Formula One: VIDEO – STR Can Stack Test

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The next round of our STR Olym-PicknMix Games is now available! Carlos is one point ahead after winning the first Game of the season. Who do you think will build the tallest tower of Red Bull cans, Carlos or Max?

 

Formula One: Points despite no pitstop for Grosjean in Melbourne

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In the build up for the Bahrain Grand Prix, Guenther Steiner has pointed out a somewhat under reported element of Romain Grosjean’s point scoring race in Melbourne. Owing to the red flag period caused by the collision between Fernando Alonso and Esteban Gutiérrez, Grosjean was able to make the mandatory change of tyre compounds without actually making a pit stop. This element to the strategy was completely within racing regulations, and demonstrates ‘switched on’ thinking  from the Haas F1 team pitwall.

Guenther Steiner reviews the Australian Grand Prix and previews the Bahrain Grand Prix with some surprising insights:

Haas F1 Team now has its first grand prix under its belt. Obviously, it was highlighted by Grosjean’s sixth-place result, but how did it go overall and what can you take from Australia and apply to Bahrain?

“We had our ups and downs. It started out with not being able to get enough testing in on Friday during practice. We tried to make up for it on Saturday morning during third practice, but we had an incident with a car colliding with Romain (Grosjean) as he was exiting the garage. It started off not too pretty, and then qualifying was not what we wished for, but the team bounced back and we got ready for Sunday. We showed a good race speed and we are ready to go racing. In the end it was all positive. It was hard to get to the positive, but with a lot of work with a lot of hard-working people, we got there. Now the biggest task is to replicate this, which won’t be easy, but for sure we will be trying again.”

Upon your return to Haas F1 Team’s headquarters in North Carolina, were you able to get a sense of how the team’s Australia performance resonated in the United States?

“I think it resonated in a very positive way in all of racing in America. Even those who don’t follow Formula One considered it a big achievement for a new team to finish in sixth place and to be from America, which hasn’t had a presence in Formula One in 30 years.”

From the outside looking in, it appeared Haas F1 Team was taking a very unorthodox approach to building a Formula One team. And while that is relatively true, did the team’s performance in Australia vindicate your methodology, specifically in regard to partnering with Scuderia Ferrari and Dallara?

“I think our plan is working, but we won’t finish sixth every weekend, so we need to be careful with our expectations. I think we showed that you can start a new team and end up in the midfield. We were not last in Australia, which was one of our goals, and I don’t think we will be last this year. How far we’ve come is a sign that our plan is working.”

Haas F1 Team came out of the gate strong in the season-opener in Australia. History tells us not every grand prix will bring that kind of success. How do you manage expectations, internally and externally?

“We are not being arrogant about our early success and we will have our races where we will underperform. Our sixth-place finish in Australia keeps the team going, working very hard and trying to do the best possible job we can. If we continue to do what we did in Melbourne, good results will come.”

The flip side to Grosjean’s sixth-place finish at Australia was Gutiérrez getting caught up in a crash. There was a good bit of damage to the left-rear of Gutiérrez’s car. What needs to be done to repair it and what kind of logistics are involved to get it ready for Bahrain?

“Some of the parts, for example the chassis, were sent back to Europe to be checked and fixed because we can’t do it onsite in Bahrain. We have enough spare parts to build up another chassis, so we will use that. Then the chassis that is repaired will be sent to Bahrain via air to serve as our spare. The guys will have to work day and night to get to Bahrain, but it’s all doable. Our spare quantity is down, but we have enough to get going again, so we will just keep on working.”

Haas F1 Team seems to handle adversity extremely well – be it with technical issues during the second week of testing at Barcelona and when you endured a pit lane collision in practice Saturday at Australia. From your perspective, how well is this new group of personnel working together?

“We chose good, quality people. Nobody gets down in adversity. Everybody gets up. They are working on the solution, not on the problem. They work together because they are professionals and they know they can get it done together as a team. It all comes down to the quality of people, and I think our quality is pretty high.

With wet weather Friday at Australia, it compromised the team’s ability to work on the car’s setup for the race. The weather in Bahrain is usually pretty consistent, and that means consistently dry. How helpful will a full weekend of consistent weather be for you and the team?

“If we can get a good day of practice in with both cars and six hours of running, that will be fantastic just to learn more about this machine.”

With Gutiérrez’s lap-17 crash and Grosjean changing tires during the red flag, Haas F1 Team didn’t make any pit stops at Australia. How is the team preparing for pit stops and is there any worry that’s one element of the program that hasn’t really been tested?

“We didn’t complain that we didn’t have to do a pit stop in Australia, but we will have to do it in Bahrain, for sure. We will do a lot of things during practice in Bahrain to ensure that we are ready. We got away with not doing pit stops in Australia, but we won’t be able to in Bahrain. The focus will be on completing pit stops this weekend so the team goes into the race confident that they have trained properly.”

How did the addition of a third tire option impact your strategy for Australia, and what impact do you think it will have on your tire strategy for Bahrain?

“Everyone has the third tire option, so you just deal with it. I don’t think it has a huge impact because it’s the same for everybody. We just need to make sure we use the three options we’ve got to the best of our knowledge.”

Formula One: The Chase – Senna Vs Speed

Filmed at the Mexico ePrix Circuit. Formula E, with Mahinda Racing’s Bruno Senna and Former Formula One driver Scott Speed, continue to show other racing series the way with this innovative approach to capturing the essence of motorsport through drones.

Whilst safety concerns remain around the use of drone cameras to capture live racing events this film shows what the technology could be capable of.  Hopefully broadcasters will sit up an take notice of the potential the technology offers, both from a new direction in views of motor racing, but also in terms of cost! It’s a lot cheaper to but drones in the air than it is a helicopter.

Mahindra Racing Formula E Team and FIA Formula E today released a video ofa game of Chase between a drone and a Formula E car around the historic Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez circuit in Mexico City.

This unique contest took place between Mahindra Racing driver Bruno Senna, piloting his Lumenier QAV210 quadcopter and American racer, Scott Speed piloting the Spark-Renault SRT_01E Formula E car.

Bruno Senna said: “The Chase was so much fun. It was very cool to have such a spectacular circuit to ourselves with a drone and a racing car to play with. It was a great challenge, which is what flying these high performance drones is all about. My friends, who have watched my drone videos, know I am a bit of a daredevil when I am flying, but all I was thinking during filming was “don’t break a propeller, don’t break a propeller”

“Scott Speed really got into the spirit of the game, trying to confuse me by spinning and switching direction in the stadium or slowing down and then accelerating as fast as he could. It was so much fun and the footage from the drone looks really great. This was a wonderful opportunity to do something really different and was so much fun. I have just finished building an even faster drone with longer range and I am ready to challenge Formula E to a race again very soon.”

 

 

Formula One: Wings for Life brings Max and Carlos together

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A week prior to second Grand Prix of the season, Max Verstappen and Carlos Sainz made time for an important cause: Wings for Life. Both Scuderia Toro Rosso drivers were filmed in the Netherlands for the running contest, which will be held in 33 countries on 8 May. In a relaxed and friendly manner, both team mates were up against each other.

 Max and Carlos will not run themselves but are enlisted to drive the so-called “Catcher Car”, effectively a moving finish line. They will set off half an hour after the start and will “sweep” up contestants along the way. Whoever is caught, is out of the race. Across the planet, all contestants will start at the same time, regardless if it is day or night. The last contestant running will be the winner.

On Friday, Max and Carlos were trained and instructed by Colin Jackson, the hurdling triple world champion and sporting director of the Wings for Life World Run. The F1 aces have adhere to the speed limit which starts at 15km/h. Not an easy things for the young racers to do. Check the live snapchat recording on the RedBull account if you want to see how the boys did.

Are you up for the challenge to stay ahead of Max and Carlos? Sign up for the Wings For Life World Run.

 

Formula One: Magnussen “It’s not the most exciting track, to be honest “

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Kevin Magnussen reviews his first race for the Renault Sport F1 team and previews the Bahrain Grand Prix.

How was your first race with Renault Sport Formula One Team ?

Having been out of F1 for a year, it was very nice to be back. It was a tough race, but I was really happy as the pace was very good. It was annoying to get that puncture at the start, which compromised our race. I didn’t have any contact as far as I could tell, but I saw the pressures coming down and knew that something was wrong. In some respects we were lucky to get the red flag, but it was even better that Fernando was unhurt as that was a big crash. We could get back to the pits and on to the grid and then I had the race from there. We had a good pace – on par with Williams and maybe even faster. We didn’t think we would have the pace of the top ten, but in the end we did. I’m gutted as we could possibly have been in the points if I had not had that puncture, but that’s life. For a first race, it looks very encouraging for the rest of the season.

What did you think of the R.S.16 ?

The feeling in the car was good and I was able to fight and overtake and put the car where I wanted to. It’s clearly very driveable. It is not fast enough to be on the podium or even in Q3 but it’s a good car that handles well and it’s something we will continue to work on. We don’t need to change the philosophy in any way, just keep developing and it will come to us.

What did you make of your new team in race trim ?

It is very clear that this team is a top team in F1. Maybe not in terms of pace : we know where we are and we are not happy with this, but when we get the car faster we will be there. We have a good baseline and something we can really work on. I didn’t have a good race but I am very happy as it looks good for the rest of the season.

The next race is Bahrain, is it a favourite race for you ?

It’s not the most exciting track, to be honest ! The heat is a major challenge and it is tough on the rear tyres so having a car that looks after them will be an advantage. There are also four long straights so it is a power orientated track. I will enjoy getting out there and if you ask me if the race could be tomorrow I’d be there, no questions asked!

Formula One: Sauber refresh online presence

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Sauber F1 Team kicks off with its new website and fully automated web platform.

With the re-launch of sauberf1team.com, the Swiss team is going in a new direction in terms of engagement, offering its visitors a modern and responsive digital experience.

The new homepage is specifically designed to pull the visitor into the world of the Sauber F1 Team with a single call to action and a focus on the latest information and stories. The clear layout and menu structure makes it easy for visitors to quickly find what they are looking for. Visitors using pcs are able to enjoy a sophisticated interactive menu, while the navigation for mobile users is streamlined and optimised for the respective devices. The new digital experience integrates articles, a blog, social media integration and, photos as well as videos.

Visitors may now dive into the team’s rich racing history and race car heritage, interactively experiencing everything from Peter Sauber’s first tuning attempts to the more recent Formula One era.

More and versatile content will be developed and released throughout the year. Besides offering a new shopping experience to fans, the new website design also allows a more visible, yet individual representation of the team partners.

Formula One: Pirelli confirm Monaco tyre compounds

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Pirelli will bring the following three compounds to the sixth round of the 2016 Formula One season in Monaco*, to be held (May 26-29) on the street circuit in Montecarlo:
P Zero Yellow soft
P Zero Red supersoft
P Zero Purple ultrasoft (at its GP debut)

These are the tyres that Pirelli has said must be used at some point in the race:
One set of P Zero Yellow soft
One set of P Zero Red supersoft.

Each driver must have both these sets available for the race, and must use at least one of them.

There are the tyres assigned for Q3 in qualifying:
One set of P Zero Purple ultrasoft

Following the regulations, each driver must save for Q3 one set of the softest of the three nominated compounds. This set will be given back to Pirelli after Q3 for those who qualify in the top 8, but the remaining drivers will keep it for the race – as is the case currently.

The teams are free to choose the remaining sets; making up 13 sets in total for the weekend.

Formula One: Alfonso granted Free Practice Only Super Licence

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The Force India Formula One Team have confirmed that Alfonso Celis will participate in the first free practice session of the Bahrain Grand Prix.

This announcement comes despite Alfonso having not yet achieved the required performance related results in junior categories to be granted a full FIA Super License. Upon querying how the team have come to this agreement, this writer was referred to Appendix L of the FIA International Sporting Code, in which it states:

5.2 Qualifications for Free Practice Only Super Licence

5.2.1 The driver must be the holder of a current FIA International Grade A licence.

5.2.2 The driver must be the holder of a valid driving licence when he applies for a Free Practice Only Super Licence for the first time.

5.2.3 The driver must be at least 18 years old at the start of the event of his first F1 race weekend.

5.2.4 a)The rest time he applies for a Free Practice Only Super Licence, the driver must successfully complete a question session regarding the most important points of the International Sporting Code and of the F1 Sporting Regulations.

b) For all successive Free Practice Only Super Licence requests, the F1 team concerned has to certify, through the F1 Super Licence application form, that they have held a briefing with their driver about the most important points of the International Sporting Code and of the F1 Sporting Regulations.

5.2.5 The driver must be judged by the FIA to have consistently demonstrated outstanding ability in single-seater formula cars. The F1 team concerned must show that the applicant has driven at least 300 km in a representative Formula One car(1) consistently at racing speeds, over a maximum period of 2 days, completed not more than 180 days prior to the application and certified by the ASN of the country in which the test took place.

5.2.6 The driver will be on probation for a period of 12 months, during which the Free Practice Only Super Licence will be held provisionally and subject to review at any time.

This work around for drivers to participate in Free Practice without the required results to take part in a race allows teams to maintain a revenue stream from ‘pay drivers’ which may have otherwise been shut down. It can be expected other teams will take advantage of this regulation through the season.

This license does not replace any requirements for a full racing super licence. As such Alfonso Celis would not be permitted to act as a reserve driver for the Force India F1 Team.

To download the sporting code appendix in full  click here.

 

Formula One: Honda yet to determine the condition of Alonso’s PU

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Honda Motor Sports have confirmed they are yet to determine the situation of Fernando Alonso’s power unit following his terrifying accident during the Australian Grand Prix.

Alonso’s MP4-31 was returned to Mclaren on Sunday evening following the conclusion of the race and scrutineering . The power unit was immediately removed from the remains of the vehicle and sent to Japan for inspection.  The Honda Motor Sports Division are now working to understand the full extent of any damage to the power unit and which elements under FIA regulations can be repaired without incurring any form of penalty.

Honda’s ability to recover the power unit is critical to  Mclaren and Alonso. Under current regulations each driver has been allocated 5 power units for the season (an increase from 4 in 2015 owing to the increased number of rounds in the 2016 calender) loosing a power unit after a single event will compromise team strategy for the entire season. The team will be forced  to either accept a penalty later in the season or limit Alonso’s running in free practice sessions to extend the life of the remaining power unit Supply.

Regulations do not mandate power unit usage occur in sequence, it will therefore be possible for Honda to introduce a second power unit for the Bahrain Grand Prix in a little over one week from now then revert to the original Power Unit once Honda have confirmed which elements can be recovered.

Mclaren are responsible for gearbox design and construction, the number of which available to a driver over a single season is also limited, the team have not confirmed if the gearbox was damaged beyond repair in the accident.

Image:  Provided by Getty Images

 

Formula One: Sky Sports to become exclusive home of F1

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Sky has agreed a new broadcast partnership with Formula One Management, strengthening its position as the home of sport offering unrivalled choice for fans.

 

The new agreement comprises:
Exclusive: Sky Sports will be the home of Formula 1® in the UK and Ireland from 2019 to 2024, offering live coverage of every Grand Prix.
Free to air: The FORMULA 1 BRITISH GRAND PRIX, together with highlights of all other races and Qualifying sessions, will be shown on a ‘free-to-air’ basis.
Sky Sports Mix: Additionally at least two other ‘prime time’ live races a season will be offered on the soon-to-be-launched Sky Sports Mix along with other F1 content.
UHD: For the first time every race starting with the 2017 Championship will be shown in the stunning picture quality of Ultra High Definition via Sky Q, the next-generation home entertainment system.

 

Sky Sports F1® will continue to be the only place to watch each Grand Prix weekend live for the next three seasons in the UK, with 21 races live in 2016 beginning with the 2016 FORMULA 1 ROLEX AUSTRALIAN GRAND PRIX last weekend.

 

The new agreement builds on the success of Sky Sports F1® since the launch of the award-winning channel in 2012. More than 13 million viewers have already enjoyed its live coverage with many more following F1® racing across Sky Sports’ digital outlets.

 

Bernie Ecclestone, CEO Formula One Group said: “I am delighted that we will continue to work together. Sky’s commitment to the Sport and standard of coverage is second to none.”

 

Barney Francis, managing director of Sky Sports said: “This is a brilliant deal that takes Sky’s partnership with F1® to the next level.  Since 2012, we have demonstrated unrivalled commitment to F1®, offering fans innovations including a dedicated channel and the very best broadcasting talent. We are delighted that we are strengthening our coverage for viewers even further, with live and exclusive F1® from 2019 and the chance to watch in Ultra High Definition for the first time from next season.  We are pleased to support F1® and look forward to working with them to progress, develop and enhance coverage of the Championship during the agreement.”

 

Martin Brundle, commentator and analyst for Sky Sports F1® added: “I joined Sky Sports because I wanted to be part of a dedicated F1® channel with a total and long term commitment to the sport.  And we have certainly delivered on that.  In a fast changing media landscape, our coverage will get even better for F1® fans.”