Saturday, 18 January 2020

Win a Team Lotus Audio Book by Ibrar Malik

On Talking about F1 we have been very pleased to feature blogs previewing the books of Ibrar Malik.

Ibrar's debut work delved into the controversial 1994 Formula 1 season, and he has just released his second book: Team Lotus, Struggling Beyond The Post Colin Chapman Era.

And we have five copies of the audio book to give away to Talking about F1 readers.

All you have to do is answer the very simple question below.

Addendum 19/01/2020: Apologies, something I forgot to mention when initially publishing this is that the audio book codes we have to give away only work in the US, Canada and Australia, so the competition is only open to those based there.

We will pick five winners at random from the correct answers and will be in touch if you're one of the lucky quintet. Good luck!

Team Lotus, Struggling Beyond The Post Colin Chapman Era, is now available to purchase in E Book format here (a free sample is contained within that link) or Audio Book format here.

You can also read more detail about the book here:

Friday, 17 January 2020

New Motorsport Week article: When Jim Clark took part in the RAC Rally

Leo A Capaldi [CC BY-SA (https://creativecommons.
Fernando Alonso has been keeping us entertained recently, by having a go at the Dakar Rally. This is the latest leg of his outlier path of being a Formula 1 star trying his hand at other motorsport disciplines.

But it's also a throwback path, as such an existence used to be common. And even making the large shift from F1 all the way to rallying is not entirely new.

For Motorsport Week I look back to 1966 and Jim Clark taking on the RAC Rally, the Rally GB of its day. And he performed sensationally.

You can have a read of the tale here:

Tuesday, 14 January 2020

Pedro Lamy's 1994 Silverstone Testing Accident, by Ibrar Malik and Ben Green

This is a special blog to celebrate the launch of the audiobook: Team Lotus, Struggling Beyond The Post Colin Chapman Era.

This blog has been co-written by Ben Green, who is the proud owner of the Lotus Formula 1 car Pedro Lamy crashed during that Silverstone test in May 1994, just prior to that year's Spanish Grand Prix. If you have read the book: 1994 The Untold Story of a Tragic and Controversial F1 Season, you'll know Lamy's crash and its subsequent fallout, was hugely significant to F1 that year. Ben's Lotus chassis is the 107C (chassis no 1).

This is the (restored) Lotus 107C that Lamy almost was killed in during that fateful day at Silverstone in May 1994. Ben purchased the chassis from Team Lotus during 1995, along with a heap of spares.
1994 Lotus 107C
At the end of the 1993 season, Team Lotus's finances were in a bad way. The newly released book: Team Lotus, Struggling Beyond The Post Colin Chapman Era details how and why Team Lotus got there by the early 1990s.

Its Chris Murphy-designed 107B was fast but unreliable, while its complex active suspension and customer Cosworth HB engines had drained resources. Along came Honda with the Mugen brand and an updated 1989 ZA5 V10 engine, a no-cost factory option.

Wednesday, 8 January 2020

New Motorsport Week article: F1 2019 end of season awards - The Golden Grahams

Photo: Octane Photography
We know how the 2019 F1 season ended, but who were the real winners? In my latest for Motorsport Week I again seek to unravel the matter with my annual set of 'prestigious' awards, The Golden Grahams.

Some of it is serious (best driver, best team...); some of it, erm, is less so.

You can have a read of it in all its glorious nonsense via this link:

Monday, 16 December 2019

New Motorsport Week article: 1962 - December F1 and the changing of the guard

Bilsen, Joop van / Anefo / neg. stroken, 1945-1989,, item number 913-9470 [CC BY-SA 3.0 nl
As we creep towards Christmas, imagine that in the here and now the Formula 1 season still had a race to do. Imagine too that the F1 championship had yet to be decided, and it would be resolved in that lingering final round.

And imagine too that the race is to take place between Christmas Day and New Year.

Well in 1962, uniquely, all of this came together. And that was far from the only thing striking about the season, which was one of remarkable change.

For Motorsport Week I look back at the seismic season. You can have a read here:

Thursday, 5 December 2019

2020 F1 Betting Preview: More of the same from Hamilton and Mercedes?

Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes ended another season on top
Photo: Octane Photography
As the sadly recently-departed Clive James once noted, the next Formula 1 season begins at the same moment the previous one ends. Not least for the betting-minded F1 fan, considering where’s best to place their money such as by scanning this Bodog review. Bodog is a big name in the sports betting industry and usually provides great odds for F1 races. So, with the 2019 campaign just finished, minds turn immediately to 2020.

The 2019 F1 season looked more of the same. Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes won the titles again, the team winning 15 of the 21 races; Hamilton 11 of them. There are not major regulation changes for 2020, meaning the ‘feed in’ to next year should be fairly direct. And all this is reflected in Hamilton’s odds to be 2020 world champion, just 4/6.

Yet scratch the surface of 2019 and Mercedes’ dominance was not as the headline figures suggested. It often was not the fastest car, and instead relied on consistency, organisation and avoiding errors to beat its Ferrari and Red Bull foes. Hamilton indeed only got five pole positions – two fewer than Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc.

Ferrari appeared often to have the raw material to challenge Mercedes much more closely in the table. If for 2020 it can sort out its organisational problems – big ‘if’ – titles are plausible. And, with this, Leclerc is a possibly-generous 6/1 to be next season’s champion.

Can Max Verstappen (left) or Charles Leclerc (right)
topple Hamilton in 2020?
Photo: Octane Photography
His team-mate Sebastian Vettel is even longer at 15/2. His 2019 year was trying but he wasn’t outclassed by Leclerc, and is not to be written off.

Neither is the prodigious Max Verstappen, and some rated his personal 2019 as better than Hamilton’s. The key is whether his Red Bull will be up to the task. It often looked that way in the latter part of this year, with its Honda power unit appearing a match for the rest.

Then again Red Bull has a habit of starting seasons slowly which leaves it too far off the championship pace. Verstappen 2020 champion odds still look decent at 7/1.

And with Hamilton the clear 2020 favourite there’s another tantalising set of odds on offer – who will ‘win’ the drivers’ championship without Hamilton? Those odds look tempting: Leclerc is 7/4; Verstappen 2/1 and Vettel 3/1.

But what about the ‘incumbent’? Hamilton’s team-mate Valtteri Bottas was a comfortable runner-up behind Hamilton in the table this year. He’s a full 5/2 to be another to deliver more of the same in 2020.

Saturday, 30 November 2019

New Motorsport Week article: The 2010s - the decade that F1 tried, but never quite managed, to get it right

By Mark McArdle - originally posted to Flickr as Race Start!,
 CC BY-SA 2.0,
And so the latest Formula 1 decade is (nearly) over.

With that, for Motorsport Week I look back on the F1 decade that was.

It was a decade in which F1 was restless, forever wrestling with how it could be got right. But also never quite managing it.

You can check out my take on the state of the 2010s F1 nation here:

Friday, 29 November 2019

2010 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix review for Motor Sport Magazine

By Jitesh Jagadish -
jiteshjagadish/5178417174/, CC BY 2.0, https://
Picking a classic Abu Dhabi Grand Prix of yore is tricky. Partly as it's been on the Formula 1 itinerary for only a decade. But mainly that the Yas Marina circuit seems to be a place that militates against racing cars racing against each other.

In my latest F1 retro for Motor Sport Magazine I look at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix's most notable moment, which aptly owed much to not being able to overtake. The 2010 championship finale.

I tell the convoluted tale here:

Saturday, 16 November 2019

New Motorsport Week article: Why Interlagos is so special

Eduardo Guarizo Pimentel [CC BY 2.0
Circuits come; circuits go. Particularly in recent times.

But somehow among it all Interlagos, host of the Brazilian Grand Prix, has lived on. And done so as a circuit apart.

It's a circuit apart in more ways than you might think too. So in my latest feature for Motorsport Week I explore the many ways that make Interlagos so very special.

You can have a read of my take here:

2003 Brazilian Grand Prix review for Motor Sport Magazine

By Marlon Hammes, cropped/retouched by Morio - Interlagos
SP from flickr, CC BY 2.0,
Interlagos has good claim to be Formula 1's equivalent of the Bermuda Triangle. Anything it seems can happen here, from the sublime to the - literally - ridiculous.

But no Brazilian Grand Prix squeezed so much craziness in as the 2003 edition - and it did so both into the race and afterwards.

In my latest F1 retro for Motor Sport Magazine I tell the incredible tale. You can have a read here: