England Youth: A Remarkable Summer

England Youth Summer 2017

Euro U21                                                Semi-Finalists

World Cup U20                                    Winners

Euro U19                                                Winners

U18-20 Toulon Tournament         Winners

Euro U17                                                Runners-Up

I am going to be careful to not over-hype, but what a fantastic summer for England’s youth teams. The players have proved themselves and thoroughly deserve opportunities in their first teams so that they can continue their development.

This truly is a chance for England to develop their International team on the model set by Germany,  which ultimately led to their success as World Champions in 2014.

England

Ricciardo wins chaotic Azerbaijan Grand Prix

baku 3.jpg

Daniel Ricciardo took his 5th race victory for Red Bull Racing (Canada 2014, Hungary 2014, Belgium 2014, Malaysia 2016, Azerbaijan 2017)

After taking his 5th Grand Prix victory, Daniel Ricciardo summarised the Azerbaijan Grand Prix perfectly in the cool-down room. This was the race we all expected last year.

It was a reference to the cities’ inagural event in 2016, where Nico Rosberg won comfortably in a race that produced little in the way of action, excitement and drama. 

This years event was an entirely different story. 

Unquestionably the major talking point is Sebastian Vettel ramming Lewis Hamilton moments before a safety car restart. A championship battle that had been friendly and respectful became hostile and angry in a matter of moments. Continue reading

Halo Confirmed for 2018

As of 2018, Formula 1 teams will be required to run the ‘Halo’ on their cars. The device, which has received limited testing, will be introduced by the FIA in an effort to prevent avoidable accident, injury and fatality.

Despite concerns about the aesthetics of the car, the Halo will be in action from the beginning of the 2018 season. Both Ferrari & Red Bull have attempted alternative cockpit protection devices, running the ‘Shield’ & ‘Aeroscreen’ respectively, but it is the Halo device which the FIA have decided to progress with.

It is unlikely that such a device would have saved Jules Bianchi. Similarly, smaller pieces of debris will remain a threat, meaning that accidents such as the one Felipe Massa suffered in 2009 in Hungary could still potentially occur. However, the Halo is designed to prevent large pieces of debris, such as a loose wheel, from hitting the driver. Henry Surtees, son of John Surtees, was tragically killed in 2009 by a loose wheel and on this basis the introduction of cockpit safety is completely justified.

However, the contraption has received largely negative feedback from the fans of the sport and is seen as a major step away from open-wheel racing. There are also concerns about whether a driver could successfully remove themselves from the cockpit in the event of an emergency with the Halo in place, but these safety concerns are likely to be addressed prior to its inception.

Bottas very much in the title fight

While everyone is talking about Lewis Hamilton vs Sebastian Vettel, Finnish driver Valtteri Bottas is very much in the reckoning. Just 23 points adrift (with an engine failure to his name), Bottas is in touch with the two superstar contenders. Let us not forget that in 2007 Kimi Raikkonen won the World Title in a similar sort of situation, taking full advantage of Hamilton & Alonso watching each other and winning the championship at the back end of the season.

Sebastian Vettel                   177 pts    (3 wins)

Lewis Hamilton                   176 pts    (4 wins)

Valtteri Bottas                      154 pts    (2 wins)

Do you have the reactions of an F1 driver?

At the start of the Austrian Grand Prix Valtteri Bottas launched off the line to claim the lead into turn 1. So quick was his start that rival Sebastian Vettel questioned his ‘unreal’ reaction time leading to a stewards inquiry.

Bottas was found to react to the lights in 0.201s. Can you beat it?

https://f1-start.glitch.me/

Lights

Meanwhile Charles Leclerc was also showing off his reactions in Austria….

 

Formula 1 impresses on the streets of London

In the run up to the British Grand Prix, Formula 1 held a live demonstration on the streets of London, gaining positive feedback and exposure in doing so. While Lewis Hamilton chose to holiday in Greece, drivers Daniel Ricciardo, Sebastian Vettel & Valtteri Bottas all took to the streets, pleasing the crowds by opposing their instructions to not perform any ‘donuts’. They preceded to do many.

Mayor Sadiq Khan has also recently given his approval for a Championship race to take place in the capital. A London GP is now becoming a serious alternative given that Silverstone has activated its release clause as of 2019.

Silverstone to end race contract in 2019

Silverstone’s owner has confirmed that a break clause has been activated to cease holding the British Grand Prix after 2019. Financial viability has been cited as the reason for this decision. It is unknown whether a new deal can be reached, with some sources suggesting that a Grand Prix in London is being explored as an alternative.