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April 12, 2017 @ 7:20 am

China 2017

The Pitpass team is back to discuss the Chinese Grand Prix, picking apart the key moments from the weekend.

From the weather to Fernando Alonso and simplified front wings, Chris Balfe, Max Noble and Mat Coch once again cover a huge amount of ground as the reflect on the second round of the 2017 Formula 1 world championship.

The weekend in Shanghai provided a number of talking points, and perhaps just the merest of glimpses at the order after an Australian Grand Prix that gave little away. The weather conditions in China meant the weekend was difficult to read, but there were some important lessons the team picked out.

Among them was the fate of Formula 1 in the region, with Malaysia having announced the 2017 race will be its last Grand Prix. With talk that Singapore could follow suit and the demise of Korea in recent years, there are precious few events left in a region where a small following translates into a huge amount of support.

It's a notion which is in short supply, with Sergio Marchionne suggesting Kimi Raikkonen needs a kick in the pants following a weekend where he didn't get on the podium. It's a rich statement given Ferrari dropped the ball strategically, and gets the Pitpass crew wondering if the Italian meant what he said, or whether they were comments designed to apply pressure to the Finn - and let's not forget, the team's last world champion.

That could all change this year, and a competitive showing from Sebastian Vettel wasn't missed, nor was the fact he is joint championship leader with Lewis Hamilton, while Ferrari is only a point adrift at the top of the standings. Yes, it's an optimistic bunch that gathered in the wake of the Chinese Grand Prix, and while all may not yet have been forgiven after Australia, there are enough positive signs to keep the guys enthused.

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April 5, 2017 @ 7:14 am

Australia 2017

The 2017 Formula 1 season has begun, with victory for Sebastian Vettel (spoiler!) over Lewis Hamilton in Australia. Together to discuss all the important events of the weekend, the Pitpass trio of Chris Balfe, Mat Coch and Max Noble jump in the studio to do what they do best.

Strangely, Vettel's drive to victory barely gets a mention. Not for that matter does Hamilton's battle with Max Verstappen. Even Daniel Ricciardo's weekend, as if a pair of week old socks, only gets aired briefly at the very end. Instead what got the guys excited about the Australian Grand Prix was the glimpse it gave us into the shape Formula 1 will take in 2017 and, if Coch is to believed, until 2019 at the earliest.

The big question is; do the guys like what they saw? There wasn't a lot of passing, but there never is in Melbourne, though that in itself leaves the team trying to work out if that made the race good or bad.

The other big question of the weekend was always going to be how much faster are these aggressive new cars? We were promised lots, but there are compelling arguments to suggest they've no delivered on that front.

There are a few other fronts Noble suggests the sport's new owners, Liberty Media, have also failed to deliver in what really was their first real day on the job.

What has the guys really worked up though is what's bubbling away behind the scenes; the talk and posturing from the sports players and rule makers, and the path that is leading it all down. Has Liberty Media transformed the sport, and we sit on the precipice of a new golden era for Formula 1, or, like the chippie up the road, is it just the same business under new management?

 

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