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MOTORSPORT Unfinished Business By Matt Hobbs

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hen Michael Schumacher emotionally announced his retirement from Formula One in 2006, many people believed that the sport hadn’t heard the last of him. Sure enough, he’s come full-circle and returned to Mercedes-Benz, who rejoin the sport for the first time since 1955. Partnering Schumacher at the team will be Nico Rosberg, making for an allGerman team. Schumacher dominated the first half of the decade, winning a record five consecutive titles from 2000-‘04, and being the main rival to Fernando Alonso for ‘05-’06. Although many people question the wisdom of returning to the sport at 41, the oldest man to win a world championship was Juan Manuel Fangio, who had a long and fruitful relationship with the Silver Arrows. The new livery for the team was unveiled at the Mercedes museum in Stuttgart, albeit on a 2009 Brawn repainted in the silver and turquoise colours. The 2010 car was still undergoing preparations for the February test.

Ferrari Top Winter Testing By Matt Hobbs

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he Valencia circuit saw most of the teams giving their cars a first airing, getting to grips with heavier fuel loads, longer chassis and a mix-up from the running order of last year. New cars, new drivers and new teams all affect the accepted norms of 2009. As many people expected, Ferrari and McLaren have been trying hard to rectify the mistakes they made last year. Ferrari was fastest on all 3 days of the In any year of any sport, you get those moments that stick with you, ones that you feel proud just to have seen. Here’s our top times from Formula One in 2000-10.

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test, in the hands of Massa and Alonso. McLaren showed good long-run pace over the course of the test, with Button running slower than Hamilton at this early stage. The surprise of the test was the Sauber team, with Kamui Kobayashi and Pedro de la Rosa setting fast times throughout the sessions. The cast-off BMW team claimed second spot each day despite the lack

Belgium, 2000

One of the ballsiest overtaking moves from Hakkinen, diving past Michael Schumacher and Ricardo Zonta in one go at the end of the long straight after Radillion.

Brazil, 2003

of stability during the car’s design period. Mercedes team principal Ross Brawn has admitted that they are having trouble. “Effectively we had one driver who didn’t fit the car properly and one who hadn’t driven for three years so it was a day to get things moving. As always until you get to the sharp end of it, where a few tenths matter it is impossible to judge.”

Alonso ended the race on the 55th lap from third, hitting debris from Mark Webber’s earlier accident. He misses the podium ceremony because he is in an ambulance.

Europe, 2005

Raikonnen elects not to change a flat-spoted tyre and go for the win. The vibrations demolish the front-right corner of his car and send him off the track.

MotoGP

Independent teams in MotoGP will begiven more breaks for 2012, says the Grand Prix Commission. New 1000cc regulations come into effect for the 2012 season, and the Commission wants to take the opportunity to give smaller teams a fighting chance. They will be allowed twice the engines for a season, and three litres extra fuel for each race.

Australia, 2006

Jenson Button exits the final corner in a blaze of glory, his engine detonating at the end of the race. Fisichella wins an extra point and a face full of engine oil.

IndyCar

Paul Tracy used social networking site Twitter to launch a fierce attack on the lack of American drivers in this year’s IndyCar Series. Just four North American drivers were on track for the opening day of last week’s test. He wrote: “Guys like Rahal, Rice and me get to stay home and watch. If that’s what you fans want, enjoy.”

Canada, 2007

Robert Kubica suffers the largest crash in recent years, ploughing into a concrete wall at 160mph. He escapes with only a sprained ankle and a concussion.

Brazil, 2008

GP2 Asia

Davide Valsecchi clinched the GP2 Asia Series title at Sakhir, with a win in the feature race. The title win came three races before the end of the Winter season, after Valsecchi preserved his tyres better than the rest of the field in the Bahrain heat. Charles Pic took his first victory in Saturday’s sprint event, dominating the race from lap five.

With heavy rain falling in the last five laps, Lewis Hamilton snatches the championship by overtaking Timo Glock on the last corner of the last lap.

Germany, 2009

Despite a 10-second stop-go penalty mid-race, Mark Webber holds off a resurgant McLaren team to dominate the race and win for the first time in his 10-year career.

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Matt Hobbs Motorsports  

Matt Hobbs Motorsports article

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