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Image credit: Rob Wilkinson / AiM / APEX Pro / Garmin
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These lap timers will help you become a better track driver

Attending track days is one of the most fun and fulfilling ways to express one’s automotive enthusiasm. What’s not to love? You’re in a safe and controlled environment where you can drive at way higher speeds than pretty much any other place on paved earth. This enables ample opportunity to truly enjoy what your car was designed and/or modified for, sharpen your driving skills, and even become a safer motorist along the way.

Then, there’s the bit about track driving that’s even more fun, and incredibly addictive: Setting and gradually dropping lap times. Changing your line, turning in earlier or later, refining your acceleration and braking; the process of setting and achieving goals to go faster is a fun one, and along with it comes a hearty sense of pride and accomplishment. It may not be the most financially healthy activity for car nuts, but hey, it sure beats hard drug use!

One tool that’s of massive help along the way by giving you all the information you need to go faster is a good GPS-based digital lap timer. 

Guidance from a qualified instructor is another top method, and certainly shouldn’t be overlooked as part of the learning experience. A lap timer that records data is a strong accompaniment—analyzing and digesting this data post-track session expedites the learning process and paints a very detailed picture of what it takes to get faster. Let’s go over three popular digital lap timers and discuss their various positives and negatives. We won’t rate them, but rather to help you figure out which is best for your budget and learning style.

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Image credit: Peter Nelson

For the most digestible data and video on the spot: Garmin Catalyst Driving Performance Optimizer

Garmin Catalyst lap timer
Image credit: Garmin

What’s hot?

  • Includes video
  • Simple, fool-proof setup
  • Very easy to digest data post-session
  • Logical software
  • Stays plugged into a 12v outlet or USB, so won’t lose power on track

What’s not?

  • Expensive
  • Doesn’t allow as deep of a dive into data as other systems
  • Requires earbuds or another improved hearing method

Kicking off this list is a comprehensive system by Garmin. I call it a system because using it requires a bit of setup time. Inside its fairly hefty box lives a bunch of wires, connectors, plugs, and various electronic doohickies, plus the sturdy Garmin tablet itself that’s the brain of the whole operation. Read the directions and allow ample time to properly piece it all together—don’t do it 10 minutes before you head out on track—and you’re golden. In fact, it’s a good idea to turn it on the night before, connect to Wi-Fi, and ensure all software is up-to-date.

Once the Catalyst is all set up and running, it’s so incredibly pleasant to use: Select the track you’re at, and it’ll automatically start and stop recording both lap times and video. While filming laps and displaying lap times, it has a delta timer that shows how much faster or slower you are compared to your best-recorded lap. It also utilizes its various sensors and GPS to record accurate data covering acceleration/deceleration, speed, your precise location on track, and so on.  Then, the footage it puts together includes a very handy data overlay for even easier data digestion, which you can review as soon as the session is over.

Image credit: Peter Nelson. Note the camera mounted to the center of the windshield, and the tablet attached via its suction cup high off to the side.

Post-session, pulling the tablet off its mount and tapping around to look at different laps, examine speed, acceleration/deceleration, and track position, as well as learning where opportunities to improve lie, is incredibly easy. It’s as easy as surfing the world-wide-web on an iPad. Plus, the layout/interface is incredibly logical, so it takes no time at all to get used to.

The Catalyst also makes suggestions on how to cut time, but does so based on your own performance—it’s not going to compare you to Lewis Hamilton. Then, by dividing the track up into different sectors, it puts together an optimal lap of all your best ones; think of it as essentially a Best Of compilation. It’s a fun challenge to try and replicate—or better yet, improve upon—this lap in a future session.

Here’s an example of what the recorded video looks like.

One downside is that its spoken instruction (that’s right, it’s got that too) is awfully quiet. The optional earbuds are a must if you’re on track with most track day organizations, as they require you to run with the windows down for safety reasons. These simple suggestions are definitely worth listening to as well. They include stuff like “brake later next lap,” “turn in earlier next lap,” and so on.

After discussing the Garmin Catalyst at length, with almost all positive remarks, here’s the catch: It’s an expensive system. It’s knocking on the door of one thousand American dollars, which isn’t exactly pocket change for most folks. In fact, that’s more than a set of good track tires in many common sizes. Though, for its ease-of-use, video, and coaching aspects, and easy data digestion, it could prove to be a very wise investment in your lapping education.

The OG for extra-deep data potential: AiM Sportline Solo 2 DL GPS Lap Timer and Dash Logger

Image credit: AiM

What’s hot?

  • The best display
  • Easy to fire up and start recording
  • Mid-tier price
  • Excellent application integration
  • Programmable lights

What’s not?

  • Potentially too much data for some folks
  • Expensive to integrate a camera
  • Slight learning curve, though all of the units in this list have that to some degree

The AiM Solo 2 DL is the oldest of the bunch, but that’s by no means a knock against it. This capable device has a lot going for it.

First and foremost is setting it up: it’s so easy to turn the DL on and begin recording once you’re underway on your warm-up lap. Like the Catalyst and APEX Pro, it utilizes GPS to figure out where you’re at and suggest which track you’d like to select from its massive database, which saves precious seconds while prepping to head out on track.

Also like the other two, its GPS is quite accurate: In my experience, all three record lap times that are within a hundredth of a second of any track’s conventional transponder-based timing system.

But where AiM’s product beats the others is its crystal-clear backlit screen: I consider it the easiest to quickly look at and understand, especially on very sunny days and other harsh lighting conditions. Not only that, but it also has a very clear delta timer. However, like the Catalyst’s, this feature can be hazardous at times, as it often motivates folks to really push braking zones and hang out on the ragged edge of the grip.

Image credit: Peter Nelson

Like the APEX Pro below (which I’ll get to shortly), the Solo 2 DL has a system of lights, but here you can program them to mean different things. For instance, the DL part of its name means data logger, specifically its ability to pull data from the OBD2 port and log it with the data it produces itself (G readings, location on track, etc.) You can program the lights to serve as a shift light, meaning it’s pulling this data from the ECU in real time—though, this requires some work with a PC and its desktop application to set up. They can also be programmed to convey predictive lap timing, though this function I’m not as familiar with.

Mounting up the Solo 2 DL is easy with a suction cup mount or a more permanent solution, though, like the Catalyst, there are some wires to run for OBD2 data integration. You can also choose to wire its power into a 12v circuit somewhere with the right wiring option. This is so you never have to worry about recharging, which is convenient for purpose-built track steeds.

Between the Catalyst, APEX Pro, and Solo 2 DL, only the latter two are able to pull and integrate vehicle OBD2 data. This means that folks who like to dig deep into this kind of stuff are better off with one of the two. 

And speaking of digging into data, AiM’s software makes for a very, very thorough experience. You can review sessions on your phone, but its full potential is best enjoyed with the brand’s desktop application. Seriously, you can spend hours and hours examining everything it produces.

For diving a little deeper into data: APEX Pro Gen II Lap Time Optimizer

Image credit: Apex Pro

What’s hot?

  • No wires means easy portability and setup
  • Convenient app-based program makes post-session review a snap
  • Much less expensive than other systems
  • Good battery life

What’s not?

  • Has a learning curve (though it isn’t steep)
  • Additions cost extra
  • Some folks might not like the system of lights

Where the Garmin Catalyst has a bunch of wires to run and a camera to set up, the Apex Pro Gen II is as easy as magnetically attaching a little box with lights to a glued-down post or suction cup mount. It’s also a good idea to keep your phone strapped down somehow, like with a quality Ram Mount.

No, really, it’s that simple, and a big part of the APEX Pro’s appeal. All you do is turn the unit on, open up your phone’s app and connect it, calibrate the unit’s position, and then hit “Drive.” It’s just a few taps and is as quick and easy to get used to as the Catalyst.

When the session’s done, you’ve got a list of laps on the APEX Pro app and a bunch of data. These include speed, track position, acceleration/deceleration G, and more, which help you see where you could improve, where you did well, and so on. It doesn’t make suggestions like the Catalyst, but the company has a lot of useful resources to help you figure out a good plan of attack for the next session. It also utilizes its GPS sensor to record your lap on a track map, which makes zeroing in on and analyzing certain sectors a cinch. Finally, having the ability to page through various graphs containing pertinent data points is very useful; once again, it takes a little bit of education to learn how to read these. My favorite is examining the lateral vs. longitudinal G scatter plot—it’s a simple x and y axis, so it’s easy to take a quick look to see how much of the lap you were on the edge of grip, and didn’t leave any G force on the table.

See that little thing on top of the dash? That’s it!

Instead of the APEX Pro giving you real-time verbal suggestions on track, it does so with a system of lights. These can indicate many things, from leaving speed on the table to being off the right line (especially in regards to your speed) and more. For example: All green lights: You’re golden. Almost all green lights: You’re doing well, but you’re leaving speed on the table. Once again, reading over the instructions is required.

Finally, you can export your data and analyze it even further in certain desktop applications, which is great for those who’d really like to get into the weeds with numbers and pinpoint where there’s time to shave.

One downside to the Apex Pro is it takes time to figure out its way of doing things. Though, once you’re there, you’ll have no problem quickly diving deep into analysis. Another is needing to purchase accessories or subscribe through your OS’ app store for more features. If you’d like to include OBD2 data (a super helpful data addition), you’ll have to buy the company’s dongle. If you’d like expanded features like recording via your phone’s camera, that’s an added subscription. Still, it’s a great overall system that’s quite comprehensive and easy to use, and quite a bit lower in price than the Garmin Catalyst.

Check out the lights in action!

Go forth and analyze

You can’t go wrong with any of the above digital lap timing units, it just comes down to your learning preference, what you want features-wise, and what your budget looks like. They’re all sturdily constructed, so you can toss ‘em around a bit like other track equipment. Though, I wouldn’t use any of them to chock your wheels in the paddock. Video is certainly a useful accompaniment, which the Catalyst does best as its camera is a default accessory to its function. The APEX Pro requires a subscription but does it well enough, and the AiM requires its expensive SmartyCam to put two and two together here.

I should point out that the Racelogic Performance Box Touch, Racelogic VBOX Sport, and RaceBox Performance Meter Box are also well-regarded options, but I don’t have any familiarity with them personally.

GRIDLIFE Laguna 2023
Image credit: Jeric Jaleco

Regardless of which option you go with, make sure you spend time reading through its instructions, do a little perusing through any applicable Facebook groups and/or forums, and ensure it’s set up properly before heading out on track. Then, head out there and enjoy setting and achieving all your lap time goals!

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These are the best deals to grab from the F1 store in their huge winter sale

With pre-season testing still in Sakhir a month away, now is an excellent time to stock up on gear for the new year. The official F1 Store is having a massive winter sale to make room for new merch and styles. There are over 500 items to grab with discounts of as much as 70% off. We pulled a few of our faves that would make an excellent fit for your 2024 F1 Sunday outfit. And don’t worry. Yes, everything is officially licensed.

1) Scuderia Ferrari Race MT7 Track Jacket

Image credit: F1 Store

A few things Ferrari does well is make merch people want. This jacket is sleek and chic, you’re sure to stand out in the classic red hue. Save 48% on this, and cross your fingers for a Charles podium. Lord Perceval hasn’t had a win since the 2022 Austrian Grand Prix, but this jacket could be a good luck charm.

2) Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 2022 Team Baseball Cap

Image credit: F1 Store

A classic black baseball hat never goes out of style, and neither does Sir Lewis Hamilton. It’s just $17 and will see you through the 2024 season, and possibly podiums for both George and Lewis. This cap is easily adjustable and made from 100% recycled polyester, so it’s breathable even in the hottest of climates.

3) Oracle Red Bull Racing 2023 New Era Beanie

Image credit: F1 Store

Winter just decided to start with lots of snow in many parts of the world, so it’s a good idea to cover your noggin. Red Bull is a winner, and so is this adorable $21 beanie. It’s a polyblend (so easy to clean) and designed by New Era.

4) McLaren USA Crew Sweatshirt

Image credit: F1 Store

The papaya is strong with this sweatshirt. I like the vintage college vibe of this one, and I also like that this has crossover appeal. Wear it for F1, Formula E, and IndyCar races. It’s a cotton blend, versatile, and a steal at 57% off.

5) Scuderia AlphaTauri Team T-Shirt

Image credit: F1 Store

RIP Alpha Tauri. This shirt is now a collector’s item as the rise of Visa CashApp Racing Bulls takes its place on the grid. If you think that is an awful rebrand, don’t worry. We do, too. I heard a girl once call Alpha Tauri ‘Sugar-Free’ Red Bull, and honestly, why they didn’t go that way is beyond me. But grab this unisex cotton tee for just $27, and still show your love for Danny and Yuki.

6) Formula 1 True Classics Crew Sweatshirt

Image credit: F1 Store

There are a few basic F1 merch items available in the sale, and I love the ones that are so subtle. This classic crewneck sweatshirt is a nod to the start of the sport in 1950. With clever racing stripes down the sides, this is a mod way to show you’re a motorhead too. It’s just $33.

7) Mercedes 2022 W13 E Performance No.44 – Lewis Hamilton 1:43 Model

Image credit: F1 Store

A few of these models from the last two seasons are on sale for just $7. These make great gifts and decorations for offices, living rooms, and bookshelves. If you got a Merc fanatic in your life, this would be a nice little present to surprise them with. It’s die-cast metal and plastic and a stunning representation of the actual million-dollar monster.

8) Michael Schumacher Legacy Classic Edition Poster

Image credit: F1 Store

We recently celebrated the legendary driver’s 55th birthday. Schumacher has no doubt left a huge mark on F1 and motorsports as a whole. This poster honors him and his supreme legacy. Printed on high-quality paper it was designed by Automobilist as a collab piece with the Keep Fighting Foundation. This is a brilliant piece of art for only $20.

9) Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant F1 2023 Official Team Cap

Image credit: F1 Store

Save $30 on this 100% recycled polyester, totally adjustable official team hat. I love this green color and think it looks so stunning in a crowd. As a Fernando lover, I couldn’t make a list and not recommend something that represents him. There are a few items from Fernando’s Kimoa brand on sale as well.

10) Williams Racing Off Track Sweatshirt

Image credit: F1 Store

I think Williams knows how to lean into quiet luxury. Must be a British thing. This year especially they have designed a great line that isn’t flashy. This 100% knitted polyester sweatshirt has zipper pockets and is $39.

11) Alfa Romeo 2023 Valterri Bottas Driver Cap

Image credit: F1 Store

Of course, I’m including my favorite driver on this list. While Alfa Romeo was sunset for Sauber, the historic Italian brand will still live on. I have one of these and absolutely love the Milano cross and snake boldly standing out. I’m going to miss this team a lot, but I’m also preparing my soul for this to be Valterri’s last year as well. Nothing official, my gut just feels like this is it. Save 49% on this and add it to your collection.

12) Oracle Red Bull Max Verstappen Zandvoort Special Edition Tee

Image credit: F1 Store

Are you a member of the Orange Army? What better way to celebrate another outstanding year for Verstappen than with a tee celebrating the Dutch lion’s home race win? I love the Max design on this cotton unisex shirt in that fetching neon shade. Save it for the Dutch GP, or wear it every Sunday as they play the national anthem we’ve all come to know so well.

13) Haas F1 Team – Miami 2023 Limited Edition Poster

Image credit: F1 Store

Haas isn’t the best team, let’s be honest. But making dope posters is one of the good things they do. I love this one from the Miami GP, where, if you’ll remember, Magnussen actually got points. While their house may be a little on fire, so are these designs. This is not currently on sale, but if you sign up for the newsletter, you will get 10% off, and it ships directly from the printer.

14) Kimi Leave Me Alone Crew Socks

Image credit: F1 Store

There’s no way I could make this list and not include my other favorite Finn. These cotton blend socks designed by West Coast Choppers immortalize one of Kimi’s best F1 moments. These are also a great way to communicate with loved ones when the race is on.

15) Pirelli Podium Cap

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This is not on sale either, but I highly recommend buying this on the site and not at the track, where it is double the price. This is an item I want to add to my hat arsenal, and I just love the way it looks. It’s one of those “if you know, you know” when you see one in the wild. It’s retro, which adds a little something. You don’t need to be a fan to rock this, but it doesn’t hurt

If you are interested in catching the Bahrain GP, it will be on Sunday, March 2 at 10 a.m. (EST) on ESPN in North America and, as always, on F1TV.

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how to watch formula e
Features

Formula E is back! Here’s how to watch it and what you need to know

Formula E is back this week with its tenth season. Where does the time go? It seems like just yesterday, Nelson Piquet Jr. was being crowned as the first champion, and Renault was dominating as Teams’ Champions. This is a really special type of racing in motorsports, and every year, it gets a little better. As an extremely competitive series, you will find yourself rooting for a favorite driver or team in no time. It is that exciting. Here is what you need to know to jump in and where to watch Formula E.

What is Formula E?

Image credit fiaformulae.com

Let me start off. You’ll be jarred by the sound at first. It’s like nothing you are used to from racing cars, but you’ll adapt quickly. Ok, we are past that. Formula E is the first fully and prominent electric racing series, with is unveiling to the world back in 2014. This top-level single-seater championship series has been net-zero from the start. Hitting street courses around the globe in cars from teams with very familiar names. We are now in the era of the Gen3 car; it’s faster, more powerful, lighter, and pushing the technology forward not just for racing but for EVs in the wild.

Much like other Formula series, the drivers who complete the set amount of laps in the fastest time win. The top ten drivers will score points per their position after a race is finished, with the winner being awarded 25 of them. Drivers can earn extra points through having the fastest single lap time as well, one point in the actual race and three points from qualifying.

What is most fascinating about this type of car and racing to me is that the drivers can recharge the battery through regenerative braking. With a powertrain at the front of the car, the Gen3 lets drivers get power from all four tires.

Attack Charge is a system only available at some races, where teams can use the charging stations to add more power to the battery. Last season was the first time they were ever allowed to do this when they pitted.

Were you curious about tires? I knew you were. They compete on a single tire type. Crazy, right? Formula E uses 80% less tires than other motorsports. The Hankook iON race tires are designed specifically to handle any and all conditions. And you guessed it, the tires are also developed with sustainability in mind, with plant-based materials (up to 30%), and completely recycled. Using only six to eight tires a weekend sure is different from other racing, where upwards of 80 tires may be used.

One of my favorite things about motorsports is watching the trickle-down of innovation, like how proper motorsports should be. The technology from the engines to the batteries to the tires used is being honed and tested for the eventual availability to the consumer market. Everyone benefits.

Who to know in Formula E

Image credit fiaformulae.com

Eleven teams and 22 drivers make up the garages and grid of Formula E with many familiar names. Nissan, McLaren, and Jaguar, we are certain you’ll find a team and driver to root for.

I’m obviously keeping an eye on former Champion Nyck de Vries as he returns to the series after a less-than-stellar run in Formula 1 with Alpha Tauri. He seems a good fit for Mahindra, and with a very seasoned driver, it will be interesting to see what they are able to do with him in the seat. I am a bit of a cheerleader for Nyck because I do think he was done a little dirty in how he was let go. But we roll on, and so does Nyck.

Last year’s champ, Jack Dennis, has American ties. He races for the one and only Andretti Autosport. Only one driver has been able to maintain their championship from the year before. Does Jack have the literal power to pull this off? Perhaps. With Michael Andretti at the helm, you can certainly understand how Jack became a champion and could be again. See, American teams can be successful, and this is in no way a dig at Gene Haas (nervous look).

Jehan Daruvala is the only rookie on the grid this year, but don’t think that is a disadvantage. He’s pretty pedigreed. If his name sounds familiar, that’s because he is the first and only Indian Formula 2 race winner. Daruvala also holds the honor of being only the second Indian driver to race in Formula E. He will be behind the wheel for Maserati after a full year as Mahindra’s reserve driver. Rookies have historically done well for Venturi/Maserati; Norman Nato, Lucas di Grassi, and Maximilian Guenther all had wins in their first seasons. Maybe there is little magic there.

Now, you know me, and I love a veteran. I’m rooting for Antonio Felix da Costa. He’s participated in every season, is a former Formula E Champion, and races with TAG Heuer Porsche. And you know I’m a fan of Porsche drivers. Never count an old dog out (as they say), and I certainly don’t with this charming man from Portugal.

Formula E season structure

Image credit fiaformulae.com

There are 16 rounds (this year) in 10 different locations, covering Europe, Asia, the Middle East, and North and South America. There was already a bit of drama with scheduling even before the season started. Round 4, Hyderabad E-Prix, was completely canceled due to a breach of contract. This will give the drivers some rest in between the Saudi Arabian E-Prix doubleheader (yay, night racing!) before jetting off to the absolutely gorgeous course at São Paulo. Personally, I’m excited to see what Tokyo’s E-Prix looks like as they host their first Formula E race.

I’ve mentioned before that if you can get to a race this year, please do. (London is partially indoors and totally wild!) Formula E does an amazing job with fan events and creating an atmosphere. They really think about the whole experience. The season kicked off this week in Mexico City. This is an electrifying track that drivers love for the overtaking opportunities and visually stunning layout. Being one of the fastest tracks of the year, there are sure to be some thrills. What a way to start season 10!

Where to watch

It’s actually quite easy to catch practices, qualifying, and the actual race for those in the USA. Free Practice 1 is on Fridays, and obviously, the times will be different for those given locations. You can catch practices on Formula E’s Roku Channel, YouTube Channel, or through their app.

Your Saturday holds Free Practice2, Qualifying, and the Race. Qauli and the feature race will be held for free on that Roku Channel, which is available on most streaming devices. Getting all that content without paying a penny is truly mint.

Additional materials

Racing Green – Kit Chapman

If you want to better understand electric technology in the automotive space I cannot recommend Racing Green enough. It was absolutely one of my favorite reads last year, and I was an EV novice. (check out our EVs Explained series for more!) Author Kit Chapman turns a deep and detailed history with big words and bigger concepts into a palatable and humorous travel tale. You certainly don’t need a degree in physics or aerodynamics to learn about the evolution of electronic vehicle technology.

Formula E: Racing For The Future

This book is in my to-read pile. It’s a true behind-the-scenes look at teams, drivers, concepts, technology, and, of course, the history of the series. This book was written pre-Gen3 car, so you won’t get any insight on that, but it’s still packed with tales of first-hand experiences from the formative years.

Formula E Unplugged

Yes, to use the comparison, this is Formula E’s Drive to Survive. Unplugged! Season 3 is on my “What to Watch in January” list. Seasons one and two of Unplugged are on Paramount +. Season 3 has three episodes out right now on their YouTube channel. New episodes will launch every Monday and Wednesday until February 5th.

Every race from last season is archived for you to watch in its entirety on Roku Channel as well.

Enjoy this historic 10th year, and let us know who you are cheering on.

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Features

Here are the New Year’s goals of your favorite Formula One drivers… probably

A new year is upon us, and with that comes this whole idea we will be new people too. Or at least we will try to be, and make improvements and changes here and there for the next few weeks until we forget. Formula 1 drivers are no different than us. They put on their racing boots on one at a time. Testing in Sakhir is over a month away, and each of the 20 drivers has their sights set on podiums, points, and improvements. If I had to venture a guess into a few of their goals for 2024 this is what I’m certain they are.

Logan Sargeant: Score double points

Image credit: X.com/F1 & F1TV

Logan only needs to score two points to make this happen. Which I think is quite doable. If we completely ignore that his first point in F1 was completely by accident and only happened because of other drivers’ penalties, he did great. He also technically did not finish last, so let’s aim for 19th this season. Now that Logan is no longer a rookie and given a new lease on life by Team Principle James Vowles, how about we also don’t cause the most damage on the grid? All of these are achievable goals, Florida boy. Would love to see him get those points in his hometown of Miami.

Lando Norris: Collaboration With Martin Garrix

Image credit: X.com – Lando Norris

Martin Garrix is the real paddock princess. Any party an F1 driver has, he is there. During his sets, Max and Lando are right behind him. He’s rolling around the garages more than Perelli. 2024 has to be the year Lando gets serious about turntablism and finally makes this happen. What’s the point of one of the best internationally known DJs hanging on your jet, mixing in Monaco, and waiting to take pics with you if there isn’t a creative project in the works? The obvious move would be some sort of reimaging of “Friday” or Lando’s famous rollercoaster radio transmission. Either way, there better be an EP this year.

Charles Leclerc: Daily affirmations

Image credit: Getty

I’m imagining something like Colin from Ted Lasso. A messy-haired Charles stares in the mirror and tells himself he is a strong and capable man, and the car is not a piece of shit. He is worthy of good engineers, and Carlos doesn’t need to be a tactical wizard. He will win in Monza and bring full glory back to Ferarri and the Tifosi. Or at least these are the mantras I’m picturing him scrawling in his bathroom, then lighting a lavender-scented candle and gently rocking himself back and forth. “I am NOT stupid.”

Fernando Alsono: Major internet crossover event

Image credit: Getty

I need Fernando to crossover into every inch of the internet so the entire world can experience him. I am an Alonso Appoogist, and I don’t care. He flirted with a mini-bump into new territories when an absurd rumor was dropped that he was spotted with Taylor Swift. Honestly, you’re welcome, Swifties. Fernando is magic. Watching gossip columnists scramble to understand who he is was a fun moment. And, of course, Fernando ran with it. Our dark lord and savior is perfectly poised for a breakout year in 2024 as far as the interwebs are concerned. But what will the moment be? Personally, hope it’s like Kimi Räikkönen at the 2006 Monaco GP, and he just walks onto his yacht and sails off with the El Captain hat on, spraying champagne on everyone and everything.

Yuki Tsunoda: Starts a cooking channel

Image credit: X.com – Marina Bay Sands

Yuki has done a few teasers in this area here and there. He’s participated in cooking challenges for Alpha Tauri’s social media channels, with much success. Who doesn’t want to see Yuki in his true natural environment? I know he is a busy F1 driver, but imagine if filmed a a bunch of videos where he just teaches other drivers how to cook. Forcing Lando to make sushi but not telling him would be top-tier. Making pancakes with Carlos, how adorable would that be? And reuniting Yuki with his BFF, Pierre Gasly, would be divine. Imagine them making heart-shaped cakes for each other. The sky’s the limit with this. We would also be open to a collab with a popular brand, like Momofuku x Yuki. They could release it in Vegas at one of their locations. Yuki, call me. I’m happy to be a brand agent for you.

Lewis Hamilton: One more World Championship

Just one more Lewis, then you and Roscoe can spend all your time together. Sir Lewy Hammy deserves his eighth (or ninth, if you subscribe to that) Championship. Love him or hate him, no one has been a better ambassador for this sport than him. Pushing F1 and the FIA into a new era, forcing them to look at their failings in diversity is part of his legacy. I would love to see him have a post-F1 career as an F1 Academy mentor or jump on board in a bigger role with Susie Wolf. Whatever Lewis decides will be brilliant, thoughtful, and done with love and dedication. He knows no other way. While I love him dearly, when he decides to retire it will truly be the end of an era.

*My Roman Empire is Brocedes

Danny Ricc: More focused Enchante drops

Image credit: Instagram.com – Enchante

Daniel, we beg you, ease up on the releases. Our poor wallets can’t handle several of these drops throughout the year. I wish he would focus on an actual cafe line. Mostly because I want one of the teacups so bad. What if he did a whole tea set for Silverstone and the British GP? Super on brand. He’s already dabbled in wine, why not tea next? Ric3 tea has a nice ring. As much as I enjoy his releases, they have become rather predictable.

I’m hoping he goes back to the table and thinks outside the box a bit. Like Sir, where is the Aussie collection? Miami was cute. Austin was cute. Monaco was cute. I’m just wanting a little more from a guy who is so funny and creative. Perhaps, providing a wider range of pricing for his fans who don’t feel comfortable spending $250 for a jacket or $100 for a sweatshirt would be a good move as well.

Max Verstappen: Ease up on the Red Bull

Image credit: Red Bull

I genuinely worry about Max. His blood has to be mostly Red Bull at this point, and/or champagne. With the reports of Panaera Charged Lemonade killing people, I can’t stop thinking about this. Does he actually consume all the copious amounts of taurine he seems to in post-race interviews or on his live streams after hours of sim racing? Is it all just a ruse, and those cans are filled with water? Is he really the most hydrated driver on the planet? The jury is out on this one. But I’m thinking let’s just cut back a little Max, or switch to sugar-free.

Haas: One pole, just one

Image credit: Haas F1

Let me be delulu in 2024. I’m a big fan of Team Dad, plus Haas is American-owned. Last year, they had such an American promo that I so hope is back. Dubbed the “We Score, You Score” program at the Miami Grand Prix, official sponsor Chiptole agreed to give away 10,000 burritos if Haas ended up in the points. I say do it for every race. Finishing dead last in the constructor standings (with twelve points), doesn’t seem like a huge risk. And if anyone deserves to be on the podium it’s Nico Hulkenberg, who scored a third of those points and drives like a madman in one of the worst cars on the grid. Not to be overshadowed, K-Mags also had moments of qualifying brilliance.

My heart just says Haas is due for huge improvements and a spot on pole. With the exit of Guenther Steiner after eight years, and engineering director Ayao Komatsu stepping in to take over, big things are on the horizon.

Valtteri Bottas: Retires in Budgy Smugglers

Image credit: Instragram.com – ValtteriBottas

Valtteri is a man of many talents and ventures. He’s just an F1 driver for the heck of it. Valtteri has been thinking about a life post-F1 and planning accordingly. With ownership stakes in a gin company, a coffee company, and a wine company, he’s got his bases covered, unlike his own base. The famously bare-bottomed Formula 1 driver, who feels more Australian than Finnish, is poised for great things when he hangs up his gloves. His longtime girlfriend, Tiffany Cromwell, is a partner in those business undertakings as well. And as a road and gravel cyclist, you can certainly see her influence on him as he’s taken to the bikes quite well. Who knows, maybe we see Valtteri Bottas Cycling Champion in the future.

Before we get there, I would love nothing more than for his last race to end with him stripping off his suit to reveal a pair of custom farewell “Budgy Smugglers.” And then he and Tiffany literally cycle off together. A girl can dream for her favorite driver.

Honorable Mention: Nyck de Vries: Formula E Champion (again)

Image credit: Mercedes

What a beautiful middle finger that would be to F1 naysayers and Helmut Marko, not that he cares but still! I have a soft spot for Nyck and don’t know if it was the right move to let him go so quickly. I’m wishing Nyck all the success in Formula E this season with Mahindra Racing. And every time he gets on the podium, I will do a little clap. There can be more than one fantastic Dutch driver in a Formula series.

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FeaturesSaturday Morning Car Tune!

Check out your Saturday Morning Car Tune at Acceleramota

The traditional auto mag as we know it is slowly fading. Not out of existence but rather evolving to take on a new cultural landscape. Social media and video dominate, leaving room for written works to be more personal and experiential, almost like diaries of one’s trials and triumphs like some of the best publications have done and still do. It’s their way of further humanizing themselves in a sea of content farms and cookie-cutter formulas. Well, it’s time to get in on that action. Enter Saturday Morning Car Tune, your peek into the Acceleramota crew’s automotive exploits.

Come take a gander as we bring our passion away from the keyboard and into real-world experiences. In the garage or on the street. On the road or at the track. From how-to’s, track days, road trips, garage builds, car purchases, and more. Even if it’s a “bad” story, like perhaps a tale of a colossal screw-up we’ve had overcooking a corner on track or losing every 10-mil in our garage to The Great Void, it’s still a story worth telling.

WCCS car show
Image credit: Jeric Jaleco

Check in every so often to see me adapt to living with a track-built Subaru BRZ as my one and only car and if it’s still competent enough to conquer daily life (or just wait for me to tear the splitter off on a curb). Or read about Peter Nelson nursing an old B5 S4 back to life while taking to the race tracks to prove it’s the E82 BMW 128i that is made in God’s image, as previously documented at The Drive. Maybe Michael Van Runkle has some words to say about his colorful garage history dotted in Porsches and Monteros, or perhaps Nathan Meyer can walk you through the deets of South African car culture from his home in Port Elizabeth. I’m sure the cult of big turbo Volkswagen Rabbits down there have their own stories to tell.

Or, if you enjoy masochism, I’m sure our supreme ruler, Gabe Carey, has some colorful words to say about the wonderful world of Alfa Romeo ownership and his Guilia Quadrifoglio that just refuses to die. Perpetuating the stereotypes there, aren’t we, boss?

Kidding. Don’t shitcan me, please.

And who knows? We’ll likely spin this off into a social media-friendly video series as well, which you would most definitely see on our Instagram and TikTok. We’ll get there. Psst, give us a follow on there. Will ‘ya?

Think of this new corner of our site as a way to take a small step away from the SEO and the industry news, instead taking a day to focus on ourselves and what makes us who we are as members of the car community, dedicated to our hobby and bound by passion. It’s our contribution to the internet to show that we’re not mere content drones and that we’re real, real enthusiasts and real people with real experiences, and we can’t wait for you to tune in to read all about it.

2023 Radwood SoCal
Image credit: Michael Van Runkle

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vegas hotels formula 1 1
FeaturesHot Takes

Here are our favorite F1 drivers as Las Vegas hotels, right on time for the Vegas Grand Prix

Well, that was interesting. In case you missed it, early this morning, we East Coasters witnessed Carlos Sainz’s car spark into oblivion after hitting an unsecured drain cover in the first free practice on a freshly constructed track. The Vegas Grand Prix could very well be a total disaster. With 3-day passes dropping to as low as $1,000 days before the race and frequent backlash and criticism from city locals, this experiment might have been a major miscalculation for Formula 1.

With free practice three later today/tomorrow morning, who knows what this race will have to offer? I certainly hope they figure out all the mishaps to keep drivers and fans safe. It might still be fantastic, but things at the moment do not look good. And people make fun of me for turning down the opportunity to go. Time might be on my side for this one.

With some hotel rates plummeting to 70% off what they were when the race was announced, inspiration was sparked. We decided to have some fun and give our readers a primer for this absolute debacle and spectacle. Here are a few Formula 1 drivers as iconic Vegas hotels.

“But Sheilah, what do they have in common?”

Honestly, a lot more than you’d think. This article practically wrote itself. Almost.

Lewis Hamilton / The Flamingo

lewis-flamingo
Image credit: Twitter, mercedesAMGF1, casino.com

The Flamingo is the oldest operating casino still on the Strip, so this seemed an obvious place to start. As Gabe stated in our group chat, “Lewis is The Flamingo, because he’s old, and I’ve heard of him.” The overall vibe is just pink, and if any driver can pull off pink and pastels, it’s Lewis. While the hotel has been updated and remodeled, the retro and classy feel remains. Lewis, being the second oldest driver on the grid, exudes the same energy. Lots of history, but still very much relevant and cherished. Plus, the gardens with all the exotic birds, wildlife, and pools are so zen. Tell me that’s not Sir Lewis.

Pierre Gasly / The Cromwell

Image credit: Twitter, gracingline, TripAdvisor

The Cromwell is newer but a bit weird. It’s drenched in velvet to give the illusion of something much more sensuous than it is. It’s also vaguely French-themed. This is 100% Pierre Gasly. He’s always mere seconds away from a dick joke or raunchy frat boy comment. But we will give credit where it’s due. Sometimes, they do land. The mirrors in the showers give off major sex party vibes. Of all the drivers, he seems the most likely to visit a strip club or brothel while here, it’s Pierre. Overall, The Cromwell is trying so hard to be sultry and ultimately translating into something a little weird and off-putting.

Lando Norris / The Luxor

Image credit: Cristiano Barni, Getty Images, Allied Esports

To the tune of Avril Lavigne: “He was a gamer boy…”

The Luxor is very recognizable, and we’d agree so is little Lando Norris. His quintessential curls, dashing smile, and papaya gear make him easy to spot. Both debuting in the 90s (early & late, respectively), each is a spectacle to behold. While on opposite ends of the size scale, they do have one very big thing in common: Esports. The Luxor is home to the HyperX Arena, the first permanent Esports venue on the Strip. The state-of-the-art gaming and broadcast center is available to both pros and amateurs who want to check out the 50-foot LED video wall.

And that’s something we love about Lando too. With his Quadrant brand, he’s brought gamers from all walks of life and levels together for exhilarating and wacky competitions. We want more and hope to see him in his bright orange race suit on the podium soon, even if it is virtual.

Logan Sargent / The Tropicana

Image credit: Jared C. Tilton, Getty Images, Instagram, troplv

“Florida man drives car 200 mph on Vegas Strip.”

The lone American and Miami boy himself, Logan Sargent, had to be the Tropicana. Everything in this hotel feels and looks like Miami. A bright and vibrant hotel, it feels more like a South Beach airport than a high-end casino. And that’s ok. It’s not trying to be anything other than a vintage touristy spot that is quite endearing. Just let it be Floridian and tropical.

Valtteri Bottas / The Excalibur

Imagine credit Instagram, valtteribottas, excalibur.mgmresorts.com

Valtteri Bottas is a legend and mythical. If that isn’t The Excalibur, I’m not sure what is. From his knightly mullet to his stately mustache, Valtteri is a man who isn’t afraid to be himself. Affectionally dubbed “Medieval Times on crack,” The Excalibur is a treasure trove of entertainment. Outside of the main attraction of the Tournament of Kings, you also get Thunder From Down Under.

This is fitting in two ways. A) Bottas has always been joked as being the most Aussie non-Aussie on the grid. And B) If there is any driver most likely to get naked at the drop of a hat, it’s him. He literally just made a calendar of his bearing his, well, his BottASS.

