Tuesday 29 January 2013

Talking about F1/Dusky Blog F1 Quiz - Result and Winner

Talking about F1 teamed up with Dusky Blog F1 to hold an F1 quiz, and for this I put together some F1 questions of the sport's past and present.

The deadline for entries has now passed, and having totted up the points from those entries we're please to announce that the quiz winner is @TifosiJourneyer. Very well done!

@TifosiJoureyer will therefore win a Red Bull cap, a McLaren 2013 calendar and an F1Times T-shirt (M).

@TifosiJourneyer pipped @jaemsk17 by just two points. Greater WAG knowledge proved vital...

The prizes have been contributed by @naijasolar and my good self. @naijasolar is running the Adidas Half-marathon for Red Bull Racing’s charity, Wings For Life and has an eBay auction to sell some F1 memorabilia for the charity.

Thanks very much to everyone who entered. And in case you're curious, the quiz questions and answers are below:


1) Who scored fastest race lap in each of the following 2012 Grands Prix? 1 point each
a) Malaysia
b) China
c) Spain
d) Italy
e) India
a) Kimi Raikkonen
b) Kamui Kobayashi
c) Romain Grosjean
d) Nico Rosberg
e) Jenson Button

Monday 28 January 2013

Retro F1: 1996 Monaco Grand Prix

Hello you. The first Retro F1 in a while took place yesterday. And we had a great race to watch, the 1996 Monaco Grand Prix. It's a race that has lived long in the memory due to its drama and surprise result.

For those who don't know, Retro F1 is watching a classic F1 race in full on YouTube and chatting on Twitter with like-minded F1 people as we go using the #RetroF1 hashtag. All are welcome! The highlights of yesterday's Twitter chat are below.

Here’s the Retro F1 YouTube link: Now clicking play :)

It’s in several parts, it's a playlist so it should automatically move onto the next part when one ends.

The 1996 Monaco Grand Prix was a dramatic and memorable one
Credit: Steve Gregory / CC

Not much of a backstory to this race. This is race 6 of the 1996 season, Damon Hill in the Williams has won 5 out of 6 races so far, and leads the table by a country mile. Indycar champion Jacques Villeneuve, arriving in F1 to be Hill’s team mate, is next up, winning the other race.

Tuesday 22 January 2013

The next Retro F1: 1996 Monaco Grand Prix, this Sunday at 1500 GMT

It's been obscenely long since the last Retro F1 (almost six months - profuse apologies...), so I'm glad to confirm that the next is happening this weekend. It'll take place this Sunday, at 1500 (3pm) GMT.

And I'm even more glad to say that we'll be watching the 1996 Monaco Grand Prix, a race not in the least bit short on drama and one which has lived long in the memory. You won't regret watching it!

Retro F1 is where we watch a classic F1 race in full on YouTube, and everyone can post updates and chat about it on Twitter as we go as live.

The link we'll be using to watch the race is here, and you can follow and contribute to the chat with the Twitter #retrof1 hashtag here. You'll see that I've gone to the effort of creating a Talking about F1 YouTube channel and a playlist for the race.

The 1996 Monaco Grand Prix was a great one
Credit: Steve Gregory / CC
It will be great if you can watch along with us and have some Twitter chat as we go. The Retro F1 events we've done have been really enjoyable with lots of welcome insight and contributions on Twitter from a wide range of people watching along.

I also put a write up of the Twitter chat on my blog afterwards. Those for the previous Retro F1 events can be read here (if you scroll down).

If you're anything like me, watching old F1 races is a real treat, and it'll be good to hear your thoughts through the race. I'll be delighted if you can join in.

You can work out how to convert 1500 GMT to your local time using this website. I can confirm that it is definitely GMT (not BST) this time, after I got them muddled in the last Retro F1...

Please let me know any questions or comments you have via the comments below or on Twitter. I'm also happy to hear requests for future Retro F1 races to watch, though bear in mind it needs to exist in full (and for free) on the internet. To help you look I've put a few 'Featured Channels' that have F1 races in full in the right hand column of my YouTube channel. Finding races online is a bit of a tough task though, as even if you find something you can return not long later to find that Bernie's pulled it down!

See you Sunday, hopefully.

Sunday 20 January 2013

Brooklands - where it all began...

Do you ever wonder what came before? If the trees around you and the soil under your feet could talk what stories they would tell? If so, then I don't blame you, as in many cases their tales might just surprise us.

Motor sport isn't always the best at protecting its heritage, but fortunately even after the past has been trampled on sometimes a few clues remain. And in the middle of an otherwise unremarkable industrial estate in a Surrey town just outside London, those clues have been brought together and scrubbed up to create something rather wonderful. That place is Brooklands.

Any history of motor racing itself would have to feature the Brooklands circuit at its centre. It is the very beginning of the autodrome; where the purpose-built motor racing circuit began. No exaggeration - before Brooklands all that there had been anywhere were races on roads or paths not built with racing in mind. It is where the first ever British Grand Prix was held. It is where beasts of the road (on two wheels and four) were raced, where Land Speed Records were broken, where planes were flown and where the consciously 'right crowd' (a phrase used by the circuit when promoting itself) would gather in vast quantity. As Bill Boddy noted, if Ascot wasn't on you'd go to Brooklands.

