…chance doesn't exist; there's always a cause and a reason for everything – Elahi

Archive for the month “April, 2020”

F1’s craziest starter

Let’s recall the antics of Raymond “Toto” Roche, who for many years was the Race Director and Official Starter/Finisher of the French GP. He once started a race with a red flag – and on many occasions narrowly missed death as he sprinted from the grid. Either way, he inevitably played a major role in the final result of many a French GP. We edited this video from The Racer’s Edge Live, Ep 04.

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Goodbye Sir Stirl. And thanks.

After a long illness, Sir Stirling Moss passed away over the Easter weekend. The irony, I’m sure, would not have been lost on him. At Goodwood, on Easter Monday, 1962, his career came to a premature end. And now this. I revered Sir Stirl not only as one of the greatest racing drivers of all time but also both as a friend and as a Top Man, as Sir Frank Williams would say. He was at once a human dynamo and the sort of guy with whom you could always have a laugh. Most of the jokes could not be reprinted or shared but in these three videos I hope you can get a feel for the sort of person he was. God bless you Stirl – and a big hug to Lady Suzy.

The Racer’s Edge Live (Ep03)

Here’s a recording of the live show we aired on Thursday, April 09, 2020.  It includes all the chat and questions that sped us quickly through the hour and finishes with some footage I think you’ll love – shots of Paris, 2004, when a certain Ferrari driver brought the city to a standstill.  I’ll be following this video with some shorter edits from the show, including the 1967 Rouen F2 race, but I hope you’ll enjoy this longer version too. The time seemed to fly my end; hope it did/does yours.

Next week’s TRE Live will be aired on our YouTube Channel ( at 18:00 UK.  The Chat panel on the live page seems pretty seamless so I look forward to hearing form you then.

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Designing a new F1 car with James Allison

I’m a huge James Allison fan, I have to confess.  He’s literate, lucid, intelligent, very knowledgable about a lot of subjects – and he’s creative, too, as we’ve seen over the years in F1.  At “Lotus” he gave us the forward-facing exhausts; and in recent months we’ve seen the intriguing steering/camber system on the 2020 Merc F1 car. I’m sure James will say that this most recent idea should be credited to someone else – but then that is his way. The point is that he engenders the sort of empirical engineering we see only rarely in a template-driven era of F1.

He was on my flight to Australia and I was struck then by his courtesy and humility, too. You could argue pretty comprehensively  that James is one of the most successful and sought-after people in the F1 pit lane, yet James had no qualms about turning right when he stepped into the long-haul Airbus, away from the first-class section.  Other, less significant F1 people, from other teams, burned their money at the sharp end. James has no such delusions.

And so I welcome every chance that arises to hear what James has to say. This video not only provides a nice insight into the way he thinks and enunciates his words but also into the sort of structure and discipline involved in designing and building a new F1 car.  So enjoy.  There aren’t many engineers in the world – let alone F1 engineers – who can create word pictures like, “we fool the car into thinking it’s on the track” or “it looks like Arnie Schwarzenegger when you pull his skin off and it’s The Terminator underneath”. Or, “the drivers are physically absent but ever-present; their voices are built into our programmes and designs.” Or, finally, in summation: “Hopefully there’s still time to reflect on the beautiful thing that’s been created…”

With special thanks to AMG-Mercedes Petronas Motorsport.

2019 Merc steering wheel analysis

A big thanks to AMG Petronas Motorsport for this short video about the 2019 F1 Mercedes steering wheel. It’s introduced by Valtteri Bottas and explained by Evan Short, Mercedes’ Team Leader, Trackside Electronic Communications.

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