Monday, April 12, 2021

INDYCAR: The Penske Chevrolet years (2017-2020)

As Hope Springs Eternal as a New IndyCar season is almost Set to Commence…


Continuing this meandering theme, regarding how long it’s been since somebody other than Team Penske has won an IndyCar race with a Chevrolet engine? The answer should be pretty obvious with my Oh, So Cleverly crafted story title, Hya!


As I know that Ye Oldest IndyCar Blogger Geo. Phillips of Oilpressure Fame is hoping he hasn’t drunk the annual A.J. foyt Koolaid with the addition of SeaBass’ this year, who could finally give ‘Ol superTex’ a long needed IndyCar victory?


But my Money’s on a different bowtie team to end Team Penske’s Streak, when Pato O’Ward wins his maiden IndyCar race this season for Arrow McLaren SP!


Oh Yeah, if you’re Ah-Waitin’ the answer to this trivia? The last non Team Penske Chevrolet win was scored by Josef Newgarden some Gory 5 years ago  for Ed Carpenter Racing (ECR) at Iowa on July 10, 2016. Some Bloody 71 races ago, aye Karumba!



Season: June 6th to October 25th

Races: 14


Surely everybody knows about the fractious Breakup, Uhm firing of James Hinchcliffe by Sam Schmidt who formed a new alliance with McLaren to become Arrow Mclaren SP, affectionately known as SPAM! And switching to Chevrolet engines from it’s longtime association with Honda. Giving Chevy five Full-season Bowtie teams in it’s fold.


As Arrow McLaren SP ran two Young Guns with Pato O’Ward returning from the Wilderness and Rookie Indy Lights Champion Oliver Askew alongside him. And Pato came Oh, so tantalizingly close to not only scoring his maiden IndyCar win, but also ending Team Penske’s Streak when being passed for the lead at Road America with a lap and a half to go by eventual winner Felix rosenqvist, now his newest team-mate.


Otherwise Team Penske claimed seven wins, led by Josef Newgarden’s four, who finished runner-up to eventual Six times IndyCar champion Scott Dixon.


Will Power won twice with Simon Pagenaud scoring a lone victory. As Power wound-up 5th, and Pagenaud 8th Overall respectively.



Season: March 10th to September 22nd

Races: 17


The tide for most wins by a manufacturer swung back to Chevrolet’s favour with Team Penske winning nine of that year’s 17 events, albeit Honda won the Engine Manufacturers Crown again. Arse-sumedly due to it having more Teams Overall and thus scoring more points.


The IndyCar Series championship results mirrored the 2017 season, with Josef Newgarden claiming his second IndyCar Series title, followed by Simon Pagenaud. As these two Penske drivers scored seven victories with Newgarden claiming four wins, a la his 2017 Championship season.  


Whilst Pagenaud’s crowning glory was sweeping Ye Month ‘O May by winning that year’s Indy GP and Indianapolis 500, where he started on Pole No less! Before securing his third W’ at Toronto.


Will Power scored two W’s during the year at two venues that start with the letter P, i.e.; Pocono Raceway and Portland International Raceway en route to finishing 5th Overall.



Season: March 11th to September 16th

Races: 17


This was the third and final year of Verizon’s title sponsorship along with ABC’s final IndyCar season. And with the introduction of the Universal Aero Kit (UAK-18) standardized bodywork, the tides of winning dramatically reversed, swinging to Honda’s favour for the first time in years.


As Hondre’ runners won 11 of that year’s 17 events en route to claiming their first Engine Manufacturers Championship since 2011. With five different teams, i.e.; Andretti Autosport, Chip Ganassi Racing, Dale Coyne Racing with Vasser Sullivan, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing and Schmidt Peterson Motorsports.


As Sebastian Bourdais won the season opener at St Pete for Dale Coyne and his alphabet Soup Brigade. While alexander Rossi had a Breakout year at Andretti with three wins, with team-mate Ryan Hunter-reay “The dude:” scoring twice. Thee Mayor ‘O Hinchtown’ (James Hinchcliffe) won for his good Buddy Sam Schmidt at Iowa.


Takuma Sato won at Portland, which finally returned to the IndyCar schedule for the first time since 2007, winning for RLLR, and Scott Dixon won his fifth IndyCar title with three W’s.


As interestingly, this was the latest season that Bourdais, Hunter-Reay and Hinchcliffe have won races in the IndyCar series.


Meanwhile Team Penske once again was the lone Bowtie winner, taking six W’s evenly split between Will Power and Josef Newgarden. But it was Power’s emphatic  Indianapolis 500 win that was the Cherry on top for Chevrolet that year!


As Penske slimmed down to just three Fulltime entries with Open Wheel Racing vetrans Hulio’ (Castroneves) and JPM’ or Monty’ (Juan Pablo Montoya) moving over to Penske’s newly formed Acura DPi Sports Car team. Although Castroneves was given a drive for Thee Month ‘O May’s events, i.e.; Indy GP & Indianapolis 500 aboard his traditional No. 3 entry.


Perennial European Feeder Series Champions, and 2017 Indy Lights Champion Carlin joined the Bowtie Brigade with Charlie Kimball and Max Chilton as it’s drivers, giving Chevy four different teams in the series.   



