Formula One

Formula One’s rule is beating other teams. In McLaren Mercedes, British rookie Lewis Hamilton, with 70 points, leads the driver’s championship by two points against teammate two-time world champion Fernando Alonso. Inside the Scuderia team, there is a scorching rivalry between Felipe Massa with 59 points and Kimi Raikkonen with 52.

The McLaren and Ferrari battle is heightened by their driver’s close scores. In the Bavarian team, next to Nick Heidfeld with 36 points is Robert Kubica with 24. Giancarlo Fisichella flaunts 17 points while teammate Heikki Kovalainen garners 17. Teammates are their closest rivals.

The 22-year-old Briton is having some nose-to-nose clash of points with the 26-year-old Spaniard driver. An air of it is reflected in the new 60-second McLaren Mercedes promotional ad, which also featured the legendary driver of the team – Mika Häkkinen.

How blistering is the rivalry? With seven races remaining, Hamilton and Alonso are separated by only two points.

Despite the alleged espionage and the threat of a possible expulsion still hanging over McLaren, the team is positive this Formula One season would not just turn out to be phenomenal but blissful as well.

Currently, the team is getting ready for the Hungarian Grand Prix to dig a favorable finish. The drivers do not get too confident because they know they still have bigger fish to fry…


 Bernie Ecclestone

Formula One’s Bernie Ecclestone has made his position clear in the spying scandal even before the emergency World Motor Sport Council started. He said that the ‘nonsense’ issue is taking the attention away from the tracks. Following the FIA’s decision not to penalize McLaren for possessing Ferrari documents, and Ferrari’s warning of pressing charges against McLaren, Ecclestone has been reported to have urged the Italian Formula One team to stop the nonsense and do not appeal.

But Ecclestone also pointed out that Ferrari has the right to do what they think is right. “If Ferrari think the wrong decision has been made they have every right to appeal and I think they will,” he said.

It can be remembered that the FIA found McLaren guilty of possessing Ferrari documents which were allegedly passed on to McLaren’s now suspended chief designer Mike Coughlan by former Ferrari senior engineer Nigel Stepney. McLaren, on the other hand, maintains that only Coughlan has knowledge of the documents.

Ferrari’s team Principal Jean Todt is obviously furious at this ruling. Allegedly, Stepney sent an email to Coughlan detailing the ‘flexible floor’ plan for the Ferrari cars.

Ferrari announced that they are planning to file charges against Stepney, Coughlan, and McLaren. McLaren’s engine partner though is still supporting the team, German automaker Mercedes-Benz which produces automobiles and auto parts and it also supplies engines to the Formula One team. Mercedes-Benz’ competition chief, Norbert Haug, said: “I’m not worried. We’re cleaner than clean.”

 Ferrari Team

Ferrari is not satisfied that McLaren is not punished. The World Motor Sport Council called by the FIA found McLaren guilty of possessing technical data owned by Ferrari. This has angered Ferrari. Scuderia Ferrari’s chief executive Jean Todt is also furious at the ruling. He accused McLaren’s team principal Ron Dennis of signing an agreement of trust between the two teams while at the same time is aware that a spy is working inside Ferrari.

“I replied that I found it impossible to believe him because we had seen that certain commitments had always been disregarded by McLaren,” said Todt. “There was an exchange of views and, believing in their good faith, I agreed to sign this agreement on June 9. So, on the one hand, they had come to say ‘let us trust one another’ and, on the other, they were hiding serious facts but making no effort to inform us as would have been in the spirit and to the letter of our agreement.”

Todt pointed out that since McLaren was found guilty, they should be punished. “There is not even a sign of logic in this verdict. Either they are guilty or they aren’t. McLaren were found responsible of having violated the regulations of F1, of having behaved in a fraudulent manner, but they haven’t been punished,” he shared.

McLaren though was not found guilty of having used the Ferrari data on their cars which would have given them immense advantage over the Italian team. If the FIA punished McLaren that would either come in form of a monetary fine docking points from the team and drivers. Currently, McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso are leading the race to the championship.

team_mclaren_mercedesAside from that the team’s drivers, Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso are leading in the drivers’ championship standings. The scandal involved a Ferrari and a McLaren employee.

Nigel Stepney, formerly of Ferrari, is allegedly passing on technical secrets to Mike Coughlan, McLaren’s chief designer. Ferrari documents were found in the possession of Coughlan and being a member of the McLaren team, the team was summoned by the FIA to the council. The British Formula One team currently has 138 points after ten races so far. The hope of the team now lies in the testimony of Mike Coughlan. If Coughlan testified that someone aside from him in the team was aware of the secret dossier, McLaren’s name will forever be tainted.

Stepney was already sacked by the Italian Formula One team.

McLaren is now waiting for the decision of the World Motor Sport Council concerning the Ferrari spying scandal. The team has been summoned at the council to make known their involvement in the alleged spying on rival Ferrari.

Felipe MassaRains showers limited the number of laps the drivers spent on the tracks. Ferrari’s Felipe Massa posted the fastest lap time on the second day of testing with a lap time of 1 minute and 46.698 seconds. Taking over test driving duties for McLaren, double world champion Fernando Alonso posted the second fastest lap time of the day. The team worked on adapting the car for dry and wet conditions.

The German Formula One driver started his run mid-morning after the weather postponed his run. Schumacher worked on various systems of his Formula One car like the car’s cooling system. Adrian Sutil completed the fastest five during the second day of testing. The German Formula One driver is driving for Spyker. The team’s chief race and test engineer Dominic Harlow has this to say about Sutil’s test session: “Adrian completed his initial setup work and tire evaluation before the familiar wet conditions set in over lunch”.

1. Massa – Ferrari – 1m21.506s
2. Webber – Red Bull Racing – 1m21.804s
3. Trulli – Toyota – 1m22.309s
4. Kovalainen – Renault – 1m22.378s
5. Alonso – McLaren – 1m22.579s
6. Kubica – BMW – 1m22.653s
7. Button – Honda – 1m22.765s
8. Davidson – Super Aguri – 1m23.027s
9. Speed – Toro Rosso – 1m23.713s
10. Albers – Spyker – 1m24.870s