Sunday, 19 August 2018

More articles from me on AutoClassics

By Harald Bischoff [CC BY-SA 3.0 
licenses/by-sa/3.0)], from
Wikimedia Commons
Pointing you in the direction of a couple of recent articles of mine published on AutoClassics, in case they're of interest.

My latest article on the best from the Motorsport Images archive is themed for this weekend's WEC Silverstone 6 Hours. I've looked at some of the best moments from world endurance racing in Britain compete with stunning photography, including Pedro Rodriguez in the rain at Brands Hatch in 1970.

You can check it out here:

I also wrote about Heritage Formula Ford, a new Formula Ford series for this year which seeks to recreate the category's golden age. You can read that one here:

And a complete rundown of what I've been writing for AutoClassics is available here.

New Motorsport Week article: Fernando Alonso's legacy is tainted? Not so fast…

The word 'retire' wasn't used, but it seems we've made our minds up anyway.

Photo: Octane Photography
Various articles on Fernando Alonso have followed his announcement that he won't be in F1 in 2019, reviewing him as man and driver and all with an air of finality.

Yet also unusual is that vying with the tributes of his driving skills have been claims of a difficult personality and career mis-steps, all of which have added up to career stats that don't do him justice and a tainted legacy.

But is it that simple? And might the 'flipside' outlined - missed opportunities, poignancy and anti-hero status - actually help how readily we remember Fernando Alonso? I think it could do.

In my latest for Motorsport Week I outline my thinking:

Friday, 10 August 2018

Motorsport history articles on AutoClassics

I've been lucky enough to write some feature articles on motorsport history for AutoClassics recently. These have included:

By Willy Pragher (Landesarchiv Baden-Württemberg)
[CC BY 3.0  (
licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
A retro feature on Peter Collins marking the 60th anniversary of his death:

To coincide with the latest Hungarian Grand Prix I looked back at F1's first visit in 1986 when it very much stepped into the unknown - and I spoke to Derek Warwick, Johnny Dumfries and Allen Berg about what it was all like:

I've also been writing articles using the LAT archive, where I look at particular notable moments around a theme from motorsport history and the article is illustrated with stunning photos. In the latest, with the Oldtimer Grand Prix taking place at the Nurburgring, I look at some memorable moments from the revered and feared track's extensive history:

You can keep an eye on what I've been writing for AutoClassics here.

Essential car maintenance Tips for beginners

There are many things you discover when pursuing a career in motorsport journalism.  One is that having a car is pretty much essential. Circuits tend to be in the middle of nowhere, well beyond the reach of public transport or walking distance.

By NRMA Motoring and Services from Sydney, Australia
(Toyota FJ40 Cruiser - NRMA Drivers Seat) [CC BY 2.0 
via Wikimedia Commons
You also discover that having a car comes with many considerations that may have not crossed your mind in advance, particularly if – in another motorsport journalist occupational hazard – you have to do long journeys. I’ve therefore compiled a few car maintenance tips in this article.

A couple of general disclaimers before we begin. What I say applies to the UK unless I state otherwise, plus they come with no more weight than my general meanderings as a non-expert car user. Don’t take these as gospel in other words. But still, hopefully they’re useful.

As a general rule these checks should be done when the car’s cold for accurate readings as well as for safety reasons in the case of the checks such as the coolant – so wait a few hours before doing them if you’ve been driving. Also a lot of them should be done before long journeys over and above the regularity cited. And without wishing to state the obvious when you do them make sure the car’s in a safe place, i.e. you’re won’t be in the way of traffic, and the handbrake is properly applied.

The beauty of a lot of these engine and tyre checks is that they can be done yourself, but there’s no harm in popping into a local garage if you’re not sure about any of them.

The oil level

Wednesday, 1 August 2018

Motor Verso F1 2018 Season Summary - Hungarian Grand Prix review

Photo: Octane Photography
My Formula 1 2018 season summary for Motor Verso continues to expand - now it has my take on the Hungarian Grand Prix added. Wherein, possibly for the first time this year, lightening struck twice - and did so in Lewis Hamilton's favour.

As ever the summary includes some wonderful Pirelli photography and the best F1 content about the race on YouTube.

You can check out the latest incarnation of the summary 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.

Tuesday, 31 July 2018

Working Within Benetton During the 1990s, by Ibrar Malik

"Berger was the thickest driver I have worked with, Alesi was a close second," ...those are the forthright views of a former Benetton mechanic who is ready to let rip!

