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Jumat, 27 Februari 2009

Exclusive Q&A: Hulkenberg targeting 2010 Williams race drive


He might still be something of an unknown quantity, but if Michael Schumacher’s legendary manager, Willi Weber, has taken him under his wing, then Nico Hulkenberg must be considered a Formula One star of the future. This season Hulkenberg is Williams’ test and reserve driver. He is also currently third in the GP2 Asia standings and the 21 year-old is confident he’ll become the grid’s sixth German Formula One racer in 2010…

Q: Nico, you had the honour of driving at the rollout of the FW31. What won you that privilege?
Nico Hulkenberg: Well, when we roll out any new car, the first things we concentrate on are system checks and reliability. It’s not like a normal test day, I think that’s why I did it.

Q: You have said you are aiming for a race drive in 2010. Are you hoping to stay with Williams?
NH: Yes, I do want to stay with Williams in 2010 and race for them.

Q: There are five German drivers on the grid this season - and very likely the same amount in 2010. Does Formula One racing have enough room for a sixth German driver?
NH: I don’t believe there are any rules or limitations which say Formula One can’t have more than five German drivers, but you are right, there are quite a few!

Q: You are managed by Willi Weber, Michael Schumacher’s legendary manager. That’s bound to raise expectations. How did the two of you get together? And what do you think he sees in you?
NH: We first encountered each other in the A1GP series during my first test. We then got to know each other after I won my first race. That win probably made him interested. Really, I just think he sees a young driver with potential who could secure his pension.

Q: You are Williams’ test and reserve driver, but you are also competing in the GP2 Series to stay race fresh. How problematic is the in-season test ban for an up-and-coming Formula One driver?
NH: The testing ban makes it very hard for drivers wanting to break into Formula One because we cannot get enough experience with the car or the team. It’s a fact of life though now, so we just have to deal with it. It’s not an impossible situation.

Q: In GP2 you are driving for the ART team which is owned in part by Nicolas Todt, son of Jean Todt. Is it the old Weber-Todt connection that got you there?
NH: No that’s due to the Weber-Hulkenberg-Vasseur connection! Willi and I have a very good relationship with (ART team boss) Frederic Vasseur, plus I’ve raced for ART in the Formula Three Euroseries for the past two years and ended the season last year with the title.

Q: In your first ever GP2 race in January in Bahrain you claimed pole position and finished fourth. Now after a couple of races - and a magnificent win in Qatar - you are third in the standings. Has the experience of driving a Formula One car helped you to become accustomed to the GP2 car so quickly?
NH: Having driven an F1 car before definitely made the step into a GP2 car easier because I was used to the higher speeds, more horsepower, the carbon brakes and all that.

Michael Schumacher joins pixel snatch to finance Podolski transfer


Formula 1 legend Michael Schumacher has contributed to the initiative to finance the transfer of German national team player Lukas Podolski.

Cologne-based 1. FC Köln, one of Germany’s most popular clubs, is currently selling individual pixels on its website to pay for the nine million pound transfer of 23-year-old striker Podolski.

The Bundesliga side has asked fans to buy tiny sections of an online portrait of the fan favourite who left the club in 2006 to join star-studded Bayern Munich, where he failed to make an impact. Fans who spend more than 20 pounds can leave a message for the player at

Now seven-time F1 champ Michael Schumacher, a big fan of the club, has contributed as well. The 40-year-old contributed 770 pounds and left a message saying: "Well, boy, you followed your heart – that’s always good. Nothing can replace real team spirit. I know what I’m talking about. For me, it was always the team that mattered the most."

"Schumi" added: "Now you can show what’s inside you and let all FC fans celebrate. I am keeping my fingers crossed for you. See you soon."

Club marketing head Lars Nierfeld said: "This is a blessing for our page. Schumi has had this idea for a while, but he first had to recover from his motorcycle accident."

Some 40,000 pixels are for sale. If 1. FC Köln manages to sell them all, the club would make 85,000 pounds.

Jumat, 13 Februari 2009

Vettel positive after first RB5 test


Sebastian Vettel described his impression of the new Red Bull-Renault RB5 as 'positive' after his first full day of testing in the car at Jerez yesterday.

Vettel, who managed only 14 laps in Monday's shakedown before stopping with a gearbox problem, completed 61 laps on Tuesday.

He was fastest of the four 2009-specification cars running, ending up second on the timesheets behind Sebastien Buemi's 2008 Scuderia Toro Rosso, despite missing the last half-hour after a problem with a gearbox sensor forced him to stop on track.
"The first impression is positive," he said when asked by what he thought of the car. "We made big progress, we did a lot of laps taking into consideration that the car just finished its build on Monday morning.

"Unfortunately we had to stop before the end of the session, but so far the feeling is good in the car."

Despite being impressed by the RB5, Vettel believes it is too early to make any performance comparisons with his rivals.

"It's the first day, so let's keep our feet on the ground," he said. "It's difficult to say where we will be. The other teams are starting to find their way, but for us it's a long way.

"It was important to have some laps and collect some data, but after one day it's way too early to judge."

Tes Superbike, Schumi Celaka

http://www.detikspo 2009/02/12/ 031855/1083527/ 567/tes-superbik e-schumi- celaka

Arya Perdhana - detiksport

Cartagena - Juara dunia tujuh kali Formula 1 Michael Schumacher harus masuk ke Rumah Sakit setelah ia mengalami kecelakaan ketika melakukan tes Superbike di Spanyol.

Dikabarkan Sports Ticker, Schumi terjatuh ketika sedang mengetes motor Honda 1000 CBR-Fireblade dalam tes privat di sebuah sirkuit di kota Cartagena, Spanyol, Rabu (11/2/2009) waktu setempat.

Dalam laporan di Cologne Express, Schumi didiagnosis mengalami sedikit pusing, sakit di pergelangan tangan kanannya serta cedera di tulang rusuk. Schumi pun masuk ke RS Virgen Arrixaca, Murcia.

Belakangan, Departemen Kesehatan wilayah Murcia menyebut bahwa eks pembalap F1 berusia 40 tahun itu sudah bisa keluar dari Rumah Sakit.

"Ini tidaklah seburuk seperti kedengarannya," ujar Jens Holzhauer, bos tim Honda Holzhauer (sebuah tim Superbike Jerman), seperti dikutip Ticker. "Itu terpeleset yang tidak berbahaya dan jatuh dalam latihan yang cukup wajar. Dia tetap akan terbang pulang malam ini."

Fakta bahwa Schumi mengendarai, bahkan melakukan tes, di atas motor Superbike dipastikan akan membuat spekulasi tentang peluang pembalap Jerman itu untuk membalap di arena Superbike muncul kembali.

Pada November 2008, tim Honda sempat menawari pembalap yang pensiun tahun 2006 itu untuk mengisi salah satu kursi timnya yang akan turun di ajang WSBK. Schumi lantas menolak tawaran tersebut pada bulan lalu.

Selasa, 10 Februari 2009

Q&A with Michael Schumacher

http://www.pitpass. com/fes_php/ pitpass_news_ item.php? fes_art_id= 36663

Formula 1 seven times champion Michael Schumacher arrived at the Ingleses Kart Track at Florianópolis (Brazil)on Friday to defend his crown at the International Challenge of Go-Kart Champs. After adjusting himself to the kart he will use in his second visit to the event promoted by his former team mate and close friend Felipe Massa, Michael talked to journalists.

Are you ready for the double championship?
Michael Schumacher: Double championship? Absolutely, yes.

This kind of event reminds you of your F1 championship, of your go kart memories?
MS: In a way, yes, but it's much more, because Felipe is like a little brother for me. This event for me is exciting.
Felipe said that you are his older brother. Is there a really true relationship between you two?
MS: Yeah, we work for so long together, and because of this we became close friends. I think that this is very obvious.

How did the old brother see Felipe's season in 2008?
MS:- There was never a doubt of his abilities. He was out of luck in 2007 and in 2008 he was in a better position to show his true potential. So I hope we can give him a good car to win next yeah.

Are you here just to have fun or to compete?
MS: We are here to have fun and, naturally, as a race driver, to compete and after what happened here in the recent days to support the area.

Back to F1, how tough you think it will be next year with the new rules?
MS: It will be a completely open championship. The top teams stay the top teams, but some of them may have an advantage. This is an open question for everybody.

