The Reuters global sports blog
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.
With six wins in the first seven races, the Briton’s tally cannot now be matched by anyone else.
Singapore winner Lewis Hamilton, Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel and Button’s Brazilian team mate Rubens Barrichello all have two wins with three races left.
Mika Hakkinen has the air of a man who has seen it all before.
He stared death in the face when only an emergency trackside tracheotomy saved his life after a crash at the Australian Grand Prix.
He returned to Formula One to win the drivers’ title in 1998 and 1999. He enjoys homes in Monte Carlo, France and his native Finland.
The news has just come in from Paris, where Renault have been handed a suspended ban from Formula One, while their former boss Flavio Briatore has been banned from all F1 activities, including driver management, and ex-technical chief Pat Symonds is barred for five years.
So the immediate result of the inquiry into race-rigging at last year’s Singapore Grand Prix is that Renault can stay in the sport, provided they stay on their best behaviour for the next couple of years, even though the offence was described by the FIA as one of “unparalleled severity”.