Archive for the ‘Formula 1’ Category

This was shown this week on the UK edition of Top Gear. Apparently Bernie Ecclestone has decreed that the F1 footage shown in here is never to be broadcast again.

Just watching the Senna footage just reminds me of how great F1 was when I was a kid and how crap things are today in comparison, especially when you watch last week’s German GP. The tifosi may think that Schumacher is the greatest or that Alonso is the best driver today, but they just don’t compare at all, especially when you note that Schumacher and Alonso have made sure that their team mates are not challengers to them, while Senna went out of his way to be the team-mate of Alain Prost who at the time was considered to be the best driver of that generation, just so he could prove that he was better. Senna didn’t need his team mates (or anyone else) to be told to get out of the way so he could pass, he would just pull out some amazing overtaking manoeuvres.


This is a pretty cool video released by McLaren of Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton going through an old warehouse looking at all of the McLarens from the past.

McLaren amd Vodafone have been releasing these types of videos for at least a couple of years now the first one I can remember seeing was for the 2008 Singapore GP. When you consider that it is Red Bull that has the reputation of being the really cool F1 team and that McLaren is supposed to have such a serious reputation it sort of turns that theory on its head. (Especially when the videos that Red Bull have released have been so serious!)

In a time where F1 drivers are said to have little personailty and be robot-like it’s good to see this sort of thing.

I first said this four or so years ago, but could the Australian media PLEASE GET OFF MARK WEBBER’S BACK?!!! I am really fed up with these clowns in the media who constantly criticise Mark Webber because he has not lived up to their expectations. Even after a stunning lights to flag victory in the Spanish Grand Prix in Barcelona the media still has to try to knock down the tall poppy instead of celebrating his dominant performance.

What shines through every time that morons such as Triple M’s Roy & HG or 3AW’s Dwayne Russell or the Herald Sun’s Daryl Timms criticise Webber is just how ignorant they are about Formula 1. I have watched every single Formula 1 race since the 1985 Australian Grand Prix, but it is obvious that these big-mouthed buffoons only ever watch one race, the Australian Grand Prix, a year. For instance all have made comments about Mark not finishing races, yet ever since he joined Red Bull he has only failed to finish a handfull of times. Last year he had just two DNFs. GUYS, 2006 WAS FOUR YEARS AGO!!!

As I said earlier, the big problem is that Mark never lived up to the knockers expectations. They wanted him to be a Schumacher or Prost yet are so ignorant about Formula 1 that they don’t realise there is no level playing field in the sport and that to win you have to be driving for the one of the best teams, which Mark has only done in the last couple of years. They will point to his stint at Williams as a time when he was in a top team but Williams have become a shell of their former self. When Mark was there Williams went through an acrimonious split with BMW, who were replaced as engine supplier by the horribly unreliable and underfunded Cosworth. Juan Pablo Montoya told Mark that he made a huge mistake going to Williams despite the fact that JPM won the last GP of 2004.

This year Mark is the clear second favourite for the World Drivers Championship. Adrian Newey and Red Bull have built the fastest car on the grid and despite the fact that I have tipped Webber’s team-mate Sebastian Vettel to win the championship, I hope that Mark can do it just to shut all the idiots in the media up.

By the way, with three wins so far Mark has won more Grands Prix than…

  • Chris Amon (0)
  • Jean Alesi (1)
  • Nick Heidfeld (0)
  • Martin Brundle (0)
  • Elio de Angelis (2)
  • Stefan Johansson (0)
  • Patrick Depailler (2)
  • Patrick Tambay (2)
  • Eddie Cheever (0)
  • Derek Warwick (0)
  • Olivier Panis (1)
  • Jarno Trulli (1)
  • Mika Salo (0)
  • Alex Wurtz (0)

He has won the same amount of races as…

  • Didier Pironi
  • Thierry Boutsen
  • Johnny Herbert
  • Giancarlo Fisicella
  • Heinz Harald Frentzen

He is in striking distance of…

  • Keke Rosberg (5)
  • John Watson (5)
  • Michele Alboreto (5)
  • Ricardo Patrese (6)
  • Jacques Laffite (6)
  • Eddie Irvine (4)
  • Ralph Schumacher (6)
  • Juan Pablo Montoya (7)

He’s back

Posted: December 27, 2009 in Formula 1
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Here’s a photo I took back in 2005 of two very old Formula 1 drivers. I did not think that either of these guys would be still around in F1 in 2010. I would never have dreamed that the guy on the right would have been second in the World Driver’s Championship in 2009. I also would never have thought that the guy on the left would be returning after a three year retirement. I certainly would never have believed he’d be driving for any team other than the Prancing Horse.

I should have done this earlier in the week but I have been very busy. On Sunday the Belgian GP was run and won by the Ferrari of Kimi Raikkonen. It was the first Ferrari victory of 2009 and Kimi’s first for 25 races, but he did not have everything all his own way for the unlikely Force India of Giancarlo Fisichella shadowed the scarlet machine all the way to the chequered flag. Fisi would have won the race if Kimi’s car was not equipped with the magic KERS button which enabled the Finn to overtake the Italian. Third place was taken by Sebastian Vettel who now moves a little bit closer to title leader Jenson Button in the World Driver’s Championship.

The main talking points of the race would be the first lap shunts which claimed the cars of both Lewis Hamilton and championship leader Jenson Button, who were taken out by rookies Jaime Alguersuari and Romain Grosjean respectively. Mark Webber’s race was ruined by a pit error when the Red Bull lollypop man released him into the path of BMW’s Nick Heidfeld, and the Australian had to serve a stop and go penalty. He eventually finished ninth, one place out of the points.

The other talking point is the lack of pace of Ferrari’s Luca Badoer, who again was the final finisher. Badoer qualified last after crashing at the end of Q1 at Spa, a track that he wrongly predicted he would do well at because he knew it so well. His qualifying time was 1.5 seconds slower in Q1 than his teammates. He finished the race 1 minute 42 seconds behind the victorious Kimi, and 48 seconds behind the 13th placed Williams of Kazuki Nakajima. It seems that Ferrari though have finally seen the light and have replaced the hapless (hopeless) Badoer with Fisichella until the end of the 2009 season.

In the championship title race Button leads Barrichello by 16 points, with Vettel a further three points back with five races remaining. Webber too still has a chance of becoming world champion as he is just 1.5 points behind Vettel.

Button – 72
Barrichello – 56
Vettel – 53
Webber – 51.5

Rubens Barrichello won last Sunday’s European Grand Prix in Valencia to set up what is now an intriguing four way tussle for the 2009 World Driver’s Championship. The popular Brazilian has jumped to second place in the standings behind his Brawn team mate Jenson Button, leapfrogging the Red Bull duo of Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel.

Even though the resurgent McLaren of the current World Champion Lewis Hamilton lead for most of the race, Barrichello took a flawless victory after the Brit was hampered by an uncharacteristically Ferrari-esque McLaren pit stop which handed Rubens the lead of the race. Ferrari’s mullet-man Kimi Raikkonen brought his red racer home in a solid third position.

Of the other contenders for the World Championship Crown only Jenson Button scored points with his sixth placing, extending his lead over Red Bull’s Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel. Webber had a rather lackluster race finishing ninth, while Vettel’s race was wrecked by a pit stop bungle and then a blown Renault engine, the second that he suffered on the weekend.

The only other talking point of the weekend was the performance, or lack of, of Ferrari’s Luca Badoer, who is subbing for the injured Felipe Massa. Badoer was a major embarrassment for Ferrari, qualifying last on the grid and then plodding around at the rear of the field, making rookie errors and even spinning one time. Badoer has not competed in F1 for a decade and it was only expected that his racing would prove a little rusty. However while Luca’s lack of recent racing may explain some of his poor performance on the weekend it should be remembered that he was never a very good driver back when he was competing in Formula 1 in the 1990s. It is with very good reason that Badoer is still the driver who has the started the most races without scoring a single World Championship point. While he has been Ferrari’s test driver for ten years and apparently a big reason for the Prancing Horse’s success in the early 2000s we should also remember that the last time Ferrari needed a substitute driver in 1999 when Michael Schumacher broke his leg, team manager Jean Todt overlooked Badoer for Mika Salo. Apparently Luca has been an ultimatum to perform at Spa this weekend or else his F1 race career will be over. Still, I think that Ferrari would have been better off using their other test driver Marc Gene, who has been competing recently at LeMans with the triumphant Peugeot team, and has been a regular member of the successful Maserati team in the GT championship.

F1 Stuff

Posted: July 29, 2009 in Formula 1, Motorsport, Sport
Tags: ,

Sunday’s Hungarian GP was an interesting race… well more interesting than most Hungarian Grands Prix have been in the past anyway. Lewis Hamilton scored McLaren’s first victory since 2008 which was a major surprise considering it was just two races ago when Lewis was struggling around at the back of the field. This is a major form reversal and I wonder if this was due to the uniqueness of the Hungaroring rather than any recent improvements made in Woking. Ferrari too had a return to form in the race with Kimi Raikkonen taking second place. Once again I wonder if this improvement is due to the Hungarian track rather than anything Ferrari has done in the last month.

Mark Webber finished third and is now 18.5 points behind Jenson Button’s Brawn Mercedes. The Red Bulls have definitely been the form team in the second half of 2009, while I always thought that Brawn would eventually be caught by the other teams. The Brawns were the most developed cars when teams first gridded up at Albert Park in March, thanks to the fact that they started on their car much earlier than the other teams due to the fact that Honda was so horrible in 2008. Red Bull were the only team close to the Brawns pace and have now surpassed them due to improvements made, while it seems that McLaren and Ferrari could be catching them.

Having mentioned Honda and how Brawn have risen from the ashes of that team, I must now make mention of the sad news that BMW Sauber have announced that they will quit Formula 1 at the end of 2009. This year has been terrible for the Swiss based German team and one would be hard pressed to even guess that they placed third in the 2008 Constructors Championship with their lack of pace this year. Both Kubica and Heidfeld have really struggled and the team has often employed odd fuel strategies for their drivers to try to fluke some points.

I wonder which will be the next manufacturer to exit F1. Renault have had an awful season, despite Alonso’s low fuel pole position in Hungary, and they will endure more pain now that they have been banned from the European GP in Fernando’s backyard, Valencia, thank to his front wheel not being secured properly at the pitstop and then coming off. Renault’s position in F1 has looked quite shaky for a while now and this won’t have improved things much.

Toyota is another team who may leave F1 sooner rather than later. They were full of promise at the start of the season but have fallen into a hole since their pole position in Bahrain. Toyota has said that 2009 was a make or break season and apparently came close to pulling the pin on F1 in 2008.

With Heidfeld and Kubica being on the drivers’ market for 2010 it is interesting to see how the line ups will change next year. It will also be interesting if the FIA will accept another new team (Lola) to fill the void created by BMW’s departure. Here are my predictions. I will review these in a couple of months to see how close I am.

Predicted Teams/Driver Line Ups in F1 for 2010

Brawn GP

  • Jenson Button
  • Nick Heidfeld

Red Bull Racing

  • Sebastian Vettel
  • Mark Webber

McLaren Mercedes

  • Lewis Hamilton
  • Nico Rosberg


  • Kimi Raikkonen
  • Felipe Massa *


  • Nico Hulkenburg
  • Kazuki Nakajima


  • Jarno Trulli
  • Timo Glock


  • Fernando Alonso
  • Robert Kubica

Toro Rosso

  • Sebastian Buemi
  • Heikki Kovalainen


  • Sebastian Bourdais
  • Nelson Piquet Jr

Campos GP

  • Antonio Luizzi

Manor GP

  • Christian Klein

* Depends on whether Massa is able to race in 2010. It also depends on both Renault and Toyota remaining in F1 in 2010. Campos and Manor will both have pay drivers as their second drivers.