Le Grand Retour
Paul Ricard 2018
French Grand Prix
Good week/Bad week
Good week/Bad week
Posted By:   |  15 May 2009   |  7:54 am GMT  |  43 comments

Good week for:

Jenson Button – Four wins from five, only four points dropped. He’s running out of people to challenge him for the title.

Ferrari – Took a huge step closer to the front with the updated car in Spain and decided to got for it and take a stand on 2010 rules. Let’s hope it doesn’t end in tears.

Kleenex – Jenson Button’s mother, Simone, attended the Spanish GP and revealed that that she cries every time he wins.

Oversized handluggage – Brawn has now won 11 trophies in the first five races

Bad week for:
Rubens Barrichello – His best chance to win a race this season, went away from him. He has an uneasy feeling of deja vu..

Sebastian Vettel – It is a sign of how far he has come that fourth in Spain is a disappointment. But he could have won the last three races and he knows that his starts are a big part of why he hasn’t.

Toro Rosso: Rule number one of Italian motoring is, “What’s behind me is not important.” However rule number two is “Don’t hit your team mate at the start of the race.”. Toro Rosso media department had a very short press release to write.

TV execs who don’t understand F1 – They will be looking nervously at their contracts, wondering what the viewing figures might do without Ferrari next year.

Formula 1 – Well it is, isn’t it?

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Well I hope you are all correct about FERRARI that when the largest crowd puller in the game leave’s that nothing changes.Im sure the tracks will still be full the Tv ratings across the board will peck and sponsors will be falling over themselves to through money at the new breed of car and team, leading F1 into a brighter future and MAX & BERNIE will be vindicated in there decision to upturn the sport.Yeah right
Bad week for the fans again!


Vettel COULD have won the last two races, not the last three. In China he DID win!


Dear James, hope you don’t mind, but I’d like to add F1 fans to the bad week list… 🙁


This has now got to be an even worse week for Formula One now. Ferrari have decided that if they can’t get their own way they will take the FIA to court, and wreck Formula One for everyone next year.

This is the inevitable consequence of repeatedly giving in to Ferrari’s blackmail, and subsidising this very rich company for years to race on an unequal footing with all the other teams. What a thoroughly nasty, underhand, arrangement this has been. This whole fiasco is a very good reason why all the teams should start from a level playing field in future, like competitors in any normal sport. Unfortunately that probably won’t happen and the issue will be fudged so Bernie can keep his ill-gotten gains rolling in. His wife’s divorce settlement alone could probably finance most of the F1 teams, under the cap, to put the rape of the sport into perspective.

Having observed F1 for a good long while, Ferrari mean no more and no less to me than any of the other iconic teams that are no longer racing: Lotus, Brabham, Cooper, Tyrrell, and so on. They are NOT bigger than Formula One, any more than those others were. Times change, and the world moves on. So must Formula One.


Re Rubens in Spain, I can’t help wondering whether the team might actually have planned for him to win the race. Ross actually said that, at one point when interviewed, though I assumed that wasn’t quite what he actually meant. Now I begin to wonder. Rubens was certainly pretty aggressive to Button in the first corner, in going ahead. I notice that Jense is normally extremely careful himself at that point this season, gives everyone else a wide berth, going round the outside. Could explain why Rubens was so choked, if he had been handed a chance to win due to his practice performance. Button really blew him away, fair and square.


41 points from 45 is impressive in anyones book – JB’s worst result so far is a 3rd place! When did we last see that sort of winning consistency from any driver in F1?


James I don’t understand why you don’t mention RBR more in the threats to leave.

They have arguably the most credability in their threats because they are currently in the best position they have ever been in. And have two teams. Unlike the others that bigger names yes (and bigger brands) but are struggling this season and their threats could look like sour grapes (because they aren’t winning). BMW has been spoken about more then RBR, and BMW haven’t even threatened to leave yet.


What about Lewis Hamilton? I think he got bad week going on?

Already thinking about quitting F1 after he doesn’t have winning car and because of he did do in lie-gate.

Also this might be good week for F1 if teams can get their voice heard and Max would get slap to his fingers.


Holy Crap Wingers, one word BINGO!


James, in your opinion, are those starts really Vettel’s fault?

I always thought that it was mostly Red Bull, going for the “optimal” strategy, instead of a more aggressive, KERS-proof one like Brawn.

Last year McLaren had imho the same problem. There were quite a few races where a more inventive strategy could have helped them but they did everything by the book. On the other hand Ferrari this year proves that just taking risks doesn’t help, you need a Brawn errrrr brain, who knows what he’s doing.


James, am I correct in thinking this is Lewis’s third Diamond encrusted Helnet for Monaco? 2007 saw the tag ‘Monaco 2007’, 2008 was the drivers signatures in diamonds, and this year the number ‘1’.
Great collection for Lewis, assuming he gets to keep them of course.


I am sorry, nut Rubens had no chance of winning. His lap times (with a lighter car) were not good enough to hold Button off, even with a two-stop strategy as analysis shows in this picture this picture . With the same amount of fuel Rubens was slower once Jenson got rid off Rubens right in front of him (see stints 3 and 4).


This weeks winners loosers is brilliant!! I lay awake waiting for the next weeks installment!! Keep it up!!


Few people seem to understand that Max’s stance is not entirely lacking in common sense, even if the style may tend to grate.

The problem with listening to FOTA is, firstly, they can’t agree on anything themselves, because their interests differ so greatly, and therefore they require the application of the jackboot to decide on anything. Secondly, they are at the moment dominated by the big-money teams, with Ferrari doing a good job of rabble rousing for political reasons, which I personally find obnoxious.

