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Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The return of Niki and a man called Horse

MONACO - MAY 15: Niki Lauda attends the Red Bull Formula 1 Energy Station on May 15, 2010 in Monaco, France. (Photo by Ian Gavan/Getty Images for Red Bull)


"I've never said that stuff. On television I only said that team orders are not good for F1 and for the spectacle, and that a team like Red Bull, by leaving Webber and Vettel free to fight, is doing the right thing. Please write that I didn't do any interview. I'd authorize [team orders], but only from the moment that one of the two drivers is out of the title race."



“I am very pleased Niki has denied making these statements: it shows that fresh air is really good for you!”
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Growing pains

Bildnummer: 03919931 Datum: 04.09.2008 Copyright: imago/GEPA pictures..David Coulthard (Schottland / Red Bull, li.) und Sebastian Vettel Photo via Newscom


"I want to make it clear I am not trying to excuse Sebastian’s recent high-profile errors. He reacted poorly in Turkey after his collision with Mark. He made a silly mistake in Hungary when he fell too far behind the safety car. And he was clearly at fault in Belgium last weekend when he shunted Button out of the race. He lost control...

... I see a young man who is suffering from his first spell of growing pains. He is trying to stay calm and focused. He is trying not to let the criticism affect him, just as he didn’t let the praise go to his head...

... The bottom line is Sebastian is a seriously quick driver who has made a few costly mistakes through lack of experience. I am not excusing them — as I have said before, F1 is no finishing school — I’m just saying they are understandable."

David Coulthard

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Sunday, August 29, 2010

Hamilton rules in Belgium

McLaren Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton (R) of Britain sprays champagne with Red Bull driver Mark Webber (L) of Australia after Hamilton won the Belgian F1 Grand Prix in Spa Francorchamps August 29, 2010. REUTERS/Thierry Roge  (BELGIUM - Tags: SPORT MOTOR RACING)


  1. Lewis Hamilton (Britain) McLaren 1hr 29mins 04.268secs
  2. Mark Webber (Australia) RedBull - Renault +00:01.571
  3. Robert Kubica (Poland) Renault 00:03.493
  4. Felipe Massa (Brazil) Ferrari 00:08.264
  5. Adrian Sutil (Germany) Force India-Mercedes 00:09.094
  6. Nico Rosberg (Germany) Mercedes 00:12.359
  7. Michael Schumacher (Germany) Mercedes 00:15.548
  8. Kamui Kobayashi (Japan) BMW Sauber-Ferrari 00:16.678
  9. Vitaly Petrov (Russia) Renault 00:23.851
  10. Jaime Alguersuari (Spain) Toro Rosso-Ferrari 00:29.457
  11. Vitantonio Liuzzi (Italy) Force India-Mercedes 00:34.831
  12. Pedro de la Rosa (Spain) BMW Sauber-Ferrari 00:36.019
  13. Sebastien Buemi (Switzerland) Toro Rosso-Ferrari 00:39.895
  14. Nico Huelkenberg (Germany) Williams - Cosworth 1 lap
  15. Sebastian Vettel (Germany) RedBull - Renault 1 lap
  16. Heikki Kovalainen (Finland) Lotus - Cosworth 1 lap
  17. Lucas Di Grassi (Brazil) Virgin - Cosworth 1 lap
  18. Timo Glock (Germany) Virgin - Cosworth 1 lap
  19. Jarno Trulli (Italy) Lotus - Cosworth 1 lap
  20. Sakon Yamamoto (Japan) HRT - Cosworth 2 laps
  • Fernando Alonso (Spain) Ferrari 7 laps
  • Jenson Button (Britain) McLaren 29 laps
  • Bruno Senna (Brazil) HRT - Cosworth 39 laps
  • Rubens Barrichello (Brazil) Williams - Cosworth 44 laps

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Saturday, August 28, 2010

Belgium: Qualifying

Mark Webber battled through the weather to take pole at Spa, while Lewis Hamilton put in a quick one at the end to pip Robert Kubica to fill out the front row at Spa Francorchamps.

Red Bull Formula One driver Mark Webber of Australia celebrates his pole position after the qualifying session of the Belgian F1 Grand Prix in Spa Francorchamps August 28, 2010. REUTERS/Thierry Roge (BELGIUM - Tags: SPORT MOTOR RACING)


Sebastian Vettel starts fourth.

