Formula One Times: 14th November: Official Says Shanghai May Axe F1

The Formula One TimesCorrespondent INovember 14, 2008

A massive thanks to those that have supported "The Times" in it's first week under new colors. It's been a weird week with losing Paul Heffernan and LJ Burgess from "Times HQ," leaving me to produce something worth reading- I hope I have managed it. This issue has a bit of "totty" in for the boys... This was under request from our contributing author.

A special thanks in this issue goes to Duncan Scott for his contributions, very much appreciated Duncan! A massive thanks to all of you who have supported this project from the start with the stars and picks, it really does give me a boost when I am just simply too busy to do it- it just makes me get on with it anyway

Hoping to have to go-ahead for the "Wings for Life" appeal sorted by Monday, I'm sure Zander will be OK with everything, he is just a busy guy and probably hasn't managed to get back to my e-mails.

Finally, on a different note. Any English Rugby Super League Fans, I am auctioning a shirt for "The Adam Watene Fund" on ebay, please take a look, it is fully signed and directly from the name sponsors of Super League. Adam Watene sadly and suddenly passed away last month at the age of 31, leaving behind a young family. Further details are on the listing found here.

Thanks again to all of you, see you next week! Let's rock and ride...

Adam Poole
(Managing Editor)

Shanghai May Axe Formula One

Shanghai is considering getting rid of the loss-making Formula One Grand Prix after its contract runs out at the end of 2010, a senior official has told Google news site, AFP.

Deputy director of the Shanghai Administration of Sports, Qiu Weichang, said a decision would be announced at some point next year.

"We're doing the assessment. By next year we should be able to give you an answer," he said in an interview late on Thursday.

China's largest city spent hosted its first Formula One race in 2004 after spending $240 million on the state-of-the-art Shanghai International Circuit but the event has been plagued by poor ticket sales and Qiu said its fate was uncertain.

"We want to create a win-win situation, for our side and for Bernie [Ecclestone] and the F1 organisers as well. If this is something we can do, and our cooperation is very happy and smooth, we will consider it. Of course we would like at least to break even. But there are two factors, one is the assessment the other part is the win-win situation that we can create."

Qiu was also very interested at the idea of a night race, which Bernie Ecclestone is pushing for in Asia as a way to boost European TV audiences. Singapore held the first night Grand Prix in history last season.

"In Singapore... holding the event at night is a good way to attract tourists to a small country," Ecclestone said. "It's obviously enlightened us quite a bit but we will decide based on our own situation what we're going to do to attract fans. I think Singapore is hosting this event in their own unique way but we have our own situation."

New Offer Made for Montreal

Following news earlier in the week that a Montreal Hotel association was to add a 1% tax hike to it's room rate in order to help save the Canadaian Grand-Prix, another offer has been proposed to F1 CEO, Bernie Ecclestone, over the last 24 hours- in the form of the Quebec government!

It is believed that money raised from the tax, added to the amounts pledged by the governments of Canada and the province of Quebec, brought an estimated $10 million to the table.

"There is a limit to what we can bring to the table," said Raymond Bachand, the Minister of Economic Development for the Province of Quebec. Talks are ongoing with Ecclestone, who for the time being has been "uncompromising."

"We will know over the next few days," Bachand added. "It is not something that will take two or three weeks. Within a week at maximum it will be settled."

The Prime Minister of Quebec, Jean Charest, stressed the fact that the size of the offer "must remain an amount that will respect the fact that for the taxpayer, it must be profitable."

If the Canadian GP is not reinstated, there will be no North American destination on the 2009 Formula One calendar.

Red Bull Bird Beats Odds, McLaren Sheepish

When the UK's former F1 broadcaster ITV ran their viewer competitions they typically received about 200,000 entries. The prize was invariably a visit to a Grand Prix as the guest of an F1 Team.

One lucky viewer of the 11th July programme was to be the guest of McLaren for the Brazilian GP, and the Woking boys must have been gutted that the viewer who beat the 200,000:1 odds was Nicole Carling, who happens to be the PA of Red Bull boss Christian Horner.

Lucky Nicole had won fair and square, so she was flown out to Sao Paulo for her prize. Staying at a top hotel, eating slap-up meals, and enjoying a tour of rival McLaren's garage. The Formula One Times does not know if Nicole was strip-searched for a camera, but there were no photographers present when she was hustled around McLaren's temporary home in the Interlagos pit-lane.

