Formula 1 Red Bull Racing

Webber reveals Vettel’s “Multi-21” legal threat

Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull Racing

At the end of Mark Webber’s appearance on Australian Story (ABC TV) a graphic appeared warning there would be “carnage” when his autobiography was released. Mark’s book, Aussie Grit, was released in Australia today and in it he reveals how Sebastian Vettel escaped punishment from the Red Bull Racing hierarchy.

First, here’s was Mark had to say on Australian Story on Monday night:

So we got off the podium [Malaysia 2013] and yeah. He [Vettel] just come over. Just, “We need to talk,” you know. He said, “I’ve just fucked up. I fucked up, mate. I fucked up so bad,” you know. I said, “Mate, well,” I said, “Well, let’s just talk, let’s talk next week.”

I don’t know who spoke to him between Malaysia and China but we had a discussion in China and the discussion didn’t go well. And yeah, he just said that yeah: he had massive respect for me as a driver and, and not much as a person. So that really affected the relationship, obviously. At the time, we would hardly stand the sight of each other.

We now know who spoke to Vettel about the Multi-21 fiasco between Malaysia and China. That’s if we’re to believe this claim made by Mark in his new book:

When Ann (Neal, Webber’s partner) later pressed (Christian Horner) about why the team had never reprimanded Seb or issued any punishment for the ‘Multi 21’ incident, he admitted that the team had received a two-page letter from Seb’s lawyer a few days after the Malaysian race stating that they were in breach of his contract by giving him an ‘unreasonable instruction/team order’.

So, when running back to the team for support didn’t work, Sebastian was happy to get his lawyers to provide protection.

Just when you think Vettel might be likeable, along comes another story—and let’s not forget, it is only one side of the story—to make you think what an absolute tool the guy can be.

[Source: Fox Sports]

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2015 Australian Grand Prix in pictures

2015 Australian Grand Prix

Here we go again, another season of Formula 1 images starting in the best place on the calendar, Australia! You can relive the 2015 season opener after the break with our gallery of 89 images, all clickable to 2560px mega image sizing.

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Lewis Hamilton wins 2015 Australian Grand Prix

2015 Australian Grand Prix

Lewis Hamilton has made a perfect start to his world championship title defence with a seemingly easy win at Albert Park yesterday.

It was a funny week for Formula 1, with the Giedo van der Garde v Sauber saga dominating headlines, the return and then no show of Manor, Valtteri Bottas’ injury withdrawal and the failure of Kevin Magnussen and Daniil Kvyat to start after their cars died on the out lap before the race.

Only 13 cars started the grand prix and it seems a miracle that 11 of them finished. The expectations were that more cars would run into reliability problems.

In the end Hamilton defeated his teammate Nico Rosberg by 1.3 seconds. You sense Hamilton would have been able to hold off Rosberg if a serious challenge for lead was mounted. It wasn’t.

Sebastian Vettel claimed the final podium step in his Ferrari debut, a few seconds ahead of Felipe Massa.

The real winners, though, were Sauber who had their two preferred drivers finish strongly. Felipe Nasr marked his F1 debut with a fifth place and Marcus Ericsson came home eighth. Last year Sauber didn’t manage a single championship point, now they have 14 after just one race. Who knows what the courts will dictate for them in Malaysia and beyond, but after a terrible week that’s one team party that would have been a blast last night.

The Toro Rosso kids had a fun time with the grown ups too. Sadly for Max Verstappen he was forced to retire, but Carlos Sainz finished in a credible ninth place.

Jenson Button did finish the race in his McLaren. But he was stone motherless last, two laps off the pace, and the only finisher who didn’t score a championship point. It was valuable testing time for the struggling McLaren-Honda outfit.

It’s easy to tell how boring this race was when the highlight was the post-race podium interviews conducted by Arnold Schwarzenegger. Yes, that Arnold Schwarzenegger!

I had a shiver of horror go down my spine when Arnie was announced for fear that this interview would end in high farce. Fair dues to the Hollywood icon because either he has a clue or is a genuinely good actor and thankfully he handled the role well.

So, who knew Arnie was a Formula 1 fan!

There will be more exciting times ahead in this 2015 F1 season, but save from the sunny weather and mostly clean racing this was as dull as it gets for a season opener.

Well done Lewis, well done Nico, well done Mercedes, you were just too damn good.

