Robert Kubica, Renault, Abu Dhabi, 2010

Raikkonen to drive F1 car this month

F1 Fanatic round-up

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In the round-up: Kimi Raikkonen will drive a 2010-spec F1 car in Valencia in two weeks’ time.


Top F1 links from the past 24 hours:

Lotus via Twitter

“We can now confirm that Kimi Raikkonen will be completing some mileage in the team’s R30 car at Valencia on 23rd/24th January.”

Barcelona may reconsider GP deal (Autosport)

Both Spanish rounds plus Korea have now publicly admitted they are looking to change the terms of their F1 race contracts.

Organisers urge teams to ignore calls to boycott Bahrain Grand Prix (The Guardian)

“A spokesman for the Bahrain International Circuit said: ‘The report found evidence of human rights violations and made certain general and specific recommendations. The government has fully acknowledged the findings of the report and is acting swiftly and convincingly on the recommendations.'”

Court hears of F1 ??breach of contract? (FT, registration required)

“Donald Mackenzie, the managing partner at CVC who led the F1 buy-out, told a court in Munich that he believed undisclosed payments involving Bernie Ecclestone, the F1 chief, and Gerhard Gribkowsky, a banker at BayernLB, constituted a ‘breach of contract’.”

Alguersuari Pays Tribute As Toro Rosso Physio Dies (Speed)

[Jaime] Alguersuari said that the Italian was ‘the person who I have loved and who has loved me the most in Formula One.'”

Rubens Barrichello via Twitter

“It was so sad when I received the news that my great friend and physio Raniero past away this morning. Heart attack while he was on his bike.”

Kingfisher submits time-bound plans to DGCA (The Times of India)

“Twenty of the 64-aircraft fleet of the Vijay Mallya-owned airline are grounded for a ‘multitude of reasons’, including want of engines, spares or reconfiguration of seats.”

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Comment of the day

Adrian Sutil and Jaime Alguersuari are your favourites to take the last two places in F1 this year. Tayyib explains why:

I would like to see Alguersuari at Williams, he had a strong second half with performances at Spa and Korea where he beat Nico Rosberg and he impressed with his ability to come through the field. But I don?t think he will go to Williams, I think they will go for someone who can lead a team and is used to having a less experienced team mate.

For me Sutil should go to Williams and Alguersuari may go to HRT, feel so sorry for Rubens Barrichello, he could leave the sport without a farewell.

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On this day in F1

Want proof that testing times can be deceptive? Ten years ago today Eddie Irvine was quickest for Jaguar ahead of Kimi Raikkonen (McLaren) and Luca Badoer (Ferrari).

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  • 69 comments on “Raikkonen to drive F1 car this month”

    1. Luca Bad-oer 3rd fastest?? Not often you see that…

      1. To be fair to Eddie it only took 10 years, a Scotsman, caffeinated Thai battery acid and Sebastian Vettel for that Jaguar team to come good.

        1. In two hundred thouand years of human history, nobody has ever said that sentence before.

        2. caffeinated Thai battery acid

          Well put!

        3. To be fair to Eddie it only took 10 years, a Scotsman, caffeinated Thai battery acid and Sebastian Vettel for that Jaguar team to come good.

          This is definitely COTD material! XD

        4. Good thing for the rest of the F1 world, that the one content that helped most though, was a real big load of money!

      2. in fairness to luca he wasnt that bad a driver. he had not raced for 10yrs and hadnt tested at all that year. and hadnt tested regularly for about 4yrs.

        ferrari gave him one thing…the rope to hang himself, and the crazy thing is, i dont think they did it on purpose.

        1. Ferrari gave Badoer the driver out of necessity – there was no-one else to take the seat (other than Gene, who wasn’t much better).

          The reason for this is the rise of the driver development program. For years, Ferrari enjoyed being Ferrari: every driver wanted to race for them, and they had their pick of drivers from almost any and every team on the grid. But the driver development programs changed all that – young drivers were committing to other teams, and Ferrari was powerless to get them. There was a time when Ferrari would have scooped Vettel up straight away, but they were forced to watch on as he joined a rival team. Because of this, Ferrari had virtually no options when Massa was injured, but to take on an older driver with no recent racing experience while they tried to get Fisichella out of his Force India seat.

          1. I suspect that Ferrari still has this pull amongst most of the young drivers.

            I think you widely underestimate what they expected Luca to achieve.

          2. Vettel joined Red Bull at the age of 8 Ferrari at that time didn’t have a strong development driver program they didn’t have a stronger team either they have more serious problem to resolve
            How do you expect them to scope Vettel????????

          3. Well actually they had. Kubica. Quite recently it turned out Robert was on his way to step in for Massa in 2009, but the Brazilian and his management blocked this move, opting for Fisichella out of fear that Massa will have nowhere to return. Ironic, isn’t it?

            1. When did this news come out? Got any links?

            2. Now that is really interesting, if true @cyclops_pl, do you have any links to the source of that?

          4. i think most drivers would struggle in the Ferrari car of 2009. What Kimi was able to achieve with that dog just shows what an amazing driver he is. He had six podiums in a row and was able to win in SPA (the race where Badoer finished last in an identical car) in arguably the worst car Ferrari has developed since 1950. That weekend, the Ferrari was not even the fourth fastest car. I dont remember anyone winning an such inferior machinery in a long time.

            Just compare Fisichella’s performances in the Force India to his drives in the Ferrari that year. The variable there is only the car and what i struggle he had in the remaining races.

            1. arguably the worst car Ferrari has developed since 1950

              It wasn’t their best but it was a long, long way from being their worst.

              What about the lamentable 312T5? Or the aerodynamically flawed F92A and F93A (and their 1991 predecessor)? The useless 126C? Or the string of anonymous cars from the mid-sixties to early seventies?

              Comparing Raikkonen to Badoer will obviously flatter Raikkonen enormously. For a more realistic appraisal of the F60’s capabilities, compare Raikkonen and Massa in the first half of the season.

        2. His drive at Valencia was the single worst drive that I have ever seen. Ferrari loyalty is one thing. His competitive ability on that day was in a league of its own. Nice to be rewarded but Ferrari made fools of them selves that day.

      3. Exactly! I expected him to be higher up! :P

    2. In reply to the COTD:

      I wouldn’t feel bad for Barrichello if he left the sport without a farewell. He had the chance to have one in Brazil and turned it down. I am not criticising him for that decision at all, but he must have known there was a chance he would not be able to carry on in the sport.

      1. @Estesark That’s what I was thinking. He’s no spring chicken and he knew the situation at Williams.

        In my opinion he should have said his goodbyes and if he gets a seat anyway, bonus!

      2. Completely agree with Estesark.

        This was debated a few months back on F1F when some people were having a go at Williams for leaving a decision on Rubens until now, but the way I see it the team has to do what they think is best for them.

        I guess we’ll know pretty soon if Rubens made the right call or not.

    3. “A spokesman for the Bahrain International Circuit said: ‘The report found evidence of human rights violations and made certain general and specific recommendations. The government has fully acknowledged the findings of the report and is acting swiftly and convincingly on the recommendations.’”


      Just cancel the race on the grounds of safety and be done with it. That way, neither the government nor the protestors get to wield the Grand Prix as a political weapon against the other, which both are trying to do. It’s bad enough that Formula 1 is wracked by its own internal politics on a yearly basis; the sport doesn’t need to start getting itself involved in regional politics, least of all in a difficult situation like the Middle East.


        Nearly 3 years old now, and the events nearly 30, but a lot of this article stands true with regard to Bahrain. The glaring exception of course is the caution shown by today’s governments in condemning Bahrain, home to the 5th fleet and a protectorate of everyone’s BFF crackpot dictators, the house of Saud.

        That and South Africa didn’t have neighbours with large shares in Ferrari, Mercedes F1 and McLaren.

        1. Bahrain owns 50% of McLaren and Abu Dhabi 40% of Mercedes GP but Fiat bought back Mubadala’s stake in Ferrari in Nov 2010.

          Mubadala sells Ferrari stake for €122m

          1. So they own 50% of a team. It doesn’t give them the power to force the entire sport to visit Bahrain. At most, they might be able to influence McLaren if the decision on whether or not to go to Bahrain comes down to a vote, but that influence will be negated by the fact that there are only eight teams in FOTA. Even if all eight voted to go to Bahrain, they would still be four cars short of the minimum number needed to hold the race.

            Besides, Bahrain’s ownership of McLaren is an investment. They’ve done it to make money and to increase their international profile. Of the twenty races on the calendar, having the team come to Bahrain provides the least benefit to them.

