Honda F1 Racing In Barcelona

Honda F1 team’s next destination is Barcelona, after the launching of the all-new RA108 which took place at the Honda Racing F1 Team’s Brackley headquarters a few days ago. According to, the team had a three-day test program at the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona, Spain.

The team’s focus was on the Chassis RA108-01 where it had some early force in Valencia last week. However, the first severe test program with the first two chassis was done a few days ago wherein race drivers Rubens Barrichello and Jenson Button were coupled by Alex Wurz, Honda’s test and reserve driver.

“I am pleased with the reliability of the car. Generally, we have made some progress this week but there is still a lot of work to be done in the forthcoming tests. The car is completely new which means we are starting from zero in terms of developing the set-up. We are also experiencing some drivability issues as we work with the new ECU. The weather conditions today meant that I was able to get my first wet running in without traction control, which was good. On to Jerez next as we continue to keep pushing forward with developing the car,” Jenson Button commented after the test.

Rubens Barrichello stated it was good to run in the car at its first proper test from the time when it was launched.

“There is plenty of potential in terms of working on the speed of the car in the coming tests and this will come as we continue to make progress with the set-up. At this stage I am happy that reliability is certainly on our side,” added Barrichello.

“It was good to finally experience the new car for the first time, apart from a few short yards at the launch of course. I conducted a shakedown of the latest chassis 02 and some aero testing. The car felt good although there are a few adjustments to be made to my seat and positioning in order to hit the ground running at my next test. I am enjoying getting to know the team and how they work, so I am looking forward to making the maximum contribution to the RA108 development programme over the coming weeks,” noted Alex Wurz.


February 9, 2008 at 2:08 am Leave a comment

Barrichello Isn’t Quitting

Yes, Rubens Barrichello isn’t quitting. In fact, he is still going strong in Formula One.

Armed with 16-season credentials, Barrichello has no plan of calling it quits…just yet. The 35-year-old F1 driver, is set to ink F1’s most experienced surpassing Patrese’s record of 256 starts. The F1 driver whose contract with Honda expires at the end of the 2008 season said he will remain involved in the sport until his body tells him otherwise.

“I haven’t reached the peak of my physical performance yet,” said Barrichello in an interview. “There is a time when in athletics, my running will go down. I haven’t reached that yet. And I am just too glad to go through Eau Rouge flat. What can I do? It is just that feeling I miss. That is why I do the go-kart racing, that is why I put so much effort into it. I love being there in the middle of things. But if I don’t feel competitive in some way, then it is time to stop. I am grateful for everything I have had, but I don’t think this is my last year. From deep inside I don’t pretend to stop. I don’t have any contract signed yet and so on, but I feel good. But I feel I am going to stop before someone tells me to.”

“It is amazing, because at the end of the day you think it is the same thing again for the whole time all over again,” he concluded. “But it is the excitement of a new era. Honestly, from deep inside, if it wasn’t for how much I loved the driving, I love my kids and family and I would just stay at home to not be in this cold English weather.”

February 1, 2008 at 2:58 am Leave a comment

Kovy Tops Valencia Tests

McLaren had a not so very good season last year.  Although they had two drivers in the top three at the end of the season, they were disqualified from the constructors’ championship and rookie sensation Lewis Hamilton failed to become the only rookie t win the championship. And then, two-time world champion Fernando Alonso left the team after only a year after he had a hard time dealing with Hamilton.

With Alonso going back to Renault, he wanted a teammate that will not be a threat to him so Kovailanen was let go by Renault and McLaren took the Finn. And now, the Finn is showing what he is all about by posting the fastest lap time during the tests in Valencia.

“It feels fantastic,” said Kovy.  “I’m really, really happy here, enjoying working with these guys. They are motivated, pushing hard. This is what I like.”

Kovailanen said that he knows that he is in Lewis Hamilton’s territory.  “I need to take it over and make it mine, don’t I. Lewis has been here 10 years already. He has a strong bond with the team. I just need to make my relationship work, to take my place. I feel already part of the family,” said the Finn.

“I don’t know what went wrong last year. I think I can bring things to this team. And I can learn a lot. I can’t see myself getting into trouble politically. It’s not my business. I’m not interested too much in that side of things. I drive the car as fast as I can and try to beat everybody. If I can’t do that I’ll work with my engineers to be stronger. I like to keep things simple.”

January 25, 2008 at 2:35 am Leave a comment

Renault R28 Shakedown At Valencia

The ING Renault F1 Team just rocked the racetracks at Jerez as they finished and came out successful in their test last week in preparation for the upcoming 2008 F1 World Championship season. Today, the team shifted to Valencia to test the R28 this week. At the end of the month, the team will officially launch the R28 racecar to the public.

According to, in Renault’s F1 history, Fernando Alonso is the first ever driver to try the new car. Alonso used up the hours during the opening day focusing on inspecting the common functions of the car and checking all the systems if they were functioning properly.

“When you have your first day with a new car, you always have to take your time to check that all the systems are functioning correctly, and that is what we did today. We were able to lengthen our runs little by little and ended the day with a 17-lap stint. Everything went well, but it is still too early to try and compare our performance with that of other teams, and that was not the objective today. The good news is that we encountered few problems, and we will be able to continue our work tomorrow,” says Fernando Alonso.

“It was a good first day of work, which is always important with a new car. The whole team is very enthusiastic about working with the R28 and it is clear that everyone has given their all to get this new car on track. We were able to follow our programme without any difficulties and there were no big surprises with the new car. It is a solid basis on which we can build in the days to come,” Christian Silk, Renault F1 Test Chief Engineer, mentioned.

“Today has been very successful. We completed just under 40 laps and the car ran pretty much trouble-free – that is about as good a first day as you can expect with a new car. We would have completed our first run pretty much on time if it had not been for the weather, and I think that’s a real tribute to the whole factory and all the hard work that has been put in to get this car here today. Overall, a really positive first day’s work,” says Bob Bell, ING Renault Technical Director, Chassis.

January 24, 2008 at 12:30 am Leave a comment

Is It Time For Dennis To Quit F1?

One of the hottest F1 honchos in 2007 is Ron Dennis. And this year, Mercedes-Benz reportedly is ‘on the verge’ of buying a majority shareholding in McLaren – a move that is bound to precipitate Ron Dennis’ withdrawal into retirement.

It can be recalled that 2007 was injurious to the reputation of Dennis and the McLaren team. Those are the reasons why watchers predict the honcho will withdraw from F1. The rumors intensified when the team unveiled the MP4-23 on Monday at Mercedes’ headquarters in Stuttgart.

Earlier, The Times reported that the honcho ‘looked uneasy and confined himself to a short introduction’ and it was noticeable that Martin Whitmarsh, McLaren’s chief executive, who took center stage.

The Guardian, meanwhile, noted that “It was the first time in their 13-year partnership that McLaren had unveiled their new formula one car on Mercedes’ home turf and, although the unexpected presence of Bernie Ecclestone, the formula one commercial rights holder, may have signaled formal absolution for the British team after their involvement in the last season’s espionage scandal, the fact that Dennis took very much a back seat at the formal press conference fuelled speculation that the 60-year-old McLaren chairman might be considering a dignified retreat into semi-retirement.”

Asked if he will be taking a back seat, Dennis told Planet-F1: “We are formulating the future in lots of ways. But there is absolutely no decision on anything that relates to people’s positions within the company. We’re very focused on the future; we know what we are doing and where we are going. It’s as simple as that. There’s no real change in any way shape or form.”

“It’s not a question of even spending time thinking about the past. I’ve spent too much time in that period, so I’m just very focused on the future. Our company has a fantastic history, a great partnership with Mercedes Benz, and we are forward-thinking. We wanted to put ourselves in a position of looking forward and concentrating on doing what we do best, which is win races,” he added.

“I’m a racer at heart,” he concluded. “My enthusiasm is as strong as you would expect it to be having done this for the best part of 40 years.”

Mercedes currently owns a 40% stake in the team with Dennis in possession of a 15% shareholding with which the car manufacturers would become majority shareholders, reported Planet-F1.

January 10, 2008 at 12:40 am Leave a comment

Ford’s Sync Attracts Buyers

The Ford Sync was developed by Microsoft and Ford for consumers like you and me. The automaker needs customers and it is a good thing that they have the Sync as it is reportedly dragging customers into dealerships.

