In the glitzy and glamorous world of Formula One, anything is pretty much possible. Even having drivers wear helmets and drive steering wheels with diamonds on them. Lewis Hamilton did it in 2008 at the Monaco Grand Prix and now the Brit is hoping that the second time will be a charm.

To commemorate its two world champions - that’s Hamilton and Jenson Button - McLaren teamed up with Stenmetz Diamonds to have diamond-encrusted wreaths placed on both of their driver’s helmets and steering wheels. Hamilton will have one with an ’08’ on it signifying his 2008 Driver’s Championship and Button, the reigning World Champion, will have one with an ’09’ on it.

The helmets were unveiled at Steinmetz’s villa in Monte Carlo earlier this week, proving yet again that Monaco is about the only place in the world that can pull something like this off. Both Hamilton and Button hope that the diamonds prove to be a sign of good things to come in time for the race.

Press Release after the jump

Source: McLaren

Red Bull’s dominance in this year’s Formula One season has led to the unthinkable.

Rumors are circulating within the paddock of a rumored alliance among three bitter rivals with one goal in mind: catch up to Red Bull and knock them off of their pedestal.

According to Autocar via reports from Germany’s Bild-Zeitung newspaper, Ferrari , McLaren , and Mercedes have all joined forces to exchange data on Red Bull in an effort to try and catch the front-runners from running away with the 2010 Driver’s and Constructor’s championships.

Whether this rumor has some legs on it or is merely a stretch for all three teams isn’t why we were all shocked when we found out about it. The mere insinuation that all three teams, especially Ferrari and McLaren, are forging an unholy alliance, is about as shocking a news as we’ve received in the Formula One season. Given the two teams’ acrimonious story, the notion that they’re now working together seems to be as likely as Max Mosley and Jean Todt sharing an afternoon of tea together.

It goes without saying that this rumor is one that we’re going to take a close look at it to see whether there’s some (shocking) truth to it. Trust us, it’s as big a rumor as any we’ve heard in quite a long time from the circus that is Formula One.

Source: Autocar UK

Have you ever wondered the intricacies surrounding what goes on in a Formula One car? We can try and come up with a long and detailed account of everything you need to know, or we can summarize all the pertinent facts using a simpler and easier to understand language. Either way, you’ll most likely be surprised at what makes a Formula One car work and to a lesser extent, how much one of these cars are worth out in the market.

Then again, there’s a reason why Formula One is the most prestigious racing series in the world. Check out this quick guide on what makes this Ferrari F1 car what it is and a lot more interesting facts you might not know about an F1 car.

Source: Instablogs

Last week, Ferrari unveiled the first details of its new Ferrari Formula Rossa roller coaster. This roller coaster is one of two that will be one of the main attractions at Ferrari World Abu Dhabi, the largest indoor theme park in the world.

During the Formula One Spanish Grand Prix weekend, Ferrari brought one of the cars that will be used in the roller coaster for a special media presentation, which was attended by Ferrari team principal Stefano Domenicali and drivers, Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa.

The Formula Rossa roller coaster will be widely considered the fastest roller coaster in the world when it officially opens on October 28, 2010 at the Yas Marina Island in Abu Dhabi. Capable of accelerating at over 240 kmh and generating as much as 1.7 Gs, the roller coaster has to be one of the must-try attractions of Ferrari World. It uses a hydraulic winch system - similar to the equipment used in launching fighter jets - that catapults the cars out of their launch area by using a shriek-inducing 20,800 horsepower, enough to make even the most hardcore of roller coaster riders soil their pants.

Source: GT Spirit

We really didn’t see the point of having it in the first place, but ever since Ferrari decided to put some subliminal messaging on the bar code of the Ferrari F10’s engine covers, the team has been under fire. What was the message? Oh, just a little subliminal reference to the tobacco brand, Marlboro. At least as far as the critics were concerned.

For the longest time, Ferrari’s F1 team has been a sponsor of Marlboro, but ever since F1 decided to ban tobacco sponsorships on any of the participating teams, the all-too-familiar Marlboro logo was removed from every Ferrari sponsorship platform, including the car and the driver’s overalls.

So, to avoid any more controversy, Ferrari decided to just get rid of the bar code and the cars driven by both Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa in Barcelona was completely devoid of it, leaving only a simple rectangle box to replace it.

While Ferrari denied any type of guerilla marketing with the bar code design, a lot of people - including us - really didn’t see the point of having one there in the first place. And when the talk surrounding the double meaning of the bar code gained more steam, Ferrari just opted to do the prudent thing and take them out completely.

