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Marussia's test driver, Maria de Villota, has been in an accident at a straight line test in Duxford. From the article and the audio eyewitness report, it sounds pretty serious. I think this was her first outing in the Marussia car for some testing after she'd done a bit of testing and promotional work for Renault/Lotus over the last two years or so. Thoughts with her, hopefully it's not too bad.

 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-cambridgeshire-18685789

 

It's that important it had to be posted in two threads, yeah?

 

Anyways, I've just been listening to some wonderful James Hunt commentary on Youtube. God, Jonathan Palmer was an absolutely fucking terrible replacement for him.

 

In retrospect they were a bit fucked, Palmer wasn't any good at all really but replacing James Hunt was a massive task. He was like the Jesse Ventura of F1 commentary. Stylish, cool as fuck, sided with the heels sometimes, an enormous character against Murray Monsoon. The Walker/Hunt races have some great commentary moments. Hunt wasn't a bad driver either, his statistics make him out to be a bit lucky in some peoples minds, but Hunt was grand.

 

One of my favourite pieces of Hunt commentary is at Monaco when Murray is talking about how Arnoux was struggling because "normally aspirated cars are a completely different car to turbo charged cars" to which James calls him out on that and calls it bullshit. There's a moment of brief silence and then Murray carries on as if nothing happened.

 

He was brilliant though. Great mind on how cars worked, he could see the finer details of a race unfolding and added that little bit of expertise to go alongside Walker's enthusiasm.

 

In this respect, we're quite lucky to have two pretty good commentary teams at the moment doing UK coverage. Ben Edwards is a solid lead commentator with years of experience across pretty much every form of motorsport and while DC is still getting to used to commentary, he's got plenty of knowledge and recent F1 experience. Then you've got David Croft who did a few years on radio before moving to TV this year who is doing a fine job of not having to describe every detail and letting the pictures do the talking sometimes and Martin Brundle, who I still think is one of the best commentators around.

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I was at Silverstone last weekend and had the best time ever! My mate won a pit walk for Thursday so we got to see into the garages and met Leclerc, Ericsson, Vettel, Jacques Villeneuve, Anthony David

Thought it was a great race today. One of the more entertaining in quite some time. There were lots of battles going on and I thought it was great. I feel sorry for both Haas drivers, obviously someth

Alonso tearing into the team for his piece of shit car over the radio is what kept me interested in F1 last season.  Long may he stay at McLaren and they keep putting sugar in his tank.

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One of my favourite pieces of Hunt commentary is at Monaco when Murray is talking about how Arnoux was struggling because "normally aspirated cars are a completely different car to turbo charged cars" to which James calls him out on that and calls it bullshit. There's a moment of brief silence and then Murray carries on as if nothing happened.

 

He was brilliant though. Great mind on how cars worked, he could see the finer details of a race unfolding and added that little bit of expertise to go alongside Walker's enthusiasm.

 

In this respect, we're quite lucky to have two pretty good commentary teams at the moment doing UK coverage. Ben Edwards is a solid lead commentator with years of experience across pretty much every form of motorsport and while DC is still getting to used to commentary, he's got plenty of knowledge and recent F1 experience. Then you've got David Croft who did a few years on radio before moving to TV this year who is doing a fine job of not having to describe every detail and letting the pictures do the talking sometimes and Martin Brundle, who I still think is one of the best commentators around.

 

 

He actually said "Bullshit'. Any chance of a link please?

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Yeah, it's on Youtube under "James Hunt swears during live BBC broadcast of 1989 Monaco Grand Prix " but my link wasn't working on here. Video does though, had a listen myself. Murray Walker was great; "...so, anyway."

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I'm in a grump at the moment because I'm meant to be at Silverstone this weekend but had to postpone because of the surgery (slow recovery). I won VIP camping in November but luckily they've been really understanding and have kept it for me for next year instead. I know it's going to be a washout anyway as they've put a red alert on all campsites due to the weather but I'm still jealous of everyone I know who's going.

 

Also, such bad news about Maria de Vilotta. Feel so bad for her and the team.

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Also, such bad news about Maria de Vilotta. Feel so bad for her and the team.

Hopefully she makes it through although her career is pretty much over now. I doubt she would have made it to F1 but it's still a horrible shame for her.

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The only reason she didn't cover for Glock at the last race was because she doesn't have her super license. I guess we'll never know if she'd have made it or not now :(

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At the last race, I was saying to some other F1 friends how it seems almost ridiculous that teams have test/third drivers who don't have an FIA Super Licence and can't step in to race at short notice if required. I understand why it happens, but teams should try to have at least one spare driver on the books who can step in. They apparently had D'Ambrosio's seat at the back of the garage from last year being carried around as a spare, so they could have easily gone to him. Even if Villota had been able to step in, with no prior experience of the car in racing situations, it would have been amazing if she'd managed to qualify the car with just an hour of Saturday practice to get up to speed.

