Tag Archives: Porsche

Formula 1

Webber Vettel

MARK WEBBER LEAVING FORMULA 1

SILVERSTONE, England (AP) — In a surprise announcement ahead of the British Grand Prix, Red Bull driver Mark Webber said Thursday he is leaving Formula One after this season to race Porsche sports cars.

The 36-year-old Australian said he signed a contract with the German company ”that extends over several years” and that he will compete in the Le Mans 24 Hours and World Endurance Championship next year.

”I’m very much looking forward to this new challenge after my time in Formula 1,” Webber said in a statement. ”Porsche will undoubtedly set itself very high goals. I can hardly wait to pilot one of the fastest sports cars in the world.”

Webber has struggled this season, failing to win a race and is currently fifth in the drivers’ championship, 63 points behind teammate Sebastian Vettel.

Webber first raised doubts about his future with Red Bull after Vettel ignored team orders and overtook him for victory at the Malaysian Grand Prix.

Red Bull confirmed that Webber is leaving but has yet to say who might replace him. Among the favorites would be Lotus Driver Kimi Raikkonen, who is good friends with Vettel.

”I am sure Mark thought long and hard before making what has no doubt been a very difficult decision,” Red Bull Principal Christian Horner said. ”His achievements in Formula One are extensive and I am sure he will continue to push hard and build on that record until the end of the season.

”We support Mark’s decision, he has been an excellent addition to the team since joining us in 2007 and we wish him all the best in the next stages of his career.”

Since joining F1 in 2002, Webber had won nice races and had 36 podium places during a career that also included stints with Williams and Minardi. He has already raced at Le Mans twice.

FOLLOWING MARK WEBBER’S ANNOUNCEMENT…
 
Following Mark Webber’s decision to retire from Formula One racing at the end of the year, Infiniti Red Bull Racing would like to thank him for the extensive contribution he has made to the team during the seven seasons he has driven for us.
 
During that time, the Australian has achieved nine wins*, 35 podiums (36 in total during his F1 career) and 11 pole positions. Marks’ dedication and success has also been a major factor in the team achieving three Constructors’ World Championships (2010, 2011 and 2012).
 
Christian Horner “I am sure Mark thought long and hard before making what has no doubt been a very difficult decision. His achievements in Formula One are extensive and I am sure he will continue to push hard and build on that record until the end of the season. We support Mark’s decision, he has been an excellent addition to the team since joining us in 2007 and we wish him all the best in the next stages of his career.”
 
The decision on who will replace Webber will not be made until later in the season.
 
*Mark’s Formula One Wins:
Germany 2009
Brazil 2009
Spain 2009
Monaco 2010
Great Britain 2010
Hungary 2010
Brazil 2011
Monaco 2012
Great Britain 2012

Motorsports Mondial

Photo: Tudormedia

Autodromo di Monza, Italy

MAIDEN WIN FOR KEVIN ESTRE AT MONZA

Last weekend represented one of the top challenges this season in terms of tyre strategy for the four drivers fighting for the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup Championship: René Rast (GER), Kuba Giermaziak (POL), Sean Edwards (GBR) and Norbert Siedler (AUT). All arrived in Monza to the pleasant surprise of sunny and warm conditions, with temperatures of 26-29 degrees Centigrade as backdrop for this weekend’s tough competition on the legendary 5.793-km Monza track.

After a difficult race, Kevin Estre’s win in the ninth round of the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup gave the Frenchman not only his first ever Supercup victory, but also the lead in the current Rookie Championship standings. Rast, finishing second, extended his lead in the driver standings of the Supercup championship, while guest starter Balzan finished third and Edwards left the race without points after an accident. Siedler moved up to fourth in the championship ranking, ahead of Tandy and Giermaziak, and Tudor-sponsored driver Patrick Huisman (NED) finished the race in seventh.

Rast was fastest in the free practice on Friday, although it was a true happy ending for Italian guest driver Balzan (Ebimotors), who finished qualifying in pole ahead of Rast, Estre and Edwards. The 14-lap race started at 11:45 sharp. Balzan seemed to keep the advantage from pole, but he lost the lead as Rast and Estre passed with an explosively quick start. The fight was tough, and as Balzan cut the chicane and re-entered the race line, he caused an accident between Edwards and Siedler, resulting in a safety car period. This small drama stopped Edwards, one of the four title contenders, with 11 laps to go in the race.

At the restart, Estre dashed ahead of Rast and clocked the fastest lap just two laps before the end. Balzan remained third and Siedler was fourth, followed by Tandy, Giermaziak, and Tudor-sponsored Huisman, who gained one position and remained in seventh. The race results are such that championship standings do not change and will remain just as exciting and open for the two last races of the season, with Rast in the lead with 141 points, outsider Giermaziak in second position with 124, and Siedler in third with 122 points.

