Hamilton - 5 / Bottas - 3
Hamilton looked to be the dominant force all weekend with Bottas hanging on to his coattails, albeit only just. Hamilton’s victory in the French Grand Prix propelled him into the lead of the championship, but it looks to be anything but straight-forward for the four-time world champion. The Scuderia most probably are in possession of the faster car, at this stage. Although, Hamilton is driving well enough to muster a challenge against the Italian outfit, at least for now.
Winner: Lewis Hamilton
Vettel - 7 / Raikkonen - 1
Whatever side of the fence you are on, Vettel was guilty every day of the week for the incident that transpired on the first lap. What looked set to be a fascinating tussle for the podium positions ended up being a walk-over for Hamilton after Vettel collided with Bottas and sent both of them to the bottom of the pecking order. Raikkonen meanwhile mustered a decent challenge and picked up the pieces for Ferrari after they had been left scattered down at Turn One. Sure Vettel’s qualifying performance outshone Raikkonen and his charge up the field was impressive, but an almost-guaranteed podium is better for the points tally than that of a distant fifth. Therefore the round victory goes to the Iceman.
Winner: Kimi Raikkonen
Ricciardo - 5 / Verstappen - 3
The calm nature demanded from Verstappen seemed to be very much in force since Monaco. It appears that whatever medium Verstappen needed to adhere to has been found and has paid off in his quest for ascension up the drivers tally. He appeared to have the better of Ricciardo throughout the weekend on pace and hardly put a foot wrong. Ricciardo likewise put in a very respectable performance to secure fourth and moved to third in the standings as a result. Fishface gets the round win owing to a fine performance over the weekend.
Winner: Max Verstappen
Sainz Jr - 4 / Hulkenberg - 4
Many French citizens paid many French Francs to watch a French team perform on a French circuit – and it certainly looked as though they got a decent showing. Sainz has improved ten-fold since the season start and dominated Hulkenberg over the weekend. The Spaniard was third by the end of the first lap following the calamities that transpired performed quite well for the duration of the Grand Prix; eventually securing eighth with team-mate Hulkenberg following suit in ninth. The future looks bright for the Renault team because their car is yellow, and their development has come a long way since their re-introduction into the Formula One paddock.
Winner: Carlos Sainz Jr.
Ocon - 5 / Perez - 3
Being a power circuit, I half-expected the Force India pair to strut their stuff at this round. In fairness, they were further up the grid than in previous races. It still wasn’t that good, however. Although not the fault of either driver, both would retire from the race (Ocon through an accident and Perez through engine issues) and have no put them in an awkward position in the constructor standings. Ocon did appear to have a bit more speed on tap over the course of the season and appears as though it is becoming the norm as the young Frenchman becomes more acquainted with the car and team.
Winner: Esteban Ocon
Alonso - 8 / Vandoorne - 0
Fresh from his victory at Le Mans – which was as hollow as a banker’s heart – Alonso did not seem to be entirely content with being back in the cockpit of the God-awful MCL33. However, irrespective of whether the personnel in charge have antiquated ideals, taking a defeatist mindset into the Grand Prix before it had even started is the first step to losing. Spinning on his own and dropping out in Q1, I am still to see what everyone else does in Alonso. Best driver in the world? Not in my book. But, at the very least, he did better than his team-mate Vandoorne; who must now be feeling the pressure from McLaren junior, Lando Norris.
Winner: Fernando Alonso
Magnussen - 7 / Grosjean - 1
Haas appeared to find their footing this weekend with some good performances by both drivers, but particularly from Magnussen. Grosjean did struggle at points this weekend whilst Magnussen still hasn’t quite grasped the idea of blue flags, but K-Mag did bag sixth-place and a nice haul of points whilst doing so. At this point, Haas do need to get a hurry-on as the mid-field battle is starting to get tighter, with McLaren falling back and Sauber catching up.
Winner: Kevin Magnussen
Stroll - 6 / Sirotkin - 2
This team is lost. Little else can be said about this other than that. It may sound harsh and ill-informed, but how else can you justify the rapid demise of one of the most successful teams in the history of the sport? Both Stroll and Sirotkin struggled all weekend and eventually culminated with the pair securing the last row (before Hartley’s grid penalty) in qualifying. The race bared little fruit for the team with Stroll suffering a puncture on lap 47 and Sirotkin being the first driver since Al Pease to get a penalty for driving too slow. At this rate, they’ll secure the wooden spoon and lose everything else – possibly even the future of the team. It’s hard to pick a winner with this team each week as their drives are nigh-on un-noteworthy. Sirotkin gets this round thanks to his qualifying performance.
Winner: Sergey Sirotkin
Leclerc - 7 / Ericsson - 1
Anyone who watched the Grand Prix this weekend knows who will win this weekend’s edition of Team-Mate Wars. It’s actually becoming quite predictable as Charles Leclerc begins to find his feet in this category. There is something extraordinary about a rookie in one of the slowest cars on the grid staring at third-place on the opening lap whilst racing some of the best drivers in the world. Whilst Ericsson did race respectably over the course of the weekend, it would be a fools errand to disregard Leclerc’s performance as being nothing more than a product an ever-improving Sauber outfit. That car is still no better than that of their mid-field rivals, yet they maintain a healthy points margin over Williams and are drawing ever-closer to Toro Rosso.
Winner: Charles Leclerc
Hartley - 6 / Gasly - 2
Hartley may not be the fastest guy in the world, but he won’t hurl the car into an entirely-avoidable incident. Alas, Gasly retired from his home Grand Prix after just three corners – an activity that earns one no points. Hartley’s campaign hasn’t been helped by constant issues surrounding the car or circumstance, but his pace just hasn’t been there. As a fellow Kiwi, you wish for the best in the guy. But, this is the top-level in motorsport and you expect the very best from the drivers. The silver lining for Hartley is that there is really no-one else that could replace him at this point and any change would be viewed as desperate and illogical from the team at Toro Rosso. And having said all that, Hartley did finish the race, which is kind of critical for all the parties involved.
Winner: Brendon Hartley
Social media is one of the world’s best – and worst inventions. The barren wasteland of misogynistic, unyielding profanity and utter tyranny that dwells within it makes one wonder whether-or-not this species is salvageable? It’s given a voice to everyone out there, even to those that arguably don’t deserve. The upshot of this is that in any piece of good news, there will always be someone lurking; waiting to jump in with their say. This is applied to almost every subject across the platform and is especially prevalent in sport.
One particularly notable about some of the comments made on social networking sites is the extreme negativity and hostility demonstrated toward any bit of attempted improvement made by sporting organisers or teams. Formula One is a classic case in point. It seems that no measure of reasoning will get through to people – not even a well-structured, perfectly reasoned article? An argument so often touted is that modern-day Formula One ‘sucks’ and that the racing of yesteryear was all-the-more better than what today’s cast of teams and drivers could ever aspire to achieve. Except, put into a more grotesque context.
Now, are these people correct in what they say? Does modern-day Formula One ‘suck’? Well, that depends upon how you look at the sport. Do you look at the cover or do you read the book? In other words, do you just pay attention to the leaders and occasional lull that happens in almost any motor race on the planet or do you actually watch the Grand Prix? Naysayers and bitter folk will forever detest any argument made in favour of racing held in the present day, no matter how good said argument may be. But, for those willing to simmer down and listen to a self-proclaimed Formula One historian, let me give you my two cents on the matter.
A prominent complaint in regards to the driver line-ups this year is the supposedly ever-increasing number of pay drivers – who gained their seat by the strength of their chequebook as opposed to merit garnered in the lower formula. Few folk actually do settle down in the early hours of the morning to catch the live coverage of the support categories, but those that do would be the ones best qualified to give you an answer as to whether or not a driver coming up through the ranks is any good. Take Lance Stroll, for example. By now, Stroll has not got a good reputation behind him. In fact, a lot of people believe he has tarnished both the development and the image of the Williams F1 Team. He has been vilified and hated by ‘fans’, written off by motoring journalists and treated as ‘another driver’ by many of the personnel in the paddock. I remain one of the few that see the talent that he invariably possesses, though hasn’t fully utilized yet. Watching him ascend through the lower categories of formula racing, it was evident that the young Canadian had something. Money can buy you a seat, but it doesn’t buy you multiple karting and formula racing championships.
Something else I would like to point out – why are we getting so offended about pay drivers entering the sport? Formula One was built off the wealth of rich men and playboys, who had the money to throw at the sport irrespective of how much talent they had. The Grand Prix of old had entrants including the Prince of Siam (modern-day Thailand) and Dutch-nobleman, Carel Godin de Beaufort. Drivers would pit under audacious circumstances which saw them have a quick smoke before heading out on track. The ‘barriers’ at most race tracks were either trees or spectators and the circuits themselves tested the bravery of the drivers. Royalty would descend upon the circuits to gaze upon the peasants that filled the stands and bask in the loud, brutal sport that daring men endeavoured to dedicate their lives to. It had it all, supposedly. Except for one crucial element – the actual racing.
For most people, seeing someone walk off into the distance to win the race is about as entertaining as watching paint dry – or watching NASCAR. But, as of late, this hasn’t been much of a factor, with races generally being quite close and going down to the wire even, with a resilient will to win coming to blows with an equally strong will to avoid losing. This was such a rare occurrence back in the so-called ‘glory days’ that a close finish was when second place finished on the same lap as the leader. Good racing throughout the field was spare, as the performance gap between the cars was far greater than what it is today. We forever complain about the performance gap between the cars being too great when the issue was much more prevalent back in the post-war period. Yet somehow, it was better?
I know a lot of people have turned away from the sport due to the dominance of the Mercedes GP Team. News flash folks – there has always been a dominant force in each era of Formula One. Before Mercedes, there was Red Bull. Before them, it was Ferrari. Then, McLaren. Then, Williams. Then, McLaren, again. Need I go on? When Argentine-veteran Carlos Reutemann could barely keep up with Hector Rebaque thanks to what was an inarguably superior, did you think at that time that Formula One ‘sucked’? Or did you enjoy watching that television set broadcasting grainy images of cars on a stretch of bitumen so bumpy and blistered that it aged a driver by three years, each race? Was it as much a spectacle as you made it out to be? Was it as exciting as today’s Formula One cars? Or are you perhaps more pre-occupied with ‘the sound’?
When the new regulations came into force in 2014, everyone was up in arms as the V8 era (which in itself was not widely loved) was escorted out, giving way to the new V6 twin-turbo power units that we have today. Still to this day, the attitude toward the hybrid-era has been largely negative, to put it mildly. The only issue, as far as I can see, is in regards to ‘the noise’ – regarding the power unit’s to have the sound of ‘vacuum cleaners’. Whilst I agree that the tone of the V10 was marvellous, it would burst the eardrums of anyone within the immediate vicinity. Even with earplugs, it would reverberate throughout your entire system – you FELT the noise! But, did that make great racing or just provide a better soundtrack? What do you care about here? The racing or the sound? If you’ve answered with the latter, you’re not answering with the best interests of motor racing at heart. And that’s not to claim that you don’t care for motor racing, but with the issues surrounding the planet today, irrespective of whether-or-not you’d like to believe them, we can’t strand ourselves in yesterday whilst the rest of the world moves on. Formula One was and is about innovation – not living in the past.
With the advent of the internet, you can go back to these races and enjoy whatever era of Formula One you have fond memories of. I grew up watching Michael Schumacher walk away from the field whilst team-mate Barrichello acted as rear-gunner. Looking back on it now, it certainly isn’t as exciting as what the last ten years offered us. Sure, 2013 was horrible, but most of the 50s had gaps measured by laps. The 60s had sparse variance in driver-skill level. The 70s was the beginning of a time where teams started to play favourites with drivers, thereby creating the plague known as ‘team-orders’. The 80s started to see a surge of technological advances which more-or-less made one team vastly dominate the field. The 90s had much the same issue and the age of the new millennium saw a mainly foregone conclusion with a mercurial Bavarian being handed victory after victory on a silver platter with all the best personnel in the paddock in the red garage. Yet, today’s Formula One racing is worse than ever because the noise ‘sucks’?
Formula One has always sucked. What’s new?
Hamilton – 2 / Bottas - 1
For whatever reason, Mercedes struggled on what has typically been a very Mercedes-friendly circuit. Even back at the beginning of their tenure, the Silver Arrows have generally faired well here and much the same was expected here. But, throughout the weekend heading into the Grand Prix, they were convincingly outpaced by both the Ferraris. The race proved to be interesting with both Silver Arrows benefitting from a cunning strategy, which put them ahead of the Ferrari’s. Of both these Mercs however, it was Bottas who was convincingly faster than Hamilton all weekend. Hammer Time was not on this weekend, but still nonetheless salvaged what could have been a disastarous race. The point goes to Bottas for outpacing Hamilton convincingly and drove a solid race to a well-deserved podium.
