The biggest question that has been raging in the Formula One world for some months now is what Fernando Alonso plans to do next.
Carlos Sainz Jr., a rookie driver and a Spaniard summed up the mood of the paddock when he told a Spanish publication that he had no idea.
But some publications think they know what is going on and Italian specialists La Gazzetta dello Sport has claimed that incoming Ferrari president Sergio Marchionne is scheduled to travel to Austin, Texas for the United States Grand Prix for two reasons, announce the departure of Alonso and the arrival of Sebastian Vettel from Red Bull Racing to replace him.
Whereas that might be a valid update from the Italian media, Alonso’s departure is not as easy as it seems. Reports in Germany indicate that Ferrari has already tied up a deal with Vettel to be their leading man for the2015 season and that leaves them with three top level drivers with Alonso and Raikkonen.
But the manner of termination of Alonso’s contract is the cause of all this delay in announcement. If Alonso was to pull the plug on his contract, he could race for any team, McLaren-Honda, Lotus, Red Bull or go in for a sabbatical.
But if Ferrari terminates the contract before it is run down, they will have to pay millions to Alonso as his severance pay, just as they did with Kimi Raikkonen when he was unceremoniously shown the door back in 2009.
Alonso was eager to leave the team in any way and that is where the problem lies, Ferrari is reluctant to pay off someone so that he could drive for another team when he himself would have wanted to leave the team anyway, leading to the current impasse between the two parties.
Former world champion Fernando Alonso is leaving Ferrari confirmed outgoing team chief Luca de Montezemolo simply because he cannot wait any longer to secure another world championship.
The former Renault driver had long been rumored to be leaving the Italian giants at the end of the current season, two years before his contract with the team expires and it was recently confirmed that he will indeed be leaving the team with reports suggesting Red Bull Racing driver and four time world champion Sebastian Vettel will replace him behind the wheels.
The maverick Italian boss told Italian television that the Spaniard is leaving for two simple reasons, one, because he wants to test himself in another environment and secondly, he has realized that he cannot wait much longer to land his much coveted third world title.
There have been various reports from several publications which have highlighted that Alonso has lost faith Ferrari and their inability to produce a car capable of competing for the Formula One Drivers’ World Championship and the Constructors’ title, especially after the season that the team has had this season.
Ferrari currently lie at fourth in the Constructors’ Championship standings, miles behind Mercedes F1 which have already won the title and some distance off Williams F1 in third place. Alonso himself sits at sixth in the Drivers’ Championship standings but he has no chances whatsoever of pushing Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg for the title and having endured such a difficult time at Ferrari, the Spaniard has decided to move on.
It is believed that luxury car makers Audi is planning a foray in Formula One in 2016 and will begin their journey with Alonso as their leader, but that is still a year away. What he does in 2015 is definitely something to watch out for.
The Suzuka circuit is considered one of the most difficult tracks in Formula One and this was proved right once again by the severe injuries suffered by Marussia driver Jules Bianchi during an unfortunate crash. These incidents are not unnatural to the drivers associated to the sport as proved by Felipe Massa and Robert Kubica not too long ago. Motor racing has always been a sport that involves a lot of danger due to the high speed and machines that the drivers have to deal with. Although it has become much safer in the last few years but the risk of life remains. Ayrton Senna and Roland Ratzenberger were the most fatal cases as it claimed their lives. Since then there have been a number of crashes but thankfully the drivers have come recovered from the initial injuries. Jules Bianchi’s incident clearly bears testimony to the fact that the risk never really reduces.
Jules Bianchi crashed against a recovery vehicle in the wet conditions which resulted in serious injuries to his head. Adrian Sutil had earlier lost control of his Sauber car as it hit the tyre barrier. A recovery vehicle had been sent in to remove the car from the track. But it was against this car that Bianchi crashed his own as he lost control. The impact was huge and everyone was shocked. The medical staff was immediately sent for and he had to be taken to the hospital. The city scans in Mie General Hospital were not promising at all. Immediate surgery had to be undertaken. The doctors mentioned clearly that it was a very critical case and needed great care and attention. The entire sporting world is hoping for a speedy recovery of the Frenchman and the Formula One family stands united to pray for him.
Rubens Barrichello is a legendary driver from Brazil who has spent a number of years in Formula One. His association with the sport dates back to 1993 and he retired a few years ago in 2011. He has been involved with few of the most popular teams in racing including Jordan, Stewart, Ferrari, Honda, Brawn GP and Williams. After his retirement he was involved with Indy-car and Stock Car racing.
