Total Tayangan Halaman

Translate

Jumat, 31 Juli 2009

Yeah, Michael Is Back!


pic taken from: www.cartype.com


pic taken from: topnews.in


pic taken from : www.autoracingdaily.com


Bukannya tak bersimpati pada kecelakaan yang menimpa Felipe Massa di qualifying Hungaria Sabtu lalu (yang tayangannya dipotong oleh Global TV padahal aku telah bela-belain melek sampai dini hari hanya demi melihat sesi qualifying ini karena Global tak menyiarkannya secara langsung tapi Global bukannya merespek penghargaan dari para pecinta F1, bukan saja qualifying F1 disiarkan tunda tapi siarannya juga banyak yang dipotong, padahal aku lebih suka acara bincang-bincang bersama Hilbram di akhir sesi qualifying yang dihapus daripada memangkas tayangan sesi qualifying-nya), tapi berkat kecelakaan yang menimpa Massa akhirnya aku bisa kembali menyaksikan aksi Michael Schumacher lagi!

Ketika wacana Michael Schumacher akan menggantikan Massa, kegembiraan di hatiku sudah menyeruak tapi aku tak ingin berharap terlalu banyak, karena tahun lalu ketika rumor Schumi akan kembali balapan, aku sudah bersuka ria tapi ternyata rumor itu hanya tinggal gosip belaka. Apalagi ketika berita Massa sudah siuman dan kondisinya sudah mulai membaik, aku mulai ragu, apakah aku benar-benar akan dapat kembali melihat aksi Schumi yang senantiasa membuat mataku melekat ke layar televisi itu.

Tapi ketika ternyata rumor itu ternyata bukan hanya gosip dan Michael diberitakan telah melakukan uji coba dengan mobil Ferrari tahun lalu, hatiku akhirnya dapat benar-benar dipenuhi kebahagiaan. Akhirnya kerinduanku untuk melihat aksi Michael kembali dapat benar-benar terlaksana. Padahal baru dua tahun setengah sejak aksi luar biasa Michael di Interlagos, Brazil tapi aku merasa rasanya sudah seribu tahun lamanya tak melihat aksi Michael tersebut dan betapa aku lama sekali berharap dapat melihat Michael kembali balapan, entah di balapan motor, DTM, Le Mans, atau apapun lah, yang penting bisa melihat aksi heroik Michael itu lagi.

Pagi tadi, setelah my friend, Selvia Lusman memberitahuku bahwa Michael sudah dipastikan akan membalap menggantikan Massa sampai pembalap Brazil itu pulih, aku kembali seperti orang gila, senyum-senyum sendiri hanya karena membayangkan melihat Michael balapan lagi persis seperti ketika Michael masih berada di grid F1 demi perebutan gelar. Seringkali saat bangun pagi dan membayangkan GP yang akan berlangsung (sampai-sampai aku tak sabar menanti hari Minggu), kerap aku senyum-senyum sendiri terlebih kala terbayang Michael berdiri di podium, melompat kegirangan, seperti kebiasaannya setiap kali berhasil merebut podium tertinggi, menyemprotkan sampanye dan senyum lebarnya yang kuanggap melebihi cerahnya sinar matahari itu terbias di wajah tirusnya.

Hari Minggu kemarin, ketika Selvia, temanku itu bertanya padaku, bila Michael benar-benar akan kembali turun balapan, siapa yang akan kubela, Michael atau Jenson? Aku langsung menjawabnya, karena Michael turun bukan untuk merebut gelar sementara gelar Jenson hampir berada di ujung tanduk, pastinya aku akan terus mendukung Jenson sambil takkan melepaskan pandanganku dari mobil merah yang dikendarai juara dunia tujuh kali itu, tapi bila Jenson sudah mengamankan gelarnya, rasanya aku ingin juga melihat lagi lompatan Michael di podium, meski aku tak tahu apakah Ferrari mampu membayar hutangnya pada Michael di musim 2006 itu, saat Michael kehilangan gelar kedelapannya di musim terakhirnya dan malah tertimpa apes bertubi-tubi di balapan terakhirnya di Brazil meski aksi briliannya tetap diperlihatkannya pada dunia yang menyadari bahwa Michael memang pembalap terbaik sepanjang masa yang layak disandingkan bersama Fangio, Ascari, Senna, dan para kampiun F1.

Namun, pagi tadi aku mulai ragu dengan jawabanku pada temanku itu. Bila Michael hanya diberikan kesempatan pada beberapa race saja sampai Massa pulih, rasanya aku takkan rela melihat Michael sebagai seorang juara dunia tujuh kali harus bersibaku di grid tengah dan keteteran seperti pembalap kemarin sore. Aku ingin melihat Michael balapan karena aku senantiasa merindukan aksi gemilangnya saat melibas tikungan, melewati batas akal sehat manusia manapun, mengibas segenap ragu setiap orang padanya dan memperlihatkan kualitas balapnya yang luar biasa itu. Tapi lebih dari itu semua, aku sungguh-sungguh rindu pada ekspresinya di atas podium setelah mobilnya menjadi yang pertama melewati garis finish saat bendera finish dikibaskan.

Apapun yang terjadi, aku berharap dapat melihat kembali aksi Michael yang telah memukauku sejak aku melihat F1 pertama kali dan membuatku langsung jatuh hati pada juara dunia dari Jerman ini.

Mungkin hasil akhir ideal yang kuharapkan adalah aku bisa melihat beberapa kemenangan Michael tapi di ujung musim Jenson berhasil meraih gelar dunia pertamanya. Semoga saja mimpiku ini bukan mimpi siang bolong yang hanya menjadi bunga tidur saja. Kuharap mimpiku ini benar-benar menjadi sebuah kenyataan manis yang pantas dikenang seumur hidup baik olehku juga oleh seluruh penggemar sejati Schumi dan Jenson.

Berikut kutampilkan beberapa potong gambar yang menampilkan ekspresi dari seorang Michael Schumacher yang telah membuatku jatuh hati pada segenap kemampuannya. Pada seluruh semangat yang diungkapkannya. Ekspresi yang membuat orang-orang yang bekerja untuknya tak menyesal untuk memberikan segenap potensi terbaik mereka untuk seorang pembalap terbaik sepanjang masa ini. Love you, Michael....


pic taken from : www.inforally.cibiul.ro


pic taken from : www.driverside.com


pic taken from : www.telegraph.co.uk


pic taken from : sandio.wordpress.com


pic taken from : www.autoracingdaily.com




Schumacher testing old F1 car at Mugello


Source : www.autosport.com
By Pablo Elizalde

Michael Schumacher has began his preparation to return to Formula 1 action at the European Grand Prix next month.

The seven-time world champion will replace Felipe Massa in the Valencia race as the Brazilian continues with his recovery following the accident he suffered at the Hungarian Grand Prix last weekend.

Schumacher travelled to Ferrari's factory in Maranello yesterday, where he worked at the static simulator to check the functionality of the steering wheel.

The German has borrowed an F2007 car and he is reported to be testing at the Mugello circuit today since 11am.

Schumacher admitted that he is trying to get as much mileage as possible before his return, even if it means driving old cars.

"There is this test ban in Formula 1, therefore I contacted some of the guys from F1 Clienti if they could give me a car," Schumacher wrote on his website.

"Although those cars are not current or last year's ones, I simply like to drive as much as possible, so this is a good option. The next weeks will be totally on preparation then."

Massa will leave hospital on Monday


Source : www.autosport.com
By Peter Farkas

Felipe Massa will leave Hungary by a private plane on Monday, his personal doctor, Dino Altmann confirmed.

"Felipe continues to improve, he is doing very well, and we already decided to go back home on Monday to Brazil," Altmann told journalists on Friday at the AEK Hospital in Budapest, where Massa has been treated since his accident during the weekend of the Hungarian Grand Prix.

"He will fly to Sao Paulo."

Altmann said "there was no need" for the Brazilian to be taken to FIA Institute deputy president Gerard Saillant's clinic in Paris, where Michael Schumacher was also treated after he broke his leg in an accident ten years ago.

"He has to continue his recovery and go back racing as soon as possible, that's the plan," Altmann added. "No special treatment.

"He is in very good mood, he is in good shape. He wants to come back soon."

Ferrari decided to replace Massa with seven-time world champion Schumacher, who has already started practicing at a wheel of a two-year old F2007 at Mugello today.

All Wishes For Jenson Button



pic taken from: www.oddsack.com (sepertinya gbr ini diambil tahun 2004 saat JB masih bersama BAR Honda)

Hari Minggu kemarin, saat menyaksikan GP Hungaria, sejujurnya aku sudah menyiapkan apa yang akan kutulis yang pastinya penuh dengan kejengkelanku karena ternyata helm semangka JB yang jelek itu masih juga bertengger di kepalanya dan masih pula memberikan bad luck for him. Tapi sepertinya aku harus mulai membiasakan diri melihat helm semangka itu melindungi kepala jagoanku dan mengabaikan aura bad luck yang disebarkannya pada JB di tiga GP terakhir ini.

Ya, rasanya helm semangka itu akan lama menyertai GP di seri-seri berikutnya dan sepertinya aku memang harus mulai menyukai helm semangka itu seperti aku menyukai wajah yang mewakili pribadi di balik helm itu. Memang rasanya tak mungkin JB menuruti insting ngaco salah satu penggemarnya yang bukan peramal tapi sok meramal mengenai nasib buruknya hanya berdasar pada tampilan helmnya (tapi jujur aku memang tak suka dengan goresan hijau di helm JB itu seperti warna hijau mobil Honda JB musim lalu yang seperti ketumpahan cat).

Kupikir, memang pendapatku itu tak rasional. Dan sebagai pendukung setia JB, aneh bila aku menganggap kemampuan JB hanya berdasar pada helmnya saja. Toh, penampilan gemilang JB di tujuh seri awal musim ini di mana ia berhasil memenangi enam seri dari tujuh GP dan membuatnya memimpin di klasemen, pastinya bukan hanya melulu karena helmnya (meski helm pastinya sangat berperan dalam melindungi kepala bagus JB itu, tentunya) tapi juga karena bakat balap JB dan kemampuannya dalam mengendalikan mobilnya yang dengan halus namun tak mengurangi kecepatan, melibas tiap tikungan yang telah mempesona mula-mula Sir Frank lalu Ross Brawn dan seluruh dunia pada seri-seri awal musim ini.

Sedih rasanya melihat Brawn GP yang tampil begitu heroik dan dominasi JB bersama Brawn membuat ketar-ketir Bernie Ecclestone, bos sirkus F1 yang selalu berusaha membuat F1 tampil menarik dan tak berharap F1 dianggap membosankan seperti pada masa-masa kejayaan Michael Schumacher bersama Ferrari dulu (meski bagiku masa-masa itu justru salah satu masa-masa terindah F1 modern di mana Schumi dan F1 justru menjadi jualan yang laris manis).

Meski tambahan dua poin di GP Hungaria kemarin masih bisa membuat JB bertahan di puncak klasemen tapi perolehan poin yang diraih para pesaingnya cukup besar dan benar-benar mengancam kepemimpinan JB dan aku tak ingin gelar juara pertama JB yang begitu hampir pasti diraih JB dengan performa luar biasanya bersama Brawn di tujuh seri awal hanya menjadi mimpi abadi JB (dan seluruh pendukung setia Jenson Button di seluruh dunia, pastinya).

Akhirnya aku hanya dapat terus berharap Brawn GP dapat segera menemukan kembali performa terbaik mereka seperti di awal musim sehingga aku dapat kembali menyaksikan aksi gemilang JB dan gelar dunia pertamanya bukan hanya sekadar mimpi baginya.

Seperti judul novel Marga. T, badai pasti berlalu. Kuharap badai masalah yang menaungi Brawn di tiga GP terakhir ini akan segera berakhir dan Jenson bersama Brawn dapat kembali ke garis depan pertempuran, memperlihatkan pada dunia bahwa mereka merupakan pejuang tangguh dan pantas diperhitungkan di pertempuran paling sengit sedunia, peperangan ala Formula One, dan di ujung musim nanti mereka berhasil mengukir sebuah sejarah manis, gelar dunia yang berhasil direbut oleh tim privateer debutan bersama pembalap Inggrisnya yang sekali waktu dulu kemampuannya sempat diragukan oleh segelintir orang karena minimnya prestasi yang diukirnya. Telah cukup lama Jenson menunggu masa-masa ini, saat ketika waktu berpaling padanya dan rasanya terlalu kejam bila sang waktu kembali memalingkan wajahnya dari pembalap Inggris yang humoris ini setelah sekian panjang perjuangan yang diperlihatkan pemuda ini.

Mimpi memang indah tapi akan lebih indah bila mimpi itu menapak dalam kenyataan. JB pernah berada di masa-masa yang buruk dan ia berhasil melewati masa-masa buruk itu, dan kurasa JB yang telah dewasa oleh waktu itu pun pasti bisa melewati masa-masa buruknya kali ini dan berhasil membuat mimpinya menjadi sebuah kenyataan yang akan terus dikenang olehnya dan seluruh dunia sebagai sebuah kenangan manis. Gelar itu sudah menunggu dan Jenson takkan mungkin membiarkan mimpi yang hampir diraihnya itu kandas begitu saja. Keep fighting Jense! Hidup akan selalu memberikan sesuatu bagi orang-orang yang sungguh-sungguh menghargai perjuangan akan hidup itu sendiri, dan Jenson tahu pasti apa artinya berjuang karena ia telah memperlihatkan bahwa ia adalah seorang pejuang tangguh yang layak mendapat sebuah gelar kehormatan!



pic taken from: www.fansonline.net

Karena Kita Hidup



Kalau saja kita punya rasa;
maka kita akan selalu bersyukur
menikmati kemanisan masa lalu
merasakan kehangatan masa kini
mengangankan keindahan masa depan

Kalau saja kita berpegang pada asa ...
kita akan mencintai hidup
menantikan pagi membawa cahaya
merindukan malam menyebarkan warna

Kalau saja tak kita pedulikan kasta
Kita takkan pernah kehilangan
Mereka yang mencintai kita
Mereka yang dicintai kita
Mereka yang adalah diri kita
Kita yang adalah satu

Kalau saja kita mau terbangun
tidak membiarkan kita terlelap
Kita akan menyaksikan kehilangan kita;
tapi kita tetap memiliki rasa dan asa
untuk menjadikan hidup kita
bukan cuma omong kosong dan banyolan
dan kita akan bersyukur atas hidup kita ...

karena kita hidup ...




Kamis, 30 Juli 2009

Schumacher to make F1 return in Spain


Source: www.autosport.com

By Jonathan Noble

Michael Schumacher, the seven-time world champion, plans to come out of retirement as Felipe Massa's replacement at Ferrari from the European Grand Prix.

Following days of speculation about who would slot in alongside Kimi Raikkonen following Massa's Hungarian GP crash, Ferrari issued a statement on Wednesday afternoon confirming that Schumacher was being prepared for the role.

The statement said that Schumacher was 'ready' to make his F1 return, and would undertake a training programme over the next few days to ensure he was up to full fitness for an F1 race.

The German, who quit F1 at the end of 2006, injured himself in a motorbike accident earlier this year and the team want to make sure there are no hidden problems before confirming his position.

Schumacher has previously baulked at the idea of returning to F1 full-time, but with Massa looking likely to return when he is back to full fitness, and Ferrari in need of a top-line driver, the opportunity is one that has attracted him.

"The most important thing first: thank God, all news concerning Felipe is positive. I wish him all the best again," said Schumacher.

"I was meeting this afternoon with Stefano Domenicali and Luca di Montezemolo, and together we decided that I will prepare myself to take the place of Felipe.

"Though it is true that the chapter of Formula 1 has been completely closed for me for a long time, it is also true that for loyalty reasons to the team I cannot ignore that unfortunate situation. But as the competitor I am, I also very much look forward to facing this challenge."

Once Schumacher gets the green light, it will be the first time he has raced alongside Kimi Raikkonen, as the pair bid to secure Ferrari third place in the constructors' championship.

It also comes at a time when Ferrari's F60 appears to have made good progress on the track, and its KERS could prove to be an advantage in the forthcoming races at Valencia, Spa, Monza and Singapore.

Schumacher has not tested the current F60, and has not driven since April 2008 when he ran an F2008 at Barcelona.

The announcement of Schumacher's plans comes 24 hours after his manager Willi Weber totally ruled out the possibility of the German racing in Valencia.

"Whoever sits in the car at the next race in Valencia, it will not be Michael Schumacher. I am not 100 per cent sure; I am 200 per cent sure," Weber was quoted as saying by The Daily Mail.

"The pressure on him would be huge. He would be expected to win, but he has not driven this car. When Michael was racing he would get as close to perfection as possible. In this case, it would not be perfection; it would be a gamble - and that's not Michael's style."

Selasa, 28 Juli 2009

Q & A with Jenson Button


Source: www.autosport.com

By Jonathan Noble

Q. How much of a disappointment was the result of the Hungarian Grand Prix?
Jenson Button: Yeah, a real disappointment. It was very similar to the Nurburgring in the way of damaging the rear tyres. I got a reasonable start and our aim was to keep position. We thought that we could hang with the front bunch and when they started peeling off we would have a good chance of jumping them.
But I lost a place to [Kazuki] Nakajima at the start. I got him back on lap two which was good, as I was in a good position then. I thought I would then look after the tyres because [Sebastian] Vettel was in front and had had a bad start, which was great for us as I was running five or six laps longer than him. And I thought for four or five laps I would look after the tyres, which I did.
Even looking after the tyres though I grained the rears, and that was it. They started graining and I couldn't keep with the cars in front and lost a lot of time. So I had Nakajima all over me until my first pit stop and after that we went for the softer tyre again, as we didn't think the prime would work for us because of the low temperatures. But we grained it again on the rears, and had the same sort of problems.
I was stuck behind [Jarno] Trulli in the end, and in front of Nakajima, and they were both going two laps longer on the stint. So I thought we were screwed. We put the prime on, I had to put a couple of good laps in which I did, and I overtook Trulli and stayed in front of Nakajima. So we got two points, which in a way was good. Vettel didn't score, Webber didn't win and only got four points on me, which isn't good but it could have been a hell of a lot worse considering how slow we were in the race.
The frustrating thing is that on Friday the car was working well and we were one of the only teams not to get rear graining. We had the best tyre condition out of anyone on Friday, and then the last run in qualifying with fuel on board did not feel great and it was the same in the race. We were destroying the rear tyres and no one else is - so it is amazing how it can turnaround.

Q. Any clues about the reasons why?
JB: Well, the car hasn't changed. The only thing that has changed is the weather from Friday to Sunday. We keep complaining and saying it is the weather's fault, and it basically is. We have built a car that looks after its tyres when it is the right temperature range, but as soon as it drops out of that we have got a problem.
We cannot just blame the weather. In a way it is our fault for building the car the way it is, and we have got to work out how to make it work in conditions that don't suit our car so much.

Q. But the weather here was not too bad - it was mid 20s...
JB: Well the circuit was about 33-34C, and on Friday it was 44C. So that was 10 degrees, which is a lot and made a big difference.

Q. Yeah, but it is a bit like Monaco where you were very strong
JB: Monaco was hotter than here for sure. There are many things that we need to look at. The new aerodynamic parts on the car, are they working? The car doesn't feel like it did in Monaco or Turkey – although Monaco wasn't much hotter than here. We need to look at many things and the new parts we have put on the car. People have got quicker, the Red Bulls are quicker, and many people at the front have improved at the front – but forgetting them, our car does not feel the same as it did three races ago. So, there are lots of areas we need to look at, and if we had tried to concentrate on helping the rears on Friday, which would have been insane because why would we need to, we maybe would have looked after them better today, but then we would have struggled massively with front graining.

Q. You are at a point of the season where you have to start developing next year's car. Is this impacting on your performance relative to the opposition?
JB: I think most teams will be. Red Bull may be the only ones who are developing a bit later for next year. Ferrari are developing for next year, and they have not really had any big updates. Kimi still finished second, and that is massive.

Q. But they have more resources than you...
JB: Yeah, but it doesn't make any difference if they haven't improved the car. They haven't had updates. We have had a lot of updates in the last two races, and Ferrari haven't, so for them to be in front of us is a big surprise. It is not just that we are not developing the car as quick as other teams, it is that our performance just isn't there relative to ourselves, not compared to our competitors.

