Tag Archives: Lada

10 Reasons why Russia is not an automotive desert

A few days ago I made fun of Russian cars. My new friend Vladimir Putin was not amused. Apparently by agreeing to a Russian Grand Prix I have been bestowed with a certain responsibility to improve Russia’s automotive reputation in the rest of the world.

So here goes. I had my assistants collect some prime examples of Russian automotive goodness. And goodness me, this magnificent country has achieved a lot more than I expected. Whatever you may think about their industrial strength, the spirit’s already there. It’s amazing what a determined Russian can do without too much technology. God knows what’s going to happen when they get their hands on some state of the art F1 high tech.

‘Priceless’ I’d call it, where it not for the fact that everything in Russia has a price. Everything. So without further ado, I present to you ten amazing automotive achievements of the Empire of the East. Click on any picture, or click on the first and scroll through all of them.

Or if you want them all on one page, Continue reading

The Russian Grand Prix can’t come fast enough

I’ve just spend a day in the bleedin’ country and believe me, it’s about time somebody started to spread the automotive message around here.

It isn’t for lack of enthousiasm. They just don’t have a clue. Or decent repair shops. Or spare parts, for that matter.

So what do the Russians have? A fixation on exhaust pipes, for one thing.

I know, wood consists of carbon-based fibres. But it’s not the same thing. Really.

And I don’t even know where to start on this one. Continue reading

Grand Prix nightmare

With a few days to go before the circus descends on Bahrain, the dice have rolled and the musical chairs are over. US F1 are out (were they ever in?), Campos is now Hispania, and Serbia Racing Stefan GP will have to hold their horses.

Going down the list, it does strike me that there’s a trend going on here, replacing brand names with country names. Out with Spyker, Honda, BMW and Toyota, in with Force India and Hispania. What’s next, a Korean team? Or worse, so-called national champions like Tata, Lada and Kia? Tony Fernandes tells me we were that close to having Proton Malaysia on the grid. And now there’s Putin trying to rebrand Renault as Lada, the pride of automotive Russia, with his countryman Petrov behind the wheel.

And suddenly the nightmare scenario strikes me. Continue reading