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July 23, 2015

Renault to buy old Renault team?

Filed under: Formula One — admin @ 9:45 am

Renault are in talks to buy the Lotus team.

You know, the team that used to be Renault around 5 years ago before they were caught cheating and sold it to Genii.

March 21, 2015

Form A Cartel

Filed under: Formula One — admin @ 8:54 pm

Gary Hartstein:

I’ve just built a bottling factory. Modern, efficient, state-of-the-art. And you, well you have a soft drink you need bottled. A very popular soft drink indeed. People all over the world want to drink it. And you want to use MY factory to bottle it!

When the time comes to do the deal, you tell me “there’s just one thing Gary. Our business model is a bit . . . unconventional. You see, normally I’d pay to use your factory. But since my beverage is SO popular, YOU’RE gonna have to pay ME for the privilege of hosting my drink”.

Totally agree. F1 is about Eau Rouge, 180R and Copse as much as it is about Ferrari, Williams & McLaren. I can’t think of a Tilke track that has a corner in the same bracket as the classics.

September 9, 2013

Ricciardo Gets the Nod

Filed under: Formula One — admin @ 8:04 am

At the end of June, Mark Webber announced he was leaving F1, setting off weeks of speculation around who would replace him. When the dust settled, it seemed that Red Bull’s choice had boiled down to a choice between Kimi Raikkonen — a former world champion and one of the fastest drivers on the grid — or Daniel Ricciardo, a driver from Red Bull’s Young Driver programme.

A few days ago, Red Bull announced that Daniel Ricciardo would replace him.

Whilst I would have loved to see Kimi in the second Red Bull, politics & PR dictated that it was always going to be Ricciardo. What’s the point of having a young driver programme if, at the first opportunity to allow one of the participants to progress, you hand the seat to someone else entirely? I have nothing against Ricciardo, he always comes across as one of the most genuine blokes in the paddock. But Kimi and Vettel in the same team would have been brilliant.

Now that the Red Bull seat is taken, the rumours are that Kimi is going back to Ferrari. An Alonso/Raikkonen partnership in 2014 promises fireworks. Remember, Alonso doesn’t like it when his team-mate is faster than him

June 27, 2013

Webber to leave F1 at the end of 2013

Filed under: Formula One — admin @ 9:48 am

He’s leaving to race for Porsche’s Le Mans project:

“I’m very much looking forward to this new challenge after my time in Formula 1. Porsche will undoubtedly set itself very high goals. I can hardly wait to pilot one of the fastest sportscars in the world.”

Räikkönen in the second Red Bull for 2014? Yes please.

February 21, 2013

McLaren 50

Filed under: Formula One — admin @ 4:17 pm

A brilliant homage to Bruce McLaren.

October 4, 2012

Massa & Sauber?

Filed under: Formula One — admin @ 9:11 pm

Now that Hamilton has signed for Mercedes, Perez for McLaren and Schumacher has announced his retirement (again), speculation is refocusing around Massa and his position at Ferrari. Autosport think that Ferrari are looking for a one-year deal for any replacement so that Vettel can slot in alongside Alonso for 2014 and have mentioned both Force India drivers as possible candidates for this short-term deal.

I personally don’t think Massa will be at Ferrari next year. They’re obviously touting around for a replacement or they’d have made an announcement by now. Maybe they’re still weighing up their options — whilst Massa is a known quantity he hasn’t made the most of recent scarlet machinery; however any replacement will take time to settle in and, if the deal is only for one year, one has to think whether a new face would be worth it. It might take a few races for them to get settled (assuming they’re able to settle at all, knowing the length for the deal) which might make Ferrari hierarchy wonder whether they’d be any worse off keeping Massa for one more year.

I would love to see Ferrari take a gamble and sign Kobayashi for a year. He’s such an exciting racer to watch (my bum has never been squeakier than in 2009 when Button overtook him in Brazil on his way to the title) and would no doubt grasp the opportunity with both hands.

Where does this leave Massa? Regardless of who gets his Ferrari seat (assuming he leaves, of course) I think Massa will go back to Sauber. They use Ferrari engines and gave Massa his debut in 2002, so there are links. Peter Sauber has already lost Perez to McLaren so there’s room for Massa to slot in alongside Kobayashi (or whoever is in his seat should my dream move for him come off!).

(Incidentally, the idea of Vettel at Ferrari alongside Alonso is fascinating. Whether Fernando would allow it is another matter.)

Lewis Hamilton moves to Mercedes

Filed under: Formula One — admin @ 8:52 pm

So it’s two to Eddie Jordan, nil to me. Just as I was wrong in not thinking Michael Schumacher would return to F1 in 2010 (as EJ did), I was also wrong in thinking Hamilton would not move to Mercedes (again, as EJ did).

I based my Hamilton judgement on the basis that, over the course of the past three seasons, McLaren have been far more competitive than Mercedes and that Hamilton would want to drive for the team that would give him the best opportunity of winning races & championships. I thought that team would be McLaren; Hamilton thinks it’ll be Mercedes.

When the announcement was made my initial reaction was that Mercedes must have offered more money than McLaren. Ross Brawn has since said that wasn’t the case. Hamilton moved to Mercedes because he feels they offer him the best opportunity to win races in the next few years. Whether that is the case will only be apparent after the next few years. If Mercedes are winning regularly by 2014/15, then his decision will be seen as a masterstroke. If they’re not (and McLaren are) then chins will be rubbed sagely and armchair experts will talk about Hamilton’s great mistake.

There’s something else at play here that hadn’t occurred to me before: Hamilton’s need to move from McLaren in order to develop as a driver (and, by extension, a person). Damon Hill has described Hamilton as being ‘caged’ at McLaren, of being managed to high heaven. A new start in a new team with new personnel and lofty goals sounds like the perfect antidote.

I started the week thinking Hamilton had made a mistake in leaving McLaren. Having thought about it some more and having read more details as they’ve come out, I no longer think it’s a mistake. I think it’ll be good for Hamilton the man; I hope it’s as good for Hamilton the driver.

September 5, 2012

Lewis Hamilton to Mercedes?

Filed under: Formula One — admin @ 5:01 pm

Eddie Jordan thinks so. I’m not so sure. McLaren have been far more competitive than Mercedes for the past two seasons (the only time Mercedes have been faster than McLaren was in 2009 when Jenson Button won the title with Brawn) and have won four races this season (Melbourne, Canada, Hungary & Belgium) to Mercedes’ one (China).

Lewis will want to drive for whichever team gives him the best opportunity to win races and championships. Going on current form, that’s not Mercedes.

I have been wrong about EJ’s predictions before but I still say Lewis will stay with McLaren next year.

May 31, 2012

Sauber’s cutaway F1 car

Filed under: Formula One — admin @ 11:09 am

This is awesome: Sauber have spent two years sawing an F1 car in half.

April 8, 2012

Lotus F1 team no longer sponsored by Lotus

Filed under: Formula One — admin @ 2:06 am

From Autosport:

Lotus has terminated its title sponsorship deal with sportscar manufacturer Group Lotus, AUTOSPORT can reveal, but remains wholly committed to keeping the famous name in Formula 1 for the future.

The best thing Tony Fernandes ever did was to name his F1 outfit Team Lotus in 2010.

The second best thing he ever did was to rename it in 2012.

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