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Good week/Bad week
Good week/Bad week
Posted By:   |  21 Apr 2009   |  7:03 am GMT  |  49 comments

Good week for:

Concrete bollards
These largely overlooked and unheralded pieces of roadside furniture were given a welcome boost by Renault boss Flavio Briatore, who compared them with the F1 world championship leader

Sebastian Vettel
Peerless in the dry in qualifying, masterful in the wet on Sunday, the 21 year old is now soaking up the hype once reserved for Lewis Hamilton. Bernie Ecclestone is building him up as ‘better than Lewis’.

Sebastien Buemi
As the most junior of F1’s three Sebastiens, the Swiss risks being lost in the crowd, but he’s winning plaudits for his driving this year. Lucky to get away with whacking the race leader under a safety car, though.

Mike Gascoyne
The pint sized rottweiller made a great impression on BBC. His strategic genius was clear as the race progressed. Dwarfed by the lanky Jake Humphreys pre-race, Gazza ran a few computer models and levelled the playing field by getting everyone to sit on bars stools for the post race analysis. No-one looks down on Gazza…

Bad week for:

F1 engineers’ families
Already anxious about the possibility of redundancies at some time soon, the appeal court ruling to allow trick diffusers means that wives are unlikely to see much of their husbands for the next month. Children are being issue with photos of Dad so they can remember what he looks like.

Nelson Piquet
Struggling to match team mate Fernando Alonso at the best of times, Nelsinho could have done without Renault giving the Spaniard its sole trick diffuser. P17 in qualifying to Alonso’s P2, Briatore is currently searching for an obscure dialect word to compare him to.

McVities biscuits
Sales have been flat since Red Bull Racing boss Christian Horner went on a winter diet. When he sees a replay of his appearance on the podium, looking as skinny as his two drivers, he is unlikely to be returning to the Hob Nobs any time soon.

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good week for BBC, picking Gascoyne to replace Jordan was a great move.

bad next week for BBC, for bringing back Jordan...


I'd say it's been a good week for Flavio Briatore, getting more press than just about anyone else. And he has already spoken characteristically frankly about Piquet's race:

“Jesus Christ, it was a very, very bad race. I understand if you spin once, but this was kind of a contest: the more you spin the more points you have.”



Do you think it's fair that Briatore's description of Button as a "milepost" is being seen as an "insult," whereas Brawn's suggestion that Briatore should "change the medication" is being seen as a "joke?"


Are you saying there are no female engineers in F1 then?


Wicked sense of humour James. Loving it!



I didn't know you were funny.



Gazza was so much better than Eddie Jordan. I hope they make him permanent, although I'm sure he'd rather be in a team somewhere.


I'd agree Mike Gascoyne did a great job for the BBC, quite a bit better than Eddie Jordan. I reckon they should keep DC as a permanent pundit and rotate between lots of different guests like Mike Gascoyne at each race. I never realised how tiny he was though! I thought F1 drivers were supposed to be small, but even DC towered over him!


McVities Bull Racing!


😀 Top blogging James

Never mind McVities though, what about the poor folks at Fyffes? I haven't seen Ross Brawn eat a single banana this season. Fans of rounder and less yellow fruits might even link Brawn's success this season to Ross's banana ban!


I still don't really understand why Renault decided to keep Piquet for this year, he's completely out of his depth and doesn't deserve to be there, he proved that with flying colours last year.

Sebastien Bourdais; there's another one that should be sacked ASAP. Especially after coming over the radio in China saying he didn't like the conditions and it was too dangerous for him. F1 drivers are not paid to be chickens, they should be fearless bordering on stupid. 🙂
I hope Toro Rosso are kicking themselves that they didn't hire Taku instead, he'd have been much faster as well.


Their original biscuits are pretty tasty. The ones with chocolate on them are just too good to resist.


With Piquet under performing at Renault, will they consider changing drivers mid season? Ex GP2 Buemi is certainly getting the job done at STR. They might well be looking towards Senna as a replacement.


Ha ha, nice comment about Gazza Gascoyne. He was really good though wasn't he? Let's hope we see more of him. Given the choice of his F1 insight or EJ's, I know which one I'd rather have.


Yummmm, hob nobs, although James, you should not overlook the humble Rich Tea... 🙂
It was a great race wasn't it, and hopefully we won't see the likes of Eddie Jordan again. The whole coverage seemed so much more professional with Gascoyne, Coulthard and Brundle


MG was far more informative than Eddie Jordan - a good addition to the BBC team. (Legard still sounds out of his depth, relying on a stream of clichés and using Martin Brundle to carry him along.)

