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Thread: - FORMULA 1 Season 2007 - (RAIKONNEN WINS)

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    Default - FORMULA 1 Season 2007 - (RAIKONNEN WINS)

    There is considerable time left in the start of the season but there are a lot of news coming through. So, just like last time we had a single thread about F1 2006 season I am starting this thread for the 2007 Season. This will allow all of us to discuss things at one place.

    My request to all the F1 fans, please post F1 2007 related stuff here.
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    Part 2

    There was clearly tension between Todt and Montezemolo that weekend in Monza. On Friday and Saturday, there had been an uneasy peace as both men went about their business. Then, on race-day, with less than 15 minutes to the start, Montezemolo broke away from Ferrari on the grid and went up to Räikkönen's car. He leaned over the cockpit and gave a thumbs-up sign, as if indicating that all was going to plan. It was a strange action to pursue with his team's close competitor at Ferrari's home race.
    After Schumacher's race victory, Montezemolo was delirious with joy and, flanked by Elkann and Marchionne, in the full glare of television, he embraced Jean Todt and kissed him. But as Montezemolo kissed him Italian style and threw his arms around his shoulders, Todt quickly turned away. It resembled the scene in 'The Godfather Part III' when Michael Corleone embraces his brother Fredo whilst whispering his death sentence.
    Then it was Michael Schumacher's turn. After being pecked by Montezemolo, he too resisted his boss's celebratory embraces and looked blankly over his shoulder. For Montezemolo, as he embraced the two men he knew the press release signalling his victory was being handed out to journalists.
    It was now clear to insiders that Montezemolo had won his internal battle with Todt to turn Räikkönen's option into a firm contract drive for Ferrari in 2007. And it was clear that Schumacher's ultimatum of 'Räikkönen's or me' had been ignored.
    It was a battle Montezemolo had been determined to win. Six years earlier, to give the team the very best chance of winning, he had wanted to hire Mika Häkkinen as team-mate to Schumacher. But he had been blocked by the twin powers of Schumacher and Todt. This time he was determined to prevail. He wanted Räikkönen, and if that meant Schumacher's departure, then so be it. And he also made it clear he was not prepared to carry on paying Schumacher his US$45 million a year in his twilight years. In any case that money was no longer available, it had been allocated to Räikkönen in a deal skilfully negotiated by the driver's manager David Robertson.
    In truth Schumacher was not simply being pushed out of Ferrari, he was not prepared to carry on under the terms that were being offered. So he reluctantly decided to retire. And in any event it was good timing – he was going out at the peak of his powers.
    Naturally, in the circumstances, the two press conferences, first for TV and then for the press were sad affairs. Schumacher was very morose. He clearly saw no happiness in retirement. But he played the company line and did not vent any feelings of being pushed out. That was not Schumacher's way. And the timing of the press release before his own announcement had given him no room for manoeuvre. It was done on the express orders of Montezemolo to ensure that he, and not Schumacher, was setting the agenda.
    The sense of despair from Schumacher was obvious. He is the one driver on the grid who genuinely loves Formula One. He lives and breathes it. Whilst some other multiple world champions have rushed into retirement, he seemed set to drive on into his 40s. He was clearly not ready to retire after 16 seasons of racing, nearly double the average career span and equalling the career of Ricardo Patrese.
    But at the age of 37, he found, like many others, that as far as Montezemolo was concerned he was past his sell-by date. As Schumacher's long-time manager, Willi Weber, woefully observed in a passing comment to a journalist at Monza: "Michael found he no longer has the power he thought at Ferrari." So Schumacher's retirement was just as controversial as his entry into the sport at the Belgian Grand Prix in first practice on Friday 23rd August 1991.
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    Part 3

    The countdown for Schumacher's demise had begun on 25th August 2005 when Räikkönen signed a one-year option which gave Ferrari the right, within a certain time period, to employ him, at a salary of around US$45 million, for three years from 2007 to 2009 with options to renew beyond that. The option price had never been confirmed but was rumoured around the paddock to be US$5 million.
    Everybody knew that the drivers' market was headed for a shake-up in 2007. It became clear that the contracts of the three best drivers in the world, Schumacher, Räikkönen and Fernando Alonso were all expiring at the same time – at end of 2006. It was a unique event in Formula One history and meant that all three could be driving at different teams in 2007. In normal circumstances one or two of the top drivers might be out of contract at the same time, but never three. However, in truth nobody expected any of the three to move from their incumbent teams. Schumacher was an absolute fixture at Ferrari and showing no sign of retiring. Alonso was winning everything at Renault so why would he move, especially as Flavio Briatore, the Renault team principal, was his manager? And Räikkönen, despite coming to the end of his contract, had options for the future and really nowhere else to go.
    And that was how it looked in the summer of 2005 as Räikkönen's manager, David Robertson, and McLaren Mercedes team principal, Ron Dennis, sat down to discuss the Finnish driver's future. It was to be the first of the big driver negotiations for 2007.
    As far as Robertson was concerned, it was all going to be pretty straightforward. He couldn't comprehend Räikkönen leaving. The contract was up but Dennis had options to renew it well into the future. These options all stemmed from the original contract Räikkönen had signed in September 2001. Dennis had paid a small fortune to secure Räikkönen's services including a rumoured US$14 million to compensate Peter Sauber. It was a complex contract – two years (2002 and 2003) at a modest salary and then three years (2004-2006) for a much larger retainer culminating in the near US$45 million he was being paid in 2006. But Räikkönen was far from a free agent at the end of his McLaren contract. By all accounts it was at Dennis's option to take up another three years if he was willing to pay an escalating salary.
    Dennis had security, but at a price. There is no way of telling what that price was but it was likely to mean Räikkönen receiving at least US$60-US$70 million a year by 2009. But Dennis, who had been bamboozled into agreeing the high price four years before in 2001, just before the 9/11 terrorist attacks when economic conditions had been very different, did not want to pay, although he still wanted Räikkönen to drive for him.
    By all accounts Robertson was somewhat surprised, even if he didn't show it, when Dennis said he wasn't taking up the option. Although there is no independent confirmation of this it appears that Dennis believed he could cancel the option, and thereby his commitment, and open negotiations with Robertson at a more sensible retainer. After all Dennis believed, and it certainly looked the case, that Räikkönen had nowhere else to go.
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    Part 4
    It appears Dennis genuinely believed Robertson would simply agree a lower retainer, probably something nearer US$35 million. But it proved Dennis did not know the man at all. Robertson is an extremely shrewd individual. Even his critics say he can read the minds of team principals. He is believed to study their psyche in his spare time so that he can deal with them more effectively. In his short career in the paddock he has already negotiated with Frank Williams, Flavio Briatore, Ron Dennis and Jean Todt, and bested all of them.
    Anyone who has had negotiations with him of any kind is aware of his skills. As one associate says: "He is the sort of man, and this is not said impolitely, with whom one counts ones fingers after shaking his hand. He probably secretly relishes that reputation."
    It is important to emphasise that at that stage of the 2005 season, in spite of Robertson's reputation, Dennis thought he held all the cards. Räikkönen was dominating the latter half of the 2005 season and McLaren was the top team. Conversely Ferrari was in the doldrums – why would Räikkönen want to go there even if he could?
    And Renault was out of the equation. Everyone thought Alonso was a fixture at Renault. When Dennis let Räikkönen's option lapse he knew, or at least thought he knew, that he could simply wait for Robertson to accept his offer.
    But Robertson sensed something different. He sensed discontent in the McLaren organisation, a sense of drift. He had picked up that Adrian Newey was leaving and that Nick Tombazis might do the same. He also thought most of Ferrari's problems were tyre related and solvable; he knew that Ross Brawn and Rory Byrne had not suddenly become bad engineers.
    But Robertson kept his counsel with Dennis and said he would get back to him.
    Robertson considered his options and marched over to the Ferrari motorhome to get the lie of the land. He imagined negotiations with Todt alone would be a waste of time. So he sought to engage Montezemolo and Todt together. Again the wily operator had picked up their differences on his radar and thought he might be able to divide and conquer. He was absolutely correct. Whilst Todt was cool to the idea of hiring Räikkönen, Montezemolo was more than keen. But there were complications. Ferrari already had an option with Valentino Rossi and Todt doubted openly that Schumacher would want Räikkönen alongside him. But Robertson spoke privately to Montezemolo. Soon the two men agreed to sign Räikkönen to an option in Ferrari's favour for a year, and to pay for the privilege.
    But Robertson was not out of the woods. At that point he did not think Ferrari would actually sign Räikkönen. But it was his leverage on Ron Dennis. Robertson made sure by judicious leaks to journalist friends that it got around the paddock about Ferrari's option. Dennis's bluff had been publicly called.
    And so matters rested, until the end of the season when Dennis heard on the grapevine that Räikkönen had signed for Ferrari. Although it was only an option he guessed immediately what was going on and decided he was not about to be kept on a string for a year whilst Ferrari decided his future.
    By then the situation with the third driver in the loop, Fernando Alonso, was becoming clouded as rumours spread that Renault would withdraw from Formula One at the end of 2006. One very highly placed pundit whispered in Dennis's ear that he had heard this would definitely happen. As sad as that might be for Formula One, Dennis realised it was very good news for him. As the rumour gained currency, whatever its truth, it effectively put Alonso into play.
    Dennis made an approach for Alonso. He understood, as did everyone else in the paddock, that at around US$6 million a year, Alonso was underpaid. Dennis offered Alonso US$16 million a year. The timing of the move was perfect.
    At that point Renault's prospects for 2007 were at their lowest and McLaren's, after its storming season, at their highest. McLaren had also just announced it had signed Vodafone as title sponsor for 2007; it had more cash than ever. With all things considered Alonso's manager Flavio Briatore had no choice but to advise his driver to accept Dennis's offer. He knew Renault at that moment in time would not match it (although later the situation was to change).
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    WUFFFF!! its a long story and one must read it. It is still incomplete and the remaining part is huge. I'll see if you guys are interested than I will post it here.
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    Toyota on the driver market

