Hamilton gets stuffed.

21 07 2007

Into the tirewall at the Nurburgring in the third session of Qualifying for the European GP!

Replays show an apparent right front tire failure, Lewis Hamilton losing control and veering right and off track and into the tirewall. Looks like he was a bit shaken by it.

This doesn’t bode well for a continued podium streak at the race tomorrow, but knowing Hamilton’s aggressiveness he will certainly give it a go.

Edit: He was carried off the track on a stretcher with what looks like an IV bag, but he was giving a thumbs up sign and waving. Not sure if he’s racing tomorrow. Dang.

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Super Aguri F1 Team Merchandise

20 07 2007

I’ve received quite a few questions on where to get Super Aguri F1 (SAF1) team merchandise.

They’re quite hard to get, it seems. I was asking for SAF1 stuff at the Sepang F1 racetrack merchandise booths earlier this year and was met with blank, if pretty, stares from the ladies manning the counters.

 This unabashed fan of Takuma Sato and SAF1 has done quite some bit of rummaging around the jinternets and did find Bosco Moto, perhaps the only place you can see decent Super Aguri merchandise. They certainly have pretty stuff.

The Super Aguri F1 Cap
SAF1 Cap

The obligatory Super Aguri F1 Polo / Pit Shirt
SAF1 Polo Shirt

A cool-looking, if a bit impractical, Super Aguri F1 Backpack

SAF1 Backpack 

Or… The All-You-Can-Eat Super Aguri F1 Team merchandise set (approx. JPY73,500/USD600), complete with several shirts, backpack, caps, trolleybag, neckstraps, beltbag, stickers and a brolly (umbrella to us US-English folks, for those rainy British GPs)!

SAF1 Merchandise Set

That said, I haven’t tried ordering anything from them as I really don’t have the extra cash for an SAF1 shirt. Plus the fact that there’s no option to order online. Anyone from Japan want to send a pit/polo shirt over? I think my size is Medium.

I’ve also seen them being sold on Ebay.

BTW, you might see “Samantha Kingz” plastered all over the merchandise, and even on the Super Aguri F1 SA007 racecar. That’s because Samantha Kingz is the men’s line of leading Japanese fashion house called Samantha Thavasa. Why they would be pouring a lot of money (judging by the size of their sponsorship logos on the cars and merchandise) into F1 is something beyond me. Hugo Boss does the same with McLaren, but they’re not as prominently displayed.

All-in-all, cool SAF1 stuff from Japan, but always be careful about ordering anything over the internet!





Formula One British GP 2007 (and other F1 snippets)

20 07 2007

Okay, so I’m a bit late to this party (almost two weeks).

It was a good race, and finally everyone gets to see that Super Rookie Hamilton can (and will) make mistakes every now and then, like trying to pull off a quick pitstop getaway while the lollipop is still in front of him. Christijan Albers jumped the gun in the same way and took half of his refuelling rig along with him to retirement, and he’s since lost his job; well he lost his Spyker seat because of an alleged misunderstanding with one of his personal sponsors, but making your car look like it’s got some giant mutant bloodsucking worm on it in the French GP surely added salt to the wounds. Plus he’s been consistently outqualified by his Spyker team mate, Adrian Sutil.

Lewis miraculously pulled up a fast qualifying lap to bag final P1, even if he was slower during the Practice sessions and first two rounds of qualifying. He just didn’t have the pace during the race. Still he was in third place and his podium place streak continues.

And oh yeah, he’s got the flu. Must be a slow day in the F1 newsroom.

The British GP was overshadowed by Stepneygate, the scandal that rocked F1, but there were no signs that the drivers or the teams have been affected much at that race. Of course, a lot has happened in two weeks, with notable things being that Honda is involved in the F1 industrial espionage case, and that the sport’s governing body FIA has summoned McLaren for investigation.

In other news, Super Aguri didn’t do so well on this one.

On to other stuff… like the absence of the USGP next year. Seems like Indianapolis Motor Speedway boss Tony George and F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone couldn’t agree to the terms to keep the USGP in the 2008 race calendar. I think it’s purely monetary (i.e. Bernie wants more of it).

Too bad.

But for those of us who also like two-wheeled racing, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway will instead host a second US round of MotoGP, what is considered to be the Formula One of the motorcycle world. A bit of historical trivia here: The first ever race on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway was a motorcycle race, and MotoGP World Championship motorcycles return there 99 years after that race. Preparations are now being done to refit the F1 track at Indy to be suitable for MotoGP racing.

Ironically, if F1 does return to Indy, they may have to use the MotoGP track configuration.





And Lewis Does It Again!

8 07 2007

Amidst the brouhaha over the scandal that threatens to turn this F1 season upside-down, there is still that new-found excitement that we have come to expect every race weekend.

Lewis Hamilton shrugged off doubts over his ability to stake out the pole position in the British Grand Prix at Silverstone, and pulled off a suspense-filled Q3 session yesterday be the first British driver get pole at his home race in 11-years.

This after everyone was looking at Kimi’s dominating practice times over the weekends, and Alonso’s very strong performance during the earlier Q1 and Q2 qualifying sessions. Alonso even tried to overtake Lewis coming out of the pitlane in Q3, but Hamilton wasn’t having any of it.

In other news, personal favorite Takuma Sato is second to the last on the grid, and his Super Aguri teammate, Anthony Davidson didn’t have a good day either with him running into the gravel and qualifying 19th.

Can’t wait for the 6 hours until the race!





Shenanigans in F1!

4 07 2007

Ferrari’s not only back, they’re also on the legal warpath.

They’ve filed suit against one of their mechanics, Nigel Stepney for allegedly sabotaging their F1 cars with a mysterious “white powder” and leaking proprietary information, then sacked him. Stepney, who’s currently on vacation somewhere here in my part of the world, denies the allegations.

McLaren, for that matter, has suspended a senior member of the technical team after they confirmed that this person had “personally received a package of technical information from a Ferrari employee at the end of April.”

 Of course, McLaren deny that they took any advantage of it. I’m no expert, but I believe that car development takes time measured in weeks or months; if they got stolen information from Ferrari only in April I would think any such adjustments would just be coming out… right about last month. Hm. Gotta rethink that.

The whole shebang is probably the biggest F1 scandal in recent history and threatens to cast a shadow over the legitimacy of the races this season. The whole timing of this thing is really unfortunate as we’ve been having an exciting season so far. There’s a quick summary with links to the full stories behind this sordid story over at Planet-F1.

I can certainly appreciate pitlane drama, but this scandal is just too much excitement for me especially if it means that the Drivers and Constructors Championship will be decided in the courts and not on the racetracks. Certainly bad news for Lewis Hamilton who’s currently leading the points chart.

Shenanigans! This post has the official seal of dismay.
Dismay