Wednesday, 18 April 2018

Inside Line F1 Podcast - Max Verstappen Should Get A Sports Psychologist

There we said it, well someone had to. We know Max Verstappen has been smug about working with a sports psychologist, but maybe it is time that he does? Some of the world's top athletes do so and Verstappen is on his journey to becoming one - this is one vital support system that he should definitely consider as we all wait for his temperament to come on par with his talent!

In this week's episode of the Inside Line F1 Podcast, Mithila and Kunal talk of Mercedes' multiple errors in the opening three rounds of 2018. Despite their shortcomings and lack of performance, how is it that Mercedes are still the favourites for the season? They celebrate Daniel Ricciardo's win while also hailing Red Bull Racing's impeccable team work. Also, would you rather that Formula 1 be a sport or a spectacle or both? Hear our views, tune in!

(Season 2018, Episode 13)

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

Tuesday, 17 April 2018

New Motorsport Week article: Why drivers still make a difference in Formula 1

Photo: Octane Photography
There are many common modern F1 laments. And common among them is that the driver doesn't make a difference, not like back in the day at any stretch.

In my latest for Motorsport Week I put the claim to the test.

Point one: do we overstate the extent that in previous eras drivers could make a difference over and above their equipment? Point two: even these days are there not plenty of examples of drivers making a difference? A driver's impact is not always in the ways we may expect either.

You can have a read of my thinking via this link: https://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/17758

David Leslie: 10 years on his legacy remains

Photo by Tony Harrison from Farnborough, UK (BTCC
David Leslie Brands Hatch 1996 Honda Accord) [CC BY
2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)
%5D, via Wikimedia Commons
You may be aware that I've become a regular contributor to the new FF1600website, a site covering various UK FF1600 series from paddocks, and which is looked after by Autosport Academy writers.

We've just put together a very nice article looking at David Leslie's legacy 10 years after his sad passing.

Leslie for many is most associated with being a regular BTCC race winner in the Super Touring era, yet he was about much more than that and his legacy is one that remains tangible in today's racing.

You can read all about it here: https://ff1600website.com/2018/04/16/david-leslie-10-years-on-his-legacy-remains/

Monday, 16 April 2018

Tips To Maintain Your Vintage Car's Look

Most cars are meant to be practical for everyday use, but some purely exist just for pleasure. If you're the owner of a vintage car, then you understand. You also know that even though you don't drive your vintage car that often, it still requires routine maintenance to keep it in excellent condition. Whether you're a new owner or a veteran one, you can benefit from these tips on preserving your car's awesome look.

By Rept0n1x [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/
licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/
copyleft/fdl.html)], from Wikimedia Commons
Use Auto Covers

You may already know to use a cover, but not all auto covers are the same. Different varieties exist to serve different purposes. Lightweight covers are best for indoor use or transporting your car to a show. If your car stays outside, you need a heavy-duty, all-weather type for maximum protection. Get a custom cover for the right fit.

When inclement weather occurs, a car storage bag guards against flood damage. For long-term storage, a storage bubble is the safest option.

Regularly Care for the Exterior and Interior

Make time to regularly wash, wax, and detail the exterior and to wipe down the inside. Keep sunlight from harming the interior by using sun shades and other protective accessories. Always keep a quality cleaner on hand for unexpected stains.

Remember To Maintain Internal Components

When it comes to vintage cars, admirers care about more than just the paint job and leather seats. They also usually want to see what's under the hood and hear the powerful performance of your car. Avoid embarrassment (and costly damage) by undergoing regular maintenance, such as getting the oil changed or the engine inspected. Drive the car often enough to keep it running.

Boost your ability to keep your car attractive and working well by checking out California Car Cover. You can find the best indoor car cover, auto care products and kits, and more to help you achieve your car's perfect look.

Motor Verso F1 2018 Season Summary - Chinese Grand Prix review

As mentioned my Motor Verso race reviews this year will all be going into a single F1 2018 season summary article, and we'll be adding my view on each race after they happen one-by-one.

Photo: Pirelli Media
And my take on a thrilling Chinese Grand Prix has just been added. We entered the weekend wondering if we'd get confirmation on whether Ferrari or Mercedes are on top, but in the end Daniel Ricciardo and Red Bull ambushed both of them.

You can read my latest thoughts here: https://www.motorverso.com/2018-f1-summary/

Do check out the Motor Verso site too; you'll find motoring news, car reviews and features - the team on the site carry out week-long test drives of the latest cars - as well as photos and videos of the machines.

Sunday, 15 April 2018

Chinese GP Report - Bull run

There is a theme developing in this F1 season. We think we're getting one thing; something that looks very simple. But then suddenly we get something else entirely.

Daniel Ricciardo took an unlikely win
Photo: Octane Photography
If the opening two rounds left us confused on whether Ferrari or Mercedes was on top this year, China seemed initially to provide a coherent answer. Ferrari and Sebastian Vettel dominated once again. Seb led from pole and was controlling things in that way we got used to in his Red Bull pomp. Replete with the heavy sense of inevitability that the win would be his, which in this case would make it three from three. Yet come the end it seemed something from another age.

Actual Red Bull ambushed the race. The unlikely figure of Daniel Ricciardo took the win.

Valtteri Bottas's Mercedes was chasing in second just as he was in Bahrain yet Vettel was three seconds clear and looked to have everything foreseen. But then his day started to unravel. In the pitstop round Bottas got ahead with an undercut. He appeared out of range but the combination of a powerful new tyre effect, a mighty out-lap and a slightly tardy in-lap from Vettel and a similarly tardy stop from Ferrari combined to do the deed.

Saturday, 14 April 2018

New AutoClassics article - How Gold Leaf sponsorship irreversibly changed Formula 1

Photo: Jim Culp/CC
Particularly proud of this one. We're 50 years on from the start proper of F1 sponsorship with the Gold Leaf Lotus.

And for AutoClassics I spoke to Gold Leaf's man in F1 at the time, George Hatfield, as well as Clive Chapman, son of Lotus kingpin Colin, to hear the fascinating tale of sponsorship's advent in F1. One that reaches far further than you might think.

You can have a read here: https://www.autoclassics.com/posts/reviews/gold-leaf-sponsorship-formula-1

Thursday, 12 April 2018

Take a Time Warp Back to the Mid-1990s, by Ibrar Malik

This is the first of what will be several guest blog posts on Talking about F1 by Ibrar Malik, about his forthcoming book 1994 – The Untold Story of a Tragic and Controversial F1 Season. This book will aim to offer much additional insight into this turbulent season and much else besides. You can find much more detail on this on his website at: www.1994f1.com

Want to know what the internet looked like back then? There is one website that hasn't been modified since 1 October 1995…that of the Pacific Grand Prix team.













They weren't the greatest F1 team but Pacific's website certainly is memorable.

1994 was the Pacific and Simtek teams' debut F1 season. It proved a baptism of fire because it was one of the sport’s most turbulent years - as the upcoming book explains. After the Imola tragedies extensive, and some might say rushed, car modifications were imposed upon teams in the name of safety. Keith Wiggins, the Pacific team boss, summed up his thoughts at the time; "If my engines don’t bankrupt me, this stands a pretty good chance." Pedro Lamy suffered a massive testing accident which many claimed was a direct result of the FIA’s safety initiative. "That is self-evidently nonsense," retorted FIA president Max Mosley, meanwhile the Portuguese driver was lucky to have survive the crash, albeit with extensive injuries.

Hot Hatches – Where Are They Now? Infographic by All Car Leasing

Everyone at All Car Leasing has always been big fans of hot hatchbacks. So they've decided to take a look at a handful to see how many are now left on British roads, in the infographic below.

Hot Hatches – Where Are They Now? Infographic
by All Car Leasing

Hot Hatches Where Are They Now?

Wednesday, 11 April 2018

Chinese GP Betting Preview - Chinese Chequers

It all looked so simple. The Melbourne season-opener seemed to confirm the pre-season testing grapevine without the most minor variation. Yes a mid-race Virtual Safety Car shuffled the end result, but that was happenstance.

The Bahrain round contained a major departure in
F1 form, but Mercedes could bounce back in China
Photo: Pirelli Media
Then the Bahrain round comes along next and dashes just about all of our certainties. It started at the front - Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton wasn't strolling the 2018 season after all as Ferrari plain out-paced the silver cars at the Sakhir circuit in qualifying at least. Then on race day Sebastian Vettel held them off to win again and make it two wins from two.

And so the big question as we head into round three in China is was Melbourne the unusual case, was Bahrain, or is the norm even something else entirely?

You can make a coherent case that Mercedes will bounce back this weekend. If the heat of Bahrain was Merc's problem then Shanghai will be much cooler. If the abrasive surface in Bahrain was Merc's problem then Shanghai's is much smoother. And even with all its problems Mercedes probably should still have won in Bahrain; it probably would have without Hamilton's grid penalty.

Inside Line F1 Podcast - The Perfect Advertisement Of Formula 1

If you have family and friends who are on-the-fence fans of Formula 1, the 2018 Bahrain Grand Prix could go a long way into dropping them onto our side of the fence. The nail-biting and edge-of-the-seat action from Bahrain was definitely the perfect advertisement that Formula 1 could ask for.

In this week's episode of the Inside Line F1 Podcast, Mithila and Kunal rejoice the season's first of many back-to-back races. They applaud Liberty Media for ensuring that there were no adverse reactions from their meeting with the teams in Bahrain (where they discussed the future of Formula 1). Also, while a brutal way to find out a system issue, Ferrari's pit error robbed us of a Kimi Raikkonen vs. Lewis Hamilton fight for the podium. They tell you why Valtteri Bottas should have definitely tried harder to overtake Sebastian Vettel and how McLaren are actually the luckiest team on the grid right now.

Will the cooler conditions in Shanghai bring Mercedes back into focus, and if so, will their 'party mode' be hotly discussed yet again? Or will Ferrari have answers to Mercedes' pace in the 2018 Chinese Grand Prix too? Tune in!

(Season 2018, Episode 12)

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

Monday, 9 April 2018

Shanghai Preview: Great brawl of China

Much about the Chinese Grand Prix feels big. Not just due to the vast host country, the Shanghai International Circuit set the standards on dimensions too. The gleaming futuristic architecture towers and spreads. Paddock occupants are sure they walk far further in the Shanghai weekend than any other.

Most things about the Chinese round are big
By P - originally posted to Flickr as Image_7, CC BY 2.0,
 https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=5026860
The race's genesis is big too. A Government-backed Grand Prix in a coming economy and geopolitical power.

The track has much of the typical Tilke layout. A bit-of-everything - quick, medium and slow corners feature. A long straight - underlining the theme of vastness it's reckoned to be about the longest in F1 - and a big stop at the end plotted with overtaking in mind. Trademark Tilke long fast esses elsewhere.

And heading into this Chinese Grand Prix the chief considerations are appropriately big. In Australia's season-opener things looked simple even with Sebastian Vettel's win - that 2018 was going to be a stroll for Mercedes and especially Lewis Hamilton as testing had indicated; as Mercedes had dominated habitually in recent years indeed. In Bahrain though things turned. Ferrari left Mercedes behind in qualifying and held it off in the race.