Archive for January 21st, 2008

Two-time world champion Fernando Alonso wrapped up Renault’s first day of work with their new car at Valencia, where the Spaniard and Williams’ Nico Hulkenberg were the only two drivers in action.

Following a thick fog which delayed the start of testing, Alonso finally took to the track around noon and began checking systems in the new car.

The Spaniard covered a total of 39 laps and finished with a best time of 1:13.027. Hulkenberg, meanwhile, drove the new Williams FW30, also unveiled today at Valencia.

The German’s day, however, was cut short after he went off track, damaging the car’s floor, which the team needed to repair before Hulkenberg returned to the track. He completed 20 laps and finished over 1.5 seconds off Alonso’s pace.

Testing at Valencia continues tomorrow, when the rest of the teams will begin their winter test programmes.

Today’s times:

Pos  Driver        Team                      Time     Laps
 1.  Alonso        Renault              (B)  1:13.027   39
 2.  Hulkenberg    Williams-Toyota      (B)  1:14.559   20
All Timing Unofficial


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Felipe Massa With New His Fiat 500

Today in Monte Carlo, Felipe Massa was presented with a Fiat 500 powered by an exclusive 1.4 litre, 120 bhp engine and personalised with unique graphic details, such as his signature embossed in the sill scuff plate.
With Pearl White paintwork and interior trim in brown Cordura, the supermini given to the Scuderia Ferrari driver is, of course, the Sport variant, with a Skydome electric sunroof, 16” diamond alloy finish and red brake callipers.

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Lewis Hamiton Sitting On A Yacht 

Lewis Hamilton looks over a £4million yacht

The race ace viewed the magnificent Sunseeker 90 with pals at the London Boat Show.
Lewis, 23, has just signed a megabucks five-year extension of his contract after his amazing debut Formula 1 season, when he finished runner-up in the world championship. It makes him Britain’s highest-paid sportsman.
The yacht with its own living room, a bar, three plasma TVs and two double bedrooms would be a drop in the ocean for whizkid Lewis.

One onlooker said: “Lots of people were admiring the yacht, but then they were all asked to leave. Lewis was then brought on with a group of men. He looked very impressed and in a very good mood

But a spokesman for Lewis said: “He isn’t buying one at the moment.
“He was back in London and went to the show with some friends who just really like boats.”

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Lewis Hamilton has been awarded the prestigious Hawthorn Memorial Trophy at the Motor Sports Association’s annual Night of Champions.

The McLaren Mercedes driver received the trophy from MSA chairman Alan Gow in front of 150 invited guests including former
F1 champion Damon Hill and triple World Touring Car Championship title winner Andy Priaulx.

The Hawthorn Memorial Trophy – named after Britain’s first F1 champion Mike Hawthorn – is awarded annually to the most successful British or Commonwealth driver in the F1 World Championship, with Hamilton becoming the first driver to take the honour in his debut season.

“Lewis’ arrival on the F1 scene last season made a huge impact, capturing the public’s imagination not only in this country but around the world,” Colin Hilton, chief executive of the Motor Sports Association said. “His performances have given us a great platform on which to raise the profile and develop the sport in this country. We were delighted that he was able to join us at the Night of Champions in order to receive the award.

“The British motor sport scene is still the best in the world as illustrated by the fact that no fewer than nine of last year’s F1 grid cut their teeth in our championships. The MSA is committed to securing increased British representation at the highest level of motor sport and as a result we are continuing to invest substantial funds into both the Race Elite programme and its sister operation in rallying. We hope that in the coming years, many of these young drivers will graduate to F1 and race at the highest level.”

Previous winners of the award include Sir Stirling Moss, Jim Clark, Nigel Mansell and current F1 racers David Coulthard and Jenson Button.

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The Williams team’s 2008 season race car, the Williams Toyota FW30, took to the track at the Valencia circuit in Southern Spain this morning for a shakedown prior to starting its winter testing tomorrow.

The team’s newly recruited test driver, Nico Hulkenberg, is taking on the responsibility of shaking down the new race car before regular race driver, Nico Rosberg and his team-mate, Kazuki Nakajima, share first assessments of the car from tomorrow onwards.

For its roll-out, the FW30 is liveried in the second of a campaign series of six designs celebrating Williams’ thirty years in Formula One. Reflecting the collegiate nature of Formula One, which requires a wide variety of technical and financial contributors, a committed and skilled workforce and the essential support of the viewing public, this week’s design communicates Williams’ thanks to its staff and its fans.

Every name of the current 519-member Williams workforce will be carried on the FW30-01 this week, and the company also thanks the 85 brands whose sponsorship identities have graced Williams race car liveries since January 15, 1978, when the Williams FW06 took to the track for the Argentine Grand Prix in the hands of Alan Jones. These sponsorship revenues have supported Williams’ purity of purpose as an independent racing organisation and the company is indebted to these commercial partners, past and present. The livery also reflects the team’s wish to thank the public at large for three decades of support and goodwill which has seen Williams develop a pre-eminent international sporting reputation.

The FW30 will be tested by Nico Rosberg on Tuesday and Wednesday with Kazuki Nakajima taking the wheel for the last day of the test. Next week, for the first test at the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona, the team will unveil the next in a series of livery messages prior to the team’s 2008 season racing colours being revealed for the Australian Grand Prix on March 16.

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Double world champion Fernando Alonso completed the first laps in Renault’s all-new R28. In Valencia Alonso completed his first laps when the weather cleared up. Under the eyes of many Spanish fans in the grandstand Alonso completed his first laps without any major problems.

Monday’s test session got underway at 09.00 but as Williams test driver Nico Hulkenberg drove towards the end of the pitlane the team and later the track marshals decided it wouldn’t be safe to go out on track. And thus the R28 debut also got delayed. Just after lunch Fernando Alonso steered the team’s 2008 contender on track for its shakedown.

The R28 doesn’t look much different that Renault’s R27. The biggest change there is to see is the car’s new front wing.

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Lewis Hamilton

Lewis Hamilton has vowed to buy new homes for his divorced parents with the proceeds of his new multi-million dollar five-year McLaren deal.
The British team announced last Friday that 23-year-old Hamilton’s contract includes ‘improved financial terms,’ after he made $700,000 plus points bonuses en route to second place in the drivers’ championship in 2007.
Media reports estimate that the Briton will now earn an average of more than $27m per season until at least 2012.
Asked by the German newspaper Bild am Sonntag what he plans to do with his newfound fortune, Hamilton answered: “I do not need much to be happy.
“Mercedes gives me a (road) car, I get watches and clothes from my sponsors. The only thing I really need to buy is food!”
He rejected suggestions that he may now splash out on girls and throwing parties.“Absolutely not,” Hamilton answered. “I am focused on fulfilling my dream to become world champion. “I would like to buy a house each for my father and my mother. They have done everything for me, and now I can finally start to give something back to them.”

Hamilton also denied that his father Anthony was able to increase his annual retainer so drastically because of talks with rival F1 teams.

“No, there have been no talks with anyone except my bosses,” he insisted. “My father has worked really hard on this, and I have worked hard in the car. “McLaren is where I want to be. This is where I feel at home,” Hamilton said

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