Nico Hulkenberg, Force India, Sepang International Circuit, 2015

Force India postpone ‘VJM08B’ debut until Austria

F1 Fanatic Round-up

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Nico Hulkenberg, Force India, Sepang International Circuit, 2015In the round-up: Force India are planning a ‘B-spec’ version of their VJM08 but it won’t appear until at least round eight at the Red Bull Ring.

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B-spec Force India delayed to Austria (Autosport)

"It's a major B-spec car as we're looking to introduce a significant upgrade."

More Honda power will create snowball effect for performance (ESPN)

"There is one engine that has more power than the others (Mercedes), there is one that is close to it (Ferrari) and there is another one that is quite a long way away from it (Renault)... and then there's us."

Felipe feeling the love (F1i)

"Even in 2007, nobody thinks about it because most people just see the result but before Monza I was nine points in front of Kimi (Raikkonen) and then I had a problem. If I didn't have the problem in Monza I was going to be maybe more than 12 points in front of Kimi, I was going to be the number one."

Searching for a slam dunk (Current E)

"When you come from Formula One but you are not in the best team and you need to beat a team mate who has a weight advantage, the whole of the season, and then you arrive in a car where everybody has the same, no weight disadvantage or these kinds of problems – it’s extremely easy."

Thoughts on Grid Girls and motorsport (The Motorsport Archive)

"At a time when the sport could be celebrating female successes and achievements – by competitors such as Michèle Mouton, Janet Guthrie, Leena Gade, Danica Patrick, Shirley Muldowney, Desiré Wilson Lella Lombardi, to name a few – it actively goes out of its way to reduce them to eye candy, propping up boards in front of a car while a man gets prepares to drive."

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Comment of the day

Is it actually worth going to see an F1 race in person?

I’ve been to a few grands prix and every time I’ve been thoroughly underwhelmed.

Why would I want to go again when the coverage on Sky/BBC is so good anyway? I far prefer doing something else with my day, recording the grand prix and then watching it when the kids have gone to bed. A extortionately expensive day at Silverstone, the traffic, the lack of booze, the weather, the dull support races etc… no thanks.

With superb live coverage (and a recording facility) why anyone bothers going to grands prix these days is beyond me. Monza is a nice track but it’s hardly the end of the world if it’s replaced.
Jhg103 (@Joshgeake)

From the forum

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Craig Woollard!

If you want a birthday shout-out tell us when yours is via the contact form or adding to the list here.

On this day in F1

Former F1 drivers Mauro Baldi and Jean-Louis Schlesser won the opening round of the 1990 World Sports Prototype Championship (fore-runner of the World Endurance Championship) at Suzuka for Sauber-Mercedes. Here’s the start of the race:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CC27hKZFqNw&t=1h4m36s

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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  • 94 comments on “Force India postpone ‘VJM08B’ debut until Austria”

    1. Keith, next time a grid girl turns you down, don’t take it so personally…
      Looks as if you are going on a crusade to get them out of business.

      1. I think it’s stupid to have grid girls but it also is not misogyny.
        Tobias, ask the engineers if there’s any chance a faulty steering rack could jam the wheel, this fault wouldn’t affect any sensor. I still don’t believe their story. I think McAlonso wants us to believe in this wormhole of situation.

        1. Define misogyny. Because “grid girls” is my definition.

          1. ColdFly F1 (@)
            8th April 2015, 5:12

            I’m probably stupid for entering into this discussion again.

            But ‘misogyny’ is the ‘hatred/dislike of women’. We can say a lot about the wrongs of having grid girls, but calling it misogyny is like calling F1 a green sport.

            1. @coldfly – The problem is that you can cherry pick a definition that doesn’t exactly fit and then say why it doesn’t fit, but that doesn’t mean what you’ve done is disprove the initial statement. (And I’m not actually saying that you have done this, I mean ‘you’ in the general sense. Honestly.)

              Another provided definition of misogyny is, ‘dislike of, contempt for, or ingrained prejudice against women.’ If women are confined to ‘grid girls’ and nothing more — i.e. be seen, be servile, but don’t drive — then that could be defined as prejudice. All I’m saying is that I don’t think it’s as simple or as ridiculous a claim as you make it out to be with your analogy.

            2. @hoboYou” as in “One likes to believe in the freedom of baseball”?

            3. @davidnotcoulthard – If that helps, yeah. I just wanted to be clear that I didn’t think @coldfly was setting up a strawman argument on purpose. Rather that any time one uses a simple definition for a complex issue, it tends to be too simple. That’s all.

            4. ColdFly F1 (@)
              8th April 2015, 15:48

              Interesting discussion guys. @hobo, @davidnotcoulthard

              I simply believe that the word ‘misogyny’ (in all its complexity) is the wrong word to use.
              Firstly, (I believe) the concept of Grid Girls is not ‘misogyny’. No one will argue that Grid Girls are there because the ‘inventor’ had a ‘dislike/contempt/ingrained prejudice’ against women. Quite the opposite – it is probably sexism (and therefore I think it is wrong/outdated).
              And secondly, misogyny is very serious. It would be wrong that those who think Grid Girls are ‘innocent eye candy’ are c.p. thinking misogyny is acceptable.

            5. @coldfly – I think that sexism aimed at treating women as subservient — and I think it would be difficult to argue that grid girls are anything but — and as not worthy of being the focus (drivers, race team owners/principles) fits the definition of prejudiced, sexist, and misogynistic rather well.

              I don’t think that all people who are okay with grid girls are, by definition, misogynistic, but I would say that it is too simplistic to assume there is probably not some significant overlap between the two groups.

          2. what contribution to the racing spectacle of F1 does a line of attractive women with very nice legs, make ?

            @loen: The very same contribution as other non racing related “stuffs” in a weekend. “Stuff” like autograph sessions, drivers parade, yacht parties or concerts, singing national anthem before start of the race, etc. All of them have the same “what contribution to racing spectacle they bring” question.

            the next question is
            ‘Then why are they there ?

            The same answer to all of those above, to cater the need to some fans/people that following F1, whether watching it with wearing Rolexes in grandstands or sitting on nice corner view on grass with beer, or sitting in front of their TV at home. Just because you don’t like it, it doesn’t means everyone else shouldn’t like it too. Personally I have same opinion as you, I don’t care about them (grid girls, national anthem singing, concerts) but I just ignore it when they shown or done. Why? Because I realized there are people who might like it and I can just take bathroom breaks or preparing drinks for the race and not cursing other people who have different view.

            And grid girls is NOT misogyny nor devalue them. Because women never forced to be a grid girl if they want to come into the track (Susie Wolff is a driver, Monisha is a team principal, Carmen Jorda is.. uh.. PR? – can’t bring myself to call her driver yet). If anything it actually more fitting the definition of “empowering” woman or “sexism” against man because the whole grid girl is filled by woman now, and man chance to becoming one is really slim. Where I hear similar situation before? Oh yeah, its about woman drivers with roles reversed. (That is sarcasm btw, but you should try to look it that way and you’ll find this whole debate is ridiculous).

            1. @sonicslv : COTD right there for you Keith…

              Well said brother.. Not everything is related to racing at a GP weekend, but doesn;t mean we need to get rid of it…

      2. Because I wrote one article?

        1. Well you also picked a Comment of the Day that supported your view and didn’t really respond to the comments that challenged your view, when the general consensus here appeared split down the middle. The only viewpoint opposite to yours that I’ve seen in the daily round-ups was Lotterer’s tweet. Granted, there hasn’t been many people ‘in the business’ expressing positive views on grid girls but I do feel your reporting has been a little one-sided and biased to your personal opinion.

          1. If I am right, I think the COTD belonged to a woman who worked in F1 industry. That is perhaps the best way of getting a woman’s view about the topic next to sticking a mic in front of Monisha or Claire or the grid girls themselves.

            Also he has enabled the article to post comments on his view of the topic and much was discussed as evident from the number of comments.

            It is easy these days just to add an ‘@’ and question Keith. But I am not sure if he has the time to reply to every single mention on his blogs. Whenever possible, he has pitched in with his comments and also noted about corrections to the article posted here.

            Finally, it is his space and if we don’t like it, better to stay away from it than engage in personal insults.

          2. @malcolmtucker – It is no different than when editors of a newspaper have an opinion on an issue — an election, a law, a court case — and they write an editorial about it, even multiple editorials about it. It is not one-sided to write an opinion piece, clearly labeled as commentary, and then allow others to say what they want in the comments. Keith made his points and needn’t rebut every counterpoint from the readers, because that’s not how editorial/comment pieces work. Or any pieces for that matter.

            1. First I should say this is a brilliant site, it’s the only F1 site I visit daily and Keith does a top job 99% of the time. It wasn’t an insult, Keith thought he was accused of being on a witch-hunt because he wrote an article, I was pointing out that it isn’t just because of the article itself, but also his reporting afterwards. For the record I am neither pro nor anti grid girls, I don’t disagree with anything that Keith said on the matter.

              @evered7 He has time to pick COTD and Caption Competition so I see no reason why he wouldn’t read his notifications, maybe he doesn’t have time to reply to everything but I saw a pattern of selective replying as did others. I understand it’s his choice and I wasn’t trying to ‘insult’ him as you put it, I expressed an opinion in a comments section.

              @hobo I understand it’s his website and it’s his opinion, and that he doesn’t have to rebut everything, I was pointing out the selectiveness of the replies and of the reporting in the daily round-up. It’s the opposite of being fair if you ignore those who oppose you.

              @davidnotcoulthard I mentioned the Lotterer tweet in my original post

            2. @malcolmtucker I didn’t mention your post as an insult. There is one at the top of the list.

              I saw that Keith removed some of the posts in the Renault thread after it sort of started a debate between members. I don’t know why but I take that he has his reasons for the same.

              I believe it is upto Keith to decide to which posts he replies. As I mentioned previously, the comments section is open and people were openly discussing the topic with their views. There were no restriction of views here.

