SOLDI, SOLDI, SOLDI!

Questo è un articolo di protesta. Protesta contro il denaro che sta rovinando ciò che dovrebbe rappresentare il fior fiore dell’automobilismo mondiale: la Formula Uno. Certo, considerando la visibilità di questo campionato, esso rimane il più ambito da ogni pilota e il più seguito dagli appassionati delle quattro ruote, ma simboleggia ancora il puro amore per la velocità e le corse?

In una dichiarazione di ieri 26 giugno 2013, Bernie Ecclestone ha dichiarato: “È possibile che l’Europa perda un paio di corse a favore dei mercati emergenti. Se dovessimo rinunciare a Monza, e dico se, perché nessuna decisione è stata ancora presa, sarebbe solo per motivi economici. Certo, la qualità del circuito e l’organizzazione potrebbero essere migliori, ma – ripeto – non è quello il punto cruciale”. Monza è uno dei pochi circuiti storici che ancora sopravvive in un calendario costellato da piste costruite in Paesi emergenti che, per avere visibilità in ambito internazionale, sono in grado di versare agevolmente grandi quantitativi di tasse (circa 30 milioni ogni anno) al Circus: questo danneggia inevitabilmente i circuiti tradizionali, che basano le proprie entrate solamente sui proventi dei biglietti ( si noti l’aumento di 20€ in quattro anni di un semplice biglietto “Prato” al circuito di Monza). Purtroppo i tifosi che accorrono ai GP sono in continua diminuzione in gran parte dei circuiti, come ad esempio a Spa Francorchamps, un altro immancabile appuntamento del Mondiale che, non riuscendo a versare le tasse annuali ad Ecclestone, sta pensando di alternare la propria corsa a quella di altri circuiti, come il Nurburgring. Ad oggi le tasse versate rappresentano la più lucrosa fonte di denaro di questo business, con circa 567.5 milioni di dollari, seguiti dai 470m di dollari provenienti dai diritti televisivi, dai 243 derivanti dalle pubblicità su pista, dai 153.5 per l’hospitality, 90 dagli sponsor e 62 da altre fonti. La maggior parte di questo denaro ritorna alle prime dieci squadre classificate in campionato *E* alla Ferrari, in quanto partecipante più longeva del campionato.

Le tasse hanno aumentato vertiginosamente le rendite dei team, che tra il 2001 e il 2010 sono passati dal ricevere circa $164.8m a $658m, grazie all’entrata di nuovi circuiti e, dato il tetto limite delle corse posto a 20 GP in seguito al Patto della Concordia, dalla sostituzione di quelli tradizionali con altri anonimi ma altamente redditizi.

Certo sarebbe utopico immaginare una Formula 1 completamente libera da questioni di budget, ma negli ultimi anni la questione è degenerata fino ad influenzare i gran premi stessi, dal momento che, sempre in numero maggiore, le squadre orientano la scelta dei propri piloti non tanto in base al talento, quanto agli sponsor che li accompagnano. Qui viene riportata una lista con alcuni piloti ed i rispettivi sponsor:
Fernando Alonso – Banca Santander;
Sergio Perez – Telmex, la più grande compagnia telefonica del Sud America, posseduta da Carlos Slim, l’uomo più ricco del mondo;
Romain Grosjean – Total S.A.;
Esteban Gutierrez – Telmex;
Pastor Maldonado – PDVSA (abbreviazione di Petróleos de Venezuela S.A.), la compagnia di benzina del Venezuela. Inoltre egli, come lo era stato Petrov da Putin, è supportato da Ugo Chavez;
Susie Wolff (test driver) – sposata con Toto Wolff, imprenditore che possiede il 16% degli shares delle squadre;
Max Chilton – Suo padre possiede la Carlin Motorsport, che compete in GP2;
Charles Pic – Sua madre gestisce la più grande ditta di trasporti della Total in Francia;
Giedo Van Der Garde – McGregor Fashion Group B.V., società tedesca di abbigliamento.

