Friday, September 30, 2011

'Suzuka will play to my strengths' - Hamilton

Lewis Hamilton believes his attacking driving style will pay dividends at next weekend's Japanese Grand Prix on the high-speed Suzuka circuit.

Hamilton has vowed not to change his approach to racing despite being involved in a string of incidents this year, two of which have resulted in retirements while the others have cost him points. But it is his ability to attack the circuit over a single flying lap that he thinks will really put him in good stead in Japan as he looks to bounce back from another below par result in Singapore last weekend.

"I think Suzuka will play to my strengths: it's a track that really requires you to drive in an attacking way to be able to get a good lap time," he said. "It's an uncompromising place. But that's when the thrill of driving a Formula One car is at its highest; when you know you can't afford a single mistake and where driving on the absolute limit is the only way to get the best time. In that sense, it's a lot like Monaco, and maybe that's why I like the place so much - it's unique."

Hamilton has yet to finish on the podium since Formula One returned from its summer break in August, while Sebastian Vettel has won all three races in the Red Bull. The McLaren driver said he will be wary of Red Bull's pace in Japan but is confident his team can also challenge for victory.

"I think we're headed there in pretty good shape: we know that the Red Bulls will be strong - but we also have a very quick car, and we can make it work on different kinds of circuit," he said. "Suzuka is another reasonably high-downforce track, which should play to our strengths. The weather in Japan in the autumn is always unpredictable - we've seen before that it can be beautifully su
nny and hot or extremely cold and wet. I'll take any conditions as long as I can race hard."

Source: ESPNF1

Airbus scare for Vettel at high altitude

World champion Sebastian Vettel had a high-altitude scare when returning to his home in Switzerland from Singapore earlier this week.

Media reports say the Singapore Airbus A380 carrying the Red Bull driver, as well as other Formula 1 personalities including Peter Sauber, encountered a problem just before landing in Zurich.

The pilots diverted to Frankfurt, and Bild newspaper said it was a failure of the aircraft’s instrument landing system (ILS).

Passengers recalled that as the plane descended for landing, the pilots suddenly pulled back up at full power.

“We were never scared, because we were given very good information from the cockpit,” Sauber is quoted as saying by the Swiss newspaper Blick.

“But during the approach I did think, oops, the forest down there is looking rather close. Then we went back up.”

Said Vettel’s press manager Britta Roeske: “The captain came immediately to Sebastian and explained the electronic defect. Sebastian was very relaxed and even let himself be photographed with the crew members and passengers.”

Source: YallaF1

Why Räikkönen retired of Rally?

Doesn't Räikkönen want to learn routes for next season when not continuing the rally - or is he leaving WRC?

- It depends a lot on what I do. That will I drive anything next year, Räikkönen said to MTV3.

He trashes the information from Autosport about him being close to a deal with Williams.

- They, just like the other medias have written what they have written. Actually it's all the same what I say myself, it doesn't change much anything. Lets see what happens in the future.

So the next question was if Räikkönen rather races or is a team manager.

- I like to race. That's what I have done. Let see later on, Räikkönen said.

Source: MTV3
Courtesy: Nicole

Freak crash puts Kimi out

Kimi Räikkönen's co-driver Kaj Lindström has described the moment when they retired from Rallye de France Alsace following a bizarre incident on the road section heading to the third stage of the event

The Finns were in ninth overall after two stages in their ICE 1 Racing Citroen DS3 WRC when disaster struck on the liaison section prior to the 36-kilometre Pays d’Ormont test south west of the service park in Strasbourg this morning.

Lindström told “As usual we parked 2.5 kilometres before the stage start to put on our helmets and get strapped in before warming our tyres on the way to the control. On this occasion Henning [Solberg] went in front of us - even though he was behind us in the start order. He was snaking down the road to put some heat in the tyres and the brakes, and we were doing the same behind. But at some point we had to overtake so soon we caught up. Henning pulled into his lane, and we went to pass but suddenly he braked hard and we drove into the back of his car - his left-hand rear corner with our right-hand front. The impact broke one of our front suspension uprights. But this is what happens sometimes - no one is to blame. I explained this to Henning afterwards.

Speaking to World Rally Radio, Solberg said: “He hit me on the left side, I saw his car in the air and then he disappeared into a ditch. He said it was not my fault and just to drive on.”

It’s currently not clear if Räikkönen, the 2007 Formula One world champion, and Lindstrom will be able to restart on day two. “We are at the hotel now while the team look at the car. I can’t say whether we will be able to restart tomorrow,” said Lindstrom.

Source: WRC

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Kimi's Column: Refreshed to France

It was a six weeks’ break for me. It was a really refreshing time. Obviously six weeks without driving gives you such a desire to come back to the car and really go for it again.

I have such a relaxed and nice feeling to have this rally. Let’s hope this feeling helps us to a good result, too.

Last week we tested the car with Kaj Lindström in France. It was one day without any problems. Everything went well and it was just great to go fast with WRC car on those roads.

Obviously, I’ve got the proper touch to the car on tarmac. Most of all I enjoyed the nice feeling I’ve got in the car. More or less we are ready for the tricky challenge this weekend offers.

Well, I had a break, but it didn’t mean just chilling out. I’ve done consistent physical training in the meanwhile and I really feel good.

Last year back in Rallye de France it was wet and dirty most of the time. It didn’t feel that much like a tarmac challenge. It was more like a question to survive and keep the car safely on those roads. Cutting the corners was happening all over the place. Doing that made the roads very, very slippery.

We have managed to improve our performances in every rally this season compared to our debut year. Obviously, that is the target in Rallye de France, too. While it goes according to our plan, we should get a fistful of some nice points again.

Now we’ve done the pace notes. It’s time start. The target is the same like always: to get quickly to the good rhytm and then try to get every stage right without any major mistakes. By clinching it, you finish this rally with a good result as well, I presume.

The car is now at its best. This is now the start for the last period of this season. There are three rallies left to get the job done well.

So far the season has been ok. The rally is difficult, but every time you gain some more experience. for sure, we have not been going backwards!

Courtesy: _TaniaS_

Return to the circus?

They know in F1-circles that Kimi Räikkönen has been knocking on Williams F1-team's door some time ago. If Kimi wasn't there himself, then at least his representatives have been in contact with the team.

Quite understandable.

See Kimi Räikkönen is a man who sets a goal for himself and starts walking towards it. Last year in Singapore many drivers hoped for Kimi to come back and they thought that the man might come back to the tracks one day.

When Kimi starts something he takes it to the end. He was motivated to drive in F1-teams for as long as he won the WDC. After that he didn't really produce any result so he ended his career.

Moreover Kimi wants to race in different genres. He loves to race with a water jet-ski in the summer, play icehockey with his pals, he likes to sing karaoke and tell jokes.

When Kimi won the WDC, over 30 pals gathered in the private night-club Bläk to wait for the man to return from Italy where Räikkönen was celebrated by Ferrari's personnel.

Kimi appeared about 8 p.m.. He had flown from Italy to Finland in a private plane. He had with him actor Jasper Pääkkönen among others. Before the party I was alarmed to call singer Matti Esko, who's song Rekkamies was Kimi's favourite in karaoke-nights. Kimi also loved Kari Tapio's Paalupaikka-song.

- I have just come from the sauna but if they want me to sing Rekkamies to the World Champion Räikkönen, then I will immediately put my clothes on and start coming from Järvenpää to Helsinki, Matti Esko said when I called him.

Matti Esko was soon in Bläk and he waited with the others for Kimi's arrival. When the champion arrived and Matti Esko started to sing Rekkamies, Kimi grabbed the other microphone and started to sing together with the artist.

Kimi's voice wasn't bad at all. It was clear that the world champion had been singing earlier too.

------------------- FORGOTTEN TEXT-------------------

During the years Kimi has turned into an elegant man. He even knows the noble art of giving kisses on the cheek and knows by now that one doesn't eat holding a cap on the head.

In the beginning of his career Kimi was partying in public, but during the recent years he has rather stayed with his trusted pals than taken a cab to the centrum of cities.

Kimi Räikkönen does not like dishonesty, injustice or bullshit-talkers. He has also been very sensitive to what has been written about him.

Räikkönen has often wondered why he can't live his life out of publicity's reach.

F1-drivers and F1 World Champions are under a magnifying glass wherever they are. Kimi is not an exception.

Rita Tainola

Source: IS (paper edition)
Courtesy: Nicole

Why would Kimi want to come back?

Kimi Räikkönen could still earn more in F1 than anywhere else. IS brings up 5 reasons why Räikkönen could be interested in a comeback.


Räikkönen is a wealthy man. He wants to drive but he doesn't want to fund his own driving anymore. Yet that is the situation he has got himself into.

