In the round-up: Alexander Rossi says his 2011 campaign improved his chances of reaching F1.
Has anyone heard any more about the new release date yet?????!!!! I'm chomping at the bits to get my hands on one of these!
Luca di Montezemolo used Ferrari?s Xmas lunch today to encourage the team to work harder in the build-up to 2012. Over 1000 team members and suppliers – including the drivers – were present to hear Montezemolo celebrate 20 years in … Continue reading
Romain Grosjean will join the returning Kimi Raikkonen at Renault next year, the team who will be renamed Lotus. Grosjean – who was dropped by Renault in 2009 – admits that he is delighted to be given another chance, this time alongside the legendary Raikkonen. The 25-year-ancient said: “There’s a huge smile on my face at [...]
I often hear builders saying they want to see this kit made or that kit made so they can build a model of their car, truck, bicycle, etc.
While I don't know about the rest of you, I have a lot of unbuilt model kits that I want to build and I'm sure that I won't ever build them all. But I wonder why guys would want to build a model of their car when they can just go out into the garage, or out on the driveway, or in the back forty and SEE their car???
Seems to me that I have a lot of other building thoughts for kits that I have bought over the years and I myself can't see myself spending time building a model of something I already have. What do you reckon???
Results of the F1 Fanatic reader polls throughout 2011.
With Toro Rosso having thrown the babies out with the bathwater, on the orders of Red Bull in Austria, there is not much hope for either Sebastien Buemi or Jaime Alguersuari. The Spaniard will no doubt go looking for HRT – wherever that may be at the moment – and would be a logical choice [...]
Nico Hulkenberg says that he?s a much stronger driver after his year as Sahara Force India?s reserve. The German drove in 14 practice sessions over the course of 2011, and did enough to justify a race seat for next season. … Continue reading
Lotus Renault GP unveiled their much-discussed 2011 challenger, the R31, in the pit lane of Valencia’s Ricardo Tormo circuit on 31st Jan’11.
Robert Kubica and Vitaly Petrov revealed the R31, with reserves Romain Grosjean, Bruno Senna, Jan Charouz and Fairuz Fauzy.
|Chassis||Moulded carbon fibre and aluminium honeycomb composite monocoque, with engine incorporated as a fully-stressed member|
|Suspension (front)||Carbon fibre double wishbone, operating inboard torsion bar and damper units via a pushrod system|
|Suspension (rear)||As front except via a pullrod system|
|Engine||Renault RS27-2011 2,400 cc (146.5 cu in) 90° V8, limited to 18,000 RPM with KERS naturally aspirated mid-mounted|
|Transmission||Seven-speed semi-automatic titanium gearbox with reverse gear “Quickshift” system|
|Weight||640 kg (1,411 lb) (including driver)|
|Tyres||Pirelli P Zero|
|OZ Wheels (front and rear): 13″|
Renault R31 ? Launch Details and Analysis (Scarbsf1′s Blog)
“What was formerly the Renault F1 Team and now Lotus Renault GP (I?ll use the term LRGP for this article) have unveiled their new car the R31. It seems some critical details are not fitted to the car for its unveiling, indeed the car was shown only briefly to the press before it was covered back up and returned to the garage. Despite the mystery surrounding the cars exhaust exit location, its clear this is a very new design for the team. In making this the team were given a mandate to take risks, which probably clarifies the very different front and rear end treatments.”
Renault R31 Front Exit Exhausts (FEE) ? Clarified (Scarbsf1′s Blog)
“Renault have found a new solution to the blown diffuser concept. In fact they?ve turned it on its head. With an exhaust that exits at the front of the sidepods.
Last years teams reintroduced the blown diffuser concept, either by blowing exhaust gasses over the top of the diffuser, or by making an opening into the diffuser to blow inside the diffuser. Both solutions made more downforce. With the latter solution now banned, it seemed the less effective over-blown solutions are all that?s left to race.”
