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Another great finish to the 12 hours of Bathurst!

:shocked:

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I have to agree, this year's 12 hrs of Bathurst was quite exciting from start to end. First win by Nissan since 1992.

http://www.bathurst12hour.com.au/news-nissan-wins-12-hour-thriller

I don't know about anyone else, but Bathurst is by far one of the best tracks in the world. So much technical driving from start to finish, with multiple elevation changes to high and low speed corners. Absolutely beautiful. Plus it's a blast to drive on Forza 5.

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That's a lot of widgets and winglets. I hope it's not an 'all or nothing' kit, leaving it up to the teams to figure out which of those pieces they need at each track.

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I'm probably in the minority but I like it, although I'm curious to see what Honda has up their sleeve. Meanwhile, Ferrari release some renderings on what the future may hold for them...

http://www.racer.com/f1/item/113512-ferrari-reveals-f1-future-concept#!Ferrari_concept_F1

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Ferrari has released images of a striking-looking Formula 1 concept car that it hopes fuels the debate about the dramatic changes the sport should be considering.

Ahead of a meeting of the F1 commission in Geneva on Tuesday over future rules, Ferrari has hinted at the scope of car design overhaul it believes is required. Rather than pushing for any set direction of rules – such as car width, tyre size or engine capacity – the idea of the Ferrari concept car is purely to show how simple it would be to make sweeping car changes

Ferrari's publication of its concept car comes two weeks after McLaren and Red Bull showed rival teams in a strategy group meeting concepts that they would like to see. Both teams have declined to release those images, although it is understood they are not as radical as the Ferrari car.

F1 teams are continuing discussions about a rules revolution aimed at making cars faster, harder to drive and much better looking.

Someone needs to find McLaren & Red Bull's concept...

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*Gazes at the Chevy aerokit in shock and admiration*

I'll describe the aerokit in 2 words: :censored:ing insane! I'm with rvrdgsfn on this one, would like to see what Honda comes up with.

And the Ferrari does looks to "concepty" to me to actually work on track, but I also like it as a concept.

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Starting in 2015, F1 drivers will be banned from changing helmet designs in-season under new rules set to be introduced. As part of a push to improve the promotional appeal of the sport, F1 chiefs have grown concerned that fans are turned off by drivers constantly changing their helmet colours.

http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/117721

This doesn't surprise me one bit that Uncle Bernie is trying to catch the promotional aspect of the sport, where fans can recognize the driver from the helmet design like the days of Senna, Prost, J. Villeneuve, and Hill. But banning helmet changes ain't gonna do crap for marketing and making the sport better. But I couldn't believe that Vettel has had over 60 helmet designs he has used in his entire career. Wow, can you say overdone :P

As part of the F1 revamp (that caused Ferraro to release concept photos of a car in the future), plans for a rules revolution have been delayed until at least 2017 after teams voted against a swift introduction for next year. A meeting of the F1 commission in Geneva on Tuesday did not back plans for a rapid overhaul of car regulations that would have resulted in wider cars, bigger tyres and bodywork revisions for 2016. While some outfits wanted the new rules in place for next year, others preferred that F1 wait until 2017 - when the changes could come on tap at the same time as a potential power hike to 1000bhp and all-new tyre tender contract. According to sources, it was agreed that it would be better to spend more time working through fully concrete proposals for 2017 that would definitely make an improvement rather than rush things. Under new F1 regulations introduced this year, after March 1 any alterations to next year's regulations requires unanimous support from the teams - something that is highly unlikely to be found.

http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/117714

So now we have to wait at least another two years until there could be another revamping of the F1 car. But I think it would be good to bring out the new car concepts when they complete the potential power hike. It would make sense. Now for sure we will not see any of the McLaren or Red Bull Racing concepts. :(

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^^^ I can understand that. I have always thought when NASCAR owners went greedy and started having multiple primary sponsors, driver and car recognition became harder. I don't think in his last few years at Roush, Matt Kenseth ran the same car color twice.

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^^^ I can understand that. I have always thought when NASCAR owners went greedy and started having multiple primary sponsors, driver and car recognition became harder. I don't think in his last few years at Roush, Matt Kenseth ran the same car color twice.

I don't think its so much that the owners got greedy as it was less and less companies were willing to sponsor an entire season. So the next step was to use multiple companies to pony up the primary money to get the financing for a season.

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Penske requested Miller Lite give up 6 or 8 races because they had other companies that were interested in being on the #2 car. I guess its a good problem to have, but it cheapens the "brand" (#2 car brand, not so much the sponsor.) in my opinion.

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Day One of the second pre-season test from Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona concluded today and I am a little shocked to see who was the top of the timesheets today. Maldonado had an eventful outing at the Circuit de Catalunya, the Lotus driver twice bringing out the red flags in the morning. He ran more consistently in the afternoon, however, and when he bolted on a set of soft tyres with an hour left in the session he shot to the top of the timesheet where he would remain.

Raikkonen’s time of 1:25.167, set on softs, confirmed that the pace Ferrari showed at the opening test in Jerez has translated to the more representative Barcelona circuit and while Ferrari conducted few long runs in Jerez, Raikkonen today worked through some medium length double-digit runs to show that Ferrari have indeed taken a step forward over the winter.

Over at champions Mercedes, Lewis Hamilton began the day brightly but after an hour and a half of running the team reported that would not be driving for the rest of the day, as he “felt unwell”. With Nico Rosberg present but under advice of doctors not to drive due an inflamed nerve in his neck, Mercedes were forced to recall reserve driver Pascal Wehrlein from Force India, where the DTM racer was driving the Silverstone outfit’s 2014 car. Wehrlein completed 32 laps for Force India before slotting into Mercedes’ WO5 for a first outing shortly before the lunch break. He would eventually set the day’s eighth and ninth fastest time for Force India and Mercedes respectively.

McLaren’s running was also brief. Jenson Button began in positive style, working through 21 trouble-free laps in the Honda-powered MP4-30, with his best lap less than a second off the morning’s best times.However, an issue with the seal on the MGU-K then forced the Briton back to the McLaren garage and after a lengthy investigation the team confirmed that because repairs would require the replacement of the power unit Button would not run again. The problems worsened, however, when Honda’s F1 chief Yasuhisa Arai revealed that the manufacturer will need to redesign the component won’t be available until Saturday, meaning that Fernando Alonso could encounter a similar problem tomorrow.

The day’s lap total award went to Toro Rosso’s Max Verstappen. The 17-year-old put in 94 laps and finished sixth on the timesheet showing that the power unit issues affecting Red Bull Racing do not seem to be hindering its sister team.

http://www.grandprix247.com/2015/02/19/barcelona-day-1-maldonado-puts-lotus-back-on-top/

Pos Driver Team Time Lap Tyre

1 Pastor Maldonado Lotus 1:25.011 69 Soft

2 Kimi Räikkönen Ferrari 1:25.167 73 Medium

3 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull 1:25.547 58 Soft

4 Sergio Perez Force India 1:26.636 34 Medium

5 Felipe Nasr Sauber 1:27.307 78 Medium

6 Max Verstappen Toro Rosso 1:27.900 92 Medium

7 Jenson Button McLaren 1:28.182 21 Medium

8 Pascal Wehrlein (PM) Mercedes 1:29.286 47 Hard

9 Pascal Wehrlein (AM) Force India 1:28.329 32 Medium

10 Susie Wolff Williams 1:28.906 83 Medium

11 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:30.429 11 Medium

Sky Sports F1 update from the Barcelona.

http://youtu.be/5RBObBkfnEM

Day 2 tomorrow from Circuit de Catalunya...

Edited by VictoriaGooner

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Day 2, Barcelona Test - Friday, February 20

Red Bull Racing put day one issues behind them as Australian completes 142 laps to finish ahead of Kimi Raikkonen and Felipe Massa.

Daniel Ricciardo set the fastest time of day two of pre-season testing Barcelona, finishing just one hundredth of a second ahead of Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen. Alonso had no major issues, like previous predicted with the seal failure affecting Button on Day 1, and managed a total of 59 laps in the Honda-powered car, the highest total the team has achieved so far in a single day of 2015 testing. Alonso finished with the day’s seventh best time, a 1:25.961 that was 1.3s off Ricciardo’s pace.

Pos Driver Team Time Lap Tyre

1 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull 1:24.574 143 Development

2 Kimi Räikkönen Ferrari 1:24.584 90 Medium

3 Felipe Massa Williams 1:24.672 88 Soft

4 Sergio Perez Force India 1:24.702 121 Hard

5 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:24.923 89 Hard

6 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1:25.556 66 Medium

7 Fernando Alonso McLaren 1:25.961 59 Soft

8 Jolyon Palmer Lotus 1:26.280 77 Soft

Marcus Ericsson Sauber 1:27.334 113 Medium

10 Carlos Sainz Toro Rosso 1:28.945 100 Medium

http://youtu.be/OjPw0tyiTss

Barcelona testing continues tomorrow.

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The more we keep hearing about this, the more it seems like it could be a possibility...

http://www.grandprix247.com/2015/02/20/red-bull-boss-denies-he-is-selling-f1-team-to-audi/

Dietrich Mateschitz has denied reports he might be looking to sell his Formula 1 team Red Bull to Audi.

On Thursday, stories emerged in the German press suggesting that the Red Bull mogul and billionaire might be looking to go beyond his role as a team owner and buy into the sport’s commercial rights.

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The more we keep hearing about this, the more it seems like it could be a possibility...

http://www.grandprix247.com/2015/02/20/red-bull-boss-denies-he-is-selling-f1-team-to-audi/

Dietrich Mateschitz has denied reports he might be looking to sell his Formula 1 team Red Bull to Audi.

On Thursday, stories emerged in the German press suggesting that the Red Bull mogul and billionaire might be looking to go beyond his role as a team owner and buy into the sport’s commercial rights.

Well I myself would love to see Audi and Volkswagen AG in F1. It is the one engine manufacturer that I always hope they would come in because it would take F1 competition to the next level. But just think if Audi/Volkswagen AG bought RBR and Red Bull was the title sponsor for the F1 team. What a combination, great resources both on and off the track. We will see if this comes to fruition or not. But the more it is making the news, the more it seems more likely.

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This is the other reason I think Audi is coming in.

http://www.racer.com/f1/item/113614-renault-ponders-its-formula-1-future

Renault is considering a rethink of its Formula 1 strategy in a move that could result in the return of a fully branded works effort.

While its focus right now is on improving its power unit to help partner Red Bull challenge Mercedes for the title, the French car manufacturer has admitted that its longer-term ambitions could lie elsewhere.

It is questioning whether being just an engine supplier for two Red Bull teams delivers it the maximum benefit, or if it should expand its presence in F1.

Although going as far as creating an all-new team from scratch has been ruled out, one possibility could be to ramp up investment in an outfit to make it a fully branded Renault-works team.

Renault F1's managing director Cyril Abiteboul told AUTOSPORT: "We are here for marketing. So if from a marketing perspective we need to do things a little bit differently, we are open minded.

"There is no ego. The priority is to get the marketing messages that we want to deliver in the sport in the most cost-efficient manner.

It's understood that former Mercedes technical director Bob Bell, who worked at Renault's F1 team during its title glory years of 2005-’06, is poised for a role in helping Renault evaluate its options.

Abiteboul made it clear, however, that Bell was not being lined up for a job within the engine department.

There has been the constant rumor that Red Bull isn't happy with Renault & seeing their former team now with Mercedes engines & the possible collapse of Force India (unless something miraculous happens which doesn't look likely) I wouldn't be surprised if Renault returns as a factory team.

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This is the other reason I think Audi is coming in.

http://www.racer.com/f1/item/113614-renault-ponders-its-formula-1-future

Renault is considering a rethink of its Formula 1 strategy in a move that could result in the return of a fully branded works effort.

While its focus right now is on improving its power unit to help partner Red Bull challenge Mercedes for the title, the French car manufacturer has admitted that its longer-term ambitions could lie elsewhere.

It is questioning whether being just an engine supplier for two Red Bull teams delivers it the maximum benefit, or if it should expand its presence in F1.

Although going as far as creating an all-new team from scratch has been ruled out, one possibility could be to ramp up investment in an outfit to make it a fully branded Renault-works team.

Renault F1's managing director Cyril Abiteboul told AUTOSPORT: "We are here for marketing. So if from a marketing perspective we need to do things a little bit differently, we are open minded.

"There is no ego. The priority is to get the marketing messages that we want to deliver in the sport in the most cost-efficient manner.

It's understood that former Mercedes technical director Bob Bell, who worked at Renault's F1 team during its title glory years of 2005-’06, is poised for a role in helping Renault evaluate its options.

Abiteboul made it clear, however, that Bell was not being lined up for a job within the engine department.

There has been the constant rumor that Red Bull isn't happy with Renault & seeing their former team now with Mercedes engines & the possible collapse of Force India (unless something miraculous happens which doesn't look likely) I wouldn't be surprised if Renault returns as a factory team.

Renault could return as a factory team. They did so well as a team that I just didn't understand why they went back to a engine manufacturer with winning back to back world and constructor titles. They sold 75% of their stake in the company in 2009 and the remaining 25% in 2010 for what? I know they were saying at the time they wanted to scale back they're day to day involvement with F1 but just be an engine builder. RBR has not been happy with Renault engines for a couple years now, even in the time of their dominance of the grid. Would be nice top see Renault back on the grid with a possible Audi factory team. Oh the fantasy racing :)

Day Three, Barcelona Test - Saturday, February 21

Now there is something going on at Lotus. Maldonado grabbed the limelight on the penultimate day of this week’s Barcelona test, the Venezuelan topping the timesheet with a lap of 1:24.348 set on Pirelli’s supersoft tyre compound. That makes two out of three testing days that Maldonado has topped the time sheet over Red Bull and Mercedes. I know it is still early in the pre-season and we haven't really completed a free practice Down Under. But I am wondering if Lotus has found a competitive combination of components for the E23. Time will tell.

McLaren's run of poor running continues with another seal failure of the MGU-K, limiting Button in the car for 24 laps today. I find it hard that they had the part manufactured and ready for today but it failed again. Something is not just adding up for McLaren-Honda.

Pos Driver Team Time Lap Tyre

1 Pastor Maldonado Lotus 1:24.348 104 Medium

2 Max Verstappen Toro Rosso 1:24.739 129 Soft

3 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:26.076 101 Medium

4 Marcus Ericsson Sauber 1:26.340 53 Soft

5 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1:26.407 105 Medium

6 Daniil Kvyat Red Bull 1:26.589 112 Development

7 Felipe Massa Williams 1:26.912 55 Intermediate

8 Pascal Wehrlein Force India 1:27.333 81 Development

9 Valtteri Bottas Williams 1:27.556 49 Medium

10 Jenson Button McLaren 1:29.151 24 Soft

Ted's Notebook from Day 3, Part 1 - Interview with Carlos Sainz, Jr

http://youtu.be/W-cLNR3V_FU

Part 2

http://youtu.be/xd9ZNydwXw4

Barcelona testing wraps up tomorrow for session two, then the final testing session from Barcelona take place from February 26 to March 1

Edited by VictoriaGooner

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http://planetf1.com/driver/3213/32907/Alonso-airlifted-to-hospital

Fernando Alonso's manager, Luis Garcia Abad, has assured the F1 community that the Spaniard is "ok" after he was airlifted to hospital following a crash on Sunday.

The double World Champion smashed into the wall between Turns 3 and 4 shortly before the midday lunch break on the final day of testing at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.

He was immediately rushed to the circuit's medical centre by ambulance before being transferred to the Hospital General de Catalunya via helicopter for further checks.

The track's official twitter feed reported that he is "ok and conscious" and his manager Garcia Abad later added that "Fernando is OK and conscious. Thank you!"

McLaren later added: "He was conscious and spoke with the doctors.

"However, as per usual procedure in such circumstances, he was then airlifted to hospital where he is undergoing precautionary checks."

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http://planetf1.com/driver/3213/32907/Alonso-airlifted-to-hospital

Fernando Alonso's manager, Luis Garcia Abad, has assured the F1 community that the Spaniard is "ok" after he was airlifted to hospital following a crash on Sunday.

The double World Champion smashed into the wall between Turns 3 and 4 shortly before the midday lunch break on the final day of testing at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.

He was immediately rushed to the circuit's medical centre by ambulance before being transferred to the Hospital General de Catalunya via helicopter for further checks.

The track's official twitter feed reported that he is "ok and conscious" and his manager Garcia Abad later added that "Fernando is OK and conscious. Thank you!"

McLaren later added: "He was conscious and spoke with the doctors.

"However, as per usual procedure in such circumstances, he was then airlifted to hospital where he is undergoing precautionary checks."

Sky Sports F1 interviewed McLaren Racing Director Eric Boullier and he says Fernando Alonso has been given the all-clear by medical staff (MRI and CAT Scan) after being taken to hospital following a heavy crash in testing at Barcelona. That's good news :)

Day Three, Barcelona Test - Sunday, February 22

As the second pre-season Formula One test came to a close in Barcelona, Romain Grosjean secured bragging rights for Lotus by recording the fastest time of the week. As with team-mate Maldonado on day three, Grosjean set his table-topping time on Pirelli’s supersoft tyres, the Frenchman clocking a time of 1:24.067 late in the afternoon. The glory-hunting run put the seal on a good day for the team as it worked a solid programme of long and short runs, with Grosjean getting through 111 laps. All I can ask is what has changed at Lotus between Jerez and Barcelona? Great turn around for the team.

It looked likely that Jenson Button would take over from Alonso at the wheel of the McLaren Honda in the afternoon but with an hour left in the session the team revealed it was calling a halt to running at this test. Good call by Ron Dennis and McLaren Honda

Pos Driver Team Time Lap Tyre

1 Romain Grosjean Lotus 1:24.067 111 Soft

2 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1:24.321 131 Medium

3 Daniil Kvyat Red Bull 1:24.941 104 Medium

4 Felipe Nasr Sauber 1:24.956 73 Medium

5 Valtteri Bottas Williams 1:25.345 129 Soft

6 Carlos Sainz Jr. Toro Rosso 1:25.605 88 Hard

7 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1:26.312 76 Hard

8 Nico Hülkenberg Force India 1:26.591 36 Soft

9 Fernando Alonso McLaren 1:27.956 20 Medium

10 Jenson Button McLaren

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From everything I've read, it appears that the IndyCar Series is NOT interested in Kurt Busch. Looks like his career is over (or at least in the "pros").

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