Alexander Rossi will drive for Caterham in Spain
American racing driver Alexander Rossi will make his first appearance in Formula 1 at the Spanish Grand Prix.
The 20-year-old will replace Heikki Kovalainen at Caterham for Friday practice 1.
Rossi has won the 2006 Skip Barber Western Regional, as well as the 2008 Formula BMW Americas and Formula BMW World Final. He tested for the Caterham team – back when it was known as Team Lotus – in last year’s young driver test in Abu Dhabi.
He is currently competing in Formula Renault 3.5 with Arden Caterham Motorsport, partnering Red Bull-back Lewis Williamson.
At the announcement today, Rossi said:
"I am looking forward to getting back into the F1 car in Spain and I want to thank
the team for the chance to run in FP1 in Barcelona.
I have a clear goal for the session – make sure I run to the plan set by the
engineers, not make any mistakes and learn as much as I can over the whole weekend."
January 9, 2012
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Both the Circuit de Catalunya and the Valencia street circuit are seeking to reconsider their Formula 1 contracts, after doubts about both venues emerged in recent days.
The Valencia circuit has applied to Bernie Ecclestone to renegotiate their 5-year contract, signed in 2009. The Valencian government is said to have reviewed their hosting of large events, and are rumoured to be pushing for cost cuts.
Jose Ciscar, vice-president of the Generalitat Valenciana, has refused to rule out the possibility that the event is under threat:
"The big events are under full and absolute review. They are not viable as they
have been until now. The big events have had an important value up until now but
the circumstances force us to prioritise.
With contracts signed, we can't be imprudent because the penalty could cost us
more. We have to find balanced solutions."
Meanwhile, the Catalunyan government has stated that they may reconsider the hosting of F1 and MotoGP events, due to the economic downturn, according to Andreu Mas-Colell:
"We could reconsider the hosting of Formula 1 or motorcycle grands prix. It is
not clear to us that we can afford them in the current situation.
It is not the first thing we will reconsider, but in times like these we must
look very closely at where we spend the money."
The Circuit de Catalunya currently holds a contract to host Formula 1 until 2016.
May 20, 2011
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Webber continued to lead in FP2
Mark Webber continued to lead proceedings in the Spanish Grand Prix second practice.
However, he was closely followed by Lewis Hamilton, as McLaren hone their latest updates.
Sebastian Vettel was 3rd, 3 tenths off his teammate. Jenson Button was 4th, while Fernando Alonso was held up on his fastest lap, but was still 5th.
Rosberg and Schumacher secured 6th and 7th for Mercedes. Both Saubers got into the top 10.
Vitaly Petrov was half a second slower than Heidfeld in 12th. The Williams drivers were 14th and 16th. Adrian Sutil was the only driver to have been slower than one of the 3 bottom teams. His teammate Paul di Resta was a full second faster than him.
The 107% rule only applied to the two Hispanias in this session.
Times from FP2:
1. Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1.22.470 35
2. Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1.22.509 0.039 27
3. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1.22.826 0.356 37
4. Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1.23.188 0.718 32
5. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1.23.568 1.098 34
6. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1.23.586 1.116 35
7. Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1.23.981 1.511 30
8. Felipe Massa Ferrari 1.24.278 1.808 30
9. Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1.24.290 1.820 33
10. Nick Heidfeld Renault 1.24.366 1.896 31
11. Sergio Perez Sauber-Ferrari 1.24.483 2.013 38
12. Vitaly Petrov Renault 1.24.786 2.316 43
13. Sebastien Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1.25.296 2.826 33
14. Rubens Barrichello Williams-Cosworth 1.25.303 2.833 38
15. Jaime Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1.25.457 2.987 34
16. Pastor Maldonado Williams-Cosworth 1.25.603 3.133 43
17. Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1.26.073 3.603 32
18. Heikki Kovalainen Lotus-Renault 1.26.417 3.947 37
19. Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1.27.123 4.653 20
20. Jarno Trulli Lotus-Renault 1.27.189 4.719 34
21. Jerome D'Ambrosio Virgin-Cosworth 1.28.036 5.566 36
22. Timo Glock Virgin-Cosworth 1.28.062 5.592 28
23. Narain Karthikeyan HRT-Cosworth 1.29.469 6.999 28
24. Tonio Liuzzi HRT-Cosworth 1.29.476 7.006 31
May 20, 2011
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Webber was a second faster than Vettel
Mark Webber led teammate Sebastian Vettel by a full second in first practice for the Spanish Grand Prix.
A 1.25.142 was 1.009 seconds faster than Vettel, who headed Nico Rosberg in 3rd.
It wasn’t a completely satisfactory session for the Red Bull team though, as Vettel was instructed to disable his KERS after another reliability issue early on in the session.
Fernando Alonso was 4th, ahead of Sergio Perez and Lewis Hamilton. Nick Heidfeld was the only Renault in the top 10, while Jenson Button struggled with his tyres and was 9th.
Daniel Ricciardo took over Sebastien Buemi’s Toro Rosso, and was 1.5 seconds faster than Jaime Alguersuari, although the Spaniard only completed 9 laps with an engine problem.
