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New still photos of Ron Howard’s upcoming F1 movie, Rush, were just released as teasers for the film, which will debut in a little more than a year on September 20, 2013.
With the British Grand Prix kicking off this weekend, Caterham Formula One drivers Heikki Kovalainen and Vitaly Petrov decided to flex their driving skills in conjunction with the Queen Park Rangers (QPR) football team.
Threats of protests threatening a Formula One race are nothing new in far away regions of the world like the Middle-East, but what about here in North America?
Have you heard the big news in Formula One? No, not that Mark Webber just won the Monaco Grand Prix, but that Red Bull has launched its ‘Racing Spy’ app, bringing plenty of Formula One goodness to your favorite Apple device.
Formula 1 is a lucrative career no matter how you place. It’s even more so if you’re a seven-time World Champion.
In fact, according to a new list released by the Sunday Times, Michael Schumacher has earned a total of $823 million during his career that has stretched from the Benneton team back in 1991 to the Mercedes-Benz team of today – plus a hugely successful stint in between as the man at Ferrari.
Schumacher’s earnings are not, however, enough to rank him as the sports world’s highest earner; that title goes to Tiger Woods, who edges out the F1 champ by $46 million.
By comparison, Schumacher (and Woods) easily best others in the running, including Michael Jordan at $516 million, Roger Federer at $316 million and David Beckham at “just” $258 million.
As for other Formula 1 starts, both Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen have billed for roughly $161 million during their careers while World Champions Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button tally $89 million and $85 million respectively.
Last year, civil unrest and rioting caused the Kingdom of Bahrain to withdraw from hosting the 2011 Bahrain Grand Prix. One year later, Formula 1 returns to Bahrain despite remaining political instability.
Authorities gave their word to assure the safety of the visiting Formula 1 community, promising to provide an enormous security presence for the event.
Unfortunately, the security measures proved insufficient when four mechanics of the Force India F1 team were caught in the middle of an incident as police clashed with protesters while the team’s hire car was stationary in Bahrain traffic after leaving the circuit yesterday.
Having driven for the Mercedes-Benz DTM team for the past several years, Susie Wolff has now been signed on board the Williams F1 team as a development driver.
As the newest member of the team, Wolff will help out in the development of the team’s simulator, aerodynamic testing on the FW34 chassis, and even take on a full track test at an upcoming grand prix. Born in Scotland, the female driver will participate in her seventh season in DTM for 2012.
“I would like to thank Sir Frank for giving me this opportunity both on and off the track. I must also thank Mercedes Benz AMG and HWA for supporting me to take up this new experience with Williams. Formula One is the ultimate challenge for any racing driver and it offers me the chance both to apply and to improve the skills I have developed racing in DTM. In return I shall be offering some of my own technical insight and experience – coming from a different discipline – and helping the team engage with its partners. I hope also to demonstrate that women can play a role at the highest levels of motorsport and I shall be working closely with the team on its social responsibility programme in the areas of education and road safety,” said Susie Wolff.
The always classy Bernie Ecclestone was happy to hear the addition of Susie Wolff to Formula One saying that if she’s “as quick in a car as she looks good out of a car then she will be a massive asset to any team and on top of that she is very intelligent.” Good thing he brought up her good looks before her intelligence.
Formula 1 two-time world champion Sebastian Vettel isn’t having his best year. He hasn’t been able to put the car on pole in qualifying nor has he won any races, but changing to an acting career? That seems drastic.
OK, so the Redbull Infiniti F1 star isn’t actually pondering a career change, but he did recently appear in a martial arts film with the actress Celina Jade.
“Kung Fu Vettel: Drive of the Dragon” is the first of many films Infiniti is planning to launch this year as part of their “Inspired Performers” series.
It was a miracle that no one died at the Nurburgring Grand Prix of 1976. On lap two of the race, Niki Lauda, who drove for Ferrari F1 had a terrible crash that sent his car bouncing between the barriers and bursting into flames.
Lauda’s burning car was then struck by Brett Lunger’s Surtees-Ford, who was unaware of the accident until he was right on top of it.
Lauda spent almost a minute in the burning car, but luckily survived, although his burns left lifelong scars on his face.
Just a few days before the race, Lauda was campaigning to make the Nurburgring’s Nordschleife (the infamous 14-mile track also known as the ‘Green Hell’) safer. He felt that the run off spaces and the barriers were not safe enough for grand prix racing, and due to the length of the track, emergency response times were much too long.
Since this crash, no F1 race has been held at the Nordschleife circuit, and nowadays a much smaller and modern circuit exists in the shadows of the original track, where F1 cars still race.
The story behind the 1976 F1 season caught the attention of Hollywood producer Ron Howard, who is now in the process of making a movie on the topic. The movie is called “Rush” and will be primarily focused on the rivalry between the Austrian ace Lauda and the British racing playboy James Hunt who drove for McLaren.
The movie is in production at the moment, and they recently recreated the crash scene at the Nurburgring. The eager eyes (or camera’s) of “BridgeToGantry.com” have managed to catch some footage of the production team trying to recreate the scene.
The part of the track where the accident took place was renamed “Lauda Links” in honor of the Austrian. Surprisingly, Lauda was back in action in his F1 car just 39-days after this terrible accident.
“Rush” is expected to be released in theaters next year, until then, you can catch the video on the reproduction of the crash scene below.
Formula 1 and Indy Series champion Jacques Villeneuve will drive his father Gilles’s 1979 Ferrari 312 T4 Formula 1 car at the Fiorano test track on May 8 in tribute to the 30th anniversary of his father’s death.
In 1982, Formula 1 witnessed the talents of the Canadian race car driver. Regarded as the fastest ever to compete in Formula 1 by fans and fellow drivers, Villeneuve’s short career with Scuderia Ferrari was highlighted by six grand prix victories as well as a remarkably ferocious wheel-to-wheel battle for second versus Renee Arnoux during the closing stages of the 1979 French Grand Prix, all of which earned him a legendary status while driving a series of dangerous and ill-handling Ferraris.
Despite terminating its title sponsorship deal with Group Lotus, Lotus is committed to keeping its name in Formula 1 for the imminent feature. Confused? You should be.
Group Lotus was recently sold by Proton to Malaysian automotive corporation DRB-Hicom, causing Lotus F1′s team owner Genii Capital to end its formal relationship with Lotus. Just a week ago, we reported that Proton might be interested in acquiring Team Lotus F1, but that appears to be off the table now.
Despite the end of the Group Lotus sponsorship, Genii owner Gerard Lopez remains committed to the Lotus name. Lopez has recently agreed to a deal for title sponsorship on the F1 team, something he originally put together back in 2010, but that has been canceled and Proton’s option to buy 50 percent of the team has also been removed.
“We are happy to carry the Lotus name as we believe it is a good name for F1,” Lopez explained in a recent interview with Autosport. “We funded the team last year and the year before for whatever delta was missing. We would prefer to have sponsors up to the full amount – but if we have to fund it then we will fund it.”
Sponsorship deals that Genii had secured included Unilever and Microsoft, two companies that were arguably game changers in F1. Lopez also elaborated that buying Group Lotus isn’t entirely out of the question yet, but the organization would like to know what the new owners plan on doing with it.
The Mercedes-Benz and Williams F1 teams have yet to sign a new commercial agreement with the Formula One Teams Association (FOTA), sparking rumors that the two teams may pull out of the sport.
All race teams that participate in F1 are represented by FOTA, which looks after all dealings with the FIA (Federation International de L’automobile) and represents all of the racing teams interests as a whole. FOTA and the FIA have to deal with television rights, advertising and making sure the race teams receive their fair share of financial compensation. To ensure this, the two organizations sign what is known as a Concorde Agreement, which dictates the races each team will compete in and how to evenly distribute television revenues and prize money. The current Concorde Agreement was signed in 2009, and will expire on December 31, 2012. This is why a new agreement is being sought by FOTA and the FIA to ensure the future of Formula 1.
Bernie Ecclestone, president of Formula One management is looking to make this deal, and has already gotten some signatures. ”I am very pleased to announce that we have reached commercial agreements with the majority of the current Formula 1 teams, including Ferrari, McLaren and Red Bull Racing, about the terms on which they will continue competing in Formula 1 after the current Concorde Agreement expires at the end of this year,” said Ecclestone.
What this statement also details is that the Mercedes-Benz and Williams F1 teams have not signed the agreement. Both teams have yet to agree on their share of the pie, saying that because of each teams respective history in the sport, they should receive more compensation than some of the other, newer teams.
This leaves the situation completely up in the air, with some saying the Mercedes-Benz may even take legal action against Ecclestone and F1 stating that they want to be involved, but are being short changed.
It would be a shame if either of these teams did not renew, as they are both main stays in the Formula 1 circuit and carry names that fans love.
[Source: BBC Sport]
When it comes to historic automobiles like the Honda RA272, which was the first Japanese car to win a Formula One Grand Prix, memorabilia is hard to come by.
So what’s a fan to do? Build it of course. This Lego Honda RA272 was built by “Biczzz” and is simply a work of art. In fact, at some angles, you really have to inspect to realize it’s made out of Legos. Clearly “Biczzz” wanted to pay homage to the race car Honda used for the 1965 Formula One season, which was powered by a 1.5-liter V12 engine that had 230 hp but revved up to a screaming 14,000 rpm.
When it became the first Japanese car to win a Formula One Grand Prix, it did it in impressive fashion. Richie Ginther drove it at the Mexican Grand Prix and led from start to finish.
Projects like this make the Lego projects most people did as kids look like, well, child’s play.
