Tagged: Formula 1

Spanish Grand Prix Tech File 0

Spanish Grand Prix Tech File

The Grand Prix circuit near Barcelona is one that every F1 team knows well from the hundreds of kilometres of testing carried out there over the winter. Few venues offer such a variety of medium and high-speed corners and it is widely acknowledged as the definitive aero circuit that provides a stern test of an F1 car. With few big braking zones and so many high-speed corners, overtaking remains extremely difficult and a good qualifying performance and sensible strategy are paramount for a successful weekend.


Aerodynamic efficiency is always a key factor at Barcelona, although the introduction of the chicane at the end of the lap in recent years has replaced on of the most critical high-speed parts of the lap and means the track is not as demanding as it once was. Even so, the circuit remains the ultimate test of a car’s aero package and teams will run with high downforce levels to ensure competitiveness over the whole lap.

Spanish Grand Prix, Team and Driver official previews 4

Spanish Grand Prix, Team and Driver official previews

After four back to back fly-away races of 2009 season, Formula 1 is finally back to Europe starting with Spanish Grand Prix this week. Most of the teams are planning to bring major updates to this track and it will be interesting to see who did the best job. All ten teams have done testing here in March, but the pecking order may change as all the teams brought updates to their cars during past four races.

Ferrari, Brawn, BMW and Torro Rosso teams are excpected to bring major updates to this event. Ferrari will have it’s first double decker diffuser solution and a lighter chasis for Raikkonen while BMW will have a lighter chasis and a lot of aerodynamic updates. They also ruled out running KERS at Spanish and Monaco grand prix’s to be able to focus on evaluating updates. On the other hand, Brawn Gp will introduce their first update to the car this season.

Bahrain Team Previews 1

Bahrain Team Previews

After such a tremendous race at China only one week later we are already counting back for Bahrain Grand Prix. Most of the drivers arrived Bahrain early on to get used to the time difference and hot weather conditions.

Toyota, BMW and Ferrari have already tested their 2009 contenders here during winter testing and collected valuable data for the race. Other teams will start their preparations at Friday’s first practice session. Brawn, Toyota and Red Bull teams come here as favorites, whereas Ferrari, McLaren and Renault will try to show catch up. With only one week break after China, big updates are not expected. It will be interesting to see who will use KERS here, after we saw only three cars used KERS at Chinese Grand Prix.

Driver Quotes after Chinese Grand Prix 3

Driver Quotes after Chinese Grand Prix

BMW Sauber’s Robert Kubica and Toyota’s Jarno Trulli on their dramatic collision; Force India’s Adrian Sutil on being less than six laps from scoring his team’s first points; and Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber on their spectacular one-two victory. All 20 drivers and senior team personnel report back on Sunday’s race…

Vettel leads Red Bull one-two in Shanghai 2

Vettel leads Red Bull one-two in Shanghai

Sebastian Vettel won his second Grand Prix and Red Bull’s first with a sensational drive in treacherous conditions, dominating from start to finish to run out a 11-second winner from team-mate Mark Webber, making it a Red Bull 1-2. So treacherous were conditions that the race was started behind the safety for the first eight laps, from when Vettel pulled clear, his win never truly in doubt.

A second safety car period mid-way through the race bunched the field up again, but Vettel was unfazed and drove peerlessly, which included a brilliant overtake manoeuvre on Jenson Button just before the Briton pitted for the second time.

Vettel secured RedBull’s first ever pole position 0

Vettel secured RedBull’s first ever pole position

Sebastian Vettel secured Red Bull Racing’s debut pole position in a thrilling qualifying session in Shanghai this afternoon. Completing just one run in Q3, Vettel lapped in a time of 1m36.184s to displace team-mate Mark Webber from top spot, the Australian had clocked a 1m36.466s. Q2 had seen Vettel top the times, but the major surprise in Q3 was Fernando Alonso, who secured second place with a lap of 1m36.381s.

