Sidepodcast // All for F1 and F1 for all

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Grand Prix from Germany

Formula 1 World Championship 2014

Sidepodcast: Grand Prix from Germany

by Christine

Nico Rosberg starts from pole position for his home Grand Prix, but all eyes will be on Lewis Hamilton who crashed out of qualifying after a brake failure. The Brit will no doubt be able to sweep through the field with the superior Mercedes engine, but how far can he get? Two Williams drivers feature in the top three hoping to put a stop to the German domination, and having their own inter-team battle for supremacy. Further back, Jenson Button and Kimi Räikkönen have work to do to get into the top ten and fight for points, whilst Kevin Magnussen will look to defend his second row grid slot once the race is underway.

Qualifying from Germany

Formula 1 World Championship 2014

Sidepodcast: Qualifying from Germany

by Christine

Mercedes continue to rule the roost, with one or other of their drivers leading all three free practice sessions. Pole position may be important at Hockenheim, but with the weather forecasts still suggesting rain for Sunday, it may be more of a lottery than a procession. Still, Rosberg will be looking for pole at his home race, whilst Hamilton will be looking to stop him. And further back, McLaren have shown increased pace, Ferrari want to improve, and Williams aim to continue their success. It's all to play for as the hour of reckoning awaits - who do you think will get into the top ten today?

Free Practice from Germany

Formula 1 World Championship 2014

Sidepodcast: Free Practice from Germany

by Christine

With three practice sessions available to the drivers and teams before the serious action gets going this weekend, we've got something of an idea what they might be concentrating on. Suspension systems have been removed from some of the cars, perhaps all, and they'll be adjusting to life without them. We'll also get a chance to see Susie Wolff's second attempt at participating in a proper F1 session, after her first opportunity was foiled by a broken car. Hockenheim is a track that only gets visited once every two years, so making the most of practice will be a key task for everyone involved.

Grand Prix from Britain

Formula 1 World Championship 2014

Sidepodcast: Grand Prix from Britain

by Christine

The damp conditions at Silverstone yesterday allowed for a fascinating qualifying that served up a brilliant grid for the race. Four fast cars start from the rear of the field, with Williams and Ferrari timing their final runs in the first qualifying sessions wrong. At the front, Nico Rosberg snatched pole position on a final run that Lewis Hamilton ducked out of, leaving the Brit frustratedly down in sixth and with work to do if he wants to impress the home crowds. In between, a somewhat out of place but ecstatic Jenson Button and Nico Hülkenberg will try to hold on to their positions for as long as possible. This could be a cracker of a race.

Qualifying from Britain

Formula 1 World Championship 2014

Sidepodcast: Qualifying from Britain

by Christine

Wet weather has moved in over Silverstone, meaning it could be a very damp qualifying session for those involved. In final practice, the teams took things easy, with the most number of laps 15 - completed by Daniil Kvyat. Mercedes took things easy, saving themselves for the important sessions. We've seen wet qualifying sessions before this season and they have still mostly worked in Mercedes favour, but we're also starting to see reliability become a big issue. Many drivers are running their power unit components to the end of their life, as there are penalties just around the corner. We'll have to see if that affects the fight for pole position today.

Free Practice from Britain

Formula 1 World Championship 2014

Sidepodcast: Free Practice from Britain

by Christine

Silverstone sees the race weekend debut of one Susie Wolff, taking part in her first official free practice session for Williams. She'll need to look after that car as the team will be looking to impress in front of the home crowds. Caterham are also still dealing with the fallout from their sale, and have to do so with those self-same home fans watching on. With three practice sessions on offer, teams have four hours to get the most out of their test programmes, setting up for qualifying and the race, and preparing for what are likely to be mixed conditions across the weekend.

Grand Prix from Austria

Formula 1 World Championship 2014

Sidepodcast: Grand Prix from Austria

by Christine

Williams set us up for a treat of a race by beating Mercedes to both of the front row grid slots. Felipe Massa leads the way from pole position for the first time since Brazil 2008, with Bottas then Rosberg behind. Lewis Hamilton has work to do from ninth and we could see him charging through the field. There are still plenty of unknowns about the Austrian circuit and drivers continue to push at the limits of the track - with a handful of times deleted during qualifying. That, along with strategy calls, could influence the race today. It's gonna be a cracker!

Qualifying from Austria

Formula 1 World Championship 2014

Sidepodcast: Qualifying from Austria

by Christine

Mercedes have put themselves right back at the top of the tree with a good free practice showing for both cars. Reliability hit Sebastian Vettel on Friday and the defending champion will be hoping for better luck today as he tries to hold on to the coat tails of teammate Daniel Ricciardo. Both Red Bull drivers will want to do well at the team's home circuit but previous form at the A1-Ring has shown that qualifying isn't the be-all and end-all of a good race weekend. However, as the track is new to most, a good showing on Saturday will help boost the confidence for race day.

Free Practice from Austria

Formula 1 World Championship 2014

Sidepodcast: Free Practice from Austria

by Christine

For some, it's not a new event, but for many of the class of 2014, the Austrian Grand Prix is a fresh challenge. With the renamed Red Bull Ring returning to the calendar after a decade's absence, there's plenty to learn in the early sessions. Grip levels, correct apexes and the ideal braking zones will be top of each driver's list, as well as finding the best set up for the car. They've spent time in the simulator but now get some hands on, wheels down time to practice. Three sessions are available, two of ninety minutes and one of an hour, and each team no doubt has a hefty programme to get through. Regardless of the previous event, Mercedes are still expected to be dominant, but perhaps there's a chance for another name to shine.

Grand Prix from Canada

Formula 1 World Championship 2014

Sidepodcast: Grand Prix from Canada

by Christine

The intense battle between the Mercedes drivers hasn't dissipated, despite the pair having made up this week. Where most thought Lewis Hamilton would snatch pole position in Canada, it was Nico Rosberg who swept to the top of the timesheets and lines up in the prime grid slot. Behind, Sebastian Vettel showed he still has pace, whilst the surprisingly fast Williams of Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas proved that there are other Mercedes-powered teams hunting for glory as well. With the Wall of Champions ready to take its next victim, its time for the fantastic Canadian Grand Prix to begin.

Qualifying from Canada

Formula 1 World Championship 2014

Sidepodcast: Qualifying from Canada

by Christine

Pole position for the Canadian Grand Prix is nowhere near as crucial as it was for the previous race in Monaco, but there's still pride at stake and drivers will still want to finish as high up the grid as possible. The battle is likely to be between the two Mercedes, of course, unless reliability gets in the way or more likely in Montreal - the weather. There's rain forecast but there's no telling whether it will hit the qualifying session or not. With all that in mind, it's time to place your bets? Who will get the best position for the race on Sunday? Will anyone out-perform expectations? Who will disappoint?

Free Practice from Canada

Formula 1 World Championship 2014

Sidepodcast: Free Practice from Canada

by Christine

There's been rain in the skies above Montreal, but the drivers will be hoping the clouds hold their water for all three practice sessions. Getting to grips with the difficult Circuit Gilles Villeneuve is the first task - a faster track than Monaco, but with the same soft and supersoft compounds on offer. The grip levels vary throughout the weekend, but for the first two sessions it's fair to say the track will be very green. Look for anyone that may hit the Wall of Champions on their way round, it's a time-honoured tradition!

Grand Prix from Monaco

Formula 1 World Championship 2014

Sidepodcast: Grand Prix from Monaco

by Christine

Monaco, for all its faults, may prove to be a key race in how the rest of the season pans out. Mercedes are seeing their drivers face up to the realities of being competitive teammates, Red Bull are fed up with being best of the rest. Ferrari are frustrated, Williams were hoping for more. Everyone has something to prove around the streets of Monte Carlo, and the pressure is well and truly on. Strategy could be anything as low as a one stop upwards, and the chances of a safety car are medium to high. I can't wait to see how this race plays out!

