Thursday, December 30, 2010

2011 Ferrari passes monocoque crash tests


Ferrari’s 2011 chassis has passed a sequence of crucial crash tests, according to Italian media reports.

The mandatory monocoque tests reportedly took place under FIA guidelines and in the presence of an official observer at the CSI technical facility in Bollate, near Milan.

The reports cited rumours that the outcome of the tests was a relief to Ferrari’s Aldo Costa-led design team, due to fundamental differences between the F10 and its successor.

A key difference, said the reports, is in the new monocoque’s actual construction and composite materials, which are more extreme for 2011.

Ferrari’s crash test chief Davide Terletti reportedly investigated a crack that opened on the surface of the monocoque, but the detail was not enough to cause the chassis to fail the tests.

The reports said other parts of the 2011 car will be crash tested shortly.

Source: NextgenAuto

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Iltalehti paper edition: MOURNING TIME

According to Kaj Lindström Kimi Räikkönen's rally career is now put on ice

Soon the dead line for the entry list in WRC meets the end. Yet nobody knows anything about Kimi Räikkönen's contract situation.

The worst - if this adjective fits in - would be that there wouldn't be anything happening for a while when it comes to Räikkönen's sporting career. Matti-dad's death during christmas stopped all negotiations.

- Everything is now put on ice until he gets his things in order, Kaj Lindström says.

In practice Räikkönen's mourning time will last at least until the funeral is over. Riku Kuvaja emphasises that they want to keep everything concerning the mourning event strictly as the family's private matter.

- We will totally sanctify this time. We will tell news when it's time, Kuvaja told Iltalehti yesterday.

Lindström is such an experienced fox that he doesn't lose his nerves even if he doesn't know for sure about his own plans next season. Surely there is something going on but according to the co-driver even the continuance in rally isn't completely sure.

- Everything is possible in this sport. If you would ask me it would have been better if we would have had a signed contract already in September.

Lately Räikkönen has also been connected to managering a motocross-team. It's completely uncertain if that could be combined with a full rally season or not.

- Let's just hope that he will end up in rally. His chances for success the second year are much better than the first year since he doesn't have to learn everything again, Kaj Lindström said.

Yet rally must now be the least important thing in Räikkönen's mind. The WRC-serie starts in Sweden in February. Mini/Prodrive-, Monster- and Citroen's junior team hasn't yet confirmed their other driver's name.

Janne Palomäki


Condolences

Making these stories is not the pleasant side in this job. The death of a close person is an extremely painful matter for each and everyone and asking about them isn't professionally rewarding.

I was 27-years old when my father died only a few weeks after he turned 55 years.

Matti Räikkönen was 56 when he passed away.

I don't claim that I would know how Kimi Räikkönen feels at the moment. I don't claim that I can estimate how long it takes for him before he is ready to return to the negotiation-table. I don't think anyone can say that he should do anything else than what he is doing right now.

Mourn.

Everything else is secondary. I'm sure Kimi gave a lot of joy and happiness to his father. Maybe he can seek some comfort from the fact that their relationship remained close until the end.

We can only take part in Räikkönen-family's mourning.

And give them peace.

Janne Palomäki

Courtesy: Nicole

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Troubled Lewis looks to get back on track

Lewis Hamilton says problems in his personal life contributed to his failure to recapture the Formula One title and said he is trying to banish "outside intrusions" from his mind in 2011

Reflecting on a tough season that he rated as a six out of 10, the 2008 World Champion gave BBC Radio some rare insight into problems away from the track and said he hopes to "smooth everything off."

Hamilton did not specify what was bothering him, but the McLaren driver's season began in March amid the fallout from the high-profile decision to drop his father, Anthony Hamilton, as manager.

The 25-year-old Hamilton says that "The personal life, the way things have gone have not been as smooth and as happy as they could have been in the past and to do what I do is a combination of many, many things that are surrounding you," said the 25-year-old.

"It's not just arriving at the race track and driving, it's your appearances, it's your mood swings, it's the people that are around you - your family and your friends - and the time that you are able to give to them and the relationship that you have with them.

"As soon as some of those things are off - and you've not got all those pieces of the puzzle in place - then it makes it very hard to do other aspects of your life as easily. The key I think to life is getting all those pieces of the puzzle in place."

Hamilton finished fourth on the Drivers' standings, 16 points behind World Champion Sebastian Vettel, and Hamilton admits it's not a performance he is proud of.

"It's been a long time since I finished out of the top three of a Championship in my career," exlpained the McLaren driver.

"Finishing fourth is not something that I'm not particularly proud of.

"We had a solid couple of bad races where I lost points which would have put me in a much stronger position to compete for the Championship at the end of the year and really just throughout the year in general."

Heading into 2011, the Briton is drawing inspiration from another sporting icon that didn't have the best year - Tiger Woods.

"I look at the likes of Tiger Woods - I see him as the best golfer, he's a complete legend," said Hamilton.

"He's had many, many things that have had an impact on him this year, but he still plays, he still pars it, he still gets birdies.

"But that to him is a bad year, but to other people - I play golf and I'd love to get a par - when everything is right he is amazing," he added.


Source: Planet-F1

The ten most embarrassing 2010 Formula 1 moments

The ten most embarrassing moments of 2010 in Formula One

December is traditionally the time to reflect on the past Formula One season, a season that started with a boring race in Bahrain, but ended on a high with no less than four competitors from three teams fighting for the title during the very last race in Abu Dhabi. German Sebastian Vettel took the crown, and last week the youngest Formula One champion in the 60-year history of the sport collected his trophy during the annual FIA Gala in Monaco. But it was a long an winding road to the title for the 23-year old champion, as it was for the other title contenders: Fernando Alonso, Mark Webber, Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button.

Below the ten most embarrassing moments of the 2010 Formula One season. This is not a top ten, the events are ordered chronologically, and the numbers one to ten do not refer to the most or least embarrassing moment.

1. Only one lap for Karun Chandhok in Bahrain

Karun Chandhok's first Formula One race ended after just one lap, a big bump in the new section of the desert circuit became his Waterloo. "I hit a bump in the new part of the circuit, I do not have too much experience in that part of the track as I had driven only four timed laps over the weekend," the Indian said about his premature exit. But in all fairness, Chandhok was a victim, his Hispania Racing Team (HRT) was very ill- prepared, and even a visit of the Spanish King Juan Carlos to the HRT garage could not change that. The shakedown of the car was done during the free practice sessions, Bruno Senna was able to do 17 laps with his car, but Chandhok's car was fired up for the first time during the third free practice session and he barely managed to drive four complete laps.

During qualifying the HRT's were eight seconds slower than the Red Bull of Vettel, and three seconds slower than the other two rookie teams Virgin and Lotus. When asked if he thought he would last long enough in the first HRT race ever to make a pit stop, Chandhok answered: "I'm not sure, if we do, it will be interesting, because we haven't had the time to practice any pit stops yet." His team colleague Senna did make it until his first pit stop, but after 17 laps a cloud of smoke from the back of his car signaled the end of his race. An embarrassing start for the HRT team, but after a few races they got their act together, and HRT even finished ahead of Virgin in the Constructors' Championship.

2. Ferrari's classic rookie mistake during qualifying in Malaysia

During a rainy qualifying session in Malaysia, Ferrari made a classic mistake during Q1. Both Ferrari drivers stayed in the pit thinking the rain would subside, but instead the rain got worse and Alonso and Massa ended up on 19th and 21st place respectively on the start grid, with both drivers of the Lotus rookie team ahead of them. A major embarrassment for the Italian team, and a very red-faced team principal Stefano Domenicali had to explain what had happened to the media. "We made an error of judgment in trusting the weather forecast: when we went out on track the rain, rather than dying down, suddenly got even stronger. With hindsight, it is easy to say we should have gone out immediately."

Yes, hindsight is a wonderful thing, and can provide a wonderful excuse as well, but a team that has been in Formula One for 60 years and has participated in over 800 Grands Prix, should have known better than to trust the weather gods. Needless to say the race was a disappointment as well for Ferrari as Massa finished in seventh and Alonso in 13th position.

3. Double trouble in Istanbul

During the Turkish Grand Prix Formula One witnessed a classic battle between two team colleagues, Webber and Vettel, but unfortunately for Red Bull, it ended in tears. The clash sparked a discussion about driver rivalry, driver etiquette and who is or should be first or second driver. On lap 39, during a very controversial overtaking maneuver, Vettel collided with his team mate -- the winner of the last two races -- Webber. Vettel had to retire, and Webber had to pit for repairs, and a sure one-two Red Bull victory went down the drain. After the collision Vettel was seen making gestures which indicated he had serious doubts about Webber's sanity, but the man who later won the 2010 title, wasn't entirely innocent himself.

Vettel had caught up with Webber who was leading the race, but was slower because his team had told him to save fuel. Vettel assumed Webber would simply move out of the way, but the Australian did not want to give up his first place without a fight. Vettel decided not to wait until the start-finish straight to overtake him and he got into the inside just before the last corner. Webber gave him plenty of room, but Vettel nevertheless moved to the right and hit Webber's car, both pirouetted off the circuit giving the lead to Hamilton, who was behind the Red Bull pair.

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner said about the incident, "It's disappointing for the team to have got into that position today. The one thing I always ask the drivers is that, yes, they can race each other, but give each other room, and that's exactly what didn't happen. They didn't give each other room; it's as simple as that." Well, in the end it wasn't as simple as that, both drivers weren't on speaking terms anymore, and the incident had its impact on the Red Bull team for remainder of the season.

4. Webber flies at Valencia

The luckiest man during the European Grand Prix at Valencia must have been Webber. After an early pit stop Webber was told by his team to overtake the slower Lotus of Heikki Kovalainen before the others would pit. Webber didn't waste any time, but he hit the Lotus from behind, his Red Bull was tossed in the air, and after a terrifying summersault the car landed on its wheels again, and helplessly slid hard into the tyre barrier. "I am OK, I hope he is OK, he just had a hardcore flight," Kovalainen reported over the radio.

Webber later commented about the accident, "I have a few cuts and bruises, but otherwise I'm fine. What's frustrating was that this accident should never have happened. I mean, how long was Heikki going to stay ahead of me? Another 15 seconds? He must be asking himself whether it was worth it."

Lotus technical director Mike Gascoyne defended the actions of Kovalainen: "He was defending his line and racing for position, and that's what we will always do in that situation. It's just a great shame, and we're very glad that neither driver was hurt. It's the responsibility of the guy behind [Webber] to make the overtaking maneuver safely. He blatantly didn't." Which means it is still not clear whether this incident was an embarrassment for Webber, or for Kovalainen.

5. "OK, so Fernando is faster than you."

One of the most embarrassing incidents for the sport was the Ferrari team order controversy that unfolded during the German Grand Prix. At the start of the race, Massa took the lead after he had caught Vettel by surprise, and he was still leading the race on lap 49 when his race engineer Rob Smedley told him on the radio, "OK, so, Fernando is faster than you. Can you confirm you understood that message?" Not only did Massa understand the message, the whole world understood the message which was in fact a team order, and Massa duly let Alonso past. "Good lad. Just stick with it now. Sorry," Smedley said to Massa after he had given up his first place.

After the pair had crossed the finish line, the media stormed to the Ferrari garage to question Domenicali. The words 'team orders' and 'fixing the race' were used, but Domenicali and both his drivers ignored the comments and maintained it had been a great race with a great result for the Italian team. Formula One wasn't happy with the badly disguised team order, neither were the FIA officials, who handed the Ferrari team a $100,000 fine. The incident caused an emotional discussion about team orders, and much to the joy of Ferrari, two weeks ago the FIA decided to scrap the ban on team orders from the 2011 regulations.

6. "If it works you're the king, if it doesn't, you're an idiot".

Those were the words of Vettel after the Belgium Grand Prix, again a race where the weather gods played an important role. The safety car had already been on track for an earlier incident during the first lap when veteran Rubens Barrichello had missed his braking point at the last chicane before the start-finish straight and slammed into the Ferrari of Alonso, and triggered a chain reaction that involved several other cars. On lap 15 Vettel was about to overtake Button at the same chicane, but he lost control of his Red Bull under braking, he went sideways and went straight into the left side pod of Button's car. The impact destroyed the radiator on the McLaren and Button had to retire on the spot. Vettel visited the pits for a new front wing and continued his race.

The FIA stewards gave the German a drive though penalty, which again cost him a number of positions. Vettel regained several positions when he overtook Liuzzi's Force India, but he was a little bit too optimistic and made another mistake. He damaged his left rear tyre when he drove off the front wing of the Force India. He had to slowly drive a full 7 km lap with a flat tyre before he reached the Red Bull pit again. He rejoined the race in 20th position, finished the race in 15th position, one lap behind race winner Hamilton. Not a good race at all for Vettel, and McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh later referred to Vettel as 'the crash kid.'

7. Hamilton crashes again at Singapore

Hamilton had already crashed out of the Italian Grand Prix at Monza, during the first lap he was too optimistic when he tried to overtake Massa. Hamilton got into the inside of the Variante della Roggia, but there was simply not enough room for two cars, he hit Massa, his steering rod broke and that was the end of the race for him. He was criticized for his move and Hamilton later said, "At that moment, perhaps I should have just stayed there for a while. But I put my car up the inside of Felipe into Turn Four, trying to get third, and that was probably a little bit too much."

But although Hamilton had vowed he would be more careful and would in the future concentrate on finishing a race, he made the same mistake again during the Singapore Grand Prix. Hamilton was challenging Webber for third place, when the latter ran into problems overtaking a backmarker. Webber slowed down a little bit, just enough for Hamilton to take advantage of the situation. He pulled alongside Webber, but again there was not enough room for two cars, the pair collided and Hamilton again retired from the race.

But Hamilton refused to take the blame for the accident. "I was on the outside going into Turn 7, and he was in my blind-spot, just behind me. I thought I'd got sufficiently past him, though. I braked, turned in, and tried to leave enough room for him on the inside -- and the next thing I knew I'd got clipped, my tyre was blown, and that was it," a disappointed Hamilton said after the race. Both accidents cost Hamilton valuable championship points, and the Briton later said he needed a major 'miracle' to win this year's championship, which as we now know, did not happen.

8. Ferrari bets on the wrong horse in Abu Dhabi

During the final race in Abu Dhabi Ferrari made a capital mistake, they betted on the wrong horse, the horse however, was Webber's Red Bull. Michael Schumacher and Vitantonio Liuzzi collided during the first lap, and Vettel, who had started the race from pole, was leading after the safety car had left the track again. He was followed by Hamilton, Button, Alonso and Webber. On lap 10 Webber ran a bit wide and his right rear wheel brushed the wall, not much later he reported to his pit crew he was losing grip, and he was called in for an early pit stop to change his tyres. Ferrari made the disastrous decision to follow Webber's strategy, as they believed he was the main threat for Alonso. The Spaniard pitted four laps later and he rejoined the race in 12th position, just ahead of Webber.

That was the moment the other title contenders, Vettel and Hamilton, realized they could beat Alonso and Webber simply by staying on track as long as they possibly could before making their mandatory pit stop. To make things worse, Alonso and Webber got stuck behind Vitaly Petrov, Robert Kubica and Nico Rosberg, who had already pitted during the safety car period. After Hamilton and Vettel had pitted, they rejoined the race behind Button, who still had to pit and was not a title contender. Vettel regained the lead when Button finally pitted on lap 39, by then Alonso and Webber had moved up to eighth and ninth position respectively, but were still trapped behind Rosberg and Petrov.

Before the race started, all Alonso had to do was to finish in second position, and the title was his, regardless of the position of the others. By the time Ferrari and Alonso realized they had made a capital mistake, it was already too late. With Vettel now leading, Alonso had to move up to fourth position to take the title, but it became an impossible mission, on lap 47 Alonso was in seventh position, but with only eight laps to go, he had to overtake Petrov, Kubica and Rosberg. Alonso later tried to blame Petrov for the disaster, who had defended his position fiercely during the last 25 laps. After the race Alonso admitted his defeat, "Everything went wrong today, from the start itself to the strategy. With hindsight, it would have been better not to pit so soon, but it's easy to say that when you have all the facts."

9. Williams takes $15 million and dumps Hulkenberg

Also embarrassing for the sport was the decision Williams made, or had to make, to dump Nico Hulkenberg and 'hire' Venezuelan Pastor Maldonado. While most people go to work to make money, Maldonado will next year go to work and bring $15 million, which equals $750,000 per race, to the Williams team. Although the decision was hardly a surprise, it is certainly a sign of the times, as privateer Williams had problems making both ends meet this season, and was more or less forced to take Maldonado's millions and sack Hulkenberg. But it is also a moral dilemma: should money be the decisive factor, or natural talent?

The FIA has in the past promised cost-cutting measures, but until this day there have been no significant changes, a better 2013 Concorde Agreement in which teams get a bigger share of the revenues could help to solve some of the problems, but as long as teams are allowed to spend 300 or 400 million Euro per year, small teams who
want to survive have no other option than to favor a driver with big sponsors.

The grapes are especially sour for Hulkenberg, who is a very talented driver that has won about every race series he participated in, one can only imagine what went through his mind when he heard the news. His manager Willi Weber is doing all he can to get his protege back in a race seat, but even Weber cannot chance the Formula One world, and drivers with a big bag of money are still his main concern. Meanwhile the chances for Hulkenberg are becoming slimmer, as only Force India and HRT have not yet made a decision about their 2011 line-up.

10. Embarrassing return for Schumacher

In this case not just one race, but the whole 2010 season was a major embarrassment for the seven-times World Champion, who had joined the Mercedes team this year after he had retired from Formula One in 2006. Schumacher's 2010 season ended on an all time low during the last race in Abu Dhabi, when he lost control of his Mercedes during the very first lap. His race ended abruptly when Liuzzi slammed into his stricken Mercedes. Schumacher's expectations were high at the start of the season, but the German soon found out Formula One had changed dramatically since his retirement.

Completely different cars, no more in-season testing, no favors from Bridgestone, and to add to the misery, the 2010 cars with the narrower front tyres did not suit Schumacher's driving style at all and from the first race on he was struggling to find the right pace. Although Schumacher insisted his poor performance did not influence his good spirits, it must have been very painful for him to see he was outclassed time after time by his team colleague Nico Rosberg, who scored 142 championship points this season, while Schumacher only scored 72 points.

Schumacher about his season with Mercedes: "We clearly did not meet our expectations. But then, you have to fight for the things you want to achieve, which has always been my credo." About the criticism he said, "I can live with criticism very well, you just have to differentiate it and it can bring you forward as well." And his expectation for 2011? "Fighting for the world championship is still our goal, it can only be like this. We are talking about competing at the absolute peak of motorsport. You cannot just come along, put a new team together and beat everybody," said the German.

2010: A classic season

The 2010 Formula One season was without a doubt a very exciting season, and it will go into the history books as a classic season, perhaps even as the best season of the past 30 years. New regulations, new cars, new teams, new gadgets like the F-Duct and the double diffuser, and the role the weather gods played were the main ingredients for this classic season.

Source: Motorsport.com

Monday, December 27, 2010

ME AND KIMI

from Leo Turrini's blog, Domenicali was asked about Kimi

'It was me, during the 2009 season, to notify Räikkönen would not stay with us, although there was a contract. Me because it was up to me, it was my duty ... '

'Humanly speaking, I am sorry, I have always had an excellent relationship with him. And Kimi did not take it well, God forbid. He wanted to run again for Ferrari. But we did not have a fight and professional relationship has been exemplary, to the last day ... '

'I told him I had to change because we needed a pilot with different characteristics. Not at the wheel: in the relationship with the team, with engineers. Oh, I know many people who write on your blog does not believe me, but the problem was this did not work, the relationship between him and the technicians. The reason? Kimi speaks little. Help. It's his value. But it is also a flaw ...

' There is one thing that those outside don't understand. Räikkönen is a nice person, with a very particular approach to life. I'm not judging, among other things I have always found it amusing. But it is done in a certain way and he refuses to change, also rightly, from his point of view ... '

'We are still on good terms. And it is true that we talk on the phone and he tells me about his experiences in the rallies. Maybe he will go to Ford or maybe it is already past, I do not know. However, he is a guy who has not an obsession for Formula One and I would say that this is different from other drivers, maybe from all the others ... '

'I do not think he will return to Grand Prix races. The little interest as a dimension of life and I understand because I too do not feel like Dennis or Ecclestone, as you will see that at some point I will deal with something else, not wait for someone to invite me to move out ... '

'The Renault, before confirming Petrov, insisted much on Kimi. I know that he has always responded the same way: I do not care. And look what he did not refer much to the car itself. Räikkönen has taken of Formula One what he wanted, he got what he dreamed, he became world champion with Ferrari. The maximum, in my opinion. And also according to him ... '

Courtesy: Verena

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Fernando Alonso not afraid if Sebastian Vettel joins Ferrari


Fernando Alonso reveals he has no problem if Sebastian Vettel joins Ferrari in the future.

Fernando Alonso, who was attending Carrera Solidaria Cajastur charity event while holidaying in Oviedo, said to journalists: "I’m not afraid of Vettel. If Sebastian comes to Ferrari one of these days there will be no problem."

New world champion Sebastian Vettel said last month to Bild am Sonntag: "No question, it is my wish and goal to drive for Ferrari one day."

Red Bull Racing has Sebastian Vettel under contract until the end of the 2011 season with an option for 2012. Adding fuel to the speculation were recent remarks by Ferrari boss Luca di Montezemolo that Vettel would "drive a red car one day."

Pushed for comment, two times F1 world champion said: "I do not have anything in particular to say on the matter, but I am not afraid of any teammate, because I have never been frightened. None of my teammates has ever won even a single point more than me, so I do not see why I should be frightened of anyone."

Fernando Alonso is upbeat about the prospects for next year: "I have no doubt about the fact that I will have precisely the car of my desires next season. Ferrari have to aim to win the World Championship because of the team’s historical prestige."


Source: Auto123

Friday, December 24, 2010

Red Bull F1 Demo - Show run in Bangkok with Mark Webber

Source: NextgenAuto

Räikkönen announcement expected soon

24th December 2010
By Giles Wade

Kimi Räikkönen is reckoned to have agreed a deal to drive for the Citroën Junior Team again next season.

Sources close to the French team are certain the Finn will return for a second season, contesting all 13 rallies instead of the 12 he competed in his rookie year. Raikkonen’s management and his primary backer Red Bull have remained tight-lipped about next season.

“Kimi’s deal is done,” said the source. “He’ll be staying with Citroen for another year, but the team name is probably going to change.”

Citroën Racing director Olivier Quesnel admitted the Citroen Junior Team moniker would probably be replaced for next year, given that, since Sebastien Ogier’s elevation to the Citroen Total World Rally Team, there are no young drivers coming through the CJT.

In recent months, Räikkönen has been increasingly keen to remain in the world championship, eschewing a return to Formula 1 despite being strongly linked to a Renault seat.

Sources state an announcement of Räikkönen’s deal to drive a DS3 WRC in 2011 will be made in the New Year.

Räikkönen finished 10th in the World Rally Championship in his debut season, with his best result was fifth on the Rally of Turkey in April.

Source: MaxRally
Courtesy: sleenster

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Kimi's late father Matti gave all he got on the behalf of his sons

Thursday, 23.12.2010 at 13.23

Kimi Räikkönen's dad Matti Räikkönen didn't spare himself in supporting his sons's hobby.

The aim of the family was not professional however, it all started as a hobby and progressed on the conditions of Rami and Kimi. The same spirit was also maintained throughout Kimi's whole magnificent career.

- I watched sometimes the dads in karting who were trying to live their dreams through their children. It was sad to see how the dads sweared and shouted at children who failed criticizing them for mistakes. It felt bad that the whole thing lacked fun and good spirit, Matti told Iltalehti in 2008.

- The boys' hobby started by driving in the yard until it resembled a field of potatoes. After that we switched to micro cars.

In the same interview Matti told that that the races in the beginning were far from glamorous.

- Us dads took our sons to karting from for example Stockholm to Lake Garda in Italy. We travelled 2 500 kilometers in a big hurry. We only stopped to go to the toilet. In the beginning we had our own lunches because the food was expensive in gas stations and it took too much time. Drivers took turns.

Kim's extraordinary talents in motorsport became clear early on.

- Kimi would win even if he would drive a scooter, his father summed up during his second national rally in 2009.