Räikkönen has had to pay largely from his own wallet for this year's WRC-rallies. Red Bull's sponsor support has decreased significantly. If he would drive for Williams then he could still get at least 5-10 million euros salary incomes per year. Williams probably tries to make a deal with Räikkönen where the bonus for points is big.


Many wonder why Räikkönen would want to return to F1 with a car that most likely can't fight for podium positions. Yet he has during the last couple of years got used to the idea that he can enjoy driving although he isn't driving for victory.

Räikkönen could start next season with Williams-Renault without big expectations and take his time to get used to the new tyres, the DRS and other tehcnical novelties. Williams could be a brilliant stepping stone to get into some top team in season 2013.

Mark Webber for example will most likely leave a vacant seat after next season.


Williams is no longer a top team but it has great traditions and is one of the most successful teams in F1 of all times. The team is strenghtened by McLaren's former head designer Mike Coughlan who is a familiar man to Räikkönen. Of all midteams Williams surely is much more attractive than Force India for example. In addition to that, Williams is aiming for a wide co-operation with Jaguar. According to rumours Williams and Jaguar is about to start a LeMans -project during the next few years and that would surely also interest Räikkönen.

4. AGE

Räikkönen will be 32 years old in three weeks. Michael Schumacher came back to F1 although he is over 10 years older than Räikkönen is.

If Räikkönen wants he still has many racing seasons left, hence why wouldn't he do what he loves and what he knows best? Still a comeback to F1 is harder the more you have been away from it. After being away for two years a successful comeback is still possible.


Räikkönen has now seen what WRC is like. When he left Ferrari he still had a dream of winning the title in WRC also, but not anymore. It would require a lot more training and harder work to get to the top in WRC and it might still not succeed.

Räikkönen has also become familiar with Nascar-circles in two races and he has tested Peugeot's Le Mans -car. He would surely be able to squeeze in a clause to the Williams-contract which would ensure that he could still continue rallying as a hobby.

By Janne Aittoniemi

Source: IS (paper edition)
Courtesy: Nicole

Comeback is close!

Apparently they have been negotiating over Kimi's and Williams' contract for weeks already.

Räikkönen's comeback to F1 is now closer than ever before.

James Allen writes in his blog that they have been negotiating for weeks already. The negotiations have proceeded well and the contract is close. Allen assures that he has got his information from very reliable sources.

Even BBC believes strongly in Räikkönen's comeback. They asked for Sam Michael's (Williams) opinion of Kimi last weekend.

- Kimi has always been a strong driver and he is a world champion. He is also a great personality. The paddock needs a driver like him. It would be nice to see him come back to F1, Michael said.

Of course it is possible that Williams wants to deliberately keep Räikkönen's name on the wall. That way they could influence the negotiations with the other drivers.

When representatives from Williams tell that Räikkönen is one option, they can get Rubens Barrichello to drive for a smaller salary or add a few more millions to Adrian Sutil's sponsors. According to information IS has, both Räikkönen and Sutil visited Williams factory on Wednesday 7th September, but not at the same time.

If Räikkönen's comeback to F1 becomes true, then next seaon there will be six world champions on the grid. That would be a record.

Janne Aittoniemi

Source: IS (paper edition)
Courtesy: Nicole

Door open to F1-serie

Will Williams choose Valtteri Bottas, Kimi Räikkönen or neither one of them?

Rumours about Räikkönen's comeback to F1 took a new spin yesterday evening. BBC's F1-reporter Andrew Benson wrote that Räikkönen is interested in going to Williams and the team has started to ponder over the matter. He could not offer any sources or comments from the parties that would have supported the speculations.

According to Christian Wolff, who owns 25 % of the team, Räikkönen's recent visit has led into too hasty conclusions. However he isn't shooting down the possibility of Räikkönen driving for Williams next year.

- F1 and Williams are one of Kimi's very many options. He is intelligent and sufficiently experienced to make the right decision, Wolff told IS.

Wolff is manager for Bottas together with Mika Häkkinen and Didier Coton. According to him it's still possible that Bottas would race already next season in F1.

- At the moment we are exploring all possible options, Valtteri's serie next season will be one of these: Renault World Series, GP2 or F1. We are discussing with sponsors about what would be his best next option, Wolff said.

It would be logical to make Bottas a F1-driver, but the team has suffered financial problems and they have been looking for another pay-driver to drive alongside Pastor Maldonado.

Rubens Barrichello doesn't believe that he will lose his seat to Räikkönen at least.

- I don't believe that Kimi's visit to the factory had anything to do with him becoming a driver for the team. Everybody also knows that Kimi won't drive cheap, Barrichello told the Brazilian media.

Source: IS (paper edition)
Courtesy: Nicole

Fierce fight in Williams - How will it go for Kimi?

It's boiling inside Williams' camp and it can affect the situation of Kimi Räikkönen and Valtteri Bottas.

Williams CEO Adam Parr and the team's second biggest owner Christian Wolff have had a fierce fight before Singapore GP.

Parr and Wolff strongly disagree over the future of Williams and in matters concerning the team's driver-choices.

The founder of the team and the main owner Frank Williams still trusts in Parr's ability to make right kind of decisions, but other than that Parr has become quite unpopular in the team.

The power battle between Parr and Wolff has been going on for some time already. Wolff would have financial possibilities to better get the team back on track. He would also want to take quite soon his protegé Bottas to F1 as a racing driver.

- Personally I think that Valtteri is ready to succeed in F1 very soon, Wolff told IS.

The most logical would of course be to still keep Bottas, who is a test driver, in Williams. But it could also happen that Räikkönen or someone new pay-driver prevents the rise of 22-year old Bottas in Williams.

Janne Aittoniemi

Source: Ilta-Sanomat
Courtesy: Nicole

Mika Salo: "I hope Räikkönen driving one, but ..."

- I don't have any inside information but somehow I doubt the whole thing. He has something else going on there. I don't believe that Kimi would drive in F1. Of course I hope he would, but I don't have the strenght to believe that he would get excited over it when there is no good car at offer at this moment, Salo said to MTV3.

- I don't think that Kimi is interested in anything else than to drive with the best machinery. If there would be an opening at Red Bull, then it might be a different story. Williams' next year's car is under no circumstances a winning car because they are wrestling with money problems, just like they have done this year also, Salo says.

- Williams also have other projects going on, I think that the visit had something to do with those things. Maybe Räikkönen-Robertson-team is buying somekind of a part from Williams, but I have no information about the matter, Salo says.

Source: MTV3
Courtesy: Nicole

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Kimi's visit to Williams downplayed

Kimi Räikkönen's manager has downplayed the former World Champion's recent visit to the Williams factory

Speculation is rife that Räikkönen, a former Sauber, McLaren and Ferrari driver, is set to make a return to Formula One with Williams after spending two seasons in the World Rally Championship.

Reports claim the Finn visited the Williams factory in Grove between the Belgian and Italian Grands Prix and many believe it is just a matter of time before a deal between him and the team is confirmed.

However, his team manager Steve Robertson has moved to play down the speculation.

"At the end of the day people know Kimi visited Williams, but there's nothing more to say apart from that," Robertson told "There is nothing more to report."

He also refused to confirm or deny that talks had taken place in recent weeks, but added that they 'will make a comment about their future motorsport plans when they feel it is suitable to do so'.

Source: Planet-F1

Photos: Lewis Hamilton brings an exclusive F1 preview to India

Vodafone McLaren Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton thrilled an estimated 40,000 Formula 1 fans in India today, as he drove his MP4-23 – the F1 car in which he won the 2008 Drivers’ World Championship – through the streets near Bangalore.

The event, created by Vodafone, transformed a local street into a mini Formula 1 circuit, complete with grand stand and pit garage; giving local F1 enthusiasts a taste of what they can expect ahead of the country’s inaugural Grand Prix.

The British driver said he was ‘overwhelmed’ by the number of people who attended on the day and how passionate F1 fans are in India, and said he is looking forward to returning next month for the Indian Grand Prix.

Source: NextgenAuto

Lewis Hamilton would benefit from someone to lean on when going is tough says David Coulthard

The spat between Lewis Hamilton and Felipe Massa on Sunday was hardly the Thriller in Manila. The only thing missing from the ‘Scrap in Singapore’ was some handbags

I could not imagine a less threatening character than Felipe and I’m sure it will blow over quickly.

Felipe is a nice guy, popular among the drivers, and not the sort to hold a grudge. Believe me, there are some drivers with whom your ties would be forever cut if you received that sort of tap on the shoulder but he is not one of them.