            1. they would still be four cars short of the minimum number needed to hold the race

              No, they would be four cars over the minimum:

              5.7 An Event may be cancelled if fewer than 12 cars are available for it.

            2. Either way, I still reject the idea that the Bahraini royal family can somehow make the race happen simply because they own 50% of McLaren. At the very least, they would need a controlling stake in six teams, and then use that controllings take to force those teams to visit Bahrain in order to make the race happen.

            3. owning 50% of McLaren could be enough to make the race happen. I hardly think that MclLaren can boycott their owners, and if McLaren goes, the other top teams might have to go as well. And what is the point of a boycott if none of the top teams participate? A lot less people would care if only HRT and Williams are staying at home.

            4. You can bet that if McLaren went and the likes of Red Bull and Ferrari did not want to, then they would use up all their political might getting the race declared a non-championship event.

      2. I’d like to try and make a balanced comment on this situation but every time I do it gets moderated out of existence, so I will leave it to those either dogmatically for or against.

      3. Sounds like the best solution now @prisoner-monkeys, probably the reason why its likely not to become reality.

    4. I take it the picture of Kubica driving is there because that is the R30 that Raikkonen will be testing?

      I would have thought one of the launch pictures of the R30 in Lotus livery would be more relative.

      1. With three different liveries in three years, it makes more sense to show a photo of the car in its original livery so that people can identify it immediately rather than have to look up the chassis designation.

      2. That R30 isn’t moving though (and never did move in that livery) so it’s hardly representative of a headline about an F1 test session.

      3. Personally I’m happy to see the old bumblebee on my screen again. That paint job was (and is) by far the best on the grid.

        1. Exactly, would be lovelly if Renault (or rather Lotus now) would refrain from repainting that car, it looked great in the bumblebee livery.

    5. Rumours in Spain and Russia (although this appears to be a reposting of the original reports from Spain) suggest that Ferrari’s 2012 car will be called the Ferrari 663, which is a very weird chassis designation. Even for a team known for its non-sequential names.

      1. 663 is only the project development codename. I’ve heard rumors that the actual launch name will be the Ferrari Ranger 8)

        1. I think 663 is the consecutive chassis number

          1. Yes it is and 20 years ago Alain Prost was fired for declaring that it’s predecessor, the 643, handled like a truck.

        2. 663 is only the project development codename.</blockquote?
          That makes sense. No doubt the actual name will be someting politically-oriented, since Luca di Montezemolo is running in the next Italian general elections. He did it with the 150 Italia, named for 150 years of Italian unity at a time when Italians were unhappy with Silvio Berlusconi. He'll probably play up to that again.

          1. In that case how about the Ferrari 1,000,000,000,000?

            (i.e. the amount of Euros required from the IMF to bail out the mess Berlusconi left behind).

            1. @john-h Ferrari have used a consecutive numbering scheme since a long time back. The Ferrari F10’s codename was 662, the F60 the 661.

              This number carries over to designate the chassis. The first chassis of 2012 for example, wouldn’t be the F2012 (or whatever)-1, it would be 663-1.

        3. that’s really funny !!!!!!!!!!

      2. @prisoner-monkeys I was hoping it would be called the Ferrari Mondeo or Ferrari Focus.

      3. Please no! I love such names, with curious numbers and letters, like 312T, but more than that I loved Ferrari’s tradition of naming the cars “F”+year (F2008…). Since last year’s car stopped this tradition (it wasn’t called F150, but 150°Italia) a new, more creative, naming series could be introduced. But let’s not forget in 2009 the car was F60…

        1. The Ferrari F60 was named to celebrate sixty years of Ferrari and Formula 1.

    6. What tyres will he use? Bridgestone?? Won’t it be wise to give a little time to Romain in the car as like Kimi he too is new to the regulation?

      1. The car will use Pirelli “demo” tyres, which I believe are quite different to anything that is used for racing (mostly to stop teams running these tests to get data on the tyres). Grosjean already has experience on the racing Pirellis because the GP2 series used them last year.

        1. As far as i remember, its extra hard tyres specially made for promotional events. When Renault announced it, didn’t someone on the forum get an answer from Paul Hembrey from Pirelli on what tyres it would be?

    7. I think Raikkonen is going to tear it up this year. Certainly his time behind the wheel of a competitive WRC car should do wonders for reaction time and the feeling of car control. Running a two year old car will not be an effective measure of what the 2012 season will hold. Lotus may become the surprise of the year.

      1. Lotus may become the surprise of the year.

        Yes, they may. And HRT may win a race.

