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March 23, 2016 @ 2:00 am

Australia 2016

Fresh off the back of the opening round of the 2016 Formula One championship, the Pitpass trio of Chris Balfe, Mat Coch and Max Noble are back in the studio.

It was a weekend which provided the team with plenty to talk about, from the weather to tyre rules, qualifying to safety structures.

One of the key talking points was the all-new qualifying format, which was universally panned not only by the Pitpass crew but those within the Formula One paddock. The drama, the anticipation and the hero lap were all missing, Balfe, Noble and Coch agree. Instead it's replaced with a confusing system that lends itself to over-exciting commentators yelling their way through the broadcast before realising just how silly it all is.

Predictably, Fernando Alonso's crash was discussed at length with both positive and negative outcomes as a result. While pleased to see the Spaniard walk away there were concerns over how easily the crash happened, and how fortunate it was not to have been bigger. That naturally sees the conversation turn to the revised head protection the sport is looking to introduce as the trio analyse whether a halo-style devise would have helped or hindered Alonso.

There are positive words for Haas and Ferrari, and a collective sigh of relief that Mercedes hasn't run away with it - yet - as was feared it might. There's even a special mention for Sebastian Vettel's sense of humour following the banter with former team-mate Mark Webber on the podium post-race.
March 13, 2016 @ 8:32 am

2016 Season Preview

After a long winter, the  Pitpass trio of Chris Balfe, Mat Coch and Max Noble are back to preview the opening round of the 2016 Formula One season.

The first Pitpass podcast of the year looks back at pre-season testing as the crew share their thoughts on the state of affairs within the sport and look forward to the Australian Grand Prix.

For Balfe, testing presented a worrying state of affairs as the status quo from last year looks to have remained. Mercedes' bullet-proof reliability has him most concerned, though there are hopes others have caught up to make a truly competitive season for all.

There are hopes from Noble that Fernando Alonso will need directions to the podium at some point this season as a reinvigorated McLaren challenges in the midfield, a battle Coch is hoping proves as close as it looks.

However there is universal concern over the all-new qualifying format which sees drivers eliminated every ninety seconds. The complicated new system is of course just one of two revisions designed with the express purpose of alienating and confusing fans as tyre regulations also get an overhaul. Though details of the new tyre rules have been published everybody in the Pitpass office now boasts a bald patch where they've been scratching their heads.

Ferrari's debut of the proposed halo system, designed to give drivers better protection, also gets a mention as do ways for the sport to better connect with fans. It's a topic of conversation that sends Balfe off on a rose-tinted stroll down memory lane as he recalls Jim Clark's overalls, Chris Amon's affinity for ice cream and Ronnie Petersen's underpants.

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