Sidepodcast // All for F1 and F1 for all

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V for victory

Verstappen puts Hamilton’s title dream on ice

Sidepodcast: V for victory

by Adam Barton

As Malaysia waves goodbye to F1, it served up another unpredictable race with a fifth winner of the season and quality drives throughout the field, including a solid debut for Pierre Gasly. But all three stars of the race had one thing in common: the letter V. Just when it looked like Max Verstappen was destined not to have another podium, a guilt-edged opportunity came his way.

Sainz shines on a starry night

Driver market merry-go-round leaves some in a spin

Sidepodcast: Sainz shines on a starry night

by Adam Barton

We’ve been waiting nine years but it finally happened. Singapore’s turbulent climate decided to dump its daily rain shower during the race and set up a classic. Drivers and teams didn’t know what direction to go in from the start and it was the top runners that were left looking foolish. That left some of the junior drivers to star and show their maturity as they kept it out of the wall, or their teammates right ‘til the end.

Ricciardo feeds on the vulnerable

Mixed up grid forces big names to fight through the field

Sidepodcast: Ricciardo feeds on the vulnerable

by Adam Barton

We had to wait for them, but there were some impressive performances in Italy. Mercedes romped away and twisted the knife on Ferrari's home ground – made all the more obvious by parading side by side throughout the cool down lap to maximise opportunity for PR shots. Meanwhile, a wet Saturday created good opportunities to surprise in qualifying and a mixed-up grid meant the need for a few recovery drives.

Grosjean enjoys a day at the Spa

Frenchman secures key Haas milestone

Sidepodcast: Grosjean enjoys a day at the Spa

by Adam Barton

F1 got back into action with a lazy Sunday afternoon drive through the Ardennes forest. There were a few flash points, largely triggered by friendly fire as the Force India drivers took turns in trying to “kill” each other. Their incompetence will lead to a completely different team dynamic and opportunities for points for more midfield runners.

Going concern

Honda's Hungarian respite from retirements

Sidepodcast: Going concern

by Christine Blachford

These words, from the mouth of Honda’s motorsport boss Yusuke Hasegawa, show just a glimmer of hope about the progress that the Japanese engine manufacturer is making. The McLaren Honda partnership, that was supposed to be such a resplendent return to glory, has been the punchline to many of 2017’s jokes, and it’s been frankly quite painful to watch the McLaren team suffer disappointment after disappointment.

Renault rally for anniversary result

Hülkenberg puts in top display to survive unreliability... just

Sidepodcast: Renault rally for anniversary result

by Adam Barton

A slow burner nearly set the kitchen on fire in the final laps. While Lewis Hamilton strolled to a victory to prove he’s the king of Silverstone, it all went off behind. Ferrari had already allowed Bottas to steal vital points before the wind left their sails, and their left front tyres. Elsewhere there were some great drives to enjoy, especially from those starting out of position.

Grosjean catches a brake break

Frenchman overcomes brake issues as Haas hit top form

Sidepodcast: Grosjean catches a brake break

by Adam Barton

The Austrian Grand Prix wasn’t a thriller, but the slow burner came to the boil just in time as Valtteri Bottas saved his teammate from conceding vital points and brought himself right back to the edge of the title race. While Bottas stifled the Ferrari attack after a stunning, borderline jump start, there were some solid performances in the pack, performing under pressure to secure key results.

Driving it like he Stroll it

Lance Stroll comes of age with maiden podium

Sidepodcast: Driving it like he Stroll it

by Adam Barton

Where do you start with this one? What a race! The championship rivals went head to head in Azerbaijan and then came to blows at crawling pace. Hamilton was robbed of victory by his headrest and there were enough collisions to fill up half a demolition derby. The first two drivers on the podium came from the back and some midfield runners secured landmark results while others flat out threw away chances of points.

Pink panthers on the prowl

Force India impress but did pitwall blow golden podium chance?

Sidepodcast: Pink panthers on the prowl

by Adam Barton

As ever, Canada didn’t disappoint. While Lewis Hamilton was dominant at his favourite circuit with a sixth win – though Hungary could equal that record later in the year – there was drama through the pack. Let’s not forget that on Sunday morning, Hamilton was ready for a fight, he raised his game in qualifying to set a monumental lap time and once Vettel was wounded and Verstappen was halted, the Brit did everything he could to cut Sebastian Vettel’s championship lead.

Wehrlein continues his return to form

Chaos upfront puts the spotlight on the midfield pack

Sidepodcast: Wehrlein continues his return to form

by Adam Barton

We may have been starved of action in Russia but the true return to Europe more than made up for it, as the Spanish GP, traditionally a procession, turned into a near classic. Most drivers were involved in one battle or other throughout the race, various strategies were used and the win wasn’t ensured until the final few laps. There may have been a lack of overtakes but it was still intriguing and exciting, oh and a boy met his hero too – well done FOM and Ferrari!

Confusion is nothing new

Räikkönen's revealing radio message in Russia

Sidepodcast: Confusion is nothing new

by Christine Blachford

Kimi Räikkönen’s now infamous radio transmission during the Russian Grand Prix, where the Finn was confused by which Mercedes driver was storming out front, and which was lagging behind somewhat. There are two interesting sides to this radio message – firstly, Kimi’s humourous inability to keep up with what’s going on, and secondly, the fact that no one was really expecting Bottas to dominate his teammate in Sochi quite so much.

Squeaky Bottas time

Valtteri holds off Vettel to join the winning club

Sidepodcast: Squeaky Bottas time

by Adam Barton

As the Russian GP settled into a processional pattern, there were two drivers who were the class of the field. Valtteri Bottas and Sebastian Vettel were barely challenged with only a brief flash from Kimi Räikkönen the only thing to concern their duel, bar lapping distant midfield runners. In the end, it may have been Mercedes' turf on paper but Bottas stole this one from Ferrari by catching four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel napping not once but twice in the first four laps.

Sebastian shows his mettle

Ferrari take control with the duel in the desert

Sidepodcast: Sebastian shows his mettle

by Adam Barton

We know a little more about the title race now. Mercedes showed Ferrari a fresh pair of heels on Saturday but when the points were counted on Sunday, Ferrari came away with the win. They're now leading both championships after an aggressive strategy allowed them to easily control Merc’s threat, with a little help from two Lewis Hamilton errors.

King Carlos of rain

Sainz stars to put Ferrari and Mercedes on notice

Sidepodcast: King Carlos of rain

by Adam Barton

The Spaniard deserves his place atop this list, not least for his nerves at the start, but his race pace was also the most impressive of anyone’s. Sainz was the only man who dared to try slicks at the start. Having narrowly missed out on Q3 by six hundredths and perhaps felt the need to try something different to get the edge on his teammate and challenge for more than a point or two.

Giovinazzi takes his chance

Sauber inherit a three-driver conundrum of a different kind

Sidepodcast: Giovinazzi takes his chance

by Adam Barton

The new season is here and boy did the Australian GP add to the intrigue. With many sceptical of Ferrari’s title potential, they more than kept Mercedes on their toes on Saturday and then on Sunday, Vettel showed that Ferrari had the pace, as well as the ability to manage their tyres, to beat Mercedes, regardless of strategy. Is this the end of single team domination? It’s too soon to tell but it won't be long before we find out.

Put to the test

Team wrap ups after two weeks in Barcelona

Sidepodcast: Put to the test

by Christine Blachford

“I don’t remember how it was last year, but this felt like a good couple of weeks.” So says Lewis Hamilton, who wrapped up two weeks of testing for Mercedes, alongside teammate Valtteri Bottas. The pair of them completed over 1000 laps between them, and saw barely any reliability problems, which should give them both confidence for the season ahead.

Drive time

A journey through Formula One's driving opportunities

Sidepodcast: Drive time

by Christine Blachford

This is a quote from Claire Williams, deputy team principal of the Williams team, as she shared her thoughts about Valtteri Bottas. With the Finn’s departure to Mercedes, an emotional hole has been left at the Williams team, as he’s been with them for many years, building up the team, as well as working through the stages of his own career. And it was Claire’s words here that made me realise just how many different types of drivers there are in Formula One, and just how many words there are to describe them.