Formula One, abbreviated to F1 and also known as Grand Prix racing, is the highest class of single-seat open-wheel formula auto racing. It consists of a series of races, known as Grands Prix, held on purpose-built circuits or closed city streets, whose results determine two annual World Championships, one for drivers and one for constructors. The cars race at speeds often in excess of 300 km/h (185 mph) with engines that produce, as of 2005, around 950 bhp at just over 19000 rpm.
For the better part of a decade, The Formula One Safety Car has been driven by veteran DTM racer Bernd Mayländer. So when a discussion begins on anything and everything to do with the lineup of Mercedes vehicles that have served as safety cars for F1 races, no one is more qualified to talk about them than Mayländer.
In this video, Mayländer does just that, taking us on a short history lesson regarding the line-up of Mercedes models that have had their turn in silver and emblazoned with F1 decals with matching emergency lights fitted on top of the roof.
From the Mercedes CL55 AMG in 2000 - his first year as F1 Safety Car driver - all the way to the current SLS AMG , Mayländer discusses all his memories from all his babies, recounting the unique qualities of all the cars and even picking his favorite among the bunch.
Spoiler Alert: It’s not the SLS AMG.
And as an added treat, Mayländer, at the end of the video, unveiled the newest F1 Safety Car, the Mercedes SLS AMG GT , which will begin its time on track for the 2013 Formula One season.
At some point during the week or maybe even next week, a lot of you are probably going to be on vacation, so you’ll have time to watch something that’s definitely worth your 30 minutes.
This is the story of Red Bull Racing, the three-time Formula One constructor’s champion that’s also the team of one Sebastian Vettel, himself a three-time Formula One driver’s champion. With all the glory and accolades the team has had in the past three years, not a lot of people remember that the team was born in 2005 under some pretty interesting circumstances.
The lineage actually points all the way back to 1996 when three-time F1 world champion Sir Jackie Stewart signed a deal with Ford to enter F1 with Stewart Grand Prix being its factory team. From there, the team became Jaguar Racing in 1999 where it languished in mediocrity until 2004, the year Red Bull came into the picture before making its F1 debut in 2005.
And the rest, as we say, is history.
Watch the entire 30-minute documentary. It’s worth every minute of it.
Ferrari’s reputation as one of the finest automakers in the world is unquestioned. However, creating some of the best exotics isn’t the only thing the Italian automaker is good at. It also fits the bill as an adept cross promoter.
Recently, Ferrari celebrated 100 years of history in Italy by tying up with Shell and Lego to build a 1-to-1 scale model of the automaker’s Ferrari F150° Formula One race car . No, it doesn’t come with an actual engine, but make no mistake, it’s pretty freaking awesome by itself.
It’s safe to say that work done on building a life-sized Formula 1 race car is a task in itself, but what’s really impressive about this whole build it that the final product looks almost lifelike from a distance.
Shell even has a time-lapse of video on how to entire build went down from bare bones to the final product. It’s definitely something that’s worth spending less than two minutes of your time watching.
On Monday, we let you know about our suspicions that Porsche was mulling over a return to the world of F1 , as it was snagging up what seemed like every unemployed F1 engineer available and was looking for more. It looks like us media folk have kicked up a bit of dust in the Porsche offices, as its motorsport spokesperson, Oliver Hilger, spoke out in reference to the speculation.
Hilger made it quite clear that the speculation is exactly that – speculation – and there is no truth behind it. He was quoted saying “We have no ambitions for Formula One” and that “if you need good people, of course you have a look around also in Formula One.”
We’ll take Hilger at his word for now, but hiring a pile of F1 guys really seems like a strange trend if you are simply trying to hire the best people. We wouldn’t be surprised to hear Porsche singing a different tune in the future.
After a successful run with McLaren, Lewis Hamilton became likely the hottest free agent in recent F1 history. There was a lot of debating and speculation that Hamilton had already signed with Mercedes , who only just recently signed the Concorde Agreement after rumors that it may leave F1, and that McLaren refused to match. It looks as if all of the Hamilton-to-Mercedes rumors were true, as Mercedes has officially announced the signing of Hamilton through the 2016 season.
This signing comes on the heels of McLaren , Hamilton’s former employer, announcing that it had signed the up-and-coming Sergio Perez. An unfortunate byproduct of Mercedes bringing in this young blood means the old blood, in the form of Michael Schumacher, is out of a job. There is some speculation that Schumacher will head back into retirement, but other rumors are placing him with Sauber, taking the spot vacated by Sergio Perez’s jettison to McLaren. Ah, and the evil circle of F1 continues…
It is up for debate as to whether Mercedes or McLaren got the better end of the deal, as you have a proven talent in Hamilton who had some struggles last year. But on the other hand you have the 22-year-old Perez with an impressive three podium trips last year and is heading into the prime of his career.
Either way, both Mercedes and McLaren got their guys and both Hamilton and Perez will likely continue strong in the coming years. Also announced today by Mercedes is that 3-time F1 champ, Nikki Lauda, will join Mercedes as a non-executive chairman.
While a lot of people will tell you that the Monaco Grand Prix is still the crown jewel of the Formula 1 season calendar, the Singapore Grand Prix has become the premier Asian destination for F1. So much so, in fact, that you could make a case in a few years that Singapore could potentially overcome Monaco as the most prestigious F1 race in the calendar.
