Top Five Jordan Drivers

5 08 2010

Over the past few days I’ve been watching some old grands prix, which has made me nostalgic for one of the F1 teams of my youth; Jordan Grand Prix. Between 1991 and 2005 Eddie Jordan’s eponymous team weaved their own path through F1, debuting with the beautiful 191, introducing the nose art with Hissin’ Sid before following it up with the Buzzin’ Hornets and ending with the Bitten Heroes, finally shutting up shop due to skyrocketing costs. The team still lives on as Force India, but I’m going to look back at the halcyon days and pick my top five Jordan drivers.

1. Heinz-Harald Frentzen

After impressing in Group C sports cars at Sauber Mercedes (alongside a certain Michael Schumacher) he made his debut with Peter Sauber’s squad, he then ousted Damon Hill from Williams and performed… woefully. Only one win in the title winning FW19 just wasn’t good enough for Frank and Patrick, so he packed his bags and ended up at Jordan for 1999. Eddie brought out the best in him, a brace of wins and four other podiums made him an unlikely championship contender right up until his retirement from the lead of the European GP. He frankly embarrassed his teammate, 1996 World Champion (whose Williams seat he took in 1997) winning 54 points to Hill’s 7. 2000 was less stellar but he still picked up two podiums before he was acrimoniously fired on the eve of the 2001 German GP.

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Top Five: Films of 2009

29 12 2009

Here we are at the end of the year, and the decade, so a list of my favourite films of the year. I might do one for the decade later, it’ll require more thinking.

1. Moon

The feature directorial debut of Duncan Jones, aka Zowie Bowie. Visually stunning with the use of models over CGI (I have love for models), and using a spartan cast of ten actors, Jones creates a film with a nod to some sci-fi classics, such as, Solaris (original Soviet version), 2001, and Alien. Sam Rockwell is excellent (always is) as Sam, a man who has essentially lived alone on the moon for three years and whose mind is slowly turning in on itself.

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Top Five: Motorsport Liveries

19 08 2009

Traditional national racing colours had been de rigueur in motorsport from the 1900s to the 1960s. Cars were easily identified by nationality simply by colour: green for the UK; red for Italy; silver for Germany, etc. By signing a deal with Gold Leaf, Lotus brought sponsorship liveries to motorsport, so here are my top five.

1. JPS Lotus

Well, it’s a classic, and here it is on the ground-breaking, ground-force Lotus 79, being driven by the 1978 World Champion , Mario Andretti, at the Goodwood Festival of Speed.

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Top Five: Worst F1 Circuits

12 08 2009

After last week’s classic F1 circuits, we have the dregs, those that were/are just plain crap.

1. Dallas

Look at how exciting a track it is… yeah. Holding just one race; the 1984 Dallas Grand Prix, the track was uninspiring at best, but it had a bigger problem. Scheduled in the height of summer, the heat became a major issue, and the question was what would break first; the cars, drivers, or the track? The track did, with the surface breaking up after only a few laps of free practice. After qualifying and a 50-lap Can-Am support race on the Saturday. Sunday’s free practice was abandoned, and the race start was brought forward to 11am to avoid the worst of the heat, but the track was only repaired at 10.30. It didn’t help, the track temperature hit around 66º Celsius, and the track soon broke up again. There were only eight finishers in a field of 25, many spun off due to the track surface… I say finishers, but Nigel Mansell collapsed after having to push his Lotus over the line for sixth place. US build quality at its best.

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Top Five: F1 Pit Stop Failures

8 08 2009

This time it’s Mozza’s request, and he wants my top five pit stop cock ups, so here they are.

1. Eddie Irvine – 1999 European GP

Going into this race the title was on a knife-edge, with Mika Häkkinen and Eddie Irvine tied at the top of the table, with Heinz-Harald Frentzen and David Coulthard only 10 and 12 points behind respectively. With unpredictable weather common at the Nürburgring, nobody was surprised when it started raining. Häkkinen pitted for wet tyres, which turned out to be the wrong decision. Irvine, who qualified ninth was now in a position to take advantage and score some vital points, he chose correctly to pit for dry tyres, but his team-mate Mika Salo pitting unexpectedly with a broken front wing the lap before unsettled the Ferrari crew. Irvine lost 28 seconds as the team failed to have the right-rear tyre ready for him (2.10 and 6.20 in the video). Irvine finished just outside the points in seventh, and ultimately lost the title by just two points, making this failure number one (you finally won Eddie!).

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Top Five: Worst Eurovision Entries

7 08 2009

Last week we had the best, now we have the worst. However you will see no UK entries on this list, not because they don’t deserve to be on this list, simply because they deserve a list of their own, so that’ll appear next Friday. Now because I need to whittle it down to five, the song has to have appeared in the final, so Dustin the Turkey gets a reprieve, he’s lucky.

1. Les Humphries Singers – Sing Sang Song

Miraculously winning 12 points and coming 15th out of 18 in 1976, this German entry mainly consists of four ugly men and two women repeating the title for three minutes (skip 1min into the video for the start of the song). Every now and again there is a plea for global unity and how it can be achieved; by singing Sing Sang Song. I suppose that would work, we’d unite to hunt down Les Humphries Singers.

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Top Five: Classic F1 Circuits

5 08 2009

At the request of Chiz, we have the top five classic F1 circuits. To qualify a circuit has to have been used to host at least one Grand Prix in the Formula One Word Championship, so nothing before 1950. It also has to be no longer in use for F1, or have a different layout to its current one. So without further ado…

31. Montjuïc Park

Located around Montjuïc hill in Barcelona, the circuit held four Spanish GPs between 1969 and 1975 (alternating with Jarama in Madrid). The track compromised car set-up, with the first half of the anti-clockwise lap being slow and the latter half extremely fast. Ronnie Peterson’s 1973 lap record of 1:23.8 was set at an average speed of just over 100mph, which is staggering for a street circuit at the time. The track was dropped from the calender for safety reasons, before the 1975 race many drivers complained about the state of the track and reigning champion Emerson Fittipaldi pulled out. But the race went ahead, and on lap 26 Rolf Stommelen’s Hill crashed, leaving five people dead. Formula 1 never returned, but Fittipaldi did to drive a Lotus 72 for the circuit’s 75th anniversary celebrations in 2007 along with Marc Gene in a Ferrari 248.

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