|Latest news is at the bottom
Formula 1 Driver Changes
Jan 1 - As I predicted in November, Pastor
Maldonado has taken his large sponsorship
dollars to the brilliant, but cash-strapped
Nico Hulkenberg, who drove for Sauber
last season, had been hoping to join Lotus,
but his lack of money paved the way for
Maldonado. Hulkenberg has signed a
multi-year deal with Force India, whom
he'd driven for in 2012.
Sergio Perez also signed a multi-year deal
to drive for Force India. He had a good
season in 2013 driving for McLaren and its
curious why they released him.
Force India hiring these two drivers means
that Paul di Resta is now without a team.
He drove 4 seasons for the team.
Adrian Sutil was also squeezed out at Force
India. He has now signed to drive for Sauber
this season, swapping seats essentially with
It appears that Caterham is now the only F1
team with driver openings.
Will Paul di Resta race in a different series this year?
Ross Brawn Quits Mercedes F1 Team
Jan 1 - Despite his name, Brawn is the brains behind
several world title wins for Benneton and Ferrari. The
English engineer became kingmaker again after
forming Brawn GP to crown Jenson Button an unlikely
world champion. But after 16 driver and constructor
titles, he is taking a break and may even leave F1.
He has been team principal at Mercedes F1, which
prior was his team, and was the Honda team before that.
With the entrance of Niki Lauda as board chairman,
Brawn did not want to relinquish the full control he has
had of the team.
Replacing him, Toto Wolff will become the business
executive director and Paddy Lowe will become the
technical executive director.
2009 Brawn GP
Ganassi & Andretti Swap Engines
Jan 19 - Chip Ganassi has a habit of shaking things
up for his team on a regular basis. This year, his Indy
car team will switch from Honda to Chevrolet
Although Honda and Chevy ended up nearly equal
in terms of race wins in 2013 (Will Power's victory
in the season finale tipped the balance in favor of
Chevy, 10-9) and Scott Dixon won the
championship with Honda, a common perception
still existed that Chevy maintained a slight
advantage. Hence Ganassi's switch, which means
the sport's top two teams will be running the same
IndyCar's Fast Frenchman
Jan 19 - Championship speculation has rightly
focused on drivers from Indy car racing's three
superteams -- Penske, Ganassi and Andretti, which
have won every IndyCar Series championship since
2003 and will run a combined 11 cars in 2014.
But almost everyone agrees on who is the biggest
outside threat to the IndyCar establishment:
Frenchman Simon Pagenaud and Sam Schmidt
Pagenaud had a breakthrough season in 2013,
scoring his first two race wins and claiming third
place in the final standings. He's the heir apparent
to Gil de Ferran and Bryan Herta as Honda's lead
development driver, and if the new twin-turbo Honda
engine proves to be competitive with the Chevrolet,
Pagenaud could be a real thorn in the side of the
"I'm really looking forward to the season," Pagenaud
said. "We finished last year with a lot of momentum,
and the chemistry within the team is really good.
"Sometimes being with a smaller team can be an
advantage," he added. "We're going to work very
hard with Honda to try to have an even better year
than we had in 2013."
2013 - Pagenaud won in Detroit
2013 - Pagenaud won in Baltimore
|Pagenaud getting some air in Baltimore
Japanese Racer Pays for Formula 1 Ride
Jan 22 - Kamui Kobayashi and Marcus Ericsson
will race in Formula One for Caterham F1 Team,
replacing Charles Pic and Giedo van der Garde.
The 27-year-old Kobayashi, who returns to F1 after
being dropped by Sauber at the end of 2012, has
also paid Caterham $1.65 million in sponsorship
raised by his fans to get him back in the sport.
"I don't need or care about money. I just want to drive
... so I am racing for free," Kobayashi said.
Kobayashi drove for Ferrari in the GT Pro class of the
World Endurance Championship last season, and was
offered a new contract by the team this season.
Caterham also announced that Robin Frijns and
Alexander Rossi will be their Reserve Drivers.
Fans of this web site should feel free to donate money
to me so that I can buy myself an F1 ride!
Rolex 24 at Daytona
Jan 26 - The new combined Tudor sportscar series
had it's first race at Daytona this weekend.
An IndyCar driver has co-driven the winning overall
entry in the race the past three years, and this year
was no different.
Daytona Prototypes claimed the first four overall
places, the top spot taken by the No. 5 Action
Express Coyote-Chevrolet Corvette DP driven by
Joao Barbosa, Christian Fittipaldi, Sebastien
Bourdain and Burt Friselle.
Chevrolet power hasn't taken the overall win since
2003, eleven years later it scores a one-two-three-
A fifth Corvette might have been in the top five, but
three hours into the race it crashed while in 4th place,
bringing out the red flag. A Ferrari driven by
Matteo Malucelli was stalling along a high-speed
straight between turns 3 and Memo Gidley's No.
99 GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing Corvette DP
slammed into the Ferrari.
Gidley used to compete in CART.
Gidley suffered a broken left leg, left arm and a
compression fracture in his lower back. The
Ferrari driver was ok, but taken to the hospital as
Meanwhile, Andretti Autosport, which won the 2012
championship with Chevrolet power and driver Ryan
Hunter-Reay, has made the move to Honda. For
the first time since INDYCAR's 2.2-liter turbo V-6
specification was introduced, Honda will utilize twin
turbochargers rather than a single turbo installation.
Chevy IndyCar Testing
Jan 18 - Chevrolet has concluded its first successful
manufacturer test of the 2014 IndyCar Series season
at Sebring International Raceway. A total of 10 teams
and drivers put their cars powered by the Chevrolet
IndyCar V6 2.2 liter twin turbocharged direct injected
engine through its paces at a one-day test in
preparation for the 18-race schedule that will begin
March 30th on the Streets of St. Petersburg.
“We had an extremely productive test at Sebring,”
said Chris Berube, Chevrolet Racing Program
Manager for the IndyCar Series. “The IndyCar engine
homologation table allowed a fairly significant amount
of change to the engine for 2014, including new
turbochargers and fuel system revisions. Work on all
of that started last year and this first track test is an
exciting yet anxious time for the engineers that toiled
over and tortured the new bits to push the
performance level up while maintaining the
competitive advantage in reliability Chevrolet has had
in 2012 and 2013.
“The engine change-out mileage increases from
2,000 to 2,500 miles in 2014 so achieving a 25%
increase in life simultaneously with a performance
increase is the holy grail of engineering
development. These pre-season manufacturer tests
are our engineers' opportunity to see the fruits of
their labor and receive direct feedback from our
customers - the race teams and drivers. It is also
the next phase of development where the new engine
is integrated with the race car and the driver's
feedback plus reams of data are collected and
utilized to hone the drivability characteristic of the
final race car package.”
“Bottom line,” Berube concluded. “When the first test
of the season goes off like this one did, it is
encouraging and rewarding, but there is a lot of data
to analyze to go from good to great in the integration
phase and our teams and technical partners are
focused on that."
Chevrolet-powered IndyCar teams participating in
the test were:
Team Penske – Helio Castroneves, Will Power
and Juan Pablo Montoya
Ed Carpenter Racing – Mike Conway
KV Racing Technology SH Racing – Sebastien
Chip Ganassi Racing Teams – Scott Dixon, Tony
Kanaan, Charlie Kimball and Ryan Briscoe
Panther Racing – Carlos Huertas
In pursuit of its third consecutive IndyCar Series
Manufacturer Championship, Chevrolet will continue
pre-season preparations with two additional Chevy-
only tests in February at Auto Club Speedway,
Fontana, California, and Sonoma Raceway,