    Toyota's F1 president John Howett has admitted that the Cologne based team could be on the lookout to replace Ralf Schumacher at the end of 2007.

    31-year-old Schumacher is enduring an abysmal season at the wheel of the TF107, and he found a new low in Monte Carlo when he qualified behind Spyker's Adrian Sutil in twentieth place.

    It is well-documented that Ralf is coming to the end of his current multi-million dollar contract with his Japanese employer, but Howett has traditionally been the German's staunchest supporter.

    But Briton Howett, who already has Schumacher's teammate Jarno Trulli under contract for 2008, told the newspaper Bild: "It is only professional that we observe the (driver) market."

    Howett, though, insisted that Toyota is still working to help Schumacher overcome his difficulties with the machine.

    "Of course it is frustrating, but to say that he is completely alone would be wrong. We must give him a better car," he added.


    Ralf Schumacher expressed recently that he has no doubts about his presence in F1 next year.

    Reporters for the specialist magazine Sport Bild, meanwhile, say they overheard BMW teammates Nick Heidfeld and Robert Kubica discussing Ralf's alarming lack of pace on 'day off' Friday in Monte Carlo.

    Nick asked Robert if he thought the 'Schumacher' name would still be a feature of the F1 grid beyond this year.

    "I don't know," Kubica answered, "but the kind of money he makes at the moment definitely will not be there for him any more."

    D.B. © CAPSIS International
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    Alonso's advice to KimiKimi Raikkonen is teetering on the "danger zone" of being left out of the fight for the 2007 F1 World Championship.

    That is the claim of championship leader Fernando Alonso, who along with his McLaren teammate Lewis Hamilton moved fifteen points clear of Ferrari's Finn at Monaco last weekend.

    Ferrari's lesser-paid Felipe Massa, meanwhile, is ten points clear of his high profile teammate, who finished just eighth in the Principality after a qualifying crash set him farther away on the starting grid.

    "I believe that, when you are 15 points behind, you risk entering the danger zone," Alonso is quoted as saying by the Spanish newspaper As.

    "With one more error, yes, (Raikkonen) will be out of it."

    25-year-old Alonso observed that Brazilian Massa is only five points behind the silver-clad pair after Monaco.


    He admitted: "I would prefer to fight for the title with my teammate, because then I know that we are fighting with equal conditions. When you are against Ferrari, how things are going to be is harder to predict."

    He also vowed to stay out of the controversy about alleged team favouritism within McLaren, saying that he prefers to simply "enjoy the victory" in the days following his second such win in 2007.

