Alessandro Zanardi will test a BMW M3 DTM car at the Nurburgring next month, BMW today confirmed. The Italian racing driver, who lost his legs after a horrific accident in the ChampCar series in 2001 at the German Lauzitzring, and won gold at the 2012 Paralympics in London in the men’s road time trial H4, will test the BMW car on November 18.
Mercedes is hoping for a stronger result this weekend during round 18 of the FIA Formula One World Championship, the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. Nico Rosberg retired from two of the last three races and scored no points at all, while Michael Schumacher, who will retire again at the end of the season, also didn’t score points during the past three races.
The Sauber team today confirmed Nico Hulkenberg has signed a contract for 2013 with the Swiss outfit. The 25-year old German driver will replace Sergio Perez who will join McLaren next year. Sauber was impressed by Hulkenberg’s achievements in Formula One, thus signing him wasn’t a difficult decision.
Current Formula One championship leader Sebastian Vettel has again denied he has signed a contract to move to Scuderia Ferrari in 2014. Rumours about a move to the Maranello-based team have been very persistent, but this time Vettel hopes to end the speculations.
Kimi Raikkonen will stay another year with Lotus, sources today reported. The Iceman as his nickname is, made a comeback to Formula One with Lotus this year after he retired in 2009. Unlike Michael Schumacher’s return, the Finn’s return was successful to say the least, he is currently third in the Drivers’ Championship, ahead of both the McLaren and Mercedes drivers, the only thing still missing this season is a race victory.
October 28 Indian GP: Webber and the curse of KERS
Technical issues made life difficult for Mark Webber at the Buddh International Circuit, as his Renault manufactured KERS gave him many problems, from lap 20 onwards his KERS system worked intermittently, which is a problem on the Indian track with its 1.2km long back straight.
Red Bull driver Sebastian Vettel cruised to victory today at the Buddh International Circuit and won the Indian Grand Prix, strengthening his leading position in the 2012 Formula One Drivers’ Championship. Alonso was second for Ferrari, after beating Mark Webber who had KERS problems during the closing stages of the race.
Both Ferrari cars appeared on the Buddh International Circuit with the flag of Italian Navy prominently present on the nose of the F2012, Ferrari denied the flag was a political statement, and yesterday Team Principal Stefano Domenicali said, “No, no, that’s not true. There’s not any political intention or discussion in that.”
No big surprises today during qualifying for round 17 of the FIA Formula One World Championship, the Indian Grand Prix. Red Bull showed their supremacy again with championship leader Sebastian Vettel taking another pole position, his team mate Australian Mark Webber was second, while Lewis Hamilton was third for McLaren.
Sebastian Vettel was again fastest during the second free practice session for the Indian Grand Prix at the Buddh International Circuit this afternoon, but he was now closely followed by his Australian team mate Mark Webber, who was 0.118 seconds slower than the German 2010 and 2011 World Champion.
Sebastian Vettel set the fastest time at the Buddh International Circuit this morning, after completing 22 laps the German set a time of 1m27.619s, beating Jenson Button, who was second for McLaren, with 0,310 seconds. Fernando Alonso was third for Ferrari, but was almost beaten by the second McLaren of Lewis Hamilton, who was fourth, only two-thousandths of a second slower than the Spaniard.
The BayernLB bank wants $400 million back from Bernie Ecclestone, German media reported today. The Bavarian state bank sold their Formula One stake to the CVC investment company in 2006, but now want a compensation as they believe they lost money on the transaction.
The championship is still open, according to the number two in the Formula One Drivers’ Championship, Fernando Alonso. He admitted the two start crashes he had in Belgium and Japan did hurt his title chances, but the Spaniard is adamant he can still win the 2012 title, as he is only six points behind leader Sebastian Vettel.
One thing was really bothering Lewis Hamilton after he had signed for Mercedes: he hadn’t spoken to his McLaren mentor Ron Dennis, he tried to contact him but the McLaren Executive Chairman didn’t return his calls.
