Maurice Hamilton

Celebrated Formula One journalist Maurice Hamilton is a regular columnist for Grandprix.com. Previously an award-winning writer for leading British newspapers, including The Observer, The Guardian and The Independent; Grand Prix editor for Racer magazine; editor of the Autocourse Grand Prix annual; and Commentator for BBC Radio 5 Live at grand prix events, Hamilton is also the author of more than twenty books.

Hamilton has been a full-time Formula One journalist since 1977, and has attended over 500 Grand Prix as a working journalist. Maurice also competes regularly as a co-driver in national rally events, and won his class on the 2002 Network Q Rally GB as co-driver to Tony Jardine.

Maurice's column, which appears every Wednesday, was Highly Commended in the 2011 Newpress New Media Awrads.


5 NOVEMBER 2012

Maurice Hamilton - F1 in Schools: Engineers of the Future

You know how it is; people say it's a sign of age when the policemen appear younger. In this business, it's the same with racing drivers. Time was when I looked up to them as my seniors; then we were the same age; then it suddenly dawned I was old enough to be their father. Now, worst of all, I'm older than some of their Dads.

3 OCTOBER 2012

Maurice Hamilton - Hamilton: Time to grow up

Now that Lewis Hamilton has made his decision, I'm reluctant to predict how he will get on at Mercedes.

26 SEPTEMBER 2012

Maurice Hamilton - Hamilton and Lauda

Maybe by the time you read this, we will have been put out of our misery after someone decided how many millions Lewis Hamilton will be paid next year. And, more importantly, by whom.

19 SEPTEMBER 2012

Maurice Hamilton - Professor Sid Watkins: A Very Special Man

Professor Sid Watkins was buried during a private ceremony in his beloved Borders region of Scotland on Tuesday. A lone piper played a lament, a haunting sound that spoke for thousands of people around the world who had the privilege of knowing this wonderful character. And a few of the racing drivers among them can honestly and thankfully say they are alive today because of the efforts of the man known affectionately as 'Prof'.

12 SEPTEMBER 2012

Maurice Hamilton - Hamilton: Which way now?

Jenson Button spent most of Tuesday in the simulator at the McLaren Technology Centre; on the same day, Lewis Hamilton was attending a charity function in London with Olympic champion Mo Farah. One event was shrouded in secrecy, the other held in the full glare of publicity. The two locations are separated by just 30 miles but, in terms of where both McLaren drivers are at right now, they are worlds apart.

5 SEPTEMBER 2012

Maurice Hamilton - Grosjean: A personal and public message

Jenson Button spent most of Tuesday in the simulator at the McLaren Technology Centre (MTC); on the same day, Lewis Hamilton was attending a charity function in London with Olympic champion Mo Farah. One event was shrouded in secrecy, the other held in the full glare of publicity. The two locations are separated by just 30 miles but, in terms of where both McLaren drivers appear to be right now, they are worlds apart.

29 AUGUST 2012

Maurice Hamilton - Inspirational Zanardi

There is a satisfying symmetry to Alex Zanardi going for gold in the Paralympics next week by starting off his challenge at Brands Hatch. A race track in Germany came close to killing the Italian and now, 11 years on, the British circuit will mark the next stage in the remarkable recovery and reinvention of a truly outstanding sportsman.

15 AUGUST 2012

Maurice Hamilton - Olympic ideals

The extinguishing of the Olympic flame late on Sunday night paradoxically ignited comparison between the exquisite performances and values witnessed at London 2012 with those created by other sports.

1 AUGUST 2012

Maurice Hamilton - McLaren: Policy at a price?

Did you see Michael Phelps make his record-breaking swim in the Olympics? Having helped the USA win the 4 x 200 Freestyle Relay, Phelps posed for photographs by playfully biting the edge of his gold medal. A team effort it may have been but there was no question that this was his personal reward. No one was going to remove that medal from around his neck any more than they could erase his name from the history books. If he swam for Team McLaren, however, Phelps would eventually have to give the gong to the equivalent of the Head Coach. That's an unfair exaggeration, but the mischievous thought occurred as I reflected on Lewis Hamilton's continuing negotiation with McLaren. Both sides have been saying for some time that they intend to work together for a seventh season and beyond; it is simply a matter of sorting out the detail.

25 JULY 2012

Maurice Hamilton - Red Bull: Going too far?

So, what's going on at Red Bull? I'm asking the question in this column knowing I could also be writing myself out of a welcome and a nice cappuccino in the Red Bull Energy Station.

18 JULY 2012

Maurice Hamilton - Motor sport: paying the price for publicity

How many times have you been asked: "Why do racing drivers do what they do?" It's a question that usually arises when newspapers and websites are plastered with scenes of a motor sport tragedy. The tone of the enquiry usually suggests that anyone pulling on a crash helmet is either lacking in imagination or possesses some form of death wish.

11 JULY 2012

Maurice Hamilton - Silverstone: Flushing away goodwill

When Paddy Lowe attempted to make a quick getaway through Silverstone's back gate at 6.45pm on Sunday, McLaren's technical director found the way barred. A farmer, for reasons best known to himself, had taken the unilateral decision to block the mile-long track adjoining his fields.

4 JULY 2012

Maurice Hamilton - A farce in 17 laps

Lousy weather and talk about tightening the F1 rules are appropriate on the eve of Silverstone. The history of the British Grand Prix is smattered with both but the 1998 race brought a controversial and comic combination of the two.

27 JUNE 2012

Maurice Hamilton - BMW: 'The Crap Job'

Those of us living in the UK are preparing to be maxed out with London 2012 Olympics publicity as the British sporting summer reaches its height. As always, some adverts will better than others.

20 JUNE 2012

Maurice Hamilton - The darker side

We were talking the other day about the remarkable steps made in safety in motor sport. Time goes so quickly and you have to remind yourself that it will soon be 20 years since that terrible weekend at Imola when we lost Roland Ratzenberger and Ayrton Senna.

13 JUNE 2012

Maurice Hamilton - How good is this?

Now the debate really gets going. Was the Grand Prix you saw in Montreal on Sunday a race or a lottery? I think Christian Horner summed it up best when he said: "Lottery is too strong a word. It's.....interesting!"

6 JUNE 2012

Maurice Hamilton - Canada 1982: Agony and irony

People talk about this being an unpredictable season but, so far, it has nothing on 1982. The Canadian Grand Prix, run 30 years ago this week, summed up that season for all its agony, irony and very little ecstasy.

30 MAY 2012

Maurice Hamilton - Monaco: A different kind of motor race

Sunday's Monaco Grand Prix polarised opinion - as it usually does. You either thought it was a tedious procession or a unique test of tenacity and skill.

23 MAY 2012

Maurice Hamilton - Monaco F1: Pumped up over tyres

So, who's going to win Monaco? You may as well ask if I know the winning number on next Saturday's Lotto. Personally, I love this uncertainty. Others, I know, are less enthused.

16 MAY 2012

Maurice Hamilton - First among friends

Whatever anyone says about the increasingly bizarre nature of the 2012 F1 season, not many would begrudge Williams their first win since 2004. You can talk all you want about tyres and windows and falling off cliffs and the result being a lottery but, when the red lights go out, it is what it is.

25 APRIL 2012

Maurice Hamilton - Bahrain: Vettel the only winner

As the F1 teams legged it to Bahrain airport on Sunday night, they left behind the unpleasant mix of exhaust fumes, tear gas and the reek of self-interest. If the events of the previous week failed to flatter Bahrain, they did even less for a sport which came away with its reputation tarnished by world-wide scorn. Whether that was justified or not doesn't matter now. The fact is that it happened. Any idiot could have predicted it.

2 MAY 2012

Maurice Hamilton - F1 + Football: A Game of Three Halves

Sauber press release April 30: "Sauber F1Team and Chelsea FC enter into partnership". A hastily convened FIA World Council meeting has presented a daft Code of Conduct to deal with contingencies that might arise from F1's recent connection with championship football. Using the FIA Sporting and Technical Regulations as a guideline, the following helpful suggestions have been made.

25 APRIL 2012

Maurice Hamilton - Bahrain: Vettel the only winner

As the F1 teams legged it to Bahrain airport on Sunday night, they left behind the unpleasant mix of exhaust fumes, tear gas and the reek of self-interest. If the events of the previous week failed to flatter Bahrain, they did even less for a sport which came away with its reputation tarnished by world-wide scorn. Whether that was justified or not doesn't matter now. The fact is that it happened. Any idiot could have predicted it.

18 APRIL 2012

Maurice Hamilton - Bahrain: damned if we do; damned if we don't

There are an uncomfortable few days ahead now that the Bahrain Grand Prix has been given the green light.

11 APRIL 2012

Maurice Hamilton - Good to go?

The trouble with an important issue such as the Bahrain Grand Prix is that it seems to present leading F1 people with the unfortunate opportunity to make themselves look silly.

4 APRIL 2012

Maurice Hamilton - Time to be quiet

Why is it, every time I turn on a F1-related TV programme, I see Christian Horner? From BBC Breakfast to BBC F1 Highlights; from SkySportsF1 paddock interviews to their F1 Show last weekend, up pops the neatly-coiffured Red Bull team principal politely saying - well, not very much because there is little to add when your team is not on the expected pace. And when comment is passed on important issues of the moment then, frankly, he's better off saying nothing at all.

28 MARCH 2012

Maurice Hamilton - Red Alert

Being the sceptics that some of us are, the Conspiracy Theory Sensor went onto Full Alert - or perhaps I should say Red Alert - on Sunday when Sauber issued an instruction to Sergio Perez as he chased after Fernando Alonso and victory in the Malaysian Grand Prix.

21 MARCH 2012

Maurice Hamilton - Whose side are you on?

The power of Twitter is such that you can lie in bed on Sunday morning in Melbourne and be across the global gossip. A quick scan of overnight messages - overnight for us in Oz but daylight tweeting in the UK - showed an interesting comment from the sharp-eyed Mark Gallagher. Being a specialist in the commercial and financial affairs of motor sport, Gallagher had picked up tweets that led him to an explosive story on F1.

14 MARCH 2012

Maurice Hamilton - Polishing the silverware

There is a genuine feeling of uncertainty, here in Melbourne. Yes, it's normal for every preview under the sun to claim this will be the best season ever; that it's impossible to say who will win. But, deep down, most informed pundits usually have a feeling that one team will dominate; it's just that they don't want to appear to write off the season before it has started.

7 MARCH 2012

Maurice Hamilton - Nicolas Hamilton: Fully enabled

If you're fortunate enough to have been in a Formula 1 paddock from time to time, you will have noticed Nicolas Hamilton, not necessarily because he is Lewis's younger brother, but more likely because Nicolas is suffering the effects of Cerebral Palsy.

29 FEBRUARY 2012

Maurice Hamilton - F1: A busted hush

The F1 personnel you see taking part in the final F1 pre-season test this weekend are focussed totally on performance. But what you won't see are the concerned expressions back at base as at least six team principals think about simply surviving this season, never mind winning. Although the bosses won't admit it to your face, their teams are evidence that the F1 business model is bust. Or close to it.

22 FEBRUARY 2012

Maurice Hamilton - Me and my boy

Martin Brundle has described the Le Mans 24 Hours as 'unquestionably, in motor sport, the greatest show on earth'. Martin should know. He won with Jaguar in 1990 and also raced in the French classic with Nissan, Toyota and Bentley. And now he's going back.

15 FEBRUARY 2012

Maurice Hamilton - Only in the movies

Just as we were saying how uniformly ugly F1 cars have become, Paul Boggan, a race fan, happened to post this picture on Facebook. Okay, it's from 1976 when race car design did not need to be as tightly controlled as it is today.

8 FEBRUARY 2012

Maurice Hamilton - Is testing worth talking about?

The sound of sweet music returns in Spain as F1 testing begins after a mute couple of months following the last Grand Prix of 2011. With the urgent revs of a V8 comes the annual flow of nonsense as the watching media desperately tries to drum up stories from not very much at all. The cars are going round and round. End of story.

1 FEBRUARY 2012

Maurice Hamilton - Starting standing still

I can't remember my first McLaren F1 launch. And, no; that's not because the power of recall has been dulled by nights in our local pub, the Three Horseshoes. I do remember being at the original small factory in Boundary Road, Woking, in 1981 and having John Barnard, designer of the revolutionary MP4-1, persuade us to pick up a bare carbon fibre chassis to demonstrate just how light this amazing innovation was.

25 JANUARY 2012

Maurice Hamilton - The art of fibbing

I had afternoon tea with Sir Frank Williams two weeks ago. We had a long chat about his team, past and present; about F1 and how it has changed. Being Sir Frank, the rose-tinted spectacles were kept at a distance. Yes, he does enjoy anecdotes about the good times but his focus is unfailingly on the future.

18 JANUARY 2012

Maurice Hamilton - Racing oasis in the off-season desert

As I kicked off my sensible shoes last Thursday evening and massaged my feet after a day spent walking the floor of 'Autosport International', it was an appropriate moment to reflect on how what we used to call 'The Racing Car Show' has changed - mostly for the better - during the past few decades.

11 JANUARY 2012

Maurice Hamilton - Noise at work

This is not a Health and Safety briefing about the perils of excessive noise in your place of work. Quite the reverse, in fact.

4 JANUARY 2012

Maurice Hamilton - Old Mo's Almanac

A look forward at Formula 1 in 2012.

21 DECEMBER 2011

Maurice Hamilton - Gobshite of the Year

And so, we come to Gobshite of the Year. Just to remind you; a Gobshite is the idea of Hugh Leonard, an Irish playwright who used a column in a Dublin newspaper to distribute his annual awards. Leonard described a Gobshite as being a jackass, often harmless but always hopeless. Actually, 'Jackass' is perhaps too strong a term in most cases here, but you get the general drift.

14 DECEMBER 2011

Maurice Hamilton - Lotus: edging forward in black and gold

More than 40 journalists from the motor industry and motor racing sat round a long table on Monday for an end-of-year lunch with Dany Bahar, the CEO of Group Lotus. This was the second such gathering and, truth be told, some of us didn't expect Group Lotus to get this far.

7 DECEMBER 2011

Maurice Hamilton - Peter Gethin

The death of Peter Gethin on Monday has prompted a flood of tributes, all of which mention somewhere along the line that the Englishman won the fastest and, at the time, the closest race in F1 history.

30 NOVEMBER 2011

Maurice Hamilton - Lotus position

I get easily confused. For a second or two on Monday, I did think that Lotus - as in the green and yellow 'real' Lotus - had signed Kimi Raikkonen for 2012. My immediate reaction was: 'Wow! What a way to end a great weekend for this team. There's no stopping them now.'

23 NOVEMBER 2011

Maurice Hamilton - The McLaren MP4-12C: in your dreams

I'm not into high-performance road cars for the simple reason that I can't afford one. Sure, I'll stop on the street and admire a passing example; I'll grin rather foolishly if it makes a lusty sound as the driver blips the throttle with his Gucci loafer. But I don't devour every written word extolling the advantage of having 592bhp at 7,000rpm, or 600Nm of peak torque at 3,000 rpm (to quote the McLaren MP4-12C macho minutiae).

16 NOVEMBER 2011

Maurice Hamilton - Just not there

I know you shouldn't pay much heed to some of the feckless ramblings you see expressed on forums but I was struck by one comment on the BBC website. Responding to a report on the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, a correspondent was of the opinion that Lewis Hamilton simply inherited first place (because of Sebastian Vettel's first lap retirement) and that his drive was 'pretty routine and never really threatened.'

