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Dear Readers,

With the new season fast-approaching, it is time to do a little Spring cleaning. This blog has been the same for years and the time has come to improve and move on. Don’t worry I am still going to be blogging away as always, but I am moving the whole thing to a new website. So if you have this WordPress site bookmarked, all you need to do is to change it to  www.joeblogsf1.com. I won’t be posting blog updates on this WordPress site any longer, but it will remain in place as an archive, should you wish to revisit old posts and comments, although the new site’s archive goes back 12 months.

Don’t worry, you will still be able to enjoy the same free content and I will continue to engage with my readers, although it will be through an all new comments section. Old comments will remain on this WordPress site, but the focus will switch to the new JoeBlogsF1.com site. Everyone who has previously signed up to receive e-mail or Twitter alerts, when I post a new article on the blog, will still receive them as usual. If you have not taken advantage of this free service you can do so on the new homepage. Simply look in the right-hand column, fill in your email address (please check it is correct) and click on the Subscribe button.

The new website is being managed for me by Motorsport Media Services (which publishes Motorsport Monday, of which some of you may know as I am a regular contributor). This will allow me to focus my time on blog content, the GP+ e-magazine, my weekly insider newsletter (click here to find out more), my Audience With Joe events, my podcasts and, hopefully, some more books in the not too distant future.

Please bookmark the new address while you think about it.

Joe Saward

The Canadian Grand Prix promised a little bit more than it delivered with Sebastian Vettel leading Valtteri Bottas from flag-to-flag and Max Verstappen staying in touch but never looking like he was going to challenge for victory. At the end of the race it was exciting as Max closed in on Valtteri and the two crossed the line 0.1secs apart (in other words, side by side) on the last lap. In fact it wasn’t the last lap because there was a cock-up in the race management and the celebrity flag waver was told by someone to wave the flag at the wrong point in the race – at the end of the 69th of 70 laps. This meant that the result was back-dated to the end of the 68th lap, as happens when races are stopped.

Daniel Ricciardo finished fourth, having jumped Lewis Hamilton at the pit stops early on. The World Champion had an unspecified glitch in his engine throughout the race and was happy to get home and take the points for fifth. An early Safety Car ruined the strategy of those who wanted to go fast and short on the softer tyres. There was also a question of fuel saving for Bottas, who let the gap to Verstappen close as he saved fuel at the end of the race. It was drab day for Kimi Raikkonen, who finished and undistinguished sixth, while the two Renaults were lapped in seventh and eighth. They were a little fortunate to get that as Esteban Ocon was ahead of both of them when the Frenchman was delayed in his pit stop with the rear jack being released too early. That was enough to drop him to ninth, while his friend and longtime rival Charles Leclerc, managed to get his Sauber up to 10th.

It was another poor day for McLaren and Williams with Alonso retiring with mechanical troubles and Vandoorne being delayed after a brush with Lance Stroll on the first lap, shortly before Stroll and Brendan Hartley had a sizeable collision, which caused the Safety Car.

– We talk to Zak Brown and Sergio Perez
– We look at what may happen with Alfa Romeo Sauber
– We ponder the F1 calendar for 2019
– We remember the F1 races at Mont Tremblant in 1968 and 1970
– DT enjoys visits to Mont Tremblant and the Musée Gilles Villeneuve in Berthierville
– JS ponders what Michael Andrett is up to with F1
– Peter Nygaard and his team capture the glitz and glamour of Monaco.

GP+ is the fastest F1 magazine in the world. It’s so fast, it’s almost real-time… But it is a magazine that tells you the full story, like racing magazines used to do. It is published in electronic form in PDF format, so you can read it on a laptop or a tablet.

Our reporters have access that will take you behind the scenes in the F1 paddock and explain what is really going on. And we don’ t hold back when we have an opinion about soemthing. There are plenty of fascinating stories from Grand Prix history as well, plus great photography. We don’t believe in fake news or waffle. This is old style reporting, giving you a blow-by-blow account of what happened, both in qualifying and in the race, so you have a proper record which can stay in your computer for years to come.

You get 23 issues for £34.99, covering the entire 2018 Formula 1 season.

For more information, go to https://www.grandprixplus.com.

If you are going to be in Montreal for the Canadian GP, why not have a night out with me… as a reader of this blog, you know that I have been around for a while in F1. I like to think that I have picked up a little about how the sport works and I have certainly known a lot of very interesting people.

I believe that it is important for F1 people to engage more with the fans and so for the few years I have been hosting a series of evenings in different F1 cities to allow fans to come along and ask questions about F1. This year I have brought down the price to make it more affordable for the fans. I limit the number of fans at each event so that everyone gets a chance to ask questions and I try to make the event as informal as possible. I have been known to have a few drinks in the course of the evening and that tends to loosen up the inhibitions when it comes to telling stories.

The event takes place on the Friday of the Grand Prix, from 7.00pm until 10.30pm. You have the chance to meet other F1 fans and to learn more about the sport from one of the pros who follows the sport everywhere. There is a buffet dinner halfway through the event – and you can drink as much or as little as you like at normal bar prices. If you are in the mood to party, there is music downstairs after the event is finished.

The Pub St Paul is located in the bustling old port area of the city and is easily accessible. It’s a great venue.

Joe’s 2018 Audience in Montreal will take place on Friday, June 8, upstairs at the Pub St Paul, 124 rue St-Paul Est, Vieux-Montréal, Québec H2Y 1G2.

To book tickets, click here

The Monaco Grand Prix of 2018 was a tense race, rather than being an absolute blockbuster. It was a tour de force by Daniel Ricciardo, who overcame engine glitches to hold off Sebastian Vettel for 78 laps around Monaco. The strategies of the main players were basically not very different, although some went longer on their first stints, notably Pierre Gasly (lap 37), Max Verstappen (lap 47) and Nico Hulkenberg (lap 50). Verstappen managed to claw his way up from the back of the grid to collect two points for ninth place, a neglible reward for a weekend when he ought to have gathered a haul of points, but for a shunt on Saturday morning, which ruined everything. For Ferrari and Mercedes it was very much a case of damage limitation and in that respect they were greatly helped by Max’s faux pas. If the Dutchman had given the team a 1-2, the rival teams would have taken a much bigger hit. While Vettel and Hamilton fought over the podium positions, behind them the two Finns: Valtteri Bottas and Kimi Raikkonen played second fiddles in fourth and fifth, while Esteban Ocon gave a virtuoso performance to finish sixth in his Force India, under pressure in the closing laps from Gasly, Hulkenberg and Verstappen. The final point went to Carlos Sainz, who has a long way behind by the end. McLaren’s hopes for points were ruined by a mechanical failure for Fernando Alnso and a pit stop glitch for Stoffel Vandoorne. From around one-third distance it was clear that Ricciardo had problems and so there was plenty of tension until he finally crossed the line to win – and the high jinks began…

We talk to Charles Leclerc

We look at the future for Force India

We wonder whether Red Bull and Honda will be getting together soon

We remember the Monaco Grand Prix of 1968 when Dickie Attwood had his day in the spotlight

DT is fed up with Ferrari playing politics

JS loves telling stories about racing on The Riviera

And Peter Nygaard and his team capture the glitz and glamour of Monaco.

GP+ is the fastest F1 magazine in the world. It’s so fast, it’s almost real-time… But it is a magazine that tells you the full story, like racing magazines used to do. It is published in electronic form in PDF format, so you can read it on a laptop or a tablet.

Our reporters have access that will take you behind the scenes in the F1 paddock and explain what is really going on. And we don’t hold back when we have an opinion about soemthing. There are plenty of fascinating stories from Grand Prix history as well, plus great photography. We don’t believe in fake news or waffle. This is old style reporting, giving you a blow-by-blow account of what happened, both in qualifying and in the race, so you have a proper record which can stay in your computer for years to come.

You get 23 issues for £34.99, covering the entire 2018 Formula 1 season.

For more information, go to https://www.grandprixplus.com.

