Posts Tagged ‘formula one’

Formula One 2015 changes

Wednesday, March 18th, 2015 | Sport

The 2015 Formula One season has arrived. What’s changed?

Team changes

The ten “big teams” remaining the same this year, but there are two changes further down the field. Caterham entered administration at the end of 2014 and never made it out. Their property is currently being auctioned off. Marussia did make it out of administration under the name Manor, but failed to make it in to the Australian Grand Prix.

Driver changes

Team Driver Last year
Mercedes Lewis Hamilton Mercedes
Mercedes Nico Rosberg Mercedes
Red Bull Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull
Red Bull Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso
Williams Felipe Massa Williams
Williams Valtteri Bottas Williams
Ferrari Sebastian Vettel Red Bull
Ferrari Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari
McLaren Fernando Alonso Ferrari
McLaren Jenson Button McLaren
Force India Nico Hulkenberg Force India
Force India Sergio Perez Force India
Toro Rosso Max Verstappen none
Toro Rosso Carlos Sainz none
Lotus Pastor Maldonado Lotus
Lotus Romain Grosjean Lotus
Sauber Felipe Nasr none
Sauber Marcus Ericsson Caterham

The following drivers have not returned:

  • Kevin Magnussen drops from McLaren’s front line to their test driver slot
  • Jean-Eric Vergne leaves Toro Rosso
  • Sauber drops both Adrian Sutil and Esteban Gutierrez (who has gone to Ferrari as a test driver)
  • Kamui Kobayashi has no team left after Caterham folded
  • Max Chilton has not survived Marussia’s change to Manor

Sadly, Marussia’s other driver, Jules Bianchi, remains in a coma following his crash during the Japanese Grand Prix.

British Grand Prix

Thursday, July 4th, 2013 | Distractions

Heading back from my weekend away, looking forward to watching the Grand Prix on BBC iPlayer, I walked into a pub and saw Hamilton, Vettel and Alonso standing on the podium. Race ruined. Why would you put that on the TV behind the bar? It’s just inconsiderate!

Still, upon arriving home Norm said it was worth watching anyway. I joked that technically I only saw a Mercedes, Red Bull and Ferrari on the podium, so I’m holding out hope it is Rosberg, Webber and Massa.

Little did I know, such a result turned out to be entirely possible (almost). As the race went on, Hamilton had a tyre blowout and Vettel’s car died – even having had the result spoilt for me it turned out to be an amazing race!

No Patrick Stewart on the grid, but you can’t win them all.

Spanish Grand Prix

Wednesday, May 15th, 2013 | Distractions

There is something truly magical about the Spanish Grand Prix. While the sport us ultimately dominated by Britain, the following in Spain is colossal, and is reflected in them having both the Spanish and European races in the country.

What was most impressive about Sunday’s race was the sheer noise generated by the crowds. Usually you can’t hear anything above the roar of the engines, but every time Fernando Alonso passed the grand stands you could hear their cries – no wonder he brought his Ferrari home to a dominant victory.

Malaysian grand prix

Saturday, April 13th, 2013 | Distractions

Last weekends Malaysian grand prix turned out to be a bit of a sour one.

There was simply outright anger between Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel, as Mark thought he deserved to have the race win, while Lewis Hamilton felt similarly guilty about taking third place ahead of team-mate Nico Hulkenberg one suspects entirely due to team orders.

As I mentioned in my post about the Australian GP, being a Button fan is only ever going to end in disappointment, as he retired only a few laps before the end of the race, with Di Resta well below him and Max Chilton spent most the race in last place – only Hamilton was flying the flag for Britain, and that was in dubious circumstances too.

Meanwhile, over in my adoptive nation, Kimi Raikkonen only managed 7th. Let’s hope for better results in China.

Is it that time of year again?

Thursday, April 11th, 2013 | Distractions

Seems like no time at all since we started the 2012 Grand Pix season, yet here we are, back at Albert Park for the start of the 2013 season. Indeed, by the time this is actually published we’ll probably be a few races in!

As a Jenson Button you would think I would be used to constant disappointment by now, but unfortunately not, as I watched him cruise home to 9th place, beaten by fellow Brit Paul Di Resta in his Force India, while Lewis Hamilton led the way for British drivers, finishing 5th.

Luckily, as an adopted Finn (I assume, Elina’s mum seems to like me), I can of course now legitimately support both nations and luckily for me, Formula One, along with rally driving and ice hockey, is one of the few sports that Finns are really good at. Kimi Raikkonen might be the only Finn in the sport at the moment, but what does that matter when he leads the world championship.