Tuesday 15 January 2013

Talking about F1/Dusky Blog F1 Quiz

Fancy some fiendish F1 questions to while away some time during the off-season, with the chance to win some F1 prizes?

Well if so your luck's in as I've teamed up with Dusky Blog F1 to hold an F1 quiz, and I've put together some F1 questions to test your knowledge of the sport's past and present.

And the person who scores the most points will win a Red Bull cap, a McLaren 2013 calendar and an F1Times T-shirt (M). The prizes have been contributed by @naijasolar and my good self.

We'll accept entries via email until Tuesday 29th January, 7.59pm. To take part, or even just to register your interest, please follow me, @TalkingaboutF1, and @DuskyBlogF1 on Twitter and tweet the hashtag #duskyF1Quiz and we’ll send you the email address to forward your answers to by direct message (see the Terms & Conditions below).

@naijasolar is running the Adidas Half-marathon for Red Bull Racing’s charity, Wings For Life and has an eBay auction to sell some F1 memorabilia for the charity.

Anyway, here are the questions, good luck and hope you're able to take part!


1) Who scored fastest race lap in each of the following 2012 Grands Prix? 1 point each
a) Malaysia
b) China
c) Spain
d) Italy
e) India

Friday 11 January 2013

Play the Red Bull Super Time Game and Win a Tour of the Red Bull Racing Factory

Fancy winning a tour of Red Bull Racing's Milton Keynes HQ? Want a fun game to while away some time?

If the answer to both of these questions (or even to either) is 'yes' then your luck is in, as Red Bull has created a desktop flash game called 'Super Time Game'. It's a rather addictive (in my view) game which tests your reactions over a number of levels which profile Red Bull Sports, including motorsports. You can play below:
Furthermore, all those that enter their details having played the game will be entered into a prize draw to win a money can't buy, highly sought after behind the scenes Factory Tour at the Red Bull Racing HQ at Milton Keynes. The winner will be picked on 8th February 2013.

But even without this the game is jolly good fun, so why not have a go?

Tuesday 8 January 2013

A Doctor's opinion... Helmut Marko speaks out

Whatever your partisan leanings, however much you might be tempted to rail against the suggestion, it cannot be denied that modern F1 is the era of the Red Bull. Three title doubles in the last three seasons are proof positive of this.

It's common assumption that the Red Bull Phoenix that has risen in recent years has three heads: Sebastian Vettel - Christian Horner - Adrian Newey. Yet there is a fourth head less widely cited but no less important for that, that of Dr Helmut Marko.

His presence in the Red Bull pit, as well as in F1 more generally, is almost akin to that of the supernatural: mysterious, brooding, yet with influence and power thought to be of considerable reach. His role within the team has probably never been defined precisely, at least not in the minds of outsiders - adviser, overseer of the Red Bull young driver programme, eyes and ears of the Red Bull company among many other things - but Marko's sway cannot be questioned.

But the man himself remains unperturbed by his aloof image: 'You’ll never make it in Formula One if you are only addicted to beauty.'

In the January edition of Red Bulletin Marko had a lot to say on many matters to do with Red Bull Racing, including Sebastian Vettel, the driver's and team's recent successes, the highs and lows of the season just passed, as well as the role of company head Dietrich Mateschitz, and in most cases it is expressed with considerable frankness. He also airs his views on matters for F1 more widely, including F1's current 'show', DRS, KERS, and the impending regulation changes for 2014. There's even the tiniest shard of light cast onto his own role, saying that he focuses on 'the big picture'.

Sunday 6 January 2013

My Favourite Things (about F1 in 2012)

Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens;
Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens;
Brown paper packages tied up with strings;
These are a few of my favourite things (about F1 in 2012):

Sebastian Vettel starting the year by passing Nico Rosberg at the unlikely scene of Turn 9 at Melbourne around the outside. Yet another nail in the 'Seb can't pass' coffin.

Credit: Morio / CC
Sergio Perez catching the leading Fernando Alonso at a rate of knots in the Malaysia race, with all of those expected in advance to be contending for the lead nowhere. Our first indication that 2012 was to be no ordinary F1 year.

Kimi Raikkonen trashing whatever doubts there were on the wisdom of his comeback by sailing up from 11th to very nearly win the Bahrain Grand Prix, thus ensuring he and all the associated benefits of his presence were to be back where they belong.

Williams showing in Spain that it hadn't lost its racer's instinct after many fallow years, adopting an aggressive pit strategy to seize its first victory since 2004 with Pastor Maldonado.

And after that race just about every team assisting putting out a fire in the Williams garage, and McLaren offering equipment to Williams for the next race. Despite everything, F1 remains a family.

Fernando Alonso's aggression in the opening corners and laps in Melbourne, Valencia, Monza, Abu Dhabi, Austin, indeed pretty much everywhere.