Tag Archives: coulthard

Sebastian Vettel and Michael Schumacher at Race of Champions

Vettel and Schumacher aiming for sixth German success at Race of Champions

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UPDATED:

14:36 GMT, 15 December 2012

Sebastian Vettel hopes to add the Race of Champions title to his Formula One drivers' championship trophy when he partners Michael Schumacher in Bangkok.

The German duo are chasing a sixth consecutive victory in the race but face tough competition from around the world.

David Coulthard teams up with touring car driver Andy Priaulx for Great Britain.

Flying the flat: Michael Schumacher and Sebastian Vettel at the Race of Champions opening ceremony

Flying the flat: Michael Schumacher and Sebastian Vettel at the Race of Champions opening ceremony

'We are always excited to come to the Race Of Champions as it’s always a highlight for us at the end of the year,' Schumacher said.

'We’re happy to be over here in Bangkok this time and we’re very much looking forward to showing what we can do down on the track later on.

'Clearly what Sebastian and I are here to do is to take our sixth ROC Nations Cup win. There is tough competition around us tonight so it will be a big challenge.'

Eyes on the prize: Schumacher and Vettel are going for a sixth successive win

Eyes on the prize: Schumacher and Vettel are going for a sixth successive win

Eyes on the prize: Schumacher and Vettel are going for a sixth successive win

Vettel, who won the Formula One title in the final race in Brazil said: 'What’s
special about the Race Of Champions is that it’s a good challenge with
the different cars and it’s a great opportunity to meet drivers from
different categories.

'I’ve been coming back with Michael
for a few years now and all the drivers enjoy this event. It’s very
relaxed – you can compete against each other and then grab a drink after
the race and have some fun.

'There are a tough set of competitors
around and it’s always hard to predict what will happen. We will work as
a team to try and win the ROC Nations Cup for Team Germany again.'

Bit steep that one: Schumacher retired from Formula One for a second time recently

Bit steep that one: Schumacher retired from Formula One for a second time recently

Brit special: David Coulthard (left) and Andy Priaulx have teamed up

Brit special: David Coulthard (left) and Andy Priaulx have teamed up

Edgar Davids swears live on TV

I'm f******* Edgar Davids! Barnet midfielder casually swears live on Sky… and who's going to argue with him

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UPDATED:

13:46 GMT, 11 November 2012

Edgar Davids upset Sky producers but delighted Twitter users with a slip of the tongue during Goals on Sunday.

'I'm f****** Edgar Davids,' declared Barnet's Dutch midfielder and joint-manager while appearing as a guest on the Sky Sports 1 football highlights show.

Scroll down for video

Who's going to argue Edgar Davids (left), next to Ian Wright, swore on live TV

Who's going to argue Edgar Davids (left), next to Ian Wright, swore on live TV

Oops: Ben Shephard and Chris Kamara looked surprised

Oops: Ben Shephard and Chris Kamara looked surprised

OTHER TV GAFFES

Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel leave David Coulthard red faced

Freddie Ljungberg swears on Match of the Day 2

And a classic…

In 1992 Paul Gascoigne was asked on Scandinavian TV if he had a message for Norway.

'Yes,' the enigmatic England player replied. 'F*** off Norway'.

Much mirth was had on the social network
at Davids' error – the midfielder has a legendary status in the game
and few would argue with anything he says.

'Edgar Davids, what a beast!' exclaimed one person, while another said he was 'one cool cat'.

Ben Shephard and Chris Kamara who host the programme both apologised for the bad language which came about when Davids was asked how he wound up at League Two Barnet.

Shephard said: 'You were training at a Sunday League side in Brixton… how did the opportunity to play for Barnet come about'

Davids explained: 'I was living in Barnet and a friend of mine played Sunday League also and they asked me to play a game.'

He
continued: 'I went there and I was OK and in the second half I was
sitting on the bench for five minutes… and you know what… I'm
fucking Edgar Davids!'

After
the apologies Davids explained how after that he had been called up by
the Barnet chairman and he paid the club a visit before deciding to
sign.

When Davids joined Barnet were rock bottom and although they still languish 23rd have only lost once in the last five games.

