Thursday 22 October 2020

3 Electric Cars And Their Benefits

The invention of electric cars is still a relatively new concept that has sparked the automotive industries. This has led to different manufacturers worldwide embarking on the race to develop the best electric car. All this is in a bid to try and satisfy the ever-growing market. The reason behind the increased demand for these vehicles is that electric cars have environmental benefits too

If you’re looking to know the different types of electric cars and their benefits, don’t move a muscle. Here’s a detailed guide on three types of electric cars on the market and their benefits. With this in mind, you’ll better understand the reason behind the popularity of these cars. 

Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs) 

Image by Marilyn Murphy from Pixabay
These cars are also referred to as all-electric vehicles or pure electric vehicles. The reason for this is that they don’t incorporate an alternative power source. This means they don’t have an internal combustion engine and instead get powered entirely by the rechargeable battery with a full-electric drivetrain. Its unique design doesn’t feature many moving parts, meaning it has fewer moving parts than other kinds of electric cars. 

As a result, these cars need less maintenance. Furthermore, its simplicity makes it an endearing choice to many people who love a contemporary yet simple look. 

With this car, tune-ups or oil changes will be a thing of the past. Instead, you can save money in maintaining the vehicle, which translates to a considerable sum of money throughout the car’s lifespan. Moreover, the batteries of BEVs are bigger than those found on PHEVs or HEVs. Therefore, you’ll be able to travel for longer distances when driving this vehicle. All this is without producing any carbon emissions, making it a more environmentally-friendly choice. 

Hybrid Electric Vehicles 

These are cars that are powered by both electricity and petrol. The battery is recharged by the electric energy produced by the vehicle’s braking system. This process is referred to as regenerative braking. 

At the start of your journey, HEVs use an electric motor and start using a petrol engine once the speed or load increases. All the controls are handled by an internal computer that guarantees the best economy is achieved for different driving conditions. 

The advantage of hybrid electric vehicles is its lower cost of ownership than conventional vehicles. These vehicles also have an improved fuel economy, making it an excellent choice when looking to save some money in running your car. 

Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEVs) 

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay
This type of vehicle is powered by both electricity and petrol. They’re also referred to as Extended-range Electric Vehicles (EREVs). The charging of these cars gets done both through plugging it to an exterior electrical charging outlet and regenerative braking. With these cars, you can travel longer distances since the petrol engine prolongs its range whenever the charge becomes low. 

This thus makes this electric car a great choice if you often travel for longer distances. With this car, you also get to enjoy better flexibility. This is because it can quickly be filled up with gasoline if charging stations are unavailable at the time. You also enjoy flexibility with PHEVs as you can opt to drive fully on electricity when not driving beyond the car’s electric range. At the same time, they still feature a combustion engine should you need it.

Saturday 17 October 2020

5 Steps to Buying a Used Car for Beginners

Buying a car can be a nightmare, especially if you are a beginner. It takes time and requires too much diligence. If credibility is of importance to you, you cannot wake up one day and get a car from anywhere. Acknowledge that it is a process. Do you want to buy a used car for the first time? Follow the steps below:

1)    Create A Target List

Buying a vehicle, whether used or new, needs diligence while creating a budget. Since there are many choices out there, you need to state your cost expectations and stick to it. Since you are a beginner, you may have no idea how to estimate your budget. Reach out for a reliable app that shows you features of various used cars. From there, you may have a clue on the characteristics you wish to have and do a complete MOT history check for the car. It is from here that you can research the prices in the market. If you create a budget blindly, you may end up buying a substandard car or one that you do not like.

2)    Identify The Used Cars

In the previous stage, you probably spotted a list of cars that favoured your interest and price. In this step, you make a conclusive decision on the specific vehicle you want to buy. Among the list, analyse the features versus the value. Pick one that most favours all your requirements.

3)    Contact The Seller

After you have spotted the car of your interest, contact the car dealer or the owner. Let them know of your interest. However, be careful. If you are dealing with a car dealer, certify they are legit. Check their history and review. If you cannot trace any past information about them, look for other dealers. Additionally, do not accept to pay any amount of money before you see the car.

4)    Evaluate The Quality

Now that you have identified the car and contacted the owner, it is time to check out the small details. From the list of the qualities that you want, check each of them, and certify that the car satisfies them. While at it, do not forget to do the following:

  • Certify it is a certified used car
  • Consider taking the car out for a test drive
  • Get a mechanic to evaluate the car
  • Obtain the title history

5)    Negotiate And Finalise The Purchase

Look at this scenario. Car model A costs $100,000 but has more features than B, which costs $90,000. Your budget is $90,000. You can negotiate with the seller and buy model 'A' at the price of 'B.' Therefore, negotiation is an important step. It may land you a better model. After negotiating, complete the purchase, a process where most buyers go wrong. Aside from paying the money, ensure you do the following:

  • If there is a limited warranty, get it in writing.
  • Read, and understand, the contract terms and other documents, then sign it
  • Transfer the car's ownership and register it

Thursday 17 September 2020

The Benefits And Risks Of Downsized Wheels

Automotive forums are full of good questions, but one of the most common is, “Is it possible to downsize wheels?” Or, “How does it work?” In this guide, we’ll address these issues, as well as the pros and cons of wheel downsizing.

The Right Way To Do It

When downsizing aftermarket wheels and car tyres, it’s best to consult with a mechanic or one of our fitment experts. Smaller wheels directly affect your vehicle’s braking and other systems in unexpected ways. Along with certain other risks, this is a good reason to seek professional advice.