Se per i top team questi sponsor rappresentano una semplice agevolazione per i propri profitti, per i nuovi team (Marussia e Catherham) e quelli in crisi, come la Williams, essi sono di importanza vitale anche solo per l’introduzione di nuove componenti sulla monoposto: per questo motivo, avvantaggiando piloti paganti e che vantano parentele note (ricordiamo il caso di Piquet Junior), talenti che si distinguono anche vincendo campionati del calibro della GP2 vengono trascurati: questa pecca colpisce soprattutto i nostri italiani, come Mortara, Filippi e Valsecchi che, malgrado le eccellenti performance in GP2, non hanno -ancora, incrociando le dita per Davide- trovato un sedile in F1.

L’influenza eccessiva che sta avendo il denaro sulla Formula Uno si riflette anche sugli appassionati, che oltre a dover pagare prezzi esorbitanti per assistere dal vivo ad un GP, vengono ostacolati anche nella visione da casa degli stessi: dal momento che per la maggior parte delle TV nazionali è troppo costoso coprire un intero mondiale di F1, a causa dei costi proibitivi imposti da Ecclestone, che possiede la FOM, la struttura televisiva che copre le riprese del Mondiale, la loro trasmissione sta passando ad emittenti a pagamento, come Sky: parlando dei Paesi in cui questo sport è più seguito, se in Italia e Regno Unito rimangono ancora alcuni Gran Premi in chiaro, in Francia da quest’anno la totalità delle corse è trasmessa da Canal+, a pagamento.

Queste poche informazioni rappresentano senza dubbio la punta dell’iceberg di quanto il denaro influenzi la Formula Uno; a mio parere, i soldi stanno danneggiando questo sport privandolo della propria essenza: il disinteressato amore verso le corse, la velocità, la meccanica, il rombo dei motori mischiato all’odore di gomma e benzina alla domenica mattina in circuito, l’ansia alla vista dei semafori rossi e i mancati respiri durante i sorpassi. Non basterebbe questo a farne uno sport perfetto?

N.B: qui di seguito vengono riportati i link delle pagine da cui sono stati presi i dati dell’articolo:
http://www.babusinesslife.com/Ideas/Features/Formula-One-the-big-sell-off.html e http://www.babusinesslife.com/Ideas/Features/The-cost-of-hosting-a-Formula-1-Grand-Prix.html, articoli degli autori del libro “The business of F1”, Christian Sylt e Caroline Reid.
http://sacco89.tumblr.com/post/42200000031/pay-drivers-in-f1 per gli sponsor di alcuni piloti.
http://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/Formula_1_e_la_televisione per i dati sulle emittenti televisive in F1.

FIRST IMPRESSIONS OF 2013 SEASON

After a long season break, Formula 1 has finally started: Kimi Raikkonen triumphed in the Australian Gp, ahead of Fernando Alonso and Sebastian Vettel; I won’t be staying here explaining every lap of the race ( if you speak Italian you can see my review at www.motorsportrants.com ), I’ll focus on the impressions I’ve got today about the teams, the drivers and the Circus in general.

First of all, it was a real surprise to see Ferrari and Lotus being able to battle Red Bull: after winter tests I thought that the Milton Keynes team was going to beat everyone, and that was pretty much confirmed after Qualifying, seeing Vettel and Webber getting the first row. But Lotus showed a great speed and optimised the use of its tyres; add Kimi Raikkonen and the result will necessarily be successful. What I haven’t understood today is why Grosjean wasn’t as quick as team-mate, and finished the race at the edge of top ten, where another top team was relegated: McLaren. The result of today was very disappointing for the Woking team, especially because the didn’t have any particular problems; they were just slow. I hope they can fix their problem and join the battle soon, without switching back to the old car as they once supposed.

Ferrari was pleasantly fast too: thanks to a consistent team result – second and fourth place – they showed that they can battle for the championship too. But it’s too early to make predictions.

Lewis Hamilton can be quite happy with his Mercedes: it is not the fastest car but it is certantly in a better position that McLaren right now! His “ex-friend” Adrian Sutil, who skipped last year’s championship due to legal problems, after a row in a Chinese disco, where Lewis didn’t defend him from the police accuses (I’ll stop now with the gossip), started the season with a high, battling until the end of the race with the top racers.

A little bit further from the head of the race, Jules Bianchi got the 15th place for Marussia, beating his closest contender, Catherham, and the team-mate.

The biggest difference from last year, for me, has been having to watch the GP on  a streaming: RAI, the Italian national channel, will show live only nine races, with SKY F1 having the whole championship live. I must admit it was a bit uncomfortable, especially for the continue advertising and the difficulties to connect, but eventually I became a real expert, and watching the race in English was enjoyable and very useful. I also read on Twitter that the Italian Sky has disappointed some of the subscribers, due to the commentators’ cheering for a specific team (guess who?) and the lack of contents: they should listen to the criticism and try to improve the channel, as they have resources to do it.

Anyway, next Sunday I will be here again in front of my computer, trying to connect to the right link, to understand what the commentators say and sitting on my “comfortable” computer chair. Oh, what we do for you… Welcome back F1!

BRAZILIAN GP: A SUPERB END OF THE CHAMPIONSHIP

After an unforgettable season, with eight different winners during the year, fantastic Gran Prixes, controversies and excitement, one of the most entertaining championships came to an end and, as everyone knows, Sebastian Vettel won his third consecutive title after a terrific race, right from the start, when he spun and he had to recover from the back of the field. The rain, which was unexpected few hours before the start, mixed up the cards, with Fernado Alonso trying desperately to catch the first positions to take as many points as possible: the result, second, was excellent looking at Ferrari’s pace and the conditions, but it wasn’t enough to secure the title. Vettel drove brilliantly, even after being mistaken about the strategy and pitting once more than the other drivers. But also it seems unreal that he could finish the race with a broken exhaust, after the contact at the start.

It was an emotional podium: while Jenson Button won, thanks to the battle between Nico Hulkemberg and Lewis Hamilton, who had to retire after an incident with him, the Ferrari drivers completed the scenario: of course Fernando Alonso, who was so close to his third title, was disappointed, but it was an honorable defeat: he fought the whole year with a slow Ferrari, which couldn’t keep up with the innovations of the other teams, and drove in a stunning way getting the best result possible for each race. In the last ones of the year though, he needed Felipe Massa’s help; the Brazilian re-found his form and especially in the last GP he did a fantastic race, with a great pace and some superb overtakings: let’s hope he will mantain this attitude next year too!

Fernando would have deserved the title, a lot of people has already said it, such as Hamilton, who defined him as “a three/four times champion”; but Sebastian Vettel is totally worth this title too. Everyone would be wrong saying that it was just thanks to the car that he won, indeed especially in Abu Dhabi and in Brazil he showed everybody the skilled and talented driver that he is: he is much more mature now, as he can keep his cool, overtake perfectly and get the maximum result from a bad situation, like last Sunday.

F1 is a team sport: you have to have a good car, good mechanics and an excellent driver; the combinations of these factors is the key of winning. That’s why Vettel was the champion above the others. If we look at Hamilton, we can notice he was terribly unfortunate this season: there were a lot of problems at the pit stops and most of all, if McLaren was often the quickest car on track, it was also extremely unreliable, and failed right when he was in the lead. Without these problems, he would have fought for the championship for sure. The same is for Kimi Raikkonen, who completed every race with consistent points, but in the majority of the Gran Prixes wasn’t fast enough to battle for the victory; he did some of the best overtakings this year, and he will be in the title battle in the next one for sure, if Lotus can give him a proper car.

This season can be remembered with this sentence: “If you do something with your heart, you must be proud”. F1 is passion, hard work and perseverance. Every driver goes to his limit and dedicated mechanics work night and day over a car. Whatever the result is, it was done for the pure love of this sport.

MY PHOTOS OF MONZA 2012

 

A big thank you to Alice for her fantastic photos too.

MY EXPERIENCE AT MONZA GP 2012

Another unforgettable day at magical Monza, full of emotions and passion! It’s incredible how F1 can reunite so many passionate people – excluding the ones who booed Hamilton, but I’ll talk about that later – creating such a fantastic atmosphere!

