By Berthold Bouman
Mixed results for Red Bull drivers Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber during the Australian Grand Prix last weekend, Vettel finished the race in third place, but rivals Ferrari and Lotus finished ahead of the triple World Champion, while Mark Webber’s race was hampered by ECU problems that cost him at least five places during the start of the race.
Mark Webber: It’s important to acclimatise
The Australian driver finished his home Grand Prix in sixth place, but has put this unfortunate race behind him and is already looking forward to race at Sepang International Circuit.
Asked about the favourite part of the circuit he said, “It’s the second to last corner because it’s very tricky to get right, but I’ve always enjoyed driving it. I’m looking forward to getting back on track again so soon after the first race and really getting the season underway.”
Difficult home GP for Mark Webber last weekend – Photo: Red Bull Racing
The Malaysian Grand Prix is one of the most challenging races of the season, due to the hot and humid climate, and Webber gave some tips to keep cool this weekend. “Drink a lot of water, wear light clothes and of course stay in the aircon as much as you can — although that’s not something that helps much when we’re driving! It’s important to acclimatise as much as possible,” he advised.
Sebastian Vettel: It’s a very rewarding circuit
Asked about his favourite part of the circuit, Vettel commented, “It’s an interesting track. After the first section, Turns 5, 6, 7 and 8 are very quick and fun. Turns 11 and 14 are similar, it’s difficult to find the apex of those on every lap, especially as the tyres become worn.”
Vettel had good memories of the Sepang circuit, and has won there before, “It’s a very rewarding circuit for a driver to win, as it’s such a tough challenge with the heat and high-speed corners. It’s rewarding, as it shows you have prepared well over the winter, so I guess my favourite memories are winning in 2010 and 2011.’
Red Bull Video: How well do Seb and Mark know the RB9?
• Red Bull Malaysian GP Preview
• Ferrari Malaysian GP Preview
• McLaren Malaysian GP Preview
• Lotus Malaysian GP Preview
• Mercedes Malaysian GP Preview
• Sauber Malaysian GP Preview
• Force India Malaysian GP Preview
• Williams Malaysian GP Preview
• Toro Rosso Malaysian GP Preview
• Caterham Malaysian GP Preview
• Marussia Malaysian GP Preview
By Berthold Bouman
Pirelli will bring the medium (prime, white marked) and hard (option, orange marked) tyre compounds to Sepang for the 2013 Malaysian Grand Prix. According to the Italian tyre manufacturer, the hardest compounds are especially suited for the extreme temperatures and the abrasive surface of the Sepang International Circuit.
Paul Hembery: We would describe Sepang as genuinely ‘extreme’
Pirelli’s Motorsport Director Paul Hembery is an expert on race tyres and he said about the Malaysian circuit, “We would describe Sepang as genuinely ‘extreme’: both in terms of weather and track surface. This means that it is one of the most demanding weekends for our tyres that we experience all year.”
About the tyre choice Hembery said, “The nomination we have for Malaysia is the same as last year, but the compounds themselves offer more performance and deliberately increased degradation this season.
Asked about the tyre strategies he commented, “Last year three stops proved to be the winning strategy in a mixed wet and dry race, with a thrilling finish between Fernando Alonso and Sergio Perez that was all about tyres. We’d expect three stops again but once more it’s likely to be weather that dominates the action.”
Pirelli nominated the medium and hard tyre compounds for Sepang – Photo: Red Bull Racing
Sepang from a tyre point of view:
• Malaysia is one of the more abrasive surfaces that the cars compete on all year, which is part of the reason why the two hardest compounds from the range have been nominated.
• The P Zero Orange hard tyre has a high working range, whereas the P Zero White medium has a low working range. This makes it an ideal combination that can deal well with any eventuality. The durability characteristics of the new hard tyre are close to those of last year’s medium tyre, resulting in lap times that are around 0.4s-0.5s quicker than the 2012-specification hard.
• The Sepang track is built on what was formerly a swamp, with a fundamentally uneven surface. However, the asphalt was resurfaced in 2007, which smoothed out most of the bumps – although some remain.
• Last year, the hard and medium compounds were also chosen for the Malaysian Grand Prix. The top five drivers adopted a three-stop strategy: intermediate-wet-intermediate-slick. Bruno Senna meanwhile, in fifth place, stopped four times.
Pirelli’s technical tyre notes:
• Malaysia places heavy lateral demands on the tyres; it’s the second-highest lateral load of the year after Barcelona. This can lead to heat build-up within the tyre, which can reach a maximum of 130 degrees centigrade.
• Sessions at the Malaysian Grand Prix in the past have been frequently interrupted by heavy rain, and the race was even halted early in 2009, with half-points being awarded. Pirelli has a new specification of Cinturato Green intermediate and Cinturato Blue full wet tyre this year; with a redesigned construction to help improve traction and prevent snap oversteer.
• Although grip levels are high in Malaysia, the frequent rain has the effect of washing any rubber that has been laid down off the track overnight, meaning that there is often a ‘green’ surface at the start of each session. While a dry line can emerge quickly because of the high ambient temperatures, drainage at Sepang is not particularly good, which can lead to pools of standing water.
Malaysia 3D Track Experience – Video by Pirelli
By Berthold Bouman
Pirelli will bring the medium (white marked) and super soft (red marked) rubber compounds to Australia this weekend, the 2013 tyres are generally softer and faster than the 2012 compounds, and the Italian tyre manufacturer expects two to three pits stops per driver this season.
Paul Hembery: Performance gaps between compounds larger
Pirelli’s Motorsport Director Paul Hembery reckons teams haven’t seen the best of the new tyres yet due to the low temperatures during testing, “Cold weather conditions during pre-season testing meant that we weren’t able to showcase them to the best of their abilities, but we are expecting a different story in Albert Park, with two to three pit stops per car.”
About the new rubber compounds he remarked, “All the compounds and constructions have changed for 2013, and the drivers should notice a wider working range and a bigger window of peak performance. The performance gaps between the compounds are also larger, which means that teams have a greater opportunity to use strategy to their advantage by exploiting the consequent speed differentials.”
Pirelli ready for 2013 season – Photo: Infiniti
The Pirelli tyre from a circuit point of view:
• With all the compounds having become softer this year, the medium and the supersoft were chosen in Australia to give the teams a challenge in terms of tyre management and strategy, in accordance with Pirelli’s brief from the teams themselves and Formula One’s promoters.
• The P Zero White medium tyre is ideal for circuits with lower ambient temperatures and not particularly aggressive asphalt, such as Melbourne. Its durability characteristics are very similar to those of last year’s soft tyre, resulting in lap times that are around 0.8s quicker than the 2012-specification medium.
• The P Zero Red supersoft has been designed to come up to temperature quickly and it is ideal when it comes to delivering maximum performance instantly on a twisty and slow-speed circuit.
• Last year, the medium and soft compounds were chosen for the Australian Grand Prix, with the top seven drivers adopting a two-stop strategy.
Pirelli’s Technical tyre notes:
• Acceleration and braking are the keys to a good performance in Melbourne, with the longitudinal forces at work on the tyres being greater than the lateral forces. The improved combined traction of the P Zero tyres this year marks a significant step forward in this area.
• Melbourne has hosted a number of wet races in the past: last year’s Friday’s free practice sessions were held in wet weather. Pirelli is bringing a new-specification of Cinturato Green intermediate and Cinturato Blue full wet tyre to Australia, which has a redesigned construction to help improve traction and prevent snap oversteer.
• The left-rear tyre works hardest in Melbourne, with 10 right-hand corners and six left-hand corners.
• The 5.303-kilometre Albert Park circuit is not used outside of the Australian Grand Prix, which means that it is extremely ‘green’ and slippery on Friday in particular. But the faster warm-up time of Pirelli’s 2013 tyres should help drivers find grip more quickly.
Australia 3D Track Experience – Video: Pirelli
By Berthold Bouman
Pirelli is aiming for more tyre degradation and thus more pit stops in 2013, the Italian company announced today during the presentation of the Formula One 2013-spec tyres. The Italian tyre supplier completely revolutionised the P Zero dry weather tyres, but also the Cinturato wet weather tyres.
The tyre compounds will in general be softer, the structure of the tyres will be more flexible, and the shoulders of the tyres have been reinforced. Pirelli aims to improve the performance and to increase the thermal degradation to ‘open up more strategic options’ for all teams.
