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Monthly Archives: March 2010

Jenson Button is P1 again!!!!!

REIGNING World Champion Jenson Button drove a near perfect race to win the second round of this year’s championship in Australia. 🙂 He completed the 58 lap race in a time of 1h:33m:36.531 (122.501 mph). Local boy Mark Webber set the fastest lap of the race with a lap time of 1:28.358 (134.249 mph).

The race itself started in wet conditions and proved eventful from the very first corner. Button was left with nowhere to go by the Ferrari of Fernando Alonso and the pair touched. Alonso, the winner of the last race in Bahrain, ended up pointing the wrong way, losing all of the advantages qualifying third had given him. At the same corner, Michael Schumacher’s Mercedes suffered front wing damage and he had to change his nose cone. This in effect ruined his race.

"Hello is that the AA?"

But a little bit down the road – still on lap 1 – came the first racing crash of the season. Kamui Kobayashi’s Sauber lost its front wing, it got stuck underneath his car and sent him into the wall. But this didn’t slow him down and he t-boned the unsuspecting and extremely unfortunate Sébastien Buemi (Toro Rosso) and Nico Hülkenberg (Williams). None of the drivers were hurt.

After the Safety Car came in when all the debris was clear from the above accident, Jenson Button made the call to come into the pits and change onto dry tyres. I thought he was mad, and after he slid off at turn three I believed he had blown the race. But the racing Gods rewarded his brave decision, lifting the rain clouds and sending all the other leaders into the pits to change their tyres. After everyone was back on slicks only Vettel’s Red Bull was ahead of Button.

The next big drama took place on lap 16. Mark Webber passed Felipe Massa’s Ferrari going into turn one to the delight of the home fans. Lewis Hamilton then passed Massa in the very same corner and drag raced Webber down to turn three. But Webber overshot the corner and ran into the gravel trap. This caused Hamilton to almost go off as well and allowed Massa to re-pass the pair of them.

Lap 22 saw Hamilton pass Massa again going into the first corner in a daring slipstreaming move. But as Massa tried to get his old place back from Hamilton, his closely following Ferrari team-mate Alonso was forced off of the dry racing line, letting Mark Webber through.

Four laps later Lewis passed Nico Rosberg’s Mercedes around the outside at turn 11 in what will probably be a contender for pass of the season. As the pair tore down to turn 13 they were greeted by yellow flags. They were being shown because Sebastian Vettel had spun out of the lead and out of the race due to a damaged wheel mounting. This meant that Jenson Button was leading the Australian Grand Prix, just as he had done for Brawn in 2009.

For the next few laps it was just Robert Kubica’s Renault in between the two McLaren’s upfront.

But on lap 35 McLaren pulled Hamilton into the pits to change his tyres again. This was to prove costly and in effect gifted victory to his team-mate Button.

A vast majority of the rest of the race saw Button taking it easy out on his own. Then came Kubica followed by Massa and Alonso. These three just couldn’t keep Hamilton, Webber and Rosberg from closing them down.

With six laps to go all six drivers were in a train, but nobody could find the speed to be able to pass one another.

Something had to give.

And on lap 56 of 58, it did.

Hamilton had pulled out to try and pass Alonso around the outside of turn 13. But Alonso kept the corner and Hamilton tried to feed back into the train. He was then punted of the track and into the gravel by Mark Webber, ruining great drives by both drivers. Both got going again, but all was lost in terms of passing the Ferraris.

Button won his first race since Turkey ’09 by 12 seconds from Robert Kubica, with Felipe Massa in third. The remaining points paying positions were taken by: Alonso (Ferrari), Rosberg (Mercedes), Hamilton (McLaren), Liuzzi (Force India), Barrichello (Williams), Webber (Red Bull) and Schumacher (Mercedes).

Ever since Bahrain people have been saying that F1 is boring. These people will now surely be eating steaming hot humble pie. This was a fantastic race, and well worth getting up at 05:45 for.

PS: Well done to young Jamie Alguersuari, 20, (Toro Rosso) for keeping Schumacher, 41,  behind him for a vast majority of the race. Also well done to HRT and Chandhok for finishing their first race.

Drivers’ Standings

  1. Alonso 37pts
  2. Massa 33pts
  3. Button 31pts
  4. Hamilton 23pts
  5. Rosberg 20pts
  6. Kubica 18pts
  7. Vettel 12pts
  8. Schumacher 9pts
  9. Liuzzi 8pts
  10. Webber 6pts

 

Constructors’ Standings

  1. Ferrari 70pts
  2. McLaren 54pts
  3. Mercedes 29pts
  4. Renault 18pts
  5. Red Bull 18pts
  6. Force India 8pts
  7. Williams 5pts
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SEBASTIAN VETTEL of Red Bull took his second straight pole position of the season at Australia’s Albert Park earlier today. His Q3 time was 1:23.919, an average lap speed of 141.351mph.

Home favourite and Vettel’s team-mate Mark Webber completed an all Red Bull front row with a time of 1:24.035. Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso – winner in Bahrain – qualified third with a time of 1:24.111.

World Champion Jenson Button was fourth fastest in his McLaren with a 1:24.675 lap. The remaining top 10 grid places will be filled by: Massa (Ferrari), Rosberg (Mercedes), Schumacher (Mercedes), Barrichello (Williams), Kubica (Renault) and Sutil (Force India).

Naughty boy Lewis Hamilton was knocked-out in Q2 and will start in 11th place. McLaren team boss Martin Whitmarsh said that Hamilton’s run in with the Melbourne police caused him to take his eye off the ball. The 2008 World Champion’s road car was impounded by the Melbourne police after he was spotted ‘driving improperly’ (wheel spinning) away from Albert Park after Friday practice. But when asked if this was the case, Lewis simply answered that he just wasn’t fast enough.

I can see both Red Bull’s getting to the first corner first and the pair of them engaging in their own private battle for the whole race. If Jenson or Lewis can’t win, then I’d like to see Mark Webber win. This is because no Australian has won the Australian Grand Prix while it’s been a part of the World Championship (1985 – present day). You have to go back to 1980 when the newly crowned World Champion Alan Jones won at Calder Park in the final round of the Australian Drivers’ championship.

YESTERDAY France beat England in the final Six Nations game of this year 12-10 to not only take the title but the coverted Grand Slam with it. In the other games of the fifth and final weekend, Wales beat Italy 33-10 and Scotland beat Ireland away 23-20.

Here is the completed table.

  1. France – 10pts & 13 Tries
  2. Ireland – 6pts & 9 Tries
  3. England – 5pts & 6 Tries
  4. Wales – 4pts & 10 Tries
  5. Scotland – 3pts & 3 Tries
  6. Italy – 2pts & 5 Tries

 

In football, Liverpool lost 1-2 away to arch rivals Man Utd :(. 

Plus with Man City and Tottenham winning, as well as Aston Villa drawing, our quest for fourth place looks even more hopeless.

And finally, today (March 21), had he have still been with us, Ayrton Senna da Silva would have turned 50-years old.

France with the Six Nations trophy

LED ZEPPELIN’S ‘Stairway to Heaven’ has been named the most classic classic rock song by the listeners of the radio station ‘Planet Rock’. 

Stairway saw off exceedingly tough competition to take the glittering gold. (Pun intended). Deep Purple’s ‘Smoke on the Water’ took silver, whilst Lynyrd Skynyrd’s epic ‘Free Bird’ came away with the bronze. 

Fourth was ‘All Right Now’ by Free. Led Zeppelin’s ‘Whole Lotta Love’ was fifth, and Queen’s ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ was sixth. 

The top 10 was rounded out by: ‘Whole Lotta Rosie’ (AC/DC), ‘More than a Feeling’ (Boston), ‘Paranoid’ (Black Sabbath) and ‘Comfortably Numb’ (Pink Floyd). 

The top 40 can be found by clicking on the link below. 

Personally, I voted for ‘Comfortably Numb’ obviously. I was not at all surprised by the top two. In fact the only surprise really for me was that ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ only came sixth. 

Led Zeppelin (L-R): John Bonham, John Paul Jones, Robert Plant, Jimmy Page

http://www.planetrock.com/Article.asp?id=1737453&spid=35748

THIS is my second blog today. I’ve only ever done this once, and that was when I was testing out how to write these things.

But this is extremely important.

MONZA WILL HOST THE ITALIAN GRAND PRIX UNTIL 2016!

Speculation about the tracks future had been around ever since the possibilities of a Rome street race as of 2013. But one of the grand old circuits will carry on hosting a race it has held since before the war.

Monza first held the Italian Grand Prix in 1922 and was won by Italian Pietro Bordino. In 1933, the Monza Grand Prix (not the Italian GP) saw: Giuseppe Campari, Baconin Borzacchini and Count Czaikowski all die in one of the blackest grand prix events of all time. In 1953, Juan Manuel Fangio won after a race long fight with Giuseppe Farina and Alberto Ascari. Ascari was killed whilst testing a sports car at Monza in 1955.

1961 saw a Ferrari driver clinch the title in the hands of Phil Hill, but his team-mate Wolfgang von Trips died on lap two.  John Surtees won in 1967 by just 0.2 seconds from Jack Brabham and Jim Clark who drove the race of his life in order to catch them, only to run low on fuel on the last lap. Two years later, Jackie Stewart held off: Jochen Rindt, Jean-Pierre Beltoise and Bruce McLaren on the line – 0.19 seconds covering all of them (see below). 1970 saw Jochen Rindt die in practice, but he still won the title that year. The next year Peter Gethin won his only race by the smallest winning margin in F1 history – just 0.01 seconds ahead of Ronnie Peterson. François Cevert, Mike Hailwood and Howden Ganley were just half a second behind them.

In 1978, the lighting quick Ronnie Peterson died unexpectedly from his injuries after a horrible crash at the start of the race. In 1988 it was the only track a McLaren didn’t win at. Ayrton Senna tripped over Jean-Louis Schlesser allowing the Ferraris of Gerhard Berger and Michele Alboreto to finish 1-2 a month after Enzo Ferrari died.

Juan Pablo Montoya’s 2002 pole speed still holds the record for the fastest lap in history – 161.263mph. The 2003 Italian Grand Prix was the fastest race ever. Michael Schumacher won at a speed of 153.842mph. And finally, 2008 saw Sebastian Vettel in a Toro Rosso become the youngest pole sitter and race winner.

So as you can see Monza has a rich, if somewhat dark history. But it is part of the F1 family and is still loved by both fans and drivers. I personally hope we never leave.

THE last eight clubs in this seasons’ UEFA Champions League (European Cup) will find out their quarter-final and semi-final opponents on Friday (March 18).

The clubs in the hat are: Barcelona (Spanish, European & World champions), Bordeaux (French champions), Inter Milan (Italian champions), Bayern Munich (Four-time European champions), CSKA Moscow (2005 UEFA Cup winners), Lyon (won seven French league titles in a row from 2002-2008), Arsenal (Champions League finalists in 2006) and Man Utd (English champions).

At this point in the competition there is no country protection. This means that it is now possible for Arsenal to be drawn against Man Utd in an all English tie. After the quarter-final draw, the semi-finals will be drawn as well.

Liverpool will try to overturn a 0-1 deficit tonight against French side Lille in the Europa League at Anfield. But first, Fulham will be out to bring down one of the biggest names in world football – Juventus. They also trail after a 1-3 first leg defeat in Italy.

Fernando Alonso with his 22nd winners trophy. He is now equal 10th on the all time list with Damon Hill

FERNANDO ALONSO won today’s Bahrain Grand Prix ahead of his Ferrari team-mate Felipe Massa, with McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton coming home in third. World Champion Jenson Button came in seventh.

Vettel’s Red Bull led from pole into the first corner, where Alonso passed Massa for second. Confusion reigned behind them as Mark Webber’s Red Bull blew a cloud of excess oil into the path of the cars following him, sending Robert Kubica (now at Renault) spinning into Adrian Sutil’s Force India.

It was a race weekend to forget for most of the new teams and drivers. Hispania’s Chandhok crashed after just one lap, Virgin Racing’s Lucas di Grassi’s gearbox let him down a lap later and both of the Saubers went out with hydraulic problems. Petrov (Renault) damaged his suspension; the gearbox in Timo Glock’s Virgin Racing VR-01 broke on lap 17 and Bruno Senna’s Hispania’s hydraulics failed on the next lap. But both Lotuses made it to the finish (15th & 17th), as did Nico Hülkenberg in his Williams (14th).