The day started very early with an awesome visit in the pit lane: it was an extraordinary opportunity and I won’t hide that I was really excited walking where, later, the drivers and all the mechanics would have worked. It was really interesting to see the Marussia and the Lotus’ team doing practise pit stops and other teams, like Red Bull, working on the car. I got to see some Italian journalists and I also managed to hold Kimi Raikkonen’s steering wheel! It is spectacular to finally see in person what you have been watching on the TV for years.

      

After the pit walk we went to the end of Parabolica, where we watched all the races, starting with GP2: while the day before Filippi triumphed making the Italian fans sing the anthem, on Sunday Davide Valsecchi won, increasing his championship lead from Razia. So once again we sang “Fratelli d’Italia”. Later it was the turn of Porche Cup, and right in front of us we saw a dangerous off track.

I must say that waiting for the GP wasn’t boring at all: there were many lively Tifosi among us that entertained everybody the whole time singing and shouting. Furthermore, we got to meet some Twitter friends and it was very nice to know them in person!

But finally it was race time: when the red lights disappeared, Felipe Massa managed to overtake Button, and he was close to pass Hamilton too. But every lap he was losing tenths from the lead and Button re-overtook him. In the meantime, Fernando Alonso gained many positions, and it was very exciting to see, as he battled with Raikkonen, Schumacher and, most of all, with Sebastian Vettel. He was faster than the German, but tried to overtake him at Curva Grande, where two cars can’t stand next to each other. And when Fernando managed to catch him again and overtake him, Vettel was given a a drive-through penalty anyway, which, in my opinion, wasn’t right, as when it happened in 2011 to the Spaniard, there was none.

The first twist was Button’s retire, who was brilliantly running in second; then the alternator abandoned Vettel’s car again after Valencia GP and even the other Red Bull, Webber’s one, had to retire in the last laps after a spun. While Lewis Hamilton was easily leading the race, Perez managed to catch the two Ferraris, which were second and third, and overtook both of them.

Five laps from the end, anyway, me and my family had to go to the exits: it was time for the podium! When the gates opened, we tried our best to run until the podium and, when we arrived, the prize giving wasn’t started yet. There’s an important point I want to discuss: Hamilton being booed. It was horrible and disgusting to hear all the “boo” for him! I know he’s a strong adversary for Ferrari, but the fact is, many people in Italy believe, I think, that if someone supports a driver, then he must hate the adversary. This is terribly wrong! Everyone should be a F1 fan first, and then support the driver or team he thinks it’s the best. Everyone deserves respect for his passion and work, no matter who it is.

              

Talking about the celebrations on the podium, it was so spectacular! Obviously Fernando Alonso stole big part of the attention, being supported by the majority of the fans. I loved the interview by Niki Lauda: suddenly, when the Spaniard was talking, the sea of Tifosi was so quiet, but then, when he started speaking in Italian and saying supportive words, he was overwhelmed by the happy screams of the people.

Unfortunately, this fantastic day came to an end. It made me so happy and I hope you’ll feel my joy riding through this article. I will upload the best pics of this GP in a few days, so stay tuned!

THE SPEED SISTERS

We have already talked about women in motosport, with a great interview featuring Alice Powell, and now it’s time for three Palestinese girls: Betty Saadeh, Noor Daoud and Maysun Jayyusi. Thanks to their talent, passion and, we can’t forget to mention these, sponsors and exposure, whom lately has been given from meeting their president Abu Mazen, these female drivers are reaching amazing results, and finally they entered the Formula 3 championship in Israel and got impressive results, with Noor even winning a race.

This story is very special for many reasons: first of all, racing in motorsport has never been easy for women. Getting exposure from a “men’s land” is very difficult and you are often under the attention of everyone, which gives you a lot of pressure. This become so much evident in a Muslim country, where women are supposed to respect a specific stereotype in the society.

Second of all, the creation of a Palestinian team represent a big step forward to gain the indipendence. Palestine, indeed, is still not recognized as a State from many countries, and sport is again the chance improve their condition.

