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Sérgio Sette Câmara returns to the Red Bull

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Sérgio shares this role, which encompasses duties for sister teams Aston Martin Red Bull Racing and Scuderia AlphaTauri, with long standing Reserve Driver Sébastian Buemi.

Sérgio’s role will see him travel to races with both teams throughout the 2020 F1 season as well as assisting Red Bull’s existing Test & Reserve Driver, Sébastien Buemi, with simulator work. Sérgio will also be on hand to support the ever increasing Running Show Car programme throughout the year.

The 21 year old Brazilian secured the necessary points to obtain an F1 super license after finishing fourth in last year’s FIA Formula 2 Championship, and now looks forward to starting his new Red Bull role at the Australian Grand Prix.

Sérgio Sette Câmara “I am extremely happy to join the Red Bull family as Official Test & Reserve driver for the 2020 Formula One season alongside Sébastian. I’ve been watching F1 since I was five years old and I’m humbled to have been given this opportunity to work with Scuderia AlphaTauri and Aston Martin Red Bull Racing.”

FIA STATEMENT FOLLOWING COMMUNICATION FROM SEVEN FORMULA 1 TEAMS

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FIA Statement:

The FIA has conducted detailed technical analysis on the Scuderia Ferrari Power Unit as it is entitled to do for any competitor in the FIA Formula One World Championship.

The extensive and thorough investigations undertaken during the 2019 season raised suspicions that the Scuderia Ferrari PU could be considered as not operating within the limits of the FIA regulations at all times. The Scuderia Ferrari firmly opposed the suspicions and reiterated that its PU always operated in compliance with the regulations.The FIA was not fully satisfied but decided that further action would not necessarily result in a conclusive case due to the complexity of the matter and the material impossibility to provide the unequivocal evidence of a breach.

To avoid the negative consequences that a long litigation would entail especially in light of the uncertainty of the outcome of such litigations and in the best interest of the Championship and of its stakeholders, the FIA, in compliance with Article 4 (ii) of its Judicial and Disciplinary Rules (JDR), decided to enter into an effective and dissuasive settlement agreement with Ferrari to terminate the proceedings.

This type of agreement is a legal tool recognised as an essential component of any disciplinary system and is used by many public authorities and other sport federations in the handling of disputes.

The confidentiality of the terms of the settlement agreement is provided for by Article 4 (vi) of the JDR.

The FIA will take all necessary action to protect the sport and its role and reputation as regulator of the FIA Formula One World Championship.

CORONAVIRUS: THE FIA IS CLOSELY MONITORING THE EVOLVING SITUATION

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Following the coronavirus epidemic that broke out at the beginning of the year and, to date, has mainly affected China, the FIA is closely monitoring the evolving situation with relevant authorities and its Member Clubs, under the direction of FIA Medical Commission President, Professor Gérard Saillant. The FIA will evaluate the calendar of its forthcoming races and, if necessary, take any action required to help protect the global motor sport community and the wider public. 

You can find the Statement about the postponement of the 2020 FIA F1 Chinese Grand Prix here 

You can find the Statment about the Sanya E-Prix here

FIA AND PIRELLI ANNOUNCE 2020 F1 TYRE SPECIFICATION

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Having analysed all the results and team assessments from the recent test in Abu Dhabi, a vote for the specification of the tyres for the 2020 Season was carried out according to Article 12.6.1 of the technical regulations. The vote resulted in a unanimous decision to keep the 2019 specification tyres for the 2020 season by the Formula 1 teams.

Together Pirelli, the FIA and the F1 teams have taken into account several different factors in reaching this decision:

  • The teams will no longer have to modify the designs of their 2020 cars, which would otherwise have been necessary to accommodate the different profile of the 2020 tyre construction.
  • This will now allow the teams to continue the development of their 2020 cars – which are already at an advanced stage – uninterrupted.
  • The use of the 2019 tyres also guarantees the teams stability, with the advantage of using a well-known product during the final season of the current regulations.

The new solutions for the 2020 construction tyres tested last week in Abu Dhabi, which Pirelli will continue to develop further for the 18-inch era from 2021, allow lower tyre pressures than those used at the moment to be run. As a result, they are able to compensate for the increased performance expected from the next generation of cars.

These new solutions seen on the 18-inch tyres that will be used from 2021 onwards, with the first on-track tests in this size have already shown positive results.

The development test campaign with 18-inch tyres for 2021 onwards will continue throughout 2020, beginning in February with Ferrari at Jerez in Spain.

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F1 – BOTTAS SETS QUICKEST TIME OF FIRST TEST AS MERCEDES FINISH ONE-TWO

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Driving in the morning session Bottas bolted on a set of C5 compound tyres – the softest in Pirelli’s range – and quickly rose to the top of the order with a lap that once Hamilton had tried and failed to match on the same compound in the afternoon remained the benchmark for the rest of the day.

Hamilton’s run on the tyre was scruffy and the six-time champion ended the day in P2, 0.784s off his teammate’s benchmark.

Third place in the session went to Renault’s Esteban Ocon, with the Frenchman setting a time of 1:17.102 to finish a little over two tenths of a second ahead of Racing Point’s Lance Stroll, with AlphaTauri’s Daniil Kvyat a further tenth back in fourth. 

Ocon posted a total of 76 laps to give Renault a solid morning total and team-mate Daniel Ricciardo added another 93 laps in the afternoon to give the French squad its largest single-day total of the week. It wasn’t all plain sailing for Renault, however, and Ricciardo brought out the red flags midway through the afternoon when he stopped on track on the run to Turn 9. The team was able to get the Australian back out for the final hour of running, however, and finished the day in P7.

Ricciardo’s stoppage was the fourth of the day. Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel brought out the red flags midway through the morning session due to a suspected power unit issue, though the four-time did manage to return to the action and posted 100 laps on his way to P13. 

Williams’ Nicholas Latifi was the next to cause a halt, the Canadian also suffering an engine problem in the morning. The team fitted a new power unit for the afternoon, and he managed to complete 72 laps as he took P15 on the timesheet, seven tenths of a second clear of the day’s final red-flagged driver, Kevin Magnussen. The Haas driver crashed at Turn 8 early in the afternoon session and with significant damage caused to his car, he was unable to run again. 

Alfa Romeo’s Antonio Giovinazzi posted the days largest single-driver lap count with 152 laps, and the Italian’s best time of 1:17.469 was good enough to secure sixth place ahead of Ricciardo. 

Red Bull Racing made the decision to split driving duties on the final day of test one and Max Verstappen put 86 laps on the board on his way to eighth place as the team conducted race simulations. Team-mate Alex Albon took over in the afternoon and though he was unable to complete a race sim due to red flags the Thai driver added another 83 laps to Red Bull’s total as he claimed P10. 

The Red Bulls were split by second AlphaTauri of Pierre Gasly, while Carlos Sainz finished 11thfor McLaren ahead of Haas’ Romain Grosjean and Lando Norris who drove for McLaren in the afternoon. 

2020 Formula 1 Pre-Season Test 1, Day 3
1 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1:15.732 65
2 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:16.516 73
3 Esteban Ocon Renault 1:17.102 76
4 Lance Stroll Racing Point 1:17.338 116
5 Daniil Kvyat AlphaTauri 1:17.427 62
6 Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo 1:17.469 152
7 Daniel Ricciardo Renault 1:17.574 93
8 Max Verstappen Red Bull 1:17.636 86
9 Pierre Gasly AlphaTauri 1:17.783 59
10 Alexander Albon Red Bull 1:18.154 83
11 Carlos Sainz McLaren 1:18.274 76
12 Romain Grosjean Haas 1:18.380 48
13 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1:18.384 100
14 Lando Norris McLaren 1:18.454 49
15 Nicholas Latifi Williams 1:19.004 72
16 Kevin Magnussen Haas 1:19.708 4
 

