Hockenheim Debrief by Josh Nathan and Korrie Stanley (Waaaaay overdue)
Monday, 8 October 2012
‘This video is no long available due to a copyright notice by FOM.’ This is a message that many fans of F1, who trawl the world of youtube, will be familiar with. It is a notification that informs the recipient that the F1 video they were hoping to watch online has been taken down in violation of copyright; a reminder of FOM's refusal to join the rest of us in the 21st century and fully embrace the internet revolution and online digital content. While they host 2 minute video summaries of the last race along with a shortened version of the FIA Gala which provides a summary of the season neither is particularly satisfying, somehow failing to really edify its’ audience. The videos are edited extremely creatively with no care given to linearity, the music is often bland and the minute insights gleaned from pit radios don't appear worth it when compared with the often juddering freezing mess of a player FOM thinks acceptable to present to us. That this is the only source of F1 content aside from the FIA reviews that is legally allowed, is both disheartening and frustrating in equal measure. FOM are not wrong in upholding their right to protect their own copyright, but are wrong in not presenting a satisfactory alternative and choosing instead to adhere to a dinosaur model of solely selling rights to individual broadcasters which is fast becoming obsolete, neither making commercial nor marketable sense, and which ultimately is costing them revenue, fans and profit.
The F1 2012 game case open in my hands, I eagerly scoop up the disk placing it into the Xbox 360 where it’s greeted by a soft click before I hear a rising aggressive whirring noise similar that of an engine that announces the game is loading The first thing that greets me is the menu system, when had been given a complete overhaul. Gone is the Paddock hub that had defined the last two games and in its place is a simple elegant, easy to navigate interface with a blue finish that aesthetically is a lot more pleasing to the eye.
Wednesday, 1 August 2012
The decision of whether or not Lewis Hamilton will remain at McLaren has been a hot topic for more than a year. With no drive yet secured for 2013 and with time swiftly running out Hamilton has expressed a desire to see a deal done during the summer. Since F1 is a sport that can provoke a lot of emotion almost everyone has an opinion on where he should go, and his behaviour during negotiations. The point of this piece is to point out that an agreement between a driver and a team isn't a love story it is a business agreement, and neither party should be treated as if its the former. My point has been demonstrated many times throughout the history of F1 with examples including Schumacher ditching Jordan, Button's sidestep of an agreement with Williams and the tendency for teams to get rid of an underperforming driver mid season in clear breach of contractual agreements, which all show that when it comes to driver agreements, loyalty, gratitude and selflessness rarely play a role.
Friday, 27 July 2012
|Heikki watching his future team mate after his retirement at the 2007 Hungarian Grand Prix|
Heikki Kovalainen joined the Formula 1 grid in 2007 as a replacement at the Renault team for Fernando Alonso who had moved to McLaren. While the first half of his campaign that season was dismal, his talent eventually shone through in the second half and he racked up enough good results to propel himself into a McLaren seat in 2008 to partner Lewis Hamilton. Both 2008 and 2009 were disappointing years for Heikki as team mistakes, a lot of bad luck and his driving style's effect on the tyres, all prevented him from showing his full potential as a great racing driver. It also didn't help that his team mate seemed to show relentless pace, an ability to drive around problems and ultimately went on to clinch the drivers world title. In 2009 a poor car further masked what he could do and both he and McLaren called it a day at the end of the season. Relegated to the back of the field, Heikki has grown and matured as a driver having been instrumental in bringing Caterham, a new team starting from scratch, closer to the mid field. He has also shown a consistency and speed in both qualifying and the race which will surely have had other team principles assessing whether to add him to their driver line up for 2013. While the Hungarian Grand Prix marks Heikki's 101st Grand Prix Weekend the race will actually be his 100th since he failed to start in Barcelona during the 2009 season. In commemoration of his 100th Grand Prix, I've selected what I think are the five best races of his career so far.
Tuesday, 24 July 2012
Growing up in a football dominated non-F1 environment, watching F1 had always been a solitary almost shameful activity for me, almost akin to smoking outside in the cold while everybody else huddled together in the warmth. While I initially tried to make it into a social activity with my friends they weren’t having any of it, and a lot of outright rejections, and awkward silences before quickly changing the subject, convinced me to give this up as a lost cause resulting in me watching it alone. As a follower of Badgergp on twitter and someone who reads their articles, I had seen them advertising live showings of other races in the past, but never really had the inclination to go. Like most I have my various watching habits which I keep religiously with the race usually on the TV, live timing on my computer, and twitter on my phone. I also tend to cook my traditional breakfast, brunch, or dinner (depending on the time) during the pre race coverage consisting of a fry up with a innocent mango and passion fruit smoothie, however for the German Grand Prix I threw aside my usual reticence and decided to chance it.