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Archive for March 2010

Button impressive at Albert Park

McLaren's Jenson Button won the Australian Grand Prix at Albert Park for the second year in a row after an impressive drive.

Button won at the same circuit last year, a win that started a series of wins that helped him clinch the driver's title.

When the race begun I didn't imagine Button winning it especially as he started fourth on the grid behind Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber and Ferrari's Fernando Alonso.

I still think however, that had Vettel not retired he would have won the race because at the time of his retirement he had a healthy lead.

After the procession of Bahrain in the first race of the season, Albert Park produced a race with action from start to finish.

I think the F1 management may have wished that this would have been a good first race for the season.

Joining Button on the podium were Renault's Robert Kubica and Ferrari's Felipe Massa.

Kubica started the race ninth on the grid and I think it was a good drive for him to hold off the Ferrari's to get second place and maintain it to the end.

Massa was just in front of his team-mate Alonso, Mercedes GP Nico Rosberg and former champion Lewis Hamilton could only finish sixth.

The clash between Hamilton and Webber made Hamilton drop one place to sixth and I think this is a race the former champion could have finished higher.

I think it was good to see Force India's Vitantonio Liuzzi get points and behind him was Williams' Rubens Barrichello and the last two points places went to Webber and seven time champion Michael Schumacher.

I think Webber made far too many mistakes and maybe it was the pressure of this being his home grand prix.

The new points system is good because winning a race is now very crucial because you get a 7 point cushion from second place compared to two in the last system.

Also going to tenth place means there is a lot to fight for even for cars in twelfth position because they need to recover two place to at least get a point.

The next race will be at Sepang next weekend.

Victory reaches another Grand Final

Its good to see that once again Melbourne Victory will host the A-League after beating Sydney FC 4-3 on aggregate in the A-League major semi.

Its good to see Victory got the better of Sydney because during the normal season the Victory could not even score against Sydney.

Also I was disappointed when Victory lost the minor premiership after losing 2-nil at the SFS. In that final match of the season, the Victory needed a draw but I assume it had to be goalless in order to get it.

Now we can look forward to another grand final and I think Victory is now in a far stronger position with Archie Thompson and Robbie Kruse both back in the team.

I hope there will be no more further injuries coming from the Asian Champions League.

In the grand final, Victory will play the winner between Sydney and Wellington Phoenix.

I actually prefer to play Sydney because if Sydney reaches the final, win or lose Victory will play in next year's Asian champions League.

However, if the Phoenix were to reach the final, then Victory will need to win the grand final in order to play in the competition in 2011.

For now its good to see the Etihad Stadium hosting another grand final and hopefully home advantage will mean another championship.

2010 F1 Season Preview

The long awaited 2010 F1 season starts in less than a week with the first race in Bahrain.

There is a lot to looked forward to this season with three new teams on the grid as the fourth one failed to get ready on time.

There has also been some interesting driver movements with champion Jenson Button making the move to McLaren and former champion Fernando Alonso moving to Ferrari.

The Canadian Grand prix will be back on the calendar after missing out in 2009. The South Korean grand prix has also been added to the calendar which brings another new circuit.

Also like has happened over the last few years, there has been some rule changes regarding refueling and there will be a new points system.

The changes could make the season more interesting and I think the teams who will adapt quicker will be at an advantage.

Last season Ferrari didn't look good and showed glimpses of the team that had challenged for the title the season beforein very few races. The season was made worse by the injury suffered by Felipe Massa.

I expect Ferrari to be more competitive this season now that their driver lineup consists of Massa and Alonso.

McLaren signed up champion Button and so in their stable they will have both drivers who have won the championship before. They will be the only team with that privilege and so a lot will be expected from them.

I think McLaren finished the year strongly and if they can pick up the new season from there then they should surely win either the drivers' championship or constructors title.

I think a lot will also depend on the relationship between Hamilton and Button and if it doesn't become like the Hamilton/Alonso team then they will have their best foot forward.

Brawn GP who won the driver's title were bought by Mercedes and the team has been renamed Mercedes GP.

In their ranks they will have former champion Michael Schumacher and I am interested to see how Michael will go.

If Michael still has got his old magic then Mercedes could be one of the strongest contenders. I have no doubt that they will have one of the fastest cars on the grid and the team has some real potential.

Nothing has changed at Red Bull from last season to this season in terms of their drivers. Red Bull finished strongly last season and Sebastian Vettel challenged Button for the title and so I expect Red Bull to be one of the most competitive teams on the grid this season.

Its hard to tell with Williams but now they will have Rubens Barrichello and Nico Hulkenberg as their drivers. Barrichello will bring in lots of experience to the team and whilst they will challenge from race to race I cannot see them challenging over the course of 19 races.

Robert Kubica and Vitaly Petrov will lineup for Renault this season and just like Williams I think Renault will be here and there.

Toro Rosso, BMW Sauber and Force India are the only other old teams left and it would be good for these teams to score some points but it will not surprising to see them finish the season without a single point.

Turning to the new teams, its very hard to know what to expect from these new teams until after a few races.

So far I think Virgin Racing and Lotus look impressive but whether that translates to getting points here and there I don't know.

Hispania Racing will have a line up of drivers without any F1 experience in Karun Chandhok and Bruno Senna and I think they will be playing catch-up for most of the season.

I cannot wait for the new season to start and I hope there will be lots of interesting races throughout the year.

Campos to Hispania F1

Its less than two weeks before the 2010 F1 starts and a lot is still happening off the track with the Campos Formula 1 being renamed Hispania Racing after a change in team ownership.

The team name aside, the team is still announce who the drivers will be even now with ten days to go before the Bahrain race.

Another new team US F1 may not even be on the grid in Bahrain and maybe the rest of the year.

It seems like these two new teams are finding it difficult but I think they had a lot of time to prepare for the season and should have been ready by now.

I would like to see the new teams being competitive otherwise there would no point having more teams but with the new ones well behind the established ones.

I hope that the Hispania team will announce its drivers soon and get ready for Bahrain.

I should however point out the other two new teams Lotus and Virgin seem to be getting ready and prepared which is good.

Their driver lineups some time ago and they managed to sign Jarno Trulli, Heikki Kovalainen for Lotus and Timo Glock and Lucas di Grassi for Virgin.

Indigenisation Law needs rethink

The new Indigenisation Law that came into effect in Zimbabwe this week needs a total rethink and should be re-written to be relevant in this day and era.

To say that people who were disadvantaged more than thirty years ago should be the majority shareholders in any company does not make sense.

If the government had done the right things over the last thirty years there would be no need for this kind of ruling. But because the Zanu PF government did not deliver after all these years they now want reap where they have not sown.

I wonder how people can come with such proposals and even be able to pass them it into law without the intentions and consequences being debated vigorously.

Zimbabwe is not the most attractive country in the world to invest and such laws means companies will just look elsewhere. The neighboring countries must be excited.

Zimbabwe's economy is trying to recover after years of total abuse and neglect and the last thing that kind of economy needs is anti-investment type of laws like this.

Also the most annoying bit is that this law will benefit only a select number of people and I guess less than 200 who will go and get shares in all companies.

The majority of the people will benefit absolutely nothing from this. How will the rural people in Mutoko for example benefit from this? Only a select number of people will actually benefit and those people are already filthy rich right now but greed knows no end.

Its just like the land issue. The best and biggest farms were taken by well connected people whilst the majority haven't seen anything but they are the ones who have suffered the most when economy went into free fall whilst the well connected people shopped in South Africa.

It will be the same with this new law. When companies stop investing in the country or close it will be the local majority who will find themselves without jobs or goods whilst the rich who benefit mostly will continue to import whatever they want either from South Africa or the Far East.

Imagine if say Google wanted to invest in Zimbabwe. Imagine being told that the majority shareholding should be given to local people. Surely for what reason.

The local people should be encouraged to work hard and build their own companies from the ground up. The government's duty is to bring upon an enabling environment and a climate that will local people start their own companies and see them grow.

There are people who have done that already like Strive Masiyiwa of Econet. He didn't go and grab somebody's company and run away with it as his own but he built it from the ground up despite even resistance from the government at the time.

Now he has built a massive company with branches in many countries and I cannot see why anyone who wants to do the same can't follow his model and do the same.

This reaping where people have not sown is a bad omen for a country with many hardworking citizens who would rather work hard and achieve their goals.

I hope that this law will be successfully challenged and repealed because it will certainly pin the country back again and stop whatever little investment was coming into the country.

There is a lot of competition for investment on the African continent alone with some countries even offering tax incentives to attract investment and its rather very foolish to then come with counter productive laws like this one.

Its not surprising then to see why the country is where it is now.