I don’t think Felipe should have done it, certainly not on camera, but I can understand his frustration. He is fighting for his Ferrari seat and the collision during the race, while unfortunate, was certainly Lewis's fault.

But there was no malice at all and it did not need to be blown out of proportion and overshadow what was an interesting race with some fantastic drives from the likes of Sebastian Vettel, Jenson Button and Paul di Resta.

What is more interesting is the debate which has developed off the back of that spat, with Lewis’s father, Anthony, stating his view that Formula One drivers need managers who are “personally involved” in their clients’ lives with them at races.

Now, I don’t know the ins and outs of Lewis’s set-up with XIX Entertainment, I can only speak from my own personal experience, but I agree with Anthony’s general point.

In Formula One you are part of a large travelling circus and yet you are often alone. You go from the intense highs and lows of the action on track — the fierce concentration required in the cockpit faced with the ever-present threat of clear and present danger — to the quiet and loneliness of another faceless hotel.

The constant international travel, the different time zones, the length of time you are away, the intensity of the experience; it all adds up.

I employed Martin Brundle as my manager not simply because I’m a Scot and I knew I wouldn’t have to pay him to be at the races because he was there anyway, but because I knew that everything I was going through he had been through as well.

Martin knew how it worked; the engineering side, the media side, who the protagonists were; he understood what I was experiencing on and off the track. We were, and are, friends. That is hugely important.

There are so many distractions in Formula One and it is all about focusing on the bits you need to focus on and relaxing when you can.

Small things can put you off your stride. I spoke with Lewis before the race on Sunday on behalf of a sponsor and he was brilliant; professional, engaging and with that star quality we all know he has.

But beforehand the sponsor wanted to prep me for the interview and tell me which areas to avoid, which areas to mention. I had to stop them and say ‘Don’t worry. I know how this works. I know what he will and will not want to talk about hours before a race.’

If I had been someone who wasn’t well-versed in Formula One, perhaps it would have led to unnecessary tension. I don’t know.

Listen, Lewis’s set-up may well be the best for him and I’m sure he decides how he wants it set up in terms of who accompanies him to races. I’m just saying what worked for me and that was having someone I trusted and knew with me at all times.

It doesn’t have to be a manager necessarily, but for me it must be someone fighting your corner because everyone can be your best friend and do the chest-bumping when the times are good. It is when they aren’t that you need someone to be able to sit down and talk to you with complete honesty. To tell you you’re being an idiot.

Your team are one thing but ultimately their allegiance is to the team. When times are tough what you need is a friend.

Source: The Telegraph

Monday, September 26, 2011

Singapore Grand Prix 2011: Vettel: 'I've got a point to make'

With just one point between him and a second consecutive F1 world champion, Sebastian Vettel is in the mood for a party as Red Bull Racing's dominance of the 2011 Formula One season brought him victory at the Singapore Grand Prix. Here's his latest blog...

by Sebastian Vettel, Sep 26, 2011

What a race, what a track, what a fabulous night! I know I never made a secret of how much I like Singapore, but after this night I like it even more.

We're unbelievably happy with our win and third place and even though we're not champions yet, we will still celebrate. I am very proud of the whole team, each and every one of them did an excellent job.

We always knew that the race tonight would be a tough one, but by the end it was also a very big challenge for every driver. After all we spend about two hours in the car, fighting for every inch, knowing that we weren't allowed to make just one tiny mistake.

The safety car phase added even more tension to the whole day and I am glad that we were able to handle the whole situation as well as we did.

Before I do the party I want to say a quick thank you to our amazing fans across the globe and assure them that we will continue to give our best in the future races to reach our final goal. Today wasn't enough for the title, but we still have a few points to win, now and for the seasons to come!

Talk to you from Japan!


Source: Red Bull

Lewis Hamilton management team must do more, says father Anthony

Lewis Hamilton needs more support from his management team, according to the McLaren star's father Anthony

The 2008 world champion clashed with Ferrari's Felipe Massa during a frustrating weekend in Singapore in the latest of a number of high-profile incidents this season.

Hamilton had been managed by his father since childhood before taking on Simon Fuller's XIX Entertainment this year.

"His management need to do more," Hamilton's father told BBC Sport.

Asked whether Hamilton needed another manager, his father replied: "What I will say is look up the paddock; every driver that's got a driver manager, the manager is here [in Singapore] and in the driver's life."

BBC Sport understands that Hamilton makes race-by-race decisions on whether he needs his management team to attend the grands prix.

There was no member of Hamilton's management team in Singapore but Hamilton is understood to be happy with the relationship he has built with the company, which also looks after footballer David Beckham and tennis player Andy Murray.

Hamilton's father was instrumental in guiding Hamilton into Formula 1 but the two split in March after a rocky period.

The two are now on good terms but Hamilton announced in March that he would join Fuller's stable of clients.

When asked whether the McLaren team needed to offer more support to their de facto number one driver, team principal Martin Whitmarsh told BBC Sport: "Lewis is having plenty of love from the team. I've known him since he was 11 and there's affection between us and many other members of the team.

"Undeniably this has not been a good year for Lewis Hamilton. He'll regroup as there are five more races and he'll try to win them and try to win the championship next year."

Hamilton clashed with Massa in Sunday's Singapore Grand Prix as he tried a move around the outside of Turn Seven on lap 10.

The McLaren driver turned into Massa, breaking part of his front wing, while Massa was forced to limp back to the pits with a right rear puncture.

"It was a genuine mistake," said Hamilton's father. "I don't think there was any premeditation or any other issue with it.

"He was pushing hard, trying to catch up to where he was. I think this one just caught him out.

"I think it's unfortunate that he got a drive-through for it, which is typical - he would get a drive-through wouldn't he?

"If you look at the replay, he locked up a brake as he turns in and just catches Massa's car.

"He didn't turn the steering wheel [and think] I'm going to hit your back wheel and give you a puncture. That wasn't what he did.

"I just think a little bit of common sense needs to prevail."

Source: BBC Sports

Video: Lewis Hamilton Jenson Button Silverstone Training Funny Commercial - 2011 New Carjam Radio

Source: CarjamRadio

Kimi returning to F1? This is how his spokesman coments

James Allen put a spin to the rumour mill by saying in his blog that according to his sources Räikkönen would have been negotiating for weeks with Williams. According to him the contract would be close already.

Riku Kuvaja crushes the claim to Iltalehti.

- That's how they write. I have nothing to comment on the whole subject but I can say that we are not negotioating with anyone over anything, Kuvaja said.

A year ago Räikkönen's name came up in connection with Renault. Now Kimi is again a hot name in rumours concerning a mid-level team.

Did this remind you of last autumn?

- You know yourself that there is no genre with more rumours as there is in this, Kuvaja said.

Everything still open

According to Kuvaja all options are still open. Räikkönen might drive F1, Nascar, Rally or Le Mans next year. He also doesn't have any time schedule for making a decision for next year.

Kuvaja says that Räikkönen hasn't bothered his head over the rumour mill.

- At the moment he is concentrating on Rally France. Now it's important for him to concentrate on racing.

Räikkönen arrives to France tonight. Tomorrow recce starts and the actual race starts on Thursday.

- The season has gone better than last year. Now we have even perfomances. But it's a hard and demanding genre, Kuvaja tells about Kimi's feelings.

- We have no special goals for the rest of the season. We go race by race and finishing it is always a goal, Kuvaja ends.


Courtesy: Nicole

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Mildh about Räikkönen: There's no smoke without fire

As a Finn, YLE Urheilu's F1-expert Jukka Mildh sees the future of F1 good. Heikki Kovalainen has been taking care of the reputation of Finns during the last years, but we might see several Finnish names in F1 later on.

Lately they have combined Kimi Räikkönen to F1 on a regular basis. According to latest rumours he would have discussed about it with Williams.

- I have a feeling that some small flame is burning here. There's no smoke without fire. If Kimi would want to come back to track-racing, then F1 would be a clear option. A long serie gives motivation because you have to try and improve all the time.

- Now when it's confirmed that he has visited Williams he has somekind of a knowledge over what the situation in the team is. However one has to remember that if he didn't like what he saw at Williams, then it could well be a decisive factor in his F1-comeback, Mildh emphasises.

According to Mildh Räikkönen's comeback isn't however very likely.

- I would say that at the moment it's clearly under 50 %, because many stones have to be turned before he is able to make his decision. It's very much a question about what he himself wants.

It's more likely that another Finn will be seen in Williams in the future. Their test driver Valtteri Bottas is seen as the next great Finn.

- It's an interesting setting. If we think romantically that two Finnish drivers are fighting for the same seat, then it would be a brilliant situation. Yet Bottas looks into the future. He is expected in F1.

