Friday, 22 June 2018

Inside Line F1 Podcast - The Romain Grosjean Interview

In a bonus episode before the 2018 French Grand Prix, we have the senior-most French driver in Formula 1, Romain Grosjean, as a guest on the Inside Line F1 Podcast. In this week's special episode, we speak to the Haas F1 Team driver about his season so far, emotions about finally having a home race in France, ambitions for a Ferrari drive and his contract extension talks for 2019.

Also, Grosjean, who stood on the podium of the 2013 Indian Grand Prix, has a special message for Indian fans. Tune in!

(Season 2018, Episode 19)
Subscribe to the Inside Line F1 Podcast on iTunes and on audioBoom (RSS feed) for your weekly dose of Formula 1 humour

Thursday, 21 June 2018

Inside Line F1 Podcast - Red Bull Demote Renault, Promote Honda

Renault has joined the list of demotions at Red Bull Racing, while Honda find themselves with an unexpected promotion. In this week's episode of the Inside Line F1 Podcast, Mithila and Kunal wonder what would crack first in 2019 - the Honda engine or Max Verstappen? (But of course, we're kidding!). On a serious note, Red Bull Racing seem to have a made a sensible decision, let's see if Daniel Ricciardo thinks so too.

Has Winnie Harlow triggered the FIA to replace all flags altogether and digitise them? Let's hope not! In the digital version of Formula 1 (the F1 2018 video game), fans have the option to remove the central pillar of the 'halo' for better visibility, an option that almost every driver in the real world of Formula 1 would love to have to. And of course, we look forward to this weekend's French Grand Prix. Tune in!

(Season 2018, Episode 18)

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

Wednesday, 20 June 2018

French GP Betting Preview - French fancy

As F1 betting calls go, they hardly get tougher than for the returning French Grand Prix this weekend. Partly as it's a Paul Ricard venue that F1 hasn't visited since 1990 (and was very different then in any case) so there is no local form to go on. Also it's been resurfaced for its return so any learning from recent testing there has an asterisk against it too. Plus recent rounds tell us that there is very little to choose between 'big three' of Ferrari, Mercedes and Red Bull - and that outcomes can be decided in the margins that are hard to predict in advance. A mistake here, an inspired qualifying lap there...

Montreal confirmed that Sebastian Vettel and Ferrari
lead the way in 2018
Photo: Octane Photography
Sebastian Vettel's pole and win last time out at Montreal reminded us that he and the Ferrari have been 2018's most potent combination - something indeed borne out by fastest lap averages from the season so far (even if it hasn't always been borne out by results). And the Paul Ricard track doesn't look all that far removed from Montreal's - lengthy straights separated mainly by technical turns and switch-backs.

Despite this old habits die hard for the bookies as Lewis Hamilton remains their favourite to win this time at 13/8. But given everything the better value is with Vettel, at 9/5 for the win and 7/5 for the pole (Hamilton's odds for pole are 6/4).

Mercedes as we know had a tough time in Canada which came as quite the shock to all concerned. Hamilton's team-mate Valtteri Bottas indeed has on this basis declared it a "fact" that Mercedes is not the favourite this weekend.

Monday, 18 June 2018

Paul Ricard Preview - New but far from new

In F1, as we are often reminded, nothing should be ruled out. However absurd it may seem.

F1 returns to a familiar place this weekend
Photo: Octane Photography
The French Grand Prix is an apt tale in this. This weekend it at last returns to F1 after a decade away, at the Paul Ricard circuit near Marseille. Even allowing for the habitual agonising that accompanies the calendar choices, this recent French loss likely has been the most egregious move.

France is where motorsport's roots first sprouted. The first ever organised motor race took place there in July 1894 as did the first Grand Prix in 1906.

And a French Grand Prix appeared on the F1 calendar every year aside from 1955, when it was cancelled in the wake of the Le Mans disaster. Many great French drivers, teams and manufacturers have and still do bestride F1. But after 2008, after years of threatening by Bernie Ecclestone, the round was dropped - the familiar tale of lack of funding. And of F1 pitilessly abandoning its heritage and core audience in the name of chasing quick bucks.

Thursday, 14 June 2018

New Motorsport Week article: The rights and wrongs of flag gate

Photo: Octane Photography
Perhaps it reflected that precious little else happened to keep us distracted last Sunday at Montreal, but you'll likely need to be a cave dweller to not be aware that in the Canadian Grand Prix the chequered flag was waved early.

As an error in F1 it's far from unprecedented, but this time it had one heck of a fallout.

For Motorsport Week I therefore stick my oar into 'flag gate' - and look at its many rights and wrongs, some of which extended far beyond a flag being waved a bit too soon.

You can check out my take here: https://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/18617

Motor Verso F1 2018 Season Summary - Canadian Grand Prix review

Photo: Octane Photography
The Motor Verso F1 2018 summary is duly updated with my take on Montreal's Canadian Grand Prix last Sunday and its many implications.

And as ever there's much else added besides for your amusement - the best of F1 video, great photos and an ever-crystallising full season race-by-race review by little old me.

Check it out here: https://www.motorverso.com/2018-f1-summary/

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.

Talking about F1 in Feedspot Top 10 UK F1 Blogs

I'm very pleased to be able to say that this very site Talking about F1 has been selected in the Top 10 of Feedspot's rundown of The Best UK F1 Blogs, selected from thousands of UK F1 blogs on the web using a variety of criteria including search and social metrics the Feedspot panel's expert review.

You'll see on the right hand side of this page that our badge saying as much takes pride of place.

You can check out the full rundown of the Top 10 UK F1 Blogs list here - there's some excellent F1 blogs on there for you to check out.

Monday, 11 June 2018

Canadian GP Report - Righting the past's wrongs

In this one, the sense of the past was conspicuous.

In a special place for Ferrari Sebastian Vettel took the win
Photo: Octane Photography
Sebastian Vettel took Canadian Grand Prix victory for Ferrari, astonishingly the Italian team's first win in Canada since 2004. And the previous day he had taken its first pole here since 2001.

All this was done on the 40th anniversary of F1's first Montreal visit which then was won by local hero and archetypal Ferrari pilot Gilles Villeneuve, after whom the circuit is named. The four decade milestone was marked on the track's 'Salut Gilles' etching on the start line as well as by son Jacques taking that 1978 Ferrari on a demonstration lap before the race. Judging by the crowd's response to Vettel's win there remains plenty of Scuderia loyalty here.

"The Canadian tifosi, I think they have been waiting long enough for Ferrari to do well here," Vettel noted afterwards. "Forty years after Gilles won his Grand Prix here, I think it's great to show that Ferrari is still alive, that Ferrari is still there, winning races. I'm just extremely proud to become part of that story."

Saturday, 9 June 2018

New AutoClassics article - How Montreal has established itself as a Formula 1 favourite

Photo: alessio mazzocco/CC
We all know that Montreal's Circuit Giles Villeneuve, host of the Canadian Grand Prix, is an F1 favourite.

And for AutoClassics, marking the 40th anniversary year of F1's first visit to the track in 1978, I spoke to Mario Andretti, Derek Daly, Alastair Caldwell and the designer of the Montreal circuit Roger Peart to find out the fascinating tale of how the Montreal venue host first established itself as such.

For example, did you know that we would never have had a Grand Prix in Montreal had it not been for the Toronto Blue Jays baseball team?

Find out how, and more, via this link: https://www.autoclassics.com/posts/reviews/Canadian%20grand-prix-formula-1-favourite

Wednesday, 6 June 2018

Canadian GP Betting Preview - Isle of Lewis?

Races at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve around Montreal's Ile Notre Dame are synonymous with madcap action and results that are hard to predict. Since 2000 not much more than one race in three here has been won from pole. While as usual in 2018 a coherent case can be made in advance for - and against - the prospects of each of the big three teams of Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull.

Montreal wins usually mean one person in particular
Photo: Octane Photography
But on another level a Montreal race is a straightforward call. As Lewis Hamilton has won here six times including the last three. He is very much a local specialist - bravery on the brakes and hustling a car through chicanes with no room for error is just his thing. He tends to beam throughout his Canadian visits.

There is the question of whether Mercedes can master the three softest tyre compounds this weekend as it very much didn't in Monaco, but on the other hand it came to Montreal 12 months ago under a similar cloud and in the event took a comfortable 1-2.

And luckily these sort of doubts mean Hamilton's odds to prevail are a bit longer than they might have been - 7/5 for him to win and 13/8 for the pole both look good.

Monday, 4 June 2018

Montreal Preview - In the spirit of Gilles

If you're looking for an adjective to sum up the F1 fraternity - participants and observers alike - then 'quarrelsome' may be near the top of your list.

