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McLaren has announced the signing of the reigning World Champion Jenson Button to a multi-year deal.
He will be partnered by 2008 World Champion Lewis Hamilton, who will be embarking on his fourth consecutive season as a McLaren Mercedes driver.
This unique partnership will mark:
The first time in Formula 1 history that a team has started the new season with a line-up featuring the most recent two successive World Champions
The first pairing of two British World Champions since Graham Hill [1962, 1968] partnered Jim Clark [1963, 1965] at Lotus in 1968
Jenson Button:
“It’s always a difficult decision to leave a team when you’ve been there for so long. But life is all about challenges – and, most important of all, it’s about challenging yourself. So, although I won the World Championship with Brawn GP last year, and I’ll never forget that, I was always adamant that I wanted to continue to set myself fresh challenges.
“So that’s why I’ve decided to join Vodafone McLaren Mercedes. You can’t help but be affected by this team’s phenomenal history. McLaren is one of the greats of world sport, and its achievements and list of past champions read like a Who’s Who of Formula 1 – Emerson Fittipaldi, James Hunt, Niki Lauda, Alain Prost, Ayrton Senna, Mika Hakkinen and of course my new team-mate Lewis Hamilton. I’ve followed the McLaren team ever since I was a small boy, and it feels unbelievable to finally be a part of it.
“When I visited the McLaren Technology Centre earlier this month, it wasn’t simply the technical resources and the incredible standards of excellence that impressed me. No, I was equally struck by the ambition, the motivation and the winning spirit that flow through everybody there. And then there’s the team’s epic history: put it this way, the trophy cabinets seem to stretch for miles.
“From a personal point of view, it’s also a great pleasure to be joining a fellow British World Champion. Lewis has achieved an incredible level of success in a very short period of time, and he’s a wonderfully gifted driver who has earned the respect of every Formula 1 driver. I’m sure there’s plenty that we can learn from each other, and I’m really looking forward to using our combined knowledge to push the team forward.
“Also, I think it’s fantastic that we’ll be forming an all-British line-up. I know that we both fly the flag with pride, and I sincerely hope we can make the whole of the United Kingdom, as well as Vodafone McLaren Mercedes fans across the world, proud. Nothing means more to me than to be able to represent my country, and I’m looking forward to both of us painting Formula 1’s circuits red, white and blue for many years to come.
“While I’m fully aware that there’s a tremendous amount of hard work ahead, I’m absolutely certain that Vodafone McLaren Mercedes will be able to deliver where it matters: on track. I’m already looking forward to starting work with the engineers at the McLaren Technology Centre as we begin our preparations for the 2010 season – and the defence of my world championship. This is a team that always goes racing to win, and I’m looking forward to being part of that.
“Last but very far from least, I want to say that the 2009 season will always have a special place in my memory, and I’m absolutely sure that everybody at Brawn GP who worked so hard to achieve our World Championship successes feels exactly the same way about it. Equally, I want to thank the guys at Mercedes-Benz HighPerformanceEngines, without whom we’d never have been as competitive as we were. I’m so pleased that I’ll still be using their engines in 2010 and beyond.
“So I wish all my old Brawn GP mates well in their new Mercedes Grand Prix adventure, just as I hope they’ll wish me well in my new Vodafone McLaren Mercedes adventure.”
Lewis Hamilton:
“It’s fantastic news that Jenson has decided to join Vodafone McLaren Mercedes – and I’m looking forward to working with him and our engineers to make sure we kick off the 2010 season with a car that’s competitive enough to win the World Championship – but I want to send my best wishes for the future to my 2008-09 team-mate and now good friend Heikki Kovalainen, who is one of the nicest human beings I’ve ever met.
“I already know Jenson, and we get on very well together. We both really want our team to succeed. Although we’ll be pushing each other hard, I’m sure we’ll very quickly establish a great working relationship. He’s an exceptional driver: very controlled and very smooth, and he has a real depth of knowledge and experience. I think we’ll complement each other very well, and our collaboration will make the team stronger as a result. Also, I’m delighted to be racing alongside a fellow British World Champion, and I believe we can pull together to make Vodafone McLaren Mercedes the best team on the grid.
“I’m sure Jenson has already started to appreciate our team’s unique culture and the special family atmosphere that makes it such an incredible place to live and work. We really are like one big family – and I’m sure Jenson will feel the warmth of that welcome from day one.
“Obviously, as a British driver, I’m also thrilled that we’ll be flying the flag for the United Kingdom, and I think today’s announcement is fantastic news for all British sports fans. I hope they’ll be giving us their full support when the season kicks off next March. I’m already looking forward to Silverstone – it’ll be massive!
“Looking ahead, I think the results from the second half of 2009 speak for themselves, and I’m convinced we can carry that momentum through the winter and into the new season. I’ve been closely following the development of our 2010 challenger, the MP4-25, and I think it’s going to be a state-of-the-art car that will enable both of us to consistently fight for victories.”
Martin Whitmarsh, Team principal, Vodafone McLaren Mercedes:
“Everybody at Vodafone McLaren Mercedes is absolutely delighted to be able to welcome Jenson to our team. It has always been our policy to employ the two very best possible drivers – and, in Jenson and Lewis, we feel we not only have the fastest pairing on the 2010 grid, but also the two most complete, professional and dedicated drivers in Formula 1.
“Moreover, I’m confident that we’ll be able to successfully balance and harness Jenson’s and Lewis’s complementary skill-sets. Our engineers are already looking forward to working with Jenson, and I’m convinced that such a strong and dynamic driver line-up will make us an even more complete and competitive operation. Now we have to provide Jenson and Lewis with race-winning machinery.
“I want to make clear that Jenson’s decision to join us was in no way motivated by money. We’ll be paying him no more than he could be getting elsewhere, and that fact is a reflection of not only Jenson’s belief in Vodafone McLaren Mercedes but also his desire and ambition to build on the phenomenal results he achieved during the 2009 season.
“I also want to thank Heikki for his selfless contribution over the past two years. As well as being very quick, Heikki was and remains a great character whom we’ll all miss considerably. It goes without saying that we wish him all the best for next season, and would be very pleased if he were to secure a good drive for 2010.
“We’re ambitious, we’re motivated and we’re hungrier than ever. We make no secret of our ambition for next year: Vodafone McLaren Mercedes wants to win both World Championships – and, with Jenson and Lewis, we believe we’re better equipped than any other team in the pitlane to do exactly that.”
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Well what a day it was. The weather was great, I even mananged to get a suntanned face while waiting for autographs.

I had a paddock pass and was able to go into the pitlane and the F1 paddock.

I managed to get my photo taken with David Coulthard. I also got 4 Minichamps models signed by David for my collection.

I also managed to get my rarest Barrichello model ( Jordan 193 ) autographed by Rubens

I also got a Minichamps model signed by Fernando Alonso, although it was quickly rushed while he was running to get in his car.

But the highlight of my day was getting to see Lewis Hamilton who signed 6 baseball caps for me. He was so nice to me and my son. I also got a photo of my son with Lewis as Lewis was signing his book for my son. Although lewis spelt my son’s name wrong, so they were laughing about it together.

Lewis spent so much time signing autographs for his fans, unlike Kimi Raikkonen who hardly ever signs anything for his fans.

So I have one happy son now who has a photo with Lewis. He also had photos with Anthony Hamilton, and Nick Hamilton, ( Lewis’s Brother )

So roll on next week to the British Grand Prix, which I will also be attending

YOU CAN SEE THE SIGNED CAPS ON MY WEBSITE IN THE SHOP

http://f1bits.webasyst.net/shop/

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The FIA have announced plans to launch a new feeder series for Formula One, expected to appear on the calendar from 2009. At a meeting of the World Motor Sport Council in Paris today, the FIA revealed plans for a “Formula Two”, “an inexpensive platform to develop emerging driver talent for Formula One”.
The designation “Formula Two” was last used in 1984, before the series was renamed Formula 3000, before itself being relaunched as GP2 in 2005. While GP2 is currently the primary feeder series for Formula One, with such names as Hamilton, Kovalainen, Piquet and Rosberg all having graduated in the past three years, Formula Two would undoubtedly emerge as a competitor to GP2.
In its press release, the FIA said that it was inviting tenders for the new series, for a 2009 launch. The FIA hopes for a budget of €200,000 per car per season to be sufficient, a figure which is lower than the budget needed for GP2, although no specifications about the series have been announced.
Such is the success of GP2 to produce high-quality drivers and hone their skills, that many observers will wonder about the necessity to launch a new series. With the power struggle currently ongoing between the FIA and Commercial rights holders of Formula One, who incidentally also own GP2, it’s likely that the news of the new series will begin a new chapter in the battle for supremacy in F1.

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Alonso has finished a surprise fastest in the final practice session.

Considering he had a blown engine at the end of the 1st practice, he has recovered very well.

 

1.  ALONSO        Renault       1m15.778s
2.  MASSA         Ferrari       1m15.854s
3.  RAIKKONEN     Ferrari       1m15.999s
4.  HAMILTON      McLaren       1m16.232s
5.  VETTEL        Toro Rosso    1m16.298s
6.  KUBICA        BMW           1m16.317s
7.  KOVALAINEN    McLaren       1m16.340s
8.  HEIDFELD      BMW           1m16.458s
9.  ALONSO        Renault       1m16.543s
10. COULTHARD     Red Bull      1m16.572s
11. ROSBERG       Williams      1m16.682s
12. TRULLI        Toyota        1m16.743s
13. BOURDAIS      Toro Rosso    1m16.758s
14. NAKAJIMA      Williams      1m17.002s
15. GLOCK         Toyota        1m17.092s
16. WEBBER        Red Bull      1m17.106s
17. BUTTON        Honda         1m17.244s
18. FISICHELLA    Force India   1m17.394s
19. BARRICHELLO   Honda         1m17.591s
20. SUTIL         Force India   1m17.868s

