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challenge
the 8 July 2008

Formula 1™
BMW’s recipe for
success ahead of
The German GP
plus
MotoGP GP2 Click here to
Pedrosa, Rossi and Stoner too close to call

GP2 Asia calendar confirmed


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Inside News

F1 championship McLaren Mercedes


driver Lewis Hamilton
celebrates his first

closer than ever


British Grand Prix win

Two points separate top


four drivers after Hamilton
wins wet British Grand Prix
McLaren Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton overcame
heavy rain and tough tyre choices to win the British Grand
Prix and is now tied with Felipe Massa and Kimi
Räikkönen at the top of the championship.
Rain before and during the event made for the most
incident-filled race of the season so far. As Hamilton
drove his wet tyres faultlessly through the standing water,
his title rivals Massa and Räikkönen of Ferrari, along with
BMW Sauber’s Robert Kubica struggled, with only
Räikkönen scoring points in fourth.
BMW Sauber’s Nick Heidfeld took his third podium of
the year with second while Rubens Barrichello came in
third, delivering Honda’s first top three finish since 2006.
The Brazilian was the only man on extreme wets in the
third and fourth stints, lapping up to 30 seconds faster
than anyone else.
After the high speed challenges of Silverstone,
2 balancing downforce and mechanical grip with tyre
preservation will be the name of the game at
Hockenheim, a circuit that Bridgestone’s Director of
Motorsport Tyre Development, Hirohide Hamashima,
described as very severe for tyres.
“This is a compromise circuit,” explained Hirohide
Hamashima. “High speed for much of the track, but with
a lower speed section at the end of the lap. Mechanical
grip is used here and graining is likely. Teams have to
work to ensure their set-ups do not overuse the tyres in
this section, while still getting maximum performance.” The rapid rise of BMW in F1 - page 5 ➜

Pantano top after record Silverstone win


Italian Giorgio Pantano held man this year to record Chandhok of iSport Pantano now takes an 11
on to his lead in the GP2 back-to-back feature race International by 10. A four- point lead to the next round
drivers’ title with a double wins after fighting his way year veteran of GP2, of racing at Hockenheim on
podium at the British round up from fifth on the grid to Pantano now holds the July 19 and 20 with Senna
of the series. lead home Barwa Campos record for the most wins in in second ahead of
The Racing Engineering driver Lucas di Grassi by the series, with eight. Sebastien Buemi, who is a
driver became the first four seconds and Karun Having slipped from pole fan of the German track.
to finish sixth in race one, “I’ve always done really
Bruno Senna kept the well at Hockenheim,”
pressure on Pantano by explained the Arden driver.
winning Sunday’s sprint “But funnily enough I was
race ahead of di Grassi, constantly second there
again in second, and until finally winning twice
Pantano himself in third. last year in F3. It’s going to
Durango driver Davide be great to go back and
Valsecchi snatched the drive it in a GP2 car.”
final points-paying position Having raced there in ‘05
Giorgio Pantano
has now won of the weekend, finishing and ‘06, GP2 returns to
three GP2 feature sixth in his first race back Hockenheim after a season
races this season following a spinal injury. away from the circuit.

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GP2 Asia calendar confirmed
The second season of GP2 Asia and 5, coinciding with the F1
will open on October 18 and 19 by weekend, before a final visit to
making its debut at China’s Bahrain on April 18 and 19 brings
Shanghai circuit. The feature and the season to a close.
sprint events will form part of a “I am delighted to present this
twelve race calendar that takes the new calendar,” said GP2 Series
series’ number of Formula 1 Organiser Bruno Michel. “The GP2
support events from two to three. Asia Series is back not only with a
Confirmed during the Silverstone new circuit – Shanghai - but also
race weekend, the new calendar with an added event, and as
will give teams a seven week break promised, three of the events will
between Shanghai and Dubai’s first coincide with a Formula 1 race
GP2 Asia meeting on December 5 weekend.”
and 6. With two days of testing booked
After the Christmas break, the at the Shanghai circuit on October
championship will resume at the 8 and 9, the teams will have a
end of January in Bahrain, before matter of weeks between the end Reigning GP2 Asia
champion Romain
travelling back to Dubai on of the GP2 Series season on Grosjean at the Sepang
February 27 and 28. A second, September 14 and the start of GP2 circuit earlier this year
Shanghai event follows on April 4 Asia 2008/09.

IN BRIEF
Stoner riding his luck
Ducati rider Casey Stoner believes that his wins and four podiums in the last four
The British Grand Prix will
be moving from Silverstone 3
luck has turned following back-to-back outings. Stoner finished second in Italy and to Donington Park in two
wins at the British and Dutch Grands Prix. third in Barcelona, and since the two day years’ time. According to an
Stoner’s title rival and fellow Bridgestone test after the Catalunya race he has proved announcement by Donington
rider Valentino Rossi crashed out on turn unbeatable, winning back-to-back races at Ventures Leisure Limited,
one of the Assen circuit. The Italian fought Donington Park and Assen. who now owns the circuit, a
back to 11th place and picked up five The next stop for the MotoGP field is the contract has been signed with
points but Stoner’s dominant win allowed German GP at Sachsenring on July 13. One Formula One Management
him to close the gap to Rossi by 20 points. of only three MotoGP circuits to run anti- Limited. The venue has staged
Speaking after the Dutch TT race, Stoner clockwise it presents unique challenges. only one Formula 1 event in
said: “I’m sorry Valentino crashed because Bridgestone’s Motorcycle Race Tyre its 77-year history, hosting the
this isn’t necessarily the way I wanted to Development Manager, Tohru Ubukata European Grand Prix in 1993 at
recover points on him, but at the end of explained: “Sachsenring’s anti-clockwise a time when Bridgestone was
the day we’ve had our fair share of bad direction and asymmetrical track layout not involved in the sport.
luck this year, and racing is unpredictable. produces a dominance of left-hand Ryan Hunter-Reay in
Now it seems fortune is favouring us.” corners, which have proven to be one of action at Watkins Glen
After a low point in France where Stoner our biggest hurdles in recent years.”
finished 16th, the Australian’s race pace
has steadily improved, bringing him two
MotoGP’s title hopefuls – page 4 ➜

Rahal Letterman driver


Ryan Hunter-Reay took his
first IndyCar Series win this
weekend at Watkins Glen
International Raceway.
Hunter-Reay won by 2.4s
over Foyt’s Darren Manning
while Tony Kanaan of Andretti
Casey Stoner has closed Green in third. Scott Dixon
the gap on series leader
Dani Pedrosa to 29 points still leads the championship,
48 points clear of Helio
Castroneves.

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Inside Analysis

MotoGP 2008:
Still anyone’s title
As the MotoGP season reaches its halfway mark we review the story so far
for the title chasers and look at where the championship might be won or lost
The second half of the 2008 MotoGP Saschenring. Expect him to be a force
season starts at the Sachsenring and at this weekend’s German Grand Prix.
with Casey Stoner winning back-to- The Spaniard is also particularly
back events at Donington Park and strong in his home races and has three
Assen, the title race is finely poised. MotoGP wins on Spanish asphalt.
Just 29 points separate Stoner in third Certain to be a favourite for the last
from overall leader Dani Pedrosa. He round of this year’s championship at
in turn is just four points clear of Valencia, Pedrosa’s third home race of
Yamaha’s Valentino Rossi, but who the season could well become the
holds what cards for the second half venue for his first MotoGP title.
of the season…
Valentino Rossi, Yamaha
Dani Pedrosa, Honda A five-time premier class champion,
The Repsol Honda rider is no stranger Rossi is seen by many as Mr MotoGP.
to the sharp end of MotoGP. At 22 he When he retired from last year’s How the season has shaped up for MotoGP’s top three
is already in his third year of top class Valencia GP, ending the season in third
4 racing, and after 44 GP starts he can place overall, it was his worst ever message to his title rivals by fighting
boast six wins, 10 pole positions and a MotoGP title finish. Over the winter he back from 14th to pick up five points,
precocious 24 podium finishes. switched to Bridgestone rubber, and showing he still matches the hunger
Pedrosa finished second to Stoner in now the only man on a Bridgestone- of his younger rivals.
2007, overhauling Rossi on the final shod Yamaha is back to his best. One source of optimism for Pedrosa
weekend of the season with a win at Consecutive wins in China, France and Stoner is that the only two venues
the short, complex Valencia circuit. and Italy stamped Rossi’s authority on where Rossi has raced a MotoGP bike
His talent for winning on MotoGP’s the ‘08 title race before a fall in turn and failed to win are still to come on
more technical tracks has already one at Assen left him 11th in the the ‘08 calendar. The 29-year-old’s
delivered him wins at Catalunya, Dutch TT race. Despite the poor points best finish at Laguna Seca was third in
Donington, Valencia, China and haul, the Doctor sent a strong 2005, while his first outing at San
Marino last year ended in retirement.
But Bridgestone-shod bikes won both
races in 2007 – taking a 1-2-3 in Misano
– and his new rubber could yet give
Rossi the edge at these two venues.

