Fernando Alonso set the fastest time of the Formula 1 practice on Friday afternoon but in the Ferrari and McLaren pits there was few knees knocking or lips trembling.
Brazilian GP - Friday Photos
Brazilian GP - Friday Press Conference
Brazilian GP - Friday Team Quotes
Brazilian GP - Practice 2 Results
Ingo Hoffman is not a name that will create many waves with modern Formula 1 fans, but back in the late 1970s the Sao Paulo driver was Brazil's big new hope for the future. In 1976 he was named as the second driver for the Fittipaldi F1 team, alongside Emerson Fittipaldi.
There may be a recession going on but some things do not lose their value. At least that is what seems to be the message from an auction in London which resulted in a 1997 McLaren F1 road car being sold for a record $4.1m, twice the estimate for the car.
Felipe Massa gave the Brazilian locals something to chatter about on Friday morning in Interlagos as he set the fastest time of the first session for the final Grand Prix of the season.
Brazilian GP - Practice 1 Results
The last few days have produced little in the way of interest in Formula 1 circles, with the title contenders having little to say prior to the World Championship showdown in Brazil.
Brazilian GP - Thursday Press Conference
The threat by Ferrari to pull out of Formula 1 if the FIA President Max Mosley goes on with his plans to introduce standard engines is not unexpected. This, of course, provides the media with a good story for the next 24 hours, but what does it really mean?
Ferrari says that it is not going to be involved in Formula 1 with standardised engines. This is reiterating what several other manufacturers have said (either on or off the record).
Formula 1 boss Bernie Ecclestone says that he believes that the World Championship should not be settled on points, but rather on medals with race winners being given a gold medal, and the two runners up getting silver and bronze.
Lewis Hamilton and Felipe Massa go to Brazil this weekend to settle the World Championship with Hamilton needing to finish only fifth in order to win the title. Hamilton could therefore settle for a solid third place behind the Ferraris and there would be little that could be done about it.
Rumours suggest that Flavio Briatore's plan to put in an administrator at Renault F1 will result in the position being taken by his longtime sidekick Bruno Michel.
Montreal's mayor met with Bernie Ecclestone this week in London to try to find a solution to the problem of the Canadian Grand Prix. Although the Canadians say that the problems are not financial, there seems to be little other possible explanation not only for kicking the race out of the World Championship, but also for being able to do it.
The Formula 1 driver line-up for 2009 has been sneaking up on the sport for a while now with not much left available these days. Ferrari, McLaren, Williams, BMW Sauber, Force India and Red Bull Racing have all declared their intentions with the only movement being Sebastian Vettel's departure from Scuderia Toro Rosso to replace the retiring David Coulthard at Red Bull.
The Formula One Teams' Assocation (FOTA) has been very keen to keep itself out of the newspapers in recent weeks, despite the best efforts of the FIA to make the rule changes into a public debate.
Lewis Hamilton drove an absolutely perfect race in Shanghai, never looking in the least bit threatened and duly came home to win a brilliant victory. The two Ferraris struggled in his wake and in the end had to play out a public charade to allow Felipe Massa to pass Kimi Raikkonen in order to limit the damage. The McLaren victory means that Hamilton has to finish fifth or better in Brazil to win his first World Championship.
Gulf Air has agreed a new five-year deal to sponsor the Bahrain Grand Prix. Presumably the announcement was made in Shanghai in order to draw attention to the non-stop flights between Bahrain and Shanghai which were inaugurated in the summer.
Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone was giving a delegation from South Korea a tour around the Shanghai International Circuit last weekend. The Koreans are in the process of building a major motorsport facility near Mokpo, on the Muan Peninsular in the south-western corner of the country.
The news from Holland that the Dutch government is to buy shares in ING to help the company in the current financial crisis have raised questions about whether or not the bank will be continuing its involvement in F1 in the long term.
Alex Hitzinger, who has been at Red Bull Technologies in recent months, is rumoured to be on his way to join the FIA where he will be employed to work in technical policing of some sort or other.
The driver market has settled down in recent weeks, largely because it is not the most important thing on the minds of the F1 team bosses, who are trying to handle the political negotiations going on, and the economic turmoil in the financial markets.
The Formula One Teams' Association (FOTA) is sending Ferrari's Luca di Montezemolo and Toyota's John Howett, to Geneva to meet with FIA President Max Mosley to discuss ways to make F1 more cost-effective.
Chinese GP - Race Notes
Chinese GP - Sunday Photos
Chinese GP - Sunday Press Conference
Chinese GP - Sunday Team Quotes
Chinese GP - Race Incidents
Chinese GP - Race Results
Lewis Hamilton took a dominant pole position in Shanghai with a lap that was three-tenths of a second faster than the best lap Kimi Raikkonen could muster. Hamilton seemed cool, calm, collected and confident.
Nick Heidfeld has been bumped back to ninth on the grid after the FIA Stewards intervened once again and and ruled that the German had got in the way of David Coulthard's Red Bull late in the Q1 session.