“The 2013 season continues the philosophy adopted by Pirelli last year in evolving the original 2011 range of Formula One tyres,” Pirelli’s Motorsport Director Paul Hembery said.
At the start of the 2012 season teams had difficulties understanding the tyres, but as the season progressed teams could use their experiences to make the tyres last longer, which resulted in less competition.
Pirelli’s Motorsport Director Paul Hembery
“The goal is to continuously set new challenges for the drivers and to ensure that all the teams start the new season on a level playing field when it comes to the tyres. Through accumulating more information with each Grand Prix last year, the teams eventually fully understood the tyres, after a spectacular start with seven winners from the first seven races,” Hembery explained.
“The result at the end of the year was races with less competition and sometimes only one pit stop. This phenomenon was also observed in 2011, disappointing many fans and prompting some of the teams to ask us to continue developing our tyres further this year, in order to provide a fresh challenge with something different,” Hembery added.
Pirelli is now aiming for two to three stops per driver per race, which would make races even more attractive according to a statement issued today. Pirelli also promised to be more aggressive with the tyre allocations towards the end of the season.
Also new is that the sidewall of the hardest tyre will be orange marked, instead of silver, which will make it easier for the fans to spot the difference with the medium compound, white marked tyres.
Hembery doesn’t think teams will encounter problems getting the tyres at the correct working temperature like at the start of the 2012 season, “We don’t envisage that happening because the cars are so much more closely related to the previous year’s cars. Taking that out of the equation will certainly assist the teams, but they will have to get used to a little bit more degradation than they were at the end of last year.”
Just as last year, each car will have 11 sets of tyres available for the weekend, made up of six sets of the harder and five sets of the softer compound. The performance gap between each rubber compound will be more than half-a-second per lap, which, according to Pirelli, will ’encourage overtaking throughout the race’. Teams will get their first taste of the new tyres during pre-season testing, which starts on February 5 in Jerez, Spain.
By Berthold Bouman
During a press meeting in Madonna di Campiglio Ferrari Team Principal Stefano Domenicali said winning the 2013 title is the ultimate goal of the Maranello-based team.
Earlier this month it was announced that Ferrari had split the design teams, one team will be working on the 2013 car, and the other team will work on the 2014 car, while Nicolas Tombazis continues as Chief Designer.
“The 2013 season will be a complex one from many points of view,” said Domenicali. “We face a few changes on the technical front which will have a significant impact on all areas of the company, not just in terms of design, but also when it comes to the investment and infrastructure required to develop the new engine,” the Italian team boss explained.
The 2013 car is currently being tested in the Cologne-based wind tunnel originally build for the Toyota Formula One team, as Ferrari is rebuilding their wind tunnel in Maranello. “Our aim is clear, to win and the priority is still that of giving our drivers a car that will be competitive right from the very start. The development of the 2013 car began in the Cologne wind tunnel and is ongoing,” said Domenicali.
Earlier this month Domenicali said Ferrari will not suffer a repeat of their 2012 testing troubles. “What happened to us last year in the first winter test in Jerez, will not happen to us this year, because we are now sure that the wind tunnel gives us no more surprises,” he said. Ferrari experienced problems with their wind tunnel last year, as the results in the wind tunnel could not be replicated on track, the reason Ferrari will use the Toyota wind tunnel until their own wind tunnel has been completely rebuilt.
Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa
Domenicali is confident Felipe Massa will be at the front of the field this season and help Ferrari to clinch the title, “Personally, there was a lot of pressure on me regarding possible changes, but in the interests of the team, I preferred to wait and today, I’m convinced that keeping Felipe in the Ferrari family was the right decision.”
“His performance in the second half of the season contributed significantly to our second place in the Constructors’ classification: for the team that is a strong point and for Fernando, it provides further impetus to try even harder.”
About Ferrari’s star driver Fernando Alonso he said, “His strength as a champion and his great fighting spirit is a guarantee for himself and for the team: our responsibility is to give him a car with which he can make the most of his abilities and his killer instinct.”
Domenicali also dismissed the usual rumours about Sebastian Vettel joining the Reds in the future, “I think our President has already commented on this subject several times: a dream team is fantastic if it is correctly managed, but at the moment we are not looking at that, because we want to ensure the team is as well-balanced as possible.”
About the criticism aimed at Alonso he remarked, “As usual, there are people who try and stir up the politics, believing they will provoke a reaction, but I am deaf to these things and I believe Fernando is totally focused on his performance, while I can assure you that the team will give its answer on the track, with deeds, not words!”
Pedro de la Rosa joins Ferrari
Certainly good news for Alonso’s compatriot Pedro de la Rosa, who was left without a drive after the demise of the Spanish HRT team. The Spaniard will join Ferrari as a development driver, and will spend a lot of time in the simulator. He will also be involved in technical, racing and commercial activities.
“We decided to add de La Rosa to our group of drivers mainly to strengthen one area, namely work in the simulator, which with the current regulations regarding testing, is becoming ever more important,” Domenicali said today in Madonna di Campiglio.
De la Rosa said about his new job, “It is amazingly motivating to be working for a team like Ferrari, not just because of what it represents in the history of Formula One and motoring in general, but also because it will be a completely new and very stimulating experience for me.” And he added, “I really hope I can get to work as soon as possible and to help in the development of the car.”
Video: Wrooom 2013 – Relaxing in the snow
The Red Bull Racing Story…
Christian, Adrian, Mark and Sebastian talk candidly about our journey so far. This is a sneak peek of what’s to come in the full story of Red Bull Racing – coming soon…
Ferrari charity auction for areas affected by hurricane Sandy
Over 1.5 million Dollars have been collected by Ferrari to help the areas most affected by the hurricane Sandy super storm, with the first F12 Berlinetta delivered in the US, won at a charity auction in Austin, on the occasion of the US GP, for 1.125 million Dollars.
The McLaren Manufacturing Challenge
The McLaren Manufacturing Challenge is an annual competition designed to raise the profile and help improve the image of high-tech manufacturing and engineering. Finalists teams are invited to spend an afternoon at the McLaren Technology Centre, where they get to see how a Formula One team operates and how McLaren designs its world leading super cars, before the big race begins. Business Secretary Vince Cable was there to help present the 2012 McLaren Manufacturing Challenge trophy to this year’s winning school.
Williams in 60 seconds: Race Bay
Williams in 60 seconds is a collection of videos aimed at giving an insight into Williams F1 as a whole. The group of 13 videos will focus on what the team does, how it’s done and the personnel behind the work. This week: Race Bay.
McLaren Tooned Episode 11 Side Tracked
Episode 11 – Side Tracked. Starring Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton.
By Berthold Bouman
Pirelli has allocated the medium (Prime, silver marked) and hard (Option, white marked) rubber compounds for this weekend’s United States Grand Prix, at the brand-new purpose-built facility the Circuit of the Americas, according to Pirelli a conservative tyre choice for a circuit with many unknown factors. All teams will get an extra set of the hard tyres on Friday during free practice in order to help them to understand the new track.
A leap into the unknown, also for Pirelli, but Motorsport Director Paul Hembery said, “In many ways America will be the biggest challenge for us of the year, but stepping into the unknown is a situation that we are used to: last season the majority of tracks were completely new to us.”
About the choice of tyres he commented, “We’ve chosen the hard and the medium compounds as we think it will be quite a demanding track, based on the asphalt samples and simulation data we have gathered. Naturally we’ve leaned towards a slightly more conservative choice in order to cover every possibility at a brand new circuit, but the tyre choice in Abu Dhabi was also conservative and yet we saw one of the most exciting races of the year.”
Commercially the United States Grand Prix is also important for Pirelli, and Hembery explained, “We’re all absolutely delighted to be returning to America with Formula One: it’s a crucial market for us as well as being the home of many of the most enthusiastic fans out there. We’ve felt a huge buzz about this race, and with the championship so finely poised it couldn’t come at a better time.”
Technical tyre notes (by Pirelli):
• As Austin is a brand new circuit, the surface is likely to be ‘green’ and slippery, with a high degree of track evolution over the weekend. A totally new track often has a thin film of greasy oil on the surface, which is released by the asphalt as it settles into place. The race length will be 56 laps.
