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F1Weekly Podcast # 376


brawn virgin

Brawn GP take the Italian GP by storm with a one two finish for Rubens and Button.

Giancarlo Fisichella finished his first grand prix as a Ferrari driver in ninth.

Raikkonen fended off a Force India to the flag, although this time it was for third.

Steve and Nasir with podcast 376 for Italian GP highlights.


Pos Driver Team Time
1. Barrichello Brawn-Mercedes (B) 1h16:21.706
2. Button Brawn-Mercedes (B) + 2.866
3. Raikkonen Ferrari (B) + 30.664
4. Sutil Force India-Mercedes (B) + 31.131
5. Alonso Renault (B) + 59.182
6. Kovalainen McLaren-Mercedes (B) + 1:00.693
7. Heidfeld BMW Sauber (B) + 1:22.412
8. Vettel Red Bull-Renault (B) + 1:25.427
9. Fisichella Ferrari (B) + 1:26.856
10. Nakajima Williams-Toyota (B) + 2:00.000
11. Glock Toyota (B) + 2:43.925
12. Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes (B) + 1 lap
13. Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari (B) + 1 lap
14. Trulli Toyota (B) + 1 lap
15. Grosjean Renault (B) + 1 lap
16. Rosberg Williams-Toyota (B) + 2 laps

Fastest lap: Sutil, 1:24.739



F1weekly podcast # 375



Roman High Days. Fisichella, Ferrari & Tifosis at Monza

By Nasir Hameed

Dr. Vijay Mallya of Force India, despite all denials and rebuttal of his Commercial Director’s statement, performs the marriage made in heaven which will see his pole winning pilot from Spa to ride for the prancing horse.

The liquor baron said in a statement, "For any Italian driver, a Ferrari race seat is a long-held dream and for Giancarlo it was no exception. No one should stand in the way of this. Furthermore the agreement will secure Giancarlo’s long-term future with Ferrari and it would be incorrect to jeopardize this, particularly when Giancarlo has made such a vital contribution to Force India."

This once in a lifetime opportunity was made possible after the legendary
Italian team decided, after two very lackluster drives by Luca “Look, how bad you are,” Badoer that enough is enough. Last thing the other Luca, as in Ferrari Chairman di Montezemolo, wanted to see in Parco Monza was a Ferrari strolling in last place.

Giancarlo Fisichella, who was reported to be out of a drive next season, suddenly found motivation and speed at Spa to capture his team’s first pole position. An even more determined performance in the race saw him shadow Kimi Raikkonen all race long. Fisichella felt the curse of KERS as Raikkonen used the extra horse power to keep the force of Fisichella in a Force India behind him to score his first win since Spain last year. It has been a long siesta for the Ice Man.

"I’m in seventh heaven," rejoiced the Roman racer. "I still can’t believe it – that the dream of my life comes true. Over the last week some really incredible things happened to me: the pole position and then second place at Spa and now I’m called by Ferrari to race the last five races of the season for them.

“This is the best thing that can happen to an Italian driver, to drive a red car in front of our fans,” said Fisichella who last won a race three years ago in Malaysia as a Renault driver. His other two victories were scored in Australia in 2006 and Brazil in 2003.

Three Grand Prix wins in 226 starts do not get you a seat in Maranello. But, as they say racing, “sometimes it is better to be lucky than good.”

As luck would have it next round is the final race of the European leg of the Formula 1 season, of all the places at the mythical Monza Autodromo. Coming only two weeks after Ferrari’s first victory of the season, and Fisichella’s pole and spirited second place finish. Tifosis are sure to be more than their usual passionate to see one of their own in one of the beloved red cars.

Bio on Fisico

Giancarlo Fisichella was born in Rome on January 14, 1973. He was a major force in the world of karting. He was runner-up in the European Championship in 1989 & ’91.
He also placed second in the 1990 Karting World Championship.

In 1994, Fisichella dominated the Italian F3 Championship winning half of the 20 races, and also reached the top of the podium in the prestigious Monaco F3 race.

He graduated to Formula 1 in 1995 as a test driver for Minardi, and also raced for Alfa-Romeo in the International/German touring car series. He made his Grand Prix debut in the 1996 Australian season opener and raced in further seven Formula 1 races, while continuing his duties for Alfa-Romeo in tin tops.

Fisichella joined Jordan for 1997 and two podium finishes; third in Canada and second in Belgium. He finished a respectable 8th. in the championship with 20 points. Managed then by Benetton team boss Flavio Briatorre, a legal battle between him and Eddie Jordan saw Fisichella leave the flamboyant Irishman’s team and spend the next four seasons at Benetton. Highlight of this association was his first pole position in 1998 and 6th. place in the 2000 Championship.

Back to Jordan in 2002 for two seasons. This was rewarded by his maiden victory in the rain shortened and chaotic 2003 Brazilian Grand Prix, though “Fisi” had to wait till the next round in Imola, the San Marino Grand Prix, to receive the race winning trophy from Kimi Raikkonen who had been awarded the victory at the finish.

After a solitary season at Sauber in 2004 Fisichella returned for two seasons at Renault and the wonderful company of Signor Briatorre. This was the first, and so far the only, time Fisichella was outpaced by a teammate.

A young Spanish upstart, Fernando Alonso, would seal “Fisi’s” fate with Flavio by dethroning seven-time world champion Michael Schumacher to become F1’s youngest world champion in 2005 and successfully retain the title the following season.
Fisichella would capture a win in Australia in 2005 and Malaysia in 2006. A frustrating and winless season in 2007 would see his arrival at Force India in 2008.
The Royal Park in Monza will see him turn a new leaf in his career, albeit at the tail end of his Formula 1 career. The fruit and taste of victory at the Autodromo in a Ferrari will be sweet for the rest of his life.
Fisichella is married to Luna, they have two kids, Carlotta and Christopher.


Podcast number 375 in post production.

Adrian Sutil goes to the top of the time sheets in Final practice.

The Renault team and its boss Flavio Briatore have begun criminal proceedings against Nelson Piquet Junior and Senior.

Di Montezemolo, Fernando Alonso will drive for Ferrari one day.

Michael Schumacher has signed a three-year contract extension with Ferrari.

Briatore reportedly in Paris meeting with Renault board and CEO Carlos Ghosn.

Pos Driver Team Time Laps
1. Sutil Force India-Mercedes (B) 1:23.336 21
2. Button Brawn-Mercedes (B) 1:23.404 + 0.068 21
3. Heidfeld BMW-Sauber (B) 1:23.490 + 0.154 18
4. Barrichello Brawn-Mercedes (B) 1:23.575 + 0.239 20
5. Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes (B) 1:23.633 + 0.297 18
6. Kovalainen McLaren-Mercedes (B) 1:23.803 + 0.467 20
7. Liuzzi Force India-Mercedes (B) 1:23.849 + 0.513 21
8. Alonso Renault (B) 1:23.915 + 0.579 17
9. Glock Toyota (B) 1:23.959 + 0.623 21
10. Kubica BMW-Sauber (B) 1:23.996 + 0.660 18
11. Grosjean Renault (B) 1:24.197 + 0.861 15
12. Raikkonen Ferrari (B) 1:24.302 + 0.966 20
13. Trulli Toyota (B) 1:24.326 + 0.990 17
14. Nakajima Williams-Toyota (B) 1:24.392 + 1.056 20
15. Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari (B) 1:24.572 + 1.236 23
16. Rosberg Williams-Toyota (B) 1:24.621 + 1.285 21
17. Webber Red Bull-Renault (B) 1:25.154 + 1.818 13
18. Vettel Red Bull-Renault (B) 1:25.244 + 1.908 16
19. Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari (B) 1:25.791 + 2.455 10
20. Fisichella Ferrari (B) 1:25.951 + 2.615 10



F1weekly podcast # 374


Fisico to Ferrari

Giancarlo Fisichella will be the second Ferrari driver from the Italian Grand Prix.

‘This crash was not right, it happened because you wanted it to’. Massa to Flavio.

Renault could face serious charges with the risk of expulsion from Formula One.

F1weekly podcast number 374 now online.

Go around the Globe with Motorsports Mondial and Nasir Hameed.


Flavio Briatore was born in Verzuolo near Cuneo, Italy, in the Maritime Alps, to a family of elementary school teachers. He received a diploma in Land Surveying at Fassino di Busca’s high school with the lowest grades. Briatore found early work as a ski instructor and restaurant manager. He opened a restaurant named Tribüla, which was Briatore’s nickname. The restaurant eventually closed.

In the 1970s, he moved to Cuneo and became an assistant to businessman Attilio Dutto, owner of the Paramatti Vernici (formerly owned by Michele Sindona). Dutto was killed on March 21, 1979 in a car bomb attack by an unknown perpetrator.From then on, Briatore started his unorthodox business career.

Briatore next moved to Milan and worked in the Italian stock exchange. During this period, he met Luciano Benetton, founder of the Benetton clothing company. The two became friends and eventually business partners. When Benetton opened his first five stores in the United States in 1979, he appointed Briatore as director of the group’s American operations.

Due to Benetton’s unorthodox methods of franchising, the chain experienced a brief boom in popularity in the US. By 1989, there were eight hundred stores in the United States. Briatore, having taken a cut of each franchising agreement, became very wealthy.

Benetton was also known for its divisive and attention-grabbing advertisements. Briatore explained how they raised the company’s profile: "We decided to do something very controversial that people would pick up on — 50% of people thought it was great and 50% thought it was awful, but in the meantime everyone was talking about Benetton.

As store owners began to complain of competition from other Benetton stores, the number of stores decreased to two hundred and Briatore began to look for a new business.

Benetton Formula

Briatore attended his first Formula One race, the Australian Grand Prix, in 1988, having in the past proclaimed his lack of interest in the sport. Luciano Benetton appointed him commercial director of his Formula One team, Benetton Formula Ltd. (formerly Toleman), and when he fired the team management shortly thereafter, Briatore was promoted to managing director and set about turning Benetton into a competitive team.

He hired and quickly fired engineer John Barnard. Barnard’s successor was Tom Walkinshaw, whose greatest achievement with the team was to lure young driver Michael Schumacher from the Jordan team after his first F1 race in 1991. Briatore, too, contributed to this achievement. The Times observed that Briatore knew Schumacher could be the best and built a team around him at Benetton that eventually beat the Williams driver Damon Hill to the World Championship after Ayrton Senna was killed at the 1994 San Marino Grand Prix.

Schumacher went on to win at Spa in 1992 and again at Estoril in 1993 before claiming the World Drivers’ Championship in 1994 and 1995. The Benetton team won the World Constructors’ Championship in 1995.

Late in 1994, Briatore purchased the ailing Ligier team to acquire its stock of Renault engines. FIA regulations, however, did not permit him to own the team, so he sold it to Walkinshaw. He took on complete management of Benetton, but when Schumacher and a number of key technical staffers departed for Ferrari in 1996, the team slipped to the middle of the grid.

Briatore purchased a share of the Minardi team in 1996, but being unable to sell it to British American Tobacco, as he had hoped, he sold out to fellow owners Giancarlo Minardi and Gabriele Rumi. Benetton fired him in 1997 in favour of David Richards.

From 1998 to 2000, he led Renault’s motorsport sister company Mecachrome, which provided older 1997 Renault engines to the Williams (1998-1999), Benetton (1998-2000), BAR (1999) and Arrows (2000) teams under the brand names Mecachrome (1998), Supertec (1999-2000) and Playlife (for Benetton 1998-2000).

