• Testgate: Teams not Asked to do Test

    F1 2013 Pirelli tyre testLeading Formula 1 teams Lotus, Ferrari and Red Bull insist they were never asked about the possibility of testing a 2013 car for Pirelli after the Spanish Grand Prix.
    As the row over Mercedes’ secret Pirelli test escalates ahead of a report being sent to the FIA by the Monaco GP stewards, rival teams remain deeply unhappy about what has happened.
    And with the FIA having made it clear that permission for Mercedes to test its 2013 car was conditional on other outfits being offered the same opportunity by Pirelli, a number of top teams have said the chance to run a contemporary car was never mentioned to them.
    Red Bull team principal Christian Horner said he was aware of a letter from Pirelli sent last year that offered the possibility of individual tyre tests, but he claimed there was never a mention of it being possible with a current car.
  • Massa Takes Penalty & Bianchi Allowed to Race

    Felipe Massa will receive a five-place grid penalty in Monaco after Ferrari elected to change the gearbox on his car following his accident in final practice on Saturday morning.

    Massa lost control on the approach to Ste Devote, crashing into the left-hand guard rail before hitting the tyre barriers head-on. The Brazilian escaped unscathed, but his F138 was badly damaged and his mechanics were unable to fix his car in time for qualifying.

    However, despite failing to register a qualifying time, Massa is expected to be given permission to start the race by the stewards as his practice times were comfortably inside the 107 percent cut-off.

    Jules Bianchi, whose Marussia stopped with technical problems before he could complete a lap in Q1, is also expected to be allowed to take the start on Sunday.

  • Massa Crash in Monaco Practice Hampers Quali Effort

    Ferrari’s Felipe Massa crashed heavily in an accident-strewn final Monaco Grand Prix practice session today, with Nico Rosberg completing a sweep of fastest times for Mercedes.
    The Brazilian wrestled with a seemingly unresponsive steering wheel, before locking up on the brakes and smashing into the steel guardrail on the pit straight.
    The Ferrari then plunged nose-first into the energy-absorbing plastic safety barrier at the Ste. Devote corner, bringing out red flags with 23 minutes remaining and leaving Massa’s mechanics with a major repair job before later qualifying.
    They were not the only ones handed an increased workload, with Force India’s Adrian Sutil hitting the barriers at Massenet on the rise to Casino Square with 15 minutes remaining and Lotus’s Romain Grosjean also coming to grief at Ste. Devote. after crashing there yesterday.
  • Fry Fit for Monaco

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    Ferrari technical director Pat Fry will return to duty at the Monaco Grand Prix this weekend after recovering from appendicitis.
    Pat Fry
    The Briton was forced to miss the last Formula 1 race at Barcelona after he wasstruck down with the illness on the morning of qualifying and taken to hospital.
    Following a successful operation in Spain, Fry was able to return home to Italy and Ferrari has done all it can to help him in his recovery.
    Fry will skip the opening day of practice in Monaco for further recuperation, but will fly in on Friday to help Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa’s efforts for the crucial qualifying and race days.
  • Alonso Storms to Home Spanish Victory

    Fernando AlonsoFerrari’s Fernando Alonso sent his home crowd into raptures by beating Lotus driver Kimi Raikkonen to win the Spanish Grand Prix.
    He took his second victory of the year and moved into third place in the championship with a four-stop strategy while Raikkonen did three.
    Ferrari’s Felipe Massa was third and Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel fourth.
    Mercedes’ Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton faded to sixth and 12th after starting from the front row.
    The Mercedes cars struggled with high tyre usage, their bugbear for several years, and were unable to hold onto their positions at the head of the field.
    Spanish fansRosberg, who did three stops, managed his tyres better than Hamilton, who made four but was unable to sustain a competitive pace.
    Alonso laid the foundations for his victory by moving up from his fifth place on the grid to third on the first lap with a superlative passing move on the first lap, overtaking both Raikkonen and Hamilton around the outside of the fast Turn Three.
    Alonso trailed Rosberg and Vettel until the first pit stops, during which he leapfrogged Vettel, and took the lead from Rosberg into Turn One at the start of lap 13.
    From then on, the question was whether Alonso could build enough of a lead to enable him to make an extra pit stop and still beat Raikkonen.
    He did so comfortably, rejoining from his third stop on lap 36 just five seconds behind Raikkonen, both with one stop remaining and Alonso on much fresher tyres.
    It took Alonso only two laps to catch and pass Raikkonen, from where the Spaniard cruised to the 32nd victory of his career, moving him ahead of Nigel Mansell into fourth place in the all-time winners’ list behind Michael Schumacher, Alain Prost and Ayrton Senna.
    It also significantly boosted his championship hopes, closing his deficit to leader Vettel from 30 to 17 points. Raikkonen stays second, just four points behind the German.
    Hamilton slipped from third to fourth place in the championship but is 22 points behind Alonso and only five ahead of Massa.
    After losing the lead to Alonso, Raikkonen was left comfortably ahead of Massa, who made a bid to close in on the Finn before Raikkonen responded with six laps to go to show he was in control.
    Vettel appeared for a while to be trying the same three-stop strategy as Raikkonen, stopping at similar times to the Finn in the early part of the race.
    But without the race pace to challenge for the lead, he made a fourth stop only three laps after Alonso’s and had to settle for fourth.