Alonso in kart racing for Nadal-Casillas fundraiser

Yesterday, Fernando Alonso took part in the ‘Friends of Rafa vs Friends of Iker’ even,  second edition of their Malaria fundraiser. The event included go-karting, tennis and football.

Alonso won the race with team Casillas. Formula Three driver Carmen Jorda came second with former World Rally Champion Carlos Sainz third.

Few videos of the go-kart race:


2008 season review in videos

The collection of videos best describing 2008 season of Formula 1 –

The first 17 races

The last lap, the last race – What a finish!

Start of the season – Massa in Hungary

Overtaking move of the season – Massa on Kovaleinen and Barichello in Canada

Controversy of the season – Hamilton being stripped off the win after steward ruling

Crashes of 2008

WRC champion Loeb wins Race of champions

Sebastien Loeb won the Race of Champions for the third time after beating David Coulthard in the cracking final race. Loeb beat Coulthard 2-1 in the finals, winning both races in the Race of Champions buggies while Coulthard won in the KTM X-bow. In the history of ROC no formula 1 driver has ever won the race.  David Coulthard came second by less than a third of a second in 2008 edition.

Schumacher and Vettel were victorious together for Germany in the Nations’ Cup which took place before the individuals’ event.

Past and present Formula 1 drivers who participated in ROC 2008 were Jenson Button, Michael Schumacher, Sebastian Vettel and David Coulthard.

ROC is an annual event held at the end of each year, featuring racing and rally drivers.  The drivers from various types of racing compete in identical cars. Participants include drivers from Formula 1, WRC, NASCAR, sportscars and touring cars.

Race highlights

New Formula 1 from 2009

The cost-cutting measures of FIA will hit ground with immediate effect. The uncertain markets of the world and the recent exit of Honda from F1 hurried up the proposals and sign offs. The changes proposed range from car development, engine regulations and dramatic cuts in aerodynamic development along with bans on refuelling and use of tyre warmers, in-season testing will see team budgets cut by roughly 30 per cent in 2009.

“It’s a major step forward,” Mosley announced. “I think this is probably the first step towards F1 saving itself, because everybody recognised the situation had become very serious.”

The changes can at best be seen as a compromise at tough times with a few positive steps as ban of refuelling and tyre warmers.

ferrari20071From 2009. .

Engine life to be doubled. Each driver to use maximum of eight engines per season; each team can use an additional four for testing.

Limited to 18,000 revs per minute (from 19,000rpm).

Cost of engines to independent teams will be approximately 50 per cent of 2008 prices.

No wind tunnel testing using models exceeding 60 per cent scale and speeds of 50m/sec.

Factory closures for six weeks per year, to accord with local laws.

Kinetic Energy Recovery System is part of the 2009 regulations, but not compulsory. However, from 2010 FOTA are considering proposals for a standard KERS system.

From 2010. . .

Present 2.4 litre V8 engine will continue to be used in 2011 and 2012.

Standardised radio and telemetry systems, a ban on tyre warmers, mechanical purging of tyres and, most crucially, a ban on refuelling.

Manpower reduced by sharing information, eliminating need for ‘spotters’.

Further restrictions on aerodynamics and facilities.

FIA/FOTA to look at. . .

Possible reduction in race distance or duration.

Possibility of an entirely new power train for 2013.

Possible changes to qualifying and introduction of a medals system to replace points system.

[Source of changes summary – Telegraph]

Cost cutting, cost cutting!

weak economyMosley gives his vision –

Mosley said that the continual search for lighter, exotic materials “has created a mentality in F1 where the engineers are only comfortable in refinement, they don’t do innovation. That is slowly destroying F1. It is enormously expensive and is not really what an engineer should be doing.”

Mosley wins key F1 costs deal – Telegraph

‘Now agreement has been reached on measures to meet all the objectives originally proposed by Mosley for 2010 and beyond. That clearly suggests at least four teams – as demanded by Mosley – have signed up to use a standardised engine, to be produced by Cosworth, for three years from 2010.

The others are likely to agree to some sort of compromise whereby they manufacture and badge their own engines, but agree to set specifications.”

FOTA hails cost-cutting agreement – Autosport

“The extreme compactness, never seen before, and all the participant’s passion for this sport brought the FOTA members to go beyond the requests made by President Mosley, taking into account courageous proposals, while voting unanimously for a substantial reduction of costs already as of 2009, which will be the most difficult year for the world economy and for the automotive industry in particular.”

