Tuesday, 15 October 2019

New Motorsport Week article: Formula 1’s only ‘cancelled’ race – the 1985 Belgian Grand Prix

PSParrot [CC BY 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/
It looked fleetingly last weekend like the Japanese Grand Prix could be called off, with the impact of Typhoon Hagibis.

But the race went on. As in Formula 1 it always does in the end. Literally, as it may surprise to learn that never once in F1 history has a race been scratched after the meeting has got underway.

Well, apart from one time. Sort of. Then the race did happen, but some three months after the Friday running.

This was the Belgian Grand Prix in 1985. In my latest for Motorsport Week I tell the story:  https://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/24833

Thursday, 10 October 2019

The rise of Mercedes in F1 from 1994-2019, by Hospitality Finder

If you want an immediate and visual sense of Formula 1 success over the last quarter century, then you won't find much better than this. Here's an impressive interactive graphic highlighting the ebb and flow, and particularly the rise of Mercedes in F1 from 1994-2019, with stats analysed and compiled by Hospitality Finder.

It starts with Benetton on top in its mid-1990s Michael Schumacher heyday; then Williams, McLaren and, especially, Ferrari striding forth. That's before Red Bull and then of course Mercedes start to step in. You'll also see the isolated victories of other teams sneaking in at the bottom...

The original interactive graphic can be found here.

Wednesday, 9 October 2019

1994 Japanese Grand Prix review for Motor Sport Magazine

Martin Lee from London, UK [CC BY-SA 2.0
The latest of my historic F1 articles for Motor Sport Magazine is here. And it's from the rich retro treasure trove that is the Japanese Grand Prix - the latest of which is this weekend.

And the one I've gone for is a classic tale of proving your doubters wrong. Damon Hill entered the 1994 Japanese Grand Prix viewed roundly as an impostor in that season's championship fight up against the imperious Michael Schumacher.

But in the most trying circumstances Hill showed he was much more than that.

I tell the tale via this link: https://www.motorsportmagazine.com/opinion/f1/i-was-driving-different-level-damon-hill-s-1994-japanese-grand-prix

Schumacher's Ferrari Controversies, by Ibrar Malik

In 1996 Michael Schumacher moved to Ferrari and by 1997 key former Benetton personnel like Ross Brawn, Rory Byrne (the B194 designer) and Tad Czapski (the engine electronics guru) joined him. Ferrari then went from being an occasional race winner to serial championship contenders over a sustained period. Questions have since been asked, why did Schumacher and his former Benetton colleagues stick together? Was it because they had sidestepped the rules in 1994 and did it subsequently at Ferrari? Dark rumours began to circulate that they somehow knew how to create an undetectable traction control implying they also may have achieved this in 1994.

When Schumacher initially arrived at Ferrari in 1996 he did work with its existing technical team. His sublime performances within a poor F310 car suggested the German's skill didn't solely rely on his former Benetton colleagues. This is confirmed by his then Ferrari teammate Eddie Irvine, "We were really in the shit in 1996. I remember when the car came out I said, 'That looks worryingly different from everyone else's car.' It turned out everyone else was right and we were wrong."

Schumacher won three races in this car which impressed teammate Eddie Irvine who later admitted, "That was the year that Michael really earned his money." 

Friday, 4 October 2019

Inside Line F1 Podcast - Vettel or Leclerc: Who Would You Pick For Ferrari?

Charles Leclerc or Sebastian Vettel, who should Ferrari pick as its 'number 1' driver? We discuss our choices in this week's episode of the Inside Line F1 Podcast, what would be yours? Tell us!

Also in this episode, we wonder if Ferrari would benefit politically and financially by not renewing Vettel's contract at the end of 2020. Should that happen, would Vettel be Red Bull Racing bound - after all, Max Verstappen could choose McLaren-Mercedes if Red Bull-Honda doesn't deliver to its promises. Lots of speculations, but also, a lot of possibilities.

Finally, Formula 1 is coordinating (or scheming?) to ensure positive communication around the attempted qualifying races in 2020. We can't fathom why they are hell bent on taking our joys away from the watching a Formula 1 car being driven on the limit! And of course, there's the What Wolff Said This Week section for your listening pleasure. Tune in!

(Season 2019, Episode 37)
Subscribe to the Inside Line F1 Podcast on iTunes, audioBoom (RSS feed), Spotify and Google Podcasts for your weekly dose of Formula 1 humour

Other points discussed:
1. Alexander Albon on pole position for a Red Bull Racing drive in 2020 - do you care? Because Max Verstappen doesn't
2. Is Jacques Villeneuve really in a place to talk about 'karma'?
3. Daniil Kvyat loses out for being a good boy with the FIA
4. Why 2019 form factor could matter in 2020
5. Silly of McLaren not to even bother trying to get Ferrari power for its cars 

Thursday, 26 September 2019

New Motorsport Week article: Why Kimi Raikkonen is proof F1 should give experience a chance

Photo: Octane Photography
We often lament that youth doesn't get a chance in F1. But is it in fact more so that those from the opposite end of the driver age range don't get their due look in?

The F1 driver on average is younger than ever. And we have the case of Kimi Raikkonen, who is an extreme outlier, about to become an aged-40-something active F1 pilot. He's still vastly out-scoring his young Alfa Romeo team-mate.

Do Raikkonen's strong showings this year suggest that, on the contrary to the common discourse, F1 discards experience too soon?

In my latest for Motorsport Week I make the case. You can have a read of it here: https://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/24595

2017 Russian Grand Prix review for Motor Sport Magazine

By The Russian Presidential Press and Information Office -
http://kremlin.ru/events/president/news/54410/photos, CC
BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/
For my latest retro classic F1 race article for Motor Sport Magazine, I had the tricky task of writing about a classic Russian Grand Prix. Tricky, as the Russian race has only been on the calendar since 2014 and, more to the point, in the time since it has hardly been known for providing thrilling fare.

But in 2017 we had a pretty decent one, on a couple of levels. Valtteri Bottas was just three races on from the F1 equivalent of winning the lottery, getting the Mercedes drive. However he already was under pressure.
Yet he always excels at the Sochi track and did do again. Not only did he lead his prestigious team-mate Lewis Hamilton by some way he beat what had looked like untouchable Ferraris to take his first ever F1 win. And he did so under extreme pressure.

For Motor Sport I tell the tale. You can have a read here: https://www.motorsportmagazine.com/opinion/f1/bottas-makes-his-f1-breakthrough-2017-russian-grand-prix

What Motorcycle Parts are Checked at an MOT?

Owning a motorbike is a lot of responsibility. It is about taking care of your ride and ensuring it is legally fit to be on the road. MOT or Ministry of Transport test is an annual test for vehicle safety, roadworthiness aspects and exhaust emissions. To avoid hefty fines of up to £1,000, you need to have annual motorbike MOT evaluation done. In the UK when your motorbike is older than three years you need to get MOT done every 12 months.

An evaluation of the overall condition of the motorcycle helps determine what parts need service and which should be replaced. Also, the cost of Motorbike MOT done by a mechanic is much lower and lets you know whether your motorcycle is roadworthy or not.

If you are wondering what all motorcycle parts are checked at an MOT, here’s a list:

Suspension and Steering

Foremost importance is given to suspension and steering as both are an important part for road safety of the motorbikes. Also, it is important for the safety of others on the road. Your mechanic will go through the most crucial parts that include head bearings, damping effect, swinging arm, forks, handlebars, grips mounting and shock absorbers. All these parts must be secured to your motorcycle and working normally. Any malfunctioning part will need complete replacement.

Thursday, 19 September 2019

2010 Singapore Grand Prix review for Motor Sport Magazine

chensiyuan [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.
My latest historic F1 review for Motor Sport Magazine is here, and this time it's for the forthcoming Singapore Grand Prix.

I resist the temptation to re-tell Crashgate for the nth time, and instead look back to the 2010 race. It's a race that stands up on its own merits. And Ferrari's Fernando Alonso and Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel had a race of their own.

It wasn't one of those thrill-a-minute affairs, rather it was one of those ultra-intense ones. But no less gripping for that.

You can have a read of me telling the story here: https://www.motorsportmagazine.com/opinion/f1/alonso-and-vettel-s-game-two-players-2010-singapore-grand-prix

Friday, 13 September 2019

New Motorsport Week article: Why we shouldn’t write off Sebastian Vettel yet

How exactly could the Italian Grand Prix have gone worse for Sebastian Vettel?

Photo: Octane Photography
The fact that you have to think underlines just how regrettable it was for him.

And ever since, his time at Ferrari, perhaps even in F1, has been declared roundly as akin to the man slung over his associate's shoulder in Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Either dead, or it'll be dead very soon as it's very ill.

But, ever the contrarian, I wonder if we're being premature. There remains a possibility that Vettel can recover. Although, for a few reasons, it'll be difficult.

And in my latest for Motorsport Week I explore what might lie next for Vettel. For good and ill. You can have a read here: https://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/24403

Tuesday, 10 September 2019

Leclerc and Verstappen are the Future of F1, by Nancy Miles

Let's all be frank – Formula 1 has turned boring in the past few years. Mercedes' dominance is great news for fans of the German manufacturer, but to be honest, its superiority has made F1 stale. There's obviously need for changes in order to make the championship more competitive. Sure, Michael Schumacher was dominant in the past with Ferrari, but now with five consecutive title doubles Mercedes is surpassing even that run. On the positive side of things, at least we've been blessed with the brightest young stars the championship has seen in over a decade – Max Verstappen and Charles Leclerc.

Photo: Octane Photography
Verstappen, a Red Bull driver who won the Austrian and German Grands Prix recently, has been brimming with potential for a few years. Racing is in the 21-year-old Dutch driver's veins – he's the son of former F1 pilot Jos Verstappen. The youngest driver to compete in F1, Max Verstappen has been growing with each race and season. He's also the youngest race winner after claiming the 2016 Spanish Grand Prix when he was only 18.

With a pair of Austrian Grand Prix wins and a total of seven firsts in F1, Verstappen's odds at bookies have been constantly on the rise. Sure, his odds don't make him a major favourite for the title, but he's among the top four or five drivers. Verstappen may be lagging behind Lewis Hamilton, but is a much better option from a punter's point of view. Hamilton's odds are not very exciting @ 1/100, but Verstappen's (33/1), Sebastian Vettel's (150/1), and Leclerc's (175/1) look much better.

Thursday, 5 September 2019

Autosport retro article on the Arrows A2

In this week's Autosport magazine you'll find a four-page in-depth retro feature by me in the Engineering supplement, exploring the extraordinary Arrows A2 from 1979.

MPW57 [CC BY 3.0 (https://creativecommons.
The A2 wasn't big on results - but it was very big on ambition as well as in striking looks.

I speak to those who were there at the time - including designer Tony Southgate, team boss Jackie Oliver and driver Jochen Mass - to explore why the car didn't begin to make good on its lofty aim of taking Arrows to the front of Formula 1 in a single bound.

And with it I look at a not-entirely fanciful sliding doors moment the A2 created with Williams, which at the same point of history was launching into its dramatic rise.

1971 Italian Grand Prix review for Motor Sport Magazine

By Unknown - http://60years.autosport.com/?year=1971,
Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org
My latest classic Formula 1 race retro review for Motor Sport Magazine is here. This time it's for this weekend's race, the Italian Grand Prix.

Of course, there is no shortage of Italian Grands Prix in history to pick from, and - in a unique level of ubiquity - all but one are at Monza. But one even so stands out. The 1971 race.

Many cite it as the finest Formula 1 grand prix of all. For a long time it was the fastest. In more than one sense it was the closest too.

It even managed to be remarkable in other ways.

