Howard’s Race Take

First GP of the Season on the streets of Melbourne, Australia. 3.3 miles, 16 turn circuit to complete 58 laps. Chance of drizzle and tire performance being the greatest variables of the race.

Kicking off the season in row 1 was Mark WEBBER and Sebastian VETTEL, Red Bull Racing, 3x consecutive and current world champion.
WEBBER got off to a bad start and VETTEL jumped into the lead. Kimi RAIKKONEN was the fastest on the track at lap 10.

By lap 48 there were 7 different leaders that made the race very exciting without safety car intervention!
The checked flag went to RAIKKONEN who said “I told you the car was good”. Lotus is back!

Pit stops are now down to under 3 seconds which is really amazing. Replay the Massa stop at 2.7 seconds.
RAIKKONEN took 25 championship points for his 20th F1 victory.

Here’s the top 10 finishers:

Points Behind Wins

1 Kimi Raikkonen – Lotus 25 ‒ 1
2 Fernando Alonso – Ferrari 18 7 0
3 Sebastian Vettel – Red Bull 15 10 0
4 Felipe Massa – Ferrari 12 13 0
5 Lewis Hamilton – Mercedes 10 15 0
6 Mark Webber – Red Bull 8 17 0
7 Adrian Sutil – Force India 6 19 0
8 Paul di Resta – Force India 4 21 0
9 Jenson Button – McLaren 2 23 0
10 Romain Grosjean – Lotus 1 24 0

NEXT WEEK Watch the F1 Malaysia Grand Prix. Live Saturday Night at 3:30AM ET.

Here is the 2013 World Superbike race schedule.

Come follow the races with us.

Here is the 2013 MotoGP race schedule.

Come follow the races with us.

Here is the 2013 Formula 1 race schedule.

Come follow the races with us.

Jenson Button won the Grand Prix of Brazil while Sebastian Vettel took home his third consecutive Formula One World Championship on a soggy, emotional day at Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace (formerly Interlagos) in São Paulo, Brazil on Sunday.

Button, who won the first race of the season in Melbourne, Australia, held off Fernando Alonso (2.754 seconds behind) and Felipe Massa (3.615) for the checkered flag:

Vettel, who was involved in a first-lap crash and had an extended stay in pit row, was able to recover and finish in sixth place, earning eight points. It was enough to cover the 18 points earned by Alonso in second place and edge him out, 281-278, for the Formula One Championship. In doing so, he becomes F1′s youngest three-time champion at age 25.

Lewis Hamilton, the 2008 Formula One champion and member of McLaren’s racing team since 2007, had pole position and led the race as late as Lap 54, when Nico Hulkenberg lost control of his car in Turn 1 and crashed into Hamilton, forcing him from the race:

Lewis returns to the VMM pit garage and gets a standing ovation from everyone. RESPECT.

This was Hamilton’s final race for McLaren, who will be moving to Mercedes for the 2013 season.

Here are the results of the season finale as well as the Formula One Championship results—bringing an end to an outstanding season of Formula One racing.

2012 Brazil Grand Prix Results

Position Driver Manufacturer Time Behind (seconds)
1 Jenson Button Mercedes-Benz
2 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 2.754
3 Felipe Massa Ferrari 3.615
4 Mark Webber Renault 4.936
5 Nico Hulkenberg Cosworth 5.708
6 Sebastian Vettel Renault 9.453
7 Michael Schumacher Mercedes-Benz 11.907
8 Jean-Eric Vergne Ferrari 28.653
9 Kamui Kobayashi Ferrari 31.25
10 Kimi Raikkonen Renault

1+ laps

Formula One Championship Standings

Position Driver Points
1 Sebastian Vettel 281
2 Fernando Alonso 278
3 Kimi Raikkonen 207
4 Lewis Hamilton 190
5 Jensen Button 188
6 Mark Webber 179
7 Felipe Massa 122
8 Romain Grosjean 96
9 Nico Rosberg 93
10 Sergio Perez 66

“Great Race to the end. Once again Alonso showed his brilliant ability to finesse and muscle a slightly off its game race
car, but came up a little short. Hamilton goes from a beautiful win last week to a DNF yesterday. What else is new? And Vettel? He gets lucky on the first lap, gets lucky on a dumb pit stop, drives with reserved determination based on Alonso’s moves and wins 3 in a row. Great race and great Formula 1 season.” -Howard

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — On to Brazil.