Vettel – 2 / Raikkonen - 1
It is becoming more apparent that the Scuderia are becoming the team to beat this year. After qualifying, it seemed only a miracle would stop the Prancing Horse gang. And that’s exactly what happened. Although, up until that point, Vettel was dominating the race – it looked as though the German was on course for victory. Until Max Verstappen found him. But, ultimately it was a good source of reference for what the year will bring for the team and we will more than likely see more dominance from this team in the rounds to come. Vettel gets the point for his performance over the weekend and his drive up until his incident with Verstappen.
Red Bull Racing
Ricciardo – 3 / Verstappen - 0
Ayrton Senna once said ‘If you no longer go for the gap that exists, you’re no longer a racing driver’. But, if you go for a gap that no longer exists, you’re an idiot. That is advice that Max Verstappen needs to take on-board. It has been three races so far and he has been in at least five incidents that have cost him and the team valuable points. Outqualifying your team-mate is good and all, but when you crash in the Grand Prix, it doesn’t exactly help your championship. Ricciardo meanwhile, cruised to victory on what was an extreme stroke of luck for the Red Bull outfit. The point for this round goes to Ricciardo for doing everything right throughout the weekend.
Perez – 1 / Ocon - 2
What’s even going on with these guys? Languishing down the bottom of the mid-pack and they’re STILL fighting. The development of the car has gone down the tube and now, they’ll be lucky if they beat Toro Rosso. Over the weekend, Ocon had the upper-hand and that would carry over into the Grand Prix. The pace, poise and overall skill that Sergio Perez once had has now been shrouded in complete darkness. For whatever reason, he is losing out to his team-mate on a constant basis and now runs the risk of being beaten by his team-mate for the first time since his debut in 2011. The point goes to Ocon for being the fastest Pink Panther over the weekend.
Alonso – 3 / Vandoorne - 0
The Spaniard got lucky this weekend, but Vandoorne should have followed suit. Instead, it’s becoming more apparent that Vandoorne is struggling to follow up on his success in junior formula. Much like Lance Stroll, he’s languishing down the bottom of the pack; going nowhere and not very fast. Alonso got very lucky escaping a penalty where he pushed Vettel off the road. Fickle fans will argue it is racing – but would cry foul when it would happen to their favourite driver. The expectations on the team were indeed unrealistic, but it does beg the question why Alonso made those expectations at all in the first place? Alonso gets the point for outpacing his team-mate all weekend and maintaining a solid position in the standings.
Grosjean – 0 / Magnussen - 3
Haas looked decent up until the point where the safety car came out. When it did, they were thrown down the pack. Magnussen once again put in a very good performance and is starting to become a consistently fast driver. Whether people like his driving style or not doesn’t matter – especially since he really doesn’t crash much. Grosjean complained over the radio mid-race when asked to part the sea for Magnussen. But, it is a team sport and one must abide by the team’s best interest when your odds of a Drivers Championship is about as likely as New Zealand winning the FIFA World Cup. Magnussen gets the point for being the fastest of the Ferrari clones.
Hulkenberg – 3 / Sainz - 0
And just like that, the promise and the hype over Sainz, Jr is gone. In terms of slumps, this is up there with Sergio Perez and the Melbourne Storm. Outqualified, again, Sainz, Jr didn’t show much of anything in the race and instead found himself behind cars which are known to be much slower than his own. Sure enough, Hulkenberg put on a fantastic performance to bolster him up the standings to seventh and now sits behind Alonso in what was a fine drive. Hulkenberg gets the point for this round for being the fastest banana over the course of the weekend.
Stroll – 3 / Sirotkin - 0
Progress of the car looks about as dead as the dodo. What they chose to do about it is a complete unknown. Maybe put Kubica in for one race and force nay-sayers to shut up? Or stick it out and focus on next years car? Either way, in what was looking to be a glum Grand Prix, Stroll had an amazing start and went from 18th to 12th on the first lap – holding out cars much faster than his own. It was an encouraging performance from the Canadian, but there is still more work to be done to convince people that his podium in Azerbaijan was no fluke Sirotkin is also proving to be a decent package – being on the pace of his team-mate more often than less. When the experience factor becomes less of a factor, we will see a little more magic come from the Russian. Stroll gets the point for his amazing start and pace throughout the weekend.
Hartley – 2 / Gasly - 1
Rule number one in motorsport – never, ever, EVER crash into your team-mate. Unfortunately, Gasly found this out the hard way. He may claim Hartley shut the door, but the argument is only valid if the door was ever open in the first place. Alas, it wasn’t. Hartley outpaced Gasly all weekend and whilst the race wasn’t looking too flash at first, the strategy was beginning to play out for the Kiwi. Although, I maintain that of all New Zealanders to break into Formula One, Hartley is the one I am least convinced of. I still do not see him as an F1 driver. Nevertheless, Hartley gets the point for good pace throughout the weekend and NOT CRASHING.
Leclerc – 2 / Ericsson - 1
This one was tough. Leclerc excelled in qualifying, but not in the race. Ericsson did achieve 16th, Leclerc 19th. Why am I going to give Leclerc the point, then? The answer comes in the form of what is and isn’t exceptional. Leclerc’s first race at the Shanghai International Circuit saw him outqualify his team-mate by half a second. And of course, the safety car screwed things up for virtually everyone. I should be noted though, that Ericsson looks a genuine competitor after three years of being a nothing driver bringing in IKEA money and little in the way of results. Leclerc gets the point for his qualifying performance.
There have been many people in the world who have earned a dollar or two that have expressed interest in one day owning their own sporting franchise. Everyone from Hollywood A-listers to trend-setting industrialists have taken their own ventures into the world of sport, whether it would be in a professional or corporate capacity. The majority of said ventures do bare fruit for both the franchisee and the club, whilst others flounder and even drag the team down with them. We perhaps saw the worst case of this back in 1992, thanks to the erratic actions of a mercurial Italian shoe-designer.
Toward the end of the 1991 Formula One season, the Coloni team had finally folded after five years of extreme under-achievement. After having not qualified a car for over two years, it was easy to see why this Italian outfit was on the way out. But, as with most teams in Formula One’s history, what little was left of the team was eventually sold off, to help pay for the trail of debt left behind. The sale of the Coloni team drew the eye of Italian shoe-designer, Andrea Sassetti. Even before Sassetti committed any of his theatrical acts in the Grand Prix circus, the origin of his wealth was somewhat sketchy. Some said it was through inheritance, others claimed it stemmed from gambling. Some had even claimed that he acquired his earnings from deals with the mafia! But either way, questions were raised into the viability of the team under the guise of this man. They had no idea what they were in for.
Now renamed Andrea Moda Formula, the team hired a number of personnel from the now-defunct Coloni team as well as striking up a deal with Simtek. With a new car and Judd V10 engines, the team looked set for the opening round in South Africa. Except, the team would turn up with the wrong cars. The team would run the old Coloni chassis rather than their own, owing to developmental issues. But perhaps the most impressive thing to take from that weekend was that the team was excluded from the event for not having paid the $100,000 deposit set for new teams that enter the championship. Sassetti attempted to argue that the team was not new as it was essentially the Coloni team – despite the fact that it was rebranded, with new cars and now had a new owner. Alas, the FIA wouldn’t have a bar of it and were left on the side lines in Pretoria. They would attend the next round in Mexico, but neither car would run as the cars were still being built - even after a three-week break in-between each event. Team drivers Alex Caffi and Enrico Bertaggia were understandably peeved off at the lax standard of the newly-formed team. Naturally, Sassetti’s reaction to this was to fire both of them.
Onwards to the Brazilian Grand Prix, where the team was now armed with two new S921’s for the two new drivers to play with. The new drivers in question were Roberto Moreno and Perry McCarthy. Moreno had a string of success in the lower formula, whilst McCarthy had achieved very little and didn’t exactly have a reputation for being a fast driver. Although, if his name seems familiar to some, that would probably be down to McCarthy’s role as The Stig on BBC’s Top Gear. But, being a fast driver matters little when the car given to the pilots isn’t capable of qualifying for an egg-and-spoon race; let alone a Grand Prix. The issues over the weekend were compounded when McCarthy was refused a Super Licence and Moreno failed to pre-qualify for the event. The next round in Spain was more-or-less the same, with Moreno failing to pre-qualify, again. McCarthy did attain his Super Licence, but only achieved around 100 meters of driving after his car packed the sulks. After the Spanish Grand Prix, Enrico Bertaggia approached Sassetti with a bill of goods as well as over a million US dollars in sponsorship. Sassetti, always being a sucker for the lure of money, kissed and made up with his Italian counterpart and told McCarthy to take a hike. Then stepped in the FIA, who blocked the move after the theatrics put on by Sassetti and his team in the opening few rounds. Never one to be temperamental, Sassetti would subsequently take out his anger on McCarthy.
The Monaco Grand Prix was always going to be the teams best chance of qualifying for a Grand Prix – and that’s exactly what Moreno did. Albeit last, Andrea Moda did have a car start a Grand Prix in the season of ’92, but it would only last for eleven laps, when the engine blew itself to pieces. This would be the one and only time that the team would qualify for a Grand Prix, but it would not be the last of their adventures. Having failed to pay their engine supplier before the Canadian Grand Prix, the team arrived in Montreal minus that most vital of car components known as ‘the engine’. The team ‘borrowed’ an engine from Brabham solely for Moreno to compete, but still failed to pre-qualify. The French Grand Prix provided an even better source of entertainment after the team-truck failed to make it to the venue. If there is one thing the French love, it’s to go on strike. That particular time of the year, truck drivers around France had staged blockades, which every Formula One team successfully negotiated, except for…you guessed it. By this stage, team personnel and sponsors had enough of the charade and had left Sassetti to fend for himself. Sassetti, who was starting to draw the ire of those around him, was still after McCarthy for his blameless role in lost sponsorship. What happened after France would ultimately bring the Andrea Moda team to its knees.
Being a British driver, McCarthy was looking forward to competing in front of his home crowd at the Silverstone Circuit. Sassetti decided that this would be a fantastic time to start playing hooky with his car. McCarthy was sent out onto a bone-dry track with wet tyres and at the next round in Hungary, he was held in his pit bay until there was only 45 seconds left in the pre-qualifying session, thereby giving McCarthy no chance to put a lap time in. By now, it was apparent what Sassetti and his henchmen were up to. Therefore, they were given an ultimatum by the FIA – run McCarthy or they themselves would be forced out of Formula One.
Thanks to the withdrawal of Brabham, both Andrea Moda’s were guaranteed entry into the Belgian Grand Prix. Although, having spent most of the season failing to pre-qualify in the first place, it was hardly expected of them to qualify at all. And lo, both cars failed to qualify for the race, with Moreno being much slower than pole-sitter Nigel Mansell and McCarthy being slow to the point where one would have to question his driving ability. In what was already an embarrassing weekend for the team, Sassetti would add to the barrel of laughs after being arrested in the paddock for forging invoices!
By this stage, the FIA had had enough. They officially suspended Andrea Moda Formula for the duration of the 1992 season after being deemed to have “failed to operate a team in a manner compatible with the standards of the championship or in any way brings the championship into disrepute”. It was not beyond doubt that all the team did achieve was bring the championship into disrepute. When the team turned up at Monza to compete, they were turned away; much to the delight of everybody who liked motorsport or common sense. And with that, the most farcical attempt at a Formula One entry was dead and buried. So, the next time you may complain about your bosses or your franchisee owner, be thankful for the fact that you aren’t being governed by a mercurial shoe-designer with connections to the mafia and no regard for his own self-worth.
Hamilton – 2 / Bottas - 0
Heading into qualifying, it was known that wherever Hamilton qualified, he would be starting five places back from that position, thanks to Formula One’s ludicrous gearbox penalties. Although, it would be Bottas who would shine brightest under the lights in Bahrain; outqualifying his team-mate legitimately, even before the penalties were applied. This set an interesting prospect for the race, with Hamilton starting from ninth on the grid. After earlier squabbles with Verstappen, Mercedes elected to go with a conservative strategy, which very nearly saw Bottas and Hamilton catch the Prancing Horse of Vettel in the lead. The point for this round goes to Hamilton, owing to his race performance.
Vettel – 1 / Raikkonen - 1
The Iceman looked on form again, which begged the question – where the hell was he all this time? We’ve seen Raikkonen conform to being nothing more than back-up for whenever the mercurial men from Maranello decided not to put together Vettel’s car properly. But, it appears that all that has changed. Although, it would be Vettel who would get the upper-hand in qualifying, snatching the pole and getting an all-Ferrari front-row for good measure. Vettel would grab the lead and would remain there for the rest of the race, whilst Raikkonen would spend most of the race staring at Bottas’ gearbox, before running over his mechanic in the pitlane, taking him out of the race and said mechanic to the hospital. Vettel gets this round for his dominant performance throughout the weekend and asserting himself as the favourite for this years’ World Drivers Championship.
Red Bull Racing
Ricciardo – 2 / Verstappen - 0
Verstappen has legions of fans, although the orange-shirt brigade wouldn’t be too pleased to see the #33 Red Bull firing off into the fence in what looked to be a pretty elementary error from the Dutchman. But, if qualifying was bad for the Red Bull squad, the race was nothing short of a nightmare. After having passed Lewis Hamilton, Verstappen made the mistake of assuming Hamilton’s car would vanish into thin air. After colliding out of turn one, Verstappen picked up a puncture and tumbled down the order. The scene went from disappointing to downright horrifying when Ricciardo pulled over to the side of the circuit just a couple of kilometres down the road, leaving the somewhat inalienable sight of one Red Bull on three wheels and one not running at all. Ricciardo wins this round thanks to his fast, consistent performance throughout the weekend.
Perez – 1 / Ocon - 1
Force India once again found themselves in a pickle where both cars failed to make it into Q3, despite this being a power circuit – something the Force India’s traditionally excel at. Ocon got the upper-hand on Perez in both qualifying and the race, with the Mexican struggling for tyre-grip, which is an automatic red-flag given his proficiency in conserving rubber. Both cars struggled all weekend and the year of 2018 looks set to be a case of ‘one step forward and two steps back’. And as we know from the song, nobody gets too far like that. Ocon gets the Bahraini point for being the dominant Pink Panther throughout the weekend.
Alonso – 2 / Vandoorne - 0
The McLaren Formula One team was founded by a man who excelled at engineering as much as he did with the steering wheel. Fast-forward fifty years later, it appears that the team is being run by people who don’t belong there and are being held at ransom by drivers who value themselves too highly. The disaster that was qualifying saw both McLaren’s being outqualified by both Toro Rosso’s. After three years of whinging and crying from Alonso and the men from Woking, it appears it was not all down to the Honda engine bay. Nevertheless, both McLaren’s were in the points, with Alonso hovering around the lower top-10 whilst Vandoorne was struggling to pick up the scraps. Alonso gets another point for keeping his team-mate at bay throughout the weekend and somehow finding himself fourth in the driver standings.
Grosjean – 0 / Magnussen - 2
If a prize had to be given to the most improved team over the summer of 2018, it would go to Haas. Once again, Haas proved to be a rather powerful unit, with Magnussen getting into Q3 with a strong lap. Although, Grosjean had a shocker and got knocked out with the Saubers and the Williams. Grosjean’s race would yield little fruit, whereas Magnussen continuously found himself duelling for fourth with Gasly. In what has been two great performances in the opening couple of Grand Prix, I expect Haas to be the dark horse for this year and serious contender for an upset Grand Prix victory. Point for this round goes to Magnussen for a storming drive in the race.
Hulkenberg – 2 / Sainz - 0
The Banana Brigade maintained good pace throughout the weekend and that transgressed into qualifying, with both Hulkenberg and Sainz getting into Q3. Sainz is perhaps feeling the pinch against his new team-mate, but I can’t help but wonder why he’s having such trouble against a driver whom was beaten convincingly by Perez; a driver many have come to doubt in terms of driver ability. Hulkenberg was always there or thereabouts in the race, involved in the mid-field scraps with Alonso and co. But, Sainz was never really a threat to his status. Therefore, Hulkenberg gets another point for, you guessed it, beating Sainz throughout the weekend.
Stroll – 2 / Sirotkin - 0
If McLaren’s qualifying was horrible, this was worthy of a Greek tragedy. The combo of Sirotkin and Stroll is universally hated by casual Formula One fans and the ‘performance’ in qualifying only added fuel to the fire. Qualifying on the last two rows of the grid made things difficult, to say the least, for the race. The race was equally as pathetic, with both cars struggling to make an impression, whilst Ericsson was up the road battling the McLaren’s. I have long been a supporter of Lance Stroll, but now is the time to step up. Now is the time to assert himself as a legitimate driver. To prove what he is capable of, what he did in the junior formula ranks. If he fails to do so by the end of this year, we may see him set sail come 2019. If I could give neither driver a point, I would. But, the point for this round goes to Stroll for beating Sirotkin in the race, I suppose.
Hartley – 1 / Gasly - 1
I would have loved to have been a Honda employee in Sakhir this weekend. After three years of ridicule from an indesicive, disorganised team, to beat both of their cars with an arguably inferior chassis must be something to take great pride in. And an excuse to look extremely smug. Gasly was immensely strong all weekend and asserted himself as a legitimate Grand Prix driver with a stunning fourth-placed finish. Hartley struggled with enough penalties to make Pastor Maldonado excited and an overall performance which paled in comparison to that of Gasly. Gasly takes the point for this round for an astonishing drive in qualifying and in the Grand Prix.
Leclerc – 1 / Ericsson - 1
Leclerc over-driving in qualifying was a bit unexpected, given what we’ve seen him do in the lower formula, but it did lend perspective into his self-awareness in what he needs to do to improve. Something that Stroll doesn’t possess is the ability to locate and diagnose problems with their driving. With Ericsson outqualifying the Monogasque driver, it was all to play for the in the Grand Prix. I expected him to concoct a masterful stroke of genius in the race. But, it would be Marcus Ericsson who would defy all critics and take a mighty impressive ninth place in a car that undeniably doesn’t belong there. If ever there was proof that Ericsson belonged in Formula One, this was it. Although, I would like to see more of this in the future. Ericsson takes the point for an stonking drive throughout the Grand Prix.
Us peasants have a tricky time when it comes to doing what we love. Lack of money and motivation ultimately confines our childhood ambitions (whatever they may have been) to the side-lines. With motorsport being what it is, only those with hefty funds, exceptional driving skill and engineering prowess really have a chance to excel in the sport. Anyone who tries to argue with any of those points is just kidding themselves. Sure enough, club racing may be cheap, but the fun comes to a halt when some mercurial Barry writes your car off after missing his braking-marker.
But, eventally we get fed a crumb or two, and therein lies the beauty of e-Sports. For those unfamiliar with e-Sports, it is competition involving video games. This includes games such as League of Legends and FIFA, to name a few. However, despite the ever-increasing market for this category, it has already met considerable criticism, primarily for labelling itself as a ‘sport’. The concept of the less-than-ideal candidate becoming champion of the world is not as appealing as that of say, Lewis Hamilton. Yet, what e-Sports provides is the ability for people to fulfil their ambitions despite the lack of opportunity in the real world. And that argument is perfectly sound.
I learned of this first-hand toward the end of last year where I qualified for the Gran Turismo New Zealand Championship, hosted by Australasian e-Sports powerhouse, LetsPlayLive . I was among the eight drivers in the country to have qualified to compete for the national trophy – something alien to me, but nevertheless a hell of an opportunity. Even though I walked away with no trophy to my name, what it provided was so much more than an accolade. The experience of being the main event, knowing that I was amongst the best in the country on live TV was something I dreamed of when I was a kid. Granted, the competition was not held on the real Bathurst circuit with real Nissan GT-R’s, but need I ask what the alternative is for people who can not afford such a luxury? I am thankful for the opportunity given by the fine folks at LetsPlayLive and would hope to relive that experience all over again.
The event was shrugged off by many people within the motor racing circles as being an ‘illegitimate’ competition. That they couldn’t take the idea of driving on a PlayStation requiring any talent. Whilst I would agree that using an arcade racer would eradicate any legitimacy when attempting to stage an e-Sports competition involving race-car driving, when a proper simulator is used with real race-car drivers in the field, it should be given its due credit. These people were either racing drivers whom never succeeded in motorsport without the help of a big chequebook, or their peers who blindingly follow their ideals.
Am I bitter? Of course not. I will never be the next Michael Schumacher and I sure as hell was never meant to be. However, there are those out there who have the talent required to be successful in motorsport. They have all that is needed to prosper in this fickle and unforgiving sport, except the financial stability or corporate backing to make it happen. Are we to deny them a chance to demonstrate their skills and compete on the world stage? Or are we to make real competition fair, cheap and competitive? Knowing the head honchos in motorsport, I guess it fair to assume that the latter would not even be considered. Therefore, we must look toward e-Sports, as it is paving the way for the virtual future.
On Christmas Day in 1937, dirt oval racing was introduced to the Western Springs Stadium. The first full-season followed closely thereafter in the summer of 1938. It has since snowballed into an expansive facility with fantastic racing on tap, offering racing fans and families alike a great night out. It has a certain aura to it that you just don’t get from other circuits, which is why it has garnered praise from drivers around the world, who continuously come back every summer to joust with the best drivers in the nation.
Recently, promoter Greg Mosen has implored people all over the region to write to the Auckland Council, to help save the future of the speedway. The writing has been on the wall for a while and it seems now may be the time that said Council wishes to rid the city of its speedway – continuing their run of making wise and logical decisions, such as scaling back public transport, ramping up taxes and spending thousands of tax-payers dollars on trips to Pago Pago. It’s not known how many people have written in to express their desire to have the speedway remain. Although, I am optimistic as to whether or not they will be heard, as the Council have reportedly deleted comments from their Facebook page, adding to the speculation that they have perhaps made their mind up, even if it is against the best interests of the city and its residents.
So, here is my pledge to the Auckland Council as to why the Western Springs Speedway should remain. At least, for now. In the 81 years that dirt oval racing has been held at the venue, we have seen history made, the arrival of legends and a following that few other motorsport venues in this country get. There is a movement to protect this speedway and it is not without reason. We are not hoarders, nor do we think this is the only motorsport venue in the region. But, what it brings is so much more than hicks driving in a dirt circle. What it brings is a night for families to come and be entertained. I know of many that have attended the venue and still do to this very day that aren’t the most dedicated of racing fans. Some aren’t that fascinated at all. Yet, it has an aura about it. There is a sense of theatre about it. It is a happening.
To some, this may seem like babbling, but let us not forget that the complaints of the venue stem from a handful of residents in the surrounding neighbourhood area. Some of these people have bought houses and some of them rent. Some of them watch the racing, some of them don’t. But, the question I have is - why sacrifice a facility with a plethora of history and a large following behind it?’. Should we allow the complaints of few outweigh the support of thousands? Last year, the speedway attracted an audience of over 120,000 over the twelve nights of operation throughout that year. Not to say that the residents have no say, but when you rent a property located next to a speedway which has been operating since before World War II, you should perhaps question whether you may be able to cope with a volume level matched only by the incessant whining by people who don’t actually own the land.
And what of the concerts that are played at the venue? I attended the AC/DC concert in late-2016. Being within 50 meters of the stage, I attained some measure of hearing loss thanks to the extremely loud, and brilliant amps booming out Angus Young’s riffs. Something I observed from that concert were the residents in the surrounding area watching the band play from their back yards. They had no issue with these concerts, yet they’ll kick up a fit in the twelve race nights throughout the year, which were limited in the first place thanks to said residents.
Eventually, there will come a time where the speedway will have to go. The ever-expanding populous of the city of Auckland will require the space and at some point, that time will come. But, we will need another facility to take over the reins. Whether that will involve carving the speedway into Mount Smart Stadium or creating an entirely new one at the newly-formed Colin Dale Park in Wiri, there needs to be an alternative solution for the public before any action is undertaken. Although, it seems that people who side with the speedway stand alone as the Council seeks to move racing out of the Springs and into the future of the unknown.
To have your say on the matter, email firstname.lastname@example.org and make your voice heard.
In Formula One, the most direct competition for a driver is their team-mate. It is a fair measure of ones actual performance and for that reason, I have introduced ‘Team-Mate Wars’ to this blog. This concept was first used on PlanetF1. Thank you to the writing personnel for the inspiration!
Hamilton – 1 / Bottas - 0
In what was a dominant display in qualifying, Lewis Hamilton proved that he is arguably the best driver in the world today. Bottas failed to shake off the stigma that he is merely a rear-gunner for Hamilton. When Bottas crashed in qualifying, it left Hamilton alone up front to fend off the Ferraris. Had it not been for a Virtual Safety Car, perhaps Hamilton may have cruised to victory. However, this sport is built off ‘what if’ moments. One musn’t dwell on what happened, but rather look forward and Mercedes certainly have the pace to repeat the dominant display demonstrated since 2014. Hamilton gets an easy victory after a fantastic qualifying session as well as a good performance during the Grand Prix.
