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F1 drivers have to overcome a lot of obstacles to win: other racers, car problems, weather, but the seating position of the racers also provides a challenge.
This Formula 1 Chinese Grand Prix race weekend enjoyed many firsts. Mercedes GP driver Nico Rosberg scored his maiden Formula 1 pole position and succeeded in taking the momentum from his strong qualifying performance over to race day, earning his first ever F1 GP victory.
Controlling the race from start to finish, Rosberg commented, “It’s been the perfect weekend. Everything’s gone [well]. It couldn’t be better. Very happy. It was a great race. It was impressive to see really how we’ve managed to progress so quickly. We’ve really had some difficult times in the races, the first two, but we’ve made a lot of changes, worked hard at it and all of a sudden it’s come good. That’s been fantastic to see today. I’m just so happy for all of us and I really look forward now to spending some time with the team later on.”
Giving major credit to team efforts for his victory, Rosberg’s career first win also marks the first win for the new Mercedes GP team, since the factory-backed racing team returned to the stage back in the 2010 season. Prior to this weekend, Mercedes-Benz‘s last factory-backed Formula 1 victory was back in September of 1955, when Juan Manuel Fangio won his last race for Mercedes at Monza.
During the Chinese GP post-race press conference, reporter Frederique Ferret asked, “Nico, you said you wanted to win with Mercedes, now you have done so, just like Fangio and Stirling Moss. What does that mean to you?”
“Ah, it’s definitely very special, the whole thing. Firstly just to win the race, to win my first race is special and everything that comes with it, with the Silver Arrows, with the team that I have, with everybody who has been working together for more than two years now,” said Nico Rosberg. “Yeah, it’s a very happy moment.”
Michael Schumacher had twinkly eyes when he got his new bike, or at least that’s what Daimler said in its press release.
Whether or not that was true, Schumacher and Nico Rosberg are the two first people to own the new Smart ebike. They received them at the Circuit de Catalunya near Barcelona where we would like to imagine both racers riding around for a few minutes making “vroom” noises and looking silly.
Funny as it would be, there’s nothing silly about the €2849 price tag that translates to roughly $3,700 dollars. It’s hard to imagine how smart you would really feel cruising around on an almost-$4000 bicycle. Well, it does get you over 100 kilometers on one charge from the 400-Wh lithium-ion battery, so at least you are getting some bang for your buck.
The Smart ebike will be available in April with two color options: white with green “trim” as seen above or matte grey with orange.
Smart describes the bike as if it were a car in its release, try not to chuckle.
“As a pedelec (Pedal Electric Cycle) the smart ebike is strictly speaking a hybrid vehicle: the electric motor switches on as soon as the rider starts pedalling. Muscle power is transmitted to the rear wheel via a lubricant-free, durable and quiet belt drive in place of a conventional bicycle chain.”
It’s a good thing the geniuses at Smart decided to make it “rear-wheel drive” because all that power would probably lead to some serious wheel hop during drag races. You’ve been put on notice, world. Stay off the sidewalks.
Formula One drivers Michael Schumacher and Nico Rosberg helped Mercedes-Benz take the wraps off their new competitor for the German DTM touring car series, based on the Mercedes-Benz C-Coupe.
Mercedes claims that the C-Class is DTM’s most successful entry, with 84 victories in 156 races and five driver’s titles. DTM is thought to be one of the premiere sports car series in the world, with drivers regularly moving on to Le Mans or prestigious open wheel racing series after their stints.
Gallery: DTM AMG Mercedes C-Coupe
There’s no better way to get a rise out of the jaded automotive media and ensure a spot on the local network newscast than to have a genuine professional racing star introduce your new car at an auto show. And that’s just what Mercedes intends to do at the Frankfurt Auto Show next week, with the new DTM race car being revealed by none-other than 7-time Formula 1 World Champion Michael Schumacher. Oh, and teammate Nico Rosber (who’s actually out-performing old-man Schumie this year) will be there too.
Based on the new C-Class Coupe, the car will continue to be an excellent branding exercise for Mercedes-Benz, while sharing nothing but its roof with the production car.
“The IAA (Internationale Automobil-Ausstellung), the world’s most important show for the automotive industry, is the perfect setting for the première of our new 2012 DTM car,” said Schumacher.
“This new-generation vehicle, based on our Mercedes-Benz C- Coupé, will mark the introduction of an even more spectacular racing car from the start of 2012,” said Norbert Haug, the head of Merc’s motorsports division. “I am certain that the spectators will get their money’s worth from the three-way fight between Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz in the DTM next year.”
To see all the photos of the car, visit AutoGuide’s Frankfurt Auto Show coverage page starting September 13th.
What’s the one car Michael Schumacher cannot pass? The official Formula One Safety Car, of course! That’s the riddle Mercedes-Benz’ Dr. Dieter Zetsche asked before introducing the SLS AMG F1 Safety Car at the Geneva Auto Show.
The SLS AMG Safety Car then drove to the stage and its gullwing doors opened up to reveal the driver, Michael Schumacher and his passenger, Grand Prix teammate Nico Rosberg.
The SLS AMG at every round of the 2010 F1 season, ready to deploy whenever accidents or bad weather make it too dangerous to race.
The official safety car needs to be fast enough to lead the F1 grid at a high enough speed to prevent the race cars’ tires and brakes from cooling down or their engines from overheating. With a 6.3L v8 engine claiming 571 hp and 479.4 ft-lb. of torque, the SLS AMG should be up to the task.
As impressive as the standard-production SLS AMG is, the Safety Car receives a number of updates to fit its role. Apart from the F1 logos and integrated television camera, the Safety Car is distinguishable by its carbon-fiber mirrors and a new carbon-fiber hood. The rear aerofoil pops up when the car reaches 93 mph, and together with the rear diffuser, provides added downforce.
Inside, the Safety Car is equipped with monitors and a radio system to help driver Bernd Maylander and co-driver Pete Tibbetts see and hear what’s going on in the race. A second interior mirror is installed so Tibbetts can keep an eye on the F1 cars following the Safety Car. The central display on the instrument cluster and on the glove compartment provide the same marshalling signals the F1 drivers see in their cockpits.
The SLS AMG Safety Car will be joined by another Mercedes-Benz at F1 races. The C63 AMG Estate returns in 2010 as the official F1 Medical Car, ready to respond to race emergencies.
Gallery: Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Formula One Safety Car
He’s back! That’s right, seven-time Formula 1 World Champion Michael Schumacher will make his return to the pinnacle of motorsports next year, driving for Mercedes-Benz. The German will join fellow countryman Nico Rosberg in representing Mercedes on the grid, starting March 12th at the Bahrain Grand Prix.
“It is a new chapter in my racing career and I am really looking forward to working with my old friend Ross Brawn and my companions from my days with the Mercedes Junior Programme,” said Schumacher in an interview. “I am convinced that together we will be involved in the fight for the Formula One World Championship next year and I am already looking forward to getting back onto the race track. For me, this partnership closes the circle. Mercedes supported me for so many years when I began my Formula One career and now I can hopefully give something back to the brand with the star.”
Schumacher returns to the sport after a planned comeback last year failed. He had intended to race in place of injured teammate Filipe Massa, but injuries sustained during a motorcycle accident prevented that from happening. Schumacher now says he is fully recovered.
Schumacher retired from Formula 1 in 2006 after seven world championships and 91 overall wins. At the first race of the season, Schumacher will be 41, almost double the age of many just entering the sport.
The Mercedes team that he joins is actually the Brawn GP team (headed former Ferrari and Benetton technical director Ross Brawn), which was purchased by Mercedes in the off-season, after clinching the championship in its first year. The connection with Brawn has always been a strong one – and a successful one. Along with Schumacher’s five wins at Ferrari under the leadership of Brawn, his two other World Championships came at Benetton with Brawn at the helm.
When asked about Schumacher’s accomplishments, Norbert Haug, Vice-President of Mercedes-Benz Motorsports said that, “Michael has more of everything than every other driver.”