F1 Fanatic round-up: 14/5/2010

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It’s that strange Monaco Friday when there’s no F1 action going on.

There is, however, a GP2 race with an intriguingly mixed-up grid thanks to rain during their qualifying session, which took place just after the second F1 practice. If you’re in Britain it’s on live at 10.15am on Eurosport 2.

Here’s today’s round-up:


Monaco magic endures through the ages (BBC)

Vitaly Petrov is making an increasingly impressive entry into Formula 1 with Renault this year but Russia’s first grand prix driver sounded startlingly out of step with his surroundings this weekend. ‘Driving at Monaco means nothing to me’, said F1’s top rookie after 2010’s opening races. What about the history and the tradition of one of the most famous races in the world? ‘I don’t feel anything about the history,’ he said.”

Lewis: No Go for Afro Regrow (Will Buxton)

Unfortunately, my ??Regrow the Fro?? campaign appears to be over before it had even begun.”

Comment of the day

Yesterday was F1’s 60th birthday. Were you at that first race at Silverstone in 1950? The closest we’ve got so far is dsob, who saw the great Juan Manuel Fangio racing in 1956:

I missed that first race, being in diapers still. But I did make the 1956 Silverstone race. Fangio won on his way to the WDC that year. Don?t remember all of it, just the thrill of the cars and the noise, and getting into the garages after the race(my Granda knew some people) and getting to sit in Fangio?s car. A day that will always be a happy memory for me.

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Hyoko!

On this day in F1

Nigel Mansell retired from his last F1 race on this day 15 years ago. The former world champion had been signed by McLaren at the urging of sponsor Philip Morris ahead of the 1995 season.

He had missed the first two races of the season due to being unable to fit in the new MP4/10. Once he finally got in the car he quickly realised this was not a car he would be challenging for race victories in.

McLaren were using Mercedes engines for the first time in 1995 and several of the German manufacturers’ top executives went to the Spanish round of the championship – only to see Mansell park his car 18 laps in, having been running 13th.

Mark Blundell, who’d substituted for Mansell in the first two rounds of the season, took over the number seven car for the rest of the year.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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  • 61 comments on “F1 Fanatic round-up: 14/5/2010”

    1. yes, that was an epic fail of a comeback for Mansell. Shame really, he was good to watch.

      1. the fact he was too fat to fit in the car may have been a direct result of his time in america racing the indy series. Wonder how the indy drivers of the time would stack up in fitness terms against the F1 lads of the time like senna.

        1. Not likely. The indy cars of that time were heavier and it’s not like you could be a slouch in one of those things. Is this maybe coming from the “Americans are fat” stereotype? I’m not sure where you get Indy cars = unfit drivers.

          1. was simply an observation that once mansell came back from indy cars he was too fat to get in an f1 car. And in such curiosity ensued.

    2. Ned Flanders
      14th May 2010, 0:53

      I’m with Will Buxton, Lewis Hamilton should definitely grow an afro. His current hair cut is boring, it’s been exactly the same since he moved in to F1 in 2007.

      For those who never followed Hamilton in GP2 this is how he used to look:

      Can anyone think of any other F1 drivers with crazy hair styles? Here’s a few off the top of my head:


      1. Ned Flanders
        14th May 2010, 1:00

        Or how about this one of Michael Schumacher?!

        1. Villenueve’s purple hair was much more crazy :P

        2. That picture of schumacher looks like gunther!

          (ooh…you touch my tralala…) :)

        3. HI-LAR-IOUS – the 80s strike back

      2. It’s pre-F1, but something went terribly, terribly wrong on Frentzen’s head in 1989.

        1. hahaha, Frentzens haircut is a shocker

        2. not too weird for the 80s… :D

      3. you have a mild idea of “crazy hair” X)

      4. I am supportive of it as well. It gives him a more black gentleman, knowing what he is doing look instead of the fast kid dropped in to it all.

      5. Isn’t Hamilton’s “neat look” partly to do with the corporate image that McLaren portray? I know for a fact that they force their drivers to always be clean shaven (don’t know how Jenson gets away with his beard though).

