And Now, The End Is Near…

The sports pages tell us the big news in F1 is whether Lewis Hamilton wil stay at McLaren or move to Mercedes next season. Do we give a flying fuck? Lewis has shown himself to be a brilliant driver, but appears to have a bit of a character flaw leading to a lack of judgement on occasion, ergo the number of times he collided with Felipe Massa back in 2010, the lying about slowing to let Jarno Trulli pass under a yellow flag in 2009,and just this season the posting of his teammates technical data on Twitter.

Perhaps its something to do with being a very, very good driver, Michael Schumacher has seven world championships to his name but also a long list of people he has pushed off the track, Damon Hill being the most memorable as their feud simmered over the seasons. David Coulthard was on the receiving end of Schumi’s favourite manoeuvre, misjudging his breaking distance and ploughing into the back of the car in front,Jean – Eric Vergne was the latest to suffer, although Sergio Perez and Bruno Senna have both been taken out in similar fashion by Herr Schumacher.

Perhaps it is time the old Maestro realised he is past it, as he was when he came back but God loves a tryer I guess.

In football John Terry announced his decision to retire with immediate effect from international football. This doesn’t seem to have anything to do with his football skills declining or otherwise, but rather he appears to be a bit miffed with the FA.

Of course, just because he isn’t going to play for England anymore doesn’t mean you won’t see him, in full England kit, celebrating on the pitch with his former team-mates after the match.

I Told You So

Silverstone hosted the British F1 GP this weekend and just as I predicted way back in March, things are really hotting up.

Lewis Hamilton is well pissed off with the McLaren team and has been for talks with rival Red Bull team boss Christian Horner. This time round he was battling for a podium finish until the team had to tell him to ease off as he was running out of fuel, allowing Vettel and Webber to pass and having to fight right to the last corner to hold of Felipe massa’s Ferrari to salvage fourth place.

Jenson Button could soon be sharing his team-mates frustration, pitting on lap 39 from a potential top three finishing position, the mechanics fluffed the pit stop and sent him on his way minus a wheel nut.

Mark Webber scented his chance to hunt down his all conquering team leader, ignoring calls from his team until the big white chief got hold of the radio and sternly told him to maintain position.
Should imagine there’ll be some fireworks between Webber and Vettel in the next few races.

Fernando Alonso, finally got the break he’s been desrving when Red Bull had a problem with Vettel’s pit stop, taking the lead and never looking back.

But best of all, on Friday Red Bull’s blown diffuser exhaust system was banned, on Saturday it was unbanned and on Sunday it seemed that people who hadn’t got it could have it, whilst those that had, couldn’t.

The best thing about F!, the clarity and consistencey of the rules.

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Come Back Murray Wanker

Not Watching Paint Dry

Well, we finally got there, two hours late, five safety car periods, spins, shunts, stewards inquiring into the behaviour of Lewis Hamilton, the works, but at least it wasn’t like watching paint dry.

I could say I’m not quite sure why the powers that be didn’t look at the threatening skies and, probably more appropriately, the internet weather forecasts that the good old Beeb kept on showing us and decide to delay the start, but I would of course be lying, because it’s all to do with the god of television rights. Your Gp is scheduled to start at 2pm local time, then at 2pm local time it will start, come hell, highwater or the local ferry cruising up the pit straight as appeared to be happening at one point yesterday.

Still when they finally got going again it was a good race. Lots of incident as drivers struggled to slow cars down, speed cars up and generally keep them on the race track.

Having missed out in Monaco when the race was halted 9 laps from the end and then re-started with everyone on new boots, Jenson Button played a blinder and got himself onto slicks at just the right time, reeling in the frontrunners until he managed to pass Schumacher, a good facsimilie of his former self thoroughly enjoying the conditions as he battled for third place with Webber and set off in hot pursuit of Vettel, with just a couple of laps to go.

It didn’t seem possible, but the McLaren began to loom large in the mirrors of the Red Bull, enough to distract the previously unflappable young German, who ran wide half way round the last lap and slipped off the racetrack, allowing JB to streak through and take his first win of the season.
Vettel regained the tarmac to come in second from his teammate Webber, with Schumacher a creditable fourth.

Meanwhile the stewards were busy looking at incidents involving JB and Hamilton, and JB and Alonso and thankfully they decided they were just “racing incidents”.

Not quite sure what they made of that ferry though.

Have an electric car mini adventure

Is It Cos I Is Black?

A cracking Monaco Grands Prix yesterday. I told you things would start to get better!

