Quali

lewis IN aBU dHABI

Lewis of Arabia: Shining bright and dominating all three qualifying sessions at the new ultra-modern Yas Marina circuit, Lewis Hamilton captured pole position for the final F1 race of the season, the inaugural Etihad Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. This is McLaren driver’s fourth pole position in last seven races, and 17th in just three years of competition at the top tier of motor racing.

Mark Webber, winner of last race in Brazil, will start third behind his Red Bull teammate Sebastian Vettel. The Brawn boys are fourth and fifth on the grid, Rubens Barrichello out qualifying newly crowned world champion Jenson Button.

Kimi Raikkonen will start 11th in his final race for Ferrari. Fernando Alonso, who will replace Raikkonen at Ferrari next year, did not make it out of Q1 in his final fling with Renault.

Senna name returns to F1: Bruno Senna, nephew of the late Ayrton Senna, has been confirmed at Campos Meta F1 team for 2010.

American in GP2: Yas Marina hosted the opening round of the 2009/10 GP2 Asia series. Saturday’s feature race saw the debut of 18-year old California driver Alexander Rossi who finished an impressive fourth. Race was won by Davide Valsecchi of Italy.

Formula 2: Andy Soucek of Spain won the penultimate race of the season at Circuit de Cataluña in Barcelona.

Pos  Driver       Team                       Q1        Q2       Q3
 1.  Hamilton     McLaren-Mercedes      (B)  1:39.873  1:39.695 1:40.948
 2.  Vettel       Red Bull-Renault      (B)  1:40.666  1:39.984 1:41.615
 3.  Webber       Red Bull-Renault      (B)  1:40.667  1:40.272 1:41.726
 4.  Barrichello  Brawn-Mercedes        (B)  1:40.574  1:40.421 1:41.786
 5.  Button       Brawn-Mercedes        (B)  1:40.378  1:40.148 1:41.892
 6.  Trulli       Toyota                (B)  1:40.517  1:40.373 1:41.897
 7.  Kubica       BMW-Sauber            (B)  1:40.520  1:40.545 1:41.992
 8.  Heidfeld     BMW-Sauber            (B)  1:40.558  1:40.635 1:42.343
 9.  Rosberg      Williams-Toyota       (B)  1:40.842  1:40.661 1:42.583
10.  Buemi        Toro Rosso-Ferrari    (B)  1:40.908  1:40.430 1:42.713
11.  Raikkonen    Ferrari               (B)  1:41.100  1:40.726
12.  Kobayashi    Toyota                (B)  1:41.035  1:40.777
13.  Kovalainen   McLaren-Mercedes      (B)  1:40.808  1:40.983
14.  Nakajima     Williams-Toyota       (B)  1:41.096  1:41.148
15.  Alguersuari  Toro Rosso-Ferrari    (B)  1:41.503  1:41.689
16.  Alonso       Renault               (B)  1:41.667
17.  Liuzzi       Force India-Mercedes  (B)  1:41.701
18.  Sutil        Force India-Mercedes  (B)  1:41.863
19.  Grosjean     Renault               (B)  1:41.950
20.  Fisichella   Ferrari               (B)  1:42.184

Abu Dhabi

arabian nights 2

Arabian Nights: Grand finale for the 2009 Grand Prix season takes place this weekend at the new Yas Marina circuit in Abu Dhabi. The Tilke-designed facility will accommodate 50,000 spectators and feature the longest straight in Formula One.

The circuit will also inaugurate the 2009/10 GP2 Asia series. Saturday’s feature race will make Alexander Rossi from northern California the first American in GP2 competition since Scott Speed in 2005.

may i have your monster

“May I have your Monster, please?”

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.

[audio:http://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/mp3.f1weekly.com/podcasts/10-29-09f1weekly387.mp3]

Yas Marina circuit

Renault has signed a sponsorship deal with Dutch watchmaker TW Steel.

Formula 1 would suffer huge damage if the British Grand Prix is lost.

Motorsports Mondial to return in podcast number 387 with Nasir’s return from Europe.

Abu Dhabi Track

Abu Dhabi: Work at the Yas Marina Circuit has gathered pace since the Federation Internationale de L’Automobile (FIA) confirmed last month that the Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on November 15, 2009 would be the season-ending finale to the Formula One calendar.

Philippe Gurdjian, Abu Dhabi Motorsport Management (ADMM) CEO, said: “I am very happy that the Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix is the last race of the 2009 season. We continue to work day and night to create something which will be unique both for Formula One and for Abu Dhabi.”

Work began on the Yas Marina Circuit in February 2007 after the Grand Prix franchise was awarded to Abu Dhabi for a renewable seven year term until 2016.

With the present work force of 4,000 set to grow to a peak of 5,500 by the end of this year, the ADMM are confident the circuit will be finished in time for them to fully test the facilities prior to the Grand Prix.

Loeb

Sebastien Loeb six world championships

Sebastien Loeb wins the Rally of Great Britain taking his sixth World Rally Title.

