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GP Week : Issue 41
letters email us at firstname.lastname@example.org Outsde the square in KL! Being flavour of the month at GPWeek (one letter published, one honourable mention in Editorial) perhaps I can suggest something radical concerning the now-infamous Malaysian GP – change the start time to 8am. Early morning rain in the Kuala Lumpur area is rare, not impossible, but considerably less likely than late afternoon. The sky starts to brighten before 7am and by 8am the sun is usually burning off the overnight humidity, and temperatures are much more pleasant than later in the day. An 8am start means a viewing time of midnight Saturday night in the UK, 1am Sunday in Central Europe and 8pm Saturday night in eastern North America. Late morning in Australia. What could be better? Move the race a few weeks later in the calendar and those viewing times become one hour earlier. Who would suffer? Well, it wouldn't be pleasant for the F1 teams, but they claim they will work any time and, in any case they have to suffer a variety of time changes, so I doubt they'd complain. Racegoers would have to get up early, but is there much difference between going to a race in the dark or going home in the dark? Support races could be moved to follow F1, giving spectators a full day of racing for their money. For sure, something has to be done. No one can be happy with last weekend's mini-race. Not even Mr. Ecclestone, despite his claims of increasing the fun, and next year awarding half medals. If he seriously thinks anyone was happy, he should talk to my friends, a family of five, who flew from the UK. Five air fares, five race tickets, three hotel rooms, and half a race. To my mind, an early morning start makes sense from all angles. Paul S. Russell, :Kuala Lumpur email@example.com Sunday, Sunday I agreed with everything in the various letters last week panning the scheduling of the Malaysian F1 GP at 6pm. Just wait, I thought, none of that rubbish happens in MotoGP – really looking forward to that. Roll on Qatar. Ooooops .... Whatever happened to Grands Prix that started just after lunch, when the sun was out ... Michael Pettigrew Manchester, UK 22 Keeping It Real Will Buxton GPWeek editor Politics, lies, protests, racism… it’s good to have Formula 1 back, isn’t it? What a shame, though, that the majority of the headlines have been created for the wrong reasons. Thankfully the diffuser issue will be resolved one way or another this week. A decision in favour of the design will mean a rush by its protesters to produce something similar and may yet see ground effect sneak its way back into F1 through the back door. Red Bull will be the team with the most to do as its pull- rod suspension leaves no room for such a diffuser. All in all it means sticking with what is already showing itself to be a good car or sacrificing it all on designing something completely different. My hunch is that, should the appeal be thrown out, Red Bull won’t bother with the diffuser at all just yet. And why? Because they’ve got a very fast car already. So too does BMW, and one which will only become faster when it is trimmed down in weight for the European season. Force India, too, is already thinking about KERS and diffusers as it strives for its first points. Which just leaves McLaren, Ferrari and Renault in trouble. And that’s really rather refreshing. It’s like turning on the TV and watching Manchester United get stuffed by a non-league team. You can’t help but have a wry smile to yourself. Ferrari is restructuring, Renault is seemingly scrabbling to understand a car it thought it had a handle on and McLaren… oh dear God, where on earth do we start with that one? A slow car, a team in disarray… if I feel sorry for anyone right now it is Martin Whitmarsh. He’s paid his dues, done his An inspired guest app MArtin HolMes rallies editor Marcus Gronholm’s return to WRC rallying in Portugal was a breath of fresh air, an inspiration in World Championship rallying, which came at exactly the time when inspirations are sadly absent from the sport. The organisers of the Vodafone Rally of Portugal have traditionally reserved a budget to attract interesting competitors to their event (they persuaded him to drive a Zero car last year) and now that the event is over, the importance of having Marcus there has become even more obvious. The rally’s press chief Fernando Petronilho explained: “We feel that having Marcus on our event was a very important scoop, not only because of who he is but also because it showed that Subaru is still a name in World Championship sport. It is vital for the world championship that people hear about more types of car than just Citroen and Ford. “We feel that Marcus’ entry was perhaps even more important for the international than the national media. Marcus remains the last person in the sport who was good enough to put up a fight against Sebastien Loeb – once it was known he would be driving on our rally, a lot of extra international media exposure happened.” Gronholm’s presence in Portugal was thus exciting on several levels, but of course there was one further factor – the performance of the Impreza S14 itself. One of the thoughts which must have been going through the mind of Subaru exile Petter Solberg was whether his failure to win with the S14 last year, when opinion opinion