Podium or Pits is Badger’s weekly guide to what’s hot and what’s not in F1. Stay tuned for a glorious (naked) return to form from an Ecclestone child, Vijay Mallya’s palace in the sky, Lewis Hamilton’s love life, Martin Bloodle and an American viewpoint…


Watch out Tamara, Flavio's about! World © Sutton

Ecclestone excess – Well, I say. We’re still not sure this trumps that vile Range Rover the-other-sister Petra put her stamp all over, but it’s up there. What do you do if you’re the daughter of a multi-billionaire? Recognise you’re in an exceptionally fortunate position, stay below the radar, be generally tasteful and try not to make too much of a splash? Not so much. Where would the fun be in that?

So it was that Tamara Ecclestone came to be photographed naked (tastefully done, of course) in a whole bunch of money. You could probably see more racy shots on an advertising billboard, but for those with sensitive bosses, you might want to wait till you get home.


Vijay Mallya - what a happy chappy World © Sutton

Massive Mallya – POP is hypocritical. There, we said it. We’re quite happy to lambast Tamara Ecclestone at the top of the page and then be very nice to Vijay Mallya for doing something not entirely different (alright, a bit different, but we enjoy being hypocritical).

Essentially, he’s building a massive apartment in Bangalore for himself and members of his family (and those others rich enough to play too). To be honest, we think it’s part of the appeal of F1. The glitz, the glamour and the socking great amounts of cash.

Not one to be left out and according to The Times of India, Vijay’s new building will feature

“a 6,000-sqft clubhouse and garden on the 5th floor, a similar sized swimming pool area on the 10th floor, a badminton court on the 15th floor, and party hall and terrace garden on the 25th floor. There is also a 25,000-sqft common garden area for residents that is situated along the entry.”

Sounds like The Sett (aka Badger’s HQ)


No longer sitting up a tree? – Another day, another Lewis Hamilton story. This is why we think he needs to go to Mongolia and hang out in a yurt during the close season.

Apparently, not being seen together since August means they’re having problems and are close to breaking up. Now that’s as well as may be, but do the people who write such things think that they might just not have attended anything in public together during that time?

POP is so totally over Lewis and Nicole. You won’t hear anything more about them here until they break up/get married. And that’s a Badger promise.


Martin Brundle at the Goodwood Revival World © Sutton

Martin Bloodle – We love a good local news story here at POP, especially if it’s got a feel good factor about it.

Thankfully, this one ticks both boxes. It turns out Martin Brundle has dipped into his own pocket to fund some blood couriers for a local hospital. Isn’t that nice?

P.S. The article has a nice picture of him on a bike. Groovy.


Dan Wheldon – There’s not much more to add, apart from to direct POP readers to Jimmy von Weeks’ piece here.

That said, if you want to here an American viewpoint on the whole thing then do listen to Slate’s sport podcast, Hang Up and Listen. Although it often focuses on sports we don’t care about, in this one they cover the accident and its safety implications. It’s done from a non-fan’s perspective, but is still worth a listen. Skip through to about 14 minutes 20 seconds to avoid American football chat.