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GP Week : Issue 27
Letters email us at firstname.lastname@example.org On the hops with Kimi? I thoroughly enjoyed Andrew van Leeuwen’s piece on the WRC chaps heading to the pub for a frosty in last week's edition. On the few occasions that we have had an international event here in SA (WSBK Kyalami, MotoGP Phakisa) I've walked away with mixed feelings. The WSBK guys were great – I remember Edward's team- mate at the time sneaking off to have a quiet puff behind the pits, and Colin joining us for drinks at Fat Arnie's after his duties were finished, while the rest were all friendly and pro-active toward the media and public alike. Conversely, the MotoGP heroes were a bunch of rather condescending dimwits, as were the riders in the Junior formulae, who had clearly learnt from their more senior peers. I'm in agreement- the chaps in F1 etc need some really good PR lessons. I'd thoroughly enjoy a beer with Kimi at my local, that's for sure … Nick Bee, Johannesburg email@example.com WRC: Go back to go forward Re a solution to the running order tactic games in WRC ... simply reverse the rule to what we had last season! This is what annoys me, as a die hard rally fan, about the WRC and its rule makers. This was a fantastic sport until about 2002. Then one rule change after the other came, all unnecessary, all making the sport worse. The starting order rule was only one of many stupid rule changes in a long list. As it was until 2007, with the top15 reversed, it worked. In fact it was the best rule the FIA could come up with for the situation. This is why I, and several manufacturers it seems, hail the IRC. The WRC has the bonus of the official tag “World Championship”. But instead of admitting a mistake, one rule after the other is introduced to cover up mistakes – the 16 round calendar (or now 24 rounds rotation) with doubtful locations that are expensive with doubtful marketing value, plus the need to start them all. Remind me again, why have. Skoda and Mitsubishi left? The list of crazy ‘fix-it’ rules is endless. Look back at around 2002, when we had up to seven manufacturers with up to three cars, making up to 21 works WRCars. Why change a winning formula? Why did they not just leave the sport in peace? Rallying could easily be sold by the media as the most spectacular show there is. Instead I do feel sorry for the ISC or whoever the global promoter may be next. And as a potential new fan, if you don’t understand what is going on with ‘go-slow' tactics and superally, etc. why would you tune in a second time? Chris Biewer, Merzig, Germany firstname.lastname@example.org 20 Midnight madness PhiL BRANAGAN MNews (Australia) WE may be on the far side of the world here in Australia but such was the wattage of the outrage over Lewis Hamilton’s penalty in Belgium that even we colonials are shading our eyes from the light. Because of the time difference between Europe and Melbourne, I went to bed late on Sunday night with a warm glow, for two reasons. One, there had been an epic finish to what was otherwise going to be a predictable race. The weather-inspired mayhem, and Hamilton’s great drive, placed the 2008 Belgian GP high on the list of races I will watch again and again in the future. Second, I had scored mightily in the office Formula 1 tipping contest. Far be it from me to encourage gambling but hey, what do you expect an office full of motorsport journalists to do? The Hamilton- Massa-Heidfeld podium, plus pole and fastest lap, had earned me many points, or so I thought as I fell asleep. To hell with the tipping contest. I am near-speechless about the unfathomable decision to hit Hamilton with a 25-second penalty – and I still can’t figure out for what. In diabolical conditions, Hamilton had a choice; hit Raikkonen or miss the chicane – but then he redressed the situation at once. Raikkonen chose the dry line at La Source and Lewis slipped down his inside on the damp track – heroic stuff, that – and then survived a bump from the Ferrari on the exit. Great racing. A marvellous advertisement for our sport. Shame about the stewards. This was a dark day for the sport. I still remember how badly I felt six years ago after the Scumacher- Barrichello farce in Austria, and this is similar. A betrayal of the ideals of my sport. One more thing; I have some advice to the over-zealous blazer- wearing official who, not once but twice, waved Hamilton away from his jubilant team and towards the scales, so that the obviously vital (and visually gripping) weigh-in could take place. Mate, even Formula 1 is supposed to be about the sport. The most important people in the equation are the fans. Put them ahead of the rulebook. Showing some common sense would be welcome. And, please, don’t even think of becoming a steward. opinion