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Paul_Murtagh
Belfast, Northern Ireland
Recent Activity
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This week sees the F1 launch season get into full swing, with teams such as Ferrari, McLaren and Mercedes launching their 2010 challengers. But in my opinion, one of the teams who are not launching their car this week could end up being the most important team currently in F1. It is a well-known fact that USF1 are taking a completely different approach to their debut season in F1. Traditionally, F1 teams base their team in Europe, sign at least one experienced proven driver, and use expensive technologies such as wind tunnels to test their latest aerodynamic parts. But USF1... Continue reading
Posted Jan 25, 2010 at Formula1 Journal
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When it was announced at the Japanese Grand Prix in October 2009 that Fernando Alonso would be replacing Kimi Raikkonen at Ferrari for 2010, it wasn’t so much the move itself that surprised many – more how soon it was happening. Many had expected Raikkonen to see out his Ferrari contract in 2010, with Alonso staying at Renault for one more year before moving across to the Scuderia. But Ferrari had decided to make the move sooner, and in my opinion they have made the right decision. Now before all the Kimi fans start having a go at me, please... Continue reading
Posted Jan 12, 2010 at Formula1 Journal
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2009 - Arguably the best season in Formula 1 for years. Since 1984 only four teams had won a Formula 1 title - Ferrari, McLaren, Williams or Benetton/Renault. But it was all to change this year, when two new forces emerged in Brawn and Red Bull. These teams breathed fresh air into F1, with new regular winners in Button, Vettel and Webber. F1's elder statesman Rubens Barrichello showed that he could still do it, while Lewis Hamilton and Kimi Raikkonen showed that both McLaren and Ferrari were more than capable of challenging the new regime. Here I look back at... Continue reading
Posted Dec 27, 2009 at Formula1 Journal
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On Friday morning it was announced that Michael Schumacher is to make a sensational return to Formula 1 with the new factory Mercedes GP team. He will partner Nico Rosberg, and his return will be welcome by many, but has Schumacher made the right decision in returning to the sport that he left back in 2006? As with many decisions, there are both pros and cons to the argument. On the pro side, many will welcome back the 7-time F1 world champion. During his 15 years in the sport between 1991 and 2006, Schumacher won 91 races and broke almost... Continue reading
Posted Dec 23, 2009 at Formula1 Journal
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For 2010 F1 will see the most radical shake-up in the points scoring system in it’s 60 year history. For the first time ever, drivers will be able to score points right down as far as 10th place, meaning that 38% of the starting grid next season will score at least one point. But what exactly does this mean in layman’s terms? The first thing to establish is how the points as distributed. Under the previous scoring system, the winner receives 10pts, second place 8, third place received 6, fourth place got 5 and so on as far as 8th... Continue reading
Posted Dec 21, 2009 at Formula1 Journal
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With 2010 seeing the biggest overhaul of F1 in a very long time, I decided to look at what it means. As I am not very technical or business-minded, I thought it was best if I looked at it from a regular fan’s perspective. New teams, new drivers, new circuits and new rules mean that 2010 should, in theory, be a lot different from what we have been used to recently. Let’s first of all start with the glue that holds them all together – the rules. While not much has changed from an aerodynamic point of view this year,... Continue reading
Posted Dec 17, 2009 at Formula1 Journal
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According to reports surfacing on Saturday, Argetine driver Jose Maria Lopez is on the brink of signing for the new USF1 team. Reports state that he had agreed a deal with the team, and has around 80% of his funding secured to make his signing public. But just who is the driver ready to take one of the seats? Very little is known about Jose Maria, especially in European racing. I recall seeing him race in the final Formula 3000 season against future Formula 1 drivers Robert Doornbos, Patrick Freisacher and that year's champion Vitantonio Liuzzi. Lopez did impress, scoring... Continue reading
Posted Nov 21, 2009 at Formula1 Journal
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Early on Wednesday morning the manager of Kimi Raikkonen, Steve Robertson, revealed that the Finn will take a sabactial from Formula 1 in 2010 after talks with McLaren broke down. Raikkonen only targeted a McLaren seat as he believed they were the only option who could guarantee him a race-winning car, but the deal is believed to have broken down over wage demands and the number of PR days to be covered. Raikkonen's decision has caused divided opinions in F1. There are many out there who believe F1 is losing a real talent for next year. Since his first grand... Continue reading