Rubens Barrichello’s association with the Sauber team during the Korean Grand Prix had ignited rumors about him joining the ranks of the team in the 2014 season of Formula one racing. However Monisha Kaltenborn who is the boss of the Sauber team has clearly mentioned that there is no confirmation to the news and has ruled out the chances of Rubens returning to his most favored track.
He had approached the team with a budget of 15 million but Autosport did not consider him as one of the realistic option in their build up to the next season, in fact they have been spending heavily on their new yacht charter company in Kip so couldn’t find the finances. They have expressed a lot of respect for the driver whose record speaks for him and applauded his determination to keep up the competitive spirit but they refused to employ him as one of their drivers.
In spite of the rejection Rubens Barrichello believes that he still has it in him to compete as the highest level and win races. Thereby he has offered his services voluntarily to the Mercedes team yet again.
The team is in bit of a bad shape as their young star Pascal Wehrlein cannot be considered as a reserve for the team as he does not have a mandatory super license in his pocket which is essential for a Formula one driver. Barricello seems to be excited to prove his mettle yet again as he claims that his fitness is of no concern at all.
Williams F1 driver Felipe Massa believes the team could finish second in the Formula One Constructors’ Championship.
Massa believes that the team has improved in leaps and bounds after enduring a miserable season last time around with their decision to run with the dominant Mercedes engine backfiring on them. While the stock Mercedes engine powered team lies way out in front with a massive lead in the Formula One Constructors’ Championship, the Brazilian is confident Williams F1 can catch up with second placed Red Bull Racing who are currently 84 points ahead in the Constructors’ Championship table.
Massa added that the team needs to be flawless and fight for everything. He went on to add that if the team manages to do that from now until the end of the season, then it is a real possibility.
The Brazilian believes that while it is not possible to catch up with the Constructors’ Championship leaders Mercedes F1, the Williams F1 team can indeed challenge them in individual races when the Formula One season restarts in a week’s time in Belgium.
According to Felipe Massa, the Williams F1 team has been one of the standout performers this season thanks to the new cars that has far lower down force and coupled with the Mercedes engines, it has been a revelation this season.
Massa stated that it can’t be ruled out that the team can have a chance to go head to head against Mercedes. He went on to add that the circuits in Belgium, Italy, Brazil and the United States and maybe the one in Abu Dhabi, UAE with their long straights will suit the style of the cars and give them the advantage over Mercedes F1 and that is something Felipe Massa is looking forward to in the next few months.
A heavyweight meeting was set up between Ecclestone, FIA president Jean Todt and Luca Di Montezelomo completed discussion for both Ferrari’s president appealing for the return of the sport which f1 was used to be before and f1’s profitable supremo.
As per Montezemolo, making his first appearance in an F1 enclosure of the year, F1 has become too difficult and the responsibility on drivers to set aside engines and tyres is not what is expected from formula one.
But Dennis is obstinate saying further that the sport should not discard its revolution and road-car relevancy with a quick reversal hardly after the two months when the new period dawned and also the F1 is doing the right job of implementing greener know-how. Mc Laren, the chief executive said to the sky sports news during a long interview in the Bahrain compound that there has to be a time and he thinks the time is now here where they take a more socially-responsible place. The reality is that they are residing in such a world where resources are depleting and the environment is at risk. Though they are a part of the formula one which is the peak of the motorsport, being the peak of the motorsport they need to have the recent technology.
Ferrari’s hostility to the new F1 has unavoidably connected to their efforts so far to maintain pace with the frontrunners, but an annoyed Montezelomo refused the teams antagonism which was provoked by self interest. He told to the sky sports news that Ferrari has to be more feasible with the new set of convention. He is making an attempt for making the rules more competitive, it is about the changing of rules for the future and not for now.
Bruno Senna was three-time Formula One world champion, Ayrton Senna’s nephew. At the early age of 10, he started his go-kart. His uncle always said that one should see his nephew if they thought that he was fast. He promoted a lot of awareness in his nephew’s development as a young driver.
Ayrton Senna, who died in 1994 at Imola putting that progress on hold. For the next 15 years, Bruno’s family put his budding motor career to a stop until he made his debut in grand prix in 2010. Senna’s uncle’s legacy led to safety developments in Bruno as a professional in motor sport, for which the younger Senna was grateful. Bruno claimed that his uncle’s accident had been a way in for changes in safety. He also said that many things had changed in safety in F1.
