F1 Fanatic round-up: 8/10/2010

Posted on | Author Keith Collantine

Practice for the Japanese Grand Prix starts in two hours’ time so join us here soon for live comments.

Here’s the round-up:

Links

Alonso says he is title favourite, Webber more guarded (BBC)

“Asked if he was favourite, Alonso said: ‘If you see the last two races, then yes. We need to keep the momentum.'”

South Korean GP on track for inaugural start – organisers (Reuters)

Korea Auto Valley Operation’s Peter Baek: “We are in the late stages, but we’ll get it done before the event. Everything is on schedule and everything will be done.”

Renault hits back at Raikkonen’s claims (Autosport)

Eric Boullier responds to Raikkonen’s criticism of Renault: “We have not piggy-backed on Kimi’s image at all, which is what he has been claiming in the press. We were contacted by his managers after Spa. They wanted to enter into discussions and at that time we said: ‘Please wait. Yes, we are very flattered that you have contacted us, but we need to finish the evaluation of Vitaly’s [Petrov] potential and from that point, when we have our own conclusion, we will get back to you.’ There was nothing else. Since then, I had not got back to them because we had not finished the evaluation of the potential of Vitaly and there was nothing else to say. I never used the media, and I don’t see the benefit of telling to the media that Kimi is interested and chasing us. What would be the purpose of this?”

Comment of the day

David BR has his eye on Sebastian Vettel this weekend:

Showdown time for Vettel. This is the ideal race for him to get pole *and* the win. I can imagine him and Lewis performing well here.

The question is ?ǣ can they finish the race? Hamilton I?m sure will just drive the same as usual, knowing that the McLaren is less competitive and he has no real choice now but to go for broke.

Vettel, though, should know he?s had the car to take the title this year ?ǣ and still has if he can outperform Webber (and everyone else) over the next four races. That simple.
David BR

From the forum

Australian F1 fans have formed their own support group.

Happy birthday!

No F1 Fanatic birthdays today. If you want a birthday shout-out tell us when yours is by emailling me, using Twitter or adding to the list here.

On this day in F1

Michael Schumacher became the first Ferrari racer to win the drivers’ championship in 21 years ten years ago today.

The 2000 Japanese Grand Prix was all about the championship showdown between himself and Mika Hakkinen. Schumacher took pole position by nine thousandths of a second but Hakkinen squeezed by to take the lead at the start.

But taking an extra couple of laps’ worth of fuel at his first pit stop allowed him to take the lead back via the pits at his second visit. Schumacher led home Hakkinen and won his third drivers’ championship title. He held onto it for almost five whole years.