World champion Sebastian Vettel has described the plans to award double points for the final race of the season from 2014 as “absurd”. Following a meeting of the F1 strategy group and the Formula 1 commission in Paris on Monday, the FIA announced a host of rule changes, including the regulation which will see the winner of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix score 50 points, rather than 25. It is intended to mean that it’s mathematically more difficult for the title to be decided several races before the end of the season.
A helmet used by Sebastian Vettel to win his home Grand Prix this year has broken the record for the largest sum paid for an F1 driver’s helmet, at £72,100. The helmet went under the hammer at a Bonhams’ auction in aid of Wings for Life, the spinal injury charity which is linked to Red Bull.
The rule changes announced today by the FIA, following meetings of the new F1 Strategy Group and the F1 commission, range from the pragmatic to pure Hollywood. At the pragmatic end of the scale, the cost cap is long overdue and vital to maintain the medium sized and smaller teams, which are close to the brink financially. At the Hollywood end, the idea of awarding double points for the last race is breathtaking at first glance, so odd does it seem and so out of keeping with F1′s history
In an effort to prolong the Championship race of a Formula One season, the F1 Strategy Group and the Formula One Commission have announced that double points will be awarded at the final race of the season, from 2014 onwards. The decision, which is just one of a raft of changes decided unanimously in Paris today is aimed at forcing teams and drivers to maintain their progression and performance in to the final lap of the season. This therefore means that 50 points will be available for victory at next year’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, and 86 for a on-two, ;More…
In the next of our series of analysis of the head-to-head records of team mate pairings, we look at Jenson Button and Sergio Perez’s season together at McLaren. With Lewis Hamilton leaving for Mercedes, Button had a new team mate for 2013 in the form of Perez. The Mexican joined the Woking-Based outfit after a strong season for Sauber where he scored three podiums and came close to winning the 2012 Malaysian Grand Prix.
After missing out on the vacant seat at Toro Rosso, Antonio Felix Da Costa has been named as Red Bull’s test and reserve driver for 2014, alongside Sebastian Buemi. The Portugese Red Bull Junior driver was overlooked for the seat made vacant by Daniel Ricciardo’s move to Red Bull, with Russian GP3 Champion Danii Kyvat being favoured by Helmut Marko. Red Bull clearly still regard Da Costa very highly as he sat in as reserve driver during the 2013 season at races that clashed with Buemi’s World Endurance Championship events, and has also completed two Young Driver tests for the ;More…
Sebastian Vettel collected his fourth world champions’ trophy last night at the FIA prizegiving gala in Paris, but one of the more heartwarming stories was Robert Kubica collecting the FIA Personality of the Year award, as voted by the media. It was the first time that the FIA gala has featured awards given by popular vote. Kubica won the B class of the World Rally Championship this year, overcoming the handicap of his arm injuries, which ended his Formula 1 career
Today in Paris Jean Todt was re-elected FIA president for a second four-year term. The election was unopposed after the withdrawal of former FIA Foundation head David Ward and the decision of the Emirati powerbroker Mohammed Bin Sulayem not to stand.
The rise of Twitter in recent years has allowed us to measure which drivers are the most talked about, at least on social media, thanks to some data sent to us by our friends at Buzz Radar. The table below shows who were the most talked about drivers on the leading social media platform during 2013 and Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso comes out clearly on top, with his score boosted by high levels of interaction as well as featuring heavily in most races.
Romain Grosjean’s season ended in a cloud of smoke in the Brazilian Grand Prix as his Lotus’ Renault engine expired on the first lap of the race. However, it was a rare disappointment in a very strong final half of the season where the Frenchman scored four podiums in five races. It marked a turnaround in form for the 27-year-old who has struggled to better his 2007 world champion team-mate Kimi Raikkonen over a two-year period
Red Bull’s charity partner, Wings For Life, is holding an auction for some very special items worn by Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber, which is to take place at a Bonham Auction in Oxford, next Monday December 9th. The charity, which conducts research projects and clinical trials in to the cure for spinal cord injury, have selected one helmet from Vettel and two from Webber, now retired from F1.
For our final podcast of the year we look back at the 2013 season and analyse the big stories as well as looking at how the F1 drivers performed. With me are Marussia Sporting Director Graeme Lowdon, Autosport’s Grand Prix editor Mark Hughes, sponsor finder and CEO of Just Marketing Zac Brown, and JA on F1 reporter Holly Samos as well as our technical adviser Mark Gillan. We also have contributions from Sir Jackie Stewart and Niki Lauda
The organisers of the New Jersey Grand Prix have vowed to fight to get their race onto the 2015 F1 calendar after the World Motor Sport council rubber stamped a 19 race calendar for next season which does not feature the second US race. It had originally been slated for a date in early June. Leo Hindery Jr and his team have struggled to delivery the project due to the complexity of the location, the permissions required the financing of the project and the time scale.
Continuing our series of analysis of the head-to-head records of team mate pairings, here’s the analysis of Paul di Resta and Adrian Sutil’s season at Force India. At least one driver, maybe both, will miss out on a seat with the team next year after Force India announced that Nico Hulkenberg will return to the outfit in 2014. Most people expect ex-McLaren driver Sergio Perez to get the second seat, but with the team breaking with tradition and not naming both drivers at the same time, it seems there is still room for negotiation
Sahara Force India today announced the news that most observers had been expecting for some time; that Nico Hulkenberg will return to the team for 2014. The German driver has impressed greatly during this season, with some exceptional qualifying and race performances in the Sauber, but despite knocking on the door of the top teams, he has not been able to create an opening. So he goes back to the team for which he drove in 2012
Following on from our analysis of the head-to-head record of Kimi Raikkonen and Romain Grosjean over two years at Lotus, here’s the second in the series, which analyses Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg’s first year as team-mates at Mercedes. It was the end of an era when Hamilton left McLaren for Mercedes at the end of last season, but has had an impressive first season with the Brackley-based team, outperforming Rosberg who has been at the team for three years.
The Mumbai-based company, Mahindra Group, has announced that it is to compete in the FIA Formula E Championship from 2014 under the name of Mahindra Racing. They become the eighth team to join the new series, which is set to host its first race in Beijing in September next year. At the same time, one of Japan’s leading broadcasters, TV Asahi, has taken exclusive TV rights for the series in Japan.
As expected, Lotus have announced that Pastor Maldonado will join the Enstone-based team next season alongside Romain Grosjean, who retains his race seat for a third year. Sauber’s Nico Hulkenberg was the initial frontrunner to replace Kimi Raikkonen, who will return to Ferrari next season, at Lotus. However, consistent delays in an investment deal with Quantum Motorsports meant Lotus required a driver with backing and Maldonado – with his $30m of sponsorship money from Venezuelan oil company PDVSA – entered the frame
Yesterday eight JA on F1 readers, the winners of our best ever competition, got the chance to drive the Mercedes F1 simulator at Brackley and to tour the factory in detail. It was a unique day; it’s unprecedented for an F1 team to throw open its simulator to outsiders. The lucky eight were: Alex Porazinski, Nathan Tague, Lucy Walhain, Stephen Singh, Daniel Burns, Patrick Charlton, Neil Donnell and Joseph Whitaker