One cool cat: Davids' slip of the tongue was enjoyed by many

One cool cat: Davids' slip of the tongue was enjoyed by many

**Contains strong language**

Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel swear in Abu Dhabi on live TV, forcing BBC"s David Coulthard to apologise

Raikkonen and Vettel turn the air blue on live TV, forcing BBC's Coulthard to apologise

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UPDATED:

22:41 GMT, 4 November 2012

BBC pundit David Coulthard was left red-faced after Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel both swore on live television.

When Coulthard asked Raikkonen to describe his emotions after winning the first race of his comeback at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, the 2007 world champion said: ‘Not much really. Last time you guys was giving me s*** because I didn’t really smile enough.’

Vettel then caused further embarrassment during the post-race podium presentation saying: ‘It was obviously a chance to f*** it up and we didn’t do that,’ in reference to his third-placed finish after Red Bull’s qualifying blunder which left him stranded at the back of the grid.

Turning the air blue: Both Kimi Raikkonen (second left) and Sebastian Vettel (right) embarrassed David Coulthard (second right)

Naughty boys: Both Kimi Raikkonen (second left) and Sebastian Vettel (right) embarrassed – and drenched – David Coulthard (second right)

Coulthard, a 13-time race winner, then issued an apology for the bad language used.

Raikkonen, who became the first driver to win a race for Lotus since Ayrton Senna’s victory at the 1987 Detroit Grand Prix, has previous in swearing on live television.

Phil Duncan F1 blog

He infamously told Martin Brundle he was ‘having a s***’ after the television pundit asked why he’d missed a presentation by Pele ahead of the 2006 Brazilian Grand Prix.

Raikkonen nor Vettel can blame their poor use of language on the champagne usually dished out on a Formula One podium.

As in neighbouring Bahrain, the top three drivers in Abu Dhabi are given non-alcoholic rose water instead.

Abu Dhabi Grand Prix: Sebastian Vettel third as Kimi Raikkonen wins- report

Vettel storms to podium finish from back of grid as Raikkonen wins in Abu Dhabi

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UPDATED:

15:33 GMT, 4 November 2012

Kimi Raikkonen scored his first Formula One victory for more than three years by taking the chequered flag at the end of an astonishing, incident-packed Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

As a name in Formula One – bearing in mind the team has gone through various guises and owners in recent times – this was Lotus' first triumph since the 1987 USA East Grand Prix in Detroit.

Raikkonen, who inherited the lead after McLaren's Lewis Hamilton was forced to retire on lap 20 with an electrical failure on his McLaren, becomes the eighth different driver to win a race this year.

Balancing act: Kimi Raikkonen celebrates winning the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

Balancing act: Kimi Raikkonen celebrates winning the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

Three amigos: Raikkonen won from Fernando Alonso (left) and Sebastian Vettel (right)

Three amigos: Raikkonen won from Fernando Alonso (left) and Sebastian Vettel (right)

Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Result

1 Kimi Raikkonen
2 Fernando Alonso
3 Sebastian Vettel
4 Jenson Button
5 Pastor Maldonado
6 Kamui Kobayashi
7 Felipe Massa
8 Bruno Senna
9 Paul Di Resta
10 Daniel Ricciardo

Hot on Raikkonen's heels was Ferrari's
Fernando Alonso, who has only managed to cut the gap to title rival
Sebastian Vettel by three points to 10.

That was following a stunning drive from the pit lane to third by the 24-year-old German.

It was exhilarating stuff throughout the 55 laps, from the first corner, through two safety car sessions, to the end.

Messages to Raikkonen during the race were met with dismissive comments so typical of the Finn as at one stage he said: 'Don't worry, I know what I'm doing.'

Following his 19th career win, asked as to how he felt at triumphing in a race again, the 'Iceman' simply said: 'Not much really.'

Pressed for a response from David Coulthard, Raikkonen added: 'I'm very happy for the team. It's been a hard season, not an easy time, but hopefully this gives us more belief.

'I hope this can turn the tables and give us many more wins, if not this year then for next year.'

Main man: Vettel (right) came from the back of the grid to finish third

Main man: Vettel (right) came from the back of the grid to finish third

Second best: Alonso remains behind Vettel in the race for the drivers' title

Second best: Alonso remains behind Vettel in the race for the drivers' title

Team principal Eric Boullier said after last Sunday's Indian Grand Prix that he felt the elusive win for his team would have to wait until next year.

