Pirelli tyres, Valencia, 2011

Pirelli bringing extra tyres for first practice sessions

F1 Fanatic round-up

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In today’s round-up: Pirelli will bring extra tyres for practice in Australia.


Top F1 links from the past 24 hours:

Extra tyres for Melbourne practice (Autosport)

“The 12th set of tyres, which will be of the ‘prime’ hard specification, can only be used in first and second practice and must be returned to the FIA, along with two others set of prime and one of option, before the start of third practice.”

‘Red Bull are just a drinks company,’ says revved-up Lewis Hamilton (The Guardian)

Red Bull are not a manufacturer, they are a drinks company. It’s a drinks company versus McLaren/Ferrari history. I don’t know what their plan is. Our team is building to become a bigger manufacturer, like Ferrari, and I can only see our team being there for a ridiculous amount of time. It is a pure-bred racing team.”

Race drowning in a sea of red (Sydney Morning Herald)

“In 1996, when Walker said the grand prix attracted a bumper crowd of 401,000, each person through the gate brought in $99.79. By last year, the 305,000 attendees claimed by the AGPC brought in only $80.79 a head.”

Thanks to fork12 for the tip

Aussie GP faces axe (Daily Express)

Bernie Ecclestone: “We are probably going to have to drop two races to fit in Austin and Russia. Australia are saying they don?t want a race.”

Grand prix on the ‘comeback’ trail (The Age)

“Mr Westacott acknowledged the opposition in Melbourne to the race but challenged doubters to see it for themselves: ‘I’d encourage anyone who hasn’t experienced it to come along and they’ll be a convert.”’

Manish Pandey on Twitter

“Australian ‘Senna’ film release confirmed by Universal on July 21st!”

Via the F1 Fanatic live Twitter app

An Angry David Hunt Speaks Out About Team Lotus (The Race Driver)

“I am still 100% loyal to the Team Lotus brand and fans and long to do my best for them so Tony, Din and Nasa have the maximum chance of success in this trial. However, why should I continue to help them after the way I?ve been treated? They need my help right now as I can see some potentially serious holes in their case but they seem to be treating me as the enemy, rather than Group Lotus, and have this week even instructed their lawyers to sue me for defamation! I have no idea of what their grounds are for this.”

Tony Fernandes on Twitter

“Amazing how greed corrupts and turns people into monsters. So damn determined to remain team lotus. Never been so determined. The good will always win. I am so looking forward to go racing and I’m going to enjoy every minute of it. Never said it but after all we have been subjected to we deserve to be Team Lotus. I am so proud of each and every team member for the honesty the hard work and the amazing passion they have put into this team in one year. We built a team on trust and belief and passion. That’s worth more than all the money anyone can give me. Its what dreams and legends are made of. We did it for the right reasons.”

Via the F1 Fanatic live Twitter app

David Coulthard analyses Sebastian Vettel of Red Bull (BBC)

“I’m curious to see how he reacts. I’m a fan not because I have an association with the team, but because he shows a level of respect for the sport but equally he knows it’s his journey and he has to do it himself without getting a leg-up.”

Heikki Kovalainen on Twitter

“On the way to the airport in Kuala Lumpur catching Air Asia to Melbourne. Flu seems to have been scared off by training and vitamins so fingers crossed.”

Via the F1 Fanatic live Twitter app

Red Bull designer Adrian Newey still ahead of the game (Daily Telegraph)

??Where I was perhaps fortunate in comparison with great engineers such as Patrick [Head] and Gordon [Murray] and Harvey is that aerodynamics in those days wasn?t recognised as being the crucial performance factor that it is now. I arrived in the sport with far more theoretical knowledge than them and was well placed, through my studies, to capitalise. I guess I was in the right place at the right time.??

Follow F1 news as it breaks using the F1 Fanatic live Twitter app.

Comment of the day

Nemo87 shares Lewis Hamilton’s view on Red Bull:

I really hope that they find the extra second. I?d hate to see the team beaten by an energy drink again.

From the forum

RIISE asks if MotoGP is all it’s cracked up to be.

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Hamilton WC 09 and Juan Pablo Heidfeld!

On this day in F1

The last F1 race in Mexico was held on this day in 1992. New Mexican F1 driver Sergio Perez was just two years old at the time.

Nigel Mansell won as Williams continued their domination of the opening races of the year.

Look out for a young Michael Schumacher making his eighth F1 start in this video:

Image ?? Julien Leroy / firstlap.be

Author information

Keith Collantine
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  • 123 comments on “Pirelli bringing extra tyres for first practice sessions”

    1. I think the comments about Red Bull being a drinks company is a bit silly now isn’t it. Jake Humphrey said it before and it wasn’t funny then.

      So what did Lewis win his title with a Mobile phone?

      1. He seems awfully keen to burn his boats doesn’t he? Maybe he’s ticked off at Horner’s mind games, seems to be a fiercely loyal guy.

        Still if he where to leave McLaren you’d suspect he’d be driving the drinks companies cars. I hope McLaren do sort themselves out because the driver and team seem to have been brn for each other. Sort of like Fernando Torres and Liverpool, hope it don’t end up like that.

        Ah well, I guess it’s nice to know Hamilton can still shoot his mouth off from time to time, coporate drone Hamilton is desperatley dull, especial when you can see a driven and fascinating character below the surface.

        1. He does seem very loyal doesn’t he? I’m sure it’s just a response to Horner’s statements to prove his loyalty to McLaren.

          The claim that McLaren and Ferrari’s histories somehow make them better, and that they won’t “let” Red Bull take another championship is a bit laughable though. I guess both teams were just “letting” Brawn and Red Bull win the last two years. History isn’t going to help them in the future.

          1. 2Ugandan Discussions
            22nd March 2011, 11:03

            US_Peter, he didn’t say they won’t let Red Bull take another championship.
            Why is everyone looking to distort his words.
            He did praise them and gave them credit saying they will be hard to catch. He did say they won’t let Red Bull stay on top for a long time but he didn’t say anything about winning another championship.

            1. “I am 100 per cent certain that neither McLaren nor Ferrari will ever let that happen,” he said.

            2. 2Ugandan Discussions
              22nd March 2011, 18:27

              Will never let that happen meant ‘Will never let them stay on top’, not ‘Will never let them win another championship’.
              From what he says, another champion or two may be allowed but not staying up there for the next three years onwards. I certainly don’t see anywhere it says “they won’t “let” Red Bull take another championship”. ‘Another championship’ insinuates that he meant from now on, they won’t allow them to win another championship.

        2. Spot on Scribe, Lewis when he’s being Lewis needs to happen more often Jenson seems to manage it and not put his foot in it…..

        3. Why would he not be loyal to McLaren. Yeah they have some bad years, but on the whole they tend to have more good ones than bad ones. Plus he has the incentive of a McLaren F1 road car if he wins enough championships, and no doubt he’ll have a nice new MP4-12C parked in his driveway sometime soon.

      2. Red Bull is just a front. Matesctich owns the entire racing team and ancilliaries, if Im right, and just under half of the drinks company. Its a personal project with the added bonus of promoting a business interest. I categorically do not belive the co owner of Red Bull gives a damn about the F1 team.

        Title sponsorship, if you will.

      3. Maybe no one told Lewis that for instance Coca Cola has more history and heritage than Ferrari and McLaren combined…

        1. Yeah, CocaColaRacing and car company has aways been one of my favourites ever since Wilhem Maybach raced for them .. the good old days when I was still young. I wish one day I can afford me a CC-150 Superleggera …………

          Beside that, I think Hami just wanted to make it clear he doesn’t intend to go to RedBull and that he is sure that McLaren can build him a championship winning car sometime in the future. And why wouldn’t he think so?
          (This blabbering for the last couple of days how McLaren are past their prime and have an obligation to satisfy Hamilton and whatever idiocy came from peoples brains is just what it sounds like, nonsense. And thats coming from someone who isn’t really a fan of the chromies – thats a term Hami shoud pick up :-P)

          1. Rollin’ whit’ my chromies?

        2. Yes, it used to have cocaine in it.

        3. @dennis.

          Yes, at being a drinks company. Not at being aracing team, strange!

