There was heavy rain again during the second free practice session for the Belgian Grand Prix at Spa-Francorchamps this afternoon, and again drivers stayed in the garage, pretty much everyone stayed there for the rest of the session, and no driver can really claim first place this afternoon.
Sauber’s Kamui Kobayashi was fastest this morning at the first free practice session for the Belgian Grand Prix at Spa. The Japanese driver recorded a time of 2m11.389s after having completed 20 laps. Kobayashi was the first to record a timed lap in difficult conditions and he gradually improved his time this morning to ultimately take first place. His team mate Sergio Perez was sixth this morning
Pirelli has allocated the medium (Prime, white marked) and the Hard (Option, silver marked) tyre compounds for one of the most demanding circuits on the 2012 calendar: Spa-Francorchamps. Also a lap of 7.004km is the longest lap on any circuit, while the quickly changing weather conditions in the Ardennes can also play a role during this weekend’s Belgian Grand Prix.
After a 33-day summer break, it is also back to business as usual for Ferrari . The next two Grands Prix are at Spa-Francorchamps and Monza, both typical high-speed circuits and thus require some extra careful engine treatment. The man at Ferrari who knows everything about engines, is Luca Marmorini, and he explains why engines will play an important role during the next two races.
If there’s one modern Grand Prix driver who wrote history at the Belgian Spa-Francorchamps circuit, it must be Michael Schumacher. Eddie Jordan had a problem just ahead of the 1991 Belgian Grand Prix, as his driver Belgium Bertrand Gachot had been jailed after he had assaulted a London cab driver, and the Irishman decided to replace him with an at the time 22-year old German driver: Michael Schumacher, who became an ‘overnight sensation’ at Spa.
Red Bull’s Mark Webber has enjoyed the summer break and is now ready to attack the second half of the season that starts this weekend in Belgium. Asked about the four-week break the Australian said, “The break has been good. It’s longer than it used to be, but it meant I managed to get to see the Olympics. I thought the coverage was awesome and it was great to see stories unfold and for athletes to achieve the results they wanted.”
Lotus star-driver and 2007 Formula One World Champion Kimi Raikkonen has won the Belgian Grand Prix at the Spa-Francorchamps circuit in 2004, 2005, 2007 and in 2009, and he is poised to win the venue again, thus hoping to give Lotus their first win since Ayrton Senna in 1985 won the Portuguese Grand Prix at Estoril.
Former Formula One driver Jos Verstappen escaped imprisonment yesterday after a court error. According to Dutch law, Verstappen should have been offered a financial transaction first before bringing him to court, thus his case was dismissed, a spokeswoman of the Roermond Court of Justice admitted.
Like all the other teams, Force India enjoyed their summer break, but it is time to get back to the action, Team Principal Vijay Mallya is still aiming for sixth place in the Constructor’s Championship.
The Spa-Francorchamps circuit in the Belgian Ardennes is not only the favourite of many Formula One drivers, but together with Silverstone, Monza and the Nurburgring, Spa is one of the greatest Grand Prix circuits, a historic venue, also popular with the spectators.
HRT has like all other teams enjoyed a well-deserved summer break this month, and the Spanish outfit is ready for the 12th round of the FIA Formula One World Championship, the Belgian Grand Prix at the famous Spa-Francorchamps circuit, the favourite track of many drivers.
Reports have emerged FOM CEO Bernie Ecclestone has secretly married Fabiana Flosi at his ski chalet Le Lion in Gstaad, Switzerland. According to reports in the UK Daily Mail, Ecclestone’s daughters Petra (24) and Tamara (28), failed to attend the ceremony at the 23-million-pound chalet.
Again a very wet day at the Dutch Zandvoort circuit, host of the seventh round of the German DTM Championship. Dark clouds surrounded the circuit, and it started to rain just ahead of the start, but all drivers started the race on the Hankook slicks.
Round seven of the German DTM Championship takes place at the Dutch sea-side Zandvoort circuit, literally just a few hundred metres of dunes separate the track from the sea. The 4.307km long track is very popular with the Mercedes, Audi and BMW drivers, but contrary to last season, drivers only had a few days to prepare for the race on Dutch soil after last weekend’s race at a blazing hot German Nurburgring.
Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps secured its Formula One future today by signing a three-year deal for 2013 to 2015, Walloon Minister of Economy Jean-Claude Marcourt today announced the good news. The circuit, situated in the Belgian Ardennes, according to many (including yours truly) the most beautiful and most challenging Grand Prix track on the planet, had encountered financial problems the past few years and the Walloon Government decided to support the circuit for another three years.
Against all odds Fernando Alonso is leading the 2012 FIA Formula One World Championship, 40 points ahead of the number two, Mark Webber, and 42 points ahead of the number three, double World Champion Sebastian Vettel. The Ferrari F2012 is certainly not the fastest car on the grid, but the Spaniard is someone who never gives up, he won three races this season, and that is probably a lot more than he bargained for ever since he go into his Ferrari for the first time during testing in early March 2012.
From own collection, pit lane pictures of the 1983 Belgian Grand Prix at Spa-Francorchamps, just a teaser for the race next week on September 2.
Caterham F1 completed their move their new Leafield headquarters, and team owner and entrepreneur Tony Fernandes is happy the Leafield Technical Centre in Oxfordshire, as the official name of the complex is, has now been finished.
Again a very hot day at the Nurburgring for round six of the German DTM championship, with ambient temperatures of 34 degrees Celsius and a track temperature of 50 degrees. Nevertheless some 60,000 spectators turned up at the Nurburgring to watch the race, and they would not be disappointed as there was plenty of action on track.
Bruno Spengler (BMW Team Schnitzer) was fastest this afternoon at the Nurburgring and took his second pole position of the season for the Bavarian car manufacturer, while Eduardo Mortara (Audi Sport Team Rosberg) and Filipe Albuquerque (Audi Sport Team Rosberg) will leave from second and third position on the grid tomorrow.
After a five-week summer break, DTM is ready for the next race on the calendar: the race at the Nurburgring. The circuit recently made the headlines due to financial issues, but thankfully the historic track is still alive and kicking, and ready to host the sixth race of the very popular DTM series, they will run on the shorter, 3.629km Grand Prix circuit.
August 17 Is Mercedes going to leave Formula One?
Recently rumours have emerged Mercedes-Benz, the owner of the Mercedes AMG Formula One team, is not happy with the current results and are therefore seriously considering to leave Formula One. Apparently, the Stuttgart based Mercedes manufacturer also still hasn’t signed the new Concorde Agreement, an agreement between the FIA, FOM and the Formula One teams.
HRT driver Narain Karthikeyan wants to improve his qualifying pace he said in a by HRT conducted interview. “In qualifying I’ve been a bit weaker. Right now I’m about three tenths behind Pedro [de la Rosa] and that’s something I have to improve in this second half, no doubt about it,” said the Indian.
August 15 Lauda: Vettel can learn from Alonso
Former Formula One driver Niki Lauda thinks Sebastian Vettel can learn from Fernando Alonso this season, he said to the Österreich newspaper. Vettel has had the best car during the last two seasons and was able to clinch two consecutive World Championships, but in 2012 the 25-year old German has so far won only one race, the Bahrain Grand Prix.
Last week Grand Prix Journal reported the Circuit of the Americas (COTA) had finished the very first layer of the race track, this week COTA announced they have begun with the final paving process of the track of the purpose-built Formula One facility situated South-East of Austin, Texas, the circuit will host the FIA Formula One United States Grand Prix on November 18.
Unfortunately for Williams and Pastor Maldonado, the Venezuelan driver lived up to his reputation last weekend and managed to crash during a demonstration run at Caracas, Venezuela. After just one lap in front of 20,000 spectators, he crashed his Williams FW33 on a roadside curb and had to abandon his car, and the demo altogether, as there was too much damage to the rear suspension of his car.
Oscar-winning movie director Ron Howard is currently working on the movie Rush, a Formula One film about the rivalry between James Hunt and Niki Lauda in the 1970’s. The movie highlights the 1976 championship-deciding Japanese Grand Prix at a rainy and foggy Fuji circuit, and of course the fiery accident of Lauda in 1976 at the Nurburgring, which almost claimed his life.
Toro Rosso Technical Director Giorgio Ascanelli was notably absent during the German and Hungarian Grands Prix. Team Principal Franz Tost did not want to discuss the matter publicly when he was asked about Ascanelli’s absence during a press conference at the Hockenheimring. “I can only tell you that Giorgio Ascanelli is on holiday and there’s confidentiality between the two parties. That’s all that I can say to this,” said the Austrian.
HRT Team Principal and former Formula One driver Luis Perez-Sala is happy with the achievements of his HRT team during the first half of the season. A lot of things have changed at the Spanish outfit, as they changed almost the entire team, contracted a new Team Principal, Perez-Sala, moved their headquarters to the capital of Spain, Madrid, and at the same time had to build a car for the 2012 season.
Grand Prix Journal already reported Mark Webber and Bernie Ecclestone visited the 2012 London Summer Olympics last weekend, but McLaren driver Jenson Button not only likes to watch athletics on TV, but is a keen athlete himself and particular likes participating in Triathlons and Ironman competitions all around the world.
After receiving a major financial boost last week, an official of the German Nurburgring today admitted the circuit can not pay Ecclestone’s sanctioning fee to secure the 2013 German Grand Prix. Last week it was understood the race would be on for next year, as the German state of Rhineland-Palatinate, who also own 90 per cent of the track, had released 254 million Euro to guarantee the short-time future of the circuit.
It’s now Formula One’s official summer break, factories are closed and not just the drivers, but also all personnel are enjoying a well-deserved holiday. The next race is the Belgian Grand Prix on September 2, meanwhile another sporting event, the London 2012 Olympics, is a big attraction for some of the Formula One stars.
As already suspected by Grand Prix Journal, Michael Schumacher indeed did not know the regulations concerning the current start procedure. The 43-year old Schumacher was responsible for the start chaos during the Hungarian Grand Prix, as he switched off the engine of his Mercedes when he saw the yellow lights light up.
A lot of good news from the Circuit of the Americas, the host of the American Grand Prix on November 18. On August 2 the circuit reached another milestone: the entire first layer of pavement around the Austin track has been completed, a process called ‘marrying the track’. The crew started at Turn 20, then worked their way through the starting grid and up the hill to Turn 1, from there worked their way around the circuit and have now returned to Turn 20 again, completing the first layer.
Sauber drivers Sergio Perez and Kamui Kobayashi were already looking forward to the traditional Formula One summer break, and halfway the season, they make up the balance. So far it has been a successful year for the Swiss outfit, they are currently sixth in the Constructors’ Championship.
It hasn’t gone unnoticed: Red Bull Racing’s designer Adrian Newey is a very creative man, and is known for pushing the limits when it come to interpreting Formula One’s technical regulations. But is Newey pushing the limits, or is he going over the limits, the latter is obviously illegal. Already in 2010 Red Bull was accused of having some sort of ride-height system which would allow the Austrian team to make illegal suspension tweaks after qualifying.