A little rain makes for some fun, and Virgin and Lotus were both beneficiaries, getting cars into Q2.

Your penalty roundup for tomorrow's Belgian Grand Prix: Timo Glock was penalized five grid places for impeding Sakon Yamamoto during Q1, Michael Schumacher's 10-place penalty for his Hungaroring antics, and Nico Rosberg loses five places for a gearbox change.

Qualifying result
  1. Mark Webber (Australia) RedBull - Renault 1:45.778
  2. Lewis Hamilton (Britain) McLaren 1:45.863
  3. Robert Kubica (Poland) Renault 1:46.100
  4. Sebastian Vettel (Germany) RedBull - Renault 1:46.127
  5. Jenson Button (Britain) McLaren 1:46.206
  6. Felipe Massa (Brazil) Ferrari 1:46.314
  7. Rubens Barrichello (Brazil) Williams-Cosworth 1:46.602
  8. Adrian Sutil (Germany) Force India-Mercedes 1:46.659
  9. Nico Huelkenberg (Germany) Williams-Cosworth 1:47.053
  10. Fernando Alonso (Spain) Ferrari 1:47.441
  11. Michael Schumacher (Germany) Mercedes 1:47.874
  12. Nico Rosberg (Germany) Mercedes 1:47.885
  13. Jaime Alguersuari (Spain) Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1:48.267
  14. Vitantonio Liuzzi (Italy) Force India-Mercedes 1:48.680
  15. Sebastien Buemi (Switzerland) Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1:49.209
  16. Heikki Kovalainen (Finland) Lotus - Cosworth 1:50.980
  17. Timo Glock (Germany) Virgin - Cosworth 1:52.049
  18. Jarno Trulli (Italy) Lotus - Cosworth 2:01.491
  19. Kamui Kobayashi (Japan) BMW Sauber-Ferrari 2:02.284
  20. Bruno Senna (Brazil) HRT - Cosworth 2:03.612
  21. Sakon Yamamoto (Japan) HRT - Cosworth 2:03.941
  22. Pedro de la Rosa (Spain) BMW Sauber-Ferrari 2:05.294
  23. Lucas Di Grassi (Brazil) Virgin - Cosworth 2:18.754
  24. Vitaly Petrov (Russia) Renault No time


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Friday, August 27, 2010

Belgium: Practice

Not much to be taken from today's times, but in practice, is there ever? Fernando Alonso led both sessions, in the wet in the AM and in dryer conditions later. Nobody is willing to be counted out just yet, and qualifying should, as always, be the best indicator of where teams are.

As far as the feared new wing tests, the FIA pulled in RBR and McLaren (one of the loud complainers). All passed with flying colors. Ferrari was not called in. Will they be tomorrow?

SPA FRANCORCHAMPS, BELGIUM - AUGUST 27: Fernando Alonso of Spain and Ferrari drives during practice for the Belgian Formula One Grand Prix at the Circuit of Spa Francorchamps on August 27, 2010 in Spa Francorchamps, Belgium. (Photo by Paul Gilham/Getty Images)


First session
  1. Fernando Alonso (Spain) Ferrari 2:00.797
  2. Lewis Hamilton (Britain) McLaren 2:01.567
  3. Robert Kubica (Poland) Renault 2:02.081
  4. Sebastian Vettel (Germany) RedBull - Renault 2:02.450
  5. Adrian Sutil (Germany) Force India-Mercedes 2:02.646
  6. Jenson Button (Britain) McLaren 2:02.913
  7. Mark Webber (Australia) RedBull-Renault 2:02.926
  8. Kamui Kobayashi (Japan) BMW Sauber-Ferrari 2:03.401
  9. Rubens Barrichello (Brazil) Williams - Cosworth 2:03.424
  10. Michael Schumacher (Germany) Mercedes 2:03.489
  11. Felipe Massa (Brazil) Ferrari 2:03.601
  12. Nico Huelkenberg (Germany) Williams-Cosworth 2:03.649
  13. Nico Rosberg (Germany) Mercedes 2:03.654
  14. Pedro de la Rosa (Spain) BMW Sauber-Ferrari 2:03.851
  15. Vitantonio Liuzzi (Italy) Force India-Mercedes 2:04.145
  16. Jaime Alguersuari (Spain) Toro Rosso-Ferrari 2:04.250
  17. Vitaly Petrov (Russia) Renault 2:04.690
  18. Sebastien Buemi (Switzerland) Toro Rosso-Ferrari 2:05.680
  19. Timo Glock (Germany) Virgin-Cosworth 2:05.697
  20. Lucas Di Grassi (Brazil) Virgin-Cosworth 2:06.695
  21. Jarno Trulli (Italy) Lotus-Cosworth 2:07.189
  22. Bruno Senna (Brazil) HRT-Cosworth 2:07.737
  23. Heikki Kovalainen (Finland) Lotus - Cosworth 2:07.955
  24. Sakon Yamamoto (Japan) HRT - Cosworth 2:10.507

Second session
  1. Fernando Alonso (Spain) Ferrari 1:49.032
  2. Adrian Sutil (Germany) Force India-Mercedes 1:49.157
  3. Lewis Hamilton (Britain) McLaren 1:49.248
  4. Robert Kubica (Poland) Renault 1:49.282
  5. Felipe Massa (Brazil) Ferrari 1:49.588
  6. Sebastian Vettel (Germany) RedBull-Renault 1:49.689
  7. Jenson Button (Britain) McLaren 1:49.755
  8. Pedro de la Rosa (Spain) BMW Sauber-Ferrari 1:50.081
  9. Rubens Barrichello (Brazil) Williams-Cosworth 1:50.128
  10. Kamui Kobayashi (Japan) BMW Sauber-Ferrari 1:50.200
  11. Vitaly Petrov (Russia) Renault 1:50.251
  12. Michael Schumacher (Germany) Mercedes 1:50.341
  13. Nico Rosberg (Germany) Mercedes 1:50.382
  14. Jaime Alguersuari (Spain) Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1:50.682
  15. Nico Huelkenberg (Germany) Williams-Cosworth 1:50.831
  16. Vitantonio Liuzzi (Italy) Force India-Mercedes 1:51.520
  17. Sebastien Buemi (Switzerland) Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1:51.523
  18. Mark Webber (Australia) RedBull-Renault 1:51.636
  19. Heikki Kovalainen (Finland) Lotus-Cosworth 1:53.480
  20. Jarno Trulli (Italy) Lotus-Cosworth 1:53.639
  21. Lucas Di Grassi (Brazil) Virgin-Cosworth 1:54.325
  22. Bruno Senna (Brazil) HRT-Cosworth 1:55.751
  23. Sakon Yamamoto (Japan) HRT-Cosworth 1:56.039
  24. Timo Glock (Germany) Virgin-Cosworth 2:03.179


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Thursday, August 26, 2010

Race prep: Belgium

Mercedes Formula One driver Michael Schumacher of Germany (L) talks to Red Bull Formula One driver Sebastian Vettel of Germany during a news conference ahead of the weekend's Belgian F1 Grand Prix in Spa Francorchamps August 26, 2010.  REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth (BELGIUM - Tags: SPORT MOTOR RACING)


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Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Spa with Sebastian

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Saturday, August 21, 2010

Ferrari don't take kindly...

MONACO - May 23:  Former World Champion Nikki Lauda signs autographs during the first free practise session at the 2002 F1 Monaco Grand Prix in Monaco on May 23, 2002. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)


The lastest missive comes from Austria, from a person, who having hung up his helmet, has never missed out on a chance to dispense opinions left and right, even if, on more than one occasion, he has had to indulge in some verbal acrobatics to reposition himself in line with the prevailing wind. This time, good old Niki has missed out on a fine opportunity to keep his mouth shut, given that, when he was a Scuderia driver, the supposed Ferrari driver management policy suited him perfectly…

The Horse Whisperer – Moralists with short memories
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Race prep: Belgium

SPA FRANCORCHAMPS, BELGIUM - AUGUST 30:  Sebastian Vettel of Germany and Red Bull Racing drives during the Belgian Grand Prix at the Circuit of Spa Francorchamps on August 30, 2009 in Spa Francorchamps, Belgium.  (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)