But seven days later Boullier was ecstatic as he said: 'Oh my God! Those last few laps were the longest of my life.

'This means a lot. It's the reward for everybody at Enstone after a tough three years. I am very happy for everybody at the factory.

'We missed out at the start of the season, which was frustrating, so I'm relieved for everybody.'

Alonso was content with second, despite the proximity of Vettel, and said: 'I'm very happy. We were not super competitive this weekend.

Driving through the pack: Sebastian Vettel started at the back of the grid

Driving through the pack: Sebastian Vettel started at the back of the grid

'We had to fight through the laps, then we had a good strategy that gave us a chance for the victory, but second was the maximum.'

Vettel, who swore twice during his questioning, was initially asked whether he believed he could be on the podium after starting from the pitlane.

With a smile, he replied: 'Yes, I did to be honest with you.

'After the first couple of laps the target was drifting. I had a messy start and damaged the front wing.

'During the first safety car there was a big mistake from Daniel (Ricciardo), but after that it was either full attack or nothing.

Clash: Force India's Nico Hulkenberg, Paul di Resta and Sauber's Sergio Perez touch wheels after the start of the race

Clash: Force India's Nico Hulkenberg, Paul di Resta and Sauber's Sergio Perez touch wheels after the start of the race

'The second safety car helped, then I had a nice fight with Jenson. It was a thrilling grand prix, up and down all the time.'

Asked about being so close to now winning his third world title, he said: 'There are still two races to go.

'We saw how things can change yesterday (when he was penalised for a fuel irregularity). There was a chance we could screw it up, but we didn't do that.'

Lap one was one to forget for Force India as Nico Hulkenberg was involved in a turn-one collision with Williams' Bruno Senna.

With a broken front-right suspension Hulkenberg was immediately ruled out of the race, whilst the incident also hurt team-mate Paul Di Resta as he punctured a tyre and dropped to the back of the field.

It also resulted in Mercedes' Nico Rosberg requiring a new front wing, whilst the Lotus of Romain Grosjean was also forced to pit.

Off track: Nico Hulkenberg crashes with Bruno Senna

Off track: Nico Hulkenberg crashes with Bruno Senna

All that swiftly elevated Vettel up three positions, but approaching the turn at the end of the longest straight in F1 on the first lap, he lost the right front-wing endplate after being clipped by Senna.

That proved significant, for although he was able to continue, during a safety car period when Rosberg hit and flew over the slowing HRT of Narain Karthikeyan on lap nine, he was involved in a minor incident.

Running behind Toro Rosso's Ricciardo, Vettel was forced to brake sharply to avoid contact with the Australian down the straight, hitting a polystyrene 'DRS' sign and further damaging the front wing.

The team then decided immediately to change the wing, as well as switching him on to a fresh set of soft tyres, asking him to stretch them to breaking point with a possible 42-lap run.

As Vettel cut his way through the field, others fell by the wayside, initially Hamilton on lap 20 as an electrical failure saw him grind to a halt.

It meant for the second time in four years at this track, and second time in five races this season, Hamilton was forced to retire whilst leading.

Smash: Nico Rosberg flies over Karthikeyan's car in a spectacular crash

Smash: Nico Rosberg flies over Karthikeyan's car in a spectacular crash

There was a consolation hug from team principal Martin Whitmarsh once Hamilton made his way back to the pit wall, but it will have been of little solace.

From a near-certain victory position, Hamilton then watched this crazy race continue to unfold, with the most of the action surrounding Red Bull's Mark Webber.

The Australian was involved in a turn 11 collision with Williams' Pastor Maldonado on lap 22, and then a few laps later with Felipe Massa in his Ferrari.

Despite the stewards investigating, with the four-man panel including British Racing Drivers' Club president Derek Warwick, they decided both were racing incidents that did not warrant penalty.

It was third time unlucky, however, for Webber on lap 39 as he was part of a four-way scrap for fifth involving Di Resta, Sauber's Sergio Perez, Grosjean and Webber.

Di Resta initially tussled with Perez, sending the Mexican off the track, but in returning, McLaren-bound Perez then collided with Grosjean who in turn struck Webber.