Ken Venema, a sales consultant at Pfeiffer Lincoln Mercury in Grand Rapids Michigan had this to say according to The Auto Channel:  “I must have a half-dozen sales because of SYNC. I strongly believe that.  I’m sold on it. And I’m sure glad Ford’s got it.”

Kim Winkler, new car sales manager also of Pfeiffer Lincoln Mercury added:  “I am using (SYNC) as a showroom builder. I am pumped on it because it’s something that we can offer the market that doesn’t focus on price, and it’s something we have that our competitors don’t.”

According to the report:  “SYNC, Ford’s industry-exclusive technology that provides customers in-vehicle voice command compatibility with portable digital media players and most Bluetooth-enabled mobile phones, is helping drive vehicles sales across the country.  SYNC-equipped Ford, Lincoln and Mercury vehicles were moving more than twice as fast off dealer lots in November than those same vehicles without SYNC. And customer satisfaction is high.”

The in-car feature has also received a couple of awards last year.  There is no doubt that the feature will have more consumers lining up on Ford dealerships in the near future.

“It’s early in Sync’s launch — we’ll know more about its impact in a few months — but so far all indicators are extraordinarily positive,” said John Emmert, Sync marketing manager.

Everton McLeod, a sales consultant with Manhattan Ford said:  “It wasn’t like they just told us about it. Everybody had to do something — pair a phone, dial a number — so the instructor could see that we actually grasped what he taught us.”

January 3, 2008 at 2:32 am Leave a comment

2007 F1 Quotes: Who Said What?

This season is one of the very interesting in the entire Formula One history. From the espionage scandal, to remarkable accidents, and finally to the most dramatic season finale, 2007 season is indeed full of thrill and spills.

Aside from the breath-taking racing scenes, another thing worth reminiscing are the F1 quotes.Who uttered the most controversial lines this season? Press the rewind button.

F1 planet has so much to tell…BMW Motorsport Director, Mario Theissen on Formula One racing’s green future: “We should not call it ‘green’ Formula One or ‘green’ motorsport. We should emphasize that we see a chance to pioneer future technologies for road cars, which make road cars more environmentally friendly. But motorsport itself will never be ‘green’. It should be thought of as a pioneering role.”

Three-time world champion Niki Lauda on the pit-lane incident between Hamilton and Alonso in Hungary: “What we saw in Budapest was normal business in team mate relations, as race drivers are groomed to be egocentric, spoiled brats. The only problem is that you have to do it in an intelligent way so you don’t get caught, like Alonso.”

Renault’s Heikki Kovalainen on his debut podium: “I have been there before but not in Formula One. It felt very good and now that the spell seems broken I want to be up there more often.”

Toro Rosso’s Sebastian Vettel on his lapse of judgment during the Japanese Grand Prix that dumped him – and Red Bull’s Mark Webber – out of the race: “It did take two or three days until I was able to breath normally again. We both were in fantastic positions and my guess is that we would have brought that two-three position home. It was inconceivable how hard that was to swallow.”

FIA president Max Mosley on not stripping the McLaren drivers of their points after the team were found guilty of breaking the International Sporting Code: “It was a decision of logic versus emotion. Logic would have demanded to slash all points, but emotion was not willing to wreck such an incredible championship with an armchair judgment.”

Kimi Raikkonen on his championship joy: “I am so happy it almost hurts! This is like a dream come true. This year I really enjoyed Formula One more than ever before.”

Lewis Hamilton on losing out to the Finn: “Obviously I am pretty disappointed. However I have to put the result into perspective, this is only my first year in Formula One and overall it has just been phenomenal. I am still very young and have plenty more years in me to achieve my dream of becoming world champion.”

Three-time world champion Niki Lauda on Lewis Hamilton’s debut season: “He was fighting for the championship until the last race. A rookie en route to become world champion. A story almost too good to be true. His time will come.”

Alonso on leaving McLaren: “Since I was a boy I had always wanted to drive for McLaren, but sometimes in life things do not work out. I continue to believe that McLaren is a great team. I know there have been suggestions of favouritism, but in the end I was always provided with an equal opportunity to win.”

credit: Formula 1 Website

December 28, 2007 at 3:15 pm Leave a comment

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