Casey Stoner, Ducati


In 2007, the Aussie became the first
man ever to win a top class motorcycle
title on Bridgestone tyres. This year, his
title defence got off to a perfect start
with victory at round one in Qatar, but
Stoner faded to 11th, 6th and 16th in
Spain, Portugal and France.
Typically though, the 22-year-old has
come back fighting. He has recorded
four consecutive podiums since the
French GP and after making some
adjustments during testing at Catalunya
he has been unbeatable in the last two
outings at Donington and Assen. Fourth
in the standings after the French GP,
Casey Stoner leads Rossi Stoner has clawed his way back into a
and Pedrosa on track. The
order is reversed in the title battle that could well take the
overall standings remaining nine races to resolve.

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The continuing rise of BMW
In three years BMW Sauber has gone from F1 newboy to title contender. But
how has it happened and what will it take to win a constructors’ championship
This year’s German Grand Prix at
Hockenheim is the tenth race of the
2008 Formula 1 season. While many
would have predicted a German
manufacturer challenging Ferrari at
the top of the table at this stage,
fewer would have anticipated the
challenge would be coming from
BMW Sauber.

Huge improvements
In F1 terms, BMW’s rise to
championship challenger has been
meteoric. Just six months before the
start of the 2006 season, BMW made
the decision to take a majority stake
in the Sauber team.
Robert Kubica become BMW’s
The impact was immediate. In first race winner at this year’s
2005, Sauber finished 8th in the Canadian Grand Prix
constructors’ championship on 20
points. Skip to the end of the 2006 was not about to rest on this success The next step
season and BMW Sauber was already and settle for third best: “We BMW’s drive to overhaul Ferrari and 5
raising eyebrows in the paddock, exceeded our own targets in 2007 McLaren in 2008 has taken the form
placing fifth in the constructors’ and were proud of it. But, the fact of the new BMW Sauber F1.08 car,
championship with 36 points, picking that on paper we ended up second in which Technical Director Willy Rampf
up 15 points finishes and two the [constructors’] championship describes as a “radical evolution”.
podiums along the way (Nick following the penalty imposed on “Our aim was to build a car with an
Heidfeld’s third in Hungary and McLaren-Mercedes, did not disguise impressive aerodynamic efficiency,
Kubica’s repeat in Italy). that there were four cars on the grid but which also boasted a very stable
which were markedly faster than ours.” aero balance,” explains Rampf.
Showing promise “Which means that it hardly loses any
BMW in formula 1
This pace of improvement continued downforce when the wheels are
in 2007. After finishing 50 points turned in, and thus gives the driver a

11podiums
behind fourth place in 2006, the team 44 races 219 points lot of confidence.”
emerged from the 2007 season as This approach has already paid
the third strongest manufacturer with dividends, with Kubica securing
101 points, while the 23-year-old BMW’s first win as a constructor in
Kubica came to prominence as one of this year’s Canadian Grand Prix.
the most promising talents in F1 11 front row starts A repeat at the German Grand Prix
along the way. in Hockenheim on July 20 would be
But as BMW Motorsport Director
Mario Theissen explains, the team 10 races led another landmark in what could yet
be a championship season for BMW.

2008 CHAMPIONSHIP TABLES


Formula One MotoGP * Bridgestone riders in red GP2 Series IndyCar Series
Driver (Team) Pts Rider (Team) Pts Driver (Team) Pts Driver (Team) Pts
1 Lewis Hamilton (McLaren) 48 1 Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda) 171 1 Giorgio Pantano (Racing Eng.) 50 1 Scott Dixon (Ganassi) 370
2 Felipe Massa (Ferrari) 48 2 Valentino Rossi (Fiat Yamaha) 167 2 Bruno Senna (iSport) 39 2 Helio Castroneves (Penske) 322
3 Kimi Räikkönen (Ferrari) 48 3 Casey Stoner (Ducati Corse) 142 3 Sebastien Buemi (Trust Arden) 25 3 Dan Wheldon (Ganassi) 311
4 Robert Kubica (BMW Sauber) 46 4 Jorge Lorenzo (Fiat Yamaha) 114 4 Lucas Di Grassi (Barwa Campos) 24 4 Tony Kanaan (Andretti-Green) 304
5 Nick Heidfeld (BMW Sauber) 36 5 Colin Edwards (Tech3 Yamaha) 98 5 Romain Grosjean (ART Grand Prix) 23 5 Danica Patrick (Andretti-Green) 241
6 Heikki Kovalainen (McLaren) 24 6 Andrea Dovizioso (JiR Team Scot) 79 6 Vitaly Petrov (Barwa Campos) 20 6 Hideki Mutoh (Andretti-Green) 238
July 20 Hockenheim, Germany July 13 Sachsenring, Germany July 19-20 Hockenheim, Germany July 12 Nashville, USA
August 4 Hungaroring, Hungary July 20 Laguna Seca, USA August 3-4 Hungaroring, Hungary July 20 Ohio, USA

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