Motorsports: Race Recap: Belgian Grand Prix is new skirmishes, same war [spoilers]

Filed under: Motorsports, Europe, Infiniti, Mercedes-Benz, Ferrari, McLaren

It’s been four weeks since we last saw a Formula One race, when Lewis Hamilton improbably put his Mercedes-AMG Petronas in P1 in Hungary. Even more improbably, he held onto the first spot at the finish of the race, ahead of Kimi Räikkönen in the Lotus and Sebastian Vettel in the Infiniti Red Bull.

Resuming the season at Belgium’s Spa-Francorchamps circuit this weekend, Hamilton picked up his recent – and just as improbable – pole-setting form by putting the Mercedes in P1 for the fourth time in a row. The effort came during a qualifying session visited by intermittent rains and dry spells, his 54th trip to the front of the pack, tying Niki Lauda.

But neither the fireworks and surprises, the mid-field full of backmarkers, nor the tire strategies and timing choices changed the mission for the drivers in with a chance at the title: finish in front of Vettel.

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Race Recap: Belgian Grand Prix is new skirmishes, same war [spoilers] originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 26 Aug 2013 13:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Report: Ecclestone says 2014 Grand Prix of America is dead

Filed under: Motorsports

FILE - In this Monday, June 11, 2012 file photograph, the race car belonging to defending Formula One champion Sebastian Vettel is on display with the Manhattan skyline in the background during a news conference in Weehawken, N.J. Vettel drove a 3.2-mile course to demonstrate the planned route for the 2013 Grand Prix of America race in the F1 series. On Friday, Oct. 19, 2012, it was announced that Formula One's inaugural Grand Prix of America slated to be run in New Jersey has been postponed until 2014. Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone says

The United States of America will not be getting a second Formula One race next year. The troubled Grand Prix of America, which was slated to run on a street circuit on the shores of the Hudson river and in the shadow of the New York City skyline has been shelved, following the failure of the race’s organizers to come up with the requisite $100 million in funds demanded by F1’s tempestuous maestro, Bernie Ecclestone. The problematic Grand Prix was already pushed back once, from the 2013 season to 2014, and Ecclestone has also torn up at least one contract.

At the helm of the US race is Leo Hindrey, a multi-billionaire and a managing partner at InterMedia Partners, and Chris Pook, an ally of Ecclestone’s and the former boss of the CART. The two placed Swiss financier and bank UBS in charge of putting together the $100 million. While UBS has only been on the case since June, according to the CNN report, that’s apparently long enough for Ecclestone, who told the news channel, “It’s not on the cards for next year. They haven’t got any money.”

Ecclestone followed up, saying the GPoA “is like Donington all over again,” referring to the race at the UK’s Donington Park. The UK track was meant to take the British Grand Prix from Silverstone in 2010, but was dropped before a single race could be ran, due to its failure to come up with the $210-million race fee. Despite the lack of funds, the organizers of US race remain confident that they’ll still be on the finalized calendar to be released by the FIA at the end of the year.

Ecclestone’s decision regarding this second US race is a telling one, though, as CNN points out. Running a race with the NYC skyline has been a dream of the F1 boss for year, and while that dream may be in tatters, there’s still a spot on the F1 calendar that will need to be filled. It’s unclear what will happen if the US race organizers can come up with the money before the end of the year. Click over to CNN for the detailed rundown of the Grand Prix of American and its rocky history.

Ecclestone says 2014 Grand Prix of America is dead originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 23 Aug 2013 15:33:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Report: Indian Grand Prix in jeopardy?

Filed under: Motorsports, Government/Legal, India

2011 Indian Grand Prix first corner

BBC Sport is reporting that Bernie Ecclestone, Formula One boss and indicted briber, has said the Indian Grand Prix will “probably not” happen in 2014. The race, which takes place at the purpose-built Buddh International Circuit, is in danger due to a combination of reasons, including Ecclestone’s desire to move India from its current slot in October to the beginning of the season, in March or April.

According to the BBC, this is to accommodate a schedule envisioned by Ecclestone that adds races in Austria, New Jersey and Russia, in addition to the current 19-race calendar. Why the shuffle, though? The teams aren’t too excited about a longer season, and Ecclestone is hoping that by moving India to the start of the season, with China, Malaysia and the season opener in Australia, he can knock out four of the seven Asia-Pacific-region races in one fell swoop.

