Monday, 27 June 2011

Why Engine Suppliers Protested 2013 Plans

The FIA announced last week, that due to the arguments posed to them by many - including teams and engine suppliers - that they would not enforce the intended four cylinder turbo-charged engines from the 2013 season.

The new decision is that from 2014, engine sizes will be reduced from the current 2.4L V8 designs, to a 1.6L V6 layout, although the new engines will be turbo-charged as originally planned.

To put it into context, a fairly high spec Ford Fiesta might run a 1.6L, four cylinder engine. Admittedly though, the engine in your Fiesta wouldn't be turbo-charged to 750bhp!

So why were the engine providers against the planned changes?

There are currently four engine providers in Formula 1, all charging a fixed fee for their services.

Ferrari provide the engines to Scuderia Ferrari, Sauber and Scuderia Toro Rosso.
Mercedes provide McLaren, Mercedes GP and Force India.
Renault provide Red Bull Racing, Renault and Team Lotus.
Cosworth provide Williams, Virgin and Hispania.

In a recent vote, only Renault backed the FIA's proposed changes to the four cylinder units.

Many manufacturers use Formula 1 (as well as other motorsports) as an advertising platform on which to present their brand and their cars to the wider World.

Ferrari's road cars run primarily V8, V10 and V12 engine designs, and they therefore felt that a four cylinder design would not accurately reflect what they stood for as a manufacturer.

Mercedes do make some city cars with four cylinder engines. However, their AMG sports range, which is aimed directly at motor racing enthusiasts (including some cars produced in association with McLaren) features primarily V8 engines - although some may be larger.

Cosworth's road car production is currently limited to the Impreza STI CW400. This car features a turbo-charged 2.5L, four cylinder motor, which produces almost 400bhp. Funnily enough, this engine is not too dissimilar to the engines suggested by the FIA, yet Cosworth still chose to object to the plans.
This may, however, have been due in part to the large costs which would no doubt be incurred by changing the designs so dramatically. For the newest engine provider in particular, they may have felt that their money could be better spent developing their current design.

Renault's primary market is the family-friendly car. Even their RenaultSport range rarely features engines larger than 2.0L, and only the rare RenaultSport Clio V6 has more than four cylinders. It is therefore not too surprising that Renault chose to back the FIA's plans and encourage the reduction in engine size.

Many, including Bernie Ecclestone himself, have claimed that they are not too bothered about the actual engine itself, as long as the noise is still there!

Q&A With Senna Director Kapadia

It has been confirmed that the director of the SENNA movie, Asif Kapadia, will attend a Q&A session at the Latitude festival (near Southwold, Suffolk) and clips from the film will also been shown.

It was originally thought that the full film would be shown, but Kapadia confirmed to us on Twitter:
"clips and a Q&A but the whole film will not be screened as hopefully will still be on general release."

For more information on Latitude festival, visit

For more information on the film, click here.

Follow Asif Kapadia on Twitter @asifkapadia and follow us @f1predict

Sunday, 26 June 2011

European Grand Prix - 26 June 2011

After recording the longest ever Formula 1 Grand Prix last time out in Canada, new records were broken at today's race in Valencia, Spain.

All 24 cars finished the Grand Prix, only a handful of times in the sport's history have all cars made it to the end of race, the last time being USA 2005, where all six starters managed to finish!
There have also never been 24 cars finish a race - not even in the '90's when 26 cars participated. Narain Karthikeyan took the dubious honour of the lowest ever clasification of 24th. The previous record is 23rd, acheived at the 2011 Chinese Grand Prix by, err, Narain Karthikeyan.
Another interesting fact is that the only non-scheduled pit stop in the race was Michael Schumacher's after he dislodged his front wing after a small tangle with Vitaly Petrov who was exiting the pits.

The race was certainly not the most exciting of the year, with few overtakes, and the usual suspects leading the field.

Was it therefore easy to predict? We asked Pat from I Watch Too Much Racing to have a go at predicting the results.