I think Flavio's comment translates more along the line of Button being a peacock or a playboy .... concrete bollard is too literal.

Not keen on comments about Horner's weight (or anybody's weight) .... people can get into unintentional personal slights about trivial things that are outside the sport/their job. Think James should know this as he's been on the end of similar pointless and irrelevant jibes/joshing in different forums in the past. I don't care if Horner eats nothing but biscuits and weights 500 stone - it is doing his job that matters. (Appreciate the post was meant to be light hearted, but....)


I've got to agree to the general opinion here that Gascoyne was better than Eddie Jordan. Eddies a nice chap but so far he's just been talking rubbish the whole time, he should be replaced asap.

Speaking of replacements Piquet HAS to deliver something this weekend, if he doesn't he should definatley be dropped. There's much better drivers like Senna, Sato, Davidson, Klien all sat there without a drive.


Hi All,

Is there anyone able to shed any light on why the Brawn GP website hasn't been running properly for around 2 weeks. Cannot access it at all. This is a shame, they should be maximising their online presence with all their recent success.

Am hoping to see a better product range too when the site goes back up.

Also any word on their Virgin sponsorship and how they plan to fund next year's campaign? I was hoping their livery would be undergoing a revamp as well as Jens and Rubens' overalls!

Great blog as every James. Please can you tell F1 Racing that they should have had Jenson Button all over the front cover of the last edition. It looked ridiculous having Massa and Raikonnen with positive slogans regarding their campaign. They also missed Jenson's first win on the relevant edition in 2006! What does Jenson have to do to get great frontpage praise on F1 Racing. I know its more than a cover, but covers are important to my massive collection of F1 Racing.


Bittersweet week for:

Mark Webber - finally scored a decent result, and at last has race winning machinery under him. Only problem is he was beaten soundly by his team mate, and thus denied the opportunity to give Red Bull their maiden win.

Good week for:

Bernie Ecclescake - The FIA decision went with 'the diffuser three' and has caused deep ructions within FOTA, meaning their unity will be tested to the extreme. Something that Bernie will no doubt capitalise on.

Concrete boll*cks, or balls of steel - every driver who raced in Chinese GP was equipped with a pair. Standard FIA issue for racing in the wet. I believe Vettel may have been using a bigger pair than most. Flavio confiscated Piquets after the race.


Gascoyne was great - I hope the BBC keep him on.


BBC had the other Gazza on Sunday too (as a Match of the Day pundit), do you think their booking agent got confused?


Very good James.

Gascoyne has to be for me the best thing from the BBC.
His views and comments were very good and appropriate at all times.

Being Spanish I found a bit difficult to understand Jordan, although I like the guy (of course, if I forget his interview with Bernie..)

Paige Michael-Shetley

"Concrete bollards

These largely overlooked and unheralded pieces of roadside furniture were given a welcome boost by Renault boss Flavio Briatore, who compared them with the F1 world championship leader."


Also, Finn, I don't think James was making a slight at Horner's weight. I think he was making light of the possibility that Horner likes the biscuits. But if this is the case, then in the interest of fairness...




- When Buemi hit Vettel I had a strong sense of deja vu, recalling the time in Japan when Vettel took out Webber.


Ok so are we all on the same page, Legard and Jordan need to be sackes and Gazza and James to be Hired !

Great look at the week James! Its going to be interesting this weekend 😀


I thought Vettel has taken the blame for Buemi coming into the back of him (he claimed to have slowed very abruptly due to a Toyota I believe?)


Bad week for Darren Heath: work suddenly dries up for some unknown reason (allegedly)


Wow the BrawnGP site is really bad...


Great stuff, I am glad the concrete bollards a having a good week.... 😉


MG was brilliant, although I would rather see him behind a team - remember the commentary he did for ITV from the pit wall? Did you alsi notice the amountof leather bracelets he had on?! EJ is ok, just a bit out of touch. Like Legard, just needs to do some homework. James, I like this 'good day, bad day', makes for more lighthearted journalism from the media, in a sense. (I apologise for the lack of paragraphs, I'm typing from my mobile :/)


Very amusing article James.

I thought Gascoyne was very good on tv, informative, and could go into detail at the same time keeping it simple and clean, although I didnt realise how short he was?!!!

