Monday, 21 August 2017

Spa Preview: Bringing it all back home

Modern F1 isn't all bad. Even though you'd be forgiven sometimes for thinking otherwise.

There's nothing quite like Spa
Photo: Octane Photography
This weekend the sport returns from its summer hiatus, and there could not be a better place to reconvene.

Spa-Francorchamps - its mere mention brings many associations.

The picture postcard Ardennes scenery. The speed. The undulations. The fearsome turns. The inimitable organic feel. The clear thread to the very beginnings of motorsport road circuit racing. No wonder that when you ask F1 drivers, engineers or fans for their favourite modern venue this one is usually said, and often without the slightest hesitation.

Saturday, 19 August 2017

Inside Line F1 Podcast - Red Bull Supports Vettel, Where's McLaren's Support For Hamilton?

We're back! After a couple of weeks' break, we're back with this week's episode of the Inside Line F1 Podcast. Red Bull Racing has publicly supported Sebastian Vettel in his title battle against Lewis Hamilton. Will McLaren come out in support of Lewis Hamilton too?

Reports suggest that Vettel is keen on a one-year contract extension with Ferrari. Is this a learning from Fernando Alonso's Ferrari career, or to leave a door open for a Schumacheresque switch to Mercedes? Btw, our friend and listener, Lucien, shares an interesting numeric perspective on Ferrari's use of team orders in Hungary.

Will Formula 1 and Formula E merge someday? Can Formula 1 become Formula E by just switching to electric motors? And with the 'halo', is Formula 1 moving towards 'closed cockpits'? We discuss these points while applauding manufacturers' interests in the all-electric series which is garnering fan interest slowly and steadily.

And apart from our humourous and funny 'McLaren-Honda-Alonso' section, we also have an 'I Know What You Did This Summer' section. Tune in!

(Season 2017, Episode 29)

Subscribe to the Inside Line F1 Podcast on iTunes and audioBoom for your weekly dose of Formula 1 humour. 

Saturday, 12 August 2017

New Motorsport Week article: The top ten drivers of the 2017 Formula 1 season so far...

Photo: Octane Photography
Everyone loves a top ten. And now that we're in F1's summer break as well as at, roughly, the halfway point of the season I've compiled my own top ten drivers' ranking for the year so far for Motorsport Week.

In addition to the ranking order I've written something on how each of those selected have done this year and my reasoning for placing them where I did.

You can have a read of it all via this link:

Feel free to let me know why I'm wrong or even shock horror if you agree with any of it...

Wednesday, 2 August 2017

How F1 Teams Move Across the Globe in 48 Hours! by Storage Centres

The F1 travelling circus is about to start its well-earned summer rest for most of August. Well-earned as its globetrotting is no simple undertaking, and especially not in logistics.

Storage Centres therefore has looked at how F1 teams can travel around the world to different race events within 48 hours, how they store individual car parts and how they're transported. It's outlined in the infographic below:

How F1 Teams Move Across The Globe In 48 Hours by Storage Centres. How F1 Teams Move Across The Globe In 48 Hours by Storage Centres.

Tuesday, 1 August 2017

Hungarian GP Report - Vettel battens down the hatches

"Our car is not always easy to set up. We have become much better at doing so. I would like to see Budapest, how the car works with a low speed and high-track-temperatures track. Then, maybe, I will have a more complete picture."

Hungary was the scene of a red revival
Photo: Octane Photography
It took Mercedes boss Toto Wolff of all people to bring us into line in advance. After Silverstone we thought it simple. Lewis Hamilton had in a single afternoon all but wiped out Sebastian Vettel's long held title lead. Ferrari hadn't outpaced Merc since Monaco in May. Plus Hungary next up is happy hunting ground for Hamilton.

But F1, as well as rarely pure, is never simple. Wolff's words were prophetic.

Flowing Silverstone could have been designed for Merc. The Hungaroring near Budapest, as Wolff intimated, is very different. And contains many things that's given the silver car bother this year - medium speed turns, a smooth surface, scarcely a straight worthy of the name...

Hungarian Grand Prix review for Motor Verso - Red Revival

Photo: Octane Photography
F1 likes to remind us not to look too far ahead.

After Silverstone we thought everything was going Lewis Hamilton's way, as in a crushing win he wiped out almost all of Sebastian Vettel's title lead in an afternoon, and we noticed that Ferrari hadn't outpaced Mercedes since Monaco in May.

But in Hungary Seb took most of the points loss back. Likely not coincidentally it was at 'Monaco without the houses', the Hungaroring. But like Monaco too, despite dominating on raw pace Ferrari's path to its one-two was not straightforward.

Here's my review of it all for Motor Verso

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.

Saturday, 29 July 2017

Does Kimi Räikkönen have what it takes to make up points on the leaders? By Steven Critchley

Ten years ago a champion, today a relative also-ran. Kimi Räikkönen is perhaps one of the most underrated racers in the roster today. And with Finland's record for producing F1 talent, it may pain him particularly to see a less-experienced countryman – in Valtteri Bottas – occupying a coveted Mercedes car. Naturally, where Räikkönen's title win of 2007 is concerned, cynics would be quick to point out that it was won by just a single point, and afforded him in some part by a period of indifferent form for both McLaren drivers. Today, a long win-less run, spanning back to the 2013 season opener in Australia, as reported on BBC Sport, stands out as particularly galling for Räikkönen. Yet, until his retirement at the Spanish Grand Prix, Räikkönen's early 2017 form on was strong and consistent.

‘Kimi Räikkönen’ by Mark McArdle
via Flickr (CC-BY-SA-2.0)
Whether Sebastian Vettel's continued dominance over his team mate is part of some intricate Ferrari strategy remains to be seen, but as of 24 May 2017, where he is an 80/1 outsider (Source: Betway Sports), Räikkönen's ability to mix it with the elite remains firmly in question. Naturally, in light of the downturn in form he suffered at the end of 2016, with two retirements in the final four races, most experts would have dismissed Räikkönen's title hopes long before even the pre-season tests of 2017 began. These same 'experts' could forever analyse Räikkönen's situation, but the sole fact remains obvious – Räikkönen must begin winning races, and quickly.

No Hungary qualifying report from me...

By David Merrett from Daventry, England - 1982 Lotus 91/5,
CC BY 2.0,
Hello all.

Just thought I'd let you know that I won't be able to do a qualifying report for the Hungarian Grand Prix this time.

You may or may not be aware that these day I'm a member of the Autosport Academy, and this weekend I'm at the Silverstone Classic covering the event on Autosport's behalf.

And while there will be a Hungary race report it will be on the late side...

Normal service will resume after the summer break!


Friday, 28 July 2017

Autonomous Vehicles & the Trolley Problem, by Select Car Leasing

With the imminent arrival of Autonomous Vehicles to the roads, many people have started worrying about the safety of this new technology, especially when an issue arises to do with choice.

In this infographic Select Car Leasing has delved into the issue of the "Trolley Problem" and how AVs will deal with this and whether or not all manufacturers have the same stance.

Trolley Problem
Trolley Problem by SELECT CAR LEASING.

Thursday, 27 July 2017

How Self Driving Cars Impact Traffic Law Enforcement, by Denmon & Pearlman

Self-driving cars are, it is often predicted, the future. Yet, we have little idea how it will impact our daily lives, insurance premiums and traffic law enforcement. Who will get the ticket in a car accident?

This infographic by Denmon & Pearlman compares self-driving cars to human drivers and explores the impact millions of self-driving cars could have on traffic law enforcement.


Wednesday, 26 July 2017

Hungarian GP Betting Preview - Hedge with Hamilton at his happy hunting ground

Just as a week is a long time in politics, an hour and a half on a Sunday is a long time in F1. And how the dark clouds parted therein for Lewis Hamilton at Silverstone. After a dominant win, allied to late tyre failures for Ferrari, it all looks good for him. He's but a point off the drivers' table top and suddenly it's conspicuous that Ferrari hasn't out-paced Mercedes since Monaco in May.

Hungary is the happiest of hunting ground for Hamilton
Photo: Octane Photography
And even better for Lewis this round coming is at the Hungaroring. It's long been his happy hunting ground; he's won here five times and adores the go kart track challenges. The 23/17 available for him to win looks well worth your wager.

It might get even better for Lewis as pole position will mean he equals Michael Schumacher's all-time record for F1 poles, and even at odds on - 11/13 - it may still be where the smart money is this time.

You also can get 5/4 for a Lewis fastest lap - and he's got six fastest laps from 10 rounds this year, as well as three from the last four.

Inside Line F1 Podcast - James Bond In Formula 1?

Basis recent reports, Aston Martin are considering Formula 1 - that is if the costs of operations are affordable, of course. If Aston Martin do join, we're betting on a James Bond sequence in Formula 1 as one of their cross promotions. Brilliant advertisement for Formula 1 too.

Wishful thinking aside, we're excited about the Hungarian Grand Prix, a race fans usually aren't the most excited about it. But this year's interest lies on the Monday after the official Grand Prix event, for Robert Kubica's super-human comeback attempt to Formula 1.

Lastly, the FIA confirmed the 'halo' for 2018. Since this ruling doesn't seem like it'll be rolled back, we discuss how teams could compete next season for the best implementation of this life-saving but visually-disturbing device. Tune in!

Subscribe to the Inside Line F1 Podcast on iTunes and audioBoom for your weekly dose of Formula 1 humour.

(Season 2017, Episode 28)