My Thoughts On Apple Music

July 27th, 2015

It’s been a month almost since the initial release of Apple Music, so I thought it might have been a good idea to weigh in with my own impressions. This is not going to be a review, just a flow of thoughts and personal experiences with this new Apple service.

 


 

A new design

The first notable change when you update to iOS 8.4 is going to be the new icon on your home screen. I’ve been a fan of the orange Music app icon since the launch of iOS 7, but I feel like they’ve done an extraordinary job with this new one. It definitely sets Apple Music apart and looks beautiful on the iPhone dock.

The icon is only a small part of the overall redesign that Apple gave to its music app. With iOS 7 and then later with iOS 8, the music app has been slowly but surely streamlined, in order to better fit with the overall flat trend of iOS.

Among all of them, the inside album view is definitely the aspect that I like the most about it. I like how the entire UI picks up the dominant colors of the album art so to blend in and give a much better experience to the user.

The new design unfortunately is not always helpful. There are many cases in which the new UI becomes an obstacle when trying to understand what’s going on. One classic example is the offline availability of tracks. First of all, why by default Apple Music is not showing the streaming-only tracks? That doesn’t seems to be a good implementation choice. Also, the switch to change this behavior is hidden in the last place you would be going to look for it (the menu where you can switch between album/artist/song view).

In addition to that, it’s very difficult to exactly know which track is available and which one is not. Usually next to the offline track you would get a small phone icon which should signal that the track is saved locally. In reality this system seems to be a bit of a hit and miss. I have one playlist where I put all the songs that I like (a kind of Best Of). This is the first playlist I wanted to save locally, so that no matter what I always have some good music with me. You can save the entire playlist, but only some of the songs have that little offline marker. All of the tracks are actually stored locally, but simply by looking at the visual clues, you wouldn’t be able to tell that.

On a single playlist is not a major issue, but if you start managing a bigger offline library, things may get ugly pretty soon.

 


 

There are now five main tabs within the new Music app: For You, New, Radio, Connect and My Music. My Music is basically all that the Music app used to be before the introduction of Apple Music, so I won’t spend too much time on it. As a matter of fact, if you decide not to subscribe to Apple Music, the My Music tab is all you’re left with.

 


 

For You

This section quickly became my favorite part of Apple Music. During the initial setup of the service you are asked for your musical taste. This and favoring tracks while playing them will help in making sure that the service can deliver the best music experience for you.

So far this has been working almost magically for me. What you get from For You is a mix of playlists and albums, which so far has been a mix of things that I already know and love but also quite a lot of new stuff that made me discover such great music.

I particularly enjoy the playlist side of For You. You generally have a mix of ‘songs inspired by X’ where x might be an artist already in your library and these are the ones really useful for discovery; ‘deep cut of Y’ where is all about a specific artist and then depending on the time of the day you also get contextual playlists: something relaxing for the morning or a party compilation for the Friday night.

Then there’s also another type of playlists which I’ve seen a few times already: the geo-location playlist. I’m not sure if this is a real thing or it’s just chances, but I do get lots of lists London-based. This seems a great way to discover local music. I haven’t changed my regional settings to see what you get in the US or other European countries, but if it’s really location-based it would be another great feature of Apple Music.

 


 

New

As the title of the section suggests, you would think that the ‘New’ tab is all about new music releases and the hot tracks of the moment; and you would be only 50% right. Indeed there’s new music and new releases, but there’s also a lot more. The first thing that you’ll notice is that in there you can find many celebrity-curated or magazine-curated playlists, alongside the ‘mood-playlist’ (are you outdoor? do you want BBQ music? it’s a dinner party? that kind of mood).

It is for this reason that I find this section a bit confusing. Mostly because I only look at the label and I think to myself, ‘here I’ll only find new stuff, so it’s not worth to check there daily’. I always forget that there’s a lot more going on in there, so I end up missing a lot (even if I rather prefer the dynamism of the For You section anyway).

 


 

Radio

Radio is the new big thing of Apple Music. Beats 1 is live 24h 12h a day (is about the same 12 hours repeated twice every day) with three main hosts and a number of a-list musicians hosting their own smaller shows. I love Zane Lowe, I used to listen to him all the time when he was at BBC Radio One and I was extremely pleased that Apple brought him on board for their radio. He’s always been on top of the new music scene, bringing to the wider audience so many great artists over the years.

