Renault modified livery because of sponsors loss

ING, title sponsor of the Renault team, and Spanish insurance company Mutua Madrilena terminated their contacts with immediate effect as a result of the race-fixing scandal.

Meanwhile, New Renault managing director Jean-Francois Caubet has said that Renault has suffered immense damage to its brand and considered an F1 pullout. It has decided to commit itself to the sport, but must put in place a management structure that will keep the team true to Renault’s values.

livery new

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Looking back: First Singapore GP

2008 F1 grand prix at Singapore was first race at Marina Bay street circuit and also first ever night race. The race was won by Fernando Alonso driving for Renault. Now it is proven that it was a deliberate act of cheating by Renault team which made this victory possible.

Here are the highlights

Can Kimi fire home a win at Singapore?

Ferrari have finally, late in the season, caught up a series of podium finishes. Leading the charge for Ferrari is Kimi Raikkonen, he has notched kimimore points than any other driver in last four races while Ferrari is on podium for last five races since German GP. Most of Kimi’s podium have come on street circuits or on circuits where KERS plays a dominant role. Singapore San Marina’s circuit is just another slow circuit in the calendar which perfectly suits F60 and stage is set for Kimi to notch another podium finish.

“…it’s another city circuit and the slower the circuits are this year the better we were, just look at Valencia and Monaco: there’s no reason why it shouldn’t be the same in Singapore.” Kimi on his blog

“..I think that out of the four remaining races the one in Singapore suits Ferrari the best. If we want to win we need to be more than perfect and need a little bit of luck. But after the win in Spa it would be fantastic to have this feeling once again.”

Ferrari have stopped the development of F60 to concentrate on 2010. The only concern of Kimi is that other teams will show up with improvements which might make his job difficult.

“If it’s true that the F60 is more competitive on slow tracks, then it’s also true that the other teams will show up with improvements; that’s why it will be more difficult for us. We have to try to use the package we have the best way possible and we need to find the best set up. If we attain perfection than we can fight for a place on the podium. This is our goal. We’ve been on the podium five times in a row and since the Nürburgring race, I have gained the same number of points as the leaders in the standings. Let’s hope we can keep it up until the end of the season. “

Outcome of Renault crashgate

Flavio Briatore’s website quotes him “Formula One is not just about sport and technology. What attracts people is the glamour, the lifestyle, the drama.

The drama which Flavio Briatore conceived along with Pat Symonds will now haunt both of these men for life. The hearing in Paris took just 90 minutes. Flavio Briatore has been banned indefinitely from all FIA-sanctioned motorsport.  Also, FIA says that it will not renew any Superlicence granted to any driver who is associated (through a management contract or otherwise) with Briatore, or any entity or individual associated with Briatore. In the history books written henceforth, Flavio will always be remembered for 2008 Singapore GP and no one will be praising for his various accomplishments.

Flavio Briatore earlier had to step down as Renault team boss in a bid to save the team from a harsh punishment. Renault are given a mild punishment, basically a slap on the wrist. So, now you are allowed to cheat in F1 if you sack someone afterwards! Compare that to Mclaren’s punishment 2 years ago of $100 m and this outcome looks like a joke. Now all teams know how to act before FIA. Be honest and they will be let off with any misdeed they do. As long as you are important to F1, you can risk lives to cheat and keep your points and your prize money.

Also, Nelson Piquet Jr. is let off for nothing as he was protected by immunity from FIA. But is this right? No driver is under so much pressure that he will risk his life along with stewards and spectators.

To me this whole crashgate episode seemed like a battle between Max Mosley and Flavio Briatore in which former came out with all guns blazing and latter is made to bite the dust. What this episode has done is to create a doubt in my mind whether i support a right sport; the only positive thought coming is near end Max Mosley’s tenure of  as president of FIA and a potential dawn of new era.


Driver situation at Ferrari

The announcement of deal by Spanish bank Santander to become a major sponsor at Ferrari for the next five years has led to a widespread speculation that Fernando Alonso will switch to Ferrari in near future. Although Ferrari are contracted with Felipe Massa and Kimi Raikkonen for 2010, they are believed to be in contact with representatives of Finn to pay Kimi off for next year and release him. More on the reasons why Ferrari would like to release Kimi can be read here.

Monza is the place where Ferrari traditionally announce any major news regarding them. Massa is cleared by doctors to race in 2010 and with new signing Fisichella filling Massa’s shoes for time being, Ferrari have no dearth of drivers. Also, present is most succesful driver of all-time, Schumacher.

“We have two drivers, now three [with Giancarlo Fisichella], plus also we are close to having Michael [Schumacher], so we have a lot of drivers – this is not a problem for us now,” said di Montezemolo.

“I want to say it again, that the drivers are chosen by Ferrari and not by the sponsors.”

Most interesting thing about that quote is that it sounds like Luca still reckons they might get Michael back in a car.
Meanwhile, Raikkonen denied his win in Belgium had given Ferrari reasons to retain him next year, as he made it clear he is not going anywhere despite speculation about his future.

“I think they know what I can do from what I’ve done. The results sometimes don’t give you a true picture. I always say I’m not worried about my future. I have a contract, and it’s not going to change whether I’m last or first.

“Of course I want to win, it’s good for me and for the team, but for the future it makes no difference.

“I wouldn’t have a contract if I didn’t want to drive.”

Bernie would like to see an Indian driver

Bernie Ecclestone would like to see an Indian driver in a F1 car in the near future. In an intechandhok_gp2_sparview with HT he named Chandhok as a possible F1 entrant. Bernie thinks that an Indian driver will help in the build-up for the proposed 2011 race in India.

“I was hoping Vijay (Mallya) would give Karun (Chandhok) a chance,” Ecclestone told HT. “And I’m a little disappointed that he has put the Italian guy in… Whether he has to do this by contract I don’t know, but I would’ve liked to see Karun in the car for rest of the season.”

“We need to get Karun in the Formula 1 car quickly,” he said. “And he has got the talent and the ability, so it’s a case of somebody just getting on and doing it now.”

The father of Karun Chandhok is a friend of Bernie and was also in contention for FIA presidential post.

Fisichella deserves Ferrari seat

Luca di Montezemolo has given his reasons for giving Ferrari stand-in seat to Giancarlo Fisichella. Fisi

“I chose Fisichella for several reasons, starting with the fact he deserves it, that he’s on great form and that he is an expert driver,” he said. “On top of that, we all wanted to have an Italian driver in our car for Monza and lastly, because it takes the long term view, as he will be our third driver.”

“It is an important moment, coming off the back of a great win with Kimi Raikkonen. We also have the good and important news that Felipe Massa is recovering well and will be more than ready for the first race of next season. I wish to thank Luca Badoer who, once again has been so amenable towards Ferrari. Therefore, I look forward to Monza with confidence and especially with great pleasure at having Fisichella in the team.”

Good luck to Fisichella.

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