      4. One of the stupidest things to come out of Lewis’s mouth. Vettel has the quicker car, get over it.

        I don’t think any drivers would care if they drove for a team sponsored by a dildo company as long as it was winning.

        If you’re winning, you have the last laugh.

        1. I don’t think any drivers would care if they drove for a team sponsored by a dildo company as long as it was winning.


          1. I’m more curious as to what the aerodynamics on such a car would look like. As for the viewers it would attract, well I won’t say another word. :P

        2. Even with the fastest driver, I imagine that team would have a long and hard first season.

          1. Due to their inability to put the rubber on properly.

          2. although they’d be great in wet conditions. :D

          3. Though the cars do have a tendency to develop massive vibrations…

            1. Oh dear oh dear oh dear.

      5. Didn’t the “just a drinks company” spring from those marvellous raging horse shouts, when the reds were upset about throwing away their championship chances in “abedabi”?

        It sort of catched on, as Red Bull reacted to it. Silver strikes back.

        Nothing better than a nice battle of words before the season sets off.

      6. So what did Lewis win his title with a Mobile phone?

        I think Vodafone is one of the best sponsors in F1. F1 drivers need to be quick, fit and healthy. I think it’s better to drive for Vodafone because Red Bull is just 100% sugar, wich isn’t healthy. Beside that energy drink is always 10 times better than that stupid tobacco!

    2. You mean Sergio Perez was just 2 years old at the time?

      1. yeah! otherwise he’d have been born in 1980 to be 12 by 1992! lol

      2. I think Keith has overseen that small error in the text!

        Just imagine, a rookie at 29 years!

        1. How times have changed. Nigel Mansell was 27 when he had his first race, Keke Rosberg 29.

          They both ended up doing ok.

      3. Oops – thanks robk23.

    3. unbelievable..just because he found himself instantly at the front (spare me the ‘he deserved it’ part, he is not the only one in the history of motorsport who deserved such a chance), he is under the impression that ‘legitimate’ legacy can only be instantly attained and not built

      1. tbh i think its just a way of dispelling the Hamilton to red bull rumours

      2. What gave you that impression glue?

        Anyways, he’s always gone on about fighting for success and not being handed it so it’s seems a fairly odd thing to say. An we all know his arrogant, he’s merley repeating the conceit of long established sporting insitutions, our history means something.

        Sporting history can mean a lot. But very little in terms of performance if the level of acheivement that created the history isn’t maintained.

        1. Sporting history puts bums on seats. It means nothing come game day regardless of the sport.

    4. With comments like that Lewis may indeed find himself with a Ferrari seat in the future. He might even get a chance to guest write a ‘Horse Whisperer’ article. :)

      1. He just did the “dayglo sho” instead!

    5. This whole round up is hilarious. Hamiltons comments are stupid, Mr. Fernandes has grown an extra chromosome and the CoTD is more biased then ever. What has this world come to?

      1. too much time with no racing

      2. Biased? Seriously? Oh go away if you are.

        Fernandes has gone mental though, an fully evil in some ways. I thought keeping David Hunt sweet was what set them apart.

        1. Yeah, the rift with Hunt leaves me a bit dubious of Fernandes and his motives. Although Hunt’s motives may not be pure either just because Peter Windsor vouches for him… I prefer to see what happens in court. Regardless of the name though, or ownership by Fernandes, I really do have enormous respect for Gascoyne and the team formerly known as Lotus Racing for what they’ve achieved in so short a time span.

          1. I’m not sayin Keith is biased, I’m saying the CoTD is, because it’s not just an energy drink, its a Championship winning race team. Benetton was not JUST a store, it was a multi Championship winning Racing team. Anyone who disagrees with the fact that Red Bull is a real manufacture should open their eyes and think outside of McLaren and Ferrari.

            1. I think you take this far to serious now. Horner was not too serious when having his quip at McLaren and Lewis, now McLaren and Lewis are just as serious about the drinks companies references.
              Nothing to worry about.

            2. Please don’t bring ‘bias’ back in here when we were just fine without it. That’s not bias, it’s an opinion.

            3. Forgive me but I think you (and others) are missing the point.
              When Benetton stopped winning they pulled out and I expect Red Bull to do the same. Ferrari, Maclaren, Williams, Sauber and others exist solely to race.

