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F1 2009 - The Official Thread


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McLaren and a lot of other teams are at Jerez in Spain. Ferrari, Toyota and BMW are in Bahrain building sandcastles:

Testing at the Sakhir circuit in Bahrain was forced to be cancelled on Thursday following another sandstorm.

While the three teams working there were hindered by the wind and the sand yesterday morning, today conditions were worse and they were unable to work at all today.

Kimi Raikkonen, Jarno Trulli and Robert Kubica were allowed to complete an installation lap each, but there was no more action during the day.



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Looks like Virgin F1 could be a reality next season

Tycoon Richard Branson would "love" to take over the Honda Formula One team, Bernie Ecclestone has said.

Honda have confirmed Branson's Virgin Group is one of several potential buyers of their F1 outfit.

The British-based team was put up for sale in December after Honda announced they would quit the sport as both a constructor and engine supplier.

"I've spoken to Richard's people about it. He would love to do it," said F1 supremo Ecclestone.

The Japanese carmakers hope a deal can be done in time for the start of the 2009 season in Australia on 29 March.

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Forget - with due deference to David Coulthard and Murray Walker - the presenters.

The bombshell news is that the return of Formula One coverage to the BBC will also bring the return of the best, the most evocative, the most spine-tingling piece of theme music in the sporting world.

Yes, Fleetwood Mac's The Chain is back, and while Coulthard, the venerable Walker and their colleagues will all be welcome on our screens, there cannot be a petrolhead in the land who is not already humming those opening notes in anticipation.

All together now: Dum, da da da, da da da da da dum....

BBC - Silverstone Grand Prix Intro 1987

BBC - Monaco Grand Prix Intro 1990

BBC - 1996 - Monaco, the last season F1 was on the BBC

Well chuffed! :lol:

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F1: EXCLUSIVE - Brawn Sport To Take Over Honda

It seems that the management buyout of Honda is to go ahead after all, with sources revealing to SPEEDtv.com that the outfit is likely to be renamed Brawn Sport.

The buyout has been concluded by Brawn, Nick Fry and three other directors, believe to include financial director Nigel Kerr. Brawn and Fry are said to have equal equity, although Fry’s name has not been used in name of the team, in much the same way that he gave up his team principal job title in order to attract Brawn to Honda in the first place.

It seems that all efforts from outside buyers were rebuffed and that Honda Japan finally accepted the Brawn/Fry deal.

Little firm news has come out of the team’s Brackley, England base in recent weeks, but the team has been working hard to adapt the car originally designated to be the Honda RA109 to take a Mercedes engine.

The car is expected to be shaken down in the UK next week before joining the last full test of the season in Barcelona. It’s unlikely that we will see a definitive livery until Australia (although rumours I've read suggest it could look like the old Prost livery).

There is still no firm news on the second driver. While Bruno Senna has been lined up for the job for weeks there remains a possible opening for Rubens Barrichello, given the lack of testing that Senna will be afforded.

Ironically it seems that most of the funding for this year will come from a ‘dowry’ offered by Honda to take the problem away – and reduce the expenses incurred by closing down and paying everyone off – with the rest of the money coming from the FOM TV money for 2008, which is paid to all teams in installments every three months from April onwards. It remains to be seen whether some of this is effectively paid in advance.

Despite the go ahead it seems that up to 200 jobs may go, while Brawn and Fry are actively seeking ways of cutting costs, for example by leaving motorhomes and trucks in Europe throughout the season rather than bringing them back to the UK after each race. This idea is said to have been borrowed from one of the potential purchasers.


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  • 3 weeks later...
Well, the new season is a while off yet, but this change would be so major I thought it was worth starting the official thread for 2009 a bit earlier than usual...

The 2009 Formula One Drivers' Championship will be decided by a medals system instead of points.

F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone announced on Wednesday that race winners will from next year be awarded medals with the Championship settled according to who has the highest number.

Gold, silver and bronze medals would be given to the top three finishers and the driver who won most races would be crowned World Champion.

Ecclestone says the system should be approved by motorsport world governing body, the FIA, before the end of year.

"It's going to happen," Ecclestone is quoted by Associated Press. "All the teams are happy. The reason this happens is that I get fed up with people talking about no overtaking.

"The reason there's no overtaking is nothing to do with the circuit or the people involved, it's to do with the drivers not needing to overtake.

"If you are in the lead and I'm second, I'm not going to take a chance and risk falling off the road or doing something silly to get two more points. If I need to do it to win a gold medal, because the most medals win the World Championship, I'm going to do that. I will overtake you."

