August 31, 2011
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The calendar for the 2012 Formula 1 season has been reduced to 20 races, as the Turkish Grand Prix was formally dropped from the listings today.
The Istanbul Park track was finished in 2005, but has suffered poor attendance due to being located in the middle of nowhere.
Negotiations have been ongoing for months between the circuit organisers and Bernie Ecclestone, but financial difficulties forced the track into pulling out of F1.
The revised calndar was yesterday unanimously approved by the FIA World Motor Sport Council via fax vote.
In other changes to the calendar, there will now be 6 back-to-back races. The Australian Grand Prix keeps the season opener slot, but is still in doubt after 2015. The Bahrain Grand Prix will be the fourth race of the year, in mid-April.
The new United States Grand Prix is the penultimate round, with Interlagos in Brazil hosting the finale.
Also, on a slightly related note, the 2012 season now begins on my 18th birthday!
08/07 Great Britain
04/11 Abu Dhabi
18/11 United States
August 28, 2011
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Monza is expected to have two independent DRS zones per lap
The FIA is planning to use two DRS zones for the Italian Grand Prix – each with its own detection zone.
The Canadian Grand Prix saw the debut of double DRS zones, but both were activated by the same detection zone, which many believed gave an unfair advantage.
With this, a seperate detection zone for each area was improvised. It is believed that the DRS zones will be on the start/finish straight, and the straight from 2nd Lesmo to the Ascari chicane.
The extreme low-downforce nature of Monza means that the effect of DRS will be smaller compared to other races, but it is believed to be still significant.
As opposed to Jenson Button’s high-downforce strategy last year (utilising the F-duct), most teams are expected to run minimally angled rear wings.
August 28, 2011
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Kubica's road to recovery is improving
Robert Kubica has undergone his final operation on his injured right arm, which has since been described as a “total success”.
After a rally crash before the season began, Kubica has been left with massive damage to his right arm, which has taken three operations to allow him to heal.
With this final operation, it is believed that Kubica can regain full control of his right arm and albow. It has been reported that there were no complications during the surgery, and that the operation was 100% successful.
Robert’s manager Daniele Morelli has stated:
"Robert has left the surgery room just a few minutes ago. Luckily I can confirm that
the operation was completely successful, so the whole elbow joint has been restored
and functionality is now fine.
Certainly this one will be the final surgery, so we can say that tomorrow starts the
final phase with full recovery of the arm movement functionality, and Robert will be
able to start training specifically to regain full control of his functionality."
Apparently when Kubica regained concsiousness after the operation today, the first thing he asked was for the results of today’s Belgian Grand Prix.
Unfortunately, no estimate can be made on his possible return to Formula 1. However, his manager added that his future will become clearer by mid-October.
August 26, 2011
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Webber took advantage of a brief dry period to go fastest
Mark Webber nipped in a fast lap just before a rain shower to head second practice in Belgium.
The session began in damp conditions, as the Renaults of Petrov and Senna traded fastest laps. As the track dried out, most of the frontrunners decided to test out their long-range strategies on the harder (medium) tyre.
However, the prospect of further rain forced drivers to take on the soft tyre earlier than expected. Mark Webber posted a 1:50.321 to take top spot, ahead of Fernando Alonso.
Both McLarens were 3rd and 4th, while Sebastian Vettel was only 10th after not setting a time on the option tyre.
Hulkenberg and Sutil in 8th and 9th were separated by 0.026 seconds. A steering issue left Vitaly Petrov in the pits during the dry conditons, and the Russian ended up in last place.
Times from FP2:
1. Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1:50.321 22
2. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1:50.461 + 0.140 18
3. Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1:50.770 + 0.449 9
4. Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1:50.838 + 0.517 9
5. Felipe Massa Ferrari 1:51.218 + 0.897 14
6. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1:51.242 + 0.921 22
7. Sergio Perez Sauber-Ferrari 1:51.655 + 1.334 20
8. Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 1:51.725 + 1.404 17
9. Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1:51.751 + 1.430 8
10. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1:51.790 + 1.469 13
11. Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1:51.922 + 1.601 22
12. Pastor Maldonado Williams-Cosworth 1:52.750 + 2.429 20
13. Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1:52.780 + 2.459 25
14. Jaime Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1:52.911 + 2.590 24
15. Sébastien Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1:53.009 + 2.688 24
16. Rubens Barrichello Williams-Cosworth 1:53.156 + 2.835 17
17. Bruno Senna Renault 1:53.835 + 3.514 20
18. Jarno Trulli Lotus-Renault 1:55.051 + 4.730 20
19. Timo Glock Virgin-Cosworth 1:55.494 + 5.173 22
20. Heikki Kovalainen Lotus-Renault 1:56.202 + 5.881 15
21. Jerome D'Ambrosio Virgin-Cosworth 1:56.816 + 6.495 20
22. Tonio Liuzzi HRT-Cosworth 1:57.450 + 7.129 19
23. Daniel Ricciardo HRT-Cosworth 1:57.612 + 7.291 24
24. Vitaly Petrov Renault 2:02.234 + 11.913 12