Monday, May 25, 2009

Monaco GP: Winners and Losers

Sunday 24th May 2009

Star of the Race
Jenson Button, BrawnGP, 1st

Yeah baby. Button made F1 history on Sunday, not just by winning the fifth race in six starts, though that was impressive enough. Neither was it by sticking his car on pole with a gem of a lap on the heaviest fuel load of the top cars. No, it was driving one of the most exhausting grands prix on the calendar, parking in the wrong place, then sprinting up the start/finish straight to the Grimaldi's royal box (incidentally couldn't quite see the President of the FIA in there...could you?) as though he hadn't even been in the car.

In the press conference Raikkonen and Barrichello looked like they'd been put through a Regular Wash on 50C without the spin cycle, while Jenson looked cool. It was an impressive win and yet another race victory where he opened a gap and was able to control the race and adapt his pace to the cars behind him. Five wins from six races is very impressive for a "milestone" and tells you all you need to know about Flavio Briatore's insight into the sport.

Overtaking Move of the Race
Lap 7: Nico Rosberg, Williams on Felipe Massa, Ferrari

With Vettel running slower and slower, Felipe Massa knew he had to get past the Red Bull and made the mistake of trying the outside line at the tunnel exit chicane, something that never looked likely to succeed.

When he missed his braking point and skipped the chicane he knew he had to let Vettel back past him. Nico Rosberg glued himself to the back of the Red Bull, but there is precious little space between the chicane and Tabac, the next turn. Felipe moved to take the line behind Vettel and found a very brave Rosberg on the inside where his car wanted to be and had to give way. It must have bee a stunning pass to see on the track and it's to Massa's credit that both cars got through unscathed.

Rosberg had a good race but probably had an eye on 5th not 6th place.


Rubens Barrichello, Brawn GP, 2nd
A great start from Rubens but by his own admission he got too close to Button in the early stages and grained his back tyres.

Vettel did it too, so it will be a comfort to the German that the most experienced GP driver made the same mistake. At the end of the first stint Jenson already had a margin that would last him the race.

Considering how much better his team-mate has been, Barrichello is still in there with a good chance of becoming World Champion. One retirement from Jenson and it's Game On.

Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari, 3rd
Another slight Ferrari hiccup with the Scuderia failing to choose the supersoft tyres at the start. Knowing that both Brawns had fuel to run longer than them it was a surprise they didn't do everything they could to get ahead at the start. Button was shocked when he realised they were on the prime (soft) tyre not the option.

Still, it was a good race from Raikkonen and though he seemed about as happy as a Laplander whose reindeer have sunk mysteriously through the tundra, it was Ferrari's best result of the year.

Felipe Massa, Ferrari, 4th
Massa was lucky to get away with a spin in qualifying that could have put him out in Q1 but more or less held it together. In the race he was also lucky not to get a drive through from the stewards for regularly cutting the swimming pool exit chicane. Unnoticed by the BBC commentary team he was doing it as early as Lap 19. Charlie Whiting had specifically told drivers not to.

Even after a couple of warnings he didn't look to have changed his line by much. However, the only person who might have taken advantage is Mark Webber and it's doubtful if Felipe had gone the whole way round the chicane every lap the result would have been any different.

Mark Webber, Red Bull, 5th
The old stager kept it on the island, but just had too much to do after a poor grid slot compromised his race. At least the Red Bull strategist managed to get him past Kovalainen and Rosberg in one neat move. That went part of the way to making amends for Vettel starting the race with his petrol tank already on reserve.

Fernando Alonso, Renault, 7th
What's that coming over the hill is it a...Sutil? Alonso did the most fabulous automotive double take when he came out from his pit-stop, suddenly realising there was a Force India on track next to him and jerking sideways. Otherwise a very quiet race.


Sebastian Vettel. Red Bull, DNF
Vettel looked destined to finish behind Alonso or worse from the moment the fuel levels were revealed on Saturday afternoon. With the Red Bull scheduled to stop five laps before anyone else it was an odd strategy choice. In the end he didn't last more than 10 laps anyway before he had to get some new Bridgestones. His slide into the barriers of Sainte Devote was very uncharacteristic. One to be chalked down to experience

Lewis Hamilton, McLaren, 12th
McLaren looked like they were just testing bits on the car today. It was almost like a day off for Lewis. He tried very hard to end Nick Heidfeld's run of consecutive finishes but even that didn't come off.

Sebastien Buemi, DNF
That's two races in a row where Buemi has been involved in a collision. This time it was a GP2 kind of accident, ramming Nelson Piquet Junior (who could well have picked up a point) into the Sainte Devote run-off. Again, it was a great surprise that the stewards didn't investigate it as an avoidable accident. Are the rules there only to be applied to key figures in the sport at key moments or what?

Safety Car Fans
For Berndt Maylander's army of fans (if you can call several people an army) it was a poor race. Several crumped cars but nothing substantial enough to bring out the Safety Car. Normally they'd just shrug their shoulders and say, "Well, there's always the SC feast of Canada". But of course there isn't this year.

BBC Coverage
I've yet to meet someone who likes the Eddie Jordan and David Coulthard punditry combination and it was more of the same this weekend. The backslapping, cliquey-ness of the old days of F1 should be turned down from Level 9 to Level 2. That's not my view, that's the views of casual F1 fans I meet. We didn't get that with Rider and Blunders at ITV, though it would have been interesting to hear Mark talk and walk at the same time... Steve.

The combination of DC and Mike Gascoyne was a lot more serious and Gascoyne gave a far greater insight into the cars. It seems like a no-brainer to replace EJ with the Rottweiler

Similarly, Crofty's Red Button practice sessions with Anthony Davidson are a joy to behold. Radio 5 Live commentator David Croft is so much better than Jonathan Legard who is increasingly fixated with the word "tidy", as in: "That's a tidy lap from Massa." Jenson Button had a tidy lead at one stage, in fact anything that was slightly above average became "tidy". Try spotting them. It takes your mind away from the tedium.

Andrew Davies

Source : Planet F1

A Few Conclusions From The Monaco GP

Sunday 24th May 2009

We Might As Crown Him The Champ Now...
As the PF1 homepage declared in the immediate aftermath of Sunday's race, it is increasingly difficult to believe that Button will not end the season as World Champion. F1 has been turned on its head to the extent that it's difficult just to find a single trenchant reason to suppose he will not succeed Lewis Hamilton.

If Bernie had got his way before the campaign and introduced his winner-takes-all system to decide the title then Button could already take the risk of putting his feet up. The five wins Button has claimed from the opening six races of the season is as many as Hamilton secured in the whole of 2008 and only one less than Kimi Raikkonen registered in 2007.

Fortunately, Bernie's persuasions and protestations were in vain, but Button's position is already so secure that he has been reduced to 1/6 favourite by F1 bookmakers for the crown. Such odds are the betting equivalent of a racing certainty; the only step lower is to close the book entirely. Facing a mammoth loss if Button does triumph - there was a glut of clever money placed on the Englishman immediately after the Brawn's jaw-dropping first run in winter testing at Barcelona - his status as champion-of-waiting is a living nightmare for the bookies.

What made Sunday's result especially critical was not Monaco's status as the first among equals on the calendar but the retirement of Seb Vettel ensuring that Button gained the maximum-possible ten-point gain on his principal challenge. Mathematically, Rubens Barrichello is Button's closest challenger, but from the position of trying to find reason why Button will not win the title, it's precisely the Brazilian's proximity to Button that is the major stumbling block. Barrichello may be in the same car and the same garage, but in racing terms, he's a world apart from the next world champion.

Another Champion Drive From A Champion-In-Waiting
The all-round superiority of the Brawn - after the 1-2 in Monte Carlo, it can be safely concluded that their charger suits all types of circuit - and the absence of a truly competitive team-mate will no doubt be used as reasons to discredit Button whenever his coronation takes place. But the rebuttal ought to be emphatic: Button has matched a champion car by driving like a champion ever since Honda became Brawn.

On a circuit that takes full toll on most mistakes, and claimed a number of victims this weekend, Button succeeded in setting the fastest laps of any driver on display without ever putting a single wheel off line. The pressure of leading the championship has been his making and he looks to be relishing the experience. He has also - as previously remarked - demonstrated a special capacity to deliver something special when it really matters and there was another such exhibition on Saturday when he produced a last-gasp, best-of-the-weekend lap to grab pole position having only snuck into the final round of qualy in seventh place. Button is proving a lot of doubters wrong this season - and proving that he has the genuine pedigree of a champion.

Pace Means Nothing At The Back
As Lewis Hamilton discovered the hard way on Saturday afternoon, Monaco is no place to make an error. And as Lewis continued to discover twenty-four hours later, it's no place to recover from an error either.

On a track that disguised the aerodynamic shortfall of his McLaren, Hamilton had the pace of a front-runner. But it made no difference. Unable to translate that speed into overtaking maneuvers on such a tight circuit, a back-runner is stuck as a back-runner around Monaco. Barring a miracle, in the form of a Safety Car or an Artic storm washing in on the Mediterranean, recovery is impossible.

McLaren's gamble was to resist the logic of starting a heavily-fueled Hamilton from the pitlane in the hope of an early deployment of the Safety Car. Either strategy would most probably have come to naught, but the flaw of their choice was the ultra-efficiency of the stewards and the suspicion, facilitated by their implicit request for an aggressive start from their driver, that any accident requiring the assistance of a Safety Car deployment would involve Hamilton anyhow.

Ferrari Make Their On-Track Statement
Better late than never for Ferrari. Their revival in Monaco will have generated a huge amount of relief in Maranello and the reminder of their own pedigree could not have been more timely. It's one thing to depict yourselves as bigger than the sport itself, quite another when you're struggling to finish in the top ten. For more reasons than just sporting, Ferrari urgently required their restoration of reputation in Monaco.

Raikkonen And Massa Beware: Alonso Is Coming Soon
And so did their drivers.

This weekend also marked a significant development in the seemingly-inevitable journey that will take Fernando Alonso to Ferrari with the savvy Spaniard, fully aware of how his words would be read, opening up to Gazzetta dello Sport, Italy's leading sports newspaper. "As a Spaniard I feel more at ease with Italians," he said. "We have a lot of shared culture and character. We have identical feelings." This column had the vague recollection that one or both of Alonso's parents was of Italian descent but as that link isn't mentioned then we'll have to assume we were mistaken.

It has, though, been noticeable in recent days how vehement Alonso has been in his argument that F1 couldn't afford to lose its marque names. "If the big teams and the big manufacturers leave F1 then I don't want to race with small teams, because it is not any more F1 and there are many other categories," he was quoted as saying on Friday just when the FIA were being threatened with the doomsday scenario of the sport's biggest names leaving if they didn't get their onw way.

Alonso's remarks must have been music to Ferrari's ears during their on-going battle for supremacy with the governing body but also an unsubtle warning to Kimi Raikkonen and Felipe Massa. The Ice Cream Man finally woke up this weekend but Massa's pace was every bit as impressive and had he not been caught in the Vettel train before making a split-second misjudgment that enabled Nico Rosberg to sneak past, then he would have finished ahead of his team-mate and on the podium.

Toyota Have Missed Their Chance
Ferrari's revival is particularly bad news for Toyota because the Scuderia's promotion has been made at their expense. The position Ferrari occupied in Monaco when jousting with Brawn and Red Bull was the one that Toyota had filled from the season's start and their return to the back of the grid most probably marks the end of their F1 dream.

The opportunity to make a headline-grabbing breakthrough has been missed and, given the resources available to Ferrari and McLaren, it is unlikely to be presented again. They won't drop the F1 ball again and Toyota are thought unlikely to stick around in hope.

When Max Mosley spoke on Saturday of "one or two" teams having to "stop" at the end of the season and then mentioned "major manufacturers" in the next breath it was impossible not to conclude that the FIA president had Toyota in mind. Theirs has been an undistinguished and expensive foray into F1 that, by any definition, has failed to deliver value for money.

The sight, on F1's showpiece event, of their two cars crawling around at the back of the field like a couple of spare parts in someone else's film may have been the final straw when the Cologne hierarchy decides whether to continue inject goodness-only-knows-how-many-millions into the sport in exchange for the privilege of making their humiliation public on the world's biggest stage. The real surprise will be if they opt to stay.

BMW's Decline Began A Year Ago With A Bad Decision
First Toyota and then BMW? The team's participation in 2010 is also in doubt after Mario Theissen refused to confirmed they would meet the May 29 deadline for applications. Even that hesitation represents a loud-and-clear change in tune from March when Theissen described Formula One as a "valuable tool for BMW".

"Alongside the savings already being made, which will be backed up by further economising in the future, we have started to enjoy success on the track," he continued. "F1 remains the core of our motor sport programme. Nowhere else will you find such charisma exuded on a global level on such a frequent basis. From a cost-benefit point of view, Formula One is very positive for us."

The difference between then and now is that 'sporting success', with the expectation of more to follow, has been replaced by 'sporting failure'. F1 is an expensive business when it's at the back of the grid.

For Theissen, BMW's decline will be especially painful for his decision last year to switch focus towards 2009 last summer rather than keep sole attention on Robert Kubica's title tilt. With the benefit of hindsight, it was an error of gargantuan proportions that may have sewed the seeds of the team's exit from the sport.

Even if they remain, their regression this season is made damning because it lacks the mitigation of Ferrari and McLaren being distracted from noticing the smallprint of the regulation due to their fully-committed participation in the 2008 championship until November.

One Rule For Ferrari, One Rule For...
What offence did Felipe Massa commit, not once but at least twice, during the Monaco GP? Cutting the chicane to gain an advantage. And what was the exact crime laid against Lewis Hamilton by race stewards at last year's Belgian GP? 'Cutting the chicane to gain an advantage'.

That Massa escaped with a second warning was, regardless of the Hamilton comparison, somewhat baffling. When telling him to stop cutting the corner, Massa's race engineer expressly framed the directive from the stewards as "another warning". In that case, what exactly what was the first warning. 'Do it again and we'll tell you not to do it again?'. Hard-hitting stuff, to be sure.

Pete Gill

Source : Planet F1


You'd never guessed it but there's a first time for everything. Yesterday's race was the first race in my F1 viewing career that I actually got bored with the race and tuned out halfway. I went into the kitchen with the TV still blaring out the V8 sounds around Monte Carlo, looked out the window and saw pigs flying.

The Monaco GP this year started off promising with some overtaking, my favorite was Barrichello's move on Kimi for P2. That was classic and powerful, I was surprised Kimi didn't fight back with his KERS. After that it basically went downhill as the race degraded to a procession. Lewis being stuck behind didn't help either.

On top of that, Kovalainnen crashed out so my only hope was Vettel who has car trouble and crashed out too. The BMWs were rubbish, they had no pace at all. I was happy for Force India though as Fisi almost got a point after finishing P9.

Well, that's all I have to say about that. See how boring the race was? And to top it all off, the "right boring bastard" won again. Yawn..

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Lewis admits blame for Monaco crash

Saturday 23rd May 2009

Lewis Hamilton has taken full responsibility for the mistake that saw him crash out of Q1 for the Monaco GP.

The 2008 Monte Carlo winner had looked strong throughout the weekend's practice sessions, finishing in the top seven in all three sessions. But it all came to nought on Saturday afternoon when he lost control of his car at Mirabeau.

The ensuing crash into the barriers saw his MP4-24's rear suspension too severely damaged for him to continue, meaning he will start the 78-lap grand prix from 16th place on the grid - and with little hope of bagging any World Championship points.

"My race weekend for a win is for sure over," he told the BBC. "I just don't know what I was thinking. I made a mistake. It had been going well all weekend."

The Brit took the time to apologise to McLaren for wasting what could have been a golden opportunity to finish on the podium - or even net his first grand prix win of the season.

"I apologise to the team for wasting their time, and at least Heikki (Kovalainen) is doing well," he said. "He is up there. I wish him all the best.

"Tomorrow I will do the best job I can to try and recover from it.

"It's just been tough, but you learn from these mistakes and they are bound to happen. It's unfortunate it happened in the first part of qualifying, but this is what makes you stronger."

Team boss Martin Whitmarsh later conceded that, unfortunately, this is something that can happen in Monaco.

"The speed was there to be among the quickest, so it's a shame what happened to Lewis after he has been among the fastest during all previous practice sessions but such contact with the guardrails can easily happen in Monaco," he said.

Source : Planet F1

Monaco Qualy: Button reigns supremo

Saturday 23rd May 2009

Jenson Button reigned supremo around the principality of Monaco as the Brawn GP driver claimed his fourth pole position of the season.

After an intensely tight final practice session in the morning, pole position looked as if it could go to any one of seven drivers. But when it came down to the crunch it was Button who proved to be the Monaco Meister as he put his Brawn BGP001 into the P1 slot with a 1:14.902.

He edged Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen into second place by just 0.025s as the Ferrari driver put in his best qualifying performance of the season so far.

Third place went to Rubens Barrichello with the Brazilian putting an end to Sebastian Vettel's five consecutive top-three grid slots as he relegated the Red Bull racer to fourth place.

Felipe Massa qualified in third place ahead of Nico Rosberg and Heikki Kovalainen.

Meanwhile, it was an afternoon to forget for Kovalainen's McLaren team-mate Lewis Hamilton as the Brit broke his rear suspension when he thumped the wall during Q1. He will start P16 on the grid.

Qualifying Report
The sun was beating down in Monte Carlo harbour with an ambient temperature of 24C and the track at 45C as the pitlane exit light turned green.

With the track well rubbered in it was more a question of getting a clear lap than making the tyres last in Monaco. Bridgestone had given teams the soft and the super-soft to work with, the only race on the calendar where the cars would have adjacent grades available as the prime and the option tyre.

Given their terrible form in practice it was no surprise to see the two Toyotas out first. Felipe Massa was also out early and ruined their first timed laps, bringing out the yellow flags with an accident at the swimming pool where he lost control and hit the inside barrier.

Trulli set the first decent P1 time with 1:18.856, Giancarlo Fisichella reduced it to 1:17.907, Buemi took it down to 1:17.225, then Kovalainen set the bar at 1:16.543. Red Bull's championship contender Sebastian Vettel took P1 with a 1:16.499 and on his second hot lap set a 1:16.045.

Unlike any other circuit, almost all of the teams fuelled for two- or three-lap qualifying runs with an opening quick lap, a lap to get space in traffic, and then a third hot lap.

Championship leader took over P1 with a 1:15.817 while his team-mate Rubens Barrichello, despite brushing the barrier at the run up from Rascasse to Nogues, went quicker with a 1:15.660.

This looked likely to fall to the ever-improving Lewis Hamilton who set the fastest first sector time of 19.8 before losing control of his McLaren into the Mirabeau turn and thumping the safety barrier hard with his rear left tyre breaking the suspension.

He was in no position to return to the pits and had to get out of the car which was unceremoniously craned over the barriers. The session was red-flagged with 8.07 left on the clock.

Coming into the last three minutes Hamilton's initial time almost looked like it might carry him through to Q2, not that he would have a car to compete in. The danger positions were: 11.Webber, 12.Piquet, 13.Trulli, 14.Alonso, 15.Glock, 16.Buemi, 17.Kubica, 18.Fisichella, 19.Bourdais, 20.Heidfeld.

Jenson Button re-asserted his authority by claiming P1 as the cars circulated trying to get into Q2, Rosberg went P4 and then grabbed P1 with a 1:15.094, Webber took P5, Piquet jumped to P10, Alonso was safe in P8, but the BMWs of Heidfeld and Kubica could only manage P16 and P17.

At the very last second Sebastien Bourdais got himself into P.15 displacing Lewis Hamilton's time. So out went:

It was possibly the most elite set of drivers ever to be dismissed in Q1; one World Champion, three GP winners, and every one of them a podium finisher in their careers.

Two races ago Toyota had locked out the front row of the Bahrain GP and here they were in Monaco propping up the grid. Jarno Trulli maintained that Alonso had blocked him coming through Rascasse and Nogues and had reported him to the stewards.

Hamilton admitted that he had made a driver error when he lost control going into Mirabeau and was acutely aware that he had thrown away his chance in a race he could have won.

Qualifying 2
Into the second session and Felipe Massa was out early to set the P1 time at 1:15.586. Team-mate Kimi Raikkonen looked immeasurably more confident and reduced that to 1:15.332.

Sebastian Vettel took P1 with a 1:15.217 which was decimated by Nico Rosberg with a 1:14.846. Mark Webber proved that he is the faster Red Bull driver in Monaco despite his weight disadvantage and took P1 with a 1:14.825. His spell at the top of the timesheets didn't last long as Heikki Kovalainen blasted past him with a 1:14.809.

With seven minutes of the session left Nelson Piquet lost control of his Renault just before the Anthony Nogues turn but managed to keep his car out of the barriers. Stewards noticed that Giancarlo Fisichella had been straight-lining the turn after the swimming pool exit and decided to cancel his first two times.

Coming into the last three minutes the danger positions were: 7.Alonso, 8.Raikkonen, 9.Nakajima, 10.Button, 11.Piquet, 12.Buemi, 13.Sutil, 14.Bourdais, 15.Fisichella.

Kimi improved to P6 on the first of his hot laps, while Button, who had been lingering close to the drop zone, launched himself forward to P6 moving Raikkonen back to P7. Kimi then put in an astonishingly quick lap of 1:14.514 to take P1.

Alonso managed to creep into the top ten in P9, but when the chequered flag fell it was the usual suspects from the Q3 elimination zone that failed to get through. So out went:
11. Buemi
In fact if you completely reversed the Q3 and Q2 eliminees that would have looked far more like the natural order.

Qualifying 3
Unlike almost any other GP track, the amount of rubber that was being put down was increasing the speeds of cars in each session.

Sebastian Vettel did his championship hopes no harm at all by setting P1 with a 1:16.206, and then, after Rosberg had beaten it with a 1:15.602, reduced it to 1:15.395. Rosberg's second hot lap was quick but only good enough for P2.

With Mark Webber and Kazuki Nakajima looking to be running much heavier fuel levels (to cope with the Safety Car lottery) the order of the top 8 after the first runs was: 1.Vettel, 2.Rosberg, 3.Barrichello, 4.Button, 5.Massa, 6.Kovalainen 7.Alonso, 8.Raikkonen.

After a second set of tyres, the Ferraris came out to show that their first runs had been slightly conservative. Raikkonen leapt from P.8 to P2 while Felipe Massa slipped into P3. Fuelled for a second hot lap Raikkonen set the timing screens to purple for sector 1 and blitzed across the line to beat Vettel's time with a 1:14.927 - a Ferrari pole?

Jenson Button meanwhile had set the fastest S1 and when he set the fastest middle sector, pole looked a real possibility - across the line he flashed with a 1:14.902 good enough for P1. Vettel could not improve enough but Rubens Barrichello was in with a shot of making it an all-Brawn front row.

Rubens came up short in P3 with Vettel only reducing his lap time by 0.12 of a second on the decisive second set of tyres to finish 4th. Massa was 5th, Rosberg 6th and Kovalainen 7th.

Though Eddie Jordan was of the belief that the Ferrari of Raikkonen would reach Sainte Devote first thanks to its KERS button, if the system doesn't kick in till the cars are doing 100kph Button (providing he gets away well) will have more than enough time to move over and take the line.

Similarly, Sebastian Vettel will be glad that his usual shadow, Felipe Massa, won't have such a long drag down to Turn 1 to slip from 5th to 4th and ruin his strategy.

In the last 23 years only one driver outside the front three on the grid has won the race - and that was Panis in 1996 when it was wet. Lewis Hamilton will be doing the rain dance tonight.


01 J. Button Brawn GP 1:14.902
02 K. Räikkönen Ferrari 1:14.927
03 R. Barrichello Brawn GP 1:15.077
04 S. Vettel Red Bull 1:15.271
05 F. Massa Ferrari 1:15.437
06 N. Rosberg Williams 1:15.455
07 H. Kovalainen McLaren 1:15.516
08 M. Webber Red Bull 1:15.653
9 F. Alonso Renault 1:16.009
10 K. Nakajima Williams 1:17.344
11 S. Buemi Scuderia Toro Rosso 1:15.833
12 N. Piquet jr. Renault 1:15.837
13 G. Fisichella Force India F1 1:16.146
14 S. Bourdais Scuderia Toro Rosso 1:16.281
15 A. Sutil Force India F1 1:16.545
16 L. Hamilton McLaren 1:16.264
17 N. Heidfeld BMW 1:16.264
18 R. Kubica BMW 1:16.405
19 J. Trulli Toyota 1:16.548
20 T. Glock Toyota 1:16.788

Source : Planet F1

Friday, May 22, 2009

Hamilton: I am a stronger man now

Lewis HamiltonLewis Hamilton says he has emerged from his tumultuous start to the season a stronger man, after admitting the past few weeks have been 'very tough' for him.

Having faced troubles with his car on track, and criticism off it for his involvement in the lying controversy, the world champion has deliberately kept a low profile in recent races.

But he ended his self-imposed 'exile' in Monaco on Thursday when he sat down with the British press to chat through his feelings.

Speaking in a relaxed and friendly manner, no doubt buoyed by the strong on-track performance of his McLaren around the streets of Monte Carlo, Hamilton said he felt he had grown and learned from the events of the past few weeks.

"Yes, definitely," he said. "All these experiences I've had. I am not perfect, I am not a politician, I say things wrong every now and then. I'm sure everyone does.

"You try to learn from those experiences, carry them with you and try to grow. I've had a world championship which is something I am still very proud to have. I am trying just now to build on those bricks and keep getting better. I do feel as a driver if I had last year's car I'd be in a great position."

Hamilton apologised for not having maintained his usual media commitments in recent weeks, but explained that it had been important for him to get things straight in his head about all that had gone on.

"It's just taking some time to reflect on things, analyse it, and understand exactly what's gone on," he said. "And then to be able to grow from it. You can't just get on with things. You have to be able to analyse it so you don't make the same mistake again."

He added: "It hasn't been a great start to the year, but everyone knows that. It's been very, very tough. As we get more into the season it's getting more exciting for us. You may not see it so much from the outside but we've made huge steps forwards, even if not so huge here because of the type of circuit it is. But we've made some great steps. That's the exciting thing."

Hamilton admitted that he found it strange there had been so much attention on him since the start of the year.

"People don't realise that whilst we look like superstars we live pretty normal lives....every now and again we go on holiday and that's better, but our normal life is the same as yours.

"If anything your apartment may be bigger than mine. I've got a nice neat place, nothing special, nothing spectacular. I live a normal life in Geneva. Generally, away from everything I live a normal life. I am a normal person; a human being. People look at me and see a superstar and expect someone superhuman. But I'm a normal guy. I have made that mistake in the past with people in the hierarchy. They are humans at the end of the day."

Hamilton also praised the role of his father Anthony in helping get through the troubles of the past few weeks.

"Me and my dad have a fantastic relationship and it has not affected that in any way, if anything its strengthened it," he said. "Dad showed an ability to speak to me, and our communication has improved.

"Without my dad, first of all I wouldn't be here. He's the one that is the backbone. He has never ever failed. He has been to every single race through my whole career and I've been to a lot of races since I was eight years old. He has always backed me up.

"He always supported me whether I am right or wrong. And he's helped me get around it and everything. He plays a huge key role in my life."

And speaking about how things had changed with mentor Ron Dennis having stepped back from the F1 team, Hamilton said: "I miss Ron. It is not the same feeling as my dad because he has, literally, been by my side ever since the start.

"Ron got a lot more involved since I got into single-seaters, GP2, and F1. My relationship with Ron is still very strong. I miss having him around. The paddock feels a little bit empty without him here."

Source : Autosport

Prac Two: Practice King Rosberg takes P1

Thursday 21st May 2009

Nico Rosberg returned to the slot he has made his own this season, finishing at the top of the timesheets in Thursday's second practice for the Monaco GP.

The German clocked a 1:15.446 to lead the way ahead of the McLaren of Lewis Hamilton, who put in a stellar performance, often holding down the P1 slot himself.

Third place went to the Brawn GP of Rubens Barrichello, who outpaced team-mate Jenson Button while Felipe Massa and Sebastian Vettel completed the top six.

Report: Sebastien Buemi, the two Force Indias and Nelson Piquet Jr were the early starters as they ventured out almost immediately for their installation laps. Meanwhile Mark Webber was left stuck on the sidelines for at least "twenty minutes, half an hour" due to a vibration coming from the back of his car that his mechanics were furiously working to fix. The Aussie, though, insisted it had nothing to do with the double-decker diffuser that Red Bull are running for the first time this weekend.

Buemi set the first time of the session, a 1:23.542. Bourdais joined the running, beating his team-mate's time only to be knocked down a lap later. Nico Rosberg took the early P1 slot with a 1:19.433.

Problems for Robert Kubica as a huge plume of smoke rose from his stricken BMW, which expired in spectacular style up the hill from Ste Devote. Yellow flags were brought out at the marshalls craned his car out of harm's way.

Heikki Kovalainen went second ahead of Kazuki Nakajima, Bourdais, Buemi, Fernando Alonso, Adrian Sutil and Nelson Piquet. Kovalainen moved up to first place while Felipe Massa took third before he was dropped by team-mate Kimi Raikkonen. The two Ferraris fell further as Lewis Hamilton improved to second and then first. Raikkonen moved up to second.

Barrichello, who was quickest in Prac One, put in a flier to take third place despite a few tussles with his BGP001. Piquet took first place before his team-mate Alonso overhauled him. Trulli slotted in between the two Renaults before Barrichello took second off him. Nakajima moved up to fourth and then took first.

Kovalainen is the next to take the P1 slot as he posted a 1:16.871. Alonso took second place behind him while Hamilton improved to fourth and then second. Massa displaced Kovalainen at the top of the timesheets before he too was dropped by Hamilton. Raikkonen slotted in ahead of Massa, just a tenth slower than Hamilton.

The drivers continued to put in the laps with Hamilton leading the way and the rest fighting amongst themselves for second place. It went to Barrichello, then to Raikkonen, only for Barrichello to improve to P1 ahead of Hamilton. Kovalainen and Massa followed suit.

Rosberg went on a charge and took second place while Raikkonen improved to sixth behind Hamilton and Button. Hamilton moved up to second before Rosberg dropped him by taking the P1 slot with a 1:15.446.

The Williams driver ended the session in P1, followed by Hamilton, Barrichello, Button, Massa and Vettel.

01 N. Rosberg Williams 1:15.243 45 laps
02 L. Hamilton McLaren 1:15.445 35 laps
03 R. Barrichello Brawn GP 1:15.590 41 laps
04 J. Button Brawn GP 1:15.774 36 laps
05 F. Massa Ferrari 1:15.832 42 laps
06 S. Vettel Red Bull 1:15.847 33 laps
07 H. Kovalainen McLaren 1:15.984 45 laps
08 K. Räikkönen Ferrari 1:15.985 43 laps
09 K. Nakajima Williams 1:16.260 43 laps
10 N. Piquet jr. Renault 1:16.286 43 laps
11 F. Alonso Renault 1:16.552 39 laps
12 M. Webber Red Bull 1:16.579 27 laps
13 A. Sutil Force India F1 1:16.675 38 laps
14 J. Trulli Toyota 1:16.915 43 laps
15 S. Buemi Scuderia Toro Rosso 1:16.983 48 laps
16 S. Bourdais Scuderia Toro Rosso 1:17.052 48 laps
17 N. Heidfeld BMW 1:17.109 40 laps
18 T. Glock Toyota 1:17.207 45 laps
19 G. Fisichella Force India F1 1:17.504 45 laps
20 R. Kubica BMW no time 2 laps

Source : Planet F1

Hamilton: I have a fighting chance

Thursday 21st May 2009

For the first time this season reigning World Champ Lewis Hamilton sees a chance for winning a grand prix after a stellar performance in Thursday's Monaco practices.

After a dismal Spanish GP, which saw Hamilton lack the pace needed to finish in the points never mind on the podium, the Brit came to Monte Carlo hoping for a better result as many predicted that the circuit's slow, twisty design would suit the characteristics of the MP4-24.

And that proved to be true during Thursday's opening two practices.

The McLaren driver posted the third best time in Practice One and went one better later in the afternoon when he finished in second place, two-tenths slower than pace-setter Nico Rosberg.

"It definitely gives me a much better fighting chance for this weekend in terms of getting the car a bit further up - but the others looks very strong," said an upbeat Hamilton.

"We just have to try and do the best job we can, and bit by bit we get a little bit quicker. But we have to see what the others are doing."

As for McLaren's MP4-24, Hamilton has very few complaints, although one of them is a lack of downforce.

"My mechanical grip is quite good. It is very bumpy here and it is still very, very hard work and I do struggle in the high speed corners," he said.

"In Turn 3 and Turn 12/13/14 - the high speed corners - I am probably losing two or three tenths through all those corners.

"I am doing everything I can to catch it up a little bit but we just don't have it in the car. On the other areas we are able to do a bit better than the others.

"Fingers crossed that gives us a better fighting chance."

The Brit is now looking ahead to Saturday's qualifying, where he hopes to make it into Q3 and perhaps even put his car on the front row of the grid.

"From today's results, I definitely feel Q3 should be possible this weekend rather than how it was in Barcelona, and when we get there we have to see how we do," he said.

"Here the most important thing is to be as close to the front as possible, if not on the front row. But to beat the Brawns again will be tough."

Source : Planet F1

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Heikki downplays McLaren's pace

Thursday 21st May 2009

Heikki Kovalainen has downplayed the pace that saw himself and team-mate Lewis Hmailton finish in the top four in Thursday's first practice session in Monaco.

McLaren headed to Monte Carlo for this weekend's race, confident that the twisty, slow track would suit the characteristics of their MP4-24. And that proved to be true when, on Thursday morning, Hamilton and Kovalainen finished third and fourth on the timesheets, half a second behind pace-setter Rubens Barrichello.

But despite their strong early showing, Kovalainen has warned against getting their hopes too high.

"I don't think that we should put too many expectations on any weekend," the Finn told Autosport.

"We know the car is still not quick enough, but potentially it could be a bit better here than it was in Barcelona. We have a few upgrades again for the car, so let's see where we are tomorrow and go from there."

Having said that, though, the McLaren man reckons Thursday morning's results are more proof that McLaren are heading in the right direction with their MP4-24.

"I think we have made quite a massive gain between the last test that we did before the start of the season and now - I think we've gained a big chunk of the lap time," he said.

"So if we can carry on doing that over the next few months obviously it will help us a lot. Obviously at the last race everybody had their upgrades, and we should have upgrades coming regularly. Hopefully more often than the competitors."

Source : Planet F1

Prac One: Ferrari, McLaren join Brawn in the battle

Thursday 21st May 2009

Ferrari and McLaren joined Brawn GP in fighting for the top honours in the opening practice session for the prestigious Monaco GP, but, as to be expected, it was Brawn who triumphed.

Rubens Barrichello, who is determined to join his team-mate Jenson Button in the winner column, clocked the fastest time of the session, a 1:17.189 to beat Ferrari's Felipe Massa by 0.310.

Third place went Lewis Hamilton, while his team-mate Heikki Kovalainen was fourth ahead of Kimi Raikkonen.

Report: With sunny skies overhead and a track temperature of 30'C greeted the drivers as Nick Heidfeld, Giancarlo Fisichella, Seb Buemi, Adrian Sutil and Seb Vettel got proceedings underway. They were followed out of the rather narrow Monaco pit lane by a train of drivers all putting in their installation laps.

Buemi ventured out for the first timed lap of the morning and posted a 1:25.201 around the 3.340km circuit. The Swiss driver, the only rookie in this year's field, took 4s off his time over the course of the next four laps when finally he was joined by Timo Glock and Jarno Trulli, who went second and third respectively.

Massa, putting in his first time of the morning, took out a trackside bollard on his way to a 1:24.211, which put him third. Bourdais took fifth place on his first attempt but was 10s off the pace. Massa moved up to first place before being dethroned by Glock, who posted a 1:19.983. Massa returns to the P1 slot, taking a second off Glock's time while Kimi Raikkonen goes third ahead of Jenson Button, Nelson Piquet and Bourdais.

Lewis Hamilton, leaving it late to come out, was quickly on the pace as he took third behind Button. The Brit, though, was soon dropped by Renault's Fernando Alonso. Hamilton improved to take P1 with a 1:18.376, 0.5s up on Massa's time. Nico Rosberg also climbed up the order, moving into fifth place ahead of his team-mate Kazuki Nakajima, Raikkonen and Vettel. Rosberg improved to second on his next lap before being dropped by Mark Webber. The German, though, retook the position seconds later.

With half the session completed everyone barring the two BMWs of Nick Heidfeld and Robert Kubica had set lap times with Buemi, Bourdais and Trulli the slowest three. And so far no one had touched the barriers!

Rubens Barrichello made the most up for fifth place, slotting in ahead of Alonso and Massa. Heikki Kovalainen improved to sixth place as Heidfeld, after having his brakes worked on by his BMW mechanics, finally made his way out on to the track. His team-mate Kubica was still stuck in the garage as the team worked on his brake balance.

Massa improved to second place behind Hamilton, 0.5s off the McLaren's pace. Could this be the race where McLaren and Ferrari come to the fore? Problems for Vettel as his Renault engine started spewing spoke out of the left bank. And as the German insisted on return to his team's garage a trail of oil has been left over at least a quarter of the track.

Barrichello, though, paid no attention to the concerns as he put in a 1:17.505 to take the P1 slot. Kubica set a time but found himself second slowest with only Trulli behind him. Raikkonen slotted into fourth place joining Barrichello, Massa and Hamilton in the 1:17s.

The final ten minutes saw a flurry of activity, however, the top three did not change with Barrichello ending the session quickest.

01 R. Barrichello Brawn GP 1:17.189 25 laps
02 F. Massa Ferrari 1:17.499 30 laps
03 L. Hamilton McLaren 1:17.578 25 laps
04 H. Kovalainen McLaren 1:17.686 29 laps
05 K. Räikkönen Ferrari 1:17.839 29 laps
06 K. Nakajima Williams 1:18.000 29 laps
07 N. Rosberg Williams 1:18.024 27 laps
08 J. Button Brawn GP 1:18.080 27 laps
09 F. Alonso Renault 1:18.283 30 laps
10 M. Webber Red Bull 1:18.348 22 laps
11 S. Buemi Scuderia Toro Rosso 1:18.695 36 laps
12 N. Piquet jr. Renault 1:19.204 36 laps
13 S. Vettel Red Bull 1:19.233 16 laps
14 S. Bourdais Scuderia Toro Rosso 1:19.255 31 laps
15 G. Fisichella Force India F1 1:19.534 28 laps
16 R. Kubica BMW 1:19.255 31 laps
17 N. Heidfeld BMW 1:19.579 23 laps
18 A. Sutil Force India F1 1:19.600 24 laps
19 T. Glock Toyota 1:19.698 24 laps
20 J. Trulli Toyota 1:19.831 28 laps

Source : Planet F1

Monaco Grand Prix Preview

Wednesday 20th May 2009

The Tax Dodgers GP is here again with all the glitz and glamour that yappy small dogs and women with expensive cosmetic surgery can confer. The Monaco GP is basically the South of France GP that's held about half a kilometre over the border.

Walk the circuit and be amazed. It's not so much "cycling round your bathroom" as "cycling round the shower tray". Until the demise of traction control it was a pretty useless sort of race. Great for scenery, great for history, but processional in the extreme.

You can be between three and four seconds a lap quicker than the car in front and not get past them on the streets of Monaco. In fact many drivers believe that a GP2 car that starts on pole could keep its F1 rivals at bay. (Let alone a GP3 car)

What Monaco loses in places to overtake it gains with its punishingly close barriers ready to derange a rear suspense at the slightest hint of oversteer. And now that the cars are allowed to oversteer because of driver error it's become a lot more fun.

Last year saw some sensational overtaking moves including Rubens Barrichello completing the most amazing move on Mark Webber's Red Bull into the Anthony Nogues corner. The Anthony Nogues corner! That hasn't witnessed any kind of action since Jack Brabham threw it all away back when you could have funded the entire world's annual motorsport for £40m.

But the most expensive demolition derby and carbon fibre shower party is going to be overshadowed this weekend by the mother of all F1 political rows. Not since the FOCA vs FISA 'war' of the 80s between the teams and the governing body (when Bernie and Max were on the side of the teams) has there been such acrimony around the pitlane.

Ferrari may have lost the court case, but the names the FIA trotted out as potential F1 entrants were generally received with derision (Max's comedy half hour). For those of us who can remember the no-hopers of the pre-qualifying 90s this was a blast from the past. More like F1 Scrapheap Challenge than a serious attempt at a series.

I can't see the guys at Minichamps fighting over the rights to make a 1/43 model of the lastest car from Nick Wirth Research.

And it was interesting that Max said he had 11 entrants, "seven of them were serious". Why bother telling us about the non-serious ones. Hey, how about this, PF1 will enter a team. There, that's 12 entrants.

Back to the preview. Red Bull arrive in Monaco with their own double deck diffuser and hence the chance to beat the Brawns off the line for a change. Mark Webber is quick around Monaco and could easily score his first World Championship win. And what a place to do it. Nobody in the pitlane would begrudge him a trip to the top step of the podium. (Perhaps as long as it was only one).

Jenson Button is also quick and precise around the streets and his confidence should be high despite quite a heavy impact coming out of the tunnel a few years back. Rubens Barrichello will be keen to get one over on his team-mate, so watch out for how Brawn play the strategy game.

Safety Cars are always a strong probability around Monaco, so it may not be such a great idea to fuel ultra light. Any advantage would be wiped out by an early Safety Car. Fuel too heavy, though, and you'll be so far back that your pace is dictated by whoever you end up behind. A bit like Vettel behind Massa in Spain.

Lewis Hamilton has always been phenomenally quick in Monaco and should be in contention for a podium, and Jarno Trulli in the Toyota could be tempted to go for glory and a high grid slot on light fuel.

Felipe Massa believes that the Monaco GP could kickstart his season. If it doesn't, then concentrating on the 2010 car may be a bit problematic... if there isn't going to be an F61. Should the pace of the new Red Bull take it beyond the Brawns then Ferrari don't have a realistic chance of the drivers' title and their sheer unreliability won't regain them the manufacturer's.

So much will be dictated by the grid slots drivers achieve on Saturday and the haphazard nature of Safety Cars through the race. Drivers can't win the race in qualifying but they can definitely stuff up their chances. And so there will be intense scrutiny of any blocking during Q1 and Q2.

Teams will be anxious to get their cars out with minimum chance of traffic because F1 radios never work their best round built-up areas. Even if drivers are aware of fast cars approaching there's often very few places to go.

As for previewing what will happen in the Mosley vs Montezemolo standoff, that's even less predictable. Last year Max had to deal with all the furore and fallout over his sex scandal and was notably absent from the Monaco Royal Box. It'll be interesting to see if he's there this year.

Source : Planet F1

Ferrari reiterate threat to quit Formula One

How can the rules be the same for everyone when Ferrari has veto rights and nobody else does?

Wednesday 20th May 2009

Ferrari have made it clear that they won't hesitate to go through with their threat to pull out of Formula One so that they can "compete in races of a calibre worthy of the marque".

The Maranello outfit on Wednesday lost its court application for an injunction against the FIA's controversial proposal to introduce a budget cap in next year's Championship.

Ferrari, who along with Renault, Toyota and Red Bull have threatened to quit the sport, also gave the first indication that it might take part in another competition.

A statement from the team read: 'If it is not possible for all parties to reach agreement, then in line with the decision of the Main Board, taken on 12th May, Ferrari will not enter its cars in a competition that, with the planned scenario in place, would see a watering down of the characteristics that have endowed Formula 1 with the status of the most important motor sport series and that have specifically led to the Maranello marque's uninterrupted participation in the World Championship since 1950. In this situation, Ferrari will continue to compete in races of a calibre worthy of the marque, matching its level of innovation and technological research.'

The Scuderia, though, says while it is still considering whether to press ahead with legal action, it will continue to work with FOTA and the FIA to find common ground.

'While continuing to evaluate whether or not to continue with this legal action already underway, Ferrari confirms its commitment to work within FOTA in conjunction with the FIA and the Commercial Rights Holder to ensure that Formula 1 is a series where the rules are the same for everyone and which benefits from stability in the regulations, while continuing the work of the past few months in moving forward methodically and gradually towards reducing costs.'

Source : Planet F1

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Ferrari to present case against FIA

Ferrari - cheaters since 1998

19 May 2009 by Keith Collantine
Ferrari has enjoyed much success since gaining its 'technical veto'

Ferrari has enjoyed much success since gaining its 'technical veto'

As revealed on Friday, Ferrari today are attempting to prosecute the FIA in the French courts for, they claim, breaking the terms of their now-infamous 2005 agreement.

The outcome of the trial could be crucial for the future of the sport, but most likely it will prove just another chapter in the latest F1 row - which has now transformed from a dispute over the rules into a conflict that asks fundamental questions about how F1 is run and governed.

The technical veto

The causes of the trial are remarkable enough to begin with. Last week Ferrari admitted to having had a ‘technical veto’ on the F1 rules since 1998 - seven years after Max Mosley was elected president of the FIA.

That the sport’s governing body was willing to grant such an unfair concession to one team is shocking even to the most cynical of fans, as it lends credence to allegations that the FIA has skewed the rules in Ferrari’s favour. By 1998 the team had gone 15 years without a championship. Since then they’ve won 14 out of 20.

Surely this revelation is just as likely to dissuade manufacturers from staying in or joining F1 as the recession is? If the playing field isn’t level there’s no point competing at any price.

Ten days to the deadline

Putting that matter aside, the somewhat ironic implication of Ferrari’s ‘technical veto’ is that they believe it can now be deployed to safeguard the interests of (several of) the teams. That is, to rebuff the FIA’s unilateral imposition of the two-tier budget cap rules.

Meanwhile Mosley is counting down the days until the teams have to submit their applications to compete in 2010. The deadline in May 29th, leaving ten days to go.

He has already issued the threat that, if Ferrari win their case today, the FIA will appeal. If the French courts cannot hear that appeal before the 29th, it could leave next year’s technical rules in disarray.

Ecclestone eager for solution

It’s not hard to read an increasing sense of desperation in Bernie Ecclestone’s words as the manufacturers and Mosley stare each other down. If he cannot avoid the FIA driving the manufacturers away his task of maintaining a sufficient level of income from F1 (to service the gigantic loan taken out by CVC to finance their purchase of it) will suddenly become extremely difficult.

Ecclestone is now adamant that the two-tier aspect of the rules will not go ahead. He told the BBC and the Daily Mail:

I think the most important thing that upset everybody, they didn’t like, was this two-tier technical system, so I think it has been agreed that we shouldn’t have that. We should have just one set of regulations.

Of course, it is not up to Ecclestone to decide F1’s regulations - that’s the FIA’s job. With fresh negotiations between all three parties scheduled for this weekend’s Monaco Grand Prix, the most compelling thing Ecclestone can do to improve the chances of the teams overcoming their opposition to budget capping is to offer them more money.

Source : F1Fanatic

McLaren may have to knock the season on the head

Tuesday 19th May 2009

McLaren are running out of time to prove that they are capable of winning this year's Championship.

Five races into the season, defending World Champion Lewis Hamilton finds himself 32 points behind Jenson Button in the Drivers' standings.

And with Brawn GP looking like they have no intention of loosening their grip at the top, Hamilton fears that McLaren might have to write off their season if they fail to close the gap in the next couple of races.

Hamilton told The Mirror: "Brawn have a Championship-winning car.

"It is going to be tough, but the ambition is always to win.

"If we've still not scored many points by the time we get to mid-season, we may have to knock it on the head."

Source : Planet F1

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Ferrari want to stay - but on own terms

Hmm it seems that Ferrari have a special arrangement with the FIA where they have veto powers over the technical regulations. Makes one wonder whether all those drivers and constructors trophies that they've won was done with merit or by influencing the regulations to suit their car. Suddenly Schumacher's record doesn't look so great. If that is not cheating, I don't know what is.

Saturday 16th May 2009

Ferrari team boss Stefano Domenicali insists the Scuderia do want to remain in Formula One - but not under Max Mosley's terms.

Speaking in the wake of Friday's failed attempt to reach a compromise with the FIA President over his planned £40 million budget cap, Domenicali confirmed that the Scuderia have lodged an injuction against the FIA's 2010 regulations.

Ferrari feel that Mosley is weilded too much power in his attempt to force new regulations on the teams without consulting them, especially given that the Scuderia have a veto power regarding technical rules that was granted to them back in 1998.

"For us it's very important, it's our life," said Domenicali. "We want to fight in order to make sure that we will be in the Championship in the right way."

The Italian also revealed that Ferrari's board of directors, who met early in the week, had given team president Luca di Montezemolo the go-ahead to seek legal action in a French court.

"What I can say is that there is nothing new in that. If you look at what was the outcome of our board, the Ferrari board, it was clearly indicated that the president has the mandate from the board to protect the rights of Ferrari," he said.

As for Ferrari's option to veto regulations, Domenicali added: "I think I cannot go into these details. There are certain things that are in these rights and no more than that."

Ferrari, though, are not alone in their stance against the FIA with Toyota team boss John Howett telling Autosport: "I understand Ferrari has taken some sort of action, and from Toyota's perspective we understand their position and we support them."

Source : Planet F1

Saturday, May 16, 2009


I'm really getting sick of Max and his shit..the latest being the budget cap and the two-tier regulations that go with it. It doesn't make sense. I wouldn't want to compete in a sport where there is two different sets of rules where from the start there is a clear disadvantage for some and advantage for some. Simply, there is no fairness involved. And to think the FIA and Max was touting fair play everywhere they went especially when they hammering McLaren.

In the current economic situation budgets definitely have to be reigned in, we can’t be spending 400 million and above forever. A cap is OK but not 40 million at the highest level of motorsports. If that is what it takes to compete in F1, then might as well compete in lower categories or just watch some spec series.

Why can’t they just set it at a level that the manufacturers are agreeable to, say 120 million. Then whoever wants to spend that much or not, it’s up to them, if u have it and want to spend it, go ahead. If you can’t, don’t. It is a cap after all, that is what a cap is all about, it caps at the top. Your options are between 0 and the cap..up to you.

At the same time, allow technical freedom to everybody under the cap. If you spend 40 million and are smart, you’ll still beat somebody who spends 120 million but is not so smart. Then the sport will still keep it's DNA which is ingenuity working in a set of rules and limitations to produce results. We don't want F1 to become another spec series like A1. Yes with unlimited budgets the bigger rich teams could spend their way to the front of the grid.

With a 100 million cap, it would be a bit more difficult to do. But with technical freedom, some solutions needn't cost a bomb to be effective, to get another half a second per lap. Look at Brawn. The teams with not so much money will have to be smarter, to think of ingenious solutions without spending so much. The richer teams would be happy also to get half a second without spending their full budget. Rich or poor, everybody wants to cut costs.

At the end of the day, whatever the outcome F1 needs to get rid of Max. He is bad for the sport, bringing it into disrepute many times over and is childish, stupid and ugly. Max - up yours!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Stewart: The FIA has no right

Well said Sir jackie..woohoo! FIA and Max..up yours!

Friday 15th May 2009

Never one to pass up on the chance to have a go at the FIA, Sir Jackie Stewart has slammed motorsport's governing body, saying they have "no business" telling the teams how much they can spend.

Formula One is set for arguably its most important day in its history today as the Formula One Teams Assocation takes on Max Mosley. On the one side of the table Mosley and his FIA are determined to press ahead with their budget cap even though it could result in a two-tier Championship, and on the other side the teams, including Ferrari, Renault, Toyota, Red Bull and Toro Rosso, are threatening to leave the sport if Mosley gets his way.

Stewart, a three-times F1 World Champion, has now weighed in on the debate, saying its up to each individual team - and not the FIA - to decide how much money they want to spend.

"I agree that there should be a reduction in costs," Stewart told the Daily Express, "but the governing body of Formula One was set up to regulate the sport, not to tell free enterprise teams how to spend the money they earn.

"Compromises will have to be made. What has the FIA got to do with the economics of motorsport? These are private enterprise companies that are run to make profit by building cars. It is for the people who run the teams to decide what the cap is on spending annually.

"Everyone does what they can afford to do. For those who lead the teams, they will be the ones who decide if they will make big losses, and so go out of business.

"The FIA simply take money, they don't make money without the teams and yet they want to tell BMW, Ferrari, Renault, Toyota, Mercedes, these huge successful companies, how much they can afford in F1. Why should I be told how to spend by someone who is not investing in my business?

"The teams employ a lot of people and if they decide they cannot afford to keep these people then that is their prerogative. But it is one thing for a team to decide to make redundancies, it is another for the FIA to decide that they have to do so by insisting on budget cuts.

"I think we have all become extravagant, inside and outside F1, but we are all learning to make savings.

"It is one thing to want to attract new teams in, but you cannot bring them in promising that they will be able to beat teams like Ferrari who have spent a lifetime becoming what they are. No one has a right to survive in F1, they all know that. If teams pull out, they are replaced. Don't forget teams like Vanwall, BRM, Tyrrell, Lotus and Brabham.

"Great names who have all gone, but the sport continues. That is what happens and we don't need the FIA artificially trying to prevent that. And let's not forget that then the FIA have to police a budget cap and that opens up a whole grey area of how money is spent on different parts and areas of the team."

Stewart also added that it's rather ironic that while the FIA are preaching cost-cutting to the teams they are themselves increasing fees for the drivers and proposing to up the teams' entry fee.

"The FIA will have to have a lot of people going around, and why should private companies open their books to them? These companies know they are in a tough economic world now, they are making cuts but I don't see the FIA cutting costs. They are raising drivers' licence fees and threatening to raise entry fees. Have the FIA grounded their private jet?"

Source : Planet F1

Lewis on titles, Button and politics

Friday 15th May 2009

Lewis Hamilton has praised Jenson Button for making a stunning start to the Formula One season and believes his fellow English driver will be having the time of his life.

But even though his own chances of world title glory are fading quickly, as Brawn GP's Button races clear in the standings, reigning Champion Hamilton insists he is fully committed to a future with the struggling McLaren team.

Button already has 41 points after four wins in five races, while Hamilton is lagging behind in seventh place with a nine-point haul.

Hamilton admitted winning the title will become "less of a realistic goal" if McLaren continue to fall behind the pace at the front of the grid.

He told the BBC: "I never give up so I have not given up. But, if you look at the Brawn team, they have a Championship-winning car.

"They have a huge head start on us. They're a long way ahead. They've done a fantastic job and I wish them all the best.

"Jenson is doing a great job."

Hamilton added: "I've always had a lot of respect for Jenson. I've known him since he was about nine or 10 years old.

"When he arrived at F1 he was a superstar and he got into a car that wasn't particularly very quick and it went downhill rather than up.

"He struggled for years in a very similar position to where I am. For him to finally get a good car and understand exactly how good that would feel would be a great feeling.

"I've had some very blessed and great experiences and I've got nothing to complain about."

Hamilton won the World title in his second season with the McLaren F1 team, and the 24-year-old - five years Button's junior - is certain the team will come good again.

He said: "I've been through some tough times in my life and McLaren have always been loyal to me.

"We stay with them. We're going to have some tough times together but we'll have many, many successful years together so I'm going to keep on working hard with them."

Hamilton has tried to ignore the current controversy concerning next season's regulations, which has seen Ferrari and Renault warn they will not compete unless changes are made.

The fundamental issue is the introduction of an optional £40million budget cap, which has divided opinions among the teams.

Hamilton said: "For sure you can see both sides of the argument. It's not for me to focus on too much. I've got to let the team get on with it.

"I've got a huge role in this team, which is to try to propel them forward and help them develop the car so that is what I've got to focus on."

Teams are being urged to cut their costs and Hamilton has noticed changes already.

He said: "It's already changed a huge amount this year. As a result of those ideas you're seeing a certain whirlwind coming around and it will be interesting to see the outcome.

"I just don't read it or take any notice of it.

"If they change the cars, they change the cars. I'm not really bothered either way. I get in the car and drive my heart out. As long as I enjoy it, I'll keep going."

Source : Planet F1

Lewis: I feel like an innocent man in prison

Friday 15th May 2009

Lewis Hamilton claims he has become disillusioned with F1 and compared the political storms this season to wrongful imprisonment.

The 24-year-old has had a turbulent start to his career since his rookie season in 2007, and this year he has been embroiled in the "liargate" affair after being accused of misleading stewards following the Australian Grand Prix.

Before that there was the "spy-gate" scandal which led to a £65million fine for McLaren for stealing information from Ferrari, and Hamilton is finding it difficult to accept these brushes with officialdom.

To compound Hamilton's woes, McLaren are off the pace this term, and the World Champion was heavily critical of his car during the Spanish Grand Prix in Barcelona last weekend.

