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:

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 (
%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:

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 (
licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (
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:

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:

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:

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,
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.

Motor Verso F1 2018 Season Summary - Bahrain Grand Prix review

By Habeed Hameed (2014 Formula 1
 Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix) [CC BY-SA
 2.0 (
by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
As mentioned we have a slightly different format for our Motor Verso race reviews this year. All is going into a single super duper F1 2018 season summary article. In that you'll find my take on pre-season expectations, other content and details about the year, and we'll be adding my view on each race after they happen one-by-one.

And my take on the Bahrain race has now been added. A race that reminded us that F1 never is predictable. All of a sudden it appears Mercedes isn't having the walkover this year that we expected. We got a thrilling finish too.

You can read my latest thoughts here:

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, 8 April 2018

Bahrain GP Report - Changed days

To think that just over two weeks ago after Melbourne's season-opening qualifying session we were bracing ourselves for a year of Mercedes domination. Somehow Ferrari, and Sebastian Vettel, has won the campaign's opening two rounds. The first time the Scuderia has done so since its pomp of 2004.

Against advance expectations Sebastian Vettel
made it two wins from two
Photo: Octane Photography
It's not been quite as simple as those days of demonstration runs in red. The Melbourne win owed much to external events. This time in Bahrain though it all of a sudden was down to pace, mixed on race day with some seat of the pants strategy. F1 whatever else happens never loses its capacity to surprise.

Quite where the Ferrari potency came from isn't clear, but Bahrain is a very different challenge in temperature and layout to Australia; the Italian team also had worked on its troublesome front end between rounds. Add in F1's capacity for voodoo and the Ferrari was the car to beat here.

It locked out the front row of the grid, Vettel ahead, and looked hard to stop. A recent F1 truism is that the usually haughty Mercedes is less happy relatively on softer tyre compounds, as well as when the temperatures go up. The combination of these in Bahrain led to it struggling with overheating the supersoft rubber in qualifying. Adding to its woe, gearbox damage from Melbourne meant Lewis Hamilton had to add five to his starting slot from the fourth place he managed in quali. But of course Mercedes is never to be counted out, and it sought to make a virtue of its vices.

Friday, 6 April 2018

Inside Line F1 Podcast - The Arjun Maini Podcast Interview

Formula 2, or the 'Battle of the Junior Drivers' as we call it, will have an Indian racer line-up on the grid for the first-time ever. Arjun Maini, who has been backed by two Formula 1 teams before even stepping into a Formula 1 car, will be starting his Motorsport career's biggest challenge (yet!) this weekend in Bahrain.

Maini is currently Haas F1 Team's development driver and in this week's episode of the Inside Line F1 Podcast, Mithila and Kunal wonder if Maini would be itching to get into the Haas F1 car given its 2018 form. Apart from his Formula 1 ambitions, we focus on the present - his preparations, targets and expectations from his maiden Formula 2 season. There's 'Team Arjun' that is working silently behind the scenes to propel Maini into Formula 1 and we are definitely signing up for the ride. Are you?

Tune in!

(Season 2018, Episode 11)

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

Inside Line F1 Podcast - Mercedes To Join Ferrari's F1 Quit Threats In Bahrain?

Liberty Media will present a draft of their future plans for the sport and business of Formula 1 to the teams on the Friday of the 2018 Bahrain Grand Prix. History has shown that such discussions usually end up with Ferrari threatening to quit Formula 1. But this time, we wonder if Mercedes will join Ferrari in Bahrain. After all in the recent past, Mercedes have been repeating Ferrari's quit threats as though they were their own.

In this week's episode of the Inside Line F1 Podcast, Mithila and Kunal hope that the racing will keep us as interested as the sport's politics do. Also, has Robert Kubica missed an BIG opportunity by letting go of his WEC drive for 2018? Will Fernando Alonso have a fall-out with McLaren owing to pay-cut issues? If so, the driver silly season for 2019 will heat up immensely. Finally, do remember to hear our 'What Wolff Said This Week' segment; we're excited by the comments it has already generated. Tune in!

(Season 2018, Episode 10)

Thursday, 5 April 2018

The GPBox partners with Talking About F1

We are delighted to announce that will be working with The GPBox on our post F1 race coverage for all races in the Formula 1 2018 season.

Starting with the Bahrain GP this weekend my post race reports will feature on The GPBox every Monday after a race weekend to bring you a round up of the race weekend antics. And the Australian Race round up will also be available on The GPBox shortly.

The GPBox is an online marketplace for Motorsport gifts, art, real car parts, collectables and memorabilia. A platform not only for buying and selling Motorsport pieces, but to engage a community of like minded people. They have created blogs, forums and groups, all to encourage interaction from users. They want you to use The GPBox, not just because you need to, but because you want to!

So if you are looking for a unique piece of Motorsport Memorabilia - from F1 art and real F1 car parts to Lewis Hamilton memorabilia - or have you every wondered where you can sell your F1 memorabilia, The GPBox is the place for you. Do check their site out here:

And you can read more detail about our partnership here:

Wednesday, 4 April 2018

Bahrain GP Betting Preview - Silver below the surface

We know the importance of digging deeper. It is true that Sebastian Vettel won in Australia two weeks ago, and that he won the Bahrain round last year. So, on the surface, does that make him a slam dunk to win again in Bahrain this weekend? No, not quite.

Sebastian Vettel won in Melbourne, but the smart money
remains with Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes
Photo: Octane Photography
Vettel was clear throughout the Melbourne curtain-raiser that even with his success the Ferrari isn't handling to his liking and the red machine has a way to go to catch Mercedes. The on-track running said that as well, aside from the impact of Seb's sizeable slab of fortune from a Virtual Safety Car appearance midway through the race.

The odds available on Seb at 7/2 to win in Bahrain aren't hideous, but perhaps the better value is with his team-mate this time. Kimi Raikkonen was Ferrari's pace-setter in Melbourne, his gentle style seems better for meeting the current Ferrari halfway. He has a good record at this Sakhir track too - he's finished fourth here four times in the last six. The 11/4 available for him to finish on the podium again this time looks very tempting. As is the 12/1 for a Kimi special of bagging fastest lap.

Monday, 2 April 2018

Sakhir Preview: Desert mirage

Typical Tilke. It is a phrase that for better and worse has entered the modern F1 vocabulary, reflecting that architect Hermann of that ilk has for two decades been responsible almost exclusively for the sport's new circuits. The Bahrain track that we visit this weekend embodies the phrase more than most.

Bahrain's Sakhir circuit is a 'Typical Tilke' venue
By Dave Jefferys -
26252296810/in/album-72157664943710804/, CC BY-SA 2.0,
Built from nothing on a vast expanse (in this case, desert). All clean lines and gleaming architecture. With a sense that every one of Bernie's numerous exacting demands have been met.

Yet the place has some of the typical Tilke flipside too. The round represented a large geographical stride into a new world, but this has been amid agonising over whether F1 neglected core support in the same movement; indeed F1's new owners appear minded to row back on this a little. While this particular round has had controversy attached for more weighty reasons still.

The Sakhir track is typical Tilke in its layout as well. Long straights book-ended by tight corners designed to promote overtaking, with a dash of variation and a quick esses elsewhere. Its triangular layout is like a flattened-out Red Bull Ring. However also like the Red Bull Ring it despite everything tends to produce entertaining races. And F1 could do with one.

Saturday, 31 March 2018

Motor Verso F1 2018 Season Summary

Photo: Octane Photography
As mentioned a few days ago the F1 Grand Prix race reviews that I contribute to motoring website Motor Verso will have a slightly different format this year.

They will all be collated in a single 2018 F1 summary article, which we'll add to race by race, to give us a grand review of the season by the year's end!

And since I flagged the article a few days ago we've added a few more details, such as an explanation of main changes since 2017 as well as video explanations of the halo and how Sebastian Vettel got ahead of Lewis Hamilton in the Australian Grand Prix.

You can check it all out here:

Friday, 30 March 2018

New Motorsport Week article: Virtual Reality - why the Australian GP's Virtual Safety Car was fair enough

Photo: Octane Photography
F1 rumpuses can often blindside you. The Australian Grand Prix last weekend seemed straightforward enough. Albeit was tilted by a Virtual Safety Car appearance letting the man in a net third place vault to the win by losing less time in his pitstop as a consequence.

But some thought it not so straightforward. There was grumbling about the Virtual Safety Car's impact. That it was the latest example of F1 being farcical.

In my latest for Motorsport Week I outline however why it was, mostly, fair enough. Or at least no great surprise.

You can have a read of my thinking here:

Tuesday, 27 March 2018

Inside Line F1 Podcast - Mercedes' Party Mode Could Spoil The 2018 F1 Party

Is Mercedes' mystical 'party mode' a myth? Well, for Formula 1's sake, let's hope so. However, full marks to Mercedes for scaring the living day lights out of the competition in qualifying, although that lap has to be attributed more to Lewis Hamilton's talent than the Mercedes package. If the 'party mode' is for real then it will end up ruining the 2018 party for all of us.

In this week's episode of the Inside Line F1 Podcast, Mithila and Kunal pick the best moments from the 2018 Australian Grand Prix, wonder why Formula 1 didn't test when the teams did and why Max Verstappen's assessment of the race isn't accurate. Also, we have a special guest on our show - tune in!

(Season 2018, Episode 9)

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

Monday, 26 March 2018

Australian Grand Prix review for Motor Verso - Death of a party

Photo: Octane Photography
You may be aware that I write race reviews of every F1 Grand Prix for motoring website Motor Verso. This year we have a different format for them. They will all be collated in a single 2018 F1 summary article, which we'll add to race by race, to give us a grand review of the season come the year's end!

