Friday, 29 July 2011

We are gathered here today to mourn the passing of Formula One.

God Rest it's soul which was sold out for Murdocks money.


Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Acceleration, that's what you need in Hungary.

Back in the day, at the dawn of video games, the driving sim used to be a pretty simple affair, it was a couple of pixels moving between a long flowing line to mark the track. You went left and right as the track flowed out of the screen and you crashed into other blocks of pixels every now and again.

As things progressed the pixels started to look more and more like an actually car and the tracks started to be a different colour to the rest of the screen. Soon as well as other cars, there was stuff at the side of the track to crash into.

Time past and soon it was possible to start setting up the car. This would usually mean a simple choice between acceleration and top speed. You either went like a rocket off the line, or pulled the leading car back on the straights. Those that knew the dark arts always went for acceleration, because the corners are where you win and lose a race. There were never enough long straights to pull out enough of an advantage to stay in front of the accelerating cars.

Things haven’t really changed much over the intervening years, being able to go fast is one thing, but getting through the corner as fast as possible and being able to accelerate out of the corner is still where races are won and lost.

Which brings us to the Hungarian GP, a place that has one long straight and a couple of high speed corners, but mostly miles and miles of technical little corners that need precision and patience not blood and guts. Oh and usually very hot weather. In short … this is Ferrari territory.

The Ferrari isn’t the fastest car in a straight line and it’s not the quickest through the fast corners, but goes off the line like lightening and can get the power down efficiently out of the corners. Their KERS unit is okay, not as quite as good as the Mclaren unit but more reliable than the Redbull lump. Their ace in the hole is that they have one of the best drivers in the game at setting up and thinking through a race in Alonso. Love him or loath him you have to admire his ability to work a car through its problems and shortcomings. His ability to give a team direction is second only to his ability to divide them.

The Hungarian track is all about being consistent, the driver needs to flow around the circuit carrying as much speed into and out of. It doesn’t get much use for the rest of the year so the track is pretty dusty and green for the first Friday practice and comes to the drivers as the weekend progress. It’s an evolution process of setting the car up as the grip improves.

Hungary marks the end of the first half of the season before the month long holiday for the teams. So the front runners will be testing lots of new bits to get some sort of idea where to develop the cars after the enforced break.

Around the paddock it’s all been rather quite, only the on going implosion of Renault has kept the headline writers happy. The team principle, Eric Boullier , has come out to say the team needs to get it’s finger out and deliver on some of the potential they showed at the start of the season. The fickle finger of fate seems to be pointing towards the drivers for not delivering with Senna jnr getting a Friday test drive in Hungary, whilst the word on the street is that the floppy haired failure Grosjean will get another crack of the whip when Petrov gets fired. Are either of these two any better than Heidfeld and Petrov? Not a chance, but they are much cheaper and the cost would appear to be the deciding factor here. Once again, Money people not understanding the passion of motor racing non-shocker.

So then back to the point of all this. Acceleration, that’s what is required here and I think Ferrari are now on a par with Redbull, the updates at Valencia appear to have made the difference with the Red cars much much closer to where Redbull are, Massa had the other car up behind the top three until a wheel nut cost him an extra second in the pit top let Vettel through,.. If it’s hot then the Ferrari is going to be a no brainer for the win.

Webber always chokes when the chips are down and Vettel can’t overtake for toffee, if the Ferraris or McLarens can nail qualifying then Redbull will have another disappointing weekend.

Don’t forget to update your predictions before Friday.

Sunday, 24 July 2011

Lewis is a driving GOD

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Lewis Hamilton is the most exciting driver on the circuit today.

What an absolute thunder bucket of a race. Give Lewis a sniff of the chequered flag and he will thrash the car within an inch of its life to give you the win. Considering that last week McLaren were all long faces and “where the heck did the speed go!!!”. This week , whilst Jenson was looking a bit lost and miserable, Lewis was out there spanking it for the win. What a turn around, and he didn’t need a pit stop to pass anyone he did the talking on the track and showed Vettel how it should be done.

Redbull in fact had a terrible weekend by their standards. Webber got pole with an outstanding lap, laughing in the face of Ferrari who though they just had to turn up after Silverstone and nail the pole. Whilst Vettel got jumped by Alonso who though he had it in the bag and Hamilton who was as surprised as anyone after he’d told the world he wasn’t even thinking about doing well in qualifying. So for the first time in 14 races Vettel wasn’t on the front row on Sunday and was going to have to show everyone he could overtake. Well that’s what was supposed to happen. The smug young German was expected to cruise back to the front of the field and win with ease.

