Hill supports F1′s return to Bahrain

F1 Fanatic round-up

In the round-up: Damon Hill, who criticised F1′s attempts to hold a race in Bahrian last year, supports the return to the country this year.

Links

Top F1 links from the past 24 hours:

Hill throws weight behind ‘changed’ Bahrain (The Times, subscription required)

“I listened to a lot of people there, including eye-witnesses. I believe they are making change for the better. There is no question they have issues ? but every country has issues; we had riots here in the UK not so long ago.”

How good is Bruno Senna? (NNC)

Alan Permane: “Look at Jenson Button – when he drove for us, Giancarlo Fisichella destroyed him, and Fisi would be the first guy to admit he’s not a mega. He was a very good number two. But now Jenson’s fantastic. Can Senna do that? Only time will tell.”

Nurburgring eyes 2013 race despite layoffs (Reuters)

“Operators of Germany’s Nurburgring are in talks with Formula 1 chief Bernie Ecclestone over a deal to host the 2013 Grand Prix despite cutting around 100 jobs at the circuit, a spokesman for the operators said on Wednesday.”

Magny-Cours has a new F1 plan (Joe Saward)

“[President of the Conseil General de la Nievre Patrice] Joly is hoping that the circuit can win back the French Grand Prix, rather than seeing the race go off to Paul Ricard, near Toulon, where the facilities for the public ?ǣ and the crowd capacity ?ǣ are much inferior to those at Magny-Cours. In addition, Ricard is a long way from the major population centres of Paris (11 million) and Lyon (1.6 million), although it is close to Marseille, which boasts 1.5 million people.”

Hill: F1 will miss Barrichello (Autosport)

“There are a limited number of characters in F1 and Rubens has been thoroughly a positive character. People like and respect Rubens and his abilities.”

F1 Fanatic via Twitter

“By the way, if you want a great read on Rubens Barrichello, dig out Maurice Hamilton’s “Race Without End” on Jordan in 1993.”

Follow F1 news as it breaks using the F1 Fanatic live Twitter app.

Comment of the day

It’s always interesting to read a new comment on an old article. Here’s Anthony Lewis:

As an avid F1 fan, I am amazed and frustrated that nowhere on the African continent is F1 racing staged. F1 racing is a world sport, staged in Asia, the Americas, the Middle East, throughout Europe and soon to be in India and next year the USA. My argument is that F1 cannot be judged as a “world sport” unless it is also staged somewhere on the African continent, the second largest continent in the world yet totally forgotten by the rest of the world.

I believe that South African, is the only country on the African continent, at the moment, which has the finances, infrastructure, technology and supporters to successfully stage F1. South Africa has successfully staged the Rugby World Cup and the Football World Cup. Staging a F1 race in South Africa would bring huge revenues and permanent jobs to South Africans. In addition, it would also help in increasing the profile of South Africa as a leading nation on the worldwide political and sporting stage and bring new fans to the sport.
Anthony Lewis

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86 comments on Hill supports F1′s return to Bahrain

  1. Jack_Hider (@jackhider) said on 19th January 2012, 0:15

    Completely disagree with the comment on the day, Formula One at the moment shouldn’t be held on the African continent. With countries such a Sierra Leone, The Congo’s as well as Somalia.

    The continent is not ready.

    Yes , the commenter argues that S. Africa has held both the World Cup of Football and Rugby in recent times. But were they successful?

    In terms of economics, no. Bernie will no doubt want the track to pay absolute millions for the privilege of holding an F1 race. Millions the country cannot pay. The Football World Cup made nothing infact the country lost money.

    In terms of politics, no. The S. African government is corrupted, human rights are not met and like Bahrain I feel F1 should not be affiliated with such a thing. Especially when news is instant.

    In terms of society, no. There were so many problems with society. During both World Cups, stadiums were built on land that was taken away from the population. Not bought outrightly, the residents were told to go one day. There is mass poverty even in S. Africa, and racism is still a big problem with mass prejudice on the black population. Where the white live in guarded compounds where water is freely used on the garden, the black population are starving and are seen as the lowest of the low. Who would actually go and see the races, it’ll be like Turkey. No one will have an interest in F1 because there are no drivers and no teams. It is completely different from us Europeans who in comparison to this have everything on our doorsteps.

    In terms of technology, no. Is S. Africa the height of technology? No. Ghana is more technologically advanced than S. Africa. There is no track good enough for the FIA standards to hold Formula One races.

    The idea of a Grand Prix in S. Africa will be hated by the natives of S. Africa. It won’t be another 50 years until we see a Grand Prix there.

    • Matty No 2 (@mattynotwo) said on 19th January 2012, 0:30

      Yeah, I agree, I don’t think their’s any immediate rush to race in S.A.

      • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 19th January 2012, 1:12

        Perhaps not, but the South Africans have talked about getting a race up and running. And Bernie has said that once Russia joins the calendar, his priority will be South Africa.

        • Jack_Hider (@jackhider) said on 19th January 2012, 1:21

          What do you class as S. Africans?
          The race which has since the colonisation of the country been prejudiced against. Who have been under constant watch with many hate filled crimes against them for no other reason then because of their skin. Whose land has been taken away from them freely, their livelihoods destroyed and now have nothing worth to add to the economy.

          They live in huts made out of corrugated metal and salvaged wood. Whilst the other half live in houses that the west would not look twice at. They use water freely and waste food.

          Whilst the natives live of nothing and have to drink dirty water. HIV and AIDs as well as other diseases such as Malaria spread through these shanty towns like wildfire.

          And do the government care? No, they just want what is better to the people who can afford the absorbent taxes and inflation, they want the next best thing. Like a 5 year old child, who doesn’t care about something once they lose interest in it.

          If this goes ahead, millions will be discriminated, what positives will come out?

          Unless PM you class discrimination as a positive?

          • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 19th January 2012, 1:55

            Oh, look. Another “we need a moral standpoint” post. Most of these end with hypocricy.

            Bahrain is busy oppressing its citizens, so Formula 1 shouldn’t go there. And a race in South Africa would waste money that could be better-spent fixing the country. Both are excellent arguments, and worthy of a protest march.

            But you’re neglecting the other objectionable activities by countries with a race or looking to run one.

            Russia, for instance, is going to join the calendar in 2014. However, Vladimir Putin stands accused of rigging presidential electoral ballots, having his political opponents detained and convicted on exaggerated charges to silence them (see Mikhail Khodorkovsky), propping up Belarus’ Aleksandr Lukashenko (acknowledged as a dictator) in exchange for control over a natural gas pipeline connecting Russia’s Taymyr Peninsula to Europe, may have supplied Iran with nuclear centrifuge technology, dozens of journalists investigating the federal security services have been killed and their murders unsolved, and Putin’s track record when it comes to Chechnya isn’t too good, either. I see you haven’t protested the Russian Grand Prix in your post.

            China, meanwhile, has spent the past sixty years violating human rights. Beijing has passed laws allowing police to arrest and detail people without charge for up to two weeks, continues to persecute the Falun Gong, occupies Tibet, does not recognise the Uyghur people as an ethnic group and oppresses them, and arrests activists (like Ai Weiwei) for no reason and attempts to “re-educate” them. I see you haven’t protested the Chinese Grand Prix in your post, either.

            And then we get to Spain and Italy, who have three races between them. They’re both part of the PIIGS – Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece and Spain – five European economies in such a poor condition that if one (though it would probably take two) were to collapse, they could drag the entire European economy with it. It is fiscally irresponsible for them to be spending some $60 million on Grands Prix every year. I see you haven’t protested the Spanish, Italian or European Grands Prix in your post.

            Do you see what you’ve done here? You’ve created a scenario where you have said “It is not okay to race over here because of their social/political/moral issues, but it is okay to race over there despite their social/political/moral issues”, and that is a very slippery slope.

          • Adam Tate (@adam-tate) said on 19th January 2012, 2:14

            While I agree Africa is not in a position to hold a Grand Prix, it could be in the near future. Jack has aptly pointed out the numerous issues and obstacles preventing a race from being held in South Africa or any other African nation, whereas Europe the emotional home of F1, “has everything at its doorstep.”

            The sad irony of it all is that were it not for European Colonialism in the 1800′s, many of Africa’s complex problems would likely not exist.

            I do believe South Africa will one day host a grand prix again, and when it does it will be one more small step of healing towards a better and brighter future.

          • Jack_Hider (@jackhider) said on 19th January 2012, 2:40

            I feel very emotional about the oppression that is happening in both S. Africa and many other
            states around the world.

            I do not like the fact that you fling my entire argument with a stupid little comment… It is childish behaviour.

            My argument is coming from a completely different view, you perhaps do not have the same insight to the current state of Africa and primarily S. Africa. Perhaps you are under the illusion to which most the world are still under. It can hold both the Football and Rugby World Cup it must be a good country, with good infrastructure, politically neutral and has a good economy.

            Much of the infrastructure and employment was an illusion yes, the unemployment rate did go down, but that was only whilst the stadiums were being built and the World Cups were running.

            As soon as they stopped the infrastructure stopped. Unemployment went up and everything went to pot.

            S. Africa is far below the other countries you have mentioned, it does not have the same money as Bahrain, or the power that Russia holds, nor does it have the infrastructure and business that many European countries have, such as Italy who have a large car industry.

            Unlike those countries S. Africa is lacking in one key element, money.

            The problems in S. Africa are terrible. This is not a moral standpoint. It is not that on moral grounds we shouldn’t have a race there. It is because the country is not at the right time in terms of development of technologies, economy and socially. How can we race if half the country does not have electricity, clean water, sufficient sanitary, a good health system and houses that are not blown over in a the wind?

            You don’t see people living in Russia or Italy like that? Do you?

            You can be taken in by the media, but S. Africa is a ruined country. It has no foundations to stand on. Colonisation has destroyed it as much of Africa too.

            The countries you have mentioned, have failed on their own. S. Africa was colonised in the late 1800s. Its raw materials stripped, native people taken to America to become slaves. And when S. Africa was made independent sometime in the 1960s. What foundations did it have to stand on? It was and still is a poor poor country.

            You can argue it is a NiC like that of China, but China is in a far better state economically than S. Africa. I have been to China, walked the streets of Bahrain the news can twist your thoughts but it is far from what you see. It isn’t the N. Korea BBC News make it out to be.

          • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 19th January 2012, 2:57

            You don’t see people living in Russia or Italy like that? Do you?

            More to the point, do you?

            Please don’t take what I am saying the wrong way. I’m not criticising you for taking a stand on behalf of South Africa. What I am criticising you for is creating a situation where you have said “We cannot race in South Africa because of the social issues facing the country, but we can have a race in Russia in spite of them”. It’s hypocritical. If you are going to take a stand against countries that have/are looking to hold a Grand Prix for moral reasons, then you need to take a stand against all countries that have social issues and hold/are looking to hold a Grand Prix. You either take a position against all of them, or you take a position against none of them. You cannot pick and choose which ones you support and which ones you do not, because you put yourself (and the sport) in an incredibly precarious position.

          • Matty No 2 (@mattynotwo) said on 19th January 2012, 3:15

            You guys should ask Kieth if you call all write an article on this. Would be good I think.

          • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 19th January 2012, 3:22

            @mattynotwo – I don’t know how long you’ve been a member of the blog, but if you substitute Bahrain with South Africa, and you’ll get a good idea of what the blog was like this time last year when Arab Spring came to Bahrain.

            My belief is, as it has always been, that Formula 1 cannot make social, moral or political statements with regards to the state of a host nation. Doing so only creates a precarious stiutation where races are not held in one country because of an issue, but they are held in another country despite an issue. This hypocricy only undermines any statement that the sport tries to make by highlighting just how meaningless it is. The only reason why a race should be cancelled is safety – if it is unsafe for teams, drivers, spectators and the media to enter a country, then the race should go ahead (and if the situation in a country like Bahrain is so serious that people are calling for boycotts on ethical grounds, then that country has already passed the point where it is no longer safe for the race to take place).

          • MylesW (@mpw1985) said on 19th January 2012, 4:59

            @Jack_Hider
            PM’s argument was definitely not a “stupid little comment”. I, as well, have lots of problems with you argument. Why, exactly, are you singling out South Africa? It seems, by your logic, that EVERY country that holds a race today should not do so because of past transgressions. America did not have equal rights for citizens until 1964, India is one of the poorest countries in the world, Brazil has one of highest GINI coefficients, and China is a communist police state. And yet, you choose South Africa to single out? I’m not disagreeing that the country has its problems, but it, unlike others, at least has a proud F1 history.

          • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 19th January 2012, 5:41

            I do not like the fact that you fling my entire argument with a stupid little comment

            You say “stupid little comment”, I say “underlying fallacy that threatenes to discredit the sport if adopted as a policy”. It’s not exactly a to-may-to/to-mah-to situation.

            So please, explain to me why it is not acceptable to race in some countries because of social or political issues, but it is acceptable to race in other countries despite those social and political issues.

          • I feel like I should add my 2 cents worth here. I live in Namibia which is neighboring S.A. I must ask, have you ever been to South Africa? It seems to me you haven’t… Your comments are cringe worthy. It is blatantly obvious that you have no idea what is going on in South Africa.

          • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 19th January 2012, 7:01

            @chapor – Who are you referring to, myself or Jack?

            I admit, I have never been to South Africa. I have never claimed that I did, and I have never claimed that I was knowledgable as to the challenges faced by the country. I am certainly not denying that there are challenges, either.

            What I am trying to highlight is that there are several countries in the world either with a Grand Prix or bidding for one that have serious economic, political or social problems of their own. Jack’s comments about the state of South Africa can apply to any one of these countires (with a few key words changed), but he singles South Africa out as a nation that Formula 1 should not visit. Perhaps he is unaware of the problems in Russia or China, but his silence on the subject implies that he has no problem with Formula 1 visiting them. What I am trying to point out is that he has created a situation where it is okay to have races in some countries, but not okay to have races in others, and with no real definition of what is acceptable and what is not, so his argument contradicts itself.

          • @Prisoner Monkey My comments were directed at Jack. Your point of view I agree with.

          • damonsmedley (@damonsmedley) said on 19th January 2012, 7:15

            I think @mpw1985 makes a good point. You only had to watch the BBC coverage to realise how surrounded by poverty the Grand Prix was. You may not hear as much about South Africa in the news, but I’m certain we go to countries that are far worse for the things you’re criticising SA for. And you can’t be sure a Grand Prix won’t help the country financially. It gives massive exposure, permanent jobs, and boosts tourism. I don’t know if we need a race in South Africa, but I think your comment was a little bit harsh on the country, @jackhider .

          • damonsmedley (@damonsmedley) said on 19th January 2012, 7:20

            And I meant the coverage of the Indian Grand Prix, by the way.

          • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 19th January 2012, 7:59

            A robust argument is fine but keep it clean guys. I don’t want to have to go deleting comments because people are insulting each other.

          • BasCB (@bascb) said on 19th January 2012, 16:50

            I think @damonsmedley and @mpw1985 have a valid point there.

            SA does have a tradition in F1, and while it might be mainly with the white part of the population, it could be something to hook up and make a race feel right.

            And I think that despite the problems in India, the fact someone is putting in a lot of money to develop an aera might be a good starting point to get that region into more economical activity. Not that I think it should be a government doing this, but in India it was largely private money. As is Austin and was the Silverstone redevelopment.

          • damonsmedley (@damonsmedley) said on 19th January 2012, 16:51

            Good point Bas. We don’t know where the money would come from yet, anyway.