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Bernie Ecclestone is applying more pressure to the Silverstone circuit by revealing that he is in talks with Donington Park to host future F1 races in Britain.
Ecclestone has long criticised Silverstone and has been trying to persuade the owners of the circuit, the BRDC, to upgrade the track’s facilities. In recent months, he has threatened to axe the British Grand Prix completely if his demands over the state of the circuit are not met.
However British newspaper The Times has revealed that Ecclestone is looking to safeguard the future of the British Grand Prix by talking to Donington Park management as he believes they have a better chance of coming up with the £11 million annual fee and the large investments required to run the race than Silverstone does.
“We are discussing the possibility of reaching an agreement with Donington to host the British Grand Prix,” Ecclestone explained. “We are trying to save the British Grand Prix and we want it to be staged at a venue which befits an even of it’s stature. I have been in negotiations for a long time and whether or not we are going to do a deal with Donington or Silverstone, I don’t know.
“Donington have said they are going to build everything we want. Have they got the money? Only time will tell. But I think there is more chance of Donington having the money than the BRDC.”
If Donington wishes to take over from Silverstone to host the British Grand Prix, track organisers will have a mammoth task on their hands. The track potentially needs lengthening, and a new pit, paddock area and media complex would have to be built, along with additional grandstands. The total bill for kitting the circuit out to a high enough standard to host an F1 race is likely to cost in the order of tens of millions of pounds.

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Stewards at the Canadian Grand Prix have ruled that Lewis Hamilton caused an avoidable crash when he hit Raikkonen from behind.

Nico Rosberg has also been penalised
Both drivers will be demoted 10 places down the Magny Cours grid in two weeks.
“It was a serious mistake from Hamilton and I think the penalty imposed by the FIA is in line with it, even if it does not restore what was a lost opportunity for us,” Ferrari chief Stefano Domenicali said.
“It’s just unfortunate when stuff like this happens, but I have no argument with the Stewards,” Hamilton said.
Team boss Ron Dennis, however, came closer to disagreeing with the penalty, playing down the incident as ‘just one of those things’. 
“The plain fact is that Lewis didn’t realise that the cars in front of him were coming to a halt until too late,” he said.
“It’s difficult for a driver to decide whether to focus on the lights or on the cars ahead in situations like that. Having said that, we accept the stewards’ decision,” Dennis added.

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Robert Kubica has claimed his first ever F1 win with a fantastic drive for BMW Sauber

It was also the first ever win for the BMW Sauber team, so its a double celebration today

Lewis Hamilton & Kimi Raikkonen both scored no points after Hamilton went straight into the back of Raikkonen after exiting the pitlane during a safety car incident. Raikkonen and Kubica were both exiting the pitlane, and stopped at the exit because the red light was flashing, but Hamilton didn’t stop and ended up in the back of raikkonen, taking them both out of the race. Raikkonen then jumped out of his car, and showed hamilton the red light still flashing. Hamilton said he has since apologised to Raikkonen for the incident.

Nick Heidfeld, took second place and David Coulthard was third for Red Bull, it’s been a while since he was last on the podium.
Timo Glock took fourth place, the best result of his first full F1 season, and Felipe Massa was an eventful fifth.
Barrichello, who now has the most ever starts in F1 History, was leading the race at one point for a few laps, then had to pit for fuel. But he still mamaged to bring the Honda home in 7th place.
Kubica is now top of the Drivers’ World championship, four points clear of Hamilton, and BMW Sauber is now top the Constructor’s title race.

Race Result : 

1.  KUBICA       BMW                 
2.  HEIDFELD     BMW           +16.4s
3.  COULTHARD    Red Bull      +23.3s
4.  GLOCK        Toyota        +42.6s
5.  MASSA        Ferrari       +43.9s
6.  TRULLI       Toyota        +47.7s
7.  BARRICHELLO  Honda         +53.5s
8.  VETTEL       Toro Rosso    +54.1s
9.  KOVALAINEN   McLaren       +54.4s
10. ROSBERG      Williams      +57.7s
11. BUTTON       Honda         +67.5s
12. WEBBER       Red Bull      +71.2s
13. BOURDAIS     Toro Rosso    +1 lap
R.  FISICHELLA   Force India   +19 laps
R.  NAKAJIMA     Williams      +24 laps
R . ALONSO       Renault       +26 laps
R.  PIQUET       Renault       +31 laps
R.  RAIKKONEN    Ferrari       +51 laps
R.  HAMILTON     McLaren       +51 laps
R.  SUTIL        Force India   +57 laps

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