What actually happened was yet again Webber choked on the big occasion when the red lights go out and ended up behind Lewis who’d made a blinding start. Alonso almost jumped Webber too but backed out of the first corner at the last second to set up an afternoon of a Hamilton, Webber and Alonso master class in racing. For 60 odd laps the three of them drove the nuts of their cars to try and take the win. All Vettel could do was fart around behind Massa and look rather sad and pathetic as he stared forlornly at the back of the Ferrari. He was hopeless; if he made an attempt to pass I missed it. All I saw was a world champion protecting his championship lead and nancying around for the points. Where is the glamor in that ?

At the front it was nip and tuck, never more than 3 seconds between them. Once Alonso had his tires up to temperature he came back at Hamilton. Webber jumped them both with an early stop but lost out to Alonso the next stop.

Then the defining moment of the race came when Alonso dived into the pit and came out ahead of Hamilton who had pitted the lap before. “Aaah” we thought, this is going to be Alonso’s race after all, oh well. But then Hamilton steamed round the outside of Alonso into turn 2 taking the lead and motoring on to the win. See Vettel .. That’s how you do it.

Make the move -> take the win.

Not; wait and wait and wait and wait and pass Massa in the pits on the last lap you tart..

Alonso tried to get the jump on Lewis at the end with the last stop for the hard tires, but Lewis absolutely spanked the McLaren on cold tires and Alonso stayed out a lap too long to lose the race by 3 seconds. Just for good measure Hamilton got the fastest lap as the race ended to show all and sundry that he is a driving GOD.

So Hamilton gets his second win of the year and is a happy bunny once again. Up until Qualifying he was saying the car was too slow and had not grip, then all of a sudden with low fuel and sticky tires he was the balls out Lewis of old. Nailing a front row spot and taking the win. Its races like this that keep me coming back time after time.

Alonso is Second after thinking all he had to do was turn up for the win. The Italian team was so confident of victory that they’d sent Alonso out in Q1 at the very start to set a banker lap and lay down a marker for everyone else to chase, then Webber stole the pole and Hamilton from nowhere passed him too. Alonso tried his damnedest to get the win but was beaten by a better driver on the day. If only this had happened at the start of the season and we could have a four way battle for the title. As it is, it sets up an exciting second half to be second to Vettel.

Webber started 1st finished 3rd ...... that’s about right and he didn’t need to worry about being told to stop racing this time happily, he’s done that before the first corner hahahahahahahaha.

Vettel, proved he can’t pass anyone in the best car of the field, for 4th.

Massa plays tail gunner and made Vettel look as ordinary as Hamilton did last week in 5th.

Sutil, plays it softly softly and is the best of the rest this week in 6th.

Rosberg didn’t step up to the plate and should have at least gotten past Sutil. The shine is defiantly starting to fade off this star in 7th .

Schumacher makes it through a race to 8th this time without having to replace his front wing for a change, but still doesn’t look like a seven times world champion. It’s got to the point where people aren’t even talking about how badly he’s doing anymore. That’s how far he’s fallen!

Kobayashi is 9th wining the “did he take part in the race ? I must have missed him” award this week.

Finally Petrov is 10th and got in everyone’s way during the race.

Right at the back of the grid Chandock makes it home 4 laps behind Hamilton and 1 lap behind the HRT of Ricciardo. So they fire Trulli for being rubbish and replace him with Chandock who can’t get ahead of the HRT’s. Now I Like Chandhok, he’s lucid and erudite so I feel sorry about making that jibe. But still he did do worse than Trulli and will have done nothing to build his reputation. Hopefully we’ll see him in India if nowhere else, I’d like to see more of him because I think he not a bad driver. Unlike Trulli who is shit.

And finally In HRT watch we have this gem from Colin Kolles, Team Principal:
“ The pit stops went smoothly”

More positivity, that’s what I like form HRT.

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Germany ... It'll be efficiant you know.

Welcome to the second half of the season and the German GP from the Nurburgring.

Now I’ll be honest and up front here, I don’t really like this circuit .... It’s just a bit too ... well, German for my liking.

