Review of the Formula 1 Exhibition in Vienna.

Image copyright Julia Paradowska

This year on the 29th of February, I had a fantastic opportunity to visit the F1 exhibition in the beautiful capital city of Austria, Vienna. Despite the lack of crowds during my visit, which I attribute to the timing—midweek and midday—the experience was memorable. As a long-time Formula 1 enthusiast, I found the exhibition to be satisfying, and also an enjoyable introduction for my companion, who had recently begun following the sport. I spent around 2 hours and 30 minutes around the world of F1 (and in my opinion I could spent more). However, I have to admit that the absence of interactive elements, such as pit stop challenges or reaction tests, was a big disappointment, those elements could have enhanced the overall engagement.

The collection at the exhibition was indeed impressive. Among exhibits were numerous F1 drivers’ helmets, race-worn suits, and iconic cars. Notably, one of the F1 cars on display was borrowed from current Alpine driver Pierre Gasly (his winning AlphaTauri AT01from 2020 Italian Grand Prix)

The great number of exhibits offered visitors a glimpse into the rich history of Formula 1 and evolution of the sport, from ’50s to the modern era.Another fascinating element of the exhibition was the section dedicated to the evolution of F1 drivers’ positions in the racing cars throughout the decades. From the very beginning of the championship to the present day, visitors could spotted the shifts in positions, reflecting the dynamic technical changes in Formula 1 world.

One of the highlights of the exhibition was the algorithm that determined the favorite GOAT driver based on visitors’ opinions. This interactive feature not only added a layer of personalization but also sparked intriguing conversations among my company, as each person’s choice reflected their unique perspective on F1 and drivers’ strengths.

The section dedicated to the anatomy of an F1 car and its components was enlightening. Contrasting old engines to their modern counterparts deeply illustrated the technological progress made in the sport over the years. From aerodynamics to engine performance, visitors gained insight into the engineering innovations that propel F1 cars since decades. A big treasure trove for motorsport fans who love technological solutions.

What truly left a lasting impression of the exhibition was Romain Grosjean’s car, the one of his terrifying crash during the Bahrain Grand Prix in 2021. Witnessing the mangled wreckage reminders the inherent risks involved in this sport, as well as the incredible resilience and safety measures that enable drivers to walk away from such harrowing incidents or even (especially according to that crash) avoid death.


The exhibition provided a comprehensive overview of F1’s history and iconic moments. However, I have to admit that the absence of interactive elements, such as pit stop challenges or reaction tests, was lacking. Those elements could have increase the overall engagement. Also that kind of addition to the exhibition would have further enriched the experience, particularly for visitors seeking hands-on engagement with the sport, including younger fans who eager to experience the adrenaline-fueled atmosphere of an F1 race.​In conclusion, my trip to Vienna to see and experience the F1 exhibition was a fascinating journey through the decades of Formula 1 history. While the absence of interactive elements, the extensive collection of exhibits and displays offered a comprehensive overview of F1’s evolution and enduring legacy. With a few enhancements, the exhibition could engage visitors even more actively. I truly recommend visiting Vienna and seeing the F1 exhibition.

Rally Barbórka 2021 review

The Barbórka Rally is a legendary event for motorsport enthusiasts from Poland and beyond. The name of this event comes from the name Barbara and is always organized around Barbara’s name day. This year’s edition was the 59th in Polish motorsport history. After a two-year break (in 2020, the rally took place in a virtual version), the cars returned to the streets of Warsaw and the surrounding area, and their engines warmed fans who were waiting for emotions.

Credit: Albert Radomski/ThePitCrewOnline

The rally started on Friday, December 3rd with a stage in Pruszków which was a new addicion to this event. The stage itself was distinguished by the entrance to the roof of the shopping center. The first stage of the Barbórka rally was won by Kajetan Kajetanowicz and Maciej Szczepaniak (Skoda Fabia Rally Evo2), building an 8-second advantage over the second team.

