Lotus F1 reveals first images of the new Mercedes-powered E23 Hybrid

Lotus E23 car 2015

Lotus F1 became the third team to unveil their 2015 challenger by releasing images of the new Mercedes-powered E23 Hybrid via social media.

The Enstone-based outfit are hoping that this new car will a be more competitive following a disappointing 2014 championship. A switch to a new engine manufacturer is certainly a positive step.

In addition, Lotus has spend much of last season consolidating its finances and restructuring its technical organisation so as to ensure that it returned to form this year.

The E23 Hybrid looks very beautiful, especially the front nose. This is a major contrast to that ugly and now-outlawed twin-tusk concept in 2014.

Lotus E23 side

Lotus technical director Nick Chester described the car, which will be powered by Mercedes’ V6 hybrid turbo, as “a massive step forward”.

“It’s no secret that we struggled with last year’s car so we’ve targeted every area that caused us an issue,” he said. “We’ve made strong progress in the wind tunnel as well as in areas such as packaging and cooling.”

“We expect the E23 to perform far, far better than its predecessor.”

Chester said the new power unit “looks to be the one area of the car which could bring us the greatest performance gain”.

“It’s not just performance, but reliability and driveability as well as packaging and cooling too,” he explained.

Romain Grosjean and Pastor Maldonado have been retained for another season while the first shakedown of the new car will take place at Jerez, as part of pre-season testing.

Fingers crossed the E23 goes as quicly as it looks at the race tracks this season.

Lotus E23 front

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Force India’s new 2015 look

VJM08 2015

This is the new striking livery for Force India as the Silverstone-based team unveiled it’s new look for the upcoming Formula 1 season.

The colour scheme is predominantly silver and black, with flashes of orange. The look is very similar to the McLaren-Mercedes when it was sponsored by West cigarettes back in the early 2000s.

Just like the Williams FW37, the Force India has the 2015-spec nose, to comply with this season’s FIA rules.

By looking closer at the Mercedes-powered car, the VJM08 features a modified sculpting of the sidepods, new cooling intakes, and a revised rear suspension layout with a hydro-mechanical system replacing the torsion springs.

Technical director Andrew Green commented that the change in regulations at the front of the car had “caused a loss in terms of downforce and we’ve been working to claw back all that performance”. The front of the VJM08 has been lowered compared to the 2014 design.

Team principal Vijay Mallya said he hoped that 2015 would give an opportunity for Force India to challenge the big teams again, after it came close to beating McLaren last season in the constructors’ championship.

“The 2015 car is a refinement of what we learned in 2014,” said Mallya, ahead of drivers Sergio Perez and Nico Hulkenberg pulling the covers off the car.

“Another major step forward is the technology change, in that we are now using a 60 per cent windtunnel in Cologne, Germany which is a far bigger step than we have ever taken before.

“Traditionally we have been in Brackley, England, where we used to develop our car with a 50 per cent model and an outdated windtunnel.

“With this new and important tool available to use, we hope the 2015 challenger will really prove its worth in competing with the big boys of F1 when we start the European season.

“We are lucky to have two exceptional drivers who will hopefully steer the Sahara Force India challenger to the front of the grid, and hopefully a few podiums during the current year.”

The driver line-up remains the same for this season with Sergio Perez and Nico Hulkenberg. Both are determined to challenge the top teams in the upcoming championship.

Force India enjoys greater backing from Mexican companies in 2015 ahead of the return of Mexico’s round of the Formula 1 World Championship on November 1. Alcohol brand Jose Cuervo has joined the team from Sauber alongside Claro and Telcel which are both part of the America Movil telecommunications group.

VJM08 car

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First image of the 2015-spec Formula 1 is revealed

FW37 front

The first official image of the 2015-spec Formula 1 racing car has been revealed courtesy of a tweet featuring the Mercedes-powered Williams FW37.

The FW37, which was fired up for the first time earlier today by the team at their factory, appears on the front cover of February’s issue of F1 Racing magazine.

The most distinctive feature on the new race car is the radically shortened nose tip, designed to comply with the revised 2015 regulations.

FW37 side

Martini Racing continues to be the main sponsor with addition partners featuring Rexona and Hackett.

