Category Archives: Motorsport Mondial

F1weekly podcast # 413

2010 FORMULA 1 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP

ROUND 1 – GULF AIR BAHRAIN GRAND PRIX

Oracle of Oviedo. Fernando Alonso. After “Maestro”, “Il leone” and “Ice Man” “muy macho hombre de Espana” makes a winning debut for Ferrari in Bahrain. After passing from row starting teammate Massa on the opening lap Alonso was able to catch pole sitter, Sebastian Vettel, and stayed within striking distance before mechanical gremlins caused the German to lose power in his Red Bull. Victory is number 22 for the Spaniard. After enduring crash-gate at Renault and cage-rattling at McLaren he is now poised to win the championship for prancing horse sooner or later.

Heppenheim Happening. Sebastian Vettel. Won the final race of the 2009 season and started the 2010 campaign from pole position. Red Bull racing prodigy won 18 of 20 races on his way to winning the Formula BMW Germany championship in his “younger” days. Splashed his way to become youngest Grand Prix winner in the rain at Monza in 2008. Sunday he was on his way to score his sixth Grand Prix win but loss of power saw him slip to fourth.

Date with destiny. Felipe Massa. Won races with Schumacher and Raikkonen as teammates. Now paired with Alonso, the two famously argued in Italian after the 2007 European Grand Prix at Nurburgring. Hoping to become Brazil’s first world champion since the late Ayrton Senna in 1991. While Raikkonen hit the snooze button in 2008, Massa battled Hamilton for the championship all the way to the final corner of the final lap. Few who saw the emotions of the Massa family would ever forget the moment. Second place on Sunday was his best start to an F1 season.


Das Comeback. Michael “The Full” Schumacher. Like Senna, failed to win the world championship of karting but set new standards and records in Formula 1. Relentless and ruthless, dedicated and determined, Schumacher is back in the saddle after three years of retirement. Now driving for Mercedes, the same people who wrote a check to Eddie Jordan in 1991 for a moment in Spa. Rest is history, and may be re-written this year if the package is competitive.

Russian in F1 orbit. Vitaly Petrov. “The Vyborg Rocket” was powered by success in GP2 and last year was runner-up to Nico Hulkenberg. Replacing Romain Grosjean with financial help from his country’s largest automobile manufacturer Lada, now part owned by Renault. Petrov will look for solidarity and guidance from his fellow East European and teammate, Robert Kubica. The Russian retired on lap 13.

Sushi and Sayonara. Kamui Kobayashi. Won the GP2 Asia series but made little impression in main series. Then drove his heart out in the final two races of the 2009 season for Toyota. When the Japanese automobile giant said Sayonara to Formula 1, Kobayashi was ready to head back home and earn a living in family sushi restaurant in Tokyo. Now at Sauber he aims to give Japanese racing fans hope after the departure of both Toyota and Honda, soon to be joined by Bridgestone. His race lasted 11 laps.

Man from Uncle. Bruno Senna. After two false starts, Honda and Campos, Bruno is in F1, finally. The yellow helmet and the last name are known around the world of motor racing. GP2 race winning credentials and good character should help him achieve success his late great uncle predicted when he said, “If you think I am fast, wait till you see my nephew.”

Class of 2010. From rookies to returning retiree. Four world champions grace the field, Schumacher, Alonso, Hamilton and Button. Rookies include GP2 champion and another Willi Weber client Nico Hulkenberg and Lucas di Grassi and Karun Chandok. The grid also features the second coming via Kuala Lumpur of Lotus, Virgin-of music and aviation fame, and Spanish owned HRT featuring “Chavski”, the Romanian born-German dentist Dr. Colin Kolles.

[audio:http://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/mp3.f1weekly.com/podcasts/03-15-10f1weekly413.mp3]

Bahrain

Ferrari. Red Hot In the Desert

Fernando Alonso gives Ferrari a perfect start to the 2010 season.

Felipe Massa best start ever with P2 behind the two time world champion.

Vettel very disappointed for loosing the lead to a faulty spark plug.

