Tuesday 31 January 2017

Inside Line F1 Podcast - Donald Trump Should Hire Bernie Ecclestone

Bernie Ecclestone was fired from Formula 1. What should he do next? We think he could be a TV commentator, so he gets to travel to the races for free (since he's known to be cheap!). Or his good friend Donald Trump could hire him as an government relations expert? Current affairs indicate that Mr. Trump might need Ecclestone's service immediately! Or maybe he could start up a business with his fellow unemployed men from the paddock, Nico Rosberg and Ron Dennis.

We always knew that Formula 1 would find it hard to replace Bernie – that's why the new owners have replaced him with three people. The new management also thinks Formula 1's existing offices are too small – obviously, they were made for a one-man team only! And should Formula 1 hire a circuits expert too?

2017 may not be Bernie’s year, but in all other sports, it is fast becoming the Year of the Oldies. Does this mean that Kimi Raikkonen will finally win some races this season? Likewise for Ferrari and McLaren too? In this week's episode of the Inside Line F1 Podcast, we talk about Lewis Hamilton’s helmet design competition (what would it look like if Adrian Newey designed it?) and Daniel Ricciardo's oral tinea thanks to the shoeys (seriously). Tune in!

(Season 2017, Episode 05)

Wednesday 25 January 2017

Inside Line F1 Podcast - Let's Bring Juan Pablo Montoya Back To Formula 1

Is this Formula 1's busiest 'off-season' yet? There's been an overdose of stories in this period: from Mercedes hiring Valtteri Bottas as Nico Rosberg's replacement, Formula 1's sale and Bernie Ecclestone being forcibly replaced to Juan Pablo Montoya's Race of Champions victory on debut and Sebastian Vettel's single-handled efforts winning Germany their 7th Race of Champion Nations Cup! (PS: we love the Juan 'juan' ROC jokes!)

In this week's episode of the Inside Line F1 Podcast, we tell you why Formula 1 would never go the Race of Champions way, even if it is a fun format. We also decode why Max Verstappen might never participate in the ROC.

Pascal Wehrlein's crash was heart-stopping! Does it worry Monisha (Kaltenborn) about her budgets for 2017? And did anyone notice the fan seated next to Wehrlein? Through the entire crash, this fan was on his (or her) phone shooting content! We'd love to see the fan's footage. If you've not seen this picture yet, go over to our Facebook page.

Finally, Formula 1's sale saw the unthinkable but the long overdue happen - Bernie Ecclestone's dismissal. Much like Formula 1 hopes to benefit by bringing Ross Brawn back, we're sure the sport can benefit much by bringing back the uber talented and mercurial Juan Pablo Montoya. Tune in!

(Season 2017, Episode 04)

Tuesday 17 January 2017

Inside Line F1 Podcast - Mercedes vs Red Bull = Engine vs Aero

If we are treated to a Mercedes vs. Red Bull Racing contest in 2017, it could well be an 'engine vs. aero' battle given Mercedes' superior power unit and Red Bull Racing's aero prowess. But well, Bernie Ecclestone doesn't believe that Mercedes will be challenged this season too. Sigh!

On this 'engine vs. aero' debate, we're reminded of Enzo Ferrari's famous quote 'aerodynamics are for people who can't build engines' and this does seem true for Red Bull Racing - who have publicly declared that they'll be fighting for wins only in the second half of 2017! Sigh! (yet again!)

In this week's episode of the Inside Line F1 Podcast, we discuss the Renault-Magnussen-Haas love-hate relationship, possible retirement options for Jolyon Palmer, McLaren's sponsor-friendly statements and even though we narrowly missed the Valtteri Bottas to Mercedes announcement, we still got it right in this episode. While Mercedes made the most of the positive PR around their second cockpit, they do need lessons on how to maintain suspense! Tune in!

(Season 2017, Episode 03)
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Sunday 15 January 2017

New Motorsport Week article: Why Valtteri Bottas will do better at Mercedes than you think

Photo: Octane Photography
The major piece of the 2017 driver market jigsaw is about to fall into place apparently. Claire Williams has as good as admitted that the Nico Rosberg-shaped hole at Mercedes is going to be filled by Valtteri Bottas.

Not a big surprise, given the Finn quickly emerged as the clear front-runner for the vacancy after Nico dropped his retirement bombshell. But still plenty seemed underwhelmed at the prospect - seeing Valtteri as a "boring, safe" driver who won't give Lewis Hamilton much to think about.

But I outline in my latest article for Motorsport Week (née Grand Prix Times) such an assumption sells Valtteri well short. You can have a read of my thinking here: https://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/13552

Friday 13 January 2017

'Light at the end of the tunnel' on British Grand Prix future - Warwick

BRDC president Derek Warwick has today insisted that there is 'light at the end of the tunnel' on ensuring the British Grand Prix's long-term future.

Derek Warwick talking today at Autosport International
There have been recent reports of Silverstone's owners BRDC activating the 'break clause' in its Grand Prix contract, which would need to be activated before this year's race, so that it would not hold the F1 event beyond 2019. But speaking at Autosport International today Warwick was bullish about the race's long-term future, and said that a compromise deal is likely.

