Archive for September, 2009

h1

2010 F1 Calendar

September 22, 2009

The FIA released the provisional 2010 calendar for our perusal.

Some interesting things here. Firstly there is the Canadian GP with Montreal to make a much anticipated return. The down side is that this is provisional, with details for the event still being sorted out.

A surprise entry is the Korean GP and to be honest, since when has Korea even been remotely interested in F1? Will we soon be seeing Daewoo or Kia badged engines in the back of a Williams? Call me a sceptic but I can see this race turning out to be utter garbage. I hope they prove me wrong.

I suppose for me it is quite handy location wise because living in Japan gives me access to 3 tracks instead of one; Suzuka, Shanghai and now Korea.

But, seriously, whats next? The Ethiopian GP?

Interestingly, there are 11 races outside Europe and 8 within, with the last 5 races back to back, making travelling not only stressful but also extremely expensive for the teams.

Updates on the final calendar to come.

March 14, Bahrain

March 28, Australia

April 4, Malaysia

April 18, China

May 9, Spain

May 23, Monaco

May 30, Turkey

June 13, Canada

June 27, Valencia

July 11, Britain

July 25, Germany

August 1, Hungary

August 28, Belgium

September 12, Italy

September 26, Singapore

October 3, Japan

October 17, Korea

October 31, Abu Dhabi

November 14, Brazil

h1

Renault Disqualified, Briatore Banned

September 21, 2009

340x

No sooner had I written the previous piece on Nelsongate that news of the verdict over the Renault race fixing hearing taking place came through.

Renault have been handed a 2 year suspended disqualification.

In their release the World Motorsport Council and the FIA said:

“The World Motor Sport Council finds that Renault F1 team members Flavio Briatore, Pat Symonds and Nelson Piquet Jr. conspired to cause a deliberate crash at the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix. The World Motor Sport Council considers Renault F1’s breaches relating to the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix to be of unparalleled severity. Renault F1’s breaches not only compromised the integrity of the sport but also endangered the lives of spectators, officials, other competitors and Nelson Piquet Jr. himself.

“The World Motor Sport Council considers that offences of this severity merit permanent disqualification from the FIA Formula One World Championship.”

However, having regard to the points in mitigation mentioned above and in particular the steps taken by Renault F1 to identify and address the failings within its team and condemn the actions of the individuals involved, the WMSC has decided to suspend Renault F1’s disqualification until the end of the 2011 season. The World Motor Sport Council will only activate this disqualification if Renault F1 is found guilty of a comparable breach during that time.”

“In addition the World Motor Sport Council notes Renault F1’s apology and agrees that the team should pay the costs of the investigation. It also accepts the offer of a significant contribution to the FIA’s safety work.”

Thankfully, Briatore didn’t get away as easily. He has seemingly been banned for life, with the WMC and the FIA declaring that Flavio Briatore is to have no further dealings with anyone in the sport – including the management of any drivers. The decision was reached in light of the fact that Briatore continued to prfess his innocence despite the fact that evidence contradicted him at every turn.

In their damning assessment, the WMC and the FIA remarked that, “For an unlimited period, the FIA does not intend to sanction any International Event, Championship, Cup, Trophy, Challenge or Series involving Mr. Briatore in any capacity whatsoever, or grant any license to any Team or other entity engaging Mr. Briatore in any capacity whatsoever. It also hereby instructs all officials present at FIA-sanctioned events not to permit Mr. Briatore access to any areas under the FIA’s jurisdiction.”

“Furthermore, it does not intend to renew any Superlicence granted to any driver who is associated (through a management contract or otherwise) with Mr. Briatore, or any entity or individual associated with Mr. Briatore. In determining that such instructions should be applicable for an unlimited period, the World Motor Sport Council has had regard not only to the severity of the breach in which Mr. Briatore was complicit but also to his actions in continuing to deny his participation in the breach despite all the evidence.”

Thankfully, this is the end of Flavio Briatore and I for one am relieved. The sport is better off without people like this in it.

h1

Nelsongate

September 21, 2009

birthday-580x530

When has this sport every really been clean?

Perhaps in the days where people had no need to cheat. Cheating and sport go hand in hand, never more so than in the modern world where greed takes precedence and millions upon millions of dollars change hands in lucrative deals that can either make or break a team.

Cheating wasn’t nearly as common in the earlier days of F1 simply because people didn’t need to cheat. There wasn’t nearly as much money being thrown around and people were in it to win it; except, not at all costs. These were the days where people in the sport had integrity and dignity.

The saddest part of the sport today is exactly the same thing that drives it forward.

Money.

