Back to business

The holiday is over – it’s time to get back to business. (Unfortunately I’m talking about Formula One and not me – I’m still looking for a job.)

It’s been almost four weeks since the Hungarian Grand Prix; so much happened in the following few days that I wrote an update post to summarise the news, especially regarding Felipe Massa’s recovery from that freak accident.

Since I posted that update, the main news has been:

  • Felipe Massa hopes to return to F1 at the Brazilian Grand Prix on 18 October [source: BBC]
  • Rumours of Michael Schumacher filling in while Massa’s recovering were confirmed but then he pulled out complaining that his neck hadn’t fully recovered after a motorcycle accident. [BBC]
    Instead, long-time test driver Luca Badoer will be in the Ferrari for the next few races. [FIA]
  • In my race notes post I reported: “Renault suspended from European Grand Prix”; as expected, Renault appealed and (somewhat suprisingly) the FIA changed the punishment to a £30,000 fine. [BBC]
    This is obviously good news for Alonso, as this is his home race, which no doubt will help ticket sales – far be it from me to suggest this was a consideration when the penalty was reviewed.
  • In other Renault news, Romain Grosjean has replaced Nelson Piquet Jr in the second car. [BBC]
  • BMW Sauber will withdraw from F1 at the end of this season, after a takeover bid from founder Peter Sauber fell through. [BBC]
  • There are strong rumours that Montreal will back on the calendar for next year, although I haven’t seen this confirmed on the FIA site.
  • It looks like a two-horse race to replace Max Mosley as the FIA Dictator President: ex-Ferrari team boss Jean Todt and Finnish ex-rally driver (Member of the European Parliament!) Ari Vatanen. My first reaction is that Todt is a bad choice, given his Ferrari connections (it’s not the FIA isn’t pro-Ferrari enough already!) but I haven’t read enough about Vatanen (other than his racing history) to know if he really is the better option.

So after all that news, it’s good to see that the provisional Hungarian Grand Prix results stand [FIA] and so the championship points are unchanged.

This weekend is the European Grand Prix in Valencia, Spain; the weather forecast is for an unsettled outlook, with partial cloud and an ambient temperature high between 26 and 28 degrees Celsius each day. [FIA]

Practice #1 starts at 10am local time / 4am EST tomorrow; practice #2 is 2pm local / 8am EST; Saturday practice is 11am local / 5am EST; qualifying at 2pm local / 8am EST; and the race kicks off at 2pm local / 8am EST on Sunday. I’ll be writing my notes in this blog, as usual. 🙂

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