F1: Beyond The Grid

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Episodes of F1

Mark All
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When Hesketh Racing burst onto the F1 grid in the 1970s, they took everyone by surprise. They appeared to be playboys, having fun on and off track. But away from the yachts and the parties, was a small, well-organised group of passionate racers who were determined to win. With James Hunt at the wheel, they did. Lord Alexander Hesketh, who bankrolled and ran the team, tells Tom Clarkson how he ‘accidentally’ got into motor racing, rose to the top, and challenged the old guard of Ferrari, Lotus and McLaren. Lord Hesketh explains the unique quality behind his team’s success and reputation, what made James Hunt a great driver, and why F1 will never see a team like his ever again.
He joined Benetton in the late 1980s as a bottom-rung mechanic and he’s been with the team ever since, as it morphed into Renault then Lotus and now back to Renault. Alan Permane, Renault’s Sporting Director, has seen and done it all in his time at the Enstone factory. He was Michael Schumacher’s mechanic, Giancarlo Fisichella’s race engineer, and he stepped up to lead the team after the Crashgate scandal. He also had an expletive-filled team radio exchange with Kimi Raikkonen in India. Alan reveals the secrets of Renault’s success in the mid-2000s, and how they’re planning to take on Mercedes with Fernando Alonso in 2022.
Jochen Mass’ F1 career began with a bang and ended more than a decade later in a fiery crash. In the 1970s he shared podiums with the likes of Lauda, Hunt, Fittipaldi and Scheckter. His talent deserved more than a single victory, which came on a dark day in Spain in 1975. Tragedy struck again in 1982, when Jochen played a blameless part in the crash which killed the legendary Gilles Villeneuve. Tom Clarkson uncovers the twists and turns of Jochen’s time in F1: the near-victories, cars, bosses and teammates which shaped his character. Jochen is certainly not afraid to speak his mind – a quality he put to very good use in later years when advising his Mercedes sportscar team mate, a young Michael Schumacher.
Many of you will remember Eric Boullier as Team Principal at Renault and Lotus before he became the Racing Director of McLaren. He resigned from that role in 2018 before switching camps to Paul Ricard, where he is now managing director of the French Grand Prix. On this week’s show, Tom probes Eric about his life in the sport, from the challenge of managing Kimi Raikkonen to dealing with the aftermath of Robert Kubica’s accident. There’s also time to chat about McLaren and the drivers he worked with there – Button, Alonso and Vandoorne – plus Eric brings us up to speed on all things French GP…
This week’s guest has led more the 700 laps in F1 – but you may never have heard of him. That’s because Bernd Maylander is the Safety Car driver, and has been for the last 20 years. When the weather is bad or there’s a serious incident, Bernd takes to the track to lead the field around at a safe speed – not fast by F1 standards, but still seriously quick. On this week’s show he gives us the inside line on his job, revealing who is the most aggressive behind the Safety Car, the worst conditions he’s ever driven in, how he feels about Lewis Hamilton always giving him the hurry up, and what happened with that massive re-start pile-up in Mugello recently…
He’s a workaholic, whose team is about to win a record seventh consecutive constructors’ championship. Yet his desire for more trophies remains all-consuming. This week we welcome back Mercedes boss Toto Wolff for an intimate and relaxed chat at his home in Oxford. Topics up for discussion include his future, how Niki Lauda remains a big influence in his life, the realities of the Rosberg/Hamilton relationship (and why it makes a future Hamilton/Verstappen duo unlikely), how his relationship with Hamilton has evolved, and why records mean nothing to him...
Chase Carey has been CEO and Executive Chairman of Formula 1 for the last four years, and it’s fair to say he’s been busy in that time. New rules – including F1’s first ever budget cap - have been crafted, a new governance structure has been negotiated, and new races have joined the calendar – and that’s before you consider having to navigate through a global pandemic. On this week’s show – the 100th episode proper – Chase discusses all of the above, as well as discussing Stefano Domenicali’s impending arrival and what he learned from working alongside Rupert Murdoch…
He’s a four-time world champion and racing icon, yet Sebastian Vettel’s fiercely private nature means we don’t know as much about him as we do many of his rivals, whose lives are plastered all over social media. On this week’s show, we get to know the German racer a little better, discovering how his attitude to F1 has shifted over his 250 Grand Prix starts, finding out how he likes to spend his time away from the track, getting his thoughts on leaving Ferrari and joining Aston Martin, and learning his views on risk, happiness, the environment, parenthood and much more…
A sponsorship guru for more than 20 years, Zak Brown landed his dream job in 2016 when he became executive director, and later CEO, of McLaren – the team he’d supported as an F1-mad kid in California. On this week’s show, Brown discusses how he’s guiding McLaren back to the front of the grid and why he made the moves he has in the driver market. He also gives us the lowdown on his own racing career, including going toe-to-toe with the likes of Juan Pablo Montoya in F3, discusses his epic F1 car collection, and reveals the mind-blowing amount of sponsorship cash he’s brought into F1…
In the second of our special episodes chronicling what it’s like to drive for Scuderia Ferrari, F1’s most storied team, we fast forward into the modern era, to hear what it’s like to race for the Prancing Horse without founder Enzo at the helm. There are superb stories from Nigel Mansell and Alain Prost, who guided the Maranello team into the Nineties, plus eye-opening insight from fan favourite Rubens Barrichello and current drivers Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc too.
