Formula One: VIDEO | Scuderia Ferrari preview the Austrian GP

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Formula One  moves to Austria for the first in a string of six races that will complete the European season. Gone are the times of the old airport layout, marked by hay bales. The current Spielberg track, located in the Southeastern Bundesstate of Styria, was built in 1969 and has gone through many changes in layout, before being reintroduced in 2014 after an eleven-year absence.

“It seems like the track is situated in the middle of the mountains” comments Sebastian Vettel. “I think the track is great. You have a lot of elevation changes, up and down, which makes it always nice. You see the mountains around. When you’re lucky you can even see some snow on the top of the mountains around. The weather can be either very good or quite bad, but usually it is a place to enjoy. The track is very short, there aren’t many corners. So, it is incredibly important to get every single corner right. The lap is very short, so you do a lot of laps and it’s important to find the rhythm very quickly and just go with it, especially during the race.”

“It’s another challenging track, very different from Baku where we’ve just come from, but also very different from Canada and Monaco” adds Jock Clear, Scuderia Ferrari’s Head of Race Activities. “As always, we try to approach these Grand Prix races with new parts, new updates, new setups, specifically designed with the difficulties of each track. Austria is a very simple track with only five real corners and some good straights. So, it is a balance of power circuit with the downforce circuit. In terms of technical challenge it’s one of the shortest tracks, so that all the very small details make slightly a more significant impact on your lap time. The circuit itself has been resurfaced this year, yet we don’t know what this surface is going to give us. We don’t know the impact on the tires, but that’s the same for all the teams. Perhaps it will be a different situation from last year but we can’t answer until we get there and we do our practice running on Friday”.

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Formula Student: Zero to 100 km/h in 1.5 second! A world record with an electric racing car.

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From 0 to100 km/h in 1.513 seconds: The student team from the ETH Zurich, which is supported by the BMW Group, has successfully broken the previous acceleration record for electric cars. Students of the ETH Zurich and Lucerne University developed the car and set the record during the preparatory phase of the Formula Student. The car reached a speed of 100 km/h within a distance of less than 30 metres on a military airbase near Zurich, breaking the world record of 1.779 seconds. Thanks to the use of carbon fibre materials, the car weights a mere 168 kilograms and features four self-developed wheel hub motors transferring 200 hp of power to the tarmac via four-wheel drive technology.

Thus, the team is ideally prepared for the forthcoming Formula Student Germany taking place on the Hockenheimring from 8 to 14 August 2016. For seven days, 115 teams from more than 25 nations will be competing against each other in their racing cars following a long period of development. In addition to bolides with combustion engines, 40 racing cars featuring an electric drive system will also be fighting for victory, which cannot be achieved by speed alone. Design, cost budgeting and the business model must also convince the jury of experts from industry and commerce.

Last year, the AMZ Racing Team from the ETH Zurich, which is supported by the BMW Group, was awarded second place in the overall ranking, making it one of the potential candidates for the podium this year, too.

Since the founding of the Formula Student in 2006, the BMW Group has been one of the main sponsors of the competition. Since 2010, the company has also supported young engineers as a team sponsor and will again put three teams from the Formula Student Electric (FSE) on the starting grid this year – municHMotorsport (Munich University), elbflorace (TU Dresden) and AMZ Racing (ETH Zurich).

In the process, the teams receive not only financial support, but also advice from BMW engineers and access to manufacturing technologies. For instance, on 28 July 2016, the BMW Group meets Formula Student Event will take place during the BMW Driving Experience in Maisach. In the course of this event, the teams have the opportunity to tune their cars down to the smallest detail and exchange ideas with their BMW Group mentors. They get final tips and tricks during driver training from proficient BMW Driving Experience instructors.

Moreover, the teams supported by the BMW Group receive comprehensive support in building and designing their self-developed racing cars. Employees acting as mentors are available to the students during the entire period.

Formula One: Sérgio Sette Câmara to test for STR at Silverstone test

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Scuderia Toro Rosso have announced  that Sérgio Sette Câmara will drive our current STR11 car at the forthcoming Formula 1 test at Silverstone Circuit, following the 2016 British Grand Prix.
The 18 year old Brazilian is a member of the Red Bull Junior Team and is currently in his second year of competition in the FIA F3 European Championship. Sérgio started his racing career in karts in his native Brazil back in 2006 and his switch to single-seater cars came last year with the move up to Formula 3. This season, Sette Câmara is currently lying 7th in the series.
“I’m very happy and excited to be testing with Scuderia Toro Rosso”, commented Sérgio during today’s visit to Faenza.  “It’s a great opportunity which I’ve worked very hard for and I’d like to thank everyone who has made this possible, especially Red Bull. This will be my first official Formula 1 test and I will make sure I do the best job possible as well as have fun – it’s not something that happens every day! Silverstone is a great track which I know quite well as I’ve already driven there before, so this will definitely help me on the day to focus on the car and all the new information without having to learn a new layout at the same time. I just can’t wait to drive out of the garage, it will definitely be a moment I will never forget!”
For this two-day test, Sérgio is planned to drive on Wednesday (13th July – Day 2), taking over from Carlos, who is scheduled to be at the wheel on Tuesday (12th July – Day 1).
Our Team Principal Franz Tost said: “Giving young drivers, mainly those from the Red Bull Junior Team, a real taste of Formula 1, is something we have become accustomed to doing at Toro Rosso. Personally, I find it fascinating to see how these youngsters adapt, not just to the extra power, downforce and braking of a Formula 1 car, but also how they react to the pressure of a day in the F1 spotlight. It provides a valuable insight into how they might progress in the future. Therefore I am pleased to welcome Sérgio to our team for the day and I hope that it will be a mutually beneficial experience.”
Teams participating in mid season tests are obliged to run a young driver on at least one day. STR are fulfilling this obligation with Sérgio Sette Câmara. It is thought unlikely he is being considered for a full time drive with the team in 2017.

Formula One: Goodwood – The Glastonbury of Motorsport

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Those who know me know of my obsession with motorsport and my love for Glastonbury. In 2016 for one reason and another it has not been possible for my family and I to head to Worthy Farm, so for the first time in a long time I found myself free over the last weekend in June. That was until I saw an email come through with the subject line: Invitation to the Goodwood Festival of Speed!

I was invited to Goodwood by my friends at Shell & BMW. Shell are the fuels and lubricants partner of the festival, BMW this year take centre stage (quite literally! As you will see in the above image of the huge sculpture presented by BMW featuring iconic cars through the ages of the brand) at the festival, celebrating their 100th year of operation.

To do the event justice I would say you say need to give yourself at least two days, there really is something for everyone. I would break down the Festival of Speed in the same way I think of Glastonbury. The Hillclimb which runs through the centre of the grounds is like the Pyramid stage, the key feature, a must see element of the day will run up the hill and you could easily spend a day solely focus on the hill climb and go home satisfied. Adjacent to the hill climb are the manufacturers stands, similar to those you might expect to see at an indoor motor show but turned up to 11. Each stand is trying to out do the other, and the only real winners are the fans. Honda turned up this year with a life size recreation of the iconic Fisher Price garage that many of us born in the 70s, 80s or 90s may have played with us as children. Heading away from here you begin to unearth some of the other manufacturers at the event, supercars you thought you had discovered that it turns out everyone is excited to see, then stumbling on a gem like the FIA stand where you could see, touch and experience the 2017 F1 designed halo system. Everyone involved with the automotive industry it seems, has a presence of some sort at the festival.

Heading over to the other opposite side of the festival you have the excellent collection of classic BMW’s through the ages, and Goodwood house itself. Spending time here felt as exclusive as the moment you stumble upon the Eavis family farm whilst touring the Glastonbury site. Getting to the nitty gritty of the festival you see the temporary garages of every car taking part in the Hillclimb, every car you can imagine is represented, it’s almost too much to take in.  Short of time I made my way to the Toyota LMP1 area, to give homage to the rightful winner of the 2016 running of the Le Mans 24hr, and check out some of the iconic touring cars of my childhood. With more than 140,000 in attendance over 3 days one thing the festival is not, is quiet. The crowds can be substantial but never overbearing, you find yourself with groups of like minded people respectful of the environment they are in and the machinery they are bearing witness to. There must be 100’s of millions of pounds’ worth of cars on display over the weekend, and yet rarely do you find an owner unwilling to let you get up close and personal with the car of your dreams. There is a sense of openness and sharing to the event; a true appreciation of motorsports.

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Returning to my hosts, to celebrate the Shell BMW partnership and 100 years of BMW we were tasked to complete a set number of challenges within 100 minutes. Progress against these challenges was to be reported on Twitter. The challenges included speaking to Shell technicians around the virtues of using Shell V-Power Nitro+, something which despite my initial reservations a number of months I fully subscribed too, not only in terms of performance improvement, but in vehicle maintenance. Checking out the Shell Eco-marathon cars, challenging yourself to drive in the most efficient way possible, which at Festival of Speed did feel a little counter intuitive, engage my followers on Twitter in competitions to win Shell V-Power vouchers, through questions on BMW’s successes in Motorsport, I should say at this point; congratulations to those submitting correct answers to the challenges, I’ll be in touch soon to arrange your prizes! Finally heading over to the BMW stands (of which there were at least five!) to reward a random member of public with a £30 Shell V-Power fuel voucher and a very cool BMW cap.

Following the challenges, our attentions were turned to a somewhat exclusive experience. Under the mindful eye of driver instructors from Palmer Motorsport, we were given the opportunity to try out the very latest BMW M models and be taken for a lap around the Goodwood circuit with Eric van de Poele. I took the opportunity to try out the BMW i8 and M4. The i8 is a car I have adored since concept, but until today never even sat in. The experience did not disappoint; the car is nothing short of spectacular. The acceleration is incredible and vehicle dynamics similar to those I have experienced in other performance cars. Stepping into the M4 was something else entirely, having turned a few laps in the i8 my confidence possibly exceeding skill I set off on my first lap. A BMW driver myself, the car felt instantly familiar. I felt I could push much harder than in the i8. Attempting the Ford Water corner flat out on my first lap was in retrospect a little too ambitious though, with the instructor calmly informing me on the cool down lap the only thing saving us from a rather expensive moment was the active traction control. The car is nothing short of a beast.

As if all this hadn’t been enough, we were then taken back to the festival to interview an idol of mine, Alex Zanardi, if you’ve read my review of No Limits you’ll know what a big deal this was for me! The interview taught me a few things, the first of which being I desperately need to go on a media training course! Zanardi plans to return to the Paralympics in Rio this year, taking part in 3 separate events, determined to secure Gold in each. His motorsport ambition too, remains undiminished. He plans to head back to the Spa 24hr in 2017 regarding the race very much as unfinished business.

So what makes Goodwood the Glastonbury of Motorsport? Is it the; mud? 😉 the sheer magnitude of things to see, do, touch, and feel? The atmosphere? Or the people? The answer is simple. Its all of it! I’m not sure what I expected from the Festival but I know I will be back!

You can see highlights from the 2016 Goodwood Festival of Speed here.

Follow Shell UK here and BMW UK here.

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Formula One: Leclerc joins the Haas F1 Team

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Monaco born Charles Leclerc, a 2016 member of the Ferrari Driver Academy currently competing in the GP3 Series for ART Grand Prix, will get his first taste of a Formula One car when he drives the VF-16 for Haas F1 Team on July 8 during the first practice session (FP1) for the British Grand Prix at Silverstone.

Haas F1 Team driver Esteban Gutiérrez, a Ferrari Driver Academy alumnus, has relinquished his seat to allow Leclerc to obtain valuable Formula One experience. Following Silverstone, the 18-year-old Leclerc will reappear in FP1 sessions July 22 at the Hungarian Grand Prix, July 29 at the German Grand Prix, Sept. 30 at the Malaysian Grand Prix and Nov. 25 at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. In each session, Leclerc will drive Haas F1 Team’s No. 21 car

“This is a fantastic opportunity to get seat time in a Formula One car and I can’t thank Haas F1 Team and Esteban enough,” said Leclerc, who won the season-opening GP3 Series race May 14 at Circuit de Barcelona – Catalunya.  “I’m honored by the faith Haas F1 Team and Ferrari have in me. This is an important step toward my ultimate goal of becoming a Formula One driver.”

Leclerc has quickly risen through the karting ranks and into single-seat, open-wheel machines. After winning 11 karting championships between 2005 and 2013, including an outright title in the 2012 WSK Euro Series Championship, Leclerc graduated to Formula Renault 2.0 in 2014, collecting a pole, two wins and nine podiums in 14 races. In 2015, Leclerc moved to the FIA Formula 3 EuroSeries, earning three poles, four wins and 13 podiums in 33 races.

Leclerc’s motorsport career to date has been backed by watchmaker Richard Mille, a significant partner of the Haas F1 Team. The announcement of his rapid graduation into an F1 development driver position comes at a time of rumours around the Haas F1 Team on suggestions of dissatisfaction with the performance and feedback this season from Esteban Gutiérrez.

Formula One: Sponsor in Profile – UBS

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Swiss Bank UBS are a key partner within Formula One. Working directly with the Mercedes AMG Petronas team and with Formula One Management the bank is heavily invested in the sport and will continue to be for some time to come. In an exclusive interview for JWGP, we explore what initially attracted UBS to the sport, how they measure success, and the future direction of the partnership and the sport in general.

A key point of interest in this interview is around the audience UBS are targeting or seeking to attract with the partnership. Whilst other banking partners within Formula One use the sport as a platform to attract a diverse audience, the UBS approach is geared heavily towards its Wealth Management customers and the audience demographic in that sector. This focused approach explains in some way why despite being one of the more significant partners to the Mercedes AMG Petronas team in terms of investment, branding on the car and with drivers is minimal.

  • What initially attracted UBS to F1?

Formula 1 is a global sport that attracts over 400m unique viewers every season. It operates for nearly 12 months of the year and touches all major markets that UBS operate in

  • Can you provide a background into how the UBS FOM and Mercedes Deal came about?

UBS entered Formula 1 in 2010 as a Global Partner, and has grown and diversified its investments in the sport since then. Formula 1 provides UBS with global brand awareness, an ability to invest in the creation of deeper client relationships through at-track client programs around the world, and a platform to both amplify brand stature and change brand perceptions. By adding the partnerships with the MERCEDESAMG PETRONAS Formula One Team and ex-Formula 1 legends, such as Sir Jackie Stewart, Mika Hӓkkinen and David Coulthard, UBS create and deliver truly unique at-track experiences for their clients. By working together with Formula 1 experts, such as James Allen, UBS produces engaging content that drives social media campaigns around topics such as strategy and insight. Further Formula 1 insiders such as Susie Wolff were also included to add even greater depth, diversity and appeal to the program.

  • What is the target audience for the UBS F1 engagement model from a social media, print & online media, branding, and hospitality perspective?

The key audience is UBS Wealth Management customers, who can be classified into existing and new clients. On the one hand we aim to increase brand visibility in our key markets and on the other we try to enhance brand relevance by distributing insightful content to our target audience. The distribution of this content is purely via digital and social channels. Looking at the hospitality, it focuses more on existing clients, who are invited to a select number of events where we try to give exclusive access to the sport, the drivers and our ambassadors.

  • The use of UBS branding within Formula One and the Mercedes AMG Petronas team is minimal. With limited on track signage and team branding featuring only on drivers and pit areas. Can you explain why, despite significant investment UBS have taken this route?

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The partnership with the MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS Formula One team provides UBS with the opportunity to create truly unique at track experiences, as well as access to the team and their star drivers for content.