A very, very strange way of cutting costs – pitpass

and still there are some teams who spend!

Should F1 drivers take pay cuts? – F1fanatic

F1fanatic asks whether 8 figure earning drivers will have to take pay-cuts.

F1 Car manufacturers at current recession – Status

The credit crisis across the world are impacting car manufacturers too. The domino effect of the crisis has reached car makers with the impact sounding all across the globe. American big 3 (Chrysler, GM and Ford) are standing with cap in hand to ask for a federal loan. French Government recently provided much needed cash to carmakers. Everywhere across the world car sales are dwindling.

Consumers are hearing bad news about higher prices of goods, reduced access to credit, less job security, negative equity and dwindling savings. Against this background, the option of splashing out on new wheels has gone out the window. Also, the credit has also dried upconsumers have been unable to buy cars, even if they wanted to.

F1 teams : Status

With the announcement of Honda last week to leave the sport can the remaining teams survive these hard times.

BMW Sauber:  BMW took a major hit in the United States last month with its sales tumbling 26.7%, with the 11-month annual sales down by around 6.8%. However Mini sales were up by 31% and Rolls Royce were up by 29%. The F1 team however seems to be secure with recent announcements from top order of the team.

Force India: Vijay Mallya’s outfit is safe it seems right now. With recent team changes and deal with Mclaren the team is sure to race next year

Ferrari:  The sales were down by 8% last month but Ferrari stands for F1. It has the largest fanbase across the globe and it will running F1 for years to come

Mclaren: Mercedes-Benz has suffered similar disasters in the United States with sales down 30% but overall 11-month sales only 1.2% under last year. Mclaren F1 team has a strong core of sponsors and the team is very secure for now

Red Bull and Toro Rosso: Dietrich Mateschmidt has recently bought back full stake of Toro Rosso and wants to penetrate the Asian markets. F1 provides him a perfect platform to market his company. Safe for 2009

Renault: Times are hard at Renault but is boosted by the French Govt. package. Also, with Fernando Alonso as their leading driver they can expect a lot of sponsor backing. I expect them to drive 2009 season

Toyota: Toyota  faced a drop in US sales of 34% in November. As Honda’s sale dwinded so is Toyota’s. Though the top management of Toyota denied any rumours of exit but a large perception is that Toyota are in F1 because of their rivals Honda. But with now Honda no more in sport will Toyota stay? I expect Toyota will race for a couple of more seasons as they would like to prove the above perceptions wrong.

Williams: A largely private enterprise of Sir Frank Williams for pure passion. They don’t have any billionaire backing. They look most vulnerable now. Also, they had big losses in 2007.

[Data source:, Economist]

Honda’s exit – Expert reactions

Harsh reality catches up in F1 – BBC Sport

“I heard a story on Thursday of a team principal who went to see his board to discuss his budget for the coming season, hoping for a modest $20m (£13.6m) increase. He left the meeting with a decrease of $40m. Things are changing.”

Fry says Honda have three offers – Autosport

“This situation is very different from the Super Aguri and Arrows type situation, they were teams with limited assets. We are sitting here in possibly the best F1 facility in the world, in which Honda have invested in very heavily over the last couple of years. We have the best full-size wind tunnel.”

Cosworth win FIA standard engine tender

“As the guardians of the sport, the FIA is committed to working with the commercial rights holder and the remaining members of FOTA to ensure that Formula One becomes financially sustainable,” read an FIA statement.

FOTA hopes Honda’s team is sold – Autosport

“FOTA wishes that the technologically advanced expertise of the team based in Brackley is not dispersed and that the sporting challenge is resumed soon.”

Ouch, this economic crisis thing is hurting –

“We often forget that F1 racing is a luxury that the world can live without – if necessary. It is a form of escapism for many of those who tune in to watch the races, but do they really care?”

Analysis : Sayonara Honda, who else is at risk? –

“They are all facing the same financial troubles at the moment and Honda was actually considered to be among the strongest in terms of its commitment to Formula 1.”

How will Honda quitting affect F1? – F1fanatic

Toyota has reported a similar huge fall in its American market sales within days of Honda doing so: Honda’s sales fell by 32%, Toyota’s by 34%f

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