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F1 2012 - The Official Thread


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Yeah, thanks for stating the obvious Faster! ;):D

Bloody hell, I was venting frustration not long after the Abu Dhabi race that's all - I'm ever so sorry if that annoyed you!! Just to make it really clear - and state the bleedin' obvious - this has been a superb season on the track, no doubt about it. The first season since 2008 where there's not really been any suspicion that certain cars have boxes of tricks the others don't as well, which has made for really great wheel-to-wheel racing.

But it could've been so much better, and this season should've been epic, with a three way title race. We really should be going into Brazil with the best three drivers in the sport battling for the title! From my point of view, because it's Hamilton, it means the season is tainted and I haven't enjoyed watching it as much as I should have done. I hope even neutrals like you might be wondering what could've been as well.

There it is. The smallprint, the i's dotted, t's crossed, heart on sleeve, and everything in writing. Happy to sign on the dotted line now? :D

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Coca Cola's Burn to showcase F1 pact with Raikkonen's Lotus

Coca Cola will enter Formula One with its Burn energy drink brand after announcing a deal with Kimi Raikkonen's Lotus team on Thursday.

Lotus said in a statement that the deal was a multi-year agreement with more details to be revealed next year when the partnership begins.

"The creativity of teams and the passion for speed and energy that fuel the sport of Formula One make a partnership with this iconic sporting property a compelling proposition for the burn brand," said Emmanuel Seuge, Coca Cola's group director of worldwide Sports and entertainment marketing.

Seuge said the deal would mix art and music "in a way that will break the conventions of traditional Formula One sponsorship marketing".

Formula One has just returned to the United States for the first time in five years at a new circuit in Austin and the sport is eager to build up its presence in the Americas.

There are due to be two races in the United States in 2014, with a grand prix in New Jersey, and Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone spoke at the weekend of the possibility of three by 2015.

Red Bull Racing, the team owned by the Austrian energy drink manufacturer, have won the Formula One constructors' championship for the past three years.

Their German driver Sebastian Vettel is chasing his third title in a row in Brazil this weekend.

Finland's Raikkonen, who won the 2007 World Championship with Ferrari, triumphed in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix for Lotus in November and is one of Formula One's most popular drivers, with the nickname 'Iceman'.

Coca Cola have been linked with various teams in the past, as well as with the sport as a whole. "We are excited to partner with Burn to build a new and innovative model for sponsorships that will combine experiences, content creation and social media," said Lotus team principal Eric Boullier.

The Frenchman highlighted social media as an area in which the team had been "at the cutting edge in Formula One for the past 18 months, recording the highest growth rate amongst fans this year".


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Marussia driver Charles Pic switches to Caterham for 2013

Marussia driver Charles Pic will switch to his team's back-of-the-grid rivals Caterham in 2013.

The 22-year-old Frenchman, who has impressed in his rookie season, has moved despite Marussia being ahead of Caterham in the championship.

Marussia occupy 10th place in the constructors' championship by virtue of Timo Glock's 12th place at the Singapore Grand Prix in September.

The identity of Pic's 2013 Caterham team-mate is not yet known.

Finn Heikki Kovalainen, who has led the team since their debut as Lotus Racing in 2010, is hoping to stay on.

But his only chance is believed to be if the team can manage to overhaul Marussia at the final race of the season in Brazil this weekend and finish ahead of them in the championship.

If Caterham finish the season in 11th place, it is believed they will have to take a second driver who brings sponsorship alongside Pic, who brings a budget and has a close relationship with engine supplier Renault.



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Brazil GP qualifying

1. Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1m12.458s

2. Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1m12.513s + 0.055

3. Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1m12.581s + 0.123

4. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1m12.760s + 0.302

5. Felipe Massa Ferrari 1m12.987s + 0.529

6. Pastor Maldonado Williams-Renault 1m13.174s + 0.716

7. Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 1m13.206s + 0.748

8. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1m13.253s + 0.795

9. Kimi Raikkonen Lotus-Renault 1m13.298s + 0.840

10. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m13.489s + 1.031

11. Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1m14.121s + 0.912

12. Bruno Senna Williams-Renault 1m14.219s + 1.010

13. Sergio Perez Sauber-Ferrari 1m14.234s + 1.025

14. Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1m14.334s + 1.125

15. Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1m14.380s + 1.171

16. Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m14.574s + 1.365

17. Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m14.619s + 1.410

18. Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1m16.967s + 1.892

19. Vitaly Petrov Caterham-Renault 1m17.073s + 1.998

20. Heikki Kovalainen Caterham-Renault 1m17.086s + 2.011

21. Timo Glock Marussia-Cosworth 1m17.508s + 2.433

22. Charles Pic Marussia-Cosworth 1m18.104s + 3.029

23. Narain Karthikeyan HRT-Cosworth 1m19.576s + 4.501

24. Pedro de la Rosa HRT-Cosworth

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Maldonado handed 10-place grid penalty 24 Nov 2012

Williams’ Pastor Maldonado has been handed a 10-place grid penalty by the Brazilian stewards after failing to bring his car to the weighbridge when called to do so by officials during Saturday’s qualifying session.

Maldonado, who had qualified in sixth, received a reprimand for the incident but because it was his third reprimand of the 2012 season, he was automatically dropped ten places on the Interlagos grid.

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Special clip made by TV Globo for this year's Brazilian GP, all in 3D stuff!!! Really amazing!!!


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The Brazilian Grand Prix

Interlagos, Brazil

1. Button McLaren-Mercedes 1h45:22.656

2. Alonso Ferrari + 2.754

3. Massa Ferrari + 3.615

4. Webber Red Bull-Renault + 4.936

5. Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes + 5.708

6. Vettel Red Bull-Renault + 9.453

7. Schumacher Mercedes + 11.900

8. Vergne Toro Rosso-Ferrari + 28.600

9. Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari + 31.200

10. Raikkonen Lotus-Renault + 1 lap

11. Petrov Caterham-Renault + 1 lap

12. Pic Marussia-Cosworth + 1 lap

13. Ricciardo Toro Rosso-Ferrari + 1 lap

14. Kovalainen Caterham-Renault + 1 lap

15. Rosberg Mercedes + 1 lap

16. Glock Marussia-Cosworth + 2 laps

17. De la Rosa HRT-Cosworth + 2 laps

18. Karthikeyan HRT-Cosworth + 2 laps

19. Di Resta Force India-Mercedes + 3 laps

World Championship standings, round 20:

1. Vettel 281

2. Alonso 278

3. Raikkonen 207

4. Hamilton 190

5. Button 188

6. Webber 179

7. Massa 122

8. Grosjean 96

9. Rosberg 93

10. Perez 66

11. Hulkenberg 63

12. Kobayashi 60

13. Schumacher 49

14. Di Resta 46

15. Maldonado 45

16. Senna 31

17. Vergne 16

18. Ricciardo 10

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Valtteri Bottas replaces Bruno Senna at Williams

The Williams F1 Team is pleased to announce that Pastor Maldonado and Valtteri Bottas will be the team’s race drivers for the 2013 FIA Formula One World Championship season.

2013 will be Pastor’s third season with the team and comes on the back of a successful 2012 that saw him win the Spanish Grand Prix in commanding style. Valtteri has been the Williams F1 Team’s test driver since 2010. In his role as reserve driver Valtteri has taken part in a number of this season’s Friday practice sessions, impressing with his pace and maturity from the outset. The GP3 champion in 2011, 2013 will see Valtteri compete in the Formula One World Championship for the first time.

Commenting on his contract renewal for 2013, Pastor said; ‘’I’m really enjoying my time with Williams and I was obviously very happy when I was told that I would be continuing with the team in 2013. 2012 was a memorable year for me with the win in Barcelona and we made a big step forward in terms of performance. I have a lot of confidence in the team and hopefully next year will see us move even further up the grid and taste more success.’’


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^BBC`s Andrew Benson article

Formula 1: Ferrari consider Sebastian Vettel protest

Ferrari want to establish whether there is enough evidence to lodge a protest that, if successful, could overturn the result of the world championship.

Ferrari are "evaluating footage" that appears to show Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel making an illegal overtaking move in Sunday's Brazilian Grand Prix.

Fernando Alonso lost the title by three points to Vettel after finishing second for Ferrari and the German sixth.

Governing body the FIA refused to confirm whether it was investigating.

Red Bull could not be reached.

The footage, from Vettel's on-board camera, appears to show the German passing Toro Rosso's Jean-Eric Vergne in a yellow 'caution' zone.

If that is the case, and any protest was upheld, it could mean Vettel would have 20 seconds added to his total race time. That would demote him to eighth place and make Alonso world champion by one point.

Alonso has posted a cryptic message on the social networking site Twitter that appears to be a reference to the situation.

He wrote in Spanish: "I don't believe in miracles. I make my miracles out of the correct rules."

Alonso is believed to be pushing Ferrari to make an official protest to the FIA.

However, the governing body does not need a protest from Ferrari to investigate further. In fact, its own rules appear to oblige it to do so.

Article 179b of the international sporting code says: "If, in events forming part of an FIA championship, a new element is discovered, whether or not the stewards of the meeting have already given a ruling, these stewards of the meeting or, failing this, those designated by the FIA must meet… summoning the party or parties concerned to hear any relevant explanations and to judge in the light of the facts and elements brought before them."

It adds: "The period during which an appeal in review may be brought expires on 30 November of the year during which the decision that is liable to review has been handed down, if that decision is likely to have an effect on the result of a championship."

That appears to give the FIA until Friday to resolve the situation one way or another.

A yellow zone - indicated by yellow flags and flashing trackside yellow lights - indicates that drivers must proceed with caution and overtaking is strictly forbidden.

If a driver is caught overtaking in a yellow-flag zone, the punishment is either to drive through the pits at restricted speed if the race is still under way, or 20 seconds added to a driver's race time if the incident takes place close to the end of the race or is investigated after the race.

The footage in question was not shown on the main global 'world feed' during the race as it was showing repeats of the start at the time.

However, it has since emerged on the video sharing site YouTube after audience members recorded it from extra channels of in-car footage, which was broadcasting from Vettel's on-board camera at the time.

The video - broadcast on the BBC's in-car channel - is embedded at the top of this article.

Drivers are also alerted to caution zones by an indicator on their car's dashboard display as they pass through the relevant area.

If there is any discrepancy between a driver's dashboard and the trackside indicators, the flags and lights take precedence - the display is meant solely as a further driver aid.

The footage clearly shows Vettel passing a flashing yellow light in Turn Two and another at the exit of Turn Three, after which he overtakes Vergne down the straight, completing the move before reaching a flashing green light, indicating the end of the yellow zone, before Turn Four.

The yellow flag indicator in his cockpit is on the whole time.

The rules dictate that the 'yellow' zone ends only when the driver passes the first 'green' indicator.

However, on the footage from Vettel's car it is not possible to see clearly the marshals' post that is situated on the inside of the track at the exit of the pit lane - after the yellow light at Turn Three.

It is possible that the marshal there was waving a green flag. If he was, the pass on Vergne would be legal and the result would stand.

A green flag is waved at that post as Vettel passes the Marussia of Charles Pic on lap three, but it is not clear whether it was still being waved on lap four.

There are some videos on the Internet which seem to show a marshal waving a green flag at that post but it is not clear on the official TV footage.

The likelihood of any protest being lodged or of any action being taken depends on whether Ferrari or the FIA can establish whether there was a green flag waving at that marshals' post at that time.

If there was, the case will be closed and no further action will be taken. If there was not a green flag, it is highly likely that the case will go before the FIA Court of Appeal.

Under a strict interpretation of the rules, it would seem to have little option in that scenario to impose a penalty. But it may well feel it has to evaluate how much of an effect on the result of the race a drive-through penalty for Vettel at the time would have had.

BBC Sport asked the FIA:

- If the stewards of the Brazilian Grand Prix had investigated the incident in question during the race.

- If there was a green flag waved on lap four at the marshals' post on the inside of the track after the exit of Turn Three.

- If the FIA was now investigating the incident.

The FIA declined to comment.


Ferrari will have until friday 30 to protest, too controversial... :rolleyes:

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FIA says 'no case' to answer in Vettel overtaking controversy

Formula 1's ruling body, the FIA, says there is "no case" to answer in the controversy involving Sebastian Vettel's overtaking of Jean-Eric Vergne during the Brazilian Grand Prix.

It confirmed exclusively to AUTOSPORT that it was in no doubt that Vettel's pass was legitimate.