Top 5 after the first stage:

  1. K. Kajetanowicz / M. Szczepaniak (Skoda Fabia Rally2)
  2. M. Marczyk / Sz. Gospodarczyk (Skoda Fabia Rally2) +8.40 s
  3. W. Chuchała / S. Rozwadowski (Skoda Fabia Rally2) +9.89 s
  4. J. Szeja / M. Sheya (Hyundai i20 Rally2) +12.18 sec
  5. M. Ratajczyk / J. Szcześniak (Skoda Fabia Rally2) +13.06 s
Credit: Julia Paradowska/ThePitCrewOnline

Saturday morning began with an episode organized on Autodrom Słomczyn. The stage consisted of two laps – on stadium and on stadium-gravel stage. The stage itself caused problems for the drivers – especially the two jumps entering the second lap. This episode was another prey for the LOTOS Rally Team, at the helm of which was Kajetan Kajetanowicz. The leader of the rally table left Słomczyn with an advantage of 11.64 seconds.

Top 5 after two stages at Autodrom Słomczyn:

  1. K. Kajetanowicz / M. Szczepaniak (Skoda Fabia Rally2)
  2. M. Marczyk / Sz. Gospodarczyk (Skoda Fabia Rally2) +11.64 s
  3. W. Chuchała / S. Rozwadowski (Skoda Fabia Rally2) +17.89 s
  4. M. Ratajczyk / J. Szcześniak (Skoda Fabia Rally2) +19.05 s
  5. J. Szeja / M. Sheya (Hyundai i20 Rally2) +20.89 sec
Credit: Albert Radomski/ThePitCrewOnline

After two stages, the Barbórka Rally has come to Warsaw. The third stage, which consisted of two laps, was located on the Służewiec horse racing track. This stage was won by Kajetanowicz and Szczepaniak, who added a few precious seconds to the advantage over the second team in the field, which included Miko Marczyk and Szymon Gospodarczyk (ORLEN Team).

Top 5 after a stage on the Służewiec horse racing track

  1. K. Kajetanowicz / M. Szczepaniak (Skoda Fabia Rally2)
  2. M. Marczyk / Sz. Gospodarczyk (Skoda Fabia Rally2) +20.31 sec
  3. M. Ratajczyk / J. Szcześniak (Skoda Fabia Rally2) +35.58 s
  4. W. Chuchała / S. Rozwadowski (Skoda Fabia Rally2) +39.33 s
  5. J. Szeja / M. Sheya (Hyundai i20 Rally2) +39.35 s

The last stage, which was included in the general classification of the rally, took place on the Bemowo track. Kajetan Kajetanowicz and Maciej Szczepaniak were second to none and strengthened their advantage by adding a second, which contributed to the victory in the Barbórka Rally. For Kajetanowicz there is 8th victory in Rally Barbórka in his career and as well 8th consecutive (first in 2013).

Final classification of the 59th Rally Barbórka:

  1. K. Kajetanowicz / M. Szczepaniak (Skoda Fabia Rally2)
  2. M. Marczyk / Sz. Gospodarczyk (Skoda Fabia Rally2) +21.09 sec
  3. M. Ratajczyk / J. Szcześniak (Skoda Fabia Rally2) +39.76 s
  4. W. Chuchała / S. Rozwadowski (Skoda Fabia Rally2) +41.37 s
  5. J. Szeja / M. Sheya (Hyundai i20 Rally2) +42.10 p
Credit: Julia Paradowska/ThePitCrewOnline

From Bemowo, the rally moved to the center of Warsaw to Karowa Street. The Barbórka Rally ended with a stage that was not included in the general classification. It was a separate competition. For many fans, this stage is the most iconic and is the quintessence of the Barbórka Rally, which could be seen in the full stands. Low temperatures did not prevent the fans from watching the competition live on Karowa Street. The start of the stage was preceded by an impressive drifting show. This episode was also captured by Kajetan Kajetanowicz and Maciej Szczepaniak. For Kajetanowicz it is the 9th victory in the special stage at Karowa street.

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“I hope we will fight for the top positions in the general classification until the end” – the interview with Kuba Śmiechowski

Polska wersja:

Many motorsport fans get a thrill at the thought of the LeMans 24. As every year, we celebrate this legendary race with great enthusiasm. This year we have a special honor to cooperate with a team from Poland – Inter Europol Competition.

The team  were second in the European Le Mans Series in 2018, 2019 and 2020.

On this occasion, we had the pleasure to talk to Kuba Śmiechowski. This is the third race at Le Mans for Pole and he is still hungry for successes. Currently, in the WEC classification (LMP2), the driver from Poland is 6th with 37 points. Kuba has had great success in the past – winning the Asian Le Mans Series (LMP3) in 2019 or finishing second in the European Le Mans Series (LMP3) in 2018.

Julia Paradowska: Comparing to your preparations for LM24 for last 3 Le Mans – have they changed? Have you discovered something new about you?

Kuba Śmiechowski: Have I discovered something new? I’m not sure about it.

The preparations are getting easier every year because now I know what to expect and I am more and more mentally prepared for this race. When I started in LM24 for the first time, I didn’t know what it looked like because at that time I had never competed in such a long race.

Now I know what awaits me, also the preparations are easier for me to adjust and I know better what I have to work on.

JP: What do you think about Circuit de la Sarth? Do you have a good memories from this place?

KŚ: The track is really great – it is one of the best I have ever raced at. It is truly unique, it is wonderful.

Do I have any good memories? The previous two Le Mans 24 hour races didn’t go as we planned. We had a car that was not quite able to keep up with the others, so I don’t have particularly good memories, but … The first stint was something special and at the moment it is probably the best memory of this event.

Photo credit: Inter Europol Competition

JP: This season the team has had really good form, do you think it will be an advantage during LM24?

KŚ: Yes definitely. We have an experienced team. Alex and Renger have been in Le Mans many times so they know very well how to drive in a race like this. Unfortunately, we had some bad luck during the qualifications. I believe our pace would have been good enough to make it into the Top 10, but unfortunately we weren’t able to put together a clean lap. It was especially bad in the third sector – GT cars or other LMP2 cars were jumping out in front of us, which prevented us from completing a lap that was satisfactory for us.

We are a bit disappointed after qualifying because I know we have a good car, so we should be in the lead.

JP: The forecast says that it’ll rain during the race. Do you think that It will bring more action at the track?

KŚ: Definitely – it can always mix up a lot. Especially when it comes unexpectedly.

At a some stage of the race, there are drivers from different experience levels in cars. When someone is inexperienced, they are more likely to make a mistake, but even experienced drivers do so.

Rain is especially important for such a long track – it can happen that at one part of the track is raining and the other is completely  dry. Then it is not known what to do with the tires and what strategy to choose.

JP: You said that one of the most important decisions in your motorsport career was switching to endurance racing. Why? When did you come up with this idea?

KŚ: I feel very comfortable here in endurance races and I like driving very much here. I think it’s a really great part of racing.

How did it happen? At one point, we knew we just had to finish our single seater career. We had to choose something else. By pure coincidence, we headed towards the LMP3 cars and decided that it would be the right choice.

Photo credit: Inter Europol Competition

JP: You’re really close to 4th place in championship. Do you think that this battle will continue until the end of the season?

KŚ: I hope so. It is well known – in Le Mans you can get more points than for a regular race. I have a feeling that what’s going to happen here might define the last two races of the seasons and the championship a bit, so it’s hard to say. I hope we will fight for the top positions in the general classification until the end.

I am a bit disappointed that we did not make it to the podium at Monza because during this race we lost the opportunity to fight for third place due to a very late neutralization. I hope it was not our last chance and our car here and in Bahrain will be able to continue fighting ahead.

“Mam nadzieję, że będziemy walczyli do końca o czołowe pozycje w klasyfikacji generalnej” – wywiad z Kubą Śmiechowskim.

English version:

Wielu fanom motorsportu na myśl o LM24 przechodzi dreszcz ekscytacji. Jak co roku będziemy hucznie obchodzili ten legendarny wyścig. Tym razem mamy szczególny zaszczyt współpracować z zespołem z Polski – Inter Europol Competition.

Drużyna zajęła drugie miejsce w European Le Mans Series w 2018, 2019 i 2020 roku.

Z tej okazji mieliśmy przyjemność porozmawiać z Kubą Śmiechowskim, dla którego jest to już trzecia edycja Le Mans i cały czas jest głodny sukcesów. Obecnie w klasyfikacji WEC (LMP2) zajmuje 6 miejsce z dorobkiem 37 punktów. Kuba w przeszłości odnosił wielkie sukcesy – wygranie Asian Le Mans Series (LMP3) w 2019 roku oraz  zajęcie drugiego miejsca w European Le Mans Series (LMP3) rok wcześniej.

Julia Paradowska: W porównaniu do Twoich wcześniejszych przygotowań do LM24 – czy zmieniły się w jakiś sposób? Odkryłeś coś nowego o sobie?

Kuba Śmiechowski: Czy odkryłem coś nowego? Nie jestem pewien.

Przygotowania są coraz łatwiejsze, ponieważ teraz wiem czego mogę się spodziewać i jestem coraz bardziej mentalnie przygotowany na wyścig. Kiedy startowałem pierwszy raz w LM24 nie wiedziałem jak to wygląda, bo w tamtym momencie jeszcze nigdy nie brałem udziału w tak długim wyścigu.

Teraz to już wiem co mnie czeka, także też przygotowania łatwiej mi dopasować i wiem lepiej nad czym muszę pracować.

JP: Co myślisz o Circuit de la Sarth? Masz dobre wspomnienia z tego miejsca?

KŚ: Tor jest naprawdę świetny – jest jednym z najlepszych, na których miałem okazję się ścigać. Jest faktycznie unikalny, wspaniały.

Czy mam jakieś miłe wspomnienia? Poprzednie dwie edycje nie poszły nam tak jak planowaliśmy. Mieliśmy samochód, który nie do końca był w stanie nadążyć za innymi, więc nie mam szczególnie miłych wspomnień, ale… Pierwszy wyjazd to było coś specjalnego i na ten moment to chyba najmilsze wspomnienie z tego obiektu.

  • Photo credit: Inter Europol Competition

JP: Ten sezon jest naprawdę dobry dla Waszego zespołu. Czy uważasz, że regularna forma zespołu będzie atutem podczas LM24?

KŚ: Tak, zdecydowanie. Mamy doświadczony zespół. Alex i Renger byli wiele razy w Le Mans, więc doskonale wiedzą, jak powinno się jeździć w takim wyścigu. Niestety podczas czasówki mieliśmy trochę pecha. Uważam, że nasze tempo wystarczyłoby na dostanie się do czołowej dziesiątki, ale niestety nie byliśmy w stanie złożyć czystego okrążenia. Szczególnie źle było w trzecim sektorze – co chwile samochody GT albo inne LMP2 wyskakiwały przed nami, co uniemożliwiało nam złożenie zadawalającego nas okrążenia.

Trochę jesteśmy zawiedzeni po tych kwalifikacjach, ponieważ wiem, że mamy dobre auto, więc powinniśmy być czołówce.

JP: Prognoza mówi, że podczas wyścigu będzie padać. Czy myślisz, że wprowadzi to więcej akcji na torze?

KŚ: Zdecydowanie –deszcz zawsze potrafi dużo przemieszać. Szczególnie jak nadejdzie nieoczekiwanie.

Na danym etapie wyścigu w samochodach są kierowcy na różnym poziomie. Kiedy ktoś jest niedoświadczony, to jest większe prawdopodobieństwo popełnienia błędu, ale to robią nawet kierowcy z dużym doświadczeniem.

Deszcz ma szczególne znaczenie na tak długim obiekcie – może być tak, że na jednej części toru pada, a na drugiej jest sucho. Wtedy nie wiadomo kompletnie, co zrobić z oponami oraz jaką strategię wybrać.

JP: Powiedziałeś, że jedną z najważniejszych decyzji w twojej karierze było przejście na wyścigi długodystansowe. Dlaczego? Kiedy wpadłeś na ten pomysł?

KŚ: Bardzo dobrze odnajduję się tutaj, w wyścigach długodystansowych i bardzo mi się tutaj podoba. Myślę, że jest to naprawdę świetne ściganie.

A jak to się stało? W pewnym momencie wiedzieliśmy, że po prostu musimy skończyć karierę w oneseaterach. Musieliśmy wybrać coś innego. Czystym przypadkiem skierowaliśmy się w kierunku samochodów LMP3 i uznaliśmy, że to będzie odpowiedni wybór.

Photo credit: Inter Europol Competition

JP: Jesteście naprawdę blisko czwartego miejsca w mistrzostwach. Czy myślisz, że walka potrwa do końca sezonu?

KŚ: Mam taką nadzieję. Wiadomo – w Le Mans można zdobyć więcej punktów, niż za zwykły wyścig. Mam wrażenie, że to co tutaj się wydarzy, może trochę definiować ostatnie dwa wyścigi i punktację, więc ciężko powiedzieć. Mam nadzieję, że będziemy walczyli do końca o czołowe pozycje w klasyfikacji generalnej.

Jestem trochę zawiedziony, że nie udało nam się zdobyć podium na Monzy, ponieważ podczas tego wyścigu przez bardzo późną neutralizację straciliśmy możliwość walki o trzecie miejsce. Mam nadzieję, że to nie była nasza ostatnia szansa i nasz samochód tutaj jak i w Bahrajnie będzie mógł dalej walczyć z przodem stawki.

International Women’s Day 2021 – The interview with Juju Noda

We are not afraid to say that in last few years, Juju Noda has become a huge name in motorsport – We passionately believe it is not the last time we are going to hear this name. The young Japanese driver is proving that her place is in the highest echelons of racing.

For International Women’s Day 2020, we spoke with Juju. You can find the interview from 2020 here:

Juju got into racing because she had grown up around race paddocks, a result of her father, Hideki Noda, a former Formula 1 driver. However, would she still be a part of the motorsport community if she had not grown up in racing family? Absolutely yes.

“I was influenced by my father, for sure but I really believe that even without my father, I would still have developed an interest in motor racing. I naturally love driving. That is why I would feel very natural for my life to go in this direction.”

For the 2021 season, Juju is joining Jay Howard Driver Development for the upcoming US F4 championship for what is a big step-up for the 15-years-old Japanese driver.

“Everything will be new again for me. The car, the team, the circuits, the place to live… I have to learn and go through so many things. My father and team told me to just take it easy at the beginning of the season. And then, gradually move up to a higher level.”

Although, the upcoming US F4 championship is her only race programme in 2021 and the 15-year-old driver is hungry for more challenges.

“I would like to learn as much as possible during the year both inside and outside the track, as well as bringing my own abilities to a higher level. Any experience I get will make me stronger.”


Because of Noda’s age, she was unable to develop her driving skills in Japan, causing her to leave her motherland. The Japan Automobile Federation (JAF) regulations are strict and drivers under 16 years of age cannot take part in Japanese championships.

The 2020 season was Juju’s first season in Danish F4 championship (there is no minimum age for participants) – her first in Europe. The best memory from this experience is on her debut race.

“I took the pole position and led the whole race, pole to win. You only get one chance at achieving that and I couldn’t believe how I managed it. I also qualified 100% on pole position in every qualifying session. That was never going to be easy to do, so I was very happy to do it.”

The opening race of the Danish F4 championship was not the only success she was to have. Noda went on to score every pole position and achieve 3 podium finishes (1st race – 1st place, 4th race – 2nd place and 5th race – 3rd place). She finished the season 6th place in championship.

It will not surprise anybody that 2020 changed the entire world. But how has the COVID-19 pandemic affected the rising star?

“The effect was very big, and it was obviously disappointing because I was supposed to have 24 races in total and it ended up being only 9 races. I was really confident to win more races and to challenge for the title.”

The 2021 US F4 championship will start on 26th of March at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta. It will be the first race week for Juju this year.

Alfa Romeo Racing Orlen launches the C41

Alfa Romeo become the latest team to officially launch their 2021 F1 challenger – the C41, during an online media event in Warsaw.

Scheduled during a week of official car launches, it joins the current trend of online hosted events, rather than its traditional reveal usually unveiled at Winter Testing.

The team went all out to impress the tens of thousands of fans, using music and dance to portray a classy, elegant and cultured impression of Alfa Romeo.

The Alfa Romeo C41 car breaks from sequence, given the team raced with a C39 in 2020. However, the team wishes to skip the C40 name in favour of a title that aligns the chassis number with the year of racing.

The team  also underwent a livery change with a white on red style, the inverse of the last few years.

Credit: Alfa Romeo Racing Orlen Team

Alfa Romeo will be aiming to bounce back after a difficult 2020 which saw the team score just eight points as drivers Kimi Räikkönen and Antonio Giovinazzi struggled to compete with the midfield teams further ahead.

However, with a new and improved Ferrari power unit, fired up earlier this month, Alfa Romeo can find plenty of optimism surrounding their hopes for an improved campaign.

Credit: Alfa Romeo Racing Orlen Team

On the changes made to the C41, technical director Jan Monchaux said:      “[We had to] Invest our tokens on a new nose […] front suspension, front wing and the bargeboard deflector. The rest of the effort was spent on the floor and the diffuser where due to the regulations we lost a lot of downforce.”

Due to changes in the technical regulations, teams are restricted to what they can develop. Many parts of the 2020 cars are carried over to this year.

“The chassis is the same, the gearbox is obviously the same and the rear suspension as well because of the regulations”

“Then for return-on-investment reasons we decided to carry over radiators and some part of the body work to really in the short time we had to concentrate on the areas we were expecting to provide the highest return on investment.”

Speaking of the team’s hopes, Fred Vasseur said: “For sure the expectations are high,” he explained. “It is an exciting time for the team at the launch of a new car.”

“The most important is to try improve so to put a goal is limiting. Step by step we have to come back. It is a long path but we will improve.”

“We will see in Bahrain in a few weeks time where we are exactly.

Many factors are being considered for Alfa Romeo’s long term plan back to the front including investments on infrastructure such as a new wind-tunnel and simulator. “We’ve invested a lot of money and energy to the simulator. We are at an early stage at the project. I am really convinced on it.”

On preparations for the season, Kimi  underplayed it explaining that it has been: “Very normal life, nothing special. We are excited for the year.”

“There’s rules changes, but in a few weeks we will see from testing how things are running, how things are feeling and roughly in one months time we will see roughly where everybody is.” 

 I enjoy the racing and the challenge to try to improve things and to get better”

Both drivers will be retained for the 2021 season supported by reserve and test drivers Robert Kubica and Tatiana Calderon.

On his 2021 European Le Mans program Kubica said: “It’s a great opportunity I will have to discover a new car, new series, but also a bit of different way of racing”.

“From a performance point of view the field is very competitive in European Le Mans Series. But of course we are working on getting ready and first of all will be to learn as much as I can and try to do something good.”

“You always want to do your best and I think this will be a goal.”

On the driver line-up, Vasseur stated stability and continuity was key: “We only have three days (testing) this winter, we won’t lose time to know each other and to build up a relationship. The relationship between the team and the drivers is a good one and this is crucial.”

Credit: Alfa Romeo Racing Orlen Team
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