Ferrari's Felipe Massa would have won this year's title under the proposed system as he won one more race than 2008 Champion Lewis Hamilton.

"This year, we saw on a number of occasions Lewis not overtaking Massa for that reason," Ecclestone added. "If he'd driven for me, tried it and made a mistake, I would have complained. It's just not on that someone can win the World Championship without winning a race."


And so it has come to pass, JUST A WEEK AND A HALF BEFORE THE SEASON STARTS!! :(

The WMSC accepted the proposal from Formula One Management to award the drivers’ championship to the driver who has won the most races during the season. If two or more drivers finish the season with the same number of wins, the title will be awarded to the driver with the most points, the allocation of points being based on the current 10, 8, 6 etc. system.

The rest of the standings, from second to last place, will be decided by the current points system. There is no provision to award medals for first, second or third place. The Constructors’ Championship is unaffected.

The WMSC rejected the alternative proposal from the Formula One Teams’ Association to change the points awarded to drivers finishing in first, second and third place to 12, 9 and 7 points respectively.


I was really looking forward to this season as well. An outrageous decision. Terrible, terrible, terrible. :( :( :(

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No, it's the wrong decision. There were two different proposals on the table today:

1) This one from the FIA


2) A proposal from the FOTA suggesting the points system changes to 12, 9, 7....

In other words a really worthwhile change to the points system which puts more emphasis on winning whilst still rewarding consistency has been chucked out in favour of this system which removes all the tactics, nuance and interest from the title race and does to F1 what Twenty20 has done to tactics in cricket. It's called dumbing down; the irony being that they've managed to dumb down the drivers' championship whilst making the system more complicated, as below 1st place (and for the entire constrcutors table) the old points system will determine placement!

It's a real mess. And the most aggravating thing is there was a fantastic alternative proposed by the teams which has been dismissed completely by Bernie and Max.

A poll on Atlas F1 (one of the best F1 forums on the net) has 10 times as many voting against this idea as those voting for it. A forum which is normally divided between McLaren and Ferrari, between those who like the new tracks and those who don't, between those who want to see budget caps and those who don't etc. are virtually united in condemning this idea.

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Wins are more important, even the new points system doesn't do enough to reward winning. It shouldn't come done to the last race between someone that has 7 wins and someone that has 2.

If they wanted to go to a points system it should be the old one of 10-6-4-3-2-1.

Being able to put the whole package together to win more consistently than another driver is much more important than winning 2 races and placing in the top 4 the other 16 races.

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Though all systems would have meant Felipe Messa would be current world champion and not Lewis Hamilton. (6-5,83-80,113-113(6-5))

If the win is the most important thing, teams are going to be more aggressive to get that win. Drivers are going to take more risks instead of settling.

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Wins are more important, even the new points system doesn't do enough to reward winning. It shouldn't come done to the last race between someone that has 7 wins and someone that has 2.

Can you tell me when this has happened? There's very little wrong with the current points system though I would have been in favour of increasing the points for a win as FOTA proposed. At no time in the last decade have I felt a driver who doesn't deserve it has won the WDC, so in my opinion such a radical change which seems to have given little thought to unitntended consequences, is not needed.

Furthermore, you claim teams are going to be have to be more aggresive without really thinking what that means. How can even the most talented driver whose car is, over the course of a race, 20 seconds slower than another team's do anything about that? "Being more aggresive" is a nice idea but when you look at it, it doesn't mean anything. Teams always run on the ragged edge and at many tracks, especially in colder countries, settling at a slower pace means tyre temperatures are not high enough and there is more chance of an off.

This idea, as I've said, removes any tactics and interest from the WDC. It's going from one extreme, where consistency is too heavily weighted over winning, to the other when what most fans agree is needed, is a balance between the two.

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2003 - Michael had 6 wins going into the last race, Kimi had 1, but Kimi had a chance of winning.

2005 - Both Alonso and Kimi had 7 wins but Alonso finishes more than 20 points ahead.

2007 - Kimi has 2 more wins but it takes the last race and 1 point to win the championship

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Whatever you and I think Faster, the teams are not happy about this:

A statement from FOTA chairman Luca di Montezemolo said: "With regard to the decisions taken today by the FIA World Council, FOTA would like to express its disappointment and concern at the fact that these have been taken in a unilateral manner.

