Thursday, 30 December 2010

Jaguar XJL – Go on, Dad, buy one!

The new supercharged Jaguar is awesome. Not in a sexy way. I mean, it is sexy, well, no not sexy. Sexy is a word for the Zonda or Ferrari 458 – it does things to you without you touching yourself, er, and ‘sexy’ and ‘Dad’ should not be associated.

I’ve always associated Jaguars with old men, which was no doubt emotionally enforced when the white-haired Inspector Morse got into that beautiful Mk II Jaguar – yeah, the one I always wanted as my first car. “Dream on,” Daddy said, understandably.

The XJL doesn’t perform like a Dad car. In fact, it’s pretty nippy, And the semi-automatic version left me surprised. Dropping it down to 1 manually with the flappy paddles, as advised by My Stig, made leaving the lights a lot of fun - stunning given the size of the car. It was less ‘Granddad’ and definitely more executive-style ‘Dad’. So much so, that I’m dying for my Dad to get one. He’d love it, the comfort of the electronically adjustable seats will look after the bones that don’t feel like they used to, while sports-mode will remind him of how young he still is.

The digital speedometer and electronic handbrake were marks of wizardry that made my little face light up and the rear-facing camera, which fed into the touchscreen sat nav system, allowed you to see exactly where the car was tracking to, great news for a girl who admits she struggles to park. Hey! How was I to know what six inches REALLY looked like?!

Thursday, 29 July 2010

Engineering For Dummies - Blown Diffusers

Force India give us an explanation a child could understand of the component keeping McLaren and Red Bulls more stable than their competitors.

F1 Teams vs. F1 Fans – don’t forget the money starts with us!

Let’s be clear. F1 teams run those cars because the sport is lucrative. In the wake of last weekend’s rule contravention by Ferrari, angry opinions spewed forth, as though the Government had let a dying terrorist out of prison, only to discover his prognosis had improved once he was safely back in his homeland.

Coulthard argued that the teams invest...(read more)

Ferrari: Right Or Wrong? FIA, Choose One.

The half-baked $100,000 fine thrown at Ferrari, in the week succeeding the German Grand Prix’s overtaking fiasco, is one of the most disappointing gestures of all time.

Most fans will be amazed that the FIA took any action at all, what with former Ferrari CEO Jean Todt as elected FIA chair. However, it is stunning that a moan from the ever-complaining Alonso proved catalyst for one of the most controversial decisions all season.

Despite the rush to deny any favouritism within teams from McLaren and Red Bull the previous week, Ferrari clearly had no qualms in publicly indicating which driver they favoured.

The FIA’s decision to fine but not reverse the race result is ludicious. The stewards have cowardly passed the buck to the WMSC, whether to distance themselves from a decision that woud have no doubt changed the FIA/Ferrari relationship forever, or for other reasons. Nevertheless, the simplicity of the situation is undeniable. Either you believe Massa is lying, in which case the race result is void – or you believe he made the executive, uninfluenced decision for the unchallenged pass of his own accord, in which case, no fine is necessary.

Moreover, for a manoeuvre that was supposed to defend the “team” against Vettel, they may just have put him on top and gifted him 25 points - not the only thing Red Bull’s Team Principal Christian Horner, who has been spared further media focus since the weekend, will be thanking Stefano Domenicali for.

On the anniversary of Massa’s near-death collision at the 2009 Hungarian GP, the Ferrari driver conceded the top spot to his Spanish teammate. Fans were outraged to be somewhat ‘cheated’ out of a brilliant in-team battle and of what would have been a marvellous opportunity to celebrate the Brazilian’s recovery.

F1 Fanatic blogger, Keith Collantine, demonstrated how Massa stood as much of a chance for the World Championship as Alonso, given the eight races left, but on Lap 48 of 67, Ferrari’s preference for the Spaniard was abundantly clear and the Brazilian begrudgingly allowed the pass.

Criticised severely on home turf on Monday, in the year of the late and very great Senna’s 50th birthday, Massa deserved the stick for his faltering fighting spirit. Back in the UK, viewers seemed more sympathetic to Massa’s clear disappointment.  Yet, he was defending his team every interview of the way, no matter how gritted his teeth may have been. Simply put, there’s no justification for breaking the rules, no matter how wrong that rule may be.

Rules, good or bad, must still be adhered to, in order to make the victories of the sport as fair as possible and to provide the entertainment for which the fans spend so much money to enjoy. Surely?

Wednesday, 28 July 2010

Why Don't F1 Teams Just Admit It's OK To Have Favourites?

McLaren, Red Bull…they’re all at it! These days motorsport is amok with teams denying any favouritism between drivers.

First published piece for over six years. Wow. That makes me feel old.

Ducati SportClassic Sport 1000 - the affordable version

So since visiting Motegi MotoGP, this has been the objection of my biking desire.

We're a fair way off from ever owning it, meanwhile, I'll add this badboy to my wishlist ;)

The name's Bond, and I'm on a Hunt

On the way to a friend's birthday party last night, I spotted the most beautiful vintage Aston Martin. Registration plate: STU 407J, I know it has to be older than 1973, but even after a brief Google image search, I can't seem to locate it...

If you spot, let me know.