Sidepodcast // All for F1 and F1 for all

A new team with a new podcast, Lotus F1 gets syndicated // Insider information from one of the newer squads in the paddock

Published by Mr. C

Kovalainen dressed for 2010.
Credit: Lotus F1 Racing

The battle for the new teams of Formula 1 to win the hearts and minds of race fans is beginning to hot up. In the past fortnight both Virgin Racing and Lotus F1 Racing launched their 2010 cars and respective liveries, and now we all have a lot more information with which to decide who, if anyone, deserves our support.

In the red and black corner we have Virgin, who managed to stuff up their launch before experiencing a disastrous week in their first ever competitive F1 test. Not a great start by anyone's standards. Conversely, working in their favour is the fabulous driver pairing of Timo Glock and Lucas di Grassi, two men with the looks to sway even the most hesitant of fans.

In the opposing yellow and green corner, you'll find Lotus F1 Racing, a team who only launched on Friday, but managed to do so successfully and without suffering unplanned media leaks. They are leaning heavily on the historical Lotus brand, in a move that's already splitting opinions amongst the F1 community. Lotus may also struggle in the charisma department, with Jarno Trulli and Heikki Kovalainen lacking the magnetism of the leather clad Virgins.

I can see Christine being easily swayed by camp di Grassi (the collective, I'm not insinuating anything), and I will admit to enjoying their post-launch video featuring David Croft, but Lotus may just have swung it for me with the debut of a new podcast to coincide with the new car.

A new podcast by the way, that happens to be anchored by none other than top microphone man, Ted Kravitz.

Weighing in at a touch over 29 minutes, and featuring interviews with Trulli, Kovalainen and chief geek Mike Gascoyne, the podcast ticks all the right boxes. It's free to syndicate, so if you're an iTunes addict you can subscribe in-store and sync to your iPod/iPhone, otherwise the RSS feed can be found here.

The initial release went out yesterday with an audio glitch that's thankfully been fixed now, but I still have one complaint remaining - the official Lotus homepage doesn't appear to have a home for the show. I can only find an announcement in the news section, which seem like a major oversight when you just redesigned your website, like, yesterday.

The show has been pulled together by USP Content, who have previously been involved in F1 podcasts for Williams, Force India and Renault. The company are also behind the BBC's F1 radio coverage and accompanying podcast, fronted by the aforementioned David Croft. As a quick disclaimer, I should add that USP Content have in the past supplied Sidepodcast with more baseball caps than any one person can physically wear (although I have tried). Unfortunately they've yet to supply us with our own Ted Kravitz.

I'm over the moon (or should that be on top of it?) at the sight of a new official F1 podcast. For a while it looked like teams were cutting back in this area, but with Bradley Lord returning to Renault and Lotus dipping their toes into the water I'm hoping that audio output from teams is only set to increase this season.

I cannot for the life of me see how Virgin Racing can respond to the challenge Lotus have laid down, but even Tiny Timo and Tweeting Lucas can't sway me away from a syndicated Ted. Virgin boss Richard Branson may have one eye on Lotus' Tony Fernandes wearing his stewardess uniform come the end of this year, but on this basis Tony is off to a flying start.