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Archive for April, 2008

 

Heikki Kovalainen has spent a night in a Barcelona hospital after being knocked unconscious in a heavy crash at the Spanish Grand Prix.
Team boss Ron Dennis, who blamed the accident on a wheel rim failure, told reporters that the 26-year-old was concussed but had suffered no external injuries and brain scans showed no trauma.
He said there was a good chance of Kovalainen being available for the next race, in Turkey on May 11.

“There’s no damage or bruising or bleeding so we are quite optimistic about the next race,” said Dennis.
“I have spoken to our doctor at the hospital and they are quite optimistic at this very early stage that he will be able to race.”

Kovalainen, who was leading after both Ferraris and team mate Lewis Hamilton had pitted, went straight into the tyre wall at high speed on the 22nd of 66 laps with the car getting stuck deep under the barrier.
The team had no radio contact after the impact, while Kovalainen was slumped unconscious in the cockpit with track marshalls trying to pull the car out.

Eventually he was pulled free from the car and gave a thumbs-up sign, as he was taken away on a stretcher in a neck brace while the safety car was deployed.
He was taken to the circuit medical centre, where officials said he was conscious and stable, before being flown by helicopter to hospital in Barcelona.

Television footage showed the McLaren’s front left tyre suddenly deflated moments before the car left the track at high speed

“As far as we can tell, because we’ve now got the parts, is that a wheel failed. It’s a very unusual occurrence,” said Dennis.
“It was a brand new wheel effectively so we will have to analyse the components. But it’s 99.9 percent certain the wheel failed.”
Dennis said the team had satisfied themselves from looking at the data during the ensuing safety car period that it was safe for Hamilton to continue in the race.

The British driver said it had never crossed his mind that he might have to stop but he had been concerned about his team mate’s condition.

“I came past and I saw there was a car in the wall and it just looked red so I didn’t know if it was one of us or the Ferraris,” said Hamilton.
“I did actually see a glimpse of the footage on the (big screen) TV and it looked very reminiscent of my incident last year at the Nuerburgring. So I was a bit terrified really for whoever it was because I saw the impact was quite heavy.
“The team told me it was Heikki, they didn’t know how he was immediately but Ron came onto the radio half way through and said that he was okay but slightly concussed. I’m sure he’ll bounce back.

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Sorry for the lack of updates for the Spanish Grand Prix, as i was in Barcelona for this race.

Well what an eventful race this one was

Kimi Raikkonen extended his Formula One lead to nine points with a dominant win from pole position in the Spanish Grand Prix on Sunday.
Felipe Massa sealed Ferrari’s second successive one-two finish, and third win in a row.
Lewis Hamilton took third place to revive his title challenge after a disappointing last race in Bahrain.
“When we qualified fifth we knew it would be very difficult to beat the Ferraris,” said Hamilton. “The key was to get a good start and make up as many places as possible.
“We had two bad races and to come back on the podium is fantastic.”

Raikkonen’s 17th grand prix win left the Finn with 29 points, nine clear of closest rival Hamilton, and catapulted Ferrari back in front of BMW Sauber in the constructors’ standings.
“If we wanted, we could have gone a bit faster but there was no point in pushing more than we need to,” said Raikkonen, who still set the fastest lap.

Spaniard Fernando Alonso, who started on the front row for Renault, retired on lap 35 with a blown engine but he had already fallen down the field after being the first driver to refuel.

While Raikkonen had an uneventful afternoon in the sunshine, his fellow countryman Heikki Kovalainen was flown to hospital with concussion after his McLaren plunged across the gravel and into a tyre wall.
Kovalainen had been leading at the time after both Ferraris and Hamilton had made their first pitstops.
“He banged his head in the accident and has concussion. As a precaution he is going to hospital to have more checks,” McLaren chief executive Martin Whitmarsh told reporters outside the circuit’s medical centre.

The safety car was deployed following Kovalainen’s crash, having already been brought out after Sebastian Vettel’s Toro Rosso and Force India’s Adrian Sutil collided on the first lap.
Poland’s Kubica finished fourth, moving him up to third in the championship with 19 points, ahead of Massa on 18, with Australian Mark Webber fifth in a Red Bull.

Britain’s Jenson Button finished sixth for Honda’s first points of the year while Japan’s Kazuki Nakajima was seventh for Williams and Italian Jarno Trulli eighth for Toyota.

