The First F1 Car Laps India’s Buddh F1 Circuit

Posted in FIA, Formula 1, News, Racing, Racing Coverage, Videos by Kurt Ernst | October 29th, 2011 | Leave a Reply |

In preparation for tomorrow’s first-ever Indian Grand Prix, here’s a video showing you the new track. Red Bull Renault junior driver Neel Jani got the honor of being the very first driver to pilot an F1 car around the new track, which explains why his speeds were modest. The very first rule of racing is “don’t stack the race car,” but that’s superseded by “don’t be the first guy to stack a race car on a brand new track that hasn’t been raced on yet.” Read More…

F1 Coming To Weehawken, NJ

Posted in FIA, Formula 1, News, Racing Coverage by Kurt Ernst | October 26th, 2011 | 1 Response |

Red Bull Renault's Sebastian Vettel at Monaco. Image: Nick J. Webb

Go ahead and check your calendars, but we assure you this isn’t an April Fools Day post. The rumored NYC area Formula 1 race has now been confirmed, so get set to hit the swamps of Jersey to spectate at the June 2013 Grand Prix of America. It won’t be at Liberty State Park and it won’t be in Jersey City; instead, the venue has moved north, and will be held on a street circuit in Weehawken, NJ (one town over from Hoboken, in case you’re not familiar with the local geography). Read More…

FIA Looks At Ways To Keep F1 Drivers Safe

Posted in FIA, Formula 1, Safety by Kurt Ernst | July 19th, 2011 | Leave a Reply |

Formula One has been a relatively safe sport for almost two decades. Following the tragic deaths of Ayrton Senna and Roland Ratzenberger at the San Marino GP in 1994, the sport went to great lengths to police itself. Improvements were made to both tracks and cars in an effort to prevent future tragedies, and so far they’ve paid big dividends. Even serious-looking crashes rarely produce catastrophic injuries anymore, but there’s always room to improve on driver safety. Read More…

F1 Engine Formula Changed To 1.6-Liter V-6 For 2014

Posted in FIA, Formula 1, Racing Coverage by Kurt Ernst | July 2nd, 2011 | Leave a Reply |

Nigel Mansell's 1985 Williams, also a V6 turbo. Image: Lothar Spurzem

Today’s Formula 1 cars are powered by naturally aspirated 2.4-liter V-8 engines, supplemented by a Kinetic Energy Recovery System. Despite their relatively small displacement, the engines still manage to produce in excess of 750 horsepower, at mind-boggling engine speeds of up to 18,000 RPM. Unlike production motors, which must last for hundreds of thousands of miles, F1 engines are designed for maximum performance first, with durability somewhat of an afterthought. Teams can use up to eight engines during the course of a season without being penalized in points or starting position, and in 2011 that translates to one engine for 2.375 races. Read More…

F1 Finalizes Engine Rules For 2013

Posted in Engines, FIA, Formula 1, Racing by Kurt Ernst | December 13th, 2010 | 2 Responses |

The emphasis on fuel economy has even hit the upper class of motorsports: starting with the 2013 season, Formula One cars will no longer use 2.4 liter V8 engines, capable of revving to 18,000 rpm. Instead, all F1 cars will be powered by turbocharged four cylinder engines, displacing only 1.6 liters. To keep fuel consumption down, the engines will have a redline of just 12,000 rpm, or just 2/3 of today’s engine speeds. Unlike the F1 turbo days of the 1980s, where huge amounts of boost produced massive powerful (if short-lived) engines, boost will be limited and additional horsepower will come from the use of energy recovery systems, similar to the failed KERS system employed by teams in the 2009 season. Teams will be allowed just five engines per driver, which makes engine management a key component of driving these new cars.

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Bernie Ecclestone, F1 Boss, Mugged And Beaten In London

Posted in Bizarre, FIA, Formula 1, Legal, Police, Safety by Kurt Ernst | November 30th, 2010 | 4 Responses |

Bernie Ecclestone in better days.