  • What key performance indicators (KPI’s) do UBS have around the respective partnerships?

KPIs are set alongside the strategy, and continue to evolve year by year – metrics such as client satisfaction, brand exposure and brand equity all feed into an analysis of success.

  • Have experiences from the F1 world influenced any aspect of UBS or vice versa?

It would be hard to say if there has been any direct influence, but UBS and Formula 1 share common traits. And these similarities are what UBS enjoys exploring for the fans and followers of the sport. Traits such as strategy, insight and thought leadership are common to both UBS and Formula 1 teams and the series.

  • How would UBS assess the 2016 season so far?

As a partner of the MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS Formula One team we are pleased with the team’s success so far. With the top teams hot on their heels, it promises to become an exciting season.

  • What’s next for UBS with Formula One Management and Mercedes AMG Petronas?

The experiential and content plans for 2016 are very exciting. UBS will continue to deliver insights into the sport, the strategies for success and how Formula 1 is pushing the boundaries in numerous disciplines to as broad an audience as possible.

  • What is your view on the move of F1 coverage towards on the pay TV trend for F1 coverage in Europe?

The commercial side of the series has pursued a trend of moving from free-to-air broadcasting to pay-tv. This is a business decision which we cannot comment on. However, with the growth of social media in recent years, we feel more people than ever are watching the sport, commenting on it or are aware of race results.

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The UBS relationship to Formula One as a partner is an interesting one. The bank has committed to a strategy of using the sport as a platform to reward and attract the wealthy.  With the agreement heading into it’s 7th year it is clear all parties involved are seeing a return on the relationship. As a prestigious brand involved in the sport similar to Rolex, Chandon, or Emirates. UBS through their social media and digital interactions have developed a profile as an aspirational partner, the banking partner fans will think of when they reach a certain level of financial wealth in their private lives. They do this at the same time as rewarding those who have already achieved such success in a way which ensures customer loyalty.

It would be interesting to hear from other partners in the sport taking a similar approach.

Formula One: Michael Kors joins Mclaren

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McLaren-Honda have announced a new partnership with Michael Kors. The internationally renowned luxury accessories and ready-to-wear brand becomes the official lifestyle partner of the team.

Both McLaren-Honda and Michael Kors celebrate design and speed, with the partnership strengthening and amplifying both brands’ embodiment of a fast, jet-set lifestyle.

“Michael Kors and McLaren-Honda are pioneers in their respective spaces, and we firmly believe that McLaren-Honda is the right partner for our entry into the Formula 1 racing world,” says John D. Idol, Chairman and Chief Executive Office of Michael Kors. “This is an exciting moment for us, especially as we continue to grow as a men’s lifestyle brand.”

The Formula 1 audience is a new one for Michael Kors, providing a prime opportunity to familiarize the European consumer with all facets of the Michael Kors world. Additionally, the legendary McLaren-Honda brand and its renowned Formula 1 drivers are an exceptional representation of the Michael Kors man—sophisticated, international and successful, with an appreciation for living life in the fast lane.

“We’re delighted to announce a brand-new partnership between McLaren-Honda and Michael Kors, the world-famous award-winning designer of luxury accessories and ready-to-wear apparel,” says Ron Dennis, Executive Chairman and CEO McLaren Group.

He continues, “Like McLaren, which has raced in Formula 1 all over the world for the past 50 years, Michael Kors is also a truly international company, operating stylish and successful stores in some of the most prestigious cities in the world, including New York, Beverly Hills, Chicago, London, Milan, Paris, Munich, Istanbul, Dubai, Seoul, Tokyo and Hong Kong.

“Moreover, I firmly believe that the corporate cultures of both McLaren and Michael Kors encompass a common dynamism and adventurism, as well as a shared commitment to a similarly relentless pursuit of perfection, and as such the two brands are extremely well suited to a long-term partnership. That brand fit is very important to both of us: both companies have built their reputations on being the very best at what they do, and, as we now march forward together, we’ll both become stronger still.”

As the team’s official lifestyle partner, Michael Kors branding will feature prominently on both the driver overalls and the McLaren-Honda MP4-31 car.

To celebrate the launch of the partnership, Michael Kors has created a limited-edition men’s leather jacket. The 50 specially produced black leather jackets will be sold exclusively on the men’s floor of the new Michael Kors London flagship store, while supplies last. The jackets feature both the Michael Kors and McLaren logos, as well as a limited-edition plaque with each piece’s unique production number.

“This partnership is about the convergence of style and speed, which is inherent to both the Michael Kors and McLaren-Honda DNA,” says Michael Kors. “There is an energy, sophistication and confidence to both of our brands, and we wanted to create a limited-edition piece that spoke to that.”

Formula One: Williams break the 2 second pit stop barrier

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Williams Martini Racing set a new record for the fastest recorded pit stop at the Grand Prix of Europe. The team finally broke the magical 2 second barrier with Felipe Massa’s stop. Williams are the first team to officially complete a pitstop in which all 4 tyres are changed in under 2 seconds in Formula One.

After a series of calamitous pitstop performances throughout the teams 2015 campaign, for 2016 the team employed a process manager to analyse possible areas of improvement and implement change. One change has been to introduce a 21st person to the process. The person is responsible for monitoring the pitlane throughout the stop and signal (through a hand-held remote) when it is safe to release the car. This additional person reduces the number of tasks to be completed by the front jack man, and as a consequence has allowed for increased focus and improved efficiency. By allocating only single tasks to individuals in a pitstop process focus can be absolute. No doubt rival teams will be looking to emulate the Williams pit stop process in races to come.

For the 2016 Season DHL are awarding a Fastest Pitstop award after each Grand Prix. Williams have won this accolade at every race this season.

Formula One: Rosberg’s video diary of a winning weekend

Nico Rosberg continues his commitment to share his 2016 F1 championship challenge with as many fans as possible. In this series of films Nico takes viewers through his build up for the weekend, pre race trip from the hotel to the track and post race celebrations.

The increasingly infamous Monaco Resident Private Jet service shows the relationships drivers have away from the circuit. Rosberg and his management team are clearly investing in providing fans a real insight into life as an F1 driver. The production values of the You Tube films are very impressive and feature content filmed using drones.

Nico’s commitment to sharing his experiences with fans both positive and negative is highly commendable.

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Formula One: Stats and Facts from the Grand Prix of Europe

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The very first Grand Prix in Azerbaijan was won by Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg, who started from pole and stopped just once, passing from supersoft to soft tyres, without ever losing the lead.

The top six started on the supersoft and stopped only once for the soft tyre, between laps 8 and 21. This meant that their soft tyre stints lasted up to 43 laps, in the case of Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen. The result was achieved despite a higher wear rate than expected owing to warmer temperatures than those seen in practice and qualifying.

The highest placed of the three drivers to have instead started on the soft was Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg, who finished ninth from 12th on the grid. Hulkenberg stopped just once, while the best of the two-stoppers was Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo, who used all three compounds nominated for Azerbaijan: supersoft, soft and medium, which was the case also for his team mate Max Verstappen.

Another alternative strategy was adopted by Manor’s Pascal Wehrlein, who completed a very long 29-lap opening stint on the soft, then reverted to the medium before his retirement. Renault’s Kevin Magnussen, by contrast, had a very long closing stint on the soft tyre that even lasted for 46 laps. Manor’s Rio Haryanto went even longer: 48 laps.

Commenting on the race Pirelli’s Paul Hembery remarked:

 “The Baku grand prix contained a number of surprises; firstly with track temperatures still in excess of 50 degrees after one third of the race, and with very little drop in temperature throughout. And secondly because the much-anticipated safety cars never materialised. As expected, it was a one-stop race for the winner, with quite high wear and low degradation despite the long lap length and very high top speeds. We saw a number of different strategies being tried, including some very long stints even on the supersoft, which was key to Nico Rosberg’s victory on this spectacular track.”

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