Renault R31 launch pictures
Photos © Renault/LAT
Jenson Button has loved arguably the finest season of his Formula 1 career. The McLaren driver may have won the world title in 2009, when he was driving for Brawn GP, but his driving in 2011 has been even better.
So much so that former Renault team boss Flavio Briatore, who dropped Button at the end of 2002, has even been forced to admit that he “never realised” the Englishman was “that excellent”.
Button’s three victories in 2011 – including his remarkable climb from last to victory in Canada – were among the very best of the year.
Even more impressive than that, though, is Button’s achievement of finishing above compatriot and fellow McLaren driver Lewis Hamilton in the standings. Hamilton, a man widely thought of as the fastest driver in the world, has never before been beaten by his team-mate.
Given his remarkable year, it is appropriate that Button is in the hot seat for the final edition of this year’s BBC Sport’s classic F1 series.
As regular readers will know, we have questioned all F1 drivers for their five favourite races of all time, serialising them ahead of each grand prix.
The drivers have been free to choose whether to interpret the question as a request for their selection of the five greatest races of all time, or for their favourite races from their own career – or a selection of both.
Making the selection was not simple for Button – as you will find out if you read on or watch the video embedded below – but what a choice it is. There are two historic races that would be on many people’s lists of greatest grands prix ever, plus three from the 31-year-ancient’s own career that could also be on that list.
In Button’s own words, here is his countdown from five to one:
5) Britain 1987
“Nigel Mansell at the British Grand Prix at Silverstone in 1987, when he pulled an epic dummy on Nelson Piquet into Stowe and went on to win the race. It was an incredible race to watch, especially dummying his team-mate like that.”
4) Europe 1993
“Ayrton Senna annihilated everyone, overtook five cars on the first lap and was leading when he crossed the line. An incredible race. I was really there watching it. It was one of the first races I saw live.”
3) Germany 2000 (in Button’s maiden F1 season with Williams)
“I had a problem at the start, well, the pre-start and had to start last. I fought my through in wet conditions and finished on the tail of David Coulthard. He finished third, I finished fourth and that was nearly my first podium in F1. It was an incredible race for me fighting my way through. It was also at the ancient Hockenheim track with the long straights, so it was pretty scary in wet conditions. (Editor’s note – the race was memorable for another reason – Ferrari’s Rubens Barrichello won from 18th on the grid, in a race marked by a safety-car period following a track invasion)
2) Brazil 2009
“My second favourite race of all time would be Brazil 2009. This is a tough one for me because it was either this one, when I clinched the title, or my first ever win in Hungary 2006. But I’ve chosen Brazil, mainly because it clinched me the world title.
“It was a very aggressive drive through the field from I reckon it was 14th or 15th on the grid. I don’t even know where I finished, but it was one of those races, fighting my through, knowing every single point counted to winning the world championship. I really wanted to get it wrapped up before heading to Abu Dhabi – and that’s exactly what I did.”
1) Canada 2011
“My favourite race of all time has to be the Canadian Grand Prix this year. It’s tough because every win really matters to you and really means a lot and you remember pretty much every lap. But I’ve chosen this one because of what I went through, the high and lows throughout the four hours.
“To come away with that victory after being 21st and fighting my way through to first on the last lap of the race, that’s a race I will remember forever.
“That’s the one, if I have kids, I will first mention to them when they start watching Formula 1. I’ll say: ‘Daddy used to do that and he used to be all right. And he won the Canadian Grand Prix.’ And I’ll place it on ‘play’.”
The highlights programme broadcast on the BBC on the evening of the Canadian race is embedded below. Beneath it are long and small highlights of Vettel’s victory in last year’s Brazilian Grand Prix, as a warm-up for this weekend’s action in Sao Paulo.
The classic races will also be available on the BBC red button on digital television in the UK.
On Freeview, they will be broadcast only between first and second practice at the Brazilan Grand Prix – from 1355 to 1555 GMT on Friday 25 November.
On satellite and cable, the races will be broadcast from 1500 on Wednesday 23 November to 1400 on Thursday 24; from 1500 on Thursday until 1155 on Friday and again from 1355 to 1555 on Friday.
If you're a BMW M fan, German print magazine Autobild has place together the mother of all comparisons. Autobild has taken all current BMW M models and set them all against each other on the Sachsenring in Germany.
Here's a video of the two vehicles at the Palm Beach International Raceway in Florida. As the tale goes, the owner of Bugatti was really at the adjacent road course before being persuaded to take a run on the drag strip.
The wreckage of Jochen Rindt’s car at Barcelona
An brilliant insight into the world of F1 as it used to be can be found on the regularly-fascinating Letters of Note website. It publishes a hitherto unseen letter from Jochen Rindt to Lotus boss Colin Chapman written shortly after Rindt?s crash at Barcelona which was a result of the wing system on Lotus 49 collapsing at speed.
?Colin. I have been racing F1 for 5 years and I have made one mistake (I rammed Chris Amon in Clermont Ferrand) and I had one accident in Zandvoort due to gear selection failure otherwise I managed to stay out of distress. This situation changed rapidly since I joined your team. ?Honestly your cars are so quick that we would still be competitive with a few extra pounds used to make the weakest parts stronger, on top of that I reckon you ought to spend some time checking what your different employes are doing, I sure the wishbones on the F2 car would have looked different. Please give my suggestions some thought, I can only drive a car in which I have some confidence, and I feel the point of no confidence is quite near.?
A small more than a year later Rindt’s Lotus suffered mechanical breakdown just before braking into one of the corners. He swerved violently to the left and crashed into a poorly-installed barrier, killing him instantly.
McLaren launched a rather radical MP4-26 during their scheduled Vodafone media event on 4th February at Potsdamer Platz located in Berlin, Germany shortly after the first test session of the season in Valencia.
The nose of the McLaren MP4-26 features the same high design as many of the other cars this season, while its sidepods are extremely sculpted and L-shaped. In addition, the airbox tweaks have been intensively reworked, while the car’s exhaust system presents a classic rear-side design.
|Chassis||Moulded carbon fibre honeycomb composite incorporating front and side impact structures and integral safety fuel cell|
|Suspension (front)||Inboard torsion bar/damper system operated by pushrod and bell crank with a double wishbone arrangement|
|Suspension (rear)||as front, except operated by pullrod and bell crank with a double wishbone arrangement|
|Engine||Mercedes-Benz FO 108Y 2.4 L (146 cu in) V8 (90°). Naturally-aspirated, 18,000 RPM limited with KERS, mid-mounted.|
|Transmission||McLaren Seven-speed semi-automatic gearbox with reverse gear hand-operated, seamless shift|
|Weight||640 kg (1,411 lb) (including driver)|
|Fuel||ExxonMobil High Performance Unleaded (5.75% bio fuel)|
|Mobil Synergy Fuel System|
|Mobil 1 lubrication|
|Tyres||Pirelli P Zero|
|Enkei wheels (front and rear): 13″|
McLaren MP4-26 – L-shaped sidepods ( The Official F1)
“There is no doubting the new MP4-26 is very different from all the other 2011 cars. Technical director Paddy Lowe has exploited to the extreme the thought of higher outer sidepods, last seen on the likes of Benetton’s B195 from 1995 and Ferrari’s F310 from 1996.”
McLaren MP4-26 ? ?L? shaped sidepods (Scarbsf1′s Blog)
“It remains to be seen if this set up works better than conventional undercut sidepods for making rear downforce. Others team would be able to recreate the McLaren ?L? shaped sidepod inlets. Although it would require a significant change the radiators and bodywork, making it a major package upgrade and not a quick test.”
McLaren MP4-26 Launch pictures
Photos © McLaren