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Monday, August 9, 2010

F1 quote of the day

WIESBADEN, GERMANY - APRIL 18: Mercedes driver Ralf Schumacher signs autographs during the presentation of the German Touring Car Championship DTM in front of the Kurhaus on April 18, 2010 in Wiesbaden, Germany. (Photo by Alex Grimm/Bongarts/Getty Images)


"I also would have come back to F1 but unlike him I didn't get the offer. The reason is that we are - in the positive way - crazy enough to do it. Michael has shown already a few times this season that he absolutely still has the speed." -- Ralf Schumacher
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Saturday, August 7, 2010

The week that was: Summer break edition

Aug. 01, 2010 - Budapest, Hungary - MICHAEL SCHUMACHER, right, (GER) Mercedes GP MGP W01 squeezes former teammate RUBENS BARRICHELLO (BRA) Williams FW32 into the pit wall during the Formula One World Championship, Rd 12, Hungarian Grand Prix. Schumacher was given a penalty for unsafe driving after the race.


“Yesterday, right after the race I was still in the heat of the action, but after I watched the incident with Rubens again, I must say that the stewards were right with their assessment: the move against him was too hard. I wanted to make it hard for him to pass me. I clearly showed him that I didn't want to let him pass but... I wasn't seeking to endanger him with my move. If he feels I was then I'm sorry, this wasn't my intention.” -- Michael Schumacher


Those words were in response to F1’s latest controversy: Schumi almost putting former teammate, Rubens Barrichello (well removed from the days of wearing the fat #2 on his hat) into the wall in Hungary.

The move resulted in a big penalty from the stewards to be served at Spa, but guest steward Derek Warwick says Schumacher came close to being black-flagged.

John Watson and Niki Lauda went on record with hard criticism of the seven-times world champion, but perhaps the most colorful response came (unsurprisingly) from ex-teammate Eddie Irvine.

With things looking increasingly drastic for the German, questions about his F1 future continue to swirl. Journalist Joe Saward takes a close look at the question, should Michael Schumacher retire?

Meanwhile, Schumacher’s boss, Ross Brawn, says the team will look closely to what happened during Nico Rosberg’s pitstop to trigger the mayhem that ensued last weekend to prevent a repeat.

Brawn also is on record saying, with the exception of an upgrade due for Singapore, the team will focus on the 2011 car post break.

Rosberg’s wheel was just part of the pitlane fun in Hungary. The other bit of excitement was when Renault released Robert Kubica into the path of Adrian Sutil. The mistake led to a fine and a stop/go for Kubica.

Sutil, who has been linked to a Renault seat, slammed the move:

“There wasn't anything I could do. They released him into my path and I just crashed into him and my car was damaged too badly to continue. It was definitely unsafe from their part.”

In Kubica’s defense, he only seemed to be following direction.

“I saw the lollipop go up and I started to go, but unfortunately we collided.”

In other Renault news, the team is set to introduce its long awaited version of the F-duct for Spa.

The driver’s title hunt

Aug 01, 2010 - Budapest, Hungary - Team celebration for winner Australian MARK WEBBER in REDBULL RB6 during the Formula One World Championship Hungarian Grand Prix at the Hungaroring.


Seven races and 175 points remain on the table. Mark Webber took a slight edge in the driver’s race, but though tipped to be the next champion by manager Flavio Briatore, the Australian downplayed the title talk.

“We are way too far out for that. We've got a lot of people that can win races at this level and we have already seen that. The most important thing for me is the next race. That's a bit boring, it's an old cliche, but that's what it is.”


Teammate Sebastian Vettel, whose mistake behind the safety car likely cost him the win in Hungary, has been told by his team to look at the brighter side of life and concentrate on the positives of a dominant weekend for Red Bull.

Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso is one who believes it is a wide open championship, saying as much in a video interview on the Ferrari website.

“I think we have to be happy with our championship so far. We had some good races and some disappointing races as well, but overall I think we are in a position in the championship now very close to the leader. In a short distance we are five drivers fighting for the championship, so we are there. There are seven races to go now; anything can happen in these seven races. We always start from zero, so we need to be the best one in this last part of the championship.”


Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button, despite a disappointing weekend for McLaren, both feel the team has the stuff to rise to the occasion.

