Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Schumacher driving GP2

M.Schumacher completed today his first GP2 test after he got the opportunity to test the new car built for 2011 for three days.

Needless to say that despite the test being made for him to supposedly help with his input on the new car, at the same time is important for him to get some time on a single sitter that is as close to an F1 car as it can be since Mercedes GP don't have an older than 2009 car for him to test.

Here is what he said:

“The day today was good especially because after a long time I could drive again in a car that came almost close to a current Formula 1. Despite the weather not being what we all would have liked all my senses were nevertheless on full alert – this alone was worth it. I felt comfortable out on the track from the very beginning, and naturally I’d like to thank our Team and the GP2 series very much for the opportunity to drive.”

Monday, January 11, 2010

M.Schumacher to test GP2 car

Michael Schumacher will return to action on Tuesday when he tests a GP2 car at the Jerez circuit in Spain.

Reports in the newspapers Blick and Bild reveal that, despite the current F1 testing ban, the FIA has approved the test which will take place between Tuesday and Thursday this week.

M.Schumacher also spend two days at Mercendes F1 HQ in Brackley.
Here is what he said about his visit in his personal website:

"I have been in the factory in Brackley now for two days and spent the time to get to know the engineers and the structures a bit better, and I am extremely positive surprised about how motivated everybody was. This a world champion team but it does not seem to be spoilt by success at all; it seems to be hungry for more instead!

It is important for me to be informed about everything and it was very interesting to get to understand the engineers and their structures and the way they work. I was there already around the time of the signature of the contract and learned a lot, now I have seen much more about the team.

I also was in the Mercedes-factory in Brixworth and I have to say that I am very impressed about the high level you see there. In Brixworth the people seem to be highly motivated as well and I find that encouraging, as it perfectly fits my personal mood. What I also liked was that you hear a lot of people speaking german there. That is nice for once, I am not so much used to that at my work, and I find it quite convenient."

Schumacher also revealed this week that he negotiated his new contract at Mercedes without the help of his long-term manager Willi Weber. In doing so he is expected to have saved around €700,000 (US$1 million) by not paying Weber's usual 10% commission.

"I am now old enough to take care of a few things for myself," Schumacher said, before adding that Weber is still his manager. Weber is believed to be working on personal contract deals that, so far, are estimated to have quadrupled Schumacher's €7 million (US$10 million) retainer from Mercedes.

Campos in trouble

Campos looks to be one of the new teams with serious chances of not making the whole 2010 year since they have trouble on raising the necessary budget. The comeback of the Senna name didn't help as much as they hoped in raising big sponsorship money and a few attempts to find new investors haven't produce any resolds yet.
The team is trying to bring a second driver with a good amount of money to help there financial situation. Some of the mention names are young Venezuelan driver Pastor Maldonado or Russia's Vitaly Petrov, both thought to have access to serious funding from their countries but an agreement hasn't be successful yet, a situation that is putting the team's future in doubt.
Inside sources of the Campos chassis builder company Dallara say that the Campos Meta F1 team has been late in paying there bills and Dallara has already slow down the development of the car.

If things go bad for the Spanish outfit Stefan GP is always there to take any available spot since they already bought the Toyota F1 car that was developed for this year and they are waiting for a free position on the grid.

Ecclestone made a prediction a few days ago that Campos and USF1 probably won't make it to the grid. He seems close in being right about now although the rumors about USF1 asking to be absent from the first GP's were denied by the American team.
USF1 also released a new video on there Youtube channel but still many found it not so convincing.

The New Ferrari

The New Ferrari design seems to appear in an Italian newspaper. Here is what i found. Bigger version below.

It actually has a lot of changes that make the car look a lot like the last year Red Bull and that is also confirmed by the people who saw the car with there own eyes. I must admit though am no expert in noticing all the little details at the design and my Italian are really really bad.
In the car assembly area, work has been going on for several days already on the first chassis, which goes by the code name of 281, while also on-going is the series of crash tests necessary to homologate various components.
I wonder if we are gonna have Ferrari's and Red Bull's quick in fast corner circuits and Mclaren with Mercedes GP quick at the slow corner circuits?

