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Well, he's off to a bad start...

http://www.planetf1.com/driver/3213/34741/Alonso-out-of-Australian-GP

McLaren have confirmed that Fernando Alonso won't race in the season-opening Australian GP following his accident in Barcelona.

The Spaniard crashed his McLaren MP4-30 into the wall at the exit of Turn 3 at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya and was airlifted to hospital where it was revealed that he suffered a concussion, resulting in him spending three nights in hospital.

He was forced to miss the final pre-season test in Barcelona last week with the team giving him time to recuperate ahead of the first race of the season on 15 March.

However, McLaren have announced that doctors have advised Alonso to rest more and Kevin Magnussen will now take his place in Melbourne.

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That is unfortunate for Alonso.

I forgot to mention this, but in the IndyCar rumor-mill (a very strong rumor by the looks of it), Simona de Silvestro is closing in on a race seat in St. Pete for Andretti Autosport. I think this would be wonderful news if confirmed, I think she is a great driver, just needs a chance with a good team.

If anyone is interested (or bored), this weekend there is Pirelli World Challenge racing this weekend at the Circuit of the Americas. The top classes (GT and GTA) are primarily FIA GT3 homologated cars (for example: McLaren, Bentley, Nissan, and the new Cadillac), and they race in two 50 minute races (one on Saturday at 3:45 pm EST, and the other on Sunday at 2:25 pm EDT). There are also other classes racing as a part of PWC in separate races throughout the weekend. There is official live streaming on the series' not so impressive looking (to say the least) website. (I just want to let you know of different motorsports categories.)

And finally, some thoughts regarding any potential races I could attend this month (I thought I would like to share it):

On a personal (and local) note, there are 3 "major" races happening in 3 separate weekends this month within a reasonable driving distance from where I live (Formula E's "Miami ePrix," TUSCC's "12 Hours of Sebring," and IndyCar's "GP of St. Petersburg"). I say this because yesterday I had a (very naïve) thought, "Maybe I can attend these races!" Then I proceeded to look up the prices for a one day ticket (per adult):

  • Miami ePrix: $23.55 for General Admission (which, judging by a map, doesn't really show any of the track, and is standing room only) or $97.45 for the only grandstand seating that is left (on the start-finish line). No paddock access.
  • 12 Hours of Sebring: $85.00 for a One Day Superticket, $95.00 for a Two Day Superticket (both include general admission, where I can walk around pretty much anywhere along the track, and paddock access).
  • GP of St. Petersburg: $50.00 for General Admission, $75.00 for Grandstand Lower Rows, and $100.00 of Grandstand Upper Rows (if I want to access the IndyCar paddock, I would also have to buy a $50.00 Paddock Pass, but I can wander the rest of the track without one).

Well, between finding friends and family who actually want to/can go with me (because my father cannot stand and walk for long periods of time, unfortunately), the cost of attendance, and buying a racing wheel peripheral for a gaming PC (in anticipation of a racing game that is coming next month), my chances of going to one of these races is not really that big. But I'm not really complaining, I'm just sharing my thoughts.

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Man, I can't wait for PWC to start up, its such an underrated racing series & they produce some top notch racing here. Meanwhile some automakers are showing off some of their new toys

It was a busy day for Audi, they showed off their new R8 LMS & LMP1 contender

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Mercedes AMG GT3 contender

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McLaren P1

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Last but not Least my utmost favorite... Cadillac in full colors!

33av1o1.jpg

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Well, at least you can tell which manufacture is which now. I kind of like it actually. More of a fan of Chevy's but both aren't horrible.

EDIT: some comparison shots via racer.com

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Edited by rvrdgsfn

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Bumping for the news & notes in Aus...

Hamilton has gotten the first pole this season while McLaren didn't do so hot. Ferrari will be 4th & 5th.

It also turns out Bottas may not be starting due to back spasms...

http://www.planetf1.com/driver/3213/36977/Bottas-remains-a-doubt-for-Aus-GP

He was initially sent to the medical centre to be checked out by the FIA doctors before he was later taken to the Alfred Hospital for precautionary checks.

Williams later tweeted: "Valtteri will rest at his hotel tonight and be checked in the morning by medics before any decision is made."

Williams Head of Performance Engineering Rob Smedley added: "The update will be tomorrow. He's going back to his hotel to rest, so he's not being kept in hospital overnight.

A big blow for Williams if he doesn't race.

Last but not least, Manor failed to qualify for the race because they didn't show...

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Bumping for Results in Australia

1. Hamilton

2. Rosberg

3. Vettel

4. Massa

5. Nasr

6. Ricciarrdo

7. Hulkenberg

8. Ericcson

9. Sainz Jr.

10. Perez

Bottas didn't start, Jenson almost got a top 10 finish, Sauber making some noise, Vettel having a podium performance, Kimi, Lotus, Magnussen & Verstappen all having a rough day.

Up next is Malaysia

Formula E also happened yesterday & that was a thrilling end to a race in Miami!

1. Prost

2. Speed

3. Abt

4. D'Ambrosio

5. Piquet Jr.

6. da Costa

7. Duval

8. Bird

9. di Grassi

10. Duran

Another rough day for Jean Eric Vergne who finished 18th as Senna didn't finish at all. With that win, Prost now leads Formula E in points, next up Long Beach.

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So, the actual Australian GP may not have been the most exciting race ever on the track but there was enough off the track to keep things interesting. I guess it was interesting to see the strides Ferrari engines (and therefore Sauber) have taken. I guess we will truly find out the talent level of Bottas as it seems Vettel in his Ferrari will be a real test for him. We could also see a lot of battles between Red Bull, Toro Rosso and Sauber.

I am looking forward to monitoring the progress of McLaren. They were obviously running with the power on their engines turned way down. I don't personally believe they will get to challenge Mercedes this season but I think it would be very interesting if they could get to the same level as Williams and Ferrari.

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For those curious today, the 12 hours of Sebring is going on right now!

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Well, at least you can tell which manufacture is which now. I kind of like it actually. More of a fan of Chevy's but both aren't horrible.

svjmgh.jpg

Honda looks better than Chevy, I think, but neither of them are particularly attractive. Too many widgets and winglets and things to go flying off if there's contact. Wait and see if there aren't more cautions for debris, and pit stops for damaged aerodynamics.

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Results from Malaysia

1. Vettel

2. Hamilton

3. Rosberg

4. Raikkonen

5. Bottas

6. Massa

7. Versatppen

8. Sainz Jr.

9. Kyvat

10. Ricciardo

In only his second race with Ferrari, Vettel beats the Silver Arrows. I'd say do far, he's living up to the expectation that the Prancing Horse has wanted. Both Toro Rosso drivers getting some points, while beating Red Bull... Wow. I can imagine they weren't too happy with that. Sadly, it was a rough day for McLaren, both Alonso & Button had to retire.

Next up is China.

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Nice to see some actual competition for Mercedes. Vettel and Ferrari seem a great fit. I know for his 4 titles he had the car behind him but he really is the real deal and will hopefully get more chances to show this during 2015. Also weird but nice to hear the German and Italian anthems back-to-back again.

I still think that the title is very much Hamilton's to lose. Today Mercedes lost this race through poor strategy and tyre deg management. Not to discredit Vettel and Ferrari as they were in a more than adequate position to make the most of it and take the win. I just think that these race conditions suited Ferrari and more often than not Mercedes will have the advantage in the remaining races.

Also, Rosberg briefly showed the difference between him and Hamilton today when he failed to understand that although him and Vettel were at times fighting for track position they weren't in the same race or so to speak.

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I really didn't care for Seb when he was driving for Red Bull, but in all honesty, I think he's really matured while driving for Ferrari, plus I think now Mercedes realizes that they have some competition. Hopefully this will lead to a great season.

Meanwhile, IndyCar's season started & here are the results from St. Pete.

1. Montoya

2. Power

3. Kanaan

4. Castroneves

5. Pagenaud

6. Bourdais

7. Hunter-Reay

8. Hawksworth

9. Filippi

10. Andretti

Penske domination begins anew but it looks like Juan Pablo has gotten his open wheel rust taken care of. Its good to see IndyCar back again!