Now on Beats 1 he keeps doing the same show as ever and therefore he keeps being the best way of discovering new music. I like Julie Adenuga’ show as well although sometimes it goes outside my comfort zone in terms of musical tastes, but it is still a good listening exercise. With Ebro Darden instead I’m almost always lost. I’m not into the kind of music that he regularly plays (lots of rap and hip-hop) and he also makes cultural references that are escaping me since they are very US based.

All in all I think this is a very good mix of hosts and diverse music backgrounds to appeal to such a wide audience (Beats 1 is live in more than 100 countries as we are often reminded during the broadcast).

The celebrities shows are also great, I especially like the St. Vincent Delivery Mix Tapes; not just for the music (which is always great) but also for the stories and how the music blend in so perfectly. Despite having lots of great shows, Beats 1 has a discovery issue. Yes there’s a Tumblr blog where you can find the schedule, but you can only look ahead about 12 hours and the times there are not always 100% correct, making it sometimes difficult to tune in at the right moment.

Myke Hurley (of Relay.fm) makes a good point of saying that Apple should have an iCal ready for user to download and integrate within the calendar app. I would even go as far as saying that they should give an option online where you can pick and choose which show you want to add to your personal calendar, so you can be reminded of the shows you really care about.

Another possible improvements could be to serve this music shows as downloadable podcasts after the facts. Right now, once the show is over you get a playlist with all the songs played during a specific show (not for all the shows and not always straight after the show is over). The interesting parts of those shows are the DJs interaction, which are currently lost once the show as aired twice. I know that by doing so, you may lose a bit of the appeal of listening live, but I still think it would be a great improvement for Beats 1.

 


 

Connect

Now comes the only bit of Apple Music of which I have nothing to say about. The premise would be of a revamped and improved Ping (remember that??…me neither…), the reality is that is just about the same. You can follow artists which are more or less regularly posting materials on there. To help you populating the Connect section, Apple Music will make you follow all the artists which material you add to your Music, a behaviour from which you can opt-out from the app settings.

 


 

Is it worth the jump?

I’ve been a Spotify Premium subscriber since the very beginning of Spotify. Last week I’ve cancelled my subscription after replicating all my playlists onto Apple Music, which itself was a very painful and manual process.

So far I’ve been pretty satisfied with Apple Music, it has offered me a solid service. For me the biggest advantage is to have a service that is full system-integrated so that it allows me to use Siri for example.

It definitely might not be for everyone, but I think that Apple is moving in the right direction.

The Long And Winding Road

July 26th, 2015

I’m currently waiting at the airport in Turin, waiting to fly back home in England. How did I ended up here? Well, yesterday I drove all the way down from London to Turin. A 14-hours-long-day, mainly spent on the scorching French motorway after leaving the British rain (surprise!) behind.
So why did I do that?

Well, after 8 years and around 153,000 km it was time to say goodbye to my good old car. I spent the last few years driving my Italian car in UK and despite loving that car, it was time for an upgrade.

My little Grande Punto gave me so much over the years and went pretty much everywhere in Europe in some of the craziest road trip ever.

On that car I had a chance not just to drive, but also to talk to people. In my car, on the road is where I’ve cemented many great friendship relationships.

To me it wasn’t just a car, it was an everyday companion, something that had always been part of my life.

It was my first car, a gift from my late grandmother when I turned 18.

I will always be grateful for it and I will always treasure those memories in time.

Now it’s time to turn the page, opening a new motoring chapter.

Farewell my friend, you’ll be missed. 

F1 2015: Australian GP

March 15th, 2015

A new F1 season has started and we already had many confirmations and few surprises. But nothing in the race was nearly as good as the post-race interview, where a joyful Hamilton said the following to the Terminator himself: “I thought you were taller!”. Joking aside, 2015 started with a bit of a low tone. 13 cars lined up on the grid (after losing 2 cars in the lap to preceding the formation lap) and only 11 saw the chequered flag.

Despite not having had many technical changes compared to last year, it’s already clear that reliability will play a big role in this season. Speaking of reliability, we have to mourns McLaren. Only Button made it to the initial grid (Magnussen’s engine exploded before he reached the grid) and he only managed to finish 11th out of 11 cars, having to deal with a new Honda engine only running at 40%. Everybody had massive hopes for the renewed partnership McLaren-Honda, but it yet has to show its real face (and it seems it won’t happen anytime soon).

Speaking of surprises, as I said at the beginning we had a few. First was Ferrari, with the surviving car of Sebastian Vettel achieving an impressing 3rd place that prompted him to salute his new team and fans with a surprisingly good Italian (he spoke more Italian in one race that what Schumacher did in his entire career with the Scuderia).

