NEWS ARCHIVE

31 MARCH 2009

JACKIE PRETORIUS 1934-2009

Jackie Pretorius has died at the age of 74 from injuries received when intruders broke into his house in Glen Austin, a suburb of Johannesburg, three weeks ago. It was the second such attack on the Pretorius house. His wife Shirley died as a result of her injuries in a previous assault some years ago.

PETER COOPER 1922-2009

Peter Cooper, a noted British motor sport adminstrator, has died at the age of 86. Cooper became Chief Executive for the Royal Automobile Club Motor Sports Association in 1982, following the death of Basil Tye.

BRAWN ALREADY LOOKING AHEAD TO 2010, BUT JOBS MUST GO

Brawn GP's stunning victory in Melbourne was achieved despite errors by both drivers and this bodes well for the races ahead. At the same time, the team is very aware that the rival F1 outfits are going to be working on diffusers and other developments long before there is a decision about the legality of the systems from the FIA International Court of Appeal.

30 MARCH 2009

RACE REPORT - THE CUSTOMER COMES FIRST

Formula 1 people may be kids at heart, but they don't tend to believe in fairytales. They are a little too cynical for that. And yet, ever since the retirement of Robochamp Michael Schumacher, the sport has been blessed with a series of fairytales.

RACING IN MONTREAL IN NOVEMBER

Stories have been circulating on the Internet suggesting that the Abu Dhabi circuit may not be ready in time for the planned GP in November. These have been denied by the organisers.

FORMULA ONE AND UNIVERSAL MUSIC

The Universal Music Group is the world’s leading music company and discovers, develops, markets and distributes recorded music through a network of subsidiaries, joint ventures and licensees in 77 countries.

BRAWN AND VIRGIN

When he launched the Virgin sponsorship of Brawn GP on Saturday in Melbourne, Ross Brawn said that the deal was "both commercial and technical" and both he and Sir Richard Branson talked about the synergies between F1 and some of the other Virgin companies, such as the airlines, the trains and Virgin Galactic, the spaceship company that aims to develop the space tourist business.

29 MARCH 2009

RACE NOTES - JENSON BUTTON WINS AUSTRALIAN GP IN BRAWN GP 1-2

Australian GP - Race Notes

HAMILTON IS THIRD - VETTEL PAYS FOR HIS HONESTY

Lewis Hamilton has been declared the third placed finisher in the Australian GP. The British driver was given the position when Jarno Trulli was given a 25-sec penalty for passing another car behind the Safety Car.

SUNDAY PHOTOS

Australian GP - Sunday Photos

SUNDAY PRESS CONFERENCE

Australian GP - Sunday Press Conference

SUNDAY TEAM QUOTES

Australian GP - Sunday Team Quotes

RACE RESULTS (REVISED)

Australian GP - Race Results

28 MARCH 2009

QUALIFYING REPORT - THE DREAM START

Brawn Grand Prix made the perfect start in Formula 1 in qualifying in Melbourne with a 1-2 on the grid at Albert Park. After practice had been dominated by Nico Rosberg in his Williams-Toyota, the Brawn-Mercedes came to the fore in the Q1 session with Rubens Barrichello ahead of Jenson Button.

WILLIAMS IS PROTESTING FERRARI AND RED BULL

The Formula 1 teams continue to try to find the limits of the new regulations with Williams protesting Ferrari and Red Bull over their aerodynamic packages in Melbourne. The protest is being held at the moment and hopefully there will be answers before long.

HAMILTON TO START AT THE BACK BECAUSE OF GEARBOX TROUBLE

Lewis Hamilton will start the Australian GP from the back of the field because the team was forced to change his gearbox because of a broken fourth gear in qualifying. This meant that he was unable to set the best time possible from his car.

THE FIA ANNOUNCES THE WEIGHTS OF THE F1 CARS

The FIA has announced the weights of the various cars after the qualifying in Australia and it is interesting to see that the top 10 have not really gambled much on fuel.

TOYOTAS LOSE QUALIFYING TIMES

The FIA stewards in Australia have excluded the Toyota team from the qualifying session of the event after the cars were found to have an upper rear wing element which showed "extreme flexibility" in contravention of Article 3.15 of the Technical Regulations.

SATURDAY PHOTOS

Australian GP - Saturday Photos

SATURDAY PRESS CONFERENCE

Australian GP - Saturday Press Conference

SATURDAY TEAM QUOTES

Australian GP - Saturday Team Quotes

QUALIFYING RESULTS

Australian GP - Qualifying Results

PRACTICE 3 REPORT - WILLIAMS ON TOP AGAIN

The Williams-Toyota team was fastest again in the third session in Melbourne and the signs are that the car may be as quick as it has seemed thus far, although the ever-cautious Williams team continues to play things down, worrying that the pace of the Brawn cars may be better over longer runs.

PRACTICE 3 RESULTS

Australian GP - Practice 3 Results

THE RETURN OF COSWORTH?

The plans for new teams to emerge to boost the F1 grids next year have been boosted significantly by the announcement that the FIA will allow budget-capped teams being allowed to operate for only $42m.

27 MARCH 2009

PRACTICE 2 REPORT - WILLIAMS AGAIN

Nico Rosberg put Williams back on top of the timesheets for the second session of the day, underlining the performance of the Grove team. The best lap was a 1m26.053s, which was seven-tenths of a second faster than the 2008 pole position time.

FRIDAY PHOTOS

Australian GP - Friday Photos

FRIDAY PRESS CONFERENCE

Australian GP - Friday Press Conference

FRIDAY TEAM QUOTES

Australian GP - Friday Team Quotes

PRACTICE 2 RESULTS

Australian GP - Practice 2 Results

PRACTICE 1 REPORT - A WILLIAMS 1-2!

The opening session of practice for the Australian Grand Prix will have warmed the hearts of the folks inthe Oxford area as Williams F1 ended the 90 minute session first and second on the timesheets. Nico Rosberg was just a fraction faster than team-mate Kazuki Nakajima, but both were ahead of the Ferrari of Kimi Raikkonen.

PRACTICE 1 RESULTS

Australian GP - Practice 1 Results

26 MARCH 2009

THURSDAY PRESS CONFERENCE

Australian GP - Thursday Press Conference

VIRGIN IS TO BE FOUND AT HONDA

The Times in London is reporting that Sir Richard Branson's Virgin Group is to invest in Formula 1 for the first time as a significant team sponsor of the Brawn GP team which became favourite to win Sunday's Australian Grand Prix after the decision about diffsuers was made.

THE DIFFUSER BUSINESS EXPLAINED

As expected the Thursday in Melbourne was dominated by arguments over the legality of the diffusers of the Brawn, Toyota and Williams F1 cars. The controversial designs were challenged by Ferrari, Red Bull and Renault, who wanted a clarification on the new rules.

KOREAN GP REVEALS LOGO

The Korea Auto Valley Operation has released its logo for the 2010 F1 Korean Grand Prix. KAVO is the promoter of the event. The basic design idea of the official branding resembles the Korean national flag.

25 MARCH 2009

DAVIDSON IS BRAWN TEST DRIVER

Anthony Davidson will act as the test driver for the Brawn GP team this year - in addition to his role as a commentator with BBC Radio 5.

23 MARCH 2009

ANOTHER ENTRY LIST...

The FIA has announced the definitive entry list, allowing for a change in the status of Brawn GP. The team is now officially a new entrant in Formula 1, but the FIA has agreed that it will waive the fee for joining the championship.

FIA AGREES TO CUT PRICE SUPERLICENCES IN 2010

FIA President Max Mosley and representatives of the Grand Prix Drivers Association (GPDA) have met and a proposal will be made to the FIA World Motor Sport Council to revise super licence fees for drivers in the 2010 World Championship. This wouldd be in line with the cost-cutting that has been going on in recent weeks.

IF PIGS COULD FLY, WE WOULD BE GOING TO BULGARIA

There are reports in various places, culled from a Bulgarian newspaper, which suggest that there are plans to build a Formula 1 track in that country. This seems wildly optimistic.

20 MARCH 2009

FIA HAPPY TO DEFER POINTS SYSTEM

The FIA says ti will defer the new points system until 2010. The World Motor Sport Council unanimously rejected FOTA's proposed amendment to the points system and adopted a "winner takes all" proposal, but the teams have now objected.

FOTA QUESTIONS FIA DECISION

Following the decision of the World Motorsport Council of the 17 March 2009 to change the way the drivers’ championship is awarded, the teams gathered and unanimously agreed to question the validity of this decision.

NAKAJIMA GOES FASTEST

The final day of the Jerez testing, with only two teams still running, resulted in Kazuki Nakajima going fastest of the week with a best of 1m17.494s, which was seven-tenths quicker than the fastest time set by Jenson Button's Brawn earlier in the week.

19 MARCH 2009

TODAY IS THE DAY TO WATCH MCLAREN

With the final day of testing before the start of the season all eyes will be on Jerez de la Frontera to see whether McLaren has been sandbagging - or whether the team really has had the serious problems that have been reported.

ALEXANDER MAY NOT BE FINISHED YET!

McLaren announced earlier this week that Tyler Alexander is to retire, 46 years after he first joined the team. But we hear that the 68-year-old American may not be finished with the sport yet, as his passion, enthusiasm and technical experience could still be useful to another F1 team.

18 MARCH 2009

THE DANGERS OF GETTING WHAT YOU WANT

The Formula One Teams' Association had to react to the FIA proposals for 2010, but found itself in the very difficult position of having been given much of what it wanted. It is hard to argue against the FIA's moves when one has declared that one wants to reduce costs and maintain the DNA of modern Formula 1.

17 MARCH 2009

MORE TESTING RESTRICTIONS

The FIA has ruled that teams will be allowed to carry out three one-day "young driver training tests" between the end of the last race of the championship and December 31.

FIA REJECTS FOTA POINTS PROPOSAL

The FIA World Motor Sport Council has accepted the proposal put forward by Formula One Management to award the Drivers’ World Championship to the driver who has won the most races during the season.

HONDA (OFFICIALLY) BECOMES BRAWN GP

The Honda Racing F1 Team requested to change its name to the Brawn GP Formula 1 Team and the FIA World Council has accepted this request on the basis that the team is, in effect, a new entry in the FIA Formula 1 World Championship.

MOSLEY TALKS ABOUT THE F1 BUDGET CAP

The World Motor Sport Council agreed a radical addendum to the current Formula 1 Technical Regulations to come into force for 2010. The aim is to make it easier for new teams to enter and also allow existing teams to participate on much reduced budgets should they so choose.

RADICAL STUFF FROM THE FIA

The FIA World Council has been meeting today in Paris and has ruled the that there will be the possibility for F1 teams to compete with cars built and operated within a stringent budget cap of $42m.

AN IMPORTANT FIA WORLD COUNCIL

The FIA World Council meets today to decide on important issues facing the sport as a result of the ongoing economic crisis. The feeling in FIA circles is that the threat to the sport is unprecedented and that we have probably yet to see the full extent of the crisis.

16 MARCH 2009

AND SO THE FINAL TESTS

Rubens Barrichello topped the timesheets at the end of the first day of running at the final pre-season test, taking place this week at Jerez de la Frontera. The Brawn-Mercedes driver completed 300 miles of running on Sunday, setting a best time of 1m19.236s.

MORE DETAILS EMERGE FROM FLINS-MUREAUX

The planned Formula 1 circuit at Flins-Mureaux, near Mantes-la-Jolie to the west of Paris, is aiming to become the home of the French Grand Prix in 2011. There is still some scepticism in France regarding the project but the design of the new facility is very interesting and sets new standards in terms of ecological design standards.

12 MARCH 2009

WHY IS THE BRAWN SO FAST

The speed of the Brawn-Mercedes has taken everyone by surprise and while there may be a certain amount of showmanship involved, it is clear that the car is good and may even be good enough to race for victories.