- If he would jump there already now I wouldn't see it as any bad option. He has been in F3 for two seasons and one season in GP3 and won the championship, hence a jump straight from GP2 to F1 wouldn't be that much smaller. Valtteri could take the jump at this stage already, Mildh thinks.

But when will we see Finns in championship-battles again?

- If we are thinking about the future driver Bottas, then it can take at least five more years. If Kimi would come back to F1, then he would surely make a one year contract and see if other seats would be available after that. I believe that Nico Rosberg can fight for the championship within 2 years, Mildh said.

YLE Urheilu

Courtesy: Nicole

Video: BBC - Singapore GP - Angry Felipe Massa interrupts Lewis Hamilton interview

Felipe Massa slaps Lewis Hamilton on the arm as the Englishman talks to the media after the Singapore Grand Prix and sarcastically says "good job pal" following a collision between the two during the race.

Hamilton received a drive-through penalty as the two drivers came together at Turn Seven and Massa accused the 26-year-old of "not using his mind".

Massa was forced to pit after suffering a puncture, whilst Hamilton also had to stop for a new front wing

Source: SixtyBuckss

Fernando Alonso: Time to experiment

Fernando Alonso hopes Ferrari will use the final five races of the season "to do some experimental things" now that they have nothing left to race for this campaign

The Spaniard is officially out of the running for the 2011 Drivers' Championship after he could only manage a P4 to Champion-elect Sebastian Vettel's P1 at the Singapore Grand Prix.

In the Constructors' Championship Ferrari are in no-man's land as they are adrift by 71 points of second-placed McLaren while Mercedes GP are 146 points behind them in fourth place.

Alonso, who started fourth on the grid at the Marina Bay Street Circuit on Sunday, had a decent start and challenged for the final podium place during the early stages of the race, but Mark Webber eventually finished third.

"The start was good again, we recovered some places but then Webber overtook us," he is quoted by BBC Sport.

"Red Bull should be in front of us because they are much quicker. Fourth was the maximum we could do. We are racing with McLaren some races and Mercedes in others.

"The Drivers' Championship is gone and Constructers' is extremely difficult to catch McLaren. Behind us there is no threat, in front it's very difficult to catch up.

"In the final races we will try to enjoy and test the 2012 car. We have to use the last five races to do some experimental things."

Source: Planet-F1

Video: BBC - Singapore GP - Felipe Massa rages after Hamilton collision

Ferrari's Felipe Massa says Lewis Hamilton "could have caused a big accident" and "does not use his mind" following a collision between the pair at the Singapore Grand Prix.

Massa was forced to pit after suffering a puncture, whilst Hamilton also had to stop for a new front wing before being hit with a drive-through penalty for the incident.

Source: SixtyBuckss

Jenson Button bemoans Singapore traffic

Jenson Button was left frustrated with the traffic at the Singapore GP after they held him up during the closing stages of the race and forced him to settle for second place behind Sebastian Vettel

Button was trailing Vettel by more than 10 seconds before his final pit stop for fresh rubber on lap 49. By lap 59 he had managed to bring the gap down to 3.7s but then encountered traffic and the gap was back to 5.6s a lap later, forcing him to give up the ghost. He eventually finished 1.7s behind Vettel.

The former World Champion said that although he has some degree of sympathy for the drivers battling for position during the latter stages of the race, they have to yield to those who are in front of them.

"I can understand that's it's difficult to move over here and most people are fighting out there but the backmarkers have got to respect that the cars that are lapping are lapping for reason," he said.

"So yeah, there were some frustrating moments. One was [Kamui] Kobayashi when I sat behind him for a lap before he eventually pulled over."

The 31-year-old started third on the grid and concedes second place is the "best we could have hope for".

"I feel like I got everything out of the car," he said. "Especially in the last part of race, I was able to push on tyres to see what the car had. We weren't quick enough to win today but it's something to build on."

Source: Planet-F1

Felipe Massa criticises Lewis Hamilton's driving in Singapore

A furious Felipe Massa heavily criticised Lewis Hamilton after their clash at the Singapore Grand Prix

Hamilton was penalised after turning into Massa when fighting over seventh, breaking part of his front wing and puncturing Massa's right rear tyre.

The two drivers also nearly touched in qualifying on Saturday when trying to make space for their flying run.

"My thoughts are that, again, he cannot use his mind - even in qualifying," Ferrari driver Massa told BBC Sport.

"He has done it to me so many times this year.

"Again, he could've caused a big accident. He's paying for it and he doesn't understand that.

"It's important the FIA study this and penalise him every time.

"I've talked to him but he doesn't listen. Maybe his father can do something about it."

Hamilton, who started the race in fourth, lost ground at the start and dropped down to eighth.

As he began his fight back through the field, he clashed with Massa as he tried a move around the outside of Turn Seven on lap 10.

The McLaren driver turned into Massa, breaking part of his front wing, while Massa was forced to limp back to the pits with a right-rear puncture.

The incident followed their clash in qualifying where Hamilton was determined to get by the Brazilian before starting his flying lap in Q3 and the two nearly touched before the Ferrari driver finally let him by.

On race day, the pair, who battled for the 2008 world title right up until the final race of the season, did touch and the stewards handed Hamilton a drive-through penalty.

"It doesn't look like a drive-through penalty to me," BBC F1 analyst Eddie Jordan. "I don't get it. That's not a drive-through penalty; that's a racing incident.

"[Ferrari team principal] Stefano [Domenicali] and [McLaren team prinicpal] Martin [Whitmarsh] are two calculated, cool guys who need to bring two drivers together and say 'look guys, just get on with these last five races. You're clearly stopping each other doing well for yourselves and the team."

It's not the first time the two drivers have come to blows, with the duo banging wheels at the hairpin in Monaco earlier this year before clashing again in the tunnel.

As a result, Massa crashed out of the race and Hamilton, who was also involved in a later incident with Pastor Maldonado's Williams, picked up a drive-through penalty and later criticised the stewards saying: "It's an absolute joke."

Commenting on the incident in Singapore, BBC F1 commentator Martin Brundle added: "You can't help but feel it comes down against him [Hamilton] when others get the rub off the green.

"[The incident] seriously affected Massa's race. If you've made a mistake and it's affected someone's else - or just his own - it makes a difference."

Source: BBC

Singapore GP: Vettel takes the win, not the title

Sebastian Vettel stormed to his ninth victory of the season, dominating the Singapore GP from lights to flag

The Red Bull driver was incredibly quick, absolutely sublime, flawless, faultless and just about every other adjective one could use to describe arguably the most dominant drive seen this season.

However, Vettel's Singapore win was not enough to ensure him of the World title as Jenson Button put in an equally brilliant drive.

Taking second through the first corner, as was his pre-race place, Button pulled away from the chasing pack and was pretty much assured of P2 before even the halfway stage of the grand prix.

Mark Webber finished in third place after thrice overtaking Fernando Alonso, who had to settle for fourth, his first Singapore GP off the podium.

Meanwhile, Lewis Hamilton once again caused the drama of the grand prix as he crashed into Felipe Massa while they were battling for position.

The incident broke Hamilton's nose and left Massa with a puncture. It also earned Hamilton a drive-through penalty and dropped him all the way back to P16.

But while Massa struggled to come back from the collision, Hamilton stormed through the field to finish in fifth place. Massa was P9.

There was, as predicted, one Safety Car situation during the grand prix when Michael Schumacher crashed heavily on lap 30.

Fighting with Sergio Perez for position, the seven-time World Champ carried too much speed as Perez braked for the corner, resulting in Schumacher hitting the back of the Sauber, launching into the air, landing heavily and smashing into the barriers nose first.

Thankfully Schumacher was not hurt.

01. Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1h59:06.537
02. Button McLaren-Mercedes + 1.737
03. Webber Red Bull-Renault + 29.279
04. Alonso Ferrari + 55.449
05. Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes + 1:07.766
06. Di Resta Force India-Mercedes + 1:51.067
07. Rosberg Mercedes + 1 lap
08. Sutil Force India-Mercedes + 1 lap
09. Massa Ferrari + 1 lap
10. Perez Sauber-Ferrari + 1 lap
11. Maldonado Williams-Cosworth + 1 lap
12. Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari + 1 lap
13. Barrichello Williams-Cosworth + 1 lap
14. Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari + 2 laps
15. Senna Renault + 2 laps
16. Kovalainen Lotus-Renault + 2 laps
17. Petrov Renault + 2 laps
18. D'Ambrosio Virgin-Cosworth + 2 laps
19. Ricciardo HRT-Cosworth + 4 laps
20. Liuzzi HRT-Cosworth + 4 laps
21. Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari + 5 laps

Did Not Finish
Trulli Lotus-Renault 48
Schumacher Mercedes 29
Glock Virgin-Cosworth 10

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Massa disappointed with sixth

Felipe Massa said he was not pleased to be starting sixth on the grid for the Singapore Grand Prix after a difficult qualifying session.

