Posted on October 31, 2008


It’s not often you can say this, but there are a couple of great drives available for next year, but no outstanding young talent to fill them There’s a seat going at Honda and one at Toro Rosso, but a glance across the ranks of the GP2 field , at the US scene and across the other ranks below F1 yields little. It’s intensely frustrating for the team bosses. They’d love to give a talented 22 year old a try next year, especially Honda, but it’s slim pickings. I suppose we shouldn’t be too surprised; we’ve seen the arrival of More…

Posted on October 31, 2008


David Coulthard bows out this weekend after 246 Grands Prix, slightly less than Rubens Barrichello, who doesn’t know yet whether this will be his last Grand Prix.  Rubens wants to stay at Honda and some of his performances lately have been strong as he drives home his candidacy. Jenson Button wants him to stay and says that Ross Brawn believes Rubens is driving better now than when he was at Ferrari.  Knowing when the game is up is the classic dilemma of the ageing racing driver. DC, like Alain Prost, Mika Hakkinen, Damon Hill and Michael Schumacher has acknowledged that More…

Posted on October 30, 2008


Darkness is falling over the main stand as I write this. It’s been an interesting Thursday, devoid of the kind of tension we’ve experienced in the past at title showdowns. It has nothing of the atmosphere of Jerez 97 or Suzuka 98, for example. I’ve seen both title contenders in the flesh and they both look remarkably relaxed. The tension will start to kick in tomorrow. Massa has every right to feel relaxed in many ways, it’s out of his hands and he has nothing to lose. He will go for the win and hope misfortune revisits Hamilton. Hamilton has More…

Posted on October 21, 2008


Felipe Massa’s task in Brazil is clear; do what he has done the last two seasons and dominate the race. He looks like he has his head down a bit now, after being outpaced not only by Hamilton but also by Raikkonen in China. However he’s amazing at Interlagos and will no doubt be inspired by his home crowd, but there will be a bitterness about the experience too and this could really undermine his weekend. It’s a psychological issue and I’ll be watching very closely to see how he deals with it. Massa knows that there is a very More…

Posted on October 21, 2008


The way I see it, Lewis Hamilton travels to Brazil this year in a very different frame of mind from last year, much lighter in spirit, more focussed and with a much better understanding of what it takes to close this championship out. The most significant difference though is that he does not have to worry about  Fernando Alonso in the sister car. It was the Spaniard last year who dominated Hamilton’s thoughts at the finale after a season of bitterness and recrimination. Alonso felt that he could have won the title if McLaren had just restrained Hamilton a bit, and he’s More…

Posted on October 14, 2008


You’ve probably never heard of him, but Will Stevens is the next Lewis Hamilton. At least that is the way his backers see it and they are supporting their decision with heavy investment. The 17 year old from Essex has a contract in his pocket with Honda, which lays out in intricate detail his path from karts to Formula 1. It has been put together for him by his management team of ex F1 drivers Mark Blundell and Martin Brundle, who took him on when he was just 14 years old. It’s only been done once before, but with spectacular More…

Posted on October 14, 2008


Interview with BMW Sauber boss Dr Mario Theissen,  The character of the Formula 1 boss is changing. The old guard were the products of the 1970s; grafters, boys-done-good, men who were passionate about racing, who pulled strokes and called in favours to keep their cars in the race. They pulled themselves up by their bootstraps from humble beginnings and then in the 1990s found themselves owning private jets once Bernie Ecclestone’s TV deals started to bring in serious money. This type of team owner, personified by McLaren’s Ron Dennis, the mechanic made good and Sir Frank Williams, the used car More…

Posted on October 14, 2008


There is so much to talk about from the Japanese Grand Prix it’s hard to know where to start. We had Lewis Hamilton losing his head when all that was required was some pragmatism, Felipe Massa showing his ruthless side, Fernando Alonso and Renault again excelling and then a highly contentious penalty for Sebastian Bourdais, which gifted Massa and Ferrari an extra point reducing Hamilton’s lead to five points. Let’s start with Hamilton. Starting from pole, he knew that Raikkonen was a threat off the start line, but he also knew that Raikkonen was no threat to his championship position. More…

Posted on October 11, 2008


 As I write this on Friday evening in the dark at Fuji, it is starting to rain. Only lightly, but enough to remind you that the weather here can be very unpredictable and that rain is never very far away.  This morning the sky was blue and the view of Mount Fuji was spectacular. The two practice sessions took place in perfect conditions, but the locals are talking about rain tomorrow and a dry race on Sunday.  McLaren and Ferrari look pretty well matched again. I was interested in Ferrari’s performance advantage in Singapore over McLaren as it looked like More…

Posted on October 7, 2008


I’m off to Fuji tomorrow, full of anticipation. This has been a wonderful championship, where most of the races have been great and a minority dull. Last year’s Fuji race was very dramatic and had a big influence on the outcome of the championship, as Alonso lost the chance of points with an uncharacteristic crash. A couple of points that day would have made him champion at the end of the season. It just shows you that a split second error at this stage of the season is potentially disastrous, as Ferrari found in Singapore. This year Lewis Hamilton again More…



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