PITS.  Anthony Hamilton –

What is up with Lewis Hamilton at the moment?  First he dumps his girlfriend of over 2 years, Nicole Scherzinger (a Pussycat Doll), and now he’s dumped his manager-father, Anthony Hamilton.  “I’m 25 now. I think it was inevitable there had to be change,” Hamilton said of the split.  Yes folks, it’s official, Lewis Hamilton has finally grown up.  It’s only taken him 25 years, but he’s made it.

After throwing away the 2007 championship in a gravel pit, almost throwing it away the following year, and then lying to the stewards last season, POP was beginning to think that Lewis had already passed his prime.  But then he impressed in the dire 2009 McLaren, started talking more openly and honestly with the press, and now he’s making a fresh start alongside the level-headed and experienced Jenson Button at McLaren.  It’s ‘Pits’ for Anthony, but a sure-fire ‘Podium’ for Lewis Hamilton who is looking great ahead of the 2010 season and he’s now back with Nicole too – he’s promised to look at his Blackberry less and take her to the cinema more – bless!

Dumped: Daddy Hamilton

PODIUM.  Spygate 2010 –

The gloves are off, the long lens cameras are out… and McLaren are spying on Ferrari again!  Except this time they’re going for the rather less subtle method of standing in the Barcelona pit lane trying to have a sneaky peek at the 2010 Ferrari.  Thanks to powerfulpeanuts for the tip off.



What can POP say?  USF1, the team that never were, don’t even deserve a ‘Pits’ this week.  In a press release from Ferrari International Assistance it reads at the bottom “The USF1 team have indicated that they will not be in a position to participate in 2010.”  What does that even mean?  They need another year to get their act together?  2 years?  And why has it taken until 2 weeks before the first race of the season to realise that they need another year?  USF1 boss Ken Anderson spoke to Autosport in a recent interview, but made little sense of the situation.  He blamed, amongst other things, sponsors mucking them about, missing testing, and political battles. “As of January 15, we were right on course for where we said we were going to be. But then when the stuff did not show up – then the warning bells started sounding. I scrambled to keep it together, but I just couldn’t do it quick enough,” said Anderson.  Nope, POP still is none the wiser.

The 2010 grid... for now at least

PITS. Stefan GP –

Despite USF1 not being on the FIA official list, the Serbian team Stefan GP have not been selected to fill the empty space.  The FIA is an institution that never ceases to amaze, frustrate, and baffle POP.  It fines some people squillions of pounds for cheating (ahem, McLaren), then barely whips another team for cheating on an even worse scale (ahem, Renault).  Then when USF1 are unable to “participate”, and Stefan GP are ready to go with Jacques Villeneuve in the driving seat, the FIA decide not to allow them the empty grid slots.  POP can offer no explanation for the FIA’s complete and utter lack of logic and sense.  Please send your own ideas on a postcard to:

8, Place de la Concorde
75008 Paris

PITS. Driver No 13 –

Number 13, unlucky for some.   So unlucky in fact that no-one will take the number in Formula 1.  In 1963 at the Mexican grand prix, Moises Solana raced under the number 13.  But’s that’s it.  At no other point has a driver raced under 13 in Formula 1.  And this year is no different.  In the crazy world of the FIA, counting goes like this… 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 14, and so on…

PODIUM.  The British grand prix –

It seems ridiculous to think that until recently the fate of the British grand prix hung precariously in the balance.  But as if to shove two fingers up at Bernie Ecclestone, the general admission tickets for race day at Silverstone this year have already sold out.  SOLD OUT!  Buy what’s left before they’re all gone by clicking here.

PITS.  McLaren’s wings –

As the slogan says, Red Bull gives you wings, but McLaren’s rear wing may be declared unlawful ahead of the first race of the season in under 2 weeks.  The Red Bull and Ferrari teams asked the FIA yesterday for clarification on its legality after testing showed the McLaren to be on top form.  This may remind you of the daft Diffuser Confusion of last year.  Fingers crossed this new development won’t descend into Wing-gate…

PODIUM.  Ferrari ‘Passion Day’ –

Yesterday was the first annual Ferrari ‘Passion Day’!  2,500 Ferrari fans gathered at the Fiorano circuit in Italy for a day of… Ferrari loving?  Alonso actually turned up to the event, as did Felipe Massa, Fischella and the ill-fated test driver Badoer.  If you have a passion for Ferrari, why not make your own Ferrari group in F1Badger’s brand new ‘social network’, the Sett, for F1 fans by clicking here.  Or if you simply hate Ferrari with a passion, you can make a group for that too!

PODIUM.  Childish schoolboy jibes –

This week Richard Branson, Virgin racing boss, hit back at Ferrari’s criticism of the new teams in Formula 1 by calling Ferrari “sad”.  Classly Branson, really classy.  He then went on to call Ferrari “foolish” for resisting the budget cap.  But the best line of all came from Max Mosley, the former FIA dictator president, who compared Ferrari to “a frumpy old woman at a dance who sees a couple of pretty young girls come in and they resent it”.  Brilliant.  It’s not often that POP will heap praise on Max, but POP will cherish that gem of an analogy for many many years to come.