Tuesday, July 10, 2012

F1: Mark Webber to remain in RedBull

Mark Webber will stay with Red Bull Racing for the 2013 Formula 1 season, the team has announced, ending speculation that the Australian could be in line for a move to Ferrari.
Webber has been on year-by-year deals with Red Bull for several seasons, and had been linked with a switch to Ferrari to partner Fernando Alonso in 2013.
But the reigning champion team has now completed a contract extension with the British Grand Prix winner, who said staying put alongside Sebastian Vettel was the most logical option.
"I've been with Red Bull Racing since 2007 and have achieved nine grand prix wins during that time," said Webber.
"I'm high on confidence at the moment and firing on all cylinders. I know the team well and I'm very comfortable here; we have grown together over the years and it feels like absolutely the right thing to stay with Red Bull for another season.
"The team is constantly working hard to improve in all areas and we've shown that together we can win races.
"It's great to be able to make this announcement off the back of the win in Silverstone at the weekend and I'm looking forward to competing on the edge and pushing myself in every race again next season."
Team boss Christian Horner added: "Mark has driven very well in the first nine races of this season and his performance has been impressive. Much of his Formula 1 success has been during his time with Red Bull Racing and together we have achieved 10 poles, nine wins and 31 podiums.
"As there was a strong desire from both sides to continue the partnership, it was a logical decision to extend our relationship and it is with great pleasure that we confirm Mark will drive for us in 2013."
Webber joined Red Bull at the start of the 2007 season. The 35-year-old Australian has finished third in the championship for the past two seasons, and was a long-time points leader in 2010. Webber is currently Alonso's main rival for the 2012 title, closing to within 13 points of the Spaniard when he beat him at Silverstone.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Ferrari can win 2012 championship, reconks chief designer Nikolas Tombazis

Ferrari’s chief designer Nikolas Tombazis has that the team’s recent improvement has boosted the morale of the team and now the team believes that the team can win 2012 Formula One title.
“Earlier in the winter practice the team was lagging behind in lap times and from the start the strong finish by Fernando Alonso has given the team belief that it can win the title.” This is what Nikolas had to say.
Fernando Alonso who lies second in the championship table, just 2 points behind the championship leader, Louis Hamilton said that Ferrari have a much improved car compared to last season. Alonso has snatched victory in Malaysian Gp and has gained multiple podium finish and has fared very stong in all the races with no retirement.
“Ferrari is yet to bring some exhaust updates and a new front wing this weekend and this can really boost Ferrari’s championship chances” said Nikolas Tombazis as the team gets closer and closer to the frontrunners.

Mark Webber says he is happy to stay with Red Bull

Mark Webber, the Australian F1 driver insists that his plans for 2013 will be decided entirely by the results and also reckons that he is more likely to stay in RedBull.
Despite the Australian being strongly linked with a seat in Ferrari for 2013 after some strong showing this season, Webber insists that he wouldn’t look to others team if his current team wants to retain him for 2013.
Webber who have fared good so far and is one among the seven drivers in seven GPs to win a grand prix this season and is still in contention for the driver championship title believes that RedBull has given him a good and reliable car which he think is very capable to win the championship for a third year in a row.
Webber has also insisted that he has not had any discussions with Ferrari about a deal for next year, despite the ongoing roumers that he is in the frame.
He has been tipped in a replacement for Felipe Massa who has struggled this year, scoring just 11points in seven races so far.
Webber says that the Massa’s issue doesn’t bother him too much and he is currently happy to stay with RedBull.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

F1 2012: The Penultimate Champion


Almost 2 years ago, with Hamilton being crowned the F1 world champion after a season long battle with Massa, one had the feeling that the F1 world would be back to the days of Ferrari- McLaren tussles at the top of the standings at least for a few years to come. Not much was thought of the seventh placed team Red Bull and the 9th placed team Honda, even less might have been expected from a certain 2 drivers – Mark Webber and Jenson Button.

This can be made justifiable because Honda always was one of the largest funded teams in the paddock and Red Bull is owned by the energy drink billionaire Dietrich Mateschitz and have arguably the best engineering brain in the F1 industry (Adrian Newey) at their service. Though Button and Webber have been appreciable respected for their driving, but most accepted that neither of them had the outright speed.

With Honda pulling the plug at the end of 2008 and forcing Ross Brawn and Nick Fry to dig deep into their pockets in order to save the team. Save they did, mere weeks before the start of the 2009 F1 championship, with the new team being called Brawn GP.
All doors seemed closed for Button as well , and his denial to leave the team at its current state only complicated matters for him; but that proved to be a masterstroke by Jenson, as he went on to become the World Driver’s Champion, on the way surprising all in the paddock. The rest is what one calls “history”, with Brawn GP providing the shock of the season and ending up winning both championships.

