Posts Tagged ‘FIA’

Shanghai Scenery

The FIA has released an updated version of the 2009 Formula 1 calendar. The third provisional schedule published for 2009 sees the Chinese Grand Prix moving to round three from it’s usual end of season slot. The race will be held on April 19th, seven months after the penultimate round of the 2008 season took place in China.

Other changes include the withdrawal of the French Grand Prix which leaves just 17 races, meaning the season finale at Abu Dhabi will take place two weeks earlier. The Canadian Grand Prix has not yet found a way back onto the calendar, but negotiations are likely to be taking place, so not all hope is lost. Also, the opening rounds of the season in Australia and Malaysia will start at a later time for European audiences, as will the Japanese race.

The FIA also announced that the final draft of the 2009 schedule will be released in mid-December. The full 2009 calendar can be found here.


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Ferrari have threatened to pull out of Formula 1 if the plan to standardise engines after 2009 goes ahead. They are the second team to make such a threat after Toyota warned the standard engines would leave the manufacturers with little interest in the sport.

A statement released by Ferrari said “The Ferrari Board of Directors expressed strong concerns regarding plans to standardise engines as it felt that such a move would detract from the entire raison of a sport with which Ferrari has been involved continuously since 1950 … The Board of Directors expressed the opinion that should these key elements be diminished, it would have to re-evaluate, with its partners the viability of continuing its presence in the sport.”

Despite this, FIA president, Max Mosley, appears to be going ahead with the engine homogenization, inviting any intrested parties to submit a tender to supply engines and/or transmission by November 7th. FOTA have confirmed none of the six manufactuers currently taking part in F1 (Toyota, Ferrari, Honda, Renault, Mercedes and BMW) will submit a tender.

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Sebastien Bourdais has had 25 seconds added to his Japanese Grand Prix finishing time after making contact with Ferrari’s Felipe Massa on lap 52. The penalty demotes him to 10th place, after finishing the race in sixth, meaning he looses three world championship points.

The incident occurred as Bourdais was leaving the pit lane. He entered the first turn at the same time as Massa, who was setting fastest laps to try and get past his rivals in the pits at the time. The French driver tried to get out of the Ferrari’s way, but the two made contact and Massa spun round, losing the time he had made up in the previous laps.

Crucially, this gives Massa an extra point in the race, which decreases Lewis Hamilton’s championship lead to five points. Sebastian Vettel, Mark Webber and Nick Heidfeld also benefit from the decision, promoted to sixth, eighth and ninth.

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Mosley heads cost-cutting talks

FIA president, Max Mosley, will meet with the Formula One Teams’ Association in the days following this years Chinese Grand Prix to discuss urgent cost-cutting measures to secure the future of Formula One after 2009.

In an interview with the BBC on Tuesday, Mosley expressed serious concerns over the not-too-distant future of the sport, saying “If we don’t get it [cost-cutting measures] done before 2010, we will be in serious difficulty.” Mosley met with FOTA on Wednesday in what was later described as a ‘constructive’ and ‘positive’ discussion, agreeing to meet again after the Chinese round, in just over two weeks time, where they will begin talks on “the strategic decisions which are now urgently required, having regard to current world-wide economic problems.”

This follows the news on Tuesday that Mosley would negotiate with the newly-formed FOTA group towards significantly reducing the cost of the sport.

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In a shock move, the Canadian Grand Prix has been dropped from the 2009 F1 calendar, which was released by the FIA today. No reason has been given for the removal of the race held at the Canadian city of Montreal, with no prior indication that the event may be under pressure to stay on the calendar.

Canada has not been absent from the F1 calendar since 1987, and is one of the most popular and well attended races of each year. The decision to remove it sees no North American rounds on the calendar after the exclusion of the United States Grand Prix from the 2008 schedule. Canadian officials have confirmed that they had no warning the race may be in threat, prior to today’s announcement. This leaves 18 rounds of the 2009 championship, rather than the expected 19.

Other changes from the provisional calendar include Turkey moving to June from August and the Italian and Belgian races swapping back to this years order. The season will start later than usual with the regular three-week summer break in the mid-season and the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix will be the latest addition to the F1 circus. No word has been mentioned about the possible future revival of the US Grand Prix, however, after today’s decision it’s looking even more unlikely. The full calendar can be seen here.

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The FIA International Court of Appeal has rejected McLaren’s appeal of Lewis Hamilton being stripped of a win at Belgian Grand Prix and stated that their case was inadmissible and would not be looked into any further.

McLaren were appealing against the decision that Lewis Hamilton should have 25 seconds, a post-race drive-though penalty, added to his time after cutting a chicane in an attempt to pass Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen. The result lost him 4 world championship points dropped him further back into the reach of Raikkonen’s teammate, Felipe Massa.

To have their right to appeal against the incident accepted, McLaren put forward a precedent from last years Japanese Grand Prix, where Tonio Luizzi had 25 seconds added to his finishing time after the race. He also appealed the decision and, although he lost, the case was accepted by the FIA. In this instance, however, the appeal was rejected with the court referring to Paragraph 5 of Article 152 of the International Sporting Code, stating “Penalties of driving through or stopping in pit lanes together with certain penalties specified in FIA Championship regulations where this is expressly stated, are not susceptible to appeal.”

Hamilton remains only one point ahead of Massa in the drivers championship.

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After McLaren’s yesterday confirmation of lodging an appeal against the penalty given to Lewis Hamilton, which lost him a win at Belgium, it has been revealed that race control told the British team they would be ‘okay’ after Hamilton’s chicane cutting that led to a post-race drive-through.

On lap 41, at the start of an incredible battle between the McLaren driver and reigning champion, Kimi Raikkonen, Hamilton cut the final corner but let Raikkonen back in the lead before passing him again at the next turn. The race stewards decided the Brit still gained an advantage and penalised him but McLaren have revealed they were immediately talking to race control to check if Hamilton had done enough, to which the reply gave the impression it would be okay.

McLaren CEO Martin Whitmarsh said “If race control had instead expressed any concern regarding Lewis’s actions at that time, we would have instructed Lewis to allow Kimi to re-pass for a second time.”

McLaren will now start their appeal against the penalty in an attempt to regain the full 10 points from the race.

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