by clicking the arrows at the side of the page, or by using the toolbar.
by clicking anywhere on the page.
by dragging the page around when zoomed in.
by clicking anywhere on the page when zoomed in.
web sites or send emails by clicking on hyperlinks.
Email this page to a friend
Search this issue
Index - jump to page or section
Archive - view past issues
GP Week : Issue 180
Putting the conspiracy theories to bed this weekend was the Red Bull garage, who elected to remove Mark Webber’s car from parc ferme on Saturday night so that they could give the Australian’s car a similar rebuild to the one that helped teammate Sebastian Vettel secure a podium finish from a pitlane start at the 2012 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. Webber, who was set to line up dead last for Sunday’s Chinese Grand Prix, started the race from the pitlane after Red Bull chose to make changes to his car’s gear ratios and set-up in an effort to give the Australian a car with which he could overtake rivals and move up the field. Unfortunately, a run of bad luck throughout the race saw the Australian retire mid-way through the afternoon. The Red Bull driver was sent to the back of the grid on Saturday after grinding to a halt with fuel pressure problems midway through qualifying. Webber’s time was good enough for 14th but rules require a car to have enough fuel to drive back to the pits under its own power and still have one litre left for an FIA sample. An error with the refuelling rig meant the required amount of fuel did not go into Webber’s car and the Australian was excluded from qualifying as a result. “Unfortunately in Q2 the amount of fuel that was required to be put into the car from the fuel rig was not fully delivered. This was due to an error with the fuel bowser that meant it under delivered 3kg of fuel,” Red Bull team boss Christian Horner said after qualifying. Red Bull typically tend to run their cars with more downforce and a short top gear which helps drivers carry more speed through corners, qualify the car on pole and pull out of range of the following cars before the drag reduction system can be used in the race. But this approach costs them straight- line speed, meaning the drivers can find it difficult to pass rivals into tight corners at the end of long straights – which usually present a good overtaking opportunity – or leave them vulnerable to drivers close behind who then get a speed advantage down a straight. The rule requiring the car to have enough fuel was introduced following the 2011 Canadian Grand Prix weekend when Hamilton ran out of fuel after his pole position lap and famously got out and pushed his McLaren down the final straight towards the pitlane. It is meant to level the playing field so a driver cannot gain an advantage with a lightly fuelled car over rivals who might be carrying that extra bit of fuel to get them back to the pits. F1 >>> NEWS Equal treatment and equal opportunity at Red Bull A teaser trailer of the eagerly- awaited ‘Rush’, the film chronicling the dramatic 1976 championship battle between Austria’s Niki Lauda and colourful British playboy James Hunt, was released last week and at first glance it seems that we are in for a visual treat. Directed by Ron Howard, famous for having made Oscar-winning films A Beautiful Mind and The Da Vinci Code, there is no question that ‘Rush’ will do a good job translating all the drama of a season spanning a range of human emotions – from a desire to win, to crushing disappointment, to grief, to courage, to grit and finally triumph – to the silver screen. But is Howard perhaps going too far in a bid to make the film appeal to more of a mainstream audience? In some cases, the director has used artistic license to introduce an additional dose of drama to an already engaging story. Take the 1976 title-deciding Japanese Grand Prix, for example. The season-long championship battle between Hunt and Lauda boiled down to this final race with the Austrian three points ahead of Hunt heading into the weekend. The race began in torrential rain after some debate about whether it ought to be run. Lauda, who had courageously come back to fight for the championship from a near fatal crash at the daunting Nurburgring earlier in the year, pulled out of the grand prix on the second lap as he felt the conditions were too dangerous. All Hunt needed to win the title now was a fourth place finish. The Briton had led the race at the start but began to fall back as the track began to dry out. His team instructed him to drive through puddles of water in an attempt to cool his wet weather tyres, but Hunt ignored their instructions on the pit boards and was forced to pit when the degradation became too pronounced. That stop dropped him to fifth and out of title contention but Hunt sprinted off in pursuit of Alan Jones and Clay Regazzoni, overtaking both drivers to snatch third and his one and only world title with just about a lap to spare. But in Howard’s version it rains throughout the race. It might seem like splitting hairs, but had that been the case Hunt would never have had to make the stop that dropped him to fifth, robbing the audience of one of the most pivotal plot twists in the championship battle. A consultant on the film revealed that Howard has also chosen to dramatize the relationship between Hunt and Lauda, depicting them as fierce rivals, enemies even, when in actual fact there was great camaraderie and respect between the two. Hunt counted Lauda as his closest friend among the drivers and the two even shared a one-bedroom flat in London at one point. One can see why Howard might tweak the facts to suit his script. The film, after all, is not being made for a niche audience and has to appeal to the mainstream public that has no interest whatsoever in motorsport. But look at the success of ‘Senna’, made up entirely of archive footage. Non-fiction it may have been, but it resonated with audiences beyond the motorsport sphere because – like the 1976 season – it told a powerful human story. There is a reason why Formula One generates such passion. There is so much our sport has to offer and so much to be proud of – so let’s give the mainstream the best of our sport as it is, without dressing it up: let’s draw them in without putting the die-hard fans off. The Rush to add drama 9 GPWEEK.com // 9 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: