Sunday, 31 May 2009
Italian Mirko Bortolotti finished in second, with 19 year old Austrian Philipp Eng taking the final podium position.
There was disappointment for Swiss female racer Natacha Gachnang who tangled with Alex Brundle on the opening lap - causing her immediate retirement.
Jolyon Palmer was tapped into the gravel and retired from the race on lap one and Lithuanian Vasiliauskas went off after making contact with Jousse in a battle for eighth place. He later returned to the circuit at the back of the field, but was still able to clock up the fastest lap of the race. Definitely one to keep an eye out for in future races.
Henry Surtees finished 12th.
FIA F2 Round 2 - Valencia, Spain Results
1st - Robert WICKENS (CAN) - 25:22.024 - 17 laps
2nd - Mirko BORTOLOTTI (ITA) - 25:27.935 - Gap +5.911
3rd - Philipp ENG (AUS) - 25:29.905 - Gap +7.881
4th - Andy SOUCEK (ESP) - 25:30.639 - Gap +8.615
5th - Nicola DE MARCO (ITA) - 25:31.804 - Gap +9.780
6th - Mikhail ALESHIN (RUS) - 25:33.731 - Gap +11.707
7th - Edoardo PISCOPO (ITA) - 25:35.625- Gap +13.601
8th - Carlos IACONELLI (BRA) - 25:38.640 - Gap +16.616
9th - Tobias HEGEWALD (GER) - 25:40.850 - Gap +18.826
10th - Julien JOUSSE (FRA) - 25:43.601 - Gap +21.577
BTCC 2009 Drivers' Championship (after Oulton Park rounds)
1 - Matt Neal - 111
2 - Colin Turkington - 109
3 - Fabrizio Giovanardi - 92
4 - Jason Plato - 87
5 - Rob Collard - 78
6 - James Thompson - 74
7 - Adam Jones - 51
8 - Andrew Jordan - 47
9 - Mat Jackson - 41
10 - Jonathan Adam - 41
Now the remaing nine FOTA teams have submitted their entries for 2010, despite their previous threats to boycott Formula 1 if the proposed FIA budget cap was pushed through.
FOTA issued a statement on Friday afternoon (29th May) stating that all its members would commit to F1 through to 2012 – provided they receive guarantees about the sport’s future governance, and that the FIA accepts FOTA's modifications to the controversial budget cap proposal.
The announcement could signal a breakthrough in the long-running dispute between FOTA and the FIA.
FOTA have insisted that a new Concorde Agreement be signed by all parties by June 12th. This is the date when the FIA has indicated it will publish the list of confirmed participants in the 2010 season.
FOTA is seeking a formal contract to give greater stability over the rule-making process, having been unhappy with the way recent rule changes were pushed through the FIA World Council, bypassing teams and other stakeholders represented on the F1 Commission.
In return for such guarantees, FOTA members will pledge their allegiance to F1 for the next three years.
FOTA’s other major proviso concerns the technical regulations to be adopted for 2010, which it says must be based on this year's rules subject to the amendments it has proposed in a submission to the FIA.
These amendments are believed to include a phased introduction of the budget cap and measures to ensure prospective new teams can compete in the higher-spending initial year.
The FOTA statement said: “All FOTA teams have today submitted conditional entries for the 2010 FIA Formula One World Championship. FOTA confirms all its members’ long-term commitment to be involved in the FIA Formula One World Championship and has unanimously agreed further and significant actions to substantially reduce the costs of competing in the championship in the next three years, creating a mechanism that will preserve the technological competition and the sporting challenge and, at the same time, facilitate the entry in the F1 championship for new teams. These measures are in line with what has been already decided in 2009 within FOTA, achieving important saving on engines and gearboxes".
“All FOTA teams have entered the 2010 championship on the basis that: 1) The Concorde Agreement is signed by all parties before 12th June 2009, after which all FOTA teams will commit to competing in Formula One until 2012. 2) The basis of the 2010 regulations will be the current 2009 regulations, amended in accordance with proposals that FOTA has submitted to the FIA.”
“All FOTA teams’ entries for the 2010 FIA Formula One World Championship have been submitted today on the understanding that (a) all FOTA teams will be permitted to compete during the 2010 Formula One season on an identical regulatory basis, and (b) that they may only be accepted as a whole".
All ten of the current teams on the F1 grid have now declared their intention to compete in next year's championship which will be expanded to thirteen teams (26 cars).
We understand that applications have been received from Prodrive (run by former BAR boss, Dave Richards), Campos Racing of Spain, the much vaunted Team US F1, Lola and Litespeed who currently run in F3 but have just teamed up with Mike Gascoigne for their F1 program.
It has been reported in the British press that Ecclestone has initimated that in view of the fact the 2010 grid is now oversubscribed some existing F1 teams may be replaced by new entrants to the sport.
All will be revealed on 12th June.
Carlos Iaconelli was second and Lithuanian Kazim Vasiliauskas was an impressive third after starting from P9 on the grid.
Henry Surtees finished seventh and Alex Brundle eighth.
TOP TEN FOR RACE 1 - FIA F2 CHAMPIONSHIP VALENCIA, SPAIN - 23 LAPS
1st - Robert WICKENS (CAN) - 37:03.621
2nd - Carlos IACONELLI (BRA) - 37:07.491 Gap +3.870
3rd - Kazim VASILIAUSKAS (LIT) - 37:08.862 Gap +5.241
4th - Mikhail ALESHIN (RUS) - 37:12.175 Gap +8.554
5th - Julien JOUSSE (FRA) - 37:13.543 Gap +9.922
6th - Mirko BORTOLOTTI (ITA) - 37:14.525 Gap +10.904
7th - Henry SURTEES (GBR) - 37:14.940 Gap +11.319
8th - Alex BRUNDLE (GBR) - 37:15.947 Gap +12.326
9th - Nicola DE MARCO (ITA) - 37:16.534 Gap +12.913
10th - Sebastian HOHENTHAL (SWE) - 37:17.597 Gap +13.976
Saturday, 30 May 2009
The second Team RAC of Stephen Jelley has qualified in P7.
Thursday, 28 May 2009
Frank Williams said "FOTA’s decision, although regrettable, is understandable. However, as a racing team and a company whose only business is Formula 1, with obligations to our partners and our employees, submitting our entry to next year’s championship was unquestionable. In addition, we are legally obliged under our contract with FOM and the FIA to participate in the world championship until the end of 2012.”
Williams it would seem is one of the few gentlemen remaining in F1 and not one to go scurrying off to court at the drop of a hat (unlike our Italian friends).
Wednesday, 27 May 2009
Although it may sound churlish and unpatriotic, the season is in danger of going stale (as it often did in the Schumacher era) if one driver continues to dominate.
I am hoping that one or (preferably) more of the other drivers, maybe Vettel or Barrichello or even Mark Webber, will snatch a victory or JB will encounter some unreliability to even out the playing field and spice things up a bit.
Compare the 2009 F1 season - two different winners to date - with this year's BTCC season - seven different winners in seven races.
Going back to the Monaco GP..... Button's Brawn GP team mate Rubens Barrichello came second and in third place, scoring Ferrari's only podium finish to date, was Kimi Raikkonen.
The Ferraris do finally seem to have picked up a bit of pace after their worst season start for decades.
Tuesday, 26 May 2009
Following several meetings at the Monaco Grand Prix last weekend, FIA president Max Mosley indicated that agreement on a budget cap was close, although he did admit that it may not come into effect until 2011.
The view of FOTA is that they are best placed to decide on and implement any necessary cost cutting exercises rather than having them forced upon them by the FIA.
The deadline for entries to the 2010 season is on Friday (29th May). Whilst all the teams are keen to maintain a united front in talks with Mosley, Williams F1 lodged their application for 2010 on Monday (25th May).