Pos Driver Team Time

 1.  Alonso        Ferrari                    1h39:20.396
 2.  Massa         Ferrari                    +    16.099
 3.  Hamilton      McLaren-Mercedes           +    23.182
 4.  Vettel        Red Bull-Renault           +    38.713
 5.  Rosberg       Mercedes                   +    40.263
 6.  Schumacher    Mercedes                   +    44.180
 7.  Button        McLaren-Mercedes           +    45.260
 8.  Webber        Red Bull-Renault           +    46.308
 9.  Liuzzi        Force India-Mercedes       +    53.089
10.  Barrichello   Williams-Cosworth          +  1:02.400
11.  Kubica        Renault                    +  1:09.093
12.  Sutil         Force India-Mercedes       +  1:22.958
13.  Alguersuari   Toro Rosso-Ferrari         +  1:32.656
14.  Hulkenberg    Williams-Cosworth          +     1 lap
15.  Kovalainen    Lotus-Cosworth             +     1 lap
16.  Buemi         Toro Rosso-Ferrari         +    3 laps
17.  Trulli        Lotus-Cosworth             +    3 laps


In 2007, Kimi Raikkonen replaced Michael Schumacher at Ferrari and dominated the season opener in Australia.

This year the season opener will see Kimi Raikkonen replaced at Maranello by Fernando Alonso, man who dethroned Schumacher after five successive championship seasons.

Alonso, son of an explosive expert, scored his first F1 victory in the 2003 Hungarian Grand Prix, and two years later won the first of his two back-to-back championships with Renault.

Then came the detonation in 2007 after he joined McLaren. The young charge, Lewis Hamilton, fought for the title with his teammate and their self-destruction led to Raikkonen reeling in the title in the final race of the season in Brazil.

Alonso took a return flight to Renault and scored two wins – one impressive and one controversial – in 2008. The following season was spent waiting in the wings to land at Ferrari.

The legendary “Prancing Horse” team, after a solitary win last year, is expected to mount a serious challenge for the drivers’ championship.

Sentimental favorite has to be Felipe Massa, a long serving Ferrari test and race driver. He came so close to winning the championship in front of his home crowd in 2008, only to be “Glocked” on the last lap of the last race of the season.

Doubts, which were raised after his unfortunate accident in Hungary last year, were erased on Saturday as he qualified on the front row, ahead of new teammate.

Alonso, keen to re-gain the world champion status, brings to Ferrari the natural talent and focus of Michael Schumacher, the man he replaced as world champion.

And the absence of lack of commitment of Kimi Raikkonen, the man he replaced at Scuderia Ferrari.

Remembering a title won and lost in the season finale, Alsonso made it very clear of his intentions when he declared:

“It is very important to start scoring points from the first race.”

Nando knows.

— Nasir Hameed

Qualifying

Vettel Slides Pole with “Luscious Liz”


Handling his desert flame “Luscious Liz” with tender loving care and brazen speed, Grand Prix racing’s youngest winner, Sebastian Vettel, put in a sizzling lap of 1m 54.101s to snatch pole position for the 2010 season opener in Bahrain.

“It’s a big surprise to get pole,” revealed the German racer from Heppenheim. “I knew we had a good car, qualifying went smoothly and I’m very happy to be on pole. Thanks to the team, who have been so busy during the last month with a lot of testing – to be on top now is a nice feeling.”


Vettel will now try to turn the nice feeling to happy feeling by scoring his sixth Grand Prix victory on Sunday in his Adrian Newey-designed Red Bull RB6.

Sharing the front row with Vettel will be the pride of Sao Paulo, Felipe Massa, who endured a nasty accident in Hungary last year which sidelined him for the rest of the 2009 season. The very likeable Brazilian, who was 2008 World Champion for 15 second, made his fans and family very proud – and teammate very surprised – by out qualifying the newly arrived at Ferrari, Fernando Alonso.

The two time world champion from Oviedo in Spain will start third, sharing the second row with a face which may look familiar, the golden boy of his ex-Silver team, Lewis Hamilton.

Nico Rosberg rose to the occasion and did not succumb to the “Schumacher syndrome” as many pundits had predicted and posted a faster time than his Champion of Champions teammate, now re-united and “feel so good” with his Ferrari-days master mind and star strategist, Ross Brawn at the Mercedes-Benz racing team.

The younger of the two Germans, looking for his maiden Grand Prix win, will start fifth while the 91-Grands Prix winner will start from seventh on the grid.

Sharing row three with Rosberg will be Mark Webber in his Red Bull.

