Kunal's F1 Blog

Inside Line F1 Podcast – Mercedes vs. Cricket

Posted on | March 24, 2015 | 2 Comments

Going strictly by the form factor from the 2015 Australian Grand Prix, it seems that the 2015 ICC Cricket World Cup finals will be the toughest competition for Mercedes this Sunday. And while Mercedes may be up to the challenge, I certainly am not. I really hope that Star Sports beams the 2015 Malaysian Grand Prix without much hullaballoo. And to add to the merry of the Motorsport fan, there’s the MotoGP race in Qatar too! (Read: Ditched By Star Sports, Formula1 Fans Will Thank TATA)

(If you’re a Cricket fan and have clicked on this link because of the interesting title, you are welcome to listen to the first few mins of our podcast where we tell you why and how Formula1 scores over Cricket!)

Am I looking forward to the race after a boring race in Melbourne? The answer would be a straight yes. I am keen to see how many cars start the race and how many finish it. I am also keen to see if Formula1 can plummet to new levels of boring fans all over, or will Pirelli’s indication the race will be a two-stopper offer much entertainment? If nothing does, I am told that the rain might just. I do find it strange that despite the fastest cars and drivers on the grid, we are looking at external factors to make wheel-to-wheel racing interesting! Sigh! (Read: Formula One or Formula Rookie?)

Lewis Hamilton tries his hand at cricket

What surprises me that the only other team that seems to be thinking similarly (or sort of) is Red Bull Racing (Read: Thank You Red Bull Racing). And what is even more surprising is that they aren’t finding much support from the Paddock yet. Rishi and I have turned old (and will turn older) discussing the shortcomings of the sport, the changes it needs and it seems that finally after years of screaming out loud on the Inside Line F1 Podcast, the Williams F1 Team has heard our cry. (Read: Formula1 Puts Fans First)

Will Fernando Alonso be the one crying this weekend too? The former twin World Champion has worked hard in the last month to regain fitness and start his 2015 campaign in Malaysia, but the best he could be fighting for would be for the back row on the grid. Is Mclaren still out looking for a title sponsor, I wonder! (Read: Gillette Mclaren Honda) And to add salt to his wounds, Ferrari seems to be in top shape to challenge for the podium. But will Raikkonen get the better of Sebastian this time around? (Read: Ferrari vs. Mercedes, Really?)

The Hamilton vs. Rosberg battle seems boring for the moment and the way it is, could Hamilton go ahead and claim victories at the all the races this season? Can he create a world record that we hoped Michael Schumacher or Sebastian Vettel would? As boring as it sounds, this could be a reality – Someone Please Fight Back! (Read: Drive It Like You Stole It)

And in this super dominant and successful phase for Mercedes, Rishi and I pay tribute to Ross Brawn, the brains behind this team and car, he deserves much of the credit. And we wonder, had Mercedes persisted with a certain Michael Schumacher, would he have been on his way to winning his 9th World Championship? Whoops!  (Read: If Schumacher Turned TV Commentator)

After winning the opening banter in Melbourne, Rosberg vs. Vettel could pick up interest if Vettel does take his notebook (what’s that?) and end up attending the debrief with the Mercedes engineers on Friday. Cheeky of Rosberg to invite, will Vettel get cheekier? (Read: Nico Rosberg Debuts On The Inside Line F1 Podcast)

Felipe Nasr and Sauber believe that his performance in Melbourne was good enough for him to skip practice in Sepang as they announced Ferrari backed Marciello (pay-test-development-reserve driver!) to take his place in FP1!

Our LOL moment this week was offered by former Ferrari driver Rubens Barrichello, whereas we are deeply saddened by the loss of the German Grand Prix from the calendar. I wonder what Formula1 fans need to do to have more than 19 races on the calendar. But for now, tune in to the latest episode of the Inside Line F1 Podcast.

The Inside Line F1 Podcast is now available on various platforms and I would welcome you to choose your platform to listen to the humour that we add to the otherwise serious and complex sport of Formula1. And while our podcast frequency is weekly, come ‘like‘ the Inside Line F1 Podcast on Facebook and on Google+ for far frequent humorous updates from the world of Formula1.

If you are an Apple user, you can subscribe to the Inside Line F1 Podcast on the iTunes Podcast Store or via our RSS feed (for Android/Windows/Blackberry users). The Inside Line F1 Podcast is also available on TuneIn Radio.

The Inside Line Formula1 Podcast is produced and hosted by Rishi Kapoor and Kunal Shah. Follow us on Twitter and on our SoundcloudDailyMotionSpreakerMixCloud and YouTube channels.

My blog made it to top 25 Formula1 blogs to read, thank you for your reads, likes, shares and listens! Keep Racing!

Thank You Red Bull Racing

Posted on | March 18, 2015 | 2 Comments

(views expressed are personal; long read, so sit back and enjoy this piece with a can of Red Bull)

Thank you Red Bull Racing! Should they actually decide to quit Formula1, I want to be the first fan ever to have thanked Red Bull Racing for their contribution and success in the sport. At times, I did wonder if I was watching Formula1 or Formula Yawn, but in my long term memory, Sebastian Vettel will always be to Red Bull Racing what Michael Schumacher was to Ferrari, well almost! So thank you for all the good years of dominant racing where an energy drinks giant took the mighty manufacturer teams at task and beat them at their game. Thank you for adding and then almost taking the fizz out of the sport! And of course, thank you for the super content pool that you created for us fans! (Read: Mercedes is the new Red Bull Racing and Vettel vs. Schumi For No. 1)

So is Red Bull Racing bullshitting everyone with their threats to quit the sport? No! That would be my clear assessment of the situation. And no, I wouldn’t be entirely shocked if they did. And if they really do, they will take four cars with them. Sigh! Barring Haas F1 Team’s entry, almost every other piece of news in the last two years or so is about teams taking their cars off the much coveted Formula1 grid. (Read: Your Chance To Own An F1 Team)

Red Bull Racing

But it is time to keep emotions aside and assess this threat from a business (for me, Formula1 is first a business!) and then from a technical point of view. Red Bull Energy drinks invests millions of dollars to run their Formula1 operations – Red Bull Racing and Toro Rosso. If I could be cheeky, the Formula One Management (FOM) too invests money in the lead team via a ‘preferred’ payment for every season they compete (rumoured to be $70 million or a nearly 80-90% of a mid-field team’s annual budget). For the uninitiated, Red Bull Racing gets paid to race in Formula1, much like Ferrari, Williams, Mclaren and Mercedes. (Read: Racing First, Engineering Later)

The result of this investment is two beautifully designed and coloured Red Bull Racing (oh the CamoBull) cars followed by almost identical in design and colour Toro Rosso ones. The Red Bull Racing driver program relies on these cars to help junior drivers graduate from lower formulae to Formula1 and finally fight for World Championships. Sebastian Vettel is the best summary for Red Bull’s driver program, including his graduation to an ‘iconic’ team like Ferrari! (Read: From Vettel To Lord Vitthal)

While Red Bull Racing is in the business of Motorsport, which involves going racing on the weekends, earning points, winning races and championship, trading drivers, etc. it is ultimately a tool and medium for promoting their parent brand Red Bull on a global sporting platform called Formula1. (Read: Let Us Save Formula1)

And it is this platform that is under threat…from its own self! I don’t know if the new regulations are entirely to blame for this. For years now, Formula1 has delivered single team dominated seasons, which I would label as a product failure. On the marketing front, there has been NO marketing from the sport, so there is little failure there to write about. The result has been declining TV numbers, circuit attendees and migration from traditional European markets to newer markets that seem confused and puzzled by the technical wizardry of the sport. (Read: Someone Please Fight Back)

Red Bull Racing and Toro Rosso

From a Red Bull point of view, if the cost of participation and competitiveness has gone up without a significant increase in the followership of the sport (across all media), would it make sense to still keep investing in a sport that appears to be dying a slow death to many? Yes, if there’s a resurrection plan in place. But that too seems to be missing. Ad hoc technical changes are being recommended and pursued at extra cost to the teams and without wondering what the fan actually wants. Sooner or later, those in the business would question if Formula1 was worth their effort, time and more importantly money. (Read: Fed Up Of Rule Changes In Formula1)

Could Red Bull get a better bang for their buck outside of Formula1? I wouldn’t know, but they visionary marketing managers surely would. After all, they are possibly the largest investor in sports (outside of governments) globally and they dislike working with federations (I know from personal experience) where they are unable to have their own way and set their own rules. And this is what leads me to the technical or racing part of their decision. (Read: Can Formula1 Learn From Rush?)

Red Bull Racing won four titles on the trot from 2010 till 2013 in an Adrian Newey designed super car at the hands of Sebastian Vettel. They pushed the design regulations to the limit (and sometimes outside) to ensure that they were ahead of the competition by a mile and won with a comfortable margin. Now they have neither Vettel nor Newey at their disposal and Renault’s power trains are un-power train like. (Read: Red Bull Racing Need Wings)

But is their public invite to the FIA to ‘equalise’ the sport justified? In Red Bull Racing’s years of reign, several innovative aerodynamic solutions that were implemented were subsequently banned (eg: exhaust blown diffuser) to slow them down and try and let the others ‘catch up’. As a sport, I disagree with the view that the FIA should step in to balance the performance gaps. But as an entertainment, it wouldn’t be wrong to say that they should. An increasing number of fans are bored of single team dominated seasons and will sooner or later switch to other far more entertaining sports on TV (golf?). The number of fans who see Formula1 as a sport of technical brilliance is dwindling, so there could be only a few who agree with my view. (Read: Formula1 Puts Fans First) The world can not be without a strong global platform for motorsport, is this where Formula1 has given Formula E a chance?

This year, the engine regulations are so tightly written, that it is impossible for Renault, Red Bull’s engine supplier, to find a solution to fight the might of the Mercedes power unit. In fact, going by the reactions from Red Bull’s management, it would be safe to assume that Renault have lost further ground over the winter. (Read: Hola V6 Turbo, Gracias V8s)

But Renault seem to have lost, where Ferrari seem to have gained over Mercedes. The French manufacturer seems uncomfortable with the new hybrid regulations, despite being one of the most vocal manufacturer to ask the FIA for ‘road relevant’ technology. With the regulations frozen till 2020 (in parts), Red Bull seems to have lost faith that Renault can make progress and help deliver an engine that will allow them to challenge for wins in the near future. (Read: Engine No-ise)

Sebastian Vettel - 2013 Indian Grand Prix

So what does Red Bull Racing do? They know that becoming a customer to Ferrari and Mercedes isn’t the best solution to beating their factory teams (like Mclaren realised) nor is joining hands with Honda (for the moment). No wonder Massa questioned whether his Williams had the same engine as Mercedes in Australia. (Read: Formula One Is Funny)

Could Red Bull Racing develop their own engines? Sure, they could attempt to, but there’s no guarantee that the huge investment will yield desired results given the complexity of the hybrid regulations. Fundamentally, Red Bull Racing has always been a chassis manufacturer who ‘bought’ engines from an engine supplier. Manufacturing an engine would be non-core for their operations.

The other option for them is to lure an Audi or any other engine manufacturer to the sport, just like Mclaren did. But the inconsistency in future regulations and Honda’s struggle to cope with the new ones could well caution a new supplier before entering the sport. So what does Red Bull Racing do?

Issue a threat! Hope that the FIA, FOM and every other stakeholder takes notice and understands that if Red Bull has reevaluating their commitment to the sport that has given then global fame and recognition, there is probably a desperate need to correct the course of self destruction that the sport is on. (Read: Formula One or Formula Rookie?)

If rumours are to be believed, Audi is keen to buy Red Bull Racing whereas Toro Rosso have confirmed Renault’s interest in their facilities. If the right price was to be offered, I wouldn’t be surprised if Red Bull would sell and settle with a load of cash in their bank accounts. After all, this is what business is all about – you buy cheap (they bought Jaguar after all!), grow the brand, increase the value and exit with a profit. (Read: Formula1 Needs Car Manufacturers)

Ferrari have issued ‘quit’ threats in the past and have acted on none. But one should keep in mind that Ferrari’s biggest brand marketing campaign is their Formula1 team, which is why they sacked a load of people last year (including Montezemolo) when the team started underperforming. For Red Bull, Formula1 is one of their key marketing associations, but not the only. They have several other individual and team-led sporting associations that will continue to deliver value to the brand. (Read: Formula1 Needs Better Marketing)

The only piece in the Red Bull jigsaw puzzle that I am yet to figure is Red Bull’s investment on bringing the Red Bull Ring (the A1 Ring) back on the calendar as the Austrian Grand Prix. But I do believe that this would be a somewhat insignificant piece in the puzzle that the Red Bull management would be trying to solve all season long. (Read: The A1 Ring Is Back)

My views will either be subscribed to or spat upon depending how you view the sport – a business or a sport. Either way, thank you Red Bull.

My blog made it to top 25 Formula1 blogs to read, thank you for your reads, likes, shares and listens! Keep Racing!

Inside Line F1 Podcast – Formula One or Formula Rookie?

Posted on | March 17, 2015 | No Comments

The 2015 Australian Grand Prix was a rookie affair at best. Sainz, Verstappen and Nasr were impressive to say the least, but that is where the rookie affair ended. Manor’s shoddy attempt, Mclaren-Honda’s almost no-go, drive-to-score points and even the much practiced pit-stops were absolutely non-Formula1 grade. Hence the question, is this Formula One or Formula Rookie? (Read: Formula One Is Funny)

One shouldn’t be too surprised if Sauber revealed that they had hired a rookie lawyer (well, a pay-lawyer) to fight their case against their pay-driver from last year, Giedo Van Der Garde. After all, this would be in line with the team’s policy for the 2015 Formula1 Season. And in line with the sport’s motto based on Darwin’s Theory of Evolution – ‘survival of the fittest’. (Read: Will F1 Survive Without Bernie?)

