Monday, 30 May 2011

Petrov & Perez Discharged From Hospital

It is reported that both Vitaly Petrov and Sergio Perez have now been released from hospital, and both are expected to be fit to participate in the Canadian Grand Prix in two weeks time.

Perez's accident in Saturday's qualifying session was recorded at 80G - the highest ever impact in a Formula One car since the recording system was introduced.

For more on this story, visit

Lewis Hamilton's Exciting Weekend

McLaren's Lewis Hamilton arrived at Monaco smiling from ear to ear, saying that he loves driving at this track. By the time the race finished on Sunday, he was incredibly frustrated, and ranted at the stewards in a way which he might regret in the morning . . .

So what went wrong?

Hamilton was the quickest driver in the first stage of qualifying, and he was again the quickest driver in Q2.
However, as the all important Q3 started, his McLaren team decided that the former World Champion should do just one or two flying laps, and save a set of precious tyres.

When Hamilton eventually joined the track, he was just beginning his first flying lap, as his old rival Felipe Massa left the pits in front of him. Hamilton chased the Brazilian up the hill, but the Ferrari driver didn't yield to him until the Casino complex which Hamilton was not happy about, and gestured to Massa from his cockpit.
Massa hadn't blocked Hamilton as such, but it seemed his presence had distracted the McLaren driver, as his first sector time was over six tenths down on the best lap.
Before Hamilton had finished his lap, Sergio Perez had a nasty collision with the barriers, which brought first yellow, and then red flags to the circuit. Hamilton, therefore, returned to his garage without having set a time, and with just two and a half minutes of the session remaining.

Once the stricken Sauber had been cleared away, the race began. McLaren, however, in their desperation to get Hamilton a time on the board, sent their driver to the end of the pitlane at least a minute before the session was to recommence. This means that his tyres would have cooled considerably, and grip levels would therefore be reduced.
Hamilton managed to set a reasonable lap time, putting him in seventh place on the grid for the race the following day.

However, once qualifying was over, the stewards announced that Hamilton had cut a chicane on his one flying lap, meaning the lap time was invalidated. He was therefore dropped down the order to ninth, as Perez was declared a non-starter for the race. His one saving grace was that he was given the option of starting on whichever tyres he would like, whereas any drivers setting a time in Q3 must start the race on the tyres their best time was set with.
After viewing replays, it is clear that Hamilton did cut the chicane. He locked a wheel and had therefore had no choice but to go straight on at the corner.

As the race began, Hamilton managed to get the jump on Michael Schumacher, who's Mercedes struggled to get off the line as the lights went out. However, Schumacher struggled to slow his car into the first corner, and touched the rear of the McLaren. Bits of McLaren were clearly seen to break off from the rear of the car, but this did not appear to cause any obvious damage.

Hamilton was re-passed by Schumacher at the hairpin, and was left with all the work to do again.

As the race progressed, Hamilton - who had been stuck behind an apparently slower Felipe Massa for several laps - attempted an opportune pass into the hairpin where he had been passed by Schumacher earlier. However, he hit the side of Massa and wasn't able to pull the move off.
He radioed to his team saying that Massa had turned in on him on purpose, but from the replay, it was clear the Brazilian had nowhere to go, as Mark Webber was also at the corner at the same time. As Hamilton hit Massa, the Ferrari was actually knocked into Webber's rear wheel in turn.
Hamilton stayed on the back of Massa's car, and eventually made an unconventional move at the beginning of the tunnel. This appeared to take Massa by surprise, as he ran wide, out on to the rubber 'marbles', and then into the barrier, ending his race.

Force India's Paul di Resta had attempted a very similar move into the same hairpin earlier in the race, and had also hit the car infront. The stewards, which for this race featured former Toyota driver Allan McNish, quickly decided that di Resta's move warranted a drive through penalty.
Unfortunately for Hamilton, the precedent had therefore been set, and no one was particularly surprised to see a drive-through penalty awarded for the failed overtake on Massa.

