Sidepodcast // All for F1 and F1 for all

Next race: Spanish Grand Prix, Barcelona

Written by Adam Barton

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Adam Barton

A Formula One fan since he was six, back while Häkkinen and Schumacher were having many an epic battle, Adam has seen a great deal. From German domination (twice), to British determination (once) and a Spanish invasion. A near compulsive fan who one day hopes to write about the sport for a living, outside of F1 Adam also authors his own blog One Guy's Opinion.

Lewis stars in a cracker

Fireworks throughout the field hush media mogul critics

Sidepodcast: Lewis stars in a cracker

by Adam Barton

Wow. What a race! And in Bahrain too. Sunday's Grand Prix did away with the traditional Middle East snooze and instead we had a mid-afternoon thriller in the desert as the latest breed of thoroughbreds showed just what F1 2014 can be like. We saw great racing all through the field (well from 21 of the drivers, though I still can't decide if Maldonado's move on Gutiérrez was a desperate dive or a freak racing incident) and the result wasn't set in stone until the chequered flag.

Hamilton fights back

Mercedes show their true colours

Sidepodcast: Hamilton fights back

by Adam Barton

Malaysia proved some F1 fans' biggest concerns. Just like in Melbourne, a Red Bull came home as best of the rest 24 seconds behind the winning Mercedes. Though this season does seem unpredictable in most facets, the race winner appears it could be as predictable as 2013. What's worse, it appears that Mercedes have a lot to spare. And yet, I'm still excited about the necessary direction that F1 is going in.

Magnussen announces his arrival in style

But Rosberg leads F1 into brave new era

Sidepodcast: Magnussen announces his arrival in style

by Adam Barton

I think there’s one word that describes the latest generation of Formula One racing: different. There were bits that looked exciting and bits that certainly need tweaking. One thing that Formula One can certainly rely on is the talent of its latest drivers. And yet it was a man who, relatively speaking, is becoming an old boy in Formula One who was dominant come race day.

Webber's last samba

Not even the rain could ruin Mark's parade

Sidepodcast: Webber's last samba

by Adam Barton

I’m not sure there’s such a thing as a bad Brazilian Grand Prix, and Sunday’s race proved it. The atmosphere and the charisma of the circuit saw to that. Add to that the narrow track with close, inviting walls and a very indecisive (and localised) weather system and you are guaranteed a dramatic race at the Autódromo José Carlos Pace. Unfortunately, as so often happens when rain is considered a factor, the watching public spent the whole race waiting for the heavens to open as they had all weekend but instead mother nature played a high stakes game of chicken with each of the eleven F1 teams.

Young guns show their worth

Vettel wins again but others put themselves in the shop window for 2014

Sidepodcast: Young guns show their worth

by Adam Barton

It wasn’t a classic, and there isn’t exactly a championship riding on it, but Texas proved the perfect environment for some of the drivers who are still fighting for their F1 lives to thrive. There were some great moves and great driving throughout the field as many drivers took a few more risks now that the championship is sealed for Sebastian Vettel. And while he was showing his ominous speed once again for a record eighth win in a row, he was by no means the star of the show.

Forgotten flying Scot back on form

Di Resta reminds the paddock that he's ready for the big time

Sidepodcast: Forgotten flying Scot back on form

by Adam Barton

It was a slow burner in Abu Dhabi, but despite most people’s worries, there was still enough action to go round, with some great close racing and interesting strategy choices. Not much could have been squeezed between Fernando Alonso and Jean-Éric Vergne at 180mph going through turn three before Alonso took the bumpy route. The fact he carried on after an impact over 15g (Ferrari claimed that it was as high as 25g) is a credit to Alonso’s commitment.

A toast to the four time champion

No one can get anywhere near the superb German

Sidepodcast: A toast to the four time champion

by Adam Barton

I try to use this series to praise the drivers who haven’t received credit for their weekend’s work, but on the day that Sebastian Vettel joined the absolute elite, how can you not lead off without mentioning the now four-time champion. Who said this man couldn’t overtake? Who said that Sebastian Vettel couldn’t win if he didn’t do it from the front? Well on Sunday, Vettel proved the nay-sayers wrong with a great drive.

Grosjean comes of age

The real winners and losers of the Japanese Grand Prix

Sidepodcast: Grosjean comes of age

by Adam Barton

There’s just something about Suzuka. It has a special aura unlike any other race track today. It may lack the glitz and glamour of Monaco, but it has character in abundance. On top of that, I think it is the biggest drivers’ circuit on the current calendar. Silverstone and Spa are still challenges, but they have been sanitized in recent years with big run offs and not a grain of gravel in sight. At Suzuka, it is a narrow ribbon of tarmac, doubling back on itself in a figure of eight layout, and if you get off line, you will be punished.

Hülkenberg steals Vettel's limelight

Nico impresses under pressure

Sidepodcast: Hülkenberg steals Vettel's limelight

by Adam Barton

So Sebastian Vettel starts on pole, opens up a lead only for his good work to be ruined by a mid-race safety car, leaving him to do it all again, which he did impeccably. Sound familiar? That's because it is. The Korean GP seemed to follow the same script, at least up front, as the Singapore GP that preceded it. Fortunately for the fans, it still provided us with the best Korean race in its short history.

Vettel a class apart

Championship leader runs amok in Monza

Sidepodcast: Vettel a class apart

by Adam Barton

I can no longer do it. Sebastian Vettel has all but secured his fourth title in four year, as well as his place amongst the all time greats in the sport. I don’t think that there can be any doubting about that. The man is arguably the best man in the history of the sport at leading from the front and proving untouchable if he leads at the end of lap one, especially when you consider that he has to contend with DRS, whereas his predecessors didn’t.

The battle for the championship, or is it?

A clear leader could still be challenged as rivals up their game

Sidepodcast: The battle for the championship, or is it?

by Adam Barton

There’s nothing quite like a nail biting championship fight is there? And while I still hold out hope that there are enough competitive teams that could mix up the drivers’ championship, one of the titles is already as good as wrapped up halfway through the season. Despite this, two of the chasing teams have had seasons to be proud of, while Ferrari must have a severe case of déjà vu, as they appear to have ruined another chance to get Fernando Alonso his dream: a championship with the Scuderia. Surely they can’t recover from here?

Top and bottom meet in the middle

A mixture of joy and extreme frustration leaves these three in the midfield abyss

Sidepodcast: Top and bottom meet in the middle

by Adam Barton

Hands up who thought that these three teams would fill the awkward middle slot of my midseason review. McLaren would never have imagined that they’d be in the second half of teams in the constructors’ championship, while Toro Rosso would probably have bit your hand off if they were offered form like this time last year. As for Force India, they are still stuck in midfield, but must surely be happy to have jumped two teams up to fifth.

The (almost) pointless teams

A midseason report for the backmarker outfits

Sidepodcast: The (almost) pointless teams

by Adam Barton

Don’t read anything into the title, but the truth is that these four teams receiving my grade for their season so far have scored just eight in ten races, that’s eight points from eighty starts. That’s far below expectations for sure. My views on Caterham and Marussia have been made clear: what are they adding to the sport if they are running nearly three seconds off the pace three years into their campaign?

Hamilton adds another ring

Summer of Brit continues as Hamilton and Button conspire to decide outcome of Hungarian GP

Sidepodcast: Hamilton adds another ring

by Adam Barton

What a race?! I knew from straight after qualifying that Lewis Hamilton would have to lead at least the first stint in order to keep Sebastian Vettel at bay. Well, he did more than that as, with the help of Jenson Button, Sebastian Vettel led just eight laps through the pit stop cycle, as Lewis Hamilton was the man in dominant form, staking his claim for this year’s world championship in the process (if you acknowledge that there still is a championship fight, then Hamilton is well and truly in it).

Button back on form

Champions show their class as German GP is a day of redemption

Sidepodcast: Button back on form

by Adam Barton

Well, it took a whole week for Sebastian Vettel to slam shut the door that was opened just a crack by his gearbox failure at Silverstone. Vettel also broke the home-race hoodoo, which by the way effects most drivers (see Messers Webber, Button and Hamilton, among others), as well as breaking his July duck. All in all, it was a great weekend for the German, but he knows that the hard work is still to be done, despite opening up his championship lead above the crucial 25 point - one race win - mark.

Next generation explode onto the scene

Eventful race allows youngsters to shine as Vettel’s gearbox failure blows championship wide open

Sidepodcast: Next generation explode onto the scene

by Adam Barton

Well, what a difference eleven laps make. Coming to the end of lap 41, Sebastian Vettel looked odds on for a simple victory, and given the circumstances in the world championship, it really looked like a race where ‘the championship was won’ with Kimi Räikkönen in third and Fernando Alonso in fifth, allowing Vettel to open up his lead in the championship.

Midfield marvels eclipse dominant Vettel

Sebastian headlines but the real quality was further down the field

Sidepodcast: Midfield marvels eclipse dominant Vettel

by Adam Barton

Despite a processional Grand Prix, there were still some great drives in Canada, a track where it pays to drive aggressively (take note Sergio Pérez). I love Montreal, if ever I can scrounge together enough to meet Bernie's ludicrous ticket prices, Montreal is the race that I would watch. Unfortunately, there was a lack of action this year, particularly at the sharp end, as Sebastian Vettel got up to his 2011 tricks of a sublimely fast opening couple of laps, 'breaking' the DRS and managing the gap from there.

Rosberg shines at home

German proves his worth with a dominant win

Sidepodcast: Rosberg shines at home

by Adam Barton

Can the questions about Nico Rosberg now stop? First the thought was that he was in F1 because of his father’s success. Then the thought was that he’d get a pasting from a returning Michael Schumacher, but after proving the doubters wrong, he wasn’t given credit as the media cited poor Schumacher performance as the reason that Rosberg had, easily, come out on top. Then, when Schumacher retired for a second time, one of F1’s fastest drivers entered Rosberg’s lair, with similar doubts as three years earlier.