Fernando Alonso Walks Off Unscathed After Horrific Crash At Australian GP
Fernando Alonso is lucky to be alive. The Spanish driver admitted to such after a horrific crash at the Australian Grand Prix. The debacle left his McLaren race car completely obliterated. Alonso was engaged in a heated duel with Haas Racing driver Esteban Gutierrez in the 17th lap of the race when his right tire clipped the back of Gutierrez’s car. That contact sent the number 14 McLaren-Honda race car straight into the wall where it smashed to pieces before flipping multiple times and flying all the way to another wall at the end of the run-off area. The car eventually rested upside down in a smoldering heap.
Alonso miraculously walked out of the crash as soon as the car came to a rest, drawing huge sighs of relief from his family, team, and everyone who saw the incredible crash. Watching in real time, it’s easy to see why a lot of people were worried about Alonso. The car not only smacked the wall at high speed, but the momentum of that crash caused the car to flip over multiple times in the air before crashing violently into the dirt.
The crash immediately brought out the red flag, causing the entire race to be stopped temporarily. It eventually resumed with Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg taking the checkered flag ahead of teammate and defending world champion Lewis Hamilton. But with respect to the two Mercedes drivers and third-place finisher Sebastian Vettel, Alonso’s crash has become the main talking point from the race as it has once again put a spotlight on the Formula One’s move to improve the safety conditions for its drivers during race weekends.
Alonso was quick to give credit for the advancements the sport has made with regards to the safety of the cars themselves. Anybody who saw the crash likely counted on the worst before seeing Alonso walk away unhurt. The crash also brought flashbacks to the accident that led to the death of Jules Bianchi. It may have been different circumstances, but seeing such a wreck makes people think of the worst-case scenarios. Alonso said so himself, so if there’s anybody who knows how lucky he is to still be alive, it’s definitely him.
Continue after the jump to read the full story.
2003 McLaren Mercedes-Benz MP4-15 SSC/96 Formula 1 Race Car for Sale
Every now and then when you’re browsing auction sites or the classifieds and you come across something unexpected. Well, that very thing happened today when I was browsing Ebay. To my amazement, I found a 2003 McLaren Mercedes-Benz MP4-15 that is apparently authentic, and was driven by Kimi Raikkonen with the No. 6 livery during the 2003 F1 season.
With a starting bid of $270,000, I thought to myself “no way.” As it turns out, everything seems to be legitimate. The car is currently located in Brazil and has all of the import/export paperwork ready to go. According to the listing, the car can be exported worldwide, but there is one small catch – it doesn’t have the engine.
That might be a deal-breaker for most, but with the right amount of time and know-how, it wouldn’t be too difficult to drop an engine in there. The listing doesn’t dive too much into the car’s history, but it does state that the car is completely stock, and all parts are original. So, the real question here is: How badly would you like to own a Mercedes Formula 1 car?
If you weren’t fond of the livery McLaren-Honda used in the first four races of the 2015 Formula One season, then you’ll be happy to know the Brits just unveiled a new paint scheme for the MP4/30 race car. Initially launched with a chrome-and-black livery highlighted by a red stripe, which McLaren described as a combination that "firmly contextualizes McLaren’s brand in the 21st century," the Honda-powered single-seater switched to a more sinister appearance. The change is quite dramatic, as McLaren abandoned the two-tone paint scheme for a full Graphite Grey suit complemented by Fluorescent Red stripes and "speedmarks."
Don’t let those names fool you, though, this new livery is a lot more badass than it sounds, as the grey is dark enough to appear as black, while the bright red has a strong hue of orange in certain light conditions. The layout itself is also unique, with the trademark "speedmarks" on the side pods looking like a pair of butterfly wings from above.
In case you’re wondering why McLaren chose to change the livery only four races into the new season, it’s because drivers had issues with the chrome paint due to both sunlight and floodlights used during night races.
"We have revised our car’s livery, improving its visual impact, optimizing it for not only bright sunshine but also for the floodlights increasingly used in twilight and night races," a McLaren spokesman told Motorsport.
The new livery will make its official race debut at the Spanish Grand Prix at Circuit de Catalunya on May 10th.
Continue reading for the full story.
2015 F1 Practice Sessions: What You Need to Know
The last few weeks have been the open practice sessions for the upcoming 2015 season of Formula One, and there has been quite a bit of excitement. 2014 was a rough season for most of the competitors, thanks to the massive rule change to smaller, turbocharged engines, aerodynamic changes that reduced downforce, and new fuel restrictions.
