An overtake, controversy and a punishment – Schumacher’s back!

May 16, 2010

People have been complaining for the past few weeks that Michael Schumacher’s return to Formula 1 has been disappointing and that the seven-times world champion has lost his way.

Now although he hasn’t been up to his championship winning standard lately, I’ve completely disagreed with these views. I think he’s put in solid performances, with a car that’s not fully up to scratch and a body that’s not a physically fit as it was.

But today I think we can all agree that Michael Schumacher has indeed returned. I’ve never known a driver to be as wiley as Schumi, nor cause as much controversy with the rules. Today he did both those things.

The last three laps of the 2010 Monaco Grand Prix were held under the safety car. All except the last corner. That’s right, for reason’s known only to Charlie Whiteing, the safety car peeled off at this point and the track was supposedly clear. Schumacher took advantage and sneakily got his car in front of Fernando Alonso, taking the Spaniard’s position.

Now I saw this as a very smart move and saw nothing wrong with it. Michael waited until after the safety car line, from which you SHOULD be able to overtake.

However, it seems in a little known rule, this isn’t allowed of it’s the end of the race, don’t ask me why because I don’t really understand. I also don’t understand why the marshalls were waving green flags at this point if it wasn’t supposed to be clear racing. But apparently it wasn’t and Schumacher was docked 20 seconds, knocking him (in my opinion unfairly) out of the points.

As far as I can tell the fans were the only people robbed today. We see an extremely clever opportunistic move by a driver and as a reward they get docked positions. The rules are poorly written, poorly interpreted and it seems even the on-track marshalls weren’t sure of the situation. And it’s not the first time the FIA have penalised for an overtaking move, I remember a few years ago JP Montoya and later Lewis Hamilton often got penalised for their creative moves. It’s as if they don’t want overtaking in their sport.

It’s a complete disgrace and something I thought the FIA had moved past.

OK, so some people will think I’m over-reacting, but for me this incident sums up everything wrong with F1. There’s too many vague rules, too many poor controversial situations and (I say this as a Ferrari fan) too much Ferrari bias… maybe they should’ve formed that break-away series…

But as I said at the start of this article, we saw a creative move, some stupid controversy and a penalty (that’ll probably be appealed against) at the end of it… yep, Schumi’s back!

… oh and by the way, congrats to mark Webber on an impeccable drive!

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What’s wrong with Who?

May 11, 2010

Something’s been confusing me about this new series of Doctor Who. Every week (excepting the Daleks which was quite disappointing) I have loved the story and would personally say the show is at the best it’s been in a long time. Yet countless people seem to disagree with me. I’ve seen so many comments asking for Russell T. Davies and David Tennant to come back, but why? What do people have against the new series?

Change could be a big factor. It’s always said that change is good, but initially people seem to hate it. Just look at Facebook, it’s constantly changing it’s homepage, but we all get used to it in time. But that hasn’t happened here.

The BBC took a HUGE risk by completely revamping the show, changing the showrunner, reworking the titles and logo and introducing a whole new Doctor. Personally I think this has really worked, the new titles give the show a mysterious edge, Stephen Moffatt has brought the show a whole new, fairytale style and Matt Smith has fallen right into this.

But I suppose I can see why some would not like this. For 5 years we’ve been used to Russell’s style of storytelling, which is much more about the adventure, the action and the monsters, whereas Stephen sticks to the mystery, the drama and the storyline. It’s quite a change and one which I think has really benefitted the show, but many disagree and have found episodes ‘boring’.

And this brings me on to probably the biggest problem that people have with the new series. The storylines require them to think. There’s no doubt that this new series of Who is much more intelligent than it’s predecessor. The story’s a fragmented and have more complex enemies like the weeping angels and this weeks ‘fish-vampires’! These stories require you to become invested in the story, something I love, but something others don’t so much. The days of dipping in and out of Who seem to be over.

