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F1 2012 - The Official Thread


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The Singapore Grand Prix

Marina Bay Street Circuit

1. Vettel Red Bull-Renault 2h00:26.144

2. Button McLaren-Mercedes + 8.959

3. Alonso Ferrari + 15.227

4. Di Resta Force India-Mercedes + 19.063

5. Rosberg Mercedes + 34.759

6. Raikkonen Lotus-Renault + 35.700

7. Grosjean Lotus-Renault + 36.600

8. Massa Ferrari + 42.800

9. Ricciardo Toro Rosso-Ferrari + 45.800

10. Webber Red Bull-Renault + 47.100

11. Perez Sauber-Ferrari + 50.600

12. Glock Marussia-Cosworth + 1 lap

13. Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari + 1 lap

14. Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes + 1 lap

15. Pic Marussia-Cosworth + 1 lap

16. Kovalainen Caterham-Renault + 1 lap

17. De la Rosa HRT-Cosworth + 1 lap

18. Senna Williams-Renault + 2 laps

19. Petrov Caterham-Renault + 2 laps

Drivers World Championship standings

1. Alonso 194

2. Vettel 165

3. Raikkonen 149

4. Hamilton 142

5. Webber 133

6. Button 119

7. Rosberg 93

8. Grosjean 82

9. Perez 65

10. Massa 51

11. Di Resta 44

12. Schumacher 43

13. Kobayashi 35

14. Hulkenberg 31

15. Maldonado 29

16. Senna 25

17. Vergne 8

18. Ricciardo 6

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Austin's Circuit of The Americas passes final FIA inspection

The all-new Circuit of The Americas (COTA) in Austin, Texas, venue for November’s 2012 Formula 1 United States Grand, has been signed off by F1 racing’s governing body, the FIA, after its final scheduled pre-race inspection.

Charlie Whiting, FIA Race Director and Safety Delegate, visited the new venue on Tuesday and after a two-hour assessment declared himself happy with the construction progress and the overall quality of the circuit.


Whiting’s sign-off means that COTA now receives the ‘Grade 1’ FIA status it needs to stage Formula One racing, clearing the way for what will be the first Grand Prix on American soil since 2007 when the paddock arrives for the November 16-18 round.





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Formula 1 teams will be able to hide stepped noses in 2013

Formula 1 teams will have the option of fitting a special panel to their cars next year to help hide stepped noses, the FIA has confirmed.

Following discussions between teams to come up with a solution to the ugly designs that would not entail a big redesign for next year, motor racing's governing body has rubber stamped new rules that will allow a special 'modesty panel' to be fitted.

In a version of the 2013 regulations that was published by the FIA on Thursday, it provided details of the panel that can be fitted to help cover up the step change between the low noses and high chassis of the current generation of cars.

The new Article 3.7.9 of the Technical Regulations states: "With the exception of an optional, single piece, non-structural fairing of prescribed laminate (whose precise lay-up may be found in the Appendix to the regulations) which may not be more than 625mm above the reference plane at any point, no bodywork situated more than

1950mm forward of rear face of the cockpit entry template may be more than 550mm above the reference plane."

McLaren technical director Paddy Lowe said recently that the use of a panel was important because teams could just fit it over existing chassis designs, with some outfits reluctant to make big car changes for next year.

"We have agreed a rule that allows a 'modesty panel', which in effect means you can take the existing cars and exiting structures that have a step and put a cover there," he said at the Italian Grand Prix.

"The way it is managed is that the laminate and size of that panel is limited so that you cannot create an aero [advantage] out of it and also so that it plays no part in the forward impact."

Double DRS ban

The new technical regulations also include a clause that will outlaw the type of double DRS that Mercedes used since the start of the season.

Article 3.18 states that the moveable rear wing: "cannot be used to change the geometry of any duct, either directly or indirectly, other than the change to the distance between adjacent sections permitted by Article 3.10.2."

The rules do not make any reference to outlawing the type of double DRS that Lotus has pioneered, and which Mercedes is now working hard on.


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Hamilton set to leave McLaren?

Lewis Hamilton to join Mercedes in $100m move from McLaren

Lewis Hamilton will on Friday bring to an end one of the most controversial and long-running transfer sagas in Formula One history by announcing that he is leaving McLaren, the team he has been with over half his life, for rivals Mercedes in a three-year deal which could be worth as much as $100million (£61.6million).



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McLaren sign Perez as Hamilton departs

McLaren have confirmed signing Sergio Perez on a multi-year deal from next season as a replacement for Lewis Hamilton, who is on his way to Mercedes.

The Woking-based marque have trumped an announcement from Mercedes regarding Hamilton's switch with a statement regarding the 22-year-old Mexican.

Perez said: "I'm thrilled and delighted to have become a McLaren driver."

Perez, currently with Sauber and a product of Ferrari's young driver academy, had been linked with a move to Maranello as replacement for Felipe Massa.

However, Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo scotched that move by claiming Perez lacked the necessary experience, despite finishing on the podium on three occasions this season, most recently in Italy behind Hamilton.

Although McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh claimed at Monza there was "no plan B" in the eventuality of Hamilton leaving, it is now clear the team have worked quickly to bring in Perez.

Perez added: "The McLaren name is one of the greatest in the history of Formula One. For more than 40 years McLaren has been a team every racing driver has aspired to drive for.

"I was brought up on the great stories of Ayrton Senna's many world championship triumphs for McLaren, and I'm truly honoured they've chosen me to partner Jenson (Button) from 2013 onwards."

With Mercedes set to confirm Hamilton's appointment at 10am, Whitmarsh paid tribute to the 27-year-old for the role he has played over the last few years.

Whitmarsh said: "It's entirely appropriate I should take this opportunity to pass on our thanks to Lewis. He wrote a huge chapter of his life and career with us, and was, and always will be, a fine member of an exclusive club - the McLaren world champions' club.

"It goes without saying we all wish him well for the future, just as it also goes without saying we hope and believe Sergio, too, will become a member of that exclusive club before too long."


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Michael Schumacher's F1 future unclear

Michael Schumacher's future in Formula 1 remains uncertain after the German was replaced by Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes.

The seven-time champion, who returned to grand prix racing in 2010 following a three-year absence from the sport, said he was focusing on the next races with the team.

The German, 43, has been rumoured to be in talks with Sauber, but said he was uncommitted on his future plans.

"I have had three nice years with the team which unfortunately did not go as well as we all would have wanted on the sporting side," Schumacher said.

"I wish Lewis well and for the team to achieve the success we worked so hard for in the build-up. I would like to thank the team for their trust and all the guys for their unconditional commitment. I will now concentrate on the next races."

Mercedes team boss Ross Brawn thanked Schumacher for his contribution during his three-year stint at the Brackley-based squad.

"On behalf of Mercedes, I would first of all like to thank Michael Schumacher for the important contribution he has made to the growth of our team over the past three seasons," said Brawn.

"His energy and commitment have never wavered, even when results have not matched our own expectations, and we are determined to finish the 2012 season together on a high. As always, it has been a pleasure to work with Michael."


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FIA confirms 2013 Formula 1 calendar


The only revisions to the draft calendar distributed to teams in Singapore is that the Korean and Japanese Grands Prix have been switched around, Germany has been moved forward a week to July 14 and the Belgian Grand Prix has been moved to August 25.

The New Jersey race that is scheduled to take place on June 16 remains provisional, subject to a contract being sorted out between organisers and Bernie Ecclestone.


2013 Formula 1 calendar

17/03 AUS Grand Prix of Australia

24/03 MYS Grand Prix of Malaysia

14/04 CHN Grand Prix of China

21/04 BHR Grand Prix of Bahrain

12/05 ESP Grand Prix of Spain (Barcelona)

26/05 MCO Grand Prix of Monaco

09/06 CAN Grand Prix of Canada

16/06 USA Grand Prix of Jersey (New York) *

30/06 GBR Grand Prix of Great Britain

14/07 DEU Grand Prix of Germany

28/07 HUN Grand Prix of Hungary

25/08 BEL Grand Prix of Belgium

08/09 ITA Grand Prix of Italy

22/09 SGP Grand Prix of Singapore

06/10 KOR Grand Prix of Korea

13/10 JPN Grand Prix of Japan

27/10 IND Grand Prix of India

03/11 UAE Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi

17/11 USA Grand Prix of USA (Austin)

24/11 BRA Grand Prix of Brazil


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Schumacher confirms F1 retirement

SUZUKA, Japan (AP) — Seven-time world champion Michael Schumacher confirmed Thursday that he will retire at the end of the Formula One season.

