Chequered Flag Girl

Welcome to my F1 blog. This blog began as a journalism assignment, but i have now decided to continue it in the hope it'll help me in the future. Bethany For bikes see

Light relief part 2!

Following my post on F1 adverts earlier in the week, I have chosen to do a second blog after I received many responses from Twitter followers stating their favourite ones and even more recent adverts.

Someone I have seen a lot of is Mika Hakkinen, he has appeared in at least two more adverts in the past year, with seven time world champion Michael Schumacher and his team mate Nico Rosberg.

The first advert is one from around Christmas last year and features Mika Hakkinen and Michael Schumacher being overtaken by a woman who thus calls Hakkinen a “senior citizen.” The advert is for Mercedes Benz and called ‘Sunday Driver’.

The second is Schumacher and Rosberg eating separately in a restaurant trying to upstage each other, only to then be completely confused by Hakkinen. This one is called ‘Compliments and suggests further the rivalry between the two drivers, in a humorous manner - well worth a watch.

Next is another rivalry between the two Mercedes GP drivers, when they both turn up to help a pregnant woman who has broken down at the side of the road. Called ‘Decision’ we never find out who wins.

And finally, I will part with yet ANOTHER hair care advertisement, this time with none other than current world champion Sebastian Vettel. In some ways it seems worse than Jenson Button’s.

Force India at Silverstone

Force India Formula One Limited began in 2007 when Vijay Mallya and Michiel Mol bought the bright orange Spyker F1 team. Since then the team have thrived to achieve their aim of being in the top ten and therefore inside the top five or six teams, rivalling that of the Red Bull Racing sister team, Scuderia Torro Rosso.

Although they only scored their first points in 2009, Force India have employed some of the most experienced drivers, and also drivers who have shown potential to be great. With one of the most sought-after new drivers for assumed talent, Force India have now employed Paul Di Resta into a full time race seat, something many fans have been waiting for, for quite some time.

The employment of Di Resta has led to the British fans finally getting a third driver back on the grid once more, and not just that, but one who can deliver. Though Di Resta has had a few bumps along the way, he seems to be learning, and with his 14th position in a 24 car grid, fingers crossed Di Resta will be delivering at Silverstone this weekend. As well as this, his team mate Adrian Sutil is undergoing a potential criminal charge, so a good finish at Silverstone could help take his mind off it.

Di Resta has said that he will be aiming “to hopefully make the top ten in qualifying” to start him off on the right foot, and hopefully achieve a top ten finish on the back of it. Di Resta has also said that coming to Silverstone as a Formula One driver will feel very special,” as Silverstone is not a track he knows well.

At the track that Mallya considers “a home away from home for us,” the British fans will be cheering on three British racers and their respective teams. We know that Red Bull are running away with the title, but we can still hope for an all British lockout on the podium. Best of luck guys, and to the team of Force India.

Light relief

Television adverts are something that the British public love to loathe as they take up so much air time and break up our programmes. They can even force us to miss the best moments from sporting fixtures, such as Gerrard’s goal during the world cup.

Yet, adverts are slowly becoming more interesting to the viewing public as they feature countless celebrities. More recently numerous Formula One drivers have appeared on our screens during the ad breaks. I would like to share some of the most embarrassing, as well as my favourites.

In no particular order:

Michael Schumacher’s L’Oreal Advert: Schumacher’s penchant for combing his hair with his fingers, and the fact he still seems young and impressionable makes this, well, rather embarrassing.

Another driver with a love for shampoo, Jenson Button’s Head and Shoulder’s advert: Personally, I find the word ‘bracing’ the best thing in the entire advert. It stands out so much it made me laugh, only for it to be removed in the shorter version!

Possibly the most famous one for being incredibly cringe worthy, Mark Webber’s Canberra Milk Kid: I don’t think Webber should give up the day job up for a career in advertisements.

The most recent is Fernando Alonso’s Fiat 500 advert: Though this may not seem the worst it’s because this is the original. I urge all Brits to watch out for our horrendous dubbed version. It’s not the advert that’s bad, it’s the voice over.

Now to some of my favourites:

Fernando Alonso, Lewis Hamilton and a cameo from Mika Hakkinen Mclaren Mercedes Benz advert: A taste of when Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso actually knew how to get along with each other.

Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button’s One Car No Team Vodafone advert: A great insight into not only the MTC but also the relationship these two have if you leave them alone. You also get to see two drivers attempting to build the car they depend on.