 Pos Driver Team Times
1. K. Räikkönen Ferrari 1:38:19.051
2. F. Massa Ferrari + 3.228
3. L. Hamilton McLaren + 4.187
4. R. Kubica BMW Sauber + 5.694
5. M. Webber Red Bull Racing + 35.938
6. J. Button Honda + 53.010
7. K. Nakajima Williams + 58.244
8. J. Trulli Toyota + 59.435
9. N. Heidfeld BMW Sauber + 1:03.073
10. G. Fisichella Force India + 1 Lap
11. T. Glock Toyota + 1 Lap
12. D. Coulthard Red Bull Racing + 1 Lap
13. T. Sato Super Aguri F1 + 1 Lap
 
Non Finishers
14. N. Rosberg Williams  
15. F. Alonso Renault  
16. R. Barrichello Honda  
17. H. Kovalainen McLaren  
18. A. Davidson Super Aguri F1  
19. S. Bourdais Toro Rosso  
20. N. Piquet Jr. Renault  
21. A. Sutil Force India  
  22. S. Vettel Toro Rosso  

 

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Bahrain Podium

Felipe Massa has silenced the critics by winning the bahrain Grand prix

He had been under a lot of pressure from the media for 2 non finishes this season, many people have said he could be on his way out of Ferrari, but today he has proved he can be as good as Raikkonen.

After a first lap accident with Fernando Alonso, Lewis Hamilton could only manage 13th, he had to come in for a new nose cone after hitting Alonso in the rear. Rumours are that Alonso was brake testing Hamilton.

 Pos Driver Team
1. F. Massa Ferrari
2. K. Räikkönen Ferrari
3. R. Kubica BMW Sauber
4. N. Heidfeld BMW Sauber
5. H. Kovalainen McLaren
6. J. Trulli Toyota
7. M. Webber Red Bull Racing
8. N. Rosberg Williams
9. T. Glock Toyota
10. F. Alonso Renault
11. R. Barrichello Honda
12. G. Fisichella Force India
13. L. Hamilton McLaren
14. K. Nakajima Williams
15. S. Bourdais Toro Rosso
16. A. Davidson Super Aguri F1
17. T. Sato Super Aguri F1
18. D. Coulthard Red Bull Racing
19. A. Sutil Force India
 
Non Finishers
20. N. Piquet Jr. Renault
21. J. Button Honda
22. S. Vettel Toro Rosso

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Robert Kubica has claimed his 1st ever F1 pole.

He has also claimed BMW Sauber’s 1st ever pole position

Massa had been fastest right up to the last few seconds, Hamilton managed 3rd after his big crash yesterday.

Jenson Button can be proud of his Honda team, after managing a fantastic 9th position, ahead of former world champion Alonso who was 10th.

Pole Position Shootout :

1.  KUBICA        BMW           1m33.096s
2.  MASSA         Ferrari       1m33.123s
3.  HAMILTON      McLaren       1m33.292s
4.  RAIKKONEN     Ferrari       1m33.418s
5.  KOVALAINEN    McLaren       1m33.488s
6.  HEIDFELD      BMW           1m33.737s
7.  TRULLI        Toyota        1m33.994s
8.  ROSBERG       Williams      1m34.015s
9.  BUTTON        Honda         1m35.057s
10. ALONSO        Renault       1m35.115s

Qualifying 2 :

1.  MASSA         Ferrari       1m31.188s
2.  KOVALAINEN    McLaren       1m31.718s
3.  KUBICA        BMW           1m31.745s
4.  HEIDFELD      BMW           1m31.909s
5.  HAMILTON      McLaren       1m31.922s
6.  RAIKKONEN     Ferrari       1m31.933s
7.  TRULLI        Toyota        1m32.159s
8.  ROSBERG       Williams      1m32.185s
9.  ALONSO        Renault       1m32.345s
10. BUTTON        Honda         1m32.362s

Knocked Out:
11. WEBBER        Red Bull      1m32.371s
12. BARRICHELLO   Honda         1m32.508s
13. GLOCK         Toyota        1m32.528s
14. PIQUET        Renault       1m32.790s
15. BOURDAIS      Toro Rosso    1m32.915s
16. NAKAJIMA      Williams      1m32.943s

Qualifying 1 :

1.  MASSA         Ferrari       1m31.937s
2.  TRULLI        Toyota        1m32.227s
3.  RAIKKONEN     Ferrari       1m32.652s
4.  HAMILTON      McLaren       1m32.750s
5.  BUTTON        Honda         1m32.793s
6.  GLOCK         Toyota        1m32.800s
7.  KUBICA        BMW           1m32.893s
8.  ROSBERG       Williams      1m32.903s
9.  BARRICHELLO   Honda         1m32.944s
10. ALONSO        Renault       1m32.947s
11. PIQUET        Renault       1m32.975s
12. KOVALAINEN    McLaren       1m33.057s
13. HEIDFELD      BMW           1m33.137s
14. WEBBER        Red Bull      1m33.194s
15. NAKAJIMA      Williams      1m33.386s
16. BOURDAIS      Toro Rosso    1m33.415s

Knocked Out:
17. COULTHARD     Red Bull      1m33.433s
18. FISICHELLA    Force India   1m33.501s
19. VETTEL        Toro Rosso    1m33.562s
20. SUTIL         Force India   1m33.845s
21. DAVIDSON      Super Aguri   1m34.140s
22. SATO          Super Aguri   1m35.725s

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Massa has ended up fastest in both practice sessions. The ferrari’s are once again very quick , just like in Malaysia 2 weeks ago.

