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.
Known computer hacking and vigilante justice group, Anonymous, has struck again. This time it is pulling directly at our horsepower sensitive strings. With the upcoming Formula 1 race in Bahrain, an area that is currently in civil unrest due to the actions of its government, Anonymous has decided to nail F1 where it hurts, Interwebz traffic.
Last year F1 was forced to cancel its Bahrain races, due to similar unrest, but this year the race was and still is scheduled to go off without a hitch. This latest attack is an attempt by anonymous to force F1 to cancel the race out of protest, and it just might give the racing group the excuse it needs to pull out.
Anonymous is also calling for all viewers and spectators of F1 to ignore all television broadcasts of the race, as well as not buying tickets to the event. The vigilante hackers also are attempting to coax the drivers to not leave the starting line when the green flag drops.
Anonymous also took down F1 fan site, F1-Races.net, and leaving just a message on its landing page regarding the Bahrain situation.
As we typed this up, the Formula1.com came back live, so it appears that the Anonymous attempt to keep the site down through the race was unsuccessful, and there is no announcement about the attack or cancellation of the race. We will keep you updated as more news, if any, comes about.
Click past the jump to read Anonymous’s press release
It’s not every day that we bring news of a Formula One world champion starring in a new action film, but that’s not the case today. Sebastian Vettel, the reigning world champion who is still looking for his first win of the 2012 season, is set to take part in a short martial-arts based flick currently being filmed in China.
The film is being made as yet another promotional activity by Infiniti and Red Bull Racing to promote each other’s products. Additionally, Sebastian Vettel has very close ties to the Infiniti brand and you could consider Vettel’s acceptance to take part as a thankful gesture after Infiniti created a special Infiniti FX50 named after him , something unique in and of itself.
Vettel was given some pointers from Chinese actress and Kung Fu master, Celina Jade prior to filming before its release sometime in May 2012. It’s currently unclear just how long the short film will go for, but anything over 10 minutes would come as a big shock to us as we can’t see how this film would generate much, if any, revenue for anyone involved.
Entitled ‘Kung Fu Vettel: Drive of the Dragon,’ the short film will likely be based around Vettel’s career in Formula One and how he continually has to fight off his opponents. Just a tad corny, we know. Vettel’s Red Bull Racing teammate, Mark Webber may also feature in the film, but only a small part is expected.
Vettel had the following to say about the experience, "Well that was the first time I’ve acted in a martial arts movie and it was great fun. It was something totally new for me which was good as I always like new challenges and experiences. I learned that just like with driving, you need balance, control and technique to be good at Kung Fu, but I think I’ll still stick to my usual kind of fighting on track on Sunday!"
Toyota’s road racing days pretty much grounded to a halt when corporate headquarters pulled the automaker from the F1 program after the 2009 racing season. Since 2009, Toyota Motor Company has shown improvements, as buyers began returning after the car-buying slump ended and the safety issues that plagued the automaker were rectified. This allowed Toyota to start to experiment with road racing again and develop the TS030 Hybrid .
The TS030 Hybrid had its debut race set for the Six Hours of Spa-Francorchamps on May 5th, 2012. Things were looking good for the 3.4-liter V-8-powered TS030 Hybrid until its most recent test run. An undisclosed driver was testing out the TS030 at Paul Ricard and must have had a fairly horrific crash, as Toyota Racing Team President announced that the team could not build a new monocoque – chassis for those that don’t speak race-a-nese – in time for the May 5th debut.
Most people would think “Why not just use a second body; they all have spares, right?" Well, when you are easing your toes back into the racing pool, like Toyota is, you can’t really afford to go blowing millions of dollars building and testing multiple cars. In the future, yes, they will have multiple monocoques, but for now there was only one.
According to the press release, a new monocoque will be ready in time for the June running at the Le Mans 24 Hours.
A few things come to mind here. First off, was Toyota planning on arriving at the Six Hours of Spa-Francorchamps with only one monocoque? Secondly, how much of a bum does the driver that thrashed their only vehicle feel right about now? Maybe that’s why they kept wraps on which driver it was that wrecked it.
Well, here’s to a speedy rebuild, Toyota, and we hope to see you in June, sans the black cloud floating over your head.
Hit the jump for the official presser from Toyota Racing and a cool video of the TS030 testing.
With Formula One being such an intense and well-followed sport, literally dozens of films could be made about it tracing the various rivalries which have made the sport as great as it is. After the resounding success of ‘Senna ’ 12 months ago, the latest F1 blockbuster is currently being directed by Ron Howard and follows the historic rivalry between Niki Lauda and James Hunt the Brit.
We’ve already brought you some exclusive photos from the set , and the latest scene has just leaked online and it’s arguably the most important scene of the entire film. As we’re sure you know by now, the film revolves heavily around Lauda’s infamous crash at the Nurburgring in the 1976 German Grand Prix and the resulting fight Lauda put up to re-enter the sport and compete with James Hunt.
And that exact scene was recently spied when being filmed at the Nurburgring by Bridge to Gantry and it really highlights the intensity of this film. As the film is a true story, rather than the work of a creative producer, historical accuracy is paramount and it only makes sense that the crash was staged in the exact same spot that it took place.
To make a relatively long story short, Niki Lauda was at risk of perishing in the blaze which engulfed his car and if it wasn’t for the help of fellow F1 drivers, he would have indeed died. The 1976 ended up being the final race on the Nordschleife sector of the circuit, while the Nurburgring racetrack is still used to this day.
No release date has been set, but the film will likely debut in 2013.
Ayrton Senna was arguably the greatest racer to have ever competed in Formula One, and even though Michael Schumacher’s record may look a little better on paper, statistics don’t tell you the true story of what made Senna the stuff of legends. Not only is Ayrton’s nephew Bruno Senna currently racing for the Williams F1 team, the great man himself has even had a film dedicated to his illustrious career, ending with his untimely death at Imola in 1994.
However, all Senna fans out there have a chance to own a one-off piece of memorabilia which is expected to sell for around $20,000. And, it’s none other than the very first steering wheel Senna used in his first race way back at the 1984 Brazilian Grand Prix, and if you ask us, $20,000 seems to be a bargain.
Sure you could by a small sports car like the Mazda MX-5 Miata for that money, but if this estimated price proves to be accurate, it’ll be a hell of a lot cheaper than his helmet which recently sold for $114,000 and one of his racing suits which was sold for $54,000. Silverstone Auctions has been on a Senna memorabilia selling frenzy over the past few months, selling the aforementioned pieces as well as his Toleman TG-184 F1 car which sold for an undisclosed amount last month.
What makes this particular piece so special is that it’s signed and dated by Senna himself, so chances are it will gain value in the coming years.
Many racing fans - about $1,113,077 worth in USA and and an astounding $7,193,497 everywhere else - went to see the Senna documentary when it came out in 2011, including us. We thought it was a fantastic film and now, award winning director Ron Howard is at it again. He has announced that he is filming a new "Rush" movie inspired by the rivalry of former F1 drivers Niki Lauda and James Hunt during the 1970s. Both Lauda and Hunt have great stories, so the thought of combining both their lives in an action packed movie would be awesome.
For those who don’t know, Niki Lauda is an Austrian former Formula One racing driver and three-time F1 World Champion. At the Nurburgring in 1976, Lauda’s Ferrari swerved off the trackdue to a suspected rear suspension failure, hit an embankment, and rolled back into the path of Brett Lunger’s Surtees-Ford car. Lauda’s Ferrari burst into flames, and although he was conscious and able to stand immediately after the accident, he later lapsed into a coma. Six weeks later he was back on the track challenging Hunt for the world championship.
An official debut of Rush has been rumored for early 2013, so stay tuned!
In 1984, the late Ayrton Senna made his debut in F1 racing by taking second place in a rain-shortened Monaco Grand Prix while driving a Toleman TG184-2 open-wheel racer. You can see this exact car overtaking second place at the 2:33 mark in the above video. Ten years later, in the 1994 racing season, Senna’s life ended abruptly during a freak accident at the San Marino Grand Prix. The legend of this three-time F1 World Champion lives on, as Silverstone Auctions has announced that the Toleman TG184 that Senna made his debut in is coming to auction on May 16, 2012.
Despite the age of this race car, its 1.5-liter engine is still a highly technical piece of machinery that produces horsepower in the range of the 2.4-liter V-8 engines used in today’s F1 series. Though this vehicle is not one that is setup for road driving, it is something that would be neat for a collector to have in his garage. However, it is not without its flaws and uncertainties.
Hit the jump for more details on Ayrton Senna’s F1 race car.
Now that all the problems with the MP4-12C supercar have been solved and the car is officially on sale, McLaren is focusing on their next major debut: the successor of the legendary F1. In a recent interview, McLaren boss, Ron Dennis, offered new details on the MP4-27 supercar (code-named P12).
He confirmed that the new model will be unveiled in May 2012 and that it won’t try to break any existing speed record. In fact, he says, "“Don’t get fixated by top speed. That’s the first thing you have to discard in today’s society.” The new P12 will, however, be "the world’s most technologically advanced supercar."
The car will be built on the same carbon fiber central structure (monocell) as the MP4-12C and will use the same twin turbo V8 engine, with an increased capacity and output. It will feature a conventional two-seater layout and completely different styling when compared to the Mp4-12C.
"What you’ve got to have is a complete package of performance," he says. "You’ve got to embrace technologies that are out there that are accepted, and some that don’t even exist. I can tell you our next car has many things on it that don’t exist at the moment."
The McLaren MP4-27 will be built in a limited number of 300-500 units and will be more expensive than previous models. Dennis says the company hopes it "will be hailed as the most innovative, creative supercar of its time."
This weekend will mark one of the most important moments in Caterham ’s history: the company is set to enter a Grand Prix as a standalone team. As a celebration of this, the company has released a teaser video of the new SP/300.R race car as well as historic Caterham racing models, the legendary Caterham Seven and Caterham’s first ever F1 car, the CT-01. The test was performed on the Jerez track in Spain and includes a series of very impressive activities, including a few donuts.
The video is just 1:43 minutes long, but it is still long enough to provide a pretty good idea on just how serious Caterham is about their first F1 racer. Let us know if you believe the company has any chance of success in their new race debut in the comments below!
The Mercedes SLS AMG was first used as a Safety Car back in 2010 shortly after its official debut. Now, for the 2012 racing season, the SLS is returning as the Official F1 Safety Car. The Safety Car is based on the standard SLS AMG, with absolutely no changes made to the standard 571 HP 6.3-liter V8 engine, or its suspension and braking system.
What Mercedes did do was add a newly developed exhaust – designed to provide an even more emotionally-charged sound experience - as a tribute to the Formula 1 fans. Next to this, the Safety Car also received a roof light bar that boasts an aerodynamically efficient profile. The bar’s light functions are handled by LEDs which offer a fast response time and low power consumption. The colors change to green when the Formula 1 drivers can overtake the Safety Car or orange when no overtaking whatsoever is allowed. The roof light bar also incorporates a TV camera and a second camera located next to the rear number plate that allows the driver and co-driver to keep an eye on the Formula 1 cars.
The interior of the Mercedes SLS AMG Safety Car is almost identical to the production car, except of course for the two central monitors placed in the cockpit, which are used to monitor the progress of the race.