Can we get a "Good Guy Massa" meme, please?
For the second year in a row, the Malaysian Grand Prix ended in a controversy over team orders - the commands from teams ordering teammates to let each other pass for positions. Whereas last year's fiasco surrounded Red Bull Racing, Williams is now under the microscope following last weekend's race.
One of the most iconic names in racing is returning to the sport's pinnacle series. Martini and its distinctive livery will be teaming with the Williams Formula One team for the 2014 season, marking its return to the sport after an all-to-brief stint with Ferrari from 2006 to 2008. Even in those three short seasons, Martini wasn't a named sponsor, occupying a small place on the Scuderia's cars.
With Ferrari pairing Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen, Formula One's annual game of musical chairs had, so far, left Brazilian veteran and 2013 Ferrari driver Felipe Massa without a team. Fortunately for Massa's fans, he's found a ride for next season, inking a three-year contract with Williams F1 that should allow his 11-year career in the top flight of open-wheel racing to carry on, according to a report from BBC Sport.
The game of Formula One musical engine bays continues with the announcement that Williams F1 has signed a long-term deal to switch to Mercedes engines from 2014, bringing Williams' partnership with Renault to a close after just two years. Williams will get the 1.6-liter turbocharged V6 and KERS from Mercedes, but will use an in-house gearbox.
The last Formula One car to be revealed for the 2013 season, the Williams FW35, is here. Unveiled at the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona before the second pre-season test, the FW35 is – like every other car on the grid – an evolution of last year's car. Both team drivers Pastor Maldonado and Valtteri Bottas have said the car is a big step up from last year in overall driveability and "rear-end cornering grip."
As soon as the Williams Formula 1 team inked an engine supply deal with Renault in 2011, auto journos salivated at the thought of a new Renault Clio Williams. (This was after the return of Gordini, during the rumors of the return of Alpine, before the rumors of the Initiale brand, and long before the new Clio was introduced.) The original Clio Williams arrived in 1993 to celebrate Nigel Mansell's 1992 F1 World Championship in his Williams-Renault. In fact, Williams had nothing to do with the hat
Yesterday's Spanish Grand Prix was an enormous cause for celebration for Williams. The Formula One team that was once at the very top of its game hadn't won a race since 2004, but it broke that losing streak when Pastor Maldonado claimed the checkered flag for the team against Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen and against all odds. But the celebrations in the team's garage were cut short when a massive fire broke out just after the race.
As fast as tarmac and competing drivers can vanish behind you in Formula One racing, so can the unfortunate events of the past. In some cases, anyway. Flavio Briatore may still be banned from the sport due to his involvement in the Crashgate debacle, but Mike Coughlan is making short business of putting his scandal behind him, and returning to F1 racing in a big way.
Racing fans on either side of the Atlantic may be familiar with the name Mike Coughlan. The controversial engineer was at the heart of the Spygate scandal between the McLaren and Ferrari teams a few years back and was subsequently ejected from Formula One. While he was waiting for his banishment to expire, he came over to the U.S. where he was working for Michael Waltrip Racing in NASCAR. But as soon as his sentence was up, he was back in F1 with the Williams team. Trouble is, his contract with
Over the course of his nine seasons on the Formula One grid, Kimi Raikkonen only drove for a handful of teams, making his debut with Sauber before switching to McLaren in only his second season, then to Ferrari after five seasons for another three more that included his solitary World Championship. But since his departure two years ago, the Finnish driver has been linked to more teams than he ever drove for in the first place.
As far as racing disciplines go, Formula One and NASCAR are about as different as can be. They run entirely different kinds of cars, on different kinds of tracks, for different types of fans, from garages on opposite sides of the Atlantic. Recent years have seen a handful of F1 drivers trying their hand at stock car racing, but the latest clash of civilizations is set to play itself out not on the race track, but in the court room.
Mike Coughlan hit a pretty nasty bump in his Formula One career. Coughlan was the chief designer for the McLaren F1 team from 2002 through 2007, but it was that last year with McLaren for which Coughlan is remembered, when he was caught possessing technical documents from rival Ferrari. The F1 affair became known as Spygate, and Mike Coughlan was suspended from the sport for two years. McLaren took a major hit as well, when it was stripped of all that season's constructors points and fined $100,
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