Tag Archives: 2016

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”.

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: 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: 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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Formula One: Grand Prix of Europe preview

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Formula One arrives in Baku this weekend for the 8th round of the 2016 Formula One World Championship. The Grand Prix of Europe, takes the form of a high speed street circuit in which cars are expected to exceed 340 KMPH. The circuit at just over 6km is the second longest on the F1 calender. The race will take place over 51 laps.

The track surface is made up of a variation of new and temporary tarmac (covering cobbles for in the old town section of the circuit for the race weekend only) tyre degradation is expected to be minimal. Despite this expectation, since the circuit is new Pirelli have opted to supply teams with the medium compound range of tyres. It can be expected future events will use softer compounds. Team tyre compound selection has focused on the softest compounds available.

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With excessive straights followed by a series of tight low speed corners car set-up is likely to be somewhat of a compromise. Teams will be looking to run minimal downforce to ensure maximum speed on the straights whilst ensuring the car is controllable in the low speed sections, as a friend pointed out earlier today, these elements of the circuit are not dissimilar to the old Hockenheimring.

Teams with advanced simulators are likely to arrive at the circuit with a strong baseline set up, others may require much of Friday running to find the optimal approach to the circuit.

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Formula One: Vettel flouts tobacco advertising laws

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Scuderia Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel is known to enjoy pushing the boundaries of regulations not impacting racing which he deems to be unnecessary. An exaple of this being the FIA mandate introduced in 2015 stating drivers are unable to change helmet design through a season. A regulation which has seen Vettel use 7 slightly different designs so far in 2016.

Pictured here during the track parade for the  2016 Canadian Grand Prix, Vettel defies regulations again, this time with his iPhone cover. Despite tobacco advertising being prohibited in Formula One for a number of years, Philip Morris International (Marlboro) remain the principle partner of Scuderia Ferrari. The partnership has explored numerous ways around the ban through adapting logo designs to mimic the iconic Marlboro logo and exploring subliminal messaging through barcode designs instead of Marlboro wording. The partnership seeks to make Marlboro synonymous with the Scuderia.

Vettel has taken this one step further in clearly showing the Marlboro brand whilst using his phone during an official Formula One session. Use of the logo in the public situation may not have been deliberate, but will no doubt lead to questions around whether of not the act constitutes advertising.

Formula One: 2 punctures for Rosberg in Canada

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Sources within Pirelli have confirmed that Nico Rosberg suffered 2 punctures in the laps preceding his second pitstop on lap 51 of the Canadian Grand Prix. The cause of both punctures has been identified as debris damaging the tyre.

The first puncture is understood to have been relatively minor leading to a slow loss of pressure, the second more substantial resulting in a rapid loss of pressure thus requiring immediate serving of car number 6.

Some parties have questioned Mercedes decision to service Nico with a set of Soft tyres in his second (unplanned) stop on lap 51. With only 19 laps to go both the Super Soft and the Ultra Soft compound could have completed the race distance. However as this article indicates, going into the race Nico had no fresh Ultra Soft tyres available, it is unlikely a used set of Ultra Soft compound tyres would have completed the race distance. The decision not to run the red Super Soft tyres will have been down to the issues Nico was managing in the car around fuel consumption and brakes. A tyre with greater performance could have led to greater issues in the closing stages of the race.

Commenting on Nico’s struggles Paddy Lowe remarked:

“For Nico, a late puncture[s] forced a second stop. It looks like he also collected some debris in one of his radiators, as he had overheating throughout the race. While this may not necessarily have affected his performance, it would have been quite a big distraction to manage. A podium was a possibility for him today – but unfortunately it didn’t work out”

Adding to this Nico himself commented on his race:

“I did my best to fight back and I there was a chance of a podium – but then I got the puncture and had to pit again – dammit! I was pushing hard after that to regain the positions but it was a massive mission managing the car with brake warnings coming on and running low on fuel.”

Pirelli went on to confirm that of the drivers that did manage to successfully complete the race on a single stop strategy; Hamilton, Bottas and Alonso. Did so well within the life of the soft compound tyre. Whilst confirmation of the number of laps it could be expected the tyres would have completed beyond race distance remains confidential Pirelli confirm no driver was near the limit of the life of the tyre.

 

Formula One: The race to Baku

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A mere 8 hours after the conclusion of today’s Canadian Grand Prix, all teams will be required to have completed race equipment pack up and have all containers ready to be shipped to Baku ahead of the inaugural Grand Prix of Europe, taking place in Azerbaijan next weekend.

In order to meet this deadline, many teams will begin the pack up process as soon as the race gets under way later today. With mixed conditions forecast teams will be hopeful they do not see a repeat of the 2011 event which due to severe weather conditions saw the race take place over a 4 hour period including a 2 hour red flag period, such scheduling will play havoc with teams planning for the following race.

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The Haas F1 Team have prepared a number of handy info graphics to illustrate the challenges of the second race taking place in Montreal today.

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Traditionally organisers of a new Grand Prix would look to have a minimum of a two week gap between the previous race and their own event. As such it is some what of an anomaly for FOM (Formula One Management) to schedule a Grand Prix at a new location at the tail of back to back races. Teams will be heavily reliant on the Baku infrastructure being 100% prepared to receive them and for there to be no issues in the release of goods from airports. As such many teams have sent crew’s to Baku a week ahead of the race itself.

In a bid to minimise the pressure or risk around set up delays many teams have elected to ship secondary equipment to Baku directly.

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Still the challenge remains to get a crew of around 80 team personnel  10,300 KM from Montreal to Baku in the shortest possible time. There will be little opportunity from team celebrations post race today.

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JWGP will give a bag of jelly babies to the first team to tweet from Baku with the garage set up with the cars in place!

Formula One: Claire Williams Awarded an OBE

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Williams have announced that its Deputy Team Principal and Commercial Director, Claire Williams, has been appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the Queen’s 2016 Birthday Honours List announced today. Claire has been awarded the honour in recognition of her services to Formula One.

In her role as Deputy Team Principal, Claire has been instrumental in the successful restructuring of the Williams Group over the past three years. The team has returned towards the front of the grid in Formula One, moving from ninth in the Constructors’ Championship in 2013 to third place in 2014 and 2015, and has successfully diversified through the continued growth of Williams Advanced Engineering. Since stepping into her Deputy Team Principal role, Claire has used her position as a female in a traditionally male dominated industry to encourage more women to consider careers in engineering and technology. In addition to this, she has recently been appointed Vice President of the Spinal Injuries Association, a charity extremely close to her heart.

Speaking about the honour, Claire said; “Today is a very proud day for me, but this is also a bit of a surprise. To be recognised in this way is a tremendous honour but one everyone at Williams can take credit for. I’m extremely lucky that I get to do a job that I love. To be able to play a role in a family legacy is an enormous privilege and one I don’t take for granted. Formula One, and Williams, are great success stories for the UK and I will continue to use my role to help showcase what a great sport Formula One is, what a brilliant platform for this country’s expertise in high class engineering it is, as well as a place that welcomes women across all of its disciplines.”