The perks of being a Formula One driver appear to be endless. If being privileged to occupy one of the 20, or so, seats in the grid isn’t cool enough, a driver like multiple-time world champion Fernando Alonso certainly has one of the coolest perks of any driver outside of the racetrack.
The lead Ferrari driver gets to take tours of the automaker’s facilities while also being fawned and fought over wherever he goes. It’s a good life, indeed.
But one of the biggest benefits of being a driver on a team like Ferrari is the kind of access you have to some of the company’s biggest projects. Recently, the two-time driver’s champion paid a visit to the company’s facility in Maranello where he met some of Ferrari’s best and brightest engineers.
But the real highlight of Alonso’s visit was the chance to sit behind the wheel of the LaFerrari and take it for a spin around the track. Not a lot of people get to do that and Alonso looks right at home driving that 900-horsepower supercar.
Click past the jump to read more about the Ferrari LaFerrari
Rarely is something both the slowest and the hardest at the same time, but that all goes out the window when you’re talking about the Grand Prix at Monaco. For the majority of the F1 season, the drivers get to open up their cars a good bit. At Monaco, those chances to go wide open are limited to about three, as there are only a three extended straightaways on the track.
Besides those three straights, drivers get to deal with a plethora of intense twists and blind turns that require great care to negotiate correctly. These tight turns all amount to Monaco being the lowest average speed course on the F1 circuit, and arguably the hardest one on the circuit.
Well, the 70th running of this ultra-technical road course is due to start on May 27, 2012 and we’re going to provide a quick preview of what’s to come.
Click past the jump to read all about the Grand Prix at Monaco
With so many people stating that Fernando Alonso doesn’t deserve the 2010 Formula One driver’s championship, Emerson Fittipaldi has come out in defense of the Spaniard.
Alonso is leading the championship by 11 points heading into Brazil, but many see seven of those points as undeserved due to the Hockenheim team orders incident.
Yet, Fittipaldi thinks otherwise, as he feels that Alonso will deserve the title if he manages to lock it up either this weekend or in Abu Dhabi.
"If he wins it will be because he is the best," the 63-year-old said at Interlagos.
"There have always been team games that are played," he told the Spanish sports newspaper Marca.
"I see Alonso as the best driver of the day; with the best temperament and the best able to react to problems. He will be a great triple champion in his own right," added Fittipaldi.
Currently, Mark Webber sits in second place, with Lewis Hamilton close behind in third.
While most of us have let the incident in Germany between Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa die off, some are still sour over the event. Today, Nick Heidfeld said that it would be a shame if the team orders incident influenced the outcome of the F1 Championship.
Currently, Alonso sits on top of the driver’s table by 11 points and seven of those points were earned at Hockenheim, where Massa was told to move aside to let Alonso pass.
"If Alonso wins the championship with a margin less than the 7 points, it would devalue the championship — that’s a personal view," said former FIA president Max Mosley.
Mosley isn’t the only one who feels this way, as the Red Bull team boss agrees, stating that it would be frustrating if the Spanish driver took the title.
Ferrari has already fined $100,000 for the move, as team orders in F1 are banned at the moment.
Ferrari needs to thank its lucky stars after a meeting with the FIA World Motor Sport Council today in Paris. The meeting was held to discuss whether Ferrari should face further punishments after team orders allowed Fernando Alonso to overtake Felipe Massa.
The team was already fined $100,000 for the incident, but no further sanctions would be imposed on the Italian race team. Did you expect anything less? Ferrari is obviously very important to Formula One and we never expected them to be forced to sit out a race, especially with Monza, a home race for the team, coming up next week.
Ferrari claimed that Massa decided to move over and allow Alonso by, even though the radio transmission, stating that Alonso was faster and if he understood the message was quite clear. Ferrari engineer Rob Smedley apologized to Massa after he lost the lead. We can’t image how that could have been taken as anything, but team orders.
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.
Formula One team Ferrari has resigned driver Felipe Massa to a new two-year deal that will keep him with the team until 2012.
This announcement comes just shortly after Red Bull Racing announced that they resigned Mark Webber, who was thought to be the successor to Massa next season.
"It’s a matter of pride to continue working with a team that I regard as my second family," said Massa.
The driver has struggled to keep up with Fernando Alonso, after the Spaniard joined Ferrari this year.
Massa has been around Ferrari ever since he entered Formula One in 2002, as his first team was Sauber, who used Ferrari engines.
"Throughout my entire Formula 1 career, I have always raced with an engine made in Maranello," he said.