 

None of that matters now though, it's a terrible freak incident that shouldn't really happen. All the best to Villota for a speedy recovery and no more long-term damage. I don't think she would have made it into a race seat but no one wants to hear of someone's career ending like this. She was set to do the Young Driver Test for Marussia this season to gain more experience and she most likely would have been able to rack up the required miles for a Super Licence.

 

I'm in a grump at the moment because I'm meant to be at Silverstone this weekend but had to postpone because of the surgery (slow recovery). I won VIP camping in November but luckily they've been really understanding and have kept it for me for next year instead. I know it's going to be a washout anyway as they've put a red alert on all campsites due to the weather but I'm still jealous of everyone I know who's going.

 

Best of luck with the recovery! Who knows, maybe I'll see you at Silverstone next year while you're enjoying the luxury of VIP camping. I suspect this race weekend might be best watched from the comfort (and mainly dryness) of the living room.

Edited by LariatTom
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It does seem pretty stupid to have a test/reserve driver who can't step up to the plate when required. There are so many talented drivers who'd willingly jump in and do have super licenses but instead the seat went to waste.

 

On a similar note, as much as I used to love Virgin Racing when they first started and they really did give me the most amazing opportunities and experiences I just think they're a joke now. They haven't had any improvements and are rubbish. They started off on a par with HRT but even they've improved compared to Marussia. So disappointed in them.

 

And thanks, it's going a lot slower than I expected. But I'll definitely be there next year! I've missed going to a race this year since they got rid of Turkey. Would love to do Austin though, might save for that one next year.

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It'll be interesting to see how/if they progress this weekend. I caught an article on Autosport a few days ago about John Booth saying that they're bringing their first major upgrade of the season, and the first major development using a windtunnel and the more conventional design approaches as opposed to the CFD they remained so committed to during the first two years. They've definitely lost ground to Caterham and HRT are on a par with them at most races these days.

 

To be honest, all three of the "new" teams are a bit of a joke. Everyone expected 2012 to be the year where they could challenge the established teams but Caterham are only now starting to pull their act together, getting Heikki into Q2 at Valencia on merit and having very solid race pace to fight against Toro Rosso for the majority of the time. If they can have a clean race on Sunday, they might have half a chance of stealing a point if the race is (as expected) affected by rain and we see a high attrition rate. HRT and Marussia are still in fight of their own for the last two rows of the grid.

 

I regret not being able to get to a race this year. I had to turn down a ticket to Silverstone since I was planning to have moved to Austria this week before that job fell through. The alternative job with Shell in September seems pretty good though (and they gave me some Ferrari merchandise without even knowing I'm an F1 fan when I flew over for an interview. Win!) and it'll give me the ability to check out at least one race next year. I've already decided I want to do Le Mans but I haven't thought much about which F1 race I'll go to aside from knowing I'll almost certainly be checking out a race in Europe.

 

That's a point actually, you've done a few races Monkee, where would you recommend in Europe? I've got one or two ideas for where I'd rather go but I'm going to do some heavy research and ask around.

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I've done Barcelona, Turkey, Monza and Spa (as well as Silverstone and Australia). I'd definitely recommend Monza and Spa because of the history of both circuits. Monza usually has the weather but, typically, when I was there it was the first time it rained since the 70s. It's still great to see the old banking and stuff though and I skipped Friday practice in favour of taking a trip to Maranello. I saw the Ferrari factory, the Ferrari Museum and Fiorano. Definitely recommended if you 're a Ferrari fan!

 

Spa was great too but it always rains so much. If you're going you should get a grandstand seat. I went GA because it was my 3rd race of the season and I couldn't afford a grandstand seat. The only reason I went was because I had a paddock pass for the Friday so GA seemed worth it. However, there are SO many people there you can't really see much of the track unless you get there as soon as the gates open in the morning. And you also have to make sure you get a spot that's not going to turn into a mudslide later. Seeing Eau Rouge did kinda make up for that a bit though.

 

I've been to the Nurburgring but it wasn't for a GP and it was the Nordschliefe rather than the modern circuit. I'd really like to go for the GP though. The only other circuits I'd like to go to if I had the chance are Singapore and Canada. They always go all out for the Canadian GP with street concerts and stuff. Always seems like such an event there compared to some other places where it seems to just pass the locals by.

Edited by Monkee
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Monza or Spa would be amazing, but I'll have to see when they are in relation to the end of my contract in Germany. If I can manage to squeeze them in before I come back home to start my final year at uni, then I'll definitely try it otherwise they'll have to wait a few years. I'd love to see the old banking and the history around Monza. Spa...well, Spa's amazing (even if it does rain). I'll be paying a visit to the Nurburgring at some point during my year, whether that's for the German GP next year or whether I just make an event like WSR or the 24 Hours of Nurburgring and I'd definitely love to take a ride around the Nordschleife. That's right at the top of my bucket list.

 

I guess it comes down to when I'm able to grab time off work and ease of travelling to/from a race so we'll have to wait and see in that respect. I've got (crazy) dreams and aspirations of trying to get a job in motorsport somehow, whether using my German or not since I've got some (albeit brief) experience of motorsport journalism/work. I'm using Will Buxton as a VERY high standard to try and match since he started off at Leeds and is doing pretty well for himself these days, but I can't see myself being that lucky.

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Go for it! A guy I know has been doing a Red Bull blog for ages and getting in with the team over the last 2 years via Twitter and stuff and now they've just hired him as web content editor for their website! Persevere and make contacts and you'll get there. I will warn you though, getting to know the sport from the back end does kill the passion a bit and you get to see the horrible side of things as well. Knowing more about the inner workings killed my passion a bit. It used to be a hobby to watch a race but it became too much and I wasn't enjoying it as much any more. It's hard to explain but last year was a bit of a chore for me which is why I'd not really planned on doing a race this year. My passion is coming back but not as much as it used to be. My ambition was to work in F1 somehow - marketing, design or PR - but I'm so glad I'm not there, it's too back-stabbing and political. I prefer to watch from the sidelines.

 

Don't let that put you off though, if that's what you want to do then go for it. If it's what you want then you'll get there :)

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At the last race, I was saying to some other F1 friends how it seems almost ridiculous that teams have test/third drivers who don't have an FIA Super Licence and can't step in to race at short notice if required. I understand why it happens, but teams should try to have at least one spare driver on the books who can step in. They apparently had D'Ambrosio's seat at the back of the garage from last year being carried around as a spare, so they could have easily gone to him. Even if Villota had been able to step in, with no prior experience of the car in racing situations, it would have been amazing if she'd managed to qualify the car with just an hour of Saturday practice to get up to speed.

 

None of that matters now though, it's a terrible freak incident that shouldn't really happen. All the best to Villota for a speedy recovery and no more long-term damage. I don't think she would have made it into a race seat but no one wants to hear of someone's career ending like this. She was set to do the Young Driver Test for Marussia this season to gain more experience and she most likely would have been able to rack up the required miles for a Super Licence.

 

With the greatest of respect to her, and with no malice intended, anybody who saw her race in Superleague Formula around '09 and '10 will know she had absolutely no right being anywhere near being a F1 car-testing or racing.

 

I know that seems overly harsh, and I have nothing against her-she always seems a really nice person in interviews and I do wish her all the best. It's a dreadful thing to happen.

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I won't disagree with you. Her single seater record is far from impressive, and I wouldn't be surprised if money played a role in her getting the role as test driver. Even outside of Superleague Formula and looking at other categories, it wasn't that great. But then you look at guys like Kobayashi in F1 at the moment who never really set the world alight in most of his career prior to F1 with the exception of winning the Formula Renault championships and he's a very good driver. I wouldn't say she could have done that, and I maintain that she never would have raced anyway since there are far more talented people who can pay for a drive if needed, but you never know.

 

Go for it! A guy I know has been doing a Red Bull blog for ages and getting in with the team over the last 2 years via Twitter and stuff and now they've just hired him as web content editor for their website! Persevere and make contacts and you'll get there. I will warn you though, getting to know the sport from the back end does kill the passion a bit and you get to see the horrible side of things as well. Knowing more about the inner workings killed my passion a bit. It used to be a hobby to watch a race but it became too much and I wasn't enjoying it as much any more. It's hard to explain but last year was a bit of a chore for me which is why I'd not really planned on doing a race this year. My passion is coming back but not as much as it used to be. My ambition was to work in F1 somehow - marketing, design or PR - but I'm so glad I'm not there, it's too back-stabbing and political. I prefer to watch from the sidelines.

 

Don't let that put you off though, if that's what you want to do then go for it. If it's what you want then you'll get there :)

 

Thanks for the advice! I'm putting some serious thought about start a secondary blog focusing solely on motorsport and writing stuff on there, see if I can get that out there, get some readership behind it, plug the crap out of it using social media and see if I can make something happen for myself. Like you, I might find I prefer watching races solely as a hobby and something to enjoy, but I've always enjoyed going deeper with it, wanting to know every last little bit of information possible. We'll see what happens I guess. :)

Edited by LariatTom
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