I also want to mention the new drivers, because they all provided great entertainment and showed once again what F1 has to do more of. Max Verstappen, Felipe Nasr and Carlos Sainz Jr. all showed great tenacity and fearless racing. They always “went for it” whenever there was an available space and the three of them I think overtook a lot, certainly more than what we have seen in recent years.

A very early take away from this first race is that Mercedes is going to dominate the entire season once again, while the real race will probably take place between Ferrari and Williams with than everybody else watching from a distance.

All in all a good start but the really important thing is that F1 is back and in a very good shape.

Parallelisms

January 11th, 2015

As always, when it’s about movies: spoilers ahead. Read with caution!

Yesterday night I went to see American Sniper, the latest Clint Eastwood movie; featuring a marvellous Bradley Cooper (I was very skeptic of this choice, especially if you think of any of The Hangover movies).

When the credits started rolling at the end, my first reaction was: I already saw this story.

Let me explain.

American Sniper is the real story of a cowboy turned Navy Seals sniper after whitnessing what happened to the Twin Towers in New York in 2001. After joining the Army and being sent after Bin Laden’s own army, he starts killing one enemy after the other, earning for himself the title of Legend. One enemy, another sniper, is his main adversary, taking many American lives. An incredible final shoot will see the Legend triumphant in the very end.

On the personal side, the sniper has a wife and two childrens, but ha has difficulties in coping with life away from the battlefield. He always feels responsible for all the lives he cannot save, rather than regretting all the lives he took.

Stop me if you have already heard this.

We need to travel back to 2001, year of release of Enemy at the Gates. This movie tells the story of a Soviet sniper, Vasily Zaytsev, engaged in a three day battle with a German sniper during the Battle of Stalingrad in 1942 during the Second World War. He enlists in the Red Army because he had no choice at the time and after being discovered by a Soviet political messenger and thanks to his skills, quickly became a poster-child of the War.

If you take the stories of these two extraordinary men and you put them side-by-side, you can see that the parallelisms go back to when they were both children. They were both trained with the rifle since they were very young and both later on went on to become legends and at same time propaganda tools. Their successes were used to boost the soldiers’ morale and intimidate the enemy. Their reputations will give them both a fierce enemy, putting their lives even more on the line.

On the personal side, they both struggle with their love. Vasily looses his woman in war, being killed by the opponent German sniper, Chris has a family but he has trouble to connect with it and when it does it’s too late, being killed by a young War Veteran.

These two stories, happening 70 years apart, share some incredible similarities and really they make you think. It makes you look back and reflect on how true it is that we can learn a lot from history and at the same time we can predict what will happen.

It really seems that history keeps repeating itself.

Ascension

December 27th, 2014

Attention: major spoilers ahead

In a time where most of the Sci-Fi TV shows are looking into the future, Ascension (7.1/10 on IMDb) is looking into a different contemporary reality, even if the final aim is always the same: providing a better future for mankind.

As always I’ve discovered this new show through my loyal TV Files app. Thanks to the New section, it’s always possible to find something interesting. In addition to that, I had read few reviews online, really hyping the show. So I decided to give it a go. Also, being a mini-series with 6 half-hour shows, it wasn’t a major time commitment anyway.

The initial premises of the show seems quite simple, maybe too simple. A spaceship packed with 600 people is sent into space in the late ’50 for a 100-years journey toward a new distant planet in order to re-start the human race. Turns out, the ship was built but never actually left Earth, being stuck into a massive laboratory that simulate with a dome the outer space to keep up the illusion on board.

The show then becomes very quickly a modern take on The Truman Show. This time it’s not for the enjoyment of TV watchers, but for scientists to study human interaction while on a enclosed space. The humans on board have always lived with a very specific set of rules, recreating a very segmented society, where a small oligarchy is in command, deciding all the aspects of life for others, even birth control. The society on board seems to represent a bad example of society, or at least one that it’s stuck in the ’50s and hasn’t been able to evolve on its own.

Half way through the journey the second generation of travellers (the one born after the original ‘launch day’) suddenly wakes up. A murder will shake the imposed structure, questioning many of the choices and the existing dynamics. In addition to internal turmoils, there are also new inputs from the outside, where scientist are now struggling to keep the experiment under control.

The entire show balances itself on a very thin line since we discover it’s all fake and probably doesn’t succeed in delivering the message they wanted to pass onto us of a better future is possible, but it still makes for a good few hours of entertainment.

