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2018 GOODWOOD REVIVAL - BARRIE WILLIAMS

 

Drifting the Morris Minor 2002Barrie & Attwood sabotaging Sytner 2004More fun with Sytner's Brabham 2004  As Saturday morning broke the sad news that Goodwood fan favourite Barrie “Whizzo” Williams had passed away at the age of 79 spread through the paddock. In a career that spanned more than half a century he may not have made a mark on the international scene but was a star in British national motor sport in everything from rallying (winning the 1964 Welsh Rally) through touring cars and single make production saloons through the 1970s and 80s.

 

As his professional career wound down, historic motorsport became his passion and his ability to dominate the most difficult cars and his to slide a car to outrageous angles thrilled and entertained crowds where-ever he raced.

 

  He won several times at Goodwood, including the inaugural RAC TT Celebration in 1998 in Nigel Corner's E-type Jaguar but as much as anything it was his willingness to stop and spend time to talk and joke with fans that won many hearts. My first memory of Barrie was at the 2002 Revival where he was driving a Morris Minor in the St Marys Trophy. No chance of winning but the display of drifting he put on meant that you knew where he was on the track from the cheering of the crowd as he hung the back out, smoking the tyres through every corner. A couple of years later during a delay to recover a damaged car I made the suggestion to Barrie that he may be able to jump Frank Sytner at the re-start if he swept some of the dust and debris on the start line under the rear wheels of Sytner’s Brabham. Minutes later with broom in hand both he and Richard Attwood were all giggles.

 

  A wonderful man to – I won’t say have known – but met and spent time with. My sympathies to his partner Cathy and countless friends across the sport.

 

Sam Snape

 

12-9-2018

 

2018 GOODWOOD REVIVAL - KINRARA TROPHY

 

Pirro and Halusa win in the   Emanuele Pirro and Niklas Halusa claimed a convincing victory in the Kinrara Trophy race, which kicked off the on-track action at the 2018 Goodwood Revival Meeting on Friday evening. The Ferrari 250GT SWB ‘Breadvan’ duo were made to work for the win, however, with Jaguar E-type pairing Jon Minshaw and Phil Keen being a threat for much of the one-hour running. It was only in the final few laps that the win was assured for veteran Pirro and his young wingman.

  Halusa was slow off the blocks at the start of the race, the Austrian’s Ferrari smoking its rear tyres as it struggled to find traction. Even so, the pole-sitting ‘Breadvan’ was in the lead as the field arrived at Madgwick for the first time. Halusa belied his lack of experience by keeping the fast-starting Minshaw at bay for the first two laps, only to get jumped at Madgwick third time around. He returned the favour at the same spot a lap later, and the warring duo continued to trade places as they streaked away from the rest of the field. Just 0.47sec covered the top two at quarter-distance, and there was barely a car’s length between them when the pits opened for driver changes 23 minutes in.

 

  Minshaw was the first to blink, with Keen emerging on track in third place behind the Franklin/Lindsay E-type and the leading ‘Breadvan’. Halusa pitted 15 laps in, with Pirro venturing onto the circuit a few seconds after Keen had assumed the lead at the chicane. The race soon returned to a Ferrari versus Jaguar battle, with five-time Le Mans winner Pirro taking the lead at half-distance. The Roman wasn’t allowed to escape, though, and Keen nosed ahead in traffic, but the ‘Breadvan’ wasn’t to be denied. In the final quarter-of-an-hour, Pirro gradually eked out an advantage after Keen lost time amid errant backmarkers.

 

  In the closing minutes, all eyes were on the battle for third place. Nigel Greensall had seemed assured of the position aboard the E-type roadster he was sharing with the car’s owner, Chris Milner. Nevertheless, Rob Huff threw caution to the wind in the E-type coupé started by Richard Meins, the former World Touring Car Championships guided the car on its lock-stops as he chased down his rival, and was glued to his tail with only 40-seconds left to run. Huff didn’t let the small matter of an unsecured bonnet obscuring his windscreen slacken his pace, and he pushed Greensall wide at Lavant to take the place. It was a thrilling end to a race that rarely lacked for dramatic dices.

 

  Report courtesy of GRRC.

 

F1 - THE GREAT BIG WHIRLYGIG

 

  Well it’s that time of the year again. The equinox has arrived, witches are brewing their potions, druids are prancing around the stones ,occultists everywhere are gazing at their crystals and the annual F1 silly season is in full swing. Except that this year it is on overdrive. With turbos and superchargers on full song. Going into the summer break everything seemed to be quietly settled for another bout of steady conservatism. And then four days later Danny Boy threw a sizable spanner into everyone’s works.

 

  With all the details worked out to Ricciardo’s precise requirements regarding money, length of contract, non-race activities etc he phones Mr Horner out of the blue and says I am going to Renault. Horner thinks this is Danny pulling his finger (or some other part of his anatomy) but gradually realises he is serious. This deal then buggers up the plans of both Carlos Sainz and Esteban Ocon who were both angling for the second Renault seat. Ocon’s position got a lot worse a few weeks later when Lance Stroll’s daddy bought Force India from the administrators. Daddy would have been unlikely to stump up the necessary readies to buy the team unless he was going to plonk his pride and joy into one of the seats next year. Or even this year. As Sergio Perez had already signed a contract for 2019 and brings muchos pesos it became pretty obvious that Esteban needed to find somewhere else to park his extremely talented tushy. King Fernando then gives these chaps a lifeline by deciding that, as he had decided a few months ago, he couldn’t be arsed trolling around at the back for another year and that at least one year in Indycars and another crack at the 500 would be much more fun. And it appears that McLaren are happy to pay him to do just that. So fun and dosh, doesn’t get much better than that.

 

  Perhaps Carlos would go back to Red Bull and reignite his (not so) happy relationship with Mad Max. Nope, the afore mentioned Mr Horner announces that Pierre Gasly will step up from reserve grade to the top team and Carlos’s contract says he ain’t goin back to Toro Rosso. King Fernando seems to have put in a good word and bingo, Carlos is confirmed with McLaren. So Stroll is off to Racing Point Force India, but when? Will that take place this year and leave Esteban sitting on his thumb? If he does, will Robert Kubica realize that fairy-tale and get a race drive with Williams this year? Will he get a promotion for next year? Will he get screwed over by another rookie with wads of cash/Roubles? It has been suggested that GP2/F2 stalwart Artem Markelov might be able to pinch that ride but will Markelov’s and Sirotkin’s Russian sponsors clash and force one of them out of the team as well? Ocon’s week gets worse when both McLaren and Toro Rosso say that they would not employ him while he still holds a Mercedes development contract and the view is that with Williams loosing their Martini sponsorship, they will need way more cash than Mercedes is willing to spend to buy Ocon that drive. This sorta sucks as Ocon is one of those guys that everyone expects to be World Champion one day. But seemingly not one day soon.

 

  A bit like Charles Leclerc. He is going to Ferrari. Ferrari boss dies and Leclerc is staying at Sauber as the new Ferrari boss is a mate of Kimi’s and Kimi is having a pretty good year actually. Or perhaps they will honour the old boss’s desire after all. So if Charles does go to Ferrari, what does Kimi do? Back to Sauber has been suggested, but what does that then do to Antonio Giovinazzi’s prospects. Ferrari only gets to place one driver at Sauber and Ericsson’s sponsors own the team so…….Maybe McLaren could rehire Kimi and get him to join King Fernando in their Indycar team. That’d actually be pretty cool, what about it Zak? And back to McLaren. Norris gets an FP1 session at Spa and impresses while Vandoorne has another shocker of a weekend. Even King Fernando says this is not his fault and that he is actually driving very well but just being let down by his machinery. As McLaren then decide to change his chassis, he may well be right. But then just after Monza Norris is confirmed as the number two to Sainz as if McLaren did not place him in some F1 seat next year they would have lost their contractual hold on him and they consider at this point that he is a better long term option that Vandoorne. Who was their better long term option over Kevin Magnussen just 18 short months ago. Not that I am against Lando but lets hope Stoffel can prove them wrong. He has such huge talent and being thrown into the trash bin so early is one of those things that shows just what is wrong with F1 these days. A bit like Ocon really.

 

  Sam Snape

 

  6-9-2018

 

  Postscript

 

  Of course just a few days after writing this came the news that Charles Leclerc is in fact heading to Ferrari and Kimi to Sauber in a straight swap. That would seem to leave Giovinazzi squatting in the merde. Unless it was Marcus’s backers that wanted Kimi and then……Still it buggers my idea for a McLaren super-team in Indycars. Oh well.

 

2018 MONACO GRAND PRIX & INDY 500

 

AUSTRALIA DAY

 

Oh Danny Boy - Ricciardo celebrates his Monaco winRicciardo nursed his wounded Red Bull to winPower sprays the milk - even on the Indy QueenPower Penske what else do you need?  An odd historical factoid was set on Sunday May 27 2018. Until this date no drivers from the same nation had won both the Monaco Grand Prix and the Indianapolis 500 on the same day. Yes it has occurred on a few occasions that one nations drivers had won these races in the same year, Emerson Fittipaldi and Ayrton Senna in 1989 and 1993 for example, but never on the same day. Hill and Clark won them on the same weekend but again, different days – May 30 and 31 1965. Oh, and Scotland and England don’t count, Scotland never has been, and never will be, English. So there. Nyahhhh (and raspberry like noises)

  But first – an update. HAS MAX STACKED TODAY? …..YES….After nurfing Stroll’s Williams at the end of a safety car period in Spain Max Verstappen made it eleven incidents (spins. collisions and crashes) in six races so far this year when he comprehensively stuffed the Red Rag into the barriers exiting the swimming pool section during third practice. The resulting damage meant a new gearbox was required and that he would not take part in qualifying. Last on the grid. Zero hope of a good result at Monaco. When will he ever learn?

 

  In complete contrast, team-mate Daniel Ricciardo was in complete control for the entire weekend. It doesn’t much more dominant than this; Practice 1 – 1st, Practice 2 – 1st, Practice 3 – 1st, Qualifying 1 – 1st, Qualifying 2 – 1st, Qualifying 3 – 1st, Race – 1st, all 78 laps – 1st.  And the last 50 of those laps were with an MGU-K (motor generating unit – kinetic) that had gone on the fritz on lap 28. For those wot don’t know, a rooted MGU-K means you have no electrical power supplied to the battery from the turbo. That is knocking about 160 bhp off you maximum engine power at the end of the straights meaning his Red Bull had about as much grunt as the McLaren Honda of 3 years ago. It also means you have no electrical assistance to the rear brakes through the brake by wire system and the tiddley little discs overheat like all buggery and usually expire. A bit like Leclerc’s front ones did, much to Hartley’s chagrin. So, with sod all rear brakes, sod all engine power and using only six of the eight gears available, Danny boy, who by his own accounts had lost about two and a half seconds a lap in performance, held off the attentions of Vettel and Hamilton for 50 laps. OK this is Monaco and the other two had chewed their front tyres early in their second stints, but………BUT this was the sort of performance under extremis that should have just doubled his asking price for whatever contract he signs for 2019 and beyond.

 

  Max at least put his carambolage in the locker for the race and put in a fine drive through to ninth place, just 1.7 seconds behind Ocon in sixth. As just about everyone else finished where they started it was possibly Pierre Gasly in the Toro Rosso who put in the second best drive of the race. Even though the power deficit that the Honda engine still has doesn’t mean as much at Monaco as any other race it was still an outstanding effort to make the top 10 on the grid and then to drive through to seventh at the finish, less than a second behind Ocon while holding off Hulkenberg and Verstappen.

 

  As usual this was not the most exciting, in the way of wheel to wheel racing, Grand Prix of the year, but oh boy, was it tense over those last 50 laps, not knowing if the Red Rag would hang in there and if Ricciardo would get his just reward after the disappointment of 2016.

 

  For full results go to; http://www.mmmsport.com.au/index.php/the-database/formula-1-races/2010-2019/2018-formula-1

 

Meanwhile, over the pond, the other big race of the year was getting underway. For the first 50 odd laps, pole-sitter Ed Carpenter looked the man most likely, but as the race wore on some of the others got faster while Ed, well didn’t. It’s probably no surprise that those who got faster were from teams like Penske, Ganassi and Andretti Motorsport. At about the halfway point, after a series of caution periods caused by accidents to James Davison, Takuma Sato, Ed Jones and Danica Patrick, Will Power took a lead he would only relinquish during differing pit-stop strategies. Power had been running in the top six all race before claiming the lead when crowd favourite, Tony Kanaan, had to pit with a puncture. Power then held off challenges from Carpenter, Dixon and Rossi before another series of late accidents to Bourdais, Castroneves, Karam and Kanaan scrambled the top positions with 13 laps to go. Hoping their fuel would last, Oriol Servia led from Jack Harvey, Stefan Wilson with both Power and Carpenter fully fuelled when the green flag flew again just 8 laps from home. Servia blew the restart and Wilson then led from Harvey and Power. It would have been a lovely story if Wilson could have won just his 2nd Indy 500. Stefan is the younger brother of Justin Wilson who was killed in an accident at Pocono a few years ago and runs at the Indy 500 in a spare car supplied by Andretti Motorsport born out of respect for Justin. It was not to be however, and with just 4 laps to go both Wilson and Harvey had to pit for fuel handing the lead, and a deserved win, to Will Power.

 

  And so ended what is possibly Australia’s greatest day in motorsport. Two hugely popular winners of the two biggest open wheel races of the year. And although Adrian Newey didn’t look too keen on the “shuey”, and the Indy Queen looking a tad surprised after being accidently doused with milk, the partying began in earnest. Gotta stop the boys tearing up though, bit of a dent for our macho image. Although I will admit to a moist eye or two…..

 

Sam Snape

 

28/5/2018.

 

F1 2018 AZERBAIJAN GRAND PRIX

 

HAS MAX STACKED TODAY?

 

  Yes he has…….

