Hello everyone, I’m back from honeymoon and happy to be writing my first round-up in almost two weeks.
First of all, thanks to all of you who sent messages of congratulations by email, over Twitter and here in the comments on F1 Fanatic.
Second, and just as importantly, I must pay tribute to the excellent job done by Cari in managing the site during my honeymoon.
As well as writing and editing much of the content for the site Cari also had to take control of comment moderation, which is a different skill to master. And do not underestimate the particular difficulty of taking over a site which has been almost exclusively the work of one person for five years. Cari excelled in every sense and I look forward to working with her again in the future.
I must also say thanks to Ed Marshall who was once again on hand to help us out with a few technical problems which have caused a couple of brief outages. Please accept my apology for those problems, neither of which were the fault of Ed or Cari.
As for me, I’m fully refreshed after my longest holiday in four years, to say nothing of my great personal joy in getting married.
With that, I’m greatly looking forward to the final seven races in what so far has been a gripping season of Formula 1.
Cheesy, but I love the joke at the end:
F1 cars on the Laguna Seca Corkscrew! Check it out – thanks to Rahul Nair for the tip:
Chris van der Drift, whose frightening Superleague Formula crash at Brands Hatch was featured here a few weeks ago, is in trouble because his manager apparently failed to ensure he had the necessary accident insurance. A karting event is being held to help raise money for him.
Another charity event, this one taking place this weekend, which F1 Fanatic reader MouseNightshirt is involved in.
Ecclestone: “Fernando has a different character. He will not achieve at Ferrari what Michael did.”
Comment of the day
Jolien is at Spa this weekend and went autograph-hunting yesterday:
I started at Virgin Racing and got both drivers’ autographs. I moved on to Force India where both drivers where also outside for the fans. While Sutil was very patient and signed load of autographs, Liuzzi signed just a few autographs and got back in his car to try some adjustments.
At Renault, both drivers where also present, but there were so much people there (lots of Russians!) that I missed out on one of their autographs.
At Williams I managed to get Nico’s autograph, while Rubens was gone very quick after some autographs.
I walked back to Lotus where it was less crowded and got Heikki’s autograph. I did’t see Jarno though…
After that I tried to walk to Ferrari, Red Bull, Mercedes and McLaren, but it was just way too crowded there. Because there was no way out at the start of the pit lane, everyone sort of ended there at the top teams, where it was already very busy. It was definitely too crowded there, so no autograph for me from one of the big drivers!
From the forum
Mattclinch has a question for F1 history experts.
Happy birthday to vettelfan!
On this day in F1
Mika Hakkinen won a thrilling Belgian Grand Prix on this day ten years ago.
He led the race from pole position but slipped behind Michael Schumacher after making a mistake on the drying track. In the closing stages of the race the McLaren driver was trying everything to pass the Ferrari.
On lap 39 Schumacher nearly pushed Hakkinen off the track on the 200mph Kemmel straight, in a shocking move that was criticised by many. It went unpunished at the time, but ten years later it seems attitudes have changed.
Schumacher’s current team mate Nico Rosberg last year said the move marked a new low in driving standards.
And when Schumacher tried a similar move on Rubens Barrichello in the last race he was handed a ten-place grid penalty for the following race and came close to being disqualified.
Back at Spa on that day in 2000, Hakkinen made another bid to pass on lap 41. But this time took advantage of Ricardo Zonta’s lapped BAR to complete an impressive three-abreast passing move and take a famous win.
That was his last victory of the season – Schumacher won the final four rounds and, with it, his first world championship for Ferrari.