The adventure of these girls started many years ago, when they began entering some minor races and rallys. Thanks to the positive results, they slowly became famous, even because some of Betty’s family members were motorsport drivers. They got to be sponsored by some oil companies and now they are even being made a film which will be out in 2013.

This video is from a while ago, but it’s very interesting and also has interviews with these amazing racers (the content belongs to the respective producer, I just wanted to share it):

 

AN ITALIAN ABROAD: DIFFERENT POINTS OF VIEW

As you’ve seen, the blog hasn’t been updated for long: indeed, I’ve been staying in Ireland for more than three weeks. I won’t talk about the Irish weather, the beautiful places I’m visiting and the nice people I’m meeting: I prefer dedicating this article to the different points of views of F1 I found out here.

First of all, the support: as there aren’t any Irish drivers in F1, the cheering is various, people support Ferrari, others Hamilton, Vettel, Schumacher, etc. The only real F1 passionate I got to know supported Schumacher, liked Alonso and couldn’t stand Hamilton and Button. So I let you imagine how we got on well when we were watching the Silverstone GP together: as soon as Alonso was overtaken I was repressing my anger into myself for my shyness, while he was screaming at the TV (I think he felt sorry for me).

Another big difference is the media: if in Italy the majority of it is pro-Ferrari, here it’s the same, but instead of the Scuderia there is McLaren: after Valencia, for example, I bought a motorsport newspaper and the front page was almost entirely occupied by a Lewis Hamilton (side by side with Maldonado) picture. Just a little picture at the end of the page was dedicated to Fernando Alonso’s victory. Talking about the commentators during the race, in Italy we blame Mazzoni&co. because they only talk about Ferrari and always defend it, but I discovered that here it’s the same. I’ve watched the GP on SkyF1, and I would say – my bad if I’m wrong, it’s the impression I got – they cheer the British drivers in a open way. But if the Italian commentators use their support to criticise the Ferrari fighters – sometimes, quietly and indirectly anyway – the ones I heard here recognize the others’ merits as it’s right to do.

I can’t really talk about the coverage of the races, as I followed the GP on Sky, where they have an entire channel about F1: from next year Italy – well, the Italians who can afford Sky – will have it too, so I can’t judge the job of a pay TV against a free one, it’s obvious that the first has more coverage, contents, interviews and anything that can entertain a fan. One thing I really admired, however, was the fact that a camera followed almost everywhere the drivers after their run: it was so interesting! Plus when, during the race, there’s a team radio, everyone’s silent (I know it doesn’t seem important, but believe me, it is!).

I’m staying in a little town here in Ireland; however, just the first day I arrived, I saw a sign which was advertising a pub showing the Silverstone GP: I’m sure this happens somewhere in Italy too, but not where I live obviously! I think it’s a fantastic way to enjoy racing, all together, in a passionate atmosphere, there should be a lot of these meetings!

Finally, the non-F1 fans: I think they’re all the same all over the world! “F1 races are so boring, they only drive in circles…”

MALDONADO WINS FOR WILLIAMS IN SPAIN GP

Who could ever imagine what today happened: Maldonado making Venezuela and his team, Williams, which had suffered a lot last year, happy and extremely proud; a Ferrari battling for the victory and the other top teams behind, struggling with the tyres and slower than other mid-field teams. Lotus could’ve won pretty easily this race, but adopted a wrong strategy which relegated Raikkonen to third and Grosjean to fourth. A good fifth place for Kobayashi, and, most of all, a great “remuntada” for Lewis Hamilton, who arrived eight in front of his teammate Button.

A bad race for the two Red Bulls: both cars had changed the front wing, as Horner says, for “debris on the track”; Vettel got a drive-through penalty because he ignored yellow flags and he arrived sixth; Webber instead didn’t get any points by closing the race in 11th. The other Ferrari driver, Massa, got the chequered flag in 15th position; he has never had the pace and suffered a penalty for the same reason as Vettel.