Formula One takes its championship duel between Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel and Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso to the season-ending race in Sao Paolo this week after those two finished second and third Sunday at the U.S. Grand Prix won by McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton.

Vettel could have wrapped up his third consecutive championship with a win and a poor performance by Alonso, but the German hasn’t clinched anything yet. By finishing second, Vettel at least picked up three points on Alonso and now leads by 13 heading to South America with a chance to make history and do a little samba if he does.

If the 25-year-old Vettel wins another world championship, he’ll join Michael Schumacher and Juan Manuel Fangio as the only drivers to win three in a row.

After Sunday’s race, Vettel sounded comfortable with the lead and his chances of winning again.

“We’ve been very quick in Brazil the last couple of years, so plenty to look forward to,” said Vettel, who won in Brazil in 2010 and finished second last year. “On top of that, we increased our lead in the championship today, so I think we are in the best possible position.”

Alonso said his chances of catching Vettel are slim but not impossible. The 31-year-old Spaniard won the world championship in 2005 and 2006. Alonso has twice finished second in Brazil but never won.

“We will arrive in Brazil with a chance right to the last. Maybe on paper that chance is not so big, but deep down, I feel it’s much more than that,” Alonso said. “(Sunday) was an unexpected podium which came at the end of a particularly difficult weekend … To only lose three points to Vettel is in fact a nice present.”

Hamilton’s victory stole the spotlight from the title chase.

Hamilton won the last U.S. Grand Prix in 2007 in Indianapolis and talked openly about his desire to win Formula One’s return to America. Driving with the stars and stripes of the American flag painted on top of his helmet, Hamilton started in second and pushed Vettel the entire race on the new $400 million Circuit of the Americas course.

Vettel started from the pole position and led 41 laps until Hamilton passed him near the end of the course’s long straightaway. Hamilton held him off for the final 14 laps to grab his fourth victory of the season.

“He had one chance and took it,” Vettel said.

Vettel and Hamilton survived the chaos of the start as the drivers surged for the top of the 133-foot elevation at the signature first turn and Vettel looked to be off and running to a victory. But Hamilton stayed close and constantly pushed Vettel until he zipped past as their approached the tight corner on turn No. 12.

“I knew that lap was going to be the lap that I was going to try, so I turned the engine up and went for it,” Hamilton said.

“I tried to defend … but I knew that he would have so much more speed that he would get by either side so it didn’t really matter what I was doing,” Vettel said.

Alonso worked hard to stay in the hunt for the drivers’ championship.

Alonso was set to start in eighth position but got a boost to seventh when Ferrari broke the gearbox seal of Alonso’s teammate, Felipe Massa. That meant a five-spot penalty for Massa that allowed Alonso to move up.

“The reason for this was for strategy considerations, with the objective of maximizing Alonso’s start potential given that he’s still in with a chance to win the drivers’ championship,” Ferrari said in a statement. “It was a decision agreed by both drivers.”

Alonso used the better position to immediately advance three spots in the first lap. He ran into trouble with a bad pit stop when his crew struggled to replace one of his rear wheels, but made up enough ground to keep the pressure on Vettel into next week.

Lotus driver Kimi Raikkonen, who won in Abu Dhabi two weeks ago, finished sixth. Schumacher, a seven-time world champion who is set to retire again after Brazil, could not capitalize on starting from the No. 5 spot in his Mercedes car and slipped to 16th.

The victory invigorated Hamilton, the 2008 world champion who will drive his final race for McLaren next week before joining Mercedes in 2013.

“We have a good car and hopefully we can try to compete again with these guys,” Hamilton said. “I’m obviously not fighting for the championship. It’s maybe more exciting for these guys, but I’m having fun.”

“Wow, great inaugural Formula 1 race in Austin. I love that the championship is coming down to the final round in Brazil. Too bad Hamilton is no longer in the fight for the championship as his drive at Austin was truly flawless and quite impressive.”- Howard

By Jerry Hirsch

October 2, 2012, 5:54 a.m.
Los Angeles isn’t known as a city for walking. Maybe there is a good reason — it’s too dangerous.

Drivers in Los Angeles kill pedestrians and bicyclists at a significantly higher rate than drivers nationally, according to a study by the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute.

In Los Angeles, pedestrians accounted for about a third of all traffic fatalities, or nearly triple the national average of 11.4%. About 3% of the fatalities were bicyclists. That compares with 1.7% nationally.