    • JCost (@jcost) said on 19th January 2012, 7:14

      Sorry buddy (Jack_Hider). I’m African too. First I’m Angolan just like someone is French before he or she is European. We all know about the so called “African brotherhood” but you cannot say RSA cannot stage an F1 race because there’s Sierra Leone in the same continent. Those two countries are in the same continent but they’re not the same country! Germany is not Chechen, is it? Why Africa is seen as a single “country”? Congo, for e.g. is almost as big as western Europe! Angola is bigger than France and Spain combined!

      Plus, Sierra Leone is doing much better (I guess) than the last time you’ve heard about it (probably in Kanye West’s hit “Diamonds From Sierra Leone”.

      On corruption, I think you’re right on calling RSA’s government corrupt but their profile is not much different from Brazil’s and is far better than China or Bahrain! (and Russia is getting an F1 race, any words?)

      I do not believe they can make a profit staging an F1 race in RSA but pretty much nobody can in any F1 race, the same can be said about World Cups. I don’t think staging an F1 race should be a priority of South African authorities but my argument is quite different from yours. How ever, an F1 race in South Africa would come handy for me once it’s a 4 hours flight away from Angola, alternatively I could repeat crossing Namibia and Botswana til Jo’burg by car and enjoy the beauty of Southern west Africa.

      • Alex W said on 19th January 2012, 8:10

        I think Africa should get a GP when they are ready to want it. When enough people want it, it will come, but at the moment I think most people in most free African nations have other priorities. I just hope mugabe doesn’t decide he wants a GP, but even as a dictator of sorts, i don’t think he could raise the millions of dollars needed thank goodness.

      • @ jack..believe it or not..thru out south africa we drink water straight out of the tap..no need for bottle water as we have proberly some of the best water in the world. Our houses are all brick n plaster..n believe it or not we all our city’s have residential areas (huts and houses that blow over lol). Did u know that south africa is aston martins 3rd biggest market in the world..did u know there have been over a 100 brand new ferraris delivered in sa last year? Did u know that sa is car crazy and absolute motor sport fanatics? Do you know that I have indian black and white friends? Have a look at ibvsupercarclub.com and you wil see what south africa really is about.there is no where else in the world that I would rather stay than here in sa. Black white or indian, we are all proudly south african. Nelson, myself and the rest of rsa laugh at such ignosrance.

      • BasCB (@bascb) said on 19th January 2012, 16:55

        Actually we might be having a GP in Angola earlier than in RSA @jcost, Bernie was visiting over there last year as well, wasn’t he ;-)

        • JCost (@jcost) said on 19th January 2012, 20:40

          But RSA is years ahead of Angola. Our best circuit is a joke and building a new one would be hard to sell despite autocratic government, civil society is very vocal.

          Angola has more social problems than RSA but because we have a democracy deficit, it could also be easier to implement ambitious projects, like staging a F1 GP once public consultation is a rarity.

          I’d rather see RSA spend their precious dollars on it than my own government :).

    • JCost (@jcost) said on 19th January 2012, 8:12

      I know a good deal about South Africa. I’ve visited the country four times and I’ve worked as consultant for a South African bank in Angola and met and worked with many South Africans, white and black. We cannot hide social and racial problems there but progress is visible too.
      SA is not only the country with world’s best biscuits (sorry Dancake, Baker’s is so much better), it’s also home of very good universities and it has hosted F1 races before, Schumacher was the last winner I guess and Schumi would never question South Africa’s technology and personal skills once he’s worked closely with F1’s engineering legend Rory Byrne who happens to be South African.

      Jack_Hider says South African economy is awful! Which is not true if you compare macro fundamentals to some European nations! Plus, South African Rand (ZAR) is very similar to a single* currency just like the Euro of South Africa, Namibia, Botswana and Lesotho but those countries are not facing tough economic problems like Portugal or Greece. Jack should wake up, it’s not 1989.

      *Namibia, Botswana and Lesotho have their national currencies pegged to ZAR and despite different names, they have same face values and are freely accepted in any of those countries as mean of trade.

      • BasCB (@bascb) said on 19th January 2012, 17:01

        Didn’t Portugal just look to Angola to get a big loan by the way?

        And to add to what you write about comparing countries, I would like to add a bit about corruption. Yes, it probably is generally worse for corruption in most African countries than in Europe. But I live in a European country where many estimate state investments at large to be overpriced by about 30% to allow for special consultants tied to the politicians … Not to mention, that until last year none of the big cases were ever even thoroughly looked into by the police.
        Suddenly doesn’t even sound that much different, does it.

        • JCost (@jcost) said on 19th January 2012, 20:45

          Portugal is not seeking a loan, they want to bring their companies and workers here to fix their job market and help their companies sell what hey cannot sell there. Personally, I think Angola would be better off with RSA than Portugal or Brazil (another strong foreign force here due to common language).

          Corruption? Want to give Angola another name just call it “Corruptionland”…

    • infy (@infy) said on 19th January 2012, 8:15

      Wow @Jack_Hider.

      I’m from RSA and his comments show how ignorant he is.

      “Yes , the commenter argues that S. Africa has held both the World Cup of Football and Rugby in recent times. But were they successful? ”

      Yes they were. We have new stadiums, boosting our entire sporting industry. A modernised public bus system, meaning we don’t have to buy a car in order to get a job. We have the gautrain – an affordable, safe and modern train system connecting cities. The police force received a huge technology and funding boost, allowing them to respond to crime better.

      The best thing however, was how the the people on the ground put their differences aside to enjoy the festivals. It did not matter if you were white/black/indian/coloured, we all had a great time TOGETHER. Thats an opinion changing experience for many people and I’m positive it will help us deal with our future differences.

      Our democracy is still not mature, and so yes we have a ton of corruption. Besides some money going missing here and there, its not as bad as you seem to think. We have strong opposition parties in the country who are making a difference, especially in cape town (http://www.news24.com/SouthAfrica/Politics/Mayor-upbeat-about-Cape-Towns-future-20120118)

      Are some South Africans racists? Perhaps yes, in their own homes, hidden away. In South Africa it would be suicide to go out in public and be racist towards a black man. You will find yourself behind bars before you could blink. It is taken very seriously. The only issue now is the racism directed towards white people, which is going unchecked. The racism in RSA is not as bad as in places like Spain.

      AID’s? Use a condom. Malaria is only found in the north of the country. You wont go there for an F1 race.

      In terms of technology (IT), we’re seeing a real internet boom. A few years back we had a huge bottleneck when it came to international undersea fibre networks. Next year we will have way more than we know what to do with. (ref: http://mybroadband.co.za/news/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/African-undersea-cables.jpg) Our only challenge from an internet point of view now is the local links, but even that will be sorted soon when Telkom turn on their next generation network.

      The poor… yea we have them. Every country has them, even the USA. The best solution is to create jobs. To do that, we need new companies, and those need investment. An
      F1 race will boost our countries profile, which will encourage investment from outside of our boarders.

      Do I think RSA could host a race now? No. But given the rate at which things are changing here in RSA, I’d say you could begin negotiating in about 5 years time.

    • AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 19th January 2012, 8:21

      @jackhider Like you say, ultimately South Africa doesn’t strike me as being ready, but I’m open to getting proven otherwise.

      Where is the interest in South Africa? I can’t even see it being economically viable, like you.

      • Jack_Hider (@jackhider) said on 19th January 2012, 13:20

        My argument for not having a Grand Prix in S. Africa was because the country is not ready and it’ll be pointless… I used economy, politics, and social as smaller back up arguments which are all correct.

        The reason I chose S. Africa was because the ‘comment of the day’ commenter pointed it out.

        You must admit that there are still serious problems with the native people of S. Africa. In terms of racism and oppression.

        S. Africa has the biggest divide in wealth.

        The colonisation of the country moved mass population here and they still get better treatment.

        How can you explain that native peoples land was taken from them during building the stadiums for the World Cup? That the workers who were native to the country were employed to build the stadiums for little money?

        When you look at it China, Russia, and other Grand Prix holders are ready to old their Grand Prix’s they have money for investment in these areas.

        How can Formula One go to a country were the native people who have been oppressed so badly that they live in houses that are not fit for a dog. They have to pay massive prices for clean safe water, much more than the wealthier in their guarded compounds.

        The government care little for these people, these people have had to create a group called the South African Homeless Peoples Federation, they group together and save up and are able to build cheap but good housing.

        • Jack_Hider (@jackhider) said on 19th January 2012, 13:23

          And by the way. I am not IGNORANT.

          • If u think the natives are being oppressed then u definatley 2 bob shy of the new south africa m8. No land was taken away from natives..jhb durban an ct stadiums are all bit within the city. In terms of polokwane and royal bofokeng etc those stadiums wer built on royal land or properly expropriated from the owners at a great price. I think as a south african living in south africa I know way more than u do about our country, especially coming from a guy who thinks we got our independence in the 60′s. Just shows how much you know. The blacks in the country are known as black diamonds because of there potential and BEE(black economic empowerment) and trust me my friend people are making success stories of themselves all over here. While we live with positivit, ignorant people like you look down on us with negativity even tho u don’t know 2cents worth about south africa. And yes ur thoughts on south africa clearly shows how ignorant you are as you choose to debate about a country of which you clearly know very little about nor have you taken any time doing some research on the country. Ignorant.

          • Mark Hitchcock said on 19th January 2012, 23:01

            While I agree with you to a certain extent that SA have more important things to spend their money on, you certainly seem to be ignorant when it comes to the situation in other countries (such as the widespread discrimination against the Romani people in Italy, poverty in Russia, a terrible history of poverty, discrimination and ongoing rights violations in china, incredibly widespread poverty in India, the near-annihilation of the native people of North America and Australia). The list goes on and on and on, yet you seem to think it’s much worse and more notable in SA.

        • JCost (@jcost) said on 19th January 2012, 20:49

          I don’t think India’s social indicators are better than RSA’s..

          Russian government is far worse than South African, are they ready?

          Bahrain? Jesus, that’s not comparable.

          On infrastructures? RSA is ready sorry.

  2. Matty No 2 (@mattynotwo) said on 19th January 2012, 0:22

    I think Magny Cours should come back. It never really produced any good races that I can recall, but I always enjoyed watching the cars fly through the chicanes.
    The only thing that really dissapointed me was when they removed the last chicane going down the hill.
    Racing their now would probably improve with DRS.

    • sato113 (@sato113) said on 19th January 2012, 1:35

      Racing their now would probably improve with DRS.

      *shudders*
      i think racier tyres would be enough. the straight after turn 3 (?) is long enough anyway.

      • Adam Tate (@adam-tate) said on 19th January 2012, 2:16

        Agree about the awesome chicanes at Magny Cours. I would welcome it back on the calendar.

        • damonsmedley (@damonsmedley) said on 19th January 2012, 4:02

          Magny-Cours has some of the best corners in F1, I think, yet the racing there always seemed to be lacking for some reason. Perhaps it was to do with cars not being able to follow closely enough through the long right-hander that fed onto the straight before the Adelaide hairpin. Apparently it’s in the middle of no-where, though.

          • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 19th January 2012, 4:10

            @damonsmedley – If you read the Saward article, he also says this:

            The inaccessibility of Magny-Cours has now largely been solved, with the A77 autoroute having finally been completed to the gates of the circuit at the start of 2011. This means that the journey time from Paris has been reduced significantly, although it remains a trip of 160 miles, which takes around three hours, allowing for traffic getting out of Paris.

            So it’s probably still a little inconvenient to get to Magny-Cours, but it appears the major problems have been addressed.

          • damonsmedley (@damonsmedley) said on 19th January 2012, 4:23

            Google maps time! I’ll be honest and ashamedly admit that I wasn’t sure of the exact location of Magny-Cours. I’ve measured the distance between Paris and the circuit for the benefit of anyone else who also wasn’t aware. It seems a fair distance, but I don’t think that’s really an issue when what you get at the other end of the journey is a Grand Prix!

            I’ve always preferred Magny-Cours over Paul Ricard. The latter seems to be so rural, it has no facilities for spectators, the track itself is dull and sparse, and the area it’s in probably wouldn’t attract many people anyway. Besides, Southern France already have Monaco. ;)

          • Adam Tate (@adam-tate) said on 19th January 2012, 5:10

            I had a 180 mile drive to university, and drove the route at least once a month for years. So 160 from Paris to Magny-Cours isn’t so bad. I’d gladly do that and I plan to drive a very similar distance in November, from Dallas to Austin for the U.S. Grand Prix!

          • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 19th January 2012, 5:47

            @adam-tate – I think the problem with Magny-Cours wasn’t so much the distance as it was the condition of the roads used to get there, the amount of traffic trying to get in and out, and the general inability of local towns to support the race (though this became less of a problem as the towns grew).

    • George (@george) said on 19th January 2012, 17:46

      I always liked Magny Cours, great drivers’ track although there tends not to be much overtaking action. I guess it helps that I hate Paul Ricard too ;)

  3. Fer no.65 (@fer-no65) said on 19th January 2012, 0:25

    I agree with the COTD, about F1 not being truly wordwide unless they land on Africa again, but…

    Staging a F1 race in South Africa would bring huge revenues and permanent jobs to South Africans

    Permanent jobs, maybe, but surely not huge revenues. Even the classic racetracks are struggling to hold a race under this kind of contracts, and we’re talking about the most stable economies in the world. It’d be quite a task for South Africa to host 5 or 6 races in a row (that’s the average lenght of today’s contracts, isn’t it?). Maybe it’d bring the country some promotion, but that’s not always right… it’s not like the World Cup, which really gets non-stop promotion for 4 straight years.

    I’d love to see F1 back to Kyalamy, and that’s probably South Africa’s high point: they do have a famous racetrack, with some character and good memories, something other new venues (like Korea, or Turkey) didn’t have.

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 19th January 2012, 1:08

      I believe Kyalami is far too small to how Formula 1 these days.

      • GeeMac (@geemac) said on 19th January 2012, 5:14

        It is. BAR had a preseason test there in the mid-naughties and they were lapping comfortably under 70 seconds from memory.

        • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 19th January 2012, 6:46

          Maybe the South Africans could re-build the original circuit, but scale it up from 4.1km to the usual 5.5km – though maybe a few little tweaks might be in order to retain the circuit’s character.

          • moral compass said on 19th January 2012, 7:44

            maybe the south africans should build some housing for the poor instead of lining Bernies pockets.

          • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 19th January 2012, 8:09

            And maybe you should consider the morality of presenting yourself as the “moral compass” of the blog to justify attacking people who do not share the same opinion as you.

            As I have outlined above in great detail, many countries that have joined, will join, or are considering joining the Formula 1 calendar. As the blog’s moral compass, I expect that you would be intimately and equally familiar with Spanish economic policies, China’s stand on ethnic minorities, Russian electoral procedures and the social challenges of South Africa. But I know you’re not.

          • Chalky (@chalky) said on 19th January 2012, 8:41

            Maybe the South Africans could re-build the original circuit, but scale it up from 4.1km to the usual 5.5km

            I think they built some housing near to the circuit. The area now is too cramped to expand.

          • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 19th January 2012, 8:43

            No, I mean rebuilding it as in completely rebuilding it somewhere else as a purpose-built facility.

          • BasCB (@bascb) said on 19th January 2012, 17:18

            But you must admit @prisoner-monkeys, that @chalky‘s comment nicely reacts to the moral compass guy asking to build housing instead of a track!

            Cheers for that!

          • Chalky (@chalky) said on 19th January 2012, 19:01

            @bascb :D . It is ironic that the old circuit was sold for part housing development in order to reconstruct the new circuit. Found this article on the history of the track. http://www.grandprix.com/gpe/cir-069.html

  4. Matty No 2 (@mattynotwo) said on 19th January 2012, 0:47

    I like Turkey, I think the only problem with the circuit was the carpark on the outside of turn 8, I’d pay good money to sit there.

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 19th January 2012, 1:01

      The run-off was a necessary evil. Because of the high-speed, multi-apex design of the corner, plenty of run-off was needed in case someone made a mistake. If they did, they would likely go off the circuit at an angle, and if the run-off was gravel, the car could easily dig in and flip (which is why we have tarmac run-off in the first place).

      • Matty No 2 (@mattynotwo) said on 19th January 2012, 2:06

        They only do about 150mph 160 tops through turn 8 don’t they?
        They should design it like what they have done at Eau Rouge, a bit of carpark, then the wall.

        • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 19th January 2012, 2:32

          They can’t. Run-off areas are dictated by the FIA regulations. It’s a problem the Circuit of the Americas is facing: Tavo Hellmund wanted Turns 16, 17 and 18 – modelled on Istanbul’s Turn 8 – to be a downhill, off-camber, multi-apex bend with no run-off, but the FIA said that at the very least, there had to be a minimum amount of run-off area, and that run-off area is dictated by the speed and angle of the corner. The reason why Eau Rouge has the small space that it does is because existing circuits did not need to be modified when the rules were re-written.

  5. Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 19th January 2012, 0:54

    Joly is hoping that the circuit can win back the French Grand Prix, rather than seeing the race go off to Paul Ricard, near Toulon

    For some reason, I have this vision in my mind’s eye of a Frenchman saying “Newman!” the way Jerry Seinfeld did when he learned Paul Ricard was trying to get the race. I don’t know why. I guess it’s just the way my mind works.

  6. wasiF1 (@wasif1) said on 19th January 2012, 3:11

    I doubt that Senna will do something like Button, hope as he has a good trainer & driver mentor with him “Chris Goodwin” who is Mclaren Test driver & helped a lot in designing the SLR & MP4-12C.So I am optimistic that we may see a better Senna but not as close as Button.

  7. damonsmedley (@damonsmedley) said on 19th January 2012, 4:09

    “Look at Jenson Button – when he drove for us, Giancarlo Fisichella destroyed him, and Fisi would be the first guy to admit he’s not a mega. He was a very good number two. But now Jenson’s fantastic.”

    I think so much of it comes down to whether the car is suited to the driver or not. Fisichella had already spent the previous year with Benetton, so he was better equipped to drive the car in 2001 and it was probably built largely around what he wanted.

    But that’s why I’m always hesitant to play down a driver’s abilities. There are too many variables and it’s all too common that talent ends up being wasted because they’re judged on a few mediocre performances. Given the right car (and I mean perfect for their driving style), I think most of the field could win the title and probably humiliate their team-mate. When you get to this level, the differences in driver skill and speed are so minimal that I believe such things play a major role in who is the quickest.

    • Matty No 2 (@mattynotwo) said on 19th January 2012, 8:18

      I’ ll be frank, I did’nt think much of Button, really just thought he was in F1 because he was British, most people did I think, but when he won in Hungry in 2006 , well, I was blown away, became a bit of a Button fan after that.

      • matt90 (@matt90) said on 19th January 2012, 12:44

        But he had a great 2004 season. Nobody seems to remember it for some reason. It is still the season where he got his 2nd highest number of podiums (only beaten in 2011, not even his champion year).

    • I think so much of it comes down to whether the car is suited to the driver or not.

      There always comes a point though when a driver has to adapt himself. I remember Brundle commenting (I think in AD or Malaysia in 2010) that Alonso is one of the few drivers who adjusts his own style*. Of course, there’s only so much a driver can do but there comes a time when they’ve got to just put up with it, do the job and beat their team mate regardless. JB’s been great generally since he joined Mcl but when he struggles with balance and grip he can plummet down the grid in qualifying.

      *I apologise for the Alonso fangirl reference but I generally remember comments about him and/or Massa far easier.

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 19th January 2012, 17:31

      I think one of the most revealling parts of that talk say more about Renault’s Lotus’ reasons for not signing Senna, but do point to the fact that Williams might hit a softspot with Bruno, if they are lucky:

      “I don’t think there’s any doubt about his pace,” Permane says. “What lets him down – and he knows it – is his consistency. But he didn’t get a chance to show it. He had eight races with us but a lot of them were compromised by car problems.”

      So they expect Grosjean to have learnt about building the team AND being consistently there. Something they felt they could not count on with Bruno.

    • damonsmedley (@damonsmedley) said on 19th January 2012, 7:30

      Wow. It looks like you’re going to be able to select which onboard camera you’d like! That’s incredible. So jealous…

      • GT_Racer said on 19th January 2012, 10:02

        Won’t be able to pick from any camera, Looks like they will have the Onboard Mix (Which BBC broadcast the past 3 years) as well as 3 additional onboard camera feeds.

        FOM only have 9 active at any single time as even though every car carries a camera its impossible to get them all active at the same time due to bandwidth limitations as well as other considerations.

        BBC had access to 6 of the 9 feeds avaliable as well as the Mix, They broadcast the Mix on the red button during races & used the other 6 during post race analysis looking at incidents & race starts etc….

        I would suggest Sky would use those 3 additional feeds to have cameras from the 3 British drivers (Hamilton, Button & Di Resta), However they woudn’t be able to do that as the 3 British drivers may not have there cameras active at all times as who’s cameras are active on the 9 feeds is constantly changing depending on whats happening around the circuit.
        The German version of Sky tried to have an Onboard feed dedicated to Michael Schumacher but soon had to change it to include all German drivers as Michael’s camera wasn’t active at all times.

        • AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 19th January 2012, 13:00

          I wouldn’t want to be looking at British driver onboards all the time anyway.

          Who says that just because i’m British I support British drivers?

        • damonsmedley (@damonsmedley) said on 19th January 2012, 14:56

          How do you know this stuff? I’m massively interested in FOM and how everything works, but despite countless hours of research, I’ve learned very little. And is there any chance FOM could have the non-active onboard cameras recording to their own form of storage device in the car? It’s just we often get incidents and there’s no footage of them to adjudicate it with. It would also be nice to see everything later on. Basically, I think FOM need to be innovative and/or invest a bit of money into upgrading so that we can have 24 onboard cameras recording at all times.

          Imagine how easy it would have been to tell Piquet had crashed deliberately in Singapore if they showed an onboard replay immediately…

          • BasCB (@bascb) said on 19th January 2012, 17:35

            I think GT_Racer wrote that he used to be involved in the digital F1 channel that FOM launched a couple of years back.

            Thanks for the insights!

      • Enigma (@enigma) said on 19th January 2012, 13:18

        I might just move to the UK just for that :/ Very envious.

    • AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 19th January 2012, 13:04

      Good find! Thanks for sharing.

      It certainly looks like they’re throwing lots of weight behind it, which is good.

      I especially like the addition of a Twitter feed.

    • StefMeister (@stefmeister) said on 19th January 2012, 14:35

      For those intrested, This is how Sky Deutschland handled there Interactive coverage last year (Schwarz Rot Gold is the German driver OnBoard feed):
      http://img812.imageshack.us/img812/4456/2011melbournequalifying.jpg
      They also carried the OnBoard-Mix we got on the BBC but it wasn’t on that MultiScreen.

  8. Previous comment directed at jack..and by the way we got out independence in 1994 not 1960. Does mandela ring a bell? Ignorance. Maybe you should come over and visit rsa. Try cape town( one of the best city’s in the world ask jeremy clarkson), durban (one of the most diverse city’s with the best beaches) oh wait you might jus be eatn by a lion or knocked unconcious by our cave neighbour tarzan or get eatin by a giant mosquito. I’m all for a good debate, but when you have no idea what so ever about the country you wish to have a debate about, well then your argument very quickly becomes hilarious.

  9. vjanik said on 19th January 2012, 8:48

    I dont agree with the COTD. I dont think Africa would benefit from an F1 race.

    The argument that it will create jobs and bring in money is just nonsense. How many GPs actually make money? The new circuits cost billions and the old ones make a loss every year and have to be subsidized by local or national governments to even survive. (maybe with the exception of Silverstone)

    The argument that it is not a world sport until there is a race in Africa is also strange. Yes, it would be nice to have a race on every continent, but that is being a little bit selfish given what problems a lot of people in Africa are facing. Having lived in Nigeria for a few years I can tell you that money can be better spent on something more important than an F1 race.

    Has anyone even asked, the South Africans for example, if they want a race? I can understand Football and Rugby because these sports are huge in the country, but F1? It should be first and foremost their decision. But even if it turns out there is demand for it locally, that still doesn’t mean it will be possible. Even the richest countries in the world are struggling to maintain an F1 race.

    • @vjanik “Has anyone even asked, the South Africans for example, if they want a race?”

      The answer is simple… YES PLEASE!!!

    • Johnny 5 said on 19th January 2012, 13:27

      The question of how many GPs make money is not straightforward. OK, so Bernie will make sure that the track operator / race promoter won’t make much out of it, if anything. But that’s overlooking the additional business for the tourism, transport and hospitality industries that will happily welcome the teams, the media circus, and the occasional spectator that comes along with a GP, all making money for local business and government in the region. The effect goes on for much longer than just the 3 days the cars are on the track!

      Does anyone here have access to some figures on the OVERALL cost/benefit picture of a GP event?

  10. Anti-RBR (@matt2208) said on 19th January 2012, 23:12

    “Look at Jenson Button when he drove for us, Giancarlo Fisichella destroyed him, and Fisi would be the first guy to admit he’s not a mega. He was a very good number two. But now Jenson’s fantastic. Can Senna do that? Only time will tell. Does Senna Have A Martin Whitmarsh At Williams?.

  11. WarfieldF1 said on 20th January 2012, 8:18

    I dont think Senna and Button is a good comparison,button was good enough his first year to be kept by Williams but Montoya signing meant he had to go.
    At Benetton/Renault he was never Flavios choice and did well not to be destroyed by the experience, beating Truli in 2002 but stil sent packing….BAR/Honda and the Williams contract disputes could have ruined any driver but he seems very strong in the head and obviously talented…………Senna by contrast has had very little experience and very little F1 to judge him on.
    I wish Senna and Williams all the best though and hope this isnt a last chance for both of them.

  12. falken (@falken) said on 20th January 2012, 20:32

    Damon Hill appears to think kicking in Next is the same as the government slaughtering tens of thousands of peaceful protesters with anit-aircraft cannons.
    My.

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