At the start Fernando Alonso overtook Pastor and led the race until the second pit-stop, when Maldonado pitted few laps before him and did some amazing laps. Neither a relatively slow pit-stop stopped him, even if in the last laps Fernando was very close to him and tried to attack him. That was the first win for a Williams since 2004, and everything was perfect this day except for an explosion on Bruno Senna’s KERS after the race; the Brazilian retired because of a contact with Schumacher, who accused a DNF too and will have a 5-grid penalty in Montecarlo.

Here’s the press realise from Williams and the video:

“After today’s Spanish Grand Prix a fire occurred in the team’s garage which originated from the fuel area. Four team personnel were injured in the incident and subsequently taken to the medical centre. Three are now receiving treatment at local hospitals for their injuries, while the fourth has been released.

The team will monitor their condition and ensure they rec…eive the best possible care. The team, the fire services and the police are working together to determine the root cause of the fire and an update statement will be released in due course.

The Williams F1 Team would like to thank all of the teams and the FIA for their support in today’s incident.”

 

VINCENT MCKENNA: A FUTURE F1 ENGINEER!

Vincent McKenna is an 19 years old student from Ireland I’ve known thanks to Twitter: we immediately got on well and I asked him -as we have both the dream to work in F1- if I could have an exclusive interview with him when he would have become an engineer: I didn’t think that moment would have been so close! Vincent, indeed, is studying enginnering at university getting stunning results, and, for the next year, he’s supposed to work for a society to apply his studies. He asked for a placement to many F1 teams, and Red Bull Racing accepted him!

I’m sure that Vincent will reach his target to work in F1, because he’s a very passionate man and he’s giving the maximum to make his dream come true. He totally deserves the chance RBR is giving him. So, F1 fans, be ready to see him often in the paddock in the next years!

Here’s the interview:

1)      How did you get into F1 and engineering?

My passion for Formula 1 started when I was very young! I think it was a combination of the speed, the bravery of the drivers and the exciting wheel to wheel racing that really attracted me to the sport.  But most of all it was the cars and the cutting edge design and technology behind them. For me the cars are the real stars of Formula 1!

My first clear memory of a race was the 1999 French Grand when I was just seven years old. I remember this race in particular for two reasons; the pouring rain and the bright yellow Jordan of Heinz-Harald Frentzen winning! The following race will also live long in my memory. It was the British Grand Prix, a race that is infamous for Michael Schumacher’s terrible crash and subsequent broken leg. From then on I haven’t missed a single race.

Whilst watching Formula One I was always just as interested, or possibly even more interested in the technology in the cars as I was in the racing. Since it is primarily engineers who design, build and maintain the cars, becoming interested in engineering was a logical step for me. I was also fascinated by other forms of transport, especially space exploration! This too furthered my interest in engineering and is probably the reason why I am currently studying Mechanical Engineering at university.

2)      When and why did you decide to become an F1 engineer?

I really wanted to become a F1 engineer from about ten years old, and has been my dream job ever since! During art class at school I would invariably sketch Formula 1 cars, either the ones I watched on TV every fortnight, or more often my own designs. I enjoyed drawing and designing my own fantasy F1 cars so much that I always hoped that I would be lucky enough to be able to design a real racing car one day. From that point onwards I decided to do all I could to make my dream a reality.

3)      What do you love and hate most of studying this hard subject?

The part I enjoy most about engineering is designing as it gives me an opportunity to be creative. I also really like solving problems; it’s always a great joy or relief when you get a solution to a difficult problem! I don’t think there is anything I hate anything about engineering, however doing tests at the end of each semester is definitely not my favourite thing!

4)      Have you ever been to a Grand Prix?

Unfortunately I haven’t! However it is something I am trying to change as soon as possible. Hopefully I’ll get to a Grand Prix either this year or next!

5)      Can you tell us more of what you will be doing in few months?

I’ll be working in the Vehicle Design Department of Red Bull Racing as part of a yearlong work placement. The placement will involve designing and draughting vehicle components or garage equipment for either R&D, laboratory testing, or circuit use. This will allow me to gain experience in specialist areas such as fault diagnosis, stress analysis and computer aided design (cad). Furthermore I will most likely be required to prepare technical reports to present to senior engineers in the team. At this point I am not completely certain as to what part of the car I will be involved with, however I am thoroughly looking forward to getting started on whatever work they require me to do!

 6)      For the aspiring engineers out there, how did you get this opportunity? Can you describe your emotions when you got the confirmation you succeeded?

Each year Red Bull advertises a number of student work placements on their website. To be considered for a position we were first asked to send Red Bull a copy of our CV and a covering letter. I spent many long nights making sure my CV was laid out as well as it could and that I had included everything that I had done that was relevant to the job and would help me get a placement.

Shortly before Christmas I was then contacted by the team to inform me that I had been chosen to be interviewed. My interview then happened in January at Red Bull’s factory in Milton Keynes. It was an amazing experience just to be in the factory where the current World Champions made their cars! Thankfully my interview went well and I was fortunate enough to be offered a placement. When I was told the news I was absolutely delighted, but it wasn’t until a week or so later that it really sunk in. I still can’t quite believe that my dream to work in Formula One has almost come true!

7)      After this experience, what are your dreams for your life?

My dreams for life are to firstly have an exciting and rewarding year at Red Bull, and to learn as much as I can about what is required to work in Formula One full-time. I feel I have been very fortunate to have been offered such an opportunity and I intend to get as much out of it as I possibly can!

Once the year is over I wish to complete my course at university with the best mark I can possibly achieve before attempting to secure a graduate position as a junior engineer at an F1 team. It would be a dream comes true for me to get to this stage!

Outside of work and study I would love to have an opportunity to travel around the world and visit as many beautiful places as I can! It is a crazy ambition of mine to visit all Seven Wonders of the World, especially Machu Picchu in Peru, or the statue of Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro.

You can find Vincent on Twitter at @VincentMcKenna.

BAHRAIN GP FACTS

Last Sunday’s Bahrain GP will be remembered as the “GP of protests”: indeed, even though Bahrains are fighting for freedom trying to depose the king, Bernie Ecclestone decided to bring the Circus there, causing concern all over the world. The fans were divided: who watched the race, who boycotted it, saying it was ridicolous to challenge thinking about money and not about people. The death of one person made the situation worse, with the Bahraini newspaper which hid the episode covering the first pages with F1 articles.

The condition of the country reflected on the circuit’s grandstands, that were empty. Money business (around 40 millions), again, won on the civil rights. Even the interviewed drivers tried to avoid political questions, saying they are drivers and racing is their work. So, now, let’s analise Bahrain GP.

VETTEL WINS. Finally the grey moment of the German driver has come to an end. Here you are the usual Seb, who converts “easily” a Pole to a victory and brings back his pointy finger to the podium. Thanks to his win, the driver standings are very tight and the championship battle seems exciting and unpredictable.

LOTUS HAPPINESS. Kimi Raikkonen and Romain Grosjean scored 2nd and 3rd with their car, which showed a stunning traction and let them gaining positions; the Finnish also got to challenge Vettel for few laps, but was forced to content for the second best place. He said after the race he was disappointed, in contrast with Grosjean, who obtained his first podium in F1 and showed the fans his beautiful smile for the whole ceremony and press conference.

ALONSO AND MASSA IN THE POINTS. The two Ferraris keep their bad form with a slow car, which is easily overtaken by the other top teams. Fernando Alonso got to arrive seventh after a doubtful episode with Rosberg, who pushed and Hamilton and then Alonso out of the track to defende himself from the two other drivers’ attacks. The episodes haven’t been judged with a penalty by the stewards, with Alonso who heavily criticised this decision. Felipe Massa instead had a quite good race, arriving ninth after some overtakings.

MCLAREN PIT-STOPS. Lewis Hamilton had his race ruined due to persistent pit stop problems, that costed him seconds over seconds. Even Jenson Button had bad luck, as he first had to pit on the 53th lap because of a puncture and then had to retire in the last laps with a sick-sounding car.

Also important to note are Paul di Resta, who drove beautifully arriving third, with Fernando challenging him in the last lap; and Michael Schumacher, who moved up to 11th after a disastrous qualifying.