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.
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!
Formula One has always been about one thing: To be the world’s largest racing series where up and coming technologies can be previewed, developed, and tested before eventually funneling down into everyday production cars.
However, tracing the history of Formula One has always been a challenge. Until now. Thanks to the creative mind of Ruf Blacklock, we can now see the 62 year history of Formula One compressed into a short, yet extremely sweet, 60 second video.
Showcasing basic 3D outlines of the vast majority of F1 designs, the video helps to capture the rapid changes which the series has undergone in the past six decades, with major advancements including the addition of rear wings, and the varying capacity of engines also been demonstrated throughout.
In addition to this, Blacklock also put together an awesome infographic for our enjoyment capturing the development of Formula One, with the legendary Monza circuit being the basis for this extensive circle of F1 development.
Follow the jump to see the infographic in high-definition!
The United Kingdom has been home to the Formula One British Grand Prix at Silverstone for over 50 years and is unquestionably one of the most illustrious races to win.
However, there have been a few rumors circling around recently proposing the idea of having an F1 Grand Prix in London itself and even though Formula One or the FIA have yet to deny these rumors (which we suspect they will), Vodafone McLaren Mercedes sponsor, Santander, took matters into their own hands by creating a very special 3D animation of what the track could look and feel like.
With the help of McLaren drivers Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton, Santander has put together a track which winds its way through some of London’s greatest monuments including Buckingham Palace, Big Ben, and even a single-lane road through Admiralty Arch being present in the proposed idea.
Despite this being a PR stunt more than anything else, it has helped to put the debate back into the public’s mind, and we’d be all for a London Grand Prix in the future. However, effectively closing down usually-busy parts of London for upwards of six weeks at a time could prove unachievable for race organizers, although Singapore manages to cope just fine with their street race.
F1 supremo, Bernie Eccelstone stated that, "The idea of an F1 street race in London is something I have had for many years. It would be magnificent. A couple of years ago we came very close to an agreement with the City of Westminster and The Mayor’s office but we ran into the small problem of cost.”
"A few years back over half a million people turned-up to watch F1 cars parading through the streets of the capital. The public’s appetite for a London Grand Prix is huge, as I am sure it is with teams and sponsors."
Check out the second video after the jump and leave us with your thoughts on this possible race in the comments section below!
In what’s been a very sad day for the automotive industry after the passing of Sergio Pininfarina, it’s also been confirmed that female Formula One test driver, Maria De Villota,has been gravely injured in a crash while testing with the Marussia team.
In what was her very first test in the Marussia car, Villota has suffered life-threatening injuries when the MR-01 racer she was testing plowed into a support truck for the team at high-speed. As a result, Villota sustained massive head-injuries and was rushed to hospital.
In an official statement regarding this extremely sad and unfortunate event, Marrusia 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.”
It’s currently unclear how the crash occurred, but it’s possible there was a problem with the accelerator pedal and the throttle was pinned to the ground, although that’s just speculation. We’d be very surprised if a racer of Villota’s caliber would make a mistake like this while still in the pit area.
It’s also unclear if Villota was conscious immediately following the impact or not, but either way this really is a tragedy and we wish Villota all the best with her immediate health and eventual recovery.