Thursday, 31 March 2011

Red Bull Will Need KERS

McLaren's Lewis Hamilton believes that Red Bull will need to fully utilise the KERS system if they want to stay ahead of the field.

Although Sebastian Vettel comfortably won in the opening Grand Prix in Australia, despite not using KERS at all, it is expected that the next race in Malaysia will provide a greater need for the boost ability the system can bring.

Hamilton's team mate Jenson Button, however, believes that despite a few more changes that McLaren should be able to bring to the next Grand Prix, they will still be off the pace of the reigning World Champions.

For more on this, visit

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Kimi To Cross The Pond?

Former Formula One World Champion Kimi Raikonnen has reportedly agreed a deal to drive for a new NASCAR team.

The Finn, who was replaced by Fernando Alonso at Ferrari two seasons ago has been driving in the World Rally Championship since leaving F1.

Raikonnen will begin his career Stateside, driving in the NASCAR Trucks series, before moving to the Sprint series.

For more on this story, visit

Elsewhere in the World of Formula One, Lewis Hamilton has confirmed that he is going to make a cameo appearance in the animated film Cars 2.

For more, follow Lewis on Twitter, @lewishamilton

Monday, 28 March 2011

107% Qualifying Rule

The reintroduction of the 107 per cent qualifying rule created it's first victims in the first race of the 2011 season.

Neither Hispania managed to reach the required time in the first session of qualifying, and were therefore not eligible to take part in the race on Sunday.

Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel set the fastest time in Q1 of 1:25.296, the Hispania cars therefore needed a lap time below 1:31.267 in order to qualify. This was always going to be a big ask for a team who had not tested their car at all pre-season - the first time the cars were driven was during the practice sessions for the first Grand Prix.

Vitantonio Liuzzi's best time was just over a second outside of this margin, with Narain Karthikeyan finishing approximately 1.3 seconds further back.

The question is, how often will the cars manage to qualify, especially without being able to use the race days as valuable testing mileage?
Also, although the other 'new' teams (Team Lotus and Marussia Virgin) were able to qualify on this occassion, how confident should they be of repeating this achievement in future races?

We have therefore compiled a list of how the three new teams would have fared if the 107% rule would have applied in 2010, based on 2010 qualifying times. (Driver '1' being the highest qualifier in each race):

The good news for Team Lotus is that both of their cars qualified within 107% of the fastest time at every race last year.

There are exceptions to the rule, for example during changeable weather conditions, or if a driver has proven previously that they are quick enough (for example in Free Practice), the FIA may allow them to participate in the race.

For more information on this rule, visit

Sunday, 27 March 2011

Australian Grand Prix - 27 March 2011

The first race of the 2011 season took place this morning and just like in qualifying yesterday, the reigning World Champion Sebastian Vettel was untouchable.

Starting from pole, the German took a comfortable lead whilst those behind him scrapped for position. This seems all the more impressive, as Red Bull team boss Christian Horner has confirmed that neither Red Bull actually had the KERS system on their cars. (For more on this, visit

Fernando Alonso was forced wide at the first corner losing several positions, whilst Vitaly Petrov moved his Lotus-Renault up to fourth.

Barrichello ran through the same gravel trap which ended his qualifying session and dropped him down to the back of the field. As the race progressed he moved back through the field well, but lunged into a poorly executed overtaking attempt on Nico Rosberg, which sent Barrichello spinning and Rosberg was forced to retire as smoke poured from the back of the Silver Arrow following the contact with the Williams. Barrichello received a drive-through penalty for his efforts, but retired later on with transmission damage, just as his team mate Pastor Maldonado had done earlier in the race.

Rosberg's team mate did not fare much better, Jaime Alguersuari touched the rear of Michael Schumacher's car on the exit to the first corner, puncturing his right-rear tyre. Although the former World Champion was able to return to the pits to replace the shredded tyre, he later retired from the race, believing the puncture had caused suspension damage.

A drive-through penalty was also awarded to McLaren's Jenson Button, who was deemed to have cut a corner whilst challenging Felipe Massa for position. The two Ferrari's of Massa and Alonso quickly switched positions behind Button, meaning he was unable to return the position to Massa without letting both scarlet cars pass.

Most drivers opted to use three sets of the new Pirelli tyre's pitting twice, but some - including Mark Webber - seemed to struggle with the compounds and pitted an extra time.
Sauber's Sergio Perez, however, only felt the need to stop once.

It was a great performance from the Sauber drivers, with Perez crossing the line seventh on his debut race, one place ahead of his team mate Kamui Kobayashi. However, the Sauber team were deemed to have infringed a technical ruling regarding to the rear wing, and both drivers have been disqualified. Sauber are believed to be contesting this decision.

The disqualification moved both Force India drivers into the points, with Paul di Resta finishing just behind team mate Adrian Sutil, so a successful debut for the young Scot.

Provisional race results:

1. Sebastian Vettel - RBR - Prediction 9th
2. Lewis Hamilton - MCL - Prediction 8th
3. Vitaly Petrov - REN - Prediction 17th
4. Fernando Alonso - FER - Prediction 2nd
5. Mark Webber - RBR - Prediction 6th
6. Jenson Button - MCL - Prediction 1st
7. Felipe Massa - FER - Prediction 5th
8. Sebastien Buemi - STR - Prediction 16th
9. Adrian Sutil - FOR - Prediction 12th
10. Paul di Resta - FOR - Prediction 10th
11. Jaime Alguersuari - STR - Prediction 14th
12. Nick Heidfeld - REN - Prediction 7th
13. Jarno Trulli - LOT - Prediction 18th
14. Jerome D'Ambrosio - VIR - Prediction 23rd
DNF Timo Glock - VIR - Prediction 22nd
DNF Rubens Barrichello - WIL - Prediction 4th
DNF Nico Rosberg - MER - Prediction 3rd
DNF Heikki Kovalainen - LOT - Prediction 20th
DNF Michael Schumacher - MER - Prediction 11th
DNF Pastor Maldonado - WIL - Prediction 13th
DSQ Sergio Perez - SAU - Prediction 21st
DSQ Kamui Kobayashi - SAU - Prediction 19th
DNQ Vitantonio Liuzzi - HRT - Prediction 15th
DNQ Narain Karthikeyan - HRT - Prediction 24th

Not a great first attempt by the Formula One Results Predictor. Hopefully with this new data, the next race will see an improvement!

For more information regarding the race, visit

Saturday, 26 March 2011

Australian Grand Prix Qualifying - 26 March 2011

The first qualifying session of 2011 took place in the early hours of this morning (UK time).

Vettel easily set the fastest time of the session, almost a second quicker than anyone else, and then went out again, setting another lap which was almost as quick again!

Second quickest was Lewis Hamilton, who just edged out Mark Webber - the Australian not being able to benefit from the support from fans at his home Grand Prix.

Interestingly, both drivers on the front row claimed they were without KERS for their quickest laps due to technical issues.

Further down the order, Nick Heidfeld fell at the first hurdle, failing to progress beyond Q1. His team mate Vitaly Petrov will line up alongside Fernando Alonso on the grid in sixth.

Rubens Barrichello spun on his first timed lap of Q2. Unable to drive out of the gravel trap, his afternoon was cut short, qualifying 17th.

It was a fairly successful day for the British drivers, with Jenson Button lining up directly behind team mate Hamilton in fourth place.
New boy Paul di Resta will line up 14th for Force India, two places ahead of his experienced team mate Adrian Sutil.

Sutil dramatically spun on the last corner of what would likely have been his fastest lap.
This will raise concerns over the DRS system (adjustable rear wing), as when the German opened his wing through the last corner, he lost the rear end and spun - but did well to keep his car away from the wall.

In tomorrow's race, the DRS will be available on the penultimate straight, the final corner and then down the start/finish straight.

For full qualifying results, visit

Thursday, 24 March 2011

Newey Turns Down Ferrari Offer

It has emerged that chief designer for Red Bull Racing, Adrian Newey, declined an approach from Ferrari for his services for the 2011 season.

52-year-old Newey, regarded by many as the best in the business, is the only person to have designed World Championship winning cars for three different teams (Williams, McLaren and Red Bull).

The designer receives a reported salary of 10 million Euros for his contributions to the team, which means he is better paid than most of the drivers taking to the grid in Melbourne this weekend.

For more on this story, visit

2011 Preview: The Best Of The Rest

The penultimate part of our 2011 preview focuses on the the top three 'midfield' teams.

All of these teams are previous World Champions, albeit possibly under a different name. The teams will be aiming for podiums, and attempting to challenge the top three whenever possible, whilst trying to keep the teams behind them at bay.

- - -

The first team to look at today is AT&T Williams. Finishing sixth in 2010 surely felt like - and was - a great result for the team, who fought a season long battle with Force India, eventually just pipping them to the post.
However, looking back at the teams illustrious history, which consists of nine World Championships and 113 race wins, sixth place might seem like an underacheivement.
What needs to be taken into consideration is that William are the only independent team left on the grid, and it is no secret that they do not have the financial clout to match some of their rivals.
Williams did manage to acheive a pole position last year, through Nico Hulkenberg's memorable lap in Brazil, but the young German was dropped for this season, in favour of a driver with more financial backing.

The number one driver for this season is once again veteran Brazilian, Rubens Barrichello. The most experienced driver on the field with over 300 Grand Prix to his name, Barrichello will provide the team with a wealth of technical information and constructive feedback on performance to help the team develop the car further.
After spending several seasons playing second fiddle to more successful team mates including Michael Schumacher and, more recently, Jenson Button, Barrichello will appreciate leading a team and will want to prove he still has what it takes to compete at the front of the field.

The teams second driver, the man with the Nico Hulkenberg-sized shoes to fill, is Pastor Maldonado. The young Venezuelan has looked quick so far in testing, but has made a few costly errors, with team boss Frank Williams saying that he is perhaps a little "too comfortable" with the car. Hopefully, Maldonado will have found the limit of his car and his own ability by the time the season begins.

- - -

Next, we have Lotus Renault GP. Classified fifth last season, the Renault-powered team have two World Championships to their name, thanks to current Ferrari number one, Fernando Alonso.
However, the management team have been forced to make major changes in recent years following the departure of Flavio Briatore and Pat Symonds in the wake of the race-fixing allegations levied at them by former driver Nelson Piquet Jr.
Most of the off-season news has revolved around the team, as number one driver and World Championship hopeful Robert Kubica was involved in a serious rally accident. Although the Pole thankfully seems to be making good progress in his recovery, there were plenty of rumours regarding his replacement.

It was eventually Nick Heidfeld who was selected as Kubica's replacement. The experienced German was out of contract for 2011, despite recording good results for Sauber at the end of 2010 after replacing Pedro de la Rosa.
Although Heidfeld has never won a race (despite acheiving several podiums), he is widely recognised as being a very consistent driver, setting the record for finishing the most consecutive Grands Prix (33).
Heidfeld will certainly have a point to prove this season in order to ensure he is offered a drive next year, and the car looks good enough to help him acheive that!

The team's second driver is once again Vitaly Petrov. The young Russian's financial backing was certainly a key factor in helping him to obtain a drive last year.
He struggled to adapt to the car at the beginning of the season, and crashed more times than his team would have liked. However, Petrov noticeably improved as the season progressed, scoring points on several occassions.
Alonso fans will probably best remember him for his faultless performance in Abu Dhabi, the final race of the season, where he calmly kept World Championship contenders Fernando Alonso and Mark Webber behind him for over half the race, which handed the World Championship title to Webber's team mate Sebastian Vettel.

- - -

Finally, Mercedes GP Petronas F1 Team. Finishing fourth in their debut season after acquiring the World Championship winning Brawn GP, this Mercedes-Benz-engined team are probably the most likely team, if any, to break into the top three.
Mercedes most valuable asset is arguably the genius of Team Principal Ross Brawn, and his strong relationship with star driver Schumacher.

The team's number one driver needs no introduction. Seven-time World Champion Michael Schumacher's return to Formula One was surely the biggest talking point at the start of the 2010 season.
At first the veteran German seemed to struggle with the car and tyres, which had changed considerably in the relatively short time he had been away from the sport.
Never far from controversy, Schumacher received a great deal of criticism after squeezing his former team mate Rubens Barrichello towards the pit wall during the Hungarian Grand Prix.
Schumacher has already stated that he does not expect to be challenging for the World Championship this season, but he believes they may be able to fight for race wins.

In an unchanged line-up from last year, Nico Rosberg maintains the team's second seat. The German driver performed very consistently last year, and was never far behind the leading pack. He also quite comfortably outscored his World famous team mate last season, and will want to acheive the same again in 2011.
With significant updates having been introduced by the team during pre-season testing, it is fairly safe to say that they will continue to develop further updates as the season unfolds.

- - -

2011 is expected to be a season where tactics will play a significant part in races, so it will be interesting whether the genius tacticians at Mercedes and Williams in particular can use this to their advantage.

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

2011 Predictions - Round 01, Australia

Ladies and Gentlemen!

It has been a long winter, but this weekend will see the delayed beginning of the 2011 Formula One World Championship.

Therefore, it is now time for us to provide our first ever predictions, for the upcoming Australian Grand Prix.

So, without further ado:

- - -

2011 PREDICTIONS - Round 01, Australia

1. Jenson Button - McLaren
2. Fernando Alonso - Ferrari
3. Nico Rosberg - Mercedes GP
4. Rubens Barrichello - Williams
5. Felipe Massa - Ferrari
6. Mark Webber - Red Bull Racing
7. Nick Heidfeld - Lotus-Renault
8. Lewis Hamilton - McLaren
9. Sebastian Vettel - Red Bull Racing
10. Paul di Resta - Force India
11. Michael Schumacher - Mercedes GP
12. Adrian Sutil - Force India
13. Pastor Maldonado - Williams
14. Jaime Alguersuari - Toro Rosso
15. Vitantonio Liuzzi - Hispania
16. Sebastien Buemi - Toro Rosso
17. Vitaly Petrov - Lotus-Renault
18. Jarno Trulli - Team Lotus
19. Kamui Kobayashi - Sauber
20. Heikki Kovalainen - Team Lotus
21. Sergio Perez - Sauber
22. Timo Glock - Virgin
23. Jerome D'Ambrosio - Virgin
24. Narain Karthikeyan - Hispania

- - -

Oddly, Red Bull are missing from the podium. Despite strong pre-season tests, the Formula One Results Predictor has decided that they will not finish higher than sixth!

Also interesting are strong performances from Nick Heidfeld and Vitantonio Liuzzi, who will both be making their first race appearances for their new teams.

Feel free to provide your race predictions by commenting on this post. Otherwise, watch the race, and see how accurate the Formula One Results Predictor actually is!

Yamamoto Given Reserve Role

Another former Hispania driver has been given a testing role for 2011.

This time it is Sakon Yamamoto who has been confirmed as reserve driver for the Marussia-Virgin team.

It is unclear yet how many Friday practice sessions the young Japanese driver (who is rumoured to have financial backing from sponsors) will participate in.

For more, see

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Chandhok Confirmed For Team Lotus

Former Hispania driver Karun Chandhok has been confirmed as Team Lotus test driver for 2011.

This move has been on the cards for some time now, but has finally been confirmed, with team boss Tony Fernandes claiming the move is "another great day for Team Lotus".

Chandhok will be lining up alongside three other test/reserve drivers, although he is expected to drive the car on Friday during the Australian Grand Prix practice sessions.

For more on this story, visit

2011 Preview: The 'Bottom Half' Teams

Part two of our 2011 preview focuses on the bottom three of the established teams.

Admittedly all of these teams have only existed in their current guises for a few years, and have had much to learn in a short space of time, but all of them will be looking to improve and try and break into the top half of the table.

- - -

The first team to consider is Scuderia Toro Rosso. Classified ninth in 2010, this Ferrari-powered team are regarded as the feeder team for current World Champions, Red Bull Racing (Toro Rosso is Italian for Red Bull). The team have had success in the past - they were very quick in their first season, as they were the only team allowed to run V10 engines as part of an agreement made between the FIA and the struggling Minardi team, who Toro Rosso replaced.
The cars were initially designed by master Red Bull designer Adrian Newey, but legislation introduced for the 2010 season has meant that the teams must be separated, and Newey no longer has direct input into the building of the car.
It is worth remembering, however, that Toro Rosso acheived their first Grand Prix victory before Red Bull did, courtesy of a faultless Sebastian Vettel drive in Monza, 2008.

The team's number one is the young Swiss driver, Sebastien Buemi. Buemi acheived the team's highest position in 2010, eighth place in the Canadian Grand Prix, although as the season progressed, his performances began to be matched by his less experienced team mate, Alguersuari.

2010 was Jaime Alguersuari's first full season, after replacing Sebastien Bourdais part-way through 2009. The keen DJ (who is due to release a single later in the year) did not have the greatest introduction to Formula One, suffering several accidents - although this is not overly surprising, as due to the restrictions on mid-season testing, Alguersuari entered his first race weekend with virtually no prior experience of the car.
He showed visible signs of improvement in 2010 as the season progressed.

Both Buemi and Alguersuari must continue to improve during 2011, as the team have previously shown that they are not adverse to replacing drivers mid-season, with replacement Daniel Ricciardo having already proven in an earlier winter test that he is a very capable driver.
The 2011 car does look very competitive, with Lewis Hamilton commenting following one pre-season test "the Toro Rosso looks ridiculously fast".

- - -

The second team to assess is the Sauber F1 Team. Finishing eight last season, this team, like Toro Rosso, are also powered by Ferrari engines.
The team was branded as BMW Sauber for the 2009 season, but because BMW withdrew from the sport very shortly before the commencement of the 2010 season, it was too late for the team to formerly change their name. Therefore they also ran in 2010 as BMW Sauber Ferrari, despite BMW having nothing to do with the team.

Sauber's first driver is the very exciting Kamui Kobayashi. The young Japanese driver made his first appearance in a Formula One car as a replacement for Toyota's injured Timo Glock for the final few races of the 2009 season. Kobayashi quickly gained lots of attention due to his very aggressive driving style and apparent lack of fear, as he overtook several much more experience drivers and refused to yield to anyone! Kobayashi will be the least experienced number one driver on the grid this season, so he will have to support his rookie team mate whilst still learning himself.

Sergio Perez is the team's new recruit. The Mexican driver is known to have brought sponsorship with him from his home Country, including famous tequila brand Jose Cuervo, but Perez will want to show that he has the talent to establish a long career in the sport.

Sauber have confirmed that their cars in Australia will feature a message of support for the Japanese people, following the Country's devastating events of recent weeks.

- - -

Finally, Force India. Finishing seventh last season, eventually losing a hard-fought battle with the Williams team for sixth place, it is easy to forget that 2011 will be only the Mercedes-Benz engined team's fourth season in the sport.
The previous three seasons have seen mixed fortunes for the Silverstone-based team, with the highlight surely being Giancarlo Fisichella's magnificent pole position at Spa-Francorchamps in 2009.
The team will certainly be looking to improve and acheive a top six finish this season.

The team's number one driver, Adrian Sutil, has driven for the team in all of their seasons in Formula One. Rumours emerged during the 2010 season that the German driver was looking to move away from the team, but despite this he has been re-signed for 2011.
2010 also saw Sutil's relationship with team mate Vitantonio Liuzzi stretched, with the pair seemingly unable to see eye-to-eye on occassions, including near-misses and holding each other up on qualifying laps.
It will be interesting to see how Sutil copes with his new team mate, who has looked quick in pre-season testing.
Sutil, however, has admitted that the team seem to lack pace compared to some of their rivals, and may face a struggle at the beginning of the season.

Force India's second driver for the new season is another rookie, Scotland's Paul di Resta, who spent last season as a test driver for the team, but also participated in - and won - the DTM Championship.
Di Resta (cousin of star United States-based drivers Dario and Marino Franchitti) talks a good talk, and is happy to remind Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel that he has beaten them both in the past in lower formulas. Whether this ability will be shown in 2011 will remain to be seen, but Di Resta's initial aim will be try to match the pace of his experienced team mate.

Like Toro Rosso, Force India have a proven test driver in the form of Nico Hulkenberg, who qualified on pole in the 2010 Brazilian Grand Prix for Williams.

- - -

It will be interesting to see whether any of these teams can break into the top six this season. Especially considering the three new teams behind them look to be slowly reeling in the rest of the field.

Monday, 21 March 2011

New Twist In The Lotus v Lotus Saga

On the day that the (Team) Lotus v (Group) Lotus courtcase was due to begin, a new disagreement has broken out between Team Lotus boss Tony Fernandes, and the man who at one stage appeared to be their trump card in the whole disagreement, David Hunt.

