Update on tyres

There are four compounds; Hard, Medium, Soft and Super-soft.  Each race, Bridgestone will bring two compounds.  Each team must use both compounds during the race, so at some point the each car will be on a less-than-perfect compound.  This could make tactics more interesting, with two long stints and one short one.  The tyres will be visibly marked so everyone will know which compound is being used at the time.
Tyres generally will be harder, and so slower.  There’ll be less grip, so more driver skill required.

FIA F1 Rule Changes

Here’s a summary of some of the rule changes made for this season.
Cars will face a 10 place penalty for each engine change.  Previously, a car could change engines twice before a race, and only lose 10 places.  Now, that will cost 20 places.
T-bar identification.  The number one driver of each team will sport a red T-bar camera housing (above the air intake), and the number two will sport a yellow T-bar.
Safety car = pit lane closure.  When the safety car is deployed, the pit lane will be closed until all cars are assembled behind the safety car.  Only then will Stewards declare the pit lane open.  Penalty for transgression, 10 seconds.  This does not apply for cars that only change to wet or extreme weather tyres (i.e. no fuel).  I’ve yet to work out why this rule has been introduced.
Lapped drivers may unlap during safety car laps.  I think this is a crazy rule change, and one made to increase the spectacle of F1, polluting the purity of the race.  Before the safety car comes in, lapped cars that are between leading-lap cars will be able to pass those lead-lap cars and the safety car, and rejoin the train at the back, effectively unlapping themselves.  In my opinion, this will lead to safety car deployment just to bring cars back into play for entertainment value, in other words, the best cars may no longer win.
I can just imagine a driver having the race of his life, one lap ahead of his competitors, only to have one car of a rival team stop at a dangerous point.  The safety car is deployed, and the track cleared.  Before coming in, the signal goes out that lapped cars may pass and rejoin at the back of the snake, putting all cars on the same lap as the leader.  Blatantly unfair on the leading drivers.  Bringing F1 down to the level of other impure ‘sports’ where ‘competition yellows’ are thrown a few laps before the end to close up the field.
After the infamous Shumi Monaco parking incident, the clerk of the course may extend the quali session if a car blocks the circuit.
Only a few days to go!

Aston Martin to go into F1?

Ford are selling Aston Martin to get some money in the bank after their recent huge losses. The buyer is reported to be David Richards' Pro Drive. They have hinted that they want to enter F1 in 2008, but it's not clear whether that will be as a team or as a supplier of some sort.

I'm mobile at the moment, so you'll have to google for links yourself.

BowenRacing is sponsored by ik Software at www.ik.com

F1 2007 Drivers and Teams

Here’s a list of teams and their drivers, with a few comments from me.  The number shown before the drivers names are their car numbers.
Vodafone McLaren Mercedes
1 Fernando Alonso
2 Lewis Hamilton
Vodafone manage to keep their logo on a World Champion.
McLaren Mercedes is the team I would most like to work for.  They are disciplined and professional, and I would be in my element there.  Alonso also has these qualities, but not to the same level.  He’ll either love it or hate it.
Hamilton is another Brit for me to support.  I am excited about him being in F1 this season, and especially because he’s at McLaren.
ING Renault F1 Team
3 Giancarlo Fisichella
4 Heikki Kovalainen
ING is a new sponsor to F1 and it’s nice to see financial companies sponsoring F1 teams.
I’m a fan of the Fins in F1 too.
Scuderia Ferrari ********
5 Felipe Massa 
6 Kimi Raikkonen
Boo!  Ferrari is still sponsored by a tobacco firm.  Dinosaurs!
Shame Kimi’s racing for Ferrari this year.  One of my favourite drivers in his earlier years, now with his lack of disciplined and red overalls I won’t be cheering for him this year.
Honda Racing F1 Team
7 Jenson Button
8 Rubens Barrichello
A team I can be cheering for this year.  Jenson, a Brit of course, and Rubens (an honorary Brit by virtue of his underdog status with Ferrari) make an interesting team.

