Sunday, July 31, 2011

Video: BBC - Hungarian GP - Jenson Button delighted strategy paid off in Hungary

Jenson Button talks to Jake Humphrey, Martin Brundle and Eddie Jordan after a his victory in the Hungarian Grand Prix.

Button was competing in his 200th race in Formula 1 and won after starting third on the grid and coming out on top after a battle with McLaren team-mate Lewis Hamilton

Source: SixtyBuckss

Helmut Marko comments on Räikkönen rumours

Rumours about Kimi Räikkönen making a comeback to F1 are on again. At paddock there has been rumours Red Bull wants Kimi to Formula 1 with big money. Helmut Marko comments on rumours and says there has been no talk about Kimi.

- We can't comment because there isn't any truth in it. I tell you that for 100 % there are no negotiations. We have a list of drivers and in this list Kimi isn't mentioned. And nobody from us did talked to him, Marko told to MTV3.

The rumours about Kimi coming back to F1 on Red Bull's wheel started when Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel got a team order at British GP. Red Bull told earlier this week Webber's renew is almost ready, and only needs a signature of Webber.

Source: RacingNewsFlash

Jenson Button's website got hacked

Official website of Jenson Button got hacked last night. The hacker wrote to the site a headline wich told Button was at serious accident and is in critical condition. It was vandalism and Button is fine. The British driver reaches his 200th GP at F1 this weekend.

The headline said Button is in critical condition and he is in the same hospital at Hungary, where Felipe Massa was two years ago after his accident wich happened during Hungarian GP qualifying.

McLaren confirmed soon that Jenson is fine and his website got hacked. Button himself commented this morning on Twitter what happened.

- Morning everyone. I'm sure you've realised by now but someone hacked into my website last night, I'm completely fine and on my way to 200. The guy who did it obviously didn't have any better offers on a Saturday night so stayed home to do that instead. Get some friends, Button commented.

Source: RacingNewsFlash

Lewis Hamilton rues missed opportunity in Hungary

McLaren's Lewis Hamilton rued a missed opportunity after finishing fourth in the rain-affected Hungarian Grand Prix

The 2008 world champion, who led much of the race, pitted six times, including a drive-through penalty.

"I was struggling a lot with the graining on my left front tyres," said Hamilton. "I don't know whether that was my fault, pushing too much.

"We would have liked a one-two. I let the team down a little bit but we will be back."

Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel made a clean getaway from pole to stay ahead of Hamilton, however, the McLaren driver was clearly the faster of the two in changeable conditions.

Hamilton passed Vettel on lap five after the German ran wide at Turn Two and began to build a lead at the front.

But his decision to pit for more option tyres on lap 41, when his rivals - including team-mate and eventual race winner Jenson Button - chose the primes, proved to be the wrong one as he would have to stop again.

When the rain came, Hamilton decided to switch to intermediates, but the wet weather didn't last and he was forced to make a fifth stop for the primes.

"We were having radio issues," added Hamilton. "I could hear my engineers but they couldn't hear me.

"I heard them say it was going to rain and it was already spitting so we opted to go for the wet tyres. It wasn't necessarily the best call, but that's motor racing."

A drive-through penalty, for forcing Paul di Resta's Force India off track after a spin, dropped him further back, but his fresher tyres helped him to pass Red Bull's Mark Webber for fourth.

"My left front tyre was pretty worn so I went a bit wide, came out of the chicane and spun which is very, very rare for me. I think it's one of the first times I've spun," said Hamilton.

Reflecting on the Button's win, Hamilton added: "Jenson was pushing me hard the whole race and the better man won today.

"For us to have been the most competitive cars this weekend means we go into the break in good spirits."

Source: BBC Sport

Alonso: A great month for Ferrari

Having achieved his fifth podium finish in six grands prix, Fernando Alonso reckons Ferrari are looking good for the second part of the season

After a trying start to the Championship, which resulted in wholesale changes within the Scuderia, Ferrari and Alonso have come good in recent races.

The Spaniard has bagged five podium finishes in six races and achieved his fourth successive top-three result in Hungary on Sunday afternoon.

Starting the race from fifth on the grid, Alonso made the most of the changing conditions to work his way up into third place, adding a further 15 points towards his title campaign.

"I think we are confident we can do a good second part of the Championship," he said. "The car has improved a lot, we are fighting for podiums, pole positions.

"July was a fantastic month. I am the driver who scored the most points in July, in three different conditions, at three different tracks. The team did a step forward and McLaren also did a good step forward so competition is quite fun.

"Unfortunately it was not very hot in July. We love high temperatures so hopefully August and September will be better for us."

As for Sunday's grand prix, the double World Champ will probably wonder about what could have been had he not been bogged down at the start, losing places to both Mercedes GP drivers before coming up behind Mark Webber.

"I think in these type of conditions the race is very, very long - you need to be always focused with so many pitstops and so many weather conditions," he said.

"The start did not go as predicted, both Mercedes GP cars overtook us at the start, so I had to overtake Nico (Rosberg) and Michael (Schumacher) then with pit stops I was stuck behind Webber.

"After that I was able to push with free air, and was quite quick, but for the first 20 laps we were behind Mercedes and Mark."

Source: Planet-F1

Vettel: The win was within reach

Sebastian Vettel feels the Hungarian Grand Prix race win was within his grasp, but a problem with his brakes prevented him from pushing too hard

The defending World Champion started Sunday's race at the Hungaroring in pole position but he slipped to P2 behind Lewis Hamilton as he struggled on the wet track. Things didn't get much better after the second round of pit stops as he dropped to fourth behind the two McLarens and his team-mate Mark Webber.

However, the move to put him on super soft tyres for his last stint, as well as the decision not to bring him in for a change to intermediate tyres, paid off for the German and he was able to move up to P2.

"I was struggling a bit in the first stint with the intermediate tyres, Lewis (Hamilton) was a bit faster, then I lost it down into Turn 2," Vettel said after the race. "I lost the lead and obviously the circuit was drying, so we maybe could have come in a lap earlier.

"On the super soft tyre I was feeling quite good initially but there was quite a lot of drop off, I think it was the same for all of us with the track being quite green. I think both times I would love to have pitted one lap earlier, although it was quite fun to see the McLaren's very close again. But then in the last stint, I had to let Jenson go."

Vettel finished just 3.50 seconds behind Button in the end, but he says he couldn't push any harder as he had a problem with his brakes.

"I felt that I had a bit more speed in the car but I had a couple of problems with the brakes and it was difficult to know how the car would be at the end. I couldn't push as hard as I would like to, second today is an important step, but I think the win was within reach today and we didn't get it.

"We need to work hard because both of the McLarens are very, very strong in all sorts of conditions, so it's clear now for a couple of races that they have done a step forward. We need to make sure that we come back, definitely."

Source: Planet-F1

Video: BBC - Hungarian GP - Press Conference Top three drivers

McLaren's Jenson Button gives his reaction after victory in the Hungarian Grand Prix ahead of Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel and Ferrari's Fernando Alonso.

Button's second victory of the 2011 season comes on the occasion of his 200th grand prix.

Source: SixtyBuckss

Button Marks His 200th GP With The Win

Jenson Button won an action-packed and extremely intriguing Hungarian GP to celebrate his 200th grand prix start in style

The two McLarens immediately took the fight to Sebastian Vettel as the race got underway on a damp track with all the drivers on intermediate tyres.

However, it was Lewis Hamilton who had the edge, overtaking Vettel before putting in fastest lap after fastest lap to build up a lead.

And although there was plenty of action and overtaking behind the race leader, it was the tyres and a few spots of rain that eventually decided the outcome.

With Hamilton, Button and Vettel on track to make up the podium, Hamilton slipped up on a few drops of rain.

That put him into a spin, put Button right on his rear wing, put him into the pits for inters, put him back into the pits for dries when it became apparent there was barely any rain and again put him into the pits for a drive-through penalty for correcting his spin when there was traffic coming up behind (Paul di Resta had to leave the track to avoid Hamilton).

It also put him off the podium, freeing the track up for Button to take his second victory of the season.

Vettel finished in second place while Fernando Alonso got to complete the podium despite running off the track at least three times and having a spin.

