The Formula One Times: 13th November: Rubens Barrichello Set to Retire?

The Formula One TimesCorrespondent INovember 13, 2008

It's become rather lonely here at "Times HQ." With Paul Heffernan leaving yesterday, we now see our "Man in the Bleachers," LJ Burgess, take a small break due to personal commitments.

Be assured however, that LJ will be submitting things when he has the time spare. We wish LJ all the best and look forward to his return momentarily.

In LJ's absence, I have tried something new. A "Who was it?" section. Have a look and see if you can solve the mystery.

Thanks to all those who have continued to support me over the last few days; it makes all the work worthwhile.

A special thanks to Mike, Ryan and Michael who have all pledged to help me when "Times" gets rough! Appreciate it, guys. So without further drama, lets get Thursday rolling...

Adam Poole
(Managing Editor)

Barrichello: I'll Either Stay in F1 or Retire

Rubens Barrichello has said that he'll retire if he fails to find a seat in Formula One next season.

The 36-year-old Brazilian driver has turned down the possibility of a move to the Indy Racing League or any other series saying, "Either I stay in F1, or I won't race."

Barrichello has competed in 271 Grands Prix, the most of any Formula One driver. He was with Honda this season, but his contract has not been renewed, and the team is testing other drivers. Lucas di Grassi and Bruno Senna, the nephew of three-time world champion Ayrton Senna, are to test in Barcelona next week.

"If they are good, they will keep the position," Barrichello said. "But if an empty seat is left, I'll take it." Hoping to race in his 17th season, Barrichello also has a chance of driving for Toro Rosso.

McLaren Develop Electronics of the Future

On a personal note, I have always wanted to put a big McLaren sign on here. However, down to business, and it seems that McLaren have been looking at the old school books again and have joined forces with Freescale Semi Conductor to develop the complex systems for the next generation of racing vehicles.

A change in the Formula 1 regulations allows the racing cars to recuperate kinetic energy, store it and use it to accelerate the cars during the race. There is no regulation as to the physical principle of these Kinetic Energy Recovery Systems (KERS); theoretically they can use watch batteries or super-capacitors to store electrical energy. However, most F1 racing teams will rely on electrical systems, explained McLaren Electronis Systems' (MES) managing director, Peter van Manen. "This is the biggest change in the Formula One world for decades."

Freescale and MES will join forces to develop the complex power management circuitry required for the KERS. While the co-operation aims at winning F1 races in the first place, Freescale and MES will benefit from it since the technology developed can be used in standard hybrid road cars in several years. "It's much bigger than racing," explained van Manen.

The new rules, put in force by governing body, the FIA, stipulate that the maximum power stored must not exceed 60 kilowatts and that no more than 400 kilo-joule of energy can be reused per lap, which means that the drivers have to use their additional thrust wisely.

Hotel Group Increases Room Prices to Support Grand Prix

Montreal's hotel association has agreed to a 1 percent tax hike on rooms in an effort to save the city's Formula One Grand Prix.

The association is prepared to support an increase in the room tax to 4 percent to help raise money that could be used to subsidize the city's F1 race. The proposal will be put forward to F1 boss, Bernie Ecclestone, around Nov. 20.

The tax hike could generate around $5 million a year and would be handed over to Grand Prix Canada. This pledge comes in addition to public subsidies already promised by the Quebec and federal governments, which pledged $2.5 million apiece to save the race.


Renault test for Van der Garde

ING Renault have agreed to allow 23-year old Dutchman, Giedo van der Garde, to test for them in next week's Barcelona track test.

The former Spyker tester will drive the R28 on the first two days of the test on November 17-19. In preparation for the outing he is expected to visit Renault’s Enstone factory for a seat fitting and to speak with the team’s engineers this Thursday (Today).

"This is an incredible opportunity being offered to me by Renault Sport Technologies and ING Renault F1 Team," van der Garde told his personal website. "To be able to test-drive a Formula 1 car in these conditions, with a team that has won two world championships and again this year won two Grands Prix, is ideal. Going back to Enstone will be very special for me."

Giedo is confident he will make a good showing next week and says, "It's a real positive to be driving on a circuit where I've driven quite a lot in the past. However, In a Formula 1 car, everything will be different. It's another world! The most important thing for me will be to learn as much as I can."

Giedo is confident he will make a good showing next week and says, "It's a real positive to be driving on a circuit where I've driven quite a lot in the past. However, In a Formula 1 car, everything will be different. It's another world! The most important thing for me will be to learn as much as I can."


Kubica: 2008 Was the Toughest Year of my Career

Fourth place man, Robert Kubica, has said that last season was the toughest of his career. The Pole was in with a mathematical shot of the championship right up until China and thinks he drove really well.

"The 2008 season was very long and extremely hard, probably the toughest of my career," says Robert Kubica. "The team have done a wonderful job and we can be proud of our season. I don't like to give myself too much praise, but I think I drove really well. I was almost always fast and able to show my potential."

The first half of the season, the highlight of which was the one-two for Robert and Nick Heidfeld in Montreal, is one that the Pole will remember for a long time. "I can think of various great moments, especially over the first half of the season: my podium in Malaysia, pole position in Bahrain and, of course, my first race victory in Canada," says Robert. "I'm also very proud of my performance in Fuji. That was probably my strongest race of the year."

Speaking on the BMW Sauber website, Kubica continued to say, "The most frustrating weekend was the first of the season in Melbourne: I'd had a very disappointing season in 2007 and my race was going really well until Kazuki Nakajima ran into me," Robert recalls.

"But we have made a big leap forward compared to 2007. We had no technical retirements and were in there fighting for the title almost until the end of the season."

Alonso not to Test until 2009

Double World Champion, Fernando Alonso, will not be testing his Renault until 2009 it has been revealed today.

According to the Spanish newspaper 'Sport', Renault's number one will not be testing for his team until the new car arrives. This means that he will not be testing in front of his home crowd at Barcelona next week when winter testing kicks-off, instead he will be taking a short holiday from F1 after a tough season.


Team Principal of the Year

At the Professional World Motorsport Awards held in Cologne, Scuderia Toro Rosso's Team Principal, Franz Tost, was awarded "Team Principal of the Year" award. The 2008 season saw Toro Rosso score its first pole position and first victory in Italy. The team finished the season in sixth in the Championship standings with a total of 39 points.

With the loss of "Man in the Bleachers" I decided to give something else a go. This is purely for a bit of fun, just to test your F1 knowledge.

I will describe a former F1 driver and you have to guess who it is. Obviously this would be easy to research so try and get it without cheating! Here goes...

This driver has been knighted by the Queen of England and is known by a nick name rather than by his birth name.  He was born in 1939. In 1966 he almost won the Indianapolis 500 on his first attempt, in John Mecom's Lola T90-Ford.

On lap one of the 1966 Belgian Grand Prix at Spa-Francorchamps, when sudden rain caused many crashes, he found himself trapped in his overturned BRM, getting soaked by leaking fuel.

Finally, and this should give you it, he went on to win the Formula One world championship in 1971 using the excellent Tyrrell 003-Cosworth, winning Spain, Monaco, France, Britain, Germany, and Canada.

If you want, pop the answer in comments if you know it!

Wings for Life Appeal - NEW INFORMATION

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 and 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?

I have re-contacted Zander regarding this matter and should have the go-ahead by the end of the week ready for a button next 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.


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