Nelson Piquet. How is the lad still in F1?!! He didnt do anything last season to get a drive this year and has done nothing but spin and crash this year!!

If Flavio stopped spouting on about anything and everything, he could maybe look at what other drivers there are out there, Ant Davidson? Worth a shot isnt he? Or what about Grosjean, cant be any worse than Piquet can he?


I think the reason Piquet hasn't been replaced is because he doesn't challenge Alonso and Alonso likes it that way. Happy Alonso = happy Renault.


Same thing with Nakajima except replace Alonso with Toyota.


Yup, works fine.
If you're using Firefox, and you really should be you know, pdf's open in the browser. RMB/Open in new tab


You really believe he got equal kit/treatment at Macca?



I know James was just having a laugh and in the end complimenting Horner on his weight loss .... just thought it was a bit too playgroundish and unnecessary ... people easily slip from making poke-in-the-rib jokes to labelling someone mercilessly.

I've seen people in other forums (in the ITV years) moan about James' hair, weight, etc .... comments which were totally irrelevant to how James did his job but which were part and parcel of the anti-JA mumblings. I've had arguments over the years with people to leave James alone over such issues and feel the same for Horner or any other person: comment on how they do their job, but personal stuff just leaves me cold. Fat, thin, tall, short, ugly, beautiful, bald, hairy, or whatever - it doesn't matter so why comment on it at all?


Nail hit very firmly on head!
Team Alonso would not tolerate another successful driver who may match or dare to win, we saw what he does when that happens even when he got equal kit.

But I would think our Ant should be given a chance in a half decent car, though whether he would get on with Flav is another matter.


Ah, so what you're saying is that the infamous "enclosed hole" is actually a jammy dodger? Genius!

But anyway, biscuits are not new technology and therefore do not need to be submitted to the FIA.

Thomas in Adelaide

I couldn't agree more Dave.

They both need to be sacked ASAP. We could be watching Bruno Senna fang around in one of those cars, but instead we get to watch the spin king and the slowcoach surrender monkey.

"Ooooh it's too wet, where's my blankey?"


Finn did you read what James wrote? He complimented Horner for looking "as skinny as his two drivers" as a result of his "winter diet." I for one think complimenting someone for their success is a good thing! Surely?

I read elsewhere that the word Flavio used is the Italian word commonly used for 'mile stone'. The inference is that Button has the speed at which the next miles stone comes by, presumably when traveling in a horse and cart.

Of course he failed to mention that his own driver Piquet is not only slower but also likely to HIT the miles stone when he finally reaches it.


Contrary to my previous thoughts, i thought Legard did a much better job in Shanghai. I think he had gone away and watched some season reviews in between Malaysia and China since he was finally referencing events from previous races. He was still filling time with nonsensical commentary that could've been lifted from a football match though, gradually improving anyway.

And yes, Gascoyne was brilliant; asked the right questions, gave informative answers and aided the viewers' understanding of the sport. Three things that EJ did not do!


Finn you shouldn't take life so seriously - especially as Horner was a bit of a chunky monkey! However I think we'd all draw the line if JA started a 'torso of the week' segment!!


If there is there wont be for long.

A person from my college (Sarah Lancaster i think) is doing something engineer related with Williams if I remember correctly.


Ah ha! So Eddie Jordan is Spanish that explains why we don't understand him.

Francisco it's not just you mate!


Indeed we have a lot to thank concrete bollards for, I for one would have continued my best crash down a railway embankment had not the water board thoughtfully provided a bollard to stop me, although I did demolish it.

Re Horner's weight; the FIA WMC has ruled that the spirit of the biscuit is not of fundamental importance and cannot in itself overrule the actual technical rules of the biscuit. Biscuits may have holes and may be on two planes, the transition between the planes should be vertical and may be interspaced with another compound possibly incorporating chocolate or other flavouring.


The BrawnGP website is working fine, however their chosen method of putting all articles in pdf format is extremely annoying having to download and then open each item will not be pleasing fans, hope their webmaster is reading this. It obviously saves server space and time writing pages but once the format is done it can be easily pasted to each page. The photo gallery is working ok.

No news yet then on the location of Mr Branson's chequebook, looks like a freebie for Virgin.


There's nothing wrong with the site, loads up fine for me, been visiting and using regularly.

The full Brawn Merchandise range launches at Silverstone.

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