Posted Nov 19, 2009 at Formula1 Journal
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After weeks of speculation, Mercedes have announced on Monday that they are to buy a 75.1% controlling stake in Brawn GP, meaning that for the first time since 1955 there will be a full works Mercedes GP team in F1. It was an expected announcement in many ways, but still a shock to many. But this decision has been 18 years in the making, with the original decision scuppered by an unusual move. Back in 1991, Mercedes were dominating the world of Sportscars along with Peter Sauber. They had won the Le Mans 24 hours, and were on the brink... Continue reading
Posted Nov 16, 2009 at Formula1 Journal
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Following on from flood1's report last week on how much the drivers have earned this season ( http://www.usf1formula1.com/2009/10/drivers-salaries-2009.html ), I decided to break down their salaries and see just who was value for money over the course of the season. I have included all the drivers who have scored points this season, and the findings sprung up a bit of a surprise: Driver Cost per pt Sebastien Bourdais $0 Kamui Kobayashi $0 Adrian Sutil $0 Rubens Barrichello $12,987 Jenson Button $52,632 Sebastien Vettel $71,429 Mark Webber $79,137 Timo Glock $83,333 Nick Heidfeld $147,368 Heikki Kovalainen $159,091 Giancarlo Fisichella $187,500 Jarno... Continue reading
Posted Nov 2, 2009 at Formula1 Journal
This is one of the first-ever laps of the new circuit, driven by Bruno Senna in one of the circuit's own two-seater F1 cars Continue reading
Posted Oct 28, 2009 at Formula1 Journal
This week F1 rolls into it's newest venue - the Yas Island circuit in Abu Dhabi. The new venue has brought about plenty of excitment despite the championship already being settled, but just what can we expect to find when we watch for the first time on Friday? The first thing to point out is that Yas Island isn't your traditional Herman Tilke circuit. We have been used to new circuits these days being situated miles from anywhere, with miles of run-off areas and a Tilke-trademark long straight followed by a tight hairpin - Bahrain, China, Turkey and Valencia are... Continue reading
Posted Oct 27, 2009 at Formula1 Journal
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The 2009 season – the season that we were promised we would see overtaking return to F1. KERS, adjustable front wings, the banning of aerodynamic add-ons, slick tyres – they were all introduced to try and spice up the action and give us overtaking galore. But so far I think it would be fair to say that it hasn’t exactly been a classic season, and the new rules haven't worked to the extent that we were expecting. As a motor racing fan you want to see driver pushing each other to the maximum – slipping by under braking and then... Continue reading
Posted Oct 15, 2009 at Formula1 Journal
This year seen the second European GP to be held at Valencia Street Circuit, and the race will be held there until 2012. But before the race moved to Valencia, it had been held at the Nurburgring continuously since 1999, and the other other circuits to have ever held the title of European Grand Prix have been Jerez (twice), Brands Hatch (twice) and Donington Park. Can the European Grand Prix really be called a race for the continent if it only stays in the same 3 countries at the same circuits? I believe that the European GP should be moved... Continue reading
Posted Oct 10, 2009 at Formula1 Journal
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Run-off areas – one of the biggest improvements in safety in motorsport over the last 15 years. Back at Imola in 1994, we saw Ayrton Senna and Roland Ratzenberger fatally injured due to the lack of run-off areas where they crashed, and Rubens Barrichello also suffered some heavy injuries on the same weekend after going off the circuit into a tyre barrier situated only meteres from the track. But since then safety levels have been raised to a very high level – circuits have been altered, run-off areas have been increased and gravel has been replaced by tarmac. But it’s... Continue reading
Posted Oct 5, 2009 at Formula1 Journal
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When it comes to listing Michael Schumacher's greatest drive, what one comes to your mind? Belgium 1992, where he took his first win? Spain 1994, where he drove half the race stuck in fifth gear? Europe 1995, where he made a do-or-die move on Jean Alesi to take the lead? Spain 1996, where he won in terrible conditions? Without a doubt these are all great drives, but there is one which many remember for the wrong reasons, and tend to forget about just good how good it is The race I'm talking about is the 1998 Japanese Grand Prix -... Continue reading
Posted Oct 3, 2009 at Formula1 Journal