Friday, 25 April 2008

Squidoo F1 Videos

I don't know if you've seen Squidoo but it's a great site for creating pages on just about anything and sharing them with a like-minded community. It'll be a great place for F1 fans (in fact, there are already lots of pages about various drivers, events and things).

I've been hoping to bring the best F1 videos from YouTube into one place and Squidoo is a great place to do it so I've made a start here:

No doubt Bernie will get upset and close the whole thing down but it'll be a fun project while it lasts.

Why not take a trip over and see if there are any videos you'd like to see on there.

Monday, 21 April 2008

Whatever happened to....

There are lots of F1 drivers that spent their entire career at the back of the grid, waiting for the call from a top team that would fire them to the top of the grid and superstardom.
Inevitably the call never came and they ended up disappearing into obscurity.
As part of an occasional series, I'm going to focus on one or two of these individuals and find out whatever happened to them.

First up is Esteban Tuero.

Tuero joined the F1 grid in 1998 as one of the Minardi drivers (his team-mate being Shinji Nakano) and despite concern the he was too young (at 18 - the 3rd youngest F1 driver ever at the time) and inexperienced, he managed to stick his car in 17th place, ahead of his team mate and other such as Jan Magnesson and Olivier Panis.

What followed was a pretty solid F1 season where he did a good job in a medicore car and generally silenced his doubters.

Come the final race of the season, he collided with Tyrrell driver Tora Takagi and injured his neck. (Incidentally, there is a theory that Schumacher's title ending puncture was caused by shards of carbon-fibre from this collision).
The neck injury healed but on the eve of the 1999 season, Tuero announced his announcement and prompted a bunch of speculation about his reasons for retiring, none of which he's willing to comment on.

What happened after F1 isn't clear but he popped up at the FIA GT Championship at Silverstone yesterday, driving a Ferrari 550 alongside other one-time F1 driver and future topic in this series, Gaston Mazzacane.

Wednesday, 16 April 2008

A challenge

Right, let's see just how clever you all are!

I've set a small quiz, consisting of 8 questions going back over the last 30 years of GP racing. Go and see how well you can do. If you're sufficiently proud of your efforts then leave a comment so that we can all marvel!

If you'd like to see more of these quizzes then please let me know.

At the end of the quiz you can post the HTML into your blog or facebook or whatever to share your glory (or shame) with your friends.

Good luck!!

Monday, 14 April 2008

Honda signs a 16 year old karter

I wondered how long this would take.

F1 makes me laugh sometimes because they have no quarms about copying what other teams are up to - usually around the technical developments of competitors cars but also around anything else that they think might give them a tiny advantage.

Back in 97 Tyrrell developed the X-wing which were these truly awful wings which sat astride the sidepods to give the car a little more downforce. They seemed to work and we saw a spate of copycat developments (including Ferrari) until it was thankfully banned (on terms of safety but actually on terms of looking dreadful!).

Of course, we have the annual battle of the motorhomes each year. Each team has their own motorhome and each year they get bigger and bigger in an attempt to outdo each other. I don't know what the current state is but I believe Red Bull has the current largest home that requires a convoy of transporters to bring it ot each European race. The first European race of the season is in just under a fortnight so we'll see what the latest developments are in that particular race.

Anyway, I digress. Back in the late 90s McLaren signed up a promising young karter called Lewis Hamilton and provided guidance, some cash and opened some doors for him in the sport. Hamilton grew up with support from a leading F1 team and arrived in F1 the most well-prepared rookie in the history of the sport.

Honda have watched with interest and have obviously been looking for a candidate that they can do the same with - looks like they've found one. Now, far be it for me to read into what Honda are doing but I suspect they wouldn't have looked twice at this guy if it wasn't for what Hamilton did last year.

I suspect we'll see a few more teams signing up teenagers before the season is out!

Friday, 11 April 2008

All is quiet

Not much happening in F1 this week. Having the 3 week break between Bahrain and Spain is giving people time to catch their breath (apart from the teams, probably, who'll be trying to sort out the niggles they identified in the first 3 races).

So, unless you want to consider why Max hasn't yet resigned or think up new ways to make more fun of him then there's not too much else to talk about!

Thursday, 10 April 2008

Mosley relies on the Senate

The FIA senate is to meet on 3rd June for a secret vote on whether to retain Mosley as FIA president or not.

Is it just me that thinks that Mosley's tactics are ridiculous obvious?

I have no idea who makes up the FIA senate but I'm pretty sure a good majority of them are Mosley supporters. It seems to me that he's hoping that the storm will die down in the time it takes for the vote to come around (almost 2 months!) and then hopes that enough of his cronies will vote to retain him. At which point he will emerge victorious, claiming to have the support of the entire motorsport world and get back to business as if nothing had happened.

Will it work? I hope not - the key thing is that the pressure must be kept on him and therefore we need more people to come out calling for his resignation. Sadly if Mosley does retain his seat then he'll be sure to seek revenge (look out Honda, Toyota, BMW and Mercedes) and I think that's why many people are keeping quiet.

Wednesday, 9 April 2008

Are BMW true title challengers this year?

In a word, No.

They're made good progress this year and it's really been steady progress ever since they bought into the team, but are they at the stage where they can challenge for the championship? I would say not. They're not fast enough to trouble Ferrari and while a win or two isn't out of the question, they just don't have the experience or the strength to keep up the relentless pace of development that Ferrari and McLaren can do.

Can they beat McLaren though?

Maybe. While McLaren are a stronger team, they are somewhat hobbled by having to limit their development, and their showing in the past two races hasn't been outstanding - Hamilton in particular had a very scrappy race in Bahrain and the ultimate pace of the team in Malaysia wasn't outstanding.

However, if I was forced to say right now whether I thought BMW would beat McLaren, I'd have to say no. BMW have great qualifying pace but their race pace isn't quite as outstanding. What's more is that McLaren are a formidable team and they can fight back from their current slump having been in this position many times before. This is new territory for BMW and I'm not sure they're always going to make the right decisions - especially when the pressure is on at the end of the season.

However, having three teams in the mix is great for F1 and whatever happens will be great for us as viewers.