If you take one thing away from reading this, let it be the knowledge that if you work hard at a goal, it is achievable. Your dreams may not always be all you believe them to be but you owe it to yourself to chase them…
Everyone has dreams, ambitions and goals, though not everyone chases them. Do not fail to chase your dreams. Often you’ll find they are attainable, though likely not easy.
I have recently celebrated three years as The F1 Poet. In these three years I have published a book (The F1 Book of Poetry), written almost 500 F1 poems, gained media accreditation via the FIA for Formula One, met wonderful people and had wonderful experiences that money can’t buy.
My dream was to one day become an F1 journalist. Like many of you, F1 is one of my passion. I love to read and I love to write about it. A friend of mine helped me discover a hidden talent of mine… corny poetry. I became quite passionate about it actually and wrote poems about everything.
One day I decided to marry these two unlikely passions and The F1 Poet was born. My goal was to use F1 poetry to gain attention and interest in my writing. It worked. I gained a very small amount of fame, nothing like Twitter legend Fake Charlie Whiting (@Charlie_Whiting), nonetheless, enough to have people in the paddock actually know who I am.
It was the poetry and this blog which brought me closer to my dream. I was approached by several websites after my poetry became an almost regular feature on a web show called The Flying Lap, hosted by former F1 Ferrari and Williams man Peter Windsor. It was Peter who encouraged me to write the book. My work has been featured in magazines, websites, holiday greeting cards, radio shows (namely Ballz Visual Radio with Sasha Martinengo in South Africa) etc… I’m grateful to all who have supported me and continue to do so.
This project has offered me the opportunity to walk amongst my heroes and interview the most interesting F1 personalities. I have had breakfast with Mario Andretti, handed my Gilles Villeneuve tribute poem to his son Jacques, and my James Hunt tribute poem to his son Tom. I have forged relationships with many great people.
I realized that at my current age of 40, starting a new career in journalism although possible would not be realistic,. It would not be fair to my family to take the cut in pay and be away from home for months on end. In my daily life, I pay the bills as a global Disaster Recovery specialist in the IT field. I’m still very serious about motorsports in general and will continue to write poetry and features. Most of my work can be found at Richland F1, GPWeek and an e-Magazine called e-Racing Magazine which I started with my good Aussie friend, Trent Price.
I will continue to represent Canada in the F1 Paddock as long as they’ll have me. I am happy in the knowledge that for a short while in my life, I walked where few have walked. Many bucket list items have been checked and it’s all thanks to The F1 Poet Project.
F1 Fan Open Letter to Santa
Dear Santa, let me start by saying, I’ve actually been quite good.
I mean far better than Bernie, that much should be understood.
I’ve watched every race, even the ones at the “crack of stupid” in the morning.
I must admit however, I may have said unpleasant things without thought or warning.
In my defense, I’m very passionate and maybe a bit obsessed with Formula One.
It gets me excited, it doubles my heart rate, and may cause me to become slightly
This year for Christmas, I’ve thought about it and I have just a few wishes.
So when you arrive, you’ll find podium Champagne instead of milk and cookie dishes.
First on the Christmas gift list for this big F1 kid.
Is to get Jules, Marussia and Caterham back on the 2015 F1 grid.
Next is my wish for a safe and competitive season with no double points finale.
Call me a traditionalist, but I tend to like the regular points tally.
I want to see Ron and Fernando play nice at McLaren all season long
I want to hear these new power plants get louder and sing a new song
Then I want a championship winning 1.6 Litre turbo charged power plant.
So I can drown out team owners and Bernie when they argue and rant.
I want Kimi to do all his own “unfiltered and raw” race commentary
I want Button and and Jessie to just pick a date and finally marry
Without sounding greedy, let me make one more request for fans worldwide
How about more access at races and the return of FanVision on the side
And last but not least, I want no protests, no boycotts and everyone to commit,
I want tail happy cars, no team orders and all drivers and cars on the absolute limit.
Thanks Santa, I’ll be waiting for you on the podium at the end of pit lane
You’ll be happy to know I ditched the milk and cookies for some nicely chilled champagne.
As F1 fans this time of year, we begin to get the shakes and suffer from withdrawal from our beloved sport. With Christmas upon us and in the spirit of F1 and the holidays, I have re-written a Christmas poem for all F1 fans. I sincerely hope you all enjoy this twist on a classic.
T’was The Night Before Christmas, When All Through Pit Lane
There Were No Milk And Cookies, Just Bottles Of Champagne
The Stockings Were Hung, By The Podium With Care
Hoping Newey’s Designs Soon Would Be There
Bernie Was Sleeping, Safe And Sound In His Bed
As Recent Courtroom Proceedings, Bounced Around In His Head
Jean Todt In His Onesie, Was Checking His List
As He Made Plans To Rule With A Soft Iron Fist?
When From The Paddock, Arose Something Quite Smelly
Sebastian Vettel Did Donuts, With Tyres From Pirelli
Away To The Pits, We Flew Like A Flash
We Heard Something Resembling, A Very Loud Crash
With The Light Of The Moon, It All Became Clear
Kimi Found Gelato, Then Dropped All His Beer
Charlie Whiting Appeared, At Race Control
He Had Just Arrived, From The Frosty North Pole
All Dressed In Red, White Hair And No Beard
With Shiny Black Boots Which Ron Dennis Revered
His Eyes Were A Twinkle, With A Smile On His Face
He Began Yelling And Screaming, For All To Come Race
All Drivers And Teams, Rushed Quickly And Came
As The Stern Race Director, Called Them By Name…
Now Vettel Now Lewis, Now Button And Nico
On Kimi On Daniel, On Bottas And Nando
To The Front Of The Grid, And Standing By
Chained Up Like Reindeer, And Prepared To Fly
They Took Over For Santa, Who Had Become Ill
He’d Been Forced On Stress Leave, After That Race In Brazil
Bernd Modified His Silver Arrow Pace Car
With A Red Light In Front, Which Seemed Somewhat Bizarre
Alan And Doc, Followed All From Behind.
