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Race Preview: Italian Grand Prix

F1 race weekends are like delicious scoops of gelato, it's never too soon to have another one. I may even be so bold as to suggest pairing delicious scoops of gelato with the Italian Grand Prix for the ultimate delightful weekend. This, of course, has nothing to do with the fact that I just made a batch of gelato today.

The Blur of Park Life: Italian Grand Prix

Boasting a rich history that dates back to the Bronze Age, Monza possesses a more modern regal heritage at the centre of the Lombardy region of northern Italy. Monza Park is located on the edge of the main conurbation and, at 685 hectares, is the fourth largest, walled parkland in all of Europe. Less than fifteen kilometres from the fashion focal point of Italy (Milan, to which it was a sometime suburb), it was created as recently as June 11th 2004, as the new capital of the province of Monza and Brianza and is also home to the Autodromo Nazionale Monza.



By Alan Henry

Published by: Haynes Publishing

ISBN: 978 1 84425 974 8

Price: $25.00

// Review

The British Grand Prix has become a hotbed of political and commercial intrigue over the past dozen years of its history. Although fingers have been pointed at Bernie Ecclestone, the consummate ‘puppet-master’ of the Formula One scene, for allowing the situation to proliferate, this 232 page hardback may help to redress the balance.

As an event, the importance of the British round of the premier series cannot be ignored. After all, it was the very first round of the FIA World Championship, when it was inaugurated in May 1950, and its past has certainly been exceptionally colourful, welcoming the great and the glorious of Formula One‘s past to its county venue, some 60 miles north of the City of London.

However, as a reliable and much-lauded journalist, the author’s inside track of knowledge and his innate ability to get directly in front of the sport’s main protagonists are what make this book so engagingly readable. Alan Henry’s background research is unimpeachable and you will be amazed at the various implications discussed in its content. Trust me, when I tell you that it is a fantastic read.

With any good fortune (and a following breeze), Silverstone’s future as ‘The Home of British Motor Sport’ does look somewhat more assured in recent times, a factor that lies clearly at the door of its present management structure, even though the British Racing Drivers’ Club (BRDC) remains the stoical owner and overseer of all things related to Silverstone Circuits.

Race Review: Belgium Grand Prix

After a brief summer break, the second half of the F1 2012 season opened with a BANG. Literally.

The race started like all other race, cars lined up in their grid positions, anxiously waiting for the light changes to signal start of the race. Before the lights signaled "GO", Maldonado jump started the race from his 6th position, racing down towards the front. Shortly after that, the rest of the cars officially start, and that's when mad chaos happened. Grosjean weaved towards Hamilton, their wheels made contact, and before you can say "Oh no!", Hamilton and Grosjean collided which ended with the Lotus tumbling across the front part of Alonso's Ferrari, taking Alonso and Perez out of the race. For a moment after the massive opening crash, all eyes were on Alonso as there was no movement in the Ferrari. To everyone's relief, Alonso was fine and climbed out of the car looking unharmed.

This is a jaw-dropping opener, showcasing again the danger factor and the unpredictability of this sport.

A Drive Through The Ardennes: Belgium GP

McLaren runs through the Ardennes at the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps, Hoch Zwei

While not wishing to dwell too heavily on the phenomenally funny scripts of the Monty Python set, in which it was asked, “Just what did the Romans do for us?”, without the Italian invaders discovering a health-giving, iron-rich water source that became known as Spa, some elements of this part of the heavily forested and hilly part of Belgium might not have retained the relevance that they have today. Spa gained notoriety as a ‘good time’ gambling town, before, in 1902, a car racing circuit was developed.

Nurburgring Future Uncertain

Image by Nü

It seems the future of the famous Nurburgring, site of the German grand prix (alternating every year with Hockenheimring), continues to roller coaster up and down.  First it appeared that all hope was lost when the European Commission failed to approve a €13M state aid package to make a July 31 payment deadline for the track’s loan.  Then, state-owner Rhine-Palatinate, which asked the track’s operating company to declare bankruptcy shortly the missed deadline, came to the rescue in the 11th hour with a new loan that would cover the bulk of the original €330M loan.  The €254M pledged by the state would service the loan and keep the interest from running out of control, which costs the state €47,000 each day the original loan isn’t paid down.