The first of these was now been published. It features my take on the 2018 pre-season expectations and further down my thoughts on yesterday's Australian GP, and Sebastian Vettel's surprise leapfrogging of Lewis Hamilton. Virtual Safety Car and all.

Here's the link:

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, 25 March 2018

Australian GP Report - Who's smiling now?

For all that much is new in contemporary F1, the pecking order in the season-opening Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne's Albert Park looked terribly familiar. The grand reveal of the first qualifying session confirmed the efficacy of the pre-season testing grapevine. We had a tight midfield with Haas heading it. Ferrari and Red Bull close to each other. Mercedes well clear. There was a hiccup - Valtteri Bottas binned it in qualifying and started 15th. Yet Lewis Hamilton stunned all with his final effort and was nine tenths clear on pole.

Sebastian Vettel took a surprise Australian Grand Prix
win, and smiles were reversed
Photo: Octane Photography
There was much talk of a special Mercedes 'party mode' for the last of quali, denied by all in the silver camp. And when jibed by his rival Sebastian Vettel on the subject Lewis retorted that his late boost instead was the desire to "wipe the smile off your face".

"I think what goes around comes around," Seb rejoined. "He's free to have a party tonight and then hopefully Kimi [Raikkonen] and myself will have a party tomorrow."

It seems he's as good a mystic as racing driver.

Come the race things initially were in a similar vein to qualifying however. Lewis didn't run away from the Ferrari pair next up but looked undeniably comfortable. As for Vettel, he wasn't even the fastest Ferrari as Kimi set the Scuderia pace. In that familiar way it was all rather follow my leader too.

Wednesday, 21 March 2018

Australian GP Betting Preview - Early birds

You know what they say about the early bird. It applies to F1 betting. As this point before the season actually starts is unique; only now do none of us really know who among the season's cars and drivers is actually quick and not quick when it matters. And this gives opportunities.

There are opportunities for the F1
gambler prior to the first race
Photo: Octane Photography
The pre-season testing consensus was that the 'big three' of Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull are close, more so than we've got used to. But equally there was a sense from testing that Merc remains out front. Plus in this hybrid era there's been little money to be made from backing anyone else - four championship doubles from four; 63 race wins from 79...

Lewis Hamilton therefore is the unimaginative bet for 2018 but also likely the safest one, and you can near enough double your money on a Hamilton title by backing him at 5/6.

Nevertheless if Red Bull is indeed starting a season strongly for once then the 8/1 available for Max Verstappen to win this year's championship looks pretty good medium range value.

Inside Line F1 Podcast - F1 Under Pressure From IndyCar, MotoGP & Formula E

The classic racing in IndyCar, MotoGP and Formula E in the last week has ensured a dream start to the Motorsport season of 2018. Will Formula 1 enthral us at the season-opening 2018 Australian Grand Prix with a multi-driver battle for victory, or will we be subjected to another race (or season!) of dominance from Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton? Whatever it may be, the pressure is on Formula 1 to match up to the level of excitement and racing action the other series are able to offer.

In this week's episode of the Inside Line F1 Podcast, Mithila and Kunal wonder if the drivers of the future will be expected to perform more duties than just racing. And of course, the marketers in them discuss Formula 1's first-ever global media campaign with keen interest. There's a lot more than Formula 1 could do within their 'Engineering Insanity' video.

After coining the term 'Return on Penalties' last week, this week, they discuss the 'Battle of the Renaults' and the new driver rivalries it could throw up. And there's a new feature that we plan to introduce - 'What Toto Said This Week!'

Finally, predictions for the first race of the season are the hardest, but they give it their best shot. Let's hope the season isn't as boring as their predictions are though. Tune in!

(Season 2018, Episode 8)

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

Tuesday, 20 March 2018

Enter the Vital F1 Prediction competition - and pit your wits against me

You may know that one of the websites I write for is It has plenty on it for F1 fans - news, a discussion forum and comment articles among other things.

Photo: Octane Photography
And it has a F1 prediction competition, back for the new season, that you can enter.

For every Grand Prix you pick two drivers to score points for you depending on where they finish in real life. In some races it's the relatively straightforward matter of predicting who'll finish first and second, but in others it gets more tricky as you have to try to predict who'll finish in a precise positions further down the order, such as P5 and P6...

It's all free too.

If you'd like to sign up, or find out more, here is the link:

And if it helps encourage you to take part you'll get to pit your wits against me, as I'll be taking part in the game too (as 'Talking about F1', obviously).

Hope you're able to take part. It's good fun.

Talking about F1 - a few tweaks for 2018

It feels very strange that this year Talking about F1 will celebrate its eighth birthday. Time has flown, which must mean I've been having fun. But then again why would getting a pulpit to opine on a sport that I've had a passion for from an early age be anything other than fun?

A bad selfie by some old guy.
Yet the site has also been good for aiding my own development as a writer and (stop laughing at the back) journalist; as well as writing for other sites I've had the privilege of attending a number of F1 races as an accredited journalist. And in the last 12 months things have moved up a gear or two.

You may know that in this time I've been part of the Autosport Academy, doing various things for Autosport and Motorsport News. This includes reporting from paddocks for various UK national events, and I aim to do more of the same again this year.

It has been a great experience, and an invaluable opportunity to work with fantastic people and to develop my journalistic skills which - given F1 is peculiar in many ways - is not so easy to do in an F1 paddock.

But the flipside of me covering national events is that it will occupy me on many F1 weekends, so I will have to tweak my F1 output on this site.

I still intend before each Grand Prix to produce a preview article on the Monday and a betting preview on the Wednesday as usual.

I also intend to still produce Grand Prix race reports though these will likely be available a little later than before, sometime on the Monday after each race most likely.

And with regret I won't be able to write qualifying reports this year, as I doubt there will be much opportunity in a lot of weekends to produce this in time. Obviously I can cover any momentous qualifying moments in the race report, particularly those that impact the race.

Thanks as ever for all of your support and kind words over time, I hope that you continue to enjoy the site as much as I enjoy writing on it.

If you have any queries or comments then please let me know in the comments or else drop me a line at

Graham Keilloh

Monday, 19 March 2018

Melbourne Preview: Fount of knowledge

"Nobody knows anything". So goes William Goldman's celebrated line on Hollywood.

There is always tension around the opening round
Photo: Octane Photography
And although F1 has in recent times has given a good impression of one whose results can be called well in advance, it applies to that too. No matter what else happens the first season's gathering, and particularly the first qualifying session, always will have the paddock on tenterhooks.

As it is a confirmation. Talk is replaced by numbers on a stopwatch which are hard to deny. After however many weeks and months of work, clues and no little speculation, this impending season-opening weekend around Melbourne's Albert Park is the latest F1 equivalent of getting your exam results. And despite the attempts to give an impression otherwise, no one really knows what will happen.

As is expected between seasons with no great regulation shift pre-season testing just passed in Barcelona suggested no grand reshuffle in the competitive order since 2017. Yet it offered points of intrigue, not least the prospect of a tighter battle between the 'big three' teams.

Talking about F1 2018 Team-by-Team Season Preview

Now with the season-opening Australian Grand Prix almost upon us there are plenty of F1 season previews around. And Talking about F1 is not one to be left out. You will have noticed that over the last week or so I have written a preview for all ten competing F1 teams in 2018 and their drivers.

All of the previews are now collated in one place - by clicking on the '2018 Team and Driver Guide' tab above you can explore my view on the prospects of every driver and team on this season's grid.

New Motorsport Week article: Thirty years on - the McLaren MP4/4 delivers F1’s most devastating blow

By Instituto Ayrton Senna derivative work: Karpouzi
[CC BY 2.0 (],
via Wikimedia Commons
We are almost exactly 30 years on to the day from likely F1's most devastating single blow ever being delivered.

23 March 1988 was the date that the McLaren Honda MP4/4 debuted on-track. The very last day of pre-season testing, just nine days before opening practice of the first round. And the blow was as devastating as it was late and sudden. The car was immediately far quicker than all rivals that had been pounding around all winter.

We know what happened next - 15 Grand Prix wins out of 16 for Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost that year. But up until that later than late on-track bow there was nothing inevitable about it; for the MP4/4 things could very easily have been very different.

In my latest for Motorsport Week I tell the story. You can have a read here:

Sunday, 18 March 2018

F1 2018 Season Preview: Sauber - Playing catch up

Things could always be worse, as the saying goes. All at Sauber know this. They experienced it.

Photo: Octane Photography
In recent times the team existed in financial turmoil and for years. Its car for each season was essentially a rehash of the preceding one. Many staff left and, to be blunt, hearing confirmation of the team going out of business seemed a matter of when not whether.

Yet it was at last rescued in mid-2016 when Longbow Finance took over. As is often the way with such things a shake-up followed. Team principal Monisha Kaltenborn left mid last season and the highly-rated Frederic Vasseur arrived eventually in her stead. Earlier in the year Jorg Zander came in to head up the technical side after a long spell away.

As is also the way of such things the legacy of the under-investment will linger a while. Zander found a team not only rather husk-like after years of survival mode, it also was somewhat in disarray.

Saturday, 17 March 2018

F1 2018 Season Preview: McLaren - I am curious, orange

We thought it so simple. Ditch the dread Honda power unit for anything else you could find and it would all be rosy. Yet with McLaren for the nth season in a row we enter a F1 season with more questions around than answers.

Photo: Octane Photography
Pre-season testing provided evidence of what some had suspected over the last three trying seasons - that far from all of McLaren's problems had been Honda ones. The now Renault-powered car completed the fewest laps of all in Barcelona; running forever was interrupted by a variety of technical problems. Some by the team's admission were mere finger trouble. A wheel falling off the car in testing's early throes provided an unwelcome visual metaphor.

It is said the car is ultra complicated under the skin, and the implications included that problems take a long time to resolve - for example an engine change is reckoned to take at best three hours rather than the standard sub-two. Pitstop practices in Barcelona were chaotic.

A few wondered also why McLaren, almost alone, used the softest tyre compounds as a default. McLaren racing director Eric Boullier insisted there were "technical reasons" and there wasn't much pace difference between the compounds in any case. On the hyper-softs McLaren set a late and low laptime. It didn't convince too many though.

Friday, 16 March 2018

F1 2018 Season Preview: Haas - Surprise surprise

Whatever else can be said about F1, it never loses its capacity to surprise.

Photo: Octane Photography
Take Haas. In pre-season's first few days the team hardly was mentioned. Apparent nondescript plodders in a congested midfield, and perhaps somewhere near the ceiling of its buy-in-and-outsource-everything-you-can model. Sauber's closer ties with Ferrari likely wasn't good news for it either. There was little visually in the car launched to make you reassess, beyond that it contained a clear Ferrari influence. But it was far from alone on that.

Yet we'll go to Melbourne almost expecting Haas to be best of the rest behind the big three teams, certainly in the mix with the likes of Renault and McLaren; well capable of points and perhaps big hauls of them. Somehow the car appears to work. Towards the end of Barcelona running it was setting laptimes mere tenths off the Ferrari and the fuel loads were understood to be similar.

Its long runs were in the right ballpark and the car passes the visual test of looking to be handling well on circuit. Only McLaren and Sauber - both of whom had conspicuous room to improve - made a bigger gain in its best time compared with 2017's testing. And for what it's worth with the Pirelli compound delta applied to each test's best lap Haas suddenly was top...

Thursday, 15 March 2018

F1 2018 Season Preview: Toro Rosso - International relations

It goes to show that in this game should never make your mind up irrecoverably. Before testing we didn't expect much of Toro Rosso this year beyond struggle. Due not least to it being left holding the Honda power unit when the music stopped.

Photo: Octane Photography
Two weeks of testing later and things look a little different. Toro Rosso with the supposedly ultra unreliable Japanese unit in fact topped the mileage charts in testing's first week. And while accepting the weather disruption made that part slightly odd, even at the end of testing overall only the much better resourced Mercedes and Ferrari out-ran it. There was only one (minor) Honda failure that anyone was aware of. Honda indeed near enough doubled the pre-season mileage it got 12 months ago.

In a more broad sense some yet hold out hope of the Honda unit's ultimate potential. The resources are there of course, as presumably is its commitment given it's still around post McLaren's ditching.

Wednesday, 14 March 2018

F1 2018 Season Preview: Renault - Yellow fever

This year we are expecting a high climber. A former champion team. One that will stride forward after years of lingering doldrums.

Photo: Octane Photography
However it may not be the high climber that everyone had been anticipating before testing started. Rather than McLaren's papaya, the evidence of 2018's early shadow boxing was that we may instead need to look to Renault's yellow.

It shouldn't have been that much of a surprise though, as the aims at Renault are big. Of course it is a works effort, one that as mentioned has championship pedigree. It is rearming after what it calls almost a decade of under-investment, and staff numbers have grown from 470 to 750 since 2015 when Renault took back over the Enstone collective. Team principal Cyril Abiteboul has said he wants Renault ultimately to win titles, and at 85% of the size of its main rivals.

Tuesday, 13 March 2018

Inside Line F1 Podcast - Key Questions Ahead Of The 2018 F1 Season

Yes, the 2018 Australian Grand Prix is less than a fortnight away. In this week's episode of the Inside Line F1 Podcast, we ask some key questions that will be answered through the 2018 Formula 1 Season.

Apart from the usual questions around Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull Racing, we ask if Kimi Raikkonen knows the cost of a litre of vodka. Where will McLaren be in 2018? Hopefully not at the Honda HQs in Japan! Btw, we totally believe that for McLaren to be a force to reckon with in Formula 1, they should build their own engines.

Also, we wonder if the art of rolling restarts will be lost to drivers and Formula 1 and if Renault is explaining their drivers and customer teams the 'returns on penalty' equation as they prepare to use four power units this season. Tune in!

PS: Like McLaren, we are facing some pre-season testing issues with our new recording system. We promise to be back to perfect sound (ceramic microphones, of course) by next week's episode!

(Season 2018, Episode 6)

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

F1 2018 Season Preview: Williams - In the balance

We talk a lot about the Williams decline. We used to think of the team a little as we do Mercedes now - bound to get it right and run at the front, whatever else happens.

Photo: Octane Photography
But the Williams decline can be traced back a long time, all the way to 1997. And in the last decade and a bit it's been mainly midfield flailing. Was the upturn with the Mercedes engine in 2014 a dead cat bounce? Since, in results at least, it's been in a state of downward drift.

Its heritage is a burden in a more tangible sense. Williams retains the infrastructure of a large team, but these days is without the money to make it work. Instead it is being usurped by Force India which has a streamlined model, with plenty outsourced, that gets much better results at that level.

The latest staging post of the Williams decline in the popular consciousness is its driver selection for 2018. The team that once lost prize Honda engines by refusing to take on a Japanese sop now has two pilots whose cases owe at least something - many think a lot - to the money they bring.

Monday, 12 March 2018

F1 2018 Season Preview: Force India - Changing context

Force India's predicament says a few things about life. That all things are relative. That no man (or F1 team) is an island entirely of itself. That all is judged in its zeitgeist.

Photo: Octane Photography
Force India is by consensus F1's best team pound for pound (which works on a metaphorical weight and a literal money level). It allies a strong power unit and gearbox with an almost as strong driver line up, sound development and sensible race strategies. A slimmed down operation that makes the best of what it has.

These days it gets plenty of respect to go with its comfortable fourth place in the constructors' standings last year - a particularly towering achievement given it came after a big rule change that often catches the smaller teams out. But even so Force India's expected to fall in 2018.

All to do with the sort of phenomena outlined at the outset. Renault, rearming itself as a works squad, is expected to improve. McLaren, having shed its dread Honda, is expected to improve. The assumption is that both will clear Force India in 2018. Without Force India especially doing anything wrong.

Sunday, 11 March 2018

F1 2018 Season Preview: Red Bull - The Bulls are back in town?

"I think there's three quick teams and there's no doubt that Red Bull are going to be people that we're going to be fighting with this year," Mercedes' technical head James Allison told TV during the second test. "There's clearly no doubt about that.

Photo: Octane Photography
"Looking at what they've brought here, I'd say they've still got some bodywork to bolt on before Melbourne."

Yes, whatever else has been going on pre-season Red Bull has been the talk of the town.

Yes, we've been waiting a while for Red Bull to step up and deliver a proper season-long fight for the championship between it, Mercedes and Ferrari. Yes, Red Bull for a number of years has been disappointing us in season starts, by falling from the competitiveness it had ended the previous season with.

Last year at this point the Red Bull was conspicuously bare and started off the pace in Melbourne, though the team had the mitigation of windtunnel correlation problems. True to form it clawed its way back as the year progressed and for a time in the autumn looked even the consistent pace-setter.

Thursday, 8 March 2018

F1 2018 Season Preview: Ferrari - One more push?

Ferrari against most predictions made a championship of it last year. From nowhere it stepped up to be almost with the Mercedes on pace - perhaps actually with it or even ahead by some estimates. And not through chance.

Photo: Octane Photography
As Mark Hughes noted of the Ferrari, "it was the most bold and ingenious design on the grid, with more innovations, more nudging against the limits of the regulations, than any other car. That was the first time this could be said of a Ferrari in more than a decade."

The Ferrari didn't have the peaks of the Merc but it was far more adaptable and usable. Its engine was in the ballpark too, certainly come the race. In that most sincere form of flattery plenty of rivals have in their 2018 machines followed the lead of last year's red car.

With a few cards falling the other way Ferrari could have bagged the drivers' title. Over and above its much mooted mid-to-late season unreliability, we had safety cars appearances going against it in China and Spain - either costing Sebastian Vettel probable wins - as well as Seb's errors in Baku and Singapore letting two more victories go from its grasp.

Wednesday, 7 March 2018

Verstappen Needs Fast Start To Compete, by Andy Davies

To take the next stage in his development, Max Verstappen has to make a fast start to the 2018 Formula One Drivers' Championship. The Dutchman has the potential to challenge Lewis Hamilton at the top of F1, but has to find the consistency that eluded him in the last campaign. Verstappen announced himself on the scene with a victory in his first race at Red Bull. He became the youngest driver to win a Grand Prix when he triumphed in Spain in 2016. The Dutchman continued to perform well for the rest of his maiden term with the Austrian outfit, finishing fifth in the Drivers' Championship.

However, the 20-year-old was unable to kick on from his promising first season with a contender. A number of retirements hindered his progress. Verstappen found a semblance of form towards the end of the campaign, recording two victories, although he still finished well off the pace in sixth place.
Red Bull has made improvements to its car for the 2018 campaign, but whether it's enough to challenge Hamilton at the top is another matter. The Dutchman is backed in the latest F1 betting odds at 9/2 to win the crown, although it will take a special effort to dislodge Hamilton.

Tuesday, 6 March 2018

F1 2018 Season Preview: Mercedes - Deja vu all over again

The question remains the same. For the fifth pre-season in a row. Just how is Mercedes to be toppled? All Mercedes statistics since the start of F1's hybrid era in 2014 are crushing: four championship doubles from four; 63 wins from 79...

Photo: Octane Photography
You could make the case that the rest are still no closer to answering it either. Doubtlessly Mercedes last season faced its strongest challenge in this spell. But even so it got 12 wins from 20, and wrapped up both titles well ahead of time.

Last season too the Merc had infamous 'diva' characteristics. But even that may take hope away from rivals - it gives the car obvious room in which to improve for 2018. The car looks like one that's sought to optimise what it was doing in 2017, rather than one seeking a new direction.

Like 12 months ago Mercedes has launched a car with conspicuous greater detail than any other. It ended the first Barcelona test with clearly the fastest laptime, and one set on harder tyres than its pursuers. Like 12 months ago all left the test with a strong sense that Merc is comfortable. The figure of three tenths clear was banded around. The noises from the camp seeped with understated assurance.

Saturday, 3 March 2018

New Motorsport Week article: Formula 1 in 2018: Reasons to be cheerful…

Photo: Octane Photography
In what these days seems an annual event, we head into a F1 season amid conspicuous grumbling. No grid girls, new start times, the halo...

Yet while not seeking to discredit the concerns in an attempt to show that things aren't all bad, in my latest for Motorsport Week in the spirit of Ian Dury I list some reasons to be cheerful (one, two, three...)

You can have a read of them here:

Friday, 2 March 2018

Inside Line F1 Podcast - The Esteban Ocon Interview Podcast

Will Esteban Ocon be in a position to upset Daniel Ricciardo's possible move to Mercedes for 2019? For that to happen, Ocon will need to beat Force India veteran and team-mate Sergio Perez - expect this to be a tough fight. As for Mercedes, they will need to show Red Bull-style guts to promote their young driver to the works team this early in his Formula 1 career.

In this week's episode of the Inside Line F1 Podcast, we have Esteban Ocon join us on our fun show. We speak to the Frenchman about his views on Force India, his areas of improvement for 2018 and how he plans to counter the Sergio Perez challenge. Also, what's his view on the super-sexy next-gen Formula E car? Finally, he signs off with a message for his friend and rival from Formula 3 days, Felix Rosenqvist.

Tune in!

(Season 2018, Episode 6)

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

Wednesday, 28 February 2018

Inside Line F1 Podcast - The Sergio Perez Interview Podcast

By the end of the 2018 Formula 1 Season, Sergio Perez would become Force India's most-experienced driver - and unless Esteban Ocon (who is next on the show!) goes on a podium scoring spree, he will also become the team's most-successful driver.

Force India has helped stabilise Perez's career and vice-versa; they make a lethal combo - one to watch out for this season. He is also the best person to judge Force India's key strength - one that's made them the talk of the paddock and the 'best bang for buck World Champions'.

In this week's episode of the Inside Line F1 Podcast, the famous Mexican driver joins us on the show - also becoming first driver in history to appear on our show twice! Super thanks to our friends at Force India for making this happen - #FeelTheForce, indeed.

Tune in to hear Checo's expectations from 2018, if he would ever consider a dual racing program like Fernando Alonso - the WEC and Formula 1 and what he thinks of the next-generation Formula E car. Also, we talk about Bernie Ecclestone's suggestion to Formula 1 to go all-electric and if slowing the cars down to improve the spectacle of racing would make sense.

(Season 2018, Episode 05)

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

Sunday, 18 February 2018

The Colour Wheel - The world's favourite car colours, by Select Car Leasing

Picking the colour of your next car is a tough decision. Do you go for your favourite colour? But it's not only if you like the colour that's the issue. Some colours can cause your car to depreciate over 33.5% more than others and research has found that UK Car buyers pay over £500 just to get their car in the right colour.

Select Car Leasing has looked into the history of car colours; which has been the most popular over the years, as well as seeing which new colours are set to emerge in the car world.

The Colour Wheel
The Colour Wheel by SELECT CAR LEASING.

Friday, 16 February 2018

Vijay Mallya exclusive interview: by Kunal Shah for Firstpost

Friend of Talking about F1 Kunal Shah - of Inside Line F1 Podcast fame - has made a major coup of interviewing Force India Team Principal Vijay Mallya for Firstpost. And Kunal's very kindly agreed to share it with us.

The full interview is below, and Mallya discusses his team's growth to by common consent to be the sport's best pound-for-pound performer, the challenges facing the team now and many other matters besides. 

The original interview can be accessed here:

Photo: Octane Photography
The world of sport offers a unique irony - the passion for sport unites fans and followers all over the world, only to have rivalries split us apart instantly. However, one story that still unites fans despite having different favourites is the story of the underdog.

This column is a celebration of a decade of the Force India Formula 1 Team - the team that has consistently scored points, occasionally ended up on to the podium, but has always won hearts and applauses from the fans for their spirited performances.

In Formula 1's sporting context, Force India is now considered as a benchmark – by pundits, commentators, drivers and even rival teams. However, the journey has definitely not been an easy one for the team given the preferential treatment that was shamelessly meted out (under Bernie Ecclestone's era) for the top teams the sport.

Thursday, 15 February 2018

New Motorsport Week article: Fourth or bust – McLaren's 2018 tightrope

Photo: Octane Photography
In a season where not a great deal's expected to change in the competitive order we at least can expect one high climber - McLaren for the first time in a while having a power unit that should get it into the game.

But precisely how high they climb will be crucial, and not just for the team's 2018 fate.

In my latest for Motorsport Week I look at McLaren's prospects for the year:

Sunday, 11 February 2018

Inside Line F1 Podcast - The Power of Fernando Alonso

Toyota and the World Endurance Championship (WEC) have done the unthinkable. They successfully lobbied to move the date of the Japanese round of the WEC to accommodate Fernando Alonso's Formula 1 commitments. Clearly, it isn't Mclaren alone who are swayed by Alonso's talent, power and fandom!

Fernando Alonso's racing calendar for 2018 has gone viral. It seems that the Spaniard is trying to make up for all the racing laps he missed thanks to the Honda at the back of the McLaren! Also, would we ever get to see an Alonso-Hamilton pairing at McLaren? The sport and McLaren are known to take u-turns at their own will.

Finally, Hot Wheels' signing of Nico Rosberg as their 'Global Brand Ambassador' has come two years too late. They would have definitely benefited more when Rosberg went hot-wheelin' his Mercedes against Lewis Hamilton. Tune in!

(Season 2018, Episode 4)

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

Saturday, 3 February 2018

Inside Line F1 Podcast - The Felix Rosenqvist Interview

Felix Rosenqvist, the Mahindra Racing driver and the current Formula E Drivers' Championship leader, joins us on the Inside Line F1 Podcast. Yes, we are a Formula 1 podcast and this is exactly why we have Rosenqvist on the podcast - he deserves every bit of an opportunity in Formula 1 and our podcast is a good place to have him start from!

In this episode, Rosenqvist shares his title aspirations in this year's Formula E season, his title rivals and how Mahindra Racing is working with him to remain ahead of the competition. Also, Rosenqvist shares his ambitions of becoming a Formula 1 driver and how he is attempting the reverse of what most professional drivers have done previously - go from Formula E to Formula 1.

The Swede also shares his secret about mastering street circuits, how different it is to race a combustion engine car to an ell-electric car and lastly, he tells us why he dislikes Kimi Raikkonen since the last few months. Tune in!

(Season 2018, Episode 3)

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

Tuesday, 30 January 2018

Inside Line F1 Podcast - Not Just Sponsors, Fans Want F1 Bodywork Changes Too

Come 2019, Formula 1 cars will adapt existing bodywork to better the visibility of sponsor logos. Whatever happened to fans calling for bodywork changes to increase the racing spectacle! Formula 1, a business first and a sport later?

In this week's episode of the Inside Line F1 Podcast, we discuss how fans pay to access Formula 1 too but how our wants have been long ignored. We also talk about Formula 1's plans to launch live streaming, Mercedes' flawed PR strategy in the off-season, Romain Grosjean's desire to race till the age of 40, the absence of Fernando Alonso in McLaren's newly formed Business Advisory Board and anomalies in the report that announced the driver salaries for the 2018 Formula 1 Season. Tune in!

(Season 2018, Episode 2)

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

Monday, 29 January 2018

New Motorsport Week article: Time to start...opening your minds (to later race starts)

Photo: Octane Photography
How quickly reputations shift in F1. It seems just like yesterday Liberty Media was the great white hope. These days it seems increasingly like a pariah.

It's flown another kite. This time to shift the starting time of races back by 70 minutes. And the reaction against was immediate and resolute.

In my latest for Motorsport Week I argue that perhaps we should have more of an open mind. I mean, at least let us hear the rationale. Who knows, the idea might have something going for it?

You can read my thinking here:

Wednesday, 17 January 2018

New Motorsport Week article: When Alfa Romeo set the pace - more recently than you think

By tomislav medak - originally posted to Flickr as
L'evoluzione dell'automobile: Alfa Romeo 179 F-1,
CC BY-SA 2.0,
Alfa Romeo is back in F1 for 2018. Sort of.

We know about about Alfa's F1 previous. Again, sort of. As while it bagging the first two F1 world championships in 1950 and '51 comes up readily in a word association test, it's less well known that Alfa in fact was an F1 pace-setter much more recently too.

In my latest for Motorsport Week I look at Alfa and its about as unlikely driver Bruno Giacomelli having its part-season in the sun in late 1980.

You can have a read here:

And somehow I neglected to let you know about my previous Motorsport Week article, which was about the grid girls debate, Bette Hill's sad passing, and how the role of women in F1 in Bette's day was very different to what came next.

That one is available to read here: