So, I was bored and wanted to do something for this fine website as I have been neglecting my duties of late. This is mostly because there was very little to talk about F1 wise. Below is a blueprint of what I believe Bernie has Continue reading
Tag Archives: Formula 1
This Fernandes chatter needs a little bit of clearing up. He-who-bought-a-hefty-ol’stake in QPR couldn’t be further from this Lotus- Norwich link up. You may well be confused by that if F1 is far from your sporting radar, indeed you may be if you sit down on Sunday every week.
We’re now linked with Lotus Group (created, you may remember when Proton bought Lotus Cars and found their way onto our shirts). The Group make the road cars andsponsor the Renault team in F1. The black and gold Lotus, if you will.
Effectively, Lotus is to Renault F1 the same as Vodafone is to McLaren. Granted, they may develop into something more but as of yet, they do not. The green F1 cars are Tony-now-at-QPR Fernandes’ creation, albeit formerly connected to Lotus Cars by nothing more than the rights to a name.
So they were linked, but a costly, drawn-out trip to the courts severed that. Bitterly. Understandably, relationships have soured, and quickly. Then came the divorce and quick remarriage to other partners.
And so followed the oneupmanship we’ve now become embroiled in. Fernandes bought the iconic sports car manufacturer Caterham, a make who bought the rights to a Lotus cars design (The black and gold Lotus) way back when, adding to the growing web. Today’s little announcement appears to be Danny Bahar and gold and black Lotus’ retort.
You may remember the rumours of interest in Our Fine Club from Fernandes (green Lotus) last year. This bred from little more than Jake Humphrey and Mike Gascoyne being City fans and Fernandes coming to a game. And now black and gold Lotus have swept in, buffering us from them.
What happens next is anyone’s guess, but we’re now involved. Our shirt needs a sponsor next year, and Fernandes has got a fairly large airline that’s expanding in AirAsia.
Is that a coup too far? Or are we simply going to have Lotus and Proton branded on our fronts?
Following his retirement at the Hungarian Grand Prix due to a gearbox problem following a spin, the seven-time champion of the world is equal 9th in the Formula One Drivers’ Championship, two places and 16 points behind Rosberg. He has certainly improved on his 2010 campaign, but is still nowhere near where he or the fans expect him to be.
Schumacher has chosen to race on into 2012 underlying his determination and willingness to get things right, and it appears that he still feels he has more to prove before hanging up his helmet for the final time.
This seems somewhat bizarre considering he’s arguably the best driver in the history of the sport, but he will feel that his recent performances haven’t been strong enough for him to leave on a positive note.
However many have made the mistake of seeing this as a continuation of his first career which has in turn created an unrealistic sense of expectation. This is a completely different journey for Schumacher; he is trying once more to build a championship winning team, and has re-assessed his objectives in months past with neither he nor team-mate Rosberg achieving expected podium positions.
No matter what anyone says though this is certainly the bravest comeback in the history of Formula One. The man had nothing to gain from returning, but felt he could still be competitive in one of the most talented fields in years.
Sadly he’s not been given a car capable of doing this, and he hasn’t been able to replicate the comebacks of Nikki Lauda and Alain Prost, both of whom returned to Formula One to win World Championships (Lauda in 1984 and Prost in 1993). However they were both fortunate enough to step into the best car on the grid with Mclaren and Williams respectively.
Many have now started to question his past successes and whether it was the car, and not him that gave him his success. Nigel Mansell even said he was `gifted titles. ` Of course this is complete rubbish, no champion is `gifted` his success.
I’m ever so slightly biased but Michael didn’t win a title at Ferrari until the year 2000, having already spent four previous seasons with them. During this time he worked with the team, helping to consistently create a reliable car that put him in the best possible position to win a World Championship.
His influence, one minded focus, maintained motivation and ability to bring his team together brought him five consecutive titles. Along the way he beat the likes of Juan Pablo Montoya, Kimi Raikkonen and Mika Hakkinen who I do not consider to be `poor competition.`
In my view Schumacher retired one season too early and/or came back one year too late. I admire him completely for making a comeback but with hindsight it was probably the wrong decision.
<img class="aligncenter" src="http://farm1.static.flickr.com/87/241667683_4895cc61ab.jpg" alt="Image courtesy of Rulerof heck” width=”420″ height=”338″ />
But as for all the talk of the man still have something to prove, he simply doesn’t need to. He’s won 91 Grand Prix, seven World Championships and remains one of only a handful of competitors to win the Drivers’ title with not necessarily the best car (meaning that his team that year didn’t win the Constructors’ title).
