Felipe Massa Previews Indian Grand Prix 2011

October 27, 2011

Microsoft Word - CARTA_INTESTATA_F1_2011.doc

“ Felipe Massa was one of the drivers called to the first ever FIA press conference at the Buddh circuit today, which hosts the inaugural Indian Grand Prix on Sunday. Asked for an impression of the track, the Ferrari driver was complimentary:

“It looks very nice, very interesting with some good opportunities for overtaking.” At this point, Felipe’s fellow countryman, Rubens Barrichello interrupted to explain the two of them had tackled the circuit on a computer game, racing one another sometimes playing for hours at a time over the internet. “It’s him my wife is angry with, not me” joked Rubens pointing at Felipe. “He is the one who introduced me to the game!”
“Then it was time for more serious matters, specifically the performance of the 150º Italia. “Recently, it has been okay,” said Felipe. “However, for the past four races, we have not had so many updates, as we approach the end of the season, which means our performance very much depends on the characteristics of the tracks we are at and Japan and Korea seemed to suit the car quite well.

“It is hard to tell, because sometimes this season we have done well at tracks where we did not expect to and not performed well at circuits where we expected to be competitive.”

“Asked what were the Scuderia’s goals for the final three races, the Brazilian explained they were twofold. “We will tackle these last races trying to get a podium finish and who knows, if possible maybe fight for the victory, which is always our target, always the direction we are working in. At the same time, we are also already working very hard for next year.

“Development of the car is ongoing as we put together all our ideas, trying to keep all the good points from this year’s car and changing those areas that did not work so well.”

Lewis Hamilton Previews Indian Grand Prix 2011

October 21, 2011

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2011 INDIAN GRAND PRIX PREVIEW

 

Lewis Hamilton

Have you been to India before?

“Yeah, I’ve been a few times before – we’ve done a few Vodafone promotional days there. The last time was just crazy – just after Singapore, we did a demo run in Bangalore and were expecting 5,000 people to turn up. On the day, there were around 40,000 fans – it was just incredible.”

Do you think India is looking forward to Formula 1?

“You can’t believe how many people are aware of Formula 1 and how many are looking forward to the race next week. There’s already a great deal of knowledge about the sport – I think it’s going to be a big deal.

“India’s a sport-mad nation – mostly, it’s about cricket, which is understandable because they’re a very successful cricketing country, but I really think the people of India are going to take Formula 1 to their hearts. The reception we’ve had in the last few years has been greater than I could ever have predicted and I think the whole country is ready for something new and something exciting.

“I really hope India will get turned on to Formula 1 in a big way – it would be amazing to have an entire continent supporting you – and I really hope we can put on a fantastic race!”

Do you think Vodafone McLaren Mercedes will be competitive next weekend?

“It’s too early to say, but I think we’re set to be competitive at all of the final three races. We were quick at Singapore, Japan and Korea – and I think the pattern at the front has sort of settled down now as we reach the end of the season. I think we have a car that can be quick anywhere, so I’d like to think we’d be in the hunt again next weekend.”

Martin Whitmarsh Previews Indian Grand Prix 2011

October 21, 2011

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Martin Whitmarsh

Team principal, Vodafone McLaren Mercedes

How important is the Indian Grand Prix for the sport of Formula 1?

“Certainly, every new venue we visit is important to the sport of Formula 1 and to our partners, many of whom have a considerable presence in India, and who are delighted by the prospect of the inaugural Indian Grand Prix.

“I think it’s important that the world championship is fully represented on the world’s stage – and a grand prix in India is certainly a very positive step. For Formula 1, the most important thing is to educate, nurture and cultivate our audience – I firmly believe that Formula 1 is the greatest sport in the world and I want us to spread that word across the whole Indian subcontinent.

“Secondly, we want to take Formula 1 to the people. I know that our partners such as Vodafone are already very actively engaged in this activity in India, but I think we’ve done the right thing by establishing the circuit close to New Delhi. Initial impressions suggest the track will be a good one, with particular regard paid to close and exciting racing. And I’m also told that the prospect of the grand prix is causing a great deal of excitement within the city and the country as a whole.

“So I think we’re doing everything right – and I sincerely hope we can walk away on Sunday evening having done a great job for the country and for Formula 1.”

What is the atmosphere like within the team now that both world championships have been settled?

“There’s not been a great distinction: we go racing to win, and, as I’ve said before, that’s the firm intention we take with us to all remaining races on the calendar. We’ve made some good progress recently with the 2011 car and we feel we have a car that can challenge for victory at all the remaining grands prix.

“While we’re winding down the development of the 26 and ramping up development of MP4-27, we still have a few more opportunities to track-test components and developments that can be carried over to next year.

“And we take plenty of positives away from the last two races: I think Jenson’s win in Japan and Lewis’s drive in Korea were two of the best performances of their respective careers. Both drivers are motivated to win and want to lead the team through these final few races and into the winter. There’s a lot of positive energy back at MTC, and you’re seeing that at the racetrack, too.”

Red Bull Confident after 1 – 2 in Japan

October 12, 2010

Following his team’ s first and second places at Suzuka, Christian Horner, Red Bull’s Team Principal stated “There is nothing that we fear in the remaining three races. We were competitive in Abu Dhabi and Brazil last year but we don’t take anything for granted. Korea is new for everybody and there will be areas of Korea where we will be weak.

“It has one of the season’s longest straights on it, followed by a very, very twisty section. Sector one is not going to be great for us, but hopefully sectors two and three will be more our territory. So I think you will find that over a lap it will balance out the lap time between the strengths that some of the other teams have and the weaknesses we have.”

“At this stage of the championship there are still a lot of points available in both drivers’ and constructors’ but it is a big team result. We have worked very hard to get ourselves into this position and, I said before the weekend, that there is a very steely determination within the team and that has been evident in the performance here.

“We’ve had our challenges this year and there are a couple of final hurdles to jump over, but I feel, as a team, we are well placed to capitalise on our performance. This was our seventh grand prix victory this year and our third 1-2 finish so it has been a fantastic year so far for the team, and we are determined to finish on a high.”

Japanese Grand Prix 2010 – Lotus Drivers

October 11, 2010

Heikki Kovalainen (Chassis T127-03) 12th: “It was a wicked race, really absolutely fantastic for me, Jarno and the whole team. We decided to start with the soft tyre, which was a little bit of a gamble, and then stayed out during the safety car. The target was to build up enough of a gap to allow me to pit without losing places to the guys behind and we did that, though it was very close with Jarno when I came out. On the harder tyre the car just felt brilliant – I had a huge amount of grip from the second set and it was a lot of fun to push for the rest of the race. Our pace was amazing – we were only lapped once and at this kind of circuit, where we needed to perform, we could not have done any more. An amazing day for the whole team, and now we’re another big step closer to that tenth place, which is obviously the main aim of the whole season.”

Jarno Trulli (Chassis T127-04) 13th: “What a great day for the whole team, just fantastic. I’m really pleased for everyone with the result, and congratulations to Heikki as well on a great race. I had a really good start and came in under the safety car to switch to the primes. I came out behind Yamamoto and immediately attacked him – I got past him pretty quick and then went after Heikki. We both had a strong run to the end, and even though I had another hydraulics issue in the last couple of laps, I managed to get the car home which was obviously the main objective.”

Japanese Grand Prix 2010 – Lotus Racing

October 11, 2010

Lotus Racing are overjoyed with their best finish yet with Heikki Kovalainen claiming 12th and Jarno Trulli 13th. Mike Gascoyne, Chief Technical Officer, obviously delighted stated “A really fantastic result for the team today. 12th and 13th places are our best positions of the season so far, and I’m delighted for everyone that we had such strong performances from both cars today. Qualifying went very well this morning – we were just under a second ahead of the other new teams, and we carried that through to the afternoon. We had always planned to stop just one car if there was an early safety car, and that was the car ahead. When the safety car came out Jarno was in front so we pulled him in and put him on the primes. Unfortunately it took him a few laps to pass Yamamoto, and that really hurt his race strategy, and that, combined with the blue flags, meant Heikki stayed ahead of him on track. Despite that, it was a great race from both drivers. We had a small hydraulics issue on Jarno’s car at the end, but it didn’t slow him down and he was able to maintain 13th place. I want to say congratulations to the whole team for such a strong performance all weekend – this really was a job well done.”

Japanese Grand Prix 2010 – Martin Whitmarsh

October 11, 2010

After the race Martin Whitmarsh, the McLaren Team Principal stated “The biggest positive we can take away from today’s result is that both drivers clearly demonstrated significant pace against that of our rivals – and that’s a motivating force that we’ll take with us into the final three races of the championship.

“Obviously we played the long-game with Jenson, who was the only frontrunner to start on Primes. Ultimately, that strategy didn’t come off as best we’d have liked because the others’ Option tyres didn’t fall away as quickly as we’d anticipated. Still, we feel it was a strategic choice worth taking. After switching to Options, Jenson showed excellent pace, and I think we had the second fastest car today.

“Lewis did a great job, consistently closing the gap to the car in front before encountering a gearbox problem towards the end of the race. Initial analysis suggests this was a dog-ring failure, that lost Lewis third gear. As a result, Lewis drove brilliantly, adapting his technique to race to the flag in fourth gear and above. We’re confident it can be resolved for Korea without incurring a five-place grid penalty.

“For the final three races, we’ve got to make sure we have 100 per cent reliability. Lewis finished this race 28 points behind the leader in the drivers’ championship, with Jenson trailing by 31. With 75 points to play for in the drivers’ championship, and 129 in the constructors’, our title challenge is still very much alive.

“We’ll keep on pushing and developing this car. There’s no reason why we can’t be fighting for the championship in Abu Dhabi.”

Japanese Grand Prix 2010 – Lewis Hamilton

October 11, 2010

LEWIS HAMILTON

MP4-25A-02

Qualifying

Q1 12th 1m32.809s (on Primes)

Q1 3rd 1m31.523s (on Options)

Q1 3rd* 1m31.169s (on Options)

* demoted to eighth following five-place grid penalty for unscheduled gearbox change

Started: 8th

Finished: 5th

Fastest lap: 1m35.182s (+1.708s) 9th

Pitstops: One: on lap 22 (Opt-Pri)

2010 points: 192 (4th)

“This wasn’t a great weekend for me. I made a mistake on Friday, then we changed the gearbox yesterday and I got a grid penalty, and then I had another gearbox problem in the race. That’s an unfortunate amount of collective bad luck, but the team and I will bounce back.

“With the gearbox, I was running normally, then downshifted into third, accelerated and lost the gear. After that, I had to rely on just fourth gear and above. I didn’t think the car would make it – it was making a lot of strange noises, but I kept my fingers crossed, tried not to shift too much and looked after it to the flag. I’m thankful and so happy that I least saw the end of the race – it’s my first finish for a long time.

“The championship doesn’t look great at the moment. But there are still three races to go and 75 points available, so we’ll remain optimistic and keep doing the best job we can. I’ll keep fighting.”

Japanese Grand Prix 2010 – Jenson Button

October 11, 2010

JENSON BUTTON

MP4-25A-01

Qualifying

Q1 8th 1m32.636s (on Primes)

Q1 4th 1m31.763s (on Primes)

Q1 6th 1m31.378s (on Primes)

Started: 5th

Finished: 4th

Fastest lap: 1m33.529s (+0.055s) 2nd

Pitstops: One: on lap 38 (Pri-Opt)

2010 points: 189 (5th)

“At the start of the race, the drivers in front weren’t struggling on the Option tyre as much as we’d expected. So we were a little bit compromised, and I think we stayed out too long for our first stint. As soon as we saw the others were quick on the Option, and I wasn’t able to pull a gap, or pressure anyone in front, maybe it would have been sensible to pit at that point and fit the Option. We’ll go away and look at the data, and the reasons for it.

“It was a tough race on such old tyres, but it was fun once we’d fitted the Option; the car felt great – I had a lot of grip, and the car was very fast. Still, we weren’t quick enough today to beat the Red Bulls and possibly the Ferrari. And I don’t think we’d have finished any further up.

“I’m in the same championship position as I was before this race, so the title’s getting more difficult. We came here with a lot of different new parts – some of them worked really well, while others need a bit of work. We’ve just got to hope that when we put the new package on the car in Korea, we get the best out of it. For the next race, we’ll hopefully have the performance we’d expected to have here.”

Japanese Grand Prix 2010 Report

October 11, 2010

Sebastian Vettel won an action-packed Japanese Grand Prix from his Red Bull team mate and Championship leader Mark Webber, Fernando Alonso was third in his Ferrari with the other two Championship contenders, Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton fourth and fifith in their McLarens.  Even before the race had started Lucas di Grassi lost control of his Virgin Cosworth whilst negotiating the 130R Turn on his formation lap, crashing heavily and retiring immediately. He was later quoted as saying “We actually don’t know what happened. We were preparing the car as normal, there was nothing unusual and at that point I just lost control.”

At the start Vettel got away cleanly from pole but Kubica, who qualified third, slotted the Renault into second place just ahead of Webber followed by Alonso, Button and Hamilton. However, Petrov, who was thirteenth on the grid, tangled with the Williams of Hulkenberg as they accelerated down the pit straight causing both to be eliminated in a dramatic coming-together. Massa, who was down in twelveth position put a wheel 0n the grass on the inside of Turn 1 as he tried to make up places and slamed into Tonio Liuzzi in the Force India causing another spectacular crash and the retirement of both. Fortunately none of the drivers was injured.

The Safety Car was deployed for six laps but on lap three Kubica’s Renault pulled off the track minus its right rear wheel. This left the Red Bulls first and second with Alonso third. Button had chosen to start on the harder Prime tyres but was holding up his team mate who was on the quicker Option tyres. When Button eventually came in for his mandatory tyre change he resumed in fifth place behind Hamilton.   On lap thirty nine, however, Hamilton informed the pits that he had lost third gear and was advised to use only fourth to seventh. His poor acceleration out of the slow corners meant that Button soon caught and passed him and they crossed the line in that order.

Webber still leads the Championship with 220 points, his team mate Vettel and Alonso each have 206 with Hamilton on 192 and Button on 189. There are only three races remaining with 75 points available so the fight continues.

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