Off and running: Lewis Hamilton made an impressive start from pole position

Off and running: Lewis Hamilton made an impressive start from pole position

Following another swift investigation from the stewards they decided to hand Perez a 10-second stop-go penalty for causing a collision and forcing another driver off track.

All that had come one lap before Red Bull decided Vettel did require another set of tyres, but bringing him out in clean air in fourth as he had climbed as high as second.

The Perez-Grosjean-Webber smash brought the safety car out for a second time, further aiding Vettel's cause because with three laps remaining he finally squeezed past Button to claim third.

Ahead of him, Alonso managed to get within a second of Raikkonen, but never close enough to make a pass, so settling for second.

Behind the leading quartet were Maldonado, Sauber's Kamui Kobayashi, Massa, Senna, Di Resta and Ricciardo.

As for the constructors' championship, with Ferrari collecting 24 points and Red Bull 15 from this race, the gap is now 82, with only 86 available.

Can the truce between Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button survive for five races?

Can the fragile truce between Hamilton and Button at McLaren survive for five races

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UPDATED:

19:20 GMT, 12 October 2012

Having overcome the first threat to
team harmony since Lewis Hamilton announced he was joining Mercedes, a
fragile truce has been established at McLaren.

Jenson Button was exasperated by his team-mate’s ‘disrespect’ Twitter gaffe after last week’s Japanese
Grand Prix but with five races left before Hamilton leaves, there is
plenty of time for further problems to arise between the pair.

Determined: Jenson Button (left) wants to help McLaren win the constructors title

Determined: Jenson Button (left) wants to help McLaren win the constructors title

Their relationship has been in decline since Hamilton pulled a bold move on his team-mate in China last year, leaving Button with no option but to move aside or collide. He chose the former.

Four races later, on a wet track in Canada, Button closed the door on Hamilton as he tried to repeat the move, dumping him into the pit wall and out of the race.

Button won in Montreal against all the odds, proving he wasn’t prepared to be elbowed out of the way by Hamilton, on the track or off it.

Vrroom: Button says the constructors title is his big aim

Vrroom: Button says the constructors title is his big aim

Phil Duncan F1 blog

Having spent two years at Williams with
David Coulthard as a team-mate, Damon Hill knows all about the pressure
that comes with an all-British line-up in a British team, and admires
the way Button and Hamilton have held it together.

‘The idea that you are in the same team is a nice one and teams try to
give the impression their drivers are working together,’ said Hill. ‘But
your most significant rival is your team-mate, always.

‘Drivers have become more sophisticated in understanding PR. At
Williams, Nelson Piquet didn’t exactly love Nigel Mansell! In some ways
it was more honest but it also got quite ugly.

‘Drivers are better these days but you cannot pretend it is all sweetness and light between them.

‘There will always be tension. But as team-mates go, Lewis and Jenson
have behaved brilliantly. They have had mutual respect for each other.’

Chance: Lewis Hamilton (left) could still win the title

Chance: Lewis Hamilton (left) could still win the title

Time will tell whether that respect lasts until the end of the season.

There are not many genuine friendships within Formula One, although
Button and Force India driver Paul di Resta are an exception.

‘It is hard when you are competing,’ said Hill. ‘They avoid each other
because it makes life simpler. But there is camaraderie and a sense you
share something in common with the people that you race with.’

As they prepare for tomorrow’s South Korean Grand Prix, however, whether
Button has much left to say to Hamilton is another matter.

l Watch live coverage of the Korean Grand Prix on Sky Sports F1HD.

Raring to go: Hamilton practicing for the Korean Grand Prix

Raring to go: Hamilton practicing for the Korean Grand Prix

Jenson Button seeks patriotic Silverstone victory

Button brushes aside London GP hoopla to seek patriotic victory at Silverstone

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UPDATED:

21:32 GMT, 1 July 2012

After the virtual insanity of the London Grand Prix, attention has switched to the serious business of winning on British soil for real.

Jenson Button, along with McLaren teammate Lewis Hamilton, has spoken out on the benefit of having his commitments to his team's army of sponsors cut back in the run up to the most important race on the calendar for a British driver.

