Force India’s Adrian Sutil has suggested he and Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton are still some way off sorting out their differences after the two came face-to-face in an FIA press conference today for the first time this season. The duo were once good friends, having got on well as they made their way through the various junior formulae and in their first few years in Formula 1 together. The situation changed in 2011, though, when Sutil was involved in an incident in a Shanghai nightclub following Hamilton’s Chinese Grand Prix win
McLaren has picked up an accolade at the first annual European Awards for Innovation Leadership in recognition of its years of innovation of electronics and software for high impact industries. Managing director of McLaren Electronic Systems (MESL) Peter van Manen attended the ceremony in Dublin to receive the High Performance Innovation Award.
Caterham Group technical officer Mike Gascoyne is utilising his Formula 1 engineering knowledge to enter the world of ocean racing. The 50-year-old, who has worked for McLaren, Jordan and Renault, has already completed a solo transatlantic trip from Cascais to Grenada last year and now plans to increase his involvement on the water.
Felipe Massa warmed up for this weekend’s Monaco Grand Prix by taking to the streets of Poland’s capital Warsaw in a Ferrari Formula 1 car. It was part of a promotional event for sponsor Shell which launched their new fuel – Shell V-Power Nitro+ – with over 30,000 fans turning out to watch the Brazilian in action.
Fans will get a special insight into the world of Formula 1 when Canadian Grand Prix organisers host an “Open House” at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve next month. The free initiative, which takes place on Thursday June 6, will allow fans to spend up time exploring the pit lane and getting a good view of the teams working on the cars before the race on Sunday June 9.
This season we have seen how starts are almost as important as qualifying in setting up a driver for a good result. Crucial places gained off the line by Alonso in the Spanish Grand Prix or Raikkonen in the Australian Grand Prix, for example, set them up for their wins in those respective races. Starts at Monaco make a huge difference; last year 13 cars ended the opening lap in a different position from their grid slot
The long running saga of Paddy Lowe’s move from McLaren to Mercedes was resolved today when the technical director was released early from his contract to begin work on June 3rd. Originally Lowe was being held to his contract and was set to be blocked from starting work in Brackley before the end of 2013.
There has been a raft of activity recently around the new FIA Formula E series, set to debut in 2014 and JA on F1 has recently interviewed Alejandro Agag, promoter of Formula E. Agag says the new zero emission motor sport championship is targeting a reverse calendar to F1, which will see the series start in September and end in June. Also recently the series announced that Bangkok, Thailand is a candidate for one of the two remaining slots on the 2014 calendar
In the aftermath of the decision by Pirelli to make some changes to the 2013 tyres from round 7 in Canada onwards, there has been a backlash from those teams whose cars were working well on the tyres. Lotus boss Eric Boullier and now Ferrari’s Horse Whisperer column have attacked the change and Red Bull in particular for lobbying behind the scenes and in the media for a change in tyres. Pirelli is caught in the middle and whatever changes it makes from here onwards it will be perceived by some fans as having affected the outcome of the championship
Honda will return to Formula 1 as an engine supplier with McLaren in 2015 to revive their famous partnership which brought domination of the sport in the late 1980s and early 1990s. The Japanese company had its own team in the sport between 2006 and 2008, but during that time, they managed just one win – the 2006 Hungarian Grand Prix with Jenson Button – and the manufacturer ended the project at the end of 2008. However, Honda has been lured back to the sport by a change in the engine regulations from 2014, with 1.6 lire hybrid turbo engines, ;More…
Ferrari won the Spanish Grand Prix on Sunday without the majority of the new parts that the technicians had brought to Barcelona to update the car and only some of them were tried on Friday in practice. Alonso and Massa found a good balance on Friday and felt that they had a good chance for the race and didn’t want to upset that.
This race may come to be viewed as a tipping point in the ongoing debate about whether the high degradation Pirelli tyres are good for F1 or not, as two of the three drivers on the podium did a four stop strategy. Pirelli has indicated that they have been “too aggressive” with the construction of the 2013 tyres and will make changes from the seventh round, Montreal, onwards.
The sudden announcement by Pirelli that they are to change the tyre specifications from the seventh round of the world championship onwards will inevitably raise many questions: who will it favour, what are the implications for the racing? JA on F1 technical adviser Mark Gillan was chief operations engineer at Williams until the end of 2012 and has a deep understanding of how the tyres work and what is involved in this change. Here, with his input, is our analysis of today’s decision
The chorus of disapproval from affected teams, as well as calls from media and fans to do something about the high degradation tyres has led Pirelli to announce today that it is to make construction changes to its tyres from the Canadian Grand Prix in June onwards. The Italian company is conducting meetings at its Milan base to establish whether any compound changes are required as well. The news will come as a blow to Ferrari and Lotus, which mastered the delicate Pirelli rubber in Spain last weekend to take the podium slots, as well as Force India, but will ;More…
The Spanish Grand Prix threw up a few interesting comparisons from last year to this, not least in the relative pace of the cars and the improvement in speed of the pit stops. At one end of the spectrum the Mercedes was 2.3 seconds faster in qualifying than in 2012, while the Williams was a second slower than Pastor Maldonado’s pole time from last year. But in the pits there has also been progress; Ferrari set the fastest stop on Sunday, a clear second faster than its best time last year (when it was again fastest) thanks to the many ;More…
Britain’s Jenson Button has described McLaren’s current form as “embarrassing” following the Spanish Grand Prix where he finished eighth, one place ahead of team mate Sergio Perez. McLaren, who won the final race of last season with what was considered to be the fastest car on the grid, made major changes to their machine for 2013, while their rivals took an evolutionary approach. As a result, they have dropped down the grid and currently lie sixth in the constructors’ championship, 102 points behind leaders Red Bull while Button is best placed in the drivers’ standings 64 behind leader Sebastian Vettel
All 22 Formula 1 drivers came together on the grid ahead of Sunday’s Spanish Grand Prix to support the United Nations’ Global Road Safety Week, which aims to draw attention to the need to protect pedestrians on the world’s roads. More than 5,000 pedestrians are killed on roads across the world every week, according to the World Health Organisation.
Red Bull owner Dietrich Mateschitz says Formula 1 is “no longer about the racing” after tyre management played a huge role in the outcome of Sunday’s Spanish Grand Prix. A remarkable 77 pit stops were made during the 66-lap race with several drivers being told to lift off in certain corners to protect the high-degrading Pirelli tyres. In an interview with Autosport, Mateschitz said his two drivers – Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber – were not able to push their Red Bull to the limit without ruining the tyres.
Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel says he does not like the plan to give drivers penalty points, which could see them being handed a one race ban. Under the new proposed system, stewards would hand out penalty points – similar to road users getting points on their driving licence – in addition to existing punishments, such as drive-through penalties, for misdemeanours on track.