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Great to see Felipe Massa enjoy pole position as Ferrari smash world record for biggest ever supercar parade at Silverstone

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Felipe Massa relaxing before taking to the track at Silverstone. Photos copyright:  VSI Enterprises

Felipe Massa relaxing before taking to the track at Silverstone. Photos copyright: VSI Enterprises

BY JOHN GUBBA

At Silverstone to interview Felipe Massa for Sky Sports News over the weekend, I spent over an hour in the company of the Brazilian and could only marvel at the way this hugely popular Formula One star has put behind him his horrific crash in the Hungarian Grand Prix three years ago.

Massa was in pole position as Ferrari smashed the world record for the biggest ever parade of supercars and poignantly his passenger during Saturday’s spectacular feat was the President of BEN, the charity that supports autoworkers and their families who have fallen on hard times.

The fact that Massa is not one of those who needs help is testimony to his remarkable escape from his dice with death. Since surviving his 2009 crash in Budapest, he has made a full recovery form the fractured skull that left him in intensive care for 48 hours.

On the track he is still a contender, despite speculation that his place at Ferrari is under threat. His recent form and outstanding support for team-mate Fernando Alonso confirms that he is still an irresistible force. And speaking to Massa one-to-one it is clear that he still has that burning desire to win races.

Trackside: Felipe Massa told me he is hungry for success in the upcoming Singapore Grand Pix

Trackside: Massa told me he is hungry for success in the upcoming Singapore Grand Pix.

He certainly enjoyed the ambassadorial role he was given by Ferrari to lead out a convoy of 964 Ferraris, piloting a black beauty in the shape of a 458 spider.

Enthusiasts of the iconic Italian racing car had flocked to the Northamptonshire circuit from every part of Great Britain and across Europe. Their effort almost doubled the previous record set four years ago in Japan when 490 Ferraris converged on the Fuji Racing Circuit.

It is estimated the total value of the Italian convoy was well in excess of £100 million, with a number of million-pound Ferrari Enzos in the procession as well as several iconic Ferrari F40s – worth around £400,000 each.

Meanwhile, Ferrari’s donation of £5 for every car that took part meant BEN received a total of £4820.

Sneak peak of the Indian Grand Prix at the Buddh International Circuit, Greater Noida

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Formula 1

Formula 1

BY VISIONSPORT.TV

This is the first time the Formula 1 will go racing in India.

Catch up with all the action this weekend from the Indian GP on BBC One – Saturday 29 October: Practice three – 0630-0730; Qualifying – 0930-1030. Sunday 30 October: Race – 0930.

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CLASSIC GOALS from Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal, Manchester City, Liverpool, Tottenham

Vettel is the world’s undisputed No.1. But who is Britain’s best Formula 1 driver – Lewis Hamilton or Jenson Button?

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BY JOHN GUBBA

Formula 1 is only exciting when drivers overtake and it is not all about who has the best car – and that is what makes the battle for supremacy between Britain’s MacLaren team-mates Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button more interesting than the race for the world championship.

Sebastian Vettel has been so dominant in his Red Bull car that the F1 season is already a forgone conclusion with five races remaining. The German needs just one more point to make certain of a successful defence of his crown and he will almost certainly be champion even if he does not bother turning up to race again after his success in Sunday’s Singapore Grand Prix.

Meanwhile in the duel between the MacLaren duo we have an intriguing clash of styles. The more conservative reliability of 2009 world champion Button against the more aggressive driving style of the 2008 world champion Hamilton.

On this season’s showing the world championship standings show that second placed Button is currently in better form than fifth placed Hamilton. But there can be little doubt who is the sport’s most exciting driver. Hamilton is the entertainer who makes the sport interesting. The question is will he ever again find the consistency needed to win a world title?

In China and Germany Hamilton delivered two of the greatest wins of the season. But his aggression back-fired in Monaco, again in Canada when he collided with his team-mate, in Belgium when he crashed out after misjudging an overtaking move; and this weekend in Singapore he got into two altercations in two days with Massa.

Love him or hate him, the sport of motor racing would be so much poorer without Lewis Hamilton

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HOW FUNNY THAT CANADIAN MARSHAL’S CRAZY TUMBLE OVERSHADOWS JENSON’S BUTTON’S FINEST F1 TRUMPH

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BY JOHN GUBBA

When Jenson Button overtook Sebastian Vettel on the final lap to win the 2011 Canadian Grand Prix it was a sensational finish to one of the most exciting F1 races seen for a very long time.

Britain’s former world champion – who recovered from last place at one stage despite crashes with McLaren team-mate Lewis Hamilton and Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso – described the win as the greatest of his career.

It was an epic race  that will certainly go down as one of the most amazing grand prixs in history, lasting almost four hours due to torrential rain and five safety cars.  Button pitted no fewer than six times before coming through in a dramatic final lap to claim his 10th Grand Prix victory.