Bernie Ecclestone may be the most powerful man in motorsports, and he may be rich enough to attract a girlfriend some 40 years his junior, but his situational awareness skills need some serious work. Returning from a dinner last week, Ecclestone and girlfriend Fabiana Flosi were rushed by a group of attackers in London’s Knightsbridge neighborhood. The attackers beat the 80 year old Ecclestone unconscious, and stole watches, wallets and jewelry from Ecclestone and Flosi. Despite earlier media reports that the muggers made off with some $300,000 worth of cash and jewelry, Ecclestone himself commented to the UK Express, “…that is bullshit. They won’t be going far on what they took off of us.”

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Want To Race In Formula One? All It Takes Is $11,000,000

Posted in FIA, Formula 1, Newsworthy, Racing by Kurt Ernst | November 19th, 2010 | Leave a Reply |

Pedro de la Rosa is looking for $11 mio in sponsorship. Photo: Morio

Want to fulfill your dream of being an F1 star? Are you Spanish, and do you hold an FIA Super License? Do you have $11,000,000 in a bank account that you’re just waiting to spend? If you answered yes to all of these questions, then Hispania Racing would like to speak with you. Unlike the major F1 teams (Ferrari or McLaren Mercedes, for example) who pay drivers large sums of money to win them races, Hispania Racing is operating on a shoestring budget and can only afford drivers who bring (substantial) funding with them. Last year, Ferrari probably spent $400 to $500 million competing in F1; Hispania Racing spent a mere $45 million. That may be plenty to win races in IndyCar or in NASCAR, but that doesn’t even scratch the surface in F1. By Hispania’s own estimates, they won’t even be able to crack into the top ten without a budget of $165,000,000. That’s a long way off, assuming the team can even survive their current financial crisis.

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Sebastian Vettel Wins in Abu Dhabi, Takes F1 Championship

Posted in FIA, Formula 1, General, Newsworthy, Racing by Kurt Ernst | November 15th, 2010 | Leave a Reply |

Sebastian Vettel at the start of the 2010 season. Photo: Andrew Griffith

Abu Dhabi was a fitting end to the roller coaster that was the 2010 Formula One season. Going into Sunday’s race, it looked like Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso had the championship in the bag. After all, Red Bull Renault’s Sebastian Vettel was running on a high mileage engine, and a duel between Vettel and McLaren Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton for the first corner was all but certain. After Saturday’s qualifying session, I’d have bet the bank on Alonso as the 2010 world champion.

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Mark Webber Preps For The Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

Posted in Cool Stuff, FIA, Formula 1, Racing, Videos by Kurt Ernst | November 13th, 2010 | 1 Response |

After 18 races, it all comes down to a duel in the desert. At the end of Sunday’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Red Bull Renault’s Mark Webber will walk away with the driver’s championship. Unless it goes to Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso, or Red Bull Renault’s Sebastian Vettel, or McLaren Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton. Hamilton is, at best, a long shot; he’d need to win the race and have Alonso, Webber and Vettel finish worse than 11th, which isn’t likely to happen.

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F1 Update: Red Bull Renault’s Sebastian Vettel Is Out Of Spare Engines

Posted in FIA, Formula 1, Newsworthy, Racing by Kurt Ernst | October 28th, 2010 | Leave a Reply |

Vettel In Bahrain at the start of the 2010 season. Photo: Andrew Griffith

Just in case the 2010 F1 driver’s title chase wasn’t enough of a nail-biter, Autoevolution brings us news that Sebastian Vettel, currently fourth in points, is out of new spare engines for the duration of the 2010 season. His motor options are limited to two high mileage Renault motors, unless the driver is willing to take a ten position grid penalty. The motor that failed at last weekend’s Korean Grand Prix was considered to be in relatively good condition prior to the start of the race, having run just 994 miles. Projected life of the Renault F1 motor is approximately 1,305 miles.

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