 

  Back in 2015 there was a funny (but harsh) little site, Has Pastor Crashed Today, taking the piss at the frequency of accidents involving the rapid Venezuelan Pastor Maldonado. It would seem that after the first four races of 2018 a new site may need to be created for Max Verstappen. Consider his record in 2018 so far; Australia – spun and damaged the car in the race, Bahrain – crashed in first practice and collided with Hamilton in the race, China – Spun trying to pass Hamilton and collided with Vettel in the race and finally Baku – crashed in first practice and collided with Ricciardo on no less than three occasions during the race. As all of these incidents have been his fault methinks it is time for Mr Horner to take Max into his office, bend him over the table and give his botty a taste of the birch.Has Max stacked today?

 

  Unfortunately history tells us that no such damned fine thrashing will take place. For those of a certain age, imagine the “froth job” that Max would have gotten from Ken Tyrrell. Or the bollocking from Messrs Williams and Head. Christian Horner appears to have been unwilling, or unable, to chastise his recalcitrant stars in the past, think Vettel crashing into Webber in Turkey or ignoring team orders in Malaysia. A pity really, because a slightly chastened and wiser Max would end up being a far better race driver (not that he is too bad at present) and that could bring on an exciting new era in the sport. 

 

  Allow me to fantasize for a moment. Just say the new regs in 2021 work as planned and not only are the cars more passable, but the engines are more evenly matched. Then put Max and Gasly in a Red Bull Honda/VW/Aston Martin, Ricciardo and Leclerc in the Ferraris, Ocon and Bottas or perhaps George Russell in the Mercs, Vandoorne and Lando Norris in the McLaren, Sainz and an aging but still rapid Hulkenberg at Renault and oooohh I’m getting a woody. Then toss in a hopefully re-invigorated Williams with someone quick, a Sauber making the most of its Alfa Romeo connections, and Force India, Toro Rosso and Haas still punching well above their weight and what fun we could have. Then again, a works Trabant may enter Maldonado and totally dominate the decade. But….

 

  One has to feel for Valtteri after this race. For the first time this year the Silver Slings got their strategy spot on and Bottas dominated the second half of the race. Even the Ricciardo/Verstappen safety car worked in his favour. Everything was finally going right. Valtteri made an excellent restart which forced Vettel to lock up and head down the turn 1 escape road so with just three laps to go he was leading from his team-mate who was not a threat and the recovering Raikkonen. Perez had even gotten past Vettel. Fastest lap had been set. Then a small piece of debris left on the main straight tore through his right rear tyre and his dream run limped on for two more corners. 14th and last place was a cruel result.

 

  Third place for Perez however was an excellent result, especially considering he was down in 15th place early in the race. This was the first podium for Force India since 2016 when, oddly enough Perez came third in Baku. It was the first podium for any team apart from Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull since Stroll’s Williams took third at Baku last year. See a pattern here anyone? Fifth was probably disappointing for Sainz in the Renault who was right on the early pace and able to pass both Red Bulls. Then Renault bollocks their strategy and left him out too long on the ultra-soft tyres and he lost nine places in the two laps around his pit-stop. Although that would have only been seventh had not the Red Bulls mangled each other. Also benefiting from that mangle was Charles Leclerc in the Sauber who pulled off an unlikely, but well deserved, sixth place to score his first championship points. He was outperforming the car all weekend, qualifying 14th and running comfortably in the points all day.A blow-out buggered Bottas

 

  King Fernando seems to have also been setting a pattern. Qualify 13th and finish 7th. Only in Australia this year has this not been his lot in the McLaren. Still, a vast improvement from last year, long way to go though. Giving Williams some hope in what has been a bad year so far, Stroll finally scored some points in eighth after both cars qualified well in 11th and 12th. Despite the “pay-driver” derision that has been heaped upon Sergey Sirotkin, his qualifying performances in the Williams have been well on the pace of his team-mate so far this year. Whether this is because he is much better than many had given him credit for or Stroll is just no better than a “pay-driver” I guess only time will tell. I’m leaning towards the former. Also scoring his first championship points was Brendon Hartley who nicked the final point for 10th place after starting on the last row of the grid. He suffered a disastrous qualifying which saw him not set a time and almost kill his team-mate, Pierre Gasly. In what was frighteningly similar to the fatal accident that befell Gilles Villeneuve on that horrible day in 1982, Brendon was travelling slowly, having picked up a puncture while Gasly was closing at a vast rate on his final qualifying lap. Just as Hartley started to pull to the left Gasly jinked that way thinking that was where the gap was. Seeing that, Hartley abruptly pulled to the right, just as Gasly did exactly the same thing. Fortunately there was enough room and Gasly managed to just miss Brendon, by inches if that, and avoid what would have been an enormous accident. Both boys and millions of viewers can thank their lucky stars that the only result was a trip down the escape road for Gasly.

 

Sam Snape

 

30/4/2018

 

For full results go to; http://www.mmmsport.com.au/index.php/the-database/formula-1-races/2010-2019/2018-formula-1