Formula One: Car Launch dates

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  • Ferrari: Tuesday 11 February, 5.30pm, Reggio Emilia, Italy
  • Renault: Wednesday 12 February, 3pm, France
  • Red Bull: Wednesday 12 February, Milton Keynes, UK
  • McLaren: Thursday 13 February, Woking, UK
  • AlphaTauri (formerly known as Toro Rosso): Friday 14 February, Salzburg, Austria
  • Mercedes: Friday 14 February, Silverstone, UK
  • Racing Point: Monday 17 February, Mondsee, Austria
  • Williams: Monday 17 February, Grove, UK
  • Haas: Wednesday 19 February, Barcelona, Spain
  • Alfa Romeo: Wednesday 19 February, Barcelona, Spain

Hamilton getting closer to his fifth Formula One title

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Lewis Hamilton closed in on his fifth Formula One title with victory in the Russian Grand Prix on September 30.

Hamilton was first in Russia’s Black Sea resort city of Sochi after his teammate, Valtteri Bottas from Finland, pulled over to let the British driver pass.

“It’s actually quite a difficult day. Valtteri was a real gentleman to let me through. To have a one-two – usually we’d be elated. Valtteri deserved to win… but today it was a real team effort” – Lewis Hamilton

Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel completed the podium in third.

Hamilton now leads the German driver by 50 points in the standings with five races remaining as both chase their fifth title.

Russian President Vladimir Putin attended Sochi’s fifth Russian Grand Prix, which is part of the Formula One World Championship.

The annual auto race is held on a street circuit known as the Sochi Autodrum that was built around Olympic Park in Sochi.

Russian driver Sergei Sirotkin was among the 20 qualifying racers in Sochi, but finished without scoring.

The 23-year-old Sirotkin made his debut for the Williams team in March at the 2018 Australian Grand Prix, where he was forced to drop out after just four laps due to problems with his brakes.

He has competed in 14 other Formula One races since then with his best result at the Italian Grand Prix on September 2 when he placed 12th out of 20 drivers.

Raikkonen to leave Ferrari

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Kimi Raikkonen will leave Scuderia Ferrari at the end of the season, the team has confirmed:

“As a World Champion for Scuderia Ferrari, he will always be part of the Team’s history and family. We thank Kimi for all of this and wish him and his family a prosperous future.”

Developing story

#MonzaGP Hamilton seals Italian job

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Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel were overwhelming favorites to win the Italian Grand Prix on Sunday. Raikkonen and Vettel were placed number one and two on the grid before lights out.

Hamilton took advantage of a spin from Vettel to move into second place.

Raikkonen pitted first, with Hamilton going eight laps longer. With fresher tyres, and the second Mercedes of Valtteri Bottas, who had yet to stop, backing Raikkonen up at the front, Hamilton closed onto the Ferrari’s gearbox. Bottas then pitted, giving Raikkonen clear air, but his tyres were in trouble.

Hamilton was patient enough to buy time with 8 laps to go before he made his move and overtook Raikkonen whose rear tyres were damaged. Lewis Hamilton now has extended the championship lead to 30 points.

Next GPs:

Singapore ??- 16/9

Russia ?? – 30/9

Japan ??- 7/10

USA ??- 21/10

Mexico ??- 28/10

Brazil ??- 11/11

Abu Dhabi – 25/11

Hamilton wins in Hungary

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Lewis Hamilton extended his lead in overall formula one standings following his Hungarian Grand Prix win on Sunday.

This is Hamilton’s sixth win in Hangarorin.

“It was a tough race for us, tough weekend, we came out with some good points” – Hamilton

LAP 70/70

1. Hamilton 1:37:16.427
2. Vettel +17.123
3. Raikkonen +20.101

#LIVE #GritSportsFormulaOne #HungarianGP

Hamilton retakes the lead on driver standings

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Lewis Hamilton retook the lead on the driver standings following his impressive victory at the German Grand Prix on Sunday.