GALLERY: Lego Honda RA272
[Source: Farm of Minds]
While automakers around the world are readying for the upcoming Geneva Motor Show, McLaren is biding its time for what might be a very special unveiling at the 2012 Monaco Grand Prix held in May.
According to GTspirit, McLaren may introduce an all-new successor to Gordon Murray’s legendary McLaren F1 in the coming months. Under the codename McLaren P12, this halo car will utilize a tuned version of the MP4-12C’s 3.8-liter twin-turbo V8 engine producing approximately 800-hp as well as an F1 tech derived KERS (kinetic energy recovery system), capable of an additional 120-hp. Engineers will also be working with carbon fiber and light alloys even more extensively to keep the weight of the P12 down to a feather-weight target just over 2500 lbs.
An unconventional venue for a product launch, the tax haven for the world’s wealthiest might just be the perfect place for McLaren. A 15-time winner of the Monaco GP, McLaren hopes to take advantage of the many high profile clients that will attend the race. Production for the P12 isn’t expected to begin before 2014 and is likely to demand a starting price of €750,000.
In the 2010 F1 season, Sebastian Vettel was crowned the youngest F1 champion ever at the final race. A year later, the German Red Bull driver had absolutely no problems defending his championship, locking it in with three races to go.
Formula One’s head honcho, Bernie Ecclestone, doesn’t seem pleased with how things went last year. Ecclestone is hoping that this season’s championship will go down to the final race in Brazil.
It’s not so much that Ecclestone wants a new F1 champion, but more that he wants the series to have life at the end of the season. Ecclestone believes that Vettel’s recent dominance of the sport could be harming it as interest wanes further on in the year if the championship is decided early.
“We always say this, but I hope the last race is going to be the one where the championship is won,” Ecclestone said Thursday. “We don’t want what happened last year, which was not too good … The only person that would say no to that would be Sebastian, but I think everybody else would agree with it.”
He went on to elaborate, ”But it wasn’t good. I am surprised we survived with (the TV ratings) we got right at the end. I often wonder whether people watch because of the championship or watch because of the particular race.”
Before Vettel, Lewis Hamilton claimed the crown in 2008 and Jenson Button was the 2009 champion. Button finished second last season, Hamilton was fifth.
Top Gear host Jeremy Clarkson is paid to piss you off, it’s what he does best. Maybe someone should have forwarded the memo to Tesla’s CEO, Elon Musk.
Musk probably should have taken Top Gear’s pot shots with a laugh and kept doing business, but it’s easy to understand why he might be feeling defensive. His company keeps hitting nasty potholes in the road to success, like the “bricking” problem that apparently compromises the battery system in Tesla vehicles, a costly repair.
This Top Gear drama started back to December 2008 when the show gave a mixed review to the Tesla Roadster. Their program said the car failed to meet its advertised 200-mile range, instead only achieving 55 miles. That figure came from running it on a track where any vehicle would have less than optimal range, electric or otherwise. They also bashed the Roadster for having deficient brakes.
Brakes and range aside, it’s essential to remember that Top Gear is first and foremost an entertainment program. The episode depicted crew members pushing a “dead” roadster into a hangar, though the facts emerged during Tesla’s lawsuit. Surprise, surprise, the car wasn’t dead and the shot was used for effect.
This isn’t terribly dissimilar to the infamous Bugatti Veyron versus McLaren F1 drag race episode, where the show managed to eek out a Veyron victory, only after several F1 first-place finishes. Again, Top Gear is for show first, reporting second.
British Justice Tugendhat threw Tesla’s claims out in October, 2011, saying the company’s lawyers needed to amend their malicious falsehood claims.
The final chapter, (one would assume), in this one-way pissing match closed today. Justice Tugendhat dismissed Tesla’s revised claim which said there were “reasonable grounds to suspect that each of the Claimants [Top Gear] had intentionally and significantly misrepresented the range of the Roadster by claiming that it had a range of about 200 miles in that its true range on the Top Gear track was only 55 miles”.
Hopefully Tesla can move past this cat fight and focus more on the bricking issue at hand. Small car startups have enough problems without taking British TV bullies to court.
Check out Tesla CEO Elon Musk discussing the Top Gear episode in the video after the jump.
[Source: The Truth About Cars]
The Nürburgring race facility is currently seeking a new operator, which has left a lot of race promoters and organizers wanting new contracts for the German race venue.
Newest to insist on a new contract is Formula One and Bernie Ecclestone, and currently the future of the biennial event doesn’t look good. But Ecclestone desires to found a solution and has no gripes to agree to a new contract so long as the government finds a new partner that agrees to have the race. The current F1 world champion, Sebastian Vettel, is German, which is probably motivating Ecclestone to want to resolve the contract issue as soon as possible.
Roger Lewentz, the relevant state governor minister has told the media that he is willing to meet with Ecclestone.
“We want to continue with formula one at the Nürburgring, but at a reasonable rate,” he said.