Sidepodcast // All for F1 and F1 for all

Next race: Malaysian Grand Prix, Sepang

Red Bull pick up the pace leading one Singapore practice session

Verstappen heads FP1 as Rosberg takes over FP2

Sidepodcast: Red Bull pick up the pace leading one Singapore practice session

by Christine Blachford

Free Practice 1 in Singapore was led by Max Verstappen, as Red Bull’s expected pace managed to shine through round the lengthy street circuit. Lewis Hamilton ran the halo device early on, and finished the morning fourth, whilst Rosberg was slightly down on his teammate but more down on luck – he crashed into the wall and damaged his front wing. Jenson Button also stopped out on track after just three minutes of the session, causing a virtual safety car thanks to a fuel system issue.

Race information - Singapore 2016

Prepare yourself for the lengthy night race at Marina Bay

Sidepodcast: Race information - Singapore 2016

by Christine Blachford

From the moment qualifying finished, it was clear the Italian Grand Prix wasn't going to deliver a classic, and that's exactly how it played out. The only thing it did do for us for the 2016 season is close up the championship even further. Given the close fight at the top, and the fact all eyes are on Singapore to provide some entertainment to boost us at this late point in the season, the real question that matters this weekend is whether Mercedes have found some performance around the difficult Marina Bay circuit.

Ah hahaha! - Christine's Rankings, Week 25

Retirements and racing, football and fun

Sidepodcast: Ah hahaha! - Christine's Rankings, Week 25

by Christine Blachford

The Italian Grand Prix itself might not have been the classic we wanted, but events surrounding the weekend certainly made up for any lack of on-track action. Drivers had little time to prepare for the race, jumping straight over to Monza from Spa, but they still found time for a spot of football on the home straight, and there appeared to be plenty of cake in the paddock for birthday celebrations.

Rosberg narrows championship gap with Italian Grand Prix victory

Hamilton gets a bad start in Monza race

Sidepodcast: Rosberg narrows championship gap with Italian Grand Prix victory

by Christine Blachford

Nico Rosberg converted his front row grid slot into a comfortable race win in Monza, as Lewis Hamilton was forced to recover from a very poor start. The Brit dropped from pole position down to sixth place off the line, but was able to use the superior speed of the Mercedes to claw his way back up to second. The result means Nico Rosberg is now within two points of Hamilton in the fight for the championship, so it’s closer than ever at the top whilst still being very much a two horse race.

Mercedes dominate Monza free practice

Rosberg leads FP1 and Hamilton tops FP2

Sidepodcast: Mercedes dominate Monza free practice

by Christine Blachford

It’s no surprise to see Mercedes ahead on pace at a track that is notably reliant on power units for good performance. Nico Rosberg was the fastest man for the first session, beating his teammate and then the Ferraris who were a second off the pace. Fernando Alonso had a gearbox problem during the session, whilst Felipe Massa picked up an energy recovery issue. Jenson Button, Max Verstappen and Sergio Pérez all ran the halo concept device at one point or another, and Nico Hülkenberg sat out the session in favour of Friday driver Celis Jr.

Monza’s future in F1 extended with three year deal

Italian Grand Prix to stay at Monza until 2019

Sidepodcast: Monza’s future in F1 extended with three year deal

by Christine Blachford

Bernie Ecclestone confirmed a three year contract extension for the Monza circuit to host the Italian Grand Prix, although signing the contract hasn’t actually taken place yet for geographical reasons. Bernie said: “Regretfully we cannot sign it here legally, but more importantly we have reached an agreement after a few months of negotiations between the lawyers.” He also added that he’d prefer the race to have a century’s worth of contract but will settle for three years for now.

Felipe Massa announces F1 retirement at season end

Williams set to bid farewell to popular driver

Sidepodcast: Felipe Massa announces F1 retirement at season end

by Christine Blachford

Williams called a special press conference today with Felipe Massa and deputy team principal Claire Williams present, announcing the Brazilian’s intention to retire from Formula One at the end of the current season. Having spent fifteen years in the sport, the last three with Williams, Massa has had highs and lows, successes and struggles, and is ready now to take a step back.

Race information - Italy 2016

Ferrari's home race gets set for an F1 showdown

Sidepodcast: Race information - Italy 2016

by Christine Blachford

Formula One kicked off in big style after the summer break hiatus - but perhaps not in the way we might have imagined. Hamilton did some serious damage control in Belgium to stay in the lead of the championship but Rosberg closed the gap. Magnussen suffered a huge crash, whilst Max Verstappen turned heads every which way, and Pirelli came under fire yet again. Just one short week later and we're back racing at the fast and furious Monza, where Ferrari will be cheered to the bitter end by the passionate fans flooding the track.

An affection for a trophy collection - Christine's Rankings, Week 24

Summer break activities come to a crashing halt in Spa

Sidepodcast: An affection for a trophy collection - Christine's Rankings, Week 24

by Christine Blachford

After spending lots of time in the sunshine and recharging their batteries, the drivers returned to work this weekend. They had time to share some of their activities (more driving for some, training for others, messing about in the ocean for many) but then got on with the business of preparing to race. I've handed out points for celebrating in style but taken them away when those celebrations go over the top.

Hamilton recovers to join Ricciardo and Rosberg on Spa podium

Magnussen crashes out of Belgian race

Sidepodcast: Hamilton recovers to join Ricciardo and Rosberg on Spa podium

by Christine Blachford

The Belgian Grand Prix kicked off with a chaotic first lap that saw Max Verstappen drop back to battle with the two Ferrari drivers into the first corner. The three were squeezed together, with contact which saw Sebastian Vettel spin around, and Kimi Räikkönen pick up some damage. Kimi’s car later caught fire in the pit lane, but the Finn continued racing, had yet more incidents in combat with Verstappen, and he got to the end of the race in the top ten.

Race highlights - Belgium 2016

Chaotic start in Spa to post-summer break racing

Sidepodcast: Race highlights - Belgium 2016

by Christine Blachford

The drivers only had four weeks off over the summer, but it felt like they were all starting from scratch again this weekend. The high temperatures and tyre pressures meant no one was quite sure how strategies were going to unfold, and there was plenty of jostling for position throughout the race. After first corner chaos, one red flag period, a high speed crash and another round of Räikkönen versus Verstappen, we finally managed to get the race finished and another three drivers soaked in champagne.