The Benefits

If you’ve ever asked about wheel downsizing, you’ll find answers here. Read on to learn about the advantages of smaller wheels.

  • Lower fuel economy. When a vehicle weighs more, its engine may struggle to keep things going. However, lighter vehicles aren’t under such a load. The less strain your engine is under, the less fuel it uses.

  • Less wear and tear. Bigger tyres wear more quickly. They’re heavier, so it takes more effort to steer. That, along with lower sidewalls and wheel scraping, means that a smaller wheel and tyre package may be better.

  • Speedier acceleration. With a low-diameter wheel and tyre, the drivetrain’s gear ratio is reduced, and the engine has more room in which to create torque.

With smaller tyres, your vehicle will be closer to the ground. This means there’s less drag and faster acceleration.


Now that you’ve gotten answers to some common downsizing questions, you may wonder about the risks. There are a few, and we’ll discuss them below.

Diminished grip. Bigger 4X4 tyres have more contact with the road. This creates additional traction, which improves handling. These benefits aren’t available with smaller wheels and tyres.

Less cornering power. Because of the extra traction, bigger wheels bring better cornering. It’s not just safer; it’s more comfortable. With smaller wheels, that’s just not possible.

Another factor to consider is braking. When there’s less rubber gripping the surface of the road, it takes longer to bring the vehicle to a stop.

Is Downsizing A Good Idea?

In the end, there are a few benefits to downsized wheel and tyre packages. There are a few risks as well, and we hope we’ve covered them all in the sections above. With our guides and advice from the experts, you can downsize safely and effectively.

Tuesday 11 August 2020

Why investing in a car safety check is beneficial

Are you planning to buy a used vehicle? What are some of the things you need to know about the vehicle before you make the purchase? How can you check the history and the performance of the vehicle you want to buy? These are things one needs to be concerned about when they are buying a used vehicle. Some companies can help you check the history of vehicles before you buy them. Such companies have even developed apps that one can use for this purpose. When one searches for the car history, they can get information such as the road tax details, MOT failures, and reasons for the same, as well as vehicle make, and model. The Car Check can also bring information such as MOT due date, road tax costs, Tax expiry date, carbon dioxide emissions, recorded mileage, and such other details that are good for your information purposes.

Photo by Christian Sutter from FreeImages
All the above details are good for your car safety. You see, unless you have the full history of a vehicle, you could be putting yourself into unnecessary problems. In this article, we shall discuss some of the advantages of investing in a car safety check.

Here are reasons to invest in car safety check:

Previous Vehicle Crash

Sometimes it is not easy to tell if a vehicle has had a previous crash by just looking at it. As such, car safety checks can give you this information. Car analytics can offer you this information and even inform you if the safety airbags were deployed during the crash. Sometimes even the seller of the vehicle may never know this information if they bought the car from another vendor. When you have information about car crashes and other mishaps and where they happened, it is easy for you to have the seller decrease the cost of the car. This is also good for your safety when you finally acquire the vehicle.

As-Is Agreements

When you buy a used vehicle, you agree with the seller on an as-is-agreement arrangement and this means that in case of a service warranty or other issues with the vehicle, you will not get any refund from the seller. Therefore, a car safety check is a good way to know the history of the vehicle and make the purchase on a point of knowledge. If the vehicle has issues that make you reluctant to buy it, then you can as well avoid it. You will not have to suffer the consequences of buying a vehicle without prior knowledge about it.

Odometer Rollback

It is possible to learn from vehicle history reports if the odometer has been rolled back to reflect the seller’s desired mileage. The odometer can easily be rolled back using today’s computer technology. However, with a history report, it is possible to tell the true mileage of a vehicle using gas mileage reports. Odometer rollback is a fraudulent activity that commonly happens and therefore one has to be very careful when buying a used vehicle. A vehicle inspection based on the car model and registration can give you all the information you require before you decide to buy the used vehicle.

Wednesday 1 July 2020

Austrian Grand Prix Betting Preview: F1 is Back in July

By Takayuki Suzuki -
78475089@N02/49028922522/, CC BY-SA 2.0,
As most F1 fans are well aware, the 2020 season will finally get underway with the Austrian Grand Prix taking place from July 3 to 5. The action will take place at the Red Bull Ring, Spielberg, and both fans and teams will be raring to get started after months of waiting around.

There will, of course, be two grand prix races at Spielberg this season, with another race – the Styrian Grand Prix – scheduled to take place a week later. You can get more details on the plans for the new F1 season, but, for this betting preview, we are going to concentrate on the first race of the season. Let’s dive in:

Race Winner
It won’t surprise you to learn that Lewis Hamilton is the race favourite, with a price of 9/5 (all odds here sourced from MansionBet UK) to get off to a winning start in Spielberg. That’s quite a big price when you consider Hamilton is odds-on to win the drivers’ championship. However, it’s probably reflective of the fact that Hamilton tends to start the season slowly by his standards. In fact, you will have to go back to 2015 to find a time when Hamilton won a season opener. Will that apply in Spielberg?

Bookmakers really believe that Max Verstappen can get close to Hamilton this season, and at 2/1 he is almost neck and neck with the Brit in this race. The Red Bull Ring is seen as home turf for Verstappen and his Red Bull team, and he did win the race back in 2018 and 2019. Elsewhere, Charles Leclerc is priced at 4/1, Sebastian Vettel at 11/2 and Valtteri Bottas at 6/1.

Podium Position 
You can get the likes of Hamilton and Verstappen at short prices to finish in the podium positions in this race, but an interesting candidate for punters is Red Bull’s Alexander Albon. Verstappen’s team-mate has never finished in the top three before during his short career, but he has the goods to start delivering on his promise. He is cited at 3/1 for a podium finish, and it looks like an interesting bet to make, especially if you consider Red Bull’s insider knowledge of the circuit. He is a much larger 28/1 if you fancy the upset of an outright win.

Fastest Qualifier 
Similar to the race winner odds, the markets for pole position have Hamilton at 7/4 and Verstappen at 9/5. Intriguingly, Bottas is the next in line at 7/2. That tells you that bookmakers have faith in the Mercedes car to deliver fast laps, but that they still believe the jury is out on the Finn having the nous to consistently deliver race wins like his team-mate.

Winning Team 
Mercedes is the firm favourite for delivering a win on the day, with bookies factoring in the chances of either Hamilton or Bottas taking the chequered flag at the end of the race. It’s hard to look beyond the price offered of 11/10 for Mercedes. However, if you do believe Albon has a chance this season, then the 9/5 offered for Red Bull is only marginally smaller than the price for a Verstappen win. That might be the value bet.
Artes Max from Spain / CC BY-SA
Overall Thoughts 
Whether we like it or not, this is not going to business as usual for F1. Starting the season in the middle of summer is not ideal for any team so you can expect some surprises. As such, it might be the opportune moment to take a risk on your betting strategy, perhaps by overlooking the usual candidates. Whatever happens, it will be fantastic to see those cars line up on the grid once more.

All odds were correct at the time of writing.

Wednesday 22 April 2020

Ayrton Senna's Lotus years, by Ibrar Malik

As we mark the upcoming 26th anniversary of Ayrton Senna's passing, most will undoubtedly dwell upon the more celebrated cornerstones of his extraordinary career. His obliteration of the opposition during qualifying at Monaco '88, or the race at Donington Park '93. His compelling personality which shone through during interviews. Or what might have been with Williams had he not tragically met his untimely death at the '94 San Marino Grand Prix. This blog aims to be slightly different, by briefly looking at Senna's formative years at Lotus.

Coming into 1985, the Norfolk-based team had not won a race since the sudden death of its charismatic founder, Colin Chapman, in December 1982. Lotus had endured a turbulent '83 season. But it bounced back superbly to become a regular frontrunner again during '84, enjoying its most successful season since 1978. The newly-released book, Team Lotus: Beyond the Colin Chapman Era, details precisely how the team achieved this. But by the end of '84, it seemed a key ingredient to elevate Lotus back to the winner's circle was missing. Enter, Ayrton Senna – Lotus's new signing for 1985. 

Senna was widely touted as a future world champion following his stellar performances within the unfancied Toleman during 1984

Monday 20 April 2020

The Top 5 Favorites To Win The 2020 F1 World Championship

The 2020 F1 World Championship season is just around the corner. With the world’s top sports leagues slowly returning to action, Formula 1 recently confirmed that they will be opening their 2020 season next month, beginning with a double-header in Austria’s Red Bull Ring on July 5th.

Oddsmakers have put defending and six-time F1 world champion Lewis Hamilton as the odds on favorite to win the 2020 F1 World Championships. Aside from Hamilton, 19 other drivers are eyeing to become the next Formula One world champion.

According to this list of highly-rated F1 betting sites, the following five drivers are the favorites to win the 2020 Formula 1 Drivers Championship.

Lewis Hamilton

Leading the list of the top five favorites is Briton Hamilton. The 35-year-old has dominated the F1 scene during the current decade, winning five out of the last six F1 World Championships, including the last three. Hamilton has won 22 out of the last 40 Grand Prix races over the last two years and showed no signs of slowing down last season.

Hamilton set the record for most points earned in a season with 413 last year. He is just seven wins behind the legendary Schumacher's record of 91 career wins and one shy of the German's record seven F1 World Championships. With 11 race wins each in 2018 and 2019 plus world title in both seasons, Hamilton has both Schumacher records in sight in 2020.

During the preseason testing last February, Mercedes looked good as ever and ran many laps without major issues. With an innovative steering system, Mercedes’ cars are primed for success in 2020. With one of the greatest (if not the greatest ever) on the steering wheel, there is no question why Hamilton is the betting favorite to win a fourth consecutive F1 World Championship.

Max Verstappen

In 2015, Max Verstappen was the youngest driver to ever compete in an F1 race. Five years later, the now-22-year-old son of former F1 driver Jos Verstappen continues to improve and is coming off a 2019 season where he won a career-high three races.

The Belgian Red Bull driver finished third in the 2020 F1 World Championship, his best finish ever. Aside from three Grand Prix wins, Verstappen also had two poles, three fastest laps, and nine podium finishes in 2019. Except for two races that he didn’t finish, Verstappen placed in the Top 10 in all other races last season.

Red Bull also looked good during preseason training and they trailed only Mercedes in lap runs during the first practice session. If Red Bull’s cars can be reliable and fast, Verstappen might be able to pick up more wins in 2020 and challenge Hamilton for the F1 World Championship.

Charles Leclerc

Ferrari’s highly touted rookie had an impressive debut season in 2019 where he became the youngest driver to win the Pole Trophy (with seven poles in 2019) and the first non-Mercedes driver to do so since 2014. The 22-year-old Monegasque also finished fourth in the 2019 F1 World Championship while winning two Grand Prix races last year.

Leclerc's win at the 2019 Italian Grand Prix was the first time in a decade that Ferrari won its home turf race and Leclerc's victory came one week after his first-ever F1 race win in Belgium. Although he only had three podium finishes in the six races after his win in Italy, Leclerc is seen as the future of Ferrari and F1 racing.

With Ferrari ace Sebastian Vettel set to leave the team at the end of the year, Leclerc should be the lead driver for Ferrari in 2020. And he will need to take charge from the front despite the presence of his more bemedaled teammate. Ferrari has not won since Kimi Raikkonen triumphed in 2007, and the pressure is on Leclerc to deliver what his predecessors could not.

Valtteri Bottas

Valtteri Bottas is Lewis Hamilton’s running mate at Mercedes. The 30-year-old Finnish driver is coming off his best season ever in Formula 1 after finishing second behind Hamilton in the 2019 F1 World Championship.

Bottas had a career-high four wins last season and he also had five poles, three fastest laps, and 15 podium finishes in 2019. He finished with a personal-best 326 points and was the only driver within striking distance of Hamilton throughout the year.

Bottas and Hamilton were a dominant pair last season as Mercedes won the first eight races of the 2019 F1 World Championship and 10 out of the first 12. The duo finished 1-2 in the first five races of the season and six out of the first eight overall as Mercedes ran away with the 2019 Constructors title. With Mercedes assuring the Finn that they aren’t going after Vettel at the end of the season, Bottas should be primed for a big year in 2020.

Sebastian Vettel

Sebastian Vettel was supposed to be Lewis Hamilton’s chief rival last year, but the German driver faltered and had his worst full season ever. Vettel only won a single race in 2019, which is his lowest output since going winless in 2014. With Charles Leclerc emerging for Scuderia, Vettel is at a crossroads after announcing that he will leave the team at the end of the year.

The 32-year-old is a four-time world champion, having won the F1 World Championship in three consecutive seasons from 2010-2013 while driving for Red Bull. He had been Ferrari’s ace since coming over in 2015 but has not delivered the title that Ferrari has been longing for.

Vettel was outperformed by Leclerc last season, and his status as the team’s ace has been put in doubt. The German was in talks for a contract extension earlier this year, but the negotiations broke down and Vettel will be leaving Scuderia after the 2020 F1 World Championship season.

Monday 13 April 2020

Monza 1994 - Team Lotus's Last Hurrah, by Ibrar Malik

One of the victims from a turbulent 1994 F1 season was Team Lotus, which finally succumbed to its financial struggles during the year. Like Brabham two years earlier, a once-great name would vanish from F1. Lotus was Jim Clark, Jochen Rindt, Emerson Fittipaldi as well as Ayrton Senna's first top team in F1. The upcoming 1983-'89 Lotus book ( charts how Team Lotus went from being regular a frontrunner during the mid-1980s to a midfielder only a few years later.

After its release on May 1 2020, we then intend to write a follow-up print book covering the team's final years of 1990-'95. This follow-up book explains how Lotus then changed ownership at the end of '90 and went from merely surviving that winter to finishing an incredible fifth in the '92 constructors' championship. It seemed the former seven-time world champion team was on a clear upward trajectory having re-establishing itself as a regular point scorer. More good news came in the form of its leading driver, Johnny Herbert, re-signing within the team for another five years by the end of 1992. Unfortunately this revival under Peter Collins proved short lived because behind the scenes debts were still piling up. The team only survived two more seasons in F1 after '92.

Monday 30 March 2020

New Motor Sport Magazine article: Nelson Piquet - the underrated three-time F1 champion

By Zocchi Massimiliano - Own work, CC0,
Nelson Piquet is a three-time Formula 1 world champion. Yet you would hardly know it. Or you wouldn't if you use as your sole guide the usual debates about F1 greats, at any stretch.

So why is this? The expressed consensus view is that Piquet impressed and won his first two titles at Brabham where all was laid out for him. Then he moved to Williams alongside Nigel Mansell and was 'found out'. But, as is often the case, the consensus view doesn't tell the whole story.

In my latest for Motor Sport Magazine, and with the help of Piquet's long-time Brabham team manager Herbie Blash, I seek to unravel the mystery.

You can have a read here:

Saturday 21 March 2020

New Motor Sport Magazine article: Ayrton Senna - the forgotten great drives

By Instituto Ayrton Sennaderivative work: Karpouzi - This file
was derived from:  Senna 1992 Monaco.jpg, CC BY 2.0,
Monaco 1984. Estoril '85. Donington '93. Some of the great drives by the revered Ayrton Senna fall from the tongue, and are harked back to regularly.

But even so there are some Senna Formula 1 performances that are about as magnificent but perhaps crowded out from the retro features.

So, on what would have been the late great Brazilian's 60th birthday, for Motor Sport Magazine I have looked back at some of the somewhat more forgotten, but still sensational, Senna drives.

You can have a read about them here:

Wednesday 11 March 2020

New Motor Sport Magazine article: Alesi vs Senna: the battle for victory in Phoenix

By ALESI_Jean-24x30-1999.
jpg: Studio Harcourtderivative
 work: Materialscientist (talk)
 - ALESI_Jean-24x30-1999.jpg,
 CC BY 3.0, https://commons.
Thirty years ago today, Jean Alesi in a Tyrrell announced himself to Formula 1 with an incredible performance, including an incredible battle with Ayrton Senna's McLaren-Honda, in Phoenix for the United States Grand Prix of 1990.

In my latest for Motor Sport Magazine, I tell the tale.

You can have a read here:

Tuesday 3 March 2020

Win a copy of Formula One: The Champions, Maurice Hamilton's new book

The latest book by the noted Formula 1 writer Maurice Hamilton, Formula One: The Champions, is released today, published by White Lion.