There’s also the underlying story of the ‘cracks in time’ which are appearing everywhere. I once again love this idea, but it does involve you understanding everything and keeping with the series week-on-week. I suppose this has made the show more appealing to fans who want to follow a series, but that’s who I am. I’ve always enjoyed following a drama every week and Doctor Who has now become this must-see fairytale-esque, intelligent drama that I simply love.

Some people have said they don’t like Matt Smith. This I simply don’t understand. From the moment he stepped through the image of David Tennant and announced “I’m the doctor” in ‘The Eleventh Hour’, I think he has been fantastic. He plays the role better than either Ecclestone or Tennant. He has the wackiness off to a tee, but has also shown that he can pull off the serious and angry doctor amazingly as well.

Simply don’t insult Smith’s performance, because to me it’s been truly amazing and has gripped me to this show week-on-week.

Whatever happens in life we all have different opinions which is fantastic, it makes the world go round and makes my blog possible. But I simply can’t understand why some people (and they do seem to be in the minority) hate this new series. It’s given us everything already and we’re not even half way through. I’m even enjoying it as much as Lost (and that’s massive for me).

Congratulations to all involved, because it truly is a masterpiece!


LibCon or LibLab?

May 11, 2010

Today could be the day… but don’t hold your breath!

We’re 5 days since the election yet still we don’t have a new PM, but could it be today? Nick Clegg said this morning that he was keen to make a deal today, but who with? After all, both the Conservatives and Labour are giving him what he wants now… a referendum on electoral reform.

Earlier today I was invited to my local, The Graduate in Stoke where BBC Midlands Today wanted to know what we think. I was interested to hear my fellow students views.

The majority there seemed to think LibCon was the way to go and I’m inclined to agree. The Conservatives did after all get the most seats and the most votes, that only seems fair that they get to be in government. However there are so many policy differences between the two parties. Labour and LibDems are much closer together.

But what most people were annoyed with, was the fact that 5 days on, we still have no clear winner. Students at The Graduate earlier were starting to get bored of the whole election, and disappointed that we still don’t have a government. And who can blame them… I think this election has really proved how outdated our electoral system is and how it should be changed.

But I do have to say that overall, I’ve found this election fascinating. I can’t believe the events of yesterday which saw Brown depart and the Tories crumble. Clegg has the key to our next government, but which way will he side. In the next few hours we may know!


A parliament hung!

May 8, 2010

Well who’d have thought it? We woke up 2 days ago with Gordon still effectively in charge of the country!

Well in all honestly , who wouldn’t have predicted it. I’ve been saying we were heading for a hung parliament for weeks now. Why? Because no-one really seemed to know what they wanted. There’s was no doubt from most that Labour had messed up and we needed something new, but most hated the Tories. There’s always the Lib Dems screamed others and ‘The Clegg Factor’ seemed to be gaining them ground, but no-where near enough. This was always going to be a hung parliament!

So what happens now?

Well most are saying that we’re going to see a coalition between Cameron and Clegg. It does seem the most likely, both leaders have expressed their interest in this and as far as their concerned it keeps Brown out. But would it really work, 2 parties that have always been so far apart.

And that of course brings us onto electoral reform. The Lib Dems want it and the Tories certainly do not. To be fair to the Liberals, it does seem grossly unfair that they got 23% of the popular vote yet only 57 seats in Parliament, maybe proportional representation is the way to go.

Thats definitely the view of 1000’s of protesters in London today, all rallying that Clegg should stay strong and demand electoral reform to Cameron. And I think that’s where we are now. It’s all down to Nick Clegg (so really the Lib Dems have got the power they wanted). But will Clegg stay strong and demand the deal he deserves, or will he let Cameron walk over him? The coming days will tell.

Of course this might not be anywhere near the end, if it all goes wring (which with politic it normally does) we’ll all be off to the ballot box in a few months to do it all over again! Lets just hope they have enough people manning them this time!