Monday, May 31, 2010

Kimi's co-driver: Ville Peltonen* wouldn't do well in figure skating either

Kimi Räikkönen and his co-driver Kaj Lindström knew that Rally Portugal would be a difficult race. That's what it also became since Räikkönen, who finished tenth, ended up losing over 11 and a half minutes to his team mate Sebastien Ogier who won the race.

-We knew that there are two difficult rallies on the first half of the season, Jordan and this one. We got a point but there were chances for better if it wasn't for the tyre puncture on Sunday. Even before the rally the only plan was to just finish the race and gather experience. In that sense it went as expected. We didn't have any bigger goals for this race anyway, says Lindström.

In Rally Turkey in mid April Räikkönen finished promisingly at fifth place. Lindström points out that Räikkönen benefitted from the fact that the race set in Istanbul was a new experience for all the teams and drivers. Portugal's special stages are demanding for an unexperienced driver anyway.

-There's slippery, slow and technical roads here and a lot is happening all the time. Listening to the pace notes and other things are emphasized even more in a race like this. More experience is needed, said Lindström.

At which point can we start expecting better results from Kimi?

-We have to remember how many rallies he's driven in his life. It's a bit like asking why Ville Peltonen doesn't win the world championship of figure skating during the first year. Kimi has very limited experience of rallying. Proper results cannot be expected this year. Kimi should be given the peace to get used to rally and if he decides to continue after this year, then we can start expecting those good positions, thinks Lindström.

Lindströn wasn't able to say whether the rally experiment is a several year project for the 2007 F1 world champion.

-It hasn't been discussed yet. At some point of the year he'll make a decision about continuing. Now we're only at the end of May and we're concentrating on driving rally, Lindström says.

Time to strike in Bulgaria?

The next WRC rally will be driven 9th -11th of July on Bulgarian asphalt roads. The race, which is in the WRC program for the first time, may be one of the best places for Räikkönen to show his speed.

-Bulgaria is again a new race for everybody and we go to an asphalt surface. One of the variables is then more familiar since Kimi has driven on asphalt all his live. There finding braking points and other things will be easier. It will be interesting to see how driving on asphalt will start going, Lindström says.

On the second weekend of June Räikkönen will try out asphalt roads in Lanterna Rally driven near Genova in Italy.

-It's just a practice race. The race is first and then we'll have our first asphalt test. We're just going there to see how a car like this feels on asphalt. We'll probably get ideas there about what to test and develop in the following week's asphalt test, Lindström tells.

*Ville Peltonen is a Finnish ice hockey player. Kaj's point is that if he suddenly started figure skating, we couldn't expect him to win anything during the first year.

Source: MTV3 – Lauri Ouvinen
Courtesy: Dracaena

Räikkönen scores again in Portugal

F1 2007 world champion Kimi Raikkonen returns to WRC action in Portugal and once again puts his Citroen C4 WRC in the points

Former Ferrari and McLaren F1 man Kimi Raikkonen came through to score points for the third event in succession on Sunday in Portugal, despite a pretty scary moment in the final loop.

Raikkonen, who of course only started rallying last year and who missed the last round of the World Rally Championship in New Zealand, ran in the top-ten throughout in his Citroen Junior Team-run C4 WRC, setting top ten stage times in twelve of the eighteen tests.

Heading into the final loop he was up to eighth, however, the repeat run through the 21.28 kilometre Felizes test almost proved his undoing, and when he hit something and picked up a puncture, he slipped back down to tenth.

Despite losing two places though, the F1 2007 world champion was still happy to get to the end and he finished on a high by setting the third best time in the short 2.03 km Estádio Algarve super special.

"It's been a really tough weekend, but this is all part of the learning process," said Raikkonen. "The other drivers have been here for the past three years so it's hard to be on their pace. My only objective though was to finish the rally and gain more experience, so we have fulfilled our goal here.

"The last day was particularly difficult, as the handling of the car did not feel right, so we decided to play it safe. Then we hit something on the side of the road just after the start of the first stage in the afternoon. We cut a corner and the car went onto two wheels. We risked rolling, but the car landed back on its wheels and we picked up a puncture.

"After that, I just wanted to be sure of making the finish. There was nothing more to gain apart from another points finish. Overall I've really enjoyed the experience of driving here: this was actually the first time I have ever been to Portugal and it is a really nice country, with very friendly people."

Raikkonen's co-driver Kaj Lindstrom meanwhile was again impressed with the ex-F1 star. He also added that they are continuing to refine and improve their pace notes.

"Like everything else, they are getting better all the time," Lindstrom explained. "We changed a couple of things and increased our experience in a few vital areas. With changing levels of grip and so many blind corners, it's really not been easy for Kimi but he's kept his cool throughout the rally and made a lot of progress. I've been really impressed with both his driving and his attitude."

Raikkonen now heads to Austria where he will take on Polish bike star Taddy Blazusiak on the fearsome Erzberg hillclimb course. Blazusiak will be on his trials bike whereas the 'ice-man' will be racing in the Red Bull-liveried Citroen C4 WRC car.

Courtesy: MomoD

Ferrari 800 Grands Prix - Interview with Fernando Alonso

Source: ferrariworld

Sunday, May 30, 2010

[Photos] More from Rally Portugal

[Photos] Turkish GP

Hamilton dedicates win to father

Following the chaos which was the Red Bull collision and subsequent aftermath in Turkey on Sunday, Lewis Hamilton enjoyed his first race victory of the season, crossing the line ahead of team-mate Jenson Button before dedicating his first victory since Singapore last year to father and former Manager Anthony.

After being able to crucially split the Red Bull pair in qualifying, Hamilton lost second place to Sebastian Vettel at the first corner before retaking the position just moments later, following leader Webber until dropping to third courtesy of a pit-stop problem.

"It was quite exciting, actually!" Hamilton said in the post-race press conference. "We had good race pace; we knew we would be able to stay with the Red Bulls but they're so fast in Turn 8, so it's difficult to slipstream, but otherwise I was on Mark's tail. I had a little problem at the pit-stop, so it was double trouble."

Having seen the Red Bulls go off in front of him, Hamilton then fended off Button in their own inter-team scrap just seven laps later.

"I'm not sure what happened with these guys but me and Jenson had a good little battle and fortunately was able to come back into Turn 1," Lewis continued, having also had to monitor his fuel levels. "It was definitely unexpected but a great result for the team.

"I want to dedicate this win to my dad, it's his 50th birthday tomorrow, so a perfect way for him to celebrate it.

"We were pushing very hard with the Red Bulls and it was a combination of looking after brakes and tyres - Turn 8 was a killer - and also looking after fuel, so it was difficult to know how much fuel to save."

Source: GP Update

Whitmarsh: What's with the cuddling?

McLaren team boss Martin Whitmarsh admits he "a little bit surprised" that the Red Bull pit wall "cuddled" Sebastian Vettel following his exit from the Turkish Grand Prix.

Red Bull gifted McLaren a 1-2 finish at Istanbul Park when Vettel collided with his team-mate Mark Webber on lap 41. Vettel was later seen hugging each member on the pit wall, including team boss Christian Horner.

Whitmarsh says if it was one of his drivers he'd be fuming instead of giving them cuddles.

"I think what you've got to say is, if you've got a 1-2 in prospect, you can't jeopardise it by colliding on the track - it's not acceptable for drivers to take themselves out," he told BBC.

"I confess I was a little bit surprised by the extent they were cuddling Sebastian during the race, I don't think I would have been cuddling Sebastian.

"I don't know if they're happy with what happened in their race but I'm happy with what happened in ours."

Source: Planet F1

Q&A with Red Bull’s Helmut Marko: We are not amused

As Red Bull’s motorsport consultant, Dr Helmut Marko is the perfect person to ask about the incident between the team’s drivers Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber during the Turkish Grand Prix. Watching the duo go wheel-to-wheel and then lose an almost guaranteed one-two by ending up colliding was not the ideal end to the Istanbul Park weekend. And Marko and the rest of the team are keen to have a serious word with both drivers to ensure it never happens again…

Q: Helmut, how disappointed do you feel to have let victory slip from your grasp?
Helmut Marko: A sure-fire one-two to be exact! It leaves you speechless.

Q: Do you regret there are no team orders anymore?
HM: Well, we thought that we had two responsible drivers who wouldn’t get into such a situation in the first place.

Q: Red Bull team principal Christian Horner said he didn’t believe it was Vettel’s fault. Is this the official opinion of the team?
HM: Well, in the situation Sebastian was in, he had no other choice than to act the way he did.

Q: How will the team respond?
HM: We will carefully analyse the situation and sit down with all involved to have a serious word about what happened and how to handle situations like that in the future.

Q: Will you change something in the future to avoid such an incident happening again?
HM: Well, first of all we always told them that it is a strict no-go to go to the wall with each other. Whatever happens they always have to give room to the other. I hope that all the people involved will think a bit more in the future before acting.

Q: That suggests that one of the two should have given way to the other…
HM: Yes.

Q: And you will discuss with them who that should have been …
HM: Yes.

Q: Is it true that the team gave instructions to Mark Webber’s race engineer to let Sebastian Vettel pass because otherwise Lewis (Hamilton)would be able to overtake?
HM: That is not correct, because that would mean a team order. We informed Mark about the situation and it is for the driver to decide. The fact is that if Sebastian hadn’t passed he would have been overtaken by Hamilton.

Q: Why was Sebastian so much quicker than Mark so suddenly?
HM: I think it was in the tyres.

Q: Have you received a phone call from Red Bull owner Dietrich Mateschitz?
HM: Yes. What does the Queen say? We are not amused? That’s what he said…that he was not amused!

Q: At the next race, if you have a one-two, how will you tell the drivers to behave?
HM: Montreal is a track that is probably not the best for our car, and if it is, we will surely make the right decisions.


[Video] Webber explains Turkey crash

Source: YouTube @ TheGPUpdate

Vettel does not blame webber for crash

Sebastian Vettel refuses to blame team-mate Mark Webber for their collision during the Turkish Grand Prix

Source: YouTube - WeeklyF1

Kimi Räikkönen Driver Blog from Rally Portugal

Go behind the scenes of the World Rally Championship with Kimi Räikkönen’s postcard from the Rally de Portugal...

Writing this from Portugal is a bit of a new experience for me, particularly as I have never even been to Portugal before! It’s a nice country, but I have to say that the stages are really tricky.

I expected this rally to be quite difficult from the start, but maybe not this difficult. I’ve been back in the car for the first time in over a month, and although I had a day of testing in France, that’s hardly the same as being in competition in Portugal.

The most difficult thing? Actually there are lots of tricky things. First of all, everyone has a lot more experience than me. All the other guys have seen these stages for the last three years but this is still only my seventh-ever WRC rally.

Then there are the stages themselves. The rally is on gravel and I’m finding the grip really inconsistent. There are also a few other things catching me out.

For example, you often have corners that are right on the top of some crests and this makes it really difficult to get the braking and the line right. I can tell you this now: rallying is a lot harder than Formula One, but as always it just depends on what you’re used to.

The engineers sometimes talk to the drivers over the radio in Formula One, but this is something that I never really liked: I preferred just to get on and drive the car. So imagine what it’s like now, when I have a co-driver telling me what to do all the time! Getting the pace notes right is an important part of rallying and I think we have some way to go before we have completely got on top of that.

So, it’s really not easy. But I’m definitely enjoying myself. For a start, the atmosphere is much more relaxed and a lot less political than it was in Formula One. I’ve been made to feel very welcome; there are nice people here. There’s no pressure either: I’m just learning something different at my own pace.

I like Portugal too. When you are in a rally car you get to see some of the country you are in: it’s not like Formula One where all you see is the airport, the hotel and the circuit.

We’re staying in a hotel in Vilamoura: quite a nice tourist place that has a little port and some restaurants and bars. Although the days on a rally are very long, over the course of the year you get more time to yourself and I am really enjoying that.

Portuguese people seem to love motor sport: in fact any sport! The service park for the rally is in the Estadio Algarve: a stadium just outside of Faro. I’ve forgotten the name of the team that plays there, but somebody told me that they weren’t very good. Just goes to show, life is tough when you’re a top sportsman…

Kimi Räikkönen

Source: Red Bull - RallyBuzz

Horner: Where was the room!

