Austin ??construction is on schedule??

F1 Fanatic round-up

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In today’s round-up: Austin Grand Prix officials say preparations are on course, and that funding is secured, despite Bernie Ecclestone expressing doubt the race will go ahead in 2012.


Top F1 links from the past 24 hours:

Austin circuit bosses insists track is still on course (Autosport)

??Austin Grand Prix officials says they are baffled by suggestions from Formula 1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone that next year’s race is in doubt – as they insist that preparations at the new track are well on course.??

Maldonado and Alguersuari handed time penalties (

??Williams’ Pastor Maldonado and Toro Rosso’s Jaime Alguersuari have been given post-race time penalties by the Abu Dhabi stewards. Both were punished for ignoring blue flags during Sunday’s Grand Prix at Yas Marina.??

Abu Dhabi Grand Prix from the pit lane (BBC F1)

??BBC F1 pit-lane reporter Ted Kravitz gets the inside line from the paddock on the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix from the impressive Yas Marina Circuit.??

Bernie Ecclestone thinks Ferrari’s third car push unlikely to succeed (Autosport)

??Formula 1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone thinks it unlikely that third cars will become a part of the sport, despite a fresh push by Ferrari for them to be allowed.??

Top teams’ bid to increase staff limit rejected in FOTA (Autosport)

??Formula 1’s leading outfits have failed in a push to try and expand staff numbers for next season, after a proposal to change the terms of the Resource Restriction Agreement was blocked by smaller outfits.??

Jenson Button: I’m a better driver now than when I won world title (The Observer)

??It’s going to be a very exciting winter for us. I am just going to be itching to see what we produce next year. We are so, so close to Red Bull in every way that we are going to try and get every single hundredth out of the car over the winter.??

Eric Boullier says Renault will keep door open for Robert Kubica through 2012 (Autosport)

??Boullier said: ‘The latest I have is that he cannot commit to any deadline, so we have to discuss a common communication plan. We obviously want him to be back.’

??’If it has to be during the course of next year, why not? There are some conditions that we need to discuss, and I need to discuss with his manager that once he knows he cannot be back, or if he cannot be back, then any scenarios we now need to properly communicate.’??

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Comment of the day

What did you think of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix ? Jonathan189 says:

I know the race organizers were desperate for a more interesting race this year?? but I think leaving a thumbtack on the apex of turn 2 was taking it a bit too far.

From the forum

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On this day in F1

Two years ago today I wrote this piece on free-to-air F1 in Britain. Sadly some of the article’s more pessimistic predictions came true earlier this year:

30 comments on “Austin ??construction is on schedule??”

  1. The organisers were mistaken: Putting down the thumb tack only changed the headline name on another processional untroubled win from the front of the pack.

    Button falling back into the arms of Webber and Massa provided a brief spell of entertainment but that was as much to see if Massa would make a balls of it than anything else. Having made it through that stressful experience of running line astern unscathed, it was nice to see him spinning it while running unpressured in clear air later in the race; a fitting summation of Massa’s underlying talent and prospects.

    1. Wasn’t Massa’s spin caused by a piece of debris he ran over?

      1. No he didn’t – Massa admitted it was the combination low traction from the medium tyres and the low downforce from the old front wing that he’s being forced to run as the new one is having flexing issues.

    2. Felipe Massa missed an open goal yesterday. The podium (which he hasn’t touched all year when Alonso has climbed it ten times) was beckoning, thanks to Vettel’s tyre failure, Button’s KERS issues and Webber/his team being all over the place. But he threw the opportunity to get a result for Ferrari fans to be proud of out of the ballpark. A pity, really.

    3. That’s a bit harsh. If you don’t like the guy that’s fine, but he actually had a rather decent race, and a great scrap with Webber, who he would have beaten were it not for said spin and Ferrari’s terrible pit work.

      1. But it was Red Bull’s terrible pit work that dropped Webber behind Massa in the first place…

        All in all, I don’t think Massa had a shocker, but he was closer to Fernando in India, in terms of pace.

      2. Decent race? He couldn’t get past Button when Jenson either had no KERS or was spending 50% of his time with the equivalent of a spanner in his hand fixing the thing. He couldn’t keep the car on the track. And his pitstops were better than Alonso’s.

        If this were the start of the season it might have been a little harsh. He’s getting worse as the year goes on, however. Just like Vettel vs. Webber, the points don’t lie. Unlike Webber, however, Massa can’t be trusted to control his car in traffic.

