Formula 1 personnel began arriving in Valencia yesterday, the 24 Hours of Daytona races on in darkness and Crofty saves the day with his iPhone. it must be time for another Sidepodcast Daily.

Who do you think you are?

Today is Sunday and you'd be rightly expecting the lovely Ms Lou to be offering up her weekly helping of insight and nostalgia. Sadly she cannot be with us today, but I am assured she's working on a rather fantastic F1 project that you will not want to miss. Watch this space, do not change that channel, it's coming to a website near you, soon.

In the meantime, let's get stuck into some Formula 1 news.

First pictures from Valencia

There's no doubt about it, the pre-season is well and truly underway. Many teams have dispatched equipment and personnel to Valencia, for the first official test of 2011. Williams' IT specialist, Mark Arnott tweeted the first pictures from the Circuit Ricardo Tormo paddock.

Mercedes GP trailer ready for action in Valencia

Credit: @Arni_UK / TwitPic

Mercedes GP trailer ready for action in Valencia

Expect plenty more tweets from teams, drivers and the media over the coming weeks. It was this time last year in fact, that Formula 1 finally discovered Twitter. The paddock went crazy over the idea of microblogging, and as if to show how far the sport has come, drivers Vitaly Petrov and Sergio Perez tweeted about their dinner.

Having dinner with my old engineer philippe and with old team mate @checoperez17. Also with as @GvanderGarde :)

vitalypetrovru's Twitter avatarvitalypetrovru

Having dinner with old team mates!! @GvanderGarde @vitalypetrovru and old engineer philipe ! @ valencia

checoperez17's Twitter avatarchecoperez17

Don't forget to follow the essential F1 Twitter lists to ensure you don't miss out!

More F1 news you may not have caught

Some time ITV F1 presenter, Beverley Turner, returns from wherever she's been hiding to weigh in with thoughts on the downfall of Andy Gray and Richard Keys. Some good points are raised and a few F1 anecdotes thrown in for comparison.

Current pitlane report Lee McKenzie had already weighed in with her thoughts last Thursday.

ESPN are running a story that Nick Heidfeld is unlikely to return to Mercedes. On the one hand it hadn't occured to me that he might return to his test driver role, after jumping ship mid-way through last season, but on the other the reason for suggesting the man won't return is at best tenuous - Joachim Schmidt has apparently told the Bietigheimer Zeitung newspaper that Mercedes already have two German drivers.

Last year the team had two German drivers (the same two in fact) yet still took on Heidfeld as reserve. Was something lost in translation perhaps?

Live from Daytona

This post is taking longer than usual to pull together as we're currently watching and live commenting on the 24 Hours of Daytona. Here are some highlights from the comments:

  • Top 3 drivers just now Ricky Taylor, Buddy Rice and Christian Fittipaldi - Steven
  • The #02 Ganassi had the issues with incorrect gear ratios, possibly due to wind (or lack of), so they tried to change the ratios but it didn't work so they changed the gearbox - that's my understanding (a lot was happening). They are still struggling for power but Montoya is now in the car and running very quickly - Pat
  • Everyone is struggling with the new surface. Really rubbing the rear wheels causing several punctures and yellow. The Daytona Prototype class is a crap shoot right now - Dan
  • Pace-setters the Lizards had contact and went behind the wall for 19 laps, they are back on track now working through the GT cars in the overall order - Pat
  • The fight is between SunTrust, Action Express, 01 Ganassi and Level 5 - Pat
  • The 36 clouted something and is doing his best impression of a minor tropical storm. Double yellows and oil flags are out - Bert
  • Dr. McDreamy, AKA Patrick Dempsey AKA The man who David Hobbs calls one of the best actors in the world, is doing well despite almost no sleep because he was at Sundance Film Festival and arrived on a red eye. Oh the life... - Dan
  • Team Seattle, AKA the best idea for a charity ever, is running in fourth place right now. Dan Brunell is dancing right now - Dan

Such fun! We have streaming video and live timing to follow the action, plus team radio too.

Live from the Rod Laver Arena

We do more than just motorsport at Sidepodcast and there's a tennis match of some significance to be played today - Andy Murray takes on Novak Djokovic in the final of the Australian Open. I'm no tennis expert so here's Steven to give you a sense of the occasion.

The Australian Open is one of 4 grand slam events each year with the French and US opens and Wimbledon. This tournament is as big as it gets in tennis unless you are in Britain when there is Wimbledon and nothing else.

Steve Roy

Meanwhile Amy will be attending in person, here's the latest from the heart of the action.

The match may be 6.5 hours away but they've already shut the roof on the arena to keep the heat out because it's heading to 40 degrees out there

Amy Fulton

If you're following the match, please do let us know in the comments where you're watching and what you make of it.

A blast from the past

It is traditional for Lou's daily posts to feature a "podcast from the past", so today I've picked a topical video. This past week Robert Kubica claimed to want to win with Renault in 2011, so let's take a nostalgic look back at the time when Bobby K sealed his sole F1 victory to date, back with BMW Sauber in 2008.

One year ago today

Whilst in a nostalgic (and somewhat indulgent) mood, let's also look back at the things we were discussing 30th January 2010.

Should that not be enough happy memories for you, more opinions and thoughts from 12 months ago, can be found on this site's homepage.

And finally

With F1, Grand-Am and tennis already covered, there remains just enough time to squeeze in a football reference.

David Croft, Formula 1's current best commentator, yesterday turned his hand to Matchday Announcing in Stevenage, where he handled microphone duties in an FA Cup tie between Stevenage and Reading. His nervous debut was made all the more difficult when power at the ground failed.

Mic and scoreboard which reset itself that's why all the half times said 0-0 Good job i had my iPhone on me otherwise they'd have stayed 0-0

croftyf1's Twitter avatarcroftyf1

Football, technology and Crofty, there really can be nothing left to add to today's daily post. Until next time.

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