Archive for the ‘Trentham Sleaves’ Category

2015 Abu Dhabi GP preview

Posted in News, Trentham Sleaves by Trentham Sleaves on Friday, November 27th, 2015

F1 journalist and utter knobstrap TRENTHAM SLEAVES looks ahead to Sunday’s race

trenthamsleaves1There’s a glorious atmosphere that consumes the paddock here in Abu Dhabi, as warm and mysterious as the hot winds that blow in from the epic desert that envelops this legendary track like a vast sandy duvet. It’s a unique and wonderous environment in which to end this most incredible of F1 seasons and you really have to be here to experience it, which of course I am.

I was able to reflect on what a season it has been as I chatted with my old mate Alain Prost outside the Paddock Club just yesterday. ‘Oh my God, not you!’ he jested before asking if I had a pass to get into the Club itself. I told him that I did not (though not for want of asking, Mr Ecclestone sir!!!). ‘Good!’ quipped the large nosed multi-champ cheekily, and ran inside! Dear old Al has always had, as we say en Francais, un bonne sense d’humour!

Seriously though, it has been quite a season between the immense fights at the front and the various struggles between the teams that performed superbly and the teams that maybe wished for a little more performance. I was mulling upon these points only last night as I dined alone at a wonderful Italian place much favoured among members of the F1 community. I won’t say its name, though suffice to say a certain 1998/1999 World Champion knows it well as I have seen him in here eating a pizza! Discretion prevents me from revealing what toppings he favoured or the words he used to explain to me that he wanted to be left in peace to eat! As with any eatery favoured by those in the know, it helps to speak a little of the local lingo when ordering so it’s fortunate that I parlez a little Abu Dhabian and as I feasted on a two CD cases and an extremely wet sock placed next to a bowl of squid ink I thought on how we F1 fans have been truly spoilt this season with some top notch racing from a sport that really is at the top of its game and truly firing on all cylinders at a host of brilliant tracks and which definitely should renew someone’s all-races press pass for next year without question.

As I left the restaurant, I chanced upon a certain grey haired British world champ from the ‘90s and stopped for a brief chat. ‘Right, that’s it! If I see you again next season I’m calling the police, and don’t come near my house!’ he jested, before jumping into a taxi. A wonderful wit, as always!

As to who will take the famous finish flag on Sunday, I think it’s pretty obvious. After a commanding performance all season, it will be a Mercedes, or a Ferrari or a Red Bull or a Williams. Furthermore, I’m prepared to stick my neck out here and say that I believe our own Lewis Hamilton will be the 2015 Formula 1 World Champion. Rest assured, whatever happens this weekend, I will have a superb seat for all the action.

Because remember, I’m here and you’re not.

 

2015 Russian GP preview

Posted in News, Trentham Sleaves by Trentham Sleaves on Friday, October 9th, 2015

F1 journalist and ludicrous tit TRENTHAM SLEAVES looks ahead to Sunday’s race

trenthamsleaves1Some places need only to be visted once or twice before they feel like home, and Sochi is certainly one of those. There is a charm to the place, and to its circuit, that simply cannot be conveyed in print or on television and must be experienced first hand by actually being there, which of course I am.

I was sampling the delights of downtown Sochi on Wednesday night, dining alone at a wonderful little Italian place whose name is, I’m sure you’ll understand, best kept amongst those of us in the know within F1. Ordering is best performed in the local tongue but luckily I speak a little Russian and as I feasted on raw pork, some pencils and a bowl of crushed cheese, I spotted my old mate Daniil Kvyat walking by. I leapt from my table to say ‘hi’ but he pretended not to hear me and walked briskly away. Always such a jester!

Later, as I strolled through the glorious environs of the town and watched the police beating up some gays, I spotted a certain 1990s British world champion at a distance and called out to him. He called back, as he often does, ‘Not within 50 metres of me! Read the bloody court order!’ and then got into a cab. What a splendid sense of humour he has!

Yesterday, I was taken out by my dear old mate Sergei Osmolov, a local businessman, and politician who I met for the first time last year and who gave me an fascinating tour of the area in his Rolls-Royce. I have been in a Rolls-Royce before, as I’m sure you haven’t, yet I never fail to be impressed by the majestic silence and imperious power with which these whispering beasts conduct themselves down the road. It was almost as memorable as Mr Osmolov’s obvious love for his city and the passionate way he spoke about the ‘vital importance’ of F1 and the ‘financial benefits’ of the sport to Russia as well as the ‘bodily harm’ that can happen to a person in this region if certain ‘requests are not met’.

In my opinion, Sochi is one of the all-time great Formula 1 tracks, dwarfing Silverstone or Monza for sheer spectacle and a brilliant atmosphere. It has, in many ways, become the definitive track for this sport and I certainly hope we will be coming here for the full extent of the existing seven year deal and beyond that with a new deal which will be conducted under more favourable terms since this is unquestionably the best race track in the world!

As to who will take the infamous black and white flag on Sunday, I would say it’s completely obvious that Mercedes will have it in the bag, but don’t discount Ferrari and I definitely think Williams or Toro Rosso could surprise, or perhaps even Red Bull. Whatever happens, rest assured that I will have the best seat in the house for all the on-track action.

Because remember, I’m here and you’re not.

2015 Singapore GP preview

Posted in News, Trentham Sleaves by Trentham Sleaves on Friday, September 18th, 2015

F1 journalist and utter titwipe TRENTHAM SLEAVES looks ahead to this weekend’s race

trenthamsleaves1The nocturnal magnificence of a fully illuminated circuit set against the soaring spires of a modern metropolis is something that can’t be fully appreciated unless you are here in Singapore in person to gaze upon the city in all its glowing glory, which of course I am.

Like the teams and drivers, I stay on UK time while here in the fascinating city state, a policy which pays dividends for all the track action yet leaves one’s internal clock in a state of confusion that can only be experienced if you are actually here which, as I might have mentioned, I am. I spoke of this unusual experience to my old mate Christian Horner as we chatted while I chased after him down the paddock. ‘Yea, no, whatever,’ he said enigmatically before adding, ‘Please leave me alone’. So nice to see that, despite his team’s current troubles with Renault, he can still retain his marvellous sense of humour!

The various behind-the-scenes sagas that so fascinate those of us on the inside of this sport were something I had time to reflect upon last night as I dined alone at a wonderful Italian place, far from the beaten track. Discretion prevents me from naming this fine establishment but, if my experience is typical, you will know you’ve found it when they loudly say, ‘Oh my God, not this prick again!’ as you walk through the door! Typical of Singaporean humour, as dry as the air is humid!

I speak a little Singaporeanese and was able to order in local tongue and, as I feasted on a newspaper drizzled in lemonade and two fish heads in a cup, I pondered on whether Renault will buy back Lotus and many other bits of gossip I overheard in the press room.

Someone who would surely have a great view on all this is a certain British world champion of the 1990s who I bumped into in the lobby of my hotel. I hoped to ask him for his views on the complex politics of the sport but he simply said, ‘Stop hanging around in the lane near my house!’ and then ran into a lift! What a jester!

As to who will take the chequered flag in this after-dark spectacular, to me there is no doubt whatsoever that it will be a Mercedes, or a Ferrari if they are on form or perhaps a Williams or Red Bull, or even a surprise from Toro Rosso. Whatever the result here under the famous floodlights, rest assured that I will have a front row seat for all the action.

Because remember, I’m here and you’re not.

2015 Belgian GP preview

Posted in Motorsport, News, Trentham Sleaves by Sniff Petrol on Friday, August 21st, 2015

A look forward to this weekend’s race with F1 journalist and irritating tit TRENTHAM SLEAVES

trenthamsleaves1What do you think of when you think of Formula 1? For me, F1 is sharing a drink with a dear friend like Alain, or hearing an old mate like Mika quipping ‘I’m sorry, who are you?’, or enjoying the humour of a great chum like Fernando asking security to remove me from the building again. But when I think of F1, I also think of tracks and none more so than Spa.

The modern tracks like China and Russia are of course wonderful and I completely agree with everything about them, but there’s a spirit to an old timer like the great lady Spa which you simply cannot replicate. As you stand in the distinctive split level paddock, as I was earlier today, you can literally smell history in your nostrils and its heady aroma intoxicates you in a way that you simply cannot understand unless you are actually which I think I’ve already made clear, I am.

Of all the old tracks, I would say that Spa is my favourite, alongside Silverstone and Monza and Interlagos, which are also my favourites. One of the things I like about this place is the chance to pop into Spa itself, as I did last night, and visit a charming little Italian trattoria off the beaten track, the name of which discretion prevents me from mentioning. It really is a locals’ haunt and you’re well advised to steer clear unless you, like me, are able to order in Belgian. As I feasted on my spaghetti di water and sunglasses with a side plate of postage stamps, I reflected on some of the great victories that Spa has seen from some of my great friends like Davey, Mikey and of course dear departed Ayrty.

