Having viewed the video of the crash behind safety car involving Vettel and Mark Webber in Fuji, Japan, I must say that FIA made a good decision not to penalize Lewis Hamilton for something totally beyond his control. Lewis ran wide to avoid getting to close to the safety car and that is not avoidable under such severe condition with very poor visibility. That is definitely good for F1 or else, the fight for the driver title will no longer be fight on F1 track and instead will be by fighting off track with fault finding.
8 Podium finishes in 8 Formula 1 races, Lewis Hamilton is now leading the F1 driver championship with 64 points. Surely, Lewis Hamilton is become so popular that most F1 news in the papers these days talked about Hamilton. Even the title of Planet-F1.com show below features Lewis Hamilton as part of it page title. That surely help to bring more hits to the site.
The success of Lewis Hamilton definitely put two drivers namely Alonso and Raikkonen who are trying to prove their worth to their new teams in awkward position. Now three of the top four drivers Alonso, Massa and Raikkonen treat Lewis as their main obstacle / contender in their bid the secure driver championship for the 2007 season.
There have been so many good words for Lewis during the last few months. No doubt that Lewis brought many F1 viewers who have stayed away from the once boring F1 races during the last few years.
Come this weekend the F1 teams will race again in Silverstone, UK, the home race for Mc Laren and Lewis and all expect him to win and I hope that he will be able to handle the pressure and Mc Laren will give you a good, fast and reliable car to win this coming race. Oh yes, he will also need some little luck as mentioned by Alonso during the last many weekends 🙂
F1 fan like are glad to know that there will be F1 race on street circuit either in the month of September or October 2008. Actual late will be announce towards end of this year. It is time the Sepang to do some major improvement or else, Singapore will sure become a better attraction in years to come. It will add another street circuit race after the Monaco race but this time it will race at night to accommodate viewer from Europe.
The first race will is scheduled to be held in September or October 2008 on a street circuit and could be held at night under lights.
Singapore has been campaigning hard to stage a grand prix and has been given the option to hold the race for five years.
Ecclestone announced yesterday that Valencia would stage an F1 race in 2008 on a street circuit and has an option to stage races for the next seven years.
“I am very pleased to welcome Singapore to the Formula One family and we look forward to this exotic addition to the championship,” said Ecclestone, who spoke on a conference line from Barcelona.
“This will be the first fully-lit street race in Formula One and as a night race, we anticipate it will quickly establish itself as one of the most dramatic and atmospheric races in our calendar.
“I know that the Formula One drivers, teams and fans are all looking forward to coming to Singapore next year.”
The recent promising start by the Vodafone Mc Laren Mercedes Team in the first two races in Melbourne and Sepang finally get the Formula 1 excitement back. Being a fan of the Mc Laren Team, I have not watch many races in year 2006 mostly due to their poor performance during which Mc Laren failed to win a single race in that whole year. Signing Alonso was one of the big news then. Things has change quite a bit in this early races of 2007 season with both Mc Laren drivers raced to podium in both races, what a fanstastic achievement for a team with zero win in 2006.
Having said that, I must agree that Ferrari still has the edge over Mc Laren. Ferrari has been enjoying a good engine and aero package since 2006 and they also have more experience in Bridgestone tyre. No doubt that Mc Laren is catching back but it will not be easy for Alonso and Lewis to win again in Bahrain this weekend. Nevertheless, the result of this weekend race will provide us more concrete answer on how far Mc Laren has progressed again the Ferrari. Both teams have drivers of almost equal calibre and it is now down to the fight of the both machines and team strategy.
It is a pity that Mc Laren did not managed to have the dream line up of Kimi/Alonso for 2007 season but then again, even such line up will not ensure that Mc Laren will win Driver Title as well as Contructor Title if the Mc Laren Mercedes car is not up to the par.
Ever since Adrain Newey left Mc Laren at the end of 2005, Mc Laren has not secured any win for the 2006 season. That possibly is the reason why Kimi decided to leave for Ferrari where there is a much better car for him to realize his dream to win a Driver Title in the very near future.
To me , Alonso is a very capable and careful driver that should be able to deliver if a good car is given to him. To this effect, Mc Laren need to come up with something and recent news that Mika Hakkinen is coming back to Mc Laren, not as a driver, but rather as a advisor will surely help on the car development. Hopefully, that will put Mc Laren back on track for at least a few wins in 2007 or else, signing of Alonso for 2007 is going to be a waste. With Mc Laren securing Vodafone as the sponsor, it is surely in their best interest to win again to bring more value to their sponsor.
The Alonso / Hamilton partnership for 2007 season is the very first time that Mc Laren has two new drivers in the 40 years history.
Mc Laren Mercedes has announced that Lewis Hamilton will be the driver of the 2nd Mc Laren to partner Alonso in year 2007. The 21 years old Hamilton will be the first black driver to compete in this sport, making history in the process.
Pedro did not proved to be fast enoungh in the last few races of 2006 and hence the choice of young and aggresive Hamilton is surely a better one.
As anticipated, Kimi will join Ferrari in 2007 for a three years contract and this will surely mean that Kimi will now have a great chance of winning the Driver title within the next two years. That also mean that Ferrari will be able to continue with their quest for more Constructor Titles in years to come. Alonso was quite right that his main rival from next year onwards will be Kimi and looks like his chance of winning more drive title will be difficult unless Mc Laren can come out with a better car package to match that of Ferrari. With the strength of Ferrari at present, Alonso will surely lose the present lead of 2 points to Schumi by next race and that mean that after winning the 2005 driver title, Alonso may not win again in the near future.
With those changes, 2007 will be another exciting year for Formula 1.
Sepang F1 race is surely another race to forget for Kimi. Kimi went only as far as 5th corner and was brought out by Red Bull Racing’s Christian Klien. The impact caused his MP4-21’s rear suspension to fail, which sent him careening off the track and into the barriers, ending his race.
Renault confirmed their superiority in both engine reliability and speed. Honda also proved to be faster than Mc Laren and in the process, Jenson proved to be better driver than Barrichello so far. Ferrari is just not fast enough and they are have engine reliability problem to solve for the next few races, something rarely happen in the Ferrari camp. It looks like to be another great year for the Renault team and Mc Laren surely playing catch up again. If Mc Laren does not close the gap in next two races, the 2005 scenario will repeat itself. William’s Cosworth engine simply still not good enough for the whole race, something Cosworth need to solve very quickly.
Ferrari agree to stop using the flexy wing that many claim to increase their speed on the straight from next race in two weeks time in Australia following the protest from 8 F1 teams.
Ferrari have agreed to scrap their ‘flexy’ rear wing ahead of the Australian Grand Prix following a quiet word from the FIA.
The FIA were forced into action regarding the Italian outfit’s rather flexible, and therefore illegal, rear wing after receiving a letter of protest from Ferrari’s rivals. Eight teams are believed to have signed the letter, with Red Bull, who use Ferrari engines, and Toro Rosso, RBR’s B-team, the only exceptions.
According to reports, Ferrari have now conceded that they had misinterpreted the regulations governing the cars’ wings and had assured their rivals that they would use modified wings at the next race, the Australian GP.
And in return, the eight teams have agreed not to protest the outcome of today’s Malayasian GP, which they had threatened to do prior to Ferrari’s compliance.
The FIA have also committed to do a thorough check on whatever wing the Italian outfit brings to Melbourne in two week’s time.
Before the race in Bahrain, there has been many reports that Honda is having the most powerful engine and Mc Laren is facing problem with their reliability and lack of power of the Mercedes engine.
Now the the Bahrain race completed, the reliability problem of the Mc Laren is obviously still here and that contribute to the breakdown of the silver arrow during the qualifying session. With that Kimi had to start from the tail end of the race. His impressive drive to finish 3rd, with merely 19 seconds from top two finishers, is a prove that Mc Laren car really has the speed and power to match both the Ferrari and Renault. This is definitely good news to Mc Laren’s fans.
It now look like 5 teams are in the running for the top title. They are Renault, Ferrari, Mc Laren, Honda, BMW-Sauber Team.
Super Aguri Team is definitely not ready for the race as they are obviously very slow
01 F. Alonso Renault 1:29:46.206 10
02 M. Schumacher Ferrari + 1.246 8
03 K. Rï¿½ikkï¿½nen McLaren + 19.360 6
04 J. Button Honda + 19.992 5
05 JP. Montoya McLaren + 37.048 4
06 M. Webber Williams + 41.932 3
07 N. Rosberg Williams + 1:03.043 2
08 C. Klien Red Bull + 1:06.771 1
09 F. Massa Ferrari + 1:09.907
10 D. Coulthard Red Bull + 1:15.541
11 V. Liuzzi Scuderia Toro Rosso + 1:25.997
12 N. Heidfeld BMW + 1 laps
13 S. Speed Scuderia Toro Rosso + 1 laps
14 R. Schumacher Toyota + 1 laps
15 R. Barrichello Honda + 1 laps
16 J. Trulli Toyota + 1 laps
17 T. Monteiro Midland F1 + 2 laps
18 T. Sato Super Aguri + 4 laps
Did not finish
19 Y. Ide Super Aguri + 20 laps
20 J. Villeneuve BMW + 28 laps
21 G. Fisichella Renault + 36 laps
22 C. Albers Midland F1 + 57 laps
It is good to know that after days of testing, Mc Laren is back on track and their track time and is now ahead of Renault’s Alonso in Barcelona. It is definitely good new to all Mc Laren’s fan and we look for furthur improvement from Mercedes engine in term of reliabiliy and Horse Power within the next three weeks before the first race in Bahrain on March 12. Also hope to see Raikkonen win again in Sepang on March 19.