Jenson Button celebrates edging out Sebastian Vettel in epic Canadian Grand Prix win

Jenson Button celebrates edging out Sebastian Vettel in epic Canadian Grand Prix win

But for many sports lovers who are not motor racing fans the defining moment of a day of pure drama was the comedy moment when a bumbling race marshal tripped as he tried to retrieve a piece of debris during a safety-car period. And in a moment of blind panic fell over again as he was faced with the oncoming F1 cars.

Luckily for him, his twin tumble came when the cars were not flat out. Even so,  Sauber star Kamui Kobayashi did well to avoid him. And Renault’s Vitaly Petrov also had to hit the brakes.

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QUEENS PARK RANGERS HAVE EARNED THEIR PREMIER LEAGUE PLACE –THE FA’S HANDLING OF THE FAURLIN AFFAIR IS A SCANDAL

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QPR deserve to return to the Premier League as champions

QPR deserve to return to the Premier League as champions

BY JOHN GUBBA

Only the English Football Association can make such a gigantic mess of an argument that began in September  – eight months ago – and a matter of weeks after the season kicked off.

Queens Park Rangers have been the stand-out team in the Championship all season and deserve to go up as champions. But the climax to the season has been reduced to farce because the FA still can’t decide whether or not to dock the Hoops points over transfer irregularities.

The FA –  due to announce tomorrow (Friday) if QPR are guilty of seven charges of breaking transfer laws over their £3.5million move for Alejandro Faurlin in 2009 – are set to postpone the decision until next week.

Are these guys for real? This is no way to govern our national sport.

To be heading into the final match of the season still not knowing whether or not the Hoops are going to be denied promotion to the Premier League and the trophy they won fair and square is quite simply a disgrace.

The Football Association has delayed its verdict in the row over the ownership of midfielder Faurlin due to the quantity of evidence being considered. But why on earth was this not dealt with months ago. And at the very least long before the season’s conclusion.

For the FA to decide QPR’s fate after Neil Warnock and his team celebrate their richly deserved Championship win with their home fans on the final day against Leeds on Sunday is wrong on every level.

A points deduction will almost certainly hand the title to Norwich City – and probably send Rangers into the play-offs. Cardiff or Swansea could be handed the second promotion spot. That would mean the competition’s top two prizes not being decided on the football pitch. Even then the argument will not be over because the FA will surely be taken to the courts.

You could not pick a fight on two bigger heavyweights than Formula 1 hotshots Bernie Ecclestone and Flavio Briatore who would be well within their rights to give the FA a good kicking via the legal system. Ecclestone, who owns 62 per cent, has  already put a £100 price tag on Rangers as a Premier League club. And this is not a guy who quits when he’s put in a corner.

Any betting man will put his money on the FA to back down on this one. But why on earth are we in this position in the first place?

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LEWIS HAMILTON’S THRILLING VICTORY IN CHINA PUTS FORMULA 1 BACK IN THE SPOTLIGHT

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Lewis Hamilton is back to his best

Lewis Hamilton is back to his best

BY JOHN GUBBA

Just when it looked like defending world champion Sebastian Vettel was going to turn the 2011 Formula 1 season into a procession with a hat-trick of wins up stepped Lewis Hamilton with one of the best drives of his career.

Hamilton’s thrilling victory in China pushed Vettel into second place and cuts the German’s lead in the overall standings to 21 points. But more importantly it sets up the season for what promises to be a fascinating battle between two great young champions and a supporting cast that includes their formidable team-mates – 2009 champion Jenson Button and Red Bull’s Mark Webber.

Formula 1 is sometimes too predictable and overshadowed by the sport’s politics to be taken seriously by a lot of sports fans. But the absorbing start to the new season and the return to prominence of Hamilton is just what Formula 1 needs. This could be one of the sport’s most exciting years ever.

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Who can stop Sebastian Vettel?

CAN ANYONE STOP FORMULA 1 WORLD CHAMPION SEBASTIAN VETTEL RETAINING HIS CROWN?

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Sebastian Vettel - catch me if you can

Sebastian Vettel - catch me if you can

BY JOHN GUBBA

After just two races in the 2011 Formula 1 season the big question is – who can stop defending world champion Sebastian Vettel?

Red Bull’s Vettel was in a class of his own to win a dramatic Malaysian Grand Prix. McLaren’s Jenson Button was runner-up to go second in the championship and Renault’s Nick Heidfeld was third.

In the overall standings Button moves ahead of team-mate Lewis Hamilton, who survived a late clash with Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso as they disputed third and the 2008 Champion finished seventh behind Alonso after a late tyre stop.

Britain’s former world champions Hamilton and Button will surely push Vettel all the way. But it’s hard to bet against the 23-year-old German who became the youngest ever world champion in November

Overall standing: 1, Vettel – 50 pts; 2, Button – 26 pts; 3, Hamilton – 24 pts.

Follow the Motor racing adventures of a Formula 1 wannabe The Ghetto Kid

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