Racing teams are always looking for silver bullets to solve problems. Mercedes has been struggling to get comfortable with its 2018 car, while Ferrari and Red Bull have seemed more able to find performance. But, after the Spanish Grand Prix, in which Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas scored a solid 1-2 finish, to take the lead in the Constructors’ World Championship – with five Mercedes board members there to watch – Lewis said that he now feels he has got to a place where he is happy with the car. That’s bad news for his rivals.
The Spanish Grand Prix was an battle of strategy, with the teams juggling with tyres that were difficult to heat and compounds that were fairly similar. It was all about being on the right rubber at the right moment. Lewis did it perfectly, doing a one-stop race, starting on soft tyres and going to mediums on lap 25. Valtteri Bottas chose a similar strategy but pitted six laps earlier, in order to get ahead of Sebastian Vettel, who had managed to get ahead at the start. The German Ferrari star went for a two-stop race and after the second was down in fourth and unable to do anything. His team-mate Kimi Raikkonen went out with mechanical trouble. It was a bad day for Ferrari. Red Bull stepped in and Max Verstappen was a solid third, despite damage to his front wing after a collision with an errant Williams. Dan Ricciardo was a quiet fifth, never looking like a threat, while the rest of the field was lapped. The best of the rest was Kevin Magnussen for Haas, although his team-mate Romain Grosjean caused a significant crash at the second corner, picking a three-plce grid penalty for Monaco. This took out Nico Hulkenberg and Pierre Gasly. Magnussen drove a good race to led home Carlos Sainz’s Renault and Fernando Alonso’s McLaren, while Sergio Perez picked up points for Force India and Charles Leclerc showed well again for Sauber.
In GP+ this week, we talk to Fernando Alonso and Claire Williams.
We look at the Miami F1 project
We remember the mercurial Gunther Schmid, a team boss with a temper
DT explains why he was annoyed by Spain this year
JS explains how to catch team principals…
And Peter Nygaard records the event for posterity with his Nikons.
GP+ is the fastest F1 magazine in the world. It’s so fast, it’s almost real-time… But it is a magazine that tells you the full story, like racing magazines used to do. It is published in electronic form in PDF format, so you can read it on a laptop or a tablet.
Our reporters have access that will take you behind the scenes in the F1 paddock and explain what is really going on. And we don’t hold back when we have an opinion about soemthing. There are plenty of fascinating stories from Grand Prix history as well, plus great photography. We don’t believe in fake news or waffle. This is old style reporting, giving you a blow-by-blow account of what happened, both in qualifying and in the race, so you have a proper record which can stay in your computer for years to come.

You get 23 issues for £34.99, covering the entire 2018 Formula 1 season.
For more information, go to https://www.grandprixplus.com.

It’s a sunny day here in France and tomorrow I will set off before dawn to drive to Barcelona. It is about 650 miles, but I should get there in the middle of the afternoon in time for a wander around the F1 Paddock and a few chat to find out what’s going on. That’s the plan. It is one of the most enjoyable days of my year, heading to the first European F1 race – a sign that the spring has truly arrived (although it has been known to go through snow on the way). France is a spectacularly beautiful country, endlessly varied, and filled with surprises. I should probably take two days to do the journey and explore a little more, but time is always pressing. The weather forecast is good and I will go straight down the middle of France: by way of the Beauce plains, the forests of the Sologne, the Bourbonnais bocage in the Allier and then on to the volcanoes of the Puy de Dome, close to Clermont-Ferrand.
By mid-morning I will be climbing up the road they call la Méridienne into the Cantal and the Lozere, passing such things as Eiffel’s spectacular railway viaduct across the Truyere river, near Saint-Flour, and then the astonishing viaduct at Millau (one of the modern wonders of the world), in the Aveyron, just before lunch. The road is a spectacular piece of construction, running at over 2,500 ft most of the time, with large sections above 3,200 ft.
After the high plateau of Larzac, one dives down the Pas de l’Escalette, a pass that drops 1500 ft to the coastal plains of the Languedoc and a sunny drive along the coast to Perpignan before climbing again over the Pyrenees until I get to the gentle wooded hills of Catalonia.
So don’t expect much blogging tomorrow. Yes, I know, I’m living the dream, and I do appreciate the life I have. Everyone involved in Formula 1 is living a great life, even if we work and travel hard. The trouble with living the dream is that someone has to pay for it. Readers always assume that there is some omnipotent media mogul in the sky who pays the bills for me and everyone else. It does not work like that. A lot of the F1 media pay our own bills, which is quite eye-watering when added to the costs of normal life. A few folk have mentioned that my new books (the two volumes of Fascinating F1 Facts) are a little expensive. I accept that they are, but I look at it slightly differently. Every day thousands of F1 fans read this blog or listen to me podcasting (there is a new one by the way). It costs them nothing. Paying a little extra for a pair of books (which any F1 fan will enjoy) is a much better way to generate revenues rather than putting everything behind paywalls.
So, if you want to buy the books but think it is a little too expensive, think of it as a way of saying “thanks” for the content you get for nothing. If everyone who reads the blog and listens to the podcast bought the two books today (in my dreams), I would never need to worry about funding again. Ever. It is really is that dramatic… So, think about it, if nothing else. And if you think: “Yes, that’s a reasonable argument” then clink the link and guarantee that the blog, the green notebook, the podcast, the audiences and so on will go on until the day I drop off the perch.

The Azerbaijan Grand Prix was a real humdinger of a motor race, with twists and turns and shocks – and shunts, all of which went to prove that the show isn’t over until they wave the chequered flag. Victory went to Lewis Hamilton, but it was not a usual Lewis win, this was a lucky win, but he took it, just as Vettel took a lucky win in Australia. When it comes to fighting for titles, you take every point you can get. The good news for F1 was this was yet another great race, with Ferrari looking like a likley winner until Valtteri Bottas snuck away at the front, making his tyres last in an impressive fashion. He was in the running when the two Red Bulls wiped each other out in spectacular fashion and a Safety Car was scrambled. That gave Valtteri a free pit stop and suddenly he had victory inthe palm of his hand, if he could hold off Vettel, who was running behind him. At the restart Vettel made a huge move but it all went wrong and he went wide at the first corner. He avoided hitting the wall (just) but by the time he had scrambled back on track he was behind Bottas, Hamilton and Raikkonen. A lap later Bottas had a puncture and was out, leaving Lewis in charge, while Sergio Perez did a remarkable job to overtake Vettel and grab third. Further back Carlos Sainz was fifth ahead of the Sauber of Charles Leclerc, who drove an excellent race and Fernando Alonso who grabbed sixth on the last lap by forcing his way ahead of Lance Stroll’s Williams. The final points went to Stoffel Vandoorne and Brendon Hartley in the Toro Rosso.

– We look at the Dan Ricciardo’s exciting times
– Will Ferrari really quit Formula 1?
– We look at F1 in China
– We remember the first victory for a rear engined car in Formula 1, back in 1958
– JS argues that Formula 1 should happen in Paris
– DT reports on a brilliant idea in Azerbaijan
– Peter Nygaard snaps away merrily in a scenic city

GP+ is the fastest F1 magazine in the world. It’s so fast, it’s almost real-time. But it is a magazine that tells you the full story, like racing magazines used to do. Yet it is published in electronic form in PDF format, so you can read it on a laptop or a tablet. Our reporters are some of the most respected in the business and we take you behind the scenes in the F1 paddock and explain what is really going on. We have forthright opinions and we don’t care if we knock noses out of joint.

There are plenty of fascinating stories from Grand Prix history as well, plus great photography and old style reporting, giving you a blow-by-blow account of what happened, both in qualifying and in the race, so you have a proper record which can stay in your computer for years to come.

You get 23 issues for £34.99, covering the entire 2018 Formula 1 season.
For more information, go to https://www.grandprixplus.com

Daniel Ricciardo (Red Bull-Renault) on the podium with his shoe after the 2018 Chinese Grand Prix at the Shanghai International Circuit. Photo: Grand Prix Photo[/caption]The 2018 season is getting more and more exciting. In China it looked like Sebastian Vettel was in a very strong position until the pitstops when he was jumped by Valtteri Bottas in fine style. Then Bottas looked to be on his way to glory until the two Toro Rossos collided and a Safety Car was despatched. Red Bull reacted instantly. Mercedes did not. They could not have helped Bottas because he was past the pit entry before the Safety Car was declared, but if they had called in Lewis Hamilton (who was racing between the two Red Bulls), he might have become a challenger later in the race. Instead Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo suddenly burst into the game. Bottas and Vettel were on older rubber but had missed the chance to pit. Verstappen was too forceful (again) and ended up colliding with Vettel. Ricciardo was more measured and took the lead from Bottas with a glorious overtake on lap 45. It had been a great race, with great scraps down through the field.
– We look at the Toro Rosso’s success in Bahrain
– Fernando Alonso tells us what young racers need to know
– We report on the F1 Festival in Shanghai
– We remember John Miles
– JS hopes that F1 people will be sensible in their commercial dealings

– DT things that Shanghai could use a little less security
– Peter Nygaard paints pictures with pixels
GP+ is the fastest F1 magazine in the world. It’s so fast, it’s almost real-time… But it is a magazine that tells you the full story, like racing magazines used to do. Yet it is published in electronic form in PDF format, so you can read it on a laptop or a tablet. Our reporters are some of the most respected in the business and we take you behind the scenes in the F1 paddock and explain what is really going on. We have forthright opinions and we don’t care if we knock noses out of joint.
There are plenty of fascinating stories from Grand Prix history as well, plus great photography and old style reporting, giving you a blow-by-blow account of what happened, both in qualifying and in the race, so you have a proper record which can stay in your computer for years to come.
You get 23 issues for £34.99, covering the entire 2018 Formula 1 season.
For more information, go to https://www.grandprixplus.com.