• Turn 11 is also particularly demanding in Texas as the driver starts braking heavily with the car already turning, creating an uneven distribution of forces across the tyres. Good grip from the compound is essential for an effective turn-in.
• The cars are likely to run with low gearing and medium downforce, with the set-up not expected to be dissimilar to that of Istanbul Park in Turkey.
• The weather can be uncertain in Texas at this time of year, with a 31% chance of rain on any given day on average. The month of November is characterised by rapidly falling daily high temperatures, with daily highs decreasing from 25°C to 19°C over the course of the month, exceeding 29°C or dropping below 13°C only one day in 10.
Video: The United States Grand Prix from a tyre point of view
By Berthold Bouman
Force India has officially given up on taking sixth place from rival Sauber in the Constructors’ Championship, as Vijay Mallay’s Team is now 29 points behind the Swiss outfit. Asked a bout the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Mallya said, “I have mixed feelings because we extended our run of points finishes, but on the other hand our two main rivals were ahead of us and scored well. With two races to go Sauber are almost out of reach and Williams are just 22 points behind us.”
Which means Force India has to be careful not to lose that seventh place to Williams, but said Mallya, “Without the problems at the first corner, I’m convinced we could have been up there fighting for some bigger points.” Mallya is looking forward to the first visit of Force India to the United States, “It’s such an important market for the teams and the brands associated with the sport so it’s a very welcome return to the calendar. It will be the first time Sahara Force India has raced on American soil and the whole team is excited to be going there.”
Also driver Paul di Resta thinks he could have scored more points in Abu Dhabi, “In terms of race pace the car was strong, I overtook a lot of cars and without the puncture we could definitely have had a stronger day.” Like his team boss, the Scott also thinks Sauber’s sixth place is now out of reach, “I think under normal circumstances you’d probably say Sauber are out of reach. Williams looked good in Abu Dhabi, but I think we’re in a strong enough position to defend from them.”
But di Resta is adamant the Circuit of the Americas will suit the car, “Austin will be an unknown but it’s a new track so it’s likely to be similar to Abu Dhabi with new tarmac and a smooth surface. So there’s every reason to believe we can be competitive there.”
Force India TV – Nico Hulkenberg on the United States Grand Prix
Nico Hulkenberg visits Codemasters to try out the new Formula 1 2012 video game and gets his first taste of the brand new Circuit Of The Americas. He talks about the game then takes the virtual VJM05 for a lap of the track.
Scuderia Ferrari Racing News n.19
After 5 years Formula 1 is back in the United States: the penultimate race of the 2012 season will be held in Austin, Texas. Let’s discover the exciting track with COTA President Bobby Epstein and with a lap on the track at the simulator with Jules Bianchi, the young talent from the Ferrari Driver Academy in Maranello. Furthermore the French driver talks about his season, which he concluded with a second place in the World Series. And then there’s the Formula 1 alphabet with the Scuderia Ferrari technicians.
Gasolene TV – Alan Jones FW-07 Williams F1
Glenn Everitt presents the Alan Jones FW 07 Williams Formula One and see it fire into life for the 1st time since its retirement in the 80’s. This was one of the cars that contributed to his 1980 World Championship.
Nico Rosberg and the Race Overall in Formula One
Formula One: It fits like a second skin. It resists temperatures of up to 1.000 degrees Celsius and it is mandatory in Formula One. Mercedes AMG Petronas driver Nico Rosberg and his chief strategist unveil the importance of the Nomex race overalls of today.
The Third Man. With Rexona and the Lotus F1 Team
Jerome D’Ambrosio was a Formula One driver for another team last season; this year, he’s the Third Driver for Lotus, supporting the team on the track and in the factory. This film reveals the desire of a driver trying to be one of only 24 Formula One drivers in the world.
Team Radio Communication – Sauber F1 Team
Grab your team radio and put on your headphones! Listen to how the Sauber F1 Team drivers, engineers and mechanics communicate at the race track. Lots of background information on our radio communication makes this video even more interesting. Pure motorsport! Some amazing stills, too, don’t you think?
By Berthold Bouman
Pastor Maldonado encountered many problems during the Indian Grand Prix, while Bruno Senna saved the day as he scored one point for his team. Williams is now looking for a trouble-free weekend in Abu Dhabi, and Mark Gillan, Williams’ Chief Operations Engineer, thinks cooling the car will be important.
“The Yas Marina Circuit layout of long straights and relatively tight corners puts a lot of energy into the brake system and with reasonably high ambient temperatures the general car cooling has to be run relatively open too,” he explained. “As per last year Pirelli bring their medium and soft tyres to this race and from an aerodynamics perspective the car will be set in medium to high-efficiency trim.”
Maldonado said about the challenges of the Yas Marina Circuit, “The race throws up some unique challenges because we start off driving in hot daytime conditions, but then the sun goes down and the temperature drops quickly. You therefore have to find a set up that balances these different conditions. The track also changes a lot each day and there is quite a lot of sand on the track surface which you have to deal with.”
Senna thinks the track suits the Williams, and hopes to be competitive this weekend, “Abu Dhabi could be an interesting track for us. It has a large number of slow corners which has not traditionally suited our car, but it is also hard on brakes and that is an area where our car has been very strong all year. We have had a lot of updates to the car recently so hopefully we can have one of those trouble-free weekends where everything comes together and we can be competitive.”
Video: Maldonado gives us his thoughts on the Abu Dhabi race this weekend
Video: Senna gives us his thoughts on the Abu Dhabi race this weekend
By Berthold Bouman
Pirelli has nominated the Medium (Prime, white marked) and Soft (Option, yellow marked) rubber compounds for round 18 of the FIA Formula One World Championship, the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. The Yas Marina circuit has a smooth and fast surface, and has a wide variety of corners, taken at different speeds.
Pirelli expects the tyre wear to be low, and therefore drivers can push harder without damaging their tyres. One of the main peculiarities of the track is that the race starts when it is still light, and finishes in the dark, which means track temperatures will fall instead of rise.
Pirelli’s Motorsport Director Paul Hembery has fond memories of the track, as it was the track where Pirelli tested their Formula One tyres for the first time back in 2010. “In 2010, the teams sampled our tyres there for the very first time at the official end of season test following the Grand Prix. That was a very special test, as we were brand new and the teams needed to understand our tyres. We’ve returned to test in Abu Dhabi a few times since, and we actually launched our 2012 programme to the international media there as well at the beginning of this year,” explained Hembery.
About the race strategies this weekend he said, “We know that the combination of the medium and the soft tyre works extremely well here, and with the teams also having plenty of data about the circuit characteristics, they should be in a strong position to construct some race strategies that will make a real difference to the outcome of the weekend. With the championship so closely balanced now, having the right strategy could quite literally decide the title.”
Pirelli technical tyre notes:
Abu Dhabi, like many circuits, requires a medium-downforce set-up to guarantee good straight-line speed down the long main straight, which is more than one kilometre, but also enough downforce to provide enough braking stability and aerodynamic grip through the corners.
There are comparatively few high-speed changes of direction, so in order to help traction, one of the key demands that the tyres face on the Yas Marina circuit, the engineers tend to set up their cars with a comparatively soft rear end. At the start of the weekend the dust on the track surface can cause graining, and there is quite a high degree of track evolution.
Abu Dhabi is located at sea level, ensuring a high ambient air pressure. This benefits engine power, which increases further as temperatures fall towards the end of the race. This too has a significant effect on tyre wear and strategy.
Abu Dhabi 3D Track Experience – Video by Pirelli
Circuit of the Americas ready to rock and roll
The first of a series of video features showcasing in detail the major aspects of the Circuit of the Americas in Austin Texas. International motor racing announcer Jonathan Green brings us up close and personal with all facets of the Circuit of the Americas as we prepare for our first major international event — The 2012 Formula One United States Grand Prix November 16th to 18th.
The great Ferraris of Sergio Pininfarina exhibition official opening at the Ferrari Museum
Present at the opening were Ferrari chairman Luca di Montezemolo, Paolo Pininfarina, president of the eponymous company, Piero Ferrari and members of the Pininfarina family including the late Sergio’s wife, Giorgia.
Red Bull Racing Seoul, Korea running
Red Bull Junior driver Antonio Felix Da Costa Seoul Running in the RB7 along the Jamsu Bridge in Seoul, South Korea.
