2017 Azerbaijan Grand Prix Preview

Hamilton with the authentic helmet of Ayrton Senna given to him by the family after securing pole position in Canada; his 65th pole [Image from europsport.com]
Hamilton with the authentic helmet of Ayrton Senna given to him by the family after securing pole position in Canada; his 65th pole [Image from europsport.com]
Sir Patrick Stewart gets in on the shoey act as Daniel Ricciardo celebrates his podium finish in Canada [Image from The Mirror]
Sir Patrick Stewart gets in on the shoey act as Daniel Ricciardo celebrates his podium finish in Canada [Image from The Mirror]

The Mind of Rowan made a return to commenting on Formula One in Canada a fortnight ago. Lewis Hamilton won the race for the 6th time in his career and is now 1 shy of matching Michael Schumacher’s record of 7 victories in Montreal. He won the race uninterrupted from start to finish and the pole position he secured was the 65th of his career; matching the record of his idol Ayrton Senna and was awarded a rather nice gesture from the Senna family. Whilst Hamilton walked to victory, chaos ensued behind. A quick starting Max Verstappen rose from 5th to 2nd after overtaking Vettel around the outside at turn 1; taking a chunk of the Ferrari front wing with him and fortunately not picking up a puncture. Vettel pitted late for a new front wing which prompted a brilliant recovery drive from the Championship leader as he climbed from 18th and last to finish 4th. That was the first time this season Vettel has failed to finish on the podium. Carlos Sainz caused a huge incident a turn 3 after pushing the Haas of Romain Grosjean onto the grass which put an end to his race and the race of Felipe Massa who was collected by Sainz’s Toro Rosso. Grosjean recovered brilliantly to finish the race in 10th. Other than that, Valtteri Bottas finished 2nd to give Mercedes their first 1-2 finish of the season, Sir Patrick Stewart did a shoey, Force India had an internal squabble, Daniil Kvyat swore his head off and Lance Stroll scored his first points in F1. All that and more can be found in my review of the last race. read more

Lewis Hamilton walks to 6th Montreal success to half the gap to Sebastian Vettel: 2017 Canadian Grand Prix Review

Hamilton with the authentic helmet of Ayrton Senna given to him by the family after securing pole position in Canada; his 65th pole [Image from europsport.com]
Hamilton with the authentic helmet of Ayrton Senna given to him by the family after securing pole position in Canada; his 65th pole [Image from eurosport.com]

The Gilles Villeneuve Circuit always throws up memorable races for one reason or another and the 2017 Canadian Grand Prix was no different. Records were broken by Lewis Hamilton as he secured his 65th pole position in Formula One and setting a new lap record of 1:11.459 to do it and match his hero Ayrton Senna’s record, 10 years on from his first ever pole position which also came at Canada. In the race, he led from start to finish and set the fastest lap of the race secure his second Grand Slam of the season; the first being in China. Valtteri Bottas finished a distant second to secure Mercedes their first one-two finish of the season.

Max Verstappen had a lightening start from 5th place to pass Sebastian Vettel around the outside at turn 1 for 2nd. The Red Bull man got lucky as he caught the front wing of the Ferrari and escaped without a rear left puncture. Ferrari did not notice the damage until lap 5 leaving the championship leader down in 18th. From 18th, Vettel drove brilliantly to climb to 4th after passing Sergio Perez on the penultimate lap but was still agonisingly close to the podium. Verstappen retired from the race on lap 11 with engine failure leaving the way for his teammate Daniel Ricciardo to score a podium finish in 3rd place after the other Ferrari of Kimi Raikkonen struggled. read more

2017 Canadian Grand Prix Preview

Well, I am well and truly back into the swing of blog posting now and I move this time from the General Election (I will be returning to that so don’t worry) to the Formula One World Championship. I have not covered a Grand Prix since the season opener in Australia. A lot has happened since Sebastian Vettel won in Melbourne …

• That victory in Melbourne was the first time Ferrari won the season-opening race since the 2010 season read more

2017 Snap General Election: The Manifesto Comparison

I have been away awhile from this blog whilst working on job applications and in general taking a well-needed break. However, with Britain going back to the polls in a surprise General Election this week; there feels like no time like the present to get back into it…

In this post, as the title suggests, I will be comparing the election manifesto’s put forward by the two parties most likely to be in government come the morning of 9th June. That means it is a straight comparison of the Labour and Conservative Parties in the battle for the keys of Number 10 Downing Street.

Whilst I can be accused of being narrow-minded in only comparing these two parties and not a broad range as you have seen in the TV debates; I do have my reasons:
1. Since the EU referendum last year, UKIP have been a farce electing a new leader in Diane James before she lasted only 18 days in the job before resigned. However, even with a newly established leader in Paul Nuttall (who seems to want the job), they are now a spent force and their timing of their manifesto launch could not have been anymore distasteful; within 48 hours of the Manchester Arena attack.
2. Plaid Cymru and the Scottish Nationalist Party (SNP) only contest seats in Wales and Scotland respectively. Whilst the SNP won the majority of the seats in Scotland back in 2015; they do not contest enough seats to win a majority and therefore very unlikely to be in government
3. The Green Party finished the 2015 election with an almost equal share of the vote as UKIP but like the SNP and Plaid Cymru, they don’t have a realistic chance of being involved in government.
4. The Liberal Democrats under the leadership of Tim Farron were originally going to be a part of this comparison but my mind was easily altered after reading just the first two pages of their Manifesto. Farron was brutally honest in his assessment and deserves credit for that in admitting the party are unlikely to win the election and are merely competing to be the official opposition. However, for the sake of this comparison, I am not going to cover a party who is not aiming to win. read more