Christian Horner admits Red Bull paid a heavy price for their policy of allowing their drivers race. However, the drivers should have given one another room

Holding onto the 1-2 on lap 41 of the Turkish GP, Sebastian Vettel decided it was time to challenge his team-mate Mark Webber for the lead.

The two, though, touched, sending Vettel into retirement, Webber into the pits for repairs, and Horner into a well of despair.

"From a team perspective I'm really disappointed because the team had done everything right - we'd out-strategied the McLarens, who were strong today," the Red Bull team boss told the BBC.

"To see both cars touch each other was really disappointing.

"I've spoken to Sebastian, he got a run and they should never had been where they were. It's really disappointing for the team - it's cost them a lot of points.

"The priority is to beat the other teams and today we handed 43 points on a plate to McLaren.

The team really deserved to win this race. We need to sit down, go through it and come back stronger at the next event."

Red Bull have a policy of always allowing their drivers to race, neither Webber nor Vettel holding number one status within the team. I exchange for that, Horner says all he asks for it a bit of courtesy from both when racing each other.

"What we always ask is that the drivers give each other room," he said.

"Today neither yielded, and the result was the team losing a lot of points, Mark losing a lots of points and Sebastian losing a lot of points - the net result is everybody loses.

"We saw today with Jenson [Button] and Lewis [Hamilton], they raced each other and they gave each other space, and that's what we ask."

Source: Planet-F1

Turkish GP: Vettel gifts McLaren the 1-2

Lewis Hamilton took advantage of Red Bull's worst nightmare to claim his first victory in ten races in Sunday's Turkish Grand Prix

Putting pressure on the Bulls throughout the grand prix, Hamilton never allowed pole sitter Mark Webber to pull away from him. However, a small problem with his tyres in his pit stop meant he lost out to Sebastian Vettel, dropping to third.

But instead of falling away as some believed would happen, Hamilton kept hounding the Bulls, putting the pressure on Vettel. And it was perhaps that pressure - as well as that of having lost out to Webber for the past two races - that prompted Vettel to launch an opportunistic attack on his team-mate for the lead.

It was a move that resulted in tears as Vettel crashed into Webber, putting himself out the grand prix and Webber into the pits for repairs. Red Bull's woes were McLaren's joys as Hamilton and team-mate Jenson Button took control of the race.

However, McLaren almost had tears of their own as Button fought Hamilton for the lead, getting ahead of his team-mate and resulting in a small rubbing of paint for the two Brits. Hamilton fought back to take the lead from Button and never looked back, claiming his first victory of the season.

A disappointed Webber was third ahead of Michael Schumacher, Nico Rosberg and Robert Kubica. Felipe Massa and Fernando Alonso finished Ferrari's 800th grand prix in seventh and eighth places.


1. Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1h28:47.620
2. Button McLaren-Mercedes + 2.645
3. Webber Red Bull-Renault + 24.285
4. Schumacher Mercedes + 31.110
5. Rosberg Mercedes + 32.266
6. Kubica Renault + 32.824
7. Massa Ferrari + 36.635
8. Alonso Ferrari + 46.544
9. Sutil Force India-Mercedes + 49.029
10. Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari + 1:05.650
11. De la Rosa Sauber-Ferrari + 1:05.944
12. Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari + 1:07.800
13. Liuzzi Force India-Mercedes + 1 lap
14. Barrichello Williams-Cosworth + 1 lap
15. Petrov Renault + 1 lap
16. Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari + 1 lap
17. Hulkenberg Williams-Cosworth + 1 lap
18. Glock Virgin-Cosworth + 2 laps
19. Di Grassi Virgin-Cosworth + 3 laps

Did not finish

Chandhok HRT-Cosworth 53
Senna HRT-Cosworth 47
Vettel Red Bull-Renault 40
Kovalainen Lotus-Cosworth 34
Trulli Lotus-Cosworth 33

Source: Planet-F1

Rally de Portugal 2010: SS18 Estadio Algarve 2

Ogier does it!

Frenchman Sebastien Ogier sealed victory on Rally de Portugal at the Algarve Stadium super special, collecting his maiden rally win at World Championship level and underlining his position as one of the sport's hottest properties.

The 26-year-old Citroen Junior Team driver held his own in a thrilling final day scrap with six-time World Champion - and fellow C4 WRC driver - Sebastien Loeb, which concluded on the all-tarmac head-to-head stage.

Loeb, the 2010 championship leader, finished the rally second, 7.9 seconds behind Ogier, while his Citroen Total team-mate Dani Sordo was third, 1min 10sec further back, to complete an all-Citroen podium.

After his shock last stage retirement from Rally New Zealand earlier this month, Petter Solberg had another eleventh hour disaster in Portugal. The Norwegian was fourth in his privately entered C4 WRC but lost the position after driving into a barrier on the Super Special.

Ford Focus RS WRC driver Hirvonen moved ahead into fourth, 14.4sec adrift of Sordo, with Solberg rounding off the top five 3.7sec further back.

Stage Times:

Source: WRC

Rally de Portugal 2010: SS17 Loule 2

Ogier leads with just the Super Special to go...

Having fought off Sebastien Loeb's challenge through the final gravel stage of Rally de Portugal, just 2km of tarmac stands between Sebastien Ogier and his maiden WRC victory.

Loeb was fastest through SS17 but was only 1.8sec quicker than his Junior team rival, giving Ogier a 7.7sec advantage for the head-to-head Algarve Super Special.

Dani Sordo holds the upper hand in the fight for the final podium place but Petter Solberg (+4.6sec) and Mikko Hirvonen (+8.4sec) are right behind and ready to pounce should he make a mistake.

Stage Times:

Source: WRC

Rally de Portugal 2010: SS16 Felizes 2

Flat out Sebastiens neck and neck

Rally Portugal leader Sebastien Ogier overcame a near-stall on the start line of SS16 to defend his position from Sebastien Loeb once again. And after claiming he had more speed in reserve on the morning pass, the Citroen Junior team driver admitted he was pushing himself and his tyres to the limit on the repeat.

The swept Felizes stage was more abrasive than it had been earlier and this, combined with a higher ambient temperature, made tyre wear a crucial consideration. Loeb was the stage winner, finishing six-tenths ahead of Ogier, but felt he had worn his Pirellis more than his rival.

Asked about his chances of catching Ogier, Loeb said: "I'm not giving up, but it's getting more and more difficult." Heading to the final gravel stage of the rally, Ogier's lead stands at 9.5sec.

Dani Sordo held on to third place and extended his advantage over Petter Solberg a little to 5.4sec. Mikko Hirvonen, meanwhile, edged closer to Petter and will start SS17 trailing by just two seconds.

Stage Times:

Source: WRC

Rally de Portugal 2010: SS15 Loule 1

Ogier clings on at Sunday's midpoint

Sebastien Ogier rounded off Sunday morning's loop of stages with his Rally de Portugal lead slimmed but intact. With only two more gravel stages and the Super special to go, Ogier has a 10.1sec over the hard charging Sebastien Loeb.

Loeb was the fastest driver through SS15, completing the stage 4.8sec quicker than Ogier and admitting to pushing to the maximum. Ogier, however, claimed he still had something in reserve.

Petter Solberg lost more time because of his car's damaged steering rack and slipped behind Dani Sordo into fourth place. Mikko Hirvonen, the leading Ford driver, rounded off the morning loop in fifth, only 6.5sec behind Petter.

Stobart Ford team driver Henning Solberg retired 16km into the stage because of a broken fan belt. The Norwegian had been sixth.

Stage Times:

Source: WRC

Rally de Portugal 2010: SS14 Felizes 1

Sebastien vs Sebastien: it's game on!

Sebastien Loeb took more than six seconds from Sebastien Ogier's lead of Rally de Portugal on Sunday's opener as the defending world champion began a final push for victory.

Loeb, the winner of the rally in 2007 and 2009, reduced the gap on his Citroen stable-mate from 21.1sec to 14.9sec over the 21 kilometre Felizes test.

Behind the lead pair, the battle for third hotted up too as Petter Solberg dropped time with steering rack problem. Fourth placed Dani Sordo began the stage 13.5sec behind the Norwegian but was only 2.2sec adrift at the finish.

Mikko Hirvonen also closed in on the final podium position. Despite being hampered by dust in the cockpit of his Ford Focus, the Finn slimmed the gap to Sordo ahead from 8.2sec to 5.7sec.

Stage Times:

Source: WRC

Saturday, May 29, 2010

[Video] Kimi goes off road during SS13 of Rally Portugal

Source: YouTube @Anelise30

Alonso admits: We are where we deserve to be

Double F1 World Champion Fernando Alonso gloomily assessed in the wake of his unexpected Q2 exit during qualifying for this weekend's Turkish Grand Prix in Istanbul that such a result is 'what we deserve' given the current pace of Ferrari's F10 – and worse still, he predicted a 'defensive' race for the Scuderia on Sunday, its 800th grand prix.

Having progressed through Q1 in ninth (Alonso) and eleventh (Felipe Massa) respectively, the Ferrari pair subsequently found themselves split in the second session, with the Brazilian placing fifth – and going onto claim P8 in the final top ten shoot-out – but his Spanish team-mate getting out-of-shape on his penultimate 'flyer' and subsequently failing to improve on his last effort, thereby winding up four tenths adrift of the sister scarlet machine and down in P12. All-in-all, not a good day – but equally, the Oviedo native contended, not exactly a bolt-out-of-the-blue either.

“Nothing strange happened – twelfth place is what we deserve from what we have seen today,” a downcast Alonso mused. “I did not have enough speed and, when there are nine drivers within half a second, as happened today in Q2, it takes an instant to be either fourth or twelfth – and in my case it was the latter. I don't think I could have done better today; I did practically the same time three times.

“Tomorrow will be tough and we will be racing defensively, but we will try and get the best result possible. I don't think today's weather, with slightly lower temperatures, had an influence on this result. Already in Q1, we realised we were not competitive at the highest level and that it would be difficult to get into Q3. The car balance is okay, as it was yesterday when we were quicker.”

“We were slower than our main rivals, so we will have to work very hard to get back to fighting for the top places and there can be no doubt about that,” agreed Massa, a three-time former winner in Turkey. “Even if this is a track I like very much, today I could not do any better than eighth place. The team and I cannot be pleased about it, but we have to react calmly and analyse the reasons that have led to this situation. Now we will concentrate on tomorrow's race; it will be tough but we will try and do our very best.”

Given that less than a handful of races ago Ferrari was being tipped in some corners of the paddock to go on to usurp Red Bull Racing's advantage and emerge as favourite to lift the F1 2010 World Championship laurels, the Prancing Horse's current situation is rather a fall from grace – and one from which, team principal Stefano Domenicali and chief track engineer Chris Dyer both equally acknowledge, the team must swiftly pick itself up again.

“A disappointing result for Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro in qualifying for the Turkish Grand Prix,” summarised the Italian. “Felipe was the only driver to get through to the final part of the session, but could do no better than eighth. Fernando was eliminated at the end of Q2, having set the twelfth-fastest time. These are certainly not the positions from which we would have liked to start the 800th grand prix in the history of the Scuderia, but we have to be honest and admit that today, our performance did not live up to our expectations.

“We have to react immediately, starting from tomorrow's race, when we will try to bring home as many points as possible. Then we must accelerate the development of our car to be competitive at every type of circuit. Today, Felipe did the maximum, using all the potential available from his car and the tyres. Fernando did not have a perfect Q2 and missed the cut for the final part of qualifying; when the gaps are so close, it takes very little to be in or out.”

“It was a very frustrating qualifying for us,” agreed New Zealander Dyer. “We definitely expected a better result than this. The F10 was not quick enough to be competitive in qualifying while, at least from what we could see yesterday, over a distance the situation seems to be better. Tomorrow, we face an uphill race, but we must not take anything for granted and try to bring both cars home in the points. Unfortunately, both drivers will start from the dirty side of the track, which is a definite disadvantage.

“Felipe did a great job, managing to get into Q3 and getting every last possible fraction of performance out of the car. Fernando was right on the cut after his first run in Q2, and at the start of his second he did not get a perfect lap and then on the next lap, the tyres were no longer at their best.”

Source: Crash

Button: Schumi ruined my qualifying

Not for the first time this season, Jenson Button has fallen foul of Michael Schumacher, this time during qualifying for the Turkish GP.

The last driver out in Q3 bidding to put his car on pole position - or at least as close to the Red Bull racers as possible, Button was behind Schumacher on the track.

But with the chequered flag waving and the clock having run down, Schumacher lost control of his Merc GP through Turn Eight, sliding into the gravel where his car remained beach.

The German's incident immediately brought out the yellow flags, which meant Button had to back off and settle for fourth place on Sunday's grid.

"Fourth is not too bad but the last lap was frustrating," Button told the BBC.

"Being the last car is sometimes a good thing but there's more chance of someone going off ahead and Michael Schumacher went off in front me, I saw the yellow flag and decided to come in.

"We are a lot closer to Red Bull than I expected.

"My biggest problem is Turn Eight and I think we've run the car too low. We'll have a lot of fuel on board for tomorrow so it will be tough on Turn Eight."

Source: Planet F1

Ferrari tried to 'fix' FIA decisions, reveals Mosley

In the latest salvo in the ongoing war of words between former FIA President Max Mosley and Ferrari, the Englishman sensationally claims that the Scuderia believed it had the power within F1 to 'fix' the governing body's decisions.

FIA President he might no longer be, but Max Mosley's ongoing spat with Ferrari shows no signs of abating just yet, it seems, with the Englishman damningly accusing the famous Scuderia of believing it has the right to be favoured within the sport – and of trying to 'fix' the governing body's decisions.

Mosley, of course, is the man who once so famously and controversially described Ferrari as the most important team in F1, but that reverence has somewhat dissipated of late, with the two parties very publicly crossing swords last year over the budget cap row, as the Prancing Horse scathingly argued that the then FIA President was conducting 'a holy war' against the sport's manufacturers in an effort to recruit entrants who belonged rather in GP2 or even GP3.

Now, on the eve of Ferrari's 800th grand prix around Turkey's demanding Istanbul Park Circuit – a race for which Felipe Massa and Fernando Alonso have qualified a disappointing eighth and twelfth respectively [see separate story – click here] – Mosley has sensationally claimed that F1's most famous competitor tried to pressurise the governing body early last year into abusing its own power by outlawing Brawn GP, Toyota and Williams' contentious double-diffuser innovation in order to boost the scarlet machines' chances.

“Luca [di Montezemolo – Ferrari President] does have this silly idea that if it is Ferrari then it is okay,” he told British newspaper the Daily Mail. “When we had all this stuff about the double-diffuser he was on the 'phone every day saying, 'You have got to sort out the Court of Appeal and make sure we win'. He didn't put it as baldly as that, but that is what he said.

“I said, 'Luca, I'm sorry but first of all they wouldn't take any notice and secondly I am not going to do it'. I couldn't. He took that quite personally – he honestly thought I would.”

Another example of Ferrari expecting preferential treatment and even favours as the only team to have competed in every season of the F1 World Championship since its official inception back in 1950, Mosley said, was the 1999 Malaysian Grand Prix barge board episode, when Michael Schumacher and team-mate Eddie Irvine were initially disqualified from the top two positions in Sepang and subsequently re-instated by the FIA Court of Appeal.

“Ferrari won that appeal quite rightly on the technicality,” the 70-year-old explained. “Two years later I was at the Turin Motor Show and I was invited into a little area where Gianni Agnelli [the head of Ferrari's parent company FIAT] came up to me and said, 'Thank you so much for what you did over the barge boards'. He honestly thought it had been fixed.”

Ferrari refused to comment on Mosley's remarks, conceding only that 'it's better to look ahead and not waste time talking about what is – luckily – old and gone', whilst in Istanbul, the man referred to as 'Mad Max' in some corners of the paddock did at least find one supporting voice.

“Whatever you say about Max, the only possibility of an independent Formula 1 team existing is because of what he did,” Williams' Adam Parr told The Times, alluding to Mosley's cost-cutting zeal that was pivotal in enabling the likes of the former multiple world championship-winning Grove-based outfit to survive and successfully weather the current global economic storm.

Source: Crash

[Photos] Saturday FP3 and Qualifying