Hamilton won the race from p14 on the grid at the start of the race while his rival Sebastian Vettel crashed out of the lead in lap 52/67.

Mercedes Benz finished one and two, something they’ve never achieved at Hockenheim.

German Grand Prix:

  1. Lewis Hamilton
  2. Valterri Bottas
  3. Kimi Raikkonen

Driver Standings:

  1. Lewis Hamilton – 188*
  2. Sebastian Vettel – 171
  3. Kimi Raikkonen – 131
  4. Valterri Bottas – 122
  5. Daniel Ricciardo – 106
  6. Max Verstappen – 105
  7. Nico Hulkenberg – 52
  8. Fernando Alonso – 40
  9. Kevin Magnussen – 39
  10. Sergio Perez – 30

Formula One: 2018 season preview – Bulali Dazana

By Bulali Dazana

The only certainties were the dates. The previews were mysterious and the leaks spunk from everywhere like those of a perforated bucket. This was the build-up to the 10 Formula 1 teams for the 2018 season revealing to the racing public what they had produced over the European winter.

As is characteristic of this sport, they came at us fast, bringing to an end what is the equivalent of the Western Cape drought for die-hard Formula 1 fans. There are few sports in the world that make last year’s equipment instantly archaic and irrelevant as soon as the chequered flag drops at the final event. The sense of a new dawn at the start of a F1 season is simply unmatched.

Every year in F1 brings about its own unique mystery. Some years the uncertainty is fundamental to racing as it was with major engine regulation changes in 2014 and the aero re-think of 2017, and some years it’s superficial and mainly in the minds of the frenzied fanatics.

This year it is largely superficial. The sport was acquired by Liberty Media in late 2016 and they have gradually been asserting themselves and their vision for the enterprise step by step. When F1 fans tune in en-masse to Free Practise 1 in Melbourne, the corner of their TV screens will contain an unfamiliar logo for the first time in more than 15 years. The now famed and familiar F1 logo was brought in by Mr Bernie Ecclestone in the early 2000’s to mark the “new millennium” (remember that?) and was symbolic of the globalisation of the sport beyond its European roots. The new logo comes in as Liberty Media marks its territory and a transition of the sport from a billionaire’s dictatorship to a corporate product, growing and adapting in the age of crypto-currencies and social media.
Social media and the overall rise in consciousness have had another effect on F1.

In 2018, the age old tradition of having young beautiful women in tight fitting clothing on the starting grid will be no more. My guess is that the “woke” generation started interrogating the ideology and the role of sexualising women in the sport. The rise in gender-vigilance must have raised questions such as: the stereotypical type of woman that was used for this purpose, why it was just women as opposed to a diversified gender and racial representation etc. Liberty Media decided to take the easy way out and can the whole thing rather than endure unnecessary criticism. The women will now be replaced by young aspirant racing drivers from lower formulae and carting. Great!
Now, on to some cars! This season will see the most dramatic safety intervention in F1 in recent history.

There was a time when drivers participated in the sport with the tacit acceptance that death was an inherent risk of racing, and when one got into a racing car they accepted a 20% chance that they may never get out. This seemed reasonable to the racing generation of the 1950’s. It cannot be lost on us that this was the generation that had lived through WWII and raced on airfields that would have been susceptible to bombing at any given moment just a few years prior. Their idea of the risk of death was fundamentally different to what ours is today. Subsequently, safety has become a priority in all forms of motorsport. The tragic 2014 passing of Murussia F1 driver Jules Bianchi, 20 years after the death of the legendary Ayrton Senna, has led to drastic measures with regard to driver cockpit protection.

After multiple considerations, the FIA has settled on the Halo and it has appeared on all the cars launched in 2018. It is hardly aesthetically pleasing, but until research is complete on more elegant solutions such as the aero-screen, the Halo is here to stay. Congratulations must go to Red Bull Racing for launching a car so beautiful that no even noticed the Halo! There’s no doubt after having followed testing that the Halo significantly obstructs driver identification which is traditionally clear from the helmet designs. There was a great suggestion by Fernando Alonso that the Halo be coloured in a design mimicking the helmet design of the driver. I hope he is taken up on this by as many teams as possible as it makes driver identification a lot easier for the fans.

While the Halo stirs some souls, the drivers market has been a lot less emotive. The big 3, Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull Racing have all retained their driver line ups from 2017. Further down the field, Williams and Toro Rosso bring in 3 rookies drivers between them. This may create the illusion that there’s not much to say about the driver market in 2018 but nothing could be further from the truth. The stability of drivers at the front of the grid could well be rocket significantly based on this year’s performances. Ferrari is in all likelihood parting ways with 2007 World Champion Kimi Raikkonen at the end of this year owing to the fact that the ice cold Finn more than likely comes to the end of his second F1 career. Add to this Mercedes’ reluctance to cement fellow Finn Valteri Bottas into the team by granting him only a 1 year contract extension in 2017 and potentially we have 2 seats available for the 2019 season at 2 front running teams. Daniel Ricciardo is the man that comes into focus. Ricciardo has shown time and time again that he has the metal for a world championship challenge. He announced himself in no uncertain terms as a top driver by casting a shadow over then reigning world champion Sebastian Vettel in 2014, and followed it up with some of the most spectacular late breaking overtakes we’ve seen in the last 3 years. While his record at RedBull has been respectable, the team has made strong indications that its future is structured around sensational youngster Max Verstappen. Perhaps Ricciardo will want to move on from the team that brought him through its young driver programme into F1, but where will he go?
A team of 2 ferociously competitive drivers is a complicated beast that only works well if the correct dynamic exits. The seats may open up at Mercedes and Ferrari, but both teams have well established alpha males at the helm. How much influence does Sebastian Vettel really have over who occupies the Ferrari car beside his? It would be delusional to believe he will welcome the man who took the shine off his amazing run of 4 world championships. Lewis Hamilton on the other hand is on record as stating that he fears no driver on the grid and would welcome any team mate at Mercedes. This must be taken in context. I have no doubt Hamilton enjoyed 2017 as undisputed Mercedes no.1 driver far more than he enjoyed the tight psychological intra-team battles with Nico Rosberg. If Red Bull does not produce a package capable of keeping up with Mercedes and Ferrari, you can bet the speculation around where Ricciardo will drive in 2019 will reach fever pitch this year.
The last 2 weeks have seen Formula 1 return to its familiar pre-season testing ground in Barcelona, Spain. With very little technical regulation change, the pecking order has remained rather steady with Ferrari putting down the outright fastest time over the 2 weeks. Extremely cold and snowy weather put a limit to running on certain days but teams were able to work around this with lap counts running routinely over the 100-lap mark on sunny days. Mclaren put in the second fastest lap after a highly disrupted testing schedule characterised by reliability issues, followed by Red Bull in third, with Mercedes not showing their hand on the new Pirelli hyper-soft compound. The main curiosity was focused on the two engine swapping outfits of Toro Rosso and Mclaren. After 3 very painful years, Mclaren decided to ditch the Honda power unit and along with it, works team status. In 2018, Mclaren will run a Renault power unit as a customer team. Mclaren shouldn’t expect to be back to their winning ways, but the team may be able to restore some pride and on a more practical level, some desperately needed sponsorship. Toro Rosso has inherited the Honda engine and the paddock would have been abuzz with chatter when they ran a virtually perfect testing programme, hitting the 100 lap per day mark often. The pace was not bad either but for Honda, the aim will be to finish races this year. There’s speculation on why Honda seems to be rebirthed with suggestions that Torro Rosso has been far more accommodating to the Japanese culture than the famously rigid Mclaren. If we’re being frank, the team will serve the role of a testing platform this year for their big sister team, Red Bull Racing. Red Bull and Renault have had a frosty relationship in the hybrid era, culminating in Red Bull running a Tag Heuer branded Renault power unit from 2017. Should Honda come alive with Torro Rosso this year, we can expect to see Red Bull-Honda in a works relationship in the not too distant future.
Williams was slowest in testing and the memories of this team as a force in F1 seem to be fading more and more each year. The hopes that former Mercedes technical director Paddy Lowe would bring the team forward are yet to manifest. Sauber was second from the back, running arguably the best looking Alfa-Romeo livery, and a 2018 Ferrari power unit. For the last few years, Sauber have run year old Ferrari power but the relationship between the team and Ferrari has developed into a junior team/senior team one and they will now run 2018 Ferrari power with essentially 2 junior Ferrari drivers. Force India, which was supposed to undergo a name change over the winter, was third from the back. This team has achieved amazing results in context of their budget over the last 2 years, sealing 4th in the Constructor Championship in 2016 and 2017. Haas and the Renault works team filled the midfield in 4th and 5th positions as was to be expected. Haas would have left testing happy with the result, while Renault works team would be coming under some pressure from the French manufacture providing their backing.
The complex hybrid power units will be nearing their final stages of developmental evolution in 2018. The seasonal component allocation has come down every year since 2014 and this year the teams will have to make do with just 3 of each component for the 21 race season. Grade 3 mathematics will show that this requires a team to run a car for 7 races without a component failure in order to complete the season without an engine penalty. The idea is to cut the cost of racing by forcing competitors to develop more reliable components, rather than the traditional “change everything after every race” approach. Towards the end of 2017, we had a rather farcical situation where teams ran out of components and were running sub optimal power unit performance in races. This is not at all in the spirit of this competition and if reliability has not improved over the winter, we could see this happen even earlier in the season than it did last year, a real tragedy should it materialise.
Predictions? A wise man once told me that prediction is a fool’s game. What I will say though, is that the Tifosi will be desperate to see the scarlet red Ferrari taking a few more chequered flags than it did last year. Ferrari has not won a drivers title in over a decade. This cannot sit well with the most celebrated outfit and in many ways a cornerstone of the sport. For those looking for omens, the last time Ferrari won the drivers’ championship, we had a French Grand Prix on the calendar. This event returns in 2018, although at a different circuit. What is sure is that Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton have no intention to let up on the waning domination they have enjoyed since 2014. Testing is indication of what’s to come, but ultimately, Sunday 25th March is when the lights will go out Down Under.
It will be a race not to miss.