Q. How much of a factor was KERS in the race?
JB: It is a bit. But I think in a way it is good that the Red Bulls are suffering a bit. They are unsure about their tyres also. They put Mark on a prime in the middle stint which probably was not best for them, and Vettel started on a prime as well which was a surprise. So they are finding it a bit difficult as well, which is nice, and they are the team we are racing. So that is the important thing. The next race, KERS is reasonably important. But the big KERS circuits will be Spa and Monza – they are just going to destroy us on those circuits, which perhaps is a good thing.

Q. Do you still feel comfortable with your championship position?
JB: For sure, not. I have lost 15 points to Webber over the past three races, and that is massive. It's five points per race. It means he will be in front of me in four races time, and there are seven races left. So it is for sure not comfortable, but I cannot do anything about it at the moment except we just need to go through the data, which is annoying as we have to wait for two weeks [because of the factory shutdown].

Q. Are you using the same tub as you did at the start of the season?
JB: Yeah, we haven't made any new tubs. We can't.

Q. Do you think that might be a factor, that it might be getting long in the tooth?
JB: I don't think that happens, and it is not suddenly going to change from like it was in Turkey, which was the best car I have ever driven. We destroyed everyone there. If I had pushed all the way to the end of the race in Turkey, we would have finished 45 seconds or so ahead of everyone. I backed off towards the end of the race and still finished with a 20-second lead. So I don't know.

Q. So you are on holiday from tomorrow?
JB: Yeah, the factory closes at 6pm tomorrow. So the next two weeks are off, but then we still have two weeks off before the next race. I think you can still think about racing though…. Hopefully people are still thinking about racing.
We have to sort it out because we are leading the championship, but it is inevitable they are going to overtake us if the Brawns keep going like they are. It is like wearing the yellow jersey [in the Tour de France], knowing that when you get to the mountains you are going to be useless and overtaken. It is nice leading the championship, but it won't be the case in the next three or four races if we have the performances like we have had in the last few.
Valencia I say is going to be hot, but then here we thought it would be in the 30s. But if you look at the weather forecast, it has been 34-35C all week, and the weekend was 24-25C and then it is going back up again from Monday. So, maybe someone is trying to make the racing more interesting this year – they don't want us walking away with it. So they are doing their job very well.

Q. But it is fair to say that you still have belief in this team to get the root of the problems?
JB: Yeah, for sure. They have done great things with this car, and all through the first part of the season we've added updates and it has improved the car. We've made steps forward and we saw that in Barcelona. And the last two updates, I can't see them as worse. It is not something that would unsettle the car. It should just give the car more downforce.
It should work in every condition. It is rear downforce. It works. It helps. So there is something not quite right. We are running at 60C with the tyres, which is out of their working range. But how do we get them in their working range? That is what we need to work out.

www.grandprix.com

Hungarian GP - Sunday - Team Quotes
Jenson Button (7th):
"We felt positive that we could get a good result today but unfortunately it turned into damage limitation for our championship challenge. I was heavily fuelled after qualifying and our plan was to get a good start, stay with the cars in front and then I was going longer at the first stop. My rear tyres grained massively in the first few laps which took away any chance that I had of keeping pace with the front-runners. We don't know what the problem is right now as our pace on the option tyre on Friday was pretty good and we were able to manage the rear end much better than some of the others. The car just doesn't feel like it did a few races ago but we'll work hard to identify the problems before Valencia. It's disappointing as we had high hopes for this race but we were fortunate to come away with two points."

Schumachers return to F1 racing is ruled out by manager


Source: www.f1technical.net

After the rumour mill got running at full speed regarding who is to replace the injured Felipe Massa, Michael Schumacher's manager Willi Webber has ruled out the possibility of the seven time world champion getting behind the wheel of the Ferrari F60 in place of his former teammate. Weber told the 'Bild' newspaper, "That Michael is going to make a comeback is ruled out."

Minggu, 26 Juli 2009

Hungarian GP qualifying quotes: Button


Source: www.crash.net

Jenson Button – 8th:“The car felt reasonably good through the first two sessions today although none of my laps were perfect due to traffic and yellow flags. I thought we would be competitive in Q3 but unfortunately the work required on the car meant that I was only able to get one run and that was on a heavy fuel load with four more laps of fuel than we had planned. We were on the edge of the working range for the tyres today with the cooler temperatures so the car wasn't handling quite as well as in practice. Starting from eighth on the grid isn't ideal and I'm on the dirty side but we're remaining positive and will see what we can do from there. Hopefully we will hear that Felipe is ok and we are thinking of him.”

Jumat, 24 Juli 2009

Q & A with Jenson Button


Source: www.autosport.com

By Edd Straw

After two comprehensive defeats by Red Bull, Jenson Button needs to get back in control of his title campaign in this weekend's Hungarian Grand Prix.

AUTOSPORT heard from the championship leader when he discussed his situation - and the day's hot topic Jaime Alguersuari - with reporters at the Hungaroring today.

Q. Are you really up for this one?

Jenson Button: I'm really looking forward to it - there's no excuses. It's supposed to be warm this weekend, so we should get the tyres to work. I think people are going to struggle with overheating on the super softs, so it's going to be about tyre management as usual. This year has been all about tyre management.

We also have some updates that will move us forward a good chunk, they are mostly aerodynamic. You see what it says in the windtunnel, but you don't know whether it's going to be reality on the circuit. I'm happy with the step forwards and hopefully it'll be enough to challenge the Red Bulls and make it more exciting.

Q. Is the feeling within the team that there are now no excuses?

JB: No - that was just a little throwaway line! But it's hot, so that's a good thing, and saying there are no more excuses means there is not that to fall back on the we have everything to play for this weekend.

Q. Now that Mark Webber has had his first win, do you think that he is still the man to watch?

JB: He was very quick, compared to his team-mate as well. I think both of them are going to be quick. If you look at past seasons they have been very quick around this circuit, both of them against their team-mates, they are driving a very competitive car. But they have us to contend with here, we're going to be pushing them a lot more here. It's going to be a bit cooler this weekend, but it's still going to be hot enough to make the tyres work. And we need to start beating them, otherwise they'll take too many points off us. They've already taken 11 points out of me in two races - that's too many.

Q. Will Rubens Barrichello have the bit between his teeth after the last race - do you see him as someone who has something to prove this weekend?

JB: I don't know. We're all here to do the best job that we can and Rubens is going to be trying very hard every race. He won't just suddenly think I'll push harder now because I've got the bit between my teeth. He has been competitive all season, so nothing is different here. It's all positive, because everything is in our favour.

Q. What did you think of McLaren in Germany?

JB: Quick. I think this is a circuit they will go reasonably well at. The Ferraris are quite excited about this weekend as well. It's a circuit where you chuck all your downforce at the car and they seemed to work very well in Monaco. McLaren's high-speed has been a struggle this season, and there are a few high-speed or mid-speed corners here so Ferrari might have the edge on McLaren here.

But there are a lot of cars with KERS - it's a difficult one for Red Bull and ourselves. Our main competition is Red Bull and they are the people we are fighting for the championship with, so it's a difficult one. You think maybe we should just think about Red Bull, but the Ferraris and McLarens can really determine our race as they did with me in Nurburgring. It's a difficult situation for us to be in and KERS has made it all the more complicated.

Q. Do you understand Rubens's frustration at the end of that race and his subsequent outburst?

JB: He was leading the race for the first part and was very excited to be in that situation. Obviously it didn't go his way and he lost four or five seconds in the pitstop which cost him a position or two, so I can understand he was a little bit angry. But as we know, and Rubens knows, we talk about it first, discuss the issues and get angry within the team. He understands the situation there.

Q. Jaime Alguersuari is coming into F1 at 19 - how would you have handled it at that age?

JB: I started in F1 when I was 20 and didn't have the proper mileage to have a superlicence. But I did quite a bit of testing over the winter and was allowed to race because they thought it was enough. It's a very difficult one. If someone gives you an opportunity to race in F1 you're going to take it, but at his age it could absolutely destroy his career. If it goes well, it's fantastic, but it's on a knife's edge.

There's so much to learn. He's proved that he's quick and I'm sure he's going to be reasonably quick. Is he going to be as quick as [Sebastien] Bourdais? I shouldn't think so, he definitely won't be here. He might be in later on in the season but I don't know how many races they'll give him. It's a difficult position to be in but it's tough, because when someone says you've got the drive it's difficult to turn round and say I'm not ready yet, because it's your dream to race in F1. But it could end his dream of being competitive in F1.

It's not just about driving quick, there's a lot more to it and I'm sure that he doesn't understand all the electronics on an F1 car. The steering wheel to start with is very complicated and to get the pitstops sorted in two days is going to be very difficult. There's a lot to learn and a lot to take in. Not having driven an F1 car around a circuit, I'm surprised he's been allowed to race this weekend. I say good luck to him - it's a risk he's willing to take and for his sake I hope he does a good job.

Q. How hard was it when you started?

JB: There was a lot of pressure when I started because I was one of the first of the new age young drivers. It was a real surprise for me, exiting the pits behind Michael Schumacher, a guy I'd watched on TV for many years and really looked up to. It wasn't driving the car, it was the technical and engineering side. F3 cars are very simple compared to an F1 car. I don't know the reasons for him getting the drive, I can guess, but he's not going to help develop the car! But I hope that he does well for him - it's make or break for his career.

Selasa, 21 Juli 2009

Henry Surtees killed in F2 accident


Source: www.crash.net

Henry Surtees, the son of former F1 World Champion John Surtees, has died following an accident during the second FIA Formula Two Championship race of the weekend at Brands Hatch.

The 18-year-old was involved in a freak accident during the race when he was struck on the head by an errant wheel that had broken away from the car of Jack Clarke after he went off into the barriers on the exit of Westfield.

The impact saw Surtees knocked unconscious and his car went off the road into the tyre barriers at Sheene before coming to a halt on the side of the circuit. With the race red-flagged, Surtees was treated by medical teams at the scene before being taken to the medical centre where he was prepared for transfer by air ambulance to the regional trauma centre at the Royal London Hospital.

Despite the best efforts of medical staff, Surtees died from his injuries early on Sunday evening.

Born in 1991, Surtees soon started following in the footsteps of his father – the only man to win world titles on four-wheels and two-wheels – when he launched a karting career at the age of eight and rose through the ranks to secure the Junior Gearbox crown in 2005.

The following year saw Surtees move into car racing with an entry into the Ginetta Junior Championship, finishing third in the standings at the conclusion of his maiden season outside of karts.

His career took a turn towards single-seaters in 2007 with an entry into the final year of the Formula BMW UK Championship where he finished seventh in the standings after a campaign that saw him pick up eight podium finishes and victory at Donington Park. Surtees also finished second in the rookie standings behind Swede Marcus Ericsson. As well as his FBMW commitments, Surtees contested the final two races of the Formula Renault UK Championship and the annual Winter Series prior to a full-season assault on Formula Renault in 2008.

That season saw Surtees finish twelfth in the championship standings, while he also made his debut in Formula 3 with an entry in the National Class for the season finale at Donington Park. Running with the same Carlin team that had taken him into single-seaters in Formula BMW, Surtees celebrated his debut with class victory in the opening race before following it up with second in race two. A second assault on the Formula Renault Winter Series saw Surtees take second in the standings behind James Calado.

With F2 returning to the motorsport arena for the 2009 season, Surtees took the opportunity to move up the motorsport ladder. After taking his maiden pole position at Brno, Surtees had secured his first podium finish in the opening race of the weekend at Brands Hatch.

Crash.net extends its sympathies to Henry's family and friends at this difficult time.

Rabu, 15 Juli 2009

Schumi denies he's off to Brawn GP


Source: www.planet-f1.com

Michael Schumacher has denied he's on his way to Brawn GP to take up a senior role within Ross Brawn's outfit.

During the course of the German GP weekend, rumours emerged claiming Schumacher would once again be linking up with Brawn, the man who helped him to his seven World titles, swapping his role at Ferrari for one at Brawn GP.

The German, though, has denied this.

"If I would have wanted to work, I had the options, and may even now have the options," Schumacher told BBC Sport.

"But right now, it is not what I am looking for."

As for the dream of many of his fans that he returns to F1 racing, Schumi says that is definitely not on the cards.

"I haven't had the need of the adrenaline all these years," he said. "What I'm doing now is for the pure pleasure."

"I have put myself a certain distance away from it and it doesn't feel the same at all."

"When you're inside you're so deeply involved in the details and I'm certainly not because I don't want to dedicate the time for it."

"I have a nice distance in order to overview things from a relaxed base and from that point of view give decent input."

Selasa, 14 Juli 2009

Button: We need to kick a*se in Hungary – and we will


Source : www.crash.net

Jenson Button insists that there is no reason for panic, despite having seen his F1 World Championship lead cut to just 21 points following last weekend's German Grand Prix – but he acknowledges that if Brawn GP's performance does not pick up considerably in the hotter conditions expected for the forthcoming races, 'we have got to really worry'.

The Mercedes-powered BGP 001 suffered in the cooler conditions at Silverstone and the Nürburgring, with both Button and team-mate Rubens Barrichello experiencing great difficulty in warming their tyres up sufficiently to be able to take the fight to dominant Red Bull Racing duo Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel, with the energy drinks-backed outfit remaining unbeaten and unrivalled in the last two outings.

Whilst Webber and Vettel have notched up 18 points apiece, Button's tally from Britain and Germany was just seven, and the long-time 2009 pace-setter admitted that he has had more enjoyable days than that which he experienced around the Eifel Mountains circuit on Sunday.

“It was a really frustrating, difficult race,” the 29-year-old told the BBC. “I got a really bad start – off the line I wasn't good, and in turn one I had cars all around me. People were out-braking themselves and everything, and it would have been so easy to lose a front wing; I almost did, so I had to back out of it and I think I was about eighth after turn one.

“I got a few cars back round the outside which was nice, and I got up to fourth past [Felipe] Massa and was behind [Heikki] Kovalainen, but there was no way past and his pace was way off. I then got up behind Rubens. He had a bad second pit-stop, because he came out probably about four seconds in front of me when he had been about eight seconds up the road, so he lost the opportunity to finish where I don't know. His pace on the 'Prime' tyre wasn't very good, and I was stuck behind him for quite a few laps, so it was a tough one.

“When the circuit cooled down it got a lot harder. The Prime tyre was difficult to heat up; I was doing quite a lot of weaving, and that helped me quite a bit, but I couldn't keep the heat in the 'Option' tyre and that was the problem. You slide the tyre and it starts graining, and I had big degradation. I had thought we'd have a chance of getting a podium behind the two Red Bulls, but that wasn't possible.”

Indeed, not only did Brawn get beaten by chief title rival RBR in Germany, but the ex-Honda F1 outfit similarly found itself outpaced by both Ferrari and Williams, with Fernando Alonso in the resurgent Renault also threatening to depose Button and Barrichello before the race was through.

The recent results have enabled Red Bull to close the gap separating them from Brawn from 43.5 points to just 19.5 over the course of the last three grands prix, with 144 remaining up for grabs between now and season's end. What's more, Vettel and Webber are closing inexorably in on Button in the drivers' standings too, where 80 points are still available.

Brawn is expected to be back on the leading pace again in the anticipated warmer climes of Budapest in just under a fortnight's time, with the tight and twisty layout of the Hungaroring also tipped to suit the car down to the ground. If his dreams of championship glory are not to crumble before his eyes, Button warns it will have to.

“We've got to kick some a*se in Hungary, and that's what we are going to try and do,” the Frome-born ace – who achieved his breakthrough F1 victory in the very same race three years ago – is quoted as having said by Reuters. “Let's pray that we are quick there, because if we are not we've got a problem.

“There are a lot of races to go, so we do need to worry a bit. These two circuits (Silverstone and the Nürburgring) have been frustrating for us because of the temperatures. If we are not quick on a hot track then we have got to really worry, [but] I think our car will be strong there. We don't know how strong; we'll have to wait and see.

“We could shout at the team about improving things, but they know what they've got to do. We've got to stay calm, put the improvements on the car and get every bit we can out of it. You have to worry, but I don't think it's 'oh sh*t, we're going to lose the championship'. It's 'come on, let's make the difference'.”

One factor that the British star did point to was that Webber's Nürburgring triumph – his first in the top flight after 130 attempts – has added another name to the equation in terms of the chase for the crown. Button acknowledged that the Australian's challenge could in fact arguably play in his favour, in making it four drivers taking points off each other rather than just three, potentially protecting his advantage for longer than would otherwise have been the case.

“It puts another person in the mix, doesn't it?” he mused. “Sebastian, Mark and Rubens – they are all closing in on me. We've still got a 21-point lead so it's not that bad, but if we continue like this we are not going to keep that lead. It's a different person in second now, but he's got his team-mate right behind him, which is probably a good thing for me because they're both taking points off each other.

“If Vettel had won here it would have been a disaster, [but] I'm looking forward to Hungary. Hopefully we've got a few new parts and it's going to be hotter – and we really do need to beat the Red Bulls in Hungary! I'm not going to put any pressure on the team, though, because we know what we've got to do – and we'll do it in Hungary.”

Button stays calm on title prospects


Source : www.autosport.com
By Jonathan Noble

Jenson Button says his Brawn GP team is remaining calm about its world championship prospects, despite rival Red Bull Racing having got huge momentum behind it following its latest victory in the German Grand Prix.

Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel delivered the second consecutive one-two finish for Red Bull at the Nurburgring on Sunday to leave Button worried about his lead in the title standings.

However, despite the turnaround in form that has happened since Red Bull introduced a huge upgrade to its RB5 at Silverstone, Button says there is no panic yet from himself or his Brawn team.

When asked if he felt it important to stay cool, Button said: "Yeah, for sure. You can shout at the team and say improve this or improve that, but they know what they have got to do. We do need to stay calm, put the improvements on the car and just get every little bit out of it.

"We are very experienced at being midfield, so we know all the little details and that everything has to be perfect to be competitive. We will be stronger in Hungary and I am glad we've got these two races out of the way, I just wish we had a few more points out of them."

Button admits that there are concerns about the manner in which his rivals have started closing in on him, but he is sure that the Hungarian GP will deliver better fortunes for him.

"You have to worry but I don't think it is a 'oh damn we are going to lose the championship. It is a ‘come on, let's make the difference'. We have some new parts for Hungary, and I am looking forward to it. We know our car will be strong there, but we don't know how strong. We have to wait and see."

He added: "We've got to look forward to it. It's only two weeks away, so not too long. Something on the aero package is new and it is a hot circuit - so let's hope we are quick there, because if we are not then we have got a problem.

"Hopefully it will be nice weather there. I've won a race there and it has been wet, so hopefully that won't happen – the wet bit. These last two races have been quite difficult.

"I didn't think this one would be so much, but it was, and we have just got to hope that it is hot in Hungary. And if we are not quick in the heat there we have got a problem, but I think we will be competitive."

Q & A with Jenson Button


Source : www.autosport.com
By Jonathan Noble

Q. I guess fifth place was not what you expected when you came to the Nurburgring?

Jenson Button: No. It was all screwed by the start really. I got a poor start, and was eighth coming out of Turn One. There were people everywhere and I didn't want to damage the front wing. I made up a few places at Turn Three and Turn Four, and then I got past Felipe Massa.

So I was running in fourth behind Heikki Kovalainen, but he was running a long stint and he had the old package on his car - and his pace was nowhere. I lost a lot of time there, and behind Rubens in the third stint we couldn't get the hard tyre to work as we have struggled with it all weekend. I worked out a way to make it work, but I couldn't overtake Rubens and when he pitted I went over a second a lap quicker than him. So the pace was there, but we just didn't have the luck.

Q. You were weaving on the straights to try and get heat into the tyres. Was that the route of your problems?

JB: Yes. The circuit got cooler throughout the race, which made it more difficult. Finishing fifth is disappointing as I thought we could have got a podium finish.

Q. What was your reaction to Mark Webber's maiden victory, as he is a good friend of yours?

JB: It is fantastic. The guy has been very close many times and it is well deserved. He did a good job over the weekend and the whole year, and he is another person in the title fight. Mark is closer, Sebastian Vettel is closer so it is getting competitive out there. It is going to be a lot of fun, and I am looking forward to the next couple of races, which should help us a little bit.

Q. What did you make of Mark's race?

JB: He drove a great race. He was a bit aggressive at the start and I actually think he was a bit silly at the start. There was no need for it, but the race itself – he drove a great one, he has been quick all weekend, very superior and a great job.

Q. Aren't you worried a little bit about the championship situation?

JB: Well, wouldn't you be? I've had a sixth and a fifth in the last two races, but I expected more here. I thought I would be on the podium, but I didn't expect to beat the Red Bulls. So, you have to worry but I don't think it is a 'oh damn we are going to lose the championship. It is a ‘come on, let's make the difference'. We have some new parts for Hungary, and I am looking forward to it. We know our car will be strong there, but we don't know how strong. We have to wait and see.

