I was privileged to attend Silverstone last week for the UK National Finals of the GT Academy. This is an annual competition run in collaboration with Sony PlayStation and Nissan to source pure motor racing talent for those that have not had the opportunity to go through the more traditional channels of grass-roots racing.
People don't often think of the similarities with the business world when they think of Formula 1, and even less so do they think of big data. And yet, the three are actually very closely linked, with correct use of big data playing just as big a part in the success of a team as it can to the success of a business.
Three months ago I was asked whether I would be interested in covering the British Grand Prix 2013 as a bonafide reporter. I said yes, but in all honesty did not expect it to ever come to fruition - how wrong I was. It has been about a month since being at Silverstone and now that the experience has truly sunk in I wanted to share it with you.
Mustering impressive amounts of courage to continue their discussion over 2014 tire construction and the program needed for delivering a decent tire, Pirelli are certainly gunning for the bravery award this year in Formula One.
German authorities formally charged Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone last week for Bribery related to the sale of F1's interest and it raises the question as to who would put an 82-year-old man in prison--apparently the Germans would.
The British Grand Prix provided the latest drama to an already touchy subject in 2013...tyres. The exploding tire issues claimed five left-rear tires during the weekend and while Pirelli are keen to get tot he bottom of the issue, speculation as to the cause has ranged from steel belts to serrated curbs and low tire pressure.
The International Tribunal has met, listened to arguments and rendered judgment concerning the Mercedes and Pirelli private test on May 15-17. That verdict has been met with some criticism least of which came from Ferrari's Horse Whisperer column.
Mercedes feel they've done nothing wrong but Red Bull and Ferrari have a differing opinion of the situation. In a bit of a twist, Red Bull's team boss Christian Horner appeared at the hearing and it is unknown whether he will testify or is present as an observer.
Two weeks can be a long time in Formula One. It's long enough to go from being lapped in the Spanish Grand Prix to winning the Monaco Grand Prix and also testing Pirelli tyres for 1,000km.
The tight twisty nature and no room for error characteristics of the Monte Carlo streets means that one error likely means end of race and into the barriers. It's this that sets this race apart from the rest. 78 laps of pure concentration - Ayrton Senna famously likened it to driving through a tunnel for two hours, zoning in on the perfect racing line for all that time.
In my eyes, the move is too risky. I've said it many times before but 2014 will be a lottery in terms of who will be on top. I'm going with Renault because they seem to be the only engine manufacturer who have made progress, and with them looking to supply less teams in 2014, the demand will be fierce.
Pirelli have admitted that a four-stop strategy is too many stops for a Formula One race and most of Sunday's runners did just that. Even a few three-stop strategies were changed on the fly to a 4-stop tactic to stay within tow of Ferrari's blistering pace.
What is the correlation between struggling in the top 10 for the first four races of the season and the new design approach that McLaren have taken for their chassis in 2013? That's what managing director Jonathan Neale says the team is dedicated to finding out.
But back to Bernie. He wants 10 teams, when we have 11 on the grid. Why doesn't he just say instead that he wants to make hundreds of people unemployed and see a company go bankrupt during the most fiercest worldwide recession ever?
Lewis, as you can sense from the article, is all about the danger and rush he gets from cheating death. Many Formula One drivers have a similar passion for the sport that is built on the foundation of danger. Hamilton says, in an ironic twist, that Fernando Alonso is the man he respects the most.
Beneath the royal weddings, Formula One races and other events that bore many normal people (myself included), the Anglo-Bahraini relationship is purely material. Bahrain has at least ten years of oil reserves left, and produces 40,000 barrels a day, representing a serious resource pool for British energy needs.