Provisional Race Results:

1. Sebastian Vettel - Red Bull - Pat's (TMR) Prediction 1st - F1RP Prediction 2nd
2. Fernando Alonso - Ferrari - TMR 2nd - F1RP 5th
3. Mark Webber - Red Bull - TMR 3rd - F1RP 4th
4. Lewis Hamilton - McLaren - TMR 5th - F1RP 1st
5. Felipe Massa - Ferrari - TMR 7th - F1RP 9th
6. Jenson Button - McLaren - TMR 4th - F1RP 3rd
7. Nico Rosberg - Mercedes - TMR 6th - F1RP 8th
8. Jaime Alguersuari - Toro Rosso - TMR 22nd - F1RP 16th
9. Adrian Sutil - Force India - TMR 24th - F1RP 15th
10. Nick Heidfeld - Renault - TMR 12th - F1RP 10th
11. Sergio Perez - Sauber - TMR 13th - F1RP 13th
12. Rubens Barrichello - Williams - TMR 14th - F1RP 6th
13. Sebastien Buemi - Toro Rosso - TMR 15th - F1RP 12th
14. Paul di Resta - Force India - TMR 10th - F1RP 17th
15. Vitaly Petrov - Renault - TMR 8th - F1RP 11th
16. Kamui Kobayashi - Sauber - TMR 11th - F1RP 7th
17. Michael Schumacher - Mercedes - TMR 9th - F1RP 14th
18. Pastor Maldonado - Williams - TMR 23rd - F1RP 18th
19. Heikki Kovalainen - Team Lotus - TMR 16th - F1RP 19th
20. Jarno Trulli - Team Lotus - TMR 17th - F1RP 20th
21. Timo Glock - Virgin - TMR 18th - F1RP 21st
22. Jerome D'Ambrosio - Virgin - TMR 21st - F1RP 23rd
23. Vitantonio Liuzzi - Hispania - TMR 19th - F1RP 22nd
24. Narain Karthikeyan - Hispania - TMR 20th - F1RP 24th

First of all many thanks to Pat for taking part this week - hope it was fun!

It looks like Pat was closer to the correct position than the Formula 1 Results Predictor overall, but the F1RP got more correct predictions - six in total - which I believe is our best ever result!

The F1RP has not yet managed to predict the podium, yet Pat managed to on the first attempt! Good work!

Finally, the joint Performer Of The Day - based on both the F1RP and Pat's predictions - goes to both Jaime Alguersuari and Adrian Sutil.

For more information on the race, visit

Visit Pat's website and follow him on Twitter @toomuchracing

Fangio Remembered

Friday 24 June would have been Juan Manuel Fangio's 100th birthday.

Fangio is considered by many to have been one of the best, if not the best, Formula 1 driver of all time.

Fangio Facts:
> Fangio won five World Championships, and is the only driver to have won the Championship with four different teams.
> He has the highest win ratio of any F1 driver, winning over 40% of his races entered.
> He didn't start racing in F1 until he was in his late 30's.
> Fangio was once captured and held hostage by Cuban rebels.
> He helped design the Pagani Zonda supercar, which was released shortly after his death in 1995.

For more, visit

Friday, 24 June 2011

Button - Not A Done Deal

Contrary to recent rumours, McLaren star Jenson Button has confirmed that he has not yet entered into negotiations with the team regarding his future.
It had been suggested that the Woking-based team had offered him an improved contract, but there was also talk of the Briton replacing Felipe Massa at Ferrari next season.

Button, currently sitting second in the Championship, hinted that he was likely to stay at McLaren in the short term, but may not want to be tied in to too long a contract. He also confirmed that there was no truth to the Ferrari story.

For more on this, visit

Thursday, 23 June 2011

New Engine Plans Amended

The FIA have agreed today that they have effectively scrapped the idea of introducing four cylinder, turbo charged engines from 2013.

