The Pinkbike Podcast: Henry & Levy's Formula One Pre-Season Cold Takes

Mar 3, 2023
by Mike Levy  
photo
Art by Taj Mihelich

Warning: today's episode has zero mountain bike content. But what it does have is two idiots who've loved Formula One for decades sharing their misinformed and completely unsolicited opinions. Henry and I talk about our earliest F1 memories, why neither of us supports any specific driver, and we go over our pre-season lows and highs from three days of testing in Bahrain. Of course, it's not an F1 podcast if we don't make some predictions that certainly won't pan out, so we also forecast our winners and losers from this weekend's first race of the 2023 season.

The plan is for us to record some post-race shows as well, so stay tuned for our first (and maybe last) attempt at that early next week.

Will Checo sue Pinkbike? Should I not have touched Jenson Button?




THE PINKBIKE PODCAST // EPISODE 169 - HENRY & LEVY'S PRE-SEASON FORMULA ONE COLD TAKES
March 3rd, 2022

Just in time for the first race of the season.


Featuring a rotating cast of the editorial team and other guests, the Pinkbike podcast is a weekly update on all the latest stories from around the world of mountain biking, as well as some frank discussion about tech, racing, and everything in between.

Subscribe to the podcast via your preferred service (Apple, Spotify, RSS, LibSyn, etc.), or visit the Pinkbike Podcast tag page for the complete list of episodes.

Author Info:
mikelevy avatar

Member since Oct 18, 2005
2,032 articles

135 Comments
  • 61 2
 With the prices of bikes these days, might as well talk about F1. Amiright
  • 2 0
 The real question is why does the new Jermaine Defoe podcast have the same theme tune as the PB one?
  • 3 0
 Jordan Williams is a fast F1 bike racer.
  • 1 0
 @suspended-flesh: I figured his dad was just a big Nick Heidfeld fan
  • 31 2
 Man where are the MotoGP fans? 2 wheeled life!
  • 20 2
 You mean really really full power ebikes?
  • 6 0
 Ready to see Bastianini hurt some feelings!!!
  • 2 0
 bump on this
  • 4 0
 @nskerb: Thriller on the orange rocket as the darkhorse!!
  • 2 0
 Fabio revenge tour incoming.
  • 1 0
 @loudv8noises: I wish but that bike seems like a fickle bitch depending on the track. First year I followed was Fabio's championship so I'm on that bandwagon. I'm a newb lol.

@Stuartkbmx I hope Thriller's bike is good. Maybe with a little less outside pressure he can stay up front when he inevitably starts well.
  • 1 0
 Been listening to MotoGPod (back before they had to change their name) when it was just Bob.

I still listen every week, but don't follow nearly as close. But in a weird twist of fate my mom is friends with a bunch of various pros (even MotoGP) so I keep up with it all.
  • 1 0
 @loudv8noises:
Fabio and Marc screwed themselves by not seeing the Ducati invasion for what it was. Shoot, I think Ducati, Aprillia, KTM and maybe even Gas Gas are gonna be better than Honda this year.

Fabio should have won the title last year, but he finished the season poorly. He's not gonna be competitive with the Ducatis this year IMO.
  • 1 0
 @Glory831Guy: there is going to be ALOT of infighting at Factory Ducati this year. There will be opportunities for Fabio to capitalize and take big points while the Duc riders fight amongst each other IMO.

The Ducati championship drought is over. Enea played team game to get that done last year, now he is going to be out there to win it for himself and you know Pecco isn’t going down without a fight. It’s going to be fireworks in factory Ducati this year.
  • 1 0
 @loudv8noises: I just feel like Fabio is going to be desperate to win at all the "non ducati tracks." And I don't know that he's going to be able to handle that pressure.

And with the Ducatis getting even faster, his results are going to be worse than usual on the faster tracks.
  • 28 1
 Tracing Point is at it again. Best copiers in the game.
  • 4 0
 While I agree they ARE the best at copying other teams, I honestly don't think that's what happened here. The car it is most similar to is Alpine.
  • 24 2
 I might cry tears of joy if Alonso wins, though, even if he has to steal another car to do it.
  • 3 1
 I haven't heard tracing point before. So good! AMR hired RBR's head of aero, Dan Fallows, and this is his first car for AMR. I think the pink Mercedes days are behind them.
  • 3 0
 Alfonso for the win!, poor Vet.. watching how "his former" car is the fastest in FP2.
  • 1 0
 watch them be mid-pack after fp1 and fp2 are done
  • 3 1
 Golden boy Lance so jealous of Alonso he had to get a piece of the action, even with his broken hand... Seems like a terrible plan long term...
  • 2 0
 @iduckett: not a bad driver per see.. but dvmb spoiled brat actions like that show how and what he really is.
  • 2 0
 @mikelevy: God no, can't stand the man. Pitty Seb didn't stick around for this...
  • 2 0
 @eugenux: Def has had moments of brilliance! But also bullheaded, intentional, mind numbing moments too. We’ll find out in 15mins what Aston Martin can do!
  • 2 0
 @iduckett: the managed 5th..let's see what they can do tomorrow.
  • 18 0
 I would have charged way more for this drawing if I'd known there was F-1 money behind it.
  • 17 2
 Okay. I could care less about car racing but I’d listen to the two of you talk about paint drying on the walls so let’s see how this goes.
  • 3 1
 I would say the same because I love these guys but I loathe any type of car racing so I'll pass on this podcast.
  • 1 0
 @ichabodchain: was okay. Tuned out s couple of times but liked Levy and Henry playing off of each other.
  • 3 0
 Reading comments about podcast about sport I have never seen. Yes, I have a problem.
  • 1 0
 with all that is going on in 2 wheel world they decide to play caps and fart in bath tubs
  • 17 3
 “This is Lance Stroll’s year, I swear!” -Levy probably idk
  • 9 1
 You're not far off
  • 6 4
 idk how anyone could support Lance, hes a clown.
  • 7 1
 @mariomtblt: he's a nepo baby but seems like a decent guy. Idk, I was prepared to dislike him but I just can't.
  • 3 0
 @SangamonTaylor: he's probably better than the torpedo so yeah youre right. He's ok. I wonder how him and Alonso will get along. I predict a team collision, at least one
  • 4 0
 @mariomtblt: I would like to see Lance do well because he has so many haters. Fast Aston, the right street circuit or in the rain... he could do quite well. The fact that he's performed well in both of those circumstances says a lot for the skill he does have, but I just wish he showed that more.
  • 3 0
 And he broke bones while mtb.
Had to have had stem cell injections to those bones to be back already right?
  • 2 0
 @mikelevy: his best days are good, remember that wet pole he got? but he is so damn inconsistent man
  • 1 0
 @mariomtblt:
Yeah. And I think he’d rather go surfing, but he has some speed. Hope he gets to show it this year.
  • 1 3
 @mariomtblt: Don’t be so hard on our Canadian boy.
  • 2 0
 @mariomtblt: He was so dangerous last season!! Holy F. Crashing all over the place, plus that Alonso "gap jump" in that one race...
  • 1 0
 @mariomtblt: They already did last year...
  • 2 0
 @mikelevy: I think Alonso is going to humble him further this year. Stroll will always be a mid ranker I think.
  • 11 1
 I know nothing about F1, but it was so great to listen to two passionate fans having a fun and knowledgable discussion about something they love. Absolutely fantastic, thank you!
  • 6 1
 Thanks for giving it a chance and the kind words!
  • 1 0
 Do you have Netflix
  • 2 1
 @fruitsd79: There’s nothing on Netflix, that has anything to do with F1….
  • 1 1
 @FuzzyL: it's F1 flavored entertainment. Gotta do something when the weather is garbage
  • 3 0
 @FuzzyL: not sure if you are being sarcastic, but if not 'Formula 1Big Grin rive to survive' which is on Netflix is loosely based on Formula 1.
  • 1 0
 @bigtim: I was indeed being sarcastic, as Drive to Survive is more of a telenovela with scripted content very loosely based on events of the previous F1 season, and obviously mostly done by someone who doesn’t know anything about the sport, or simply doesn’t care about it at all.
  • 14 2
 Alonso hype train CHO CHOOOOOOO
  • 14 0
 I bought my ticket and I'm on board, no idea where it's going tho
  • 2 0
 @mikelevy: top of practice so far
  • 1 0
 All aboard!! PSYCHED!!!!!!!!!!!! Can't wait to see how he does at AM.
  • 8 0
 What would be funny is if everyone else from Pink Bike recorded a Formula One predictions podcast episode and label it Pink Bike's official position and not let Levy and Quinney weigh in. Especially if they had them on the zoom but muted their lines.
  • 6 0
 @mikelevy I'll see your Jenson Button and raise you a Jackie Stewart. When I was 13 (40 years ago) I was lucky enough to sit next to Sir Stewart on a flight from Athens to Rome. Sadly, I really didn't know how great a driver he was at the time and asked him lots of pretty silly questions. He was extremely kind and generous with his time. He did tell me I had no future as a driver, because I was too tall, but he wasn't wrong. I was a foot taller than he at the time.
  • 8 0
 love all the taj art we've been getting lately
  • 1 1
 Can we get a new Taj drawing every podcast?
  • 4 0
 I made the first two F1 races at Indianapolis. Stumbling over F1 drivers in downtown every time we went out! The drivers loved Indy because they could go outside without being mobbed. Jenson Button was stuck flying out of Indy with the rest of us mortals, and we were face to face with him in the airport. Though he was hundreds of people behind us in a snaking line through the airport.. We asked him if he wanted to cut in line with us, he declined.
  • 1 0
 I ran into a MotoGP racer at a Starbucks. No one knew who he was except me.
  • 1 0
 @JSTootell:
That’s the best, right there..
  • 2 0
 Few thoughts from a dude that also knows nothing about F1.

