The Reuters global sports blog
McLaren’s Formula One champions Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton have both sought solace in the scoring system after recent setbacks.
But in fact, if they did the maths they might feel a little bit sore. Applying the 2009 points to the 2010 results so far, the title battle would actually be even tighter.
“I think the new points system has definitely amplified what people think of the standings, but I’ve always imagined the points as they would have been under last year’s system,” Button said after last weekend’s Singapore Grand Prix left him fifth overall and 25 points adrift of Red Bull’s championship leader Mark Webber.
“So, in old money, I’m 10 points off Mark, and Lewis is about eight or nine behind him. And, with four races to go, that’s not much at all.”
Ferrari made much of their 800th Formula One grand prix in Turkey last Sunday, throwing a party in Istanbul and racing with the number 800 on their cars’ engine covers.
It was just a shame their performance on the track was nothing to shout about.
Over at McLaren, a more poignant milestone was being marked more discretely — one fittingly capped by Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button finishing one-two in the race while the sport’s only Antipodean driver, Mark Webber, joined them on the podium.
An irresistible story from Melbourne, where Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton was stopped by the police for “over-exuberant” driving on the road.
Hamilton was fastest in practice for the Australian Grand Prix on Friday and apparently struggled to make the adjustment to his road car. Here’s the story from Ian Ransom in Melbourne and Alan Baldwin in London:
Muscles acheing, and body sagging under the lingering effects of jet-lag, I wiped away beads of sweat and warily contemplated our newly-arrived karting opponents.
They looked like proper Formula One drivers.
A British media v Lewis Hamilton/Jenson Button “challenge” could only be a mismatch, even if one of our more souped-up members did bring his own race suit and helmet to the party.
A lot of people are getting quite excited about the possibility of Michael Schumacher coming out of retirement to race for the new Mercedes F1 team (formerly known as champions Brawn) at the age of 41.
The German’s spokeswoman Sabine Kehm feels it is highly unlikely while Mercedes said at the weekend that “some speculations are nothing but dreams which will not come true” (although note the carmaker did not specifically say this particular piece of speculation was one of them).
Jenson Button’s eye-catching visit to McLaren on Friday is of obvious benefit to both parties, whatever the reality behind the headlines.
If a deal is done, the new Formula One champion gets the bigger salary that Brawn are reluctant or unable to pay as well as a potentially winning car for next season.
Jenson Button needs at most six points to clinch the Formula One title in Brazil this weekend and become Britain’s 10th world champion.
If he does wrap it up at Interlagos, a debate that has been going on for some weeks now will only pick up speed — just how does the 29-year-old rate as a champion compared to all the others?
If Bernie Ecclestone had got his way before the start of the season, Jenson Button might have been crowned Formula One champion in Singapore on Sunday.
The commercial supremo’s plan for the championship to be decided by an Olympic-style medals system, with the title going to the driver taking most golds, would have left Brawn’s Button out of reach.
Just seeing Michael Schumacher back in an F1 car, especially a Ferrari, will be enough for most motor sport fans.
But the chance to watch him race against young guns Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel is something very special.
Of all the corners in Formula One this season, turn eight at the Istanbul Park Circuit subjects drivers to the highest G-forces (around 5G, or five times their body weight).
It is a long, sweeping multi-apex corner that yearns to be taken flat out (270kph+) but that will see only a handful — probably only the Brawns, Red Bulls and Ferraris — manage to do it this