Category Archives: Motorsport Mondial

Motorsports Mondial

Photo: Reuters

Korean Grand Prix is go-go-go

Good news for Formula 1 fans. Charlie Whiting has given the green light to the latest E-era expansion of the Grand Prix circus. The inaugural Korean Grand Prix is no longer in deep kimchi and Hermann Tilke-designed circuit is not kaput.

The race is scheduled for October 24th and the final inspection took place only after the Japanese Grand Prix.

Thousands of miles away, in his home town of Clermont-Ferrand, “Bibendum” is scratching his head, wondering what happened to the 90-day rule of final inspection prior to an F1 race. That was embedded in his “sixth-sense” at the 2005 United States Grand Prix, when his employer was given the “Max” treatment on official policies and procedures, rules and regulations.

All this was served from a plush Monaco apartment while enjoying the delight of Darjeeling’s finest.

We move on to further Seoul searching. Better yet, hop in a Hyundai
Scoupe and drive four hours to the track in Yeongam.

You will not be disappointed.

Chung-Yung-cho, Dear Leader of Korea Auto Valley Operation, organizers of the race, was quoted by Eurosport saying, “The Korea International Circuit has been constructed to the highest standards, and will become the epicenter of motorsport in the country.”

The final three races will take place in three very different environments and settings. From Seoul to Sao Paulo, and then to the season finale in Abu Dhabi.

Will Mark Webber become the first Australian since Alan Jones in 1980 to become world champion? Or will teammate Sebastian Vettel be crowned as the youngest world champion?

“Nando” knows it’s not over till the final race.

Vodaphone McLaren drivers are still on the line with an outside chance.

Will it be Jenson Button retaining or Lewis Hamilton regaining his crown?.

As the sun sets on the Arabian Desert and Yas Marina on the evening of November 14 we will find out.

Bring on the Rose water.

— Nasir Hameed

F1weekly podcast # 463

Motorsports Mondial

Photo: AP

Straight to the Top: Red Bull stampede returned to Suzuka as Sebastian Vettel led teammate Mark Webber to a dominant win from his eighth pole position of the season. Webber recorded the fastest lap of the race on the final tour of the John Hugenholtz-designed and Honda-owned circuit.

Fernando Alonso, winner of the last two races, kept his championship hopes alive by finishing third, both he and race winner Vettel are now in joint-second place behind Webber.

With only three races remaining including the yet-to-be confirmed inaugural South Korean Grand Prix this month, McLaren drivers may now be on the outside looking in.

Jenson Button placed fourth after passing teammate Lewis Hamilton who battled gearbox gremlins in the closing stages of the race.

Michael Schumacher, who had seen much better days here with eight pole positions and six victories, finished sixth.

Photo: Reuters

Red scare: Felipe Massa, Ferrari’s 2008 World Champion for 15-seconds, looks done-and-dusted this season after the arrival of Fernando Alonso. While the Spaniard has won four races so far this season, including season opener in Bahrain and Monza, the Sao Paulo native is still looking for his first win since his epic and emotional drive at home to decide the 2008 championship.

Photo: Reuters

Rising son: Drive and banzai moves of the race belonged to local lad Kamui Kobayashi. The Sauber driver drove his heart out, much like the two races he did with Toyota, and barged his way to seventh place finish, just ahead of experienced teammate Nick Heidfeld.

Photo: Reuters

Muy macho hombre de Mallorca: 23-year old Spaniard is feeling like, in his own words, “King of the world,” after clinching the 2010 Moto GP title on Sunday at Sepang. Lorezno’s third place finish, plus seven victories and 13 podium finishes from 15 races so far this season, makes the Mallorca native Spain’s first MotoGP champion since Alex Criville in 1999.

The Malaysian round was won by outgoing champion and Yamaha teammate, Valentino Rossi. Victory was the first for the Italian “Dottore” since his season opening success in Qatar. Rossi has now scored an incredible 46 wins just with Yamaha. Next season he goes home to Ducati.


Comrade in arms: Mikhail Aleshin of Russia is the 2010 World Series by Renault Champion. Daniel Ricciardo of Australia looked set to become the series first rookie champion since Robert Kubica in 2005 after winning race one on Saturday in Barcelona.

Ricciardo and Aleshin started Sunday’s season finale on equal points. The Australian led the Russian most of the race in wet conditions, but let the title slip away when Aleshin passed him with only two laps remaining.

Aleshin went on to the podium in third place behind recently crowned British F3 Champion, Jean-Eric Vergne of France, and race winner Esteban Guerrieri of Argentina.


Songs without words: Introducing Miss Vivian Sibold, the girlfriend of Nico Rosberg.

–Nasir Hameed

Sushi regards from Suzuka.



Sebastian Vettel takes victory in Japan from pole.

Mark Webber still leads the Championship with P2

Fernando Alonso unchallenged finishes third.

Button and Hamilton settle for fourth and fifth place.