01. Button McLaren-Mercedes 1h43:42.337
02. Vettel Red Bull-Renault + 3.588
03. Alonso Ferrari + 19.819
04. Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes + 48.338
05. Webber Red Bull-Renault + 49.742
06. Massa Ferrari + 1:17.176
07. Di Resta Force India-Mercedes + 1 lap
08. Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari + 1 lap
09. Rosberg Mercedes + 1 lap
10. Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari + 1 lap
11. Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari + 1 lap
12. Petrov Renault + 1 lap
13. Barrichello Williams-Cosworth + 2 laps
14. Sutil Force India-Mercedes + 2 laps
15. Perez Sauber-Ferrari + 2 laps
16. Maldonado Williams-Cosworth + 2 laps
17. Glock Virgin-Cosworth + 4 laps
18. Ricciardo HRT-Cosworth + 4 laps
19. D'Ambrosio Virgin-Cosworth + 5 laps
20. Liuzzi HRT-Cosworth + 5 laps

Kovalainen Lotus-Renault 56
Schumacher Mercedes 27
Heidfeld Renault 24
Trulli Lotus-Renault 18

Source: Planet-F1

Räikkönen's perfomance was praised by experts

Räikkönen is not considered to be any morning person but this time he started very flashy both on Friday and especially on Saturday.

On SS17 the Citroën bumped into a stone and crashed with the rear first in a wooden fence.

– The front bumper was twisted and the air started going under it. When I went a little bit faster, the front started to go in every direction and didn't want to stay on the track anymore. There was no sense in driving fast when the front went in every direction, Räikkönen said.

However the perfomance was classy. Appreciation for Räikkönen only grew bigger in experts minds.

– Of course as a Finnish viewer I would rather see Kimi going on with winning in F1, but things are like this now. Kimi is in a position where he can drive whatever he wants. He wants to drive rally and everybody knows that that boy controls cars. He will improve as a rally driver when he learns the notes so that he gets everything he wants out of them, Lasse Lampi thought.

– One shouldn't look at it so that one only stares on positions and says, oh, Kimi is 8th again. I observe Kimi's driving in a completely different way and I think his performances are better than I could have expected, Rauno Aaltonen said.

– Kimi shows a good control of his nerves and mind when he stays on the road. Rally on this level is in any case a battle and when you are on the limits, the marginal for making mistakes is always bigger. I take my hat off for Kimi.

Aaltonen wondered over Olivier Quesnel's statement that spread on the websites, about him being disappointed with Kimi's pace.

– I think it was a wrong verdict. One has to understand that people drive on different stages with different speed. A human being isn't a machine. For some a fast road is good, some again are at their best on very curly roads. It depends completely on motor function, the muscle's function and the way one thinks about where to look, Aaltonen said.

Turun Sanomat, Jyväskylä


Courtesy: Nicole

Sebastian Vettel F1 Blog: Hungaroring | 'An amazing result!

Formula One World Champion Sebastian Vettel put the disappointment of last week firmly behind him by grabbing pole position at the Hungarian Grand Prix on Saturday

by Sebastian Vettel on Jul 31, 2011

What an amazing result! Especially after the not so perfect days of last week – the pole position is something really special for us. I just feel really comfortable here and I guess that's one of the most important things. Once the feeling is right, everything comes in time.

After Friday night's hard work it just went better right from the start on Saturday. We thought that we could do well in qualifying, but being on pole made our day even better. Sure, it was really tough at times, especially with the McLarens on form, but right now we're just happy that we did a great job today.

'The pole position is something really special for us'

Today's pole is kind of a reward for the team's hard work – some of them stayed until the early hours of the morning. I'm just incredibly glad to have them and very proud of their performance.

Besides the tyres, we should also be aware of the constantly changing wind conditions. The winds are really strong and sometimes you kind of get a push from behind or from the sides. Luckily we have a lot of flags beside the track so we can be sure of the winds.

I know that my official home race was last week, but this one in Hungary has a similar feeling because of the closeness to Austria. There are a lot of fans who come to the track and support us with their signs and flags. We're really lucky to have them and we'll be even more motivated tomorrow!

Talk to you later!


Source: Red Bull

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Kimi is offered both Nascar-races and cars

Todd Hirschfeld, who takes care of Kimi Räikkönen's matters in Nascar-circles was for the first time in a rally.

Several Sprint Cup -cars and budget for Räikkönen in Nascar races could be arranged, for example to Watkins Glen's race in the middle of August. Kimi alone decides what he will do.

Next week Räikkönen will test his Citroën for two days before the next WRC-rally in Germany. It looks like he wouldn't have Nascar-races planned in the near future.

– I don't know, lets see, Räikkönen replied to questions about Nascar-races.

Turun Sanomat, Jyväskylä


Courtesy: Nicole

Petter Solberg and Kimi Räikkönen finish in the points

Petter Solberg and Chris Patterson finished in fifth place in Rally Finland, the eighth round of the FIA World Rally Championship. This result has helped them to consolidate their fifth place in the Drivers’ and Co-Drivers’ ratings. Kimi Räikkönen and Kaj Lindström confirmed their recent improvement in form with a ninth-place finish on home turf after a very promising drive.

Petter Solberg and Chris Patterson were soon among the quickest and took fifth place in the overall classification in the short first leg on Thursday afternoon. The Petter Solberg World Rally Team crew got past Jari Ketomaa and went into fourth behind Loeb, Ogier and Latvala during the long day’s stages in Jyväskylä and Lahti. The Norwegian was always on the lookout to find ways and means of improving his performance till the finish, and he saw the flag in fifth place overall.

“I pushed throughout the whole rally,” said Solberg at the finish. “We tried to improve the car by changing the setup during the weekend, but we were not able to match the pace of the leaders. The result’s rather frustrating. Now, we’re going to concentrate on the next event in Germany on tarmac.”

Kimi Räikkönen and Kaj Lindström, who already showed a promising turn of speed in the previous rally in Greece, confirmed their progress in Finland. The ICE1 Racing driver started his third Rally Finland at a searing pace only a second per kilometre off the reference time, and finished the first leg in thirteenth place. He lost precious time due to a minor error on Friday morning. On the way back to Jyväskylä he got back into the rhythm and moved up to twelfth. Iceman’s confidence was now at full boost, and he upped the pace even further in the home stretch by overtaking his nearest rivals and finished in ninth place.

“These roads are as quick and as difficult as ever,” underlined the Finnish driver. But we still managed to set good times. I’d like to thank the many spectators who cheered us on during the weekend. We were able to maintain a good pace throughout the whole rally despite a few minor mistakes. It’s encouraging for the rest of the sea

With both Citroën DS3 WRCs at the finish, Benoit Nogier, the Citroën Racing Technologies team manager, was pretty satisfied with the team’s overall performance in Rally Finland: “Kimi’s made a lot of progress since last season. He’s showing promising steadiness and he’s on the right track. Above all, he’s now getting used to finishing the rallies in the points. It’s both satisfying and very encouraging. Petter Solberg’s rally is more disappointing as he lacked speed. We’ll have to analyze what happened to find out why we were slower than the front-runners. He’ll have the right equipment to shine on tarmac in Germany.”

Source: Citroën WRC

Video: BBC - Hungarian GP - Vettel relieved after securing 'tough' pole

Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel dedicates his pole lap to his team after they broke curfew on Friday night to improve the car after they struggled during Friday's practice sessions

Source: SixtyBuckss

Alonso: First row was out of reach

While admitting he could have qualified higher, Fernando Alonso concedes he was never in the running for pole position

The Spaniard secured fifth spot on the grid for Sunday's Hungarian GP, falling behind his team-mate Felipe Massa for the first time this season.

The 30-year-old admits that the result is disappointing but believes that third was the best he could have hoped for.

"It's the same result as a week ago, so yet again today, we're neither surprised nor disappointed," he explained.

"It's true I did not do a perfect lap in Q3 and I'm happy to admit that, but I don't think I could have made it to the front row.

"Third place was within our grasp and it would have been a great place from which to start the race, but others did better than us, including my team-mate who drove a nice lap: it's important that both our cars are in positions from which we can fight for a place on the podium.

"All the same, better fifth than fourth as it means at least I start from the clean side of the track. It seems that when it's time for Q3, Red Bull has a magic button that suddenly makes them go faster, but then it seems the button switches off in the race."

Overtaking at the Hungaroring is always a challenge, a point Alonso does not expect the use of the Drag Reduction System to change, and the Ferrari man believes that pitstops will prove pivotal.

"It's always very difficult to overtake here and I don't think DRS will change that much: maybe a good tow and a gust of wind will be of more use," he said.

"We will try and move up a few places tomorrow: we will need to maintain a good pace, doing a perfect job at the pitstops, of which I think there will be a lot, maybe three or four, because tyre degradation is significant.

"It will also be important to get the timing of the stops right. I reckon anything could still happen: it will be a very open race."

Source: Planet-F1

Button: Will be nice to be able to drive for win from outset

Jenson Button: All in all, I guess I'm pretty happy with P3. I'll start from the clean side of the track, and I'm feeling very positive about the race

Jenson Button has said he is feeling 'very positive' about Sunday's F1 2011 Hungarian GP.