        1. Hamilton’s got a tiny bit of hair on his chin too GeeMac :P

      6. Ned Flanders
        14th May 2010, 13:07


        OK, so he’s not an F1 driver yet, but I think Brendon Hartley deserves a mention! If Mark Webber calls Nico Rosberg ‘Britney’, what’s he going to think of Hartley?!

    3. That’s a bit of a mess not an afro. Now if we could get Schumacher to regrow that tache….

      1. That’s not an afro, it’s like a wierd mess dating back to the mid-80s…

        For a proper afro, you may refer to MotoGP rider Marco Simoncelli…

        And why do I hear the words “Ooh you touch my tra-la-la” when I see the Schu’tache???

          1. need no helmet with that hair (can’t get the head into one ;P )

        1. I just posted the same comment about that schumacher pic before reading this! You’ve bested me here, KNF! :)

    4. My second COTD. Thanks, Keith. Though really it’s less comment and more memory.

      Granda was into racing a long time, even before the war, and knew a lot of people. Seems we always wound up in someone’s garage after the races. We made Silverstone every year, and often crossed to the Continent for races there. I met a lot of driver’s and others during the years, and it really wasn’t until I was older that I found myself properly awed.

      Sure do miss those days.

    5. Magnificent Geoffrey
      14th May 2010, 1:55

      Oh dear, I feel a rant coming on…

      Sometimes I feel that Petrov is doing an alright job, other times I feel that he’s making too many mistakes. I have to say, though, I am outright offended by his comments about racing in Monaco ‘not meaning anything to him’.

      Monaco is F1’s most precious and unique event for so many reasons. It is the tightest, twistiest, slowest but most challenging track of the year and the event is the most glamourous and iconic to be found on the calendar. Then there’s the history, the fact it’s been on the calendar for almost every single year of the Formula 1 World Championship, been won by the greatest names to have graced the sport: Moss, Senna, Prost, Schumacher and – possibly the greatest of all-time – Panis. Add the fact that practice is on a Thursday, the race often runs well over the 1 hour 30 minute mark despite being about 40kms shorter than any other race of the year and you can tell why so many of us love it despite the fact that it is practically impossible to overtake there.

      What annoys me the most probably isn’t Petrov himself but the fact that his remarks are just another example of the ‘robotisation’ in the sport. ‘St. Devote’ is probably referred to as ‘Turn 1’ and you know whoever wins on Sunday (Vettel) will simply drive around slowly and wave to everyone and that’ll pretty much be it in terms of a celebration. Compare F1 drivers to MotoGP riders and NASCAR drivers who are actively encouraged to let their emotions explode after seizing victory after a hard race and you can see why F1 drivers are often criticised for lacking charisma or a personality. What does it say for a sport like F1 where one of the most interesting characters to be found is Rob Smedley? With guys Petrov saying that Monaco isn’t special to him, I just can’t understand that. It may be Petrov being Petrov but it was that same nonchalant attitude to the sport that put me right off of Raikkonen, and I can’t say I’ve been missing Kimi at all since he’s been gone, to be honest.

      So Vitaly, I’m happy that you have not been sucked-in by the mystique of Monte-Carlo, but just know that if you have a good result on Sunday, I won’t be cheering for you. Because I know that it won’t mean anything to you, either.

      1. polishboy808
        14th May 2010, 2:21

        Wow, one of the most impressive comments I have ever seen! And I completely agree with you on that one.

      2. i’ll happily have your seat vitaly! please?

        gees, how can you not appreciate the history and challenge of monaco? that is the most frustrating comment i’ve heard all year. he might change his mind if he gets on the podium. maybe if he’s in front of kubica, renault will give team orders to let him through cause i’m sure robert would appreciate it much more.

      3. Prisoner Monkeys
        14th May 2010, 2:33

        I have to say, though, I am outright offended by his comments about racing in Monaco ‘not meaning anything to him’.

