Austrian Red Bull tycoon Dietrich Mateschitz likes to do his talking - and his spending - on the track.
The billionaire made just one low-key public appearance during Sunday’s Austrian Grand Prix. He was finally spotted by eagle-eyed TV cameras on lap 23 of the race, but by that point his Red Bull team’s chances of victory had fizzled out.
Four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel was lagging a lap off the pace and would later retire. Canada race winner Daniel Ricciardo had to settle for eighth after being shunted out of position at the start.
It was probably not the homecoming Red Bull envisaged but for Mateschitz re-energising one of F1’s best-loved tracks may be reward enough. FULL POST
The Chinese calendar says it's the year of the horse. Some commentators were convinced it was going to be the year of the prancing horse when Kimi Raikkonen joined Fernando Alonso at Ferrari.
But they were wrong, 2014 is the year of Mercedes.
After a clean sweep of wins for the Silver Arrows in the first three races of the season, next up it's the Chinese Grand Prix.
The venue, the Shanghai International Circuit, is known as something of an engineering marvel - built on 40,000 concrete pillars to stop it sinking into the marshland.
But the circuit won't be the only spectacular feat of engineering on display this weekend. FULL POST
Not much info from the investigators looking into Schumacher accident. Inquiry may take several weeks but speed "not important".—
Alex Thomas (@alexthomascnn) January 08, 2014
Editor's note: CNN's The Circuit will screen a half-hour special on Sebastian Vettel at 1400 and 2130 Saturday Dec 7, 1030 Sunday Dec 8 and 0430 Monday Dec 9 (all times GMT).
I admit it, I was wrong.
I was one of those who didn’t like Sebastian Vettel, hadn’t really warmed to him. Yes, I admired his achievements - but the finger-pointing rankled, his standoffish approach to the media frustrated, and then of course there was the “Multi 21” incident when the German ignored team orders to overtake Mark Webber at the Malaysian Grand Prix.
I viewed it as arrogance.
Maybe the success had gone to his head? I was most definitely camped in the Webber side of the Red Bull garage. But after a few weeks on the trail of the four-time Formula One world champion for this weekend's Circuit special, I’ve changed my tune.
It's not cool to say it anymore, but you have to give Vettel and Red Bull credit. It's their job to win races and they do it very well.—
Don Riddell (@donriddellCNN) November 17, 2013
There aren’t many four-time Formula One world champions to speak of. In terms of scarcity they’re up there with hen’s teeth, tires that last a whole race and single-dollar bills in Bernie Ecclestone’s wallet.
Of the hundreds of drivers who have pitted their wits in one of the world’s top motorsport divisions since 1950, only four have sealed a quadruple of titles: Juan Manuel Fangio, Michael Schumacher, Alain Prost and Sebastian Vettel.
Vettel entered this elite club with his win in India on Sunday and, for once, topped the podium to cheers rather than the boos that have become all too regular for the young German this season.
Speaking to reporters after the race the man from Heppenheim said: "It's very difficult for me personally, to receive boos, even though you haven't done anything wrong.
The hoardings are up, circuit lines freshly painted and the desert dust wiped off the greenery and grandstands.
The Buddh International Circuit in the outskirts of New Delhi is all set for the third Indian Grand Prix this weekend when the country will play host to a flashy mix of marketing glitz, technological wizardry and glamor.
But this year, the excitement is being eclipsed by speculation this could be the last grand prix in India, at least for now.
It’s a difficult task, to pin down the criteria that need to combine for a sporting figure to be deemed a "character," a figure whose personality helps to popularise their field of competition in a transformative way.
Ingredients such as daring in the face of danger and desire to rise to the challenge are prerequisites. A romantic backstory of overcoming the odds makes compelling viewing to all dreamers out there, while the facing down of a nemesis provides drama and justice to devotees.
But it’s not just the conquering of the seemingly impossible that makes a sporting "character," maybe most important of all is the ability to connect with an audience on an emotional level. To force the viewer to empathise with your test and triumph as if they were personally involved in the victory. So they win with you.
Is there a driver on today’s grid who matches up? FULL POST