Long Beach is up next!

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^Actually, the next IndyCar race is in New Orleans. ;)

*looks at Indycar schedule*

Er, whoops, Thank you good sir! I'm curious about how NOLA is going to be though!

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^Actually, the next IndyCar race is in New Orleans. ;)

*looks at Indycar schedule*

Er, whoops, Thank you good sir! I'm curious about how NOLA is going to be though!

Hopefully they sort out the wing shredding and shedding off those Honda aero kits before NOLA. The way those cars were disintegrating in St. Pete was very disheartening. And it was very odd how skewed it was with the Hondas falling apart while the Chevys did much better overall.

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Has anyone been watching the new Formula E series races? Hadn't even heard about it until I was looking into the upcoming Long Beach Grand Prix schedule and I saw that Formula E is running a race in Long Beach this coming weekend 2 weeks before the main Grand Prix weekend on a smaller modified version of the typical LBGP circuit.

long_beach_news_v1.jpg

Seems interesting. Particularly for an event with a $0 entrance fee to go watch it. Also somewhat interesting that it's an FIA event. Can't recall the last time an FIA sanctioned event was held at Long Beach since the old F1 days. Makes me wonder if this isn't a trial run of sorts for FIA to see what they think of Long Beach after all these years with those LB to F1 rumors that were running around last year.

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Glad to see Juan Pablo get the win. Also good to see TK get a podium! ...just wish that Indycar was more than the Penske-Ganassi-Andretti show.

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An old Champ Car race may be returning?

http://www.racer.com/indycar/item/115015-indycar-cleveland-to-return

IndyCar fans have been clamoring for a return to Cleveland and the racy runways of Burke Lakefront Airport and, suddenly, there appears to be hope.

Gene Haskett, who ran the Cleveland race from 1983 to ’92, was approached by a major company a few months ago wondering if he’d be interested in bringing back Indy cars to Lake Erie if they provided title sponsorship.

“I told them I had no interest in being the promoter but I would call Roger Penske for them and see if he had any interest,” related Haskett over the weekend at St. Petersburg. "I talked to Rogerand he said 'no' because of his commitment to Detroit but that I needed to talk to (Hulman & Company CEO) Mark Miles.

According to Miles, it’s on the table.

“We very much want to go back to Cleveland if we can find a proper date,” said the IndyCar boss after meeting with Mike Lanigan and Haskett during the IndyCar season opener. “We want Mike as the promoter and we should know if it’s feasible in a month or so.”

I'd like to see Road America & Richmond back, but this is a must IMO, Cleveland should come back.

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An old Champ Car race may be returning?

http://www.racer.com/indycar/item/115015-indycar-cleveland-to-return

IndyCar fans have been clamoring for a return to Cleveland and the racy runways of Burke Lakefront Airport and, suddenly, there appears to be hope.

Gene Haskett, who ran the Cleveland race from 1983 to ’92, was approached by a major company a few months ago wondering if he’d be interested in bringing back Indy cars to Lake Erie if they provided title sponsorship.

“I told them I had no interest in being the promoter but I would call Roger Penske for them and see if he had any interest,” related Haskett over the weekend at St. Petersburg. "I talked to Rogerand he said 'no' because of his commitment to Detroit but that I needed to talk to (Hulman & Company CEO) Mark Miles.

According to Miles, it’s on the table.

“We very much want to go back to Cleveland if we can find a proper date,” said the IndyCar boss after meeting with Mike Lanigan and Haskett during the IndyCar season opener. “We want Mike as the promoter and we should know if it’s feasible in a month or so.”

I'd like to see Road America & Richmond back, but this is a must IMO, Cleveland should come back.

Wouldn't mind Cleveland back at all if it's at Burke. It was always one of those "street races" that ran more like a road course anyway due to the location and size of the airport. Would be a great addition.

It will be interesting to see how the June move effects Fontana this year. I suspect it won't be a positive development and perhaps that spot on the calendar would open up.

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