Hamilton drove well after his drive-through, and caught back up with the rest of the pack. However, at this time the race leaders, Sebastian Vettel, Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button were also catching this pack.
There were about 10 cars together within just a few seconds of each other, and blue flags were starting to be waved. The three leaders managed to pass through without any major issues, but as Hamilton tried to follow them through, Adrian Sutil ran wide, clipping a barrier and puncturing his tyre.
In the melee that followed, Jaime Alguersuari hit the rear of Hamilton's car at some speed, sending the young Spaniard into the air and into the barrier.

Hamilton's rear wing was badly damaged, and as the BBC's pit-lane reporter Ted Kravitz told the watching World, McLaren had cleared a space in the garage, presumably to retire Hamilton.
The collision that Alguersuari and Vitaly Petrov were involved in saw the race red-flagged. This meant that the McLaren mechanics were able to work on Hamilton's car whilst it was stopped on the grid. The mechanics set to work fixing the rear wing, and replaced the nose cone which had also picked up some damage. After a great effort from the boys in silver, Hamilton's car was ready for the race restart.

However, once the safety car came into the pits, the number three driver attempted a rather unlikely passing attempt on Williams' Pastor Maldonado. The move was never likely to work, and it sent the Venezuelan into the barrier and out of the race. Hamilton's car seemed to have survived, as he continued with the race.
On the final lap, he chased hard to try and catch Sauber's Kamui Kobayashi, but to no avail.

After the race had finished, Hamilton was awarded an additional 20 second penalty for the move on Maldonado. But this didn't affect his finishing position.

Speaking to the BBC, Hamilton was not happy. "It's an absolute frickin' joke," he said. "I've been to see the stewards five times out of six this season."
"Maybe it's because I'm black. That's what Ali G says. I don't know."

Hamilton later apologised to the stewards for his comments, which he said were "a bit of a joke" but this may not be the last we hear of this. The FIA have recently introduced strict punishments for anyone who brings the sport into disrepute.

For more on this story, visit

Monaco Grand Prix - 29 May 2011

The drama for the Monaco Grand Prix started in Saturday's qualifying session, with Sauber's Sergio Perez crashing heavily on the tunnel exit, bringing a red flag to proceedings, and an ambulance to the tend to the young Mexican.

Fortunately, Perez suffered no major injuries, but due to concussion was unable to participate in the race.

As the race started, Alonso got another great start, moving up to third place ahead of Red Bull's Mark Webber. As usual though, it was Sebastian Vettel who led the pack away, with McLaren's Jenson Button in second place.

Button pitted early, which lost him track position, but put in multiple fastest laps to keep him in the hunt.

As Vettel stopped for tyres, a rare mix up from the Red Bull mechanics meant they weren't ready to receive their driver - the electric blankets were still on the new tyres. The team admitted later that the intention had been for Vettel's car to be fitted with a set of super-soft (option) tyres, but instead the soft (prime) tyres had been fitted.
Button pitted again for a second set of tyres, at an unfortunate time, as the safety car came out shortly afterwards to remove Felipe Massa's car which had come to a stop just after the tunnel, after getting involved in an incident with Button's team mate, Hamilton. This meant that Vettel now once again had the lead of the race. However, it started to become clear that Vettel may be heading for the end of the race on his current set of tyres. It was expected that the primes could run a maximum of 45 laps, but with the mix-up in the pits, Vettel was going to have to get over 60 laps out of his tyres if he was going to get to the end of the race.

Alonso, in second but on fresher tyres, was slowly catching the leader. Button was further back still, but his tyres were the newest of the three, and was in turn catching the front two. It was setting up to be a very close finish to the race.

Meanwhile, back down the order, Paul di Resta and Lewis Hamilton had both been given drive through penalties for being too forceful whilst overtaking. Whilst Force India's Adrian Sutil, Sauber's Kamui Kobayashi and Williams' Pastor Maldonado were all looking set to score some good points.