Formula 1

F1 winter testing: Jerez day 2

Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF15-T, Jerez

Sebastian Vettel has kept himself and Ferrari atop the lap charts in Jerez overnight, going fastest (1:20.984) for the second day running. The four-time champ knows it’s far too early to get excited about his season’s prospects yet, but admits “we have a good basis to work from.”

Inclement weather late in the day interrupted proceedings although some teams did get some testing done on intermediate tyres.

Before the rain set in Sauber also showed it’s relative pace on day 1 was no fluke, with rookie Felipe Nasr (1:21.867) posting the second best time during his first day as a bona fide F1 driver. Around half a second back was Valtteri Bottas (1:22.319) for Williams in the first of the Mercedes powered cars.

Lewis Hamilton enjoyed his first day out for Mercedes AMG in 2015, racking up 91 laps, more than anyone else and laying down the fourth quickest time of the day (1:22.490).

The baby of the bunch, 17-year-old Max Verstappen, managed 73 useful laps for Toro Rosso and was fifth fastest (1:24.167). In its track debut with the Mercedes power unit Lotus notched up 41 laps with Pastor Maldonado at the wheel. His best time (1:25.802) was the last of the meaningful laps with Jenson Button (1:54.655) and Daniil Kvyat (No time) having difficult days.

McLaren hopes to have a better day tomorrow with Yasuhisa Arai, Honda’s chief motorsport officer, telling journalists, “Today was another tricky day, but we feel like we’ve overcome the main issue that affected our running during the first two days of the test. For tomorrow, we’re hopeful that we’ve moved on, and that we can get some more laps completed.”

Meanwhile, Daniil Kyvat’s Red Bull career got off to an embarrassing start when he clipped a wall on his out lap and broke the front wing. At this early stage of the year the team did not have a replacement readily available and he had to make do testing other aspects of the car.

Red Bull will have a replacement wing ready for day 3 of testing which begins late tonight (Australian time).

Formula 1

F1 winter testing: Jerez day 1

Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF15-T, Jerez

Sebastian Vettel has started his Ferrari career on a high after setting the fastest time (1:22.620) on the opening day of pre-season testing in Jerez.

Ferrari power proved strong, with Sauber’s Marcus Ericsson going second fastest (1:22.777). You get the sense though, even this early on, that Mercedes is just playing with its rivals. Nico Rosberg completed 157 laps, more than Vettel and Ericsson combined, and bossed the morning session setting the quickest time and third best overall (1:23.106).

Daniel Ricciardo was fourth fastest (1:23.338) in the RB11. The young Aussie completed 35 laps and his day ended in the afternoon due to an undisclosed technical glitch.

“We got going pretty well this morning and I got a few laps under my belt,” said Daniel. “I can feel a step forward. I won’t go into too much detail but it’s there. We didn’t do a whole lot of laps but definitely more than at this test last year!”

Red Bull can expect a much closer relationship with engine provider Renault in 2015 now that it is in effect Renault’s sole customer, in conjunction with its junior Toro Rosso team.

Valtteri Bottas tallied up a handy 73 laps for Williams and posted the fifth best time (1:23.906). Carlos Sainz Jr finished his first full day on track as an F1 driver with the sixth fastest lap (1:25.327) in the STR10.

The slowest time of the day was left to Fernando Alonso (1:40.738) who was well off the pace in the McLaren-Honda. The dual world champ managed just six laps and it’s likely to be a difficult pre-season for the MP4-30.

Force India has chosen to delay its first pre-season appearance until Barcelona (19 February). Meanwhile, Lotus is trackside in Jerez and says it expects to debut its E23 on Tuesday.

Fenix Formula 1

2015 Ferrari SF15-T revealed

2015 Ferrari SF15-T

Ferrari has unveiled its new 2015 Formula 1 car, the SF15-T. It’s a big year for the Scuderia as it hopes to make up for the disappointment of 2014, which saw its lead driver depart and two Team Principals get the arse.

Leading the charge in 2015 is new Team Principal Maurizio Arrivabene who will have two pretty healthy egos to play with. Those, of course, belong to four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel and one-time champ Kimi Raikkonen.

The Vettel to Ferrari narrative will be one of the big stories of the forthcoming season. We hope to learn if he’s as good as his breathatking record suggests, or was he simply the right guy at the right time to benefit from the genius of Adrian Newey?

Arrivabene has targeted two race wins for the team this season and when targets like that are made public it’s fun for all of us seeing if they can be achieved.

Bring on 2015!

