“It?óÔé¼Ôäós the first time I?óÔé¼Ôäóve seen a 2009 specification car up close, and I can?óÔé¼Ôäót say the Renault looks any better in the flesh than it did during the launch.” More pics here.
“Following enquiries made by autosport.com, the FIA has now confirmed that the penalty applied for using an extra engine would only be levied at the first event it was used. [...] The FIA has also confirmed that teams will be allowed to make engine changes between qualifying and the race without penalty this year – but only if they can prove that there is a problem with their power unit.”
“Montoya – and this is something even Donohue might concede – was the only truly world-class mega-driver in the field, despite the presence of guys like Dario Franchitti, Jimmie Johnson and Scott Dixon, and his skill made a big difference. Montoya was majestic – precise, combative, brilliant, aggressive but unerringly fair, technically perfect, wrestling a car that shouldn?óÔé¼Ôäót have been anywhere near the lead into a fight to the finish. I had the feeling I was watching the greatest racing driver on earth on this day – what a loss to F1 the Colombian is.”
Pat Symonds on the Renault R29′s first test: “I was disappointed,. It wasn’t a great test. We didn’t really have everything quite the way we wanted it on the little bit of dry running we did. But we did come away with a lot of data to study and saw some things that we need to attend to. The aerodynamic maps of these cars are really very different and maybe we hadn’t taken enough notice of that in the set-up. We can do better, which will make the car easier to drive and therefore better. But I really think this year more than ever it will be those last couple of tests that are the indicator.”
An interesting (but not new) video interview with Hermann Tilke.
“But perhaps [Niki Lauda's] greatest achievement was returning to Formula 1 over two years after retiring, and making his mark on the turbo era with a third title. Staggering, when you think about it. Within Alan?óÔé¼Ôäós interview, on page 45, we?óÔé¼Ôäóve run a big photograph of Lauda in the 1974 312B3, and the contrast to the 1985 McLaren MP4/3 pictured below it speaks volumes. The sport had changed dramatically in his time, and Niki had adapted brilliantly.”
“There have been stories in the last 24 hours about the French Assemblee Nationale voting against the idea of a French Grand Prix in the Yvelines. This appears to be a misinterpretation of the amendment in question which is a technical step designed to save time and make the project easier, but does not cast any doubt at all on the project itself.”
“I’ll attend most if not all Grands Prix this coming season, for two reasons. The first reason is that I’ll have work to do at Grands Prix as an influential member and proponent of FOTA, and as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the McLaren Group. After all, it’s via Formula One that we’ve built the platform on which we now intend to grow the McLaren Group further in years to come. The second reason is that I continue to love the sport of Formula One with every fibre of my being. That’ll never change. So, yes, I’ll be in Melbourne for the 2009 Australian Grand Prix.”
“The nature of modern formula one, the ultimate expression of a free-enterprise world, is the reason why Peter Mandelson should decline to add the Honda team to the list of companies satisfying the criteria for state guarantees in the current emergency.”
‘?óÔé¼?ôIt?óÔé¼Ôäós a disgrace,?óÔé¼?Ø said Reginald Scrotum, Conservative MP for the Cotswold constituency of Bigotry & Shouting.’
‘”Grand Prix White” coats the exterior, while a red leather interior, color-matched stitching and numbered doorsill plaques sets it apart from the standard model.’ Honda plays up its F1 pedigree. Wait a minute…