Monday, 19 November 2018

Abu Dhabi Preview - The sun goes down

So the sun goes down on another F1 campaign. And providing the visual metaphor, the season-closing round is the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. F1's only day-to-night event.

In an appropriate place, the sun goes
down on another F1 season
Photo: Octane Photography
The sunset on this 2018 season has been slow, and we enter this finale with remarkably little at stake. Both titles are decided of course, but even further down the tables there is meagre potential for change at the last.

Underlining the point the most conspicuous bone of contention at the Yas Marina track this weekend is that Valtteri Bottas and Max Verstappen are separated by three points in the 'battle' for fourth in the drivers' standings. Either theoretically could leapfrog Kimi Raikkonen for third as well - Bottas is 14 points behind and Verstappen 17 - though that outcome will likely require a no-score for Raikkonen.

Even in the all-important constructors' order - all-important as that's what they base the money on - just about all teams look well ensconced in their places. The most likely shift is that a good weekend for Sauber - and it looked quick in Brazil - combined with a meagre one for Force India may allow the Swiss team to vault over the six-point gap between them. Conversely a sixth and seventh place for Force India combined with no McLaren points will get Force India up a place.

Saturday, 17 November 2018

New Motorsport Week article: Progress not panic – paying homage to five-times constructors’ champion Mercedes

Photo: Octane Photography
In last weekend's Brazilian Grand Prix something remarkable happened, though it wasn't dwelt on all that much. Mercedes clinched its fifth constructors' title in a row, a feat only matched ever by the crushing Ferrari squad of the noughties.

For Motorsport Week I try to address the situation by paying homage to dominant Mercedes, and delve into what makes this team extraordinary.

You can have a read via this link.

Tuesday, 13 November 2018

Motor Verso F1 2018 Season Summary - Brazilian Grand Prix review

Photo: Octane Photography
The Brazilian Grand Prix just passed demonstrates the importance of not judging books by their covers. A dead rubber; another Lewis Hamilton win. Sounds tepid. But this one was hot. And hot for reasons no one anticipated.

My take on it is added to the Motor Verso F1 season summary. As ever it's also illustrated with wonderful Pirelli photography and my selection of the best Brazilian Grand Prix content from YouTube.

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

Brazilian GP Report - More to it

Lewis Hamilton in the Brazilian Grand Prix won his 10th race of an imperious 2018 season. Ho-hum. Not even that Hamilton had never before won a Grand Prix after taping up that year's title stopped him this time. Mercedes with it sealed its latest constructors' championship. Ho and indeed hum.

Lewis Hamilton won again, but there were
many adventures along the way
Photo: Octane Photography
Not a bit of it though. The above paragraph holds only if one falls foul of the old one about judging books by their covers. This one at Interlagos was a thriller, with massive detours on the way to what appears its very standard outcome.

The source of the intrigue was unforeseen too. It wasn't because of an anticipated Ferrari challenge to Mercedes, as that didn't arrive. Despite Sebastian Vettel qualifying a smidgen off poleman Hamilton, him reckoning he'd have had top spot without a small mistake. Despite too that Vettel started on more durable tyres. The anticipated rain didn't arrive either.

No, it was a thriller because of a challenge to Mercedes that came instead - against anticipation - from Red Bull.

Red Bull challenged Mercedes. Red Bull passed Mercedes. Red Bull had this one in the palm of its hand. Until Red Bull lost it. As Red Bull hit a backmarker. And that was only the start of the consternation.

Friday, 9 November 2018

Inside Line F1 Podcast - Vettel Missing A Mentor At Ferrari?

Sebastian Vettel could be missing a mentor at Ferrari. In fact, could Ferrari do better with a 'real' racer at the helm of affairs? We explain our view in this week's episode of the Inside Line F1 Podcast by comparing the pressures between a Formula 1 driver and the CEO of a Fortune 500 company.

Photo: Octane Photography
Also, we wonder how things could've turned out had Lewis Hamilton lost the World Championship in 2008; would Timo Glock be remembered a little less? With Formula 1 teams promoting young (or really young!) drivers in this era - has Formula 1 become a development series for drivers too? Finally, will Hamilton break his no-win-after-championship duck this weekend in Brazil? Tune in!

(Season 2018, Episode 38)

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

Here is what's in store for you this week:

0:00-3:00: That time of the year when remember Timo Glock; WHAT IF Felipe Massa would've won the Formula 1 World Championship in 2008?

3:00-6:00: Sebastian Vettel looks like he's missing a mentor at Ferrari - we explain our point

6:00-8:00: Has Formula 1 become a development series for drivers too? Also, can Ferrari seriously win the Constructors' Championship this season?

08:00-10:00: Can Lewis Hamilton attempt a switch to and win with Ferrari? Basically, do what Michael Schumacher attempted to do in his era

10:00-13:00: Haas should be disappointed if they finish 5th in 2018, agree or disagree? Can Williams survive without the Stroll money in 2019?

13:00-15:00: Should Formula 1 cars now have digital rear view mirrors? And, Lucien's 'Moments in Time' section for the upcoming Brazilian Grand Prix! 14:45

20:00-end: Lewis Hamilton is yet to win a race after winning a World Championship; can he win this weekend in Brazil?

P.S.: We won't have an episode next week; remember to tune back in the week before the 2018 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix!

Wednesday, 7 November 2018

Brazilian GP Betting Preview - After the Lord Mayor's show

For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. And so it is for Lewis Hamilton. As even in the direct aftermath of his greatest triumph so far - his fifth divers' title sealed - there is a potential negative implication. One that may interest the F1 fan looking to profit in the betting market in advance of this weekend's Brazilian Grand Prix.

Will Hamilton, his title won, miss out on race victory?
Photo: Octane Photography
As Hamilton in his F1 career has taken part in five Grands Prix after he's wrapped up that year's championship, and has not won any of them. It's led some to suggest that he's prone to taking his eye slightly off the ball at such moments. While in a more specific sense we can add that his record at the Interlagos circuit isn't all that good by his very exacting standards - he's only won here once and taken two poles.

And in exactly these circumstances 12 months ago at this very venue Hamilton in effect dashed his victory chances immediately by trashing his Mercedes on the first lap of qualifying. While the then-as-now recently-vanquished Sebastian Vettel gave himself and his recently-vanquished Ferrari team some belated succour by winning.

Inside Line F1 Podcast - Why No F1 Fan Should Hate Lewis Hamilton

Lewis Hamilton is the perfect embodiment of Liberty Media's vision for Formula 1 - embracing the show without compromising on speed. In this week's episode of the Inside Line F1 Podcast, we tell you that the 2018 Formula 1 Season is proof why NO Formula 1 fan should hate Lewis Hamilton.

Photo: Octane Photography
Also, we talk about Red Bull Racing's targets for Honda and Max Verstappen in 2019, Jos-Max's chemistry, how Sebastian Vettel can reclaim his lost glory, why the Vietnam Grand Prix was probably announced ahead of its time and which current Grand Prix will Formula 1 be forced to drop to accommodate the new venues in 2020? Tune in!

(Season 2018, Episode 37)
Subscribe to the Inside Line F1 Podcast on iTunes and on audioBoom (RSS feed) for your weekly dose of Formula 1 humour

Here's what's in store for you in this week's episode:

0:00-3:00: Latest talking points from the world of Formula 1 + celebrating Lewis Hamilton’s 5th world title

3:00-6:00: Christian Horner’s double talk on Daniel Ricciardo’s talent; decoding the Jos-Max chemistry, is Max ready to be World Champion in 2019?

6:00-9:00: Could Hamilton have won the 2018 Drivers’ Championship racing for Ferrari?

9:00-12:00: Sebastian Vettel is not past his peak. No.

12:00-15:00: Does Vettel know what a podcast is? And, 25 Grands Prix by 2020?

15:00-18:00: Why Marcus Ericsson will do well in Indy Car. Is Carlos Sainz as talented as Max Verstappen and Nico Hulkenberg?

18:00-end: Which celebrity will transmit a farewell message to Fernando Alonso in Abu Dhabi? And also, this week’s ‘What Wolff Said This Week’ section

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

Monday, 5 November 2018

Interlagos Preview - Where there's life...

And so, with Lewis Hamilton wrapping up his latest world title in Mexico last time out, in large part this forthcoming Brazilian Grand Prix is, in the tennis parlance, a dead rubber. But there are reasons not to write it off even so.

Anything can happen at inimitable Interlagos
By Eduardo Guarizo Pimentel - Formula 1, CC BY 2.0,
https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/
index.php?curid=60467245
There's still intrigue at the front. Not least around our new-old crown recipient. Hamilton in five attempts has never won an F1 race after he has wrapped up that year's championship. It leads some to theorise that he takes his foot off the gas at such moments, something the man himself vehemently denies. In last year's round in this very scenario and at this very Interlagos venue he gave the case for the prosecution some evidence though by binning it on the first lap of qualifying. As a consequence he had to start the race from the pitlane.

And Hamilton can't afford to relax entirely this time, as the constructors' crown is not yet taped up for his Mercedes team. Mercedes is 55 points ahead with 86 available, so it should get the honours. But too much profligacy from him and team-mate Valtteri Bottas has the potential to throw the matter back into the melting pot. Particularly as Ferrari in the last couple of rounds has rediscovered its pace, and Mercedes has hit tyre troubles in both. Hamilton also has only ever won once here, in 2016's heavy rain.

How to Avoid Speeding Tickets


While it may be okay to speed while you are on the race track, it isn’t okay to speed on the regular public roads, as you probably already know. However, even some professional race car drivers have a hard time completely refraining from those fast speeds that they are so used to.

So how do you avoid getting a speeding ticket while you’re on the road? Easy, just don’t speed. However, while it’s easy for some to read or hear someone give them this advice, they might still find it difficult following those words of wisdom. 

Why is it so hard to follow sometimes?


It can be difficult to follow the rules of the road when it comes to speeding because you can see so many other people around you speeding, driving faster, and switching lanes to go around you. Many people let this get beside them and speed up anyways because they don’t like people thinking that they are a slow driver, and they don’t want people going around them. Most people can also get away with going about 5 to 10 miles over the speed limit without an officer pulling them over so it makes it easy for people to get into the habit of speeding.

Don’t get caught off guard


However, you should keep in mind that while you might not automatically see a police officer around, they do hide in the most secluded areas and they are able to clock your speed so that they can easily catch someone who is going many miles over the speed limit. Once again, formula 1 racers may be at the highest risk of being pulled over for driving over the speed limit since they are accustomed to driving at high speeds on the race track. Just don’t do it! One way that you easily avoid getting caught speeding is by using radar detectors to detect when a police officer is nearby. You won’t have to worry about the embarrassment of a police officer pulling you over and signing you a fat ticket.


Different radar detectors used


Radar detectors that are available to buy nowadays come in a variety. They also come in various price ranges depending on the features and the brand. Some models will be good for Europe, while others would perform very good in US, so you should do your own research to find the best radar detector for your situation.
  
A corded radar detector is one that is quite commonly used because you can mount them to your windshield pretty easily. Generally there are two antenna stems on these systems so that they can easily and quickly pick up on when a police officer is nearby. They are easily plugged into the cigarette lighter outlet.

Next, there are the cordless detectors; which are quite popular, especially amongst motorcycle drivers. However, they generally don’t pick up on a signal as quickly as the corded radar detectors do. 

One thing that you should keep in mind if you are considering purchasing a radar detector, is that they are not legal to us in every state or country. Some states and countries have laws against using them, and if caught with a radar detector you can be fined. 

Friday, 2 November 2018

Lewis Hamilton 2018 World Champion - Not only...but also

It was just like last year. Only more so.

Photo: Octane Photography
The parallels between the 2017 and '18 drivers' title battles were uncanny. Lewis Hamilton versus Sebastian Vettel. Mercedes versus Ferrari. In the balance, with ebb and flow. That was until Singapore where Hamilton and Mercedes, against the run of play, stamped on the accelerator pedal while Vettel and Ferrari unravelled. And Hamilton won it officially two races ahead of time in Mexico. Having as good as won it a while before.

And there's another thing that's just like last year. That it almost doubtlessly is Hamilton's best of his world championships so far. That we have here an astonishingly-skilled driver at something like his peak. Only more so.

In 2018 he demonstrated many things we already knew about. His blinding speed of course, quintessentially with his scarcely-credible Singapore qualifying lap, on which the championship momentum pivoted. His unmatched skills in the wet as demonstrated in his Hockenheim win and grabbing pole in Hungary - both vital in stemming Ferrari momentum at a time when the red car was on top. His piercing aggression and immaculate judgement when wheel-to-wheel, such as on Monza's opening lap.

Thursday, 1 November 2018

New Motorsport Week article: Why Ferrari ditching Fernando Alonso cost it two titles

After Lewis Hamilton clinched his latest world championship many aspects of what the achievement means were discussed.

Photo: Octane Photography
But there was one part that escaped comment mostly - that now Ferrari will have to go 12 years at least without a drivers' title.

This time it's hard to say it's to do primarily with the car's shortcomings, rather points dropped via mistakes by Sebastian Vettel have been crucial. Perhaps similar could be said of the 2017 championship too.

Then there's the guy Vettel replaced. For all that we like to say that the relentless Fernando Alonso has cost himself championships with his antics are we looking through the wrong end of the telescope? Is it not the case that Ferrari has cost itself the last two titles by chasing Alonso out the door?

In my latest Motorsport Week feature article I lay out the case. You can have a read via this link.