August 26th, 2011
02:20 PM ET

20 years of Schumacher: Is his legacy on the line?

Michael Schmuacher has won a record seven world championships, but his popularity is still questionable.
Michael Schmuacher has won a record seven world championships, but his popularity is still questionable.

It's a little-known fact that Michael Schumacher got his big break in Formula One because another driver had been jailed for 2 months.

In 1991, Jordan driver Bertrand Gachot was locked up for assaulting a London taxi-driver, forcing him to miss four races including his home one at Spa. Schumie stepped in to the cock-pit and the rest, as they say, is history.

With the sponsor 7-Up displayed prominently and prophetically on his nose-cone, Schumacher qualified for his first F1 race in 7th position. Clutch problems meant he retired on his first lap, but he impressed so much that he was immediately snapped up by Flavio Briatore and the Benetton Ford team, who coincidentally were sponsored by Mild Seven, where he won the first of his record seven drivers' championships. FULL POST

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Filed under:  Motorsport
July 8th, 2011
04:00 PM ET

Passing judgment: Hamilton must stay aggressive ...

Hamilton has hit the headlines, but is this a bad thing?
Hamilton has hit the headlines, but is this a bad thing?

Not everyone is a fan of Formula One. Its loudest critics say that there isn’t enough overtaking. The sport has tried to address that this season, but the driver that’s trying to do the most overtaking is himself now being criticized for being too dangerous.

In the last few races, Lewis Hamilton has been in and out of the stewards office more times than a hyperchondriac pops into the doctors. He’s had to explain how he tangled with Felipe Massa and Pastor Maldonado in Monaco and then three more drivers, including teammate Jenson Button, in Montreal. FULL POST

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Filed under:  Motorsport
June 3rd, 2011
04:52 PM ET

Should F1 take the risk of racing in Bahrain?

Bahrain first hosted a Formula One race in 2004 but civil unrest forced this year's event to be rescheduled. (Getty Images)
Bahrain first hosted a Formula One race in 2004 but civil unrest forced this year's event to be rescheduled. (Getty Images)

The decision to take Formula One back to Bahrain this season has prompted a heated online debate, as more than 300,000 people signed an online petition calling for the race to be scrapped.

But you’d never have known that the F1 community itself had a view on it. Twitter, normally abuzz with comments from drivers and teams, was silent on this issue all day. Red Bull’s Australian driver Mark Webber was the only one to speak out, saying before the announcement: “When people in a country are being hurt, the issues are bigger than sport. Let's hope the right decision is made.”

My sources within F1 tell me that many of the drivers are ambivalent, but those with a strong opinion on such a controversial issue will only speak off the record. Webber has been the exception, and he could be risking his future in F1 by saying much more. FULL POST

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Filed under:  Motorsport
May 25th, 2011
10:17 PM ET

Monaco: Where exhaust fumes and foie gras mix

The streets of Monte Carlo are home to the most prestigious race on the F1 calendar.
The streets of Monte Carlo are home to the most prestigious race on the F1 calendar.

Ever since they started racing cars around the city streets in 1929, the Monaco Grand Prix has been one of the most glamorous sporting events of the year.

Within just a few days in May, roughly 70 million euros are poured into the economy of the tiny principality as movie stars and models, the rich and the famous, flock to the trackside.

For the drivers it’s the race to win. For everyone else, it’s the race to be seen at. FULL POST

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Filed under:  Motorsport
May 4th, 2011
05:37 PM ET

Would F1 be better off with different owners?

Rupert Murdoch is part of a consortium looking to buy F1, but would change be good for the sport?
Rupert Murdoch is part of a consortium looking to buy F1, but would change be good for the sport?

It doesn’t seem to matter who is running Formula One, the sport is practically a license to print money. But would the team owners, mechanics, drivers and fans be better off if someone else was in charge? One group of investors seems to think so.

Last year, the Formula One Administration reported that its annual sales had risen to over $1 billion and its popularity only seems to be increasing.

The action so far this season has been gripping, there are five world champions now competing for the title and new tracks are being built in India, Russia and the U.S. FULL POST

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Filed under:  Motorsport
March 31st, 2011
12:51 PM ET

Can Ferrari find some trump cards?

Can Ferrari's Fernando Alonso vie for a win in Malaysia on April 10?
Can Ferrari's Fernando Alonso vie for a win in Malaysia on April 10?

The opening race of the Formula One season is always an interesting contest as it is the first time the teams on the grid show their hands in the poker game of speed and potential.

Pre-season testing, as fascinating as it is for F1 aficionados, often sees as much bluff and smokescreen from the competing constructors as it does commitment to putting new designs and innovations through their paces. FULL POST

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Filed under:  Motorsport
March 23rd, 2011
10:07 AM ET

Will new tires decide the F1 title?

The 2011 season will see Formula One drivers attempt to master the softer Pirelli tires.
The 2011 season will see Formula One drivers attempt to master the softer Pirelli tires.

At around $5000 each, four new tires would seem to be rather costly. But in the multi-million dollar world of Formula One, that price makes a set of wheels one of the cheapest components on the car.

For some teams this year though, it could be the rubber that turns out to be the most expensive.

After four years of incredibly hard-wearing and reliable Bridgestone tires, the elite division of motorsport is turning to the Italian manufacturer Pirelli as its sole supplier.

The brief given to the company executives in Milan was simple, don’t build them to last.

FULL POST

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Filed under:  Motorsport
February 21st, 2011
09:22 PM ET

Have Formula One's new riches come at a cost?

Bahrain's withdrawal has presented Formula One with a dilemma.
Bahrain's withdrawal has presented Formula One with a dilemma.

So, the Formula One season will now start in Melbourne, Australia, on March 27th. As Red Bull's Aussie driver Mark Webber put it: "Back to the good old days."

Australia has become used to kicking off the annual Formula One circus since 1996, but the emergence of a new track in Bahrain, whose backers have seemingly bottomless pockets, changed all that.

FULL POST

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Filed under:  Motorsport
November 14th, 2010
06:30 PM ET

Vettel triumph ushers in new era in Formula One

Champions all. 2008 and 09 F1 title winners Hamilton and Button celebrate with Vettel.
Champions all. 2008 and 09 F1 title winners Hamilton and Button celebrate with Vettel.

Fernando Alonso might have been going for a third F1 championship, and it was well within his grasp. But he was almost a forgotten man at the finish in Abu Dhabi.

A disastrous race meant that the Spaniard trailed home in a useless seventh place, and as the 2008 champion Lewis Hamilton and the '09 winner Jensen Button sprayed a delirious Sebastian Vettel with champagne, Alonso's last title ('06) must have felt like a long time ago.

It has been a spectacular sporting year for Spain, but this one eluded them. And while Spaniards and Ferrari fanatics will be crushed, few others will have sympathy for a driver and a team that many said cheated its way to the top of the standings.

FULL POST

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Filed under:  Motorsport
November 5th, 2010
04:07 PM ET

Is Ferrari's Fernando the best on the grid?

Fernando Alonso celebrates after winning the first ever Korean Grand Prix (Getty Images).
Fernando Alonso celebrates after winning the first ever Korean Grand Prix (Getty Images).

As a thrilling Formula One season hurtles towards the finishing line, Fernando Alonso sits in pole position for the world championship with only two more races to navigate.

The Spaniard can seal a third world championship at this Sunday’s Brazilian Grand Prix after his consistency and late-season form have propelled him to the top of the pile.

It is hardly surprising that a driver of Alonso’s standing is now within touching distance of Formula One’s grand prize, it is the minimum requirement when representing a team as rich in heritage as Ferrari.

But it is a credit to his ability as a driver that he has been able to overhaul the super-fast Red Bulls of Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel, clinching a victory last weekend after the Australian and the German both failed to finish in Korea.

It raises an interesting question.

FULL POST

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