Friday, April 25, 2008

What I wrote for the e-reporter competition:)

Hahaha, I cant believe I was so anal that I even include references in my submission. Too much literature review, as Shawn said when he read my article:)


Select a famous personality from the sporting, automotive or motorsport world who is newsworthy and currently in the media spotlight. Please clearly state who you have selected, their position within their sport or company and why they are currently newsworthy.

Then as a journalist, imagine you have the exclusive opportunity to interview them.

Write six questions that you would include as part of the interview (max 6 questions).

The person that I have chosen for this interview is Vodafone Mclaren-Mercedes’s driver, Lewis Hamilton. Having garnered various awards and accolades in his amazing rookie season, Lewis has been in the media spotlight since his spectacular 3rd place finish at the Australian GP 2007. Showing both talent and determination in abundance, he has clearly demonstrated that there is definitely life in F1 after the retirement of Michael Schumacher at the end of 2006. Lewis almost became the first ever rookie to win the F1 Driver Championship, only to lose by just 1-point to Kimi Raikkonen at Interlagos, the last race of the 2007 season, having led the Championship since the Spanish GP in May. Recently, he has also won the “World Breakthrough of the Year” award at the prestigious Laureus Sports Award 2008.

1. Do you think Mclaren’s 2008 season has already been compromised due to the fact that several aspects of the car development have to be curtailed as part of the conclusion to the Ferrari-Mclaren spy case?
2. Expectations of you will be higher in 2008 after such a stellar rookie season. How are you dealing with the pressure that comes with it?
3. The biggest rule change in 2008 has been the ban on launch control, traction control and engine braking with the introduction of standard ECU. How are you coping with these changes so far? Are you practicing more grand prix starts during the test sessions?
4. Driving just seems so easy to you. We know you can handle a Formula 1 car pretty well and I’ve seen the lap you did when you appeared on Top Gear. It was really something special to get 0.3s behind the Stig’s lap and you did it in wet conditions as well! How do you make driving a car, any car, super-quick seem so effortless?
5. There was a lot of attention recently on the racism controversy during one of the pre-season tests at Barcelona. Do you think that the FIA has done enough to mitigate the issue or do you think that perhaps the issue had been over-hyped by the media?
6. You’ve just signed a new five-year contract with Mclaren that will keep you with the team till 2012. The financial terms are obviously very lucrative. Having secured yourself financially so early in your Formula 1 career, how do you find the motivations to continue to do well in the sport? Will the glamour and showbiz side of F1 become a distraction to you in the coming years?


Write a 300 word article, including an appropriate headline, on ONE of the following:

1. Discuss the growing importance of GP2 as a feeder series to Formula One.
2. Formula One could return to slick Bridgestone tyres in 2009. Describe what effect, if any, this will have on safety.
3. Describe in what ways Formula One and GP2 make a contribution to the environment through campaigns and technological development.
4. Tyres are the only contact a car has with the ground. Tyre pressure is greatly influential on the overall performance of a tyre. What would be the impact on safety and costs of low tyre pressure?
5. Formula One cars have often been described as works of art and have adopted many different designs over the past 60 years. Choose a famous Formula One car and describe why its design was so ground breaking at the time and what made that design artistic.

(max 300 words).

Topic 3:
Towards a Greener Motorsport Racing

As environmental awareness becomes greater, those at the pinnacle of motorsport racing need to demonstrate their responsibility towards the environment and make racing a greener business. And it does seem that those involved in F1 and GP2 are getting it right. For example, the rather pointless fuel-burning phase in F1’s qualifying session, whereby the drivers go around the track for a few laps just to reduce weight, has been dropped in 2008 by the FIA to show that F1 does not “wastes” fuel unnecessarily.

Furthermore, racing teams such as Honda Racing F1 are using the “advertising space” on their cars to create greater environmental awareness across the globe. In fact, Honda’s earthdreams concept has won the Green Awards’ Grand Prix Winner 2007, presented by the United Nations Environmental Program as a means to ““recognize outstanding creative work…for brands promoting anything from fair trade and renewable energy to resource efficiency and waste awareness.”

On the technological side, F1 and GP2 are taking the lead in developing cutting-edge green technologies which can be applied to production cars in the future. In 2009, the FIA has plans to introduce the Kinetic Energy Recovery System (KERS) in F1, where kinetic energy can be recovered from the car under braking. This stored energy can then be used to boost acceleration for overtaking and cornering, whilst maximising energy efficiency at the same time. In the 2008 season, the technical regulations have been amended to ensure that the teams must include at least 5.75% of biomatter in their fuels. This is the first step towards the probable introduction of hybrid engines in F1, further reducing the consumption of non-renewable energy.

Motorsport racing has clearly demonstrated that it is more than aware of its responsibilities towards the environment and those in power are doing their best to ensure that it remains relevant even in the environmentally sensitive 21st century.

1. British Motoring Car Show by BBC: Top Gear,
2. Lewis’s lap on Top Gear,
3. Honda Racing F1’s earthdreams concept,
4. F1 2008 season rule changes,
5. Kinetic Energy Recovery System (KERS),

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