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People have different opinions about most of the F1 circuits but if there is something everybody agrees on is that SPA-Francorchamps circuit is great, for many their favourite.
How could it not, you've got the Ardennes forest, the very high speed, the ups and downs and iconic turns like La Source, Eau Rouge and Raidillon, Stavelot, Bus Stop. Could it be the motorsport heritage? For as long as cars have gone racing, Spa is associated with velocity. Of course at the turn of the 20th century they used the original circuit of 86km (or was it 118km?).
Even after it was shorten to 15km and then 7km, it kept its pedigree, its spirit. As the race comes closer, the anxiety continues to build in F1 fans; a 4-week summer break may be deserved for the drivers and teams but creates a void that cannot be filled with race reruns or silly season discussion. And it's mind-boggling that they have kept it as is but they've added more and more races (currently we are at 21) making each result of...
Since we've now passed the mid-point of the season and are entering the summer break, it seems like a good time to have a mid-season driver ranking thread, and these sorts of threads always seem to be popular so why not?
I'll kick things off with my own list, and I will include statistics on each driver's team mate battles to try and explain/justify my rankings (which are based partially on intuition and partially on said stats). Qualifying stats completely exclude events where a driver was prevented from setting a representative time due to mechanical failure, e.g. China and Russia qualifyings are not counted at all in the Mercedes battle. Race stats exclude any race where either driver suffered a mechanical DNF.
For the back markers I will be using the modified points system that I have posted before, since the current system doesn't allow any meaningful comparison between them...
Decent race, not a classic but not dull either. Nice controversial penalty for Nico that will keep us busy for a few days no doubt. I enjoyed it, lots of racing between the Renaults and Haas and again with the Mclarens as well.
A 6 from me I think.
31 World Drivers Champions have tasted the nectar of the winner's champagne at a race that crowned them but some are mentioned as near deities in our pantheon while some only continue to receive the plaudits of their dyed-in-the-wool acolytes.
Others, I have an inkling, are footnotes in the sport's travelogue and it's these latter two types that really intrigue me.
You may like to be the first to note why I've indicated 31 Champions but my interest is this, which Champion or Champions do you consider NOT to be Great and why?
Here are my thoughts:
Jenson Button (lovely boy, and my favourite of the last 10 years). Innovative car, teammate without the skills to exploit it.
Mike Hawthorn. Benefited from the largesse of others in his championship season, retired before defending his title.
Keke Rosberg. Unreliability of competition, rivals' misfortune.
Jacques Villeneuve. Dominant car, personality.
So onward to Germany, which is a pleasant surprise to me as I didn't think we were going to get a German Grand Prix for a while. Between dwindling fan attendance, dwindling TV audiences, a lack of funds for circuits and a certain Mr Ecclestone having various legal issues, it looked like Germany would be out in the wilderness for a while. But its not and we've come to race through the trees and forests of the legendary Hockenheimring........only we're not because they cut all the trees and forest section out back in 2002 (boo!). Hockenheim is currently a bit like the Worlds Strongest Man competition in that its all about the grunt. Its also as flat as a female Russian gymnast with the least elevation of any circuit on the calendar. What does all of this mean for the race? Well it will mean that Red Bull and Mclaren will take a step back from where they were in Hungary whilst Force India and Williams will take a step forward. It should suit the Mercedes team down to the ground...
Well I had match sticks holding my eyes open after the first 10 laps. Real shame the Red Bulls couldn't do more I thought for a moment we had a real race on our hands. But no, just a dull fest.
The first lap and the Max / Kimi fight the only thing stopping this being even lower.
Been holding off starting this thread for a while. But since Monaco & Le Mans it the 1 thing about motorsport that is irritating me more & more
Before I start I understand the need to keep drivers safe especially after tragic Bianchi accident which in my opinion was more fading light problem than rain anyway but in most motorsport Le Mans, F1 & lower formula (GP2 & GP3 ) we've gone Health & Safety mad in last 5 yrs. In my eyes a Safety Car start should only be used as a extreme stance if we are only 1 step from a red flag stoppage for bad weather (like suzuka 94 torrential rain standing water everywhere) not everytime we get a spot of drizzle. As formula 1 is supposed to have 22 of the "greatest" most talented drivers in world & on full wets that should be enough 90% barring freak weather if not then pirelli need help developing wet tyres like Bridgestone era did & could cope
Too many times the Safety Car has stayed out so long that by the time the safety car...
Back in 1986, when the Iron Curtain still divided East and West, the visionary that is Bernie Ecclestone decided to have a Grand Prix in a Communist country. Some say this was the beginning of the end of Communism and Bernie should be mentioned in the same breath as Reagan and Gorbachev, Thatcher and Yeltsin. Personally I think this is a load of old cobblers. Bernie knew he could turn a buck or two and with Hungarians starved of top line sport, apart from football, he knew they would turn up in their droves; which they duly did.
Fast forward 30 years and we are still making our annual pilgrimage to the Hungaroring. Communism, in Hungary at least, is a system of the past. Any trip to Budapest will present you with the usual range of crap fast food stores you now find everywhere else in the World but, at least, the city fathers in the 60's and 70's chose to build their brutalist structures outside the city so much of the original architecture is still preserved.
So what has...
There will be no doubt what will be the talk of the town in Silverstone this weekend. The latest step down the road that leads the relationship of the Mercedes drivers to complete disaster will be discussed long and hard...
What may be missed is the 20 point swing Hamilton pulled off on that last lap in the hills of Austria, reigniting the Englishman's title campaign ahead of his home Grand Prix. Rosberg must stem the momentum or face a third year as runner-up.
Who will be challenging Mercedes in case of crash, strategy mess up or poor starts? Barcelona suggests that the Red Bull boys offer the sternest test at such a circuit. Ferrari will, as ever, be hoping to challenge but this circuit has been weak by Sebastian Vettel's lofty standards over the years.
Obviously, there will be the unique challenges of Silverstone too. The cold weather and the hard tyres often reduce the grip available. There may be changable conditions; there will be lots of wind. The pit lane is practically...
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