But that discussion is for another time because the 2012 Singapore GP just concluded - and it was a complete doozy.
The records will show you that Sebastian Vettel emerged from the chaos with the win, his second in the five years the race has been run. But the story doesn’t end there because Vettel’s win was probably overshadowed by the mayhem during the race that actually caused it to be stopped two laps before the finish because of F1’s new two-hour race limit.
The first 22 laps of the race were uneventful with Lewis Hamilton emerging in front from pole position. Vettel and Button, starting on third and fourth, respectively, managed to overtake second place qualifier Pastor Maldonado in the start, effectively putting a McLaren-Red Bull-McLaren top-to-third order. Then, as if a sign of things to come, the two Caterham race cars collided with each other, thus putting an abrupt end to the team’s participation.
On the 23rd lap, the race turned upside its head when Lewis Hamilton, sitting pretty in first, unceremoniously retired after an electrical malfunction resulted in a blown gearbox. With his race done, Vettel emerged as the leader in what he thought would be a smooth sail to the finish line.
Little did Vettel, or anybody else know, that the chaos was just getting warmed up.
In December of 2011, Sid Watkins retired as F1 ’s Institute President. In his career, Watkins was known as the man that saved many drivers’ lives with the safety innovations that he headed up and his medical services. He is also noted as the doctor that tended to Ayrton Senna following the 1994 crash that ultimately killed Senna, who also happened to be Watkins’ dear friend.
This man that was so well known for saving lives has now seen his own life come to an end. Just 10 months and two days following his retirement, Watkins has passed away at the age of 84 years old. This oft-light-hearted neurosurgeon was beloved by many F1 drivers not only for his advancements and medical treatment, but as a friend.
An example of the outpouring of support is the post on Rubens Barrichello’s Twitter page, as he tweeted “It was Sid Watkins that saved my life in Imola 94. great guy to be with, always happy...tks for everything u have done for us drivers. RIP.”
A signs of just how dedicated Watkins was to his craft, at the 1995 Australian Grand Prix, Mika Häkkinen crashed during qualifying and was knocked unconscious. Watkins was the final doctor to arrive at the scene – two volunteers arrived within 15 seconds – and Watkins actually restarted Häkkinen’s heart twice, and then was forced to perform a cricothyrotomy – incision through the throat to create an unobstructed airway – while on the side of the racetrack. That ultimately saved the driver’s life and was one of Watkins’ crowning moments as a doctor.
Though F1 has lost one of its greats, Watkins’ achievements and memory as a life saving and protecting doctor will live on through many generations. Our condolences go out to his family, friends, and the entire F1 series.
A Formula One race car is capable of so many things, but we didn’t know that it could also carry a tune.
While promoting the 2013 Grand Prix of America, which will be held at the Port Imperial Street Circuit in Weehawken, New Jersey, Red Bull Racing gave its F1 racer the platform to sing, of all things, the Star-Spangled Banner.
In this video, the race car stretches its vocal chords with an impressive rendition of America’s national anthem, complete with high-pitches and dives that are eerily similar to how we sing our beloved anthem. Sure, there were some pitch issues here and there, but not enough to warrant scolding, especially when the singer in this instance, happens to be an actual race car.
Check out the video of Red Bull Racing’s F1 car doing its best Star-Spangled Banner rendition in the backdrop of the Statue of Liberty. Certainly, it doesn’t get any more American than this.
The world of Formula One offers plenty of interesting characters and few have been more interesting than three-time F1 champ Niki Lauda. Turns out, it’s more than interesting enough to even catch the attention of Hollywood as the new biopic movie of the Austrian driver, called "Rush", has already been announced to be released on September 20, 2013.
While that’s still over a year from now, the production is already underway with the story centered around the 1976 F1 season when Lauda went toe-to-toe with British driver James Hunt in one of the most dramatic championships in Formula 1 history.
The movie is being directed by Ron Howard and stars Spanish-born German actor Daniel Brühl playing the role of Niki Lauda with Thor himself, Chris Hemsworth, playing the part of James Hunt.
The rivalry between the two drivers stretched all the way to the season-ending race in Japan when Lauda, despite still being on top of the points table, retired from the race because of safety concerns, thus conceding the title to his British rival.
With one of the most legendary Hollywood directors at the helm and a rising stud in Hemsworth also involved in the movie, "Rush" is looking like a can’t-miss movie for the summer of 2013. Check out some of the new production photos from the movie in the gallery below.
A report from our friends over at World Car Fans is stating that the Nürburgring cannot afford to host any F1 events in 2013, as it cannot foot the sanctioning bills. That totally negates the rumors about Ecclestone waiving fees or he has rescinded or simply forgotten that offer. According to the report, Nürburgring officials and F1 will go into talks soon to try and keep F1 racing at the `Ring.
Either way, we feel that Eccelstone needs to step up and waive these sanction fees, so that racing can continue at the Nürburgring. The `Ring without F1 racing, just doesn’t quite feel right to us. Nürburgring officials are confident and vow that they can still turn a profit without F1 races, but we are fairly certain that if they miss any races, they are going to have trouble continuing the recovery process.
We will keep a close eye on this whole situation and try to figure out what in the world is going on between the Nürburgring and F1.