This is all coloured by playing GT and F1 games over the years of course, but whenever Nurburgring turns up, my heart sinks a little. Yeah it’s got some fast bits and the odd technical bit. But I just don’t think it flows, it’s almost an exercise in what a track should be like. Flawless and ruthlessly efficient, there no silly little corners like Monaco or stupidly fast sections like Silverstone. There’s no seat of the pants grip the wheel and hope she hangs in there, type stuff here. It’s just .... well.... all so efficient and safe really.

Which isn’t to say the races are dull far from it in most cases, these are the hills of central Europe after all which means there is either a heat wave or more usually some rain and rain always spices things up. So the racing over the years hasn’t lacked for some excitement. But I find myself rather hoping for rain here more than any other circuit. Being rather efficient means there isn’t really anything but a single racing line. Which, without the rain, tends to produce a bit of a processional race and a win from the front row a more than a fair bet.

This places suits the more passionless drivers on the grid, Button, Vettel and Alonso go well here where being smooth and patient are the keys to a good lap. Drivers like Kobayashi, Webber and Hamilton who like to hang it out there, somewhere where the talent ends and lady luck is drinking her champagne, don’t go so well here. Hamilton in particular seems to have a bit of a love hate relationship with this place. It’s win or go out in blinding glory, stones, grass and bits of carbon fibre galore, fun to watch but not always with something to celebrate at the end of it.

Talking of the English wunderkind, he’s been getting a lot of press interest of late with stories of his imminent move to someone other than McLaren any day now. How much of this is just the tabloids filling a few column inches, how much is Simon Fuller keeping his boy in the public eye and how much is actually true is anyone’s guess. I’m sure Lewis isn’t happy with things at the moment, he can’t win and like all F1 drivers he thinks he has a God given right to win. The question i think that’s occupying his mind is can McLaren build a car that can beat a Newey designed car next year. The pragmatist in my thinks not and maybe Lewis is coming to that conclusion too.

This is of course the silly season though, when stories appear on Friday about driver A going to team X which of course are denied by team X before disappearing on Monday to be replaces with stories about driver A going to team Z all along. And it was driver C that was going to team X as long as diver D goes to team G when driver H is fired for not being as fast as driver W. It’s called silly season for a reason you know.

This year’s key to unlocking all of this is Massa. Everyone thinks he’s going to either get fired or retire at the end of the season. If he does then there is a seat a Ferrari and with the prancing horse looking like they have some direction now, they could be the next best seat after Redbull when the music stops. Webber has still not put his X on a new contract with Redbull, so there is a seat there, possibly. But that is all rather dependent on what Massa is going to do, because most people think that Webber will walk away from Redbull to Ferrari given half a chance.

Well they did until last week, when Alonso fresh from winning at Silverstone said that he would be happy to work with Lewis again. I know, i don’t believe it either. He says all the ho harr in 2007 was the fault of the team and he never had a problem with Lewis ... that was all the tabloids filling column inches. So Hamilton might have a shot at a Ferrari seat ... something I think we can all agree that would be orgasmic.

Button is also not overly happy with the boys from Woking who cocked up his Silverstone race. Personally i think it was just one of those things, these things happen when the team is fighting tooth and nail just to stay in the hunt. The car was nowhere all weekend so they had to roll the dice and see if Lady Luck was going to smile for them. Unfortunately she was deep into her second bottle of Italian Frescarti and wasn’t interested in a pint English bitter. The wheel man realised that the nut was missing so went for the spare gun just as he’s supposed to do. The lollypop man misread the move and released Button with no fourth wheel. Fighting for a podium meant saving seconds in the pits, a comfortable lead would have given them the time to make sure the wheel was on. Thems’ the breaks when you’re not at the front.

There is some speculation that Button will take the Massa seat at Ferrari, but i think he’s embedded with McLaren now and too far into his career to be trying to play the politics game in Italy.

So then the race this weekend.

Well you have to go with Redbull, maybe Webber but probably Vettel, Redbull will have their all singing all dancing Blown diffucer back on song with no silly tantrums front the FIA to distract them.

The only real challenge i can see is coming from Alonso now, Ferrari is going to be behind him 100% and Redbull know this. Webber didn’t get bitch slapped at Silverstone because Horner likes the press attention. He was right too you know, Webber is a bit flaky in those situation and would undoubtedly have taken them both off if he hadn’t been told to wind his neck back in.