Button has had a bit of a difficult run of late, especially in qualifying, and so he was 'pretty happy' to secure third in his McLaren MP4-26 following the top-ten shootout today at the 2.72 mile Hungaroring.

Furthermore the fact he was only 0.046 seconds off Lewis Hamilton in the sister car in P2, was another very encouraging sign, although admittedly his team-mate did mess up his second lap.

Still it was a good performance and it bodes well for tomorrow, when JB will be out to bounce back from two retirements in succession, both through no fault of his own though it should be added, with a wheel nut problem putting him out at Silverstone and hydraulics sidelining him last weekend in Germany.

“All in all, I guess I'm pretty happy with P3. I'll start from the clean side of the track, and I'm feeling very positive about the race,” Button said.

“Having said that though, after a lap that was as close to pole as mine was today, you always catch yourself thinking that there must have been a little bit here or a little bit there that would have been enough to bridge the gap, which was just two-tenths this afternoon, but to be fair to myself I actually think I drove a pretty decent quali-lap.

“To be honest, qualifying has been a bit of an issue for me recently – and, although I relish attacking any circuit in an effort to make up places on a Sunday afternoon, I guess you're always going to be playing catch-up if you start much farther back than the first two rows.

“So, this weekend, it is very nice to be in a position to drive for a win from the outset, and that's definitely what I will now be attempting to do tomorrow,” he vowed.


Lewis Hamilton: Start will be crucial

With overtaking opportunities at the Hungaroring limited, Lewis Hamilton knows a good start will be vital to his chances of claiming a race win

Hamilton is on a high having won last time out in Germany, and having qualified second in Hungary is in with a shout of claiming back-to-back wins for the first time in 13 months.

However, the Briton is well aware of the importance of being in front at the first corner.

"It's going to be important to start like a rocket man because you can't overtake here, apart from in the pit stops, so it's vital to have an even better start if I'm to win," said Hamilton.

"But I'm not thinking I should have been on pole, although it was a possibility because we've been quick this weekend.

"I knew it was going to be very close, and if I'm honest I knew it was going to be difficult to be ahead of Sebastian.

"But I'm positive ahead of tomorrow. Jenson (Button) qualified third, and he is in a nice sweet spot ready for tomorrow for the start down to turn one.

"I'm just massively happy we're in the fight because not so long ago we were behind the Red Bulls and Ferraris, and now we're splitting them.

"We have both been saying how nice it is to drive the car, and we hope it will continue to be like this for the rest of the season."

Button too heads into Sunday's race feeling positive having secured his best grid position since May.

"Qualifying has been my issue of late, which has made it difficult for the race, so it's nice to be positioned well," said Button.

"When you are that close to the front you have to go for the win," he added.

Source: Planet-F1

Video: Kimi Räikkönen SS22 Power Stage at Neste Oil Rally Finland 2011

Source: Rai 2


After a couple of races not particularly covered in glory, Formula One World Champion Sebastian Vettel comes to Hungary saying that’s just the way it’s going to be...

by Matt Youson on Jul 30, 2011

Sebastian Vettel has won six races out of ten this year, and in the other four taken three second places and a fourth. He comfortably leads the F1 Drivers’ Championship. But all is not rosy in the garden of Red Bull as Vettel’s fourth place in Germany is his worse finish since Monza last year and the generally improving Ferraris and McLarens seem intent up on making a fight of it this season.

Vettel may take some satisfaction - though probably not much in the way of consolation - from having consistently stated that a dip in Red Bull’s dominance was inevitable at some point this year, and simply a fact of life when competing against teams with the resources and calibre of Ferrari and McLaren. It was a view he espoused again when sitting down the press before the Hungarian Grand Prix weekend. This is what he had to say…

Seb, what have you done over the past few days? Have you analysed the performances from the past races?
"What did I do? I went back home, had a couple of days rest and did some training in preparation for this weekend. Obviously we have analysed what happened last weekend, but, y’know, there’s only three days in between the races, so it’s not much time for the team because we have to get all of our stuff back into the trucks and come here. It’s a lot of work and very short nights. We had a deep look but now we have to re-focus on this race. We cannot spend too much of our time thinking about Nürburgring instead of driving here."

'We can’t change the result at the Nürburgring but we can change the result here.'

What do you take away from the results in Germany?
"Well, we finished third and fourth, it’s a result that’s not a disaster but we’re not happy with it. So, we can’t be satisfied but we have to accept it. For here, obviously our target is to do better than third and fourth and, yeah, we have a couple of things to play around with to try to make the package a little bit more competitive again. I think Nürburgring was pretty tricky, particularly for myself: I didn’t really feel comfortable Friday through Sunday but I think we have understood most of it - and this is a different track with different conditions.

"We can’t change the result at the Nürburgring but we can change the result here. There’s no point trying to find any excuses, that race is done. I think the people who finished ahead of me deserved to finish ahead of me but as I said, I’m not happy with that and I want to have it the other way around this weekend.

Why did you not feel comfortable in Germany? Was there something wrong with the car or the tyres?
"No, I think it was a tricky weekend with the conditions. It was very cold but I don’t want to blame it on conditions. Obviously, Mark was a little bit quicker throughout the weekend and I was struggling a little bit and I never really found a good balance. But, as I said, though we didn’t have the easiest time and I think we have understood most of it.

"We’ll have more time in the break to look at the Nürburgring again with the conditions we had and compare that to other races - maybe this one as it’s straight after - but it’s hard to say within only a few days."

Source: Red Bull

Vettel Is Back At The Front In Qualifying

Sebastian Vettel put in a blistering 1:19.815 to beat Lewis Hamilton to pole position for the Hungarian Grand Prix

Having lost out to their rivals in Friday's practice sessions, Red Bull pulled an all-nighter, using one of their four curfew exceptions. And the late hours paid off.

Vettel, who set the pace in final practice, claimed pole position on Saturday afternoon with a 1:19.815. It is the reigning World Champion's eighth pole of the campaign but his first in three races.

Hamilton was bumped off the P1 slot by just 0.163s, however, he'll be delighted with his second successive front row grid slot.

Jenson Button was third fastest ahead of Felipe Massa, who edged his team-mate Fernando Alonso for the first time this season. Alonso will start the Hungarian GP P5 alongside Mark Webber.

Nico Rosberg and Adrian Sutil completed the top eight.

01. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1m19.815
02. Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1m19.978 + 0.163
03. Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1m20.024 + 0.209
04. Felipe Massa Ferrari 1m20.350 + 0.535
05. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1m20.365 + 0.550
06. Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1m20.474 + 0.659
07. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m21.098 + 1.283
08. Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1m21.445 + 1.630
09. Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1m21.907 + 2.092
10. Sergio Perez Sauber-Ferrari No time
11. Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1m22.256 + 1.994
12. Vitaly Petrov Renault 1m22.284 + 2.022
13. Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1m22.435 + 2.173
14. Nick Heidfeld Renault 1m22.470 + 2.208
15. Rubens Barrichello Williams-Cosworth 1m22.684 + 2.422
16. Jaime Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m22.979 + 2.717
17. Pastor Maldonado Williams-Cosworth No time
18. Sebastien Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m24.070 + 2.492
19. Heikki Kovalainen Lotus-Renault 1m24.362 + 2.784
20. Jarno Trulli Lotus-Renault 1m24.534 + 2.956
21. Timo Glock Virgin-Cosworth 1m26.294 + 4.716
22. Tonio Liuzzi HRT-Cosworth 1m26.323 + 4.745
23. Daniel Ricciardo HRT-Cosworth 1m26.479 + 4.901
24. Jerome D'Ambrosio Virgin-Cosworth 1m26.510 + 4.932

Source: Planet-F1

Räikkönen was driving experience over really well

Kimi Räikkönen's co-driver Kaj Lindstrom says residues driving WRC Rally Finland on Saturday morning leg.

Raikkonen was the morning's fast lap in exactly the same pace as the 2003 world champion Petter Solberg identical Citroen car.

- Kimi drove really well. Yes, he knows how to drive. It just always seems to forget the representatives of the media that a career is only 24 rallies. In relation to it, he drove really well, Lindstrom praised MTV3.

Is today's rate reflects the fact that Raikkonen can develop a winning rally driver?

- The last seconds per kilometer at the top is a miniature steps. There does not go by leaps and bounds, Lindstrom acknowledges the realities.

Source: MTV3
Courtesy: Mar

Practice Three: Hard work pays off for Bulls

Rising temperatures and an all-nighter played into Red Bull's hands in Saturday's final practice in Hungary where Seb Vettel set the pace

After finishing half a second behind McLaren's Lewis Hamilton in Practice Two, Red Bull opted to use one of their curfew exceptions on Friday night.

And the extra hours, coupled with rising temperatures, paid off with Vettel setting the pace on Saturday morning.

The reigning World Champ clocked a 1:21.168 to finish 0.301s ahead of Ferrari's Fernando Alonso.

Jenson Button was third quickest.

Report: A warm start to the day with the track temperature already at 32'C as final practice got underway with Tonio Liuzzi leading the field out for their installation laps. Jerome D'Ambrosio posted the morning's first time, a 1:32.884.

The Virgin driver, though, was soon dropped as Nico Rosberg hit the front followed by Jenson Button. Michael Schumacher went third quickest. With the track rubbering up, more drivers ventured out including reigning World Champ Sebastian Vettel. However, he could only manage 17th place on his first lap.

The German went on to lead the way with a 1:22.021 while his team-mate Mark Webber took second place ahead of Lewis Hamilton. Problems for Rosberg, who climbed out of his car while his team worked on something around his seat area.

Halfway through the session it was Vettel leading with a 1:22.021, followed by Hamilton, Webber, Buton, Massa, Rosberg, Schumacher and Alonso.

Alonso improved to fourth place before being dropped as Rosberg, with his seat now sorted, climbed to second. Schumacher moved ahead of Massa and Vettel struggled to stay on the track. However, he wasn't the only one as several drivers ran wide, although with plenty of run-off area there were no accidents.

The final ten minutes saw the drivers take a run on the super soft tyres. Alonso jumped into the P1 slot, Massa took second place and then ran off the track on his next lap, Hamilton got it wrong at the first corner, Button didn't do much better on his out-lap, Jaime Alguersuari ran it wide, Button improved to second and Vettel hit the front with a 1:21.169.

01. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1m21.168s 17 laps
02. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1m21.469s + 0.301s 13 laps
03. Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1m21.639s + 0.471s 14 laps
04. Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1m21.645s + 0.477s 18 laps
05. Felipe Massa Ferrari 1m22.002s + 0.834s 14 laps
06. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m22.534s + 1.366s 22 laps
07. Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1m22.667s + 1.499s 14 laps
08. Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1m23.037s + 1.869s 19 laps
09. Vitaly Petrov Renault 1m23.175s + 2.007s 19 laps
10. Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1m23.276s + 2.108s 18 laps
11. Nick Heidfeld Renault 1m23.281s + 2.113s 13 laps
12. Sergio Perez Sauber-Ferrari 1m23.375s + 2.207s 18 laps
13. Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1m23.626s + 2.458s 25 laps
14. Rubens Barrichello Williams-Cosworth 1m23.663s + 2.495s 17 laps
15. Pastor Maldonado Williams-Cosworth 1m23.894s + 2.726s 17 laps
16. Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1m23.966s + 2.798s 18 laps
17. Jaime Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m23.998s + 2.830s 15 laps
18. Sebastien Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m25.061s + 3.893s 19 laps
19. Jarno Trulli Lotus-Renault 1m25.141s + 3.973s 20 laps
20. Heikki Kovalainen Lotus-Renault 1m25.501s + 4.333s 20 laps
21. Jerome D'Ambrosio Virgin-Cosworth 1m26.955s + 5.787s 20 laps
22. Daniel Ricciardo HRT-Cosworth 1m26.991s + 5.823s 19 laps
23. Timo Glock Virgin-Cosworth 1m27.174s + 6.006s 16 laps
24. Vitantonio Liuzzi HRT-Cosworth 1m27.713s + 6.545s 20 laps

Source: Planet-F1

Friday, July 29, 2011

Video: BBC - Hungarian GP - Lewis Hamilton eyes victory

Lewis Hamilton is confident he can follow up his victory at the German Grand Prix by challenging for another triumph in Hungary on Sunday

Source: SixtyBuckss

Kimi's Column: The third time

Well, it’s flat-out time once again. Hopefully I’ll find the best feeling with driving straight away from the start. This is the rally, where you need to get the right rhythm on since the very beginning of the special stage one, while we go so fast.

This is the rally I’ve been looking forward the whole summer along. The home race is the greatest of them all for every racing driver. This is my third time in Rally Finland and, obviously, this is the rally, where we have the most experience so far.

Twice I have started the rally in Jyväskyla. This time the first day is a little bit different compared to previous ones, but the most remarkable change is day two, while we go to new roads in Lahti area.

I think it’s good to have experience of two rallies here. We know some roads, some are there for the first time, but, all in all, they are very fast roads and it’s a huge challenge to get them right.

The test and the preparation for this rally went very well. I’ve been training hard both with bicycles and in the gym. We had a nice rally show downtown Helsinki, too. Obiously, my feeling is great and I just cannot wait to get things going on.

We have had good results this year in all the rallies we have had so far. This gives me a solid boost to my confidence to keep the car on the road.

The work with the pace notes has been improving all the time. Listening to the pace notes goes better and better. Still, it’s a huge challenge for every rally driver.

My goal is to finish the rally without major mistakes. Two years ago we had a D.N.F. and last year we finished, but I made too many mistakes, still.

Hopefully this time we get everything right and improve again like we have done in every rally so far.

To finish a rally is always a good achievement and especially it’s a great achievement in Jyväskyla, in the fastest rally of them all.

All I can promise is that we try our very best. Let’s wait and see, what it brings along this time.

Courtesy: _TaniaS_

200-not-out Button eager to turn the tide on 'special weekend'

McLaren-Mercedes star Jenson Button will join F1's 200 club in Sunday's Hungarian Grand Prix around the Hungaroring a race that the 2009 world champion confesses holds 'special' memories for him...

Jenson Button will reach a milestone at the Hungaroring on Sunday, as he celebrates his 200th grand prix start around the same circuit at which he claimed his breakthrough F1 victory five years ago – and the McLaren-Mercedes star admits that after his torrid run of late in 2011, he would love to turn the tide 'on such a special weekend'.

Button debuted in F1 in the Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne back in 2000, and following several seasons of nearly-but-not-quite, it was not until the 2006 Hungarian Grand Prix – his 113th start in the top flight, and just the kind of wet/dry race in which he traditionally excels – that he finally succeeded in reaching the highest step of the rostrum with Honda.

The weather forecast is uncharacteristically mixed once again in Budapest half-a-decade on – and the 2009 world champion concedes that he wouldn't mind a touch of precipitation on race day one little bit.

“I've got very good memories of 2006,” he reminisced. “[It was] obviously a long time ago now, but it's the perfect place for me to have my 200th grand prix, I suppose. The last couple of races have been a bit difficult in terms of not finishing, so hopefully we can have a good result here on such a special weekend.

“Rain would be a lot of fun around here. We've been here in the wet before, and for me, it was one of the best races I've been involved in and actually watched back, because there was a lot of overtaking, a lot of fighting. Yeah, it brings something to the race, but I think even in the dry, wet or intermediate conditions we've got to make sure we're quick.

“Lewis [Hamilton – team-mate] proved at the last race the pace of the car is very good in dry conditions, in cool conditions. I also think we'll be there in hot conditions. Whatever the weather does, we've got to be ready for it. I agree that when it's mixed conditions here, it's fun.”

The race to which Button alludes was last weekend's German Grand Prix, in which there was little to choose between the McLaren MP4-26, the Ferrari F150° Italia and the Red Bull Racing RB7 in terms of outright pace, as Hamilton, Fernando Alonso and Mark Webber ran nose-to-tail for a number of laps at the Nürburgring. The 2009 F1 World Champion agrees that such a scenario bodes well indeed for the remainder of the campaign.

“I think it's a great time for F1, to have three top teams fighting at the front,” he enthused. "We've had four different winners from the last four races, and hopefully we will have a great race here. As we've said, we don't know who is going to be the most competitive.

“It was great to see three teams fighting for victory at the last race, and hopefully it's going to be the same thing here; hopefully, there will be six of us really at the front with a chance of victory. That's what we all love doing; we all love the challenge, and hopefully we will get the chance to fight for it here.

“I think if you look at the last three races, you would say we've all been making improvements in different areas. The races have been reasonably close. Even if there's been a different winner in every race, there's been a good fight – it hasn't been an easy victory for anyone.

“Obviously, I hope that we are the quickest and we can win every race, but I think it's also fun when you have the challenge of fighting with other top teams, and I think that's the way it's going to be when you're at the pinnacle of the sport.”

Meanwhile, as he prepares to overtake his racing hero Alain Prost in the longevity stakes – the Frenchman's final grand prix start in Adelaide in 1993 was his 199th – Button has reflected that he could remain a fixture on the F1 grid for longer than he had originally anticipated.

“I was thinking last week, if I did four more years in F1, I would be 35 and I'd retire from racing,” he told the Daily Mail. “What the hell am I going to do at 35-years-old?!”


Alonso eyes third-sector boost

Fernando Alonso hopes Ferrari will make steady improvements, especially in the third sector, over the weekend in Hungary

The Spaniard followed up his second-place finish at the German Grand Prix on Sunday with solid displays during both first and second practice at the Hungaroring on Friday. He was also one of the busiest drivers on the track and completed 69 laps in total.

He was third-fastest in the first session with a 1:23.642 and then improved his time to 1:21.259 in the afternoon to be just 0.241 off Lewis Hamilton's best time of the day.

Despite his impressive showings, Alonso knows Ferrari will need to make up more time on McLaren if they want to walk away with top honours come Sunday evening.

"We finished the planned work programme and that's always a positive start to a race weekend. Now we will analyse all the data gathered and make the best choices for qualifying and the race," the double World Champion said.

"I am pleased I was able to do so much running, especially from the point of view of studying the tyre degradation, which at this track is always a significant factor. The track is still very dirty, as is the norm for a Friday at the Hungaroring: however, we know it will improve each day and by Sunday afternoon, it will be much more rubbered in than today.

"We saw that McLaren looks very strong, as indeed it was last weekend. Now we must try and improve the car, especially in the third sector of the track, where we seem to be suffering more than most."

Alonso celebrated his 30th birthday on Friday and feels he will spend another five season with the Italian team.

"Thanks to everyone for their birthday wishes on my thirtieth, especially to Bernie, who came along to wish me the best along with you journalists during the press meeting!" he said.

"It's nice to celebrate here with Ferrari, a team I will definitely be with at least until I am thirty five."

Technical director Pat Fry admits it's still hard to say where they are compared to their two biggest rivals.

"As usual we had a packed programme to get through, including an evaluation of various configurations both on the aerodynamic front and in terms of the management of the exhaust gases," he said.

"We concentrated principally on the updates to the 150º Italia in the morning and then in the afternoon, we switched more towards finding the best set-up on the car and on a comparison between the two types of tyre Pirelli has brought for this race.

"As you can imagine, there is nothing new under the sun: really just a Friday like so many others. The obvious consequence of that is it's very hard to say where we are compared to our closest rivals. The only thing we can be sure of is that Red Bull and McLaren both seem very competitive, irrespective of the fuel levels they were running."

Source: Planet-F1

Sebastian Vettel F1 Blog: Hungaroring | Ready for my close-up

Formula One World Champion Sebastian Vettel is packing up his troubles from the German F1 Grand Prix and heading to Budapest for the Hungarian Grand Prix for a close encounter with the famous Hungaroring

by Sebastian Vettel on Jul 29, 2011

A big "Szia!" from Hungary! It seems like only yesterday that we were in Germany and now we’re already back at the Hungaroring.

I’m not overly happy about last week’s result (none of us are) but as a team we know that we have to accept it, move on and do better at this weekend.

The other teams made a better job of the Nürburgring and their victory was well deserved. I wasn't really satisfied with fourth place at my home race but I was blown away by the amazing fans at the circuit. They are the reason we want to be better on Sunday. So we'll be optimistic and full of energy when we start into this weekend.

'By the way...I know how big the gap to the safety car has to be!'

After all, we're still hungry for victory and you can only satisfy that hunger when you’re scoring every point you can. So we’re not about to ease up and rely on our lead in the championship. It's way too early in the season to start calculating where we need to finish to win the championship. We don't want to play safe, we want to win.

To get a good feel for the Hungaroring, rather than tour the circuit on golf carts, we did it on foot. I can't say too much about it other than it was raining. A lot.

But it's still a bit warmer than it was in Germany, so that should help the tyre performance. But we're going to wait for the first practice to see what we have to change or adjust at the car.

Right now, I just have a good feeling.

Oh, and by the way...I know how big the gap to the safety car has to be – just in case you were wondering!

Talk to you later!


Source: Red Bull

Practice Two: Hamilton's run continues

Lewis Hamilton's Hungarian run continued on Friday afternoon as the McLaren driver concluded Practice Two with the fastest time

Hamilton crossed the line with a 1:21.018, cementing his position as one of the front runners to take the victory come Sunday afternoon.

Second place went to Fernando Alonso with the Ferrari driver 0.241s off the pace while Jenson Button was third quickest.

The two Red Bulls were next in line with Mark Webber ahead of Sebastian Vettel with it coming as some surprise that the Bulls were half a second off the pace.

Felipe Massa was sixth quicket ahead of Nico Rosberg and Michael Schumacher.

Report: As rain moved towards the Hungaroring, Jaime Alguersuari got proceedings underway at the start of Friday's second practice, crossing the line with a 1:27.596. With drivers quickly putting in laps while the track was still dry, Sergio Perez went quickest ahead of Nick Heidfeld.After five minutes 12 drivers had already set times.

Vitaly Petrov then hit the front before losing out to Perez and then Lewis Hamilton and then Felipe Massa. The Ferrari driver lowered the benchmark time to a 1:22.928.

Sebastian Vettel took over from Massa at the front with a 1:22.666. Massa locked up and put his Ferrari into a spin down into Turn 12 while his team-mate Fernando Alonso went quickest, a tenth up on Vettel, before he was dropped as Jenson Button took the P1 slot by two-tenths. Mark Webber, coming back from his FP1 shunt, claimed sixth place in the early action. Alonso hit the front again with a 1:22.070.

After the initial assault on the timesheets it was down to the hard yards with the drivers putting in lap after lap with heavier fuel loads.

Alonso lowered the benchmark to a 1:21.259, eight-tenths up on Button's best. Hamilton overhauled the Ferrari by 0.241s while Webber climbed to fourth place. With the option tyres on his RB7, Vettel moved up to fifth place ahead of Massa, Rosberg and Michael Schumacher. Webber has another go on the option tyres but stays fourth.

Hamilton ended the session with a 1:21.018, 0.241s up on Alonso.

01. Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1m21.018 29 laps
02. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1m21.259 + 0.241 40 laps
03. Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1m21.322 + 0.304 34 laps
04. Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1m21.508 + 0.490 35 laps
05. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1m21.549 + 0.531 31 laps
06. Felipe Massa Ferrari 1m22.099 + 1.081 40 laps
07. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m22.121 + 1.103 36 laps
08. Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1m22.440 + 1.422 36 laps
09. Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1m22.835 + 1.817 40 laps
10. Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1m22.981 + 1.963 37 laps
11. Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1m23.030 + 2.012 34 laps
12. Sergio Perez Sauber-Ferrari 1m23.399 + 2.381 37 laps
13. Rubens Barrichello Williams-Cosworth 1m23.679 + 2.661 34 laps
14. Nick Heidfeld Renault 1m23.861 + 2.843 28 laps
15. Pastor Maldonado Williams-Cosworth 1m24.181 + 3.163 39 laps
16. Jaime Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m24.182 + 3.164 26 laps
17. Vitaly Petrov Renault 1m24.546 + 3.528 21 laps
18. Sebastien Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m24.878 + 3.860 35 laps
19. Jarno Trulli Lotus-Renault 1m24.994 + 3.976 38 laps
20. Heikki Kovalainen Lotus-Renault 1m25.447 + 4.429 39 laps
21. Timo Glock Virgin-Cosworth 1m26.823 + 5.805 33 laps
22. Jerome D'Ambrosio Virgin-Cosworth 1m27.261 + 6.243 28 laps
23. Daniel Ricciardo HRT-Cosworth 1m27.730 + 6.712 31 laps
24. Tonio Liuzzi HRT-Cosworth 1m28.255 + 7.237 25 laps

Source: Planet-F1

Happy birthday Fernando!

Hungaroring, 29 July –This is a special day for Fernando Alonso, as he celebrates his thirtieth birthday. Making it even more special for someone like him, who likes playing with numbers, the Hungarian weekend is also his thirtieth Grand Prix at the wheel of a Ferrari

The Oviedo man’s phone has been bombarded with text messages and lots of people have personally wished him all the best when he arrived at the track this morning. President Montezemolo spoke to him this morning by phone, but what one might call the official greetings were put out through the media in a letter published in today’s “La Gazzetta dello Sport” newspaper in Italy. Here is the complete text:

Dear Fernando,

Here’s wishing you a very happy birthday in the hope that you can celebrate it in style on Sunday in your thirtieth race with Ferrari. Thirty is an important age, as it means you are no longer a youngster. You gave us a bit of a hard time when you were an opponent of ours, but we have always appreciated your talent and your personality. Today, after one and a half years together, we have got to know you better and we have discovered those personal qualities you had kept hidden. It is because of these and not just your skill at the wheel, that our relationship is destined to last a long time. Best wishes once again and thanks for all your efforts and for the way you work with the team, as well as the determination you have shown and the fact that you never give up; just like Ferrari in fact.