In The Medical Car, With Heated Seats Reclined
Charlie Was Strapped, To The Top Of Their Merc
With A Bag Full Of Goodies, And A Huge Silly Smirk
In The Blink Of An Eye, With Tyres Still Smoking
They Dashed Off The Line, And Left Charlie Choking
DRS Was Enabled, And KERS Was Engaged
But No Contracts Were Signed, Which Left Bernie Enraged
They Landed On Rooftops, In Perfect Formation
Like A Storybook Tale, With Murray Walker Narration
The Chimney Was Tight, Charlie Just Didn’t Fit
So He Delegated Duties, To Our Friend Aussie Grit
From City To City, And Home To Home
From Melbourne To London And Shanghai To Rome
The Fuel Cells Were Freezing, As They Sputtered And Shivered
But They Were Jolly And Quick, As All Gifts Were Delivered
Back To Pit Lane, For Festive Celebrations
As The F1 Crew, Beat St. Nick’s Expectations
Not A Word Was Spoken, As They Got The Job Done
Christmas Was Saved, Thanks To Formula One
From @TheF1Poet, I Say With Delight
Happy Christmas To All, And To All A Good Night
JOHN MARTIN TO PERFORM LIVE AT AMBER LOUNGE AUSTIN
Elevating the glamour and excitement of the US Formula One Season, John Martin, the voice of
global super group, Swedish House Mafia, will headline Amber Lounge Austin, the Original F1 after
party during the 2014 Austin Grand Prix.
John Martin, best known for bringing international fame to Swedish House Mafia by lending his
powerful vocals to their no.1 hit ‘Don’t You Worry Child’, will perform live over two nights in front of a
glittering crowd of A-List celebrities, F1 drivers and VIP guests.
“I am so excited to be invited back to perform at Amber Lounge. No destination
captures the glitz and the glamour of Formula 1 quite like this event!” – John Martin.
DJ Micky from St. Tropez and internationally-renowned DJ Lora, the latter having accumulated an
impressive league of celebrity fans, including Sir Paul McCartney and Kim Kardashian, will be
supporting John as he performs his biggest hits.
Amber Lounge Austin has reinforced its reputation as the ‘it’ lifestyle destination during the Austin
Grand Prix. As the Formula One approaches the end of the season, temperatures will rise both on the
custom-built Circuit of The Americas, and off it, as the top F1 drivers and A-List celebrities celebrate
the glamour of Formula One at Amber Lounge Austin.
EVA’S HEROES SIGNED AS THE OFFICIAL CHARITY PARTNER OF AMBER LOUNGE AUSTIN 2014
Amber Lounge is honored to announce the Official Charity for Amber Lounge Austin 2014, Eva’s
Heroes. Co-founded in 2006 by acclaimed Hollywood actress, Eva Longoria, Eva’s Heroes is an
organization dedicated to enriching the lives of those with intellectual special needs by providing
an inclusive setting built on four tenets: interact, grow, learn, and love. Based in San Antonio, the
organization helps teens and young adults integrate and flourish in society.
“We are grateful to Amber Lounge for partnering with Eva’s Heroes to help spread awareness and raise funds for children with special needs. The global brand of Amber Lounge helps us reach a wider audience to spread our advocacy.” – Eva Longoria.
At Amber Lounge, to be held over the 2014 United States Grand Prix, on Saturday 1st and Sunday
2nd of November in the heart of Austin, representatives of Eva’s Heroes will attend the event and
have the chance to spread awareness of their cause to Amber Lounge’s highly exclusive and
influential clientele. The organization also hosts special events throughout the year that serve as
fundraisers contributing to the enhancement and growth of Eva’s Heroes programs.
As Amber Lounge benefits from catering to the F1 fraternity and the world’s most recognized
names in entertainment, giving back to charity has become an integral part of the company’s
core philosophy. Over the years, Amber Lounge has raised substantial funds for various notable
charities including the Elton John AIDS Foundation, Special Olympics, and the Nelson Mandela
To support this wonderful cause, kindly follow this link – http://www.evasheroes.org/get-involved/make-a-donation and Donate to Eva’s Heroes!
AMBER LOUNGE AUSTIN 2014
Over the past ten years, Amber Lounge has established itself as one of the world’s most exclusive parties exclusive. Globally recognised as being the most luxurious Grand Prix weekend experience available, Amber Lounge’s 2013 locations include Monaco, Singapore, Abu Dhabi and Austin. While each Amber Lounge event has its own distinct atmosphere, all feature a clientele that includes the who’s who of the celebrity, social, sporting and F1 worlds.
Taking over select venues at each destination, the concept is to create the ultimate nightlife experience that not only includes an exciting party but also high profile fashion shows, gourmet dining and live entertainment. Run over two or three nights, each bespoke venue has the Amber Lounge signature style – a unique setting, a luxurious club, a tranquil chill out terrace and a stunning water feature and backdrop.
After an unforgettable inaugural event in 2013, Amber Lounge will return to the Lone Star State for a stylish weekend of decadence with unrivalled service, which is guaranteed to leave the A-list audience mesmerized. Amber Lounge Austin will be held on Saturday 1st and Sunday 2nd of November 2014, as the action moves from racetrack to dance floor. VIP guests will find themselves rubbing shoulders with F1 drivers, Hollywood stars, supermodels and business magnates throughout the evening’s glamorous entertainments, which will include a live performance from superstar vocalist John Martin, known for his work with Swedish House Mafia.
The star-studded debut of Amber Lounge Austin in 2013 saw 14 Formula One drivers including Nico Rosberg, Jenson Button, Daniel Ricciardo, Mark Webber and Alexander Rossi and international stars Gerard Butler, Adrian Grenier, Matt LeBlanc and world renowned celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay, amongst many other stars, attend the event.
Dates: Sat 1st and Sun 2nd November 2014
Times: 10.30pm – LATE
US booking number +1 737 333 0627
Phone: (+377) 9777 1634
Not feeling overly inspired to write poetry after the Japanese GP
The race lost its appeal by the end of lap 43 for me
Something was off, right from the start of the race
Running behind the safety car with some struggling to keep pace
I hate that feeling you get when there’s absolutely nothing you can do
They say hindsight is 20/20, there’s no doubt that’s most definitely true
F1 fans fiercely defend against rivals and will go to war with ease
But we all come together like family in exceptionally difficult times like these
But the show must go on, as the old adage states
Teams are already at work behind the Sochi circuit gates
Heavy heads and hearts through the world of F1
Even the lightest carbon fiber panel feels like it weighs over a tonne
We all await positive news from Mei General Hospital
The smallest and insignificant sign of improvement would please us all
I feel for presenters and pit lane reporters at this weekend’s race
A monumental task to appear immune from this tragedy, with a smile on their face.
Everyone at Marussia, our thoughts are certainly with you too
It is difficult for many to comprehend what you closest to Jules must be going through
To Jules, our prayers for a return, at the most expeditious of rates
We expect your full recovery as the seat to your red chariot awaits
A day F1 fans would love to forget…but shouldn’t
It’s been over 20 years already since that tragic Grand Prix weekend in Imola when Formula One lost both Roland Ratzenberger and Ayrton Senna. It could have been three had Rubens Barrichello not survived his sensational crash at full flight. It was a huge loss to the sport and a massive wake-up call to everyone, which prompted a massive emphasis to be placed on the sport’s safety. It must be said that Formula One has become extremely safe. The FIA and Formula One as a whole have done an outstanding job thankfully with respect to Motorsport safety.
Since then, we’ve had some close calls which instigated discussions but which did not result in any significant steps being taken. In 2009 in Hungary, a suspension spring from Barichello’s car came off during qualifying and struck fellow Brazilian Felipe Massa’s helmet. Somehow and thankfully, Massa survived. The idea of enclosed cockpits was tossed about but nothing was done as a consequence. Perhaps it is because Massa recovered and the incident was a very uncommon occurrence.
Let’s fast forward to 2012 when Maria DeVillota suffered a massive head injury at Duxford Aerodrome during an F1 test for Marussia. She eventually recovered, albeit with the loss of an eye, sense of smell and taste. In October of 2013 (one year after making her first public post recovery appearance), she suffered full cardiac arrest which is believed to have been caused by the detachment of brain mass from her shunt. It was yet another reminder of the sport’s danger and perhaps another missed opportunity to address a safety concern.
At the Belgian Grand Prix in 2012, the vision of Romain Grosjean careening across the front of Fernando Alonso’s car upside still haunts me. The racing incident happened in a split second and could have nearly cost Alonso his life, for but a few inches. The closed cockpit chatter resumed again. Clearly there is a concern about driver safety in Formula One due to the open cockpit but closing may not necessarily be the answer.
Jules Bianchi’s serious crash in Japan this weekend reopens the discussion of safety. It wasn’t impossible to predict that it could have happened. Where one car crashes, another may follow, especially in rainy conditions where aquaplaning turns F1 pilots into mere passengers in a blink. The race could have been run sooner in drier conditions, some suggested. Others questioned why the race was being run at all on Sunday with the risk of the Typhoon ever present. Bianchi’s head injury could not only be career ending, but life threatening as well.
I don’t always agree with Niki Lauda, in fact twice in the paddock, I’ve been slightly intimidated by him and phrased my sentences and questions carefully. Niki has a certain bluntness about him but he does make sense most of the time (whether we admit it or not). Today he was quoted as saying, “Motor racing is dangerous…We get used to it if nothing happens and then suddenly we’re all surprised.” It doesn’t take much reflection to agree with that statement.
Often, something tragic must happen before some sort of action is taken. Certainly, we can all relate as it is normally the same situation in our home lives or in the office. Someone has to fall down a set of stairs before a handrail is installed, for instance. Both the FIA and Formula One are very proactive, and in some cases, also reactive. It’s a fine line which is difficult to balance. Not all situations can be predicted or protected against, but perhaps today’s incident may spawn more cautious decisions in the future when racing in inclement conditions.
As we wait for a whisper of confirmed positive, news from Mie General Hospital in Suzuka Japan and/or the FIA, we are notified of the death of former F1 driver Andrea DeCesaris. As you may have read by now, DeCesaris was killed almost instantly just outside of Rome in a motorcycle crash. The Italian raced for 14 years from 1980 with a number of teams including some big names such as Alfa Romeo, McLaren, Ligier, Minardi, Brabham, Jordan , Sauber and Tyrrell. Although unrelated to F1, this tragic death should serve as a reminder that we are all at risk of death or injury, be it on a roadway or race circuit. Let us remember this day, be cautious and alert.
Please be safe out there.
For all of you interested in Information Technology AND Formula One, this is for you. Here is an interview which I conducted earlier this year and was recently published in GPWEEK.
Earlier this year I attended the EMC World Conference in Las Vegas. While roaming around the pavilion, I noticed a Team Lotus F1 race car. Obviously I developed severe tunnel vision as I marched steadily towards it with reckless abandon, uninterested in the wake I left behind from my determined course.
As I marveled at the E21 as I do each time I’m up-close and personal with an F1 car, I was struck by an idea. Why not take my experience in the IT field and marry it with my passion for Formula One?
Each time I’m in the F1 paddock, I’m in awe over the efforts and technologies required to pick up and move this wonderful circus around the globe. Rarely however, do we ever get an insight on the other side of the technology that keeps this sport moving at the speed of the times.
I made some calls and sent some emails and eventually received a replies from my friend Andy Stobart at Lotus F1 team and my friends at Burn Energy Drink, with a name and contact information for the team’s account manager at EMC, Jonathan Keighley. I reached out to Jonathan and he agreed to answer of few technical questions with regards to how EMC helps empower the Lotus F1 team from the Information Technology perspective.
Q: Technology is a massive ingredient to the formula of F1’s success. More than just the bits on the car, there are so many components used both at headquarters and track-side. What EMC gear is normally found track-side typically? Does it change for fly-away races?
A: In partnership with VCE, EMC has successfully implemented and continue to support a VBLOCK at the track-side for Lotus F1 Team. VBLOCK is a converged architecture consisting of storage and provisioning from EMC, switches and servers from Cisco, and VMware virtualization software running on the servers. The VBLOCK is pre-architected and does not change in its setup per race; however the workloads that are required from the VBLOCK changes in regards to Lotus F1 Team’s requirements. It provides a powerful platform for the running of workloads such as data analysis. The simplified architecture improves the automation and orchestration of workloads as well as a reduction in the space, power and cooling required at track-side to run the equipment.
Q: Is data replicated from track-side to headquarters synchronously via Recover Point or do you use a virtual appliance to mimic a physical appliance?
A: Data is currently replicated between the track-side environments and the data-centers using a 3rd party application.Syncplicity provides the Lotus F1 Team with secure file transfer internally (within Enstone) and externally between 3rd part suppliers / partners – not between track-side and the data-centers.
Q: EMC has an impressive variety of technologies under its corporate umbrella including VMWare, Networker, Avamar, Data Domain, Atmos and Mozy Pro to name just a few, can you share with us what EMC technologies are provided to EMC’s F1 program and give us a brief description of how each of them are applied?
A: Vblock – Utilized within the data-center and track-side environments providing converged and standardized compute, storage, network and virtualization technologies from Cisco, EMC and VMware. Vblock systems provide the core compute and storage capacity that underpins the various IT services being delivered.
Data Domain – Provides the Lotus F1 Team with the ability to backup and archive data within the data-center environments.
Atmos / Cloud Tiering Appliance (CTA) – Atmos is used to provide the Lotus F1 Team with a Cloud storage tier. Used in conjunction with the Cloud Tiering Appliance, Atmos provide the Lotus F1 Team with the ability to tier their data based upon policy.
ViPR SRM – Provides the Lotus F1 Team with the ability to monitor and report on all aspects of the IT infrastructure environment from a single console.
EMC VPLEX – Provides continuous availability and data mobility between the two data-centers.
Syncplicity – Provides secure file transfer and synchronization internally within the Lotus F1 Team and externally between 3rd party suppliers / partners
EMC Data Protection Advisor – Provides end-to-end visibility of the data protection environment in terms of monitoring, analysis and reporting.
Q: Many may believe that because the technology is used in such an elite sport such as Formula One, that it may not be feasible for smaller budget enterprises. That’s not the case at all though given technologies such as virtualization, deduplication and snapshots. The overall benefits of which considerably reduce the amount of physical infrastructure and therefore physical and carbon footprint as well as cost. How have these technologies helped Lotus with their technical requirements?
A: One of the most compelling reasons companies of all sizes partner with EMC is due to our breadth of products and services that are not only complimentary to each other but can also be tailored to fit the size of requirement demanded from them. EMC prides itself on giving our customer options; understanding a customer’s business needs and objectives and mapping them to technology that is tailored to bring them true value. Whether you are a Formula 1 Team or small law firm the ability to reduce cost is paramount, embracing new technologies that can reduce physical infrastructure will inevitably deliver cost reduction and in an ever conscientious society also their impact on the environment. With the introduction of VBLOCK into the Lotus F1 Team they saw double the performance and double the capacity within the same DC footprint. The reduced power consumption and size of their track-side VBLOCK also allows them to consume less and deliver more, whether that be transportation costs or footprint within the pit garage.
Q: How do EMC and Lotus tackle critical issues like uptime/high availability and redundancy?
A: Clearly high availability and resilience of the IT infrastructure are of paramount importance to the Lotus F1 Team as any downtime can have a critical impact on the development of the car or in the case of track-side have a direct impact on the competitiveness of the car. As such the architecture has been designed in such a way that both data-centers are active with the ability to migrate workloads non-disruptively to cater for both planned and un-planned outages as well as ensuring that all resources are utilised effectively.
Q: Follow up question, what happens if a disk array were to fail track-side? Has EMC ever had to assist Lotus with recovering data?
A: Each EMC VNX array has redundant components so that no single point of failure can cause the array to fail. In the case of track-side, a complete standby track-side environment is available if required.
Q: If a component fails, does the team carry hot spares or are they serviced by EMC support in the nations they are currently racing in?
A: Component failure would be dealt with using a combination of both on-site spares and local EMC support depending upon the nature of the component failure.
Q: When traveling to different contents, there are different power requirements, how do you deal with the change in infrastructure between North America/Europe/Asia for instance?
A: This is dealt with by the local infrastructure and facilities teams at each location.
Q: Does Lotus employ EMC staff to support the IT efforts track-side?
A: At this stage no but it is being currently considered with Lotus to ensure the partnership is followed through right from the factory through to track-side.
Q: Tell us what your role is and how you help find the best EMC solutions for Lotus to use in this traveling circus we all love so much.
A: My role within EMC is the Account Manager for Lotus F1 Team. With me, I have an extensive and credible team supporting all we do with Lotus F1 Team; from supporting the current infrastructure to growing the partnership further. An F1 Team is a complex place with unique requirements that are ever changing in such a fast paced world. As the partnership enters the second year we are still learning about the team, thinking you know all you can, would be a grave mistake. We aim to ever understand the challenges they have and how we can, through IT, give them competitive advantage. In essence I am responsible for leading and growing the EMC-Lotus F1 Team partnership; further developing the technical collaboration with the objective of ensuring the Lotus F1 Team gain competitive advantage. For Lotus F1 Team, the IT program is the foundation on which they have adapted to the 2014 regulation changes, awarding it the best opportunity to compete for the World Championship. We now have the building blocks in place in regards to infrastructure – now we can begin to build on this.
A warm thank you to Jonathan, EMC, Lotus F1 Team and Burn Energy Drink.
ROSBERG ON POLE USING MEDIUM TYRE: BOTH MERCEDES ABLE TO SAVE
TYRES IN Q2 AND KEEP A NEW SET FOR THE RACE
WARM WEATHER CONTINUES IN QUALIFYING AT SUZUKA
TWO PIT STOPS IS THE QUICKEST STRATEGY IF THE RACE REMAINS DRY:
TYPHOON PHANFONE IS STILL A THREAT
Suzuka, October 4, 2014 – For the eighth time this year, there is an all-Mercedes front row, with Nico Rosberg leading Lewis Hamilton. Both drivers used tyre strategy during qualifying, being the only people able to complete just one run in Q2 on medium tyres, nominated together with the hard tyre this weekend. As a result, Rosberg and Hamilton are the only drivers in the top 10 to have a new set of medium tyres for the race.
The warm conditions seen yesterday continued during qualifying, with ambient temperatures of 27 degrees centigrade and a track temperature of 38 degrees at the start of the session. Only the Mercedes, Williams, McLarens, Red Bulls and Ferrari of Fernando Alonso used just the hard tyre to get through Q1.
From that point on, all the drivers used the medium tyre only: now reckoned to be just over half a second quicker than the hard, with the performance gap between the two compounds having come down as a result of track evolution.
The medium tyre is likely to be the most crucial one for the race – so the drivers tried to keep as many fresh sets as possible, because of the high thermal degradation. In Q2, only the Mercedes drivers were able to save a set of medium tyres (compared to the others) by completing just one run. Like all the Q3 runners, they did two runs in the final session. Rosberg set his pole lap on his second run, and although the track was getting progressively faster, nobody was subsequently able to beat it.
Williams’ Valtteri Bottas, who qualified third, was the only other person apart from Hamilton to get to within one second of pole. In the final free practice session this morning, Rosberg was again fastest using the medium tyre.
Pirelli’s motorsport director Paul Hembery said: “Once more, there were no big surprises today – on the track at least. The performance gap between the two compounds has come down slightly, as we anticipated, but the medium is still expected to be the main race tyre. That’s assuming it doesn’t rain of course, and there is still a strong element of doubt about this because of the nearby typhoon. So it could be a very different story tomorrow and it’s going to be interesting to see what happens.”
The Pirelli strategy predictor:
A two-stop strategy looks set to be best for the 53-lap race (which was also the winning strategy last year). The optimal strategy is to start on the medium tyre, change to the medium again on lap 22 and finally to the hard on lap 42. Some teams might try a three-stopper, in which case the quickest way is to start on the medium tyre, change to medium again on lap 18, medium again on lap 33, and finally hard on lap 47 – although this is theoretically around seven seconds slower. If it rains, the strategy goes out of the window: it then becomes a question of anticipating and reacting to changing conditions as best as possible. If conditions are cooler than they have been today and on Friday, this could also affect levels of degradation and therefore strategy.
Fastest compounds in FP3:
Top 10 tyre use:
Lotus F1 Team partner Burn Energy drink has been cooking up a little something with the Lotus F1 Team, and this is it! A nice little video with Romain Grosjean, Pastor Maldonado and a very ‘special guest’.
Here’s the link: http://youtu.be/cW7CkgvFmyc
As requested and promised, here is the Belgian Grand Prix race review in verse. Enjoy
It’s been a little while since I’ve penned an F1 rhyme
I’ve been working on projects; I simply haven’t had the time
Excuses aside now let’s get cheeky some
And walk to the beat of this rhyming F1 drum
During the break (which felt like forever),
Ecclestone and his lawyers got quite ballsy and rather clever
For Bernie, “Pure Genius”, is the term I’d use to describe
Avoiding a conviction of bribery by offering the courts…a bribe
So off to Spa for the Belgian Grand Prix
Boy I’ll tell you, there are very few places that I’d rather be
The awesome Eau Rouge, Les Combes and La Source
Everyone expected to feel the mighty Mercedes’ Powerunit’s force
It was just as expected in qualy, as all stars were aligned
Beating their chest, Mercedes in front with the next best, 1.898s behind
Conditions on Sunday were dry with obvious tension in the air
Would turn one cause havoc, for the dueling Mercedes pair?
Drama ensued before the race ever commenced
Alonso’s crew broke grid rules thus a penalty was dispensed
It would be a stop and go slap on the Spaniard’s wrist
I have no doubt that Alonso was quite rightfully pissed
He was off the line and just in time, to avoid starting from pit lane
I’ll wager he and his team were silently praying for timely rain…
Lights on, Lights out, away they scampered
Nico’s get away appeared to be somewhat HAMpered
Nico and Lewis collide on lap number two
The smoke you smell was from Toto Wolff whose gasket then blew
Hamilton suffered the brunt of the unexpected shunt
As his puncture was a huge blow to his world championship hunt
Rosberg however would not escape unscathed
With broken front wing in Karma’s smiled he bathed
How neither of these drivers would end up winning this race
Is nothing short of disaster to Mercedes management’s disgrace
But let’s not forget about the rest of the field
Who battled like warriors with just swords and no shield
Epic overtaking manoeuvers, of pure bravery and skill
And Kimi whipping his red horse beyond its capability and will
The day however would belong to man from down under
Who’s been known to be called F1’s great smiling wonder
Daniel Ricciardo from the Red Bull stable who’s writing his own fable
Has been steadily climbing up F1’s World Driver’s Championship points table
Now, I’m not going to suggest that he just might win the title
But he’s making it clear to Mercedes that scoring maximum points is now absolutely vital
I’ve been told that for an F1 Poet, I haven’t been writing much F1 Poetry.. It’s true, I’ve been fortunate enough to have such great access to so many interesting Formula One related people that I’ve been busy interviewing and forging new relationships. As a result, my analytical side has recently taken over my creative side and the result has been a lack of poetry.
Some readers may know that I write for several F1 websites and run social media feeds as well. What some may not know is that this year, I’ve taken on work as managing editor of a WEC and Formula E eMagazine as well. Therefore, the lack of free time has taken its toll on my poetry.
For those of you who enjoy my feeble attempt at humours Motorsport poetry, I promise to have something for you this week. This season and all the action on and off the track has given me plenty of material.
Stay tuned… F1 Poetry coming up!
Quick thoughts on today’s Belgian Grand Prix before I hit the road and leave my keyboard behind for a day or two.
Spa-Francorchamps is one of my all time favourite F1 venues. It would be the perfect “Welcome back” from the summer break for Formula One and its fans. The Belgian GP normally provides an exciting race so why should the 2014 edition be any different?
Drama and excitement was present from before the start. The Mercedes duo were poised for another 1 -2 finish as they sat at the front of the grid before the lights went out. They remained confident with the knowledge that they were over a full second clear of the rest of the field in terms of pace.
The drama unfolded quicker than Toronto Mayor Rob Ford’s linen napkin at dinner. Ferrari mechanic’s working feverishly on Alonso’s car beyond the warning before the parade lap cost the Spaniard a five second stop and go penalty. This would pale in comparison to the story about to unfold after the start of the race however. Hamilton and Rosberg tussling at the front eventually came together causing damage for both cars. A glimmer of hope shot across the chasing pack. It was obvious that Hamilton suffered the most damage as he limped back on a shredded Pirelli tyre for almost an entire lap. His race wasn’t just compromised, it would eventually be over before the end in a prudent move to save his power unit.
The race itself was entertaining. It was filled with comic book bravery and daft overtakes which brought fans to their feet off the edge of their seats. The racing action seems to have silenced the critics about the new F1 power unit “noise” and phallic inspired noses.
Important notes from today really are that despite having inferior power and pace, Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo claimed his third victory. The importance of this accomplishment in a season dominated by Mercedes power is truly worthy of a mention. Kimi seemed to have his breakthrough moment finishing ahead of Alonso and nearly missing out on a podium. Finally I have to congratulate Bottas for yet another podium for Williams. He’s handing Massa his ass in a sister car and showing well for his Grove based team. The young Finn appears confident and mature, interviewing calmly and well spoken. His comments about knowing that they are building for the future shows that neither he nor Williams are finished working toward their goals yet.
The podium was an unpleasant place for Rosberg as he was greeted by booing fans several times. It was awkward for Eddie Jordan as well as he conducted the interviews but nothing would wipe the smile off the face of Ricciardo who stood on the top step admiring all the Aussie flags waiving back at him.
After the race, more drama followed as expected. Most of us were awaiting the impending “ShitStorm” at Mercedes and of course, just when we all thought the worst had past, the media got its story. Comments made by Hamilton about Rosberg admitting to have had deliberately made contact to “prove a point” kicked the media into a dizzying frenzy. Toto Wolf later mentioned that Nico’s comments were misconstrued. It could be damage control or it could be genuine. Either way, the FIA should have an obligation now to investigate what happened.
There are clearly those that don’t have issues with fans booing. I completely understand and respect that fans and spectators have a right to their opinions, and have a right to express it. My view however is that some decorum should be exercised when doing so. Surely there are classier ways than booing during a podium interview. Sometimes, silence is the best way to make a point.
British GP recap – a very alternative view:
Well the British Grand Prix is dusted in done
And so too is round number nine of F1’s title run
An interesting race full of thrills and spills
And moments in which spines felt uncomfortable chills
It began in lap one when Kimi ran wide
He rejoined in a fury with a spin and a slide
Massa did everything to avoid the flying Finn
But he was unceremoniously collected by Raikkonen
The red flag was waived as Alan arrived in the medical car
And Kimi was shaken and stirred without a single scar
The race restarted in the order they ran
The Mercs jumped out in front and a new battle began
Rosberg slowed as his gearbox gave up
As Hamilton dreamed about drinking from victory’s cup
Gutierrez speared Pastor; his Lotus flew like a plane
Perhaps it was payback for that crash in Bahrain…
Alonso and Vettel went wheel to wheel
Just inches apart with nerves of raw steel
The radio messages had most fans in stitches
As they battled like champions and whinged like bitches
Meanwhile at the front, Lewis ran off in the distance
A clear path to the checkers without any resistance
Bottas in second, albeit thirty seconds adrift
And Ricciardo in third who’s Red Bull was quite swift
This day belonged to Lewis and Merc AMG
A home win for him at the epic British Grand Prix
Lotus F1 Sponsor Burn Energy Drink, part of the Coca Cola family extended an invitation to me to experience Free Practice. I met Fleur Foster, Lotus account manager at the garage entrance and she escorted me in. While she briefed me on the rules and handed me my headset, we chatted about her role and what she does on a typical GP weekend. Fascinating stuff.
Being able to listen in with my headset to conversations between engineers and drivers was special. What was immediately apparent however was how challenging it was to understand the messages. They weren’t so much cryptic as they were short. I honestly expected the audio quality to be a little better too. After a while though, I had sharpened my listening skills and was able to follow along. At one point as I was joined by some sponsor guests.
I took a quick look around the two garage bays to survey and take a mental snapshot. There are 8 TV flat screens, one on each outside wall, four along the front just about the garage opening to the pit lane and two along the back.
Just before FP1 commenced, the garage came alive. There was a flurry of activity, tyres being prepared, Fuel being regulated, final checks and balances. The starter motor was inserted and the Renault power plants came alive. Despite the complaints over the lack of “noise”, I can assure you that there was plenty of noise in the confines of the garage walls. As the cars left with a low-end grunt the sound fizzled into a hum like grumble, much like what I imagine it would sound if Barry White was gargling.
Immediately, there was chatter between drivers and engineers and information bounced back and forth as the drivers felt out the circuit for the first time this season. The drivers were asked to try different settings in different parts of the circuit. The cars returned quickly to the garage for slight adjustments with tyre pressures and various settings. I enjoyed watching the whole process which reminded me of a well-choreographed dance performance. The car is lifted, placed on a dolly, tyre temperatures are checked and the brakes are cooled immediately. The car is then wheeled into place in the garage and the real work begins. A Pirelli engineer does some analysis, tyre pressures are checked, a fuel sample is taken and fuel is either added or removed for the next run. A representative/engineer from Total is also on hand to observe and analyze. The tyre warmers are then placed back on top of the tyres to retain some heat before they come off again and the drivers head back out.
At one point, I counted 12 mechanics around Pastor’s car. It was interesting to observe that engineers/mechanics were intensely scrutinizing the left rear of both cars. I was unable to determine what components were possibly causing the concern, although I suspect it had more to do with just the effects of the circuit on the car.
Here are a couple of bits of information you might find interesting;
- The electric tyre blankets heat the tyres to approximately 100 degrees Celsius. There is an unmistakably unique smell that emanates from the tyres even when still in their cozy blankets.
- Telemetry collects at a rate of 35Mb per minute. It may not appear to be much in a world of Gigabytes and Terabytes etc… however imagine how much data is collected over a race weekend for both cars.
A big thanks to everyone at Burn Energy drink and Team Lotus for a great opportunity.
There is one Grand Prix, to which one must go
Without question or doubt, it’s Monaco
Where commitments are final and often misgiving
It’s tight and twisty and unforgiving
I take a look back, in my rear-view mirror
To 1996, here this couldn’t be clearer
A race of attrition, with no immunity
But for a small few, t’was pure opportunity
Join me now, for a quick recap
Of an epic race, lap after lap
On a slippery track, with Schumi on pole
Damon Hill snagged the lead, with commanding control
He scampered away, as many were claimed
By the walls and conditions, that couldn’t be tamed
Thirteen cars remained, by end of lap five
Far fewer still, by the end would survive
Irvine and Frentzen, had a fantastic battle
Causing cars to queue up, like a large herd of cattle
They inevitably clashed, causing Frentzen to pit
For a new front wing, his crew had to fit
Olivier Panis, found incredible pace
He charged through the field and to Hill gave chase
He tangled with Irvine, who’s Ferrari did stall
And somehow was able, to keep off of the wall
A few laps later, Hill’s engine gave way
In a plume of smoke, it was the end of his day
Alesi then led, with Panis pursuing
But lightning would strike, as trouble was brewing
Alesi pulled in, to the Benetton pits
He would not return, as his car called it quits
A little French rookie, in his French Ligier
Led in Monte Carlo, on this historic day
With eight cars left running, in the final laps
The rain returned, causing further collapse
Both Mika’s collected, by a spinning Irvine
Only four cars remained, in this race against time
As tensions rose higher, with time winding down
Panis crossed the line first, in this enchanted town
This race would make history and what better place
Than F1′s crown jewel and most coveted race
The glitz and glamour, the danger and fame
It’s one of a kind, Monaco is its name
This first day of May, we are reminded of that sad and dreadful day, when the legend passed away. The silence was deafening in our state of dismay, it’s been 20 years for which for him the champagne would no longer spray.
He was not just a driver but so much more, the fiercest competitor to his very core refusing to lift off the throttle which was constantly pinned to the cockpit floor. With fluid motion, raw aggression and immeasurable grace, only crossing the line first brought a smile to his face.
We remember him in black and gold, showing signs of pure brilliance to behold…awaiting his chance to be unleashed and uncontrolled. And greatness we witnessed without shadow of doubt, when in 88 he joined McLaren and ended his championship drought. Together with Prost they won all but one race in their championship bout.
Brazil ’91, with only 6th gear, a wet victory, for his home fans to cheer. A rain master of sorts, remember Monaco?, In heavy rains, he put on a show.
So focused was he, that he’d be completely entranced, with severe tunnel vision, his car tip-toed and danced. Methodically preparing his approach to be the most advanced and winning the hearts of his fans who remained mesmerized and romanced. One of the greatest, we may ever have seen.
His rivalry with Prost had started, their war had begun. The fiercest battles ever to be fought in Formula One. Round after round their ammunition were their nerves and their right foot the gun in monsoon conditions or under the blazing sun he refused to lose, be outrun or outdone. His battles with Prost pushed them to new limits, ahead of the pack, by not seconds but minutes.
A moment of silence, for the late F1 great, as he smiles upon us, from behind Heaven’s gate while imagine him flying towards the flag along the pit straight. He was the ultimate master of this Motorsport game, competing only to win and not for fame…his spirit shall live on… Ayrton Senna was this legend’s name.
A Tribute to Ayrton Senna
You can find more of Chris Rathbone’s work at http://www.rathbonecreative.com/
Welcome to Episode 1 of Human Ignition. An imaginative look at the ideas of what Formula One may like in the future.
A production by Burn Energy Drink (@burn) a Coca Cola company in collaboration with the Lotus F1 team and special guests. This feature is worth a look. Allow our imagination to be set free and remove the boundaries which limit our vision to what might be.
Follow@burn on Twitter and Facebook for more on this and other great features. Search for #HumanIgnition and #FuelYourFire to ensure you don’t miss out on any of contests and giveaways.
Have you ever wondered what the future holds for Formula One? Abandon all limits, unleash your imagination… Robot Drivers? Changeable Circuits? Cars that adapt to changing conditions?
With cameos by:
- 1978 F1 World Champion Mario Andretti
- Vehicle Designer (Batmobile, Tron: Lightcycle) Herald Belker
- Architect and Urban designer (Brooklyn 2110) Mitchell Joachim
- Artist (Marshmallow Laser Feast) Robin McNicholas
Watch it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GGNOfFNXtu0
I AM a Lotus F1 Team driver, I AM in sync in a blink and @BURN is my only energy drink
I AM my own exhibit, F is my letter and 1 is my digit
I AM Motorsport spirit; I AM on the limit in a New York minute
I AM dialed in, tuned in, locked in and ready for F1 to begin
I AM stoked and ready, I AM rockin’ steady without breathing heavy
I AM dressed for F1 success, I AM DRS or ERS, I AM whatever button I need to press
I AM burning rubber without spinning wheels; I AM breaking hearts and making deals
I AM fastest lap, I AM pole position, I AM always at your disposition
For my friends at Lotus, Burn and Vice.
Pirelli motorsport director Paul Hembery shares his thoughts ahead of the Australian GP. Technical Commentator and former F1 driver Jean Alesi also chimes in . Thank you to Pirelli media.
Paul Hembery, Pirelli motorsport director: “This is the most radical rules shake-up of the modern Formula One era, so we’ve had to create a completely different set of tyres for the brand new dynamics presented by the 2014 cars. Pre-season testing has shown just what a big challenge these new rules are for everybody, but we have worked very hard throughout last year and the winter to come up with an entirely fresh range of tyres specifically designed for these latest-generation cars, featuring new compounds and constructions that actually cut down on degradation while maintaining the same level of performance. As a result, we’re still expecting between two to three pit stops per car in Melbourne, although we’ll be able to make some more exact predictions after we see the cars run in free practice. The first race of the season is always unpredictable but this will be the case more than ever in 2014.”
Jean Alesi, Pirelli technical commentator: ”I’ve always liked Albert Park: for a driver it has some elements of a street circuit like Monaco and also some elements of a more traditional circuit such as Barcelona. But this year Melbourne will be even more challenging. With the return of turbos, Formula One undergoes a radical transformation both in terms of technology and driving style. There is more torque under acceleration and out of the corners, which means that the tyres have to be even more resistant to wheelspin and lateral accelerations. Drivers will have to think about all this, as well as making sure that they don’t accelerate too hard and spin the car.”
PIRELLI AND FORMULA ONE TEAMS
AGREE 2014 IN-SEASON TYRE TEST SCHEDULE
Milan, March 7, 2014 – Following the agreement between Pirelli and the 11 Formula One teams, with the approval of the FIA, here is the schedule of the dedicated days (one per team) that each team will devote to tyre testing this year, within the existing 2014 in-season test calendar.
|Silverstone test||(8-9 July)|
|Day1||FERRARI and LOTUS|
|Day2||RED BULL and MARUSSIA|
The agreement, which was finalised during the final pre-season Bahrain test (from 27 February to 2 March), stipulates that each team will devote one day per year exclusively to testing the latest products and developments from Pirelli, within the framework of the existing test calendar. The definition of this tyre test schedule has been agreed by all parties involved.
For the last two days of this year’s test calendar (Abu Dhabi, 25-26 November) Pirelli will supply all the teams with prototype tyres in preparation for the 2015 season.
Each team will have to devote one day of testing this year to tyres for 2015, as written in the latest sporting regulation (under article 22.6h). This new rule is the result of requests from Pirelli to Formula One’s rule-makers at the end of last season. The tyres that each team will use during its nominated tyre test days will be supplied by Pirelli and will not form part of the 135 allocated sets for testing purposes each year.
Extending my best birthday wishes to a great champion, here poem was written to Mr. Mario Andretti and hand delivered by the infamous Fake Charlie Whiting, in Austin Texas on the weekend of the inaugural US GP.
Mario Andretti, is a Motorsport giant, he looks fear in the eyes and stands there defiant
He’s a king and a legend, few can ever compare, with nerves of pure steel and Italian flair
Fiercely American but proud of his roots, he’s most at home in his racing suits
He’s a hero to many spanning generations, from sea to sea and across many nations
His name is famous, synonymous with speed, he is driven to win, and born to succeed
No other driver will accomplish as much, with titles and wins, that can’t be touched
A ladies man, he’s quite the stud, this racing life is in his blood
It’s a family affair, just ask his son Michael, a Motorsport champ, who continues the cycle
To Mr. Andretti, this message I send; You’re my idol and hero, and my respect I extend
My father and I are your biggest fans, we await the day, when you shake our hands
We met once in Toronto, during the Indy race, when Michael was flying, all over the place
And now it’s Marco, we sit and cheer, as we show our support, by raising our beer
You’re Motorsport leader and ambassador, you’re champion among giants , and so much more
Best Birthday wishes from me to you, good luck and good fortune, in all that you do
Here is how the Pirelli Formula One tyre range looks in 2014:
P Zero Orange hard
The toughest tyre of the range is designed for circuits that are often characterised by high ambient temperatures, putting the highest energy lo
adings through the tyres with fast corners or abrasive surfaces. The compound takes longer to warm up, but offers maximum durability – which frequently means that it plays a key role in race strategy.
This is a high working range compound. Like all the 2014 tyres, this is a brand new compound with a new construction to meet the requirements of the latest cars, with increased torque, extra energy recovery systems, but reduced aerodynamics.
P Zero White medium
Theoretically this is the most perfectly balanced of all the tyres, with an ideal compromise between performance and durability. As a result, it is very versatile, but often comes into its own on circuits that tend towards high speeds and energy loadings. This is a low working range compound. As is the case with all the 2014 tyres, there is a new profile at the front to take into account the altered vehicle dynamics and improve handling.
P Zero Yellow soft
This is one of the tyres most frequently used tyres in the range, striking a very good balance between performance and durability, with the accent on performance. It is still biased towards speed rather than long distances, but is nonetheless capable of providing a competitive advantage both at the beginning of the race on full fuel and when used as a ‘sprint’ tyre at the end. This is a high working range compound. All the compounds are generally slightly harder than their equivalents last year, in order to deliver the same performance despite the extra forces placed on the tyres.
P Zero Red supersoft
The softest compound in the range is ideal for slow and twisty circuits, especially in cold weather, when maximum mechanical grip is needed. The supersoft benefits from an extremely rapid warm-up time, which makes it ideal in qualifying as well, but the flip side to that important characteristic is of course increased degradation. This is a low working range compound. One of the key evolutions this year has been optimisation of the footprint pressure and temperature distribution. This presents a more even contact with the asphalt, improving grip and handling.
Cinturato Green intermediate
The intermediates are the most versatile of the rain tyres, dispersing approximately 25 litres of water per second at full speed. They can be used on a wet as well as a drying track. The Cinturato Green is a new concept for this year, with a number of the development aspects also transferred to the full wet tyre.
Cinturato Blue wet
The full wet tyres can disperse up to 65 litres of water per second at full speed (increased from 60 litres last year) making them the most effective solution for heavy rain. The latest evolution of the Cinturato Blue means that it is also effective on a drying track, with increased durability. The full wet tyre has a new compound and a redesigned rear tread pattern to further reduce aquaplaning. The result of this intensive work is increased driveability in a wide variety of conditions.
Pirelli’s motorsport director Paul Hembery:
“We saw more work on tyres at the recent Bahrain test than there had been at the very first test in Jerez, and with teams likely to be attempting more qualifying and race simulations this week in preparation for the opening grand prix, we would expect this upward curve of tyre work to continue over the final four days in Bahrain. It’s still early days, but so far we’ve seen both performance and durability from our latest P Zero tyres, which all feature new compounds and structures to maximise the unique power characteristics of the latest-generation cars. The contact patch is greater, to help put down the extra torque, and the working ranges are wider to reduce degradation. As the lap times in Bahrain have shown, we’re already very close to 2013 levels of performance, despite much smaller capacity engines and a completely fresh set of technical challenges.”
Teams are allowed an overall maximum total of 135 sets of tyres for testing this year, including the in-season tests. The maximum total for the three pre-season tests is 85 sets of tyres: 25 sets for Jerez and 30 each for the two Bahrain tests.
Teams have a certain number of fixed compound choices totalling 22 sets per car in Bahrain (see table below). On top of that each team was also able to choose in advance eight more sets to try in Bahrain. The ‘base’ slick compounds – ‘winter’, hard, medium and soft – were selected by Pirelli in advance together with the teams to reflect the characteristics of Bahrain.
More Testing Facts and Figures:
|Compound||Amount provided per team *||Fastest time in 2013 **
* Above choice made by Pirelli in agreement with the teams. Each team could choose further 8 sets for this test.
** Based on the results of the 2013 Bahrain Grand Prix.
Courtesy of Pirelli Media
I wrote this as a quick thank you for the great support. A special nod to Andy Stobart as well for allowing me to bust his chops with interview requests.
I’m my own exhibit, F is my letter and 1 is my digit
I’m Motorsport spirit; I’m on the limit in a New York minute
I’m dialed in, tuned in, locked in and ready for F1 to begin
I’m on track, on site or online all the time and in my prime
I’m stoked and ready, I’m rockin’ steady without breathing heavy
I’m fueled up, charged up, revved up and ready to erupt
I’m dressed for F1 success, I’m DRS or ERS, I’m whatever button I need to press
I’m burning rubber without spinning wheels; I’m breaking hearts and making deals
I’m fastest lap, I’m pole position, I’m always at your disposition
I’m qualifying and death defying, I’m always complying and never denying
I’m in your nation for a short duration; I’m as much a flirtation as I am your temptation
I’m confident and competent; I’m so evident I’m prominent
I’m a Lotus F1 Team driver, just click on my link, I’m in sync in a blink and BURN is my only energy drink