Welcome to the Formula One Times, 1st December edition.
Today, Mark Andrew will be making his second appearance reporting the news with Ryan Wood. Enjoy your regular dose of F1 news in small bites, and make sure you check out the bottom of the page for a link to the special edition F1 Times reporting the build-up to the Race Of Champions.
Medals System to be opposed by FIA and Teams
Bernie Ecclestone's controversial medals system is said to have not yet been formally presented to the FIA or the teams, and that a number of teams have 'misgivings' about the system.
Professor Steven Huck, head of the Economics department at UCL and expert at understanding incentives has said the idea is flawed, and that the system 'only incentivises the top teams'.
Walker: Stewards were disappointing in '08!
Murray Walker reckons the F1 race stewards' decisions were the biggest disappointment in this year's F1 World Championship, however, he's confident the FIA will resolve the issues.
The 2008 season saw strange decisions from the race stewards that led to suggestions of bias towards Ferrari and against Lewis Hamilton as the McLaren driver was handed some rather strange penalties.
Not only was he penalised in Belgium despite F1 race director Charlie Whiting saying his move to hand Kimi Raikkonen back the position he took was "okay" but later in the season he also got a drive-through penalty for pushing the Finn wide at the start of the race.
"I was very disappointed with some of the calls the stewards made and the composition of the stewards," Walker said.
Alonso Keeping Quiet on Ferrari Future
Fernando Alonso is remaining tight-lipped about the possibility of switching from Renault to Ferrari in time for the 2010 F1 season.
With the news that the Spanish bank, Santander, are set to swap to Ferrari in 2010 rumours are once again doing the rounds claiming that the Spaniard could be following suit.
The double World Champion, though, is refusing to comment on the matter.
Asked whether Ferrari was in his future, Alonso said: "A quick answer to that would not be the right answer."
Button Predicts Wins in '09
Jenson Button is confident that the 2009 regulations could see Honda once again return to the podium—and perhaps even the top step.
Next year's Championship will see a whole host of new rules introduced into Formula One, including new aerodynamic regulations, slick tyres, and the KERS system (Kinetic Energy Recovery System).
Furthermore, the Brit reckons these rules could play into Honda's hands, perhaps even yielding the team's first win since the 2006 Hungarian Grand Prix. "The last two years have been very difficult for all of us, but I think we have a very strong team and we have a real passion for racing, so things will come good for us," he told the 25,000 Honda fans gathered at the end-of-season "Honda Racing Thanks Day" at Motegi earlier this week.
Button continued on to say, "I've already seen what is happening with the car for next year, and it looks very positive. It feels more like 2006, when I got three podiums and I won my first race. So it's all very positive, and I'm hoping to get some more wins next year."
Webber Eyes Return on Launch day
Mark Webber has set himself the date of February 10 to drive a Formula One car again.
The Australian driver was speaking five days after suffering a broken leg, sustained when he collided with a car whilst competing in the Mark Webber Pure Tasmania Challenge—a 250-kilometre multi-discipline endurance event.
The date Webber has targeted is that on which his team, Red Bull, are scheduled to debut their 2009 car.
The Milton-Keynes-based outfit are set to run a hybrid version of this season's car for the bulk of their winter testing schedule.
"I'm aiming to drive the car at the first test," said Webber, who suffered a compound fracture in the accident. "Whether that's possible, I don't know, but if I have to wait another week or 10 days for the sake of the whole season, then I will."
Finishing on a high-note, the Aussie said, "I will make sure I'm in the best shape I can be for the first race."
Hartley, Buemi and Vettel Get December Test
With driver Mark Webber laid up with a broken leg, following his cycling accident in Australia last weekend, Red Bull have announced a revised line-up for their forthcoming Jerez test.
Red Bull Junior Team driver, Brendon Hartley, 2008 test driver Sebastien Buemi and the outfit’s new '09 recruit, Sebastian Vettel, will all be in action during the three-day.
Race of Champions (ROC) Build-up has begun, go check it out...