The Formula1 British Grand Prix 2011 was a very special event for Ferrari. Sixty years ago, a driver by the name of Jose Frolian Gonzalez won the first race ever in the history of the Ferrari team at Silverstone, and seeing Fernando Alonso on the podium in first position for Ferrari on the weekend was almost as if the team had come full circle. Driving the Scuderia has been a difficult task for Alonso, as he has had to watch ten victories pass him by, but he has finally been able to prove that there is great improvement with the Scuderia, and that the Ferrari team is back in action.
The Silverstone track did offer the drivers a few challenges, as it was wet in some parts of the track, while other places on the track were still a little damp. Alonso commented that there were a few uneasy moments during the race, such as when he was overtaken by Lewis Hamilton, but the entire team remained calm and focused, which was an advantage for them. While Lewis Hamilton was fighting off the two Red Bull drivers, Alonso was able to concentrate on his driving, not making any mistakes, and he only realized that he had a chance to win once he came out of his final pit stop. Sebastian Vettel’s pit stop did not go well, and all these factors opened up the opportunity for Alonso to cross the finish line more than sixteen seconds ahead of Sebastian Vettel. He also went on to say that it was a great honor to win a race on the same track, sixty years after Ferrari enjoyed their first victory.
Vettel was followed home by Mark Webber, his Red Bull team mate, and the fight for fourth position was extremely thrilling. Lewis Hamilton and Felipe Massa where in a fierce battle right to the end, even leading them to collide slightly as the pressure mounted. But Hamilton was able to steal fourth position away from Massa by a few inches. The Ferrari team will now be looking at the next Grand Prix event, which will be hosted in Germany, and will most definitely be moving forward with more confidence, as this victory was very good for the morale of the team and the drivers.
Lewis Carl Davidson Hamilton is a British Formula One driver, born in Stevenage on 7 January 1985. His love for racing began at a young age with remote-controlled cars. He then moved onto karting at the age of 8.Lewis Hamilton quickly rose through the ranks, winning the British Championships twice and was signed to the McLaren driver development program by Ron Dennis.
In 2001 Lewis Hamilton took part in the British Formula Renault Winter Series, where he finished fifth overall. He then joined Manor Motorsport in 2002 to compete in the full Formula Renault UK series, coming in third place overall. The next year he won the Formula Renault title, with a total of 10 race victories, 11 pole positions and 9 fastest laps.
Lewis Hamilton moved on to the Formula Three Euroseries in 2004. He came in fifth place overall during that season. In typical Hamilton style he won the Formula Three Euroseries the very next year, with 15 wins, 13 pole positions and 10 fastest laps. Continuing his success, he went on to race for the GP2 team ART Grand Prix in 2006. A remarkable driver, he won the GP2 championship in his debut season.
Hamilton’s F1 career began in 2007 when he was signed with McLaren to drive alongside Fernando Alonso. Lewis Hamilton quickly showed that he was a force to be reckoned with, with errors in the final two rounds putting him in second place for the championship title, which went to Kimi Raikkonen. 2008 was a year to be remembered, as Lewis Hamilton became the youngest Formula One world champion at the age of 23.
Hamilton come in 5th place in the 2009 season, with 49 points. Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button (the 2009 championship winner) are McLaren teammates for the 2010 season.
Jenson Alexander Lyons Button is a British Formula One driver born in Frome on 19 January 1980. He hit the track at a young age, beginning with karting at eight years. In 1989, at 9 years of age, Jenson Button took first competed in the British Super Prix. He achieved many successes as a kart driver, including becoming the youngest driver to win the European Super A championship in 1997.
In 1998 Jenson Button began competing in the British Formula Ford championship, where you came in first with nine race wins. That same year he placed second in the European Formula Ford championship. At the end of the year he was awarded the McLaren Autosport BRDC Young Driver Award. 1999 was another successful year for Jenson Button as he entered the world of Formula Three racing. Coming in third overall, he ended the season as the top rookie driver.
Jenson Button entered the Formula One scene in 2000, racing for the Williams team. He ended his debut season with 12 points and came in eighth in the Drivers’ Championship. During the 2001 F1 season, Button drove for Benetton. It was a trying season, and Button only managed to rack up 2 points and came in 17th in the Drivers’ Championship. 2002 was a much better season for the talented driver. Benetton was now named Renault F1 and Jenson Button was racing alongside teammate Jarno Trulli. He certainly improved his standings, taking seventh place at the end of the season.