    Alonso said: "In five races I have gathered 38 points. If I do the same in the next five, I am going to win the title. I know what I have to do."

    © CAPSIS International
    Source GMM
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    Nice race... A usual monaco but not the best of Ferrari.

    Kimi was struglling in the f2007 as the Mclarens had the upperhand on the race as they were jus cruising.. on the streets of monte carlo..

    Kimi cud ve done better .
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    Canandian Grand Prix.

    Won by Hamilton. Lovely drive from start to finish.

    But ... did anyone see Kubicas crash ? That was ... :O

    - FORMULA 1 Season 2007 - RAIKONNEN WINS -727231


    - FORMULA 1 Season 2007 - RAIKONNEN WINS -727232


    - FORMULA 1 Season 2007 - RAIKONNEN WINS -727233


    He is okay though.
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    @nightsurfer...
    I'm great ALHAMDULILLAH!...

    Thats a lot of news to read...

    I also think that Alonso is highly over-rated, but i think so is Lewis Hamilton. I mean all that hype, and then debuting from McLaren, is something worth pondering upon...

    What i dont get is that how can Ferrari suddenly become such an inferior car?
    RX-7? An RX-7? Really? I hope you know it's just a sports car with a washing machine under the hood.

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    All Alonso and McLaren on day one

    Ferrnando Alonso’s time set in the morning practice session remained unbeaten this afternoon at Indianapolis during the second practice session of the day. It was however Alonso who again set the pace for McLaren Mercedes with a best lap of 1:12.156s, just over two-tenths off the best lap of the day.

    Lewis Hamilton underlined the fact that McLaren have retained the edge again over rivals Ferrari as he set the second best time, 0.153s slower than Alonso and just over a tenth clear of Felipe Massa in what is a very tightly bunched field.

    Ferrari are hoping that they can challenge McLaren this weekend and early indications are that they are closer than they have been of late with Massa third fastest and Kimi Raikkonen close behind in fourth position.

    Nick Heidfeld took the fifth fastest time in his BMW Sauber, four-tenths back from Raikkonen while Sebastian Vettel ended his first day as a Formula One race driver with a respectable 11th fastest time in the sister F1.07.

    David Coulthard has run well all day today in his Red Bull Renault and was a solid sixth in this session while team-mate Mark Webber was running strongly in the top ten as well before some kind of mechanical drama sidelines his RB3 with a third of the session remaining. The Australian dropped to 12th.

    Nico Rosberg set the seventh fastest time with an almost identical time from the morning session.
    Team-mate Alex Wurz missed the morning session to allow Kazuki Nakajima a run in the FW29, but this afternoon Wurz seemed to lack pace and only a late lap moved him up to 16th position overall.

    Heikki Kovalainen led the way at Renault with the eighth fastest time with Fisichella back in 15th while the Honda duo of Rubens Barrichello and Jenson Button rounded out the top ten for Honda.

    Tonio Liuzzi ran firmly in the top ten for much of the session but would find himself bumped down to 13th in the later stages in his Toro Rosso Ferrari while Anthony Davidson put in a good lap late on to move 14th in his Super Aguri Honda.

    Toyota struggled for pace with Jarno Trulli 17th ahead of Scott Speed and Takuma Sato while Ralf Schumacher was just 20th in his TF107 ahead only of the Spyker Ferrari duo of Christijan Albers and Adrian Sutil.

    The pecking order remains unchanged on day one of the US Grand Prix.

    Earl ALEXANDER
    © CAPSIS International
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    @gem_guy

    Yeah, Ferrari are struggling to keep up with Mclaren. But I think Ferrari were hurt very badly but the three safety car periods in Canada. They were pretty good at Montreal certainly better than the Williams and the BMWs.
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    Confident of challenging McLaren

    McLaren Mercedes led the way on day one of the US Grand Prix with Felipe Massa and Kimi Raikkonen close behind with the third and fourth fastest times. Massa in particular seems confident he can take the battle to the McLaren duo over the remainder of the race weekend.


    Felipe Massa

    "Overall, I am reasonably satisfied with today. We worked throughout on race preparation and I think that on this track, we are a bit more competitive than was the case in the last two races. We definitely have more grip and we are getting the tyres to work better. The two types of Bridgestone available here offer different performance: the softer one is quicker over the first lap but then it seems to have a more significant drop off while the harder one is the opposite. We will now analyse the data also trying to predict how the track conditions will develop. All in all, I think we can fight for the top places."


    Kimi Raikkonen

    "I am reasonably happy with how today went. This afternoon, we definitely improved the situation over the way it was in the first session.
    There is still work to do on improving the car's set up but I think we can be competitive up against our main rivals. One thing that is certain, is that we will put all our effort into achieving that."


    Luca Baldisserri

    "During the first session, in which we ran with just one set of tyres, we worked on the set-up of the F2007 and, by the end, it seems we have managed to find a satisfactory balance for both drivers. We are still struggling a little bit to do the times on new tyres and this is one of the aspects we will have to work on very carefully in preparation for tomorrow's qualifying. We have seen that our race pace is pretty good, with a level of consistency in terms of tyre performance. We can expect a very close fight with our main rivals but we can hold our own."

    E.A.
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    Softer option worth four-tenths at Indy


    Bridgestone's medium and soft compound Potenza tyres took to the punishing Indy banking today under searing temperatures on the first day of running for the US Grand Prix with McLaren Mercedes driver Fernando Alonso leading the way in both 90 minute practice sessions at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

    The temperatures at Indy were amongst the highest experienced so far this season but despite the tough conditions for the seventh round of the Championship, the Bridgestone Potenzas performed admirably. Alonso's time on the first day of running was only 1.1 seconds off last year's pole time. The medium and soft tyre combination has only been previously used at the season-opening Australian Grand Prix.

    Alonso set his times on Bridgestone's soft compound Potenza whilst BMW Sauber's Nick Heidfeld and Alonso's team-mate Lewis Hamilton were second and third fastest in the morning session. In the afternoon session, held in even hotter conditions, Hamilton and Ferrari's Felipe Massa were the second and third fastest. Sebastien Vettel, standing in for Robert Kubica at BMW Sauber, impressed through the day with the fourth fastest time in the morning, and he completed the greatest amount of laps of any driver.


    Kees van de Grint, Head of Track Engineering Operations
    "It was a very good session today with no tyre issues to report. The circuit was not at its best which is normal due to this being the first day of running, but despite this both compounds of Potenzas performed well. If we are critical we could say that more grip would be advantageous, but in terms of graining and consistency I am very satisfied."

    "More grip should come as the circuit improves but competitive lap times were already set despite the circuit's condition. The soft Potenza was faster, as expected, with a minimum four tenths advantage over the medium Potenza. The temperature levels are not an issue to me as it is the high speeds and the banking here which are the crucial aspects. Although we have had a good day today, we should never be complacent at this circuit."

    Press Release
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    Indianapolis Circuit Map:

    - FORMULA 1 Season 2007 - RAIKONNEN WINS -728665
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    hamilton
    alonso
    massa
    kimi
    hiedfield
    kovaline


    wont be easy race for ferrari!
    Alpha Romeo 156

  17. #276
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    ^^ No doubt. But it will be a very interesting race.
    Honda City 1999 1.5L NEO MT | Honda City 2009 1.3L AT

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    Hamilton's got skill for sure!

    No one feel bad for Kubica or somethin ?
    1st Generation Integration

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    Kubica was very very lucky to go through such an accident without injury. It was a huge impact, much much worse than Ralf's at Indianapolis that broke his back.
    Honda City 1999 1.5L NEO MT | Honda City 2009 1.3L AT

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    WHoA !!!!!!!

    First of All guys my review of Montreal GP.

    The most entertaining Race upto now ( in ma point of view)

    We saw 5 times Safety Car.
    We saw 2 black flags ( disqualification of the driver from the race.)
    We saw two stop and go 10secs penalty.
    We saw a Jap good for nothin driver overtaked the mighty champ.
    We saw a Youngest GP winner.
    We saw a Complete Airborne wipe out of KUbica.
    We saw christiy albers comes to pit and the pit crew wasnt there :p
    Turn on Inspiration. Turn off Blur.



    Burn Rubber Not your soul.

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    Kubica is fine By the grace of GOD,

    - FORMULA 1 Season 2007 - RAIKONNEN WINS -728886
    Turn on Inspiration. Turn off Blur.



    Burn Rubber Not your soul.

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