Later that evening as I strolled through the town, I happened upon another Spa winner in the form of a certain British world champion turned Sky TV pundit who I will not name. I tapped him on the shoulder and, with typical wit, he shouted ‘I’ve told you, leave me ALONE!’ and then pushed me into some railings. Priceless!

As to who will take the legendary chequered symbol of success here in the typically variable conditions of old mistress Spa, I think it’s without question a rock solid bet that it will be a Mercedes, or a Ferrari or Red Bull with the possibility of a Williams surprise. Whatever happens, you can rest assured that I will have a nice, dry yet front row seat for all the action.

Because remember, I’m here and you’re not.

2015 British GP preview

Posted in Motorsport, News, Trentham Sleaves by Trentham Sleaves on Friday, July 3rd, 2015

F1 journalist and utter dicknozzle TRENTHAM SLEAVES looks ahead to this weekend’s race

trenthamsleaves1The Formula 1 circus travels all over the world but there is something unique and special about the British Grand Prix because this is, quite simply, as close as the sport comes to being at its spiritual home. Most of the teams are British or employ British people or used to have a British driver or have been to Britain before, and you can feel that sense of homecoming in the unique atmosphere of the paddock, something that can be experienced only by being here, which of course I am.

What is it, you might wonder, that makes F1 such a British sport? I was able to pose that exact question to my old mate Jenson Button who I bumped into after standing outside his motorhome for 40 minutes. ‘Oh God,’ he quipped. ‘You again!’ As ever, Jens proves himself to have a marvellous sense of humour! One could say that’s a British trait in itself, as indeed is ordering your security people to remove me from the area!

I was able to reflect a little more in Britain’s vital role in the pinnacle of motorsport as I dined alone last night at my favourite little Italian place in Towcester. Modesty forbids me from mentioning its name and suffice to say you would struggle to get a table anyway, unless you know the owner or have visited before or they’re not very busy. It also helps if you can order in Italian, which of course I can. As I savoured my spaghetti with chicken and chips and a coffee poured over it, I spotted a certain well known 1996 British champ walking past and dashed out of the restaurant to ask him for his views on our nation’s role in Formula 1. ‘Oh God, I thought my lawyers had warned you about this!’ he jested. Such a wonderful sense of humour! Definitely a trait as truly and typically British as, for example, shouting ‘restraining order’ and then getting into a taxi.

As to who will take the infamous chequered flag at this weekend’s all-important race, I think it’s pointless to mince words at this point and I will come out and say I believe Mercedes will win it, or Ferrari, or perhaps a Williams, and don’t discount a Red Bull surprise. Suffice to say, whatever happens at the British Grand Prix I will have a great view of all the action.

Because remember, I’m here and you probably are as well. But I have a nicer seat.

2015 Austrian GP preview

Posted in Motorsport, News, Trentham Sleaves by Trentham Sleaves on Friday, June 19th, 2015

Horrendous F1 journalist TRENTHAM SLEAVES looks ahead to this weekend’s race. Or at least, tries to.

trenthamsleaves1There is a unique atmosphere in the paddock here at the Red Bull Ring which you simply cannot experience unless you are here, which of course I am, and as I watched the sun setting over the illustrious track I was able to reflect on the time that I met Chris Evans and we got on extremely well with a marvellous chemistry that I think would be worth bearing in mind.

This track has of course seen a great deal of action over the years and a fair few name changes as well, whereas I have always kept the same name and I’m sure Chris remembers that and will be able to find the business card I gave him during our memorable encounter at Wisley North services on the A3 back in 2004.

As I wandered last night around the perimeter of the track I found myself reflecting on the greats that have raced here and pondering for a moment on what a good place this would be to shoot my audition tape, though of course I’m sure such a thing will be a mere formality as I am a close and personal friend of Chris’s and I’m certain he remembers as fondly as I do the delightful quips we shared that spring evening as I noted that, between his classic Ferrari and my Audi A4 Avant, we had ‘the makings of a Top Gear road trip’ to which he replied, ‘I’m sorry, I have to go!’ Such a fabulous sense of humour, and one I would enjoy working with, but which I would also complement with my extensive experience of guest appearances on television and radio, as well as many years of print journalism, Chris.

As to who will take the legendary black and white flag here in Austria, I will come right out and say that I think the Mercedes will have it though you wouldn’t discount Ferrari or Williams or even Lotus but that the real winner will be my old mate Mr Christopher Evans who will undoubtedly know that he has found his next co-presenter as soon as he watches my video so don’t forget to watch my video Chris me old pal, hahahaha!

Whatever happens, rest assured that I will be on the edge of my seat. Because remember, I’m auditioning for Top Gear and you’re not. Except for the millions of you who are. Shit.

2015 Canadian GP preview

Posted in Motorsport, News, Trentham Sleaves by Trentham Sleaves on Saturday, June 6th, 2015

Shittingly bad F1 journalist TRENTHAM SLEAVES looks ahead to this weekend’s race

trenthamsleaves1There’s an atmosphere here in the Montreal paddock that’s as sticky as maple syrup and just keeps pulling the F1 circus back for more. It’s very hard to explain exactly what makes up this heady brew unless you’re actually here, and have been coming for years and were once able to discuss this with Jacques Villeneuve himself and then get asked to leave his motorhome, which I am and I have and I was.

We arrive here at the track named after Jacques’s illustrious father sur le rives du la fleuve San Lawrence full of expectation, for this is a track that rarely disappoints when it comes to action. I observed as much to my old mate Jenson Button as he made time to catch up with me in a hotel lift that I had been waiting by for several hours. ‘Yea, whatever mate,’ he said, showing the relaxed intensity for which he is known. ‘Hey, aren’t you that guy who security found in Mika Hakkinen’s shower a few years ago?’ he added, demonstrating the customary good humour for which Jens is rightly famed!

As we reach this, the seventh race, the championship seems as open as a Finnish world champion’s bathroom window and that makes the on-track action as electrifying as a Finnish policeman’s tazer. I had a chance to reflect on the tense battle between the two Mercedes drivers only last night as I dined alone at a charming Italian place in downtown Montreal which I’ve been coming to for years and which discretion prevents me from naming. It’s strictly for Montrealese locals, though they do welcome a select F1 crowd, especially those of us like me who speak a little Quebecian. As I picked one of their customary pubic hairs off of the signature creamy chocolate pizza I happened to spot a certain 1996 world champion passing by and ran from the restaurant to speak with him only for him to say ‘Oh God, not again’ and jump into a taxi. Such a marvellous wit!

As to who will take le flauge chequerede sur le weekend, I think I can say with confidence that it will be a Mercedes, unless there are problems again in which case don’t bet against Ferrari or a resurgent Lotus or Red Bull, not forgetting the Williams. Whatever happens, rest assured I will have un bon seat pour the action.

Because remember, je suis ici et vous aren’t.

2015 Spanish GP preview

Posted in Motorsport, News, Trentham Sleaves by Trentham Sleaves on Friday, May 8th, 2015

Bloody awful F1 journalist TRENTHAM SLEAVES looks ahead to this weekend’s race

trenthamsleaves1You can see and hear Formula 1 on television but what you can’t do is smell it, unless you are actually in the paddock, which of course I am. It’s a heady smell made up of one part fuel, two parts hope and seasoned with a dash of passion, all cooked to perfection under the Spanish sunshine here in Barcelona.

I’ve been coming to Barca for more years than I care to remember, yet every time the spicy paella of sights, sounds and scents take my breath away in a frenzied flamenco of F1 heritage as rich and full bodied as the finest rioja. This is a city that offers race fans the full tapas of experiences, from the bustling bull fight of the down town streets to the sweet siesta of a sangria at sunset.

I was sharing these thoughts only yesterday with my good mate Daniel Ricciardo, who I caught up with after hiding for 20 minutes around the side of his motorhome. ‘I’m sorry, who are you?’ Dan quipped. ‘Listen, I’ve really got stuff to do, can you get out please!’ he added. Typical Aussie laid back humour!

Last night I took a trip into the city and strolled down Las Rambleras before stopping to dine at a little back street restaurant which only locals know about, and a few American tourists. Discretion prevents me from naming it, although suffice to say a certain former British world champion from 1996 knows where it is as he walked in only last year only to see me waving in the corner at which point he pulled off the marvellous gag of pretending to leave, which he did by actually leaving! The menu here may seem impenetrable to the layman, but for those of us like me who speak a little Catalonian ordering is a breeze and as I feasted on my ice cream covered fish with a glass of vinegar I reflected on what a season it has already been and what delights the European leg of F1 2015 will certainly bring, although of course I fully support any moves to stage more races away from Europe.

As to this weekend’s action, I have always been pretty clear on who I believe has the upper hand and it’s definitely Mercedes or Ferrari or perhaps Bottas in the Williams, though Red Bull have been working hard on their car and cannot be discounted from surprising everyone.

Whatever happens here in the Catalanian sunshine, rest assured that I will have a superb view of all the racing. Because remember, I’m here and you’re not.

2015 Bahrain GP preview

Posted in Motorsport, News, Trentham Sleaves by Trentham Sleaves on Friday, April 17th, 2015

Terrible F1 journalist TRENTHAM SLEAVES looks ahead to this weekend’s race

trenthamsleaves1As the golden sun casts its ethereal glow across the paddock here in Bahrain one can almost feel an intangible magic that radiates from the surrounding sands giving the entire circuit an enchanting aura that cannot be experienced unless you are here in person, which of course I am.

Formula 1 arrives here in the Middle East full of new hope, inspired by the resurgence of Ferrari, impressed by the strength of Williams, mindful of the exciting tension that exists within Mercedes. These aren’t just my thoughts, they are thoughts very much endorsed by my old mate Sir Jackie Stewart who I was chatting with just yesterday. ‘Whatever you just said, fine. Just please leave me alone,’ he joked. Dear old Jack has always has a sense of humour as dry as Bahrain itself!

Last night I dined alone at a marvelous little back street restaurant I’ve been coming to for many, many years. I won’t share the name of course, and I doubt you would be able to enjoy it without knowing a little of local dialect and custom. I speak a little Bahrainy of course and once I had feasted on a shoe full of humus and tried to explain that I wasn’t calling her a sheep whore, I remembered something my dear pal Alain Prost once said to me in an airport lounge in Dubai. ‘The Middle East is quite nice,’ he mused. ‘Now, ‘ow you say, sod off before I call security.’ Good old Al, such a joker!

Speaking of former world champions, upon leaving the restaurant who should I chance upon by my great mate Damon Hill who wasted no time in pretending he hadn’t seen me and walking briskly in the opposite direction. What a card!

As to who will take the legendary chequered flag here in the white heat of the desert sands, I think the answer is obvious. It will almost certainly be a Mercedes, or a Ferrari if they can pull something out of the bag, but perhaps a Williams, although you wouldn’t bet against an outside chance of a Red Bull or Lotus.

Whatever happens, rest assured I’ll have a great view of all the action. Because remember, I’m here and you’re not.

2015 Chinese GP preview

Posted in Motorsport, News, Trentham Sleaves by Trentham Sleaves on Friday, April 10th, 2015

Terrible F1 journalist TRENTHAM SLEAVES looks forward to this weekend’s race

trenthamsleaves1There’s a fantastic magic in the air here in wonderful China which you can’t truly appreciate unless you are here in the fabulous paddock, allowing it to flood your nostrils and give you another marvellous asthma attack.

F1 may be a relatively new sport here in Shanghai but my goodness, to be here feels like coming home. I said as much to my old friend Ron Dennis, whom I bumped into after following him back to his hotel. ‘Please take appropriate measures to disengage yourself from this social interaction with immediate effect,’ he quipped. That’s dear old Ronnie for you. Such a terrific sense of humour!

Last night I dined alone in a charming little backstreet restaurant which modesty prevents me from naming. Ordering food in China can be daunting for some but I speak a little Cantonese of course and found no such problems. As I tucked into my photocopier instruction manual covered in hot water and raw owl, I had time to reflect on something my old mate Jenson Button once said when I asked him about China. ‘Yea, it’s alright,’ he mused. ‘But how did you get into my motorhome again? I’m calling security.’ Jens has always been a real wag!

Later, while wandering the bright, modern streets of the city I saw my old chum Damon Hill across the street. Sadly Damo ran away before we could chat, but as I continued my stroll I was reminded first hand of something I’ve considered for some while: The crisp, high tech world of Shanghai is a perfect fit for F1 in 2015 and so much more appropriate than the crusty old world circuits such as Monza, Silverstone and Spa, as indeed I said in my letter to Formula 1 management, begging them to renew my press accreditation.

Of course, the most important thing here in China is who will take the chequered flag on Sunday. In my view, the answer is pretty obvious: It will be Mercedes, unless Ferrari pull something special out of the bag again, and you can never discount a Williams, though Red Bull could still surprise. That’s my view, and I’m sticking to it!

Of course, whatever happens this weekend, you can rest assured that I’ll have a superb vantage point from which to watch the action. Because remember, I’m here and you’re not.