With just a handful of laps remaining, the three leaders caught a large group of midfield runners who were about to be lapped, with Hamilton at the back of the group.
The leaders managed to pass the cars with the help of the blue flags, and Hamilton tried to follow them through.
Sutil ran wide as Hamilton went to pass his good friend, and the German touched the unforgiving Monaco barrier, which caused his right-rear tyre to puncture. He sensibly drove over a chicane, to get off the racing line, but this appeared to distract Toro Rosso's Jaime Alguersuari, who ran too deep into a corner, and his car mounted the back of Hamilton's McLaren. Alguersuari then ran into the barrier and was followed by the Renault of Vitaly Petrov.
The Spaniard was quickly out of his car, but Petrov wasn't, causing the safety car to appear, before the race was red flagged as the Russian was taken away in an ambulance.

Petrov is believed to be OK however, but he was reporting pain in his legs.

As the cars stopped on the grid as per red flag regulations, the mechanics were able to make amendments to the cars as required. This was great news for Vettel, who was able to have a new set of tyres fitted, and for Hamilton, who's rear wing had taken some damage after the collision with Alguersuari.

The race restarted behind the safety car, but as it peeled off into the pits, Vettel and Alonso appeared to catch Button sleeping, as he was much slower on the restart.
Hamilton lunged into an attempted pass on Pastor Maldonado into the first corner, but sent the rookie into the barrier and out of the race, losing the Williams team what would have been their best finish of the season.

Webber managed a daring pass on Kobayashi, as the race drew to a close, and Vettel took the top step of the podium once again, almost wrapping the Championship up after just six races.

Provisional Race Results:

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

Not too many correct predictions this week unfortunately. Primarily due to the high number of retirements that Monaco is so famous for.
The F1RP was helped by Pastor Maldonado being classified as a finisher despite retiring at the end of the race!
Best performer of the day has to be Adrian Sutil, who finished nine places above where he was predicted to finish!

Thursday, 26 May 2011

Monaco Circuit Damaged By Fire

A truck fire on Tuesday caused damage to the Ste. Devote corner at Monaco.

Fortunately, the organisers acted quickly and the asphalt was relaid at the first corner of the famous street circuit. However, there are concerns as to whether the track will cope as the cars set out for the first free practice session, just 36 hours after the repairs were made.

The circuit is also subjected to warm temperatures at this time of year, with track temperatures regularly exceeding 45 degrees during the day, which is not ideal conditions for the new tarmac to dry.

Force India driver Paul di Resta, however, isn't too concerned.
"I think they've done an amazing job, and it just shows you how efficient they are here."

Red Bull's Mark Webber, who won the Grand Prix here last year is also looking on the bright side.
"It's lucky it happened at Monaco though because they are not short of a few bob, so they can just get a truck down there and get on with it."

Practice begins tomorrow at 9am (British time).

To read more about this, visit

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

2011 Predictions - Round 6, Monaco

After the shortest break of the Formula One calendar - just four days between the previous Grand Prix and the 2011 cars getting their first taste of Monaco street circuit - the first practice session will take place on Thursday as is tradition in the Principality.
The Formula One Results Predictor has therefore had less time than normal to calculate the results for the upcoming race, which is arguably one of the hardest races of the season to predict.
After a fairly good performance at the Spanish Grand Prix (including predicting the race win for the first time this season), the F1RP will be looking to improve this weekend.

To see how we did at predicting the Spanish Grand Prix results, click here.

- - -

2011 Predictions - Round 6, Monaco

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

- - -

The F1RP has predicted strong performances from both Felipe Massa and Tonio Liuzzi this weekend, but Williams are expected to continue on their current score-less streak. Force India are also predicted to struggle at the famous circuit.

