What would Formula 1 be without a good old-fashioned court battle?  Also in the news this week: a tyre manufacturer is found for 2011, F1 isn’t all glitz and glamour, and POP reveals the name of Eddie Jordan’s band!

Button and Brawn in happier times

PODIUM.  Jenson Button –

Apparently Jenson Button has recently been talking to his former team Brawn GP (now Mercedes).  Not for a friendly chat over a cuppa, but instead because he’s suing them!  Nice.  What a lasting legacy of friendship Button leaves behind him.  The issue would appear to be a clause in Button’s contract which entitled him to a Brawn 2009 car if he won the championship.

He duly won said championship, but sadly no Brawn car arrived.  Mercedes told Button that it was only possible for a replica to be delivered to him, but this was not good enough for Button.  POP wonders whether team principal Ross Brawn tried to fob him off with a scalextric replica – in which case Button was clearly within his rights to reject the offer!  POP is happy to reveal, however that according to reports Button and Brawn have reached a deal and Button will be receiving one of the championship-winning Brawn cars worth £1million.

PODIUM.  Tyres –

Phew!  After many months of behind-the-scenes wrangling, a tyre manufacturer has been found to replace Bridgestone starting from the 2011 season.  Bridgestone announced their intentions to leave some time ago, which surprised many in the sport, but now we’re set to see Pirelli tyres back on F1 cars for the first time since 1991.

Frankly POP was hoping for the return of Michelin and their chubby mascot the Michelin Man.  F1 needs more mascots.  And no, Eddie Jordan doesn’t count.  Ferrari will be happy after the announcement of this news – Pirelli are a well-established Italian manufacturer, and we all know how patriotically passionate those Italians are!

PITS.  The BBC crew –

Anthony Davidson takes a nap in his Economy seat

Formula 1 has a reputation for glamour, parties, royalty, sunny coastal cities, and now … nasty budget airline flights!  Poor Jake Humphrey and Anthony Davidson, of the BBC F1 crew, recorded a video of the less-glamorous side of Formula 1 on board a flight to Valencia.  Check it out by clicking here!

PITS.  Valencia –

Did you get all excited when you realised there was a grand prix this weekend?  Did you then humph and moan when you realised that the ‘European grand prix’ was not the wonderful Nurburgring of yore, but in fact … Valencia.  If that describes you, then you have what has been called the “Valencia Blues” – an F1-induced depression triggered by the broadcast of this non-event grand prix.

POP is sad to inform you that this crippling yearly condition is set to continue until 2014, when Valencia’s contract with Bernie Ecclestone runs out.

PODIUM.  Classy F1 –

Despite Jake and Anthony’s less-than-glamorous means of travel, there is  still some class and glamour to be found in Formula 1… the 2010 Grand Prix Ball!  For ‘only’ £352.50, you can mingle with the movers and shakers of Formula 1, have a black tie dinner, and the best bit?  You get to see Eddie Jordan’s “brilliant” band, ‘The Robbers’, play live!

You have to be 23 or over to attend, which pretty much rules out half the F1 field, and POP as a matter of fact, but would any amount of money actually be enough to compensate being forced to listen to Eddie Jordan sing?  No, you can’t put a price on that kind of pain.  You’ll have been “robbed” of 2 hours of your life!  For tickets, click here.

PODIUM or PITS (you decide!) – the 107% Rule

Yes that’s right folks, POP wants YOU to decide the fate of the jazzy titled “107% Rule” set to be re-introduced from 2011 to prevent overly-slow cars getting to the grid.  POP had trouble trying to make sense of this rule, so will pass you over to F1 super-brain Adam Milleneuve…

It’s very simple.

If pole position lap time is 100 seconds (or 1min 40secs) then the rest of the field have to be within 107% of that time to qualify.  Which in this case would be 107 seconds, or 1 minute 47 seconds.  So, if say a Lotus did a lap in 1minute 47.3 seconds they would not be allowed to start the race on Sunday because they’re too slow.

It used to be in F1 before, they’ve brought it back because of the new teams.  If it was in place this year we would have seen 7 cars not qualify so far….

Don’t forget to vote – the 107% Rule: Podium or Pits?

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