 All knew him to be very consistent and dependable as a driver, but none expected such a result at the end. Critics (which include me) still do say that he will not win another championship and the only reason he won it last time, was due to the sheer dominance of the Brawn that helped him to win; but one cant ignore the level headedness with which he approached the second half of the championship when things were not going right for him, never did one see him panic and he always seemed to be at the right place, hence delivering the title against all odds (betting ones that is).

With 2009 complete and with red Bull emerging to the fore from the mid-point of the season along with McLaren’s and Lewis Hamilton’s resurgence in the latter part of the season, one assumed that Button’s chances of another title wouldn’t be there due to the apparent lack of resources and sponsors with Brawn GP’s grasp. True to form, it was Red Bull and McLaren on top at the start of the season and the now rebadged Mercedes team (With Mercedes taking over Brawn GP) floundering in the middle of the pack; but Button was no more at Mercedes, after another surprising decision being made by the British driver to move onto McLaren to team up with Lewis Hamilton. Several people criticized Button as he had left a team fully behind him and gone to a team which was expected to be in Hamilton’s pocket, but with the full season complete, Jenson finished 5th in the championship 26 points behind Hamilton and 40 points behind eventual winner Vettel. 26 points might seem more but it is only a little more than a win away from Hamilton and he was in with a shot for the championship with 2 races to go.

Now, we move over to the Red Bull side of the pit lane. Ever since Sebastian Vettel’s triumph in a Toro Rosso at Monza, great things were expected from him, and with his promotion to Red Bull and Adrian Newey’s toy showing very strong pace during testing, all eyes were on him. True to expectations, he did deliver and was in contention for the title until the second last race. With Mark Webber having a poor string of races in the second half of the season, he was given the ‘disliked’ Number 2 driver status in the team.

In his defense, Mark had broken his leg before season start and had hampered him for at least the first few races of the season, but the writing on the wall seemed clear as to who the favored son of Red Bull was going to be. With 2009 complete and red Bull looking strong once again for 2010, once again Vettel’s name was being bandied about as a possible WDC with no mention of Webber.

Mark did not have a great start to the championship, but soon found his feet and soon displayed himself as a serious championship contender with 3 consecutive poles and 2 wins, the last pole at turkey perhaps not being converted to victory thanks to his teammate. From that point of the season things started going downwards for Mark with some key members of the team trying to shift the blame on Mark for the Turkey fracas followed with the team giving Mark’s front wing to Vettel during the British Grand Prix. This did not go down well with Mark, but he kept his head down and went on to win the British Grand Prix followed by the Hungarian Grand Prix two races later; hence slowly surging to the lead of the championship with 3 races to go, much largely due to his consistency (despite lack of outright speed).

Could this have been his year? Or could it have been another championship for Button? With Vettel, Hamilton and Fernando Alonso mixed in the championship fight; the end result could have gone in any of these drivers favor. But alas, due to a disappointing last 3 races, Webber was robbed off championship glory by his teammate Vettel. One thing is clear in my mind though, irrespective of the end result, both Mark Webber and Jenson Button have shown that there might not be just one brand of winners in Formula 1, but there can be another…..

Monday, June 18, 2012

EuropeanGp Preview

Valencia Street Circuit is a semi permanent street circuit in Valencia, Spain. The circuit utilizes the roads skirting around the city's harbour and America Cup's port area including a section over a 140-metre-long swing bridge, and also includes some roads designed exclusively for racing purposes by the German architect Hermaan Tilke who also designed the infrastructural buildings for the circuit. The 2011 edition was held on Sunday June 26.

The  2011 European Grand Prix was the eighth race of the 2011 Formula one season and was held on 26 June 2011. It was won by defending champion and championship leader Sebastin Vettel who started from pole position and delivered a fastest lap on lap 53, giving him a hat-trick.Fernando Alonso and Mark Webber finished second and third after a race-long battle. The race was notable for having the fewest retirements, 0, and the most finishers, 24, ever in a Grand Prix. Vettel became the first multiple winner of the Europian Grand Prix in Spain and Red Bull became the first ever multiple constructor winner.

Here are some quotes from some of the drivers and the team principal.

Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull
2011 Qualifying – 1st, 2011 Race – 1st
“In Valencia, we drive an average of more than 200kph, which means it’s one of the fastest street circuits in Formula One. Overtaking is possible, but only with some risk. The reason is that the air turbulence created by cars driving closely behind each other doesn’t disappear as it normally would due to the high walls around the track; you lose grip and, in some extreme cases, you have to lift the throttle. The start-finish straight in Valencia is special because it‘s not very long, it turns into a fast right corner which we take at 290kph.”
Mark Webber, Red Bull
2011 Qualifying – 2nd, 2011 Race – 3rd
“Obviously it’s very difficult to predict how we might go in Valencia, as we’ve clearly seen with seven winners and plenty of different podiums. Our main goal is to improve our positions in both championships, so personally for me in the Drivers’ Championship and of course the team is looking to keep a good margin in the Constructors’. I know everyone in Milton Keynes has been working incredibly hard in between the two races.”
Kamui Kobayashi, Sauber
2011 Qualifying – 14th, 2011 Race – 16th
“In Valencia it is usually very hot. I personally like that, but it is difficult to say what it means for the car and the tyres. It will be tough, that much is certain. Tyre management will be the key, together with a good race strategy. The street circuit also requires a decent amount of downforce for the car. You are always quite close to the walls, but after our last two races in Monaco and Montreal this is nothing new. Overtaking is not easy but not impossible either. In 2010 it was actually good fun. Valencia as a city is a nice destination by many measure, I would happily choose it for my holidays. By the way, you can also get the best fresh squeezed orange juice there. However, my target is a strong qualifying as well as a strong race.”
Sergio Perez, Sauber
2011 Qualifying – 16th, 2011 Race – 11th
“I enjoyed the Montreal result very much and I want more of that. I like the track in Valencia a lot and also the atmosphere during the race weekend, as we are quite close to the fans. I don’t have the best memories of my Formula One debut race in Valencia, as it was last year and a very difficult one for me. I was returning to racing after my heavy shunt in Monaco and, in hindsight, I have to admit I don’t think I was fit enough. I didn’t feel well at all. The Valencia street circuit has quite long straights with hard braking into the corners, and what we have learnt from Montreal will be important for that.”
Giampaolo Dall’Ara, Sauber head of track engineering
“Valencia is a street circuit, but not a typical one, because the surface is very smooth, and the kerbs are not very high. In addition, the aerodynamic efficiency is significantly more important than, for example, in Monaco or Singapore, and there are proper run-off areas. Most of the corners are slow, but you cannot ignore the level of top speed. As a result of this layout, braking stability and traction are very important. In Valencia we have to expect high temperatures at this time of the year, so the tarmac can get very hot. Pirelli is supplying us with the medium and the soft compound tyres, which have changed a bit since last year and may need us to look at a slightly different strategy for them. Rear degradation could be an issue. Overtaking is not easy on this track, therefore qualifying is of particular importance. The car is basically unchanged since Montreal, however, we might run a higher level of downforce.”
Michael Schumacher, Mercedes
2011 Qualifying – 8th, 2011 Race – 17th
“Our entire focus is now on the race in Valencia, and I am sure that everybody’s motivation is even stronger because the weekend in Canada didn’t go as well as we had hoped. Our motto in the last few days has been to roll our sleeves up and focus on the job in hand; everybody in the team has taken that approach to heart, so we can travel to Valencia in an optimistic mood. The harbour area is particularly nice and, given its location, the circuit is also really interesting, so let’s see how we can perform there. You can still feel some of the atmosphere from the America’s Cup in Valencia, which makes this race a special event that we always enjoy taking part in.”
Nico Rosberg, Mercedes
2011 Qualifying – 7th, 2011 Race – 7th
“Valencia is a pretty cool city and it’s always nice to visit there. The track is another street circuit but it’s quite a unique one as it is quicker and has a more open feel than somewhere like Monaco or Singapore. The layout is also kind of like Montreal so it should be a circuit which suits our car. I was at the factory this week and I know how hard everyone is working to improve the car, so we will hope for a strong weekend in Valencia to repay all of their efforts.”
Ross Brawn, Mercedes team principal
“The calendar returns to Europe next weekend with our visit to the Valencia Street Circuit in Spain. The performance of our car and our tyre management were generally good in Canada, however our competitiveness was compromised by reliability problems and mistakes.
This is a disappointment that is deeply felt by everyone in our team, and we have been working hard to ensure we understand the reasons and deal with them. Achieving zero-defect reliability is our highest priority. The opportunities available if we can give both drivers a reliable car and a clean weekend are clear.”
Norbert Haug, Vice-President, Mercedes-Benz Motorsport
“The European Grand Prix will be the third consecutive race on a temporary circuit after Monaco and Canada. Seven corners are taken below 100 km/h but straight line speeds are similar to Canada, and the cars brake from over 285 km/h to under 100 km/h on five different occasions around the lap. The weather is usually hot and sunny, which is naturally reflected in high track temperatures. Nico’s race and his lap times in Canada, where track temperatures exceeded 40 degrees, showed that our car can cope well with such extreme conditions when running the appropriate set-up. Our priority for the next race is to achieve the same standard of reliability for Michael’s car that we have seen so far this year with Nico’s, who has completed all racing laps so far this season. Since his win at the Chinese Grand Prix on 15 April, no other driver has scored more points than Nico. The target is to continue that trend.”
Pedro de la Rosa, HRT
2011 Qualifying – n/a, 2011 Race – n/a
“Just like in Barcelona, I’m really looking forward to racing in front of our home fans in Valencia. At the Valencia Street Circuit we will encounter high air and track temperatures so the brakes will be put through their paces once again, but we’re confident we can make the necessary modifications to overcome the problems we experienced in Canada. Valencia has long straights but overtaking isn’t easy and it is a high-downforce track. I think we can do quite well here, although it’s not as favourable to our car as Canada, because there are a lot of braking areas and slow corners which are good for us. We’re looking forward to putting in a good performance in front of our fans and we want to continue with our progress from the last few races, where we’ve been at a good standard, but here we want to confirm this improvement in the race.”
Narain Karthikeyan, HRT
2011 Qualifying – 24th, 2011 Race – 24th
“Valencia will be our third street circuit in a row, and our team’s second home race. It is our second visit to Spain in just about five weeks but the circuit is as different as it could be compared to Barcelona. It shares some characteristics with Montreal and Monte Carlo, like emphasis on low-speed traction so I expect our car to do well here. Apart from that, it is a beautiful place and weather is pretty hot, just like India, but the track itself isn’t a huge challenge. Yes the walls are close but the adrenaline factor isn’t close to Monaco or even Montreal. But on the back of the promise we showed in Canada, I’m looking forward to the race and hopefully we’ll have a chance to build on it this time.”
Luis Perez-Sala, HRT team principal
“We’re looking forward to racing in Valencia, as it will be the second time we do so at home this season. In Canada we were quick and performed well but were unable to finish the race. In Valencia we want to confirm this progress and achieve a good result, plus doing so in front of the Spanish public is even more special. I think that the characteristics of this circuit adapt well to our car and I hope we have good reliability and finish the race with a positive result.” 

CVC sells $500million stake in F1

CVC, a private equity farm that has owned Formula1 since 2006 has sold furthur $500 million stake in Formula-1 reducing its stake to 35%.
It takes the total recieved this year by the company from the round of share sales to $2.1billion. This deals are based on valuation of $9.1billion.
CVC equity investments has been one of the most successful investment company in present.
They have earlier sold 2.1% stake to three investors: Waddell & Reid, Black Rock and Norges Bank Investment Limited.
Bernie Ecclestone still has 5% stake in the business.
Formula1 is financially in good shape and has its contract with the F1 teams, Broadcasting Contracts and has various revenues of $6.5billion upto 2020

Bautista and Greseni content by race pace

Alvaro Bautista and the Gresini team said it was more important to prove they could run with the frontrunners again in the British Grand Prix than to take risks trying to get a podium.
So far this year Gresini and new rider Bautista have struggled to recapture the form shown by the Spaniard's predecessor, the late Marco Simoncelli, in 2011.
But at Silverstone Bautista took advantage of changing weather conditions to claim his maiden MotoGP pole, and then stayed with the lead group in the race and finished just five seconds behind winner Jorge Lorenzo in fourth.
"It has been a great weekend and it has confirmed the progress we have made since Catalunya," said Bautista. "I am so happy to finish so close to the podium.
"Maybe I could have attacked for third at the end but it would have been risky and I just wanted to run with them to the end and not make mistakes. We have brought home some big points for the championship which was important for me and the team.
"On pole and just five seconds off the win - that is a very positive weekend and I hope we can continue from here.
"Our objective now is to take another step forward and run with the front guys on a more consistent basis."
Team boss Fausto Gresini praised Bautista for aiming for a sensible finish rather than trying any risky moves on the leaders.
"It was wonderful to see Alvaro fighting at the front throughout the race," he said. "It was the first time he has battled with these guys, he was careful not to make mistakes and he did a great job.
"Running at the front of this pack will also give us great data."