Formula 1

Formula 1 Comes To Kashmir

Posted in Bizarre, Formula 1, Videos by Kurt Ernst | October 19th, 2011 | Leave a Reply |

This year marks the debut of F1 in India, so Red Bull is pulling out all the stops to promote both the sport and the new venue. What better way to earn bragging rights than to run the Red Bull F1 car on the highest drivable road in the world, located in the northern Indian state of Kashmir? Read More…

Sebastian Vettel Wins His Second F1 Championship

Posted in Formula 1, News, Racing Coverage by Kurt Ernst | October 10th, 2011 | Leave a Reply |

Sebastian Vettel at the 2010 Japanese Grand Prix. Image: Morio

Red Bull Renault’s 24 year old superstar, Sebastian Vettel, has taken his second F1 title in as many years by finishing third in Sunday’s Japanese Grand Prix. Vettel grabbed the final podium spot in a mostly uneventful race, finishing behind winner Jenson Button (McLaren Mercedes) and second place finisher Fernando Alonso (Ferrari). Still up for grabs is the constructor’s championship; while Red Bull Renault is currently in the lead, McLaren Mercedes isn’t out of contention just yet. That title will be decided over the season’s closing four races. Read More…

David Coulthard Escapes Wranglers In The Red Bull F1 Car

Posted in Burnouts, Car Chase, Cool Stuff, Formula 1, Hoonage by Kurt Ernst | September 25th, 2011 | 1 Response |

Then, Coulthard drives the car to the Texas state Capitol in Austin, where he proceeds to show Austin what the air in Los Angeles looks like. Finally he’s off to hoon in the dirt (again) at the under-completion Circuit of the Americas racetrack. While most of it looks like fun, I can’t imaging driving an F1 car over a cattle guard, or down unpaved farm roads on slick tires (at least mount up some intermediates). None of it seems to phase Coulthard, the former F1 star who now does the exhibition driving for the Red Bull Renault F1 team (when he isn’t consulting with AMG, anyway). Read More…

Nick Heidfeld Reaches Settlement With Lotus Renault

Posted in Formula 1, News, Politics, Racing Coverage by Kurt Ernst | September 3rd, 2011 | Leave a Reply |

Nick Heidfeld leads Heikki Kovalainen in Malaysia. Image: Morio

Nick Heidfeld has settled his contract dispute with Lotus Renault out of court, and there’s no chance the German driver will be back in the seat of a Lotus Renault this season. Heidfeld was abruptly terminated by Lotus Renault following the Hungarian Grand Prix (where his car caught fire at pit exit, thanks to a broken exhaust), which breached the contract given to Heidfeld at the start of the 2011 season. Heidfeld was substituting for Lotus Renault driver Robert Kubica, who was critically injured in a rally car accident before the start of the 2011 F1 season. Read More…

Is There Anything Tom Cruise Can’t Do?

Posted in Formula 1, People, Pop Culture, Videos by Kurt Ernst | August 28th, 2011 | 2 Responses |

Hey, that's not David Coulthard...

It’s said that money buys opportunity, and no one illustrates that better than Tom Cruise. Not only has acting made him filthy stinking rich, it’s also given him the ability to train behind the wheel of both sports cars and race cars at tracks around the world. In his first time driving a Formula One car, he improved his lap time by a staggering 11 seconds in the course of a single session, and came within four miles per hour of David Coulthard’s maximum top speed. Even Coulthard was amazed, and admitted that Cruise had potential as an open-wheel driver. Read More…

Nick Heidfeld Sues Lotus Renault

Posted in Formula 1, News, Politics, Racing Coverage by Kurt Ernst | August 27th, 2011 | Leave a Reply |

Nick Heidfeld in Malaysia, 2011. Image: Morio

If you need soap-opera drama, look no rather than Formula One’s Team Lotus-Renault. First it was the signing of Bruno Senna, the nephew of Formula One great Ayrton Senna, at the beginning of the season. Senna had raced for perennial back marker HRT in 2010, managing no better than a 14th place finish during the season. Senna was brought on, to much fanfare, to be a test and development driver for the team; in other words, he was being groomed to take the driver’s seat at some point in Lotus Renault’s future.

