Formula 1 McLaren

McLaren updates MP4-30 livery

McLaren-Honda MP4-30

McLaren has a new car! Yes, a brand new MP4-30 ready to tackle the world’s best at this weekend’s Spanish Grand Prix.

Alas, for McLaren, it’s nothing more than a new coat of paint. With all the problems the team is currently having with its much heralded Honda reunification you’d reckon the last thing they’d be concerning themselves with is the livery. Especially when it looks like a re-worked version of last year’s Sauber C33.

The original livery for the MP4-30 wasn’t much chop and this revision isn’t much better. If nothing else, and for McLaren’s sake, let’s hope this new livery brings in some better fortunes for the mechanical bits underneath the bodywork.

Formula 1 McLaren

Fernando Alonso en route to Malaysia

Fernando Alonso

Fernando Alonso could be back on track at the Malaysian Grand Prix this weekend after undergoing recent tests at Cambridge University. The tests conducted measured his short and long term memory as well as his reflexes.

Alonso’s adviser, Luis Garcia Abad, was circumspect in regards to the recent health checks, but did say he expects the dual world champion will be going to Sepang.

“It is private so I cannot confirm or deny it, but I have no doubts he will go to Malaysia as planned,” he said.

It’s understood Alonso will be subjected to a final round of tests by the FIA once he has arrived in Malaysia. Assuming he passes he should be given the all clear to return to competition.

The 33-year-old Spaniard has been recovering from concussion after crashing his McLaren-Honda MP4-30 during testing in Jerez on 22 February.

[Source: BBC]

Formula 1

German Grand Prix dropped from 2015 F1 calendar

2014 German Grand Prix

It’s official, the German Grand Prix has been removed from the 2015 F1 calendar. The move was ratified last Friday by the World Motor Sport Council with this small disclaimer that:

“The German Grand Prix has been withdrawn as the CRH [commercial rights holder] and promoter did not reach agreement.”

A revised 19-race calendar can be viewed after the break.

[Source: FIA | Thanks to Stu for the tip]

Formula 1

Some hope for 2015 German Grand Prix?

2013 German Grand Prix

After accepting yesterday that the German Grand Prix was likely to be struck off the 2015 F1 calendar a glimmer of hope may yet exist for German F1 fans.

Nürburgring-based blog Bridge to Gantry reports F1 teams have been busy trying to book accommodation for the weekend of 18–19 July, the date allocated for the German Grand Prix.

Under the usual alternating arrangement between Hockenheim and the Nürburgring the 2015 race was due to be held at the Ring. However, financial issues had seemingly prevented that from happening and a deal was hoped to be reached with management at Hockenheim to host this year’s grand prix.

Yesterday it was widely reported that the Hockenheim boss Georg Seiler had said: “We have no more hope that the Formula 1 takes place here.”

Today, it appears a return to the Ring might be on the cards. There’s not a lot of concrete info on offer for this rumor at this stage, other than the tip that an announcement may be coming very soon.

Who knows if anything serious will come from this, but it would be a real shame if there is no grand prix in Germany, so let’s hope there’s some truth to this story.

[Source: Bridge to Gantry]

Formula 1 News

No hope for 2015 German Grand Prix

2014 German Grand Prix

Nico Rosberg’s hopes of defending his German Grand Prix title in 2015 appear dashed after the Hockenheim boss ruled out his venue for hosting duties.

Under the usual alternating agreement with the Nürburgring the German Grand Prix was due to be held there in 2015. However, the Ring’s financial woes meant it was not able to host the race and a new deal was expected so that Hockenheim could step in.

However, Georg Seiler, Hockenheim boss says there’s no time left to finalise a deal for the race due to be held on 19 July.

“We have no more hope that the Formula 1 takes place here. We have done everything in the last few years everything to make the fans happy,” Seiler was told German newspaper Bild.

“The time has expired, to organise a race here. Otherwise, the quality of the event would have suffered. We had said we were willing host the race of the Nürburgring—something we had no contractual obligation to do.

“There were discussions with third parties on an assumption of risk, but those were not successful.”

Bernie Ecclestone spoke about the matter before the Australian Grand Prix and told The Independent: “The German Grand Prix is dead at the moment. It won’t get replaced if it doesn’t happen. As with any race, if it is cancelled it is cancelled. There’s not much we can do.”

There is a lot to like about Formula 1, but at the moment, the failure of the German race is another in a long list of things not to like about the world’s premier motorsport category.