Hunt, the brother of former Formula One star James, bought the rights to the Team Lotus name when the team folded in the mid 90's, and vowed to one day return to the team to a "worthy custodian" who could help return the marque to the front of the grid.

However, Hunt has now claimed that Fernandes has tried to renegotiate on an agreement which they made following the completion of the 2010 season.

"He (Fernandes) apparently 'changed his mind' at the 11th hour, by his own admission, now that I've done so much work on his company's behalf, and he's trying to renegotiate by offering new terms which are, frankly, ludicrous,".

Team Lotus have strongly denied these claims.

"Team Lotus has an agreement with David Hunt which was signed by both parties,"

"David Hunt has tried to renegotiate that agreement, which Team Lotus is not prepared to do."

These unfortunate events may result in a further court case for Team Lotus, who will start their second season in Australia this weekend. Whatever the final decision of the court may be, we can only hope that it will not affect the team's on-track performances.

For more on this story, visit

Hamilton Aiming For More Championships

McLaren's Lewis Hamilton believes that he needs to win the World Championship "time after time" if he is to be considered one of the greatest drivers of his generation.

"I am not here to race 10 years and only win one or two world championships," said the 26-year-old.

Hamilton is about to begin his fifth season in Formula One, finishing runner up in his debut campaign, and winning the Driver's Championship the following year.

McLaren haven't really found their form since then, however, with the team struggling mid-table for the first half of 2009.
Their 2010 season was better, but neither Hamilton nor team mate Jenson Button could quite match the pace of Ferrari or Red Bull on most outings.

The Briton has denied that he will need to leave Woking-based McLaren to acheive more World Championships, describing them as an "incredible" team.

For more on this story, visit

Sunday, 20 March 2011

2011 Preview: The 'New' Teams

Part one of our 2011 preview focuses on the three teams which were new to the grid in 2010.

These three teams were also the only three on the grid unable to score a single World Championship point, and their positions were decided based on their highest results. This did not come as a surprise to many, however, as their inclusion in the Championship was only confirmed shortly before testing began, giving the teams minimal time to design and build their cars.

These teams will be looking to improve in 2011, and will be aiming to score at least a point, particularly with Bernie Ecclestone repeatedly claiming that the Championship only requires ten teams.

- - -

Starting with Marussia Virgin Racing. Classified 12th last season, the Cosworth-powered team founded by entrepreneur Richard Branson will be looking for an improved run of results this year.

The experienced Timo Glock will once again be the team's number one driver, despite technically finishing lower down the order last season than rookie Lucas di Grassi. Glock will certainly feel he has a point to prove now, even though he has admitted that the new car is probably still not quick enough to challenge the midfield runners.
Glock does not appear to be someone who is happy just making up the numbers at the back of the field. He will be encouraging his team and engineers to provide him with a good car, with which he can compete with the established teams.

The second driver for this season is Jerome D'Ambrosio, who is believed to have brought additional sponsorship to the team which aided his ascension to a first team drive. The young Belgian will want to show that he is worthy of competing at the pinacle of motorsport and will certainly keep Glock on his toes.

- - -

The next team to look at is Colin Kolles' HRT F1 Team (Hispania). This Cosworth-Powered team are certainly not the richest team in the sport, with many suggesting they would not last an entire season. However, last it they did, and they're back again in 2011. They even managed to finish in the rankings above Virgin last year, despite using four different drivers over the course of the season, and missing pre-season testing in it's entirety.
The 2011 car is probably not too dissimilar to it's predecessor, and will have been based around the 2010 model with a few modifications. Unfortunately, due to circumstances beyond the team's control, they missed all of the 2011 pre-season tests again.

Vitantonio Liuzzi was the final driver announcement for the year, having been relieved of his position as Force India driver at the end of last year. The often outspoken Italian is fighting to keep his Formula One career alive. It will be interesting to see how he copes with life at the back of the grid, and how he copes if he is expected to lead the team.

Liuzzi's team mate is Indian Narain Karthikeyan, who formerly competed in Formula One for Jordan, among others, but spent last season competing in the NASCAR Trucks series. He is a hard working and committed driver, who recently admitted that he spent all of his savings that he earned in the States on securing this drive.

- - -

Finally, we have Team Lotus. Definitely the most competitive of the new teams, and the team that came closest to the ellusive World Championship point. This will certainly be an interesting season for the team, both on the track and off, as they have got at least two court dates booked due to ongoing disputes regarding the use of the Lotus name. On track, however, they will certainly be looking to catch the midfield runners, as they have signed a deal with Red Bull Technology for their transmission package and will use Renault engines in an effort to acheive their goals.

Driver one for the team is Jarno Trulli. Trulli is one of the most experienced drivers in the field, having first competed in Formula One back in 1997. The Italian was outperformed by team mate Heikki Kovalainen for much of last season and will want to correct that this year.
He knows, however, that he is in the Autumn of his Formula One career, and will need a stong season to ensure he is offered a drive in 2012.

Heikki Kovalainen once again partners Trulli. The Finn had a strong season last year, and was only a few positions from scoring points on a number of occassions. However, Kovalainen's season will perhaps be best remembered for his fireman antics in the Singapore Grand Prix, singlehandedly extinguishing the flames from his burning car.
Kovalained will want to return to the front of the field, where he was when competing in the number 2 McLaren in 2009.

