Formula One: A fitting tribute to a great man – John Surtees

Screen Shot 2017-03-13 at 18.35.58.png

With the final day of pre-season testing for the 2017 Formula One season came the terrible news of John Surtees passing. It was on with a sombre feeling current drivers reflected on their memories of the true racing legend, of how he inspired them, and the times they had spent together.

As the weekend passed many have spoken about his record of being the only person to hold championships on both two and four wheels, something almost incomprehensible in motorsports today, but how many of us actually know the history behind such an achievement? Speaking to Mobil One’s The Grid John Surtees in his own words reflects on his career and what lead him to transition from two to four wheels in the first place. Sir Sterling moss goes on to detail the sheer drive and passion John Surtees applied to life.

I can’t claim to know a great deal about the history of sport beyond that which I have lives through, so for me this film gave a fascinating insight into a time in motorsport I can only dream of. The purity and passion of motorsport at this time is something current drivers and the sport in general should aspire towards.

Indycar: Let the racing begin!

Screen Shot 2017-03-11 at 11.28.11.png

After 2 weeks of intensive Formula One testing, the motorsport fans may be craving a bit of real open wheel to wheel action this weekend. Fear not! Indycar is here to satisfy your needs with the 2017 season getting under way at the famous street come airport circuit coming from St Pete!

Mobil One’s The Grid, preview this weekends racing and the season in prospect, with fantastic insights from the likely title contenders. With F1 drivers talking about increase fitness requirements to master their 2017 contenders, with retired World Champion Nico Rosberg referring to his former peers as gladiators, it’s worth remembering that Indycar drivers have to cope with heavier cars with no power steering! With Nico’s new found spare time perhaps he should head state side to see real gladiators at work!

Formula One: World Record Attempt in Monza

Screen Shot 2017-03-07 at 16.19.49.png

Formula One 2017 looks set to be a championship in which setting new lap records will become the norm. Over the past decade the FIA have put in place evolving technical regulations aimed at controlling outright vehicle performance and ensuring driver safety. As technical capabilities have developed the rationale for controlling speeds on safety grounds has diminished. The 2017 the FIA have responded to this by modifying technical regulation to give teams a freedom to chase those long held lap records. As F1 heads to towards the season opener in Melbourne in less than 3 weeks time, many predict lap time improvements of 3-4 seconds per lap. Should this be achieved every lap record held on an F1 circuit will be broken this season.

Chasing outright performance in sport is not something held exclusively to motorsport. For years professional marathon runners have been chasing the illusive sub 2 hour target. The current record was set by Dennis Kimetto (Kenya) at the Berlin Marathon in 2014. He set a time of 2:02:57. When defining targets for 2017, Nike have mapped out a project to support a challenge for athletes to not only better this time, but finally break the 2 hour record.

You may ask why would Nike to get involved in, let alone lead such a project. The answer is clear and quite logical. To be the footwear manufacturer that powered the first athlete to complete a sub 2 hour marathon would give Nike the ultimate bragging rights. Nike would become the brand of choice for those amateur runners seeking that additional edge (Like me! 3:24.55 London 2016) Competitors to Nike are of course Savvy to this, in fact there is something of akin to the space race taking place in the footwear industry at the moment as manufacturers rush to pull together there own sub 2 hour project.

However, Nike have been first to go public with their attempt. In defining the project they have identified the most suitable location for the attempt as Monza. The lack of undulation and consistent surface of the circuit is perfectly suited to the requirements of their athletes. Current weather conditions as we head into spring as perfect for such an attempt. The precise timing behind the attempt has not yet been revealed. Yesterday the team of athletes involved attempted a sub 1 hour half marathon with  Eliud Kipchoge and. Zersenay Tadese finishing with times of 59:17 & 59:41 respectively.

To keep up to date with the challenge head to Runners World through this link

Formula E: Omologato join Mahindra Racing

Screen Shot 2017-03-08 at 11.20.33.png

Indian Formula E Team Mahindra Racing have announced a new partnership with British watch manufacturer Omologato. This new partnership will see Omologato branding feature extensively on the M3Electro, on drivers Nick Heidfeld and Felix Rosenqvist’s gloves and within the team environment with Omologato wall clocks.

Within the partnership Omologato have  designed a unique Mahindra Racing timepiece collection, which can be found here. Omologato believe “everyone should have a watch with a story” as such they have positioned their products at a price which the everyday motorsport fan can afford. Omologato and Mahindra Racing set out to engage with their fans and followers with this partnership, combining a mutual passion for motorsport with a desire to pioneer new concepts and enhance awareness of Formula E in new markets.


Commenting on the new partnership Dilbagh Gill, Team Principal, Mahindra Racing Formula E Team remarked, “We are delighted to welcome Omologato into the Mahindra Racing family. The Omologato brand is highly regarded in the motorsport community; we both share the same passion for delivering exciting motor racing and heritage to fans across the globe. We look forward to engaging with fans at Omologato events and having their logo on our cars from the next race in Mexico City.”

Shami Kalra, Founder of Omologato added, “We are delighted to become an Official Partner of the Mahindra Racing Formula E Team in one of the world’s most forward-thinking sports championships. We welcomed the challenge of designing these special timepieces for the team to take to iconic cities across the globe. One of our aims at Omologato is to give motorsport enthusiasts the chance to immerse themselves in motorsport, through our chronographs and our #ChronosAndCars events. This exciting partnership will give Omologato fans the opportunity to get closer to the Mahindra Racing Formula E Team.”  

To check out the Omologato Mahindra Racing collection follow this link

Screen Shot 2017-03-08 at 12.20.01.png






Formula One: Red Bull Racing ready to fight for the championship – Ricciardo

Screen Shot 2017-03-05 at 17.05.46.png

Heading into the second and final pre-season test ahead of the 2017 Formula One World Championship confidence is sky high on Daniel Ricciardo’s side of the Red Bull Racing Garage. From the bold ‘My time’ statement made by the Australian in his latest helmet design to his confident demeanour in recent interviews, Ricciardo is  projecting the air of a driver destinted to challenge for the drivers crown this season.

In his first in depth interview for Mobil One’s the Grid, Ricciardo speaks candidly about his expectations for the season ahead and why he believes 2017 will be his year.

Formula One: Premium partners flock to Force India

Screen Shot 2017-03-05 at 11.37.45.png

Judging by additional branding adorning the VJM10 and partnership announcements in the off season,  plaudits surrounding Sahara Force India’s forth place finish in the 2016 Formula One Constructors Championship have extended far beyond the commentators and fans.

With an increasing number of leading teams in Formula One struggling to secure new partners Force India are bucking the trend. The teams ability to attract new partners can be attributed in part to their success on track, but perhaps of more relevance, the way in which the success has been achieved. It is a well known fact the Force India operate on a significantly lower budget than the majority of other teams on the grid. Rather than complaining about a lack of finances, the team focus there efforts on maximising what they do have. The ratio of investment to performance gain and as a consequence exposure gain is far higher with Force India than with any other team on the grid. No doubt the marketing team of the Silverstone based team use this information as a key factor in presenting to new partners. The approach is paying off!

Diageo, have upgraded their relationship with Force India, increasing branding space and influence on the 2017 livery and shifting the brand they are seeking to promote through the partnership from mass market offering Smirnoff, to premium brand Johnnie Walker.

Innovative premium watch brand Felio Siby have extended their partnership with Force India for a second year, with promises of unique brand activation events through the season.

Screen Shot 2017-03-05 at 11.52.47.png

Hype Energy Drink have expanded their partnership within the sport for the third season in succession. With increased branding on the VJM1o in premium exposure positions.

New clothing partner Farah have joined the team, supplying a unique range of travel wear and fan range to be launched later in the season.

Eye Respect – LDNR eyewear join Force India as the official sunglasses / eyewear partner for the team, taking brand positioning on the wing mirrors of the VJM10

Forex Trading partner FXTM also join the team with branding on the rear sidepod of the car. As forex trading moves into the mainstream Force India have done well to secure a leader in the sector.

With online gambling partner and digital technology partner Orangebus also joining the team, the Force India marketing team should be more than satisfied with an impressive winter work rate!

Another interesting component of the partnerships Force India have established ahead of the 2017 season is the amount of deals which are customer facing. Increasingly partnerships within Formula One are focused on business to business relationship building or hosting high net worth individuals. Force India are establishing partnerships which incorporate a consumer facing offering. They are achieving this whilst also introducing partners with aspirational product offerings.

Formula One: A Brief History of Formula One Racing Games

Photo: pinterest

Formula One racing games have evolved dramatically over the years. It’s now a very popular genre, which has a proud and illustrious tradition that dates back more than four decades.

As some may remember, the ‘70s witnessed a number of firsts in terms of the whole console gaming industry. Games Radar highlights the likes of Magnavox Odyssey, which was the first gaming console ever and was one of the primary modes of entertainment of that era. Who can forget the Ataris, the Pong games, and other archaic gaming platforms that were also prevalent during that time.

Basically, the aforementioned decade saw various game developers’ incorporation of arcade technology and how they transitioned it into handheld and home ventures. F1 racing games, for their part, also followed the same path.

The ‘70s

In 1976, there were titles such as Formula One Championship, F1. This old school arcade machine was the first one to integrate a Formula One racecar into games. Despite its rather primitive state, it featured a film recorded racetrack that’s projected on screen. F1 was also the first legitimate arcade racer on the Atari console. In 1979, Monaco GP followed suit and went up a notch by including a simple day/night cycle. Slowly but surely, Formula One racing games were adapted for various consoles.

The ‘80s

The next decade saw popular games like Pole Position and Pit Stop. Of course the ‘80s still had other console favourites such as Formula One on ZX Spectrum and Amstrad CPC, as well as Super Monaco GP for the Sega Mega Drive. As 16-bit gaming consoles were becoming the “in thing” in the middle and latter part of the 1980s, F1 racing titles added certain visual elements into the equation. This decade introduced Formula One titles like RC Pro-Am, Final Lap, and Winning Run.

The ‘90s

The ‘90s were not just about grunge music and coming-of-age movies, it was also the time when landmark Formula One racing franchises were introduced to the gaming market. From the more gimmicky racing games such as F-Zero and Super Mario Kart, to Virtual Racing and Formula One Grand Prix, to Gran Turismo, the list became more diverse and to a certain extent futuristic. Obviously, there were still age-old classics like Pole Position and Grand Prix Manager to appease the masses.

The 2000s

Since the popularity and marketability of racing games became apparent, the next decade followed the same footsteps, which in a way continued the legacy. Graphics become clearer, more lifelike, and the actual gameplay was close to real life as well, as reflected by EA’s first venture into Formula One racing, F1 2000. In addition, developers took advantage of the Internet as a tool to create a network of virtual racers – and even incorporate specific aesthetics to heighten the experience.

This current era underlined the significance of online game modes. There’s again the Gran Turismo franchise, which fully incorporated Formula One racecars to its roster. Also, according to this article on James Allen On F1, virtual and augmented reality entered the picture. Furthermore, many Internet based game developers included state-of-the-art racing themes into the equation. There’s an electronic slots game on Spin Genie that has futuristic automobile elements called Light Racers which represents the latest take on motorsport games.

In Conclusion

All in all, Formula One racing games have come a long way from being initially developed for old school arcades. Nowadays, they’re played in households on famous consoles, and have entered the worldwide web through a bevy of online games. It proves that F1 racing cars have a definite place not just on the racetrack, but also in the virtual world.

Formula One: Are Sauber ahead of Mclaren?

Screen Shot 2017-03-02 at 19.35.19.png

With the first week of pre-season testing in Barcelona drawing to a close to decipher the true pace of any team is almost impossible. All teams will be running their own development programs with differing approaches to fuel loads, tyre usage, aero set up, and engine mode settings. However after four days of testing some trends are beginning to emerge. One such trend could be concerning for Mclaren.

With the Sauber F1 team opting to run a 2016 Ferrari power unit through the 2017 season many expect the team to struggle for outright performance. When the decision was first announced the team explained this move would ensure stability in design and reliability allowing them to focus on the challenges of the changes in aerodynamic regulations for 2017. This approach appears to have paid off as through the first week of testing, only Mercedes and Ferrari have covered more KM’s in testing, 2,597KM  & 2,173KM  to Sauber’s 1,624KM. Mclaren on the other hand have struggled for reliability and not to mention outright pace. Power unit supplier Honda have new approach to the 2017 engine configuration to address inherent performance shortcomings, unfortunately this new design coupled with a new fuel and lubricant supplier, has lead to unreliability. In four days testing Mclaren have covered less than 1000KM.  As teams head into the second pre season test in which performance will should become a greater focus, Mclaren are unlikely to have collected sufficient baseline data to understand how best to extract maximum performance from the MCL32.

As stated in the first week of pre-season testing teams rarely focus on outright performance, however there will certain simulation runs in which drivers are allowed to push the car and situations in which softer compound tyres will be used.

@MsportXtra has complied a useful summary of fastest time set by each driver, total number of laps, and tyre used to set the fastest lap in tweet below:

Comparing the data between Sauber and Mclaren in this format adds further weight to the suggestion Mclaren could be set for a difficult start to the season. In every session in which Mclaren and Sauber completed their fastest laps on the same compound tyre, Sauber were able to post faster lap times. Further more in the session in which Mclaren worked with the Ultra soft compound, Sauber were faster using the super soft compound.

In reviewing the below table provided by Pirelli of the overall fastest times over the test, Mclaren again look to be in a precarious position.


It is widely understood that Mclaren are not able to use all performance modes with the Honda power unit owing to concerns over reliability. Much of the teams issues can be attributed to this, but with such limited running the team may struggle to validate aerodynamic concepts in the design of the MCL32. After a challenging 2 seasons for the Woking based team could 2017 see the team fall further back down the grid?

The approach taken by Sauber of focusing on understanding the new aerodynamic regulations and minimising the impact of using a year old power unit appears to be paying off, with strong reliability the team should be targeting points early in the season which should also attract interest from new partners, something most teams in Formula One are actively seeking.