Everything you wanted to know about WRC …

… and more is in this amazing new book by Alexandru Dobai.

If you’re a devoted rally fan, then Alexandru’s labour of love, ‘The World Rallye Guide’, would be a superb addition to your bookshelf. And if you work in the industry, forget Google Search, this is your go-to, one-stop reference.

The book traces the World Rally Championship (WRC) from its inaugural championship race, the 1973 Monte Carlo Rally and includes every single round until the end of the 2019 season. That’s a total of almost 600 rounds.

The 800-page book is jam-packed with information. Each round has its own page and includes; top 10 classification, special stage winners, distances and starters and finishers, along with the rally plate and a picture.

There are also more than 40 pages of statistics and tables covering everything you always wanted to know, as well as a complete WRC record of drivers with at least three championship starts to their name.

‘The World Rallye Guide’ is available on Amazon as a Kindle eBook here, or in paperback here.

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Top 10 Funniest Tweet Awards 'DRS' special edition – Abu Dhabi GP 2019

DRS was unavailable for the first 16 laps of the race.

Did it make the race slightly (emphasis on the slightly) more interesting for you? It certainly seemed to bunch the pack together a bit more, and the drivers certainly had to work for the overtake.

It did release a plethora of funny tweets into the twitterverse, so without further ado, here is the Top 10 Funniest Tweet Awards ‘DRS’ special edition for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix 2019:

10th place

@XKitekid with live scenes on the pitwall.

9th place

@photo_gt97 with an actual screenshot of the computer in the FOM room.

8th place

@zigzagoog with footage of radio communication between drivers and the pitwall.

7th place

@TarasDemerson with live scenes as the race stewards try to get DRS to start.

6th place

@timwagner66 with live scenes as F1 make another attempt to restart the DRS.

5th place

@MotorsportWeek with live footage of the F1 IT department’s advice to the technicians …

4th place

@PitCrew_Online … you’ve really got to pity 2nd line support. It’s all very well for the helpdesk to say turn it off and on again, but they’ve got to get their hands dirty…

3rd place

The irony of losing DRS was not lost on @dibhayles

2nd place

@f1_ds16 with live footage from the pit walls as the teams tried various strategies to get DRS working.

1st place

@Planet_F1 with footage of what was really going during the DRS ‘down’ stage of the race …

Of course, after 16 or so laps DRS was fully restored and then entire grid just went:

And that really is that.

21 races. Many, many, many funny tweets.

Thank you all for taking part. I hope you’ve enjoyed them as much as I have.

TheFunniest Tweet Awards will be back in 2020, fear not.

You have approximately 100 or so days until ights out in Melbourne, plenty of time to get soome practice in.

In the meantime, have a wonderful Christmas.xx

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Top 10 Funniest Tweet Awards – Abu Dhabi Grand Prix 2019

Let’s face it, that was not the most exciting race of the year.

In fact, it ensured the race ended with a whimper instead of a bang.

The biggest bang came from the spectacular fireworks that were set off at the end of the race.

That’s not to say the race didn’t have it’s moments. It did, one or two, but that was it.

There was some brilliant action in the mid-field between Renault and McLaren, however this never seemed to filter to the TV screens, so we just had to take it one hearsay.

In fact, as @drummerJoshG noted:

Aside from the few on-track moments, the main talking points of the race were:

Ferrari’s significant discrepancy between declared and actual fuel levels in Leclerc’s car. This Technical Directive (TD) was flagged before lights out, but the stewards are only just looking at it now, after the race.

And, a DRS problem that meant that for the first 16 laps of the race DRS was not available. There were so many funny tweets about that, I have decided to run a final special edition of the year dedicated to that issue.

But back to the funny tweets, of which there were many.

After a much-needed cup to tea, to wake me up, I have deliberated and judged this week’s entries, and here are the top 10 Funniest Tweets for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix 2019:

10th place

@ThePinkStig with an accurate description of the relationship between what the tyre graphics on screen say, and the real-life situation.

9th place

@TarasDemerson with live onboard footage from Verstappen’s car after his pit stop. Apparently something was wrong with the car, however this didn’t stop him closing the gap to Leclerc and steaming passed.

8th place

@XKitekid with a replay of Giovanazzi passing Kubica, which resulted in some damage to Kubica’s car.

7th place

@RJoseRazoJr with live footage of the “Battle for Midfield” … food fight!!!!

6th place

@robwattsf1 with live scenes from the Medio room in Abu Dhabi as journalists access their ‘highlights’ folder in an attempt to write up their race reports.

5th place

@bbcf1 with an interesting question? My theory is, that having exhausted all 26 letters of the alphabet this year on plans that failed to materialise, Ferrari are starting again at ‘A’. What do you think?

4th place

@timwagner66 with live onboard footage from Verstappen’s car, as Max is told his car can’t be fixed…

3rd place

@zigzagoog with live scenes from the pitlane as Ferrari attempt a double stack pit stop. As you can see, it didn’t quite go as planned.

2nd place

@Jontys_Corner with live footage from Verstappen’s car as he senses the Ferraris may make a second pit stop.

1st place

@jamesmaytrainer with live scenes from the Ferrari strategy room as they hit the button to adopt their strategy for the day.

But that’s not all folks!

Keep your eyes peeled for a ‘DRS’ special edition, hitting the internet very soon.

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F1 Bake Off – Round 21 – Abu Dhabi

Well, I’ve done it. Another year of F1 Bake Offs.

21 countries, 21 cakes. Some heavenly, some hellish, but most of all a lot of fun had.

For the final bake off of the year I have tried to make ‘Basboosa’, a simple cake made of yoghurt and sweet semolina – it’s not, as I said in the video gluten-free, clearly I was having a ‘senior moment’!!!

It was very easy and quick to make, and tastes rather lovely.

The recipe I used was from ‘Lecker and Yummy Recipes‘ website:



  • 500g Yogurt
  • 500g Semolina
  • 600g Sugar – 200g (cake), 400g (syrup)
  • 4 Eggs
  • 125g Butter
  • ½tsp Vanilla essence
  • 3 tsp Baking powder
  • 3 tbsp Bread crumbs
  • 1 Lemon – juice
  • 750ml Water
  • 50g Dry Coconut flakes (optional)


  1. Preheat the oven to 175C, which is Gas Mark 3½ or 155C if you have a fan oven
  2. Into a bowl add the yogurt, eggs, 200 gms sugar and the vanilla extract
  3. Mix well and combine
  4. Melt the butter separately
  5. Let it cool for about 5-7 minutes
  6. Add the butter to the yogurt mixture and mix well without forming any lumps, until the sugar is fully dissolved
  7. Add the semolina and the baking powder
  8. Mix well until everything is combined
  9. Take a big cake tin, either rectangular or a circular, and grease it with butter
  10. Sprinkle the bread crumbs to cover the entire bottom of the cake tin
  11. Pour over the prepared cake mixture
  12. Bake the cake for about 45 minutes until it turns golden brown. NOTE: This time may vary slightly according to the depth of the tin used. So watch out for the golden browning or insert a skewer to check out if its comes out clean
  13. Whilst the cake is cooking, prepare the syrup by dissolving 400g of sugar in 750ml water and bring it to a boil
  14. Cook for a further 5 minutes
  15. Then add the lemon juice and let it boil for another 2 minutes
  16. Then set aside for cooling
  17. When the cake is done, allow it to cool on a wirerack for about 5 minutes
  18. Then slowly pour the sugar syrup evenly all over the cake
  19. Allow it to seep down and soak for about half an hour
  20. Cut the cake into small squares
  21. Sprinkle dry coconut flakes for decor – optional


  • The bread crumbs at the bottom form a beautiful brown crust matching the golden brown surface and gets soaked in the syrup to become juicier.
  • I was a bit concerned about the amount of syrup the recipe makes, so I didn’t use all of it to soak the cake in, as I didn’t want to turn it too sickly sweet. I think I might have used too little though. My chief taster, my dad, said it was a tad dry, as for me I thought it was nice, just the way it was. So, depending on how sweet you like your cake, use as much or as little as you like.

And here’s how I made it:

And that’s it.

Thank you for joining me on this journey around the world in cake.

Do you want to see more next season?

Or if you have any other ideas/challenges for me to do, let me know in the comments below.

Enjoy the final race.


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F1 Book Club – Round 21 – Abu Dhabi

This week I read ‘The Sand Fish’ by Maha Gargash

Book:    The Sand Fish

Author: Maha Gargash

ISBN:     9-780-061-744-679

Coming of age in the 1950s, seventeen-year-old Noora is unlike other women of the sun-battered mountains at the tip of the Arabian Peninsula. Though she shares their poverty and, like them, bears life’s hardships without complaint, she is also fiery and independent.

Following the death of her mother and her father’s descent into dazed madness, Nora flees the threat of an arranged marriage, only to be driven back to her unwanted fate by disappointment and heartbreak.

As the third wife to a rich, much older man, Noora struggles to adjust to her new home by the sea, thinking of herself as the sand fish – the desert lizard she observed in the mountains, which, stuck in the wrong place and desperate to escape, smashed itself again and again into unyielding rocks.

But then a light is shone into her miserable darkness, resulting in an unexpected passion, a shocking indiscretion and a secret that could jeopardize Noora’s life.

Yes, I know the front of the book says ‘Dubai;, but the inside cover says the locations are imaginary places “based on the various societies that lived in the region that today makes up the United Arab Emirates and the Musandam Peninsula of Oman.”

I loved this book. From the first page I was hooked, and found it very difficult to put down.

The book is beautifully written and from the outset you empathise with Noora’s plight.

From her heartbreak to the way she is treated by ‘the matchmakers’ as a piece of meat, by her brother as nothing more than a commodity and by the two other wives of the pearl merchant who mock her.

Once married off to the pearl merchant, the development of their relationship was interesting as he taught her about his business and really opened up to Noora, in a way he didn’t with the other two wives.

But you also got to witness the power men held over their wives and the, sometimes brutal way people were treated.

It’s obvious from the blurb on the back, that Noora falls in love, and you can probably guess that it’s not with the pearl merchant. Although she does hold him in high regard, it doesn’t seem that she loves him. She falls desperately in love with someone who works for the pearl merchant, and this ‘relationship’ is encouraged by the first wife.

If the ‘affair’ had been discovered, it would almost certainly mean death for Noora, and perhaps the same fate for her lover. Thankfully it doesn’t, and the only reason the first wife encourages it, is purely to get Noora pregnant and produce an heir for the pearl merchant. She does get pregnant and the pearl merchant is none the wiser.

There is one final twist in the story for Noora, but I’m not going to spoil that for you.

The ending wasn’t the best, and I was left wanting more. But it certainly didn’t detract from the beauty of the story.

So would I recommend this one? You bet!

Here’s my online review:

Have you already read it, what did you think?

Or have you read any other books by Emirati authors and what would you recommend?

Let me know in the comments below right now.

And that’s it, 21 races, 21, well 20 books, as I couldn’t find one about Monaco over the course of nine months.

I’ve read some brilliant books.

The award for the best book of the year goes to Carlos Ruis Zafon and ‘The Shadow of the Wind’,

The wooden spoon for the worst book of the year is a toss-up between Nicole Brossard’s ‘Mauve Desert’ and Yoko Tawada’s ‘The Last Children of Tokyo’.

I hope you’ve enjoyed the F1 Book Club as much as I have?

Something equally challenging will be back next year. Maybe another book club, maybe something else. I’ve got 110 days to come up with something.

Any ideas, let me know in the comments below.


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Top 10 Funniest Tweet Awards – Brazilian Grand Prix 2019

Well. Where the actual hecky thump do you start with that one?

How insane was that race?

OK. To be fair it was crazy all the way through … but still …

Verstappen drove a superb race and we witnessed some great wheel-to-wheel action between him and Hamilton. Leclerc powered his way through the field having started in 14th, following his 10-place grid drop.

We had undercuts, jostling for position and then … came … the start of the craziness.

Bottas had been following Leclerc so closely for so long that his engine broke, excess oil, or something like that. He parked the car off track, near an exit, out of the way, in a place that barely warranted a yellow, but no, the stewards, in their wisdom sent out a safety car .

Then, 5 laps from the end Ferrari deployed Plan C! The plan where Vettel and Leclerc take each other out causing yet another safety car. And bizarrely, Mercedes this time brought Hamilton in for a change of tyres, even though there was a possibility that the race could end under a safety car. Why did they do that?

As the safety car peeled off to give us two laps of racing we had three, yes three Honda-powered cars leading the race. Verstappen, Albon and Gasly. They’re certainly no GP2 engines now.

Hamilton passed Gasly for 2nd, then tried to overtake Albon only for Albon to close the door and for the inevitable contact to happen. Albon was left floundering and Hamilton chased off after Gasly.

At the chequered flag it was a Honda 1-2 with Hamilton third. One steward’s enquiry later, post-race, and Hamilton was handed a 5-second penalty for his contact with Albon promoting Sainz, yes Sainz who started all the way at the back, to third.

Is it any wonder then that I got so caught up in the drama on track? I completely lost all track of the many, many, many funny tweets that were hitting my timeline, which meant I was playing catch-up for a good half hour afterwards, before getting down to the judging.

So, major apologies for the lateness of the results. But without further ado, here are the Top 10 Funniest Tweet Awards for the Brazilian Grand Prix 2019:

10th place

@TarasDemerson with a live action replay of the first restart of the Brazilian Grand Prix … how slowly were they going??

9th place

@StephenCole1984 … Honda with a 1-2-3? Certainly no GP2 engine now, eh Fernando?

8th place

@StargateOracle with a reminder of the number one rule for team-mates in F1 … a timely reminder for Vettel and Leclerc today methinks! What was your take on the incident? Racing incident? Vettel’s fault? Leclerc’s fault?

7th place

@ZeroPSII with live footage of the Sky F1 commentary box as Crofty desperately tries to keep up with the lead changes after Verstappen and Hamilton’s first round of pit-stops and the safety car restart.

6th place

@EnvisVirginFan with live onboard footage of what happened to Valtteri’s car.

5th place

@zigzagoog with sneaky footage of the Ferrari strategy team perfecting the execution of Plan C.

4th place

@Jontys_Corner … with all the drama that happened at the end of the race, you could be forgiven for forgetting the early lap incident between Ricciardo and Magnussen. Ricciardo went for the overtake and dinged Magnussen’s car. Ricciardo had to pit and the above tweet is actual footage of the Haas and Renault pit crews …

3rd place

@WYLD_Wolfwin … with an insight into what Leclerc’s Plan C strategy actually was.

2nd place

@XKitekid with live onboard footage of Hamilton before the first restart. This was the actual radio call he put through to Bonno. He was on medium tyres and the four cars in hot pursuit were all on softs.

1st place

@timwagner66 discovers the reason for the tailwind at Interlagos that the majority of the drivers were complaining about. Own up. Who had the spicy tacos last night??

And that concludes the penultimate Funniest Tweet Awards of the 2019 season.

The final round will be back in a fortnight, when the F1 season comes to a close in Abu Dhabi.

Once the Funniest Tweets have been announced, I shall reveal this year’s champion.

Joining in is super easy:

  1. Tweet something funny between lights out and the chequered flag
  2. Make sure your tag me or @ me, otherwise I will miss it
  3. Cross fingers

Why not give it a go in Abu Dhabi.

Now I want to hear from you.

What did you think of the race today?

Do you like this set of tweets? Which is your favourite?

Let me know in the comments below.


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F1 Bake Off – Round 20 – Brazil

It’s the penultimate ‘bake off’ of the year, and this week I’ve chosen a super simple recipe for biscuits that will go down a treat whilst you’re watching this weekend’s race.

‘Biscoitos de maizena’ or cornflour cookies, because that’s what they’re made from.

They taste amazing and are gluten-free!

And they really are very easy to make. Five ingredients, chuck them (technical term) into a bowl and mix them together. What could go wrong??

Now, I’ll make a little confession I made these biscuits twice. The first time I used margarine and the cookies did not hold their shape when cooking, and they came out of the oven as one big rectangle. Oops!

I then made them again using butter, and they turned out much better. So, you really must use butter in the recipe, vegan margariine just doesn’t cut it!!!

The recipe I used was from the ‘What’s Cooking America?‘ website and here it is:

Biscoitos de maizena


  • 300g conrnflour
  • 200g granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 170g salted butter, at room temperature (otherwise it’s a nightmare to mix)


  1. Preheat the oven to 190 C / 375 F / Gas MArk 5 / 170 C (Fan)
  2. Line a large baking tray with greaseproof paper, a silicon liner, foil or simply lightly grease it
  3. Put all the ingredients into a bowl
  4. If you are using a stand mixer set it on low speed until everything is combined
  5. If you are using a hand whisk, make sure you use the dough hooks, and mix on low speed until combined – this could take up to 20 minutes, so be warned
  6. Once combined, leave the dough to stand for about 10-15 minutes
  7. Roll the dough into 1-inch balls in the palm of your hand and place them on the baking tray
  8. Use the back of a fork to slightly flatten them and make grooves on the top of the biscuits
  9. Cook for 7-10 minutes in the centre of the oven
  10. When cooked, take out of the oven and leave to cool – NOTE, they will be very fragile when hot, so let them cool slightly on the baking tray before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely

AND OH MY GOD, they are really tasty …

Here’s what they look like – 1st and 2nd attempt to prove that using butter is so much better …

1st attempt using vegan margarine
2nd attempt using butter

And here’s how I made them, see if you can spot when the video swaps from the first attempt to the second:

The very last Bake Off of 2019 will be back in two weeks time.

Here’s a question that needs answering though … should I conitnue with the bake off’s next year or do something completely different??

Let me know in the comments below.


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