A Lose Head & A Loose Headrest

The 2017 Azerbaijan Grand Prix did test the usage of the words ‘lose’ and ‘loose’! Here’s an interesting tweet from Chatak:


In the aftermath of the Vettel jibe, social media erupted with fans taking sides of their favourite drivers. Given the Vettel-hate that I read online, I now know why he’s chosen to stay away from social media. Or maybe he has a secret account he accesses and does ego surfing from?

The Curse Of The Number 3

Daniel Ricciardo rarely crashes and when he did in the qualifying session, Twitterverse was quick to point out that ‘Car no. 3 crashed in Q3 when the countdown clock read 3:33’. Ricciardo needed luck to win the 2017 Azerbaijan Grand Prix from P10 and he did get lucky, but not before he worked hard for it. On the number 3, his 3 car overtake at one of the restarts did set him up for victory. He overtook the faster Mercedes-powered cars – both the Force Indias and Massa’s Williams.

Ricciardo: Slow & Steady Won The Race

David Coulthard – Suave, But Creepy

The well spoken and immensely knowledgeable is a delight to have on the podium (much like it is to have Ricciardo on the podium) to conduct podium interviews. In fact, it was a delight to have him on this episode of the Inside Line F1 Podcast too! He did a fantastic job in Baku, but not before he creepily pointed towards and started unfastening Ricciardo’s shoe prompting him to perform the ‘shoey’.
By the way, some phenomenal exposure for Puma!


Red Bull Racing’s Talent Program

The FIA Stewards added 3 penalty points to Sebastian Vettel’s ‘super license’ bringing his 12 months tally to 9 points. Vettel is tied with (Daniil) Kvyat for the highest number of penalty points in the last 12 months. This makes me wonder if ruthlessness is a prerequisite to be a part of the Red Bull Racing driver program!

What About The Red Bull Racing Driver Program?

FIA Should Issue A Formula 1 Driver Manual

I doubt if such a thing exists yet, chances are it doesn’t. Given how Hamilton desperately tried to fix his loose headrest while driving down the mile-long straight at over 330 kmph, I propose that a section – ‘how to drive a Formula 1 car with one hand while adjusting your headrest’ be included. While most fans were worried about race leader Hamilton’s headrest, Kimi Raikkonen almost rejoined the race without a steering wheel! Now that would be a bit too much to include in the manual!

Safety Car Restarts

Were the Safety Car periods a tad too many in Baku? Maybe, they were. The FIA would’ve certainly learned a thing or two about clearing cars and debris more effectively when we go racing next time. However, I didn’t mind the multiple Safety Car periods – especially the restarts they induced with a bunched up field on a track where the tow worked oh-so-well! Maybe the FIA should have a regulation where the Safety Car is brought in to neutralise a boring and processional race! Formula 1 is entertainment too, after all.
Had the Safety Car not intervened at the intervals that it did, Lewis Hamilton would’ve probably bored us by winning by a mile, or more!
Finally, a triple header Formula 1 weekend in 2018 will be a treat for the fans, but if you’re a die-hard fan, you can forget about planning a holiday in June/July 2018!
Tune in!
(Season 2017, Episode 24)

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 crossed 150,000 listens and was top-rated on iTunes and Audio Boom. The show is available on Kunal’s F1 Blog and partner websites such as Motorsport, Firstpost, NDTVAuto, Sport360, Sportskeeda, Scroll, Talking About F1, Motor Octane and others.

Kunal Shah is an FIA-accredited Formula 1 journalist who has been reporting on Formula 1 for nearly two decades. He worked with the Force India Formula 1 Team for 6 seasons in Marketing, Sponsorship and Commercial roles. As a former single-seater racer, he was responsible for Force India's grassroots talent program, One from a Billion Hunt. Presently, he co-writes a regular Formula 1 column for Firstpost, speaks on Inside Line F1 Podcast & Pits to Podium and produces broadcast/OTT content for NENT Group (Viasport & Viaplay).

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