The intention now is that from 2014, the engines will be reduced to V6 designs from the current V8's. They will still be 1.6L turbos as previously planned.

The change has arisen since three of the four current engine providers (all bar Renault) were against the plans, and many involved in the sport were concerned that it may dampen the excitement.

The guidelines are expected to be officially signed off in a meeting of the  WMSC shortly.

For more, visit

Monday, 20 June 2011

BBC To Drop F1?

The Sunday Times reported yesterday that the BBC is considering dropping it's Formula 1 coverage when the current contract expires at the end of the 2012 season.

The BBC's award winning coverage has been well received by fans, and has seen a year-on-year increase in viewing figures since the sport moved from ITV.

Many people connected with the sport, including Bernie Ecclestone himself have said that would like to see the coverage remain with the BBC.

McLaren's Martin Whitmarsh has said that it would be "unwise" if they do not renew their contract into 2013 and beyond.

Even Formula 1 legend Sir Stirling Moss (@stirlingmosscom) used his Twitter page to support the BBC:
"Stirling is a huge fan of the #BBCF1 coverage @jakehumphreyf1 and the whole #BBCF1 team & hopes it stays firmly where it is now, on the #BBC"

The Sunday Times is part of the NewsCorp Group who were recently rumoured to be considering tabling a bid for Formula 1.

For more on this story, visit

2011 Predictions - Round 8, Europe

This weekend will see the Formula 1 teams descend on Valencia, Spain, for the European Grand Prix.
This will probably be the biggest test of the year so far for the new rules, as this road circuit is often criticised for being unexciting.

The Canadian Grand Prix was the worst result for the Formula 1 Results Predictor to date. To see just how badly we did, click here.

This week, for the first time, we are pleased to announce a special guest predictor who thinks he can do a better job of predicting the results.

Introducing Pat from I Watch Too Much Racing

Too Much Racing is part motorsport blog / part fantasy league game.

Visit or follow Pat on Twitter @toomuchracing

Pat: "Valencia is a fairly tricky race to predict I think. Red Bull should be back on top again but I do think McLaren have been closing them down lately. The question is whether they can do it here.
As for the midfield, that's anyones! Love it though. I'm sure there's going to be a crash on the first lap at the tricky chicane section not far after the start, so I'm going to say that's Maldonado and Sutil."

- - -

Guest Predictions - Round 8, Europe

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

As you can see, Pat has upped the stakes by predicting which drivers will fail to finish!

He thinks that Vettel's reign will continue, but a strong performance from Alonso will split the two Red Bulls.

Will he be right?

- - -

F1RP Predictions - Round 8, Europe

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

The Formula 1 Results Predictor has predicted that Lewis Hamilton will overcome his recent on track troubles and record a second win of the season.
Also, Williams fans will be pleased that a strong points-scoring finish has been suggested for Rubens Barrichello.

Friday, 17 June 2011

Blown Diffuser Ban Confirmed

The FIA have confirmed that they still plan to go ahead with the 'off the throttle' blown diffuser design with effect from the British Grand Prix next month.
This is expected to cause issues for the teams who rely heavily on this, particularly the Renault, Red Bull and Mercedes teams, as the engines will need to be remapped.

It is reported that Mercedes have actually lost several engines whilst testing the new requirements, so this may mean that some teams begin to struggle more with reliability issues from Silverstone onwards.

Also confirmed is that with effect from 2012, blown diffusers will be banned outright. It was initially thought that alternative would be that the exhausts would be positioned just over the top of the diffuser at the back of the car, giving a minimal downforce gain. However, it has instead been confirmed that a 'periscope' style exhaust - as used in the sport in the 80's and 90's - will be mandated instead.

This will mean that the teams will need to find alternative ways of creating downforce, as the blown diffuser is credited by many as being the one single design feature which has made the Red Bulls the dominant team that they presently are.

Additionally, an advantage to the fans is that with the new 'periscope' exhausts, spectators should be able to see flames from the exhaust exits which were previously hidden.