No-one knows how long these big-money teams will be in F1. The manufacturers’ boards may decide at any time that they cannot afford the luxury of involvement in the sport when car aren’t selling, aren’t likely to sell, and they’re closing factories all round the world. They are in it for marketing purposes, not because racing cars are their core business. So the manufacturers’ teams could help dictate the rules of the game this year, as the obviously are hoping, yet be gone next year. They know that perfectly well, although they won’t admit it.

Hence the governing body does need to take a long term view, as best they can, given that no-one can easily foresee the future. They probably think that, in the current economic climate, the core business racing teams are the ones that will remain in the sport long after manufacturers have decided to throw in the towel. That is probably what they are attempting to do.

If anyone thinks you can sweet-talk sense to the monster egos that swim in F1’s pond, they are probably mistaken. In a way it has taken draconian measures for any kind of team consensus to start emerging, wrong-headed, politically motivated, and lacking in foresight, as it may be.


With or without Ferrari, the TV execs should be looking long and hard at what F1 is worth to them. If Brawn continue to dominate this season without other teams having the chance or interest to catch up, then viewers will drop away very quickly.


On a lighter note, surely it has to be a bad week for EJ(it) too?

He made a total fool of himself last weekend with the rant about Kimi being unprofessional and needing to be suspended.

Please BBC, sack Jordan asap!


definitely a bad week for rubens: gets into the lead, apparently on the optimal strategy, on a clear track for most of the race, in the best car on the grid. still can’t win.

the only whiging he can justify is about how he’s not good enough anymore.

and actually with ferrari, renault, toyota, red bull (and hopefully BMW) standing up to the FIA in the most robust way possible, i reckon that goes into good week 🙂


> Oversized handluggage – Brawn has now won 11 trophies in the first five races

It’s an indication of the fact that it’s the last day of what has seemed a very long week that I had to think about this for about five minutes to grasp it…


James – could you expand on the TV execs part?

I’d have thought that without Ferrari, some portion of viewership was bound to drop off.

Then again, I must say I watch for the drivers first, and the teams second (Webber from national pride; Button and Barrichello as longtime underdog favourites).

If F1 lost Ferrari, Toyota, Renault and RBR (+ STR?), but gained three independent teams, it might look a lot more like it did back in the early 90s… has the fan base grown over the years of supermanufacturer involvement at a rate greater than before those years?

One other thing – your highlighted comment about F1 the other day on keeping aero standardized – would really make the sport less interesting from my perspective.

I love the idea of appreciably different cars with appreciably different designs competing. There needs to be some level of engineering differentiation between the cars. I don’t tune in to watch glorified road cars face off; I tune in to watch the pinnacle of motor racing engineering excellence, applicability to real car technology be damned.


Yes indeed a bad week for F1, lets hope the storm clouds blow away and we get back to business. Makes life interesting though doesnt it?


it has been a bad week, no much good to come out of it at all. despite the meteoric rise of brawn and red bull, the improvement of ferrari and the consistency of alonso, means next to nothing with the now very public, very embarrassing and very disappointing conduct of the governing body and teams.
the allure of the sport from a fans point of view has now been tainted to point where i’ve almost lost interest.

after all, i watch racing for the spectacle of racing, not the backroom politics and soap opera that f1 has become.

The Hedge Priest

I don’t think Formula One will be that different without Ferrari. I find their attitude arrogant and bullish and wouldn’t mind seeing the back of them. What would be a shame is if all the other manufacturers and drivers followed suit.

That said I find it hard to get excited about a car company. Following drivers is part of the fun of F1, but supporting a company limited by guarantee is never going to be something that interests me.

As long as F1 keeps the best drivers in the world then it’s still F1. Having loads of independent teams will be good for the sport, no longer will the big boys just be able to spend their way to the top.

Max has to hold his nerve and call Ferrari and co’s bluff. A budget cap is a great idea and will make F1 more exciting in the end.


Apologies for the silly typos, sigh.


Spot on Wingers.
Haven’t missed a race in years but I’m becoming more and more disillusioned with F1.

I don’t want to see what they’re trying to turn it into.
I personally don’t want to see an imposed caup but understand the need to keep costs down but the proposed cap is ludicrous – its too much too soon. The FOTA suggested a perfectly good proposal to implement it in stages and bring the cap in gradually – these blatantly ignored.
This 2 tier system is very unappealing to me as a fan of F1 sho understand it to be the pinnacle formula in motorsport.
No more refueling? Does that mean a 2-race Sunday. What happannedd to to Grand Prix (grand, big prize?) Too smaller races is piddle. Winners medal – even theough EVERYBODAY, teams, fans and drivers alike think its a terrible idea these 2 monkeys are imposing it anyway.

I’d rather see F1 dissolve than have it to turn into that, and remember it the way it was – the Greatest Motorsport spectacle in the world.


Wingers… 100% with you on the gate thing. makes me boil with rage whenever i read it… is the intention to be funny? to demonstate journalistic wit? I don’t know… but it’s had its day.

PLease James make a stand and never ever use it as a postfix for anything ever again ; )

Money though. That’s what it’s about now. You try to talk to Bernie about actual racing and he’ll give you a ‘you know nothing’ smile and wave you away.

Truth is that there is so much money needing to be paid back out of the sport at the moment that there really is very little room to manouver. It’s now a big powerplay, and it’s got to the stage of winner takes all. This will end either in manufacturers dropping out or something fundamental breaking in FOM/FIA grip over the sport.

If you ask me they need to wipe the slate clean and start again.

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