Williams are hoping the FW37 can continue the previous season’s success after numerous podium finishes which resulted in third place in the constructors’ standings.

Hopefully that elusive first win with Mercedes power and running the iconic Martini Racing colours will come in this year’s Formula 1 championship.

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Whiplash – Review

My music tastes are pretty eclectic. I like a bit of everything but a bit more of metal. Jazz however is low on the list and big band jazz even less.

So remind me again why am I going to see Whiplash?! Well, it’s down to two things. One is that it is drum based and drums fascinate me. I can’t play them for toffee, but love seeing people who can. Secondly, it’s been tagged Full Metal Jacket meets drums. So now I’m interested.

The story follows a young musician and a maniacal teacher with the most outrageous teaching methods at a high-end music college.

We first see Andrew (Miles Teller) practicing drums alone in the Shaffer Conservatory of Music. Hearing a sound he stops, looks up and we get to see the infamous teacher himself. Terrance Fletcher, (J.K. Simmons) then asks him why did he stop. This prompts Andrew to continue playing, which is met by our first insight to Fletcher’s mindset when he retorts with “I asked you why you stopped and then proceeded to play like a wind up monkey.”

We see Fletcher use much nicer words later in the film in a couple of scenes (yeah that’s about it), but it’s a gentle subtle introduction to the grand master teacher, as later you get to see him in full bore Full Metal Jacket insult mode.

Fletcher’s belief is fear and intimidation is key to getting the most out of his band members. Shouting and chairs flung at his band when they make a mistake is par for the course. However, playing in Fletcher’s class comes a pathway to greatness such is his influence in the music industry.

Our real introduction to Fetcher comes when we hear the band play for the first time and someone’s instrument is out of tune. Your really not prepared for what follows as we see the enraged teacher work his way through band increasing his anger as no-one owns up. Utterly enraged, full bore shouting; nose-to-nose with each student has you flabbergasted. This really is like the lineout in Full Metal Jacket and Sgt Hartman introducing himself to Private Pyle.

After he finds the culprit and sends them packing (after a great Mars Bar joke), your left open jawed at the expletives Fetcher has just unloaded on his own students. Wow.

Having been handpicked, we assume Andrew on his first day might be excused from such behavior. No. Not even slightly. Crying it seems creates even more abuse. Each time Andrew plays, Fletcher comes forth with “Not quite my tempo” and the tension increases each and every time those words are uttered. From now on, I will forever try and work that saying in whenever the need arises!

As a viewer you are as shocked and stunned silent as much as the other band members looking on and just like them, relieved you’re not the target.

While the film doesn’t quite fully advocate Fletchers teaching methods, you get to see how much it drives Andrew to play out of his skin, quite literally until it bleeds as he tries to emulate some of his (real life) drum idols, one of which being Buddy Rich.

As the film progresses we follow Andrew as he practices all hours and Fletcher doing whatever it takes to get the best out of his core drummer. This culminates is a simply incredible last scene. Instead of your jaw dropping from the abuse, it’s dropped with awe as Andrew drums for his life. I damn near jumped up punching the air.

What’s more incredible is that Miles Teller is a self taught drummer and all the drumming is for real. However, he played as a rock drummer and as he found out, jazz drumming is a whole new ball game which involved weeks and weeks of teaching and practising.

It’s a fascinating film, loosing based director’s Damien Chalelle music school experience, isn’t perfect. Beyond the shouting there isn’t a much else to the film apart from a great “family meal” which has football playing sons taking centre stage, with drumming being seen as rather laughable by the football son’s parents. You only wish is to put them in front of Fletcher for some abuse.

But you are drawn into Fletchers performance and of course Andrews drumming skills. J.K. Simmons is just fantastic and given the outrageous abuse he gives face to face with his students must take a lot more skill than it looks. It feels so real, not at all just put on for show. He is very consistent in his role and while you might not think it is the right way of teacher, you totally believe he does not think there is any other way.

Reviews:
IMDB
Rotten Tomatoes
Empire Magazine

Interviews:
J.K. Simmons
Miles Teller and on-screen girlfriend
Cast and Director

Buddy Rich drum solo’s:
Buddy a few days before his death
Nine minute solo 

Reviewed by invisiblekid

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Alonso and Button form McLaren-Honda 2015 line-up

McLaren Honda 2015

Following months of speculation, McLaren have confirmed that Fernando Alonso will return to the team, with Jenson Button retained for another Formula 1 season.

The announcement was made at a special media briefing at McLaren’s Woking headquarters.

It was well-known that Fernando Alonso will be back racing for McLaren after five difficult and frustration seasons with Scuderia Ferrari. But a decision on his team-mate meant a delay to the announcement on the 2015 line-up.

Debate raged within the team over whether the 2009 Formula 1 world champion Jenson Button’s greater experience should be preferred to rookie Kevin Magnussen’s longer-term potential.

A decision on the final driver line-up had been anticipated ahead of the season-finale Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, but an announcement was twice delayed as agreement failed to materialise at boardroom level.

Button, 34, who recently described McLaren’s indecision over its 2015 driver line-up as “strange”, was ultimately given chance to prolong his career.

The decision means Magnussen, 22, will be left without a race seat in Formula 1 next year, but the Woking team said he would be retained as a reserve, test driver.

Alonso Dennis 2015

Alonso said the discussion for him to return to McLaren began over a year ago. “Over the past year I have received several offers, some of them really tempting, given the current performance of some of the teams that showed interest,” he said.

“But, more than a year ago, McLaren-Honda contacted me and asked me to take part, in a very active way, in the return of their partnership – a partnership that dominated the Formula One scene for so long.”

Alonso added he is excited to be following the footsteps of Ayrton Senna, who won all three of his world championships in a McLaren-Honda.

“I have never hidden my deep admiration for Ayrton Senna, my favourite driver, my idol on track, my reference,” he said.

“I still remember, as a kid, the posters in my wardrobe, my toy cars in which I dreamed I would one day emulate Ayrton, and the kart that my father built for my older sister, and that I ended up falling in love with.

“That kart had the livery of one of the most legendary partnerships in the history of Formula One, McLaren-Honda, the car that Ayrton drove, the same partnership to which I am now honoured to join, to take part in the next Formula One world championship.”

McLaren will therefore join Ferrari in having world champions in both their cars next year. “As regards drivers, McLaren’s policy has always been to assemble the strongest line-up possible,” said Ron Dennis, “and in Fernando and Jenson I firmly believe that is exactly what we have.”

“I can safely say that we now have by an order of magnitude the best driver line-up of any current Formula One team,” Dennis added.

Button McLaren Honda 2015

“Being a part of new-look McLaren-Honda is a wonderful opportunity for all of us, and I am very pleased to have been invited to do my bit. In fact, I am absolutely raring to go,” said Jenson Button.

“I am also very glad that Kevin will remain part of the team. He is a very quick driver and a really nice guy.

“Looking forward, I know the Honda guys well, having driven Formula 1 cars powered by their engines from 2003 to 2008.

“I have a huge amount of respect and admiration for them, and promise to give 100 per cent to make their partnership with McLaren a success.

“Last but far from least, I am very much looking forward to having a driver as fast and as experienced as Fernando as my team-mate. I am sure we will work extremely well together.”

McLaren chairman Ron Dennis said the chance to pair proven world champions Alonso and Button was too good an opportunity to pass up.

“Fernando and Jenson have started a combined total of precisely 500 grands prix between them – a mighty aggregate – and have won 47 of them,” he said.

“I can safely say, therefore, that we now have by an order of magnitude the best driver line-up of any current Formula 1 team.

“I want to thank and pay tribute to Kevin, who has done a great job this season and will continue to be an integral part of our team.

“He will be our test, reserve and third driver, and remains an excellent prospect for the future.”

So an exciting line-up in the shape of two champions. Fernando Alonso returns to the team following that fallout over Spygate back in 2007 and it will be fascinating to see how the double world champion can get along with Ron Dennis now.

As for Jenson Button, it seems the amount of support on social media has convince the McLaren team to retain him for another chance in Formula 1. Button has still got the drive to succeed and it’s going to be exciting to see how he will fare against Alonso.

But it’s a tough blow for Kevin Magnussen. After showing so much promising in his debut season, Magnussen has been sidelined to a test, reserved driver. Can he make a return to Formula 1 in the near future? Perhaps but a certain GP2 star is making waves and could take over, so Keven needs to watch out for Stoffel Vandoorne

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Sebastian Vettel’s ‘fairytale’ debut with Ferrari

Seb Ferrari 1

Four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel has described his first experience of Ferrari as a ‘fairytale’ after completing a four-day test session with the Maranello-based team.

With his Red Bull Racing contract expired, Vettel immediately got to grips in representing Forza Ferrari.

Having arrived at the Ferrari factory on Friday (November 28), Vettel drove the F2012 at Fiorano on Saturday (November 29), spent a whole day in the simulator on Sunday (November 30) and then met senior team figures including Ferrari chairman Sergio Marchionne, team boss Maurizio Arrivabene and technical chief James Allison for meetings on Monday (December 1).

Speaking after his first run in the F2012 which features his chosen number 5 – Vettel confessed to feeling special emotions.

Seb Ferrari 2

“There are a lot of fairytales about Ferrari and how it feels to drive a red car,” said Vettel, who ran with a white helmet.

“In the end I can only confirm these fairytales.

“It’s not just a story; it’s a true legend that exists.

“And it feels really, really special to become part of that and to be inside the car, to see the people coming, running to the track and trying to climb the walls to see the car.

“There is definitely something very magical and something that happened today which I will never forget.”

Seb Ferrari 3

Vettel said his first taste of driving at Fiorano also reminded him of visits he made to Maranello as a kid – when he hoped to catch a glimpse of then hero Michael Schumacher.

“I remember I was here a long, long time ago as a little child, driving through Maranello and trying to look over the fence,” he said.

“So to be here officially as part of the team, it felt fantastic to have the possibility to drive the car, and get to know the team. It was a unique experience.

“Obviously it’s a very different colour for me. Everybody is dressed in red, everything is red, but it’s really something special and I’m very much looking forward to the challenge that we took on for the next years.”

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Hamilton wins race and championship

Hamilton champion 2014

Lewis Hamilton achieved his second Formula 1 World Championship by winning the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, as title rival Nico Rosberg’s race was ruined by ERS issues.

Hamilton came into the season finale with a 17-point lead over Rosberg, and only needed to finish directly behind his Mercedes team-mate to take the title, regardless of the unpopular double points awarded at Yas Marina.

Rosberg secured his eleventh pole of the season in qualifying, and his title hopes rested on another car coming between himself and Hamilton if he converted that pole into victory.

As it turned out, excessive wheelspin at the start ensured Rosberg lost the lead to Hamilton before the first corner, meaning he had to chase his rival.

Rosberg stayed within a handful of seconds through most of the first half of the race, but suffered an energy recovery system (ERS) failure on lap 24 of 55, which cost him engine power and effectively ended his challenge.

Rosberg tried to manage the technical issue with help from his Mercedes team, but dropped down the order and eventually finished home in a pointless P14, refusing a suggestion by the team to retire his car in the closing stages as the engine problems worsened and insisting he ended his title bid by taking the chequered flag.

Hamilton also lost pace in the middle of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, though not to the same extent as his team-mate, but recovered enough to beat the charging Williams of Felipe Massa by just 2.5 seconds and clinch the championship with his eleventh victory of the season.

Hamilton narrowly denied Massa his first win since the 2008 Brazilian Grand Prix – scene of Hamilton’s maiden title triumph for McLaren – but second place was a solid result for Massa in his first campaign with Williams.

Team-mate Valtteri Bottas recovered from a slow start from third on the grid to record Williams Racing’s first double podium finish of the season, while Daniel Ricciardo charged from a pit lane start to fourth following Red Bull’s exclusion from qualifying for a technical infringement concerning the RB10’s front wing.

Jenson Button produced another strong drive in what could turn out to be the final Formula 1 of his career to finish fifth for McLaren, ahead of the Force Indias of Nico Hulkenberg and Sergio Perez, and the Red Bull of Sebastian Vettel, which also started from the pits.

Fernando Alonso finished ninth in his final race for Scuderia Ferrari, a couple of seconds clear of team-mate Kimi Raikkonen, who claimed the final points on offer for tenth position.

McLaren’s Kevin Magnussen survived a collision with the Sauber of Esteban Gutierrez, and being forced off the track by Hulkenberg – who was penalised five seconds – on the first lap to finish P11, ahead of Jean-Eric Vergne’s Toro Rosso.