He said that circuits had improved hugely with respect to safety but regrettably, those things had to happen sometimes back to progress what people did to keep them from getting injured. Bruno took on the classic 24 Hours of Le Mans with Aston Martin even though he found it difficult in monotonous cars on the F1 grid before going to sport cars. Tragedy struck the younger Senna again during the third lap of the 2013 race when Allan Simonsen, the former Australian GT champion, who happened to be his Danish teammate, died in a deadly crash. He said that it had been the first time that he had experienced of someone being died on the track in his presence. He had been very close, on his team in the sister car. Senna also added that it was unfortunate to see people losing their life in motor racing nowadays but it is worse to see when Allan passed away for no reason while doing what he loved to do.
It was tough for Senna to finish the endurance race at that moment.
Mercedes F1 driver Lewis Hamilton narrowly beat reigning four time Drivers’ world champion to take the pole position for the Malaysian Grand Prix at the Sepang Racing Circuit in Kuala Lumpur in what was one of the wettest qualifying sessions the race has witnessed in quite a while.
The Englishman was just .055 seconds quicker than the German with team mate Nico Rosberg taking third place ahead of former world champion Fernando Alonso for third position. This was the 33rd pole in the career of Hamilton as he equaled the record set by the legendary Jim Clark for the most pole positions by a British driver.
And speaking after the qualifying session, Hamilton mentioned it was incredible, adding that the rain was extremely heavy. He added that it was tricky out there for most of the drivers on track and in the end, it was almost impossible to see anything going around the track.
Hamilton also said that even he couldn’t see where the track went, where the corners bended and where to brake the car for a turn and admitted that he had bail out of his final fast lap and so it was very close in the end.
Vettel stated that at the beginning of the first qualifying session, his heart began racing as he found out that there was an issue with the car. He came in to the pits and restarted the car and according to the German, that seemed to solve all the issues. He also admitted that the final qualifying session was not perfect and he would have loved to have another go but the conditions were such that he didn’t even have that luxury to go out on another flying lap.
But he admitted he was happy with the result in the end.
Ferrari has been successful to get one of their key mastermind back this year who goes by the name of Raikkonen. The champion of 2007 with Ferrari has decided to come back to Ferrari but this time his role will different.
Unlike old times when he would have been on the track itself fighting with other drivers this time he will be on the sidelines because he will be working with the engineering department and will also run the simulator of Ferrari.
Raikkonen did arrive at Maranello and there he will be spending three days with the engineers and discussing about the cars and everything. He will also run the simulator from there itself. When asked about how it feels to be back with Ferrari Raikkonen said that it always feels good to be working with Ferrari and not because of its brand but because of the people who work there.
Raikkonen who had earlier been with Ferrari got a warm welcome when he arrived at Maranello and the full team hopes that with his addition things will be better than before.
Raikkonen has already started working with the engineering and it seems that he is enjoying himself from day one. He said that the systems and the whole procedure is almost ready to go and he has also tested the simulator which seems to be working fine and it has also been very helpful to him. Raikkonen was not able to participate in the final two races last year because of the back surgery he had to undergo. Raikkonen was also asked about the work pressure and he says that he is able to cope with it even though he has not been with Ferrari since 2009 and there have been changes in the rules and regulations from this year.
Pastor Maldonado, the Venezuelan Formula One driver, is in advanced dialogues with Sauber regarding a Formula One contract for next year, as he calculates rival offers from Lotus and Force India.
After the break up with Williams, the Maldonado had been strongly linked with Lotus Formula One team. Earlier, Lotus singled out the Venezuelan driver as their main target. In the midst of increasing doubts regarding the status of the Quantum contract, which has yet to be finished, Pastor has been thinking of other options and now he is being aimed by Sauber.
Speaking to reporters, before the Brazilian Grand Prix, Pastor Maldonado told that he would like to have a confirmation soon, but he is not in a hurry. They are working on that. This could be hours or days or weeks. At times, when a person is negotiating, it takes some time. No matter which team he goes to, he would be in Formula One.
Even though Lotus is the fastest of the teams that Pastor is speaking to, he thinks that that both Force India and Sauber have equally great potential for next year. He told that Lotus is a good option, but even Sauber is a good option, even Force India is a good option. These two teams have shown that they are quite competitive. At the start of this season, Force India had been more competitive compared to McLaren. People know which teams have available seats.