Vroom for improvement: Button wants to end his Silverstone hoodoo

Vroom for improvement: Button wants to end his Silverstone hoodoo

Phil Duncan F1 blog

But on Thursday night Button was doing his promotional bit for the Spanish bank that dreamed up the idea of a race around the capital's streets essentially as a way of drawing attention to the fact it is the title sponsor of the real race at Silverstone.

Never in the wildest dreams could they have predicted the PR stunt would be given such exposure thanks to Bernie Ecclestone's cute manoeuvre of jumping on the bandwagon just as a German banker was being sentenced to eight-and-half years for accepting bribes from the Formula One supremo.

Ecclestone didn't bother to turn up at Thursday's 'launch' of a CGI race around the capital which Button himself described as 'hypothetical'.

Interesting concept: Hamilton (left) and Button attend the launch of the London Grand Prix

Interesting concept: Hamilton (left) and Button attend the launch of the London Grand Prix

Since then, Button has spent a day in the simulator at McLaren's Woking headquarters before heading back to his Monaco home for a weekend of rest and relaxation ahead of the main event.

Having witnessed the euphoria drummed up by British wins at Silverstone like that of Nigel Mansell, Damon Hill, Johnny Herbert, David Coulthard and even his teammate Hamilton, Button is only too aware you do not need to have driven past Buckingham Palace to whip up an outpouring of national pride.

It is the black stuff and not the backdrop which really counts and there is no better feeling for a Formula One driver than knowing they have mastered a track steeped in true motor racing history such as Silverstone.

But just as the London Grand Prix PR team were eager to tap into the sense of national pride brought on mainly by the Diamond Jubilee and the Olympics this summer, so Button is desperate to be a part of the celebrations by ending his British Grand Prix hoodoo which has seen him fail even to make the podium in 12 previous attempts.

Home comfort: Lewis Hamilton after winning his first home Grand Prix at Silverstone

Home comfort: Lewis Hamilton after winning his first home Grand Prix at Silverstone

'It is a massive year for the UK with the Queen's Jubilee and the Olympics,' said Button.

'It will be a very special year to stand at the top of the podium as winner of the British Grand Prix.

'Although we race for a team, most drivers are very patriotic and they do want to succeed in their home grand prix for themselves but also for their fellow countrymen.

'I have imagined it many times, I am sure it feels very special because you see the fans excited and celebrating with you.'

Button was treated to a timely reminder of just how special that feeling is as Spaniard Fernando Alonso crossed the line first last time out at the European Grand Prix held in Valencia to claim a spectacular win.

After wiping away tears from his eyes, Alonso claimed his win was, 'Probably the best victory I have ever felt in terms of emotions. Nothing maybe compares to this one.'

Asked to recall the last time he cried after a race, Button, in reference to his poor recent run which has brought just six points from five grand prix, quipped: 'After the last few races I have had.'

Friends and rivals: Button (left) and Hamilton hoping for patriotic success in Diamond Jubilee year

Friends and rivals: Button (left) and Hamilton hoping for patriotic success in Diamond Jubilee year

But the 2009 world champion admitted should he, at long last, make the top step in the British Grand Prix he may just succumb like Alonso.

'If I win at Silverstone, I will get really emotional,' said Button.

'It will mean so much more. That was what it felt like after winning the world championship after so many years trying to get the right car and the right team. It meant so much. I'm not sure I will be blubbing like a girl, but I will be emotional.'

After so many seasons of disappointment on home turf Button, who will stay in his plush motorhome on a Silverstone campsite next weekend, has understandably not made any plans for a victory celebration.

'You don't book celebratory parties, like you don't take a black tie outfit to Monaco,' said Button in reference to the gala dinner with the principality's Prince for the winner in Monte Carlo.

'It would be all back to mine, we will just have to go wild in the paddock!'

It promises to be quite some shindig if he pulls it off.

After imagining what it would be like driving a Formula One car around London's streets, what Button wants more than anything else is to know what it feels like to win around Silverstone for real.

Bahrain Grand Prix: Sebastian Vettel becomes fourth winner in four races

Bahrain race zone: Vettel becomes fourth winner in four races

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UPDATED:

21:32 GMT, 22 April 2012

Sebastian Vettel's victory saw him become the fourth different winner in the four races so far.

The last time this happened was in 2003, when David Coulthard, Kimi Raikkonen, Giancarlo Fisichellav and Michael Schumacher topped the podium.

All smiles: Victorious Vettel celebrates the win in Bahrain

All smiles: Victorious Vettel celebrates the win in Bahrain

French cheer at last

After finishing third, Romain Grosjean became the first Frenchman to visit a Formula One podium since Jean Alesi was third at the 1998 Belgian Grand Prix.

Swiss-born Grosjean also led a grand prix for the first time in his career during yesterday's race.

Allez! Grosjean is the first Frenchman to podium since 1998

Allez! Grosjean is the first Frenchman to podium since 1998

Webber feels fourth

Mark Webber had a fourth consecutive fourth-placed finish. The Australian is third in the standings, only five points adrift of Red Bull team-mate Sebastian Vettel.

At this point last season, he was already 38 points behind the double world champion.

Team effort: Webber (bottom right) with the rest of the Red Bull crew

Team effort: Webber (bottom right) with the rest of the Red Bull crew

F1 is the real winner of BBC and Sky competition: Mark Webster

BBC and Sky competition means F1 and the fans are the real winner

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UPDATED:

22:00 GMT, 15 April 2012

Of all the sport that has passed through or remains in Auntie’s loving grasp, there would be very little argument that their coverage of Formula One has been a genuine triumph.

The sport has been exclusively live in the BBC’s safe pair of hands since 2009, but this season not only are they sharing with Sky, but the satellite rivals are providing coverage with the DRS full-on — a dedicated channel, with countless hours of live qualifying, affiliated shows, tons of additional viewing technology, an experienced, cherry-picked presenting team and, perhaps most importantly, advertising-free racing.

So come round three from China, and F1 has become a two-horse race, with Sky off to a flyer — coming on air half an hour before the BBC joined the season live for the first time — with their trio of Simon Lazenby, Martin Brundle and Johnny Herbert.

Sky high: Simon Lazenby leads the Sky TV coverage of F1

Sky high: Simon Lazenby leads the Sky TV coverage of F1

And although their 90-minute build-up was a perfectly well executed mixture of knowledge, access and special features — including a trip around Monaco on a luxury yacht and a lesson in Tai Chi — what happened from 7am on BBC1 felt like F1 coming home.

Jake Humphrey, Eddie Jordan and David Coulthard began their stint with a mini buddy movie in the garment district of Shanghai, and ended with all three wearing highly unsuitable new jackets in the pit lane.

Perhaps because we are more familiar with them, or simply because they have a better chemistry, the BBC boys certainly edge the race wraparound for me — even in spite of Jordan’s rather in-your-face claim that ‘what’s brilliant about (China) is they all watch BBC’. Their coverage feels just that more ‘boots on the ground’, more in amongst it than that of their Sky rivals.

Or perhaps all that extra time on air on race day proves that more can sometimes be less

Familiar face: Jake Humphrey was presenting the first live coverage of F1 for the BBC this season in China

Familiar face: Jake Humphrey was presenting the first live coverage of F1 for the BBC this season in China

Of all the pre-race build-up, the highlight had to be on the grid walk, as Sky’s new co-commentator Brundle — who still definitely owns this frenzied dash ’n’ chat piece of TV — walked back from grabbing a quick word with Kamui Kobayashi and offered a jaunty ‘hello mate’ to his former colleague Coulthard, coming the other way, as the two channels briefly touched wings.

Brundle was, of course, one of the talents grabbed from the BBC, and in his new role as the expert alongside ex-Radio 5 Live commentator David Croft, Sky nudges it when it comes to race time.

The pair of them have a vigour and sense of fun that the BBC’s Ben Edwards with Coulthard just cannot pass and with Sky also having the excellent Ted Kravitz (another recruit from BBC television) prowling the pit lane, they have the ideal team to bring the season home.

Everyone's a winner: BBC and Sky have both provided good coverage

Everyone's a winner: BBC and Sky have both provided good coverage

This was exemplified perfectly on lap 14 as Michael Schumacher’s race came to an end. ‘He’s parked up in Shanghai,’ exclaimed Croft, as Brundle responded: ‘I haven’t been so disappointed since Shrek 2.’