"I just feel knocked out by it all," Hamilton told The Times.

"It's got to be a similar feeling to anyone who goes to jail but feels they shouldn't be behind bars.

"That is the feeling I have had, although I know what happened in Australia was wrong.

"I want to be a driver - I am not in the sport to be a politician.

"I used to enjoy Formula One and part of that has been taken away from me.

"I never imagined it would be so much politics when I came into Formula One. It definitely was a shock. There has been too much time taken up with it.

"Unfortunately, it is the way the Formula One world works for some reason. It's much nicer in the lower categories, where all the people are there just to race and the teams are there just to race."

Source : Planet F1

Thursday, May 14, 2009

High Noon: Max vs Luca

Wednesday 13th May 2009

So it's High Noon in Place de la Concorde. Or Maranello City. But most probably a nondescript hotel near Heathrow. The two meanest gunslingers are in town for a showdown. The FIA want a £40m budget cap and two tiers. FOTA want no tiers and sensible, phased cost reduction.

The stakes are high.

Max is staking his FIA presidency on it. If he were to back down now he'd be made to look a shambolic hustler. He's pushed through the budget cap measures at a hastily arranged McLaren disciplinary meeting, ignoring all kinds of protocols and carefully worked out structures. He's even ignoring the veto Ferrari get on all technical regs as set out in the Concorde Agreement. (It was that Ferrari signature that broke up the rival GPWC and allowed Bernie to sell F1 to a venture capitalist.)

In return Di Montzemolo is staking Ferrari's F1 future involvement. John Howett of Toyota is also there on the sidelines ready to jump in and take over Luca's smoking gun if required. Bernie Ecclestone is a worried observer fearful that he'll have no glamorous F1 grands prix to sell to Kazahkstan or Paraguay.

Who will win?

Because there is going to be a winner and a loser here. Ignoring the fact that Mosley could have all kinds of legal challenges to the way he's gone about implementing change, he's pitched his staff like Gandalf in Lord of the Rings and said - "£40m - you shall not pass!"

Montzemolo has got so fed up, not with just the substance of the changes, but with the way the FIA has ignored all kinds of agreed steps that something major has to change. Because he can't trust Max not to get together another emergency world motorsport council meeting and railroad something else through.

No team wants to see a two-tier Formula 1 with the winners and losers decided arbitrarily by where the FIA place the advantage. What's more, the 2009 technical changes have focused attention on just how easy it is for one small inflection of the rules to destroy a whole winter's development work.

It looks like Mosley will have to give up his two-tier system or face a mass exodus from the big teams. If he does cave in and also moves the budget north of £40m or allows more items free-of-charge, then he's lost the argument.

Max's final legacy to F1 could be...No F1.

Our money's on Montezemolo.

Source : Planet F1

Mercedes break rank with F1's manufacturers

They have no choice, treading on thin ice.

Thursday 14th May 2009

Mercedes Motorsport boss Norbert Haug is refusing to jump on the bandwagon of his Formula One rivals currently on a collision course with FIA President Max Mosley.

Renault yesterday joined Ferrari in threatening to withdraw from Formula One unless fundamental changes are made to the recently-announced regulations for next year.

Team boss Flavio Briatore and president Bernard Rey both denounced the FIA over their plans to introduce a £40million budget cap that would in turn result in a two-tier F1.

Briatore, in particular, also roundly condemned motor sport's world governing body over their lack of governance and failure to consult the teams on a subject of such far-reaching magnitude.

Yet whilst Ferrari, Toyota, Renault, Red Bull Racing and Toro Rosso - the latter two teams through owner Dietrich Mateschitz - have all voiced their opposition, Mercedes have so far remained silent.

The view is Mercedes do not want to be heard speaking against the FIA after the organisation took a lenient view on McLaren over the Liargate saga last month.

Haug maintains talk of following Ferrari and Renault's lead and threatening to withdraw "is not a topic at Mercedes."

Haug, though, can appreciate the stance being adopted by Ferrari, and is keen to see a resolution on the matter.

"I know that from conversation with (Ferrari president) Luca di Montezemolo and (team principal) Stefano Domenicali that Ferrari has thought about this threat very well," said Haug.

"After 60 years in Formula One they would not do so without some serious thinking.

"We will try to help to find a solution. All the teams are agreed that there cannot be two regulations in one series."

The FIA see their system as simple: you either choose not to accept the cap and race under the current regulations, or abide by the cap and enjoy a degree of technical freedom.

However, those cars would have a considerable performance advantage via greater engine and KERS power, as well as aerodynamic aids.

Given the choice, it leaves the FIA at a loss to understand why the teams do not all sign up for the cap, thereby running under the one set of rules.

But it is Mosley's governance of the sport that has enraged so many, and the fact he unilaterally acted without consulting the teams, who also fear the way the cap would be policed.

As Briatore remarked: "Our aim is to reduce costs while maintaining the high standards that make Formula One one of the most prestigious brands on the market.

"We want to achieve this in a co-ordinated manner with the regulatory and commercial bodies, and we refuse to accept unilateral governance handed out by the FIA.

"If the decisions announced by the World Council on the 29th of April are not revised, we have no choice but to withdraw from the FIA Formula One World Championship at the end of 2009."

Mosley and the teams are due to meet in London tomorrow when it is hoped a resolution can be found to safeguard the sport.

Source : Planet F1

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Renault follow Ferrari with quit threat

Wednesday 13th May 2009

Renault have today joined forces with Ferrari by confirming their intention to withdraw from the 2010 Formula One world championship unless recently-adopted regulations are revised.

Motor sport's world governing body, the FIA, and its president Max Mosley, now face critical showdown talks with all the teams at a Heathrow airport hotel on Friday if they are to save the sport.

Renault president Bernard Rey said: "We remain committed to the sport, however we cannot be involved in a championship operating with different sets of rules, and if such rules are put into effect, we will be forced to pull out at the end of this season."

Mosley is now under serious pressure to revise the rules announced on April 29 following a meeting of the World Motor Sport Council.

The proposed £40million budget cap would introduce a two-tier F1, sparking outrage, with five teams now confirming their intention not to compete from next year.

Ferrari, Toyota, Red Bull Racing, Toro Rosso, and now Renault, are all standing firm in the face of the FIA's policy making.

Renault team boss Flavio Briatore said: "Our aim is to reduce costs while maintaining the high standards that make Formula One one of the most prestigious brands on the market.

"We want to achieve this in a co-ordinated manner with the regulatory and commercial bodies, and we refuse to accept unilateral governance handed out by the FIA.

"If the decisions announced by the World Council on the 29th of April 2009 are not revised, we have no choice but to withdraw from the FIA Formula One World Championship at the end of 2009."

Under Mosley's budget cap plan, designed to attract new teams and curb the costs of the 10 present, there is a choice.

Teams can decide not to be capped, but must adhere to the current regulations, or run with the cap, but enjoy a performance advantage via greater engine and KERS power, as well as aerodynamic aids.

It is understood a flexible rear wing alone, currently outlawed but available to a team next season working within the cap, could lead to a car being two seconds per lap quicker than those without.

Renault, like Ferrari, have also voiced their disgust at what they see as the FIA's failure to discuss the rule changes with all the teams.

In particular, after the Formula One Teams' Association confirmed their own plans earlier this season to reduce costs over a period of time.

A Renault statement read: "There is frustration FOTA's constructive proposals, including major cost-saving measures to be adopted progressively between 2009 and 2012, which were carefully constructed by FOTA members, have been completely ignored without any form of consultation by the FIA with the teams.

"It should be stressed that FOTA has set the same, if not lower, financial objective as the FIA, but Renault strongly believes that this must be introduced through a different procedure agreed by all parties.

"Renault also believes it is paramount that the governance of the sport is co-ordinated with a spirit of consultation with all parties (FIA, FOM, FOTA) in order to achieve a better balance between the costs and the revenues.

"Renault is also of the firm view that all entrants in the world championship must adhere to and operate under the same regulations."

Friday's meeting between Mosley and the teams would now appear to represent a critical juncture for the future of Formula One.

Source : Planet F1

Bernie calls for common sense

Bernie, you greedy little troll. You have destroyed F1 as much as Max has. So now if the teams leave, which they should because they ARE the show, your money goes with them. Without the teams there is no F1.

Wednesday 13th May 2009

In the wake of threats from various teams to withdraw from Formula One if the proposed budget cap is implemented, F1 head honcho Bernie Ecclestone has called for calm.

Ferrari yesterday added their voice to a chorus of discontent that includes BMW-Sauber, Toyota and Red Bull regarding the FIA's plans to introduce a £40million budget cap from next year.

FIA chief Max Mosley has in the past said that Formula One can survive without the Italian giants, but Ecclestone has now moved to quell such suggestions.

"I'm not one to talk about perfect marriages," Ecclestone told The Times, making reference to his recent divorce.

"But this is a perfect marriage. Formula One is Ferrari and Ferrari is Formula One. It's as simple as that and it is not going to change."

Ecclestone added that he hoped that the discord would be resolved in a timely fashion, without any of the teams becoming a casualty of the situation.

"I hope common sense will prevail because the last thing we want to do is lose any of the manufacturers or teams currently in Formula One," added the Brit.

The FIA and the teams' association FOTA are reportedly set to meet later this week in an attempt to resolve the conflict.

Source : Planet F1

Ferrari: We will not participate in 2010

In your face Max Mosley. It's about time the teams showed the FIA who really is boss. The FIA is fucking up the sport. The teams are the sport, without them there is no sport. This together with the other big teams to not register for the 2009 season will show FIA their arrogance will kill the sport.