Williams stressed that it felt duty-bound to honour undertakings it had given to compete in F1 through to the end of 2010 but had no intention of leaving FOTA.
Mosley has initmated that the FIA may be willing to compromise over the implementation of the budget cap by treating 2010 as a transitional year with changes gradually fased in before coming into full effect in 2011.
Saturday, 23 May 2009
Earlier in the week an injunction from Ferrari to stop the planned budget cap was kicked out of court.
Ferrari are being even more up the own arse than usual this week making some very scathing comments about the "quality"of the new teams vying to join the F1 Championship next year. (These teams include prestigious and highly experienced companies such as Lola).
According to Ferrari it will be more like GP3 next year than F1.
Perhaps it has escaped their attention that they are being soundly whipped this year by a two bob team by the name of Brawn GP?
Correct me if I'm wrong but didn't McLaren, Williams and umpteen other teams start from scratch with limited budgets before growing to where they are now?
In the latest twist Ferrari are threatening legal action as they say they were given a right of veto over technical changes in 2005. Ecclestone is hinting at a possible counter claim against Ferrari for breach of contract should they quit the sport before 2012.
Further talks are planned for Saturday......
Williams Nico Rosberg has set the fastest time in the second practice session for Sunday's Monaco F1 Grand Prix.
Throughout the season so far Rosberg has been consistantly fast during Friday practice sessions but unfortunately has not been able to carry this speed into qualifying on Saturdays or the race on Sundays.
There are rumours that he is getting frustrated with the Williams Team. Lets hope Patrick and Frank can get the issues with the car resolved soon so that he can show his talents. Maybe a good result is on the cards this weekend.
The two McLarens of Hamilton and Kovalainen are showing improved pace round Monaco with Hamilton second fastest behind Rosberg.
The Brawns are also fast again with Barrichello quicker than his team mate Button in both practice sessions.
Could it be Rubens turn to take the win this time following his disappointment in Spain? All will be revealed as the weekend progresses.
Friday, 22 May 2009
As reported previously on this blog, Scot Dario Franchitti has qualified in P3 for this Sunday's Indy 500. Other qualifiers of interest to British fans are former F1 driver Justin Wilson in P15, Dan Wheldon in P18 and youngster Mike Conway in P27.
Conway did well to qualify following an accident at an earlier Indy 500 practice session.
Highest female qualifier is Danica Patrick in P10.
For full details of the starting grid please click here
Some food for thought for Ecclestone and Co..... starting prices for tickets at the Indy 500 are only US $ 20!
Due to Ecclestone's insatiable greed for ever bigger profits, ticket prices in Formula 1 are getting out of the reach of the average hard working motor sports fan.
Imagine how many new fans could be attracted to the sport if gate prices at the British Grand Prix started at onbly £ 20 or £ 30?
James Thompson who has recently joined Team Dynamics had an excellent weekend with wins in the first two races and a sixth place finish in the third.
After winning race one, Thompson became the seventh different winner in as many races this season. A clear indication, as if one was needed, of how close the racing is in the BTCC.
Race one was heavily rain affected. The experienced Thompson was able to move into the lead after a slow start from young Andy Jordan who had inherited pole position from his VX Racing team mate Giovanardi. The Italian clocked the fastest time in Saturday qualifying but was dropped to the back of the grid due to a technical issue with his car.
Thompson managed to maintain the lead through to the end of the race and was followed home by Jordan (2nd), Neal (3rd) and Collard (4th).
There were very creditable performances from Harry Vaulkhard finishing in 5th and Jonathan Adam in 6th.
In race two, the rain abated and Thompson lead away from the start maintaining that position through to the chequered flag. The two Vauxhalls of Championship leader Neal and reigning champion Giovanardi finished second and third respectively.
Jason Plato in the Chevrolet Lacetti came in fourth, followed by Colin Turkington in the BMW and Plato's team mate Matt Jackson in sixth.
