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Rosberg wins F1 drivers poker frenzy
Rosberg wins F1 drivers poker frenzy
Posted By:   |  17 Feb 2009   |  4:27 pm GMT  |  12 comments

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 wore shades, as you would expect, so as not to give anything away!), Tonio Liuzzi, Alex Zanardi, Giorgio Pantano and Adrian Sutil.

The Gazzetta dello sport newspaper did a nice interview with Fisi today and he revealed that Kubica is the toughest F1 person to play against because you never know when he’s bluffing. Let’s hope he has a fast enough car this year to use some of that Cool Hand Luke sang froid on his title rivals..

Fisi also said that he was looking forward to getting his hands on the new Force India car, equipped with the Mercedes engine and McLaren gearbox later this month. He expects to be out at the two March tests before Melbourne. I’ll be interested to see how deep the technical collaboration runs between the two teams, and there is little doubt that Force India should move forward a bit as a result of this collaboration, although their own aerodynamic work will be decisive.

As for the talk of a Grand Prix in Rome in 2011, which people here are getting increasingly excited about, he said that it would be lovely, but he just hopes he’s still in F1 in 2011. He sees the revolving door coming closer..

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With poker, you can pull off a bluff if one has a lousy hand…ermm….with the F1 cars you simply can’t. If car is slow, how are you going to bluff..lol.


I am surprised that Nick Fry or members of the Honda board were not sitting round the poker table. They seem to be very tight lipped (or should that be eyes Mr. Irvine?) about any kind of takeover. As the new season is getting ever closer you can only get the impression that they are more likely to fold than hold for a pottential buyer.

Peter’s comment makes me laugh. It seems as though there is a little bit too much “respect” for each other in sport these days. I dont’t remember Nelson Piquet offering high fives to Eliseo Salazar at Hockenhiem in 1982. It was more like a bunch of fives. The Christmas card list was one less in the Piquet house from that moment on!


Yeah come on James what have you got planned for next year? Don’t say advertising Mercedes’ road cars is your new full time job!


the problem is that in trying to increase the fanbase of F1, the programme makers are trying to appeal to the casual viewer. however, in the UK we get such poor coverage that it’s only the die-hard fan that will ever come back for more!!

whenever i’ve watched the build-up on german tv, it’s leagues ahead of british coverage, detailed driver interviews, much more technical, less gimmicky and not dumbing down the sport for those who are just channel hopping.

sadly i’m not expecting much to change with BBC coverage. for a start, anthony davidson in place of jake humphries in the commentary box would have been perfect, but it wasn’t to be. poor old ant goes to radio 5, and bbc1 gets someone i believe to be a football commentator.


I bet we’re not going to see any of that programme over here are we? Such a shame. There seems to be so much F1 content being made for TV in other countries outside of the actual races themselves and we see so little of it. I don’t suppose the BBC have the foresight to buy these programs in to add to their new F1 offering. Their website is atrocious, it should be brimming with news and new video content daily, but instead they have old pieces on there for ages. Shocking when you consider the majority of F1 teams are based in the UK. Oh and that piece on Lewis called Billion Dollar Man was just embarrassing, talking to the audience as if they were idiots. James when are you going to announce your big plans for the year?


i’m not sure drivers used to hate each other any less or more than they do now. sure, some of them had very intense rivalries and did hate each other, but i could well imagine a few of the guys in the 60’s getting together for a few games of poker with a few drinks and cigars the night before the race 🙂

i don’t think it hurts to get on with other drivers, most if not all will be able to separate what happens on and off the track.


Peter! You’re so funny! You make my day! Let’s hate each other everyone, that’s true warrrrrrrrrrrr!!!!!!!!!!



There’s no way Fisichella will be around by 2011, he might even struggle to see out 2009. Arguably, he’s in a no win situation- if Sutil beats him outright this season he’s finished, and if he is faster than Sutil than everyone will think ‘big deal, Sutil obviously isn’t a great driver’. I personally think Fisichella is a good driver- he’s been in F1 for 13 seasons now, been part of a championship winning team twice and won 3 races, and you don’t achieve that without talent.

And by the way James, what are you doing out in Italy? Have Ferrari signed you up as their new PR man?


Fisichella mightn’t even see 2009 out, never mind 2011, but that’s not to say he’s a bad driver. I often feel people are a bit harsh on him- no driver has a 14 year F1 career without a bit of talent, and there’s no shame in being beaten by Fernando Alonso.

And by the way, what are you doing over in Italy James? Have Ferrari signed you as their new PR man?


A Rome Grand Prix would be nice, but I can’t help feeling that it’ll just be another money spinner for Bernie. Also, I think there’s too much emphasis on new tracks and not enough traditional circuits anymore. We all know about Silverstone, so what’s going to be next? Monza?! What are your thoughts on this James?


I’m not a big fan of this clique of f1 drivers/businessmen playing poker. In the old days each driver used to hate each others guts and make sure they would never have been beaten. Michael Schumacher, though he didn’t hate them, kept his distance from most the other drivers, just like what Lewis Hamilton does. They’re there to compete, not be friends!


kubica should take them all bowling instead…

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