Italian GP Paddock Notebook – Sunday


And so ends the European leg of the 2014 Formula 1 season. With just six races to go, the end is in sight for this year’s championship. How time flies when you’re having fun.

Today’s race at Monza was all about Lewis Hamilton. The British driver produced a drive fit for a champion, fighting back from a poor start to overhaul teammate Nico Rosberg when the German made a mistake at turn one.

From then on in, it was Hamilton’s game. His start aside – which was a technical issue, not driver error – it was a perfect performance from the British driver; a win he thoroughly deserved.

Although it may not have been a blockbuster grand prix, it was certainly an interesting one with lots of good on-track battles and stories.

Rounding off the Italian Grand Prix weekend, here is the final paddock notebook from Monza.



The 2014 Italian Grand Prix could be described as something of an “anti-climax” by particularly cynical observers of Formula 1. After all of the hype and tension that was built up between Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg in the lead-up to the race weekend, their on-track battle wasn’t a particularly feisty one.

In fact, the closest the two drivers came after the start was when Hamilton swept through the first chicane as Rosberg began to snake around the polystyrene boards in the run-off area.

Nevertheless, this has to go down as one of Hamilton’s best drives of the season, and perhaps a stand-out one in his career. After a poor start following a software glitch, he managed to fight back and claim a quite remarkable victory. Rosberg may have made a mistake (or two), but Lewis had to be in the right place at the right time. The mistakes would have gone unpunished if Nico had been another four seconds down the road.

The fact that both drivers kept it clean and enjoyed a hassle-free race will have brought a great deal of comfort to Mercedes. Interestingly, some suggested that Rosberg’s mistakes may have been deliberated, as forced by the team to make up for Hamilton’s loss at Spa. Maybe they were the same people who put up the “F1 is dead” banner at Monza on Friday (which, by the way, was removed).

Felipe Massa performed brilliantly to claim his first podium finish for Williams, but Valtteri Bottas was the star driver for the team. After a bad start, he fought his way through the pack to pick up fourth place, taking the team above Ferrari in the constructors’ championship. It was a day to forget for the Italian team on home soil, and it could well be that it does not manage to get back above Williams in the standings this year.

We also enjoyed a very spirited battle between Sergio Perez and Jenson Button, with the Mexican eventually prevailing. Both said after the race that they enjoyed the tussle – that is ‘real racing’. Great to see at a classic track like Monza.

Also impressive was Daniel Ricciardo’s fight through the field. He seemed a bit lost after qualifying, finishing ninth, but a long first stint allowed him to push in the second half of the race. Once again, he defeated Vettel in the same car at the same track…

Away from the track, the news about the draft calendar for the 2015 season was as expected, really. It’s good to see that Mexico and Austin will be back-to-back, giving fans in the area a choice of two grands prix. New Jersey’s omission is disappointing, but not all that surprising, it must be said.

That’s it for Monza, though. We’re back in two weeks’ time for the Singapore Grand Prix, which promises to be another thrilling event under the lights.

Vicki Golden and 805 Beer tell a unique story from an Inverted Perspective


Vicki Golden has earned a career worthy of a thousand stories and 805 Beer tells at least one of them, as “Inverted Perspective” premiered March 30 on the company’s website and YouTube channel.

Golden did more to break the glass ceiling in SuperMotocross than she ever thought possible. She knows this because riders have never felt the need to explain any of her accomplishments with the disclaimer, “for a girl”. 

At this point in Golden’s career, she’s been the first woman to finish top 10 in AMA Arenacross Lites, the first woman to qualify in the Fast 40 in Monster Energy AMA Supercross and the first woman to compete in freestyle Moto X competition, earning a bronze medal by doing so.

Her love for moto came from childhood while she watched her dad and brother ride. By seven she was on her bike and making waves throughout Southern California. 

Golden, 30, is still madly in love with the sport and has no plans on moving away but her career is already one to talk about. 805 Beer’s film series wanted to do exactly that.

“I’m taken aback by it all,” Golden told NBC Sports about the documentary. “It’s just crazy to see your story, it’s one thing to live your life and battle everything that comes about but it’s another to just sit there and talk about it.”

805 approached Golden about the feature by asking, “Do you even realize that what you do, and your story is special?”

Golden took the question as a blank canvas to map out the highs and lows of her career and life. 

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The title “Inverted Perspective” came from a brainstorming session with Dominick Russo and it highlights Golden’s outlook on the sport of SuperMotocross and her life in general. 

“My whole life, my whole career was thinking differently and looking at things that shouldn’t be done and aren’t there, while being able to make a place for myself, where no one thought there should be a place,” Golden said.  “It’s inspiring someone to think in different ways. It sums up my life.”

Vicki Golden is not “fast for a girl”; she’s just fast. – 805 Beer

While Golden is no stranger to the spotlight, this was the first time she’s been fully involved with the storytelling and creation of a feature about herself. 

“It’s not like a full new experience,” Golden said. “Obviously, you get your standard questions about your upbringing and accomplishments, but I’ve never really put into perspective things that happened in my past with my dad and putting that to light. Also, certain other things that maybe got overlooked in previous interviews or films. I wanted to touch on these and Dom wanted to create a story. It’s just cool to see it come to light, it’s a nearly impossible thing to tell somebody’s life story in 40 minutes.”

Golden’s father was left paralyzed after an ATV accident, robbing him the opportunity to ride again. This happened a few months before the father-daughter duo was set to compete in the Loretta Lynn’s Amateur Nationals when Vicki was 12. While she might have been unable to grasp the severity at the time, it’s something she carries with her. Golden continues to ride in his honor.

Years later, an accident in 2018 nearly sidelined the then 25-year-old Vicki when a freestyle accident almost resulted in the amputation of her lower leg. 

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Golden 805 Beer
Vicki Golden has ridden a variety of disciplines in SuperMotocross, which gives her a unique perspective. – 805 Beer

“Inverted Perspective” highlights her father’s diligence in helping Vicki continue with her career and the kindness and strength he carried while fighting his own battle. 

“My dad was the entire reason that I started riding in the first place,” Golden said. “So, to honor his memory and to honor what we went through and how hard he pushed to keep our dream alive and keep everything going – in that sense then, it was really special to be able to honor him and talk about him.”

The 40-minute feature was filmed entirely in black and white, a stark contrast from the oversaturated world of motocross where the brighter the suit the easier it is for fans to find their rider and follow him in the race. By filming in monochrome Russo and Golden had the chance to focus on the race and track from a different perspective. 

“It was cool to be able to film it differently,” Golden said. “It created a challenge in the sense of what was going to be more visually impactful for the film.

“I couldn’t be here without the companies that back me but at the same time, it’s not like the logos or colors disappeared, it’s just different lights shed on different spots. It’s just a cool way to do it and to take color away and still be impactful. When you think of black and white, you think of old school, the OG way of doing things.”