          3. @malcolmtucker: I agree, but I think this viewpoint against gridgirls is a strange kind of sexism and immature belief that body and mind are separated entities, i.e. if girls are posing to be pretty, they are presented as dumb eyecandy, its sexism, patriachial etc. We know that many of these girls are probably gifted students, earning some money or whatever their reasons are – what do I care. The reason there are no female drivers in F1 is evident whenever You look at the number of boys vs. girls racing the carting tracks all over the world. You have to put a lot of kids into their first cart for a new F1 champion to emerge in the other end. The number of girls, who are interested and keep doing it, simply isn’t large enough. Secondly, the heart and aspiration capacity of females maybee isn’t good enough compared to men, as we see it in many other sports. No amount of naive PC can make it up for these two factors. Lets keep fighting genital mutilation instead to do something good for womens rights!

        2. @keithcollantine Keith, I, someone who has been subjected to being photographed amid a huddle of posing grid girls whilst my friends jeered, wholeheartedly support your position. Last year’s US Grand Prix gridwalk virtually reduced me to tears as a blatantly uninterested Pamela Anderson claimed “I just love this: fast cars and fast women” as she stood next to perhaps the most illiberally dressed grid girls of season. This pathetic neo-American tosh is both archaic and unnecessary, since F1 is quite capable of being appealing without support from a toned and tanned twenty-year old pouting at an FOM cameraman (when he isn’t documenting the shortness of Carman Jorda’s shorts that is).

          However is a gird girl ban realistic under the current quasi-traditionalist governance? Probably not. Female sexuality rather unfortunately got caught up in F1’s thriller-esque theme some decades ago; an ancillary of the “Hunt-effect” if you like. The commercial symbiosis of the hero/driver and his blonde post-race reward was allowed to passively develop, and now, whilst the era of driver studs is gone (hopefully), this dated and needless heterosexual doctrine lingers like a bad smell.

          At least it reminds fans of the need for a socialist coup d’etat…if failing teams, pay drivers, the loss of iconic races and the vehement implementation of gimmicks proves insufficient. I bet Bernie wears a UKIP badge in Shanghai…

          1. Sorry you seem to have mentioned Carmen Jorda appeared on tv in very short garments, could you please provide a link for the photo please, as I am appalled at the whole thing and would like to inspect this scandalous situation myself. If it is really that short I shall be writing a complaint letter to the FIA. So kind sir, please where is that photo. @countrygent

            1. @pmccarthy_is_a_legend

              Here

              …and here

              I do hope you don’t have ulterior motives for asking for photos of a thoroughly attractive young Spaniard in thoroughly short, shorts…

      3. ??? Hey buddy, you are being unfair to Keith.
        Regarding the grid girls …they are nice but not necessary. I do not thing that any real F1 fan will miss them.

      4. I get that there is a difference in opinion but your lack to understand the need of a discussion is exactly why this discussion is needed.

        1. Regarding the Motorsport Archive article on grid girls…I appreciate the societal aspects of it and would be fine if the position was removed. At the same time I’ve never tuned in because of them, and I’ve never tried to talk up F1 and get people excited about it having ever even mentioned the grid girls. So in that sense for me sex does not sell F1. But that’s me. From a societal standpoint I see only good coming from dropping grid girls and nothing bad…nothing that even the most vehement males on the topic wouldn’t get over as they would have no choice, if grid girls were no longer a part of it.

          But I think the conversation needs to go further. As the article points out, and as the COTD from the female F1 engineer shows us, there are women in F1 now, so grid girls did not prevent them from being in F1, and other series wrt Danika Patrick et al. So if indeed women are prevented from entering F1 now, I think we should be talking about that. As an outsider and not being within, I have never felt women were not invited, and have assumed that in all aspects of life, as time has gone on and more and more women are out there fully educated in the ‘traditionally male’ fields like maths and sciences, so there are more and more of them in F1 too. If I’m wrong, let’s hear from those in the know, and suss out those who are literally discriminatory in F1. Or let’s actually hear the numbers as to how many women are in F1 now and what teams are doing to either invite them or shun them. If grid girls are just eye candy, let’s get to the meat of the issue and get a feel for the actual reality, perhaps from the likes of the woman who posted her experience as a female engineer in F1. Here in Southern Ontario, more women are attending university than men now, as are more women entering the trades.

          1. @robbie @keithcollantine I think it becomes more complex when we see girls actively using sexual appeal to galvanize their position in motorsport, such as Danica Patrick has, and as Carmen Jorda’s Malaysian wardrobe suggests she is attempting to do. In this sense being female is as much of an advantage as a disadvantage.

            However it is still a tactic that stems from a recognition that the system is a masculine one underpinned by the most distasteful and archaic heterosexual doctrine of women as rewards for heroic acts, and where “sexy” women are afforded power that plainer women are not. Fortunately, the problem is not a tenth it is in MotoGP. MotoGP “brolly dollies” wear detuned bikinis and are a more prominent feature in the sport’s brand. By extension, this inferred symbiosis between motorsport and female sexuality is present throughout the world of motorsport, so even in the provincial BTCC series twenty-year old girls can still be seen to be crammed into spandex for the viewing pleasure of men. It is a systemic problem and one that only begin to be eroded by F1 taking the initiative. Now watch Bernie do nothing…

            1. Is not proof that anything is masculine. Is just proof that women can use their sexuality while men can’t because we are different and have different tastes etc.
              f1 grid girls aren’t even sexy dressed really. They are hardly an eye candy and i won’t feel their loss(motoGp etc that you accuse actually use them better if they are more sexual) if they are gone but i get annoyed that the whole debate start from more PC police feminist stuff.
              There is no such thing as objectifying, there is nothing. All this stuff is the definition of trivial first world problems and this people need to get a life.
              And NO the existence of grid girls doesn’t suddenly undermine the female gender. “OMG! they are eye candy! So diminishing!”
              What is diminishing about it exactly?

      5. Grid girl subject again….really? If some girls want to be looked at and not use their brains let them. I don’t mind looking at them. This world is so PC now it is insane. Hey, I have an idea! Why don’t we focus on the racing?

    2. It certainly isn’t right that there is a need to still be going on about the Alonso accident. Any team, but especially a top one like McLaren, should have sorted this by now.

      It is understandable that we are still talking about it though, given the scale of the accident and the lack of understanding behind it.

      I do not believe what anyone is saying, other than Alonso to a slight degree. Alonso’s story may be slightly mangled for whatever reason, but it cannot be far off. I don’t understand how anyone could honestly think that somebody who has been in F1 for over a decade, won 2 world championships, nearly 4, and has been regarded as one of, if not the, best driver in F1 for the past 5 years, could possibly not know when his car has heavy steering.

      I don’t believe what McLaren are saying now, given that some of their comments on the incident have been absolute rubbish.

      1. Have worked in sport. Never released a 100% factual press release.

        Industry standards you could call it.

      2. And I don’t know how anyone can believe a team that’s been in the sport for more than 2 decades and won countless championships, could not possibly know when something is wrong with their car mechanically.

        Is it that impossible that Alonso could be lying? He has done it before, so why not now?

        1. Yes, the same team that insisted strongly that Alonso had no concussion for some time, before being proved wrong.

          1. The same team which is led by somebody with a history of dodgy PR, decisions, and poorly dealing with drivers, falling out with them. Not to mention the announcement of a new title sponsor which definitely did happen.

      3. Alonso has a history of “not knowing” many things surrounding crashes. For instance, he would have looked over the telemetry and data from Piq Jr’s crash in 2008, and one has to wonder how a professional with the accolades you describe could “not know” that was a deliberate crash.

      4. Mark Hutchesen (ex Red Bull mechanic) makes what I consider to be the most coherent and logical explanation of what happened to Alonso. You can hear what he has to say towards the end of this video http://www1.skysports.com/watch/video/sports/f1/9784225/f1-midweek-report-malaysia
        In brief he speculates that, Alonso got an electric shock, brief spell of paralysis within the car (locked steering but still conscious). No data because it was an electrical issue that in this case was not monitored.

        1. If that were the case, then how come that Benson – who was actually shown the telemetry traces of the crash by McLaren – stated that it was quite clear from the telemetry that Alonso had been attempting to regain control of the car right up until the moment of impact? That would seem to contradict the idea of any form of temporary paralysis.

      5. I’m not at all sure that McClaren knows exactly what to say. Reading between the lines, they are maintaining that there was nothing wrong with the car and nothing wrong with Alonso, but I think they are being slightly disingenuous where Alonso is concerned, as only he knows what actually happened so they have, in effect, tried to cover for him. The likely scenario IMO, is the simple fact he made a mistake and nobody (least of all Fernando) wants to admit it or say it out loud. The simplest answer is usually the correct one.

        When the marriage starts to breakdown (which it will) then statements from either side will likely be more robust but Alonso is playing a strange game by effectively ‘doorstepping’ McLaren in the Malaysian Press Interview regarding the steering. That is not the behaviour of a team player.

        Incidentally there is , er, more speculation that his groggy appearance and lengthy hospital stay was due to him being accidentally double medicated on the first afternoon. Once at the track and a second time at hospital.

        1. @baron

          The simplest answer is usually the correct one.

          Yeah. In all fairness, though. the crash was anything but usual :)

        2. If they don’t know what to say then they could simply say “We don’t know the cause, we are working on it. There could have been a car fault or a driver error”, rather than insisting Alonso was not concussed and insisting that there was nothing wrong with the car.

          1. They know is not there car. They don’t know anything else. And honestly i think Alonso is lying but the team wasn’t there and despite not seeing from the data such steering problems they just can’t say to him that his a liar because it will completely ruin the relationship and they don’t know if it is possible he felt something that isn’t in the data.
            He knows as much and he used that to adsorb himself from blame by claiming crazy stuff like “maybe in ten years time we will be able have the ability to find such things but now the tech seems couldn’t pick on that problem” Yeah and little green men will appear along with their flying sources will be found in ten years.
            Give me break Alonso.
            The guy was also not conscious after the crash at all like he said. If you are conscious you get out of the car. Also a reporter asked him about the ones trying to remove him wearing gloves or something and he was totally surprised and answer “I don’t know anything about that” etc. Well if he was conscious why doesn’t he know anything about that? He was there right?

            And yes the accident is usual. Just watch Maldonado at Spain last year crushing in almost the same exact way.

    3. Correct link for the article on Felipe Massa

      1. Honestly Massa really needs to understand that the whole world can hear his words, he has uncanny audacity when talking to his Brazilian buddies, unfortunately the reality is different. Massa pushes the car as few drivers do and so he can be really quick but most of the time he’s overdoing it but kimi is a pit of small issues and somehow he manages to botch his chances, massa did great to help kimi and kimi helped back unfortunately 2008 was a shady season

      2. Massa’s 2007 campaign is underrated. In fact, I’d go as far as to say that it was better than his 2008 campaign, driving-wise.

        He lost a boatload of points in Australia and Hungary, when he had to start from the back of the grid due no fault of his own (I’m guessing at least 12). He got disqualified in Canada because he HAD to pit for fuel otherwise he’d run out, when he was on course for P3 and lost 6 points. Then there was the Monza suspension failure, which cost him another 6 points. Then he gave the win to Kimi in Brazil. That’s 26 points that he lost in total because of bad luck. He finished the season a mere 16 behind the eventual WDC winner. Massa was also fairly driver-error free in 2007 apart from Malaysia.

        Massa doesn’t get enough credit for the driver he was from mid-2006 until mid-2009. I rank him ahead of Barrichello, Coulthard, and Webber.

        1. You can’t just award Massa all those points, and not do the same for Raikkonen, or the McLaren drivers (although the McLaren’s were largely bulletproof in 2007).

          Raikkonen had 2 DNFs in 2007, in Spain and Germany, both technical failures, both costing him at least a 3rd place. So even awarding Massa those extra 26 points, Raikkonen would still have outscored him.

          Oh, and for the record, Massa should really check his facts before he speaks. He was a point ahead of Raikkonen before Monza, not 9, and would likely have left Italy 2 points ahead, not 12.

        2. Also, this slipped my mind when writing the comment, Massa, along with Fisichella, was disqualified in Canada for ignoring the red light at the pit lane exit, entirely driver error.

        3. While I’m probably just as guilty at times, I try not to play woulda, coulda, shoulda, too much. Sometimes it can be fairly done, but generally I think that you can’t just isolate one bloke and say if only, without giving the other bloke, like Kimi in this case, the same luxury to wipe some of his bad luck away and pretend what the results would have been.

          Maybe I’m being a bit unfair, because in FM’s case, and at Ferrari, he is speaking of a handful more points then giving him the number one status on the team, thus shutting out the number two from competing against him, but still, give Kimi some woulda, coulda, shoulda, and maybe he would have been deemed number one sooner.

          This is not meant to discredit FM’s efforts. What misfortunes happened to him was what happens in every race to somebody. And what happened to Kimi too.

    4. So will the new Force India car will arrive at the same race as McLarens new sponsorship livery ?!

      1. @hohum What’s the probability of one of these coming before the end of this year…

        1. @fastiesty, you’ll have to ask Keith what he is advising the bookies on that one.

      2. Would love it if they painted it McLaren orange. Well, if McLaren aren’t going to bother someone should.

    5. ColdFly F1 (@)
      8th April 2015, 0:57

      CotD – @Joshgeake

      why anyone bothers going to grands prix these days is beyond me.

      Just go to Melbourne, Sao Paulo, Monaco, Spa (and I hear Montreal as well) and you’ll know why people go. You will not be able to follow the race as well as when sitting at home, but the atmosphere is just great. It is more than just a race, it’s the whole ‘circus’.
      And prices (some were gifted) were always very reasonable. I try to attend at least 1 race live per season and follow the rest on TV.

      1. Have been to Melbourne previous two years and still agree with the COTD. It’s far better to watch it on TV. I’ve been there in 2013 and 2014 and skipped this year with no regrets whatsoever.
        It’s more personal thing I guess. I don’t say that I didn’t like going to the GP but I care much more about the racing itself than everything around it.

        1. in 2012 I went to Monaco, Silverstone, Spa and Suzuka.

          Before each race I got comments from family members such as “motor sport is so boring” or “you only see one part of the race track” and “it is just cars whizzing by”

          How wrong they all are.

          Monaco was an amazing experience with the fan zone where you can race other fans in a gaming simulator. Eat panini’s and crepes and then walk the track (dodging fork lifts) literally minutes after the race is over. I sat in a section in qualifying where you can see directly into the pits and the race was right in front of a big TV screen so you can keep tabs on all the action.

          Silverstone was just as amazing for different reasons. Wearing wellington boots and sloshing around the mud. Eating roast pork rolls. Took my phone up to the fence next to Wellington Straight and got amazing footage of the F1 cars screaming past with in 5-10 metres. Got a seat in Luffield section right infront of a massive screen and it was the area where Mark Webber made his race winning pass on Alonso.

          Spa race was super incredible. Ate waffles all weekend. Got footage of the cars screaming up Eau Rouge, Got tickets in General Admin on the Kemmel Straight in front of big screen and enjoyed the race with people of like mind and socio economic background.

          Apart from the city events like Melbourne, Montreal and Monaco… Suzuka is the most fan friendly track in the world. Has a theme park, massive international food fair behind the S curves. Paths leading to all sections. Crazy fans all dressed up. Stadium stand at the first corner has a huge view of the track.

          The only thing that takes away from an F1 race nowadays is the noise from the engines is now kinda mediocre compared to 2012.

          I didn’t wear my earplugs once during a race weekend… why would you!?!

          1. @resort2spa

            Wow, you had a great 2012!

            Great comment, it really took me back to how much I have enjoyed races over the years. Sadly what you say about the noise is so true, it’s just not the same anymore.

          2. @resort2spa Wow, you really like to eat things… you are just like me :D

            Seriously, you have perfectly explained why fans like us keep going to races. If FOM and the circuits did just a little more to make people satisfied, we would not need to worry about losing the races that we love.

      2. @coldfly +1.

        TV coverage has a lot to offer today bar the live atmosphere. You will watch the race better at home with a array of cameras and replays but you will miss the smell, the smiles when a fast car goes past your grand stand and the crazy fans, drivers parade and talking to people from different geographies.

        Plus, you can make it more than “just a race”, spend two days in nearby town and make it a larger experience, on paper that’s why countries/cities want to host F1 races, they want to raise their profile globally.

        @Joshgeake should try São Paulo or Spa. Great experience. I’ve been told both Monza and Silverstone are worth the trip too.

      3. I went to Melbourne in 2003, it was dull and damp.

        Keith mentioned the availability of booze in Silverstone is good. It is available that’s true but it’s always with a long queue, not what I want to drink and double what I want to pay. Plus you then have to trek and wait in another queue for a pee.

        I don’t want to sound excessively negative about a sport I’ve loved for over 20 years…I just can’t help but think that it’s so much better on the TV than in the flesh. It’s a terrible spectator sport.

      4. Interesting to hear the comments about “not attending a grand prix” and why. I clearly remember the 1985 European Grand Prix at Brands Hatch. The only tickets I could get were second rate stand tickets at the Druids Hairpin, possibly the worst place to watch an F1 race in, as you get no real idea of speed or even braking as they are coming towards you. Worse, there were no concessions nearby and no toilets! The wife was not impressed. So, it was a mediocre affair and it cost, wait for it – £120.00 for both of us which in today’s money is around £290 – £300 for one day in a second rate spot. A premium stand like Paddock Hill bend was over £150 (for two). Based on that I’d sat today’s ticket prices are far better value!

    6. Ban grid girls?
      Certainly not, drop their universal employment at races if need be but do not impinge upon their right to be employed by a team or driver, someone needs to hold the umbrella/parasol so why should it not be a female maybe the drivers wife/gf will volunteer or maybe a male or female fan could be given the job/privilege.

      1. Have you watched a grand prix lately?

        They don’t hold an umbrella/parasol. They hold a sign indicating the number of the driver occupying a particular grid slot. Regardless of anyone’s opinion on sexism in motorsport, it is clear that having girls standing around holding numbered signs doesn’t really do anything useful.

        1. ColdFly F1 (@)
          8th April 2015, 5:18

          @lateralus – you’re right, but/and holding the grid position/number is still 1000 times more useful than the cringe-worthy practice of having lines of girls clapping when the drivers walk to the podium.

        2. @lateralus, Yes I watch the GPs but never actually notice the grid girls because the camera is following the on-track reporter through the crowd or it is time for another commercial break before the lights go out.

    7. Interesting article on JEV. I always felt that he is much better than RB thought of him and one of the things in F1 that annoys me a lot is the weight limit. I remember the times when Kubica, Webber, Sutil etc. were looking like some anorectic zombies because of their height/weight.
      I get that there are many sports where the physical capabilities are very important but in my view F1 should not be one of them. It should be all about driver’s racing skills. Why driver’s weight is still a big factor in their performance is beyond me. It’s not like it’s something very difficult to sort out.

    8. I didn’t realise the grid girls were made to do the job at gun point. What’s their opinion?

      1. Racerdude7730
        8th April 2015, 2:24

        You missed the memo also? I guess we wanna eliminate more jobs for people to earn money in the world. God forbid a girl might like to look pretty and be on camera. On that note I’m pushing to ban all podium ceremony’s because we wouldn’t want the drivers to think they are there just to be looked at…. I joke but come on is this really a subject with all that’s going on right now?

        1. You have of course stumbled onto the only logical reason to eliminate the grid girls, the money could be spent to employ an apprentice mechanic or two.

    9. I’m not sure what to make of the Force India news. In the article Fernley doesn’t sound overly confident that they will be able to hit the new target of Austria… “The development is going well, but we won’t see that until probably Austria.” Probably… I understand there are a lot of variables in play, but not the word I want to hear. Even if it is not a guarantee, why not sell some confidence to the outside world?

      1. @clustr1
        I had the same feeling and I´m actually expecting more and more delays just as it happened in preseason testing. I think it is gonna be a bad year for FI and they are just going to start working for 2016 sooner.

    10. @keithcollantine Why doesn’t the Massa article work?

      1. @mashiat Just a formatting error

    11. Regarding the comment of the day, I am with you on this, but in my case, only since 2014. Prior to that, I had attended at least one race per year since 1987, I was somewhat spoiled with my first race as it was the classic Mansell/Piquet duel at Silverstone!

      It has always been an expensive day/weekend to attend a Grand prix, and it has got more and more so since I went to that first race in 1987. My last live event was Barcelona last year, and having spent, between my girlfriend and I, well over £1500, we both felt robbed. The reason for that is almost entirely the lack of spectacle with the current hybrid cars, and that comes down primarily to the lack noise and the lack of revs. In the past, I always felt elated after leaving the circuit after a Grand Prix. Sure, my head would be buzzing and my ears would be ringing, but it was an assault on the senses like no other, and every time you just knew you had seen something extraordinary. I will never forget dragging my non F1 Fanatic brother along to Friday practice in 1995 at Silverstone. We were queuing to get into the circuit, and free practice started, and the first car out onto the circuit was the V12 Ferrari of Jean Alesi. The sound was so intoxicating even though we could not yet see anything, that my brother started jumping up and down on the spot like a 6 year old, so determined was he to get inside and see what that hell was making that glorious sound.

      I am aware from previous comments here there are some folks who get VERY upset with those that find the new sound terrible…….I very much feel we have an ‘Emperor’s new clothes’ situation. Nearly everyone involved with F1 as a profession is very reluctant to criticize too much as it is, of course ‘the hand that feeds them’.

      As for what it is that makes fans tolerate the current rather spectacle-free situation, I am not sure. Most don’t actually attend races live, so it does not affect them at all, others I think are just deeply protective of ‘their’ sport, which is actually quite touching in a way. Others are happy that they can now take small kids to the circuit with no worries about them being scared. My feeling is that F1 should NOT be child-friendly. The sight of people in the stands chatting away as a full field of f1 cars goes by at the start is appalling to me. Live F1 should be scary, and at the moment it’s less impressive live than ever before. Why pay crazy money to see that?

      1. The Blade Runner (@)
        8th April 2015, 10:59

        Your obviously entitled to your opinion but I think your comments re: Catalunya give a skewed impression of the event.

        The Spanish GP is one of the most cost-effective ways to watch a live GP. You may have chosen to spend £1,500 between the two of you but that is not a reflection on the more typical cost.

        I’ve attended Catalunya for the last three years (and I’m going next month). A three day ticket in stand J which is on the main straight and opposite the pit exit typically costs £130. Budget airline flights to and from Barça total circa £100 and two nights sharing a room in a four star apartment a further £100. That’s circa £330 (i.e. less than the cost of a decent three day ticket for Silverstone) to visit one of Europe’s most vibrant cities, get a prime view of the race with a giant TV screen opposite and soak up the atmosphere (and May sunshine). Regardless of the quality of the race that’s got to represent good value for any F1 nut. Barça can also be enjoyed on quite a low budget compared to many cities.

        I personally do have an “issue” with Silverstone. I appreciate that the deal Bernie does with the venue means that prices need to be higher however it’s difficult not to feel ripped-off. I did Club Becketts two years ago (almost £1,000 for two tickets) and had a poor view of the circuit and a limited view of a TV screen. Give me Catalunya any day!

        I would strongly recommend the Hungaroring to anybody tempted. Flights to Budapest are relatively costly from the UK as are the GP tickets but once you get there it is unbelievably cheap. We literally couldn’t spend our money! To give you a perspective, a beer at the circuit was about £1 sterling.

        Watching a GP live is still an essential experience for any F1 fan. Just do your research and pick the venue that suits your various requirements and overall budget. Don’t be surprised if that also means jumping on a plane rather than driving to your home circuit!

        1. @thebladerunner

          Thanks for your post, very interesting, especially how cheap Hungary is, wow!

          As far as I remember, we paid about £280 each for our grandstand tickets, a little more than £100 each for our return fights, but the cost I mentioned was a totally ‘honest with myself’ ‘all-in’ for the whole weekend, so that involved also a pre-flight hotel at Liverpool airport, (plus the petrol to get there) and eating out in Barcelona on three nights, plus the cost of getting ourselves to the circuit and back on three days. That was a lengthy and tiring trek from where we were staying, using the metro, an overland train and a bus. Beer at the circuit was, I think 11 euros. They let us bring in our own on Friday and Saturday, and then on Sunday, without any prior warning, we had to leave it at the entrance, which was VERY frustrating.

          I am tempted to go to the Hungaroring, given what you have had to say, but both my girlfriend and I were so gutted by the 2014 cars that we sort of vowed to leave it until such a time as the cars are viscerally impressive again. I accept that might never happen, so for now we are going to the Goodwood Festival of Speed instead. No actual racing, but we will get our fix of ‘real’ F1 sounds………:)

      2. @paulguitar:

        The sound was so intoxicating even though we could not yet see anything, that my brother started jumping up and down on the spot like a 6 year old, so determined was he to get inside and see what that hell was making that glorious sound.

        Yeah, I did that too at my first visit to a GP.. I am afraid to say this here, but I miss the sound too…

        1. @Foosa

          Thank you, I am pleased to hear that someone else still cares!

      3. I get what you mean about F1 not being child friendly…the problem with that though is two-fold. Firstly, you’re alienating your existing fans by making it harder/more expensive to take their kids. Secondly, you’re making sure that their kids are not fans.

    12. So, first it was Lewis who stole a championship from Massa, now it was Kimi. For some reason, Massa never accuses the inconsistent, accident prone man who lost to a heavy drinking and publicly unhappy teammate in 2007, and a slower McLaren in 2008.

      Also, on that grid girls piece: Danica Patrick has been naked in advertisements for her sponsors (censored, of course), so that’s counterproductive to the argument. Plenty of female athletes have made appearances in that Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition too. Again, it’s her choice and she made it, just as grid girls make thei choice. I don’t care about Danica, and I don’t care about grid girls. Their presence or absence doesn’t really matter. However, I still insist that people should be allowed to make their own decisions.