Realistically then, Ferrari have to hope that Vettel doesn’t finish in the points for the next nine races for them to stand a chance of any silverware this year. Alonso is good but he is 90 odd points behind Vettel, Ferrari have left it very late to get their act together but this is Ferrari and if a crisis and needless panicking is required you can bet your ass on Ferrari turning up to the party all red faced and flustered.

McLaren needs to bounce back mostly just to keep their drivers happy. They’ve looked out of sorts for a few races now and despite lucking into the Canadian win, don’t look like they can find that edge to carry them past Redbull. These boys will never stop trying to win, but you can see their shoulders starting to drop a little as each week they look at the back of a Ferrari or a Redbull. They need something special to happen here in the heart of Germany. Something to fire the troops up and get the team going again.

As for the rest, Mercedes will be praying for something from Mickey and Rosberg, the Mercedes stand will be full of corporate clients and guests. They throw a lot of money at this race and it needs to start delivering for them on the track. Rosberg managed to finish at Silverstone higher than he qualified for the first time, let’s see if he can do it again. I think Mickey has had his high point of the season at Canada. With a bit of luck he could have had a win there but the tires wore out before his talent and he was just off the podium. Maybe that’s given him the boast he needs, he’s talking about doing another year at the moment, weather Mercedes want to bank roll that is open to debate. But he’s always gone well here so a top ten should be attainable this weekend.

Renault meanwhile have been very quiet of late after claiming that Kubica was coming back any day now. I suspect the dawning realization that he’s not coming back is hitting home. Look at Massa he just got a small spring in the face and he’s never been the same. Kubica had most of his right side rebuild. How fast do you think he’ll be? Not very is the honest answer. Anyway we’ve not heard much out of the Renault team of late and I imagine they’re trying to decide if it’s worth carrying on with two under performing drivers or not. They’ve lost the “No WE’RE Lotus” debate and the money looks like it’s going to walk soon, so they’re starring down the barrel of back of the grid misery very soon indeed. Time to hunker down and start phoning the old contacts I imagine.

The boys at HRT are having fun with their new owners, who like most new owners have blundered in and started telling all and sundry that they’ve been doing it all wrong and they know how it should be done. This in essence means they want to fire Liuzzi, understandably, and bring in some new untried hot shoe Spanish touring car driver. Well why not, Petrov used to go ice racing back in mother Russian and look how well he’s doing, no one else has got anywhere near his high jump record so far.
Maybe the New HRT owners will turn it around and then again maybe Petrov will win this weekend.

So then, The blown diffusers are all turned back on this weekend and it’s probably going to rain. Pick the winner (Vettel) out of that.

Monday, 18 July 2011

those crazy guys at HRT

I love HRT even their sense of humor is crap !!

Sunday, 10 July 2011

Dear FIA stop changing the bloody rules.

Right then, what do we make of all that then?

The big story of the weekend was the engine mapping and whether the teams could run with some fuelled over run, some unfueled over run or none what so ever. At the Valencia event the FIA had told the teams that all engine over run to blow exhaust gas through the diffuser in the middle of the corner was a complete no no from the British GP onwards. The teams turned round and complained alot and then said “well ok, if we must”. Which was all fine and dandy until Mercedes went to Charlie Whiting the head of the technical department at the FIA on Monday and said,

“Zee car vill not vork with no over run. Ve promise not to burn any vuel but vill only blow air over ze diffuser mine heir” Charlie though this through and said okay. When the Renault heard about this on the Friday of the British GP they said
“zoot alors this is not on, we want the same break”, Charlie said “well, okay then but don’t tell anyone else.”

Except the whole point of this ban was to stop Redbull with its Renault engine from disappearing off into the distance. Give them the break and what do you know the Redbulls are just as fast as they ever where and Ferrari can’t get pole. So on Saturday morning Charlie turns round to the Renault teams and says ...”Look, you know I said it was okay to run the same engine map as you had at Valencia ... see the thing is you didn’t ask me before some random secret cut off point that I didn’t tell anyone about and have only just made up. So Mercedes engines can run with the Valencia map because they asked for the break on Monday, and you can’t because you demanded the same treatment on Friday”.

Now I don’t think Christian Horner is the best team boss out there, he is just a mouth piece for the Redbull drinks company at times and did kind of screw Webber over somewhat last year. But even I think he has every right to be pissed off when he’s told the three legged race is going to be run with the other teams only holding hands whilst he’s going to have to be blindfolded as well as tied up.
He got shafted and he wasn’t going to go quietly.

So whilst the cars tooled round in practice 3 on Saturday morning Horner and Adrian Newey were up at race control reading the riot act. This dragged the rest of the teams in and there was a lot of to’ing and not a little fro’ing between the FIA, Bernie’s truck and the conference room where the Technical committee tried to sort the whole sort mess out.

Meanwhile Webber and Vettel did their normal job with their “hobbled and woefully underpowered” cars and got first and second on the grid for the race on Sunday by about the normal length of time it takes to lie your face off the FIA. Meanwhile the McLaren’s played the game with a straight bat, turned the blown diffuser off and were one and half seconds off pole for Jenson in 5th and two seconds in 10th for Lewis. You make your own minds up here, I couldn’t possible comment on who had the right to the self righteous indignation.

So Sunday dawns with a drop or two of rain in the air and the blown diffuser row is still rumbling on annoying everyone like an HRT at the back of the grid.

The teams were going to sign a letter to the FIA saying “Up yours you can’t police this stupid rule and it’s too late in the season to be changing stuff”. Except the Ferrari engine teams of Sauber and oh Ferrari said, “Well actually we rather like this rule so we’re not going to sign anything”. So we have more shuttle diplomacy, Bernie’s called in and the FIA throw their hands in the air. Then it all goes very quite on the subject and as the teams line up the start grid, Bernie pops up on the BBC pre race grid walk to say .. “No mate, it’s all fine and dandy no worries, nothing to see here me old china it’s a done deal nar what I mean” there is a bit of head scratching from the media and suddenly no team manager want to talk about it and it looks like a compromise has broken out.

Now if you are, as I am, an avid F1 watcher you will know that Bernie is less than happy with Mr Todt. The FIA seems to be trying to take over the running of F1 as the rule writer and impose some sort of checks and balances. Whilst Bernie is feeling like his toes are being stepped on and is getting a bit shirty about this take over. It’s his baby, he’s nurtured this after all into the global phenomenon that it is and is not a happy bunny.

F1 watchers are viewing this as another victory for Bernie in the on going war. The FIA have been made to look stupid whilst the FOTA teams are united behind Bernie against the FIA. Mr Todt who had nothing to do with all of this is going to have to cop the flack and field the questions whilst Bernie rubs his hands and darkly laughs to himself in the shadows. My wife insists I say ALLEGEDLY for legal reasons at this point. Mr Ecclestone might not rub his hands.

Back on track and half the circuit is very wet and the other half is bone dry, so it’s inters all round as the drivers watch the lights go out and they get to some actual racing. Webber on pole once again chokes and what was a fine pole is suddenly yet another second place as Vettel storms past him into his usual first place.
Hamilton makes a blinding start from 10th and is up to 6th by the end of the first lap. We then get treated to a master class from Hamilton as he carves his way back up the field, whilst the likes of Schumacher attempted to nail anything in his way.

As the race progressed we got to see Lewis drive the backside off the car on a greasy track with slick tires. He managed to work his way up to Alonso in third and never one to back out of a challenge, took the Spaniard on the inside at Copse corner. That isn’t normally a place you over take another car, it’s even less of a good idea when there is a dry line through the corner and the only way to pass is to go off line through the marbles and water. Yet that’s what Lewis did, through the spray he nailed Alonso to the cheers and cries of the fans on the muddy banking. They have a Hero and he didn’t disappoint them.

McLaren however did disappoint them. Button who was keeping it steady and sneaking up to a podium went into the pits for a new set of slicks, but a missing wheel nut and a lollypop man missing the signal sent Jenson back out with only three wheel fully attached to the car. He got as far as the pit lane exit before the wheel tried to part company with the car and Jensen’s afternoon was done.
Then Lewis got a message over the radio to tell him to turn the aircon off and only use fifth gear as the lads had only put enough fuel in the car to make it to the lap before the end of the race. Lewis was a sitting duck and before long Alonso was back past him and hunting for the win.

It was all looking like a normal day at the office for Vettel at the front of the race until the last pit stop when randomly there was a problem with a wheel and he got delayed, that was enough for Alonso to take the lead and cruise to the flag.
As the race wound down Alonso cruised it ahead of Vettel who was being caught hand over fist by Webber trying to restore some sort of pride. That is until Horner got on the blower and said “Oi cut that out you’re a number two driver and you’re not allowed to take points away from the runaway championship leader” Webber ignored it and tried to pass the German anyway but couldn’t even do that.

Massa had been told that Hamilton was a bit touch and go on the fuel so girding his loins he tried to make a race of it. As Alonso crossed the line for a comfortable victory, Webber was giving it two fingers to the pit wall and tried to sneak one past Vettel but couldn’t, then Massa had a bit of a wild lunge into the last corner up the outside of Lewis who locked it all up and the swapped a bit of paint with the Ferrari, Lewis cut back inside as the Massa gunned it out of the corner and took to the run off trying to get the power down. Hamilton got 4th place by 0.1 of a second as the fans erupted on the banking.

The final result

Alonso in 1st with a pretty easy win all told, he had the pace of the Redbulls once his tires got up to temperature and would probably have won without Vettel getting caught in the pits. Does this mean we have a race for the championship afterall? Not a chance, Vettel can cruise it from here and still win comfortably. But he might have to work a bit harder now.

Vettel Still on the podium in 2nd. Nine races, six wins and three seconds it’s that easy for him. However, he couldn’t take Hamilton who was struggling with low grip and low fuel. Vettel can’t pass and can’t make a pass happen, see Hamilton nailed the winner on a slippery track and Vettel once again relied on a pit stop. I think if Hamilton had a Newey car he’s be 9 and 0 for the year so far.

Webber was on pole but only got 3rd and got bitch slapped for trying to race his team mate. Happy days!

Hamilton had a bit of a rubbish car and drove the nuts off it for 4th. I still think he’s the most exciting driver there is. And he made Vettel look ordinary.

Massa, did alright with 5th and the valiant try for 4th was a flash of the Massa of old.

Rosberg, had a piss poor start but still hit less people than Schumacher top make it to 6th.

Perez, avoided the excitement to make it to 7th and gets the “did he take part in the race, I didn’t see him at all” award this week.

Heidfeld was 8th and did better than I was expecting at least.

Schumacher, lost yet another wing in a fool hardy over taking move and got a stop go penalty as a reward. Was the first of the front runners to stop for slicks as a result and was able to change to the right tire at the right time. Makes it to 9th at the end more by luck than judgement though.

Finally Alguersuari is 10th yet again. I guess being told to get some results or get fired has focused his race craft.

This weeks last place hero was the new boy who was in to replace our regular last place hero Karthikeyan. Yes D.Ricciardo was a mere 3 laps behind the action and in HRT press release watch Colin Kolles has this to say;

Colin Kolles, Hispania Racing Team Principal: “The race for us was quite good because we had a good strategy and did good pit stops. Obviously our cars are not as quick as other cars; this is a little bit unfortunate. Otherwise we could show that we would’ve been much more competitive. The target was to finish the race with both cars, which we did, and both drivers could do some good lap times”.

An exercise in stating the bleeding obvious there.

There we go then. There was fun, there were games. A bit of rain a few laughs and some sun. Can anyone stop Vettel? About as much as they can stop Bernie manipulating the whole thing behind the scenes .... ALLEGEDLY.

Saturday, 9 July 2011

"I don't care what you said in Friday Charlie, the Renault's are not allowed to win at Silverstone".

Moments later .. Bernie stole a child's bag of sweets.

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Blah blah Blah Vettel .. however.

All right then. Back to Blighty and the British GP... hurrah ... blah blah blah Vettel blah blah county mile blah blah.

Right that’s enough with the predicting.
What is it about F1 that keeps us coming back year after year ? More to the print what keeps us tuning in week after week when we know what's going to happen. Remember the Ferrari years when Mickey won race after race ? The only highlight was whether Barrichello was going to move over before the last lap or not. Very .... dull .... indeed.

Yet each time it was a grand prix weekend we all switched on the TV and sat down for the race, usually to go to sleep if we’re being honest, but that's not the point.

I think we come back for the personalities, the movers and shakers the mad the bad and what they’re all doing when the racing isn’t on. Without them there is nothing because it’s all rather boring and sterile. This fact was brought home to me when I played F1 2010 on the PS3 last week. It's a great driving game, the physics are all present and correct.

Tires ... check.

