The F1 nerd

2022 Season

Thanks for logging onto my F1 page. I hope you’ll return for the rest of the 2022 season. I’ll try and update after each race.

The idea behind it is that it’s a bit of fun. I’m not trying to have a go at any driver or team, but I’m not going to treat any of them are sacrosanct. I should explain that I’m a McLaren fan, and have been since the start of MP4. My first Grand Prix was the 1966 British at Brands Hatch and I’ve been in love with the sport since then. There have been a few ups and downs, but mainly the former.

If you disagree with anything I’ve said, feel free to make a comment at the bottom of the page, and I’ll feel free to ignore it if I disagree with it.

Here’s Formula One from the point of view of a long-term fan, if not nerd. I hope you enjoy it.


It was an interesting race, but not overly thrilling in the middle. I like races that have a start, a middle and an end, and two our of three ain’t bad I suppose. The finish was particularly exciting, especially for a McLaren supporter. 

Rumours have it that Masi might be back in his old position for Miami. The suggestion being he’s filling in for various vacancies. Should be fun.

I know you all want to know what I think about the debacle that ended last season. If so, see below. At the moment, I want to forget it. My feeling is that Hamilton was hard done by, and by some margin, but it’s over. He’s got 7 WDCs, and that’s enough for anyone. It might well have robbed him of topping Schumacher’s total, but it is just a figure.

It’s over.

I’d love to see Merc and LH, not to mention Russell, at the front, challenging for the lead, but only because it would liven the race even more. Three cars, with six drivers, all wanting to stand on the top step. Who wouldn’t?


Leclerc didn’t so much dominate the Australian GP as crush the rest. A tremendous show of just how Ferrari have cracked the new regs. He had a lot in hand as well, as shown by his casual fastest laps, even his final one. This was presumably to ensure that Alonso’s rather pathetic, to my mind, attempt at fastest lap, despite being out of the top ten finishers so would not earn a point. It seems to be a sort of ‘it’s my ball and I’ll take it home when I want to’. No one cares, not even him, apart from the sense of being clever.

Other than the runaway winner, there was lots of excitement further back – further back starting at second.

Red Ball had problems. The car was ‘sensitive’ (something’s got to be in the RB pits) according to Perez, and Verstappen might have agreed as he locked up at least once. There appears to be an ‘issue’ in tight corners. Issue? Does he mean it’s slow?

The surprise of the race was the Mercedes pace. Third and fourth? Not only that, Hamilton was pressuring Perez before the safety car came out when Vettel’s car expired, allowing Russell to gain an advantage, which he grabbed with both hands.

While on the Aston driver, he had a dreadful weekend, even apologizing in an apologetic tone for an error that took him into the rough, although he regained the circuit. His tone seemed to say it all.

Verstappen and Perez were chewing up their tyres, their low-downforce setup not really suiting the race. The former’s engine fire was a shame as then end of the race, with rapidly failing tyres, might have been fun. As it was, there was no way he’d be able to challenge for the lead.

The most riveting drive has to be from Albon. It was a steady, and rather forgettable race up until the closing stages. It was clear to everyone that the Williams tactics of running the hards for so long would put him near the back of the field, and what’s more, so far back as to be near his teammate, who had a full-length race for once. At ten laps to go, it was cut and dried. He was nowhere. Even at five laps left, it still looked an impossible call. One point, this early in the season, is a sort of victory for the team and the I didn’t see that one coming award goes jointly to him and Williams.

Cover of Bothe Sides of the Force

I write books. I’ve written two on my time in the police service. Both are well-reviewed on Kindle. Also available on PDF. Click the box to the right.

Or perhaps books on TVR. Or the Rover V8. Then there’s the Mercedes SLK. Maybe even Rugby Union.

Most can be bought in the Kindle store or via the well-respected and secure Ecwid Store system. 


A remarkable race, with four Mercedes-engined cars in the top six places. I was pleased for Russell, but I would like to put one thing straight: ‘things’, such as gaining an advantage with safety cars, do not necessarily even out over the season.

If driver 1 gains an advantage over driver 2, the odds of it being reversed at the next pace car are exactly the same as before. In other words, it’s always that same odds. If you toss a coin and get four heads in a row – not that unusual, try it yourself – the odds of getting heads at the next toss are still 50:50.

A third race that has proved exciting, with surprises and shocks. Ferrari must be well chuffed, at least with their lead driver. Red Bull appear to have dropped the ball, and Merc probably can’t believe their luck. They are all but 40 points behind Ferrari but, even with a dreadfully handling car, are 10 points from RB, ‘My’ team, McLaren, is ‘best of the rest’, albeit with half the points of RB, which has only managed half the possible finishes.

Who would have predicted that?


The Saudi GP was incident-filled and exciting. It left questions unanswered. It showed Merc are nowhere, with McLaren behind them. It’s topsy-turvy still.

The start was thrilling. Thank goodness we have a commentator on Sky to show us all how exciting it is by shouting.

Ocon, well-known for incidents with teammates, has learned little in his racing life it seems. He put his teammate at risk in their little battle, then was passed by Alonso, only to regain the place when his teammate’s car expired. He’s upset Alonso. I think there’s more to come.

Latifi did what he does well: no, not crash, but alter the leadership. It’s the only way he can. Fourth time in three races. How much is this costing Williams?

As for awards, there were lots of radio messages of note. We had the Ferrari message to Leclerc, telling him to pit. In case Red Bull didn’t understand the implications, they added, ‘in order to overtake’. Red Bull fell for it maybe. Mind you, they must have expected Leclerc to do the opposite, and given the safety car for the first of the Williams to expire, it was by no means certain the undercut would not work.