So, the vast majority of the fans and the teams don't want this. No F1 journalists seem to think this is workable either. Furthermore, there's now serious talk in F1 circles of the teams forming a breakaway series in the future with no involvement from the FIA or Bernie or Max.

I might have been against this breakaway a few years ago, but I can't see how doing it could result in worse decisions than those that were forced down from the powers-that-be yesterday.

This is one dictatorship which could do with crumbling away. These two old men shouldn't be anywhere near this sport anymore.

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The list gets longer....

  • The fans aren't happy with this.
  • The FOTA (the teams) aren't happy with this.
  • F1 journalists aren't happy with this.

and today you can add

  • The greatest driver of his generation, Michael Schumacher
  • The reigning WDC, Lewis Hamilton

Schumacher says:

"I cannot imagine those changes to help F1, especially regarding the new system to find the champion. I cannot see how it makes sense to eventually have a world champion who has less points than the driver coming in second, even if I also think it is a good move to try to strengthen the winner's position."


Hamilton says:

"I don't like it really. We want to be consistent, whether we come first or third. It should happen that a team and their drivers are rewarded for their performance over the whole year, not who won the most races."

I can't ever remember there being such a unanimous backlash against a governing body. Actually I can: when the Premier League proposed its 39th game, but they had the good sense to drop it quietly rather than imposing it on the fans, and those involved in the sport. What the FIA have done is proposed F1's equivilent to the 39th Game and overriden everyone to put it in place ONE WEEK BEFORE A NEW SEASON STARTS!

You are in a severe minority in thinking this change is a good idea Faster. Half of me wants you to be proven right for the sake of the sport, the other half wants this to fail miserably so the teams (with the backing of fans) can force the changes in the sport they want rather than the ones Max and Bernie want.

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Sense prevails (at least for a year)!

Formula 1 has axed plans for a new scoring system in 2009 just nine days before the start of the season.

The sport's governing body, FIA, announced earlier this week that the driver with the most wins would be crowned world champion.

But following a protest from F1 teams, FIA says it will defer the introduction of the new system until 2010.

The traditional points system will be used when the 2009 season begins on 29 March with the Australian Grand Prix.


What a mess, but a brave decision to overturn what was obviously a unanimously unpopular change!

EDIT: Ignore the above. It seems the FIA didn't know their own rules about rule changes and when FOTA pointed out this change was illegal, they've had to backtrack. Nothing brave about this u-turn; it wasn't made in the interests of the sport but because it's been shown to be illegal! Talk about a cock-up!


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Let's cross that bridge when we come to it. I haven't looked forward to an F1 season more for years! I thought that anticipation was going to be ruined by Bernie's new system but that was a false alarm, at least for this year.

Bring on 2009! Let's get a bit of positivity into this thread!

The new season is days away and there's so many unknowns. Who'll be the fastest package - will Brawn's crazily good test times be replicated on race day? Are McLaren really having major problems or is it all smoke and mirrors? Will Ferrari have a reliable car or will their breakdowns in testing continue through the season? Will Alonso be in a car which his ability deserves? Will KERS make a difference to overtaking and reliability and will, as some have started to predict, non-KERS cars top qualifying only to be overtaken by cars running the system who will have a power advantage on the straights? How will drivers cope on slicks? Will the reduced downforce in the new cars increase overtaking?

I can't wait...


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From following McLaren pre-seaon testing, this isn't surprising, but it may be to those who haven't:

Q. What are you bracing yourself for this weekend in terms of the result? At the tail end of the points, or further back?

Hamilton: I think if we think optimistically then we can get a point. But I don't think so, somehow. We have to stay positive, and anything can happen, and we can get some points - last year only seven cars finished the race so anything is possible – but in terms of true pace at the moment I don't think we are quick enough. But we will see tomorrow. Heikki (Kovalainen) made some improvements on the last two days of the test, and I haven't driven the car since then, so with some new bits added to the car maybe we are a bit faster than I think.



and from BBC F1 Twitter:

Spoken to Lewis who thinks 15th is a realistic starting place on the grid. He was very relaxed tho.



What a shame. Lewis is young enough to cope with a season in the mid-pack and it might actually make him a better driver (and it could be really entertaining to watch as he's a proper racer!), but I can't help shake the feeling that this brings back memories of Damon Hill after his WDC win. :(

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Who cares, he's an undeserving World Champion.

Good old Bernie, who had trouble finding a 10th team this season, wants 3 more teams for next year, just what we need another team pulling out after a couple of races because they can't afford the cost of racing. Idiot.

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