, 1:20.440
  8. JR Hildebrand, Force India, 1:20.517
  9. Jules Bianchi, Ferrari, 1:20.586
  10. Lucas di Grassi, Renault, 1:20.898
  11. Ho-Pin Tung, Renault, 1:21.492
  12. Mirko Bortolotti, Toro Rosso, 1:21.761

Oh, and if you were looking forward to a return of the French Grand Prix... well, it may be a while. 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


Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Young drivers, and Americans, at Jerez

F1 Young Drivers Testing - Day One

  1. Andy Soucek, Williams, 1:19.158
  2. Paul Di Resta, Force India, 1:19.369
  3. Gary Paffett, McLaren, 1:19.426
  4. Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull, 1:19.534
  5. Jules Bianchi, Ferrari, 1:19.626
  6. Mike Conway, Brawn GP, 1:19.920
  7. Alexander Rossi, BMW Sauber, 1:20.227
  8. Marcus Ericsson, Brawn GP, 1:20.333
  9. Bertrand Baguette, Renault, 1:20.511
  10. JR Hildebrand, Force India, 1:20.537
  11. Oliver Turvey, McLaren, 1:20.856
  12. Brendon Hartley, Toro Rosso, 1:21.325

F1 Young Drivers Testing - Day One
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


Monday, November 30, 2009

FIA releases entry list

F1 Mar 2009

The FIA posted its official entry list: Of note, Manor is listed as Virgin Racing, no Jaime Alguersuari and, as of yet, no Sauber. 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


Friday, November 27, 2009

BMW nixes Qadbank, sells team to Sauber

BMW canceled its deal with Qadbank Investments and has reached an agreement to sell the F1 team back to founder Peter Sauber.

Though yet to be confirmed as the 13th entry on the grid for 2010, it appears likely it will be on the list when the FIA publishes its official entries at the end of the month.


Sauber called it one of the worst days of his racing life when he could not reach a deal over the summer before the signing of the Concorde Agreement.

Interestingly, it was announced the Football League has reopened an investigation into Notts County football club, which is also owned by Qadbank Investments. There were rumbles in F1 circles concerning Qadbank Investments, but there is nothing to say that prompted BMW to reconsider.

"I am convinced that the new team has a very good future in F1, whose current transformation with new framework conditions will benefit the private teams," the BBC reports Sauber said. "It also means we can keep the Hinwil location and the majority of workplaces."

Canadian Grand Prix confirmed

It's official. The Canadian Grand Prix is back.

It is reported the five-year, $75-million deal revealed today includes $15 million in government money.

F1's return to North America is set for June 13 at the Gilles-Villeneuve circuit.

Sutil, Liuzzi confirmed

Force India has finalized its 2010 driver lineup, retaining both Adrian Sutil and Vitantonio Liuzzi.

"We are very pleased to retain the services of both Adrian and Tonio for another season," team owner Vijay Mallya said. "We have always maintained that consistency is key at this stage in the team's development and for the first time in many years we will have the continuity of not only the same drivers, but also the same engine and senior management."

Both drivers expressed optimism for the team's potential in 2010.

Sutil: "Next season I want to be in the points on a regular basis, maybe even challenging for the podium, and the team has exactly the same goals. We are going massively in the right direction so with our combined energies I'm confident we can achieve even more than last season."

Liuzzi: "I feel the five races I did in 2009 were a bit of a warm-up: get back racing, learn the car, get the feeling back. Now I've done that I feel ready to really push next season. We were pretty strong in the last part of the 2009 season so if we pick up where we stopped I think we could be in for a good year."

The team will test DTM's Paul di Resta and American JR Hildebrand in the beginning of December at Jerez, and will name a third driver in the coming weeks.

In other driver news…

Pedro de la Rosa, who has been linked to both Campos Meta and US F1, says he is still working toward a race seat in 2010, but is keeping his options open.

"I don't know what will happen after that. I don't know what team I will drive for or in what capacity," he is quoted by the EFE news agency. "I can happily stay at McLaren as a reserve driver, and I could do that while racing for another team, or just race for another team. I don't know, that's the answer."

Meanwhile, sources report Alex Wurz has ruled himself out of the Charlotte-based US F1 squad. And former Honda test driver Mike Conway looks set to run Mercedes GP at Jerez along with Japanese Formula 3 champion Marcus Ericsson.

Keep up with the F1 2010 - driver line-ups

Source: FOTA accepts Lotus and Manor

The Formula One Teams' Association (FOTA) has approved Lotus and Manor for membership, according to sources who spoke to Racer and AUTOSPORT magazines.

Campos Meta and Team US F1 have already been accepted into the organization.

VW looking to supply engines?

Volkswagen is seriously considering F1 as an engine supplier when rules change in 2012.

"If you're the world's largest manufacturer is natural that we're thinking about [Formula 1], but not before 2012," rep Hans-Joachim Stuck told AUTOSPORT. "We're looking for innovative things, and Formula 1 is the pinnacle of motorsport."

AUTOSPORT reports the company sees the direction engine rules are heading, especially the "world engine" option, as more attractive than team ownership. Stuck explained:

"Two years ago there was some talk that Volkswagen is going to buy the Red Bull F1 team, which we didn't need to buy. Why should we stick with one team if we can give our engines to more teams? If you buy Red Bull and Adrian Newey wants to go flying or fishing, the team is not successful any more. Look at BMW. They bought this multi-million dollar wind tunnel and a supercomputer and they now close the doors. Building an engine and providing it to a team is the best way."
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


Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Pair of Californians to get taste of F1

US F1 may be ruling out running Americans in its debut season, but a pair of youngsters are getting tests for other teams in early December.

21-year-old Indy Lights champion JR Hildebrand tries his hand in a Force India, joining DTM’s Paul di Resta at Jerez.

“As an American we don't necessarily have the culture of F1 but anything that's so impressive and cutting-edge demands respect. I hope I can do the car and myself justice.”

Meanwhile, highly rated teenager Alexander Rossi joins Esteban Gutierrez for ex-BMW Sauber as a reward for performances last season, despite BMW’s decision to leave the sport.

Mario Theissen explains:

“Depriving these junior drivers of the test we had promised them was not an option for us, even after the withdrawal of BMW from Formula One. BMW remains committed to motorsport and is keen to continue making a contribution to well-structured talent development.”

Learn more about the Young Americans:

Briatore goes to court

Flavio Briatore’s appeal against his lifetime ban from F1 begins today.

