Monday, 9 March 2009

Are McLaren in trouble?

In today's first day of the Barcelona test McLaren Mercedes languished in last place some two seconds and a half off the pace.

They are reportedly having issues with the rear end of the car, hence the reason they have been running with their 2008 rear wing on many occasions.

It seems that McLaren have had a habit of having a great season followed by a poor one in recent years. In 2003 Kimi Raikkonen ran Michael Schumacher close the title and in 2004 the team started off very poorly and finished fifth in the constructors championship. In 2005 the McLaren was clearly the fastest car for most the season with Raikkonen again runner up in the title race, this time to Fernando Alonso. The following season McLaren failed to win a race for the first time since 1996.

2008 was clearly a great year for the team taking the drivers title with Lewis Hamilton and now they are having massive problems in pre-season testing, with Lewis pushing so hard in Jerez he actually crashed backwards into the barriers.

McLaren face an uphill struggle if they are genuinely struggling but only an idiot would bet against them turning up competitive and challenging for the win in Australia. After all, history cannot repeat itself again, surely?

Saturday, 7 March 2009

BBC F1 coverage

F1 2009 is nearly upon us and this new season is shaping up to be one of the closest in living memory.

I'll write my first blog on one of the most exciting aspects for the UK audience is the return of F1 to it's natural home on the BBC. I must admit I only really started watching F1 in 1997, so missed the BBC years but I had always heard "The Chain" and even though I never have experienced it starting a live F1 race yet it still means F1 to me.

The new BBC team is an excellent one in my opinion. Jake Humphrey the anchor seems enthusiastic and bubbles over with charisma. His blog on is fascinating reading. He is joined by the legendary Eddie Jordan and David Coulthard; two men known for their fiery personalities so Jake has got his work cut out controlling them.

In the commentary box sees the combination of Jonathan Legard, who is the best choice the BBC could get (Ben Edwards aside who is the best commentator in the UK bar good old Murray) and the fascinating Martin Brundle, who livened up so many dull races with his witty banter and technical insight. And hopefully his grid walk will return in it's full unedited form

Patrolling the pit lanes are Ted Kravitz from ITV and Lee McKenzie (who co-presented ITV's short lived Speed Sunday back in 2004 and has also presented A1GP on Sky). Again another two great choices.

And of course Murray Walker will be returning to do special video features on the BBC F1 website. FAAAAAAAANTASTIC!

The coverage will be second to none with all sessions being broadcast on the BBC Red Button and online with qualifying and the races live on BBC1.

And of course "The Chain" will be returning as the theme tune. I do hope though that the coverage will keep on expanding in years to come and will feature archive races being broadcast on Red Button and online (like Fuji TV do) and that all the sessions have the interactive screen with on board cameras etc (at present it's only being done for the race).

But if the BBC introduced this all at the beginning it would hardly allow them room for improvement as the contract goes on.

Anyway that's all for my first blog and musings on F1.