"We made a note to our members, our Christmas note, giving them on update of Silverstone," said Warwick, "and a lot of that then came out as we were going to, the possibility, of causing the break clause before the Grand Prix this year, to break the clause for 2019.

"Don't worry, we've 100% got a Grand Prix for the next three years, up until 2019."

Thursday 12 January 2017

Brundle 'doesn't understand' Rosberg retirement

Martin Brundle has said that he does not understand Nico Rosberg's decision to quit F1 mere days after the German won the 2016 World Drivers' Championship.

Martin Brundle questioned Nico Rosberg's deicion to retire
Photo: Octane Photography
Speaking at Autosport International in Birmingham today, former F1 driver and current Sky F1 commentator Brundle admitted his surprise upon hearing the news.

"Yeah of course [it was a surprise]" he said, "you could have knocked me over with a feather. Alex, my boy, sent me a text and I thought he was joking. I thought 'it can't be April the 1st'...I couldn't believe it."

And Brundle admitted that from his perspective, he struggled to understand Rosberg's decision.

"I still don't understand it," he added.

"I admire that Nico had the courage of his convictions to say 'this is the high point, I want to jump off now as I've achieved everything I want to achieve.' I think it's a bold decision, a brave decision from him in that respect. But where's the passion? Where's the commitment? Why not come and show the world again next year in this amazing car and amazing team that most of us would have given anything for just for one season to drive in our careers?

Inside Line F1 Podcast - 2017 Inside Line F1 Podcast Awards

Ladies & Gentlemen, Formula 1's BIGGEST moment of 2017 is already here as we proudly announce our 2017 Inside Line F1 Podcast Awards. Our 5th edition of the awards has taken us a full season of research and as you tune in, do remember that 'the winner is never who you think it is!'!

A quick glance at our categories:
1. How Did That Happen of the Year
2. Bad Boy of the Year
3. Promotion of the Year
4. Demotion of the Year
5. Race of the Year
6. Strategy of the Year
7. Retirement of the Year
8. Bromance of the Year
9. Joke of the Year
10. Rookie of the Year
11. Racer of the Year

We requested the FIA to issue a 'dress code' for the evening - tuxedo for the men and a little black dress for Mithila. And while we allowed Niki and Jackie to wear their caps and Kimi to wear his glares, we ensured that Daniel wore no boots. As for Massa, he claimed that he was busy in the gym. Preparing for his Formula 1 comeback?

And no, Fernando didn't get to play cameraman, but we did get a deck chair for his comfort. We also kept a few blue flags ready for Esteban, just in case he held back those taking the seats at the front. As for Pastor, we got him a cockpit to sit in - he's been eyeing one since a few months now!

For one of the categories, we actually had a certain Jenson text Kunal expressing his discontentment with being nominated for a certain category. No prizes for guessing which one though! But overall, we had a lot of fun recording this episode and hope you'll enjoy it as much too while listening.

So before you tune in and join us at the bar, remember that our awards are high on humour and that the drinks are on us.

Follow the Inside Line F1 Podcast on iTunes and audioBoom for your weekly dose of Formula 1 humour!

(Season 2017, Episode 02)

Sunday 8 January 2017

The latest Lights to Flag Podcast - 2016 Season Review

The first Lights to Flag podcast of the year is with us, and (in)appropriately in it we look back at the 2016 F1 season.

Ewan and I again are joined by Adam Corlett to reflect on the season. We discuss the Merc title march, Ferrari's flop, Red Bull's resurgence, fantastic Force India, the rest of the runners and riders, as well as the long-lamented rule changes etc etc.

And given we had so much to talk about it's split over two parts; the two players are below. Enjoy...

You also as ever can interact with the podcast via its Twitter account and on its Facebook page. If you want to appear on it give us a shout too. And if you have comments then get them to us via the various channels and we'll read out the good ones on a future episode!

Tuesday 3 January 2017

Inside Line F1 Podcast - McLaren Go From Being The Joke To Cracking Jokes

We LOVE it when Formula 1 teams add humour to the sport, of course. This time, we loved McLaren's prank on the Day of the Innocent Saints. They've gone from being the joke of the paddock to cracking jokes. Well, we call that progress - something that McLaren-Honda haven't experienced since a few seasons.

IF you were the power that controlled Formula 1, what would be your ONE resolution for the sport? In this week's episode, Mithila and Kunal share theirs and they found it difficult to limit themselves to just one, but they did.

With the Sauber-Wehrlein rumours, Felipe Massa's workout pictures and Bottas's reported visit to Mercedes factory, we wonder if Mercedes need to make an official announcement at all. Anyway, if we were Sauber, we would ask for Mercedes engines over a Mercedes junior driver. Tune in to know why!

Lastly, there's talk about Formula 1 cars racing at 450kmph and Ferrari's exploring of a new livery and new engine technology. All in all, let's hope for a happy new season as we also wish all our listeners a Happy New Year!

Oh and before we forget, former MotoGP World Champion said the smartest thing about Formula 1 and MotoGP. Can someone make him the CEO of Formula 1 already?

Do remember to subscribe to us on iTunes and audioBoom for your weekly dose of Formula 1 humour.

Tune in!

(Season 2017, Episode 01)