Luca Montezemolo

It’s easy to work out what present Fernando and indeed all fans of the Reds would like to see being handed over on Sunday afternoon…


Kimi Räikkönen plays a role at music video

Formula One world champion Kimi Räikkönen plays a role for the first time at music video! Singer Arttu Wiskari got Kimi playing a role for free on his Sorateiden sankarit (Heroes of the gravel roads) track.

Räikkönen shows on the video what he can, by driving rally.

- It's so amazing Kimi is in. I still got my skin on pimples about Kimi is in. I know Kimi thanks to one friend. I met Kimi's old race mechanic and we called Kimi for a job. Kimi was listening to my album and he liked the song. He called us to make a show. That's the way we met each other. We have talked a lot about music with Kimi, Wiskari tells to The Voice.

It's the first time ever for Räikkönen playing a part on music video.

Source: RacingNewsFlash

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Hungarian GP - Alonso: “we want the hottest temperatures possible”

Having arrived with the team from Maranello today, Fernando Alonso faced the media on another wet Thursday, after the one in Nurburgring a week ago. With his 30th birthday tomorrow, the Scuderia Ferrari driver was asked to look at similarities with Michael Schumacher, who was with Ferrari when he was 30, had also won two titles and had 20 race wins to his name. “I never thought to have two world championships by the time I was thirty, because I know how difficult it is to win in Formula 1 and how difficult it is to succeed here,” began the Spaniard. “I was extremely lucky to get all the wins I have to date, but I am not thinking of having seven world titles by the time I am 42. At the moment, Formula 1 is very competitive, very close and it will be very difficult for someone to be as dominant as Ferrari was with Michael, so I think seven titles is a record that will last for many years. In 2007, I missed out on a third title by one point and I also missed the chance last year in Abu Dhabi. That means that on four occasions I have been fighting for the title at the last race of the season and I have won two and lost two, which I feel is fair. Let’s see, if a fifth opportunity comes, we will see if I can win it again.”

After strong showings in recent races, the Ferrari driver was asked if the Scuderia could be dominant here. “I don’t think we can be dominant this weekend as dominant only applies to Red Bull at the moment,” maintained Fernando. “We need to have both cars consistently in the top three in qualifying and the race if we want to say that Ferrari is dominant. It was a nice surprise for us to see how competitive our car was in Silverstone and at the Nurburgring, we are pretty certain that if the temperature had been about 10 degrees higher, our performance could have been better. Hopefully here we will have a hot weekend, although the forecast does not predict that and then we can see how competitive we are here. We still need to make another step forward as Red Bull is still the reference point and yes,, we would like to see a strong McLaren to help our chances in the championship. There is no doubt that the soft and super soft tyres seem to work a bit better on our car, as we are gentle on the tyres and can maximise them for the race, running long stints with no degradation. Also in qualifying, where these tyres warm-up quickly they suit us, so we should be okay here and have a better weekend than in Nurbugring. We want the hottest temperatures possible, both ambient and track. Let’s hope on Saturday and Sunday we have 40 degrees!”

Overtaking has been a media topic all year and Fernando holds the view that one element holds the key to all the passing moves. “Even without KERS or DRS, with these current tyres we would see plenty of overtaking. Obviously the DRS is an extra help, allowing you to overtake maybe even when you have two cars with tyres in similar condition, but that would only happen about once per race. But with these tyres you get at least ten or fifteen passing moves per race.”


Hamilton: The Championship is still alive

Lewis Hamilton has likened McLaren's 2011 campaign to a "massive emotional rollercoaster" where some times they've been up there and at others a "million away"

Although McLaren have claimed three victories to date this season, the most of any team other than Red Bull, it has not been a solid campaign from the Woking outfit.

While at some grands prix they have fought at the front, at others they have found themselves a full second or even more behind their main rivals.

This month alone, Hamilton at first had no answer to Ferrari and Red Bull's pace in Britain but then went on to take a fantastic victory in Germany where he had the measure of his rivals.

"We have had a challenging couple of months, up and down, kind of nearly there, kind of not, then a million away, then the win," Hamilton acknowledged.

"It's been a massive emotional rollercoaster for all of us. It has played on my emotions and that of the team, so when we do have the wins as in Germany then it's just that much better.

"If you were doing it all the time, then I don't know if you could have the same feelings, so it makes it all the more worthwhile, and clearly we want to continue like this.

"But there are things I know we need to go and work on, and there are things the guys know they need to work on. We just need to keep applying the pressure because the Championship is still alive.

"I really hope the win spurs them on because we're only just over halfway. There's still a long way to go."

But with little indication of what is to come next from their MP4-26, the only definitive is that the car seems to prefer cooler conditions. And that's exactly what Hamilton is hoping for this weekend in Hungary.

"If you look at Hungary last year the Red Bull was light years ahead of everyone," said the 2008 World Champ.

"If you look at Valencia this year, Red Bull and Ferrari were massively quick in the hot conditions, and I expect them to be the same again this weekend.

"Naturally we will try to improve, but I do think we will have to wait until next year before our car is maybe as good as theirs. We'll see.

"Maybe we'll turn up there and be quick, maybe we'll have cooler conditions and it will be perfect for us."

With nine races remaining this season, Hamilton is third in the Drivers' Championship, 82 points behind Championship leader Sebastian Vettel.

Source: Planet-F1

Kimi raged over the team's blunder

Kimi Räikkönen's rally could have been ruined because of negligence

Räikkönen was serious when he went to the night-break.

- The spare tyre's rib was completely tangled. We wouldn't have got it on no matter what we would had done. Fortunately nothing happened and we didn't need the spare tyre, Kimi said and gave some strict feedback to Citroën's personnel.

- I can improve most and easiest in brakings. Now I braked many times too early, Kimi said.

Räikkönen hopes that he will get some advantage on Friday since they are driving completely new stages.

- They are new for everybody so it evens out the situation, Kimi said.

Räikkönen won't take any pressure over his success.

- I have won what can be won on the track. I don't suddenly have any obsession to win a rally. Of course I always want to get the best position possible, Kimi said.


Source: Iltalehti
Courtersy: Nicole

Kimi Räikkönen Press Conference at Neste Oil Rally Finland 2011

Kimi Räikkönen during Press Conference today in Jyväskylä at Neste Oil Rally Finland 2011

Q: Kimi this will be your third attempt at Rally Finland, the second time in a WRC car – what is the aim this year?

KR: I think it’s the same than all the other rallies; we try to drive as fast as we can and hopefully improve. I know some stages a bit now, but last year was like the first time again and tomorrow is new stages, which will be difficult again. It’s good, it’s nice and fast, we’ll see how the pace notes go.

Q: What do you think of the stages in the south?

KR: Of course they are a little bit different, but there are fast places and some smaller roads – they are nice stages.

Q: Do you feel you have clicked in WRC yet?

KR: We have improved a lot, it feels more normal sometimes. When you get above a certain level it becomes normal. The pace notes, this is the area where we can pick up a lot of time.

Q: Are you still enjoying it?

KR: I wouldn’t be here if I didn’t.

Q: Will you stick with just rally this year or will there be more racing?

KR: The plan is to do the rest of the rallies, the other things, there’s nothing planned.

Q: Do you know anything about next year yet?

KR: No. Not yet. There are some options, but I have to decide.

Q: When do you make that decision?

KR: No idea.

Source: FIA
Courtesy: momo

Loeb quickest in Finland shakedown

Sebastien Loeb has set the fastest time in shakedown for Neste Oil Rally Finland, round eight of the 2011 World Rally Championship

Driving a Citroen DS3 WRC, the French ace set a benchmark time of 1m35.7s through the 3.19-kilometre Ruuhimaki practice stage this morning.

“It’s important I score some points, that’s the main thing here,” said the seven-time world champion. “Whether this [time in shakedown] is a sign of things to come I do not know.”

Loeb’s Citroen team-mate Sebastien Ogier was second quickest with a time of 1m36.3s. Jari-Matti Latvala, the winner in Finland in 2010, was the leading Ford Fiesta RS WRC driver in third overall with a time of 1m36.6s.

Latvala and fellow factory Ford driver Mikko Hirvonen, who was eighth quickest, are among the favourites to win the gravel event this week. Despite being outpaced by the rival Citroen squad, Ford team boss Malcolm Wilson said the results of shakedown wouldn’t determine the outcome of the rally.

“We’re less than a second off Sebastien so that’s okay,” said Wilson. “Our drivers are really happy with the set-up they’ve got on their cars and didn’t need to do more runs or try and set faster times.”

Ex-Formula One world champion Kimi Räikkönen, who is starting his third Rally Finland, was seventh quickest in his ICE 1 Racing Citroen. The Finn completed six runs in shakedown and co-driver Kaj Lindstrom was satisfied with their performance. “Everything was okay, no problems and we had a good feeling,” he said.

Kris Meeke was 11th fastest in his MINI John Cooper Works WRC. After the shakedown his mechanics had to replace a broken windscreen, which a team representative confirmed had not hampered the Northern Irish ace’s progress.

Priority drivers are required to complete a minimum four runs of shakedown. Russian Evgeny Novikov, who missed out on a pre-event test, completed nine runs to fine-tune the set-up of his M-Sport Stobart-entered Fiesta. He was sixth quickest.

Norwegian Eyvind Brynildsen was the fastest Super 2000 World Rally Championship runner in his PS Engineering Skoda Fabia. Ukrainian driver Oleksandr Saliuk set the Production Car World Rally Championship pace at the wheel of a Mitsubishi Lancer.

Here are the top 10 times from the Shakedown session:

1. LOEB. Citroen DS3 WRC. 1:35.7
2. OGIER. Citroen DS3 WRC. 1:36.3
3. LATVALA. Ford Fiesta RS WRC. 1:36.6
4. P. SOLBERG. Citroen DS3 WRC. 1:36.8
5. OSTBERG. Ford Fiesta RS WRC. 1:36.9
6. NOVIKOV. Ford Fiesta RS WRC. 1:37.0
7. RÄIKKÖNEN. Citroen DS3 WRC. 1:37.1
8. HIRVONEN. Ford Fiesta RS WRC. 1:37.4
9. WILSON. Ford Fiesta RS WRC. 1:37.4
=10. SORDO. MINI John Cooper Works WRC. 1.37.6
=10. MEEKE. MINI John Cooper Works WRC. 1.37.6

Source: WRC

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Solberg, Räikkönen revved-up to shine in Finnish forests

Behind the wheel of their respective Citroën DS3 WRCs, motorsport heroes Petter Solberg and Kimi Räikkönen will doubtless be two of the most popular draws on this weekend's Rally Finland

Citroën duo Petter Solberg and Kimi Räikkönen are fired-up to produce a strong performance on Rally Finland this weekend and are sure to be amongst the crowd's favourites on what is widely-regarded as the most spectacular event on the World Rally Championship calendar.

Since the most recent round of the 2011 campaign in Greece last month, Solberg has been enjoying a well-earned rest to recharge his batteries, but the former World Rally Champion is now pumped up to shine in the high-speed, treacherous Finnish forests through which average speeds in 2010 measured 120km/h.

Nicknamed 'The Grand Prix of Gravel', the eighth outing of the season boasts the largest entry of any of the rallies thus far in 2011 with 125 cars, and is characterised by a series of fast-and-flowing, smooth gravel stages with big jumps – meaning drivers need to place total confidence in their co-drivers.

Add to that a buzzing atmosphere provided by the throngs of enthusiastic spectators lining the stages, and Solberg – who has twice finished on the podium in twelve previous appearances on Rally Finland, albeit not since his title-winning campaign of 2003 – is eager to get going.

“It was good to have a few weeks off between Greece and Finland,” confessed the 36-year-old Norwegian. “I have spent time just being with my family, and of course we have done some cross-karting. I also really enjoyed the flying-high experience in Switzerland with Breitling – that was really amazing!

“Finland has always been a great event for me. I really enjoy the stages, the atmosphere and just being in Jyväskylä. We spent two days testing in the area, and I hope the 300 kilometres we did will help us get the best possible set-up for all the stages.”

Like experienced fellow Scandinavian Solberg, 2007 F1 World Champion Räikkönen will benefit from the support of Citroën Racing Technologies behind the wheel of his Citroën DS3 WRC in Finland. The Finn currently sits eighth in the drivers' title chase – three spots behind Solberg – and the pair have spent two days apiece testing in preparation for the upcoming hostilities.

“We worked in similar conditions to those of a works team,” reported Benoît Nogier, Citroën Racing Technologies team principal. “There was a combination of humps and wide, quick sections. The roads were comparable to the ones we'll race on [on Rally Finland].

“Our drivers were a bit worried about how the car would handle at very high speed, [but] this test session has reassured them about the balance of the DS3 R3. Petter was very happy with our set-up. We did a good job to help him start Rally Finland as a potential victory contender. The fact that he's got to grips with the car means he can tackle this rally in a confident frame of mind.

“Kimi loves his country and his rally. He really enjoyed his two-day test, and he got the car to handle to his liking. He has a logical approach. He was his usual self, did not get excited and kept his unflappable calm. We hope he'll drive a consistent rally and close the gap to the front-runners.”


Hamilton keen to maintain momentum

Lewis Hamilton hopes to extend McLaren's strong history in Hungary with as second successive F1 win

Lewis Hamilton says the Hungarian Grand Prix this weekend can't come soon enough as he seeks to build on his victory at the Nurburgring.

In the first of back-to-back races, Hamilton stormed to his second win of the year in Germany after a race long battle with Fernando Alonso and Mark Webber.

Although he still sits 82 points behind Sebastian Vettel, Hamilton's success in Germany – coming after Alonso won at Silverstone – has suggested that there is still life in the 2011 title race and the McLaren man said he was keen to maintain the momentum he build in Germany when he takes to the track at the Hungaroring.

“After my win at the Nurburgring on Sunday, the Hungarian Grand Prix can't come soon enough,” he said. “The team performed brilliantly last weekend and I want to maintain that momentum at the Hungaroring.

“It's going to be a completely different challenge. The weather conditions will be much hotter than they were at the 'Ring and the nature of the circuit will be very different too. The Hungaroring is a tight and twisty racetrack, not dissimilar to Monaco in terms of downforce levels, and it offers no let up for the drivers. We're always working behind the wheel, so it's very physical.

“I've always gone well in Hungary. I like the circuit because it's old school. It has a very historic feel to it, with hills and bumps and cambers changes, and it has massive character.

“There wasn't much between McLaren, Ferrari and Red Bull in Germany. It's going to be fascinating to see which team holds the advantage next weekend.”

Team boss Martin Whitmarsh said he was hopeful of more success in Hungary for McLaren, which has won at the circuit more than any other F1 team.

“Lewis proved at the Nurburgring that he's at the top of his game at the moment,” he said. “He was perfect in qualifying and perfect again in the race, and when he's in that kind of form he's very difficult to beat.

“McLaren has won at the circuit nine times, which is more than any other team, and we'll be looking to add to that tally on Sunday.”


Massa's Blog - Budapest: an important part of my personal history

Looking back at the Nurburgring, before we get on the serious business of racing, I have to say I don’t think I can ever remember being that cold at a Grand Prix meeting and when you consider it was the middle of July in Europe, it was unbelievable. On the work related front, that cold weather played its part in assessing the level of improvement on the 150º Italia, because normally the low ambient and track temperatures would have been seriously against us in terms of our ability to get the tyres up to the optimal working temperature. However, at the Nurburgring, although we suffered from this problem, more obviously in qualifying, clearly it was not bad as it was a few races ago and that is a positive sign.

In the race on Sunday, our performance was very good, we ran at a strong pace and the car was competitive. At the first corner, I found myself behind Nico Rosberg and that conditioned my race, because it took me a long time to get past, as the Mercedes has excellent straight line speed and by then, the guys in front had managed to pull away. That was really my main issue on Sunday afternoon, but once I got past him, my pace was excellent and I was able to fight with those ahead of me. I had an exciting fight with Sebastian (Vettel,) while when I was battling with Webber, it was at a point where he had new tyres and I was about to come in. The fight with Sebastian went on for much of the race, right down to that final pit stop on the last lap, where unfortunately we lost out. It was a shame, but we know we still have work to do in improving some elements of the pit stop, including the wheel nut itself.

With a McLaren and a Ferrari finishing ahead of a Red Bull, there are suggestions that if we and McLaren maintain good form, then it might help us in the fight for the championship, by taking points from Red Bull. However, even if there are still nine races to go, it’s not going to be an easy battle, specifically because Sebastian has such a big lead. But we continue to fight on a race by race basis, with the aim of winning as many as possible between now and the final in Brazil.

On Wednesday afternoon, I travel to Budapest for the next round and, on current form, we can be optimistic of having another positive weekend. Adding to that feeling is the fact we will again have the Pirelli Soft and Supersoft tyres, which we know suits our car best and in Hungary, where we can expect more normal summer weather, the hot temperatures will also be on our side. In addition, our development programme is still on-going and we will have some minor updates again this weekend, which I hope will make the car even stronger.

The nature of the Hungaroring track means the race here has sometimes been a bit processional: this year for sure there will be more overtaking, not by a big amount as the main straight is not so long, but all the same, the DRS will help. Combined with the possibility of tyre degradation in the high temperatures, I think the crowd can expect a good show on Sunday with some interesting strategies to watch and certainly those conditions will suit us, as the 150º Italia is kind to its tyres in terms of degradation.

Clearly, after what happened two years ago, Budapest and the Hungarian people are an important part of my personal history and once again I plan to meet the people who helped me through that difficult time, both at the track and the hospital. Since the accident, I have a lot of fans there: I don’t think they became my fans because of the accident, but rather because I spent some time in Budapest and made a full recovery, which was like a victory for me and the people here felt part of that victory.


Heikki's Kulta Column: The heat is on

Whereas home in Finland people are sweating in the heat, in Germany again one has to keep the heat on both in Nürburgring's media center during the working day as well as in the hotel room during the night.

It was more chilly in the WRC-battle too. Sebastian Vettel's crushing lead is of a class that he can't practically lose it other than if he gets badly injured.

It's hard to think who would be the biggest threat to the champion. They are putting Fernando Alonso in the role although Mark Webber is ahead of him. As cars both Red Bull and Ferrari seem to be very close at the moment.

In a Finnish matter of speaking Bild-magazine brought at least some kind of warmth to the F1-circle after awakening the talks about Kimi Räikkönen's possible comeback to F1 as Red Bull's driver.

The team objected immediately to the speculations and Christian Horner has said more than once that Räikkönen hasn't even given any signs of his possible will to come back.

Knowing Räikkönen he hasn't earlier either given any signs of which direction he is going to. He has gone according to what he has been offered and what has interested him.

My good friend, reporter Michael Schmidt from the German Auto, Motor und Sport -magazine, has never greeted me normally when we meet, instead he always asks "Where is Kimi?". He has done this for the last one and a half year.

We chatted about Räikkönen on Friday. Schmidt assured that he isn't 'greeting' just in a joking way.

– Kimi's comeback would be a huge thing for this sport. We have now seen how Michael Schumacher's comeback has gone. Kimi is much younger. It would be exciting to see how he would pull it off, Schmidt reminded.

Turun Sanomat, Nürburgring


Courtesy: Nicole

Alonso's Blog: A special race in Hungary

We’re reaching the final stages of a frenetic month of July. I am in Maranello, where I came on Sunday night, directly from the Nurburgring and, early tomorrow morning, it will be time for me and the engineers to head for Budapest. In this very short break between the two races, I worked, as is usually the case when I am at the factory, on the simulator to prepare both for this weekend’s race and for the ones after that. On top of that, I took part in several meetings with the engineers, while today I also got the chance to meet up with President Montezemolo and the members of the Ferrari Board, who were meeting in Maranello. Montezemolo was his usual cheerful self with me and wanted to know how preparations were going for the Hungaroring race. It’s now a few months that our car has become more competitive and that means we have been consistently able to fight for a podium finish.

We have made up a lot of ground compared to the very early part of the season in terms of performance, but we must take a further step forward, as I have said so often before. We still lack something, especially in qualifying: it’s true that in the race we can make up for this, but it’s not always possible to move up two places compared to our grid position, as happened in Monaco, Valencia, Silverstone and Nurburgring. At the Hungaroring, the weather should be more in keeping with summer, which is no bad thing as I’ve had enough of the cold and damp we experienced in England and Germany! That goes not just for me, but also for our car: it would definitely work better in temperatures higher than the 13° we had last Sunday.

I know the Hungarian Grand Prix has a special significance for the Scuderia, as it has experienced some great moments, but also some dramatic ones, like when Felipe was injured in that fluke accident when he was hit by a part of Rubens’ Brawn. Budapest is special for me too, as it was at this very race in 2003 that I took my first ever Formula 1 win. It was a very emotional day, the memory of which will always stay with me.

As was the case in 2010, I will again celebrate my birthday at the track with the Scuderia. On Friday I turn thirty: who knows if I will get a nice birthday surprise…


Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Lewis Hamilton keen to make it a win double in Budapest this weekend

Lewis Hamilton wants his McLaren team to give him the same car in Hungary this weekend so he can make it two F1 wins on the trot.

The 2008 world champion roared to victory in Germany on Sunday after McLaren finally hit the sweet spot of their thoroughbred race car. But it was only his second win in 10 races as the team have struggled this season.

Hamilton warned his victory may not be repeated if the weather gods are against them in Hungary.

“If the car behaves like it did in Germany, we will be there again in Budapest,” he said. “I have won in Hungary before so I can do it again.

“It all depends on how things play out. We might get to the next race and be massively off because we might overheat our tyres.”

While Red Bull boss ­Christian Horner admitted the defeat was a wake-up call, Hamilton refused to accept Sebastian Vettel’s lacklustre fourth place raised question marks about him.

“Sebastian has been massively consistent but you can’t win ’em all. He will be back,” added Hamilton. “You can’t get out of the right side of the bed every day.” McLaren boss Martin Whitmarsh brushed off reports his job was on the line before the win.

“I don’t pay too much ­attention to what’s being said.We’re a great team and have two great drivers. We did the job we had to do,” he said.

Source: Daily Mirror

Ogier appraises Kimi Räikkönen

Sebastien Ogier recently appraised Kimi Räikkönen's rally skills. Ogier knows that due to the small amount of testing the best way to practice is to compete. The difference between WRC and F1 is significant, however.

- Räikkönen had a successful career in Formula One. He proved that he is a good competitor. But rally is a major challenge, as the difference between the sports is huge, and it'll take time. He may someday become a good rally driver if he practices. But I think he is going to need more time.

- Yes, it is difficult, since we don't have many tests. The best way to improve is to participate in different rallies. Testing is important, but you learn fast by competing, Ogier tells

Source: RacingNewsFlash

Two of Vettel's record-long streaks end in Germany

Sebastian Vettel didn't finish on the podium last Sunday, which marked the ending of more than one amazing streak. We reported earlier that prior to the German GP, Vettel had 11 consecutive podiums, which is the third longest streak in F1 history.

The Nürburgring race was also the first one in a long time where at no point did the reigning world champion lead the race. Vettel had been in the lead in 13 consecutive GPs -- ever since the Japanese GP and now ending in Nürburgring.

Only two drivers in the history of F1 have managed to out-do Vettel's performance. Jackie Stewart's record dates back more than 40 years, when he led 17 GPs in a row. Michael Schumacher holds the second place in the list at 15 consecutive GPs.

Drivers with most consecutive led GPs:

17 Jackie Stewart (USA 1968 - Belgium 1970)
15 Michael Schumacher (Australia 2004 - Italy 2004)
13 Sebastian Vettel (Japan 2010 - Britain 2011)
12 Ayrton Senna (Spain 1989 - Germany 1990)
12 Michael Schumacher (Europe 1994 - Germany 1995)
12 Fernando Alonso (China 2005 - France 2006)
11 Michael Schumacher (Malaysia 1999 - France 2000)
10 Jim Clark (Nethelands 1967 - RSA 1968)
10 Alain Prost (RSA 1993 - Germany 1993)
9 Jim Clark (USA 1962 - Italy 1963)
9 Ayrton Senna (Canada 1988 - Portugal 1988)

Source: RacingNewsFlash

Sami Hyypiä as co-driver of Kimi Räikkönen at Rally Finland?

Liverpool FC's former top player Sami Hyypiä is having a different summer, because after long time he has time to enjoy the Finnish summer. Hyypiä will visit at Rally Finland and he might get as co-driver of Kimi Räikkönen.

- I will have a busy week in front. Champions League first on Wednesday in Helsinki, and then to Jyväskylä to see, how Finns are beating others at rally, Hyypiä told to CANAL+.

"I'm too scared to get behind the wheel - but maybe I'll be co-driver"

Big surprise is Hyypiä might get into the rally car, but not as a driver. Hyypiä has connections to Kimi Räikkönen. Hyypiä was in Holland with Räikkönen on April, looking ICE1RACING team racing, which Räikkönen owns. Is it about Räikkönen giving a ride for Hyypiä?

- I'm too scared to get behind the wheel - but maybe I'll be as co-driver, Hyypiä told.

Source: RacingNewsFlash