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Monday, 23 October 2017

Robot Wars and F1!?

Call me crazy but I had an idea today. I was catching up on Sunday nights robot wars and one team had smaller robots as well and that put an idea into my head. What if all F1 teams came up with robots and then they all battled to be the best? 

Get a small team of four, a driver, an engineer, a mechanic, just four people from a team and their aim is to build what they think is the best robot. To watch the design process and thought behind what weapon they want, shape and size. They would have so much to think about. They would probably have a strategy for the battles too! Whether they want to hunt or be hunted and we would be able to see their raw reactions as it happens.

It would follow the Robot Wars set up and start off with two big battles taking people out from each round. Be finding the best of the best and how quick they can actually repair the robot. Although a one-off massive battle with all teams would be quite fun as well, last man standing.

I think if this ever happened (i'd want an invite) but it could just be a fun end of season thing everyone does. One way it could include fans is to make it a charity event type situation. Sell tickets for fans to come and see it live. Run competitions, winners get to control the robots in a fan battle. Could sell merchandise for their robots or the teams. It would be a really fun interactive day and raise money for a charity. Just do it all for a good cause that everyone can come together for because we are one big family.

I think it would test all the teams. Robot Wars is a long standing TV programme, its target audience is the young and old. I remember watching it as a kid and playing it on Playstation! It targets everyone and the prices don't need to be expensive as this has appeal and would be a sell-out. Just have one basic price and make everywhere accessible. It would be a show but it doesn't need the price tag. F1 needs to widen its audience and something like this for everyone that is reasonably priced would be insane. 

I know this is just a theoretical idea but I just thought I'd' share it with you! So let me know what you think and what your idea would be. 

Sunday, 15 October 2017

F3 2017: What a year!

I must admit I had never watched European Formula 3 until I was trackside in April when they were racing at Silverstone. I was there for World Endurance Championship but ended up spending a lot of my time in the F3 paddock. I was launched into another junior category and I loved every second of it. The drivers and teams are so friendly (shoutout to Nina who works for Van Amersfoort) and the racing is always so entertaining.
The season started off with eventual champion Lando Norris taking the first win on home soil. Rookie Norris won an astonishing nine overall wins and twenty-one rookie wins. Motopark's Joel Eriksson came runner-up, fifty three points behind Norris. Maxi Gunther just got beat by Eriksson despite being the last driver to challenge Norris for the championship. Callum Ilott was another name that was in contention for the championship until a form of bad luck took that away and he solidified his fourth place in the championship. All four of these drivers scored at least five wins with Eriksson, Ilott and Norris all taking their first wins at Silverstone. It wasn't until the Pau Grand Prix in France that Gunther scored his first two wins.

Jehan Daruvala, Ferdinand Habsburg and Jake Hughes were the only other drivers to win races. Their respective wins coming at Norisring, Spa and Nurburgring. Daruvala was Norris' closest competitor in the rookie standings with seven rookie wins but Norris was too dominant to be beaten.

Prema was constantly scoring big points each race weekend so it has come as no surprise that they have finished the season top of the team standings once more. Prema had the most wins out of any team with Gunther winning five races and Ilott bringing it home with six wins for the italian team.

Ilott was a stand out in my opinion because when the car was set up right and Ilott didn't have bad luck he was incredible. He had the speed, he was able to overtake and manage anything that came his way. I remember with the mixed conditions at Silverstone, Ilott got caught out and spun into the gravel but you could see that Ilott learnt from that mistake and only improved this season.  It is not only me that rates Ilott. I tweeted out asking people for standouts this season and Liam Redford came back to me and said that he believes 'Ilott proved he is one of the front runners, underrated with six wins' and another Becci stated her favourite moment was 'seeing Ilott win at Silverstone in the first round' Ilott has certainly proved he is one to watch and I would be surprised if he didn't step up to either GP3 or F2.

One driver who is highly likely to go to F2 next year is Lando Norris. He came into this season a rookie and left a champion. Had slow starts in the first few rounds but worked on that and now nails his start whether he is on pole or further down the grid. Norris had two heartbreaking moments, the first came in Pau when he was comfortably leading and had to retire. The other moment being at the Red Bull Ring, he wasn't winning the race but if he stayed where he was he would have sealed the title with three races to go. However, contact with Ralf Aron left Norris in the grovel prompting the photo which speaks a thousand words about how the Brit was feeling. Despite that next round race 1, the McLaren junior sealed the title to the joys of a lot of racing fans. First non-Prema driver to win the F3 championship and he did it in his rookie season. There is no reason to doubt his talent, watch out for him in F1.

