search
Barnsley
Batley
Bedale
Beverley
Bingley
Bradford
Bridlington
Brighouse
Castleford
Catterick Garrison
Cleckheaton
Cottingham
Darlington
Dewsbury
Doncaster
Driffield
Elland
Filey
Goole
Guisborough
Halifax
Harrogate
Hawes
Hebden Bridge
Heckmondwike
Hessle
Holmfirth
Huddersfield
Hull
Ilkley
Keighley
Knaresborough
Knottingley
Leeds
Leyburn
Liversedge
Malton
Mexborough
Middlesborough
Mirfield
Morley
Normanton
Northallerton
Ossett
Otley
Pickering
Pontetfract
Pudsey
Redcar
Richmond
Ripon
Rotherham
Saltburn-by-the-Sea
Scarborough
Selby
Settle
Sheffield
Shipley
Skipton
Sowerby Bridge
Stockton-on-Tees
Tadcaster
Thirsk
Todmorden
Wakefield
Wetherby
Whitby
Yarm
York
Alonso, Grand Prix Timings & Grid Girls
Graham Read, Formula 1 Correspondent
Fernando Alonso
It’s been quite a week for Formula 1 related announcements as double world champion Fernando Alonso is set to compete in endurance racing this year as well as F1 and Liberty Media, the new owners of the latter, has tinkered with current race weekend timings and abolished grid girls.

Alonso is something of a modern day Jim Clark or Graham Hill, a racer who is driven through his passion to compete in categories beyond merely Formula 1.

After making his Indianapolis 500 debut last year in impressive style on the weekend of the Monaco Grand Prix the Spaniard competed in the Daytona 24 Hour race in the US a week ago and is now set to dovetail racing for Toyota in the World Endurance Championship alongside his F1 commitments for the McLaren team.

Alonso in his McLaren Formula 1 car
This means his 2018 diary is now full of a gruelling 25 race weekends all around the world, with five consecutive ones starting with the Canadian Grand Prix in early June. Alonso is a likeable character with plenty of natural resilience, but even his deep level of personal dedication to his sport will be challenged by what lies ahead for him.

Apart from another F1 season during which his McLaren car should prove to be more competitive following a move from Honda to Renault power I am sure that one of the highlights of his racing year will be making his Le Mans 24 Hour debut for Toyota in mid June.

Toyota's World Endurance Championship sportscar
Liberty Media has amended the race start time of all 21 Formula 1 Grand Prix this year to ten minutes past the hour rather than starting exactly on the hour. Many television broadcasters around the world tend to start their F1 live programming on the hour just as the race begins and F1’s owners are keen for viewers to also be able to experience the crucial tense 10 minute period before each Grand Prix start.

Also by Graham Read...
Daniel Ricciardo To Leave Red Bull For Renault
Hamilton Cruises To A Sixth Victory At The Hungaroring
A Mercedes 1-2 In Germany As Team Orders Ensure Hamilton Wins
Lewis Hamilton Signs A New Two Year Deal With Mercedes
Vettel Wins A Scorching Silverstone Thriller To Extend His Lead
Also the weekend timing schedules for every European race and the Brazilian one have been held back by an hour as Liberty Media believes that the slightly later start times will help to attract an even larger television audience. This means that the British Grand Prix at Silverstone on July 8 will now commence at 14.10 BST and a European race like the iconic Monaco Grand Prix will start at 15.10 local time.

As for grid girls, who have been an integral part of the glitz and glamour of the Formula 1 scene for decades, Liberty Media has abolished their use with effect from the first race of the new season in Australia next month, citing that the practice is “at odds with modern day societal norms”.

A grid girl in action. Photo by Graham Read
The announcement, which follows a similar move by the Professional Darts Association last month, has generated both support and criticism within the F1 world and amongst fans. Senior Mercedes F1 figure Niki Lauda and many current grid girls have called for the decision to be reversed, but it remains to be seen whether this will be the case.

Meanwhile, other branches of top level motorsport are reviewing their stance on the subject, but it already seems highly likely that grid girls will still feature prominently at every round of the popular British Touring Car Championship this year.

Alonso, Grand Prix Timings & Grid Girls, 4th February 2018, 12:37 PM