This new season sees subtler rule changes, so teams are more prepared for what is coming next. That said, there was a huge driver mix-up at the end of last season, and this is the first chance for drivers to really test their new cars. In short, this is the first chance spectators get to see who has improved, who looks promising to win, and who is going to have new challenges to overcome.
We only have two weeks until the first race of the season, so keep reading to find out what we learned these last three weeks, and find out what you need to watch for in Melbourne.
Keep reading to learn more about the F1 2015 Pre-season testing results.
We’ve taken our cars to car wash stations countless of times and yet something like this has never happened to us. But some folks are just lucky, especially if they find themselves as unwitting participants in a new Mobil One stunt ad.
A handful of British drivers decided to have their cars washed on a rather innocuous day. Nothing too special, right?
But that’s when things took a strange turn. Instead of being greeted by the usual mechanical car wash equipment, these drivers found McLaren’s pit crew, armed and ready to give their rides the spic-and-span treatment.
But the real highlight was McLaren driver Jenson Button pulling up from behind and acting like he was waiting for his turn to get his MP-29 race car washed. If this happened in the U.S. with Button, it likely wouldn’t have gotten the same kind of reaction.
But seeing as this was the UK where Button’s a pretty big deal, you can understand why people were taken aback seeing him while his pit crew washed their cars. We’d be surprised too, and we probably would’ve asked him for a selfie as well.
With only 64 standard street versions built, the McLaren F1 is one of the rarest supercars around. And since the company stopped building them about 16 years ago, those looking to add an F1 to their garage need to search for months, if not years, to find one for sale and spend millions of dollars to take it home.
One of these jewels changed owners for no less than $5.5 million a couple of years ago, a record for the astounding F1. However, a more recent sale saw one of these supercars fetch nearly double the amount, with a British F1 nut paying £6.2 million or $10.5 million at current exchange rates.
The amount is more than staggering, but there are a couple of reasons for why the anonymous Brit paid the price of nearly ten P1s to get a 20-year-old car. First of all, the model depicted in the photo above is one of the only two F1s finished in red. Secondly, this example, bearing chassis No. 28, was initially delivered to Michael Andretti, former IndyCar champion, owner of Andretti Autosport and son of renowned Formula One and Le Mans ace Mario Andretti.
The former racing driver reportedly owned the F1 for about two years before selling it to a Japanese collector. The vehicle eventually returned to the U.S. and spent ten years in California prior to being sold to its new British owner. According to Western Morning News, the firm commissioned to find an F1 for the British enthusiast spent no less than six months trying to source one.
Click past the jump to read more about the McLaren F1.
Being Jay Leno comes with many perks, one of which is VIP tickets to the recently held US Grand Prix in Austin, Texas. Whereas most of us will be probably get lucky scoring grandstand seats, Leno doesn’t roll like that. He goes inside, deep into the heart of the event, to talk to a variety of individuals who played big roles in bringing Formula One back to U.S. soil.
Leno’s first interview was with renowned German racetrack architect Hermann Tilke, the man responsible for designing what would eventually be known as the Circuit of the Americas. From there, the comedian spends some time with an engineer from McLaren to discuss the finer points of an F1 car. That’s a conversation we’d love to be a part of.
Finally, Leno meets McLaren test driver Oliver Turvey before getting a chance to ride shotgun on a McLaren MP4-12C around the track.
The perks this man gets as one of the world’s foremost celebrity gear heads is downright incredible.
Click past the jump to read about the McLaren MP4-12C
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.
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.
McLaren has proved to be one of the more marketing savvy teams in the F1 grid these days.
Their latest venture, an animation short starring Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton, is another home run in our books.
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!
As always, the Grand Prix of Monaco provided a fairly spectacular showing, likely one of the few in this year’s F1 series. As most would expect, Circuit de Monaco lap-time record holder and five-time winner, Michael Schumacher took the pole position, but officials forced him back five grid positions after he caused a collision during qualifying. With the technical nature of Monaco, that pole position is very important and Schumacher’s penalty was an ominous sign that this would not be a good race, as he retired due to fuel issues 63 laps in.
Schumacher’s penalty propelled Red Bull’s Mark Webber into the pole position. Webber held onto that pole position, despite a lead change during a pit stop, and took home the checkered flag on a rain-coated Circuit de Monaco. As we said in our preview of the 2012 Grand Prix of Monaco, this race had some serious overall points influence, as the leaders were only separated by a few points each.
This victory for Webber places propels him up to a second place tie with Sebastian Vettel at 73 points and puts Fernando Alonso, who finished third, in the points lead at 76. An impressive run by Nico Rosberg placed him in second, just behind Webber, proving that his wide margin of victory in China was not just a one-time deal. This superb finish by Rosberg jumps him up two slots to fifth place overall.
From the looks of it, this season is shaping up to be a rather close points race with a few new faces near the top. Unfortunately, the leader board, for the most part, looks identical to the 2011 and 2010 seasons. The lack of parody in F1 has really been its Achilles heel in recent history. An overall points victory by Nico Rosberg would certainly be a push in the right direction for F1, so we’ll keep a close eye on his performance.
Click past the jump to see the complete placement board for the 2012 Grand Prix of Monaco and the overall points standings.
Rarely is something both the slowest and the hardest at the same time, but that all goes out the window when you’re talking about the Grand Prix at Monaco. For the majority of the F1 season, the drivers get to open up their cars a good bit. At Monaco, those chances to go wide open are limited to about three, as there are only a three extended straightaways on the track.
Besides those three straights, drivers get to deal with a plethora of intense twists and blind turns that require great care to negotiate correctly. These tight turns all amount to Monaco being the lowest average speed course on the F1 circuit, and arguably the hardest one on the circuit.
Well, the 70th running of this ultra-technical road course is due to start on May 27, 2012 and we’re going to provide a quick preview of what’s to come.
Click past the jump to read all about the Grand Prix at Monaco
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."
Ayrton Senna won his last world driving championship in 1991, driving the McLaren MP4-6 with a Honda V-12 engine. Senna won seven of 16 races that year, a feat he’d never again duplicate. At the end of the 1991 season, McLaren tore down one of Senna’s MP4-6 cars and gave some of the parts to artist Jay Burridge, who in turn created a sculpture he describes as “the world’s largest Airfix (plastic model) kit.” The art will be offered for sale at an upcoming Coys Auction, to be held at Germany’s Nürburgring on August 13, 2011.
Whether you love or hate the idea of a historically significant race car being transformed into wall art, there’s no denying that the piece is unique and would be a stunning addition to anyone’s collection. Much of the car is missing, such as Senna’s seat and steering wheel, and the Honda V-12 engine is another glaring omission from the sculpture. Coys describes the piece as using “Ayrton Senna’s McLaren MP4-6 from his last season as world champion,” but it’s not clear on whether the chassis used in the display was Senna’s primary car or a backup car.
If you’re interested in bidding, be prepared to part with a significant amount of money to acquire this particular piece of sculpture. Thanks to the success of the Ayrton Senna biopic, “Senna,” any memorabilia relating to the Brazilian driver is in high demand. Pre-auction estimates have the sculpture selling between $50,000 and $80,000, but as anyone who’s ever attended an auction will tell you, there’s no limit in a bidding war.
Press release after the jump.
You know what people say about heroes? Our heroes of today had heroes of their own back in the day. That’s how the current crop of athletes have become the best at what they do; they had role models to look up to when they were young. If you’re one of the current crop of Formula One drivers, there’s one name that comes to mind: the late, great Ayrton Senna.
Jenson Button andLewis Hamilton are arguably two of the biggest names in F1 these days. But at one point, they too were racing fans – and Senna fans at that. So when they were able to take a look inside the historic McLaren garage – home to the team’s historic racecars from yesteryear - you kind of expected that they would gravitate towards one that belonged to a certain former World Champion.
And for two of the most charismatic drivers in the F1 grid today, it was a rare moment of silent contemplation given the rich tradition and long history that they were surrounded in. And to be honest, it was a side of both Button and Hamilton that we actually enjoyed.
For a moment, they were just like us: race fans who had the opportunity to sit in the same seat that they’re beloved hero once occupied.
For those of you who think that a Formula One mechanic’s job isn’t all that important, you might want to spend the next three minutes watching this hilarious video of McLaren drivers Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton - two world champions, no less - trying to assemble a McLaren F1 car without the help of their trusty mechanics. Sound easy? Guess again.
How ironic is it that the two men tasked to race these cars can’t even get to finish assembling them without a few minor mishaps and a number of calls to their mechanics asking for some pointers. The video is a commercial done by the team’s principal sponsor, Vodafone, to show just how important it is to establish a good network, not just between members of the team, but apparently, with members of the sponsors as well.
For what it’s worth, though, it’s a pretty funny video to watch because it sure looks like these two race car drivers are in over their heads and have no clue as to how to assemble the cars they drive. Sure, they managed to piece everything together, but Lord knows if they did it exactly the way they should.