Category Archives: General

Motorsports Mondial

Simmering Sepang. The Hermann Tilke-designed track first appeared on the F1 calendar in 1999 with Michael Schumacher slipping a win to Eddie Irvine. The 2003 Malaysian Grand Prix saw first pole position for Fernando Alonso and first victory for Kimi Raikkonen.

“Good boy”. With “Nando” as teammate Massa walks a fine line at Ferrari. For the second race in a row he finished ahead of Alonso and now takes the lead in the world championship from his double title winning teammate.

Nutty situation. Michael Schumacher, Super Star of the new Silver Arrows team, climbs out of his car after a wheel nut came lose. The much hyped domination of his teammate has not happened yet but the pursuit, in typical Schumacher-style, is methodical and relentless.

Sitting pretty. Three races, two poles and, finally, a victory. There’s more to come from the Happy man of Heppenheim. Vettel has been a Red Bull backed driver before he was a teenager. He made his F1 debut at the Brickyard in the 2007 US Grand Prix with BMW-Sauber and scored points in his first race by finishing seventh.

The only racing championship he has won so far was the 2004 Formula BMW Germany, in which he took 18 victories from 20 races. The impressive drive in the rain at Monza in 2008 made him the youngest pole sitter and race winner in history.

Red Bull has given him wings and if they give him some reliability he may well clip the wings of Lewis Hamilton as the youngest world champion.

— Nasir Hameed

Das regards from Kalifornia.

F1weekly podcast # 418

Malaysian Grand Prix

Shining Star of Red Bull. After two frustrating winless races from pole position, Sebastian Vettel started Sunday’s round three in Malaysia from the outside of front row, and said “Wiedersehn” to pole sitter and teammate Mark Webber at the first corner. And that was all she, “Luscious Liz” wrote.


Podium for Petronas. Shaded by the return of F1’s most successful driver ever, Nico Rosberg kept a low profile before the season began. Keke’s kid is now coming to his own and on Sunday delivered the first podium finish to the new Mercedes Grand Prix team. The “Silver Arrows” are shooting for the top.

Green, green grass of home. The British-green Lotus is Malaysian owned. Local driver Fairuz Fauzy got the opportunity to drive the Mike Gascoyne designed machine on Friday in front of home crowd.

— Nasir Hameed

Das regards from Kalifornia.

Quali

Wet Wonder Webber

Three for three. The charge of the Red Bull continues in Kuala Lumpur in qualifying for round three of the 2010 World Championship, the Petronas Malaysian Grand Prix.

Heavy downpour was already falling by the time Robert Kubica led nine other drivers to start Q3. The session was red flagged before the end of the first timed lap, and Race Control announced “Indefinite delay”.

Michael Schumacher asked his Mercedes team for a seat change and Vettel was left wondering why his Red Bull was cold inside the cockpit despite a hot driver at the wheel.


When the spray had settled Webber’s gamble on intermediates paid off as he secured his second career pole position, a stunning 1.3 seconds faster than Nico Rosberg, who will start alongside on the front row in his Mercedes. More importantly, this is the third straight race in which he has out qualified his renowned “Rain Meister” teammate, Michael Schumacher.

The seven times world champion will start eighth alongside a very familiar face, Rubens Barrichello in his Williams.

Sebastian Vettel, the moral winner of the first two races, qualified third, same as last year at Sepang. His German compatriot Adrian Sutil will start fourth for Force India.

Starting fifth and making it four Germans in the top six of the grid, and in only his third F1 start is the next Willi Weber wunderkind, Nico Hulkenberg for Williams.

Robert Kubica, who was on the podium a week ago in Australia, will start sixth.

The top ten was completed by Kamui Kobayashi in a Sauber and the second Force India car of Vitantonio Liuzzi.

Could have been contenders. Three world champions, Button, Alonso and Hamilton, plus Massa, paid the price for staying in the pits for the first eight minutes of Q1. Their hopes for conditions to improve were drowned as the downpour intensified.

Button, winner of last year’s rain shortened Malaysian Grand Prix, will start 17th in his McLaren, behind the Virgin of Timo Glock.