The Toro Rosso of Daniil Kvyat started fifth on the grid, but retired early on after its Renault engine lost power.

So a deserved world champion in the shape of Lewis Hamilton. His second Drivers’ championship after eleven race victories.

Big respect to Nico Rosberg in putting in a brave fight all season but come race day at Abu Dhabi, the Mercedes driver lost out on the start while ERS failure affected his performance.

Abu Dhabi Grand Prix race results, 55 laps:

1 Lewis Hamilton      Mercedes   1h39m02.619s
2 Felipe Massa    Williams-Mercedes   2.576s
3 Valtteri Bottas    Williams-Mercedes   28.880s
4 Daniel Ricciardo    Red Bull-Renault   37.237s
5 Jenson Button    McLaren-Mercedes    1m00.334s
6 Nico Hulkenberg    Force India-Mercedes 1m02.148s
7 Sergio Perez    Force India-Mercedes    1m11.060s
8 Sebastian Vettel    Red Bull-Renault   1m12.045s
9 Fernando Alonso    Ferrari    1m25.813s
10 Kimi Raikkonen    Ferrari    1m27.820s
11 Kevin Magnussen    McLaren-Mercedes   1m30.376s
12 Jean-Eric Vergne    Toro Rosso-Renault  1m31.947s
13 Romain Grosjean    Lotus-Renault   1 lap
14 Nico Rosberg    Mercedes   1-lap
15 Esteban Gutierrez    Sauber-Ferrari   1 lap
16 Adrian Sutil    Sauber-Ferrari    1 lap
17 Will Stevens    Caterham-Renault  1 lap

Retirements:

Kamui Kobayashi    Caterham-Renault    Retirement
Pastor Maldonado    Lotus-Renault    Engine
Daniil Kvyat    Toro Rosso-Renault   Retirement

Final Driver’s standings:

1 Lewis Hamilton    384
2 Nico Rosberg    317
3 Daniel Ricciardo    238
4 Valtteri Bottas    186
5 Sebastian Vettel    167
6 Fernando Alonso    161
7 Felipe Massa    134
8 Jenson Button    126
9 Nico Hulkenberg    96
10 Sergio Perez    59
11 Kevin Magnussen    55
12 Kimi Raikkonen    55
13 Jean-Eric Vergne    22
14 Romain Grosjean    8
15 Daniil Kvyat    8
16 Pastor Maldonado    2
17 Jules Bianchi    2
18 Adrian Sutil    0
19 Marcus Ericsson    0
20 Esteban Gutierrez    0
21 Max Chilton    0
22 Kamui Kobayashi    0
23 Will Stevens    0

Final Constructors’ standings:

1 Mercedes    701
2 Red Bull-Renault    405
3 Williams-Mercedes    320
4 Ferrari    216
5 McLaren-Mercedes    181
6 Force India-Mercedes    155
7 Toro Rosso-Renault    30
8 Lotus-Renault    10
9 Marussia-Ferrari    2
10 Sauber-Ferrari    0
11 Caterham-Renault    0

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Rosberg keeps Hamilton from pole position in title decider

Rosberg Abu Dhabi 2014

Nico Rosberg denied his championship rival and Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamitlon with a crucial pole position at the Yas Marina circuit, the location of the final round of this season’s Formula 1 World Championship.

Title contender Rosberg outpaced his rival by just over three tenths on the first runs in the top ten shootout.

The Mercedes driver improved on his second run, avoiding the lock-up later in the lap that cost him time on the first.

Although Hamilton also improved, he ended up 0.386 seconds off Rosberg to line up second on the grid.

But even if Rosberg wins Sunday’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Hamilton just needs to finish second to be take the title.

Yet again Williams looked like a potential threat in qualifying but when it came to the fastest runs in Q3, the pace advantage of the Silver Arrows was revealed.

Valtteri Bottas ended up in third place, just over half a second off Rosberg, with team-mate Felipe Massa just behind.

Red Bull Racing’s Daniel Ricciardo and Sebastian Vettel locked out row three, ahead of Daniil Kvyat’s in the Toro Rosso.

Jenson Button beat the Ferraris to eighth postiton, with Kimi Raikkonen ninth after only completing a single run in Q3 no thanks to having run out of fresh super-softs.

