Saturday, 25 August 2012

9 Formula One Drivers Lucky To Be Alive

By David Galton-Fenzi

Racing is dangerous. It’s been a long time since the great Ayrton Senna died and it’s still, thankfully, the last time a driver has died behind the wheel in Formula One, but that doesn’t mean the sport hasn’t come close since. You can’t relax, not even for a second, or racing will bite you and sometimes you don't wake up. Just last year in the space of a week, the racing community lost Dan Wheldon and Marco Simoncelli in two separate freak accidents. The drivers on this list are the ones who all had their bell rung since that fateful day at Imola but can still talk about it today, even if some of them still don’t quite remember the fine details.

#9     Karl Wendlinger

Karl Wendlinger was a ferociously talented young Austrian driver who was making waves driving for Peter Sauber’s team. Still reeling from the deaths of both Wendlinger’s countryman Roland Ratzenberger and the great Ayrton Senna at the previous race, the Formula One circus had rocked up at Monaco in a state of shock where Karl came within a hairsbreadth of making it a terribly tragic trifecta.

Thursday, 2 August 2012

Why Does Everyone Hate Maldonado?

By David Galton-Fenzi

It is a question I have been asking myself a lot lately. You don’t need to dig too deep on the internet to find message boards flooded with vitriol towards the Venezuelan, but why is it so raw, so passionate? Well I think I know the answer, because I feel it too.

Maldonado came into the league branded a pay-driver, yet many of us felt this was unfair. You don’t win GP2 by accident so everyone who knew something about racing knew this was a guy who had speed, someone who could do the job. Sure he came with a lot of money behind him, but so does Fernando Alonso, so we perhaps felt the need to defend him, to embrace him even and wait for him to prove himself, and us, right.

His rookie year was a bit of a disaster, but that was nothing to do with Pastor. The FW33 was a complete tractor, and Maldonado measured well against an experienced team mate like Barrichello. He definitely did enough to justify another year in the sport. Of course he had his run in with Lewis at Spa, but we all justified it by blaming it on his Latin temperament, and Pastor justified it by taking a points finish on a true drivers track the very next day. “See!” we all said, “He can drive, just give him time.”