Tag Archives: driver

Nico Rosberg gives Lewis Hamilton"s Mercedes a boost after third day of test in Jerez

From Silverstone to Spa! Rosberg puts in the mileage to give Hamilton's Mercedes much-needed boost in Jerez

By
Simon Cass

PUBLISHED:

19:08 GMT, 7 February 2013

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UPDATED:

19:50 GMT, 7 February 2013

Lewis Hamilton has new teammate Nico Rosberg to thank for getting Mercedes' pre-season plans back on track after the German driver reeled off a staggering 148 laps of the Circuito de Jerez on Thursday.

Rosberg's Herculean effort – he put a much needed 407 miles on the new Mercedes W04, the equivalent of two grand prix distances – means it should be all systems go for Hamilton on Friday as he brings to a close the opening test of the 2013 season.

The mammoth stint was in stark contrast to the two previous days of running for Mercedes during which they managed to complete just 29 laps in total.

Going long into the night: Nico Rosberg gave Mercedes a much-needed boost in Jerez on Thursday

Going long into the night: Nico Rosberg gave Mercedes a much-needed boost in Jerez on Thursday

New team: Lewis Hamilton, who completed 14 laps yesterday, speaks to Rosberg

New team: Lewis Hamilton, who completed 14 laps yesterday, speaks to Rosberg

On Tuesday, Hamilton suffered a heart in the mouth moment when his brakes failed as he slowed from almost 200mph. After hitting the tyre wall the damage to Hamilton's car was enough to end his day's work after just twenty minutes behind the wheel.

Rosberg fared little better on the first day of action in Southern Spain, an electrical fault which sparked a small fire bring the Mercedes to a premature halt.

Delighted at the change in fortunes, Rosberg said: 'The last two days we were unlucky because they were small things but we were unable to solve them in a day.

Off track: Jenson Button spent most of the morning in the garage before a wobbly wheel forced him to park his McLaren

Off track: Jenson Button spent most of the morning in the garage before a wobbly wheel forced him to park his McLaren

'Today we really made up for it and put a smile on everyone's face. And it was a fantastic achievement to drive from Silverstone to Spa distance-wise with an F1 car with no problem what so ever. We were very consistent and I am feeling good because I can push it straight away.'

It was a day of mixed fortunes for McLaren as Jenson Button got off to another slow start, spending more of the morning in the garage than on the track.

And after returning to the circuit to complete 83 laps, the 2009 world champion brought the day's events to a close five minutes early when a wobbly rear wheel forced him to park his McLaren MP4-28 between turns seven and eight.

Max Chilton lands Marussia F1 deal for 2013

Max power! Chilton becomes fourth Brit on grid after landing Marussia deal

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UPDATED:

12:05 GMT, 18 December 2012

Max Chilton insists he is 'already up to speed' with Formula One after Marussia confirmed the promising youngster as the fourth Briton on the grid for the 2013.

Chilton replaces Caterham bound Charles Pic for the 2013 season and despite having just two Formula One tests under his belt, the 21-year-old Reigate-born racer is convinced he is ready to make the step up from the GP2 grand prix feeder series.

'It's hard to put into words how I'm feeling today, with the announcement that I will be racing for the Marussia F1 Team in 2013,' said Chilton.

Done deal: Chilton has been handed a permanent drive with Marussia in 2013

Done deal: Chilton has been handed a permanent drive with Marussia in 2013

Max Chilton: Racing history

British Formula Three Championship (2007-09)

Chilton tasted victory at one race in three years, ending his final season 4th in the standings.

GP2 series (2010-12)

The Briton graduated to the F1 feeder series in 2010. After two largely lacklustre years, Chilton ended last season with two wins from the final four rounds finishing 4th in the championship.

'It comes at the end of what has been
a fantastic year for me, and those steps – my GP2 pole positions and
wins, my performances in the F1 Young Driver Test and in FP1 at Abu
Dhabi – have given everyone the confidence in my ability to compete at
the highest level of motor sport.

Behind the wheel: Chilton made his F1 debut at Abu Dhabi last year

Behind the wheel: Chilton made his F1 debut at Abu Dhabi last year

'I am very fortunate to have spent
the last six races with the Marussia F1 Team as Reserve Driver, which
means that instead of a standing start, I am already up to speed and at
ease with the people, the culture, the systems and of course, the 2012
package.

'During the period since the Japanese
Grand Prix, I have watched at very close quarters the incredible
commitment and determination to succeed that saw everyone in the team
pushing until the very last race. I feel very lucky to be able to embark
on my F1 racing career with this group of people.

Brit of all right

Lewis Hamilton

Chilton becomes the fourth Brit on the grid next year, joining Lewis Hamilton (right), Jenson Button and Paul Di Resta.

With just three seats left to be confirmed next season, only Germany can boast the equal number of drivers. But with Adrian Sutil tipped for a return that could become five.

The other countries who will be represented in 2013 are France (3), Australia (2), Mexico (2), Finland (2), Spain, Brazil, and Venezuela.

'Pre-season testing is just a few
weeks away, so my focus now is to continue my physical preparation
whilst spending as much time as possible working with the technical team
to help develop the car I will drive in my debut F1 season.'

Chilton is the son of Grahame
Chilton, the non-executive chairman of insurance giant Aon Benfield's UK
holding company who is reportedly worth around 100million.

Eyes on the prize: The 21-year-old will drive for Marussia next season

Eyes on the prize: The 21-year-old will drive for Marussia next season

However, he has previously stated
that the estimated 9.5m funding he has secured to realise his Formula
One dream does not come from the family coffers.

Even so the funding boost will be
welcomed at Marussia who narrowly missed out 10m in prize money after
being pipped to tenth place in the constructors' championship by
Caterham at the season finale in Brazil.

Marussia team principal John Booth is
adamant that, funding aside, his young protege has the talent to help
the Banbury-based team build on the solid progress they made in 2012.

Booth said: 'We have spent a
significant amount of time evaluating his performances during 2012, both
in our own car in a testing situation and also from the pit wall as we
monitored his progress alongside the other members of our junior talent
pool during Grand Prix support races.

'We felt confident enough in his
ability and potential to appoint him to the role of Reserve Driver in
September and since that time his development has been rapid in all
aspects. First and foremost, he has shown himself to be extremely
capable in the car.

'Not only that, Max very quickly
embedded himself within the team, thanks in no small part to the fact
that he is a lively and affable character who we've enjoyed having
around. Having been integral to our race weekend engineering environment
for the past three months already – as well as having undertaken a
significant part of our simulator programme – Max has already found his
feet.'

Kamui Kobayashi gives up on securing F1 seat for 2013

Not at the races: Kobayashi gives up on securing F1 seat for 2013

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UPDATED:

23:36 GMT, 17 December 2012

Kobayashi's three-year spell at Sauber came to an end this season

Kobayashi's three-year spell at Sauber came to an end this season

Kamui Kobayashi has conceded defeat in his battle to secure a seat on the Formula One grid in 2013.

The Japanese driver was left without a berth after Sauber elected to go with Nico Hulkenberg and Esteban Gutierrez as their drivers for next season.

Kobayashi, who finished third at his home race at Suzuka in October, had set up a website where fans could donate money to help him secure the funding for a seat elsewhere, while also pursuing sponsorship from several Japanese companies.

But, despite raising over eight million euros, Kobayashi posted a message on the website on Monday evening where he said he was now focusing his efforts on finding an F1 drive in 2014.

His message to his fans on kamui-support.com read: 'Since the donation started, it has become quite big news in Japan, and because of your big support, it had a big influence on some Japanese companies and I started receiving good support from them.

