Featured Threads Archive
There will be a car in Austria this weekend that should be regarded as one of the most famous ever made. It's a silver-grey colour and in most respects not that remarkable. The chap who drove around in it was an extremely divisive figure. Arrogant and authoritarian, loved by many but equally hated by a good many as well.
Lewis Hamilton and his Mercedes?
The car in question sits in the Museum of Military History in Vienna. It's a Graf and Stift Automobile and was the car in which Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir to the Austrian throne, and his wife Sophie were murdered on the 28th of June 1914. Just 30 days later and the powers of Europe entered into a war that in four years would see around 31 million (just get that number around your head) people who had taken up arms, killed, wounded or missing in action and the deaths of around 8 million civilians.
At the end of the war, the so-called war to end all wars, Europe was left shattered and broken. The victorious powers took...
Since the early 80's, in the days of the Porsche 956, Jacky Ickx and Derek Bell, I have wanted to go to Le Mans. Finally, in 2018, I found the time and the money to make the trip to what is, probably, the greatest motor race in the world.
Myself and junior fat bloke packed up a tent, a load of food which could be produced by the application of hot water and set off via a large boat provided by the good people of P&O. We arrived on the Thursday evening, erected the tent and set off to watch the qualifying. It was quite a walk from the campsite to the south entrance of the track and then once at the track quite a walk to get to a decent viewing location despite the site being inside the circuit. This did have the advantage of me getting my steps in for the day, little did I know quite how many steps I would have to do over the weekend.
Seeing the cars on the track at night was simply awesome. The different engine notes from the different classes, even within the classes was...
I know you all know this but the phrase Grand Prix means Great Prize, which is a bit of a clue as to the history of motor racing. The first ever Grand Prix took place in France in 1906. There was a race in the first season of the World Championships in 1950 and apart from 1955 (after the Le Mans tragedy) there was a race in France every year up until 2008.
The French Grand Prix was, is and will continue to be part of the history of F1 and the fact that the powers that run Formula One chose to drop it from the calendar from 2008 was a disgrace and insult to the heritage of the sport. Regardless of the finances, there are certain races which must be on the F1 Calendar and France is one of those. Liberty media would do well to look at the history of the sport and learn what the sport needs not just from a financial perspective but also from an historical one.
Anyway, enough of my ranting France is back. Hooray! The race is taking place at Paul Ricard. Hooray, sort of. Why...
The hills are alive with the sound of gentle electric motors! Yes this weekend Switzerland pops out of neutral, lifts it's ban on Motorsport and puts on a (Nazi) gold standard event with its first E-Prix. The locals will have plenty to ring their cow bells and shake their toblerones at too with home boy Sebastian Buemi in the mix. After a Frenchman winning in Paris and a German winning in Berlin, you almost feel like it needs to be a Swissite winning in Zurich. Unfortunately Renault have really forgotten to care about Formula E this year as they are dropping out to hand over to Nissan. It all seems very going through the motions. So much so I wouldn't be surprised in Nico Prost was still doing laps of Berlin airport because they couldn't be bother to tell him to pit.
Speaking of the race in Berlin - it was really dull wasn't it? Let's hope Zurich is better. With just three races left it really does look like Vergne is steadily edging towards that title and only some mammoth form...
Montreal is the world’s second largest majority French-speaking city, appropriately enough after Paris. It is also the second largest city in Canada, after Toronto. It is not the capital of Quebec nor of Canada. Is it always a bridesmaid?
Well, maybe in an F1 sense it is appropriate that this city’s circuit be named after Formula One’s ultimate bridesmaid, Gilles Villeneuve. And I’m sure many of us had Jarama on the mind as Ricciardo slowed in Monaco...
However, this circuit has spurned many a bridesmaid down the years in favour of Lewis Hamilton, who seeks to match Michael Schumacher’s remarkable seven wins at this circuit. Hamilton has always shown a great affinity for this circuit and will surely go well again.
It is still to be seen, however, if this is still a Mercedes circuit. While the silver arrows flowed beautifully through the fast curves of Catalonia, the fastest circuit yet encountered (Baku) saw Vettel on pole and Räikkönen putting all the sectors in if not on the...
First we take Manhatten, then we take Berlin sang Leonard Cohen. He obviously hadn't studied his Formula E Calendar well though because first it's Berlin, then Geneva and then Manhatten. In fact it's not even Manhatten it's New Jersey so I'm starting to think Leonard Cohen knew bugger all about Formula E. This weekends race in Berlin will once again be at the man made airport track which means they can make up whatever lay out they want. Hopefully it'll be a fun one.
It's squeaky bum time in Formula E with 4 races left. There are 116 points left available which means mathematically anyone all the way down to Lotterer in 8th can win the championship. Realistically though it's a two horse race between Vergne and Bird with Vergne holding a 31 point lead. Rosenqvist in 3rd is a full 61 points behind Vergne and needs some none finishes and clean sweeps to get back in contention but if the season goes to the form it previously has then it's not likely. Vergne holds his commanding lead...
Monaco. The principality of Monaco to be completely correct. Its name comes from a 6th century BC Greek colony in the area who believe they descended from Hercules himself. Despite their laws trying to suggest otherwise they have a monarch who holds ultimate autonomy over the region. It's all very Game of Thrones. All this for an area that is just over 2km squared. The region has a population of 19,000 people with around 10,000 of these being motor racing drivers avoiding paying tax in their own country. Monaco is famous for 3 things - the rich and crooked, casinos and motor racing. Yes it's F1's 'jewel in the crown's where the colours are brighter and the crowd are all beuatiful people.
Ok let's have a look at some of our readers letters. Here's one:
All street circuits in F1 are pointless with Monaco being doubly so. It's not fit for modern race cars and should be disposed off immediately. I resent paying for a Now TV subscription to watch it.
Here's a fascinating fact for all you fans of fascinating facts, at the outbreak of the Second World War there were just 11 democratic countries in the world. As many of you will know, Spain was not one of them having only a few years before seen a bloody civil war ravage the country. Fascist leader General Franco took power in a dictatorship that would last until his death in 1975. Strangely, despite receiving substantial military support from Nazi Germany during the civil war Franco kept Spain neutral during WW2 which meant that the British could retain control of Gibralter and with it the gateway to the Med without significant fear of invasion.
The first Spansh GP took place as the final round of the 1951 season with a second being held in 1954 but it wasn't until 1967 that the race became an annual feature on the F1 calendar. Of these early races perhaps the best known is the 1969 GP at Montjuic Park. This was the final race in which F1 cars used huge wings on sticks bolted...
After a little jolly round the streets of Rome Formula E now decides to have a bit of a drive round Paris city centre. I hope these boys are up to date with their congestion charges. This will be the 3rd running here in Paris and is one of the more scenic street races in the E-Prix calendar with the cars racing directly past Napoleon's tomb. The circuit is 1.93km long and is pretty much a square apart from a funny section around turn 3. Turn 3 is particularly interesting as its temporary tarmac over cobbles and is especially slippy. I don't remember seeing classics at Paris in previous years but nor do I remember them being dull. I think similar to Rome we'll probably see a train of cars for the lead.
So I usually focus on who is having a good year in Formula E but let's take some time to name check those who are very much on the back foot:
Top of this list is Nico Prost who has been pretty much none existent this year. His time in the sun is done and I think its time for him to...
What season 2018 has turned out to be! Many predictions from winter tests have been if not completely thrown out at least seriously frown upon. So far this year we've seen 0 races won by either Lewis Hamilton or Mercedes who were the pre-season clear favourites. All of this doesn't necessarily mean Mercedes won't bounce back and run away with the Trophies by the time F1 circus crosses the pond for second time this year, but what we have here is a much better product than most of what 2017 had to offer. At least they got my attention. However if you look at the top 6, you'd see the usual suspects, you have Vettel, Hamilton, Bottas, Ricciardo, Raikkonen and ... Alonso? It is a little surprising to see the Spaniard so high as many expected the McLaren to continue to stink this year. And it does but somehow Alonso finds a way to always be there. More surprisingly still not to see Verstappen, you'd need to all the way down to #8 to find him. After 3 seasons in F1 and having shown he's...
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