For a more detailed explanation of this, visit

Johnny Herbert Returns To Le Mans

Granted, this isn't a Formula 1 related post. But as a one off - in tribute to the 79th Le Mans 24 Hour race which took place this weekend - this is a promotional video by Mazda showing their race winning car from the early '90s.

The video was filmed this year, and features British former Formula 1 star Johnny Herbert who drove the car to victory in 1991 returns to the historic track in Northern France.


Hamilton Drives NASCAR

Earlier in the week, McLaren's Lewis Hamilton and Tony Stewart of the Stewart-Haas Racing NASCAR team swapped cars earlier in the week for a Mobil 1 promotional event at the Watkins Glen track in the USA.

See how they got on in the video below:

Ferrari Announce Extension Of Controversial Collaboration

Ferrari announced on Tuesday that they have extended their "collaboration agreement" with Philip Morris International until 2015.

Philip Morris International (PMI) is the tobacco company who's primary brand is Marlboro.

Ferrari - officially still named Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro - had been sponsored by Marlboro since 1984, but cigarette advertising in the sport has been banned for six years.

The new deal is rumoured to be worth tens of million pounds per year, but it is unclear what exactly PMI gain from this.

Ferrari were forced to remove the barcode design from their car in 2010 after controversy surrounding the subliminal advertising of tobacco products.

For more on this story, visit

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Hamilton Denies Red Bull Switch

McLaren's Lewis Hamilton, who yesterday swapped cars with NASCAR star Tony Stewart for the day, was rumoured to have met with Red Bull chief Christian Horner after the Canadian Grand Prix, fueling speculation of a switch to the reigning World Champions.

Hamilton didn't deny meeting with Horner - who he said that he has known since before he drove in Formula 1 - but claimed that whilst McLaren could provide him with a competitive car, he has no need to leave the Woking-based team.

For more on this, visit

Monday, 13 June 2011

Alguersuari's Career Saving Drive

Scuderia Toro Rosso, the sister team of current World Champions Red Bull, are well known for not appreciating poor performances.

The team replaced the struggling Minardi team for the 2006 season, with the apparent intention of being a feeder team for primary Red Bull Racing outfit.
However, only one driver, the reigning World Champion Sebastian Vettel, has made the jump from STR to RBR.

The team have had seven different drivers in their six years in the sport, and are not afraid of replacing an under-performing driver mid-season.

Toro Rosso recently announced that an Abu Dhabi based investment firm have bought a stake in the team, and with rumours circulating that the team may be for sale, this stake may turn into an outright purchase of the team in the near future.
Often when changes are made behind the scenes of a sports team, changes are made on the surface, as the new shareholders want to make their mark.

Are the STR drivers ready, if needed, to make the move up to RBR? Are they ready to win races?
Sebastien Buemi is now in his third season with the Italian team. His best result is 7th place, which he has acheived twice, both times during the 2009 season.
Jaime Alguersuari is in his second full season (having replaced Sebastien Bourdais midway through the 2009 campaign). Alguersuari's best result is 8th, which he has acheived only once - at the Canadian Grand Prix yesterday.

Swiss driver Buemi, however, has scored points in four of the seven races so far this season. The young Spaniard Alguersuari, on the other hand, has only finished in the top 10 once this year.

Alguersuari, despite participating in over 30 Formula 1 Grand Prix, is still the youngest driver in the field. Whether this will be considered in his advantage if STR do reconsider their driver line-up, only time will tell.

The following is a comparison between the performances of the two Scuderia Toro Rosso drivers who have been replaced mid season, with the performances of the two current drivers:

Scott Speed (2007): Ret / 14 / Ret / Ret / 9 / Ret / 13 / Ret / Ret / Ret
Sebastien Bourdais (2009): 8 / 10 / 11 / 13 / Ret / 8 / 18 / Ret / Ret
Sebastien Buemi (2011): 8 / 13 / 14 / 9 / 14 / 10 / 10
Jaime Alguersuari (2011): 11 / 14 / Ret / 16 / 16 / Ret / 8

It is clear that Speed struggled with retirements during his final season with the team. Bourdais, however, managed some reasonable results before being replaced.
Of course, there may have been additional factors leading to a driver leaving a team, other than just results.