Renault F1

In 2000, Renault announced its plans to return to Formula One with the purchase of the Benetton Formula team. Briatore returned as managing director and team principal, replacing Rocco Benetton. The team raced as Benetton-Renault in 2001 before becoming Renault F1 in 2002.

Briatore has a reputation as a talent-scout, and probably his greatest ‘find’ has been Fernando Alonso. Briatore met with the teenage Spaniard in 1999. As his manager, Briatore secured him a race drive with Minardi in 2001, and promoted him to test-driver for Renault in 2002.

For 2003, Briatore fired race-driver Jenson Button and replaced him with Alonso. When he replaced Button the outcry was huge, but Briatore stated, ‘Time will tell if I am wrong.’

Renault won both championships in 2005, with Alonso winning the drivers’ title, but he turned his back on Briatore to sign for rivals McLaren for 2007. Despite this, Renault and Alonso retained their titles in 2006.

Briatore also acts as manager for Mark Webber and Heikki Kovalainen, and formerly managed Jarno Trulli and Nelson Piquet, Jr. Despite winning the 2004 Monaco Grand Prix, Trulli was dropped from Renault by Briatore and replaced by Giancarlo Fisichella.

In April 2006, Renault F1’s new president Alain Dassas stated that having a contract with Briatore for 2007 was ‘a key factor’ in securing the company’s commitment to the sport; ‘and we will do everything to ensure Flavio stays… Briatore was duly confirmed as staying at Renault for the 2007 and 2008 seasons on 6 September 2006.

Briatore replaced Alonso with Kovalainen for 2007, saying: "With Kovalainen, I hope to find the anti-Alonso".

Allegations were made during November 2007 by the FIA against the Renault F1 team regarding information they were found to have in their possession concerning the 2006 and 2007 McLaren F1 cars. These allegations were the subject of an FIA investigation, with an FIA hearing taking place 6 December 2007. Renault were found guilty of breaching the same regulation as McLaren, but were not punished. Despite this guilty verdict, Briatore hit back at McLaren’s Ron Dennis, saying: "Here is a team that acquired an advantage illegally. Just read the regulations: for intellectual property theft the punishment is exclusion… Ron Dennis… was the one who protested us on the mass damper. He is not the immaculate saint he pretends to be on his statements.

In August 2009, Briatore was heavily criticised by Nelson Piquet, Jr. after he was sacked from the Renault team. Writing on his own site, Piquet said "A manager is supposed to encourage you, support you, and provide you with opportunities. In my case it was the opposite. Flavio Briatore was my executioner.

In an interview with Autosport magazine, Piquet Jr. said that Briatore "is ignorant about Formula 1” and revealed that “If you listen to the pit-wall radio, it’s like a joke. He hasn’t got a clue what is happening in the race… he makes comments that don’t make any sense.”

The son of the three times F1 champion Nelson Piquet affirmed "everyone knows that his ego is bigger than anything else. He likes to show off. You can be a very good businessman and whatever, but the F1 team itself can do very well without him. The only good thing the team takes out of him is his good relationship with Bernie and the FIA. Other than that, he doesn’t know what is going on. It’s like listening to something my sister would say about the car.

On August 30, 2009, during the Belgian Grand Prix, Brazilian journalist Reginaldo Leme stated in the live television coverage from Globo TV that Nelson Piquet, Jr. had intentionally spun off during the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix, following Briatore’s orders. This accusation is still unconfirmed, but, according to Leme, FIA has hired a private firm to investigate the matter.



F1weekly podcast # 371


Rubens helmet for Felipe

Podcast number 371, Clark and Steve on Valencia is live.

Rubens Barrichello takes his tenth Grand Prix victory at Valencia.

Lewis Hamilton seems to have lost this race in a controversial pit stop.

Second DNF for Sebastian Vettle sees his World Championship hopes fadding.

Talk of Toyota walking away from Formula 1 continue in the paddock.

Marc Gene says he is available if Ferrari wants to replace struggling Badoer.


