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Category Archives: Formula 1

WHAT a weekend this has been.

England won their opening Six Nations match in Wales 26-19. Ireland needed a late score to beat Italy in Rome 13-11, and reigning champions France beat Scotland at home 34-21.

The Premier League saw a whopping 43 goals in the ten fixtures this weekend. Results included: Everton 5-3 Blackpool, Newcastle 4-4 Arsenal (Arsenal were 4-0 up after 26 minutes), Wigan 4-3 Blackburn, Wolves 2-1 Man Utd (this ends Man Utd’s 29 match unbeaten run).

But the best result of all was Chelsea 0-1 Liverpool! Fernando Torres (JUDAS!) making his debut for €hel$ea couldn’t prevent Liverpool from doing the double over the defending league champions thanks to a second half strike from Raul Meireles. 😀

In Cricket, Australia completed a 6-1 O.D.I. series win over England by taking victory at the WACA Ground in Perth by 57 runs. This series has been to drawn out in my opinion. The two Twenty20 games should have been played on the same day and there should only have been three O.D.I. games. Now England have injures and tiredness to cope with before the World Cup in India/Sir Lanka/Bangladesh. A World Cup preview blog will appear on this site soon.

On the ugly side of the game now; three Pakistani cricketers have been handed down lengthy bans by the International Cricket Council (ICC) for last Augusts’ spot-fixing scandal at Lord’s. Former Captain Salman Butt has been banned for 10 years (five suspended) and bowlers Mohammads Asif and Amir have been banned for seven years (two suspended) and five years respectively for agreeing to bowl no-balls at a certain point in the match against England in exchange for money. All three have the right to appeal at the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

Formula 1’s Robert Kubica may well have ended his F1 career after crashing heavily in a Rally in Genoa, Italy. The Pole hit a church wall at high speed and suffered fractures to his right arm, leg and hand. It is almost certain that he will miss the season opening Bahrain Grand Prix on 13 March. This means that his seat at Renault will now be filled by either former HRT driver Bruno Senna or 2009 Renault driver Romain Grosjean. Get well soon Robert.

And finally, I have just heard of the extremely sad news that legendary rock guitarist Gary Moore has died at the age of 58. 😦 He was found dead in the early hours of Sunday (6 February) morning while on holiday in Spain. During his musical career he released a number of solo albums and was once a member of Thin Lizzy and played with Greg Lake on one of my all time favorite albums. He will be sorely missed.

RIP Gary.

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THE 2010 Formula 1 World Drivers’ Champion will be one of four men. They are: Fernando Alonso of Ferrari, Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel of Red Bull, and Lewis Hamilton of McLaren.

This is the first time ever that four drivers can win the title at the last race of the season, so as you can imagine there is a vast amount of different outcomes on offer. We will start with the man who is the outsider for this year’s crown.

Lewis Hamilton – 222 points: The 2008 World Champion will be Champion again if…

  • He wins; Alonso fails to score with Webber no higher than 6th and Vettel no higher than 3rd.

He must win to stand any chance of taking his second title.

Sebastian Vettel – 231 points: Last year’s runner-up will be Champion if…

  • He wins with Alonso no higher than 5th.
  • He is 2nd, with Alonso no higher than 9th and Webber is no higher than 5th.

So Vettel must win or come 2nd to be in with a shout.

Mark Webber – 238 points: He will become the third Aussie to win the title if…

  • He wins with Alonso no higher than 3rd.
  • He is 2nd, with Alonso no higher than 6th, as long as Vettel does not win.
  • He is 3rd, with Alonso no higher than 7th, as long as Vettel does not win.
  • He is 4th, with Alonso no higher than 9th, as long as Vettel does not win.
  • He is 5th, with Alonso no higher than 10th, as long as Vettel does not win.

Webber must be in the top five to be in contention.

Fernando Alonso – 246 points: The Spaniard will take his third title if…

  • He wins or is 2nd.
  • He is 3rd, 4th or 5th, with neither Webber nor Vettel winning.
  • He is 6th, with Webber no higher than 3rd, as long as Vettel does not win.
  • He is 7th or 8th, with Webber no higher than 4th, as long as Vettel does not win.
  • He is 9th, with Webber no higher than 5th, as long as Vettel is not on the podium.
  • He is 10th, with Webber no higher than 6th, as long as Vettel is not on the podium.
  • He fails to score, with Webber no higher than 6th, as long as Vettel is not on the podium and Hamilton does not win.

 All Alonso has to do is finish 1st or 2nd and all the above is irrelevant.

Deadlock – 256 points: Alonso, Webber and Vettel can all finish on this score, and have the Championship decided on count back for the first time ever if…

  • Vettel wins, Webber is 2nd and Alonso is 5th.

Vettel and Alonso would have five wins each, two 2nd places each and three 3rd places each. Vettel would be Champion because he would have three 4th places to Alonso’s two.

Phew.

TODAY the FIA released a provisional F1 2011 calendar which featured the maximum amount of Grand Prixs there can be in a season, 20 – a new record.

Here is the provisional calendar:

Round

Grand Prix

Circuit

Date

1

Bahrain

Sakhir

13 March

2

Australia

Albert Park

27 March

3

Malaysia

Sepang

10 April

4

China

Shanghai

17 April

5

Turkey

Istanbul

8 May

6

Spain

Barcelona

22 May

7

Monaco

Monte-Carlo

29 May

8

Canada

Montreal

12 June

9

Europe

Valencia (Street)

26 June

10

Great Britain

Silverstone

10 July

11

Germany

Nürburgring (GP)

24 July

12

Hungary

Hungaroring

31 July

13

Belgium

Spa-Francorchamps

28 August

14

Italy

Monza

11 September

15

Singapore

Marina Bay

25 September

16

Japan

Suzuka

9 October

17

South Korea

Yeongam

16 October

18

India

Jaypee

30 October

19

Abu Dhabi

Yas Marina

13 November

20

Brazil

Interlagos

27 November

The one new edition to the party is the Indian Grand Prix. The Jaypee track near Delhi (see below) is expected to become one of the fastest circuits on the calendar, and I very much look forward to seeing it.

But I can’t help but feel that 20 races is just too many. But then again with no in-season testing the drivers are going to want to cover as many miles on the track as possible.

In other F1 news, there will be no new teams on the grid next season.

The Indian GP track. Looks like an upside-down Nürburgring doesn’t it?

THE first ever Korean Grand Prix is due to be held over the weekend of the 22-23-24 October this year at the brand new Korean International Circuit.

Some people have voiced concerns about the track not being built or ready to hold the GP in time. But organisers have said that they are confident the race will go ahead.

However, if I was a Formula 1 driver I wouldn’t fancy going to South Korea at all. Not because the track may or may not be up to scratch, but because of the ever increasing likeliness of there being a full scale military conflict between the South and it’s paranoid twin: North Korea.

Ever since the South accused the North of sinking one of its submarines in March – which killed 46 South Korean sailors – relations between Seoul and Pyongyang have gotten nasty.

South Korea has been conducting anti-submarine exercises with the United States, much to North Korea’s annoyance. On Monday (9 August) Seoul claimed that the North fried more than 100 rounds of artillery into the Sea of Japan near the border.

Personally, I’m terrified of what North Korea might be planning next. They would like nothing better than to start up the Korean War again. They would probably lose, but the rest of the world doesn’t know if they have an ace card up their sleeves in the form of a powerful nuclear weapon.

What if, when the F1 circus descends on South Korea for its biggest single sporting event since the 2002 World Cup, North Korea decides to fire whatever it may have at the circuit? It doesn’t even bear thinking about.

What would you do if you were a driver? Would you go to South Korea for a major international sporting event (which is new to the country) when it is on the verge of war with its neighbour and twin? Or would you try and get a drive for HRT and pray that they decide not to use you for the race?

I’M sorry that I can’t bring you my blog reviewing the Spanish Grand Prix tonight. I have felt ill for most of the weekend and really don’t feel up to doing it. So I’ll hopefully write it tomorrow and post it in the evening.

Sorry again for any inconvenience caused.

SIXTEEN years ago today, Formula 1 lost its greatest driver.

Ayrton Senna da Silva was killed whilst leading the early stages of the 1994 San Marino Grand Prix, just a day after rookie Austrian driver Roland Ratzenberger died.

His death rocked the sport to its very core. Some outside F1 even called for the sport to be banned.

But over the last 16 years the sport has gotten safer and safer, and Senna’s death is still the last of a driver in F1.

My hero was just 34 years old when he died. I was just 11/2. But through: watching videos, reading books, listening to my dad and even writing a well received school project on him when I was 11, I feel as if I have seen his whole career.

Ayrton Senna remains an inspiration to millions of people, me included.

I’ll leave you with this quote that sums up his life beautifully.

“The brightest stars burn out the fastest.”

SILVERSTONE’S brand new ‘Arena’ layout was unveiled today by the Duke of York after a five month long build at the cost of £5m.

The new layout lengthens the track by 0.472 miles to 3.666 miles, and has 18 turns instead of 17. As a result of the longer layout, the race will now be run over 52 laps and not 60.

The average lap time is projected to be 1:23.1secs, an average speed of 157ish mph. That’s even faster than Monza, making Silverstone the fastest track on the calendar.

More changes will come to Silverstone in 2011. The start/finish line will be moved to the other side of the circuit. This means that the last-first corner sequence will be ‘Club’ and the new ‘Abbey’ turn instead of ‘Woodcote’ into ‘Copse’.

You can see the new layout and 2011 simulation below.

NO, I’m not kidding and this isn’t a late April Fool’s joke either.

It has surfaced on the internet that artistic director Des McAnuff, director of the Broadway and West End hit musical ‘Jersey Boys’ is working on a new opera based on the life of Ayrton Senna.

You still may think I’m pulling your leg, but apparently it has already been commissioned by the English National Opera and the Metropolitan Opera. It is set to premier in London in November 2012.

Some of you may have heard about ‘Shane Warne: The Musical’, but that was meant to be a bit tongue and cheek. By the sounds of it, ‘Senna’ is going to be a proper opera.

Now I can’t be the only F1 fan to be thinking “how the hell is this going to a) work, and b) do the great man justice?” If it bombs (and I really hope it doesn’t) it will surly tarnish the whole Ayrton Senna image.

Besides, even if it is made and is a success I still don’t believe I’d be able to watch it. It would be too cringe worthy and awkward to sit and watch somebody playing my hero and singing. It’s even making me cringe now just thinking about it.

What do you think? Will this be a fantastic shot in the arm for Formula 1, its fans and the Senna name? Or will it be just as painful as really getting shot in the arm?

Des McAnuff - In the process of writing

Ayrton Senna - The next West End smash hit?

AUSTRALIAN Grand Prix boss Ron Walker has called Formula 1 drivers “lazy prima donnas” in an article in the Herald Sun.

This comment came after several drivers complained of the low light levels in this year’s race.

As we all know it rained during the Grand Prix, and cobble that together with a 5.00pm start time in Melbourne in late March, and light is bound to be an issue.

I think he should go out and drive an F1 car around Albert Park in those conditions and see how well he does. Then maybe he’ll see just how hard the drivers have it. I bet you he’d want it to be as light as possible.

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.