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Posts Tagged ‘Sebastian Vettel’

Sebastian Vettel drives to the podium after his second race win

Sebastian Vettel drives to the podium in his RB5

Sebastian Vettel has claimed his second career win at the Shanghai International Circuit as rain and standing water made conditions difficult for the entire duration of the third race of 2009. It’s Red Bull’s first win in Formula 1 since their takeover of Jaguar at the end of 2004, and a 1-2 finish, with Mark Webber crossing the line in second. Championship leader Jenson Button finished third.

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Sebastian Vettel in Red Bull RB5 at Jerez

Tuesday saw the latest pre-season tests begin with Toyota, Ferrari and BMW moving to Bahrain in the hope to avoid rain, and Red Bull, Toro Rosso, Williams, McLaren and Renault sticking in Spain. Sebastien Buemi added to his huge amount of mileage in last year’s Toro Rosso, and finished top at Jerez with his 3 second advantage, whilst things were a whole lot closer in the desert.

Fellow Seb, this one named Vettel, was busy giving the Red Bull RB5 it’s first few runs after the car was launched earlier that morning.  He set the fastest time of all the ’09 contenders before he was forced out of the car early due to a gearbox problem. Nico Hulkenburg was a busy man as he put the Williams Fw31 just three tenths behind Vettel’s shiny new Red Bull. Heikki Kovalainen put his McLaren half a second ahead of Nelson Piquet Jr’s Renault, with rain only making a brief interruption in the day’s running.

Meanwhile at Bahrain, Timo Glock put Toyota’s TF109 on top, just 0.1 seconds ahead of Felipe Massa and the F60, who was in turn just 0.1 seconds ahead of Robert Kubica and the F1.09.

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Red Bull RB5 Launch Photo

Red Bull Racing unveiled their 2009 car, the RB5, at Jerez on Monday, ahead of this week’s four day test at the circuit. Drivers Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber, who has just about recovered from his broken leg, were present as Adrian Newey’s take on the 2009 regulations was presented to the media. The car features a typically narrower front nose, featured in many of Newey’s designs, and the front wing is higher of the ground then in previous seasons. The car, however, is missing the shark fin that Red Bull pioneered last year.

Along with many other teams this year, Red Bull’s hopes for ’09 are high. For the past 4 seasons the team have been steady midfielders, but having watched the Red Bull junior team take a win with their car last year, the team feels they are ready to take the top step of the podium themselves. One of the Austrian teams major problems in the past has been reliability, but 2008 saw a big improvement, and team boss Christian Horner is confident the improvement will continue into ’09. Speaking of the cost-cutting regulations, Horner said: “The changes caused few interruptions to our work flow and they will also assist the larger manufacturer teams in cutting costs, in terms of manpower. Over the past year, we had invested strategically, and therefore, with the rules as they now stand, we are in a good position to capitalise on them, as they present an opportunity for teams to compete on a more level playing field.”

Sebastian Vettel took the car out for it’s first runs but, perhaps rather worryingly, a gearbox problem, a frequent past issue for the team, stopped their running after just 14 laps.

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Kazuki Nakajima in 2009 spec Williams at Jerez

The final testing day of 2008 took place on Wednesday at both Jerez and the new Algarve circuit, with all the teams in action developing or starting to develop their 2009 car in preparation for the first car launches next month.

At Jerez, Sebastian Vettel finally beat Sebastien Buemi to the fastest time for Red Bull, Buemi having sat at the top of the time sheets for 5 days. The German’s 1:16.617 lap was easily the fastest of the entire test, and beat Buemi’s time by 3 tenths of a second. Robert Kubica and Christian Klien continued their testing of the 2009 BMW and it’s KERS. Kubica’s best lap was marginally faster than Klien’s, who completed just 38 laps. Kazuki Nakajima had the most to do in his 2009 Williams spec car, three tenths of the pace of the BMWs.

Pedro de la Rosa continued at the top of the Algarve time sheets with a best lap of 1:28.993. Luca Badoer continued his duties for Ferrari as the only other man out on track. He finished the day over 1 second behind de la Rosa’s McLaren.

Formula 1 testing will now return in January at many different locations, as the teams begin to send their 2009 cars out for their first runs.

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David Coulthard and Sebastian Loeb on RoC Podium

Recently retired David Coulthard took second place yesterday at the 2008 Race of Champions in Wembley Stadium. Five time World Rally Champion Sebastian Loeb won the title ‘Champion of Champions’ by just 0.3 seconds from the Scot after a thrilling best-of-three heat final.

Other F1 drivers competing included Sebastian Vettel, who was defeated by Loeb in the Quarter Finals, and Jenson Button, who was knocked out of the first round by double Formula Drift champion Tanner Foust. One of the biggest shocks of the day was Michael Schumacher, one of the favourites to win, being defeated in the Quarters by NASCAR driver Carl Edwards. Despite this, Both Schumacher and Vettel successfully defended their nations cup win from last year as Team Germany.

Lewis Hamilton also made an appearance in his title winning McLaren MP4-23, and was scheduled to race British cyclist Chris Hoy in a warm-up event, before the race had to be cancelled due to slippery conditions. Hoy later went on to defeat Hamilton to the British ‘BBC Sports Personality of the Year’ Award.

Coulthard was unsurprisingly delighted to have raced in the RoC final in front of a home crowd, after his disappointing exit from F1 at the Brazilian Grand Prix. He said “The ROC is a totally unique event, and it’s always a pleasure to take part, even if you don’t win. I think there were some very exciting racing, and there’s nothing quite like being able to see the whole track.”

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Sebastian Vettel in Red Bull RB4 at Barcelona

The first winter test in the build up to the 2009 season came to an end on Wednesday, with Sebastian Vettel and Red Bull remaining on top of the time sheets. His best lap, a 1:19.295, was half a second fastest than the Toro Rosso’s, which once again sat among the fastest times of the day in the battle for race seats.

Takuma Sato did not take part in the third day of the STR battle, which saw Sebastien Bourdais lap three tenths faster than Sebastien Buemi. McLaren tester, Gary Paffett, was fourth fastest with KERS on board ahead of Honda’s Jenson Button. Christian Klien and Nick Heidfeld were evenly matched in the 2009 concept BMW’s, with Klien just coming out on top when the day drew to a close. Bruno Senna was back behind the wheel of a Honda and finished eighth fastest in only his second day in F1 car. Nelson Piquet Jr was out for Renault and lapped faster than Nico Hulkenburg’s Williams and Luca Badoer’s Ferrari. Force India were also out, with Giancarlo Fisichella one tenth of a second faster Pedro de la Rosa, who completed his second day of testing duties for the Indian outfit after 88 laps of running.

It was only a three day test, but we’ve seen glimpses as to what we can expect next season. Radical new cars as part of the 2009 technical regulations and talent, both new and old, in evaluation for race seats next year. Winter testing continues at Jerez on December 9th.

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The second day of the Barcelona test concluded on Tuesday with Sebastian Vettel breaking into the 1:19s and setting the fastest time. He was the only man out for his new team, Red Bull, and led both Toro Rosso’s which sat in second, third and fourth.

It was the battle for race seats that fueled the Toro Rosso’s to the front of the time sheets for the second day in a row. Once again, Takuma Sato led that charge by the smallest of margins, 0.021 seconds, from the best lap of the Italian team’s second driver, Sebastien Bourdais. The other hopeful, Sebastien Buemi, was a further 0.2 seconds adrift. Gary Paffett was out for McLaren and fifth fastest ahead of Robert Kubica, Nico Rosberg and Jenson Button in his return to the wheel of a Honda, and he was joined by Renault test driver, Lucas di Grassi. The Brazilian was half a second slower than Button in his evaluation for a race seat. Once again Luca Badoer and Mark Gene were out for Ferrari and Giedo van de Garde for Renault, while McLaren third driver, Pedro de la Rosa, was in a Force India as part of the Force India-Mercedes deal.

The first multi-team winter test at the Circuit de Catalunya concludes on Wednesday.

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