Massa will start alongside Fernando Alonso on the third row, but while his team-mate was within 0.2s of second place, Massa was a second further back. After having to abandon his first run in Q3, Massa said he was having difficulty making the tyres last for a flying lap, but that he took heart from the improved pace of the car compared to recent races.

"Sixth is definitely not the result we were aiming for, but we have to accept it," Massa said. "Now we must think about the race which definitely does not look like being an easy one: tyre degradation is significant, both on the Soft and the Supersoft and will have to be able to adapt to that as best we can.

"We are definitely more competitive here than we were in Monza. Today, it was not easy putting together a perfect lap and, even if the car was much improved compared to the last free practice session, I still had a lot of oversteer, especially when the rear tyres were overheating in the second and third sectors."

Massa also criticised Lewis Hamilton for being aggressive when fighting for track position ahead of the first runs in Q3.

"Honestly, I don't understand why he wanted to pass at all costs: we were all in a line on our "out" lap and there was nothing to be gained from acting like that."

Team principal Stefano Domenicali praised Massa for still putting the car sixth after his problems, but said Ferrari would have to take advantage of potential situations in order to progress in the race.

"Felipe got the job done, extricating himself from a couple of complicated moments and getting the grid position that one could have expected. Now we must concentrate on tomorrow night's race, which will be extremely long and tough, both for the drivers and the cars. We will try and do our best, exploiting every opportunity that comes our way."

Source: ESPNF1

Video: BBC - Singapore GP - Hamilton happy despite qualifying drama in Singapore

Lewis Hamilton is pleased despite an eventful qualifying session where he duelled with Ferrari's Felipe Massa, suffered a puncture and was prevented from having a second run in the third part of qualifying.

Hamilton reveals a "refuelling problem" prevented McLaren from going out again in Q3, and believes he "could have been on the front row", rather than fourth.

Source: SixtyBuckss

Mark Webber 'pretty happy' with second

Mark Webber says he has no complaints with his second place grid slot for Sunday's Singapore GP after once again losing out to his team-mate

Early in Q3, Vettel put down a benchmark time of 1:44.381 and it soon became apparent that none of his rivals, not even his Red Bull team-mate, could beat it.

Webber came the closest but was still 0.351s slower than the German.

However, the Aussie says he happy with his performance especially as in past seasons he has struggled at the Marina Bay circuit.

"I'm pretty happy to be honest," he said. "It's been a pretty testing venue for me in the past, particularly on Saturdays.

"Seb obviously laid it down pretty hard and fast for all of us, he's very quick around here and he did a great job for the pole.

"I think maybe he saw my data, there were only a few corners where I was a little quicker, maybe in the chicane he was trying to put it all together but obviously he was very quick for the whole lap!

"Like he said to put it all together, it's really difficult for all of us here. It's very easy to grab a bit more and then lose a bit on the next straight, so overall I'm satisfied given the curve balls that the teams can face here. Both cars up there is a great result for us."

Source: Planet-F1

Räikkös-rumours from one side to another

The rumour mill around Kimi Räikkönen's possible comeback to F1-tracks after two years as Williams' driver is accelerating all the time on Singapore Grand Prix -paddock. The former F1-commentator from ITV, James Allen, writes in his blog that the contract negotations would already be on the finish line.

Allen told TS that his information is based upon reliable Williams-sources.

Allen says that Williams will get bigger sponsor money by hiring Räikkönen. On the other hand the team's share of the tv- and commercial-income from Bernie Ecclestone's FOM-company shrinks smaller than ever before since Williams is about to come only 9th in the WCC-serie.

The reporter from German Auto, Motor und Sport -paper, Michael Schmidt, presents again that Räikkönen's factory-visit in Grove was only a way from the team to put pressure on more econimical clauses when negotiating with other driver-candidates.

According to information Schmidt has, Williams doesn't necessarily have to hire two drivers who bring sponsor money. Hence they still have the chance of paying another driver like Rubens Barrichello the same way they have done before.

Turun Sanomat, Singapore


Courtesy: Nicole

Video: BBC - Singapore GP - Alonso targeting victory despite qualifying fifth

Fernando Alonso tells BBC Sport's Lee McKenzie a race win "is not out of the question", despite only qualifying fifth in his Ferrari for Sunday's race in Singapore.

Alonso says fifth was "the maximum" he could have got from the car, but is expecting tyre degradation "to play a big role" in Sunday's Grand Prix.

Source: SixtyBuckss

Hamilton keeps focus despite fuel problem

Lewis Hamilton looked for positives after a refuelling problem wrecked his chance of fighting for pole position at the Singapore Grand Prix on Saturday

McLaren's 2008 world champion, winner on the floodlit street circuit in 2009, was only able to get one early run in during the third spell of qualifying as the team were unable to get sufficient fuel in his car before time ran out.

That saw him drop from provisional second on the grid to fourth while Red Bull's Mark Webber and his own team mate Jenson Button leap-frogged ahead.

Hamilton, though, was philosophical about the incident at the Marina Bay street circuit.

"They were trying to fill the car up but there was no fuel going in, so the time was running out and we just couldn't get going," he told reporters before heading into his team's motorhome.

"Well... this is racing and there's been lots of mistakes from me, we're a team and this kind of thing happens.

"But I feel positive, because on my lap I was pretty good... I think if I went back out I would have been a bit quicker so that's a positive for tomorrow."

"We're not in a bad position. I think we probably could have been on the front row, we had more time in the bag.

"The pace is good, I feel good for tomorrow -- from fourth, we can only go forwards."

Red Bull's runaway championship leader Sebastian Vettel is on pole position. With 284 points already in the bank he can win the championship on Sunday with five races remaining.

The following four drivers -- Fernando Alonso (172), Button (167), Webber (167) and Hamilton (158) -- are all closely grouped, however, with just 14 points separating second placed Alonso and Hamilton in fifth.

Source: Reuters Sports

Venezuelans will decide if Räikkönen comes back to F1

Kimi Räikkönen intends to come back to F1 in 2012 as Williams driver. Williams want Räikkönen, but it's still up to money if the contract comes through or not. Räikkönen's salary demand is about 10 million dollars and Williams is currently negotiating about funding his salary with the oil company PDVSA from Venezuela.

PDVSA has sponsored Williams this season, where Venezuelan Pastor Maldonado is driving. Maldonado will also drive in Williams next season with the support of PDVSA. PDVSA is willing to fund also Räikkönen's salary but in the end it's up to if the company will get visibility for their money in Williams' activity. This year PDVSA has sponsored Williams with about 24 million dollars but next season the amount of money would be a lot bigger if Räikkönen would come to the team.

Courtesy: Nicole

Kimi Räikkönen's return closer than ever!

Kimi Räikkönen's return to F1 is now very close to coming true.

According to information IS has got, Kimi Räikkönen and Williams are very close a deal, which would bring Kimi sensationally back to F1.

Negotiations with Williams have already reached the point where Räikkönen's comeback to F1 is much more likely than his original plan with rallies and some races in the States.

Janne Aittoniemi

Source: Ilta-Sanomat
Courtesy: Nicole

Qualifying: Vettel Grabs His 11th Pole In Singapore

Sebastian Vettel clinched his 11th pole position of the campaign in Singapore as the Red Bull driver took a massive step towards wrapping up the title

Vettel could claim his second successive Drivers' Championship on Sunday afternoon. He only needs to outscore Fernando Alonso by 13 points and, if he wins the grand prix, ensure that neither Jenson Button nor Mark Webber finish in the top two.

But while there's nothing he can do about whether his rivals finish on Sunday afternoon, he did everything he could on Saturday night to give him the advantage required.

The German grabbed pole position at the Marina Bay circuit with a 1:44.381, 0.351s up on Mark Webber.

Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton were both 0.42s off the pace with the latter missing out on a second run after puncturing a tyre in the previous session.

Fifth place went to Fernando Alonso ahead of Felipe Massa and Nico Rosberg while Michael Schumacher, Adrian Sutil and Paul di Resta all opted not to run in Q1.

The session was red flagged five minutes into Q2 when Kamui Kobayashi crashed into the barriers nose first after getting it wrong at the Turn 10 chicane.

01. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1m44.381
02. Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1m44.732 + 0.351
03. Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1m44.804 + 0.423
04. Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1m44.809 + 0.428
05. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1m44.874 + 0.493
06. Felipe Massa Ferrari 1m45.800 + 1.419
07. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m46.013 + 1.632
08. Michael Schumacher Mercedes no time
09. Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes no time
10. Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes no time
11. Sergio Perez Sauber-Ferrari 1m47.616 + 2.685
12. Rubens Barrichello Williams-Cosworth 1m48.082 + 3.151
13. Pastor Maldonado Williams-Cosworth 1m48.270 + 3.339
14. Sebastien Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m48.634 + 3.703
15. Bruno Senna Renault 1m48.662 + 3.731
16. Jaime Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m49.862 + 4.931
17. Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari No time
18. Vitaly Petrov Renault 1m49.835 + 3.438
19. Heikki Kovalainen Lotus-Renault 1m50.948 + 4.551
20. Jarno Trulli Lotus-Renault 1m51.012 + 4.615
21. Timo Glock Virgin-Cosworth 1m52.154 + 5.757
22. Jerome D'Ambrosio Virgin-Cosworth 1m52.363 + 5.966
23. Daniel Ricciardo HRT-Cosworth 1m52.404 + 6.007
24. Tonio Liuzzi HRT-Cosworth 1m52.810 + 6.413

Source: Planet-F1

Friday, September 23, 2011

Shocking estimate of Räikkönen and Williams - Dynamite!

Erkki Mustakari from Urheilulehti reminds that Williams is a very highly considered racing team.

Eki, what was the purpose of Räikkönen's Williams-visit?

Kimi Räikkönen is obviously interested about everything that is under development in the team. He might well see Williams as one of his options if he decides to come back to F1. We have to remember that continuing in rally, racing some races in the States and possibly even Indy 500 and Le Mans 24-hour race are all possible options for him. It's obvious that Räikkönen still wants to race but so far he hasn't made any public decisions.

Isn't Williams still quite a big step backwards from what Räikkönen has been used to in McLaren and Ferrari?

No doubt about that, but if he still has the urge to race then he should come back. And how does anyone even know what kind of a package Williams can put together for next season. It's true that this season's achievements can't fire up Räikkönen. The team's veteran driver Rubens Barrichello has not once achieved Q3 and his best results from races have been only two 9th positions. The rookie Pastor Maldonado has achieved Q3 three times but in the race scored points only once. So it's clear that there has to be other reasons for Räikkönen's interest in Williams.

What could they be?

When talking about Williams we are talking about the most successful F1-team of all times. The team is managed by Sir Frank Williams who lives and breathes motor-racing. His companion for many years has been Patrick Head, who is a petrol-head of the same caliber. For both of them running Williams-team and hunting for success has always been more than just a matter of heart. Next season the team gets Renault's engines instead of the current Cosworth-engines. It is a very significant matter in itself. They have also strenghtened the design-department and if the new men, with McLaren's ex-designer Mike Goughlan in the lead, succeed in creating a new package, then Williams can be tougher to beat next season already. Williams' stocks are without any doubt rising and if Kimi would go to the team then the end result could be dynamite.

Then from where does Williams-team imagine that they can scrape together the salary Kimi Räikkönen asks for?

Who knows what the price tag on Räikkönen is these days? Is it 5, 10 or 20 million euros per season? Or could it perhaps be for example 8 million euros and bonuses on top of it depending on the success? The only thing that is sure is that if Räikkönen would continue his F1-career in Williams, then the team would most definitely succeed in attracting those kind of companies as sponsors that Ruben Barrichello's attraction doesn't.

When will we get more light on the subject?

Only one person knows that – Kimi Räikkönen.

Source: UrheiluLehti
Courtesy: Nicole

Video: BBC - Singapore GP - Vettel primed for championship title bid in Singapore

Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel says he is "excited" ahead of the Singapore Grand Prix, where he could become Formula One's youngest double world champion.

Despite having never won in Singapore, the 24 year-old tells BBC Sport's Ted Kravitz the race at Marina Bay is "one of his favourites" and that to win the title there would be "very special".

Source: SixtyBuckss

Räikkönen Poised to Return To F1 with Williams

Kimi Raikkonen is on the verge of signing a deal to return to F1 with Williams

The 2007 world champion has been in discussions with the team for several weeks, following a recent visit to the factory in Grove. Sources suggest that discussions are going the right way and they are now close to a deal.

It is understood that the Finn, who will be 32 next month, is keen to get back into F1 competition after two years on the sidelines in rallying. The timing is significant as Williams are on the look out for a bold move to boost the team and Räikkönen can see that the F1 driver landscape is likely to change a lot at the end of 2012 and a strong season, reminding everyone what he can do, might open some doors.

Michael Schumacher’s comeback is both a positive example, but also a warning to the Finn as it took the seven times champion some time to get up to speed. Räikkönen has kept sharp by competing in world rally for the past two seasons, but at the same time he will take a while to get fully up to speed with the Pirelli F1 tyres. All his rivals will have a year’s experience on them.

From Williams’ point of view, team boss Adam Parr will want to make a bold move after a season to forget in 2011. He has hired a new technical team, led by Mike Coughlan, with Dr Mark Gillan (who is here in Singapore) in charge of race operations and Jason Sommerville as chief aerodynamicist. His other options are to retain Rubens Barrichello, hire a known quantity like Heikki Kovalainen or go for a rookie alongside Pastor Maldonado. Or he could wait to see whether a Robert Kubica comeback might dislodge Bruno Senna from Renault. Rumours of a connection with Adrian Sutil have been firmly denied on both sides.

One thing is for sure, Williams are likely to finish 9th in the Constructors’ Championship this year and that will mean a shortfall in prize money and sponsor bonus money.

However most major sponsor contracts have a clause where they pay more if a world champion comes to the team and that may be another factor to encourage the Räikkönen move, particularly if his wage demands are reasonable.

Hiring Räikkönen would be a very bold statement from Williams as he is a world champion and an 18 times race winner. He certainly has the speed and the skills to compete with the best in F1, will certainly get some eye catching results and his name might also help attract a sponsor or two, although he is not known for being keen on promotional appearances. For F1 it would mean that there would be 6 world champions in the field of 24 drivers, which has never happened before in its 61 year history. The feeling in the paddock is that it would be a good thing, if it happens.

The possible question mark with Räikkönen is motivation; he seemed to have run out of motivation in his final season with Ferrari in 2009 and driving what is likely to be a midfield car, even if it is a regular points challenger, he will be seeking to prove a point rather than win races.

One key relationship he will not have to develop from scratch is with new Williams technical director Mike Coughlan, who worked with the Finn at McLaren from 2002 until his move to Ferrari in 2006. They know each other well.

Source: James Allen on F1

Practice Two: Vettel hits the front

Sebastian Vettel was the man to beat in Singapore on Friday night, edging ahead of Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton

The reigning World Champ crossed the line with a 1:46.374 as he set about stamping his mark on this weekend's action in Singapore.

Vettel could wrap up the title this Sunday, he just needs to out-score Fernando Alonso by 13 points and Jenson Button and Mark Webber by eight.

And the German took a step towards doing just that on Friday night as he proved to be quickest on both the hard and soft option Pirelli tyres.

Vettel finished FP2 0.201s up on Alonso while Hamilton, who finished ahead of Felipe Massa and Webber, was a further half a second off the pace.

The session saw a marked difference in times between F1's top three teams and the chasing filed with Michael Schumacher, who was sixth quickest, a full second slower than Webber's P1 time and over two adrift of Vettel.

1. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1m46.374s 33 laps
2. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1m46.575s + 0.201 28 laps
3. Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1m47.115s + 0.741 22 laps
4. Felipe Massa Ferrari 1m47.120s + 0.746 23 laps
5. Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1m47.265s + 0.891 28 laps
6. Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1m48.418s + 2.044 27 laps
7. Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1m48.866s + 2.492 32 laps
8. Sergio Perez Sauber-Ferrari 1m49.578s + 3.204 27 laps
9. Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1m49.730s + 3.356 29 laps
10. Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1m49.751s + 3.377 10 laps
11. Jaime Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m49.792s + 3.418 14 laps
12. Bruno Senna Renault 1m50.241s + 3.867 31 laps
13. Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1m50.345s + 3.971 8 laps
14. Vitaly Petrov Renault 1m50.399s + 4.025 29 laps
15. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m50.790s + 4.416 28 laps
16. Rubens Barrichello Williams-Cosworth 1m50.897s + 4.523 24 laps
17. Pastor Maldonado Williams-Cosworth 1m50.937s + 4.563 30 laps
18. Heikki Kovalainen Lotus-Renault 1m51.950s + 5.576 26 laps
19. Sebastien Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m52.257s + 5.883 15 laps
20. Jarno Trulli Lotus-Renault 1m52.489s + 6.115 25 laps
21. Timo Glock Virgin-Cosworth 1m53.579s + 7.205 25 laps
22. Jerome D'Ambrosio Virgin-Cosworth 1m54.649s + 8.275 25 laps
23. Daniel Ricciardo HRT-Cosworth 1m54.754s + 8.380 29 laps
24. Tonio Liuzzi HRT-Cosworth 1m55.198s + 8.824 26 laps

Source: Planet-F1

Practice One: Kerbs, crashes and fires in Singapore

Lewis Hamilton topped what proved to be an interesting first practice session in Singapore, which included kerb issues, crashes and a fire

Although the session was expected to run for 90 minutes, there were only 50 minutes of action as the start was delayed as marshals had to remove temporary kerbs.

Added to that, the kerb issue also took a further five minutes off near the session while an incident that left Mark Webber with a broken front wing and Timo Glock with a puncture also cost time due to red flags.

When the action was going on it was interesting with Jenson Button, Sebastian Vettel and Hamilton trading fastest laps. But, in the end, it was Hamilton who came out on top with a 1:48.599.

Report: Practice got off to a delayed start as marshals needed time to clean up fluid spilt at Turn 14 while there were also concerns regarding some of the temporary kerbs, which had lifted during the earlier practices for the support races. The kerbing at Turn 3 and 14 was removed with drivers being informed they can cross the while line on the exits of both turns.

Once underway, 30 minutes later than scheduled and cut down to just 60 minutes, in hot and humid conditions, it was Jaime Alguersuari who led the field out for their installation laps. Timo Glock started his session a trip up an escape road at Turn 7 before rejoining the action.

Nico Rosberg posted the first time, a 1:57.351 while Bruno Senna added his name to the list of those struggling to find grip and running off the track. Rosberg was overhauled by his team-mate, Michael Schumacher, who in turn lost out to Mark Webber before Felipe Massa went fastest with a 1:52.043.

Webber was held up by Glock for two or three laps and when he finally made a move, Glock shut the door right on Webber's front wing. Broken wing for Webber, rear left puncture for Glock. The session was red flagged due to debris on the track.

And while Webber and Glock were limping back to the pits, Heikki Kovalainen pulled over at Turn 18 with his Team Lotus on fire from very hot front right brakes. The marshals were quickly on hand to put out the flames and pushed the car down an escape road.

Five minutes later the session was green flagged with Massa, Webber and Sebastian Vettel holding the top three places on the timesheets. Paul di Resta, Rubens Barrichello and Adrian Sutil all moved ahead of Vettel. But the entire order changed as Jenson Button went quickest only to lose out to reigning World Champ Vettel. Vettel lowered the benchmark time to a 1:49.656.

Lewis Hamilton was the next to lead the way with a 1:49.515 but seconds later Vettel again led the way, half a second up on the McLaren driver. Two laps later Hamilton again moved ahead of Vettel by 0.406s. While they were battling for the P1 slot, Massa almost became airborne by carrying too much speed and hitting the kerbs.

With eight minutes left on the clock, the session was red flagged as the kerb that Massa hit had been knocked loose with the bolt that should have been holding it in place sticking up in the air! The session was restarted with three minutes on the clock and a massive queue of drivers waiting to hit the track.

Practice One ended with Hamilton quickest of all with his 1:48.599 while Vettel was second, 0.406s off the pace. Webber was third ahead of Fernando Alonso, Button, Massa, Adrian Sutil and Schumacher.

01. Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1m48.599 10 laps
02. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1m49.005 + 0.406 15 laps
03. Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1m50.066 + 1.467 16 laps
04. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1m50.596 + 1.997 11 laps
05. Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1m50.952 + 2.353 12 laps
06. Felipe Massa Ferrari 1m52.043 + 3.444 14 laps
07. Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1m52.251 + 3.652 13 laps
08. Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1m52.416 + 3.817 12 laps
09. Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1m52.435 + 3.836 13 laps
10. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m52.815 + 4.216 13 laps
11. Rubens Barrichello Williams-Cosworth 1m52.991 + 4.392 17 laps
12. Jaime Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m53.050 + 4.451 17 laps
13. Pastor Maldonado Williams-Cosworth 1m53.399 + 4.800 18 laps
14. Sergio Perez Sauber-Ferrari 1m53.703 + 5.104 19 laps
15. Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1m53.749 + 5.150 12 laps
16. Bruno Senna Renault 1m53.765 + 5.166 17 laps
17. Sebastien Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m53.785 + 5.186 16 laps
18. Vitaly Petrov Renault 1m54.736 + 6.137 8 laps
19. Jarno Trulli Lotus-Renault 1m54.821 + 6.222 9 laps
20. Heikki Kovalainen Lotus-Renault 1m56.198 + 7.599 8 laps
21. Jerome D'Ambrosio Virgin-Cosworth 1m57.798 + 9.199 13 laps
22. Timo Glock Virgin-Cosworth 1m58.792 + 10.193 6 laps
23. Daniel Ricciardo HRT-Cosworth 1m59.169 + 10.570 17 laps
24. Narain Karthikeyan HRT-Cosworth 1m59.214 + 10.615 18 laps

Source: Planet-F1

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Video: Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa at Ferrari Party in Singapore

Formula 1 Ferrari team-mates Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa met fans and the media at the exclusive Ferrari party at Resorts World Sentosa, then took time out to talk to TODAY about their plans and prospects for the Singapore Grand Prix

Source: TODAYdigital

Barrichello doesn't believe that Räikkönen is a threat to his seat in Williams

Williams-team's highest management is not present in Singapore's Grand Prix -paddock. CEO Adam Parr has just returned home from Venezuela and Frank Williams didn't take a long trip to the Far-East.

Statements about the team's driver situations for next year are not to be expected - at least this weekend.

The Brazilian reporter Livio Oricchio from Sao Paulo's O Estado -paper asked Rubens Barrichello about the things concerning Kimi Räikkönen's visit to Grove factory.

– Everyone of us knows that Kimi visited the factory. I don't think the visit had anything to do with him becoming a driver for the team. The team is trying to save costs and as far as I know, Kimi is a driver with a high salary, Barrichello replied to the familiar reporter.

Oricchio didn't write anything about it in his own paper.

Turun Sanomat, Singapore

Courtesy: Nicole

Kimi Räikkönen chases F1 return with Williams in 2012

Former McLaren and Ferrari driver Kimi Raikkonen could return to Formula 1 next season with Williams

The Finn quit F1 at the end of 2009 to try his hand at world rallying but after two frustrating seasons he has had talks with Williams about joining them for 2012.

BBC Sport understands that Räikkönen is keen to join the team and Williams are weighing up the idea.

Räikkönen, 32, would partner Venezuelan Pastor Maldonado at Williams.

Maldonado is in his first season, but the team's sponsorship with his country's national oil supplier is understood to guarantee him a seat.

The veteran Brazilian Rubens Barrichello is Maldonado's team-mate this season, but his future with the team looks shaky.

The 40-year-old wants to stay on for a 20th season in F1, but sources say Williams are leaning towards not retaining Barrichello.

The Williams team would not comment on the situation.

One potential stumbling block is whether Williams and Räikkönen can come to an agreement on the size of his salary, but the team is hoping that his presence could attract new backers, which could help the move make financial sense.

Williams are having the worst season in their history in 2011 and currently lie ninth in the world championship with only five points.

Only the three teams who were new to F1 in 2010 are beneath them.

But it is believed that Räikkönen is serious about returning to F1 after failing to match the pace of the front-runners in the World Rally Championship and he has few options.

There is no space at any of the top four teams and although Williams are struggling they have strong engineering depth and are restructuring their team and Räikkönen is believed to consider that they are a good option for him.

The Finn left Ferrari at the end of 2009 after the team paid off his contract to make room for Fernando Alonso.

He won the world title for the Italian team in 2007, but his form dipped in the following two seasons and he was beaten by team-mate Felipe Massa.

After making his F1 debut for Sauber in 2001, he won 18 races in five years at McLaren and three at Ferrari.

Source: BBC
Courtesy: luieluv

Kimi Räikkönen emptied a sausage-booth!

Kimi Räikkönen who was on the move with a gang of boys, landed to a Nakkifakiiri-booth in the center of Tampere on Sunday morning at 4.30. (11.9)

The rally star immediately announced that he will buy all the sausages from the booth since he was on his way to an after party to heat up the sauna.

- Kimi wanted sausages on the sauna heater, hence after all the warm sausages were packed he informed that he will also buy all sausages in the fridgerator. After that he left satisfied carrying a bag of sausages, those who were left without a night snack told Seiska.

Courtesy: Nicole

False information about Kimi is circulating

According to MTV3-site Kimi Räikkönen won't participate in Rally Spain at the end of October. It's not true.

