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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 Singapore GP

01 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 2:00:04.795

02 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull +13.5

03 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull +14.2

04 Fernando Alonso Ferrari +15.2

05 Felipe Massa Williams +41.9

06 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso +56.5

07 Sergio Perez Force India +58.7

08 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari +60.3

09 Nico Hulkenberg Force India +61.3

10 Kevin Magnussen McLaren +61.8

11 Valtteri Bottas Williams +64.6

12 Pastor Maldonado Lotus +66.3

13 Romain Grosjean Lotus +67.3

14 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso +71.2

15 Marcus Ericsson Caterham +93.3

16 Jules Bianchi Marussia +93.6

17 Max Chilton Marussia +1 lap

Not Classified

Jenson Button McLaren

Adrian Sutil Sauber

Esteban Gutierrez Sauber

Nico Rosberg Mercedes

Kamui Kobayashi Caterham +60 laps

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David Brabham targets Formula 1 as name returns to racing

The Brabham name will return to motorsport in 2015 and could feature in Formula 1 again in the future.

Former F1 driver David Brabham - son of marque founder Sir Jack - will lead 'Project Brabham' as it competes in the World Endurance Championship.

Fans will be able to buy a stake in the team, with the aim of funding a sustainable business.

"I have dreamt of seeing the Brabham team back on the track, winning at the highest level," said Brabham, 49.

"Who knows where that could lead? Back to Formula 1, I hope."

The Australian said it was not feasible to rebuild the team from scratch and hopes "a new model of open source racing" will succeed.

Brabham last competed in F1 in 1992 with Britain's Damon Hill behind the wheel.

Founded in 1962, the team won drivers' world championships in 1966 and 1967 through Sir Jack Brabham - the only man to win the title in his own car - and in 1981 and 1983 with Brazilian Nelson Piquet.


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Verstappen to set F1 record in Japan GP practice

LONDON — Max Verstappen will become the youngest driver to take part in a Formula One weekend when he drives a Toro Rosso in Friday practice at the Japanese Grand Prix only three days after his 17th birthday.

The current record is held by Germany’s quadruple world champion Sebastian Vettel, who took part in free practice for BMW Sauber in Turkey in 2006 at the age of 19 years and 53 days.

Toro Rosso said on Monday that the Dutch youngster had been granted the mandatory superlicence by the governing FIA after completing 300km in his first test in a Formula One car in Italy earlier in September.



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Honda releases first image of new V6 turbo power unit


Honda has released the first image of its 2015 power unit ahead of this weekend's Japanese Grand Prix.

Honda will return to F1 as a power unit supplier for McLaren next year and this weekend in Suzuka will show off video and audio of its new V6 turbo for the first time. McLaren has said it is its cars might run with Honda engines before pre-season testing next year, but a date has not yet been set.


Read more at http://en.espnf1.com/f1/motorsport/story/177145.html#fH6yatB5jPOzfR16.99

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Alonso and Ferrari heading for split Fernando Alonso and Ferrari are heading for a split at the end of the 2014 Formula 1 season, with McLaren now the Spaniard's main target for next year.

After relations between Alonso and Ferrari reached a critical point amid a major restructuring at Maranello, sources suggest that both team and driver now accept their future is apart.

Alonso has grown impatient to secure the third F1 world title he so craves and wants to leave, while Ferrari is realistic that it will take at least two years to get back into championship contention.

That conflict of a driver's short-term ambitions and the team's long-term realism has put them on different paths.

While a formal deal to end Alonso's current contract, which runs until the end of 2016, is not yet ready to be announced, it is expected that the situation should be fully resolved within the next few weeks.

Only a dramatic last-minute change of heart from either party will prevent their five-year relationship coming to an end.

Speaking at Suzuka on Thursday, Alonso made clear he would do what was best for Ferrari - which knows its focus must be on improving its infrastructure and car rather than worrying about driver politics.

But he was adamant that he could not afford to throw away the best form of his career and not deliver results on track.

"I want to win and I'm ready to maximise the performance of this moment of my career that has been the best moment and I feel good," he said. "I feel fit, I feel confident.

"I've adapted the driving style to the new regulations every year, and I feel that I'm in the best moment of my career. Hopefully I can take the benefit of this in the next coming years and add some titles in the pocket and retire with more than two."

He was seen feeding grapes to mechanics and fans in the garage during a brief lull in track action midway through Friday's free practice.

It is understood that Alonso does not yet have a firm plan in place for 2015, but talks have opened up again with McLaren about a switch there.

Alonso himself admitted that his mind was "already set probably" although he refused to expand more on what his options were.

Sources with good knowledge of the situation insist that while his discussions with McLaren are at an advanced stage, there is not yet a deal in place.

McLaren has been open in the past about its desire to secure Alonso's services, and if successful it will face the choice of dropping either Kevin Magnussen or Jenson Button for next year.

Ferrari already has Kimi Raikkonen under contract for 2015, and has a number of options for who it slots in alongside the Finn.

While it is believed to have longer term ambitions to sign Sebastian Vettel, the fact the German is under contract at Red Bull for next year means the Maranello outfit may need an alternative in the shorter term.

Its protege Jules Bianchi is an option, but Nico Hulkenberg and Romain Grosjean have also emerged as more experienced contenders.


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Extent of Jules Bianchi's Japanese GP crash injuries revealed

Jules Bianchi's family has revealed the extent of the head injuries he suffered in a crash during the Japanese Grand Prix.

While the 25-year-old Frenchman remains in intensive care at the Mie General Medical Center in Yokkaichi in a critical but stable condition, it has been confirmed that he has suffered a diffuse axonal injury.

Such an injury is usually the consequence of the forces of a rapid acceleration or deceleration of the head and affects the nerves in the brain.

Its severity can vary over a wide range.

"This is a very difficult time for our family, but the messages of support and affection for Jules from all over the world have been a source of great comfort to us," said Bianchi's family in a statement.

"We would like to express our sincere appreciation.

"The hospital will continue to monitor and treat Jules and further medical updates will be provided when appropriate."

The family thanked FIA Medical Commission president Professor Gerard Saillant for his presence at the hospital, and also Professor Alessandro Frati, neurosurgeon of the University of Rome La Sapienza, who has travelled to Japan at Ferrari's request.

"They arrived at the hospital today and met with the medical personnel responsible for Jules' treatment, in order to be fully informed of his clinical status so that they are able to advise the family," the statement added.

"Professors Saillant and Frati acknowledge the excellent care being provided by the Mie General Medical Center and would like to thank their Japanese colleagues."


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Michael Schumacher will be able to live 'a relatively normal life', says former Ferrari boss Jean Todt

Michael Schumacher will be able to live "a relatively normal life", says former Ferrari boss and current FIA president Jean Todt.

The Formula One legend suffered serious head injuries following a skiing accident in France last December, which left him in a medically-induced coma.

Todt, who became close friends with Schumacher during their time at Ferrari, delivered the promising news after recently visiting the seven-time world champion at his home in Switzerland.

"We may assume that Schumacher can live a relatively normal life within a short period of time," the FIA president told Belgian broadcaster RTL.

"What we can say is that he will probably never again drive a Formula One car."

He added: "He fights. His condition improves, which is very important as is the fact that he is now home with his family."


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Bernie Ecclestone unveils Azerbaijan Grand Prix track layout


Formula One CEO Bernie Ecclestone and Azad Rahimov, Azerbaijan’s Minister of Youth and Sport, today unveiled the layout of the exciting new Hermann Tilke designed Baku European Grand Prix street circuit at a special press event in Baku, Azerbaijan.

The Baku European Grand Prix will take place in 2016 and today’s event saw Mr Ecclestone and Minister Rahimov presenting the layout of the street circuit that will see Formula One cars racing through the streets of Baku on F1’s newest track.

Bernie Ecclestone: “Azerbaijan is the latest addition to the Formula One calendar and I am pleased to see they have designed an innovative new street circuit that will definitely help to create a world class event when we race there in 2016.”

Azad Rahimov: “This is a very exciting milestone for everybody involved in the Baku European Grand Prix and I would like to thank Mr Ecclestone for taking the time out of his very busy schedule to come and help us unveil the newest F1 circuit to join the world’s most exciting sport.

“We have been working very closely on the circuit layout with Hermann Tilke and his team since early 2013. Our brief to Tilke Engineering was simple – create a circuit that is unique, one that will help the Grand Prix in Baku quickly establish itself as one of the most exciting, thrilling venues on the F1 calendar, and one that the fans and teams alike are excited about. Most importantly, we wanted a track that would showcase the best of Baku, our capital city, and I am delighted that the circuit the F1 teams will race on in 2016 has achieved exactly that aim.

“Now the next phase of hard work begins and we are all excited about seeing the circuit evolve over the coming months. We know there will be challenges, but with the support of Mr Ecclestone, Tilke Engineering and everyone involved in helping to create F1’s newest Grand Prix, we know we will deliver a spectacular event in 2016 that will add to Azerbaraijan’s well-earned reputation as a modern European country that is the perfect venue for the planet’s highest profile sports and entertainment events.”

Hermann Tilke, CEO Tilke Engineering: “I am absolutely thrilled about the Baku European Grand Prix project and delighted we can now unveil the track design. We have created a challenging street circuit, in terms of engineering and design, and one that thrives on Baku's very attractive urban atmosphere and its great combination of history and 21st century style. The historic city centre, the beautiful seaside promenade and the impressive government house all combine to provide the perfect backdrop for a spectacular new track."

“Obviously street circuits present a number of challenges, in terms of circuit design, but we have been able to incorporate some unique features that will provide the teams and fans with fascinating racing. For example, there will be an extremely narrow uphill section at the old town wall that will reward pinpoint accuracy and courage, and we have an acceleration section of almost 2.2kms along the promenade which will see the cars running flat out at very high top speeds – something that will create an incredible spectacle for the race fans on track and the viewers at home.”

Anar Alakbarov, Executive Director of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation and the president of Azerbaijan Automobile Federation was also present at today’s event. Mr Alakbarov said: “Formula One, the world's fastest motorsport championship is already very popular in Azerbaijan as a spectator sport. We are deeply honoured by the privilege awarded to us by the Formula One family in welcoming us to their party and enabling us to host the Baku European Grand Prix in 2016.”

“We are also confident that hosting this Grand Prix will act as a catalyst for the sport of Formula One in our country and I expect youngsters throughout the city will be so impressed by this spectacular event taking place on their doorstep that dreams of becoming the first Azerbaijani Formula One World Champion will take root.”

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Michael Schumacher will be able to live 'a relatively normal life', says former Ferrari boss Jean Todt

Schumacher: Todt comments misquoted

Comments attributed to Jean Todt suggesting that Michael Schumacher will be able to live a "relatively normal life" are not correct.

Since Michael Schumacher's accident in December, the only reliable source of accurate information, even if somewhat thin on the ground, has been Sabine Kehm, the German's official spokesperson.


Consequently, when comments from his former (Ferrari) team boss Jean Todt began emerging yesterday, we thought it prudent to check with her.

Though not wanting to make a comment on the record she told Pitpass that the words attributed to Mr Todt were not what he said.

Sure enough, it would appear that comments he made in an interview with France's RTL were either misquoted or poorly translated.

First the 'misquotes' appeared in Germany before being picked up by the International media.

In Germany, Spiegel proclaimed 'Friend Todt announces "normal life" for Schumacher', while Focus reported 'Schumacher will "live a normal life"' and NTV, 'Schumacher "he will lead a relatively normal life"'.

Elsewhere, Britain's Daily Mail reported 'Michael Schumacher 'will be able to live relatively normal life' ex Ferrari boss says', while the Mirror declared 'F1 hero Michael Schumacher can lead 'relatively normal life' soon, says former boss Todt', even the Daily Telegraph, Times and Guardian echoed the original misquote.

Today however, the Guardian has amended its article, admitting: "This article was amended on 8 October 2014. The headline and text originally said that Jean Todt believed Michael Schumacher could lead a "relatively normal life again". In fact, Todt said that he "hoped" that Schumacher would make a recovery. Similar corrections, blaming mistranslation by a news agency, have now appeared elsewhere.

Indeed, asked how Schumacher is (today), Todt told RTL: "Today? He is fighting. And we hope that things will get better.

"During the past weeks and months he has made progress with the severity of his injury," he added, "but has a long and hard road ahead of him."

Asked, if the German can control his movements and if he can talk, the Frenchman said: "I will not go into detail because it is too personal. I think the important thing is that he lives, that his family is with him and that it is better, but we must give him time. We must leave him alone."


Whilst in no way wanting to dash people's hopes, it was vital that we double-check with Michael's spokesperson who remains the only accurate source of official information on the German legend's progress.

Whilst, as is the case with Jules Bianchi, we want to hear good news, it has be fact-based and entirely correct.


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Lotus will switch from Renault to Mercedes power units next season after agreeing a long-term supply agreement with the German manufacturer.

The deal, which was highly anticipated, ensures Mercedes will continue to provide power units to three customer teams in 2015, following McLaren's impending switch to Honda.



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