2005 Chinese Grand Prix

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2005 Chinese Grand Prix
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Current Standings

2005 Drivers Championship.
Code:
[b]Pos	Driver			Nationality	Team			Points [/b]
[b]1	Fernando Alonso		Spanish		Renault			123 - World Champion[/b]
2	Kimi Räikkönen		Finnish		McLaren-Mercedes	104
3	Michael Schumacher	German		Ferrari			62
4	Juan Pablo Montoya	Colombian	McLaren-Mercedes	60
5	Giancarlo Fisichella	Italian		Renault			53
6	Jarno Trulli		Italian		Toyota			43
7	Ralf Schumacher		German		Toyota			39
8	Rubens Barrichello	Brazilian	Ferrari			38
9	Jenson Button		British		BAR-Honda		36
10	Mark Webber		Australian	Williams-BMW		34
11	Nick Heidfeld		German		Williams-BMW		28
12	David Coulthard		British		Red Bull Racing		24
13	Jacques Villeneuve	Canadian	Sauber-Petronas		9
14	Felipe Massa		Brazilian	Sauber-Petronas		8
15	Tiago Monteiro		Portuguese	Jordan-Toyota		7
16	Alexander Wurz		Austrian	McLaren-Mercedes	6
=18	Narain Karthikeyan	Indian		Jordan-Toyota		5
=18	Christian Klien		Austrian	Red Bull Racing		5
=20	Christijan Albers	Dutch		Minardi-Cosworth	4
=20	Pedro de la Rosa	Spanish		McLaren-Mercedes	4
21	Patrick Friesacher 	Austrian	Minardi-Cosworth	3
22	Antonio Pizzonia	Brazilian	Williams-BMW		2
=24	Takuma Sato		Japanese 	BAR-Honda		1
=24	Vitantonio Liuzzi	Italian		Red Bull Racing		1

2005 Constructors Championship.
Code:
[b]Pos	Constructor 		Points[/b]
1	Renault			176
2	McLaren-Mercedes 	174
3	Ferrari 		100
4	Toyota 			82
5	Williams-BMW 		64
6	BAR-Honda 		37
7	Red Bull Racing 	30
8	Sauber-Petronas 	17
9	Jordan-Toyota 		12
10	Minardi-Cosworth 	7
 
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Well then...Here we are - the last race of the 2005 season.

We've had a few good races this year - most noteably Japan.

We've still got 1 of the championships to decide. Renault are ahead - but if McLaren get 2 more points than Renault - McLaren will be World Champions.

Interestingly - McLaren and Renault have exactly the same stats this year - 36 starts, 28 finishes, 25 of which were in the points. It's been closer than you think.

We do have A1GP to help us cope with the off-season. Well - that and the fact that testing begins soon. :D

Between us all - this year so far we have done a total of 7094 posts. :eek:

We've had all the usual people from last year's posts around as well throwing abuse at drivers/teams/each other ;)
We've had some new people join in our healthy arguments - hopefully we haven't scared you off. ;)

Most of all though - it's been fun for me to do. All the frantic typing during qualifying - all the spotted typo's - all the unspotted typo's

Anyway - at the end of this weekend we are saying goodbye to many things in F1 - some good - some bad.

Sauber
Jordan
V10's
Pay drivers
BAR *well..the name anyway*
Single Lap Qualifying *as dull as it is - it's easy for me to do.*
The number 1 on a Ferrari *does a happy little dance*

And the things I will miss more than all of the above.

Minardi and Paul Stoddart.

Wouldn't surprise me if he's in tears at the end of the race. He loves his motorsport.
 
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Enough with looking backwards - whats ahead of us.

2.4l V8's
M.Schumachers last year in F1 *?*
Williams Cosworth
Midland F1
Honda F1
BMW F1
A very unusual qualifying experiment
Button and Barrichello fighting each other.
Red Bull USA/Junior *?*
Honda Junior *?*
 
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Dubai and Honda's 'b' team

The latest gossip in the F1 rumour mill is that the failed 'Dubai F1' project is involved in Honda's mysterious eleventh team for 2006.

Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, the brother of the 'A1 grand prix' founder and involved in the Emirates airline, is reportedly at the helm of the latest F1 team link.

The unnamed and unknown team's owners, though, are already facing opposition from within pitlane, with departing Minardi boss Paul Stoddart claiming that the 'Concorde' agreement would prevent the team from running a version of the 2005 spec BAR.

'To just sell the intellectual property rights ... doesn't actually get around the problem,' the Australian F1 principal claimed.

Former driver and F1 pundit Martin Brundle agrees that the existence of the enigmatic team seems 'unusual.

'Secrets are difficult to keep in the paddock,' said the Englishman. 'I would be shocked if they could already have something under way so quickly.

'It would not surprise me if the project is delayed until 2007.'
 
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Stoddart might be back

He'll spend at least two years out of the F1 limelight, but exiting Minardi boss Paul Stoddart says he's not yet done with the pinnacle of racing.

'I'd like to come back,' said the Australian, whose sale of the Faenza based minnow to energy drink Red Bull will become official on November 1.

Paul told Reuters: 'Hopefully, with a bit of pressure off, maybe it will give me time to reconsider what ... might still be around.'

And, after ruing the possible split of the sport into two, Stoddart will probably be secretly hoping that Bernie Ecclestone, the FIA and the carmakers do not settle their row.

'If there are two championships,' Stoddart continued, 'I would love to come back in the manufacturers' one.'

Sunday's Chinese grand prix will be the last for Minardi, and - for now - its brash boss.

Asked about the decision to sell to billionaire Dietrich Mateschitz, Stoddart said: 'I'm still regretting it. It's not an easy decision to make.

'I'm going to miss it too much.'
 
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Anthony Davidson on standby?

BAR Honda could be on the verge of placing Anthony Davidson in Takuma Sato’s 007 for the final race of the year at Shanghai according to the Times newspaper.

Sato, who is leaving the BAR Honda squad following the season finale anyway to make way for Rubens Barrichello in the team, made a mess of his home Grand Prix last Sunday and found himself disqualified from the results following his attempted overtaking manoeuvre on Jarno Trulli.

It is not the first time this year that Sato has made headlines for all the wrong reasons. At Spa Francorchamps he earned himself a ten position penalty for the following Brazilian Grand Prix for his part in the accident that eliminated Michael Schumacher and himself from the race.

Now the Times is reporting that BAR Honda third driver Anthony Davidson could get the nod for the Chinese Grand Prix.

Davidson told the publication that he is ready to race in the finale with BAR if called upon to do so and that after a recent test at Jerez where he racked up the miles, is keen to show his race-craft before the end of the season.

Davidson has been linked to the Jordan/Midland team for next year as well as the mysterious 11th team that could enter the Championship next year with Honda power.

The British driver did take part in the Malaysian Grand Prix for the team standing in for the then unwell Sato, but it was not an impressive performance as he qualified back in 15th position and in the race itself, the engine failed on the opening lap of the race.

BAR Honda have made no comment on the speculation.
 
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Alesi to join McLaren F1?

It is increasingly likely that former Ferrari driver Jean Alesi will be a Johnny Herbert-style team chief for the likely McLaren 'B' team in 2007. It was suggested almost a month ago that the Frenchman, now a DTM driver who retired from formula one in 2001, was instrumental in finding the supposed backer of the project, Japanese company Direxiv.

Compounding the speculation is news now that Alesi, 41, was a guest of Ron Dennis' McLaren team at Suzuka last weekend, and held 'several' meetings with the Woking chief.

The Italian 'Autosprint' magazine claims Jean Alesi has a week to consider a solid offer to head the team, which would require him quitting as a DTM driver. He is under contract to the end of '06.
 
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Two banks sell F1 shares

The seemingly infinite row over the future of Formula One might finally have turned a corner.

In a bid to at least clean up a messy commercial ownership structure, Germany's Bayerische Landesbank has bought out fellow 'SLEC' (Speed Investments) shareholders Lehman Brothers and JP Morgan Chase.

The deal means that F1 is now solely owned by 'Bayern' (75 per cent) and F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone (25 per cent), clearing the path for a tidier purchase by a third party.

Ecclestone, 74, earlier this year lost a court battle with the banks over disputed control of F1's commercial rights.

Ever since, there have been reports that the banks are negotiating the sale of their majority stake - with parties like the F1 teams, GPMA, Bernie, and private consortiums like Tom Group and BSkyB.
 
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Schumacher rules out swansong with McLaren

According to his agent Willi Weber, Schumacher to stay at Ferrari

Seven-time World Formula One Champion Michael Schumacher has ruled out the possibility of ending his career with the McLaren team, his agent Willi Weber has told the German press.

Ferrari driver Schumacher has been competing in the shadows of Formula One's young guns Fernando Alonso, the new World Champion who drives for Renault, and McLaren's flying Finn Kimi Raikkonen.

Weber, who said 36-year-old Schumacher is likely to retire in 2008, told Wednesday's edition of Stuttgarter Nachrichten that rumours of a move to McLaren were simply that.

"Let's put an end to this rumour: I can categorically exclude (the possibility of) Michael Schumacher leaving Ferrari for McLaren-Mercedes," he said.

The rumour began because Schumacher had rejected a fresh contract from Ferrari.

"First of all, Michael is doing fine at Ferrari and secondly, his image is much more in line with Ferrari and their sport cars than Mercedes and their luxury cars."

He added: "I can't say for definite but it's likely that 2008 will be his final season."
 
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Dupasquier: Leave tyre rules alone

Michelin’s motorsport boss Pierre Dupasquier has criticised the FIA’s plans to reintroduce tyre changing in Formula 1 next season.

The governing body sent an email to F1’s teams last weekend outlining a series of proposed rule changes for 2006.

These included lifting the ban on tyre changing that was imposed this year in a bid to cut costs and spice up the racing.

Dupasquier believes that the current rules have achieved their objectives to the letter and it would be a mistake to revert to the old system.

“Moving to a single tyre was good for the sport,” Dupasquier told Autosport-Atlas.

“This saved the teams money, there was less testing, and it made the racing more interesting.”

Dupasquier’s stance is unsurprising given that Michelin is widely acknowledged to have adapted to the 2005 rules more successfully than its rival Bridgestone.

But the combative Frenchman refuted the charge that he is merely defending a vested interest and turned the suggestion that Michelin has benefited unduly from the new rules on its head.

“We did not have an advantage this year – we simply did our job,” he said.

“Bridgestone did not do the same thing, so now there is talk about changing the rules.

“But we talked to our friends from Bridgestone and they said they don’t need this new rule, so I don’t know why the FIA needs to introduce tyre changes again.”

Dupasquier added that if the FIA is intent on changing the rules, it should go in the opposite direction and eliminate pit stops altogether.

“If the rules change, fine, we will design the tyre for the new rules. It is not a problem for us, but we are not happy," he said.

“Why change at all? We had excellent racing this year, especially last weekend in Japan. Why ruin it?

“In fact, if they want to change anything, they should go even further [than the status quo] and cancel pit stops.

“Refuelling is stupid and it goes against the spirit of Formula 1.

“The races should be between drivers and cars on track – a competition between the best drivers and the best technology. Pit stops only ruin that.”
 
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Engine Boost for Renault

Renault is hoping the latest evolution of its RS25 engine will give it the firepower it needs to see off McLaren’s challenge for the constructors’ world championship.

The Anglo-French squad has a narrow, two-point cushion over its British rival heading into this weekend’s Chinese Grand Prix, but knows it will have to pull out all the stops to maintain that advantage.

It will therefore build on the upgrades introduced at Interlagos last month by debuting a new ‘E’-spec engine.

“It should give us a better overall performance package – which means not only is it an intrinsically more powerful engine, but it gives us more options in how we use the engine over the race weekend,” said Renault’s engine operations manager Denis Chevrier.

“It will be a concrete step forward in lap time.”

Renault’s decision to race the E-spec engine was a calculated risk based on the fact that the unit will only have to last one race distance (since Shanghai is the season finale) rather than the usual two.

“Obviously, for China, the reliability demands are somewhat different, as the engine only needs to complete a single race weekend, and the specification of the engine takes account of that,” Chevrier said.

“When it came to taking the decision on the specification to which the engines would be built, we had certain components that were capable of lasting 700km, but not yet 1400km.

“That meant they were not ready for any other races, but potentially were for China.

“Some of these parts are major enough to justify a change in its specification code, making it an ‘E’.”

The Chinese GP will have special significance for Renault as it will mark the last race for the V10 engine configuration, which it pioneered in F1 in 1989.

“I think it will be an emotional moment when we are on the grid, or hearing it cross the finish line for the final time,” said Chevrier.

“It will be the end of an era.

“We were the pioneers of the V10, fighting against our V8 and V12 competitors; then the V10 became the norm; and now an era is coming to a close.

“To have introduced this engine configuration to the sport, and to win its final championship, those are nice bookends on an era in F1 history.”
 
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Chinese GP on ITV1 and ITV2

Qualifying: Saturday 15 October 2325-0040 (ITV1)
Live race: Sunday 16 October 0600-0900 (ITV1)
Race replay: Sunday 16 October 1400-1630 (ITV1)
Highlights: Monday 17 October 0010-0115 (ITV1)
Highlights: Tuesday 18 October 0140-0230 (ITV2)
Race replay: Thursday 20 October 0145-0355 (ITV1)
 
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Second Honda Team to Run Current BAR Chassis?

The second Honda-powered Formula 1 team being formed around Takuma Sato could be a duplicate of the works BAR squad, according to Autosport-Atlas.com.

If it does finalize its deal to race in 2006, the new team is now thought likely to run BAR’s 2006-spec chassis rather than this year’s model, as previously anticipated. The reason, it seems, is that the new Honda V8 engine will not properly fit in the current car.

The speculation is that Honda, which now owns the entire BAR team, plans to sell the design for next year’s BAR 008 to the new, still unnamed, team so that it begin preparations to compete. If the team is unable to get its affairs in order in time, then the car would be used as a basis for its 2007 chassis. In this way, the new team would get around F1’s governing Concorde Agreement requirement that teams must design and build their own car, since it would “own” the design when it officially commits to an F1 entry.

The ownership group behind the new team remains unknown, IRL IndyCar co-owner Aguri Suzuki having denied rumors at the Japanese Grand Prix last weekend that he was involved. Since then, speculation has centered on investors from Dubai being the source of funding for the project, having been rebuffed earlier this year in efforts to buy shares in BAR itself.

In addition to Sato, who is losing his seat on the BAR team to Rubens Barrichello next season, BAR test driver Anthony Davidson has also been linked to a possible race seat with the new team.
 
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Also - just spoke to a mate in China - allegedly Honda have bought the old Arrows factory site at Leafield and the Tesco's site in Brackley to build a start of the art F1 environment.

I suspect Honda will be spending some serious wedge on F1 over the next couple of years.

Simon/~Flibster
 
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Ooooh....More money to be spent here... :D

Ground-breaking sale at Williams

Bonhams has been appointed by one of the world's leading Formula One teams, WilliamsF1, to hold a sale at its factory headquarters in Grove, Oxfordshire, on 14 December 2005.

A hand-picked selection of more than 20 of the WilliamsF1's Reserve Collection of Formula One cars and memorabilia, spanning the company's entire 28-year history, will be sold.

WilliamsF1's HQ in Oxfordshire is home to one of the world's foremost private collections of Formula One cars, tracing the seminal moments in the team's history over a quarter of a century. Exhibited in a purpose-built interactive museum opened in 2002, the Williams Grand Prix Collection is a commitment to preserve and maintain a detailed account of the company's illustrious past.

The company's inventory has grown relentlessly, with every season of competition adding a number of chassis which have been retained by the company. Over the past two years, plans have been developed to consolidate the museum displays, and it is the WilliamsF1 Reserve Collection which is now to be offered for sale by Bonhams.

