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.”

Team Lotus Preview 1 Indian Grand Prix 2011

October 25, 2011

TeamLotus-Logo-4C 2011 INDIAN GRAND PRIX VIEW
KARUN CHANDHOK TO DRIVE IN FP1 IN INDIA

india

Karun Chandhok

“I am very excited about driving at the new Buddh International Circuit in FP1 in front of my home crowd and while I am obviously disappointed that I won’t have the chance to race on Sunday, I accept the team’s decision to opt for the experience and talent they have at their disposal with Jarno and Heikki.

“This is a team that is still young, still growing, and I know that they have to do their best to secure their future in the sport – sometimes the hard decisions have to be made, and in this case it must have been a very difficult choice, but I understand that this isn’t about me. It’s about the team and everything the 254 people on track and back at the factory are doing to build for the future.

“For me, I believe that I have grown as a driver in and out of the car this year with my role in the Friday practice sessions and I’m looking forward to playing my part in helping the team have another strong weekend on track.”

Heikki Kovalainen, Car 20 – Chassis T128-04:

“I think India is going to be a fascinating race, for us and F1 in general. I suspect we are going to be given an incredible welcome, and to be able to race on a brand new circuit is always an interesting challenge, so whatever happens in the race I think it will be a great week for the whole sport.

“After Singapore I went back to Europe to do a day in the simulator to get used to the track, and it looks cool. There’s the obvious overtaking zone at the end of the long straight and then a few pretty standard medium speed corners but I think the main challenge for us is going to be finding a balance that suits the demands of T10 to T13, which is quick, and the hairpins at T3, T4 and T16.

“We won’t know anything about tyre degradation until we get out there, but whatever happens it’s going to be hot, probably a bit mad, but seriously good. I can’t wait!”

Jarno Trulli, Car 21 – Chassis T128-03:

“I’ve obviously been to a lot of new circuits throughout my F1 career but I’m looking forward to India more than most. I’ll do my usual cycle around the track on Thursday and have a close look at the circuit, and when I get in the car I’m usually up to speed within four or five laps.

“We’ll run similar downforce levels to the Korea / Suzuka spec and as we were genuinely competitive in the races at both those tracks I think we’ll be ok in India. I’m sure it will be another good race for us, and I think the whole weekend will be fascinating, for us and for the fans.”

HRT Preview Indian Grand Prix 2011

October 22, 2011

Indian Grand Prix Preview

28th-30th October

Buddh International Circuit, 60 laps, 5.137km

Madrid, 22nd of October 2011

“The Indian Grand Prix will be a step into the unknown for all the teams as the Formula 1 World Championship visits the Asian country for the first time ever. The 17th race of the season will be a special occasion for HRT F1 Team’s Narain Karthikeyan who will be racing in front of his home fans. The first ever Indian F1 driver will have the honour of taking part in his country’s inaugural Grand Prix and will enjoy every second of this huge occasion for his home nation. Daniel Ricciardo will pair with the 34-year-old Indian driver for this single event.

“The Buddh International Circuit is a fast track with a width of up to 20 metres in certain areas which should mean that overtaking opportunities won’t be scarce. The circuit is up and down with 8% downhill slopes and 10% inclines adding to the challenge of the track. There are three high speed straights and a number of slow speed turns meaning that getting the set-up right won’t be an easy task.  For this race Pirelli has nominated their PZero hard (prime) and soft (option) tyres.”

Narain Karthikeyan: “Driving in front of the home crowd cheering on is going to be a surreal experience. A once in a lifetime experience and I feel extremely fortunate. There is a huge buzz around the Grand Prix already and I’m sure that it’ll be a resounding success that will motivate more youngsters towards the sport and give us the future F1 drivers. Making it into F1 at the time I did was a seriously uphill task and the thought of being able to compete in the inaugural Indian GP was non-existent. But it is finally here and I’ll be on the grid. It is going to be one of the most challenging circuits on the calendar. There are points at which, if you’re in an F1 car, you will see nothing but the sky. The layout itself is going to put tremendous energy through the tyres and the strategy will play a key role in the final result. For sure I’ll race hard and try to get a good result for myself and the team. I would like to ex press my gratitude towards Tata Group and the rest of sponsors for their continued support and belief throughout my career”.

Daniel Ricciardo: “I haven’t seen the circuit yet but I’ve tried it out on Red Bull’s simulator. I’ve heard it looks quite good from Mark and Sebastian and if they say that then usually their judgment is pretty good. It’s always nice to go to a new place and circuit. I think every driver is excited to see what it is like. I like Indian food but it’s a little bit heavy, perhaps not the best for the diet, I will be quite careful leading up to the weekend but maybe on Sunday night I will enjoy a good curry. I did a show run in India a couple of weeks ago and there were loads of people, I’ve heard it’s already sold out so there should be quite a good turnout for the race. We had a good performance in Korea and I hope we can keep on improving in India”.

Colin Kolles, Team Principal: “Finally the time has come and we are heading to India for the first ever Formula 1 Grand Prix in its history. Going to new countries and race tracks gives all teams and sponsors a new platform and opens new opportunities that can be highly beneficial to the sport. Despite not being the most popular sport in India, the excitement around the Grand Prix and the effort that everybody is doing, makes us think that it will be an extremely popular event. And for HRT, it is even more special. Having Narain Karthikeyan, the first Indian driver in F1 history, and Tata with us makes it feel like a home race. Narain is a talented driver and we are proud to be going down this path with him. For this single event, Narain will be driving alongside Daniel Ricciardo. I have asked Tonio Liuzzi to step aside  for the Indian GP in order to allow driving programs with Ricciardo and Karthikeyan to be completed. I have to thank Tonio for his professional approach and attitude. After the positive performance the team had in Korea, I hope that we will keep on that line in India. Although Narain has already driven around the track and given us a positive feedback, we really don’t know what to expect but we are looking forward to it”.

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.”

McLaren Race Report Korean Grand Prix 2011

October 16, 2011

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2011 KOREAN GRAND PRIX

 

“Two brilliant racing drivers – who never give up”

 

Korea International Circuit, Sunday October 16

LEWIS HAMILTON

MP4-26A-03

Started:            1st

Finished:          2nd

Fastest lap:      1m40.459s (+0.689s, 3rd)

Pitstops:          Two: laps 15 and 33 (Op-Op- Pr)

2011 points:     196 (5th)

 

“This was one of my strongest races of the season. There was so much pressure from Mark [Webber] behind and it would have been so easy to make a mistake, lock up or go wide – but I’m really satisfied that I didn’t do so once. I believe that withstanding pressure is the mark of a world champion, and I think I showed that in today’s race.

“Our car started off reasonably well, but the front-end dropped away through the race. By the end, all the switches in the cockpit that could help me were adjusted to the maximum! The differential and front wing were at the maximum possible, and there was still nothing I could do.

“I was driving into corners with almost maximum lock and the car still wasn’t turning – so I couldn’t carry the speed through the corners, and that’s how Mark was able to catch me. It was only after the race that I discovered we had an issue with debris lodged in the front wing, and that’s probably what caused the understeer.

“This was a good, strong result for the team. The guys didn’t put a foot wrong all weekend, so we should be proud of today’s result – but, man, it was hard!

“I really hope we can carry our continued momentum through the next three races. It feels good to be back.”

JENSON BUTTON

MP4-26A-01

Started:            3rd

Finished:          4th

Fastest lap:      1m40.709s (+1.104s, 7th)

Pitstops:          Two: laps 13 and 34 (Op-Op-Pr)

2011 points:     222 (2nd)

“I don’t think I could have done much more than fourth today. I struggled to get rid of my understeer throughout the whole race, so fourth was a fair reflection of what the car was capable of today.

“On the first lap, I braked into Turn Three, but Felipe [Massa] went inside me and I got stuck on the outside and ended up losing quite a few places. At the end of the first lap, I was sixth, but I don’t think that poor first lap would have changed my result.

“Throughout the race, I didn’t have any front-end grip. I couldn’t get into the DRS zone either, so it was always tricky to try and close down the car in front when I lacked that straight-line advantage.

“I was passed by Nico [Rosberg] after my first pitstop when he ended up out-braking himself at the pit exit. The exit here is a bit unusual: if you leave the pits behind another car, then you’re probably going to be able to get ahead, because you get the benefit of the DRS into Turn Three. But Nico locked up out of the pits and ran wide, so I passed him, meaning he crossed the DRS line behind me and was able to use it to get past on the straight.

“I was able to nip back past pretty quickly and was able to close down on the battle for second between Lewis and Mark. But, towards the end of each stint, the front-end would drop away: I just couldn’t get close enough in the last sector. I added more front-end at the stops, but I had lots of understeer so I couldn’t get close enough to Mark [Webber] to use DRS. I think I only used DRS once in the entire race.

“Still, if this was a bad day, it wasn’t so bad!”

MARTIN WHITMARSH

Team principal, Vodafone McLaren Mercedes

“I think Lewis’ drive today was utterly inspirational. He may be downplaying it, because he’s a perfectionist and he wanted to win, but to withstand such enormous pressure, for lap after lap, from a faster car, was a drive absolutely worthy of the great champions.

“His finishing position may only go down in the history books as another second place, but, make no mistake, this was a fantastic drive; beautifully assured and perfectly judged.

“To cap it all, the data showed that he was losing a significant amount of downforce from his front wing. After the race, we inspected Lewis’s front-wing and discovered that the left-hand slot-gap had become filled with congealed tyre rubber, doubtless a result of the marbles on the track.

“As a result, he was suffering with masses of understeer, which further hurts the tyres. In the circumstances, his was an absolutely fantastic drive because it would have been all too easy to have gone backwards when faced with such massive, and constant, pressure.

“Equally, Jenson posted another brilliant, measured drive. On Jenson’s car, too, we discovered after the race that he was also hurting from damage to his car – caused by a rock hitting the front wing. The resulting understeer doubtless also impaired Jenson’s ability to close down Mark in the track’s final sector, and therefore meant he was unable to mount a sustained attack in the DRS zone and secure third.

“Nevertheless, today showed that we have a very good racing car. But, more importantly, it showed that we have two brilliant racing drivers, who will fight from the start of the race to the end and who will never give up.

“Their spirited drives today are a just reward for the whole Vodafone McLaren Mercedes team, who have spent the last fortnight away from their homes, families and friends. While we must all acknowledge the great achievement of Red Bull Racing in securing the constructors’ championship today, I also want to pay tribute to the efforts and sacrifices made by our whole team over these past two weeks. They enabled us to score 65 world championship points in the last two races – a total that now consolidates our position in the constructors’ championship. So, after two fantastic races in Japan and Korea, I want to say a heartfelt ‘thank-you’ to the whole team. There are three races remaining in 2011 – and I know I speak for everyone when I say we want to win all three.”

Ferrari Drivers’ Report Japanese Grand Prix 2011

October 11, 2011

Microsoft Word - CARTA_INTESTATA_F1_2011.doc

Fernando Alonso: “Congratulations to Sebastian! Winning two world titles at his age, in a season in which he has done it all – in qualifying, the races and every other way, so perfectly, is amazing and it is well deserved.

“For our part, we can do no more than try and do our utmost to try and beat him next year. Today, we did our best and we came close to winning the race. We know that in qualifying we are behind the Red Bulls and McLarens, but in the race, when there are variables like tyre degradation, then we can exploit some opportunities. Here, the others were very strong for the first five or six laps and then we closed up to them a lot.

“This podium is a great motivation for the final four races of the season. It was a fun race, in which the strategy was very important. Unlike recent races, today we had a pace that was good enough to fight for the win. We will try again in Korea, where we can go with our heads held high: we will try and win, or at least get on the podium again.”

Felipe Massa: “Once again I finish a race with a very bitter taste in my mouth. Today, our pace was good enough to finish on the podium, as Fernando demonstrated, but instead I am here commenting on a seventh place. It’s a real shame.

“The contact with Hamilton? My car was definitely damaged by it: when I looked at it after the race, I saw there was a bit of the front wing endplate missing and the floor was not on properly on the left hand side and I could feel it in the way my car was behaving. I think the footage speaks for itself: he was struggling with his tyres and I had almost come alongside him and for no reason, he moved over and hit me. I let you be the judge… It’s pointless for me to say any more about it.

“However, I do want to congratulate Sebastian Vettel: he is a great guy and deserves this title and I am very happy for him.”

Korean Facilities to be Improved for Next Year

October 28, 2010

Although the inaugural Korean Grand Prix was credited as being a huge success by the drivers, teams and spectators, Yung Cho Chung, the race promoter is aware that everything was not perfect and has vowed to make more improvements for next year.

“I realise that I have some weak points that we will sort out for next year, but I am very happy to do this”.

“We need to think about the roads around the track, I think we can help improve the accommodation and we will have some better systems in place. I know there were a couple of problems at some of the corners at the track, and we also need some more grass by the track with some more work on the grandstands. I know the work that we need, and we will do it.”

“I heard there were still cars outside when the race was on, and people left their cars to come in. I am terribly sorry for them. I think we have to find a solution, and it is a problem we can make better for next year.”

“The Prime Minister was so happy and he learned a lot about F1. He loves it and normally he would not have stayed until the end of the day, but he was there late on and wanted to give out the prizes on the podium. I think he has realised how important this race is.”

Berger Claims Webber Tried to Eliminate Competitor

October 27, 2010

Gerhard Berger, the former Formula 1 driver and previous co-owner of Toro Rosso, Red Bull’s sister team, has suggested on Austrian television that Mark Webber tried to eliminate one of his championship contenders by not braking after he had spun across the track after colliding with the barrier at last weekend’s Korean Grand Prix.

“He could have hit the brakes and stopped the car at the wall. He took out Rosberg, but it was the wrong one. I think in his mind he would have preferred Alonso or Hamilton.”

Berger was then asked if he thought that Webber had deliberately tried to eliminate another competitor. He replied “Yes, it’s clear. He goes off and it’s over. It’s so frustrating and a thousand thoughts go through your mind. “It’s very obvious. You can see his wheels are not locked up. Perhaps he had a brake problem, but I don’t think so. One has the feeling that you would rather take one with you, take a point off him.”

Nico Rosberg also wondered why Webber hadn’t braked and his message on Twitter reads,

“Sucks! Don’t understand why webber didn’t hit the brakes. Was crazy(evidently)2 roll back over the track.”

Christian Horner totally refutes these claims.

“As with every incident in Formula One, opinions will always be made without all the facts. Just to be absolutely clear – Mark’s intention was not to take out another driver after his crash in the Korean Grand Prix and it’s ridiculous to suggest otherwise.

“After Mark’s impact with the wall, it was clear on the TV and from the data that his car was badly damaged. However, the natural and immediate instinct of any competitive driver is not to give up and to keep going.

“In the atrocious conditions, Mark made the snap decision to continue as every driver would in that situation – it’s absurd to suggest that Mark would ever deliberately take out another driver.

“Mark accepted immediate blame for this incident, which in itself deserves credit.”

Mercedes Continues to Improve

October 27, 2010

Michael Schumacher had his best result of the year in Korea for Mercedes finishing fourth, and Nico Rosberg was driving a very strong race, as usual, before he was collected by Mark Webber’s spinning Red Bull, robbing him of a possible podium finish. Ross Brawn was obviously delighted with the improvements to the cars but disappointed for Nico.

“We are getting there. It has probably taken a bit longer than we expected, but we keep seeing these really good bits of progress, and we are putting everything together for next year.”

“We are just getting everything working properly. The F-duct is good, and we have the fastest straight-line speed now. We are not changing many things, just understanding how to set the car up, and it is really just consolidation, which is a lesson.”

Mercedes has made great progress this year but next year’s cars will have further modifications.

“I don’t think things will directly translate but we have learned things from the last few races.”

It was disappointing that Rosberg was involved in Mark Webber’s crash as he may have finished in second position but the team has to look forward.

“He was very happy with the car, but “if” is “F1″ spelt backwards, isn’t it? I don’t like to speculate. He was going very well, was comfortable with the car and could have been very strong.”

Vettel Still Aiming to Win the World Championship

October 25, 2010

Despite having retired from the Korean Grand Prix with a blown engine, Vettel still believes that he can win the Championship. “I think we can. There are still 50 points to go. Obviously it would have been much easier if we had won today. That’s life, that’s how it goes sometimes. There has been a little bit too much of it for us this season. Ups and down, everyone has had those, but I think we have had quite a lot in particular, but you can’t change it so we will keep our head down and keep doing what we were doing up to now. Just trying to get the best out of the car and I think in terms of speed there is nothing to improve.”

“It’s obviously not a very nice moment but I think it was a very tricky and difficult race for all of us. To be on top of the field all the time, controlling the race and looking after my tyres, I think there is nothing that we could have done better so all in all I think we did a more or less perfect job, also with the result yesterday.”

“I had a medium visor on my helmet and it was getting very dark and it became very difficult to see the bumps on the track and the reference points for braking so Turn 1, the first sector was quite bad in places,  11-12, and then the last sector was a bit darker.

“Looking back obviously it would have helped our result if they had stopped the race with 10 laps to go but the guys finished so they were still able to see something at least.”

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