- Alfa Romeo
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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.
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.
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]
Try this little experiment: put a pair of headphones on if you can, or just turn the volume up. Skip to the bottom of the page and watch the video, but do it with your eyes closed. Come back and read the article after that.
It’s the kind of outside-the-box thinking one might hope for with a brand launching into Formula One racing for the first time. Although the Lotus name has been around in F1 since 1958, there’s an important distinction: Team Lotus and Lotus weren’t exactly the same group.
The name disappeared from the sport between 1994 and 2010 when it came back under license to Tony Fernandes, an entrepreneur best known for turning once-failing Air Asia into a successful publicly listed company. For the upcoming year, Lotus will run under their own name, while Fernandes’ team will re-emerge as the Caterham F1 Team.
The Caterham CT01 car made the news last week after its photos leaked a day early onto the internet. We don’t have much information on the Lotus car yet, but we do know that 2007 Formula 1 world champion Kimi Raikkonen will be at the wheel.
Watch the teaser below.
Robert Kubica, one of Formula One’s most promising young drivers, will sit out the start of the 2012 F1 season as he continues to recover from a crash that partially severed his arm.
While Kubica is making a recovery, the pace is not as rapid as some had hoped for. Kubica can move his arm, but it remains unknown whether he is physically fit enough to drive a Formula One car at this time.
Kubica was driving a Skoda rally car in an Italian race when he crashed into a barrier that penetrated his car and nearly sliced off his arm. Kubica was replaced before the start of the 2011 season by Nick Heidfeld and Bruno Senna. Renault will have to look for a replacement for 2012, but says that Kubica has a test car and a crew of mechanics at his disposal when he is ready to return.
Hit the jump to see the official press release