Sunday, 30 November 2014

Webber in a satisfactory condition in hospital following horrible crash in WEC season finale

Photo: Mark has been taken to a local hospital in Sao Paulo and will stay overnight for precautionary checks. He is in a satisfactory condition and his team mates Timo Bernhard and Brendon Hartley have gone to see him.
Thanks to everyone for your messages!
(MarkWebber Official Facebook page www.facebook.com/aussiegrit)

Former Formula One driver Mark Webber is in 'a satisfactory condition' following his horrific crash while in sixth place in the World Endurance Championship season finale at the Interlagos circuit in Brazil on Sunday. 

The Australian who qualified for the race on pole position crashed coming onto the main straight of the circuit with just 20 minutes to go in the 6 hours of Brazil race in Sao Paulo.

While Webber was initially taken to the circuit medical centre he was later transferred via ambulance to a hospital in Sao Paulo and will stay in hospital overnight as a precaution. The Australian, who left Formula One at the end of last season after quitting Red Bull Racing finished his first season with the Porsche LMP1 World Endurance Championship in ninth place in the championship.

© Ben Johnston 2014

Witmann set for Toro Rosso test at the Imola circuit on Thursday

(Jean Michel Le Meur DPPI for Renault Sport F1)

German Touring Car champion Marco Witmann will drive the 2012 Toro Rosso Formula One car at the Imola circuit in Italy on Thursday as a special reward for winning the 2014 DTM championship. The test has been arranged by BMW.

It will be the first time the German will have experienced driving a Formula One car. The test was organised by Red Bull, a major sponsor of the BMW German Touring Car team. The 25 year old has had previous experience racing in single seater categories such as the European Formula 3 championship where the German finished in second place to championship winner Roberto Merhi who recently drove for the Caterham F1 Team in a free practice session,

In 2012, Witmann moved to the DTM as a test driver for the BMW team before stepping up to a race seat in 2013.

© Ben Johnston 2014

Vettel reunites with Toro Rosso race engineer at Ferrari

Sebastian Vettel
(formula1.ferrari,com

Four time world champion Sebastian will reunite with his former Toro Rosso race engineer Riccardo Adami who becomes the German's new race engineer at Ferrari in 2015. The German made his Ferrari debut at the team's test track in Fiorano, Italy on Saturday when he drove the F2012 in wet conditions to get acclimatized to how Ferrari cars operate.

Adami was Vettel's race engineer at Toro Rosso in 2008 when the German made his full race season debut with the Italian team with Adami overseeing Vettel's first ever Formula One victory at the 2008 Italian Grand Prix in Monza.

The news comes amid reports that Kimi Raikkonen is set to get a new race engineer in the form of Dave Greenwood from the Marussia F1 Team. Greenwood also worked for Renault. 

Vettel stated earlier this week that he knows the task ahead of him to get Ferrari back to the front of Formula One. The German will be hoping to do with Ferrari what he did with Infiniti Red Bull Racing and turn their fortunes around.

© Ben Johnston 2014

Nasr won't rule out a return to Williams Martini Racing in the future

(Williams Martini Racing Team)

Former Williams Martini Racing Team test driver Felipe Nasr has refused to rule out making a return to the Grove based outfit having made his final appearance for the team at the end of season test in Abu Dhabi earlier this week when he drove the FW36.

The Brazilian finished the final day of the test in eighth place. Nasr will make his race debut with the Sauber F1 Team after reaching an agreement with the Swiss based outfit to race for them next season alongside former Caterham F1 Team driver Marcus Ericsson in 2015. 

Nasr joined the Williams Martini Racing Team in February this year as test driver and shared the running of the car during Free Practice sessions at selected Grand Prix with Susie Wolff who has replaced his as test driver At Williams. During his test in Abu Dhabi, the Brazilian evaluated the new 2015 Pirelli rubber.

Nasr thanked Williams for giving him the opportunity to make his Formula One debut. It is unclear how long the Brazilian's contract with the Sauber F1 Team is for but he is hopeful that he will be able to return to the team in the future. 

Williams Martini Racing have had one of the most successful seasons in the recent years in 2014 having picked up nine podium finishes on their way to finishing in third place in the Constructors championship.

Nasr will make his debut for the Sauber F1 Team during the opening test of the 2015 pre-season in Jerez at the start of February, Marcus Ericsson has already driven for Sauber as the Swedish driver drove for the team during the end of season test at the Yas Marina circuit in Abu Dhabi.

© Ben Johnston 2014

Marussia F1 Team assets to be auctioned off

(Marussia F1 Team via Twitter)

Auctioneers CA Global Partners acting on behalf of the administrators FRP Advisory have confirmed that an action will take place on Tuesday and Wednesday 16th and 17th December 2014 to sell of assets belonging to the Marussia F1 Team. The auction takes place at the former factory of the Marussia Formula One Team in Banbury from 10AM each day.

The assets up for sale include the team's fleet of race transporters, a model of their 2015 Formula One car, Complete Marussia F1 Team race cars (minus engines), complete machine shop, large quantity of spare parts and tools along with server equipment.

The auction signals the complete closure of the Marussia Formula One team despite the fact that the team were classified in the 2014 FIA world championship as a result of finishing in ninth place. 

For more information regarding the auction visit www.cagp.com and www.gaev.com.

© Ben Johnston 2014

Antti Vierula announces McLaren departure

Kevin Magnussen in action.
(McLaren-Honda)

McLaren's Kevin Magnussen's trainer Antti Vierula has announced that he has left the team. The Finn joined McLaren in 2011 s Lewis Hamilton's trainer and then went on to become Sergio 'Checco' Perez's trainer and held the same role with Kevin Magnussen in 2014 as the Dane made his Formula One race debut with the Woking based outfit.

Vierula made the announcement on his Twitter feed on Sunday saying:

'I want to thank you @McLarenF1 for the past four years with you. It's been a pleasure to be part of this great team and to meet great people!'

The news of Vierula's departure from McLaren comes as the Woking based outfit are reporteldy set to confirm their 2015 Formula One driver line-up on Monday. 

Racing Director Eric Boullier confirmed last Thursday prior to the start of the Formula One season finale in Abu Dhabi that the outfit would not make any announcement regarding their driver pairing for 2015 before December 1, this does not necessarily mean that the sport will get an announcement on Monday.

© Ben Johnston 2014

Wolff- Renault won't quit Formula One

(Mercedes AMG PETRONS F1 Team)

Mercedes AMG F1 Team's Executive Director (Business) Toto Wolff has denied reports that rivals Renault will quit Formula One after Infiniti Red Bull Racing team principal Christian Horner (whose team are the primary partner to Renault) stated the supply of the new 1.6 litre turbo charged power units are too expensive.

Horner stated that if the current power unit format was kept then it could lead to Renault, Mercedes and Ferrari pulling out of the sport.

Wolff believes that Christian Horner's commented have been turned around a little and feels that Formula One needs long-term stability. Since 1999 Formula One has had three engine formats with the V10 engines switched to 2.4 litre V8 engines in 2006 before the 1.6 litre V6 turbo charged power units were introduced ahead of the 2014 Formula One season.

Wolff stated that all of the current manufacturers Ferrari, Renault, Mercedes and Honda all entered in the sport on the basis of a stable set of regulations.

Wolff feels that it is important that the sport is not destabilized with constant changes to the engine regulations. Honda have returned to Formula One on the basis that the current power unit format is set for the long term.

© Ben Johnston 2014

Saturday, 29 November 2014

Button and Magnussen 'join the pact' for Johnnie Walker drink responsibly campaign

Jenson Button with Kevin Magnussen after the race.
(McLaren Honda)

Formula One driver's Jenson Button and Kevin Magnussen will join former Formula One world champion and McLaren driver Mika Hakkinen at a Johnnie Walker 'Join The Pact' event at Princes Street Gardens in Edinburgh next Thursday.

The trio will drive a McLaren passenger car along with a McLaren Cars super car, Johnnie Walker is a key sponsor for the McLaren Formula One team aswell as a responsible drinking partner to Formula One with the slogan 'Bernie Says Think Before You Drive'. 

The news comes as the Formula One world waits to discover who will drive for McLaren in 2015. The team have confirmed that they will not announce their line-up before Monday December 1.

© Ben Johnston 2014

Formula One test role a possibility for Palmer

(Sahara Force India Formula One Team)

GP2 champion Joylon Palmer has revealed that taking up a Formula One test driver role with the Sahara Force India Formula One team for the 2015 season is an 'option' after conducting the opening day of the Abu Dhabi end of season Formula One test for the Silverstone based outfit on Tuesday. 

Despite a problem in the morning with the Mercedes power unit in his VJM07, Palmer ended his day of running with Sahara Force India in 4th place having completed 37 laps and a fastest lap time of the Yas Marina circuit of a 1m 44.516s. Palmer, who won the 2014 GP2 championship with Dams is hoping to follow in the footsteps of Scotland's Paul Di Resta and become a test driver for Force India if a position is available.

Palmer knows the Silverstone based outfit have helped a number of drivers break into Formula One by giving them drives in Free Practice sessions and then promoting them to race seats just like they did with Paul Di Resta.

Sahara Force India already have Spaniard Daniel Juncadella as part of the test programme but they could do what the Williams Martini Racing team did with both Felipe Nasr and Susie Wolff as they ran both drivers during free practice sessions on alternate Grand Prix weekends. Palmer was one of three British drivers to have made their Formula One debut over the last week.

The Caterham F1 Team, on their return to Formula One for the season finale in Abu Dhabi last weekend after missing the United States and Brazilian Grand Prix ran Will Stevens in one of their cars while he also drove for the Leafied based outfit during the end of season test at the Yas Marina circuit.

The Lotus F1 Team also ran a British driver, GP3 champion Alex Lynn who is also hopeful of gaining a Formula One test role in his case with the Lotus F1 Team.

© Ben Johnston 2014

2014 a fantastic base for Williams Martini Racing to have further success in 2015

(Williams Martini Racing Team)

The Williams Martini Racing Team have had their most successful season in many years in 2014 aftr recording nine podium finishes and one pole position. The Grove based outfit finished in third place in the Constructors championship having scored 320 points. 

At the start of the season, deputy team principal Claire Williams set the outfit the target of scoring points in every race of the season and that is exactly what happened this year. The team ended the year with a double podium with Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas finishing the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix last weekend.

Despite the fantastic season for the team Claire Williams has stated that the outfit have plenty of work to do ahead of next season if they hope to close the gap to the Mercedes AMG PETRONAS F1 Team. 

Williams is hoping that the team can challenge for race wins next season having been unable any victories this season despite coming close on several occasions this season. Massa finished the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix just 2.5s behind race winner and overall championship winner Lewis Hamilton.

Williams concluded by saying that she would like to see the team win Grand Prix on merit and not because they have been lucky but due to having a competitive advantage over the Silver Arrows.

© Ben Johnston 2014

Vettel drives F2012 at Fiorano

Sebastian Vettel a Fiorano con la F-2012: primi giri sulla Ferrari. Stefanini
(www.gazzetta.it)

Four time world champion Sebastian Vettel officially started work with Ferrari on Saturday following his move from Infiniti Red Bull Racing ahead of the 2015 Formula One season. The German was at the Italian teams Fiorano test track to carry out a number of laps in the F2012.

Vettel will spend the next few days with the team in Maranello for various meeting's with Ferrari chassis technical director James Allison and new team mate Kimi Raikkonen. He will also carry out work in the teams simulator and have a seat fitting for the new 2015 challenger.

It is a new stage in the German's Formula One as he has been associated with Red Bull since before he began his career in the sport.

Vettel has joined Ferrari on a three year contract having driven with Infiniti Red Bull Racing from 2009 - 2014 winning his four world championships with the team from 2010-2013. 

Vettel's next run in a Ferrari car will come at the opening pre-season test in Jerez from 1 - 4 February.

© Ben Johnston 2014

Vergne hopeful of IndyCar switch after leaving Formula One

(Jean Michel Le Meur DPPI for Renault Sport F1)

Jean Eric Vergne has confirmed that he is hopeful of moving to the American IndyCar Series after losing his seat with Scuderia Toro Rosso.

Vergne confirmed on Wednesday via his official Twitter feed on Wednesday that he would no longer be in Formula One with Scuderia Toro Rosso. It was reported over the course of last weekend's season ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix that he could take over the Williams Martini Racing Team's test driver role to replace Felipe Nasr who is joining the Sauber F1 Team next season.

It was announced on Friday that Scuderia Toro Rosso had signed Carlos Sainz Jr to replace Jean Eric Vergne as Max Verstappen's team mate at the Italian team next season. Speaking to Racer.com Vergne commented stating:

'I would be really interested in racing in America in IndyCar, I think it's a great championship.'

The Frenchman who has been with Toro Rosso since 2012 stated that he feels no bitterness to the Italian team after losing his drive.

He confirmed that he has some other options to remain in Formula One but that he feels that a move to IndyCar will aid his career.

© Ben Johnston 2014

Friday, 28 November 2014

Honda have carried out a lot of 'underground work'

Stoffel Vandoorne on day 2 of the 2014 Abu Dhabi test
(McLaren-Honda)

Honda Motorsport chief Yasuhisa Arai has warned the company's F1 rivals that although the Japanese manufacturer had a difficult return with McLaren during the two day post season test in Abu Dhabi earlier this week they are confident that they will be up to speed ahead of the start of next season.

Honda make their return to Formula One as a power unit supplier to McLaren next season for the first time since 1992 and return to Formula One for the first time since 2008.

The company have invested a substantial amount money to ensure that their return to Formula One is a successful one as they have a brand new facility in Milton Keynes. Arai has stated that Honda's main aim is to win again in Formula One with McLaren next season.

Arai confirmed that the Japanese manufacturer always intended to return to Formula One and that 2016 was seen as the perfect time to return to the sport now that it has adopted a new power unit formula with the 1.6 litre turbo charged power units. Honda have plenty of experience in developing turbo charged engines on a large scale and they will use this knowledge to help them with their Formula One programme.

Arai also confirmed that the power unit that used during the Abu Dhabi test was just a development unit and it is only intended for test purposes but the company believes that they will be fully prepared with their race power unit for the opening race of the 2015 Formula One season the Australian Grnad Prix in Melbourne.

© Ben Johnston 2014


Sainz Jr joins Toro Rosso for 2015


Embedded image permalink
(Toro Rosso via Twitter)

It's official another piece of the 2015 Formula One driver jigsaw puzzle has been completed.

Scuderia Toro Rosso have confirmed that Carlos Sainz Jr will make his Formula One race debut with next season alongside fellow F1 newcomer Max Verstappen.

The news comes after the Spaniard drove the Infiniti Red Bull Racing RB10 on the opening day of the end of season Abu Dhabi F1 test on Tuesday.

Sainz Jr has had an impressive motor racing career winning the 2014 Formula Renault 2.5 Series. Speaking about the news the Spaniard stated:

'I am really happy to have landed the drive with Scuderia Toro Rosso. Ever since I have been part of Red Bull's Young Driver Programme, this has been my aim and I want to thank Red Bull for putting their faith in me. I have had a very successful season in World Series by Renault this year and now I am looking forward to taking the step up to Formula 1. 

I tested for a day with Toro Rosso last year and I liked the atmosphere in the team. In the next few months I will be working hard on my preparation, ready to get in the cockpit in Jerez for the first test of next year. It will be nice to make my "official" debut as a Formula 1 driver in my home country!'

Scuderia Toro Rosso team principal Franz Tost stated:

'With Carlos Sainz joining Max Verstappen in our driver line-up next year, we continue the Toro Rosso tradition of providing youngsters from the Red Bull Junior Driver Programme with their first steps in Formula 1. 

I have watched Carlos progress through the junior categories, always improving as he moved higher up the ladder, culminating in a well-deserved win in this year's World Series. However, I also remember the day's testing he did with us at Silverstone in 2013 in the STR8. He really surprised me and his engineers that day, with his mature approach and his speed.'

Sainz Jr replacing Jean Eric Vergne who confirmed earlier this week that he would no longer drive for the Italian team in 2015.

Sainz Jr becomes the second Spanish driver on the Formula One grid for 2015 as Fernando Alonso looks set to join McLaren Honda for next season having left Scuderia Ferrari following last weekend's season finale in Abu Dhabi.

Following the confirmation of the Toro Rosso line up for 2015 here is the state of play:

2015 Formula One Driver Line-Ups

Mercedes AMG PETRONAS F1 Team

Lewis Hamilton
Nico Rosberg

Infiniti Red Bull Racing Team

Daniel Ricciardo
Daniil Kvyat

Williams Martini Racing Team

Valtteri Bottas
Felipe Massa

Scuderia Ferrari

Sebastian Vettel
Kimi Raikkonen

McLaren Honda

Fernando Alonso (TBC)
Possible (Jenson Button, Kevin Magnussen)

Sahara Force India Formula One Team

Nico Hulkenberg
Sergio Perez

Scuderia Toro Rosso

Max Verstappen
Carlos Sainz Jr

Lotus F1 Team

Romain Grosjean
Pastor Maldonado

Marussia F1 Team

TBC
TBC

Sauber F1 Team

Marcus Ericsoon
Felipe Nasr

Caterham F1 Team

TBC
TBC

© Ben Johnston 2014

Formula One sets up promotional working group to find ideas of how to improve the show for fans

(Mercedes AMG PETRONAS F1 Team)

The Formula One teams have set up a new Promotional Working Group to help come with ways of improving the sport for fans. The group who held their first meeting over the course of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix weekend is led by Williams Martini Racing's deputy team principal Claire Williams. 

The group is looking at ways for fans to gain greater access to the sport. One of the ideas which has been mooted is to open up the Formula One paddock to the fans on the Thursday of a race weekend at the same time as the pit-lane walkabout takes place so that fans could can access to the normally reserved areas of Formula One.

It has also been suggested that the sport has a decided social media strategy because as it stands although the teams are fantastic on social media in terms of fan interaction and running competitions their is no clear path set out for the sport on social media as a way of attracting the social media savvy younger audience to the sport with the exception of #F1 or #AbuDhabi Grand Prix.

Another idea that has been discussed is to allow fans greater access to the drivers over the course of a race weekend.

The promotional groups ideas will then be put forward to the Formula Strategy Working Group for them to vote on with the agreed changes set to take affect from 2015.

What would YOU like to see introduced to improve the 'F1 Experience'?

© Ben Johnston 2014

No pressure for Ricciardo in 2015

(Jean Michel Le Meur DPPI for Renault Sport F1)

Infiniti Red Bull Racing's Daniel Ricciardo has stated that he does not feel extra pressure ahead of the 2015 Formula One season as the Australian will step up to the role of lead driver at the Milton Keynes based outfit following the departure of four time world champion Sebastian Vettel.

Ricciardo joined the Red Bull senior team ahead of the start of the 2014 Formula One season replacing countryman Mark Webber as Vettel's team mate and was expected to struggle against the German as he was seen as entering the 'lions den'. However in his first race with the team in Melbourne in March, Ricciardo qualified ahead of Vettel and although he was disqualified from the race.

Ricciardo went on to win three Grand Prix this season compared to none for Vettel and finished on the podium eight times this season.

Ricciardo went on to finish in third place in the championship, 71 points ahead of team mate Sebastian Vettel. Ricciardo will have a new team mate in 2015 with Daniil Kvyat stepping up to Infiniti Red Bull Racing after just season in Formula One with Scuderia Toro Rosso.

Speaking to the official Red Bull website, Ricciardo said that in 2014 he proved himself as a race winner and he knows what he can do when he has a good car.

The Australian said that he feels no pressure if he is in a car that is in 6th or 7th place when it is capable of finishing third or fourth.

© Ben Johnston 2014

Money not a factor in Nasr's move to Sauber

Abu_Dhabi_test_14_016.JPG
(Sauber F1 Team)

Felipe Nasr has dismissed suggestions that the Sauber F1 Team chose him due to the fact that he brings financial backing with him to the Swiss based team next season in the form Banco Du Brasil. Nasr joins the team next season as he will make his Formula One race debut having previously been Williams Martini Racing's test driver.

The 22 year old has stated that the Sauber F1 Team are not selling their race seats saying the suggestion makes now sense. 

Nasr made his Formula One test debut with Williams Martini Racing in February 2014 when he drove the FW36 as the team prepared for the start of the season at the Bahrain International circuit. The Brazilian went on to share the third driver role with Susie Wolff and drove the car in a handful of Free Practice sessions.

Nasr confirmed that discussions with the Sauber F1 Team began during the Summer and that he is very happy that the deal have fallen into place. The Brazilian will have his first outing with the team during the opening Winter test when he gest behind the wheel of the Sauber C34 at the opening test in Jerez in just 65 days.

© Ben Johnston 2014


Rivalry will become more intense in 2015

(Mercedes MAG PETRONAS F1 Team)

Mercedes AMG PETRONAS F1 Team's Executive Director (Business) Toto Wolff believes that the rivalry between both of his drivers will be more intense next season as Nico Rosberg challenges Lewis Hamilton for the world championship.

Hamilton claimed his second world championship at last weekend's season finale Abu Dhabi Grand Prix at the Yas Marina circuit. It was Hamilton's second championship having won it in his second season in Formula One with McLaren in 2008 having come close to the championship in 2007 just missing out to Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen.

Hamilton won the championship by 67 points after Nico Rosberg had a difficult race after starting the race from pole position the German finished the race out of the points in 14th place.

The German claimed five victories along with the pole position trophy. Lewis Hamilton scored eleven victories on his way to winning the championship in only his second season with the Brackley based outfit. 

The pair endured a frosty relationship in 2014 despite being good friends for year as they challenged each other for the world championship and it all came to a dramatic head at the Belgian Grand Prix where Rosberg clipped Hamilton resulting in Hamilton being forced to retire from the race while Rosberg went on to finish the race in 14th place.

Wolff has no doubt that the team will have similar situations n 2015 as they did this year with the pair however stated that what was witnessed following Sunday's race before the podium celebrations when Rosberg congratulated Hamilton shows that they respect each other.

Former Formula One driver Mark Webber has commended Mercedes for the way they managed the relationship between Rosberg and Hamilton this season. The Australian who is now racing in the World Endurance Championship with Porsche stated that the team handled their advantage over the rest of the field incredibly well.

© Ben Johnston 2014

Wolff named official Williams Martini Racing Team test driver for 2015

(Williams Martini Eacing Team)

It's official, Susie Wolff have been confirmed as the Williams Martini Racing Team's new test driver from 2015 onwards with the Scot replacing the Sauber bound Felipe Nasr.

The Scottish driver joined the Grove based outfit in 2012 as their development driver. She made her official test debut at last season's Young Driver Test in Silverstone in July following the British Grand Prix. 

This tear, Wolff was the first of the Williams Martini Racing driver's to sample the new FW36 and at both the British and German Grand Prix this season Wolff took part in Free Practice 1. In Silverstone she suffered a problem with the FW36 and was forced to stop the car after just four laps, she finished the session in 21st place just ahead of the Lotus F1 Team's Pastor Maldonado.

In Germany, Wolff was far happy with how the session went as she finished Free Practice One in 15th place with her fastest time of 1m 20.769 was just 1.638s behind Mercedes AMG PETRONAS F1 Team's Nico Rosberg who topped the time-sheets.

The Scot completed 22 laps in the FW36. Williams Martini Racing's deputy team principal Claire Williams commented on Wolff's appointment saying:

'We are delighted to have Susie continuing with the team next season in this new role. She continues to impress us with her strong technical knowledge, the feedback she delivers and the performance when she drives the car both on the track and in the simulator. 

She has steadily increased her time behind the wheel since she joined us in April 2012 and her appointment as Official Test Driver was a natural progression. We have a very strong and stable driver line-up for 2015 and this will be a key asset as we look to build on a positive 2014 season.'

Susie Wolff commented on the news by saying:

'This is another step in the right direction for me. I am delighted Williams are recognising my progression, hard work and that it is performance that counts. Williams is at a very exciting stage in its history and we are moving into 2015 with fantastic momentum, 

I’m proud to be part of the team. I’ll be using my position to work closely with Felipe and Valtteri to make sure that the FW37 builds on the strong performance shown by the FW36.'

The Williams Martini Racing Team have already confirmed that Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas will remain as their two race drivers for 2015 having been confirmed prior to the start of the Italian Grand Prix in Monza in September.

© Ben Johnston 2014


Thursday, 27 November 2014

Vettel states it will take time for Ferrari to be successful again

Sebastian Vettel
(formula1.ferrari.com)

Four time world champion Sebastian Vettel has stated that he feels that it will take time for success to return to the Italian team. The Maranello based outfit endured an extremely difficult season in 2014 which saw them secure just two podium finishes courtesy of Fernando Alonso in China and Hungary. The team finished in fourth place in the championship, 104 points behind the Williams Martini Racing Team.

It was announced last week that Fernando Alonso would leave the team after five seasons with Sebastian Vettel joining the outfit as Kimi Raikkonen's new team mate for next season. Speaking to German newspaper Die Welt, Vettel stated:

'We should not think that we can battle with Mercedes next year. I am aware that we have a lot of work to do at Ferrari and that will take time, especially when Mercedes already has a great competitive advantage.'

Vettel also stated that he will wants to make sure that the move was right for him and indeed for Ferrari too so he would not give a time period on when he would like the team to be successful and the German understand that there is a lot of work that needs to be done before the team can think about being successful in 2015.

Kimi Raikkonen remains the teams last world drivers champion having taken victory in 2007 having joined the Italian team that season. The Ferrari team last won the Constructors world championship in 2008.

© Ben Johnston 2014

Hulkenberg to contest 2015 LeMans 24 Hours and Spa

(Sahara Force India Formula One Team)

Sahara Force India Formula One team's Nico Hulkenberg has confirmed that he will contest the 2015 LeMans 24 Hours in a third Porsche LMP1 car along with competing in the 6 hours of SPA, alongside his Formula One commitments with the Sahara Force India Formula One Team. The German had a fantastic season in 2014, on his return to the Silverstone based outfit having spent the 2013 season with the Sauber F1 Team.

Speaking about the announcement, Hulkenberg stated;

'Porsche and Le Mans – this combination probably attracts every race driver. I’ve been a Porsche fan for a long time and have been watching their return to the LMP1 class closely” “The desire grew to drive that car at Le Mans. I am very pleased the 2015 Formula One calendar allows for it and I’m grateful to my Sahara Force India Formula One Team’s generosity to let me go for it. Now it’s up to me to work hard to satisfy both commitments'.

Porsche Motorsports Vice President of the LMP1 Programme Fritz Enzinger commented by saying:

'We are very much looking forward to taking Nico on board. We’ve got complete faith in his driving skills and for sure he will fit well in our works team. The ability to integrate is of extreme importance in endurance racing. For a Formula One driver it is an unusual situation to accept that his own results are the sum of three drivers’ performance.'

Porsche World Endurance Championship team principal Andreas Seidl commented:

'Having caught the interest of another world class driver like Nico is validation for the job the entire Porsche LMP1 crew had done in our first WEC season. Now we will prepare Nico for his new challenges such as dealing with the traffic of the slower GT cars and racing into the Le Mans night. We have got a road map in place which should enable him to exploit his driving abilities at his Le Mans debut. We’re looking forward to working with Nico and we want to thank the Sahara Force India F1 Team and team principal Vijay Mallya for loaning him to us.'

Nico Hulkenberg finished the 2014 Formula One season in 9th place on 96 points and helped the Silverstone based outfit to finish in sixth place in the 2014 Constructors championship. The 2015 LeMan 24 Hours takes place on June 13/14, the weekend between the Canadian and Austrian Grand Prix.

The 6 Hours Of Spa race takes place on May 2 2015 in between the Chinese and Spanish Grand Prix. Hulkenberg will be the first serving Formula One driver since Sebastian Bourdais in 2009 to compete in the LeMans 24 Hours.

© Ben Johnston 2014

Rexona team up with Williams Martini Racing ahead of 2015 F1 season

(Williams Martini Racing Team)

It has been an incredible year for the Williams Martini Racing Team as they built an extremely strong package for the 2014 season with the introduction of Martini as their new title sponsor, Felipe Massa and Rob Smedley joining the team from Ferrari and making the switch from Renault to Mercedes power with the introduction of the new 1.6 litre V6 turbo charged power unit.

Fresh from finishing the 2014 Formula One season in third place in the Constructors championship following a double podium at the season ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix at the Yas Marina circuit where Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas finished the race in second and third respectively behind race winner and 2014 champion Mercedes AMG PETRONAS F1 Team the Grove based outfit have confirmed a new sponsorship deal.

From 2015 onwards Williams Martini Racing will have a new partner in the Unilever brand Rexona. The new partnership will see the Rexona logo appear prominently on the FW37 chassis as it will be visible on the side pod, front wing and front wish bones of the new chassis. The Rexona logo will appear on all team apparel and team environment.

Rexona join the Williams portfolio from the Lotus F1 Team. Speaking about the new partnership, Rexona Global Brand vice president Santiago Iturraldi stated:

'As the number one global top performance deodorant brand we are delighted to announce this partnership with Williams Martini Racing. Formula One exudes performance and is a captivating sport for millions of our consumers worldwide.'

The adrenaline, stress, temperature and movement that the drivers, team and fans experience during a Formula One race undoubtedly make them sweat. This is the ultimate torture test for a deodorant – and Rexona won’t let you down,'

The Williams Martini Racing Team will be hoping to build on their fantastic 2014 Formula One season in 2015 having claimed nine podium finishes in 2014 and with very little in the way of changes to the technical regulations for 2015 the team are well placed to improve on the performance from 2014. Valtteri Bottas ended the opening day of the end of season test at the Yas Marina Bay circuit in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday. 

Speaking about the new partnership Williams Martini Racing's deputy team principal Claire Williams commented by saying:

'We’re delighted to be partnering with a company of Unilever’s global stature in what is a long term collaboration. Williams has a history of partnering with consumer brands to elevate their global reach and we will be using the full range of marketing tools afforded by Formula One and Williams to help Unilever and Rexona achieve their goals. We both have a commitment to sustainability and we will be sharing Williams Advanced Engineering’s growing expertise in energy efficient technologies to jointly tackle this important issue.'

© Ben Johnston 2014

McLaren confirm points won't have any baring on who drivers for the team next season

Eric Boullier, Racing Director, McLaren Racing
(McLaren Honda)

McLaren Honda Racing Director Eric Boullier has confirmed that Jenson Button and Kevin Magnussen's points tally for the for the team in 2014 will have no baring on who will partner Fernando Alonso at the Woking based outfit next season as it is expected that the former Ferrari driver will rejoin them in 2015 having driven for the team in 2007 alongside Lewis Hamilton.

Button outscored Kevin Magnussen in 2014 and out-qualified the Dane 10 - 9 this season and Boullier stated that if the decision purely down to him and based on driver experience then his mind would be made up with Button remaining at the team however this is not the case.

It is believed that McLaren Group CEO Ron Dennis would prefer to retain Kevin Magnussen as the Englishman feels that the Dane is a better prospect for the future of of McLaren. 

The final decision on who the second driver will be is ultimately with Mr Dennis as he is the company chairman, however it is understood that Fernando Alonso has made it clear that would prefer to see Button as his team mate with the team next season.

It is also believed that senior personnel within McLaren would also prefer to see Button retained for 2015.

© Ben Johnston 2014



Toro Rosso to announce second driver on Monday

(Francois Flamand DPPI for Renault Sport F1)

Scuderia Toro Rosso will confirm their second driver for the 2015 Formula One on Monday. The team have already confirmed Max Verstappen for next season.

On Wednesday Jean Eric Vergne confirmed via his official Twitter account that he will not be racing for the Italian team in 2015 and is expected to be replaced by Renault 3.5 Series champion Carlos Sainz Jr who took part in the post season Abu Dhabi test for Infiniti Red Bull Racing on Tuesday at the Yas Marina circuit.

Dr Helmut Marko confirmed on Thursday that the teams new driver will be presented on Red Bull's TV channel SERVUS TV on the show Sport Und Talk at 8:15PM (Local time) GMT+1 on Monday December 1, the same day that McLaren-Honda are also expected to confirm their 2015 driver line-up.

© Ben Johnston 2014

Vandoorne test just that, a test

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(McLaren Honda)

McLaren-Honda Racing Director Eric Boullier has stated that GP2 driver and McLaren test driver Stoffel Vandoone's test in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday and Wednesday was just that a test as the team evaluated their new Honda power unit before it makes its 2015 debut. 

McLaren CEO Ron Dennis confirmed over the weekend that there are possibly four drivers in contention for a race seat with the Woking based outfit next season. However Mr Boullier that stated that as far as he is concerned Vandoorne would be better off remaining in the GP2 championship to gain more experience and to focus on winning the GP2 championship.

Speaking to the official Formula One website, Mr Boullier stated:

'He is one of our young drivers. He actually did very well in the second part of the GP2 season, so I think it is a reward for him to be here and be part of this new historical partnership with Honda.'

McLaren's 2014 drivers Jenson Button and Kevin Magnussen are waiting to hear news as to whether or not they will be retained for next season as the Woking based outfit embark on a new era with Honda. 

It is believed that one of the McLaren seats will go to former Ferrari driver Fernando Alonso who left the the Maranello based outfit last weekend following the Formula One season finale in Abu Dhabi.

© Ben Johnston 2014

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Formula One ditches standing restarts and double points for 2015

(Mercedes AMG PETRONAS F1 Team)

Formula One is set to drop the controversial double points system for the 2015 season. Double points were introduced for this season to ensure that the title showdown concluded at the final race of the season in Abu Dhabi.

Mercedes AMG PETRONAS F1 Team's Lewis Hamilton went into last weekend's season final with a 17 point advantage over team mate Nico Rosberg heading into the final race and made a fantastic start to the race taking the lead off the start the line from pole sitter Nico Rosberg and went on to win the race while Rosberg finished outside the points in 14 place.

The double points made no difference to the outcome of the world championship as had the race finished the same way it did on Sunday without double points Lewis Hamilton would have won the championship by 42 points instead of 67.

As for the standing restarts following a safety car period this was scrapped as team's raised safety concerns of restarting a race that way. When the safety car is returning to the pits cars weave left and right in order to keep temperatures in their tyre's.

The Strategy Group and F1 Commission also agreed to keep the current radio communication ban in place in its current form which sees teams banned from coaching their drivers.

At the meeting it was also agreed that both the Marussia and Caterham F1 Team's will be allowed to use year old power units if they both make to Melbourne next season if it means that the outfits will save money which could ensure their survival from a financial point of view.

© Ben Johnston 2014

Pirelli debut 2015 tyre in Abu Dhabi post season test

(Mercedes AMG PETRONAS F1 Team)

The two day post Formula One season test concluded on Wednesday with Pirelli debuting the 2015 rubber. On Tuesday Valtteri Bottas used a 2015 Soft tyre compound and finished the day time of the time-sheets for the Williams Martini Racing Team. The Finn set a fastest time of 1m 43.396s, McLaren Honda's Stoffel Vandoorne also ran the new 2015 Pirelli tyre.

On Wednesday Ferrari's Raffaele Marciello ran the new 2015 Pirelli new Super Soft tyre, The Italian finished the day in second place on the time-sheets. On his final day for the Williams Martini Racing Team before he moves to the Sauber F1 Team Felipe Nasr ran a brand new set of the 2015 Pirelli Soft tyre and finished the day in eighth place setting a time of 1m 45.937s.

McLaren Honda's Stoffel Vandoorne once again ran the 2015 Pirelli tyre however he ran the Super Soft tyre,

Over the course of the two day test a total of 1,557 laps were completed on Pirelli rubber with the 2015 Pirelli tyre covered 259 laps of the Yas Marina circuit, Pirelli did run a dedicated day of tyre testing as they have done in previous test events. Speaking following the end of season test Pirelli Motorsport Director Paul Hembery stated:

'We’ve been very pleased to hear the initial impressions from the drivers of our new tyres, which suggest that the improvements we have aimed for are already taking effect. We’ve made a few small alterations: in particular to the belt area of the rear tyre that sits in the footprint. 

This new construction optimises the temperature distribution through the tyre in order to distribute heat more evenly, which should lead to more consistent performance and better traction. We’ve also got a new supersoft compound on the rear, which is designed to improve mechanical resistance. 

Our objectives with the 2015 tyres remain the same as they have always been: to provide between two and three pit stops per race. One of the biggest factors of course will be the way that the cars improve: we’re expecting to see cars that are a second per lap or more faster than the 2014 cars next year, and this obviously will impact on tyre behaviour.'

© Ben Johnston 2014

Ericsson completes 207 laps over two days for the Sauber F1 Team in Abu Dhabi

Abu_Dhabi_test_14_017.JPG
(Sauber F1 Team)

The Sauber F1 Team's Marcus Ericsson completed the Swiss based outfit's two day test programme as the two day post season test at the Yas Marina circuit in Abu Dhabi came to an end on Wednesday. The Swedish driver completed 207 laps over the course of the test and on second day Ericsson finished the test in fourth place ahead of the Caterham F1 Team's Will Stevens. Speaking following the test, Ericsson stated:

'I have had two great testing days with just a few problems. We have completed a productive test programme over both days, and we have covered almost everything we had planned. I had a good time getting to know the people within the team, and starting to work with everyone. Starting to drive the C33, building my feeling for the car, and giving my input for next year’s car was important. Overall, we had two constructive test days. 

Today we continued to work on different set-ups, aero measurements and tyre evolutions, which will be beneficial for next year. This was a good start. Now I am even more motivated to work extremely hard with the team over the winter to be prepared for the first test.'

The Sauber F1 Team head into the Winter aiming to rebuild for 2015 following an extremely difficult 2014 season in which the team failed to score a single point for the first time in their Formula One history.

The team have already begun the rebuilding process with the arrival of Marcus Ericsson, Felipe Nasr and Banco Du Brasil. Nasr finished today's session, his final day or the Williams Martini Racing team in eighth place. Speaking about the test, the Sauber F1 Team's Test Engineer Paul Russel stated:

'Overall it was a good day. We carried on with the aero work from yesterday. Besides that, we continued to investigate what the tyres for next year were like, which was more detailed today. We had technical issues with the brakes. Therefore, we did some brake tests, which were interesting. Although we had a short delay because of this, we were able to get almost everything done. We continued working with Marcus, which was good. At the end of the day, he did short runs with qualifying settings.'

© Ben Johnston 2014


Lynn hoping for F1 role following test with the Lotus F1 Team


(Lotus F1 Team)

GP3 champion Alex Lynn made his Formula One debut with the Lotus F1 Team as he got behind the wheel of the E22 sharing the driving duties on the final day of the post season Formula One test at the Yas Marina circuit in Abu Dhabi with Esteban Ocon. 

This morning Esteban Ocon completed 34 laps in the E22 chassis 3 while this afternoon Alex Lynn completed 52 laps as the Enstone outfit carried out Aero assessments and tyre evaluations with the 2015 development Pirelli tyre. Speaking following the test Esteban Ocon stated:

'The test session went well today. I have had more time to discover the limits of the car as I already knew the E22 having driven it in Free Practice 1 during the Grand Prix weekend. We ran through most of the planned programme, but unfortunately I didn't get to test the 2015 tyres which were planned for late in my session. 

We still achieved good mileage in the morning and I feel my understanding of the car is improving all the time. I received great feedback from the team, which is a great positive for me.'

Alex Lynn won the GP3 championship on Sunday and the test with the Lotus F1 Team was a reward for his win. The Englishman now hopes to find a test and reserve driver role with a Formula One team. Speaking following his successful Formula One debut at the Yas Marina circuit in Abu Dhabi Lynn stated:

'I am very grateful to Lotus F1 Team for giving me my first opportunity to drive a Formula 1 car and I’m glad I was able to deliver what they wanted from me today. It felt so good to be behind the wheel of the E22 as it reacts so well and does everything you want it to. It was an impressive programme we ran through with many different evaluations. 

The team were really helpful and it was a fantastic day all round. I can’t wait for my next opportunity to drive a Formula 1 car.'

Today's test in Abu Dhabi was also the last time that the Lotus F1 Team ran the Renault power unit as they will make the switch to a supply of Mercedes Hybrid power units next season and the team will now return to their Enstone HQ. Speaking about the two day test session the Lotus F1 Team's Trackside Operations Director Alan Permane stated:

'Another solid day of testing completed with two talented young drivers in the car delivering exactly what we wanted of them. Aside from a small fluid leak today which cut Esteban’s running short, our testing was uninterrupted by any reliability issues so we were able to complete the majority of our evaluations. 

Esteban was quickly up to speed after his experience with the car on Friday whilst Alex was rapidly able to deliver what we wanted from him too, so strong days from both drivers. 

We now head back to Enstone with plenty of data to analyse. After the toughest season I can remember for the team, we now bid goodbye to the E22 and say thank you to Renault Sport F1 for all the years we have enjoyed together. We now look forward to the fresh challenge of 2015.'

© Ben Johnston 2014

Vergne confirms Toro Rosso exit

(Jean Michel Le Meur DPPI for Renault Sport F1)

Jean Eric Vegne has taken to his official Twitter page to confirm that he will not be driving for Scuderia Toro Rosso in 2015. The Frenchman who made his debut for the Italian team in 2012 finished the 2014 Formula One season in 13th place in the championship on 22 points. Vergne stated:

'Despite a good season & 22 pts, I'll not drive anymore for Toro Rosso in 2015. Thanks for those years. Let's go for another big challenge'. 

Vergne had been considered for the Infiniti Red Bull Racing seat vacated by Mark Webber at the end of last season however the drive alongside Sebastian Vettel went to his Toro Rosso team mate Daniel Ricciardo. The Frenchman was also overlooked when it was announced that Sebastian Vettel was leaving the Milton Keynes based team as Daniil Kvyat will join Daniel Ricciardo at the team next season.

© Ben Johnston 2014

Wehrlein fastest as the post season test concludes in Abu Dhabi

(Mercedes AMG PETRONAS F1 Team)

The on track Formula One action concluded for 2014 today with Mercedes AMG PETRONAS F1 Team's Pascal Wehrlein ending the post Formula One season two test at the Yas Marina circuit in Abu Dhabi top of the time-sheets. The Brackley based teams test driver completed 95 laps recording a fastest time of 1m 42.624s.

Raffaele Marciello who made his debut with Scuderia Ferrari today having taken over from race driver Kimi Raikkonen finished the session in second place with a fastest time of 1m 43.208s. The Italian, who is part of Ferrari's Young Driver Programme completed 90 laps in the F14-T.

Max Verstappen who will make his Formula One race debut with Scuderia Toro Rosso in Australia next season was third fastest for the Italian team completing his second day in the car having suffered a front suspension failure on Tuesday after just a handful of laps. The Dutch driver completed 78 laps of the Yas Marina circuit and set a fastest time of 1m 43.763s.

In his second day driving for the Sauber F1 Team Marcus Ericsson completed the most number of laps by any driver as the Swedish driving managed 117 laps and finished the day in fifth place with a fastest time of 1m 44.551s.

It was great end for the Caterham F1 Team's Will Stevens as the English driver who only completed his first Grand Prix distance at the season finale Abu Dhabi Grand Prix last weekend finished the test in fifth place just 2.264s behind Wehrlein completing 76 laps and finishing the day just ahead of Formula One debutante Spike Goddard who was driving for the Sahara Force India Formula One team. The Australian completed 88 laps with a fastest time of 1m 44.944s.

Speaking following his outing in the VJM07, Spikes stated:

'I felt today went really well. The VJM07 is a massive step up from my Formula 3 car so the first part of the day was devoted to adjusting to the new machinery. The power and downforce of these cars is something on a completely different level; it was a massive shock to the system, but I got used to it fairly soon.

(Sahara Force India Formula One Team)


We chipped away at the lap time in every run and in the end we got to a pretty good time and 89 laps, which is a fair bit of running. I am pretty happy about the work I did with the team and the way everyone worked with me. I'd love to keep a link with Sahara Force India: it's a fantastic group of people and I'd like to contribute and help as much as I can.'

Sahara Force India F1 Team Chief Engineer, Tom McCullough stated:

'Completing 89 trouble-free laps is a successful way to wrap up our 2014 trackside programme. Spike did a good job and really made the most of his first opportunity in a Formula One car. It’s always a big jump from Formula Three to Formula One, but he adapted quickly and gradually built up his confidence and speed throughout the test. We used the early part of the day to complete the aero work we started yesterday with several devices fitted to the car to collect further data. 

The rest of the programme involved some other aero and mechanical test items. With relatively few rule changes between this season and the next, the mileage completed over the last couple of days has proved valuable for exploring some design avenues for next year.'

Infiniti Red Bull Racing's Daniel Ricciardo finished the test in eighth place after the Australian's RB10 came to a stop on track following a fire from the back of his car. Despite the issue Ricciardo managed to complete 87 laps with a fastest time of 1m 46.078s. Speaking following the test he stated:

'Today was pretty good,” “Obviously we got cut short by a couple of hours and it would have been nice to finish the session, but we did a lot of laps and all of those were productive. There was a little bit of work with this year’s tyres and a bit with next year’s, trying to understand how those behave. We also did quite a few things on starts, trying to understand what’s happening there, which was positive. I felt pretty good in the car. It’s a good way to end the season, we achieved a lot. Now that’s it, a bit of time off and look forward to next season.'

Infiniti Red Bull Racing Race Engineering co-ordinator Andy Damerum commented by saying:

'We put in 59 laps in the morning, which was good, and just as yesterday that provided an enormous amount of very useful data on tyres, some development things we’re running and on software updates we were trying. The afternoon was going the same way until we had the failure and Daniel was forced to stop on track. When we got the car back to the garage our initial investigations showed that it would take some time to be ready to go back out, so better to call a halt and have a proper look at the problem.”

In his last outing for the Williams Martini Racing Team before moving to the Sauber F1 Team, Felipe Nasr finished the session in eighth place after completing 82 laps with a fastest time of 1m 45.937s. The Brazilian completed 82 laps for the Grove based outfit.

On his Formula One debut with the Lotus F1 Team, GP3 champion Alex Lynn finished the session in 9th place with a time of 1m 46.168s completing 51 laps. The Englishman was driving in the afternoon session as Esteban Ocon drove the E22 this morning and at the end of the day he was in 10th place having completed 34 laps with a fastest time of 1m 47.013s.

McLaren-Honda had another tough day as Stoffel Vandoorne failed to set a time completing just two laps and bringing out the red flag after stopping out on track. The Woking based outfit were continuing to evaluate their new Honda power unit ahead of its race debut in 2015.

© Ben Johnston 2014

Alonso won't comment on whether or not he will one day return to Ferrari

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(Scuderia Ferrari SpA via Twitter) 

Fernando Alonso has stated that he will make no comment on whether or not he will one day return to Ferrari. The double world champion replaced Kimi Raikkonen at the Italian team for the 2010 Formula One season and in his five season's with the Maranello based outfit he failed to secure the championship despite coming close in 2010, 2012 and last season in 2013.

The Spaniard is set to join McLaren-Honda next season after leaving Ferrari following the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix last weekend. The Spaniard will be replaced at the Maranello based outfit by quadruple world champion Sebastian Vettel next season who joins Ferrari on a three year contract.

The Spaniard stated that he is NOT difficult to work with any of his former teams as he said that he has been welcomed back to his previous teams with open arms.

Alonso stated that he was at Renault where he won both of his world champions in 2005 and 2006 before moving to McLaren for the 2007 season. The double world champion was with McLaren for just one season where he has a frosty year with team mate Lewis Hamilton before moving back Renault for the 2008 season.

© Ben Johnston 2014

Ericsson begins work with the Sauber F1 Team

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(Sauber F1 Team)

The Abu Dhabi post season Formula One test got underway on Tuesday with former Caterham driver Marcus Ericsson making his debut for the Sauber F1 Team ahead of his race debut with the Swiss based outfit in Australia in March.

Over the course of the opening day the Swedish driver set the eighth fastest time of the day with a 1m 46.235s completing 95 laps. He is currently driving for the team on the second and final day of the Abu Dhabi test and speaking about his running on Tuesday Ericsson stated:

'It was a great day. I did a lot of laps which was the main thing to get used to the car and get to start to work with the team. I am really happy with that. It was a good first day. We focused mainly on aero work for 2015 and also on tyre comparisons. I think everyone is satisfied, and I am also happy about my first laps in the C33.'

The Sauber F1 Team finished the 2014 Formula One season in 10th place in the championship having failed to score a world championship point for the first time in the team's history racing in Formula One.

The team have a brand new driver line-up for the 2015 Formula One season with Marcus Ericsson and Felipe Nasr joining the team replacing Adrian Sutil and Esteban Gutierrez. Speaking about Tuesday's day of running Sauber F1 Team Test Engineer Paul Russel stated:

'It was a good day, although in the afternoon we had some technicalissues, and in general there were many red flags but it did not affect our programme massively. It was good to start working with Marcus, and it was important for him to drive the C33, start the process of working together and also to learn the car. We got quite a lot of aero work done today, and collected a lot of valuable data. Besides that, we also had a first look into the tyres for the 2015 season. Overall it was quite a mixed programme. It was an interesting day.'

© Ben Johnston 2014

Force India trial 'info wing' device developed by Anthony Hamilton

(Sahara Force India Formula One Team)

The Sahara Force India Formula One team's Spike Goddard ran a development part on the VJM07 on Wednesday morning the final day of the end of season two day test at the Yas Marina circuit in Abu Dhabi. The new device known as the 'info wing' was developed by Anthony Hamilton, the father of new Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton.

The device has been designed as a way of enhancing the spectator experience. It made up of LED display lights that show the driver's name, their race position and the tyre compound currently being used by that particular driver.

The test was overseen and approved by the FIA. It is unclear whether or not we will see the new system in Formula One in 2015.

© Ben Johnston 2014