Last and not least Murray Walker and Damon Hill’s Pizza Hut advert: These two are like father and son. Watching Murray commentate on their meal is beyond hysterical.

For those that like that, here are the outtakes:

Although these are all very funny I am sure that in future years we will get many, many more as F1 drivers seek out adverts to boost their wages. I don’t know about you, but the more F1 drivers they involve and make me laugh, the more I’m likely to buy the product.

Jake Humphrey off to the Olympics?

In 2009 Formula One got a new presenter in Jake Humphrey. Unfamiliar with his sporting past, but knowing of his past in children’s TV, I was dubious about his talent as a presenter of the most famous motorsport ever.

Yet, Humphrey soon took over the reins and was able to show all his critics that he had a vast knowledge and interest in Formula One. Teamed with David Coultard and Eddie Jordan, he makes an almost perfect presenter. Apart from his brief replacement by Lee Mckenzie in Japan last year for the Commonwealth Games in India Humphrey has been a consistent presenter.

However, rumour has it that the 2012 Olympic Committee are pursuing Humphrey as their presenter. Although the Olympics is on for just seven weeks, it is likely that Humphrey would be wanted for all the build up and could be out of F1 for longer than the Olympic schedule.

This would mean that it could be possible that we will lose Humphrey for not only a few weeks but maybe a season, or just not get him back at all. Personally, I have grown so used to the trio I would miss Jake’s presenting, although I would like to see what would happen if Eddie Jordan was given the role. Anyone else fancy the former Jordan Racing owner as the BBC F1 presenter?

I can’t think of anyone else they would ask to do the job at this current time. In my hope, I would like to see the great Murray Walker back in the commentary box for a few sessions, so Coulthard and Jordan could be left to run the show - something I would find quite amusing.

Ricciardo in a rush?

When I heard the supposed news that Red Bull Racing reserve driver Daniel Ricciardo had swapped to go to Hispania Racing Team I thought he was mad, to be quite frank. This young driver, who has been tipped as the next Sebastian Vettel and shown great promise the few times he has stepped into RBR’s car on a Friday practice session, is giving that up for air time in the worst car on the grid.

The situation reminds me of Bruno Senna - obviously everyone was thrilled to see him get a drive, until they saw what the car was actually capable of. If you put Lewis Hamilton, Sebastian Vettel or even Michael Schumacher in that car it would not have achieved much more than it has so far.

Ricciardo may be getting some well deserved time on TV and practice in the process, but I find it strange that he would choose to go to such a slow team, especially one that has led to both Karun Chandhok and Bruno Senna both being out of well deserved drives.

Saying this, the move is only temporary, in theory, as I highly doubt that the Spanish team will be going to the Indian GP without their Indian driver who has helped to advertise it that bit more. Therefore Ricciardo’s seat can only be secured for a few grand prix’s at most.

Whether the move is a good idea or not we will soon see, but I hope that Ricciardo hasn’t been too quick to jump into Formula One.

FOTA Fan Forum

Speakers: James Allen, Ron Dennis, Martin Whitmarsh, Ross Brawn, Graeme Lowdon, Robert Fernley, Paddy Lowe, James Allison, Paul Monaghan, Lewis Hamilton and Kamui Kobayashi.

I think I nearly had a heart attack when I read that I’d won a place for the FOTA Fan Forum at the MTC in Woking. My first thoughts were, “Christ, I live a LONG way from there.” So, a 5:30 start, a train, two tubes and another train later, and I was in Woking waiting to get into a Mercedes people carrier type car on my way to the Mclaren centre, and dear god is that place impressive!

Like something out of the space age, we were given our passes and allowed to wander around 40/50 years worth of championship Formula One cars - yes Senna’s and yes Hamilton’s, their supercar and to see the 100’s of trophies they have collected over the years. Having already thought that I wouldn’t get the chance to meet Lewis I took great pleasure in having a good snoop round the car, and of all the things to do I peered into the cockpit to look at how small the gap is to put their legs.

I followed the trend and sat down waiting for the first session to start way too early, but it paid off as I got to have a great chat with the host James Allen. After Allen’s introduction came Ron Dennis’ and to my surprise, he was really funny, this coming after another fan told me a staff member hides when he is in the building because she finds him scary. After the first session, taken by the team principals, I took advantage of the gap and had a lengthy discussion with Graeme Lowdon, team principal for Marussia Virgin Racing, who was very animated. Before the second session I became late after bumping into Ross Brawn and Martin Whitmarsh - there was no way I was going to miss the opportunity to say hello to two of the most famous non racers in F1.

