Join Grace and me as we discuss the news of Formula One this week. We talk about Lotus F1, Org charts, replacing Mark Webber, why Friday is a good day for driving, tires and more. We even discuss Grace’s thought on points. Let us know what you think about the topics we discuss and share your opinion.


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.
  • jk

    You guys going to keep talking about alcohol or racing?

    • Wait until we get to the topic of knitting and grammar. ;)

      • MIE

        Not enough cheese talk to go with the wine.

    • the drivers seat

      I think they need to talk about me more, I was enthralled

      • cconf1

        Ahhh, so *you’re* Helmut Marko ….

        Knew you had to be around here somewhere. :)

    • pear-shaped pete

      On the alcohol side I was a little surprised that Todd was clearly thinking of “the personal favourite” as a sort of low – 1 or 2 – sort of number whereas the lovely Grace suffers no no such numeric restriction. A non-meeting of the minds.

      On the racing side, (perhaps related to the alcohol side above) I was very very surprised to hear Grace relate that she had attachments, although modesty ? kicked in and then added “small ones”. Like Helmut in Red Bull she was misquoting herself or going for a “house takes bravado award”.


      pearshaped pete

  • MIE

    I think we need to hear more about Mark Hiedfeld, he sounds promising.

    • LOL. He’s a rally driver I think…surprised Grace pronounced his name right. ;)

  • TooGood2tell

    Grace & Todd – Thanks for shout-out/POTW.

    • TooGood2tell

      P.S. – While I don’t subscribe to all your views on F1 ( and many topics covered in the podcast), I do listen to all your podcast :-)

      • Thanks for listening. We really appreciate it. We all won’t agree on everything but that’s what F1B is about, sharing our opinions on the sport we love and disagreeing with decorum and civility.

  • stan

    If Redbull has to go outside of their development program to replace Weber what on earth is Marko doing for them? Wandering around the pits looking creepy, second guessing Horner, and sabotaging Weber is not a legit career

    • Its a good point Stan, Helmut is in charge of their development program and it would seem odd that he hasn’t brought any new talent that would be first choice for eEbber’s seat. Then again, how many Kimi’s are there?

      • Stan

        No doubt Kimi is head and shoulder above anyone else that’s available. Next up the iHulk and after that you’re pretty much taking a flyer

      • UAN

        I’d say Marko’s done okay – one 3x WDC and 4 drivers that were not (and are not) an embarrassment to F1 or Redbull.

        And if we go with your assertion from last week’s podcast that number of drivers who could win with the right package is about 80% (that 80-20 rule thingy :), then at least 3 of the drivers not named Vettel Marko brought to F1 could be WDC winning material. It’s not Marko’s fault that Webber keeps competing at a high level. (Darn those old guys who just won’t move out of the way for the young whipper snappers! lol)

  • Just going back to the team mate wars chatter i thought this video was pretty interesting:

    what are your thoughts?

  • the drivers seat

    Totally agree with JV, “Winning with Honour ” which some see as a weakness , but I’m on his side of the fence, the weaker man is the ruthless driver, and funnily enough the most guilty of this didn’t need it, they had the talent to succeed on it’s own merit.

  • Rapierman

    1. Ouch, what a dig at Paul. :-D

    2. Yep, even the IRS has an org-chart. ;-)

    3. Six degrees of Ron Dennis. :-D

    4. It’s a weird org-chart for Red Bull, but there it is.

    5. Helmut Marko? I sometimes think that he thinks otherwise.

    6. I gotta wonder why Horner had to make it clear.

    7. Why, exactly, are we saying anything about Marko if he means nothing. The more attention we give him, the worse it gets. Keep silent and he’ll go away like a spoiled brat.

    8. I had Webber marked down as going to Sauber, but who knows?

    9. I believe we call that “jumping the shark”. ;-)

    10. You have to go with Riccardo; otherwise, that development team would be a waste.

    11. I don’t think Vettel would give two flips about anyone, much less a young driver. The only thing he cares about is winning.

    12. Makes perfect sense: They got Bianchi, so they definitely get the engine.

    13. Where we come from, we call that a “lack of competition that leads to a monopoly”.

    14. Yep, Pirelli needed to do this, and Lotus should shut up because it’s going to lead a safer race.

    15. I just as soon give them enough tires to last the entire weekend, no matter how hard they drive.

    16. C’mon, people, I know six-year-olds who could come up with better bull>expletive deleted< than you! If you can't dazzle with us with brilliance, and least TRY to baffle us with BS.

    17. There's the stupidity of the whole thing: Racing vs. Show. I don't care what anyone says, competition is the entertainment. What part of that does the FIA and Bernie not get?

    18. Thanks for the S/O. :-D

    19. Don't worry, I'll keep an eye on Jack. ;-)

    20. I think that Blade will be a happy guy. :-D

    21. Wait 'til you see my reply about "guarantees". :-D

    22. Sure, I'll be happy to share my tax knowledge when needed. ;-)

    23. He looks like he came from a U Texas gym.

    24. So, FIA became NASCAR? We're just as cool now? OUTSTANDING!!! :-D

    25. Welcome to California State Law. :-P The idea is to weed out the guys that just don't get it.

    26. Vettel, Alonso, Raikkonen, FO is Sutil (although Grace's pick is equally valid).

    27. One of these days, the entire group will be on.

    28. ….and the Fast Laps. Don't forget the Fast Laps. ;-)

    • pear-shaped pete

      I think there could be a rapierman quiz…… the way you play is to listen to the podcast, then read rapierman’s intelligent and well reasoned repsonses, and then do a mental “pin the tail on the donkey trying to line up the recall with the rapierman. I’d end up first out at about 2or3.
      Well done Rapierman.

      pear-shaped pete

      • MIE

        Set up a thread in the Games/Competitions area of the forum. There may be a few takers.

      • Rapierman

        I have to be organized, yanno. ;-)

  • Ab345

    Enjoyed the pod. Grace in good form. i think the harder tires are not just about having to choose between Redbull and Lotus, like Sophie’s choice, but the crescendo of fans criticizing the lack of sprint racing (including former drivers) started to hurt, so they probably are leaning more to letting Redbull run with it than manufacturing drama through tires.

    re: Motogp (I am a new fan of all forms of racing this year due to first Beinsport showing WSBK. I then found F1, and Motogp, and have even started sniffing around NASCAR now that I understand racing much more). I have found the WSBK far more exciting than the Motogp races. WSBK is available free on Beinsport with little commercial breaks and extensive coverage of the whole event.

    • thanks mate. Yeah, I wasn’t’ feeling that great Monday night. Must be allergies or something so thanks for putting up with my being off my game. Grace carried me. :)

      • Ab345

        You were fine NC. Didn’t notice. A lot to think about. Didn’t like your Checo dnf call (I think it was you?). Surprised Grace is so sure that Checo can’t draw out performance a la Hamilton and Alonso. I loved what he did in Bahrain, but I am thinking of going to Montreal to get a first hand look at this stuff. Liked the the comment about the whole package part. Webber is an enigma. You guys were right about him, but…

        • Rapierman

          Nah, Grace was saying “Perez FO” in response to my claim that she had to be smoking something to put Perez on a podium last race (although the FO pick is a valid one).

        • Thanks mate, I wasn’t fishing for a compliment. :) I was truly not feeling that well and really wasn’t the best behaved. but thanks for sticking in there with me. :)

  • mjidris

    Here’s an idea for tires. Why don’t you just let different tire manufacturers compete to try and provide the teams with the fastest possible tires that also last long. In other words, why don’t you allow different tire manufacturers to develop their tires (similar to the teams developing their cars). Each team could select whichever set of tires works best with their car. You could also create guidelines and rules for the development of those tires (such as a requirement to have a wet tire and a minimum weight for the tires). I think that would be a little bit more interesting.

    I know it probably would never happen, due to the fact that tires are one of the main ways in which the FIA maintains control off the cars on the track.

    • If you’re being sarcastic, I love it. If you’re genuinely offering this as an option, that is how F1 was run before. When we refer to the “tire war” era with Bridgestone and Michelin. just want to cover my bases incase you aren’t being snarky because I know many of you are new to F1 and may not know a lot about the history of the sport and some of the technical regulations that were present before you got into the sport. :)

      • Rapierman

        Well, there used to be a tire war in IndyCar with Goodyear vs. Michelin vs. Goodrich vs. Firestone, and there was also the tire war with Goodyear vs. Hoosier. Love those tire wars. Makes everything interesting.

    • zzyzxx

      This is the main reason that all the track lap records are from 2004. The wing dimensions were reduced and the engines have lost 2 cylinders, but the teams have overcome that. The lack of a tire war gives the FIA control over the cornering speeds by limiting the tire grip. The current cars, with the olds tires, would be much faster, but the FIA does not want that. The teams can gain more down force each year (or each race), but the FIA can slow them back down as long as they can tell a single tire supplier what to do.

  • zzyzxx

    The penalty system that I’ve read about has said nothing about deducting any driver points won at the races. They have simply referred to accumulating points on their super license from multiple small infractions towards larger penalties or race bans. Grace seemed to imply that deducted points could affect the Drivers Championship, but I believe she is mistaken.

    • That’s the way we understand it too. I think Grace was just using that as an example of a silly points system that is a dodgy idea.

  • tifosi77

    A quick observation on organization charts and Red Bull.

    I work for the U.S. subsidiary of a large Japanese company (most would recognize the name). Very different, culturally, than anything I’ve ever experienced in my life, but that’s for another post. When the chief executive of the U.S. division gets himself (and it is always a ‘him’) into trouble, as two of the past three have done, HQ sends over someone to essentially supervise the running of the company. This person is given a showy title with some vaguely appropriate words that describes the business units he’s overseeing – like Executive Vice President for U.S. Game Production and Contents Generation (‘contents’ is always plural) – and nominally he reports to the (beleaguered) executive he was sent to monitor. But because he’s from HQ, he really outranks the U.S. boss…. that’s just how it is. So even though new guy technically reports to the U.S. chief executive, he wields more ultimate authority. It is a completely screwy structure that only serves to highlight the fact that the man with the title “President” isn’t actually in charge of anything meaningful. Oh, he still has to approve everything in our digital workflow system and he signs all our contracts, and makes all the public statements to the press and such. But in terms of strategic planning and actually leading the company, he has about as much authority now as I do as a paralegal.

    To me, that’s sort of like Helmut Marko. He has no official role at RBR other than ‘adviser’, but he’s sort of the eyes and ears of HQ (read: Mateschitz) and, despite not actually being an official part of the team or its management structure, he outranks everyone.

    • That’s a great analogy. It very well could be similar to that. He has Did’s ear no doubt.

  • Sebring71

    “Lotus needs to shut up”? Seems to me that RBR squawked a good bit more prior to this change, than Lotus did after the fact. Pirelli were asked to bring more excitement, and perhaps a bit more parity, to the sport. Why? Because of boring domination, by one team. Granted, I realize other teams had voiced concerns with the tires. Losing tends to give voice to concern. But, Lotus finding a way to maximize this concept and give the top echelon teams a run…that seems to me to be EXACTLY the type of result that bears out the validity of concept. Giving in to RBR is more of the past boredom, brought right back into the present, and reeks of favoritism. “Safer”? The safety comes from teams calling the tire strategy as is needed, and having to box early and get on the primes, and if Kimi can stay out, well….that’s exciting! Excitement ≠ boring. Boring ≠ interesting. Excitement good. Boring bad.

  • cameron

    im deppressed maybey as much as the f1 drivers .they are supposed to be racing drivers not tyre managers
    im getting fed up with it and wonder why they dont just make tyres that can do 30 odd laps and let the drivers race i think i heard the tyres being mentioned 59 times up to now at the spanish grand prix , im extremely fed up.

  • UAN

    Just finished listening to all of the podcast (only a week behind :). Prescient comment about “who wants to see a Marrussia right behind a Red Bull or Lotus in the DRS zone” For a while during Vettel’s 3/4 stint, right after Kimi passed him, there was a Marussia pacing a Red Bull lol. Hamilton’s comment of “Just passed by a Williams” was classic too.

    The reason for this post though is that the description of Free Practice and the tires seemed a bit off. You guys make it sound like the limited running in FP is due to the high degradation of the tires. That’s not the case. You also imply that team’s tire allocations for the race (and qualifying) are somehow impacted by the FP sessions.

    They are not.

    Teams are given 1 set of prime tires in FP1. At the end of FP1 they give the tires back. That allocation does accumulate.

    For FP2 teams are given one set of the primes and one set of the options. Again these are given back at the end of the session.

    For FP3, teams are given another set of the primes and options. Again, at the end, these are given back. Whether they are used or not.

    For qualifying, teams are then give 3 sets each of the primes and the options. These must last for qualifying and the race.

    The lack of running in FP1 is usually impacted by which teams decide to go out first to “clean” up the track which is normally very dusty. So the first part of FP1 is normally pretty quiet. They also do a lot of installation laps where they come straight back in, check on the cars, etc. Teams also have very specific goals in terms of testing new parts, etc. and that impacts what running they do and how much. How much time it takes to put on these parts, run the test, and put on the new parts, etc. all play a role in FP1. They also do some high fuel runs and low fuel runs. Come in and tweak the set up, change fuel loads, then go back out. They also have only 1 set of tires so it’s not like they are going to run lap after lap just for the fan’s enjoyment or for an entire 1.5 hours.

    Another thing to consider is that teams have a very specific allocation of gearboxes and engines for the entire season. So there is a combination of 1 tire, limited resources, and that fact that FP1 is really about engineering and engineering is a lot of looking at data and preparing for the experiment, running the experiment and then making sure they got the data they needed.

    There usually is quite a bit more running in FP2 as teams do high and low fuel runs on both sets of tires, and work on race simulations. There are times when some teams are facing issues where they can’t go out at all. Not a big deal for fans if it’s HRT, but if a Ferrari or McLaren is sitting in a garage, that seems more noticeable. But it’s not just because of mean ol’ Pirelli.

    FP3 gets quite hectic.

    I think what influences your perception is that FP isn’t covered much in the US. Some of those Nascar qualifying sessions can be pretty boring. One car out there running 3 laps (and hey, only 294 more cars to go before we have our grid! lol).

    As for qualifying, it’s not like teams wait til the last minute to throw down a flyer. Normally in Q1 most teams do 2 and sometimes 3 runs. It depends on their strategy. In Spain and Bahrain, Red Bull went for one run straight on the option in Q1. Then they ran twice in Q2, once with a used set of options, and because it wasn’t fast enough, once with a new set. Many of the front runners will start Q1 on the primes and as the session progresses, are sometimes forced to go to the options. There’s a reason why a few of the mid-grid teams who make it to Q3 don’t run in Q3 – they went through all their tires and don’t have a fresh set! Or if they have 1 set of options left, it’s better to use that to start the race on a new set then run a qualifying lap and still start from the same place on the grid (and be vulnerable to cars in P11 and lower who have the choice of new tires).

    So while I appreciate your rant on the tires, and they need to work on them, they are not THE CAUSE for low running in Free practices, and there is actually a lot more running going on then you acknowledge through out FP and Qualifying.

  • DRS_Matt

    On the tire discussion: Wasn’t a fan of you making up points in favor of the current condition of racing, than effortlessly crushing your own argument.

    Straw man arguments are for folks not particularly good at making a point. Raise your game. (Also, slam on communism out of nowhere!)