  2. if ferrari wants a 3rd or 4th car and money is not a problem…why dont they buy or start a 2nd team ala RB & TR connection?

    or buy into TR? last i heard they’re still for sale

    1. I tought about that aswell.

      If they want more Ferraris on track, why not buying another team?

      that’s a much simpler solution and wouldn’t force the other teams into a 3rd car.

    2. You reminded me of the old Dallara Ferrari team in the early ’90s. not a bad Idea really…

    3. hy dont they buy or start a 2nd team ala RB & TR connection?

      Because any points those cars score will be awarded to their second team. Ferrari want three-car teams because it would make it easier for them to improve their WCC position since they can easily afford the top three drivers on the grid.

      1. But that’s no good right, if they keep on making the third fastest car and have second-rate drivers like Felipe Massa.

        Really, with three cars, Red Bull locking up the top 3 grid positions and Ferrari finishing no better than 7th will be a commonplace. No? The idea that they can then afford the top 3 drivers will be insignificant.

        1. But Ferrari go into every season assuming they are going to win. When they finally drag themselves out of their current slump in form, they’ll no doubt expect to leapfrog McLaren and possibly Red Bull.

  3. How many people does each team carry with them in a race weekend? 40 I guess including the drivers?

    1. According to the Autosport article linked to in the round up, “teams have currently been operating under a limit of 47 operational staff members at event – which is 45 for the car and a further two to work on KERS”.

    2. I think the totals are far closer to 100 actually. Just look at the pitstop crew, that alone is 16 people. And then we have all the engineers analysing the data online, the race engineers for both drivers etc.

      1. I think the actual number of people allowed at the circuit is forty-seven.

        1. yes, but those are only the “operational” people.

          From the article it seems there is a grey area and then there are a lot of people deemed marketing, catering, PR … .

          1. Yep. Boullier got a telling off for meeting Lopez.

      2. Yeah, but the pitstop crew are also the mechanics and enginners,

  4. A lot of earth has been moved to give up on the race at this point. Bernie was just stirring up the pot. I have requested ticket info but have not heard a word about it, it’s still early. My guess is that things are on schedule and I hope to attend.

  5. As for those penalties that Maldonado and Alguersuari got.

    I am not sure at all I am happy with all the drivers having gotten that many blue flags and penalties for ignoring them. I guess the fact it was the first race in a longer time where traffic proved to be as significant. And the track makes it hard to get past even backmarkers in about a 3rd of the place. I also saw how much time Alonso lost behind Petrov (or Senna?) and Alguersuari seemed to almost drive into Massa when he was letting him past.
    Still, one of the reasons for “ignoring” the flags is the fact these cars were even running away from the faster cars on the straights, how is that holding em up.

    But the real nonsense is in handing out a time penalty of 20 or even 30 seconds after the race, that does nothing but make it to the race notes! How is that going to improve racing and behaviour on track?

    1. Pastor drove poorly, But im not sure what jamie could of done?

      he was being passed himself by pastor and then lapped. There was little he could really do. and did quite well to avoid an accident i thought.

      1. Maldonado raced rather well actually, he might have beaten his teammate without the penalties. I think the tight nature of certain parts of the track made it very difficult for backmarkers. But if Maldonado passed three blue flags, then the penalty is obviously just.

    2. Every time I looked up I hardly saw any blue flags (or blue screens flashing). Then they’d start flashing after the cars had passed. I’d have to re-watch the footage again, but I swear I saw the blue screen only start flashing once Alonso had come up to it. No blue flashing screen for the cars being lapped or when Hamilton passed.

      I must be mistaken, as surely they wouldn’t mess up something like this?

    3. Maldonado tried to pass Alguersuari when he had to let the leaders through. He should’ve waited before attacking, and as he had already recevied one penalty for that he showed little matureness.

  6. Tbh, I’d much rather see Kimi along side Alonso and Massa at Ferrari, Di Resta along side Lewis and Button and that other young Australian driver (what ever his name is… Richardo?) along side VET and Web, than those three backmarker teams who dont really feature as anymore more than obstacles that get in the way to spice up the end of the race.

  7. ‘From the pit lane’ from Ted Kravitz is always worth a watch and was quite interesting again.

    Shame he’s off to Sky, but pleased for him too. He’s the only guy on the BBC team that consistently talks sense.

    1. This is true, he has come along way in 10 or so years. When he first started at itv he was terrible, brundle was forever correcting him on strategy. It was almost comical.

      But fair play he is usually bang on it these days. Top draw.

    2. you got a source for Kravitz going to sky?

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