Features

Vettel Reigns, but Alonso’s still King

It was a good victory for F1 when Vettel took the title last Sunday afternoon. The likable young German had shown his inexperience during the mid portion of the season, but equally had a rotten run of luck with reliability. With his 10 poles and awesome race speed over 2010, he’s a worthy champion.

Sideways Glance – November 8th

Welcome to this week’s review of last week’s happenings in the motor industry, which comes to you from a rather messy student abode in almost downtown Exeter. We start this week with the announcement of the shortlist for the 2011 European Car of the Year award, which comprises the following seven automotive talents:

Flat out without moving – Get the picture?

I recently had the chance to join good friend Jason for one of the photography courses he hosts at the Brooklands Motor Museum, near Weybridge in Surrey. The course is designed to give would-be professional snappers tips on camera angles, zoom, lighting and capturing a car in one of those evocative poses that we admire so much in our favourite mags.

Pussies Galore: F1′s low-point in Korea

I made the idiotic mistake of waking at 06:45 on Sunday morning, so grabbed a Twinings and whacked the GP on. Like most of you, I was delighted to see the rain pouring from the leaden Korean sky and thought we were in for one the best races of the season.

Sound-clip: 335i Coupe with BMW Performance kit

We’ve been spending some time this week in BMW’s 335i, fitted with the full catalogue of BMW Performance upgrades. Our initial plan was to use it as an ice-breaker for our interview with Lincolnshire racer Jack Harvey – runner-up in this year’s Formula BMW Europe Championship – but we decided to hang on to it for a few days to find out whether the BMW Performance range adds a worthwhile boost to the 300 bhp 335i’s repertoire.

PERSPECTIVE: What’s in a Name?

“When you talk, you sound like Super Mario on our Nintendo game,” my children tease.

“Do I?” “Yes. It’s funny.”

Doesn’t the Italian language and/or the Italian accent sound… unusual, to the Brits? Exotic, perhaps? Sexy, even?

End of the road for the Turbo-Nutter?

As a lad growing up, I remember the pleasure that could be derived from the latest rally video game: whether it was the joy of executing the perfect hairpin on a dusty gravel track (one out of every 500 attempts you understand!), or the hair-raising excitement of blitzing through quaint French villages at unsociable speeds, it drew me in like a monkey to a car roof. Hell, even the frustration of stuffing the car into every single tree bordering a slippery snow course had a certain satisfaction to it.

F1 Forecast 2011

The 2011 ‘silly season’ kicked off some 5 weeks ago when it was discovered that Kimi Raikkonen’s management had contacted Renault enquiring about their line-up for next year. Sadly there was no interest from the Finn, just a media frenzy borne out of a simple discussion between camps with no substantive story behind it. I was mightily disappointed.

Volvo S60 – Not naughty, but nice

Last month we asked the question, “Volvo’s S60 – Is It Naughty Enough?”, as we reviewed Volvo’s Naughty campaign used to launch the new S60 and V60 saloon and estate.

When examining the vast array of videos, microsites and social media content we concluded that there was simply too much – the average viewer neither has the time nor the interest to wade through 24 videos (now 26 including the recent V60 promotions) and such dilution of their focus can subsequently undermine sharing on social media channels as our brief analysis of the views and shares appears to prove.

Naughty Volvo, The Competition Winner’s Story

I never thought I’d get the chance to go on the Top Gear Track, let alone do something naughty on it – yet I had the opportunity to do both last Saturday!

My day was almost over before it began since I’d forgotten to bring the paper part of my driving licence along (yes, the part that no one ever carries around) to register as a participant.