Reigning world champion Jenson Button will start his first race with McLaren from eighth on the grid, after being demoted from seventh by Schumacher on his last qualifying lap.

Robert Kubica will be starting his first race for Renault from the inside of row five, with Force India car of Adrian Sutil qualifying tenth.

Sunday’s Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix will start the 2010 FIA Formula World Championship, and will be race number 821 in the history of the series.


The past, present and future, future of German domination of Grand Prix.

The inaugural race in the Kingdom was held in 2004. Michael Schumacher led a Ferrari one-two over Rubens Barrichello.

— Nasir Hameed

Racing regards from California

Sebastien Vettel puts his Red Bull Renault on pole for the start of the 2010 season.

Felipe Massa out-qualifies his team mate Fernando Alonso for P2.

Nico Rosberg holds his own staying ahead of Michael Schumacher.

Schumacher in P7 Identical to his start at Spa-Francorchamps in 1991

Clark and Steve will have the race review on podcast # 413.

Pos  Driver         Team                   Q1        Q2        Q3       
 1.  Vettel         Red Bull-Renault       1:55.029  1:53.883  1:54.101
 2.  Massa          Ferrari                1:55.313  1:54.331  1:54.242
 3.  Alonso         Ferrari                1:54.612  1:54.172  1:54.608
 4.  Hamilton       McLaren-Mercedes       1:55.341  1:54.707  1:55.217
 5.  Rosberg        Mercedes               1:55.463  1:54.682  1:55.241
 6.  Webber         Red Bull-Renault       1:55.298  1:54.318  1:55.284
 7.  Schumacher     Mercedes               1:55.593  1:55.105  1:55.524
 8.  Button         McLaren-Mercedes       1:55.715  1:55.168  1:55.672
 9.  Kubica         Renault                1:55.511  1:54.963  1:55.885
10.  Sutil          Force India-Mercedes   1:55.213  1:54.996  1:56.309
11.  Barrichello    Williams-Cosworth      1:55.969  1:55.330
12.  Liuzzi         Force India-Mercedes   1:55.628  1:55.653
13.  Hulkenberg     Williams-Cosworth      1:56.375  1:55.857
14.  de la Rosa     Sauber-Ferrari         1:56.428  1:56.237
15.  Buemi          Toro Rosso-Ferrari     1:56.189  1:56.265
16.  Kobayashi      Sauber-Ferrari         1:56.541  1:56.270
17.  Petrov         Renault                1:56.167  1:56.619
18.  Alguersuari    Toro Rosso-Ferrari     1:57.071
19.  Glock          Virgin-Cosworth        1:59.728
20.  Trulli         Lotus-Cosworth         1:59.852
21.  Kovalainen     Lotus-Cosworth         2:00.313
22.  di Grassi      Virgin-Cosworth        2:00.587
23.  Senna          HRT-Cosworth           2:03.240
24.  Chandhok       HRT-Cosworth           2:04.904

Motorsports Mondial

Snow in Parabolica


Photo: Lars Kaufmann/Kaufmann Racing

First official Formula BMW Europe test hampered by snow at Monza.

The first official test days of the Formula BMW Europe Season 2010 took place on March 9 & 10 at the “Temple of Speed” – Autodromo Nazionale di Monza.

In the morning session of the first test day, all Josef Kaufmann Racing drivers did their planned testing programme. “Flying Dutchman” Robin Frijns adapted properly to the track and the cold conditions, and recorded the overall fastest lap time of the morning session.

Team’s two rookies, Hannes van Asseldonk, also from the Netherlands, and the Finn Petri Suvanto, first had to learn the track and get used to the low down force level. At the end of the morning session they were 10th and 11th.

In the afternoon the outside temperature dropped to freezing point and the fabled track fell victim to snowy conditions, forcing Kaufmann drivers to carry on the test session on used tires from the morning session.

Frijns did some more laps and finished his test session early. Hannes van Asseldonk and Petri Suvanto continued to gain more experience and mileage. At the end of the afternoon session Kaufmann drivers recorded 6th (Frijns) 12th (van Asseldonk) and 13th (Suvanto) fastest times.

Second day of testing saw more snow which forced cancellation of the session.

The Formula BMW Europe season starts in May as a support race to the Spanish Grand Prix in Barcelona. Kaufmann team is aiming to capture the championship with their Dutch discovery from last season, Robin Frijns, who was Rookie of the Year in 2009.

