Monday, December 24, 2012

GRAND PRIX DRIVER OF THE YEAR 2012


We have recently experienced a golden era of Motor Sport with the 2012 season consisting of 6 World Champions on the grid and battles of all sorts up and down the grid. This has been one of the most competitive seasons in memory.

Fernando Alonso has come out on top in a survey to   find who was the best performing driver of the 2012 Formula One season.

The Spaniard picked up almost 25% more points from judges than the World Champion Sebastian Vettel who came in 2nd. It is likely that perceptions of the German’s performance were hampered by the perceived superiority of his Red Bull car.

Lewis Hamilton was a distant third, finishing just ahead of the impressive Kimi Raikkonen who made a stunning return after two years out of the sport.

However, the two other World Champions on the grid had a less successful year; with Jenson Button finishing in 6th place behind his 2013 team-mate Sergio Perez. This probably owes largely to poor form in the middle part of the season, the low point of which was the Canadian Grand Prix where he was lapped by Hamilton.

Michael Schumacher meanwhile could manage no better than 13th on the list; 4 places behind Nico Rosberg despite his impressive pole lap in Monaco and achieving the first podium finish of his return in Valencia. It certainly isn’t the send-off that the legendary German would have been hoping for.

MoneySupermarket, who ran the survey encompassing the opinions of leading Motorsport related websites,  has created the following infographic based on the results:


You may download the above infographic by clicking on it or by visiting here.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

RED BULL RACING STORY



In the span of seven years, Red Bull built a lackluster F1 team into the three-time world champions and the most dominant presence in motor racing.

Red Bull did something quite unprecedented when it bought its first Formula One team in 2005. It took a backmarker team - Jaguar Racing, itself rebranded from Stewart Grand Prix - and through a boatload of money at it. It took its first podium finish in only its second year on the grid, and was winning races by 2009. The rest, as they say, is history, as the team - headed by some of the top minds driven by two of the best drivers in the sport - went on to secure three back-to-back world championships.

Watch the video above to learn their fascinating story.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

TEAM GERMANY WINS ROC NATIONS CUP 2012

This is the latest news as reported by the ROC.

Team Germany's Michael Schumacher and Sebastian Vettel added to their incredible run of success by winning their sixth consecutive ROC Nations Cup title in Bangkok.

On another hot evening in the Thai capital, legends from many of the world's biggest motor sport series teamed up in pairs to battle for national pride. They raced a mix of cars – including the Audi R8 LMS, VW Scirocco, Lamborghini Gallardo Super Trofeo and the Toyota GT86 – on a purpose-built parallel track at the Rajamangala Stadium.

To cap off a busy night of action, Schumacher and Vettel prevailed in the Grand Final against Team France's S├ębastien Ogier and Romain Grosjean. First Schumacher defeated Grosjean then Vettel beat rally ace Ogier in the 'battle of the Sebs'.

The result meant that the German duo took an incredible ten wins out of ten on the night, matching their combined total of F1 world championships. They have now extended their record of ROC Nations Cup titles to six in a row too.

Schumacher said: “This is a historic day. It was already very special to win five times in a row but this new record just feels great. The Race Of Champions is a nice event with a nice set-up, there are great guys here and tough competition. We were pretty scared of the guys on Team France but in the end they lost time in the final heats so we were lucky to be consistent the whole way through.”

Vettel added: “Even Michael hasn’t managed six titles in a row before so this is something special. Six years is a long time and now we can look back and know we’ve won for the last six years. We all love coming here as it’s a special event. It’s a privilege and an honour to race with these guys. There’s one thing that connects us all, which is racing. Now I can look forward to tomorrow and hopefully stay in the competition as long as possible. I’ve tried that for the last five years and haven’t succeeded yet so it would be nice to put my name on that trophy too.”

Beaten finalists Team France also had a fine evening, topping their group before defeating Team All Stars (Le Mans legend Tom Kristensen and MotoGP world champion Jorge Lorenzo) by two heats to nil in the semi-final.

Grosjean admitted: “We knew going up against Team Germany was the toughest moment of the evening. But we fought as well as we could with what we had in our hands. Last year we reached the semi-final, this year the final. Now the next step is to be on the top of the podium. They want to go for seven next year but we want to go for our first one in the future. For now it’s great to have brought the blue, white and red flag to the final.”

Reigning individual Champion of Champions Ogier said: “First I want to congratulate Team Germany because six victories in a row is a great result. We tried our best but they were very strong. We will try to do better next time. First I will do my best to retain the individual Race Of Champions title tomorrow but I know it will be tough.”

In the semi-finals Team Germany beat Team Australia's Jamie Whincup and Mick Doohan by two heats to nil. They had earlier sailed through their Group B with six wins out of six to kick off their perfect night. Team Australia joined them in the semi-finals with three victories: two for Whincup, one for Doohan.

Following their triumph in yesterday's ROC Asia, Team India's Narain Karthikeyan and Karun Chandhok failed to make it beyond the group stages this time. They took a win apiece but it wasn't enough against the might of Germany and Australia.

Host nation Team Thailand (Nattavude Charoensukawattana and Tin Sritrai) fought hard but they were unable to progress beyond the group stages. Sritrai nonetheless gave the home fans something to cheer with victory over Doohan.

Earlier in the evening, Team France (four wins) and Team All Stars (three wins) both progressed through the round-robin Group A to line up a best-of-three semi-final. Lorenzo memorably proved his two-wheeled skill extends to four wheels by defeating touring car great Andy Priaulx in one of the heats.

Team Americas were unlucky to miss out on qualification on countback of fastest times as they also ended up with three wins courtesy of Benito Guerra (2) and Ryan Hunter-Reay (1). Team Great Britain (Priaulx and David Coulthard) missed a semi-final spot after both fell foul of penalties for touching the barriers – though they still took one win each.

There is plenty more action to come in Bangkok on Sunday as the drivers will put their friendships aside and go it alone in the individual Race Of Champions. This race will be held at 8pm Bangkok local time.

Official ROC website here - http://www.raceofchampions.com/

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

2013 and 2014 RULES PUBLISHED

The FIA has finalized the changes to the F1 regulations for the 2013 season and updated its planned rules for 2014. There are a few changes to the 2013 rules beyond those revealed after last week’s World Motor Sport Council meeting but the full regulations reveal some new details.

2013 Rules

Among the changes to the technical regulations for next year is a rule governing what happens when cars run out of fuel on the track during any session, such as happened during qualifying to Lewis Hamilton in Spain and Sebastian Vettel in Abu Dhabi.

Teams will no longer be allowed to claim a car was stopped for reasons of “force majeure”, instead the FIA will determine how much fuel should have been in the car when it stopped:
After a practice session, if a car has not been driven back to the pits under its own power, it will be required to supply the above mentioned sample plus the amount of fuel that would have been consumed to drive back to the pits. The additional amount of fuel will be determined by the FIA.
As the tyres Pirelli are supplying next year will be heavier the rules on minimum weight and weight distribution have been revised. The minimum weight has increased by 2kg to 642kg and a more drastic change is coming for 2014. An extra kilo has therefore been added to the minimum weights at each end of the car making these now 292kg at the front, 343kg at the rear. These will be adjusted to take final 2013 tyre weights into account.

A tougher front wing deflection test has been defined as well. The amount a wing may deflect when a 1,000N load is applied to it has been reduced from 20mm to 10mm, the further curb the use of flexing wings.

As of next year teams may add a panel to their car’s nose to remove the steps seen on many cars this year.

Tougher standards for roll structures and crash tests have also been defined, the latter requiring the static load test to be applied to all of the teams’ survival cells.

There are fewer changes in the Sporting Regulations and some are already known including the restriction of using DRS outside the designated zone at any time during a race weekend.

For teams to arrange a test outside Europe they now require the agreement of the FIA and the total number of tests during the season has been reduced to three each of no more than four days long. There will be no repeat of this year’s in-season test which was held at Mugello.

During race weekends the first of the two curfews on teams’ activity has been extended from six hours to eight. The number of curfew breaks each team is allowed is reduced to two and they may not both be used at the same event.