Monday, 23 May 2011

Hispania To Appeal Diffuser Use

Following the FIA's recent decision to delay the ban of blown diffusers, Hispania Racing boss Colin Kolles has confirmed that his team will look to launch an appeal against the devices which he called "illegal".
The appeal is likely to be made over the weekend of the Monaco Grand Prix.

Hispania had planned to introduce a similar system for last weekends Spanish Grand Prix, but shelved their plans after the announcement of the forthcoming ban by the FIA.

For more on this story, visit

Drivers Spared Barcelona Penalties

It has emerged in the wake of the Spanish Grand Prix that several drivers were reprimanded for not slowing sufficiently under yellow flag conditions.

McLaren's Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button, Red Bull's Mark Webber and Toro Rosso's home favourite Jaime Alguersuari all failed to slow sufficiently after Team Lotus' Heikki Kovalainen ran wide and crashed.

The divers were spared penalties, which has angered some critics, who claim that the penalties awarded by the FIA do not appear to always be consistent.

For more on this story, visit

DRS Ban For Tunnel

The new for 2011 DRS system has been banned from the tunnel section of the Monaco Grand Prix.

Some drivers had called for the device to be banned from the circuit completely, but will be available for use along the start/finish straight during the race.

However, in free practice and qualifying, DRS can usually be used at any point, at the drivers discretion.
This is the first time a partial ban of DRS has been applied.
The tunnel section features a right hand bend which can be taken at speed, but could certainly be risky if attempted with the rear wing open, creating minimum downforce.

Several drivers will be happy with this, particularly Rubens Barrichello, who had been campaigning for a ban of this type.

However, Lotus-Renault boss Eric Boullier has said that it should be available to the drivers should they feel confident enough to use it.

For more on this story, visit

Spanish Grand Prix - 22 May 2011

The Spanish Grand Prix took place earlier today, the Barcelona track being one of the most notriously difficult to overtake on. In fact, for every F1 race here in the last decade, the pole sitter has gone on to win the race.

This was the first race of the season which reigining World Champion Sebastian Vettel was not starting from pole.
Another recurrence of Red Bull's KERS gremlins meant that he was marginally slower than his team mate Mark Webber in yesterday's qualifying session.

However, the neither Red Bull's would have been expecting what happened as the lights turned green. Home hero Fernando Alonso darted, from fourth place, past first Lewis Hamilton, then Mark Webber (who had slipped behind the faster starting Vettel), and then managed to find the inside line into the first corner, passing the race leader.

Jenson Button had a polar opposite start from the Spaniard, spinning his wheels from the line, and dropped behind both Mercedes' cars, Felipe Massa and Sebastien Buemi.

At the first round of pit-stops, Ferrari, in a move reminiscent of the Championship losing events of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, tried to match Alonso's pit strategy to the strategies of the Red Bull cars.
This appeared to work, as Vettel was released into the back of a pack of midfield cars. However, in one and a half race defining laps, Vettel - admittedly on fresher tyres - managed to fight his way past Button, Massa and Nico Rosberg, moving the young German back to the leading pack.

Once again, the more pit stops seemed to be the better, with most drivers pitting at least three times, making it difficult to follow the action on the track.

A good inter-team battle was raging between the Mercedes cars, with Michael Schumacher refusing to yield to Rosberg, who was lapping slightly quicker than the former Champion.
Nick Heidfeld had started the Grand Prix in last place, the German had been unable to qualify as his car had caught fire in dramatic fashion in the last practice session on Saturday morning. However, just as Webber had shown a couple of races ago, the Lotus-Renault driver was able to make good use of his larger choice of tyres and move gradually up through the field.

Moving into the final stage, Sebastian Vettel lead the pack, but had Lewis Hamilton hot on his heels. Third place Jenson Button was almost 20 seconds further back, but he in turn was fairly comfortably ahead of the rest.
Vettel's KERS system appeared to work only occasionally during the race, as apparent overheating issues meant it was unusable for several laps at a time.
Hamilton, making good use of KERS and his DRS, was able to catch Vettel at the end of the long start/finish straight, but Vettel defended smartly and Hamilton was unable to pass. This routine continued for several laps, but Vettel drove well and took the checkered flag for the fourth time in five races this season.

Provisional Race Results:

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

Not a bad result for the Formula One Results Predictor. However, it was primarily Hamilton and Perez’s strong performances that it hadn’t accounted for!

Saturday, 21 May 2011

Ferrari's Rear Wing Banned

Ferrari's clever new rear wing design was adjudged to infringe technical guidelines by the FIA, prior to the final Free Practice session this morning.

An extension to the wing was added, but was designed with a 'V' shape cut into the top in an effort to keep it to the strict height regulations. It was, however, decided that this new design could create additional downforce and therefore did not fully meet with the regulations.
To see a detailed explanation of the wing design and the FIA's decision, visit

However, this appears to have had little effect on Fernando Alonso, who stormed to an impressive fourth place in qualifying. The Spaniard has qualified fifth in every race so far this season, but he claimed that his final lap today was "perfect", and suggested that he wouldn't have been unable to replicate it again if he tried.

Friday, 20 May 2011

Additional DRS Zone For Canada

The FIA have confirmed that from June's Canadian Grand Prix onwards, there will be the possibility of introducing a second DRS zone to each Grand Prix.

There has not been an opportunity for previous races to have an additional DRS zone, as the software required wasn't made available until the Turkish Grand Prix.

For more, visit

Alonso Extends Ferrari Contract

Fernando Alonso has extended his contract until the end of the 2016 season, meaning that he will remain with the Italian marque for five more seasons after this one.

Alonso, who will be participating in his home Grand Prix this weekend, told how he was "proud and privileged" to be driving for Ferrari, and said that he will remain at the team for the remainder of his career. However, he didn't rule out the chance of a further contact extension when this one expires.

For more on this story, visit

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Exhaust Management Systems Ban To Be Introduced

The FIA have announced that they intend to ban the use of certain exhaust management systems used by many of the top teams. However, after an appeal by the teams, it has been agreed that the use of the system can continue to be used for the next three races.

This ban was expected by some, click here for our previous story.

The exhaust management system in question produces exhaust waste even when drivers lift off the throttle, which keeps the gasses flowing through the diffuser, maintaining a high level of downforce.

Without these exhaust gasses, downforce would be significantly reduced at a time when the driver requires it most - whilst cornering.

However, the production of the additional exhaust waste requires additional fuel, which at a time when Formula One is moving towards a greener image, is not really acceptable to the sport's bosses.

However, the stay of execution has been given, as teams have argued that their engines will require re-mapping, in order to stop them operating in this way.

For more on this story, visit

Adrian Sutil - An Update

Force India have announced that they will stand by their driver Adrian Sutil for this weekend's Spanish Grand Prix.

The German driver has been accused of causing harm to the CEO of the Genii group at a nightclub following the Shanghai Grand Prix.

The team's statement read that they are "fully committed to its driver line-up at this weekend's Spanish Grand Prix."

However, does the fact that this specific Grand Prix is mentioned mean that they will reconsider their number one driver's position in the coming weeks? Sutil has struggled to keep pace with rookie team mate Paul di Resta, and with a highly respected reserve driver - Nico Hulkenberg - waiting eagerly for a race seat, Sutil may have his work cut out to keep his drive.

For more on this story, visit

2011 Predictions - Round 5, Spain

This weekend will see the Formula One circus return to the famous Barcelona circuit, where home favourite Fernando Alonso will be looking to add to his solitary podium position from the Turkish Grand Prix.

Turkey saw the Formula One Results Predictor's best ever weekend! To see the results of our predictions, click here.

- - -

2011 PREDICTIONS - Round 5, Spain

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

- - -

The F1RP has predicted a fairly poor weekend for McLaren's Lewis Hamilton, but it is worth pointing out that the only time the Predictor has selected a first place finish for Sebastian Vettel is the only time he has failed to win!

Newey Considered Quitting F1

In a frank interview with The Guardian, Red Bull Racing designer Adrian Newey has admitted that he considered leaving Formula One after the death of Ayrton Senna.

Both Newey, who was chief designer at Williams at the time, and Williams Technical Director Patrick Head were charged with manslaughter following Senna's accident.

However, Newey explained that after much "soul searching", the most successful designer of his generation decided to continue in the sport.

For more on this story, visit

Monday, 16 May 2011

Sutil Facing Criminal Charge

Force India driver Adrian Sutil may face a criminal charge regarding an incident which occurred at a nightclub after the Shanghai Grand Prix.

The incident relates to a claim of grievous bodily harm to the CEO of the Genii group, part owners of Lotus-Renault.

Sutil has stated that he did injure the person in question, however, it was completely unintentional.

For more on this story, visit

Saturday, 14 May 2011

Testing Not Returning

FIA President Jean Todt's proposals to reintroduce a limited amount of mid-season testing are likely to be rejected by most teams.

Todt's intentions are to allow teams to develop new drivers, as well as develop their current car.

However, most teams feel that this will significantly increase costs, which was the main reason testing was banned in the first place.

McLaren boss Martin Whitmarsh has stated that the teams need to think of the smaller teams with lower budgets, as this suggestion would impact them the most.

Ferrari, on the other hand, are backing Todt's plea, claiming that Formula One is the only sport in the World where participants cannot practice!

For more on this story, visit

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

The End Of Qualifying?

Jarno Trulli, one of the most experienced drivers in Formula One, has claimed that this season may see the end of qualifying as we currently know it.

The veteran Italian driver, now in his second season with the emerging Team Lotus, has experienced many changes to his sport in his career, which spans three decades.

Trulli's argument is that drivers are now choosing to conserve tyres, rather than trying to set the fastest lap.
The idea started when Mark Webber sensationally failed to reach Q2, due to choosing not to use soft tyres. However, he was able to progress from 18th to 3rd on race day, as he still had all his faster soft tyres available.
Therefore, in the most recent race in Turkey, drivers were making just one run in Q3, even if their time wasn't particularly competitive. Felipe Massa, for example, failed to set a time on his first attempt in Q3, yet still chose not to go out again on another set of tyres, and instead accepted 10th on the grid.

Trulli admits that the races are now more exciting due to the new Pirelli tyres, but he believes qualifying will become more tactical, and less of a spectacle.

For more, see

Sunday, 8 May 2011

Blown Diffusers To Be Banned?

A press release issued by Lotus-Renault has explained that blown diffusers use a much as 10% more fuel than standard diffusers.

Blown diffusers work by positioning the exhaust exits over the diffuser - sometimes towards the front of the car. The exhaust waste then blows over the diffuser, dramatically increasing downforce and therefore improving handling and cornering speed.

Blown diffusers have been made famous by Red Bull, who were the first team to really make them work effectively. However, Lotus-Renault's diffuser design for this season was much more dramatic, and has influenced the designs of other team's designs, including McLaren.

The team have stated that in order to create the necessary level of exhaust, more fuel is needed to be burned.

As Formula One cars use approximately 150 litres during a race, the additional fuel quantities would all add up over the course of the season.

Considering the sport is aiming to become ever greener, it seems likely that the FIA will look to ban blown diffusers following this information.

It seems unusual that Lotus-Renault released this information, considering a ban now looks likely, as they have certainly gained a performance advantage by making the system work better than most of their rivals.
Perhaps, however, the release was intentional, as they may see that a ban on the design will see Red Bull lose some of their huge performance advantage they currently seem to have over other teams.

For more on this story, visit

Turkish Grand Prix - 08 May 2011

The Formula One circus ventured to Europe this weekend, for the first time this season.

As has become the norm this season, reigning World Champion Sebastian Vettel started the race from Pole Position, as he has done in every race so far this year.
Vettel's team mate Mark Webber started second, with a strong qualifying performance from Mercedes' Nico Rosberg placing him in third.

Sauber's Kamui Kobayashi started at the back of the grid, due to a technical issue in qualifying causing the Japanese driver's car to stop on the track before he was able to set a lap time. However, as Mark Webber showed in the previous race, it is possible to make up several positions from back of the field with the correct tyre strategy.

As the race started, Nico Rosberg managed to jump Mark Webber from the line and move into second place. Lewis Hamilton tried to follow the German through, and spent the next series of corners alongside Webber. Hamilton ran wide, losing a few positions and fell back into the clutches of his team mate, Jenson Button.

Hamilton and Button spent several laps exchanging positions several times, assisted by the DRS (moveable rear wing). The McLaren team may not have been overly pleased, as it was this race in 2010 which saw the Red Bull drivers infamously collide whilst battling for the lead.
Eventually Hamilton managed to stay ahead of his team mate, and slowly started to build a small gap.

As in previous races, there was a great deal of overtaking, some moves cleaner than others. The two Lotus-Renault drivers exchanged fist-shakes after banging wheels through the complex series of corners at the end of the lap.
Vitaly Petrov had a coming together with Mercedes' Michael Schumacher earlier in the race, as Schumacher fought possibly too hard to retain his position. But the former Champion came off worst with a broken front wing.

This race featured well over 70 pit stops - a record in recent years. The pit stops also caused problems, several drivers suffering from wheel-nut issues, particulaly Lewis Hamilton who had a very long stop after the mechanics had to change to a new wheel-nut.

As the race entered it's final stages, Sebastian Vettel had a comfortable lead, and simply had to match the pit stops made by his closest rivals.
Fernando Alonso was running in second place, but Webber managed to pass him on the start/finish straight, seemingly more happy with his final set of tyres.
Alonso is unlikely to be too unhappy with this result, acheiving his and his teams first podium of the year.

Kobayashi had managed to make up several positions, eventually finishing just inside the points.

Toro Rosso's Sebastien Buemi ran strongly, sitting in fifth place on a three stop strategy, but eventually his older tyres became more apparent, and he began to fall back towards the mid-field.

These results mean that Vettel is now more than 25 points (one race) ahead of his closest rival. He is certainly the man to beat at the moment!

Provisional Race Results:

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

That looks like the best ever result for the Formula One Results Predictor! Hopefully it can continue to improve as the season progresses.
Keep checking back to find out!

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

2011 Predictions - Round 4, Turkey

It has been quite a long gap since the last Grand Prix in China, which has given the Formula One Results Predictor extra time to think about the potential results for this weekends race.

To see how the F1RP did in China, click here.

- - -

2011 PREDICTIONS - Round 4, Turkey

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

- - -

The F1RP has predicted a poor weekend for the Force India team, but another strong result could be on the cards for Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg.

Let us know your predictions by commenting below!

News Corp Confirms F1 Interest

Despite Bernie Ecclestone's claims that it would not be feasible for a broadcaster to purchase the rights to Formula One, News Corp has now officially confirmed their interest.

News Corp, who own British Sky Broadcasting, have confirmed their interest in bidding for the sport, joining forces with investment company EXOR, who partly own Ferrari's parent company Fiat.

A statement from EXOR reads "EXOR, one of Europe's largest listed investment companies, and News Corporation, the global media group, confirm that they are in the early stages of exploring the possibility of creating a consortium with a view to formulating a long-term plan for the development of Formula 1 in the interests of the participants and the fans.

"Over the coming weeks and months, EXOR and News Corporation will approach potential minority partners and key stakeholders in the sport. There can be no certainty that this will lead to an approach to Formula 1’s current owners."

The current Concorde Agreement specifies that Formula One should be shown on free-to-air television wherever possible, which would mean that the sport cannot be broadcast exclusively on Sky. However, the current Concorde Agreement is due to expire after the 2012 season.

