Sidepodcast // All for F1 and F1 for all

Next race: Spanish Grand Prix, Barcelona

Written by Adam Barton

Page 1

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.

Flying Dutchman makes his mark

Verstappen’s efforts go unrewarded but the plaudits are his

Sidepodcast: Flying Dutchman makes his mark

by Adam Barton

While strategy was the source of intrigue in Malaysia as spectators were left wondering if Sebastian Vettel could outpace the Mercedes in a straight fight, it was the source of frustration for many in China, not least Nico Rosberg. With a risk of burning out tyres and allowing Ferrari into the picture, Mercedes went very conservative and secured a one-two with an incredibly measured strategy, though Lewis Hamilton’s pace appeared more conspiracy than controlled in the eyes of some.

Vettel stuns Mercedes as Ferrari turn up the heat

Speed and tyre conservation key to decisive victory

Sidepodcast: Vettel stuns Mercedes as Ferrari turn up the heat

by Adam Barton

It took twenty one races for Mercedes air of invincibility to be evaporated. For the first time, Mercedes were beaten in a straight fight on pace, with strategy a factor but by no means the sole reason they were beaten. Take nothing away from Daniel Ricciardo but his three wins in 2014 did owe a lot to Mercedes unreliability and unrest as well as weather. This wasn't lucky, this was the perfect blend of skill and hard work from Ferrari and Sebastian Vettel.

Sauber star in recovery from the mire

Struggling teams have their day in sun after tough winter hibernation

Sidepodcast: Sauber star in recovery from the mire

by Adam Barton

F1 returned in farcical circumstances in Australia. Heading into the season opener we didn’t know how many cars would be on the grid, which drivers would be there or how many races will be on the calendar (and we still don’t). Even once we got to Melbourne, one team was in court being sued by one of its three drivers and another found that their car wasn't able to run at all. In the end, just 15 cars, 75% of the entry list, started the race and we were reduced to 13 runners after just one lap.

Williams star on Hamilton’s big day

An anti-climactic title fight but Massa was more interested in victory

Sidepodcast: Williams star on Hamilton’s big day

by Adam Barton

Okay, so we didn’t get a title decider for the ages. It wasn’t 2008, or 2012 but it was still a fascinating weekend and a great battle between the two worthy contenders from Mercedes, right up until the moment that Nico Rosberg suffered an ERS failure. But the championship already appeared within reach for Lewis Hamilton after a lightning fast getaway that launched him into first and control of the race.

Massa at his best on home soil

Brazil’s new track surface serves up a classic

Sidepodcast: Massa at his best on home soil

by Adam Barton

The Brazilian GP threw up another thriller as delicate, volatile tyres left teams on the edge with strategy. Blisters were evident after just a couple of laps into a stint and the man caught out the most was the favourite for the championship, Lewis Hamilton. The alternative strategies led to a fascinating race but in the end, the biggest factor in the result was a Mercedes power unit.

Lotus revel in others’ misfortune

Maldonado secures first points for Lotus as Grosjean is barged aside

Sidepodcast: Lotus revel in others’ misfortune

by Adam Barton

The US GP helped to lift the gloom off of one of the darkest months in F1 history. But there were still reminders of the struggles the sport is going through. While Jules Bianchi’s injury is by far the worst of the struggles F1 has had, the starkest image was just seeing 17 cars on a threadbare grid. But even with just 18 cars in the race, there was still some entertainment on Sunday evening, with some cars appearing to use demolition derby techniques in their finely tuned F1 cars with varying degrees of success.

Magnificent Magnussen pleads his case

Russian GP gets everyone’s mind back on the track

Sidepodcast: Magnificent Magnussen pleads his case

by Adam Barton

It was a strange weekend in Russia with all the excitement of a new facility and the start of the championship run in, and yet no one wanted to know, focused on answers after Jules Bianchi’s horrific crash in Japan. But Russia offered everyone the opportunity to move on and get their thoughts somewhat, if not fully, back on racing. But there was definitely something missing, not least the 22nd car on the grid of Jules Bianchi. Perhaps an indication of drivers’ thoughts being on Jules Bianchi, no-one really had the perfect weekend. But regardless, there were still some good performances to write home about.

Bianchi injury overshadows Japanese GP

Jules Bianchi’s horror crash ends chaotic weekend in Japan

Sidepodcast: Bianchi injury overshadows Japanese GP

by Adam Barton

It was a bizarre weekend in the land of the Rising Sun - not that you could see the Sun on Sunday - with shock driver moves as Sebastian Vettel fled to Ferrari, triggering Daniil Kvyat's early promotion to the Red Bull senior team, and warnings of extreme weather affecting the race as Typhoon Phanphone hit the coast of Japan. And mixed in was the inevitable politics of F1 as arguments raged over why the race was not brought forward to avoid the worst of the storm. 

Championship fight takes huge Singapore swing

Hamilton cashes in with flat out sprint to victory

Sidepodcast: Championship fight takes huge Singapore swing

by Adam Barton

The Singapore GP may have started out as a moonlit cruise but the fireworks came out in the second half of the race as Adrian Sutil caused a safety car that completely changed the complexion of the race. Though the early part of the race had been fairly processional (12 to 21st all remained in the same order until lap 8), it was packed with drama as the one retirement was a critical one. A wiring loom failure created pre-race anxiety for Nico Rosberg which was justified as the German failed to pull away for the formation lap. And while Rosberg did manage to get away from the pitlane, he never really got going, even the Caterham and Marussias easily pulled away from his mis-shifting Mercedes.

Pérez stars at Monza

Mexican shows why McLaren were wrong to fire him

Sidepodcast: Pérez stars at Monza

by Adam Barton

Well, that livened this season up. While the Italian Grand Prix can occasionally be a bit of a damp squib, this year it proved to be one of the most dramatic races of the year with battles all the way down the field and great drives from a few men who needed to step up and prove their mettle once again to the F1 paddock.

Finns show how it should be done

Spa shows how eventful it is, even in the dry

Sidepodcast: Finns show how it should be done

by Adam Barton

While the traditional war between England and Germany (well, a lone German) was reignited, there was actually some sense provided on the track by others. I'll get to the impending doom at Mercedes but let's first credit the Scandinavians and the faultless Daniel Ricciardo (who won with extreme maturity) for their spectacular drives to pick up big results as the big names faltered and tripped over one another. 

Suspension change makes no FRIC'ing difference

Young ones star as Rosberg wins at home

Sidepodcast: Suspension change makes no FRIC'ing difference

by Adam Barton

Another race, another Mercedes win. But that doesn't begin to tell the story. While Rosberg was dominant, the star performances came further down the field. Lewis Hamilton recovered well from 20th on the grid, having suffered a brake failure in qualifying, leaving him rooted in 16th before an inevitable gearbox change put him even further behind. His fight back was impressive, though it was made easier by his Mercedes car's dominance.

Stars align behind Lewis

Hamilton’s qualifying nightmare blossoms into critical win

Sidepodcast: Stars align behind Lewis

by Adam Barton

An action-packed race that will live long in the memory. From Lewis Hamilton seeing the red mist and hunting down his Mercedes’ teammate like a finely tuned predator to Valtteri Bottas and Fernando Alonso fighting their way through the field to Jenson Button’s great defensive drive, this race had everything and I’m sure the fans won’t have minded waiting an extra hour after Kimi Raikkonen’s huge accident for the real fireworks to begin.

Mercedes crash Williams’ party

But is the German team's dominance under threat?

Sidepodcast: Mercedes crash Williams’ party

by Adam Barton

Well that wasn’t what was expected but it was certainly what the doctor ordered. Mercedes finally have someone to play with at the front in the form of Williams. Now maybe the track favoured Williams with 90 degree corners not as challenging on their tyres as the long sweeping corners of circuits like Circuit de Catalunya or Shanghai, and the short track reducing the advantage of pure speed. In qualifying they may have got lucky with Lewis Hamilton’s spin ruining both Mercedes’ final Q3 run, but many were left stunned when their advantage warming up tyres in qualifying didn’t hurt their tyre wear in the race.

G'day for Ricciardo!

Mercedes calamities allow others to challenge for win 

Sidepodcast: G'day for Ricciardo!

by Adam Barton

The Canadian GP never disappoints. The first half of the race was intriguing but it was midway through the race that things got really interesting as it became clear that the Mercedes had a hole, let alone a chink in their armour. And not only that, there were five or six contenders to go for the win against the Mercedes and you had no idea who could and would win it. But it was Ricciardo who won out and took his maiden victory, holding off teammate Sebastian Vettel and making late moves on Checo Perez and Nico Rosberg. 

Bianchi the toast of Monte Carlo

Marussia’s day in the sun overshadowed as Mercedes are on the brink of civil war

Sidepodcast: Bianchi the toast of Monte Carlo

by Adam Barton

Well it was certainly an eventful race, I can’t remember the last time that there were eight retirements in an F1 Grand Prix. Still it left the door open for some to punch above their weight as others made crucial errors or unreliability bit at just the wrong time. Up front, the expected battle never really materialised as Nico Rosberg seemed to have Lewis Hamilton completely covered until Hamilton’s vision issues ended the fight outright.

Alonso makes outstanding first impression

Spaniard makes it clear to Mattiacci who is boss

Sidepodcast: Alonso makes outstanding first impression

by Adam Barton

Let’s be honest, it wasn’t a classic as Lewis Hamilton showed all of his best qualities and teammate Nico Rosberg got stuck in the pack and could never recover. But down the grid, cars being out of position due to a wet qualifying meant that some had to fight through the field to recover some points, while others just didn’t have the pace to maintain their position through the race.

Buy from Amazon - Pocket F1 Handbook: Guide to the 2015 Grand Prix Season

365 F1 stories

Which F1 driver became the only female (so far) to finish in the top six, on this day at the Spanish GP of 1975?

F1 team launches
McLaren HondaOnline29 Jan
Sauber F1 TeamOnline30 Jan
Scuderia FerrariOnline30 Jan
Scuderia Toro RossoJerez, Spain31 Jan
Infiniti Red Bull RacingJerez, Spain1 Feb
Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 TeamJerez, Spain1 Feb
Williams Martini RacingJerez, Spain1 Feb
Lotus F1 TeamJerez, Spain2 Feb
Sahara Force India F1 TeamOnline25 Feb
F1 test schedule
Circuito de JerezSpain1 Feb
Circuito de JerezSpain2 Feb
Circuito de JerezSpain3 Feb
Circuito de JerezSpain4 Feb
Circuit de Barcelona-CatalunyaSpain19 Feb
Circuit de Barcelona-CatalunyaSpain20 Feb
Circuit de Barcelona-CatalunyaSpain21 Feb
Circuit de Barcelona-CatalunyaSpain22 Feb
Circuit de Barcelona-CatalunyaSpain26 Feb
Circuit de Barcelona-CatalunyaSpain27 Feb
Circuit de Barcelona-CatalunyaSpain28 Feb
Circuit de Barcelona-CatalunyaSpain1 Mar

An Aside with Joe