Category Archives: auto racing and motor sport

Motorsportmania blog goes live this weekend!

Over this weekend I will be moving my motoring and motor sport (auto racing) posts over onto a new blog, Motorsport Mania here on WordPress. Motorsport Mania

This will allow those who are following my motoring mutterings to do so without having all of the other stuff that apears on John’s Jottings cluttering up their message boxes.

The new blog will feature all of my car related stuff from this weekend onwards and I’ll have a look at building a page of links back to the various motor sport and driving blog entries from the JJ site.

So that will be the place to go for my thoughts on current matters in F1, NASCAR, Indy and other types of racing and, expecially as I’m doing some other writing at present (Truck & Driver took an article from me last week for future publication for example), I’ll mention these as and when they come up.

Thanks to my followers, and I look forward to your comments on the the new blog as it gets under way.


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more #F1 musings on the #hungariangrandprix

I’ve been looking at that incident between Cobbler senior and the Barra Boy again and believe that MSC really knew what he was doing. As he moves over he appears to keep watching his mirrow long after Rubens had got into the blind spot part way alongside him.

We know that those mirrors are pretty useless, so was he so focussed on looking that he moved a bit too far over? Or had he seen Rubens come across and was waiting until he got alongside just to intimidate him as much as possible? I think the latter.

If, as he appeared to claim in his post race interview, he was trying to let Rubens past on the other side (his left), why wasn’t he looking there? Why stay focussed on the right?

We know of his opinion of Rubens and maybe he just thought he could make him chicken out. They both swerved left together, so got away with it all even if Rubens did take off slightly as he passed over the kerb at the pit exit, and Rubens had the experience to use his track position there to make sure he got the corner.

All in all an ugly moment and rather uneccessary.

Something else that troubles me though: A certain other Brazilian used to dish this sort of thing out every bit as much as MSC does and yet still gets revered whereas everyone queues up to throw rocks at MSC and want him penalised. MSC’s move on Rubens was nasty, but almost identical to one that the yellow helmeted Brazilian pulled on Nigel Mansell once (like Rubens, he didn’t bottle it either), but that isn’t the only example of overdoing intimidation; turning into Mansell (yes him again) at Spa, ramming Prost off the track in Japan. I could go on.

MSC and Senna both have (had) sublime driving skills, but I will never be able to regard either of them as true greats because they have this tendency to be bully boys. Both are/were good enough not to need to behave that way, but neither had enough character to kerb their animal instincts.

The real greats like Ascari, Fangio, Clark, Stewart, Lauda and others could be hard, but would not pull these sort of stunts.

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#F1 Musings on the #hungarian grand prix

Great drive Mark Webber! Did what you had to and good call by the team when the SC came out.

Renault vs Force India – Ooops. An accident waiting to happen. Maybe F1 needs to look at NASCAR on pitting under SC conditions (not that get it right every time, but they do have a pit for every car on the track, and they have 43 in a race. OK, the pits would stretch half way round the lap at Monaco, but you get my point.

What were you thinking Michael? That was just plain stupid, and good job Rubens for not backing out.

SV will grow up one day, and we can maybe put up with the tantrums as they aren’t hurting anyone else. The kid is bloody quick, but maturity is one of the reasons why his team mate has won 4 races this year.

Well done Williams and Sauber, and also to the Ruskie Kid.

So, tight at the top going into the Summer break. Who’s your money on?

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#F1 musings on the #German Grand Prix

Once again Red Bull can’t translate qualifying pace in to race pace, but McLaren again show how to run a race even if not that quick in qualifying. That’s how they win championships, and why they’re leading both again this season..

Ferarri? Well that was a pretty flagrant team order despite the language used. My view is that, under current regulations, Alonso should not have been allowed past. If he was so much quicker then he should have just taken the place.

To me the obvious choice for the stewards would have been to just reverse the result and put Alonso back to second as it was really only those two that were affected, but we’ve been left with the unsatisfactory result of having to wait to know the outcome.

As far as the second division are concerned, a bad event generally for Force India, but Sauber had another good day as did Williams.

Good to see what looked like a decent crowd. Like Silverstone and Monza you can reckon on a good turnout in Germany and this is, for me, why F1 needs to retain the classic events regardless of what Bernie’s mob demand in terms of finances.

So they’ve cleared the Ferarri and Red Bull front wings. Maybe they do pass the static tests, but there does seem to be something that happens under dynamic loads when running. Good luck to them if they’ve found a demon tweak. F1 should be about innovation and I’m all for it.

