All the Formula One news

September 2012

September 29  Whitmarsh – Hamilton’s move to Mercedes a mistake

McLaren’s Team Principal Martin Whitmarsh believes Lewis Hamilton’s move to Mercedes was a mistake, as he wouldn’t recommend any driver to leave the McLaren team. Yesterday it was announced the 2008 World Champion sealed a three-year deal with Mercedes, believed to be worth £62 million.

September 29  Ecclestone could face trial over bribery, F1 floatation again postponed

By now it has become clear the recent postponement of the Formula One floatation on the Singapore Stock Exchange has everything to do with Bernie Ecclestone’s involvement in the bribery of former BayernLB banker Gerhard Gribkowsky, who recently has been sentenced to eight and a half years in prison for several crimes, including bribery.

September 28  Perez to replace Hamilton at McLaren in 2013

McLaren says goodbye to Lewis Hamilton who will join Mercedes in 2013, and welcomes Sergio Perez, who has signed a multi-year deal with the Woking-based outfit. Perez has made a name for himself in Formula One, and a move to a bigger team was just the next logical step in his career.

September 28  Mercedes confirm Hamilton signed three-year deal

Mercedes have confirmed Lewis Hamilton has signed a three-year deal with the German Silver Arrows outfit. It was no secret Hamilton was no longer happy at his previous employer, McLaren, and now has finally made the decision to leave.

September 28  FIA moves to ban double DRS for 2013 season

The double DRS system as it has been used by Mercedes this season, will be banned in 2013. The Mercedes system provides an extra performance boost when the ‘normal’ DRS is active. Although the idea is actually quite simple, in practice it is a complicated system to integrate into an existing car, the reason why other teams have problems emulating it.

September 27  Formula One: 2013 Calendar and circuit news from around the globe

Formula One is a global sport, but with just six of the 20 races on European soil, the 2013 calendar is certainly bad news for the European Formula One fans. The fact FOM CEO Bernie Ecclestone goes wherever the money goes, is not really something new, but Formula One should never forget its roots, and those roots are certainly not just there where the money is.

September 26  The race is on – Circuit of The Americas passes FIA inspection

Great news for the American Formula One fans, as FIA’s Safety Director Charlie Whiting has given the green light for the United States Grand Prix on November 18. Whiting has given the Circuit of the Americas (COTA) the FIA seal of approval after his latest inspection, and has given the circuit the Grade 1 status, the highest grade a circuit can get, which means it has been approved for Formula One racing.

September 24  Singapore GP: Bad day at the office for Mark Webber

Not a great weekend for Mark Webber during the Singapore Grand Prix, the Australian driver lost his tenth place because he had overtaken Kamui Kobayashi in the Sauber while he was off-track, the FIA Stewards deemed he had gained an unfair advantage and he was stripped of tenth place and was classified as 11th.

September 24  Hamilton not giving up title hopes after retiring from Singapore GP

Lewis Hamilton retired from the Singapore Grand Prix yesterday due to a gearbox failure, but he has no intention of giving up his hopes on winning the 2012 World Championship.

September 24  Busy Singapore Grand Prix weekend for FIA Stewards

A busy weekend for the FIA Stewards present at the Singapore Grand Prix this weekend, this time ex-Formula One driver Allan McNish represented the drivers.

September 23  Singapore GP: Give Schumacher a pair of glasses

Schumacher obviously needs a new pair of glasses, which design would you pick?

September 23  Schumacher handed ten-place grid penalty for Vergne collision

Seven-times World Champion Michael Schumacher has been handed a ten-place grid penalty for the Japanese Grand Prix at the Suzuka circuit for causing a collision with the Toro Rosso of Jean-Eric Vergne this evening at the Marina Bay Circuit in Singapore.

September 23  Vettel takes victory for Red Bull in Singapore, Hamilton retires

Sebastian Vettel won round 14 of the FIA Formula One World Championship, the Singapore Grand Prix at the Marina Bay Circuit. After a race interrupted twice by the Safety Car, Jenson Button was second for McLaren and Fernando Alonso was third for Ferrari.

September 23  Senna gets gearbox penalty after qualifying crash at Singapore

Bruno Senna will be demoted from 17th to 22nd place on the start grid for the Singapore Grand Prix, as his Williams team had to replace the gearbox of his car after he had crashed into the wall for the second time this weekend.

September 22  Kubica could return to Formula One as Pirelli test driver

Extraordinary rumours are circulating on the internet and social media: Robert Kubica could make a return to Formula One as Pirelli test driver. The rumours started after a remark of Pirelli test driver Jaime Alguersuari, who said he is very close to returning to Formula One after being ditched by his previous employer Toro Rosso.

September 22  Hamilton storms to pole for Singapore GP ahead of Maldonado and Vettel

A very hot day at the Marina Bay Circuit in Singapore, with ambient temperatures of 30 degrees Celsius, and combined with the high humidity, a real torture for man and machine. A cool new helmet design for Sebastian Vettel, this time a helmet with blue flashing LED’s that light up in the Singapore night, but his flashy good luck charm didn’t work and it was Lewis Hamilton who took pole for McLaren for the Singapore Grand Prix on Sunday.

September 22  Circuit of the Americas completes track pavement

The Circuit of the Americas has completed the track pavement with success. Yesterday workers completed the third and final layer of asphalt around the 3.4 mile long circuit. According to the circuit the last layer on the track is unique in the world.

September 22  Renault still not sure alternator issues have been solved

The alternator problems which especially have hurt the Red Bull Racing team, have not been completely solved, according to Renault Sport Director Jean-Francois Caubet during yesterday’s FIA press conference in Singapore.

September 21  Vettel and Red Bull set the pace for Singapore Grand Prix

Sebastian Vettel was fastest for Red Bull Racing during the first free Friday practice session for the Singapore Grand Prix, and also the fastest driver during the second session this afternoon on the Marina Bay circuit. The first session was a close fight with Lewis Hamilton, who was just 0.049 seconds slower in his McLaren. In the morning there was heavy rain just ahead of the session and drivers first went out on the Pirelli intermediate wet tyres, to switch to the slicks when the track had dried out.

September 21  Webber confident of strong Red Bull showing at Singapore

Mark Webber is confident Red Bull will have a strong race at Singapore this weekend. On the high-speed circuits of Spa and Monza, the Red Bull RB8’s weak point, the straight-line speed, seriously hampered Webber’s chances for a good result, on the maximum-downforce Marina Bay street circuit, however, the Australian hopes to be back in the running for the title again.

September 20  Force India sets sights on strong Singapore GP

Force India is currently seventh in the Formula One Constructors’ Championship, 37 points behind the sixth-placed Sauber team, finishing in sixth place was Force India’s goal for this season, and thus the Indian team has some catching up to do, as Williams is only nine points behind them and has set its sights on beating Force India.

September 20  Massa still faces uncertain Formula One future

Felipe Massa’s position at Ferrari has been under pressure for quite some time now, but this time it looks like it will be his last season racing for Scuderia Ferrari, and maybe even his last season in Formula One altogether.

September 20  Pirelli: The Singapore Grand Prix from a tyre point of view

Pirelli has allocated the Soft (yellow marked) and Super Soft (red marked) tyre compounds for the only night race on the 2012 Formula One calendar, the Singapore Grand Prix. The 5.073 km long Marina Bay street circuit has 23 turns, it has a bumpy and slippery surface, and together with the humidity, the heat and the constant changes of direction, this track is hard on drivers, cars and tyres.

September 19  Romain Grosjean back in the hot seat for Singapore GP

Romain Grosjean will be back in the car after his one-race ban, which meant he had to sit out the Italian Grand Prix after he had caused the first-corner accident at Spa-Francorchamps. Grosjean’s 2012 C.V at first sight doesn’t really look very pretty, he retired from five of the 12 Grands Prix he competed in, and was involved in seven first-lap accidents this year.

September 19  Singapore GP: Eric Boullier – Lotus will push like hell

After a tough race at Monza with Romain Grosjean sidelined and Kimi Raikkonen struggling to keep fifth position, Lotus will now ‘push like hell’, according to Team Principal Eric Boullier. “We were not really disappointed with fifth position, as it was the best result we could hope for. Actually, it felt quite strange not to head to the podium at the end of the race, which says a lot about our mindset at present,” Boullier said about the Italian Grand Prix.

September 18  Raikkonen and Lotus aim for podium place at Singapore GP

It wasn’t an easy weekend for Kimi Raikkonen at Monza two weeks ago, but the 32-year old driver moved up to third place in the Drivers’ Championship, and is now 38 points behind leader Fernando Alonso, but more importantly, only one point behind the number two in the race for the 2012 title, Lewis Hamilton.

September 18  Mercedes hoping to bring car improvements to Singapore GP

Mercedes are currently fifth in the Constructors’ Championship, but are about to lose that spot to the Swiss Sauber team, the German outfit still have seven races to improve their pace. Michael Schumacher is 11th in the Drivers’ Championship with 43 points, while his compatriot Nico Rosberg is seventh with 83 points, and with 175 points still on the table, both drivers are mathematically speaking still in the race for the 2012 title.

September 17  Sauber hoping to be competitive again during Singapore GP

Sergio Perez’ second place at Monza has given Sauber’s confidence a huge boost, and the Swiss outfit is looking forward to yet another great result. It will be the fifth time Formula One visits the Marina Bay circuit in Singapore, a five-kilometre long track which requires a high downforce level and is tough on brakes and tyres. Overtaking is possible, but difficult, and thus securing a high grid position during qualifying is important.

September 17  Kubica crashes twice during Rally San Martino di Castrozza

Former Renault and Lotus Formula One driver Robert Kubica crashed twice during the Rally San Martino di Castrozza in Italy this weekend. The 27-year old Pole and his co-pilot Jakub Gerber were unhurt, but after the second crash his Subaru Impreza was too damaged to continue the rally.

September 17  HRT to maintain reliability and progress during Singapore GP

HRT are looking to maintain their reliability and progress during round 14 of the FIA Formula One World Championship, the Singapore Grand Prix. Unknown territory for the team, as only Narain Karthikeyan has acquired some experience on the circuit last year.

September 16  DTM: Spengler gives BMW third victory of the season at Oschersleben

A magnificent drive from Bruno Spengler (BMW Team Schnitzer) at Oschersleben this afternoon, the flying Canadian again came closer to his championship rival Gary Paffett (Mercedes Team HWA) by finishing ahead of the Briton, after an exiting race with the usual first corner incidents.

September 15  DTM: Spengler takes pole for BMW at Oschersleben

Bruno Spengler (BMW Team Schnitzer) took pole for BMW today for round eight of the Deutschen Tourenwagen Masters (DTM) at the German Motorsport Arena Oschersleben. The Canadian was fastest during the final shoot-out for pole, next to him on the grid in second place is championship leader Gary Paffett (Mercedes Team HWA), and his marque- colleague Jamie Green (Mercedes Team HWA) will start from third place on the grid tomorrow.

September 13  Formula One pays tribute to Professor Sid Watkins

The FIA and the FIA Institute extend their sincere condolences to the Watkins family on the sad news of the death of FIA Institute Honorary President Professor Sid Watkins. Throughout his life Sid made a unique contribution to motorsport, particularly in improving safety for F1 drivers, officials and spectators around the world. He was highly respected as an acclaimed neurosurgeon, F1 medical delegate, Chairman of the FIA Expert Advisory Safety Committee, and as the first President of the FIA Institute. Sid’s experience, intelligence and endearing humour will be forever greatly missed.

September 13  Former Formula One doctor Sid Watkins dies at the age of 84

Former Formula One doctor, FIA Medical Delegate Professor Sid Watkins has died at the age of 84. Watkins played a key role in improving safety standards not only in Formula One but also in other motorsports, as Formula One safety standards Watkins had pioneered, later became the benchmark for all other forms of motorsport.

September 12  Rivals: Raikkonen and Lotus still a force to be reckoned with

Kimi Raikkonen is still a force to be reckoned with, according to his rivals. The Finn made a successful return to Formula One this season, he was right on the pace from day one and is currently in third place of the Drivers’ Championship, just 38 points behind leader Fernando Alonso, and just one point behind the number two, Lewis Hamilton.

September 10  Italian GP: Red Bull worried by double retirement at Monza

A rare double retirement for Red Bull during the Italian Grand Prix, the last time both drivers were out of the race was during the 2010 Korean Grand Prix. But Red Bull is more concerned about the alternator issue which caused the retirement of Sebastian Vettel, and cost him sixth place and eight points, and is less worried about Webber’s spin which flat-spotted his tyres, forcing the Australian into retirement due to the heavy vibrations caused by his badly damaged tyres.

September 10  Kubica still a winner and eying Formula One return in 2014

Robert Kubica is back after his horrific rally accident in February last year, the Polish driver returned at the wheel of a Subaru Impreza WRC car and with his Italian co-driver Giuliano Manfredi won the Ronde Gomitolo di Lana Rally in Italy last weekend. Kubica won all four stages of the rally and finished almost one minute ahead of Omar Bergo in a WRC Mini.

September 10  Italian GP: A frustrating weekend for Webber at Monza

It was a frustrating weekend at Monza for Red Bull driver Mark Webber. On Friday he could not impress as he was ninth and 11th during practice, on Saturday morning he was again 11th during the third free practice session, and 11th once again during qualifying.

September 9  Italian GP: Hamilton cruises to Monza victory for McLaren, Button retires

Lewis Hamilton won the Italian Grand Prix at the Autodromo Nazionale di Monza for McLaren this afternoon, but his team mate Jenson Button had to give up the race, Sergio Perez was second for Sauber, while Alonso finished third for Ferrari.

September 8  Italian GP: A walk in the park for McLaren at Monza

McLaren showed their supremacy today at Monza during qualifying for the Italian Grand Prix. Although during the Friday practice sessions the differences were just a few thousandths of a second, this time Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button showed who really rules Monza: McLaren and not Ferrari.

September 8  Italian GP: Sauber duo far off the pace at Monza

During qualifying for the Belgian Grand Prix one week ago, Sauber was very fast, and after their first-corner elimination during Sunday’s race caused by Romain Grosjean, the Hinwill-based team had hoped for an equal qualifying performance at Monza, but Kamui Kobayashi qualified ninth, and Sergio Perez in 13th place this afternoon.

September 8  Italian GP: All McLaren front row as Hamilton takes Monza pole, Button second

Lewis Hamilton took pole position for McLaren during qualifying for round 12 of the FIA Formula One World Championship, the Italian Grand Prix at Monza. His team colleague Jenson Button took second place making it an all McLaren front row, while Felipe Massa had a good day in his Ferrari and crossed the finish line in third position.

September 7  Italian GP: McLaren on top of final Friday session at Monza

Lewis Hamilton topped the time sheets this afternoon during the final Friday practice session for the Italian Grand Prix at Monza today. The 2008 World Champion was fastest with a time of 1m25.290s, thus beating his team colleague and winner of the Belgian Grand Prix Jenson Button, who was just 0.038 seconds slower.

September 7  Italian GP: Schumacher on top of first practice at Monza

Veteran Michael Schumacher was fastest for Mercedes during the first practice session for the Italian Grand Prix at Monza, round 12 of the FIA Formula One World Championship. The German driver who still has many fans in Italy, lapped the Monza circuit in 1m25.433s and in total completed 26 laps, second was McLaren’s Jenson Button who seems to feel at home on high-speed circuits, he was just 0.301 seconds slower.

September 6  Pirelli: The Italian Grand Prix from a tyre point of view

Pirelli has allocated the Medium (white marked) and Hard (silver marked) rubber compounds for round 12 of the FIA Formula One World Championship, the Italian Grand Prix at the Autodromo Nazionale di Monza, one of the oldest European Grand Prix circuits.

September 6  Twittergate could hurt Hamilton’s contract negotiations

It wasn’t a smart move when Lewis Hamilton expressed his frustrations on Twitter during the Belgian Grand Prix, and it was plain stupid of the 2008 World Champion to post a photo of the telemetry of his qualifying lap at Spa after his team mate Jenson Button had grabbed pole position. Hamilton wanted to ‘prove’ that his bad qualifying performance boiled down to the fact Button had a new rear wing, and he had not, which was by the way, not even the truth.

September 6  James Key succeeds Giorgio Ascanelli at Toro Rosso

Toro Rosso finally confirmed James Key will succeed Giorgio Ascanelli as Technical Director. Key unexpectedly left the Sauber team at the start of the 2012 season and is of course happy with his new role at Toro Rosso.

September 5  Italian GP: Lotus update – D’Ambrosio to replace Grosjean at Monza

Belgian driver Jerome d’Ambrosio will replace the suspended Romain Grosjean for Lotus this weekend at Monza. According to Team Principal Eric Boullier, Grosjean will nevertheless attend the Italian Grand Prix despite his one-race ban. Boullier had nothing new to say about the weekend at Spa and Grosjean’s suspension.

September 5  Italian GP: Mark Webber going for victory at Monza

Red Bull driver Mark Webber is ready for this weekend’s Formula One race, the Italian Grand Prix at Monza. Webber is looking forward to race on this iconic track, one of the fastest circuits on this year’s calendar where cars reach speeds of over 320km/h.

September 5  Italian GP: HRT’s Ma Qing Hua to make debut at Monza Friday practice session

Chinese driver Ma Qing Hua will make his début during the first free practice session for the Italian GP at Monza this weekend. The 24-year old driver will take over Narain Karthikeyan’s car during Friday morning practice, after following a HRT development program which included work on the simulator. Ma Qing Hua has already been in the HRT F112 during the Young Driver Test at Silverstone, and he feels he is ready for the next step.

September 3  Spa-Francorchamps crash wake-up call for Formula One

Fernando Alonso was incredibly lucky yesterday when the cars of Romain Grosjean and Lewis Hamilton flew over the cockpit of his Ferrari, just a few inches closer and the outcome would have been a true disaster for the Spanish driver.

September 2  Belgian GP: Grosjean suspended for first lap carnage at Spa

Romain Grosjean received a one-race suspension as the FIA Stewards deemed he was responsible for the first-lap carnage at the Belgian Spa-Francorchamps circuit this afternoon.

September 2  Belgian GP: A miserable afternoon for Sauber at Spa-Francorchamps

Kamui Kobayashi and Sergio Perez started the Belgian Grand Prix from second and fourth position on the grid this afternoon, their best qualifying performance of the season. Even before the start things got a bit hairy for Kobayashi, as his brakes started to smoke heavily and Sauber CEO Monisha Kaltenborn was seen watching the data screens with a worried face.

September 2  Belgian GP: Button victorious after Spa-Francorchamps thriller

Jenson Button made the most of his pole position at Spa-Francorchamps, the host of the Belgian Grand Prix, round 11 of the FIA Formula One World Championship. While Button was the first to emerge from the La Source hairpin after the lights turned to green, there was a lot going on behind him as others were dicing for positions.

September 2  Belgian GP: Hamilton not happy with old-spec rear wing choice

Lewis Hamilton was not happy after qualifying in eighth place for the Belgian Grand Prix, and on Twitter he vented his frustrations, “Jenson has the new rear wing on, I have the old. We voted to change, didn’t work out. I lose 0.4 seconds just on the straight.”

September 1  Belgian GP: Maldonado gets three-place grid penalty for blocking

The FIA Stewards had a busy day at Spa-Francorchamps today, earlier Grand Prix Journal reported both Mark Webber and Nico Rosberg were given a five-place grid penalty, which means Webber will start from 12th place and Rosberg from 23rd place on the grid tomorrow (if there are no further grid penalties).

September 1  Belgian GP: Great performance from Sauber drivers Perez and Kobayashi

Kamui Kobayashi was the hero of the Sauber team today during practice for the Belgian Grand Prix at the famous Spa-Francorchamps circuit, as he will leave from second spot on the grid tomorrow. Kobayashi missed the pole by just 0.298s this afternoon, but it was nevertheless a great performance from the Japanese driver.

September 1  Belgian GP: Bitter disappointment for Mercedes at Spa-Francorchamps

Not much to celebrate for Michael Schumacher at Spa-Francorchamps today during qualifying for the Belgian GP, Schumacher’s 300th Grand Prix. The German seven-times World Champion had to be satisfied with 13th place today, while he 21 years ago in 1991 left from seventh place on the grid in a Jordan, a ride paid for by Mercedes.

September 1  Belgian GP: Button is back and takes surprise pole at Spa-Francorchamps

A dry and sunny Spa-Francorchamps circuit this afternoon during qualifying for round 11 of the FIA Formula One World Championship: the Belgian Grand Prix. Not a good start of the weekend for Mark Webber, who has a five-place grid penalty for changing the gearbox of his Red Bull, also the winner of the Chinese Grand Prix, Nico Rosberg, has a five-place grid penalty for changing his gearbox, as during Saturday morning practice his Mercedes ground to a halt due to a transmission problem.

September 1  Belgian GP: Saturday morning news from Spa-Francorchamps

Michael Schumacher has been fined 2,500 Euro by the FIA Stewards for entering the pit lane at the wrong side of the bollard that marks the entrance. The German passed the bollard on the right side which is not allowed according to a FIA statement.

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