Category Archives: Uncategorized

Formula E: Winners Wear Spine

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Leaders in the ABB FIA Formula E Championship, the Techeetah Formula E team announce a  new partnership with SPINE OPTICS.

The Techeetah Formula E team rounded out the South American leg of the ABB FIA Formula E Championship with a second win of the season for Championship leader Jean-Eric Vergne yesterday.

The team and driver now hold a commanding lead in the constructors and drivers championships respectively. Highlights of the thrilling race from Punta del Este can be seen here:

Away from the circuit, the team have been finding success with new partnerships in the form of Blockchain Crypto Currency Dragon Inc, and industry-leading eyewear manufacturer  SPINE OPTICS. As a core brand within the Mondottica group, SPINE OPTICS are revolutionising eyewear with a patented arm design.

The Techeetah Formula E Team SPINE OPTICS Partnership will see all Team Members wearing SPINE wear for the remainder of the FIA Formula E Season with SPINE branding featuring prominently within the team environment.

For more information on SPINE head to their website here.

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Formula One: Frentzen goes Electric

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Formula One legend Heinz Harald Frentzen became one of this first drivers to experience a race prepared Tesla in a test at the Paul Ricard circuit earlier this week.  Frentzen took part in the test as the Electric GT championship continues to prepare for its inaugural season in 2017.

“As a long time owner of this manufacturer it was great fun to drive one of the first race-prepared Teslas, It was a fantastic opportunity to experience the potential of E-racing performance cars. Mark [Gemmell, CEO] and his EGT team are definitely heading in the right.”

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The test showed a lot of promise, with the series’ organisers able to better understand the tyres, as well as get an idea of how the car itself will perform following the feedback from Frentzen.

“We were glad to have Heinz-Harald come to the track,” Electric Championship CEO Mark Gemmell said during the presentation of the race car at the Sportel TV fair in Monaco. “Other than the fact he’s a supremely talented driver, he is a fan of Tesla and owns two cars himself, which is great. We were able to meet up and talk him through the championship, before arranging a test drive for him later in the day. He gave us some great feedback.”

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The Electric GT Championship is set to get underway in 2017, with Stefan Wilson, Vittoria Piria, Dani Clos and Lellani Münter already confirmed as part of the Drivers’ Selection Club.

For more on the Electric GT Championship head to the series website here

Car Review: My weekend with the Infiniti Q30

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After receiving a late invitation to the British Grand Prix last weekend I arrived, late, at the Europcar desk at Heathrow Airport. As every frequent rental car user, I decided to try my luck at free upgrade from my economy ride for the weekend. Free didn’t come my way, but I was offered an Infiniti Q30 for what felt like a very reasonable additional fee. (after a bit of healthy negotiation)

Having become familiar with the brand name through Formula One with both Red Bull Racing and more recently the Renault F1 team, I was excited to be finally trying out an Infiniti model for myself. My car at home is a 2009 BMW 330, this feels like an appropriate benchmark for the Q30.

Stepping inside the cabin of the Q30 is a very pleasant experience. In racking up around 30,000KM’s per year, mainly on motorways I’ve become very picky about a quality interior. The interior is made up of a high quality materials produced to a high standard, suede upholstery with purple stitching was a great touch! There is a sense of familiarity to the switch gear in the Q30, mainly due the fact that much of it is shared with the Mercedes A Class / GLA. This is no bad thing, systems are easy to navigate and on the whole fairly intuitive.

Heading on to the motorway you get a feel for where the Q30 is most at home. The ride is self assured, not too soft, but not as harsh as you might expect from a German peer. The 7 speed automatic is responsive with a more than capable on-board management system, it’s very rare to find the Q30 grappling for gears. The Q30 has all the driver alerts you expect to find in a modern car, lane change and closing distance alerts, adaptive cruise control and blind spot warnings. Heading up from Heathrow to Silverstone was a breeze, the Q30 is a very pleasant place to find yourself.  I did have some issues with the DAB radio, but I’ll put that down to user rather than system!

Over the course of the next few days the Q30 was put through it’s paces through back roads and tracks, trying to avoid the infamous Silverstone traffic. I have to say compared to the BMW this is where the Q30 comes a little unstuck. The road holding and vehicle dynamics do fall slightly short of the sector leaders. That being said the Q30 never feels unstable, it remains more than capable.

Another neat feature of the Q30, perfect for post race traffic jams, is the all round camera. From the central screen you can monitor how close you are to surrounding obstructions with ease, taking a lot of the stress of not paying for additional car insurance out of my rental experience!

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The styling of the Q30 may not be to everyone’s taste. It is a large car for what it is. the loading space and rear leg room are not industry leading, but in all honesty I imagine they will be more than sufficient for the typical owner. I personally found the exterior of the car very appealing, it’s a car with which you will stand out from the crowd. It reminded me of the Renault Avantime project (pictured) seeking to create a new sub category within an existing model range.

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When returning the Q30 to Europcar I found myself wondering If I would actually consider buying one for myself. To be honest, probably not. There is a lot I like about the car, and a lot I haven’t mentioned in this review. The fuel economy for example for a 2.2 litre engine was very impressive. The fact that it is built in Sunderland  would let me feel like I’m doing something good for the UK, but would I buy it? With the specification I would want on the car the cost would be around £30,000. Which is more than I would feel conformable spending on a car in this category.  So in short:  No.  I would however seriously consider leasing it! Being part of the Renault Nissan alliance, Infiniti are able to offer very attractive rates should you be on the market.

Model – Infiniti Q30

  • Engine: 2.2 Diesel
  • 7 Speed automatic
  • Lease rates from £180- 280 PCM

To arrange a test drive of the Infiniti Q30 head to the Infiniti home page or make a request for the model the next time you hire a car with Europcar.

Formula One: Alfonso joins Sahara Force India

Alfonso Celis
Sahara Force India have announced the signing of Mexican racer, Alfonso Celis, as a development driver. The 19-year-old will get his first experience of Formula One power behind the wheel of the VJM08 at the season-ending Abu Dhabi test – sharing driving duties with Nico Hulkenberg.
Alfonso is one of the most promising young Mexicans emerging from the junior formulas. Following karting success in Mexico, he moved to Europe in 2013 to compete in the Formula Renault NEC championship, and progressed to the GP3 Series last year. This year he raced for ART in GP3 in parallel to a World Series by Renault programme with AVF.
In his development role with Sahara Force India, Alfonso will spend time on the simulator at the team’s Silverstone factory. He will also take part in seven official practice sessions at Grand Prix events during the 2016 season.
Alfonso Celis: “Ever since I started racing I’ve been dreaming of Formula One, so it’s a huge honour to begin working with Sahara Force India. It’s an amazing opportunity for me to learn about Formula One and to work closely with the engineers and race drivers. Being on the track in Abu Dhabi will be an incredible feeling. It’s going to be the biggest moment in my career and I am fully focussed on doing a good job for the team.”
Vijay Mallya, Team Principal and Managing Director: “I would like to welcome Alfonso to the team and wish him well ahead of his debut with us in Abu Dhabi. As our development driver we will work hard to prepare him for the demands of driving in Formula One and provide a good grounding in all aspects of the job. It’s a fantastic opportunity for Alfonso to learn from Sergio and Nico, and to get valuable mileage in the car.”

Formula One: Tag Heuer partner Red Bull Racing for 2016

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Tag Heuer have this morning confirmed that they have entered into partnership with Red Bull Racing from 2016 onwards. At this time it has not been confirmed if this partnership will impact the existing Mclaren partnership with the Swiss Watch Maker.

In an interview with L’HEBDO, (documented below) CEO Jean- Claude Biver when questioned around the move commented

“yes, we  have Red Bull Racing F1  for next season. This is a young team, dynamic, go-getter, perfectly in keeping with the strategy of Tag Heuer”(translated)

Whilst no formal comment has been issued from Red Bull Racing it should be presumed that the existing Casio relationship will not be extended. The Tag Heuer partnership further demonstrates Red Bull’s commitment to Formula One.

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Further updates on this development will be posted here as they become available.

Formula One: Pirelli Predict a 2 stop race

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Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg has clinched pole position for the fourth consecutive time, using the P Zero Yellow soft tyre to set a lap of 1m19.480s. It was the 13th Mercedes one-two of the season in qualifying. The high-altitude and thin air characteristics of Mexico City, together with its long pit straight, meant that the highest top speeds were seen in Formula One this year.

Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton was the only driver to get through Q1 using the medium tyre only, before all the drivers started Q2 on the soft tyre: worth about an extra 1.5 seconds per lap around the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez. The only exception was Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen, who did just one lap on the medium before taking no further part in the session.

With track temperatures falling in the final part of Q3, the first runs on the soft tyre were faster, sealing pole position for Rosberg from Hamilton, with Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel in third. All the drivers in the top 10 utilised their allocation of soft tyres for qualifying and the race, meaning that they will all have used tyres tomorrow.

