Motorsports Mondial


Williams has launched its 2011 livery at its factory in Didcot.

New sponsor PDVSA, the state-owned Venezuelan oil company, features prominently and the livery as a whole is a nod towards the Rothmans-sponsored Williams of the mid-1990s. However, the team has mainly stuck to its corporate colours of blue and white.

The car itself was launched at the Valencia test three weeks ago and has already clocked up 3,800 kilometres of testing in its interim livery.

Race drivers Pastor Maldonado and Rubens Barrichello will continue the development of the FW33 at the final pre-season test in Barcelona next month.

Motorsports Mondial


Barcelona Test, Day 4: A race distance for Nick

The final day in Barcelona saw Nick back in the R31 as the team wrapped up its third pre-season test session.

Driver: Nick

Chassis: R31-01

Fastest Lap: 1:23.657

Position: P4

Total laps: 95

What we learned :

- A new front wing was fitted on the car and the team carried out some aero mapping to assess its effectiveness. First impressions were positive.

- The team completed its first race distance simulation and was pleased with the feel of the car on high fuel.

Nick: “In the morning we were not able to do most of our programme because we had an issue with the KERS. It’s a shame because track time is so limited, but it’s obviously better to have problems during testing before the season starts. In the afternoon we started the race simulation, which went reasonably well. We were using different tyre compounds and tried both scrubbed and new sets. We learned a lot by running the car on high fuel and have lots of useful data about the degradation rates. Then, at the end of the day, we returned to the set-up work.”

Alan Permane’s technical programme notes

- It was a difficult morning because we lost time with a KERS problem. We managed to resolve the issue before lunch and started with our set-up programme

- For the afternoon our target was a race distance. We pretty much completed the mileage we needed to, apart from a couple of laps due to a red flag. We ended the day with further set-up work and found some good directions.

Bahrain withdraws from first race

The Bahrain International Circuit announced that the Kingdom of Bahrain would withdraw from hosting this year’s Formula 1 Grand Prix so that the country and focus on its “process of national dialogue.”

Eric Boullier: “The recent situation in Bahrain has been very difficult for the country. We feel the decision taken by the Crown Prince is wise and we fully support it. The Bahrain Grand Prix has always been welcomed with enthusiasm from the Bahraini people, and we’re looking forward to going back there when they have healed their country. We will now amend our logistics accordingly and will get ready for Australia.”

Did You Know?

During heavy braking of 4.5G, a driver’s head weighs as much as 30kg.

Motorsports Mondial

Sun set on 2011 Bahrain Grand Prix

Photo: Hasan Jamali/Associated Press

The unwashed masses have taken the opening round of the 2011 Formula 1 World Championship to the cleaners. Bernie Ecclestone, The Tsar of F1 circus, was given the news by Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad bin Isa Al-Khalifa.

The Prince proclaimed, as reported on, “At the present time the country’s entire attention is focused on building a new national dialogue for Bahrain.

“Bahrain’s priority is on overcoming tragedy, healing divisions and rediscovering the fabric that draws this country together to remind the world of the very best that Bahrain is capable of as a nation once again united.”

Natives are getting restless in Middle East. After the toppling of regimes in Tunisia and Egypt, the friendly folks on the island nation of 800,000 souls decided “no mas” and took to the streets, demanding political change and more opportunities for the majority.

One wonders how these people feel when they see international media, fans and Paddock Club VIPs race by them to the Bahrain International Circuit. The gala event that is the Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix is no smooth landing for the ‘coach class’ population with sky-high ticket prices, normally in the range of $300-500.

It was no wonder they targeted and threatened the Grand Prix.

The race on the island nation may return at a later date.

GP2 Asia is also looking at other options. Bahrain was to stage the last two rounds after the inaugural event in Abu Dhabi earlier this month.

Final pre-season test for the F1 fraternity has now been shifted to Barcelona next month.

The 2011 season will now start in Australia on March 27th. Some natives on that island are also getting restless about the cost to tax payers, and there is a strong possibility that the contract for one of the most popular events on the schedule may not be renewed after the 2015 event.

The cost of 1996 inaugural event of $1.7m is now costing the taxpayers $50m a year, according to a statement to the parliament by Michael Danby, Member of the Australian Parliament for Melbourne Ports which includes Albert Park.

– Nasir Hameed

Greetings and No racing regards from Bahrain.

Motorsports Mondial

Dramatic Debut Win at Daytona for Trevor Bayne

Photo. Matthew Stockman/Getty Images for NASCAR

Knoxville Knockout. Move over Jeff Gordon. #24 was 25 when he became the youngest winner of Daytona 500. Sunday Trevor Bayne entered his name in NASCAR history as the youngest winner at 20.

The 2011 NASCAR season got off to a rolling start in dramatic fashion. The winner, after a record 16 caution periods and record 74 lead changes, was 20-year old Trevor Bayne in only his second Sprint Cup start.

“They gave me a rocket ship that definitely did me a lot of justice today,” said the young winner from Knoxville, TN. For Ford this was their 600th win in NASCAR’s top division.

He also rang in as the only Rookie to win the “The Great American Race” since the inaugural 1959 Daytona 500, which was won by Lee Petty, papito of King Richard.

Photo. John Harrelson/Getty Images for NASCAR

Race craft. The winning team Wood Brothers is NASCAR’s oldest and last won the season opening classic in 1976 with David Pearson. They were also behind Dan Gurney’s success in stock cars at Riverside in southern California.

Bayne held off a strong challenge from “Cousin” Carl Edwards and four other drivers in the final two laps to give the legendary Wood Brothers team their first Cup victory in a decade. David Pearson – “The Silver Fox” – also won the Daytona 500 for Wood Brothers in 1976, and Sunday’s winning machine carried the same # 21.

The winner’s purse was a cool $1,462,563 or just over $7,300 for each of the 200 laps.

Photo. Chris Graythen/Getty Images for NASCAR

St. Devote to Daytona. Montoya may have missed his target in Formula 1 but the Colombian ace has become a heavy hitter in tin-top racing of America.

David Gilliland was third, followed by Bobby Labonte, Kurt Busch and Juan Pablo Montoya in sixth.

Crowd and sentimental favorite Dale Earnhardt Jr was involved in a late race crash and was eliminated. Previous winner Kevin Harvick was one the first retirements with an “engine done blowed-up.”

In the championship three points separate the top five. Edwards leads with 42. Gilliland and Labonte have 41 points each. Busch is one point behind with Montoya fifth with 39 points.

The race winner, Bayne, is not eligible for points under the new NASCAR points system as he is running a limited schedule in Cup races while doing a full season in the second-tier Nationwide series.

Next stop for the series is at Phoenix International Raceway, track once described by Bernard Ecclestone as “shitty little oval.”

– Nasir Hameed

Greetings and “bogitty, bogitty” regards.

P.S. F1 Weekly familia member Larry Carta, the King of Cool Album of the Day, informs us that Wood Brothers also supplied the pit crew to Jim Clark’s victory at Indy in 1965.

Motorsports Mondial


Barcelona Test, Day 3: Wet and dry running for Vitaly

A damp start in Barcelona turned to sunshine in the afternoon as Vitaly got back behind the wheel of the R31. Nick will be in the car for the final day of testing tomorrow.

Driver: Vitaly

Chassis: R31-01

Fastest Lap: 1:23.463

Position: P2

Total laps: 93

What we learned today:

- We gathered some useful data on the intermediates Pirelli tyres as Vitaly and the team completed its first significant mileage on them

- The R31 was fitted with a different spec of exhaust tail pipe. Aero data was collected to assess its effect on car performance.

Vitaly: “We used the intermediates to begin with and it was one of our first opportunities to do a lot of laps with them. The only issue we had was warming them up because it was very cold early on. The plan was to do a race distance in the morning and we managed quite a lot of long runs while the track was wet. Then, we put the slicks on just before lunch and started improving the set-up. We learned a lot of new things and I’m starting to understand the tyres more and how to get the most from this car.”

Alan Permane’s technical programme notes

- It was a slow start to the day with the wet conditions, but we did some long runs on the intermediates. However we were interrupted by several red flags.

- For the afternoon, Vitaly started a set-up programme, and we made some good progress with the suspension changes at the front and rear. We also did some work with tyre pressures and found some more improvements. Overall the car has responded well to the changes today and Vitaly has been much happier.”

Did You Know?

During the average day of testing, the drivers will change gear around 2,500 times.