Based on these results, if the team did wish to make alterations to their driving arrangements, Alguersuari would appear to be the driver most likely to be cut. However, his strong performance in Canada is sure to have bought him a bit more time.

Canadian Grand Prix - 12 June 2011

With a total recorded time of over 4 hours 4 minutes, a very wet Canadian Grand Prix took place yesterday.

Jenson Button, after driving through the pit lane six times (five times for tyres and once for a drive-through penalty), after two accidents and after being investigated by the race stewards three times, amazingly won the Grand Prix which McLaren boss Martin Whitmarsh described as "one of the best wins in the history of F1" (see

The race was stopped for about two hours whilst torrential rain flooded the track, and many laps were recorded behind the safety car.

Button was at one point running in last place, and didn't take the lead of the Grand Prix until half way through the final lap, capitalising on a rare mistake from Championship leader Sebastian Vettel.

The race saw Button collide with Ferrari's Fernando Alonso, putting the Spaniard out of the race, but earlier he inadvertently forced his own team mate, Lewis Hamilton, into the pit wall and out of the race.

Vettel's team mate Mark Webber will be fairly pleased with his third place finish, after contact with Hamilton caused the Australian to spin and lose several positions.

Michael Schumacher gave probably his best performance since returning to the sport, running in the top three for much of the race.

Provisional Race Results:

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

Not one correct prediction from the Formula 1 Results Predictor here - unless you count Pastor Maldonado?!
With such an unusual race and several retirements, it just didn't work out this time.
Performer of the day is Jerome D'Ambrosio, who finished 10 places above his predicted finishing position.

Friday, 10 June 2011

Perez Pulls Out Of Canada GP

Sauber's Sergio Perez - who suffered a nasty accident in Monaco two weeks ago - participated in the first Free Practice session in Canada today.

However, after FP1, the young Mexican reportedly started to feel unwell. Sauber's reserve driver, Esteban Gutierrez, wasn't even in Canada and therefore the team called upon the services of former driver Pedro de la Rosa.

The experienced Spaniard started the 2010 season driving for the Sauber team. However, after an indifferent start to the season, de la Rosa was replaced by Nick Heidfeld.

Pirelli then signed de la Rosa to test their new tyres, but at the end of the season, de la Rosa returned to his former employers McLaren as a test driver. Due to the short notice of his Sauber call-up, the Spaniard had to drive for the Swiss team in FP2 wearing his McLaren overalls!

Hopefully if he is required to replace Perez for the full weekend, Sauber will be able to find some overalls in his size.

For more, see

Bahrain Officially Off

The request to hold a Bahrain Grand Prix in 2011 has been officially withdrawn by the event's organisers.

The race was initially due to be the season opener earlier this year, but was postponed due to political unrest in the region.

Last week it was announced that the race would be rescheduled for the end of October, but this decision was not received well, and was protested by teams, fans and politicians.

Formula One is expected to return to Bahrain in 2012.

For more, visit

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

FOTA Confirm Bahrain Stance

It is believed that the Formula One Team's Association (FOTA) has written to the FIA, Formula One management and the organisers of the Bahrain Grand Prix, explaining that their members do not wish to participate in the race in Bahrain on 30 October.

FOTA represent 11 of the 12 teams (only Hispania are not part of the organisation), and are therefore a key player in this disagreement.

Meanwhile, in an interview with BBC Radio 4, former president of the FIA, Max Moseley has suggested that the governing body is not able to amend the date of a Grand Prix without the approval of all the teams.

