Ferrari: Fair or Farce

July 25, 2010

Picture from Planet-F1.com

Oh dear Ferrari! After managing to stay out of the F1 controversy headlines for a considerable amount of time, the prancing horse’s latest trick has brought them back to the forefront. What have they done this time? Deliberately swapped their two drivers positions during the German Grand Prix.

As F1 fans will remember, it was Ferrari that started controversy over this issue in 2002. On the final lap of the Austrian GP their ordered Rubens Barrichello to move over and let teammate and championship leader Michael Schumacher through for the win so as he could get the victory. After the outcry from fans (and a hilarious reaction from F1 commentator Mark Blundell), the FIA stepped in and ordered that such events be banned from Formula One.

However, eight years on Ferrari are at it again, this time ordering Felipe Massa to move aside and allow Fernando Alonso to take the victory. Looking at the points it’s clear to see why Ferrari made the decision, Fernando was several points and positions ahead in the championship.

BUT the fact remains. This kind of move is now against the rules. It takes away from the spectacle and as the BBC’s Eddie Jordan said, the fans have been robbed of a good battle between the two teammates.

I would like to say right now that I am a Ferrari fan, have been for over ten years when I started watching F1, yet I think this decision was entirely wrong. Felipe Massa was driving a strong race and if Fernando Alonso could not get past then I’m afraid maybe he doesn’t deserve the points. I am devastated that Ferrari have chosen to do this again, it’s completely unfair and really brings the sport, once again, into disrepute. What’s the point in watching a racing league where drivers are ‘gifted’ victories without having to fight for them.

And what’s annoyed me more than anything is that fact Ferrari have tried to hide it when it’s so blatant. Massa’s engineer Rob Smedley said ‘good lad’ and ‘sorry’ to Felipe as soon as he had allowed Alonso past. Yet after the race, both he and Ferrari boss Stefano Domenicali had the tenacity to say that Alonso simply ‘passed’ Massa on his own merit. It appals me that Ferrari think that us, the F1 following are so thick we didn’t notice it.

It’s clearly causing problems in the team as well. Smedley could have made the announcement much less obvious and Massa’s face after the race confirmed his anger.

Luckily the incident hasn’t gone unnoticed by teh FIA, but in their usual way, the punishment is quite frankly pants. The results will stand, Ferrari will be fined $100,000, but they will have to face the FIA World Sports Council where the fine could be higher. That unfortunately will not take place for several weeks meaning once again, we’re watching a sport where the results we have seen could be changed in the future. Oh F1, when will you learn.

I have once again been left feeling disillusioned by a team I love. It was an unnecessary and unfair decision and has left me wondering if I really want to go on being a fan of Ferrari. But then again… what’s F1 without the controversy!

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Song Of The Week – 23/07/2010

July 23, 2010

Time for something a little different. This weeks song brings us something new yet something old at the same time. I present to you a relatively new band, yet all the members in it have been producing music for years.

I speak of Tired Pony, a collaboration between several notable musicians including Gary Lightbody, Jacknife Lee and Peter Buck. The debut album of this new ‘group’ came out last monday and I’ve been enjoying it’s unique sounds quite alot this week, hence why it’s made song of the week.

This week’s RHP Song of the week

Get On The Road

Tired Pony

Lightbody formed Tired Pony to satisfy his love for country music and you can certainly tell that from this track, but don’t be put off if your not a fan of this style. Get On The Road is a very accessible song for all which reminds me a lot of early Snow Patrol tracks.

It’s a song that builds from a very simple guitar at the beginning to a fully inclusive sound by the end. It’s the sort of song I love as it feels like a kind of small journey throughout as the song constantly builds and adds more fantastic sounds heading towards it’s climax.

Lightbody is on vocals, but is joined by Zooey Deschanel for this track adding vast similarities to Set The Fire To The Third Bar from Snow Patrol’s fourth album.

I personally really like this song and hope you do as well. I’ll be reviewing the full album from Tired Pony early next week.


Toy Story 3 – Worth the wait?

July 20, 2010

So as I mentioned yesterday, Toy Story 3 has finally made it to British shores a wait on no less than 11 years since TS2. But has time been kind to the likes of Woody and Buzz, or was this just one Toy Story too far?

Well I’m not going to beat about the bush with my opinion. Toy Story 3 is so far the best film I have seen this decade. It combined action with intense drama, laughs with tears and quality with quantity. I can’t honestly fault it.

The story has grown up and moved on from the original two films, reflecting what has happened to the characters. After treating us to an incredible new rendition of the original Toy Story scene, we see how time has moved on and Andy has forgotten his toys. They sit motionless in his toy box trying to get the attention they used to receive years ago. But those times are over. Andy’s 17 and going to college and has to decide what he’s to do with his once beloved toys.

Hereon in lies the plot, what happens to your toys after you’ve finished with them. Once again another intriguing story idea from Disney – Pixar and one which leads to much laughter and emotion.

And I should point out that this is by far the most emotional of the series. There was barely a dry eye in the house by the end of the film. The ending (which I will not reveal here) is both fitting and touching. In fact it probably is the perfect ending to the franchise.

The RealD 3D effect is well-done, but not overused, in fact it’s more subtle, but I like that in a film. Too many features feel they should go to great lengths to ‘utilise’ the 3D, when really it works best when just shot as a normal film would be.

I cannot urge you enough to go out and see Toy Story 3. It’s the ending to the series that we all wanted and is a masterclass in how to make a film. The story is heartwarming and possibly the best yet. But the big question… is it the best Toy Story?… I’ll have to watch them all a few more times yet.


Toy Story 3: The Time Has Come!

July 19, 2010

Yes the whole world may have ganged up against us here in Britain to make sure we were pretty much the last country to see Toy Story 3, but tonight, nearly 14 years of waiting will come to an end!

Toy Story 3 has finally made it to British shores and I can barely contain my excitement. For anyone who wasn’t 7 at the time the original came out, this film is a pretty massive deal for our generation. The first Toy Story brought us amazing 3D animation for the first time, combined with hilarious characters and a heartwarming story. The second followed a few years later with a similarly fantastic plot.

And now after a gap of over 10 years, the third and final instalment has arrived. It’s been getting amazing reviews everywhere, with hardly any negatives to speak of.

It’s going to be fun, it’s going to be funny and it’s going to be emotional!

To hear what I thought first, check my facebook and twitter feeds this evening (probably around 10.30) and I’ll post a proper review tomorrow night.


Song Of The Week – 16/07/2010

July 16, 2010

This weeks song is from a few years ago and part of a revival of a British classic. Queen ground to a halt after the tragic death of their charismatic frontman Freddie Mercury. But then in 2005, the thing we thought we’d never see again happened. Brian May and Roger Taylor toured with Paul Rodgers under the name Queen+Paul Rodgers. It was a massive success and a few years later on in 2008, they released ‘The Cosmos Rocks’ the first studio album in 15 years.

I’ve chosen a song from that album as this weeks song.

We Believe

Queen+Paul Rodgers

Now before I continue, lets make the point that it’s true, Queen+Paul Rodgers isn’t quite the same as the original band. Paul isn’t the same as Freddie, but that’s not the point, the point is the album brought us great music, such as this track.

We Believe is a track that builds as it goes, starting very small and quiet before building to a massive harmony at the end.

It also has some extremely emotive lyrics. At the start of the song Rodgers proclaims ‘I believe there’s no evil out there we didn’t have a hand in’, a statement that rings true for many. There’s religion, theres truth, theres nations united.

It’s a powerful song with a powerful message and is well worth a listen. Different from the traditional Queen, but still retaining those original qualities (and certainly harmonies).

I hope you enjoy, ‘We Believe’.


Nintendo, make some proper games!

July 14, 2010

I’ve been wondering for a while why I’m not playing video games so much anymore. Then Nintendo came to the rescue and explained it in terms I could understand. Here’s the e-mail they’ve just sent me.

Are you faced with the daunting prospect of preparing a meal for your mother-in-law? Or do you wish to treat the special person in your life? If the idea of cooking a three-course meal or even a light dinner after a long day at work leaves you seeking food inspiration, then help is at hand with 1000 Cooking Recipes from ELLE à table. Find delicious recipes for every dining occasion and impress friends and family with your cooking skills and creativity. It’s your all-in-one culinary companion!

Oh…. Nintendo are pushing ANOTHER cooking game!

Please, please please will you make some proper games again big N? I want Mario, Zelda, Smash Bros… even Kirby, but NOT cooking, cleaning, looking after horses, training my brain, body, sight and soul.

Much as I love Nintendo and their innovative devices (and yes I do LOVE the look of the 3DS) I do think they need to concentrate on the core game again.

Luckily it does look like my prayers have been answered, this years E3 was stunning from Nintendo. I have Metroid, Zelda, Kirby’s Yarn and Epic Mickey all on the horizon and it looks great.

But it needs to come sooner than late, Nintendo are losing their key audience in a quest for ‘lifestyle’ rubbish. We all thought Wii Fit was clever.. but lets move on now!

Rant over.


So Spain Wins, But who cares?

July 12, 2010

The last four weeks as you will know unless you’ve been living under a humungous rock the size of the moon, brought us the 2010 football world cup. The proceeding finally came to an end yesterday when Spain were crowned the winners and well done to them, they played well.

But now to put a downer on things, I’ll reveal what I thought of the last few weeks… hideously boring.

Now, I’m not a big football fan, but I do always enjoy the world cup, but this year, it just didn’t do it for me.

There was a raft of 1-0 victories and low scoring games towards the start of the tournament and perhaps this is to be expected in the early rounds. But when it kept happening with team after team not even seeming to get the ball near the goal, it became very tiresome. Yes there were some thrillers, (Germany and Holland put on some good shows), but they were few and far between.

Maybe I didn’t care as much because of FIFA’s poor rulings. I am English so I do of corse refer to the goal that wasn’t a goal. But that wasn’t all, there were several offsides, handballs and fouls which were blatantly ignored this year. When you compare this to other sports which all pretty exclusively use either technology or replays, it makes football look extremely dated.

But I think the real reason I didn’t care, was there just wasn’t anyone who set the world alight. The players didn’t really look very much into the football either. The pundits looked like they were trying their best to try and enthuse a dead tournament and as for James Corden… lets not go there.

So that was the World Cup 2010, I’m sure many enjoyed it and I’m sure I would too if I’d have been a bigger footy fan, but as a casual viewer, I found nothing to shout about at all… ah well there’ll be another one in a few years I expect!

I’m positive that many of you disagree with everything I’ve just said so if you do (or even if you agree) please leave a comment and vent your views!