Wednesday, 20 February 2019

Inside Line F1 Podcast - Rich Energy + Red Bull = Monster?

In the 'battle of the energy drinks' in Formula 1, everyone is talking about Rich Energy vs. Red Bull Racing. But what about Monster? Wouldn't growing horns and wings make one a Monster? Yes, there's this and more in our episode of the Inside Line F1 Podcast.

Photo: Octane Photography
We talk about the livery reveals till date - can we also stop calling them 'car launches' please? Will Honda offer the midfield teams a rare chance to fight for the top 3 in 2019? In which case, would you bet on Red Bull Racing fighting to be the 'best of the rest' or the winner of the Formula 1.5? Could that give us an odd Magnussen vs Verstappen fight? Finally, we tell you why Nico Rosberg doesn't miss Formula 1. Tune in!

(Season 2019, Episode 4)
Subscribe to the Inside Line F1 Podcast on iTunes, audioBoom (RSS feed) and Google Podcasts for your weekly dose of Formula 1 humour

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

0:00-3:00: 'Livery and sponsor' reveals, not car launches by the Formula 1 teams, that's the truth. So why call it a 'car launch' in the first place?

3:00-6:00: The battle of the energy drinks in the world of Formula 1. Will we have a Magnussen vs. Verstappen? Doesn't the Rich Energy logo look like the halo on the Formula 1 car?

6:00-9:00: Are the midfield Formula 1 teams not ambitious enough? Will Honda give the other teams a rare chance to fight for 3rd place? Haas-Williams-Racing Point already embarrassing McLaren on the title sponsor front?

9:00-12:00: Will the 2020 Formula 1 Season see the return of two champions? And of course, this week's 'What Wolff Said This Week' section. Will Ocon return to Formula 1 in 2020 as a 'heavier' driver?

12:00-15:00: Oh the irony - Marcus Ericsson talks of consistency being the key to success in Indy Car. Renault could blame their steering wheel for car failures in 2019.

15:00-18:00: Red Bull Racing introduced a Spidey Mobile, while Ferrari hired Red Bull and Mercedes discards to boost their Formula 1 simulator program. Brendon Hartley to Formula E with Porsche?

18:00-end: Here's why Nico Rosberg can't be missing Formula 1 too much...

Tuesday, 19 February 2019

F1 2019 Betting Preview - Time to strike?

With Formula 1 pre-season testing, annually the tropes are aired. Don't read much at all into the lap times; it won't be until qualifying in the opening round that we really know what's going on.

The story remains the same as it has for a while -
how is Mercedes to be toppled?
Photo: Octane Photography
But it's true also what they say also about risk and reward. With the risks of making calls at a time such as now when testing is going on, there also are opportunities for the F1 gambler to make hay.

I've heard stories about windfalls from 2009's pre-season, which indicated the new Brawn team would have the year to itself and betting odds hadn't yet caught up with the point. Same goes for McLaren creaming the season in 1988. In other words if there's serious money to be made in F1 betting, now is the time to lay your stake.

Sadly it often feels that grand shifts between seasons such as the two I've cited are something left firmly in F1's past. Particularly with Mercedes having won every world championship since the hybrid formula started in 2014, plus with the 'big three' teams of Merc, Ferrari and Red Bull notoriously on a different pace and resource planet to the rest.

Sunday, 17 February 2019

How the Schumacher vs Hill Feud Developed, by Ibrar Malik

"I do not have as much respect for him as I do others. I would not have been in this position if Ayrton had been alive. He would have driven circles around me. That doesn't say much for Hill." (Michael Schumacher, Benetton Driver in 1994)

That scathing attack on his championship rival was just one of a number of comments made by Schumacher during the build-up to the 1994 European Grand Prix. His comments were more than a contrived attempted at psychological warfare to undermining title rival Damon Hill. Schumacher was lashing out after all the pain he'd endured during that summer. He was outraged to be only a point ahead of someone who hadn't beaten him in a straight fight all year. To him, the FIA was manipulating the championship and he was a mere pawn sacrificed in a bigger political game. Whether there was any truth in this is explored extensively in the book. Nevertheless, despite Schumacher being absolved of blame for the launch control and fuel filter allegations, the German's image would forever be tarnished.

Despite the brilliant driving Schumacher had shown throughout 1994 few gave him credit for it, because of the Benetton rumours.

Friday, 15 February 2019

New Motorsport Week article: When a painted cow saved F1 - the South African Grand Prix that wasn’t

Pereira, Fernando / Anefo / neg. stroken, 1945-1989, 2.24.01.
05, item number 930-9907 [CC BY-SA 3.0 nl (https://
3.0/nl/deed.en)], via Wikimedia Commons
Whatever you think about Formula 1 politics at any given moment in time, you can at least count yourself lucky that they are not the politics of the 'FISA-FOCA war'. And as everyone headed off for the winter at the end of the 1980 season the war was at its most entrenched. Then even sober assessments had F1 - had least F1 as we knew it - as not long for this earth.

As the months passed and 1980 gave way to '81 about the only progress was of even more digging in. That was until a painted cow - no, really - broke the logjam. And gave us eventually the F1 that we would still fully recognise today.

In my latest for Motorsport Week I tell this rather strange tale. You can check it out here:

Thursday, 7 February 2019

Inside Line F1 Podcast - Play Party (Mode) Pooper For 2019

Photo: Octane Photography
So much for Red Bull Racing chasing the infamous 'party mode' in Formula 1. The FIA have introduced rules in 2019 that could see the end of the (legal) tricks used to engage the power boost during qualifying. Level the playing field, we hope. This means that in 2019, Red Bull Racing will miss the 'party mode' and their party boy, Daniel Ricciardo.

In this week's episode of the Inside Line F1 Podcast, we dissect Racing Point's alternate theory to Darwin's - the 'survival of the slowest'. It seems best to interview Helmut Marko in the winter period, we tell you why. Sebastian Vettel should become a coffee drinker to further his title campaign in 2019 - we share what our random research brings out. And finally, is the Liberty Media-Ecclestone combination that Formula 1 needs to propel itself into the future? Oh wait, last we heard, Liberty Media were seeking liberty from Formula 1. As expected, things as spicing up as the winter period comes to an official end in the next few days...tune in!

(Season 2019, Episode 03)

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

Saturday, 2 February 2019

New Motorsport Week article: Mexican stand-off - Sergio Perez's predicament

Photo: Octane Photography
Sergio Perez. Just where does he fit? And why are we oddly unmoved by his many achievements, in frequent podium finishes and outscoring highly-touted team-mates year after year?

The man himself has noticed it too. "It's like people just get used to me," he noted recently. Therefore in my latest for Motorsport Week I try to de-code this particular enigma and look at why Perez might be viewed as he is, and whether or not it's fair.

You can have a read of my thinking via this link: