If Massa wins the title will it be tainted by the Spa controversy? (Poll)

Felipe Massa\'s inherited win at Spa has kept him in the title battle
Felipe Massa's inherited win at Spa has kept him in the title battle

In the run-up to the final race of the season several people have left comments here pointing out that Lewis Hamilton would already be champion had he not received that infamous penalty at Spa-Francorchamps.

Without it the drivers? championship would already be over. Is that a good thing or not? Continue reading

James Allen hits back

After eight years as ITV-F1 commentator James Allen will commentate on his final live Grand Prix – for the time being at least – at Interlagos this weekend.

In that time he’s been subject to a huge amount of criticism, much of it coming on internet forums and blogs.

In a retrospective look at his time with ITV-F1, Allen has finally spoken about his reaction to the criticism:

I was always pretty confident that when Murray decided to retire I would get the gig, but never anything less than utterly self-critical and seeking to improve with every race and every year, which I think I?ve done.

It?s a very difficult and high-pressure job, because with 20 cars there are 20 different points of focus.

You have to read the race, using a TV picture and the timing screens, while speaking at the same time and still leave spare brain capacity for talking to the producer and thinking about what comes next.

And as it?s live and it?s all happening very quickly it?s very easy to make a mistake, which is why you always need to allow yourself a margin.

Having a brilliant communicator like Martin Brundle as a partner helps a great deal too.

I take a journalistic approach to commentary, I?m a storyteller; it?s my job to tell the story, not to be the story.

Of course there are many people at home in their armchairs who think they could do it better and one of the challenges for me was that I replaced Murray just as the internet opened up to allow everyone to have their say in chat rooms and forums.

But I know from market research and viewer feedback that the pros massively outnumber the vocal minority of cons.

I?m very proud of the work that we have done with the North One production team over the years and we have 2 BAFTAs and 12 Royal Television Society awards to prove that the TV industry, like most viewers, rate our work very highly.

Read the article in full here and have your say below.

More on ITV-F1′s final race: ITV F1: goodbye or good riddance?

Vettel’s special helmet (Pictures)

Sebastian Vettel is using a special helmet design for the Brazilian Grand Prix this weekend.

The German’s helmet bears the message ‘Grazie mille Toro Rosso’ thanking his team for the year and a half he’s spent with them. He joined them part-way through 2007 and leaves them having scored his – and their – maiden win in the Italian Grand Prix.

He is joining Red Bull for 2009, replacing David Coulthard, whose car has a special livery this weekend commemorating his final race.

F1 2009 season
2009 F1 drivers and teams

British press fury over Hamilton hate site

Lewis Hamilton was the target of racial abuse earlier this year
Lewis Hamilton was the target of racial abuse earlier this year

Several of the major British newspapers are reporting today about a Spanish-registered website set up to direct taunts at Lewis Hamilton. Here’s a typical example of the coverage from The Sun:

F1 ace Lewis Hamilton is facing another vile race hate campaign from Spanish yobs as he prepares to win the drivers’ title.

Racist abuse of Hamilton (and many other sporting personalities) on the Internet is, sadly, nothing new. So why has this website been singled out? Continue reading

Brazilian GP history 1984-1999 (Video)

Ayrton Senna in his home Grand Prix at Interlagos in 1993
Ayrton Senna in his home Grand Prix at Interlagos in 1993

Journeyer continues his video guide to the Brazilian Grand Prix.

Part 1 looked at the beginnings of the Brazilian Grand Prix, helped along by such names as Fittipaldi and Pace. Piquet, too, had already established himself as a regular contender at home, and he, along with Ayrton Senna, would give Brazil its golden era in F1. Continue reading

Join in the Brazilian GP live blogs

Wherever you’re watching the Brazilian Grand Prix, make sure you join in the F1 Fanatic Live Blogs. We’ll have live discussion, analysis and polls throughout the Brazilian GP weekend.

You can sign up to get an email reminder about any of the sessions below. Here are the start times for practice, qualifying and the race:

Friday 31st October

Practice Session 1, 10am local, 12 noon GMT
Practice Session 2, 2pm local, 4pm GMT

Saturday 1st November

Practice Session 3 11am local, 1pm GMT
Qualifying, 2pm local, 4pm GMT

Sunday 2nd November

The Brazilian Grand Prix, 3pm local, 5pm GMT

More details about the Brazilian Grand Prix session times

2008 Brazilian Grand Prix live blogs

David Coulthard’s final F1 race special Red Bull paint scheme in pictures

All the F1 drivers (well, nearly) turned out to see Coulthard\'s one-off car
All the F1 drivers (well, nearly) turned out to see Coulthard's one-off car

David Coulthard will race in a special livery to celebrate his final F1 Grand Prix at Interlagos this weekend as was tipped here by Becken yesterday.

Here is a collection of photographs of the one-off paint scheme his Red Bull will sport. Continue reading

2008 Brazilian Grand Prix predictions

Lewis Hamilton is my pick for victory for the second race in a row - and the title
Lewis Hamilton is my pick for victory for the second race in a row - and the title

Heading into the final race of the season the momentum and the expected track conditions seem to favour Lewis Hamilton.

But last year was a case study in how championships that look like foregone conclusions can still be lost.

Will history repeat itself at Interlagos? Make your predictions for the 2008 Brazilian Grand Prix below. Continue reading

The independent F1 blog and motor sport community