Formula One: VIDEO – Pirelli Ultra Soft explained

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Pirelli have released a short film explaining more about the Pirelli Purple P Zero Ulta Soft tyre compound. Explaining where, when and why the compound will be used by teams through the 2016 season.

Formula One: Ricciardo praise for Magnussen

Red Bull Racing Driver Daniel Ricciardo Wears the New SS16 PUMA Red Bull Racing Lifestyle Collection_4

Daniel Ricciardo was keen to heap praise upon the returning Dane, Kevin Magnussen, when working to tactically avoid a question about whether or not he would miss Pastor Maldonado on the grid in 2016.

After first electing to ‘rib’ this writer’s pronunciation of Pastor (Past OR not Past A as it turns out) through a carbohydrate based pun, Ricciardo commented that rather than give comment on a driving leaving the grid he felt it more appropriate to congratulate Magnussen on making his return.

“Driver’s don’t make it to the podium by chance, to do it on your début is something very special’ remarked Ricciardo, referencing Magnussen’s F1 début at the Australian GP in 2014 for Mclaren Mercedes.

Ricciardo went on to compliment Magnussen saying he was a fair racer and he looked forward to on track battles with the driver through the 2016 season.

Kevin Magnussen is returning to F1 this year with the Renault Sport F1 Team, after leaving the Mclaren Honda team at the end of 2015.

Formula One: Manor Racing Pre-Launch Interview

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The all-new Manor Racing MRT05 breaks cover this morning at the Circuit de Barcelona in southern Spain. John McQuilliam (Technical Director) and Dave Ryan (Racing Director) give us the heads-up before Pascal Wehrlein takes the car for its first road test.

John. Dream Racer?
“Absolutely. Even at this early stage of the game, we can easily say this is the best car we’ve ever launched. Certainly the most developed, the most ambitious and the most aggressive. The overall package is a very significant step forward, not just from last year, but from any of the cars from our stable. So yes, we have a long way to go from here in terms of developing the MRT05, but it’s already a dream package for the 154 Manor Racing people who’ve worked so hard to design and build it. In a small team like ours, every single individual has played their part.”

What’s so special?
“Well, for starters, it’s all new. As it should be of course, but we had to ‘make do’ last year and that’s not what we’re here for. We build fast race cars for a living and it’s great to get back to doing what we love. We’re also pretty good at it, when we have the right tools for the job. So that in itself is quite special. Better still, the MRT05 is a contender. We really believe that. The design team have focused almost exclusively on it since the middle of last season and it’s just a whole different ball game to any of its predecessors. We haven’t left any performance on the table and right now I can say there’s not a single part of the car we’d have designed differently.”

So what has it got on it?
“We’ve carried over the 2015 fire extinguisher (winks), the rest is brand new. Some 3393 different parts in fact and that’s just our in-house components. We delayed the monocoque programme to wait for the new Power Unit, which was well worth waiting for of course. The Mercedes-Benz PU106C Hybrid Power Unit is a magnificent feat of engineering and we’re proud and excited to be powered by championship-winning technology developed by Mercedes AMG High Performance Powertrains. We also have a very competitive transmission package thanks to our technical partner Williams Advanced Engineering, who supply our gearbox and other rear-end components. Together with the efforts of our accomplished aero and mechanical design teams, that’s a pretty impressive package.”

You love it, don’t you?
“Absolutely. It was already a great-looking car but the new livery is stunning.”

First road test coming up. What are you thinking?
“I’ll get back to you later today.”

Dave, more or less 90 days in your new role. How has that gone for you?
“It’s been a very busy time, but it has really served to underline everything I thought when I first agreed to join the team – a great little operation, with huge potential and the vision and ambition to make a big step forward. There was a lot to do to prepare for this season. The team did a laudable job last year given its circumstances over the previous winter. This year, with the package we have, we need to be every inch the professional racing outfit. That’s where I’ve been focusing my attentions.”

Two new technical partnerships to get to grips with. How are those relationships developing within the team?
“Fantastically well. Our Mercedes HPP and Williams Advanced Engineering personnel have been installed in the factory for quite some time now and both of their headquarters are less than an hour away from our factory in Banbury. So we have all the resource and support we need pretty much on tap. It’s a really nice, easy relationship, with everyone working together very closely on our factory floor. The transition has been pretty seamless.”

What about the peddlers?
“Pascal and Rio are a great addition to our team. They are young and hungry but, crucially, experienced racers with a lot of talent and a great deal of potential. We’re very proud that they’re making their F1 debut with Manor Racing.”

What can we expect from Manor Racing this season?
“Respectability and competitiveness. We are done with just turning up just to make everyone else look good and every single person in this Team is looking forward to the first race in Melbourne in a few weeks’ time. We know we have to improve in every area and in no way do we underestimate the opposition, but we have assembled a great group of people, we have a fantastic technical partnership with Mercedes-Benz and Williams Advanced Engineering and now it’s up to us to deliver.”

Formula One: Mecerdes AMG Petronas W07 Launch

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On the surface, a second consecutive winter of minimal regulatory change may appear to ease the pressure on the Formula One community. The reality, however, is quite the opposite. Progress under such conditions is a game of diminishing returns – making the quest for every millisecond of performance ever-more crucial.

“The biggest challenge for the team over the winter has been finding how we can extract more performance from what was already a very strong Power Unit and chassis concept”, confirms Head of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport, Toto Wolff. “The regulations have remained mostly stable for another year, so the development curve has naturally started to level out slightly. But as a group of competitive racers, this is the sort of challenge we love – to find every last bit of performance.

“After the success of the past two seasons, the obvious target is to build on what we have achieved so far – to continue to win races and Championships. But you can never take anything for granted in this sport – or rely on past success. Right now, all points are reset to zero. We haven’t even begun testing yet, so we have no benchmark against the competition. But we can be certain that they will be stronger than ever, so we need to do the best job out there. In Melbourne, we will see. As they say, when the flag drops…

“We gained confidence after the first Championship title in 2014 and therefore approached 2015 in a slightly different way. But our core philosophy remained the same and 2016 is no different. We are confident in our people – but we always take a ‘glass half empty’ approach. We remain humble, feet on the ground, pushing hard to develop everything from the cars to our wider capability as an organisation in the long term.”

In the cockpit, the Brackley squad maintains an unchanged driver line-up with reigning World Drivers’ Champion Lewis Hamilton once again paired with two-time title runner-up Nico Rosberg. Having locked horns for the Championship in each of the past two campaigns, this intra-team contest is sure to provide a fascinating plot line once more in 2016.

“The battle between Lewis and Nico is both interesting and challenging for us”, confirms Toto. “If you put two competitive drivers in the same team and they have a shot at the Championship, it’s never going to be an easy ride. Not only do we accept that, we embrace it. We also understand that it’s important for the spectators to see top drivers given both the tools they need to succeed and the freedom to race. This is what we’ve done for the past two years and will continue to do this year. They are both professionals. They know that there is a big organisation and a very powerful brand behind them and the team. I hope that the close competition between them will continue as it has done.”

And the talent in the Silver Arrows stable doesn’t stop at the wheel of the W07, either. Mercedes-Benz Juniors Pascal Wehrlein and Esteban Ocon head into the year with a fresh set of challenges to tackle in their development paths with the three-pointed star.

“Looking to the future, we are in both the fortunate and unfortunate position of having developed two of the very best junior drivers in the world but having no race seats available within our team”, says Toto. “We’re therefore delighted to have found them another route into Formula One to continue their growth in the best possible environment. Pascal has a race seat with Manor – a team with great people but one much smaller than Mercedes and with a very different structure to what he’s been used to, so he needs to prove that he has the calibre to be a successful Formula One driver in a new environment. Esteban, alongside his role in DTM, will be Third Driver with Renault – taking part in a couple of Friday practice sessions and tests to make the next step in his development. It’s great to see young drivers progressing all the way to Formula One on merit, through the support of manufacturers and proven programmes like the Red Bull Junior model. Hopefully this proves to be a productive year for them.”

Further afield, there’s change on the horizon for the pinnacle of motorsport. With 2017 set to buck the trend of regulatory stability, the future direction of Formula One is a hot topic throughout the paddock. And there are plenty of positive stories for the current season too…

“We are open to changes in the regulations”, says Toto. “On the Power Unit side we are perhaps a little more conservative because, when the teams and the FIA decided to introduce the V6 Hybrid package a few years ago, it was clear that a considerable development budget would need to be deployed. All four manufacturers did so relying on those rules – and now we need stability to protect that investment. On the chassis side and aerodynamic side, we embrace new challenges as long as they make sense. It’s important that the cars are quicker – that was demanded of the Strategy Group. But also that we still have overtaking and that driving becomes more of a challenge again. But putting these things into regulations is not easy.

“In the here and now, there are a lot of positive stories in Formula One at the moment. As a sport, I don’t think we talk about these enough. The return of Renault as a fully-fledged works team is great news – as is the arrival of Haas, which will hopefully help raise awareness of the sport in the States. For Mercedes as a brand, going back to Germany and finally being able to race in front of our home crowd again is brilliant. And then we have a new race in Baku, where most of us have never been before but which I’m sure will be an interesting experience. We have a 21 race calendar taking in almost all corners of the world, which will be a challenge for those working within the sport but provides a fantastic showcase for Formula One.”

Driver Previews:

Lewis Hamilton

Nico Rosberg

Formula One: Force India Launched

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Sahara Force India marked the beginning of its season today as Nico Hulkenberg and Sergio Perez pulled the covers off the VJM09 in Barcelona. They were joined by the team’s development driver, Alfonso Celis, as they posed for photos in front of the world’s media ahead of the start of the team’s winter testing programme.
The stability in the technical regulations means the VJM09 is more evolution than revolution, building on the strengths of the 2015 b-spec chassis that helped the team secure fifth place in the championship last year.
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“You can say the b-spec car from last year formed a basis on which to build our 2016 one,” explains Technical Director, Andrew Green. “We were in a situation in which the performance on track was very good, and in which the data we were getting correlated well to what we were expecting, so we knew we could continue to develop on a solid platform. With the regulations likely to change for 2017, it didn’t really seem like an efficient use of our resources to start from scratch on a project that would have such a limited lifetime.”
The VJM09 retains the distinctive black and silver livery introduced last year as Team Principal, Vijay Mallya explains: “The colours reflect our partners and heritage. Although I’m biased, I think our car is one of the best looking on the grid and that’s why I wanted to keep a consistent look for 2016. As they say, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”
Expectations for the VJM09 are high as the team looks to build on its best ever performance last year. “I want us to begin 2016 in the same way that we ended 2015,” confirms Vijay Mallya. “Our technical team is excited about the progress we have made over the winter and there’s every reason to believe we can stay at the front of the midfield battle.”
Chief Operating Officer, Otmar Szafnauer adds: “The wind tunnel programme in Cologne is maturing nicely and I’m encouraged by the gains we have made over the winter. The first major aero updates should be on the car in time for Melbourne and we also plan another big step for the start of the European season.”
The VJM09 continues to carry a number of blue-chip names with prominent branding from TelCel, Claro and NEC, underlining the commercial appeal of the team. Logos from financial services firm, Banamex, have been added to the leading edge of the side pod, while partnerships with Inter, Quaker State and Hype have also been extended. The team’s long-standing association with Kingfisher and Royal Challenge continue.

Formula One: Red Bull RB12 Launched

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Beyond the striking matte livery unveiled in London last week, the all-new RB12 incorporates a host of improvements based on the lessons learned from the 2015 season.

Commenting on the new car and the season ahead, Team Principal, Christian Horner said: “Obviously the late engine decision last year was a challenge but we found a solution in time and the whole team has worked incredibly hard to recover over the winter. Therefore, we’re looking to build on the significant progress we made in the second half of 2015 and to carry that momentum into the early races of this season

“My hopes for this season are that we genuinely make progress from where we were last year; that we get our heads down and we really develop the car well and hopefully with some performance coming on the power unit side as well that will allow us to get closer to some of our immediate rivals.”

Speaking about the design of the RB12, Chief Technical Officer, Adrian Newey added: “I’m often asked what area of the car I’m most pleased with but with the stable regulations we have at the moment it’s difficult to find any major new areas to exploit. Therefore, what we’ve really tried to concentrate on with this car is getting a cohesive package for all the parts – the suspension, the chassis dynamics, aerodynamics – that they all work together in harmony. I think we’ve managed to build on the lessons of last year and all the indications from our simulations suggest that this year’s chassis should be strong.”

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Chief Engineering Officer, Rob Marshall added: “With the RB12, we are optimistic that we have made some good gains, but the difficulty is the wind tunnel and CFD numbers we’re seeing are our numbers and unless you can see everyone else’s numbers you don’t know where you are. We are happy that we are going in the right direction from our own point of view, but we won’t know until Melbourne.  As far as this car is concerned, I hope we can win some races. That might sound farfetched after last year, where we struggled at the beginning of the year, but I hope this year we can make a bit of a step power-wise and that will level the playing field a bit.”

Commenting further on simulation work with the RB12, Dan Fallows, Head of Aerodynamics, said: “So far, the numbers coming out of the wind tunnel and CFD are encouraging. It’s a function of everyone understanding the car that we had last year but also identifying the challenges we had and really focusing on those and I think we have made some fairly big steps forward.

“My hopes for the RB12 are that it continues the form that we had with the RB11. Obviously we didn’t get the results we hoped for but we all knew we had a good foundation in the car, in the chassis, and I’d like to see that continue. Also, the thing I’d really like to see is that the car give us a good foundation for any upgrades we get on the power unit side, from aero and everything else.”

 

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Pierre Waché, Chief Engineer, Performance Engineering added: “To be satisfied with the numbers from aero is a big word, we are never satisfied. It is a continuous development process and we are not looking for absolute numbers, we are looking for relative numbers compared to others. The progress is significant and we will see if it’s enough.

Looking ahead to the new season, Paul Monaghan, Chief Engineer, Car Engineering concluded: “My hopes for the RB12? I think we have to focus on just making sure we go to Australia in the best state we can be, well prepared and then get the most out of the car we can at each race and put ourselves in a position where we can challenge for a podium or benefit from anything that happens around us.”

Formula One: Haas F1 – VF16 Launched

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The VF-16, Haas F1 Team’s first racecar, has arrived. The car officially broke cover today via Haas F1 Team’s social media channels and Website. It hits the track Monday for the first day of preseason testing at the Circuit de Barcelona – Catalunya.

The origin of naming the car “VF-16” goes back to the first CNC machine manufactured by Haas Automation, the VF-1, launched in 1988. The “V” stands for vertical, which is an industry standard designation for a vertical mill. Gene Haas, founder of Haas Automation, added “F1” to the name to unofficially designate it as the company’s “Very First One”.

Now as chairman of Haas F1 Team, the “F1” moniker of that first machine takes on new significance as Haas joins the 2016 FIA Formula One World Championship, becoming the first American-led Formula One team in 30 years.

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“From an international standpoint, Formula One is the highest echelon of racing, and Haas Automation builds the highest-quality machine tools,” said Haas, who has grown Haas Automation into the largest machine tool builder in North America with more than $1 billion in annual sales. “When you hear ‘F1’ you know exactly what it is – a global racing series that showcases the latest technology and attracts the best talent in engineering and design. Haas Automation has an excellent reputation in the United States and I want that reputation to grow worldwide. Connecting Haas Automation with F1 in name and in practice is the best way to grow our business and elevate Haas Automation to a premium, global brand.”

The dark gray, light gray and red-toned livery of the VF-16 was derived from the scheme of Haas Automation’s complete line of vertical and horizontal machining centers, turning centers and rotary tables and indexers. Approximately 1,300 employees encompass Haas Automation, with the Oxnard, California-based company exporting its machines to more than 60 countries. The VF-16 showcases Haas Automation’s commitment to technology and innovation to a passionate, global audience.

“Just as Haas Automation’s products continually evolve, becoming better and more efficient, our methodology behind the VF-16 was to make it the best evolution of a good F1 car,” said Guenther Steiner, team principal, Haas F1 Team. “We’re a new team, so we looked at what the successful teams were doing to give us a baseline of the direction we needed to go with our design.

“We have very experienced designers who worked hard to develop all the little things from an aerodynamic perspective that, collectively, add up to a lot. And our technical partner, Ferrari, provided our power unit, and that really defined the rear end of the car and how big it needed to be.

“Our goal with this car is to score points,” Steiner states. “First, we need to go out there and show that we can do the job, that we can finish races, that we are respected by the fans and other teams in the paddock. Then, we want to score points. That is the ultimate goal.”

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Formula One: BLICK post images of the 2016 Sauber livery

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German publication BLICK have posted images of the 2015 Sauber F1 C34 in with the updated 2016 livery (intended for the C35)

The team have already confirmed plans to take the C34 to the first pre-season test in Barcelona, with the C35 set to make it’s début in the final pre-season test.

Additions to the 2016 livery include CNBC, Malbuner Power Slice, and previously unannounced partner IFS, a business software development firm.

The full BLICK (German) article can be found here.

 

Formula One: Social Media Update -Scuderia Ferrari #SF16-H launch event reaches millions

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A million page visits on the site in a single day and a 30% increase in site numbers compared with 2015, including 130,000 simultaneous visitors for the live streaming: these are some of the figures to emerge from yesterday’s launch of the SF16-H in Maranello, which featured the boss, Team Principal Maurizio Arrivabene, along with the Scuderia Ferrari drivers and engineers.

Big numbers for the launch of the 62nd single-seater built by Ferrari and there was also plenty of traffic on social media. The hashtag #SF16H reached 112.2 million, while there were 280 million impressions in just 24 hours. Facebook on the Friday hit 6.2 million users, with 2 million interactions and 700,000 views of the videos of the day.

The Scuderia site saw its page visits increase tenfold, while on ferrari.com they quadrupled. This success was shared by other sites and on-line magazines from around the world, who put out the launch show live and recorded, with the first part focusing on the very first impressions of the new born Ferrari from those who will be experiencing it first hand.After that, 10 fans from around the world, who were winners of the “Ready Set Red” competition, were the first to ask the drivers and team members some questions.

This new approach is aimed at reaching as many fans as possible, wherever they are in the world with events that allow them to feel ever closer to life in the Scuderia.