Brake Glow

An aspiring motorsports journalist’s personal blog.

Tag Archives: F1

F-1 and IndyCar Notes

Raikkonen Leads Tuesday Testing at Jerez: Despite meaning little for actual 2012 pace, Lotus driver Kimi Raikkonen returned to the controls of a modern Formula One car in style. The Finn paced the field on Tuesday at Jerez in the new Lotus E20. The Iceman seemed  to lack surprise after topping the charts. “The lap times don’t matter today. I’m happy with the balance of the car, which feels good, and the fact that we didn’t have any major issues. Also, I did more than a race distance today and did not have any physical problems at all, which is good,” he said. Raikkonen also touched on Formula One’s Drag Reduction System, or DRS, which allows a car within one second behind another car to open the rear wing and reduce aerodynamic drag– to enable easier passing. “You just put the wing down and go past easily. The guy in front can’t really do anything,” said the 2007 World Champion. “But I agree that at least it makes the show better,” he added.

Barrichello to Decide Future Next Week: Brazilian Rubens Barrichello expects to announce a decision regarding his racing career sometime next week. The former Ferrari F1 driver was interviewed by a Brazilian radio station Tuesday and addressed the situation. “We have spoken with many people and there are things to be resolved, including the family aspect,” Barrichello said in reference to the promise he made to his wife to stay away from American ovals. Barrichello tested a new DW12 IndyCar for KV Racing last week at Sebring and seemed to enjoy the experience. The 39 year old elected to stay for a third day of testing after only being scheduled for two. Although he may not be asking for advice, many are offering it to Barrichello. The likes of Emmerson Fittipaldi and Eddie Jordan have cautioned the Brazilian from entering IndyCar. David Coulthard, however, stressed Barrichello should follow his heart with any racing decisions.

 

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Sutil: Hamilton is a coward, changed phone number

Adrian Sutil had some harsh words for his (former?) friend Lewis Hamilton after Sutil’s appearance in a Munich court.

The German lashed out in Germany’s Bild am Sonntag, calling the McLaren driver a coward and “not even a man.” The harsh words come after Sutil’s suspended 18-month sentence and EUR 200,000 fine. Sutil had called Hamilton to testify in the case, but because of Hamilton’s prior commitments to McLaren’s launch of the MP4-27, Hamilton was unable to attend.

With Hamilton’s absence, the German had no official witnesses in the trial against him. Sutil indicated he felt Hamilton’s testimony would have cleared himself of any wrongdoing in the nightclub fight that left Lotus co-owner Eric Lux badly cut.

Sutil took Hamilton’s absence personally. “Lewis is a coward, I do not want to be friends with someone like that,” Sutil said. “(Hamilton’s) father sent me a text message written and wished me luck for the process” but that was all the help that came from the Hamiltons, said the former Force India driver. Sutil alleges Hamilton took another step to ensure the German’s legal troubles could not bother the 2008 World Champion: he changed his phone number. “(Hamilton) has changed his phone number. I could not reach him anymore,” Sutil said.

The legal troubles have left Sutil’s career and reputation badly damaged. Sutil’s manager said a 2012 F1 seat is now “almost impossible.” But, his manager said, the FIA allowing Sutil to keep his super license has helped the German’s confidence.

McLaren Unveils MP4-27

The Vodafone McLaren-Mercedes F1 Team unveiled their 2012 car early Wednesday morning.

The Mp4-27 continues on an evolutionary basis from last year’s car, aesthetically.  Unlike the majority of the F1 field, McLaren opted away from the so-called “bumped” nose design and kept with a traditional look. Despite looking largely similar to last year’s car, McLaren’s Jenson Button told Speed.com’s Adam Cooper that the overall package vastly differs from last year’s.

“It may look like a direct evolution of last year’s car, but we’ve analyzed every area of performance over the winter,” Button proclaimed. “The whole car has benefited from lots of fresh thinking and new ideas in every area,” he added. Button said with last year’s rules remaining largely stable carrying over into 2012 McLaren was able to focus on their 2012 car relatively early. “I still think we had a very fast package last year – it was very strong in certain areas – and our race pace was almost always fantastic,” said Button. “But we’re hoping for a further step forwards in 2012.”

Button’s teammate, Lewis Hamilton, echoed those sentiments. “I’ve been keenly following the development of MP4-27 over the winter and I’ve been really encouraged by the results and the data that the engineers have been showing me … Jenson and I won six races with MP4-26 last year and I think we’ve been able to retain all the strengths and the reliability of that design while also incorporating lots of improvements and new ideas into the new car,” said Hamilton.