Will everybody start from zero?
MS: Not everybody, but, what I said, the top teams will remain the top teams, but we have four teams that will be very close together than last year and you don't know what will happen in the winter. I mean, we can have some surprises.

Luca Di Montezemolo said that he broke his television watching the Brazilian GP. How was your experience watching the race?
MS: It wasn't my television, so I wasn't able to break it. Naturally, I was so excited when it happened, but I knew that there was still the option that it could return, because I knew Glock was on slicks and, unfortunately, it happened in the last 30 seconds. It was tough for all of us, specifically for Felipe, but it was clear that we were strong enough to give him a car that he can prove himself.

Honda deny discussing bail-out


By Jonathan Noble

Honda have made it clear that suggestions their Formula One team could receive a government bail-out are totally incorrect.

A story in The Guardian this morning suggested that Honda Racing were in talks with the British government to receive a share of the £2.3 billion bail-out of the car industry that was announced by Lord Mandelson earlier this week.

The Honda Racing team initially declined to comment on the story, fuelling the idea that a bail-out from the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (BERR) could form part of a rescue package for the team.

However, a spokesman for the Honda Motor Company told that although there had been discussions with BERR about the team, there was never any plan to receive a government handout.

"We have met with BERR on several occasions, to discuss how things are progressing, plus the prospects for the team and their 700 employees," said the spokesman.

"However, we have not met with them to discuss a bail-out and no discussions have taken place about a government financial bail-out."

Selasa, 03 Februari 2009

F1 weight rules 'unfair'

http://en.f1- f1/en/headlines/ news/detail/ 090130084143. shtml

F1 weight rules 'unfair'
Rosberg counting the calories

Nico Rosberg has hit out at F1's current minimum weight rule.

The Williams racer suggests that, combined with the addition of heavy KERS systems in 2009, the tendency is to unfairly penalise the heavier or taller drivers.

The minimum weight in F1 is 605kg including car and driver.

But with KERS systems weighing between 25 and 40kg, heavy drivers now have even less scope to distribute ballast around the car, to achieve an ideal weight distribution.

So far, it has emerged that, in preparation for 2009, Rubens Barrichello, Kimi Raikkonen and Fernando Alonso have deliberately lost weight.

"I have lost weight and even at Christmas was counting calories," Nico Rosberg now reveals.

"I think the weight rule is unfair because bigger drivers are disadvantaged even before they start," the 23-year-old German told Speedweek magazine.

"I think it should be urgently talked about in the (drivers' association) GPDA," he said.

Rosberg argues that a variable weight limit, based on the weight of individual drivers, should be installed so that the heavier drivers are not disadvantaged.

BMW's Robert Kubica, standing at about 6 feet or 185cm, shed several kilograms before last season and now weighs sub-70kg, but vows to lose no more for fear of losing strength or fitness, the Cologne newspaper Express said.

Rosberg is 178cm and weighs about 70kg. The diminutive Nick Heidfeld and Felipe Massa are both believed to weigh less than 60kg.

Ferrari modify exhaust design

http://en.f1- f1/en/headlines/ news/detail/ 090130083813. shtml

Ferrari modify exhaust design
Bringing the F60 in-line with new regulations

Ferrari has now modified the rear exhaust outlets of its new F60, after rivals expressed concern about the launch design's legality.

Numerous teams, including McLaren Mercedes, BMW Sauber and Toyota, had questioned the design of the exposed exhaust pipes.

It was reported that the 2009 Ferrari contravened the new bodywork regulations cracking down on aerodynamic appendages like winglets and other accessories.

It now emerges that Ferrari has modified the design so that the pipes do not protrude beyond the allowed tolerance above the surface of the bodywork.

It should be noted that Ferrari's controversial design complied with the original 2009 regulations, but a clarification about exhaust pipes was subsequently made in September by FIA technical delegate Charlie Whiting.

FIA reveals medal analysis

http://f1.gpupdate. net/en/news/ 2009/01/30/ fia-reveals- medal-analysis/

FIA reveals medal analysis

The FIA has made public details of its analysis into the effect of the introduction of a possible medal sustem in F1 in which the top three at each race win a gold, silver and bronze medal respectively.

The scheme, proposed by Bernie Ecclestone, would award the drivers' championship to the winner of the most races, not the driver with the most points at the end of the season, theoretically making drivers fight harder for a race win, rather than settling for second place.

