Wednesday, March 28, 2012
Formula One Group has launched a process to expand its current financing facilities. This will involve raising $2.27bn of new services with maturities in 2017/18, replacing the company’s accessible $2.92bn facilities which are due to full-grown in 2013/14. The new facilities will offer the business with a secure, long term capital structure.
Proceeds raised will be kept within the Group for general business purposes and the company has no current plans to pay a bonus.
Tuesday, March 20, 2012
Kimi Raikkonen says he is confident of scoring his first podium since returning to F1 in this weekend's Malaysian Grand Prix after picking up points in his maiden outing for Lotus in Australia.
The Finn suffered in qualifying at Albert Park and failed to make it past Q1, even though he came through the field to finish seventh and give Lotus its first point’s finish of the year.
Having managed to come from side to side the field on race day down under, Raikkonen said he was happy with the concert shown by the E20 and felt confident that he could he could fight for more during the second round of the year at Sepang.
“The car feels very good,” he said. “In the race I was wedged in traffic a lot so it didn't show so much, and who knows what strength have happened if we had a better grid a slot. There is a lot of speed in the car.
“We'll be trying to get better our performance in Malaysia for sure. We don't know how the car will behave there but it's been good everywhere so far so hopefully it'll be the same there. It'll be hot and humid which is a confront but we have a good car. As long as qualifying goes well we might be fighting for podiums. We'll have to wait and see.
“There's much more to come. We're learning concerning the car all the time and the last race didn't really give us the chance to use its full possible. Hopefully Malaysia will be a bit more straightforward.”
Raikkonen's seventh place stop in Australia came in his first F1 start since Abu Dhabi 2009, but the former Ferrari driver insisted he felt at home straight-away in spite of the changes that have taken place over the past two years while he has been competing in the WRC.
“To be honest it didn't feel any dissimilar to when I last raced,” he said. “There have been a few rule changes but the racing itself is very similar. The DRS is easier to use in the race than in practice or qualifying because there are only certain places you can set in motion it, whereas in the other sessions people will try to push the limits of how early they can use it which can easily lead to a mistake if you are too destructive.”
Thursday, March 15, 2012
While the new group of privateer 'Claiming Rule Teams' has arrived just in time to fill the 2012 grid, discussions are underway to point MotoGP in a clearer way for 2013 and beyond.
Following Suzuki's departure and a decrease in satellite entries, full prototypes have been abridged from 17 to 12 for this season - each of the remaining manufacturers (Honda, Yamaha and Ducati) supplying two factories and two satellite bikes.
But the network will still rise to 21 courtesy of the nine new CRT entries, running Superbike-based engines in a prototype chassis.
Extra fuel and engine concessions will be obtainable to help the CRTs compete and the controversial Aprilia project has set lap times that propose its top riders will be in touch with slowest satellite machines.
However other CRTs have far less possessions and the difference in technology between the front and back of the 2012 grid might be greater than at any point in premier-class history. As a result, track performance is likely to be just as wide-ranging.
“The concept of CRT we agree with… but the lap time difference is too big at this instant,” said HRC executive vice president Shuhei Nakamoto, who has previously stated that Honda test rider Kousuke Akiyoshi was only one second slower on a Superbike than on an 800cc RC212V at Suzuka.
But none of the three factories are next to the CRT concept. After all, where would the 2012 MotoGP World Championship be without it? Nevertheless, this season is very much middle, with May targeted as the deadline for agreeing the full set of proposals for 2013 and beyond.