Ferrari Video

VIDEO: Sebastian flies around Fiorano

Sebastian Vettel laps Fiorano in the F2012

Ferrari has released video of Sebastian Vettel completing a flying lap of the famed Fiorano test circuit, including full team radio. Without proper timing we can only estimate that Vettel’s lap time in the F2012 was around 1:03. That’s not too bad considering the conditions, although some way off Michael Schumacher 2004 lap record of 55.99 seconds.

Ferrari Formula 1 Video

The baby in red

Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari

When Formula 1 has a 17-year-old driver in its midst it’s hard to refer to Sebastian Vettel as a baby, but due to being the youngest ever world champion and, at times, carrying on like a spoilt toddler Vettel has been considered the baby of F1. And now the four-time world champ is enduring those difficult mid-career years by leaving home and seeing if the grass really is greener on the other side.

In truth, Vettel’s departure from the bosom of Red Bull is the type of movement F1 needs. It will create massive interest and we’ll get to see what Vettel can do in a crap car. Were his achievements with his former employer nature (his own talent) or nurture (Adrian Newey’s talent). It’s going to be fascinating to watch.

Ferrari, conscious of the marketing opportunities at hand, has sent out a special release and video to mark Sebastian’s first day on the job in Maranello.

It’s where he wants to be…

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2014 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix in pictures

2014 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

Another Formula 1 season has come and gone and, as usual, it’s been a hell of a ride. Lews Hamilton’s win in Abu Dhabi secured his second world crown and put the perfect exclamation mark on a season of dominance for Mercedes AMG.

It’s a big job for a sole contributor compiling a season’s worth of F1 images too. Apologies for the delay in getting these images to you, but I’m not scared to admit there’s a sense of relief in posting the last gallery of photos for the year.

Never fear, the lure of F1 is great and I’ll be back again in 2015, hope to see you here.

Ferrari Formula 1

Sebastian Vettel joins Ferrari on 3-year deal

Sebastian Vetel

In the most unsurprsing Formula 1 news you’ll read this week Sebastian Vettel has been signed by Ferrari on a three-year deal. He’ll start with them next year, sharing a garage with 2007 world champion Kimi Raikkonen.

“The next stage of my Formula 1 career will be spent with Scuderia Ferrari and for me that means the dream of a lifetime has come true,” said Sebastian Vettel. “When I was a kid, Michael Schumacher in the red car was my greatest idol and now it’s an incredible honour to finally get the chance to drive a Ferrari.

“I already got a small taste of what the Ferrari spirit means, when I took my first win at Monza in 2008, with an engine from the Prancing Horse built in Maranello.

“The Scuderia has a great tradition in this sport and I am extremely motivated to help the team get back to the top. I will put my heart and soul into making it happen.”

The movement of Vettel from Red Bull to Ferrari is great for F1 and the Sebastian–Kimi pairing will provide some great fodder for the F1 masses next year. Bring on the fireworks!

Ferrari’s full statement can be read below.

Formula 1 Red Bull Racing

Sebastian Vettel to sit out USGP qualifying

2014 Japanese Grand Prix

Sebastian Vettel expects to miss qualifying for the United States Grand Prix in Austin this weekend due to an enforced penalty for exceeding his allocation of five power units for the year.

“As far as I know, the plan is to use the opportunity to change, to have a sixth component of all the various components,” Vettel said. “Obviously for that as far as the regulations are concerned we have to start from the pitlane.”

As you can see the regulations make the prospect of participating in a pointless qualifying session pretty unattractive.

“For the weekend, our plan could be a little bit different in terms of how we approach practice and qualifying in particular,” Vettel explained. “Once you have to start from the pitlane your focus is not on qualifying because no matter what you do in qualifying it doesn’t matter because you still have to start from the pitlane.

“So that’s why in practice, largely, we will try to focus on the race.”

The grid is already down four cars thanks to the absence for Caterham and Marussia and the prospect of last year’s winner in Austin sitting out quali is not ideal. But as Vettel says, he doesn’t make the rules.

“I didn’t make the rules,” he said. “It’s a rule that is the same for everyone. But for the people come to watch the cars, to watch qualifying, it’s a very bad rule.”

[Source: Autosport | Pic: Red Bull/Getty Images]

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2014 Japanese Grand Prix in pictures

2014 Japanese Grand Prix

Usually we like it when it rains at a grand prix because the images are pretty cool. But the end of this year’s Japanese Grand Prix was not very cool at all.

Forza Jules.