'I was in the position to bring a budget of eight million euros at least. If you could imagine the time I had, it was an overwhelming reaction and it shows there still is a great potential from Japanese companies.

'Unfortunately, the time was still short and I am not able to secure a seat with a competitive F1 team for 2013.'

Kobayashi finished behind McLaren-bound teammate Sergio Perez in the 2012 standings

Kobayashi finished behind McLaren-bound teammate Sergio Perez in the 2012 standings

He added: 'I have to admit that it is very sad and I feel sorry for the fans and Japanese companies who supported me. But I am still confident to make it happen in 2014.

'I would like to stop the donation for now and while I will save all the money for 2014, I will start to look what is the best option for 2013 and also 2014.

'My main priority is to secure the competitive F1 seat in 2014. I have no interest in racing in any other categories.'

Phillip Yau Wing Choi dead: Second fatality at Macau Grand Prix

Second fatality rocks Macau as Hong Kong racer Yau Wing Choi is killed in qualifying

PUBLISHED:

14:16 GMT, 16 November 2012

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UPDATED:

14:16 GMT, 16 November 2012

This weekend's motor sport action in Macau has been marred by a second fatality in less than 24 hours after a local touring car driver was killed in qualifying at the Asian street circuit.

Phillip Yau Wing Choi, from Hong Kong, succumbed to injuries suffered in a crash at Mandarin Bend in qualifying for the Macau Touring Car Cup, a support race to this weekend's Macau Grand Prix.

The incident comes a day after Portuguese motorcycle rider Luis Filipe de Sousa Carreira died after a crash at Fisherman's Bend at the Guia circuit.

Tragedy: Carreira died from injuries sustained in his crash on Thursday

Tragedy: Carreira died from injuries sustained in his crash on Thursday

'The Macau Grand Prix Committee regrets to announce that Phillip Tau Wing Choi… has succumbed to injuries sustained in a racing accident during the qualifying session this afternoon,' read a statement by race organisers.

'The incident occurred at Mandarin Bend at 13.11. The qualifying session was immediately red flagged.

'After the incident, two fully-equipped rescue cars were at the scene, followed by the extrication car. The position of the racing car required cutting in order to facilitate extrication. At 13.19, the competitor was removed from the car, and at 13:20 Mr Yau was transported by ambulance to hospital where he was admitted at 13.24.

'Continuous CPR was performed however he succumbed to his injuries at 13.51.

'The Macau Grand Prix Committee has contacted the family and the members of the team. The Committee expresses its sincere condolences.'

The annual Macau meeting attracts competitors from all over the world to compete in a range of categories, and is the blue riband event of both the Formula Three and World Touring Car Championships.

Sebastian Vettel apologises for swearing on Abu Dhabi Grand Prix podium

Vettel issues apology after swearing on Abu Dhabi podium

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UPDATED:

15:32 GMT, 9 November 2012

Sebastian Vettel has apologised for swearing live on air following Sunday's Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

Vettel swore during an interview with former F1 driver and current BBC pundit David Coulthard following the podium ceremony at the Yas Marina circuit.

Vettel said: 'I'm terribly sorry for using the wrong word on the podium and I'm sorry if I have offended anyone who was watching.

Water surprise: Vettel has apolgised for swearing on the Abu Dhabi podium

Water surprise: Vettel has apolgised for swearing on the Abu Dhabi podium

'In the heat of the moment, I didn't use the right words and I apologise. I'll do it better next time.'

Speaking on the podium after finishing in third place, Vettel said starting the race from the back of the grid due to a penalty was 'obviously a chance to f*** it up and we didn't do that'.

Abu Dhabi race-winner Kimi Raikkonen also swore when interviewed by Coulthard, and the FIA intervened by issuing a letter to all teams warning drivers to mind their language during live interviews.

Podium celebrations: Raikkonen and Vettel both swore on live TV

Podium celebrations: Raikkonen and Vettel both swore on live TV

Phil Duncan F1 blog

The letter, issued on behalf of president Jean Todt, stated it is 'very much our collective responsibility to make sure drivers are aware such language has no place during media events'.

