Toto Wolff: "I run a successful F1 team but that's nothing compared to what other people have achieved..."
He's presided over one of the most successful F1 teams of all time - and had to manage one of the most heated rivalries in history. So what exactly makes Mercedes chief Toto Wolff tick? On this week's episode of Beyond The Grid, presented by Bose, the thoughtful Austrian lifts the lid on running a team - including dealing with the 'volcano-like' relationship between Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg - gives a welcome update on colleague Niki Lauda's health, and tells Tom Clarkson about his truly remarkable journey to F1 via the business world after losing his father at a young age.
19 Sep 2018
REVISITED: Charles Leclerc on overcoming tragedy to race for Ferrari
In the second of our Beyond The Grid Revisited episodes, where we delve into the archives, we look back on Tom’s conversation with a fresh-faced Charles Leclerc in October 2018. At the time, Leclerc was still enjoying a first season of F1 with Alfa Romeo Sauber, but with one eye on Ferrari after signing a deal to race for the Scuderia in 2019. Listen to him discuss his hopes and emotions about racing in red, and about overcoming hardships in his emotional journey to the top of world motorsport. Beyond The Grid will be back with a new series in March.
24 Feb 2021
REVISITED: Kimi Raikkonen on racing, partying and becoming a family man
In the third of our Beyond The Grid Revisited episodes, where we delve into the show’s archives, we look back on Tom’s conversation with F1’s resident Iceman: Kimi Raikkonen.At the time of recording, Kimi was just about to embark on his first season with Alfa Romeo, after departing Ferrari. He was in extremely good spirits and, in a rare feature-length interview, was happy to open up on everything from his party boy past to the joys of fatherhood. Beyond The Grid will be back with a new series in March.
3 Mar 2021
Sebastian Vettel on leaving Ferrari, life outside F1 and changing goals
He’s a four-time world champion and racing icon, yet Sebastian Vettel’s fiercely private nature means we don’t know as much about him as we do many of his rivals, whose lives are plastered all over social media. We get to know the German racer a little better, discovering how his attitude to F1 has shifted over his 250 Grand Prix starts, finding out how he likes to spend his time away from the track, getting his thoughts on leaving Ferrari and joining Aston Martin, and learning his views on risk, happiness, the environment, parenthood and much more…
7 Oct 2020
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Daniel Ricciardo: “If I’m going to strap myself into a car every weekend, I’m not doing it justice unless I’m all in”
He’s that rarest of creatures: a multifaceted, outgoing personality who also happens to be a world-class competitor, beloved by fans, media and even his fellow drivers. On this week’s show we go deep with Daniel Ricciardo on his life on and off the race track, from his present with Renault to his past with Red Bull; his relationship with Max Verstappen to his relationship with music, food and ultimate fighting. You asked for it, here it is: F1’s most colourful character in extended, unfiltered conversation.
11 Dec 2019
Luca Di Montezemolo: "Ferrari is passion, Ferrari is emotion, I thank God I worked for them"
He was handed arguably the biggest job in motor racing in his mid-twenties, when none other than Enzo Ferrari made him Sporting Director of his famous team. But rather than falter under such pressure, Luca Di Montezemolo flourished. In the Seventies, as the 'Old Man's' trusted man on the ground at races, he led the team to their first world titles in over a decade. Then in the Nineties, after several years away, he returned as President to lead Ferrari out of the doldrums and into the most successful period of their history. So sit back as Luca shares with Tom startling revelations about Enzo Ferrari, incredible anecdotes about Niki Lauda, Michael Schumacher and Ayrton Senna, and his forthright views on the last two superstars he signed for Ferrari: Alonso and Vettel.
27 Mar 2019
Kevin Magnussen: "Racing-wise, I don't care what people think of me. I'd feel weird if everyone was saying I'm a nice guy..."
His F1 career began with a bang, with a podium finish on debut with McLaren in Australia in 2014. Though he hasn't hit those heights since, in the intervening period Kevin Magnussen has established himself as a hard-edged, no-nonsense racer who, after losing his McLaren drive and then spending a year with Renault, is now really hitting his stride with the American team Haas. Tom Clarkson sat down with the Dane during a quiet period at the Austrian Grand Prix for a candid and honest talk about the highs and lows of his career to-date, including his racing origins, his growth as a driver, and - of course - that famous withering put-down of Nico Hulkenberg...
3 Jul 2019
Rubens Barrichello: “Even now, I feel sick not being in an F1 car. I miss the buzz”
This week’s guest is F1’s original iron man – a veteran of 19 seasons in the top class of racing and a record 322 Grand Prix starts. Over the course of that career, Rubens Barrichello experienced every emotion under the sun: from the despair of being injured and losing hero and countryman Ayrton Senna on the same weekend in 1994; he experienced the euphoria of winning races for Ferrari and Brawn, and also the disappointment of being forced to give up race wins for a team mate. The affable Brazilian speaks about all of the above, as well as the time Senna pranked him as a rookie in 1993, the time he ‘married’ Michael Schumacher on a night out, the elation of sealing a drive with Brawn in 2009 and much more!
27 Nov 2019
Mika Hakkinen: “I carry the emotions of winning the world title every day”
He is regarded as one of the fastest drivers to ever grace an F1 racetrack, and arguably the rival Michael Schumacher feared the most. Not only was Mika Hakkinen’s commitment in a racing car absolute, particularly on a qualifying lap; he somehow came back from a horrifying accident at the end of 1995 not only to win races, but two world championships. On this week’s episode we catch up with the Flying Finn to discuss his truly remarkable career, including that rivalry with Schumacher, “kicking Senna’s ass” on his McLaren debut, recovering from a life-changing crash, what it took to win the title twice, and much more…
13 Nov 2019
Cyril Abiteboul: “I live F1 physically. I don’t sleep for two nights after a race”
He’s a man with one of the toughest jobs in F1: tasked with leading one of the sport’s grandee teams back to the top, under the weight of huge public expectation. But if anyone knows Renault, it’s Cyril Abiteboul. The Frenchman has worked in a variety of positions for the French marque over the years and, though just 41, is now in his fourth season as Team Principal. On this week’s episode Abiteboul discusses how the oft-talked five-year rebuild is going, the pressures of the job, the inside stories of signing Daniel Ricciardo and Esteban Ocon, and why he struggles to sleep at night...
25 Sep 2019
Jenson Button: “My title was the perfect story – they need to make a movie of it”
Our guest this week is someone who lived through one of the sport’s biggest fairy tales when, in 2009, he won the world title with Brawn, less than 12 months after the team had been put out of business by Honda. But though that season has come to define Jenson Button’s F1 career, in reality it was just one small part for a racer that clocked up more than 300 Grand Prix starts. On this week’s episode, Jenson discusses his remarkable career journey, including why the most enjoyable part was pre-world title, how frustrations in the early days shaped his future, the positive and negatives of his silky smooth driving style, beating Lewis Hamilton and much more…
9 Oct 2019
The Best of 2019: Tom’s favourite moments from Season 2
So here it is folks: your final episode of Beyond The Grid of the year. And what a year it’s been, with great guests every week from March to December. So what better way to bid farewell to 2019 than with Tom’s selection of his favourite moments of the season? We’ve stuffed a Christmas cracker full of anecdotes from the likes of Jenson Button, Kimi Raikkonen, Rubens Barrichello, David Coulthard and more. Unwrap and enjoy!
18 Dec 2019
Otmar Szafnauer: “When Force India went into administration, my role was to keep the team together”
Though he's been in F1 a long time, you may not have been overly familiar with Otmar Szafnauer before this year. As COO of Force India, the American played a key role in turning them into one of the best pound for pound teams on the grid. But when driver Sergio Perez pulled the trigger and sent the Silverstone squad into administration in mid-2018, Szafnauer found himself on a course that ultimately led to him becoming Team Principal of a new entity: Racing Point. On this week’s episode of Beyond The Grid, presented by Bose, Szafnauer talks Tom through his ‘most stressful’ of seasons, discusses the potential impact of fresh funding into the team, his hopes for 2019, and his fascinating background in the sport…
12 Dec 2018
James Allison: "For an engineer, F1 is an unending work of invention and skill"
Mercedes have been the standard setters in F1 since 2014, and this year they've started the season at a relentless pace. This week on Beyond The Grid, supported by Bose, we speak to one of the key figures in the Silver Arrows' incredible winning machine: Technical Director James Allison. In an F1 career spanning nearly 30 years, Allison has enjoyed successful spells with the likes of Ferrari, Renault and Mercedes, and knows better than most what it takes to win. So get ready for fascinating insight on life as an engineer for three of the sport's biggest teams, the inside line on working alongside great drivers like Hamilton and Schumacher, and an honest appraisal of the rivalries that drive F1's brightest technical minds to push the boundaries ever further...
8 May 2019
Sergio Perez: “There are no coincidences in F1. There’s a reason why I’m always there when there’s an opportunity to take…”
He’s known as a driver who makes the most of every opportunity – in the thick of the midfield battle, give Sergio Perez a sniff of a podium and the Mexican will normally take it. This week on Beyond The Grid, supported by Bose, ‘Checo’ tells host Tom Clarkson about where that desire and racing ability came from, taking us on a journey from his childhood in Guadalajara to his formative years in Europe, when he journeyed across the world on his own at 15 with little more than a dream to reach F1. In a revealing conversation, Perez also describes why his big move to McLaren turned sour, outlines his role in Force India’s dramatic rebirth as Racing Point, discusses his unique strengths as a driver, and reveals just why he has a steadily growing collection of watches…
17 Apr 2019
Toto Wolff on Hamilton, Rosberg, Lauda and breaking records
He’s a workaholic, whose team is about to win a record seventh consecutive constructors’ championship. Yet his desire for more trophies remains all-consuming. We welcome back Mercedes boss Toto Wolff for an intimate and relaxed chat at his home in Oxford. Topics up for discussion include his future, how Niki Lauda remains a big influence in his life, the realities of the Rosberg/Hamilton relationship (and why it makes a future Hamilton/Verstappen duo unlikely), how his relationship with Hamilton has evolved, and why records mean nothing to him...
21 Oct 2020
Gordon Murray: "As an F1 car designer I was always looking for an unfair advantage. I still am..."
This week’s guest on Beyond The Grid is renowned as one of F1’s great innovators and technical brains – perhaps the best. In a 20-year Grand Prix racing career this blue-sky thinker was responsible for introducing such things as tyre warmers, mid-race fuel stops and the ingenious Brabham fan car – not to mention a host of championship-winning machines and the acclaimed McLaren F1 road car. It’s an amazing resume – especially given Gordon Murray arrived in the UK from his native South Africa in the late Sixties with not much more than a dream to work in motor racing. So sit back and enjoy hearing the back stories behind some of the best cars in F1 history, anecdotes about working with Bernie Ecclestone at Brabham, fascinating insight into the design process, and what it was like to engineer some of the quickest drivers ever…
5 Jun 2019
Alex Albon: “Adversity has given me a strong personality…”
A year ago, Alex Albon didn’t have an F1 drive, and his prospects of getting one looked slim at best. He had no affiliation with an F1 team and, despite shining in F2, he was having to looking at alternative series in which to earn a living. It was not the first time his career faced a crossroads, but this time, things were turned upside down when he got a call from Red Bull – the same Red Bull that had dropped him years earlier – about driving for Toro Rosso in 2019. On this week’s show, the British-born Thai talks about that rollercoaster journey to the top, as well his sensational blockbuster promotion to Red Bull, his childhood obsession with Michael Schumacher and much more.
11 Sep 2019
How Mattia Binotto's taking Ferrari back to the top
The job of Ferrari team principal is arguably the most prestigious in Formula 1 – but it’s also the one that undoubtedly carries the most pressure. The man whose task it is to lead the Scuderia right now is Mattia Binotto. Binotto is a Ferrari lifer, having joined the team straight out of university and worked numerous roles over his 25 years stay. He tells us all about that journey, which included working as an engineer for Michael Schumacher, as well as the joyous highs and intense lows of managing Ferrari over recent years. There’s also plenty of chat about Leclerc, Sainz and Vettel, plus discussion on how he intends to guide the team back to the front in the years to come…
9 Dec 2020
Jackie Stewart: “I removed emotion completely when I drove racing cars – I had to…”
He’s regarded as one of the very best drivers of all-time; a man who, when he walked away from F1, had amassed three world championship titles and a then-record 27 Grand Prix victories. But that he was able to walk away at all was something of a success in itself, for so many of his friend and rivals were not so fortunate in an era when death lurked around every corner. This week’s guest on Beyond The Grid, presented by Bose, is that icon of late Sixties and early Seventies F1 racing: Sir Jackie Stewart. Now 79, the proud Scot is still firing on all cylinders, so get ready for stories of flat-sharing with fellow champ Jim Clark, his view on what made him so successful, the perils and mind-set of racing in F1’s ‘killer years’, and why he eventually founded a Grand Prix-winning F1 team of his own…
31 Oct 2018