Monthly Archives: October 2010

Mayhem in Korea Sees Lotus Champions

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Korean Grand Prix

Well… that was an interesting race. The rain came down and hardly relented for the majority, but in the end, it was a disaster for one team in particular.

It hadn’t been the greatest of seasons for Jarno Trulli, but he was mightily impressive in qualifying, two tenths quicker than Timo Glock and a whole second ahead of Heikki Kovalainen. Lucas di Grassi was in his usual 4th slot, and for the first time all season, and only the second time in his career, Sakon Yamamoto out qualified his team mate.

But before the race the rain came down hard, the start was behind the Safety Car for three laps before the red flag came out. The only interesting thing of note was Bruno Senna making a pitstop, not losing any places.

There was a long delay of about 45 minutes before the race resumed under more Safety Car conditions. This continued for a while, and despite protests from several drivers that it was safe enough to race at full speed, it went around and around until the end of lap 17 when it finally came in.

It was however a disastrous start for Trulli, who spun off at turn one instantly, Bruno Senna followed but made his way around him to pass. It wasn’t too long before Trulli was involved in another incident, this time he lost control of the car and slammed into the side of Senna. He lost the front wing and eventually was forced to retire due to ‘hydraulics’.

Timo Glock and Heikki Kovalainen were enjoying life in the midfield, but for the both of them it would quickly disappear. First, Jaime Alguersuari clipped Kovalainen’s car sending him to a spin. A lap later and at the same corner, Sebastian Buemi failed in his attempt of an overtake on Timo Glock, slamming into the side of the Virgin Racing car. He made it to the pits but was forced to retire. It was all set to be one of their best finishes of the season.

Lucas di Grassi was the next to go, spinning the car after trying to overtake an Hispania and hitting the wall hard.

Very little happened to Kovalainen, Senna and Yamamoto for the rest of the race, keeping themselves out of trouble while carnage continued around them.

  Driver Team Race Pos. Points
1 Heikki Kovalainen Lotus 13th 10
2 Bruno Senna Hispania 14th 6
3 Sakon Yamamoto Hispania 15th 4
4 Lucas di Grassi Virgin Racing Ret. 0
5 Timo Glock Virgin Racing Ret. 0
6 Jarno Trulli Lotus Ret. 0

 

Standings

Drivers Championship

No movement in the standings and with Glock, di Grassi and Trulli all retiring the battle for second is still between four points. Champion Heikki Kovalainen is just in a league of his own at the moment and with two races left, it looks almost certain he will reach triple figures. Bruno Senna is now in the 30s and Sakon Yamamoto is actually on a respectable total.

    Driver Team Points
1 C Heikki Kovalainen Lotus 98
2   Timo Glock Virgin Racing 56
3   Lucas di Grassi Virgin Racing 55
4   Jarno Trulli Lotus 52
5   Karun Chandhok Hispania 45
6   Bruno Senna Hispania 31
7   Sakon Yamamoto Hispania 15
8   Christian Klien Hispania 0

 

Teams Championship

And there we have it, both championships are wrapped up. With 32 the maximum any team can get from Brazil and Abu Dhabi, Lotus win the Teams Championship with a points advantage of 39. A double non-finish from the Virgin Racing boys puts them under pressure from Hispania, who are now 13 points behind. Look, they probably aren’t going to do it, but I need to find a battle from somewhere. Lotus are too good.

    Team Points
1 C Lotus 150
2   Virgin Racing 111
3   Hispania 98

We Have a Champion

Japanese Grand Prix

The rain in Japan threatened to ruin a lot of thing, most notably, the whole race. But in the end the sun came out on the Sunday and allowed qualifying and the race to go ahead. It turned out to be a decent race in the end, with some spectacular moments, but aside from one dramatic moment before the race, it was a very quiet race for the new teams.

It was a Noah’s Ark formation on the grid. On the back row as expected were the two Hispania’s, Bruno Senna in front of the returning Sakon Yamamoto. In front of them were the Virgin’s, a rare occasion as Lucas di Grassi out qualified Timo Glock, and at the top was Jarno Trulli starting ahead of Heikki Kovalainen.

A few hours later it was the turn of the race, but Lucas di Grassi didn’t fancy it. On the outlap he lost control at the 130R and ruined his car in the barrier, making him unable to even start the race.

The start kept formation pretty much, but the Safety Car after one lap allowed Trulli, Glock and Senna to come in and change tyres early on. This pushed Kovalainen and Yamamoto up to the front and the rest chasing.

It didn’t take long for Trulli and Glock to catch up to the Hispania, but they were caught up behind him and unable to pass, Trulli got by not much later but Glock had his race ruined by him. Despite several attempts at the overtake he had to wait until Yamamoto pitted before he could get by.

