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Tuesday, January 11, 2011

1:55PM - Jonathan Legard no longer presenting TV races

This year's TV race coverage presenters have been announced as David Coulthard and Martin Brundle.

Is anyone else sad that Legard has been sidelined? I thought he was good.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

12:29AM - Stig

I know, this isn't motor racing as such (though that depends on who he is).

I'm having difficulty understanding why anyone wants to unmask The Stig or what they're hoping to gain from it. Surely the first person to buy the book and put the name on Twitter is going to undermine all their sales? 

Sunday, August 1, 2010

12:44PM - Commentary

Apropos of nothing really, I am increasingly impressed with the BBC's commentating team. Love Martin Brundle and Jonathan Legard on the race itself, and the pre and post race team (Coulthard, Jordan and Jake Humphrey) are fantastic - well informed, with conflicting and forthright opinions that make for great viewing without being sensationalist. There's no filler, no time-wasting crap.


Thursday, November 19, 2009

5:47PM - Button flies


Button says he only left Brawn (soon to be Mercedes) because he wanted a fresh challenge. Hmm... presumably the challenge of squandering a lot more money while driving not quite such a good car?

Incidentally, my flatmate pointed out to me last night that Brawn are the only team that have 100% record for winning the drivers' and constructors' championship ever year they entered.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

2:22PM - 2010 a-whirl already

Raikkonen replaced by Alonso, then dumped by McLaren - no Raikkonen next year now. Although not a Kimi fan, I'm also not a Kimi anti-fan, and I find it weird that someone who was world champion not so long ago doesn't even have a drive now.

McLaren instead has taken on Button to join Hamiliton. This story suggests the move was fuelled by money. Will it all end in tears?

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

10:38PM - Alonso to Ferrari?

Now that Alonso's transfer has been confirmed, what to people think about this decision? Ferrari hasn't been cutting-edge competitive this year. Also it was apparently Alonso's childhood dream to drive for McLaren and look how that turned out.

And anyone know where Raikkonen might end up?

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

12:48PM - Could this be any more suspicious


I really can't work out this interview. Pat could hardly have appeared more guilty if he'd simply said "It was me what done it."

Briatore's characteristically insane comments on the subject appear to be come down to saying that Nelson Jr is gay and hence obviously a bit suspect. Curiously the same allegations Nelson Sr made about Senna.


Just as I was writing this Autosport posted that Flavio and Pat Symonds have left Renault. Bloody hell. This is serious stuff. I wonder if Alonso knew?

Thursday, April 2, 2009

2:05PM - Hamilton penalty

Well, I wasn't expecting this!


Tuesday, March 17, 2009

7:46PM - No no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no


Tuesday, January 20, 2009

10:02PM - All we know is...

...he's called the Stig Ben Collins.

Friday, January 16, 2009

2:43PM - End of an ear

Ron Dennis resigns!
Hands over to Martin Whitmarsh on March 1st

Thursday, December 4, 2008

11:17PM - Honda sell team!

Well, I spoze it cost rather a lot for what they were getting out of it. And Max and Bernie are intent on wrecking F1 anyway, so with the global financial meltdown as well, I guess they just thought "where's the point?"

Saturday, October 18, 2008

9:47PM - RIP bluecondition, 1968-2008

More details on Richard's journal.

Despite the fact that I only watched F1 because I was sick of being steer's racing widow and was finally persuaded to start watching too, Pete taught me pretty much all I know about motorsport, and without most of the pointing and laughing that accompanied my ignorant questions to R.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

10:15PM - Crashed and Byrned...

It's been ages since I've posted here, but I thought I'd drop by to recommend Crashed and Byrned to you all. I've read a few racing biogs in my time, and they mostly begin to all read the same after a while, but this one is something quite different.

It starts out like the usual "kid comes from nowhere to take on F1 and win" story...except about half way through, Byrne finds himself stranded without an F1 drive and begins a long, slow, downward spiral.

The second half of the book features a cast of grotesques that could have walked straight off a Carl Hiaasen novel and is comic genius - albeit tinged with the sadness of a potentially great driver wasting away in the backwaters of the US racing scene.

Was he as good as he (and seemingly a number of others) think? Who knows. After all, there have been plenty drivers who looked special until they got into a decent F1 car. What is clear, though, is that he would have certainly livened up the F1 world of the mid-late 80s...

Sunday, September 28, 2008

1:13PM - We sail tonight for Singapore....

Well, no.

It's like Valencia, but less exciting.