Qualifying from Monaco

Formula 1 World Championship 2014

Sidepodcast: Qualifying from Monaco

by Christine

It's still looking like Mercedes have the edge, but Red Bull were even closer in final practice, and Alonso has stated that this is the best chance for another team to take over the top spot. So far, the sessions have unfolded without major incident, just a few brushes with the wall and spins off track. When the drivers start pushing, that could change, and qualifying in Monaco is so important that each and every driver will want to get the most out of their car that they can. Make your predictions now as the grid for the Monaco Grand Prix is decided.

Free Practice from Monaco

Formula 1 World Championship 2014

Sidepodcast: Free Practice from Monaco

by Christine

A day earlier than normal, the Friday practice sessions turn into Thursday practice as drivers get their first chance to check out the Monaco track. It's a tricky one, full of twists and turns and requiring full concentration, so they'll be hoping to get as many laps in as possible. Saturday practice is back to normal, the one hour session ahead of qualifying. Our fears that there would be a significant lack of running in FP3 haven't yet come to pass, but in Monaco, reliability and generally getting your car to the chequered flag is key. Who'll be the first in the wall? Place your bets now.

Grand Prix from Spain

Formula 1 World Championship 2014

Sidepodcast: Grand Prix from Spain

by Christine

Mercedes start from pole position, as expected. What wasn't expected was Sebastian Vettel's troubles that saw him qualify in tenth place and take a grid penalty pushing him down to the wrong end of the midfield. Given that the Red Bull is somewhere near the second best car, will we see a surge through the field today? Or, as Maldonado and Kobayashi are starting the race near each other, will there be carnage on the first lap? The season may have taken a dip of late, but there's still plenty to watch as the Spanish Grand Prix gets underway.

Qualifying from Spain

Formula 1 World Championship 2014

Sidepodcast: Qualifying from Spain

by Christine

Mercedes have the upper hand so far, that's no surprise. Fernando Alonso and Daniel Riccardo are battling for third place, and it could be either of them as we head into qualifying. Alonso has the home advantage with passionate fans flooding to the Barcelona track. Ricciardo has all of Red Bull's power behind them, as Vettel struggles with the chassis and the internal workings of his RB10. Jean-Éric Vergne has a ten place grid penalty before he even starts due to an unsafe release during practice, but will anyone else get a penalty before the day is out?

Free Practice from Spain

Formula 1 World Championship 2014

Sidepodcast: Free Practice from Spain

by Christine

F1 returns and with it comes three practice sessions. The Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya plays host to Formula One this weekend, and although teams know the track like the back of their hands, they could still do with gathering a lot of data from it with the new machinery. We already know Sebastian Vettel has a new chassis, and the aerodynamic nature of the circuit could take a small amount of the advantage away from Mercedes. Place your bets now then, as practice gets underway and drivers gear themselves up towards a good qualifying and an even better race.

Grand Prix from China

Formula 1 World Championship 2014

Sidepodcast: Grand Prix from China

by Christine

The battle between Mercedes and Red Bull continues to rage, as they secured the top four grid slots. Behind them, Williams impressed with their wet condition performance, whilst Nico Hülkenberg scraped into the top ten. Romain Grosjean has all of the Lotus hopes in his hands, starting tenth, with Pastor Maldonado all the way at the rear of the field. After the last race in Bahrain delivered an absolute storming afternoon of action, we're expecting great things from China. Hopefully, the Shanghai International Circuit can deliver.

Qualifying from China

Formula 1 World Championship 2014

Sidepodcast: Qualifying from China

by Christine

Mercedes still have the edge, clearly, but we saw a chink in the armour as practice didn't go all their way. Hamilton had some reliability trouble, and other drivers showed good pace too. Meanwhile, Maldonado has had a pretty shocking time in China so far, and needs a good qualifying result to prove that he does deserve his seat in F1, when so many others think perhaps he doesn't. With rain in the air, let's hope for a great qualifying session to decide pole position!