Loeb started the year by winning Rally Ireland for the second time since 2007. He then won his first Rally NorwayMikko Hirvonen, lasting throughout the very final stage. Being first on the road through all three days, Loeb kept his lead, in the end winning with 9.8 seconds over Hirvonen. Loeb continued his good form by winning over Hirvonen in Cyprus, marking his career 50th victory, and in Portugal. His victory in Argentina, the fifth in a row in this country, was also his fifth victory in a row since the start of the season. ever, after a fierce battle with

At the Rally d’Italia Sardegna, Loeb had a puncture after going off the road and dropped from third to fourth. Although he passed Petter Solberg for the final podium spot, he still finished fourth due to a time penalty for a safety rule violation; co-driver Daniel Elena had unfastened his safety belts before the crew stopped the car for a tire change. At the Acropolis Rally, Loeb crashed out from third place. On Rally Poland’s return to the WRC, Loeb had another crash but he continued in the event under superally rules. After team orders issued for the Citroën Junior Team drivers and a late mistake by Ford’s Jari-Matti Latvala, Loeb found himself seventh but had lost the championship lead to Hirvonen by one point.

By winning the Rally Catalunya, Loeb reduced the deficit to Hirvonen in the title race before the final event of the year; once again trailing by a single point. The Frenchman gained the championship by winning the final event of the year, the Rally GB. Victory was secured partly due to an incredible performance over SS8 and SS9, where in the course of only two stages Loeb extended his lead in the rally over Hirvonen from 2.4s to 25s.

Pos  Driver              Car           Time/Gap
 1.  Sebastien Loeb      Citroen     3h16m25.4s
 2.  Mikko Hirvonen      Ford         + 1m06.1s
 3.  Dani Sordo          Citroen      + 1m07.1s
 4.  Petter Solberg      Citroen      + 1m28.1s
 5.  Henning Solberg     Ford         + 6m28.0s
 6.  Matthew Wilson      Ford         + 7m46.0s
 7.  Jari-Matti Latvala  Ford        + 12m11.9s
 8.  Conrad Rautenbach   Citroen     + 14m27.8s
 9.  Eyvind Brynildsen   Skoda       + 22m22.7s
10.  Armindo Araujo      Mitsubishi  + 24m18.8s

F1weekly podcast # 386

Jean Todt

Jean Todt is the new president of the FIA

Jean Todt: Born February 25, 1946 in the commune of Pierrefort in the Cantal department of France, his ancestry being French and Polish, Todt’s motorsport career began when he took his father’s Mini Cooper S for a ride with a friend. Thence he moved to various driving roles in rally series, but decided his strength was as a co-driver; he continued as such with the Peugeot Talbot Sport rally team until his retirement from competition in 1981.

The team moved Todt into a management-oriented position, charging him to organize the design and construction of the 205 Turbo 16 for the 1984 World Rally Championship season. After a slow start, the 205 won the world title in 1985 and 1986; other Todt-managed models continued to dominate, winning rally championships, hill climbs, and with the highly successful Peugeot 905, the Le Mans 24 hours and the World Sportscar Championship, into the 1990s. Peugeot, despite Todt’s continual urging, refused to enter the Formula One Championship, and when a position opened at the Ferrari F1 team, Todt took the opportunity in 1993.

Todt was the first senior appointment of Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo who had been placed in charge of a once legendary team which “had become something of a joke. The Todt/di Montezemolo leadership hired Michael Schumacher in 1996, with whom came strategist Ross Brawn, and designer Rory Byrne. The Independent credited Todt with melding this combination “into a cohesive structure devoid of the polemics which were so rife. The fortunate combination produced a nearly-unbeatable team. Todt and Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo have since been considered responsible for turning Ferrari from a has-been team, helpless without founder Enzo Ferrari, into the powerhouse it is today.

Following much speculation as to FIA President Max Mosley’s impending retirement, rumors arose in 2004 to the effect that Todt would run for the office. Mosley commented that though Todt would make an excellent president, he was quite happy at Ferrari; however, it had long been assumed that when Michael Schumacher retired from F1, Todt would leave his job. In an apparent bid to maintain Todt’s loyalty, Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo promoted Todt to the head of the entire Ferrari operation, including street car production.

He remained as the Team Principal of the Scuderia F1 Team for one more season, and was replaced by Stefano Domenicali on 1 January 2008, however he still remained as CEO of Ferrari. On March 17, 2009, it was announced that Todt had resigned, leaving Ferrari completely.

The French government has made Todt a Chevalier of its Legion d’Honneur. He was further honoured with the Grand Officier rank of the honour in January 2007. Also, in July 2006, Todt was given the official Malaysian royal title of ‘Datuk’ by Sultan of Terengganu, which is the Malaysian equivalent of a British knighthood he is now widely addressed in Malaysian media as Datuk Seri Jean Todt.

[audio:http://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/mp3.f1weekly.com/podcasts/10-22-09f1weekly386.mp3]