Category Archives: Motorsport Mondial

Renault R30

Renault F1 Team presents the R30 in Valencia

The Renault F1 Team took the covers off its 2010 challenger, the R30, today in front of
assembled media at the Valencia circuit in Spain.
Renault F1 Team driver Robert Kubica was on hand to unveil the car and reveal the exciting
new black and yellow livery – the iconic colours made famous by Renault in the 1980s. The
team also presented Vitaly Petrov as Robert’s teammate for the 2010 season. The 25-year-old
finished as runner-up in the GP2 Series last year and becomes the first Russian driver to race in
Formula One.
After unveiling the R30, Team Principal, Eric Boullier, joined Robert and Vitaly for a photo call in
front of the car, along with the team’s Third Driver, Ho-Pin Tung, and Reserve Driver, Jérôme
d’Ambrosio. Czech driver Jan Charouz will also be a Reserve Driver for the team this year but
was unable to attend the presentation.
With stable aero regulations the R30 is a mixture of evolution and revolution, and is much more
svelte and attractive than its predecessor. In particular the rear of the car has been considerably
reworked to allow the car to make the most of the ‘double-decker’ diffusers that were first seen
last year. Changes have also been made to the architecture of the chassis to adapt to the
refuelling ban, which has required the installation of a much larger fuel tank.
Speaking at the presentation, Eric Boullier praised the team’s efforts in delivering the new car in
time for the first test: “We’ve been working flat-out during the winter to ensure that we begin the
new season in the best shape possible. The R30 should be a competitive, strong and reliable
car, and we’ve opted for an aggressive development strategy throughout the season. Now we’re
here ready for the first test and we’re all excited to see if the car performs as we think it will.”
Both Robert and Vitaly were thrilled to see their new car and spoke of their hopes for the season
ahead: “The team has been working on the new car for a long time and it’s clear that we are
moving in the right direction,” said Robert. “Now we need to maximise the winter tests to keep up
this momentum and continue improving the car. Our priority is to make the car easy to drive
because the new rules favour cars that are not too sensitive – we need a car that behaves
consistently in a wide range of conditions.”
Vitaly Petrov added: “The new car looks stunning and the colours remind everybody of Renault’s
great history in the sport. I can’t wait to drive the car for the first time and start working with the
The Renault F1 Team will remain in Valencia until Wednesday evening to complete the first preseason
test session.

F1weekly podcast # 405

BMW Sauber present their new challenger for the 2010 F1 season the C29.

“The last few months have been very intense for us. First we had to battle to secure the survival of the team and then we focused on putting a strong set-up in place for the future.”

“The technical preparation of the 2010 car has continued uninterrupted and according to plan since the spring of 2009, despite all the turmoil. We have a long tradition of bringing together an up-and-coming youngster and an experienced campaigner as a driver combination – and it’s an approach that has brought us a lot of success.”

The McLaren MP4-25 is unveiled in Newbury at Vodaphone’ UK headquarters.

“As team principal I am honoured to represent this great team, but I am one small part of a group of dedicated and fantastic people.

“A great team and a competitive car can only succeed with the best drivers. Neither of our drivers need much of an introduction because between them they have won the past two world championships. We are thrilled this year to have Lewis and Jenson represent the team on track. Both drivers are winners and they want to win this year.

F1weekly podcast number 405.

Ferrari the first Formula 1 team to unveil its new car for the 2010 season.

“This championship will be very important for us,” said team boss Stefano Domenicali. “The last championship, for different reasons, was not very positive, that is why we are dealing with this one looking to be competitive – and this is what Ferrari deserves to have.”

Motorsports Mondial with Nasir Hameed.



José María López

Man from Argentina leads Formula One team of America

Where’s the beef? Tons of it can be found in the land of Pampas – Argentina.

That’s where one of the principals of USF1, Peter Windsor, traveled to for a “Fistful of Dollars” in return for a seat at their Charlotte, NC based Formula 1 team.

So what happened to what Ken Anderson called last year “talented Americans racing in Europe?” Then there is Jonathan Summerton. His name was linked from day one and who remains the only driver to give Team USA victory in A1GP competition.

USF1, according to Peter Windsor, was looking at all the talent that was available in the “more industrious” United States. From Danica Patrick to Kyle Busch. The answer is simple racing reality. Speed costs money, how fast do you want to go?

In José María López they have their “Speedy Gonzalez”.


Jose Maria López, aka “Pechito”, may not be the next Senna but he is also no slouch. In the footsteps of the great “Maestro” Juan Manuel Fangio and the moody “Lole” Carlos Reutemann, he traveled to Europe seeking success in the cut throat world of single-seater racing across the pond. And almost made it.

