Posts Tagged ‘Formula 1’

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.


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)

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.

I haven’t really been blogging much in the last couple of weeks. I have been much too busy redecorating this place and am still only a quarter of the way through. We have been moving boxes of junk and other stuff to our storage locker, which was a logistical nightmare to do when you don’t own a car.

 My jury duty begins on Wednesday. I am sort of looking forward to it, although I’m not sure if I really want to do it. I am really nervous about things and feel that I’ll probably have the misfortune to be on a lengthy murder trial. It would be juicy to be part of this, but I really have lots of other things that I’d rather be doing.

 Finally I must give my congratulations to Mark Webber on his first win. I knew that he would eventually break through and unlike all of those knockers I never doubted him. It always made me angry whenever I heard the so-called experts, people who in reality know nothing about Formula 1 yet get paid to talk about sport on the radio, make wise crack after wise crack about Webber. I’m glad that he is finally able to make them eat some humble pie. I’d also like to make special mention of Triple M’s Roy & HG. Anybody who regularly listens to this program (yes all three of you) would know that this duo has taken particular delight in Mark’s constant bad luck. I am particularly glad that in a week when there is speculation about Roy & HG’s show being cancelled like many other failing programs on Triple M that Webber was able to break through for a win.

 I should also make a special mention of Triple M’s falling fortunes. They are currently being hammered in the ratings, with even Vega scoring more listeners. There are many reasons why Triple M is failing which everyone except the management there can see. Perhaps if they did more than play songs from ‘the awesome 80s’ and the comedy they featured on their station actually contained comedy (you know, stuff that is funny) they would be more successful. Maybe if they did not simulcast shows from Sydney and actually produced shows for Melbourne in Melbourne then more Melbournians would be listening. I still remember listening to a show (the Shebang) a few years ago which featured a commercial for North Sydney Alfa Romeo. Obviously some genius forgot to press the button that plays the local ads when they went to a commercial break.

I’ve been trying to feign interest in Formula 1 but it has been very difficult lately. The political games that are getting played behind the scenes are just making me bored of the whole sport. Still, with the news the other day that FOTA are planning a breakaway series my interest picked up. I have maintained for a long time that the sport really needs to get rid of Max Mosley and Bernie Ecclestone if they are going to prosper in anyway. Bernie’s greed and Max’s crazy decision making has made watching the sport quite tiresome in recent years. Then again with Max and the FIA in charge it was only a matter of time before F1 self destructed because of his constant and confusing interfering and rule changing. Just look at what happened with the Le Mans Sportscar series back in the early 90s when Max (with Bernie’s prompting) made some changes, or even more recently with the World Rally Championship. Sigh!

Back to this weekend’s British Grand Prix. Usually when doing this I would predict an easy victory for Jenson Button and Brawn GP but I don’t think so this time. Qualifying has finished just over an hour ago and it looks like the Brit is struggling at his home circuit. He was not really close to the top in any of the three qualifying sessions and will only start in sixth place tonight.

The Red Bulls of Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber dominated qualifying much how they have dominated practice ever since they arrived at Silverstone. Vettel takes his third pole position of the year while Webber will start in third, behind Ruben Barrichello’s Brawn, after he was blocked by traffic on his final run. I expect that the Red Bulls will romp it in, with Vettel beating Webber home, although this may be Webber’s best chance of taking his maiden victory.

Last night Jenson Button increased his stranglehold on the World Driver’s Championship with a dominant victory in the streets of Monte Carlo, beating his team mate Rubens Barrichello, with Ferraris Kimi Raikkonen in third.

Race Result After 78 of 78 laps

  1. J Button
  2. R Barrichello
  3. K Raikkonen
  4. F Massa
  5. M Webber
  6. N Rosberg
  7. F Alonso
  8. S Bourdais

Button holds a commanding 16 point lead over Barrichello, with the very disappointing Sebastian Vettel a further 12 points behind Rubens. 

  1. J Button 51
  2. R Barrichello 35
  3. S Vettel 23
  4. M Webber 19.5
  5. J Trulli 14.5
  6. T Glock 12
  7. F Alonso 11
  8. K Raikkonen 9
  9. L Hamilton 9
  10. F Massa 8
  11. N Rosberg 7.5
  12. N Heidfeld 6

Vettel was extremely disappointing this race. A poor fuel strategy at the start, added to by him ruining his tyres and then topped off by him putting his Red Bull into the barriers. The BMWs and Toyotas both looked extremely slow, which is a major worry as they were quick in testing and at the first GP of the season in Melbourne. Just two races ago in Bahrain it looked like Toyota could have won, but in Monaco they were the slowest of all.