Chinese GP - Saturday Photos
Chinese GP - Saturday Press Conference
Chinese GP - Saturday Team Quotes
Chinese GP - Qualifying Results
One of the great pioneers of women in motorsport, Pat Moss, has died at the age of 74. The sister of F1 star Stirling Moss, and the wife of rally star Erik Carlsson, was a successful rally driver in her own right.
Dieter Stappert has died at the age of 66. The former head of BMW Motorsport was a great fan of motorsport and did much to build up the sport in the course of his life. Born in Villach in Austria in 1942, Stappert's interest in the sport was fired by the exploits of Jochen Rindt.
Nick Heidfeld set the fastest time of the morning session in Shanghai on Saturday morning beating Lewis Hamilton by a small margin. Nick's BMW Sauber team-mate Robert Kubica was third fastest with Hamilton's team-mate Heikki Kovalainen fourth.
Chinese GP - Practice 3 Results
Lewis Hamilton led the way in Friday's second practice in Shanghai, while the two Renaults continued their improbable path to glory with Fernando Alonso second and Nelson Piquet third. Toyota was next up with Jarno Trulli ahead of Mark Webber's Red Bull, Felipe Massa's Ferrari, the Toro Rosso of Sebastien Bourdais and Kimi Raikkonen's Ferrari.
Chinese GP - Friday Photos
The FIA announcement today that there will be a tender for standard engines was designed to make a big splash. It was also timed to appear at the same time as team bosses Gerhard Berger and Vijay Mallya were facing the F1 media.
Chinese GP - Friday Team Quotes
Chinese GP - Friday Press Conference
Force India F1 team owner Vijay Mallya says that he intends to keep the same drivers he has for next year.
The FIA has announced that it will soon open the tender process for a single engine and transmission supplier for Formula 1. No doubt this will cause a storm of reaction in Formula 1 circles, with the teams pointing out that the engine is a fundamental element in F1 and that standardisation will undermine the ethos on which the sport was built - and could drive away the car manufacturers.
Chinese GP - Practice 2 Results
Lewis Hamilton set the pace in the first practice session for the Chinese Grand Prix in Shanghai with a time that was four-tenths of a second faster than his World Championship challenger Felipe Massa
Chinese GP - Practice 1 Results
The Speedcar Series has announced the appointment of Claudio Berro as Operations Directo. Berro brings with him invaluable experience having served as Sporting Director of Peugeot-Italy, Team Manager and Press Officer of Ferrari F1 and then General Manager of Maserati and Fiat-Abarth respectively.
Chinese GP - Thursday Press Conference
The Formula 1 team principals met yesterday in Shanghai to discuss sporting rules which would help to cut costs in F1. The principal decision appears to have been to further reduce testing so that teams do just 20,000km next year. It seems that, after the winter testing programmes, the teams have now agreed to run only one car at every test.
The board of directors of the French motor sport federation have announced in Paris that they are not going to hold a French Grand Prix in 2009 because of economic problems.
The FIA's latest proposals for cost-cutting, which were leaked to The Times today, are in part serious and in part a negotiating position from which the federation will back down after talks with the teams. Such is the way that business is done in F1.
There are reports in Italy that Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro will offer the winner of the Italian Formula 3 championship a test with the F1 team. This is believed to part of the deal that has been organised for engines to be supplied to the series by Fiat Powertrain Technologies
The turbulent financial markets are causing problems for the supercar companies such as Ferrari. According to reports in Australia, dealers are finding an increasing number of young executives trying to sell their cars as they have less ready cash than previously to make the necessary payments.
Williams sponsor RBS is to be taken over by the British Government, in an effort to recapitalise the Scottish bank. The news means that RBS chairman Sir Fred Goodwin has resigned.
Fernando Alonso ran away with the Japanese Grand Prix. It was not a fluke like in Singapore. It helped that the two World Championship contenders seemed a little overwrought and made mistakes which resulted in penalties. But, for all of that, Fernando Alonso was still able to charge to an impressive victory.
Japanese GP - Race Notes
Japanese GP - Sunday Photos
Japanese GP - Sunday Press Conference
Japanese GP - Sunday Team Quotes
The FIA Stewards issued a weird ruling at the end of the Japanese Grand Prix, penalising Sebastien Bourdais 25secs for a collision with Felipe Massa. The additional time meant that Bourdais loses his sixth place, falling to 10th behind Sebastian Vettel, Felipe Massa, Mark Webber and Nick Heidfeld.
Japanese GP - Race Incidents
Japanese GP - Race Results
Newly-released documents in Britain have revealed that British Prime Minister Tony Blair did intervene in the British government's tobacco policies, just hours after a meeting with Bernie Ecclestone back in 1997.
Lewis Hamilton took pole position for the Japanese Grand Prix, ending all the fantasies that had gone on in the earlier practice sessions.
Japanese GP - Saturday Photos
Japanese GP - Saturday Press Conference
Japanese GP - Saturday Team Quotes
The word in the paddock in Fuji is that Jean Todt will leave Ferrari at the end of the month and it is expected that he will take a new role at the FIA at the next General Assembly in November.
Japanese GP - Qualifying Results
Robert Kubica set the pace for BMW Sauber in the Saturday morning session for the Japanese Grand Prix, but the times were not deeply significant with Timo Glock's Toyota second fastest, Nelson Piquet's Renault third quickest, Nick Heidfeld's BMW Sauber fourth and Kazuki Nakajima's Williams-Toyota fifth.
Japanese GP - Practice 3 Results
Friday is traditionally a day when teams can make themselves look good if they choose to do so, and thus it was no great surprise to see Timo Glock go fastest in his Toyota, at the Toyota-owned Fuji Speedway in Toyota-mad Japan.
Japanese GP - Friday Photos
Japanese GP - Friday Press Conference
Japanese GP - Friday Team Quotes
Japanese GP - Practice 2 Results
The pages of Le Monde in Paris are rarely filled with Formula 1 stories, but an interview yesterday with banker Emilio Botin of Spain's Santander served to confirm rumours that have been kicking around in F1 circles for some weeks. "On the F1 scene," the article said, "his business sponsors the Spanish driver Fernando Alonso and, soon, the red cars of Scuderia Ferrari."
Lewis Hamilton led the way in the first practice session in Japan beating World Championship rival Felipe Massa by a tenth of a second.
Japanese GP - Practice 1 Results
The word on the street in Fuji suggests that there might be a change of engine supplier next year for the Force India team. Vijay Mallya's operation has been using Ferrari engines for the last two seasons, but the team has never been competitive.
Japanese GP - Thursday Press Conference
Formula 1 will support the FIA's Make Cars Green campaign by running on special green-grooved tyres at the Japanese Grand Prix.
Canada is in shock today following the news that the Formula 1 race in Montreal in 2009 has been cancelled and its slot on the calendar taken by Turkey.
The FIA World Motor Sport Council has ruled that the top 3 finishers in the new FIA Formula Two Championship will qualify for an FIA Superlicence in 2010. the current rules allow for the granting of an F1 licence to the top 3 in GP2 or in GP2 Asia, the top 3 in Formula Nippon in Japan, the top three in the Indy Racing League or as a Formula 3 Euroseries champion, or the F3 champion of Britain, Italy, Japan or Spain, or the Renault World Series champion.
The FIA World Motor Sport Council has unanimously agreed to give Max Mosley full authority to negotiate with the Formula One Teams Association (FOTA) with regard to the introduction of radical measures to achieve a substantial reduction of costs in the World Championship from 2010.
Alan Donnelly is FIA President Max Mosley's representative in many respects these days. In recent years he has attended all the Grands Prix doing the necessary for Mosley and this year he has added the additional role of being advisor to the FIA Stewards.
Nazir Hoosein, a longtime ally of Max Mosley at the FIA, has been fighting for his survival in the corridors of power in recent months over the question of the sporting power in India.
Marco Piccinini, the FIA Deputy President for Sport, has confirmed that he is to leave his position, one year before the end of his term, officially this is "in order to focus on his other professional commitments" but it is clear that he has been doing this for years.
The Canadian Grand Prix has been dropped from the F1 calendar in 2009 and Turkey has moved from its August date to replace the event on June 7. This means that there will be no race in North America in 2009. It will also create a month-long break in the summer.
Renault F1 boss Flavio Briatore was in Paris last week to discuss not only F1 budgets but also a new structure for the Renault team. Briatore admitted before the trip that things are going to change and that he will be taking a role which will be less hands-on (not that hands-on was his speciality) and that there will be 'a director' responsible for the day-to-day running of the team.
Helio Castroneves pleaded not guilty to federal charges that he used offshore companies to evade US taxes. The Brazilian appeared in court in handcuffs with his legs chained. He was released on bail of $10m.
The BMW Sauber F1 team has announced that it is to retain its current driver line-up in 2009. This is not a surprise as the team had taken up the options on both men. Christian Klien will also be retained as test driver.
FIA President Max Mosley has decided to continue his campaign to increase privacy laws by taking his spanking case to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg. He wants newspapers across Europe to have to tell the subject of a story about any revelations before they are published.
More details are emerging of the plans to revamp Donington Park for the British Grand Prix in 2010. Donington Ventures Leisure Ltd has submitted plans for the first phase of the re-development of Donington Park. North West Leicestershire District Council has accepted the plans as being valid and they will now move on to the approval process, which the circuit hopes will be completed by early next year.
US motor sport will have a major presence in Monaco this December with leading figures from across the nation's racing industry set to participate in this year's Motor Sport Business Forum.
The AT&T Williams team has confirmed that is sticking with the same driver line-up in 2009.
Adrian Campos had a fairly mediocre Formula 1 career back in the 1980s with Minardi but he intends to return one day to Grand Prix racing with his own Formula 1 team. The team started 10 years ago to take part in a new Spanish championship called Open Fortuna By Nissan (the predecessor of the modern Renault World Series).