Sergio Perez could miss both Friday practice sessions for the Indian Grand Prix at the Buddh International Circuit, Reuters revealed today (Thursday). The Sauber driver, who has signed a contract with McLaren for 2013, has cancelled his scheduled meetings with the media today.
Although Vijay Mallya’s arrest warrant was withdrawn after the Indian billionaire had paid the bills of his Kingfisher airline, he still faces a number of problems. Mallya’s airline has been grounded since the beginning of this month and disgruntled employees have hinted they will confront Mallya during his home Grand Prix at the Buddh International Circuit.
After a disastrous Korean Grand Prix, where Jenson Button had to retire after a first-lap collision with Kamui Kobayashi and Lewis Hamilton only earned one point for his tenth place, the McLaren duo are hoping for a better result this weekend in India.
Yesterday Grand Prix Journal reported the Circuit Of the Americas (COTA) was officially opened by 1978 Formula One World Champion Mario Andretti, who drove the first lap on the circuit in a Lotus 79, later followed by Lotus’ test and reserve driver Jerome d’Ambrosio who drove a Lotus Renault R30. On both occasions onboard cameras recorded the event, see below.
The Circuit of the Americas (COTA) has been officially opened during a ‘First lap ceremony’ performed by 1978 Formula One World Champion Mario Andretti in a Lotus 79. Andretti, the circuit’s official Ambassador cut a ribbon to open the 3.4 mile track, the first purpose-built Formula One facility in the United States, situated Southeast of Austin, Texas.
Today was a memorable day for the German BMW car manufacturer, after their comeback to the DTM series, the Bavarian marque took three titles at Hockenheim today: Bruno Spengler won the 2012 Drivers title, BMW Team Schnitzer topped the Teams’ standings and BMW won the Manufacturers’ title as well.
A sensational race at the German Hockenheimring today, as Bruno Spengler (BMW Team Schnitzer) crossed the finish line first to take the 2012 Deutsche Tourenwagen-Masters (DTM) Championship for BMW, the Bavarian team did the impossible: they won the title in their first year of their return to the DTM series.
The United States Grand Prix at the Circuit of the Americas (COTA) is not only a leap into the unknown for Formula One drivers and teams, but also for Formula One’s sole tyre supplier Pirelli. The Italian company has allocated the Medium and Hard tyre compounds for the inaugural US Grand Prix, the hardest tyres in their range, and a ‘relatively conservative choice’ Pirelli admitted.
Brazilian Augusto Farfus (BMW Team RBM) beat DTM championship leader Gary Paffett (Mercedes Team HWA) to pole for the last race of the season at the Hockeheimring. Paffett will leave from second spot on the grid tomorrow, and his main rival Bruno Spengler (BMW Team Schnitzer) from third spot. Jamie Green (Mercedes Team HWA) didn’t make it into the final top-four shoot-out and will start the race from tenth place.
Fans of the German Touringcar Championship (DTM) know what these two drivers have in common, they were both born in Scotland, and both will unfortunately retire from the DTM championship after the last race of the season at Hockenheim this weekend, their names: Susie Wolff and David Coulthard.
DTM championship leader Gary Paffett (Mercedes Team HWA), second place man Bruno Spengler (BMW Team Schnitzer) and third place man Jamie Green (Mercedes Team HWA), are all geared up for the season finale at the German Hockenheimring. These three drivers are the only ones who can still win the 2012 DTM title.
The city of Austin is getting ready for the United States Grand Prix which takes place on November 16-18 at the Circuit of the Americas (COTA), the first purpose-built Formula One facility in the United States, situated Southeast of Austin. After years of preparations and months of construction, the circuit is nearing its completion, last month FIA Race Director Charlie Whiting visited the new track and gave it the official FIA Grade 1 status, which means it is fit for Grand Prix racing.
Williams development driver Susie Wolff drove last year’s Williams FW33 at Silverstone yesterday during a Williams F1 Partner event. Wolff, married to Toto Wolff, an executive director and major shareholder at Williams, normally does her job in the simulator, but yesterday her dream of driving a Formula One car came true.
