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.
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.
It’s no secret that F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone has a pretty deep set of pockets. Sure, having that much money has gotten him in trouble on numerous occasions, but it still doesn’t hurt to have those kind of resources because it might come in handy when you are reportedly interested in purchasing a bankrupt race track.
That’s the word coming out of German newspaper, Rheinpfalz, which reported that Ecclestone is interested in buying the Nurburgring race track. Yeah, when we’re worried about the financial hit that will come from buying shoes, Ecclestone seems to have no worries about buying a race track.
Such is life.
In any case, the F1 chief is actually interested in buying the company that owns the Nurburgring. Financial details and specifications surrounding this apparent interest isn’t being divulged, but Ecclestone has made it pretty clear that he still wants Formula One to have a race in one of the most famous tracks in the world although he did say that it would not happen at his expense. This negates previous rumors that F1 would waive the typical sanctioning fee to bring an F1 race to the Nürburgring, which totaled $25 million when the race was brought to Austin, Texas.
This, of course, isn’t the first time Ecclestone has gotten into the business of track buying, having previously done so a few years ago when he purchased a controlling stake of the Turkish GP race track. Ecclestone also owns the Paul Richard test circuit in France.
Now it looks like he’s got his eyes set on buying arguably the most famous race track in the world. Just another day in the life of the eccentric F1 billionaire.
Just about every day, we see a new on-car camera shot that is exhilarating, but it’s always lacking something. This “something” that they always lack is the "real" feeling of the driver’s point of view, as the camera is usually connected to the car or on the top of the driver’s helmet.
Well, F1 Driver, Lucas di Grassi decided that it was time to give us a real-life driver’s-eye view of him racing his open-wheel car. He accomplished this by placing a small camera directly in front of one of his eyes, so he was literally driving with just one eye.
Granted, there were no other drivers on the course, but to see him navigate the Spa-Francorchamps circuit in the rain was a thing of beauty. In addition, he gave us a taste of some of the speeds they drive by getting his car up to 280 km/h (174 mph) at the 2:45 mark, which is impressive enough in the rain, but with just one eye is simply nuts.
Take a look at the above video to get a true driver’s-eye view of the craziness that F1 drivers have to deal with every race day. It’s pretty intense to say the least.
If you’ve ever been to a tire shop for four brand-spankin’-new tires, you can typically expect to sit around for at least an hour. If you show up on a Saturday, you had better just drop off your car and come back in three or four hours. That is, of course, unless you are F1 driver Jenson Button.
At the German Grand Prix on Sunday, Button was in 3rd place and pulled into the pits for a new set of tires, which you can typically expect to lose at least one position when doing. Button, on the other hand, pulled in and didn’t even lose a single position. It’s not because the car trailing him was so far behind, but rather because his pit crew was ridiculously fast. They lifted the car, removed four tires and rims, and installed four new tires and rims in 2.31 seconds.
That’s not only insanely fast, but it is also a new world record. One YouTube user managed to get a shot of the record-breaking pit stop and posted it for all of us to see. Literally, if you blink, you’ll miss almost everything.
Check out the above video to see just how fast this crew gets this job done. The lightning-fast work of Button’s crew also enabled him to overtake the No. 2 slot, as Sebastian Vettel pitted shortly after Button.
As the Nürburgring sinks into its bankruptcy proceedings and the light at the end of the tunnel of relief for the famed `Ring looks bleak, everyone in the automotive industry would love to help, but they all have their own problems. F1 has its own lineup of issues to deal with, especially its boss, Bernie Ecclestone, but it has stepped up to the task and is offering a much-needed hand to the failing track.
Ecclestone has vowed to do whatever he can to save the track and isn’t just saying it to sound good. According to a report, Ecclestone has said that he will waive the typical sanctioning fee to bring an F1 race to the Nürburgring. For those that don’t know how significant that really is, the fee to bring F1 to Austin, Texas ran a full $25 million. That would bring huge attendance to the ’Ring and general tourism to the suffering area, possibly giving it the injection of cash that it needs.
F1 is still an extremely popular series in Europe, so the entire area could see income in the hundreds of million of dollars, if it is planned correctly. The biggest issue is whether the `Ring is suitable for F1 racing, as low income typically leads to poor track conditions. If it is not in acceptable shape, would Nürburgring officials have the spare cash to fix it up? If there is no cash to fix it, would F1 be willing to inch closer to that plate by helping fix the track to get it race-ready?
According to reports from `Ring officials, there is only a short time frame to get an F1 deal done, but it may be a little too late to completely save the famed raceway.
We’ll keep you updated as more information becomes available.
At the time of the event, Marussia stated: “At approximately 09.15 BST this morning, the Marussia F1 Team’s Test Driver Maria De Villota had an accident in the team’s MR-01 race car at Duxford Airfield where she was testing the car for the first time. The accident happened at the end of her first installation run and involved an impact with the team’s support truck. Maria has been transferred to hospital. Once her medical condition has been assessed a further statement will be issued.”
Fortunately for De Villota, her medical condition has been assessed and she is thankfully no longer sedated and communicating freely with those around her. Unfortunately, however, De Villota suffered major facial injuries during the crash and the team also confirmed that surgeons were unable to save her right eye. In addition to this news, Marussia concluded through its in depth discussions that the accident was not caused by any mechanical fault in the car.
Marussia team principal John Booth stated, “We are satisfied that the findings of our internal investigation exclude the car as a factor in the accident. We have now concluded our investigatory work and can again focus on the priority, which continues to be Maria’s well-being.”
A third-party investigation team has also been contracted by Marussia to delve even deeper into any possible cause of the crash, and the results from that investigation are expected in the coming months.
We often rave about the brass cojones that racecar drivers have, particularly rally drivers. Formula drivers, on the other hand, get very little recognition, as they drive on paved surfaces and most people think they just drive fast. In reality, these guys and gals behind these open-wheel machines have some guts themselves.
Enter in Jeroen Slaghekke, a driver of a Renault 2.0, and you have a guy that not only has the set required to race, but also to make split second decisions that could result in tragedy to avoid having to pit and lose position. The back story is that he had an electrical issue with his steering wheel that required repair, but pitting would have forced him to give up precious places in the race. So, instead of pitting, this guy removes the wheel himself at full speed, repairs the obviously simple issue, and slaps the wheel back on in time for a left turn.
We understand that these wheels are quick release and it’s just a matter of pulling a two tabs to release them, but to do this at speeds in excess of 100 mph and continue accelerating as he does it is simply incredible. We all know people that can barely drive in a straight line at 20 mph with both hands on the wheel. We bet that Mr. Slaghekke has no issue with keeping his daily driver straight.
To see this gutsy gamble, check out the above video and pay close attention to the 11-second mark.
Titled "Tooned," the animated short series made its debut at the British Grand Prix on Sky Sports F1 last weekend. In this episode, Button, Hamilton, and Professor M - think McLaren’s version of a quirky scientist - all go to McLaren’s underground testing circuit to give the new McLaren F1 car a testing shakedown.
Button proceeds to win the coin toss to get first dibs on the car, but true to Hamilton’s always competitive nature, he somehow commandeers a rocket-powered F1 prototype to race Button in what turned out to be an "explosive" race. Not content with the finish, the two then proceed to use the "super-soft" tires to bound their way to the finish line, much to the chagrin of the clearly perturbed Professor M.
It’s a funny video that shows the lighter side of the McLaren F1 team. Well worth your time to check out!