It added that it 'shines an unwelcome beam of adverse publicity on their teams and sponsors, the sport and FIA'.

Motor sport's governing body said they are mindful of the fact that 'in the “heat of battle”, adrenaline, elation and disappointment make for a dangerous and heady mix'.

But the letter also stated that 'F1 drivers are not the only ones being interviewed in such conditions: I think of boxers, rugby and football players who are routinely interviewed live on television after a gruelling sporting effort. 'They manage to avoid inappropriate language.'

India grateful for England"s old ineptitude – The Top Spin

Why India are clinging to faith in England's ineptitude against spin

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UPDATED:

11:12 GMT, 6 November 2012

Top Spin

When England arrived in Australia two years ago, travelling journalists who had grown used to being mocked even as they passed through customs noticed a change of mood.

‘You guys are going to win,’ grumbled my taxi driver in Brisbane. I didn’t believe him, but the comment was symbolic. Australia without its swagger was like bubble without the squeak.

To be in India this last week has not quite been to sense the same defeatism. Yet there is an anxiety here that has matched England’s own concerns about selection.

Our hero: Sachin Tendulkar's century for Mumbai in the Ranji Trophy settled a few Indian nerves

Our hero: Sachin Tendulkar's century for Mumbai in the Ranji Trophy settled a few Indian nerves

India remain favourites to win the four-Test series starting in nine days’ time in Ahmedabad, but mainly because of enduring faith in English ineptitude against spin, rather than the kind of confidence that was once inspired by the greatest batting line-up on the planet and has produced only four series defeats at home out of 40.

Just to repeat, in case you choose to read this piece selectively: I expect India to win (2-1, to make a fool of myself in advance). But it has required centuries for Virender Sehwag and Sachin Tendulkar in the opening round of Ranji Trophy matches to settle nerves – theirs and everyone else’s – while question marks remain about the form of Gautam Gambhir and the fitness of Zaheer Khan.

Then there’s the alleged civil war between Sehwag and MS Dhoni, the captain, which the local TV channels can be relied upon to rev up on the flimsiest pretexts in the weeks ahead.

We are hardly in the realms of a crisis here. But such has been the expectation that England are due another subcontinental misadventure that the desire to avenge the 4-0 whitewash of 2011 has acquired an introspective air.

Rift Indian heavyweights MS Dhoni (left) and Virender Sehwag (right) are said to be at loggerheads

Rift Indian heavyweights MS Dhoni (left) and Virender Sehwag (right) are said to be at loggerheads

Rift Indian heavyweights MS Dhoni (left) and Virender Sehwag (right) are said to be at loggerheads

When will Sachin quit Is Viru past it What about Gauti Is Zak too old Why have we gone back to Harbhajan

THE TOP SPIN ON TWITTER

For cricket-related snippets from England’s tour of India, feel free to go to twitter.com/the_topspin

The answer to that last question also explains why England faced no frontline spin (sorry, Yuvraj) in their first two warm-up matches, and will be tested only by leggie Amit Mishra in the four-day game against Haryana starting on Thursday here in Ahmedabad.

It’s not so much that BCCI conceived a cunning plan to deprive England of the chance to apply a sticking plaster to their old achilles heel – more that India’s stock of quality spinners is not what it once was. This is not to denigrate Ravi Ashwin and Pragyan Ojha, who could yet win them the series. But the cupboard is disconcertingly bare.

Although there is never a good time to play India in India, the truth is that this is one of the better times. England, though, need absolutely everything to slot into place – and the early signs have been mixed.

England have problems too: Steven Finn (second left) is vital to the attack but is struggling with a thigh strain

England have problems too: Steven Finn (second left) is vital to the attack but is struggling with a thigh strain

Crucial to their hopes of unsettling India’s batsmen on docile tracks is the fitness of Steven Finn, who may play his first Test out here with only four overs under his belt thanks to a thigh strain. Next in the queue is Stuart Broad, who will have been limited to 10 by a bruised heel.

Through no obvious fault of their own, England’s eminently sensible plan of playing three warm-up games before the Tests is in danger of losing its value.

But they have learned things too. For one thing, it seems Nick Compton has guts. It’s true that the Mumbai A bowling on Monday afternoon wasn’t up to much, but his entire tour was in the balance after scores of 0 and 1, and he responded with a show of bloody-mindedness that will have resonated with Andy Flower.

Got guts: Nick Compton overcame a poor start to his tour to hit a half-century against Mumbai A

Got guts: Nick Compton overcame a poor start to his tour to hit an unbeaten half-century against Mumbai A

For another, Samit Patel looks ready –
and so too do either Jonny Bairstow or Eoin Morgan when Ian Bell flies
home around the time of the second Test in Mumbai. And Kevin Pietersen
Gloriously, he is yet to put his foot in it.

Still, an Indian elephant lurks. England have not faced either Ashwin or Ojha, and neither have they batted on a pitch that is more than three days old. If India are asking themselves questions, England are equally unsure of a few answers.

Both sides are stumbling towards the starting line – which is why India, in their home conditions, should remain ahead. Just don’t expect another 4-0.

WIN THE REMARKABLE STORY OF CRICKET ON EVEREST

The Top Spin has stumbled across three copies of Alan Curr’s cracking new book Cricket on Everest: The Inspirational Story of the World’s Highest Cricket Match. And we’re offering them as a prize. All you have to do is answer the following question, and email the answer to [email protected] by 12 noon GMT on Monday, November 12.

– Which member of England’s current touring party in India climbed to Everest base camp five years ago

For more information on Alan’s story, please visit www.facebook.com/CricketOnEverest and @everestcricket.

THAT WAS THE WEEK THAT WAS

Bresnan almost puts his foot in it – and over it

There was a small intake of breath as Tim Bresnan addressed the media on the first evening of England’s warm-up game against India A last week. Earlier in the day, Bresnan had been made to wait for six minutes for the third umpire to confirm that he hadn’t overstepped when removing Ajinkya Rahane, and quipped that he hadn’t bowled a no-ball ‘without meaning to’ for about eight years.

To confess to a deliberate no-ball is an interesting career move in the post-Lord’s-2010 era, but – as the room filled with titters – Bresnan quickly clarified his position. ‘Sometimes you need an extra ball to set the batsmen up,’ he pointed out. Returning to the dressing-room, Bresnan wondered whether he had just dropped a clanger. Still, next time he oversteps, we’ll have a decent chance of knowing why.

Careful, Tim: England bowler Bresnan (right) flirted with controversy in India last week

Careful, Tim: England bowler Bresnan (right) flirted with controversy in India last week

More from Lawrence Booth…

The Top Spin: England's batsmen show they are still struggling to get to grips with spin
24/09/12

The Top Spin: England voyage into the unknown on a wing and a prayer
18/09/12

The Top Spin: Bears, Twitter and textgate… a review of the summer that was
10/09/12

The Top Spin: KP's England future is more dependent on his attitude than he may realise
03/09/12

The Top Spin: Strauss's future uncertain after mid-table mediocrity takes hold at precisely the wrong moment
21/08/12

The Top Spin: Don't judge Pietersen – leave that up to Flower and Strauss
14/08/12

The Top Spin: Pietersen chasing omnium of desires… love, 10,000 Test runs and to be rich
07/08/12

The Top Spin at the Test: Headingley – the ground where Weird Things Happen (And Mainly To England)
02/08/12

VIEW FULL ARCHIVE

India A's flighty openers

The India A openers faced a tricky decision on the final day of the match. Both Abhinav Mukund and Murali Vijay had already booked afternoon flights to Cuttack, 90 minutes in the air from Mumbai, for Ranji Trophy matches starting the next day. Batting again against England was, frankly, an inconvenience. What to do

The two men took different routes. While Vijay cancelled his flight in the hope of impressing the selectors with a big score, Mukund stuck resolutely to Plan A – a stratagem that was not inconvenienced when he was caught at mid-on in the third over from a leading edge off Jimmy Anderson.

What happened, asked India A coach Lalchand Rajput ‘I was too early on the shot,’ protested Mukund. ‘Early on the shot – or late for the flight’ came the withering reply. As for Vijay, his demise in the first over after tea meant he was back on the phone to his airline to retrieve his booking. Both men are understood to have caught their flights, but they need barely have bothered. Bad weather limited Tamil Nadu’s game against Orissa to 33.1 overs.

Hair today, gone tomorrow

Forget Steven Finn’s anxiety over how much of a part he’ll play in this Test series. The big question he’s asking himself right now is: why did I shave my legs Finn lost some hair on his right thigh after undergoing treatment for the strain he collected on the first day of the tour, but instead of ignoring the bare patch on a part of the body rarely seen in public, England’s beanpole decided to even things up by depilating both legs – in their entirety. Just don’t be heard suggesting he looks the less manly for it.

The name's P… KP

Reintegration comes in all shapes and sizes. Sometimes it isn’t merely a case of scoring runs or confirming that everything really is back to normal by getting out to a left-arm spinner. So hats off to Kevin Pietersen for pulling a few strings and organising a team outing to a Mumbai premiere of Skyfall, the new James Bond flick.

Movie star: Kevin Pietersen's 'reintegration' with the England team continues apace

Movie star: Kevin Pietersen's 'reintegration' with the England team continues apace thanks to a cinema trip

Here we go again…

If England thought the retirement of Rahul Dravid has created a potential weakness in India’s line-up at No 3, they may have to think again. Cheteshwar Pujara looked a model of concentration as he made 87 for Mumbai A at the DY Patil Stadium on Sunday. But perhaps this should come as no surprise. In the space of a month four years ago, Pujara compiled scores of 386, 309 and 302 not out. Is a new wall being erected

Korean Grand Prix: Jenson Button slams Kamui Kobayashi

What an idiot! After 'first-lap nutcase' row, Button turns fury on Japanese driver

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UPDATED:

21:12 GMT, 14 October 2012

Jenson Button launched a stinging attack on Sauber’s Kamui Kobayashi, branding him an ‘idiot’ after being forced out of the Korean Grand Prix on the opening lap.

Future McLaren team-mate Sergio Perez did not escape cricitism either after he also shunted Button although it was Japan’s Kobayashi — whom the British driver nicknamed ‘Kobacrashi’ — who bore the brunt of the fury.

‘It seems both Sauber drivers think the first lap of the race is the only lap,’ Button said as he conceded his slim title chance was finally over. ‘They have got a great car underneath them and could score such great points here if they just kept their heads together. I don’t know what they were doing.’

Crash: Kamui Kobayashi collides with Jenson Button in Korea

Crash: Kamui Kobayashi collides with Jenson Button in Korea

On a day when Sebastian Vettel registered his third win in a row, Button could not contain his anger at Kobayashi’s rush of blood.

Thumped on the right rear, Kobayashi then wrecked Button’s right front suspension as he tried a late breaking manoeuvre between the McLaren and Nico Rosberg’s Mercedes. The German’s afternoon ended on the first lap like in Japan last weekend.

Button raged into his radio after slewing off at turn three: ‘Hit by Kobayashi, what an idiot.’

Even back at the garage Button’s anger had not abated. ‘Going down the back straight, I was having a good drag race with Nico. Then suddenly I felt a big bang on the right hand side and Kamui flying past,’ said Button who had started from 11th.

‘It is pretty poor driving standards considering this is the pinnacle of motorsport and it is such a long race. The race is not two corners long and some people need to learn that.’

