Tag Archives: F1

Formula One: US Grand Prix – Alexander Rossi Takes On COTA

Alex Rossi

Courtesy of Mobil 1 The Grid, Alex Rossi previews the US Grand Prix with iZone Driver Performance Racing Simulators

Opinion:  Thanks to Mobil 1 The Grid for posting this preview. Alex Rossi’s presence on the F1 grid for the 2015 COTA Grand Prix is great news for the Circuit and Formula One in general. Having an American driver on the grid should serve to further endear the track with locals and heighten the atmosphere at this fantastic venue. the COTA circuit manages to encapsulate some of the greatest corners in recent F1 history and bring them together into one single thrilling lap.

Rossi and the Manor team promised additional sponsorship backing from the Austin GP onwards, with his Californian roots perhaps Alex has been able to tap into the Silicon Valley Billions, adding to the mid season Airbnb partnership, I can picture the Uber Manor F1 team now! A strong showing in Austin should put Rossi in a good position for a full season campaign with the team in 2016.

Formula One: Toro Rosso preview the TexMex rounds

STR

Ahead of the Texas and Mexico rounds of the Formula One calendar Toro Rosso drivers Max Verstappen and Carlos Sainz preview give their thoughts on the venues and have some fun trying to put together the Mexican track puzzle!

Opinion: Formula One – Breaking down the 4th wall

Sochi

Over the weekend of the Russian GP I found myself in Austria,  unable to pick up UK F1 coverage either SKY Sports F1 (my preference) or BBC. To be honest after a rather dull race in 2014 my expectations for the race  were quite low, so trying to stay positive I looked upon the race as an opportunity to work on my German.

ORF

Discovering ORF hold Austrian rights for sport I was excited to hear through Twitter positive reports about the broadcaster, especially when compared to RTL and importantly had no breaks during the race. It then dawned on me I would get to hear interviews from the likes of Toto Wolff and Niki Lauda in their mother tongue, and I might get to hear a new perspective on the sport.

Now, I should preface this with a comment that the race coverage was good, possibly helped by a great race. Co commentary from Adrian Sutil was, different, and I definitely learned some new German. Who knew that the marbles that caught out Romain Grosjean whilst following Jenson Button through T3 were actually Gummikugeln ( yes I had visions of gummy bears attacking a Lotus) but the pre and post race interviews… terrible.

I would have thought with any language barrier removed team members and drivers, such as Hulkenberg and Rosberg would be more engaged more insightful and dare I said more entertaining. I experienced the exact opposite. It felt like Toto Wollf was reading a script and the drivers (yes I know they had bad results) couldn’t wait for the interviews to be over.

skysportsf1

BBC Sport

So in summary I would like to thank the production team behind the humanised presenting style the BBC launched back in 2009 when they regained the UK broadcasting rights to the sport. Both the BBC and SKY have managed to break down the 4th wall making teams and drivers real people. Perhaps this approach isn’t right for Austrian audiences, but as guy on holiday I can tell you a missed it, so much so I re watched the entire SKY Sports broadcast when I got home on Tuesday!

Formula E: Amlin Andretti prepare for Season 2

Amlin

With arguably the most exciting driver line up on the grid, Amlin Andretti enter season two with new backing, new partners and a determination to succeed.

As highlighted in the Renault eDAMs preview yesterday, teams appear to facing the challenge of season 2 less as the difficult second album, and more of the time to get serious.

Both Robin Frijns and Simona de Silvestro have for now at least been passed over in the F1 driver pecking order, both suffering at the hands of questionable management and the challenges of the Sauber F1 team. In Formula E with Amlin Andretti they seem to have found a home.

The team had a challenging pre season with TE Connectivity partnership plans not quite ready to hit the track. For season 2 the team will rely on the trusted base power unit used in season 1. Working with established systems should position the team well for early reliability and provide confidence in what their machinery can achieve.

In Amlin, Andretti have found a commercial partner keen to make themselves heard. highly active on social media and hugely interactive with fans, this dedication will appreciated and will help the team enhance their fan base over the course of the season.

In this short interview Simona discusses the most exciting prospects for her first complete season with Formula E, whilst she mentions the Paris ePrix , I wouldn’t give up hope of the Lugano event quite yet!

Formula E: Renault commit to the EV sector through Motorsport

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RENAULT AT THE FOREFRONT OF ALL-ELECTRIC MOTORSPORT

Ranking amongst some of the most innovative companies in the world, Renault is at the forefront of the electric automotive sector with vehicles such as its Z.E. range, as well as the iconic ZOE and Twizy. And thanks to its motorsport commitments and unique racing pedigree in a range of categories, the French carmaker is also helping to foster the move towards more sustainable racing.

Recognising its potential, Renault jumped at the opportunity to be involved in the FIA’s all-electric championship as soon as it was announced in 2011. Travelling to some of the world’s most famous cities, Formula E’s ethos fits in perfectly with the French manufacturer’s environmental strategy. In keeping with its identity as a pioneer, Renault has made the most of the championship as an international platform in order to showcase its proficiency and expertise in electric systems. With innovation and excellence etched into Renault’s DNA, it was only natural that the manufacturer would support Alain Prost and Jean-Paul Driot’s bold venture into the world’s first fully electric competition.

Renault has been directly involved in Formula E’s development since 2014, contributing on both technical and sporting matters.

It was appointed Formula E’s Official Technical Partner, with Renault Sport Technologies overseeing all systems integration as well as supervising powertrain electrical safety and performance optimisation on the 200kW Spark-Renault SRT_01Es.

Renault also served as a partner to the Renault e.dams squad, which went on to win the inaugural 2014/2015 FIA Formula E Teams’ championship.

Renault’s commitment to the sport has equally portrayed its readiness to apply the technological progress to all-electric vehicles in general, boost engine performance and improve battery autonomy.

For the 2015/16 season Renault has increased its involvement with reigning Teams’ title-holders, Renault e.dams. Producing its own powertrain, Renault has exclusively devoted its technical expertise to the team, which is determined to continue fighting at the front and has both the Drivers’ and Teams’ titles in its sights for season two. The cutting-edge technologies developed by Renault Sport for Formula E could subsequently benefit the constructor’s Z.E. range of road-going cars.

Cyril

CYRIL ABITEBOUL
RENAULT SPORT F1 MANAGING DIRECTOR

“Renault has a long history of embracing innovation in competitive motorsport. Our operations base in Viry-Châtillon has produced some of the most evocative and successful technology ever seen on track, including the 1970s Formula 1 turbo engine and V10 and V8 power plants that dominated F1 in the ’90s and 2000s.

“Ahead of Formula E’s second season, Viry’s full experience and expertise is being applied with one aim – to continue in the spirit of adventure and innovation, mirroring the success enjoyed in other motorsport disciplines.

Continuing Renault’s spirit of adventure and innovation, and mirroring the success enjoyed in other motorsport disciplines start with harnessing synergies between our motorsport disciplines. Through our F1 power unit we have developed a range of competences in electrical technology that will only be furthered by running in Formula E. In this way, and others, we hope to realise the full potential of Renault across all our competitive activities.”

Opinion: Formula E appears to offer the perfect vehicle for Renault to demonstrate it’s commitment to the EV sector, it should be considered significant that Cyril Abiteboul features in the press launch of Renault’s season 2 campaign, further underlining Renault have options away from Formula One. Renault eDams have focused solely on winning both the drivers and constructors championship in Formula E season 2. If things don’t go there way in F1, Formula E offers a very healthy alternative.   

INDYCAR: GoPro Join Forces with Indycar to Create 360-Degree Video

Indycar Go Pro

On Aug. 27, GoPro and INDYCAR joined forces to produce an interactive 360-degree video of the Verizon IndyCar Series’ ambitious endeavor to send cars across one of the world’s most iconic locations – the Golden Gate Bridge.


Watch the video on the GoPro’s YouTube page here.

Viewers can manipulate the video (available in select browsers) by clicking on the screen and dragging their cursor to view different angles of the event.

Four competition Indy cars that competed in the season finale GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma on Aug. 30 participated, piloted by Josef Newgarden, Marco Andretti, Graham Rahal and Will Power. Andretti led the procession in the No. 25 Andretti Autosport Honda driven in six Verizon IndyCar Series events by the late Justin Wilson, who passed away Aug. 24 due to injuries sustained in a crash. The event was dedicated in memory of Wilson.

James Hinchcliffe drove the INDYCAR Experience street-legal two-seater with the series’ championship trophy, the Astor Cup, as his passenger in the rear seat. Holmatro safety trucks followed behind the procession bearing flags with a logo created to honor Wilson.

OPINION:  Showcasing 360 Degree Video Technology from GoPro in the filming of Indycar’s procession for Justin Wilson first and foremost gives fans an opportunity to feel part of the tribute.  Moving beyond this GoPro offer insight into the possibilities of immersive viewing for motorsport in the future. As audiences shift towards streaming of live events this level of personalisation of the viewing experience could set Indycar and GoPro apart from the rest. F1 take note… And WOW the Golden Gate Bridge looks spectacular!

Formula One: Sochi Stats & Round Up

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What a difference a year makes! Formula One returned to Russia this weekend and for most fans it was fair to say expectations of a great race were pretty low. Thankfully the second running of the Sochi GP proved to be a huge improvement, with excitement through to the final lap.

Congratulations to Lewis on his win, to Mercedes in clinching their 2nd successive constructors crown, and a huge congratulations to Sergio Perez and the Force India team for a well deserved podium. Gambling on an early pit stop during the send safety car period Sergio kept his calm despite huge almost overwhelming pressure to claim his second podium for the team

Congratulations also to Pirelli on the extension of their sole supply agreement to F1 through to 2019. Further details to follow in due course. In the meantime enjoy this inspired Ushanka (pictured) look Pirelli bought to the podium and these fantastic info-graphics!

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Formula One: Carlos Sainz & Team update

Sainz
Driver & Team Update:
Carlos Sainz (STR10-04, Car 55)
Third Practice Session – Best lap: 1:42.683, pos. 15th, 19 laps
Qualifying – did not take part
“Hi everyone! As you can see I am fine. My back and my neck are just a bit sore from the accident, but I’m totally ready. Hopefully tomorrow I will wake up in a good shape and maybe I can try and race – this is definitely the intention! Obviously we need to be cautious… I’ve always been conscious. As soon as the accident happened I tried to talk to the team on the radio, but it wasn’t working and those must have been some scary moments… I’d like to thank everyone for their support, it’s really nice to receive all your messages at a moment like this one! I hope to see you all tomorrow out there!”
 
Phil Charles (Chief Race Engineer)
“Our first considerations are obviously for Carlos. It was quite a big crash for him but it’s good to know that he feels well. We will now need to wait until tomorrow morning to hear if his final FIA medical checks are okay.
On the engineering side we are still finalising the details of our crash investigation. However so far there are no significant findings to talk about. From a personal point of view I am quite impressed to see that the car has survived such a shunt in quite a healthy way: the nose crush zone has worked very efficiently and the four wheels were still retained by the tethers. The monocoque looks to be in good shape as well.
Talking a little more about the car performance, both drivers were settling down nicely in P3 before Carlos’s crash, doing long-run tyre tests early on. In qualifying with Max, he did a good job as we were still evolving our approach as well, given we didn’t get a short run with either driver in P3. Most significantly we had to make a decision on the way we used the tyres selecting between build-push or push-charge-push. We elected for the second option in Q3. It is obviously difficult to say for sure which would have been better but Max put together a pretty good lap and I think we achieved most of what we could have today with our package.”
Franz Tost (Team Principal)
“I’m very happy that Carlos is ok and out of hospital, this is the most important thing for us! I hope he will have a good night’s sleep and tomorrow morning he will have to go through the FIA medical checks to decide if he will be able to take part in tomorrow’s race. Now, just to clarify what happened, prior to the accident, Carlos had completed a long-run on the Option tyre, before changing to the Prime to do two further laps. On Primes the grip level is lower. In addition he had changed the brake shape on the steering wheel, which meant he had more braking rearwards. A combination of these two factors might have been the cause of the rears locking, which made the car uncontrollable.”
Opinion: Carlos Sainz was fortunate to avoid serious injury in this FP3 incident. Whilst the team remain unclear as to the cause, the implication from Franz Tost appears to be driver error.  All parties seem hopeful Sainz will participate in tomorrow’s race. Presumably to be considered mandatory FIA regulated medical tests will need to be completed tomorrow morning. 

Formula One : Sochi Stats – Tyres

Williams Sochi

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.

Opinion : Social Media and Formula One

Japanstart

Barely a day goes by went I don’t see someone commenting on the need for Formula One to embrace social media.  The latest coming Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche

Dieiter-Zetsche-Annual-North-American-Auto

“F1 must instead embrace the digital world and develop interactive strategies”

There can be no denying Formula One Management, FOM,  have taken a very cautious approach to social media, on the face of it this is born out of concern around damaging the cash cow that has been national broadcasting rights and the lack of clarity around how to monetise social media. Both concerns are valid. Social Media in its current form is great for increasing brand awareness, but Formula One is established. So how will social media improve Formula One as a product?

2015 has seen significant investment from FOM in improving content available through social media and developing a vehicle to deliver this content seen in the much improved F1 app.  Charges exist around elements of the content available but a surprising amount of exclusive insight has been made available with no restrictions or charges.

This is just the start. The folk at FOM are a bunch of clever people, they haven’t let go of the challenge to monetise a social media following. Mindful of developments in other sports, they have identified a commercial opportunity. Rather than simply launching a service, in the true spirit of social media, they plan to make their followers believe they’ve devised the opportunity themselves. What is this opportunity? In race gambling. A long established gambling model in Football, Rugby, Horse Racing, In play gambling seems to be such a great fit for Formula One it’s amazing no one has thought about it already!

Working with Tata Communications FOM launched a fan competition earlier this year asking entrants to propose technical solutions to enable fans to make and communicate predictions on race outcomes during the race itself. The only element not called out in the project brief was suggesting fans ability to monetise successful predictions. Whilst the winning entries refer to awards for success in points, turning points money is not a huge step.

Armed with fan support FOM have potentially unlocked an entire new sector for the sport. FOM could integrate live odds into social media feed and develop gambling platform through their own service, or more likely demonstrate proof of concept and sell in race gambling rights to the highest bidder.

skysports

skybet

Imagine if Sky Sports Commentary included live odds available only through Sky Bet on events taking place during the race.

You may wonder what a fan could bet on during a race; the more appropriate question is what couldn’t they bet on, 1st pitstop for car 44, lap on which fastest lap would be set, the list is endless.

You may also wonder how the odds for such events would be calculated. Well the data is already in place, teams have predictive software running throughout a race weekend to optimise performance and results, the data collection used for this could adapted with minimal investment to develop live odds.

FOM have, through PayTV agreements, confirmed there is an audience prepared to pay for the sport. This audience is likely to have a high confidence around their appreciation for the sport and highly likely to be willing to put their money where their mouth is. Especially is there is a feeling of being able to outsmart the management!

So FOM use their social media platform to launch in race gambling. They prove the concept, sell the rights or allow teams to generate income through agreements with gambling sites (for a fee of course) and then what?  Formula One Management move on, on to the next project to further add value to the product that is Formula One.