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Mark Webber wins at the Nürburgring again!

Mark Webber maiden wins at the Nurburgring

Mark Webber must love the Nürburgring. Back in 2009 he cracked his maiden Formula 1 victory in the Eifel mountains and early this morning he, along with his Porsche teammates, won the 6 Hours of Nürburgring. It was Mark’s first WEC race win.

It was a huge day for Porsche too, who dominated with 1–2 victories in both the LMP1 and GTE Pro categories.

Full results available HERE.

Formula 1

F1 reveals bumper 21-race calendar for 2016

2015 Australian Grand Prix

For the second year running the FIA has released a Formula 1 calendar with 21 races. Like last year, it remains to be seen if we’ll actually see all of those races take place.

As it stands the 2016 season is set to kick off in Australia on 3 April, with the Chinese Grand Prix to take place the following weekend.

Increasing the demand on the teams there will be another five back-to-back race weekends including: Bahrain and Russia, Britain and Austria, Germany and Hungary, Singapore and Malaysia, and USA and Mexico.

As you will see the German Grand Prix is back and is scheduled to be held at Hockenheim. Malaysia moves from its early season slot to the latter half of the year straight after the Singapore Grand Prix.

Finally, the Azerbaijan Grand Prix will make its debut in 2016 on 17 July, to be held on a 6km street circuit in the country’s capital Baku.

The full calendar is shown below.

Formula 1

German Grand Prix dropped from 2015 F1 calendar

2014 German Grand Prix

It’s official, the German Grand Prix has been removed from the 2015 F1 calendar. The move was ratified last Friday by the World Motor Sport Council with this small disclaimer that:

“The German Grand Prix has been withdrawn as the CRH [commercial rights holder] and promoter did not reach agreement.”

A revised 19-race calendar can be viewed after the break.

[Source: FIA | Thanks to Stu for the tip]

Formula 1

Some hope for 2015 German Grand Prix?

2013 German Grand Prix

After accepting yesterday that the German Grand Prix was likely to be struck off the 2015 F1 calendar a glimmer of hope may yet exist for German F1 fans.

Nürburgring-based blog Bridge to Gantry reports F1 teams have been busy trying to book accommodation for the weekend of 18–19 July, the date allocated for the German Grand Prix.

Under the usual alternating arrangement between Hockenheim and the Nürburgring the 2015 race was due to be held at the Ring. However, financial issues had seemingly prevented that from happening and a deal was hoped to be reached with management at Hockenheim to host this year’s grand prix.

Yesterday it was widely reported that the Hockenheim boss Georg Seiler had said: “We have no more hope that the Formula 1 takes place here.”

Today, it appears a return to the Ring might be on the cards. There’s not a lot of concrete info on offer for this rumor at this stage, other than the tip that an announcement may be coming very soon.

Who knows if anything serious will come from this, but it would be a real shame if there is no grand prix in Germany, so let’s hope there’s some truth to this story.

[Source: Bridge to Gantry]

Formula 1 News

No hope for 2015 German Grand Prix

2014 German Grand Prix

Nico Rosberg’s hopes of defending his German Grand Prix title in 2015 appear dashed after the Hockenheim boss ruled out his venue for hosting duties.

Under the usual alternating agreement with the Nürburgring the German Grand Prix was due to be held there in 2015. However, the Ring’s financial woes meant it was not able to host the race and a new deal was expected so that Hockenheim could step in.

However, Georg Seiler, Hockenheim boss says there’s no time left to finalise a deal for the race due to be held on 19 July.

“We have no more hope that the Formula 1 takes place here. We have done everything in the last few years everything to make the fans happy,” Seiler was told German newspaper Bild.

“The time has expired, to organise a race here. Otherwise, the quality of the event would have suffered. We had said we were willing host the race of the Nürburgring—something we had no contractual obligation to do.

“There were discussions with third parties on an assumption of risk, but those were not successful.”

Bernie Ecclestone spoke about the matter before the Australian Grand Prix and told The Independent: “The German Grand Prix is dead at the moment. It won’t get replaced if it doesn’t happen. As with any race, if it is cancelled it is cancelled. There’s not much we can do.”

There is a lot to like about Formula 1, but at the moment, the failure of the German race is another in a long list of things not to like about the world’s premier motorsport category.

Oh well, on the positive side, that’s one less race that Daniel Ricciardo and Fernando Alonso have to get through with their three remaining power units for the year.

[Source: Sky Sports F1]

Formula 1

Hockenheim to host 2015 German Grand Prix?

2014 German Grand Prix

Those of you paying attention to the 2015 Formula 1 calendar will have noticed no venue had been announced for the German Grand Prix to be held on 19 July. According to an interview with Bernie Ecclestone published by Reuters the race will be held at Hockenheim.

The 2014 race was held at Hockenheim and under the standard alternating agreement that would mean the Nürburgring would host the race this year. However, as many of you know, the Ring has been beset by financial troubles in recent years and despite the influx of Russian cash late last year its financial security is still shaky.

