:: The Formula 1 - 2008 Season Thread ::

Who will win the 2008 Season

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Massa wary of McLaren, BMW threat
Felipe Massa has downplayed talk that Ferrari are hot favourites to win the French Grand Prix, as he reckons McLaren and BMW Sauber will be a big threat.

The Italian squad have dominated the race at Magny-Cours, with seven victories in the last ten races.

Rivals McLaren have only won once, in 2000, at the French circuit.

Last year, Ferrari scored a one-two victory and arrive in France having shown strong form in the previous races.

But Massa reckons McLaren and BMW cannot be ruled out, although the Brazilian is optimistic his team will be very competitive.

"In recent years, people would say that Canada and Monaco suited McLaren better than Ferrari, while it was the other way round in France and Britain, but I don't think that is really the case this year, as apart from any other factors, we have to consider the BMW team in this equation," said Massa.

"This year in Monaco, Ferrari had the whole front row of the grid, even though I think we had more fuel than McLaren and in Canada our race pace was very good too. In other races we have all been very close. But I hope we will be very competitive this weekend.

"I like Magny-Cours: I came second here last year, having started from pole, but then I lost a bit of time in traffic and I also came third in 2006. It's a good track for me. Let's hope we can repeat last year's one-two finish, but maybe in a different order."


Massa quickest in practice 1 - France
Felipe Massa was fastest for Ferrari by a comfortable seven tenths of a second in an uneventful opening practice session for the French Grand Prix.

The McLarens were second and third quickest, with Lewis Hamilton fractionally quicker than teammate Heikki Kovalainen, while Kimi Raikkonen completed the top four in the second Ferrari.

It took almost half an hour before the session got underway in earnest, with Williams' Nico Rosberg finally becoming the first man to set a flying lap after 26 minutes.

Sebastian Vettel (Toro Rosso) then briefly had a turn on top, before the leading contenders all emerged as practice neared the halfway point.

Kovalainen and Massa both led the way for a few minutes, but it was Hamilton who ended up at the head of the timing screens with a 1:16.002, and he remained fastest until Massa re-emerged just after the hour mark.

The Brazilian produced three laps beneath Hamilton's benchmark, eventually ending up on a 1:15.450, while Hamilton went wide at the Adelaide hairpin on his equivalent run and failed to improve.

Massa then shaved a further tenth off his time when he rejoined for a final run, lapping in 1:15.306 to cement his dominant position.

Hamilton remained second, while Kovalainen was fortunate to avoid an accident on his last lap when he ran wide into the Estoril gravel trap at high-speed and came close to hitting the concrete wall as he wrestled the car back under control.

Raikkonen was 0.767 seconds slower than Massa in fourth, ahead of championship leader Robert Kubica (BMW Sauber), who was one second off the pace in fifth place.

Fernando Alonso took sixth place, but stopped on the approach to the 180 corner in the final minutes after suffering what appeared to be a substantial engine failure. The Renault came to a halt in the run-off area with white smoke bellowing from its rear end.

Jarno Trulli escaped a quick spin at the Adelaide hairpin to take seventh for Toyota, with Vettel, Nick Heidfeld (BMW) and Timo Glock (Toyota) completing the top ten.

Qualifying Sat 17:30-18:30

The Race Sun 17:30-19:30


A decent drive from Trulli too..

I wonder why is there a huge gap in performance between Lewis and Heiki , similarly Kubica and Heidfield... and not this particular race since very beginning..


Juke Box Hero
Preference? I pity Nick though, he's been here so long and driven for many teams, but the poor guy hasn't gotten the recognition and a car he deserves. Highly underated :|


13th place for lewis, he has to race against sutil & nick:p
lewis has no records of finishin in pts. after starting below 10th.

kimi in 2005, started frm 13th & finished 2nd :eek:
can lewis do that?

btw did you see the new nike ad.


Kovalainen penalised for impeding
Heikki Kovalainen has been handed a five-place grid penalty at the French Grand Prix for blocking Mark Webber, the FIA has confirmed.

The McLaren driver had qualified sixth fastest but will now move down the order because the stewards felt he had impeded Webber, who was on a fast lap.

A statement issued by the FIA said "the driver of car 23 was driving very slowly during an out lap and thereby hindered the driver of car 10 who was on his fast lap."

Kovalainen's penalty is a double blow to McLaren, who have seen their other driver Lewis Hamilton slip down to 13th on the grid because of the 10-place penalty he was handed after crashing in the pitlane in Canada.

Hamilton's penalty means that Kovalainen will start from 10th place on the grid.


Preference? I pity Nick though, he's been here so long and driven for many teams, but the poor guy hasn't gotten the recognition and a car he deserves. Highly underated :|

Are no re , why would there be anything like Preference.. I mean if Nick were compete with Kubica then it preference comes into play but he has looked a lot weaker than Kubica in every race..

Same with Heiki and Lewis, now today Mclaren had to get thier solo car out front, still they couldnt do it..

Also why would someone give underrated cars to thier drivers.. Strategy wise preference can be given but i dont think overall u can discriminate..


McLaren frustrated by Kovalainen penalty
McLaren boss Ron Dennis has expressed his frustration at the five-place penalty handed to Heikki Kovalainen for blocking Mark Webber in qualifying.

Kovalainen will drop from fifth to 10th on the grid after the stewards felt that he had held up Webber, who was on a quick lap, in Q1.

But Dennis says that the team and driver were simply caught out by bad circumstances - as Kovalainen got caught up close on track to Kazuki Nakajima.

"With Heikki, obviously we get phenomenally frustrated when we try to do everything right," said Dennis. "He had I think Nakajima behind him, they were both trying to stay out of everybody's way, and Nakajima overtook him into the final two corners.

"I think really the pace that they went into that last sector prior to starting their own laps was so slow that it caught everybody out, and really he had nowhere to go."

Dennis said McLaren changed Kovalainen's strategy for Q3 when it became apparent that he would be penalised - so as not to be stuck too far down the field with a light fuel load.

"It's not the way we wanted it to be, but in the end, once it had happened we changed strategy to try to minimise the damage tomorrow, and that clearly put Heikki down the grid," he explained.

"So he did a great job I think, and retrospectively tomorrow when you look at the stops and everything, fuel-corrected he did a great job.

"Overall the performance of the drivers and the cars is not reflected in the grid positions, but tomorrow is the race and there is a long way to go in this season."

Kovalainen himself was keen not to talk about what happened, clearly disappointed by the turn of events.

"I honestly don't want to get into that," he said when asked about the penalty. "I tried to stay out of the other drivers' way when I was on my warming-up lap, and the stewards decided to give me a five-place penalty. I don't want to talk about it any more."


FIA to discuss team entry fees hike *www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/68602

The FIA is to discuss a dramatic rise of almost 150 percent in the entry fees for teams competing in Formula One next year, to help pay for services and equipment, in its World Council Meeting in Paris tomorrow.

Less than a week after drivers went public in venting their frustrations at the escalation in the cost of their mandatory superlicence, the FIA is to consider raising the cost of a team's entry in F1 from this year's 300,000 euros to 740,000 euros.

The move comes because the FIA wants the teams to pay for improved safety and logistical facilities provided at races, as it is no longer willing to bankroll their provision itself. The plans have been revealed in an agenda for tomorrow's meeting in Paris that has been seen by autosport.com.

The services that the FIA wants teams to pay for from the start of next year are:

1) A marshalling and positioning system (known as F1MS) that provides race control with real time information about a car's location on the track and enables light signals to be sent to cars. The total cost for this is 1,026,000 euros.

2) The increased use of light panels around the track to supplement flag signals - which not only provide better visibility for drivers but also give race control a more accurate record of what signals are shown when. The total cost for this is 1,232,000 euros.

3) The Surveillance Data Record (SDR), which is fitted to cars to monitor car parameters and also gather data in the event of a crash. This has been used for the past six years and, although the teams have previously paid the supplier directly, this will now be sourced directly through the FIA. The cost of this is 130,900 euros.

4) A new Pit Lane and Garage Network to provide a totally secure messaging service to replace the need for paper copies of documents from race control or the stewards. All FIA communication with teams would be done via this network and, with teams having to acknowledge receipt, it would prevent the kind of situation that happened in Japan last year when Ferrari claimed they failed to receive an email detailing the use of wet tyres. The network would also distribute the F1MS information, weather data and car data from the SDR and Standard ECU. The cost of this is 70,400 euros for each team.

5) Weather forecast. The provision of weather information to the teams costs the FIA 485,000 Euros per year.

6) Pit wall intercom system. The intercom system that has been used by teams for the past six years to speak directly to race control has cost 780,000 euros. The cost of this will be split between the teams, with the FIA also making an equal contribution.

Based on ten teams competing, the raft of safety and logistical measures will cost each outfit 428,700 euros per year.

That is why the FIA wants to raise the entry fee from this year's 300,000 euros up to 740,000 euros, which also takes into account an index link rise of 3.7 percent.

Although such an increase in fees may at first appear draconian, it comes on the back of FIA president Max Mosley making it clear that he wants the sport's commercial rights holders to increase the amount of money they pay the teams from track and television rights. The FIA is set to indicate on Wednesday that it will only sign a new Concorde Agreement if there is a dramatic rise in the income that the teams receive from Ecclestone.


Ambassador of Buzz
FIA announces provisional 2009 Formula One calendar

Formula One racing’s governing body, the FIA, has released a provisional calendar for the 2009 world championship. The addition of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix makes for a 19-round season - one more round than in 2008.

The Australian Grand Prix will kick off proceedings on March 29, followed by Malaysia and Bahrain, before the championship heads to Europe. In a change to the traditional calendar the British Grand Prix will take place before the French race.

In another shift, the Turkish event will revert back to its more traditional August date, following this season’s earlier May slot. The championship will draw to a close in mid November with the inaugural Abu Dhabi race.

2009 FIA Formula One World Championship calendar (provisional)
29 March Australia
5 April Malaysia
19 April Bahrain
10 May Spain
24 May Monaco
7 June Canada
21 June Great Britain
28 June France
12 July Germany
26 July Hungary
9 August Turkey
23 August Europe (Valencia)
6 September Italy
13 September Belgium
27 September Singapore
11 October Japan
18 October China
1 November Brazil
15 November Abu Dhabi
19 races for next year:p



18 Till I Die............
WTH is wrong with them. They come to asia from europe, then go to americas for the 2nd last race then return back for the last one?


And hopefully it will be a complete 20 with the induction of India from 2010 :)

I doubt it.. The Plans arent even discussed yet.. 2008 is halfway gone.. I dont think 2yrs is enough to raise a full fledged circuit.. be it a street one .. Anyways first lets hope that Force India does well..



28 September 2008
interactive track - *www.formula1.com/races/in_detail/singapore_801/circuit_diagram.html



Silverstone loses British GP to Donington
The British Grand Prix will leave Silverstone and move to Donington Park from 2010, the FIA announced on Friday.

After months of speculation about whether or not Silverstone would retain the race, Donington Park has moved to complete a deal to secure the future of the event.

FIA President Max Mosley said: "After many years of patient but fruitless negotiation with the BRDC, we are delighted that Bernie has nevertheless been able to ensure that the British Grand Prix will keep its place on the Formula One World Championship calendar.

"We understand that the development programme planned for Donington will achieve the very high standards we and FOM expect from a modern F1 circuit. Finally, British Formula One fans will get the Grand Prix venue they deserve."

Bernie Ecclestone, FOM President, added: "Finally the uncertainty is over. A contract has been signed with Donington Park and the future of the British Grand Prix is now secure.

"We wanted a world class venue for Formula One in Britain, something that the teams and British F1 fans could be proud of. The major development plans for Donington will give us exactly that. A venue that will put British motor sport back on the map.

"I am sorry that we could not have helped Silverstone to raise the money to carry out the circuit improvements and run Formula One. I believe that the government should have supported them which would have cost probably less than .002% of the government's commitment for the Olympic Games."
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