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May 012009
 

ayrton_senna_1991_united_states_gp2

1991. Phoenix, Arizona. The United States Grand Prix. It would be the first and last time I would personally see Ayrton Senna blaze by in the McLaren-Honda livery that started my fascination with Formula 1. Taking the pole and the win, it seemed business as usual for the Brazilian driver.

Exactly 15 years ago at the San Marino Grand Prix at Imola, Senna would go straight on at Tamburello and eventually die from his injuries later that day. Racing fans around the world were shocked and mourned the loss of probably the greatest racing driver of all time. Three F1 driver’s titles, numerous records for poles, wins and fastest laps. Any car, any where… he made it go faster. His 2 second gap over Alain Prost during qualifying at the 1988 Monaco GP is just one example of the sheer speed and brilliance this man possessed.

We miss you, Aryton.

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Apr 152009
 
brawn_diffuser

Brawn GP's Controversial Rear Diffuser

Finally, the FIA has put the final rubber stamp of approval on the disputed “illegal” diffusers in use by Formula 1 teams Brawn, Williams and Toyota. The FIA’s International Court of Appeal rejected claims made by Ferrari, McLaren, Renault and Red Bull, stipulating that the diffusers being used by the aforementioned squads were in breach of the technical regulations for 2009. Furthermore, they backed the decisions of the FIA stewards at the recent races in Australia and Malaysia, where they deemed the diffusers in line with regulations as well.

It all boils down to Brawn, Williams and Toyota being smart and ahead of the curve, whereas the contesting teams were left holding the bag. Now, the “race” for the losers will boil down to retrofitting their existing chassis with look-alikes of these disputed diffusers. But considering how aerodynamics is such a black art, and with no testing allowed, how they will manage to make it work is a mystery. With this decision, it’s not a long shot for Brawn to potentially take the F1 Constructor’s title and perhaps Jenson Button taking the Driver’s title for 2009.

Here’s the statement from the FIA:

“The FIA International Court of Appeal has decided to deny the appeals submitted against decisions numbered 16 to 24 taken by the Panel of the Stewards on 26 March at the 2009 Grand Prix of Australia and counting towards the 2009 FIA Formula One World Championship.

Based on the arguments heard and evidence before it, the Court has concluded that the Stewards were correct to find that the cars in question comply with the applicable regulations.

Full reasons for this decision will be provided in due course.”

Now that this particular saga is over, LET’S GET BACK TO THE BUSINESS OF RACING!

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Apr 032009
 

18281

You may recognize the wrecked Porsche Carrera GT in the photo above. “Pops” Hamilton, father of 2008 Formula 1 World Champion Lewis Hamilton, drove the German supercar into a fence wreaking heavy damage onto the BORROWED car. Well, like father, like son, good old Lewis drove his reputation into a fence last weekend at Australia.

After the mayhem and confusion that ensued after the finish, Jarno Trulli of Toyota was penalized 25 seconds for overtaking under yellow. FIA stewards investigated the case and bumped Hamilton up to 3rd as a result. The F1 circus packed up and left for this weekend’s race in Malaysia.

But something reared its ugly head…

Trulli’s 3rd place was reinstated and Hamilton was disqualified from the race. Apparently, Mr. Hamilton misled / lied to the stewards by withholding certain bits of information. And in his defense, he claims that he was told by McLaren’s Sporting Director, Dave Ryan, to lie to the stewards. Excusez-moi? Since when did F1 drivers do everything they are told to do by their teams?

It seems that Hamilton was caught with his hands in the cookie jar and he’s deflecting his responsibility on someone else. EVEN IF he was told to lie, how much integrity does this guy have by following what is outside the lines of sportsmanship? And now he’s snitching on Dave Ryan? Why in the world would he tell Hamilton to lie? Certainly, he would have no such authority unless someone higher up – Martin Whitmarsh? Maybe Ron Dennis himself? – told him it was okay. Regardless of whatever the scenario may have been, this seems like a case of Hamilton covering his own ass and trying to save his reputation. His reputation isn’t particularly a good one, as many have called him “arrogant”…  “self-centered”… well, you get the picture. And his behavior before and after the stewards’ investigation certainly seems in line with the aforementioned adjectives.

Man up, Lewis. You screwed up.

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Opinions expressed here are strictly those of the author. They do not represent the attitudes and opinions of RevdCars.net

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