Ned Flanders

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    Ned Flanders

    What a sad state of affairs. The worst thing is there’s no real prospect of change while the same hardliners are in power and the irrational Iranophobia persists.

    It’s also such a shame that the Bahrain GP is causing such damage to F1’s reputation. I know that’s a very trivial complaint compared to the woes the Bahraini Shias are facing, but F1 has been a huge part of my life since I was a kid, and to see quite how rotten and amoral it has become is really quite saddening.


    Ned Flanders

    Lin- I’m not suggesting that Nakajima deserves a return- he was pretty mediocre at Williams- but it’s unusual for there not to be a Japanese driver on the grid, and maybe Honda’s return will bring the Japanese funding to support them


    Ned Flanders

    Interesting that Kazuki Nakajima was champion last season. Wonder if he could ever make a return to F1 if he got some sponsors behind him?


    Ned Flanders

    Great work Guilherme! I’d love to see them ranked in order of what they’re paying or how much space they have, but presumably that information isn’t available


    Ned Flanders

    Wow, that was a big one. Hope it doesn’t hurt his confidence too much, it must already have been quite low having been outpaced by Ogier all weekend


    Ned Flanders

    Anyone know if/ where Ott Tanak will be driving this season. I had a quick look online but I couldn’t find what, if any, plans he has for 2013. It’d be a shame if he wasn’t driving, he had been touted as the next big thing over the last few years.


    Ned Flanders

    Ostberg is one of my favourite drivers at the moment so I should be glad to see him win. But it´s such an undesirable way to take your maiden win, reminding me of the timing debacle at the 2003 Brazilian GP robbing Giancarlo Fisichella of the chance to celebrate his first win.

    Also, the WRC could do without this right now. They´re trying to rebuild and changing the results after the rally is over is always going to annoy and confuse the casual fan.

    I know rules are rules, and if the car was illegal then I suppose it needed to be penalised, but did the crime warrant exclusion? I recall Sebastien Loeb getting a time penalty after Rally Australia in (I think) 2009 rather than outright exclusion


    Ned Flanders

    A dodo egg


    Ned Flanders

    I´m amazed everyone seems to think Solberg has a shout. He peaked years ago, he´s rarely even threatened to win in the last few years. Even in his heyday I don´t think he was ever anything particularly special. Ford would seem to agree because they´ve admitted he´s officially number 2 to Latvala this season.

    Saying as Ogier doesn´t have a WRC car this season and Hirvonen is never going to beat Loeb in the same car, the only other man I see having a shot at the title is Latvala. I think he´s far better than his career results so far would suggest, and with a combination of more luck and fewer crashes he could regularly have the beating of Loeb


    Ned Flanders

    Can I do the full grid myself?! I’ll keep it as realistic as I can without being too boring

    Red Bull:
    1. Lewis Hamilton
    2. Jean Eric Vergne

    3. Heikki Kovalainen
    4. Timo Glock

    5. Kimi Raikkonen
    6. Jules Bianchi

    7. Sebastian Vettel
    8. Paul di Resta

    9. Fernando Alonso
    10. Michael Schumacher

    Force India
    11. Rubens Barrichello
    12. Nico Rosberg

    14. Felipe Massa
    15. Romain Grosjean

    Toro Rosso
    16. Mark Webber
    17. Neel Jani

    18. Vitaly Petrov
    19. Jarno Trulli

    20. Jenson Button
    21. Kamui Kobayashi

    22. Marc Gene
    23. Sergio Perez

    24. Adrian Sutil
    25. Daniel Ricciardo


    Ned Flanders

    Oh yeah, I completely forgot about that! Probably because Saward’s love for Liuzzi seems to have cooled considerably this year


    Ned Flanders

    I don’t like Vijay Mallya at all (I particularly hate that preened goatee of his), but I’d always take what Joes Saward says about him with a pinch of salt. Saward seems to have built up quite a vendetta towards him


    Ned Flanders

    PM- I think what you say is generally correct, but you shouldn’t forget the fact that Loeb is getting on a bit, and Hirvonen must have considered that he could be the lead driver at Citroen as early as 2013. Maybe he’s looking at the bigger picture here


    Ned Flanders

    Exciting news! I wasn’t really expecing it, but I suppose it should hardly be a surprise given how little support Citroen were giving to Ogier.

    Ogier is supposed to be off to Ford now, and it’ll be fascinating to see him up against Latvala. Then again, if the deal hasn’t been signed maybe Volkswagon could tempt him with a big money offer?

    Either way, looking at the long run surely the big loser in this is Citroen. As long as Loeb is around they’ll be fine, but maybe he won’t be around for more than a year or two more. Ogier was surely the man to guarantee them continued success in the future- I certainly don’t think Hirvonen can guarantee that, and besides he’s no spring chicken himself


    Ned Flanders

    I remember that terrible week back in July 2009 where first Henry Surtees was killed in F2 and then Felipe Massa was terribly injured in Hungary. On the weekend of Massa’s incident I was actually at the MotoGP at Donington, and I remember the fright I got every time I saw a rider fall and their bike disintegrate. I had grown up thinking that serious injuries and fatalities in motorsport were a thing of the past, and that week shattered that illusion.

    The last 7 days have usurped that week in my mind as the most shocking few days in motorsport I can remember. Seeing the Wheldon death was a huge bolt from the blue, a nasty shock. The Simoncelli news shocked me just as much, but already I’m beginning to come to terms with it.

    I suppose it’s finally beginning to dawn on me the inevitability that when you speed big hunks of metal around a racetrack at 200mph thinks will inevitably go wrong and people will die. The human body is very fragile. Perhaps the bigger surprise should be that it doesn’t happen more often?

    I think motorsport will take a lot of criticism in the next few days, and I fully understand that. It’s wrong for us fanatics to sit on our high horse looking down on people for daring to criticise something we love. If I was John Smith, the man on the street, I’d be asking why people are going out and losing their lives for our entertainment. And I bet there are plenty of sponsors out there who justifiably won’t want to be associated with these tragedies

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