Formula 1

Taking F1 liveries back to the future, again

F1 retro livery

Applying old skool paint schemes to modern day F1 cars isn’t a new idea. But it will always be a very cool idea. We’re sure you’ll agree these creations, published by Escape Artist and based on a McLaren MP4/28, are a great example of retro style.

Looking at the Tyrrell 007 livery, for example, we wonder why more racing teams don’t take a simpler approach to their base colours. How good did the retro-inspired Greens-Tuf DJR Falcon look at Bathurst this year, as another example.

That said, the Brabham BT49 and Lotus 49 liveries are our favourites from this batch. How about you?

[Source: Escape Artist via Motor Sport Retro]

Ferrari Formula 1 McLaren Red Bull Racing

2011 Monaco Grand Prix: Post-race press conference

2011 Monaco Grand Prix

Sebastian Vettel has made it back-to-back wins for Red Bull Racing at the Monaco Grand Prix by claiming victory in a dramatic race overnight. His fifth win of the year, and his first on the famous street circuit, has given him a seemingly unassailable 58 point lead in the drivers’ standings. Fernando Alonso achieved Ferrari’s best result for the season to date by finishing second, ahead of McLaren’s Jenson Button.

As always, Monaco provided plenty of action and gave us the first Safety Car laps of the year. The race was heading for a thrilling climax with Vettel, Alonso and Button all nose-to-tail with six laps remaining. All drivers were on different tyre strategies with Vettel, having only stopped once on lap 16, hoping to hold his track position by running 62 laps on the Prime tyres.

Vettel was somewhat forced into a one-stop strategy after the usually lightening quick Red Bull crew made a hash of his first pit stop (9.6 seconds) and followed that immediately after with a worse stop for Webber (15.5 seconds); all but ruining the Australian’s race, who did well to fight back to fourth place.

Meanwhile, in the closing stages Alonso’s tyres were fresher than Vettel’s, but still 20-odd laps old, while Button’s three-stop race meant he had the cleanest and quickest rubber of the top three.

On lap 72, while fast approaching slower traffic, the leading trio were lucky to miss a bit of kerfuffle immediately ahead of them involving Vitaly Petrov (Lotus Renault GP) and Jaime Alguersuari (Toro Rosso). The pair crashed into the barriers and caused the second Safety Car period of the race, which quickly turned into a red flag after initial concerns over the well being of Petrov. With just six laps left to race it was first thought the race would end and Vettel would be declared the winner. Petrov was safely removed from his car and it subsequently appears he will be okay.

While Petrov was being attended to the cars formed up on the grid and under red flag conditions were able to make the most of a relatively lengthy delay by making minor adjustments to their cars if required. Crucially, this also gave teams the chance to fit fresh rubber if available to them. Ultimately, this handed Vettel the race who, after the restart, was able to hold off Alonso and Button for what looked like a comfortable win. Although, at various times all three men on the podium would have felt like they were best placed to win.

You can read what they had to say after the break. Video highlights are available at the One website.

[Pic: Ferrari]

F1 in pictures Formula 1 Lotus McLaren Mercedes-Benz Red Bull Racing Renault

2011 Chinese Grand Prix in pictures

2011 Chinese GP

Still buzzing after the excitement of the Chinese Grand Prix? We reckon Lewis Hamilton probably is after he managed break the grip Sebastian Vettel was starting to force on the 2011 Formula One season.

Here’s 90 pics to help you relive all the action.

Formula 1 Holden Motorsports

TeamVodafone confirms Bathurst driver swap

The TeamVodafone V8 Supercar website has confirmed the planned promo event at Mount Panorama, Bathurst is all set to go ahead next Tuesday, 22 March. The event will start at 11am and features five time Bathurst winner Craig Lowndes and 2009 Formula One World Champion Jenson Button.

Both men will drive their own car around the legendary 6.2km circuit during the event. After a lunch break Lowndes will take to the track in a McLaren MP4-23 F1 car, while Button will do laps in the Holden Commodore V8 Supercar.

