Singapore GP

Hamilton sings a winning tune in Singapore


McLaren-Mercedes World Champion Lewis Hamilton dominated the second SingTel Singapore Grand Prix to score his 11th. career win. The 24-year old started from pole position, his third in last four races, and held off challenges from Nico Rosberg and Sebastian Vettel for his second win of the season. Continue reading


Lewis Hamilton dominates the Singtel Singapore Grand Prix from start to finish.

Timo Glock with an outstanding drive brings his Toyota home in second.

Fernando Alonso giving Renault F1 some joy with a podium.



Don’t be afraid of the dark. The second Singapore Formula 1 Grand Prix takes place on Sunday at the Marina Bay street circuit. The night race made history for all the wrong reasons almost a year after the inaugural event in 2008. Renault racer Nelson Piquet Jnr. revealed – conveniently after being released from the team following the Hungarian Grand Prix – that his crash was deliberate per the wishes of team principal Flavio Briatore and director of engineering Pat Symonds.

All three are (not) missing in action in Singapore. Flavio, gone indefinitely from the paddock and the sport. Symonds, barred for five years after a distinguished career in which he worked with Senna, Schumacher and Alonso before any of these now legendary names ever won a race.

Piquet, given immunity for his courtesy driving of the Greyhound over the careers of Briatore and Symonds, will need father’s fortune to have another chance in Formula 1. He will be well advised to “leave the driving to others”.

Lewis Hamilton will start Sunday’s race from pole position in his McLaren-Mercedes, third pole of the season for Pussy Cat Doll’s Ken. Sharing the front row will be Sebastian Vettel in his Red Bull-Renault, still in running for the championship with the Brawn Boys.

Nico Rosberg in a Williams-Toyota, who finished second last year in Singapore, is sharing the second row with Mark Webber’s Red Bull-Renault.

Both championship leader Jenson Button and his nearest challenger Rubens Barrichello have their work cut out for them as they are starting 12th and 10th on the grid respectively. The Brazilian not only crashed from his fifth qualifying spot but had to add five grid penalty for gearbox change.


The New Felipe Baby! Felipe Nasr of Brazil, recently crowned as Formula BMW Europe Champion in his first year of single seater racing, took victory in race one of Formula BMW Asia support race in Singapore from pole position, and starts Sunday’s race two also from pole.

This is the next Brazilian racing sensation. The Samba beat goes on.

— Nasir Hameed
Greetings from California.


Lewis Hamilton has pole position for the Singapore Grand Prix.

Rubens Barrichello crashes out ending the qualifying session.

Vettel keeps his title hopes alive as he joines Hamilton on the front row.

Rosberg with the session stopped had to settle for third equaling his career-best.

Pos Driver Team Q1 Q2 Q3
1. Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes (B) 1:46.977 1:46.657 1:47.891
2. Vettel Red Bull-Renault (B) 1:47.541 1:46.362 1:48.204
3. Rosberg Williams-Toyota (B) 1:47.390 1:46.197 1:48.348
4. Webber Red Bull-Renault (B) 1:47.646 1:46.328 1:48.722
5. Barrichello Brawn-Mercedes (B) 1:47.397 1:46.787 1:48.828
6. Alonso Renault (B) 1:47.757 1:46.767 1:49.054
7. Glock Toyota (B) 1:47.770 1:46.707 1:49.180
8. Heidfeld BMW-Sauber (B) 1:47.347 1:46.832 1:49.307
9. Kubica BMW-Sauber (B) 1:47.615 1:46.813 1:49.514
10. Kovalainen McLaren-Mercedes (B) 1:47.542 1:46.842 1:49.778
11. Nakajima Williams-Toyota (B) 1:47.637 1:47.013
12. Button Brawn-Mercedes (B) 1:47.180 1:47.141
13. Raikkonen Ferrari (B) 1:47.293 1:47.177
14. Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari (B) 1:47.677 1:47.369
15. Trulli Toyota (B) 1:47.690 1:47.413
16. Sutil Force India-Mercedes (B) 1:48.231
17. Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari (B) 1:48.340
18. Fisichella Ferrari (B) 1:48.350
19. Grosjean Renault (B) 1:48.544
20. Liuzzi Force India-Mercedes (B) 1:48.792



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