Showing posts with label Auto Racing. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Auto Racing. Show all posts

Monday, May 18, 2015

Dario Franchitti - Why I Quit Racing

I'm a big racing fan. Any sport where there is serious risk every time you go out there, that's what I love. IndyCar is dangerous, in the same way as Formula 1, MotoGP and other sports where you reach speeds over 100 km/h on the warm-up lap!

One of the biggest stars in the motorsports world has definitely been Dario Franchitti. The IndyCar Series Champion in 2007, 2009, 2010 and 2011 he also won the Indianapolis 500 in 2007, 2010 and 2012. This guy knows how to race. This guy knows how to win too.

So why did he quit getting into a car back in 2013? After a massive crash he was told by doctors that he should just walk away from it.

As he says himself:

It wasn’t some big dramatic scene. I wasn’t devastated or anything. Besides, my sole focus was on getting better. I just wanted to be able to live my life normally again.
An awesome chap. Not too many people can be that cold and calculating. He'd been racing since the early 80's and, as he states in a recent interview, his parents remortgaged the house to get him through his first year in karting.

Jackie Stewart was key in helping him further his career, and Dario recollects his first meeting with Jackie:

"He was brilliant though. He put me at ease completely. We were doing a Christmas quiz, all the team, and one of the questions was about Stirling Moss. Jackie opened his suit pocket, pulled out his phone, flipped it down [and called Stirling] to double-check the answer. I thought to myself: 'Wow. This is the big time. Holy smokes.'" 

I can only hope that future drivers can be as magnanimous and gentlemanly as Dario.



Wednesday, January 15, 2014

For The Danger Of It

A friend of mine recently praised wholeheartedly a new movie coming out called 'The Crash Reel'. Its a movie I am looking forward to seeing, but from the official trailer below, I was hooked by one line a reviewer is quoted on. And I think it might be the first time that I actually listen to what a reviewer says.

Did you catch the quote? At 1.49 Empire is quoted as saying ' Senna, its appeal and message transcend'.

Ayrton de Silva Senna was a hero of mine back in the '80s so I paid attention to that quote. And I am sure for sure going to watch The Crash Reel when it comes out too.

Here is why Ayrton Senna was just so amazing:

And thats why David Coulthard, Michael Schumacher and so many more F1 drivers all agree that he was an amazing driver, if not the best driver of all time.


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Tuesday, September 3, 2013

GEOX - Scream Challenge with Infiniti Red Bull Racing Team

Oh those advertising people are clever.

They took a shoe competition, 2 formula 1 drivers and an empty racing track and they got a good few advertisements out of it.

What did they do? They took the winners of a competition and said they had won 20 pairs of  shoes. To get all 20 they had to do one lap in the passenger seat of a car, driven by a Formula 1 driver.

Not so bad?

Well, there was one simple rule; For every scream they emit, they lose one pair of shoes.

Here are the results:


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Thursday, April 25, 2013

Evolution of the F1 Car

I do like me some Formula 1.

Some people don't understand how I can look at cars going round in circles and I answer "that's Nascar, not Formula 1!".

Some Formula 1 tracks are normal, bog-standard, roads taken over for the week, such as the famous Monaco, Sepang and Melbourne circuits:

Australian F1 Circuit, a local park turns into a Formula 1 circuit

Monaco F1 Circuit, Where the Streets have no names. But the corners do: Casino, St Devote, Rascasse

Sepang, Malaysia F1 Circuit, built around some amazing high rise buildings, all lit up for a real eye-opening evening race.

The old formula 1 cars don't look amazingly different to today's cars, I think they're the same length and roughly the same height. This little video will show you exactly though:

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Monday, September 24, 2012

Robert Kubica's Injury - Part 2

Back in February 2011 Formula 1 racing driver and upcoming star, Robert Kubica had a serious crash whilst rallying in the off season. Here is my blog about Robert Kubica's crash.

Very much like his fellow driver Felippe Massa's near death experience with a piece of debris entering his cranium, Robert's injury put all of Formula 1's eyes on him. Unlike Felippe, Robert was unable (so far!) to return to the pinnacle of open wheel racing, which is Formula 1.