Though Mercedes had announced last week that Schumacher would be replaced by Lewis Hamilton next season, there had been speculation the 43-year-old German could move to Sauber. He instead chose to end his career.

"Basically, I've decided to retire at the end of the year," Schumacher said at the Japanese Grand Prix. "Although I was able and capable of competing with the best drivers that are around at some point it's time to say goodbye and this time it might be forever."

Schumacher holds the record for number of championships and for grand prix wins, with 91. He began his career in 1991 and won two titles with Benetton then five for Ferrari. He initially retired in 2006, but made a comeback with Mercedes in 2010. That comeback has not lived up to expectations, with just one podium finish.

"It's without doubt that we did not achieve our goals to develop a world championship fighting car," Schumacher said. "But it is also very clear I can be happy with my overall achievements."

Mercedes team boss Ross Brawn paid tribute to Schumacher. Brawn was also chief strategist at Ferrari when Schumacher and the Italian team became so dominant that the sport's authorities made several rule changes to even the level of competition.

"He's the most courageous racing driver of the century," Brawn said "And I feel very privileged to have worked with Michael from the beginning."

Schumacher hasn't decided what he will do after the season, saying he just wants to focus on the final six races. He has struggled this season, and was issued a 10-place grid penalty for Sunday's race at Suzuka for causing a spectacular crash with Toro Rosso's Jean-Eric Vergne during the Singapore GP.



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Japanese GP qualifying

1. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1m30.839s

2. Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1m31.090s + 0.251

3. Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1m31.294s + 0.451

4. Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1m31.700s + 0.861

5. Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1m31.989s + 1.059

6. Sergio Perez Sauber-Ferrari 1m32.022s + 1.183

7. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1m32.114s + 1.275

8. Kimi Raikkonen Lotus-Renault 1m32.208s + 1.369

9. Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1m32.327s + 1.488

10. Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes no time

11. Felipe Massa Ferrari 1m32.293s + 0.792

12. Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1m32.327s + 0.826

13. Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1m32.469s + 0.968

14. Pastor Maldonado Williams-Renault 1m32.512s + 1.011

15. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m32.625s + 1.124

16. Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m32.954s + 1.453

17. Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m33.368s + 1.867

18. Bruno Senna Williams-Renault 1m33.405s + 1.376

19. Heikki Kovalainen Caterham-Renault 1m34.657s + 2.628

20. Timo Glock Marussia-Cosworth 1m35.213s + 3.184

21. Pedro de la Rosa HRT-Cosworth 1m35.385s + 3.356

22. Charles Pic Marussia-Cosworth 1m35.429s + 3.400

23. Vitaly Petrov Caterham-Renault 1m35.432s + 3.403

24. Narain Karthikeyan HRT-Cosworth 1m36.734s

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Updated Suzuka`s Grid after Button, Hulkenberg, Vergne and Shumacher penalties

