Posts Tagged ‘Formula One’

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A Return to Turbos for F1?

April 14, 2010

Could it be? The legendary turbo 1.5 liter monsters returning to the pinnacle of the sport?

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Michael Schumacher signs for Mercedes

December 23, 2009

Wow…just WOW.

In my post couple of days ago I mentioned how I got to meet MS and how I expected him to come back for the 2010 season but the guessing and speculation is now officially a reality.

Michael Schumacher will return to the grid in 2010 wearing the black and silver of Mercedes. In this unprecedented move, Schumi will now partner Rosberg and Brawn under a brand new 3 year contract.

This is utterly fantastic news and many people are surely beside themselves over this.

I think I’ll put some money down on Schumi to take out the WDC title. The bookies must be having kittens!!

www.planet-f1.com/story/0,18954,3213_5794625,00.html

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Michael Schumacher 2010

December 19, 2009

Michael Schumacher retired from Formula 1 at the end of the 2006 season.

Suddenly, from every corner of the news, there is unabated fever among the inhabitants of F1 about the imminent return of the most successful F1 driver ever to grace the sport and live to tell the tale.

I personally believe he will come back and am writing this in due course.

I had seen him race so many times. I grew up in the shadow of the “Senna passes the dominance torch to Schumacher” era and what an amazing 15 years it had been. You may know I grew up in Australia, so I was no stranger to Schumacher or Hakkinen or Hill or anyone from the crop of the mid 80’s to now. You feel as if you know them all somehow and yet, have never met any of them.

As fate would have it then, some 15 years and a move to Japan later, at Suzuka in 2006, I got some pit access and managed to meet most of the field and memorably have a little quiet time with Schumacher, a single race before he retired ( as far as I or anybody else knew at the time ) for ever.

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Nelsongate

September 21, 2009

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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.

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BMW Quit Formula 1

July 29, 2009

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In a move that is sure to spark a turmoil in the pitlane, BMW have just announced their decision to quit F1. Again.

http://www.planetf1.com/story/0,18954,3213_5459257,00.html

The German manufacturer will see out the 2009 season but will not be present on the grid for the start of the 2010 season. This is sure to raise questions regarding the sale of the teams infrastructure and movement of its staff but just as importantly, the locations of its current drivers.

I believe this decision may have just signaled the end to Nick “The Pikey” Heidfeld’s F1 career. There is no word of him replacing Massa at Ferrari and it is highly unlikely he will get the seat at Renault when they sack Nelson Piquet Jr. So where does it leave the quiet achiever? With limited options; that is where.

According to the hairy chested German, this came as a total back door raid to his F1 party; BMW’s decision no longer to compete in Formula One was totally unexpected. I feel very sorry for the members of the team with whom it has been my privilege to work over the years. I would like to thank all of them for their tremendous support and for everything we have achieved together.”

Robert Kubica has a much better position as he is currently still in the embrace of Formula 1 as one of its darling speed stars. Offers are sure to come in thick and fast for the under-performing Pole.

Personally, I am very disappointed BMW has yet again pulled the pin on its F1 program. It is not the first time BMW has done this and you have to wonder when they will be back. History tells me it is only a matter of time before they return again.Historically, BMW has always shown a great aptitude and ability for getting in to the sport when it is at a peak and leaving it when it is in the dumps. Quite the opposite of Ferrari who is there regardless of the outcome. It shows BMW lacks the spine and wherewithall to weather the current climate. It also shows BMW’s motives. True racers like Sir Frank Williams and the Williams team do not quit when the going gets tough. BMW were always a financial operation – in it for the money and the glory but mostly from a corporate perspective; nothing more.

That is deplorable to anyone who truly calls themselves a racer.

No one can call in a plumber because their sink is broken and then as it’s getting fixed, tell the plumber how to do his job.

With BMW now on their way out the door, questions must be asked as to who will replace them. The FIA drew fierce criticism over its selection process regarding the grid for 2010 but with the exit of BMW, the door may have just been kicked open for the operations from Prodrive and Lola to recommence.