But good news! Robert is back to racing.

Autosport had this to say:

Robert Kubica took victory on his return to competition in an Italian domestic rally on Sunday.
The event was the first motorsport contest the Pole had entered since sustaining horrific injuries in a rally accident in Italy in February 2011.
...Kubica won all four stages of the Ronde Gomitolo di Lana rally to claim victory by nearly a minute over Omar Bergo's WRC Mini.
Robert Kubica

Before the start of the rally, Kubica told Italian television channel SkySport24 that the event marked the start of "a more active phase" in a recovery that he still hopes will bring him back to Formula 1 eventually.

And we're all sitting here waiting for your return sir!

Get well soon Bob.

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Monday, December 5, 2011

Formula 1 - Easy Driving

A friend of mine and I were chatting the other day over a pint of wine... and I found out that he used to be an F1 fan but stopped when he started working on Sundays.

I tried to update him about the goings on in the sport and tried to explain to him just how much more technologically challenging the driver's role is today.

Here are 2 views of how the steering wheel in an F1 car creates challenges for the driver.

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Sunday, October 30, 2011

Formula 1 Blog

I've mentioned before that I am a Formula 1 addict. If you don't know what Formula 1 is, well, maybe you live in Swaziland, or are an American, well it is the ultimate in car racing. Not the ultimate in open-wheel, or 'The World Series' - but in the world.


I watch races whenever I can, download those that I can't watch live, and listen to podcasts to explain to me what I miss.

Lewis, Robert, Kimi, Fernando, Nico, and Felip...There are 2 main podcasts that I listen to, and Sidepodcast.

Out of all the Formula 1 blogs out there, I only listen to these 2 - and why? Because they are run and presented by 'normal folk'. We can't really call anyone willing to wake at 2am to watch a car race 'normal'. Let's just call them, well, 'dedicated'.

Both of the podcasts sound like friends, sitting in a pub or living room, discussing the race.A discussion that is slightly too informed for me to join in with, but very interesting indeed.

In 2013 the USA will be hosting a race in Texas. The work started on the track a while back, but Formula 1 is about money, not being polite, or equal, but cold hard cash. They were waiting for the dosh to be on the table to tell the world that F1 would grace The Lone-star State with their presence.

Recently, Todd,  the main culprit (!) from has started writing for the Huffington Post in the UK and his writing is very interesting indeed. I highly suggest you pop over there and give it a look, I know I'll be following it very closely.

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Friday, June 17, 2011

Allan McNish

In my last, earth shattering, blog post 'Twitter, iPhones and Fast Cars' which caused furor in the world of... well, nowhere really.


I have always been a fan of motor-sport so it was interesting for me to see this week that 'Le Mans 24 hour' was trending on Google, Twitter and YouTube.

YouTube? Here's why:

At the time of writing, this clip had over 2,400,000 views. Nice.

And the funky thing for me? I've been in touch with Allan McNish in the past, discussing Formula 1 stuff on Twitter.

Weird to see someone you 'know' going through such a crash.

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Tuesday, November 3, 2009

A mix of two loves

That title sounds a bit naughty doesn't it? I think I'll leave it there to raise the number of visitors to the blog from Google.

Jenson ButtonImage via Wikipedia

Anyway, with the Formula 1 season now over and the last Grand Prix watched, analyzed and misanalysed I thought I'd share with you two things I love: Fry & Laurie and Auto Racing. Like oil and water mixed in a puddle they show a myriad of color .. blah blah blah

Enjoy the sketch


Thursday, September 17, 2009

I'll explain my love to you

Actually I'll allow the masterly Joe Saward in his Grand Prix Blog explain it. The mixture of love for Formula 1, in it's purer form, and the desire or need to blog;

Blogs are about opinions, not just straight journalism… I would rather write of the good things that Grand Prix racing has to offer, rather than the latest sleazy scandal. .... It is a universal truth that those who live by the sword must accept that they will likely die by the sword as well. Flav knew the rules of the game and he has only himself to blame if he has been caught.
And he continues straight into the meat of the matter, and the reason that I was shaking my head last night and kept telling Her Indoors (aka Mrs Jumblerant) 'I don't get it, I just don't understand why they did it'.

Renault F1 RS01Image by Patrick Mayon via Flickr

The sordid tale of Singapore 2008 has no place in F1. It is a tale of miserable cynical people, people with no souls. Where is the passion in doing such things? Where is the joy? Where is the pride? Where is the honour? It was all just to keep them on the Renault gravy train. To keep their jobs when they did not deserve to be kept....

Winning is not about finishing first, winning is about passion, about pride, about the joy and the thrill of the contest.

And if you have to manufacture that, then you are lost… and have no place in the sport.
Yes Joe, that is how I feel. And thank you for putting it so eloquently. That is why I read your blog.


Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Nelson Piquet Jr crashed for Alonso and Renault

So, what the gosh darned rooting tooting is that title all about then?

I am a fan of Formula 1. Any sport that can end in serious pain if you make a mistake gets my attention. Formula 1 has the added draw of having a large amount of information flowing throughout the year and not just on race day.

Crashes are not uncommon but generally do not alter the final result as they either happen at the first corner to some back markers or later on in the race to a couple of cars who are fighting for position and then take each other out.

There are some famous crashes such as Roland Ratzenberger and Ayrton deSilva Senna's fatal crashes (in the same weekend), as well as Michael Schumacher taking himself or nearest competitor out, and a couple of beauties when cars went, literally, flying over others.

That's not the point though. The level of danger involved is the point.

Any crash involves pieces of car flying at high speed in all directions. This allows the energy in the crash to dissipate without harming the driver. But it also means that basically, bits go flying everywhere. Tyres have landed in the crowd killing spectators and we are coming to terms, in F1, with the fact that Felipe Massa is going to be out for the rest of the season because he was hit in the head by a piece of debris that fell off another car in front of his during a practice session.

He was hit in the helmet with a 800g piece of coiled metal at over 180mph that left him unconscious. He is recovering now and has a beautiful scar (above) to tell the tale.

And that is where today's revelations leave me with my mouth agape and my mind not comprehending what happened.

Nelson Piquet Jr.'s intentional crash, in the the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix.

Today it was revealed that one team, Renault, had asked one of its drivers, Nelson Piquet Jr., to crash on purpose. The FIA stated that Renault had planned and carried out actions:
to cause an intentional accident with the aim of causing the deployment of the safety car to the advantage of their other driver, Fernando Alonso, who went on to win.

The team stated
“The ING Renault F1 Team will not dispute the recent allegations made by the F.I.A. concerning the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix,”
Which is pretty damn shameful, dangerous and ultimately, suicidal for the careers of those involved.

So what also gets my goat here, and you may notice that I'm still very annoyed and shocked by it all, is that they actually thought that they could get away with it.

In an industry where millions of dollars hang in the balance for every point a driver can make people are going to be ruthless. And they are going to have very long memories.

The chap on the left, Flavio 'Flav' Briatore, has been in Formula 1 for a very long time. He helped to bring Michael Schumacher into the limelight. He was teh Team leader for Renault.

The chap on the left is Pat Symonds. He too has been in F1 forever and he was Flav's no. 2 man.

Today they both left their current (and probably last) Formula 1 team after the team admitted that these two individuals had in fact conspired with their no. 2 driver, Nelson Piquet Jr., to alter the outcome of the race.

Nelson Piquet Jr.Image by eugeneflores via Flickr

And the chap on the left got immunity. He is the driver of the car, Nelson Piquet Jr.

What a super chap, eh? He told the governing body of Formula 1 about the evil team leader's plans to corrupt the outcome of the Championship Race.

Except that he waited a year to tell them.

And only after he was fired by his manager and team leader, Flavio Briatore.

Revenge may be sweet Mr Piquet but I think you kinda shot yourself in the foot this time.


All photos are copyright people who can afford, or get invited to Grand Prixes.