Q. What are your predictions for the Hungarian GP?

JB: We've got to look forward to it. It's only two weeks away, so not too long. Something on the aero package is new and it is a hot circuit – so let's hope we are quick there, because if we are not then we have got a problem.

Hopefully it will be nice weather there. I've won a race there and it has been wet, so hopefully that won't happen – the wet bit. These last two races have been quite difficult. I didn't think this one would be so much, but it was, and we have just got to hope that it is hot in Hungary. And if we are not quick in the heat there we have got a problem, but I think we will be competitive.

Q. So is it important to stay calm?

JB: Yeah for sure. You can shout at the team and say improve this or improve that, but they know what they have got to do. We do need to stay calm, put the improvements on the car and just get every little bit out of it. We are very experienced at being midfield, so we know all the little details and that everything has to be perfect to be competitive. We will be stronger in Hungary and I am glad we've got these two races out of the way, I just wish we had a few more points out of them.

Q. How do you rate the chances for Webber and Vettel?

JB: The good thing is that both drivers are competitive. If Vettel had won the race then that would be another two points for him. In a way, it is a good thing that Vettel is strong and Mark is strong. I have a 21-point lead and that is not enough to finish behind the Red Bulls in every race. We've got to kick some arse in Hungary, and that is what we are going to try and do.

Q. Vettel thinks the emphasis of hot/cold weather is very much overrated, but it did look like a difficult race for you because of the temperature?

JB: He is driving a car that works in these conditions. I am sure he would say the opposite in Monaco because he grained the tyres after 10 laps and we didn't. It is not overrated. Their car is working well at the moment, and I am sure it is going to be working well in Hungary, but our car will be a lot quicker and we will be a lot closer – if not as quick or a bit quicker.

Q & A with Ross Brawn


Source : www.autosport.com
By Edd Straw

Q. Rubens Barrichello said after the race that Brawn GP showed today how to lose a race. What is your reaction to that?

Ross Brawn: Yeah, it wasn't a great race for us. We probably tried too hard to come up with compensation for the lack of performance we had. We tried three stops and then we had a fuel rig problem which made it even worse, and his radio wasn't great in the race - he was struggling with it so the normal briefings we were giving him during the race of what was happening, he wasn't getting all the information. He didn't really have a full picture of what was going on in the race, but we were not quick enough today.

Q. So you are saying you did lose him the race?

RB: Yes, by not being quick enough. If we had been quicker we would have won the race, but we were too slow.

Q. So not by decisions you did or did not make?

RB: There were no decisions to make. We fuelled him to get him in front of [Nico] Rosberg at the pit stop but we had a problem with the fuel rig. When he came out he was behind Rosberg. Those things happen occasionally in the pitlane. It was unfortunate and he's very frustrated, but so are we.

Q. But his implication is that if you had made the right decisions, it would have helped him win the race?

RB: I don't think that is the case. When he sits down and looks at all the numbers he will realise that we were too slow today. There was no capacity to win the race. Mark had a drive through and was still back in front of us after a few laps. We just weren't quick enough today and when you are cocooned inside the car, you don't get a good picture of what is going on. So he will find when he understands how the race went then his view on things will be a bit different.

Q. He was asked about the debrief and just said, blah, blah, blah. What do you make of that?

RB: I think that is a frustrated racing driver. When you put so much into a race and it hasn't worked out, then that is what you get sometimes. If you get out of the car thinking you should have won the race and you haven't got all the facts, then that can happen. Now he has the facts and understands what happens, he is fine.

Q. Are you happy for him to speak out like that?

RB: It's a passion some drivers have. But I want to have a look at exactly what he said and be clear, but he understands now what happened in the race. Rubens had the 11th fastest time in the race today. You cannot win a race, whatever strategy you have, if your best lap is only 11th quickest. It is just not possible. Those are the facts. Once he calms down, the problems we have is to go quicker. Today we were not quick enough and we have to respond because if we don't we will throw the championship away.

Q. So are you going to have a word with Rubens about his comments?

RB: I will understand the whole situation first before we say anything. In the heat of the moment these things happen. We want to understand the whole picture and what he said. Rubens has been a very important member of the team. He stuck with the team through very difficult times, he has a lot of loyalty to the team and that is not something that will be destroyed with a few frustrated words after a race.

Barrichello over German GP anger


Source : www.autosport.com
By Jonathan Noble

Rubens Barrichello says he is now over his anger that erupted at the German Grand Prix - after realising that his Brawn team did not cost him the chance of victory.

The Brazilian was furious following his sixth place finish at the Nurburgring after feeling that Brawn GP's strategy and errors had provided a 'good show of how to lose a race.'

He even suggested that he was not interested in listening to what the team had to say about the matter in the post-race debrief as it would just be a lot of 'blah, blah, blah.'

But writing on his own Twitter feed after arriving in the United States on Monday, Barrichello said that post-race reflections had changed his view of the situation.

"I was very upset yesterday but I am over it," he wrote. "I would not have won the race as the Red Bulls were half a second faster per lap, but third was very possible without the pit problems."

And Barrichello made it clear to his fans that he would continue his focus on the title.

"I will fight [while] I have chances for the championship," he said. "I promise. It was a tough day yesterday but I am over it now."

Piquet's future remains uncertain


Source : www.autosport.com
By Jonathan Noble

Nelson Piquet's future with Renault remains uncertain after team boss Flavio Briatore said he could not confirm who would be driving his second car at the Hungarian Grand Prix.

Piquet was surrounded by rumours that he could be dropped after the German race, having failed to score the necessary points that would have contractually guaranteed his slot with the team.

But despite Piquet expressing confidence over the weekend about his future, Briatore declined to confirm the future of his Brazilian driver following the Nurburgring event.

"I don't know," he told AUTOSPORT when asked about if Piquet would be driving alongside Fernando Alonso at the Hungaroring. "Maybe I am in the car myself..."

Piquet wrote on his Twitter feed after the German race that he had been told by Renault that he would be given the same performance updates that Alonso had on his car in Germany for the Hungarian race - suggesting that he will remain on board,

"The team have promised that me and Fernando will have the same car for the next race," he wrote.

Piquet told Autosprint magazine last weekend that the team had not given him the same conditions as team-mate Alonso so far.

"My contract is complex, with many points agreed only verbally," he said. "Renault promised me the same conditions as Alonso's, but I've never had them. During the winter I tested for 2,000 kms, while Alonso did 4,000 kms.

"We've had insignificant problems, bad luck, that compromised many results, but they forget that at Renault. I understand Briatore being unhappy, but it's not only my fault. This is a difficult job, I try to keep my head cool, without putting too much pressure on myself."

Renault's third driver Frenchman Romain Grosjean has been most strongly linked with a step-up to an F1 race seat if Piquet is dropped, although he has struggled for form in GP2 since his big accident at the Monaco Grand Prix support race.

Brazilian Lucas di Grassi has also been linked with the drive, but he made it clear on Tuesday that he was fully focused on winning the GP2 crown.

Masihkah Kau Ingin Meraih Bintang itu, Jens...?





Kesel. Gemes. Sebel. Semuanya campur jadi satu sampai-sampai aku tak tahu lagi warna emosiku saat menonton GP Jerman kemarin. Jengkel, karena biarpun kepala lagi nyut-nyutan gara-gara tidur kemaleman, saking bela-belain pengen nonton Qualifying yang ditayangin minggu dini hari (lama-lama aku juga jadi sebel berat sama global tv, sampai-sampai punya niatan kalo aja punya duit segudang, pengen banget bikin stasiun tivi yang acaranya tentang F1 semua dan yang pasti sesi qualifying apalagi race bakalan ditayangin live bukannya siaran tunda sampai dini hari seperti sekarang ini …..)

Dibilang jengkel, jelas jengkel banget (dan kuyakin semua pendukung JB dan Brawn pasti merasakan hal yang sama). Sudah dua kali Brawn (dan JB) dipecundangi RBR. Di depan publik sendiri , Jenson harus menggigit jari melihat the Young German (mainan baru Willi Weber, yang dulu memanageri Schumacher bersaudara) merebut podium tertinggi di hadapan para rekan sebangsa senegara Jenson. Dan ketika kupikir di GP Jerman, Jenson akan membalas Vettel dengan merebut podium di depan para kompatriatnya tapi boro-boro bisa balas dendam, Jenson malah keteteran di lapis tengah. Frustasi di belakang Heiki Kovalainen sampai pit stop pertamanya.

Jangankan meraih podium utama, masih bagus Jenson bisa finish kelima dan meraih empat poin untuk menambah pundi-pundi poin di klasemennya dan memang ia untuk saat ini masih memimpin di klasemen pembalap tapi untuk berapa lama? Jika RBR tak terbendung seperti dua penampilan terakhir mereka (di GP Inggris dan Jerman) sementara Brawn terus saja kesulitan dengan masalah bannya, maka Jenson harus kembali berkubang dalam kesedihan dan penyesalan saat gelar dunia yang di depan matanya harus terkubur kembali (amit-amit, semoga aja Jens, mimpi buruk itu segera berakhir dan kau bisa kembali memperlihatkan dominasimu seperti pada race-race awal yang telah memukau semua pecinta formula one dan kembali menyadari keberadaanmu).

Vettel memang tak berhasil meraih podium utama di tanah tumpah darahnya dan ia harus mengakui ketangguhan Mark Webber (yang biarpun nama belakangnya mirip dengan nama managernya tapi mereka sama sekali tak ada hubungan darah dan nama belakang mereka dibedakan oleh jumlah b) tapi finish di posisi dua juga tak buruk untuk Vettel, setidaknya dengan tambahan delapan poin, ia berhasil menggeser Rubens Barrichello dari posisi dua klasemen dan ia pun semakin mendekati perolehan poin Jenson di klasemen (benar-benar mimpi buruk bukan hanya untuk Jenson Button tapi juga mimpi buruk bagi para pendukung setia Jenson, kurasa, yang sudah lama mengharapkan si ganteng ini berhasil meraih gelar dunianya).

Aku sendiri sebenarnya tak terlalu mengerti dengan masalah teknis yang menyebabkan penampilan Brawn pada dua race belakangan ini yang tak seperti penampilan mereka pada awal-awal race yang demikian memukau. Namun aku tak percaya orang sejenius Brawn dengan ketrampilannya dalam mengatur strategi yang senantiasa setia membantu Michael Schumacher meraih tujuh gelar dunia dan membawa Ferrari pada masa-masa keemasannya ini tak mampu mengatasi persoalan teknis di tim yang dinamai dengan namanya sendiri ini. Karena itu aku benar-benar tak percaya ketika pada GP Jerman kemarin, Brawn GP seperti tim papan bawah yang tak tahu bagaimana cara memenangi balapan. Aku jadi bertanya-tanya kemana perginya Brawn GP, tim debutan tahun ini yang menjadi perbincangan hangat di awal musim?

Seperti yang kubilang sebelumnya bahwa aku tak mengerti masalah teknis yang membelit Brawn GP (nilai fisika dan matematikaku saja selalu jeblok, ngapain juga sok menganalisa masalah teknis yang bukan hanya membuat kepalaku botak tapi juga yang membaca tulisanku ini. He… he…)

Terserah deh mau dibilang orang yang percaya takhayul atau apapun istilahnya tapi ketika aku melihat helm baru Jenson yang dipakainya sejak GP Inggris, aku langsung merasa bahwa helm baru Jenson membawa bad luck for him. Nyatanya di GP Inggris, JB benar-benar dipermalukan di kandangnya sendiri. Kupikir, helm baru Jenson hanya untuk dipakai di home town-nya saja, tak tahunya di GP Jerman kemarin aku masih melihat helm jelek itu lagi (yang kata temanku seperti semangka tapi aku melihatnya seperti cakar alien). Pendapatku ini memang boleh saja dibilang ngaco dan gak ilmiah tapi aku lebih suka melihat ayahnya Jenson memakai kemeja pink, tertawa lebar menyambut kemenangan putranya daripada harus melihat helm semangka Jenson bertengger di kepalanya dan kepala di dalam helm itu berdenyut-denyut seirama detak jantungnya, menggeber mobilnya mengejar dua banteng (baca Red Bull Racing) yang tampil perkasa, jauh sekali di depannya itu. Ah, Jenson, semoga saja memang benar pendapatku itu cuma komentar asal yang konyol dan semoga memang benar helm semangkamu itu tidak ada hubungan dengan nasib jelekmu di dua GP terakhir ini tapi aku benar-benar berharap bisa melihat senyum lebarmu lagi di atas podium utama, mencium trophy, dan merasakan manisnya champagne kemenanganmu (kurasa kau belum lupa kan rasa manis champagne itu dan kurasa pula kau masih haus dan ingin mereguk champagne itu lagi, bukan?)

Terakhir, kuharap Ross Brawn dapat kembali menemukan performanya dan mampu mengangkat tim miliknya sendiri menjadi sensasi tersendiri di formula one dan berhasil mengukir prestasi terbaiknya. Menurutku, ironis sekali bagi Brawn yang selama ini berhasil mendalangi kesuksesan dua tim besar formula one, Renault-Benetton, dan Ferrari tapi tak berhasil mengangkat tim bertajuk namanya sendiri ke puncak tertinggi di ajang balap terbaik dunia ini.

Go Jenson, jalan di depan menuju gelar dunia masih panjang, berliku dan terjal tapi kau kan pernah menghadapi yang lebih buruk dari ini dan kurasa kau bukan pria cengeng yang mudah menyerah, bukan? So, go for it, Jens! Go for your first World Champion! Jangan biarkan bintang yang sudah hampir kau raih itu menjauh kembali, Jens!



Gambar dipinjam dari : blogs.thetimes.co.za

Senin, 13 Juli 2009

Button frustrated with German result


Source: www.planet.f1.com

Jenson Button was left bristling with frustration following a day of struggle in Germany.

The World Championship leader trailed home fifth behind another Red Bull Racing one-two, their third of the season, but this time with Mark Webber leading home Sebastian Vettel in the German Grand Prix.

Button's lead is now 21 points, with Vettel taking up second place in the Drivers' standings just 1.5 points ahead of Webber and three ahead of Button's Brawn GP team-mate Rubens Barrichello.

After six wins from the first seven races, the balance of power has undoubtedly shifted the way of Red Bull in the past two grands prix at Silverstone and the Nurburgring.

"It was really frustrating, a difficult race for us in which nothing went right, as at Silverstone," assessed Button.

"In the first stint I was stuck behind (Heikki) Kovalainen and had nowhere to go. I couldn't get past him.

"Then the pace was okay, but in the third stint I was stuck behind Rubens after he had a problem with his fuel rig at his second stop.

"The fuel rig problem screwed his race and mine, so finishing fifth is disappointing because I think we could have got a podium.

"I now can't wait to get to Hungary in two weeks where we will have new parts and hopefully warmer weather to take the fight to the Red Bulls."

Button was at least humble enough to offer his congratulations to Webber following the Australian's first win in Formula One at the 130th attempt.

"It's fantastic," said Button.

"The guy has been close many times, so this is well deserved. He was very quick all weekend, superior, and then drove a great race."

Button welcomes Webber's victory


Source: www.autosport.com

By Jamie O'Leary

Jenson Button believes that Mark Webber's victory in the German Grand Prix was actually good news to him, despite the Brawn driver finishing down in fifth place.

The Brawn driver's championship lead remained at 21 points despite his second minor points finish in as many races.

And he believes that the potential for the Red Bull drivers Webber and Sebastian Vettel to fight against each other from now on could favour him over the remainder of the season.

"My championship lead has stayed the same, although it's over a different person now," said Button, who is now 21 points ahead of Vettel while he was 23 ahead of team-mate Rubens Barrichello before the race.

"It's quite good [that Webber won] because Vettel's now got him right behind him in the championship, and they'll be taking points off each other. If Vettel had won here it would have been a disaster.

"I'm looking forward to Hungary though, when we should have a few new parts. We really need to beat the Red Bulls there."

Button said that his own race was a disaster right from the start, the world championship leader losing significant ground throughout the race after getting stuck behind the slower McLaren of Heikki Kovalainen early on.

A lack of pace on the harder option tyres- on a cool track surface that does not favour the Brawns - also restricted his progress and prevented the podium finish that Button believed was possible.

"The start was bad, cars all around me and people outbraking themselves. I got a few places back and got up to fourth with [Felipe] Massa and Kovalainen, but their pace was way off and there was no way through, so it made it a difficult race.

"Then I spent some time behind Rubens and his pace on the prime tyre wasn't good. And my pace on the option tyre was bad, because with the track being quite cool, I struggled to keep the heat in them. Then I had graining and big degradation.

"I thought we could have been on the podium behind the Red Bulls, but it was not possible."

www.grandprix.com

German GP - Sunday - Team Quotes
Jenson Button (5th):
"All points are valuable but my race started badly and didn't get much better today. I had a poor start to drop back to fifth after the first turn and was able to get ahead of Massa at the start of the second lap but just couldn't get past Kovalainen. His pace was way off what we could have achieved at that point of the race but there was just no way through. We struggled with graining and tyre degradation throughout with both tyres not working well for us. The problem with the fuel rig at Rubens' second stop also affected my race as we were so close on the track and he was struggling with the prime tyre. So overall it has been a tough and disappointing day for the team. Congratulations to Mark on his first win and I'm really pleased for him as I know how good that feels. I just can't wait to get to Hungary in two weeks where we will have new parts and hopefully warmer weather to take the fight to the Red Bulls."


Minggu, 12 Juli 2009

Button admits Barrichello saved his bacon in qualifying


Source: www.crash.net

Jenson Button confessed that had it not been for an 'inspired' tactical call by team-mate Rubens Barrichello during a thrilling and chaotic qualifying hour for this weekend's German Grand Prix at the Nürburgring, the current F1 World Championship leader would likely have been starting the race a long way down the field.

As at Silverstone three weeks ago, the Brawn GP BGP 001 is struggling to generate sufficient tyre heat in the cool temperatures in the Eifel Mountains region, placing both Button and Barrichello on the back foot in comparison with Red Bull Racing rivals Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel.

That was never more in evidence than in Q2, when in stark contrast to Webber and Vettel up at the sharp end of the order, the Anglo-Brazilian pairing languished in the drop zone for the majority of the 15-minute session in 13th and 15th positions. With the rain stopping and starting again at regular intervals, choosing which tyres to be on and when to be out on-track turned into a lottery, but after watching Barrichello audaciously pit for slicks and instantly light up the timing screens, Button knew he had to follow suit.

An under-pressure, last-ditch flying effort on dry rubber was enough to haul the Frome-born ace up into the top six and safety, and meant he lived to fight for another day and would grab third spot on the grid late on in Q3 – but he knew it had been a close-run thing indeed...

“Just getting into the final qualifying session was an achievement today,” the 29-year-old opined, “so I'm really pleased to have qualified in third. It was a pretty eventful hour and Q2 in particular was madness, but it was good fun. I thought it was too wet for slicks, but Rubens made it work and we were able to switch tyres with just enough time to make my timed lap count."

“The race is going to be interesting, as the forecast looks like it's going to be a mix of wet and dry conditions. We've improved the car since practice yesterday, but it's still going to be tough to keep the tyres warm and you'll need a bit of luck with the weather. Congratulations to Mark on his first pole position today. We'll be doing everything possible to ensure that it doesn't become his first win tomorrow!”

After blitzing Q2, meanwhile, Barrichello went on to snatch second away from his team-mate by just over a tenth at the close in Q3, in so doing annexing what is only his third front row grid slot of the 2009 campaign to-date. On heavier fuel and needing to close the gap on the runaway points leader if he is to retain any hope of battling for the title, the experienced Brazilian knows he now has to make his qualifying advantage count on race day.

“I really enjoyed the excitement of qualifying today,” the 37-year-old enthused, “and am very happy to have come away with second and to be starting from the front row tomorrow. I felt the track was just about good enough for slicks in Q2 so I radioed the team that I was coming in, but I didn't hear their response so thankfully the tyres were waiting for me when I arrived in the pits!

“It was a great decision and gave me a much more relaxed end to Q2 than some of the others. It's going to be a tricky race tomorrow, so we'll have to be on our toes and take advantage of whatever the weather throws at us. I'm looking forward to it.”

“The weather ensured an intense qualifying session for everyone,” affirmed the Brackley-based outfit's team principal Ross Brawn, “and we are extremely pleased to have come out of this afternoon with Rubens and Jenson in second and third positions. Both drivers were superb today. Rubens made an inspired call in Q2 to come in early for dry tyres, and his direction was crucial in getting Jenson in and back onto slicks with enough time to complete his timed lap, which he did under great pressure as the rain fell again.