For more on this story, visit

2011 Predictions - Round 7, Canada

Two weeks since the controversial Monaco Grand Prix, the sole North American Grand Prix (for this season at least), will take place at le Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve, in Montreal, Canada.

As always, the Monaco Grand Prix was difficult to predict, but the Formula One Results Predictor tried anyway. To see the results, click here.

- - -

2011 Predictions - Round 7, Canada

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

- - -

The F1RP is predicting good news for McLaren fans, suggesting that Sebastian Vettel will finish outside of the top two places for the first time this season!
Another good performance is expected of both Sebastien Buemi and Kamui Kobayashi who both scored points in Monaco.
Interestingly, this is only the second time this season that Narain Karthikeyan has been predicted to finish above 24th.

Monday, 6 June 2011

Could Pirelli Be Decider In Bahrain Debate?

The BBC's Andrew Benson has explained on his blog that teams, sponsors and drivers are still just as concerned as ever about holding the Bahrain Grand Prix this year.

Just days after the FIA and WMSC agreed that the Grand Prix would be reinstated, opposition to the current regime in the Country have called for a "Day Of Rage" to be held during the event.

As Benson explains, it is not without precedent for teams to boycott a race. In the mid 80's, Renault and Ligier refused to participate in the South African Grand Prix, due to the apartheid which was taking place at the time. Additionally, some of the sponsors of teams which did participate insisted that their logos were removed from the cars.

It is believed that Pirelli are one of the companies strongest in their opposition in the reinstatement of the Grand Prix, and if they refuse to provide tyres to the circuit, then it seems unlikely that a race could go ahead at all...

To read the blog in full, visit

SENNA Movie Released In UK

The film SENNA, a documentary based on the life of possibly the greatest Formula One driver of all time, has been released in UK cinemas this week.

BBC Top Gear's Jeremy Clarkson described the film as "Completely Unmissable", and it has already scooped an award at the Sundance Film Festival, and has been tipped for an Oscar in 2012.

Visit the film's website

Or to find where the film is showing near you, visit

Renault Livery Given All-Clear

Renault have confirmed that they have been given permission by Quebec authorities to use their current colour-scheme at the Canadian Grand Prix this weekend.

There were concerns that the black and gold livery, which is based on the highly succesful John Player Special sponsored black and gold Lotus cars of the 1980's, carried subliminal tobacco advertising - which is banned in Canada as it is in many Countries Worldwide.

However, Renault boss Eric Boullier confirmed that the authorities had "accepted the fact that Lotus Renault GP receives no direct or indirect financing from the industry in question."

For more on this, visit

Rosberg "Honoured" By Award

Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg has been awarded the Bandini trophy, which recognises a driver's performance both on and off the track.

The trophy is awarded annually, and is named after the Italian driver Lorenzo Bandini who was killed at the 1967 Monaco Grand Prix.

Rosberg, who travelled to Italy to receive the award, said "The history of this trophy is very big, and it's a very well known price not only in Italy but internationally. That's great and I'm very honoured."

For more on this story, visit

Saturday, 4 June 2011

Webber Reacts To Bahrain Return

Red Bull's Mark Webber has spoken out against the FIA's decision to reinstate the Bahrain Grand Prix.

The Australian, who rarely hides his true feelings, used his website to write a message saying that he hopes Formula One can return to the region in future years, but not until the current situation of unrest is resolved.

"As a competitor I do not feel at all comfortable going there to
compete in an event when, despite reassurances to the contrary, it
seems inevitable that it will cause more tension for the people of that
country. I don't understand why my sport wishes to place itself in a
position to be a catalyst for that."

For more on this story, and for the full statement, visit

2013 Engine Regulations Agreed

The World Motor Sport Council in a meeting today gave the green light to the proposed changes to Formula One car specifications for the 2013 season.

The new engines are to be turbocharged, but reduced in size from the current 2.4L V8's, to 1.6L four cylinder designs. KERS and other energy recovery devices are still expected to be maintained in an effort to make the cars as fuel efficient as possible.