Monisha Kaltenborn Narang is her full name, and she’s the only female Team Principal in the entire history of Formula One, as her boss Peter Sauber retired last week and appointed her his successor, she also owns one-third of the Swiss team, and with the Indian Grand Prix to take place next week, now’s a good time to get to know her a little bit better.
Felipe Massa was of course very happy to stay with Ferrari for another year, as was announced by the Maranello-based team yesterday after the Brazilian had met with Ferrari President Luca di Montezemolo. “Ferrari is my racing family and throughout my entire time in Formula One, I have always driven cars powered by engines built in Maranello: I can’t see myself driving cars propelled by anything else!” said Massa.
Ferrari President Luca di Montezemolo has denied rumours Sebastian Vettel could join the Scuderia from Maranello in 2014, as was claimed in reports published today by BBC Sport. “Today the problem is not with drivers. 2013 is still to come but I don’t want to have two roosters in the same henhouse, rather two drivers who race for Ferrari and not for themselves,” said the Italian.
Lewis Hamilton thinks his race for the 2012 crown is over after scoring just one point at the Korean Yeongam circuit. “In terms of winning the World Championship, logic suggests that that’s probably it for me,” said a disappointed Hamilton. “We were still in the fight up until now but it’s too far away. We’ll keep fighting in the Constructors’.
After a strong result in Japan and Korea, Felipe Massa is very close to signing up for another year with the Italian Scuderia, according to Ferrari Team Principal Stefano Domenicali, who was very happy with Massa’s result today. “Felipe followed up his great race in Suzuka with another one here, also on the attack right from the opening lap and then again at other key moments, like when he overtook Hamilton,” Domenicali said after the race.
Sebastian Vettel won the Korean Grand Prix today and took the lead in the Drivers’ Championship over from Fernando Alonso who finished in third place. Mark Webber was second and gave Red Bull Racing a one-two victory on the Yeongam circuit, in a race that was all about tyres.
Red Bull driver Mark Webber took pole for round 16 of the FIA Formula One World Championship, the Korean Grand Prix. Webber beat his team mate Vettel with 0.074 seconds during the final qualifying session, while Lewis Hamilton took third spot on tomorrow’s start grid for McLaren. It was a very tight qualifying session as the difference between the pole-sitter and the number ten, Michael Schumacher, was just 0.271 seconds.
More trouble for Vijay Mallya and his Kingfisher airline as the Times of India reported a local Hyderabad court on Friday issued non-bailable warrants against the airline chairman and three of his company executives.
Red Bull Racing showed their strong form again at the Yeongam circuit today after the two Friday practices for the Korean Grand Prix. Sebastian Vettel set the fastest time of the day with a lap of 1m38.832s, while Mark Webber was second just 0.032 seconds behind the German. In the morning Lewis Hamilton had set the fastest time for McLaren, but during the afternoon session he didn’t get any further than eighth place.
Just weeks after FIA Race Director Charlie Whiting had given the green light for the United States Grand Prix on November 18, the construction team have now focussed on finalizing the details.
Sauber CEO Monisha Kaltenborn will take over Peter Sauber’s job as Team Principal with immediate effect, the Sauber Formula One team today announced. Kaltenborn, who owns one-third of the Swiss Sauber team, will take over Sauber’s position as he will turn 69 on October 13, as Sauber once had said he did not want to be on the pit wall until he turned 70, he kept his word and today was a good day to retire as Team Principal.’
After a for Fernando Alonso disappointing Japanese Grand Prix, the Spaniard is now ready to tackle his next challenge: The Korean Grand Prix at the Yeongam circuit. Alonso lost most of the lead he had over Red Bull driver Sebastian Vettel after a collision with Kimi Raikkonen, and Vettel is now just four points behind him.