Binotto SHOULD have got fired. There were a few driver errors that cost them the race, but the majority of the issues were management and strategy when it really counted, and they failed. The car was totally on pace with the Red Bull

Budget cap – 3rd team in contention, Mercedes – (Mercedes fan here) – an extra $1 Million would have meant a new floor for the W13 – doesn’t mean they would have done better, but it could have. No one will ever know

Gasly and Ocon don’t suck because they’re French. They simply don’t have the same talent as some of the other drivers. Remember Alain Prost? Ya, he’s French.

But ya, stoked for Alonso - Aston Martin is really looking good, though it's ONLY practice - Tomorrow during Quali, we'll really see how well or bad everyone is doing.
I’m hoping Mercedes is still sandbagging and they’ll come out swinging tomorrow. A boy can dream…
  • 8 0
 For Binotto, I guess he's responsible but they did a lot better than the previous year and were on the up. I don't think he deserved to be replaced, but that team catches so much heat for anything that's not a win. I don't think I'd be a fan of Gasly or Ocon even if they were winning as much as Prost did, though. Nothing to do with talent or French-ness, joking aside, and everything to do with choices and attitude, at least for me.
  • 1 0
 @mikelevy: I agree that the current french connection is nothing to rave about. If they stay at the bottom this year, I'm sure they'll get replaced for next year.

As for Binotto, I think I watched every race last year, (feels like so long ago) but from what I recall, Binotto gave up his management position in favour of allowing the drivers to dictate how the race was going to play, when to pit, what tires to put on, let's go with strategy F or D or whatever... This was his job and he didn't do it. Yes of course the pressure was huge because it had been a decade since they were last a contender, now all the sudden they are top 2.
Imagine if this year is a 3 team race? That would be killer
  • 2 0
 As much as I love AMG-Petronas...them saying they're sandbagging is like showing up to the first race of the series and saying, "yeah, I haven't really been training."
  • 1 0
 @Dopepedaler: nah, the whole point is to only give it 95% during testing and practice to make your opponents feel more confident about their standing, and then on qualifying and the day of the race , unleach 100%. That's assuming they are indeed sandbagging and that there is something left in the bag, otherwise it could be another 2022 repeat.
  • 1 0
 @mikelevy:
I’m surprised Ferrari chose him to take the fall.
Gunther Steiner says he’s gonna land on his feet.
  • 1 0
 @alex-rsd: Oh, I am aware of how the bagging of sand works. But, saying that you're intentionally sandbagging (in F1 and in bike racing) is usually code for, "we haven't reached our performance objectives."
  • 1 0
 @Dopepedaler:
Q3. Tomorrow. Then the sand shall be out of the bag.
  • 1 0
 @mikelevy: I'm not much into Ocon, but I do love Gasz though! I hope he does well.
  • 2 0
 Enjoyed this one, as a minor F1 fan. I hope Leclerc can land a few podiums, Hamilton can finish 4th or better overall, and that Bottas is at least in the points. I think that when (one of you guys) said that Verstappen is "once in a generation talent" I agree 100%, even though I find him bland and uninspiring personally ("Favorite music?: "/" "). However, I can appreciate how he lives, sleeps, and breathes racing. Hope this season is exciting and that there are many shakeups. Looking forward to the season opener this weekend and more podcasts from the pinkbike team!
  • 2 0
 Had to add my two cents about this podcast before I’ve even got past the intro. For a couple years now, I’ve been discussing with my mtb/car fan buddy that there needs to be a site or podcast that unites car culture and mtb culture. This could be the start of such a combination and I’m all for it. Keep it up Henry and Mike and if you ever want a third opinion from someone who loves this stuff but knows nothing, just contact me, lol.
  • 2 0
 There’s a largely ignored overlap between fan bases. A majority of my riding group are involved in auto racing or modification, either professionally or recreationally.