Sebastian VETTEL: Yeah, incredible day this morning with qualifying and with the pole position and this afternoon we just continued. So fantastic. It was down to the team. They have been working very hard, most of the guys they didn’t sleep the Thursday until the Saturday, so it was good there was no qualifying as they didn’t have to touch the car and got some sleep. I think they deserve it today. Obviously this track is like it is drawn for us. With all the high speed corners it is always a pleasure and with the car getting lighter and lighter in the end it is just more and more fun. Yeah, incredible. Good start which was the key, from the clean side, and I could see Robert (Kubica) got a bit of momentum but the way down to turn one was too short for him. Then with the safety car which stayed out quite long with the incident with Kubica but then after that both of us were able to pull away from the field and then just controlling the pace until the end. There was a little bit of a rest behind Jenson (Button) as we couldn’t really go through him, so we had to wait until he pits. But after that, just incredible. So really, really happy and it is about time.

The Japanese Grand Prix
Suzuka, Japan;
53 laps; 307.573km;
Weather: Sunny.


Pos  Driver        Team                       Time
 1.  Vettel        Red Bull-Renault           1h30:27.323
 2.  Webber        Red Bull-Renault           +     0.905
 3.  Alonso        Ferrari                    +     2.721
 4.  Button        McLaren-Mercedes           +    13.522
 5.  Hamilton      McLaren-Mercedes           +    39.595
 6.  Schumacher    Mercedes                   +    59.933
 7.  Kobayashi     Sauber-Ferrari             +  1:04:038
 8.  Heidfeld      Sauber-Ferrari             +  1:09.648
 9.  Barrichello   Williams-Cosworth          +  1:10.846
10.  Buemi         Toro Rosso-Ferrari         +  1:12.806
11.  Alguersuari   Toro Rosso-Ferrari         +     1 lap
12.  Kovalainen    Lotus-Cosworth             +     1 lap
13.  Trulli        Lotus-Cosworth             +    2 laps
14.  Glock         Virgin-Cosworth            +    2 laps
15.  Senna         HRT-Cosworth               +    2 laps
16.  Yamamoto                                 +    3 laps
17.  Rosberg       Mercedes                   +    5 laps

Fastest lap: Webber, 1:33.474

F1weekly podcast # 462

Podcast number 462

Qualifying postponed until Sunday morning.

Renault deny Kimi Raikkonen claims.

Telmex interested in buying Sauber.

Koren Grand Prix could be in jeopardy.

Lewis Hamilton crashes in practice one.

Red Bull stays on top in 2nd practice.

Motorsports Mondial with Nasir Hameed and…

Interviews with Robin Frijns and Hannes Van Asseldonk.


Motorsports Mondial

Robin and the Kaufmann: It was only last month at the mythical Autodromo Nazionale di Monza that Josef Kaufmann Racing and their talented young Dutch win-mill, Robin Frijns, staged a come-from-behind victory to clinch the final Formula BMW Europe Championship.

Last Sunday the winning duo took their show to the other great and classic circuit of Europe, situated in the Ardennes forest, Spa-Francorchamps.

Josef Kaufmann Racing is returning to Formula Renault Euro Cup after a decade long domination in Formula BMW, first with the German version and for the past three seasons in the Formula BMW Europe, which was created after the merger of German and UK series.

At Spa, despite working with a new car and a heavy crash in practice, Robin flew in third race of the weekend. After taking the lead on lap four it was “wiedersehn, baby” as he pulled out an eight second lead, winning like a pro in his Formula Renault debut.

Josef Kaufmann, team owner and the man behind Gerhard Berger’s entry into Formula 1, is confident that this momentum will be carried forward into the next season.

He said, “Now we will concentrate on the further development of the car and we will carry out intensive test sessions with potential drivers for next year.

“We are aiming to return to the Formula Renault 2.0 Euro Cup in 2011 as strong as possible, and we want to continue our story of success which we had over the last years in Formula BMW Europe.”

Nico Hulkenberg, Sebastien Buemi and Esteban Gutierrez have all raced with success with the wonder of Wolsfeld, the Josef Kaufmann Racing.

The team is managed by his son, the ever-smiling Lars, who would like to invite talented young American drivers with Formula 1 aspirations to come race with them in Formula Renault Euro Cup next season.

It was success in this series which launched the career of Scott Speed into GP2 and Formula 1. Another American talent John Edwards also raced in Formula Renault and took a win at Anderstorp, once the home of Swedish Grand Prix.

For more information on Josef Kaufmann Racing and to contact them please visit

— Nasir Hameed

Motorsports Mondial

Seabastien Loeb Takes his seventh WRC championship.

“For sure it is an incredible feeling, and especially to win,” said Loeb. “When I arrived here, I knew that there was a possibility to win the rally, to win the championship, and all that in my home town.

So it was a great challenge, and also a big pressure, because I knew that everybody was waiting for this here, in the region. There was a lot of support from a lot of people. The feeling was really great. It was incredible.

I was expecting this rally to be popular, but I was very surprised to see so many people for the rally, I could not expect that there would be so many people, everywhere: on stages, on the road sections, waving in front of their house, in the service park, everywhere. And all that in a very nice atmosphere. I was really happy to see this.

It has been a perfect event, like in Corsica in 2004, when we won both championships at the same time. Here, it is even more special because it is really at home for me.”