Race three started with another downpour but the track later dried. Rob Collard in the Team Airwaves BMW made a lightning start and opened up an early lead which he held through to the end of the race.
Turkington took second place with Plato in third - his first and only podium finish of the weekend. Matt Jackson took fourth spot followed by Giovanardi and Thompson in sixth, putting him in contention for the Championship even at this early stage of the season.
Next rounds - 10 to 12 - Oulton Park 30th/31st May
Thursday, 14 May 2009
Scotland's Dario Franchitti has qualified third on the grid for the 2009 Indianapolis 500 which will be run on 24th May.
Pole position for the 93rd running of the historic race was taken by Brazilian Helios Castroneves and P2 by Aussie Ryan Briscoe.
Castroneves set an average qualifying speed of 224.864 mph.
This year marks the centenary of the construction of the world famous Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
The 200 lap, 500 mile Indy 500 race has been run since 1911, only interrupted briefly by war. Between 1950 and 1960 the race counted towards the Formula 1 World Championship.
In an effort to resolve the dispute, Formula 1 teams are due to meet Max Mosley and Bernie Ecclestone at a London hotel on Friday.
FIA boss Mosley, has attempted to railroad through a "voluntary" budget cap of £40m for the 2010 season. Teams opting for the budget cap would be allowed greater technical freedom than those operating outside the arrangement.
Whilst it is clearly imperative that the untenable levels of spending in Formula 1 are reigned in, at the same time it is absolutely non sensical to have cars from different teams operating under different technical regulations.
Teams wishing to enter the 2010 season have until the 29th May to submit their applicationsd.
With barely two weeks to go to this deadline the teams and the FIA are playing a high stakes poker game - as usual with scant regard to ordinary F1 fans.
Clearly with half the grid threatening to pull out of the 2010 season some form of compromise solution will have to be hammered out over the next few weeks and months.
Wednesday, 13 May 2009
Tuesday, 12 May 2009
Wednesday, 6 May 2009
Metropolitan Police detectives are currently investigating whether the 39 year old restaurateur's death was an accident or suicide.
It is suggested that Alexander may have been a recreational drugs user.
Maybe he will get a chance to test for Williams at some point next year - watch this space!
Sunday, 3 May 2009
In the feature race, Carroll had it sown up from start to finish - a classic lights to flag victory.
Saturday, 2 May 2009
Three countries - Ireland, Portgual and Switzerland are vying for the title honours which will only be finally decided after the feature race on Sunday afternoon.
The closing round of the season was due to have taken place in Mexico but had to be cancelled due to the swine flu epidemic.
L2F senior was at Brands Hatch today and can report that the new Ferrari powered cars are very impressive and sound great!
In the final Friday practice session, to the delight of the travelling Dutch fans, Team Netherlands topped the time sheets.
Their car was driven in that session by Jeroen Bleekemolen. The Team Ireland car piloted by Adam Carroll was second fastest followed by former Formula 1 driver Narain Karthikeyan for Team India.
It will be interesting to see if Karthikeyan can replicate this performance again in qualifying for Sunday's race.
Last yearKarthikeyan snatched victory in the feature race at Brands Hatch.
Friday final practice session top ten positions and lap times -
1. Netherlands (Jeroen Bleekemolen), 1m12.1002.
2. Ireland (Adam Carroll), +0.503s
3. India (Narain Karthikeyan), +0.584s
4. Monaco (Clivio Piccione), +0.698s
5. USA (JR Hildebrand), +0.698s
6. Portugal (Filipe Albuquerque), +0.703s
7. France (Nicolas Prost), +0.868s
8. New Zealand (Earl Bamber), +0.892s
9. Australia (John Martin), +1.192s
10. Switzerland (Neel Jani), +1.192s
Meanwhile, Team Great Britain who were off the pace all day could only manage eleventh fastest.
Hopefully they will be able to squeeze some extra performance from the car in time for Saturday's qualifying.