What a difference a day makes!
It is with deep regret that we say goodbye to Paul Heffernan. Paul has left Bleacher Report due to personal circumstances and will no longer be able to contribute to "The Formula One Times." I'd just like to say a massive "thanks" to Paul for setting this up and letting me be a part of it.
Secondly, with the demise of Paul, and my new work schedule, after signing a contract today, it is going to be impossible for me to run "The NASCAR Times" alongside this paper. Sorry guys, I was looking forward to it as well.
Just a massive thanks for your understanding over the above points, and I hope you will continue to read and enjoy the F1 Times...I'll try my best to keep the standards as high as you have come to expect. Who knows, might even get a little better, we can hope!
Adam Poole (Managing Editor)
F1 Teams Demand Bigger Share of Cash
Formula One teams are set to demand a bigger share of the sport’s revenues after growing alarmed at the amount of interest being paid by its owners to service $5bn (£3.2bn) in debts.
Teams are resisting efforts by the FIA to force them into a series of controversial cost-cutting measures. The first steps in the FIA’s plan came last week when tenders closed for the standard-engine contract.
If we look at the accounts of Delta3 (UK), F1's holding company, for the 12 months up until last December, they show that CVC Capital, which bought the sport from a collection of banks two years ago, loaded around $5 billion of debt onto the account, including bank loans and credit from CVC, although the private equity firm insists it will not enforce repayment of this debt, since it acts only as a standard tax-reduction mechanism.
Paying the loans cost Delta3 $229.6m in interest last year, equivalent to almost half the central distribution to the constructors, a fact that has dismayed teams.
"There is anger felt from many teams," said one member of the FOTA. "We have had banks, oil companies, financial institutions, and pharmaceutical companies with us as sponsors. We have raised this money. Why do we have to keep cutting costs? The sport earns a lot of money, so let’s look at our share."
Chronotech and ING Renault: The Perfect Partnership
Chronotech has been involved in Formula 1 racing since 2005 as a partner of the ING Renault F1 Team, and has renewed its support for the team to the end of the 2009 season at least.
This year and into next season, Chronotech and ING Renault have all the ingredients to reach their respective finishing lines as winners.
That’s exactly what happened at the Singapore Grand Prix, Formula One's first night race. Fernando Alonso arrived first across the finishing line and climbed the highest podium with Chronotech.
CT7972M/02 (not the one pictured) is one of the latest models Chronotech dedicates to F1 racing. The three counters on the calendar itself suggest the chicanes of a circuit. Orange, the dominating colour of Team ING Renault, and yellow highlight the counters and indexes.
Montoya: I no longer want to be in F1
Toro Rosso has tried to coax former F1 driver, Juan Pablo Montoya, back into Formula One but didn't have much luck with the operation. He isn't running for a championship in NASCAR and he certainly isn't finishing in the front of the pack every week, but according to Toro Rosso, there is no chance he will be hurtling round in a F1 car any time soon.
"Unfortunately, he no longer wants to be in Formula One," Toro Rosso team boss Franz Tost told German magazine Auto Motor and Sport.
FIA Advisor: '09 Aero May Not Improve Show
An FIA adviser has said that the new aerodynamic regulations placed on the teams for the 2009 season may NOT actually improve the show and create closer battles on-track and in the championships.
Tony Purnell, the FIA's technical consultant, told Racecar Engineering Magazine, "It's definitely not predictable."
From next season cars will feature smaller, taller rear wings and a shorter, more rearward diffuser aimed at reducing the cars’ aerodynamic wake, while the permitted size for the front wing has been increased and adjustable flaps are now allowed to aid front end stability when traveling in the turbulent air of another car. The idea? To decrease the amount of dependency on aerodynamic grip and increasing the possibility of overtaking.
Purnell continued to say, "While the cars will be better, have the changes gone far enough? We just don’t know. My belief, however, is that Formula 1, and single-seater racing, and probably sports cars as well, face a dilemma. Unfortunately, there is a degree of evidence that suggests aerodynamics is probably the worst thing you can have when it comes to close racing.”
McLaren Looking Forward to Force India Challenge
Since Force India and Vodafone McLaren-Mercedes joined forces on the technical front, McLaren have made it quite clear that Force India are not becoming a "baby Mclaren" or "McLaren's B team." To back this up, McLaren CEO, Martin Whitmarsh, has today said that he is, in fact, looking forward to seeing Force India move up the grid and challenging Lewis Hamilton and Heikki Kovalainen.