Machines are cool.
  • 2 0
 HAAS is my favorite back tier team I'm at odds with Ferrari and Merc, let's hope Vasseur ups the bar for the team in terms of decisive decision making and leadership, also loving the comeback style Merc is putting out!
  • 2 0
 I have to say I do love K Mag! He did quite well last season.
  • 8 2
 Bring Back V10’s!
  • 1 0
 Jah mon.
  • 1 0
 I WISH!!!
  • 1 0
 @mikelevy: didn't they just release a new one?

I know, i know, engines and stuff..
  • 5 0
 Next podcast better be Henry talking about growing up in a farm.
  • 2 0
 I've never watched F1, I hardly check pinkbike anymore, but I'm happy to be subscribed to the Pinkbike farming hour!
  • 1 0
 Just finished watching P2 and really couldn't tell who was sandbagging or not. As an Alonso fan, i'm totally bummed that he just jinxed himself. Also totally bummed that the RedBulls were pretty quick despite not being dialed in.

Anyone care to guess who will be the first DNF (contact induced) of the 2023 season?
  • 3 0
 @mikelevy if I ever meet you in person I’m going to walk up to you put my hand on your shoulders and as “ Are you Jenson Button” than walk away.
  • 1 0
 I would die laughing I think, so good
  • 1 0
 Love the podcast and I look forward to more of them throughout the season! However, @mikelevy I was a little surprised by your Checo hate. Sure, there's speculation that he crashed on purpose, but Red Bull did indeed extend his contract after Monaco which I don't think they would have done if they believed he purposely sabotaged their number 1 driver's race. Also, the only reason it worked out to keep Max behind him in q3 was Sainz missing the yellow flag and crashing into him on the corner. I don't think Perez could have possibly planned that.
  • 1 0
 I don’t mind F1, but I just find MotoGp and World SBK much more engaging to watch, and I really don’t think I have time for another series. I will say that “Drive to Survive” has certainly brought people into the F1 fold that I never would have imagined watching any sort of motor sports. And they don’t even miss a qualifying session!
  • 3 0
 I think F1 V10's had the best sound of all time. Followed by a 500cc 2 stroke. 18,000+ screaming RPM being unleashed
  • 3 0
 The 8s sounded great too!
  • 2 0
 Pinkbike should do their own version of DtS in the DH World Cup. Completely made up dramas, misplaced audio, soap opera level of fabricated, highly entertaining shit Big Grin
  • 4 0
 Keep it coming guys. Great stuff. Loved the Valtteri interview as well.
  • 4 0
 Formula Loam Podcast
  • 3 1
 It's going to be funny to see how bored people get when Max has 10 seconds after three laps lol
  • 1 0
 I hope Max doesn't do his Tiger Woods impersonation again this season!! It's so boring!! I hate having the only question be, "Who's going to take second this weekend?"
  • 1 0
 Always been a McLaren fan but that livery they are using this year is fxxking the worst. Hope the car is better than it looks Smile
  • 2 0
 I thought 2021 was the best of the newer liveries.
  • 2 0
 Alonso hype train is now a space shuttle. To the moooooooon
  • 1 0
 You’re gonna do post race shows? Is “I love you guys..” inappropriate here..?
  • 3 0
 Call it the "F off"
  • 1 1
 The 2021 season final fiasco made it clear that there is no sport left in F1, it's just a scripted entertainment show now. Haven't watched it since.
  • 1 0
 Great job guys. last time i was a fan of f1 racing was today and when I was a kid with a tyco race car set
  • 2 1
 "Attritional racing is great racing" try watching WRC again Henry!
  • 1 0
 Name for the podcast - Mullets & marginal gains
  • 9 8
 Might as well be talking about wakeboarding..........
  • 13 2
 That's next week's episode.
  • 5 1
 @mikelevy: Followed by which Yacht is the best bang for your buck? bahahaha
  • 3 0
 @Tsoxbhk: Yeah, probably gonna push that hybrid, bio-diesel powered, electric tubine intake recovery "eboats make everything better" mumbo jumbo down our throats. Followed by, "budget built, it stays at a reasonable $928,000usd" I mean, it would be less then a million. I don't know if such a boat exists btw.
  • 1 0
 Anybody going to Vegas in November?
  • 5 0
 I looked into it but the tickets were so expensive and sold out quickly. I've never been to a race in person but will one day.
  • 1 0
 I went to the free event last year and stayed at Caesars palace and it was already like 4x the normal price. So I dont think I could afford it. An executive at my company told me hes going and dropping 75k on hotels and tickets.
  • 2 0
 @mikelevy: I went to COTA 2021, would pass on going to the actual race. Crowded and only get a glimpse of the action.
  • 1 0
 @borlowski90: Where were you seated? We were in the stands off turn 12 and we could see so much racing. I thought COTA was exceptional except the parking...absolute nightmare.
  • 1 0
 @lpat1717: I went in 2022. But I was in the pits, or pit lane most of the weekend. I had a good view.
  • 1 0
 @mikelevy: Just finished the podcast, gotta love a little variation! Make your 1st race Montreal if you get a chance! The city pops and the track consistently delivers great races. Grandstand complex at the end of the pit exit is where you want to be.
Subway and walk from DT. And, hey - its Canada! (ex pat)