        Actually, Petrov’s comments may belie a very intelligent approach to his race in Monaco. After all, it’s Monaco. As you say, a driver should be in awe of his surroundings there – but Petrov isn’t letting it get to him. He’s putting his head down and getting the job done first because letting himself get swept up in the legend that is Monte Carlo is only going to work against him.

        Also, it’s a cultural thing. Do you know why Russians come across as cold and unfriendly? It’s because they don’t smile as much as Westerers – but they think that Westerners smile too much, are too insincere abou it all. If something is going to have any meaning for a Russian, then it has to be something that will take time to impress itself upon them, if that makes sense.

        1. Prisoner Monkeys
          14th May 2010, 2:36

          And if you read all of Legard artcle, you’ll see the following line:

          Vitaly Petrov is focused on racing and has no time for the many distractions Monaco has to offer

          From that, I’m extrapolating that Petrov doesn’t feel the need to see and be seen at all of the functions and parties that fill up the weekend. Given the choice, I think he’d rather stay in the Renault garage and work on the car.

          1. Magnificent Geoffrey
            14th May 2010, 3:04

            You have a good point, Prisoner Monkeys. You definitely could argue that it is better for a driver to not become over-awed by the challenge of this track as it means they will remain focused on the job in hand. I can absolutely understand that argument. However, the way I see it is that if I was a Team Principle (which I quite clearly am not!) I would prefer knowing that my driver does appreciate just how big a deal this event is because that would hopefully trigger something inside of him that ensures that he performs to the absolute best of his ability. Clearly, Senna always seemed to find something that little bit extra at Monaco. I don’t think it was a conscious thing because all drivers are always pushing 100% all the time – but around Monte-Carlo, Senna somehow managed to tap-into a level of speed he couldn’t achieve anywhere else. I’d argue that Petrov cannot possibly hope to do the same if he considers this race as just another event.

            It’s also just a thing about Petrov being a Formula 1 driver and the mentality that he has racing in this particular series. To me, I try to imagine a NASCAR driver saying that racing at Daytona meant ‘nothing to them’ or an IndyCar driver saying the same about the Indy 500 – I honestly cannot imagine that ever happening. NASCAR and IndyCar drivers want to win those particular races more than they do any other purely because of the fact that they are the single most prestigious and historical events for their respective series.

            But you have a point. Maybe the mentality that Petrov has is the one which will ensure that he does the best job he possibly can, and if that is the case then I cannot criticise him for that. However, I’d argue that there is just something about these very special races such as the Monaco Grand Prix that causes the very best drivers in the world to perform at their very best – I don’t know why or how, but it just seems to happen. Ultimately, Petrov could still do just as good a job if he doesn’t treat this as a special event, but it was s the bit about not ‘feeling anything about the history’ that upset me the most.

      4. “Compare F1 drivers to MotoGP riders and NASCAR drivers who are actively encouraged to let their emotions explode after seizing victory after a hard race and you can see why F1 drivers are often criticised for lacking charisma or a personality.”

        FOM doesn’t want anyone showing anything.
        After Webber won on Sunday he went into the run off area at the chicane and the FOM feed cut away. Webber also threw his helmet into the crowd as part of his celebration and none of it was shown.

        If they want to find ways to improve the show surely this is one of the easiest ways to do it? And cheap too, how much does it cost to let Lorenzo go for a swim or Rossi go to the porta loo after the race in celebration?

        With MotoGP trying more all the time to come closer to F1 in many ways perhaps it’s time F1 took a leaf out of the MotoGP book and let drivers have personalities again.

      5. Well he is russian. Look at his face when he can drive throug Moscow, or even better St.Petersburg.

        I think this is just talking courage into himself.

        Anyhow, about the celebrating, i read a Button inteview, where he said he would gladly repeat the grid run to the podium if he won again!
        So let us not give up hope on seeing character in our sport.

        1. Button deserves a medal for personality, I really hate this new sculpted PR type of driver…. Hamilcough…. excuse me.

      6. “been won by the greatest names to have graced the sport: Moss, Senna, Prost, Schumacher and – possibly the greatest of all-time – Panis”

        I know this was a joke, but I always thought Panis was a great driver, tended to get the car higher than it deserved.

        1. Ned Flanders
          14th May 2010, 13:08

          Until he broke his leg in 1997 he looked set to have a great career. But from then on, whether at Prost, BAR or Toyota, he was mediocre

        2. Olivier Panis was a pretty good driver, but hardly an all-time greatest. He only won once, at Monte Carlo in 1996, one of his two truly brilliant races. He started fourteenth and knifed his way up to third, then he got a little lucky, as both Damon Hill and Jean Alesi had to retire. Besides that, he got four podiums (three seconds and one third) in his 10-year career in F1.

          His other brilliant race? Barcelona 1997, and I was there. This time he was not so lucky. He started 12th, and through careful tyre nursing he managed to get second and was quickly closing the gap on Jacques Villeneuve. But with 14 laps to go he was infamously held up by Eddie Irvine for seven laps. Irvine got a drive-thru for that, but it was too late for Panis, the gap to Villeneuve had grown too big. Again he was lapping about 2 seconds faster than Villeneuve, but finished 2nd, less than 6 seconds behind; if Irvine had obeyed the blue flags Panis would surely have won. One month later he broke both legs in Canada and it was never the same afterwards.

    6. my grandpa was a mechanic for Carlos Menditeguy’s team in Turismo Carretera, and he worked at the F1 cars Carlos managed to drive, including the Gordini and the Maseratis at the Argentinean GPs in 1953, 55 and 56.

      Carlos Menditeguy was a playboy, a very rich guy in Argentina, a racing driver and a polo player who even had the maximum handicap at the sport (10). My Grandpa worked at the racing cars he raced in the 50s, the famous “Cupecitas” (little-Coupes literally) which Fangio also raced (in fact, he was champion twice before travelling to Europe). He was a mechanic at the same neighborhood the workshop was, and befriended the workshop’s owner

      He was also the driver of the truck that got the racecar to the tracks and also the driver of support truck that supplied the Cupecitas with oil and the parcial times along the road… He remembers going along General Paz avenue on his way to the now Oscar Alfredo Galvez circuit and seeing the Ferrari team at a fuel station near the track, with the cars on the flatbed trucks.

      He has a lot of stories but it’s too late for me today to remember them all! :P

      1. Wow!!!

        Unas quilmes en “Las cañitas” will make you write us some of those moments?

    7. On a side note, this is interesting:

      “Predictions that GP2 pacesetters would be in among the F1 times at Monte Carlo became a reality after the first session of practice for both categories in Monaco.

      Earlier this month, Flavio Briatore told the Italian Autosprint magazine that he thought it would have been much better if the premier category had moved in the direction of three-car teams from the leading performers, rather than open up the grid to new, slower teams.

      “When we were asking to have three cars, the Federation instead opened the doors to teams who had no budget guarantees whatsoever,” Briatore said. “There are teams in F1 who are only two seconds quicker compared to GP2 teams and they are spending 60-70 million while GP2 costs three million. Something’s wrong there…”

      At the time Briatore spoke out, certain paddock figures muttered that on the tight Monte Carlo street circuit, it wouldn’t be a surprise to find that the leading GP2 teams were quicker than the F1 tailenders, and so it proved.

      Pascal Maldonado topped the first session of GP2 practice with a lap in 1:20.476, which was quicker than the first session F1 times from Virgin Racing’s Lucas di Grassi (1:20.556) and HRT pair Bruno Senna (1:21.688) and Karun Chandhok (1:21.853). Furthermore, the top six in the GP2 field were all quicker than the HRTs.”


      1. As much as it goes against my views, sometimes I think 3-car teams are the way to go…

      2. It’s not really a fair comparison – the base GP2 chassis has been around since 2005, must have had tens of thousands of miles of testing so is very well sorted and the GP2 teams have run their cars at Monaco before so have a wealth of data on set up.

        In contrast, HRT has had next to no testing with its Dallara chassis (which is a more compelx beast than the spec-GP2 chassis) and neither the team or the drivers have any experience of F1 cars at Monaco or any data. They’re also on different tyres, which may make a difference either way.

        And Flavio is not hardly comparing like with like when he talks about the money side of things.

        Besides, this isn’t the first time F1 cars have been slower than other racing series on the same circuit – back in the glory days of Japanese F3000 in the early 1990s Ross Cheever managed a time at Suzuka that would have put him fourth on the grid for that year’s Japanese GP in a standard Reynard F3000 chassis (albeit with super sticky Bridgestone tyres). The Peugeot 905 Group C car was not far off F1 pace at Magny Cours, I also seem to recall.

      3. But GP2 cars are far more suited to the tight confines of Monaco than F1 cars. It is not at all surprising that the top GP2 cars are faster than the F1 tail enders. What is surprising is how few F1 cars they are faster than.

    8. steph grandecazzo
      14th May 2010, 4:45

      Hi there, I was there at the first race of F1. At the time, I was a wee young lad, and saw the first F1 race. Ah, the excitement, the thrill of seeing these motor cars travelling at speeds of over 150 km p/h and now those speeds have been masked by cars going at 300 kph! I frequent this website, having been a friend of Enzo, when he joined the F1 championship a bit later. I have many stories to tell, if you young’ns are willing to listen!

      1. I don’t know about the young’ns, but I’ll sure listen. Nice to see another oldhead here, Steph. There’s a few of us here that started shaving before the 70s, but not many, lol.

        1. i’m a young’n and i’d love to hear such stories! if only the forums were working. maybe you could ask keith if he’d let you do a series?

        2. Well, i’m “too young to remember, and too old to call me Young” but it will a pleasure to hear some of those amazing “first hand” stories you surely have!!!

          Keith, you should take this opportunity and promote some F1 history series with, Steph, dsob, and Fer n 65.

          Steph, do you realy met il commendatore? Tell us, please!!!

          1. Well, this early morning I was not very “awake”, but I’m afraid this Steph is “hiding us” something.

            For anyone interested on, you should look for a translation of her surname: “Grande-cazzo” from Italian to English.

            I’m afraid Steph is having a great time and laughing out loud looking at all our answers here.

            1. I did think the story looked a little suspect. Good detective work! Hahaha!

            2. Well. Teaches me to take things at face value. I never spoke Italian very well. Pity.

            3. Steph “Large lol” accordding to babelfish :P

        3. I STOPPED shaving in the sixties which probably explains why my hair gravitated from the top of my head to below my chin!!!

      2. I think we would all love it, if you could get some of your first hand experiences and stories on the site.
        Keith can surely help in editing them to be a real great read for all of us.

        Glad to have you all here dsob, Steph, Fer no. 65!

      3. Yes, please! Let’s hear your stories.

    9. Vitaly Petrov has been the best Rookie this season so far.There has been 825 Formula 1 races up to date that has been counted to the championship from 1950-2010 ( Spanish GP) & I was only lucky enough to have watched around 150 of them since I started in 2000.

      1. Only 175 to go until we reach the magic thousand. According to my calculations – 175 divided by a fixed 20 races per season (assuming that the number of races in a season is consistently around 20) – we may reach that milestone in just under 9 seasons. I’m eagerly awaiting the 1000th F1 race… :D

    10. Sush Meerkat
      14th May 2010, 10:01

      Happy Hyoko! Glad to see another F1fanatic born in the middle of May, we get to share our birthdays with not just Formula 1 but with the greatest show on earth… yes thats right I’m talking of the Eurovision Song Contest!

      1. Thanks and happy birthday to you too, Sush!
        Sorry to say that the ESC in not my cup of tea, alas!

    11. More F1 2010 video game news, this time, the weather effects, and how it will alter your race weekend:


    12. Hello to Keith and all visitors. I just read, that a new in depth F1 magazine was launched (Paddock Magazine). They offer a free 7 day test and from what i read there, they have nice background articles, doing a story on Red Bull including a Mateschitz interview and other stories.

      Maybe you could give this a look, as it seems a pretty decent source of information.

      This is not meant as advertizing (therefore without link)

    Comments are closed.