This poses a problem for India, though, as it’d be forced to run a race in October of 2014 and then do the whole thing over again in six or seven months. According to the head of India’s motorsports federation, Vicky Chandhok, that doesn’t give the country enough recovery time, with Chandhok going so far as to say the early season date “would be impossible for us in terms of finances and resources.”

There’s also a dustup over India’s import tax, that could hamper this year’s race. The Indian government is attempting to tax teams on their Indian earnings rather than on their profits, which would result in teams having to paying considerably more in taxes.

2013 marks only the third F1 race at the Buddh Circuit. But if Bernie doesn’t get his way, and the tax issues aren’t sorted, the track could go the way of Turkey’s Istanbul Park, another circuit built solely to attract F1, that lasted a mere six seasons before being dropped from the calendar.

Indian Grand Prix in jeopardy? originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 29 Jul 2013 17:59:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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2011 Monaco Grand Prix is as tight as it gets [spoilers]

Filed under: Motorsports, Europe

2011 Monaco Grand Prix

2011 Monaco Grand Prix – Click above for high-res image gallery

The funny thing about speed is that it’s relative, at least in a cognitive sense. Sure, you can measure the pace at which a moving object travels over ground, water, air, or even space. But place a Formula One race car on a wide-open track-say, Turkey’s Istanbul Park, for example-and it doesn’t look or feel like it’s going nearly as fast as the same car does along the tight, winding streets of Monte Carlo. That’s what makes the Monaco Grand Prix so exciting. This year’s especially, packed as it was with nail-biting action. Follow the jump to read how it went down.

Gallery: 2011 Monaco Grand Prix

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2011 Monaco Grand Prix is as tight as it gets [spoilers] originally appeared on Autoblog on Sun, 29 May 2011 13:15:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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2011 Spanish Grand Prix goes down as a game of leap frog [spoilers]

Filed under: Motorsports, Europe

2011 Spanish Grand Prix

2011 Spanish Grand Prix – Click above for high-res image gallery

Ferrari. McLaren. Renault. Williams. The past few decades of Formula One racing have seen each of these teams at the top of their game, claiming championships and dispatching the others along the way. But after watching Brawn GP – having started out as the humble BAR-Honda team and emerging as Mercedes’ own factory squad – claim the titles just a couple of years ago, are the years of domination behind us? Or was Brawn’s victory merely a hiccup before things return to “normal”? Will Red Bull’s championship prove another exception, or will the Anglo-Austrian team emerge as the new force to be reckoned with?

It may take another year or two to watch the pattern unfold, but after winning both titles last year, Sebastian Vettel and Red Bull have come back strong in 2011. The team has converted pole position to the checkered flag at every race but one so far this season. Would this weekend’s Spanish Grand Prix further gird Vettel and Red Bull in the defense of their titles, or would a new challenger draw blood around the corners and down the straights of Barcelona? Continue reading for a recap of today’s action.

Continue reading 2011 Spanish Grand Prix goes down as a game of leap frog [spoilers]

2011 Spanish Grand Prix goes down as a game of leap frog [spoilers] originally appeared on Autoblog on Sun, 22 May 2011 12:29:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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2011 Turkish Grand Prix was just the pits [spoilers]

Filed under: Motorsports, Middle East

2011 Turkish Grand Prix

2011 Turkish Grand Prix – Click above for high-res image gallery

Few could have seen it coming: The team that was started by a multiple world champion, then taken over by a British automaker only to be bought out by a beverage company would win the world championship. And win it in spectacular style, too. But surely it was a fluke when Red Bull rose to the top of the heap last season. A fluke like when Brawn GP seized the championship the year before. A fluke the likes of which we hadn’t seen – amid decades of Ferrari, McLaren, Williams and Benetton/Renault alternating for the trophy – since Matra and Tyrrell scored the titles in ’69 and ’71 respectively – at the hands of the same Jackie Stewart who, in 1997, started the team now known as Red Bull. That kind of fluke, right? They couldn’t possibly keep it up…could they?

Well, if Red Bull was to fall off the podium this season like Brawn did after its title and acquisition by Mercedes-Benz, we certainly wouldn’t know it from the first three rounds so far. Defending world champion Sebastian Vettel took pole position at all three opening rounds, turning them into two wins upset only by fellow champion Lewis Hamilton taking the top step in Shanghai. Would Vettel and Red Bull take their place at the top again this weekend in Istanbul? Would Hamilton be poised to upset his Germanic rivals once again? Or would it be someone else’s chance this time? Follow the jump to read on and find out.