In general, I think it is fair to say that not only do both channels share coverage, but also many of the plaudits.

OK, you have to pay to play if you want the unadulterated Sky version, but that is 21st century television viewing for you.

But with the entire nation available to the BBC, let us not forget how important they are as a finely displayed shop window for the sport. You may now have two channels racing each other, but in the end, team F1 is the real winner.

Malaysian Grand Prix 2012: Guide to the race at the Sepang International Circuit

Malaysian Grand Prix: All you need to know about the race at the Sepang International Circuit

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UPDATED:

19:03 GMT, 21 March 2012

Jenson Button made it lucky 13 in Australia on Sunday with a win around Melbourne's Albert Park to set the ball rolling on the new Formula One season.

Race two follows immediately on Sunday, with the 14th running of the Malaysian Grand Prix at the Sepang International Circuit.

The track, on the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur, which is dominated by two long straights and the tight hairpin at turn 15, should offer a better representation of the field at this early stage.

Here, Sportsmail gives you the lowdown on the race.

CLICK HERE FOR YOUR GRAPHIC GUIDE TO THE SEPANG RACETRACK
Track view: Sepang International Circuit

Track view: Sepang International Circuit

Venue: Sepang International Circuit, Kuala Lumpur

Circuit length: 5.543km/3.444 miles

Laps: 56

Race distance: 310.408km/192.878miles

Lap record: 1min 34.223secs (Juan Pablo Montoya, 2004)

2011 winner: Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull)

2011 fastest lap: Mark Webber (Red Bull) 1min 40.571secs

2011 winning strategy: 3 stops (laps 12, 24, 40)

2011 total race pit stops: 59

Fastest 2011 pit stop: 3.4secs

2011 total 'normal' overtakes: 33

2011 total DRS overtakes: 18

Number of corners: 15 (5 left/10 right)

Tyre compounds to be used: Soft/medium

Bumpiness: Low

Overtaking chance: Into turn 15

Engine severity: Medium

Brake wear severity: Medium

Average lap speed: 220kph

Full throttle per lap: 48%

Gear changes per lap: 54 (race = 3024)

No of safety cars deployed since 2002: 0

Safe: The last ten Malaysian Grand Prix have not needed the safety car

Safe: The last ten Malaysian Grand Prix have not needed the safety car

Jenson Button's win in Australia was the 13th of his career, placing him equal 20th in F1's all-time list alongside Alberto Ascari and David Coulthard.

Lewis Hamilton's pole in Australia was the 20th of his career, placing him equal 11th in F1's all-time list alongside Fernando Alonso and Damon Hill.

With Hamilton and Button locking out the front row of the grid, that was the first time two British drivers had done so since the 1995 Australian GP courtesy of Damon Hill and David Coulthard.

With Hamilton's pole and Button's race win and fastest lap, it was the 50th time McLaren have achieved such a clean sweep over a race weekend.

Phil Duncan F1 blog

In starting 12th and 16th, it was the first time neither Ferrari had qualified in the top 10 since the race in Malaysia two years ago.

Sebastian Vettel's second place in Melbourne means he has now been on the podium in 22 of the last 25 races.

However, in qualifying sixth, it meant Vettel was off the front row of the grid for only the second time in those 25 races.

Five of the last eight races in Malaysia have been won from pole. The highest winning grid position was P7, in 2003.

The run from pole to the apex of turn one is 660 metres long, the second longest of the season after Barcelona.

The last 10 Malaysian Grands Prix have featured no official safety car deployments. The 2009 race is not considered as it officially ran to only 31 laps.

Kimi Raikkonen admits he misses racing as F1 return gets closer

I still have the hots for racing, says Raikkonen as F1 return gets closer

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UPDATED:

01:44 GMT, 14 March 2012

As rumours of a return to Formula One for Kimi Raikkonen began to gather pace, Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo was asked for his thoughts.

‘That he might be coming back makes me feel good,’ said Di Montezemolo.

‘There are some drivers, like him, with the flames of speed burning inside them.’

The Italian’s response was surprising given his less than complimentary comments regarding Raikkonen’s motivation as the negotiations to end his 30million-a-year deal with Ferrari a year early were being concluded in 2009.

Back where he feels comfortable: Kimi Raikkonen during testing for Lotus

Back where he feels comfortable: Kimi Raikkonen during testing for Lotus

The feeling was that Raikkonen had
fallen out of love with Formula One, that the PR duties – which he
referred to as ‘the bullshit' – and his aversion to the monotony of
paddock life had sapped his commitment to the extent he chose to go
rallying instead.

But the passion for wheel to wheel racing, rather than against the clock, was soon rekindled by a brief spell in NASCAR trucks.

‘When I did NASCAR I enjoyed the
racing and I decided I wanted to do more of it,’ he explained. ‘It’s
what I have missed – pure racing against people.’

And what of the outside commitments
he used to loathe ‘I like to race and that's why I came to F1. All the
rest is something that is part of F1 but it's not the main thing. It was
nice to be out for all of that time and probably you can take the
bullshit more again!’

Raikkonen’s times in testing suggest
Lotus, formerly Renault, may have pulled off a masterstroke by bringing
him back. But questions regarding his motivation continue to be posed.

David Coulthard admits to having had misgivings when speculation regarding a comeback by his former McLaren teammate emerged.

‘I thought “no chance”,’ said Coulthard. ‘He had retired from Formula One, looking a bit burnt out and disillusioned.

‘But I did an event with him last
year. We were driving lots of different vehicles and he was just so
enthusiastic about everything he was allowed to play in.

‘In the evening he drank water and
went off to bed, which is a very different Kimi to the one I knew. And
if you look at the way he has effortlessly come back to driving a
Formula One car then I think he will deliver.’

Comeback kid: Raikkonen says he missed racing

Comeback kid: Raikkonen says he missed racing

The reference to ‘drinking water’ applies to Raikkonen’s penchant for vodka and the playboy lifestyle.

Examples include when, in 2007,
instead of flying to Australia to prepare for the season opener, he
remained in Finland to participate in a snowmobile race – entering the
event under the false name ‘James Hunt’.

Two years previously, stories
appeared about him cavorting with a lap dancer in a Mayfair club before
disrobing himself, presumably to the displeasure of then boss, McLaren
team principal Ron Dennis, not to mention his wife, former Miss
Scandinavia Jenni Dahlman.

Lotus team principal Eric Boullier is
not expecting any such transgressions from Raikkonen, who at 32 appears
to have got his priorities right.

‘He is totally focussed on the
important points that he needs to deliver on,’ insisted Boullier. ‘That
is something that makes these drivers different. They don’t spend their
time on trying to make their environment better.

‘They just get to the point straight
away: “I need this to deliver, this we will fix it later”. As soon as
they are behind the wheel, if they get it, they deliver.’

Lotus would seem to be a better fit
for Raikkonen as the demands on his time will be less than at McLaren or
Ferrari. Boullier will also ensure the balance is stacked in favour of
driving and improving the car rather than off-track commitments.

Still, despite the fact Lotus are
showing signs of improvement, Raikkonen must acclimatise to battling
further down the order, just like seven-time world champion Michael
Schumacher has had to since coming out of retirement to join Mercedes.

Raikkonen appears ready for that.
‘Let's say we're eighth or something, we won't say “Oh we'll give up”.
We'll always try to improve and hopefully we'll be as high up as we can
be.’

And mental performance coach Andy
Barton, who has extensive experience working within motorsport, suggests
that love of competition is instrumental to Raikkonen’s comeback.

‘One of the great things about
Formula One is you have various races going on. You can compete at a
lower level but you still get that intensity and excitement of
competition,’ said Barton.

‘If you feel you can still race, and
if you have that capability of setting realistic yet challenging goals, a
fourth place can be like a win.’

Exploring the additional reasons for
Raikkonen’s decision to return, Barton added: ‘You start craving things,
a bit like a smoker bringing a cigarette to their mouth.

‘There is also the belief system. He
left at the top of his game and it is a case of now or never if he wants
to show these young upstarts how it is done.

‘Then there is the adrenalin rush.
How else is he going to get that buzz of having huge horsepower under
his foot The problem is there simply aren’t many things that can give
you that feeling.’

It is a feeling Raikkonen has decided
he cannot live without. The Iceman is back to prove the flames of speed
are still burning brightly.