WHAT TO LOOK FORWARD TO THIS WEEKEND

With the return of the English Premier League, La Liga and the South African Premier Soccer League, weekends will never be the same again, well for at least another nine months.

This weekend is jam packed with quality sports, theres the MTN 8 semi-finals, Premier League, Spar Proteas Netball,  Formula 1 and the Rugby Championship.

Starting with the MTN 8:

Saturday – Supersport United vs Maritzburg United at Lucas Moripe Stadium: 20:15pm

Sunday – Cape Town City vs Bidvest Wits at Cape Town Stadium : 15:30pm

Premier League: 

Log leaders Manchester United host the Fox’s at Old Trafford  on Saturday.

Manchester United vs Leicester City – 18:30pm

Sunday – Liverpool take on Arsenal at Anfield – 17:00pm

La Liga:

Sunday – Real Madrid vs Valencia 22:15pm

Rugby Championship:

Saturday – New Zealand vs Australia – 09:35am

Saturday – Argentina vs South Africa – 21:40pm

Netball: 

Saturday – Spar Proteas vs New Zealand – 06:45am

Formula One:

The F1 is back, fresh from the summer break, it returns to one of its most iconic venues, The Spa-Francorchamps Circuit. Rated as one of the best circuits in Formula 1, those involved are really looking forward to the occasion.

Sunday – Build Up starts at 12:30pm

Cricket:

Friday – England play the Wnidies in the Second Test at Headingley Cricket Ground – 11:00 until 20:00pm

Boxing: 

The much anticipated Boxing Match takes place on Sunday morning, build up starts at 01:00am

Floyd MONEY Mayweather vs Conor McGregor

 

Note: All times are CAT