Pos Driver Team Time
1. Barrichello Brawn-Mercedes (B) 1h35:51.289
2. Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes (B) + 2.358
3. Raikkonen Ferrari (B) + 15.994
4. Kovalainen McLaren-Mercedes (B) + 20.032
5. Rosberg Williams-Toyota (B) + 20.870
6. Alonso Renault (B) + 27.744
7. Button Brawn-Mercedes (B) + 34.913
8. Kubica BMW Sauber (B) + 36.667
9. Webber Red Bull-Renault (B) + 44.910
10. Sutil Force India-Mercedes (B) + 47.935
11. Heidfeld BMW Sauber (B) + 48.822
12. Fisichella Force India-Mercedes (B) + 1:03.614
13. Trulli Toyota (B) + 1:04.527
14. Glock Toyota (B) + 1:26.519
15. Grosjean Renault (B) + 1:31.774
16. Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari (B) + 1 lap
17. Badoer Ferrari (B) + 1 lap
18. Nakajima Williams-Toyota (B) + 3 laps

Fastest lap: Glock, 1:38.683

Not classified/retirements:

Driver Team On lap
Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari (B) 42
Vettel Red Bull-Renault (B) 24

World Championship standings, round 11:

Drivers: Constructors:
1. Button 72 1. Brawn-Mercedes 126
2. Barrichello 54 2. Red Bull-Renault 98.5
3. Webber 51.5 3. Ferrari 46
4. Vettel 47 4. McLaren-Mercedes 41
5. Rosberg 29.5 5. Toyota 38.5
6. Hamilton 27 6. Williams-Toyota 29.5
7. Raikkonen 24 7. Renault 16
8. Trulli 22.5 8. BMW Sauber 9
9. Massa 22 9. Toro Rosso-Ferrari 5
10. Glock 16
11. Alonso 16
12. Kovalainen 14
13. Heidfeld 6
14. Buemi 3
15. Kubica 3
16. Bourdais 2


F1weekly podcast # 368



Podcast number 368 is ready for your enjoyment.

Nelsinho Piquet Jr. continues his barrage on Flavio Briatore.

Start time for the 2010 Malaysian Grand Prix moved forward an hour to 4pm.

Motorsports Mondial with Nasir Hameed and…

Special repeat interview with Romain Grosjean.

This weekends special interview podcast 369 features SpeedTV’  Bob Varsha.

Birthdate: April 21, 1951
Birthplace: Northport, N.Y.
Residence: Atlanta
Spouse: Karen (three children)


Varsity letter winner in cross country and track at Dartmouth College, continued athletic career after graduating with a bachelor of arts degree in foreign language in 1973 as a two-time Olympic Trials marathon finalist while attending Emory University Law School … once a practicing attorney in Atlanta, Varsha accepted an invitation from Turner Broadcasting to cover a popular footrace in his home town in 1980 … performance led to an offer of a part-time job from TBS and a new career … moved to ESPN in 1986 to cover motor sports, including Formula One, CART, sports cars, drag racing and motorcycles … covered variety of sporting events, including World Alpine Championships, Indianapolis 500 Time Trials, U.S. Olympic Trials, New York Marathon and the Boston Marathon … moved to Speedvision in 1999, where he hosted Speedvision News Raceweek and Speedvision coverage of Formula One, the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the 12 Hours of Sebring.

F1weekly podcast # 367



FIA has re-opened selection process for final place on the 2010 Formula 1 Grid.

Schumacher will impress his fans in Valencia…Weber.

Felipe Massa can now continue his recovery at home in Sao Paulo.

Bernie Ecclestone expects Michael Schumacher to finish on the podium.

Peter Sauber has blamed BMW for his failure to take over the team.

Podcast number 367 featuring

Motorsports Mondial with Nasir Hameed and…

Special repeat interview with Dr. Mario Theissen.

You can now watch… yes I said watch the first part of the latest podcast, just click on the link below.

F1Weekly Podcast 367 part 1