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Jenson Button drives the McLaren MP4-23 F1 car at Mount Panorama

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Good old Jenson Button was having fun this Tuesday at Australia’s Mt. Panorama circuit, here is a press release and some really nice photos from the sessions.

 

Jamie Whincup and Jenson Button at BATHURST Mt. Panorama

TUESDAY 22 MARCH 2011: Ahead of defending his Australian F1™ race grand prix crown, Vodafone McLaren Mercedes ace and 2009 World Champion Jenson Button wrote history today, becoming the first-ever race driver to take on Australia’s iconic Mount Panorama circuit in an F1™ race car.
 
The historic event proved to be irresistible to motorsport fans, with thousands flocking to line the Mount Panorama circuit to see a Formula 1™ car soar around the legendary track. Button completed five laps in the MP4-23 car, before five-times Bathurst champion, TeamVodafone’s Craig Lowndes, himself wrote his own new chapter in Australian motorsport history, becoming the first-ever Australian driver to pilot a Formula 1™ car around the famous Mount Panorama circuit.

 Jenson Button at BATHURST Mt. Panorama Helicopter
 
The unique event, organised by Vodafone with the support of Bathurst Council, was inspired by Jenson himself, who after taking Lowndes’ team mate, TeamVodafone driver Jamie Whincup’s V8 Supercar, for a spin around Melbourne’s Albert Park circuit last year, declared his desire to have a crack at The Mountain.
 
For V8 Supercar legend, Craig Lowndes, the event presented him with a-once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to drive a Formula One car around a track he knows (arguably) better than anyone else.

Jamie Whincup and Jenson Button at BATHURST Mt. Panorama
 
When Button took to the wheel of the TeamVodafone V8 Supercar, he fulfilled a dream- to thread a V8 racecar through the famous walls of Mount Panorama, a race he grew up watching as a young child in the UK.

Jamie Whincup and Jenson Button at BATHURST Mt. Panorama in F1 car and V8 exchange
 
Both Button and Lowndes paid tribute to fans, thanking them for travelling all across Australia to be part of this unique event and also for their kind donations to the Queensland and Victoria Flood Appeal.
 
JENSON BUTTON 
 
Jenson on his first impressions on the track
These guys are crazy – they really are. This place is fantastic. Television just doesn’t do it justice. When I drove around earlier in a Mercedes road car it even felt fast. I think I’m going to have more fun in the V8 car than the F1 because you can actually use all the kerbs and get a good flow. I’m really excited about the challenge. It’s
the second time I’ll be driving a V8 and I’ve got so many good memories of watching the V8s on TV and hopefully one day I get to drive one for real and it not just be four laps.
 
Jenson on fulfilling his childhood dream of driving at Bathurst
As a driver you have your favourite tracks. Like Macau and Silverstone for instance. But this is the one I haven’t had the possibility of driving and I’m going to fulfil a childhood dream in not only a V8 but also in a Formula 1 car – which I think is pretty special myself.
 
Jenson Button on the advice given to him by TeamVodafone V8 Supercar legend, Craig Lowndes
He jokingly said it’s flat everywhere and that if you don’t come back with wing mirrors that’s pretty normal!
 
Jenson Button on how it felt to be the first driver to pilot an F1™ at Mt. Panorama
This is an iconic race track and it’s great to celebrate the unofficial fastest lap in a F1 car. That was phenomenal. It was such a rush. Once you get over the straights being quite hard to control the car over it is such a pleasure. It’s just a pity I don’t have more laps to test it out.

Jenson Button on how different was it driving the V8 compared to watching them on TV?
I didn’t expect so much grip. It took me a while to get used to it. I haven’t hammered a car over kerbs like that for 12 years so it was a new experience for me and something I’ve missed.
 
Jenson Button on what it was like up on top of the mountain in a V8?
I was holding on tight all the way. It takes everything out of you. It was the experience I’ve wanted to have for many years and I’ve finally done it. In a way it’s probably not a good thing because it’s made me more hungry to come back.

Written by Formula One Addict

March 23rd, 2011 at 7:49 pm

McLaren unveil new car for 2011 formula one season : MP4-26

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MP4-26  Launch Berlin

McLaren today released their 2011 formula one challenger at Berlin, the MP4-26. The car was revealed in a unique style with McLaren fans assembling the chassis of the car.

The team has great expectations from the car. The MP4-26 features a new KERS system which is supposed to recycle the energy from braking for boost purposes.

The car also has the much talked about adjustable rear-wing system which was criticised by Ferrari drivers earlier this year for making the sport too complicated. The U-shape side pods for more air intake into the rear end of the car are also prominent on the car.

MP4-26  Launch Berlin

The McLaren team continues with the all Brit pair of Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button.

Martin Whitmarsh was pretty optimistic at the launch of the new challenger.

“I’m hopeful that Formula 1 stands poised on the cusp of an incredible new era.

“With Lewis and Jenson, we have two of the most exciting, charismatic and high-profile personalities in the sport, and the whole team feels a powerful sense of responsibility to provide them with the very best machinery with which to showcase their very evident talents to the world.

“The MP4-26 is the result of an incredible amount of hard work, innovative thinking and dynamic teamwork. Under the leadership of Paddy Lowe [technical director], Tim Goss [director of engineering] and Neil Oatley [director of design and development programmes], our design department is more integrated than ever: in fact, I’m particularly proud of the contributions made by our project engineers, many of whom have taken on leadership roles for the very first time and who have worked so well together to create this very striking and individual-looking car.

“While we’re all hopeful of once more adding to our tremendous record in Formula 1, this sport is so unpredictable and finely pitched at the moment that it’s impossible accurately to forecast the state of play until the season starts next month. That’s a tantalising prospect for Formula 1’s many millions of existing fans – and, I hope, something that will attract many millions more by the end of what looks set to be an absolutely fantastic year.”

Written by Formula One Addict

February 6th, 2011 at 4:09 am

Ferrari welcomes move to bring back team orders

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Stefano Domenicali

The FIA took a surprising decision recently placing back team orders into legal territory and quashing its earlier judgment classifying team orders as break of the sport’s law. One may recall that the laws were passed after Ferrari was slammed for using team orders in one infamous Austrian Grand Prix in 2002. Ferrari is the team most involved in the whole controversy over team rules (ok, maybe its McLaren, but Ferrari is more officially reported, atleast by the British press :D ).

Stefano Domenicali welcomed the FIA decision to lift the ban on team orders calling the ban pointless hypocrisy. A statement on  Ferrari’s media website read :

“Finally, we have said goodbye to this pointless hypocrisy,” said Domenicali to the waiting microphones of several TV companies that greeted him at the end of the meeting.

“For us, Formula 1 is a team sport and we have always maintained that viewpoint and it should be treated as such. The regulations already include points that prevent certain situations being managed in an extreme manner. The decision taken yesterday is very important.”

Interesting viewpoint there. I am not sure I fully agree, team sports doesn’t mean that you should manipulate finishing order.

Written by Formula One Addict

December 12th, 2010 at 5:52 pm

Toyota terminates contract with Hispania HRT over non-payment

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Hispania HRT F1 Team

Got the following statement from Toyota’s Media Centre :

TOYOTA MOTORSPORT GmbH STATEMENT
Monday 15 November 2010

COLOGNE, Germany – Toyota Motorsport GmbH (TMG) confirms that all cooperation with Hispania Racing F1 Team (HRT) has been terminated and will not resume.

TMG retains all intellectual property rights to its current F1 car and is completely free to pursue other projects and support new customers for its high-performance engineering services.

TMG regrets that HRT has not met its contractual payment obligations and will pursue all available options to reach a satisfactory conclusion to this matter.

Doesn’t look like Happy Days ahead for Hispania, no more HRT in 2011, so will Toyota be woo-ing other constructors with their engineering services ?

Image courtesy : Hispania HRT F1 Team Media

Written by Formula One Addict

November 15th, 2010 at 8:51 pm

Sebastian Vettel rewrites history books, pips Alonso for the title

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Sebastien Vettel winning Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

November 14th is celebrated as Children’s Day in India in memory of Jawaharlal Nehru who was the 1st PM of India, what an apt day for Formula One to get its toungest even formula one champion. Sebastien Vettel drove an almost perfect race to clinch the F1 title beating closest rival Fernando Alonso by just 4 points. Sebastian Vettel took the chequered flag at the Yas Marina circuit to win the Abu Dhabi grand prix ahead of all his championship rivals.

The situation that Sebastian Vettel was in was similar to what Kimi Raikkonen was in a few years ago when he had pipped Lewis Hamilton to take the crown despite having the odds stacked against him. After the race Vettel acknowledged that the same was in the back of his head.

One also has to spare a thought for the Spaniard Fernando Alonso who fought valiantly in his Ferrari but couldn’t match the straight line speed of the Renaults in the end. He slipped and slid all over the track but still couldn’t pass the Russian Vikaly Petrov’s Renault.

Fernando Alonso after Abu Dhabi GP

Fernando Alonso wasn’t the only person to be heartbroken by the result, Vettel also dealt a blow to his teammate Mark Webber’s plans of celebrating his maiden F1 title. Webber finished the race behind Alonso in 8th place and the championship behind Alonso with 242 points losing out on the title by 14 points in the end.

Lewis Hamilton

Lewis Hamilton too wasn’t spared by Sebastian Vettel who smashed his record of being the youngest ever formula one champion at the age of 23.

Concluding, We would like to write that this young champion has heart and this surely isn’t the last we hear of him  . This surely was a fitting end for the season.

In other news AT&T Williams F1 have confirmed Rubens Barrichello for 2011. More on that later.