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 Post subject: F1 2009: Button is World Champion
PostPosted: Mon Jan 19, 2009 1:35 pm 
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Maintaining the low-key format so far adopted in an effort to save money, the two marques conducted an initial early morning photoshoot at the new Algarve Motor Park situated midway between Portimao and Lagos.

Given the new aerodynamic regulations, the theme is clear as their cars sported a wide front wing and high rear wing, designed to aid overtaking and make the sport more entertaining.

Renault, though, have persisted with their shark fin engine cover employed for most of a 2008 season that ended with Fernando Alonso scoring more points in the final six races than any other driver.

The colour scheme is again yellow, orange and white, although is considerably different in design to last year, and with new sponsors Total dominant on the front and rear wings of the R29.

As for Williams, unveiling the FW31, they are currently running an interim dark-blue winter livery as their definitive scheme is not due to be revealed until some time next week.

The one notable difference of the Williams is that the team will be using a flywheel-based KERS, in comparison to all of their rivals whose system is battery operated.

At the start of the four-day test, that began under leaden skies and on a damp circuit, Nelson Piquet took to the track for Renault, with reserve driver Nico Hulkenberg behind the wheel of the Williams.

McLaren and Toyota, who presented their new challengers last week, had Pedro de la Rosa and Kamui Kobayashi putting their car through its paces, whilst Toro Rosso and new driver Sebastien Buemi were also on track.

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 Post subject: Re: Renault and Williams unveil new cars for Formula One season
PostPosted: Mon Jan 19, 2009 9:37 pm 
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Fernando Alonso feels the pressure is off Lewis Hamilton this year, but has warned the Briton he potentially faces a tough task to retain his Formula One crown.

Double world champion Alonso was on hand at the Algarve Motor Park on Monday to unwrap Renault's car for the 2009 season, although he will only get behind the wheel for the first time on Wednesday.

Alonso, who won more points in the final six races of last season than any other driver, is incredibly upbeat about his prospects of a third world title.

That might not bode well for old adversary Hamilton, but the 27-year-old is convinced the McLaren driver will feel more at ease after winning his maiden championship.

"I think there's less pressure on Lewis this year," said Alonso, who won back-to-back titles with Renault in 2005 and 2006.

"When you win a championship you are a Formula One world champion forever, and it means you can enjoy your racing.

"If you make a mistake in one race you are experienced enough to know the championship is long and you have time to recover.

"But when you are waiting for that first championship there is more stress because you don't want to waste any opportunity.

"But once you have that first title, then there is less pressure."

However, the wide-ranging regulation changes, notably relating to aerodynamics, the much-derided introduction of the kinetic energy recovery system and the return of slick tyres, means teams began the design of this year's car with a blank sheet of paper.

Alonso feels that could count against Hamilton and McLaren if they are not up to speed from the opening race in Australia, especially given the ban on in-season testing.

"Maybe it will be more difficult because all the cars will be mixed after starting from zero," added Alonso.

"If you use the same regulations for two or three years, it is normally difficult for the cars that win championships to lose their advantage.

"That advantage is maintained for years, so maybe it is easier to win back-to-back championships when the regulations stay the same."

Conversely, Alonso appreciates McLaren could be the team that hits the ground running.

"If some team discovers something different compared to the others, maybe they win three or four races in a row and the championship becomes much easier," added the Spaniard.

"If this is the case with McLaren, it may be an easier championship for Lewis compared to last year.

"But you never know. We need to wait and see. Anything is possible this year."

Alonso, who revived Renault's season last year with back-to-back wins in Singapore and Japan, is ready to push Hamilton to the wire.

He claims he is fitter and leaner than ever before and, given a winning car, is convinced he can finally end rumours that he will one day drive for Ferrari.

The latest emerged at the start of this month, with claims he had signed a deal with Ferrari from 2011 once the contracts of Felipe Massa and Kimi Raikkonen have expired.

When inevitably asked about Ferrari, a wry smile crossed his lips and he replied: "I've been answering this question for many years.

"Hopefully this year I can be more relaxed about this question.

"If we are winning races and fighting for the championship then maybe we forget Ferrari.

"I am really concentrating on this 2009 season. I am more motivated than ever, more prepared than ever, physically and mentally.

"With all these changes I am really looking forward to sitting in the car on Wednesday and then starting in Australia.

"When we talk about 2010, 2011 or 2012, it is a difficult question to answer because I'm not looking that far away.

"Right now, I only have one target - winning the championship.

"If we don't win it, then it will be a disappointing season.

"In race two or race three, if we are nowhere, then maybe we have to change our target.

"But now in January, you have to be really optimistic, and right now we are."

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 Post subject: Re: F1 2009
PostPosted: Mon Jan 19, 2009 11:43 pm 
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I dont want them to, but I bet Ferrari win, driver and team. :poke:

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 Post subject: Re: F1 2009
PostPosted: Tue Jan 20, 2009 4:23 pm 
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BMW Sauber motorsport boss Mario Theissen feels a sustained assault on both Formula One world titles this season is within reach.

Last year Robert Kubica led the drivers' championship following his victory in the Canadian Grand Prix while the team held sway in the constructors' title race after the first three races.

However, both the Pole and BMW Sauber fell away during the closing stages, due in part to the team's decision to robustly develop the car that was unveiled at Valencia's Ricardo Tormo circuit on Tuesday.

The F1.09 passed its initial inspection under clear blue skies as Kubica, who finished fourth and 23 points adrift of Lewis Hamilton come the conclusion of the season, conducted an installation lap.

But given the progress of the team over the past three years since taking over Sauber, Theissen believes they are capable of pushing McLaren and Ferrari all the way to the wire.

"We communicated our targets for 2009 four years ago," said Theissen.

"We set out a plan, aiming at points in the first season in 2006, on the podium in '07, win our first race in '08, before fighting for the championship from this year onwards.

"So far all the targets have been met, so there is no reason why we should abandon the final and most difficult one.

"We now want to fight for the championship with the other two big teams."

While Kubica has undoubtedly proven he has the ability to compete, much will be expected of team-mate Nick Heidfeld, who has so often failed to deliver.

With 150 grands prix behind him, the 31-year-old German has yet to win, although he has finished runner-up on seven occasions.

Theissen insists Heidfeld is unlikely to have a better opportunity in light of the regulation changes that have made for a more level playing field.

"I can't take away the pressure from a driver, and definitely we want to win ourselves," added Theissen.

"He should have a good chance to win a race this year because he is so experienced and capable of dealing with technical issues, along with understanding the new car, and that should help him."

Heidfeld is convinced he has it within himself to not just be a winner, but a champion.

"So far there have not been many cases where I could have won, but there is not something in my head where I believe I have to win," remarked Heidfeld.

"I believe I can win when the car is right, the situation is there, and I believe I can fight for the championship.

"That is the target in the end, to win the championship, not just one race."

As for Kubica, the 24-year-old from Krakow feels a concerted team effort could bring him the crown.

"Last year we saw that by working together we can achieve good results, and in particular in the first half of the season we were title contenders," said Kubica.

"But everybody remembers how it finished, so we will try to repeat the first half of the season and finish in a better way than last year."

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 Post subject: Re: F1 2009
PostPosted: Tue Jan 20, 2009 4:28 pm 
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Mr Spock wrote:
I dont want them to, but I bet Ferrari win, driver and team. :poke:


With all the technical changes to the cars, I reckon it's going to be an open season. If I were a betting man, my money would be on Alonso for the drivers championship.


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 Post subject: Re: F1 2009
PostPosted: Tue Jan 20, 2009 4:48 pm 
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O-Dog wrote:
Mr Spock wrote:
I dont want them to, but I bet Ferrari win, driver and team. :poke:


With all the technical changes to the cars, I reckon it's going to be an open season. If I were a betting man, my money would be on Alonso for the drivers championship.


I think it will be between him, Hamilton, and if he's in the mood for it Kimi. Alonso is the best driver in F1 and if he gets given a decent car (like at the end of the season when they sorted out the car) he will be up there. I think the rule changes will play to Hamiltons strengths as he is a proper racer and not afraid to overtake, which is what the new rules are trying to promote. Kimi, on his day is amazing, but if he's not interested then I think it will be between Lewis and Fernando


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 Post subject: Re: F1 2009
PostPosted: Sun Feb 01, 2009 10:05 am 
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O-Dog wrote:
Mr Spock wrote:
I dont want them to, but I bet Ferrari win, driver and team. :poke:


With all the technical changes to the cars, I reckon it's going to be an open season. If I were a betting man, my money would be on Alonso for the drivers championship.



i hope its really open with a lot of different challengers but its probrably likely there will be one team who will have got the rules spot on and be miles in front, would love it to be Honda just for the laugh.

I reckon BMW will be challenging this year they weren't that far away last season, if they had actually spent any development on the 08 car after Montreal Kubica might have been in with a real shot at the title, instead all their development went into this years car, as did Honda's so they should be at least competitive.


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 Post subject: Re: F1 2009
PostPosted: Sun Feb 01, 2009 4:34 pm 
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I just hope the rule changes mean that as they say more excitement and easier over taking. I'd like to see a real fight between Hamilton and Alonso, whilst not in the same team and can really go at eachother.

I'd like Kimi and Kubica to be involved in a 4 way battle.

With Kovalainen and Massa doing feck all :D

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 Post subject: Re: F1 2009
PostPosted: Sun Feb 01, 2009 4:34 pm 
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Jarv wrote:
I reckon BMW will be challenging this year they weren't that far away last season, if they had actually spent any development on the 08 car after Montreal Kubica might have been in with a real shot at the title, instead all their development went into this years car, as did Honda's so they should be at least competitive.


Aren't Honda the team who've gone?

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 Post subject: Re: F1 2009
PostPosted: Tue Feb 10, 2009 12:01 pm 
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One of the figures behind the prospective American Formula One team has stated that plans for USF1 are well and truly under way with a formal announcement expected later this month.

FIA president Max Mosley stated last week that there was potential for a American F1 team to enter the fray.

Ken Anderson, one of the two principals of USF1, has now told The Charlotte Observer that the team will be based in the American city, adding that "95% of what you might have seen" about the plans is true.

"We are looking at a couple of buildings in Charlotte, including one in the University area," he said.

Anderson has a long history in American motorsport in both the IndyCar and NASCAR series, and also spent some time as a technical director of the Ligier Formula One team in the late 1980s.

According to the Observer, Anderson's partner in the USF1 enterprise is Peter Windsor, a former team manager for the Williams F1 team who also worked for Ferrari and is now a highly respected journalist in the sport.

This year will mark the first time since 1987 that Formula One will not visit North America, after the Canadian Grand Prix was dropped from the 2009 calendar. As one of the key hubs of the global motor industry, Anderson believes America's presence in F1 makes sense.

He said: "All of the teams' sponsors want a presence here and American companies are going global. Formula One is the biggest television show in the world, bar none."

In the face of Formula One's stringent cost-cutting measures, Anderson feels that a United States-based team presents a compelling cost-efficiency case.

He added: "Ninety per cent of the technology that exists in F1 comes from the US anyway."

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 Post subject: Re: F1 2009
PostPosted: Tue Feb 10, 2009 12:12 pm 
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Resurrection Joe wrote:
"Ninety per cent of the technology that exists in F1 comes from the US anyway."


I reckon Mercedes, Ferrari, BMW, Renault, Toyota, etc would beg to differ.


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 Post subject: Re: F1 2009
PostPosted: Thu Feb 19, 2009 1:33 pm 
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Organisers of the Malaysian Grand Prix plan to host a "twilight" race from next season after the proposed night event was deemed too costly.

Sepang International Circuit chairman Mokhzani Mahathir said Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone had agreed to start the race at 1700 local time (0900 BST).

Mokhzani described the cost of lighting up the Sepang circuit as "prohibitive" in the current global economic climate.

It will be the second race of the 2009 season, taking place on 5 April.

The race was previously held two hours earlier but should now attract more locals in the cooler late afternoon.

"We are experiencing an economic slowdown. But we are offering attractive packages and activities to attract spectators," said Mokhzani, who is expecting 12,000 spectators.

Malaysia held its first Grand Prix in 1999 with Ferrari's Eddie Irvine triumphing.

Under a new contract signed in 2008, in which it agreed to be prepared to stage night racing, Malaysia will continue to host races until 2015.

Last year neighbouring Singapore hosted the first F1 night race, while Dubai will make its debut this year.

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 Post subject: Re: F1 2009
PostPosted: Thu Feb 19, 2009 1:37 pm 
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No doubt Ferari cars go better in twilight than they do in full night races.

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 Post subject: Re: F1 2009
PostPosted: Thu Feb 19, 2009 2:53 pm 
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Mr Spock wrote:
No doubt Ferari cars go better in twilight than they do in full night races.

:lol: You reckon the Malaysian F1 guru type cares about Ferrari or about his own pcoket?

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True, it is marginally better... I miss my childhood days where trainers were velrcoed.


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 Post subject: Re: F1 2009
PostPosted: Thu Feb 19, 2009 3:00 pm 
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You may think, but I couldn't possibly comment, that one could argue that there are allegedly possibly people out there who may or may not believe that the two are connected :p

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 Post subject: Re: F1 2009
PostPosted: Thu Feb 19, 2009 3:10 pm 
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Mr Spock wrote:
You may think, but I couldn't possibly comment, that one could argue that there are allegedly possibly people out there who may or may not believe that the two are connected :p

Even more :lol:

:ninja: I know what you are saying

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True, it is marginally better... I miss my childhood days where trainers were velrcoed.