Season: March 12th to September 17th

Races: 17


This was the final year of the now forgotten IndyCar Aerokit era, for which Team Penske was the only one of the vaunted “Big 3” flying the Bowtie’ flag. Leaving just other such “Dreamers” as Ed Carpenter Racing (ECR) with Ed Carpenter and Spencer Pigot sharing driving duties for the #20 with J.R. Hildebrand Fulltime aboard the #21. And the beleaguered A.J. foyt enterprises with Young Guns Conor Daly and Carlos Munoz attempting to best El Capitano’, nee Roger Penske’s Chevrolet Juggernaut.


As Penske drivers Helio Castroneves, Josef Newgarden, Simon Pagenaud and Will Power won 10 of that season’s 17 races, albeit missing out once again at Mother Speedway’, where Takuma Sato Defeated Hulio’, (Castroneves) for andretti Autosport and Honda. Which is still one of my favourite Indy 500’s!


Team Penske expanded to four Full-season entries with the addition of Newgarden moving from ECR, who promptly went about winning his first IndyCar title with four wins, followed by a bitter team-mate Pagenaud, who felt Newgarden had done him wrong during the Gateway Oval-track race if I remember correctly?


As “Symone,” nee Pageantry’ (Pagenaud) finished the season as series runner-up with two W’s as the defending IndyCar Series Champion. And although Power scored the second most wins for Penske that season with three. DJ WillyP’ (Power) came home sixth Overall, one position behind Castroneves. As the Brazilian won his final IndyCar victory at Iowa that year. 

Thursday, April 8, 2021

IndyCar Bowtie’ Brigade Year-by-Year: 2013-2016

As can Anybody Best El Capitano’s illustrious Team Chevy Juggernaut?


Although I’ve been pondering this awhile now, since I know it nagged at me All last season whilst rootin’ for Pato O’Ward at SPAM’, aka Arrow McLaren SP. I suppose after reading one of IndyCar’s Oldest Blogger Geo. Phillips, Hya! Oilpressure Posts back in February about is there really A Big Four in IndyCar’s? ?


Oh Swell! Now George has jumped on the Pato O’Ward Bandwagon, which makes me wonder if he’s given him the Dreaded Curse?


Although when I hear the term Big Four, I always think of Formula 1 instead, when it had it’s Big Four which I tend to recall was McLaren, Ferrari, Williams and Lotus.


Uhm, the Questione I’ve been ponderin’ a really really long time is: Has there been Anybody besides the Big Three, i.e.; Penske, Ganassi and Andretti, albeit primarily Penske since Ganassi and Andretti have been Hondre’ runners a longtime as ‘Ol Leigh Diffey would say to win an IndyCar race with a Chevrolet engine?


As Michael Andretti switched to Honda Wayback in 2014 and promptly rewarded Honda and HPP by winning that year’s epic Indianapolis 500 when Ryan Hunter-Reay passed Castroneves in the grass to Win! While thou Cheepster’, nee Chip Ganassi switched back to Honda in 2017 after initially being part of the Bowtie’ Brigade from 2014, effectively giving Honda two “big Guns” vs. Penske and Chevy.


Originally I could only remember Tony Kanaan’s victory for KV Racing Technology at the 2013 Indianapolis 500 being aboard a Non Big-3 Bowtie’ runner. Yet after I started researching thou Record Books and reacquainted Thyself with le Hamburgular’, Formerly Sealmeister B’, aka Sebastian Bourdais took over Kanaan’s KVRT seat and won at Toronto in 2014, I foggily remembered SeaBass putting a Beatdown upon the IndyCar field at Milwaukee Wayback in 2015, even if they got penalized monetarily afterwards for a technical infraction.



Season: March 13th to September 18th

Races: 16


Team Penske and Chevrolet thoroughly Waxed the competition, with Penske claiming ten of Chevy’s Decimating 14 wins! While four different Bowtie runners found Thar way into victory lane, albeit only when Team Penske wasn’t busy monopolizing the rostrum’s top step.


Juan Montoya claimed his lone W for Penske at St Pete, while relative Penske newcomer Simon Pagenaud won a total of five races en route to winning the title, including three in-a-row between Long Beach and the Indy GP. With past IndyCar Series Champion Will Power nipping at Pagenaud’s Heels with a further four W’ and finishing runner-up Overall.


Scott Dixon claimed a modest two wins for Ganassi. With Sebastian Bourdais winning once at Detroit’s Belle Isle, now in the rebranded KVSH Racing outfit. And Josef Newgarden once at Iowa for Ed Carpenter Racing. (ECR)



Season: March 29th to August 30th

Races: 16


Although this is probably my favourite Championship of the past several years, as I still recall sitting in the Dark over the weekend we’d had an unexpected Windstorm knock our Power Out for 48-plus Hours! Which I suppose was Nothin’ compared to Texas, especially since it happened during Summer… As I blindly found an old portable AM/FM Cassette “Walkman,” and if I sat just right next to the patio’s sliding glass door and held the headphone’s wire just right without moving, I could listen to the Sonoma IndyCar Finale coming off an Everett, WA Radio Station!


And although I delighted in Montoya seemingly “Choking,” but obviously the entire season was Overshadowed by the Death of my Numero Uno IndyCar Driver Justin B-I-G UNIT’ Wilson at Pocono.


There were four different Chevrolet winners that year claiming a total of 10 victories. As Scott Dixon scored three W’s for Ganassi en route to his fourth IndyCar title, with Penske claiming three W’s; Juan Pablo Montoya netting two, including that year’s Indy 500 and Will Power winning once.


Josef Newgarden capped his first two IndyCar career victories for CFH Racing (Ed Carpenter, Sarah Fisher and Wink Hartman) at Alabama and Toronto. Whilst Sebastian Bourdais won twice for KVRT at Belle Isle and Milwaukee.  



