Richard Barnes

Latest articles by Richard Barnes

No Man's Land Plus

No Man's Land

Despite standout performances by all of 2008's leading contenders, this year's championship was seemingly one no one wanted to win. Richard Barnes looks back on a fascinating and unpredictable season

On the Edge Plus

On the Edge

Lewis Hamilton clinched his first world championship in last weekend's edge-of-the-seat season finale at Interlagos, while a dominant victory still wasn't enough for Felipe Massa. But, regardless of the result, both drivers highlighted the fruits of their development on the day that really mattered

Driven to redemption Plus

Driven to redemption

Lewis Hamilton put his recent mistakes behind him to command from the front throughout the Chinese Grand Prix. Richard Barnes looks into what happened at Shanghai and what it means for next weekend's finale at Interlagos

Reverting to Instinct Plus

Reverting to Instinct

Richard Barnes explores the mistakes made by title protagonists Lewis Hamilton and Felipe Massa at Fuji, and shows what they could learn from Fernando Alonso's approach after the Spaniard has capitalised to win the last two races

A Night Lottery Plus

A Night Lottery

The inaugural Singapore GP had a bit of everything. Richard Barnes analyses where the race was won and lost, and how Nico Rosberg managed to turn a drive-through penalty into second place

A Distinct Possibility Plus

A Distinct Possibility

The Italian Grand Prix was a rare treat, a victory for the minnows and for another of the sport's great emerging talents. Richard Barnes looks into Sebastian Vettel's win and the shortcomings of the championship contenders

An Unwelcome Intrusion Plus

An Unwelcome Intrusion

It should be remembered as a classic, thrilling Belgian Grand Prix on Formula One's most majestic stage - Spa-Francorchamps. Instead all anyone is talking about Lewis Hamilton's penalty - and, more crucially, why he was penalised

Two Thirds Plus

Two Thirds

That Valencia's debut on the Formula One calendar was uneventful had something to do with another dominant performance by Felipe Massa, but as Richard Barnes points out, it was the last thing Kimi Raikkonen's title defence needed

The Perils of Assumption Plus

The Perils of Assumption

This has been a season where we've learned to expect the unexpected, and no race has epitomised that as aptly as the Hungarian Grand Prix did on Sunday. Richard Barnes reflects on the significant issues to come out of the weekend

A Favour Returned Plus

A Favour Returned

If Ferrari made the wrong call at Silverstone, handing McLaren an easy win, then the Woking outfit seemed set to return the favour in Germany last weekend. Instead, the fans got an exciting twist in what looked set to be a boring procession. Richard Barnes reflects on the German GP and its effect on the championship standings

A Class Apart Plus

A Class Apart

The superiority of Lewis Hamilton and Kimi Raikkonen at Silverstone last weekend evoked memories of the Schumacher/Hakkinen era. But as Richard Barnes explains, it was an unfathomable error by Ferrari that denied us what could have been a classic battle

The Turning of the Season Plus

The Turning of the Season

Felipe Massa has won Grands Prix before, but was France the race that triggered the Brazilian's title charge? Richard Barnes analyses the events of Magny-Cours

A Bridal Tradition Plus

A Bridal Tradition

The Canadian Grand Prix offered something old (the circuit), something new (the winner), something borrowed (the championship lead) and something blue (someone's mood)... Richard Barnes reflects on the 2008 championship after the seventh round

A Fine Balance Plus

A Fine Balance

Of all the places to have the first wet race of the current SECU-era, it had to be Monaco. The result was a memorable one, as Richard Barnes explains

Progress by Inches Plus

Progress by Inches

Felipe Massa continued his dominance of Istanbul Park, while what seemed to be an inspired risk by McLaren later proved to be borne from necessity. Richard Barnes looks back at the Turkish Grand Prix

The Anchorman Plus

The Anchorman

Kimi Raikkonen's dominance in Spain has put him in a handy position for back-to-back titles. If he can make it through May, says Richard Barnes, he'll be high-on unstoppable

Enter the Spoilers Plus

Enter the Spoilers

Felipe Massa may have dominated in Bahrain, but only after Robert Kubica's BMW gave him a fright in qualifying. Richard Barnes ponders whether the race in the desert was a sign of things to come

The Third Step Plus

The Third Step

Two rounds into the 2008 world championship, patterns are beginning to emerge - and some have cause to be concerned. Richard Barnes looks at the Sepang weekend and how it affects the standings

Platinum Pass Plus

Platinum Pass

After half a decade of almost-full grids finishing the race at Melbourne due to exceptional reliability, the opening round of 2008 saw barely five cars make it to the finish. Richard Barnes analyses the impact of the Australian GP on the championship

The Curate's Egg Plus

The Curate's Egg

The 2007 F1 season was brilliant at times, depressing at others. Richard Barnes looks at what is changing during the off-season, and what can be expected from 2008

A Silver Lining Plus

A Silver Lining

As the first season of the post-Michael Schumacher era, there were fears that 2007 could be a write-off. Instead, writes Richard Barnes, we were gifted with one of the most gripping battles in years

The 2007 Drivers Review Plus

The 2007 Drivers Review

The 2007 world championship has been run and won, but the final points standing only tell part of the story. Richard Barnes looks back at how each driver performed during the season

Two Ticks Plus

Two Ticks

After a fairytale season, reality returned to bite Lewis Hamilton at the final hurdle at Interlagos. Richard Barnes reflects on an astonishing Brazilian Grand Prix

The Jaws of Victory Plus

The Jaws of Victory

One mistake turned the championship battle on its head in China, but Richard Barnes argues that Lewis Hamilton and McLaren's actions at Shanghai made more sense than it might seem...

As Clear as Mist Plus

As Clear as Mist

Forty one laps into the Japanese GP, Lewis Hamilton had all but secured the world championship title. Richard Barnes analyses the chips fell in the rookie's favour at Fuji

Edged Out Plus

Edged Out

Somewhere amid all the talk of politics and legalities in Spa, a motor race broke out. Richard Barnes takes stock of the Belgian Grand Prix, and its implications for the championship fight

The Serenity Prayer Plus

The Serenity Prayer

While the Italian Grand Prix was held against a huge backdrop of politics, the title contenders remained focused on the things they could still control. Richard Barnes takes stock of Monza

The Saturday Champion Plus

The Saturday Champion

Dominance on Saturday has played a big part in determining the shape of this year's championship fight, and in Turkey, it also did much to decide the outcome of the race. Richard Barnes explains

Inexplicable Lapse Plus

Inexplicable Lapse

When McLaren's intra-team fight for the championship turned personal during qualifying for last weekend's Hungarian Grand Prix, it had major ramifications for the race. Richard Barnes tries to make sense of it all

Riding the Roller Coaster Plus

Riding the Roller Coaster

It was inevitable that Lewis Hamilton's sensational run of podium finishes would come to an end, but who could have predicted that it would end in such a dramatic weekend for the rookie driver? Richard Barnes admires Hamilton's perseverance and analyses the tightening championship battle

A Shot of Adrenaline Plus

A Shot of Adrenaline

Nigel Mansell may have expounded the advantages of a home Grand Prix, but as Lewis Hamilton found out at Silverstone, it can also be a poisoned chalice. Richard Barnes explains

The Scales Tip Again Plus

The Scales Tip Again

Momentum had been against Kimi Raikkonen and Ferrari in the last few races, but at Magny Cours they made it quite clear that they are still in the game. Richard Barnes explores the latest chapter in a constantly shifting title battle

The Rise of Youth Plus

The Rise of Youth

The United States Grand Prix signalled a shift in the balance of the championship - and an opportunity for a new approach from Fernando Alonso. Richard Barnes weighs up an intriguing race

Delivery on Demand Plus

Delivery on Demand

As his championship opponents falter, Lewis Hamilton continues to exceed expectations race by race. Can anyone stop the Briton after his maiden win? Richard Barnes analyses Hamilton's and his rivals' performance at the Canadian Grand Prix

The Cracks Emerge Plus

The Cracks Emerge

After a backslapping start to the year, has the battle between the championship protagonists become personal? After Monaco, Richard Barnes wouldn't be surprised if it has...

A Brittle Balance Plus

A Brittle Balance

Youth again overcame experience in Barcelona, with Felipe Massa taking a dominant win and Lewis Hamilton moving into the championship lead. Richard Barnes examines the ramifications of the Spanish Grand Prix

Nine Points of the Law Plus

Nine Points of the Law

With three races down and a three-way tie for the lead of the world championship, Richard Barnes ponders the performance of the 'team leaders' versus their less-fancied rivals at Ferrari and McLaren

Three's Company Plus

Three's Company

Just two races into the season, and it seems obvious who the three main protagonists of the championship will be. Richard Barnes analyses how the season is likely to evolve after the Malaysian Grand Prix

An Established Order Plus

An Established Order

The first round of the season has traditionally thrown up a few surprises, yet this year Melbourne seemed to buck that trend. Richard Barnes analyses the 2007 championship kick-off

A Frozen Watershed Plus

A Frozen Watershed

2007 will be, in some ways, a new era for Formula One. In other ways, it will stay the same. But just briefly. Richard Barnes reflects on the new year

The Class of 2006 Plus

The Class of 2006

The 2006 season looked set to be a cakewalk for Fernando Alonso after a flawless start to the year. But Michael Schumacher and Ferrari turned things around and the battle proved thrilling until the final race in Brazil. Richard Barnes reflects on a memorable season

The 2006 Drivers Review Plus

The 2006 Drivers Review

Twenty-seven drivers took part in the 2006 Formula One season, including three world champions, 12 Grand Prix winners, six rookies, and five who failed to see out the season. Richard Barnes reviews the performance of all the drivers who took part in the 2006 championship

A Fitting Finale Plus

A Fitting Finale

The problems that hit Michael Schumacher during the Brazilian GP did the German and every F1 fan a big favour, allowing the seven-time champion to leave the sport after a genuine racing challenge that highlighted all his amazing abilities. Richard Barnes reflects on Schumacher's final race

Daylight Plus


Michael Schumacher's engine failure in Japan all but served the title to Fernando Alonso on a silver platter. Not only that, but it set the scene for an anticlimactic end to the championship and the seven-time champion's career. Richard Barnes reflects on the Japanese GP and its consequences

Chinese Checkers Plus

Chinese Checkers

Just when it looked like he didn't stand a chance of fighting at the top of the field, Michael Schumacher played like a master exponent of Chinese Checkers and went on to beat title rival Fernando Alonso and take the championship lead with just two races to go. Richard Barnes analyses the two contenders' Chinese GP weekend

Success and Succession Plus

Success and Succession

The departure of Michael Schumacher will leave a significant void on the Grand Prix grid, following a career that has re-written the record books. His achievements seem unassailable, but so did those of Prost in the previous era so why, asks Richard Barnes, can it not happen again? And who might do it?

Second Fiddle Plus

Second Fiddle

Fernando Alonso's public image underwent a change for the worse at the Italian Grand Prix. The controversial penalty on Saturday and his retirement on Sunday, followed by his attack on Michael Schumacher later, meant the Renault driver made the headlines for the wrong reasons for the first time this year. Richard Barnes looks at how the championship balance seems to be swinging

A Spin in Time Plus

A Spin in Time

Sunday's Turkish Grand Prix featured an unexpected protagonist: Toro Rosso's Tonio Liuzzi. With his spin on lap 12, the Italian changed the outcome of the race and, Richards Barnes says, maybe even the championship

A Painful Memory Plus

A Painful Memory

For Fernando Alonso and Michael Schumacher, retiring from the Hungarian Grand Prix could be a painful memory once the championship is decided, as both missed a chance to take an important step towards their goals when everything seemed to be going their way. Richards Barnes analyses the title contenders' Hungarian weekend

Shuffling the Deck Plus

Shuffling the Deck

In the space of a few weeks, the 2006 championship has gone from a foregone conclusion to what looks set to be a thrilling, down-to-the-wire battle between Michael Schumacher and Fernando Alonso

Selfless Assistants Plus

Selfless Assistants

For a big part of the French GP, Ferrari looked set for another 1-2 finish, but Fernando Alonso seemed to pull a rabbit out of his hat and managed to finish second behind Michael Schumacher. Richard Barnes analyses the Spaniard's performance and the influence of teammates on the championship

A Collective Sigh of Relief Plus

A Collective Sigh of Relief

Formula One returned to Indianapolis hoping to repair some of the damage caused by last year's tyre fiasco. For the most part, the sport succeeded in doing so

Bogeys at one o'clock Plus

Bogeys at one o'clock

For three drivers, this year's Canadian Grand Prix was the opportunity to redeem themselves from previous disappointments. Two of them were unable to do so. The third man emerged as the winner. Richard Barnes analyses their fortunes in Montreal

Knowledge Management Plus

Knowledge Management

Sunday's British Grand Prix showed once again that Renault and Fernando Alonso are now in total control of Formula One. Richards Barnes analyses the secret of their success

For All Intents and Purposes Plus

For All Intents and Purposes

The Monaco Grand Prix was another of dark episode in Michael Schumacher's long F1 career. Richard Barnes analyses the Monte Carlo incident and looks back at Schumacher's past mishaps

The Fall of the South Plus

The Fall of the South

South America has been a major source for talented drivers throughout the history of Formula One. But it has now been 14 years since the last South American won a title. Richards Barnes analyses the situation

Two Singles to Glory Plus

Two Singles to Glory

Five races into the 2006 season and it's starting to look increasingly likely that Fernando Alonso and Michael Schumacher will battle it out for this year's title. Richard Barnes analyses the championship situation

Throwing the Curve Ball Plus

Throwing the Curve Ball

Michael Schumacher's victory at the San Marino Grand Prix was, to some extent, unexpected. But the German driver showed why he has won seven titles, keeping his Fernando Alonso at bay in a superb display of driving and quick thinking. Richard Barnes reflects on Schumacher's win at Imola

Chilled on a chilly day Plus

Chilled on a chilly day

If there were still any doubts about Fernando Alonso's coolness, Sunday's Australian Grand Prix put them to rest. Richard Barnes analyses Alonso's performance in Australia

The Supporting Cast Steps Up Plus

The Supporting Cast Steps Up

Richard Barnes analyses the outcome of the Malaysian Grand Prix and how the race results affect the 2006 championship battle