Disgraced Flavio Briatore faces possible exclusion from football after his Formula One ban
The Italian will likely not be present. It will be argued the procedures used in the original decision violated the FIA sporting code, as well as the laws of France.

Briatore is also seeking damages and an official publication of the ruling.

In addition to his F1 interests, Briatore’s role with Queens Park Rangers could be in jeopardy. Rules state an owner or director my not be “subject to a ban from involvement in the administration of a sport by a sports governing body.” 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


Monday, November 23, 2009

It’s official: Rosberg to Mercedes

Nico Rosberg has officially been announced as one of the drivers for the new Mercedes team.

While that much had been assumed when Rosberg announced he was leaving Williams in October, speculation has started to swirl over who his teammate will be.

Preview to the German F1 Grand Prix

It is thought Mercedes, despite its claims during negotiations with Jenson Button, are searching for an all-German lineup. Nick Heidfeld would seem to have the inside track.

But over the last few days another German’s name has been kicked about: Michael Schumacher. Due in no small part by his manager, Willi Weber, claiming he had met with Mercedes recently.

Comments by Brawn chief exec Nick Fry and Mercedes motorsport honcho Norbert Haug and reported by the BBC do little to calm the speculation.

Fry: “We are here today to talk about Nico and I think we should stick to that subject.”

Haug: “I fully understand that these speculations are ongoing as long as we do not announce who is driving the other car, but that's what we have to live with at the moment."

But Ross Brawn has moved to cool some of those rumors, telling the German Bild newspaper Schumacher to Mercedes was nothing more than a dream by members of the media.

Ex-BMW Sauber waits

Despite Toyota pullout from the sport, the team rescued from the ashes of BMW Sauber is still waiting for word whether it has a place on the grid in 2010, according to BMW motorsport director Mario Theissen.

“The situation has not changed. The team still does not have a grid slot. We expect to get one, but it is not done yet. Obviously the delay makes it difficult for negotiations with drivers and sponsors."

Should the team get the slot, it has been suggested Theissen could leave BMW to stay with the team, but he obviously will not make that decision until he knows there is a job.

“I will decide on it when the new team is safe and everything is sorted.”

Does US F1 have a driver?

Jose Maria Lopez says he has a drive with US F1 for 2010 if he can find the money.

The Argentine ex-Renault F1 test driver has spent the last few years driving the TC2000 sedan series in Argentina and had a few runs in the FIA GT Championship in 2008. Prior to that he ran Formula 3000 and GP2 between 2004 and 2006.

Lopez says he met with Peter Windsor and Ken Anderson in Charlotte in a statement on his Web site.

Williams and Head sell part of F1 team

Frank Williams and Patrick Head have sold a minority stake in the F1 team to an investment company led by Austrian Toto Wolff.

Ex-racer Wolff runs investment companies involved in a wide range of motor sports, including DTM and Rally, and co-owns a company with Mika Hakkinen that manages young drivers. 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


Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Button to McLaren; Raikkonen on sabbatical

Jenson Button has signed on to team up with Lewis Hamilton at McLaren while Kimi Raikkonen has decided to take the year off.

Jenson Button Celebrates Virgin Media's SpeedWeek50

World champion Button's decision to leave Brawn was widely expected since the announcement Mercedes had purchased the constructor's champion and was looking to install an all-German lineup.

In Hamilton, Button faces a stiff challenge to repeat in the driver's championship, but in the end, the lure of McLaren was too much for the Englishman.

"I've followed the McLaren team ever since I was a small boy, and it feels unbelievable to finally be a part of it," the BBC quotes Button. "When I visited the McLaren Technology Centre earlier this month, it wasn't simply the technical resources and the incredible standards of excellence that impressed me. No, I was equally struck by the ambition, the motivation and the winning spirit that flow through everybody there. And then there's the team's epic history: put it this way, the trophy cabinets seem to stretch for miles."

Additionally, it was reported McLaren's offer was twice what Brawn/Mercedes were offering.

Nico Rosberg and Nick Heidfeld look likely for Mercedes' 2010 lineup.

Kimi Raikkonen had been in negotiations to join his old team, but talks broke down over salary, which prompted the Finn to announce he will take the year off.

F1 Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi - Race

"They couldn't afford him," manager David Robertson said, according to the BBC. "It wasn't in his interests to race for what they were offering so he's going to go rallying instead."

When asked how he will deal with the change, Robertson said the former world champion took it in stride.

"He's one of those guys who moves on quickly - he just said 'now we concentrate on rallying'.
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


Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Glock signs up with Manor

Newbies Manor Grand Prix have signed Toyota refuge Timo Glock to a two year deal, with an option for a third.

The BBC reports he will likely partner with Lucas di Grassi, while rumors still suggest Manor will run as Virgin F1 in its 2010 debut.

F1 Grand Prix of Belgium - Qualifying

“It might seem like a brave step,” Glock said on his Web site. “But there are many good reasons to join this team. For me as a driver, for example, it was important that I was assured I would be involved in the development of the team and the car. The car is being designed by Nick Wirth. That was another argument in the team’s favour as far as I was concerned. Nick Wirth has a lot of race car design experience and a very good reputation. You only need to look at the Acura ARX-02a to see what he and his team can do. That prototype was immediately successful in the American Le Mans Series despite not spending a single hour in a wind tunnel. It is a sensational car!”

Glock missed the last three races of the 2009 season due to injury, but has shown spurts of promise in his F1 career.

“It has always been my recommendation that we have at least one driver with experience of the 2009 cars to help our development programme,” Wirth is quoted by the BBC. “But to get a driver that has not only achieved podium finishes in 2009 but has such proven talent and the potential to take us forward for many years is very exciting... We just can't wait to get Timo into the new car once track testing begins next year.”

Button watch

Jenson Button looks a step closer to moving to McLaren, as talks between the Woking team and Kimi Raikkonen have broken down over salary demands, according to a report by AUTOSPORT.

Sources told the publication Button will likely commit to the team in the next few days. 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


Monday, November 16, 2009

It's official: Mercedes buys into Brawn

Putting to rest weeks of speculation, auto giant Mercedes has bought a major stake in Brawn GP.

BEL: Cars On Display At The International Show

The team will now be known as Mercedes Grand Prix and sport the Silver Arrows livery. Otherwise, officials say they won’t be wholesale changes at the team, Ross Brawn will remain at the helm.

What that means for the future of Jenson Button with the squad should be determined in the next few days. The team is still negotiating with the World Champion, but his asking price has yet to be met.

The team are thought to already have Nico Rosberg on the books, and rumors say Nick Heidfeld or Timo Glock are possibilities to join him.

Indeed, according to the BBC, Norbert Haug said the team was in talks with Heidfeld.

Mercedes was quick to shoot down rumors it is looking for a German-only lineup, however.

"We are talking (with Button) and that's why we cannot announce the driver line-up," Haug said. "We have to accept that speculation takes place, but that's the name of the game. This will be an international team - Mercedes-Benz is a global player. We definitely do not want to have a pure German team. It's an international team and we want to have the best drivers in the car."

F1 Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi - Race

Button has been considering his options. He met with McLaren Friday, touring the team’s Woking facility, and looks to have the inside track to pair up with Lewis Hamilton next season.

He isn’t the only candidate, with Kimi Raikkonen’s name being kicked around as well. But is is believed Button is the preferred choice, with McLaren ready to offer double what Brawn had put on the table for the Englishman, according to reports.

Button wants to have a car capable of bringing him a championship, but one has to wonder should McLaren have that car next year, why the advantage wouldn’t be for Hamilton?

The other big question? What of McLaren’s future plans?

McLaren will not be left high and dry. Mercedes renewed the team’s engine deal for at least six more years.

McLaren will repurchase Mercedes’ 40 percent share incrementally through 2011.

The team will remain Vodafone McLaren Mercedes, with the Germans providing a free engine supply and sponsorship.

Ron Dennis said the new agreement will bring the team independence, calling it a win-win for all involved.

Read more

By the numbers

Brawn and chief executive Nick Fry will retain a 24.9% share. The remaining 75.1% will be split between Mercedes, which will own 45.1% and Aabar Investments, which will own 30%.


In other news...

Lotus signs driver, won’t reveal who

Lotus F1 has confirmed it has signed a driver for next season, but has not said who.

Team principal Tony Fernandes made the announcement via Twitter.

“One Malaysia Formula One team aka Lotus has signed its first driver, Public announcement soon. The dream continues.”

Jarno Trulli has been rumored, unless he decides to go NASCAR. The team is also thought to be high on Japanese rookie Kamui Kobayashi.

It would be the second driver signed by one of the newbies, with Campos already having inked a deal with Bruno Senna.

Flav calls FIA hearing a “sham”

Flavio Briatore has accused the FIA of holding secret negotiations before his hearing in September which banned him from the sport.

“The FIA neglects to mention that, according to declarations by one of its own vice-presidents to the media, the world council's decision was rather the outcome of secret negotiations on the eve of the sham hearing.”

The Guardian reports the Italian is seeking €1m in damages.

His appeal will be heard November 24 in Paris.

The FIA, which deplored leaks around the case last week, refused further comment pending the appeal.

Bulgaria out, Czech Republic in?

While Bulgaria appears to have scrapped plans to host a grand prix, the Czech Republic has joined the list of nations looking to get on the calendar.

Plans call for a Prague street circuit. Hermann Tilke is already involved, which would seem to be a good sign. DTM in 2012 is the current target, with plans to lure F1.

"F1 is the ambition," local promoter Toni Charouz told AUTOSPORT. "If we put on a good show with the DTM, then maybe we can have a grand prix, but we've got nothing on paper yet."
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


Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Court rejects team selection claims

N.Technology's case against the FIA regarding team selection for the 2010 season has been rejected by a French court.

N.Technology was one of the teams passed over for one of the three new slots on the grid, and argued there were irregularities in the process. Often noted -- all the new entries chose to use Cosworth power.

Campos Meta, US F1 and Manor Grand Prix were selected, with Lotus also gaining entry after BMW Sauber missed the Concorde Agreement deadline (by that time, N.Technology withdrawn its application).

The official verdict will be made public later this week.

Buemi stays at STR

Sebastien Buemi will get a second season at Toro Rosso.

F1 Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi - Qualifying

A team spokesman confirmed to the BBC the Swiss driver has been signed for 2010 after Buemi himself revealed the deal Sunday.

"We have re-signed Buemi for next season, but we have not yet signed Jaime."

Buemi notched eight points for 16th in the championship.

"I had some contact with other teams because of my good results at the end of the season," Buemi told Swiss television. "Toyota could have been a possibility because they had not yet hired any drivers. That was not the only one, and anyway I was always talking with Red Bull. Finally I signed with Toro Rosso for 2010."

Alguersuari is expected to be retained, if quotes by team boss Franz Tost are to be believed.

"Dietrich Mateschitz bought this team to give young drivers a chance, and this is our philosophy," Tost is quoted by the BBC. "We have to stick to this philosophy, and I'm quite confident that from the middle of next year onwards we will have a good driver line-up, because then Alguersuari will know all the tracks, and Buemi is increasing his performance already. The last few races were quite good. Alguersuari is also improving his performance, and so far I'm quite optimistic about the future."


Jarno Trulli has a test coming up with Michael Waltrip Racing.

The Italian says the test is just for fun, but the team is taking the test seriously. Steve Hallam, ex-McLaren and director of competition for the NASCAR squad, believes Trulli or Mika Salo could very easily be successful in the series, comparing them to Juan Pablo Montoya.

Montoya is currently running sixth in the Chase for the Cup, his best season since moving to the series.

Trulli will run November 16-17 at New Smyrna Speedway in Florida. 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


Saturday, November 7, 2009

Force India, Lotus and Mike Gascoyne

Force India is keeping a watchful eye over the development of fledgling Lotus' 2010 car after seeing photographs of the team's wind tunnel model.

F1 Grand Prix of China - Qualifying

Two things the teams have in common? Former wind tunnel Aerolab and Mike Gascoyne.

The team believes Lotus has copied the front wing it used at the beginning of the season, and that the model was fitted with tires bearing handwriting belonging to employees of the Indian squad, AUTOSPORT reports.

Gascoyne defended the development process, subcontracted to Fondtech.

"Some of the staff had been working on different projects. And whereas you cannot copy anything or take anyone else's IP, you can use your expertise - and you will base that on what you know and what directions you know have been happening. That is what has happened."

Aerolab denied it has passed along information, and claims instead Force India is trying to draw attention away from the company's suit against Vijay Mallya's concern.

"These rumours are designed only to tarnish the company's reputation and professionalism and to divert attention away from the facts. The truth is that Aerolab is suing Force India for not fulfilling its obligations."