“This is a matter of exposure,” said Michael Sivak, a professor at the institute and a study coauthor along with Shan Bao. “When you look at large urban areas you have a wider mix of road users.”

The numbers are even worse in urban New York, where 49.6% of traffic fatalities were pedestrians and 6.1% were bicyclists.

The study, which compared crash rates in Los Angeles, New York and nationwide, examined data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, California Highway Patrol and the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles. The database included 449,498 crashes within Los Angeles city limits, with 2,086 crashes that involved at least one death during the eight-year period of 2002 through 2009.

“You can look at the kinds of crashes in which the city is overrepresented and say that those are the areas that safety and traffic officials should pay more attention to,” Sivak said.

About 20% of all trips in Los Angeles County are on foot or by bike, but less than 1% of transportation funding in the county goes to improvements for pedestrians and bicyclists, said Eric Bruins, planning and policy director for the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition.

“If we want to get serious about traffic safety, we need to get serious about funding equity so we can build infrastructure that allows people to walk and bike safely around their communities,” he said. “Our current metrics value automobile throughput over traffic safety.”

One measure that bicycle advocates said would improve safety was vetoed by Gov. Jerry Brown on Friday.

Brown rejected legislation that would have required motorists to give bicyclists at least three feet of room while passing, or slow down — citing concern that it could cause more car accidents. Brown said he worried about requiring motorists to slow to 15 mph when passing bicyclists if there is not three feet between them.

In other findings, the University of Michigan researchers found that women who lived in Los Angeles were less likely to be in an accident than men. In the city, men accounted for a higher proportion of fatalities than the national average, 62.3% compared with 57.6%.

Other highlights include more fatal crashes at intersections (36% in Los Angeles versus 22% in the U.S.), and more fatal crashes at low speeds — 35 mph or less (66.5% in Los Angeles versus 21.8% in the U.S.).

When considering the time of the day, crashes at night in Los Angeles constituted a higher percentage than the national average, 25.4% to 17.8% for the hours from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. (The percentage of nighttime crashes in New York was the same as in Los Angeles.)

“This is most likely due to the fact that people are more likely to be out and about at night in the big cities than they are elsewhere,” Sivak said.

2012 Italian GP (Monza): Formula One (F1) Race Results

In front of 80,000 fans, McLaren F1 driver and pole sitter Lewis Hamilton has won the Formula 1 2012 Italian Grand Prix at the historic Monza circuit in Italy. For Hamilton, it is his third win of the 2012 Formula One (F1) season, and his 20th of his career. It is also Hamilton’s 48th career Formula One podium. In addition, it is Hamilton’s first grand prix win at Monza.

Hamilton has now turned two of his Pole positions this season into victories – his win from Pole coming at the Hungarian Grand Prix.

For McLaren, it is the team’s 180th all time victory.

Sauber racer Sergio Perez drove a spectacular race to move up to second position with six laps to go. The Mexican was able to easily get past Felipe Massa (Ferrari) and then Fernando Alonso (Ferrari) to embarrass the home team with their own engine.

With a spectacular drive from 10th position, 2012 Formula One (F1) points leader Fernando Alonso (Ferrari) placed third. Alonso picked up three positions through lap one, and steadily worked his way forward through the field. He battled with second in points Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull) as though the championship was at stake, and ultimately passed him on track, though Vettel would take a drive-through penalty when the stewards ruled Vettel had pushed Alonso off-track during the fight.

Coming home fourth was Felipe Massa (Ferrari). Massa drove well from third, became the benefactor of Jenson Button’s (McLaren) mechanical DNF to grab second, but subsequently gave up his position as the dutiful teammate to the much faster Fernando Alonso. Massa then was passed with seven laps to go by a hard charging Sergio Perez.

Kimi Raikkonen (Lotus) rounded out the top-five.

With five laps to go, Sebastian Vettel’s race ended at the side of the track, and the points he amassed during the Belgium Grand Prix turned to a fist full of dirt at the Italian Grand Prix as the team ordered Vettel to “stop the car to save the engine”.

Overall, it was a great day for the championship hopes of Fernando Alonso, and a horrid day for Red Bull chasers Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber – who finished a miserable 20th, including a late spin out of the points and out of 7th position. Alonso now leads Lewis Hamilton (McLaren) by 37 points with eight grand prix to play.

Next up for the Formula 1 (F1) series will be the 2012 Singapore Grand Prix in two weeks time.