BMW Sauber F1 Team
9 Nick Heidfeld
10 Robert Kubica
Boring!  Heidfeld is, sadly, an also-ran.  Kubica has potential, but I don’t think he’ll shine in this team.
Panasonic Toyota Racing
11 Ralf Schumacher
12 Jarno Trulli

Red Bull Racing
14 David Coulthard
15 Mark Webber
What can I say, Coulthard and Webber (drivers I like as drivers and as people) driving for a team I would love to work for.  I would love to see them do well.
AT&T Williams
16 Nico Rosberg
17 Alex Wurz
Frank is doing his usual job of bringing on a new-ish driver in Rosberg.  Watch this space for stories of contract disputes and dropping a driver just as he starts to shine.  It’s an odd match though, with Nico’s Dad Keki being opinionated and forthright, while Frank is the very model of diplomacy.
Good to see Wurz back again.
Scuderia Toro Rosso
18 Tonio Liuzzi 
19 Scott Speed
Torro Rosso is Italian for Red Bull Team 2.  Scott Speed is American for loud and slow.
Spyker F1 Team
20 Christijan Albers 
21 Adrian Sutil
A Dutch team, part sponsored by German consumer electronics company Medion, with a relatively unknown German Driver Adrian Sutil, and Ferrari engines.  Spyker deserves to have a more settled season this year.  Probably still a back-of-the-pack team though.
Super Aguri F1 Team
22 Takuma Sato
23 Anthony Davidson
Another team I have a soft spot for, not because of the team, but because I like Sato as a person, mainly because he’s always smiling.  I did like Davidson as a driver too, but his stint in the commentary box when Button won took the shine off a bit.  I hope he can put in some solid drives.
Test Drivers of note:
Pedro de la Rosa (McLaren Mercedes) – Fast, but out of luck when it came to drives this year.
Gary Paffett (McLaren Mercedes) – Another Brit, must be gutted he didn’t a drive this year.
Nelson Piquet Jr (Renault F1 Team) – another GP2 star.
Christian Klien (Honda), Franck Montagny (Toyota), Robert Doornbos (Red Bull), and Narain Karthikeyan (Williams) – more former F1 drivers relegated to test driver status.  Mind you, I’d sell my granny to be a test driver.
Next up:  FIA rule changes.

TV programme about McLaren airs today at 5.10pm

This from ITV's website:
F1: Chasing the Dream, which will air at 5.05pm on ITV1, takes you behind the scenes at Vodafone McLaren Mercedes as the team gears up for a tilt at the world title.

According to my on-screen TV guide, it starts at 5.10 for one hour.

BowenRacing is sponsored by ik Software at www.ik.com

F1 2007 Season Race Calendar

Only one week to go! Can’t wait.

Thought I’d post a few times before the first race, just to bring us up to date. This post is the race calendar. In a few of days I’ll post the driver line-up with comments, and a few days after that I’ll bring you up to date with some FIA rule changes.

Put theses in your diaries and cancel any prior arrangements.

18 March – Australia, Melbourne
8 April – Malaysia, Sepang
15 April – Bahrain, Manama
13 May – Spain, Barcelona
27 May – Monaco, Monte Carlo
10 June – Canada, Montreal
17 June – USA, Indianapolis
1 July – France, Magny-Cours
8 July – Great Britain, Silverstone
22 July – European, Nurburgring (Germany)
5 August – Hungary, Budapest
26 August – Turkey, Istanbul
9 September – Italy, Monza
16 September – Belgium, Spa-Francorchamps
30 September – Japan, Fuji
7 October – China, Shanghai
21 October – Brazil, Interlagos

Merry Christmas – here is some news

Merry Christmas to you all, especially those who I know read my blog: Blanche, George and Kaz. I’d like to know who else reads this blog, so please leave a comment.

I’ve not been racing/karting lately, and there’s no F1 at the mo, but I wanted to bring you a couple of news items I heard about (just click the story title to go to the story).
Jenson cracks ribs karting – Ah, bless. Big girls blouse!
Schumacher can’t kart – His team came 12th out of 18.

Hope you all have a great Christmas!


Lewis Hamilton will Drive for McLaren in 2007

Brilliant news. I know who I’m supporting next year!

See the BBC F1 report here.

I’ve not been posting much for two reasons; busy with work and I’ve not been racing. Better not to post when there’s nothing to say, don’t you think?

BTW, I see my blog’s not formatted properly at the moment. Don’t know what happened, but I’ll get round to sorting it at some point.

The Belgium GP is back for 2007!

Spa is back, and what a good name for this circuit. Wet races at Spa are some of my all time favourite races. Remember when Schumi retired (from the race, not F1) after running into the back of DC’s car on the way to Bus Stop? He drove, three-wheeled, back to the pits and proceeded to find DC to try to knock his block off in retaliation for his dangerous driving. Huh?

This year Jenson won a thrilling rain-affected race at Hungary. The more chance of a wet race, the better as far as I’m concerned. Spa’s a good circuit, even in the dry, so I’m glad it’s back.

On another topic, will you join me for Karting on Monday 18th September? See the post below for details. Everyone is welcome, regardless of karting experience.