          2. Yeh, I’m really not sure what to make of it. Hunt is going off at Fernandes without actually revealing what he hell he is meant to have done.

            I suspect that, just as Group Lotus are doing, Hunt is using a Fernandes slip-up to try and extract more from the situation for his own benefit. Until details actually come out I can’t believe any of them anymore.

      3. Of course, you’re not biased at all, Mr Kubica is definitely WDC material?

        When I first saw the headline my heart sank, I thought “Oh no Lewis, what he hell have you done now, you stupid boy?”. Then, if you actually read the article, you can see it’s a very convenient misquotation to sensationalise and sell a story. Are you sure that you don’t want Hamilton to look bad to the extent you won’t even bother checking the actual quote? And you accuse people of bias, huh.

        As Maciek says, keep the word away.

        1. Or at least learn what it means and how it should be used. “Opinion” does not mean the same thing as “bias”.

      4. the CoTD is more biased then ever

        I’m intrigued to learn how picking an interesting quote qualifies as ‘bias’…

        1. What I see is Lewis calling the ex world championship team just a drink company. There were many better ways to play down the red bull rumors. He did out in the most childish way possible.

          And maybe I was slightly wrong on the bias, I see out was just to show that others feel the same way as Hamilton. Still stand firmly by the other two statements though.

          1. What I see is Lewis calling the ex world championship team just a drink company.

            Current world championship team.

            1. You know what I mean…

          2. What I see is Lewis calling the ex world championship team just a drink company.

            No, what you see is a reporter deliberately mis-quoting him to make a story. He never once says ‘just’. But let’s not let that get in the way of what we want to read, eh?

            1. Finally i person actually spotted that “just” thing. Completely manipulative title.

    6. Captain Sorbet
      22nd March 2011, 0:28


      What’s going on here Juan Pablo Heidfeld!?! You’re trying for double Birthday wishes. Don’t think I’ll let you get away with that so easily!

      1. Maybe that was the Juan Pablo portion of his multiple personality’s birthday, and today is the Heidfeld portion’s birthday.

        1. LOL, by the way, in the forum he changed to using another name – come on, why can’t I remember?

          1. Nick Montoya?

      2. My mistake – it is his birthday today, it wasn’t in February.

    7. I will now close my eyes, and ears and humm music till Lotus v Lotus is resolved… either way…

      1. COURT 61
        Wednesday, 23 March 2011
        At half past 10
        TRIAL LIST
        TLC 223/11 Group Lotus PLC & anr v 1Malaysia Racing Team SDN BHD & ors Pt Hd

    8. Nice big round-up today.

      Don’t really agree with Hamilton on this. The last thing I think of when I hear Red Bull is the energy drink. They are much more than that and have been for a long time. They’ve climbed their way to the top (admittedly with plenty of money) through other sports, through F1 sponsorship and they’ve decided to have a go themselves and it’s paid off.

      1. But when it comes down to it, Red Bull is just a (huge) energy drinks company. The only reason they can afford to own & operate two F1 teams and sponsor so many events is those 3 to 4 billion cans of the stuff they sell every year.

        In any case, that’s not his main point. He’s just trying to quell any rumours of him moving to Red Bull.

        1. In any case, that’s not his main point. He’s just trying to quell any rumours of him moving to Red Bull.

          …and make sure he I insults Red Bull a bit while he’s at it.

          1. Autofill typing and a lack of edit button do not a good combination make!

      2. The last thing I think of when I hear Red Bull is the energy drink

        When watching F1, me too… Until some idiot opens up a can of the crap, and let that horrible, horrible stink spread.

    9. Hmm, Im not sure who I support in this dispute anymore. I was always siding with Fernandes, seeing as he had managed to convince David Hunt that he was the man to being Lotus back. Thats a significant thing, the guy has dedicated a good part of his life and a siginicant personal investment into bringing back Team Lotus, in spirit and in name, and I would trust his judgement above all others.

      But now Fernandes seems to have turned his back on Hunt – or rather, is not as committed to it as Hunt thought he was. This makes me question the validity of Fernades claim to the name,as well as Group Lotus.