Räikkönen's name is not on the teams' WRC-list FIA has published.

And it shouldn't be there either because only drivers who's teams are racing for WCC-points are on FIA's list.

Räikkönen's name is not on the list because his team ICE 1 Racing has been excluded from the WCC-serie due to a violation of regulations.

Kimi has signed up for Rally Catalynia but ICE 1 Racing won't get any more WCC-points. Yet Räikkönen can still collect driver WC-points.

Janne Aittoniemi

Courtesy: Nicole

Kimi's manager: We are not negotiating with F1-teams

Steve Robertson says that Kimi is not negotiating with any F1-team at the moment.

Robertson can't tell about Räikkönen's plans for nex season in detail, since according to him no decisions have been made yet.

- All options concerning next season are still open. Will Kimi drive rally, Nascar or even F1 - so far there's nothing to comment because no decisions have been made.

If Kimi would want to go back to F1, would Williams be an option?

- I can't comment on that at all.

Are you negotiating with any F1-team at the moment?

- No.

MTV3 also asked Williams-team's representatives for an interview on Singapore paddock. The team informed through their publicist that the team will not comment the matter at all.

Source: MTV3

Courtesy: Nicole

This is how Williams' boss replied to the hot rumours about Kimi

IS Urheilu reached Williams F1-team's second biggest owner Christian Wolff, who agreed to comment a little on the rumours concerning Kimi Räikkönen.

Wolff isn't completely shooting down the possibility that Räikkönen would next season drive with Williams' F1-car.

- Formula 1 and Williams is one of very many options for Kimi. He is intelligent and experienced enough to make the right decision, Wolff told IS.

They have been wondering in F1-circles, why Räikkönen recently visited Williams' factory in UK and was going through different departments.

- I think that Kimi was exploring here all options in addition to rally and race-tracking, Wolff said.

Räikkönen knows that Williams is not able to offer him a winning car in F1. Yet Williams is not just a F1-team. It has gone into for example hybrid-technology and is planning a wide co-operation with Jaguar on the sportcar-department. Something from that direction could also interest Räikkönen.

- We would want to become Jaguar's racing and sporting department, the CEO Adam Parr from Williams recently told in Autocar-paper.

Courtesy: Nicole

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Singapore's highest place has been reserved for Vettel's party

Sebastian Vettel arrived to Singapore on Wednesday morning. The was no bigger hulabaloo on the airport. The company Angry Birds coming from Helsinki attracted more photographers at the airport.

According to the local The Straits Times -paper, Red Bull has reserved the highest building in Singapore - The Equinox-restaurant located on the 70th floor in Swisshotel - for the night from Sunday to Monday in case the WDC-battle is over already this race.

According to German Bild am Sonntag -paper Red Bull has manufactured and brought to Singapore 80 "2011 World Champion" -caps - in other words everyone in the racing team would get their own cap.

Singapore will once again combine racing and top entertainment. This year the number one names in the singing-department are Shakira and Boy George.

Turun Sanomat, Singapore


Courtesy: Nicole

Alonso's Blog: It would be great to make it three but four out of four wouldn’t be bad either...

Singapore is a special event for me. It’s one of the races that I like the most for the lively atmosphere and for the characteristics of the circuit. It certainly has much in common with Monaco but the fact that you run at night coupled with the extended length of the track compared to the one in the Principality make this grand prix unique. I have always managed to make the podium in the three previous editions and my objective is to make it four out of four. A third victory to go with those of 2008 and last year would clearly be fantastic but I know that it will be very hard. At Monaco we certainly came very close to victory – without the final red flag I think I would have had an excellent chance to overtake Sebastian – but it’s also true that you can’t always guarantee that things go the same way. What is certain is that we will give everything: I think we have the chance to do well as long as we get the best out of every aspect: tyres, set-up, engine, teamwork, everything has to be at 100%.

Last year a wonderful success arrived at the end of an extraordinary weekend. There was a long, nearly two-hour duel between myself and Sebastian, which was raced with the image of his car almost permanently in my mirrors. To win a race like that is thrilling, producing very strong emotions. Speaking of the German driver, I’ve been told that some people have written that I said a bad word to him in the immediate post-race at Monza when we were talking about the pass that happened when the safety car came in: it’s incredible to see how far the made-up stories of certain people can travel! Not only did I never say the word in question to him but we chatted about the episode in a very good way, as was clear to everyone during the FIA Press Conference a few minutes later.

Monza didn’t give us the victory that we wanted but we did earn a place on the podium – what an emotion to stand up there again wearing the red overalls and to hear the tifosi scream my name! That allowed me to pass one important statistical landmark, that of 1,000 championship points (now I’m on 1,001 – only Michael has more). Of course since the new points system was introduced you go forward in this classification much quicker than before but to see four figures next to my name gave me a lot of pleasure.

I arrived in Singapore today at lunchtime. A shower, a bit of rest in the hotel without sleeping – I want to try and remain on the European timetable – and then a quick trip to the circuit, which is less than 100 metres from the hotel. I like going to the track on Wednesday afternoon at the flyaway races, to see how the team is organised from a logistical point of view. Today I then had the chance to do a bicycle tour of the track together with the special personality that is Emilio Botin, the president of the Santander bank, one of our main sponsors. It’s good to see with how much enthusiasm, passion and interest Don Emilio follows us: despite his thousands of commitments, he knows everything about the life of the team and is very curious, a true tifoso! Tomorrow the official engagements start. As ever, Thursday is predominantly dedicated to meetings with the team and to activities with our partners but there are also the first meetings with the engineers. From Friday we begin on the track: we hope to repeat the weekend of 2010 and thus to present another victory to the Prancing Horse and to all our fans. That is our target, one that will remain for all the coming races.


Vettel poised for back-to-back titles

Sebastian Vettel will seek to become the youngest man to successfully defend a world title when he bids for his ninth win of the year in this weekend's Singapore Grand Prix.

The 24-year-old German will also be aiming to complete a hat-trick of wins for Red Bull, following successes in Belgium and Italy, by triumphing on the floodlit streets of the Marina Bay circuit in Sunday night's race.

But, in a long and demanding race in hot and humid conditions, Vettel knows his title dream will not be realised easily as he has to overcome not only the physical and technical challenges, but also the determination of his rivals.

Vettel, who has 284 points, holds a lead of 112 on nearest rival and two-time champion Fernando Alonso of Ferrari.

To take the title on Sunday, he needs to enlarge that lead to 125 or more ahead of the final five races.

This means a win will only be enough for Vettel if Alonso fails to deliver a podium finish for Ferrari - a target that he has hit seven times this season.

Briton Jenson Button of McLaren and Vettel's Red Bull team-mate Mark Webber of Australia are currently level on 167 points, a further five adrift of Alonso.

Vettel could win the title by taking a cautious approach to the final six races starting this weekend, accumulating points without taking risks.

However, according to his team's technical chief Adrian Newey, that is not his style.

"Sebastian doesn't want to cruise to the world championship. He really wants to earn it. That's what you saw at Monza," he said, referring to the champion's bold passing move on Alonso to take the lead during the fifth lap of the race.

"And what's so impressive about him is that he very rarely makes the same mistake twice.

"He learns and he keeps confounding the critics. Last year, people were saying he's great if he gets out in the lead, but he can't overtake people. People won't be saying that after the last few races."

A determined Alonso, twice a winner in Singapore, including last year's race, has made clear already that he hopes to postpone any Red Bull championship celebrations for at least one more weekend.

The McLaren pair of Button and compatriot Lewis Hamilton, who won the Singapore race two years ago, will also be in strong contention.

McLaren team chief Martin Whitmarsh has forecast an "electrifying" race due to the drivers' use of the Drag Reduction System (DRS) on the long kinked straight between turns five and seven.

Last year, Alonso was able to hold off the faster Vettel on his way to victory, but Whitmarsh believes that scenario will not be repeated.

"Luckily, we have two drivers who are never satisfied to sit behind another car, but the addition of DRS means that we should expect some truly electrifying racing this weekend," he said.

"The track is wide enough to support close and exciting wheel-to-wheel racing and I sincerely hope that's what we see."

Both Button and Hamilton have said they believe they can win - and will drive that way.

"I will never give up and I'll be driving to win as always," said Hamilton.

This weekend's race will be the fourth in the modern era of the Singapore event and is expected to attract a huge crowd to a city that first hosted a Grand Prix in 1961.

Sunday's race under light supplied by 1,500 projectors producing 3,000 lux - four times that needed by an ordinary sports event - will be very different to the Singapore races of old, and could well climax with a coronation.

Source: AFP/de