Indy vs. F1, Settle This The Boxing Way

Lewis Hamilton has managed to piss off a legion of fans in America – this is after he’s spent the last few years trying to woo the country. His comment about the quality of talent in the Indy Car series was unwanted. But it has received a fitting reply from the drivers who participate in the series – the best coming from Tony Kannan!


Apart from the ‘war of words’, can we settle this score in a ‘racer vs. racer’ battle – the way boxing does? It would be absolutely outstanding to see a Kannan / Dixon take on Hamilton in a single-make car. Yes, the Race of Champions is a similar concept, but it seems more fun than serious competition.
I am a fan of boxing movies and depicting this racer vs. racer battle like a high-profile and high-stakes bout of racing sounds interesting.

Can Formula 1 Introduce Prize Money?

Fernando Alonso earned $300,000 for his Indy 500 attempt and he claims that the money might attract more Formula 1 talent, if nothing else. In Formula 1, drivers are paid by their teams and hence there isn’t the concept of a ‘prize money’, but can this be introduced? It would be fun to see drivers fight out for the top step of the podium and the largest chunk of the prize money. And if a slow-speed sport like Golf can have prize money advertised, I am sure Formula 1 can find a solution to keep everyone happy.
Since the new management wishes to eliminate secrecy in the sport – how much the teams and drivers earn would be an interesting piece of data to have too. At the moment, we’re relying on unofficial figures!

Stroll Is No Vettel Or Raikkonen

In her bid to justify pay-driver Lance Stroll’s talent, Claire Williams drew parallels between Stroll, Vettel and Raikkonen’s debut seasons. Stroll, who is my first contender to smash in to the Wall of Champions in Canada, has struggled to finish in the points, whereas, Vettel and Raikkonen both scored points in their debut race itself. What makes Vettel’s and Raikkonen’s debut even more interesting is that they scored when only the top eight and six finishers were awarded points that season.

Perez or Alonso To Renault? Or Could It Be Kubica?

Last week, we spoke about how Carlos Sainz Jr. won’t be racing a Toro Rosso next season. This week, we’re talking of Renault’s possible replacement of Jolyon Palmer – strange that the struggling British driver is seen as the trigger in the driver market. Would Renault replace Palmer with Sergio Perez or will they go for the big fish, Fernando Alonso? Interesting prospects for Renault, but also difficult ones to pursue.


Perez has interest from Ferrari, however PR driven it may be. Last year, he turned down their advances on grounds of a long term deal which the Mexican didn’t want (with the hope that Ferrari would hire him after Raikkonen). Would things turn out the same way this time too? As for Alonso, barring Red Bull Racing, he says he can go off to Mercedes or Ferrari – should they be willing to change their existing line-up. However, would a reunion with his championship winning team be on the cards if no other option comes up? It would be yet another long wait for Alonso given that Renault’s target in 2017 is 6th place and a winning car is expected only by 2019!
But wait a minute, the super-talent Robert Kubica is expected to test a Formula 1 car for Renault later this week. Could a heroic return be on the cards? Renault might just have the problem of plenty.

Hammer Time in Canada?

It is difficult to look away from Sebastian Vettel while selecting your winner for Canada. However, Hamilton is at his best when he’s chasing and this time, he will be chasing a 25 points deficit to Vettel. Niki Lauda has already made it public that for Hamilton to be back in the driver’s seat (pun intended!) in the Drivers’ Championship, Vettel would need to retire at least once. By this, I hope Lauda means retiring the Fernando Alonso way (retirement!) and not the Massa or Button (retired only to make a comeback!) or worse, the Nico Rosberg way!
(Season 2017, Episode 21)
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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