“I also know we can come back even stronger in the final seven races. We have some very promising developments in the pipeline, and we're making progress in lots of other areas, too. We have dug deep before, and I know absolutely that we will dig deep once more. With the championship so closely balanced, this is the perfect time for a break.” -- Lewis Hamilton

“It's the toughest day we've had this year, but this McLaren team has had dark days in the past and always bounced back from those so I am pretty confident that we can do it again.” -- Jenson Button


The FIA weighs in

July 22, 2010 - Hockenheim, Germany - FIA Logo...Formula One World Championship, Rd 11, German Grand Prix, Preparations.


A big factor in that race will likely be the argument of flexi wings. Martin Whitmarsh and Ross Brawn have both sought clarification on what they believe they have seen on the Red Bull and Ferrari front wings.

Though the wings have passed scrutineering in recent races, the governing body has said it will introduce more stringent load tests at Spa.

Meanwhile, Ferrari have a date with the World Motor Sport Council over the team orders issue September 8th, four days ahead of the Italian Grand Prix.

Already fined $100,000, the team could face a loss of points or exclusion from the championship.

Race news

In Texas, Clear Channel co-founder Billy Joe “Red” McCombs was revealed to be the key backer behind the new USGP project in Austin.

Still a member of the board of the media giant, McCombs said he intended to use the company’s resources to help promote the race, slated for 2012.

Clear Channel controls some 900 radio stations, as well as outdoor advertising space in 25 countries.

Meanwhile, journalist Adam Cooper takes a closer look at how things are developing in Korea. Specifically, is it? 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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Sunday, August 1, 2010

Schumacher penalized

BUDAPEST, HUNGARY - JULY 30: Michael Schumacher of Germany and Mercedes GP prepares to drive during practice for the Hungarian Formula One Grand Prix at the Hungaroring on July 30, 2010 in Budapest, Hungary. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)


The stewards hit Mercedes’ Michael Schumacher a 10-place grid penalty for next month's race at Spa for his clash at the Hungaroring with Rubens Barrichello. 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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Webber wins in Hungary, leads championship at summer break

BUDAPEST, HUNGARY - AUGUST 01: Mark Webber of Australia and Red Bull Racing celebrates with team mates in the paddock after winning the Hungarian Formula One Grand Prix at the Hungaroring on August 1, 2010 in Budapest, Hungary. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)


  1. Mark Webber (Australia) RedBull-Renault 1hr 41mins 05.571s
  2. Fernando Alonso (Spain) Ferrari +00:17.821
  3. Sebastian Vettel (Germany) RedBull Renault 00:19.252
  4. Felipe Massa (Brazil) Ferrari 00:27.474
  5. Vitaly Petrov (Russia) Renault 01:13.192
  6. Nico Huelkenberg (Germany) Williams-Cosworth 01:16.723
  7. Pedro de la Rosa (Spain) BMW Sauber - Ferrari 1 lap
  8. Jenson Button (Britain) McLaren 1 lap
  9. Kamui Kobayashi (Japan) BMW Sauber - Ferrari 1 lap
  10. Rubens Barrichello (Brazil) Williams - Cosworth 1 lap
  11. Michael Schumacher (Germany) Mercedes 1 lap
  12. Sebastien Buemi (Switzerland) Toro Rosso - Ferrari 1 lap
  13. Vitantonio Liuzzi (Italy) Force India - Mercedes 1 lap
  14. Heikki Kovalainen (Finland) Lotus - Cosworth 3 laps
  15. Jarno Trulli (Italy) Lotus - Cosworth 3 laps
  16. Timo Glock (Germany) Virgin - Cosworth 3 laps
  17. Bruno Senna (Brazil) HRT - Cosworth 3 laps
  18. Lucas Di Grassi (Brazil) Virgin - Cosworth 4 laps
  19. Sakon Yamamoto (Japan) HRT - Cosworth 4 laps
  • Robert Kubica (Poland) Renault 47 laps
  • Lewis Hamilton (Britain) McLaren 47 laps
  • Adrian Sutil (Germany) Force India -Mercedes 55 laps
  • Nico Rosberg (Germany) Mercedes 55 laps
  • Jaime Alguersuari (Spain) Toro Rosso - Ferrari 69 laps

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