With a very wide open ending, the show could be set for a second season, but at the moment it remains a pure exercise in style.

Year In Review: The Best TV Shows Of 2014

December 23rd, 2014


Before we start, let me address the two elephants in the room. Basically all the TV series listed below are from the US. Some of them can be followed on SKY UK (with some delays) or using a VPN connection to view them of the websites of the respective cable channels.
Secondly, I’ll try to keep the spoilers at a minimum level, but I can’t assure a completely spoiler-free article.


Following my year in podcast I feel like today might be a good day to look back at a year of TV. If podcasts are a constant companion while commuting, TV shows became my main form of entertainment most nights of the week. Some of them are just things to have in the background, some others are keeping you sticked to your tv in a constant rush of surprise. Some are recurrent player, some are new entries. 2014 has been a good year for tv, and already 2015 will have lots to offer.

One of the notable new entries has surely been Forever (8.3/10 on IMDb). Starring a very comfortable and very British Ioan Gruffud (of Fantastic 4/Titanic/King Arthur fame) as an immortal 200-years-old Dr. Henry Morgan, it’s a classic police investigative series based, strangely enough, in New York City. Having seen death all over the years , he is now a brilliant ME for the NYPD, while trying to find a way to end his course on the side. The series left us with a massive cliffhanger for the Holidays break, so I can’t wait to see how events will unfold in the new year.

On the comic side, the next best new entry is The Flash (8.3/10 on IMDb). Having to follow the massive success of the ’80 and the not-so-great rendition of the ’90, it was a potential bomb ready to explode, but so far it’s going great. They’ve surely learned from the experience of Arrow (they are both created/broadcasted by the same network and there are frequents cross-overs and collaborations among the two heroes) and so far they’ve managed to produce an honest super-hero series. There aren’t many dramas, it’s all about him and his quest to find his mum’s killers helped by a group of friends(?) along the way.

Alongside these rookies we have a long list of recurring stars. The Big Bang Theory (8.6/10 on IMDb) is still funny, sometimes devastatingly funny, with Sheldon’s character emerging as the clear leader and protagonist of the show and surely its defining stone. Person of Interest (8.4/10 on IMDb) is undergoing a major shift, concentrating more on the ethics of the relation human-machine, leaving behind the simple easy-gun-style of the beginning. It’s still very interesting and extremely well written (the show is penned by Jonathan Nolan) and it feels more relevant to the direction the real world is taking nowadays.

Elementary (8/10 on IMDb) keeps being a weird modern Sherlock Holmes. This latest series, with the introduction of a new companion and the half departure from Watson it’s definitely something I didn’t see coming, that is making some of the show’s dynamic feeling out of place. Maybe that was the aim of the show, but still, it puts the entire show in a weird spot. The best Sherlock is of course Sherlock (9.3/10 IMDb). The CumberbatchFreeman duo is simply perfect. They have a great chemistry on screen and they both perfectly portray their respective parts. We had a great series at the beginning of the year that has set the bar for a huge comeback in 2016 (with a Christmas special coming just before in 2015). Again, this is a show that is as amazing as their writers/creators duo Mark GatissSteven Moffat. Deep, unpredictable and always evolving, taking you out of your comfort zone over and over again.

A special mention goes for the recently ended 4th season of Homeland (8.5/10 on IMDb). The re-boot without Brody’s character brought a fresh breeze on the show. Removing the romance(?) felt like a good choice, so the focus went back on the main story, the interaction between countries and the never-ending secrets. The writing became a bit darker and deeper and all the characters are now much more mature than before. It feels not just like a re-boot, but a completely new show, so kudos to the writing team.

With such a busy 2014, what will 2015 bring to us? As far as I am concerned, two of my favourite shows are back on the air. Top Gear (9/10 on IMDb) with a Christmas special next week and then a full new series 22 from late January. And finally, Netflix’s exclusive House of Cards (9.1/10 on IMDb) is back in February with a fully re-charged Francis Underwood ready to storm US politics once again.

A great year to look forward to.

Year In Review: The Best Podcasts Of 2014

December 22nd, 2014

Podcasts have always been a big thing for me. They are my companion while commuting to work, a relief while doing routing chores in the house. They are a kind of sanity check and many times I prefer them to simply listening to music.

With podcasts you can always learning new stuff, and especially with the selection that I’ve made for myself, I can always find new ways to fuel my creativity.

Now that we are at year’s end, it feels like a good moment to look back at the list of podcasts that kept me company for the past 12 months.