      Its important, that the return of the name brings a return of the spirit of Colin Champan, something David Hunt has strived for. I cant question that Mike Gasgoine is true to this, but, well, thats it I suppose. Unless Mike takes over the entire thing, the dream is dead.

      1. I think it is really best to leave it to the courts now.

        As for Hunt-Fernandez, remember Fernandez bought (but possibly not paid yet) a company holding rights to the Team Lotus name from Hunt.
        The bigger case is about upholding the claims to those rights (the other about terminating the “Lotus Racing” licence), so I suspect Fernandez wants Hunt to support his case to prove the worth of the sold company.
        Hunt will not like to have to do that, certainly not for free, as it probably was not formulated that way when they shook hands on the deal.

        So Hunt now stirs, to make Fernandez pay up, and Fernandez tweets to get opinion on his side again. Hunt will never let GL just win this (that would unset his work of years), and Fernandez knows that.

    10. To be fair Red Bull is more than a drinks company and we all know it, and so does Lewis. Just a bit of Fergie-style mind-games methinks, or letting off a bit of steam at another frustrating winter. Who cares if a drinks company backed a racing team and they turned out to be successful?

    11. Just a drinks company? yeah, those that beated Ferrari AND Mclaren, with their long history.

      MAYBE (and just maybe) I’d have agreed when Red Bull started, back in 2005. But they’ve had the best car by far for two years in a row. And now it’ll be a 3rd. Even in 2005, they did better than Ford alias Jaguar, one of the biggest manufacturers in the world.

      Hardly a “drinks company” is it?.

      1. Just like a fashion company managed by Flavio Briatore :P

        1. Thats a good point actually. What good was being in F1 actually doing for Benneton?

          1. If you think the new Bernie Ecclestone book is a good read…….

      2. Yes, they are a drink company. You cant change that, but what Lewis is saying is that McLaren and Ferrari winning history is far important to F1 ethos than the Red Bull´s – which uses F1 to promote their drink company.

        They win to sell energetic drink, while Ferrari and McLaren win to promote themselves as racers and cars producers.

        Just to use you own example: what really matters to F1, those two Michael Schumacher´s title with Benetton or his first one with Ferrari?

        Even Vettel looks seduced by Ferrari history as he stated some time ago. Just ask with what team he would like to win and I bet he would give you a fair and predictable response.

        The only factors which valued their achievements is Adrian Newey and Vettel himself, but I suspect that Newey just don’t care with F1 legacy. What a pity…

        As a McLaren fan I´d prefer to be beaten by Ferrari than by Red Bull.

        Doesn’t matter how many titles Red Bull will win in the future. It will fade in the memory of fans, something that will never happen with McLaren and Ferrari.

    12. Prisoner Monkeys
      22nd March 2011, 0:59

      I looked into exactly what is happening with the status of the Lotus-Lotus court case after it was mentioned that there was no listing of the case in the registry of hearings before a judge.

      When Group Lotus applied for a summary hearing and it was denied, Justice Peter Smith did indeed set March 21st as the starting date for the case. However, March 21st was designated a reading day. Both sides of the dispute were given time to prepare their cases, and the judge presiding over the hearing used yesterday to catch up on all relevent background material in order to be able to make an informed judgement. This is because the issue is quite complex, and because it is unlikely that the judge in question is a fan of Formula 1. Indeed, it’s likely that the judge in question will be chosen because they are not a fan at all so as not to taint their impartiality.

      1. Thanks for the extra info PM.

    13. I don’t know why the organisers of F1 find it so hard to come up with a good calendar.

      Ditch Catalunya and have the Spanish Grand Prix at Valencia and get rid of Hungary altogether. Problem solved.

      1. Prisoner Monkeys
        22nd March 2011, 1:03

        Why do you want to get rid of Hungary? It’s had eight different winners in the past nine years, and half those drivers have struggled at the circuit the following year, and several current drivers all took their first victory at the circuit. Statistically, the Hungaroring is the circuit most likely to produce an unexpected result.

        1. That, and besides leading to not that many overtaking chances, it is actually rather nice to watch, as it’s not one of those huge parking lots with barriers randomly placed by Tilke.

        2. They should swap it round with Germany, so it’s not an immensely dull race that precedes the summer break. Or move Hungary after the break.

      2. Have the Spanish Grand Prix at Valencia? Its widely accepted as one one of the dullest circuits on the calendar for both driving and racing- and just in case you mean the Ricardo Tormo where they test in Valencia, that would be like another Hungaroring; too small and tight for F1.

        As for Catalunya, I think Bernie needs to pick between the Grand Prix and testing. Its a decent track but it’s a little too familiar to the teams, something which many believe contributes to the lack of excitement in races.

        I think its use should be limited for another reason though. What i cant understand is why, considering Bernie’s obsession with spreading the brand, one circuit- and actually Spain in general- should host such a disproportionately high amount of F1. I think it would be great to see tests held in nations which do not have a Grand Prix. France, Portugal and Holland can all produce F1 standard circuits, and are all relatively close together on mainland Europe making it viable from an economic and logistical point of view. I just think it would be interesting to see more of different countries and some different circuits instead of the usual Spainfest. Don’t get me wrong, I understand there are many reasons why it makes perfect sense to hold all the testing in Spain, i just think it wouldn’t be too much more difficult to travel elsewhere on the continent considering the might of the F1 circus.

        1. The last two races at Valencia were more interesting than anything Catalunya has thrown up in a long, long time. If anything, it’s worth getting rid of another big-aero track. Valencia was probably built with having SCs spicing things up in mind (you can’t fool us, Bernie), but at least that does happen. Catalunya is the F1 equivalent of watching paint dry.

    14. Prisoner Monkeys
      22nd March 2011, 1:01

      The good will always win.

      You keep telling yourself that, Tony.

      1. History is written by the victors, PM.

        1. it’s a bit like ‘working families’, ‘moving forward’ or ‘for sure’.

          oh, and don’t forget ‘stop the boats’.

          1. working families lol. if i had a dollar for everytime i heard rudd/gillard say that… i could drive for HRT!! :D

        2. History is written by the victors

          Half of writing history is covering up the truth.

          1. Exactly why the “good” shop up winning historically then, as they do most of the writing ;-)

          2. Agreed. The clearest example of that is when Churchill ordered large quantities of Britain’s war records burned(the only PM to ever destroy records, rather than just lock them away), he commented that if anyone was going to write a history of the war it was going to be him! Handy that ;)

      2. seriously, how many times have we heard that now? gees.

      3. I might be wrong here, but as far as I remember, the allied won that war?

    15. yeesh. I would have expected all this angry word slinging more during the middle of the off season. Not when the race is about to start and people need to keep their noses down and focused.

      1. …and doesn’t Hamilton have some “hooning” to get on with?

    16. Well, that’s Hamilton’s future Red Bull drive gone :P

      1. For all we know he could have a pre-contract agreement in place to take a seat at some point in the future and he just “playing the game”

      2. Like Alonso screwed his future by saying horrible things about Ferrari. Oh wait.. ;)

    17. Bernie if you want to stop any GP stop Valencia & Abu Dhabi,though both will cost instead of closing Australia. I don’t think that new Engine rule which will come from 2013 will lower audience,your stupidity will lower it even more by bringing races to boring places.

      1. I don’t think that new Engine rule which will come from 2013 will lower audience,your stupidity will lower it even more by bringing races to boring places.

        Hear hear!

    18. it’s his journey and he has to do it himself without getting a leg-up.

      so basically, not like last year…?

        1. Shame it does not show for me “regional” limits!

    19. Chandhok is now confirmed as reserve driver at Team Lotus and will be driving in FP sessions throughout the season, starting with FP1 in Melbourne in 3 days.


      Hopefully the team will give him a shot at a race in India too as was rumored earlier in the winter.

      Interesting that he and Senna who seem to be the best of buddies are each the reserve driver at opposing Lotuses (or is that Loti?). Arguably though Chandhok’s signed up with the better team, as they’re actually going to give him some track time…

    20. I can’t remember people making jokes about Benetton when they were on top.

      Leave Red Bull alone!

    21. somerandomguy
      22nd March 2011, 6:37

      Why dont they replace Bahrain instead of Australia? If they want good F1 racing they should keep Melbourne maybe simply not charge so much for the licence. I wish money didnt come first. Its boring tracks that loses audiences imo.

      1. somerandomguy
        22nd March 2011, 6:42

        Or they could they bring it back to Adelaide? Turn the clock back to 1993, why should the race be taken away from Adelaide, where the race has excellent support (500,000+) and is a great event? Should it ever have gone to Melbourne?
        And I wouldnt have to pay for accommodation :)

    22. That article on Adrian Newey was very interesting. A proper rebel-who-came-good story. Plus owning a big Ducati fresh out of college is every boy’s dream!

      A bit off topic, but instead of axing old circuits for new ones willy-nilly, shouldn’t the FIA conduct some spec racing at those new circuits before approving them for F1? I’m sure any “flaws” in Abu Dhabi or Korea would have shown up if they had conducted a few F BMW Asia or WTCC races there for a couple of seasons before throwing it open for the F1 circus.

      After all, if drivers and teams have to prove themselves by moving up from lower formulae, why shouldn’t circuits?

    23. Wasn’t Perez 2, not 12, in 1992?

    24. Article headline:

      ‘Red Bull are just a drinks company’

      Actual quote:

      ‘Red Bull are not a manufacturer, they are a drinks company.’

      Considering they’ve used the quotation marks too for an incorrect quotation, that is pretty shoddy hack journalism. But what else do you expect from the Guardian?

      If you actually read what he says, he’s comparing the heritage and history of the teams and questioning what the parent company is going to do in the future (i.e. might they leave, like so many others)? It is not an attack ion the team. Pathetic.

      1. Consider it this way, Benetton were pretty successful, then slumped, then sold out to Renault. if the same happened to Red Bull, they might sell on too. But Ferrari and McLaren will always be there. That’s what he’s saying.

      2. To be fair, the interviewer probably found it quite hard to transcribe exactly what Lewis was saying; it would have been difficult to understand him clearly when his foot was in his mouth.

        1. Given that his foot is supposedly in his mouth only because of an incorrect quotation…

          Seriously, people will just take any chance, won’t they?

    25. In case anyone wants to keep an eye on things weather-wise in Melbourne, use:


      It’s the Bureau of Meteorology site, updated every 10 minutes or so, though forecasts are only updated at 9am (Aus EST) and 4 pm.

      1. Don’t worry – I’ve been checking that every 5 minutes! :P

    26. is this hamiltons way of squashing those “moving to redbull” rumors?

      1. Maybe. Ha! Imagine if behind the scenes he was already in talks with Horner, but he was told to say this to downplay the rumours…

    27. Threads like this blowing it all out of proportion – nothing but pre season jousting, why are so many reading so much into it!? Everyone says similar, in every sport. Unless youre not competitive spirited…. but then you never win anything eh.

    28. As Red Bull might say: ‘Catch as catch can

      And who’s to say that they won’t start building cars in the future? Stranger things……

    29. Oh, and more importantly. I do think that it’s a good idea that Pirelli are bringing another set of hard compound tyres per driver for free practice 1 and 2.

    30. Keith,
      Any news on the F1Fanatic Championship Prediction? Lots of us are warming up already after the extended break. Start your engines and let the race begins!!! :-)

    31. UneedAFinn2Win
      22nd March 2011, 15:46

      Heikki Kovalainen has a new blog at Finnish broadcaster MTV3 for the duration of the 2011 season.
      In Finnish, of course. Learn it, we did :)

    32. Now that was a passionate speech from Mr. Fernandes!

    33. What a huge round-up! I read the Sydney Morning Herald article and I have to say that’s about the most thorough examination of the situation so far. This Autosport article is also well worth a read, as it mentions how the revenue is going to be investigated so we can have a more accurate figure. I reckon the people who hate the Grand Prix so much are going to be a little bit surprised at the findings. I hope this ends it once and for all.

      David Coulthard’s article was pretty good too. It just goes to show how well Mark is doing to keep up with Vettel, assuming the stuff about weight, height and car balance is true.

      Lotus vs Lotus… I think I’ve had enough now. Tony Fernandes started as the good guy, but these rants are putting paid to that. Most people are just tired of it all now.

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