Fernando Alonso, on his final race for Ferrari, was tenth having failed to improve on his second run thanks to locking up and running off the circuit.

McLaren’s Kevin Magnussen had just one opportunity in Q2, likely because of the same underfuelling problem that also forced Button to abandon his first run before setting a laptime.

Magnussen had looked set to make the top ten, only for Raikkonen and Kvyat to knock him down to P11 on their final laps.

Jean-Eric Vergne was also knocked down the order in the final seconds, ending up P12, with the Force Indias of Sergio Perez and Nico Hulkenberg behind.

Sauber driver Adrian Sutil was slowest in Q2, falling three tenths short of his Q1 speed.

Romain Grosjean missed out on reaching Q2 by just over two hundredths of a second during a frenetic battle in the final seconds of the first segment of qualifying.

His fellow Lotus team-mate Pastor Maldonado moved into a Q2 position before being bumped by Esteban Gutierrez, who was then relegated by Sutil.

Grosjean’s final lap was not quite enough to beat Sutil, leaving him in P16, although he will drop to the rear of the field thanks to 20-place penalty for changing power unit components.

Gutierrez ended up P17, ahead of Maldonado and the Caterhams.

Kamui Kobayashi’s was the quickest in the Caterham, although Formula 1 debutant Will Stevens put on a good show by lapping just over half a second slower despite limited running in the car.

So the championship is almost at a climix, with Mercedes locking out the front row for the twelvth time this season. Only one of the Silver Arrows can become champion but will it be Nico Rosberg or Lewis Hamilton?

Double points come into play in Sunday’s race and if Hamilton finishes second behind pole sitter Rosberg, he will win the championship. But like legenadry motor racing commentator Murray Walker has said many times: “Anything can happen in Formula 1 and it usually does”.

Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, qualifying positions:

1 Nico Rosberg    Mercedes    1m40.480s
2 Lewis Hamilton    Mercedes    1m40.866s
3 Valtteri Bottas    Williams-Mercedes    1m41.025s
4 Felipe Massa    Williams-Mercedes    1m41.119s
5 Daniel Ricciardo    Red Bull-Renault    1m41.267s
6 Sebastian Vettel    Red Bull-Renault    1m41.893s
7 Daniil Kvyat    Toro Rosso-Renault    1m41.908s
8 Jenson Button    McLaren-Mercedes    1m41.964s
9 Kimi Raikkonen    Ferrari    1m42.236s
10 Fernando Alonso    Ferrari    1m42.866s
11 Kevin Magnussen    McLaren-Mercedes    1m42.198s
12 Jean-Eric Vergne    Toro Rosso-Renault    1m42.207s
13 Sergio Perez    Force India-Mercedes    1m42.239s
14 Nico Hulkenberg    Force India-Mercedes    1m42.384s
15 Adrian Sutil    Sauber-Ferrari    1m43.074s
16 Esteban Gutierrez    Sauber-Ferrari    1m42.819s
17 Pastor Maldonado    Lotus-Renault    1m42.860s
18 Kamui Kobayashi    Caterham-Renault    1m44.540s
19 Will Stevens    Caterham-Renault    1m45.095s
20 Romain Grosjean    Lotus-Renault    1m42.768s*

*20-place grid penalty for changing power unit

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Alonso leaves Ferrari while Vettel joins Raikkonen with three-year deal

Alonso and Vettel

Double world champion Fernando Alonso will depart from Ferrari come the season finale at Abu Dhabi as the Scuderia confirmed Sebastian Vettel for 2015.

Alonso has cut short his contract with the Maranello-based team by two years, while Vettel’s departure from Red Bull Racing was announced during the Japanese Grand Prix weekend.

“Today is not an easy one for me, because even if I always look to the future with great enthusiasm and determination, at the end of this season my journey as a Ferrari driver will come to an end,” said Alonso.

“It was a difficult decision to take, but a carefully considered one and from start to finish, my love for Ferrari was a prime consideration. I have always been lucky enough to make my own decisions about my future and I have that possibility now too.

“I must thank the team for that, as it understood my position. I leave Scuderia Ferrari after five years, during which I reached my very best level professionally, tackling major challenges that pushed me to find new limits. I also proved to be a true team player, putting the interests of the Scuderia before my own.

“When I had to take important decisions about my future, I did so with Ferrari in my heart, driven by my love for the team. I am very proud of what we have achieved together. Thanks to the efforts of the men and women of Maranello, on three occasions we came second in the Formula One World Championship, two of them fighting for the title right up to and including the final race, running in a championship winning position for many laps.

“Without a shadow of a doubt, these five years produced some of the best moments of my career and I also feel that, in leaving the team, it is family rather than friends I am leaving behind.

“Now I look to the future with great enthusiasm, knowing that part of my heart will always belong to the prancing horse. I want to thank each and everyone of the team for the trust they showed in me.”

Alonso Ferrari

Alonso joined Ferrari from Renault in 2010 and came ever-so-close to winning the championship in his first season. The following year he signed a deal which extended his contract to 2016.

But despite coming close to the title again in 2012, Alonso’s five years with the Scuderia has failed to yield any championships.

Team principal Marco Mattiacci said Alonso “will always occupy a special place” among Ferrari’s greatest drivers.

“We offer him our heartfelt thanks for what has been an extraordinary adventure with the scuderia, when in the past five years, he twice came so close to winning the world championship.

“I am sure that a great driver like Fernando will always hold the prancing horse dear to his heart and I also expect the Ferrari fans will continue to hold him in high regard in his future endeavours.”

Vettel Ferrari

As for the new Ferrari recruit, Sebastian Vettel will take his place alongside Kimi Raikkonen from next season as the four-time world champion begins a three-year contract with Scuderia Ferrari.

“The next stage of my Formula One career will be spent with Scuderia Ferrari and for me that means the dream of a lifetime has come true,” said Vettel.

“When I was a kid, Michael Schumacher in the red car was my greatest idol and now it’s an incredible honour to finally get the chance to drive a Ferrari.

“I already got a small taste of what the Ferrari spirit means, when I took my first win at Monza in 2008, with an engine from the prancing horse built in Maranello. The scuderia has a great tradition in this sport and I am extremely motivated to help the team get back to the top. I will put my heart and soul into making it happen.”

Ferrari team principal Marco Mattiacci said the team “has decided to put its faith in the youngest multiple champion in the history of Formula One”.

“In Formula One terms, Sebastian Vettel is a unique combination of youthfulness and experience and he brings with him that sense of team spirit which will prove invaluable when, together with Kimi, they tackle the challenges awaiting us, as we aim to be front runners again as soon as possible.

“With Sebastian, we all share a thirst for victory as well as enthusiasm, a strong work ethic and tenacity; key elements for all the Scuderia members to write a new chapter in the history of Ferrari.”

So out goes one champion replaced with another. Fernando Alonso has ended his dream hopes of winning the championship in the red car. Can Sebastian Vettel achieve the championship after years of promise for Fernando? Only time can tell but Ferrari needs to deliver the ideal car so that the drivers can do their magic.

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Rosberg victorious in Brazil

Brazil GP 2014 winners

Nico Rosberg recorded his eighth career victory in the sport and ended Lewis Hamilton’s five-race winning form by beating his Mercedes team-mate at Interlagos.

By converting his tenth pole position of the 2014 Formula 1 season into victory, Rosberg reduced the  points lead down to 17 heading into the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix double-points finale.

Hamilton’s hopes of challenging Rosberg’s supremacy went undone when he half spun at the Descida do Lago on lap 28 of 71.

The Mercedes driver ran wide after correcting a snap of oversteer as he braked for the corner. Lewis subsequently revealed over the radio that he had wound his brake bias too far to the rear.

Hamilton hustled superbly to recover the time lost to Rosberg, and put him under pressure by remaining within DRS range during a frantic final stint (in which both drivers exchanged fastest laps), but ultimately Hamilton had to settle for second.

Home crowd favourite Felipe Massa brought smiles to the faces of the passionate fans by completing the podium.

The Williams driver survived a five-second penalty for speeding in the pitlane at his first stop, and the embarrassment of accidentally driving into the McLaren pit at his last, to finish third.

Team-mate Valtteri Bottas should have been well-placed to capitalise on Massa’s errors, after running fourth early on, but a lengthy delay at his first pitstop set him back badly, and he lost more time when Nico Hulkenberg’s Force India forced him wide while overtaking into the Senna S.

Bottas eventually finished in a lapped tenth.

McLaren’s Jenson Button took that fourth place with a brave pass around the outside of Kimi Raikkonen’s Ferrari at the Descida do Lago with ten laps to the flag.

Their side-by-side duelling also allowed world champion Sebastian Vettel to nip through into fifth in his Red Bull.

Vettel might have finished higher but lost ground while battling Kevin Magnussen’s McLaren on the opening lap, while team-mate Daniel Ricciardo retired shortly before half-distance with a left front suspension failure.

Raikkonen started tenth and dropped behind the Sauber of Esteban Gutierrez on the opening lap, but made progress by being the only driver to complete the race on two pitstops.

The Iceman lost time to what appeared to be a front jack problem at his second stop, and defended desperately in a battle of world champions with Fernando Alonso in the closing stages, but ultimately couldn’t prevent his Ferrari team-mate passing him for sixth with a couple of laps to run.

Hulkenberg made good use of alternative tyre strategy – running the soft tyre at the end – to finish eighth, ahead of Kevin Magnussen’s McLaren and Bottas, who just held off Toro Rosso’s Daniil Kvyat to claim the final point.

So the championship goes down to the wire at Abu Dhabi, featuring that controversial double points.

Lewis Hamilton will win the title by just finishing in second position no matter if Nico Rosberg wins. But the question remains the reliability of his Mercedes W05 Hybrid.

If will be a major upset if Hamilton, who scores the most victories with ten, loses out to the championship due to the gimmick over the double points at the season finale.

Bring on the championship showdown.

Brazilian Grand Prix, after 71 laps:

1 Nico Rosberg    Mercedes    1h30m02.555s
2 Lewis Hamilton    Mercedes    1.457s
3 Felipe Massa    Williams-Mercedes    41.031s
4 Jenson Button    McLaren-Mercedes    48.658s
5 Sebastian Vettel    Red Bull-Renault    51.420s
6 Fernando Alonso    Ferrari    1m01.906s
7 Kimi Raikkonen    Ferrari    1m03.730s
8 Nico Hulkenberg    Force India-Mercedes    1m03.934s
9 Kevin Magnussen    McLaren-Mercedes    1m10.085s
10 Valtteri Bottas    Williams-Mercedes    1 Lap
11 Daniil Kvyat    Toro Rosso-Renault    1 Lap
12 Pastor Maldonado    Lotus-Renault    1 Lap
13 Jean-Eric Vergne    Toro Rosso-Renault    1 Lap
14 Esteban Gutierrez    Sauber-Ferrari    1 Lap
15 Sergio Perez    Force India-Mercedes    1 Lap
16 Adrian Sutil    Sauber-Ferrari    1 Lap
17 Romain Grosjean    Lotus-Renault    8 Laps

Retirements:

Daniel Ricciardo    Red Bull-Renault    Front suspension failure

Drivers’ Championship:

1 Lewis Hamilton    334
2 Nico Rosberg    317
3 Daniel Ricciardo    214
4 Sebastian Vettel    159
5 Fernando Alonso    157
6 Valtteri Bottas    156
7 Jenson Button    106
8 Felipe Massa    98
9 Nico Hulkenberg    80
10 Kevin Magnussen    55
11 Kimi Raikkonen    53
12 Sergio Perez    47
13 Jean-Eric Vergne    22
14 Romain Grosjean    8
15 Daniil Kvyat    8
16 Pastor Maldonado    2
17 Jules Bianchi    2
18 Adrian Sutil    0
19 Marcus Ericsson    0
20 Esteban Gutierrez    0
21 Max Chilton    0
22 Kamui Kobayashi    0

Constructors’ Championship:

1 Mercedes    651
2 Red Bull-Renault    373
3 Williams-Mercedes    254
4 Ferrari    210
5 McLaren-Mercedes    161
6 Force India-Mercedes    127
7 Toro Rosso-Renault    30
8 Lotus-Renault    10
9 Marussia-Ferrari    2
10 Sauber-Ferrari    0
11 Caterham/Renault    0

Next race: Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Yas Marina. November 21-23.

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