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Sunday, 24 July 2011

Normal Service is Resumed

It has been a very long interlude but today at the German Grand Prix we saw a McLaren victory followed by a Ferrari with the Red Bulls struggling to live with the pace.

Red Bull's dominance in dry conditions has seemed unassailable for so long that it is easy to forget the days when Ferrari or McLaren fought it out at the front in most races.

Lewis Hamilton described this as one of the greatest drives of his life and few would argue with this.

After a front row qualifying position alongside Mark Webber, Hamilton drove a storming race.  Even he was surprised by the McLaren's pace.  He was followed home by Fernando Alonso.  Mark Webber was able to beat his team mate.

It looks as if the second half of the season may be very different from the Vettel dominated season so far.

Saturday, 16 July 2011

NewsCorp and F1

There are rumours remaining that News Corporation may yet takeover F1 despite the current difficulties.

The controversial conversation which started with 'Fernando is faster than you' was the result, not of hacking but the open team radio of Ferrari.

As Silverstone we overheard Webber being told to 'maintain the gap' by his Red Bull team.

These kinds of conversations are routinely in the public domain in the sport.

How F1 news is reported is part of the attraction of the sport, 'free to air' and open.

Of course we know that drivers rarely say what they really feel, accompanied as they are in front of camera by a press secretary after each race.  Occasionally, the frustration and emotion post-race of a perceived injustice gives glimpses of the true picture.

Thursday, 14 July 2011

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Monday, 11 July 2011

Down Under

Mark Webber has every reason to be fed up after the British Grand Prix.  After a fine pole position he ended up third.

In the same week his team manager, Christian Horner said 'having two world class drivers in one team would not work'.  He was referring to the rumours of Hamilton joining Red Bull of course.

Then he is asked to hold station when in a position to take second place from Seb Vettel.

He will surely come back fighting next race - such is his character and grit.

What he will do next year remains to be seen however...

Sunday, 10 July 2011

Silverstone 2011

Qualifying was somewhat unusual at Silverstone...

The teams were in and out of the FIA camper van debating what rules would and would not be acceptable for the race.  Don't forget that the cars were designed and homologated prior to season start and that never before have rules been changed so dramatically mid season.

Is an exhaust blown diffuser, controlled electronically when off throttle, a variable aerodynamic device?  To what degree is the Renault engine assisted in relation to Mercedes? After a good curry, wind can indeed be an issue.

In the end Red Bull offered a deal which was accepted.  We will switch off our blown diffuser settings for this race only provided that things return to normal for the next race,

That is it essentially.  It was later confirmed after much to-ing and fro-ing that for the rest of the season all will return to normal.

Meanwhile McLaren seem to have slipped of the pace.  The team later attributed this to tyre choice in the limited time they had during an erratic qualifying session to decide when to go out on intermediates.  Some were suggesting that the hasty rule changed would benefit Ferrari.  As it transpired Red Bull still achieved a remarkable 1-2 on the grid with Webber on pole this time followed by Alonso and Massa.  Jenson Button kept McLaren respectable followed by a remarkable sixth for Paul di Resta in his Mercedes powered Force Indian.

Sunday Silverstone will probably bring wind and rain as normal so Jenson Button will benefit and Lewis Hamilton will provide a spectacle as he attempts to come through from 10th without taking out his team mate.

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

The Big One! - Silverstone 2011

So it has come round again.  The venue nearest to all the leading teams apart from Ferrari and the hearts of most F1 fans- Silverstone!

Looking forward to seeing 'The Wing' in the pit lane?  It is already looking retro.  Just cross Vauxhall Bridge in London going South and you will see a terminal building that predates the wing by years.

I still get emotional about the acres of scaffold grandstands.  There is something strangely beautiful about galvanised tubing.  Maybe it reminds me of the old time tubular frames of the Lotus 11 or Maserati Birdcage.  Or maybe I am just plain sentimental.

As we predicted long ago post Simon Fuller taking over Lewis Hamilton's management - there is mounting speculation  about Lewis Hamilton moving teams.  It is so similar to the David Beckham story.  Will he stay at Man United, will he go to Real Madrid, will he end up in America?  Will his pop star wife come out of his shadow or outshine him?  Victoria or Nicole?  Already Lewis has tried out a 'Nascar'.  Will Indy be next?  He has (allegedly) flirted with another team (Red Bull).

Jim Clark and Graham Hill tried (and succeeded) in America but still stuck with F1 until they were cut short in life.

All that really matters is talent and technology and in the 1960s both were raw and restricted scantily by rulemakers.  Dont forget to that they had tiny 1.5 litre engines and miniature bodies that look like F3 nowadays.  But there was overtaking in abundance and they sounded great too!  So why the worry over new smaller engines??

Speaking of historic F1 drivers check this out!!  It is probably the finest collection of 1960s F1 and touring car driver autographs on sale anywhere right now!!!  I should know - I was there and met them all!

Friday, 1 July 2011

Vintage

People who like motorsport and classic cars also are interested in vintage and classic goods generally.

Goodwood is coming up this weekend - a feast for those who appreciate historic motorsport.

Have a look at this website we found - brayvintage.com