Continue reading 2011 Turkish Grand Prix was just the pits [spoilers]

2011 Turkish Grand Prix was just the pits [spoilers] originally appeared on Autoblog on Sun, 08 May 2011 13:31:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Buddh International Circuit gears up for inaugural Indian Grand Prix

Filed under: Motorsports, India

Buddh International Circuit
A few years ago, India wasn’t a place one would naturally associate with Formula 1 racing. Now, however, the country has its own F1 team (Force India), a couple of F1 drivers (Narain Karthikeyan and Karun Chandhok) and will soon host its first grand prix.

The race is scheduled to take place on October 30, 2011, on the new Hermann Tilke-designed Buddh International Circuit. named for the region in which it resides. The circuit was designed to be one of the fastest on the calendar, with lap times for a contemporary F1 car set to come in around 1 minute, 20 seconds, with projected speeds topping 320 km/h (just under 200 mph). With 5.14 kilometers (3.19 miles) of track and sixteen turns, the facility is being constructed as part of a $400 million project that the FIA is expected to sign off on this July.

[Source: JPSI Sports]

Buddh International Circuit gears up for inaugural Indian Grand Prix originally appeared on Autoblog on Sat, 30 Apr 2011 14:04:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Report: Formula One’s Turkish Grand Prix is on the outs

Filed under: Motorsports, Earnings/Financials

Bernie Ecclestone mobbed by cameras

Formula One and Turkey are apparently on the splits, as Turkish newspaper Haberturk claims that the Turkish Grand Prix won’t take place in 2012. Istanbul chamber of commerce chief Murat Yalcintas reportedly told the publication “It looks like the Formula One race won’t be held in Istanbul next year.” The reported reason for the decision was that Formula One chief Bernie Ecclestone (above) raised the race fee from $13 million to $26 million; a price Istanbul doesn’t appear eager to meet.

The paper claims that the reason for the decision has less to do with the rising cost of F1 and more to do with the fact that Ecclestone is interested in a 2012 race in Moscow. F1 has made no formal announcements regarding a foray into Moscow or the future of the Turkey race.

[Source: Bloomberg | Image: Clive Mason/Getty]

Report: Formula One’s Turkish Grand Prix is on the outs originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 22 Apr 2011 16:29:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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2011 Chinese Grand Prix packs the action into Shanghai [spoilers]

Filed under: Motorsports, China

2011 Chinese Grand Prix

2011 Chinese Grand Prix – Click above for high-res image gallery

After a solid month’s worth of previews, the Shanghai Motor Show will finally open its doors this week. And when it does, it will feature an unprecedented number of world debuts. But as central as the Chinese port city has become to the international auto show circuit, the expo wasn’t the only event of worldwide interest occurring there this week.

Shanghai also played host this weekend to the Chinese Grand Prix, the third race in this year’s Formula One World Championship. And with rivalries so closely contested, it was still anyone’s guess as to how it would unfold. Follow the jump for the full play-by-play.

Gallery: 2011 Chinese Grand Prix

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2011 Chinese Grand Prix packs the action into Shanghai [spoilers] originally appeared on Autoblog on Sun, 17 Apr 2011 08:25:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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2011 Malaysian Grand Prix points the way forward [Spoilers w/poll] Updated*

Filed under: Motorsports

2011 Malaysian Grand Prix

2011 Malaysian Grand Prix – Click above for high-res image gallery

Variety, they say, is the spice of life. So what does that mean in motor racing? Well, sometimes it’s the epic battles between the established front-runners that provides the most gripping race action. And this year’s Malaysian Grand certainly had plenty of that. But it’s the variety – those wild cards from which you never know what to expect – that throw us all for a loop.

Heading into the second round in the 2011 Formula One World Championship, defending champion Sebastian Vettel had already staked his claim for Red Bull and the lead in the standings, with McLaren close behind and the remade Lotus Renault GP following surprisingly in third. Would the same players dominate the field once again, or would new challengers mix it up so early in the season? Follow the jump to read on.

Gallery: 2011 Malaysian Grand Prix

[Images: Clive Mason, Paul Gilham, Mark Thompson/Getty | Mark Baker, Raymond Ho, Vincent Thian, Aaron Favila, Eugene Hoshiko/AP]

Continue reading 2011 Malaysian Grand Prix points the way forward [Spoilers w/poll] Updated*

2011 Malaysian Grand Prix points the way forward [Spoilers w/poll] Updated* originally appeared on Autoblog on Sun, 10 Apr 2011 09:02:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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