For more on this story, visit

Williams Announce Internal Restructuring

The Williams Formula One team - which has suffered it's worst start to a Formula One season in the team's long history - has announced that Technical Director Sam Michael will retire at the end of the season.

It has emerged that the team's Chairman, Adam Parr, offered his resignation as a result of their terrible performance this year so far, but that this offer offer was declined by team owner Sir Frank Williams.

However, the team has also announced a controversial appointment of a new chief engineer, that of former McLaren employee Mike Coughlan.
Coughlan was banned from the sport in 2007 for his part in the "spygate" scandal, by illegally obtaining technical information from Ferrari - this also resulted in the disqualification of McLaren, who in addition received a record $100 million fine.
Ferrari's Nigel Stepney was also banned for his part in the controversy.

Both Coughlan and Stepney have served the two year bans they received, and are therefore entitled to return to the sport. However, it does raise a question of whether they should return.
Ferrari in particular would not be likely to look upon the return of these individuals very kindly.

This announcement comes just weeks after Marussia Virgin confirmed that Pat Symonds - the former Renault team member who was bannded for his part in the "crashgate" scandal, where Nelson Piquet Jr purposefully crashed his car at the Singapore Grand Prix - has been appointed as an advisor to the team.

Should these 'cheaters' be welcome back into the sport, having served their sentences, or should lifetime bans be introduced? Let us know your thoughts.

For more on this story, visit

Monday, 2 May 2011

Barrichello's Dream Team

The super exeperienced Williams driver, Rubens Barrichello, was interviewed by, and asked to decide on his ideal driver line-up.

Barrichello said he is "a fan of" McLaren driver Lewis Hamilton, and would have him partnered with Lotus-Renault driver Robert Kubica.

The Brazilian veteran also confirmed that he would love to drive a turbo-powered Formula One car from the late 80's with 1,000+ horsepower, and would love to see F1 return to the USA.

Barrichello explained that he would love to have had Ayrton Senna as a team mate, but he "would never be happy to finish behind him".

For the full interview, visit

Senna & Ratzenberger Remembered

This weekend saw the 17th anniversary of the passing of two great Formula One drivers.

The 1994 San Marino Grand Prix saw young Austrian, Roland Ratzenberger, lose his life whilst qualifying for the Grand Prix in his Simtek.

The next day during the race, Ayrton Senna's Williams crashed from the lead of the race, killing the famous Brazilian.

Ratzenberger had failed to qualify in his first Grand Prix in Brazil, and qualified at the back of the grid for the Pacific Grand Prix. His third attempt was the Imola circuit in San Marino, but it was also to be his last, crashing at Villeneuve corner with a suspected front-wing problem.

Senna was, and still is, considered by many to be the greatest driver of all time. Having won three Drivers World Championships, and now looking for a fourth, the often controversial driver was leading the race before his car inexplicably left the circuit at the high speed Tamburello corner. He was airlifted to hospital, but was pronounced dead shortly afterwards.

Many people have left messages remembering the two drivers:

Lotus-Renault Test Driver Bruno Senna (Ayrton's nephew) - @BSenna:
"Thanks for all the good wishes! The most important thing is to keep the best Ayrton left for us always!! His best memories are what I keep."

BBC F1 Presenter Jake Humphrey - @Jakehumphreyf1:
"Unbelievable isn't it. This weekend SEVENTEEN years ago F1 lost #RolandRatzenberger and then the following day #Ayrton Senna. Lest we forget"

Formula One Journalist Craig Scarborough - @ScarbsF1:
"17 years since we lost senna & ratzenberger, surely a tough time today for team members who were at williams & simtek at the time."

The silver lining however, is that following increased safety requirements which have been introduced as a result of these accidents, no Formula One driver has been killed since this tragic weekend.

Roland Ratzenberger 4 July 1960 - 30 April 1994.
Ayrton Senna 21 March 1960 - 01 May 1994.
Rest In Peace