Thursday, 28 April 2011

New Team Lotus Purchase - Update

Team Lotus boss Tony Fernandes has confirmed that he has no immediate plans to rename the Formula One team, following their acquisition of Caterham Cars.

However, Team Lotus' GP2 outfit - currently team AirAsia - is expected to be renamed Caterham, with AirAsia the title sponsor.

The deal does, however, provide Fernandes and co with a suitable option, should they lose the current court case they are embroiled in (against Group Lotus)  and are forced to rename the team.
Fernandes has denied the Caterham deal was made because he "expected" to lose the case.

For more on this story, visit

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

New Team Lotus Purchase - Confirmed

As expected, Team Lotus confirmed today that they have indeed purchased Caterham Cars.

Caterham, who produce the 'Seven' track / road car as designed by Lotus, recently announced a new model was to be released - the SP/300.R, but the company have found it difficult to market their vehicles to the global market with limited funds.

This deal will presumably see the Caterham logo given a prominent position on the Team Lotus F1 car, as currently the most prominent logo is that of EQ8, an energy drink company also owned by the Team Lotus group.

For more on this story, visit
Or to learn more about Caterham Cars, visit

Monday, 25 April 2011

Kubica Leaves Hospital

Lotus-Renault driver Robert Kubica has been discharged from the hospital in Pietra Ligure, Italy, where he had been recovering since his life threatening rally crash 11 weeks ago.

The Pole will continue to be monitored closely by Doctors, and will begin a long rehabilitation process after resting at his home in Monaco.

It is thought a decision will be made on if and when he can return to motor racing in the Summer.

For more on this story, visit

Saturday, 23 April 2011

Could Team Lotus Be Rebranded?

Team Lotus have recently released details of an "incredibly exciting announcement" which will be revealed to the World during a straight-line aero test day in Duxford next week.

Rumours have started to spread that this announcement relates to the team buying the sports car maufacturer Caterham.

Caterham have strong links to the Lotus brand, originally distributing the cars, and later becoming the sole producer of the famous Seven road / track car.

Formula One journalist Joe Saward confirms in his blog that he has checked Companies House, and sure enough "Kamarudin Meranun and Anthony Francis Fernandes were appointed directors of Caterham Cars Group Ltd and Caterham Cars Ltd a little more than a week ago". (Visit for full story).

This purchase could well be an opportunity for Team Lotus to 'get one over' on Group Lotus, by buying a company with close ties to Lotus Cars.

Alternatively, with a high profile legal battle currently taking place in the British courts regarding the naming rights of Team Lotus (separate story, click here), could this possibly be a potential new name for the team, now entering their second season in the sport?

When the announcement has been made by the team, you can be sure that we will let you know the outcome!

With thanks to for alerting us to this story.

Friday, 22 April 2011

Monaco Ban For DRS?

Formula One bosses are considering banning the use of the DRS (adjustable rear wing) for the whole of the Monaco weekend.

DRS may be used freely in Free Practice and qualifying, and has been permitted on one straight per lap during the first three races of the season.

However, Monaco does not have any long straights, with both the start/finish straight and the tunnel sections featuring curves and slow corners on their completion.

Teams are also concerned that drivers may take risks during qualifying, by opening their wings on complex track sections, in an effort to gain time.
The Monte Carlo circuit famously allows little margin for error, so a slight mistake could cause a qualifying session to be red flagged, or cause injury.

For more on this story, visit

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Is Formula One For Sale?

Reports in the British press today have suggested that Rupert and James Murdoch's company News Corp could be looking to launch an audacious bid to purchase Formula One, along with Sauber sponsor Carlos Slim, one of the World's richest men.

Bernie Ecclestone has denied these rumours saying that he had not been approached by any of the men rumoured to be involved in the deal, although he knows them all personally.

The Concorde Agreement (the arrangement which includes the teams, the FIA and the owners of Formula One; CVC Partners) states that the sport should be shown on free-to-air TV "wherever possible" but this agreement expires at the end of 2012.