Ferrari Azure event in Maranello with 2012 London medal winners
A day to celebrate Italian excellence “bound together by passion for sports, privation and the will to win”, as Montezemolo said.
Caterham: F1 Technical Briefing, Abu Dhabi: How tyre performance affects F1 car set-up
Performance Director John Iley examines the Yas Marina circuit and explains the effect that varying tyre performance can have on car set-up and performance.
Inside Grand Prix: Does Vettel stay at Red Bull Racing? What does Raikkönen?
The topics are: Vettel staying at Red Bull, Raikkönen staying at Lotus, Rumour mill — France to replace New Jersey, Hockenheim not Nürburgring, Nico Rosberg blog, Championship standings, Brembo Brake Facts.
By Berthold Bouman
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.
During his two-year absence Raikkonen was active in the World Rally Championship for Citroen, but he couldn’t say no when Lotus made him an offer at the end of 2011 to return to the sport . The 2007 World Champion, now 33-years old, has been one of the most consistent drivers in 2012, and the Lotus proved to be a very reliable car, which resulted in his third place in the championship.
However, Lotus Team Principal Eric Boullier warned it is unlikely Raikkonen would win one of the three remaining races of the season. “Realistically, I would be kidding people if I said we would win a race this year. If we’re in a position to fight until the end, to threaten the third position (in the drivers’ championship), I’ll be happy with that, to be honest.
“Yes, it’s frustrating at not getting this missing, or elusive win, but we had a good start to the season, with a new package and two new drivers. If we make a good start next year it will be a different story.”
In a statement issued by Lotus today Raikkonen said, “I think my return to Formula 1 has gone pretty well and the team has done a very good job all year so far. To be honest, I didn’t expect to be fighting for the Drivers’ Championship this season when you look at where the team was in 2011, so it has been great to be on the podium so many times and to score points on a regular basis.
“I feel very comfortable with Lotus F1 Team and we share the same philosophy of racing. Continuing with the team was an obvious choice for me and I’m looking forward to making another step forward together next year.”
And Boullier added, “Kimi has made an exceptional comeback to Formula 1. From the first time he sat in the car this year it was clear he had lost none of his pace or technical feedback and we have been rewarded by a focused and motivated driver all season.
“For Lotus F1 Team to be fighting for such strong championship positions this year is in no small part attributed to Kimi’s talent and experience of racing. It was a natural conclusion for us to confirm that we will be harnessing his abilities for next season.”
Lotus posted a short video on their YouTube channel which ends with the message, “Kimi Raikkonen and Lotus F1 team in 2013. The story continues.”
Check out this exclusive behind the scenes video as we delve into the life of racing superstar Kimi Raikkonen and unveil the biggest news in the F1 paddock right now…
By Berthold Bouman
Scuderia Ferrari Racing News n.18 – Video: Ferrari
Four races are left in the 2012 Formula 1 Championship. With the races in India and Abu Dhabi in sight Nikolas Tombazis, Scuderia Ferrari Chief Designer, talks about the F2012’s technical development. The 18th race of the season will be held on Yas Island, where the second year of the theme park dedicated to the Prancing Horse will be celebrated: we’re discovering the Ferrari World Abu Dhabi together with Andrea Perrone, Senior Vice-President Brand Ferrari. Furthermore the Formula 1 alphabet from the technicians of the Scuderia Ferrari.
Antonio Felix Da Costa Seoul Running – Video: Red Bull Racing
Red Bull Junior driver Antonio Felix Da Costa Seoul Running in the RB7 along the Jamsu Bridge in Seoul, South Korea
Time lapse: Loading of Trucks for European Races – Video: Sauber F1 Team
Have you ever wondered how the race cars are loaded into the trucks? Wonder no more! In anticipation of the last Grand Prix on European ground this year, we show you in this time lapse video.
Mercedes: How to get a job in F1 – Video: Mercedes GP
Getting a job in F1 is a big dream for many people who are passionate about technology. The apprentice and graduate schemes at Mercedes AMG High Performance Powertrains in Brixworth, where the Formula One engines and hybrid systems are designed and developed, offer opportunities for talented young people to earn a place in the industry – and add practical experience to their theoretical learning.