“It’s going to be at Hockenheim, we’re in the middle of doing something with them,” Ecclestone declared. “It can’t be Nürburgring because there’s nobody there.

“We’ve got a contract in place (with Hockenheim), we just have to amend the years of the contract. It was alternating with Nürburgring so we’ll just take that out. Providing the contract goes through as we expect it to, we’ll be in good shape.”

Earlier this week Carsten Schumacher, Nürburgring GmbH CEO, told “Formula 1 is welcome at the Nürburgring. It provides worldwide television pictures, a positive image and would bring high sales to the region.

“However, the Formula 1 has to remain affordable. We don’t comment ongoing conversations. We will communicate this, if there is a concrete result.”

Meanwhile, Ecclestone indicated in his interview with Reuters that there had been no recent discussion with Nürburgring GmbH.

“We wanted to buy the Nürburgring, we made an offer and somebody topped us with a few dollars and bought it,” Ecclestone said.

“And then they couldn’t pay and it went on sale again. I said I’d be interested and then they found somebody else. So I don’t know what’s happening.”

[Source: Reuters]

Caterham F1 in pictures Ferrari Lotus McLaren Mercedes-Benz Red Bull Racing Toro Rosso

2014 German Grand Prix in pictures

2014 German Grand Prix

Winning your home grand prix would be pretty cool. We’ve seen it twice in two races now thanks to Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton. Here’s your chance to relive Nico’s German Grand Prix win.

We’re only sorry we don’t have photos of Daniil Kvyat’s car on fire or Adrian Sutil doing donuts on the main straight while spinning out of the race.

As for choosing to keep the Safety Car in the garage and forcing the marshals to scamper out to retrieve Sutil’s abandoned car; that wouldn’t have had anything to do with protecting the German driver’s lead in the German Grand Prix would it?

Ferrari Formula 1 Red Bull Racing

Is Dan, is good!

Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull Racing

One of the highlights from the 2014 German Grand Prix was the battle between Daniel Ricciardo and Fernando Alonso. Two-time world champion Alonso eventually won that battle for fifth place, but he was very impressed with the driving abilities of our Daniel.

“Daniel is a surprise from Australia,” Alonso told Sky Sports F1 after the race. “I think he’s doing unbelievable; I think he’s seven-three [in qualifying] in the first ten races with Sebastian [Vettel], so it’s something we probably didn’t suspect.

“He’s driving fantastically and today he was battling very smart—always taking the slipstream of me after I pass him and braking very late, attacking very late and never missing a corner.

“He was very, very smart, very respectful with the rules and it was a great fight.”

Alonso later added he was managing fuel towards the end of the race and was lucky not to concede P4 back to Daniel on the last lap.

“For the last stint I was saving fuel but I was battling with Ricciardo,” he said. “So for some laps you have to decide to give up the position and cross the line or fight with Ricciardo and be on the limit to cross the line.

“I decide to fight with Ricciardo, be in the position and then I will try to manage the fuel as good as I can.

“On the last lap, I had to save fuel massively and I was in eighth gear all lap and it was lucky that there was not 100 metres more.”

[Source: Sky Sports F1 | Pic: Red Bull/Getty Images]

Formula 1 McLaren Red Bull Racing Video

2014 German GP: Felipe Massa crash

Felipe Massa crashes out at the 2014 German Grand Prix

Amateur footage uploaded to YouTube gives us another look at the opening lap crash from the 2014 German Grand Prix involving Felipe Massa and Kevin Magnussen. You can also see Daniel Ricciardo forced way off track to avoid the incident.

The race stewards investigated the crash and decided neither Massa nor Magnussen were responsible and no further action was taken. Of course, the drivers don’t always see it like that.

“Luckily I am OK but I am not happy,” said Felipe Massa. “I was in front going into the corner, and so to have another race ended by another driver is not easy. I am doing my best, the team are doing their best, and we just aren’t getting the chances we need.

“Going into the first corner I was near to Valtteri but had to back off to stop an accident, sadly some others didn’t do the same. I am obviously very disappointed.”

Meanwhile, Kevin Magnussen defended himself saying he was unable to avoid contact with Massa.

“A real pity: I think I could’ve had a decent race if I hadn’t had the accident at Turn One,” Magnussen said. “I need to see a replay of the accident, but I feel that, if I’d had somewhere to go, then there wouldn’t have been contact with Felipe.

“I did my best to try and avoid the accident, but there wasn’t much else I could do.”

Formula 1 Mercedes-Benz

2014 German GP: Post-race press conference

2014 German Grand Prix

The champagne from Nico Rosberg’s fourth win for the year will complement his recent wedding celebrations nicely. You can read what he has to say about that and the German Grand Prix after the break, along with the thoughts of Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton.

Before you do, though, here’s the post-race thoughts from a very enthusiastic and positive Daniel Ricciardo who was very happy with his day after that near miss at the first corner.

“That was awesome fun, one of my most enjoyable races I’ve had,” Daniel said. “I mean, not on the first lap, obviously, that was just the wrong place at the wrong time. I wasn’t as worse off as Massa and hopefully he is okay.

“I was on the outside and the collision happened, I had to avoid it and went pretty far down the field, I don’t know exactly how far back. From then on I just got on to the radio and said let’s make an amazing recovery and make ourselves proud today. And I think we did that, we fought hard and we didn’t leave anything on the table.

“These are the moments and battles that I personally thrive off and enjoy. Fernando is known to be a tough racer and I thought who better to have a good fight with. I was on the Primes and he was on fresher Options and I gave it the best fight I could and, well.., nearly!”

What a guy!

Formula 1 Mercedes-Benz

Nico Rosberg wins 2014 German GP

2014 German Grand Prix

Nico Rosberg has capped of a great few days by winning his home grand prix for the first time. He did it in a canter, too, with a 20.7 second margin over Valtteri Bottas in P2. Lewis Hamilton couldn’t quite make it a 1-2 for Mercedes, but should be happy with third after starting the race from P20.

Since the disappointment of his gearbox failure in British Grand Prix Rosberg has signed a lucrative contract extension, got married and seen his country win the World Cup. Not a bad run of results and don’t forget he’s also extended his world championship lead over Hamilton to boot.

Hamilton’s charge through the field might have yielded an even better result had he not suffered front wing damage after making his way past former teammate Jenson Button. In the end he didn’t quite have enough pace to get past Bottas.

Sebastian Vettel finished fourth, ahead of a desperately close late stoush between Fernando Alonso and Daniel Ricciardo. Alonso crossed the line less than a tenth ahead of Ricciardo, having overtaken him just a few laps prior.

Nico Hulkenberg continued his run of points-winning results in every race so far this year with P7. Jenson Button led home his junior teammate Kevin Magnussen. While Sergio Perez rounded out the top 10.

Another spectacular first lap incident ended the race of Felipe Massa after he clipped Magnussen at the first corner, sending both cars off track. Massa’s car flipped before ending on its wheels and the Brazilian emerged unscathed.

Ricciardo had made a clean start off the line but was forced off track to avoid the Massa-Magnussen incident and rejoined the track well down in P15. Clearly, Daniel could have done better than P6 today; he displayed flashes of brilliance at times while charging through the field and especially late when defending against a much quicker Alonso.

Other incidents attracting attention was a fire to Daniil Kvyat’s Toro Rosso and a late race spin at the last corner from Adrian Sutil, which left his Sauber stricken on the main straight. It took some time to move his car off the track and you have to wonder why a Safety Car was not deployed to allow marshalls increased safety while dealing with the car.

We back up again next week for the Hungarian Grand Prix and let’s hope that race offers some of the excitement and close racing we saw at Hockenheim.

Formula 1 Mercedes-Benz

2014 German GP: Qualifying report

2014 German Grand Prix

Nico Rosberg will start tonight’s German Grand Prix from pole position after his teammate Lewis Hamilton crashed out due to a brake failure in Q1. In his first lap of Q3 Rosberg laid down a marker (1:16.540) that nobody could match. It’s his fourth pole in the last five races.

In the first serious hit out since the teams ditched the FRIC suspension the order we have come to expect in 2014 remained largely in tact. Perhaps we’re not used to seeing both Williams drivers in the top three, but their form has been on the improve in recent times and seeing Valtteri Bottas (1:16.759) almost challenge for pole was not a total surprise, nor was seeing Felipe Massa (1:17.078) in the frame as well.

In P4 was Kevin Magnussen (1:17.214) who claims McLaren has benefitted from the recent suspension changes. Once again Daniel Ricciardo (1:17.273) has qualified ahead of Sebastian Vettel (1:17.577) and the Red Bull pair will start from P5 and P6 respectively.

“It wasn’t too bad today, we would like to be further forward than fifth, but the lap I did was pretty good,” Ricciardo said. “I made quite an improvement in Q3 from Q2 so I can’t really argue with the lap I did, but as a team we are still a bit off.

“We know the Mercedes is strong, but the Williams was also continually showing their pace today and the McLaren with Kevin was good, so we have to keep working but we did what we could.

“I think the race will be close between the top eight tomorrow and it will be a battle for the final podium spot.”

The top 10 was rounded out by Fernando Alonso (1:17.649), Daniil Kvyat (1:17.965), Nico Hulkenberg (1:18.014) and Sergio Perez (1:18.035).

The major drama from qualifying was Hamilton’s crash in Q1. He is okay, although he was a bit shaken and has bruised knees after making heavy contact with the tyre barrier. Immediately afterwards Lewis claimed a brake failure caused him to lose control. Mercedes later confirmed a front right disc failed.

Mercedes has changed the discs on Lewis’ car and will now most likely start the race from the pit lane.

Nico Rosberg explained in the press conference he knew he could not be affected by the same problem as he runs different brake components to Lewis. Which is an interesting discussion point on its own.

Rosberg will be hoping to cap-off a great start to his home grand prix with a win, something made that little bit easier by Hamilton’s woes. Perhaps, things are just going to go Nico’s way this year.