- - -

It will be interesting to see whether any of these teams can score points in 2011, or whether their lack of budget, KERS and DRS (adjustable rear wing) will mean they will have to be content just racing each other.

Saturday, 19 March 2011

Pirelli Compound Colours

New tyre supplier for 2011, Pirelli, have announced their colour coding system for the forthcoming season.

Whereas 2010's Bridgestone tyres featured a coloured ring around the tyre to denote the compound, Pirelli are instead going to change the colour of the 'Pirelli' and 'P Zero' logos.

The colour scheme will be as follows:
  Wet - Orange
  Intermediate - Light Blue
  Supersoft - Red
  Soft - Yellow
  Medium - White
  Hard - Silver

It will be interesting to see how easy it is to differentiate between yellow, white and silver whilst the wheel is rotating.

For more on this story, visit

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Brawn: New Exhausts "Significant"

Mercedes GP boss Ross Brawn has explained that he believes that the new exhaust systems, trialled by several teams this season, will be very effective.

Brawn also claims that the exhaust could be "more significant" than the double diffusers, widely credited for helping the Brawn team win their World Championship winning 2009 season.

The front-blown exhaust design was first unveiled by Lotus-Renault, but several other teams have also followed suit, as the design is shown to improve downforce, and therefore handling.

Brawn believes that in the future, stricter rules may well be introduced to unify the designs of the exhaust systems, but for the time being he does not think they will pose any regulatory problems.

For more on this story, visit

New Bahrain Date Unlikely

It appears likely that the Bahrain Grand Prix will not be able to be rescheduled as previously hoped.

A state of emergency has been declared in the Nation, with no end to the political protests in sight.

A deadline of mid-May had been for Bahrain to decide whether they wanted to reschedule the race, but this now looks highly unlikely.

For more, see

Monday, 14 March 2011

Vettel Commits Future

Red Bull have today announced that Sebastian Vettel has extended his contract with the team until the end of the 2014 season.

The team are obviously pleased with this confirmation, with team boss Christian Horner saying that it was important to get this resolved before the season began, so that they could focus solely on racing.

Mark Webber's contract with the team is due to expire at the end of this season.
If he doesn't renew his contract it will be interesting to see who the team will employ to replace him, as Vettel will surely be seen as the number one driver, having been on the team's books for years.

For more on this, visit

Sunday, 13 March 2011

2011 F1 Season Preview

In 2011, Formula One is being filmed and broadcast in High Definition for the first time!

Here's a preview of what you can expect.

Can't wait!

Saturday, 12 March 2011

Testing Analysis

Bernie Ecclestone has often talked about introducing an Olympic style medal system into Formula One, where the driver with the most gold medals at the end of the season would win!
This suggestion has not paricularly impressed drivers, teams or fans, however Ecclestone still believes it is an option.

Now that all the pre-season tests have been completed, we have assessed the results and present the results below in a format that Mr Ecclestone would appreciate!

The list is headed up by Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel, who was the quickest driver on four occassions.
Ferrari's Fernando Alonso falls fifth in the table, which is surprising, as he has looked comparable to the Red Bull's over the winter. However, the Spaniard has finished in the top three six times this year - more than anyone else.
Equally surprisingly, former World Champion Lewis Hamilton appears at the bottom of the list, having only been the third quickest driver on two occassions.

All three Force India drivers (Sutil, Di Resta and Hulkenberg) along with McLaren's Gary Paffett also finished in the top three earlier in the year, but have not been included as their times were set using the 2010 cars.

How much will the race results reflect the testing results? Just two weeks until we can find out!

Testing, Barcleona - 12 March 2011

Just five drivers headed out onto a very wet Barcelona track today, for the final day of pre-season testing.

Times were well off the pace today, due in part to the almost monsoon conditions, and only three drivers actually set times, with Michael Schumacher and Fernando Alonso venturing out only for a handful of installation laps.

The fastest time of the day was set again by Mercedes' Nico Rosberg, who despite completing the most laps of anybody, still only recorded thirty or so laps, just over half a race distance.

Second quickest was Pastor Maldonado for Williams, with his best time about half a second slower than Rosbergs.

McLaren's Lewis Hamilton was third today, although he seemed happy and was upbeat about his team's chances when speaking to the press, saying "I'm positive. I love racing, I'm looking forward to racing".

For more details on today's testing, visit

Friday, 11 March 2011

Hispania May Not Test 2011 Car

Hispania today officially revealed their 2011 car to the World at Barcelona today. Computer generated images of what the car would look like had previously been shown on the team's website, but this was the first time the finished product had been displayed in public.

However, unfortunately for the struggling team, parts of the car have not arrived at the track as they have been delayed in customs upon arriving in Spain.

The team are not yet sure whether the parts will arrive in time for them to get the car out on the track on Saturday, as it is the last day of pre-season testing before the season starts in Australia later in the month.

Drivers Narain Kartikeyan and Vitantonio Liuzzi have been able to paricipate in testing, using the 2010 car fitted with 2011 Pirelli tyres.