Oh well, on the positive side, that’s one less race that Daniel Ricciardo and Fernando Alonso have to get through with their three remaining power units for the year.

[Source: Sky Sports F1]

Formula 1 Video

VIDEO: BBC F1 intros over the years

2015 BBC F1 intro

When you hear the evocative guitar from the midpoint of Fleetwood Mac’s The Chain you know it’s time for Formula 1. It’s been used by the BBC since the 1970s and after the break you can watch its F1 intros from 2015, 2013 and 1979.

[Source: F1 archives & The Telegraph]

Formula 1 Red Bull Racing

Is it toys out of the cot time for Red Bull?

Christian Horner and Helmut Marko, Red Bull Racing

Red Bull Racing had a pretty ordinary time of it at the Australian Grand Prix. Daniel Ricciardo lost one of his four engines for the year during practice. Daniil Kvyat lunched a gearbox on the way to the starting grid and didn’t start the race.

Even junior outfit Toro Rosso suffered, with Max Verstappen forced into retirement with engine woes.

After previously having its own way for four years in succession the prospect of a second year with no world title is not pleasing the top brass at Red Bull Racing one little bit. In fact, you could say it’s tantrums all round. And the blame is being laid squarely at the feet of power unit supplier Renault.

“Across the four cars we’ve had two engine failures, one within five laps, and a whole bunch of driveability issues, so it’s not the start that Renault can afford to have,” Horner said.

“I think it masks so many things regarding corner entry, corner exit, degradation, slip control of the tyre,” Horner added. “You’re not able to drive the car properly. So you then start moving your brake balance around to try to compensate, so you are so far away from optimum. You start to lose temperature in brakes, and then the tyres aren’t working as they should. It’s a spiralling effect.”

Meanwhile, there’s conflicting views on the long-term interest in Formula 1 held by Red Bull’s owner Dietrich Mateschitz.

Red Bull’s motorsport advisor Helmut Marko is leading the charge there telling reporters in Melbourne: “We will evaluate the situation again [in the summer] as every year and look into costs and revenues.

“If we are totally dissatisfied we could contemplate an F1 exit.

“Yes, the danger is there that Mr Mateschitz loses his passion for F1.”

Predictably, and coming back to Renault, it’s the power unit regulations that are the sore point for Marko.

“These power units are the wrong solution for F1, and we would say this even if [Red Bull supplier] Renault were in the lead,” he claimed.

“The technical rules are not understandable, much too complicated, and too expensive.”

However, Cristian Horner denies a Red Bull departure is on the cards and he attempted to hose down rumours that Audi is willing to buy out Red Bull and, crucially, that Mateschitz is willing to sell.

“You’re wide of the mark. There’s been statements from Dietrich to clarify that, It’s a non-issue,” Christian Horner told F1 reporter Adam Cooper.

There’s also talk that Renault might want to have its own factory team again, with Toro Rosso being the most likely match.

And all of this simply because Mercedes AMG has cleared the pack once again. Where was Mercedes when Red Bull was dominating and were they whinging and carrying on like pork chops that it just wasn’t fair?

Dominance in any sport, in particular in Formula 1, is cyclical. If Red Bull is prepared to stick around it has shown it has the capacity to reach the top.

It’s one thing to achieve success once. But coming back to succeed again after losing that dominance, that takes true courage and determination. And that’s how legends like Ferrari, McLaren and Williams have been made.

[Source: Autosport & Adam Cooper]

Ferrari Formula 1 Mercedes-Benz

Lewis Hamilton wins 2015 Australian Grand Prix

2015 Australian Grand Prix

Lewis Hamilton has made a perfect start to his world championship title defence with a seemingly easy win at Albert Park yesterday.

It was a funny week for Formula 1, with the Giedo van der Garde v Sauber saga dominating headlines, the return and then no show of Manor, Valtteri Bottas’ injury withdrawal and the failure of Kevin Magnussen and Daniil Kvyat to start after their cars died on the out lap before the race.

Only 13 cars started the grand prix and it seems a miracle that 11 of them finished. The expectations were that more cars would run into reliability problems.

In the end Hamilton defeated his teammate Nico Rosberg by 1.3 seconds. You sense Hamilton would have been able to hold off Rosberg if a serious challenge for lead was mounted. It wasn’t.

Sebastian Vettel claimed the final podium step in his Ferrari debut, a few seconds ahead of Felipe Massa.

The real winners, though, were Sauber who had their two preferred drivers finish strongly. Felipe Nasr marked his F1 debut with a fifth place and Marcus Ericsson came home eighth. Last year Sauber didn’t manage a single championship point, now they have 14 after just one race. Who knows what the courts will dictate for them in Malaysia and beyond, but after a terrible week that’s one team party that would have been a blast last night.

The Toro Rosso kids had a fun time with the grown ups too. Sadly for Max Verstappen he was forced to retire, but Carlos Sainz finished in a credible ninth place.

Jenson Button did finish the race in his McLaren. But he was stone motherless last, two laps off the pace, and the only finisher who didn’t score a championship point. It was valuable testing time for the struggling McLaren-Honda outfit.

It’s easy to tell how boring this race was when the highlight was the post-race podium interviews conducted by Arnold Schwarzenegger. Yes, that Arnold Schwarzenegger!

I had a shiver of horror go down my spine when Arnie was announced for fear that this interview would end in high farce. Fair dues to the Hollywood icon because either he has a clue or is a genuinely good actor and thankfully he handled the role well.

So, who knew Arnie was a Formula 1 fan!

There will be more exciting times ahead in this 2015 F1 season, but save from the sunny weather and mostly clean racing this was as dull as it gets for a season opener.

Well done Lewis, well done Nico, well done Mercedes, you were just too damn good.

Formula 1 News

“We have to be strong, like Jules”

Jules Bianchi

Philippe Bianchi, father of Jules, has recently spoken to Italian media about his son’s condition. Unfortunately, and usurprisingly, it’s not terribly encouraging news.

“Jules is still in a coma. As long as he does not wake up, the only thing we can do is wait,” Philippe Bianchi told Gazzetta dello Sport.

“It takes patience, a lot of patience, but it is difficult to know that at any moment a terrible call could be coming from the hospital.

“We have to be strong, like Jules and for Jules.

“As long as he is in this state, the doctors cannot say anything. He might wake up or he might not.

“I think he will, as he has not fought with us this long for nothing.”


Formula 1

Manor F1 Team to line up in Melbourne

Manor F1 Team

The Manor F1 Team will pick up the pieces from Marussia and line up at the Australian Grand Prix this weekend. The team will run a modified MR03 chassis, upgraded to 2015 spec, with a Ferrari power unit.

Will Stevens (23) will resume his duties following his development role with Marussia in 2014. He made his competition debut with Caterham in the final race of the year at the 2014 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. He will be joined by F1 rookie Roberto Merhi (23) who has a deal for the “opening races” of the season. Both have achieved success in junior formulae, including Formula Renault 3.5.

Stevens will race with #28, while Merhi will use #98.

Jordan King, son of Manor F1 Team chairman Justin King, will take on the role of reserve and development driver.

[Source: Autosport]

Formula 1 Red Bull Racing Video

I’m your boogie man

Daniel Ricciardo, 2014 Hungarian Grand Prix

This time next week we’ll be well and truly in Australian Grand Prix mode. To help get you ready for the forthcoming season, and with a local Aussie flavour, here’s a 13-minute highlights package from 2014 that’s all about Daniel Ricciardo.

Last season Dan made his mark on the world of F1. It was a big challenge to take on the well-entrenched four-time world champion on the other side of the garage at Red Bull. Not only did Ricciardo take Vettel on, he beat him handsomely.

Moreover, Daniel showed he has balls of steel when he is on a charge. He made overtaking moves stick that he had no right to make. And he did it cleanly. Ricciardo was a breath of fresh air in 2014 and his three race wins amidst a season-long Mercedes AMG domination shows he is a superstar in the making.

Let’s hope we see a lot more of Daniel soaked in champagne atop the podium in 2015 and beyond.

Formula 1

Martin Brundle’s ultimate F1 track layout

Martin Brundle, Sky Sports F1

Sky Sports F1 pundit Martin Brundle was asked by his producers to come up with his ultimate Formula 1 circuit. When he handed in his dream race track the producers went off to Scalextric and had the thing built in a 45 metre long slot car track.

The track features sections from Silverstone, Monaco and Albert Park. In fact, at least one corner from all 20 tracks on the 2015 calendar is included in the 44-corner layout.

You can see the full layout below along with a brief video showing Brundle explaining the track as well as his thoughts on the 2015 F1 season.

[Source: Scalextric | Thanks to Paul for the tip]