End of the road: Button was forced into an early retirement in Korea

End of the road: Button was forced into an early retirement in Korea

Kobayashi was handed a drive-through penalty by the stewards and, after retiring himself on lap 17, took full responsibility for his error.But two hours after the race, Button still could not resist a dig. ‘Kobacrashi, sorry Kobayashi, said on Twitter that he was very sorry that he caused the incident which is very nice,’ he jibed before accepting the apology.

‘The first thing is to say sorry. Then you forgive them and move on. You just hope that you limit the chances of it happening again. With Perez, I think he locked up and ran really deep into the corner and I suppose lost control. I think he misjudged it.’

After Button’s race ended early, out-going team-mate Lewis Hamilton put on a masterclass to limp home in 10th place. Battling from lap 18, his car handling atrociously following a rear anti-roll bar failure, Hamilton could have been forgiven for calling it a day.

His cause was not helped by a piece of Astroturf which became lodged in a sidepod later on as he tried to claw his way through the field following a third pit stop.

Good effort: Lewis Hamilton battled hard to finish 10th in Korea

Good effort: Lewis Hamilton battled hard to finish 10th in Korea

But McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh was genuinely taken aback by Hamilton’s determination to bring his car home — a performance which surely ended any speculation he would not give his all for his current team despite the Mercedes move.

‘We have just got one of the hardest won single points this team has had for many years,’ said Whitmarsh. ‘Lewis did a fantastic job. The amount of sheer determination to get one point was superb.’

Such qualities will be required by Hamilton at Mercedes next year given their continued lack of competitiveness. Michael Schumacher finished a lowly 13th.

‘It was a pure struggle with the car and in your mind,’ said Hamilton. ‘I feel pretty good because I remained strong throughout that struggle.’

Korean Grand Prix

Mercedes fined for Michael Schumacher incident in Korea Grand Prix qualifying

Mercedes hit with 8k fine after unsafe Schumacher release in Korea qualifying

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UPDATED:

11:02 GMT, 13 October 2012

Mercedes have been fined 10,000 euros (8,000) for their unsafe release of Michael Schumacher during qualifying for the Korean Grand Prix.

The German, who will retire at the end of the season, came out of his garage during the final minutes of Q3 just as Lewis Hamilton was heading down the pitlane.

Punished: Michael Schumacher ventured out of the pitlane at an inopportune moment

Punished: Michael Schumacher ventured out of the pitlane at an inopportune moment

The McLaren driver was forced to take rapid evasive action as Schumacher pulled into his path, narrowly avoiding a collision.

And having examined video evidence of the incident and heard from team representatives, Mercedes were found guilty of breaching article 23.12 of the FIA sporting regulations and fined.

Double trouble: Schumacher was also reprimanded for an incident in practise

Double trouble: Schumacher was also reprimanded for an incident in practise

Schumacher himself was reprimanded on Friday for impeding the HRTs of Pedro de la Rosa and Narain Karthikeyan during second practice.

The stewards also confirmed Karthikeyan will be able to start Sunday's race, despite failing to set a time during qualifying after a brake failure during Q1.

Maria de Villota relives horror smash before British Grand Prix

'I had 140 stitches in my face and they looked like boat rope. I was terrified.' Female F1 driver De Villota relives horror smash in which she lost an eye

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UPDATED:

11:25 GMT, 10 October 2012

Formula One test driver Maria de Villota has spoken for the first time about the horror smash in which she lost her right eye.

The 32-year-old spent a month in
hospital after suffering serious head injuries when she crashed into the back of a team transporter during a
straight-line test for Marussia on July 3.

Maria De Villota before the crash

Speed queen: Maria De Villota before the crash

De Villota has now returned home but she continues to suffer from headaches and has lost her sense of smell and taste.

'I remember everything – even the moment of the impact,' di Villota told
the Spanish Hola magazine.

'When I woke up everybody was around me and they didn't even know if I
was going to speak, or how I was going to speak. I started speaking in
English because I thought I was on an FIA check-up and that the nurse
was a trainer.

'Then my dad said 'Please, Maria, speak Spanish, because your mother is
missing half the things', and then I became aware of everything: of what
had happened, where I was and why.'

The smash, which happened at Duxford Airfield in the run-up to the British Grand Prix, had had a profound effect of De Villota.

'The accident has given me a new perspective about life, about the
things that matter,' she said.

'It has taught me that to achieve what
you want you have to educate yourself in sacrifice through effort.

Crash: De Villota suffered serious head injuries

Crash: De Villota suffered serious head injuries

'Now I have just one eye maybe I perceive more things than before.
Before this, my life was a race against the clock, and now I see you
have to stop and measure things in a different way.'

De Villota admitted she was shocked the first time she saw her injuries, but she is sure that the worst is now behind her.

'In the beginning they were covering it [the eye] so I couldn't see it,'
she added.

'The first day I looked at myself in the mirror I had 140
black stitches on my face, and they looked like they had been stitched
with a boat rope, and I had lost my right eye. I was terrified.

'I have to undergo more surgery soon, but the worst is now behind.'

She added: 'I have headaches that they don't know how long will last – maybe years.

'I have to control my efforts a lot because of the cranial pressure. I
have also lost smell, and taste, which is linked to smell. Now I like
things with a very strong taste.'

Sebastien Loeb wins ninth World Rally Championship

Home sweet home: Loeb celebrates his ninth World Rally Championship in France

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UPDATED:

16:54 GMT, 7 October 2012

Sebastien Loeb wrapped up his ninth consecutive World Rally Championship title in style with victory on home soil in France.

Loeb and co-driver Daniel Elena once again underlined their dominance of the sport as they finished 15.5 seconds ahead of Ford's Jari-Matti Latvala in the overall standings after the 22nd and final stage of the Rallye de France.

Loeb's 75th WRC win is his eighth in 11 races so far this season, and sees him wrap up yet another title with two rounds to spare.

Cloud nine: Sebastien Loeb (R) and his co-driver Monaco's Daniel Elena (L) celebrate on the podium in Strasbourg

Cloud nine: Sebastien Loeb (R) and his co-driver Monaco's Daniel Elena (L) celebrate on the podium in Strasbourg

Rally good: Loeb and his co-driver Monaco's Daniel Elena steer their Citron DS3

Rally good: Loeb and his co-driver Monaco's Daniel Elena steer their Citron DS3

'It has been a great moment. We had been dreaming of it since the weekend began, it is pure happiness,' said Loeb.

Loeb's win also secured Citroen their eighth manufacturers' crown, but also heralded the end of an era with the Frenchman previously announcing he would not defend his title in 2013, electing instead for a part-time WRC programme.

'The season has been perfect but I want to enjoy this rather than think about this title being our last together,' he added, referring to long-time co-driver Elena.

Centre of attention: Loeb talks up his latest World Rally Championship success on home soil in France

Centre of attention: Loeb talks up his latest World Rally Championship success on home soil in France

Celebration: Loeb enjoys his victory with his Citroen team

Celebration: Loeb enjoys his victory with his Citroen team

With 244 points, Loeb is 71 ahead of team-mate Mikko Hirvonen with two races to go.

Latvala's strong run to second place – the Finn following up his win in Britain last time out – denied Citroen the further satisfaction of a one-two finish, with Hirvonen coming home in third place, 44 seconds adrift of his team-mate.

Citroen Junior's Thierry Neuville was on superb form today, winning five of the final day's six stages as he claimed a career-best fourth place overall, ahead of Mads Ostberg.

Ott Tanak took sixth, while the top 10 was rounded out by Evgeny Novikov, Chris Atkinson, Martin Prokop and Sebastien Chardonnet.