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GP Week : Issue 20
Letters email us at firstname.lastname@example.org 2008 title Hamilton's to lose The events of the past two weeks make it clear – Lewis Hamilton is poised to become the 2008 F1 World Champion. Anyone who thought that Silverstone was a one-off for Ferrari had their hopes dashed over the weekend, when the red cars failed again. How could Raikkonen get his set-up so wrong that he couldn't match his team-mate for speed? And how can Ferrari persevere with a driver (Massa) who so clearly put up no resistance to Hamilton's late-race attack. What can Ferrari do? Claire Lorenc (Letters, #19) is correct in the view that Massa is only ever any good when he's in the best car and running out in front. Unfortunately Grand Prix drivers are called upon to both pass and defend where necessary. With Ferrari in disarray, and BMW dropping off their impressive pace of two races back, the title is now only Hamilton's to lose. Please Ron, no careless errors. And what an exciting Silly Season could be in prospect: Kubica won't say what he's doing; Massa's driving like a wimp. Hmmmm. If the Pole does go, who would be in a position to jump into what is a top six car at BMW? One way or the other, 2008 is turning out to be an interesting season .– and the FIA hasn't yet leapt to Ferrari's aid ... David McAuliffe Somerville, Massachusetts, US Don't tamper with the essence of MotoGP I was interested to read Michael Scott's views on the attempts by MotoGP to mimic F1 (commercially) and, having attended both lately (Donington and Silverstone) I'd like to plead with Dorna NOT to carry on down that path. If you turn MotoGP into the aloof bunch of glass-bowl residents who inhabit F1, you will lose your core audience. The stars of MotoGP are a unique bunch of modern gladiators and if you start wrapping them up in cotton wool and corporate 'VIP-only' access, MotoGP risks losing its character. Right now, MotoGP is winning me over – what more do you need other than today's (Sunday) Laguna Seca race to see why. Rossi and Stoner are an unbelieveable pair. PS: Congrats on a fantaastic new-age magazine. Mark Statham email@example.com And from him ... A friend alerted me to GPWeek recently and I just wanted to say what a great idea it is. Congratulations also on a great team of writers and photographers and a product which is clean and easy to read – and available Monday morning here in the UK. Please dodn't publish my name/details – the boss might start to understand why my productivity has started to slip on a Monday morning ... New Fan (details supplied) Rochester, UK MichaeL Scott MotoGP editor o p in io n Rossi Signs for Two Years! The news was hardly unexpected since he’s been talking about it for a month or more. But everyone thought he’d sign for just one year, maybe with an option for a second. Instead, he’s committed to stay on until the end of 2010. Doubtless this was very welcome over in Dorna’s portable citadel. Reprieve! MotoGP may be shrinking, but Rossi is an international sports personality like no mere motorbike rider before him. His charisma can carry the series almost single-handed. He has more pulling power and more recognition than Dani Pedrosa, Casey Stoner, Jorge Lorenzo and Andrea Dovizioso all put together. Dorna has another two years of Rossi fervour, while they seek other ways to please the fans and shore up shrinking grids. It’s not this column’s habit to mete out unstinting praise, but with Rossi it’s hard not to. He’s quite obviously one of the all-time greatest, and a major charmer into the bargain. And he touches others with his greatness. Aprilia was never as important as when he rode for them. And Honda is only now recovering from his abrupt departure after 2003. Certainly he inspired Yamaha from also-ran to title winner, thanks to some acoustic inspiration that led them to reintroduce Big Bang close firing intervals. He always inspires the fans. His good humour and wit, his habits and antics on and off the bike all conspire to endear. Like the serious yet also self-mocking way he squats in supplication by the footpeg before climbing aboard, and then cheekily pulls Michael Schumacher might not have been too happy watching his Ferrari team racing at Hockenheim given their performance, but he had every reason to be happy about something else. Sebastian Vettel, whom he used to help quite a bit in the early days and whom he is still quite close to, had one of the best weekends of his racing career so far and did everything to justify his promotion to Red Bull Racing in 2009. The way 21-year old Vettel put his Toro Rosso within the top 10 in qualifying, the fact he was on course for sixth position in the race until the Safety Car put him two places o p in io n Karin StUrM KS racing Press 20