Vettel – 0 / Raikkonen - 1
I know, this is weird. I gave a point to the Ferrari driver that didn’t win the race. However, it was Raikkonen who set the early initial pace and was the one Ferrari who was genuinely on pace with the Merc. Qualifying ahead of Vettel adds an extra something to that as well. The difference between the two in performance over the weekend was marginal. They had both performed to the standard that Enzo would have expected out of his pilots. And the team in particular deserves some credit, with the spaghetti Italian nature of the garage giving way to the force that has even the most calm of personnel down the pits nervous. Raikkonen gets the win thanks to a revival of form and being the better of the two Prancing Horses throughout the weekend.
Red Bull Racing
Ricciardo – 1 / Verstappen - 0
There’s something astutely wrong about what many dubbed as the ‘best handling’ car spinning out of control. Both Red Bull’s struggled on what would be a circuit that would suit the RB14 and the result of that was another missed opportunity for the Milton Keynes outfit. Verstappen showed pace throughout the weekend, but was weak during the race. After letting Magnussen by on the first lap, he would spend the next few laps trying to get past the Ferrari clone. He would spin out of fifth and out of contention all together. Ricciardo on the other hand had a good race. Albeit, the elusive Australian Grand Prix podium was once again missed, leaving the Honey Badger to settle for fourth. Oh, and first blood in team-mate wars.
Perez – 1 / Ocon - 0
What the hell happened? Force India was one of those teams you would expect would get better over time. Because up until now, that’s exactly what they were doing. Instead, it appears that their rivals have caught up. They were just ahead of the Williams on pace, which given Williams lack of improvement in any department, is a red flag. Perez gains the edge over Ocon as it appeared the Mexican had the better of his team-mate throughout the weekend. Nothing much to write home about, on to the next weekend.
Alonso – 1 / Vandoorne - 0
My next article will paint a different picture of Alonso, but he nevertheless proved his worth with a very credible fifth place in the McLaren-Renault. Given McLaren’s history, we shouldn’t have to look at a fifth place as a good result, but this Grand Prix was like Christmas for the team from Otahuhu-- I mean, Woking. Vandoorne continues to raise questions as to why he never appears to contest his team-mate. The excuse of being a rookie is long gone, he’s had time to test the car, and now is the time to prove his worth. Alonso comfortably wins here and already, the year looks to be brighter for the car – and I’m not just talking about the paint. Alonso gets the point for being the faster of the two McLaren’s throughout the weekend and his fantastic result in the Grand Prix.
Grosjean – 0 / Magnussen - 1
Four laps in, the Haas garage was bolstered with great enthusiasm and excitement. I mean, why not? Both cars were in the top six and keeping the Red Bull’s at bay. It appeared that Magnussen got the better of Verstappen when the Dutchman kicked up dirt and smoke at turn one, but in a matter of minutes, the Haas campaign went up in spectacular fashion. In both cases, it appeared that the pit crew had let them down horribly; with Gunther Steiner burying his head into hands. It was set to be a fantastic race for the American outfit and were staring down the barrels of a podium and / or third place on the Constructors totem pole. Again, this ‘team sport’ is plagued with ‘what ifs’.
Hulkenberg – 1 / Sainz - 0
Both drivers have a cult following, but have failed to capture my attention. The Renault outfit do not appear to have progressed as much as I would have thought, but were nevertheless there or thereabouts. It is encouraging, however. Hulkenberg gets the edge for this round, as he appeared to be marginally faster than Sainz over the weekend.
Stroll – 1 / Sirotkin - 0
Both of these drivers performed very well in the junior ranks, with both drivers winning many races and championships between them. But, for whatever reason, the transition to Formula One hasn’t been as smooth as one would expect. It’s a valid argument that a driver entering Formula One should be ready for the challenges that lie ahead. It’s easy to say that from your couch, and many ‘fans’ need to give up the lie they tell themselves – that Kubica was the better option for the second Williams seat. Stroll takes the biscuit for this round, owing to a good qualifying performance.
Hartley – 1 / Gasly - 0
It is difficult to judge between two drivers when both cars rarely ran. This weekend did not yield typical Honda problems until it did reared its ugly head midway through the race; with Gasly’s Honda power unit being littered throughout Sector 3. Both drivers failed to gain attention on the pace front, as well. I expected more out of both drivers, but I suppose one can’t do much with an engine that is noticeably slower than that of their competition. Still though, it is refreshing to have someone other than Alonso whinging about the Honda’s. Hartley gains the point for this round based on qualifying performance.
Leclerc – 1 / Ericsson - 0
I’m not gonna lie, I don’t like Ericsson. But, I am a fair judge of driver performance and I will give credit where credit is due. So, in that case, Ericsson doesn’t deserve any. He has once again proven to be the lesser of the two drivers – something that has been the case throughout his Formula One career. Although, few were expecting him to outpace Charles Leclerc – a driver whom I’ve touted to be the next big start in this sport. He possesses a lot of the attributes that the late Jules Bianchi had; which given their history, is quite appropriate. Leclerc gained his point based on his performance as a rookie, compared to that of his team-mate and his race performance which saw him move from 18th to 13th in the slowest car on the grid.
Put mildly, sporting fans can be fickle. In what is just a form of entertainment, many take as a matter of national pride. Despite how much effort the team or athlete may put into the game, the result determines whether they’ll return home to fanfare or violent disdain from disgruntled fans. New Zealand is a prime example of how the mood can change at the drop of a hat. It’s fair to say that we are a nation of bandwagoners. But, what exactly would you define as a ‘bandwagoner’?
A bandwagoner could be defined as partaking in the support of a team or athlete after a run of success. Or it could be through popular opinion. There are many examples where this is demonstrated and perhaps the best example that comes to mind is that of the New Zealand Warriors rugby league franchise. I know this is a motorsport-dedicated blog, but please do read on.
One of the biggest lies in sport is the proclamation of ‘this is our year’. If there is one thing sport has thought me in the past 23 years of my life, it is that sport is as unpredictable as it comes. You can never be assured that it will ever be the year which will culminate in confetti and fanfare. But, if there is one thing that the Warriors fans are guilty of, it’s this. The start of the National Rugby League calendar year always draws a high attendance figure, with many fans hopeful of a boost in performance and incentive to achieve glory. Toward the end of the 2017 season, the Warriors would lose nine-straight games and left many fans irate. Players left the club, as did long-time supporters and it seemed that the club was left in dire straits.
Why mention this? Since the end of last season, a major rebuilding effort has been undertaken within the club, with a noticeable change in attitude and a refreshing take on the season ahead. As of writing this, the Warriors have won their first two games and sit equal first on the NRL ladder. The shift in performance has subsequently ushered in an array of fans and games selling out faster than black market narcotics.
It’s the same story in the world of motorsport. For the majority of the 2017 season, Lance Stroll was vilified and hated based on the money he brought into the Williams team. Therefore, many labelled him as a pay driver who did not attain his seat on merit. However, after watching him ascend through the junior ranks, I knew what he was capable of. Rich or not, you don’t win three championships in three years by being a driver incapable of the top-level of motorsport, and that is discounting his karting accolades. Once his performances started to shine through in the latter part of the year; more specifically where he started to outperform his teammate on a regular basis, people started to look past the Canadian green and onto what he could bring to the table as a driver. This was especially true at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, where he narrowly missed out on a potential victory, after being slandered for the majority of his tenure.
It can be regarded as pathetic, but one could be forgiven for benching support until adequate effort and performance is put in. Let’s be honest, you wouldn’t lend your full-fledged support toward someone who did not take the time and effort to repay your admission fee? These athletes are paid to perform and whenever it seems they couldn’t be bothered to put said effort in, one can’t expect the fans to get behind them, either.
It’s an almost incurable epidemic – there will always be the bandwagoners, there will always be the haters and there will always be the delusional folk whom believe they know best based on warped philosophy. But, do their opinions really matter? In the end, any increase in fan support can only be a good thing. Whether you would call them ‘fake fans’ or bandwagoners, they will add to the growth of the club or athlete. That is, until the eventual slump in performance, where the cycle repeats itself, once again.
The paradox of social media is brought about by its accessibility to the masses. It seems somewhat shrewd, but the old saying of ‘if you have nothing good to say, don’t say anything at all’ has never been as relevant. Yet, it seems to be largely ignored. We yearn for a closer insight into all the happenings in the world, today. Although, what good did that do us when it came to our world leaders? To Hollywood celebrities? Or even athletes across the world?
When Carmen Jorda suggested that female racing drivers shouldn’t even bother chasing their dreams of reaching the Formula One grid, the reaction on social media was akin to that of a comment made by Alex Jones. The vast majority of the comments were largely derogatory toward Jorda, with no thought given to the topic of women in motorsport – a key issue in todays world of sport, the world over. Something of which warrants serious discussion is instead being cast aside primarily due to the attention being drawn by the aura of a polarizing individual. Remind you of anyone?
As per my previous article, I touched on the story of rising Japanese sensation, Juju Noda. She certainly has the capabilities to fulfil her aspirations of becoming a Formula One driver purely based on merit. Something most drivers all over the world, irrespective of gender, wealth (sort of) or ethnicity may never achieve. Her ascension in awareness has been based purely off the results she has put in. The same can be said of the likes of French rally legend, Michele Mouton. In the 1982 season of the World Rally Championship, she took three rally wins en route to securing second place in the overall standings for that season. Or perhaps even Lella Lombardi? The Italian legend would contest in Formula One from 1974 until 1976. Although never in the best machinery (in fact, surely in some of the worst), she holds the distinction of being the only woman to have scored points in Formula One to date.
And then there is the aforementioned Carmen Jorda. A member of the FIA Women in Motorsport committee and former member of the Lotus F1 Team, she is almost certainly the most polarizing figure in motorsport. For those whom may not know of Jorda’s tenure in motorsport; or more specifically, in Formula One, you could be forgiven for thinking that the criticism could be the result of a sexist tirade brought upon by trolls and blue-collared slobs who still live in the pre-war era. But, having watched her motorsport activity for the past six years, the criticism is more than warranted.
After meandering in the lower-ranks of Spanish formula racing for a few years, she embarked on a season of racing in the United States. The Indy Lights series bared little fruit for the Spaniard as she stammered through the season, with results which would hardly suggest she was ready to join the more competitive European series’ such as GP3. Lo and behold, Jorda would sign with Ocean Racing Technology to race in the 2012 GP3 season. Jorda found herself at the back of the grid in almost every session throughout the year, with the most notable case being at the British round where she failed to qualify for the event – a rare instance in this level of motorsport. After two more years in the category, she would leave the series with a best race result of 17th. Going into 2015, it seemed as though we had seen the last of this debacle. In February 2015, it was announced that Jorda had signed with the Lotus F1 Team as a development driver.
To say that this was an unpopular signing was an understatement. Michele Mouton, the head of the FIA’s Women and Motor Sport Commission had described her as little more than a marketing gimmick. Many people had accused the Lotus outfit of signing Jorda based on looks and finances as opposed to driving talent. As well as being scalded by other racing drivers around the world, particular criticism came from former Lotus test driver, Marco Sorensen; after Sorensen had claimed that Jorda has been as much as twelve seconds off his pace in the racing simulator. Jorda laughed it off, claiming to be have actually been more or less within a second of Romain Grosjean. I’m sure she was.
After being dumped by the Lotus outfit (now known as Renault), her next venture in motorsport came about in December 2017, when she was appointed to the FIA’s Women in Motorsport commission. Accomplished British racing driver Pippa Mann commented that "it is extremely disappointing to learn that a racer with no notable results in any of the categories in which she has competed, and who believes and is quoted as saying that she does not believe we as female racers can compete, has been appointed to the FIA Women in Motorsport Commission”. A couple months later, Jorda commented that women should aim for Formula E rather than Formula One as it is less physically taxing on the driver. To have a spokesperson for women in motorsport to make such a comment undermine the capabilities of female racing drivers across the world is an affront to the sport and prompts the question of what value Jorda brings to the sport even when she is no longer behind the wheel of a car?
I’m fairly certain I will cop backlash, as a result of this article. But, I could not care less. We must be honest with ourselves – do we want women to succeed in motorsport? Any proper motorsport fan would say ‘yes’. There are certainly some capable female racing drivers out there, but much like their male counterparts, the drivers without the funds ultimately draw the short straw. If we are to make a concerted effort in a bid to entice women to compete in motorsport, it needs to be demonstrated that they can compete against men on merit. Therefore, levitating someone such as Jorda, we end up chasing our tails whilst trolls on social media continue to ridicule the concept of women in motorsport.
Josh Revell is a writer and eSports competitor who specialises in motorsport. Under the BOX THIS LAP format, Revell also manages a podcast, with episodes streaming every fortnight. Be sure to check back here for weekly content and follow him on Twitter for his views and opinions on all the happenings in the world of motorsport.