They’re the most storied team in Formula 1 history, the one that’s been around the longest, the one with the most wins and championships, the one that generates the most headlines, and definitely the one with the most mystique. But what’s it like to drive for the biggest F1 team on the planet, Scuderia Ferrari? In the first of two special episodes, we speak to those who have been there and done it, with our focus in part one on those who drove for the Prancing Horse under legendary founder Enzo Ferrari. So get ready for stories from four Ferrari race winners: Mario Andretti, Jody Scheckter, Tony Brooks and Gerhard Berger…
Think you know Antonio Giovinazzi? Think again. Most of you will know that he’s an Alfa Romeo driver. You might also know he’s the only Italian driver on the grid – the first since 2011. But what else do you know about him? On this week’s show we get to know Kimi Raikkonen’s lion-maned team mate a little better, finding out about his unique path to F1 via a stint in China, the inside line on his sudden F1 call-up in 2017, the inner workings of his relationship with Ferrari, and why he owes his career to a certain fried chicken chain…
September 5th marks the 50th anniversary of Jochen Rindt’s death, during practice for the 1970 Italian Grand Prix. He’d go on to be crowned F1’s first – and thankfully only -  posthumous world champion – but his legacy is much more than that.On this very special episode, we look back on Rindt’s rebellious upbringing and racing origins with friend and current Red Bull motorsport advisor Helmut Marko, reminisce on wheel-to-wheel battles and his tragic accident with Sir Jackie Stewart, and see the funny side of the Austrian with former manager and business advisor Bernie Ecclestone. 
This week’s guest is one of the grid’s most influential people. In fact, he’s arguably one of the most influential people in F1 ever. Since the dawn of the turbo-hybrid era in 2014, Mercedes engines have won 80% of all Grands Prix, and the man overseeing that success is Andy Cowell, Engineering and Programme Director of Mercedes High Performance Powertrains since 2008. Listen as he discusses how the all-conquering engine was created, why failures drive motivation more than success, what makes Lewis Hamilton such a good development driver, and how engine development has changed beyond all imagination in the 30 years he’s been in the job...
Many of you may not have heard of this week’s guest. To give him his official title he’s John Crichton-Stuart, the 7th Marquess of Bute – though fans familiar with F1 in the 1980s will know him as Johnny Dumfries, one-time team mate of the great Ayrton Senna at Lotus. A descendant of legendary King of Scotland Robert the Bruce, Johnny was far from your average F1 driver – though if you think his connections made his route to the top easy, think again. He worked numerous jobs before entering Grand Prix racing  - including as a painter and decorator! On this week’s show he opens up about his unique career, with stories on Senna, Enzo Ferrari, winning Le Mans and being employed by Frank Williams as a van driver…
He may not have been Team Principal at Alfa Romeo that long – having taken the reins in July 2017 – but Fred Vasseur has had a huge influence on F1 for many years, having guided the likes of Lewis Hamilton, Charles Leclerc, Sebastian Vettel, Valtteri Bottas and Nico Hulkenberg into Grand Prix racing via his junior team, ART. On this week’s pod, the Frenchman tells us how he plans to get Alfa Romeo back on track, discusses Kimi Raikkonen’s future, takes us back to his days house-sharing with Mercedes boss Toto Wolff, and delivers some brilliant anecdotes about today’s superstars before they became household names…
No American has started more Grands Prix than Eddie Cheever, the Phoenix-born, Rome raised racer, who took nine excellent podium finishes in the 1980s. In his long stay at the pinnacle of motor sport Cheever drove for eight teams (including Renault, Ligier, Tyrrell and Alfa Romeo), experiencing the highs of reaching the rostrum and the lows of losing fellow drivers. What’s more remarkable is that he achieved all this after walking away from a Ferrari test contract, so determined was he as a youngster to make it - right away - in the sport he loved. On this week’s show he discusses all of the above, plus his lifelong admiration of his former boss, McLaren legend Ron Dennis, his admiration of team mates Alain Prost and Derek Warwick, the loss of Gilles Villeneuve, and his post-F1 success at the Indy 500… 
This week we welcome one of the bright young stars of Formula 1 to the show: Williams driver George Russell. The British racer has been making waves this season, dragging his car far higher up the grid than many thought possible, and giving us a glimpse of the talent that made Mercedes sign him as a young driver. So listen in for some great stories as he describes the unusual way he approached Silver Arrows boss Toto Wolff, how Alex Albon’s family used to cook him dinner, why he’s flattered by comparisons to Williams greats, and much more…
