2006 Spanish Grand Prix - Race 6/18

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Ecclestone signs deal with GPMA

Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone has now put his signature on a deal that ends the threat of a breakaway series, we can reveal, after the manufacturers pledged their commitment to the sport last weekend.

The five members of the Grand Prix Manufacturers' Association (GPMA) - BMW, Honda, Mercedes-Benz, Renault and Toyota - all signed a Memorandum of Understanding over the Spanish Grand Prix weekend that committed their future to the sport until the end of 2012.

The teams had hoped that their acceptance of the deal, which will see them take 50 percent of the sport's earning, would be immediately ratified by Ecclestone at the Circuit de Catalunya.

But with Ecclestone leaving the track without signing the document and a few days of uncertainty about whether he had put pen to paper, prompting suggestions that there could even be a last minute hitch in proceedings, the sport's commercial boss confirmed on Friday that he had now approved the deal.

"The manufacturers all signed it in the end," Ecclestone told autosport.com. "There were a lot of negotiations and things came to a head in the end thanks to Alain Dassas (Renault F1 president). He, along with Professor Goeschel (BMW board member), was the driving force behind getting the deal.

"They effectively made it happen and saw in the end that the deal made sense. We've now signed our part and it is now just a question of sending it to the lawyers."

Ecclestone's comments about Renault are believed to relate to the pressure that Dassas and Renault team boss Flavio Briatore were putting on other GPMA members to commit to the 50 percent offer.

Briatore said last weekend: "We have been talking about this for six years and in the end you have to decide what you are going to do. I was happy with the offer and I said to Alain we should go for it."

Ecclestone expressed a sense of relief at the conclusion of the talks, which ends six years of talks with the manufacturers against the backdrop of a threatened breakaway.

"The negotiations have taken a while and we spent a lot of time discussing issues which were not real, honest issues," he said. "But now at least we have the MOU and that will form the basis of the Concorde Agreement, once we get the FIA technical issues sorted."

In fact, the discussions over the technical regulations are now likely to form the key battleground between the manufacturers and the sport's bosses over the future.

The manufacturers have made it clear that they are not in favour of plans to impose an engine freeze in F1, while the FIA insisted earlier this week that it will not back down in plans for engine homologation in F1. Ecclestone hoped that a compromise solution would eventually be found.

"The FIA have been clear for a little while now that we have got to save some money in the sport. When we reduced engine capacity to 2.4-litre V8s it was to save costs, and if they didn't do something then we would never have cut costs.

"I think these people (the manufacturers) have to be saved a little bit from themselves. But, then again, I think we also have to keep the technical side of F1. It's something that needs to be discussed."
 
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Villeneuve: Monaco qualifying will be hell

Jacques Villeneuve says qualifying for next week's Monaco Grand Prix will be "hell", with 22 drivers trying to set a fast lap over a period of 15 minutes on the streets of Monte Carlo.

Villeneuve has joined Australian Mark Webber in expressing his concerns about how the new knockout format could pose more of a risk than ever before.

"Monaco (qualifying) will be hell," said the Canadian. "I hope there are no games going on, because it could be very dangerous, and if something like that happens, it could be massive."

Villeneuve has so far been the only driver to be penalised for holding a rival during qualifying.

It happened at the European Grand Prix, were he was slammed by Italian Giancarlo Fisichella, who said the BMW driver has ruined his chances of making it to the final session.

"You can talk as much as you want, but it depends on who, how, and if you get punished or not, and so far the only one who has got punished is me, while no one else seems to get punished," added Villeneuve.

Monte Carlo is the slowest track on the Formula One calendar.
 
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Imola presses ahead with upgrades

Designs for the new pit buildings that will be ready in time for next year's San Marino Grand Prix have been released, with the track organisers pressing ahead with an upgrade of facilities.

The Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari has been under pressure for several years to improve its pit and paddock buildings, but work has been stalled as circuit owners SAGIS attempted to find the necessary budget.

With the finances now in place, the track owners have appointed German track architect Hermann Tilke to design and build the new pit building - which is planned to be ready in time for next year's race.

There are suggestions, however, that with work on the buildings not due to start for several months then there may be a need for the San Marino Grand Prix to move further back in the calendar next season to allow the construction to be completed.

The new pits will be 270 metres long, with 30 garages incorporated into the structure. The race control building will be three storeys tall. The cost of the work is estimated at £7 million ($13 million).


Aarrrggghhhh!!!!

Hermann ******* Tikle!!!

Just wish the track would be dumped from the calendar now...
 
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Honda bullish over car breakthrough

Honda Racing duo Jenson Button and Rubens Barrichello could be set to enjoy an imminent leap forward in performance, with the team believing they may have made a breakthrough in understanding how to get more out of their RA106 and its tyres.

The team have spent recent weeks trying to get to the bottom of why their car is so quick in qualifying but does not have race pace to match. And it appears that that work during tests, allied to the varying form of leading teams in recent races, has left to the team feeling they may have finally got the answer to their problems.

In particular, the fact that McLaren finished just behind Ferrari and Renault at the European Grand Prix but then were well off the two teams' pace in Barcelona last weekend has pointed towards the fact that tyre suitability to a chassis is playing a key role in the fight at the front.

Honda Racing technical director Geoff Willis believes he has seen enough in the performance of his and other teams in recent weeks to feel that his team are on the verge of finally getting on top of the situation.

"We are building up a big jigsaw with lots of parts in it," he said. "But there is a clear picture coming, which I cannot share with you, that some teams are aware of and most are not.

"We are beginning to have a much better understanding and we have now got to turn that theory into practice, with some different bits on the car."

When asked whether he could be more specific about what area these improvements were coming from, Willis said: "It is just generically performance related, in how you get the best out of the tyres, the aerodynamics and the car set-up."

Willis has also suggested that the team may also pursue a more aggressive approach to the flexibility of their rear wings in a bid to close down the straight-line speed gap to Ferrari.

Honda Racing recently asked for clarification from the FIA about how far teams were allowed to push flexi-wings, after suspecting that Ferrari may be enjoying a benefit.

"All the teams are going to have to adopt the same set of interpretation of rules if they are going to be competitive," explained Willis.

"I really don't know whether other teams have got to do anything different, but clearly Renault and Ferrari are very competitive and if everybody wants to catch up with them then they are going to have to catch up quickly."
 
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The 2005 Video's

These ones are in order - starting with the earliest through to the latest

Formula One comes to London

Recently there was a display by various Formula One teams through the streets of London. This short video from BMW WilliamsF1 shows you Juan Pablo Montoya taking to the streets in a FW26.

5mb Mpeg video - [Linky]


Safety Focus - 2005 Regulations

For 2005 the FIA has introduced new technical regulations designed to slow Formula One down. This video gives you an insight into these new rules.

13mb Realmedia file - [Linky]


2005 Australian Grand Prix Preview

Here are some interesting facts regarding the Australian Grand Prix, presented in this video.

13mb Realmedia file - [Linky]


Safety Focus - Tyres

For 2005 the FIA has introduced new technical regulations, including those concerning tyres been required to last a whole Grand Prix. This video gives you an insight into the black art of F1 tyres.

16mb Realmedia file - [Linky]


2005 Malaysian Grand Prix Preview

Here are some interesting facts regarding the Malaysian Grand Prix, presented in this video.

13mb Realmedia file - [Linky]


Safety Focus - Crash Tests

The drivers have to rely on the safety of their cars. This video gives you an insight into how crash tests have been applied to the monocoque and how the standards have constantly improved.

14mb Realmedia file - [Linky]


2005 Bahrain Grand Prix Preview

Here are some interesting facts regarding the Bahrain Grand Prix, presented in this video.

14mb Realmedia file - [Linky]


Safety Focus - Pit Stops

The pit stop has taken on a high level of importance in an F1 race. This video gives you an insight into how what goes on during a pit stop..

15mb Realmedia file - [Linky]


2005 Spanish Grand Prix Preview

Here are some interesting facts regarding the Spanish Grand Prix, presented in this video.

14mb Realmedia file - [Linky]


Safety Focus - Gearbox

In the Monaco Grand Prix the driver will change gear 3600 times. This video gives you an insight into development of Formula One gearboxes.

14mb Realmedia file - [Linky]


2005 Monaco Grand Prix Preview

Here are some interesting facts regarding the Monaco Grand Prix, presented in this video.

14mb Realmedia file - [Linky]


Safety Focus - Race Control

On every F1 circuit there is one place that takes care of safety, that of Race Control. We look at Race Control at the Bahrain circuit where a race can be followed on thirty cameras.

14mb Realmedia file - [Linky]


2005 European Grand Prix Preview

Here are some interesting facts regarding the European Grand Prix, presented in this video.

14mb Realmedia file - [Linky]


Safety Focus - Brakes

Talk of brakes in the modern Formula One and you talk about carbon. The use of carbon fibre has given them incredible stopping power. This video looks at F1 brakes.

