Podium or Pits is Badger’s weekly guide to what’s hot and what’s not in Formula One and, this week, comes to you from a very empty Sett; blame the Autosport International show for that sad state of affairs. Nevertheless, stay tuned for Olympic spirit at Williams, Lewis Hamilton the clothes horse, Bahrain, Red Bull young drivers and karting with Caterham.
If you had to run 400 metres to make a pit stop this would be ideal – The Williams team, keen to try to boost their performance after a seriously shonky season last year, have enlisted the help of a company founded by Michael Johnson, the former 200 and 400 metre Olympic Champion.
According to Johnson, he is “confident the experience…that has benefited numerous American football athletes, Premier League football teams, and Olympic federations, can also benefit Williams’ pit crew in their goal to cut hundredths and even tenths of a second from their pit stop times.”
Of course, shaving fractions of time off pit stops won’t matter a jot unless their car is half decent. Which we hope it is. But think it might not be.
It never (Bah)rains, but it pours – The seemingly never ending saga of the Bahrain Grand Prix continues. For those who can’t remember where this came from, it all stems from the imbalance in opportunity between being a member of the ruling elite in Bahrain (tending to be Sunni) and the wider population (mostly Shia).
There were protests, the government cracked down and F1 didn’t race there last year. Bahrain, knowing the way to F1 (and Bernie’s) hearts, paid the hosting fee anyway.
However, as Nabeel Rajab, vice president of the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights, said to The Guardian: “We will campaign for … drivers and teams to boycott. The government wants Formula One to tell the outside world that everything is back to normal…Formula One, if they come, they are helping the government to say [it is normal]. We would prefer it if they didn’t take part. I am sure the drivers and teams respect human rights.”
POP agrees with every word.
POP thinks he looks alright – Lewis Hamilton has been in that famous racing magazine, GQ, modelling a range of slightly odd clothing.
Who isn’t a Red Bull young driver? – Christian Horner has been chatting to BBC Sport about Red Bull’s young driver programme – it turns out he’s in favour. Who would have thought it?
We at Badger like young drivers in F1. However, are some being promoted too early? Hasn’t the only real success been Sebastian Vettel? What’s the point of having such a high turnover?
What do you think?
Probably too late for POP – Caterham (the Lotus team as was, in case that particular saga passed anyone by. Thank god it’s over now, eh?) are launching their own entry level karting series. It doesn’t start till 2013, but is obviously all part of a bigger branding exercise, as emphasised by the words of Caterham Motorsport Manager, Simon Lambert: “We’ve built a strong reputation for providing terrific value for money in motor sport through great cars and a playing field so even you could put a spirit level on it.”
POP, for what it’s worth, hope it pays off.