Category: Sport

Lotus F1 back in 2010

Lotus are to return to Formula 1 for the first time since 1994 after being granted the 13th slot on the grid from next season.
They will line up as one of four new teams for 2010 – alongside Campos Grand Prix, Manor and US F1.

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Long Time No Post – Update

I am still here, just… Apart from being very ill the past few months (erm, let’s try apart from being ill since my last operation on January 8th which is more exact), I’ve been working on 10 new sites as well as a few new ventures with a couple of other people. I’ve also just come back from a 4 week residential pain management course at INPUT, St Thomas’ Hospital, London.  If you want to read all about that, you can follow my updates over at another blog of mine – “My Own Personal Pain

Quite a lot has happened since my last post, and in fact it was when Pompey dropped out of the UEFA Cup last night that I remembered that the last time I posted was when the draw for the first round had been made (back in August 2008 – Pompey in the UEFA Cup).  I didn’t get to watch it last night, but I did catch poor old David James howler on the news this morning.  I think we can forgive him his error seeing as he probably earned us 75% of our points last season).

Anyway, I am hoping that I’ll be updating a lot more often over the next few weeks as I begin to put into practice what I learned at St. Thomas’.

 

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Pompey in the UEFA Cup

So Pompey have drawn Vitoria SC from Portugal in the UEFA Cup.
I could do with an away trip to sunny Portugal, just not so sure I could get away with it right now.
Oh well, I’m just glad that Pompey are in Europe for the first time in my life time that I can remember.
I shall just have to find out which non-terrestrial station will be broadcasting it and bemoan the fact that I don’t have a subscription for it.

The rest of the draw looks pretty good for British clubs too:

Portsmouth v Vitoria SC (Portugal)
Manchester City v AC Omonia (Cyprus)
Nancy (France) v Motherwell
Everton v Standard Liege (Belgium)
Litex Lovech (Bulgaria) v Aston Villa
Tottenham v Wisla Krakow (Poland)

Jogue acima o pompey, pompey jogam acima as they say in Portugal.

Where was everybody ? Abroad or in front of the Xbox?

{{fr|Schéma annoté d'un mors simple à anneaux.

Image via Wikipedia

It must have been the third week of the summer school holidays in most places around the UK.  My wife was still working and wasn’t due her vacation for a few more days, so I had to keep the kids entertained until we could all do something together.
As is always the case this time of the year, the subject of "what to do and where to go" was all over the national and local news.

But I am confused?

Two adults, two children, 9-10 hours of watching top class motor racing at one of Europe’s best racing courses (and I really do mean one of the top circuits in Europe!). Total cost? £24 (£20 if you had booked your tickets online). 

But the most confusing part, was that the place was virtually empty, and I mean really empty.  There were more family members of the drivers than actual visitors. I would even go as far as saying there were probably more circuit marshals than their were spectators.

Admittedly, the weather forecast for the day wasn’t too good, but it wasn’t that bad either. Yet again, perhaps people know just how crap the weather forecasts are in the UK because actually, the weather was horrendous. It was cold, windy and the rain came down like stair rods which played havoc with my back, but made for better racing rather than having just the one or two cars speeding off into the distance (as happens in F1).
We got to see drivers driving which sounds quite daft until you think about it.
There was also the small matter of the Olympics starting today, but I can’t believe for one minute that people would have preferred to have watch that on television in preference to a day out.

So where was this all happening?

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Congratulations to China

Just a quick post because I’m away from home right now, but I couldn’t NOT say something about today’s opening ceremony for the Olympics. So while I’m laying here waiting for my meds to kick in so I can slip into my drug induced ‘haze’ which I call sleep, I decided to give my congratulations to China on an amazing opening 2008 Olympic Ceremony.

Just how the heck the UK is going to compete with something like that I don’t know. We’ll be “knackered” for starters if we try and base it on our ‘past’ history.  We’re probably responsible for 99.99% of all world cock-ups (colonisation, religious wars, slavery, corruption, etc etc)…  It should be fun seeing how we match up to what the Chinese did today.

It was fascinating to watch and even had all 3 of my kids glued to the TV for the whole even (which did surprise me).

Apparently China has “human rights” issues, and China has “a bucket load of other issues” according to a bunch of so called “perfect people” in some “perfect country”.  Well hello…  Who are we to preach to anyone with our track record? (And that stands for both the US and the UK).  Who are we to impose our beliefs, our social and moral judgements on a country that basically 99.99% of us know absolutely nothing about. We (both the US and the UK) are not perfect, we don’t live in a perfect world and hello, at least some people are at least open to change.

I hope that these games allow us to see China in a different light, a much better light than the media/governments would have us see.  The Chinese people are themselves are amazing and I wish them the best of luck with the Olympic games and hope it brings them the success that they deserve.  (To be honest, I have absolutely no knowledge what-so-ever of the Chinese Government on a personal level, only from some business dealings, so I base all my assumptions on the various Chinese people I have worked with or have come to know socially over the past few years).

$20 Billion is a lot of money I guess, and even I wonder if that money would have been better spent elsewhere, but then it is about more than just the money.  It’s about the hope and belief that it brings to a country (and to all those taking part). It’s about bringing the whole country together, which after the earthquake disaster has got to be a good thing. (Which won’t be of any comfort to the families of the 20,000 people still missing). But who knows, it might give them something to focus on, to help them move on.  It might also educate the ROTW that the Chinese are not so different to the rest of us and it might actually bring us all that little bit closer.

“One World, One Dream”

We can only hope so.

Lewis Hamilton : Will He? Won’t He?

LewisHamilton_1_800

He qualified first at for the British Grand Prix, the first Englishman to do that for 11 years.

In the very last lap of qualifying (by all of the drivers), he drove superbly and beat Kimi Raikkonen by 0.102seconds.
(Raikkonen probably robbed himself of pole position by hitting the dirt in the very last bend).

Lewis probably gained half a second from the support of the local home crowd as evident by the massive roar that could be heard as he crossed the line at the end of Q3.

For someone so young to handle the immense media pressure is a testament to Lewis, his father (and family) and the support from McLaren.

I keep waiting for him to make a mistake and throw the car off the track, but the more pressure there is, the better he seems to perform.  8 podiums in 8 races is a dream start for a rookie in his first full season of F1 racing.

But as much as I want him to win this afternoon (1pm July 08th 2007), I have a sneaky feeling that in an effort to keep up with the apparently faster Ferrari’s of Raikkonen and Felipe Massa, today is the day when a podium finish will elude him. If it does happen, it will be interesting to see how he handles the disappointment in his home Grand Prix.  Only Lewis knows what he himself is capable of, and only he knows what his level of expectation is.  Of course he has to go out there each race believing he is 100% capable of winning or there would be no point.
Take Jenson Button who yesterday was alleged to have claimed he would quit F1 rather than be content with finishing 8th every race.  When you believe you have the ability to win, but don’t have the car to do it, things can be very difficult.

But the F1 following expect Lewis to win today, more so the British contingent.  The disappointment of not winning today, would be bad enough, not finishing on a podium would be unthinkable, and not finishing at all would be a total disaster. But is this how Lewis thinks, or is he really that level headed to know this is just his first season and that everything that has happened so far is a bonus.  Don’t forget, Lewis has been prepared for F1 racing for years, so he’s not where he is at the top of the F1 Driver standings for no reason. He is there because the guy has the skill and determination to succeed.

Of course I don’t want him to fail today, I’ll be there screaming out loud when he crosses the line in first. But at the same time, it would be a massive test of his character if he did fail today, and would let us know what he is really made of.  For him to finish in every race in a podium position in his first season would be something extraordinary.  

MP4-22_2_800

 

Images From: http://www.mclaren.com/interactive/wallpapers.php

Lewis Hamilton leading the F1 World Standings

Well ok, he is actually in a three-way tie with Alonso and Raikkonen, but still it’s news that has surprised the public, but not those in the F1 community.  Many knew he had the skill, but didn’t expect McLaren to have the car to go with it.

Lewis Hamilton | Bahrain F1 | Grand PrixBut he also made history today in Bahrain when he became the most successful new (rookie) driver in F1 history.

No doubt the bubble has to burst soon, but still, he shows a lot of promise for the future and deserves all the praise that will be afforded to him when he and the rest of his team arrive back after 7 weeks ‘on the road’.

 

A British driver leasing the World standings? Surely not…

Formula One

FIA

England Cricket Team win Commonwealth Bank Series

Flintoff hails comeback kings

England captain Andrew Flintoff toasted his team-mates after they crowned the Ashes tour with one-day success.

Flintoff’s men completed one of the most remarkable turnarounds in sporting history to shock world champions Australia 2-0 in the finals of the Commonwealth Bank Series.

England seemed destined to catch an early plane home when they lost twice in a week in Adelaide mid-way through the tournament but they somehow ripped up the form book to qualify for the best-of-three showdown.

From: http://www.ecb.co.uk/england/flintoff-hails-comeba…

I didn’t manage to wake up in time (3.45am on a Sunday morning… I think not…), but when I did wake up and switch the TV on, the score was 39-2 and I thought that sounded promising, just as the rain came down.  (Why couldn’t they play this at the MCG, no chance of rain there).
Every time we took a wicket it appeared that the Gods would be against us and the heavens would open, but unusually for the England team on this tour, they stood up to the plate and gave an extra effort to get the job done.

Ricky Ponting was full of praise for the England team having demoralized them in the Ashes tour he gave nothing but good words for the England team.

So the flight back in a few days won’t appear so long with the one piece of silverware in the hold.  It’s only a shame that despite the way England played, the actual Ashes trophy will also be coming back to.  If there was ever a time to let the holders keep the trophy, this was the tour to do so.  Australia confirmed their ranking of world number one.

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Can The England Cricket Team End Tour On A High?

Second one-day final, Sydney:
Australia v England

Match starts 0315 GMT

England celebrate a wicket in Friday's win

England beat Australia in Friday’s first final in Melbourne

England could end their Ashes tour in Sydney on Sunday by becoming the first side for 14 years to beat Australia in a home one-day final.

 

 

http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/cricket/england/63…

 At 3.15am on Sunday morning, Flintoff will lead out the England Cricket Team with a chance to gain back some credibility of what has been so far a disastrous tournament.
I’m still not sure how England managed to play their way into the finals.
Two fine consecutive innings from Paul Collingwood helped but will the rest of the team step up to the crease to make it 3 wins on the trot?

But for a poor performance by the Australians (a rare site after their previous performances), England could have been on their way home already.  But the innings played by Collingwood was probably the finest one day international innings for a long time.
McGrath was bowled out for a duck, dropped an important catch and didn’t take a single wicket. Not often you can say that about one of the worlds finest players.

Winning this one day international series won’t make up for losing the ashes, but as far as the players go, it will certainly make the long trip back home a damn site more enjoyable.