Oliver Postgate

Influential and Prolific English Animator Oliver Postgate sadly died in Broadstairs on 8 December 2008, aged 83. He was born in Hendon, Middlesex, England, on 12 April 1925. He was the younger son of journalist and writer Raymond Postgate and Daisy Lansbury, making him the cousin of actress Angela Lansbury and grandson of Labour politician, and sometime leader, George Lansbury. His other grandfather was the Latin classicist John Percival Postgate. His brother was the microbiologist and writer John Postgate FRS. Postgate was educated at the private Woodstock School on Golders Green Road in Finchley in north-west London and Woodhouse Secondary School, formerly known from 1923 onwards as Woodhouse Grammar School, also in Finchley (and now renamed Woodhouse College), followed by Dartington Hall School, a progressive private boarding school in Devon.

In 1942 Postgate joined the Home Guard while studying at Kingston College of Art, but when he became liable for military service during the Second World War the following year, he declared himself a conscientious objector, as his father had done during the First World War. He was initially refused recognition; he accepted a medical examination as a first step to call up, and then reported for duty with the Army in Windsor, but refused to put on the uniform. He was court-martialled and sentenced to three months in Feltham Prison. This qualified him to return to the Appellate Tribunal, where he was granted exemption conditional upon working on the land or in social service, the unserved portion of his sentence being remitted. He worked on farms until the end of the war, when he went to occupied Germany, working for the Red Cross in social relief work.

On return to the UK, from 1948 he attended drama school, but drifted through a number of different jobs, never really finding his niche. In 1957 he was appointed a stage manager with Associated-Rediffusion, which then held the ITV franchise for London. Attached to the children’s programming section, he thought he could improve upon the low budget black and white television productions. Postgate wrote Alexander the Mouse, a story about a mouse born to be king. Using an Irish-produced magnetic system – on which animated characters were attached to a painted background, and then photographed through a 45-degree mirror – he persuaded Peter Firmin, who was then teaching at the Central School of Art, to create the background scenes.

After the success of Alexander the Mouse, Postgate agreed a deal to make the next series on film, for a budget of £175 per programme. Making a stop motion animation table in his bedroom, he wrote the Chinese story The Journey of Master Ho. This was intended for deaf children, a distinct advantage in that the production required no soundtrack which reduced the production costs. He engaged an honorary Chinese painter to produce the backgrounds, but as the painter was classical Chinese-trained he produced them in three-quarters view, rather than in the conventional Egyptian full-view manner used for flat animation under a camera which made the characters look short in one leg, but the success of the production provided the foundation for Postgate with Firmin to start up his own company solely producing animated children’s programmes.

Postgate and Firmin Set up their business in a disused cowshed at Firmin’s home in Blean near Canterbury, Kent, producing children’s animation programmes. Firmin did the artwork and built the models, while Postgate wrote the scripts, did the stop motion filming and many of the voices. This enabled Smallfilms to produce two minutes of film per day, ten times as much as a conventional animation studio, with Postgate moving the cardboard pieces himself, and working his 16mm camera frame-by-frame with a home-made clicker. As Postgate wholly voiced many of the productions, including the WereBear story tapes, his distinctive voice became familiar to generations of children.

They started in 1959 with Ivor the Engine, a series for ITV about a Welsh steam locomotive who wanted to sing in a choir, based on Postgate’s wartime encounter with Welshman Denzyl Ellis, who used to be the fireman on the Royal Scot. (It was remade in colour for the BBC in 1976 and 1977.) This was followed by Noggin the Nog for the BBC, which established Smallfilms as a reliable source to produce children’s entertainment, when there were only two television channels in the UK. Postgate would go to the BBC once a year, show them the completed films and they would say: “Yes, lovely, now what are you going to do next?” We would tell them, and they would say: “That sounds fine, we’ll mark it in for eighteen months from now”. Postgate had strict views on story-line development, affecting each particular series development. The Clangers adventures were surreal but logical. Postgate disliked fantasy for its own sake and felt that Once things become unbelievable science fiction becomes science nonsense. Everything must be strictly logical aand abide by the laws of physics.

During the 1970s and ’80s Postgate was active in the anti-nuclear campaign, addressing meetings and writing several pamphlets including The Writing on the Sky. In 1986, in collaboration with the historian Naomi Linnell, Postgate painted a 50-foot-long (15 m) Illumination of the Life and Death of Thomas Becket for a book of the same name, which is now in the archive of the Royal Museum and Art Gallery, Canterbury. In 1990 he painted a similar work on Christopher Columbus for a book entitled The Triumphant Failure. A Canterbury Chronicle, a triptych by Postgate commissioned in 1990 hangs in the Great Hall of Eliot College on the University of Kent’s Canterbury campus

Postgate also narrated the six-part BBC Radio 4 comedy series Elastic Planet in 1995. In his later years, he blogged for the New Statesman. in 2003 Postgate narrated Alchemists of Sound, a television documentary about the BBC Radiophonic Workshop. In 2007, he was guest on BBC Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs. He was also a guest on The Russell Brand Show on 19 January 2008 where he discussed the making of Bagpuss and his subsequent work in TV and Film. In 1987 the University of Kent at Canterbury awarded an honorary degree to Postgate, who stated that the degree was really intended for Bagpuss, who was subsequently displayed in academic dress. His autobiography, Seeing Things, was published in 2000.

