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
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
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
As the 2010 Formula One season bids a fond farewell to Europe, heading east for the culmination of a thrilling world championship dogfight, it begs the question of whether this continental shift might be something more permanent.
With the exception of a weekend of sun and samba in Brazil, Mark Webber, Lewis Hamilton, Fernando Alonso and co will fight for global supremacy in Asia, a trend which looks set to continue into the 2011 season.
South Korea will make its grand prix debut in October, pending approval from FIA inspectors, with India set to follow suit next year with a race in Delhi. When you add this to the six Asian stops already on Formula One’s world tour, almost half of next year’s circuits will be on the continent.
In the absence of any action on the track for a month, the world of Formula One has instead been sidetracked by an unseemly spat between two of its household names.
The war of words between Ferrari and three-time world champion Niki Lauda seems all the more cheap and unnecessary given the Austrian won two of his titles with the Italian team in the 1970's and was a decade later appointed to a consultancy role by current Ferrari chairman Luca Di Montezemolo.
The controversy was sparked by the continuing fall out from the German Grand Prix, when Ferrari appeared to instruct their Brazilian driver Felipe Massa, who was leading the race, to allow teammate Fernando Alonso, in second, to overtake him.
The actual words used by Ferrari’s race engineer Rob Smedley over the radio were as follows: "Fernando is faster than you. Can you confirm you understand?" Seconds later, Massa slowed down, Alonso moved into the lead and the Spaniard went on to take the checkered flag.