Star lots to be offered will include the Williams Honda FW10B in which Nigel Mansell won his inaugural Grand Prix at Brands Hatch in 1985, Mansell's FW14B in which he won six Grands Prix en route to his World Championship title in 1992, Damon Hill's FW18 from his World Championship season in 1996 as well as cars with Grand Prix winning history in the hands of drivers such as Riccardo Patrese, Alain Prost, Jacques Villeneuve, Juan Pablo Montoya and Ralf Schumacher.

WilliamsF1's Team Principal, Frank Williams, said: "I am delighted our long-standing policy of retaining our race cars allows us to both maintain a world-class museum collection and release some race cars with impeccable provenance from our Reserve collection to private collectors. In addition to the 20 race cars, there are some interesting additional items such as Renault Clio Williams chassis no 0001 and around one hundred other items which I hope will make the sale of great interest."

Sir Frank Williams' entry into Formula One began modestly with a lone private-owner car in 1969, and after eight seasons of solid endeavour, he founded Williams Grand Prix Engineering in 1977. His inspired leadership then combined with the technical expertise and similarly relentless commitment of Technical Director, Patrick Head, to see the Williams team become the best in the world within just three years. The team achieved its first Grand Prix victory in 1979 - with Clay Regazzoni driving a Williams FW07 at Silverstone - and its first World Championship title in 1980 - with Australian star driver, Alan Jones.

Since this time, Williams has won no fewer than 16 Formula One World titles - nine Formula One Constructors' World Championships plus seven Formula One Drivers' World Championship crowns. The team first made its mark in the period1977-80 using Cosworth engine power and with this original Cosworth partnership being renewed next season, the great British team is looking to add to its already immensely impressive record of 113 Grands Prix victories.

This auction by such a leading current Formula One team offers a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for enthusiasts, collectors and would-be competitors in historic Formula One series alike to buy a piece of the remarkable WilliamsF1 story.

Along with the complete cars and rolling chassis to be offered from the Reserve Collection, the Sale will include some 100 plus lots of factory parts and associated memorabilia from the team's own archives ranging from the damaged wishbone from Damon Hill's clash with Michael Schumacher in the 1994 Australian Grand Prix to the race suit in which Jacques Villeneuve claimed the 1997 World Championship in Jerez.

Ooooh...going to have to go there and spend a lot of money...
 
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Last F1 Race for Historic Names: Sauber, Minardi, Jordan, BAR

The chequered flag in Shanghai this Sunday will wave a special and poignant meaning for the entire formula one paddock.

The Sauber, Jordan, Minardi and BAR names - forty per cent of the grid - are set to race away from the sport as a new set of owners blow into F1.

Peter Sauber's exit from motor racing after 36 years, with his Hinwil based privateer team sold to BMW, will be marked by a big dinner in China thrown by a sponsor.

"If I could decide it myself," said the quiet and typically politically-neutral Swiss, "I would keep it low key but it will not be possible."

Eddie Jordan has long departed the grand prix arena, but Shanghai will mark the last blast for his former team's yellow livery and name, as 'Midland' drives into pitlane.

To honour the last race for Jordan's bright yellow paintjob, new billionaire owner Alex Shnaider will host a 'Farewell Cocktail' in the paddock.

In typical Paul Stoddart style, meanwhile, the always-rebellious team owner - who has sold his little Minardi team to another billionaire - will throw an Aussie barbeque near the formula one pit garages.

"What are they going to do," the gruff Stoddart grinned to the Daily Telegraph newspaper when asked what Bernie Ecclestone thought of the break in F1 paddock etiquette, "ban me?!"
 
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Bugger... :(

Sato confirmed to race in China

Takuma Sato has been confirmed to race in China, therefore the speculations that gave his second BAR Honda to Anthony Davidson are now over.

"I am absolutely determined to have a strong race in my final grand prix for BAR Honda," the Japanese driver said when he arrived in China.

However, the Sunday's race will be his last with BAR Honda outfit. Despite some offers from Midlands and a mysterious new team set to make debut in F1 next year, Sato hasn't signed a contract yet.
 
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