It was going well for Vettel for the majority of the race. He was keeping both Ferraris behind him and seemed to be heading for the win. But on lap 33 he lost power due what was thought to be a cracked exhaust (later identified as spark plug faliure) and both Alonso and Massa passed him easily, Hamilton following a few laps later. But Vettel hung onto fourth keeping Nico Rosberg’s Mercedes at bay. Further back Michael Schumacher (Mercedes) had a pretty uneventful race in sixth until the Button vs. Webber fight caught him, but he managed to stay just in front of them in his first race since Brazil ’06.

In the end Alonso won the 49 lap race with a total race time of 1h:39m:20.396 (115.744mph). He was just over 16 seconds ahead of Massa, with Hamilton 23 seconds behind him. Alonso also set the fastest lap of the race with a 1:58.287 (119.120mph) tour.

McLaren have a bit of improving to do for the next race in Australia (March 26-27-28), where I’m sure we’ll have a much better race. Bruno’s F1 career has started out much the same as his uncle’s. Ayrton Senna retired from the 1984 Brazilian Grand Prix on lap 8 with turbo problems, so Bruno actually lasted longer in his first race. 🙂  

Drivers’ Standings

  1. Alonso 25pts
  2. Massa 18pts
  3. Hamilton 15pts
  4. Vettel 12pts
  5. Rosberg 10pts
  6. Schumacher 8pts
  7. Button 6pts
  8. Webber 4pts
  9. Liuzzi 2pts
  10. Barrichello 1pt

 

Constructors’ Standings

  1. Ferrari 43pts
  2. McLaren 21pts
  3. Mercedes 18pts
  4. Red Bull 16pts
  5. Force India 2pts
  6. Williams 1pt

SEBASTIAN Vettel of Red Bull has taken Pole position for the first race of the 2010 season in the Bahrain desert. His Q3 time was 1:54.101, a speed of 123.491mph.

Ferrari’s Felipe Massa will line up alongside him after setting a time of 1:54.242. His team-mate Fernando Alonso qualified third with a lap of 1:54.608.

McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton is fourth on the grid after setting a lap time of 1:55.217.

The rest of the top 10 are: Rosberg, Webber, Schumacher, Button, Kubica and Sutil.

All the drivers managed to go out and complete flying laps, even the two Hispania drivers Bruno and Chandhok. They both start tomorrow’s race from the back of the grid with fastest times of 2:03.240 and 2:04.904 respectively.

The McLarens just didn’t seem to have the outright pace of Vettel or the Ferraris, and I can’t really see us winning the race tomorrow. But this is F1; anything can happen.

TODAY the legendary rock group Pink Floyd won a legal case against their record label EMI.

EMI have been selling individual tracks from the band’s back catalogue, but Pink Floyd argued that EMI were in breach of contract. Pink Floyd added that their music was intended to be listened to in album form, and not just as singles.

EMI stated that when they and Pink Floyd signed said contract in 1999, it was only valid in the case of physical material. This was before the period of online downloads.

But a High Court judge ruled that this contract did cover online downloads. EMI have been ordered to pay Pink Floyd £40,000 and a further fine which will be handed down to them at a later date by the judge. They must now ask the band’s permission before any of their songs are allowed to be sold online individually.

(Yes I am aware of the irony of Pink Floyd not wanting their songs put on their own and me doing so, but I think this one fits this story nicely.)

BRITISH Formula 1 legend Sir Stirling Moss is recovering in hospital after falling down the lift shaft of his home on Saturday (March 6).

Sir Moss, 80, fell three floors after the doors opened by accident. He broke both of his ankles, four foot bones, chipped four of his vertebrae and suffered skin damage. He did not lose consciousness.

Paramedics rushed him to the Royal London Hospital where he underwent surgery. Former head of the Formula 1 on track medical team Professor Sid Watkins helped Sir Stirling move to a hospital closer to his Mayfair home on Sunday (March 7).

His family issued a statement saying that he is recovering well. They expect him to make a recovery in six weeks.

Sir Stirling Moss won 16 Grand Prixs during his F1 career between 1951 and 1961. He finished runner-up in the: 1955, ‘56, ‘57 and ’58 world championships – three times to Juan Manuel Fangio and the later time to Mike Hawthorn. He is widely considered to be the greatest driver not to have won the title.

His racing career was ended in by a huge crash at Goodwood in 1962. So he’ll probably just think of this as a scratch.

Get well soon Sir Stirling! 😉

Sir Stirling Moss, British racing legend