Singapore Grand Prix coming in ...

Saturday, December 29, 2007

V8 SuperCars Eager to Ride on the Singapore F1 Wave

Copyright BBCSport
V8 Supercars chairman Tony Cochrane has expressed his interest in organising a V8 Supercar race on the same weekend as the Formula 1 Singapore Grand Prix on 28th September 2008.

Discussions with Singapore GP Pte Ltd, the official race organisers of the Singapore Grand Prix, have already gone underway according to the news sources. Cochrane said that the V8 Supercars event will not be a supporting race of the F1 race, but rather, they will be held on the day before the F1 race (i.e, 27th September).

The V8s series are currently held only New Zealand and Bahrain, with a non-championship round in the Albert Park circuit (also used by the Formula 1 event) and a Townsville Street Race in 2009.

If the current discussions are unsuccessful, the V8s organisers are still keen to have a race in Singapore to widen the audience reach.

F1 Enthusiast Bidded $30K for Hotel Room

An F1 enthusiast has paid a reported sum of $30,000 SGD for a hotel room in Pan Pacific Hotel during a charity auction.

The charity event, which was attended by Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong and his wife among the 500 guests, was the Assisi Hospice's Light-a-Heart charity dinner.

The unnamed bidder would be staying in the trackside hotel, which offers a prime view of the circuit just as the cars zip across the stretch at the speed of more than 300kmh, from 26th September to 28th September.

The trackside hotels in Singapore will be levied with a heavy tax of 30 percent during the event, and according to industry observer Noel Hawkes, the room cost will triple the normal rate during F1 races in other cities.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Off-Track: Fast on Circuit, Fast on Road

Michael the Fastest Taxi Driver - Copyright AP Photo/Tom Hevezi
Michael Schumacher and Lewis Hamilton made headlines lately with their F1-style performances off the circuit - and both ran into trouble with the law for their acts.

Seven-time world champion Michael Schumacher, who had won the Race of the Champions for Team Germany with Sebastian Vettel, was in a rush to get to the airport or risk missing a family flight back to Switzerland. He decided to put his F1 skills to use when he took over the driver seat from the taxi driver Tuncer Yilmaz. Pushing the Opel Vivaro to its top speed of 163kmh, the taxi driver was in awe with the German racer and commented that Schumacher "overtook in some unbelievable places".

While the cabbie got a healthy sum as tips for letting Schumacher get to the airport more than in time for the flight, both Schumacher and him could be in trouble with the law as investigations are now underway.

Lewis Hamilton, on the other hand, had mistaken the motorway near the northern town of Laon for the Magny Cours circuit when he took his Mercedes (the road one, not the F1 car) to a speed of 196kmh and was caught by the French police. He was subsequently banned for driving in France for a month, had his Mercedes detained and himself poorer by 600 euros. If anything good came out of this incident, he got himself free publicity and the French police commended the young driver for being cooperative and very polite.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Heikki Kovalainen for Mclaren

Copyright AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi
Heikki Kovalainen will line up alongside Lewis Hamilton for the Mclaren-Mercedes Team 08.

In almost something looking like a swop-deal between Mclaren and Renault (which of course didn't happen since Fernando Alonso was released before Renault finally got him back without having to negotiate with Mclaren), Heikki Kovalainen will leave Renault for the Woking-based team to complete an all-rookies line-up for 2008 season.

Lewis Hamilton, the 1st runner-up for the Drivers' Championship in his debut season, was more than happy to welcome the Finnish driver on board. He hopes that the Finn will enjoy his time in Mclaren, just like he did in season 2007. Not forgetting to emphasize on the importance of teamwork, he said that both of them will be "strong and focused" in their championship chase next year.

Heikki Kovalainen, on the other hand, felt that it is an honour for him to follow the footsteps of successful Finnish drivers Mika Hakkinen and Kimi Räikkönen, both whom have won Drivers' Championships before, although Kimi Räikkönen's was won with the Scuderia Ferrari team in 2007.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

More Partnerships for Singapore Grand Prix Organisers

The Singapore Grand Prix organisers have announced 3 more deals for the inaugural Singtel Singapore Grand Prix next year.

First up, there is the deal with the Singapore Flyer, which will be prominently featured in the Singapore Grand Prix as the cars will have to pass by the observation wheel near turns 22, 23 and 24. The deal would allow the race organisers to utilise the grounds and facilities of the Singapore Flyer, thus adding more grandstands for spectators. The spectators will also have access to the areas within the Singapore Flyer Garden, with the organisers placing the entertainment and F&B outlets strategically inside.

Kingsmen Creatives and Pico Art International have both been awarded contracts to build temporary grandstands and corporate suites around the circuit. According to an article on the Straits Times, Kingsmen will be in charge of the areas at the pit grandstand, pit entry and exit, together with the Stamford grandstand and suites opposite One Raffles Link.

Pico will be in charge of the areas at turns 1, 2 and 3 as well as the grandstands at the Padang.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Fernando Alonso Reunites with Renault

Fernando Alonso Reunites with Renault
As expected by many, Fernando Alonso will be reuniting with Renault - the team which he had won two world champions with in seasons 05 and 06 - after the FIA confirmed that Renault will be subjected to no punishment despite being found guilty of possessing Mclaren's intellectual property.

He will be partnering Nelson Piquet Jr, for the upcoming season.

Fernando Alonso left Renault for Mclaren in the 2007 season. Unfortunately, unlike Kimi Räikkönen who left his former team Mclaren to join Ferrari and won his maiden championship with the Italian team, Fernando Alonso had a stormy relationship with his Mclaren employers and ex-teammate Lewis Hamilton. He had joined the team hoping for a number 1 status, but when Lewis Hamilton started giving Fernando a run for his money with his strong performances, Fernando voiced out his unhappiness.

Mclaren team principal Ron Dennis' vehemence for an equality in the team might have ultimately cost the team the Drivers' championship with the two drivers engaging in draining off track and on-track feud.

Mclaren was also disqualified from the 2007 Constructors' Championship as they were found guilty of possessing Ferrari's technical data and information.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Fernando Alonso to Decide by Next Week

AFP/File/Evaristo Sa
With Renault's spy incident hearing to take place on 6th December (this coming Thursday), Fernando Alonso is expected to announce his decision on his 2008 destination by early next week according to the Spanish newspaper AS DARIO.

Certainly, if all goes well in Renault, in any event that they were not found to be guilty, Fernando Alonso will most likely head back to his team where he had won 2 championships with in 2005 and 2006. Renault team boss Flavio Briatore has also indirectly hinted that Renault is ready to accept Fernando as the first driver of the French team.

Fernando Alonso has also been reportedly to the Honda's factory for a seat fitting last week, however, the rumour has been rubbished by the Honda team.

At the same time, Mclaren is also taking their time to decide on the driver who will replace Fernando Alonso's seat in 2008. Williams team has repeatedly stated Nico Rosberg's importance in the team, and Nico himself has also stated that he wants to be the revoluntionary force for the Williams team. Heikki Kovalainen, who looks likely to be forgotten by Renault with Flavio hinting a lineup of Fernando Alonso and current Renault test driver Nelson Piquet Jr, is another hot candidate for the coveted teammate seat of Lewis Hamilton.