Kevin Estre (Hermes Attempto Racing) commented, “I am delighted to be leading the rookie standings. It all came together as a happy ending and a dream come true. I am the winner of the race in Monza, I am really happy with my performance and the fact that my car is at a competitive level with small resources. I have never driven in Abu Dhabi yet so I am very eager to get there.”

Second place finisher René Rast said: “I had a good race despite the safety car. After the start, I was able to build the gap but the safety car sort of spoiled the race. After the restart, Estre was faster, overtaking me, and I did not try to block him. My points in the championship were more important than a better position. So next weekend for us, we can go to the Abu Dhabi races in good condition with good points. For now I am 17 points ahead of Giermaziak and 25 points ahead of Edwards so it looks positive.”

Alessandro Balzan, pole in qualifying and third in the race, was pleased with his results. “Wow, it is the first race of the season for our team, but Monza is my home track and I know the track well. We did a good job the whole weekend and I paid a lot of attention to finding the brake balance. So I am glad for the team that everything worked out well and that I made it to the podium here.”

Kuba Giermaziak was disappointed with his race, saying “to finish sixth in Monza is not fantastic. We had issue in the race with the speed of the car. Even our start was not too good but we needed some luck too. I moved ahead in the points and reached P2 in the championship, which no one expected and which is simply a fantastic dream. We should have time to test on the Abu Dhabi circuit prior to the race to refresh our memory of the track.”

Tudor driver Huisman had been hoping for a good start to the weekend that never materialised. “We had problems with new brakes, which was a pity because we know this track very well from testing; this track is all about tyres and braking. One needs good braking points, especially in turn 1 and turn 2, and then one needs to get as much speed as possible. In the end, I could not deliver as great a result as I wanted this weekend but still had a good race. I finished seventh after having started from 14th and this is one of my best results of the year, along with the Nuerburgring Nordschleife race. I am happy to have gained so many positions in the race and am looking forward to the last two races in the Abu Dhabi round.”

Motorsports Mondial

Will Williams join forces with Porsche?

A couple of weeks ago, Porsche chairman Matthias Mueller made the shock announcement that the German manufacturer were investigating becoming involved in F1 again for the first time since 1992. With Toyota, Honda, Ford and BMW all withdrawing from the sport in the past few years as a result of a lack of road car relevance and high costs, no one took Mueller seriously. However, under the direction of Jean Todt, the sport is changing and perhaps Mueller’s idea isn’t as far fetched as critics believe.

Changing image and road car relevance

Formula One is more popular than ever, with a global viewing audience of over 600 million people. During the 1980s it really started to take off when Bernie Ecclestone took charge of the television revenue. This made household names of the likes of Lauda, Piquet, Prost, Senna and Mansell, the latter is even managing to capitalise on his popularity today with his appearances in car insurance adverts for Money Super Market. However, in recent years the sport has suffered from image problems with spy scandals and allegations of race fixing. On top of this, the sport has had to battle the inherent problem of its image of being un-environmental.

To combat these problems, Todt has introduced revolutionised the way the sport is governed and made the environment a priority. In order to achieve this, the FIA has decided to make F1 a testing ground for environmental techniques and technologies. This started in this year, when re-fuelling was banned which made fuel economy increasingly important. The hope is that any techniques car manufacturers learn from F1 about how to reduce the fuel usage of their engines could be transferred over onto road car engines. For 2011, Kinetic Energy Recovery Systems (KERS) will be made mandatory. These systems turn heat energy from the brakes into the power for the engines by storing the energy in lithium batteries. The hope is that this will again be road relevant, as it will help in the development of hybrid technologies. Ferrari have already utilised these technologies on their 599 hybrid road car model. Porsche themselves have made it obvious that they are interested in KERS, as they bought technology for use on their GT sports car from the Williams F1 team. Using F1 as a testing ground for these technologies could therefore prove to be a great way to improve the performance of Porsche’s road cars, while at the same time benefitting from a huge global television audience.

However, the only problem would be performance, with Porsche likely being uninterested in merely taking part in the sport. Mueller has therefore already ruled out setting up a team from scratch as Toyota did, due to the inevitable teething problems which would limit Porsche’s performance. Surely therefore, an alliance with former world champions Williams (with whom they have already collaborated) would be the ideal solution. Williams performance in recent years has been hampered by a lack of financial investment since the loss of BMW, and therefore Porsche would be the ideal solution to fix their problems.

Finances

The cost of F1 involvement has been reduced significantly in recent years, with Red Bull Racing boss Christian Horner admitting that in previous years it would have been inconceivable for a energy drinks firm to be able to take on a more heavily financed car manufacturer like Ferrari and win. This is the result of the resource restriction agreement between the teams, which are aimed at lowering spending for the top teams and simultaneously making it possible for small teams to be competitive on a small budget. With record profits in 2010 so far, surely Porsche would have no problem funding a Williams Porsche project. The days of car manufacturers like Toyota spending $400 million per year appear to be over.

