Posted on February 17, 2009


Several F1 drivers took part in a televised poker tournament, broadcast here in Italy the other day, with Nico Rosberg emerging as the guy who knows when to hold ‘em and when to fold ‘em. He won the tournament ahead of Robert Kubica and Giancarlo Fisichella. Poker has become a craze for F1 drivers in the last couple of seasons, started by Fisi and Kubica, with a regular game going on the table in the Force India motorhome, featuring Fernando Alonso, Bernie Ecclestone, Vijay Mallya and Rubens Barrichello as regulars. The TV tournament was also contested by Eddie Irvine (who More…

Posted on February 13, 2009


I put a post out yesterday comparing the salaries of F1 drivers and footballers and it got a really good response and some very interesting comments. Several of the comments made the point that the investment required to get to F1 for an individual and his family is far greater than for a footballer. Valid point and this gives rise to a little theory about drivers I picked up through conversations with some senior engineers in the sport recently. So to move the discussion on a little I thought I would share it with you. When interviewing Ross Brawn for More…

Posted on February 12, 2009


This is a question I have noticed that lot of my readers have been asking on search engines which have led them here, so I thought I’d do a quick post with the answer. I had a word with a mate of mine who is an agent representing premiership footballers and I looked through my files on drivers and through the estimated figures in Formula Money, which has some good research into the financial side of the sport. The answer is that the top drivers earn far more than the top premiership stars, but of course there are far more More…

Posted on January 26, 2009


Nick Heidfeld, ever the pragmatist, is quoted today saying that if drivers are to be asked to take a pay cut, so be it, ” We have to adjust ourselves just like everyone else.” Actually Nick is pretty good value at approximately £2.8 million per season. It’s the £30 odd million Raikkonen gets or the £20 million Alonso scoops up, which give the eye catching numbers. The average, according to Formula Money, is £5.5 million. So what are the drivers worth in the current economic climate? I wrote a post here on Friday about the cost of superlicences and the More…

Posted on January 23, 2009


It’s been a quiet day today, BMW are still hammering around in Valencia, but the teams who were all in Portugal are back at base shaking their heads over what a waste of time it was. There was basically only a brief window of a few hours without rain on one day to get any meaningful running done and Toyota had a technical problem at that time anyway, so missed it. Anyway, the most interesting story I’ve seen today is one on Autosport.com about the drivers getting shirty over a further rise in the cost of their superlicences. Last season More…

Posted on January 22, 2009


How can our sport identify and nurture the best driving talents and bring them to F1? What is the best way to evaluate a young driver? One of the eye catching lines Bernie Ecclestone came out with recently in an interview with my Financial Times colleague Christian Sylt was a dismissal of the revived Formula 2 series as merely something Max Mosley came up with when he was going through “a problem with his private life “ last summer. It was “all done for the wrong reasons,” he said. While it is true that F2 was announced in the midst 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 November 30, 2008


I read a fascinating article this weekend by a writer called Malcolm Gladwell, whose new book “The story of success” looks at what creates success in many walks of life. He describes some studies by psychologists into music students and concludes that however much talent someone has at something, what makes the difference between them becoming a stand out or an also ran is practice and opportunity. Amazingly the studies couldn’t find any “naturals” – people whose natural ability allowed them to be better than the rest on a fraction of the practice. It’s talent and practice which make a More…

Posted on November 28, 2008


With all the fuss about medals, you might not have paid much attention to the story of the three young Italian drivers, who got to test a Ferrari F1 car at Fiorano this week. But digging into what happened, it seems the test was a minor revelation. The top three finishers in the Italian F3 championship were invited to drive Kimi Raikkonen’s 2008 car on Wednesday and the guy who won the F3 championship, 18 year old Mirko Bortolotti, went two tenths under the lap record for that car at Fiorano, setting a 59.111s lap. Now this needs qualifying; the More…

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…



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