In addition to Renault, Mc Laren will face another strong competitor, name the Honda F1 Team. Jenson Button eager to win his first face after more than 100 F1 races and Barrichello eager to prove himself as a worthy driver in the Honda team will surely motivate both of them to win some races for Honda. Not to mention that Honda’s engine is currently the most powerful engine on the grip. However, thing may change again in three weeks time, who know :-).
Kimi Raikkonen was the man to beat at Barcelona on Wednesday, as McLaren gained the upper hand over Renault.
With the weather conditions having improved since Tuesday and a dry track for the entire session, Raikkonen clocked a best time of 1:15.223 during his 97 laps, which put him 0.277 second ahead of Renault driver Giancarlo Fisichella.
A change in tyre and engine rules change the whole scenorio again in F1 and what we have seen last year in 2005 with the domination of Mercedes engine is not likely to repeat again in 2006. Change in tyre rule will also change the way how F1 team manage thier race again. Continous change in rules may make each racing season interesting but it is quite confusing for fans.
With barely three weeks to go, Mercedes engine still has 35hp less than Cosworth engine and that will cost them dearly in championship point. Look like William is going to get some plus point here with the Cosworth engine. With tyre change allowed this year, we should also see more of Michael Shumacher on the front of the grid again.
Let wait for the Bahrain race !!
McLaren could be losing as much as 35bhp to their Cosworth-powered rivals ahead of the new season with their Mercedes engine reputedly the weakest on the grid.
According to a specially-commissioned survey for F1-Racing magazine, Cosworth have been packing the heaviest punch in winter testing despite being the only privateer engine builder on the grid.
While Mercedes’ 2.4 V8 engine is estimated to be revving a maximum of just 710bhp, Cosworth’s is apparently reaching 745bhp, with Ferrari and Honda at 730bhp.
Fernando Alonso has defended his decision to join McLaren at the end of the season, saying he has no obligation to Renault other than to do his best during his final season with the team.
Alonso became the youngest ever Formula One World Champion last season with Renault. However, two months later he announced that he would be leaving the French outfit and joining rivals McLaren at the end of this season.
When Mc Laren made the announcement late last year that they have signed up Alonso for the 2007 season, Mc Laren as well as Alonso was criticised. The aim is to win championship and I do not see there is anything wrong to sign Alonso at all. In F1, you need a good driver and a good car ( a good car designer ) to win. To me, Alonso is a very good driver that made little mistake. His result in 2005 where he did not win more races than Kimi and yet able to lift the championship largely due to his driving consistency. Mc Laren has secured the sponsorship of Vodafone for 2007 onwards and naturally, Ron Dennis need to find way to win the championship to bring more exposure to title sponsor.
With Belgium GP due to run on September 17 at SPA this year scrapped, the revised F1 calendar is as follow:-
Mar 12: Bahrain Grand Prix (Bahrain)
Mar 19: Malaysian Grand Prix (Sepang)
Apr 02: Australian Grand Prix (Melbourne)
Apr 23: San Marino Grand Prix (Imola)
May 07: European Grand Prix (Nurburgring, Germany)
May 14: Spanish Grand Prix (Barcelona)
May 28: Monaco Grand Prix (Monte Carlo)
Jun 11: British Grand Prix (Silverstone)
Jun 25: Canadian Grand Prix (Montreal)
Jul 02: United States Grand Prix (Indianapolis)
Jul 16: French Grand Prix (Mangy-Cours)
Jul 30: German Grand Prix (Hockenheim)
Aug 06: Hungarian Grand Prix (Hungaroring)
Aug 27: Turkish Grand Prix (Istanbul)
Sep 10: Italian Grand Prix (Monza)
Oct 01: Chinese Grand Prix (Shanghai)
Oct 08: Japanese Grand Prix (Suzuka)
Oct 22: Brazilian Grand Prix (Interlagos)
The organizer of Belgium GP has been promised to bring F1 back to SPA in 2007. With more than one year from now to renovate the track and facilities, it should be sufficient.
During recent testing, Mc Laren find it hard to keep pace with rival such as Renault. Kimi has since commented that Mc Laren weakest link is now its Mercedes engine. Mercedes has since rush to introduce a new engine recently that is said to have more 60 HP of engine power. Who will dominate in 2006, no one know at this point in time and we shall see which team is able to adapt well to the new regulation and the new V8 engine.