The BBC holds the rights to broadcast the sport in the UK, in a deal which lasts until the end of the 2013 season. However, if News Corp were to succeed in a takeover, it seems highly likely that the sport would be broadcast on Sky as the company owns a large stake in BSkyB.

Mr Ecclestone, however, claimed that a takeover of this nature was not feasible, telling the Times newspaper:

"We would not sell to a media company because it would restrict the ability to negotiate with other broadcasters"

For more on this story, visit

Sunday, 17 April 2011

Chinese Grand Prix - 17 April 2011

Another early start this morning, with the third round of the 2011 Formula One World Championship.

The drama started before the warm-up lap even began, as Lewis Hamilton's McLaren failed to start in the garage. The mechanics frantically set to work removing the engine cover and air box, as it appeared the engine had been flooded. It was a race against time to get the car running, and Hamilton eventually took to the track, less than a minute before the deadline. Any later, and he would have had to start the race from the pitlane.

As the lights went green, pole-setter Sebastian Vettel got an uncharacteristically slow start, being passed by the McLaren's of Jenson Button and then Hamilton, and almost lost another position to Nico Rosberg's Mercedes.

Vettel managed to overtake Button in the first round of pitstops. As Button led the German into the pitlane, he mistakenly drove into Vettel's pit box which was situated directly before his own. The confusion didn't lose the Briton much time, but it was just enough for Vettel to get the jump on him.

Vettel's team mate Mark Webber, who had started in 18th after a poor qualifying session, started the race on the prime (hard compound) tyres. He didn't make as much ground as expected due to a lack of KERS once again, and at one point dropped as low as 20th. However, as he hadn't used any option (soft compound) tyres, he had three brand new sets in his garage. Eventually, once he had pitted and switched to the options, he started to feel more comfortable with the car and began to move up the order.

There was only one retirement in this race; the youngest driver on the grid, Jaime Alguersuari, had recorded his personal best qualifying result - 7th - but didn't get a great start and lost a few positions. Leaving the pits with a fresh set of tyres, it soon became clear his right-rear tyre was not properly attached, and it came off completely shortly afterwards. The Spaniard was unable to return to the pits and had to retire.

As the race entered the final stages, the drivers with fresher tyres began to gain a significant advantage. Vettel, who had regained the lead thanks to a two-stop strategy, began to lose time to those chasing him. Button, in fourth place, was at one point catching the leader by as much as three seconds a lap. Hamilton drove supremely well in the second half of the race, passing his team mate, Nico Rosberg and then, eventually, the leader Vettel.

Webber was continuing to move well up through the field, and managed to catch Button who was holding the final podium position. Using the DRS to the best of his advantage, Webber was able to catch and pass Button, meaning he had gained a highly impressive 15 places since the start!

This result shows that the pairing of Sebastian Vettel and Red Bull are not unbeatable, which is good news for the rival drivers and teams, and should make for a more exciting season.

Provisional race results:

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

A bit of a mixed result for the Formula One Results Predictor. Not too many results were spot on, but most results were there or thereabouts. It appears to have been the surprisingly strong showing from Mercedes GP which made the difference!

Saturday, 16 April 2011

Q1 Casualties

Since the three new teams, Team Lotus; Hispania and Virgin entered the Formula One World Championship in 2010, it is generally accepted that the six drivers from these teams will generally fail to progress beyond the first round of qualifying. Seven cars are eliminated from qualifying at the end of Q1, leaving just one more driver to fall at the first hurdle.

This is usually simply the slowest driver, although sometimes an accident, or - in the case of Mark Webber at the Chinese Grand Prix - a tactical error, can cause a traditional front runner to drop out.

We have compiled a list of which drivers outside of the new teams have been knocked out in Q1 in 2010, and so far in 2011, with how many times they have failed to progress:

Vitantonio Liuzzi - Force India - 5
Kamui Kobayashi - Sauber - 4
Jaime Alguersuari - Toro Rosso - 2
Fernando Alonso - Ferrari - 2
Sebastien Buemi - Toro Rosso - 2
Felipe Massa - Ferrari - 2
Vitaly Petrov - Renault - 2
Rubens Barrichello - Williams - 1
Pedro de la Rosa - Sauber - 1
Lewis Hamilton - McLaren - 1
Nick Heidfeld - Renault - 1
Pastor Maldonado - Williams - 1
Adrian Sutil - Force India - 1
Mark Webber - Red Bull - 1

And the following shows how many times teams each team have dropped out in Q1:

Force India - 6
Sauber - 5
Ferrari - 4
Toro Rosso - 4
Renault - 3
Williams - 2
McLaren - 1
Red Bull - 1

Interestingly, Ferrari have had four cars fail to reach Q2 (although this does include Malaysia 2010, when both drivers were knocked out in Q1).
This means that Mercedes GP are the only team to have never failed to progress beyond the first session.

Chinese Grand Prix Qualifying

An interesting qualifying session took place this morning, which saw Championship leader Sebastian Vettel claim his usual place at the top of the timesheets, and take pole for tomorrow's Grand Prix. The McLaren duo of Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton will line up behind the dominant German.

The main news story from the session, however, is that Vettel's highly experienced team mate, Mark Webber, failed to progress beyond Q1. Most teams (including Ferrari and Mercedes) opted to use the option (soft-compound) tyres in an effort to ensure they progressed from the first qualifying session.
Red Bull decided that they were confident enough to run using the prime (hard-compound) tyres only. The Australian was unable to set a quick enough lap, and as the session ended his time was beaten by Williams rookie Pastor Maldonado - running on the option tyres - dropping Webber down to 18th place.

Q2 was equally eventful, with Vitaly Petrov's Lotus-Renault rolling to a stop on the track with just over two minutes left on the clock, bringing the red flags out and halting the session.
As the session recommenced, almost all the drivers (excluding Vettel, the two McLarens, the two Toro Rossos and the car-less Petrov) took to the track, knowing they needed a quick out-lap to start their flying lap before the session time expired. The last lap was particularly important for Petrov's team mate Nick Heidfeld who was the only driver yet to set a time.
The only driver to actually improve on their position in the last lap battle was Nico Rosberg - as Heidfeld only managed 16th.

For full qualifying results, see

Friday, 15 April 2011

McLaren Want Current Line-Up To Continue

McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh has announced that he would like the current pairing of Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button to continue "for many more years".

Button spent his first season at McLaren last season, after winning the World Championship with the Brawn GP team in 2009.
Hamilton has spent his entire Formula One career with the Woking-based team, since entering the sport in 2007.

Many critics suggested that Button would be shown up by the younger Hamilton if they both drove the same car, yet it was Button who set the pace for much of the earlier part of last season.
Whitmarsh, however, has suggested that the two drivers have a lot to learn from each other.

"We have two drivers that have a bond. They like working together and are both enjoying it."

"Jenson wants to beat Lewis and Lewis wants to beat him, but in the most productive manner."

So far this season, the McLaren drivers each have one podium finish to their name. To see our predictions for the coming Grand Prix, click here.

To see more on this story, visit

2011 Predictions - Round 3, China

The Formula One Results Predictor has been hard at work, calculating the predictions for the third round of the 2011 Formula One World Championship in China, held this coming Sunday.

After disappointing results from the Predictor at the first Grand Prix, last week's Grand Prix in Malaysia saw significant improvements.

To see the Malaysian results, click here

- - -

2011 PREDICTIONS - Round 3, China

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

- - -

For the first time, the F1RP has predicted that reigning World Champion Vettel will win the race. If this does happen, Vettel will acheive five consecutive Grand Prix wins, a feat which has only been acheived seven times previously.

McLaren fans will be pleased with the predicted podium places for both of the team's drivers, however it is suggested that Mercedes will have another difficult weekend.

Send us your predictions by commenting below!

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Hamilton Sets New Record

McLaren's Lewis Hamilton set the record at the Malaysian Grand Prix on Sunday for becoming the driver to start the most Grand Prix for just one team.

The record was previously held by Jim Clark, who drove in 72 races for Lotus prior to his death in 1968.

Hamilton, who is now entering his fifth season in Formula One has now raced in 73 Grand Prix for the Woking-based McLaren team.

The 26-year-old former World Champion said that he felt "very humble" to have surpassed Clark's record.

For more, visit

Monday, 11 April 2011

Buemi Explains Penalty

Sebastien Buemi received a 10 second stop-and-go penalty during the Malaysian Grand Prix on Sunday for exceeding the pit lane speed limit.

The Swiss driver explained after the race that he thought the speed limiter in his Toro Rosso had not activated, and so pressed the button again, inadvertently disabling it.

Usually, speeding in the pit lane will be penalised by a drive-through penalty rather than a stop-and-go, but the decision was probably made due the driver exceeding the 100kph speed limit by as much as 20kph. A decision Buemi described as "a bit severe".

Had it not been for the penalty, Buemi would probably have been challenging for points at the end of the race, but instead he came home in 13th place, one position ahead of his team mate Jaime Alguesuari.

For more on this story, visit

Sunday, 10 April 2011

Malaysian Grand Prix - 10 April 2011

Round 2 of the 2011 World Championship took place early this morning (UK time), and it was clear from yesterday's close qualifying session that this race would be harder to call than the previous race in Australia.

The Championship leader, Sebastian Vettel, started on pole ahead of McLaren's Lewis Hamilton, Vettel's team mate Mark Webber and the second McLaren of Jenson Button.

Webber radioed in a problem in his warm-up lap, which was later revealed to be a KERS issue - the Red Bull team reluctantly running the system as it is believed to be particularly important at this race. It was immediately obvious from the start that the Australian was suffering without the boost off the line, dropping several positions before the first corner.

It was the two Lotus-Renault cars of Nick Heidfeld and Vitaly Petrov who benefited the most at the start, moving up from sixth and eight respectively on the grid, to battling with the leading cars in the first turn.

Tyres played a much bigger part here than in the first race, where Sergio Perez impressively managed to stop just once, whilst in the hotter conditions of Kuala Lumpur, three and four stop strategies were the flavour of the day.

Positions changed regularly due to the high number of stops, with some drivers performing better on the soft and hard tyres than others. In addition, rain arrived (as is so often the case at this track) but lasted for just a few laps, with all drivers opting to stay on the dry tyres.

At approximately half distance, race leader Vettel was told by his race engineer that he was not to use KERS, and the gap he had managed to build to his rivals slowly started to disolve. The issue seemed to resolve itself later in the race, and the German was able to use it on occasion. Alonso was also having issues of his own, with his rear wing not opening when he tried to operate his DRS whilst chasing the apparently struggling Hamilton.

Alonso managed to pass his former team mate, only to lose the position again at the following bend, then, when attempting another move, the Spaniard touched the rear-right wheel of Hamilton's McLaren, ruining the Ferrari's front wing. Alonso was forced to pit for a new nose-cone, but Hamilton appeared to emerge relatively unscathed. His lap times never really recovered though, suggesting there may have been some damage to the rear of his car. Hamilton had to pit once more for tyres, allowing Alonso to leap-frog him position.

At the front, Vettel appeared to be able to match whatever second place Button could throw at him, the gap between the two remained fairly static. Heidfeld looked fairly secure in third place, but Webber had started to mount a late charge, on tyres which were several laps newer than Heidfeld's. The charge came slightly too late though, with Heidfeld managing to keep hold of the final podium place - his first since this same race two years ago.

With only three laps remaining, Petrov ran wide in the sister Lotus-Renault, and tried to maintain his speed through the grass. However, he hit a hidden bump which launched the black and gold car into the air. The car landed heavily, and somehow the steering wheel came away from the cockpit leaving the Russian helpless to direct his stricken vehicle, which fortunately came to a rest in the grass on the other side of the track.