This week’s guest is a man many of you may not have heard of. But Willy T Ribbs’ story needs to be heard. In 1985 Ribbs became the first black man to drive an F1 car, when he tested for Bernie Ecclestone’s Brabham team. But despite that milestone moment, he’d never crack F1 full-time, returning instead to his native US to pursue his racing dreams against an undercurrent of racism and discrimination. Those who opposed him called him ‘Uppity’- a term Willy would wear as a badge of honour as he fought for inclusion, and the also the name of the fantastic recent documentary about his life. Listen as Willy discusses racism, diversity and inclusion in motor sport, his friendship with and admiration of Lewis Hamilton, the advice he was given by Muhammed Ali, and much more…
Fernando Alonso is back! Well, almost. In 2021 the Spaniard will return to the F1 grid with Renault, the team with which he won two world titles in 2005 and 2006. On this week’s show, the man who engineered him to those championships – Formula 1’s current Chief Technical Officer Pat Symonds – gives us the inside line on all things Alonso. With fantastic anecdotes, Symonds discusses what made Alonso such a great racer in the past, his areas of weakness, the things he’ll have learnt away from F1, and just why he thinks the 32-time Grand Prix winner will succeed again.
As the FIA’s Race Director and Safety Delegate, Michael Masi’s job is to run F1 races – to keep an eye on everything that happens on track, and plenty of stuff off it too – including running driver briefings and dealing with protests. On this week’s show the Australian gives TC the inside line on one of the most interesting and pressurized roles in F1, discussing – amongst other things – his interpretation of the ‘let them race’ philosophy, his re-introduction of the black and white ‘warning’ flag, and what it’s like trying to fill the boots of his late mentor Charlie Whiting.
Winning in F1 is incredibly hard - giving up a certain victory is even harder. Many people will remember Mika Salo from his time as a super sub for Ferrari, when Michael Schumacher broke his leg in 1999. Racing alongside title contender Eddie Irvine, Salo starred, most memorably in Germany where he was faster than his team mate, but asked to move over while leading. That was just one of the topics on the list when TC sat down with the Finn, who also frankly discussed his stints with Toyota, Lotus and BAR, his secret trip to Ferrari HQ, his life as an FIA driver steward, plus – of all things – racing with a hole in his lungs... 
This week we welcome blonde-haired 80s Super Swede Stefan Johansson onto the show. Stefan was a 12-time podium finisher, and he would have been a race winner too were it not for team orders or Lady Luck intervening. A terrific raconteur, Stefan regales Tom with some incredible stories from his career, including fascinating insight into what made Alain Prost so good, his heartbreaking near miss at Imola ’85, his barely conceivable weekend to forget in Austria in 1987, and much, much more…
Alex Zanardi only raced in F1 41 times, never finishing higher than sixth. But for millions of fans around the world, he remains both a hero and an inspiration. A dazzling racer, who only really showed his true talent in IndyCars, Zanardi’s career story took an unexpected turn in 2001 when he was gravely injured in a Champ Car race and had both legs amputated. But remarkably, Zanardi would battle back. Battle back to race again at the top level in touring cars, but perhaps even more remarkably, battle to the top of the Olympic rostrum, having taken up and then completely dominated in paracycling. On this week’s show, he tells the full, incredible tale… 
Riccardo Patrese’s career began in the era of Hunt, Lauda and Andretti and ended 256 races later in the era of Senna and Schumacher, by which time he’d become the most successful Italian racer since double world champion Alberto Ascari. On this week’s show he talks us through that incredible 17-season career – the team mates, the rivals, the cars, the victories. Expert wonderful anecdotes on that famous Monaco win in 1982 (the race nobody wanted to win!), the time he was pranked by Nelson Piquet, the inside story on his falling out with James Hunt, and much more.
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Podcast Details

Created by
Audioboom
Podcast Status
Active
Started
Nov 25th, 2020
Latest Episode
Nov 25th, 2020
Release Period
Weekly
Episodes
113
Avg. Episode Length
About 1 hour
Explicit
No
Order
Episodic
Language
English

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