It seems that Fernando Alonso’s victory at Hockenheim in Germany has sparked much debate, even after the FIA made their decision to drop the charges laid against the Ferrari team. Formula 1 has always been viewed as a team sport, and yet when team decisions were made, Ferrari found themselves in trouble with the World Motor Sport Council. And while the teams might be in a battle against each other when they are on the track, rival teams stood behind Ferrari and gave them their full support while the decisions were being made about the fate of Ferrari.
The International Automobile Federation will still uphold the $100 000 fine given to Ferrari, while not taking any further steps against the team for a lack of evidence. According the federation, team orders are banned and it was felt that Felipe Massa was getting faster lap times than Fernando Alonso prior to Alonso overtaking Massa for the victory. The federation believes that after Ferrari had ordered their drivers to reduce engine speed, the order to increase engine speed again was only given to Alonso and the battle between the team drivers was ended through team orders. The FIA went on to say that it was their understanding that if team orders were not handed out, Massa would more than likely have been the winner of the race.
Ferrari denied these allegations in their defense, pointing out that based on their information Alonso was indeed gaining on Massa, and that no order was given to Massa to allow Alonso to pass him. They went on to state that giving team orders was very different to working out a strategy and tactics that would benefit the team as a whole, and that clarity on this topic needs to be made. There is no denying that other teams also make decisions on what is best for them, and devise strategies to work towards a victory. However, it is clear that the argument over team orders and team strategy is far from over, as everyone looks towards the FIA to confirm and clarify the distinction between the two.
Red Bull Racing’s Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel found themselves at the top of the Formula One drivers’ standings following Sunday’s Monaco F1 Grand Prix event in which the talented duo took first and second place respectively. As the sixth race of the season, the Monaco victory puts Webber and Vettel at the top of the standings, each with 78 points, however the Australian’s two-race victory puts him in the lead, with the German having claimed first place once this season. Webber started off the race in pole position maintaining his determination to stay ahead of the pack, following up on the success he had enjoyed in Spain just a week previously, where he claimed fastest lap, pole position and first place. He is also the first Australian to win at Monaco since Jack Brabham took the checkered flag in 1959. Driving for Ferrari, Spaniard Fernando Alonso fought his way from the pits to claim seventh place in the iconic street race, putting him at third place in the season.
This is Mark Webber’s fourth season with Red Bull and it appears that he is on a long-awaited winning streak. In his inaugural season with the team he scored just 10 points, finishing the 2007 season in twelfth place. The following year saw somewhat of an improved performance by Webber, with 2009 being his most successful F1 season – finishing fourth in the drivers’ championship with a total of 69.5 points. Certainly, 2010 has started out well for the Red Bull team, with both its drivers delivering superb performances.
Prior to joining Red Bull, Webber had spent the 2005 and 2006 seasons driving for Williams, but with limited success. So it may have come as a surprise to many that Frank Williams has been quoted as saying: “When we had him, our car was a disappointment, and we felt that he was part of the problem, but he probably wasn’t actually – with hindsight.”
There are many variables with auto racing and those who participate in it will readily agree that it truly is a team sport, with every member of the team contributing to success. The Red Bull team is on a roll right now and fans are no doubt eager to see how the season progresses.
Born in São Paulo, Brazil, on May 23, 1972, Rubens Barrichello has been steadily carving a name for himself in the annals of F1 history since his rookie days in 1993. He finished third in the 2009 F1 championship as a driver for the Braun GP team, and has scored the fourth highest points total in Formula One history, as well as being in second place for total races finished in the points. Barrichello will be driving for Williams F1 in the 2010 FIA Formula One World Championship season.
Rubens Barrichello made his F1 debut in 1993 at the South African Grand Prix for the Jordan team, scoring his first points in Japan that same year. Still with Jordan, in 1994 he finished sixth, scoring his first podium at the Pacific Grand Prix with a third place. Signing with Stewart for 1997, Barrichello claimed a second place at Monaco and finished 13th in the Driver’s Championship for both 1997 and 1998. In 1999 Barrichello had his best season with the Stewart team, finishing seventh with 21 points.
In the year 2000 Barrichello signed with Ferrari as second driver, claiming first place at the German Grand Prix, notching up 62 points for the season and finishing fourth in the drivers championship. 2001 saw Barrichello strengthen his position as a world-class driver with 10 podium finishes and third place in the drivers championship, while in 2002 he took three pole positions, four victories and ended the season second in the drivers championship in what was described as Ferrari’s most dominant position to date.
Continuing as second driver for Ferrari, in 2003 Barrichello achieved two race wins, claiming fourth position in the drivers championships and proving to be an excellent teammate for Michael Schumacher. Barrichello continued with his winning streak in 2004, scoring four pole positions, two first places and an additional 12 podium finishes, claiming second place in the driver standings for the season. The 2005 F1 season saw Ferrari struggle to keep up with the pace, and after claiming second place at Melbourne, the opening race of the season, Barrichello went on to score at seven races, finishing in eighth position that year.
Driving for Honda in 2006, Barrichello appeared to experience some difficulty in adapting to Honda machinery, with teammate Jenson Button outperforming him overall. He finished the 2006 season in seventh position. The following two years proved somewhat disappointing with the poor performance of Honda’s RA107 car resulting in Barrichello failing to score any points for the 2007 season. He did, however, manage to score 11 points in 2008 and achieve a podium finish at Silverstone.
The 2009 F1 Championship season saw Rubens Barrichello being consistently outpaced by his teammate Jenson Button. However, two wins near the close of season resulted in Barrichello finishing third overall. At the end of the 2009 season, Barrichello announced his move to the Williams F1 team for the 2010 season. Currently Barrichello is the most experienced driver on the grid, and if the season progresses without any mishaps, he is set to become the first driver in F1 history to reach 300 Grand Prix entries and 300 starts which he should achieve by the 2010 Japanese Grand Prix.
On 17 and 18 July 2009 the Limerock Park Circuit will come alive with spectacular racing action as world class drivers put magnificent cars such as Acuras, Vettes and Ferraris through their paces. Do not miss out on the greenest event in auto racing.
Tickets vary between $25 to $75 and for information regarding this racing event, the website http://www.limerock.com/ will be able to answer any queries or contact the racetrack on 860.435.5000.
Date: July 17, 2009
Venue: Limerock Park Circuit
City: Lakeville, Connecticut
Country: United States of America
On the 2nd of August 2009 Meadow Brook Concours d’Elegance will be celebrating its thirtieth anniversary and is set to be a spectacular show with Ferrari’s, Bentleys and numerous exotic cars on display.
Visit the website at http://www.meadowbrookconcours.org/ for more information and exciting news about the show.
Date: August 2, 2009
Venue: Auburn Hills
City: Troy, Michigan
Country: United States of America