Podcast: Gordon speaks on F1 test and interest in sport, JJ in IndyCar, and more

F1 Beyond the Grid features NASCAR champion Jeff Gordon.

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Jeff Gordon:

At the start of the F1 Beyond the Grid episode, Gordon described his passion for the sport and reveals that he watches every session of each weekend - albeit some on replay as a result of prohibitive time zones. He explained that the "mindboggling" experience he had behind the wheel of the Williams-BMW car at Indianapolis in 2003 opened his eyes to the sport.

The four-time NASCAR champion likened his experience to a six-year-old child at Christmas, such was his appreciation for the opportunity. Gordon, though, insisted that the F1 car was still easier to drive than his NASCAR machine - in spite of the greater speeds which he experienced in the car.

Gordon was subsequently asked if he had pursued a career in Formula 1, but argued that his career path on the road to NASCAR would have inadequately prepared him for F1. The American also admitted that some of the politics associated with the sport were unappealing to him, but said he still would have "loved to compete" in the series.

Conversation then shifted to Gordon's former rival and teammate Jimmie Johnson, and his move to single-seaters this season, as he's moved to IndyCar with Chip Ganassi Racing. Gordon says Johnson anticipated IndyCar would be "tough," especially with the unique characteristics of IndyCars. Gordon also applauded Johnson for the bold career move.

After answering a hypothetical question on whether or not Lewis Hamilton could have achieved success in NASCAR, to which Gordon answered he likely would have, the 49-year-old spoke on the sort of mentality it takes for one to win repeatedly at the highest level such as himself and Hamilton.

He then spoke on his rivalry with Johnson, which host Tom Clarkson had likened to Hamilton's rivalry with Nico Rosberg. Gordon insisted things were mostly civil between himself and Johnson, who joined the team as friends but became rivals. Gordon, though, praised Johnson as the toughest competition of his career. After discussing the 2021 F1 season and the battle between Red Bull and Mercedes, the episode drew to a close.

Here’s where you can listen to the podcast:

Roberto Moreno:

Small talk and a brief introduction was punctuated early on in last week's Beyond the Grid podcast by the show's first substantive topic, which focused on Moreno's love for tracing, and how the streets of his home city sparked his passion for the sport. The Brazilian also shared the story of how one shop in his home town ended up breeding three F1 talents.

Moreno went on to discuss his F3000 career, getting emotional as he recounted his success in the category and his win at Monza in that championship. The 62-year-old explained how he got the call up to Ferrari, telling the story of when Marco Piccinini - a top dog at the Scuderia at the time - called him.

He subsequently discussed helping to develop the 1989 Ferrari - the first F1 car with flappy-paddle shifting - for Nigel Mansell in 1989, though Moreno says a number of issues plagued the car and its cooling systems early on in the development process.

After helping develop the car and seeing it make it to victory at Brazil that year, Moreno says, he did not feel as much pride as he may have winning himself, especially given the many people who played a role in developing the car.

After this, Moreno discussed his exit of the nosediving Eurobrun team at which he raced in 1990, and the frustrating circumstances of his departure. It was with this team, he tells host Tom Clarkson, that he was unable to compete in the Japanese GP as their cars were not at the circuit.

Moreno ultimately had to drive for Benetton in the weekend, and discovered just how much more capable the Benetton car was compared to that which he had been given at Eurobrun. In that year's Japanese GP, he achieved a podium with Benetton - a matter which served as the next topic of discussion.

The Brazilian later spoke on how he learned he was being replaced by Michael Schumacher at Benetton in 1991, revealing that he was convinced he was going to be resigned before his meeting. And after discussing driving with the dreadful Andrea Moda outfit, the podcast ended with Moreno describing how his mother continues to inspire him.

[This story was written by me for FormulaRapida and edited by Darshan Chokhani]

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