You can have a read of my take on the extraordinary race via this link: https://www.motorsportmagazine.com/opinion/f1/best-formula-1-race-ever-1971-italian-grand-prix

Tuesday, 3 September 2019

New Motorsport Week article: When Jordan and Heinz-Harald Frentzen partied like it’s 1999

By Paul Lannuier from Sussex, NJ, USA -
Heinz-Harald Frentzen (Jordan Mugen-Honda), CC BY-SA 2.0,
Almost exactly 20 years ago something extraordinary, ever so briefly, looked a genuine possibility. A Formula 1 world championship for Jordan and Heinz-Harald Frentzen.

This from a proper independent squad with a customer engine - and one routinely dismissed as a 'party team'. And from a driver who'd arrived washed up and derided.

Of course, for the title to be on it needed extraordinary circumstances as well as an extraordinary effort. The 1999 campaign provided both.

And with but a few cards falling another way they would indeed have scaled F1's ultimate peak.

For Motorsport Week I tell the tale. You can have a read here: https://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/24229

Sunday, 1 September 2019

Scrap Don’t Sell Your Car

Is it time to get rid of your car? If your vehicle is on the brink of destruction then chances are you
will have a difficult time selling it. This is when you should consider scrapping your vehicle instead. There are so many cars on the road, it isn’t difficult to pick something up second-hand cheap. Therefore, if your vehicle is looking shabby and doesn’t run so well, you’re going to have a hard time selling it when there are so many other options available. If your car has reached the end of its lifetime, it could be time to send it to the scrap yard, and we’ve got some reasons why you should consider it…

You can make cash from scrapping your car 

It is not a very well-known fact that you can actually make some cash when it comes to scrapping your vehicle. When you sell your vehicle to a scrap yard, they are buying the item in order to recycle and re-use the different parts, as well as the metal. As long as the company are legitimate, all scrap yards should pay you for scrapping the vehicle and you shouldn’t have to pay a penny. The scrap yard will give you a valuation, collect the car for free and scrap it. To find your local scrap yard visit Car.co.uk

Although sometimes this may not be as much money as you hoped to get from buying it, it is after all guaranteed money. There is always a chance that it will take a while to sell your car, or you may not sell it at all. When it becomes difficult, you may end up selling your car off for cheaper than you expected anyway. On top of this, selling your car can be a lot of hassle and is no way near as simple as scrapping it. 

Splitting the car into parts 

Now you know that you can make money from scrapping your vehicle, but you could take this one step further and sell the parts separately. Say a scrap yard value your vehicle at £400, well it might be if you sold your tyres on their own they might fetch you £200. Then you sell your engine for a few hundred, the inner material makes you some money and there are several other parts that can make you cash on their own. By this point you can potentially double your earnings. 

All it takes is time and patience. It might take longer to sell specific parts before scrapping the vehicle, but it may certainly be worth it. If you don’t know the ins and outs of vehicles, it might be worth consulting someone that does so you know what you can remove yourself and which parts need an expert involved. You could even end up earning more than you would if you sold the vehicle to a buyer. 

People always need parts 

Just because you no longer need the parts to the car, it doesn’t mean that nobody else wants them. Think of how many times you’ve had a specific part of your vehicle break down and you’ve needed to have it replaced. Mechanics are always looking for good working parts that they can fit to other vehicles to repair them. Or you may even find a private seller that needs parts to fix their own car. There are a variety of possibilities that come with scrapping your car instead of selling it. 

Friday, 30 August 2019

2002 Belgian Grand Prix review for Motor Sport Magazine

Whatever you think of Formula 1 at any given moment, you can almost certainly count yourself fortunate that it's not 2002.

By I, SilverArrows, CC BY 2.5, https://commons.
That was a soporific season; made so by crushing Ferrari domination combined often with rigorous Ferrari stage management.

Michael Schumacher's 10th win of the year, finishing just ahead of team-mate Rubens Barrichello in the Belgian Grand Prix at Spa, therefore may not strike as having much to sell it. But it pays to look deeper. It was in fact a stunning display of Schumacher's driving genius.

In my latest classic Formula 1 race retro review for Motor Sport Magazine, to coincide with the latest Belgian Grand Prix at Spa I look back at the 2002 equivalent, which had much more than meets the eye...

You can have a read of my take here: https://www.motorsportmagazine.com/opinion/f1/michaels-masterclass-schumachers-domination-2002-belgian-grand-prix

Thursday, 29 August 2019

4 new ways to watch F1 for the Belgium GP with F1 TV Pro

As any avid F1 fan knows, watching what's happening on the track is just the tip of the iceberg.

There's all that chatter on the radio. Then there's the telemetry data – and that subtle on-the-track edging between two cars to mark territory – or threaten the overtake. All the good stuff you can't see on a wide camera shot.

Until now.

What if, instead of just watching F1, you could experience it? Think about it: what if you got a live feed of the behind-the-scenes action? If you could tune into the heated team chatter once only for the Pit Wall.

In case you want to know more, we've got the download: 4 reasons should stop just watching F1 and start experiencing it with F1 TV Pro.

1. Watch live any two drivers head-to-head with Battle Mode

F1 has a lot of famous rivalries. Mika Häkkinen vs Michael Schumacher; Ayrton Senna vs Alain Prost.

With live Battle Mode, you can watch the race from the point of view of two drivers of your choice, so you can see every hair-raising second.

2. Get a direct audio feed of what's happening on the track and in the Pit Lane

Want to know what they're shouting on the radio? Want to hear the conversations that inform the decisions the drivers will make?

So don't just watch the race – hear what the race engineers are hearing. Or listen to Max or Leclerc colourfully complaining about each other. Or even Vettel complaining about penalties.

(There's never a dull moment.)

3. See more action and hear more commentary on the Pit Lane Channel

With the Pit Lane Channel, you can home in on more action – at home, sure, but also anywhere you've a connected device, such as a smartphone or tablet. So you never miss a moment no matter where you are.

The Pit Lane Channel provides essentially the same view as a Team Manager. In addition to the standard broadcast feed, you'll see live feeds from two additional onboard cams optimised to capture the hottest actions. Plus, Pit Lane Channel broadcasts dedicated professional commentary, so you can get schooled in F1 strategy from the world's experts while you watch. 

4. Get the telemetry straight from the Pit Lane

As you know, each F1 car is equipped with thousands of tiny data-gathering sensors that feed information to the pit. Everything from the drivers' heart rate to tyre temperatures is considered and discussed.

Now you can pull back the curtain and see exactly what the pros in the Pitwall see.

To learn more click here

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: https://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/24085

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 - https://www.flickr.com/photos/
CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/
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: https://www.motorsportmagazine.com/history/f1/nigel-mansells-best-drives

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: https://www.motorsportmagazine.com/history/f1/fernando-alonsos-greatest-drive-2012-european-grand-prix

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: https://www.motorsportmagazine.com/history/f1/senna-realised-i-was-only-driver-he-couldnt-intimidate-mansells-majestic-1989-hungarian

New Motorsport Week article: Formula 1's Hungarian Rhapsody

By Derzsi Elekes Andor (talk · contribs) - Own work, CC
BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/
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: https://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/23914

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: https://www.motorsportmagazine.com/history/f1/tony-brooks-greatest-victory-forgotten-genius-win-1958-german-grand-prix

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: https://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/23644

Friday, 12 July 2019

1965 British Grand Prix review for Motor Sport Magazine

By Eric Koch / Anefo - http://proxy.handle.net/10648/
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: https://www.motorsportmagazine.com/history/f1/jim-clarks-feat-unparalleled-brilliance-1965-british-grand-prix

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: https://www.motorsportmagazine.com/history/f1/glory-guts-and-rain-magic-moments-british-grand-prix

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: https://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/23511

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: https://www.motorsportmagazine.com/history/f1/never-underestimate-niki-lauda-1984-austrian-f1-grand-prix

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 - http://proxy.handle.net/10648/
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: https://www.motorsportmagazine.com/history/f1/1973-french-f1-grand-prix-peterson-breaks-his-duck

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 - https://www.flickr.com/photos/kartingnord/
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: https://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/23221

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: https://www.motorsportmagazine.com/history/f1/its-over-alesis-drought-ends-1995-canadian-f1-grand-prix

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