Apologies if you had problems accessing the site yesterday morning – I’m afraid it was a different problem but everything should be running smoothly today.
An article written by Keith on Spa-Francorchamps and how it’s changed since the first world championship in 1950 will be up later today.
Until then, here?óÔé¼Ôäós today?óÔé¼Ôäós round up:
?óÔé¼?ôBritish Formula 1 driver Lewis Hamilton has been fined $500 (?é?ú288) for performing car stunts for fans outside Melbourne’s motor racing circuit.
?óÔé¼?ôHamilton was caught by police executing ?óÔé¼?£burnout?óÔé¼Ôäó and ?óÔé¼?£fishtail?óÔé¼Ôäó tricks in a borrowed Mercedes two days before the Australian Grand Prix in March.
?óÔé¼?ôThe 2008 Formula 1 world champion was not in court to hear his punishment.
?óÔé¼?ôBut his lawyer said Hamilton, 25, was pleading guilty to the charge of improper use of a motor vehicle.?óÔé¼?Ø
?óÔé¼?ôThe short Formula 1 holiday is already over. The two weeks of total shutdown, as agreed with all the other teams, officially came to an end at midnight yesterday and this morning everyone was working again at full throttle. Indeed, there is no time to lose given that the Belgian Grand Prix, the thirteenth round of the 2010 World Championship is looming.
?óÔé¼?ôThe two F10s which will be used by Felipe Massa and Fernando Alonso are currently in the car assembly area at the Gestione Sportiva, where they are being built up in the initial configuration that will be used in free practice.
?óÔé¼?ôThere are also some new aerodynamic components being introduced for this race, most significantly an updated version of the diffuser: these will be tested on track on Friday and then the data will be evaluated and a final decision taken regarding their use in qualifying and the race.?óÔé¼?Ø
?óÔé¼?ôThe three-week summer break was all well and good ?óÔé¼ÔÇ£ necessary even, given the relentless grind of Formula One these days ?óÔé¼ÔÇ£ but as a former grand prix racer myself I know the protagonists will have been positively itching to get back in their cockpits.
?óÔé¼?ôThere is only so much sunbathing you can reasonably expect to do when your mind is trained on one thing and one thing only.
?óÔé¼?ôWhat a few months F1 fans have in prospect. Has there ever been a season like this? Certainly none that I can recall has been as open and competitive. With the top five drivers all separated by just 20 points, less than the prize on offer for a race win, it’s fair to say the championship could go any number of ways come Abu Dhabi on Nov 14.?óÔé¼?Ø
?óÔé¼?ôPaul Ricard will host Pirelli’s next Formula One tire development test.
?óÔé¼?ôAfter the Italian marque began its 2011 program with a shakedown at Mugello last week, it was reported that test driver Nick Heidfeld and last year’s Toyota car are now en route to Monza.
?óÔé¼?ôBut according to Italy’s 422race.com, the high speed venue of the Italian Grand Prix will actually host the third test, with Paul Ricard’s configurable test track in Le Castellet to in fact be Pirelli’s host next week.
?óÔé¼?ôThe Monza test will reportedly take place on Sept. 21 and 22, a little more than a week after the Italian GP there.?óÔé¼?Ø
?óÔé¼?ôKimi Raikkonen thinks Ferrari could be set for a competitive weekend at Spa-Francorchamps.
?óÔé¼?ôThe Finn, whose Belgian Grand Prix win last year was his final victory in Formula One, admitted that the famous track is one he will miss now that he is a rally driver.
?óÔé¼?ô?óÔé¼?£It would have been nice to drive there,?óÔé¼Ôäó Raikkonen admitted in an interview with Turun Sanomat.
?óÔé¼?ô?óÔé¼?£It is a great track and was always nice to race there,?óÔé¼Ôäó added the 30-year-old, who won the event four times.?óÔé¼?Ø
?óÔé¼?ôMark Webber has been tipped to still have his championship lead when the checkered flag waves at the end of November’s 2010 season finale.
?óÔé¼?ôEven though Lewis Hamilton, Sebastian Vettel, Jenson Button and Fernando Alonso are all still within a mere 20 points of the Australian title leader, Max Mosley thinks the 33-year-old is ready to be World Champion.
?óÔé¼?ô?óÔé¼?£He is very experienced and mentally strong,?óÔé¼Ôäó the long-time former FIA president is quoted by Germany’s Welt newspaper. ?óÔé¼?£He has the makings of a champion.?óÔé¼Ôäó?óÔé¼?Ø
Comment of the day
The Belgian Grand Prix organisers have made some tweaks to the Spa-Francorchamps circuit ahead of this weekend?óÔé¼Ôäós F1 race. US_Peter comments:
“Drivers will be also discouraged from cutting the corner at Radillion ?óÔé¼ÔÇ£ the left-hander at the top of the hill after Eau Rouge. A a new electronic ?óÔé¼?£control loop?óÔé¼Ôäó has been installed there which will inform race control when all four of a cars?óÔé¼Ôäó wheels are off the track.”
This actually seems to make sense. A nice technical way to measure drivers cutting the corners, without actually modifying the corner or runoff. Why don?óÔé¼Ôäót they just leave the runoff areas as they are and install these control loops in all the kerbs?
From the forum
Happy birthday Michael Williamson!
On this day in F1
Michael Schumacher made his Formula One debut behind the wheel of a Jordan on this day in 1991 at the Belgian Grand Prix.
His performance on this day rocked the F1 establishment: here was a little-known driver from the Mercedes sports car team qualifying seventh on the grid at one of the most respected circuits on the calendar.
Despite this impressive performance in qualifying, Schumacher?óÔé¼Ôäós race came to a premature end when his clutch failed.
Ayrton Senna led the race from start to finish, followed by Gerhard Berger in the second McLaren and Nelson Piquet for Benetton in third.