The Inside Line #63: Zeroes to heroes

TILI Logo PrintIn a sport that moves more rapidly than most, things can turn around quickly in Formula One – as the faces of the three podium finishers at last weekend’s British Grand Prix can attest.

One day after Lewis Hamilton made an error of misjudgement by not pushing hard on his final qualifying lap, one day after the English summer rendered Valtteri Bottas’ qualifying efforts futile, one day after Daniel Ricciardo played it safe by staying in the pits at the end of qualifying, all three drivers were sporting silverware and wide smiles on the Silverstone podium in a race that barely gave those who watched it time to breathe.

As theatre, it was top-shelf; as a means to inject some life back into the title fight, it was perfect. Unless your name is Nico Rosberg, but for the sake of the rest of us, his first retirement of the season couldn’t have come at a better time.

A comprehensive review of a race that featured drama from the first lap, after Kimi Raikkonen’s enormous crash that caused a one-hour delay to repair the trackside barriers, right through to its final moments where Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso [1] engaged in one of the most fascinating F1 fights in years features on Episode 63 of ‘The Inside Line’ this week.

We also look at the raft of rule changes being brought in for next year including the hugely-controversial change to standing re-starts, while we examine what advice Romain Grosjean has for Sergio Perez [2], not even two years after the Frenchman was being labelled as a “first-lap nutcase” and banned for a Grand Prix for his lack of judgement while in close proximity to his colleagues. Plus, we make a tenuous link between F1 and the football World Cup [3]. Really.

Check out ‘The Inside Line’ on SPEED TV Australia (Foxtel/Austar channel 512) at 7pm on Wednesday July 9, and/or on ESPN (Foxtel/Austar channel 508 in Australia) at 8.30pm on Thursday July 10.

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[1] My verdict: too much whining, especially from Vettel. And some tip-toeing right to the edge of what’s acceptable from Alonso. Very, very good viewing.

[2] Grosjean’s thoughts about the suitability of women in kitchens and other socially unacceptable jokes are neither known nor recorded. Which we should all be thankful for.

[3] The opening five corners of the British Grand Prix contained more drama than this entire World Cup. There, I said it. I’ll go back to following the excellent Sean Kelly on Twitter (@virtualstatman) when it’s over as I don’t like my feed to be hijacked by a sport that, try as I have to embrace it, leaves me cold with its diving, histrionics and deception. When you’re used to reporting on F1 drivers competing with broken ribs (Mark Webber) or MotoGP riders racing less than 72 hours after surgery to repair a broken collarbone (Jorge Lorenzo), watching a football player roll over 34 times clutching his face after someone brushes his ankle is utter garbage.

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