All posts by f1weekly

Martin Whitmarsh takes over at McLaren

 

martin-whitmarshMartin Whitmarsh: born April 29, 1958 graduated from university with a degree in Mechanical Engineering in 1980, and started work at British Aerospace (now BAE Systems) as a structural analysis engineer at its Hamble-le-Rice facility. He was promoted to an advanced composite structures research and development role and transferred to BAe’s Weybridge facility. In 1988 he was promoted to the rank of Manufacturing Director and was put in charge of Hawk and Harrier airframe production. He left to join McLaren as Head of Operations in 1989.

In 1997, Whitmarsh was promoted to Managing Director, where he was responsible for managing the F1 operation and its partners and sponsors. This allowed Team Principal Ron Dennis to concentrate on other aspects of the McLaren Group. In April 2004, he was again promoted, this time to the position of CEO of the company’s F1 operation.

On 16 January 2009 McLaren announced that Martin Whitmarsh would become Team Principal on 1 March, replacing Ron Dennis.

Fisichella surprised by how well the VJM02 feels.

New Williams Formula two car a hit with everyone.

Prepare for some surprises for the season opener in Melbourne.

 

 

Force India F1 unveil the VJM02

 

fif1-fisi-sutil1force-india-091fif1-front1fif1-silverstone1

Force India F1 team show off their new VJM02.

Vettle dominates testing at Jerez

Bruno Senna or Rubens Barrichello at Brackley F1.

Renault F1 to lay off up to 50 employees.

Kyle Busch open to USF1 possibilities.

Today’s testing times:

Pos Driver Team Time Laps
1. Vettel Red Bull (B) 1:19.055 87
2. Massa Ferrari (B) 1:20.330 63
3. Kobayashi Toyota (B) 1:20.699 79
4. Rosberg Williams (B) 1:21.171 71
5. Kubica BMW Sauber (B) 1:21.292 47
6. Fisichella Force India (B) 1:21.584 31
7. de la Rosa McLaren (B) 1:21.831 94
8. Piquet Renault (B) 1:22.011 52

 

F1weekly podcast # 330

 

1968-belgian-gp-jackie-oliver-lotus-ford1

Honda F1 is now Brackley F1 for the moment.

Brackley F1 to begin testing 2009 hybrid and say contracts are signed!

Motorsports Mondial with Nasir Hameed.

This weeks special interview with Jackie Oliver.

People like Jackie Oliver make motor racing such a fascinating sport. He was born in Essex, England, on August 14th 1942. His racing career started in 1961 at the wheel of a Mini.

After driving for Lotus in Formula 1, he replaced Jim Clark as teammate to Graham Hill in 1968 after the Hockenheim tragedy. Oliver qualified on the front row of his home Grand Prix at Silverstone and was leading when the car broke down.

In 1969 driving the beautiful John Wyer’s Gulf GT40 he won the Le Mans 24 hour race and the Sebring 12 hours.

In 1971, he won the Daytona 24 hours in a Porsche shared with Pedro Rodriguez.

In 1974 Jackie Oliver won the Can Am championship driving for Don Nichols Shadow team. He would drive in Formula 1 for the same team and later became involved in management.

At the end of 1977, Oliver left Shadow and started his won Formula 1 team called Arrows. Some of his drivers included Riccardo Patrese, Gerhard Berger and Eddie Cheever. Team also had sponsors as varied as USF&G, Ragno Ceramiche and Warsteiner.

This conversation took place last month at his business, Arrows Self Storage Limited, in Bletchley, Milton Keynes, UK. My sincere thanks to Mister Oliver for his time and to Mister Brazier for making this possible.
 

Q & A with Adrien Tambay

 

adrien21

Sitting Pretty: Birthday boy Adrien Tambay – who turns 18 on February 25th – was born with racing in his blood. His father, Patrick, won Grand Prix races for Ferrari and was Can-Am Champion twice. In 2007, Adrien was Rookie of the Year in Formula BMW Germany and last year finished third in Formula BMW Europe with two wins. He also triumphed in the Formula BMW Americas event at Road America.

Adrien now resides in Switzerland and this year will compete in F3 Euro series with ART Racing. Interview below was conducted by Nasir Hameed.

Q1: What are your goals for your first season in F3 Euro series this year?

A: We all know F3 Euroseries is one of the most, if not the most competitive series outside F1 so it is very difficult to win in the first year of it…But like every driver I will go there and aim to win races. The rookie classification is also something which could be a goal for me, but I will start the season taking it race by race and trying to learn as much as possible! One thing is for sure: I want to have results which are on the same level as the Team’s excellence…

Q2: Why ART and what other teams did you test with before making a decision?

A: I tested with Mucke, and Signature before testing with ART…
ART was clearly the one that I have always wanted to race for, not only for the results they have already achieved but also for the atmosphere I could feel in the team, they work really hard to keep at the top and I will do so as well!

Q3: You raced against Esteban Gutierrez last year, he and Bottas are not only your fellow rookies but also teammates, plus there is Jules Bianchi in the team for the second year, who will be your main challenger in the series and for Rookie of the Year title?

A: To know that we will have to wait until the first qualifying in Hockenheim, all rookies are going to improve up to that point and making a prognostic now would be useless, I will concentrate on myself anyway and will try to work with my team mates as a team out off track to go ahead in my learning process as quickly as possible!

Q4: Physically and mentally what are the differences in preparing for F3 as compared to Formula BMW?

A: F3 is quite a different, much more grip, much faster, it’s also a lot more fun! It means also that it is more tough to drive than the BMW on the physical point of view, but I guess I am now in good shape for it, and I am still trying to improve my fitness as the time goes on…

Q5: In Formula BMW Europe last year you began the season by winning both races in the opening round in Barcelona, how frustrating was it that you did not score another win?

A: I actually scored another win later in the season in F.BMW Americas, but this was with another car which suited me quite well. I had been quite strong all over the championship in Europe but in the end it is up to luck not to have score any more win, for example in Monza, I have the feeling we could have ended the season as we started it as we were very fast, but luck was not on my side…Luck is part of racing and you have also to cope with bad luck, I am sure it will turn around again!

Q6: What were high and low points from last year?

A: I think all season was a high point, as we also gain from the mistakes we do…

Q7: How are you managing your education with racing career?

A: I have passed my Baccalaureat (last exam) last year and am now totally focused on training and racing!

Q8: Who is managing and guiding your career?

A: I am under Gravity’s management.

Q9: Your dad was very successful on this side of the pond, do you have any desire to race in IRL, especially the Indy 500, or are you totally focused in reaching Formula 1 at this stage of your career?

A: For sure I am totally focused on reaching F1 as this is for me a dream and the best series in motorsport. But I also like IRL, and even the Nascar, they are very challenging too.

Q10: Having a Grand Prix winning driver as a dad, is that a plus or adds more pressure to perform?

A: It’s a plus, but in my mind he will always be a father before being a very successfull F1 driver.

Q11: What is your favorite track in Europe, and your impression of Road America where you have raced in Formula BMW?

A: In Europe, it is probably MONZA, mostly for the atmosphere, it is amazing. I also like Spa of course and Barcelona and Hockenheim are two great tracks as well. Road America is a very very good track, I enjoyed it a lot in F.BMW so I can imagine what it can be in a more powerful car, it is certainly one of my favourite tracks as I won there.

Q12: What would you like fans of Adrien Tambay to know about you in terms of your taste in music, food and how you spend your time away from racing related activities?

A: I love all kind of music and my favourite food are the sushis as they are very healthy but also very tasty…Out of racing I love doing all kind of sports, including squash, tennis, cycling and ski skating…

The 2009 F3 Euro series will start on the weekend of May 17th. at Hockenheimring.

For more information on Adrien’s career please visit www.tambay27.com

Photo: Courtesy Gravity Management.
 

Neel Jani wins the feature at Kyalami.

 

neel-jani1A1GP Ace: Neel Jani, son of an Indian father and Swiss mother, took victory in Sunday’s feature race at Kyalami, near Johannesburg in South Africa. He now shares most wins – nine – in the World Cup of Motorsports with Germany’s Nico Hulkenberg. Team Switzerland now leads the championship.

Brazilian teenager Felipe Guimares was second with Clivio Piccione third. Young Canadian Daniel Morad was an impressive sixth driving for Team Lebanon, courtesy of his grandfather’s heritage. Marco Andretti, courtesy of his father’s patronage, was eighth for Team USA.

The sprint race was won by Dutch driver Jeroen Bleekemolen, his father, Michael, raced in Formula 1 briefly.

Neel Jani takes the victory in the A1GP feature race in South Africa.

Jeroen Bleekemolen took the Netherlands first win in the A1GP Sprint race.

Still no serious takers for Honda F1.

1. Neel Jani Switzerland 1h02:24.617
2. Felipe Guimaraes Brazil + 13.176
3. Clivio Piccione Monaco + 14.193
4. Jeroen Bleekemolen Netherlands + 17.024
5. Filipe Albuquerque Portugal + 17.995
6. Daniel Morad Lebanon + 31.210
7. Danny Watts Great Britain + 34.328
8. Marco Andretti USA + 59.000
9. Zahir Ali Indonesia + 1:03.995
10. Edoardo Piscopo Italy + 1:04.856
11. Michael Ammermuller Germany + 1:08.603
12. Narain Karthikeyan India + 1:09.150
13. John Martin Australia + 1:20.545
 

 

Honda deadline is February 23.

 

honda-f1Investors Wanted: Sun may soon be setting on Honda F1 Racing, bringing to an end an era which can be traced back to an English lumber merchant by the name of Ken Tyrrell. “Uncle” Ken entered Formula 1 as a constructor in the 1970 Canadian Grand Prix. Jackie Stewart put the car on pole and won the world championship in their first full season of racing in 1971. He repeated the feat in 1973. At the end of the 1997 season, Tyrrell sold his team to British American Racing, key players were Jacques Villeneuve and his then Manager Craig Pollock but the key element was the ash-load of funds provided by British American Tobacco.

The new operation promised much, including the famous Adrian Reynard motto “we win our very first race in every category we enter”, but delivered much in internal politics and little in results. At the end of 2005 Honda took over the team. The glory days of Formula 1 domination which they experienced as an engine supplier to McLaren never materialized. Jenson Button’s victory in the 2006 Hungarian Grand Prix was their only success.

With less than forty days and forty nights before the season opener in Melbourne, days are numbered and the operation is now in Virgin territory. High flying Sir Richard Branson is good friends with Adrian Reynard and now has the open support of Bernie Ecclestone. If a deal is not struck next week, the operation will get the axe from Honda bosses and Ross Brawn will head for the high seas again.

Honda F1 running out of time if It’s to secure Mercedes Benz engines.

Toyota testing the TF109 at Sakhir end with hydraulic problems.

Sebastien Loeb prepares for his 50th World Rally Championship Win.

A1GP drivers competing at Kyalami placed a white rose on the Hector Peterson Memorial in Soweto.