Jarno Trulli

March 22, 2010 by  
Filed under

Born in Pescara, in the Abruzzo region of Italy, on 13 July 1974, Jarno Trulli has been competing regularly in F1 racing since 1997, having driven for Minardi, Jordan, Prost, Renault and Toyota. Trulli’s parents were motor sport fans, as is evident by the fact that he was named after Finnis Grand Prix motorcyclist Jarno Saarinen. His father encouraged him to get involved in the sport, which led to him competing in karting from a young age. He proved to be a talented driver, winning Italian and European karting championships before moving on to Formula Three and winning the German championship in 1996.

It was in 1997 that Trulli made his F1 debut driving for Minardi. Seven races into the season he was called upon to replace injured Prost driver Olivier Panis, and made quite an impression right from the beginning as he finished fourth in Germany and looked set to take second place in Austria, but never finished the race due to engine trouble. For the following two seasons Trulli stayed with the Prost team, taking his first podium position at the 1999 European Grand Prix.

In 2000 Trulli signed with Jordan, and despite a series of awesome qualifying displays, he failed claim a podium finish. This gave rise to some suggesting that he was a qualifying specialist, not having what it takes to successfully complete a race. This reputation followed him when, as a member of the Renault team in 2002, he often out-qualified team-mate Jenson Button, but didn’t quite make the grade in races. Nevertheless, Trulli remained with Renault for the 2003 season as team-mate to Fernando Alonso, who had been promoted from test-driver. In Germany, Trulli achieved a podium finish, being his first with the team. In 2004, Trulli made a vast improvement and for at least the first half of the season was the stronger driver in the Renault team, taking a first-place victory at Monaco. Trulli had his sights set on remaining with the Renault team for 2005, but a lack of judgment on the last corner of the French Grand Prix allowed Rubens Barrichello to take first place and set Trulli at odds with the team-boss Briatore. Subsequent lackluster performances resulted in Trulli parting company with Renault with three races of the season to go.

Trulli had, however, already negotiated with Toyota to drive for them in 2005, and replaced Ricardo Zonta for the final two races of the 2004 season. 2005 started out well for Trulli, with excellent qualifying times earning him one pole and thirteen grid-slots in the top five. He took second place in both Malaysia and Bahrain, scoring Toyota’s best results to date, but finished seventh in the final standings. Trulli did not have a good season in 2006, and still driving for Toyota, he finished twelfth in the standings, being two places below team-mate Ralf Schumacher. 2007 saw Trulli clocking up superb qualifying speeds, but his TF207’s performance was not up to scratch and he finished the year thirteenth overall.

Toyota’s performance showed a marked improvement in 2008, and Trulli scored in 10 of the 18 races of the season, with an encouraging third place in France. Trulli finished the 2008 season in ninth position overall, six points ahead of team-mate Timo Glock. Despite the Toyota TF109’s inconsistent performance in 2009, Trulli managed podium finishes in Australia and Bahrain, ending the season with a second-place finish in Japan. With the withdrawal of Toyota from F1 racing, Trulli signed for the new Lotus team for 2010. The first race of the season at Bahrain, saw Trulli retiring from the race after 26 laps due to hydraulics problems. But with a whole season’s racing ahead, auto racing fans are no doubt keen to see if Jarno Trulli can overcome his reputation, and keep up the pace through the race.


February 9, 2009 by  
Filed under

In December 2008, Honda announced that it would be withdrawing from F1 racing, citing financial pressure as a result of the global financial crisis as being the reason.

The Honda Motor Company Ltd, also known simply as Honda, is a Japanese corporation involved in the manufacture of engines and various modes of transportation. While the company is well known for its cars, motorcycles and F1 team, they also involved in the development and production of aeronautical and marine craft as well as robotics and even garden equipment. They are also rated as the largest engine-maker in the world with a production rate of 14 million internal combustion engineers a year. While the manufacturer is based in Tokyo, Japan, the Honda Formula One team has its headquarters in Brackley, Northamptonshire in the United Kingdom.

Honda has thus far enjoyed a long and prosperous period as a Formula One constructor. The company first entered the sport as a constructor in 1964 with Ronnie Bucknum as their driver. In 1965 the Honda F1 team enjoyed their first win at the Mexican Grand Prix at the hands of new team member Richie Ginther. The following year they won the Italian Grand Prix and dominated the French Formula Two championships only to suffer a year of loss in 1968. The death of a teammate coupled with bad sales in the United States resulted in Honda withdrawing from the sport for a while. In the early 1980s they returned to F2 in which they once again enjoyed much success. In 1983 the decision was made to return to Formula One Racing and in 1984 Honda partnered with the Williams team. The partnership proved to be most fruitful and the Williams cars, which were powered by Honda engines, went on to win six consecutive F1 Constructors Champions. The Williams F1 team went on to win again in 1986 and 1987 before Honda made the decision to switch to the McLaren team in 1988.

With the help of their new partners, McLaren went on to win the title in 1988, 1989, 1990 and 1991. At this point, the company made the decision to withdraw from the sport with their related company, Mugen-Honda, continuing to keep the Honda name going strong in the sport until the end of the 1999 season. At the turn of the century, Honda once again entertained ideas of getting involved with F1 racing. They eventually returned to the sport as the official engine suppliers to the British American Racing team. By 2004, Honda had purchased a stake in the team and by the end of 2005, they bought the team and became a constructor. In 2006 Honda clinched a victory at the Hungarian Grand Prix with driver Jenson Button at the wheel.

Chinese Grand Prix

February 9, 2009 by  
Filed under

Rubens Barrichello finished in first place, at the very first Chinese Grand Prix, on 26 September 2004. As a new circuit in the world of Formula One racing, the Shanghai International Circuit is the most expensive circuit facility of its kind to date, costing US$ 240 million to construct. The Chinese Grand Prix consists of 56 laps, and has a total race length of 305.07 kilometers. The seventeen million inhabitants of Shanghai, and designer Herman Tilke, can rightfully be proud of this wonderful circuit.

Designer, Herman Tilke, took into consideration the Chinese history and beliefs while designing the circuit. He created the circuit in the form of the “shang” symbol. It means above or rising. The Shanghai International Circuit was constructed in Anting, which is in the same neighborhood as the Volkswagen plant. It has a truly amazing environment and is the most modern circuit at the present time. Tilke is a genius when it comes to designing a race track, taking the environment into consideration, and working with it. His race tracks are therefore all different, while retaining the same elements and specifics to ensure a safe but exciting circuit. The area that was used for the construction of the Shanghai International Circuit, has very marshy ground. To compensate for this, polysterene blocks were used to cover the thousands of concrete columns that were placed into the ground. The circuit was then constructed on top of the polysterene blocks. Due to polysterene being quite a young material to use, and there are no other experiences to work from, the estimated life of the circuit has been put down to a minimum of seventy years.

The Shanghai International Circuit is also the proud host of the Formula One Grand Prix with the longest straight on the current Formula One calendar – an impressive 1.2 kilometers in length. The Chinese Grand Prix is also the noisiest Grand Prix circuit, with the roofs of the grandstands carrying the noise levels.

Despite having signed a contract with Formula One Management to host the Chinese Grand Prix until the 2011 season, it was announced in 2009 that the future of the sport in China hangs in the balance due to the heavy losses incurred by the organizers. Fans in China were no doubt relieved when the 2010 Grand Prix schedule included their home country.