Donington Park

Sunday, November 4th, 2012 | Photos, Public Speaking

The Division E competition took place at Donington Park racing circuit, which wasn’t a very good venue as it was difficult to find (we got sent to the wrong part of the circuit) and very cold inside their buildings slash sheds, but on the plus side we did get to look round the Formula One museum section.

How Britain dominates Formula One

Wednesday, July 25th, 2012 | Distractions, Thoughts

Given our recent blows in the sporting world (we’ve just lost at the European Cup, and by the time I publish this I’m sure Andy Murray will be out of Wimbledon too), it’s easy to think that we’re just rubbish at sport (as a nation).

But there is at least one sport were Britain dominates the world – Formula One. Although a lot of the key names thrown around are people like Vettel and Schumacher, when you look at the figures, Formula One simply revolves around this country. Here are some key figures.

  • 8 of the 12 manufacturers are based in Britain
  • 9 of the 14 technical directors are British
  • 2 of the 4 engine manufacturers are based in Britain
  • Britain has 3 drivers – only Germany has more (with 5), everyone else has less (Finland, Australia, Spain, France and Brazil have 2)

Here is a full breakdown of each team and where they are from. I’ve highlighed the British connections in yellow, though with hindsight, I probably should have highlighed the non-British connections!

Team Nationality Key people History Engine
Caterham Malaysian, but based in British Mike Gascoyne (technical director) and Mark Smith (technical director) are both British Originally British, until Tony Fernandes bought Caterham Cars Renault
Ferrari Italian Pat Fry (technical director) is British   Ferrari
Force India Indian, but based in Britain Andrew Green (technical director) are Paul di Resta (driver) are British. Buy out of Eddie Jordan’s team. Mercedes AMG
HRT Spanish     Cosworth
Lotus British James Allison (technical director) is British Originally Toleman Motorsport (British) Renault
Marrusia Russian, but based in Britain John Booth (team principal) is British Founded by Manor Motorsport and Wirth Research (both British). Taken on by Virgin Racing (British). Cosworth
McLaren British Martin Whitmarsh (team principal), Neil Oatley (technical director), Jenson Button (driver), Lewis Hamilton (driver) are all British. Founded by New Zealander Bruce McLaren. Mercedes AMG
Mercedes German, but based in Britain Ross Brawn (team principal), Nick Fry (CEO) and Bob Bell (technical director) are all British. Mercedes AGM is a separate company – a buy out of British engine manufacturers Ilmor. Mercedes AMG
Red Bull Austrian, but based in Britain Christian Horner (team principal) and Adrian Newey (technical director) are both British. Originally Stewart Racing, founded by British driver Sir Jackie Stewart Renault
Sauber Swiss     Ferrari
Toro Rosso Austrian, but based in Italy     Ferrari
Williams British Sir Frank Williams (team principal) and Mike Coughlan (technical director) are both British. Founded by Sir Frank Williams and Patrick Head. Renault

…and this is before I’ve even founded Worfolk Racing.

Monaco GP

Friday, June 8th, 2012 | Distractions

This year has been the best year for Formula One I have ever seen. Right from the start it has been an amazing season and Monaco always promises to be an interesting race.

It was great, though it’s hard to say it was extra special given the standard of racing has just been so high this year. In the end, it was a fairly comfortable victory for Mark Webber, though the real victory was that we saw virtually no interruption to racing – the safety car was out briefly at the start (when it doesn’t really matter) and then remained in for the rest of the race.

Chinese Grand Prix

Thursday, April 26th, 2012 | Distractions

It has been a fantastic start to the Formula One season.

With Perez coming in second in his Sauber at Malaysia, Rosberg and his Mercedes qualified on pole and converted it to a win in China. That means that the top two steps of the podium for the first three races – a total of six positions – has been shared by five teams! McLaren, Red Bull, Mercedes, Sauber and Ferrari are all looking in great shape this year and the other teams aren’t far behind.

Last year was an enjoyable season but it did often feel like 23 cars following Vettel round a track. This year has already seen some amazingly competitive racing and long may it continue. Ideally, primarily on the races, the BBC are showing in full.

Go, go, go at Albert Park

Tuesday, March 20th, 2012 | Distractions, Thoughts

Last weekend saw the start of the 2012 Formula One series.

I wasn’t quite prepared for just how disappointing it was to not be able to watch it live. While the BBC’s extended highlights were pretty good, there just isn’t the magic of watching it live as it happens.

Never the less, it was a good race. It will be interesting to see how the season pans out – I hope that it doesn’t turn into a bunch of cars following two McLarens round a track, though Vettel’s strong performance suggests it won’t, and the rise of Mercedes looks promising too.