Pos  Driver              Team/car              Time       Gap       Laps
 1.  Nico Rosberg        Mercedes              1m23.168s            92
 2.  Vitaly Petrov       Renault               1m23.463s  + 0.295s  93
 3.  Lewis Hamilton      McLaren-Mercedes      1m23.858s  + 0.690s  93
 4.  Pastor Maldonado    Williams-Cosworth     1m24.815s  + 1.647s  60
 5.  Mark Webber         Red Bull-Renault      1m24.995s  + 1.827s  139
 6.  Jarno Trulli        Lotus-Renault         1m25.454s  + 2.286s  48
 7.  Sergio Perez        Sauber-Ferrari        1m25.557s  + 2.389s  115
 8.  Adrian Sutil        Force India-Mercedes  1m25.720s  + 2.552s  102
 9.  Sebastien Buemi     Toro Rosso-Ferrari    1m26.155s  + 2.987s  31
10.  Felipe Massa        Ferrari               1m26.508s  + 3.340s  123
11.  Timo Glock          Virgin-Cosworth       1m26.598s  + 3.430s  97
12.  Giorgio Mondini     Hispania-Cosworth     1m28.178s  + 5.010s  39
13.  Daniel Ricciardo    Toro Rosso-Ferrari    1m28.329s  + 5.161s  42
14.  Narain Karthikeyan  Hispania-Cosworth     1m30.722s  + 7.554s  32

F1weekly podcast # 486

Flying Dutch Lady

Teenager Beitske Visser kicking up a storm in karting

While most girls in her age group are likely to talk about L’Oreal and Lady Gaga, this 15-year old is more interested in racing conversation about Lonato and Braga.

Young Miss Visser is more than a Dronten Doll. She was turning heads as a five-year old karting sensation.

Beitske beat all the boys to grab pole position for the prestigious Andrea Margutti Trophy and since last season is official driver for the Italian Intrepid karting team.

F1weekly would like to wish her all the best in her racing career.

Q: Last month in Paris Michèle Mouton presented you with the first CIK-FIA Women and Motor Sport Commission Award, please tell us what this means to you at such a young age?

A: Of course I’m very happy to get this prize, there are also some other really good girl drivers but for sure I want to beat everyone.

Q: You started racing at the age of five, what was the attraction towards motorsports?

A: My dad used to be a race driver and when I was 3 years old he took me to a 24h kart race and I saw a little kart there and I told my dad I wanted to do that too, but he said I was too young, then when I was 5 I got my first kart.

Q: Do the boys behave when you qualify or win over them?

A: In the beginning this was really difficult but how more races I do and finish in the front the more they accept it and respect me.

Q: Last year you became the first female driver to win a European Championship round in a gearbox class at Varennes, France. Did you feel extra pressure on the final lap?

A: No, not really, for me it was just a race like all the other and I want to win everything so I pushed every lap to the maximum.

Q: There is a lot of ‘girl power’ in racing these days, what other names we – the poor mankind – should watch out for?

A: Michelle Gatting, Luana Krattiger and Kim Oomen

Q: Are mom and dad fully behind your racing efforts; and how are you coping with your studies?

A: Yes, they support me completely and I do the school by internet so I have more time to practice.

Q: Who has been the biggest influence in your racing career so far?

A: My dad.

Q: You have raced in Europe, Asia and North America. Is there a particular country where karting is the toughest; and what is your favorite track?

A: In Europe its the hardest but not a particular country, we drive mostly against everyone. I like Castelletto in Italy the most.

Q: You also raced in Las Vegas; your thoughts on American karting scene and fans?

A: It was a great event and the people are amazing, I like to drive there.

Q: What impressed you most about Las Vegas?

A: The people and the buildings.

Q: You are planning a move to racing cars season; what would you like to learn most in final year of karting to make you a better racer?

A: I want to improve my starts and I have to clean my driving a bit.

Q: This year you will compete in KZ1 category; what are your expectations as you wrap up your very impressive karting career?

A: This is going to be a really hard year also because many skf drivers moved to kz1, but in the first race from this season I was fast so I hope to win a lot of races this year.

Q: Do you plan to sample some racing car experience during the year and is there a particular championship you are already thinking of for 2012?

A: I think we are going to start the testing after the season, I first want to focus on my karting season and then we will see for the next year.

Q: Who is your favorite racing driver?

A: Myself.

Q: What is your career advice to young boys and girls who want to start in motorsports?

A: You have to give 200% all the time and also when your at home you have to sport all the time.

Nasir Hameed

For more information please visit

F1weekly podcast number 486

Motorsports Mondial with Nasir Hameed and…

This weeks interview Jules Bianchi.

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The Premiere Motorsport Podcast