The second session came and I was a bit distracted, as Kamui Kobyashi watched from the platform above and loved every second of it. Both drivers came across well in their session and there was great banter between the two of them. Although it was a shame that Hamilton didn’t stick around to talk to his fans, it seems that work commitments kept him busy all day.

I say both came across well, and I had the great opportunity to have a brief chat with Kobayashi before everyone got to him, I mentioned that he seemed to be enjoying the day as much as we did, and once he had finished signing he was left to wander round looking at the classic Mclaren’s in peace. He is so truly passionate that my respect grew for him even more.

Having spoken to Paddy Lowe, James Allison (Yes Kubica is mending well) and said a final thank you to James Allen, I was sent back to Woking station with the Mclaren car bible and having met some of the greatest people in Formula One, really lovely fans, and someone I’ve been talking to for over a year on Facebook. Thursday was an amazing success and worth all of everyone’s efforts.

Contract confusion continues

Rumours have continued this week over the contract status of Mark Webber and whether he is to stay at Red Bull. Although this may not be surprising to many, it is the team he is rumoured to go to that will almost shock people - Lotus Renault.

We already know that Petrov is contracted until 2012 at least, and that he has been performing fairly well since he began, so that leaves Nick Heidfeld/Robert Kubica. Heidfeld is effectively just the middle man keeping the seat warm until Kubica is healthy enough to come back into the Formula One field.

With the media saying that Kubica is still unable to move his fingers let alone drive a car, one would assume that if Webber chooses to move he will be going into the Renault of Kubica. Unfortunately suggesting that the great Pole is not admitting how bad his injuries really are, and whether he will return to F1, not just this season, but at all.

I’ve always thought Kubica was a good racer but he is easily overlooked. Despite this, I feel sad that because he was desperate to keep his racing passion alive over the break he may have ruined his chance in Formula One. Only time will tell.


A racer. An icon. A Catholic. A world class man. A film.

There is no doubt that the name Ayrton Senna is known worldwide. Some may know the sometimes ruthless but always clever racer, and those who don’t will know the name of the man who brought Brazil to the forefront of people’s minds.

This summer everyone gets the opportunity to know the man. ‘Senna’ the film - the only one ever released - shows unseen footage of the great Ayrton. Whether you like racing or not this film will inspire, shock and move you. Senna was not just a great racer but a great man.

It is a shame he was taken so young, but as Murray Walker often says, “those who God loves most are taken earliest,” a sentiment I’m sure Senna would have reiterated.

Sports fanatic or not, I urge you to go and see this film as it’s the greatest tribute the Senna family could have ever asked for.

Movember becomes Mil-vember

Twitter, to me, is crucial in my love of Formula One. It is because of Twitter that I can often have new information on the drivers before it has been officially written by any of the world’s media.

One of my favourite people to follow is Speed’s Will Buxton, who is both witty and funny in the way that he announces, and sometimes commentates on events within Formula One.

Buxton took to Twitter a little while ago to call on the help of his followers in a charity event that he is participating in. Buxton and others have chosen to have the annual event of Movember early, choosing instead to call it Mil-vember after FOM’s (Formula One Management) cameraman Chris “Milton” Ivin, who is currently fighting a hard battle against testicular cancer.

Milton writes his own blog whilst going through this horrendous ordeal ( and, if you can at all believe it, he is almost cheery, funny and amusing - it really is a must read.

So the main point of this blog is to try and get more donations for Buxton and Milton; he is only asking for £1 a person, not much for anyone.

I have already donated and I hope you all will too.!/willbuxton 

Schumacher may re-sign for Mercedes

Michael Schumacher is a name that Formula One fans everywhere know. He is the seven times world champion that, in 2010, returned to the career that had served him so well.
But Schumacher has not returned to the form he once had, and for some part I believe it is due to the new age of drivers. They may not be any fitter but they come from entirely different eras, with two out of the three previous champions having been the youngest ever.
Yet, saying this, Schumacher managed to finish an impressive fourth in Canada, a feat I have been anticipating since he came back. Following this, rumours came about that Schumacher may re-sign for Mercedes, choosing to stay out of retirement a bit longer.
This could guarantee us, as viewers, the opportunity to see Schumacher somewhere close to the form from his prime, and on the podium, showing the up the likes of his German ‘mini me’ Sebastian Vettel. If it is true, then good luck to him, but please don’t go back to your old ways…