Or there was Verstappen’s rather odd, ‘It’s not fair’ plea at the end of a race he won. I’ve no idea what he meant by that, so no award.

On the other hand, Hamilton’s comment on 10th place, ‘Is there even a point for tenth?’ was not so much a bewildering lack of knowledge of the scoring system but more exasperation at the pathos of all the effort he put in, fighting the car and pace cars, for just the single tick. So RMoN goes to him. It might be some time before he gets another award from anywhere.

Great race. That’s two out of two. More please. Could the Aussie race confound history and be another corker?


Bahrain was a fabulous race, with a fight at the front, lots of little battles down the field, and some surprising developments on the car front. The highlight was the Leclerk/Verstappen battle than went on for a number of thrilling laps. One wonders how long their ‘close friendship’ will continues. Suggestion in the comments at the bottom.

The most surprising thing for me was the poor performance of the Mercedes-engined cars, in particular the McLaren given that I’m a fan, and of course the Mercedes cars in the hands of Russell and, especially, Hamilton. I think you can read too much into the first race of the season, but that’s no reason why you shouldn’t.

Received wisdom is that for the Mercedes, their aero has let them down, one up and down the back, and that this will take some sorting. It could be any number of poorly designed features, and probably more than one. The rear suspension looks a bit iffy to me. The engine is also down on power, most people blaming the E10 fuel.

I’m no big fan of Ferrari, but it’s good to see them at the front. Leclerc and Sainz seem very pleasant and, what makes me sympathetic to them, they seem to enjoy racing. They did well.

Red Bull suffered a catastrophe, perhaps not quite as big as Mercedes did in the final race of 2021, but still remarkable. I’ve been following F1 for 53 seasons and one of the eternal truths I have worked out is that if both team cars expire near the end of the race, 80% of the time it is through lack of fuel, and 20% of the time the team manager lies in order to cover their error.

In this case, who knows?

The HAAS result must have been one of the most popular with unaligned fans. The comments of team boss Guenter Steiner are always worth listening to and his enthusiasm drips from every word.

An exciting and interesting race.

I write books. I’ve written two on my time in the police service. Both are well-reviewed on Kindle. Also available on PDF. Click the box to the right.

Or perhaps books on TVR. Or the Rover V8. Then there’s the Mercedes SLK. Maybe even Rugby Union.

Most can be bought in the Kindle store or via the well-respected and secure Ecwid Store system. 


Cover of Bothe Sides of the Force

The Writewheel Awards

I like the way movie awards are decided, with specific specialities being picked out for praise despite no one really caring one way or the other. So rather than go down the old-fashioned route of 1 to 10 for the way drivers and teams performed, I’m going to award points for particular endeavours. As with mathematics exams, I’ll give my working.

I might have gone for the SES, Synchronised Exit Strategy of the two Red Bulls, had it not been for the fact that so many others have done it better. Hakkinen and Coulthard in Australia sticks in my mind. There was Rosberg and Webber – we’ll hear more of those two later – in Brazil, Leclerc and Vettel – another serial offender – then Ocon and Perez, who attacked one-another over two seasons. The Red Bulls of Verstappen and Ricciardo hit one another at Azerbaijan, the same cars collided again in Turkey 2010, this time at the hands of Webber and Vettel – remember them – and Rosberg again, this time into Hamilton in Mercs in Spain, and then Prost and Senna coming together like well-practised lovers so many times. So many others, so no award for SES.

There’s the LB award, where a Lucky Driver inherits a position through little action of his own. Hamilton is in line for that one, but then he put an ill-handling Merc into fifth place, so a lot of effort there on his behalf. Similarly, the same award could go for any of those who gained positions.

The FGF, Feel Good Factor, Award was well-earned by Magnussen, who arrived at the race after some of the spectators, and put on a real show for us.

I struggled with this video. I’m not sure I won. The original method his the problem of GPU throwing a wobbly and throwing me out. I put in some extra cooling, and it was successful in that I was thrown out a fair bit later. This video is a bit of a hotch-potch I’m afraid, and, in fact, I wasn’t going to publish it. But the thought of all those hours wasted convinced me otherwise. On the other hand, it’s a baseline. Over the coming months you might well be able to follow my improvements with 3D.

The first speech by the new head of the FIA was a chance to show the world, or at least that part of it that views the sport, that they have their priorities settled and that the sport will continue into the 2020s with vigour and and intent to increase the specatacle. D’you know, somehow, I think the lad missed his target. In fact, he shot the FIA in the foot.

I’m not impressed. That said, he’s only sounded off. Perhaps Liberty can alter his view. I mean, he seems to think he’s in charge.

My view of Masi’s decision at the end of the Saudi GP.

It was clear that Masi knew the rules as his first thought was to comply with them, hence the phone call to Horner. There are arguments for the decision to finish the race under racing conditions. However, why let the cars between Hamilton and Verstappen through? Vertappen had put himself in that position, so it was unfair on Hamilton to remove the effects of that decision. It was also unfair to put a car on new softs against one on worn hards. It doesn’t take an awful lot of working out. 

I would agree that Hamilton, with 7 WDCs, is probably not going to miss one more. But is that the point? Teams invest millions into F1. Their professionalism is apparent in everything they do. I would suggest, given the profits available to the owners of F1, they are entitled to a degree of professionalism in return. Merc didn’t get it.

It’s a shame the season ended on such a controversial note. 

I would suggest shame is something the FIA should feel after this debacle. 

This video was published before the final race of the season. It came after Masi’s interventions in the Saudi GP. It should be self-explanatory.

The first of what I hope will be an entertaining series of videos and comments on F1 racing.

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