“Q3 was quite calm in comparison, and both drivers were able to take full advantage of their well-balanced cars to get us into the top three. The teamwork in the garage was fantastic, and we are all delighted and a little relieved to be starting from second and third positions tomorrow. Congratulations to Mark for his maiden pole position, and congratulations to Mercedes-Benz with five cars in the top seven!”

www.grandprix.com
Jenson Button (3rd, 1:32.473): "Just getting into the final qualifying session was an achievement today so I'm really pleased to have qualified in third. It was a pretty eventful hour and Q2 in particular was madness but it was good fun. I thought it was too wet for slicks but Rubens made it work and we were able to switch tyres with just enough time to make my timed lap count. The race is going to be interesting as the forecast looks like it's going to be a mix of wet and dry conditions. We've improved the car since practice yesterday but it's still going to be tough to keep the tyres warm and you'll need a bit of luck with the weather. Congratulations to Mark on his first pole position today. We'll be doing everything possible to ensure that it doesn't become his first win tomorrow!"

Kamis, 09 Juli 2009

The King of Pop



Gambar dipinjam dari: www.Daveastro.co.uk

You can't never lost until it's really gone. Itulah yang dirasakan dunia saat berita The King of Pop, Michael Jackson meninggal dunia. Toko-toko kaset di seluruh dunia langsung diserbu dan album-album sang raja pop ini langsung ludes terjual. Padahal pada beberapa waktu yang lalu, dunia yang sama ini mencibir dan mencemooh sang raja pop kala ia didera masalah hukum mengenai pelecehan seksual terhadap anak-anak yang dituduhkan padanya. Dan dunia yang sama ini pula yang selalu menertawakan bahkan menjadikan tingkah polah sang bintang yang aneh ini seperti sifat over protektifnya pada putra-putrinya dari media dengan menutupi wajah anak-anaknya dengan topeng atau selimut. Belum lagi operasi plastik yang dilakukannya (meski ia selalu membantah dan mengaku hanya dua kali melakukan operasi wajah) yang belakangan membuat wajahnya tak lagi terlihat seperti wajah seorang manusia. Bahkan dalam salah satu video musiknya, Eminem meledek sang raja pop ini dengan menggambarkan hidung sang raja copot dan terjatuh di lantai dansa sehingga sang raja kelimpungan mencari hidungnya.

Namun ketika sang raja wafat, dunia seolah tersentak. Seluruh kisah hidup Michael Jackson dengan segala macam ironinya ditampilkan di berbagai media baik cetak maupun audio visual. Lagu-lagu dan video musik sang raja kembali mengisi ruang dengar dan pandang para pemirsa. Kilasan memori kembali terbayang di benak tiap-tiap orang terutama kita yang hidup di awal masa generasi MTV dimana Michael Jackson telah menyihir jutaan para pemuda yang terinspirasi dengan lagu-lagunya dan gaya menarinya yang enerjik dan dinamis itu. Metamorfosis perubahan wajah sang raja pun ditampilkan berulang-ulang di layar kaca yang membuat semua orang tertegun dan bertanya-tanya apa yang salah dengan wajahnya sehingga ia terus mempermak wajahnya itu?

Michael Jackson adalah sebuah ironi dalam hidup. Itulah pendapatku dan mungkin pendapat banyak orang di dunia ini. Ia dicintai namun ia senantiasa merasa hidup dalam kesepian. Segala puja puji yang ditujukan padanya bahkan tak mampu mengangkat perasaan rendah dirinya sehingga ia memutuskan mengubah dirinya menjadi seseorang yang bahkan tak dapat dikenali olehnya sendiri. Ia hidup dalam dunianya sendiri dan tak seorangpun yang dapat menyentuh ruang terdalam dalam hatinya karena ia merasa tak ada seorangpun yang dapat memahami dirinya. Ia hidup dalam kesendirian di tengah segala kemewahan yang berhasil diraihnya lewat kerja kerasnya yang kadang menimbulkan kepedihan dan kesakitan bagi dirinya.

Michael Jackson adalah sebuah fenomena. Syair-syair lagunya yang begitu indah dan mampu menginspirasi jutaan orang di dunia. Bahkan lagu-lagunya mampu melepaskan belenggu-belenggu rasial, gender, dan budaya, namun ia sendiri tak mampu melepaskan dirinya dari belenggu kehampaan yang dihadapinya dalam hidupnya. Kepedihan hatinya senantiasa menghiasi mimpi-mimpinya di malam hari. Bahkan sepertinya siang pun tak dapat menyingkirkan kabut gelap kegalauan dalam hatinya.

Dua kali ia menikah namun ia tak pernah mendapatkan cinta sejati yang didambakannya. Meskipun cintanya telah berhasil membuat hati para penggemarnya bergetar lewat lagu-lagunya.

Michael Jackson memang pantas dikasihani. Ia hidup dalam kebingungan namun dunia dan media dengan kejam terus membuatnya terperosok dan tenggelam dalam ruang gelap hatinya yang sesungguhnya sangat sensitif itu. Media melimpahinya dengan puja puji ketika berbagai penghargaan di bidang musik berhasil diraihnya dan album-albumnya laris manis di pasaran. Namun media tak jarang mencerca dan mengejeknya. Ia tak suka dengan panggilan Jacko, sebutan negatif yang diberikan media padanya yang merupakan kependekan dari Wacko Jackson tapi media tanpa belas kasihan terus menerus memanggilnya dengan label negatif ini.

Memang tepat kiranya yang dikatakan oleh Al Sharpton dalam pidatonya pada upacara penghormatan terakhir bagi sang raja. Kepada anak-anak Michael, Al mengatakan bahwa sebenarnya tak ada yang aneh dengan Michael Jackson, yang aneh sebenarnya dunia di sekitarnya itu. Al dengan berapi-api bahkan berkata bahwa Michael Jackson adalah sebuah pribadi yang luar biasa. Berkali-kali ia jatuh namun ia selalu mampu untuk bangkit. Ya, sepertinya memang dunia inilah yang telah menciptakan keanehan itu bagi seorang Michael Jackson.

Michael Jackson bahkan telah menghadapi kejamnya dunia ini sejak ia masih kecil. Perlakuan keras ayahnya yang sangat disiplin dalam menggali bakat putranya yang luar biasa ini membuat Michael kehilangan masa kanak-kanaknya. Dan dunia sebenarnya ikut andil di dalamnya. Bagi seorang kulit hitam yang hidup di tengah dominasi kulit putih yang menganggap kelompoknya merupakan ras paling unggul, kesempurnaan adalah hal yang mutlak untuk menunjukkan keberadaan dirinya, menembus dominasi kaum kulit putih yang terlihat sempurna. Dan itu pula yang diajarkan oleh Joe Jackson pada putranya ini. Bakat saja tak cukup. Bakat itu perlu dipoles menjadi sempurna. Itulah yang dapat membawa Michael kecil dari kelompok minoritas ini menembus dinding tebal yang membatasinya dari dunia di sekitarnya. Dan mungkin hal ini pulalah yang membuat Michael Jackson membenci kulit hitam yang membungkus dirinya. Sepanjang hidupnya, ia terus berusaha meraih kesempurnaan itu. Ia merubah dirinya sendiri pada kesempurnaan dalam imajinasinya. Namun satu hal yang tak disadari ayahnya. Sikap keras dan disiplinnya untuk memperlihatkan arti kesempurnaan itu pada putranya yang luar biasa ini justru telah menciptakan sebuah ruang kosong dalam hati belia putranya ini yang membuatnya merasa kesepian dan senantiasa merindukan cinta.

Dunia yang tak pernah berusaha memahaminya malah terus menerus mencemoohnya dan menerornya seolah ia seorang monster. Membuat Michael semakin tenggelam dalam dunianya. Dalam kesendiriannya. Dalam kehampaannya. Dalam kepedihan hatinya. Dan tak seorang pun yang berusaha mengulurkan tangannya untuk meraihnya. Dan pada siapakah ia mengadukan kesepiannya? Perasaan ambiguitasnya terhadap ayahnya yang di satu sisi telah membuatnya menjadi seorang mega bintang, namun di sisi lain sang ayahnya pulalah yang telah menjerumuskannya ke dalam dunia kejam ini. Dunia yang tak kenal ampun yang selalu mengamati setiap langkahnya dan bersiap-siap menertawakan bahkan tak jarang menghujat bila ia terjatuh.

Sesungguhnya dunia berhutang padanya. Pada seorang Michael Jackson yang lagu-lagunya telah berhasil menginspirasi para penghuni dunia ini untuk menjadikan bumi ini menjadi jauh lebih beradab. Menginspirasi para pemimpin dunia akan sebuah dunia baru yang jauh lebih baik. Dunia yang layak bagi semua makhluk yang bernafas. Dunia yang selaras dalam harmoni kedamaian.

Namun dunia baru menyadari kehilangan itu ketika sang mega bintang ini wafat. Seluruh dunia baru menyadari betapa suara dan gaya sang bintang besar ini telah banyak memberikan kegembiraan dan acap pula syair dari lagu-lagunya begitu menyentuh dan menjadi sumber inspirasi. Sebuah kehilangan besar sungguh-sungguh dirasakan dan hal itu nyata terlihat pada upacara penghormatan terakhir bagi sang raja menuju tempat peristirahatan terakhirnya pada Rabu dini hari (menurut waktu Indonesia), beberapa jam sebelum kita, yang mengaku sebagai warga negara Indonesia beramai-ramai menuju TPS-TPS untuk mencontreng, menjadi salah satu kunci yang menentukan nasib bangsa ini dengan memberikan suara bagi orang-orang yang dianggap tepat bagi tiap-tiap individu yang mungkin saja berbeda tapi memiliki tujuan yang sama, Indonesia Raya.

