Vercrashen Jr upholds the family name

Max Verstappen crashes in Rotterdam demo

The man boy many deem too young to drive in Formula 1, Max Verstappen, has ensured that the Vercrashen family name will live on, thanks to an embarrassing bungle in a demonstration run in Rotterdam yesterday. It was a pretty minor mishap and thankfully it was only Max’s pride that suffered.

Perhaps one day Max will have the last laugh on people like me who are enjoying a cheap shot at the 16-year-old’s expense. We certainly wish him well in his future motorsport endeavours.

You can see a couple of videos from Max’s run after the break, starting, of course, with the cock up, before a crash-free onboard run.

[Source: WTF1]

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Will Power wins 2014 IndyCar title

Will Power, 2014 IndyCar champion

We don’t usually care too much about what happens in the world of IndyCar, but we must congratulate the man with the best name in motorsport, Will Power, who collected his maiden IndyCar title on the weekend.

The 33-year-old Aussie has been runner-up three times (2010–2012) and finally came up trumps this year thanks to a ninth place finish at the MAVTV 500, which gave him enough points to see off his Team Penske teammate Hélio Castroneves for the 2014 championship.

Starting from second last on the grid Power had a tough race before Castroneves made a crucial error resulting in a driver-through penalty. It was enough to give power some breathing space in the chase for the crown.

“That was one of the hardest races ever,” said Power. “Oh my God, I was crying over the line. It went on and on, and I slowly made up positions.

“I can’t believe it. I am so mentally exhausted now. That was mega.”

Congratulations Will on keeping the Australian flag flying high in international motorsport. Let’s hope he gets a chance to enjoy the win as much as his brother did.

[Source: IndyCar]

Mercedes AMG F1 tweets for advice re Nico and Lewis

2014 Belgian Grand Prix

Yes, you read that right!

While some degree of fallout from the Nico Rosberg contact on Lewis Hamilton from the Belgian Grand Prix was inevitable the heights it has reached is rather astounding. From team bosses making outlandish statements in public, to Lewis claiming Nico did it on purpose, to the general media hyperbole.

It’s not helped by the largely British-focused media wanting to see their home boy get the post-season chocolates. And, yes, Nico did make a mistake in clipping Lewis’ left rear tyre. But does anyone seriously believe that Nico hit Lewis as part of  a planned and deliberate move?

Rosberg may not be the wheel-to-wheel racer that Hamilton is, as the general commentariat believes, but there’s no way he did that on purpose.

Anyway, without wanting to get further sucked into the soap opera the Mercedes garage has become, we were somewhat amused to see the team has taken to twitter overnight to seek advice from the general public.

No, we don’t think any of the feedback will be read by the team’s decision makers, let alone influence their thinking, but it’s still an intriguing approach to take given the profile the topic is commanding.

You can see the tweets from Mercedes after the break (follow the links for full responses). As you’d expect there were plenty of smart arses in the peanut gallery. Here’s a selection of our favourite responses:

On how to implement team orders
@dwaynepin I would start by re hiring Ross Brawn.
@ewanorandy Maybe tell Rosberg to let Hamilton win… that’s what most people want

On the question of suspending a driver for breaking team rules
@gokrazyinc yes suspend, to make sure this does not happen again!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
@McLaren_Soul Look, you can’t suspend Nico after a racing incident but defend Lewis when he disobeys team orders or takes Nico out of track

Smart social media strategy, or just plain dumb?

[via twitter]

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Who wants to hear V10s scream around Monza?

Ferrari F2002 V10 at Monza

We thought that would be a resounding yes!

There’s just a week to go until Monza comes alive for its annual Formula 1 carnival. It’s expected that Mercedes will race off into the distance with the superior speed of the F1 W05 Hybrid. But as we’ve seen in the last two races if the Nico v Lewis battle continues to stuff things up others will be ready to pounce.

One thing is clear, these 2014-spec F1 machines won’t sound anywhere near as dramatic as these V10 masters from days gone by. Get some headphones, connect your PC to your stereo, just do whatever you can to get the volume up as loud as you dare and rejoice!

THIS SOUND IS MAGNIFICENT!!!

It’s funny, too, how an otherwise empty racetrack, even one as important as Monza, can feel so eerie when there’s no crowd and no advertising. Thankfully a pair of Ferrari F2002s and an F2001 and F2005 are on hand to do their bit to liven up the atmosphere.

[Source: WTF1]

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Turbocharged Ferrari 458 M spied

Ferrari 458M prototype

Ferrari will breath new life into its 458 Italia with the 458 M facelift due next year. It’s a revised and beefed up 458 which will benefit from the addition of a retuned version of the twin turbo 3.8 litre V8 from the California T.

Where the hairdresser’s Ferrari makes do with 412kW we can expect the 458 M to raise the bar to a mighty 500kW (670hp). That’s 55kW more than Ferrari managed from the normally aspirated 4.5 litre V8 in the Speciale.

We can expect some minor tweaks to be introduced to the 458 M’s bodywork and a new exhaust system, too, to help cater for the new engine.

With a 2015 introduction on the cards the 458 M may show up in Geneva next March. Whether it will carry the 458 M working title through to production, or perhaps follow the California’s lead and be badged the 458 T, remains to be seen.

[Source: Autoblog | Pic: CarPix]

2014 Belgian Grand Prix in pictures

2014 Belgian Grand Prix

We could get used to watching Daniel Ricciardo winning Formula 1 Grands Prix. What about you?

With his Belgian Grand Prix victory Daniel has made it two wins in a row, for a career total of three race wins. Mark Webber had nine wins and Sebastian Vettel a very handy 39 wins (one with Toro Rosso).

Those of you quick on your sums will have worked out Red Bull Racing now has 50 grands prix wins in total. Let’s hope Daniel keeps on closing the gap to Sebastian, even if it is a massive mountain to climb.

Oh yeah, there’s a stack of pics for you after the break, too!

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VIDEO: Sebastian does Sochi

Sebastian Vettel drives a lap of Sochi F1 circuit

Infiniti’s Director of Performance, aka Sebastian Vettel, has become the first Formula 1 driver to complete a flying lap of the Sochi Autodrom Grand Prix circuit.

Forget, for a moment, the debate over whether F1 should be going to Russia; the race will go on. So you may as well jump in the car with Seb and have a look around before the lights go out on 12 October.

Fellow Red Bull ambassador David Coulthard was with Sebastian in Sochi and had this to say: “There are several corners where you could do yourself some serious damage—they’re fast and it’s a street circuit with walls.”

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Eleven facts about the McLaren F1

McLaren F1 infographic by Car magazine

We love the McLaren F1. You love the McLaren F1. Everybody loves the McLaren F1!

It was recently voted the greatest supercar of all time by readers of Car magazine. That poll was part of the mag’s six decades of the supercar special. You can read more about that by following the link below, where you can see the infographic above in full, or doing the proper thing and buying the mag in print or digital versions.

[Source: Car]

Where the neon signs are pretty

RedBull RB8 donuts

We all know thermal imaging cameras in Formula 1 are pretty cool. And that’s just when they show a tyre heating up under load during a corner. Imagine how totally awesome it would be to see an F1 car doing donuts!

Thanks to FLIR Systems we don’t have to wonder anymore. Instead, we can marvel at the pretty lights of the Red Bull RB8 performing its dance for us at a recent demonstration event.

[Source: WTF1]

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2014 Belgian GP: Post-race press conference

2014 Belgian Grand Prix

It’s always great waking up the morning after an Aussie has won a Formula 1 race. One of the pleasures that comes with Daniel Ricciardo’s win at the Belgian Grand Prix is reading the thoughts he gave to the media after the race.

Remarkably, Daniel Ricciardo’s three wins so far this season is only one behind Nico Rosberg’s four victories. And while we do hear a lot from Daniel, of course, the press focused on the contact between Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton. That contact not only ruined Hamilton’s race but gave Daniel a small opportunity to win and, thankfully, he was able to rise to the challenge.

[Pic: Red Bull/Getty Images]

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Daniel Ricciardo wins 2014 Belgian GP

2014 Belgian Grand Prix

Daniel Ricciardo has enhanced his already soaring reputation after he won a dramatic Belgian Grand Prix. It’s Daniel’s third Formula 1 race victory and the first win by an Australian at the admired Spa circuit since Sir Jack Brabham won on the old 14km layout in 1960.