I'm off out.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

6:56PM - Formula Hooligan Makes Good

I was sceptical back in 2000 when Premier 1 Grand Prix was announced - this was going to be a one-make racing series backed by football clubs, using a relatively heavy but powerful and 'chuckable' single-seater by Reynard (then Dallara, when Reynard went bust). I was not exactly distraught when it slunk out of sight a few years later without ever actually getting to the circuits.

I was equally willing to condemn its near reincarnation as Superleague Formula a couple of years back. But, football links aside, this is about as good as single seaters get these days. The drivers and teams running the cars are mostly drawn from top F3, Renault World Series, A1GP, and EuroF3000 - so it's pitched at round about the GP2/A1GP sort of level. The cars are beefy (built by Panoz and I suspect a fairly close cousin to the DP01 Champcar), with a bit of ground effect but not too much and nice fat slicks. They can run close without excessive 'dirty air', they can use different lines, they can overtake; the engines have more grunt than contemporary F1 (albeit they're a lot heavier) and make a much nicer noise (750bhp from a 4.2l Menard V12 - Menard having bought up most of the TWR/Arrows business).

The football element isn't played up too much. The cars mostly look great in versions of the teams' colours (the Liverpool car looks very early-nineties Ferrari), and you see the odd replica shirt in the pitlane. The commentators do tend to refer to the cars by football team rather than driver, but it doesn't take long to work out who's who.

The format is a quite clever knockout system for qualification for the first of two races of just under an hour in duration, with (ick) a reversed grid based on finishing order for race two. Alas there are compulsory pitstops, which I think blight far too many formulae, but on track it's excellent.

On track the cars seem to behave like the old GP Masters vehicles - drivers can use all the track and unstick them nice and progressively. Plenty of choice of lines.

The racing itself is close, clean and quick enough to very impressive (the SLF lap record is about 10s slower than the last F1 fastest lap at the Nurburgring in 2007). There is a lot of good wheel to wheel stuff, and overtaking is a real possibility at places F1 just can't manage.

This isn't going to replace F1 or GP2, but it's a good honest show with a lot of integrity to it. It sort of reminds me of F5000 back when that was an alternative way for drivers to show off their talent in big, hairy cars that might not have been the most technically advanced in the world but certainly put on a great race.

You can pick it up on Setanta Sports in the UK (and they've got archives of the Donington round that opened the series the other week). If you can, do have a look.

Monday, September 15, 2008

4:25PM - McLaren prepares for Singapore GP

Exclusive footage here.

Do I detect a subtle windup ;)

1:15PM - Curiouser and curiouser

Ferrari have announced that Kimi's contract has been extended to the end of 2010, matching Felipe Massa.

Given the way Kimi's been driving recently, that's odd, especially given that it blocks them getting Alonso for another year.

This means Alonso's options appear to be limited to Honda (assuming Rubens finally wears out or they get bored paying Jenson Button) or BMW if they drop Heidfeld (which I think they and he would be daft to)

The racing in the IRL's pretty good once more, Fernando...

Monday, July 28, 2008

5:35PM - Jag vs Aston at Le Mans? ;)

New owners Tata apparently want to bring Jaguar back to Le Mans:


"We want to hit the Le Mans race, for which we are already re-examining whether we can bring back the Jaguar brand to its earlier state," Ratan Tata, chairman, Tata Motors, said at the company's annual general meeting earlier this week.

Now, Prodrive and Aston Martin want to build a prototype - probably based on the gorgeous Lola-Aston coupé that ran this year. What price that vs Jag for an overall win? (Especially given that diesels will apparently be reined in a little next year - so by 2010 we might have Jaguar, Aston, Pescarolo, Creation, Audi, Peugeot and maybe a couple more all in the running for an outright victory...)

Bring it on!.

(While we're at it, can we have some BMW 6-series in GT1 please lads? The M3 you're doing for Rahal-Letterman in ALMS is lovely, but it's only a GT2...)

Thursday, July 24, 2008

5:30PM - Mansell/Mansell/Mansell? for Petit Le Mans?

Re: all this bull about the Mansells in the Chamberlain/Synergy Lola being "fastest in a test at Estoril".

I don't wish to piss on the ALMS Mansell love-parade, but all this stuff about Leo Mansell being a tenth faster than Jamie Campbell-Walter in the Creation, and NEM putting in the same times as JC-W can be summed up as:

"Two drivers record comparable times to bloke who broke his back and is still convalescing".

JC-W broke two vertebrae at Monza in April, has just taken off his back brace and was back in the cockpit for the first time in months. I don't think he's quite a point right now. On the contrary, I think Jamie Campbell-Walter's time is a great achievement for someone who's been badly injured on his first comeback run!


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