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Racefans Top 10 Drivers of 2014

Racefans Top 10 Drivers of 2014

1. Daniel Ricciardo 238 Points (3rd), 3 wins, 8 podiums, 0 pole positions, 0 fastest laps. 9th in 2013 Top 10 2014 was always going to be a free hit for Daniel Ricciardo, pitted against a reigning four-time World Champion who had been funded by the team owners since his early teenage years, little expectation … Continue reading

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FIA Formula 1 World Championship

Formula 1 have issued a revised 2015 calendar that now includes the Korean Grand Prix with a 'To be confirmed' provision. The race is scheduled to commence on May 3 and rather than being welcomed by expert commentators, has already found many wondering why? Korea were contractually obliged to lose money on a poorly devised, constructed and attended first three Grand Prix, why voluntarily opt to waste more money? If the race does go ahead in 2015 it would only further confirm the belief that no matter what the country, no matter how obviously disinterested the local population is, if you have the cash, then Formula 1 will come to you. The decision to return to Korea provides renewed hope that Syria may still yet host a grand prix before 2020.

The 2014 FIA gala dinner will once again provide the backdrop for the awarding of prizes and gifts to the winners of the federations respective motor sporting categories. This year's ceremony will be hosted in Qatar, a country so experienced in awarding gifts and prizes that it received the 2022 Football World Cup. It's sure to be a wonderful event for the image of motor sport.

Mclaren remain the only major team on the Formula 1 grid yet to announce their driver line-up for the 2015 season with either Kevin Magnussen, Jenson Button or Stoffel Vandoorne set to partner Fernando Alonso as the Woking-based team reunites with engine partner Honda for the first time since 1992. At present the short money is on Magnussen to retain his seat for no doubt an amount shorter than what Button is asking, and significantly shorter than what Alonso is getting.

Bernie Ecclestone has once again ensured that his comments are dominating the news in Formula 1 at a time when focus should centre on the titanic between Hamilton and Rosberg for this years title. In the wake of the recent reports that Caterham owner Tony Fernandes will announce as soon as this weekends British Grand Prix that he has sold the struggling team, Ecclestone has weighed into the debate, expressing his lack of concern for the survival of those teams struggling to survive in the sport.

Ecclestone has openly expressed his pleasure with Formula 1 reverting to eight teams, each with three-car operations. The suggestion of eight teams would almost certainly be directed towards the capitulation of Caterham, Marussia and Sauber, the last of which has openly struggled to obtain funding and has endured a disastrous start to the 2014 season. The comments are disastrous for the health of Formula 1 and the relationship between the teams on the Formula 1 Strategy Group and those that have been left without a say in the sport's future direction.

In a rare case of acknowledging the overwhelming opinion of both fans and experts alike, the FIA have announced that both double points and the proposed introduction of standing re-starts will be removed for the 2015 championship season. The decision vindicates the strong belief at Racefans that the entertainment provided by motor sport should never arise through contrivance and that the overwhelming feeling amongst Formula 1 supporters is that the less change implemented on the Formula that comprises a Grand Prix should very rarely be tampered with.

World Endurance Championship

Audi has won an epic Le Mans 24 Hours following a race that saw each of the three works LMP1 manufacturers hold the lead. The race has been described as an 'old school 24 Hours' with endurance very much in focus as teams struggled with the unreliability of the highly complex hybrid power trains of the new cars. Toyota had claimed pole position through Kazuki Nakajima and led the early part of the race. Behind the #14 Porsche hit trouble in the first half hour and lost four laps. During one of the massive rain storms a collision between the #3 Audi and the #8 Toyota resulted in their demise. 2 Audis, a Toyota and a Porsche remained in the hunt.

For some eleven hours through the night the battle went on between #7 Toyota and #20 Porsche. First it was the Porsche who struck trouble, ..., running wide at Arnage. At 5am #7 Toyota caught fire and was out along with Toyota's bid to claim the 24. This left Audi #2 and #1 sandwiching Porsche #20, each car taking turns at leading the race through the morning session. Finally however Porsche's feared unreliability on their return to Le Mans struck and the Audi's regained control.

The final period of the race was dominated further by the unreliability of the Audi's who, despite having to replace turbos on both their cars, were able to manage the lead to Porsche #20 to take their fifth successive Le Mans and their 13th since arriving there in 1999. The winner? Audi #2 in the hands of Lotterer, Fassler and Treluyer taking the victory.

Highlights of the race can be viewed through the link on my Twitter account.

Indycar

Will Power has finally removed his "nearly man" status by claiming the 2014 Verizon Indycar Series. Power becomes the first Australian to win the championship and the first champion for Team Penske since Sam Hornish Jnr took the title in 2006.

MotoGP

Aprillia will return to the top category with a works MotoGP bike in 2016 for the first time in 12 years. Since moving out of MotoGP, Aprillia has enjoyed great success in the World Superbike Championship. It has also been successful in the CRT class of MotoGP but this really isn't anything to gloat about as seen by their decision to build proper bikes for the premier category. The announcement comes off the back of Suzuki's earlier announcement that they would be returning to MotoGP in 2015.

Honda have made the surprise decision to sign current Moto3 Championship leader Jack Miller to a three-year deal in MotoGP. The 19-year old Australian will join current Ducati works rider Cal Crutchlow at the LCR Honda squad in 2015.

KTM have announced that they will return to the MotoGP class by 2017. KTM's decision comes on the back of announcements that Suzuki and Aprillia will also join the premier class in the years to come.

Will these announcements, together with an increase in 3 bikes per works team, lure Casey Stoner out of retirement for the 2015 season? Racefans thinks it definitely will and expects an announcement on Stoner's return to the sport mid-way through this year.

V8 Supercars

The V8 Supercars have signed a six-year, $241 million television rights deal that will see the sport telecast on both free-to-air television on Network Ten and pay television with Foxtel. The return to Network Ten however is not as good as it would first appear with the Network only able to televise 6 race weekends live (Adelaide, Townsville, Gold Coast, Sydney, Sandown, and Bathurst). Further insight into the deal and the ramifications for V8 Supercars to follow soon.

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Vale Jack Brabham 1926 – 2014

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