Going back to team orders, there was a time when the drivers would have sorted it out between them, but those days are long gone. I’m against a ban on them though because we need less rules not more. Massa could just have said no. The team could have turned his engine down from the pits. There are all sorts of things that could have been brought into play so, for me, legislation is pointless.

That’s my lot for now. I’m off to see what is going on stateside with NASCAR fvrom Indy and how Will Power is getting on in Indycar.

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#F1 Musings

What on earth are HRT up to on the driver front? Dropping Senna for the British GP was a bit of a shock even if he has been a bit of a waste of space, but now they drop Chandhok! Not signs of any real leadership for the team.

JV making another come back attempt? He did OK in a decent car, but was pretty ordinary otherwise and is too far past his sell by date now. Maybe buying his way in as an entrant is one last roll of the dice to get himself a drive, but he really ought to fade away quietly.

After being so rude about the opening event I am happy to say, as I did here the other week, that I was wrong and that this is turning into a good season with plenty of doubt about the outcome of each race, and no runaway at the top of the table. Roll on Hockenheim, even if they did make a hash of changing the track a few years ago. Silverstone shows how it can be done.

Blown diffusers? Wondering where the idea came from? Not a new concept; check out the 1986 MARCH indycar, where one A Newey was on the factory design team and being loaned out to the preferred customer’s race team. These things come around from time to time.

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F1 2010 – I got it wrong #F1

Back in March I blogged F1 2010: full bore or what a bore? I was wrong in my judgement of the season after just that one race as it has turned out to be a decent season since then.

Alonso’s hystrionics in Spain I find are just hillarious, but maybe the FIA should listen when he says that the race was manipulated; after all he is an expert on the subject. As for Ferrari? Well they’ve always been ready to moan and groan, it’s part of what we all love about them. Sure I feel sorry for the Spanish fans, cos they didn’t get a lot to cheer about, but that’s racing.

JB’s decision to leave Brawn/Mercedes has been pretty well vindicated with a couple of wins for the Woking mob with his old team up at Brackley really just not performing. Is it another case of big corporate having taken over and spoiling things?

Roll on Silverstone. I won’t be going, but might just try and find the time to watch on the box.

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new amazon eStore open today

One of my business connections, Transport Books & Models, has opened its eStore on Amazon today. Check the Transport Books & Models link on the right of this page.

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Thoughts on Texas and late race #NASCAR cautions.

These restart wrecks late in the race are getting beyond a joke. Now I’m not Jeff Gordon fan, but the guy had the best car, was cruising to a win that would have broke a bit of a streak when Rooty had his spin.Differing pit strategies shuffle the pack, but we barely get the green waved when the 99 and the 14 tangle and we get the big one and a red flag.

OK, it’s racing, but it isn’t a demolition derby, so what do we need to let the races run out without all this stupidity? I would start by penaliing any driver that causes a wreck on a restart by stripping the driver and owner of any points for that event and parking them for the next one to try and get the message across.

I’d also look at the question of pitting under caution in the late stages. It screws up the race for teams that have used their strategy well and got themselves a decent postition. I don’t hold with the argument that it makes the race more exiting – especially the phantom “competition caution” – if NASCAR want a 30 lap sprint them they should just run them and not waste everyone’s time with a 500 miler. So let’s try a new rule. If there is a caution with, say, 30 or less laps to go you can pit for new tires and/or fuel, but you go to the back of the pack for the single file restart.

For me the only good thing that came out of the Texas race at the weekend was that Mark Martin got a decent finish after some bad luck (and wrecks).

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F1 2010; full bore, or just a bore?

Having waited with real anticipation for the start of this F1 season, probably with more baited breath than for any season since probably 1986, the Bahrain GP was such a bore that I turned the TV off on lap 22 and got started on my VAT return (sales tax for my US friends) instead.

Aside from the pathetic circuit, which looks like a slot car track in a sand pit, the race was just a procession. I would have had more entertainment watching the traffic at the end of the road I live in. If this is the way the new season is going to pan out I shall have a lot of free Sundays.

While I’m on the subject the BBC pre race session hasn’t improved at all either. As I was sat here today I thought that I’d watch, but found it every bit as dire as when I last saw it. For most of last year I was able to time switching on the TV with the tail end of the formation lap but, if today’s event is going to be typical, I won’t be switching on at all.

I am really disappointed.

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