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The 2008 News Review, Part Two - April to June 06 Jan 2009

Max Mosley (GBR) FIA President.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 6, Monaco Grand Prix, Practice Day, Monte-Carlo, Monaco, Thursday, 22 May 2008 Sebastien Bourdais (FRA) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR03. Formula One Testing, Day Three, Barcelona, Spain, 16 April 2008. World © Hartley/Sutton Rubens Barrichello (BRA) Honda RA108.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 5, Turkish Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Istanbul Park, Turkey, Saturday, 10 May 2008 Lewis Hamilton (GBR) McLaren at the Amber Fashion event.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 6, Monaco Grand Prix, Monte-Carlo, Monaco, Friday, 23 May 2008 Robert Kubica (POL) BMW Sauber F1.08 celebrates his first win in parc ferme.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 7, Canadian Grand Prix, Race, Montreal, Canada, Sunday, 8 June 2008

As we welcome in the New Year, we take time to reflect on the past 12 months and the year that was 2008. The period of April to June saw some major headlines breaking, both on and off the track. Robert Kubica’s maiden win, the unfortunate demise of Super Aguri, and FIA President Max Mosley winning a vote of confidence over his leadership were just a few of them…

April:
New Zealand teenager Brendon Hartley tests Toro Rosso’s new 2008 car during an intensive three-day shakedown session at Vairano in Italy. Takuma Sato confirms Super Aguri will not test alongside their rivals at Barcelona because the team’s buyout hasn’t been completed.

FIA President Max Mosley calls for an Extraordinary General Assembly of the FIA and asks to face a vote of confidence following the publication of allegations concerning his private life in the British press. Honda announce that they have signed 16 year-old British karting star Will Stevens under a long-term driver support agreement.

BMW Sauber’s Robert Kubica is chosen to be the recipient of 2008’s Lorenzo Bandini Trophy. The annual award is given by the Italian village of Brisighella in memory of local driver Bandini, who was killed at the 1967 Monaco Grand Prix. Red Bull’s ‘shark-fin’ engine cover is adopted by Renault during testing.

Toro Rosso debut their new STR3. Although the car’s early pace impresses, driver Sebastian Bourdais crashes his new charge and its race debut is postponed as a result. Super Aguri release a statement confirming their prospective new owners, the Magma Group, have pulled out of the planned acquisition.

FIA President Max Mosley reveals he intends to stand down from the position in 2009. Honda’s Jenson Button stretches his legs between races, competing in a British triathlon. The ‘Sevenoaks Triathlon’ includes a 400-metre swim, a 27-kilometre bike ride and an eight-kilometre run. Force India unveil their brand new glass-fronted motorhome at the Spanish Grand Prix.

May:
Super Aguri reveal they are in final discussions with the Weigl Group concerning a possible buyout but just days later the team announce they are to withdraw from the 2008 championship with immediate effect. The team, founded by former driver Aguri Suzuki, had been participating in Formula One racing since 2006 and are subsequently put into administration.

Toro Rosso announce the STR3 will make its race debut at the Monaco Grand Prix. In Turkey, Honda’s Rubens Barrichello runs a special livery to mark his 257th race appearance. He becomes the most experienced Formula One driver of all time at the Istanbul race, surpassing the record of 256 Grand Prix entries held by Riccardo Patrese since 1993.

Video game publisher Codemasters secure the exclusive video game rights to FORMULA 1™. McLaren drivers Lewis Hamilton and Heikki Kovalainen wear specially commissioned diamond-encrusted helmets at the prestigious Monaco Grand Prix, whilst several other drivers take to the catwalk for a charity fashion show and the launch of Petra Ecclestone’s clothing line, FORM. Seven-time Formula One world champion Michael Schumacher is elected chairman of the newly established Motor Sport Safety Development Fund.

June:
June gets underway with the news that FIA president Max Mosley has won the confidence vote he instigated following tabloid allegations. A museum dedicated to one of Formula One racing’s most beloved drivers, the late Ronnie Peterson, opens in the Swede’s home town of Orebro. Peterson tragically died from injuries he sustained in a crash at the 1978 Italian Grand Prix.

BMW Sauber’s Robert Kubica celebrates his first Formula One win, but elsewhere in the paddock Toyota mourn the death of their former team principal Ove Andersson. Ex-Super Aguri driver Anthony Davidson returns to a Formula One cockpit to test for Honda.

1964 Formula One world champion John Surtees receives an OBE for his services to motorsport. Renault announce the departure of director of aerodynamic technology Dino Toso from the team. Hamilton and Kovalainen step back in time at Magny-Cours and drive a 1908 four-cylinder, 12.8-litre Grand Prix car, as engine partners Mercedes celebrate the 100th anniversary of their first ever victory.

A number of drivers express concerns over the increased price of the super licence required to compete in Formula One racing. Last year the cost was 1,725 Euros plus 456 Euros per point won. This year it is 10,000 Euros plus 2,000 Euros per point.

Politics dominate June’s World Motor Sport Council meeting too, with Formula One racing’s governing body, the FIA, announcing plans for a wide-ranging consultation with the teams regarding the future of the sport. BMW Sauber technical director Willy Rampf announces he is to switch to the role of technical coordinator after asking for a reduction in his workload.