BRITISH FIRM TO DESIGN FRENCH GP TRACK

Pierre Bedier, the president of the Yvelines Conseil General has revealed details of the planned F1 factory at Flins-Les Mureaux, in the Seine Valley to the west of Paris. Bedier said that the French firm of Wilmotte et Associes has presented the best project, which includes the circuit design by the British firm Apex, which designed the Dubai Autodrome and is involved with a number of other circuit designs around the world.

11 MARCH 2009

BRAWN CONFIRMS PARTNERS IN BRAWN GP

Ross Brawn has confirmed that Brawn GP is not owned wholly by him and that there are four others involved in the team. These are chief executive Nick Fry, financial director Nigel Kerr, legal counsel Caroline McGrory and HR director John Marsden.

A SIGN OF THE TIMES

For all of those who think that Formula 1 may be immune to the recession, it is worth noting that in the United States, Roush Fenway Racing, which has won two of the four NASCAR Sprint Cup races so far this year, is reporting that its sponsors are already asking for help for next season - despite the fact that there are solid contracts in place with most of them.

10 MARCH 2009

MOSLEY GOES TO PARLIAMENT

FIA President Max Mosley appeared before the Parliamentary Select Committee on Culture, Media and Sport to give evidence in relation to its inquiry into "Press Standards, Privacy and Libel".

HARTLEY GETS DOUBLE ROLE

Brendon Hartley, the 19-year-old New Zealand driver, will be reserve driver for both Red Bull Racing and Scuderia Toro Rosso in 2009.

IBMW SAUBER

The BMW Sauber team has concluded an interesting deal with the software company Artificial Life to deliver a BMW Sauber F1 Team racing game to users of the Apple iPhone and Apple iPod Touch devices.

HOW F1 CAN HELP YOUR BUSINESS?

Singapore enterpreneur Ong Beng Seng has a large business empire. He owns hotels all around the world while also controlling a number of important franchises in Asia, notably in the fashion world, the restaurant business and in the automobile trade.

9 MARCH 2009

FOR THE FIRST TIME - ALL THE F1 TEAMS RUN TOGETHER

Today in Barcelona all 10 Formula 1 teams ran together for the first time this year but it is still a little early to suggest what is going to happen in Australia. The day's testing ended with Nick Heidfeld fastest in the BMW Sauber. He was six-tenths of a second ahead of the Ferrari of Kimi Raikkonen, which is the kind of gap one can only imagine has something to do with fuel loads.

BRAWN TO GET BACKING FROM BWIN?

The new Brawn GP team is reported to have landed funding from the Austrian online betting company Bwin Interactive Entertainment. This would explain why there was so many delays with Honda agreeing to sell the team as online gambling remains problematical in legal terms in many countries although others have concluded that it is impossible to control and have started to issue licences.

THE NEW TORO ROSSO UNVEILED

The Scuderia Toro Rosso STR4 has been unveiled at the Circuit de Catalunya this morning. The car will take part in four days of testing at the circuit with Sebastien Bourdaais doing the first two days and then handing over to Sebastien Buemi. The car is a co-production of Red Bull Technology and Toro Rosso and is fitted with a Ferrari V8 engine as opposed to the Renault used by Red Bull Racing.

THE NEXT EARTHQUAKE IN THE AUTOMOBILE WORLD?

Towards the end of last week the accounting firm Deloitte & Touche wrote in an annual report filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission that General Motors's "recurring losses from operations, stockholders’ deficit and inability to generate sufficient cash flow to meet its obligations and sustain its operations raise substantial doubt about its ability to continue as a going concern".

WHO IS GOING TO BE FAST IN 2009?

The change in the Formula 1 rules means that the sport is looking at a potential shake-up of the established order, but the testing in recent weeks has been very difficult to read and it has become clear that some teams are avoiding showing their hand until the Australian GP, while others are going for times in order to achieve other goals (such as selling sponsorship).

6 MARCH 2009

BRAWN GP ARRIVES

After months of waiting Honda has finally announced that its F1 team in Brackley has been sold to Ross Brawn. Honda did not give details of the new ownership structure but it is believed that this involved several other members of the Honda Racing F1 management.

5 MARCH 2009

FOTA PLANS FOR THE FUTURE

The FOTA press conference in Geneva may be viewed as an historical event in the longer term, but the actual details of what was said was not really extraordinary. FOTA president Luca di Montezemolo said that all teams are prepared to commit to signing a new Concorde Agreement, locking them into Formula 1 until the end of 2012, but it was clear that after that there will need to be concessions by the Formula One group.

BELGIUM LOSES $4.7M

The Belgian Grand Prix last year lost $4.7m. The race day attendance was just 52,000, which was 10,000 down on the previous year. The race at Spa is seen as a major tourist event in the region and is funded by the government, but with such losses it will become hard to justify, particularly if the numbers do not get better in 2008.

4 MARCH 2009

NEW MONEY FOR BMW SAUBER

BMW Sauber has announced a partnership with foreign exchange company FxPro. The company logos will be seen on the front wing and side mirrors a

USF1 BECOMES USGPE

The USF1 team has got off to a troublesome start with Formula One Management objecting to the use of "F1", which it claims to own. The Formula One group likes to put TM signs on all mentions but this means little more than the fact that the trademark has been applied for, and even have been refused.

RENAULT THREATENS TO WITHDRAW FROM F1

It has been expected for a while, particularly given that this year's Renault F1 is not looking like a world-beater, but Renault has now officially said that it will quit F1 unless the team receives a bigger share of F1's revenues.

MONTREAL GOES ON BUT F1 FUTURE IS UNLIKELY

The Circuit Gilles Villeneuve on the Ile de Notre Dame in Montreal has long been a favourite venue of the Formula 1 circus. And tens of thousands of F1 fans from across the United States have regularly made the pilgrimage to the city to enjoy the race and the party atmosphere that has been so successfully developed in the last 10 years.

3 MARCH 2009

MCGRORY BECOMES COMPANY SECRETARY OF HONDA RACING F1

Adding to the belief that Honda Racing F1 will be rebadged as Brawn Racing is the news from official filings that Caroline McGrory has been appointed the company secretary. This follows the news last week that McGrory registered the Internet domain names brawnracing.com and brawnracing.co.uk.

2 MARCH 2009

KOLLES TAKES ON F1 NAMES

Colin Kolles may be out of Formula 1 but the former head of Force India is busy with a number of other teams in 2009. His long-established Formula 3 operation has been revived under the name of Kolles & Heinz Union, a collaboration with driver manager Werner Heinz, who has overseen the careers of a string of celebrated names such as Nick Heidfeld, Frank Biela and Tom Kristensen.

LIUZZI WAITS FOR F1 - AND PONDERS LE MANS

Tonio Liuzzi has been out of the limelight in the last few months but the lanuch of the new Force India VJM02 has put the Italian back in the news, although there is going to be little chance for him to test for the team this year because of the in-season testing ban.

KEEP AN EYE ON JEREZ

Yesterday in Jerez all the available current F1 machinery came together for the first time, giving teams the chance to begin assessing the performance of their rivals, many of which have not yet been running with the cars in full 2009 spec, as they are saving their latest developments for Australia, thus avoiding giving away too many secrets too early in the game.

1 MARCH 2009

GORDON MURRAY STILL AN INNOVATOR

Gordon Murray was one of the great innovators in Formula 1 in the 1970s and 1980s. He started his career as a design draughtsman under Ron Tauranac at Brabham. At the end of 1972 he was appointed chief designer by new owner Bernie Ecclestone and he pioneered innovations such as surface cooling, the fan car and the BT55 "skateboard".

THE NEW FORCE INDIA

The new Force India VJM02 has run for the first time at Silverstone. It will be officially unveiled later today in Jerez in Spain. The new car marks the start of a new technical partnership with McLaren and Mercedes, who between them have provided the car's engine, gearbox and Kinetic Energy Recovery System, in addition to chief operating officer Simon Roberts.