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: