The Formula One Times: 16th December: ROC Results & Testing News

The Formula One TimesCorrespondent IDecember 16, 2008

Welcome to the F1 Times, this issue includes the latest news from the F1 world, plus the results from the Race of Champions held at Wembley Stadium on Sunday, 14 Dec.


Zander has given his blessing for the official Bleacher Report Batracer Clan to launch.

If you haven't yet joined, search 'Bleacher Report' on the Clan page at and help us climb the rankings!


Buemi wants Button as a team-mate


With Button without a drive in 2009, Buemi has said he would love to partner with a 'good' driver such as Jenson.

This comes as Toro Rosso make a decision on their 2009 line-up and Buemi is at the top of the sheet with strong testing results.

However, Button has vied to stay at Honda (what's left of it) and has decided he won't race in 2009 if Honda don't find a buyer before the season opener in March.


Testing Report

Red Bull, BMW, Williams, Ferrari and McLaren were all out testing this week, with Ferrari and McLaren at the Algarve and the rest at Jerez its difficult to compare times.

In Jerez, Buemi stayed top whilst Nick Heidfeld slotted in second, almost 1.5s slower. Hartley's Red Bull came third, closely followed by Klien's BMW, with the Williams of Hulkenburg coming fifth.

Meanwhile, Gary Paffett took the MP4-23 with a 2009 reg front wing out for a spin. he completed a total of 63 laps whilst Massa retired after just 36 laps due to illness. This could be the reason for him being over a second off the pace of the McLaren.

Jerez Times:

1 - S. Buemi (Red Bull) 1.17.704, 71 laps

2 - N. Heidfeld (BMW) 1.19.223, 75 laps

3 - B. Hartley (Red Bull) 1.19.586, 95 laps

4 - C. Klien (BMW) 1.19.655, 95 laps

5 - N. Hulkenburg (Williams) 1.20.704, 100 laps


Algarve Times:

1 - G. Paffett (McLaren) 1:31.788, 63 laps

2 - F. Massa (Ferrari) 1.32.926, 36 laps


Subaru and Suzuki quit WRC

Just a week after Honda quit Formula One, Suzuki and Subaru have both pulled out of the World Rally Championship due to spiraling costs and the economic crisis.

Subaru are backed by Prodrive, which is off course, owned by David Richards, who was once the team principal at BAR Honda and has been looking to enter F1 for years.

"It certainly clears the decks and gives me a bit of spare time to think about it, that's for sure," said Richards.

"The new structure for F1 from 2010 onwards, with new regulations coming and very significant cost-cutting programmes, certainly make it more appealing and far more suitable for a company such as ours.

"It's still a challenge, not to be underestimated, but it certainly becomes far more feasible."

So the Prodrive F1 dream has taken another step towards reality.


The day was supposed to begin with an epic race, Hoy vs Hamilton, but due to the slippery nature of the track, Hoy pulled out, fearing a slip may cause an injury. The race was called of. Instead, Hamilton took Hoy out for a spin in a Mercedes road car.

The Nations cup was up first, one member from one nation was pitted against another and the fastest over four laps, or two laps if you work on the new system, which meant one lap was actually crossing the finish line twice, hmm.

The final was between Scandinavia and Germany. Schumacher won his race against Tom Kristensen, but Vettel couldn't manage to win against Mattias Ekstrom, which meant Schumacher had to race again, finally beating Mattias Ekstrom. Germany retained the ROC Nations Cup trophy.

The ROC Champion of Champions final was against David Coulthard and Sebastien Loeb. In a surprising result NASCAR driver Carl Edwards knocked Schumacher out in round one. Vettel was also knocked out in the first round, whilst Button was knocked out by American Tanner Foust. Sebastien Loeb finally won after beating Coulthard by just 0.3s.

Nations Cup winner - Team Germany. (Michael Schumacher and Sebastian Vettel)

Champion of Champions - Sebastien Loeb.