He re-wrote the handbook of how to be a Formula One driver. He set the standard for what is expected of any driver coming through the ranks, and helped to improve the levels of safety that we currently see in Formula One Motor Racing.
He is a dedicated professional; committed to his team and a magnificent racing driver who has achieved absolutely everything possible in the sport.
Yes he’s had his faults and shown glimpses of desperation at times, but his hero Ayrton Senna was made in a similar mould, and they ended up winning 10 titles between them!
Do I think he has something to prove?
He’s Michael Schumacher.
Shortly after returning to the sport in 2010, Michael Schumacher asked us to judge him on the performances during his second season, and not his first.
This was to allow him time to familiarise himself with the modern day car, adjust to the advanced technologies, understand the tyres, and get back into the hectic lifestyle that a Formula One driver has to endure.
When he was announced as one of Mercedes’ drivers last season, he said he was `excited` and felt he could `challenge` for the championship at some stage during his second spell in Formula One.
Eighteen months later and he has already admitted that things haven’t worked out the way he had hoped. He was well beaten by Nico Rosberg in the championship standings last season, and it was only until the final four or five rounds that we began to see a spark in Schumacher that we hadn’t seen throughout the year.
Despite rumours that his seat was up for grabs Michael kept his place on the grid for 2011, but didn’t have the best of starts as he retired in Australia, and struggled for pace in Qualifying before the European season kicked in.
Turkey and Monaco were not especially good races for the seven times World Champion, and having already retired in Melbourne his `judgment` season seemed to be going the same way as the first. Badly.
However the F1 circus then moved to Montreal in Canada, the Gilles Villeneuve circuit. This was an event Michael had won seven times previously and said right from the off that he was ready and up for the fight once more.
Qualifying saw him line up in a credible 8th place (albeit still two places behind team-mate Rosberg), but judging by his solid starts had every chance of claiming good points to kick start his year.
In a race which I believe to be one of the best in years, Michael Schumacher was one of the best drivers throughout the course of the afternoon. He judged the conditions beautifully and put some good moves on top drivers, including Mark Webber who ultimately denied him what would have been a famous podium finish just laps from the end.
Granted, the weather conditions played a part and no doubt the skies were responsible for the overall complexity of the event. However this shouldn’t shield what was a thoroughly entertaining motor race, and Schumacher revelled in the rain which in the past has brought him continuous success.
His first race win at Belgium in 1992 came in similar conditions, and future wins at Spain in 1996 and subsequently at Spa once more has proved that he is one of the very best when it comes to driving in slippy and treacherous circumstances.
Seemingly though he doesn’t have the raw pace required in the dry, but at times Michael has been the creator of his own downfall. At the British and European races he lost his front wing which cost him vital time, and at Silverstone in particular it cost him big points and a strong finish ahead of Rosberg.
Eddie Jordan has been very out spoken regarding his driving which at times has been justified, but at Silverstone I thought it was a cheap shot considering the track conditions were far from perfect, and at a corner (Brooklands) which had proved tricky for other drivers I felt the incident with Kobayashi didn’t warrant a stop/go penalty.
Amazingly though the German admitted full responsibility for the incident, and refused to blame the stewards (of which Nigel Mansell, who is not a Schumacher fan, was sitting alongside) for his result. He lost more time than he normally would have done with a drive through penalty, but it actually proves a quicker route which meant an alternative punishment had to be awarded for the weekend.
Read part II Friday
Felipe Massa. At one moment he can be lightning fast with excellent car control and a hunger to win. At another moment he exudes amateurism, has on track panic attacks and comes across like he couldn’t drive a shopping trolley.
He is a conundrum. An unknowable being. What will he do next? Where will he spin next? Will he ever finish or qualify in front of Alonso again?
I have tried to pin point the moment where Felipe become floppy, where Massa became messy. Many people say it was when a coil flew at him and almost killed him in 2009. Some say it was when the now infamous words “Fernando is faster than you” were uttered. I, however, think it was that last corner at Brazil in 2008 when Lewis Hamilton won the title at the last race. Imagine the devastation at learning you didn’t win after all, the crushing disappointment of losing the Championship on the last corner of the last race of the season. Not only that, but at his home race in front of those adoring Brazilian fans.
This year he has been out-qualified by Fernando 10-0. There is something fundamentally wrong with Felipe. Hell, even Webber and Button have beaten their team mates on occasion! There is no question that Alonso is a dominating team mate and only Lewis has come close to beating him in the same team. There was that moment already mentioned at Hockenheim last year and then in China in 2010 when Alonso stuck his Ferrari in front of Massa’s car as they both came into the pits at the same time. Brutal. Damaging.
Felipe gave up.
I don’t see the improvement that people seem to mention from time to time of Massa’s form. At least in parts of 2010 Felipe was close to Fernando; he beat him in qualifying a couple of times and even finished in front of him on occasion. This year Alonso has crushed him and has beaten him in qualifying by an average of 0.6 seconds – in the same car!
Massa had 97 points this time last year, now he has 62.
There’s something not quite right with Felipe.
Disagree? Read The Return of Massa?
He’s had an eventful career, has Felipe Baby Massa. Brazil 2008, the accident, the constant burden of being number two and the controversy that comes with that, let alone his inability to drive in any sort of moisture. It’s far to say I’ve never really rated him.
But this year, Continue reading
Well wasn’t that an interesting few weeks for all involved in motorsport.
We’ve had Bahrain on, then off, then TBA, then finally off again once the egg had found its way to Jean Todt’s face. Undermined in the public eye in your first year. That’s how to set your stall out, never fear though, you know you’ve always got the prancing horse.
Then we had an interesting week for marshals. The best of the best were obviously in France, ducking and diving from Audi parts but doing grand ol’jobs. As you’d expect.
The rest, were slipping, sliding, air-kicking and falling their way round F1 cars in Montreal. The warning signs were there, Vettel’s trip to the Wall of Champions was made even more enjoyable by the marshal tumbling a few feet down to the tarmac. (Obviously they were both fine, thankfully.) Continue reading
He’s been labeled the best right back in Premier League history (are we forgetting Thomas Helveg had a brief stint in the Prem at Fortress Carra??), been ridiculed for his ‘admiration’ for David Beckham and irritated everyone, I would say outside of the red half of Manchester but that wouldn’t work… and been, in my opinion, possibly one of the most cynical players to play football, up there with Muscat (Maybe that’s a bit harsh, even on the GNev).
He may not be very close to my Favourite Footballers XI- in fact he’s not even on the bench of my Players-Whose-Existence-In-Football-I-Acknowledge-Let-Alone-Appreciate reserve team- but I’ve developed, today, a begrudging respect for him.
Yep, that’s right.
He was one of the very, very few one-club players left in the modern game and I know that if he had donned the yella’n'green for the entirety of his career I would have the same affection for him as those United fans do. He’s one of those (cliche alert) love him if he’s on your side/hate him if he’s not. Not only that he was one of the best at it, Robbie Savage and Lee Bowyer pale in comparison. His heart takes up his whole sleeve, he’ll give you every drop for his side and there aren’t too many of them about nowadays.
So there it is. I won’t miss him, though.
His announcement was almost the antithesis to the chaotic events of Monday night. Continue reading
Inspired by Narain Karthikeyan’s out of the bluest of blues comebacks yesterday, and now that free time is no longer as rare as a full house at Portman Road, TFB is hopefully dusted off and spluttering back to life.
Rather fittingly today has seen the axe finally fall onto TFB’s favourite scapegoat, Roy Keane. The Longest Stand-Off In The East (as it will be known if I get my way) has been a tortuous one, and Ipswich Town lost. They stood, pistol cocked, waiting for his textbook walkaway. He stood, non-nonplussed, egging them on to do it. And they have.
From this side of the fence, he was on for a Manager of The Year award, well, fighting Our Saviour for it anyway. Mouthing off to the-owner-who-no-one-knows, mouthing off to the fans, even blaming Suffolk itself for hampering signings (we’re further away, Roy, and we signed the likes of Surman, Barnett and Ward), all the while signing nobodies and playing some dull, unsuccessful football.
He’s been willing them to do it for months, saying things along the lines of “if they want to sack me they should”, “if I feel I’m not fit for the job I’ll leave”, “I miss my dogs” after every match. He’ll be grinning for days, no doubt we won’t see him again until he’s calmed down a tad.
On the whole, the sacking is thoroughly irresponsible and has ramifications outside of the footballing world. The North East will shortly become over-run by average professional footballers that they can no longer get rid of. If I was Steve Bruce I would be asking Niall Quinn to look into renting a warehouse where they can store the players they want rid of until Keane gets another job. It’s a risk, his CV is hardly glowing, but then again Notts County will need another manager some point soon.