For more information, and to see the new car, visit

Testing, Barcelona - 11 March 2011

There was a bit of a surprise at Barcelona once again today, as veteran Michael Schumacher set the fastest time of any of the pre-season tests at the circuit this year. Mercedes have introduced a package of upgrades, including a revised front wing, so this performance will certainly be encouraging for the team.

Fernando Alonso was second quickest of the day, although the Ferrari driver's best time was almost four tenths of a second behind the seven time World Champion.

Nico Rosberg set the third fastest time, as he replaced team mate Schumacher later on in the day. Rosberg's time was particularly impressive, however, as he only clocked just over 20 laps, in comparison to Alonso who recorded over 140!

For a more in-depth look at the testing results, visit

Thursday, 10 March 2011

Adjustable Rear Wings

For the 2011 Formula One season, the FIA have introduced Adjustable Rear Wings (ARW) - also sometimes referred to as Drag Reduction System (DRS).

The idea is for the driver to be able to move the wing - using controls on the steering wheel - into a position where it provides less downforce, therefore allowing the car to travel faster.

However, it is significantly more technical than this, as the FIA will allow just one part of the track where the DRS can be operated - this is expected to usually be on the longest straight. The wing can only be operated if a driver is within a certain distance of the car he is following, and the car in front cannot use the DRS to defend (unless he is also within a certain distance of the car infront of him!)
The measurements between the two cars are calculated by the computers at race control, and the wing physically cannot be used unless all factors are met.

The system was introduced in an effort to produce more overtaking, and to make the race more exciting and unpredictable.

Critics of the device do not believe it will have much affect on the racing with some - including Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel - suggesting that it may make the racing too 'artificial'.

However, BBC Radio5 Live commentator, and former Formula One driver Anthony Davidson claims that the DRS could increase the speeds of the cars by up to 15kph - which on a long straight could make a big difference!
Davidson believes that the tracks where drivers would benefit the most, are tracks where they would run with the most downforce:
"Circuits like Spa, Suzuka and Silverstone where you run quite a draggy car, in terms of downforce, for the speed of the circuit. Where you’re running a relatively high amount of downforce for the track that you’re on.
It will probably allow teams to run slightly higher downforce than they normally would have."

To read this interview in full, visit

The concern raised by some is what would happen if the wing had not returned to it's closed position by the time the car reaches a corner. The car relies heavily on the wing for handling and braking, so could this lead to more accidents and mistakes? The teams have been using the wing extensively during testing, so hopefully the drivers should all be at grips with it by the time the season starts.

The following video shows the Sauber C30 utilising it's DRS in testing. Teams given free reign of the use of the wing during testing, but in the race they will only be able to use it at a specific point.

Similar technology has been used in some high-end road cars for several years.
The following video shows a Bugatti Veyron, which features a wing which rises at speed, and then tilts when braking to assist with stopping the car.

What difference will the DRS actually make to the racing? It is not currently clear. It will certainly give engineers and teams more to work with, but only time will tell whether we see more overtaking!

Testing Results, Barcelona - 10 March 2011

The headlines were made today by Sauber new-boy Sergio Perez, who took set the fastest lap of the day - this time without cutting the chicane!
There is little doubt that he was running on low fuel, as much of his morning was taken up practicing qualifying runs, however his time - second quickest of the week - was impressive by anyone's standards!

Second was Ferrari's Felipe Massa, who lapped the track more than anyone else as Ferrari continue to pile on the testing miles.

Third was Mark Webber, who acheived his best time in a light, but not empty car, as he was able to stay out for a few more laps after clocking his best.

For a more detailed round-up of today's events, visit

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Pedro de la Rosa Returns 'Home'

McLaren have confirmed that Pedro de la Rosa is to return to the team as a test driver for the 2011 season.

Pedro last tested for the team in 2009, before switching to a Sauber race seat for the first half of 2010. He lost his Sauber drive before the completion of the season, but signed for Pirelli as test driver.

The Spaniard said of the move "Of all the teams I've driven for in Formula 1, Vodafone McLaren Mercedes is the one that really feels like home. So I'm very excited about returning to the team to help push the development of the MP4-26."

McLaren will also maintain existing test driver Gary Paffett, but he will be splitting his duties between Formula One testing, and competing in the DTM Championship for Mercedes-Benz.

For more, visit Pedro's official site

Testing Results, Barcelona - 09 March 2011

Once again, Red Bull topped the timesheets today, with some consistent driving and a few quick laps from reigning World Champion Sebastian Vettel.

Sebastien Buemi was second quickest for Toro Rosso, but he was half a second off the German's pace.

Vitaly Petrov acheived another top three for Lotus-Renault with another productive test session.

McLaren's Lewis Hamilton set the fourth quickest time of the day, despite only recording half as many laps as the top three. However, he echoed his team mate's previous comments, saying that he did not expect to be challenging for the title this season.

For more, see

Hispania Confirm Driver Line-Up

It has been confirmed that Force India outcast Vitantonio Liuzzi is to fill the vacant Hispania Racing seat for the 2011 campaign.

The Italian driver previously stated that he did not want to pay for a drive, although Hispania suggested separately that the seat was available at a price.

Liuzzi received a pay-off from Force India, as they wanted to promote test driver Paul di Resta to replace him, although Liuzzi was still under contract.
It is not currently clear whether these funds were used to help secure the drive.