Season: March 30th to August 30th

Races: 18


It’s Funny to Mwah, since all I really remember now about this season is that Ryan Hunter-Reay Beat Hulip’ (Castroneves) at Mother Speedway, and that I got to tell DJ Willy P’ (Will Power) in person at the Sonoma IndyCar race Autograph session: Beat this guy! When pointing to Castroneves who was seated next to him. Where Power very diplomatically said I’m Trying!


Which I suppose is why I’ve forgotten that four different Bowtie runners won races that season, as Chevrolet Dominated with 11 wins. With Penske scoring five, Ed Carpenter Racing (ECR) three times, Ganassi winning twice, having switched this year and KV Racing Technology one W.


Will Power won three times for Team Penske en route to his lone IndyCar Championship, with team-mates Castroneves and Juan Pablo Montoya winning once apiece; Hulio’ at Belle Isle’s Double Header second race and JPM at Pocono.


Mike “Ice-Ice, Baby!” Conway won at Long Beach and Toronto’s Double Header second race for ECR. Whilst his boss Fast Eddie’, nee Ed Carpenter won at Texas Motor Speedway, the latest of his three IndyCar career wins to date.


Le Hamburgular’, nee SeaBass’ or just good ‘Ol Sebastain Bourdais won Toronto’s Double Header Race-1 for KVRT. With Scott Dixon winning twice for Ganassi.



Season: March 24th to October 19th

Races: 19


Andretti Autosport and Team Penske won nine of the ten races won by Chevrolet over a 19-race season, with the only other Bowtie winner being TK’ Follow-your-Schnoz! Kanaan’s victory at Mother Speedway for KV Racing Technology, giving Chevy a total of 10 wins vs. Honda’s 9. As Chevrolet won Indianapolis, but Scott “the Iceman 2.0” Dixon won the Championship, his third of an eventual six titles to date.


As Thee Mayor ‘O Hinchtown, aka James Hinchcliffe won three times for Andretti, i.e.; St. Pete, Sao Paolo and Iowa, with his team-mate The Dude’, Ryan Hunter-Reay winning twice, netting Mikey A’s Squad five W’s. While DJ WillyP’, aka Will Power led Team Penske wit three wins, along with Helio Castroneves notching one victory. 

Monday, April 5, 2021

F1: Brawn ‘N Brown Duet with some Suaviness’ Thrown in as Background Noise

Cause’ Sometimes You Feel like a Nut, and sometimes, Uhm…


Just a few Bits ‘N bobs as Grizzled F1 Journo’ Joe Saward would say following the Bahrain Grand Prix…


Brawn says Tsunoda Super!

FIA’s Sporting Director Ross Brawn, writing for has given Japanese F1 Rookie Yuki Tsunoda glowing praise upon his Debutante outing in Bahrain. With Brawn proclaiming the 20 year old Tsunoda is the Best F1 Rookie in years! And was totally Smitten with Yuki’s Ontrack performance, also claiming that Red Bull has Hit a Home Run with Tsunoda!


Whilst Grizzled F1 Journo’ Joe Saward noted that Yuki was his Driver of The Race after Tsunoda had fallen down to 16th place after starting P13. Then methodically worked his way forward, including passing Sebastian Vettel twice and his Boyhood Idol Fernando Alonso before overtaking Lance Stroll for ninth on the race’s final lap!


As Tsunoda became the 65th Formula 1 Driver to score points on his Debutante F1 race. Along with becoming the first Japanese driver to score points in F1 since Kamui Kobayashi in 2012 when driving for Sauber F1, arguably Kobayashi’s best season in Formula 1.


As Kamui became only the third Japanese F1 Driver to ever stand atop the podium upon finishing third in that year’s Japanese Grand Prix.


Yuki’s ninth place finish is the best since Kobayashi’s sixth place finish for Toyota F1 at the 2009 Inaugural Abu Dhabi Grand Prix as a rookie F1 Pilote, while Kamui also finished P9 upon his Formula 1 debut at that year’s Bahrain Grand Prix, while Deputizing for the injured Timo glock. But didn’t score any points since they were only awarded down to eighth place then.


Tsunoda becomes the first driver to score points on his debut since Stoffel Vandoorne finished 10th upon his F1 debut in the 2016 Bahrain Grand Prix for McLaren when Deputizing for Fernando Alonso, who’d been ruled Medically unfit to drive.  


Zak Brown Doubles Down on ricciardo

Marketing Guru and McLaren F1 Boss Zackery Brown has done it again by teasing McLaren New-boy DannyRic’ with not only a miniature replica of the aussie’s Boyhood Hero, but also now promised him in a drive aboard the “Real Deal” upon scoring his first F1 Podium for McLaren.


    As  Brown as promised Daniel ricciardo a chance to drive his 1984 Dale Earnhardt Wrangler sponsored Chevrolet Cup car when Ricciardo records his latest team’s first podium finish. As Ricciardo chose  the No. 3 in deference to being a Huge Fan of the late Intimidator’s when growing up.


As Brown has a tastefully modest, Mega’ car collection, including various Street and Racing Cars. From the likes of a Ferrari F40 and Lamborghini Countach, a Bugatti  EB110, a pristine, original Acura NSX, Porsche 959, 2017 Ford TT and so on.