He was born in Rio Tercero on April 26, 1983 in the Argentine province of Córdoba.

López landed in the 2001 Formula Renault 2.0 Euro Cup driving for the Italian Lucidi team, and qualified an impressive 5th at Monza for his first race and finished 11th. At Nurburgring he scored his first pole position and achieved season high finish of 6th in the final race at Estoril.

In 2002, he tackled both the Formula Renault 2.0 Euro Cup and the Italian series. He started the Euro Cup season with victory in the opening round at Jarama. Other podium finishes were 2nd at Spa and 3rd at Estoril. In the championship he finished 4th despite missing four events.

On the Italian front López was on fire from round three of the championship. Winning four of the last five races, Monza, Varano, Misano and Mugello. Other podium finishes at Pergusa, Spa and Magione helped him seal the championship over Robert Kubica, 205 to 188 points.

In 2003, Lopez moved up to the Renault V6 Euro Cup with the French DAMS team. The “A” is for one time Renault and Ferrari F1 driver Rene Arnoux who is no longer involved with the DAMS team.

López had a strong season and won the championship over Swiss driver Neel Jani with eight poles, fives wins, and 12 podium finishes from 18 starts.

The team and driver combination took up the challenge of Formula 3000 International in 2004. Third place podium finishes were achieved in Monte Carlo and Spa. López was sixth in the championship.

The season also saw him join the Renault Driver Development programme, where fortunes were determined as much by performance as by the driver’s relationship with Flavio Briatore.

López was on his way to be the next Lole.

The Final Frontier

In 2005, the Formula 3000 International was replaced by the new Bernie and Briatore hatched and promoted GP2 series, the official feeder series to the promised land of fame and fortune, Formula One.

Make a winning impression here and entry is granted, like Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton.

The season started on a high note for López, who remained loyal to DAMS team for the third straight season in a different series. He qualified on the second row at Imola and finished second to race winner Heikki Kovalainen in the first ever GP2 race.

In the second race of the second round in Barcelona Lopez grabbed his first GP2 victory. This, however, would remain his only success in the series. His only other podium finish was second in the feature race at Magny Cours.

Failure to finish in seven races hurt his championship chances and he was classified 9th in the final standings with 36 points, compared to 67.5 points for third place man Scott Speed and 120 points for the inaugural series champion Nico Rosberg.

López’s last stand in Europe was in 2006 with the Norfolk-based English team Super Nova, headed by veteran racer David Sears, for a second make-or-break season in GP2. He was also signed on as test driver for the Renault F1 team.

Three podium finishes, at Nurburgring, Magny Cours and Hockenheim, and a solitary pole position looked impressive but the career was clouded by a high number of dnf’s, 10 from 21 starts. Hardly the stuff that would impress managers at Minardi or Fondmetal let alone Ferrari.

While Lewis Hamilton set new standards in rookie performance and won the championship over Nelsinho Piquet, 114 points to 102, López was languishing in 10th place in the final standings with 30 points.

His European expedition was over when he was dropped from the Renault Driver Development programme.

Don’t Cry For Me, Argentina

It may have been a painful journey back to Buenos Aires but has been very fruitful. López has been racing in local touring car scene since returning to his native land and has been very successful.

Past two seasons he has been competing in two different series, TC2000 and Turismo Carretera, each year. He captured the 2008 championship in the TC2000 series after finishing 5th the previous season despite missing three events.

During the 2009 season López raced in no less than three championships. Winning the TC2000 with three wins and six poles from 12 starts. He also triumphed as champion of the Top Race V6 series with five wins and eight poles. He was runner-up in the Turismo Carretera Argentina with two wins and five poles.

Charlotte to Córdoba. Drivers Wanted. Cash preferred.

The announcement of a new American team was greeted with great enthusiasm both at home and abroad. Bold claims of rejecting experienced F1 drivers flashing millions of dollars for a seat gave a much needed ray of hope to young American drivers who prefer to make right and left turns for success in racing.

Chad Hurley, co-founder of You Tube, was introduced as a major investor which gave the impression America’s Team had deep pockets, especially now that You Tube is part of the Google Empire.

First sign of back tracking on home grown talent in the cockpit came with the concern over no American drivers available with super license. Jonathan Summerton’s name was high on the list as one of the few American drivers with race winning credentials in major overseas racing series, from A1GP in Shanghai to F3 Euro Series at Hockenheim. It is hard to believe that an effort was not made to provide him the necessary seat-time to qualify for a super license. And Yuji Ide can make it to the Grand Prix grid!

With López on board USF1 team the car will reportedly feature advertising from Argentine beef and tourism industry, the same consortium which suported “Lole” when he landed in Europe in the 70s. The same “Lole” who once had Peter Windsor as his manager and now holds government office in his native state, Santa Fe.

Back to the future.

Let’s hope there is some for young American drivers soon at USF1.

— Nasir Hameed


Faces going places.

The new Felipe Baby! The friendly folks who brought Kimi Raikkonen to the pinnacle of motor racing, with only 23 races under his belt, the father and son duo of David and Steve Robertson have now announced their new signing.

From the Arctic Ice Man to the Amazing Amazon Man.

Steve Robertson quoted on, “I see a lot of the same qualities that I first saw in Kimi. He’s super quick, he’s got unbelievable car control, and he doesn’t make mistakes. He has that special talent that doesn’t come along that often.

“We don’t just want a driver who’s going to get to F1, that’s not good enough for us. We want a driver who’s got the potential to be world champion.”

Meet the next mega-motorsport star from Brazil.

Luíz Felipe de Oliveira Nasr was born in Brasilia on August 21, 1992. He made his single-seater debut in 2008, at Interlagos in the Formula BMW Americas event supporting the Brazilian Grand Prix. While Massa and Hamilton would stage their epic battle for the F1 championship on the same Sunday, Nasr quietly and quickly made his mark by finishing his race on the podium, in what was only his second motor race.

In 2009, like many of his fellow Brazilians before, Nasr packed his bags and took the long haul flight to Europe seeking success. Destination; Formula BMW Europe.

The second edition of the united series, formed from the merger of Formula BMW Germany and its sister series in the UK, kicked off in May at Circuit de Cataluña. Nasr would mount his challenge with Euro International, run by one-time Indy Car entrant Antonio Ferrari.

The young Brazilian began his reign in Spain in style. Pole position, fastest lap and second in the opening race of the weekend, only 0.668s behind race winner and second-year driver Michael Christensen.

In the second race Nasr would again start from pole position and this time was able to keep the talented Danish driver behind him.

The series then traveled to the Dutch seaside track at Zandvoort. The Dutch round supported the prestigious Masters of Formula 3 race. Nasr again made waves by winning the opening race, this time from second row with fastest lap over rising local talent and fellow rookie Robin Frijns.

In the second race, again from second row, he was only 0.068s behind race winner English rookie Jack Harvey and recorded the fastest lap.

Round three took place at the birth place of Formula 1, Silverstone. Nasr recorded the fastest lap in race one while climbing to an 8th place finish from 23rd on the grid following technical difficulties in qualifying, while Robin Frijns flew to his maiden win for the Josef Kaufmann team.

In race two Nasr repeated his performance, same finishing position (8th) from the same starting position (23rd) while Christensen set the fastest lap and took the win.

At Nurburgring he took pole for both races, finished second to Christensen in race one, and scored his third win of the season in race two in which he also recorded the fastest lap.

Christensen took pole for both races at Hungaroring with Nasr sharing the front row with him. In race one both drivers kept their starting positions at the finish.

After the second race in Hungary Christensen saw his championship hopes turned into ash. He was excluded from the results, and remaining rounds, due to a technical infringement. The same penalty was handed down to his two rookie teammates, Timmy Hansen of Sweden and Jack Te Braak of the Netherlands.

However, on appeal all Muecke drivers were allowed to race but would not be allowed to score points while the final decision was made.

Nasr was the big winner with the fastest lap in the second race.

In Valencia French driver Jim Pla was the main player of the weekend, winning both races ahead of Nasr.

At Spa-Francorchamps Nasr took pole position for both races but had to settle for second behind Pla who grabbed both wins, making it four in a row for the DAMS driver.

Final round was in the magical Pista di Monza. After finishing second to Juncadella in race won, Nasr stamped his authority in the final race of the season on Sunday. While countryman and most experienced F1 pilot Rubens Barrichello would score an emotional win in the home of his former employer, the young Brazilian quietly and quickly won the final race of the 2009 Formula BMW Europe Championship.

Felipe Nasr won the Rookie Cup and Championship with 392 points, a massive 104 points ahead of second place second year driver from Spain Daniel Juncadella.

In the steps of Senna

In 1982, Ayrton Senna da Silva dominated the British Formula Ford Championship and continued the tradition the following season in Formula 3. Rest is history.

Fast forward to 2009. Felipe Nasr has nabbed a championship in his first year of motor racing. Next season he steps up to the British F3 Championship.

As he explained on, “It’s the best thing that’s happened in my career so far. I want to get into F1, and I know that they can make this dream of mine come true.”

History may repeat itself.

— Nasir Hameed