Then came Lotus-Renault driver Robert Kubica’s horrific crash in a rally event during the off-season. Even the most optimistic of projections had Kubica missing the bulk of the 2011 season, while the worst-case scenario said that Kubica’s racing days were over. Clearly a backup driver was needed, and the list of experienced, talented and unemployed Formula One drivers is indeed a short one.

Enter Nick Heidfeld, a driver with ten years worth of F1 experience and numerous podium finishes, but no race wins. In February, Lotus Renault hired Heidfeld to take Kubica’s seat for the 2011 season, driving with teammate Vitaly Petrov. Heidfeld did well in the early part of the season, scoring a podium finish in Malaysia. Since Turkey, he’s managed to place no higher than 8th, and he’s racked up three DNFs in the last five races. When he finishes, he’s consistently doing better than Petrov, but that’s apparently not good enough for Lotus Renault.

Whether due to politics or strategy, Heidfeld has been benched by the team for at least the next two races, replaced by Bruno Senna. Heidfeld has sued the team, alleging breach of contract, but no resolution is expected prior to the conclusion of the Italian Grand Prix at Monza. The best case has Heidfeld out for two races, returning to a team he just filed suit against. The worst case has Heidfeld’s season, and possibly his F1 career, ending with a DNF in the 2011 Hungarian Grand Prix.

For a driver of Heidfeld’s talent, that’s one hell of a way to hang up your Nomex.

Source: Autoweek

David Coulthard Dirt-Tracks An F1 Car In Austin, TX

Posted in Cool Stuff, Formula 1, Hoonage, Videos by Kurt Ernst | August 25th, 2011 | 5 Responses |

The first Formula One Grand Prix race at the Austin, Texas “Circuit of the Americas” is still over a year away. The track isn’t much more than a roughly graded dirt road right now, but that didn’t stop Red Bull from bringing over a demo car and enlisting the driving skills of David Coulthard to show off the new track.

There isn’t much to see in the video below, since F1 cars on dirt are painfully over-powered and under-tired. Still, racing on packed dirt would add a whole new dimension to the sport, and I’m all for throwing in at least one hard-packed-clay race on the F1 schedule. The mechanics would hate it, but the fans (myself included) would pay serious money to watch the best drivers in the world slug it out in the dirt. Who’s with me me on this? Can we get a petition started? Read More…

New Jersey Tries Another Long Shot Bid To Attract F1

Posted in FAIL, Formula 1, News, Racing Coverage by Kurt Ernst | August 5th, 2011 | Leave a Reply |

Image: Formula Santander

Before Austin, Texas was appointed as the site of the next Formula 1 race in the United States, New Jersey made an impassioned bid to attract Bernie Ecclestone and the F1 circus to the Garden State. At least they did until a citizens group, alarmed over the prospects of an F1 race in the shadow of Liberty State Park, grabbed their collective privates and said “I’ve got your F1 race right here.” In the end, it was a moot point: the race went to Austin despite an alleged handshake agreement between Ecclestone and the Monticello Motor Club in New York State. In F1, it seems, it isn’t even over when the fat lady is singing. Read More…

Jenson Button Beats Vettel, Hamilton and the Hungarian Weather

Posted in Formula 1, News, Racing Coverage by Kurt Ernst | August 1st, 2011 | 1 Response |

Image: Mark McArdle

If you wanted more drama in Formula One, I hope you watched yesterday’s Hungarian Grand Prix. Far from the usual parade laps behind Sebastian Vettel, Sunday’s race had a little bit of everything, including wheel-to-wheel racing (occasionally between teammates), rain, pit strategy and even a Renault flambe. Red Bull Renault’s Sebastian Vettel once again started from the pole, but it was clear after turn one that the McLaren’s of both Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button had found a significant amount of speed compared to earlier races. Read More…

Animation Shows You The Line For The German Grand Prix

Posted in Formula 1, Grand Prix, Racing Coverage, Videos by Kurt Ernst | July 23rd, 2011 | Leave a Reply |

The Formula One circus hits the Eifel region of Germany this weekend for the German Grand Prix. The event is held at the Nürburgring, but doesn’t use the long-and-terrifying Nordschleife track. Instead, the venue is held at the Grand Prix track adjacent to the ‘Ring, which features wide runoff areas and gravel traps, as opposed to the Nordschliefe’s narrow shoulders and dense pine forests. Read More…