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GP Week : Issue 87
McLaren Is Butto What is t Email us Something to say? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org Prior to 2009, if you had presented Jenson Button with a plate of wild mushrooms, I'll bet you a fiver he'd have picked the poisonous one. But Jenson has won over the gods, and for the past 18 months everything has gone his way. Well, everything except losing the delightful Jessica. I'm still not sure what happened there. But when he signed for McLaren we all thought he was mad. I rate Jenson, I respect his modest determination, and figured his smooth style would suit the new rules, but I didn't predict he would be in the position he is now. Lewis Hamilton has started to convert the gutsy but ultimately unrewarding drives of the early races into victories, but JB is still right up there with two consecutive second places and is just three points adrift of the championship lead. McLaren's rate of development has been astounding. At the start of the season they were a long way off Red Bull Racing, Ferrari, and Nico Rosberg's Mercedes -- the car Jenson would be driving were it not for his latest gamble. That gamble is paying off big time because the McLarens were pretty much equal with Red Bull in Turkey, and a step ahead in Canada. There's no reason to think it won't be as close in Valencia, and momentum has swung Woking's way. Vodafone have produced a new viral video that's on You Tube now. It shows the McLaren duo left alone by their mechanics to put their car together. Of course it's staged, but the chemistry between Jenson and Lewis -- two very different personalities -- seems genuine. They both eagerly want to beat the other, of course, and Turkey was a bit too close for comfort, but thus far they are collaborating well. This, at a time when RBR is in meltdown behind the scenes. I talked to Jenson on the phone a few days before we flew to Istanbul. He didn't sound defeated after Monaco, but he did say Red Bull's pace was terrifying. We talked opinion ADAM HAY- NICHOLLS GPWeek Editor Those yukky fins ... A question to ask of the technical gurus in F1. I recall a preview of the season in 2010 in a printed mag, in which Frank Dernie analysed various parts of various cars, and when it came to these extended engine covers, he seemed to think that they were in fashion only for the extra advertising space they provided, rather than for any aerodynamic advantage they offered. If this is indeed so, could they not be banned? Surely I am not the only one who thinks the cars look terrible with these fins extending to the rear wing? Hail the Brawn Mercedes for bucking the trend! Tony Alves, Edenvale, South Africa email@example.com 3D, HD and all that -- our readers react While I understand the logistical challenge that F1 is presented with, MotoGP has managed to start live HD broadcasts of the entire 2010 season, albeit not for us UK viewers. I believe this includes the onboard cameras too. The Le Mans 24hrs was shown in HD on Eurosport and for me it was a real treat. The onboard cameras were still not in HD but that really didn't spoil the show too much. It highlighted how badly F1 needs to be in HD. Bernie may well expect consumers to pay extra for HD, but that will never happen. The Pay-per-view experiment on Sky all those years ago should show that people will not pay for enhanced coverage of a sport already broadcast on a free-to-air station. 3D ... now that's just a gimmick. David Cane firstname.lastname@example.org 3D can't be broadcast live. Oh? Better not tell that to Channel 9 in Sydney, Australia, where the annual City of Origin Rugby League match last week was live in 3D Don Ricciardello email@example.com I feel appalled at the attitude that is being taken by FOM. The technology is plainly there to show Grands Prix in HD, however the main problem is monetising the change in technology. Most people will not be willing to pay extra for HD services -- the improvement in image quality just does not justify it. FOM has seriously missed a trick here, in that other sports have managed to already broadcast in HD without any problems -- even the current World Cup has every match broadcast in HD where available! FOM should stop considering how much cash they can get and start looking at the longer game; by providing a better image of the sport, we may tempt more viewers, we may even tempt more sponsors, and surely that has to be the target. Damien Pooley firstname.lastname@example.org The MotoGP class is brilliant. Most of the time. The quality of the racing has been sustained this year, and perhaps even improved. Even without Rossi, even with a runaway winner at Silverstone, there was a massive battle for second that was in doubt until the final sprint to the flag. Nothing much wrong with the quality. The quantity? That is a different matter. There are just 17 permanent riders. With Rossi out, that dropped to 16 -- and he won't be replaced until Catalunya, another two races away. This is in accordance with rules that give a team three races grace before replacement is a contractual necessity. Now rookie Hiro Aoyama, reigning (and last ever) 250 champion will be out for the next race, and probably at least three more after that. Only then will his Interwetten team also be MICHAEL SCOTT MotoGP Editor opinion 20