Their assault on a second successive Rookie of the Year is led by Petri Suvanto, he is rated as the next “Flying Finn” by Kimi Raikkonen’s ex-karting mechanic. Both, plus van Asseldonk, are in good hands with Josef Kaufmann Racing, based in Wolsfeld, Germany.

For more information please visit: http://www.jk-racing.de/

They are also on Das Facebook.

— Nasir Hameed

Racing regards from California.


Nico Rosberg on top in second Friday practice in Bahrain.

Our three new F1 teams at the bottom of the time sheets.

Pos Driver Team Time Laps

 
Pos  Driver         Team                    Time              Laps
 1.  Rosberg        Mercedes                1:55.409            23
 2.  Hamilton       McLaren-Mercedes        1:55.854  + 0.445   22
 3.  Schumacher     Mercedes                1:55.903  + 0.494   23
 4.  Button         McLaren-Mercedes        1:56.076  + 0.667   28
 5.  Vettel         Red Bull-Renault        1:56.459  + 1.050   18
 6.  Hulkenberg     Williams-Cosworth       1:56.501  + 1.092   26
 7.  Massa          Ferrari                 1:56.555  + 1.146   30
 8.  Petrov         Renault                 1:56.750  + 1.341   26
 9.  Alonso         Ferrari                 1:57.140  + 1.731   25
10.  de la Rosa     Sauber-Ferrari          1:57.255  + 1.846   24
11.  Kobayashi      Sauber-Ferrari          1:57.352  + 1.943   27
12.  Sutil          Force India-Mercedes    1:57.361  + 1.952   29
13.  Barrichello    Williams-Cosworth       1:57.452  + 2.043   21
14.  Liuzzi         Force India-Mercedes    1:57.833  + 2.424   29
15.  Kubica         Renault                 1:58.155  + 2.746   29
16.  Alguersuari    Toro Rosso-Ferrari      1:59.799  + 4.390   31
17.  Webber         Red Bull-Renault        2:00.444  + 5.035   12
18.  Kovalainen     Lotus-Cosworth          2:00.873  + 5.464   23
19.  Trulli         Lotus-Cosworth          2:00.990  + 5.581   14
20.  Glock          Virgin-Cosworth         2:02.037  + 6.628    3
21.  di Grassi      Virgin-Cosworth         2:02.188  + 6.779   21
22.  Senna          HRT-Cosworth            2:06.968  + 11.559  17
23.  Buemi          Toro Rosso-Ferrari                           1
24.  Chandhok       HRT-Cosworth

F1weekly podcast # 412

F1weekly podcast number 412.

Clark and Steve prepare for Bahrain.

Motorsports Mondial with Nasir Hameed.

Is this Nico Rosberg’s make or break season going up against team mate Schumacher?

“I’m going into the season very optimistically, I feel very, very comfortable in the car, very confident.

But at the same time I know it’s going to be as difficult as ever, because obviously I have a rather strong team-mate. So we’ll have to wait and see.”

“My motivation is to work with Michael and try to help the team have a strong car, because without a strong car we won’t be able to do anything. And I think until now we’ve done quite well, but we need to keep pushing, And as the season goes on it’s important that we get some very strong results.”

“Your closest comparison is your team-mate, so my aim this year is too look good compared to my team-mate, of course.”

[audio:http://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/mp3.f1weekly.com/podcasts/03-11-10f1weekly412.mp3]

Motorsports Mondial

DEAR ALL OF YOU,

THE LAST FEW DAYS HAVE BEEN QUITE FANTASTIC AND I’D LIKE TO THANK EACH AND EVERY ONE OF YOU FOR YOUR KIND THOUGHTS, MESSAGES AND OTHER PARAPHERNALIA.

ON SATURDAY EVENING, I WAS AT HOME WITH SUSIE, ELLIOT AND HELEN AND ABOUT TO LEAVE FOR A CURRY, FOR WHICH WE WERE RUNNING LATE. I ASKED HELEN TO JOIN ME IN THE LIFT TO GO DOWNSTAIRS, BECAUSE SUSIE AND ELLIOT WERE SMART ENOUGH NOT TO RIDE IN MY LIFT. I OPENED THE DOOR AND STEPPED INTO THE LIFT, WITH HELEN READY TO FOLLOW ME, WHICH SHE NEVER DID. THAT IS BECAUSE THE LIFT HAD STOPPED ON THE FLOOR ABOVE AND INCORRECTLY ALLOWED THE DOOR BENEATH IT TO OPEN.

