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GP Week : Issue 94
Twingo- Another Honda Honda is winning the engine war. Halfway through the season, this has become increasingly obvious -- while Suzuki has been promised a special relief clause to the six-per- rider regulation; and while Ducati and to an extent Yamaha appear already to be running it close, most of the Honda riders are not yet half way through their allocation. This could yet prove a deciding factor in the championship. Certainly for the lower top five positions. Which may have been the intention all along. MotoGP tech rules are written by the MSMA (Motor Sport Manufacturers Association), but it is common cause that the four letters actually spell out H.O.N.D.A., just in a different form. The organisation is Email us Something to say? Email us at email@example.com Formula One has gone on holiday, and in Budapest we had the traditional Sunday night dance floor merriment before heading off for some much needed respite. Well, some did... I chose to spend my post-Hungary weekend at the Nurburgring. Actually, that's not true. I chose to spend it at Zandvoort but when I called 'my driver' (which is how I like to refer to him because it sounds like I have a chauffeur, rather than someone I write press releases for) to say "hey, I'm coming to see you race at Zandvoort tomorrow" he was concerned. "It's the Nurburgring we're going to," he said. "Really?" I asked. "Yeah", he said. "Are you sure?" I asked. "Have you already booked your ticket?" he giggled, and then I realized I'd managed to cock up my entire August calendar. The drama didn't stop there. The next day I rented a car -- a Renault Twingo -- and drove it the five hour distance from Paris to The Green Hell, bound for DTM and F3 action. When I got there, I pulled into the petrol station beside the media accreditation place. A sticker on the outside of the fuel filler cap said 'Diesel'. Well done Europcar, hearty congratulations. When you stick a diesel sticker on an unleaded car, what do you think is going to happen? I was a fiver's worth in when I finally spotted the tiny 'Unleaded' lettering on the inside of the cap. "Bollocks!" It may have been a mistake, or it may have been sabotage, I couldn't be sure. I found myself cursing and laughing at the same time. There was no hose to be found, to help suck the wrong petroleum out of the Twingo's tank. Instead, I adopted a risky strategy by dumping 50 Euros worth of unleaded on top of the diesel, shook the car a bit to mix, and hoped for the best. Next up was the ultimate test: the mighty Nordschleife. There's nothing big or clever about pounding around the 12.9 mile widow-maker in a GT3 Porsche. No-sir-ree-Bob. It's a much bigger test of one's balls to drive around it in a 1.2 litre shopping trolley, which may or may not conk out at any minute due to its highly original fuel mixture. MICHAEL SCOTT MotoGP Editor opinion opinion ADAM HAY- NICHOLLS GPWeek Editor We're not that dumb ... Stefano, please stop treating F1 fans as idiots. We all know what you did; we don't really understand why you are doing it so early in the season and we don't agree with it.Personally I hope you get hit with a massive fine and Alonso and Ferrari lose all their points from the race. Peter Brewer Peter.Brewer@msssecurity.com.au No apologists please I am amused by all the Ferrari apologists who are rushing to say that "F1 has always been a team sport; team orders are thus okay." Actually, apologists, they are not. In case you were away when it happened (after that disgraceful Schumacher/Barrichello moment in Austria), there is these days a rule forbidding team orders -- something about teams NOT being permitted to artificially affect the outcome of races. It's clear. The rule is there. Disqualify them from the race and take away the points. Come on FIA, you know you have to. Let's be real -- if this had been McLaren in the Mosley days, it would have been a $5m minimum fine, wouldn't it! Roger T Smithson Bloomfield, NY, USA Tough guys on bikes I agree with Michael Scott's feature in last week's issue concerning the amazing come- back of Valentino Rossi to racing after his badly broken leg. MotoGP riders never cease to amaze me in their preparedness to get back on the bike, even if they virtually have to be lifted onto it by a crane! They take substantial risk of re-injuring themselves or suffering further injury. Imagine if F1 drivers were that hardy -- not that many get badly hurt these days. The most serious injuries of the past two seasons appear to be one getting hit on the head with a spring (?) and another having a head-on crash with a 4WD -- though Webber's return to the cockpit after the latter was pretty impressive.Nigel Haythorpe Worcester, UK 20