Felipe Massa was 16th, 3.5 seconds off the pace. Pastor Maldonado spun off, but was 13th.
4 cars were outside of the 107% rule: Both HRT cars, Jarno Trulli and Timo Glock.
Times from FP1:
1. Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1.25.142 27
2. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1.26.149 1.007 20
3. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1.26.379 1.237 29
4. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1.26.480 1.338 27
5. Sergio Perez Sauber-Ferrari 1.26.738 1.596 26
6. Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1.26.988 1.846 19
7. Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1.27.016 1.874 32
8. Nick Heidfeld Renault 1.27.132 1.990 21
9. Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1.27.138 1.996 22
10. Rubens Barrichello Williams-Cosworth 1.27.212 2.070 20
11. Vitaly Petrov Renault 1.27.241 2.099 22
12. Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1.27.471 2.329 23
13. Pastor Maldonado Williams-Cosworth 1.28.005 2.863 11
14. Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 1.28.027 2.885 26
15. Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1.28.163 3.021 22
16. Felipe Massa Ferrari 1.28.654 3.512 28
17. Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1.28.819 3.677 23
18. Jaime Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1.28.995 3.853 9
19. Heikki Kovalainen Lotus-Renault 1.29.231 4.089 21
20. Jerome D'Ambrosio Virgin-Cosworth 1.30.896 5.754 18
21. Timo Glock Virgin-Cosworth 1.31.235 6.093 24
22. Tonio Liuzzi HRT-Cosworth 1.31.268 6.126 23
23. Jarno Trulli Lotus-Renault 1.31.418 6.276 12
24. Narain Karthikeyan HRT-Cosworth 1.32.106 6.964 25
May 17, 2011
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The exhaust blown diffuser has been limited by the FIA
The FIA has informed all F1 teams of changes to the technical regulations concerning blown diffusers, which will come into effect at this weekend’s Spanish Grand Prix.
One of the main points of development for the teams this year has been the blown diffuser, which channels exhaust gases onto the diffuser, which initially only brought downforce benefits while the driver was on the throttle.
However, several teams, particularly Red Bull, have been believed to have exploited the blown diffuser, by allowing the system to work even while the throttle is not being used. A constant flow of gas through the exhaust system is rumoured to be the cause for this.
This is the innovation that the FIA will soon ban. They have written to all the teams, instructing them that the use of the throttle is only to increase torque, not for aerodynamic performance.
If any team is caught to evade this ruling, they will have broken Article 3.15 of the technical regulations, which bans movable aerodynamic pieces or devices.
McLaren believe that this exploitation may be the key to Red Bull’s scintillating qualifying pace, so it will be interesting to see how Vettel and Webber perform in Barcelona this weekend.
Update: The FIA has decided not to go ahead with this regulation for this weekend, after several “unforeseen and unintended consequences” were brought to their attention. However, they are planning to move ahead with the new ruling as soon as possible.
April 16, 2011
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Pirelli will bring soft and hard tyres to Spain and Turkey
Pirelli have announced their choice of tyre compounds to bring to the Turkish, Spanish and Monaco Grands Prix.
The hard and soft tyres will be continued to be used for Turkey and Spain, the same compounds that have been used all so far this season. It is also the same choice that Bridgestone made last year.
The Monaco Grand Prix, meanwhile, will see the introduction of the super-soft tyre, accompanied by the soft tyre.
This means that the medium tyre will be the only tyre that hasn’t been used yet this season.
Also bear in mind that from the Turkish Grand Prix onwards, Pirelli will be using a new system to differentiate the softer tyre from the harder tyre, although their system has not been announced yet.
May 11, 2010
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The cause of Lewis Hamilton's crash has been confirmed as rim failure
Martin Whitmarsh today confirmed that the crash for Lewis Hamilton near the end of the Spanish Grand Prix was caused by rim failure.
Lewis was running second on the penultimate lap, when his front right tyre failed, and he crashed into the barriers at Turn 3. He was fine, but it threw away the opportunity for McLaren drivers to be running 1-2 in the drivers’ standings. Since then, the cause of the crash has been confirmed as rim failure.
On the Vodafone McLaren Mercedes phone-in, Whitmarsh said that the team are still investigating the crash:
"We flew the parts back yesterday and had Bridgestone here. We do
not believe that the deflation was caused by a puncture or tyre
failure. From all the evidence it looks like the rim failed which
The rim failure is being investigated. It could be debris related,
it could be an issue of deflection, it could be an issue of
tightness or lack of in the wheel nut allowing some flexing.
So what we know is, the rim failed, probably human error somewhere
in that process caused that, which led to deflation and the
Another tyre failure for McLaren, and if it was human error, it wouldn’t be the first time. In the Nurburgring 2007, Hamilton crashed heavily in qualifying, because the right front wheel wasn’t properly secured by the mechanics. In Barcelona 2008, Heikki Kovalainen had a horrible smash at Campsa corner, caused by a manufacturing fault on the left front wheel.