Friday, January 8, 2010

The confident Button

Button gave his response to the critics who think that he made the wrong decision by going against Hamilton at Mclaren.
Many of his critics are former F1 drivers and the most strong opinion game from Eddie Irvine who said that Button is going to get "murdered by Lewis Hamilton".

But Button doesn't seem to be worried and he feels quite relax about his chances. Here is what he had to say about the critics and MS comeback.

"It makes my life a lot easier because I'm in a much more relaxed position than people telling me I'm going to destroy my team-mate," said Button.

"In a way, I don't think it's a negative. Maybe it's a positive. It helps you relax and focus on doing the important stuff.

"The important thing is I'm confident in my ability, so I don't feel I need to prove anything to anyone.

"People's comments don't change anything. The only way anything will be changed is on the circuit this season."

"First of all I think his return is amazing for the sport," said Button.

"Having four world champions racing (Fernando Alonso is the other), and one of them (Schumacher) who has achieved more than anyone else in the sport, is great," Button added.

"It's an unusual decision by Michael, but he's obviously got his reasons, having three years out of the sport and coming back in.

"I think it's really good, and you have to say fair play to Ross for getting him on board.

"I don't think there are many team principals or owners that would be able to get Michael in their car.

"So it's great having him back on the grid, and I look forward to the challenge this year with him.

"I'm sure it's going to take a couple of tests for him to get back in the groove, but he'll be there for the first race, I know that for certain."

Is that confidence, or is he pleased even if gets defeated? He is not expected to have the problems Alonso had and his more friendly character along with his British lineage might quickly give him the sense of familiarity and closeness he needs in the Mclaren garage. The question is. Is his smooth style driving able to win against Hamilton's attacking approach?

2010 sure has a lot of elements that make any fan wait with anticipation since the pair of Alonso-Massa in Ferrari is expected to have a fight for the number 1 status while little Rosberg doesn't seem very willing to make room for old Michael no matter how good Button thinks he will be.
We are certainly in for an interesting year.

USF1 testing in home ground

Peter Windsor in an interview on the official Formula 1 website said that USF1 got the approval to do there first tests in there home ground in the US before moving to Europe.

Unfortunately his still beating around the bush on the matter of the driver lineup. He insist they aren't going after pay drivers but it's not like there are a lot of drivers left who can be consider highly capable. I wonder if they called Heidfeld who seems to be the best option left.
If they really aren't going for drivers who will bring money that is.

No more double diffusers

Formula 1 teams are close to outlawing double diffusers, according to Autosport.

Here’s some of the details:

"AUTOSPORT understands that technical chiefs discussed reducing downforce levels in a meeting of FOTA’s Technical Regulations Working Group (TRWG) late last year, and agreed that the rules should be changed to effectively outlaw double diffusers.

The teams want to create regulations that require the floor to be a continuous section if taken through a longitudinal or lateral plane – which if achieved will get rid of the ’slots’ in the floor that have made the double diffuser concept work.

It is understood that efforts are now being made to sort out the wording of the regulations to ensure that there are no loopholes that will allow anyone to continue using a double diffuser.

Once the wording of the rules has been sorted, it will then be put to the FIA’s official Technical Working Group for ratification prior to going through the channels required for it to get put into the 2011 regulations.

It is estimated that the reduction in downforce caused by the double diffuser ban would result in the cars being slowed by around one second per lap."

I assume that this mean that the voices that said double diffusers DO make overtaking more difficult may have been correct. Is it really all about speed?
For me this looks like a positive step let's hope that they can find something else before 2010 ends that will make it a lot easier to follow a car and put it in 2011 regulations. I wonder what happened to that strange rear wing with a hole in the middle that Max got from some designers of the field?

Anyway why to i have the feeling that if Ross and his heroic team along with smaller players weren't the ones that started the year with double diffusers but some other big team(not covered in red) was the one with the double diffuser, things would have gone differently in those opening season courts?