Post race, both Hamilton and Alonso were summoned by the race stewards and were each awarded a 20 second penalty, the McLaren driver for weaving whilst defending, and the Ferrari for causing the subsequent collision. This dropped Hamilton down to eighth behind Kamui Kobayashi, whilst Alonso's sixth place was unaffected. Hamilton, however, admitted he was not surprised by the decision. (For more on this see

Provisional race results:

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

A definite improvement from the Formula One Results Predictor in comparison to the last race. Hopefully the predictions will continue to improve as the season progresses!

For more information on the race, visit

Thursday, 7 April 2011

2011 Predictions - Round 2, Malaysia

The first Grand Prix of the 2011 season, Australia, saw the presentation of the first ever predictions from the Formula One Results Predictor.

But the results weren't great. To see them, click here

However, we learnt a great deal from our debut attempt at predictions, and have entered revised, improved data into the Predictor.

Therefore, we have great pleasure in presenting to you our predictions for the Malaysian Grand Prix, this coming Sunday.

- - -

2011 PREDICTIONS - Round 2, Malaysia

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

- - -

The F1RP has predicted a strong showing for Red Bull this weekend, despite suggesting that neither driver would make the podium in Australia!

Paul di Resta and Michael Schumacher fans will be hoping the predictions don't come true however, as neither is expected to score points this weekend.

If you think you can do better, let us know by commenting below.

Increased Prizes For Constructors

Formula One constructors received a significantly increased prize money pot in 2011.

Company accounts reveal that the total amount paid out to teams was over $400 million, 21 per cent higher than the previous year.

This increase is due in part to the recent Concorde Agreement, which guaranteed that a higher share of the sports operating profit is allocated to the teams.

Monday, 4 April 2011

Hamilton For Red Bull?

Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko has claimed that McLaren driver Lewis Hamilton is always a 'topic' for the team.

At present, only Sebastian Vettel has been confirmed at Red Bull beyond the 2011 season, as Mark Webber may have begun his final year with the current World Champions.

Hamilton still has a few more years left on his contract with Woking based McLaren, but has recently emphasised that he does not want to win just one World Championship (separate story - click here)


However, Red Bull chief Christian Horner has denied Marko's claims, suggesting that Vettel and Hamilton's personalities may clash if they drove for the same team.
Vettel and Webber infamously clashed on and off the track during the 2010 campaign, and Hamilton had a fiery relationship with his team mate Fernando Alonso in Hamilton's debut season. It is therefore not surprising that Horner would be concerned that the two drivers - who were both the youngest ever World Champions at the time they won - would not compliment each other.

However, Horner didn't completely rule out a future move.

"If he wanted to drive for Red Bull then of course you couldn't ignore a driver of his calibre."

Visit for more on this story.

Saturday, 2 April 2011

Ferrari Should Give Up 2011 Title Chase

Flavio Briatore, the former head of the Renault Formula One team, has called on Ferrari to give up on chasing the 2011 title after only one race, suggesting they should instead focus their energy on the 2012 season.

"Ferrari, of course, have all the engineering skills and resources that you need, but the half-second difference to Red Bull is an eternity," the Italian, who also manages Ferrari's number one Fernando Alonso, is quoted as saying.

Ferrari are investigating why their cars were so off far off the pace in the opening Grand Prix in Australia last weekend, despite showing strong performances in pre-season testing.
Alonso's best Q3 qualifying time was well over a second behind pole setter Sebastian Vettel's, and the Spaniard finished over half a minute behind Vettel, the reigning World Champion, in the race on Sunday.

Gerhard Berger, who previously drove for Ferrari, has echoed Briatore's comments, stating that just because the Italian marque have updates planned for their car, doesn't mean that this will give them a great advantage. "All the same people will all keep working, so I don't foresee a turning point."

For more on this story, visit