Left field

The Reuters global sports blog

Remembering Bruce McLaren

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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.

Wednesday, June 2, will be the 40th anniversary of team founder Bruce McLaren’s death in a testing accident at the Goodwood circuit in southern England.

The New Zealander, whose team would ultimately go on to become one of the sport’s most successful, was only 32 years old.

Who do you think you are? Jenson Button?

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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.

The focus is on Hamilton now

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McLaren’s suspended suspension (also known as a slap on the wrists) for lying to stewards allows Lewis Hamilton to get on with what he does best and that is fighting for the championship.

A three-race ban would have just about ended the 24-year-old’s chances, which had not been looking too good anyway even without any sanction.

Trouble in Woking for McLaren

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When Lewis Hamilton won the Formula One title last November, it seemed like he and McLaren had unlocked the door to a new era of success.

One can only look back now and marvel at just how wide of the mark that particular prediction now appears.

F1 appeal court rules in favour of Button’s Brawn

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After all the fuss we now have a verdict — the controversial diffusers on the Brawn GP, Toyota and Williams cars are legal.

“Based on the arguments heard and evidence before it, the Court has concluded that the Stewards were correct to find that the cars in question comply with the applicable regulations,”
the governing FIA said in a statement.

Night racing deserves a quiet night

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After problems at the ‘evening’ Formula One grands prixs in Australia and Malaysia, the opening MotoGP event of the season in Qatar — a night race — was postponed for a day because of heavy rain.

Kropotkin has no doubt on motogpmatters that “night races are a stupid idea, for lots of reasons”.

Winner Takes It All in F1

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This year’s Formula One title will go to the driver who wins the most races rather than the most points.

The International Automobile Federation (FIA) said in a statement on Tuesday it had agreed to the proposal from Formula One Management to introduce the system.

F1 drivers need to get real over super-licences

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rtr22j1l1hamyjpgA glossy report compiled by Formula Money last year contained a list of estimated Formula One driver salaries, excluding personal endorsements and bonuses, for 2008:

1. Kimi Raikkonen $37 million
2. Fernando Alonso $25 million
3. Lewis Hamilton $20 million
4. Jenson Button $18 million

Back to the good old days

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Red Bull Formula One drivers Mark Webber of Australia and Sebastian Vettel of Germany pose for the media next to the RB5 in JerezTime was when a Formula One car launch consisted of little more than a couple of oil-streaked mechanics wheeling their pride and joy out of a lock-up garage on a chilly winter morning at some deserted circuit.

Any media who turned up might raise their collars against the cold, kick their heels for a bit and then head off for a restorative cup of tea.

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