Ferrari’s new signing Fernando Alonso, championship leader and winner of season opener in Bahrain, will start 19th, behind the Lotus of Jarno Trulli.

The second McLaren of Hamilton will start 20th ahead of the second Ferrari of Massa.

— Nasir Hameed

Showers in Sepang regards.

Motorsports Mondial

Rossi Performs at Paul Ricard

Photo: Drew Gibson/GP3 Media Service

Game on for the new GP3 Championship

Circuit Paul Ricard, located in the south of France and kissed by the Mistral Mediterranean winds, was fully embraced by the young Californian. The 18-year old served notice of his intent and talent in the first pre-season testing past week, setting the fastest overall time and heading the time charts in three of the four sessions.

Two days of testing took place on the 3D section of the track. This is 3.853 Km of the circuit which uses the final section of the famous Mistral straight going into the Signes corner.

The Nevada City native, who is now headed back to Bahrain for the GP2 Asia season finale next weekend, was kind enough to take some time and answer our questions.

Q: Was the track configuration same for both days.
A: “Yes, and it was the same layout that we used in GP2.”

Q: Please compare the GP3 car to GP2 machine
A: “In terms of driving style, there is very little difference. In terms of pace, there is quite a large step between GP3 and GP2.

“The good thing is that it seems as though the Pirelli tire is going to react very similar to the Bridgestone which will prove crucial in preparing drivers for the step into GP2.”

Q: Was adjusting to turbo power challenging?
A: “Not at all. Renault and Oracle have done a fantastic job to ensure that the boost doesn’t engage as soon as you apply power in the middle of the corner.”

Q: Are you surprised you were fastest in 3 of the 4 sessions? A: “No, I was quite quick and comfortable here in the GP2 car so I assumed that things would go very well for this test, especially since I was driving for a team of such high caliber.

Photo: Drew Gibson/GP3 Media Service

Q: What is you overall impression of the test session and the depth of competition?
A: “I think that the test went very well for not only me and the team, but for the series as well. The debut of the car was fantastic and I was really impressed with the amount of reliability and technical support over the two days.

“As for the competition – it was quite high and, as expected, most of it came from my teammate, Esteban.

“ART Grand Prix led every session and I knew that the benchmark from the session was always going to come from the car right next to me. With that said, Carlin put in some good results as well so it will be interesting to see what develops over the next two test sessions.”

F1weekly.com would like to congratulate Alexander and

“Team Rossi” on his fine performance in GP3 pre-season testing. All the best this weekend in Bahrain.

For more information on Alexander Rossi, no doubt America’s next and best hope in Formula 1, we invite you to visit his website www.alexanderrossi.com

For complete testing results please visit the recently launched GP3 websit www.gp3series.com

— Nasir Hameed

Racing regards from California

Copyright: Drew Gibson/GP3 Media Service

Motorsports Mondial

Today, Saturday, the team has unveiled the Mondrian-inspired livery for its

908 HDi FAP, which will be driven in 2010 by Panis, Lapierre and Duval.


On the day before the Le Mans Series Official Test, the team ORECA-Matmut has unveiled its Peugeot 908
HDi FAP’s livery on the Paul Ricard HTTT circuit at Le Castellet. The team has retained its own visual identity
in the spirit of the Dutch painter, Piet Mondrian, a pioneer in the field of abstract art.
While the overall concept is in keeping with the visual identity, Hugues de Chaunac’s men wanted to innovate
by modernising it, and came up with a graphic evolution based around the chrome roof for this livery, which
provides an interpretation of Mondrian’s work worthy of the 21st century.
In 2010, the Team ORECA-Matmut can count on its faithful partners – Matmut, Araldite, DOC and Plus – as
well as its official suppliers, all of whom have been present since the launch of the Le Mans Endurance
Challenge. In addition, the team has received new backers for a season full of challenges:
– In pride of place TOTAL, Peugeot’s title sponsor, which has associated itself with our challenge,
– And also the Nike Company which, through its Nike Race Programme, will accompany the Team ORECAMatmut
on the run-up to the Le Mans 24 Hours.
The Peugeot 908 HDi FAP will run in its new colours for the first time tomorrow at 09h30 when Olivier Panis,
Nicolas Lapierre and Loïc Duval, making his debut at the wheel of the team’s new car, will relay one another
for two days’ testing.
6th march 2010

Motorsports Mondial

Birth of a new series in Barcelona: The baby GP2 series, hatched by the usual suspects, B’s of the motor racing world, Bernie, Briatore and Bruno, as in Michel, will make its competition debut as support race to the Spanish Formula 1 Grand Prix in May at Montmelo.