Massa has raced in 69 grand prix for Ferrari since he joined the team in 2006. He has won 11 races, 15 poles and 12 fastest race laps.
Full story after the jump.
All those talks surrounding Kimi Raikkonen’s move to rally car racing have been extinguished after reports came out that the former World Champion has signed an outline agreement to return to McLaren next year.
Citing ‘paddock sources’, the Mirror was the first to report about Raikkonen’s apparent return to the silver and black after spending three years in Ferrari, including a World Championship in 2007.
Despite being under contract to Ferrari for one more year at around $50 million, whispers are being made that Raikkonen is prepared to vacate his seat in Ferrari if Scuderia will pay him his entire 2010 salary down to the last penny.
In the event that Ferrari does give-in to the Finn’s request, we can all consider it a formality that another former World Champion will replace Kimi at Ferrari for 2010. That ex-champ being Fernando Alonso.
In the event that all of this plays out as anticipated, would we expect nothing less than a return to form from Ferrari and McLaren next year?
At the very least, an Alonso-Massa pairing and a Raikkonen-Hamilton team is pretty much worth watching.
Felipe Massa is set to make a return to the tracks sometime in December, although it won’t be in a Ferrari F1 car as a lot of people would have hoped. Massa’s first race back from his career-threatening injury at Hungary earlier this year will be in a go-kart.
It’s not exactly the most resounding of comebacks, is it?
Nevertheless, Massa will be making his racing comeback at the Brazilian Granja Viana endurance kart race in his native Brazil. The race, which will be held in Sao Paulo sometime in December, figures to get a huge boost in publicity in the event Massa - one of the country’s most popular race car drivers – does get the ‘go’ signal from his doctors.
In the meantime, the Brazilian continues to recuperate from the crash that almost ended his life but has made it clear that he’s itching to return to racing, saying that “I wish I could be on the track tomorrow because I’m bored."
We’re all rooting for Felipe Massa to have as fast a recovery as possible because we’d love to see him back where he belongs: on a race track.
Whether it’s behind the wheel of a Ferrari F1 car or a go-kart is inconsequential to us; we just want him back to doing what he does best.
The Ferrari’s 2008 car – an “evolution” of the current F2007 – will be tested for the first time on 14 January at Jerez, had revealed Luca Baldisserri. He declared to the newspaper La Stampa: “For the first test we will be ready with two cars.”
Baldisserri also said that for the next season Kimi Raikkonen will not enjoy number one status over his teammate Felipe Massa, he said that “The track will determine the (...)
Ferrari started the trainings for next season of Formula 1 on Barcelona, and as you probably know, Michael Schumacher is helping the team with the development of the car.
This is an exclusive image of the conversation post- training, we can see Michael talking to the mechanics, and also we can see Felipe Massa listenign carefully to evrything he has to say, looks like he wont let this year’s championship go (...)
Today started the preparation for the 2008 season with a three-day testing session at Barcelona’s Circuit de Catalunya in Spain.
All the 11 teams are preparing for the next season, the engineers and drivers started to work on the key rule changes for next season - the banning of traction control and the obligatory use of a standard ECU to control their cars’ engine electronics.
Ferrari asked Michael Schumacher to help them with the preparation for the next season, the German knowledge of (...)
Ferrari confirmed that they are going to restructure their sporting division. The sporting director Stefano Domenicali will become director of the Gestione Sportiva, a role that had been held temporarily by CEO Jean Todt. Domenicali will take up his new position from January 1, 2008.
The news follows Honda’s announcement that Ferrari’s former technical director Ross Brawn, who had been on a years’ sabbatical, is to join the Japanese squad as team principal.
In other adjustments at Ferrari, (...)
Michael Schumacher will test a Formula One car in earnest next week for the first time since his retirement at the end of last season. Schumacher will get behind the wheel of this year’s Ferrari F2007 as part of the team’s 2008 preparations.
The seven-time world champion is expected to spend two days at Barcelona’s Circuit de Catalunya in Spain, during the first multi-team test since last month’s Brazilian Grand Prix, which saw Ferrari and Kimi Raikkonen wrap up the ’07 constructors’ and (...)
Although the original regulations for 2008 stated that Formula One teams can supply just one other squad, Ferrari have received permission from the World Motor Sport Council to continue to supply two teams with its customer engines for the 2008 and 2009 championships.
The two teams that Ferrari will supply next season are Toro Rosso that swapped to Ferrari power in 2007, after they had used rev-limited V10 units from Cosworth in 2006, and Spyker.
I wonder if the same permission will be (...)