F1 Fanatic round-up: 18/2/2010

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While testing continues in Jerez it’s increasingly looking as though US F1 won’t be racing in F1 this year. Here’s the Thursday round-up:


Key figures in F1 hit out at Olympic luge track design (The Times)

The death of Olympic athlete Nodar Kumaritashvili in the luge event in training for the Winter Olympics has brought safety standards in that sport into question. The two figures from F1 criticising the safety preparations on the luge track are Max Mosley and Jackie Stewart – two people not well known in F1 for agreeing with each other.

Bahrain eyes slice of global exhibitions market (Financial Times)

“The F1 meeting alone generates close to $600m in direct and indirect business for the economy, equivalent to about 3 per cent of the nation’s gross domestic product, official data say. ‘What is really encouraging is that the government has become totally focused on using the Grand Prix as a platform for doing business,’ says Martin Whitaker, chief executive of the international circuit. ‘It might not be the Davos of motorsport yet, but there is nothing to stop us aiming for that.'”

British F3 series outlines its new-look race weekend (Brits on Pole)

With British F3 champion Jaime Alguersuari already in F1 and last year’s title-winner Daniel Ricciardo impressing in the young drivers’ test last year, this is an important championship to keep an eye on for emerging talent. I’ll be making my annual trip up to Oulton Park for the season-opener in April – leave a comment below if you’re going to be there too.

Comment of the day

This comment from DanThorn sent me on an instant nostalgia trip:

I used to have a clip of [the three Jaguar sportscars crashing at Jerez] on a 1987 VHS "Car Wars". I can’t find anything online, but there are a few copies of the video knocking about on ebay if you really have to see it.

It’s been years since I watched the video but from memory there are a few clips of Formula Ford races featuring stars of the future, like Damon Hill, Bertrand Gachot and Roberto Moreno. Might dig it out again actually…

I had the same tape – I was probably about six or seven at the time. It was just video of cars crashing but it also helped me discover other racing series besides F1 like F3 and touring cars. Did anyone else have it?

Site updates

Big thanks to Ed who’s been helping me with some of the technical problems remaining from the recent server move. The character encoding problem has been largely fixed although there are a few manual changes I need to make to finish that job.

We’ve also made some progress on the forum problem and will hopefully have it back next week.

Happy birthday!

Today’s birthday wishes go out to _Ben_ and Mike – happy birthday guys!

On this day in F1

Today is Enzo Ferrari’s birthday – if he were still alive today he’d be 112! His only living son is Piero Ferrari, who has been vice chairman of Ferrari since Enzo’s death in 1988.

Author information

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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54 comments on “F1 Fanatic round-up: 18/2/2010”

  1. ermmm Well I also have the car wars video :p amd of course i’ll be going to Oulton Park to watch the F3, Now if only there was someone to go with :p

    1. I am also going to Oulton Park this year, a annual event for me and my dad. We will be taking our usual spot at the top of the hill overlooking the knickerbrook chicane.

        1. WOW thats brilliant, it looks so old but familiar, The circuit hasnt changed much at all has it.

          A coulpe of years ago I was a member of the recovery team there, it was great fun and met quite a few drivers, most of them unhappy though


    1. Enzo who?

      Oh yeah, the guy who stole all his ideas from Alfa Romeo….. :-)

  3. Funnily enough I thought the same thing in connection to F1 when I heard about the luge death. It was the safety of the track, specifically in relation to whathappens when someone has an accident, not the speeds or the sport, that caused his death. They moved the start forward, but I bet he would have died anyway – smacking into a metal pole isn’t survivable just because you were going 20 mph slower, not when you’re still going over 60mph.

    1. Mark Hitchcock
      18th February 2010, 4:48

      Well he lost control because of the speed/g-force that was designed into the course (something the organisers callously ignored when they placed the blame squarely on the luger) so it’s unlikely the crash would have happened on the shortened track.

      But yeah, putting metal poles next to the track was a crazy decision that hopefully won’t be repeated.

      1. Quite a few were blaming the Canadians for being so selfish before the Games by not letting any other country besides themselves practice on the track.

        1. Yeah, that was probably a factor as well, but I think I read that Nodar had done more than 20 runs before his crash so I’m pretty sure he would have had enough practice to know how to race the course.

          They’ve just taken course design to the extreme so no matter the skill of the rider or their experience of the track, they were still being pushed over their limits. Which inevitably resulted in crashes.

  4. YES, yes, yes, yes, yes, YEEES, yesyesyesyesyes, YEEEEESSS.

    My tickets came today, I’m going to the Australian GP.

    NOTE: If you didn’t know, I was mimiking Mark Webber.

    1. Tricky one to get that being in text and all, hope you have a good time.

      1. Magnificent_Geoffrey
        18th February 2010, 7:31

        But you see, if he’d have added “You ******* beauty!”, it would’ve been too easy.

    2. Hope you have a wonderful time in Australia GP.

      1. where are you going from? do you have to travel far?

        1. I’m from the top of Victoria so I have to travel about 800km. That’s not so bad, it’s about a 45 minute trip by plane.

  5. Keith,
    are you brining the old forum system back?

    With it down and the start of the season approaching I am thinking now would be a good time to change to something better like PHPBB etc etc.

