March 17, 2017 @ 11:50 am
As teams and drivers pack their bags ready for the flight to Melbourne, the Pitpass team jumped into the studio for the first podcast of the 2017 Formula 1 season.
Its' like getting the band back together as the trio of Chris Balfe, Max Noble and Mat Coch once again run their eye over the state of play and conclude that the only certainty in the year ahead is that McLaren is in for a world of pain.
After a pre-season testing which could be politely described as 'difficult', Balfe in particular holds great fears, and goes so far as to propose a radical approach to what is now a three year old problem.
McLaren wasn't the only target in his sights though, as the now infamous F1 Live Timing app draws Balfe's ire, who was particularly bemused when he seemingly caught the team behind the program out for a cheeky long lunch one afternoon.
It's a black mark on Liberty Media's early involvement too, the company which now owns the sport which is reputedly trying to open up the sport more to an online audience.
It begs the question; is Liberty Media really interested in improving the sport, or just after its cash? It's a question Noble poses as he ponders two different approaches the new owners could take in the way it chooses to market the sport.
There is though an opportunity, he suggests, and a way to recreate the sort of razzamatazz the sport hasn't had since Flavio Briatore was flying around the world with beautiful women (or so the story goes).
Balfe agrees, suggesting there's no sense of occasion at a time when the sport should be working itself into a lather as it builds the anticipation among fans.
The problem of course is the best way to do that is to have the teams working together, which as the team discusses is about as easy as herding cats, or choreographing the Superbowl halftime show.
That's also a bone of contention with the suggestion Liberty Media wants to transform the sport into an American style spectacle, but that isn't what's at the sport's heart the team argues with Balfe in particular suggesting the marketing arm of the sport has lost its way.