14mb Realmedia file - [Linky]


2005 Canadian Grand Prix Preview

Here are some interesting facts regarding the Canadian Grand Prix, presented in this video.

14mb Realmedia file - [Linky]


Safety Focus - Cockpit

The modern steering wheel, centre piece of the cockpit command centre. It is now not used just to control direction. This video looks at the F1 cockpit.

14mb Realmedia file - [Linky]


2005 United States Grand Prix Preview

Here are some interesting facts regarding the United States Grand Prix, presented in this video.

14mb Realmedia file - [Linky]


Safety Focus - Helmet

The Formula One helmet is made of a mixture of different materials aiming to provide the greatest strength at the lowest possible weight. This video looks at F1 helmets.

14mb Realmedia file - [Linky]


2005 French Grand Prix Preview

Here are some interesting facts regarding the French Grand Prix, presented in this video.

14mb Realmedia file - [Linky]


Safety Focus - Driver Protection

The Formula One driver today wears the latest in driver protection, a triple layer nomex overall designed to withstand high temperatures. This video looks at F1 driver overalls.

14mb Realmedia file - [Linky]


2005 British Grand Prix Preview

Here are some interesting facts regarding the British Grand Prix, presented in this video.

14mb Realmedia file - [Linky]


Safety Focus - Race Strategy

Strategy in Formula One is a mixture of having a fast car and been able to time events in the race to perfection. This video looks at F1 strategy.

14mb Realmedia file - [Linky]


2005 German Grand Prix Preview

Here are some interesting facts regarding the German Grand Prix, presented in this video.

12mb Realmedia file - [Linky]


Safety Focus - Fitness

This video looks at fitness and the vital role that it plays in allowing drivers to cope with the demands of the modern Formula One car.

13mb Realmedia file - [Linky]


2005 Hungarian Grand Prix Preview

Here are some interesting facts regarding the Hungarian Grand Prix, presented in this video.

13mb Realmedia file - [Linky]


Safety Focus - New Track

This video looks at the difficulties for the WilliamsF1 team in having to go to a new track and prepare for its unique character. Mark Webber discusses how to cope with new tracks.

13mb Realmedia file - [Linky]


2005 Turkish Grand Prix Preview

Here are some interesting facts regarding the Turkish Grand Prix, presented in this video.

12mb Realmedia file - [Linky]


Safety Focus - Aerodynamics

Aerodynamics are such a vital factor when it comes to performance on the track. This video looks at F1 aerodynamics.

12mb Realmedia file - [Linky]


2005 Italian Grand Prix Preview

Here are some interesting facts regarding the Italian Grand Prix, presented in this video.

12mb Realmedia file - [Linky]


Safety Focus - Telemetry

Behind the term telemetry lies a form of sober analysis that helps drivers to be even faster. This video looks at F1 aerodynamics.

14mb Realmedia file - [Linky]


2005 Belgian Grand Prix Preview

Here are some interesting facts regarding the Belgian Grand Prix, presented in this video.

17mb Realmedia file - [Linky]


Safety Focus - Safety Barriers

Driver safety has come to play a vital part in modern Formula One. Despite their best efforts there are times when drivers leave the track. This video looks at F1 safety including safety barriers.

13mb Windows Media file - [Linky]


2005 Brazilian Grand Prix Preview

Here are some interesting facts regarding the Brazilian Grand Prix, presented in this video. The video looks at the nature of the track as well as facts regarding the race itself, including tyres, brakes, and fuel strategy.

14mb Windows Media file - [Linky]


Safety Focus - Setup

The basics of a cars performance are laid out at the factory, but each circuit makes its own demands on a Formula One car requiring the optimum setup. This video looks at what is involved in achieving the perfect setup.

13mb Windows Media file - [Linky]


2005 Japanese Grand Prix Preview

Here are some interesting facts regarding the Japanese Grand Prix, presented in this video. The video looks at the nature of the track as well as facts regarding the race itself, including tyres, brakes, and fuel strategy.

13mb Windows Media file - [Linky]


Safety Focus - Seasons End

The 2005 Formula One season has seen the teams having to contend with various challenges. Numerous rule changes required new approaches and a rethink in terms of equipment and strategy This video looks back at the 2005 season.

11mb Windows Media file - [Linky]


2005 Chinese Grand Prix Preview

Here are some interesting facts regarding the Chinese Grand Prix, presented in this video. The video looks at the nature of the track as well as facts regarding the race itself, including tyres, brakes, and fuel strategy.

11mb Windows Media file - [Linky]
 
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The 2006 Video's

These are for the current season - still uploading the last couple *which include the Monaco Preview*

WilliamsF1 Cosworth FW27 Close-up

This video from BMW WilliamsF1 shows you a close-up view of the FW27 at the time the car was launched at Valencia.

11mb Realmedia file - [Linky]


WilliamsF1 Cosworth FW27 at Valencia

This video from BMW WilliamsF1 shows you the 2005 FW27 testing at the Valencia circuit. This footage was taken at the time of the cars launch.

20mb Realmedia file - [Linky]


Safety Focus - Season Preview

For the the WilliamsF1 team the opening race in Bahrain sees the team having to contend with a new series of challenges from the new 2.4 litre V8 engines, to tyre changes and the new qualifying. This video previews the new 2006 season.

29mb Windows Media file - [Linky]


2006 Bahrain Grand Prix Preview

Here is a preview of the opening round of the 2006 Formula One championship, the Bahrain Grand Prix, presented in this video. team driver Mark Webber discusses the circuit and how the new cars will cope.

12mb Windows Media file - [Linky]


Safety Focus - Fitness

For the the WilliamsF1 team the second race in Malaysia is one where driver fitness plays a major role with the drivers having to contend with high temperatures and humidity. This video looks at the issue of driver fitness.

16mb Windows Media file - [Linky]


2006 Malaysian Grand Prix Preview

Here is a preview of the second race of the 2006 Formula One championship, the Malaysian Grand Prix, presented in this video. Team driver Mark Webber discusses the circuit. He is joined by Sam Michael.

12mb Windows Media file - [Linky]


Safety Focus - Monocoque

For the the drivers of Formula One cars safety is paramount. An integral part of their safety is the monocoque. The monocoque forms the major part of a F1 car and is tested to withstand heavy impacts. This video looks at the monocoque of a F1 car.

20mb Windows Media file - [Linky]


2006 Australian Grand Prix Preview

Here is a preview of the third race of the 2006 Formula One championship, the Australian Grand Prix, presented in this video. Team driver Mark Webber discusses the circuit. He is joined by Sam Michael.

10mb Windows Media file - [Linky]


Safety Focus - Buckle Up

An integral part of the drivers safety is the seat belt that they use. The six point system holds them in securely while they cope with the demands of the Grand Prix circuit. This video looks at the seat belts of a F1 car.

16mb Windows Media file - [Linky]


2006 San Marino Grand Prix Preview

Here is a preview of the fourth race of the 2006 Formula One championship, the San Marino Grand Prix, presented in this video. Team driver Mark Webber discusses the circuit. He is joined by Sam Michael.

10mb Windows Media file - [Linky]


Safety Focus - Race Control[/b]

An integral part of circuit safety is Race Control. In the early days of Formula One it was men with pencils, now it is very high tech with officials been monitor all parts of the circuit. This video looks at Race Control.

20mb Windows Media file - [Linky]


2006 European Grand Prix Preview

Here is a preview of the fifth race of the 2006 Formula One championship, the European Grand Prix, presented in this video. Team driver Mark Webber discusses the circuit. He is joined by Sam Michael.

10mb Windows Media file - [Linky]


Safety Focus - Check Up

With the 2006 Formula One season well under way it is time to look at whether the changes to the regulations for the 2006 season have made a difference. This video takes a check up for the season so far.

20mb Windows Media file - [Linky]


2006 Spanish Grand Prix Preview

Here is a preview of the sixth race of the 2006 Formula One championship, the Spanish Grand Prix, presented in this video. Team driver Mark Webber discusses the circuit. He is joined by Nico Rosberg.

10mb Windows Media file - [Linky]


Safety Focus - Gearbox

On a circuit like Monaco the gearbox is always hard at work, changing up and down with the drivers making around 3,600 gear changes. This video looks at the gearbox of a F1 car and how it operates.

20mb Windows Media file - [Linky]


2006 Monaco Grand Prix Preview

Here is a preview of the seventh race of the 2006 Formula One championship, the Monaco Grand Prix, presented in this video. Team driver Mark Webber discusses the circuit. He is joined by Nico Rosberg who talks of driving through the famous tunnel.

11mb Windows Media file - [Linky]
 
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Schumacher and Bridgestone

According to reports in the People, Ferrari star Michael Schumacher has warned he will definitely walk away from the Formula One series if Japanese tyre supplier Bridgestone, don’t allow him to be the sole developer of their 2007 compound, the same compound that will then be dispersed to the rest of the grid.

As rivals at Michelin will be leaving the series at the end of the season, Bridgestone will be the sole tyre supplier and the report in the British tabloid is trying to suggest that Schumacher will not be happy if he is not in control of the compounds his fellow competitors will be using.

The report quotes an insider, although they do not state from where, claiming that the seven time world champion simply wants to ‘control everything’ in the series and that this latest demand is simply another way for him to exert his power so that he can have the upper hand rather than lose the advantage he has with Bridgestone.

"By going to Bridgestone and making these demands, it just shows that he is worried his tyre advantage will be lost,” the ‘insider' said. “But the truth is that this year Ferrari has only been as good as they are because other teams on Bridgestone tyres have developed the compounds which they have then copied."

It is obvious that the ‘insider’ making these comments is not a fan of the Ferrari driver or is really in the know that much because the truth of the matter is that if Schumacher does decide to walk away from the active competition at the end of the season, it will be for a lot more serious reasons.

is he having a laugh?? :rolleyes:
the dummy's deffo gonna end up on the floor!! :D

goodbye and good riddance :p
 
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Coulthard expects to know future soon
David Coulthard believes that his future in Formula One should be decided within a month, as he pushes to remain at Red Bull Racing next year.

The British driver's contract with the team runs out at the end of the season and, although there have been rumours of interest from Toyota, Coulthard has made no secret that his first choice is to stay where he is.

Speaking in his official column in the News of the World, Coulthard said he was fired up to remain in F1 next year and hoped an answer would come within the next few weeks.

"My Formula One future should be decided soon, possibly in a month or so," he said. "But I want to stay with Red Bull (Racing) and I have started talks with them about next year."

He added: "I intend being around for a few years yet - and I haven't given any thought whatsoever to what I will do when I retire.

"Remember, I'm only 35. I don't recall people saying Nigel Mansell was too old when he won the title at 39."

Coulthard is adamant that his age is no barrier to success, and that the experience he has gained in F1 in his 200 races is worth more than anything any of the sport's younger stars can offer.

"I'm racing young guys who still live at home, but they need time to develop. They aren't going to be any quicker than I am. If you rush someone in and they aren't ready you can crush their career."

Hardly rocket science that he wants to stay with RBR. With a Newey car on the way and another year of Ferrari power moving to Toyota, who only seem to be good at spending money at the moment, would be a daft move. Despite what he says this is more than likely to be his last F1 contract so it needs to be with the right team both in terms of performance and environment - I don't think that anyone would doubt that DC is having fun at RBR.
 
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Sole tyre supplier to be revealed in July
Formula One teams will find out by the start of July who has won the contract to supply tyres in the sport from 2008, after the FIA opened up the tender process on Monday.

The FIA have given those companies interested in becoming F1's official tyre supplier until June 23 to submit their tenders, with a decision on the matter due to be taken on July 5.

Bridgestone are currently favourites to win the contract, but they could face competition from Italian company Pirelli.

French tyre manufacturer Michelin could also lodge a surprise entry, even though they announced their withdrawal from the sport at the end of this year because they were unhappy about the move to control tyres.

The winning tyre manufacturer will have to supply the same specification of tyres for the 2008, 2009 and 2010 championships - unless the FIA demands that the type changes in a bid to reduce cornering speeds.

There will be a choice of four compounds of tyres, although only two of these will be made available at each event.

As well as supplying all the tyres teams need to compete at Grands Prix, the tyre manufacturer will have to give each team a maximum of 300 sets of tyres for testing, a maximum of 12 sets for wind-tunnel testing and a number of tyres for show car use.

A prototype of the tyres planned to be used in 2008 must be made available to teams no later than April 1, 2007, with the actual tyres available to the teams from September 1, 2007.

And in a bid to ensure that F1 is not compromised by the winning tyre manufacturer not fulfilling their contractual commitments, the company will be asked to have available a guarantee from a 'top-ranking international financial institution' of 100 million Euros to cover any damages or compensation that the FIA deems necessary if there is a problem.

That all seems fairly sensible until you get to the 100 million Euro guarantee. That seems huge in comparision to the amount of money available from the contract, I would be surprised if the winner will get more than 10 - 20 million Euros a year simply because it's a manufacturing and supply contract with no ongoing development.

As for a supplier, it would be great to see Pirelli or Goodyear back in F1, not only for a change but simply to remove any potential favouritism by an incumbent supplier.
 
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