After her brief visit to McLaren, Nicole was given a very warm welcome at the Red Bull garage. As part of her prize, Nicole also received a Tag Heur watch, a Hugo Boss suit, and she met Lewis Hamilton. We do not know what they talked about, but she's on Facebook, you ask her.

With Thanks to Duncan Scott for this piece (With thanks to ITV-F1 for image).

It's The Fry Way Or The Highway For Button

Honda F1 CEO Nick Fry has said that the team will be announcing their 2009 driver line-up in mid-December. He seemed to see a role for Jenson Button, telling BBC Sport

'Jenson is an immensely talented driver, I am absolutely convinced that if we, at Honda, give him the car that can do the job he can compete with Lewis.' However, he did not actually commit to re-signing Button, who is now out of contract. Like team-mate Rubens Barichello, Jenson must wait for an early Christmas present before he makes too many plans for next year.

In the meantime, Honda are looking at a raft of other drivers, including Bruno Senna and Lucas di Grassi, but alas not Danica Patrick.

If Santa is cruel to Button, would we still see him in F1? McLaren, Ferrari, BMW, Renault etc are not reported to be clamouring for his services, so it looks like he either stays with Honda or leaves Lewis Hamilton as the sole Brit on the F1 grid.

With Thanks to Duncan Scott for this piece (Full Size Danica Patrick Image can be found by clicking link or image).

Allianz and Williams Partnership Extended to a Decade

The AT&T Williams team have, in the last 24-hours, confirmed that its long-standing sponsorship with Allianz has been extended, which will take the partnership into its second decade.

Over recent years, Allianz has pursued an award-winning sponsorship programme, communicating important consumer messages about road safety and risk management built around the engagement Formula One offers.

Head of Marketing Communication at Allianz SE, Steven Althaus, said, “Allianz has built extremely effective international awareness campaigns about road safety and risk management around the themes Formula One provides. These campaigns have directly and positively impacted our core business activities and this is why our programme with AT&T Williams endures. We are delighted to be extending our agreement with the team.”

Allianz is part of a wider spectrum of Williams sponsors who will have partnered the team for more than ten years, with other decade-long sponsorships including Accenture and Thomson-Reuters amongst them.

Honda in 24-hour Race for Charity

Five team-members of Honda Racing will be raising money for charity in a real-time 24-hour computer simulation race this week, in aid of BBC Children in Need charity. The five drivers are, Simon Herring, Ewen Honeyman, Richard Pattinson, James Vowles and Matthew Manderson who will be competing for Honda at the event, taking place at ‘The Race Centre’ in Hampshire, UK.

They are all experienced kart racers and as a team have raised thousands of pounds for a variety of charities over the last few years through special karting events.

The BBC Children in Need is an annual televised fundraiser and last year the appeal raised £37 million which were put towards projects helping disadvantaged children.

Speaking about the charity race, Ewan said: “We’re delighted to be able to support BBC Children in Need through the sport that we all love. It’s an extremely good cause that does some tremendous work for kids in the UK. Needless to say we’ll be taking the competitive element very seriously – racing is part of who we are and we’ll be going all out to win but, at the end of the day, win or lose, we’ll have enjoyed the competition and know we’ve contributed towards this great appeal.”

Williams First Team to get to grips with 2009 Aero Package

At an airfield in Gloucestershire, UK yesterday, the AT&T Williams became the first team to get to grips with a 2009-specification aerodynamic package and show it off. The driving duties were undertaken by Jonathan Kennard, a Formula 3 driver. The test team ran an interim FW30 with front and rear wing assemblies compliant with 2009 regulations.

The FIA’s regulation changes for 2009 have called for a significant reduction in the use of aerodynamic devices on the cars in order to improve overtaking opportunities in the sport. From 2009, F1 cars will have had the front wing lowered and made wider, while the rear wing will see a dramatic revision and will now be taller and narrower. Both changes will mean a reduction in the car’s overall down-force levels.

Speaking about his first test in a Formula One car, Jonathan commented, “It’s been a good day today and great to be able to drive the new-spec Formula One car for the first time. I would like to thank Frank and the team for the opportunity.

Today's driver was born in 1969 in Germany. He started his F1 career in car number 32.

This driver holds numerous titles including most race victories, fastest laps, pole positions, points scored and most races won in a single season.

This driver also has 91 wins, 154 podiums and 1'369 career points to his name.

Another easy one today... Pop your answer in comments if you want.

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.


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