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.
More dispatches from Julian Bowdidge
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