Inimitable Montreal
Photo: Octane Photography
It applies to views on the venues too. But there is one on which there is close to unanimity and in the positive - the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal for the Canadian Grand Prix. The latest visit to which is this weekend.

There are many reasons for its popularity. Madcap action is a positive expectation here. The layout ensures plenty of overtaking. The nearby walls can and frequently have punished errors. It even has its own 'Wall of Champions' which as the name suggests has ensnared the best. It is a place that rewards the brave.

Safety cars and carbon shards are a common feature, and these also have turned many-a Montreal race onto its head. Outcomes here are not so easy to predict - since the turn of the millennium only a little over one Montreal race in three has been won from pole.

Friday, 1 June 2018

The Most Successful and Worst Car of 1994, What Do They Have in Common?, by Ibrar Malik

Answer - they shared the same ancestor. The Pacific PR01 car failed to finish a race in 1994 whereas the Benetton B194 won eight Grands Prix, yet amazingly the two cars originated from the same 1991 design. It's just the Pacific was a less refined version of the Benetton.

In 1991 a high-quality design team headed by Rory Byrne and Pat Symonds secretly worked on a Reynard F1 car. However, the project was eventually shelved and the team moved back to Benetton for 1992. "I was a director of the Reynard F1 effort so knew a lot about it," explains Willem Toet, Benetton's Head of Aerodynamics in 1994 and one of the key contributors towards the upcoming book. "Pat Symonds, Rory Byrne and Adrian Reynard were the other directors. Afterwards we all went back to Benetton because Rory did a deal for the whole group. I don't think there is a person on the planet who knows the story better than I do." Their 1991 Reynard design morphed into the race winning 1992 Benetton and the B194 car, which Michael Schumacher used to win the 1994 drivers' championship, was an advanced evolution of it.


Some extremely rare photos of the 1991 Reynard F1 project conducting wind tunnel testing with Willem Toet. 

Thursday, 31 May 2018

New Motorsport Week article: Max Verstappen - why the kid is alright

Photo: Octane Photography
Max Verstappen has become the talk of the F1 town - and not for reasons he'd like.

Instead he's become a pariah thanks to his crash-heavy start to the 2018 season, and this he very much continued in Monaco - losing another potential victory. A 'six crashes in six rounds' figure is floating all over the place.

Yet for Motorsport Week I make the case for Verstappen's defence and argue that we may be over-reacting. Whatever is the case we should cut him some slack.

You can have a read of my reasoning here: https://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/18408

Inside Line F1 Podcast - Best Time To Own A Formula 1 Team?

The business of Formula 1 seems to be changing. With Liberty Media looking to restructure team payments, budget caps, standardisation, etc. - is this the best time to invest in a Formula 1 team? Will owning a team finally be about its business rather than passion? We discuss more in this week's episode of the Inside Line F1 Podcast.

Daniel 'Shoey' Ricciardo is the hottest property in the paddock these days; we actually celebrated his win in Monaco with a shoey! Lewis Hamilton - will he seriously get to designing race tracks? After Miami, he's shown interest in redesigning the Monaco street circuit. We also tell you why the 2018 Monaco Grand Prix wasn't as boring as some of the drivers called it out to be. Finally, who could replace Brendon Hartley at Toro Rosso? And thank you Pirelli for renaming your tyre compounds for next season; we appreciate simplifying Formula 1. Tune in!

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

(Season 2018, Episode 17)

Monday, 28 May 2018

Motor Verso F1 2018 Season Summary - Monaco Grand Prix review

Photo: Octane Photography
The ever-expanding Motor Verso F1 2018 season summary now has my view on the Monaco Grand Prix added.

In typical Monaco style there wasn't much racing in the latest Grand Prix - but also in typical Monaco style there was a magnificent drive to victory.

This time in Daniel Ricciardo overcoming adversity and achieving redemption.

You can check out the latest article with my Monaco review, lovely photos and the best of the internet, via this link: https://www.motorverso.com/2018-f1-summary/

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, 27 May 2018

Monaco GP Report - Righting a wrong

It was the Monaco Grand Prix in the here and now. But, throughout, many minds were on that two years ago.

Daniel Ricciardo got his Monaco redemption, two years on
Photo: Octane Photography
Then Daniel Ricciardo dominated the Monaco weekend, but lost the win due to Red Bull botching a pitstop. This time he dominated if anything to a greater extent - topping every single practice and qualifying session. Again he led the race. Again though he met problems - this time with his engine. But this time he overcame them to win. In more than one sense he righted a wrong.

