World In Motion

Posted on 3rd November 2008

What an end to the 2008 season of Formula 1. Lewis Hamilton needed to finish in 5th place or above and he did just that, but only just! Had Timo Glock been able to finish the race with the pace he was setting in the last few laps, it could all have been a different story. I did think it was a shame that Lewis wasn't able to compete with the front runners as he has throughout most of the season, and seeing as there had been some rain on the track, I was expecting to see Lewis relishing the wet and making his way towards the leaders.

My biggest sympathies go to David Coulthard. His last race before retirement and taken out by the Williams of Nico Rosberg on the first corner. He must feel gutted. He is currently the 5th highest career points scorer in Formula 1, and as a consequence is also the highest scoring racer without ever winning the Championship. The Red Bull team had done a relivery job on his car, espcially for the occasion. I'm sure he'll be featuring in some form of commentating capacity in the future, and with ITV bowing out of the contract 2 years early and returning the coverage for the 2009 season to the BBC, maybe he'll be commission to sit in the commentary booth :) Speaking of coverage returning to the BBC, I'm rather pleased at that turn of events. It will now mean that we'll be able to watch the WHOLE race without annoying adverts being shown every 15-20 minutes, which often meant missing out on some exciting moment as it happened. Plus the coverage is to extend to Radio and online, so hopefully it'll mean I can at least hear the race if I'm not in front of a TV.

But well done to Lewis Hamilton, a thoroughly deserved Championship win. Now the youngest ever Champion and only the second rookie to win the Championship in only his second season (hopefully he fairs better than Jacques Villeneuve did in subsequent seasons). But it could so easily have been a convincing win in the Chinese GP. With the farcial penalties that have been handed out this season, or not for certain people, it hasn't been a particularly pleasant season. I'm just hoping that several rules are clarified and more consistent judgements from the stewards are made for the 2009 season.

One thing that has puzzled me a bit having watched the celebrations on the podium at the weekend. Although the race winners are celebrated in style, with trophies, champagne and interviews in the press room, what about the new world champion if they don't finish on the podium? Is there a separate presentation evening? And for that matter is there a special trophy? I'm sure it's happened in previous years, where the champion has simply had to finish in the points and has not gained a podium place, so what happens? All the papers in the UK are raving about the Championship win, and rightly so, but it does seem a bit odd that no award presentation is made at the end of the season. At least not a public one. In fact I think it's the only Championship sport that I've ever seen where the Champion is not awarded anything at the end of the season for being Champion!

File Under: formula1 / hamilton / racing

Going For The One

Posted on 11th June 2007

What a race! I watched the Canadian Grand Prix at the weekend and it was certainly a race packed full of thrills and spills. Thankfully, the only hospital casualty, Robert Kubica, only broke a leg. If you saw the accident then you would be amazed that that was all he suffered. It could so easily have been a completely different story. Just goes to show how much driver safety has been put into F1 cars these days. Several cars went into the "Wall of Champions" and the cameras mounted on the walls, gave you quite a dramatic view point. There was one incident involving Nico Rosberg and Jarno Trulli, where the commentators were convinced they'd collided, but on the replay it was like a ballet as both cars merely pirouetted around the chicane.

DanDan and I watched the race, but also thanks to the latest Live Timing from the official Formula One site, we got to watch all the split second timings around the circuit, and got to see who was pitting, who was out and who retired, often before the commentators mentioned it. It certainly added to the whole Grand prix experience.

However, man of the race has to be Lewis Hamilton. It was a little obvious he really was pulling away from the pack, and he'd amassed over 20 seconds before his first pit-stop. He did it again later on in the race too. All this despite the safety car being brought out 4 times. His team mate, Fernando Alonso, must have been really infuriated with himself, as after the first corner he appeared to have done some damage to the underside of the car, and never really managed to get the momentum back, despite clocking in the fastest lap of the race in the later stages. The 10 second penalty didn't help either. If there was a second man of the race, I think it would have to go to Takuma Sato, who had a great drive, and help to add to the excitement as he took on some of the big names.

Lewis deserved the win, and I was amused by the comment of one of the commentators, who said that Lewis has yet to have the experience of others drivers who don't finish the race heading for the Parc ferme, as in all his 6 Grand Prix races, he's finished on the podium. While there were initial stats about drivers who have done better after their first race, I don't believe any other driver has ever finished this well in their first 6 F1 races. If this is what he is like now, he is going to be a force to be reckoned with in years to come. About time we had a great British driver again, who actually won races :)

It was quite an interesting race for DanDan, as it meant that I had to explain a lot of what was happening, what the penalties were about, why two cars got black flagged, what the safety car was for, etc. You don't normally get all that in one race! It was also interesting for DanDan, as the dad of one his classmates is a rally driver, who happened to come through the karting scene alongside Lewis Hamilton, and they know the Hamilton family. It's always nicer to support someone you know, even if they are a friend of a friend :)

The most unusual casualty of the race though, was an as yet un-named beaver. Anthony Davidson managed to hit it on his way around the circuit, and had to make an unexpected pit-stop so his pit-crew could wipe the blood off the car!

File Under: formula1 / hamilton / motorsport / racing

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