Renault: Go/no-go announcement by the end of the year

Renault's Carlos Ghosn told the F1 world it will have to wait for a decision on whether the French team will stay in the sport, Reuters reports.

"You will have to be patient."

Three courses of action seem to be on the table: Stay in as a manufacturer team, scale back to being an engine supplier, or pull out completely.

When Toyota pulled out at the beginning of the week, the FIA made noise about "clarifying" the team's obligations to the sport after signing the Concorde Agreement last summer. It may be Renault is waiting to see how that works out before announcing a decision.

Williams expects good things with Cosworth

Despite Cosworth's having been away from the sport since 2006, Williams technical director Sam Michael told AUTOSPORT he believes the team will have a competitive engine in 2010.

"Cosworth has got two big hurdles. Fuel consumption is critical with no refuelling, and their target for the winter is to improve that. The other is reliability. Everyone has accumulated three years of running on their engines while Cosworth has been out and gained thousands of kilometres of knowledge."

Alonso in Maranello

Fernando Alonso met with mechanics, Stefano Domenicali and Luca di Montezemolo in his first visit to Ferrari HQ this week.

Alonso will be cleared to test with the team when the winter test ban expires. In the meantime, after checking in on the 2010 car's development in the wind tunnel and having a seat fitting, the Spaniard drove Fiorano in a 458 Italia sportscar. 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


Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Toyota leaves F1

Concerns over Toyota's commitment to Formula 1 were answered today as the company announced its immediate withdraw from the sport.

F1 Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi - Race

"TMC (Toyota Motor Corporation), which had viewed its participation in F1 as contributing to the prosperity of automotive culture, remained dedicated to competing at the pinnacle of motor sports even in the face of the abrupt economic changes that started last year," the team said in a statement. "However, when considering TMC's motorsports actitives next year and beyond from a comprehensive mid-term viewpoint reflecting the current severe economic realities, TMC decided to withdraw from F1"

While the company had been rumored to be on the bubble for some time, the decision still had an element of surprise about it. Much of that may be due to the team signing the Concorde Agreement, tying it to the sport through 2012.

This would seem to assure BMW Sauber's buyers of a place on the 2010 grid. Whether that will be a 26-car grid remains to be seen. AUTOSPORT reports Renault is discussing its F1 future today as well.

Kolles officially out at Force India

Colin Kolles has severed ties with Force India, AUTOSPORT reports.

The veteran of Midland and Spyker was replaced as team principal by owner Vijay Mallya last year, but had been serving in a director position.

The team thanked Kolles in a statement.

Silly season

While Toyota's exit changes things a bit, grandprix.com has an interesting analysis of Who goes where in 2010? 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


Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Williams confirms 2010 drivers

As promised, Williams named its 2010 lineup Monday, with Rubens Barrichello joining from Brawn GP and test driver Nico Hulkenberg making the step up from GP2, where he is the reigning champion.

Nico Hulkenberg , Test Driver Williams F1 Team during testing in Spain

F1 Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi - Previews

The duo replace Nico Rosberg, likely to take Barrichello's slot at Brawn, and Kazumi Nakajima, destination unknown.

Rosberg made it known before the finale he was departing, Nakajima's departure seemed certain after Williams announced it was dropping Toyota power for Cosworth. Nakajima has a close relationship with Toyota.

"Nico Rosberg and Kazuki Nakajima remain our drivers until the end of 2009 and I would like to take this opportunity to thank them for their contribution to the team," Williams said on the team Web site. "Nico and Kazuki have represented AT&T Williams and our partners with dedication, discipline and skill and we wish them every success with their future endeavours."

Ross Brawn had kind words for Barrichello in a message on the Brawn GP Web site, who made a strong run for the championship this season and logged his 300th race as an F1 driver during his four-year stint with the team.

"We are very pleased for Rubens that he will be driving in Formula One once again next year… 2009 was a very special season for Brawn GP and I am extremely proud of the spirit in which our drivers Rubens and Jenson fought for the Drivers Championship… We wish Rubens the very best with his new team and thank him for his contribution to Brawn GP this year."

New rubber for 2011

Bridegstone announced Monday it is withdrawing from F1 when its current contract runs out at the end of 2010.

"Over the years, the company has benefited directly from its involvement in Formula One racing. The lessons learned through Bridgestone’s successful participation have translated into innovations that can be applied to the design and manufacture of high performance tyres," the company says in a statement on its Web site. "In addition, its collaboration with F1 has contributed to increased brand awareness and the recognition of Bridgestone as a leader in the global tyre industry. Having achieved these goals, Bridgestone is now poised to take its technological and brand building efforts to the next level."

The company has been involved in the sport since 1997.

Trulli wants GPDA guidelines for stewards

Jarno Trulli is calling for the Grand Prix Drivers' Association to set guidelines for stewards to follow when judging incidents.

This follows the Italian's continued criticism of Adrian Sutil following their first-lap clash at Interlagos.

Recent comments from Nico Rosberg questioning the lack of penalties regarding aggressive driving by other drivers in Brazil have added fuel to Trulli's fire.

"I think we have to generally talk about safety inside the GPDA, that was the feeling of lots of drivers," ITV-F1 quotes the veteran. "For me, the accident is over, and I don't have any problem with anyone. I think we really have to stick together and talk, and maybe give the FIA some guidelines in order to judge us better."

Trulli stressed his motivation wasn't the incident with Sutil, or their exchange of words in last week's press conference.

"At the moment it seems like people tend to concentrate only on my accident because of what has been said, but I didn't come here to fight. It was only after I'd cooled down, I just tried to reflect and see if what happened was wrong or right, and to understand the anatomy of the accident. I think if you're a mature driver, you can talk with someone else and be cool, and without using bad words, but clearly that was not the case."
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


Sunday, November 1, 2009

Vettel triumphant as sun sets on 2009 season

Sebastian Vettel won the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Sunday ahead of teammate Mark Webber, nailing down second place in the drivers championship in the final race of the 2009 season.

F1 Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi - Race

Getting by a dominating Lewis Hamilton in the first round of stops, Vettel cruised to victory as twilight turned to night at the Yas Marina Circuit.

Hamilton had led from the start, but after losing the lead to Vettel, he was forced to retire with a brake problem, an oddly fitting end to a disappointing season for the Briton.

That put Webber into second, and the Australian held off a charging Jenson Button in the closing laps of the race to secure second on the podium. The newly-crowned world champion was third.

Final races of the season are filled with farewells. Rubens Barrichello, likely in his last race for Brawn, finished fourth. Nick Heidfeld was fifth in the final race for this version of BMW Sauber, perhaps ever.

But it is also a time for drivers to stake claims to race seats, and that is what impressive rookie Kamui Kobayashi did by claiming his first points for Toyota, taking sixth ahead of veteran Jarno Trulli (who is likely on his way out).

Toro Rosso’s Sebastien Buemi took the final point.

Retirements were few, only Jaime Alguersuari joining Hamilton. A gearbox was blamed, but one had to wonder if mistakenly stopping at sister squad Red Bull’s pit box for refueling may have resulted in the young Spaniard running dry.

So, with the last race of the season in the books, McLaren takes third in the constructors championship, while Heidfeld’s points vaulted BMW Sauber ahead of Williams for sixth. In the drivers, behind Button and Vettel, Barrichello holds on to third and Mark Webber finished the season fourth.

Major changes are in store for next year. New teams on the expanded grid, BMW Sauber’s future uncertain, Alonso’s Ferrari debut, refueling out the window, and the abandonment of KERS just a few of the wild cards. It should make things plenty interesting in the months leading up to the 2010 season opener March 14th in Bahrain.

Abu Dhabi Grand Prix - 55 laps
  1. Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull-Renault
  2. Mark Webber, Red Bull-Renault
  3. Jenson Button, Brawn-Mercedes
  4. Rubens Barrichello, Brawn-Mercedes
  5. Nick Heidfeld, BMW Sauber
  6. Kamui Kobayashi, Toyota
  7. Jarno Trulli, Toyota
  8. Sebastien Buemi, Toro Rosso-Ferrari
  9. Nico Rosberg, Williams-Toyota
  10. Robert Kubica, BMW Sauber
  11. Heikki Kovalainen, McLaren-Mercedes
  12. Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari
  13. Kazuki Nakajima, Williams-Toyota
  14. Fernando Alonso, Renault
  15. Vitantonio Liuzzi, Force India-Mercedes
  16. Giancarlo Fisichella, Ferrari, 1 lap
  17. Adrian Sutil, Force India-Mercedes, 1 lap
  18. Romain Grosjean, Renault, 1 lap
  • Lewis Hamilton, McLaren-Mercedes, 20 laps, Brakes
  • Jaime Alguersuari, Toro Rosso-Ferrari, 18 laps, Gearbox

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


Saturday, October 31, 2009

Hamilton on pole in Abu Dhabi

Outgoing world champion Lewis Hamilton took pole for the inaugural Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, holding off the Red Bulls of Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber at the Yas Marina Circuit.

F1 Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi - Qualifying

Rubens Barrichello starts fourth and Jenson Button fifth in the Brawns. The BMW Saubers ended up at respectable seventh and eight in BMW's final race in F1, just behind the Toyota of Jarno Trulli in what is likely his last race for the Japanese manufacturer.

Among other drivers on the move, Kimi Raikkonen missed out on Q3, and will star 11th in his Ferrari swansong. He starts next to Toyota rookie Kamui Kobayashi. Nico Rosberg starts ninth in his last race for Williams, while Kazuki Nakajima, also exiting, slots into 12th.

A gearbox problem cost Heikki Kovalainen his chance in Q2, and a subsequent change sees him start 18th. Giancarlo Fisichella brings up the rear in his last race subbing for the injured Felipe Massa.

Like tomorrow's race, qualifying took place in the twilight. The weather forecast is calling for warm and dry, and the first Abu Dhabi Grand Prix looks set to be a fitting finale to the season.

Grid and pre-race weights
  1. Lewis Hamilton, McLaren, 658.5kg
  2. Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, 663
  3. Mark Webber, Red Bull, 660
  4. Rubens Barrichello, Brawn GP, 655
  5. Jenson Button, Brawn GP, 657
  6. Jarno Trulli, Toyota, 661
  7. Robert Kubica, BMW Sauber, 654.5
  8. Nick Heidfeld, BMW Sauber, 664
  9. Nico Rosberg, Williams, 665
  10. Sebastien Buemi, Toro Rosso, 661.5
  11. Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari, 692
  12. Kamui Kobayashi, Toyota, 694.3
  13. Kazuki Nakajima, Williams, 704
  14. Jaime Alguersuari, Toro Rosso, 696.5
  15. Fernando Alonso, Renault, 708.3
  16. Vitantonio Liuzzi, Force India, 695
  17. Adrian Sutil, Force India, 696
  18. Heikki Kovalainen, McLaren, 697*
  19. Romain Grosjean, Renault, 710.8
  20. Giancarlo Fisichella, Ferrari, 692.5

*Heikki Kovalainen received a five-place grid penalty due to a gearbox change

Senna name set to return to the grid in 2010

Bruno Senna, nephew of Ayrton, has been confirmed by newcomers Campos Meta for 2010.

News first broke on Senna's Twitter page Friday:

"I'd like to thank God, my family, friends and all of my supporters!"

The team confirmed the deal in a statement Saturday.

"For Campos Meta it is an extraordinary honour to return the name of Senna to Formula One," Campos Meta's Enrique Rodriguez de Castro is quoted on the official formula one Web site.
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


Friday, October 30, 2009

Kovalainen Friday's fastest in Abu Dhabi

Heikki Kovalainen set Friday's fastest time at the brand new Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi, edging teammate Lewis Hamilton with a 1:41.307 in the second session.

F1 Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi - Practice

Jenson Button was third on a day of domination for Mercedes power.

Hamilton had led the morning practice, the outgoing world champion topping the newly crowned one. Sebastian Vettel was third in the Red Bull.

Young Kamui Kobayashi continued to impress, fifth fastest on the day while subbing for Timo Glock.

A quiet morning session gave way to a more adventurous afternoon, but while several drivers went off course, no serious were of note. Temperatures were on the hot side, and combined with Formula One's first twilight race, it should prove an interesting spectacle to end the season.

First session
  1. Lewis Hamilton, McLaren – Mercedes, 1:43.939
  2. Jenson Button , Brawn - Mercedes, 1:44.035
  3. Sebastian Vettel, RedBull - Renault, 1:44.153
  4. Rubens Barrichello, Brawn - Mercedes, 1:44.207
  5. Nick Heidfeld, BMW Sauber, 1:44.667
  6. Sebastien Buemi, Toro Rosso-Ferrari, 1:44.687
  7. Adrian Sutil, Force India-Mercedes, 1:44.688
  8. Mark Webber, RedBull - Renault, 1:44.805
  9. Jaime Alguersuari, Toro Rosso-Ferrari, 1:44.955
  10. Jarno Trulli, Toyota, 1:44.958
  11. Robert Kubica, BMW Sauber, 1:44.988
  12. Heikki Kovalainen, McLaren - Mercedes, 1:45.123
  13. Nico Rosberg, Williams - Toyota, 1:45.649
  14. Kazuki Nakajima, Williams - Toyota, 1:45.679
  15. Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari, 1:45.704
  16. Fernando Alonso, Renault, 1:45.865
  17. Vitantonio Liuzzi, Force India-Mercedes, 1:46.239
  18. Giancarlo Fisichella, Ferrari, 1:46.267
  19. Kamui Kobayashi, Toyota, 1:46.364
  20. Romain Grosjean, Renault, 1:46.411
Second session
  1. Heikki Kovalainen, McLaren-Mercedes, 1:41.307
  2. Lewis Hamilton, McLaren - Mercedes, 1:41.504
  3. Jenson Button, Brawn - Mercedes, 1:41.541
  4. Sebastian Vettel, RedBull - Renault, 1:41.591
  5. Kamui Kobayashi, Toyota, 1:41.636
  6. Sebastien Buemi, Toro Rosso-Ferrari, 1:41.683
  7. Mark Webber, RedBull - Renault, 1:41.684
  8. Rubens Barrichello, Brawn - Mercedes, 1:41.831
  9. Nico Rosberg, Williams - Toyota, 1:41.931
  10. Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari, 1:41.987
  11. Adrian Sutil, Force India-Mercedes, 1:42.180
  12. Kazuki Nakajima, Williams - Toyota, 1:42.245
  13. Nick Heidfeld, BMW Sauber, 1:42.278
  14. Jarno Trulli, Toyota, 1:42.409
  15. Vitantonio Liuzzi, Force India-Mercedes, 1:42.530
  16. Fernando Alonso, Renault, 1:42.782
  17. Giancarlo Fisichella, Ferrari, 1:42.932
  18. Romain Grosjean, Renault, 1:43.021
  19. Jaime Alguersuari, Toro Rosso-Ferrari, 1:43.022
  20. Robert Kubica, BMW Sauber, 1:43.708


Williams goes with Cosworth

Frank Williams confirmed the team has signed a three-year deal to use Cosworth power.

Williams had considered going with Renault, but opted for the storied engine builder instead, which is returning to the sport for the first time since 2006, citing independence.

"We will be not under the influence, not that Toyota ever bossed [us] around, but we've just gone a private and independent route," Gulf News quotes Williams.

Williams is also expected to name drivers next week. It was revealed Nico Rosberg was leaving the team, and Kazuki Nakajima was tied to Toyota.

Rubens Barrichello and Nico Hulkenberg look to be locks.

US F1 selects European base

The US F1 Team announced it has selected MotorLand Aragon in Spain as its base in Europe, the official Formula One Web site reports.

"MotorLand Aragon is the ideal motorsports complex for our European operation," said sporting director Peter Windsor. "From the excellent location and weather, to the rich racing heritage and diverse track configurations, MotorLand provides America’s first Formula One team in more than 40 years with the perfect facility to manage the 2010 season and train for 2011 and beyond."

"MotorLand is the only facility of its kind in Europe and we’re thrilled to call it our European home,” added Ken Anderson, team principal. "Between the Formula One-inspired, Tilke-designed road course and accompanying circuits, as well as the elaborate amenities of the leisure and cultural area, MotorLand is truly the perfect complex for US F1, from both competitive and business perspectives."
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


Thursday, October 29, 2009

Rosberg's last race with Williams

Nico Rosberg confirmed he is leaving Williams at the end of the season, the BBC reporting he is expected to swap seats with Brawn GP's Rubens Barrichello.

F1 Grand Prix of Belgium - Qualifying

"It is my last race for Williams so it's a bit strange," Rosberg is quoted. "I've been with the team for five years… There's no reason why they (Williams) can't be as good as this year (next year). But I'm not sure they can win races at the moment, and I would like to win races."

Long thought to be a candidate to team with Lewis Hamilton at McLaren, the landscape would seem to have changed based on Mercedes' interest in purchasing a stake in Brawn. It is thought the manufacturer wants a German driver in the team.

Should such a deal go through, Mercedes will likely sell its 40 percent of McLaren.

Donington done

Bernie Ecclestone says there is now no chance Donington will host next year's British Grand Prix.

"There's no Donington. They've missed the deadline which we kept extending for them," AUTOSPORT quotes Ecclestone. "It's unfortunate for them, to be honest with you. It was the credit crunch that caused them to be in trouble because their intentions were good, that's for sure."

Ecclestone is now talking with Silverstone about hosting the event.

"We're talking. A deal can be done if they want to."

Trulli's still mad

Despite pretty much everyone calling it a racing incident, Jarno Trulli has refused to let his first-lap tangle with Adrian Sutil at Interlagos go.

The first round, trackside after the crash, resulted in a $10,000 fine for Trulli. The Italian took another run at the Force India driver at Thursday's press conference:

Q: (Ian Parkes - The Press Association) Question to Jarno and Adrian: I’m just wondering if you two guys have settled your differences after your exchange of words following your first lap accident in Brazil?

Jarno Trulli: I think we’re going to discuss it probably tomorrow in the drivers’ briefing and in the GPDA briefing. Obviously it was very disappointing to end the race like that, especially on the first lap. Obviously I think I had every reason to be extremely furious. I’ve got all the evidence to show that I was there, I was next to him, so I think tomorrow we are going to discuss it.

Adrian Sutil: I think there’s nothing to discuss. It was a quite obvious incident. In the end it was very disappointing for myself, even more, I think, because I was the one who was just driving and he lost control of his car and crashed in my back, so it was not my problem, it was his problem. I don’t know why he’s freaking out like that, to be honest.

JT: (Laughing) If you want, I can show you some pictures. I don’t know if you’re blind but they clearly show you that my front wing is next to your front wing, so…

AS: Yeah, but you’re trying to overtake me on the outside on the kerbing. There was not a problem…

JT: So you mean… you didn’t move there…

AS: No, you were just not going off the power. The same happened in Barcelona where you lost control again and crashed again into a Force India car. You just have to sometimes also…

JT: I just lost…

AS: ...expect the limits of the car. If there’s no way to go, you have to back off, that’s how racing is, and I don’t know how long you want to learn it.

JT: In Barcelona I spun and he hit me because he tapped the kerb, he completely cut the circuit and he didn’t slow down, so basically… Anyway, I think it’s better…

Fernando Alonso: (to Kimi Raikkonen) Shall we go?

AS: No, no. Watch the race in Barcelona. I didn’t hit you, you hit me. I don’t know what’s the problem, but maybe your eyes are a problem.

JT: I don’t have any feeling about him.

AS: I don’t understand, really, sorry.


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


Virtual lap of Abu Dhabi

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


Tuesday, October 27, 2009

NASCAR team plays down Busch to F1 rumors

US F1 may be interested in Kyle Busch, but his NASCAR team has played down the idea the star could move to the squad when his contract runs out after 2010.

Kansas Lottery 300

In a story in USA Today last week, US F1 sporting director Peter Windsor talked openly of his interest in the Joe Gibbs Racing driver.

"If he wanted to drive for us in 2011, we'd certainly be keen on that. I think there'll be a lot of speculation about that as time goes on. If I was Kyle, I'd be saying to myself, yeah, those guys all talk the talk, let's see what they do, let's see what the car's like. Let's see what the race shop is like. Fair enough. We're going to do a good job. I know when Kyle gets to see it, I'm pretty sure it'll get his pulse rate going."

Busch's team, through a spokesman, has said there is nothing to the talk, and Busch himself says he has yet to have direct contact from anyone within the fledgling F1 team.

"I have not been talked to, no," Busch is quoted by SpeedTV.com. "I don’t know if (Jeff) Dickerson (business manager and spotter) has or not. I toss the idea around — it’s definitely something I wouldn’t shoot down but I don’t think it’s the right time yet in my career and where I’m at. I’m happy with where I’m at."

Busch said in February he might be willing to take a crack at F1 if he could first win a NASCAR championship.

US F1's stated goal is two American drivers, but the complete lack of American drivers with F1 superlicenses means the team will likely do without when it makes its debut.

That is something Windsor hopes to change.

"I don't want to be arrogant about it, but I feel confident I can find, with the help of others, a Nigel Mansell in the United States," USA Today quotes Windsor. "We can see the drivers who have the right touch, feel, suppleness and mental approach to be worthy of being a world champion."

Glock's season over

Toyota has announced the injured Timo Glock will sit out the season ender in Abu Dhabi.

As he did in Brazil, Kamui Kobayashi will fill in.

Glock suffered a cracked vertebra and a cut leg in a qualifying crash at Suzuka.

Donington deadline passes, British GP back in doubt

Donington Park's deadline to prove it had funding to stage next year's British Grand Prix has passed, putting the future of the race in doubt.

Silverstone in angling to reclaim the event, but despite saying earlier in the year the race was a definite, F1 ringmaster Bernie Ecclestone seems to have changed his tune.

"I want a British Grand Prix, of course, but we are not going to do special rates for Britain," The BBC quotes Ecclestone. "If they [Silverstone] can't make it work then don't do it. If that happens, there won't be a British Grand Prix. Simple as that."

Renault's long-term exit strategy?

Grandprix.com discusses talk Renault is looking to sell it's F1 team at the end of the current Concorde agreement by offering part of the squad up to a shareholder now with an option to buy in the future. 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


Friday, October 23, 2009

Todt elected

Former Ferrari boss Jean Todt was elected president of the FIA Friday, soundly defeating rival Ari Vatanen 135-49.

F1 Grand Prix of Singapore - Previews

Todt was Max Mosley's choice to succeed him.

The FIA's official statement

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


Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Williams not alone opposing grid expansion

Williams CEO Adam Parr has gone on record saying more than just Williams have come out in opposition to expanding the field to 28 cars to make space for Sauber.

F1 Grand Prix of Japan - Practice

"Frank has been crystal clear on this," AUTOSPORT quotes Parr. "He feels very strongly about it, but he's not the only one. At the last FOTA meeting it was not the only team that raised concerns, and it was not the only team that voted against 14 teams."

Key to the opposition says Parr, is the lack of research as to the implications of accommodating two more cars on the grid, including logistics and revenue.

Parr believes no work has been carried out to check if it would be logistically possible to make room for four new teams next year, and he is convinced there would not be enough revenue to share among them.

He cited Brazil and Monaco as two tracks incapable of holding 28 cars.

Parr also made it clear the team is against the concept of pre-qualifying.

"No, because then people will start saying we need to pre-qualify, which is completely ludicrous. The idea, in this day and age, to have a team flying all the way to Melbourne or somewhere at massive expense, only to tell their sponsors that they are not going to appear on the grid. It's just ridiculous."

Other teams have acknowledged the difficulties involved in adding a 14th team, but are keen to help save Sauber.

Button in talks with Brawn

Newly-crowned World Champion Jenson Button is in talks over his future with Brawn GP, indicating he wants to stay with the team.

"I'm not going to look for another team just because they say they'll pay me a load of money. I want to be with Brawn, we've not discussed a contract yet and it was right not to do so because we had to focus on winning a world championship," AUTOSPORT quotes Button. "Now we can discuss it in a few days. I'm certainly going to put some pressure on them but I'm not that expensive."

Toyota makes offer to Raikkonen

Toyota has confirmed it made an offer to departing Ferrari driver Kimi Raikkonen.

“We don't play too many games. We put on the table what we can afford and what we think is a serious offer in the current market,” said team president John Howett, according to Reuters. “I think genuinely we could work well with him, give him a car that’s quick.”

Raikkonen has been tied to a return to McLaren, but Howett has hinted Toyota may better suit the Finn's lifestyle.

“We have had very good relationships with Scandinavian drivers in the rallying times that enjoy life and it works very well, so we could cope with it as a team,” he said.

It is thought Toyota is aiming to replace Jarno Trulli, who hasn't been happy with the current offer on the table.

Timo Glock is not yet secure, either. And rookie Kamui Kobayashi did a good job subbing for the German in Brazil.

Briatore appeal set

Flavio Briatore's appeal against his lifetime ban is set to be heard in French court November 24.

Briatore is challenging on grounds including "procedural issues, a breach of natural justice and an abuse of the FIA’s power" according to ITV-F1. 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


Sunday, October 18, 2009

Webber wins; Button, Brawn lock up titles in Brazil

Throughout the second half of this Formula One season, many were asking for Jenson Button to drive like a champion. In Brazil, that’s exactly what he did, coming from 14th on the grid to finish fifth and take the 2009 drivers championship.

F1 Grand Prix of Brazil - Race

Fifth and eighth from Rubens Barrichello were enough to clinch the constructors title for Brawn, as well, capping off a storybook season for a team left for dead last December when Honda announced it was leaving the sport.

Not to be lost in the shuffle, Mark Webber drove a brilliant race to win his second of the season. Robert Kubica was second in the BMW Sauber, and Lewis Hamilton came from 17th on the grid to take the final podium spot.

Button was on it from the start, benefitting from some first lap shenanigans to jump to ninth by the end of the lap. Jarno Trulli, Adrian Sutil and Fernando Alonso all saw their races come to a premature end.

A furious Trulli was all over Sutil when they got out of the cars, though an investigation ruled it a racing incident. The stewards did not take kindly to Trulli’s actions, however, reprimanding and fining him for ‘failing to leave the track as required by the marshals immediately after the incident and aggressively confronting Sutil.’

Heikki Kovalainen and Kimi Raikkonen both were forced to pit at the end of the lap. More drama ensued as Kovalainen was released early, with fuel hose attached, and Raikkonen was forced through a ring of fire as a result.

That, too, drew the attention of the FIA, and McLaren was fined for the incident and Kovalainen handed a drive-through post race (25 seconds added to his time).

On the restart, as Barrichello tried to pull away from Webber, Button went to work making up more ground. He soon dispatched Romain Grosjean, Kazuki Nakajima, and impressive Toyota rookie Kamui Kobayashi.

Unfortunately for Barrichello, he did not have enough car for Webber today, and after pitting the Australian took the lead. Not only that, he also lost a spot to Kubica, and it looked as though the Brazilian’s notorious bad luck at Interlagos was once again rearing its ugly head.

Sure enough, under pressure from Hamilton, who changed to a one-stop strategy after the safety car at the start of the race, Barrichello suffered a puncture that forced him to make a third stop and dropped him to eighth and gave Button fifth.

After the weekend’s antics, Webber was quoted as wanting a boring afternoon. He got his wish, and the Red Bull driver had a quiet road the rest of the way to the checkered flag, having driven an absolutely superb race.

But the day rightly belongs to Button and Brawn GP. Button believed, despite his qualifying position, he could finish fifth or sixth today, and was proved right. Though he had a share of the good luck he has benefitted from all season, he did it by driving like a champion, taking risks when necessary, and not making dumb mistakes.

For a man who didn’t know if he’d have a job at the beginning of the season, so often dismissed as not good enough, it would take a hard heart not to smile as he sang “We are the champions my friends!” over the radio to his team.

Next up, the final race of the season at the brand new Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi.

Brazilian Grand Prix (71 laps)
  1. Mark Webber, RedBull-Renault
  2. Robert Kubica, BMW Sauber
  3. Lewis Hamilton, McLaren - Mercedes
  4. Sebastian Vettel, RedBull - Renault
  5. Jenson Button, Brawn - Mercedes
  6. Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari
  7. Sebastien Buemi, Toro Rosso-Ferrari
  8. Rubens Barrichello, Brawn - Mercedes
  9. Kamui Kobayashi, Toyota
  10. Giancarlo Fisichella, Ferrari
  11. Vitantonio Liuzzi, Force India-Mercedes
  12. Heikki Kovalainen, McLaren - Mercedes*
  13. Romain Grosjean, Renault +1 lap
  14. Jaime Alguersuari, Toro Rosso - Ferrari +1 lap
  • Kazuki Nakajima, Williams - Toyota, 30 laps completed, Accident
  • Nico Rosberg, Williams - Toyota, 27 laps, Gearbox
  • Nick Heidfeld, BMW Sauber, 21 laps, Out of fuel
  • Fernando Alonso, Renault, 0 laps, Accident
  • Adrian Sutil, Force India-Mercedes, 0 laps, Accident
  • Jarno Trulli, Toyota, 0 laps, Accident

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


Button, Brawn sew up championships

Marc Webber wins the Brazilian Grand Prix, but Brawn and Button take the day, clinching the drivers and constructors championships at Interlagos.

More to come. 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


Saturday, October 17, 2009

Barrichello takes home pole in wild session

Could this be the year Rubens Barrichello finally takes home his home grand prix, and could he ride that wave of success to the championship?

The Brazilian certainly took a step in the right direction Saturday, claiming pole in a chaotic, thunderstorm-soaked session that will go down in the books as the longest qualifying in the history of the sport.

F1 Grand Prix of Brazil - Qualifying

It took two hours and 41 minutes to shake out, and championship leader Jenson Button was left starting 14th.

It was much worse for Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel, who saw his slim title chances go on life support after elimination in Q1. The German starts 16th, a victim of bad timing and and the weather.

Q2 was quickly red flagged after Vitantonio Luizzi aquaplaned in the pit lane and did in his Force India.

The session was stopped for over an hour until conditions improved enough to continue. After the restart, Button chose to remain on his wets too long and Button looks to be left trying to limit the damage to his lead tomorrow rather than sewing up the championship.

Mark Webber starts next to Barrichello on the front row. Adrian Sutil once again put Force India in a good position to score points by qualifying third.

Grid and pre-race weights
  1. Rubens Barrichello, Brawn GP, 650.5kg
  2. Mark Webber, Red Bull, 656
  3. Adrian Sutil, Force India, 656.5
  4. Jarno Trulli, Toyota, 658.5
  5. Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari, 651.5
  6. Sebastien Buemi, Toro Rosso, 659
  7. Nico Rosberg, Williams, 657
  8. Robert Kubica, BMW Sauber, 656
  9. Kazuki Nakajima, Williams, 664
  10. Fernando Alonso, Renault, 652
  11. Kamui Kobayashi, Toyota, 671.6
  12. Jaime Alguersuari, Toro Rosso, 671.5
  13. Romain Grosjean, Renault, 677.2
  14. Jenson Button, Brawn GP, 672
  15. Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, 683.5
  16. Heikki Kovalainen, McLaren, 656.5
  17. Lewis Hamilton, McLaren, 661
  18. Nick Heidfeld, BMW Sauber, 650.5
  19. Giancarlo Fisichella, Ferrari, 683.5
  20. Vitantonio Liuzzi, Force India, 680*
*gearbox change

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


Original content copyright © 2008-2014 C.D. Six. All Rights Reserved.

Please do not use original content or images without the author's permission.