Friday, 22 March 2019

Paul Tracy's Benetton Test, September 1994 - by Ibrar Malik

Many believe Schumacher ran illegal driver aids during 1994 because one of Benetton's former drivers, Jos Verstappen, once claimed so during an interview in 2011. This along with all the other arguments are analysed extensively in the book however, what is not commonly appreciated is five other drivers stepped inside the B194 that year also. Michael Schumacher, JJ Lehto, Johnny Herbert and Allan McNish all drove the 1994 Benetton and their views on it will become clear either in the book or in upcoming blogs. However it is often forgotten that rising IndyCar star, Paul Tracy, also tested the car. So what were his thoughts?

Paul Tracy in the Penske. Although the cars looked similar, IndyCar drivers have not always adapted to F1. Most notably Michael Andretti in 1993.

Bernie Ecclestone organised the Paul Tracy/Benetton test because IndyCar racing was growing in popularity at the time and becoming a serious rival for F1. Nigel Mansell, Mario Andretti and Emerson Fittipaldi all raced in the US series and even Ayrton Senna investigated a move Stateside at the end of 1992. It is believed that Ecclestone wanted to steal IndyCar stars (like Paul Tracy) to weaken the American series but also to widen grand prix racing's appeal. F1's commercial supremo had been instrumental in moving the 1991 and 1995 IndyCar champions (Michael Andretti and Jacques Villeneuve) across the pond during the mid-1990s.

Wednesday, 13 March 2019

New Motorsport Week article: Albon - the case for F1's forgotten rookie

Photo: Octane Photography
You'll have seen by now the various George Russell/Lando Norris F1 season preview articles. Often talking of the two as synonymous. And it's little wonder. Rookies will commonly get attention prior to the season start, particularly if they have plenty of promise based on the junior formulae and even more particularly if they're British.

But there's a third rookie who (sort of) meets these criteria. And yet he's got nothing like the focus, instead appears to have an odd man out status. Yet he just might be best of the lot. I'm talking about Alexander Albon, making his bow this season with Toro Rosso.

In my latest for Motorsport Week I state his case. You can have a read here: https://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/21933

Friday, 1 March 2019

New Motorsport Week article: Why Sebastian Vettel at last has Red Bull at Ferrari

Photo: Octane Photography
Sebastian Vettel is about to embark on another season at Ferrari; his fifth. And his first title there yet eludes him, having won four of the things at Red Bull.

It's all given rise to theorising about what Vettel needs around him to perform, but perhaps on the basis of pre-season testing things are coming together for Vettel at Ferrari at last. As perhaps Vettel now has at Ferrari a lot of what he once had at Red Bull. And not just that his car looks like a very good one.

In my latest feature article for Motorsport Week I outline my thinking. You can have a read here: https://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/21762

Thursday, 28 February 2019

4 things you can do with 4d results

One of the best ways to increase your chances of winning in 4d games is to join a good predictions pool. The best pools such as 4d in Singapore have a good history of positive results. From a look at the 4d results of this pool, there is so much one can infer about it, and 4d prediction pools in general.  For context, on the importance of these results, here are four things you can do with 4d results.

1.    Use them to determine the viability of a pool
It doesn't matter whether you are looking at the results of the 4d in Singapore pool or any other pool, results can help you gauge the viability of a pool. If the results have a high incidence of winning numbers, it means that the pool is good and worth a try. For instance, with the latest 4d in Singapore results, the winning rate is high, which makes it a worthy company.

2.    Use them to decide whether to pay for premium membership
4d prediction pools have different categories of membership, each with its own privileges. By looking at the results, you can easily determine whether paying for membership is worth it. For instance, if you notice that the paid membership package has a high incidence of winning numbers, it would make sense to go for it. The premium fee you have to pay is easily compensated with the higher probability of winning. The reverse holds true, if you notice that you still have a good chance of winning by going for the free service.

Tuesday, 26 February 2019

5 Tips to Taking Care Of Your Motorcycle

You love your motorcycle, right? Nothing beats that feeling of 'owning' the road while cruising on a motorcycle. With the wind, the sun, the landscape - everything provides a unique sensation and an overall feeling of freedom. However, owning a motorcycle calls for immense care and worries. This is the price you have to pay to enjoy all those exceptional experience. Place your safety and other's first. Also, take care of your motorcycle to highlight your love for wheels. Put your helmet on, and be prepared for the ride of your life. Here are five tips to help you take care of your motorcycle:

1) Always Choose the Best Parts
Quality should always be your priority when buying new parts for your motorcycle. At SoloMotoParts, you can find everything, from top brands to speciality brands, all at the best prices in the market. From customisation, to safety gear, you have a wide range to choose from and give a new life to your motorcycle. They have excellent support. You can rest assured that your motorcycle will be in good hands when you need advice on buying new parts. Always use quality parts to ascertain the durability of your motorcycle. Moreover, its performance will be much better.

Wednesday, 20 February 2019

Inside Line F1 Podcast - Rich Energy + Red Bull = Monster?

In the 'battle of the energy drinks' in Formula 1, everyone is talking about Rich Energy vs. Red Bull Racing. But what about Monster? Wouldn't growing horns and wings make one a Monster? Yes, there's this and more in our episode of the Inside Line F1 Podcast.

Photo: Octane Photography
We talk about the livery reveals till date - can we also stop calling them 'car launches' please? Will Honda offer the midfield teams a rare chance to fight for the top 3 in 2019? In which case, would you bet on Red Bull Racing fighting to be the 'best of the rest' or the winner of the Formula 1.5? Could that give us an odd Magnussen vs Verstappen fight? Finally, we tell you why Nico Rosberg doesn't miss Formula 1. Tune in!

(Season 2019, Episode 4)
Subscribe to the Inside Line F1 Podcast on iTunes, audioBoom (RSS feed) and Google Podcasts for your weekly dose of Formula 1 humour

Here's what's in store for you this episode:

0:00-3:00: 'Livery and sponsor' reveals, not car launches by the Formula 1 teams, that's the truth. So why call it a 'car launch' in the first place?

3:00-6:00: The battle of the energy drinks in the world of Formula 1. Will we have a Magnussen vs. Verstappen? Doesn't the Rich Energy logo look like the halo on the Formula 1 car?

6:00-9:00: Are the midfield Formula 1 teams not ambitious enough? Will Honda give the other teams a rare chance to fight for 3rd place? Haas-Williams-Racing Point already embarrassing McLaren on the title sponsor front?

9:00-12:00: Will the 2020 Formula 1 Season see the return of two champions? And of course, this week's 'What Wolff Said This Week' section. Will Ocon return to Formula 1 in 2020 as a 'heavier' driver?

12:00-15:00: Oh the irony - Marcus Ericsson talks of consistency being the key to success in Indy Car. Renault could blame their steering wheel for car failures in 2019.

15:00-18:00: Red Bull Racing introduced a Spidey Mobile, while Ferrari hired Red Bull and Mercedes discards to boost their Formula 1 simulator program. Brendon Hartley to Formula E with Porsche?

18:00-end: Here's why Nico Rosberg can't be missing Formula 1 too much...

Tuesday, 19 February 2019

F1 2019 Betting Preview - Time to strike?

With Formula 1 pre-season testing, annually the tropes are aired. Don't read much at all into the lap times; it won't be until qualifying in the opening round that we really know what's going on.

The story remains the same as it has for a while -
how is Mercedes to be toppled?
Photo: Octane Photography
But it's true also what they say also about risk and reward. With the risks of making calls at a time such as now when testing is going on, there also are opportunities for the F1 gambler to make hay.

I've heard stories about windfalls from 2009's pre-season, which indicated the new Brawn team would have the year to itself and betting odds hadn't yet caught up with the point. Same goes for McLaren creaming the season in 1988. In other words if there's serious money to be made in F1 betting, now is the time to lay your stake.

Sadly it often feels that grand shifts between seasons such as the two I've cited are something left firmly in F1's past. Particularly with Mercedes having won every world championship since the hybrid formula started in 2014, plus with the 'big three' teams of Merc, Ferrari and Red Bull notoriously on a different pace and resource planet to the rest.

Sunday, 17 February 2019

How the Schumacher vs Hill Feud Developed, by Ibrar Malik

"I do not have as much respect for him as I do others. I would not have been in this position if Ayrton had been alive. He would have driven circles around me. That doesn't say much for Hill." (Michael Schumacher, Benetton Driver in 1994)

That scathing attack on his championship rival was just one of a number of comments made by Schumacher during the build-up to the 1994 European Grand Prix. His comments were more than a contrived attempted at psychological warfare to undermining title rival Damon Hill. Schumacher was lashing out after all the pain he'd endured during that summer. He was outraged to be only a point ahead of someone who hadn't beaten him in a straight fight all year. To him, the FIA was manipulating the championship and he was a mere pawn sacrificed in a bigger political game. Whether there was any truth in this is explored extensively in the book. Nevertheless, despite Schumacher being absolved of blame for the launch control and fuel filter allegations, the German's image would forever be tarnished.

  
Despite the brilliant driving Schumacher had shown throughout 1994 few gave him credit for it, because of the Benetton rumours.

Friday, 15 February 2019

New Motorsport Week article: When a painted cow saved F1 - the South African Grand Prix that wasn’t

Pereira, Fernando / Anefo / neg. stroken, 1945-1989, 2.24.01.
05, item number 930-9907 [CC BY-SA 3.0 nl (https://
creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/
3.0/nl/deed.en)], via Wikimedia Commons
Whatever you think about Formula 1 politics at any given moment in time, you can at least count yourself lucky that they are not the politics of the 'FISA-FOCA war'. And as everyone headed off for the winter at the end of the 1980 season the war was at its most entrenched. Then even sober assessments had F1 - had least F1 as we knew it - as not long for this earth.

As the months passed and 1980 gave way to '81 about the only progress was of even more digging in. That was until a painted cow - no, really - broke the logjam. And gave us eventually the F1 that we would still fully recognise today.

In my latest for Motorsport Week I tell this rather strange tale. You can check it out here: https://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/21539

Thursday, 7 February 2019

Inside Line F1 Podcast - Play Party (Mode) Pooper For 2019

Photo: Octane Photography
So much for Red Bull Racing chasing the infamous 'party mode' in Formula 1. The FIA have introduced rules in 2019 that could see the end of the (legal) tricks used to engage the power boost during qualifying. Level the playing field, we hope. This means that in 2019, Red Bull Racing will miss the 'party mode' and their party boy, Daniel Ricciardo.

In this week's episode of the Inside Line F1 Podcast, we dissect Racing Point's alternate theory to Darwin's - the 'survival of the slowest'. It seems best to interview Helmut Marko in the winter period, we tell you why. Sebastian Vettel should become a coffee drinker to further his title campaign in 2019 - we share what our random research brings out. And finally, is the Liberty Media-Ecclestone combination that Formula 1 needs to propel itself into the future? Oh wait, last we heard, Liberty Media were seeking liberty from Formula 1. As expected, things as spicing up as the winter period comes to an official end in the next few days...tune in!

(Season 2019, Episode 03)

Subscribe to the Inside Line F1 Podcast on iTunes, audioBoom (RSS feed) and Google Podcasts for your weekly dose of Formula 1 humour

Saturday, 2 February 2019

New Motorsport Week article: Mexican stand-off - Sergio Perez's predicament

Photo: Octane Photography
Sergio Perez. Just where does he fit? And why are we oddly unmoved by his many achievements, in frequent podium finishes and outscoring highly-touted team-mates year after year?

The man himself has noticed it too. "It's like people just get used to me," he noted recently. Therefore in my latest for Motorsport Week I try to de-code this particular enigma and look at why Perez might be viewed as he is, and whether or not it's fair.

You can have a read of my thinking via this link: https://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/21384