Upgrade

I’m a big technology enthusiast, always been. I’ve started following technologies through Apple and then one step at a time I’ve branched out into general technology and everything that surrounds us nowadays.
Upgrade is a show hosted by Jason Snell and Myke Hurley on Relay.fm. The show is part of a recently formed independent network which is producing amazing shows all around.
I like Upgrade in particular because the generation clash of the two hosts makes for a great all-around view on the technology world.
With Snell’s roots into the world of “old-school” media thanks to his experience in print at MacWorld and Hurley’s fresh view of the world as enthusiast, you can always get an hour (or so) of thoughtful entertainment.

Accidental Tech Podcast

If you love tech and you want to hear the nitty gritty details, ATP is a must-listen-to. With an all-start host line-up including Marco Arment (of Tumblr, Instapaper and Overcast fame), John Siracusa (the only stop for Mac OS X reviews) and Casey Liss (who?) you know you are going to get all the details you possibly want to hear of any given topic.
Despite podcasting without doing an research, Siracusa is one of the best tech journalists I’ve ever encountered. Thanks to a mix of personal experience and frankly lots of obsessions he has more or less always the final word.

The Talk Show with John Gruber

John Gruber is the pen behind Daring Fireball, the blog famous for dissecting all-Apple news but also famous for creating the link-blog style.
In his Talk Show he always has guests from any corner of the web: creatives, designers, programmers and so on. Despite being officially about technology, the Talk Show is pretty much about anything the hosts want to talk about so we quickly go into any other random topic. Recently we had shows about James Bond and Star Wars and baseball (yes there’s a lot of baseball).
Just a fair bit of warning. Lately shows have varied in length and we are now around an average of 2 to 2.5 hours each!

Inquisitive

Inquisitive is another show from Relay.fm and it’s one of the best. It’s an interview show where Myke Hurley talks with very interesting people every week. He has great interview skills so Myke alwyas manages to take the best out of his guests.
It’s also true that he always have great guests, the creative types that inspires you to do your best always.

Still Untitled: The Adam Savage Project

I assume the name Adam Savage is not new to you. He is one of the two Mythbusters, the crazy blonde one I would add. In this show, which is still today without a title, he let his geek side out without controls. It’s mostly about craftsmanship and creating and doing stuff to explore your inner geek. It’s also about the scientific process, and movies and possibly comedy.

The Incomparable

There’s only one way to describe The Incomparable podcast: a geek realm. Jason Snell and friends are every week looking into the geekiest corner of the internet. There’s lots of flashbacks into the past and how bad tv and entertainment were in the ’70s and also how good they were. To follow the show you need at least some basic ground in comics, sci-fi books and movies and so on.
If you want a good example of the essence of The Incomparable, listen to the special episode about the recent release of the new Star Wars teaser trailer: 80 seconds of trailer, 1.5 hours of show. Do I need to say anything else?

StarTalk

If so far it has all been about sci-fi and comics and the impossible, we are now back on Earth with our feet deep in science. StartTalk is Neil deGrasse Tyson show about the Cosmos, deep space and the joys of leaning though the Scientific Method. Tyson is the Carl Seagan of our generation and undoubtedly the greatest science speaker we have today. His gift is being able to take very complex concepts and explaining them using simple concepts that anybody can easily follow and understand. Plus, he always talks with great passion and you will undoubtedly get caught by that passion yourself, igniting the curiosity toward space that has brought us so far.

Judge John Hodgman

John Hodgman is they guy famous for portraying the Personal Computer in the Apple series of ads for PC vs Mac. He then went on being a “political correspondent” for The Daily Show with John Stewart and recently he moved into being a Deranged Millionaire predicting the end of the world and giving out advices on how to survive such event with his books’ trilogy.
When is not busy being a comedian he runs a fake court of internet justice where he hears and pronounce judgement on any kind of cases. From answering troubling questions as “are machineguns to be considered robots?” to “should you be allowed to keep a night vase underneath your bed because your bathroom is too far away from your bed?”, the Judge has an opinion on everything.
Is a genuine show that will give you a genuine laughter, especially thanks to Hodgman brilliancy as stand-up comedian.

Just for Fun: International Waters

If you still have space in your podcast player of choice you should consider trying International Waters. As the title says, this is just for pure fun. You don’t need to listen in order and you don’t need to listen to all the episodes. Each one is very much self-contained into about an hour of genuine comedy. Its format is what makes this show great: two teams of comedians are battling each other. One representing the US and one the UK, International Waters is also a very funny way to learn what makes those two countries so culturally different.

Special Mention: Serial

Finally, it’s not possible to write an article about podcasts without citing Serial. Serial is the new and recent podcast phenomenon brought to us by the people at This American Life. If you don’t know about Serial you’ve seriously been living under a rock.
12 episodes, one story told from beginning to end. An investigative report into a real-life drama. I won’t say anything more because the beauty of Serial is not knowing what’s coming next, plus the possibility of doing your own version of the investigation and see if you’ll come to the same conclusions.


2014 has been a great year for podcast, which is apparently undergoing a major renaissance period, so I can only expect greater things from 2015. Keep listening!

F1 Review: What’s Coming In 2015

December 6th, 2014

Just few days after my 2014 F1 review, the FIA published some of the changes will be seeing in the new season next year. Let’s have a look at the most interesting.

Points

Points for both titles will no longer be doubled for the final Event of the Championship.

Seriously? I swear I laughed really a lot when I saw this. The first item in the list abolish the most controversial rule that we had in 2014. It was first introduced to provide a ‘better show’ but it only mathematically relegated Rosberg to a desperate final race. Even without the technical issues there was no way on earth he could have won.

Glad it’s gone.

Standing Restarts

After consultation with the Teams who raised a number of safety concerns, Articles 42.7 and 42.8 on standing restarts have been rescinded.

Never really understood the need for a standing restart. Usually Safety Car spells are where we see most of the action nowadays. Plus there’s the technical issue of stopping all the cars and starting them again. Not just mechanics running around on the pit straight, but also consider the implication of letting the car suddenly cool down just to heat up again few minutes later. I could see a lot of engines suddenly going up in smoke!

Virtual Safety Car (VSC)

Following tests of the VSC system at the final Events of 2014, the introduction of the system has been approved for 2015. The VSC procedure may be initiated to neutralise a race upon the order of the clerk of the course. It will normally be used when double waved yellow flags are needed on any section of track and competitors or officials may be in danger, but the circumstances are not such as to warrant use of the safety car itself.

This is a very interesting new article. Safety has always been at the centre of the FIA actions and this feel like a major leap forward. The essence is that with the VSC procedure, cars can be slowed down remotely in case of danger, without having to rely on the drivers. It’s not that we don’t trust drivers to do the right thing, but they are still professional drivers fighting in the ultimate championship: they will always try to meet the minimum requirement still trying to gain something out of it (meaning: not really slowing down that much). By removing the human decision we can make sure all the drivers can be safe and everybody will experience the same delay, meaning that no one will be more penalised than other.

Power Unit Penalties

[…] If a grid place penalty is imposed, and the driver’s grid position is such that the full penalty cannot be applied, the remainder of the penalty will be applied in the form of a time penalty during the race (not at the next race as was previously the case) […]

I like the idea of preventing penalties from being carried over in subsequent races. If something wrong is detected the penalty should be reflected in the same event the fault was discovered. Porting it into the next race never made much sense.

Qualifying Procedure

The qualifying procedure was clarified: for cases when 24 cars are eligible seven will be excluded after Q1 and Q2, if 22 cars are eligible six cars will be excluded after Q1 and Q2, and so on if fewer cars are eligible.

I have mixed feelings toward this clarification. In very basic terms it explains how many cars are excluded from every session depending on the total number of participating cars. This was clearly done in response to the chaos brought by the sudden disappearance of Catheram and Marussia. Now it’s clearer what to do if the number drops. My question is: why instead don’t they work toward making sure that we always have the full number of cars on the grid? Also why starting to count from 24? Even with all the teams in we had 22 cars. Are they laying the ground for 3-cars team to cover the defection of other manufacturers? This was only a rumour; we’ll see what will happen.

Safety Car: lapped cars

Once the last lapped car has passed the leader the safety car will return to the pits at the end of the following lap, the race director will no longer have to wait for all the lapped cars to reach the back of the pack behind the safety car.

Again, a welcomed change even if still doesn’t fully solved the problem. Since a couple years ago lapped cars have to up-lap themselves and take their position at the back of the group, making sure that all cars are within a certain more compact space. This wasn’t the case and it had always been ok. If you were lapped you stayed lapped. You only had to stay where you were and wait for the restart. Having cars unlapping the leaders creates confusion and causes massive delays in the restart. With this new rule at least the delay is removed, still the confusion stands.

To read the full text of all the new rules, you can visit the Official F1 website.