However, despite the changes being agreed in principle, there is an option now available for the FIA to delay the introduction of the new style engines beyond 2013.

Other changes to be introduced include a reduction in the maximum nose height of cars, to increase safety in the event of a 'T-Bone' accident, and an increase to the weight of the cars.

For more information on this, visit

2012 Schedule Announced

The calendar for the 2012 season has been announced today, even though the 2011 schedule still features some question marks over dates!

The season will feature 21 races - a record for Formula One - commencing in Bahrain in March, and finishing in Brazil in November.

The new United States Grand Prix will take place in June, but May's Turkish Grand Prix is still "subject to confirmation".

For the full schedule, visit

Bahrain To Rejoin 2011 Calendar

The FIA announced today that the Bahrain Grand Prix - which was postponed earlier in the year due to political unrest in the region - will now take place on 30 October 2011.

The inaugral Indian Grand Prix was originally due to be held on this date, but has now been moved to December and will become the final round of the 2011 season. Some critics have suggested that this may be a welcomed move by the Indian authorities, as the circuit may not have been ready for it's original date.

The head of the FIA, Jean Todt, commissioned a 'fact-finding mission' to discover the current political situation in Bahrain. Following this, the World Motor Sport Council (WMSC) voted unanimously in favour of reinstating the Grand Prix. The FIA claim that this decision "reflects the spirit of reconciliation in Bahrain".

There must, however, be concerns as to whether teams, drivers, mechanics, fans, media and sponsors will want to attend the Bahrain Grand Prix where the Country has still not returned to complete stability, and Human Rights abuses are still being reported.

The Formula One Teams Association (FOTA) will no doubt make a decision regarding this in the near future. However, many teams and individuals have spoken out about the situation, including Red Bull's Mark Webber, and Renault boss Eric Boullier.

For more information regarding the announcement from the FIA, visit

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Virgin Part Company With Wirth

Virgin have announced that Technical Director Nick Wirth has left the team following a poor start to the season.

Virgin had been aiming to reach Q2 on multiple occasions this season, but their best start to a Grand Prix in the six races so far this season has been on the tenth row of the grid.

It has recently been rumoured that McLaren may become a technical partner of the team, similarly to the arangement between McLaren and Force India, which saw the team move from being perpetual tail-enders to regular point scorers in just a few seasons. This may also mean that Virgin look to use Mercedes engines in future seasons.

Virgin may now look to introduce a wind tunnel to it's design department. To date, the team have done all their design using CFD (Computation Fluid Dynamics) technology, which is much more cost effective, but still not considered as effective as wind tunnels.

Expect to hear many more changes from the Virgin camp in the near future! In the meantime, to read more on this story, visit

Lotus vs Lotus - Conclusion

To recap. Group Lotus (the car company, who sponsor the Renault F1 team) took Team Lotus (the 1Malaysia racing team, who run the Green and Yellow F1 cars) over the use of the "Team Lotus" name, which they claim the 1Malaysia team do not have the right to use.

In turn, Team Lotus took Group Lotus to court, as they prematurely cancelled an agreement with Team Lotus on the grounds of trademark infringement.

The judges decision - that 1Malaysia do have the right to continue operating under the Team Lotus name, and that Group Lotus were within their right to cancel their agreement for the reasons they did.

So to summarise, it appears to be a stalemate. Months of arguments, bitterness and disagreements, and nothing has really changed. It is understood however, that Group Lotus are contesting the decision.
To make things a bit easier, we will now be referring to the black and gold cars as Renault's, and the green and yellow cars as Team Lotus.

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Group Lotus have now announced that they may have to make as many as 99 redundancies from their British base in Hethel, Norfolk. However, this is likely to have more affect on the road car operations.

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Team Lotus boss Tony Fernandes, however, has announced that he is in early stage talks over a possible purchase of his favourite football team, West Ham United.

For more updates from Mr Fernandes, follow @tonyfernandes on Twitter.