        1. It’s unlikely, but from last year you can clearly see Lotus has an innovative design team. So it’s not that hard to believe.

          1. So it’s not that hard to believe.

            If think it is. They had that innovation, and they completely failed to utilise it in any way at all. They started the season with two podiums; they ended it with a single point, and that only came after a gargantuan effort. Add to that their chronic mismanagement, their choice of two drivers who have both been out of the sport for two years and renewed talk that Proton could sell Lotus any day now, and they start 2012 firmly on the back foot.

            I think far too many people are overstating Lotus’ “potential” simply because Raikkonen is driving for them. I’d be surprised if they start the season as anything more than the fifth-best team.

            1. @prisoner-monkeys,

              I think far too many people are overstating Lotus’ “potential” simply because Raikkonen is driving for them.

              Making the investment in taking on Kimi already pay off! At least it gets them some positive headlines in a possibly critical time now (sponsorship deals etc) :-)

              I too remain very sceptical of what the team can actually achieve on track the coming season.

          2. @Mike The problem with innovation is that it could go either way.

            The only innovative design last year that really worked was the floor on the STR6.

            1. And the McLaren U-side pods.

            2. The only innovative design

              That’s big and obvious you mean? :D

      2. Also, didn’t they say they’d be using a more ‘conservative’ design strategy after last year’s gamble on the exhausts?

        I agree with PM (as I tend to find myself doing), I hope Raikkonen can get some good results, but I don’t think it’ll happen this year…

    8. Raniero Giannotti was known as the “fisioterapista del Circus”
      he worked with Morbidelli , Zanardi, Barrichello , Vettel & Alguersuari
      it was during a bike exercice that Raniero was gone
      RIP Raniero

    9. A shame the R30 will probably run in the newer black and gold livery, I got a bit excited about the prospect of that lovely black and yellow coming back.

      1. @AndrewTanner True story, but at least it’s not the R29!

        1. True story, but at least it’s not the R29!

          Although that car would probably look a lot better in black!

    10. Interesting to hear that Raikkonen will be testing in Valencia this month. Yesterday I got back from a week and a half in Spain, visiting friends for New Year. I was in Valencia for a few days and as I’m an F1 fanatic a friend and I took our rented bicycles down to the harbour to explore the street track. I presume Raikkonen will be testing at some other track, as the street one is no where near capable of having any F1 testing.

      We cycled down from the park in Valencia, meaning that the first bit of F1 track we saw was (i think) turn 20. We had to jump through a marshal hole in the barrier to get alongside the track and we got all excited at being inches away from F1 tarmac.

      Little did we know that round the corner, you can walk in the pitlane, on the pit straight and even go on the whole backstraight. It’s amazing, the pit garage doors are covered in graffiti, and you can even see the tyre marks coming out of the pit boxes (which are still painted in!) Although it is now part of a road, there is even the grid slots and the start/finish line still painted on. We had some great photo’s there!

      Unfortuantly we didn’t have time to follow the track all the way around, but we did manage to cycle the whole back straight, from the swing bridge (which looks like is permenantly open when it’s not a race weekend) all the way to turn 13, (right after the place where Webber flipped his car). The DRS line is even painted in still! The paddock area had some changes to accomodate the Americas Cup, but the F1 atmosphere is still there.

      Despite being a ‘boring’ F1 circuit, the very fact that we saw holy F1 ground made me like a little boy again. This is despite me going to Silverstone twice to watch the GP, it just goes to show that simply being somewhere with F1 history (on race weekend or not) is a great experience.

      Also, just got to say that Valencia is a great city, with a huge amount of modernisation. It was clean, laid back and I generally had a great time. Much calmer than Barcelona (which was crazy!) With return flights for £90 on easyjet, I urge you to go round this city if you ever get the chance!

      1. :D It is so good to hear others really being into F1. You sound you really had a great time!

        I’ll hope to emulate your trip there one day!

      2. There is a track outside Valencia, not sure if its race-spec, I presume it is as it hosts testing which need the same safety facilities etc. I think it’s called Ricardo Torno, but I could be horrendously wrong on that call…!

        1. Wow thanks. Just googled it and your spot on with your info. Never realised there was that track there! So I guess that is where they must be testing, a bit random though in my opinion!

    11. I can’t wait to see Kimi drive the R30! I hope it’s on JPS livery so that his new helmet can match the colour scheme.

    12. Nice story, well told

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