FIA scraps pit lane rule during safety car period

Yes! Finally something sensible came out of FIA camp. One of the rules which ruined racing results in a turn of a lap for last 2 years is gone! Now, the pits will be kept open for drivers to enter with a software regulating drivers’ speeds.

Several drivers found themselves effected by the rules since its inception in 2007.

* Fernando Alonso and Nico Rosberg, Montreal, 2007

* Heikki Kovalainen, Melbourne, 2008

* Nick Heidfeld, Catalunya, 2008

* Robert Kubica, Singapore, 2008

Now, even F1 race director Charlie Whiting agrees that the rule was bad.

“When we deploy the safety car, the message will go to all the cars, which will then have a ‘safety car’ mode on their ECUs (electronic control units).

“As soon as that message gets to the car, it will know where it is on the circuit, and it will calculate a minimum time for the driver to get back to the pits.” he said

Although its a great move for 2009 but with refuelling banned in 2010, its almost a case of too little, too late!

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Indian GP plans

India Commonwealth GamesLast week grandprix.com reported the state of the development of race track at Greater noida.

According to our (grandprix.com) sources, the plan remains the same for the moment with the circuit being built in the Greater Noida development, as was announced in 2007.

JP Associates are going to build the 3.1-mile racetrack on a 700-acre site. It has been designed by Tilke Associates.

Moreover, Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone has reiterated his commitment to India for holding the 2011 F1 Indian Grand Prix.

“It’s a large, large country with a big population and it’s good for the sponsors, good for the car manufacturers and its good for everyone involved in Formula One to be in their country,”

“I doubt in India anything will be a rival to cricket, but let’s see.”said Bernie Ecclestone

Meanwhile, the only Indian to ever compete in a F1 car, Narain Karthikeyan, has his doubts.

“Right now there is no infrastructure to hold  F1 race” he said

New BMW F1.09

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BMW Sauber have launched new BMW F1.09 with a bid to challange the top position of Ferrari and McLaren. Valencia was chosen as a venue to launch the new car.

“The 1-2 in Canada and a total of 11 podium finishes in 2008 set an exacting standard. In 2009 we are looking to maintain our first-class reliability record while at the same time enhancing our performance levels so that we can be at the front of the pack on a consistent basis. We are aware that we are aiming extremely high. This is the final step in our development, and that¬ís generally the hardest one to take.” said Mario Theissen

Robert Kubica and Nick Heidfeld remain in the team for 2009 season. Robert Kubica is confident that if BMW can start strong and maintain that form he will be fighting for the title come the season-ending race.

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New Williams FW31

Williams launched yesterday contender for 2009 season with low profile but with high hopes. The team will go with the Toyota engine. Under-expect and over-deliver is the best way is the message of the Williams technical director to the racing community.

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The car is sporting a new-look wings but is aerodynamically different from rivals. Further difference between FW31 and other contenders is that Williams is testing a flywheel kinetic energy recovery system while others constructors have chosen alternative battery option.

The team claims that towards the latter part of 2008 a lot of resources went into the development of FW31 and hopefully it will payoff in the 2009 season.

Team earlier retained Nico Rosberg and Kuzuki Nakazima as their driver for 2009 season.

“By the time we get to Melbourne, I would expect the usual suspects to still be dominating the top two positions” said Frank Williams

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New Renault R29

Renault have launch today new challenger for 2009 season. Renault R29 looks the same as other cars launched with wide nose and smaller rear wings. Though the car retains last season’s shark-fin engine cover. Renault looked awesome in last 4 races of the season. All eyes will be on them with the outfit allowed to do further engine development to catch up the rivals.

r29-1The car was unveiled by 2 time WDC Fernando Alonso and Nelson Piquet Jr. Fernando will be hoping to repeat his feat of WDC this year as he is widely beleived to the best driver in the grid who developes his own car.

Renault are expected to add further developments to R29 before the start of the season.

Hoping for a fully fledged Renault outfit to make this season awesome again!

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New McLaren MP4-24

mclaren2009launch-rgMcLaren released their contender for 2009 yesterday at its headquarters in Woking, England. The car bear little resemblance to the car with which Lewis Hamilton won his first WDC due to new rules introduced by FIA. The team has already completed two MP4-24 chassis and begins publicly testing at the Autodromo do Algarve circuit in Portugal on Monday. Test driver Pedro de la Rosa will conduct the first two days before Lewis (Wednesday) and Heikki (Thursday) each spend a day behind the wheel.

“And while the scale of the technical changes makes it difficult to accurately assess the true competitive outlook of the year ahead, as a team we can feel proud of our efforts and look forward to another close season of Formula 1 motor racing” – Ron Dennis

McLaren have already been preceded by Ferrari and Toyota in the car launch and we now have 3 contenders released for 2009 Formula 1 Season. Shapes are very different for all these cars which we expect after a new set of regulations introduced to reduce cost and improve overtaking. Renault and BMW will be launching their contenders on Monday.

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New Team principal of McLaren will be Martin Whitmarsh after Ron Dennis paved the way. Ron was widely criticized after Stepneygate and was under pressure to leave his role as Team principal last year. But he stuck on and masterminded first WDC for Lewis Hamilton.

New Toyota TF109

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Panasonic Toyota Racing launched yesterday their new challenger TF109.

Toyota is second team to launch car in 2009 after Ferrari. Many feared team to leave after the eternal rivals Honda left the sport. But with the launch of new car Toyota have confirmed their commitment to the sport. The commitment is also affirmed with a new three-year deal with its title sponsor Panasonic and a significant new partnership with the European subsidiary of the American real estate company RE/MAX. This is good for the sport after the loss of Honda who are yet to find a buyer.

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An early comparison of F60 and TF109 – F1fanatic

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