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 Post subject: Re: F1 2009
PostPosted: Sat Feb 21, 2009 12:07 pm 
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Richard Branson's Virgin Group could take over Honda's Formula One team if certain conditions were met, the entrepreneur said on Saturday.

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Branson discusses the challenging economy and its impact on small businesses in New York

Speaking for the first time about his company's reported Honda bid, Branson said it would be fun to join Formula One but would not be drawn on whether talks were ongoing with the British-based Japanese team.

"To be perfectly frank, even if we were about to take over Honda, I'm sure they would have a clause which would say that I'm not allowed to talk about it," Branson told BBC Radio Four.

"I love formula one, I think there are faults there which would need to be rectified before we moved into Formula One.

"We'd need to be sure that Bernie Ecclestone is running it, that the teams can make ends meet and we'd need to be sure that he's on a path to turn Formula One in to a sport that is championing green technology.

"It's not very green at the moment. Those two provisos would be essential before Virgin entered the sport."

Earlier this week, a source close to the Japanese manufacturer told Reuters that Virgin had made a bid to buy the team.

Time is running out to find a buyer, however, as the season starts in Australia on March 29.

Honda put the team up for sale in December because of the global economic climate, leaving British driver Jenson Button and 700 employees at the Brackley base in limbo.

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Formula One supremo Ecclestone has welcomed any Virgin bid for Honda and Branson is clearly enthusiastic about a sport that would offer a high-profile for his brand.

Asked about Ecclestone's response, Branson said: "I'm delighted he said it and it would be great fun, and subject to those two provisos maybe something might be able to get sorted out. Virgin often does things that other people don't do.

"We wouldn't want to enter the sport unless it could be profitable for us. It's obviously very well viewed in places like India and China and the Far East, South America, quite a lot of European countries and so with the Virgin brand expanding on a global basis it's certainly something that is attractive."

Branson, whose Virgin Mobile company sponsored the now defunct Jordan team in 2002, said it was essential that the Honda team should not be allowed to fold.

"If there are talks somebody is going to have to move very quick," he said. "There's tremendous engineers involved and it is essential that teams are not lost.

"I very much hope that the Honda team survives and thrives and moves up the rankings quickly under a new brand."

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 Post subject: Re: F1 2009
PostPosted: Mon Feb 23, 2009 1:17 pm 
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Honda Racing's hopes of competing in Formula One this season appear to have suffered a crucial blow after their Japanese bosses stated they have been unable to find a "serious buyer" for the team.

The news comes after F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone revealed an offer to help with a proposed management buy-out was rejected by current chief executive Nick Fry and team boss Ross Brawn.

Honda surprisingly pulled out of F1 in early December, citing the global economic crisis, with the team immediately put up for sale.

Hopes were high they would be saved, despite the overheads needed to keep a team on the grid, so sparing the 700 jobs - including that of driver Jenson Button - at the team's Brackley HQ.

But the chief executive of Honda Motor Co. has confirmed they are struggling to find their knight in shining armour.

Speaking at a news conference, Takeo Fukui said: "There are various offers for the team, but we have not seen any serious buyer yet.

"We find the sale process difficult."

Fukui's comments come after a week of frenzied speculation relating to Sir Richard Branson's Virgin Group.

Branson, though, made it clear over the weekend that although he loves F1, any entry would be conditional in terms of costs and the sport becoming more environmentally friendly.

There have also been constant rumours of a management buy-out led by Fry and Brawn, but all within Honda have remained tight-lipped.

As for Ecclestone, he has conceded to being surprised his offer of help was rejected.

"I tried to help with the management buy-out," said Ecclestone in the News of the World.

"They should have taken what I offered. It was a very good offer for everybody concerned.

"It gave them complete protection, but they wanted to do things on their own.

"Now all we can do is hope and pray."

With the season-opening Australian Grand Prix just five weeks away, and with the cars required to head out a week in advance, time is against Honda Racing.

In particular, as their apparent engine suppliers in Mercedes are understood to have imposed a deadline of this week for guarantees the finances will be in place.

However, the ominous words of Fukui - who is to step down from his role in June - appear to make it clear any rescue will now be of the 11th-hour variety.

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 Post subject: Re: F1 2009
PostPosted: Mon Feb 23, 2009 1:18 pm 
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Resurrection Joe wrote:
Fukui


indeed

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 Post subject: Re: F1 2009
PostPosted: Mon Feb 23, 2009 8:03 pm 
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If Jenson button was given a good car I reckon he could win a championship. being from the UK I should be going for McLaren and hamilton, but they're both unlikable so i'm hoping for a miracle win for one of the BMW boys.

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