The ex-Benetton mechanic has kindly contributed towards the upcoming book, but cannot be named because he still works in F1. However his anonymity means he can be brutally honest. 

Benetton started 1996 with high hopes having just been crowned drivers and constructors' champions. Despite losing Michael Schumacher, the Enstone team was gaining a hugely gifted racer in Jean Alesi. Its other incoming driver, Gerhard Berger, was F1's elder statesman having partnered the likes of Ayrton Senna at McLaren. If Benetton could harness Alesi's talent or Berger's experience surely more success lay on the horizon. However, things didn't quite pan out like that...

Hungarian GP Report - Lightening strikes twice

In a season of often inexplicable twists and turns, this one in Hungary was instead an case of history repeating. Appropriately for 2018, the lightening hitting the precise same spots as in Germany a week ago was in itself highly uncanny.

Lewis Hamilton took his second unlikely win in a row
Photo: Octane Photography
Just like then Mercedes and particularly Lewis Hamilton at the Hungaroring looked out of it. Just like then Sebastian Vettel and Ferrari looked poised to make a major gain in the championship. Just like then rain then arrived and tilted things decisively towards Hamilton, who against expectations made the sizeable points gain instead. Only this time the rain arrived in qualifying.

A few sniggered behind their palms when Hamilton hinted at divine intervention after the elements came to his aid in Germany. But with them now doing that right on cue for two rounds now on the spin, it may as well have been have been a matter of someone consciously guiding events his way.

Qualifying order means a lot in F1 of course, and it has long meant a lot at the tight and sinewy Hungaroring. Sure enough leading from the race's off formed the basis of Hamilton's latest victory - but his performance on Sunday and particularly Saturday was highly impressive even so.

Friday, 27 July 2018

Inside Line F1 Podcast - McLaren Approached Lewis Hamilton Too?

Lewis Hamilton, Formula 1's reigning World Champion and super star, recently admitted that a 'rival' team attempted to sign him for 2019 and 2020. In this week's episode of the Inside Line F1 Podcast, we speculate if this 'rival' was McLaren indeed. Given their love for PR and attempts at signing high-profile drivers, should we be surprised?

Also in this episode, we discuss the ONLY pitfall of the double and triple headers in Formula 1, the driver sillier season which could see Esteban Ocon at Renault while Lance Stroll's bankers and Sergio Perez's sponsors fight for a seat at Force India. Should the Mexican driver race for the all-American Haas F1 Team, what could Donald Trump's reaction be? And of course, we talk about the Neymar and Jesus Christ of Formula 1. Basically, there's a lot of banter, humour and stories from the world of Formula 1. Tune in!

(Season 2018, Episode 25)

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

Wednesday, 25 July 2018

Hungarian GP Betting Preview - On the other hand...

Working out who is best to back for this weekend's Hungarian Grand Prix may be a matter of balancing a set of scales. Each of the big three teams have reasons to back them. And not to back them.

Will Red Bull be repeating its Monaco celebrations?
Photo: Octane Photography
We can start with Red Bull. The twisty Hungaroring track looks like it could be designed for its car, including that it will show up its horsepower deficit less than any other circuit on the calendar Monaco aside. Red Bull won in Monaco which is a track plenty liken to this one and likely would have had a one-two there without Max Verstappen binning it in Saturday morning practice.

The team clearly thinks this is a conspicuous chance to win too given how it stockpiled engine part penalties for Daniel Ricciardo in Germany to avoid the need to have anything like that here. The only trouble is its actual record at this track which is oddly poor. The team has only won here twice and one of those was a crazy rain-impacted race in 2014 wherein Ricciardo took the lead late on. Otherwise its solitary triumph was back in 2010.

Tuesday, 24 July 2018

Hungaroring Preview: Straining every sinew

The Hungaroring is a hard one to pin down. This is even though we have had plenty of time to form a view - this weekend's visit will be the 33rd time without interruption that it has hosted the annual Hungarian Grand Prix.

Can Ferrari lead the way like last year in Hungary?
Photo: Octane Photography
It goes right back to when the fraternity first rocked up in 1986. Crowds were vast, its facilities gleamed, the welcome was warm and everything had been laid on. Many cite it as the first of the sort of national-backed purpose-built autodrome that now dominates the calendar. For good or ill.

More pointedly views on the track's layout varied as well. Tight and sinewy with little opportunity to pass, it still has the lowest average speed of any purpose-built track on the calendar. 'Monaco without the houses' quickly became its label. Yet even so the track is challenging and its popularity among drivers is reasonably widespread.

Moreover the Hungaroring over time developed a knack of being the stage of drama, often of the sort wherein great drivers put in great drives - as a technical track on which the driver can make the difference. Nigel Mansell's against-all-odds beating of the McLarens from 12th on the grid in 1989; Damon Hill oh-so nearly pulling off probably the biggest shock win of all time in the Arrows in 1997; Michael Schumacher's suspension of normality in 1998. There are plenty other examples besides.

Inside Line F1 Podcast - The Nico Hulkenberg Interview Podcast

Nico Hulkenberg, one of two German drivers racing in the 2018 Formula 1 Season, joined us on this special episode of the Inside Line F1 Podcast. We discussed Hulkenberg's career prospects, relationship with Renault and Carlos Sainz Jr, the possibilities of racing for either Ferrari or Mercedes and even about his elusive podium.

Hulkenberg also expresses his positivity on the changes being introduced in Formula 1 from the 2019 Formula 1 Season and who he would choose between an easy-to-beat and a competitive team-mate. Tune in!

(Season 2018, Episode 24)

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

Monday, 23 July 2018

German GP Report - Hamilton rains on Vettel's parade

We never learn. Despite constant reminders. Despite everything.

Lewis Hamilton took an unlikely win
Photo: Octane Photography
F1's mantras are familiar - that anything can and does happen; that it's not over until it's over; that no points are handed out until the chequered flag is waved. The trouble is we don't abide by them. Not even in this season which has contained more shifts - between and within weekends - than likely just about any other.

The German Grand Prix weekend at Hockenheim was but the latest reminder of the mantras' efficacy. And the sternest one. Sebastian Vettel took a crushing pole position in his Ferrari - Mercedes spoke of the Italian car having a half second advantage on the straights alone. And moreover Vettel's title foe Lewis Hamilton started 14th after a qualifying hydraulics failure on his Mercedes. Worse for him the suggestion floated that it was his error that caused the failure. Sure enough the arithmetic started about how much Vettel would extend his title lead by.

But once the points were handed out things could hardly have looked more different. Vettel was in the wall and Hamilton, somehow, had come through to win. His title lead was not only reclaimed but healthy looking at 17. In a season of turns this was its sharpest.

Wednesday, 18 July 2018

German GP Betting Preview - Home where the hurt is?

We again start our betting preview with a lament. The usual one that F1, particularly at the front, has lately been both close and unpredictable. Even in the last round, at Silverstone, where we thought that it was obvious Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes country. It didn't work out that way.

Sebastian Vettel looks well poised - but his record
at Hockenheim is poor
Photo: Octane Photography
This time for the German Grand Prix at Hockenheim taking place this weekend we can add the lament that it's been two years and one major regulation change since F1 cars were last here. So there's not even much useful previous when seeking to identify betting value.

Still if recent rounds have taught us anything it is that Ferrari will be in the mix pretty much anywhere. It's gone well recently on similar tracks to this one, made up mainly of straights separated by short and sharp turns (such as Montreal and the Red Bull Ring). It possibly has the strongest engine these days too which will matter here as a large proportion of the lap is full throttle

There's only one problem, that homeboy Sebastian Vettel's record here is weirdly poor - his best (official) Hockenheim result is third and he's only ever led three laps at this circuit.

Monday, 16 July 2018

Hockenheim Preview: Back in the old routine

This year's F1 calendar has something of a throwback look. We're in the midst of an extended (welcome) and crammed (less welcome) European season, as two 'prestige' rounds have returned. The French Grand Prix is back after a long absence, and the German Grand Prix at Hockenheim - the latest of which is this weekend - is back too, following a year off.

F1 returns to Hockenheim after a year away
Photo: Octane Photography
The absence in the case of the German race has a different explanation as well. This Grand Prix used to alternate between Hockenheim and the Nurburgring, but the latter fell into financial bother and dropped out. And rather summing up the modern F1 host's absurd predicament Hockenheim didn't step into the resultant breach as it didn't fancy making its loss from staging the race every 12 months rather than as it currently stands every 24...

So we now have a German race every other year. And in another typical characteristic the event's future seems to linger under permanent doubt; its current contract expires this year.

The modern Hockenheim circuit is mostly about braking and traction as it doesn't really have corners that are quick or long, instead being made up of straights separated by short and often sharp turns. It's also something of a power track as a high proportion of the lap is full throttle. Although the modern tendency is to lament the new Hockenheim in comparison with the old version used up to 2001, in these senses the new place chimes with the old.

Saturday, 14 July 2018

New Motorsport Week article: Why there are good points in F1 points for everyone

Photo: Octane Photography
Force India boss let the cat out of the bag that F1 is considering changing its points system, perhaps to an IndyCar/NASCAR style format wherein everyone gets at least something from their race.

It met with a round of derision; perhaps with good reason. But in my latest feature for Motorsport Week I outline that the shift would in fact have a few benefits too. And in ways we might not instantly expect.

You can have a read of my thinking here:

Wednesday, 11 July 2018

Inside Line F1 Podcast - Points For Everyone? Please, No, F1

The 'points for all' topic is disturbing. No, please don't go down this road, Formula 1. We've gone from awarding points to top-6 to top-8 and now 50% of the grid (top-10) scores points. By increasing the base of points scorers to 100% (all-20), we will go from incentivising drivers to win or finish higher to simply just finishing races. Is this Formula 1's way of retaining Fernando Alonso?

In this week's episode of the Inside Line F1 Podcast, the 'What Wolff Said This Week' section is hilarious, because Toto Wolff did have a lot to say in the 2018 British Grand Prix. We discuss if Mercedes and Haas can learn a thing of two from Force India, the epic (and rare!) Kimi Raikkonen vs. Max Verstappen battle, the creative use of DRS by the FIA and how we shouldn't be harsh in judging Stoffel Vandoorne's talent just yet. Also, we explain why the talk of Mercedes being inexperienced to handle fierce external competition is untrue. Tune in!

(Season 2018, Episode 22)

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

Tuesday, 10 July 2018

Motor Verso F1 2018 Season Summary - British Grand Prix review

Photo: Octane Photography
The ever-expanding Motor Verso F1 summary written by me has now been updated with my take on the thrilling British Grand Prix.

Virtually every race in 2018 has changed the competitive picture at the front, and this one at Silverstone was perhaps the biggest break of all.

Ferrari and Sebastian Vettel won and impressively at likely its biggest away fixture. With this we might surmise that they can win anywhere.

You can check out my take on it, as well as great Pirelli photos and the best of the internet, 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.

Monday, 9 July 2018

British GP Report - Red ratification?

The British Grand Prix was about coming to a realisation. Martin Brundle called it in Friday practice - that in 2018 we have to get used to the idea that Ferrari will be quick everywhere. And if this one was the red car's ultimate test then it passed it triumphantly.

Ferrari and Sebastian Vettel passed their toughest
test with flying colours
Photo: Octane Photography
In every sense - literal and metaphorical - Silverstone is Ferrari's away fixture. Not only as one of a small minority of teams not to have a base a short drive away, it also is a track that we thought could have been designed for its chief rival Mercedes. Results say this too with the silver team winning the previous five here - most dominantly - and Lewis Hamilton in Nigel Mansell-esque style being particularly happy at home, taking the last four.

Yet this time Sebastian Vettel and Ferrari won, and deservedly. On that basis they can win anywhere. Maybe it's the car to beat this year.

Granted there were some adventures in getting there, but the bottom line is that Ferrari - armed with a new floor which seemed to electrify the red cars and straightline speed that rival Daniel Ricciardo described as '"insane" - looked at least as fast as Mercedes throughout on the latter's happiest of hunting grounds. Only Hamilton pulling a rabbit out of the hat - again Mansell-esque on his home ground - denied Ferrari pole. Otherwise the Scuderia was never denied.

Wednesday, 4 July 2018

British GP Betting Preview - Not looking for a new England

We might think that we start this one with little hope. In our previous betting preview we bemoaned that predicting F1 outcomes is a perilous task right now, and then we had an Austrian race where what we got barely resembled what we reasonably anticipated at the start.

It's worth backing a Mercedes at Silverstone
Photo: Octane Photography
But that we're at Silverstone means the clouds part (unusually for Silverstone you might say) and we get a clear view. Because we have a striking consistent previous to go on.

Mercedes usually dominates here and Lewis Hamilton especially dominates - he's won his last four home rounds. And even with the Mercedes and Lewis trauma that went down in Austria likely the biggest implication was that Merc had stolen a march on the rest with its upgrade.

Therefore there's likely little point putting your money anywhere else for pole and win. And even so the odds for Hamilton to do these offer a pretty decent return - he can be backed at 4/5 to get pole and evens to win.

While if you really want to get behind the prospect of Lewis dominating then there are other ways you can bet on it. A pole, fastest lap and win triumvirate for any driver - i.e. not just Hamilton - can be backed at 11/4 and a pole winning margin of over two tenths can be backed at evens. Mercedes tends also to be strong in first practice and you can back Hamilton to top that session at 5/4.

Inside Line F1 Podcast - Welcome To Podcasts, Formula 1

Welcome to the world of podcasts, Formula 1. We've had your back for the last six years and now we look forward to you increasing the size of the pie for all of us ;-)

In this week's episode of the Inside Line F1 Podcast, we wonder if Sebastian Vettel will conclude the triple header by scoring a hat-trick of penalties; or can he actually win the 2018 British Grand Prix? Fernando Alonso holds the key to the driver market for 2019, or does he? Btw, we speculate if Alonso will continue to participate in the World Endurance Championship next season, or will he focus fully on the IndyCar Series?

Charles Leclerc could end up damaging the careers of at least one Haas driver next season - who would it be? And finally, we tell you why Mercedes and Formula 1 need to hire talent from outside of Europe. Tune in!

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

(Season 2018, Episode 21)

Tuesday, 3 July 2018

Motor Verso F1 2018 Season Summary - Austrian Grand Prix review

Photo: Octane Photography
The ever-expanding Motor Verso F1 summary written by me has now been updated with my best attempt to sum up a thrilling and corkscrew - and surprising - Austrian Grand Prix.

It also contains my French Grand Prix review from last week, now at the bottom of the article, which I believe I neglected to mention.

You can check all of it out 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.

Monday, 2 July 2018

Silverstone Preview - Challenging your inner Nige

Every year at around this time I experience conflict. I'm not one driven by patriotism, particularly not in F1. But even I cannot deny that there is something about the British Grand Prix.

Even to the non-patriotic, there is
something about Silverstone
Photo: Octane Photogrpahy
It can't even be said that its hardy host Silverstone has universal appeal. It's not glamourous, nor picture postcard. Instead rather exposed and windswept.

Yet still few refute that the Northamptonshire circuit bows to almost none in being part of the F1 furniture. And this is for a number of reasons.

Chiefly it is F1's home gig. Seven of F1's ten teams are based (or in Haas's case has a base) in Britain, and six of these are within a few miles of the Silverstone track. As are a myriad of companies that supply them in the F1 equivalent of silicon valley.

The venue also is among F1's most ubiquitous. It was at Silverstone that it all started in 1950, and despite sometimes extensive changes it retains much of its character - flowing, rapid and with many long and mighty turns.

Austrian GP Report - The hills are alive

As the sage Mark Gallagher noted after this one, "Ferrari will be waking up this morning dazed by how they are leading both the drivers' and constructors' championships; Mercedes at how they are not."

Max Verstappen was an unlikely - and worthy - winner
Photo: Octane Photography
Gallagher's assessment indicates that this Austrian Grand Prix was no ordinary Grand Prix - indeed it was one of those wherein advance expectation and actual outcome barely were on nodding terms.

It started though looking like it would be extremely ordinary - Mercedes armed with a technical upgrade strode a way clear and locked out the grid's front row. All spoke of two races in one with those not in silver aiming for third place at most. Then when Mercedes maintained its one-two after some first lap frolics, Lewis Hamilton ahead and poleman Valtteri Bottas boxing his way back to second after a poor get-go, that indeed looked like that.

And yet. Mercedes's empire fell within a single lap.

Sunday, 1 July 2018

How to Test Drive a Used Car Before Purchase

If you are looking at purchasing a used car then there are many things to consider before handing over your money. New cars come fault free and include warranty, however, the second-hand market comes with lots of faulty, damaged or even crashed or stolen cars.

Here are a few checks that could save you a lot of money and hassle.

HPI Check - It is important to check out the car to see if it has been written off, stolen or has outstanding finance on the car. These checks can be completed online and only take a few minutes to complete and I would say it is essential for every second-hand car that is purchased. Research shows that on the roads today there are lots of cars that are being driven that have been written off or had a motor swap and then sold on as a roadworthy car. For your own safety, it is worth checking.

Saturday, 30 June 2018

Funny Stories from an F1 Mechanic, by Ibrar Malik

Paul West worked for Williams throughout the 1990s and is a massive contributor towards the upcoming book. This blog is therefore dedicated to him.

A very drunk Paul West giving it the thumbs up after Damon Hill's 1996 Championship victory.

Paul has many enjoyable stories from his time within F1 including how he inadvertently contributed towards the rules. "The cars were kept for an hour after the race (for scrutineering purposes), it was allowed for two guys per car to clean them but nothing else, this happened until the 1997 Japanese Grand Prix. At this race some of the guys at Benetton suspected that Ferrari had a movable front wing so they got me, like an idiot, to put some pressure with my foot to see if it moved. There were some Ferrari mechanics watching and they reported to Nigel Stepney what I'd done, he came down and spoke to Dickie Stanford our team manager who asked me if I'd done it I said yes and I think because I was honest Stepney didn't have anything done to me but from then on no personnel were allowed in parc ferme."

Friday, 29 June 2018

Inside Line F1 Podcast - Charles Leclerc Has Outperformed Max Verstappen

Charles Leclerc has had a phenomenal start to his debut season in Formula 1 - better than Max Verstappen even! In this week's episode of the Inside Line F1 Podcast, Mithila and Kunal do some math and tell you why. Well, even if they could be evenly matched on talent, is maturity one key area where Leclerc scores higher? We know such stories create controversies, but they are still worth visiting.

Also in this episode: we try and calculate how old Fernando Alonso would be if he takes a break to race in the IndyCar Series in 2019 (or later!) with the hope to return to Formula 1 once McLaren goes back to being a championship contender. What does Red Bull Racing mean when they say that they are 'closer than ever' to Daniel Ricciardo's contract? What's with former Williams drivers and the Venturi Formula E team? Finally, Raikkonen-McLaren is one rumour we are hoping is true. Tune in!

(Season 2018, Episode 20)

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

New Motorsport Week article: The Red Bull Ring - a matter of perspective

Photo: alessio mazzocco/CC
This weekend of F1 has its latest visit to the Red Bull Ring, and it's a track that has plenty going for it. It is a favourite - some even call it a classic.

But it hasn't always been so popular. Mainly because of what it was built on top of, which was as grand a challenge that has laid before F1 drivers of any era.

For Motorsport Week I delve into the past and look at the magisterial Osterreichring.

You can have a read of that classic track's tale here:

Wednesday, 27 June 2018

Austrian GP Betting Preview - Ring of fire

F1 betting really is a perilous challenge right now, and heading into this weekend's Austrian Grand Prix is doesn't get easier.

Be prepared for another close fight between the
 'big three' teams at the Red Bull Ring
Photo: Octane Photography
The previous two F1 rounds haven't been too far removed from each other in terms of track demands - indeed neither are too far removed from the Red Bull Ring hosting us this weekend, long straights separated mainly by technical turns.

And yet - two rounds ago Sebastian Vettel and Ferrari trounced the pack and Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes was nowhere. Last time out they almost exactly swapped places.

It seems F1's way right now, that an accumulation of small and peculiar circumstances to that weekend - track layout, surface, tyre compounds, temperatures, and a myriad of team decisions made throughout - is enough to tilt the close fight at the front one way or another.

Monday, 25 June 2018

Red Bull Ring Preview - Mountain mist

F1 has developed a season. A season within a season if you like.

The end of the season - F1 visits the Red Bull Ring
Photo: Octane Photography
We had Montreal, then Paul Ricard. And now this weekend we have the Red Bull Ring in Austria.

These circuits have a family resemblance - lengthy straights are predominant and are separated mainly by technical turns - though like Paul Ricard the Red Bull Ring has some quicker corners too. Straightline speed, braking stability and traction are the chief discriminators.

Trouble is that even so it doesn't really help us predict what will happen this weekend. In Montreal Ferrari was well on top of Mercedes; in Paul Ricard they almost exactly swapped positions. Last year's Austrian visit doesn't help either, which was won for Valtteri Bottas's Merc but only just from Sebastian Vettel's Ferrari. There was only four hundredths between them in qualifying.

Then there's where we are. This circuit often serves up fare of the non-predictable kind.

French GP Report - Zig and zag

It's worth reflecting that in not a single F1 round this season have we ended the weekend with the same sense of the competitive pecking order that we started the weekend with. Yes both Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel have won races back-to-back this year, but in both cases the first of the pair was fortunate; the second was imperious.

Lewis Hamilton bounced back in France
Photo: Octane Photography
And in France at the Paul Ricard circuit - F1's first visit to the country since 2008 and the first to this circuit since 1990 - this continued. Hamilton and Mercedes zigged while Vettel and Ferrari zagged. Vettel's joy and Hamilton's woe from Montreal last time out were almost exactly reversed.

Vettel when asked after qualifying what was different mused, "the weather, the track, the location - the car is the same, same chassis - the tyres..."

And in a tight fight at the front these combined can tilt things either way.

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:

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:

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:

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. 

Getting Ready to Drive in the UAE Step by Step

Driving is a personal joy for everyone and they relish the experience of being on the road with miles to go, even if one doesn’t have a destination in mind. Most of the people consider driving as more of a means to an end. It’s basically about getting from point A to point B or C, D & E depending on how many stops you have in mind. We are sure with the advent of cab aggregators, the experience of driving is a dwindling one. All this aside, let’s talk about what does it mean to drive safe and what rules should you be considering when driving in the UAE.

Unlike several other countries, UAE has its own unique nuances regarding road traffic. While rules and regulations are quite stringent, there is a local style to driving which can only be considered frivolous. Depending on which country you have driven in before, traffic in UAE will either be a complete shock or a mild annoyance. In either situation you will need to get familiar with the nuances to avoid falling prey to unexpected situations.

We strongly recommend having car insurance in Dubai and other cities within UAE. This will help you avoid unnecessary hassles and keep you safeguarded against exorbitant repairs or payments when having to fix your automobile. Now, insurance aside following the rules and regulations of UAE as well as being well versed with the nuances of UAE traffic will keep you in the green zone.

For starters, driving in the UAE can be quite versatile. You will be presented with intercity roads and highways as well as desert tracks and long intracity connector roads that are full of surprises to the uninitiated. So you need to be familiar with these aspects and plan accordingly for your travel. We’ll discuss some of the necessities to keep in mind on specific routes at a later part in the article but always make sure your car is in good condition and serviced regularly.

Intercity roads and navigation. Most cars come with in-built navigations systems and external guidance systems aren’t too expensive either. These provide you with details instructions about your whereabouts and route to your destination. Some good navigation systems also track traffic and help you avoid the same with alternative routes to your destination. Travelling intercity is fairly simple as most locations are detectable in navigation systems and all you need to do is follow the map or guidance voice.

Fast cars and speedsters. Wherever you hail from, you are likely to have experienced a few super swanky luxury cars, especially those that clock 1-60 miles in under sixty seconds, now compound that number with at least a hundred. UAE is one of the richest countries in the world and also home to some of the highest net worth individuals. Well that goes to say you are likely to find a lot of supercars on the streets and what good is a supercar if it doesn’t let you travel at breakneck speeds? So you need to be mindful of such drivers on the road as they can take you by surprise and leave you veering off the road.

Traffic cams and lane changers. All major intersections and roads are equipped with traffic cams that photograph or video record traffic rule violators. Be wary of these camera and as long as you are not breaking any rules then you have nothing to worry about. In fact these cameras would also help you solve disputes in road violations as they would have captured the event as it happened and are admissible in court as proof or evidence. Lane changing is only permissible under the ideal conditions i.e. you have showcased your indicator, are under the speed limit and there is no other car on the other lane within the range of your rear view mirror. That said you’ll often find drivers in UAE switching lanes without the prerequisites which is a traffic violation but more so a hazard on the road. Be wary around highway exits and flyover exits where such practices are common.

Behavior and penalties. Road traffic rules in the UAE are stringent with respect to driver behavior as well. Therefore if you are caught using abusive language or indulging in road rage, you are likely to face a hefty fine and might even lose your credentials to drive in the country for a period of time. Furthermore, there are penalty amounts for all types of violations on the road. Therefore it is a smart practice to keep within the speed limits and abide by the road safety rules specified.

Long durations and substance abuse. When you are venturing out of the city especially on desert laden routes, a few things you should keep in mind is to carry plenty of water and ensure your automobile is appropriately fueled and serviced. Due to weather conditions, automobiles often face technical problems on such long stretches. You are unlikely to find a service stations on certain patches and will have to telephone the road assistance for rescue. Another thing to consider when you are on long highway stretches is to watch your speed limit. This is not to keep in line with road rules but instead to ensure your safety. Due to hot weather conditions, if your tyres are threaded and maintaining the same temperature, they are likely to burst causing oversteering or skidding of your automobile. Since most people drive at very high speeds on the highway, we recommend caution and alertness.

One of the crazy things you will find on roads in UAE is camels, who sometime cross over from the deserts and are mostly sighted on intercity highways. They may run onto the road without warning so be careful of these. Also, shifting sands might leave traces of sand on the roads which could result in your automobile skidding. Be cautious of these elements and make sure you have both hands on your steering to avoid losing control of your automobile. In the event of any such situations having car insurance in Dubai or any other city in UAE will come in very handy.

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:

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:

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.

What Do The Top F1 Drivers Spend Their Money On

It's a dream come true if you are driving in the Formula 1. The competition needs no introduction around the world due to the high-speed glamour and prestige. Oh, and let's not forget the money that you can earn because F1 welcomes the wealthy. Team budgets are expanding and popularity in racing is still growing. It's a sport where money talks. The big question is: What are the top F1 drivers spending their money on?

Lewis Hamilton
Lewis Hamilton is one of the world's highest-paid sportsmen. In 2015, the F1 driver signed a three-year deal to drive for Mercedes worth £100 million, which made him the highest-paid British sports person at the time.

Lewis loves cars and wanted to personalise his most prized possession. That's why Lewis paid property tycoon Bob Lewis over £200,000 for his personalised plate: LEW 1S. Bob bought the unique registration in 2007 for £50,000 and loved the number plate. But business is business and the offer was too good to turn down. It's also rumoured that Hamilton wanted to splash out on another exclusive plate. Businessman Afzal Kahn received an offer of £6 million for his registration plate: F1. Afzal declined the offer and is still driving with it on his Bugatti Veyron.

F1 drivers often have exemplary taste when it comes to road cars and Hamilton is a perfect example. His collection is believed to have a worth of around £13 million. From high-end European sports cars to American muscle classics, it seems he has it all. Some cars in his collection are purple Pagani Zonda 760 LH, 1966 Shelby 427 Cobra, Shelby Mustang GT500 and of course a Mercedes-Maybach S600.

Kimi Räikkönen
The Finnish driver is currently driving again in F1. He renewed his contract and signed a 1-year contract extension with Ferrari in 2018. The Iceman took a big pay-cut albeit with a guaranteed $7 million (and his performance bonuses can go up to max $10 million.) Kimi's most famous purchase is his yachts. The rider has a 22-meter Sunseeker Predator 72 worth €3.5 million and a 33-meter Sunseeker Predator 108. The yacht of the enigmatic character became famous during the 2006 Monaco Grand Prix. Kimi's McLaren gave up and he was forced to retire his smoking car. Instead of watching the rest of the race, Räikkönen walked fully clothed to the marina and jumped on his yacht to enjoy a few drinks.

Does the Iceman also have some interesting road cars in his garage? His garage is filled with an Alfa Romeo 159, Fiat 500 Abarth and a Ferrari Enzo. The cars share the space with a custom-built bike called Iceman II. The motorcycle is created by Marcus Walz of Hardcore Cycles. If that's not enough, Kimi has his own private jet to transport him around the globe.

Max Verstappen

The Dutch rider is the new kid on the block. The Red Bull driver became the youngest F1 winner in history aged 18 years and 228 days. The prodigy extended his contract until 2020, as a result of which his salary went up considerably. Max is now earning a minimum of €10 million excluding bonuses - enough money to fill his garage. The first cars of Verstappen are not comparable with those of other 20-year-olds. In his first year as a licensed driver, Max bought a Porsche 911 GT3 RS, Aston Martin V12 Vantage S and Mercedes-AMG C63 Coupé.

In an interview with F1, Max told the press that he has not made a bad buy yet. He is always thinking before acting. It also helps that Max has to convince his manager and his father for every major purchase. That's important because Max likes to spend money on new watches, and he admits he is in love with the mechanical timepieces. The TAG Heuer Carrera is one is his favourites and he even has his own watch called TAG Heuer Formula One Max Verstappen Youngest Grand Prix Winner Special Edition.