Daily Archives: January 1, 2010

The Noughties F1 Review- Best and Worst

Earlier today, I wrote about my thoughts on how the noughties changed F1 forever. Now, we look at the decade’s best and worst moments for many types of categories. So here we go:

Car of the decade: Ferrari F2004- Fastest car in F1 history says a lot. It was so fast that Schumacher could win a race even after spinning to the back in the first lap, like Italy 2004. Completely dominant.

Worst car of the decade: Honda RA108- Ugly, slow and hopeless. The upside was that it allowed Honda to have 6 premature months to develop the soon-to-be Brawn BGP001, a double championship winner.

Best driver: Michael Schumacher- Not a hard decision this, as complete domination of many years placed him in the record books. His reputation was occasionally damaged, with cheating at Monaco 2006 one of these, but Schumacher will always go down as a legend. It’s good to see him back next year.

Worst driver: Yuji Ide- As easy as the decision above. Three races, constant spins and mistakes, then a kamikaze move on Albers in Imola 2006 kills his F1 career off. Having your superliscence revoked by the FIA says it all.

Race of the decade: Brazil 2008- The most epic sporting finale ever. Winning the 2008 championship on the last corner on the last lap, then for the loser to display pure sporting dignity afterwards is pure F1.

Worst race of the decade: USA 2005-Again, not hard this one. 6 cars start, 14 drop out, because of defective tyres, politics and plain stupidity.

Funniest moment: Plenty here. Kimi’s “I was having a shit” interview is my favourite personally! But we also had great tv ads, like “the best job in the world, feat. Kimi and Montoya”, and the brilliant “Alonso vs Hamilton” Mercedes ad. Comment if you remember any more.

Worst/Saddest moment: For me, it was Brazil 2008, because Massa deserved it more than Hamilton did in my opinion. However, Felipe’s sporting dignity and pride is something to be hugely admired. Also, another bad moment was Massa’s crash this year.

Best overtake: Hakkinen vs Schumacher Spa 2000- Pure genius. I wont even bother explaining, here’s the video:

Worst overtaking attempt: I suppose Ide on Albers (Imola 2006) takes the cake here. Also, Hamilton’s attempt on Raikkonen in Spa 2008 was quite stupid. You’re never going to overtake around the outside of the Bus Stop chicane…

Overtake-fest: Silverstone 2003- It barely went a lap without the order changing. Proof that old historic circuits can always produce great racing.

Overtake-drought: Valencia. Pick either year, it doesnt really matter does it? In 2 years, the only mildly interesting thing thats happened is Raikkonen running over his pit crew, and thats not funny. Shows how desperate we were.

Best team: Ferrari- I dont actually want to pick them, because they cheated and manipulated races (Austria 2001 and 2002), which makes them as bad as Piquet. But, money speaks in F1, and the Scuderia had lots of it. This enabled them to control the first half of the decade.

Worst team- I hate to put down people, but the Honda management were dumb and dumberer. Selling your F1 team while in the middle of creating a gem of a car- not smart.

Best new track: Istanbul- Struggling to get spectators, but still very good. Overtaking is a bit tricky though.

Worst new track: Valencia. Boring.

If you have any other ideas for an award, let me know.

The Noughties in F1- Turbulent yet enthralling

The brilliant: Hamilton's epic victory in Brazil 2008

The brilliant: Hamilton's epic victory in Brazil 2008

As I am writing this sentence, we are already 2 and a half hours into the next decade. Throughout the Noughties, Formula 1 has undergone massive changes, the likes of which we have never seen before. Safety was radically improved, which has certainly saved many lives.  We have seen Schumacher completely dominate, retire, and return. Battles between the FIA, FOTA, Mosley, Ecclestone and the world raged on, as the fans of the world looked on in disgust and anger.  It was certainly a decade to talk about.

There is much to debate about here. The Schumacher domination, aided hugely by the impeccable F2002 and F2004, bored many F1 fans. But, when he left, we got 4 new champions in 5 years.  Not boring in the slightest, especially when we saw new stars like Hamilton and Alonso rise.

As it was the start of the millenium, technology was going to soar out of proportion. Constant rule changes shifted the field on many occasions, but failed to solve the original problem: overtaking. The use of pit stops to overtake came into force, but hopefully this has been shut out with the refuelling ban next year.

However, the political side of F1 reared its ugly head, as money often spoke above the true sport. Indianapolis 2005 is the perfext example of this. About 100,000 spectators, and hundreds of millions of viewers worldwide, were cheated and ridiculed, because politics and money ruled. Also, it proved that Max Mosley couldn’t give a crap about his FIA president responsibilities, and waas more interested in the politics (and sado-masochism) than anything else.

The ugly: Indianapolis 2005- When politics rules in sport, you end up with a farce.

The ugly: Indianapolis 2005- When politics rules in sport, you end up with a farce.

Then, most of the way through 2009, the FIA/FOTA war started, nearly ending in a breakaway series. Once again, the fans were pushed aside as politics ruled.

It is a wonderful thing, however, that Formula 1 was still able to provide pure, on the edge of your seat racing after all this. Brazil 2003/2007/2008, Suzuka 2005 and Belgium 2008 all proved that the sport was still enthralling and captivating. Lewis Hamilton’s last corner, last lap victory to win the championship was probably the greatest sporting finale ever.

So, F1 proved to be as unpredictable as ever. But, this always had to bring out the ugly side in the sport. Enter Nelson  Piquet Jr, Flavio Briatore and Pat Symonds. The crashgate scandal rocked the sport, disgraced figures, and probably cost Massa the 2008 championship (this is very debatable though). Mosley was right- race-fixing is worse than cheating.

The really ugly: Piquet's abandonment of sportsmanship in F1

The really ugly: Piquet's abandonment of sportsmanship in F1

This leads to a difficult question: Was the noughties a good decade for F1? I would not blame you for a second if you said no, because the constant turbulence is simply harming the sport’s image. If you said yes, it was because of the brilliant spectacles that we were sometimes treated to. No matter what your answer is, I have little doubt that 2010 will change F1 for the better.  I dont think the politics side can ever be fully shut up, but the return of a legend, better technical changes, and many brilliant drivers pitted against each other speak for themselves.

The noughties changed F1 forever. Now to see can we make it epic: bring on 2010!

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