    1. We have looked at PhpBB – the problem is making it work nicely with the existing system the site runs on (WordPress). There are solutions for that but they’re quite complicated.

  6. love oulton park.

    1. Well he’s not been “on the scene” since early 2008. He’s had plenty of chances at F1. I think he could do well in Indycars and I look forward to seeing him racing them.

      1. yeah i’m sure he’ll do well. will definately try to follow him. if only torro rosso chose him instead of bourdais for 2009…

  7. Isn’t it great to see that Bahrain are getting such great revenue through holding a GP – I see why Melbourne lost the first race of the season.
    Ever since the OzGP was moved from Adelaide to Melborune it has been steadily losing money and costing more and more to put on.
    While I love the fact that there is a GP in my home country – I am not sure that we have been deserving of it since it was moved from Adelaide.
    I hope that someone does something (suggestions of moving to a ‘new’ track in Sydney) is done soon – otherwise Australia wont even be able to afford to run a GP which is stupid since we have a population of about 25X Bahrain!

    1. There was a compant brought in from over sees to work on a project to upgrade the Eastern Creek circuit and reprofile the track layout, however I have not heard much about for sometime now so maybe that idea fell through the cracks.

      That story was in Motor Racing Australia maybe a bit more than a year ago. I can scan it and send it to you if you want Keith.

      1. *compant* – sorry that should have said *company*

    2. They like Abu Dhabi have vast oil reserves and thats where all the money is!

  8. Woo, Comment of the Day!

    I’d like to thank my parents, my friends and the neighbours who gave me the video for christmas one year…

  9. christopher (sennaboy3)
    18th February 2010, 9:58

    I will be following the Indy Cars just a bit closer with Sato on board! Good news!

  10. Grumpy day with USF1 rumours. But also rumours of Villeneuve to sign up with Stefan GP (autosport grapevine). That would make 5 world champions at the start. All Stefan needs now is admittance and tyres.

    After the installation lap today Heikki’s Lotus T127 caught fire. Is there any news on that?

    1. On F1Today: the Cosworth won’t keep running in the Lotus. Every time they want to leave the garage the engine stalls.

  11. Autosport are claiming there’s going to be a restructuring at Campos. Interestingly, the article is un-bylined:


  12. I know some websites host their formus in a different location if the two formats don’t match up quite so well, although i guess that means paying for more server costs.

    It would be nice to see a forum with proper sub-forums in place, with the whole ‘user-name, avatar, rank, posts, signature and private message’ type structure, like 99% of forums. It’s just familiar and works well, and helps gel together a better community.

    1. I actually like the forum system as it is, it’s different to other generic ones and has its own Fanatic flavour. All it needs is a reply-to and quote system. I think. It’s been down so long I can’t quite remember how it works. ;)

    2. I’m not sure I’d want that- I like how the Forum is nice and simple. Other Forums seem really cluttered with loads of information in different foints crammed into each comment. An example:


      1. That is a rather bad example you’ve chosen there Ned, to be fair. I just think the F1Fanatic forum was a little too simple.

        1. Agree with ajokay a phpBB forum works great, can be tidy (see below) and it’s what a lot of us are used to. eg:


      2. Agreed Ned, nothing wrong with the Forum here.

        ajokay – too simple how? Post topics and discuss; nice, clean, uncluttered; how much more do we need in a forum?

        1. Nothing really wrong with the forum as it was except for one thing: forum etiquette. (At the risk of this turning into a rant)It would be great if people would not keep posting the same topics over and over, which of course would be helped by a search facility, which alone would result in a more organised forum area.

          1. This is true.

        2. “ajokay – too simple how? Post topics and discuss; nice, clean, uncluttered; how much more do we need in a forum?”

          Like how I already mentioned above.

  13. V8 Supercars kick off there season tonight with the first practise session at the Yas Marina circuit.

    V8’s under lights, I can’t wait.

    1. Do you know where I could watch it in the uk (websites/TV channels)


      1. —-Do you know where I could watch it in the uk (websites/TV channels)—-

        No, sorry I’m not sure.

    2. yes looking forward to it, will be interresting to see what type of racing you can get on that track from a series that relies on mechanical grip…

  14. Happy Birthday Enzo Anselmo Ferrari
    i hope Ferrari wins as many world champ as they can & no other team dream of coming closer to the LEGEND….

  15. Off topic, another fab video credit to Ted Kravitz for pointing it out:

    1. That’s a very stereotypical portrayal of Finland! They’re a strange bunch, Finns, chasing horses on frozen lakes, fishing with their bare hands- and mumbling in interviews…

      1. Maybe, but it’s funny as so who cares.:P

  16. Max Mosley on the subject of luge safety:

    “They should bring in Hermann Tilke to design the luge tracks…there’s far too much gradient as it is! Hang on, Ive got him on speed dial…”

  17. Iv’e just watched the Jerez testing highlights, what’ s with the extended bits on top of the cameras, I don’t know if it was on them all, but saw them on the Mac and the Ferrari?.

  18. I’m sure investers will be quite happy with the returns from Bahrain especially under the credit crunch circumsatnces…

  19. howdy I your excellent,vlog

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