But it’s his small armada of vintage racing cars that one must truly appreciate. Running the gambit from an ex-Mario Andretti Lola T332 F5000 Single Seater to Sir Jackie Stewart’s March 701 and the 24 Heurs du Mans Pole winning Lancia LC2 Sports Car driven by the late Bob Wollek to name just a few.


Whilst Brown is apparently a Huge Senna Fan, owning two of Ayrton Senna’s Formula 1 racecars, i.e.; 1984 Toleman TG184 ana 1986 Lotus Renault turbo along with his ’81 Go Kart. With further Formula 1 chassis from the likes of “Mika the Finn’s” (Hakkinen) 2001 McLaren MP4/16A, “Red 5” Bloody Nige Mansell or Il Lione’s 1987 Williams FW11B and Jacques Villeneuve’s 1996 Williams FW18 also part of his impressive Heritage Collection.   


And the Bet or Dare isn’t Ricciardo’s first. Since last season Daniel got to choose what Tatoo former Renault F1 Team principal Cyril Abiteboul would get after claiming his first podium at the Eiffel grand prix.


Eskimo Pies in the Desert?

Following the Bahrain Grand Prix, Alpine noted that Fredrico Suave’, aka Fernando Alonso’s car had been retired out of safety concerns following a Sandwich wrapper becoming impaled in it’s rear brakes, presumably the brake ducting.


But thar were  No word on what type of sandwich wrapper it was, i.e.; plastic wrap or paper? Hmm, could it have come from the Iceman’ (Kimi Raikkonen) having an Ice Cream sandwich during the race?

Thursday, April 1, 2021

Is IndyCar’s Cable TV Arrivederci Tour Set to Commence?

And is this just one more sign of how Impotent IndyCar truly is?


Sorry Folks, No Gory funny business today, just my somewhat Morose thoughts upon the impending Demise of NBC Sports and what it means to a longtime visually impaired, Uhm ergo Blind Open Wheel Racing Devotee…


Why Do Motor Racing TV Channels Always get Screwed!


First Thar were the wonderful Speed Channel with IndyCar and later Formula 1 Live Practice, Qualifying and Races, which I finally Broke Down and purchased  my One ‘N Only Satellite system some 20 years ago, subscribing to the Dish Network solely in order to be able to obtain the Speed Channel, which then became known simply as SPEED.


But as we All know, the GURR-REAT Brainchilds at FOX decided to turn it into a Soupier Doopier “Stick ‘N Ball” TV Channel called Fox Sports One, also known simply as FS1instead, albeit still airing that Dreaded 569lb gorilla RASSCAR’, Urgh!


And now us dedicated Open wheel Racing Fans will lose our second Motorsports TV Channel when thoust Bastardos at Comcast shutdown NBC Sports Network (NBCSN) at the end of 2021, with IndyCar, IMSA Sports Cars, MotoGP and World Superbikes to name just a few of the many racing series it currently Airs on our “Home of Motorsports.”.


Naturally I’m pretty Perturbed over this development, especially since almost three years ago now, when signing up for my current Cable TV provider Spectrum’s service, I specifically signed up for the Higher priced Silver package to make sure I could get NBCSN on thy Telie’, which naturally I’ll “See” my Cable TV Bill Decrease when NBC Sports Disappears, Righto?


And I already know what two of my fellow IndyCar Bloggers will say upon this matter, especially since some two years later it still Nastily Sticks in My Craw! When one of them Bellowed that I should either Put Up or Shut Up when it came to needing to subscribe to NBC’s Gold Bricks Pay Wall service, Uhm NBC Sports gold Pass “Streaming” service in order to watch IndyCar’s Practice and Qualifying sessions live.


Yet what Nobody will understand or get, unless you’re Freakin’ Blind like your Humble No Fenders Scribe Tomaso is… Thar Ain’t NO Streaming service that easily works, i.e.; Interfaces “Seamlessly” with Screen Readers! A la how trying to sign up for COVID 19 Vacination is Impossible for the Blind, But I Digress…


Since Everybody wants to throw away $50 playing Russian roulette that the necessitated Streaming Service will Work with Thar Gory Screen Reader, El Correctomundo?


And I also recall one respected Motorsports Journalist saying to Mwah: Why would anybody want to listen to a race on the Radio?


After I’d lamented to him ‘bout IndyCar taking Away our Access to the IMS Radio Broadcast Network for Practice and qualifying sessions, when IndyCar signed a contract with Comcast prohibiting that. Whilst I’ve never tried listening on Race Day’s  since it’s 11 Kuh-gillion percent easier to simply use Thy TV Remote vs. trying to locate ‘N click upon the teensy  weensy Play button icon wherever was Hiding It! Since if you’re Blind, Oh Never Mind!


Yet I understand why Everybody wishes to “cut the Chord,” as Holy Overpriced Cable TV Prices Batman! As my Spectrum Bill has increased by nearly 12 George Washingtons, i.e.; $11.76 per Month in just over Two and One Half years, OUCH! Although I do have the required Bundling option of Telephone, Internet & Cable TV included, albeit supposedly I  signed up for a three year NO price increase “Contract.” So WTF?


Whilst the other IndyCar Blogger as already Decreed that it makes perfect “Business” Sense to him for NBC to move the NBC Sports Cable TV portion of Indy Cars coverage to their “New & Improved” Peacock Streaming service. Noting how the service is Free if you’re a Comcast Premium Subscriber, BLEEP!


As I particularly like and wholeheartily agree with what ‘Ol Statmann Carruthers of Speed Freaks fame mentioned awhile ago when discussing NBCSN going away, by noting: “We’re all gonna $5.99 Ourselves to Death!”  


As there’s several issues with this logic, even if it’s the way the world’s turning towards the “Thetherdd” traditional TV model controlled by Overzealous, Greedy, Capitalistic TV Behemoths that control what we’re able to Consume on a Daily Basis in the name of Entertainment.


Firstly, this implies that you need to be a Comcast customer, which many people either won’t be able to do so due to where they live or are unwilling to pay for it’s exorbitant pricing! Not to mention that this is a Monopoly and that it also possibly requires you Paying More to go behind it’s Paywall, regardless of what others will say about it Not being a Paywall!


As IndyCar would be wise to notice how much of a Beating Formula 1 has taken over it’s insistence of forcing F1 Aficionados behind the various Countries different Paywall choices for viewing Formula 1 and how many Viewers they’ve LOST due to this practice!


Since I’d argue that IndyCar desperately needs every stinkin’ Gory Eyeball it can get right now, which Arse-sumedly the easiest way to do this is by continuing to be easily available upon Terrestrial Cable TV Channels…


Thus what would be the best outcome possible for longtime Fans like Mwah, since I’ve been religiously following IndyCar’s for over three decades now, would be to simply move the NBC Sports portion of IndyCar coverage onto Comcast’s USA Networks TV Channel, which according to reports has a slightly higher number of U.S. Household viewers than NBCSN does.


Since surely, Nah,  No Shirley Aeroplane’ Jokes Here! Thars plenty of room over the weekends when Law and Order Criminal Intent Marathon rerun sessions occur to host a few hours of motor racing, Righto? Ahem, besides Bloody NASCAR!


As I feel sorry for Sports Cars and Motorcycles getting the Boot from Cable TV, which I’ll miss watching MotoGP since it’s one of the most competitive forms of motor racing right now! While I can always access Sports Cars via Zed Internet at IMSA Radio, which Fucking A Ray, is FREE and doesn’t include ANY Commercials! Can You Hear Me Now IndyCar?


But if IndyCar’s Cable TV portion does migrate to el Stupidio Peacock “TV” Streaming service, then I’ll either attempt to simply listen to it just on Race day’s on Ye Intrawoods’ IndyCar Radio Network or just Not bother at all! Which will be a Sad, Sad Day for a longtime IndyCar enthusiast!


And if IndyCar’s thinks it’s viewership numbers are Pathetic right now, just wait ‘til you lose a further large Chunk of your loyal Fanbase… 

Monday, March 29, 2021

F1: Bahrain GP Post Race Bytes’

Damn You Golden child! Why do you have to be so Damn Good?


Obviously Thee Talking Point of the Bahrain Grand Prix will be the Mano e Mano Battle for the win between Golden Child, Uhm Sir Lewis and Max Verstappen, who by all rights the Dutchman should have won the race, but…


As much as I was absolutely Gutted after it became quite clear that Max had “Shot h-his-Wad” when going Off-track at Turn 4 to pass Lewis Hamilton for the lead, that Verstappen was gonna come up empthy and All I could say was Shit Shit shit!


But afterwards I begrudgingly came to the conclusion that  Max had been Outfoxed by Hamilton, who’d schrewdly put his car in the middle of the track and forced Max wide, as Verstappen perhaps was too eager to Pounce upon Lewis? After I’d sat with four sets ‘O fingers crossed chanting C’mon Max!


Meanwhile, once again Valtteri Bottas got Hosed by the Mercedes Pit Crew, which seem to have an affinity for chucking the likeable finn underneath the silver arrows “Hospitality” bus…


And could we have had any more of a chaotic, frenetic start to not only a Grand Prix, but a Formula 1 season? As Kroftie’, aka David Kroft wryly noted after the aborted start due to Sergio Perez’s Red Bull suddenly grinding to a Halt trackside on the Parade lap: “We’ve waited 105 Days for Season’s Start, why Not wait Another lap?”


Yet Checko’ (Perez) who started from the end of Pitlane methodically went about his Race-craft as always and soldiered home to a creditable Fifth-place finish by race’s end, albeit he couldn’t catch Lando Norris in the McLaren who finished P4.


Norris ran at the pointy end of the entire race, running as high as  third Me Thinks? And made a nice pass upon Charles Leclerc’s Ferrari, as the Monegasque managed to bring his Ferrari home in sixth, one place ahead of DannyRic’, nee Daniel ricciardo, making his McLaren  Debut.


As I Hate Admitting the Aussie’ was outperformed by his Junior McLaren team-mate, although Norris is now in his third season at Woking, so we’ll see how this battle progresses, Eh?


Carlos Sainz Jr. Donning rosso Overall for the first time put on a good show in the second Ferrari, at one point passing six F1 World Champions as Kroftie dipped into his own version of a Murrayism when the young Spaniard passed ‘lil syd viddle (Sebastian Vettel) in the Aston Martin and his Childhood Hero Fredrico Suave’s (Fernando Alonso) Alpine  in the same corner! Ultimately finishing P8.


And my “Star of the Race” goes to one of my new Favourites, the Brash young Charger Yuki Tsunoda who finished Ninth in his Debutante Formula 1 outing at Scuderia AlphaTauri, or as Claudio’ would say, the ‘lil bulls.


As Tsunoda becomes either the 55th or 65th driver to score points upon their F1 Debut, sinceswear I heard Kroftie say two different numbers. As the 20-year  old is not only the first Japanese driver in Formula 1 since K-Squared’, aka Kamui Kobayashi, but possibly the first to score points in his F1 debut since Kobayashi in 2012? Then driving for the Factory Toyota F1 Team, which is what I thought I heard Kroftie say at race’s end.


Whilst Tsunoda’s team-mate Pierre Gasley had a Gastly race after starting a fine fith. Tangling with the rear end of DannyRic’s McLaren? Before losing his front wing to which Martin billybob’ Brundle Cheekily said something ‘bout checking the Aerodynamic Furniture!


With my Favourite Pitlane Reporter Theodore, Not Lenny Kravitz, Hya! Joining in on the Ricciardo Bandwagon when noting how McLaren might be asking him to Block the fast advancing Perez to prevent him “Jumping” Norris by saying My Ute’s Bigger Then Your’s is Mate!


Rounding out the Top-10, i.e.; points paying positions was Lance Stroll who absolutely Outshone his new team-mate Vettel, who had another weekend to not write home ‘bout!


Know I probably shouldn’t write this, but; Haas New-boy Nikita Mazepin “looked” totally out of His league during his Formula 1 Debutante weekend.


As I believe it was David Kroft who mentioned during the Qualie’ show that Social Media had taken to calling him Mazza Spin, YOUCH! As the Rooski’ spun twice during Qualifying.


Then on the race’s second start, Mazepin dually Clouted the Wall, Uhm Armco Barrier immediately! As I know he graduated from Formula 2 and earned a FIA Superlicence to compete in F1, but he seems in over his head right now, albeit the Haas VF-21 clearly Ain’t a World Beater!


But compare Nikita’s weekend vs. Haas team-mate Mick Schumacher who just quietly got on with the job of keeping his nose clean, since I believe he also had the Haas’s rear-end Snap on him once during Qualie. But finished the race a quite P16, 1-lap behind.


As I’m left wondering just how many chassis Mazepin will crash or even destroy this season? And just hope Uralkali wrote Gene Haas a really big Cheque!


And now we’re stuck with a three week break until round-2 at Imola in San Marino, Italy, site of Black Sunday 27 years ago… 

Thursday, March 25, 2021

F1: 2021 Season Kicks Off in Bahrain

But will there be a Surprise winner? Or another Dull season of the Almighty Silver Arrows Kicking everybody’s Arses?


Otay Folks, it’s almost showtime! So set ‘em DVR’s for bright ‘N early Friday morning March 26th if you want to see Formula 1 cars practicing at the Bahrain International circuit (BIC) in Sekir. As believe it’s on Stateside on ESPN U at Oh dark 30 Pacific, before the rest of the weekend, i.e.; Qualie’ and Race are on ESPN2, but you’ll need to check your TV Guide as Always.


And I’ll try not being too  cynical, but; This year will see the two Friday Free Practice (FP) sessions trimmed to just One hour apiece, down from the previous 90mins sessions.


So does that mean F1 ticket prices  will be reduced accordingly? Or will it be like your typical Shampoo bottle at said grocery store which is filled with air and even has the sides carved off for the same exact price of an old bottle? Oh Never Mind!


Meanwhile, Nah, No quarantine-while’ Jokes here Folks! Since I haven’t watched any Late Show with Steven Cobert  lately, but I digress…


This year sees the introduction of the long discussed, and presumably chafed over? Cost Cap with teams being limited to a budget of $147 million, since for each additional race over 21 events, each further race increases the budget by a cool one million dollars. But for each race under 21 ergo minus $1m. Hmm, if COVID further stirs up this year’s championship, Thar could be a reduction in the Budget Caps amount. As the Cap Doesn’t include Drivers Salaries, Team’s top 3 Executives Salaries or Marketing expenses, and other fine print details…


On the technical side, further attempts to lop off more Downforce from the 2021 Chassis has been made in three key areas, albeit I’m not going to try to define them intrincically since I’m Not a Gory engineer, etc.


The biggest change is to the car’s floor, which sees the flat portion in front of the rear wheels being pushed forwards and “Chopped” Diagonally, along with removing some other slots. Brake ducts are reduced sizewise, along with the Rear Diffuser “Fences,” which reputedly will see an overall Downforce reduction of 10%, although the FIA Scrutineers expect the teams to Claw-back 5% of these losses. Giving a total of a 5% Downforce loss for 2021. Along with the Pirelli Rubber seeing a slightly Stiffer design to protect against tyre delamination due to the harsh cornering loads – if I’ve understood this correctly?


As many are frothing over Red Bull and Max Verstappen’s sizzling Pre-season testing performance and picking him as the Odds On favourite to win in Bahrain this weekend.


And even if the Silver arrows were Slow during testing, do we really think that Sir Lewis won’t come roaring back en route to an amazing eighth World Championship title this season with a Gory record 23 races on it’s calendar. Although I’ll definitely be rootin’ against Golden Child, Uhm Lewis Hamilton since F1 needs some Shaking Up!


But I’m far more intrigued over how DannyRic’, aka Daniel Ricciardo performs in his new papaya coloured McLaren. Ditto for Checko’, nee Sergio Perez in the other Red Bull car. Along with who wins the Rookies Battle this year. As I’ll pick Yuki Tsunoda in the AlphaTauri to finish ahead of the Haas duo of Mick Schumacher and Nikita Mazepin.


And lastly, looking forward to seeing Team Willy’, ergo  Williams Racing not finishing Dead last this year, along with George Russell scoring multiple points!


So Tune-in this weekend if you’re Jonesin’ for some Bloody Open Wheel Racing action, specifically thou Pinnacle of Motorsport… 

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

2021 F1 Teams Preview: The Top Two Protagonists

As it would be nice to think that Red Bull can finally Stop the Silver Arrows Smothering Dominance, since All (Streaks) Dynastys must end…



Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team

(2020 Rank: 1st, 573 Points)

Chassis:  F1 W12 E Performance

Engine: Mercedes Benz 

#44 Lewis Hamilton, United Kingdom

#77 Valtteri Bottas, Finland


Having won every Stinkin’ Drivers and Constructors Championships since the Power Unit (PU) era began in 2014, will this be another Ho Hum season? As Im simply getting extremely Bored  by the  Golden Child, Err, Uhm Sir Lewis Show, YAWN!


Obviously the  W12 chassis is simply an evolution of last year’s All conquering Silver Arrows W11 challenger which racked up 13 of 17 wins! So even if the W12 has appeared to be quite skittish in the Uber brief three day test outing and languished Mid-pack on the Time Sheets. While Lewis Hamilton never got comfortable with the car, along with the unexpected Gearbox problem on Day-1, you’d have to Arse-sume’ Mercedes will iron these issue out toot-sweet, righto?


And the driver pairing remains intact a further season, since I’ve since long Cooled upon Valtteri Bottas, who is definitely a Number Two Driver and will Never Beat sir Lewis for the title! And even though I know it was only a single race,but after George Russell’s magnanimous Debutante Merc’ outing at Bahrain, are Bottas’s days numbered?


 Red Bull

Red Bull Racing Honda

(2020 Rank: 2nd, 319 Points)

Chassis:  RB16B

Engine: Honda

#11 Sergio Perez, Mexico

#33 Max Verstappen, Netherlands


Not sure why, but I cannot seem to find anything definitive ‘bout the new RB16B on Ye Intrawoods’ which seems really Cornfusing. As I’ll simply Arse-sume’ that it like all the others is an evolution of last year’s F1 Challenger. As the RB16 can’t be calld a bad car since it won two races, both in the hands of Maximus Hothead’, aka Max Verstappen, including the season finale at Abu Dhabi on December 13, 2020.


I did read that Honda brought Thar planned for 2022 engine upgrade as this year’s Power Unit since we All know that Honda’s leaving Formula 1 at seasons end, when the newly established Red Bull Powertrains unit will take over next year managing the Frozen” Honder’ lump thru the end of it’s lifecycle, i.e.; 2025.


Presumably chassis Genius Adrian Newey’s managed to slough off the RB16’s low points and make this year’s car more well rounded to Max’s liking, which means new Red Bull recruit Sergio Perez will have his work cut out for him.


But this duo’s currently chosen as my second best Driver tandem on the grid, having after all finished P3-4 in the Drivers standings, and Checko’s never a slouch when it comes to finishing a race, so Red Bull could potentially Harass Mercedes for the vaunted Constructors Cup this year, whilst Verstappen will be chomping to knock Sir Lewis Off of his lofty perch!


As I just hope that this year’s “Winter Olympics,” nee F1 Testing won’t Fool us all since Red bull led most of the three days Time sheet results with Verstappen going Quickest Overall on the last day and making everyone think Red bull’s looking incredibly strong out of the gate… 

2021 F1 Teams Preview: Two longtime Arch Rivals

Although it’s been awhile now since they fought against each other for the title…



McLarenF1 Team

(2020 Rank: 3rd, 202 Points)

Chassis: MCL35M

Engine: Mercedes Benz 

#3 Daniel Ricciardo, Australia

#4 Lando Norris, United Kingdom


Obviously the Biggest change to the MCL35M is the switch in motive power from Renault to Mercedes Bens, hence the M prefix to McLaren’s upgraded 2021 Challenger. Although tend to believe I read somewhere that the FIA gave Woking special dispensation for the Power Unit (PU) change, allowing them to spend Thar crucial Design Tokens elsewhere.


As McLaren is allowed to use All of the 2020 Homolgated bits allowable, i.e.; rear suspension, cooling, etc. Although apparently McLaren still builds it’s own Gearboxes, which naturally needed to be modified to accept the Merc’ PU.


The new car sports a longer wheelbase which is part of Mercedes philosophy, whilst reportedly other W11 “Styling” (Design) cues make it’s way onto the MCL35M.


On the driver front, DannyRic’ (Ricciardo) xlides over from Renault on a three year contract. As I’d surmise Ricciardo’s tenure at Renault wasn’t as satisfying as planned…


While coupled with Lando Norris, I’d argue this tandem is the third strongest Driver pairing on the F1 Grid, albeit no idea on how Ferrari will respond this year?


And with McLaren’s impressive performance last year and the Power Unit upgrade, is it too early to begin talking about Woking finally ending it’s long winless drought from 2012? And which of these two drivers will do so?



Scuderia Ferrari

(2020 Rank: 6th, 131 Points)

Chassis:  SF21

Engine: Ferrari

#16 Charles Leclerc, Monaco

#55 Carlos Sainz, Jr., Spain


The storied Italian marque makes massive changes towards this year’s SF21 Challenger. And Nah, I’m not talking ‘bout the addition of the Neon Green, Shamrock Green or was it Puke Vomit Green Mission Winnow Deckles on it’s rear engine cowling. But speaking of it’s rear, most notably an got an all new Heinny’, Err rear end.


As Maranello’s designed a new transmission and rear suspension to adapt to it’s all new 2021 powerplant, Uhm PU. Thus providing a more tapered rear end to hopefully work in concert with it’s redesigned front nose and wings, to meet this year’s Aerodynamic rule changes.


And I’ll go out on a medium sized limb here by saying the arrival of Carlos Sainz, Jr. as Vettel’s replacement at Maranello will be a definite upgrade! Since I’m thinking the Spaniard won’t be as toxic over the In-car radio as Sebastian was, and definitely not throwing as many tantrums as the German did.


As I think this duo will push la Scuderia forwards. Although I think it’ll be another long year for Charles Leclerc who’s itching to get back to driving a winning chassis, which I doubt will happen this season… 

Tuesday, March 23, 2021

2021 F1 Teams Preview: Three Squads that begin with the letter A!

But which of these three F1 Teams will come out on top? And which one Doesn’t look like the Other?


Aston Martin

Aston Martin Cognizan F1 Team

(2020 Rank: 4th, 195 Points)

Chassis:  AMR21

Engine: Mercedes Benz 

#5 Sebastian Vettel, Germany

#18 Lance Stroll, Canada


What can I say about the rebranded Racing Point operation that possibly had the glitziest F1 Car launch? Like I mean some Super Duper Bowl NFL Stud named tom Brady was Thar, presumably only Outshone by Daniel Craig, Err 007’s James Bond!


As the newly coifed Aston Martin F1 concern will proudly don British Racing Green for it’s paint scheme and continue the refinement of it’s Mercedes look-alike chassi forlornly known as the “Pink Mercedes,” albeit sporting the aforementioned green paint scheme.


As the refined RP20 chassis now hevily leans upon last year’s Mercedes W11 design, most notably it’s rear flanks which incorporates the Mercedes W11 rear suspension bits and whatever else of last year’s Homologated components where allowable.


As like Aston Martin, the other three customer teams Alfa Romeo, Haas and Scuderia AlphaTauri are all allowed to utilize said FIA Homologated parts this season from their respective Big Brother entities before 2022 chassis Rules come into effect nullifying this practice.


But the AMR21 also has it’s own design elements since not every bit of the world Beater Mercedes W11 is allowable, as Aston Martin and I’d Arse-sume’ the others to some extent will have to come up with it’s own solution for the new floor, rear diffuser, etc.


And as we already know, on the Driver front, the much maligned ‘lil Syd Viddle, aka Sebastian Vettel has swaped his  rosso overalls for a green Firesuit this season, in hopes of somewhat resurrecting his F1 career, which went terribly Pear-shaped at la Scuderia last year.


But like I’ve heard countless times before, Y’all Don’t think Vettel’s forgotten how to Drive, Eh? Since once a Four-times F1 World Champion, Always a Four-times World Champion! And can Lance Stroll outperform his new team-mate? Although I’ve got zero Clue if the team can lift itself further up the grid this season?



Alpine F1 Team

(2020 Rank: 5th, 181 Points)

Chassis:  A521

Engine: Renault

#14 Fernando Alonso, Spain

#31 Esteban Ocon, France


As the only true Werks’ effort of this trio, you’d have expected le Reggie’, Err Renault to have come out on top. Yet for 2021, Renault has rebranded itself as Alpine, in marketing parlance to it’s Sports Car brand, albeit it’s still exactly the same outfit long based at Enstone, albeit under somewhat new management. As I’ve previously scribbled ‘bout Cyril Abiteboul being replaced by Davide Brivio as Team Principal.


Like everyone else, the chassis has been updated from last year’s RS20 and notably sports a new livery of red, white and blue in honour of the French Flag and it’s new brand.


Yet I’d say the biggest news is the arrival of Fredrico Suave, aka Fernando Alonso and is surgically repaired Jaw! As the Double F1 World Champion will contest the entire season with two titanium plates affixed to his upper Jaw before having them removed at season’s end.


As it’ll be interesting to see if Esteban Ocon can push his new team-mate? Although I’m pretty sure that DannyRic’, nee Daniel Ricciardo had the upper hand against Ocon last year.



Scuderia AlphaTauri-Honda

 (2020 Rank: 7th, 107 Points)

Chassis:  AT02

Engine: Honda

#10 Pierre Gasley, France

#22 (R) Yuki Tsunoda, Japan

(R = Rookie)


Like the newly minted “Green Mercedes” above, Toro Rosso, Uhm AlphaTauri will be able to benefit from last year’s race winning Red Bull RB16 chassis bits.


As much Noise has been made about Japanese F1 Rookie Yuki Tsunoda winding up P2 on the Time Sheets of Bahrain’s final day of testing. Although I’ve since read about Lando Norris tongue in cheek Quip about the young Japanese charger opening up his DRS before reaching the DRS zone to possibly aid in Tsunoda’s super quick lap time? Which I believe was set upon Pirelli’s C5 tyre compound, the softest of the range.


And although the Hondre’ runners as Leigh Diffey would say look strong, this was the obligatory F1 “Winter Olympics” and we’ll not really know until the season opening Bahrain Grand Prix.


Tsunoda finished third overall in last year’s Formula 2 Championship for Carlin, taking three wins, four Poles and seven podiums en route to series top rookie finisher. With the 20yr old Japanese driver replacing Rooskie’ Daniil Kvyat, who’s become Alpine’s Reserve Driver this season. Whilst I’m guessing Pierre Gasley will be hard pressed to win his second Grand Prix victory this season…