Pirelli will bring the Soft (prime, yellow marked) and Super Soft (option, red marked) tyre compounds to the Korean Yeongam circuit for round 16 of the FIA Formula One World Championship this weekend. According to Pirelli, the circuit will be a test for the soft tyres, as it has long sweeping fast corners like in Japan, but also slow corners like in Monaco or Valencia.
For the first time Maria de Villota spoke about the accident she had while testing for Marussia in July this year. De Villota sustained serious head and facial injuries and lost her right eye in the accident. The 32-year old Spanish driver underwent extensive surgery several times and was in hospital for over a month. She was then moved to Spain for further recovery, but she will have to undergo more surgery, she revealed today.
Triple Formula One World Champion Sir Jackie Stewart has again offered to lend a helping hand to Romain Grosjean and give him advice after the French Lotus driver was again involved in a first-lap incident during the Japanese Grand Prix.
Lotus will not further develop their Double DRS system, Technical Director James Allison said ahead of the Korean Grand Prix. “We haven’t had the happiest of introductions with the system. It’s been harder than I anticipated to make it switch effectively with only the limited opportunity afforded in Free Practice. We’re going to take it away, have another think and most likely give it another go in the Abu Dhabi young drivers’ test,” Allison explained.
Fernando Alonso’s retirement from the Japanese Grand Prix is the second big blow to the championship aspirations of the Spaniard, who also had to retire from the Belgian Grand Prix at Spa. But Ferrari is not yet ready to throw in the towel and with five races to go there are still 125 points up for grabs, and Ferrari President Luca de Montezemolo wants his team to be fully dedicated to the final five races.
Although ex-Formula One driver Derek Warwick represented the drivers in the FIA Stewards panel at Suzuka this weekend, and although there have been a lot of improvements over the last two years, the FIA Stewards still don’t seem to have shed their bad habit of making inconsistent decisions.
Mark Webber finished the Japanese Grand Prix in ninth place, scoring just two points and thus tumbled down the Drivers’ Championship order to fifth place, now 60 points behind leader Fernando Alonso, who had to retire from the race.
Sebastian Vettel was unbeatable today and won round 15 of the FIA Formula One World Championship, the Japanese Grand Prix. Also a dream result for two other drivers, Felipe Massa finished in second place for Ferrari, and Kamui Kobayashi was third for Sauber, a great result at his home Grand Prix.
Lewis Hamilton, who will leave his current team and will drive for Mercedes next season, has shown a sudden interest in the details of his McLaren MP4-27, that is the claim of the UK Independent newspaper. According to the newspaper Hamilton has shown a renewed interest in the technical aspects of his McLaren, especially the exhaust system and the telemetry seem to be his favourites.
Kamui Kobayashi was the surprise of the day during qualifying for his home Grand Prix at Suzuka, a circuit he knows inside-out. The Japanese driver took fourth place with a lap of 1m31.700s, just 0,410 seconds slower than pole sitter Sebastian Vettel.
Already a busy weekend for the FIA Stewards at the Suzuka circuit where round 15 of the FIA Formula One World Championship, the Japanese Grand Prix, takes place. This weekend ex-Formula One driver Derek Warwick represents the drivers and the Briton together with Lars Osterlind, Enzo Spano and Kazunari Yamanashi are, as it is officially called, the Stewards of the Meeting this weekend.
Sebastian Vettel took pole for the Japanese Grand Prix at the Suzuka circuit this morning, but the German was lucky to escape with an official reprimand from the FIA Stewards after he had been accused of blocking the Ferrari of Fernando Alonso during Q3. The incident took place at the last chicane, after yellow flags were waved due to Kimi Raikkonen’s crash.
Lotus will not use the double DRS system for the race at Suzuka this weekend. The system was tested again this the morning by drivers Kimi Raikkonen and Romain Grosjean, but the team decided to remove it again for the afternoon practice session.
During the first free practice session for round 15 of the FIA Formula One World Championship, the Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka, Jenson Button was fastest for McLaren with a time of 1m34.507s. Second was his team colleague Lewis Hamilton who was 0.233 seconds slower than leader Button, while Mark Webber was third for Red Bull.
