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Love your column, consistently great insights. Your comments about anthems leave out the obvious: why are they played at all? These aren't 'national' events and aren't worthy of that recognition. Another example of American-style 'patriotic' hype that may actually demean the anthem. Save them for when it means something.

Norris - today inspires 2 comments:
1 - I vividly remember watching Ricardo Paletti burn on the grid. In those days TV didn't know when to turn off the camera and CBC just left it on. I remember it being more than a flash fireand an image I've never forgotten.
2 - Re Hamilton blocking - I have to go with the stewards. I specifically saw Hamiltons car moving first and Petrov's following.

The BBC commentators kept repeating (and Ferrari confirmed) that Alonso had "downforce" problems for the entire race, so he was at a competitive disadvantage relative to Massa. In Australia he couldn't get pass Massa (no Ferrari orders for Massa to let him go by?) who was doing nothing to catch Kubica. As the commentators noted then, Alonso was faster and would have probably catched Kubica for second place. I do believe on any given day he (his car) is faster than Massa's but I guess we'll have to wait until season's end to find out.

Rubens has always been a slow starter...just ask Rolf. As for ex F1 pilot Johnny Herbert (race steward)give LH the black an white,know one is making Petrov fallow the car in front.

Have to agree with John on Hamilton - If the lead car moves first, and the trailing car follows, how can that be blocking? (Let's ignore the insane call a few years ago when one driver got a penalty in qualifying for impeding another driver's 5 or 10 seconds behind)

Norris - It was fairly obvious that Hamilton was in fact trying to break the tow. Kudos to Petrov's driving ability to shadow Hamilton's every move, but in each case Hamilton's car moved first.

Also knowledgeable women sports reporters are not hard to find. They are enrolled in broadcast programs across the world but struggle for the opportunity to work in their chosen profession due to old-school and/or sexist views on a woman's role (or non-role) in sports or sportscasting. If broadcasting companies would just make the effort to choose the right person for the job rather than the next available eye-candy, neither you or fans would have to report with such surprise that a female pit reporter actually can ask intelligent questions.

Norris, I thought Speed tv did a good job of following the F1 race. They knew after the first turn what the podium order would be and concentrated on the 4 big names coming up through the field. Otherwise it would have been pretty boring. After the race yesterday, Massa told Ferrari that they had some work to do, including the car. And he drove the F60 last year! I can't help but wonder what Kimi would say if he took the F10 for a spin...? I imagine that would come with a very steep fee. :) I read on a comments column over the winter, that their center of gravity is still off.

Not to pile on, but I've watched a recording of the Hamilton/Petrov dance, and it really does look to me like Petrov was following Hamilton's lead and not the other way around. Which of course begs the question: why was the warning issued at all? If the Stewards really believed the Hamilton was blocking, they should have given him a penalty. If they believed that Hamilton really was trying to break the tow, then the Stewards should have said the move was legal. But in typical F1 manner, all they've done is muddy the waters and confuse everybody.

@LadyRaceFan I don't think that female sports reporters "struggle for the opportunity to work in their chosen profession due to old-school and/or sexist views on a woman's role (or non-role) in sports or sportscasting", at least not when it comes to TV. I think the reason they struggle is that most live TV sports commentators start their careers covering sports that they have significant experience with as a player or coach; perhaps not at the professional level, but at least with a certain degree of skill and experience. Once they have gained significant experienced covering "their sport" they start covering other sports as well. This obviously isn't true for all sports, Ron McLean never played in the NHL, but a lot of CBC's hockey commentators do have NHL or Olympic hockey experience, such as Cassie Campbell who does some rink side commentating for Hockey Night In Canada and covered women's Olympic hockey in 2010.

I think that as long as the bulk of the sports that are covered live on TV are played by men the bulk of the live commentators will be men. Usually men who have made a name for themselves in the sport being covered, like DC, Eddie Jordan and Martin Brundle. Don't get me wrong, when their careers behind the wheel are over, and assuming they have the skills, I think it would be great to see Sarah Fisher or Danica Patrick commenting on Indy or NASCAR. The same way I enjoyed Catriona Le May Doan's commentary during the Olympics.

Alonso had a clutch issue since the formation lap, and he had to do some pretty creative driving to get the car to downshift. Keeping that in mind he was as fast as Massa in the race. I actually found that to be rather impressive, consider the number of 7th down to 2nd gear braking zones that are prevalent in Malaysia....

Norris, any word on that Williams-Qatar thing? Notice Williams wants KERS back.

On the subject of Nicole Manske, yeah, she's better suited to cover Modern Woman Shopping Daily than racing but I have no problem with her. Neither did Ryan Briscoe.

Woderful reading Norris McDonald and others re F1GP and also Nascar responding to the manufacturers Qoute " We are not making Model T Fords anymore" and at last ditching carburetors and embracing fuel injection for 2011.
I remember Jaguar using Disc Brakes for the first time at Le Mans and changing the manner of braking forever. Ughh! Wait a bit then how was it so difficult for me when purchasing a modest new car in September of last year, to find one with rear disc brakes.
I wish the buying public would put pressure on manufacturers to update all of their thinking.

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