The FIA has made some more rule changes to Formula One, even though this year’s season has been pretty amazing. The FIA’s World Motor Sports Council has just approved some changes that will take place in the 2011 season, starting with the banning of all F-duct. Instead, they will allow a movable rear wing.
Adjusting the wing isn’t allowed in the first two laps, but after those are complete, if any car trails another by less than a second, the wing can be used to allow higher speeds.
"The driver may only activate the adjustable bodywork in the race when he has been notified via the control electronics that it is enabled. It will only be enabled if the driver is less than one second behind another at any of the pre-determined positions around each circuit. The system will be disabled the first time the driver uses the brakes after the system has been activated," read the FIA statement.
The minimum weight has also been raised, from 620 kilograms to 640 kg. This will help make way for the KERS system. There is also no passing on the last lap of the race when the safety car comes in.
The 107% rule has been brought back, after its eight-year hiatus. They hope that this rule will help the backmarker situation that is in the sport at the moment.
The tire war is officially over and Pirelli has been made the official tire supplier of F1 for three years. Bridgestone will be stepping down, even though the teams and Bernie had asked them to stay. So, after a 19-year absence from the sport, Pirelli is back.
The next race is Sunday, tune into BBC1 or the Speed Channel for full coverage.
When a team like Scuderia Ferrari is upset in Formula One, people are going to hear about it one way or another. Ferrari president Luca Di Montezemolo was furious at the new, slower teams in F1 after Fernando Alonso was held up during the Canadian Grand Prix.
Alonso was trying to pass Lewis Hamilton after the leading McLaren went into the pits after a bit of pressure from Alonso.
Yet, the Spaniard was slowed down by one of the slower teams on his in lap and he eventually came out of the pits behind Hamilton, who would later win the race.
Things kept getting worse for Alonso, who lost second to Jenson Button after he was slowed down by another slow newcomer.
The Italian boss was livid with the new boys after the race had finished, having seen his driver’s chance at a win slip away with the help of the slower cars.
"Cars who perform at GP2-level should not be allowed to participate in F1 races because they are supposed to race on Sunday mornings," he told Gazzetta dello Sport.
"Our car’s race pace was good enough for victory.
"Let’s hope that, in the future, there won’t be mistakes in pushing a button nor in lapping cars that put us at a disadvantage, because we’ve already gone though that."
Alonso has one win in his first season with Ferrari and is currently fourth in the points behind Mark Webber and the two McLaren drivers.
While the USF1 project may be dead and gone, there is still hope for an American team in Formula One. A bid by a group of American investors to enter F1 met with teams and Bernie Ecclestone to advance their talks over the weekend.
Autosport first broke the news. The team is being led by Parris Mullins, the advisor to YouTube co-founder Chad Hurley during his involvement at US F1, last month.
Mullins was in Montreal last weekend for the Canadian Gran Prix to try and advance their talks about the future. He has made clear that the group will look to take over a current team and not bring in a new one. Speculation has already linked the group with Sauber and Toro Rosso because of his personal links with Ferrari. Yet, Mullins says he is totally open-minded about the issue.
When Mullins spoke with Autosport, he said “Over the course of these three days progress has been huge. There was only so much I could do from the US anyway, and all the right people are here congregated in to one area.
"I made a lot more progress this weekend than what I was expecting, I hope to be making just as much progress between now and Valencia so we will see. The project is moving ahead.
In one of the most exciting races all season, Lewis Hamilton stormed to victory and his second win of the 2010-racing season.
Hamilton, who won the last race in Turkey, crossed the line ahead of his teammate Jenson Button, a Ferrari, and the Red Bull pair of Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber.
Fernando Alonso finished third in his Ferrari, after he led a few laps in the middle segment of the race.
Starting from pole position, Hamilton led on three separate occasions before taking the lead for good on lap 50. It was his third win at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.
The race in Canada became a race of the tires and who could make the best use out of the two different sets. Both hard and soft compounds suffered from degradation, far more than anybody had thought. The tire issue helped spur on one of the best races all season, as tire strategy and wear left fans wondering who would come out on top.
Mark Webber’s recent run of success hasn’t gone unnoticed especially by the very team that he drives for. With the Aussie leading this year’s F1 Drivers Championship standings, Red Bull Racing rewarded its 34-year old racing ace with a contract extension for the 2011 Formula One season.
Webber’s extension, coupled with team-mate Sebastian Vettel’s upstanding multi-year contract, means that Red Bull’s driver line-up for 2011 has pretty much been set in stone already. The extension also appeases growing concerns on whether Red Bull was planning on retaining Webber for next year amidst speculation that former Formula One world champion and Ferrari driver Kimi Raikkonen would make his return to F1 with Red Bull.
We’re really happy for Webber for having his recent performances be rewarded by Red Bull. Sure, they have the best car in the entire F1 grid, but somebody still has to drive the thing, right? And, as of now, Mark Webber’s doing it over and above everyone else this year.
So congratulations, buddy, err, mate. You deserve it.
Forget about all that talk about New York becoming a possible host of the future Formula One U.S. Grand Prix because it won’t be coming there anymore. Oh, Formula One is coming back to America alright, but it won’t be in New York, or anywhere close to it. Instead, Formula One announced that beginning in 2012, the US Grand Prix will return to the calendar and will be held in Austin, Texas.
According to Formula One, Austin will host the US GP from 2012 to 2021, making it a pretty strong fixture in the F1 calendar in the coming years. Of course, the decision was made knowing that Austin doesn’t exactly have a ready race track so we can at least expect that a track - or even an entire facility - will be built just in time for the 2012 season. That, or they’re probably thinking of doing it on the streets, Melbourne style.
Toyota may have bid ’sayonara!’ to Formula One, but another auto conglomerate is voicing its interest in joining the racing series sometime down the road, possibly as early as 2013.
It’s already been reported that Volkswagen has made it known of its interest in joining Formula One as an engine supplier under the auspices of the racing series using VW’s ’world engine’ by 2013. Now it looks like the German auto giant is interested in more than just supplying engines; they’re actually thinking of fielding their own team to compete in the so-called ’pinnacle of motorsport’.
According to Volkswagen’s motor racing chief, Kris Nissen, should the company enter the world of Formula One, it could possibly be under the name of one of their brands. "Within the group, for sure, it could be Audi, it could be Porsche and might also be Volkswagen," he said.
For the sake of everyone, let’s hope that if VW does decide to enter Formula One, they’d fare better than some of the recent automakers to try their luck in the sport only to fizzle out when it came time to the actual race. Yes, we’re talking about you, Jaguar and Spyker.
We don’t know if it’s sour-graping (it sounds like it) on Toyota’s part or maybe they just didn’t fit in. Either way, Toyota took a potshot at Formula One during the lead-up to the 24 Hours of Nurburgring over the weekend, saying that the racing series is full of "elitists" and that the Japanese automaker would probably never return to the sport.
Well...duh. Formula One doesn’t call itself the ’pinnacle of motorsports’ for no reason.
According to Tadashi Yamashina, Toyota’s senior managing director for motorsports, Toyota became disenchanted with Formula One after being exposed to the series’ seeming disconnect from mainstream fans and their propensity to gravitate towards the high-class elite of today’s society. As a result, the Japanese automaker pulled out of the sport and is now looking at participating in racing series’ that cater to a more mainstream fanbase, including NASCAR and GT racing. Whatever racing series Toyota’s motorsports division joins in the future, we can automatically cross out Formula One off that list. Apparently, Toyota would much rather enjoy a nice round hotdog, pretzels, and beer in the company of NASCAR than sip Cristal champagne and eat foie gras with the Formula One ’elitists’. We would take either company, but we certainly wouldn’t blast the other. Nice manners, Toyota.
The demise of USF1 from Formula One even before they got a chance to make the 2010 grid is a microcosm of the level of interest - or lack thereof - Americans have for the sport. However, just because one team crashed and burned faster than we could say ’go’, doesn’t mean that we’ve seen the last of a US-based team in F1.
According to ESPN, a company named Cypher Group has been formed with the intention of picking up where USF1 left off, that is, fielding a team that can compete in Formula One in the near future. The new outfit has made it clear, however, that their success will hinge on whether they can find the necessary funding to make the F1 application a worthwhile endeavor. Considering that lack of funding doomed USF1’s hopes, we’re not exactly optimistic of Cypher Group’s chances, especially since its been reported that the team will pretty much pick up the scraps left by USF1, holding its headquarters in North Carolina - similar to USF1 - and employing most of the people the worked for, you guessed it, USF1.
The only thing different about Cypher Group - and we suppose this is a good thing - are the notable absence of both Ken Anderson and Peter Windsor, the two main proponents of USF1’s failed F1 attempt this year. Whether this new team has a chance to make the grid next year is anyone’s guess, but unless they get the proper funding, we’re really not holding our breaths.