Speaking in a video interview on Force India's website, Whitmarsh says, "For McLaren, I think any new challenge is interesting and exciting. Bringing Force India up the grid is really going to be a great challenge for Force India and McLaren. I think we look forward to that."
"We’ve operated at one end of the grid for such a long time, I think it’s going to be really interesting now to see how we can adapt and how we can contribute to the process of improving the competitiveness of Force India. We as McLaren wouldn’t have got into this relationship unless we felt we could contribute."
"I really don’t think McLaren Racing should fear competition, that’s what we thrive on, and I hope that we start to get some, maybe not next year, but in the years to come from Force India.”
Silverstone Sales Soar
In the wake of Lewis Hamilton's Championship success, Silverstone officials are reporting that sales of tickets for next year's race have sky rocketed compared to the rate that they sold at last year.
In the week that Hamilton won the World Drivers Championship at the highly intense Interlagos race, nearly 22'000 tickets were sold for next season's British Grand-Prix- ten times the amount that was sold this time last year.
"The reaction from fans since Brazil has been incredible," said circuit boss Richard Phillips. "We always notice an increase in sales when Lewis wins, or indeed if any of the British drivers do well, but the level of demand for tickets last week exceeded all expectations."
Speaking about how Lewis has affected the sport here in Britain, Phillips said, "He is a fantastic ambassador for British motor sport and thoroughly deserved to be crowned world champion. We are already looking forward to seeing him here at Silverstone for the British Grand Prix in June. The atmosphere will be amazing."
Toro Rosso's Test
It appears that the driver line-up for Toro Rosso will be decided after next week's Barcelona test. Takuma Sato, Sebastien Buemi, and Sebastien Bourdais will all be participating in the test while the team still need to make a decision on their 2009 driver line-up.
Hakkinen Becomes a Driver Manager
1998 and 1999 World Champion Mika Hakkinen has begun a new career, as a Manager to younger drivers. Hakkinen has now joined Aces Management Group, alongside his long-time friend and manager Didier Coton, to find new talented young drivers and instruct them in the right direction.
Speaking about his new post, Mika said, "I understand what it takes to arrive at the top and how vital it is to a sportsman's career to have a close group of trusted professionals around him. I can't wait to share what I learned winning two world titles, with ambitious and talented young drivers."
A Quick Apology...
Unfortunately, due to other commitments, Saraswathi Sirigina, was unable to contribute in this issue, however in normal circumstances Saraswathi would bring you all the latest on the business side of F1. The bits that we, as fans, sometimes fail to see. Keep your eyes open for Saraswathi's contributions to The Formula One Times coming real soon...
Today's Top Picks
Five hot stories gleaned from the web for your pleasure, the Man in the Bleachers keeps you updated on Motorsports gossip.
Today's top pick is perhaps a glimpse at the future, a rising open wheel star from halfway across the globe. New Zealand's 19-year-old Brendon Hartley is testing for Red Bull again after earlier testing with Toro Rosso.
Will Juan Pablo ever be far from F1 headlines? Here's a quickie little Montoya tidbit for ya!
Bernie, Bernie, Bernie...when will it end? From Paddocktalk we have Ecclestone's latest Faux Pas that just won't go away.
The New York Times always has intriguing Motorsports articles that offer views from a unique perspective. In this piece, Richard Chang discusses course safety with two-time 24 Hours of Le Mans winner Ron Fellows.
The apples don't fall far from the tree now, do they? Sir Jack Brabham is, of course, a legend and it's good to see that the Brabham name carries on through the success of youngest son David in the ALMS.
That's it for today...from the nosebleeds...in The Bleachers!
Wings for Life Appeal
Although not everything has been given the "OK" by Bleacher Report and by the "Wings of Life" foundation, that doesn't stop us giving you a little insight into who "Wings for Life" are what they do.
The Wings for Life Spinal Cord Research Foundation is a privately funded non-profit organization which follows the principal aim of promoting research worldwide in order to expedite scientific and clinical progress towards a putative cure for Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) Paralysis.
Here at The Formula One Times ,we are jumping on board with David Coulthard, Gerhard Berger and Max Mosely, as well as countless other famous faces, to support the foundation.
We are aiming to bring in a button that will take you directly to the charity's website and allow you to donate on-line, all through our articles. Neat, eh? We are hoping to have the go-ahead from both parties by the end of the week.
The Formula One Times is proud to be in partnership with Countdown to Formula One 2009 by Billy Sexton. Make sure you don't miss his weekly countdown every Sunday.