Renault F1 new team owners Genii Capital and Bernie Ecclestone going for Saab

Yeah, despite Bernie being in an age that makes all of us wonder why his still in F1, not only is he not stopping his activities but along with Genii Capital the company that bought about 70% of Renault F1 team are planing to buy the Swedish car company Saab from the hands of GM.

GM has been in a bad couple of years selling lots of there companies or at least trying to sell them. Saturn,Opel and Hummer along with Saab are some of the pieces that GM is trying to find buyers for.

GM already has an offer from the sports car maker Spyker(you probably remember them from there small presence in F1 3 years ago) but this is the second time Spyker tries to make an offer since they already failed to reach an agreement the first time. This means that Genii Capital and Bernie have a good chance of being s better alternative.

The interesting for the F1 side is that:

a)It shows that Ecclestone has a close cooperation with Genii Capital and probably his role on making them buy a big share of Renault F1 team is big. This way he managed to keep the Renault name in F1 for at least 2-3 years and avoiding losing another manufacturer.

b) Renault still makes the engines and owns the rest 25-30% and the rumors say that there is a good chance they will leave when the Concorde agreement expires. Are we to expect Genii Capital changing the name to Saab F1 team after 2012? This will make an interesting development.
I must admit of all the car manufacturers names i never expected to see a Saab F1 team.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Lotus will be at second Jerez test

Lotus seems to be right on schetoule if not even better and accorting to Chief technical officer Mike Gascoyne and they will make there appearense at the second test in Jerez.

Here is his what he said:
"We are actually a week ahead of schedule. When we got the entry on September 12, our schedule said we would fire up on February 12 - and we are now scheduled to fire up on February 5.

"After that, we will be at the second Jerez test and then the final one at Barcelona. That will be the first time the world will see the car in action - and we are hoping that chassis two will run for the last two days of the Barcelona test.

"Being a week ahead of schedule is pretty good considering it is modern F1. To get an entry on September 12 and to be there in good shape is not a bad effort"

"We've said we want to be the best of the new teams, and start not far off the back of the established teams," he said. "I still think that is possible - especially because there has been more and more disruption to some established teams.

"We said, if you are the best of the new teams then, with eight cars going out in Q1, you've only got to pick up one or two stragglers to get both cars into Q2 - and immediately you are a midfield team. That's if all the teams are there – which I hope they are because it helps us."

"We started wind-tunnel testing in October so, by the time we finalise the car, sort of around now for the first race spec, we will have had two months of wind tunnel testing.

"By the time we are in at the first race, we have had five or six months of wind tunnel testing, so the spec we are going to bring to Barcelona is going to be based on a hell of a lot more work than we have been able to do now.

"We have made pretty rapid progress, and if we can maintain that then we will be in pretty good shape come Barcelona mid-season - and that is really where you have to target where you've got to be.

"Yes, there is the getting there – but we've done the getting there now, we are going to be there, and we are going to be in professional shape and we are going to be okay.

"Now it is about where are you mid-season, where are you end of season, and I want to end the season beating Force Indias and Toro Rossos and whoever is struggling – maybe Saubers. I want to be picking them off."

Well he seems quite ambitious and they already plan on big upgrades on the car during the season. But can they really hope to win anyone except the other new teams? Hard to believe, with a car made in so little time. But who knows maybe Lotus could be a small surprise this season.

Mercedes GP car will be launched on January 25

According to a report in Germany's Sport Bild weekly the new Mercedes GP(former Brawn GP) car that is going to be called 'Mercedes-Petronas RB1' will be launched at January 25.

This is the second launch we here in a matter of hours and it's seems the teams are finally getting ahead with there individual launches after the initially planed group launch failed. The question if the new teams have there cars ready and when they are going to launch, still remains.

The RB in the name is consider to be from the initials of Ross Brawn.

Until now we only had a photoshoped pic from the team of the old car with the new colors. Many fans hope that it will look better than the photo above.

Sauber F1 Team announses car launch

Sauber are the first of the 13 Formula One teams to announce the unveiling of their car ahead of the new season.

Team principal Peter Sauber and director Willy Rampf are to take the wraps off their challenger at the Valencia circuit on January 31 ahead of the first test session that runs from February 1-3.