Entry is open to the public and a gold coin donation will be collected to go towards the Queensland and Victorian flood appeals. It’s sure to be a once in a lifetime, which is exactly why AUSmotive will be there to see all the action.

[Source: TeamVodafone]

Ferrari Formula 1 McLaren Red Bull Racing Video

One last look at the 2010 Formula One season

2010 F1 highlights

The recent launch of Ferrari’s F150 challenger marks the unofficial beginning of the 2011 Formula One season. So, for a quick reminder of the immediate season past, take the jump to watch an excellent highlights clip which celebrates the sport’s 60th anniversary year.

It’s a very entertaining piece of footage and is the perfect complement to our 2010 pictorial season review.


McLaren announces UK and Euro pricing for MP4-12C

2011 McLaren MP4-12C

McLaren Automotive has set the price for its upcoming MP4-12C supercar. Pricing starts at £168,500 for UK buyers, while European customers will be coughing up €200,000 plus. Those of us in other markets will have pricing confirmed at a later date.

For comparison, an Aston Martin DBS will cost you £170,500, a Porsche 911 GT2 RS is £167,915, while a Ferrari 458 Italia will set you back £169,545. Importantly, the Perodua Myvi 5dr pricing begins at £7,799, so you could by 21 of those if the 12C doesn’t float your boat.

Full detail available after the break.

Formula 1 McLaren

VIDEO: Ayrton Senna’s first Formula One tests

Ayrton Senna

Here is some rare archival footage of Ayrton Senna undergoing his first tests in Formula One back in 1983 when he was dominating in British Formula Three. Senna’s F3 dominance was creating headlines and he was granted testing opportunities with several teams, including Williams, McLaren and Toleman.

With driving contracts already in place at Williams and McLaren it was with Ted Toleman’s team that Senna made his F1 debut in 1984. Senna’s words at the end of this clip proved true, when he claimed podium finishes at Britain and Portugal.

Senna would go on to secure three World Championships with McLaren (1988, 1990, 1991) before, fatefully, suffering a life-ending accident in a Williams at Imola in 1994.

[via Motorsport Retro]

Formula 1 Volkswagen

Volkswagen rejects move into Formula One

Daniel Ricciardo in Volkswagen powered F3 winning car

According to a report in the German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Volkswagen Chairman Ferdinand Piech has decided against entering VW into Formula One. Such a move was previously intimated by a number of sources, including brand ambassador Hans Stuck.

Volkswagen enjoyed open wheeler success last year by powering young Australian driver Daniel Ricciardo in his Red Bull sponsored Carlin Motorsport machine to the 2009 F3 title. It was understood new engine rules for F1, to be introduced in 2012, would provide an ideal opportunity for VW to move into motorsport’s premier category as an engine supplier. Reportedly there was interest from Red Bull Racing and even McLaren to partner with VW.

However, it now appears the Volkswagen Group may focus its motorsport endeavours on the WRC and Le Mans 24 hour race through its Audi and Porsche brands.


Ferrari Formula 1 Lotus McLaren Mercedes-Benz Red Bull Racing Renault

2010 Korean Grand Prix in pictures

2010 Korean Grand Prix

“Our Mark” binned it! Can you believe it. It was a race that promised so much; an opportunity for Webber to really intensify the pressure on his rivals. Instead, on a dramatic and soaking wet afternoon in Yeongam, Mark put it into the wall and he walked away empty handed. Pressure does strange things and amplifies the tiniest of indiscretions. It was a mistake that needn’t have happened. Webber cracked on Sunday.

Worse, it looked like his fiercest rival, Sebastien Vettel, was going to rub his nose in it with a comfortable victory. A win that would have put the young German 11 points ahead of Webber and the shift in power across the garage would likely have been irreversible. For Mark, at least, fate dealt a helping hand when a dominant Vettel was robbed of certain victory after his Renault engine disintegrated with no apparent warning.

