Review of the F1 2010 Abu Dhabi

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Review of the F1 2010 Abu Dhabi

Post  Cornelius Adenekan on Mon Nov 15, 2010 8:13 pm

Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel led the driver standings just once during the 2010 season - at the very end. And while the German timed things to perfection with his faultless drive to victory at Yas Marina, his title rivals did quite the opposite. Both Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso and Red Bull’s Mark Webber were rendered powerless to challenge Vettel after premature tyre stops dropped them behind the perfectly driven Renault of Vitaly Petrov. We take a team-by-team look at the race that produced Formula One’s youngest-ever champion.

Red Bull
Sebastian Vettel, P1
Mark Webber, P8
Vettel’s runaway victory, and the fact that team mate Webber and arch-rival Alonso were trapped behind Petrov in the midfield after their premature tyre stops, created the surprise of the season. The German took his fifth win of the year, and led the championship for the one and only time, just when it mattered. It was a superb performance that was fully deserving of the drivers’ championship, both for Vettel and for the team.

Lewis Hamilton, P2
Jenson Button, P3
For a while Hamilton pushed Vettel very hard, as the Red Bull’s tyres grained, but then Vettel pulled away, and once Hamilton got stuck behind long-running Kubica after his tyre switch on lap 23, that was all she wrote. Button ran a very long stint on the super-soft Bridgestones, but couldn’t open up a big enough gap over the Pole by the time he finally stopped. Overall, however, second and third places maintained McLaren’s second position in the constructors’ championship.

Fernando Alonso, P7
Felipe Massa, P10
Everything went wrong for Ferrari, in a race in which Alonso seemed a shoe-in for the title. He lost a place to Button at the start, then the decision to cover Webber with early pit stops for both Massa and Alonso put the red cars into the midfield traffic. Alonso could not pass early-stopping Petrov, and could only watch with mounting frustration as his championship chances slipped away in the wake of Vettel’s runaway drive.

Mercedes GP
Nico Rosberg, P4
Michael Schumacher, Retired lap 1, accident
A major gaffe from Schumacher saw the German veteran very lucky to escape serious injury when he spun and was hit head-on by an unsighted Liuzzi on the first lap. The decision to haul Rosberg in under the safety car and to switch to Bridgestone’s medium tyres was sublime, and a smooth but unobtrusive drive brought the German a well-deserved fourth place.

Robert Kubica, P5
Vitaly Petrov, P6
A brilliant drive from Kubica saw him do more overtaking than anyone and take a strong fifth place after starting 11th. Petrov also covered himself in glory with an excellent run, under tremendous pressure from Alonso and Webber all the way, to sixth.

Toro Rosso
Jaime Alguersuari, P10
Sebastien Buemi, P15
Alguersuari took his third points finish of the season. The Spaniard was another to change tyres after the safety car. Buemi said that even though P15 was not fantastic, he felt he had driven a great race, running a long opening stint on the mediums before his switch to super softs dropped him out of the points.

BMW Sauber
Nick Heidfeld, P11
Kamui Kobayashi, P14
Heidfeld lost places when he had to avoid Schumacher on the opening lap, and after that he was stuck in the midfield traffic. By pre-race agreement he thus pitted early, and that proved to be a great decision that made him three places but didn’t quite get him into the points. Kobayashi had another of his long opening stints on the super softs and ran as high as third on lap 24 before Kubica overtook. His tyre stop dropped him back out of the points on this occasion, and he couldn’t make up the lost ground.

Rubens Barrichello, P12
Nico Hulkenberg, P16
Barrichello had a great race with Sutil and passed the Force India after their late tyre stops with what he described as an exhilarating move in Turn Four, but the Brazilian was disappointed with his lowly finishing position. Hulkenberg said his first stint on mediums wasn’t great. Overall, however, ‘Team Willie’ achieved their aim of staying ahead of Force India for sixth place in the constructors’ standings.

Force India
Adrian Sutil, P13
Vitantonio Liuzzi, Retired lap 1, accident
Incredibly, Liuzzi was again involved in an accident not of his own making, when he was unsighted by team mate Sutil in Turn Six on the opening lap and suddenly found himself confronted with Schumacher’s spun Mercedes. The German was very lucky to escape injury in their head-on collision. Sutil drove another great race and was in the points for ages, until his tyre stop (from the mediums to the super softs) dropped him out of contention. Force India thus failed to beat Williams to reclaim sixth place overall, but seventh was still highly respectable.

Heikki Kovalainen, P17
Jarno Trulli, P21
Yet another success for Lotus in the new teams’ stakes left them as the dominant team. Kovalainen was delighted with his race, but Trulli’s front wing began to droop at one stage, and later his rear wing broke up completely, both rare failures. He had to finish after 51 laps, but overall Lotus took the all-important 10th place in the championship.

Lucas di Grassi, P18
Timo Glock, Retired lap 44, gearbox
Di Grassi said he enjoyed his run to 18th, but Glock had to call it a day when his gearbox temperatures became excessive.

Bruno Senna, P19
Christian Klien, P20
Senna had no problems, but Klien said it was really hot in his car. Once again, the HRT F110s were reliable, giving the team another double finish and keeping them ahead of Virgin in the final standings.
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Hulkenberg out, Barrichello retained at Williams

Post  Cornelius Adenekan on Mon Nov 15, 2010 8:16 pm

Nico Hulkenberg will not be driving for Williams next season, it was confirmed on Monday. Hulkenberg said he had been unable to reach a satisfactory agreement regarding a contract extension with the team. Team mate Rubens Barrichello, however, has been retained for 2011.

“I heavily regret that, because I would have been happy to stay with Williams,” said Hulkenberg, who made his F1 debut at the beginning of this season. “I want to thank the team for a great time and I wish Williams all the best for the future.”

Paying tribute to the driver who recently brought his team their first pole position in five seasons, Frank Williams commented: “I would like to thank Nico for his hard work this year, and before that in preparing himself for Formula One. We are very proud to have supported him as he secured the Formula Three and GP2 titles and during his debut in Formula One.

“At Williams we have for many years tried to bring new talent into the sport, and we are convinced that Nico will go on to great things. We wish him well and hope that our paths will cross again in the future.”

Hulkenberg landed his Williams race drive after spending two years as the British team’s test driver. His manager Willi Weber is now negotiating with other teams to secure the 23 year-old a job for next season. “Nico will have his seat in F1 in 2011,” said Weber.

Barrichello, meanwhile, is set to start an amazing 19th season of Formula One racing after signing for a second year with Williams, whom he joined from Brawn GP at the end of 2009. The Brazilian claimed 10 points-scoring finishes in 2010, helping the team to sixth place in the constructors’ championship.

“We recruited Rubens knowing that he would bring technical expertise, experience and passion,” said Williams. “He has delivered everything we could have hoped for this season and we are delighted to confirm that he will drive for us again in 2011.”

Williams will confirm their second driver before the end of the year.

Lotus confirm young driver test line-up

Lotus Racing have announced their line-up for the forthcoming young driver test, which will take place at Yas Marina next week, following this weekend’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. Bulgaria’s Vladimir Arabadzhiev and Venezuela’s Rodolfo Gonzalez will be in action over the two-day test in the team’s T127-02 chassis.

“We are very pleased to have confirmed that Rodolfo and Vladimir will be driving for us in Abu Dhabi,” said Riad Asmat, Lotus Racing CEO. “They both come from countries with growing interest in motorsport, and the chance to give emerging drivers the opportunity to step up to Formula One is central to the Lotus Racing philosophy of embracing young talent. Everyone in the team is looking forward to working with them over the two day test and I am delighted we could give them this opportunity.”

Gonzalez began his racing career in the 2003 Formula Renault 2.0 UK Winter Series, graduating to the main series in 2004 and 2005. In 2006 he won the British Formula Three International Series (national class) and finished 11th in the 2007 British Formula Three series. The next year he made a move to Carlin Motorsport and the Formula Three Euroseries.

He competed in the 2008/09 GP2 Asia Series season at Sakhir and entered the main GP2 Series for the German rounds. He also took part in the Formula Three Euroseries 3000 in 2009. For the 2009/10 seasons he raced in the first round of the GP2 Asia Series and returned at the final round in Bahrain. Gonzalez will test for Lotus on Tuesday and Wednesday morning.

Arabadzhiev made his single-seater debut in Italian Formula Three in 2006 before progressing to the Euroseries 3000 in 2007. He joined the International Formula Master series in 2008 and stayed for 2009, before racing in the 2009/10 GP2 Asia Series. He also took part in the main GP2 Series in 2010. He will be in the car on Wednesday afternoon.
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2011 FIA Formula One World Championship Race Calendar

Post  Cornelius Adenekan on Mon Nov 15, 2010 8:23 pm

01 2011 FORMULA 1 GULF AIR BAHRAIN GRAND PRIX (Sakhir) 11 - 13 Mar
02 2011 FORMULA 1 QANTAS AUSTRALIAN GRAND PRIX (Melbourne) 25 - 27 Mar
03 2011 FORMULA 1 PETRONAS MALAYSIA GRAND PRIX (Kuala Lumpur) 08 - 10 Apr
04 2011 FORMULA 1 UBS CHINESE GRAND PRIX (Shanghai) * 15 - 17 Apr
05 2011 FORMULA 1 TURKISH GRAND PRIX (Istanbul) 06 - 08 May
06 FORMULA 1 GRAN PREMIO DE ESPAÑA 2011 (Catalunya) 20 - 22 May
07 FORMULA 1 GRAND PRIX DE MONACO 2011 (Monte Carlo) 27 - 29 May
08 FORMULA 1 GRAND PRIX DU CANADA 2011 (Montreal) 10 - 12 Jun
09 2011 FORMULA 1 GRAND PRIX OF EUROPE (Valencia) 24 - 26 Jun
10 2011 FORMULA 1 SANTANDER BRITISH GRAND PRIX (Silverstone) 08 - 10 Jul
12 FORMULA 1 ENI MAGYAR NAGYDÍJ 2011 (Budapest) 29 - 31 Jul
13 2011 FORMULA 1 BELGIAN GRAND PRIX (Spa-Francorchamps) 26 - 28 Aug
15 2011 FORMULA 1 SINGAPORE GRAND PRIX (Singapore) 23 - 25 Sep
16 2011 FORMULA 1 JAPANESE GRAND PRIX (Suzuka) 07 - 09 Oct
17 2011 FORMULA 1 KOREAN GRAND PRIX (Yeongam) 14 - 16 Oct
18 2011 FORMULA 1 INDIAN GRAND PRIX (New Delhi) * 28 - 30 Oct
19 2011 FORMULA 1 ETIHAD AIRWAYS ABU DHABI GRAND PRIX (Yas Marina Circuit) 11 - 13 Nov
20 FORMULA 1 GRANDE PRÊMIO DO BRASIL 2011 (Sao Paulo) 25 - 27 Nov
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Fernando Alonso

Post  Cornelius Adenekan on Mon Nov 15, 2010 8:37 pm

World Championships 2
Grand Prix Entries 159
Grand Prix Wins 26
Pole Positions 20
Nationality Spanish


The 28th Formula One World Drivers' Champion was the youngest ever. Just 24 years old, Fernando Alonso also led the Renault team to the 2005 Constructors' Championship, thus ending the reign of the Michael Schumacher-Ferrari combination that had dominated for the whole of the 21st century. The precocious and personable youngster who made so much history so soon comfortably wore the crown - a bright, polished, perfectly poised new star. Confirmation of his brilliance came in 2006 when he successfully defended his title against strong opposition from Schumacher, whose subsequent retirement from the sport left Alonso well-placed to succeed him as Formula One racing's resident superstar.

Fernando Alonso Diaz (his full name includes his mother's maiden name, according to the Spanish custom) was born on 29 July, 1981, in Oviedo, a city in the Asturias region of northern Spain, where his mother worked in a department store and his father was employed in the mining industry as an explosive expert. The Alonsos and their two children lived comfortably but were by no means a wealthy family. Luis Alonso, a keen amateur kart racer, wished to share his passion with his children and built them a pedal kart in the form of a realistic-looking miniature Formula One car. It was originally intended for eight-year-old Lorena but she soon grew tired of it, whereupon her three-year-old brother eagerly climbed into the tiny cockpit and immediately felt at home. From the beginning little Fernando was not content to simply pedal around. He wanted to compete and to win.