Kovalainen pitted and returned ahead of Trulli, and with the high amount of retirements, it pushed them to 12th, their best ever finishing position.

Ironically, it was the best finish for five of the drivers (excluding di Grassi obviously).

Driver Team Race Pos. Points
1 Heikki Kovalainen Lotus 12th 10
2 Jarno Trulli Lotus 13th 6
3 Timo Glock Virgin Racing 14th 4
4 Bruno Senna Hispania 15th 3
5 Sakon Yamamoto Hispania 16th 2
6 Lucas di Grassi Virgin Racing DNS 0

 

Standings

Drivers Championship

Ladies and gentlemen, we have a champion! Heikki is 32 points in front of Timo Glock and with only three races left, it means that he can not be closed down. Well done to Heikki and do expect a post about him soon enough. The battle for second is now the most important one, with Glock taking second by a point, and now Trulli within four points as well, this should spice up towards the end of the season. Bruno Senna finishes his first race in four to move to 25 and Yamamoto reaches double figures.

Driver Team Points
1 C Heikki Kovalainen Lotus 88
2 Timo Glock Virgin Racing 56
3 Lucas di Grassi Virgin Racing 55
4 Jarno Trulli Lotus 52
5 Karun Chandhok Hispania 45
6 Bruno Senna Hispania 25
7 Sakon Yamamoto Hispania 11
8 Christian Klien Hispania 0

 

Teams Championship

It looks healthy for Lotus. 29 points in front and it means they can win the Teams Championship in Korea and be announced officially the best team.

Team Points
1 Lotus 140
2 Virgin Racing 111
3 Hispania 81

Should We Stay or Should We Go?

twostadiums It was all looking up. A 60,000 seater stadium built in the heart of Tottenham, improved facilities whilst retaining the special atmosphere that is always generated inside White Hart Lane. OK, there was the issue of having to put up a brand sponsoring the stadium, it wasn’t ideal, but fair enough, what had to be done was done and as long as the financial side of it was secure, great.

There were a few setbacks, planning permission a major obstacle, mainly down to the listed buildings near the site. But refreshed drawings and clever thinking allowed them to be incorporated, all perfect, and Haringey Council said yes to the plan. All it requires now is the thumbs up by London Mayor Boris Johnson and everything is fine.

Or is it? Whilst waiting for the council to approve plans, Daniel Levy and co. also submitted their interest in taking over the Olympic Stadium, alongside one of those other teams in London, West Ham United, a pretty average team who can’t even sell out their current home games. The list of issues with the Olympic Stadium is lengthy.

But sure, just a back up plan in case worse came to worse and Haringey Council said a big fat no to the new stadium. That would be fine, we were left with no choice in the end.

And then news breaks that Spurs are prepared to make the Olympic Stadium first choice, scrap the plans for the new stadium, tear off the running track, beat those men from West Ham.

Damn.

Is it the end? No. It is just news, West Ham are still favourites for the stadium. Logistically they are closer and have one thing in favour for them.

There is a so called Olympic Legacy that is trying to come from the 2012 Olympics. Part of this is of course retaining the 2012 Olympic Stadium for use, whether it is at 80,000 or the supposed post Games decrease to 25,000 and for whatever sport decides to move in. But one big favour they’d like  the new owners to do is keep the running track. Yes, the running track. The same thing that football fans worldwide detest for the life of them. The horrific, atmosphere sapping, horrendous, running track. You feel miles away from the action in a stadium with one (and not watching the running on them).

West Ham have said fair play, we will keep this running track. Probably let athletics be run on it every now and then, just to prove a point.

Tottenham on the other hand have went a different approach, no running track. Never. Out of the question it is. Fantastic news, surely you would think, improving the spectacle for the fans, Spurs for the win etc.

You would think that of course, but that is not what the likes of Boris Johnson want. A running track is required. You know, just to make things awkward.

There have been a lot of negatives around the application for the Olympic Stadium. The fact that the stadium is in Stratford, East London, nowhere near the rightful home of Tottenham Hotspur FC. Yes the move won’t be as bad as Wimbledon relocating to Milton Keynes. But it would ruin what is special about the club, Stratford isn’t Tottenham. It doesn’t deserve to be the home of Tottenham. The heart and the soul of the football club is in North London, not the south, not the west and certainly not the east. West Ham can have it, with all the problems they are having, annoying owners, a poor team and poor attendances.

Still, there is a chance Tottenham could end up at the Olympic stadium. AEG with their partnership with Spurs seem to be backing the bid, saying bring Spurs to Stratford.

I, along with many others, don’t want that to happen.

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