Category Archives: Motorsport Mondial

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

Bibendum

Time to come back! Michelin, people who brought radial tires to Grand Prix motor racing, may be back on the grid next season. New rubber supplier is required following the conclusion of this season as Bridgestone has decided to pull the plug on its F1 involvement.

Michelin’s relationship with FIA deflated after the 2005 US Grand Prix fiasco, which saw teams on French rubber pull into the pits after the warm-up lap, leaving six Bridgestone shod cars to battle in front of 100,000 plus very dejected spectators. Then came the FIA tender for single tire supplier which the company rejected as it wanted competition on the track. Company’s legal action against the FIA failed to gain any grip with the legal system.

The regime change at FIA has no doubt opened the door for the return of the manufacturer that rode into victory lane in the very first Grand Prix in history, the 1906 French event at Le Mans.

Michelin is based in Clermont-Ferrand, home of the Charade circuit which is known as Nurburgring of France.

Photo: www.alanraine-graphicillustration.co.uk

The town is also the birth place of one time Tyrrell driver, the late Patrick Depailler.

Michelin first arrived in F1 in 1977 with Renault, but it was Ferrari’s Carlos Reutemann who gave them their first victory in the 1978 Brazilian Grand Prix at Jacarepagua. Their last win was at Suzuka in 2006 with Fernando Alonso in a Renault.


The iconic Michelin Man “Bibendum” logo was first created in 1898 by the Michelin brothers and poster artist Marius Rossillon, aka O’Galop.

— Nasir Hameed

Radial regards from Californie

F1weekly podcast # 417

Smooth sailing – Sepang 2009. Button and Brawn boat sailed to an easy wet victory in the Malaysian Grand Prix last year. This year the charge of the Red Bull brigade has been derailed by mechanical issues, handing Fernando Alonso debut win for Ferrari in Bahrain, and last weekend Button was the beneficiary when Vettel dropped out while leading.

This weekend’s race at Sepang is expected to have showers again, thus increasing the possibility of an unexpected winner.

Michael Schumacher and Nico Hulkenberg, the experienced and rookie rain meisters of Germany, could sure use a slippery advantage for a better showing.

Remember Monza 2008? Vettel’s sheer brilliance in the wet and Red Bull’s speed should allow the young German to notch his first win of the season. Still waters run deep and so does the talent for wet weather driving with Barrichello and Hamilton.

Alonso scored his first career pole position here in 2003 and scored an impressive victory in the 2007 race with McLaren, when the sun was still shining both on the track and driver/team relationship.

The inaugural Malaysian Grand Prix in 1999 was won by Eddie Irvine “with a little help from my friend”. Schumacher started from pole and allowed Irvine to take the lead, hoping to help his teammate for the championship against Mika Hakkinen.

Kimi Raikkonen, the “Ice cream man” from last year’s event won his first F1 race here in 2003. The Schumacher brothers bagged four wins at Sepang, three for Michael and one for Ralf.

F1weekly podcast will bring you season long coverage of F1 and feeder series like F2, F3 and GP2 & 3 championships.

— Nasir Hameed

[audio:http://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/mp3.f1weekly.com/podcasts/04-01-10f1weekly417.mp3]

F1weekly podcast # 416

Dingo day afternoon in Albert Park

Australian Grand Prix


Bulls and El Matador. German wunderkind Sebastian Vettel took his
second successive pole position of the season in Melbourne, steaming
ahead of teammate and local favorite Mark Webber. Fernando Alonso,
winner of the opening round in Bahrain, qualified third in his Ferrari.

The right call. Defending race winner and world champion Jenson Button
changed to slicks, went off-track but kept his cool and smooth driving and
rewarded McLaren their first win of the season. Could this be the start of
reverse cage rattling in Woking?

Renault rising. Pole star Robert Kubica finished second. In the halcyon
days of Flavio Briatore he was at one time part of Renault Driver Development
programme. So were Kovalainen, Grosjean and Peter Windsor’s hand picked
“American” (just add Latin), Jose Maria Lopez.