In 2003, Jenson Button moved to the BAR team, to race beside Jacques Villeneuve. It was a great season for Button, despite a bad crash at Monaco, and he took ninth in the standings with 17 points. Button met with great success in the 2004 F1 season, gaining 10 podium placings and finishing third overall with 85 points. The 2005 season started off dismally, but Button fought back in the second half of the season to come in ninth in the Drivers’ Championship, scoring 36 of 37 points for his team. He continued racing for BAR in 2006, which was now known as Honda Racing F1 Team. A great season, he outperformed his teammate Rubens Barrichello, gaining his first win at the Hungary Grand Prix and finishing sixth overall. Button described his 2007 F1 season as “a total disaster”, though he did manage to show off his talents in China, placing fifth in mixed conditions. The uncompetitive Honda RA 108, meant Button had another unsuccessful season in 2008.
Honda was bought out by Ross Brawn in 2009 and team renamed Brawn GP. Jenson Button and Rubens Barrichello were to continue racing together. 2009 was Jenson Button’s year. He hit the ground running, winning six of his first seven races. Scoring throughout the season, Button took home the championship title.
In November 2009, Jenson Button announced that he would be moving to the McLaren team for the 2010 season, after signing a three-year contract with them. He stated that he was looking forward to competing head-to-head with teammate Lewis Hamilton.
On the 13th of September 2009, a great collection of British vehicles will be on display, from the classics dating back to 1928, to the more recent models. Every American who has ever owned a British vehicle or just been an enthusiast of some of the luxury and sporty vehicles available are recommended to make their way to the British Car Festival 2009. Visitors to the festival can look forward to seeing makes such as Land-Rover, Lotus, Riley, Rolls Royce, Aston Martin and Mini Cooper, to name but a few.
British vehicle enthusiast seeking more information in regard to the festival can visit the British Car Union website at http://www.britishcarunion.com/.
Date: 13 September 2009
Venue: Oakton Community College
City: Des Plaines, Illinois
Country: United States of America
In 1977 at the British Grand Prix, Renault made its debut in Formula One racing as well as introducing the first turbo engine to the sport. This was achieved through the Renault Sport subsidiary with Eu Gene Thor as manager of the team. The Renault F1 Team entered five races at the end of the season with Jean-Pierre Jabouille as driver in their one and only car. Two years later the team made its first win when Jabouille won the French Grand Prix in 1979.
In 1985 the Renault team stepped away from Formula One as a manufacturer, but continued to stay involved with the sport by providing engines to Lotus. It was not long after that, when the team withdrew completely from F1 racing for a while, coming back in 1989 to supply Williams with engines. Later on in the 90’s Renault engines began dominating the sport, powering the Williams team as well as the Benetton team in the World Constructors’ Championships. It was here that Renault had its first taste of success as a world champion. Renault again took a break from Formula One from 1996-2000, returning in 2000 when the Benetton team announced that they would be taken over by Renault in the beginning of the 2002 season. It was three years later in 2005, when they achieved their first championship as a constructor and won their first ever drivers’ championship with Fernando Alonso, a former Renault test driver.
For the 2006 racing season Renault F1 retained Fernando Alonso and Giancarlo Fisichella, to drive their new R26 car featuring a titanium seven-speed gearbox. With a number of impressive points wins to its name, the team celebrated its 200th Grand Prix race at Silverstone, a race which was won by Alonso, making the occasion a double-celebration. Alonso went on to win the Canadian Grand Prix, finished fifth at the US Grand Prix, and took second place at the French Grand Prix. Renault took the construction championship title for the year.
Giancarlo Fisichella and Heikki Kovalainen were the race drivers for Renault F1 in 2007, with the livery of the new R27 being the corporate colors of sponsors ING. The season presented some challenges, one of which was a charge by the FIA that Renault F1 was in possession of technical information belonging to McLaren. The outcome of the case found Renault F1 in breach of an FIA rule, but the team was not penalized. Fernando Alonso and Nelson Piquet, Jr., were the drivers for Renault F1 in 2008, with Piquet securing a second place in the German Grand Prix, an accomplishment that signaled a turn in fortune for the team, as it went on to clock up a number of points-victories. Alonso took first place in the Singapore Grand Prix – the first to be held under lights. 2009 turned out to be a frustrating season, with a variety of car problems for Alonso, and lackluster performance by Piquet resulting in him parting ways with the Renault F1 Team.
For the 2010 F1 Championship season Renault sold a majority stake to Genii Capital, while retaining a 25% share in the Renault F1 Team. Robert Kubica replaced Alonso on the team, with Russian driver Vitaly Petrov signing up as the second driver. The new team principal is Eric Boullier, with Bob Bell returning to his former position of Technical Director. Loyal Renault F1 Team supporters will no doubt be watching with keen interest as the 2010 F1 season progresses.