9 NOVEMBER 2011

Maurice Hamilton - 'After you.' 'No, I insist; after you.'

Doing my homework for this weekend's Grand Prix in Abu Dhabi, I came across an interesting clip from coverage of last year's race.

3 NOVEMBER 2011

Maurice Hamilton - You can't start from there!

In India, 71 per cent of the grid was out of qualifying position. The following official bulletin explains why the well-meaning action of a cloakroom attendant, Mahatma Coat, had unexpected consequences for the starting grid.

26 OCTOBER 2011

Maurice Hamilton - Road to nowhere

As my accountant will confirm, I understand very little about economics. All I know in very broad terms is that we're in a financial mess largely because of irresponsible bankers and the absence of decent legislation to contain their arrogant excesses.

19 OCTOBER 2011

Maurice Hamilton - Dealing with Tragedy

I'll leave it to those who know the facts to comment on the rights and wrongs of the Indycar race at Las Vegas on Sunday. Similarly, I won't claim to have known Dan Wheldon personally. The last time I saw him was in the paddock, chatting with friends during the Goodwood Festival of Speed. The Indy 500 had been less than a month before but you could see that Wheldon's engaging personality was attracting the fans just as much as fresh memories of that fairy-tale victory at the Brickyard.

12 OCTOBER 2011

Maurice Hamilton - Vettel: On the verge of greatness?

Whatever you may think about Sebastian Vettel, surely there can be no argument that he deserves the 2011 title more than anyone else? F1 drivers rarely compliment each other but the generous praise from Vettel's rivals say everything about his emergence as a worthy champion. And possibly a truly great one.

5 OCTOBER 2011

Maurice Hamilton - Pass the hammer, Bob, there's a good chap

Pit stops? Know all about them. Been watching them for years - as the photo proves. I'm the butter-wouldn't-melt-in-the-mouth kid with the schoolboy cap (didn't recognise me without a beard, did you?) peering round the REDeX banner and watching a pit stop during the 1953 Tourist Trophy at Dundrod.

28 SEPTEMBER 2011

Maurice Hamilton - Patience and priorities

Interesting post-Singapore debate over Lewis Hamilton. Okay! Okay! Don't go away: I know we've been here before. Bear with me because I'm not necessarily referring to Hamilton's questionable incidents; it's the punishment handed down by race stewards advised, on this occasion, by ex-F1 driver Heinz-Harald Frentzen.

21 SEPTEMBER 2011

Maurice Hamilton - Spirit of Goodwood

The Goodwood Revival is about sounds, sights and smells, all of which can bring grown men close to tears. With the last international race having been held at Goodwood in 1966, anything up to and including that date is kosher. And I mean anything.

14 SEPTEMBER 2011

Maurice Hamilton - Leading, but not by example

Martin Brundle wrote a post Italian Grand Prix column, and the former F1 driver-turned-commentator discussed the behaviour of Fernando Alonso when dealing with Sebastian Vettel and, more specifically, the robust tactics employed by Michael Schumacher in his lengthy defence against an attack by Lewis Hamilton.

7 SEPTEMBER 2011

Maurice Hamilton - Giving something back

The latest video race edit by formula1.com does the usual slick job of summarising the Belgian Grand Prix. There was so much going on that it can't have been easy to distil 44 dramatic laps into 3 minutes 21 seconds.

31 AUGUST 2011

Maurice Hamilton - Running the risk

"If you have two cars - one is completely safe and the other is bloody dangerous, but the dangerous one is two seconds a lap quicker - you know which one a true racing driver will always choose. It's the FIA's job to make sure they don't get in the dangerous one."

24 AUGUST 2011

Maurice Hamilton - Very unpleasant reminder

The title signalled an obvious clue of what was to come. 'Grand Prix : The Killer Years' brought tabloid film production to a documentary for BBC Television on F1 in the 1960s and 1970s with, as the sensation-seeking signature suggests, the emphasis on the larcenous nature of the sport at the time.

17 AUGUST 2011

Maurice Hamilton - Dundrod

You'll have to excuse me if I indulge in a bit of nostalgia this week. We are in the middle of the holiday season and I'm at home in Northern Ireland (as opposed to my adopted home in England) enjoying a few days of doing nothing.

10 AUGUST 2011

Maurice Hamilton - The Next Newey

I went to Silverstone recently and saw the future of motor sport. But I didn't hear it...

3 AUGUST 2011

Maurice Hamilton - Race abuse

Grandprix.com has been leaked a copy of the minutes from a Parliamentary Select Committee on F1 Racial Abuse.

27 JULY 2011

Maurice Hamilton - It's the pits

I saw a Grand Prix from a different angle last weekend. And I have to say, despite the apparent attraction, I didn't much enjoy the experience...

13 JULY 2011

Maurice Hamilton - Hot and cold brewing

Grandprix.com has hacked into the minutes of the FOTC (Formula One Tea Council) meeting in the old cafe at Silverstone on Sunday morning...

6 JULY 2011

Maurice Hamilton - Yesterday and tomorrow

The Goodwood Festival of Speed is not simply about the past. If you look hard enough you can find the future, tucked away in marquees and pavilions arranged around the manicured acres of Goodwood House.

29 JUNE 2011

Maurice Hamilton - F1 down in the docks

Valencia is a beautiful city with a lot going for it, particularly in the perfect summer heat of late June. Yet you can be there and not have a clue that a round of the F1 World Championship is taking place. Valencia does not embrace its Grand Prix. Perhaps that's because it's down by the docks, in an area that's shabby by comparison with the understated elegance elsewhere.

22 JUNE 2011

Maurice Hamilton - The moving picture show

Talk in the UK has been about BBC Television abandoning its coverage when the F1 contract expires at the end of 2013. The story broke in The Sunday Times.

15 JUNE 2011

Maurice Hamilton - Making your luck

Funny how things work out. John Button was making his way towards the airport terminal at Nice last week when a large bird dumped on his white jacket.

8 JUNE 2011

Maurice Hamilton - Drawing a shaky line in the sand

Who would be Lewis Hamilton? Quite a few of you, if responses on Twitter are anything to go by...

1 JUNE 2011

Maurice Hamilton - Good guy; bad guy

Who would be Lewis Hamilton? Quite a few of you, if responses on Twitter are anything to go by...

25 MAY 2011

Maurice Hamilton - The pinnacle of motor sport?

So, how does this work? Fernando Alonso leads the Spanish Grand Prix for 18 laps and then, through no fault of his own, finishes a lap behind the winner. I know that tyre degradation, 2011-style, is supposed to throw a curve-ball, but someone is having a laugh, surely?

18 MAY 2011

Maurice Hamilton - More than a wing and a prayer

The new Silverstone pits and infrastructure are far-removed from the old in every sense. No surprise, then, to have difficulty knowing exactly where you were when negotiating the internal roads en route to Tuesday's opening of The Wing, so-called because of the futuristic shape given to a roof spanning the building's 390-metre length.

11 MAY 2011

Maurice Hamilton - Unhappy returns

The Mercedes GP hospitality area in Turkey laid on cake and a rendition of Stevie Wonder's 'Happy Birthday' to greet the arrival on Saturday of Dr. Dieter Zetsche, the Chairman of Daimler AG. Dr. Zetsche must be aware that his F1 team is holding back a mounting tide of critical comment over Michael Schumacher's progress around the race track.

4 MAY 2011

Maurice Hamilton - Senna revisited

The Curzon cinema in London's Mayfair was chosen for the British premier of 'Senna' on Tuesday evening. Regular readers of this column will know that I was fortunate enough to see the film in Sao Paolo last November. I had not planned to watch it for a second time, but events were to overtake me - and I'm extremely happy that they did.

27 APRIL 2011

Maurice Hamilton - Wet feet and no brakes in a Beetle

I didn't see a single racing car over Easter. I mention this because it used to be a given among family and friends that I would never be home during Easter. There was always a race somewhere; usually a Grand Prix. But this year, by taking a break, I was able to muse over some of the crazy schedules of my youth.

20 APRIL 2011

Maurice Hamilton - Up Front

Forget, for a moment, the tactics and the tyres and the manic 97 minutes of racing in China. For me, the funniest and most easily understood split second of truth occurred just after the finish. It came courtesy of Mark Webber.

13 APRIL 2011

Maurice Hamilton - Too much, too soon?

Early days, I know, but just where is F1 heading in 2011? Opinion is polarised. There are those who think the new technology and resulting strategy is something to behold and get their teeth into. Others say F1 has become far too complex and, whisper it, false.

6 APRIL 2011

Maurice Hamilton - Statue of limitations

The hastily convened FIA sub-committee (Statues and Erections) was late starting due to the Ferrari representative downloading the latest remix of O mio babbino caro onto his iPod. "Puccini," he said, dreamily.

30 MARCH 2011

Maurice Hamilton - Morning after the weekend before

Four times I'd waited for a tram at Middle Park station, just beside Gate 1 at Albert Park circuit. Four times I'd failed to notice a neat little cafe on the platform. That's because Tram Cafe had been boarded up and locked down for the Grand Prix weekend. Your average race fan is not the sort of clientele that would appreciate this bijou coffee shop trading on a normal day to young couples sipping their lattes and cappuccinos on the back veranda and gazing across the pastures of this extensive park.

23 MARCH 2011

Maurice Hamilton - Stop Go

Melbourne has a lot of things going for it, but the pit lane is not one of them. According to team members who care about these things, it is the second-most cramped pit lane in the season. When you watch the race on Sunday, take a look at how close the cars are to each other should neighbouring teams make their pit stops at the same time.

16 MARCH 2011

Maurice Hamilton - The Way It Was

Pirelli has finished pre-season testing. The final running was carried out at Barcelona, and the track was damp at times and allowed running on intermediates; a crucial experience for the teams as they attempted to find the cross-over between dries and wets when the track is at that inbetween stage. Better to discover that now rather than during a race when a wrong call could make the difference between winning and losing. Makes sense, doesn't it?

9 MARCH 2011

Maurice Hamilton - IQ Zero

Mirelli (Ireland) has introduced an innovative scheme to spice up the mundane life of the ordinary motorist while, at the same time, boosting tyre sales, getting rid of unwanted stock and amusing the unemployed hanging around street corners.

2 MARCH 2011

Maurice Hamilton - Stock Markets and Soup

Time can play tricks, but I'm pretty sure I've got this right. According to my 1985 diary, on Thursday 24 January I've written 'Williams'. I'm prepared to bet, even though this was a low-key event for a handful of British motor sport journalists, the date marked the start of a trend in F1 public relations.

23 FEBRUARY 2011

Maurice Hamilton - Those in the know

The postponement of the Bahrain Grand Prix has ended a raft of rubbish from writers who ought to know better.

16 FEBRUARY 2011

Maurice Hamilton - Identity crisis

Burl J. Moneymaker adjusted his hairpiece and winced as the phone rang yet again. Even allowing for his clever St. Valentine's Day promotion 'The back of a F-150 makes it easy to get a leg over', February was usually a quiet period for sales in this rural auto dealership...

9 FEBRUARY 2011 

Maurice Hamilton - All about the passion

It took no longer than an hour, maybe less. Once the terrible news of Robert Kubica's accident had been digested, Twitter began to ask why Renault should allow their Number 1 driver to go rallying just as the F1 season is about to start...

2 FEBRUARY 2011

Maurice Hamilton - Waxing lyrical

Motor sport officials are believed to have sent an undercover agent to the last week's launch of the 2011 Ferrari in the hope of catching a glimpse of Fernando Alonso's legs...

28 JANUARY 2011

Maurice Hamilton - Monte Magic

Alex Caffi needed to find his spectacles in order to read the Monte Carlo Rally results sheet. Even then, the 46-year-old could hardly believe what he was seeing as he studied the positions after Special Stage 6, the fiercesome 15-mile climb over Col de Gaudissart.

19 JANUARY 2011

Maurice Hamilton - Caught Short

Mikhail Aleshin almost missed the final round of the 2010 Formula Renault 3.5 Championship at Barcelona last October when he became locked in a toilet. Members of the Carlin team had to use a crowbar to get him out...

12 JANUARY 2011

Maurice Hamilton - Champions Forever

Apparently, nostalgia can be classified as a medical condition. In which case, I picked up the virus the other day when someone sent me a link to a wonderful Formula 1 film made in 1973.

5 JANUARY 2011

Maurice Hamilton - Old Mo's Almanac

A look forward at Formula 1 in 2011.

22 DECEMBER 2010

Maurice Hamilton - Gobshite of the Year

The moment has come to discuss the Gobshite Awards for 2010. Trouble is, there aren't many candidates - and that says a lot about one of the more harmonious F1 seasons in recent years.

15 DECEMBER 2010

Maurice Hamilton - What's in a name?

Colin Chapman died of a heart attack 28 years ago this Thursday. The founder and genius behind Lotus loved a good fight but you have to wonder just what he would have made of the current tug-of-war over the Lotus name in Formula 1, a messy dispute that will turn nasty before it's finished.

8 DECEMBER 2010

Maurice Hamilton - Release from Penury

Following the example set by F1 teams with their gushing press releases announcing a subsidiary sponsor supplying vital services such as embossed toilet tissue, a small racing team based in Dublin has issued its first communique.

1 DECEMBER 2010

Maurice Hamilton - Warr Stories

Peter Warr had a habit of pushing his heavy-rimmed spectacles further up the bridge of his nose and looking you in the eye. If he then said in stern fashion: "Look, Chap; I have to say..." it was likely you were in for a bollocking.

24 NOVEMBER 2010

Maurice Hamilton - Another World

British television last week ran a documentary on James Hunt and Barry Sheene. This juxtaposition of sporting lives brought home just how much has changed since Hunt and Sheene won their titles during the glorious summer of 1976. If the British heroes tried to conduct their cavalier lifestyles now as they did then, Tiger Woods would not be alone in fighting a desperate rear-guard action demanded by commercial imperatives. Or would he?

17 NOVEMBER 2010

Maurice Hamilton - Institute of Advanced F1 Motorists

Michael was becoming distracted by the lights on his steering wheel and didn't know how to adjust the brightness, so we had to explain it to him over the radio...

10 NOVEMBER 2010

Maurice Hamilton - Memories of Senna

Twenty-five years ago this week, I had my first interview with Ayrton Senna. It was in the kitchen of a modern detached house he and fellow countryman Mauricio Gugelmin were renting in Esher, a wealthy southern suburb of London.

3 NOVEMBER 2010

Maurice Hamilton - Flaunting Credentials

The mention of Love Hotels in last week's column brought a reminder that the Hungarians were actually ahead of the, as it were, game in 2000. They did it for real by establishing a rowdy place known as 'Erotik Camping' at the foot of the hill as you left the Hungaroring.

27 OCTOBER 2010

Maurice Hamilton - F1 Love Inn

A worrying trend has been set by South Korea offering Love Hotels as accommodation for F1 people. The British Racing Drivers' Club has issued the following advisory note to owners of hostelries within a 50-mile radius of Silverstone.

20 OCTOBER 2010

Maurice Hamilton - Bursting The Bubble

F1 personalities were asked for their opinion on Lewis Hamilton being given a Messerschmitt bubble car for the drivers' parade at Suzuka.