Posted on March 30, 2014


A dominant win for Lewis Hamilton, 25 seconds ahead of the next non-Mercedes car, as the Silver Arrows pressed home their competitive advantage in Sepang. There were some strong performances up and down the field, once again, but who stood out for you? Who was your Driver of the Day? Lewis Hamilton Took pole on Saturday in wet conditions and controlled the race from the start. Pulled out a second a lap on the opposition in the opening stint to get a 10 second margin and then protected that to the end. His first Malaysia GP win and the first More…

Posted on March 17, 2014


The first round of the new F1 championship was full of surprises and notable for new names breaking through into the front ranks. There were many standout drives, but who was your Driver of the Day? Nico Rosberg The 28 year old German took his fourth Grand Prix win with a dominant drive, set up by a perfect start from 3rd on the grid. With team mate Hamilton sidelined early, Rosberg had no challengers and was able to control the pace of the race. Daniel Ricciardo Although the 24 year old was disqualified for a fuel flow infringement on his More…

Posted on December 30, 2013


“There are those who keep out of mischief, and then there are the adventurers,” the five times world champion Juan Manuel Fangio said in the 1990s. “We racing drivers are adventurers; the more difficult something is, the greater the attraction that comes from it. “Michael Schumacher is the greatest of the adventurers.” This quote from the Maestro has always struck me as the best explanation of what drives a true racing driver, but it also sums up the character of Schumacher. He rarely took the easier path. Whether it be motorcycle racing, in which he suffered a bad accident in More…

Posted on April 1, 2013


This season I have been working with a new producer on BBC Radio 5 Live, who comes to the sport for the first time. She has worked extensively on athletics, football and other sports, but sees F1 through fresh eyes. Likewise in my work with Australian TV Network 10, the 27 hour live spectacular they put on for their home race was staffed by people for whom Melbourne is a once a year touch point with F1. The result is that I’ve come to see the sport anew, particularly the way that the key players communicate with the media. F1 More…

Posted on December 13, 2012


We have been running our annual end of year opportunity for readers to tell us who were their top five drivers of the season and this year we had a larger entry than in 2011; just under 800 entries. This is probabiy due to the fact that the competition between the leading drivers was so close this year, with several outstanding performances. As a fun sideline prize, three entries which match my selection, will be selected at random to receive a free signed copy of our review book of the season; James Allen on F1 2012: The Year of Living More…

Posted on August 19, 2012


In response to the debate we’ve been having this week about the “pagelle” or marks out of ten for drivers so far this season, one of our regular readers, Martin Leaver, has put forward an interesting position. He argues that with the cars so close together on performance in modern F1 and fine details of tyre use sufficient to take the edge off a performance, the drivers are actually more highly skilled than in the golden age of drivers in the late 1908s and early 1990s – the Senna/Prost/Mansell/Piquet era. Martin writes: ” Personally, I think the standard is higher More…

Posted on August 14, 2012


The influential Italian paper Gazzetta dello Sport has done a mid-season rating of each of the F1 drivers, with Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso coming out on top, just ahead of Lewis Hamilton and Kimi Raikkonen. And in a stark assessment of Ferrari’s other driver, Felipe Massa is at the bottom of the table. The Italian media is very fond of what they call “pagelle”, which are marks out of 10 after every event. It’s a well established part of Italian sports media coverage and has been copied here and there in the UK media and elsewhere. But in Italy it carries More…

Posted on July 23, 2012


Fernando Alonso became the first driver to win three races this season with a dominant victory in a thrilling German Grand Prix but who was your Driver of the Day? Fernando Alonso Looked quick in dry conditions on Saturday morning as he topped the times in third and final practice. Carried that form into a wet qualifying to secure his second pole position of the season. Made a lightening getaway from pole and controlled the race in the first two stints. Was put under pressure by Jenson Button in the final stint, but resisted the McLaren’s attack and then kept More…

Posted on May 14, 2012


Pastor Maldonado’s victory in yesterday’s Spanish Grand Prix as well as strong showings from Grosjean in the last two races and from Sergio Perez in Malaysia is highighting an important point about F1 and the relative state of the drivers. Do we often not give enough credit to the drivers in midfield cars? For years F1 races have been won by an elite of drivers from top teams with perhaps only 7 drivers managing to visit the F1 podium in the course of an entire season. In five races this season, we’ve already had 9 drivers on the podium and More…

Posted on April 30, 2012


The new JA on F1 podcast is out today. This month, with a lot of talk about whether the F1 drivers are able to push to the maximum with the current regulations, we take a look at the wider subject of how to get the most out of an F1 driver. Very often you’ll hear that a driver “didn’t get the maximum” from a qualifying session or a race. So why does this happen? How do you avoid on-days and off-days, what are the secrets in terms of preparation, work with engineers and so on? Can a driver be allowed More…

Posted on June 23, 2011


Toro Rosso driver Jaime Alguersuari was speaking today about his season so far and batting away questions about whether he is likely to be moved aside in order for Daniel Ricciardo to be given a chance to do a race weekend, or maybe a series of them. “I think it is interesting as he (Ricciardo) gets to try different things on the car and at the end, still this year, I did not find the best way to improve the car, the performance, and am just still learning about the set-up, about the tyres, about so many things on the More…

Posted on June 13, 2011


Here is a video with Part 2 of the FOTA Fans Forum in Montreal, featuring F1 drivers Heikki Kovalainen and Nico Hulkenberg as well as Team Lotus chief technical officer Mike Gascoyne discussing the stewards’ decisions on overtakes, collisions and “racing incidents” this year and also explaining to fans why F1 changes technical rules mid season, such as the blown diffuser, part of which looks set to be banned from Silverstone onwards.

Posted on May 12, 2011


We’ve seen a few examples in recent days of F1 drivers, normally considered some of the most selfish individuals on the planet, using the platform of their fame to reach out for good causes. It is not new for drivers to lend their names to causes, but the scale of it, particularly on road safety, is interesting and suggests a trend whereby the drivers are becoming more ambassadorial. Mark Webber has led the drivers to help him raise money for Aussie V8 driver Jason Richards, who has a very rare form of cancer. He is currently undergoing treatments in Australia More…

Posted on March 23, 2011


Yesterday I posted about Mark Webber relaunching the Tasmania Challenge, an extreme adventure race and today we have news of two other F1 drivers taking part in “extreme” activities ahead of the season opener in Melbourne on Sunday. First the world champion Sebastian Vettel has boldly gone into Webber’s back yard and visited a sheep station, even having a go at shearing a sheep in the process. This is a real statement – the sheep shearer is a symbol of Aussie manhood and Vettel (and Red Bull) are certainly having a laugh here with this stunt, perhaps defusing the tension More…

Posted on November 30, 2010


We’ve had a lot of fun with the competition to draw up a list of the Top Five drivers of the season and the eight readers who picked the same five as me have been informed and will get their signed book shortly. But inevitably these lists are dominated by the drivers who won races and I have received loads of messages from readers wanting to nominate the unsung heroes further down the field. It is time to answer that call. So for a but of fun let’s have your list of the Top Five drivers who were driving a More…

Posted on September 8, 2010


Today has seen some quite significant announcements from the FIA World Motor Sport Council, which was also meeting to judge the Ferrari team orders case. The team has got away with no further punishment, but I will post on that separately. The WMSC announced that there would be no 13th team in F1 next season as none of the applicants fit the criteria for entry. It announced a 20 race calendar for 2011 and has introduced a licencing system for senior team personnel, something JA on F1 proposed last year when the Singapore crash scandal broke. F1 drivers also face More…

Posted on July 4, 2010


Many of the fans who attended the FOTA Fans Forum, powered by Santander this week were interested to ask the panel of key team members whether they felt that current F1 places enough emphasis on driver skill, whether the huge run off areas on the circuits make it too easy for drivers to get away with mistakes. Jock Clear, senior race engineer with Mercedes GP, made an impassioned speech about the challenge of F1, pointing out that if F1 had merely stood still in this area on the last three years, then Michael Schumacher would have found it easy to More…

Posted on May 3, 2010


Fernando Alonso has been speaking about life at Ferrari in an interview with Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera. The Spaniard has claimed Michael Schumacher’s decision to turn his back on Ferrari in favour of a return to Formula 1 with Mercedes GP has helped him settle in more quickly with Italian team. Alonso, who won the season opener in Bahrain and currently lies third in the championship with 49 points, is clearly enjoying competing at the front again after spending two relatively uncompetitive seasons at Renault and feels the absence of Schumacher, both as a driver and Ferrari team consultant, More…



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