Monday, 19 August 2019

New Motorsport Week article: Why we shouldn't cry for Pierre Gasly or decry Red Bull

Photo: Octane Photography
After the recent Red Bull rumpus - Pierre Gasly being ditched forthwith to be swapped with Alex Albon, until recently of Toro Rosso - there was an outpouring of opprobrium.

That Red Bull was harsh; that it had ruined another of its drivers' careers...

But in my latest feature for Motorsport Week I take the contrary view, and explain why we shouldn't feel all that sorry for Pierre Gasly for being dropped, nor should we trash Red Bull's approach with young drivers.

You can have a read of my thinking here:

Saturday, 17 August 2019

Inside Line F1 Podcast - With Which Team Will Verstappen Win His F1 Titles With?

Photo: Octane Photography
Max Verstappen is in the form of his life. But with which team will his record-breaking Formula 1 career be with? Will he stay put at Red Bull Racing or jump ship to Mercedes or Ferrari? Red Bull Racing-Honda is exciting, but how soon before it can deliver a championship winning package to Verstappen?

Will Verstappen be as patient with Red Bull Racing as it was with him during his find-my-feet days? Could Mercedes use this opportunity to swoop in and sign Verstappen as Lewis Hamilton's successor?

Yes, lots of questions in this week's episode of the Inside Line F1 Podcast as we focus on Max Verstappen and his supposedly long future in Formula 1. We also talk about the Gasly-Albon swap and make a bold prediction of either Grosjean or Hulkenberg not having a seat in 2020. Finally, are McLaren hunting for the Triple Crown themselves? Tune in!

(Season 2019, Episode 30)
Subscribe to the Inside Line F1 Podcast on iTunes, audioBoom (RSS feed), Spotify and Google Podcasts for your weekly dose of Formula 1 humour

Sunday, 11 August 2019

Retro on Nigel Mansell's best drives for Motor Sport Magazine

There are some drivers that it is almost impossible to be indifferent about. And Nigel Mansell is quintessential.

By Jerry Lewis-Evans -
CC BY-SA 2.0,
But whatever you make of him, almost no driver can drama have followed so closely and persistently as him. And this of course manifested in some of the most thrilling and aggressive drives ever seen.

So to mark Nigel Mansell's birthday the other day, for Motor Sport, with help from Jake Williams-Smith, I looked at eight of the best drives from Mansell's ever-dramatic career.

You can check out the selection here:

I also for Motor Sport recently marked Fernando Alonso's birthday by looking back at his astonishing win in the 2012 European Grand Prix at Valencia. You can check that out here:

Saturday, 10 August 2019

Inside Line F1 Podcast - A Legit Hamilton Beater?

After years of waiting, does Formula 1 finally have a Lewis Hamilton beater in Max Verstappen? Frankly, we don't care who beats who as long as we have a battle to witness for the seasons to come. Sorry, Seb, but the narrative does seem to now be all about Verstappen vs Hamilton.

Photo: Octane Photography
In this week's episode of the Inside Line F1 Podcast, we discuss Verstappen's talent, form and his psychological attacks on Hamilton. Is Nico Rosberg the new Jacques Villeneuve? Did Toto Wolff drop the biggest hint yet of his aspirations to becoming the next F1 CEO? Pierre Gasly deserves a hug and everyone needs to stop playing Helmut Marko. And finally, is Captain Planet Sebastian Vettel racing in the wrong motorsport series? Tune in!

(Season 2019, Episode 29)
Subscribe to the Inside Line F1 Podcast on iTunes, audioBoom (RSS feed), Spotify and Google Podcasts for your weekly dose of Formula 1 humour

Saturday, 3 August 2019

1989 Hungarian Grand Prix review for Motor Sport Magazine

My latest classic Formula 1 race retro review for Motor Sport Magazine is here, and it's for the forthcoming Hungarian Grand Prix.

By Stuart Seeger from College Station, Texas, USA -
Explaining, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.
The Hungaroring round hasn't always been everyone's cup of tea since landing as an F1 venue in 1986. But over time it's developed a knack of being the scene of great drivers putting in great drivers.

And few can have been greater than that of 30 years ago in 1989, when Nigel Mansell for Ferrari defied all odds to come through for victory.

Even for one whom drama followed as habitually as Our Nige, this one has good claim to be his most stunning drive of all.

You can read the tale via this link:

New Motorsport Week article: Formula 1's Hungarian Rhapsody

By Derzsi Elekes Andor (talk · contribs) - Own work, CC
BY-SA 4.0,
The Hungarian Grand Prix at the Hungaroring is an interesting one. Really.

It long was dismissed as Formula 1's ugly duckling, 'Monaco without the houses' and the like. Yet there has always been a lot more to it than that.

And in my latest feature for Motorsport Week I explore just what it is about the enigmatic Hungarian Grand Prix. Why it's important, why it's captivating, why it grew to be a Formula 1 favourite.

You can have a read of my thinking here:

Friday, 2 August 2019

How to Choose the Best Car Speaker Size for Your Vehicle

The car is the next place we get to spend our time after work or if we are not at home. To some, the car doubles up as their workplace. Having to sit alone in the confinement of your vehicle for hours in silence can be boring.

You can solve this by installing a sound system to play music or connect it to the radio for updates and hear the latest news. The sound also keeps you alert, making your ride safer and fun. Since cars take up a chunk of our investment, you should not just install speakers haphazardly.

Make the effort of getting nothing but the best in the market. However, despite knowing the car speakers and even making the purchase, they might not be ideal for your vehicle. To ensure you get the best speaker size, consider implementing the following tips.

1) Know the Type of Speaker You Want
Photo by <a href="/photographer/sardinelly-
64706">sardinelly</a> from <a href=
You need the correct information to purchase the perfect speaker. A full range speaker comes packed with the whole system under one system while a component speaker comes separate components.

For DIY projects, the full range one is ideal since it is easy to install. In terms of the quality of sound, consider component speakers since they have proven to be the best.

The size is also a key factor as a speaker too small might end up getting overpowered by the woofer, and the system might not support a large one. Most standard speakers range between 3.5 and 6.5. However, lately, custom made pieces have no limits. The best 3.5 speakers can be installed anywhere in the vehicle, making them ideal for both small and big cars.

Thursday, 25 July 2019

1958 German Grand Prix review for Motor Sport Magazine

Terry Whalebone from Bolton, UK [CC BY 2.0
My latest classic Formula 1 race retro review for Motor Sport Magazine's website has landed. That for the forthcoming German Grand Prix.

I look back at a classic. An incredible Nurburgring comeback win, chasing down the Ferrari pair from a seemingly impossible deficit to prevail. But it's not Juan Manuel Fangio, it's F1's forgotten genius Tony Brooks.

Twelve months on from Fangio's finest hour, Brooks took an about-as-brilliant 1958 German Grand Prix victory in his Vanwall.

You can check out the story via this link:

Tuesday, 23 July 2019

Which Nations Dominate F1 and WRC?, by Select Car Leasing

We're all familiar with the greats of the sport, but which countries can boast the best record on the track? Select Car Leasing has analysed how many drivers from each country have taken part in F1 and WRC and compared that total to each nation's population size, per every 1 million citizens. The stats revealed some big surprises.

Key Findings

-       The UK loves the track...with the second-best F1 participation rate, behind only Switzerland

-       Just five nations have won a title in both F1 and WRC... which are the UK, Finland, Italy, Spain and France

-       The UK and US represent almost half of the total motorsport participants since 1950... featuring a combined total of 418 drivers

-       The F1 bug hasn't yet reached China and India... Despite a combined population of 2.7 billion citizens, they've had just two F1 drivers

-       Where winter bites WRC is popular... Estonia, Sweden, Norway and Finland lead the line for participation

-       Estonia falling at the final hurdle... despite huge participation, the country is yet to win a professional WRC title

Thursday, 18 July 2019

The Make-Up Of A Formula 1 Winner, by Just Tyres

With Formula 1 kicking off there's an audible buzz in the air that's got us wondering about all the cogs in the machine that turns out an F1 champion. So what does it take to be the best?

Just Tyres has analysed 50 years of F1 tournament data to find out what makes an F1 winner. Take a look below to find which countries have the most F1 champions, which teams have won the most races and what the peak age for winning is.

Source: Just Tyres

Sunday, 14 July 2019

New Motorsport Week article: Forty years on - how Williams rose to the top

Suyk, Koen / Anefo / neg. stroken, 1945-1989,,
item number 930-4115 [CC BY-SA 3.0 nl (https://]
This is a very a special British Grand Prix weekend for Williams. Sir Frank Williams' half-decade as a team boss is being marked, while the race takes place 40 years to the day since Williams took its first ever F1 win, which also was at Silverstone for the British Grand Prix.

For Motorsport Week I look back four decades to how the team first rose to the top, which - strange as it may seem several championships later - was rather an unlikely rise at the time.

You can check the tale out here:

Friday, 12 July 2019

1965 British Grand Prix review for Motor Sport Magazine

By Eric Koch / Anefo -
aab4ce4c-d0b4-102d-bcf8-003048976d84, CC0, https:/
My latest classic F1 race retro review for Motor Sport's website is here. And ahead of the British Grand Prix this weekend I look at the unparalleled Jim Clark winning the 1965 British Grand Prix.

Clark won the British race five times in his career, plus he bestrode the 1965 calendar year more generally. With these, you might assume his Silverstone win was a cruise. But like the man himself, there was much more to this one.

You can have a read of this extraordinary tale here:

And as a bonus I also for Motor Sport explored five memorable races from the British Grand Prix's long history. You can check that out here:

The Evolution Of Silverstone, by Leasing Options

Now that the future of Silverstone as a Formula 1 track has been assured, it’s a perfect time to look back at how the track has changed since 1948.

Leasing Options has created an animation to show all of the many changes that Silverstone has undergone since racing began on the track, explained what the key changes were and listed our top five Silverstone Formula 1 moments.

The evolution of the Silverstone track

Key dates in Silverstone’s history
1948 - The First Grand Prix
The first grand prix at Silverstone took place in 1948, but the course was somewhat different and more terrifying than it is today.

Tuesday, 9 July 2019

Inside Line F1 Podcast - 2020: Silly Season Begins

Photo: Octane Photography
Only nine races in and the silly season for the 2020 Formula 1 Season has already begun. Fernando Alonso and Esteban Ocon aside, we think Marcus Ericsson maybe involved in the musical chairs too. In fact, will we lay part of the blame for tyre issues in 2020 on Ericsson too? And poor Pierre Gasly, if he has to go, history has shown a higher probability for the mid-season than the end.

In this week's episode of the Inside Line F1 Podcast, we also talk about Red Bull Racing's thoughtful training for their junior drivers and IF they are planning a senior driver program too. To help Williams, will Formula 1 introduce a point for the fastest pitstop? And why asking Gasly to 'CTRL + ALT + DEL' might not work. Tune in!

(Season 2019, Episode 26)
Subscribe to the Inside Line F1 Podcast on iTunes, audioBoom (RSS feed) and Google Podcasts for your weekly dose of Formula 1 humour

Thursday, 4 July 2019

New Motorsport Week article: Why the Austrian Grand Prix provided F1’s salvation

Photo: Octane Photography
"Crisis? What crisis?" One thrilling race later and suddenly modern-spec Formula 1 doesn't seem so bad after all. F1, like drivers, is only as good as its last race it seems.

And yes, it's true that the Austrian Grand Prix did not in fact provide an answer to many of F1's fundamental and familiar ills. But it did hint at some of the solutions.

You can have a read of my take on all of that for Motorsport Week via this link:

Wednesday, 3 July 2019

The F1 British Grand Prix: The most memorable moments from Silverstone

It's almost that time of the year again for the most exciting race in British motorsport, as Formula 1 turns its attentions to the United Kingdom and more specifically, Silverstone. The world-famous and historical track will once again play host to the British Grand Prix on July 14, whereby Lewis Hamilton will be looking for his sixth win on home soil.

By Carlina Xavier from London, England -
It's time for a comeback, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://
The Stevenage-born driver is arguably one of the finest to represent Britain in F1, and he has often been the focal point of Silverstone's finest moments. 2019's race will be the 55th time that Silverstone has held the British Grand Prix so ahead of the spectacle, let's take a look at some of the most memorable moments from Silverstone.

Hamilton's first win at Silverstone – 2008
There's no better place to start than remembering Lewis Hamilton's first-ever win at Silverstone in 2008, which was the same year he won his first drivers' championship as well. The 23-year-old had endured a difficult qualifying which meant he started in fourth position, but the latter stages of the main race demonstrated what Hamilton was all about. He took a commanding lead early on but the maturity in his driving in such bad conditions was a joy to behold, and he duly crossed the line to a rip-roaring applause from the home faithful. Think he'll do it again this year? British Grand Prix Betting is available right now for the latest and best prices.

Tuesday, 2 July 2019

How To Find An Auto Lease That Fits Your Budget

An auto lease is an agreement where an individual is given an opportunity to rent a vehicle for an extended period of time. This agreed-upon period of time, in most cases, is between two to five years, after which the vehicle is returned to the initial owner or purchased for a lump sum that is determined at the time of the original agreement.

Photo by alex ringer from FreeImages
An auto lease can be compared in many ways to renting a house. The house doesn't belong to you, rather, it's rented for a specified period of time after which you're expected to vacate it or extend the lease agreement.

Bear in mind that there are penalties that apply if the auto lease terms such as exceeding the predetermined mileage coverage agreement are violated.

With that basic understanding of what an auto lease is, let's look at a few tips to use to find an auto lease that fits within your budget:

1.    Be On The Lookout For Leasing Specials
Leasing specials come into play when the lease formula is adjusted in such a way that enables you to pay lower monthly instalments or get a reduction in costs such as down payment and drive off fees. This way you can be able to lease newer and more luxurious vehicles which you initially wouldn't be able to afford.

Monday, 1 July 2019

A Look At The Range Rover Sport PHEV

SUVs are currently the most popular type of car around which means that car manufacturers tend to take them very seriously. This also means that anything new that is introduced in this segment is done so after careful deliberation and planning which means that any change in SUVs is here to stay. On that vein, the Range Rover Sport PHEV represents a major shift in the mindset of both car manufacturers and the expectations of car consumers. After all, it is a freaking Range Rover powered by a hybrid engine.

Can Range Rovers and hybrid technology even co-exist?

This is the first question that would pop into people's heads when they hear that Range Rover is making a hybrid car. Why is it so shocking? Well, a Range Rover SUV is meant to go pretty much everywhere a car can fit and that means being driven through water and mud and everything in between. Powerwise, hybrids do not have any shortcomings but it is the part with the water that can raise eyebrows. Water and electricity do not exactly go hand in hand with each other but Range Rover hasn't gone at this half-cocked. The batteries are enclosed in a waterproof compartment and the Range Rover Sport PHEV will do everything a Range Rover is meant to do.

What the car is all about:

At its very heart, the Range Rover Sport PHEV is a luxury SUV with all the amenities and features you would expect from a premium car with the added benefit of being very economical and environment-friendly. The CO2 emissions are future proof as it is so low that even when stricter emission norms will be introduced, this car would still be acceptable and affordable to run. It can do an amazing 31 miles on just its battery power which is a phenomenal range for a car of its size and weight. Another amazing quality is the ability of this car to touch 85 mph on battery power alone. The sensation of such a big car powering to 85 mph with the characteristic silence of an EV is just otherworldly. The only quirk it has is that when the switch is made from electric to hybrid mode there is a noticeable delay while everything adapts but it is nothing that is earth-shatteringly bad. Overall, this is a very luxurious car that will allow you to drive silently and in an eco-friendly manner in the city and power through A-roads with plenty of grunt and ease.

What it means for the future:

SUVs are never going to be the same again as the Range Rover Sport PHEV is the perfect exhibition of a fully functional hybrid SUV and it is only a matter of time before more affordable hybrid SUVs hit the market. It also means that the day where a fully functional electric SUV becomes mainstream is not that far away and it is not a matter of if but a matter of when that will happen. Cars can rarely pack in so many surprises but the Range Rover Sport PHEV will definitely leave you with plenty of admiration and astonishment.

Sunday, 30 June 2019

Did a Return to Simpler Cars in 1994 Contribute to the Accidents?, by Ibrar Malik

"The cars are immediately less stable without the electronic suspension. As a consequence, they are harder to drive and we'll have more cars spinning and going off the track" 
Ayrton Senna, Williams Driver (Killed during San Marino GP)

“Several commentators said it was the elimination of driver aids (to blame for the accidents), a classic post hoc point. It was an intensely stupid inference but was nevertheless widely reported.” 
Max Mosley, FIA President

Following the tragedies of the 1994 San Marino GP, a mass-media hysteria gathered and called for immediate repercussions but couldn't agree on what they should be. Some suggestions were constructive, some destructive, most were frankly a veiled attempt to turn tragedy into titillation. Generally, the fewer journalists knew about F1, the greater the mock outrage was. FIA President Max Mosley was initially at pains to avoid a knee-jerk response…that was until Karl Wendlinger suffered an almost fatal crash at Monaco less than two weeks later. Mosley then came under intense pressure from outside motorsport to impose urgent safety measures, but teams were in an uproar over the haste of such action. They argued Mosley's measures would not be safer until the knock-on effects were established, this led to more problems which are detailed in the book.

Mosley felt it was a statistical cluster that so many accidents happened at Imola 1994. But choose his words carefully afterwards to avoid being branded as irresponsible by a media baying for blood.

Thursday, 27 June 2019

1984 Austrian Grand Prix review for Motor Sport Magazine

Matthew Lamb [CC BY-SA 2.0 (https://]
Home advantage is an odd thing in motorsport. Nigel Mansell used to say - likely with typical melodrama - that the inspiration of his home crowd would gain him half a second per lap. Alain Prost too could barely stop winning his home round.

But there are others for who nothing it seems ever goes right in their own land. And the recently departed Niki Lauda, when he was entering his native Austrian Grand Prix in 1984, was one such. Thirteen years after making his F1 debut there, at the magnificent Osterreichring, his best home result was a distant second.

Yet that time things came right for him. It wasn't entirely straightforward, nor indeed entirely luck. Rather it owed much to Lauda's legendary cunning and racecraft - in more senses than you might think.

In my latest classic grand prix retro review for Motor Sport Magazine's website, I tell the extraordinary tale of this race. You can have a read here:

Plus you can check out my previous classic grand prix articles for Motor Sport herehere and here.

Inside Line F1 Podcast - F1 Needs To Apologise To Valtteri Bottas

Every sport needs to build and worship its heroes, the current flavour for Formula 1 being Lewis Hamilton. But Formula 1 took one step too far when it asked Valtteri Bottas, Hamilton's title rival, to sing praises for the reigning world champion not once, but twice. Enough, lads. Let's respect the title rivalry between the two Mercedes drivers.

In this week's episode of the Inside Line F1 Podcast, we wonder if Esteban Ocon will eventually have to settle for a Renault in 2020 after having Mercedes dreams. Could Ocon-Renault lead to an exit from the sport for Nico Hulkenberg? By what races this year would Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton wrap up their titles? Who would you believe more when it comes to 'how tough it is to race a Formula 1 car?', Max Verstappen or Lewis Hamilton-Romain Grosjean? Finally, should Mercedes continue racing in Formula 1 despite not having anything left to prove? And of course, did you know that Formula 1 actually played 'Happy Birthday' on the podium instead of the national anthem for the winning driver in one of the previous editions of the Austrian Grand Prix? Tune in!

(Season 2019, Episode 25)
Subscribe to the Inside Line F1 Podcast on iTunes, audioBoom (RSS feed) and Google Podcasts for your weekly dose of Formula 1 humour

Wednesday, 26 June 2019

Private Plates – Do They Say More About You Than You Think?

Private registration plates, sometimes referred to as cherished plates, are one of the most common ways drivers can personalise their cars without causing damage or looking overly tacky. Most of the time, you can get your initials in, a birth date or something else that has meaning to you. However, have you ever looked deeper into the kind of people that get private registration plates and wondered what else do they do to their car?

We recently stumbled upon a pretty large study done by UK personal car leasing firm All Car Leasing called "Doin' it for the 'gram" which looked at the habits of people who get private plates and whether there's anything else they all had in common. Granted, this article is not about Formula 1 in any way but at the same time we are well aware that our readers are generally "car people" and we think this might interest a few of you!

All Car Leasing surveyed just over 600 people for this study and 21% of them have a private plate, this is not a surprising statistic if a little on the high side in our opinion. However, the interesting statistics come from these 21%.

Audi are the most common manufacturer to have a private reg (shock horror), this makes sense as Audis aren't cheap and neither are private registrations with prices starting usually at £200. But does this make Audi drivers vain or just proud of their German motor? Well, All Car Leasing's results seem to suggest that perhaps they are. Just over half (53%) of private reg owners have modified their cars (modifications being aftersales alloy wheels, new exhausts, decal, sound system etc) after they've made the purchase to further enhance the car past what it began as.

Next up, All Car Leasing found that 50% of private registration owners clean their car at least once a fortnight to keep the car pristine at all times. Are we now starting to see a bit of a pattern here with these owners of cherished plates? Well, it doesn't end there! It also turns out that 58%(!) of private plate owners have posted a picture of their prized motor on social media. Wow! Anyway, we started by by asking if private plates say something about the owners and a pretty clear image has started to come out… they love their cars and want everyone to know it! And there's nothing wrong with that we say! The doin' it for the 'gram campaign looks at a lot more than just private plates we just thought it was the most interesting bit. If you want to take a look at the whole study and see if it says something about your habits why not check it out over at their website or take a look at the infographic below. Alternatively, you can also check out All Car Leasing's brand new podcast if you haven't the time to sit and read.

Doin it for the gram
Doin' it for the 'gram by All Car Leasing


Thursday, 20 June 2019

1973 French Grand Prix review for Motor Sport Magazine

By Anefo / Mieremet, R.. / neg. stroken, 1945-1989, 2.24.01.
05, item number 926-5790 -
ac32df0c-d0b4-102d-bcf8-003048976d84, CC BY-SA 3.0 nl,
My latest classic grand prix retro review for Motor Sport Magazine's website is here. This time it's from the history-rich French Grand Prix.

I've looked back at the 1973 race, then as now at the Paul Ricard circuit (albeit there have been some adventures between times).

Then, Paul Ricard was an archetypal 'new' venue, with all the growing pains that entails. And that wasn't the only source of novelty in this '73 meeting. One new boy shook up Formula 1; another at last took his first F1 victory.

You can have a read of my retro re-tread here:

Plus you can check out my previous classic grand prix articles for Motor Sport here and here.

Monday, 17 June 2019

Inside Line F1 Podcast - Wake Me Up When September Ends...

In this episode, we discuss of the delay in announcing the 2021 regulations, the possible headlines you could still read come 2021 and how Mercedes can achieve even more greatness in Formula 1.

Photo: Octane Photography
Formula 1 unanimously decided to defer the announcement of its 2021 regulations 'til October this year. The WEC announced its 'hypercar' regulations from 2021 just a few days ago. Basically, everyone is leading fans to believe that 2021 is the year when motorsport will undergo a revolution.

In this week's episode of the Inside Line F1 Podcast, we talk of the possible headlines you will still read come 2021. What else could Mercedes do to prove its superiority as a Formula 1 team? If Ricciardo and Hulkenberg had wet dreams of a Ferrari power unit in their Renault car when Fiat Chrysler was talking up Renault and finally, will Formula 1 teams hire 'gladiators' instead of drivers for 2021? Tune in!

(Season 2019, Episode 23)
Subscribe to the Inside Line F1 Podcast on iTunesaudioBoom (RSS feed) and Google Podcasts for your weekly dose of Formula 1 humour

Here's what's in store for you in this episode:
0:00-3:00: Five headlines we could still read come the 2021 Formula 1 season. Also, how Christian Horner pulled off a massive stunt to prove why he should replace Chase Carey (if at all)

3:00-6:00: Formula 1 teams to hire gladiators come 2021?

6:00-9:00: Mercedes is controlling Formula 1, alleged Helmut Marko. But Red Bull Racing is controlling Formula 1's Raft Race

9:00-12:00: Three audacious things that Mercedes could do to prove their greatness and superiority as a Formula 1 team

12:00-15:00: If you're a budding Formula 1 racer, here's some advice for you and it is probably better than what Jacques Villeneuve has been telling you

15:00-end: The possible Fiat Chrysler-Renault merger, did Ricciardo and Hulkenberg have wet dreams of a Ferrari power unit in their Renault for at least a few nights? Finally, Ferrari should promote the race strategists from their Le Mans operations to Formula 1!

Saturday, 15 June 2019

New Motorsport Week article: F1’s curious history of the first finisher not finishing first

By Martin Lee -
17196205826/in/photostream/, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://
A race is a simple concept. You get to the end before anyone else, you win. Right?

Well, this being Formula 1, things aren't necessarily that simple. Herein, as Sebastian Vettel just found out in the Canadian Grand Prix, the first finisher doesn't always finish first. Such a shift has happened a good few times before, and for a good few reasons.

In my latest for Motorsport Week I look through the other times in F1 history this has happened.

You can have a read here:

Thursday, 6 June 2019

1995 Canadian Grand Prix review for Motor Sport Magazine

Rick Dikeman. Modified by historicair 21:08, 22 May 2007
 (UTC) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.
My latest classic grand prix retro review for Motor Sport Magazine's website has landed. This time it's for the forthcoming Canadian Grand Prix in Montreal, and I've looked back at the 1995 race when there was not a dry eye in the house.

As, for once, things came right for the ever-unlucky Jean Alesi, and he ensured that he would not share the inauspicious fate of Chris Amon of a skilled driver who somehow never won a Formula 1 grand prix.

And Alesi could hardly have done it in a more fitting place.

You can have a read of my take on the evocative 1995 Montreal race here:

Plus you can check out my previous classic grand prix articles for Motor Sport via this link.

How fit are Formula 1 drivers compared to other elite athletes?

F1 performance coach Eliot Challifour explains why, even though he sits for a living, Lewis Hamilton's fitness is up there with Chris Froome and Mo Farah's.

Photo: Octane Photography
Whether it's a turbocharged V6 engine or the latest carbon-fibre chassis, Formula 1 is a sport where innovation and technological advances are king.

But while the power, muscle and endurance of F1 cars is renowned, the power, muscle and endurance of those behind the wheel is often overlooked - certainly in comparison to other elite athletes.

If you were to list the top five fittest athletes in the world, names such as Mo Farah, Rafael Nadal, Cristiano Ronaldo, Chris Froome and LeBron James would more than likely be on it. It wouldn't be a surprise, however, if Lewis Hamilton was overlooked.

Because his success is ultimately reliant on the super machine at his fingertips, there is probably a perception that the physical requirements placed on him are less than on those who run, hit, kick, dunk and cycle.

The reality is very different.

Saturday, 1 June 2019

Ayrton Senna – My Opinion on What Caused his Crash?, by Ibrar Malik

One of the most fundamental mysteries of the 1994 Formula 1 season was why Ayrton Senna, one of the sport's greatest ever drivers, crash fatally at a relatively easy corner?

To this day, no-one knows for certain why Senna crashed. Many theories of varying credibility have been put forward. My personal view is Senna, desperate to break free from the car behind, carried a bit too much speed into Tamburello the car went slightly offline onto a part of the track known to be extremely bumpy. The ride height was still too low after the safety car so it 'bottomed out'. This also caused the peaky aerodynamics on the Williams to stall resulting in a catastrophic loss of grip made worse by tyres not up to working pressures or temperatures. This view is shared by Damon Hill who drove an identical car to Senna, and Michael Schumacher, who had the clearest view of what started the crash. In my humble opinion, they are the two best people to judge its cause.

 Senna leading Schumacher moments before the crash

Friday, 31 May 2019

Inside Line F1 Podcast - 10 Personalities We Want On The Netflix-F1 Show Season 2

This week's episode of the Inside Line F1 Podcast talks about the 10 paddock personalities that would be make Season 2 of the Netflix-F1 show that much more interesting and funny!

Photo: Octane Photography
There's no official news on Season 2 of the Netflix-F1 show. But we know it's happening! In this week's episode of the Inside Line F1 Podcast, we discuss the 10 personalities from the Formula 1 paddock that should absolutely feature in Season 2.

Also in this episode, we talk (again!) about Sebastian Vettel's retirement rumours, how Ferrari could be/is Charles Leclerc's only hope for the next few seasons and why Nico Hulkenberg to Red Bull Racing is more imaginative than real. Tune in, laugh along!

(Season 2019, Episode 21)
Subscribe to the Inside Line F1 Podcast on iTunes, audioBoom (RSS feed) and Google Podcasts for your weekly dose of Formula 1 humour

Thursday, 30 May 2019

New Motorsport Week article: Hamilton’s Monaco drive – good but not that good

Photo: Octane Photography
Lewis Hamilton's victorious Monaco Grand Prix drive last weekend deservedly got plenty of plaudits. This included stellar rating from the man himself, who said the race was his hardest ever as well as, in advance, that it required a "miracle" to prevail.

And not for nothing - he'd just held off Max Verstappen for much of the way on tyres not designed for the task.

In my latest for Motorsport Week I explain though that, while Hamilton's race was certainly very good, it wasn't quite the "miracle" advertised.

You can have a read of my take here:

Thursday, 23 May 2019

F1 retro grand prix articles for Motor Sport Magazine's website

I'm very pleased to have provided for Motor Sport Magazine this year retro grand prix reviews for forthcoming F1 grands prix. For these I've picked a noteworthy grand prix of the past in the week before each F1 race.

By Janice Waltzer from Owasso, USA - Monte Carlo
harbor, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.
And the latest of these has just landed, where I selected from the treasure trove of the Monaco Grand Prix, the first of which was a mere 90 years ago...

I've picked the one that provided likely its most thrilling finish of all, in 1970. It was a battle of the old hand Jack Brabham vs young gun Jochen Rindt. The old hand led for much of the way, but in the final minutes the young gun chased him down at a scarcely plausible rate. And at the final turn, the old hand, highly atypically, cracked...

You can have a read of the tale in full here:

And, in case you fancy flicking back through my previous grand prix retro reviews from this season so far, here are the links:

Australian Grand Prix - 1997; The Australian Grand Prix that didn't go to form
Bahrain Grand Prix - 2014; The race that saved F1 as we know it
Chinese Grand Prix - 2006; Michael Schumacher's final Formula 1 win
Azerbaijan Grand Prix - 2017; Hamilton and Vettel clash; Ricciardo conquers

Sadly I didn't do the Spanish Grand Prix article!

Friday, 17 May 2019

New Motorsport Week article: Where does it end for Mercedes?

Add caption
And so Mercedes' F1 dominance continues, stronger than ever. A dominance that stretches back all the way to this start of 2014.

So with this, it's tempting to ask where Merc's dominance might end? It has to end of course, as that's the way of the world. However imperceptible the prospect may seem right now.

For Motorsport Week I investigate what history tells us about how the reign of great F1 teams come to an end. And history suggests it'll take something big.

You can have a read of my exploration here:

Thursday, 9 May 2019

Amazing Car Rallies Anyone Can Do, by Quotezone

This article and its graphics were created by Quotezone

Want an adrenaline rush to test yourself to the limits, all while seeing the world? Then, a car rally could be right up your street.

Rallies have been described as the most exciting kind of travel adventure, and luckily for you we've found the car rallies that anyone can join.

The goal isn't necessarily to be first across the line – it's simply to make it TO the finish line. And you don't need to be an experienced rally driver – all you need is some mechanical skills, some money, a bit of courage and a lot of patience.

Read on to discover some of the world's most amazing (and most challenging) car rallies.

What is a Car Rally?
A car rally is a long-distance motorsport where drivers race towards pre-defined checkpoints on a road-based route rather than along a standard racing circuit.

Rallying started off as a competitive motorsport back in 1894 with the launch of the Paris-Rouen Horseless Carriage Competition in France. Car rallies have continued to be a major motorsport, but nowadays you can find many car rallies that have sprouted in the name of adventure and adrenaline.

The organisers of these types of adventure rallies want you to ditch the GPS and your sanity - because if it hasn't left already it will be sure to go while travelling across the globe in a banger. If you want the ultimate travel experience and some funny stories to tell your friends back home, these rallies might be for you.

But, it's not all for adventure. These rallies have an important aspect – helping those in need. Many of the car rallies have a designated charity to raise money for, or you can choose a charity of your choice.

The Weirdest Rally

Thursday, 2 May 2019

New Motorsport Week article: Has Ferrari blown it already?

Photo: Octane Photography
To think that just six weeks ago we were sure that Ferrari was the team to beat.

Mercedes has started 2019 with four 1-2 finishes, beating the record of the imperious Williams FW14B in 1992, and that sort of early-season run has never failed to end up with that year's title. But is it really all over for Ferrari already?

For Motorsport Week, I dig out some reasons for the Scuderia to maintain a little optimism.

You can have a read here:

Tuesday, 23 April 2019

Five benefits of attending a driving safety course

You are probably thinking, why do I need to attend a driving safety course when I can drive pretty well already? Well, there is more to driving than just, 'driving'. When you attend a driving safety course, you learn techniques that can help you anticipate and avoid dangers on the road. Not only can this save your life, but it can also save you lots of money. To give you an idea of how important safety training is, here are five benefits of attending a driving safety course.

1.    You are at a lower risk of driving fatalities
While insurance may cover you in case of an accident, nothing can compare to your life. That's why, anything that reduces your risk of negative outcomes, in case of an accident, is welcome. A Driving safety course helps you avoid negative outcomes when on the road. At driving safety facilities like Fahrenerleben, you learn multiple defensive driving techniques that can improve your outcomes in case of an accident. Learn about the driving courses at Fahren Erleben Bodensee here.

2.    You avoid costly traffic fines
Traffic fines may seem trivial, but when they pile up, they can set you back thousands of your hard earned money annually. When you attend a driving safety course, you learn how to adhere to the driving rules. You are unlikely to engage in behaviours that lead you to break traffic laws. Anything that saves you money is good, since you can always spend it in other areas of your life. Besides, you save money while staying safe on the road.

Friday, 19 April 2019

A Step-by-Step Guide to Number Plates

So, you’ve finally decided to make the next step and buy that personalized license plate you’ve always dreamed of. That’s great, but do you know where to start? Purchasing a private plate can be somewhat tricky, especially if you’re not familiar with the procedure. Don’t worry, that’s what we’re here to help you with today.

1. Buying a private plate

Now as far as purchasing the plate goes, there are two basic ways you can acquire one. The first is from bidding at DVLA auctions directly. These are auctions which are held across the country about 5 times each year. Here’s a list of auction dates. You can bid in person, by phone, in writing, or our personal favorite, online. Once you’ve paid for the plate you’ll receive a V750 certificate to prove that you have the right to place the plate on a vehicle.

The second option is buying from a private dealer or an individual. Most dealerships will transfer the number to your vehicle for you, but you can ask the dealer if you want to keep or even assign the number yourself. In such a scenario, you’ll ask the dealer for the V750 or the V778 directly.

2. Assign your private number to a vehicle

In order to assign a personalised dvla number plate to a vehicle, you need a V778 certification document or a V750. Alternatively you can even do it with an online reference number, but this is a little more complicated.

There are certain eligibility criteria when it comes to assigning your own private number. For instance, you can’t assign a number starting with ‘Q’ or ‘NIQ’, you can’t put a private number on a ‘Q’ registered car, and you can’t use a private number which makes the car or SUV appear newer than it actually is. The vehicle has to be registered at the DVLA and it has to be able to move under its own power. It needs to be taxed and it has to be available for inspection.

3. Keep your private number

If your private number isn’t being used on a vehicle you have to renew it every 10 years. Renewing your V750/V778 certifications is free and you’ll even get a reminder letter or email if you’re not using a private number/forget to renew it.

4. Get a new license plate made

There are certain regulations governing how dvla number plates can look. The DVLA states that a plate has to be made from a reflective material, it has to display black characters on a white background (front plate), and black characters on a yellow background for the rear plate. It MUST NOT have a background pattern, but the characters on the plate itself can be 3D. Letter spacing, style and sizes are all governed too, so be careful.