Join Grace and me as we share some memories of Senna, discuss cost cutting, Force India, Nigel Stepney and more. We have awards and even discuss tire wars.


Fashion award winner here.

An F1 fan since 1972, NC has spent over 25 years in the technology industry focusing on technology integration, AV systems integration, digital media strategies, technology planning, consulting, speaking, presenting, sales, content strategy, marketing and brand building.
  • Grantly

    Hey guys, FYI the sticher audio is messed up. From where Grace starts talking about Sena – RIP). Keep up the good work. G

    • Thanks mate. I re-edited it and loaded it on the site so you might have to re-download it and see if that works. Sorry about that, I had a piece of audio that I was editing and didn’t get it deleted from one of the multi-tracks. You can also listen to it from the website or DL it from iTunes too.

    • I thought I was the only one who thought that! I’d rather not admit how long it took for me to realize it was an editing mixup…

  • Schmorbraten

    I also got the first version which sounded like Grace raving on about something all on her own while Todd was happily being distracted by his daughter playing around. I thought: wow, Grace is really hard-knuckled, she’s carrying on with her monologue for minutes although Todd can’t be bothered to listen to her …

    • LOL…well, there is a new version up and my apologies. I was being too fast in the mixdown as I’ve been swamped lately. Regardless, Grace is always hard-knuckled. :)

  • F1_Knight

    Thanks for the shout out guys! Great podcast as always!

  • Mike Steck

    Great podcast! It has become such a staple in F1 for me, I can’t imagine life without.

    • Thanks for the kind words Mike. We really appreciate your support and thanks for listening.

  • Here I was wrapping my head in preparation for the dive to work.
    Getting ready for the head banging of the steering wheel.
    Then you pull that stunt at the intro.
    I almost choked on my Coco Pops.
    Very funny.

    Great show as always.

  • Really enjoying the podcasts of late; keep it up.

    *Dennis on Senna-Reading the same articles, I took Mr. Dennis’ quotes as stating unequivocally Senna was a Mclaren-type. I think he admired Senna’s intense focus on betterment, on winning, despite the sometimes painful consequences. Dennis excused Senna’s contract-breaking to attain greatness w/ Mclaren, and appeared to harbor no ill-will when he left for Williams.

    As to Senna’s place in the greatness pantheon, proclaiming him the best of his era and not all time, to me, speaks of Dennis’ pragmatism and meticulous analyzation; Ayrton Senna is of a period, of wide slicks/manual gearboxes, of big slip angles and needed mechanical sympathy and independent car/race analysis. Anointing him the best of all time ignores objective (stats) and subjective (different equipment/tracks/competition) data points that IMO just isn’t in Ron Dennis’ makeup.

    *Tire War/Roadcar Relevance- The 18″ wheels will entice Bridgestone and/or (I hope) Michelin back. The decreased aspect-ratio’d sidewalls more closely aligns F1 w/ road car and road-race racing tire trends. I’m ambivalent on multiple suppliers. Grace-Don’t give FIA ideas about Run-Flats; they suck. Like kiddie with a lollipop Suck.

    *Simplification/Active suspension- Been thinking about the proposals, how they might be implemented; it really is a “wait and see” proposition to me, whether active suspension is as Todd alludes becomes a spec atrocity or I hope a further development path.

    Mike Steck illustrates in the “cost-cutting” post much of a bespoke F1 car uses subcontracted parts, yet the Sum remaining unique. To me, Active Suspension simply means electrical signals being passed to componentry, influencing the mechanical reaction. Thus, the teams using spec dampers/springs, if that’s what’s being inferred, SHOULD be okay, as long as the regs give some leeway as to its development.

    Within this lexicon, AS can influence/include:
    -Individually controlled corner dampening rates
    -variable roll stiffness
    -anticipatory jounce/rebound (Merc’s horribly named but impressive “Magic Body Control)
    -Ride height, Pitch

    As with the ERS systems, it’s it will be just as much about tuning as the hardware.

    *Force India: Love the Fernley quote; tongue-in-cheek, yet competitive. He’s so likable, to me a huge contrast to the self-absorbed twit of a “Team Principal.”

  • Rapierman

    1. I used to have a decent car collection.

    2. Happy Cinco de Mayo.

    3. Charsley as Darth Vader? Ehhhhhhh…..maybe not.

    4. Not a spoiler anymore (Dammit, the one time I switch out a driver in a fantasy league, he wins something. Go figure.)

    5. The thing that came to my mind regarding Senna were some great people who died too soon, such as Buddy Holly, Richie Valens, Janis Joplin, Stevie Ray Vaughn….oh, wait, need to get racing in there. Let’s go with Dale Earnhart, Sr., or Dan Wheldon, for that matter.

    6. Unfortunately, the world remembers the mistakes and bad actors more than they remember the rest of the folks in the world.

    7. Getting anything nailed down by all the F1 teams is like herding cats.

    8. The new stuff sounds like a game of 52-card pickup.

    9. It sounds more a lot like the FIA is trying to put on a lot of window-dressing: Looks great, but it’s all just tweaks, and unless tweaks produce a big result, it’s worthless.

    10. I’m not against cost cutting and safety, I’m just against being stupid.

    11. It’s great that FI’s making some progress to the front.

    12. Of course we do! To paraphrase a certain football coach, “We want winners! We want teams who want to win!”

    13. That sounded a lot like “May you live in interesting times.”

    14. Hey, Andy! Autosport re: Hamilton for your next podcast! Another example of media failure!

    15. Hamilton, Vettel, Alonzo, FO: Raikkonen

  • AntioBob

    also notices a headline (some site) stating “Rosberg claims he is better than Hamilton in the dry.” Problem is, that’s not what he said.

    • I really wanted to make the title of this podcast post, “Podcast #366- Grace says she’s tired of battling Lewis”.

  • AntioBob

    Hamilton, Ricciardo, Vettel, FO: Rosberg (contact with either ALO or MAS at the start)

  • Natthulal

    Please listen to the podcast, especially on the smaller teams like Sauber, FI writing to FIA/Jean Todt about the strategy group ( RedBull, Ferrari, Mercedes, McLaren, Lotus, Williams, Bernie/FOM) squashing down FIA/Jean Todt’s cost cutting proposal.

    Williams and Lotus have gone on record that the big teams and FOM twisted their arm into towing the party line of the strategy group. Effectively, FIA/Jean Todt got out voted by the Teams and FOM on the FIA cost cutting proposals. This arrogance of the big 4 teams and Bernie is jeopardizing the long-term health of the sport. Jean Todt’s subsequent press release about no cost cuts, was more out of frustration and sarcasm.
    Smaller teams and Lotus, Williams have repeatedly approached the FIA president and expressed their concern about the exorbitant costs that is making it difficult for them to operate.

    As a Williams fan, I never liked Jean Todt when he was the team principle at Maranello, and he along with Ross Brawn, Michael Schumacher, in cahoots with FIA( or Charlie Whiting)resorted to lots of underhanded tactics to destabilize the seasons of F1 teams like McLaren, Williams and later Renault F1 ( J Damper issue. Alonso’s penalty at Monza’06, etc.).

    However, as an FIA president, Jean Todt has always taken the path of consensus, (unlike his autocratic predecessor), on governing motor sports in general and F1 in particular.
    But time and again you get a sense that some F1 teams ( Ferrari/Montezemolo, in particular) and Bernie are ganging up against Jean to make him look bad.

    I had previously elaborated how, all the teams ( in all racing series governed by FIA), the auto manufacturers, various special-interest groups ( like FOTA, overtaking working group and myriad of F1 forums) worked together and happily announced V4 engine (green engine) for all the racing series governed by FIA . 9-12 months later Luca and Bernie joined forced to make FIA alter the specification to V6.
    Even after that announcement everybody had enough time to work on the new power plants, but the teams except Mercedes powered teams couldn’t get it right, and again the propaganda is the new F1 sucks and its somehow FIA/Jean Todt’s fault.

    Cost-cutting measures is the same story. Everybody whines about spiraling costs and how difficult it is to go motor racing, but nobody does anything about it.

    The cost-cutting discussion in F1 has all the elements of various environmental forums that all the countries in the world participate, and due to conflicting interest of the developed world ( Europe and Americas) vs that of the developing nations ( China, India, Brazil, etc.) nobody ever gets to agree to comply by the Kyoto Protocol to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases.

    While all above matters are disappointing, more disappointing is a leading as a F1-related blog site, that quotes and sources many leading news sites, you guys completely misinterpret the new stories, quotes of the related parties.
    In the world of www often people arrive at conclusions based on the headlines on the website, and don’t bother to read through the stories. Hopefully, you are making the subscriptions to these sites count, and not just gleaning over.

    One-half of this podcast always puts a disclaimer of being “occasionally insightful,” but the other half always mentions to have followed the sports since the 70s. Since that is indeed the case, please make the 40-plus years of F1 following experience count, and bring more insight, more objectivity, more research, and fewer biases to the podcast.