Tuesday 12th May 2009

Ferrari have announced that they will withdraw from Formula One if the FIA implements its plan to introduce a budget cap.

In a short statement on the team's website, the sport's most famous team said they will not be on the grid in 2010.

"We confirm our opposition to the new technical regulations adopted by the FIA and do not intend entering our cars in the 2010 F1 Championship," the statement read.

Ferrari are among several teams to have been angered by the FIA's plans to impose a £40million budget cap on teams from next year, and today's move will hugely increase the pressure on FIA president Max Mosley to find a compromise.

Crunch talks were already planned in the next few days with the May 29 deadline for 2010 entries fast approaching.

Prior to the Spanish Grand Prix, Toyota boss John Howett said his team were unlikely to commit by that deadline if the FIA pressed ahead with their plans, but it is Ferrari who have made the move first.

Tuesday's announcement will put to the test Mosley's resolve after he claimed earlier this month that Formula One could live without Ferrari, the sport's most famous, most successful, and longest-tenured team.

Ferrari are the only team to have contested every season of the World Championship since the modern format was introduced in 1950.

But more than that, the tradition of the famous prancing horse has long been synonymous with the sport, and the team are the most popular among F1 fans.

The decision to threaten to pull out of the 2010 championship came at a meeting of the Ferrari board of directors in Maranello.

Ferrari believe the FIA's new regulations would lead to an unacceptable two-tiered F1 Championship, which they consider would be "based on arbitrary technical rules and economic parameters".

"The board consider that if this is the regulatory framework for Formula 1 in the future, then the reasons underlying Ferrari's uninterrupted participation in the World Championship over the last 60 years - the only constructor to have taken part ever since its inception in 1950 - would come to a close," said a report from today's board meeting.

The report went on to criticise the FIA's decision-making process, claiming that teams have not been properly consulted.

The report continued: "The rules of governance that have contributed to the development of Formula 1 over the last 25 years have been disregarded, as have the binding contractual obligations between Ferrari and the FIA itself regarding the stability of the regulations.

"The same rules for all teams, stability of regulations, the continuity of the FOTA's endeavours to methodically and progressively reduce costs, and governance of Formula 1 are the priorities for the future.

"If these indispensable principles are not respected and if the regulations adopted for 2010 will not change, then Ferrari do not intend to enter our cars in the next Formula 1 World Championship."

Source : Planet F1

Monday, May 11, 2009


The Spanish GP is never a great race because it is very difficult to overtake. This year is no different even with all the changes. Todays' race was normal for Catalunya. The first turn accident was big, looking at Mark Webber's face during the post race interviews tells you that much.

Brawn was again unbeatable, nothing new there. Although I was looking at Barrichello winning, there was something about team orders changing Barrichello's strategy compared to Button's. We'll see what that was about a bit later.

Ferrari's strategy was good for me. Kimi breaking the car again and the best of all was Massa's car was fueled wrongly and he had to give way to Vettel, if not he would have to push his car to the finish line. In fact he did stop right after the finish line. We'll have to see what the FIA says about that later. Maybe Massa's car will be light at the weigh in later, who knows.

Talking about Massa, he basically fucked up Vettel's race by using his KERS to overtake Vettel at the first turn. Vettel lost so much time after that because he couldn't overtake Massa (because of KERS). He did get close many times but no cigar. Webber had a better strategy and made a good move to defend from Alonso thereby finishing on the podium.

Everybody else had a forgettable race. As for McLaren, Heikki again had bad luck when his car broke down and he had to retire. He in fact made a good 7 places at the start to run higher than Lewis. His luck really needs to change soon.

As for Lewis, this is a race to forget, much like his championship hopes too. It was frustrating trying to enjoy the race without Lewis being able to score points. His start was quite bad, lost some places. His strategy was not bad, moved up to the points at half way but then the rear tyres gave up and he had to change them. The team said no choice, they wanted him to stay out but it was impossible. Lewis was pretty upset after the race during the interviews. He said quite directly that the car sucks. No grip. He was clearly not happy with McLaren for not doing enough to fix the car.

The next race is in Monaco but even if Lewis wins that one, it would not suddenly make retaining his title a reality. For me, it's basically gone. Button is just too far away. The constructors title is also slipping away, can't win it with 1 car. McLaren are better off working on next years' car.

Massa: We can forget about the Championship

Too bad for Massa and Ferrari. I'm really enjoying this season.

Sunday 10th May 2009

Although we are just five races into the 2009 season, Felipe Massa has already written off his chances of winning the World Championship.

Massa, last year's Championship runner-up, scored his first points of season when he finished fifth in the Spanish Grand Prix.

The Brazilian, though, is 38 points behind run-away Championship leader Jenson Button, and he doubts whether he will be able close the gap on the Brawn GP driver.

When asked if he thought he can still catch Button, Massa told reporters: "In the Championship? No, I don't think so. We need to be realistic. After five races they won four.

"Even if we improve massively and we are three or four tenths if front of them they will still score points. So forget it."

Ferrari made big improvements at this weekend's race in Barcelona, but Massa believes the difference is still very big.

"In Q2 we were two tenths slower. In qualifying, in Q3 we were four tenths slower because of the fuel. Usually the picture is similar in the race," he said. "Two tenths in the race is quite a big difference. Most of the time they were going slowly away. So that's the real picture at the moment. Maybe we are still a couple of tenths behind.

"Red Bull I don't know because I was always in front of Vettel, so I don't know if I was holding him a lot or he was really similar.

"We still need to improve, but I think if you compare the car we had in this race and the car we had before it's a big stop forward. That's really, really encouraging."

Source : Planet F1

Hamilton: I don't have the car to win the title

He got that right. The car is so bad there is no way he can win this year. I do believe that McLaren should focus on next year's car instead.

Sunday 10th May 2009

An utterly disconsolate Lewis Hamilton has all-but admitted that he will be unable to retain the World Championship this season.

Looking completely crestfallen after finishing out of the points in Barcelona, Hamilton's usual optimism was conspicuous by its absence when he spoke to the BBC.

"What can I do? I have not been given a car that enables me to challenge. The car just has no grip. I am driving my socks off but it's just that bad.

"Look, of course, as it stands I don't have a car to win the Championship. I want to congratulate [race winner] Jenson [Button] - he ran a good race - I just hope I'm up there competing with him soon."

Asked what he thought when Button lapped him on the penultimate race, Hamilton managed to avoid the bait:


Source : Planet F1

Rubens: I won't tolerate team orders

Sunday 10th May 2009

Rubens Barrichello has threatened to quit Formula One if he senses team orders coming into play in his fight for the title with team-mate Jenson Button.

For the fourth time in five races this season, Button stood on the top step of the podium, spearheading a Brawn GP one-two at today's Spanish Grand Prix.

It was the ninth successive race a driver has won from pole at the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona, although this was no routine run from start to finish as in the past.

Instead, there was an undercurrent of discontent from Barrichello at the prospect Button had been favoured ahead of himself.

After being passed by third-on-the-grid Barrichello on the run down to the first corner, Button then spent the first 18 laps behind the Brazilian.

When he pitted, he had been informed by his team the lap previously that he was being switched from a three-stop to a two-stop strategy as boss Ross Brawn attempted to cover all bases.

There was no such call for veteran Barrichello, who remained on a three-stop plan, which cost him the victory.

Technical guru Brawn, who made the call to change Button's tactics, claims Barrichello lost out due to a third set of soft tyres that strangely lacked the pace of the previous two.

The 36-year-old Brazilian, though, was clearly sore at what had unfolded as he said: "I hope the guys come back and tell me there was a small problem somewhere.

"We were both on three stops, then they changed the strategy for him, which is good for him, and good for the team we were one and two, but I'd like to understand why we changed that (the strategy).

"We'll have a meeting, and then we'll have some answers."

In light of Barrichello's experiences at Ferrari where he was clearly a number two driver and forced to bow to team orders, Barrichello then definitively outlined his position.

"If I get a whiff of team orders I will hang up my helmet on the spot," asserted Barrichello.

"I'm very experienced and if that happens I won't follow any team orders any more. I'm making it clear now so everybody knows."

Despite the problems he endured at Ferrari, Barrichello maintains the culture within Brawn is far different.

"We've a much more friendly situation, so I'm not blaming this or that, and there's no way I'm going to cry and say I should have done this or that," insisted Barrichello.

"It's in my own best interests to learn what went wrong today because I have the ability to have won the race, but I didn't.

"Jenson is on a flier, is doing very well, and obviously there's a bit more pressure on my side because he has won four races and I've won nothing.

"But I'm there working, and I won't stop working because this is a great car.

"It was not that long ago people were putting flowers on my grave and saying thank you very much for the job I'd done.

"But I'm here, very much alive and happy, and I'm going to make it work as I did a few years ago, but in a more friendly atmosphere."

Button, and in particular Brawn, both fervently dismissed the idea team orders had come into play.

"We both work closely together within the team, and there's a very good atmosphere," insisted Button.

"We're all here to win - it went my way today, and it may go his (Barrichello) way in Monaco. That's the way it is.

"He had a problem on his stint, I didn't, I made it work and I won the race, but then it could swing around at the next one.

"That's the way we go racing, the way it should be, and the way it has been for most teams in Formula One.

"I don't ever want to go down that avenue of talking about that because it is so far from the situation within our team."

As for Brawn, when asked whether team orders had perhaps crossed Barrichello's mind, he replied: "I hope not because we're not (doing that).

"I think you saw at the first corner there are no team orders as Rubens made a great start to get past Jenson.

"I'd love to see Rubens win a race and his crew win a race because it would be great for the team.

"But there's no priority being given."

Source : Planet F1