The strategy calculations are complex here for a variety of reasons: firstly because of the unfamiliarity with the track, and secondly because every session held so far has been run in disparate conditions, with a high degree of track evolution. This means that it has been difficult to get an accurate picture of the way that the tyres behave.

Despite some predictions of rain – which is the case tomorrow as well – conditions remained dry all day, with just a few spots of rain at the end of Q2, while track temperatures remained in excess of 30 degrees during qualifying.

The final free practice session this morning was held in warm conditions, with Rosberg finishing ahead of his team mate by just 0.014s, and 12 drivers covered by just one second.

Paul Hembery, Pirelli motorsport director: “It was another variable day in Mexico, featuring warm weather as well as some spots of rain – so this range of conditions made it quite difficult for the teams to work out the best tactical choices. We’ve seen that tyre wear is low on account of the slippery and new surface, but track evolution is still on-going, which has closed the performance gap between the two compounds slightly as more rubber is laid down. There are a few strategy options open: while a one-stopper is entirely possible, a two-stopper might turn out to be quicker, depending on degradation rates, the individual pace of each car and the situation with traffic.”

The Pirelli strategy predictor:
The strategy is a complex one for the Mexican Grand Prix, with weather conditions expected to be at the forefront of calculations for the 71-lap race. As wear rates are low, one stop is possible, but two stops could well be quicker. The fastest two-stop strategy is: start on soft, change to soft again on lap 23, then medium on lap 46. For a one-stop strategy, it makes no difference to the overall time whether you start on soft or medium. Those starting on soft should change to medium on lap 30, while those starting on medium should change to soft on lap 40.

KIO Networks & Canel’s join the Lotus F1 Team for the Mexican GP

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KIO Networks

KIO Networks have joined the Lotus F1 Team as promotional partners for the Mexican Grand Prix. Established in 2001, KIO Networks is a global organization that provides a wide range of mission critical information technology. the company has been providing services that guarantee its clients efficient operation of their IT Operations via the implementation, operation and management of the most rigorous IT systems.

Click on this link if you would like to find out more about KIO Networks and the services they provide .

For those of you with better Spanish than my own KIO Network and the Lotus F1 Team have prepared this infographic:

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Canel’s

Canels

Canel’s, popular Mexican confectioner  have entered into a synergy partnership agreement with the Lotus F1 Team for the Mexican Grand Prix weekend.

Familiar with motorsport sponsorship through Mexico, Canel’s highlight the partnership as one of the most important developments in the company and plan to use the event as an opportunity to showcase brands and development plans.

To find out more about Canel’s follow this link

Formula One: Pirelli Preview the Mexican GP

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With high speed straights similar to Monza and technical sections reminiscent of those seen in circuits such as Hockenheim. The Hermanos Rodriguez Circuit is set to host what could be the second fastest Grand Prix of the year. With this being the first time modern F1 cars have visited the circuit Pirelli have opted for a conservative approach to tyre selection, going for the soft and medium compound tyres. Although with the aftermath of Hurricane Patricia still in the air, there is a high probability of a fully wet weather weekend.

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Formula One : Sochi Stats – Tyres

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Tyre statistics of the day:

Supersoft Soft Intermediate Wet
kms driven *  0  1071  298  473
sets used overall **  0  20  18  14
highest number of laps **  0  15  8  12

* The above number gives the total amount of kilometres driven in FP1 and FP2 today, all drivers combined.
** Per compound, all drivers combined.

Comment: With the diesel spill in FP1 reducing available testing time and mixed conditions in FP2, teams are yet to trial the supersoft tyre around the Sochi circuit. Improved conditions are expected over the rest of the weekend so we can expect a very busy FP3 and with a wealth of super soft tyres available to all teams, an aggressive approach to qualifying.

Formula E – Jaime Alguersuari retires from racing

Jaime Alguersuari

Aged 25, Jaime Alguersuari has earlier today announced his retirement from racing. In a roughly translated statement to  Spanish media,  Jaime confirmed there was no underlying media reason for his retirement rather that he fell out of love with racing. After a spell with Toro Rosso in Formula One as part of the Red Bull Driver development programme Jaime spent time as a development driver in a series of categories and team before participating in the inaugural Formula E season with the Virgin Racing team. Following an unexplained fainting incident during the Russian round of the series the FIA suspended his racing license pending medical tests. No explanation for this incident has been provided but Jaime has confirmed this is not the sole motivation behind his retirement.