The car, like its bigger GP2 sibling, is built by Parma-based Italian manufacturer, Dallara. Power is supplied by a turbo-charged 280hp Renault engine. The French manufacturer also powers the GP2 field.

Hewland of England supplies the six-speed sequential gearbox.

Pirelli is the surprise choice for tires while another Italian outfit, Brembo, puts the brakes on. Absence of Hitco and Carbon Industries confirm Peter Windsor was not involved in decision making, but then again, he has been very busy on his run away project………..

The budget for the series was reported to be around $800 plus, that’s “cost-effective” in racing parlance. However, the world wide financial slippery slope has forced some teams to offer seats at much discounted rates.

Ten teams were awarded entry into the new series, with each team operating three cars per event. Bruno Michel, the series organizer, “The entry selection process has been thought off very carefully and we have only selected teams that proved to be most successful in their categories.”

ART Grand Prix team, famous for winning championships in GP2 and F3 Euro Series, is the pre-season favorite to provide the championship winning driver. Roster of the Frederic Vasseur and Nicolas Todt led team, include American Alexander Rossi and Monterrey, Mexico’s Esteban Gutierrez. The duo dueled in their rookie season of Formula BMW USA in 2007. Both had impressive wins and finished one-two in the rookie standings, Esteban edging the Nevada City Californian for the rookie championship title.

Red Bull F1 driver Mark Webber has teamed up with team manager, Christian Horner, in establishing MW Arden team. Their star driver is Denmark’s Michael Christensen, a karting champion who successfully raced in Formula BMW Europe past two seasons.

Spanish karting champion Miki Monras is Mark’s first driver, and finished in the top five in the 2009 Formula Renault Euro Cup.

At Status Racing, Ireland’s Gary Anderson, who designed Eddie Jordan’s first F1 car, is the Technical Consultant and Canadian Teddy Yip is one of the team owners. His father ran the Theodore Racing team in Formula 1.

The team is reported to be in discussion with a couple of North American drivers, named should be revealed when the testing begins on March 4 at Paul Ricard.

Second pre-season test will also take place at Paul Ricard at the end of this month. Final pre-season test will commence on April 13 at Circuit de Catalunya, venue of the first race in May.

The eight round series will be staged in conjunction with F1 events except for the Portuguese event in June at the Portimao circuit in Algarve.

The Contenders.

American Express. Alexander Rossi. The California kid made worldwide headlines at the end of 2008 when he became the first American to win the prestigious Formula BMW World Finals in Mexico City. This was followed by three victories and rookie of the year honors in the 2009 Formula Master International. Currently competing in GP2 Asia series, Rossi is regarded by racing insiders, “those who know” as the real deal and America’s next best hope in Formula 1.

Mexican Machismo. Esteban Gutierrez. Monster mash from Monterrey is already under the wings of Peter Sauber, the man who brought little Kimi to F1. Immensely talented and considered by ex-team owner Josef Kaufmann as quick as Hulkenberg, Gutierrez won the 2008 Formula BMW Europe championship with seven victories, six of those in a row. A season in cut throat world of F3 Euro Series has prepared him well for GP3 this year. Currently resides in Paris.

Toronto Pronto. Robert Wickens. Now out of Red Bull steam the talented Canadian is a winner in every series he competes in. Formula BMW, Atlantic, A1GP and F2, Wickens was wicked quick from the beginning in each series. He won both the opening races of the re-launched Formula 2 championship last year. Mechanical problems cost him the title and the Red Bull support. He is now charging ahead to find funding for a seat. In GP3 he just may spray Canadian Mist on the competition.

— Nasir Hameed

Racing regards from California.