But is the sport fit enough to survive in its current state? I would think not. Dwindling grid, expensive and almost incomprehensible technology and artificial racing could almost spell doom for the sport; that is if Red Bull Racing doesn’t do so already. (Read: Bernie I Shrunk The Grid and Racing First, Engineering Later)

2015 Australian GP: Formula One or Formula Rookie?

The energy drinks manufacturer has threatened to sell-off their teams by the end of this season should there not be a change in regulations to ‘equalise’ the sport, something that the FIA often did when Red Bull Racing stomped their way to multiple championship wins by interpreting the regulations far more innovatively than the competition. The double diffuser, exhaust blown diffuser, etc. saw their way out of the sport due to the FIA’s intervention to stop Red Bull’s bull-run! And this isn’t true for Red Bull alone, Ferrari, Williams and other teams have been subjected to the FIA’s unfair policing in the past too! (Read: Mercedes Is The New Red Bull)

Would it be fair if the FIA intervened to ‘correct’ the current disparity in the sport? For me, the answer isn’t an entirely easy one. Mercedes seemed like the only team in Formula1 spec in the opening round of this season, so penalizing them for playing to the regulations would be unfair. But I guess what you and I think don’t matter, because Bernie Ecclestone certainly thinks that the Mercedes advantage should be surrendered and that too via a fairly stupid solution. But that’s Bernie! (Read: Blame It Bernie?)

But Red Bull Racing’s departure may not be a big loss for the sport if Audi and Renault (for Toro Rosso) replace them (as rumoured). The sport could do better with more manufacturers on the grid (Read: F1 Needs More Car Manufacturers), but I believe that the inconsistency in regulations and Honda’s inability to cope up with the current hybrid regulations despite being at it for more than a year could be a deterrent for new entrants. But if you’re still interested, here’s more – Your Chance To Own An F1 Team.

Lastly, we pick the ‘Rookie of the Race’ from Australia while hoping that when Formula1 returns for the 2015 Malaysian Grand Prix, we won’t have a truncated grid yet again. Tune in to the latest episode of the Inside Line F1 Podcast even if you tuned off the Formula1 broadcast for the opening round! We promise you more than a few laughs!

PS: Our previous episodes ‘Oh No! Alonso!’ and ‘Helmet Ban(ter)’ received some good comments and listens, super thank you to all our listeners!

The Inside Line F1 Podcast is now available on various platforms and I would welcome you to choose your platform to listen to the humour that we add to the otherwise serious and complex sport of Formula1. And while our podcast frequency is weekly, come ‘like‘ the Inside Line F1 Podcast on Facebook and on Google+ for far frequent humorous updates from the world of Formula1.

If you are an Apple user, you can subscribe to the Inside Line F1 Podcast on the iTunes Podcast Store or via our RSS feed (for Android/Windows/Blackberry users). The Inside Line F1 Podcast is also available on TuneIn Radio.

The Inside Line Formula1 Podcast is produced and hosted by Rishi Kapoor and Kunal Shah. Follow us on Twitter and on our SoundcloudDailyMotionSpreakerMixCloud and YouTube channels.

Mercedes On Top, Mclaren-Honda At The Bottom In Australia

Posted on | March 14, 2015 | No Comments

Fernando Alonso applies for sick leave for Malaysia, Bahrain and China was actually supposed to be the headline of this post. But this isn’t unexpected. I am certain that Mclaren-Honda were well aware of their capabilities in Melbourne. Is this why they voted in favour of Manor racing in Australia? Ironically enough, even if they did, Manor couldn’t overcome their software issues. But this is what happens when you run Windows OS in this day and age of hybrid Formula1.

Strangely enough, Honda’s engines have made more noise on Twitter than on track since the announcement of their return to the sport with Mclaren. Pundits are expecting Honda to match Mercedes as the season progresses, but in Australia, it is the heat that they are unable to beat. I can only wonder what will happen to them in Malaysia! Is Fernando Alonso the unluckiest charm in the paddock? Looking at Ferrari’s form (yet) in Melbourne, one might wonder so.

It was business as usual as Mercedes decimated their opposition and Lewis Hamilton started his title defence on a perfect note by out-qualifying Nico Rosberg by over half a second. Felipe Massa’s P3 is a delight (he was being funny when he ‘hoped’ for the same engine as the Mercedes cars!), but the near 1.4 second gap is a worry, but again, not unexpected. If Mercedes and Hamilton run qualifying pace in the race, they will finish nearly 90 seconds ahead of the rest of the pack. They seem to have stretched their lead a further few tenths from the rest.

Carlos Sainz Jr. - 2015 Australian Grand Prix

But then again, it isn’t the ‘best of the rest’ he will be competing against. His battle will be with Rosberg; and from the 2014 Formula1 Season we know that the German’s strength is qualifying over race pace. And though Rosberg made an error on his fastest lap today, he shouldn’t be taken lightly in the race tomorrow. I hope that the Hamilton vs. Rosberg battle will bring cheers in the 2015 Australian Grand Prix and in the 2015 Formula1 Season as fans prepare for yet another single team domination.

‘Like father, like son’ would be the apt phrase to define Carlos Sainz Jr.’s show of pace and talent on his debut. He managed to qualify his Toro Rosso in Q3 (P8), ahead of his much spoken about team-mate Max Verstappen and less than two tenths off his Red Bull Racing senior driver Daniel Ricciardo. His drive has to be the ‘drive of the day’ for me.

Despite Sauber’s limited running this weekend, Felipe Nasr did fairly well to almost get a qualification in Q3. Luckily for him, he won’t face legal implications for racing a car that legally was supposed to be for Giedo Van Damme.

Lastly, I hope that Ferrari and Williams offer a good battle for the last spot on the podium, because the top two slots will be split between the Mercedes drivers. And thanks to Mercedes, they will be allowed to battle for it.

Here’s also the link to this week’s episode of the Inside Line F1 Podcast, ‘Oh No! Alonso!’. Tune in!

The Inside Line F1 Podcast is now available on various platforms and I would welcome you to choose your platform to listen to the humour that we add to the otherwise serious and complex sport of Formula1. And while our podcast frequency is weekly, come ‘like‘ the Inside Line F1 Podcast on Facebook and on Google+ for far frequent humorous updates from the world of Formula1.

If you are an Apple user, you can subscribe to the Inside Line F1 Podcast on the iTunes Podcast Store or via our RSS feed (for Android/Windows/Blackberry users). The Inside Line F1 Podcast is also available on TuneIn Radio.

The Inside Line Formula1 Podcast is produced and hosted by Rishi Kapoor and Kunal Shah. Follow us on Twitter and on our SoundcloudDailyMotionSpreakerMixCloud and YouTube channels.

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Inside Line F1 Podcast: Helmet Ban(ter)

Posted on | February 25, 2015 | No Comments

You may love or hate Sebastian Vettel, but you’ve got to admit that he is possibly the most powerful driver on the grid today. After four consecutive World Championship wins with Red Bull Racing, he forced the FIA and the likes to ‘rewrite’ regulations so that they could bring an end to his dominance. But that’s not where his power stops. (Read: Vettel vs. Schumacher – Who Is No. 1?)

After changing his helmet design for nearly every race for the last two seasons, he’s now got the smart administrators of the sport to impose a ban on creative design changes on the helmet. ‘Ridiculous’ was my first thought and is still the second. But a longer deeper motive emerges which is in line with what Formula1 has struggled to do for the last decade or so – build ‘brands’ out of teams and drivers. Mr. E and his band of boys (F1 Strategy Group) have made little effort to bring about meaningful changes to the sport and its business to retain the mid-field teams (read: brands), but it does seem that such a ban will do wonders to the sport in some way that I am unable to comprehend. (Read: Formula1 Puts Fans First)

Sebastian Vettel loves his helmets!

But I do admit that this is also where Formula1 lags when it comes to Football or Cricket or any other sport, the lack of ‘facial’ connect with the driver. This is probably why fans go wide eyed when a steering wheel camera showcases the eye movements of the drivers and that is as far as one can go in this sport. There’s the pit-to-car radio, but that is audio at its best. I believe this ‘ban’ has been put in place to create and sustain the emotional connect with a driver, which is currently lacking. And while Rishi agrees with the ban, I am on Vettel’s side – I absolutely disagree!

This ban could get further ridiculous if the FIA expands it further by stating that no two drivers can have the same colours on the helmet given that all you see at over 300 kmph is a blurry line of colours! And trust me, they are capable of such a regulation! Why not debut the ‘info wing’ from the 2015 Formula1 Season instead? (Read: Fed Up Of Rule Changes In Formula1)

In this week’s episode of the Inside Line F1 Podcast, Rishi and I talk about the helmet design ban, whether Alonso’s crash and possible absence will dent Mclaren’s chances of winning a race this season (LOL!) and how Mercedes have managed to extend their unreliability streak from machine to man. And of course, before we forget, we reveal why Ferrari has been secretly designing their cars to look like Lego racing cars. Tune in and laugh along! (Read: Gillette Mclaren Honda)

The Inside Line F1 Podcast is now available on various platforms and I would welcome you to choose your platform to listen to the humour that we add to the otherwise serious and complex sport of Formula1. And while our podcast frequency is weekly, come ‘like‘ the Inside Line F1 Podcast on Facebook and on Google+ for far frequent humorous updates from the world of Formula1.

If you are an Apple user, you can subscribe to the Inside Line F1 Podcast on the iTunes Podcast Store or via our RSS feed (for Android/Windows/Blackberry users). The Inside Line F1 Podcast is also available on TuneIn Radio.

The Inside Line Formula1 Podcast is produced and hosted by Rishi Kapoor and Kunal Shah. Follow us on Twitter and on our SoundcloudDailyMotionSpreakerMixCloud and YouTube channels.

Inside Line F1 Podcast: It’s Time For Barcelona

Posted on | February 18, 2015 | No Comments

The second pre-season test of the 2015 Formula1 Season is upon us. And while pre-season testing form is almost impossible to predict, Rishi and I tell you what you could expect when the Formula1 circus tests their act in Barcelona starting tomorrow. (Read: Ferrari vs. Mercedes In 2015, Really?)

Is the era of ‘title sponsors’ in Formula1 over? I think not, but Ron Dennis does think so. I am not sure if this is entirely his way to make peace with himself, his shareholders and his fans given that Mclaren is the only top team on the grid that is entering it’s second season without a top sponsor. A case of ‘sour grapes’, as Rishi calls it. (Read: Gillette Mclaren Honda) And if Dennis was disappointing in his views, Flavio Briatore, one of the smartest minds in the sport, has come up with an even more radical thought, one that could define the business of the sport in the future.

Second Pre-Season Test Of 2015 At Barcelona

And I wonder what’s it with teams gunning for radical changes in 2017. I am for changes that make the sport more viewable and understandable, but not if they’re some 24 months away! It would be rude to expect the existing and new fan to wait till the sport ‘corrects’ itself, so to say. And on that note, we offer our views on the ‘Future of F1′ concept by Ferrari. (Read: Formula1 Puts Fans First)

Also, Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton need to stop talking about their impending contract and sign it. Yes, this story does have global interest given the stakes involved, but they’ve overdone their PR on this subject already. Does Hamilton have other options at the moment? And in that case, Mercedes certainly does seem like they do, or will. (Read: A Nico And A Nico-le and Mercedes Prefer A Blonde On Top)

Lastly, the TV viewing audiences have dipped globally which is directly related to pay-per-view and subscription led broadcast as opposed to free-to-air strategy that the sport followed until not too long ago. The good news is that the audience that remains is expected to be more ‘sticky’ and relevant, and overall, USA has shown an increase in numbers, which will be interesting as the sport is strategically inclined to growing in that market. And of course, a BIG thank you to our listeners from the USA, you guys really have helped put our podcast on the top of the list! Keep Racing! (Read: Why Formula One Fans Will Thank TATA Communications and What Formula One Can Learn From the Indian Premier League)

The Inside Line F1 Podcast is now available on various platforms and I would welcome you to choose your platform to listen to the humour that we add to the otherwise serious and complex sport of Formula1. And while our podcast frequency is weekly, come ‘like‘ the Inside Line F1 Podcast on Facebook and on Google+ for far frequent humorous updates from the world of Formula1.

If you are an Apple user, you can subscribe to the Inside Line F1 Podcast on the iTunes Podcast Store or via our RSS feed (for Android/Windows/Blackberry users). The Inside Line F1 Podcast is also available on TuneIn Radio.

The Inside Line Formula1 Podcast is produced and hosted by Rishi Kapoor and Kunal Shah. Follow us on Twitter and on our SoundcloudDailyMotionSpreakerMixCloud and YouTube channels.

Inside Line F1 Podcast: Formula One Is Funny

Posted on | February 12, 2015 | No Comments

The last week in Formula1 has been funny. No, I seriously mean it. It has been so funny that I almost felt insecure about the Inside Line F1 Podcast and its future! After all, we dwell on the humour that the sport creates but doesn’t care (or dare!) to talk about. (Read: Formula Puts Fans First)

In this week’s episode of the Inside Line F1 Podcast, Rishi and I wonder how the F1 Strategy Group could find it so difficult to fix the engine regulations for the coming seasons (Read: Engine No-ise). In fact, we even wonder how and if Hamilton’s ‘rapper’ image would attract newer fans to the sport (oh good lord, Bernie! ‘Blame It On Bernie’) or if Alonso really did ask for ‘equal’ treatment in Mclaren! (Read: Thank You Mclaren) Yes, tune in and join us as we laugh out loud on the headlines from the last week.

Lewis 'Rapper' Hamilton

And thank you to Kevin Magnussen for heeding our advice! After Mclaren clicked on the ‘pause’ Button in his career for the 2015 Formula1 Season, the rookie has made the sensible decision to pursue burning rubber over getting rusty! After all, he’s no Kimi Raikkonen, but we hope he isn’t Adrian Sutil either. (Read: Ice Ice Baby)

Nico Rosberg hints at turning to Yoga to strengthen his breathing pattern in his preparation for this year’s title fight with Hamilton. But of course, given that we come from the land of Yoga, who better than Rishi and I to offer further pointers to aid his title bid! Breathe in, let the podcast load and tune in!

And lastly, as you and I wait for the second pre-season test in Barcelona, here’s a question for everyone, ‘Ferrari vs. Mercedes in 2015, really?’

The Inside Line F1 Podcast is now available on various platforms and I would welcome you to choose your platform to listen to the humour that we add to the otherwise serious and complex sport of Formula1. And while our podcast frequency is weekly, come ‘like‘ the Inside Line F1 Podcast on Facebook and on Google+ for far frequent humorous updates from the world of Formula1.

If you are an Apple user, you can subscribe to the Inside Line F1 Podcast on the iTunes Podcast Store or via our RSS feed (for Android/Windows/Blackberry users).

The Inside Line Formula1 Podcast is produced and hosted by Rishi Kapoor and Kunal Shah. Follow us on Twitter and on our SoundcloudDailyMotionSpreakerMixCloud and YouTube channels.

Inside Line F1 Podcast – Ferrari vs. Mercedes, Really?

Posted on | February 6, 2015 | No Comments

Test times don’t matter, race times do! Yes, my attempt at modifying a famous quote for the world of Motorsport! If you pay heed to that quote, you’ll know that Mercedes are still the class of the field of 2015 despite not topping the time sheets at the first test in Jerez. Similarly, you will know that Ferrari will be the ones chasing them again for top honours, but will they be the lead chasers?

Does seem to be so! Ferrari seemed rejuvenated and quick in Jerez, well, I mean quicker than their slow self of 2014. Is it the Vettel factor? Too early, I say. Is it the team re-jig? I doubt, the changes were too late to have a significant impact in the 2015 Formula1 Season. But if the 2015 car does turn out to be as quick as they showed in Jerez, would it be due to inputs from the not-capable-of-leading-a-team Alonso? The uber talented Alonso does seem to be the worst lucky charm for an F1 team currently! (Read: Gillette Mclaren Honda)

Ferrari vs. Mercedes, Really?

The sport does seem to have come a long way in the last year. The pre-season tests in the 2014 Formula1 Season were embarrassing to say the least. Teams struggled to post double digit laps. In comparison, this year, teams have been clocking three race distances in a day! Kudos! And this is also why I believe that Mclaren-Honda will sort their niggles by the time the circus reaches Melbourne.

On the point of lead chasers, I do hope that Williams have the guts to take risks and challenge Mercedes. But even if they do, I wouldn’t be surprised if Mercedes would turn down their power citing some reliability excuses. And of course, our runners up from last year Red Bull Racing are reportedly seeking to replace Renault as their engine supplier as soon as possible. But the million dollar questions is – which engine will they purchase? Ferrari or Mercedes? Of course ‘neither’ is the option. Would this mean that the Milton Keynes based squad will develop their own engine? Or will they lure another power unit supplier to the sport? (Read: F1 Needs More Manufacturers)

I do expect Red Bull Racing, who have done a super job with the CamoBull, to be the lead challengers for Mercedes. But it seems like Red Bull Needs Wings.

In this week’s episode of the Inside Line F1 Podcast, we talk about how the German Grand Prix is important to the sport, fans, media and drivers and its possible exclusion is most shocking. On that note, should Indians be leading the business of Formula1? And which team has the best livery on the grid? Apart from that, we calculate why drivers will need to brake a minimum of three metres earlier on the first lap of the first race this season. Tune in!

The Inside Line F1 Podcast is now available on various platforms and I would welcome you to choose your platform to listen to the humour that we add to the otherwise serious and complex sport of Formula1. And while our podcast frequency is weekly, come ‘like‘ the Inside Line F1 Podcast on Facebook and on Google+ for far frequent humorous updates from the world of Formula1.

If you are an Apple user, you can subscribe to the Inside Line F1 Podcast on the iTunes Podcast Store or via our RSS feed (for Android/Windows/Blackberry users).

The Inside Line Formula1 Podcast is produced and hosted by Rishi Kapoor and Kunal Shah. Follow us on Twitter and on our SoundcloudDailyMotionSpreakerMixCloud and YouTube channels.

Inside Line F1 Podcast: Ice Ice Baby

Posted on | January 29, 2015 | No Comments

Could Vettel’s baby girl and Raikkonen’s baby boy become a couple a few decades from now? Pardon me, but that was one of the first few thoughts that came to my mind as I was preparing for the latest episode of the Inside Line F1 Podcast with Rishi Kapoor.

Ice Ice Baby - Kimi Raikkonen

The other thought that crossed my mind was – if Force India has similar livery to that of Mclaren’s, what livery will Mclaren don in the 2015 Formula1 Season? Reports say that they will launch and use a ‘black’ liveried car for now, which makes us wonder if ‘delays’ are a Mclaren thing off-late! Oh, you can’t blame us. And of course, why is Ferrari trying to name their car after Force India? (Read: Gillette Mclaren Honda and Thank You Mclaren)

Is Christian Horner playing mind games with Sebastian Vettel and Ferrari as they embark on a new journey together? Or did Vettel genuinely contemplate leaving Formula1? Does the sport need Sebastian Vettel? What Horner also did was confirm our belief from the 2014 Formula1 Season that Vettel wasn’t enjoying the new formula of Formula1 and took way too long to come to terms with it. (Read: Vettel Wins An Award On The Inside Line F1 Podcast Awards)

Lastly, Renault has undergone a restructure of their organization in the hope to improve their engine performance this season. On the Inside Line F1 Podcast, we wonder if Renault should’ve chosen ‘rebadge’ over restructure! (Read: Chequered Flag For 2014)

And while you tune in to our latest episode, could Newey’s next victory be the America’s Cup in 2017? Let’s wait and watch!

The Inside Line F1 Podcast is now available on various platforms and I would welcome you to choose your platform to listen to the humour that we add to the otherwise serious and complex sport of Formula1. And while our podcast frequency is weekly, come ‘like‘ the Inside Line F1 Podcast on Facebook and on Google+ for far frequent humorous updates from the world of Formula1.

If you are an Apple user, you can subscribe to the Inside Line F1 Podcast on the iTunes Podcast Store or via our RSS feed (for Android/Windows/Blackberry users).

The Inside Line Formula1 Podcast is produced and hosted by Rishi Kapoor and Kunal Shah. Follow us on Twitter and on our SoundcloudDailyMotionSpreakerMixCloud and YouTube channels.

Inside Line F1 Podcast: Gillette Mclaren Honda

Posted on | January 23, 2015 | No Comments

Mclaren is in trouble. On track, and off it! Or so we think! After failing to compete at the front end of the grid in the 2014 Formula1 Season, the team from Woking will start the 2015 Formula1 Season minus a ‘title sponsor’ (yes, their second season minus some really big bucks!). And while the team and fans (Alonso too!) hope that the Honda partnership will bring success, immediate or otherwise, Rishi and I offer help to solve their off-track issues – that of signing up a title sponsor! (But that doesn’t stop me from saying ‘Thank you Mclaren’)

Gillette Mclaren Honda

After a super successful episode of our 2015 Inside Line F1 Podcast Awards, Rishi and I met earlier in the week to record our latest episode – Gillette Mclaren Honda. Apart from Mclaren’s obvious sponsorship opportunity with Gillette, we talk about the FIA Super License System and how it is a step in the right direction but in the need of much evolution in the months to come. And we also throw some light on how some series and their importance in the ‘ladder to F1’ has almost been eliminated via this new system.

Lastly, Formula1 fans narrowly missed the exciting pairing of Alonso and Hulkenberg at Ferrari after Kimi Raikkonen poked his ice creamy nose and took away The Hulk’s scarlet opportunity. And this time, thanks to Honda, did we miss yet another Alonso-Hulkenberg pairing with Porsche? Oh these automobile brands, they do know how to spoil some fun, on track and off it! (Read: The Ferrari, Alonso, Raikkonen and Hulkenberg Puzzle)

PS: Our partner #F1Extra is now #MSportExtra, go follow!

The Inside Line F1 Podcast is now available on various platforms and I would welcome you to choose your platform to listen to the humour that we add to the otherwise serious and complex sport of Formula1. And while our podcast frequency is weekly, come ‘like‘ the Inside Line F1 Podcast on Facebook and on Google+ for far frequent humorous updates from the world of Formula1.

If you are an Apple user, you can subscribe to the Inside Line F1 Podcast on the iTunes Podcast Store or via our RSS feed (for Android/Windows/Blackberry users).

The Inside Line Formula1 Podcast is produced and hosted by Rishi Kapoor and Kunal Shah. Follow us on Twitter and on our SoundcloudDailyMotionSpreakerMixCloud and YouTube channels.

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