Sunday 26 February 2017

New Motorsport Week article: What to look for (and not) in Barcelona testing

Photo: Octane Photography
And so, one of the most anticipated points on the F1 calendar is just about upon us. The opening pre-season test, where all the gleaming new machines be be running on track together. And this year with a host of new technical rules the anticipation is even more keen than usual. we keep being reminded interpreting the goings-on in F1 testing is rather an intricate exercise, certainly is not nearly as simple as looking at the headline lap times.

In my latest though for Motorsport Week I outline a few things from my meandering experience of watching testing that may help in unravelling the knotted but key matter of who is quick and who is not. You can have a read here:

Saturday 18 February 2017

Inside Line F1 Podcast - Williams' Unexpected Reveal Shocks Sauber

Sauber is on pole position - to launch 2017's first Formula 1 car. The strange part is that two relatively unknown drivers (Ericsson and Wehrlein) will unveil the new looking Formula 1 car. Given the excitement around the new look, couldn't Formula 1 (read: Liberty Media) get some of their superstar drivers to do so?

But this pole position works well for Sauber. It is a PR masterstroke. This unveil might garner them more publicity than the previous two seasons put together. As for McLaren, they almost clinched pole! Their agency might have just leaked their livery images on social media.

PS: Williams' unexpected reveal on Autosport/Motorsport was after this podcast was recorded and published.

Nico Rosberg wants to go back to being friends with Lewis Hamilton. Is it easier for him to say so now that he's beaten him? Either way, we think Rosberg-Hamilton could be the Rocky Balboa-Apollo Creed of Formula 1.

And in this week's episode of the Inside Line F1 Podcast, we dissect Juan Pablo Montoya's comment on 'weak' European drivers, the engine fire-up by teams, Kimi Raikkonen's karaoke skills and new bar and Fernando Alonso's really cool emojis.

Sunday 12 February 2017

New Motorsport Week article: The 1997 Formula 1 season - A forgotten classic

By Cord Rodefeld from Ulm, Germany (Hockenheim 1997)
[CC BY-SA 2.0 (
by-sa/2.0) or CC BY-SA 2.0 (
/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Winter months can stretch long for an F1 fan. Particularly so these days with severe testing restrictions, meaning that for the most part we can't even indulge our habit for trying to read what wintry test days can possibly mean.

But there always is F1 history to delve into, and it helps that the turn of a new year brings a whole new load of anniversaries that give us an excuse to look back.

And with this we now are 20 years on from a classic F1 season. One wherein competitiveness akin to the heady days of the 1970s returned to the grid. But one too that doesn't seem to get retro features as readily as you'd think.

In my latest for Motorsport Week I do my best to right that wrong, and explain why the 1997 F1 season was very very good. You can read it here:

Thursday 9 February 2017

Inside Line F1 Podcast - Ferrari Missing Historic Bonus From Formula E

Ferrari's 'historic bonus' from Formula 1 has made much news, but given how the Italian manufacturer is ignoring Formula E, there's little chance that it'll ever get one from the all-electric series. Are quit Formula 1 threats around the corner for Ferrari?

It also seems that tyre strategy isn't the only thing Ferrari is confused about. On one hand, it's talking of reconsidering the involvement in Formula 1 because of the dwindling viewership, but on the other hand, it is considering purchasing shares in the sport. Strange are your ways, Ferrari!

In this week's episode of the Inside Line F1 Podcast, Mithila and Kunal wonder if McLaren's decision to drop the 'MP4' prefix is an outcome of a visit with a numerologist and what will McLaren achieve first - a win or a title sponsor?

Of all of Ross Brawn's interesting views, we're not sure if doing away with 'blue flags' makes sense and would Mika Hakkinen be upset if the Finnish Formula 1 Grand Prix was held at a circuit called - Kymi Ring?

Lastly, Nico Rosberg might not be the perfect Formula 1 World Drivers' Champion, but he for sure is the perfect Formula 1 fan. Tune in and know why!

Subscribe on iTunes and audioBoom for your weekly dose of Formula 1 humour.

(Season 2017, Episode 06)

Thursday 2 February 2017

New Motorsport Week article: Why F1 might be about to, finally, get it right on overtaking

And with one bound, F1 was free.

Photo: Octane Photography
Free of the ubiquitous Bernie Ecclestone, that is. His demise, while we could see it coming, in the event was abrupt. And in the short time since the sport's observers have been like kids in a sweet shop, pointing furiously at the various things the sport can now solve with Bernie cast to one side.

But the most pressing thing should be to do with what we get on track, and the lingering 'dirty air' problems not letting cars race. There even are reasons to be optimistic on this one, even though the regs to be introduced this year are not likely to help.

For various reasons it's unlikely to be be fixed quickly, but also for various reasons this is no bad thing.

I outline my thinking in my latest article for Motorsport Week. You can have a read here: