Adam Hay-Nicholls

Safety tech is killing motorsport

Finland has a population of only 5.5 million, but it leads the world in motorsport. It’s the crucible of racing greats Markku Alén, Timo Salonen, Ari Vatanen, Keke Rosberg, Hannu Mikkola, Juha Kankkunen, Tommi Mäkinen, Mika Häkkinen, Marcus Grönholm, Kimi Räikkönen, reigning World Rally champion Kalle Rovanperä and current Formula One driver Valtteri Bottas. Known

Will the Las Vegas Grand Prix survive?

Equal parts hype and horsepower, this weekend’s Las Vegas Grand Prix is the most talked about sporting event of the year. For the first time, Formula One will take to the strip, with 20 cars screaming past the floodlit Venetian Caesar’s Palace and the faux Eiffel Tower at 200mph. Certainly, it lost its shirt on

What you get for a £25 million custom Rolls-Royce

Back in the early days of the motor car, Rolls-Royce would sell you a ladder chassis and drivetrain, but for the bodywork you’d have to consult a coachbuilder and write a separate cheque. It wasn’t until 1946 that Rolls-Royce provided its own. Henry Royce dealt with the oily bits, but when it came to the

The £160,000 Maserati that’s the last of its kind

There were a couple of moments where this year’s Goodwood Festival of Speed might’ve been a little dicey. Day three of the four-day extravaganza, on Saturday, was cancelled due to 50mph winds. That may not sound all that alarming, but the ‘central feature’ at the Festival of Speed amounted to nearly 100 tonnes of steel

Ferrari’s glorious return to Le Mans 24 Hours

Last weekend, Ferrari contested the top category at the Le Mans 24 Hours for the first time in 50 years, and they took me along for the ride. The greatest endurance race in the world celebrated its centenary, and the grandstands and campsites were even more packed than usual – 325,000 fans descended on France’s

Ghost story: the dark side of Rolls-Royce

Some years ago, I was despatched to Las Vegas to learn how to be a chauffeur. The Wynn hotel had purchased a fleet of Rolls-Royces, and their Aloysius Parkers were being taught how to drive the Rolls-Royce way – i.e. a cut above your Lincoln Town Car etiquette. ‘The umbrella can be used both defensively

Is the Purosangue SUV a real Ferrari?

I recently spent a long weekend in the Italian region of Emilia-Romagna, driving a fast car, eating tortellini alla panna twice a day and rifling through Luciano Pavarotti’s DVD library. The tenor’s house, outside Modena, has been converted into a museum filled with his many shiny awards and Hermès scarves, framed photos with Bono and

My night with Beyoncé at Dubai’s most lavish hotel

Last weekend, Beyoncé was paid $24 million (£19.5 million) to perform for 1,500 invited guests in Dubai. Somehow, I was among them. Her set, which was her first live performance in four years, was 85 minutes long. That’s £230,000 a minute or £13,000 per head. And those millions are the mere tip of the air-conditioned

Extreme E: how motor racing turned green

Prior to kick-off, Fifa declared the World Cup in Qatar to be ‘a fully carbon-neutral event’, triggering enough spluttering, snorting and involuntary cackles to feed an entire wind farm. Seven giant brand-new stadiums, open-air air-conditioning in the desert, goodness knows how many long-haul flights in and out, and an armada of cruise ships to store

Wiltons vs the Ritz: who wins the great grouse race?

‘Bang! Bang! …Thud.’ It’s Friday 12 August, better known to tweedy types as the Glorious Twelfth, and the inaugural grouse on the West Allenheads estate in Northumberland has met its maker. The 26°c temperature yields a slow morning, with the moorland birds reluctant to come out of the shade and the beaters and guns mopping