The GP3 Series has begun work on developments for its 2013 car in a test session at Catalunya. Recently-crowned champion Valtteri Bottas was in action at the Spanish track on Thursday trying a development version of the current car
Jenson Button has told Red Bull Racing not to under-estimate McLaren’s potential for the Japanese Grand Prix, even though the circuit will play to the strengths of the reigning champion’s cars. F1 is heading to Suzuka fully expecting Sebastian Vettel to secure the single point he needs to clinch the world championship. But, although that means Button’s title hopes will be officially over, the Briton still thinks he and his team can put on a fight in Suzuka.
CRS Racing Sun, Sep 25, 2011 The final race of the 2011 Le Mans Series produced some thrilling on track battles, not least for the CRS Racing crew of Klaas Hummel, Adam Christodoulou and Phil Quaife. After a tough season…
Will Christian Horner regret not utilising team orders in Brazil?
Michael Spearman of The Sun, says that the £65,000 fine Ferrari received for breaching the team orders ban in Germany will seem like loose change if Fernando Alonso wins the drivers? title in Abu Dhabi.
?The extra seven points Alonso collected when Ferrari ordered Felipe Massa to move over for him in Germany earlier in the season are now looking even more crucial. ?And the £65,000 fine they picked up for ruthlessly breaking the rules will seem loose change if Alonso clinches the title in his first year with the Maranello team. ?Red Bull could have switched the result yesterday given their crushing dominance and still celebrated their first constructors’ championship just five years after coming into the sport. ?That would also have given Webber an extra seven points, leaving him just one behind Alonso.?The Guardian?s Paul Weaver says that if Fernando Alonso does take the drivers? title in Abu Dhabi, Ferrari owes a debt of gratitude to Red Bull for their decision not to employ team orders in Brazil.
?If Alonso does take the title next week it would not be inappropriate were he and Ferrari to send a few gallons of champagne to Red Bull’s headquarters in Milton Keynes. ?While Red Bull should be heartily applauded for the championship they did win today their apparent acceptance that Ferrari might carry off the more glamorous prize continues to baffle Formula One and its globetrotting supporters. ?Their refusal to make life easy for Webber, who has led for much of the season and is still seven points ahead of Vettel, means that whatever happens in the desert next week Alonso, the only driver who was capable of taking the championship in the race today, only has to secure second place to guarantee his third world title.?The Independent?s David Tremayne is also of the opinion that Red Bull may regret not using team orders in Brazil.
?Had Red Bull elected to adopt team orders and let Webber win ? something that the governing body allows when championships are at stake ? Webber would have left Brazil with 245 points ? just one point off the lead. For some that was confirmation of his suggestion that Vettel is the team’s favoured driver ? which generated an angry call from team owner Dietrich Mateschitz in Austria and was much denied by team principal, Christian Horner. ?And it sets up a situation where, if the result is repeated next weekend, as is likely, Vettel and Webber will tie on 256, five behind Alonso.?The Mirror?s Byron Young has put Lewis Hamilton?s fading title chances down to an inferior McLaren machine and he admits the 2008 World Champion now needs a miracle.
?Sebastian Vettel’s victory sends the world title fight to a four-way showdown for the first time in the sport’s history. ?Hamilton goes there as part of that story with a 24-point deficit to Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso, but with just 25 on offer in the final round in six days’ time it would take more than a miracle. ?Driving an outclassed McLaren he slugged it out against superior machinery and stiff odds to finish fourth.?
Our spy photographers have managed a peek inside the 2013 Cadillac ATS?a smaller rear-drive sports sedan that will slot below the CTS?and we can now confirm that it will get the same touch-sensitive controls as the upcoming STS replacement, the 2012 XTS. The ATS interior our shooters spotted features a piano-black center stack with very [...]
Jenson Button admitted he did not expect to be able to qualify so high up on the grid for the Singapore Grand Prix after a difficult Friday. The McLaren driver lost a lot of valuable track time in the opening day’s practice following a problem with his gearbox which meant he was unable to complete long runs
Michael Schumacher?s 2010 comeback was somewhat abortive. The results, the driving standard and the overtakes were well below par for the former champion. He even let his team mate beat him for the first time in his career. So why can Schumacher, the fallen Ferrari hero, win the world championship for an 8th time? It?s [...]
