Formula One car liveries haven’t been up to much in recent years. They’ve barely improved – if at all – since Motormouth’s 2006 review, and certainly the Brawn GP livery; last year’s championship winner let’s remember, was a shocker. Absolutely pitiful.
Some good signs as we head into 2010 however, with Red Bull (one of the honourable exceptions usually) and McLaren joined by a beautifully warm yellow Renault (nodding right back to their first days in F1 in the late 70s and early 80s – although it’s also strangely reminiscent of the Jordan B&H “Buzzin Hornets” livery), a definitely more attractive Ferrari, and a return to the grid for “British Racing Green” all over the bodywork of new entrants Lotus (although there’s a certain degree of irony here as the team’s Malaysian owned).
Have a look at the pics, they’re very reassuring… cleaner, leaner bodywork, simpler colour schemes, and more differeniated branding.
Let’s hope the racing is of the same quality…
(*Even Streatham Raceway’s kiddie kart track pisses on the Singapore F1 circuit.)
The most entertaining thing about the weekend’s F1 race in Singapore?
Without a doubt, Bernie Ecclestone avoiding Jake Humphrey’s questions on BBC by pretending to be a dribbling imbecile.
Whilst Jake (who I must admit I’m warming to) actually had the dangly bits to ask some serious full-on questions to Bernie (unlike the lamentable Eddie Jordan who simply stood next to him like a grinning idiot version of Peter Griffin’s dad off Family Guy) F1′s elder-eldest statesman simply disintegrated into chewing his lips off, glancing around like he didn’t know where he was, and simply repeating the questions and random words back at him; presumably in a desperate effort to try and confuse the interviewer.
As was the race. Dull as ditchwater.
The thing is that it’s absolutely unforgivable that the race should be boring, and certainly that it should be boring to watch. They spend kazillions of trillions of billions of dollars making it happen – and starting work on next year’s track before this year’s race has even happened and all those kind of ludicrous statistics. Buzzing city. Blazing lights. Blah blah, bleedin’ blah… What does it look like to the millions who’ve tuned in to watch it around the world (and probably from other worlds according to the PR hyperbole)…?
It looks like a flat dirty sidestreet surrounded by concrete walls and mile-high fencing.
All that money, all that effort, all that time and preparation, and it looks like somewhere very grubby between Brixton and Loughborough Junction. Shameful.
Marginally less impressive than the Streatham Raceway. Which is where it should be relocated to in F1′s budget-cutting moves. Nobody would notice the difference.
“The World Motor Sport Council concludes that Mr. Alonso was not in any way involved in Renault F1′s breach of the regulations.”
FIA statement, 22_09_09
“Alonso clearly cheated”
Eddie Jordan, on ‘PM’, Radio 4, 22_09_09
Now when I compare those two statements – and bear in mind that Eddie Jordan’s was a reaction to the FIA statement and ruling – I’m left with the distinct impression that surely Fernando Alonso could make a tidy few quid by ringing his lawyers right now.
Jordan has been an utter pillock on the BBC coverage this year – one of the few truly awful things about the BBC’s basically decent F1 product – but by any standards this is surely a total clanger.
The context in which he made it was that he was saying that Frank Williams should still be angry because his driver came second in the 2008 Singapore GP (which Alonso won, and which was the race that “Crashgate” / Nelsongate” etc revolves around)…
Now saying that Alonso’s first place might be sullied by the fact the scandal surrounding the machinations of Briatore, Symonds and Piquet Jnr is one thing – but it is a very very different matter indeed to maintain that “Alonso clearly cheated”, especially when the FIA (mad and inconsistent bunch of freaks that they are) have just exonerated him 100% in the matter a mere 2 or 3 hours earlier.
To me it’s just another sign that Jordan should shut the hell up and go away for good. (Unless of course he actually meant to say anything remotely like what blurted out of his mouth…? In which case he should be telling us exactly *how* Alonso clearly cheated, surely – or presenting his evidence to the FIA…?)
But it’d be hellish funny to see Alonso’s lawyers take him to the cleaners on the way.
If you think I’ve misheard something that patently would be too ridiculous to say then check out the programme on the BBC’s iPlayer here at about 38 mins 20 secs in…
I was hugely disappointed when Ant Davidson slipped out of F1 with the collapse of the Super Aguri team in 2008. He was always one of my favourite drivers of the modern era; a great racer and a great developer/tester too… your kind of ideal man in any team really.
(And also someone pretty much devoid of ego – very refreshing and likeable in today’s F1).
The good news – apart from the fact that he’s a brilliant commentator (press your red button on the BBC’s F1 coverage and get swapping the audio channel to him and David Croft on Radio 5 Live!) is that he still has his hand in as a driver, and now there’s some great news of his entering one of motorsport’s legendary annual events this coming month.
Aston Martin Racing recently confirmed that Ant will be one of three new drivers recruited to enable the team to run a trio of Gulf-liveried LMP1 cars at this year’s Le Mans 24 Hours, which marks the 50th anniversary of Aston Martin’s first victory at La Sarthe in 1959. Joining the existing Aston Martin drivers along with Ant will be Stuart Hall (GB) and Jos Verstappen (NL).
Ant recently tested Aston Martin’s LMP1 car in Portugal, completing three one-hour stints and is a familiar face in this category of motorsport as he worked with the team in 2003, racing at Le Mans, Sebring and Petit Le Mans in the GT class.
“Particularly as a British driver, racing for a team as prestigious as Aston Martin is a fantastic opportunity,” says Ant… “I know the team and its capabilities extremely well from the past, and I’m convinced that there is nobody better prepared to tackle all the challenges that Le Mans will present us with. At the test I felt comfortable with the car straight away, and now I’m looking forward to taking the fight to the other teams at Le Mans. I’m certainly aiming for us to be the quickest petrol car there and hopefully we can get in amongst the diesels as well.”
The Le Mans 24 Hours race takes place on 13-14 June.
Best of luck Ant – hope you do brilliantly :-)
Lewis Comes Back Down To Earth
Although I tend to label myself an ex-F1 Fan nowadays, I must admit that I’ve found myself watching a bit of racing this season. I’d have probably watched a bit more if most of the Sepang race hadn’t taken place under cover of tarpaulins on a monsoon-hit main straight in the dark. But nonetheless it *has* been kind of entertaining.
Apart from the continuing fairytale of Brawn GP, one of the funniest – yet also hugely grating – things has to be continuing disintegration of the sainthood of Saint Lewis Hamilton. And his outburst following today’s Spanish GP just continued to confirm the kind of driver McLaren can be so proud of, repeatedly bitching about the car again and again.
I don’t think I’ve encountered such a prissy whinge since my mum last read me “The Princess And The Pea”. And I wasn’t too impressed by the attitude then either…
In my decades following F1, I’ve continued to see pretty much all drivers – and certainly all the best drivers – intimately involved with the development of their machinery; ever more so as F1 technology became more and more sophisticated. Guys such as Schumacher and Hakkinen had great reputations in this respect, and don’t forget Anthony Davidson whose technical input and driver feedback on the track and in the factory was famously highly regarded over the years.
So, since when did it become okay to just turn up and drive?
And bitch if things aren’t going swimmingly?
I’d love to know, as to me it just looks slack and demeaning – and certainly not the attitude worthy of a world champion… (It also makes you think again about all the denials that Hamilton used to just copy ‘Nando’s setups at each race back in ’07…)
Let’s be honest, the guy has had a supreme set of wheels the past couple of years – and managed to lose a championship in one of them – and he can’t expect things to always be perfect. Surely he was in some way a part of the development team for the car? (And if not, why not…) And surely his best move would be to button it (no pun) and lend some energy and driver input to making a better job of it.
The immature attitude – and the apparent belief that he merely needs to show up at the track – also makes me sad as it seems to be part and parcel of a diminishing McLaren team. I haven’t always supported McLaren (my allegiance moved to Wolf when James Hunt did, and then to Ligier and Ferrari along with Didier Pironi, and so on and so on…) but I have always admired them in a huge way. And their continuing disintegration around their superstar is nothing short of tragic.
McLaren need a genuinely stellar figurehead back in place (and that’s not Lewis’s dad) and a team that functions as a team for a greater purpose than a single (and possibly undeserving) prima donna of a driver.
And they really need to keep Lewis away from the microphone more often.
Ideally by getting him to help work on the car.
But just keeping him away from the microphone anyway would be a good start.