Hamilton had a very big off into the wall during 2nd Practice.

Bahrain Grand Prix Free Practice Session 1 Times :

1.  MASSA         Ferrari     1m32.233s
2.  RAIKKONEN     Ferrari     1m32.350s
3.  ROSBERG       Williams    1m32.415s
4.  HAMILTON      McLaren     1m32.705s
5.  KOVALAINEN    McLaren     1m32.868s
6.  NAKAJIMA      Williams    1m33.121s
7.  KUBICA        BMW         1m33.333s
8.  TRULLI        Toyota      1m33.539s
9.  COULTHARD     Red Bull    1m33.788s
10. ALONSO        Renault     1m33.815s
11. GLOCK         Toyota      1m33.929s
12. WEBBER        Red Bull    1m33.950s
13. PIQUET        Renault     1m33.981s
14. HEIDFELD      BMW         1m34.106s
15. BOURDAIS      Toro Rosso  1m34.235s
16. VETTEL        Toro Rosso  1m34.321s
17. FISICHELLA    Force India 1m34.892s
18. BUTTON        Honda       1m34.915s
19. BARRICHELLO   Honda       1m35.174s
20. SUTIL         Force India 1m35.429s
21. DAVIDSON      Super Aguri 1m36.145s
22. SATO          Super Aguri 1m36.536s

Bahrain Grand Prix Free Practice Session 2 Times :

1.  MASSA         Ferrari     1m31.412s
2.  RAIKKONEN     Ferrari     1m32.327s
3.  KOVALAINEN    McLaren     1m32.752s
4.  HAMILTON      McLaren     1m32.847s
5.  KUBICA        BMW         1m32.915s
6.  ROSBERG       Williams    1m33.022s
7.  COULTHARD     Red Bull    1m33.048s
8.  NAKAJIMA      Williams    1m33.098s
9.  BOURDAIS      Toro Rosso  1m33.197s
10. PIQUET        Renault     1m33.247s
11. BUTTON        Honda       1m33.710s
12. ALONSO        Renault     1m33.755s
13. WEBBER        Red Bull    1m33.782s
14. TRULLI        Toyota      1m33.822s
15. GLOCK         Toyota      1m33.856s
16. BARRICHELLO   Honda       1m33.966s
17. HEIDFELD      BMW         1m34.023s
18. FISICHELLA    Force India 1m34.388s
19. SUTIL         Force India 1m34.405s
20. VETTEL        Toro Rosso  1m34.787s
21. SATO          Super Aguri 1m35.288s
22. DAVIDSON      Super Aguri 1m35.712s

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Jacques Villeneuve has signed up for the speedcar series
He has signed up to contest the last two rounds of the Dubai based Speedcar stock car series.
The penultimate round takes place as a formula one support event at Sakhir this weekend, before the series ends in Dubai next weekend.

Villeneuve said “Speedcar will give me more road racing experience with this kind of car which will be useful in future NASCAR road courses events, and it’s also a great excuse to meet race fans,”

He joins fellow ex-F1 stars in the series, including Jean Alesi, Heinz Harold Frentzen, Johnny Herbert, Stefan Johansson, JJ Lehto and Gianni Morbidelli.

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McLaren have been moved to the very end of the pitlane ahead of the Bahrain Grand Prix.
As yet , no reason has been given for this quick change
As Mclaren finished last in the 2007 constructors championship due to the espionage situation, it meant they would have to occupy the last garages on the pitlane
But before the season began, Bernie Ecclestone agreed to let Mclaren use the 5th set of garages, as they have a large hospitality headquarters at the grand prix’s.
Organisers of the Bahrain Grand Prix revealed on Sunday that Formula One Management has ordered the promoters to arrange for McLaren to be housed next to Force India, the local newspaper Gulf Daily News said.
“Originally it was planned that the team would take its place in the fifth set of garages, as it did for the Malaysian and Australian Grands Prix.”
“We understand that it is in line with the rules and regulations of the sport for McLaren, which scored no points in the 2007 constructors’ championship, to take the final set of garages,” said Shaikh Salman bin Isa Al Khalifa, Chief Operating Officer of the BIC.
“However in Bahrain we do our upmost to ensure that fans of each team get to sit opposite their favourite team’s pit garages to see the action unfold. Sadly on this occasion we must apologise to McLaren fans and accept that this is force majeure,” he added.

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