Behind Vettel, Alonso and Webber, the Brawn duo of Rubens Barrichello and Jenson Button endured their worst qualifying session of the season in fourth and fifth respectively, on times of 1m36.493s and 1m36.532s. Toyota’s Jarno Trulli was next in 6th (1m36.835s), followed by Williams’ Nico Rosberg (1m37.397s), Kimi Raikkonen (1m38.089s), Lewis Hamilton (1m38.595s) and the ever-impressive Seabstien Buemi (1m39.321s).

Q & A with Martin Whitmarsh 0

Q & A with Martin Whitmarsh

Q. Is Ron Dennis’s announcement related in anyway to the events of the Australian and Malaysian Grands Prix?

Martin Whitmarsh: Ron has said that it is his decision and it is not related to an F1 issue. He has decided that it is time to move to a new challenge, and that is what he has done.

Q. Did he not do that when he handed over the team principal role to you?

MW: The first phase of that was to relinquish his role as team principal, but he was still CEO and he was still my boss at that time. So it was a further step of what he announced in March.

Shanghai: Tech File 1

Shanghai: Tech File

The Shanghai International Circuit is one of the most impressive facilities on the Grand Prix calendar. Like most of the circuits designed by Hermann Tilke, it features a wide variety of corners, both fast and slow, as well as a long straight followed by a tight hairpin which provides an ideal overtaking opportunity. Technically the circuit is a challenge for the drivers and engineers, not least the never-ending first corner which almost takes the cars through a full circle.

As with many modern circuits, Shanghai includes a mixture of high-speed corners and long straights which means the level of aerodynamic downforce has to be judged very carefully to protect position on the straights, without compromising grip in the corners. Turns 7 and 8 make up two of the high-speed corners and lead into the tricky double lefthander of turns 9 and 10.

Fernando explains: “Turns 7 and 8 are a fun part of the lap and you can really feel the performance of the cars here as we take these corners in 6th gear and there is plenty of grip. On the exit of turn 8 you’re straight into turn 9 where you have to be very precise as it’s a corner where you can find a lot of time. We take it in third gear and accelerate hard on the exit so that turn 10 is taken flat. Get it right and it’s a really rewarding section of the lap.”

Diffusers declared legal 1

Diffusers declared legal

Formula One’s governing body, the FIA, has declared the controversial double-decker diffuser designs on the Brawn GP, Toyota and Williams cars as legal.
After lengthy deliberations overnight, the judges at the International Court of Appeal hearing in Paris rejected protests against the design from Ferrari, Red Bull Racing, and Renault.
The FIA said in a statement: “The FIA International Court of Appeal has decided to deny the appeals submitted against decisions numbered 16 to 24 taken by the Panel of the Stewards on 26 March at the 2009 Grand Prix of Australia and counting towards the 2009 FIA Formula One World Championship.”

Reshuffle at Ferrari 4

Reshuffle at Ferrari

Apart from the ICA’s decision the Chinese GP must be a turning point for the Scuderia after a bad start to the season. During the days after the return from Malaysia there was an air of retaliation: Montezemolo’s and Domenicali’s calls for each and every person to take responsibility for the parts they play were a great motivation for a group, which knew how to deal with very difficult situations in the past and turning them around.

From a technical and organisational point of view the F60’s development programme received some new stimulus. The goal is to anticipate as much as possible the introduction of new technologies to reduce the performance gap as fast as possible, which, apart from the question of the diffuser, seems to be there. A working party has been set up under the coordination of Aldo Costa, which will follow the development programme at Maranello in close contact with the experience made on the track: a crucial element of this group is Luca Baldisserri. The Scuderia Team Manager will follow the single-seater’s development step by step, while his role at the track will be covered by Chris Dyer.

There will be several new aerodynamic features at Shanghai, which have been tested by Marc Gené last week at the Vairano straight. The front wing will be modified next to the front rims and the deviators. The tyres are the same as in Australia and the main job during the three hours of free practice on Friday will be to understand how the two types will run on the tarmac, which is completely different to the one at Albert Park.