Vettel was crowned champion for the third time at Interlagos after finishing in sixth position in an action-packed race in which he was spun after making contact with Bruno Senna on the opening lap.

Ferrari's Fernando Alonso finished in second position, a result that left him three points behind Vettel in the standings.

Click here for AUTOSPORT's exclusive analysis of why Vettel's pass was legalClick

On Wednesday evening, however, Ferrari said it was reviewing video footage allegedly showing Vettel overtaking Vergne in a yellow-flag sector between Turns 3 and 4 early in the race.

The team stated on Thursday that it had written to the FIA asking for clarification over the matter.

FIA sources have confirmed to AUTOSPORT that the yellow-flag sector at Interlagos started at the light panel just before Turn 3, at marshal sector 3, and ends about 150m before Turn 4, where a green light panel is displayed.

However, there is a marshal's post in between these two panels and a green flag was being waved there on that lap.

Under the FIA's rules for the Brazilian GP, if a green flag is displayed before a green light - as it was in Vettel's case - it is the first green that counts.

Therefore, the FIA is in no doubt that Vettel's pass was legitimate, which is why race control was not informed of any potential infringement.

The FIA confirmed to AUTOSPORT that no team had asked for a review of the incident. The ruling body also said it does not comment on the stewards' decisions.


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Ferrari takes note of the FIA’s opinion

Maranello, 30 November – The request for a clarification from the FIA, regarding Vettel’s passing move on Vergne, came about through the need to shed light on the circumstances of the move, which came out on the Internet only a few days after the race. The letter to the FIA was in no way intended to undermine the legality of the race result. We received tens of thousands of queries relating to this matter from all over the world and it was incumbent on us to take the matter further, asking the Federation to look into an incident that could have cast a shadow over the championship in the eyes of all Formula 1 enthusiasts, not just Ferrari fans.

Ferrari duly takes note of the reply sent by the FIA this morning and therefore considers the matter now closed.


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Raikkonen has been the source of plenty of F1 comedy this year and things went up a notch after he got lost in Brazil. Now someone has created this brilliant Apple advert where iOS6 maps puts Kimi on the wrong route around Interlagos.



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FIA announces 2013 Formula 1 entry list

The FIA has announced the full 2013 Formula 1 World Championship entry list, reduced to 22 cars following the demise of HRT.

Although several driver names are still 'tba' on the list - believed to be because teams have yet to allocate numbers to each driver - the only remaining vacancies are at Lotus, which is yet to confirm that Romain Grosjean will stay, Force India, Caterham and Marussia.

Paul di Resta is expected to keep one Force India drive, while Marussia will retain Timo Glock and is expected to add Max Chilton.

Sauber has signed Nico Hulkenberg and Esteban Gutierrez. Caterham has one vacancy but has confirmed Charles Pic. Daniel Ricciardo and Jean-Eric Vergne stay on at Toro Rosso.

Of the drivers moving teams, McLaren signing Sergio Perez takes #6 behind Jenson Button, and Lewis Hamilton gets #10 at Mercedes.

No. Driver Full team name Chassis/Engine

1 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull Racing Red Bull-Renault

2 Mark Webber Red Bull Racing Red Bull-Renault

3 Fernando Alonso Scuderia Ferrari Ferrari

4 Felipe Massa Scuderia Ferrari Ferrari

5 Jenson Button Vodafone McLaren Mercedes McLaren-Mercedes

6 Sergio Perez Vodafone McLaren Mercedes McLaren-Mercedes

7 Kimi Raikkonen Lotus F1 Team Lotus-Renault

8 tba Lotus F1 Team Lotus-Renault

9 Nico Rosberg Mercedes GP Petronas F1 Team Mercedes

10 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes GP Petronas F1 Team Mercedes

11 tba Sauber F1 Team Sauber-Ferrari

12 tba Sauber F1 Team Sauber-Ferrari

14 tba Sahara Force India F1 Team Force India-Mercedes

15 tba Sahara Force India F1 Team Force India-Mercedes

16 Pastor Maldonado Williams F1 Team Williams-Renault

17 Valtteri Bottas Williams F1 Team Williams-Renault

18 tba Scuderia Toro Rosso Toro Rosso-Ferrari

19 tba Scuderia Toro Rosso Toro Rosso-Ferrari

20 tba Caterham F1 Team Caterham-Renault

21 tba Caterham F1 Team Caterham-Renault

22 tba Marussia F1 Team Marussia-Cosworth

23 tba Marussia F1 Team Marussia-Cosworth


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FIA adds mystery European race to 2013 calendar

LONDON, Dec 5 (Reuters) - Formula One could have 20 races again next season after the governing FIA pencilled in a mystery European round in July to fill a space left by the postponed Grand Prix of America in New Jersey.

The International Automobile Federation said on Wednesday that the German Grand Prix would switch from July 14 to July 7 with July 21 now "reserved for another F1 European event" subject to approval of national bodies.

While no further details were given, speculation focused mainly on the possible return of the Turkish Grand Prix in Istanbul.

Germany's revised date would see that race follow on immediately from the British Grand Prix at Silverstone on June 30, according to the previous provisional calendar, while the new event would be back-to-back with Hungary on July 28.

Istanbul, where the FIA is currently holding its annual assembly and World Motor Sports Council meeting, would be a popular option for teams and drivers who rated the track on the Asian side highly before it was dropped from this year's calendar.

Formula One's commercial supremo Bernie Ecclestone dropped a hint on Tuesday when he told Italy's Gazzetta dello Sport that he was going to Istanbul "to try and revive the Turkish Grand Prix and take part in the world council."

France, which has been seeking a return with either its central Magny-Cours circuit or Le Castellet in the south, might be another possibility although that trail appears to have gone cold in recent weeks.

Another option could be Austria, whose former Oesterreichring (also known as the A1 Ring) has now been revamped by owners Red Bull since it last hosted a grand prix in 2003 and is an easy drive from Budapest.

Helmut Marko, a close aid to Red Bull's billionaire owner Dietrich Mateschitz, was quoted in Austria this week as saying a grand prix in the country could not be ruled out: "With Mateschitz, you can never say never. Let's see how it develops."

Red Bull have won the drivers' and constructors' championships for the past three years and Mateschitz is close to Ecclestone.

Formula One had a record 20 races this season but the absence of New Jersey, which had been due to make its debut with a race on June 16 while the debt-stricken Spanish city of Valencia dropped off the list, had reduced that to 19.



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Vettel collects Drivers' trophy at FIA Gala


Red Bull driver Sebastian Vettel was officially presented with the Formula One World Drivers' Championship trophy at the FIA Prize Giving Gala in Turkey on Friday evening, having sealed a third successive title with the Milton Keynes-based squad in 2012.

Ferrari's Fernando Alonso and Lotus driver Kimi Räikkönen also picked up trophies, the pair finishing second and third respectively this season. FIA President Jean Todt and Formula 1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone were on hand to present the awards.

Ex-Formula 1 driver David Coulthard hosted the event at Istanbul's Ciragan Palace, with the Scotsman being joined on stage by Turkish broadcaster Ece Vahapoğlu.


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Haug steps aside as Mercedes head

Norbert Haug will leave Mercedes after 22 years as head of the company's motorsport division at the end of the year.

Haug played a key role in Mercedes' factory Formula One team signing Lewis Hamilton to partner Nico Rosberg in 2013.

He was also a vice-president of Daimler AG.

A team statement said: "His contract will come to an end by mutual agreement with the Board of Management.

"Preparations for the forthcoming season continue as planned."

Haug, who turned 60 last month, hinted that the team's poor performance since returning to the top flight of racing was behind the decision.

"Unfortunately, with one victory in 2012 since founding our own Formula One works team in 2010, we couldn't fulfil our own expectations," he said.

"However, we have taken the right steps to be successful in the future. Our team and our drivers will do everything to achieve these goals."

During his career, Mercedes-Benz and its partners have won six F1 world championship titles and taken 87 victories in the premier class.




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Marussia co-owner confirms Max Chilton for 2013

Marussia team owner Nikolai Fomenko has confirmed speculation British rookie Max Chilton will make his formula one debut in 2013.

Fomenko, the head of Russian supercar Marussia who bought into the then Virgin team at the end of 2010, was asked by Russian journalists the identity of the driver replacing Caterham-bound Frenchman Charles Pic.



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