Lewis Hamilton started the race ninth on the grid and a bit miffed as he had set a slightly faster time that was disallowed because he cut the chicane when he was being held up by Massa.
And his final qualifying run was compromised by the Mexican rookie Perez losing it coming out of the tunnel bringing the session to a halt with only two minutes to go.

Vettel took pole having set the fastest lap prior to Perez’s accident, so he didn’t really need to go out again, and duly hared off into the distance as soon as the red lights went out.

Hamilton was the victim of a cheeky little passing manouvre by Schumacher but even things up a few laps later as he lungedup the inside on the run up to Casino Square, a brave and flawless effort.

His luck was no to last though. Tailing Massa once again he became frustrated and tried to force his way through at the Loewes hairpin, which you can only really do if the chap in front wants you to, and Massa wasn’t playing the game.
Hamilton bumped Massa’s rear end and Massa was pushed into Webber’s Red Bull, so it was all a bit complicated, but Hamilton rightly received a drive through for causing an unecessary accident. Fair play, it was a punishment that had already been meted out to Paul di Resta for exactly the same overly optimistic move.

Red Bull had actually cocked up their pit stops, Vettel stationary as they struggled with where exactly each of the four tyres ought to go, and then having Webber turn up before Vettel had left. Vettel lost the lead to Button, but Webber was demoted down to 15th place.

The race continued with Button and Alonso both pitting a second time, but Vettel electing to stay out on his second set of tyres, which seemed to be a not very good idea as the Ferrari and McLaren began to close the gap to the leader at an alarming rate,

But then with 9 laps to go the leaders came upon a string of backmarkers, who are obliged to get out of the way, the Force India cut the chicane, Hamilto slowed to let him back on, Petrov’s Renault mounted the rear of Hamilton’s McLaren and Algesuari hit the back of the bucking Renault, leaving both cars in the barrier.

The leaders were through safely but as Petrov remained motionless in the cockpit the race was red flagged.

Much to everyone’s dismay as the cars formed up on the track mechanics began to swarm, changing tyres and wings and desperately trying to repair the damage to Hamilton’s car, but this meant that the exciting chase between Alonso, Button and the fraying Tyred Red Bull of Vettel was now over, the Red Bull had new boots.

The final six laps did contain some drama though as Hamilton attempted to replicate his first overtaking manoevre where he despatched Schumi, on the Williams of the brilliant Maldonado, unfortunately pushing the newcomer into the barriers and earning himself a twenty ssecond penalty.

A frustrated Hamilton gave vent to his feelings in an interview with the BBC saying that he thought he got picked on by the stewards and facetiously wondering if, in the words of Ali G it was because he is black?

NO Lewis, it’s because you ran into practically every other car on the circuit. Simple!

A Beginner’s Course In Shooting Yourself In The Foot

What a brilliant British GP!

Jensen Button and Lewis Hamilton were in the mire on Friday, their McLaren team having tried to imitate the Red Bulls’ “blown diffuser”, which directs exhaust gases onto the aerodynamic bodywork at the rear of the car thus increasing downforce and grip.
All McLaren succeeded in doing was setting their cars on fire.

On Saturday however, whilst Button languished in 14th place, Hamilton was able to drag out a quite spectacular qualifying lap to line up fourth.

Meanwhile Red Bull had developed a new front wing which was the bees knees. Unfortunately they only brought two, so when blue-eyed boy Sebastien Vettel damaged his in practice, they simply unscrewed Mark Webber’s and stuck it onto Vettel’s car, allowing Vettel to take pole and Webber to reach a good rolling boil, temper-wise.

Fernando Alonso, hoping for a good race, qualified 3rd behind the two Red Bulls and looked like he could be set to make this a very happy weekend for the Spanish (no Orange socks in my house).

As the red lights went out to start the race, the red mists descended.
Vettel lunged to the left to try and squeeze his team-mate out, but Webber kept his foot on the throttle and his car on the racing line, Vettel had to give way, running wide and then just clipping the front wing of the charging Lewis Hamilton as he rejoined the track, giving himself a puncture, another trip off the circuit and a slow limp back to the pits for a replacemant tyre.

With Webber off in front, hotly pursued by Hamilton, Jensen Button was busy scything through the field, making up six places in the first lap.

Alonso, however was rapidly going backwards. A dreadful start, it looked like something a 17 year old might manage on their first driving lesson, left him in the middle of the pack, where he managed to collide with team-mate Massa, causing the Brazillian’s car to shred a tyre and relegating him to the back of the field.

Not satisfied that he had ruined his team-mate’s race, Fernando went on the charge, battling Robert Kubica in the Renault for 6th place. After many laps in pursuit Alonso finally managed to force his way past, by leaving the track and cutting the corner at Vale.

This is a big No-no in F1. The rules clearly state that if you gain a place in this manner you have to give it back asap.
Not Fernando though, or his Ferrari team, who surely should have told him to give the place back. He continued charging on, to the dismay of the commentators and those of us watching at home.
I thought he might be trying to emulate Hamilton from Valencia two weeks previously, building up a big enough lead over the following cars to maintain his position despite being penalised with a drive through.

As it was Robert Kubica retired a few laps later and Fernando obviously thought he was safe, no car to hand the place back to.

But this is F1 and the stewards are rather like the Greek gods, you just can’t get one over on them.

The investigation into the manoeuvre resulted in Fernando being handed a drive through penalty.

But worse was to come. Instead of diving into the pits straight away there was a delay, by which time various bits of bodywork had parted company with Pedro de la Rosa’s Sauber, and strewn themselves along the start finish straight.

The safety car was deployed and Fernando had to wait until it was undeployed before he could take his penalty. The rest of the field had closed up behind the safety car so poor Fernando was relegated from 5th down to 15th.
He was so angry he refused to talk to his team on the radio for the remainder of the race, refused to talk to journalists after the race and went off in a sulk.

Meanwhile, crossing the line 1 second ahead of Hamilton to take the chequered flag, Webber was quite happy to use his radio to note to his team of his exemplary race, “It wasn’t bad for a number two driver.”

And as an object lesson in shooting yourself in the foot, McLaren and Red Bull made sterling efforts but the prize goes to Fernando Alonso and the Ferrari team.

What Goes around, Comes Around

Well, you have to admit there is a certain symmetry in life, even if you have to wait 44 years.

I thought it was quite ironic that England were denied a goal that clearly was over the line, (and yes the fans at the stadium were correct, the ref was a wanker… didn’t his mummy tell him it would make him go blind:)

However I’m sure some of the older German fans, who might have carried a bit of a grudge all these years after seeing Germany defeated by an England side inspired by a goal allowed that very definitely didn’t go over the line, had a nice little smirk to themselves.

What goes around, comes around as they say.

Fernando Alonso might do well to remember that one too.

Poor old Fernando was apopletic following Mark Webber’s spectacular example of Red Bull giving him wings, launching him over the back of the Lotus and flipping over before bouncing back onto its wheels and shunting into th tyre wall, thus causing the safety car to be deployed.

Lewis Hamilton encountered the safety car just as it was leaving the pit lane and decided to go for it, Fernando and team mate Massa duly tucked in behind it.

Ferrari complained and twenty minutes later Hamilton was handed a drive through penaly, but had built up such a gap that he maintained his second place.

Alonso complained, ” It’s a shame, not for us but for all the people who came here to watch a manipulated race. When you do the normal thing, which is respecting the rules, you finish ninth and the one who doesn’t respect them finishes second.”

Now then Fernando, just remind me how that sole victory in Malaysia in 2008 was brought about?

You were languishing down the field, you were called in for an unscheduled pit stop and what?

Two laps later your team-mate drove into a wall on the instructions of the team boss, bringing out the safety car and allowing you to leapfrog the rest of the field from your lowly 15th position and ultimately take the chequered flag.

Terrible to watch a manipulated race Fernando!

Formula One: The Writings On The Back Page Of The Newspaper

A quick pre-view for all of those who couldn’t give a toss about F1 – save you the trouble of hearing the news on the radio.

There are a few possibilities for tomorrow’s GP in Brazil.

If Hamilton was a cad and a bounder he could drive into Massa on the first corner, taking them both out of the race and securing the championship, just like Ayrton Senna did to Alain Prost back in ’85 or somewhere thereabouts.

However we could find out whether Hamilton is the thinking man’s driver by getting his team-mate to drive into Massa at the firsr corner.

And of course there is the opposite situation. We all know Ferrari are cads and bounders, and they’ve got Max on their side so perhaps Kimi will drive into Hamilton, thus taking him out of the race.

This, of course, is not as clear cut, as Massa needs to finish first or second, so if Massa is languishing down the field you can expect the safety car to come out for a lap or two to allow the Ferrari to close the gap and have yet another fighting chancce.

Which way is it going to go?

For me, the writing is on the back of the newspaper. And the photographs.
The people who get paid to make F1 sound interesting are already lauding Hamilton, so that’s settled then.

Massa to win and take the championship.