Not content with being the root of all evil, money is even attacking the very reason for a sports existence. It is not enough these days to just be involved: you have to be involved to make the piles of money and that was never a part of the way things were done when F1 wasn’t a multi-national global colossus money making enterprise. Bernie Ecclestone is the sports worst nightmare, taking his self proclaimed “circus”, selling out to the highest bidder and happy to let the sport turn on itself – a person who appears to enjoy the fact that people within the sport are ripping each other apart.

The only thing he is sad about over the whole Nelsongate situation is the fact that it might effect him personally and more importantly; financially.

He doesn’t appear to care about the well being of the sport any more and is more interested in protecting his own interests.

Bernie Ecclestone is a perfect example of why the sport is dying. A self absorbed, disingenuous, impassionate, double dealing, facade for the trauma underneath. As a man who helped the sport to get where it is, it is reprehensible that he is allowing it to tear itself to pieces in this way.

It’s not a matter of engine freezes and budget cuts any more – something is critically wrong with the sport on a moral level. More and more teams and individuals within those teams are brazenly willing to cheat and steal and put at risk the lives of others to get whatever it is they want and that always invariably comes down to money.

It truly is the root of all evil for mankind. Make no mistake.

Whatever the outcome of today’s events, I am certain the sport and those that are supposed to be looking after it will try and sweep the whole mess under the rug and attempt to continue on doing what they do best; making their piles of money.

F1 was never a sport based on piles of money. It was an honourable sport – one with integrity and dignity. A sport where risk and bravery were rewarded – not with millions and billions but with adoration, wreaths, recognition, revere and champagne…

People keep banging on about how the sport is losing credibility and that is utter bullshit – the sport lost all credibility years ago.

What keeps me tuning in is not what happens off the track but what happens on it so you can imagine my disgust as a true F1 fan, the news that Renault forged a plan to get the win in Singapore last year by putting another driver and countless other people at risk.

I do not doubt that Alonso knew about this plan despite him lying through his teeth about having no idea. How could he not know the reason why the team put him on a ludicrous 2 stop with fumes to get him to the first stop – all the way from the back in 14th? Did he forget to ask?

Alonso…playing by the rules? That’s a good one!

We also know that Flavio Briatore, the man who personifies arrogance and pig headed-ness, is also gone and very well masterminded the whole affair – not to mention the disgraced engineer Symonds who “engineered” the disgraceful events.

I feel less animosity toward Piquet Jr. purely because he was nothing more than a pawn being sacrificed on the chessboard to facilitate a mating move.

If anything, he is least to blame – despite the fact that he was driving the car. You may not agree with me but if you were faced with death by firing squad ( believe me, losing a job has felt sickening enough to be likened to death many times. Why do people still kill themselves when they lose their jobs? ), then one cannot really blame Junior for going along with the demands of his employers. Not only was Briatore his boss but he was also his “manager” although I am stunned to think about what it is he actually manages besides his own interests.

Yes, Nelsongate will all be over soon – we await the news as I write this but the stains left over from this debacle will not come out in the wash.

F1 has been going down the toilet not because of viewer numbers or sponsorship deals but because the people who are holding power are irresponsible, corrupt, self serving and manipulative.

People watch F1 for all the reasons F1 is not these days.

That is a tragic thing to consider.

h1

Thank you for your support!

September 16, 2009

I have been getting steadily increasing traffic for the blog since it started and I hope that is down to you all reading my stuff and passing it around.

I’m glad you all drop by to visit so keep coming back and don’t forget to leave a comment.

R/O

RSCN0517

h1

McLaren Mp4-12c

September 10, 2009

The Mac is back.

mclaren_mp4_13

In a mild throwback to the legendary heritage of the McLaren F1, Ron Dennis and the McLaren Group have released the MP4-12C to the world with the aim for this brand new creation to be on sale by as early as 2011.

mclaren_mp4_14

Looking somewhat like a mix of its direct competitors; a Ferrari, a Lamborghini and an Audi, this new design is said to be a complete clean sheet design, with no left over DNA from the supposed predecessor, the McLaren F1. This also brings to light the supposed fact there has been no involvement from Mercedes Benz in its development; something that does initially come across as unlikely when one considers the long standing marriage between Mercedes Benz and McLaren in Formula 1. You would consider their involvement a formality but we are being told that is not the case.

Read the rest of this entry ?

h1

R/O is back from a break.

September 7, 2009

DSC_0718

R/O has been AWOL in Thailand for the past 2 weeks so apologies on not updating the site as I could have been doing. To be honest, a couple of weeks sunbaking on a tropical island was infinitely more appealing that anything else at the time – so naturally, the computer got a well deserved rest and so did I.

With the Mac now rebooted, I can break the covers off the sensational events that took place at the Sendai Highlands raceway on the 26th and also let you all know about the cars I found in Thailand. Let me tell you; Thailand has a scene all of its own and it was nothing short of surprising.

First things first; stay tuned for the coverage from Sendai.