The book is made up of individual portraits in pictures and words of every one of F1's 33 world champions going back to the championship's inception in 1950. So it's from Giuseppe Farina through to Nico Rosberg, stopping off along the way at Jim Clark, Ayrton Senna and Lewis Hamilton among many other legendary figures.

For this weighty 240-page book, just as in his 2016 title The Pursuit of Speed, Hamilton has teamed up with father-and-son Bernard and Paul-Henri Cahier of The Cahier Archive photographic collection. And it contains some never-seen-before photographs. There is a foreword by Bernie Ecclestone.

And we have a copy of this fine book to give away to Talking about F1 readers.

All you have to do is answer the very simple question below. We will pick one winner at random from the correct answers and will be in touch if you're the lucky recipient. Good luck!


You can also buy the book, as well as find out more detail on it, via this link.

You also can read my thoughts on the book here.

Monday 2 March 2020

Review of Maurice Hamilton's new book 'Formula One: The Champions'

Formula 1 world champions are indeed an exclusive bunch. Only 33 have reached the status from over 600 to compete in F1 across 70 years, not to mention the innumerable additional group who have not even made it that far. Few therefore would dispute long-serving F1 correspondent Maurice Hamilton describing F1's title as "the ultimate accolade in motorsport".

And Hamilton's latest book, Formula One: The Champions, is a fitting tribute to them. Released tomorrow on March 3 and published by White Lion, it is a stylishly-presented and sizeable 240-page hardback made up of written and photographic portrayals of every one of those 33, from Giuseppe Farina through to Nico Rosberg, stopping off at legends such as Juan Manuel Fangio and Michael Schumacher, among several others, along the way.

Hamilton for this has allied his words with the photography of Bernard Cahier and his son Paul-Henri of The Cahier Archive photographic collection, reuniting the same trio that brought us 2016's The Pursuit of Speed title.

The task of portraying all the title winners going back to 1950, who as Hamilton notes at the outset are a diverse band in an ever-changing category, is a sizeable one. Yet these authors are well-placed to take it on, with Hamilton offering 40 years on the F1 front line as well as a keen eye for its history, and The Cahier Archive stretching back to the F1's beginnings and, uniquely, remaining throughout that time in its original hands.

Monday 24 February 2020

New Motor Sport Magazine article: Prost's greatest drives in Formula 1

By StuSeeger - photo taken by StuSeeger. Source: Flickr,
CC BY 2.0,
Today Formula 1 legend and four-time drivers' champion Alain Prost reaches his 65th birthday.

His F1 career of course had no shortage of high points. And to celebrate Prost's personal  landmark today, I have for Motor Sport Magazine looked at five of what were even his finest races from his decade-plus time in F1.

You can have a read of it all here:

Wednesday 19 February 2020

Why pre-season testing is better than ever for F1 fans

"It's the most wonderful time of the year." So sang Andy Williams about Christmas. But Formula 1 fans might argue that right now pips Yuletide. Yes, pre-season testing at Barcelona has just got underway.

Photo: Octane Photography
Test one stretches until this Friday, February 21, then all reconvene one week on, from Wednesday 26 to Friday 28 February.

The excitement this time of year at the season stretched ahead is inimitable. Of course, in an accompanying annual event, testing will come with health warnings about not reading too much into things. But it doesn't stop us trying...

And there's never been a better time for F1 fans to follow it all. Not all that long ago, testing coverage would broadly amount to a few paragraphs and lap times in Autosport. Even until fairly recently the concept of televising testing was not something of this earth.

Not now. As F1 TV Pro – F1's digital platform – will be broadcasting the six days of testing live from 9am to 1pm and 2pm to 6pm (CET). Plus it's added 11 new countries to its roster, bringing the total to 70 which includes the United States.

And if you subscribe to F1 TV during this testing period – from today until February 28 – you will get 25% off. There are more details via this link.

This year we'll get even more to look at too as for the first time the tests are organised directly by F1 which means, among other things, those dreaded screens in front of team's garages are banned, unless they are repairing the car after a crash or failure.

The F1 TV coverage will include the on-track running, pitlane and garage filming, graphics and pit and trackside reporting, plus there's a range of on-demand content.

In another innovation, there will be press conferences with drivers and team representatives, footage available on demand, in every test day's lunch break. F1 TV Pro subscribers also get Sky UK and F1's daily round-up show, produced in the paddock in the hour after testing finishes.

The inimitable Will Buxton will also each day host 'Tech Talk' and on either Friday host 'Paddock Pass'. There also will be round-up 'What we learned' programmes on either Saturday, while on Friday February 28, after the final test concludes, Jolyon Palmer will give his take plus his predictions – no doubt in his usual no-holds-barred style.

Live Timing has also been beefed up and this, as well as features, clips, 'Paddock Pass' and 'What we learned', will be accessible on too.

Why the UK’s F1 fans won’t miss out on pre-season testing

For Formula 1 fans there is nothing quite like pre-season testing. At this time of year any number of possibilities stretch ahead, and testing offers our first clues for resolving the big questions.

Photo: Octane Photography
This year is no different. Will the dominant Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton be toppled? If so, will it be by Ferrari or Red Bull? At Ferrari, can Sebastian Vettel strike back against his young team-mate Charles Leclerc? Who will top the midfield? Can famous old Williams recover from its woeful 2019?

The opening test starts today and continues until Friday, and test two is exactly a week on, from Wednesday 26 to Friday 28 February.

And this year F1 fans will be able to follow in more detail than ever. The UK isn't one of the 70 countries with access to F1 TV Pro which is televising testing live, but it's far from the case that UK fans will miss out.

As for the first time they will be able to watch all six days of testing live on Sky F1, starting at 8am UK time and stretching through each day to 5pm, with an hour's lunch break. Sky F1 also has a 'Story So Far' hour-long round-up show from the paddock at 5pm each test day.

What's more, UK-based F1 fans can get F1 TV Access. Its subscribers get F1's live timing, which via the F1 app is much richer this year. Fans will not only be able to follow drivers' times in the usual three in-lap sectors, but also in detailed segments within the sectors. They also can compare drivers' performance via a new tab, as well as see real-time telemetry, tyre usage history, driver maps and hear the best of team radio.

F1 TV Access also is a treasure trove for lovers of F1 history, as you can watch footage from over 650 historic races, starting from the 1981 season, as well as exclusive documentaries.

F1 TV Access costs just £19.99 a year or £2.29 a month. And if you subscribe to F1 TV Access during testing – from today until February 28 – you will get 25% off. You can subscribe or find more details via this link.

There also is plenty available via F1's website, In addition to full live timing, there's content including, among other things, clips from testing as well as F1 TV's 'Paddock Pass' and 'What we learned' programmes providing additional insight from Barcelona.

Sunday 16 February 2020

These are the best places to watch the Monaco Grand Prix, by Rob Antonis

The Monaco Grand Prix is easily the most exciting and iconic Formula 1 event that can be attended. Its setting in the harbour and streets of Monte Carlo offers a very unique feeling, as the compactness of the race allows you to feel really close to the action. It is of course a prestigious event, and the average Formula 1 fan may not be able to afford the premium packages on offer, but any chance to attend this great race should be jumped on immediately!

Photo: Octane Photography
The excitement of a Monaco Grand Prix is always best experienced when you're there to see and feel it, and that's why every Formula 1 fan with the means to do so should attend without question. The world's rich and famous know this and, for this reason, they can often be spotted in various premium locations at this event. You won't usually see them in the stands exposed to the elements though, as there are way better places to watch the racing action like the large variety of luxury hospitality packages that enable stunning views of the race combined with the highest levels of food-and-drink service for those who can afford it. Three viewing points that offer unique angles on the action are listed below.

Saturday 15 February 2020

An Exclusive Preview of the Upcoming Team Lotus Print Book... by Ibrar Malik

Team Lotus: Struggling Beyond The Post Colin Chapman Era (print version) is almost upon us! Its expected release date is 1/5/2020 and if you would like to find out more please click here. Within that link it is explained if a certain number of people pre-order the book it will reduce its price. If you would like to pre-order the print book, then please contact me here with your name and what Lotus F1 car from between 1983 to 1989 you would like your special Team Lotus A4 print, that will come with the book, to be of. There is no deposit required at this stage, and you will then be contacted in due course with further details on how to pre-order the book.

***Please note we are only planning to print 100 copies of this book, and unless demand dictates otherwise that will be it. Thus pre-ordering is highly recommended to avoid disappointment***

Meanwhile, an abridged Audiobook or E-Book version is currently available to buy by clicking on the relevant links. More details over what is included along with a free sample is also contained within those links. It is worth noting the E-book is merely a "demo" for the print book (to use a gaming analogy) to satisfy ourselves there would be enough interest. It is also why the E-Book and Audiobooks are priced so cheaply at only £9.99. Click here to read Motorsport News's review of the E-Book which had a lot of positive things to say about the book's level of research and detail. Obviously we will work hard to ensure the other comments are used to constructively improve the print book's conclusions. The E-Book and Audiobooks (which should be available on Audible shortly) are really for people who can't afford £25.99 for the print book. Below helps you decide which book is best for you.

New Motor Sport Magazine article: When Ayrton Senna was nearly banned from F1

By Gabriele - Cropped from Image:
Ayrton Senna Imola 1989.jpg. Original at
46502612, CC BY 2.0, https://
Imagine Ayrton Senna being banned in advance from the 1990 Formula 1 season.

That rather than claiming the second of his three world title he'd been forced to sit the season out. And that the driver replacing him in a race seat at all-conquering McLaren Honda was Jonathan Palmer.

Imagine too that this followed weeks wherein McLaren as a team being kept off the grid looked a possibility too.

It all seems unthinkable. But almost exactly 30 years ago it, briefly, happened.

For Motor Sport Magazine I tell the tale. You can have a read here:

Wednesday 12 February 2020

New Motor Sport Magazine article: The races that never happened: F1's cancelled grands prix

Hamel Alrayeh [CC BY-SA (
Today the not-exactly-surprising confirmation has landed that the forthcoming Chinese Grand Prix, scheduled for April 19, is at least postponed due to coronavirus.

But as with most things in Formula 1, grands prix being postponed or cancelled is far from being new.

So for Motor Sport Magazine I have taken a look at five notable previous times that F1 races were canned.

You can have a read here.

Things To Expect From The Australian Grand Prix 2020

For F1 fans, the good news couldn’t come any sooner! The 2020 Formula 1 will be kicking off on the 15th of March in Albert Park, Melbourne. For those who are familiar with F1 or Formula 1, it is the highest class of single-seater motor race. It was sanctioned by the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA) and owned by the Formula 1 Group. Formerly known as the World Drivers' Championship, it became the FIA Formula One World Championship in 1981. A Formula One season consists of a series of races known as Grands Prix.

A quick word before starting, if you are thinking of buying car parts you can have a chat with auto body parts wholesale distributors.

Coronavirus And The Australian Grand Prix 2020

Due to the outbreak of COVID-19 Coronavirus, we’ve seen major motorsports events getting either canceled or postponed. With the cancellation of the Chinese Grand Prix and Thai Motorcycle Grand Prix, it was speculated whether the Australian Grand Prix would share the same fate. But the good news for the fans! Turned out it wouldn’t. The Victorian Department of Health declared that the Australian Grand Prix would go ahead as planned. The CEO of Australian Grand Prix, Andrew Westacott has stated,

“We are all systems go and gearing up for the 25th Formula One race in Melbourne next week. The finishing touches are being put on the circuit, Formula 1 freight and personnel are arriving in the coming days and we're looking forward to opening the gates to the public on Thursday, March 12."

He also assured that The Australian Grand Prix Corporation has robust health and emergency management ready at each event. And are working collectively with health agencies and related government and emergency services organizations.

On the other hand, The Italy based team, AlphaTauri has faced issues regarding the GP. Italy had the second-worst outbreak after China and thus going through certain restrictions. Alpha Tauri team’s head Franz Tost stated the issues at hand.

“It’s changing all the time from the logistics side. We have to change all the flights because we are not allowed to go anymore via Singapore or Hong Kong. There’s a lot of work in front of us.

This Coronavirus is a really serious story from the AlphaTauri side. I instructed all the employees to behave in a special manner. For example, we reduced traveling dramatically. Then people who are coming from the red zones in Italy should stay at home. We do not want that they come to the factory. Suppliers are supposed not to visit us in the factory. And we will see now what’s going on regarding your races in Melbourne or Bahrain.”

What To Expect From The Championship

Dual-Axis Steering System

If you are following F1 for a while now, you’d know that the Dual-Axis Steering System deployed on the Mercedes is making headlines. They came up with an innovative approach with the steering wheel. If the drivers pull or push the steering wheel the dual-axis system helps them adjust the toe of the front wheels to optimize mechanical grip. This provides aerodynamic benefits and extra speed. DAS was first spotted on the second day of pre-season F1 testing in Barcelona.

However, the system was on the verge of creating controversies regarding the illegal front suspension alteration due to the toe-angle illegally changing the front suspension. To combat the problem FIA has put a ban on it. According to F1's 2021 regulations which got published at the end of last year, it was made clear that any changes to the angle of the wheels can only be made by the steering wheel.

They have already fixed their issues regarding the steering wheel and the system. If you want to fix your vehicle’s parts problem and want to make a purchase, always consider buying the best aftermarket auto parts.

Daniel Ricciardo’s Comeback

Something jinx is going on for Daniel Ricciardo in the Australian Grand Prix. He has never achieved a podium at Albert Park. Has been retired from the race thrice. And even after securing the second position in the race he was disqualified for an illegal fuel flow rate. This time he’s trying his heart and soul not to lose against the jinx. Let’s hope this Grand Prix proves to be grand for him.

Australian Grand Prix 2020 Schedule

Friday 13 March

Free practice 1: 1am-2.30am

Free practice 2: 5 am-6.30 am

Saturday 14 March

Free practice 3: 3 am-4 am

Qualifying: 6am-7am

Sunday 15 March

Race: 5.10am-7.10am (latest finish time)

Australian Grand Prix Tickets

You can select a session with different prices for Australian Grand Prix tickets. Note that the prices may vary.

Friday 13th March

Session: 1 day

Price Range: From €269 to €391

Saturday 14th March

Session: 1 day

Price Range: From €58 to €1360

Sunday 15th March

Session: 1 day

Price Range: From €68 to €1339

Saturday & Sunday (2 days)

Session: 2 days

Price Range: From €793 to €1564

Friday, Saturday & Sunday (3 days)

Session: 3 days

Price Range: From € 127 to € 1789

A Final Word

Sky Sports will be live telecasting the events including the practice sessions, qualifying rounds and the race from Melbourne. Keep an eye on the channel on 13th March. Lastly, a piece of friendly advice to my readers; always check car parts comparison sites before ordering parts.

The Consequences Of Dangerous Driving

Everyone knows the importance of safe driving, this is crucial for businesses with motor trade insurance, but some people choose to ignore the expectations of being a responsible motorist. If you're one of these people, you should know that there are serious consequences to committing reckless actions on the road.

1. Your Insurance Costs Rise

If you get charged and convicted of reckless driving, then your insurance company will consider you a high-risk driver and raise your premiums accordingly. On top of that, you may have to get an SR22 insurance policy to continue driving your car legally. If you’ve already been flagged as a high-risk motorist requiring this form of certification, you might be wondering can you get an SR22 online or not? It varies from state to state but generally speaking it’s possible. However, for those who’ve yet to be required to carry SR22 insurance, it’s best to change your ways and be a safer driver.

2. You Could Lose Your License

Careless or reckless driving is a criminal offense, and you could have your license suspended or even revoked. The court will consider the severity of the offense, your driving record before the event and the likelihood of it happening again when they make their decision. If it's revoked, you'll have to apply for a new license when the revocation period has elapsed. You may also have to take an expensive court-ordered defensive driving course before you're allowed back on the road. These take a lot of time out of your busy schedule.

3. You'll Cause Unnecessary Damage To Your Vehicle

Driving too quickly and too dangerously can damage your vehicle's components. For example, the engine’s valves and cylinder heads can break from the strain of excessive speeding. Habitually riding the clutch can cause it to wear out long before it should. This leads to expensive repairs that can be, at the very least, delayed by safe driving.

4. You Could Face Fines And Jail Time

Most states impose fines on people convicted of reckless driving. These fines can get into the thousands of dollars depending on the state and the nature of the offenses. You'll also have to pay all court costs, and these can be quite expensive. Worse still, you could face jail time for your actions. Many states impose jail sentences of 30-90 days depending on the offense. If this isn't your first time before a judge, some states have sentences as long as a year. Losing all that time is terrible, but there's one thing you could lose that's dearer still.

5. You Could Face Severe Injury, Disability Or Even Death

Eventually, your carelessness will catch up to you. Going too fast or ignoring stop signs for too long will lead to a collision of some kind. When it does, you or someone else could be severely injured or worse. Thousands die every year as a result of reckless driving. Don't make yourself or others a part of this statistic. The best way you can do that is to practice safe and defensive driving.

Saturday 1 February 2020

New Motorsport Week article: Alonso’s Formula 1 return – is it all that unlikely?

Photo: Octane Photography
So, as far as Fernando Alonso is concerned Formula 1 is "unfinished business". And any return would not be on the basis of merely making the numbers up.

His driving talents are not in much question, but as often is the case with Alonso matters are not quite as simple as that.

With all this, for Motorsport Week I explore how likely a comeback is.

You can have a read here:

Thursday 23 January 2020

Top Performing Sunglasses For Winter Sport

Snow is one of the most reflective surfaces when it comes to light, so wearing sunglasses for winter sports is absolutely essential to avoid harmful UV rays, even without direct sunlight. Snow blindness (when bright light reflected from snow affects vision) is a real threat when skiing or snowboarding, particularly at high altitudes and travelling at high speeds.

Hitting the slopes this winter? Make sure your ski goggles or ski glasses lenses provide 100% UV protection to ensure the best experiences.

To make choosing the ideal pair of winter sports eyewear easy, SmartBuyGlasses provides you with a list of the top recommended products which are worth to be invested in before heading to the mountains.

Top Recommended Goggles

If you're planning on skiing or snowboarding down the slopes this winter, consider equipping yourself with some quality ski goggles; they are your best choice for comfort, visibility and eye protection.

In low-light and fogging conditions, yellow, gold and amber lenses filter out blue light. Shadows are emphasised to see better the contours in the snow. They also work well in moderate and variable light conditions. Check out the Bloc Evolution E014 or the Bloc Small Fit Moon JM01.

Saturday 18 January 2020

Win a Team Lotus Audio Book by Ibrar Malik

On Talking about F1 we have been very pleased to feature blogs previewing the books of Ibrar Malik.

Ibrar's debut work delved into the controversial 1994 Formula 1 season, and he has just released his second book: Team Lotus, Struggling Beyond The Post Colin Chapman Era.

And we have five copies of the audio book to give away to Talking about F1 readers.

All you have to do is answer the very simple question below.

Addendum 19/01/2020: Apologies, something I forgot to mention when initially publishing this is that the audio book codes we have to give away only work in the US, Canada and Australia, so the competition is only open to those based there.

We will pick five winners at random from the correct answers and will be in touch if you're one of the lucky quintet. Good luck!


Team Lotus, Struggling Beyond The Post Colin Chapman Era, is now available to purchase in E Book format here (a free sample is contained within that link) or Audio Book format here.

You can also read more detail about the book here:

Friday 17 January 2020

New Motorsport Week article: When Jim Clark took part in the RAC Rally

Leo A Capaldi [CC BY-SA (https://creativecommons.
Fernando Alonso has been keeping us entertained recently, by having a go at the Dakar Rally. This is the latest leg of his outlier path of being a Formula 1 star trying his hand at other motorsport disciplines.

But it's also a throwback path, as such an existence used to be common. And even making the large shift from F1 all the way to rallying is not entirely new.

For Motorsport Week I look back to 1966 and Jim Clark taking on the RAC Rally, the Rally GB of its day. And he performed sensationally.

You can have a read of the tale here:

Tuesday 14 January 2020

Pedro Lamy's 1994 Silverstone Testing Accident, by Ibrar Malik and Ben Green

This is a special blog to celebrate the launch of the audiobook: Team Lotus, Struggling Beyond The Post Colin Chapman Era.

This blog has been co-written by Ben Green, who is the proud owner of the Lotus Formula 1 car Pedro Lamy crashed during that Silverstone test in May 1994, just prior to that year's Spanish Grand Prix. If you have read the book: 1994 The Untold Story of a Tragic and Controversial F1 Season, you'll know Lamy's crash and its subsequent fallout, was hugely significant to F1 that year. Ben's Lotus chassis is the 107C (chassis no 1).

This is the (restored) Lotus 107C that Lamy almost was killed in during that fateful day at Silverstone in May 1994. Ben purchased the chassis from Team Lotus during 1995, along with a heap of spares.
1994 Lotus 107C
At the end of the 1993 season, Team Lotus's finances were in a bad way. The newly released book: Team Lotus, Struggling Beyond The Post Colin Chapman Era details how and why Team Lotus got there by the early 1990s.

Its Chris Murphy-designed 107B was fast but unreliable, while its complex active suspension and customer Cosworth HB engines had drained resources. Along came Honda with the Mugen brand and an updated 1989 ZA5 V10 engine, a no-cost factory option.

Wednesday 8 January 2020

New Motorsport Week article: F1 2019 end of season awards - The Golden Grahams

Photo: Octane Photography
We know how the 2019 F1 season ended, but who were the real winners? In my latest for Motorsport Week I again seek to unravel the matter with my annual set of 'prestigious' awards, The Golden Grahams.

Some of it is serious (best driver, best team...); some of it, erm, is less so.

You can have a read of it in all its glorious nonsense via this link: