Thursday, May 3, 2007

Briatore's Dilemma

Renault were, for a long time, at the top of the formula one game. Led by Flavio Briatore the team held a very high place on the F1 throne. Fernando Alonso confirmed the team's status as one of the best when he took home the world championship in 2005 and again in 2006. Then Briatore made the mistake of letting his young star go. This year Alonso moved to McLaren, taking his world title with him. Now Renault are lagging behind the other teams in this years championship and need to step up the pace if they are to be in with a chance of winning again.

Briatore, on the F1 website (, claims that his team's fall in success is nothing to worry about,

"we know where we stand - and we are working hard to resolve the problems. It is a fact that every top team dominates for a time, then drops away a little bit, and perhaps that is the case here too to some extent."

One wonders what Briatore can do this season to get his team back to the top and in a position to challenge BMW or Ferrari. I honestly don't think that it can be done the way Renault is operating at the moment. They simply do not have the talent in the drivers to be a threat for either the constructor or drivers championship. I could be wrong, I don't claim to know it all but this is what I can at the moment.

Perhaps next year Briatore can bring it back for the Renault team but not this year. I think the man is too busy wining and dining all the models he can find at the moment. Flavio Briatore is more famous for his spending splurges and dating a string of beautiful models, including Heidi Klum, with whom he has a daughter (Leni), and Naoimi Cambell. The question is, does the attention Briatore attracts in his personal life affect the attention he attracts on the track?

I think so. I think he likes the attention. Flavio is the Hugh Hefner of the F1 world and he loves it. I think that it would do the team no harm if the boss took some time out from posing in his luxury home in the pages of glitzy magazines to tending to his ontrack duties.

photo references:

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

What They Do Now!

For much of tha past couple of years in Formula One Juan Pabllo Montoya was one of the top drivers. I really believed him capable of winning a championship. He was driving for the BMW team in 2005 and in 2006 moved to McLaren Mercedes and was a big name in the competitive stakes.

Now I have a confession to make. Last year, though I still watched, I kind of got a little lost as to what was going on in the world of Formula One. I wasn't as avid a follower as I should have been. As a result I came back this season to discover Schumacher gone and Montoya gone. A little more than what I had expected to say the least. These were two of the top drivers. Why would they leave the sport they excell so much at and what are they doing now? Not that I lamented too much the departure of Schumacher, who, in my opinion, made the sport boring. But what better had they to do?

Lets start with Montoya. Aftter departing the McLaren Mercedes F1 team, where he raced alongside Kimi Raikkonen, Montoya went to NASCAR ( but not before he took a victory in the 24 hour Daytona sports car race. Montoya already had to his CV a victory in the 2000 Indianapolis 500 and a Champ Car World Series title. At the moment the Columbian is racing for Chip Ganassi Racing ( and is making quite an impact on the world of NASCAR. It seems Montoya just has the winning streak wherever he goes.

Michael Schumacher ( retired at the end of last season aged 38 and assumed the position of assisting Scuderia Ferrari CEO Jean Todt for this years season. He takes his retirement time to persue his other passions and to spend time with his family. Schumacher plays football for his local team FC Echichens and is a special ambassador for UNESCO.

I personally think it was about time Scumacher retired. He has been on a nonstop winning streak for too long now and made the sport too predictable, unlike Montoya who never made it as far as winning a championship.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Malaysian Grand Prix Contract

The orainisers of the Malaysian Grand Prix have announced that the contract to host Formula One at the circuit at Sepang has been extended until 2015. The track has played host to the Formula One convoy each season since 1999. The contract that it is currently under to host the race runs out in 2010.

I think it's brilliant that the decision was made so far in advance of the current contract running out. It makes FormulaOne secure. It is reassuring to know that for another eight years there will be a Grand Prix in Malaysia.

I think it is proposterous for people to say that Formula One is declining in popularity as has been said in recent times. Formula One is gaining more support as the sport matures, especially after the addition last year of new circuits in Bahrain and Shanghai.

Ihave no doubt that the sport can only increase in popularity and improve in standards. The circuits that the cars are racing on are so high in quality. In fact the sport is so successful at the moment that everywhere wants to host a race.

The fact is, however, that there is just not enough time in the season for the addition of any more tracks. So where can we go from here? Nowhere too far but that is not the point. The point is that the sport has come so far over the years and has reached such a high class point that all that is left to do is sit back and enjoy the competition.


Friday, April 20, 2007


I wonder does Lewis Hamilton ever get pissed off about all the hype surrounding him. Okay so the guy has raced three races and has won himslef three podium finishes. But how long can this go on for? Noone remains on a successful streak for too long do they? I mean when you look back through the books all the major faces on the F1 scene faded eventually. Schumacher did. Villeneuve did and Hakkinen did.

I'm not saying by any stretch that Hamilton has reached his peak yet or that he is as successful as those drivers but I think there is just a little too much pressure on the young British driver to perform. It's enivitable that some day he will have a failure/crash/qualify poorly. It's not possible for anyone to maintain the abilities that Hamilton has shown in the last three races.

And now the other drivers have copped that he has massive ability on the circuit, they too are raising their game. Take Raikkonen for example. He is one of the most competitive drivers out there and I can't see him allowing Hamilton to streak ahead of him for too long. Raikkonen has the ability to win the championship and to stop Hamilton and is the type of guy that will not hang around when an opportunity arises.

The thing is that all the hype that surrounds Hamilton spurs the other drivers into action. They want to beat him, they want to be better than he is. All this puts even more pressure on the McLaren driver to perform. It's harder for him now which makes the sport all the more entertaining for us to watch. Competition makes a race, even among team mates.

Remember the 2002 Austrian Grand Prix where Rubens Barichello was ordered to allow team mate Michael Schumacher to pass him? There was a huge outburst and team orders were banned from the F1 regulations. We want all the drivers to be competitive regardless of teams. Every man for himself!

Monday, April 16, 2007


The Bahrain Grand Prix took place yesterday with McLaren driver Lewis Hamilton ( making history by being the first driver to make the podium in his first three races. Felipe Massa ( won the race followed by Hamilton in second and Raikkonen ( third.

I think that the retirement of Michael Schumacher ( year is a definite good thing for the sport. The change began to take place last year when Fernando Alonso ( proved his worth as a driver and took the championship. Up until then I think that the sport had become boring. It was at a point where I would watch half a race then turn off. It was too predictable. Schumacher was too good.

That is the point when a sport loses the entertainment element. I think Formula One needs unpredictability and it needs it right up to the end. This year with the absence of Schumacher we are seeing other drivers step up to the challenge and bring back the competitiveness that makes the sport what it is. Here we have Hamilton, new to the racing scene and he has taken poduim positions in his first three races. Raikkonen, too, is looking like a very strong contender for the championship this year. At this point in the 07 season, Hamilton, Alonso and Raikkonen are all on 22 points and Massa is not too far behind. It can only get more interesting in my opinion.

Personally I hope that Raikkonen takes the championship this year. I've been rooting for him for a few years now and each time he has come so close then fell...

Friday, April 13, 2007


So the Bahrain race weekeknd has begun today with the first round of practices. At the minute, Finnish man Kimi Raikkonen has clocked the quickest time with a best lap time of 1m33.527s. This put the iceman 0.013s ahead of Lewis Hamilton who drives for Raikkonen's former team McLaren Mercedes.
I still maintain that the Williams team will be dtrong challengers in Sunday's big race. Wurz finished with teh sixth best lap time and Rosberg finished the practice with the eighth best lap time.
Honda had a miserable day with British driver Jenson Button experiencing a massive engine failure. His car sprayed water and oil across the track and was almsot the cause of a collision.
Raikkonen was, after having such a good day, in a very optimistic mood and was positive about the race on Sunday, saying,
""Hopefully here in Bahrain we can back at the front. I think it will go well and I am more hopeful here, especially as we had a good test here."
You can find out more about how the Ferarri team feel about this weekend at
Aside from all the racing activities that swarm the Bahrain circuit this weekend, it was announced that the FIA has awarded the Institute's Centre of Excellence for 2007. The track was said to show excellence and sets the high standards expected from a high profile facility.
More Info:

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Round up!

The Formula One season officially began on March 18th with the Austrailain Grand Prix with The Iceman, Kimi Raikkonen, taking the first win this year. Following this the racing convoy made its way to Malaysia for the April 8th race with Spaniard, Fernando Alonso taking the winning position. We are now preparing to head for Bahrain on the 15th of this month. As we head into the third race of the season the drivers championship is headed by Fernando Alonso who took the crown last season. Alonso is just ahead of Raikkonen with 18 points to Raikkonens 16.

But this is just the beginning of the season and dedicated fans will be well aware that Formula One racing is an unpredictable sport and the standings could change in a day. Alonso is driving for McLaren who have always been a strong team in the sport, oftentimes commanding the circuit.

Now this season has seen a massive overhaul in the drivers positions and many, myself included have proved confused after not paying enough attention to the sport over the winter break. Alonso has moved from Renault to McLaren and Raikkonen has gone from McLaren to Ferarri while Schuy is nowhere to be seen. Jenson Button remains loyal at Honda and he is now joined by former Ferrari driver Rubens Barrichello. Montoya is absent from the whole thing and Giancarlo Fischella is now a Renault man. The younger Schuey is driving for Toyota alongside Jarno Trulli and Takuma Sato has gone to the Super Aguri team.. Confused yet? I am... You can check out the rest of the team line-ups here:

A big contender for the upcoming Bahrain Grand Prix will be the Williams team despite the fact that they came away from the Malaysian race empty handed. The Williams team held the fastest lap time at the Sepang race and look set to be strong contenders for the Bahrain leg. Williams are currently sixth in the championship table behind Toyota.

The Bahrain Grand Pix weekend begins on Friday April 13th with practice sessions before the qualifying sessions on Saturday 14th. The race kicks off at 14:30 on Sunday 15th April!!