There are a lot of unanswered questions out there when it comes to 2014. We can go on for as long as we like about the technical details but it’s difficult, at this point, to know exactly how it’s all going to settle. The teams aren’t sure, which means the drivers aren’t sure – which means that we, the fans, can’t be sure either.
We can but push, however, and to this end I sat down last week with Rob Wilson to talk about the driving fundamentals that may or not be relevant to 2014. We were joined on line by Tom McCullough, the very talented pit lane engineer who worked in IndyCar and then at WilliamsF1 before joining Sauber towards the end of 2012. Having helped to turn that team around mid-season, and secured some consistently strong results with the driver he first met at Williams – Nico Hulkenberg – Tom is now joining Nico at Sahara Force India for 2014. Here’s how the conversation went:
I was fortunate to be able to spend a little time with Mark Webber as he prepared for his last F1 race – the Brazilian Grand Prix at Interlagos. We met early on Friday morning, at the Grand Hyatt in Sao Paulo, and chatted together en route to the circuit. Mark’s demeanour, I think, said it all: he was happy with his decision to retire from F1; equally, he is looking forward not only to some time off with family, friends and menagerie but also to a new challenge with Porsche in 2014.
In Parts Two and Three of this week’s show – specially segmented for YouTube viewers – we have a look at some of the pits-to-car radio transmissions and what they actually meant for the drivers. Rob Wilson remains in the studio to help me analyse some of the instructions and we’re joined, too, by Giedo van der Garde, the Dutchman who is starting to look very suited to an F1 grid. Most of the talk is directly related to last weekend’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix but there’s always room for reflection! Enjoy – and remember that you can now see (or listen to) the complete version of Episode 36 as an iTunes download.