Posted on December 29, 2008


Formula 1 is setting itself up for a great on-track rivalry to match the classic Senna-Prost duel of the early 1990s. My good friend and colleague Pino Allievi is writing in La Gazetta dello Sport in Italy that Fernando Alonso has a four year contract with Ferrari starting 2011, but with clauses which allow that contract to be brought forward one year to 2010. This will bring Alonso into a head-to-head duel with his nemesis, Lewis Hamilton, with blood red Ferraris and Silver Arrows the weapons of choice. I have known Pino for almost 20 years and in that time More…

Posted on December 24, 2008


Apologies for the radio silence in the last week, a combination of a short holiday and a few technical problems while I was away. I’ve enjoyed this season of racing as much as any I can recall. There were many fantastic races and some strong performances. As always there are more drivers disappointed with their season than delighted but we had some breakthrough performances and a new elite has been established. Here is my choice for the Top ten of the year 1. Fernando Alonso – never gave up even when the Renault wasn’t working well. Always wrung the maximum More…

Posted on December 22, 2008


One of the enigmas of 2008 was the performance of Heikki Kovalainen. Hired by McLaren as a diplomatic team mate for Lewis Hamilton, he fitted in quickly and struck up an excellent rapport with the team, especially the boss Martin Whitmarsh. His contribution and team ethic surprised many people at McLaren and made them ask for more from Lewis. Heikki thinks of things many other drivers don’t think about, not for selfish reasons, like a Schumacher or a Senna, but trying to be helpful to the team. They love him. But in being unselfish he didn’t get the balance right More…

Posted on December 12, 2008


Today could turn out to be a day, which will stand out in the history books of Formula 1. At the FIA World Council meeting in Monaco some huge decisions will be taken, which reflect a sea change in attitude within the F1 teams compared to recent years and which will herald the start of a move towards a totally new F1 concept, certainly as far as engines are concerned. Following the surprise withdrawal of Honda a week ago, a fresh mood of realism has finally crept in and the remaining nine teams met with FIA president Max Mosley on More…

Posted on December 10, 2008


Just arrived in a rainy and chilly Monaco for what will be a momentous couple of days for the sport. It’s weirdly appropriate that this humbling of F1, the death knell of the era of decadence and excess, should happen in Monaco, which has long symbolised the wealth and glamour, with which F1 is synonymous. This will be a strange journey for all of us, coming to terms with the new ‘austerity F1′, but here are a few notes at this early stage.

Posted on December 9, 2008


Jenson Button was out on Sunday night at the Autosport Awards. He tried to look relaxed about his predicament, but it was not easy and there was a fair bit of sympathy around the room for him. He renewed his contract with the Honda team in October and must now wait anxiously to see whether the team will be sold in time to take its place on the grid for the Australian Grand Prix on March 29th 2009, whether the new owner will want him in the car or whether another team offers him a ride. It is another setback More…

Posted on December 8, 2008


At the Autosport Awards last night, otherwise known as the Oscars of motorsport, Martin Brundle and I were presented with an award for our commentary on the final laps of the Brazilian Grand Prix, the “Moment of the year”. It was a great honour, made all the more special because they chose Murray to present it to us. They played the video of the final few corners on the big screen and my heart was thumping in my chest all over again – it really was the most extraordinary moment of sport. I’m absolutely delighted with this gong as it More…

Posted on December 6, 2008


Today’s papers are full of the story of Honda’s withdrawal from F1 and the efforts to sell the team and save some of the 670 jobs at Brackley. It’s just a number, like the figure Woolworths and Citibank are shedding. But, as Jenson Button highlighted in his statement yesterday, there are real people behind these numbers, people he feels very close to. Although this is potentially a disaster for Button’s career, he has a huge amount of money in the bank and will be alright. The same is true of Ross Brawn. But the rest of the team are not More…

Posted on December 5, 2008


Amazing day today. Been flat out writing about the Honda withdrawal and where it leaves F1. Took part in the Max Mosley teleconference this afternoon and spoke to many figures within the sport. The main points I’ve come across are these: Honda is very serious about selling the team but it will be a streamlined outfit they sell, with no more than 200 employees ( current figure is over 650) and capable of running on £40-50 million per year (current figure more like three times that) There is no engine supply in the package because next year F1 moves to More…

Posted on December 4, 2008


Honda announced this morning that it is withdrawing from Formula 1. It is putting its team up for sale and will continue to fund the team for three months, but if no buyer is found by March then the team will be closed down. There is a sense of shock in Japan about this. Apparently there have been rumours out there during the last week that Toyota was building up to make an announcement of this kind, but not Honda. All eyes are now on Toyota to see what their next move will be. Honda president Fukui made the announcement More…

Posted on December 3, 2008


Big day tomorrow – December 4th, the meeting in Geneva of the 10 F1 team principals to finalise their proposals to the FIA World Council, which will sit on December 12th to decide on some major changes to Formula 1 for the future. I know what you are thinking, it’s all a bit of a blur this; we haven’t had a chance to fully absorb the massive changes for 2009 yet and already we are potentially about to get a load of even more radical changes pushed onto us, like gold medals deciding championships, another overhaul of qualifying and maybe More…

Posted on December 1, 2008


There have been some very positive noises coming out of Munich recently to the effect that BMW has set its goal for 2009 as nothing less than fighting for the world championship. No big deal, I hear you say, teams always come out with that kind of talk. Well not BMW. Mario Theissen’s team has always been meticulous in setting targets that it believes it can hit. If you read my Theissen interview elsewhere on this site you’ll get more background insight into the way the man thinks. He’s a company man, one who has come up through the ranks More…



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