PR Laps To Hoodwink Sponsors
THEÂ INSIDE LINE F1 PODCASTÂ IS HOSTED BY MITHILA MEHTA AND KUNAL SHAH. THISÂ FORMULA ONE PODCASTÂ OFFERS A UNIQUE HUMOUROUS VIEW ON THE SPORT.
The second pre-season test is underway in Barcelona. In this weekâ€™s episode of the Inside Line F1 Podcast, Mithila and I predict the outcome of the test even before it concludes. No, weâ€™re not Nostradamus! If youâ€™re a Formula 1 fan and followed the first test, chances are they you would be able to make a good guess too. Like Mithila said, â€˜If a car looks too fast to be true, it probably is!â€™
Thereâ€™s good chance that Mercedes vs. Red Bull Racing = Engine vs. Aero! Mercedes should easily perform a few more race simulations with both their drivers, while Mclaren-Honda should struggle, albeit a little less. While most teams are using the pre-season tests to fine-tune their cars, Mclaren are spending much time learning how to swap Honda engines! Thereâ€™s good chance that this skill might come handy on many racing weekends. (Mclaren Go From Being The Joke To Cracking Jokes)
While form factor might be predictable, we’re wondering which team will be the first to put in a ‘sponsor’ or ‘PR’ lap towards the final days of testing?
If Mclaren-Honda do struggle further, thereâ€™s good chance that the talks of a possible divorce will do further rounds. It is strange and funny at the same time. A story last week indicated that Mclaren would go back to Mercedes BEFORE the start of the 2017 Formula 1 Season. Seasoned fans and pundits wouldâ€™ve called their bluff on that story within seconds of consuming it. Formula 1 cars arenâ€™t plug and play. The Mclaren chassis is designed for the Honda power unit and fitting a Mercedes power unit, if a few spares ones were available with Mercedes that is, would mean much redesign of the rear of the MCL32.
The only upside of this story wouldâ€™ve been Fernando Alonso driving a Mercedes powered car, if not the actual Mercedes and this would make Formula 1â€™s Game of Thrones much fun.
Weâ€™ve been cracking up way too much on Mclaren and theyâ€™ve been good fodder for our podcast. Richard Mille has sponsored Haas along with Mclaren this season. Is this because the watch manufacturer doesnâ€™t trust Mclaren to deliver on its Formula 1 objectives? Not sure if Ron Dennis wouldâ€™ve ever agreed to a non-exclusive sponsorship.
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The Lewis Hamilton Factor
Lewis Hamiltonâ€™s dip in fortunes was stated as one of the reasons for the viewership decline in the UK in 2016. Thatâ€™s strange! Hamilton won more races than the eventual World Champion (Nico Rosberg) and the title battle concluded at the last Grand Prix of the season. Maybe the researchers need to reason better. (How Did Lewis Hamilton Get On The Cover Of TIME?)
Hamiltonâ€™s also claimed that his relationship with Valtteri Bottas is already his best-ever with a team-mate. Funny if you think the amount of time theyâ€™ve spent together. A few hours to a full day probably? Too early to call this, I say.
Monster Energy has launched a new drink and can livery to Hamiltonâ€™s taste. Hereâ€™s to one more first for a Formula 1 driver.
Williams Going All Out In Case Lance Stroll Turns Out To Be Pastor Maldonado
Williams F1 Team have chosen Strollâ€™s cash and crashes for this season and theyâ€™re already seeing effects of both. After Strollâ€™s multiple crashes in the first test, the team made a wise decision to run Massa for the first two days of the second test.
After announcing a partnership with JCB last week (which we joked could help retrieve Strollâ€™s crashed cars faster!), Williams announced a partnership with Bombardier this week. It seems that Williams are preparing for a crash fest this season with Stroll at the wheel. An air plane partner will help deliver spares across the world at cheaper rates if Strollâ€™s frequency of crashes doesnâ€™t reduce. (Williams Unexpected Reveal Shocks Sauber)
As for Bombardier, wouldnâ€™t it make more sense to sign up Lewis Hamilton instead? After all, the former World Championâ€™s Bombardier jet has been featured as often as his cars (if not more) on his social media feeds.
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Formula 1â€™s Declining Viewership
I remember those days when Formula 1â€™s viewership crossed a little over half a billion people. In 2016, it barely managed to cross 300 million though. A move to pay-tv from free-to-air and single dominance have been blamed. But Formula 1â€™s loss has been the Inside Line F1 Podcastâ€™s gain. Weâ€™ve recorded massive growth in our per episode and per week listenership and should hopefully cross 200,000 listens in 2017. Maybe the bored Formula 1 fans do appreciate our humourous content! (A Boring Formula 1 Might Be Good For Heinekenâ€™s Business)
And by the way, the report says that viewership in the UK dropped by 50%, but weâ€™re keen to know the percentage increase in the Netherlands, obviously.
The Pink Force India
Force Indiaâ€™s ditching of the Indian tri-colour hasnâ€™t gone down too well with the Indian fans. In fact, their adopting Mclarenâ€™s dropped silver colour isnâ€™t too appealing either. But there were rumours that the Force India might turn pink if a certain sponsor joined the team. There were morphed images that did rounds too.
Vijay Mallya owned the Pinky Vodka brand (via United Spirits) and his girlfriendâ€™s name is Pinky too. Even if the fans wouldnâ€™t appreciate the pink, there would be at least two people who would â€“ Vijay and Pinky!
Protests In Melbourne
The different creative interpretations of the new regulations could see protests being lodged in Melbourne. If Mercedes end up being too quick yet again, fans should lodge a protest against them for ruining yet another season. Weâ€™ve sacrified 2014, 2015 and 2016 already! (Racing First, Engineering Later)
Season 2017, Episode 09
Co-hosted by Mithila Mehta and Kunal Shah, the Inside Line F1 Podcast is a weekly show on Formula 1 that attempts to simplify the sport and business of Formula 1. This show also aims to add some much needed humour to the otherwise serious sport of Formula 1. In 2016, the show has crossed 150,000 listens and is top-rated on iTunes and Audio Boom. The show is available on Kunalâ€™s F1 Blog and partner websites such as Motorsport, Firstpost, NDTVAuto, Sport360, Sportskeeda, Scroll, Talking About F1, Motor Octane and others.