It's Time For Barcelona

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.

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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.

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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Happy to share my passion for Formula 1 with you. If you have specific queries about the sport, feel free to ping me.

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