Postgate had a huge influence and effect on British culture, and was held in great affection for the role his work had played in many people’s lives. His work was widely discussed in the UK media and many tributes were paid to him and his work across the internet. Charlie Brooker dedicated a portion of his Screenwipe show to Oliver Postgate, and the way he influenced his own childhood.

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Evel Knievel

Legendary American motorcycle daredevil Evel Knievel Sadly died of pulmonary disease on November 30th, 2007 in Clearwater, Florida, aged 69. He was Born in Butte, Montana on October 17, 1938. He was raised by his grandparents. After watching a Joie Chitwood auto daredevil show as a child, he took to jumping using a pedal bike, later moving on to motorbikes. As a troubled youth, he earned his stagename after occupying a jail cell next to a man named Knofel, leading the jailer to refer to the pair as Awful Knofel and Evil Knievel (Knievel later changed the spelling of the first name to Evel). In addition to stunt riding at local shows, his early life including a spell in the United States Army at the behest of a magistrate, as well as jobs as a hunting guide and an insurance salesman, while also becoming an ice-hockey team owner. Knievel notably staged an exhibition match against the Czechoslovakian hockey team ahead of the 1960 Winter Olympics.

After moving into sports full time, he had moderate success on the motocross circuit. Knievel moved into the entertainment business in 1966 by setting up his own touring daredevil show, initially using a variety of performers and later converting it to a solo show with his jumps as the center-piece. He came to national attention when he persuaded the owners of Caesars Palace in Las Vegas to let him jump their fountains on New Year’s Eve 1967. After a failed landing, which was caught on film, Knievel spent 29 days in a coma. After his recovery, he continued to make high profile and lucrative jumps, and began lobbying the government for permission to jump the Grand Canyon. Unable to obtain permission, he settled on a jump over the Snake River in Twin Falls, Idaho, which he attempted on September 8, 1974 in the X-2 Skycycle. The parachute deployed immediately after launch and the vehicle crashed just a few feet away from the river’s edge. Knievel suffered minor injuries and avoided drowning. Knievel then traveled to Britain, and on May 26, 1975, attempted to jump 13 buses in front of 90,000 people at Wembley Stadium, again crashing with severe injuries. His longest completed career jump came at Kings Island theme park in Ohio on October 25, 1975, jumping 14 buses, marking his peak television audience.

In 1977, Knievel served six months in jail for assaulting promoter Shelly Saltman for writing an unflattering book. After this conviction, Knievel’s career suffered, causing him to declare bankruptcy following a $13 million award for damages to Saltman. After cancelling an attempt to jump a tank full of live sharks in Chicago after injuring a cameraman during a practice jump, Knievel eventually withdrew from doing major shows. He instead concentrated on touring with and training his son Robbie Knievel, also a daredevil, eventually making his last jump in March 1981. Knievel’s nationally televised motorcycle jumps were four of the twenty most-watched ABC’s Wide World of Sports events to date. He became a celebrity, recognizable for his use of a Stars-and-Stripes red, white and blue V-shaped set of motorcycle leathers and cape. On the back of this fame, Knievel gained endorsements from Harley-Davidson and a toy line by the Ideal Toy Company.

He was also the subject of A 1971 film Evel Knievel which starred George Hamilton as Knievel, and he starred as himself in the 1977 film Viva Knievel!. Knievel later said of his career that he had “earned $60 million, and spent $62 million”. In total he attempted over 75 ramp-to-ramp motorcycle jumps between 1965 and 1980, and in 1974, a failed jump across Snake River Canyon in the Skycycle X-2, a steam-powered rocket. The 35 broken bones he suffered during his career also earned him an entry in the Guinness Book of Records. According to the obituary in The Times Newspaper , Knievel was one of the greatest American icons of the 1970s and was inducted into the Motorcycle Hall of Fame in 1999 and his daredevil exploits continue to inspire stuntmen and daredevils worldwide much to the chagrin of Health and safety regulators.

Bentley

Bentley 3 Litre

Best known as a manufacturer of luxury automobiles Bentley Motors Limited was Founded 18th January 1919 by W. O. Bentley. Bentley had been previously known for his range of rotary aero-engines in World War I, the most famous being the Bentley BR1 as used in later versions of the Sopwith Camel. Before World War I, Walter Owen Bentley had been in partnership with his brother Horace Millner Bentley selling French DFP cars, but he had always wanted to design and build his own range of cars bearing his name. In August 1919, Bentley Motors Ltd. was registered, and a chassis with dummy engine was exhibited at the London Motor Show in October of that year. An innovative 4 valves per cylinder engine designed by ex-Royal Flying Corps officer Clive Gallop was built and running by December, and orders were taken for deliveries starting in June 1920; however, development took longer than estimated, and the first cars were not ready until September 1921. Their durability earned widespread acclaim. Appearances were made in hill climbs and at Brooklands and a single entry in the 1922 Indianapolis 500 mile race driven by Douglas Hawkes finished at an average speed in excess of 80 miles an hour. After the war, W. O. Bentley designed and made production cars that won the 24 hours of Le Mans in 1924. Woolf Barnato acquired his first Bentley (a 3-litre) in 1925, just 12 months before he also acquired the business itself. With this car he won numerous Brooklands races. He was a member of a social set of wealthy British motorists known as the “Bentley Boys” who favoured the cars of W. O. Bentley. Many were independently wealthy, often with a background in military service. Barnato was nicknamed “Babe”, in ironic deference to his heavyweight boxer’s stature.The Bentley enterprise was always underfunded, but inspired by the 1924 Le Mans win by John Duff and Frank Clement, Barnato agreed to finance Bentley’s business. Barnato had incorporated Baromans Ltd in 1922, which existed as his finance and investment vehicle. Via Baromans, Barnato initially invested in excess of £100,000, saving the business and its workforce. A financial reorganisation of the original Bentley company was carried out and all existing creditors paid off for £75,000. Existing shares were devalued from £1 each to just 1 shilling, or 5% or their original value. Barnato held 149,500 of the new shares giving him control of the company and he became chairman. Barnato injected further cash into the business: £35,000 secured by debenture in July 1927; £40,000 in 1928; £25,000 in 1929. With renewed financial input, W. O. Bentley was able to design another generation of cars.

A group of wealthy British motorists known as the “Bentley Boys”— Woolf Barnato, Sir Henry “Tim” Birkin, steeplechaser George Duller, aviator Glen Kidston, automotive journalist S.C.H. “Sammy” Davis, and Dr Dudley Benjafield among them—kept the marque’s reputation for high performance alive. Bentley, located at Cricklewood, north London, was noted for its four consecutive victories at the 24 hours of Le Mans from 1927 to 1930.In 1929, Birkin had developed the lightweight Blower Bentley, including five racing specials that started with the Brooklands racing designed Bentley Blower No.1.In March 1930, during the Blue Train Races, Woolf Barnato raised the stakes on Rover and its Rover Light Six, having raced and beat Le Train Bleu for the first time, to better that record with his 6½-litre Bentley Speed Six on a bet of £100. He drove against the train from Cannes to Calais, then by ferry to Dover, and finally London, travelling on public highways, and won; the H.J. Mulliner-bodied formal saloon he drove during the race as well as a streamlined fastback “Sportsman Coupé” by Gurney Nutting—he took delivery of on 21 May 1930—became known as the “Blue Train Bentleys”; the latter is regularly mistaken for (or erroneously referred to) as being the car that raced the Blue Train, while in fact Barnato named it in memory of his race.

Bentley was Purchased by Rolls-Royce in 1931, when production was moved from London to Derby, and When the new Bentley 3½ litre appeared in 1933, it was a sporting variant of the Rolls-Royce 20/25, which disappointed some traditional customers yet was well received by many others. After World War II production of Rolls-Royce and Bentley cars was moved to an ex-wartime engine factory in Crewe, Cheshire and standard-steel Bentleys were slightly lower priced Rolls-Royces without the Rolls’ distinctive square-shouldered grille. The Continental fastback coupé first appeared in 1952 and was an evolution of the 1946 Mark VI produced principally for the domestic home market, the majority of cars produced (165, including a prototype) being right-hand drive. The chassis was produced at the Crewe factory and shared many components with the standard R type. Other than the R-Type standard steel saloon, R-Type Continentals were delivered as rolling chassis to the coachbuilder of choice. Coachwork for most of these cars was completed by H. J. Mulliner & Co. who mainly built them in fastback coupe form. Other coachwork came from Park Ward (London) who built six, later including a drophead coupe version. Franay (Paris) built five, Graber (Wichtrach, Switzerland) built three, one of them later altered by Köng (Basle, Switzerland), and Pininfarina made one. James Young (London) built in 1954 a Sports Saloon for the owner of James Young’s, James Barclay. Sadly financial problems brought about a collapse of Bentley in 1970.

In 1998, Vickers decided to sell Rolls-Royce Motors. The leading contender seemed to be BMW, who already supplied engines and other components for Bentley (and Rolls-Royce) cars and because of their long-lasting joint efforts in building aero engines. Their final offer of £340m was outbid by Volkswagen Group, who offered £430m. Volkswagen Group got the Crewe works and found it held the rights to Rolls-Royce’s “Spirit of Ecstasy” mascot and the shape of that radiator grille but no rights to the Rolls-Royce name or logo. In 1998 BMW started supplying components for the new range of Rolls-Royce and Bentley cars – notably V8 engines for the Bentley Arnage and V12 engines for the Rolls-Royce Silver Seraph. It also emerged that BMW was able to terminate its supply deal with Rolls-Royce with 12 months’ notice, which would not be enough time for Volkswagen Group to re-engineer the cars. Bentley reintroduced the venerable Rolls-Royce V8 engine into the Arnage, initially as an additional model, and all BMW engine supply ended in 2003 with the end of Silver Seraph production. From 1 January 2003 forward, Volkswagen Group would be the sole provider of cars with the “Bentley” marque. Rolls-Royce production was relocated to their Goodwood plant in Goodwood, West Sussex, England.

Bentley has been owned by the Volkswagen Group of Germany since 1998. After acquiring the business, Volkswagen modernised the Crewe factory in order to increase production capacity. In 2002, Bentley presented Queen Elizabeth II with an official State Limousine to celebrate her Golden Jubilee. In 2003, Bentley’s two-door convertible, the Bentley Azure, ceased production, and Bentley introduced a second line, Bentley Continental GT, a large luxury coupé powered by a W12 engine built in Crewe. The Flying Spur, a four-door version of the Continental GT, was also introduced. In April 2005, Bentley confirmed plans to produce a four-seat convertible model—the Azure, derived from the Arnage Drophead Coupé prototype—at Crewe beginning in 2006. By the autumn of 2005, the convertible version of the successful Continental GT, the Continental GTC, was also presented. These two models were successfully launched in late 2006. A limited run of a Zagato modified GT was also announced in March 2008, dubbed “GTZ”and A new version of the Bentley Continental was introduced at the 2009 Geneva Auto Show: The Continental Supersports. This new Bentley is a supercar combining extreme power with environmentally friendly FlexFuel technology, capable of using petrol (gasoline) and biofuel (E85 ethanol).

Evel Knievel

Legendary American motorcycle daredevil Evel Knievel was Born in Butte, Montana on October 17, 1938. He was raised by his grandparents. After watching a Joie Chitwood auto daredevil show as a child, he took to jumping using a pedal bike, later moving on to motorcycles. As a troubled youth, he earned his stagename after occupying a jail cell next to a man named Knofel, leading the jailer to refer to the pair as Awful Knofel and Evil Knievel (Knievel later changed the spelling of the first name to Evel). In addition to stunt riding at local shows, his early life including a spell in the United States Army at the behest of a magistrate, as well as jobs as a hunting guide and an insurance salesman, while also becoming an ice-hockey team owner. Knievel notably staged an exhibition match against the Czechoslovakian hockey team ahead of the 1960 Winter Olympics.

After moving into sports full time, he had moderate success on the motocross circuit. Knievel moved into the entertainment business in 1966 by setting up his own touring daredevil show, initially using a variety of performers and later converting it to a solo show with his jumps as the center-piece. He came to national attention when he persuaded the owners of Caesars Palace in Las Vegas to let him jump their fountains on New Year’s Eve 1967. After a failed landing, which was caught on film, Knievel spent 29 days in a coma. After his recovery, he continued to make high profile and lucrative jumps, and began lobbying the government for permission to jump the Grand Canyon. Unable to obtain permission, he settled on a jump over the Snake River in Twin Falls, Idaho, which he attempted on September 8, 1974 in the X-2 Skycycle. The parachute deployed immediately after launch and the vehicle crashed just a few feet away from the river’s edge. Knievel suffered minor injuries and avoided drowning. Knievel then traveled to Britain, and on May 26, 1975, attempted to jump 13 buses in front of 90,000 people at Wembley Stadium, again crashing with severe injuries. His longest completed career jump came at Kings Island theme park in Ohio on October 25, 1975, jumping 14 buses, marking his peak television audience.

In 1977, Knievel served six months in jail for assaulting promoter Shelly Saltman for writing an unflattering book. After this conviction, Knievel’s career suffered, causing him to declare bankruptcy following a $13 million award for damages to Saltman. After cancelling an attempt to jump a tank full of live sharks in Chicago after injuring a cameraman during a practice jump, Knievel eventually withdrew from doing major shows. He instead concentrated on touring with and training his son Robbie Knievel, also a daredevil, eventually making his last jump in March 1981. Knievel’s nationally televised motorcycle jumps were four of the twenty most-watched ABC’s Wide World of Sports events to date. He became a celebrity, recognizable for his use of a Stars-and-Stripes red, white and blue V-shaped set of motorcycle leathers and cape. On the back of this fame, Knievel gained endorsements from Harley-Davidson and a toy line by the Ideal Toy Company. A 1971 film Evel Knievel starred George Hamilton as Knievel, and he starred as himself in the 1977 film Viva Knievel!. Knievel later said of his career that he had “earned $60 million, and spent $62 million”. In total he attempted over 75 ramp-to-ramp motorcycle jumps between 1965 and 1980, and in 1974, a failed jump across Snake River Canyon in the Skycycle X-2, a steam-powered rocket. The 35 broken bones he suffered during his career also earned him an entry in the Guinness Book of Records. Knievel Sadly died of pulmonary disease on November 30th, 2007 in Clearwater, Florida, aged 69. According to the obituary in The Times Newspaper , Knievel was one of the greatest American icons of the 1970s and was inducted into the Motorcycle Hall of Fame in 1999 and his daredevil exploits continue to inspire stuntmen and daredevils worldwide much to the chagrin of Health and safety regulators.

Kimi Räikkönen

Finnish racing driver Kimi-Matias Räikkönen was born 17 October 1979 in Espoo).Räikkönen entered Formula One as a regular driver for Sauber-Petronas in 2001. Having previously only raced in very junior open-wheel categories, he was given his Super Licence from the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) after a performance delivery promise by his team boss, Peter Sauber He joined McLaren Mercedes in 2002, and became a title contender by finishing runner-up in the 2003 and 2005 championships to Michael Schumacher and Fernando Alonso, respectively. Räikkönen’s 2003 and 2005 seasons were plagued by severe unreliability from his McLaren cars.After switching to Ferrari in 2007, he became the highest paid driver in motor sport with an estimated wage of $51 million per year. In turn his move to Ferrari saw him secure his first Formula One World Drivers’ Championship, beating McLaren drivers Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso by one point, as well as becoming one of the very few drivers to win in their first season at Ferrari. In 2008, he equalled the record for fastest laps in a season for the second time. After one more year in the sport, he left the Ferrari F1 team to drive a Citroën C4 WRC for the Citroën Junior Team in the World Rally Championship for 2010. Along with rallying, Räikkönen has turned his attention towards NASCAR, and made his debut for Kyle Busch Motorsports in the Camping World Truck Series.

In 2008, Räikkönen was among the two Formula One drivers who made it into the Forbes magazine’s The Celebrity 100 list, the other being Fernando Alonso. He is 36th on Forbes magazine’s The Celebrity 100 list of 2008, and 41st on the previous year. On the same list, as of 2008, he is listed as the 26th highest paid celebrity overall and the 5th highest paid sportsman behind Tiger Woods, David Beckham, Michael Jordan and Phil Mickelson. In 2009, Räikkönen was listed as the equal 2nd highest paid athlete in the world, behind Woods. In 2009 Räikkönen left Ferrari and was replaced by Fernando Alonso. He was expected to return to McLaren alongside Lewis Hamilton but negotiations with the team failed. Räikkönen was linked to Mercedes GP but the team eventually signed Michael Schumacher and Nico Rosberg. Toyota F1, before it pulled out of Formula One, offered Räikkönen a driving contract to replace Timo Glock in 2010. Räikkönen did not drive in Formula One in the 2010 season.

In 2009 Räikkönen made his rally debut at the Arctic Lapland Rally, driving a Tommi Mäkinen Racing-prepared Abarth Grande Punto S2000. He finished in 13th place. Räikkönen made his WRC debut in the 2009 Rally Finland,He was running third in group N and 15th overall before crashing out in Väärinmaja, last stage of Saturday. During 2010 Räikkönen became afull-time driver for the Citroën Junior Team, driving a Red Bull-sponsored Citroën C4 WRC with his co-driver, Kaj Lindström. Räikkönen scored his first WRC points when he finished eighth in the Jordan Rally. Consequently, he became the second driver after Carlos Reutemann to score championship points in both Formula One and the World Rally Championship. In the next WRC event, the Rally of Turkey, Räikkönen improved his best result with a fifth-place finish. In the 2010 Rally Finland, the retired four-time World Rally Champion Juha Kankkunen entered the race and said that if Räikkönen cannot beat him then he might as well go back to Formula One. Kankkunen finished eighth and Räikkönen 25th due to car trouble. He finished seventh in the Rallye Deutschland, his second ever asphalt rally, while notching up his first ever career stage win, the last stage of the rally. Räikkönen achieved his first rally win in the Rallye Vosgien 2010 in France. He won all six stages in the asphalt rally. Räikkönen did not start in the Rally Catalunya after crashing. Räikkönen entered the 2011 World Rally Championship season under his own team, ICE 1 Racing driving a Citroën DS3 WRC He finished eighth in the Rally Sweden. Skipping the Mexico event, he next competed in Rally Portugal and finished seventh.

in 2011 Räikkönen signed a deal with Toyota team Kyle Busch Motorsports to run a limited schedule in the Camping World Truck Series Series. Räikkönen also took part in the North Carolina Education Lottery 200 at Charlotte Motor Speedway with a strong finish of 15th, though he started the day with tough practice sessions and qualified only at 31 out of 37 trucks. Räikkönen went on to race in the Nationwide Series at the same track on 28 May driving for Joe Nemechek and NEMCO Motorsports. He finished 27th after having debris stuck on the grille of his car and getting a penalty for speeding in the pitlane, Räikkönen tested Robby Gordon’s car at Infineon Raceway, with plans of Gordon fielding a two-car team for him and Räikkönen at the Toyota/Save Mart 350. However, Räikkönen crashed the car in the test, and the deal with Robby Gordon Motorsports fell through.

in 2012, Räikkönen returned to Formula One with a two-year contract with Lotus. Räikkönen began the season by qualifying 17th for the Australian Grand Prix However he recovered and moved up to twelfth, before making it into the top ten. He took three places on the last lap of the race, to finish in seventh place. Räikkönen qualified for the Malaysian Grand Prix in 5th place. He started the race from 10th place because of an unscheduled gearbox change and also eventually finished the race in 5th. At the Chinese Grand Prix he was 14th after running 2nd after incorrect tyre choice resulted in him being overtaken by 10 cars in the space of one lap. At the Bahrain Grand Prix he finished second starting from 11th position on the grid. It was his first podium Räikkönen finished third at the Spanish Grand Prix, after having qualified in fifth place, which had been promoted to fourth as a result of a penalty given to Lewis Hamilton. In Monaco Räikkönen qualified in 8th but finished one place lower in 9th place. For the 2012 Canadian Grand Prix Räikkönen qualified 12th but finished 8th. In the European Grand Prix at the Valencia Street Circuit he finished second behind Fernando Alonso.

In the 2012 British Grand Prix he finished fifth, after having qualified in sixth place. Räikkönen reached 4th in the 2012 German Grand Prix, eventually gaining the last podium spot after Sebastian Vettel was penalised for an illegal overtaking manoeuvre. Räikkönen qualified 5th for the Hungarian Grand Prix Eventually finishing the race in 2nd place, just one second behind the race winner Lewis Hamilton. Räikkönen qualifyed fourth for the Belgian Grand Prix and went on to finish 3rd behind Jenson Button and Sebastian Vettel. Räikkönen qualified 7th for the Italian Grand Prix at Monza, eventually finishing in 5th. At the Singapore Grand Prix, Räikkönen qualified 12th. and eventually finished 6th. At the Japanese Grand Prix, Räikkönen qualified 8th after spinning at his final attempt in Q3 and finished 6th after being passed by McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton after the second round of pit stops. Räikkönen eventually qualified 5th for The Korean Grand Prix and finished the race in 5th after an impressive battle with McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton which ended in Räikkönen’s favour. Räikkönen was 48 points behind the championship leader Sebastian Vettel after 16 rounds of the 2012 season, however He won the Brazillian after McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton suffered gearbox problems. At the Indian Grand Prix, Räikkönen qualified in 7th place Eventually finishing 7th.

Räikkönen Extended his contract with Lotus was extended for 2013. In 2012, Räikkönen won his first race for the Lotus F1 team at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix after a good start from fourth saw him take Pastor Maldonado and Mark Webber at the first corner. He was unable to match the pace of Hamilton, but a mechanical issue retired the McLaren and allowed Räikkönen to win the race, despite pressure from the Ferrari of Fernando Alonso. Lotus celebrated its first win since the 1987 Detroit Grand Prix which was won by Ayrton Senna. Still third, Räikkönen was 16 points clear of Lewis Hamilton in the championship. But after Hamilton’s pole position at the concluding race of 2012, Räikkönen would have to finish at least fifth in the race if Hamilton were to win. He qualified ninth howeverOn lap 52, Räikkönen, made a mistake and went off the track and tried to use an escape road to re-enter the track rather than drive over the grass. The road was blocked and he was forced to turn back. He lost numerous places and found himself behind a Caterham and a Marussia. He skidded again to be lapped, but re-claimed the lost places and with a retirement from Hamilton, finished the race in 10th and claimed his 3rd place in the standings, with a 1-point contribution to the tally. He ended the season 71 points behind Fernando Alonso and 74 points behind champion Sebastian Vettel. Räikkönen was named the driver of the year in a poll in a French auto racing website, http://www.toileF1.com In second place was Fernando Alonso.

In 2013 Räikkönen won the Australian Grand Prix despite starting from seventh He also set the fastest lap of the race on lap 56. Räikkönen qualified seventh in Malaysia, but was demoted three places for impeding Nico Rosberg during qualifying. Eventually finishing the race seventh, behind team-mate Grosjean. Räikkönen qualified and finished second At the Chinese Grand Prix. In the Bahrain Grand Prix he qualified ninth, but was promoted to eighth after Lewis Hamilton received a five-place grid penalty for an unscheduled gearbox change. He finished the race second ahead of his team-mate Romain Grosjean, with Sebastian Vettel winning the race. At the Spanish Grand Prix, Räikkönen started fourth and finished second thanks to a three-stop strategy. At the next race in Monaco, Räikkönen started fifth eventually finishing in tenth place. In the process, it continued his streak of 23 consecutive points finishes, one shy of the record of 24 set by Michael Schumacher across three seasons between 2001 and 2003. Räikkönen finished ninth at the Canadian Grand Prix. Räikkönen finished 5th At the 2013 British Grand Prix, finishing in the points for the 25th consecutive race, breaking Schumacher’s record and putting him in third place in the championship. At the German Grand Prix, Räikkönen qualified fourth and finished second, only a second behind Vettel.

Räikkönen gualified sixth for the Hungarian Grand Prix but finished second – for the fifth time at the circuit. The result promoted him to second in the Drivers’ Championship, one point ahead of Fernando Alonso and 38 points behind championship leader, Vettel. At the Belgian Grand Prix, Räikkönen finished fastest in Q2 but did not finish the race, this ended his chances of beating the most consecutive race finishes – a record held by Nick Heidfeld at 41 finishes – Räikkönen recorded 38. He failed to score again at the Italian Grand Prix after losing his front wing at the start and was unable to pass Jenson Button for a point scoring position. Räikkönen left Lotus for the 2014 season, and instead join Fernando Alonso at Ferrari. it was revealed that Räikkönen had not been paid by Lotus for the whole season, meaning there were several million euros of outstanding fees. Räikkönen publicly cited this as the reason for leaving Lotus for Ferrari. Räikkönen qualified 13th, for the Singapore Grand Prix eventually finishing third place. At the Japanese Grand Prix, he qualified 9th and finished 5th. Then at the Indian Grand Prix, Räikkönen qualified 6th eventually finishing in 7th place. Räikkönen refused to enter the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix unless he was paid. Räikkönen qualified 5th, but was demoted to the 22nd and last grid spot. Then Räikkönen retired on the first lap after crashing into Giedo van der Garde’s Caterham and Räikkönen missed the rest of the season.

In 2014 Räikkönen signed a 2-year deal With Ferrari. After a mostly disappointing first half of the season he finished fourth place at the Belgian Grand Prix. However Räikkönen ended the 2014 season a career-low 12th in the Drivers’ Championship. Räikkönen remained with Ferrari for the 2015 season, partnering former world champion Sebastian Vettel after Alonso announced his departure from the Scuderia. Räikkönen had to retire from the first race of the season in Australia due to a loose wheel following a pitstop. He recovered to finish fourth both in Malaysia and China. However Another pit issue befell Räikkönen during practice for the Bahrain Grand Prix. Despite this Räikkönen eventually finished second at the Bahrain Grand Prix and recorded his first podium since the 2013 Korean Grand Prix for Lotus, and the first in his second spell with Ferrari. Räikkönen qualified in 7th place for the, Barcelona Grand Prix Moving to 5th position before being controversially overtaken by Ricciardo, and finishing the race in 6th. Räikkönen qualified in 3rd place for the Montreal Grand Prix, unfortunately spun at the hairpin while on the out-lap from a pitstop, and lost his 3rd place to Valtteri Bottas.In the Austrian Grand Prix he was involved in a big crash with Fernando Alonso which left Alonso’s McLaren on top of Räikkönen’s Ferrari.

At the 2013 Hungarian Grand Prix, Räikkönen ran second behind Vettel looking set for a 1–2 until a technical failure meant he lost straightline speed. He then lost further positions after the restart so following a pitstop he retired. Räikkönen started from 17th on the grid at the Belgian Grand Prix However, he managed to overtake the middle pack and finished the race in 7th, after teammate Sebastian Vettel had a tire blowout on the 42nd lap causing him to lose a 3rd place finish. Räikkönen qualified on the front row for Ferrari’s home race the Italian Grand Prix at Monza, but dropped to last due to mechanical problems eventually battling from the back of the field to finish fifth. At the Singapore Grand Prix, Räikkönen qualified in 3rd, behind Sebastian Vettel and Daniel Ricciardo. Räikkönen maintained the position through the race despite being uncomfortable with the car, to take his second podium finish of the season. Räikkönen ended the season by finishing third in the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix to take his third podium of the year and was fourth in the Drivers’ Championship.

Sadly Räikkönen had to retire from the first race of the 2016 season in Australia Grand Prix however Räikkönen did finish in second place at the Bahrain Grand Prix. Räikkönen outpaced teammate Sebastian Vettel in qualifying at the Chinese Grand Prix to take 3rd on the grid, unfortunately he collided with Vettel but despite this he eventually finished fifth. He Finished the Russian Grand Prix in third place after a huge start collision, which left his teammate Vettel out of the race. This was also the 700th podium in Ferrari’s Formula One history. At the Spanish Grand Prix Räikkönen finished behind Max Verstappen in second place to take his third podium of the season in the finishing ahead of his teammate Vettel who was third. During the 2017 motor racing season Räikkönen had his first pole position in 129 races at Monaco, qualifying just 0.04 seconds faster than his teammate Sebastian Vettel. For the Hungarian Grand Prix at the Hungaroring, Räikkönen qualified second, Eventually finishing second, with Vettel finishing first, giving Ferrari a 1-2 finish. Räikkönen renewed his contract with Ferrari for the 2018 season.

Murray Walker

Semi-retired Formula One motorsport commentator and journalist Murray Walker, OBE was born 10th October 1923. For most of his Formula One Commentating career he worked for the BBC, but when it lost the contract for F1 coverage to the company ITV, Walker continued his commentating after the change of broadcaster.He has a distinctive, enthusiastic commentary style. Since 1978, British television commentary of the Formula 1 seasons has been used by other broadcasters right around the world, including Australia and Japan. He was an exponent of the commentator’s curse, noting in an interview that he might say how well a driver was racing or that they would probably win the race, only to have them retire or crash out of the race shortly thereafter, hence his catchphrase “…Unless I’m very much mistaken…” which might lead shortly after to a correction “…And I am very much mistaken…” to introduce the correction of the foregoing comment if it turned out in the event to be incorrect.

He is known for his gentlemanly and considerate conduct, seeing the best in drivers who had attracted controversy. He rarely criticised drivers and preferred to give the benefit of the doubt in attributing blame for incidents. One example of this was during the 1994 Australian Grand Prix where, following the controversial crash between Michael Schumacher and Walker’s close friend Damon Hill which decided the World Drivers’ Championship in the German’s favor, Walker, unlike his fellow commentators at the time, most notably former 500cc Motorcycle World Champion Barry Sheene, declined to blame Schumacher outright for the crash. Here are some of Murray Walker’s best quotes:“

“It’s raining and the track is wet”
“He is shedding buckets of adrenalin in that car”
“With half the race gone, there is half the race still to go”
“Anything happens in Grand Prix racing and it usually does”
“Do my eyes deceive me, or is Senna’s Lotus sounding rough ?”
“As you look at the first four, the significant thing is that Alboreto is 5th”
“Senna is 3rd with Mansell 2nd and Piquet 3rd!”

“This will be Williams’ first win since the last time a Williams won.”
“You can’t see Alesi’s Ferrari because it isn’t there!”
“You might not think that’s cricket, and it’s not, it’s motor racing”
……..and Schumacher has just completed lap 77 out of 73.”
“..and Micheal Schumacher is leading Micheal Schumacher”
And Michael Schumacher is actually in a very good position. He is in last place.
“There is nothing wrong with the car except that it is on fire.
“A sad ending, albeit a happy one”
“So this being Michael Schumacher’s 10th race in his 151st year in F1″
“There are 7 winners of the Monaco Grand prix on the starting line today and four of them are Michael Schumacher
Fantastic!! There are four different cars filling the first four places!!“Senna 1st, Prost 2nd and Berger 3rd that makes up the top four!”
“Here at Brands Hatch Will Gollop has a clear lead over Will Gollop
Murray: There’s a fiery glow coming from the back of the Ferrari
– James: No Murray, that’s his rear safety light
Murrary: “What’s that? There’s a BODY on the track!!!
-James: “Um, I think that that is a piece of BODY-WORK, from someone’s car.
Murray (To Damon Hill)): When did you realise that you had a puncture, Damon?
– Damon Hill: When my tyre went down, Murray!“
“Frentzen is taking, er…, reducing that gap between himself and Frentzen.
”Michael has moved up to the position that..that…that…the other one isn’t“
Two McLarens on the first row of the grid, two Ferarri’s on the first row of the grid…”
“Jenson Button is in the top ten, in eleventh position.
Upon seeing Pedro Diniz’s Sauber catch fire ” Fire! Fire!, Diniz in the oven”
“…and HERE COMES DAMON HILL IN THE WILLIAMS!!!!…..this car is absolutely unique!….except for the one behind it….which is exactly the same…”