At that time he said he had already withdrawn aside from Kimi's career. He told that he concentrates more on the "maintenance guy's jobs".

- For the last few years I've only been in Monaco and Spa. In the past more often. I have so much to do in the garden, he laughed at the time.

Matti Räikkönen was often asked how he deals with the fear that his son's dangerous profession including tough risks causes.

- I don't feel fear but of course I follow every race nervously. Anything can happen. Kimi's car has had problems for five years so I have had to get used to failures, he told.

The father often had to respond to questions about his son's cutting-edge persona.

- I think it is right to stick to authenticity. I think the same way myself: if I'm not good enough as I am then I don't have to be good enough at all, his dad summed up.

IL

Courtesy: Nicole

Kimi's dad was the center of the gang

Kimi Räikkönen's dad Matti Räikkönen, 56, died suddenly on Wednesday

Kikka Kuosmanen who worked as Kimi Räikkönen's publicist for a long time was surprised just like the others when hearing that Matti Räikkönen had suddenly passed away. Kuosmanen has been a close friend to Räikkönen's family for almost 20 years.

- This is a huge sorrow now that it's Christmas. This was a sudden and suprising matter. My condolences to the family, Kikka Kuosmanen said.

- If anyone Matti was a friendly and outgoing person. He was always the center of the gang. It's hard to describe him more at this point because I just heard about his death, Kuosmanen said.


Mika Salo: There would be no Kimi without Matti

- Matti was Kimi's biggest supporter right from the beginning. Without Matti there would be no Kimi. Not many fathers have helped their son as much as Matti has, Mika Salo says.

Salo sends his condolences to Räikkönen's family.

- Matti left too early, Salo says.


Matti Kyllönen sends his condolences to Kimi Räikkönen

Matti Kyllönen was shocked after hearing what happened to Matti Räikkönen.

- A completely shocking news. My deepest condolences to the relatives, Matti Kyllänen said.

He knows that the loss was huge for Kimi Räikkönen.

- They had a particularly warm and close relationship. Father and son were really much in touch with each other.

Kyllönen also thinks with warmth about his own father who passed away a year ago.

- He comes to my mind especially during Christmas. I can only imagine what Kimi is thinking now.

Courtesy: Nicole

'Vettel Will Drive For Ferrari One Day'

Ferrari President Luca di Montezemolo reckons it is only a matter of time before Sebastian Vettel is racing for the Scuderia

Vettel, who became F1's youngest World Champion with his title triumph with Red Bull in 2010, has often been linked to Ferrari in the past.

Not only has the German admitted that racing for the Italian outfit would be "special" but now di Montezemolo has revealed he wants Vettel.

"Sebastian is fast, smart and young," he told Cologne tabloid Express. "Sooner or later he will be driving a red car."

The newspaper added that Ferrari are keen to have the German's services in 2012, teaming him up with Fernando Alonso as Felipe Massa's replacement.

Vettel, though, insists he is committed to Red Bull Racing: "I am a part of the Red Bull family."

However, even Red Bull team owner Dietrich Mateschitz admits his outfit could face a tough challenge retaining the German in the face of the "dream" of racing for Ferrari.

"It's a once in a life-time dream to drive for Ferrari but we will make leaving a difficult decision for him," said Mateschitz.

"We have so far been also quick to agree. And he wants to win."


Source: Planet-F1

Kimi Räikkönen's father died suddenly

Kimi Räikkönen's father had died, 56 years old

Kimi Räikkönen's dad Matti Räikkönen, 56, died suddenly on Wednesday.

The sad news hit the whole big Räikkönen-family who were preparing to spend Christmas.

Kimi Räikkönen has spent a longer time in Finland already.

The family who is crushed by grief doesn't want to comment it in any way.

Riku Kuvaja believes and hopes and the media will respect the relatives' sorrow and pain.

- We got the sad news yesterday, Kuvaja tells Ilta-Sanomat.

- A thing like this especially during Christmas is an extremely tough thing especially for the relatives.

Source: Ilta-Sanomat
Courtesy: Nicole

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Sebastian Vettel at 'The Match for Africa'

Formula One 2010 world champion Germany's Sebastian Vettel (R) Switzerland's cycling champion Fabian Cancellara applaud at the end of a charity tennis game between Swiss Roger Federer and Spain's Rafael Nadal on December 21, 2010 in Zurich.'The Match for Africa' was organized to raise money for the Roger Federer Foundation which supports sporting activities for underprivileged children in Africa and in Switzerland


Source: Daylife

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

No management shakeup at Ferrari - Montezemolo


Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo has ruled out any major personnel changes at his team for 2011 and has vowed to start the season with a competitive car.

After Fernando Alonso's chances of winning the 2010 championship were dashed by a strategic blunder at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, sections of the Italian media reported that "heads will roll" in Maranello. But Montezemolo said the management structure and technical staff will not change dramatically, with Pat Fry the only notable addition to the team after switching from McLaren midway through last season.

"We will not repeat the mistakes of the past," Montezemolo insisted during an interview with Auto Motor und Sport. "There will be a few job changes and adjustments but nothing dramatic, just the normal process of good people from the second row moving forward. With Pat Fry from McLaren, we have only brought in one man from the outside, and this happened long before Abu Dhabi."

He said Ferrari was purely focused on starting the season with a faster car than its rivals, which he believes is where the team went wrong this year.

"Even though we won the first race this year, we did not have the best car from the start, we won [in Bahrain] only because Red Bull had a problem," added Montezemolo. "We improved significantly this year compared to 2009, but - as was the case the previous year as well - Red Bull had the best car. Next time we must have the best car from the first race."

Source: ESPNF1

Sebastian Vettel accepting the Sportler des Jahres 2010 award Part I and Part II



Source: AlessaFainello

Red Bulls on a charge


Although the constructors' championship was glossed over by the excitement of a four-way battle for the drivers' title, it was a vintage year for the teams. Three different outfits fought for wins throughout the season, each with their own strengths and weaknesses, and each with very different views on how to approach Formula One racing. Considering all aspects of team management and car design, ESPNF1 asked a panel of 14 observers (including Sir Stirling Moss, Sir Jackie Stewart and Tonio Liuzzi) to rate their top three teams of 2010. The results are as follows...

1. Red Bull
One man's name was praised again and again by our panel: Adrian Newey. His Red Bull RB6 was nothing short of a masterpiece in automotive design; breaking from convention and delivering nine victories and 15 pole positions - some by over a second from the nearest competitor. So fast was the RB6 that almost every team copied its exhaust-blown diffuser and some even took to questioning the legality of its design in an attempt to close the gap. Red Bull was also commended by our panel for letting its drivers fight on track, even if that meant a collision. RenaultF1 majority shareholder Gerard Lopez was the only member of the panel who didn't rank Red Bull as No.1 (and before you ask, he put McLaren and not Renault at the top of his list), pointing out that it "had the fastest car and should have wrapped it up far earlier". It's the only criticism our panel could muster and in itself is a backhanded compliment.

2. McLaren
For the first two thirds of the season McLaren was punching well above its weight, with the innovative F-duct keeping the rest of the field guessing and masking a pretty serious deficit in downforce to Red Bull. Inspired strategy decisions delivered two wins for Jenson Button early on, before Lewis Hamilton won in Turkey and Canada on sheer pace alone. However, the team came unstuck trying to mimic Red Bull's blown diffuser and towards the end of the season hit a brick wall with the development of the rear of the car. That, combined with mistakes on track, put Hamilton out of contention, while Button found the car increasingly difficult to drive. The season was a huge improvement on 2009 but the team can't escape the fact that it still hasn't won a constructors' title this century.

3. Ferrari
Ferrari has been in limbo since Michael Schumacher left at the end of 2006, falling upon success from time-to-time, but lacking the leadership and direction that allowed it to paint the sport red in the early 2000s. This year Fernando Alonso has filled Schumacher's void, extracting the best from the team by getting it to orbit around him and in doing so opening a new chapter in Ferrari's illustrious history. The only casualty of this seismic shift at Maranello has been Felipe Massa, whose new role was made abundantly clear by the pit wall during the German Grand Prix. There is no doubt that it was the right thing to do for Ferrari, but it wasn't the right thing for the sport and the obvious flouting of a rule (albeit a dubious one) lost the team votes among our panel. However, the team is still held in huge regard by the F1 paddock and Sir Jackie Stewart and Sir Stirling Moss both ranked it second in their top three, directly behind Red Bull.

4. Renault
What a difference a year makes. At the end of 2009 Renault's F1 future looked bleak with its sponsor portfolio in tatters following Crashgate, its car struggling at the back of the grid and its star driver Fernando Alonso Ferrari bound. In the midst of the recession the Renault parent company was looking for an exit strategy and its prayers were answered by Gerard Lopez's investment company Genii Capital over the winter. Genii took over 70% of the team with a loan set against the factory and its F1 grid slot and set about creating a completely new image, albeit with the historic name still attached. The investment paid off and the steady flow of cash from the loan fuelled a series of significant updates race-after-race, which in turn boosted the team's appeal to sponsors. But the key ingredient was Robert Kubica, whose supreme talent allowed Renault to score three podiums and take the fight to the top three teams on several occasion.

5. Mercedes
Mercedes made it into our panel's top five by picking up the odd leftover vote, but in reality it was a disappointing first year for the German car giant. At the crux of the issue was that Brawn GP - as it was known last year - rather neglected 2010 in the midst of Jenson Button's title challenge, partly to focus on winning the championship but also because the financial future of the team was far from secure. Mercedes and its money arrived over the winter, but by that time the 2010 car was already a long way down its development path and off the pace of McLaren and Ferrari. Michael Schumacher's return helped to overinflate expectations ahead of the start of the season, but when the racing started it soon became clear that the car was only fourth fastest and that the seven-time champion was more than a little rusty. During the season the car lost ground to its competitors and the team got sidetracked by a temperamental F-duct system, dropping it out of the top 10 at times. It was a far cry the ruthless efficiency Sir Stirling Moss remembers from Mercedes in the 1950s, but for the reasons mentioned above, it was always going to be a year of transition.

6. Force India
Although only on the list by virtue of a single vote from -you guessed it - Tonio Liuzzi, Force India does deserve some recognition for its efforts this season. Its breakthrough year came in 2009, but the car was still very primitive and only worked on specific track layouts. The challenge this year was to turn the car into an all-rounder and, after Force India picked up points at 12 of the 19 rounds, it's fair to say it achieved its goals. However, the car's performance trailed off towards the end of the year and the loss of big names in the engineering department - James Key to Sauber and Mark Smith to Lotus - does not bode well for 2011.

Best Newcomer: Lotus
Our panel unanimously voted Lotus as the best new team of 2010. It took the coveted 10th place in the constructors' championship thanks to Heikki Kovalainen's 12th place finish in Japan and won legions of fans by evoking memories of Colin Chapman's legendary team. Next year will be its true test as it targets the established teams and focuses on performance as well as reliability. However, its toughest battle may well come off the track as it fights with Group Lotus for its right to continue to call itself Lotus.

Source: ESPNF1

Jenson and Jessica tri to impress


While most of us use time away from work to relax, Jenson Button prefers to indulge in extreme fitness events.

Last weekend he competed in a triathlon in Australia, along with girlfriend Jessica Michibata. Button completed the course in 61 minutes, while Michibata, who was raising money for a United Nations refugee charity in her native Japan, finished her first such event in an impressive 86 minutes.

"Some people use Formula 1's winter season as a time to wind down, but I love to compete," Button admitted. "It's fantastic to be able to stay competitive while also working on my fitness by taking part in the Rockingham Triathlon."

Source: ESPNF1

Monday, December 20, 2010

Team Lotus Christmas message

Source: mylotusracing

Vettel voted ESPNF1 driver of the year


Sebastian Vettel has been voted ESPNF1's driver of the year by a panel of experts including Sir Stirling Moss and Sir Jackie Stewart.

2010 champion Vettel was the resounding favourite among the panel after he took ten pole positions and five race victories over the course of the season. ESPNF1 asked big names in the sport, including Moss, Stewart, Sir Frank Williams, Gerard Lopez, Tonio Liuzzi, Sam Bird as well as members of the its editorial staff.

On hearing about the accolade, Vettel said: "Thank you for this award! The whole year was such a unique experience, there were some great moments, which I will never forget, but there were also some difficult times too. I am very proud of what our team achieved. We will soon be facing new challenges and the aim for next year is to defend both titles. There is a lot to do, but for now - I would like to wish everyone a very merry Christmas and see you next year!"

On Tuesday ESPNF1 will publish the results of its team of the year poll before the panel's views on the 2010 season and predictions for next year are published later in the week.

Source: ESPNF1

Sebastian Vettel: The golden boy


Six drivers led the championship during the 19-race 2010 season, four of which were still in the running at the final round. There were so many ifs, buts and maybes throughout the year that it would be easy to make an argument for any of the title contenders to be crowned driver of the year, even before the likes of Robert Kubica in less competitive cars are considered. But when ESPNF1 asked a panel of contributors (including Sir Stirling Moss, Sir Jackie Stewart, Sir Frank Williams, Gerard Lopez, Tonio Liuzzi and Sam Bird) for their top three drivers of the year, one man came out conclusively on top...

1. Sebastian Vettel
After winning the championship he may seem like the obvious choice, but 10 pole positions and five victories are hard to argue against. To prove that point, F1 legends Sir Stirling Moss, Sir Jackie Stewart and Sir Frank Williams all put him at the top of their rankings along with two thirds of the panel. For Moss it was "sheer speed" that made him stand out from the crowd, while GP2 star Sam Bird - also ranking Vettel as No.1 - said: "It was just an amazing performance." There were low points along the way, but overall Vettel was a deserving world champion and ESPNF1's driver of the year. Read Vettel's reaction.

2. Fernando Alonso
In keeping with the championship positions, ESPNF1's panel put Fernando Alonso at No.2. His fight back in the second half of the year was hugely impressive and in Abu Dhabi he was the only man really capable of denying the dominant Red Bulls the title. However, mistakes on the startline in China, during final practice in Monaco and towards the end of the Belgian Grand Prix stick in the mind, not to mention the controversy surrounding his victory at the German Grand Prix. However, like him or loathe him, you have to respect him and he featured in all but five of the panel members' top three.

3. Robert Kubica
The dark horse of 2010, Robert Kubica took votes across the board in recognition of his outstanding performances in Australia, Monaco, Belgium and Japan, where he either qualified or finished much higher than his Renault deserved to be. On every circuit where a driver could steal an advantage he did so and he finished eighth in the championship, nipping at the heels of Nico Rosberg and Felipe Massa. Renault majority shareholder Gerard Lopez, who unsurprisingly voted Kubica as No.1, said: "The only mistake I can remember him making over the entire season was spinning out of qualifying in Brazil. That's it in 19 races! So that's a pretty phenomenal record."

4. Lewis Hamilton
Probably the most exciting driver of 2010, Lewis Hamilton just edged fourth place ahead of Mark Webber by virtue of being voted No.1 by fellow driver Tonio Liuzzi. He battled hard in the early races, suffering from bad luck in qualifying but storming through the field in the races. By mid-season he found his rhythm and beat the Red Bulls fair and square in Turkey and Canada. His consistency was mightily impressive and had it not been for mechanical failures in Spain and Hungary, he would have scored at all of the first 13 rounds and been leading by a considerable margin after his final victory in Belgium. But errors while attempting to overtake in Italy and Singapore blotted his copybook and McLaren's stuttering development in the final races put an end to his challenge. Nevertheless, he still came second on Sir Frank Williams' list and Sir Stirling Moss - who put him third - said: "If he'd been in a Red Bull this year it would have been a different story".

5. Mark Webber
The Australian was a popular choice on the panel, but tellingly did not top anybody's list. Up until the final race of the season he remained a favourite for the title, but mistakes in Korea and a botched strategy in Abu Dhabi proved very costly. He convinced himself that Red Bull was favouring Sebastian Vettel, but channelled his frustration positively and put in a defiant performance at the British Grand Prix to beat his team-mate fair and square. He was third on Sir Jackie Stewart's list and Sir Stirling Moss named him as the most improved driver of 2010.

6. Nico Rosberg
Going up against Michael Schumacher at a team run by Ross Brawn was an unenviable task at the start of the season, yet Nico Rosberg rose to the occasion. In reality he had very little to lose as all the media attention was on the other side of the garage and Rosberg was left to get on with his job in relative peace. By the time the chequered flag fell in Abu Dhabi he had scored nearly double the points of his team-mate and featured on the podium three times in a car that Brawn admitted was far from perfect. If Mercedes can deliver a better package next year there is little doubt among our panel that Rosberg has the talent to deliver victories.

Best rookie season - Kamui Kobayashi
With 32 points he was statistically the best rookie of 2011, but it was his flamboyant driving style that really caught the eye of our panel. He could often be relied upon to provide entertainment, and despite only qualifying in the top ten four times, he often turned unconventional strategies into points. Vitaly Petrov and Nico Hulkenberg also picked up votes, but Kobayashi was the resounding favourite.

Source: ESPNF1

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Red Bull’s Mark Webber drives past Thai fans


In Thailand this weekend Mark Webber drove the Running Showcar in front of the largest crowd the team has ever performed before.

Having visited the Thai King on Friday, Webber raced the Showcar down Rajdamnoen Avenue on Saturday in front of more than 150,000 people as part of the celebrations for His Majesty the King’s 84th birthday.

After the runs, Mark took a more leisurely drive along the route waving the Thai flag, acknowledging the Red Bull links with the country.

Also on offer for the spectators were a jazz session to honour the monarch and a parade lead by Mark and Thailand’s top actresses "Aum" Patcharapa Chaichua and "Ploy" Chermarn Boonyasak, followed by a show by Red Bull Drift Team Thailand, led by ’Kiki’ Sak Nana.

The Showcar was displayed at Bangkok’s Central Chidlom’s Morakot after the day’s action.

Source: NextgenAuto

Saturday, December 18, 2010

The Skinny: Highest Paid Athletes 2010


The highest paid athletes 2010 - Some of the world's highest paid professions are held by professional athletes. From brand endorsements, to being paid for their athletic abilities, they bring home the bacon.
Here are the top 10:

10. Dale Earnhardt Jr. [34 Million] Dale Earnhardt Jr. made the list because, frankly, he’s one popular guy. He’s won the NASCAR NMPA Chex Most Popular Driver Award for the sixth consecutive time. His sales in the market are twice that of any other competitor, and yet hasn't won a single race since 2008 (which was only 1 race).

9. Valentino Rossi [35 Million] Valentino is an Italian motorcycle racer and multiple MotoGP champion. Many consider him to be one of the greatest motorcycle racers of all time, with eight Grand-Prix World Championships to his name.

6. Manny Pacquiao [40 Million] is a multi-talented boxer, politician, singer, and actor. Ring Magazine claims that he’s the #1 pound-for-pound boxer in the world and the Boxing Writers Association claims that he’s the “Fighter of the Decade.”

6. Phil Mickelson [40 Million] Lefty is one of two golfers on this list. He’s amassed about $54 Million in prize money during his career and makes much more in endorsements from Callaway and Rolex.

6. LeBron James [40 Million] The NBA's latest immortal is a two-time MVP award recipient, first in the 08-09 season and then again in the 09-10 season. He's also the lowest paid of the three basketball players in the top 3.

5. David Beckham [42 Million] is one of the best known soccer players on the planet. David Beckham is also one of the highest paid athletes in the world and is the only futbol (soccer) player to appear in the top 10 highest paid athletes of 2010.

2. Kimi Räikkönen [45 Million] nicknamed Iceman, and occasionally described as "the fastest driver on the planet," Kimi won the Formula One World Driver's Championship in 2007.

2. Michael Jordan [45 Million]: Yeah. Seven years after his (last) retirement, we still find MJ here on the list.

2. Kobe Bryant [45 Million] is tied with the legendary Jordan and Formula One driving Raikkonen. He does this by raking in almost $20 mil a year through his NBA contract and more than doubles that through endorsement deals with Vitamin Water, Coca-Cola, and Nike.

1. Tiger Woods [110 Million] is golf's legend and is on track to surpass 1 billion in earnings from winnings and endorsements from his 13 year career.

Source: The Post Chronicle

Interview with Fernando Alonso at Gala Solidaria Santander 2010

On the occasion of the 2010 Gala Solidaria Santander in Madrid Fernando Alonso talks about his first season with the Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro and the outlook, explaining the changes regarding the 2011 Championship.



Source: ferrariworld

Christmas at the home of Santander for Fernando Alonso


Madrid, 18 December – Fernando Alonso had one more official function to attend before taking a well deserved end of year break. The Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro driver was in Madrid today, taking part in the Gala Solidaria Santander 2010, an event organised as part of a social involvement campaign, promoted by one of the Scuderia’s main partners, which took place in the conference room of its head office in Boadilla del Monte, near Madrid.

Over a thousand people attended the party, of which around six hundred were children, who were the key to the event, as they had each brought along a gift that the Valora and Manos Tiendidas Foundations will hand over to other less fortunate children. “I am happy to see that so many presents have been brought here,” said Fernando. “From our side, I really hope to deliver them a present by winning next year’s World Championship.”

On stage alongside the Ferrari man, who also showed off his skill at card tricks, was the Santander President, Emilio Botin and both of them took part in good spirit in an unusual press conference where the questions came, not from the media, but from very young journalists in the making, who proved they certainly had an incisive sense of irony when for example, one of them asked both Botin and Alonso if they drank Red Bull to keep in shape. The question met with an immediate and good spirited and obviously negative response. Later, Fernando took part in a video interview which is available at formula1.ferrari.com where photos of the event are also available.

In the morning, the Spanish driver visited the Nino Jesus di Madrid hospital where, thanks to the efforts of the Fundación Abracadabra, some of the young patients were able to enjoy some time with their hero, playing electronic games and also taking part in some magic tricks.

For Fernando, this is now the start of a two week holiday which he will spend with his family and close friends, while recharging his batteries for the 2011 season. His next appearance will be on 10 January, when Madonna di Campiglio will be the venue for the twenty first edition of Wrooom, the event that for so many years now has kicked off the racing season for Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro.


Source: Ferrari.com

formula1.ferrari.com publishes Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro 2010 Season Review Part III


formula1.ferrari.com publishes the 2010 season review, a "virtual book", which can be downloaded to relive the entire 2010 season, with the Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro as a main protagonist in an exciting Championship, with an exceptional recovery and an unfortunately missed victory.

Six chapters around the 2010 World Championship with wins, difficult moments, the epilogue in Abu Dhabi and further sections dedicated to technical in-depth articles. 28 drawings by Giorgio Piola with virtual animations of the F10's various components, four specials about the most important issues of the season such as pit stop and new rules, also explained in a video by Marc Gené, the complicated logistical aspects and the celebration of the 800th Grand Prix for Ferrari. A detailed section with a list from 1950 until today concludes the review, with Formula 1 models Ferrari used in the pinnacle of motorsports since the beginning of the F1 Championship.

Over 120 extraordinary images and more than 25 parts with multimedia content on the different pages, enriching the texts in the sections turning reading into real pleasure. The protagonists statements are combined with comments from the fans, who followed and supported the Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro during the whole season in the Communitys forum as well as on Facebook and via Twitter.

After the first and the second part, today is online the third, wich will complete the 2010 Championship review.

Source: Ferrari.com

Friday, December 17, 2010

Vettel tells di Resta - ’see you on 2011 grid’


Sebastian Vettel has told Paul di Resta he hopes to see his former F3 championship rival and teammate on the formula one grid next year.

Scottish driver di Resta, who is a year older than the new F1 champion, beat 23-year-old Vettel to the F3 Euro Series title by 11 points in 2006 when they were both with the French ASM team.
So when Mercedes-Benz hailed its new DTM champion in Stuttgart on Thursday, Vettel appeared by video link and according to motorsport-magazin.com told di Resta: "I hope to see you in formula one next year."

And the SID news agency quotes Vettel as adding: "Hopefully it will not be as tight as it was in F3!"

Di Resta, who won five F3 races compared to Vettel’s four in 2006, is now strongly linked with a Force India race cockpit for 2010 after serving as third driver this season.

He is reportedly in competition with Vitantonio Liuzzi and Nico Hulkenberg, with Adrian Sutil saying again this week that he has agreed a deal to stay with the Silverstone based team in 2011.

"We have reached an agreement. The signature is a mere formality, which will happen," DPA news agency quotes Sutil as having told the broadcaster Eurosport.

"The drivers who do not have a contract yet want to join the team because it is the best team with an open place," the German added.

Source: NextgenAuto

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Alonso vows to lose weight for KERS return


Fernando Alonso has joined Rubens Barrichello in vowing to lose some weight ahead of the 2011 season.

As in 2009, the return of heavy KERS systems is once again putting a higher premium on driver weight, despite moves to further increase the overall car-plus-driver minimum weight.

A report in Spain’s El Mundo Deportivo said Ferrari driver Alonso - who currently weighs in at 68 kilograms - wants to lose between 2 and 3 kg before Bahrain in March.

"The fans should get ready for me being thinner," the 29-year-old smiled during Ferrari’s Christmas celebrations at Maranello.

"With the return of KERS, every kilo a driver can trim can be used as ballast. So I’m going to lose a little weight," confirmed Alonso.

"I will also improve my athletic preparation for the longest championship in history because it will be necessary to be fully fit for ten months," he added.

Williams’ Barrichello admitted recently that his engineers had asked him to lose some weight before 2011 for the same reason.

Source: NextgenAuto

Alonso and Massa play Santa at Ferrari Christmas party 2010

Source: ferrariworld

Is Ford calling Räikkönen?

15.12.2010

As it looks now, the next season in WRC will have three Finnish drivers: Jari-Matti Latvala, Mikko Hirvonen and Kimi Räikkönen.

According to information IS Urheilu has Kimi Räikkönen will continue his rally career but the car will probably change from Citroen into Ford. Funding for the project is coming especially from the States and Räikkönen might have the chance to even drive some Nascar-races in North America.

As far as we know Räikkönen is going to be his friend's Ken Block's team mate. A month ago Block celebrated the end of the season in Wales with Räikkönen and told already earlier that he wants to drive in the same team with Kimi.

- Kimi would be the team mate of my dreams. I really enjoy his company but what counts in the end is if we can put up a budget, Block said in the autumn.

Yet it looks very strongly that Räikkönen's and Red Bull's cooperation won't continue after this season. Red Bull wants to target their sponsor money more on F1.

Räikkönen's value as a mannequine for Red Bull decreased significantly after Sebastian Vettel became the new WDC for Red Bull.

Citroen told IS Urheilu yesterday that negotiations with Räikkönen haven't gone forward. Unless some surprising events happens Räikkönen's jump to Ford will be confirmed in the middle of January at the latest.

Courtesy: Nicole

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Season’s greetings and surprise presents. Fiorano hosts the Italian F1 media dinner


Toasts, presents and best wishes last night at the Fiorano Track, as Luca di Montezemolo welcomed guests from the Italian Formula 1 media and old friends to the traditional Christmas dinner, which will be followed on Thursday 16 December, by a similar evening with foreign sports journalists.

This year’s meeting was preceded by a host of events, starting with a press meeting with Luca Baldisserri, who summed up the first year of the Ferrari Driver Academy (see separate story) followed by the journalists tackling a pit stop competition using the F10 that Fernando Alonso had raced in the last few Grands Prix of the season. 5.4 seconds was the quickest time for the part-time mechanics. After this they were treated to a surprise visit to the Formula 1 simulator which has also reached its first birthday.

Also present alongside the Ferrari President were Vice-President Piero Ferrari and the Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro Team Principal, Stefano Domenicali and the evening served as the perfect opportunity to sum up the year’s racing activity. “Clearly there was a lot of disappointment, which is inevitable when you lose the title at the last race,” said Montezemolo, as the journalists tucked into the usual tortellini in chicken broth. “But nevertheless, I am pleased with what we achieved. In his first year with us, Fernando did extremely well, bringing him with him a breath of optimism and conviction. In July, nobody believed him when he said he would be in the fight for the title right to the end, but he was proved right. I really like drivers who spend a lot of time in Maranello, forming a solid bond with the team. For various reasons, Felipe did not have a good season, but I am convinced that next year he will do very well and we will give him all he needs to succeed. How would I score it? I give 8 to the team, 9 and a half to Fernando and 7- to Felipe.

“I wish to congratulate Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber and we must acknowledge the fact that Red Bull had the best car,” continued the President. “Our aim for next year is very simple: we will be racing to win. There will not be any major changes within the team, just a few minor adjustments. This group of people is already capable of winning and there is definitely no need for an upheaval. I feel very sorry for Domenicali, because if we had won, it would have been a victory for a team that has a strong Italian identity and that has evolved as a result of the dynamic stability which sums up our philosophy. To achieve our objective, we must have the best car right from the start of the season.”


Montezemolo then moved on to the topic of the state of Formula 1 and its future: “We hope next year will be as good a season as this one and not one like 2009, when the championship seemed to be drugged. The small teams? Honestly, I feel it would be better to have the opportunity of running a third car rather than seeing cars that would struggle even in GP2: it’s an idea we will put forward again strongly for the future. On the subject of the new circuits, I have to say it would be better if more thought was given to the races with an increase in overtaking opportunities with less effort going into beautiful architecture. Then we must unblock this absurd limitation on testing. Formula 1 is the only sport in which there is no chance to train. It is like asking Real Madrid, Milan or Inter to play with smooth soled boots in the rain or not to warm up before a Champions League game. Fortunately, the rule banning team orders has been abolished, which was well and truly a hypocritical rule. It has always been part of the sport and those who race for Ferrari are perfectly aware of the fact. The FIA, under the guidance of Jean Todt, is working well and this decision confirms that trend.”

The evening ended with the journalists receiving the now traditional gifts: a model of the F10, two books, Ferrari Magazine Number 11 and Racing Activities. But there was also an additional surprise “freebie,” the latest version of Futurisiko, the world famous strategy game. Given that there has been a lot of talk about strategy these last few weeks, here was a great opportunity for the media to exercise their minds, after having exercised their bodies earlier during the pit stops!


Source: Ferrari.com

Massa's performance substandard - di Montezemolo

Luca di Montezemolo: "I think Felipe got a bit tired mid-season and went home, sending his brother to drive

Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo believes Felipe Massa did not show up for the second half of the season, joking that he sent his brother to race instead.

Talking to Italian press over lunch, Montezemolo rated Ferrari's season and revealed that the 2011 car will be launched in the last week of January, ahead of the first pre-season test.

Asked to give a report card for Massa and Fernando Alonso, he answered: "Nine and a half to Alonso. He did not win, but [the score is] from the point of view of results, character and relationship with the team.

"Less than a seven for Felipe Massa," he added. "For some reason we have a problem with the brothers of our drivers arriving during the season. It happened with [Michael] Schumacher, [Kimi] Raikkonen and now Massa. I think Felipe got a bit tired mid-season and went home, sending his brother to drive. He gets a seven minus but he has promised to come back next year."

As for Ferrari: "Eight. You do not get full marks when you don't win, but it was an exceptional year for commitment and determination."

Asked to sum up Ferrari's 2010, he said: "We were disappointed, there's no point denying it. But, realistically, it was more bitter in 2008, when Felipe crossed the finish line as world champion. From 1997 onwards, except 2005 and 2009, we have either won or lost at the last race. The opponents - Williams, McLaren, Renault, Red Bull - always change, only Ferrari is there."

Speaking generally on Formula One, Montezemolo vowed to "fight for common sense, for races on circuits [not streets] and to have not more than 19 races, preferably 18. And to have three cars; it's better to have a third car with a competitive team than a team that cannot even do GP2. I think it's common sense and Bernie Ecclestone agrees. Who [would run the third Ferrari]? A small but competitive team."

As for the possibility of him switching from running Ferrari to Italian politics, Montezemolo insisted: "Let me do my job. I'm so glad we have many, many things to do here at Ferrari."

Source: ESPNF1

WRC.com Personality of the Year nominees: Kimi Räikkönen

The higher you fly, the further you can fall. And throughout the 2010 World Rally Championship season, the 2007 Formula One champion Kimi Räikönen did something remarkable: putting his hard-earned reputation on the line to start again as a beginner and take on the best drivers in the world, despite

Räikkönen knew it wasn’t going to be easy, but then if it were easy everyone would do it. It took a special kind of unflappable courage to rise to the occasion and not care what anybody said or thought: the sort of resolve that can only be displayed by somebody whose nickname is ‘The Iceman’.

After just three events, he had become the first Formula One world champion ever to score WRC points, thanks to his eighth place in Jordan. His best result of the year came shortly afterwards, when he finished fifth on the all-new Rally of Turkey: a real indicator of his potential.

When things were going well, Räikkönen showed that he had the pace to fight at the front: he was running comfortably in the top four on the opening day of Rally Bulgaria, beating the factory Fords. On Rallye Deutschland in August, he won the Circus Maximus stage in Trier: another first.

But his contribution to the WRC this year goes beyond just his results. Räikkönen proved to be a fantastic ambassador for the sport, creating a huge amount of interest from both media and fans wherever he went.

In Räikkönen’s opinion, world rallying is a lot harder than Formula One. And coming from somebody who built a global following for fearlessly exploring the limits of adhesion, that’s quite an admission. Räikkönen wants to stay in the WRC next year; this is your chance to show just how much the WRC wants him.

Voting for the inaugural WRC.com Personality of the Year starts on Friday. Return to WRC.com soon to find out who our panel of experts have nominated as the next contender for the coveted prize.

Source: WRC

Vauhdin Maailma Book: Long march

by Kari Melart

Michael Jordan was the best basketball player in the world but he came back with his tail between the legs from the baseball-fields with his revolutionary dreams crushed.

What's in common for basketball and baseball is the ball - in a different shape and in a different material.
Rally and F1 are also two sports that differ completely from each other. Like sprint and orienteering.

I doubt it came as any surprise to one single expert that Kimi Räikkönen's debut season in WRC turned into a beginner's learning year even though the F1-champ had the best possible vehicle.

But who wouldn't have started dreaming for a moment about a miracle you see happening in the movies all the time and sometimes even on sport-fields. Räikkönen was afterall just a green fruit as a racing driver when he stepped into the royal class - he only had a fragile stone foundation of about 20 races in the smaller formula series. Yet the open-minded youngster whipped his Sauber into 6th right at his first attempt in Australia 2001.

In F1 Kimi didn't have any limits but in rally, where the top lead is remarkably smaller, he faced them very quickly in 2010. Even though he scored points in his 3rd rally in Jordan by coming in 8th and two weeks later in Turkey by coming in 5th.

Yet it didn't turn out to become a Cinderella story. At least not yet.

Should Räikkönen continue in rally then he has an exhausting long march ahead of him if he intends to satisfy his burning ambition in addition to his passion.

- One has to remember that experience-wise Kimi can be compared to a B-junior who rallies in the national village-rallies. His F1-history has none whatsoever meaning in these circles. A project like this requires an awful lot of work, time and kilometers. It will take at least two-three years at miminum before he even has a chance to rally in the top lead, Kaj Lindström has reminded many times.

And not without a reason.

Switching from F1 to a rally car and from a tarmac track to devious and lingering gravel paths is a challenge that can be classified as a mission impossible.

Fortunately almost anything seems to be impossible in this world...

In the big picture Kimi Räikkönen is a unique phenomenom in motorsport history.

John Surtees won the world championship in both MotoGP and F1. No other driver has ever been able to do that in rally and F1. And probably won't ever be able to do that either.

- Rally is an extremely difficult sport. I have to adopt a completely new driving style, learn to set up the car in a completely different way than in F1 and first and most learn to listen and take in the notes. But if this would be easy then anyone could do it, Räikkönen has admitted.

He has never wanted to be just anybody as a sportsman.

Räikkönen's Citroën has been on it's roof beside the road or in the ditch or in the hill but noble rally champions from Ari Vatanen to Marcus Grönholm have also searched for their limits through extremes.

In Germany Räikkönen got his first stage victory in WRC-level and in France he won his first rally, the Vosgien rally.

Small steps for the mankind but huge steps for Kimi Räikkönen.

Courtesy: Nicole

Monday, December 13, 2010

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Schumacher defends his decision to return to F1

It's been a difficult year for the seven time F1 champion, Michael Schumacher

After three years in retirement, Schumacher returned to F1 with the new Mercedes team, but has struggled to make an impact on the race track, finishing this year's season in a disappointing ninth place.

It has led many to wonder why the racing legend has returned to sport. But amid the gossip and allegations, the 41-year-old has defended his decision.

He told CNN: "I enjoy it. I feel I have the right to do what I enjoy. Whether I put in dispute my reputation...I just feel good about my decision and I have so much support from people."

"I certainly want to make it a successful return," he continued. "I'm only happy if I'm back on the winning road with the team. This is what I'm working for, this is the joy of the passion for Formula 1."

His decision has been supported by some of the biggest names in F1.

Finnish F1 driver for Team Lotus Heikki Kovalainen told CNN the criticisms towards Schumacher were unfair.

"People had high expectations, people expected him to win. But (Mercedes) didn't have a car to win and second of all, things have changed since he left Formula 1."

Fellow F1 champion Alain Prost said no-one should judge or criticize a driver of his caliber, saying, "For me, it is difficult, almost impossible to go back to the title after three years...But if there's one driver who'd be able to do it, I think it's Michael."
Team principal and co-owner of Mercedes, Ross Brawn, admits the team has had a disappointing year and credits some of that to Schumacher.

"It's been disappointing, in overall performance, we haven't had the car, Michael's taken a little time to get up to the performance he'll be able to deliver. I've seen patches of that performance...the last few races of the season was the Michael Schumacher I expected to see.

But on a more positive note, Brawn added: "Now it's all coming together and I think next year we're going to have a really exciting time."

Schumacher admits it's been a sluggish return to the track, but remains positive, saying: "It's certainly not as successful as I thought initially and many other people have thought."

"But then having such a strong group and team behind, Mercedes pushing it so hard, I have no doubt about success in the future."

Source: CNN

Special Santas at Ferrari


Maranello, 12 December – Lots of children were at Ferrari today to celebrate Christmas. Ferrari staff and their families packed out the marquee put up next to the Centro Sviluppo Prodotto building, with a temporary fairground for them to enjoy. They also got to watch a show inspired by Geronimo Stilton, the mouse detective who is a big favourite with children.

Special guests were President Luca di Montezemolo and the Ferrari family of drivers – from Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa to test drivers, Giancarlo Fisichella, Jules Bianchi, Marc Gené and Luca Badoer, all of them dressed up as Father Christmas. They greeted their many little fans before handing out gifts for all the families at the garage where Santa keeps his sleigh, under the watchful eye of two real Lapland reindeer.


Source: Ferrari.com

Domenicali at “Meetings with Gazzetta” at the Motorshow: In 2011, we must have a car capable of winning right from the start”


This afternoon, Stefano Domenicali, the Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro Team Principal attended “Meetings with Gazzetta,” the traditional meeting between fans and people from the world of motor sport, organised by the daily paper, “La Gazzetta dello Sport” at the Bologna Motorshow. Domenicali was given a very warm welcome and faced many interesting questions from the fans, which ranged from the latest changes to the rules put out yesterday by the FIA World Council, to prospects for the 2011 season and further in the future, especially on the technical front.

Naturally, one hot topic was the abolition of the rule banning team orders. Finally, we have said goodbye to this pointless hypocrisy,” said Domenicali to the waiting microphones of several TV companies that greeted him at the end of the meeting. “For us, Formula 1 is a team sport and we have always maintained that viewpoint and it should be treated as such. The regulations already include points that prevent certain situations being managed in an extreme manner. The decision taken yesterday is very important.”

Obviously, Domenicali was not giving much away when it came to the 2011 car. “When our Technical Director, Aldo Costa, spoke of extreme design, he wanted to spur all our engineers to push on the theme of innovation which, in Formula 1, means exploring all areas right up to the limits set by the regulations and I also hope that will be the case. It is a difficult challenge, because we operate in a very competitive environment: we know that in 2011 we will have to start off immediately with a car capable of winning, so that we are not always having to catch up, as was the case this year.”

To those who quizzed him on possible organisational changes, Domenicali had this to say: “We will make adjustments, but they will only be revealed at the right moment. From a technical point of view, we must try not to repeat the mistakes which occasionally led us to take a step backwards rather than forwards. In order to succeed, we are working with alacrity and without let up. Next season will be very long and we cannot allow ourselves not to make the most of our potential at every race: in 2010, especially in the early stages, we missed opportunities to pick up valuable points and we paid heavily for that at the final reckoning.”


Source: Ferrari.com