STILL CHATTING TO HELEN, I STEPPED INTO THE OPEN DOORWAY– AND FELL TO THE BOTTOM OF THE LIFT SHAFT.

THE AMBULANCE WAS CALLED AND ARRIVED AT RACING SPEED, WHEREUPON THEY PUT ME ONTO A SERIES OF ABOUT 10 STRETCHERS! HAVING FINALLY SETTLED ON WHAT MUST HAVE SEEMED A GOOD ONE, I WAS TAKEN, ALONG WITH MY FAMILY TO THE ROYAL LONDON HOSPITAL IN WHITECHAPEL, WHERE THEY USED ANOTHER BATCH OF SIMILAR STRETCHERS!

THEY DID A GOOD JOB OF HELPING ME, BUT WERE UNABLE TO DO THE REQUISITE SURGERY. SO, ON THE SUNDAY, I WAS MOVED TO THE PRINCESS GRACE, WHERE A FANTASTICALLY EFFICIENT, KIND AND AMUSING STAFF DID ALL THE JOBS.

I AM NOW IN A LOVELY ROOM, NUMBER 222, AND WITH THE HELP OF ELLIOT AND THE PORTER, AM FINALLY ON THE EMAIL. THAT DOES NOT MEAN THAT I WILL BE ABLE TO ACTUALLY SEND THIS TO YOU, BUT I WILL TRY!

NOW FOR THE FUTURE… WHICH I CAN SEE WITH SUSIE, HELEN AND ELLIOT AROUND ME, IS GOING TO BE A BLOODY STRUGGLE!

AS SOME OF YOU MAY KNOW, SUSIE AND I ARE BOOKED ON A SEABOURN CRUISE FOR OUR 30TH ANNIVERSARY, NEXT MONTH. I HAVE TO CROSS THE HURDLE OF GETTING THE DOCORS, AND FAMLY HANGERS-ON, TO ALLOW ME TO THIN MY BLOOD, IN ORDER TO AVOID ANY ISSUES INVOLVING DEEP VEIN THROMBOSIS.

IT WILL BE SIX TO EIGHT WEEKS FROM SUNDAY BEFORE I WILL ABLE TO PUT ANY LOAD ON MY FEET. THEREFORE I’M FACING MY SIXTH OR SEVENTH REDUCTION TO A WHEELCHAIR (SUSIE SAYS SHE’S STOPPED COUNTING) WHICH I MUST ADMIT, IS RATHER BORING. THE GOOD NEWS IS; THAT I DIDN’T SELL THE WHEELCHAIR AFTER THE LAST SHUNT!

THE WHOLE THING IS A REAL PAIN IN THE ARSE, IF I HAD LOOKED WHERE I WAS GOING, I WOULDN’T BE HERE AT ALL, SO IT’S MY OWN DAMN FAULT.

I HAVE BEEN ABSOLUTELY OVERWHELMED BY YOUR COLLECTIVE CONCERN AND KINDNESS.

I CAN TELL YOU THAT CURRENTLY I’M LYING IN HOSPITAL, TAKING DEEP BREATHS, LIFTING ONE ARM WITH THE OTHER, RAISING MY LEGS (WITH PLASTERS ON THE END) AND DOING ALL I CAN DO TO KEEP MYSELF AS MOBILE AS POSSIBLE, BUT, HAVING SAID THAT, I’M NOT YET WINNING THE BATTLE.

I’M NOT SURE WHEN I’LL BE ABLE TO GO HOME BUT THE LIFT HAS TO WORK, OTHERWISE I’LL NEVER BE ABLE TO GET UPSTAIRS IN MY WHEELCHAIR, MAYBE I’LL GO AND STAY WITH HELEN AND ELLIOT FOR A WHILE…

THIS REALLY HAS OPENED MY EYES TO HOW KIND ALL MY FRIENDS ARE, OVER AN OLD EX- RACING DRIVER, FLOGGING A FADING IMAGE!

I LOOK FORWARD TO SEEING YOU SOON,

MANY THANKS FOR ALL OF YOUR THOUGHTS,

CIAO