Home grown talent. Mark Webber made his F1 debut in Albert Park
driving for fellow Aussie Paul Stoddard-owned Minardi team in 2002.
Sunday was no walk in the park for him, out classed by teammate both
in qualifying and race he soldiered on for ninth place finish.


Prancing in the park. Fernando Alonso, new in town in Maranello,
held off a late charge from Hamilton but was unable to pass teammate
Massa for a podium finish. His fourth place finish keeps him at the top
of the championship table.


Hulked by Kobayashi. Rising German star and Willi Weber client
Nico Hulkenberg was speared on the opening lap by the Sauber
of Kamui Kobayashi. Hulkenberg and Hamilton both won GP2 titles
in their rookie seasons and also won every championship they entered.

Unwilling Virgin. Gave birth by CFD to Nick Wirth designed cars, which
urgently needs transplant of larger fuel tanks. Sir Richard Branson of
Virgin brand fame and fortune is the rich daddy. Virgin pilots are Timo
Glock and Lucas di Grassi.


Jonesy boy. The last Australian world champion Alan Jones was born
in Melbourne. He gave Shadow their only Grand Prix win, Austria 1977,
in a car which is now owned by an F1Weekly listener. Jones was world
champion three years later in a Patrick Head designed Williams.

Party comes to town. Melbourne is one of the most popular stops on
the F1 circuit. Capital of Victoria State snatched the race from Adelaide
in 1996. Melbourne is now facing taste of its own medicine from Sydney.
Time and Bernie will decide the outcome of this opera.

Button and his Wheel of Fortune!

— Nasir Hameed

Racing regards from California

[audio:http://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/mp3.f1weekly.com/podcasts/03-30-10f1weekly416.mp3]

Dingo day afternoon in Albert Park

Australian Grand Prix

Bulls and El Matador. German wunderkind Sebastian Vettel took his

second successive pole position of the season in Melbourne, steaming

ahead of teammate and local favorite Mark Webber. Fernando Alonso,

winner of the opening round in Bahrain, qualified third in his Ferrari.

The right call. Defending race winner and world champion Jenson Button

changed to slicks, went off-track but kept his cool and smooth driving and

rewarded McLaren their first win of the season. Could this be the start of

reverse cage rattling in Woking?

Renault rising. Pole star Robert Kubica finished second. In the halcyon

days of Flavio Briatore he was at one time part of Renault Driver Development

programme. So were Kovalainen, Grosjean and Peter Windsor’s hand picked

“American” (just add Latin), Jose Maria Lopez.

Home grown talent. Mark Webber made his F1 debut in Albert Park

driving for fellow Aussie Paul Stoddard-owned Minardi team in 2002.

Sunday was no walk in the park for him, out classed by teammate both

in qualifying and race he soldiered on for ninth place finish.

Prancing in the park. Fernando Alonso, new in town in Maranello,

held off a late charge from Hamilton but was unable to pass teammate

Massa for a podium finish. His fourth place finish keeps him at the top

of the championship table.

Hulked by Kobayashi. Rising German star and Willi Weber client

Nico Hulkenberg was speared on the opening lap by the Sauber

of Kamui Kobayashi. Hulkenberg and Hamilton both won GP2 titles

in their rookie seasons and also won every championship they entered.

Unwilling Virgin. Gave birth by CFD to Nick Wirth designed cars, which

urgently needs transplant of larger fuel tanks. Sir Richard Branson of

Virgin brand fame and fortune is the rich daddy. Virgin pilots are Timo

Glock and Lucas di Grassi.

Jonesy boy. The last Australian world champion Alan Jones was born

in Melbourne. He gave Shadow their only Grand Prix win, Austria 1977,

in a car which is now owned by an F1Weekly listener. Jones was world

champion three years later in a Patrick Head designed Williams.

Party comes to town. Melbourne is one of the most popular stops on

the F1 circuit. Capital of Victoria State snatched the race from Adelaide

in 1996. Melbourne is now facing taste of its own medicine from Sydney.

Time and Bernie will decide the outcome of this opera.

Button and his Wheel of Fortune!

— Nasir Hameed

Racing regards from California