Mercedes was expected to dominate the race but a clumsy move by polesitter Nico Rosberg on Lewis Hamilton, who made a lightning start from P2 to claim the lead, threw the race result wide open. Rosberg clipped Hamilton’s left rear tyre leaving the Briton with a puncture and pouting bottom lip. Rosberg, too, lost momentum when his front wing had to be replaced and opened the door for Ricciardo who was good enough to capitalise on the glimmer of hope that came his way.

Hamilton’s undertray was damaged when he limped back to the pits and proceeded to whinge his way through the grand prix until he finally got his way and the team brought him in to retire with a handful of laps remaining.

Rosberg was able to work his way back to P2, finishing just a few seconds behind Ricciardo, but he wasn’t missed by a loud contingent of race fans who booed him during the post-race podium celebrations. A harsh reaction perhaps, although his own team has Rosberg in its sights. The contact with Hamilton was clearly Rosberg’s, fault but it was much closer to being a racing incident than any deliberate sabotage. Still, the end result saw Rosberg extend his championship lead by 18 points.

Valtteri Bottas drove a relatively quiet race to claim the final podium step, a position he’s made his own in recent times. Kimi Raikkonen showed outstanding pace at times on a track where he was won four times previously and finished P4.

The closing race scrap for positions P5–P8 was breathtaking, with four drivers mixing it wheel-to-wheel and regularly swapping positions. In the end the results fell to Sebastian Vettel, Kevin Magnussen, Jenson Button and Fernando Alonso.

Sergio Perez and Daniil Kvyat rounded out the top 10, not that either were able to attract much camera time. While Andre Lotterer’s F1 debut lasted just one lap.

Ricciardo’s win has cemented his third place position in the drivers’ championship, he’s now only 36 points behind Hamilton, who is 29 points behind Rosberg.

[Pic: Red Bull/Getty Images]

UPDATE: Kevin Magnussen was handed a 20 second post-race penalty from the stewards after forcing Fernando Alonso off track. That pushes Magnussen fro P6 down to P12.

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Thierry Neuville wins 2014 Rally Germany

Thierry Neuville and Nicolas Gilsoul, 2014 Rally Germany

Thierry Neuville has outlasted his competitors at Rally Germany to register his first WRC win and, of course, the first rally victory for Hyundai Motorsport as well. The 26-year-old Belgian was the fourth driver to take the lead on the tarmac roads of the Moselle wine region and the only one not to crash out of contention.

Defending world champion Sebastien Ogier was the first to retire when he careered through a barrier at high speed early in Saturday. He and co-driver Julien Ingrassia were very lucky to escape with no injury.

Ogier’s demise handed a relatively comfortable lead to Jari-Matti Latavala who was chasing his first WRC victory on tarmac. Alas on Sunday morning the Finn lost control on the opening stage and sent his car deep into picturesque vineyards. Kris Meeke was the next to take the lead hoping to post a best possible result for Citroën, but he too crashed out shortly after Latvala.

And so Neuville was the last man standing as it were. Rounding out a great rally for Hyundai was the fact Dani Sordo finished in P2, 40.7 seconds behind his team leader. A 1–2 result is an oustanding way for the Korean manufacturer to post its first WRC victory.

Latvala will rue his missed opportunity to close the gap on Ogier in the championship title race. He is still 44 points behind Ogier but could have cut that gap to as few as 16 points with the win and three bonus points.

None of that will concern Neuville and a beaming Nicloas Gilsoul who will be celebrating their maiden WRC win long into the night.

UPDATE: Hyundai’s official reaction to the win has been added below along with a Day 3 highlights video.

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BMW M4: Initiation ceremony

BMW M4

Until this year we didn’t know the BMW M4. To help us get to know its new icon a little better BMW has released this introductory video.

It’s a pretty cool clip and BMW is to be applauded for embracing its history and its loyal owners. Those of you playing at home may also remember the preview of this video we brought you a few weeks ago.

That M Performance exhaust sure does sound good!

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