PaddockTalk has also released a beta version of our new Formula One (F1) news android app! Check it out at Google Market – F1 News & Rumors

2012 Italian GP (Monza): Formula One Race Results

Pos No Driver Team Time/Retired Pts
1 4 Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes Winner 25
2 15 Perez Sauber-Ferrari +4.3 secs 18
3 5 Alonso Ferrari +20.5secs 15
4 6 Massa Ferrari +29.6secs 12
5 9 Raikkonen Lotus-Renault +30.8secs 10
6 7 Schumacher Mercedes +31.2secs 8
7 8 Rosberg Mercedes +33.5secs 6
8 11 Di Resta Mercedes +41.0secs 4
9 14 Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari +43.8secs 2
10 19 Senna Williams-Renault +48.1secs 1
11 18 Maldonado Williams-Renault +48.6secs
12 16 Ricciardo STR-Ferrari +50.3 secs
13 10 DAmbrosio Lotus-Renault +75.8secs
14 20 Kovalainen Caterham-Renault +1 LAP
15 21 Petrov Caterham-Renault +1 LAP
16 25 Pic Marussia-Cosworth +1 LAP
17 24 Glock Marussia-Cosworth +1 LAP
18 22 de la Rosa HRT-Cosworth +1 LAP
19 23 Karthikeyan HRT-Cosworth +1 LAP
20 2 Webber Renault +2 LAPS
21 12 Hulkenberg Mercedes +3 LAPS
22 1 Vettel Renault +6 LAPS
Ret 3 Button McLaren-Mercedes +21 LAPs
Ret 17 Vergne STR-Ferrari +45 LAPS

2012 Nurburgring World Superbike | Results

The 2012 World Superbike Championship headed to the famed Nurburgring circuit in Germany this weekend for round 12 of 14.

And when the doubleheader got underway Sunday, it was Aprilia Racing Team’s Max Biaggi who started from pole position, the first time for the Italian this season.

Biaggi was able to capitalize on this first-positions start in race 1, taking victory ahead of teammate Eugene Laverty and ParkingGO MTC Racing Aprilia’s Chaz Davies; this was the first 1-2-3 World SBK race finish in Aprilia history.

But in race 2, the 2010 World SBK Champ suffered a crash, though was able restart and finish 13th. That race would be feature a podium full of Brits and an Irishman, with Davies taking his first-ever World SBK win, followed by Laverty and FIXI Crescent Suzuki’s Leon Camier, respectively.

Race 1

At the start of race 1, Kawasaki Racing’s Tom Sykes quickly got off the line from his second-position start, getting ahead of the 22-rider grid. Biaggi followed closely behind, and on lap 12 he passed Sykes for the lead. Biaggi would not be challenged again.

Behind, Sykes would remain in second, but gradually lost time. With five laps remaining, the ZX-10R rider would be passed by Laverty and Davies.

Biaggi would take the win by 3.027 seconds ahead of Laverty, with Davies in third. Sykes would finish fourth, followed by Camier in fifth.

Entering race one, BMW Motorrad’s Marco Melandri had an 18-point lead over Biaggi. But due to Melandri’s crash, Biaggi took the championship lead. It would be Biaggi’s 21st WSBK-career victory, and his fifth this season.

Also crashing out of race 1 was Kawasaki Racing’s Loris Baz, Althea Racing’s Davide Giugliano, Honda World Superbike’s Jonathan Rea, and BMW Motorrad’s Italia GoldBet’s Michel Fabrizio.

The reigning World SBK Champion, Althea Racing Ducati’s Carlos Checa, also crashed out while in third position in the early stages of the race. The Spaniard would rejoin, and finish 12th.

Race 2

In the second race, it was once again Sykes who took the early lead. Biaggi would crash, falling to the back of the grid.

Melandri and Davies chased down Sykes, with Melandri eventually taking the lead by mid race. But luck wasn’t on the Italian’s side, and he suffered another crash at Nurburgring. This crash allowed Davies pass Sykes and into the lead.

Davies would take the win by 3.022 seconds ahead of Laverty, who held of Camier. In fourth was Rea, with Sykes taking fifth, and Checa taking sixth.

Although he crashed and restarted from the back, Biaggi would finish 13th. Also crashing out was Team Effenbert Liberty Racing’s Brett McCormick, BMW Motorrad’s Leon Haslam, Fabrizio, and Team Pedercini Kawasaki’s Alexander Lundh.

Heading into the penultimate round at Portimao in two weeks, Biaggi has 318 points, 9.5 ahead of Melandri. Sykes is in third with 291.5 points, helping to create a tight fight up top for the 2012 World Superbike title with only two rounds remaining.

2012 Nurburgring World Superbike Results, Race 1:

1. Max Biaggi (Aprilia Racing Team) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 38’52.751

2. Eugene Laverty (Aprilia Racing Team) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 38’55.778

3. Chaz Davies (ParkinGO MTC Racing) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 38’55.878

4. Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) Kawasaki ZX-10R 39’05.057

5. Leon Camier (FIXI Crescent Suzuki) Suzuki GSX-R1000 39’06.882

6. Sylvain Guintoli (PATA Racing Team) Ducati 1098R 39’12.274

7. Leon Haslam (BMW Motorrad Motorsport) BMW S1000 RR 39’19.768

8. Lorenzo Zanetti (PATA Racing Team) Ducati 1098R 39’25.867

9. Ayrton Badovini (BMW Motorrad Italia GoldBet) BMW S1000 RR 39’27.688

10. Hiroshi Aoyama (Honda World Superbike Team) Honda CBR1000RR 39’31.883

11. Maxime Berger (Team Effenbert Liberty Racing) Ducati 1098R 39’33.751

12. Carlos Checa (Althea Racing) Ducati 1098R 39’33.876

13. John Hopkins (FIXI Crescent Suzuki) Suzuki GSX-R1000 39’39.676

14. Lorenzo Lanzi (Liberty Racing Team Effenbert) Ducati 1098R 39’47.410

15. Brett McCormick (Team Effenbert Liberty Racing) Ducati 1098R 39’49.093

16. Alexander Lundh (Team Pedercini) Kawasaki ZX-10R 40’02.481

17. Norino Brignola (Grillini Progea Superbike Team) BMW S1000 RR 40’36.430

RT. Loris Baz (Kawasaki Racing Team) Kawasaki ZX-10R 33’14.140

RT. Marco Melandri (BMW Motorrad Motorsport) BMW S1000 RR 9’40.675

RT. Davide Giugliano (Althea Racing) Ducati 1098R 5’52.293

RT. Jonathan Rea (Honda World Superbike Team) Honda CBR1000RR 3’55.107

RT. Michel Fabrizio (BMW Motorrad Italia GoldBet) BMW S1000 RR 

Nurburgring World Superbike Results, Race 2:

1. Chaz Davies (ParkinGO MTC Racing) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 39’00.327

2. Eugene Laverty (Aprilia Racing Team) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 39’03.349

3. Leon Camier (FIXI Crescent Suzuki) Suzuki GSX-R1000 39’03.549

4. Jonathan Rea (Honda World Superbike Team) Honda CBR1000RR 39’06.032

5. Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) Kawasaki ZX-10R 39’07.631

6. Carlos Checa (Althea Racing) Ducati 1098R 39’07.868

7. Davide Giugliano (Althea Racing) Ducati 1098R 39’15.036

8. Loris Baz (Kawasaki Racing Team) Kawasaki ZX-10R 39’20.109

9. Ayrton Badovini (BMW Motorrad Italia GoldBet) BMW S1000 RR 39’20.252

10. Sylvain Guintoli (PATA Racing Team) Ducati 1098R 39’20.355

11. Lorenzo Zanetti (PATA Racing Team) Ducati 1098R 39’25.980

12. John Hopkins (FIXI Crescent Suzuki) Suzuki GSX-R1000 39’29.469

13. Max Biaggi (Aprilia Racing Team) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 39’29.906

14. Maxime Berger (Team Effenbert Liberty Racing) Ducati 1098R 39’36.417

15. Hiroshi Aoyama (Honda World Superbike Team) Honda CBR1000RR 39’41.239

16. Lorenzo Lanzi (Liberty Racing Team Effenbert) Ducati 1098R 39’50.728

17. Norino Brignola (Grillini Progea Superbike Team) BMW S1000 RR 39’24.912

RT. Brett McCormick (Team Effenbert Liberty Racing) Ducati 1098R 30’18.544

RT. Leon Haslam (BMW Motorrad Motorsport) BMW S1000 RR 17’36.790

RT. Marco Melandri (BMW Motorrad Motorsport) BMW S1000 RR 15’34.320

RT. Michel Fabrizio (BMW Motorrad Italia GoldBet) BMW S1000 RR 15’57.025

RT. Alexander Lundh (Team Pedercini) Kawasaki ZX-10R 12’11.662