All the Cars... check.

Trulli going slow ... correct-a-mundo.

You get to practice then qualify just like they do each weekend. Then you get to race whilst a disconnected voice tells you that you are faster than Trulli (surprise surprise) and how you can look forward to another five laps of tooling around admiring the perfectly rendered scenery. Then if you make it to the podium you're whisked off with no champagne spaying at all, to a press conference where a bored looking Holly Samos asks you stupid questions which you can answer in a variety of mundane ways.

It's dull, now admittedly I only raced around Bahrain for the evening, but I missed all the stuff around the weekend. Where was Bernie talking about how he doesn't agree about the new engine reg’s for 2014. What about Lewis wondering why he had to visit the stewards yet again ! There was no HRT press release talking about being happy to be within 107% for two races in a row.

F1 is not just about the racings. It's about McLaren stealing Ferrari secrets and about Redbull having a trick blown diffuser. Where was the FIA getting the random ban hammer of doom out of its scarlet velvet bag ?

This week alone, back in reality, Williams have signed a deal with Renault for engines next year. The last time we had a Williams-Renault team it won five constructors championships and four drivers titles, so no pressure there then lads.

Down the grid at Virgin Marussia, having fired nick Wirth and crew, they've just signed a deal with McLaren to share technical facilities and a bit of know how. You could see this as McLaren getting its own junior team like Redbull and Torro Rosso. Or you could see it as virgin selling its soul (or what’s left of it) to move up the grid.

Meanwhile HRT have been sold off to a Spanish bank with Japanese money. It’s never a good plan getting the banks involved as they never get the hang of racing, they're just after a return on their investment. When there inevitably isn't one, they look to sell it off as fast as possible. Leaving the poor team in the same position there were in before.
The other back marker Lotus, having bought the rights to the Caterham name will be sporting said name on the side of their cars this weekend. Caterham a name synonymous with open top pocket rockets built to various degrees of professionalism by middle aged men in their garage after work. Usually to be sold on afterwards as the realization that they do rather like a roof in the pouring rain of an English summer.
If you see a Caterham on the road it’s usually going past you barely under control on the other side of the road approaching a blind corner or oncoming arctic lorry. Not something I think Trulli has ever attempted.

Elsewhere, the rumblings of discontent continue at Renault itself with lots and lots of staff figuring the management was only ever in this for a quick buck and is going to high tail it out of there any day now. The car has been impressive from a “why isn’t it winning yet?” standpoint as the drivers have signally failed to achieve anything. This could be down to the fact they have no money and were rather pinning all their hopes on Kubica. But I don’t think the team is being lead by particularly well by the Genii group who are only in it to “get some face time “... whatever that means. The word is, if you can turn a computer on and rather fancy a go at designing an F1 car Renault would be more than happy to talk to you right now.

Lastly this week has seen Christian Horner stick one into McLaren by finally saying publicly that they don’t want Hamilton to partner Vettel next year. This might be all smoke and mirrors of course but for the fact that Horner turned round and said
“In a shorter career Seb has already won more races than Lewis, had more pole positions and won the same amount of championships. We are absolutely delighted to have Sebastian.”
Take that young Mr Hamilton and your McLaren friends. The thought that Lewis was going to go to Redbull to replace Webber was a non starter. Why put two of the top three drivers in the same car and have to deal with the fall out of that. They had enough trouble last year dealing with Webber getting all high and mighty after he won a couple of races, they just don’t need the grief of it all. That and Lewis would have asked for a whole shed load of cash that takes money away from development. It’s a complete non starter.
Webber going to Ferrari .. I can see. Massa’s umming and arring about nest year and Alonso doesn’t face any kind of threat from the grumpy Ozzy. So I’m pretty sure that McLaren are going to have two Brit drivers next year.
There you go then, just over a 1000 words on Formula 1 with very little about the actually racing.

Something I will try to convey to the chaps at Codemasters tomorrow when I get to see the new F1 2011 game.

In a vague attempt by me to “get with the new media world” You can now follow me in Twitter.
I think it is, it’s mostly me complaining about stuff, but there is a certain amount of motor sport stuff too. ....... so little time, so much media to fill *sigh*

Anyway predictions in before Friday please, I’d go with a Vettel win and the McLarens close behind. Ferrari has got their tails in the air and a damp summer weekend could make it a lottery.

Good luck.