China F1

Welcome to Shanghai, where the penultimate round of the 2008 Formula 1 season begins in a few seconds…

The red lights are all on… … and they’re off!

Off the line, Hamilton is surrounded by the two Ferraris, and as they reach the first corner…

The two red cars sandwich the McLaren…

And Hamilton’s car goes shooting off the track trailing wings and wheels after being launched by a combination of blocking and impacts from the two red cars…

And the stewards have acted quickly…

Hamilton has been awarded two 10-place demotions for interfering with both of the red cars…

Oops, it looks as if it’s academic anyway, as the tractor sent to recover the remains of his car has just suffered brake failure and appears to have accidentally driven over Hamilton’s car!

Last year, I said I wan’t particularly impressed by Hamilton, but I didn’t take any sort pleasure from his failure to win the F1 driver’s championship in his rookie year. In fact , I wish he had. One of the things that has brought F1 to its knees (apart from the this year’s blatant favouritism by the stewards wearing red tinted glasses), is the complacency of the “experienced” drivers, who were shown as being too settled into an established routine that delivered their ridiculous pay-packets, and meant they were prepared to dawdle around the track and make it look as if they were racing, but were really just staying in line.

Hamilton was like an irritating little kid zipping around them and ignoring the established principles of maintaining the status quo – a bit like the irritating brat that just keeps asking “Why?” in response to every reply made to his questions.

There also seems to be a nasty streak appearing in those established (lazy?) drivers as they are now reported to be claiming that Hamilton is dangerous. What does that mean? I’d say it equates to the spite that Schumacher, Senna and other drivers that could run circles around their “colleagues” earned, as they showed how the others weren’t performing, and were unwilling to take risks and overtake when an opportunity arose. Drivers like Hamilton show up the others who are prepared to hide behind the supposed theory that “You can’t overtake in a modern F1 car”, while he ignores the maxim, and goes on and does it – embarrassing them.

From the commentary, it seems as if the press and public have turned on Hamilton – I don’t read these articles, so I don’t know, but it doesn’t surprise me, as the British have a talent for setting heroes up on a pedestal – and then taking the greatest pleasure in kicking it away from beneath them. But that’s the media for you, any headline to sell a newspaper.

After the last race in Japan I marvelled at the ingenuity of the stewards as they used the first corner melee as an excuse to penalise Hamilton and give an advantage to Ferrari – since then, I’ve had to attend outpatient to have a nasty concussion monitored after I passed out in amazement at the steward’s decision to award a Ferrari driver an extra point after he was interfered with when a car exited the pit lane.

What a farce this is becoming!

If the exiting car broke a rule, then penalise the driver/team concerned!

Put them back on the next grid, or demote their result – don’t give an advantage to another driver that can be cashed in against another (yes, that would be Hamilton – loses a point to Massa, and he wasn’t even involved in the incident – sound familiar?).

F! should have a look at the Touring Cars and how they got their house in order, but at least all they had to do was get their drivers to behave, not sort out suspect stewards and the delivery of red cars in plain brown wrappers around the world.

A few years ago, the touring car races were more like on track battles, as the drivers endlessly took one another off the track and into the wall or gravel during the course of a race – in what was technically described as a non-contact sport.

Eventually the organisers called “enough” and the stewards began to enforce the contact rules and penalties FOR EVERYBODY! – and things quickly calmed down when the drivers realised that shoving an opponent off the track may win them a cheer from the crowd and remove the competition, unfortunately it also meant little or no reward in terms of points.

Now we have touring car races where nearly all the cars that start a race finish a race, and all they usually trade is paint unless there’s a genuine racing incident that ends up with cars off the track – and that’s usually the only penalty, not fines, points, or whatever.

2009 brings changes and new F1 rules, let’s hope it bring new stewards.

OH!

I forgot to make a note of Alonso the Creep, who has crawled back out of the gutter again.

He bravely announces that he will help Massa win if he can – when did the creep join Ferrari? I thought he drove a Renault. Is there another brown wrapper with a red car arriving at his house?

If Hamilton had said he was going to help another driver from another team, who would bet that the the stewards would have had no hesitation in disqualifying him from the next race for “Race-fixing”?

Corruption – where? I didn’t mention it. Who said corruption?

The actual China F1

There’s not much to be said about the actual race that took place in Shangahi…

Or is there?

In a county where plain brown wrappers with red cars in them are probably not worth much, we got a race with no silliness, and no strange steward’s decisions, or the discovery of unwritten rules.

But in the other countries the F1 circus has been in, Hamilton has been treated to everything bar a sniper and a grassy knoll…

???

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