Archive for the 'Formula 1' Category

My say on racism towards Hamilton @ Times Online

February 4, 2008

I just wrote a hurried response to the article reporting racial abuse of Lewis Hamilton by Spanish fans on the Times Online site:

As shocking and disgusting as it is to see the Alonso fans steep to the lowly depths of racism to grind their axe about their two time world champion perfect son Alonso being matched by a newcomer to the sport, it is hardly suprising for anyone who has followed the 2007 season closely. There was a fanatical side to the dislike of the Spanish fans for Lewis Hamilton, that is unlike anything I have seen in 20 years of following Formula 1. For those who forget easily: the head of the Spanish motorsport association was on record making a racial slur to Hamilton last summer, which he tried to retract as this ended up in the mainstream press. Alonso has shown himself to be a very poor sportsman, and his fan base don’t shun racism in backing up their favourite son. It’s an inconvenient truth, but the racism in Spain towards a succesful coloured driver has now surfaced, and F1 finds itself on territory that was previuosly almost exclusively known to the game of football.

F1: Alonso supporters show racist side

February 4, 2008

alonso-supporters-abuse.jpg

At a Formula 1 test last week on the Circuito de Catalunya, near Barcelona, Spanish motorsport fans showed their openly racist attitudes towards coloured F1 newcomer Lewis Hamilton, by shouting racist abuse. Some of the white spectators kitted themselves out to look like a caricature of black people, with their faces painted black and afro wigs. 

I’m shocked and disgusted, though not completly suprised, as I already strongly felt that there was a racist element in the way Lewis Hamilton was critisised and talked about dring the 2007 F1 World Championship.

Anyone remember the racist slur on Hamilton by the head of Spain’s national motorsort association, Mr. Garcia? He said that he found it ironic that a racist country like the UK now had to rely on a black driver, after such a long draught of title succes for British drivers. He tried to swallow his words when this was picked up in the press, but I’ll look up the exact quote later, and I will definetly return to this subject more in-depth soon.

At the time, the FIA announced that there would be an investigation into this matter, but nothing has been heard about it since. A fitting time perhaps, to make good on that promise, Mr. Max Mosley?

Lewis cleans up on Top Gear

December 2, 2007

Expectations were high, and Lewis played down the competitive element saying ‘…I’m not here to compete, just to enjoy myself’…yeah right. That’s part of the make-up of a race driver, to always manage expectations and play the psychological game. The Top Gear track turned out to be wet and slippery, after the Vauxhall Monaro VXR deposited its differential oil on the wet tarmac earlier in the day. So, how did he do? In a word, brilliantly. His lap looked agressive, but impeccably composed in the treacherous conditions. The result was a time of 1:44,7. To put it in perspective: the fastest wet time was set by Red Bull Racing’s Mark Webber, who did a 1:47. something. Nigel Mansell and Damon Hill, who were on the program previously, did times similar to Hamilton, but in the dry. So basically, Hamilton did a ‘dry time’in the wet. 

A wet track is easily worth a second or three, four. What I find fascinating as a lover of motor racing, is to see the difference top F1 drivers can make even in a boring, bog standard road car. Well, this is not an F1 blog (but I may start one soon), so I won’t ramble on about it any longer -for today anyway.

Oh, bugger. James Blunt instead of Lewis Hamilton.

December 2, 2007

Am I going senile? I’m sure I saw a BBC advert for tonight’s Top Gear featuring Lewis Hamilton, but it really is James Blunt chatting to Jeremy Clarkson at the moment…many housewives will rejoice and look up from Hello magazine, or whatever it is they do to kill the time on sunday evening when Top Gear is on…but I was rather looking forward to Lewis Hamilton. What’s going on here, BBC?!

Tonight, BBC2: Lewis Hamilton on Top Gear!

December 2, 2007

A bit of role reversal on Top Gear tonight: Richard Hammond is let loose in a Renault F1 car, while Lewis Hamilton is the ‘star in a reasonably priced car’. Let’s hope the Hamster doesn’t hurt himself, and that the Stig will not storm off crying how unfair it is to be beaten by a rookie, Alonso style, if Hamilton does manage to beat his time. That won’t be as easy as it looks though, as Stiggie has been hammering round the Top Gear track for ages, and Hamilton has to adjust from 750+ bhp, and massive levels of downforce and brake performance, to a car popular with pensioners on a budget. To add to the challenge, the trailer shown earlier tonight showed the track was soaking wet when Lewis did his run. Can’t wait to see how he will cope. Well I can manage the next seven minutes, just enough time to stick the kettle on.