Kevin Magnussen claimed his sixth victory of the season from a hectic final British Formula 3 race at Donington Park this afternoon. Rain arrived just before the start and caused the first six drivers on the grid to make a last-minute switch to wet tyres. The rain intensified on the formation lap, so only 10 cars took up their grid slots as most of the field dived into the pits for a tyre change.
David Coulthard is the latest major motorsport name to confirm his appearance at the 2012 AUTOSPORT International, which takes place at Birmingham’s NEC on 12-15 January. Coulthard joins his BBC Formula 1 broadcasting team colleague Jake Humphrey on the AUTOSPORT International bill.
MERCEDES GP PETRONAS 2011 Singapore Grand Prix – Day 3 Race Report Marina Bay Street Circuit, Singapore Sunday September 25, 2011 Nico Rosberg finished the Singapore Grand Prix in seventh place this evening whilst team-mate Michael Schumacher retired from the…
Fernando Alonso was in an upbeat mood after finishing FP2 in Singapore in second place, just 0.2s shy of pacesetter Sebastian Vettel. Ferrari had expected to be competitive at a track where the Spaniard has also done well in the … Continue reading
Sebastian Vettel and the Red Bull Racing team want to clinch the world title in style with victory in Japan, rather than playing it safe to deliver the single point needed to wrap up the championship. Vettel’s victory in the Singapore Grand Prix has left him on the verge of his second crown, and he only needs to finish in the top ten in Suzuka in a fortnight’s time to succeed. And although achieving just a single point should be a fairly simple task considering how dominant he has been all year, Red Bull Racing team principal Christian Horner says the team will be out to deliver a headline performance rather than take it easy
Welcome to this week’s blog, the final blog from a European race for 2011, which feels very strange indeed.
I can scarcely believe I’m writing that; where is my life disappearing to?
Firstly, let me apologise for the lack of a blog after the Belgian Grand Prix.
The only holiday I’ve managed to grab this season was the week after Spa and I would have been in serious trouble with Harriet, my wife, if I’d spent the first of our five days away writing a blog.
Anyway, back to last weekend, and the end of my love affair with a truck for another season. OK, you’re probably thinking a love affair with a lorry is rather strange, but it’s more than that, it’s our European home.
You see, for the grands prix that are referred to as ‘fly-away’ – the long-haul races outside Europe, that is – the circuits provide the hospitality suites for the teams and the production offices for the television stations.
It is essentially to cut down on costs so the huge team ‘paddock palaces’ aren’t transported the other side of the world.
But at the European races, we take a truck, which we occupy from the first European race in Spain to the last one in Monza.
It’s a dressing room, edit suite, production offices and kitchen all rolled into one. It has even been known to accommodate the odd overnight stay if someone’s working particularly hard and late in Monaco and can’t face the drive back to our hotel on the way to Nice.
But now our European adventure is at an end for another year and so it was with a heavy heart on Sunday evening that we waved off Pete D’Lemos and the trusty silver truck he looks after; we’ll see him next in Spain in eight months.
It feels like two minutes since I walked into that truck for the very first time in 2009. It was the same one ITV had been using, but their presenter Steve Rider’s office had been turned into an edit suite so I couldn’t quite say I was walking in his shoes.
Talking of getting his job, remarkably it is three years ago this week that the then BBC head of F1 Niall Sloane offered me the chance to be the presenter, and what a learning curve it has been.
I can still remember the fear and apprehension as I walked into the F1 paddock in Australia for the first time, and the nerves as I started listening to ‘The Chain’ down my earpiece, hoping the words would come out in the right order.
The good news is that doing this job never becomes ‘normal’ or mundane and I still cherish every moment.
For that reason, I asked someone to follow me with a camera this weekend as in years to come I’ll fondly look back on what it was like to share the pit lane with Eddie Jordan and David Coulthard as a 30-something guy, lucky enough to see the world and follow the sport I love.
I managed to capture Paul di Resta’s Force India while taking this shot of the Monza track from a gate near the pits
I’ve posted a selection of pictures with this blog. Have a look through and see what you think. The one I’m most proud of is the one directly above – and it doesn’t actually feature much apart from a big silver gate!
You see, one of the oddities of this job is that I very rarely see a car actually on the track.
We must be out of the pit lane with 15 minutes to go before qualifying and the race and so by the time the cars are track I’m in the paddock and there is nothing to see.
An hour before we go on air and Eddie Jordan, Ted Kravitz and I have to cram ourselves between Ferrari and McLaren’s motorhomes to get our gear on for the show
One of the most common requests I get is from people who have tickets to the race asking to get into the paddock. I tell them they would soon be bored of sitting around drinking coffee and would see more in the grandstand.
Anyway, in Monza on Sunday, I walked out of the paddock and along the back of the garages and the photo is testament to how tricky it is even for me to get to the track during the action – I always say that in front of the TV you get the best seat in the house and this is proof!
And why am I so proud of the photo? Well, Paul di Resta’s Force India is passing by me at full speed and somehow I managed to press the button at just the right time – trust me, it was far more luck than judgement.
Talking of luck, some people may well think that Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel has had his fair share of it over the course of the year, but perhaps in Monza he finally put the doubters to bed by doing something a few were questioning – pulling off a cracking overtake!
Vettel knew he had to get past Fernando Alonso’s Ferrari for his race strategy to work, he managed it really early on, then delivered the lap times and the consistency to take another win.
I think that perhaps it was the race that finally broke his challengers and since then we’ve seen a few of Seb’s rivals declare that he has now won the title.
Spa and Monza were the races where McLaren and Ferrari were expecting to challenge Red Bull, but Vettel won both. As for Seb’s team-mate, Mark Webber, well, he only managed to collect 18 points to Vettel’s 50.
So, with that in mind we had a meeting back at BBC HQ on Wednesday to discuss how we tackle the Singapore race weekend.
Our mantra is ‘fail to prepare, prepare to fail’. With that in mind, we need to fly into Singapore fully ready to do justice to Vettel if he manages to win the title there.
I always enjoy Singapore. And if you want to read about how strange it is for us as a production team, as we stay on European time, which is eight hours behind where we are, my blog from 2009 will tell you about the perils of trying to get dinner when the city is asleep.
Before I sign off, I’m sure that there will be plenty of people reading this who are keen to know about our plans for the 2012 F1 coverage.
As soon as there is something concrete to announce, I know that the BBC will do that. However, I can tell you I am committed to helping the BBC make its F1 coverage next year as compelling as it has been for the last three years.
And thanks for your continued loyalty – all 5.8m of you who watched the race with us on Sunday.
Lee McKenzie looks on as EJ and I check comms. It involves talking to each other while the team in the gallery talk at the same time to make sure the sound levels are workable
Roger Bines, our rigger, is our unsung hero. We wouldn’t be on air without him and I’ve spent the past three years with him in the pit lane. He retired after 15 years in F1 on Sunday. We’ll miss you, Rog!
Two minutes to on-air and Rob Smedley, Felipe Massa’s race engineer, pops over to say hello and have a chat.
Post-race and I am busy noting down the race finishing order, the championship standings and any other notes I need close at hand for 45 minutes of unscripted, unplanned post-race analysis
I love this snap.. Eddie Jordan doing what he does best… having an opinion!
Whil you at home are watching the top three drivers’ interviews, we decamp to the paddock, where Toro Rosso’s Jaime Algersuari pops over to see what we thought of his charge into the points
This photo sums up the job for me, and I love it. The team, all four of us, owning the paddock as we go looking for stories. On screen it just seems to flow
The last photo I took on my way out of the circuit. The Monza banking is a reminder of how much has gone before us, and that F1 will continue to evolve long after we’ve left
BMW has priced the new six-cylinder 640i coupe at $74,475, with the convertible commanding $81,975. Those base prices are a substantial $9400 less than the cars? eight-cylinder 650i counterparts. With BMW?s recent addition of the all-wheel-drive 650i xDrive coupe and convertible to the 6er lineup, it’s worth mentioning that the six-cylinder cars will be rear-drive [...]