F1 in the news 18

Giancarlo Fisichella, Michael Schumacher, Interlagos, 2006In the F1 news this week the Brazilian Grand Prix was the fifth most-watched sporting event of 2006 and the Sepang and Nurburgring circuits give clues on the popularity of their races.

Plus, another win for Michael Schumacher and a new record for Juan Pablo Montoya. Read on for the rest.

F1 shows rude health – The Brazilian Grand Prix was the fifth most-watched sporting event of According to Initiative Sports Marketing. The World Cup final (soccer), Super Bowl (American football), Winter Olympics opening ceremony (athletics) and Champions’ League (soccer) all attracted larger audiences.

Their figures are based on the average number of people who watched a programme from start to finish, and are therefore considered more reliable estimates than the inflated figures boasted by broadcasting rights holders.

Juan Pablo Montoya, McLaren-Mercedes, Sepang, 2006F1 discounted tickets snapped up like hot cakes – Sepang International Circuit are claiming they have impressive ticket sales for the second round of the 2007 F1 season. They shifted 500 in five hours, which is promising, but the circuit that has seen poor attendance since hosting its first Grand Prix in 1999 still has some way to go.

Nurburgring admits to loss on Grand Prix – Meanwhile another Grand Prix holder, the Nurburgring circuit, has revealed that it would have turned a profit in 2004-5 had it not been holding a Grand Prix. It will be interesting to see how it fares this year as it will host the only Grand Prix in Germany following the loss of Michael Schumacher, but with the presence of four German racers in Ralf Schumacher, Nick Heidfeld, Nico Rosberg and Adrian Sutil.

Supercomputer to power F1 team BMW-Sauber – BMW and sponsors Intel have built a mammoth supercomputer dubbed ‘Albert 2′. This is to run computational fluid dynamics simulations to aid aerodynamic developments. BMW already own one of the largest wind tunnels in F1, built by Sauber before their purchase by BMW, and decided another tunnel would not be as useful as a powerful CFD system.

Fernando Alonso, Michael Schumacher, Kimi Raikkonen, Bahrain, 2006ITV-F!.com driver of the year – It’s another win for Schumacher, with Fernando Alonso second and Kimi Raikkonen a surprisingly poor fifth.

Montoya to finish IMS trio – F1-to-NASCAR defector Juan Pablo Montoya will become the first driver to have participated in every race that takes place at the famous Indianpolis circuit when he arrives there for the NASCAR Allstate 400 on July 29th.

He has already won the Indianapolis 500 Indy Car race in 2000, and finished fourth in the F1 race there in 2002. He nearly won on his first appearance there in an F1 car before being sidelined by hydraulic failure.

Theissen: Customer cars will ruin F1 – BMW boss Mario Theiseen is dead against Red Bull and Honda’s attempts to use ‘customer chassis’ in Formula One. And you have to admit that if, as he suggests, it could increase the extent to which teams can inflict orders on races, it could indeed be very bad for the sport.

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