It has been a brilliant year for F3, I can tell they have drawn in more fans, with the incredible and close racing I can 100% understand why. For Britain in particular it has been a decent year with three brits in the top five and Harri Newey having a highest place finish of fourth in races. There is so much to look forward to next season but a lot of these drivers are likely to go up the ranks and you will be hearing their names more and more. It is an underrated category for single seater's as it doesn't go around with F1, however so many talent driver's go through this series and it is well respected in its own right.

Congratulations to Lando Norris for winning the championship, it wasn't easy but was well deserved.

Thursday, 5 October 2017

BTCC 2017 Season of shocks and surprises

Last weekend Subaru's Ash Sutton was crowned British Touring Car Champion and concluded the end of what was an enticing season. I am not just talking about BTCC, I am talking about ever single category, British F4, Ginetta Juniors, Ginetta GT4, Renault Clio Cup, Porsche Carrera Cup. All had thrilling battles that went throughout the field and to the end of the season.

BTCC 2017 has seen massive highs and the lowest of lows. The lowest point coming at Croft when the cars were qualifying in treacherous conditions leading to a several drivers having to go to hospital. It resulted in Aron Taylor Smith sitting out of Snetterton and Jeff Smith and Luke Davenport being out for the rest of the season due to their sustained injuries. Despite the low at Croft all teams supported each other and Davenport and Smith were always in the back of every team member and fans minds. That is one thing not just BTCC but every category can be proud of, they all look out for everyone, they are one big racing family. If you met a driver from any of the aforementioned categories they would treat you like a friend or a family as they all appreciate the fans.

The highs included Laser Tools Aiden Moffat taking his maiden win at Donington. One that meant everything to them. It appears every achievement is a victory in their eyes. I was sat across from the garage when Moffat put it on the front row at Brands and all the team were waiting and actually teams in the surrounding garages went to say well done. That final weekend was going to get even better for Laser Tools when Moffat got into the lead and scored his second win of the season. He was not the only new race winner this season as James Cole got on the top step of the podium for the first time in his Subaru. With over 10 different race winners throughout the season there is no denying how close the field is and how talented so many of these drivers are.

The grid became a little longer this season when BTC Norlin arrived with their drivers BTCC veteran Dave Newsham and Chris Smiley. They were always in the midfield fighting for their lives and scoring points. Sometimes they had bad luck but there was one particular time in which they had good luck. That luck came at Silverstone where Newsham had an opportunity and he ran with it scoring their maiden podium for the team. If you follow them on social media then you may have seen their big family photo on the podium. It showed them their hard work is paying off and it will continue to as they have a good set up and two determined and skilled drivers. No surprises they have already locked these two in for 2018!

Senna Proctor walked away with the Jack Sears trophy (trophy for the highest finishing rookie). Consistent points finishes in his Power Max car meant Proctor had the most points compared to the other rookies this year. Despite a disappointing last race for the 19 year old it did not damper the day in which he was finally handed the trophy.

Tom Ingram just beat Eurotech's Jack Goff to the Independent title. Goff put himself at the front of the grid several times this season and climbed back onto that top step of the podium. However, Ingram was just that little bit more consistent than Goff and claimed 4 wins this season. The two were neck and neck and this went down to the end. Both driven incredible all season and both deserving but sadly in motorsport there can only be one winner. Saying that both drivers will come back even stronger and determined than ever.

Now lets talk about the main headline in BTCC. Ash Sutton beating Colin Turkington to win the overall championship. They came into the weekend with Sutton ahead by just 10 points. He had 6 wins compared to Turkington's 3. Turkington had been the slightly more consistent of the two but it was not enough in the end. Sutton endured a horrible season opener not scoring a single point but once he got to grips with his car he was always right there and in my eyes became the underdog before ending up the favourite to take the championship. Both optimistic going into Brands Hatch but Sutton was the one who qualified better although it did go down to the last race. It was soon patched up quickly as only a few laps in Turkington had contact with Mat Jackson and limped back to the pits with damage that would end his race and his hope for the championship. However, Turkington has won the championship twice already and will know how much it will mean for Sutton who won it for the very first time.

I could go on and on and on but you get the point. There was everything to play for this year and it was dramatic in so many ways. And that's just British Touring Cars...

I wish the best to all the injured drivers this year and hope they make full recovery for next season and send my congratulations to Ash Sutton, Senna Proctor and Tom Ingram.

If you would like me to do more of these on any of the other categories, Renault Clio Cup, Formula 4, Ginetta Junior, Ginetta GT4 or the Porsche Carrera Cup do let me know and I would be happy to do that.

I am really going to get more into more blog so do let me know what you like to see, what your favourite category is and what drivers you would like to see me interview. I would appreciate any feedback you may have for me.