Shortly after his seventh birthday he entered his first proper kart race and won, and before he was ten Fernando Alonso's name was engraved on several kart championship trophies. However, further progress would require more funding than his family's limited resources could provide. While his parents fully supported their son's increasingly successful pastime - with his father acting as his mechanic at the races and his mother making sure he also got good marks at school - Fernando knew the only way forward was to get sponsored drives by winning races - which he continued to do. Age proved to be no barrier - he was invariably the youngest driver in every category, and more often than not, the best. By his mid-teens his collection of kart titles included a world championship.

Onward and upward he sped, easily winning a 1999 Spanish-based championship for single-seater racing cars, parlaying his prize of a tryout in a Minardi Formula One car into a drive in 2000 with a Minardi-backed F3000 team and a testing contract with Minardi's Formula One team, in which he made an impressive debut the following season. His obvious potential prompted Renault (formerly Benetton) to sign him as a test driver for 2002, a valuable experience that would enable him to immediately establish himself as a frontrunner when he joined the French automaker's team in 2003. In Malaysia, only his second race for Renault, the 21-year-old became the youngest ever pole winner. Starting from pole again in Hungary, less than a month after his 22nd birthday, he became the youngest Grand Prix winner in history.

In 2004 the difficult-to-drive Renault R24 kept him out of the winner's circle and he finished fourth in the championship. By now, having slotted seamlessly into the team, further polished his driving skills and honed his racecraft, Alonso was ready to take full advantage of Renault's excellent R25 car, in which he would really come of age.

From the beginning of the 2005 season the man to beat was the upstart Spaniard. Equipment variances were a factor, with Michael Schumacher's Ferrari off the pace for the first time in six years and Kimi Raikkonen's McLaren proving to be fast but fragile. Meanwhile, the Alonso-driven Renault swept serenely through the longest ever Formula One season, scoring points in all but two of the 19 races, finishing in the top three 14 times and winning on seven occasions.

Alonso's nearly flawless performance (his only driving error came in Canada where he crashed while leading) was highlighted by a symbolic defeat of Schumacher at Imola, where he brilliantly fended off the best efforts of the seven-time champion. Schumacher's successor knew when to attack, how to defend, how to control a race - how to win the championship in a car that was usually not as fast as Raikkonen's McLaren. Both drivers had six poles and seven wins, and though the raw racer Raikkonen's challenge was undermined by mechanical misfortune, Alonso's adaptability served him best. His aptitude for adjusting quickly to changing circumstances, his competence at conserving his equipment, his capability of responding immediately to the invariably wise tactical instructions issued by the Renault team, all contributed to his success.

"I'm just a normal guy," insisted Alonso, whose swift ascendancy to superstardom left him somewhat embarrassed. Softly spoken, though fluent and articulate in English, his second language, he eschewed the usual trappings of success, choosing to live quietly in Oxford to be near the British-based Renault team that was totally devoted to their boy wonder.

"My record is going to be in good hands," said Emerson Fittipaldi, who won the 1972 championship when he was 25. In his 25th year Alonso held onto his title even more firmly, securing second successive championships for himself and Renault after an epic duel with a resurgent Michael Schumacher.

Faced with a formidable opponent still at the peak of his powers, the cleverly quick Alonso's focus never wavered in the intensity of battle - the scenario that most appealed to his real racer's instincts. Fiercely determined and eagerly aggressive, he relished the cut and thrust, revelled in the thrill of the chase - all the while remaining supernaturally calm with a maturity that belied his youth and would serve him well in defending his title against the sport's most successful exponent.

Alonso began 2006 with a string of wins and podiums that by mid- season gave him a substantial lead over Schumacher, whose faltering Ferrari was subsequently improved to overcome Renault's initial performance advantage. Thus empowered, the German staged a brilliant comeback that made the Spaniard's eventual title triumph all the more memorable. The fact that they were so evenly matched, with seven wins each, substantiated Alonso's status as a worthy successor to the retiring Schumacher. In pursuit of a new challenge, Alonso left Renault at the end of the year and moved to McLaren, bringing with him the coveted number 1 as the reigning World Champion.
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