Autosport is renowned for its Formula One coverage, some folks think that it follows this pinnacle to the exclusion of other branches of the sport. I suppose that the casual fans DO want to read about the expoits of Jenson and Lewis, plus it must be good for the bottom line. Certainly the company motto is "Follow The MONEY!" but if you want to know what is going on read it and the sister publication F1 Racing. So it was no surprise to see a display of current Grand Prix cars on their stand. It is not often that outsiders get a chance to get up close and personal with these extreme machines, so I thought why not?
What does this do? Lord alone knows but the cost of developing details such as this drove Honda out of Formula One.
I decided that the Brawn would be a good car to focus on as it was the class of the field for the first half of the season.
The detail and precision of this design is stunning, even if like me you have not a clue what it's all about.
The Brawn BGP001 will go down in history as a unique achievement and now their success has led to Mercedes Benz acquiring the company……………and once again we have the Silver Arrows.
Not a spare inch…………
In the long term the big loser from the Benz Brawn deal will turn out to be McLaren. Despite the fine words the focus of the German giant will be their own team, didn't take long to Schumacher back in the circus. Also the revenue stream from McLaren building up the specialist sportscars like the SLR and the 722 will also disappear.
However if 2009 proved one thing it is that you never should under estimate the men from Woking. The initial car was a dog and by sheer skill, hard work and bloody mindedness McLaren turned it into a winner. This in a period of a ban on testing and with the disruption caused by the "Lie Gate" affair. Few other teams could pull this off and it is an achievement worthy of salute.
One team that will be hoping to make the jump to Champions will be Red Bull. By common consent they had the best package by the end of the season. Mark Webber will now be fully fit and will push Sebastian Vettel all the way.
The business end…………………..
Williams had a frustrating year………………..
As did Ferrari, at least by their own lofty standards
On track Renault had problems, off track it was a nightmare……………….
One team that came of age in 2009 was Force India. Mercedes power and a tidy aero package meant a podium and points by the end of the season.
Of course there were a few veterans dotted around the Show, the classic lines of a Lotus 79.
More JPS memories……….Lotus 72
The car that started all the tobacco sponsorship era………….Lotus 49
Back to the future………………an ex-Fangio Maserati 250F, timeless and graceful.
Final feature from the NEC tomorrow.