    • I’m a little unclear on where we’re biased here. The strategy group was created for a reason and that was to avoid the need for unanimous consent on all decisions made in F1. Williams is a part of that group as a legacy player in F1, not due to its championship point standing (like Lotus). Todt has always wanted cost-cutting in F1 and was very keen to have FIA oversight into the finances of the teams but that was never going to fly and it doesn’t matter how much we may or may not want that. Logistically it was not going to work and the teams were never going to be comfortable with the FIA having purview over their balance sheet.

      Having said that, this isn’t about the Kyoto Treaty and Green or sustainability, it’s about money. Period. F1 is a machine and it has stakeholders that expect returns on their risk and investment. The V4 was not going to please the masses as a specification too far from where the series was. The reduction of fuel flow and the limited ICE in 4 cylinders was not appealing and as two of the three engine makers who threatened to leave the sport if it did not create a new spec engine more relevant to their road car innovation, they could have easily left or threatened to leave if the series didn’t stick with V4 but they didn’t. The V6 hybrid tech does work nicely with their V4 versions and was enough of a change to make the series relevant for them.

      As for cost cutting, Todt is looking for measurable cuts through regulations which the top teams (meaning the teams who spend the most in F1) are comfortable with. They want to do this prior to the end of june so they do not need unanimity with the decisions. I believe the small teams offered enough blowback on the issue that Todt is asking for their input on the process. Grace feels he’s being being flippant and dismissive but I do not agree with her on that front. I believe he is truly trying to find consensus and harmony as a leader of the FIA but in the end, it is about money, not being Green. If we feel Merc, Renault and Honda are making V6 turbos hybrids to save the planet, then we’ve been sold a bill of goods. they are making them to sell product to a generation who places sustainability as a top feature they look for in a new car and they want to appeal to the current trend of social responsibility. Corporations are, for the most part, gutless these days and pander to the least common denominator.

      • Natthulal

        As a regular listener, all I can say, is everything you have written in your comment is not clearly articulated. May it be the letter of the smaller teams to the FIA president, or the background of 2014 regulation changes. In fact when the V4 announcement was made, there are not appropriate lowdown, when FIA president was bullied by Ferrari Boss and FOM boss ( after initially participating in the regulations development on V4), again the podcast in that period misinterpreted the event, the drivers, and the confliict of interest. rather much time was spent on how even lawn mowers are sounding better than the new engines on dynos. In short very frivolous.

        The Kyoto protocol was merely used as an example to draw parallel between the dysfunctional operations of the world leaders, and F1 players. Where short term gains outweigh the long term sustainability ( in case of kyoto protocol the environment, and in case of cost cutting measures, the future of the sport).

        Only reason for dwelling and critiquing, is with the kind of resources, time and effort you and the team here puts, might as well it become a trusted source for analysis of F1 related event. The garble spoken (even in jest) after a while becomes anecdotal reference that unnecessarily maligns ( or glorifies) the players in question.

        • I understand your point. Please keep in mind that we are not F1 journalists with connections far-reaching into the series and access to the main players for commentary. I will say that we certainly have been wrong on our interpretation of the news before but we’ve also been very spot on even when others weren’t. Much of our commentary is born from simple opinion and sometimes that is tongue-in-cheek and other times it is more serious. Divining the true intent of anyone’s commentary in the press by reading into the words and placing our own biases on the matter is always a risk and some times we get it right and sometimes we get it wrong. All that to say that I do appreciate your critique and asking us to become more accurate and more of a trusted source for opinion. It’s well-intentioned criticism and I really do appreciate that.

  • AntioBob

    I was confused by some of what was in the podcast as well. Especially the psychedilic part where Grace is talking and NC discusses more important issues with his daughter. Very post-modern, crptic. Then I realized I should listen to it backward. Bam! I discovered your hidden message: “Maldonado 2014 world champion.” This 366th podcast will be discussed by the fanatics and conspiracy theorists for years to come.

    • I can’t confirm or deny this but if you listen closely in reverse, you might also hear us read the list of names tragically lost in the night of the long knives. Just saying. ;) Also, as much as I love F1 and the podcast, my daughters come first. ;)

      • Wasn’t the night of the long knives when Hitler wiped out his Nazi rivals? How’s that tragic?

        • It was the night that Hitler and his minions wiped out every person on their list of opposition. Lots of death and murder…that’s tragic. Too bad Hitler wasn’t on that list himself.

  • Schmorbraten

    UK’s “AGVs” or “articulated goods vehicles” apparently translate to US “semi-trailers on tractor units”.

    • Rapierman

      Something like that: It’s the “lorry” (“truck”) attached to the trailer that makes up the “tractor” part of “tractor-trailer”. Also known as “eighteen-wheelers” for the number of wheels required to support the combo.

    • That must make us sort of an Articulated Goods Website then.