Will it happen?

Porsche would be wise to enter the sport, as the problems of cost and road relevance which have forced manufacturers out in the recent past appear to have been rectified by Jean Todt.

As For Williams, it would solve all their financial worries with Phillips and RBS due to end their sponsorship arrangements with the team next year, plunging them into further financial problems. Frank Williams isn’t getting any younger, and has already sold 10% of his team to Austrian businessman Toto Wolff. Surely a deal with Porsche would be the ideal way to pull his team away from the same downward spiral which has claimed former champion teams like BRM, Lotus, Brabham and Tyrrell, by securing his teams future.

F1weekly podcast # 372

 

Brian Redman

Podcast number 372 in post production.

Formula 1 Teams preparing to announce their driver line up, who goes where?

Motorsports Mondial with Nasir Hameed and special…

Interview with Brian Redman conducted at Laguna Seca’ Monterey Historic Races.

 

Brian Redman Born: March 9, 1937 in Burnley, Lancashire, Great Britain
Lives: Vero Beach, Fla., with wife, Marion
First Race: 1959, driving a Morris 1000 Traveler
First Pro Race Win: Nov. 4, 1967 at Kyalami (ZA) 9-hour in Mirage-Ford with Jacky Ickx
Final Pro Race: June 29, 2000 at Daytona in Grand-Am series Nissan-Pilbeam
Brian Redman has been a factory driver for the following teams:

* John Wyer Gulf Ford
* John Wyer Gulf Porsche
* Dr.Ing h.c.F.Porsche AG
* SEFAC Ferrari
* Group 44 Jaguar (USA)
* BMW Motorsport GMBH
* Proteus Aston Martin
* McLaren Racing. F1
* Frank Williams DeTomaso. F1
* Cooper Car Company. F1
* UOP Shadow. F1
* BRM. F1
* Chevron
* Haas/Hall Chaparral Lola F5000

He was very successful in sportscar racing and the World Sportscar Championship, winning the 1970 Targa Florio with a Porsche 908 and the 12 Hours of Sebring twice, in 1975 with a BMW Coupé and in 1978 with a Porsche 935. He was for many years associated with the Chevron marque, founded by fellow-Lancastrian Derek Bennett.

Redman drove for Shadow Racing Cars both in CanAm and in Formula One. He also appeared in McLaren, Cooper and Alfa Romeo cars. He dominated North American Formula 5000 racing in the mid-1970s winning the SCCA/USAC Formula 5000 Championship three years in a row (1974-1976) driving Lolas.

He participated in 15 World Championship Grands Prix, debuting on 1 January 1968. He achieved 1 podium in the 1968 Spanish Grand Prix in third place behind Graham Hill and Denny Hulme in a Cooper BRM, and scored a total of 8 championship points with two 5th places in the 1972 Monaco Grand Prix and the 1972 German Grand Prix driving a Yardley McLaren.

He was offered various other Formula One drives, but did not particularly enjoy the atmosphere of F1 even in the 1970s, preferring sports car racing.

He raced many Le Man 24 hour races and living in Florida is still active appearing at the 36th Rolex Monterey Historic Automobile Races in August 2009.

Nick Heidfeld tops the times sheets in final Saturday practice.

Pos Driver Team Time Laps
1. Heidfeld BMW Sauber (B) 1:45.388 17
2. Trulli Toyota (B) 1:45.462 + 0.074 18
3. Sutil Force India-Mercedes (B) 1:45.677 + 0.289 20
4. Grosjean Renault (B) 1:45.878 + 0.490 18
5. Glock Toyota (B) 1:45.908 + 0.520 18
6. Kubica BMW Sauber (B) 1:45.987 + 0.599 18
7. Rosberg Williams-Toyota (B) 1:46.040 + 0.652 19
8. Fisichella Force India-Mercedes (B) 1:46.114 + 0.726 21
9. Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes (B) 1:46.301 + 0.913 17
10. Button Brawn GP-Mercedes (B) 1:46.406 + 1.018 20
11. Raikkonen Ferrari (B) 1:46.409 + 1.021 19
12. Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari (B) 1:46.417 + 1.029 19
13. Kovalainen McLaren-Mercedes (B) 1:46.462 + 1.074 17
14. Vettel Red Bull-Renault (B) 1:46.747 + 1.359 14
15. Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari (B) 1:46.814 + 1.426 22
16. Barrichello Brawn GP-Mercedes (B) 1:46.815 + 1.427 19
17. Alonso Renault (B) 1:46.926 + 1.538 14
18. Badoer Ferrari (B) 1:47.055 + 1.667 20
19. Nakajima Williams-Toyota (B) 1:47.078 + 1.690 19
20. Webber Red Bull-Renault (B) No time 3

 

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