• Formula 1,  History,  Statistics,  The Pantheon

    Lewis Hamilton vs Michael Schumacher: the battle for statistical superiority in Formula 1

    It’s Lewis Hamilton vs Michael Schumacher: increasingly in Formula 1 circles the topic of conversation turns to the poignant and extraordinary question, can Lewis Hamilton surpass all of Michael Schumacher’s Grand Prix racing records? It’s a poignant question because Schumacher’s state of health and well-being is still understandably tightly guarded and shrouded in mystery following the terrible head injuries he sustained in his skiing accident at the end of 2013. It’s an extraordinary one because a lot of the people asking it also witnessed the Schumacher juggernaut accumulating these fearsomely high numbers and genuinely never thought it would come up in their lifetime, let alone within a decade and a…

  • Racing drivers,  Formula 1,  Single seaters

    They comin’… 20 young drivers on the way to F1?

    Whither the babies of yesteryear? Well, they’re all racing drivers now, daddio and believe me, they comin’. Admittedly this is something of an exaggeration: not all young people are now racing drivers. I mean, someone has to pick up the slack and do the drug dealing and knife crime, but there is nevertheless some basis to my argument. A new generation of racing drivers, born in this century, are on the cusp of breaking through into Formula 1. It won’t be before time. Formula 1 motor racing has become beset with a certain stasis recently. For all the talk last season about the up-and-coming challenge from the newcomers Max Verstappen…

  • Racing drivers,  Formula 1,  W Series,  Women racing

    Ten of the best: women racing drivers

    The last woman to start a Formula 1 World Championship Grand Prix was Lella Lombardi of Italy, who drove the Surtees-Ford in the 1976 Austrian Grand Prix. As far as I’m concerned, that is a preposterously long time ago. Too long. I hadn’t been born yet, and I’m old. Too old. I was 12 the last time a woman driver even attempted to qualify for a Grand Prix: another Italian, Giovanna Amati, in the laughably uncompetitive Brabham in 1992. The time has come for a revolution on the Formula 1 grid. Today, here are my picks for the ten best women racing drivers competing in world motorsport today. Could one…

  • Formula 1,  History,  Racing drivers

    Brambilla & Maldonado: one’s enough

    Two high priests of destruction, Vittorio Brambilla and Pastor Maldonado’s names became shorthand for the kind of muscular approach to Grand Prix motor racing that both excites the imagination of the casual viewer and endears them endlessly to their fellow practicitioners. Both of them would stand on a Formula 1 podium one single time during their career: on each occasion it would be the top step. Vittorio Brambilla was born in the epicentre of Italian motor racing, Monza, on 11th November 1937. The Brambillas were a motor racing family: his elder brother Ernesto “Tino” Brambilla was a motorcycle racer who would also twice enter the Formula 1 Italian Grand Prix…