Fernando Alonso / The Sahara

Image credit: essentiallysports.com, lasvegas.com

A Vegas mainstay, the Sahara is one of the oldest independently operated hotels on the Strip. With over 20 years in Formula 1, we’d argue Fernando is also a beloved classic. The Sahara is modern, even if its age shows in a few places. It’s also a bit on the small size compared to the other hotels on the famous boulevard. But what it lacks in size, it more than makes up for in flash and allure. Spanish Celebrity Chef José Andrés has his Bazaar Meat restaurant here, which is full of wacky experimental meals and cocktails. All of which are very expensive but ultimately well worth the experience.

Lance Stroll / The Four Seasons

Image credit: Twitter, samirsynthesis, fourseasons.com

Nice, clean, and expensive. That’s as Canadian and as Lance Stroll as it gets. A room can set you back $1,000 for a one-night stay. The Four Seasons is giving generic luxury, and sometimes so does Aston Martin. There is nothing very stylized or sensational about it, but it does smell like a refreshing spa.

George Russell / The Waldorf Astoria

Image credit: tommy.com, visitlasvegas.com

Posh. That’s all you need to know. Sleek and chic. George Russell serves swanky if the memes made in his honor are any indication. One of the few hotels without a casino, it’s meant to pull you off of the Strip and take your mind off the Vegas craziness. While the rooms aren’t cheap, you do feel like you’re living your best penthouse life, even in the lobby. The hallways feel upscale as well, with marble and stately fixtures. Tasteful, ritzy, and non-offensive.

Danny Ricciardo / The Venetian

Image credit: Moy, xpb images, Instagram, vegasreels

When I pitched this idea our Editor-in-Chief, Jeric Jaleco, chimed in with this, “Daniel Riccardo as the Venetian because it’s nice, and I like it.” And he’s not wrong to make that connection. Everyone loves the Venetian, and it’s a huge draw on the Strip for good reason. It’s a little silly but pretty and kind of Italian. The last time I was here, I did, in fact, do a gondola ride, which is kind of goofy but overall a charming encounter. Sometimes, you just do things for the plot.

Sidenote: We hear the Bellagio got a “Shoey” Bar in honor of Danny Ricc, so we would like to formally make this our plea to make that a permanent establishment.

Team Haas / The Mirage

Image credit: LAT Photo, tripadvisor.com

Haas is The Mirage for one very obvious reason. Me thinking Nico will ever end up on the podium is an illusion. No matter how many practices or qualifying sessions we are teased by both of these guys, we know it’s all for not. It’s not real. It was all a dream. It was a… Mirage.

If you are interested in catching the Vegas GP, it will be on Sunday at 1 a.m. (EST) on ESPN in North America and, as always, on F1TV.

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FeaturesHot Takes

NASCAR should learn from Liberty Media and F1: why their Ryan Blaney championship roll out was so sad

Say what you want about Liberty Media’s handling of the Formula 1 races in the US, but they kind of get it. I was at the Miami Grand Prix, and it was cringe as hell at times. Overall, though, incredibly fun. Something Liberty does very well is connecting with the right audience, even if there are missteps. Formula 1 is blessed with so many drivers with charismatic personalities that shine for the press.

Watching Danny Ricciardo command the late-night and podcast circuits with ease and charm for the Vegas Grand Prix is a dream for the Red Bull social and marketing teams. So how did NASCAR fumble the bag so spectacularly with the NYC media tour of their newest champion, Ryan Blaney? They literally had a playbook in front of them. They had exactly how F1 captured the hearts of America through a carefree Australian dripping in allure.

NASCAR crowns a new champion!

NASCAR couldn’t have asked for a better champion to emerge as their season winner a week ago in Phoenix. Ryan Blaney is funny, young, personable, and pedigreed. He is a likable nerd who is a fan favorite and beloved in the garage. He is the ideal bridge between all fans. NASCAR is very much suffering from an identity crisis and has been for years. This year, it felt like the tide was changing.

The success of the inaugural Chicago race, having Formula 1 legends like Jenson Button and Kimi Räikkönen make track appearances, and mixing old traditions with new ideas, all had to have interests peaked. Full disclosure: I am a Trackhouse girlie. But watching owners like Pitbull come in and fully support drivers such as Ross Chastain, Daniel Suarez, and, come the next season, Shane van Gisbergen breathes life into this entire series. It gives you hope that this product can’t just be good but great.

Trackhouse Racing
Image credit: Instagram, th_project91

Growing up loving NASCAR, there was only ever a brief moment when it felt so vibrant. The country, as a whole, knew who Jeff Gordan and Dale Earnhardt were. Motorsports was cool and lucrative. Perhaps the untimely and tragic passing of Earnhardt halted the sport’s growth. Perhaps. Then, Dale Earnhardt Jr. seemed poised to be the face of the brand and bring a younger audience in. The addition of an easy-on-the-eyes newcomer named Kasey Kane ticked female viewership up as well. But again, NASCAR just couldn’t fully capitalize long term.

Now, in 2023, after a rather good season (please hold your feelings about the playoff structure), with a very marketable champion, the stars aligned for NASCAR, and they couldn’t get it together. They fumbled on Ryan Blaney’s New York City Championship unveiling.

Here’s how.

1) Sending him to the Empire State Building.

Fine. Totally untestable, it is one of the most recognizable NYC landmarks. But for the love of whatever deity you believe, why was he in a blazer and dress pants? The man was still rocking his full playoff beard. And I get it to some degree. His girlfriend looked lovely as well. But if your sport is trying to target a new demographic, why not lean into what you are? I ask you, why was he not in his fire suit? The photo opportunity of him in his iconic yellow and black hoisting the trophy would be worth it alone. It’s just good business to be displaying your team name and sponsors to a wider audience because we always have to be making money. Also, it just looks dope. Do you know how many 20-something-year-old guys I saw dressed as Ricky Bobby and Cal Naughton, Jr. on Halloween this year? That movie is almost 20 years old. That is your audience. This is who you should be appealing to.

Image credit Instagram, NASCAR

2) Every sports champion pays homage and makes the talk show/podcast rounds now.

Danny Ric goes on Jimmy Kimmel and slays. Hell, even Christian Horner was a fantastic guest for Dax Shepard. He’s effervescent, lively, and dashing. Everyone falls in love or more in love. Ryan Blaney goes on (checks notes) Kelly and Mark. You know who watches Kelly and Mark? My mom, who ironically does know who Ryan Blaney is by way of his father. Why on earth would you put this man in front of an audience you are not aiming to convince to watch your sport? Ryan should’ve been in the Barstool office. He is absolutely the kind of guy who could vibe with Caleb and make a great viral video. Put this man in front of an engaged viewership that is under 50. He’s not a nobody. There was no reason you couldn’t get him in front of the right crowd. He drives for Team Penske, the family who literally owns almost all media news outlets. Do better.

Image credit: Instagram, livekellyandmark

3) No fun fan engagement.

Sure, they sent him to Times Square to stand there with the trophy and look at the Nasdaq building. Spectacular. Riveting. Insert sad face emoji. They so easily could have had the car and trophy downtown at the Seaport for photos and a meet and greet. Small things like this expand who could be interested in your sport. Formula 1 does popups and public events for their teams and drivers each race that are fun, fluffy, and inviting. It’s such a low lift. It’s the end of the season. Where is that car going after? What’s the risk? None.

Image credit: Instagram, NASCAR

It’s so disheartening to watch a sport I’ve loved for so long continually miss every opportunity to improve it and bring in new fans. I hope some of the F1 shine trickles down to NASCAR as it does for IndyCar. But if they continue with tactics like this, I have little to no hope. Regardless, I’ll be there next season in a Melon Man shirt, cheering on Mr. Worldwide’s team. At least he knows how to draw a crowd.

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Motorsports Coffee Table Books by Sheilah Villari
Features

The best motorsports coffee table books for all racing fans

A good coffee table book can elevate the décor of your entire room. If you have frequent visitors, they are excellent conversation starters, especially if they are fans of the material. Keeping a neat and well-designed stack on a table in the living room, placed by a bed, or lovingly nestled on a prominent shelf tells your guests, “Yes, I am a car nerd.” Each book can serve as a beautiful centerpiece and elevate you beyond a casual fan to an elite gearhead, serving as a testament to your nerdery. Any of these would make a fantastic gift for the garage guru in your life, too. Especially now, we made sure to get all the motorsports enthusiasts in on this, not just the Formula 1 die-hards! Just some food for thought with the holidays fast approaching.

1) Owners’ Workshop Manuals

These Owners’ Workshop Manuals are such a nice touch to have out in your home. Instance cool points. This McLaren M23 book is currently on my coffee table. These are great because you can build your own set, as there are many out there from different decades and constructors. Each book is a comprehensive guide to the history of the car and its era within F1.

Outside of just being very well put together, each of these manuals has an encyclopedic look into builds and tales of both the liveries and the teams. There are quite of few floating around, so start your pile today. Buy the McLaren one above, or try out the Lotus, Ferrari, Red Bull, and/or Brabham editions! You’ll definitely get a complete view of where car tech was at each of the timeframes of the books, as well as where F1 was in motorsports history.

2) NASCAR 75 Years

This has certainly been a year of anniversaries for motorsports, and NASCAR hit its 75th birthday. I grew up a huge NASCAR fan (there are serval Polaroids of me in Dale Jarret gear). I was so excited when they announced this book. If you know anything about NASCAR, its origin is interesting, to say the least. If you’re a ’90s baby, there is no way you didn’t remember the rise of Jeff Gordon with the dominance of Dale Earnhardt. You didn’t have to watch to know who they were and their impact on American culture.

