Gossip Grip: August

Each month two vibrant and petrol-blooded personalities – Mithila and Kunal – bring us closer to the cutting edge with their funny yet sharp take on the behind-the-scenes world of Formula 1. Relax and enjoy, we always do.

The news that the FIA rejected two new teams from lining up on the Formula 1 grid in 2016 was proof that it’s finally policing the sport well. They singlehandedly saved the teams from a financial collapse, an endless chase of non-existent multi-million dollar sponsorship and of course, from being bullied by pay drivers, and even supposed protests demanding equal payments from FOM. Whew!

Talking of money, Pirelli’s announcement that they spend nearly $110 million on Formula 1 every year was a bit of a surprise. The surprise was that if they are already spending this much money – more than Manor’s and close to Sauber’s annual expense – why don’t they create a racing team of their own? How about the name Tyred F1 Team? Ah, they won’t do it – they probably know something about F1 team economics that the other team owners don’t.

When he said he’s expecting a long-term career in the sport, he probably meant as the team’s Sponsorship Manager.

And who knows a great deal about sponsorship in the Lotus F1 Team? Pastor Maldonado. After all, his sponsors cover nearly 50% of the team’s annual sponsorship budget. And when he said he’s expecting a long-term career in the sport, he probably meant as the team’s Sponsorship Manager. Going from zero to many zeros!

Our latest Formula 1 hero Lewis Hamilton has expressed interest in MotoGP and the Yamaha riders have invited him over to test their bikes one day. We suspect this is exactly why Niki Lauda feels that MotoGP is better than Formula 1. No better way of expressing your love than in public, Niki.

Anyway, the expectations are that Ferrari will close the gap to Mercedes in the second half of the year. Honda has claimed that their upgrades will help them match Ferrari whereas Manor’s bold statement a month ago indicates that their upgrades will make them as fast as McLaren. This means that Manor, Ferrari and McLaren are expecting to be on the same pace. Really? Seriously speaking, this is what we believe will happen: Mercedes will claim pole position and falter at the start; if Ferrari leads, they will win; if Mercedes and Ferrari both get stuck, Williams will lead, just that they don’t want to win that much; Red Bull Racing will complain, accept Mercedes engines and then complain some more. There. But for the sport’s benefit, give everyone Mercedes engines, we say!

Mithila Mehta is a travel blogger and, well, loves Formula 1. She co-hosts the Inside Line F1 Podcast, you can also read her travel stories on www.miss-wanderlust.com or follow her on Twitter – @mith_m
Kunal Shah is a former single-seater racer who works in the sports business industry. He pens his thoughts on F1 on his personal blog www.kunalsf1blog.com and co-hosts the Inside Line F1 Podcast. Catch him on Twitter too – @kunalashah
About the Inside Line F1 Podcast: this is a weekly podcast that aims to add a funny touch to an otherwise serious sport of Formula 1. It’s nearing 150 episodes of production with nearly 100,000 listeners each year. The podcast is available across popular listening and streaming platforms such as iTunes, Sound Cloud, YouTube, Mix Cloud, Daily Motion, etc.

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