Saturday, 28 April 2012

Retour de la France

To follow on from my 'Profession of Doom' post, it now seems as though a return of Formula 1 to France is imminent!  Of course it won't be replacing a fly away race , but ironically instead will be alternating with Spa.  So we will be deprived every other year of the majestical drivers circuit that always shows where the real skill lies.  Why Spa?  If it has to be a European race why not Barcelona?  Due to the amount of testing that is done at the Circuit de Catalunya the drivers could drive it with their eyes closed, which might actually result in some action.
The only interesting thing to happen at Catalunya:  Schumacher's domination in rain soaked Barcelona earned him his maiden Ferrari victory in 1996.  

The Paul Ricard circuit at Le Castellet is to be used for the return to France.  Alain Prost took a hat trick of victories between 1988 and 1990 at the track.  The scene of a great battle between Prost and Senna in 1988, Prost eventually made good use of back markers to take the lead and victory.  This circuit has some history and may provide interesting racing, but is it worth the sacrifice of Spa? 

Grand Prix racing in France switched from Paul Ricard to Magny Cours in 1991.  The track was sold in 1999 and completely redeveloped, by whom?  Well, none other than Mr Bernie Ecclestone himself.  Surely this is not a coincidence...

Monday, 23 April 2012

No sanctions for 'Golden Boy' Rosberg

Cleared by the stewards of pushing Alonso and Hamilton off the track during the Bahrain Grand Prix it seems Rosberg really is the 'man of the moment'.  There was a large run off area, but surely the rules should be the same whatever the driver is being pushed into.  In Hungary 2010 Schumacher pushed Barrichello into a wall and received a 10 place grid penalty for the next race.  How is this different?  Does this ruling give drivers license to use the run off areas as part of the track from now on?
Why weren't these incidents investigated during the race?  In Monaco 2011, Lewis Hamilton was given a drive through penalty during the race for an overtaking move on Massa.  There seems to be one rule for golden boy and one for everyone else.

Lewis and Massa in Monaco 2011. 

Investigations by the stewards do seem detrimental to the excitement of the racing and can prevent drivers from really commiting themself to a move, but if they have to happen, the judgements must be consistent.

Saturday, 21 April 2012

The not so secret side of Schumacher

Last week, it was mentioned with surprise that Schumacher was very gracious after his race was prematurely ended due to a mistake in a pit stop.  There has always been a misguided perception that he is not a team player.  While it must have hurt to see Rosberg take the first win for Mercedes, he seemed genuinely pleased for the team. 

Michael acknowledges the fans despite his disappointment.

Today, after a DRS problem with the car in qualifying 3, he could again be seen walking around the paddock with a smile on his face.

After breaking his leg at Silverstone in 1999, Schumacher found himself in the position of seeing team mate Eddie Irvine close to taking the first world championship for Ferrari since 1979.  Being an accolade he clearly wanted for himself, few thought he would do anything to help his team mate take what was supposed to be his.  However, in the penultimate race in Malaysia, having taken the lead, he then moved over to let Eddie take the victory.  This is a humble side to his character that is always there, but due to his discipline and focus on winning, is usually overlooked. 

Eddie on the top step, after being handed the win by Michael.

Contrast this to an interview with Rosberg following qualifying today when he clearly couldn't hide his glee about Michael starting in 17th.  Rosberg is a lazy parasite who doesn't put the work in (his own words) and just hangs around reaping the rewards from the experience and hard toil of others. 
Congratulations to Sebastian Vettel on his first pole of the season.  While I hope it isn't the start of another domination as seen in 2011, he works hard and is fully deserving of it.

Rumblings in Bahrain.

So Force India chose not to run in FP2, and who can say they wouldn't make the same decision if they had been caught up in a petrol bomb incident?  Formula 1 fans obviously want the race to go ahead, we had to wait an extra two weeks last year due to it being cancelled, and there is the feeling that the unrest in Bahrain shouldn't be stopping the sport from continuing as usual.  However it does give the anti government groups a stage and audience for intensified protests.  I suspect there is no right answer...

Force India team leave before nightfall on Friday.

Sunday, 15 April 2012

Pressure in the pits

Well, dodgy pit stops were responsible for the rotten result in China.    Again Schumacher's race was scuppered through no fault of his own, and just as the excitement was building about the possibility of a Button win, poor pitstops struck again.  Although Rosberg drove a great qualifying lap and finally showed he can follow it up a race, it put an end to the fairytale dream of Michael being the first to win for Mercedes.

Front right tyre wasn't secured properly.

Friday, 13 April 2012

Profession of doom...

In a recent interview, when asked about his thoughts on whether there would ever be another French Grand Prix, Alain Prost said he thought France was now too environmentally aware to play host to a very 'ungreen' sport.  This fills me with impending gloom, considering we are already losing so many European races in favour of the fly away races.  As Europe becomes more committed to saving the planet, the same cannot be said of the more recently developed nations.  Ultimately those countries will seem like a more lucrative option.  What a loss it would be if the likes of Spa, Monza, Monaco and the Hungaroring dropped off the calendar. 


Are we going to lose the magic of Eau Rouge at Spa...
In favour of horrorshows like South Korea?