German Grand Prix 2016 Preview

Well, hello there! Welcome to my new trial of writing on F1 Grand Prix weekends. I have decided on splitting my writing into two pieces after considering feedback that some of my pieces are too long and almost a length of a dissertation. This is a trial layout so any feedback would be great appreciated and please feel free to comment.

It is the final race before the F1 drivers go on their 4-week summer break and usually marks the half-time period of the season as the teams also close down their factories for two weeks. The FIA sporting regulations insist on every team doing this at some stage during the season in order to prevent any team gaining an unfair advantage in terms of time worked on the cars. Although in terms of race laps completed the halfway point of the season was lap 35 in Hungary this is the half way point for the drivers where they can take their extended break. However, before then, they must navigate the Hockenheimering (I will from here on in be using the much shorter ‘Hockenheim’ when referring to this site) for the German Grand Prix. read more

Lewis sets Hungaroring record and the Championship lead in a weekend of controversy: The 2016 Hungarian Grand Prix

The Hungaroring circuit
The Hungaroring circuit

After a two-week break since the British Grand Prix at Silverstone; the Formula One season moves into the 11th round and the halfway point of the 2016 season (lap 35 of this 70 lap event); Hungary. The 4.381km Hungaroring circuit will play host to its 31st consecutive edition having made its debut in 1986. 70 laps and a race distance of 306.63km around this tight and twisty circuit in the past has certainly thrown up some surprises such as Jenson Button memorably winning his first Grand Prix in 2006! Compared to some of the other similarly established race circuits on the F1 calendar; 1986 is a rather late debut This is primarily due to Hungary’s geographical location and being a member of the Eastern bloc after the Second World War. Although the F1 decision makers wanted to go into Russia first, Andropov’s focus on the arms race with the US perhaps made them reconsider and opt for Hungary; a nation that had already embraced motorsport. Work began on the circuit in 1985 and opened in 1986 with the debut event attracting more than 200,000 spectators!

Jenson Button pictured) won his maiden Grand Prix at Hungary in 2006!
Jenson Button pictured) won his maiden Grand Prix at Hungary in 2006!

The Hungaroring has been fondly looked upon by many drivers throughout the years. The late Ayrton Senna won around this circuit three times while four drivers: Damon Hill (1993), Fernando Alonso (2003), Jenson Button (2006) and Heiki Kovalainen (2008) all won their maiden Grand Prix victories here! Button’s 2006 victory is still the record for the lowest starting position of the race winning having started that afternoon in 14th place and his victory in 2011 makes him of 5 drivers to win the event twice. The outright record for the number of race wins coming into the weekend was jointly held by Michael Schumacher and Lewis Hamilton who had won four apiece. Victory for Hamilton would give him the record outright. read more

England EURO 2016 Part Two: Who should replace Roy Hodgson?

Roy Hodgson (pictured) resigned minutes after Iceland defeated England at EURO 2016; the FA are still looking for a successor...
Roy Hodgson (pictured) resigned minutes after Iceland defeated England at EURO 2016; the FA are still looking for a successor…

After the debacle that was England’s humbling 2-1 defeat to Iceland (I’m not intending to insult Iceland; they did marvellously well at EURO 2016 but this match, in particular, was a huge surprise) in the second round of EURO 2016; Roy Hodgson resigned minutes after the final whistle. So, The Football Association (FA) are now on the hunt for a new manager for the national; senior men’s team. In charge of this recruitment is chief executive Martin Glenn, Dan Ashworth; Director of elite development and vice-chairman David Gill.

Their task will be to find the best man for the job and hopefully someone who will secure a knockout round victory at a major international tournament. It’s something Roy Hodgson failed to achieve and in actual fact England have failed to do so since a David Beckham free-kick defeated Ecuador in Germany 2006. This three-man team are already underway in the recruitment process of replacing Hodgson with reports of Sunderland manager Sam Allardyce and Hull City boss Steve Bruce being interviewed within the past week. read more

England EURO 2016 Part One: What went wrong?

Introduction
Roy Hodgson (pictured) resigned minutes after Iceland defeated England at EURO 2016

It’s 11pm on Monday 27th June 2016 and English football has just experienced one of its darkest nights; a humbling defeat and a Head Coach resigning. Things had been promising in the early stages as Wayne Rooney put England in front from the penalty spot in the first few minutes. What happened next was sheer humiliation as the smallest nation at EURO 2016 yet again showed fantastic resilience to turn the match around within minutes and hold on to the final whistle. Iceland, a nation that had never before been to a major tournament had set up a quarter-final tie against hosts France and knock England; the home of football out of another tournament with a whimper. Roy Hodgson knew this was the end and promptly resigned minutes after full-time stating ‘Now is the time for someone else to oversee the progress of a hungry and extremely talented group of players’.

This piece shall answer a key question; what went wrong for Roy Hodgson and England at EURO 2016? I will concern myself with just EURO 2016 and not a post-mortem of English football in general (more English coaches, more grassroots football etc.). read more

Win number 4 at Silverstone for Lewis as he closes in on Nico: The 2016 British Grand Prix Review

Preview

What a difference a week makes! We are set to have a second female Prime Minister in our nation’s history, we’ve seen Andy Murray win a second Wimbledon and now a British driver winning a second Grand Prix in a matter of 7 days! Speaking of Grand Prix’s; it was Silverstone last weekend for the 10th round of the 2016 F1 season; the British Grand Prix!

The Silverstone Circuit
The Silverstone Circuit in its current layout

Silverstone was originally an aerodrome during the Second World War but the outer limits and runways were converted into a race track after the war. The basis of this original circuit is still the one we see, know and love to this day. This old style race circuit like the Spa and Monza compared to some of the newer circuits where the turns are numbered, here they have numbers and names. Spa has Eau Rouge, Monza has Parabolica and the lesmo’s, Silverstone has Stowe, Copse, Beckets and Hanger Straight to name a few. Silverstone hosted the very first F1 Championship race in 1950 which was won by Italian Giuseppe Farina and the British Grand Prix has been a permanent fixture on the F1 calendar ever since! 2016 was the 67th British Grand Prix. Although the event was initially shared between Brands Hatch, Aintree and Silverstone, it is Silverstone that has held the race every year since 1987 with the start/finish straight initially being just after Woodcote. However, Silverstone temporarily lost the event for the 2010 season to Donnington Park but their financial issues meant Silverstone kept the Grand Prix with requirements to improve the circuit for the spectator’s views and challenge to the drivers. The new layout remains unchanged with the arena section of turns coming from the Abbey Chicane and joining the old circuit layout at Brooklands via Wellington straight. The 2010 race was the first for this current layout but the last to start in its original location as the start/finish straight was moved to where it is now for the 2011 event; with the new complex by the Abbey Chicane. read more

Mercedes pair squabble as Lewis nicks it at the death and lap records tumble: 2016 Austrian Grand Prix

As we enter July, Britain and the EU might still be dealing with the consequences of ‘Brexit’; The Formula One roadshow goes on with an adrenaline fuelled month. July this year experiences four race weekends. That’s 4 races in 5 weeks; just under 1/5 of the 21 race calendar; maximum of 100 points available as well as entering the second half the season. Let the July excitement commence with its first destination: Austria!

The ninth round of the 2016 F1 Championship will be the 30th edition of the Austrian Grand Prix which made its debut in 1970. The race itself has always been hosted on the same site on each occasion but has seen several read more