The FIA has revised the regulations concerning the flexibility of aerodynamic parts, as McLaren allegedly used a new front wing design that enabled the front wing to flex backwards. The German Auto, Motor und Sport magazine reported Ferrari had complained about the McLaren wing and had asked FIA officials to act, as the Maranello-based team thought the wing was illegal.
Michael Schumacher announced his retirement this morning in Suzuka, and Mercedes paid tribute to the seven-times World Champion, read the official comments of Ross Brawn, Norbert Haug and his team mate Nico Rosberg.
Michael Schumacher announced his second retirement from Formula One today, and there isn’t a Formula One driver on this planet who holds as many records as Schumacher. The now 43-year old German started his career in 1991 during the Belgium Grand Prix at the circuit of Spa-Francorchamps for the team of Eddie Jordan. He qualified in seventh place, but his race was short as he had to give up during the first lap due to a broken clutch, he didn’t even get further than Eau Rouge.
Although Felipe Massa’s future at Ferrari is still very uncertain, the Brazilian wants to concentrate on the race at Suzuka this weekend, instead of worrying about his future at the Reds. Compared to Fernando Alonso’s first position in the Drivers’ Championship, Massa’s tenth place is disappointing to say the least.
Two fourth places for Force India this season, Paul di Resta was fourth in Singapore, while his team colleague Nico Hulkenberg took fourth place at Spa-Francorchamps, the next logical step would be a podium finish during one of the final six races of the season.
Michael Schumacher has announced his retirement from Formula One today during a press conference ahead of the Japanese Grand Prix. Last week Mercedes hired 2008 World Champion Lewis Hamilton for the next three years, and Schumacher has decided to call it quits rather than to seek a new employer for 2013.
This time Pirelli will bring the Hard (silver marked) and the Soft (yellow marked) tyre compounds to round 15 of the FIA Formula One World Championship: the Japanese Grand Prix at the classic Suzuka circuit. Pirelli, however, noted that both compounds are in general a bit softer compared to the ones used last year.
Despite being ousted by his Mercedes team, Michael Schumacher is still motivated, the German said ahead of the Japanese Grand Prix. “My motivation is completely intact after the news last week, especially because Suzuka is one of the season’s highlights for me. I enjoy the circuit — it has sections that challenge you as a driver like almost nowhere else.”
The last three races have been disappointing for Lotus, and Lotus Team Principal Eric Boullier stresses it’s important to not get carried away and focus on the target: scoring points for both championships. “When things are good, people have to remain calm and remember what the initial objectives are. When times are tough, being overly pessimistic does not help either. With the E20, we can rely on a tidy and reliable racing car and I think we have surprised a few people this year, but we need to progress one step at a time,” he said.
The result of the Singapore Grand Prix was not exactly what Kimi Raikkonen had in mind, but 12th during qualifying and a sixth place during the race was the maximum Raikkonen could extract from his Lotus E20 during a hot and humid race weekend.
Former Formula One and McLaren driver David Coulthard wrote it was even funny when he heard Martin Whitmarsh told the world Hamilton had made a big mistake by leaving McLaren. Hamilton sealed a three-year deal with Mercedes last Friday, and the new contract ends a 14-year long relationship, and since Hamilton is now 27 years old, he started his career at McLaren at the age of 13.
Kamui Kobayashi is ready for round 15 of the FIA Formula One World Championship — the Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka. “I think our car should be very fast there and we also will get new parts on the C31 for the Japanese Grand Prix. I am confident about getting a good result in front of my fellow countrymen. Last year I was seventh on the grid but then had a problem at the start and only finished 13th,” said the Japanese driver.
Although Lewis Hamilton sealed a very lucrative three-year deal with Mercedes last Friday, the 2008 World Champion has vowed to give it all to stay in the chase for the 2012 title. There are still six races to go and thus 150 points are still up for grabs, unfortunately Hamilton is fourth in the Drivers’ Championship, 52 points behind leader Fernando Alonso, and has a lot of catching up to do.