Kembali ke upacara penghormatan terakhir sang bintang yang diadakan di Staples Centre, gedung yang selama beberapa terakhir sebelum sang bintang besar ini berpulang ke Sang Khalik melakukan latihan keras untuk konser terakhirnya. Konser terakhir sang raja sebelum lengser keprabon. Sebuah comeback sang bintang yang ingin memperlihatkan bahwa sinar bintangnya masih cukup terang untuk menyala di tengah gugusan galaxi yang dipenuhi kemilau bintang-bintang muda. Dan memang ternyata sang bintang besar ini masih memiliki tempat khusus di hati para penggemarnya. Terbukti hanya dalam waktu tiga hari tiket konsernya ludes terjual. Dan sang bintang besar ini tak ingin mengecewakan para pemujanya. Ia ingin memperlihatkan kesempurnaan yang selalu berusaha diraihnya itu. Namun di tengah usaha kerasnya untuk meraih kembali tempatnya di galaxi itu ia menghembuskan nafas terakhirnya. Demi kesempurnaan itu sang bintang besar ini bahkan harus menderita kesakitan yang tak sanggup ditanggungnya. Dalam kesakitannya ia berpulang.

Kini sang raja pop ini telah berpulang ke pangkuan Penciptanya. Sang Pemilik jiwa raganya yang telah memberinya bakat luar biasa yang pernah dimiliki oleh seorang anak kecil kulit hitam yang bermetamorfosis karena tekanan dunia. Bakat luar biasa yang telah membuatnya menjadi seorang bintang besar namun juga menjadi sumber segala kepedihan dan deritanya. Sumber segala kepahitan dalam hidupnya. Dan pada Sang Pemberi Hidup inilah kiranya hati sang bintang yang selama ini terasa hampa menemukan muara yang akan menyegarkan jiwanya yang selama ini terasa kosong itu. Dan kiranya warna warni pelangi di horizon itu pada akhirnya dapat mewarnai relung jiwa sang bintang yang selama hidupnya ditutupi kabut gelap.

Dunia memang sangat kehilangan sang raja pop ini. Namun selamanya karya-karyanya abadi dalam hati tiap jiwa yang mendambakan kedamaian dan cinta. Mungkin saja suatu waktu nanti kala kita menatap langit malam yang berhias jutaan bintang, kita dapat melihat sang bintang yang telah menemukan kebahagiaan sejatinya tersenyum. Dan mungkin di suatu waktu nanti, kita dapat melihat sang bintang tertawa riang, berayun pada bianglala yang menghias horizon. Siapa tahu....

Selamat jalan Michael Jackson. Terima kasih karena kau telah memberikan segenap hatimu pada setiap karyamu demi memberikan kebahagiaan pada penggemarmu meski kebahagiaan itu selamanya menjadi mimpi abadi dalam hidupmu. Dan meski aku tak pernah menyukai gaya hidup dan sikap nyelenehmu tapi lagu-lagumu ternyata telah memberi warna dalam hatiku dan terkadang tanpa kusadari mulutku bergumam menyenandungkan lagu-lagumu.

Semoga di dunia barumu itu kau dapat menemukan kebahagiaan dan cinta yang selama ini kau dambakan. Semoga pula pada akhirnya kau dapat menemukan teman sejati seperti yang kau ungkapkan dalam salah satu lagumu yang menjadi lagu kesukaanku, Ben.

"Ben, the two of us need look no more
We both found what we were looking for
With a friend to call my own
I'll never be alone
And you my friend will see
You've got a friend in me
(You've got a friend in me)

Ben, you're always running here and there
(Here and there)
You feel you're not wanted anywhere
(Anywhere)
If you ever look behind
And don't like what you find
There's something you should know
You've got a place to go
(You've got a place to go)

I used to say "I" and "me"
Now it's "us", now it's "we"
I used to say "I" and "me"
Now it's "us", now it's "we"

Ben, most people would turn you away
I don't listen to a word they say
They don't see you as I do
I wish they would try to
I'm sure they'd think again
If they had a friend like Ben
(A friend)
Like Ben
(Like Ben)
Like Ben"

Newey: Balance to swing at each track


Source : www.autosport.com
By Adam Cooper and Pablo Elizalde

Red Bull's technical chief Adrian Newey is expecting the balance to swing between his team and rival Brawn depending on the nature of the upcoming circuits.

The Red Bull RB5 has been very strong at fast circuits, with Sebastian Vettel dominating the British Grand Prix at Silverstone two weeks ago, when the German led team-mate Mark Webber to a one-two finish as the Brawn drivers were unable to put up a fight.

Red Bull, however, was no match for Brawn's Jenson Button on slow circuits like Monaco, and Newey believes the trend is likely to continue this year.

But, speaking exclusively to AUTOSPORT, Newey claimed Red Bull is pushing hard to improve the situation in slower tracks.

"Certainly our car is not as well suited to the slow speed tracks as the Brawn, and that's something we need to work on," Newey said.

"Monaco is an example of that, where we were certainly of similar race pace to Ferrari, but behind Brawn. We have some ideas on how to improve that, but obviously these things take time.

"We've seen it in the last few years between Ferrari and McLaren. Some circuits suited one, other circuits suited the other, so there's always going to be a degree of dependency on that. We've got one or two ideas to help our slow speed performance."

Newey said his team is still not thinking about the championship, trying instead to focus on each race individually, as Button has a 25-point lead over Vettel.

"It's race by race at the moment," he added. "He has got a helluva lead, but there's a reasonable way to go. Nurburgring is a slower speed circuit than Silverstone, probably without the tyre warm-up issues that some teams. I'm sure it will be lot closer."

Ecclestone: I was an idiot, but I won't resign


Source : www.crash.net

Bernie Ecclestone has admitted that he was 'an idiot' for the misguided remarks he made that suggested tyrants Adolf Hitler and Saddam Hussein were 'strong leaders' able to 'command a lot of people' and 'get things done' – but the F1 commercial rights-holder is adamant that he will not step down in the wake of the international furore prompted by his comments.

Ecclestone was greeted with global condemnation for claiming that Hitler's undoing came when the Nazi leader 'got lost' during his dictatorship – during which six million Jews and other victims of his regime died in concentration camps – and denigrating the merits of democracy, describing the 2003 toppling of Hussein at the hands of Britain and the United States as 'terrible' in removing 'the only one who could control' Iraq.

The Board of Deputies of British Jews responded in terming the 78-year-old billionaire's words 'bizarre', with Stephen Pollard, editor of the Jewish Chronicle, rebuking him as 'either an idiot or morally repulsive'. Labour MP Denis MacShane similarly reproached him for having displayed 'an ignorance of history', with Conservative counterpart John Whittingdale admitting to being 'appalled'.

Ecclestone, however, has since sought to play down what he said as 'all a big misunderstanding', blaming not The Times – the newspaper in which the interview was published – but rather his own maladroitness in being so 'unwise [as] to articulate my points so badly that [they] should have been so widely misunderstood' and insisting that he is in no way 'an admirer of dictators, who rule by terror.'

“It was never my intention to hurt the feelings of any community,” he urged in a subsequent interview with German newspaper Bild. “Many people in my closest circle of friends are Jewish. Anyone who knows me knows that I would never attack a minority.

“In the interview we were talking about structures, and that it can sometimes be good to act and make strong decisions without reservation. I did not put Hitler forward as a positive example, but simply noted that, before his appalling crimes, he acted successfully against unemployment and the economic crisis.”

“I unreservedly apologise for the remarks I made regarding Hitler in a recent interview,” he added in an official statement. “I am extremely distressed and embarrassed that these remarks have been used as suggesting that I support Hitler or Saddam Hussein. I would never support such people.

“I should never have been so foolish as to have been drawn into discussing these people but the fault was entirely mine, which I deeply regret.”

There have been repeated whispers – always denied by Ecclestone – that he is himself Jewish, and he argued in an apologetic interview with the Jewish Community Online that his remarks had been misconstrued, in that following a discussion about how difficult it is to make democracy adequately work, he had been asked for his views on dictators and Hitler. He also confessed to having been horrified at what he saw at Jerusalem's Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial.

“It takes quite a lot to make me cry, and I cried when I came out of that place,” he revealed. “I'm just sorry that I was an idiot (in saying what he said). I sincerely, genuinely apologise. I said I suppose he (Hitler) did, [in his] early days, a good job. He took Germany from a bankrupt country to a superpower in five years, so he probably couldn't have done that unless he made things happen. All sorts of people have done that in the past.

“The problem is we shouldn't use the word dictators; we should use the word leaders. It's a leader you want, not a dictator, because most dictators get things done by terrorising people, whereas a leader like Mrs Thatcher gets things done because people think what she's doing is leading them in the right direction and people support her.”

The reason for Ecclestone giving the interview in the first place remains unclear, but it has been mused that he was perhaps trying to state the case for the retention of a leader in F1 like the President of the FIA, rather than risking the anarchy that might result should the Formula One Teams' Association (FOTA) pursue its threat to break away and form its own, democratically-run championship.

Whilst there has been no reaction from within the paddock, the timing could scarcely have been worse. A meeting aimed at safeguarding the future of Hockenheim as an enduring venue in the top flight had been scheduled to take place over the weekend of the upcoming German Grand Prix at the Nürburgring, but that has since been cancelled in the wake of the scandal.

Against the backdrop of the uneasy truce in the FIA/FOTA civil war, Germany's Central Council of Jews has called upon F1's teams to boycott the sport, with the organisation's vice-president Dieter Graumann telling the Handesblatt daily newspaper: “If Ecclestone says he was an idiot, I will certainly not contradict him. Apologising is better than not apologising, but the glorification of a mass murderer is not a trivial offence. No team should work with him anymore.”

The World Jewish Congress, meanwhile, has called for Ecclestone to resign from his post, citing his apology as inadequate, but the Formula One Management (FOM) chief executive has insisted that its president Ronald Lauder does not possess the necessary authority to make such a demand.

“Mr. Ecclestone's comments were crass, ignorant and insensitive,” added Jon Benjamin, chief executive of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, in a statement issued to CNN. “There is no excuse for praising one of history's most evil men for being good at being bad.”

What's more, the incident has re-awakened uncomfortable memories of the News of the World sex scandal into which Ecclestone's long-time friend, ally and business partner Max Mosley found himself plunged early last year, when the Sunday tabloid falsely accused the FIA President of having introduced 'Nazi elements' into S&M fantasies in which he participated.

The Times interview is not the first time Ecclestone has courted controversy with his comments of late, having suggested that the racist abuse directed at McLaren-Mercedes' world champion Lewis Hamilton during testing in Barcelona in 2008 was merely 'a joke', and having only earlier this year opined that 'it would be fantastic to have a female driver who is black and Jewish' in F1, whilst quipping that 'they might take maternity leave'. Rarely a shrinking violet, he previously suggested that women should wear white 'like all other domestic appliances'.