The FIA has also released a press statement saying that they saw this coming a mile off and even saw fit to have a stab at the FOTA alliance:

http://www.planetf1.com/story/0,18954,3213_5459581,00.html

More to come.

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F1 Breakaway Is Go!

June 19, 2009

It is actually going to happen!

Everyone should be opening champagne to celebrate this monumental occasion.

In an historic decision Thusday night, the teams that comprise FOTA ( Ferrari, McLaren, Toyota, Red Bull, Torro Rosso, Renault, BMW and Brawn GP ), unanimously agreed to leave F1 and start their own breakaway series.

Never in my wildest dreams did I envision the breakaway was going to become a reality but the reality of it is that people are sick and tired of the politics that have dogged the sport for decades and that includes not just the millions of people that watch the sport worldwide but quite obviously the teams as well.

Anyone worth his F1 salt will know that the puppetmaster FIA and Formula 1 itself was only ever an organization that was ruled by one megalomanical S&M tyrant along with one ringmaster extortionist extraordinaire.

Now, finally, after years of bitter politiking, the sport can resume its natural course where technological innovation is combined with razor sharp drivers to produce a heady mix of television ecstasy. If FOTA can produce even 1/10th of the magic of the 80’s and 90’s then we are all going to be in for a massive treat.

Now that the ringmaster and the whipping boy are toast, the FIA and FOM are left with a bunch of half-baked F3 and GP2 teams with no brand drivers along with a couple of disappointingly mutinous F1 teams that decided FOTA and the new series wasn’t where the grass was going to be greener.

Sadly, Williams is one of them. Force India the other. Both cited contractual obligations and after reading the statements from both teams, one can see the points being addressed and both teams appear to have valid and logical reasons to jump the FOTA ship. Nevertheless, its such a shame to see the big Williams branch absent from the FOTA tree.

Speaking of teams, it struck me as odd that the famous Lola had decided to withdraw its application for the 2010 FIA championship just a couple of days prior to the announcement by FOTA of the breakaway series. It seemed to me at the time that perhaps this was a preemptive move to join FOTA and the new series and this seems to be playing out as I thought it would. Good to see them back in the frame. Two other teams including Dave Richards Prodrive outfit were also left out in the cold by the FIA when the 2010 grid was being chosen and it is likely that we will be hearing more from them in relation to the new series in days, weeks and months to come.

Some incisive commentary from the always informative Martin Brundle

One team who the FIA may attempt to draw and quarter is Ferrari, who the FIA claims has a contract in place that binds the Italian team to the FIA and FOM until 2012. Ferrari on the other hand has stated that the FIA has breached this contract and as such, believe they are no longer legally bound to do anything the FIA tells them to do.

Whatever is the case here, we will undoubtedly be seeing a colossal legal battle take place as Ferrari attempts to wrestle free from the FIA’s grasp. Bernie Ecclestone has also been quoted as saying that if a breakaway were to happen, he would sue for hundreds of millions.

And as posted here on Joe Sawards blog ( Joe is a regular on Grandprix.com ), it seems the FIA legal juggernaut has just fired up its engines…

Regardless of the outcome, this is a day to remember. The 18th of June, 2009 will be remembered for years and years to come as the day the teams that make the sport what it is, decided to stand up, be counted and tell Max Mosley and Bernie Ecclestone where to shove their series and their tyrannical governance.

This is a collosal development in the sport and one to surely send shockwave after shockwave of attack and counter attack as the teams and the FIA and FOM slug it out to see whats is what and who is who. It will be more a battle of personality than prudence and egos are bound to be shattered.

Breakaway.

Has such a lovely ring to it, wouldn’t you agree?

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Every F1 Car Produced from 1950 to 2004

June 9, 2009

One of the best motor sport posters ever made…

There are 505 cars in this poster.

That is a small scale version.

It is an entire treasure trove of F1 goodness on a single page…

To View the complete massive version as seen above, click in the box below:

( It’s a large file – all 9362×6622 pixels of it – You Have Been Warned!)

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Enjoy.