Easy on Checo - look up Michael qualifying in Monaco in 2006, Michael was fierce. JV's championship was won on a contact move by MS that thankfully went wrong. Senna and Prost kinda got that ball rolling but Michael refined it and set the bar.

100% agree Drive to Survive is where the popularity came from. I'm lucky to have been an F1 fan since my 1st live race, Mosport 1967.
There was always a strong core group of fans in Canada and the US but Drive to Survive has been a rocket ship for F1 on a Worldwide basis.

For an MTB tie in...I pay for the F1 and Moto GP subscriptions - I truly hope Discovery can get DH exposure to a higher level. Moto GP/Dorna kill it too, and before Drive to Survive Moto GP had the edge on F1 re Media IMHO. DH has the ingredients. Ya, its bicycles but look at the Tour de France. Fingers crossed.
  • 1 0
 @mikelevy: You should go to the Canadian GP, it’s one of the best.
  • 1 0
 For me at least, Vegas was all about the "Celebs" and glitter. Probably the most boring F1 track ever.
  • 2 0
 The FU Outside Podcast
  • 1 0
 Better than most F1 coverage!
  • 1 1
 I have exactly zero interest in F1 but I will listen to anything presented by Henry Q on today's XC loop.
  • 1 0
 If levy and Quinney are talking, I’m listening.
  • 1 0
 Possible titles: Til the Wheels Fall Off; No Hands in the Wheel; Spun Out
  • 2 0
 Excellent
  • 2 0
 Great show guys.
  • 1 0
 “Formula One Hot Takes”
  • 1 0
 Yea lets go! Stroll WDC I'm calling it now.
  • 1 0
 Never change Mike and Henry, love hearing your banter.
  • 1 0
 Nice.
  • 2 5
 Having grown up being forced to watch nascar, I could give three shits about F1 or any type of auto racing...but nothing makes me happier than the PB cast every week so I'm in. Maybe you'll convert me...
  • 1 0
 Love the new artwork!
  • 7 9
 Modern F1 is just about the most boring motorsport in existence. It's just so bland and sanitzied. None of the exciting bits left.
  • 3 1
 Hello Toto.
  • 2 0
 Kind of agree......but there have been some pretty exciting races over the last few years. Problem for me is mid season when all the upgrades have been used up and we get into the routine of red bull, Mercedes, Ferrari dominance.
  • 3 3
 bring back Rich energy!







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