Tag Archives: Alonso

F1weekly podcast # 387

Abu DHABI F1 two seater

Lewis Hamilton tops the first free practice for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

Williams confirms engine deal with Cosworth.

Fernando Alonso with an emotional goodbye to Renault F1.

F1weekly podcast number 387

Motorsports Mondial with Nasir Hameed.

Nico Rosberg is leaving Williams looking for a winning car.

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Vettel wins

Sebastian Vettel wins the Grand Prix of Japan.

Jarno Trulli brings home another podium for Toyota.

McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton grabs the final step.

Pos  Driver        Team                      Time
 1.  Vettel        Red Bull-Renault      (B)  1h28:20.443
 2.  Trulli        Toyota                (B)  +     4.877
 3.  Hamilton      McLaren-Mercedes      (B)  +     6.472
 4.  Raikkonen     Ferrari               (B)  +     7.940
 5.  Rosberg       Williams-Toyota       (B)  +     8.793
 6.  Heidfeld      BMW Sauber            (B)  +     9.509
 7.  Barrichello   Brawn-Mercedes        (B)  +    10.641
 8.  Button        Brawn-Mercedes        (B)  +    11.474
 9.  Kubica        BMW Sauber            (B)  +    11.777
10.  Alonso        Renault               (B)  +    13.065
11.  Kovalainen    McLaren-Mercedes      (B)  +    13.735
12.  Fisichella    Ferrari               (B)  +    14.596
13.  Sutil         Force India-Mercedes  (B)  +    14.959
14.  Liuzzi        Force India-Mercedes  (B)  +    15.734
15.  Nakajima      Williams-Toyota       (B)  +    17.973
16.  Grosjean      Renault               (B)  +     1 lap
17.  Webber        Red Bull-Renault      (B)  +    2 laps


Nummer einz, baby! Sebastian Vettel of Germany grabs pole position in a chaotic final qualifying session for Sunday’s Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka. Fifth career and fourth of the season pole for the youngest Grand Prix and pole winner in Formula 1 history.

Delighting the local crowd was Toyota driver Italian Jarno Trulli who will share the front row with Vettel.

Reigning world champion from England Lewis Hamilton starts third in his McLaren. His compatriot and likely championship successor Jenson Button and Brawn teammate, Brazilian Rubens Barrichello, both made it to Q3 but their final grid position will be determined by the stewards.

Barrichello out qualified Button but both may be penalized five grid positions for not slowing down after Sebastien Buemi’s crash in the final minute of qualifying.

Only three races, Japan, Brazil and Abu Dhabi remain in the 2009 FIA Formula 1 World Championship. Title tussle is between Button, Barrichello and Vettel.

Suzuka track is owned by Honda and was designed by Dutchman John Hugenholtz who was also involved in the design of Zandvoort in his native country and Jarama in Spain.

he first Japanese Grand Prix was held in 1963 for sports cars and was won by Peter Warr, who later went on to become Colin Chapman’s right hand man and team manager at Lotus.


Webber. Marks a new career as team owner. The new for 2010 season GP3 series, from the minds of Bruno Michel, Briatore and Bernie, announced the ten teams that will prepare drivers for GP2 and the final frontier, F1.

Among the teams selected is MW Arden. Red Bull driver Mark Webber is joining forces with team manager Christian Horner to help other Aussies in their European campaign.

The spec series will feature cars from Dallara powered by a turbo-charged Renault engine on Pirelli tires.


Leaning Lorenzo: Man from Mallorca, Jorge Lorenzo, is making all the right moves to stay in the championship hunt with his Yamaha teammate, the determined Doctor, Valentino Rossi.

Lorenzo won the Portuguese Moto GP race last year and this year starts from pole position, his fifth of the season.

Rossi is second on the grid with Casey Stoner third. The Australian Ducati rider surprised many upon his return to competition after missing some races from a mysterious illness.

The race takes place at Estoril, home of Ayrton Senna’s first F1 victory in serious Portuguese downpour in 1985.

— Nasir Hameed

F1weekly podcast # 380

Rain and Tyres wash out Suzuka Friday practice running.

Pos  Driver       Team                       Time              Laps
 1.  Sutil        Force India-Mercedes  (B)  1:47.261            5
 2.  Vettel       Red Bull-Renault      (B)  1:47.923  + 0.662   6
 3.  Liuzzi       Force India-Mercedes  (B)  1:47.931  + 0.670   4
 4.  Hamilton     McLaren-Mercedes      (B)  1:47.983  + 0.722   5
 5.  Nakajima     Williams-Toyota       (B)  1:48.058  + 0.797   8
 6.  Buemi        Toro Rosso-Ferrari    (B)  1:48.691  + 1.430   9
 7.  Alonso       Renault               (B)  1:48.693  + 1.432   5
 8.  Trulli       Toyota                (B)  1:48.737  + 1.476   6
 9.  Alguersuari  Toro Rosso-Ferrari    (B)  1:48.802  + 1.541  11
10.  Kubica       BMW-Sauber            (B)  1:48.861  + 1.600   6
11.  Raikkonen    Ferrari               (B)  1:48.886  + 1.625   4
12.  Kobayashi    Toyota                (B)  1:49.054  + 1.793   7
13.  Webber       Red Bull-Renault      (B)  1:49.382  + 2.121   7
14.  Grosjean     Renault               (B)  1:49.405  + 2.144   6
15.  Fisichella   Ferrari               (B)  1:49.553  + 2.292   5
16.  Rosberg      Williams-Toyota       (B)  1:49.872  + 2.611   7
17.  Heidfeld     BMW-Sauber            (B)  1:50.179  + 2.918   9
18.  Kovalainen   McLaren-Mercedes      (B)  No time
19.  Button       Brawn-Mercedes        (B)  No time
20.  Barrichello  Brawn-Mercedes        (B)  No time


Can you hear the drums, Fernando? Ferrari confirmed on Wednesday what everybody knew already, Fernando Alonso will be at Maranello for the next three seasons. Their $50m man, Kimi Raikkonen, is being moved to make room for the double world champion from Oviedo in northern Spain.

While they may be celebrating in the land of bull fighting, only time will tell how Alonso will handle the charge from new teammate Felipe Massa, who is well loved at Ferrari. That bond never matured between the team and the enigma from Espoo, despite the Finn winning on his debut with Ferrari and the world championship in 2007.

Scuderia Ferrari boss Stefano Domenicali said upon confirming the Spanish driver, “We are very proud to welcome to our team another winning driver, who has demonstrated his amazing talent by winning two world championships in his career to date”.

Ironically, that’s how Alonso was welcomed by his new team the first time he left Renault for greener pastures after securing back to back championships with the French team. The grazing and bruising he endured at McLaren forced him back to Renault after completing his initial season with the British outfit, narrowly missing his third title in a row to the man he is now replacing.

Moment with Massa. The likeable Brazilian is a feisty competitor on the track as Lewis Hamilton found out last season till the very last lap. Man who won races against Michael Schumacher as teammate and totally dominated the high priced Raikkonen in ’08, Massa will be hungry for success after missing all the races since the Hungarian Grand Prix, where he suffered head injuries during qualifying.

Alonso will be in for a rude awakening, for the second time around when changing teams, if Massa turns out to be like the “rookie” who ruined his reign in Surrey.

Paddock pundits are predicting Alonso will dominate Massa. These are the same people who, like Alonso himself, did not see the threat from within Woking distance.


Back to the future? Most likely scenario is McLaren-Mercedes will get their star back. Kimi Raikkonen scored his first Formula 1 victory in a silver car at Sepang in 2003. Twice he lost the championship because his machinery let him down, only to find the championship glory in his first year at Ferrari.

Immensely talented with brute speed, Raikkonen is capable of giving Hamilton a taste of his own medicine, aka “cage rattling syrup”. With what Raikkonen regarded as “control freak” removed from the McLaren Formula 1 team, he may find a different atmosphere the second time around which will suit him to be his own man – the race car driver with very little to say.

Welcome, Kimi Raikkonen, what else is new?

— Nasir Hameed

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F1weekly podcast # 379

Singapore Snapshot
Motorsport Mondial Presentation


Uniquely Singapore. Formula One’s only night action returned to Singapore for the second running of the street race in the city-state. Bernie’s bright idea may be applied to other fly away races for the convenience of European TV audience. Continue reading

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Splash from Singapore ’08

Insurance company pulls premium and bank loses interest

By Nasir Hameed

PK Singapore

From the “why am I not surprised?” folder comes the hard drive that both Spanish insurance giant Mutua Madrilena and Dutch banking behemoth ING are pulling the plug on their sponsorship of UK-based French Formula 1 Renault team.

Destroying the careers of team principal Flavio Briatore and engineering director Pat Symonds-not to mention hardly winning any friends in the F1 paddock by his actions or driving performance-may not be the only casualties of Nelson Piquet Junior’s rage against his own former racing team.

Both Mutua Madrilena and ING have decided to end their association with immediate effect, ironically, on the eve of the same race where the “deliberate crash” took place last season, the night time Singapore Grand Prix.

The Spanish insurance company came as a package deal with the return of Fernando Alonso to Renault last year. Statement from the company as quoted by the Spanish media said, according to the contract, “Renault must comply with all the FIA rules and regulations at all times as a competitor in the world championship.”

Renault’s “substantial breach” has resulted in immediate termination of the contract.
Mutua Madrilena will continue to stand by its home boy Alonso.


Dutch retreat

ING, the banking company had already announced they were bailing out of Formula 1 at the end of the 2009 season following the global financial meltdown. The orange lion will no longer be roaming the streets of Singapore as the company has cancelled its sponsorship agreement with immediate effect also.

A statement from the company, issued hours after Mutua Madrilena’s announcement, said, “ING is deeply disappointed at this turn of events, especially in the context of an otherwise successful sponsorship. As announced on 16 February of this year, ING decided not to renew the three year sponsorship (2007-’09) contract with Renault F1 and to end its presence in Formula 1 after the 2009 season.”

ING trackside signage will continue to be seen till the end of the season.



Renault. Will they go?

Amid global recession and slump in car sales, bad publicity from the Crash-gate saga, CEO, Carlos Ghosn, Brazilian of Lebanese heritage but no lover of Formula 1, departing high-paying sponsors, and almost departed star driver, it will come as no surprise if Regie calls for a total recall from the Formula 1 landscape. History has shown them the exit door twice before.

Third time could be Formula 1’s harm.

Renault removing ING and Mutua Madrilena decals overnight.

Hamilton on top in the final free practice session.

Pos Driver Team Time Laps
1. Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes (B) 1:47.632 15
2. Vettel Red Bull-Renault (B) 1:47.909 + 0.277 17
3. Rosberg Williams-Toyota (B) 1:48.332 + 0.700 18
4. Kovalainen McLaren-Mercedes (B) 1:48.420 + 0.788 14
5. Kubica BMW Sauber (B) 1:48.501 + 0.869 16
6. Heidfeld BMW Sauber (B) 1:48.526 + 0.894 13
7. Barrichello Brawn-Mercedes (B) 1:48.551 + 0.919 16
8. Glock Toyota (B) 1:48.673 + 1.041 17
9. Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari (B) 1:48.754 + 1.122 17
10. Trulli Toyota (B) 1:48.757 + 1.125 12
11. Nakajima Williams-Toyota (B) 1:48.831 + 1.199 17
12. Raikkonen Ferrari (B) 1:48.864 + 1.232 16
13. Webber Red Bull-Renault (B) 1:48.876 + 1.244 15
14. Button Brawn-Mercedes (B) 1:48.921 + 1.289 17
15. Alonso Renault (B) 1:49.032 + 1.400 15
16. Liuzzi Force India-Mercedes (B) 1:49.055 + 1.423 16
17. Sutil Force India-Mercedes (B) 1:49.122 + 1.490 17
18. Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari (B) 1:49.399 + 1.767 17
19. Grosjean Renault (B) 1:49.641 + 2.009 16
20. Fisichella Ferrari (B) 1:50.039 + 2.407 21


F1weekly podcast # 378


Mario Andretti Laguna Seca 2008

Mario Andretti the last living American Formula 1 World Champion.

Podcast number 378.

Renault has appointed technical director Bob Bell as its new stand-in team principal.

Ferrari yet to decide on Raikkonen for next season or replace him with Alonso.

Motorsports Mondial with Nasir Hameed and…

Special F1weekly interview with Mario Andretti.

Andretti at Laguna Seca 2008

Photos: by F1weekly.com


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