1. Sebastian Vettel 1’30.839

2. Mark Webber 1’31.09

3. Kamui Kobayashi 1’31.7

4. Romain Grosjean 1’31.898

5. Sergio Perez 1’32.022

6. Fernando Alonso 1’32.114

7. Kimi Raikkonen 1’32.208

8. Jenson Button* 1’31.29

9. Lewis Hamilton 1’32.327

10. Felipe Massa 1’32.293

11. Paul di Resta 1’32.327

12. Pastor Maldonado 1’32.512

13. Nico Rosberg 1’32.625

14. Daniel Ricciardo 1’32.954

15. Nico Hulkenberg* No time

16. Bruno Senna 1’33.405

17. Heikki Kovalainen 1’34.657

18. Timo Glock 1’35.213

19. Jean-Eric Vergne** 1’33.368

20. Pedro de la Rosa 1’35.385

21. Charles Pic 1’35.429

22. Vitaly Petrov 1’35.432

23. Michael Schumacher*** 1’32.469

24. Narain Karthikeyan 1’36.734

*Five-place penalty for gearbox change

**Three-place penalty for impeding Bruno Senna

***Ten-place penalty for causing a collision during the Singapore Grand Prix

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The Japanese GP

Suzuka Circuit

1. Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1h28:56.242

2. Massa Ferrari + 20.639

3. Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari + 24.538

4. Button McLaren-Mercedes + 25.098

5. Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes + 46.490

6. Raikkonen Lotus-Renault + 50.424

7. Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes + 51.159

8. Maldonado Williams-Renault + 52.364

9. Webber Red Bull-Renault + 54.675

10. Ricciardo Toro Rosso-Ferrari + 1:06.919

11. Schumacher Mercedes + 1:07.769

12. Di Resta Force India-Mercedes + 1:23.400

13. Vergne Toro Rosso-Ferrari + 1:28.600

14. Senna Williams-Renault + 1:28.700

15. Grosjean Lotus-Renault + 1 lap

16. Kovalainen Caterham-Renault + 1 lap

17. Glock Marussia-Cosworth + 1 lap

18. Petrov Caterham-Renault + 1 lap

19. De la Rosa HRT-Cosworth + 1 lap

Drivers Championship

1. Alonso 194

2. Vettel 190

3. Raikkonen 157

4. Hamilton 152

5. Webber 135

6. Button 131

7. Rosberg 93

8. Grosjean 82

9. Massa 69

10. Perez 65

11. Kobayashi 50

12. Di Resta 44

13. Schumacher 43

14. Hulkenberg 37

15. Maldonado 33

16. Senna 25

17. Vergne 8

18. Ricciardo 7

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Anyone else think the season is too long? I mean it is the Japanese GP and we still have 5 races to go. Oh well more time for Vettel to win the championship.

Great and interesting race, now 5 races to go and Vettel is just 4 points behind Alonso

Yes for many years the japanese GP was the season ending race. Memorable disputes w drivers Championship decisions comes to end there.

and I was at Suzuka in 1990 when Senna wins his 2nd title. Great Memories!

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Maria de Villota makes first public appearance since crash


Maria de Villota has made her first public appearance following her life-threatening testing accident back in July, during a press conference in which she revealed the full extent of her injuries, in Madrid on Thursday.

The Spaniard spent a month in hospital after crashing into an articulated trailer while carrying out a straightline test for Marussia at Duxford Aerodrome.

De Villota, 32, lost her right eye in the accident, as well as the senses of smell and taste and suffered significant damage to her skull.

It was revealed during the press conference attended by AUTOSPORT on Thursday that the she lost cranial mass and that she is to undergo further surgery in the future.


De Villota admitted she has gained a new perspective on life, and said she was reluctant to accept she had lost her eye at first.

"One of the surgeons who had operated on me came up to me and said 'Maria, we saved your life,'" she said. "'I don't know if you remember you had a big accident but you are here with us. It's been hard, but we are happy we saved your life. But we need to tell you you have lost your eye.'

"In that moment, I asked the surgeon: 'Do you need both hands to operate?' and he said yes, and I said "Well, I'm a Formula 1 driver and I need both eyes.'

"And I told the poor man that it was my decision [to remove the eye], as if the poor man had a choice to do something

"But then you realise it is something unprecedented, that you are feeling fine, and you realise that you see more than before. Because, before the accident, I only saw Formula 1, inside a car, competing, and I didn't see what was really important in life. At that point I wasn't appreciating the biggest thing, which was the person who had saved me.

"So this eye has made me find the way again and I'm seeing it that way. And this new opportunity I'm going to live it at 100 per cent."

De Villota insisted she had been overwhelmed by the messages of support received from all around the world.

"When I saw myself I thought 'Who is going to love me looking like this?' But since then I've realised they have loved more than in a whole life.

"I have enough love to cover this life and the next."

She made it clear she wanted to stay involved in motorsports in one way or another, but said at the moment she is saving her strength to recover as much as possible.

"I'm focusing on the operations I have left, and I want to be 100 percent ready," she said. "I still don't know what I'm going to do."


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Korean GP Qualifying

1. Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1m37.242s

2. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1m37.316s + 0.074

3. Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1m37.469s + 0.227

4. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1m37.534s + 0.292

5. Kimi Raikkonen Lotus-Renault 1m37.625s + 0.383

6. Felipe Massa Ferrari 1m37.884s + 0.642

7. Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1m37.934s + 0.692

8. Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 1m38.266s + 1.024

9. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m38.361s + 1.119

10. Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1m38.513s + 1.271

11. Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1m38.441s + 0.674

12. Sergio Perez Sauber-Ferrari 1m38.460s + 0.693

13. Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1m38.594s + 0.827

14. Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1m38.643s + 0.876

15. Pastor Maldonado Williams-Renault 1m38.725s + 0.958

16. Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m39.084s + 1.317

17. Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m39.340s + 1.573

18. Bruno Senna Williams-Renault 1m39.443s + 1.235

19. Vitaly Petrov Caterham-Renault 1m40.207s + 1.999

20. Heikki Kovalainen Caterham-Renault 1m40.333s + 2.125

21. Charles Pic Marussia-Cosworth 1m41.317s + 3.109

22. Timo Glock Marussia-Cosworth 1m41.371s + 3.163

23. Pedro de la Rosa HRT-Cosworth 1m42.881s + 4.673

24. Narain Karthikeyan HRT-Cosworth no time

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Unbelievable that McLaren have contrived to make what should easily have been a three-horse title race into a two-horse one - Vettel and Alonso ought to be paying them! Three car failures in a row now, several botched pit-stops in early season meaning they couldn't gain points when their car was dominant, underfuelling during Qualy in one race (what a joke that was!). Can't blame Lewis for looking elsewhere after this season because he's driven as well as anybody but his team have contrived to screw things up time and time again, and with it his championship chances.

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Korean GP

1. Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1h36:28.651

2. Webber Red Bull-Renault + 8.200

3. Alonso Ferrari + 13.900

4. Massa Ferrari + 20.100

5. Raikkonen Lotus-Renault + 36.700

6. Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes + 45.300

7. Grosjean Lotus-Renault + 54.800

8. Vergne Toro Rosso-Ferrari + 1:09.500

9. Ricciardo Toro Rosso-Ferrari + 1:11.700

10. Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes + 1:19.600

11. Perez Sauber-Ferrari + 1:20.000

12. Di Resta Force India-Mercedes + 1:24.400

13. Schumacher Mercedes + 1:29.200

14. Maldonado Williams-Renault + 1:34.900

15. Senna Williams-Renault + 1:36.900

16. Petrov Caterham-Renault + 1 lap

17. Kovalainen Caterham-Renault + 1 lap

18. Glock Marussia-Cosworth + 1 lap

19. Pic Marussia-Cosworth + 2 lap2

20. Karthikeyan HRT-Cosworth + 2 laps

Drivers Championship

1. Vettel 215

2. Alonso 209

3. Raikkonen 167

4. Hamilton 153

5. Webber 152

6. Button 131

7. Rosberg 93

8. Grosjean 88

9. Massa 81

10. Perez 66

11. Kobayashi 50

12. Hulkenberg 45

13. Di Resta 44

14. Schumacher 43

15. Maldonado 33

16. Senna 25

17. Vergne 12

18. Ricciardo 9

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Ferrari extends Massa's contract through to 2013

MARANELLO, Italy (AP) — Ferrari extended Felipe Massa's contract for one more season Tuesday, a move that keeps pressure on the Brazilian to perform for the Formula One team.

A brief statement from Ferrari said it had renewed the Brazilian's deal "to the end of the 2013 race season."

The announcement came two days after Massa's fourth-place finish in the Korean Grand Prix.

Massa also finished fourth in the Italian GP last month, then took second in the Japanese GP nine days ago for his first podium result in nearly two years.

The 31-year-old Massa hasn't won a race since a life-threatening accident at the Hungarian GP in 2009. He is currently ninth in the drivers' standings.

Lead Ferrari driver Fernando Alonso is currently in a tight championship battle with Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel, who hasn't hid his desire to drive for Ferrari one day.

Massa's previous deal — a two-year agreement — was set to expire at the end of this season.

Massa won a combined 11 races in his first three seasons with Ferrari. Next year will be his eighth season with the team.


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New Jersey GP to be postponed

Formula 1's inaugural race in New Jersey, originally scheduled for next year, has been postponed until 2014.

Following recent doubts about progress being made at the track ahead of its planned first event in June 2013, local officials have revealed that an official announcement is expected on Friday to say it is being put back.

According to a report in the Jersey Journal, Weehawken Mayor Richard Turner said that race organisers were behind in both preparations for the race and in obtaining the necessary permits.

F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone later confirmed to Eurosport that the event was being put off - which now leaves a vacant slot in the calendar.

"It is not going to happen next year," Ecclestone said. "If they came up with the contract with us and we were satisfied the question is could they carry out the work in six months? Winter in New York is not good."

The New Jersey event had been scheduled to take place on June 16, just a week after the Canadian Grand Prix.

However, in the most recent calendar published by the FIA, it was only added subject to confirmation.

Due to the flyaway nature of Montreal, it is unlikely that Ecclestone will slot in a replacement in the gap before the next race - which is the British GP on June 30.

That could mean that next year's calendar drops to 19 events, although there have been rumours in recent weeks that Ecclestone could be looking at resurrecting the Turkish Grand Prix.


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Andretti opens Circuit of The Americas

The all-new Circuit of The Americas (COTA) in Austin began the final countdown to the 2012 Formula 1 United States Grand Prix on Sunday, when 1978 F1 world champion Mario Andretti officially opened the Texas venue in a ‘First Lap Ceremony’ featuring a collection of celebrity drivers, local dignitaries and VIP clients.

The invitation-only event, which was presented by Formula One tyre suppliers Pirelli and featured members of the Lotus F1 team, saw COTA ambassador Andretti cut a special ribbon of chequered flags before completing a lap in his title-winning Lotus 79.

"It's very green, as you could expect," Andretti told Reuters. "You get offline a bit - it's a bit slippery. But that's normal for a new circuit. Overall, my impression is absolutely fantastic."

Lotus reserve driver Jerome D’Ambrosio had the honour of becoming the first man to drive the circuit at speed in a modern F1 car, as he piloted the team’s 2010 machine around the 5.516-kilometre track, with actor Patrick Dempsey among the special guests looking on.

“It’s a very enjoyable layout with a couple of good opportunities for overtaking, some long, fast, sweeping ‘S’ bends and a few really satisfying, high-speed changes of direction similar to the ‘Becketts’ complex at Silverstone,” D’Ambrosio told the Lotus website.

“The first corner is also quite special and it will be interesting to see it when people are dicing for position in the race. It’s an enjoyable layout for a racing driver and also fantastic for the fans as the viewing areas are very well placed to catch all the action; of which there should be plenty!”


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India Grand Prix: Ferrari fly flag for Italian sailors held

Ferrari will race with the flag of the Italian navy on their cars at this weekend's Indian Formula One Grand Prix in a gesture of support for two Italian sailors charged with killing Indian fishermen.

The Italian team said on their website (www.ferrari.com) on Wednesday they would be paying tribute to the navy as "one of the outstanding entities of our country".

The statement added the gesture was "also in the hope the Indian and Italian authorities will soon find a solution to the situation currently involving two sailors from the Italian navy".

The sailors were part of a military security team protecting a cargo ship from pirate attacks when they fired on the boat of the two fishermen off the Indian coast in February.

Italian officials say the sailors, who were released on bail in June in the western state of Kerala to await trial, mistook the fishermen for pirates.

The case has caused outrage in India and soured relations with Italy, which says the detained sailors are military personnel who should be tried at home.

Italy recalled its envoy from New Delhi in May to signal the country's "strong displeasure" with the Indian government's handling of the incident.



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