The alluring archived photos are meticulously placed amongst some of the most thrilling stories from the last 75 years. Given the growing interest in motorsports and IndyCar within the US, this is a lovely representation of an organization that I hope is on the upswing again.

3) Schumacher: The Official Inside Story of the Formula One Icon

Another entry plucked straight from my coffee table. No matter who you are a fan of, there is no doubt Schumacher is the greatest driver to step into a Formula One car. Given his current health, having a book of his history in his own words and memories is something to covet. Schumacher was the undisputed king of F1 and broke almost every record in his time in the sport. Seeing his life within motorsports through his eyes is special, especially for newer fans.

This book takes you right up to the tale end of his World Championship supremacy, for time reference. And if you are a Mick supporter, there are plenty of adorable snapshots of the blonde-haired babe growing up. A dynamic career marvelously preserved, the legacy Schumacher is leaving behind makes for the perfect book for any F1 fan’s coffee table.

4) Porsche at Le Mans: 70 Years

Le Mans hit its centennial race this year back in June, and Porsche is well a part of that story. With over 19 Le Man wins, Porsche’s prominence in France made perfect sense for an all-encompassing coffee table book. Earlier in the year, I was lucky enough to attend the screening of the documentary Racing With Giants: Porsche at Le Mans. I even interviewed Le Mans and Porsche veteran Patrick Long there.

Psst, give my interview a peep!

The history of this race and this team is rich and deep. Hundreds of photos were foraged from the very beginning in 1951 all the way to 2021. This coffee table book is a rich, sweeping history of Porsche’s victories and exploits at La Sarthe. Spyders, GTs, hybrids, oh my! Get first-hand stories from Le Mans legends like Jacky Ickx, Mario Andretti, and Helio Castroneves, to name a few. I highly recommend checking out the documentary and our article before getting cozy with this enticing book.

5) IMSA 1969 to 1989

And now for something completely different! If you’re newer to motorsports and want to look at the history of different racing series, IMSA is a great one. The International Motor Sports Association was founded in 1969 and is the North American sanctioning body for all things sports car racing. If the name sounds familiar, that would be because they are actually a division of NASCAR.

This coffee table book covers the first 20 years and was compiled by the founders’ son. The prestige in that first-hand perspective presents such a magical look at one of the most accessible forms of racing in the US. If you’ve ever wanted to see racing in the States, this is a gateway, for sure. Flipping through, you’ll get a compelling visual story of design, politics, and how the management of this GT series’ lessons are still in practice today in motor racing worldwide.

6) RACEWKND World Champions

While technically less of a book and more of a photo collage, you can still add it to any coffee table for heaps of extra personality! These look dope, and you don’t even need to be a fan. Just have working eyes! This large-scale issue is one of many from the publisher, and they are all fabulous. In the first series, the magazine focuses on legends of F1 (past and present). In collection two, they focus on our favorite constructors of Formula 1.

This issue centers around World Champions like Michael Schumacher and Lewis Hamilton. Rainer Schlegelmilch opened up his archives to feature never-before-seen photos. Read about the evolution of the FIA from the ’50s to the present day. If you want one of these, I would suggest purchasing it as soon as possible, as these are not being reprinted.

7) Formula 1 Circuits: Maps and statistics from every Grand Prix track

If you’ve ever been curious about the statistics and records of each of the circuits in the history of F1, this is the coffee table book for you. Featuring all 77 circuits used in the many, many years of Formula One, discover hidden trivia and lesser-known tales from each. The book is laid out chronologically, starting with the first Grand Prix in Monza.

Keep an eye on 1978. That’s when my favorite track opens. The Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal has quite the history and is one of the best races on the calendar. You also get bespoke digital maps of every course. A very nice touch, indeed.

8) BMW M: 50 Years of the Ultimate Driving Machines

I see BMW M gear all over when out and about. Like, literally everywhere I go. The M-Series stands for Motorsport, which first appeared in 1972 for the historic German manufacturer. This coffee table book celebrates the 50th anniversary and deep dives into the range of famous M models that have been designed over the decades. This is an excellent gift to surprise a Bimmer fan with.

Or just that one poser kid who really likes the M clothes to go with their 335i M Sport.

9) Le Mans 100: A Century at the World’s Greatest Endurance Race

As aforementioned, we celebrated 100 years of Le Mans this year. The world-renowned race of 24 Hours at Circuit de la Sarthe is a sight and experience to behold. The fact that we have preserved a century’s worth of races, personalities, triumphs, and heartbreaks is nothing short of mesmerizing. We know you’ll recognize the usual favorites like Porsche, Ferrari, Ford, Aston Martin, Mercedes, McLaren, to name a few. But learning about how lesser racing “brands “have contributed to not just the track’s history but the sport’s metamorphosis is just as rewarding. The innovation that comes from Le Mans is hands down my favorite element about this storied race.

What was always a bit confusing that this coffee table book does a good job of touching on is the different classes. All the classes that have run are explained, and favorites are spotlighted. So you’ll get a full breakdown of the Le Mans Prototype and GT categories. This alone is so helpful in understanding where the race standards currently are.

10) Formula Ferrari: The First Official Inside Story of the Most Successful Team in the History of Formula 1

Another fine specimen from my exhibit! This book is a superb telling of the story of the world-renowned and beloved prancing horse brand. It is a bit older than other books on the list but still full of juicy Prancing Horse tidbits. I’m a sucker for old motorsport photos, especially from the ’80s and ’90s when everything was a little grainy and the antithesis of 4K resolution. It gives a lot of oh-so-delightfully nostalgic charm to them.

This book sits atop my Schumacher one, and together, they make me look like a Ferrari superfan… which I’m really not, but even I still enjoy both of these. What sets this book apart from others about the brand is that it’s the first sanctioned telling of their story, completely blessed by the Ferrari family. And having one of the most respected Italian sports journalists compile this tale doesn’t hurt either.

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GRIDLIFE Laguna 2023
EventsFeatures

GRIDLIFE Laguna rocks as the ultimate bash of car culture and racing

Gearheads from all walks of life and every discipline congregate on the festival grounds, the sun setting on a hallowed race track tucked in the hills of California’s Central Coast. This particular weekend is a celebration of many firsts. The now-famed GRIDLIFE Festival, the traveling circus of American car culture, has accomplished numerous praise-worthy feats on the Monterey Peninsula in their nomadic quest for sharing all things cars and racing. Enter the first live concert at Laguna Seca in decades and the first running of Formula Drift cars down the infamous Corkscrew. It’s also the first GRIDLIFE Festival to make it past the Colorado Rockies, effectively enveloping the entire width of the country under the festival tour’s reach. And, with a hard tug at the heartstrings, it was this simple editor’s first music festival and motorsports gathering bunched together in a two-for-one deal. This is GRIDLIFE Laguna. And I’m honored to tell you all about it.

GRIDLIFE Laguna 2023
Image credit: Jeric Jaleco

The destiny of a passion project years in the making

Years ago when I was barely old enough to take the wheel, I vaguely heard of GRIDLIFE through whispers and small-bit mentions in YouTube videos. Suddenly, here comes this moving party of beats and track battles across the Midwest and East Coast, enticing enthusiasts from all over the region to race all day and party all night at random tracks in the middle of nowhere.

Though a fresh offering to the community, it was quickly acclaimed and instantly likened to a real-life Forza Horizon, which was coincidentally released the year before the brand’s creation and less than two years before the inaugural festival. The core formula of headline musical performances preceded by HPDE and time attack runnings remains mostly unchanged as the festival expanded, visiting more venues, taking on more musicians, and adding more racing events for aspiring Sennas to get their fix, including new time attack classes and the wheel-to-wheel GRIDLIFE Touring Cup (GLTC) series. But alas, it wasn’t meant to be for desert rats and beachgoers west of their Alpine Horizon Festival.

GRIDLIFE Laguna 2023
Image credit: Jeric Jaleco

Aside from occasional club racing events in California, this nomadic party never set up shop farther than the Rockies. The reasons why are anyone’s guess. I had the privilege of chatting with Matt Farah of TheSmokingTire in October of 2017 at an event at my local oval track. We discussed the limitations of moving GRIDLIFE out west, with the key issue simply being finding the right venue. At the time, Farah dismissed Laguna Seca for its alleged lack of space, believing it to be too difficult, too compact, and too much of a logistical headache to ever host such a populous and colorful event at a relatively small location. Granted, this was a time when they were exclusively known for wide-open Midwestern and East Coast locales. And although disappointed, I agreed with the reasoning.

I’m sure he was ecstatic as I was to learn six years later we were dead wrong back then. 

Fog before the fury

Much to everyone’s excitement, the festival has accomplished its “Manifest Destiny” of sorts, connecting the coastlines with this year’s festival tour stop at Weathertech Raceway Laguna Seca. While the circuit is no stranger to high-profile events and heaps of grandeur, this festival stands as the first true festival in California. Unfortunately, it was preemptively met with some minor environmental setbacks.

GRIDLIFE Laguna 2023
Image credit: Jeric Jaleco

Intense coastal fog pumped the brakes hard on festivities before anyone fired a cylinder, delaying practice sessions by roughly three hours. Even arriving at the gate was an eerie sight as the hill that climbed towards the entrance was enveloped in a daunting haze that’d make any racing a treacherous gamble, at least when climbing the hill toward the Corkscrew. And although the sun eventually reared its head, frequent breezes fluctuated the backdrop of the first day between sunshine and Silent Hill, and the weather from, “yep, still somehow summer,” to “bloody chilly today, innit?” Fitting for Spooktober! But thankfully, no one’s spirits were dampened. Not one bit. 

As my friend and I ditched our BRZ loaner in general parking, no more than an unpaved and dusty hillside that served as its own inclined car show, we felt the eagerness of everyone around us. Inside the media briefing room, fellow content creators and photographers were giddy over this being their first GRIDLIFE or their first-ever visit to Laguna Seca, much like me. I recognized a few as bigger-name personalities, while others were simply there for personal media brands or to snag trackside content of cars from tuner shops they represent.

Even the backgrounds of those within the media room and their purposes for being there were as broad of a color palette as the cars in the paddock. But one thing we unanimously understood was that this weekend was going to be something extraordinary.

The ultimate variety show

Drivers and mechanics were quick to prepare for a weekend of racing because they knew when the first green flag dropped, it was going to be nonstop noise and adrenaline rush as officials cram every series into the now-tightened schedule. You see it on YouTube, but to witness grassroots motorsports and the cars involved is a whole new world of wonder. To me, at least.

Cars buzz up and down the pits between their staging areas and tents. The howling whines of some of the more purpose-built cars’ straight-cut gears can make your hair stand up, or at least that’s if their hellacious cold starts and bellowing exhausts didn’t already do that. Teammates or good friends masquerading as race techs scramble to ready fresh sets of tires as cars return from practice laps with a little less paint and a lot more grit than before. Many were keen to finish their morning’s work and park their rides so they could get a hearty breakfast fired up on a grill mere feet away from the suspiciously nearby jerry cans.

None of my business! But some of their morning-time munchies did smell delectable. You have to love the aroma of coffee, bacon, and race gas in the early hours. I’d say sunrise, but it’s not like you can still see anything over the start line bridge.

GRIDLIFE Laguna 2023
Image credit: Jeric Jaleco

There was no need for a dedicated Cars N’ Coffee when all the eye candy you could ever want sits in the paddock. Although naturally, car people being car people, actual shows would still occur over the weekend. A whole assortment of metal flocked together before my colleague and me, from top-shelf supercars to the most charismatic of budget builds and even former Pikes Peak and endurance race cars given new leases on life. Nearly all of which – yes, even Porsches and McLarens – saw track time. 

There was a faux concours on the second day for attendees to showcase their rides while tire smoke choked out spectators and thundering engines rattled fencing nearby. Some cars were merely at the festival there for a good show. Others patiently awaited the HPDE sessions on the final day. So if you’re the stuck-up, styling-over-everything purist, even something as motorsports-centric as GRIDLIFE has something for you beyond rock-chipped fenders and missing bumpers.

Personal favorites among the non-competitors were easily the Integra Type R on Regamaster wheels and the Volvo 245 wagon with its lovably ‘80s paint job and split tri-spoke wheels. As for the actual racers, the definitely-not-a-stock Pontiac Firebird and LeMans prototypes took the cake for me for different reasons.

GRIDLIFE Laguna 2023
Image credit: Jeric Jaleco

While not in Saturday’s concours, the Evasive Motorsports S2000RS race car, the competition variant of their Civic Type R-swapped S2000R, was still a noteworthy companion and rival to Larry Chen’s drift-and-track-built Toyota GR86. Inline-four versus flat-four. Turbocharged versus supercharged. Both are front-engined, rear-drive, compact sports coupes hailed as the quintessential purist’s choice of their time, and both were as aesthetically pleasing as time attack weapons can be and can easily be touted to the show car crowd as a case of having your car and driving it, too.

If I had to pick all-out favorites, I have to go with a tie between the AE86 Toyota Corolla pair in attendance. Yes, yes, call me predictable. Whatever. They’re cool! Slow cars are cool! And please, allow me to highlight one owned by SoCal’s own Fujiwara Tofu Cafe and lovably dressed up inside and out as Takumi’s AE86, circa Initial D: Fourth Stage. However, I’ll still give some love to the Nissan Z and S650-generation Ford Mustang GT at the concours, which were probably the newest hunks of metal in attendance.

It’s safe to say I was pretty damn impressed by the showing. I arrived expecting to see the common crop of sticky-tired Honda S2000s and Chevy Corvettes, which, don’t get me wrong, they showed up in droves. But let me tell you. I came away starstruck and slackjawed over the myriad of cars and characters on display, a testament to the sheer scope of what car culture is and who the people are representing it

And that’s another thing worth celebrating.

GRIDLIFE Laguna 2023
Image credit: Jeric Jaleco

We the people

My god, the people. What an eclectic gathering of kindred spirits and fearsome competitors. I will admit I’ve grown to be a bit of a bitter asshole, primarily spurred by my toxic overindulgence in social media. “Everyone’s a clout chaser. Everyone’s a dick-measurer. Everyone’s a trend hopper.” Right. Well, I should’ve already known better from prior car gatherings, but I’ve always been stubborn. But I’m pleased to report that the shallow and cliquish mantra surrounding car culture on social media is nonexistent here. That mentality stays its lame ass on Instagram, because GRIDLIFE is all about real, tangible substance, and there wouldn’t be much without good people to provide it.

GRIDLIFE Laguna 2023
Image credit: Jeric Jaleco

To hell with what you drive and how you built it. As long as it’s cool, as long as it’s you, and as long as you’re honest to your peers and yourself about who you are as one with the community. It’s not often I feel that the car people I encounter are the most authentic versions of themselves. So to be genuine and have that reflected in their personalities and their cars is humbling for me and inspires a new sense of confidence that we can be far more than any critic gives us credit. I even ran into some former colleagues who were racing in time attack, as well as other prominent automotive personalities who couldn’t have been any nicer.

Fenton Sun of Zygrene shared with me a press car contact so I can finally nail down an elusive S650 Mustang press car. Larry Chen gave me a suggestion for a new camera to buy and gave my friend a handful of his anime persona stickers. Chris Rosales and Peter Nelson of The Drive shared their weekend time attack experiences with their purposefully modified Civic Type R and BMW 128i, respectively. Every one of them, plus many more, stood as positive examples of kinship in car culture, which I could only ever wish was as widespread on the internet. Here on the Monterey Peninsula, however, I’ll stand on this hill and say it’s the definitive car community experience from which other niches should take notes. The only aggression to be found is when hunting for apexes.

Oh, and a big shoutout and best wishes to the lovely couple cosplaying as cowboy Ken and Barbie for Spooktober. Whatever you guys do, just know you’re Kenough. 

Competition-grade

But of course, many people didn’t show up to only see cool cars and meet cool people. Many paid good money to partake in this three-day crucible, a test of their cars and abilities and an homage to motorsports history on one of the best tracks to rage-quit on in Forza Motorsport. Let’s talk about some race cars and racing action! 

No quicker did the fog clear on the first day than racers took to the 2.2-mile ribbon of asphalt in front of them. Of course, the 987 Porsche Cayman and the horde of Hondas were easy and effective choices for tackling California’s finest. But the sense of whimsy in seeing retired police Crown Victoria fly beneath the Continental Tire arch is just as satisfying. You go, Crown Vic person! 

GRIDLIFE Laguna 2023
Image credit: Jeric Jaleco

Fans of the unorthodox were surely pleased to see Rush SR race cars and Tesla Model 3 Challenge embark on their own crusades, the former of which competed in their inaugural season to promote what’s to be an affordable line of prototype-ish racers. One-liter screamers packed into a pint-sized, single-seat caricature of a Radical SR3 that starts under $40,000? Where do I apply for financing? Their goofy proportions and cutesy size made them a treat to see in the pits, and their blazing performance made them a hoot to battle.

And while certainly not as big of a fan favorite, there’s still love to be had for the Model 3 Challenge, taking otherwise pedestrian commuter EVs and skewing their sport sedan slider way down to the “Sport.” Such a niche-within-a-niche series not only serves to test the mettle of those willing to modify Teslas for battle but also as a study to see how high-performance driving affects EV batteries and how grassroots motorsports can adapt to the changing automotive landscape. Even if you dislike EVs, innovating ways to make a dreary toaster as rad as these deserve respect.

For fans of endurance car racing, there was no greater spectacle than witnessing a Mercedes-AMG GT3 race car battle with LMP3 prototypes and that oddball open-wheel Formula car. Piloted by Pikes Peak champ, Robin Schute, it was undoubtedly the fastest car of the weekend by a considerable margin for what I hope you all find to be self-explanatory reasons. Look at the damn thing. It’s not even fair. And while not an actual touring car, this particular GT3 RS in the Track Mod time attack class did a damn fine impression of an RSR or Cup car in both speed and ear-piercing noise and was easily my friend’s personal favorite car of the weekend.

There was always something to enjoy on any given day. It didn’t matter who you were or who you thought you were. Seasoned veteran or uninitiated, it mattered little. There was so much action spread across so many classes and price ranges that if you didn’t find something worthy of your love and attention, you needed a psych eval. Or perhaps you needed to sit closer to the fencing to fully absorb the cacophony of metallic howls, bellowing roars, and thunderous barks from engines passing by.

GRIDLIFE Laguna 2023
Image credit: Jeric Jaleco

Good show! Jolly good show!

Come the latter half of the weekend, spectators began picking and choosing their favorite gladiators to root for, especially in GLTC, arguably the most heated series on GRIDLIFE’s motorsports spectrum, which has only gotten hotter with the limited track time allotted by the dense schedule. To watch IMSA professionals take to it on FOX Sports like it’s another day at the office is one thing, but there’s a great deal of hope and aspiration to be felt when watching people like you and I take the challenge. It’s like betting on your favorite neighbor to win the Applebee’s bar fight.

The Pontiac Firebird in Unlimited was an easy favorite for more than just myself, as was the BRE-inspired Datsun 510 racing wheel-to-wheel with modern metal. Also in the running league was Advance Auto Parts’ prodigal sons, the Gears & Gasoline Bens, championing their pocket rocket EK Civic and their odd-yet-aspirational widebody MR-2 Spyder. Fans hollered as their favorite picks rocketed around the bends, phones at the ready to make each of them Instagram famous. 

Regardless of class or cost, each race throughout the weekend was met with the same level of vicious competitiveness. Crammed into short spurts, drivers made the most of what they had, giving it their absolute all during what little time was given. Lap one was always a warm-up. By lap two, drivers started laying into their limits. By lap three, the track already reeked of hot rubber and flaming brakes. Plenty of cars went off course, and plenty more appeared to have gotten quite squirrely only to miraculously recover in time to not get overtaken by those behind.

But it wasn’t all glamor and applause. Remember that anything can happen at the track, and the universe cares not for the occasion. At some point on Saturday, a Supra running in one of the time attack classes was gone in a flash as suspected diff fluid fire turned the car to ash. Miraculously, the driver made it out unscathed, but his car was made both a martyr of the sport and a grim reminder of just how south things can go when the slightest hiccup occurs. But alas, the weekend must continue, and so off emergency services went to clean up the track for the next round of gladiators.

And, of course, it wouldn’t be their festival tour destination if there wasn’t a splash of hooliganism mixed in. To see a LeMans prototype race car lengths from a home-brewed Pontiac Firebird race car and a Pikes Peak hillclimber then transition to Formula D cars sailing down the Corkscrew sideways is like a Forza “Anything Goes” lobby come to life. Breaking up the competitions were exhibition runs guest starring TJ Hunt, Dai Yoshihara, and more. What a show to see Larry Chen and his Supra chase car hound the ass-ends of Matt Field’s Corvette and Justin Pawlak’s Mustang mere feet from turning his camera lenses into shattered mosaics. 

And now my favorite hoodie has tire debris all over it. Oh, goodie. Worth it, though. 

I’ve never witnessed motorsports events outside of Supercross and Monster Jam as a child. So to see nearly every class of modern race car conceivable packed into one weekend of nonstop carnage on the Corkscrew had me twitching and white-knuckled in my seat. It’s the perfect race weekend for spectators with ADHD, and that’s a fact. Why watch one league of racing when you can watch them all in 15-to-20-minute intervals? You get so riled up watching your favorite drift car make its pass or seeing your favorite duo do battle for a position that you almost forget to eat. Or drink water. Or that there’s a concert that night and you should probably save your energy. Glad to know I’m not jaded enough to feel less of such sensory overload.

Following a chilling finale to this year’s GLTC and weekend’s final runnings of Rush SR and Model 3 Challenge, the race weekend closes on its second day just as it had the night before: to music and merry under the soft glow of a waning day.

GRIDLIFE Laguna 2023
Image credit: Jeric Jaleco

GRIDLIFE Laguna is a must-go

Each day, the sun sets over the hills, basking the track in a beautiful orange hue before disappearing into the Pacific. The morning’s cool and inviting breeze returns, signaling everyone back to the paddock for relaxation, bang-on food trucks, and chill vibes. The line for sims at the arcade stacks up as patrons outside await the evening festivities. The chaos has ended. Battered chariots tick themselves cool from the weekend’s carnage as attendees wind down for the evening only to get cranked once more to various performances, ranging from hip-hop to indie rock and EDM. Yet another perfectly-fitting piece to the puzzle having genuine drifter and car enthusiast, T-Pain, perform at the venue’s first major musical performance in decades to a crowd of like-minded individuals. Although, I’m fairly certain no one else in the crowd ever performed with DJ Khaled or founded a company with Hert from Hoonigan. Or so I think.

My friend and I stuck around long enough for the actual GRIDLIFE Sunday Cars N’ Coffee and to catch a glimpse at the last-chance time attack runs. As we passed the gate to Laguna Seca for the last time to catch our flights home, we left behind one of the best weekends of our entire lives. But we were happy. Happy to have been a part of such a historical moment in GRIDLIFE’s expansion and such a fine example of car culture’s proudest moments.

Maybe next time, it’d be our cars hitting those apexes. Or tire walls. Either way, we knew we’d be back with more friends and some fun cars in tow. Seems like a tall order for a single weekend out of the year. But it’s worth it to indulge in your Forza Horizon fantasies come to life. Every penny and every second of it. So hats off to GRIDLIFE Laguna, the greatest multifaceted celebration of cars and characters the West Coast has to offer. May you never stop partying. And may we never stop driving. 

GRIDLIFE Laguna 2023
Image credit: Jeric Jaleco
GRIDLIFE Laguna 2023
Image credit: Jeric Jaleco
GRIDLIFE Laguna 2023
Image credit: Jeric Jaleco
GRIDLIFE Laguna 2023
Image credit: Jeric Jaleco
GRIDLIFE Laguna 2023
Image credit: Jeric Jaleco

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Features

These are the best F1 trophies of the past few decades

A few days ago, images of the trophy for this weekend’s Qatar Grand Prix were unveiled. It was a bit underwhelming, given the other awards we’ve seen this season. In a partnership with Pininfarina (an Italian automotive design firm), this trophy came together over three months and was meant to express both the firm’s and Formula 1’s passion and dedication to moto design. Qatar’s circuit, the Lusail International Circuit, has had a bit of a revamp, even with it only ever being raced once in 2021. So it felt right for a new trophy to emerge as well. In my opinion, it is neither good nor bad, but here are some of our favorite Formula 1 trophies to grace the podium in the last few decades.

Japanese Grand Prix 2023

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What is a long-standing tradition of trophies in sports? To give one a big ol’ smooch after a hard-fought battle for victory. This is a universal action seen all over the globe in every sporting activity. What would make finishing first in a Grand Prix even better? If the trophy was also kiss-activated. The most recent entry on the list is this year’s Japanese Grand Prix trophy, and it does just that. Developed with Lenovo, this trophy lit up in the colors of the Dutch flag as Max Verstappen was yet again a winner. Only the first-place trophy did this. A bit of a bummer but understandable. I truly hope they keep this one as a beautiful representation of how intertwined tech and automotive ingenuity are.

European Grand Prix 1993

Image: Charles Coates, Getty Images

Would you believe me if I told you Sonic is a Formula 1 winner? Well, kind of. While super-speed Sonic seems the most plausible of Sega characters to win a GP, he did make an appearance in 1993 at Donington Park in the United Kingdom. The race, formally known as the Sega Euro Grand Prix (yes, it was called that), the Sonic trophy was used purely for promotion. So, while this famous pic of Ayrton Senna hoisting Sonic is fantastic, it wasn’t the trophy he was actually awarded. But it is still fabulous. The Sonic trophy is currently in a display case at the McLaren Technology Centre.

Australian Grand Prix 2019

Image: Charles Coates, Getty Images

This wouldn’t be a Sheilah list without including a trophy the one and only Valtteri Bottas has lifted. The simplicity of this trophy is honestly what makes it so brilliant. Now and then, Formula 1 does something correct in honoring the old and blending it with the modern era of the sport. Molded after the 1956 Cooper-Climax steering wheel of Australian racer, Sir Jack Brabham, this is a gorgeous and shiny tribute to both him and the history of the beloved Albert Park Circuit. This race also gave us one of my favorite Valtteri radios, “To whom it may concern, fuck you.”

French Grand Prix 2021

Image: Associated Press

There have been a few iterations of this one. This 2021 piece Max received is the cleanest in design. But honestly, it’s no less badass. Because who wouldn’t want a roaring gorilla to remind you of your time in France? Prominent French artist and sculptor, Richard Orlinski, designed this extremely unique trophy for a few years. As guessed, he is well-known for his large-scale animal pieces. I have yet to uncover definitively why it’s a gorilla other than the artist saying it’s big and scary. Sadly, Le Castellet has been dropped from the calendar for the foreseeable future but could potentially return.

Hungary Grand Prix 2023

Image: Max Verstappen, Instagram

I’m a big fan of trophies that tie local history into culture. I’m also a fan of aesthetics and craftsmanship, and this year’s Hungary Grand Prix trophy gave us all that. All three drivers receive one of these spectacularly painted porcelain trophies that each take six months to handcraft to perfection. We were also gifted a rather interesting incident that has since become a running joke when Lando Norris is on the podium. Lando destroyed Max’s trophy (on accident) in a matter of seconds with his signature champagne pound. It made for some fun jabbing and extra content for both the Red Bull and McLaren drivers. And yes, McLaren did foot the bill for repairs.

Monaco Grand Prix 2022

Image: Louis Vuitton

Okay, so this is more of an honorable mention because it is a trophy plus something extra. If you ask anyone to name one thing they may know about Formula 1, Monaco will be in that response. Probably the most famous and well-known circuit on the schedule, it exudes everything this sport is: luxury and decadence. If Louis Vuitton isn’t that, then I’m not sure what is. This stunning carrying case was designed to fit the outline of F1’s crown jewel of the year. I am a big fan of track layouts like this. Some say boring. I say chic.

If you are interested in catching the Qatar GP on Sunday, it will be on at a very reasonable 1 p.m. (EST) on ESPN in North America and, as always, on F1TV.

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