How Can Max Verstappen Not Know Heel-Toe?


This piece of news went fairly unreported. So I thought, let me write a post on it. At a recent sponsor event, Max Verstappen claimed that he wasn’t aware of the ‘heel-toe’ technique – one that racers have been using ever since inception. Strange, isn’t it?
Actually, it might not be so. The junior formulae have long been using semi-automatic gearboxes that have made the clutch pedal redundant. While this modernization of racing was inevitable, the challenge of using two feet to manage three pedals seems more fun. As for Verstappen not knowing heel-toe, he doesn’t need to. But then again, as a racing prodigy maybe I expect him to!

(Comment via Facebook from Arjun Bhat – Verstappen went from racing 2 pedals to 2 paddles!)

For Verstappen to experience the good old three pedal racing cars, a drive at the Goodwood Festival of Speed might be needed! (Max Verstappen – Talent Of The Century)
Formula 1 and April Fools’ Day Jokes
Maldonado to return, Alonso to replace Bottas at Mercedes, Rosberg to return, Alfa Romeo – Mclaren buyout and a few others. One could actually call their bluff by just reading the headlines. The one that had and still has me puzzled was the story that said that Formula 1 is aiming to introduce cheaper and noisier engines in 2021. (Engine No-ise)
Cheaper & Noisier Engines
The modernization of Formula 1 has also led to the sport ditching two key adjectives – cheaper and noisier! However, for 2021, the powers are keen to make the power units cheaper and noisier so long as they remain road relevant. Max Verstappen threw in his views by stating that he’d love to race the V10s, engines that were last used in Formula 1 when he was 9 years old. Maybe he grew up hearing stories from his father (Jos) about the engines, but missed out on the classic heel-toe method.
Will the new regulations attract more car manufacturers though? Well, at the moment, it seems that Formula E is the series of choice for them. BMW have announced participation as a manufacturer from the 2018 season while Ferrari are stating interest too. However, Ferrari should be aware that they might not receive a historic bonus from the all-electric series as they do from Formula 1. Will they still participate though? (Ferrari Missing Historic Bonus From Formula E)


Ferrari’s 2007 and 2017 Link
Ferrari’s last Drivers’ Championship title was won in 2007. There are reports indicating that their 2017 car has been inspired by the 2007 one. If that indeed is the case, there are two reasons to rejoice. First, we could be in for a closely fought season, just like we had in 2007. The Drivers’ Championship was a three way fight that went down to the wire. Second, will this inspire a Kimi Raikkonen resurrection? He’s the 2007 Formula 1 Drivers’ Champion, after all. (Ferrari Should Sign Max Verstappen)
Alonso vs. Hamilton, Verstappen Set To Join?
The unofficial Formula 1 survey has received much publicity and participants (reportedly 100,000 fans). While the survey is exhaustive and will offer insights once released, the survey organisers strangely released data mid-way stating that Fernando Alonso was rated as the ‘most-popular’ driver followed by another update that Lewis Hamilton had now matched the Spaniard. I wonder where the millions of ‘Driver of the Day’ voting Dutch fans have disappeared! (Fernando Alonso Is The Unluckiest Double World Champion)
I read an interesting statistic on Twitter: A Sebastian has won the opening round of the WRC, Formula E, Indy Car and Formula 1. Basically, Sebastian is the new Michael, in terms of names. While growing up, there was a Michael Jordan, Michael Jackson, Michael Schumacher…
Lewis Hamilton To Train Himself
Has Lewis Hamilton made his 2017 title challenge made tougher already? He’s decided to self-train himself in this new era of fast and physically challenging cars. Does this stem from him wanting to star in his own biopic?
Will he soon decide to be his own race engineer too? What about being his own pit-crew? Someday he could decide to race in Formula 1 without a team! (How Did Lewis Hamilton Get On The Cover Of TIME?)
Sauber-Honda vs. Mclaren-Honda
Sauber are taking their fight for last place with Mclaren a bit too seriously. They’re keen to fight on an even keel and maybe that’s why they’re keen on Honda’s power units over Ferrari’s. After all, they’re used to using a season old unit anyway. There’ll be some money and a Japanese driver for Sauber, as for Honda, they’ll get some much needed extra testing mileage and probably less negative publicity. Frankly, Liberty Media should work on giving all teams Mercedes engines.
Mclaren-Honda is already rumoured to run out of deployment 2/3rd down the straight in China. For the remaining 1/3rd, we should probably allow them to attach a smaller second engine! (Mclaren Is The Fan Favourite For 2017)
Is Pascal Wehrlein lying about his injury or about his fitness levels? We’ll never know. However, can you imagine Mercedes’ plight had they hired him as Rosberg’s replacement? Or even Force India’s? The reigning World Champion team would’ve found themselves in a fix bigger than Rosberg announcing his shock retirement.
2017 Chinese Grand Prix Predictions
Hamilton has already initiated mind games. Just that they’re with Nico Rosberg and not Sebastian Vettel. He’s claimed that Vettel is more talented than Rosberg and he’ll relish a straight fight. However, isn’t Vettel the most talented driver on the current grid? In which case, Hamilton should be more than worried for his chances for 2017.
How many seconds off will Red Bull Racing finish from the lead car? Will DRS usage on the long back straight help bring cars closer? How far bunched up will the pack be? Will Pirelli’s wet weather tyre deliver as well as their dry ones have? Early radar has indicated a wet weekend at the Shanghai International Circuit. And finally, how much shorter will the race be? (Dear F1, Time To Make Our Races Longer)
Race Finish: Vettel, Hamilton, Raikkonen (YES, no Bottas on the podium!)
Pole Position: Lewis Hamilton
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 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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