Sidepodcast // All for F1 and F1 for all

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Chasing (electric) cars

Formula E is bursting into life

Sidepodcast: Chasing (electric) cars

by Lukeh

In just a few weeks the FIA will begin an exciting new crusade for electric motorsport with the debut of Formula E, the much anticipated series that looks set to shake up what we know of open wheel racing. There's been a considerable amount of talk and hype over the last year or so, gradually building up as we approach the first race in Beijing on 13th September, and this week saw the final test session at Donington Park being held before the big series debut. Having attended this sunny day in the East Midlands, it led me to quite a few thoughts on Formula E and what's to come.

GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma

Verizon IndyCar Series 2014

Sidepodcast: GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma

by Lukeh

It's the penultimate race of the season and what a place to be racing as IndyCar emanates from the hilly surroundings of Sonoma. Will Power has put himself in an excellent position to solidify himself as championship leader with a strong qualifying to be sitting on pole for tonight's race in a dramatic session. His rivals, Castroneves and Pagenaud, sit in 6th and 15th respectively but the wonderfully variable up and downs of Sonoma's layout could easily mean anything could happen. With just the final 7 days of the 2014 championship remaining, can Will Power use his willpower to power his way and be willing to win the drivers championship?!

City slicker

Franck Montagny strikes back and needs your vote

Sidepodcast: City slicker

by Christine

Long time Sidepodcast readers may remember that I used to have a blog solely dedicated to following Franck’s footsteps around the globe. Now, granted, this was a time when I would start up a blog about any and every subject that caught my eye, including stationery, but I actually really liked following a specific driver and monitoring his progress. Sadly, the blog had to fold when I realised out that Monsieur Montagny had fallen off the grid completely. There's no news like no news!

Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio

Verizon IndyCar Series 2014

Sidepodcast: Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio

by Lukeh

In a resurgence of recent weeks that has slightly come out of nowhere, Sebastian 'Not Franck' Bourdais starts on pole once again just weeks after his pole-to-victory race in the streets of Toronto. Amazingly this now puts the Frenchman on a tie with Dario Franchitti on open wheel poles. Maybe it's the rain that gets him going but the twisty turns of the Mid-Ohio circuit but it was a disruptive qualifying session with a few stoppages and lots of incidents. Helio Castroneves and Scott Dixon start way down the order in 15th and 22nd. It's a mixed up order and it should make for a fantastic race.

Honda Indy Toronto

Verizon IndyCar Series 2014

Sidepodcast: Honda Indy Toronto

by Lukeh

As if the last weekends of IndyCar haven't been enough for you, why not have two races over this weekend in the streets of Toronto to bring you even more racing?! There's been a whole range of winners this season with the likes of Mike Conway and Carlos Huertas getting surprise win in amongst the likes of Power, Pagenaud and Hunter-Reay, and it'll be a good chance for RHR to capitalise on a smart victory amongst the yellows of Iowa last weekend. However, one man who'll be looking to get on form in Toronto will be Scott Dixon - he's done it before and with a race on both Saturday and Sunday it could be a great opportunity to get his Championship challenge back on track.

Pocono IndyCar 500

Verizon IndyCar Series 2014

Sidepodcast: Pocono IndyCar 500

by Lukeh

Just a week after two excellent races through the streets of Houston we move onto the raceway of Pocono, a track with it's future in doubt and I'm sure will be hoping for a good race to reassure fans and organisers to come back in the future. The championship is still very much in Will Power's hands but it's all very close with Castroneves, Hunter-Reay and Paganaud all close behind. After a few races on streets and circuits it's good to be back on an oval so here's to a good 500 miles worth of racing on a circuit that really needs it right now!

Shell-Pennzoil Grand Prix of Houston

Verizon IndyCar Series 2014

Sidepodcast: Shell-Pennzoil Grand Prix of Houston

by Lukeh

As if there wasn't enough amazing entertainment this weekend in the live comments here, we're being absolutely spoilt with two races from IndyCar as the Grand Prix of Houston takes place once again. Practice may have had red flags here, there and everywhere and drivers may have been practising standing starts once again but it's Will Power who will be looking to pick up after the three week break and continue his championship lead into the latter half of the season, With two races this weekend there's a whole heap of points for the likes of Ryan Hunter-Reay and Helio Castroneves to catch up with. Let's hope for two clean exciting races through the streets of Texas!

Firestone 600

Verizon IndyCar Series 2014

Sidepodcast: Firestone 600

by Lukeh

Just a week after a double trouble set of races in Detroit that saw Helio Castroneves and Will Power going ahead with a set of victories we move onto the Firestone 600 set at the Texas Motor Speedway. Ryan Hunter-Reay will be looking to regain his championship lead after a shocking set of races in Detroit but it'll be a long 200+ gap race over the 600 miles in Texas that will decide who will be taking an advantage in the championship 8 races into the season.

Chevrolet Indy Dual in Detroit

Verizon IndyCar Series 2014

Sidepodcast: Chevrolet Indy Dual in Detroit

by Lukeh

After an exhilarating 500 miles that would make The Proclaimers sweat, Detroit hosts the first double header of the 2014 Indy Car championship with a race both on Saturday and Sunday through the streets of the motor city. Both Helio Castroneves and Ryan Hunter-Reay battled it out within 0.006 seconds of each other at Indy but, after winning his first race at Detroit last season, Simon Pagenaud will be looking to capitalise on his Indy GP win before the 500. This double header will provide the field a solid chance to close the gap on the leaders at the top with two races to try and win. It should be an excellent weekend!

The reunion on electric avenue

Chandhok and Senna confirm Formula E drives in debut season

Sidepodcast: The reunion on electric avenue

by Lukeh

It's now just over 3 months until the grand debut of Formula E and it's a matter of time before we finally know whom will be gracing the 20 man grid across 10 different teams on that first race in Beijing. Build up is always an exciting thing really - when you think about the build up to Monaco in F1, the build up to Le Mans, the build up to Indy 500 and so forth - it's all part of the package of an exciting event that promises great things.

Indianapolis 500

Verizon IndyCar Series 2014

Sidepodcast: Indianapolis 500

by Lukeh

It wouldn't be May without IndyCar's month of Indy 500 buildup and the big moment is here - it's the 98th running of the Indy 500 and much like last year we see Ed Carpenter sitting up top on pole with close competitors all around him. Last year's popular winner Tony Kanaan starts in 16th whilst big name entrants like Kurt Busch starts in 10th and former F1 world champion and Indy 500 winner Jacques Villeneuve starts in 27th out of 33 entrants. It's going to be a fantastic few hours of racing - make sure you don't miss it!

Grand Prix of Indianapolis

Verizon IndyCar Series 2014

Sidepodcast: Grand Prix of Indianapolis

by Lukeh

It's a very special weekend for IndyCar as it's the Grand Prix of Indianapolis, the first infield IndyCar race at the fabled Indianapolis circuit. Acting as a build up for the Indy 500 at the end of May, the old F1 track has been modified from the fairly rubbish layout it used to be to a fast flowing track that lots are looking forward to. The big surprise in qualifying was the pole for Sebastian Saavedra and Jack Hawksworth joining him on the front role, a huge coup for the rookie! It should be an exciting race for those watching!

Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama

Verizon IndyCar Series 2014

Sidepodcast: Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama

by Lukeh

It's race 3 of the 2014 Indy Car championship and it's time to return to Barber Motorsports Park in the ever-so-cliche sweet home Alabama. Long Beach brought utter and absolute chaos on the track with a few classic Indy Car moments, just not so much classic for the right reasons unfortunately! It did, however, lead to the unexpected victory of Mike Conway, but I'm sure last year's winner of this race Ryan Hunter-Reay will be looking to get back on track (get it?) and return to winning ways here!

Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach

Verizon IndyCar Series 2014

Sidepodcast: Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach

by Lukeh

After an exciting opening round in St. Petersburg that saw Will Power start the season on top, it's back to the classic straights of Long Beach for the second race of the 2014 season. Ryan Hunter-Reay picked up an impressive pole in qualifying to start at front, with the Mayor of Hinchtown and Sebastian Bourdais just behind him on the grid. There's a lot of history and heritage with the Long Beach area and motorsport in many kinds - here's hoping we get another classic race to enjoy tonight!

Firestone Grand Prix Of St. Petersburg

Verizon IndyCar Series 2014

Sidepodcast: Firestone Grand Prix Of St. Petersburg

by Lukeh

With the arrival of Verizon as the new title sponsor for IndyCar comes a brand spanking new season straight from the familiar streets of St. Petersburg! Don't get too confused - we've not gone back to Russia after the Winter Olympics - but instead the streets of Florida to see if Scott Dixon can hold onto his championship straight from the off. He'll have a lot of exciting changes to put up with - the return of Juan Pablo Montoya alongside Will Power and Helio, and the driver swaps at teams like Ryan Briscoe and Tony Kanaan moving about just to name a few - it all promises to be an exciting start to the 2014 calendar.

Formula E: The motorsports sandwich?

The electric sport is carving out its own niche in the racing world

Sidepodcast: Formula E: The motorsports sandwich?

by Ross Ringham

F1 doesn’t quite know what to make of the upstart electric racing series Formula E. In some quarters, there’s disdain. Bernie has made no secret of the fact that he doesn’t think it will work. He’s reported to have said recently of Formula E: “It’ll make a few quid and then disappear.” Others have written disparagingly of a driver line-up made up of “F1 rejects” and blasted the slower speeds and more civilised noise levels.

The Formula E drivers' club gets a jolt

Franck Montagny included in list of potential drivers

Sidepodcast: The Formula E drivers' club gets a jolt

by Christine

When Formula E announced their new driver's club, it showed there were some serious racing drivers that hoped for an opportunity in the brand new series, but it didn't capture my attention completely. At this point, the list is just names who have expressed an interest in this year's inaugural Formula E championship, but it's still up to the teams to pick and choose who they want to drive for them. Today, another batch of names have been revealed hoping to participate in the 2014/15 season, and now my interest is piqued. You guessed it, included in the second batch of interested drivers is a certain Frenchman, who has more recently been dilly-dallying behind the camera for the French Formula One coverage.

21st century racing, 19th century attitude

Negative images is the main criteria

Sidepodcast: 21st century racing, 19th century attitude

by Lukeh

It's a bit astonishing that in this day and age it's still quite easy to upset people with new ideas that may not be popular but do have a concept behind them. These events have been commonplace in F1, whether it be more recently from DRS or in the past with regulation changes, and yet over the past few weeks there seems to be this same feeling of unease at the next big Formula to be unveiled by the FIA - Formula E.