BREAKING NEWS: Force India Split from Ferrari
Force India have confirmed that they won't be in partnership with Ferrari from 2009. Ferrari has agreed an early termination of it's contract with the team. Force India is now expected to seal a deal with Mercedes for the 2009 season, at least.
“The Force India Formula One Team today announces that it has ended its contract with Ferrari,” read a team statement.
"The agreement signed in 2007 also provided for a supply of engines in 2009, but will now terminate ahead of schedule at the request of Force India.
“Force India wishes to thank Ferrari for its much appreciated and valued support to date, which has always been carried out at the highest level; technically and professionally and within an excellent relationship,” the statement said.
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Right, this is the last time that The Formula One Times is to be set in this format. We are starting our new format on Monday under the screen name of "The Formula One Times." We'd like to suggest that you add The Formula One Times to your fans so that you don't miss our daily news.
Bernie Ecclestone Called to Resign after Hamilton Comments
Bernie Ecclestone has hit out after the reaction to his recent comments involving Lewis Hamilton that were received as jokes rather than examples of "real" racism.
The F1 boss' comments to BBC Radio 5 Live were immediately rejected by Hamilton. The comments suggested the abuse suffered by Lewis was a "joke." Ecclestone was quoted as saying "I don't think it was anything to do with racism. There were a few people in Spain and that was probably beginning as a joke rather than anything abusive."
These comments sparked outrage in Great Britain, including from anti-racism campaigner and former Chelsea defender, Paul Elliot, who believes the 78-year-old Ecclestone "should resign" as a result.
The billionaire businessman responded "I was the one who pulled the grand prix out of South Africa (after 1985) in support of Nelson Mandela because of bloody apartheid, before these people knew anything about racism."
Since the outrage, Bernie has recoiled and described the racists as "cowards" and said that the racist website, which has now been closed, was "disgusting."
"We won't put up with that in Formula One," Ecclestone told British newspaper, The Mirror. "They are cowards. They are nothing, they are nobodies."
The FIA did not want to wallow on the latest act of racism, explaining that the sport's governing body "has consistently made its position clear" on the issue of racism.
Lewis Hamilton: I don't see Racism as a Joke
We are all aware that Lewis Hamilton has had a rough time with it when it comes to racism, with racist attacks during last year's on-track practice in Spain and in more recent times, online.
Earlier in the week, F1 boss, Bernie Ecclestone, released a statement saying "I think that’s all nonsense. In Spain, people were supporting [Fernando] Alonso, and in Sao Paulo they were supporting Felipe [Massa]. I don’t think it is anything to do with racism," on BBC Radio 5 live.
Talking to Reuters, Hamilton was quoted to say, "I don't particularly look at it as a joke. It's something that's happened but it's in the past and you've got to look forward."
NASCAR is Missing the F1 Factor
Just moments after winning the Dickies 500 at Texas Motor Speedway last Sunday, Carl Edwards mentioned how "cool" it was to see Lewis Hamilton win the Formula One championship on the final lap at Brazil.
Edwards has hopes of pulling off a similar feat in the Chase for the Sprint Cup. However, this looks unlikely with only two races left and Jimmie Johnson leading by 106 points. NASCAR is urging for Edwards to at least make a race of it. Blowouts aren't good for television ratings or attendance.
Formula One hasn't had that problem the last few seasons. Championships have come down to the very end, even without a playoff format. When asked how he felt about this, F1 boss, Bernie Ecclestone told ITV "It makes it a bit more exciting."
Honda to Test di Grassi, Barichello Still Doesn't have a Drive
Lucas di Grassi, GP2 star and current Renault test driver, is the second youngest driver to be handed a testing opportunity by Honda Racing later this month as the Brackley squad considers its options for next season.
Honda announced earlier in the week that Bruno Senna, nephew of the late Ayrton Senna, would be testing at the Circuit de Catalunya. Now, it seems that he will be joined by di Grassi.
Meanwhile, nothing has been confirmed with Rubens Barrichello. Rubens still hasn't had a seat confirmed at Honda; it is looking more and more likely that he will not be racing next season. If anything changes, we will of course report this.
F1 Fans to be Shocked by 2009 Cars
Alfonso Martinez, head of the Spanish arm of the technology consulting firm Altran, a company working on Renault's 2009 car, said there are to be "shocking" changes made to F1 cars over the winter.
Next year's changes will include slick tyres and KERS and will see flip-ups and winglets become a thing of the past. The cars are also set to have a larger front wing and a taller, but smaller, rear wing.
Speaking about the impact of the new bodywork rules, Martinez told the Spanish sports daily Marca "The shock is going to be tremendous when these cars are seen."
The aim of the changes, amongst other things, is to encourage overtaking. But, Martinez is not sure the changes will have the desired effect, "There continues to be a lot of dirty air in the (car's) wake, although less than before."
Wings for Life Support
We have received the "go ahead" to support the Wings for Life charity from B/R's Managing Editor, Ryan Alberti, but must await for the "all clear" from Zander, Bleacher's Community Director.
Wings of Life have been informed and as long as everything goes smoothly over the next few days, we should be able to support the charity by the middle of next week.
A special thanks go to the readers of "The Times," on behalf of Paul Heffernan and myself. We hope you will join us in our new format from Monday. As I said, we'd like to suggest that you add The Formula One Times to your fans to keep up with all the goings on in the F1 World.
The Formula One Times is a Monday-Friday piece, so we won't be with you over this weekend as we prepare to kick-off the new style Times, however, if something BIG happens we will bring you story in a "BREAKING NEWS" article so always keep your eye's open for them.
See you Monday!