To begin with the race was typical Monaco. The poleman Ricciardo led from the line and looking untroubled. Then after the round of what was predicted to be the solitary stops all among the frontrunners stayed in the same order. And track position is ten tenths of the law here.

But another thing typical of Monaco is that it can bite. Things, somehow, happen here. Ricciardo knows this better than most.

Thursday, 24 May 2018

Moneypod "Play Your Cars Right" quiz.

Moneypod On-Demand Finance has created the "Play Your Cars Right" quiz.

The piece quizzes your knowledge of high end supercars and their value compared to other things. For example, is a Ford GT40 more expensive than a Virgin Galactic Ticket to Space? Take their quiz below to find out!

Wednesday, 23 May 2018

Monaco GP Betting Preview - Best to back the Bulls?

Monaco is different. For good and for ill.

There are reasons to think Red Bull will
be on top this weekend
Photo: Octane Photography
One can never underestimate Ferrari and Mercedes of course, but in many people's eyes Monaco's difference extends to Red Bull becoming the favourite to prevail this weekend. The tight track should suit it down to the ground and not show up its power deficit as much as other circuits do. The Bull also was quickest in the bellwether tight final sector at Barcelona last time out.

It's not favourite in the eyes of the bookies though, and this may present an opportunity. Daniel Ricciardo is third favourite to win - behind usual suspects Sebastian Vettel and Lewis Hamilton - at 9/2 while Max Verstappen can be backed at 5/1. You can also back a Red Bull of either stripe to win at 15/8.

If you fancy a less ambitious bet then either Red Bull driver can be backed to finish on the podium at reasonable odds too: Ricciardo at 6/5 and Verstappen at 5/4. You can back both to get on the podium at 15/4.

Monday, 21 May 2018

Monaco Preview: A welcome change?

Once upon a time, Formula One fan and general wit Clive James noted that "it is said these days with increasing frequency that Monaco makes a nice change from Grand Prix racing". With the latest visit upon us, it's hard to argue.

Despite everything, there's something about Monaco
Photo: Octane Photography
Really, what is it with the place and its 'jewel in the crown' status? If you're to be critical, the Monaco round is an anachronism. If you're to be very critical it's an absurdity.

A narrow, bumpy and tortuously sinewy tunnel of barriers. Famously Nelson Piquet described its challenge as akin to riding a bicycle around your living room. Track position is ten tenths of the law. The wider cars introduced last year if anything added to the fraction.

It doesn't get much better off the track either. Cramped and claustrophobic with ostentatious poseurs everywhere who in all probability don't care much for the sport. Not outside this weekend at any stretch.

But, conversely, what it is about Monaco lays within all of this.

Wednesday, 16 May 2018

New Motorsport Week article: Why Miami is a big deal for Formula 1

By Brian W. Schaller - Own work, FAL, https://commons.
wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=31227534
There might be life in Liberty yet. Just when folk were muttering that F1's new-ish owner wasn't providing much tangible alongside its bold talk, now the possibility is for it deliver a downtown street race in Miami of all places. 

In my latest Motorsport Week feature I outline why it would be a big deal for F1, in more than one sense.

You can have a read of my thinking here: https://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/18183

Tuesday, 15 May 2018

I and other motoring journalists pick the UK's best driving roads for Age UK

By Glen Wallace from Inverness, Scotland (Bealach na Ba)
[CC BY-SA 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/
by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
For Age UK I and a few other motoring journalists were asked to pick what we think are the best driving roads in the UK.

There's a bit of a theme with my selections...

Anyway take a look and see if you agree. If they inspire you even to check a few out for yourself then all the better.

Here's the link: https://www.ageco.co.uk/viewpoint/motoring-journalists-pick-the-best-driving-roads-in-the-uk/

Motor Verso F1 2018 Season Summary - Spanish Grand Prix review

Photo: Octane Photography
My ever-growing Motor Verso F1 2018 season summary now has my take on the Spanish Grand Prix added.

It wasn't a race big on thrills but it may have been a race big on significance. Or perhaps not.

You can check out the latest article with the Barcelona review added, illustrated and complete with the best of the internet, via this link: https://www.motorverso.com/2018-f1-summary/

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.

Monday, 14 May 2018

Spanish GP Report - Meet the new boss, same as the old boss

There are two things we associate chiefly with Spanish Grands Prix at the Barcelona track. One is dull races with little overtaking. The other is a strong steer of the competitive pecking order among the competing cars.

Mercedes and particularly Lewis Hamilton
dominated the Spanish Grand Prix
Photo: Octane Photography 
We certainly got the former this time. It was indeed, to use the well-worn euphemism, not a thriller. But if the latter applies too it then it's ominous. And a familiar sort of ominous.

As if this one was dull it was made so in large part by Mercedes's dominance. And particularly that of Lewis Hamilton.

"It's one of those happy Lewis days when he's unbeatable," opined Martin Brundle early on, noting something that hasn't been present all that often in 2018 prior to this one. It had that sort of inevitability about it from the point poleman Lewis led into turn one.

He won by 20 seconds and probably would have been happy to drive his W09 straight home to Monaco too if such things were allowed.

New AutoClassics article - Why there was so much more to Jim Clark than statistics

By Rtsanderson - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://
commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=5724658
The numbers are towering - 25 Grand Prix wins from 72 starts, an Indianapolis 500 victory and much else won besides. But not even that gets at what it was about Jim Clark that was inimitable. Not even close in fact.

To mark the 50th anniversary of his passing, for AutoClassics I spoke to many of those who knew Jim Clark best, to find out that what made him great was about much more than mere statistics.

You can have a read here: https://www.autoclassics.com/posts/reviews/more-to-jim-clark-than-statistics

Friday, 11 May 2018

Lewis Hamilton: 'Zero Comfortability' in Title Race

Despite the fact that he is currently atop the drivers' standings, Lewis Hamilton admits that he has not raced up to his calibre so far this term. Hamilton shot to the top of the standings two weeks ago after a wild Azerbaijan GP last week, but the Mercedes driver said that his current form will not be good enough to stave off Ferrari and Sebastian Vettel over the course of a full season.

Lewis Hamilton enters the Spanish Grand Prix
weekend in reflective moods
Photo: Octane Photography
Ahead of the upcoming Spanish Grand Prix Hamilton told the press, "At the moment I am punching below my weight, and that is not sufficient to win a world championship. I have zero comfortability. Since the last race I have not thought for one second that I am leading the world championship."

Hamilton's win in Azerbaijan coupled with Vettel's relatively disappointing fourth-place finish propelled Hamilton to the top of the standings on 70 points. Vettel is second with 66, while his Ferrari team-mate Kimi Raikkonen is further adrift in third on 48 points. Those betting on F1 will have a tough call to make with the two at the top so close together.

Wednesday, 9 May 2018

Spanish GP Betting Preview - After the watershed

The Spanish Grand Prix this weekend is a watershed - from a betting point of view at least. After three rounds in which he looked the fastest all else being equal the bookies have twigged and Sebastian Vettel is now favourite for pole and win, ending a lengthy run of Lewis Hamilton having the shortest odds.

For the first time in a long time Sebastian Vettel
has the shortest odds to prevail
Photo: Octane Photography
They bookies might be counter-cyclical though, as Spain could be a good place for Mercedes to bounce back. The long turns and harder tyre compounds than usual should suit Mercedes and go some way to solve its rubber warm-up problems of the last three rounds.

Still Ferrari and Sebastian Vettel have this year been near-perennials at the front on Saturday and Sunday and are not to be written off readily. The odds reflect the close call, Vettel is 17/11 to get the pole and 13/8 to win; Lewis Hamilton's respective odds are 2/1 and 7/4.

Something the bookies haven't quite twigged on though is the form of their respective team-mates Valtteri Bottas and Kimi Raikkonen - form that is not reflected in their points totals. Both have tempting long odds to win or to get on the podium this weekend. Bottas can be backed at 9/1 to win and 6/5 to finish in the top three, while the respective odds for Raikkonen are 12/1 and 7/5.

Tuesday, 8 May 2018

Inside Line F1 Podcast - The Jehan Daruvala Interview

This week, we have Force India F1 Team's junior driver and current F3 racer Jehan Daruvala on our show. The young Indian speaks to us ahead of his 2018 F3 campaign - preparations, targets, title rivals and key area of improvement.

The BIG question of course is - how soon before we find him in the Force India cockpit? Hear more in this week's episode of the Inside Line F1 Podcast.

(Season 2018, Episode 16)

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

Monday, 7 May 2018

Barcelona Preview: Moment of clarity?

F1 in 2018 has been as clear as mud. Four rounds in we still don't have a strong sense of the pecking order. All rounds have contained surprises and then have been shaken up by a safety car (actual or virtual) intervention.

The Spanish Grand Prix at Barcelona -
F1's standard round?
Photo: Octane Photography
But if we want a normal dull stop-off that gives us a steer of which cars are hot and which not then the Spanish Grand Prix coming this weekend at Barcelona would be top of our list to provide it.

It has been known as F1's bellwether - the correlation between getting pole at Barcelona and going onto win that year's title was for a time near exact.

Three in every four Grands Prix at this track have been won by the pole-sitter; only on three occasions has it been won from a start off the front row, and all of that trio came in peculiar circumstances.

The circuit's many medium-to-fast speed long-ish turns reward a car that is working well - ill-handling machines can't be hustled around this place readily. That it's a default testing venue takes away another variable, as all have a firm sense of the optimum set-up. Grids here often have a Noah's Ark look. Also the modern aero-laden F1 car can't follow another very happily through this layout, and therefore overtaking often is rare.

Thursday, 3 May 2018

Inside Line F1 Podcast - Formula 1 Is Finally Formula Fun

After three back-to-back races of absolute chaos, excitement and unexpected results, is Formula 1 finally Formula Fun? Hats off to Liberty Media for not resting on the laurels and great races in Bahrain, China and Azerbaijan and for forcing through (literally!) the aero changes for 2019. Whether they deliver on-track or not, 10/10 for trying.

In this week's episode of the Inside Line F1 Podcast, Mithila and Kunal discuss the Formula 1 - Twitter deal and how it has created part-time employment for the 2016 World Champion, Nico Rosberg. They tell you why most teams were opposing the rule changes for next season and how Kimi Raikkonen cracked the best joke of this week. Finally, how soon before fans cry of an overdose in race strategy; well, one of our listeners actually likened the current Formula 1 season to Poker. Do you agree? Tune in!

(Season 2018, Episode 15)

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

Motor Verso F1 2018 Season Summary - Azerbaijan Grand Prix review

Photo: Pirelli Media
I have done my best to squeeze my take on a dramatic and corkscrew Azerbaijan GP to our burgeoning mega Motor Verso F1 2018 season summary article.

A race so odd that Lewis Hamilton winning felt strange, and the Red Bulls taking each other out of the race became rather a footnote.

You can check the latest article out here: https://www.motorverso.com/2018-f1-summary/

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.

Wednesday, 2 May 2018

New Motorsport Week article: A better bit of Bottas - why Valtteri is different in 2018

Photo: Octane Photography
This F1 season so far has been a lot about Valtteri Bottas. It's not been reflected in hard points but with even luck - not even good luck - he'd be leading the drivers' table. Perhaps even would have won the last three races.

In my latest feature for Motorsport Week I look at what's changed for Bottas in 2018 and why even so he struggles to convince observers that he's all that. Or is it the case that not much has changed in fact?

You can have a read of my thinking here: https://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/17978

Tuesday, 1 May 2018

Ayrton Senna - His Final Hours, by Ibrar Malik

Here is the latest guest blog posts 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: www.1994f1.com.

Twenty-four years ago today Formula One lost one of its greatest ever drivers. Ayrton Senna's passing was felt across the globe, especially Brazil, which declared three days of official mourning. He had been the world's most famous racing driver and his death was broadcast live on television in front of millions. The grief felt was on par with the deaths of Princess Diana or JFK, and he is still sorely missed among F1 fans even 24 years on. The loss of Roland Ratzenberger a day earlier had been profoundly shocking, however, Senna's passing was another order of magnitude. It turned a shocking situation into the biggest crisis F1 had faced in recent times.


















Ayrton Senna was a unique champion and is still adored by F1 fans today.

Senna was a complex, charismatic yet contradictory character who evoked strong emotions within others - qualities which were evident during the final hours of his tragically short life. The death of Roland Ratzenberger during qualifying for the 1994 San Marino GP, the first death at a race meeting in 12 years, deeply affected Senna. Indeed, the Brazilian commandeered an official FIA car to visit the accident himself as he wanted to understand what lessons could be learnt for the safety of others. It was something the triple world champion would be chastised for before the race.

Monday, 30 April 2018

Roland Ratzenberger - 24 Years On, by Ibrar Malik

Here is the latest guest blog posts 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: www.1994f1.com.

F1 is filled with irony, but the hand it dealt Roland Ratzenberger on 30th April 1994 was a particularly cruel blow - even by the sport's standards.

Ratzenberger was popular among other F1 drivers and drove to that fateful San Marino GP with JJ Lehto.

The Austrian, just weeks into his dream job, was attempting to qualify for his second Grand Prix with the new and underfunded Simtek team. During a fast lap he had a minor off-track excursion and instead of coming into the pits to check for damage he weaved the car, perhaps trying to judge for himself. Believing the front wing was OK, Ratzenberger carried onto another quick lap. That would prove to be a fatal error.

Sunday, 29 April 2018

Azerbaijan GP Report - Baku pain

Baku eventually did its worst. A Lewis Hamilton victory really shouldn't seem incongruous - even with Mercedes incongruously going three rounds without a win - but that it did says a lot about this latest Azerbaijan Grand Prix. "Lady luck was on our side," as Lewis's engineer said in summing up. But this race takes a lot of summing up.

Lewis Hamilton incongruously came thorough to win
Photo: Pirelli Media
A lot like the Chinese Grand Prix last time out this one swung. As in China Sebastian Vettel appeared initially to have the race well under control out front with a drive redolent of his Red Bull pomp, including clearing the chasing Lewis by three seconds in the first lap of green flag racing.

From then it was nip and tuck for a while, and it appeared Lewis was the one to blink. On lap 22 he locked up egregiously and went down the turn 1 escape road then pitted immediately due to his flat-spots. It was another one-stopper as a default, and the new tyre effect on the soft compound wasn't up to much. Seb pitted himself nine laps later to stay ahead of Lewis comfortably, but in that seemingly inoffensive move he lost the race.

Saturday, 28 April 2018

Interview with F1 commentator Ben Edwards about his Heritage FF1600 debut

At the inaugural Heritage FF1600 meeting at Donington Park last weekend there was a familiar face, or voice, among the drivers - that of F1 commentator Ben Edwards.

There's much more to Edwards than being a commentator - among other things he had a budding driving career of his own and he still races whenever he can. At Donington he was bang on the pace too.

For the FF1600website I spoke to him about his day, what attracted him to the Heritage series and what's next for him.

You can have a read here: https://ff1600website.com/2018/04/28/f1-commentator-ben-edwards-makes-a-competitive-heritage-debut/

Friday, 27 April 2018

What You Need to Know Before Purchasing Your First Motorcycle

Whenever people decide to purchase a motorcycle, they think of all the ways a bike can enrich their lives. From saving money on fuel to enriching their overall physical and mental health, they cannot wait to reap the rewards of the bike life. However, while motorcycle ownership does come with many unarguable benefits, it also comes with a great deal of responsibility. For this reason, one should never just jump into bike ownership - rather, they should make the proper considerations and shop smart. Before you purchase your first bike, there are a few things you need to consider if you want to make the most of your bike ownership experience:

By jimmyweee (GP Motorcycles Showroom) [CC BY 2.0
 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)],
via Wikimedia Commons
1. Know Your Abilities 

Owning a motorcycle is not like riding a bike, and even if you were a champion BMX racer when you were a kid does not that you'll take well to a motorcycle. Novice bikers should purchase a first bike that is practical. Yes, that may be boring, but it's also safe. Steer clear of crotch rockets and anything with an engine larger than 600cc. Once you develop the right skills, you can upgrade.

2. Choose a Bike That Fits Your Body 

Bikes, like humans, come in all shapes and sizes, and just like the armored motorcycle jacket you're bound to purchase, your bike needs to fit you. When shopping for a bike, sit on each one to try it out for size. If possible, take it for a spin. You may discover that the chopper you thought you wanted is too heavy and that a newer cruiser is more your style.

3. Consider Your Needs 

Consider how you'll be using your bike them most. Will it be a commuter vehicle or a weekend warrior? Ultimately, your needs should dictate what type of bike you end up purchasing.

There are dozens of factors to consider before purchasing a bike, but your abilities, body size and needs are the top three. Once you pull the trigger, head on over to BikeBandit.com to shop their collection of affordable street jackets for men, unisex riding pants and motorcycle helmets for women.

Thursday, 26 April 2018

Articles on WEC for Speed Chills

I'm very pleased to say that I'll be writing about the World Endurance Championship for Speed Chills.

By Wonker Wonker from London, United Kingdom (Rolling
Start) [CC BY 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/
licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
And my two debut articles for the site are published for your reading pleasure.

With Fernando Alonso to make his Le Mans 24 Hours bow this year for Toyota I have looked at the times serving F1 drivers have won the famous race: http://speedchills.com/news-and-views/486-the-pull-of-la-sarthe

Here also for Speed Chills I preview the unique WEC 2018/19 Super Season, at the time of The Prologue a couple of weeks ago: http://speedchills.com/news-and-views/481-prologue-kick-starts-the-wec-super-season

Speed Chills is the UK's largest provider of Private Camping at the Le Mans 24 hours and Le Mans Classic. Speed Chills is an official agency of the ACO, the organisers of the Le Mans 24 hours, and a member of ABTA.

Inside Line F1 Podcast - Ferrari Should Be Scrutinised For Ruining Raikkonen's Races

The FIA has put Ferrari under scrutiny for various reasons. We think, the FIA should also scrutinise Ferrari for ruining Kimi Raikkonen's races in 2018. Maybe for 2016 & 2017 too?

In this week's episode of the Inside Line F1 Podcast, Mithila and Kunal tell you why Daniel Ricciardo should leave Red Bull Racing. Has Mercedes lost out to Ferrari in the race to sign Ricciardo? Will Ferrari's stepchild treatment of Kimi Raikkonen make Ricciardo wary of signing with the Scuderia? Will Fernando Alonso's Formula 1 career go even more backwards if he signs up to race for Renault in 2019? Well, thank God that Minardi shut shop when it did! Tune in.

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

Wednesday, 25 April 2018

Azerbaijan GP Betting Preview - That perilous stuff

Betting on F1 in 2018 is a perilous business. A towel can be thrown over the 'big three' teams Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull. Adding to the confusion the Pirelli tyres are knife edge - this has manifested most noticeably with Mercedes dropping off the pace in Bahrain and China qualifying, but Merc insists others have had rubber related variation too such as Ferrari being off it in Melbourne.

Potentially madcap Baku presents problems,
and opportunities, for the gambler
Photo: Pirelli  Media
Adding further to the confusion the claustrophobic Baku street race for this weekend's Azerbaijan Grand Prix is one that could more generally go either way. On the basis of its inaugural race two years ago it could be a soporific demonstration run. On the basis of last year's it could be raucous with incidents, safety cars and jumbles of the order aplenty. Demonstrating as much Daniel Ricciardo won it having been 17th after an early unscheduled stop while the unlikely Lance Stroll finished on the podium.

If it remains quiet then this weekend seems a good time for Mercedes to bounce back from its woes. It dominated in Baku last year on the stopwatch particularly in Lewis Hamilton's hands - he took pole by half a second and was over a second clear of the nearest non-Merc. Dodging acrobatically between walls is just his thing.

Bookies still seem to like him and Merc but with the recent failures their odds to prevail are a bit longer than usual and may be worth your wager - 5/4 for a Lewis pole and 13/10 for a Lewis win.

Monday, 23 April 2018

Baku Preview: Contrast and potential

In 2016 F1 rocked up to a new street circuit in Baku, Azerbaijan, told to expect something "not like anything we've seen before in F1".

The Baku street circuit's challenges are unique
Photo: Pirelli Media
A lot of things have been seen before in F1 of course, but in fairness this track's challenges are somewhat detached from the modern norm. Not least in their contrasts.

A real downtown circuit. Plenty of near-to-hand walls. Much of the track claustrophobic with a twisty narrow section around the old city walls redolent of Mirabeau-Station Hairpin-Portiers at Monaco. Yet there's also a 2.1 km straight longer than anything at Monza. Appropriate for a city that likes to say it blends old and new; east and west...

Appropriately also on the basis of the two F1 races here things can go either way. We expected frolics aplenty in the first visit - safety cars and trips down narrow escape roads. Also an ultra generous DRS zone leaving even quick cars vulnerable to being overtaken, particularly on restarts. The GP2 rounds indeed gave us all of that.

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: https://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/17758

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 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/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: https://ff1600website.com/2018/04/16/david-leslie-10-years-on-his-legacy-remains/

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 (https://creativecommons.org/
licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/
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: https://www.motorverso.com/2018-f1-summary/

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: https://www.autoclassics.com/posts/reviews/gold-leaf-sponsorship-formula-1

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: www.1994f1.com

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,
 https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=5026860
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 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/
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: https://www.motorverso.com/2018-f1-summary/

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)