That was probably a good idea, Ferrari, because if it was meant to be some sort of subliminal message, it probably wouldn’t have worked anyway.

Press Release after the jump

Source: Ferrari

Some of us are content with high-def video games, but for a team with an exponentially bigger budget like Red Bull, video games are about as high-tech as a wooden bicycle. No, these guys don’t roll like that.

What they have are race simulators and pretty awesome ones at that. On the lead-up to the Barcelona Grand Prix, team driver Mark Webber got to sit behind one of the mock RB25 race simulators to try to get acclimated with the circuit before the race this Sunday. That’s the kind of technology that’s pretty prevalent in Formula One and that you won’t be able to find in any other racing series in the world.

This is actually the second video brought to us by Red Bull. A little over a week ago we posted the video of Sebastien Vettel as he made his practice runs on the simulator.

As for the rest of us, being allowed to drive this simulator is completely out of the question so we’ll have to settle for just watching the video.

The US Grand Prix may finally return to the F1 calendar starting in 2012, but if tentative plans push through, the race might not be held in Indianapolis anymore.

Instead of the Brickyard, Liberty State Park in Jersey City, New Jersey has become the favored site to host the US Grand Prix from 2012 to 2016.

According to local reports that surfaced a few days ago, a city spokeswoman has confirmed that there have been preliminary discussions between city officials and their F1 counterparts regarding the possibility of Jersey City becoming the official site of the US GP.

The rumors began gaining steam after documents showing plans for a 3.6 mile track within the 1,200-acre park ended up on the Internet. Jersey City mayor Jeramiah Healy likewise issued a statement that while no plans have been made, Jersey City has nonetheless been approached by Formula One regarding the possibility of hosting future F1 races.

"Jersey City is one of several cities the (F1) are pursuing," the mayor was quoted as saying. "There have been a few, preliminary conversations and this is very much in the exploratory phase. However, this may not be something that is in the best interest of Jersey City or Liberty State Park," he added.

Source: GMM

If you thought that steering wheels today, with all the buttons and high-tech gadgetry attached to it, are complicated, you obviously have never been introduced to the steering wheel of a Formula One car, which is so chalk-full of buttons and switches you’d think it looks more like a controller for the Xbox 360.

In this video created by Ferrari , Giuliano Salvi, a performance engineer for the no.7 Ferrari F1 car, aka Felipe Massa’s car, gives us a detailed run-down of the steering wheel that makes the no.7 car run. From the gear switches to the plethora of knobs and buttons, it’s hard enough to remember which buttons do what to the car, let alone having to do it at such high speeds that certain decisions on what button to press or what knob to turn usually comes with a window of only a few seconds, maybe less.

And you know what’s the most amazing part about that steering wheel is? According to Silva, this new steering wheel version has already been stripped down compared to last year’s model. With so many things going on in and around the car during an F1 race, it’s amazing how these guys can keep their concentrations zoned in on the race, especially with all the complexities those steering wheels come in.

Source: Ferrari

Changes in Formula One occur just about as often as Charles Barkley chows down on cheeseburgers, so it really didn’t come as a surprise that F1 is on the verge of having a new engine formula that would run for six years starting in 2013.

According to Spanish newspaper El Mundo Deportivo, an agreement in principle has been reached to begin using - effective in 2013 - a four-cylinder, 1.5 liter engine that comes with twin-turbo, direct injection, and the KERS system.

In an interview with Autocar magazine at the Beijing Motor Show , Ferrari CEO Amedeo Felisa said that F1 should take the necessary steps to begin using engines that could also be translated to road-driving conditions. "If F1 has to develop something helpful for real (road) driving conditions, then the best solution is for an engine that is turbocharged and GDI (gasoline direct injection)," he said.

Continued after the jump

We’ve all heard about celebrities insuring weird parts of their bodies for insane sums of money, but this latest one has even us scratching our heads with our thumbs.

Two-time Formula One Driver’s Champion and current Ferrari driver Fernando Alonso recently had his two thumbs insured for - get this - £9 million (that’s $13.3 million)

According to a spokesperson for Santander, the insurance company responsible for the deal, Alonso’s thumbs are symbolic of victory. This "victory symbol" being evident as he gives his trademark thumbs up sign everytime he wins. "Apart from being essential when driving a Formula One car, they represent a sign of victory and that everything is under control and well protected," the spokesperson said.

Apparently, it’s going to be a big blow in Fernando Alonso’s psyche when he can’t do the thumbs up sign and settles for the customary victory jump. It’s about as strange as it can possibly get, which makes us wonder how much we can insure our thumbs if we so please.

Source: Autocar UK

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