Liuzzi will drive alongside returning driver Narain Kartikeyan. The 2011 car is likely to appear at the Barcelona test for the first time later in the week.

Unfortunately, this announcement has rather ruined our first ever poll "Who Will Be Hispania Racing's Second Driver", but the good news is that all vacant race seats have now been filled, and predictions can now commence!

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Testing Returns To Barcelona

The final week of pre-season tests began today - held in Barcelona instead of Bahrain as originally planned, due to the unstable political situation in the Country.

Red Bull's Mark Webber set the fastest time of the day, which was faster than anyone managed to acheive at the track a month ago.

Second was Jenson Button, although he was quick to admit that his McLaren team will not be quick enough to compete with Ferrari or Red Bull in the first race in Australia in under three weeks time.

Vitaly Petrov took third for Lotus-Renault, running in the afternoon in place of his team mate Nick Heidfeld who only drove in the morning due to suffering from a cold.

At the close of the session, it appeared that Sauber's Sergio Perez would take the headlines with a blistering time, significantly quicker than Webber's, however it later emerged that the Mexican had cut the chicane, and therefore the time would not count.

For more details on today's session, visit

Brawn Profits

Mercedes GP boss Ross Brawn has made a sizeable return on his investment in the sale of the team to Mercedes-Benz owners Daimler.

Brawn, along with four others, purchased the struggling Honda team in a management buy-out for a symbolic £1 at the end of 2008, following a fairly unsuccessful campaign.
The team's fortunes were turned around the following season, winning both the Constructors crown and Drivers Championship for Jenson Button.

Englishman Brawn has now agreed to sell his shares in the team for a figure believed to be in the region of £100m.

For more on this, visit

Sunday, 6 March 2011

Ecclestone's Frank Interview

Mr Formula One, Bernie Ecclestone, has given a very typically straight-talking interview with

Ecclestone discusses the cancellation of the Bahrain Grand Prix "I think it was the right decision", Michael Schumacher's chances "If Mercedes give him a competitive car, he will win again", Robert Kubica "For me Robert Kubica is one of the top drivers" and the safety of modern Formula One cars "if you could choose your kind of accident I am sure they would all choose a Formula One car".

The Englishman also admitted to favouritism when asked who he would pick between the two current Red Bull drivers "Very clearly Sebastian (Vettel)!", and said that if he could manage a team again, he would pick Ferrari "because of the myth", with Vettel and Fernando Alonso as drivers. The third driver would be "Probably the one with the most money, or Nico Hulkenberg".

Controversially, the often outspoken boss said that he would like to "make it rain", by artificially wetting the tracks during the race with little warning, in an effort to make the show more of a spectacle. This has, however, already received some opposition, particularly from Mark Webber - although the Australian may have been offended by Ecclestone's earlier remarks regarding his preference for Vettel!

It's a very interesting article, and well worth reading in full, which can be done HERE.

Saturday, 5 March 2011

Twitter Feed

James Allen's website ( features a live Twitter feed from selected contributors, including us!

It's an interesting read, and relays information, rumours and opinions from Motorsport fans from all over the World!

Check it out HERE.

To follow us, visit and search for @F1Predict

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Pay Drivers - Good Or Bad?

Is it right that drivers can effectively 'buy' a seat in a Formula One car?

In the 2011 campaign, there will reportedly be six drivers who have brought funds with them to their team.

Jerome d'Ambrosio (VIR); Segio Perez (SAU); Pastor Maldonado (WIL); Vitaly Petrov (REN); Narain Karthikeyan (HRT) and TBC (HRT) are each believed to have brought between £5-10 million in backing.
However, Vitaly Petrov was awarded a contact extension, and is now in his second year with the Lotus-Renault team.

The most obvious advantage of paid drivers is the money they bring to the team through backing and sponsorship.
However, another advantage is that it brings opportunities to drivers who may not have ever had a chance of a Formula One drive otherwise. Although scouts and talent-spotters operate extensively in Europe and UK, it can be much more difficult for a Russian or South American to break into the mainstream.
The sport itself can also benefit as it can gain exposure in Nations where previously Formula One was relatively unknown. This is having a noticeable effect already, as car makers Lotus, Marussia, Infiniti and Lada have recently become involved.

The disadvantage of pay drivers is that some highly talented drivers may be unable to obtain a race seat, or even (in the case of Nico Hulkenberg) lose a seat, as they are unable to obtain the necessary funding required.

There is still one race seat available for the 2011 season with Hispania, which is believed to be available for £5 million! If you would like to find out more about this opportunity, visit

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Glock Taken To Hospital

Marussia-Virgin driver Timo Glock has been taken to hospital in Switzerland with suspected appendicitis.

The German was successfully operated on, and is not expected to miss any Grands Prix, but is unlikely to appear at the final pre-season test in Barcelona.

Glock used his Twitter account to thank fans for their support:
- @realTimoGlock - "Hello everyone thanks for all the great messages that helps recovery :-) ! Greetings from the Hospital to everyone !!!Will be back soon Timo"

To follow Timo, visit

Red Bull Will Not Use Infiniti Engines!

Contrary to previous rumours, it has been announced today that Red Bull's Renault engines will not be rebranded as Infiniti.

The American car company will, however, sponsor the current Champions in a two year deal, which is likely to lead into a longer term strategic partnership.

For more on this story, visit