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The Belgian GP Qualifying

1. Nico Rosberg          Mercedes              2m05.591s             2. Lewis Hamilton        Mercedes              2m05.819s  +0.228s    3. Sebastian Vettel      Red Bull-Renault      2m07.717s  +2.126s    4. Fernando Alonso       Ferrari               2m07.786s  +2.195s    5. Daniel Ricciardo      Red Bull-Renault      2m07.911s  +2.320s    6. Valtteri Bottas       Williams-Mercedes     2m08.049s  +2.458s    7. Kevin Magnussen       McLaren-Mercedes      2m08.679s  +3.088s    8. Kimi Raikkonen        Ferrari               2m08.780s  +3.189s    9. Felipe Massa          Williams-Mercedes     2m09.178s  +3.587s   10. Jenson Button         McLaren-Mercedes      2m09.776s  +4.185s   11. Daniil Kvyat          Toro Rosso-Renault    2m09.377s  +2.768s12. Jean-Eric Vergne      Toro Rosso-Renault    2m09.805s  +3.196s13. Sergio Perez          Force India-Mercedes  2m10.084s  +3.475s14. Adrian Sutil          Sauber-Ferrari        2m10.238s  +3.629s15. Romain Grosjean       Lotus-Renault         2m11.087s  +4.478s16. Jules Bianchi         Marussia-Ferrari      2m12.470s  +5.861s17. Pastor Maldonado      Lotus-Renault         2m11.261s  +4.131s18. Nico Hulkenberg       Force India-Mercedes  2m11.267s  +4.137s19. Max Chilton           Marussia-Ferrari      2m12.566s  +5.436s20. Esteban Gutierrez     Sauber-Ferrari        2m13.414s  +6.284s21. Andre Lotterer        Caterham-Renault      2m13.469s  +6.339s22. Marcus Ericsson       Caterham-Renault      2m14.438s  +7.308s
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A new era begins, first car launch dates trickling in....

Michael Schumacher out of coma and leaves Grenoble hospital http://www.jamesallenonf1.com/2014/06/michael-schumacher-out-of-coma-and-leaves-grenoble-hospital/

The belgian GP


1. Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull-Renault 1h24m36.556s

2. Nico Rosberg Mercedes +3.383s

3. Valtteri Bottas Williams-Mercedes +28.032s

4. Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari +36.815s

5. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault +52.196s

6. Kevin Magnussen McLaren-Mercedes +54.262s

7. Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes +54.580s

8. Fernando Alonso Ferrari +1m01.162s

9. Sergio Perez Force India-Mercedes +1m04.293s

10. Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso-Renault +1m05.347s

11. Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes +1m05.697s

12. Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Renault +1m11.920s

13. Felipe Massa Williams-Mercedes +1m15.975s

14. Adrian Sutil Sauber-Ferrari +1m22.447s

15. Esteban Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari +1m30.825s

16. Max Chilton Marussia-Ferrari -1 lap

17. Marcus Ericsson Caterham-Renault -1 lap

18. Jules Bianchi Marussia-Ferrari -5 laps


Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 38 laps

Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 332 lap

Pastor Maldonado Lotus-Renault 1 lap

Andre Lotterer Caterham-Renault 1 lap

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Well done Ricciardo though, what a star. Comfortably beating Vettel again after overtaking him early in the race. B)

The Championship battle currently not really on - this seems like Rosberg's year. Hamilton having zero luck, even when it's Rosberg making the mistakes.

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A Mercedes spokesman subsequently confirmed Hamilton's version of what was said was "broadly accurate" only for Toto Wolff to contradict them both. And Rosberg's subsequent statement doesn't deal with the central question. Confused? I wouldn't blame you if you were.

What does appear to be clear, however, is that the senior management of the Mercedes team has now completely lost control over its two drivers and they have no-one to blame but themselves. When the two main championship contenders happen to drive for the same team, then the role of the team bosses should be to lay down the ground rules (which ought to be fairly obvious anyway) and then let them get on with racing each other. What happened with Hamilton ignoring the order to let Rosberg through in Hungary, which clearly appears to have been the catalyst for today's incident in Rosberg's mind, was a prime example of management meddling doing more harm than good.

IF, and I stress the if because there's only one man who really knows the truth of this, Rosberg deliberately hit Hamilton this afternoon, then he ought to be punished very severely. If it was deliberate, then he has intentionally put the safety of himself, Hamilton and others at risk. If that could be proven, I hesitate to speculate what an appropriate punishment might be. All that said, I don't see how Mercedes can act without ripping the team apart any more than it already is and I struggle to see how the FIA would get involved with what is, essentially, an internal team dispute. But if the 18 points Rosberg gained today prove to be the difference between him winning the championship and losing it, it would be a rather tainted triumph in my view.

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The interptration of Hamilton's comments from Wolff in the article below makes most sense to me - especially when you consider it could easily have been 0pts for Rosberg and 25pts for Hamilton had the collision been even slightly different.

It still doesn't paint Rosberg in a brilliant light as, when you see the incident it's clear Rosberg was nowhere near far enough alongside Hamilton to expect to be given space. What Rosberg did was petulant and not the actions of a potential WDC but I don't think he deliberately crashed "into" Hamilton, more that he didn't do enough to avoid contact when it was his responsibility to do just that. And made all the sillier because he was "trying to prove a point". :rolleyes:

It's just a great shame that his "trying to prove a point" tactic by stubbornly holding his line didn't end up with a broken nose for Rosberg and Hamilton driving off into the distance to a win. That would've been the deserved outcome.

Mercedes Formula 1 team boss Toto Wolff believes Nico Rosberg's comments about his Belgian Grand Prix collision with Lewis Hamilton have been misconstrued.

The 2014 F1 title battle erupted into a new controversy at Spa when Hamilton alleged that Rosberg had admitted to deliberately triggering their lap-two tangle to "prove a point".

But while confirming that Hamilton's account of Rosberg's phrasing was correct, Wolff said the German was suggesting he had simply not backed down when they were wheel-to-wheel, rather than confessing to deliberately hitting his team-mate and championship rival.

"Nico felt he needed to hold his line. He needed to make a point, and for Lewis, it was clearly not him who needed to be aware of Nico," said Wolff.

"[Rosberg] didn't give in. He thought it was for Lewis to leave him space, and that Lewis didn't leave him space.

"So they agreed to disagree in a very heated discussion amongst ourselves, but it wasn't deliberately crashing. That is nonsense."

Although he dismissed the allegation that Rosberg had hit Hamilton on purpose, Wolff said that did not mean his fury towards his driver had subsided.

"It doesn't change the scenario at all because the incident, as I see it, is not acceptable for us," he said.

"What we saw there was that Nico was not prepared to take the exit, and that caused the collision.

"That is not something we want to happen.

"We had a collision that could have been avoided, a second-lap collision, it was Nico who attacked and he shouldn't have done it.

"It was also to show he was not prepared to give in.

"With hindsight, if he could turn back time, Nico would probably not do it again in the way he did."


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As much as I accept the plausibilty argument, I'm not sure Wolff's remarks actually change the substance of what happened all that much. If Rosberg did make a conscious decision to initiate that collision, then he has stepped well outside the boundaries of reasonable conduct. Wolff's job now is to somehow stop the warfare between his drivers escalating any further before Ricciardo gets any closer to joining the title battle.

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Martin Whitmarsh leaves McLaren team principal role

Martin Whitmarsh has officially left his role as McLaren team principal after spending 24 years with the team.

Ron Dennis took control of the team when he was appointed chief executive officer in January.

Whitmarsh worked as head of operations, managing director and chief executive before taking over from Dennis as team principal in 2009.

A McLaren spokesman said: "McLaren and Martin Whitmarsh have agreed amicably to part company."

After gaining control of the team at the start of the year, Dennis formed a new management structure, with Eric Boullier as racing director and Jonathan Neale appointed Group F1 CEO.

Dennis had been in dispute with Whitmarsh for two years and had tried to remove his former protege from his position on several previous occasions.

McLaren had their worst season for three decades in 2013, failing to secure a podium finish for the first time since 1980.

They are currently fifth in team standings with seven races remaining in the 2014 season.


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Ferrari announces engine-supply deal with Haas

MARANELLO, Italy (AP) — Ferrari will supply the engines for the Haas Formula One team when the American outfit makes its debut in 2016.

Ferrari announced the deal Wednesday saying "the multi-year agreement is for the supply of the entire power unit."

Ferrari team principal Marco Mattiacci says "we're delighted to announce this important strategic partnership with Haas F1 Team and to welcome an American player as a new entrant in Formula One."

NASCAR team owner Gene Haas is putting together a team to enter F1 in 2016 and had already signed a commercial deal with Ferrari.

Mattiacci says "this is the natural next step of our growing relationship. ... We believe this new partnership has the potential to evolve beyond the traditional role of supplying our power unit and all related technical services."



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Williams will keep the same two Formula 1 drivers next year, with Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas staying on board for 2015.

While Massa was already under contract, Bottas was only under option so a new deal had had to be put in place.

Following successful talks, first revealed by AUTOSPORT last week, the Grove-based outfit confirmed ahead of the Italian Grand Prix that its line-up was sorted.

Team principal Frank Williams said: "Felipe is a pleasure to work with and combines raw pace with a wealth of experience.

"We have known for many years that Valtteri is a very special talent and in the FW36 we have given him a car that is allowing him to demonstrate his skills.

"The team is having a much improved 2014 season and the skill of our drivers and their feedback to our engineers has proved crucial in this.

"This announcement gives us excellent stability for 2015, but of course we are very much focusing our attention on maximising the full potential of the FW36 in the remaining seven races of this season."


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Good news, I think Massa has got his mojo back not being Alonso's #2 anymore and Bottas is looking like he could be a future potential WDC. Can't help feel a wee bit of Schaudenfreude that Maldonado gave up that seat and took his money to Lotus in a huff. Great driver pairing now at Williams and good to see a famous name back near the top.

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Ferrari chairman Luca Di Montezemolo to quit after 23 years

Ferrari's Luca Di Montezemolo is to step down as long-time chairman of the Formula 1 team.

His departure follows a poor season on the track and disagreements with Sergio Marchionne, chief executive officer of parent company Fiat.

"This is the end of an era after almost 23 marvellous and unforgettable years," said Di Montezemolo, 67. "It has been a great privilege."

Marchionne will replace Di Montezemolo, who leaves the role on 13 October.

Ferrari have not won a drivers' or constructors' title since 2008 and are in the midst of their least competitive season for 20 years.

The team had their worst result of the year at the Italian Grand Prix on Sunday when Fernando Alonso retired with a hybrid system failure and team-mate Kimi Raikkonen finished ninth.

It is in stark contrast to their dominance of F1 in the late 1990s and early 2000s when seven-time world champion Michael Schumacher led the team to six consecutive constructors' championships.

Di Montezemolo had insisted at the weekend that reports he was to step down later this year were premature, adding that he had a contract for three years and he would be the one to say when he was leaving.

But he was immediately contradicted by Marchionne, who said: "We are good friends but his statements... these are things I wouldn't have said myself."

Marchionne also described the recent disappointing performance of Ferrari's Formula 1 racing team as "unacceptable" and said it was "absolutely non-negotiable" that Ferrari should win Formula 1 races.

In his statement, Di Montezemolo - who has been Ferrari chairman since 1991 - added: "It is the most wonderful company in the world and it has been an honour to have been its leader.

"I devoted all of my enthusiasm and commitment to it over the years. Together with my family, it was, and continues to be, the most important thing in my life."

Under Di Montezemolo's tenure, Ferrari increased revenues 10-fold and tripled sales volumes as the Italian family business grew into one of the world's most powerful brands.



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F1 cuts back on team radio chats

Formula One teams and drivers were on Thursday ordered to severely cut back on radio conversations during a race that help with car or driver performance.

The ruling was handed down by Formula One's governing body the FIA.

From now on conversations from the pitlane telling a driver where he is losing time on the circuit will be illegal.

The change is being implemented through a strict enforcement of Article 20.1 of F1's sporting regulations which states: "The driver must drive the car alone and unaided."

The new ruling tells team: "In order to ensure that the requirements of Article 20.1 of the F1 sporting regulations are respected at all times FIA intends to rigorously enforce this regulation with immediate effect.

"Therefore, no radio conversation from pit to driver may include any information that is related to the performance of the car or driver."



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FIA confirms 20-race calendar for 2015

Formula One racing’s governing body, the FIA, has published the calendar for the 2015 world championship following a meeting of its World Motor Sport Council in Beijing on Thursday.

It features 20 rounds, including the return of Mexico in November. The Mexican race will take place at the same venue which staged the country’s last Grand Prix in 1992 - Mexico City’s Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez.

The expanded calendar means the 2015 season will finish one week later than in 2014, with the Abu Dhabi finale taking place on the final weekend in November.

The 2015 calendar in full:

15/03 Australia

29/03 Malaysia

05/04 Bahrain

19/04 China

10/05 Spain

24/05 Monaco

07/06 Canada

21/06 Austria

05/07 Britain

19/07 Germany

26/07 Hungary

23/08 Belgium

06/09 Italy

20/09 Singapore

27/09 Japan

11/10 Russia

25/10 USA

01/11 Mexico

15/11 Brazil

29/11 Abu Dhabi


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Mercedes: Teenager Pascal Wehrlein named reserve driver

Mercedes have named German teenager Pascal Wehrlein as their reserve driver.

The 19-year-old, who has covered 12,000km in the team's simulator this year, had a first Formula 1 test last week at Portugal's Portimao track.

The team were "impressed with his progress and feedback".

"Pascal has a bright future ahead of him and we are excited to have him on board for the intense conclusion to the F1 season," team boss Toto Wolff said.

Mercedes have dominated F1 this season and their drivers Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton are effectively disputing a private fight for the title, although Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo is not completely out of touch yet.

As reserve driver, Wehrlein, who is 20 next month, would likely step in if either Hamilton or Rosberg were unable to race.

"Pascal has worked hard behind the scenes this year in our simulator, playing a very important role in our pre-race preparations," Wolff said.

"He took an important step last week when he drove an F1 car for the first time and we were pleased to see him deliver a composed and impressive test, in line with our expectations."

Wehrlein took his maiden win in the DTM German Touring Car championship at the Lausitzring on Sunday and was runner-up in the Formula Three Euroseries in 2012.


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