Only too happy to watch the imploding Red Bulls ahead of him Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso was there to pick up the pieces. He drove solidly and mostly kept himself out of trouble, despite the woeful light conditions towards the end of the race. Amazingly, he now finds himself 11 points ahead of Webber in the drivers’ title race. A few weeks back he was the fifth man in the chasing pack.

With just two more races to go, can Fernando hold off the inevitable challenge from those closest behind? Brazil is next and Webber is the defending race winner. How he would love an encore performance in two weeks time.

For now, though, catch up on all the drama from last weekend with 80 pics from the inaugural Korean Grand Prix.

Ferrari Formula 1 Lotus McLaren Mercedes-Benz Red Bull Racing Renault

Japanese GP qualifying washed out

2010 Japanese Grand Prix

It would be out of the ordinary for AUSmotive to feature an image gallery on a Grand Prix weekend before the race had been run. It would be out of the ordinary for qualifying to be cancelled due to heavy and persistent rain. But these extraordinary events have happened today, and when you see the pictures, mostly taken during this morning’s Free Practice 3 session, you will see why.

Heavy rain started to fall this morning at the Suzuka circuit and barely abated all day. Despite several delays to allow conditions to improve qualifying was eventually called off and is now scheduled to be run tomorrow morning at 10am Japan time (midday AEDT). The race will go ahead as scheduled at 3pm (5pm AEDT). Weather conditions are expected to improve.

As well as the pics below you can also read the concise and somewhat humourous qualifying report from Lotus Racing.

Ferrari Formula 1 Lotus McLaren Mercedes-Benz Red Bull Racing Renault

2010 Singapore Grand Prix in pictures

2010 Singapore GP

Fernando added to his Italian Grand Prix win to make it a double with victory in Singapore. By doing so he has put himself right at the pointy end of the driver’s title race; he’s now second. Sebastien set the field alight during practice but faltered during qualifying and played second fiddle to Alonso for the rest of weekend, despite having the faster car. But for a couple of Safety Car periods these guys would have led the field home with a minute to spare, they were streets ahead.

Mark struggled during the weekend and started from fifth, but a pit stop gamble after the first Safety Car period inside five laps saw him claw his way into third place after the lead cars completed their stops. After the second Safety Car period Hamilton, in fourth, made a ballsy move to overtake Mark. It almost came off, too, but there was contact between the two and Webber walked away with the luck, while Hamilton was forced to take an early shower for the second race in a row.

Aside from that, the action was a bit light on, save for a few hit and giggle incidents towards the back of the field. Perhaps the only other aspect of this race worth noting is the ease with which Schumacher gets pushed aside by his peer group these days. It indicates the seven time champion continues to struggle with the pace of current day F1 cars.

Recapture the vibe with over 70 images after the break.

Ferrari Formula 1 McLaren Mercedes-Benz Red Bull Racing Renault

2010 Italian Grand Prix in pictures

2010 Italian Grand Prix

Fast Fernando fled the field at Monza to send the tifosi into raptures. Button teased them for a moment with a banzai move on the first lap. Massa fumbled about with an over excited Hamilton, before taking no further part in any racing action on his way to the last podium step. Vettel cried about his engine dying before finding the on switch and coming home in fourth. This, mind you, after completing almost the entire race of the soft tyres.

Britney outperformed that Michael bloke, yet again. Aussie Mark fluffed the start, yet again, but scored enough points to find himself at the very pointy end of the drivers’ title race. So pointy, in fact, he is out in front. Mind, his arch rival in fifth place, is within striking distance. So this is one title race that will go down to the wire.

Pedro de la Rosa won’t be winning any races. Rumours suggest Monza is likely to be his last F1 outing after being shown the door in favour of Quick Nick (Heidfeld) who is back for a third try at success with Sauber.

There’s sixty plus pics for you all after the break, which should keep you happy until the sun goes down in Singapore in a couple of weeks time.