      1. @bforth: Good point there about Danica and all.. Would like to see @keithcollantine ‘s view on that

    13. Keith, seriously what’s your beef with grid girls? I personally couldn’t care less if they were there or not, but as a free society, I utterly deplore when left-wing radicals try to push their beliefs on others.

      There has to be a reason why you are so strongly coming out on this. Are you some SJW?

      Please, do not continue attacking this unless you plan to be fair and will give voice to the converse as well. You will just drive people away. I’ve been turned away from many game news sites (such as Polygon, Kotaku etc) due to their leftist feminist/feminazi agenda, and I don’t hope it’d happen here.

      1. what’s your beef with grid girls?

        I find it a bit odd to be asked that when I’ve recently written an article explaining it, which is linked above:

        Why F1 should adopt the WEC’s ban on grid girls

        There has to be a reason why you are so strongly coming out on this.

        Why does there have to be a reason other than I think it’s wrong and I’m of a mind to say so?

        Are you some SJW?

        Only when it comes to pointless acronyms which I have to look up in order to guess what the other person means :-)

        1. ColdFly F1 (@)
          8th April 2015, 7:53

          @keithcollantine, last time I checked you had some 388 comments on the article you wrote. You surely have picked a good topic to blog about!

          What’s the most commented-on article so far on this site/blog?

          1. @coldfly Quality rather than quantity is what I’m more concerned about – that’s why we have Comment of the Day! – but I like to think we always get good-quality comments on any topic.

            The most-commented article is this one, but it’s not really a talking point per se. The next-most-commented article features an angry Lewis Hamilton and a widely-misunderstood Ali G reference

      2. This issue is no different from other hotly debated topics that have been the center of attention over the last years, such as double points, Bernie’s views on the sport, the relationship between Hamilton and Rosberg etc. Including articles about double points in the round-up and expressing his own opinion does not make Keith an SPR* and and I don’t see how the issue of grid girls is any different. If you did not notice, Andre Lotterer’s tweet where he expressed his support for grid girls was included in Monday’s round-up and if there were similar opinion pieces about the subject, I sure am they would be here, too.

        *Single points radical

      3. I understand this is addressed to Keith only but…

        when left-wing radicals try to push their beliefs on others.

        Being progressive, rational & pointing out the obvious flawed practices isn’t radicalism in any conceivable way.

    14. Leave the grid girls alone, they know what they’re doing!

      1. HA! LOL Kimi agrees! ;)
        (but do I think they’re a bit of a throwback to the 50’s and need to go before we get another female driver)

    15. I do not agree with the COTD because you cannot really feel the atmosphere when you are sitting on your couch and watching TV. Listening to the sound of the engines (even if it is not as loud as it should be), seeing the cars in front of you and other fans beside you can “lift you up into the sky”. I guess some do not care about that, they should really stay at home and drink beer while watching the race on Sky. But a lot of fans love being at the circuit, whatever the weather.

      That said, @Joshgeake rightly draws attention to the lack of entertainment and other issues, such as traffic jams. The lack of FanVision / Kangaroo TV is not helping either. I believe that you would not even need a lot of money to improve some of these things but someone needs to “get the job done”.

      1. To me its a bit the same as comparing going to a live concert, or to the opera really, and seeing /hearing that same in perfect surround sound at home.

        If you want to hear the music, get the plot, follow the on track action at home with the TV / internet is more quality footage/coverage. But its a completely different animal from going to see and feel it live, which is more about feeling it, smelling it, experiencing the whole thing, also together with others doing the same @girts, @coldfly, @jcost, @resort2spa, @toxic, @joshgeake

        1. I think that’s pretty what I was getting at @BasCB in that in my experiences of going to an F1 race is a lack of feeling. I’ve not been to one recently and since the noise was the one memorable thing…I can’t say I’ll be going again any time soon.

    16. All this fakery about grid girls’ rights. Yes any girl can stand around being passive and subordinate, if she wants. Gorgeous and subordinate omg. Yummy.

      Lots of guys find that super appealing, of course. Guys with bad spelling, especially ;)

    17. I am not really understanding all this bs about getting rid of grid girls. F1 is a sausage party already. Then I hear people here whining about Monisha Kaltenboro and how she needs to step down. I am wondering if the real misogynists are the ones calling for the removal of these women.

    18. To the boys (I would say people, or even men, but it’s really all boys) who for some reason are offended by the suggestion that grid girls have no place in motorsport in the 21st century – do tell, why don’t all sports have women standing as silent decorations in front of male competitors?

    19. i am with Massa, he was a great in 2007, and kimi luckily got the championship when massa did the team thing and pulled over in the last race. kimi was on a downward spiral, while massa was on the up. Massa did the number 2 role as Barrichello did at ferrari to Schumacher, but by 2006 was beating schumacher, in 2007 he was beating raikonnen and same in 2008 where he was top driver in the sport for many, and 09 before the dreadful career defining accident, after which he never got back to that moment he had built up beforehand.

    20. Someone forgot to tell Max that he is in China of all places to access social networking.

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