Hamilton did express some minor concerns about a loss in downforce with 2012’s new exhaust regulations. “The biggest changes for 2012 are the modifications to the exhaust regulations – that will reduce the downforce and grip that we had last year,” cautioned Hamilton. Despite the new regulations, Hamilton has faith in his engineers at McLaren. “It just puts the emphasis on the designers to try and claw some of that back in other areas.”

The Formula One teams will begin showcasing their new cars’ abilities next week in Spain for pre-season testing. Button has the privilege to drive the MP4-27 first. “I know that everyone will be watching us very closely to see what progress we make during the preseason tests, but I genuinely believe we have every reason to feel optimistic about the progress we’ve made and our competitiveness this year,” he said. “I’m really looking forward to getting behind the wheel in Spain next week.”

Keeping in line with Brake Glow‘s strict anti-piracy guidelines, photos of the the MP4-27 may be found here.

Bernard Wants Barrichello in IndyCar

Rubens Barrichello was again the talk of the paddock as IndyCar testing resumed at Sebring Tuesday. The f1 veteran, with 22 years of experience in the pinnacle of motorsport, brought out some uncommon faces to see during pre-season testing. In addition to KV Racing owners, Jimmy Vasser and Kevin Kalkhoven, IndyCar president, Randy Bernard, was also on hand in Sebring to see Barrichello embark on his first IndyCar venture.

“(Barrichello)’s a champion,” Bernard told the Associated Press, “a driver who would be a tremendous addition to a series.” Bernard also indicated IndyCar might assist in Barrichello’s decision to move to IndyCar financially. “If there is a transition, I want him to know that we’re here to help him,” Bernard said to racintoday.com

KV Racing’s other driver, and Barrichello’s good friend, Tony Kanaan also provided insight onto Barrichello’s future. “Right now, we don’t have anyone signed for the other two cars. You can tell by his face he’s having a lot of fun,” Kanaan told Speed.com. “By the time he gets out of the car he’ll have a pretty good idea what he wants to do,” Kanaan added.

Today is the last day Barrichello is set to test with KV Racing while the majority of the IndyCar teams are set for a three day test.

On-board footage from Barrichello’s test at Sebring can be seen below.

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F-1 Notes

Barrichello at KV Shop for Seat Fitting: After the news broke mid-day yesterday, the Twittersphere has been abuzz with talk of F-1 refugee Rubens Barrichello testing a KV Racing Technology IndyCar at Sebring this coming week. IndyCar drivers took to the social media site to voice their praise for the Brazilian and to encourage his endeavor into IndyCar. Even the great Mario Andretti tweeted at Barrichello, “good luck at Sebring test. Hope you’ll like it enough to join IndyCar. Tony Kanaan will be a great mate!” Barrichello joined in the fun early Thursday morning. Barrichello posted a picture of himself snugly tucked into the cockpit of a DW12 during a seat fitting. Since Brake Glow makes every effort to avoid copyright infringement in any form, the picture can be seen here. Barrichello is scheduled to turn his first laps in an IndyCar at Sebring on Monday.

Caterham Forced Into Early Unveiling: The Caterham F1 Team, formerly Lotus, was forced into an early unveiling of their 2012 challenger. Pictures of the aptly named CT01 emerged early Wednesday. The release to the media was initially scheduled for Thursday in an agreement with the UK-based, F-1 Magazine, but some readers received their copy of the periodical early on Wednesday. The early arrival to some fans led to pictures being lifted from the magazine and posted to the internet. Caterham relented and released a single picture for the media’s official use later in the day on Wednesday. Team Principal, Tony Fernandes, made the best out of the situation. “I am thrilled that we broke cover first and that the CT01 is the first example anyone has seen of a 2012 car,” he said. Fernandes said he expects more from the team in 2012 with points scoring being the main goal. The Malaysian pointed to the amount of development into this year’s car: “The detail right across the whole package is light years ahead of where we were when we first started out, and we are all excited about seeing what it can do when we get on track.” The public will see the CT01 on track for the first time in February as Formula One heads to Valencia for preseason testing. Photos of the CT01 are available through the team’s Flickr account here.

“Can’t Underestimate (Schumacher)” – Glock: Marussia driver, Timo Glock, recently came out to in defense of his fellow countryman, Michael Schumacher. Schumacher has brought mediocre results to his MercedesGP Team since his return to Formula One in 2010. But, Glock says, that does not mean he has lost his edge. In an interview with the German publication, Sky Sports News HD, Glock praised Schumacher’s tenacity and motivation. “He (Schumacher) is highly motivated and still someone who you always have to take into consideration,” Glock said. Glock finished his thought, “You can’t underestimate him in any way.” The 7-time World Champion and winner of 91 Grands Prix has yet to score a win, or even a podium, since his return two years ago. 2012 will be Schumacher’s third season with MercedesGP. His contract expires at the end of the 2012 season and his future plans remain unknown.