The FIA's analysis shows that the medal system would change the outcomes of past World Championships considerably. Only 22 of the 59 World Championships to date would have the same top 3. The other 37 World Championships would be different. The World Champion would be altered on 13 occasions.

The medal system would create three "new" World Champions who did not win the title using the various points systems. The overall effect would be to reduce the number of World Champions, concentrating the titles in a smaller group. The results that would change are largely before 1990. The last 20 years would be largely unchanged.

In the overall assessment the list of World Championships per driver would be altered as follows:

1958 Stirling Moss instead of Mike Hawthorn
1964 Jim Clark instead of John Surtees
1967 Jim Clark instead of Denny Hulme
1977 Mario Andretti instead of Niki Lauda
1979 Alan Jones instead of Jody Scheckter
1981 Alain Prost instead of Nelson Piquet
1982 Didier Pironi instead of Keke Rosberg
1983 Alain Prost instead of Nelson Piquet
1984 Alain Prost instead of Niki Lauda
1986 Nigel Mansell instead of Alain Prost
1987 Nigel Mansell instead of Nelson Piquet
1989 Ayrton Senna instead of Alain Prost
2008 Felipe Massa instead of Lewis Hamilton

The duration of the World Championship battle would have been altered in 22 of the 59seasons. The medal system would have had no effect in 37 of the 59 World Championships.

Fourteen World Championship battles would have been shorter (1955, 1970, 1978, 1987, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 2000, 2001, 2003 and 2004).

Eight World Championship battles would have lasted longer (1973, 1977, 1979, 1980, 1990, 1991, 2001 and 2005).

In terms of World Championship final race showdowns, there would have been five lost (1955, 1994, 1996, 1997, 2000) but six gained (1977, 1979, 1980, 1990, 1991 and 2005).

McLaren & Ferrari in united front

http://news. sport2/hi/ motorsport/ formula_one/ 7860648.stm

McLaren & Ferrari in united front
Former bitter rivals McLaren and Ferrari are now "working extremely closely together" as teams seek to show Formula One's rulers a united front.

McLaren boss Ron Dennis confirmed their growing off-track ties on Thursday and said the result has proved "profound".

Ferrari spokesman Luca Colajanni also spent the day at McLaren's Woking factory meeting Dennis and other staff.

"If you had told me a year ago that I would be doing this I would not have believed you," he said.

Reigning constructors champions Ferrari and McLaren have a chequered recent history.

The English team was fined a record $100m (£70m) in 2007 and stripped of all their constructors' points for their involvement in a spying controversy over leaked Ferrari technical data in their possession.

Ferrari also started legal action against their rivals, with Dennis and other executives questioned by Italian police, though the action was later dropped after a McLaren apology.

But the team's top personnel, and the wider climate in which they operate, has since changed significantly.

With the urgent need for cost cutting becoming apparent, the Formula One Teams Association (Fota) was set up in July to represent teams in talks with with the governing International Automobile Federation (FIA) and commercial supremo Bernie Ecclestone.

Jean Todt also handed over as Ferrari boss to Stefano Domenicali while Dennis is due to step down as McLaren principal on 1 March to make way for Martin Whitmarsh.

Fota are headed by Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo, who has criticised Ecclestone's running of the sport.

With FIA president Max Mosley stressing that he is keen to see a significant shake-up in the sport towards cheaper operating costs and, potentially, more standardised engines, Fota is determined to provide a strong voice for the interests of all F1 teams.

While Fota have agreed significant savings with the FIA for this season and beyond, they want to secure a greater share of the sport's commercial revenues than the 50% they currently receive.

Montezemolo recently described Dennis as "a first-class person from a first-class team" and said the sport needed great competition on the track and great unity off it.

And Dennis, who has said he will soon devote more of his time to Fota activities, told the official F1 website: "The result of our co-operation, supported by all the other teams, has already been profound.

"Fota has already achieved great things, and it will achieve even greater things in the weeks, months and years to come.

"We're not complacent; we're not reluctant to embrace radical change; we're not hidebound by on-track rivalries.

"Working together for the good of the future of F1, we'll continue to devise powerful strategies and innovations intended to improve our sport so as to make it more affordable, more environmentally friendly and more appealing to spectators and TV viewers."