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FIA faces flak on haphazard rule changes, Red Bull unhappy

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FIA is facing flak from all corners on its haphazard rule change policy mid-season. The latest change is the banning of use of engine electronics and exhaust gases for performance gain. FIA has also told teams that alteration of engine configuration is not allowed between qualifying and the race sessions.

The seemingly haphazard and biased decision has drawn flak from the Red Bull team and supporters, however FIA race director Charlie Whiting dismissed that the decision reeked of any bias. Countering claims he said that its not for the FIA to see if 1 team would be more affected than others in a rule change.

    “What we are doing is stopping people breaking the existing rules,” Charlie Whiting said.     

    “It’s not for us to say whether a certain team would be more penalized than others. It just depends how extreme they are going. But I have certainly seen evidence of maps on a number of teams which are extremely extreme.     

    “It’s not confined to one team, I can assure you,”      

    “It’s a bit like the mass damper where its use when it was first introduced by one team was fairly benign when it came to aerodynamics. But the more it got developed, the more extreme the designs were.”     

    “These things escalate to the point where something has to be done.”     

 

Christian Horner of Redbull was however adamant in his criticism :

“It is slightly confusing with the technical directive that it was not addressed at the end of the year going into next year,” He said.

“Why has it been done midseason?”

Mike Gascoyne of the Lotus team was worried about the costs associated with such a decision :

“We have all spent a lot of money developing something,” Gascoyne said.

“We are always pushing to get an advantage and will obviously implement it if it is within the rules. It is just frustrating it is done in the middle of the season without consultation.”

Ross Brawn of Mercedes however was all for the decision and justified that it was for the good of the sport :

“The protagonists behind raising this issue were threatening to protest the cars and that was the difficulty they had,” Ross Brawn explained.

“If they hadn’t have taken action, then it sounds like some teams were going to protest the situation to get clarity through the stewards and that wouldn’t be very good for Formula One. We want to avoid that at all costs because … it would probably end up in the appeal courts again and that’s no good.”

FIA has been known to pass judgments on various technical issues mid-season. So why are the teams making such a big deal about it this time ? Is it because some teams are seeing their monopoly ending ? Only time will tell if this would rein in the rampaging Red Bulls !

Written by Formula One Addict

June 25th, 2011 at 10:56 am

Criticism galore for Bahrain Grand Prix’s reinstatement

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The World Motor Sport council voted to get the Bahrain Grand Prix re-instated in a move that was praised by Bahrain’s prince but met with sharp criticism elsewhere.

The Bahrain Grand Prix now pushes the Inaugural Indian Grand Prix to the end of the season. The Indian Grand Prix will now be held in December andd Bahrain Grand Prix takes the 30th October slot.

The Bahrain Crown prince praised the move :

“Having the race back in Bahrain has, indeed, significantly unified the people of Bahrain in this period,” Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa said

“Their love for their country and caring for its interest has motivated them in supporting efforts to bring the race back to Bahrain this year,” he added.

This is ofcourse in stark contrast to what the rest of the world feels. We had recently reported on the democracy protests in Bahrain, what we didn’t report (as we aren’t a political blog) was how the protests were crushed and citizens detained in the kingdom state. Its no wonder that the decision to reinstate the Bahrain Grand Prix has people up in anger all over the Internet.

Former FIA president Max Mosely was vocal of his criticism and hoped that the decision to reinstate the Bahrain Grand Prix would be reversed. In a piece for the Daily Telegraph, he wrote :

“Surely the line has to be drawn when a sporting event is not mere entertainment in a less-than-perfect country, but is being used by an oppressive regime to camouflage its actions” Max Mosley wrote.

“If a sport accepts this role, it becomes a tool of government. If Formula 1 allows itself to be used in this way in Bahrain, it will share the regime’s guilt as surely as if it went out and helped brutalize unarmed protesters.”

“Having carried out these horrific acts, the Bahrain government wants to clean up its image. That’s where the grand prix comes in. By running the race they hope to show the world the troubles were just a small, temporary difficulty and everything is now back to normal.

“By agreeing to race there, Formula 1 becomes complicit in what has happened. It becomes one of the Bahrain government’s instruments of repression. The decision to hold the race is a mistake which will not be forgotten and, if not reversed, will eventually cost Formula 1 dear.”

Red Bull driver Mark Webber was also critical and till now one of the only f1 drivers who seems to have come out openly against the decision, He wrote on his website :

“In my personal opinion, the sport should have taken a much firmer stance earlier this year rather than constantly delaying its decision in the hope of being able to reschedule it in 2011.

“It would have sent a very clear message about F1’s position on something as fundamental as human rights and how it deals with moral issues.”

“Like it or not, F1 and sport in general isn’t above having a social responsibility and conscience. I hope F1 is able to return to Bahrain eventually but now isn’t the right time.

“As a competitor I do not feel at all comfortable going there to compete in an event when, despite reassurances to the contrary, it seems inevitable that it will cause more tension for the people of that country.

“I don’t understand why my sport wishes to place itself in a position to be a catalyst for that.”

For better or for worse, formula one is motivated by money,  of course we overlook that 30% of the McLaren formula one team is owned by the Kingdom of Bahrain.

However its (commercial interests) working in the other way also, countless petitions have been started to pressurize Red Bull and other consumer dependent companies to pull out of the Bahrain Grand Prix.

FOTA is another key player in this mess, however FOTA’s current president is from the McLaren team who are owned partially by Kingdom of Bahrain, so expectations are low from them.

At this point, it does not seem like we have seen the last of this matter. Its likely to snowball into something huge in the coming days.

Photo : Soman, under CC Attribution/Share Alike 2.5

Written by Formula One Addict

June 5th, 2011 at 8:15 am

Lewis Hamilton gets stunning win at Chinese Grand Prix

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It was a breathtaking win for Lewis Hamilton where he outwitted and outraced Formula One World Championship leader Sebastien Vettel by overtaking him with just 4 laps remaining in the race. Although with an atrocious beard like that I was hoping he wouldn’t win 🙂

Lewis Hamilton was on an unconventional three stop strategy and in the end that seemed to have made the difference with his McLaren outclassing the Red Bull of Vettel. The fresher tyres ensured he was able to overtake the Red Bull. It was nice to see strategy again playing a part in the races after the Red Bulls have truly shown technological dominance on the racetrack (Interpretation of Rules again ?, someone please enlighten !). Sebastien Vettel has already won the 1st 2 formula one races and does seem to be on-track for a successful title defense.

Mark Webber was third and Jenson Button took the 4th place. Mercedes GP’s Nico Rosberg outclassed Michael Schumacher once again and was 5th while the veteran German could manage only 8th. Questions are again being asked about the German’s comeback decision and whether it was a disastrous decision to make. Personally I am proud of him, it takes courage to put your legacy on the line like he has 🙂

Sorry for the short and intermittent updates, too much work these day ! But like all things , this too shall pass !

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.

Sebastien Vettel takes the most important pole position of his life while Mark Webber falters to fifth

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2010 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix - Thursday
Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
11th November 2010.
Lewis Hamilton, McLaren MP4-25 Mercedes, Nico Hulkenberg, Williams FW32 Cosworth, Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull Racing RB6 Renault, Fernando Alonso, Ferrari F10 and Mark Webber, Red Bull Racing RB6 Renault

Red Bull’s Sebastien Vettel has won the battle for the pole position this Saturday at the Yas Marina Circuit to start ahead of the pack during the final formula one race of the 2010 season , the Abu Dhabi grand prix. He will start ahead of Lewis Hamilton (who is also in contention, but almost out of the race).

Fernando Alonso the man most favoured to win the championship will start in third place from the second row. He will be joined by Briton Jenson Button.

Mark Webber , the other major contender for the formula one crown starts from fifth place severely denting his chances tomorrow, but these Red Bull cars have got some real speed, so counting them out would be foolish.

So lets get set for the super race tomorrow !

Image courtesy : Yas Marina Circuit Media Center
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