The updated 2013 rules are available here:

2013 F1 Sporting Regulations – Published on 11.12.2012 (PDF)
2013 F1 Technical Regulations – Published on 11.12.2012 (PDF)

2014 Rules

The minimum weight will be further increased from 642kg in 2012 to 685kg to account for the rise in weight from the new power units. The regulations on power units, electrical systems and transmission have been extensively revised as well.

Although parts of the rules on aerodynamic bodywork have been moved closer to the current rules, the planned reduction in front wing width from 1,800mm to to 1,650mm has been retained.

The updated 2014 rules are available here:

Friday, December 7, 2012

50 THINGS THAT MADE THE 2012 F1 SEASON GREAT

Here is a great article by Keith of F1Fanatic listing down 50 things that made this year great in F1. Just had to share as I agreed with almost everything there and some of them are just wonderful. Made me smile thinking back what a great year this has been with all the ups and downs.

Click here to enjoy yourself!

And look at this picture. Doesn't that just make you smile? F1 drivers are just human with Massa and Alonso there making fun of the shot. It's just some fanatical fans out there that sometimes sound like a serial stalker. Lighten up, it' a sport and we're supposed to enjoy ourselves and widen our network and knowledge.

FIA DECISIONS FOR 2013

The World Motor Sport Council met recently to ratify some detailed changes to the F1 calendar for 2013 and to the sporting and technical regulations.

The main headline is that the FIA and Bernie Ecclestone are keen to insert a 20th race as the New Jersey race has been postponed.

The German Grand Prix will move to July 7th (from 14th July) to make room for a race on July 21st.

The Turkish Istanbul Park race track has confirmed an agreement in principle to host the race, which would fall one week before the Hungarian Grand Prix. However the deal might not happen as the Turkish government has not given approval to fund the race. Problems of funding the event have dogged it in the past.

“The date for the 2013 Grand Prix of Germany has been moved to 7 July, and 21 July has been reserved for another F1 European event, subject to the approval of the relevant ASNs,” said the FIA statement. There has been talk of the return of the French Grand Prix, but sources in France say that there is no evidence of funding for this, particularly state or regional government funding.

2013 F1 Technical Regulations
  • More stringent front wing deflection tests have been introduced.
  • Minor changes have been made to the front roll structure design.
  • There is an increase in minimum weight to compensate for an increase in tyre weight for 2013.
  • Deletion of the ‘force majeure’ allowance when a car stops on the track in qualifying. The FIA will determine how much fuel the car would have used to get back to the pits and add it to the one litre sample minimum.
  • All chassis will now have higher static loads applied to them (formerly only one chassis was tested to the higher loads with subsequent chassis being tested to 20% lower proof loads).
2013 F1 Sporting Regulations
  • For safety reasons, use of the DRS during practice will now only be allowed in the place(s) it will be used on the track in the race.
  • The team personnel curfew will be extended from six to eight hours on Thursday night and only two exceptions will be allowed during a season (formerly four).
  • 2014 F1 Technical Regulations
  • A new draft with numerous changes was discussed and agreed by the F1 Technical Working Group and Powertrain Working Group.
  • The requirement for cars to be driven exclusively under electric power in the pit lane has been postponed until 2017.
  • A number of changes have been made to the power unit regulations with the aim of limiting technology in some areas in order to reduce development costs.
  • Changes made to bodywork design, originally aimed at reducing downforce and drag for increased efficiency, have reverted to 2012 specification.
  • The minimum weight limit has been raised to compensate for additional power unit weight.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

SOME FASCINATING STATS FROM PIRELLI

At the conclusion of its second season in F1 since its return, Pirelli has issued a range of statistics relating to tyres, circuits, pit stops, overtakes and just about everything else… even mascarpone!

TYRES

Total number of tyres provided for the season: Race tyres: 31,800 of which 22,500 dry tyres and 9,300 wet tyres plus an additional 6,600 for the tests (not including development tyres)

Of which (for race tyres only): supersoft: 6 % / soft: 25 % / medium: 21 % / hard: 17 % / intermediate: 18 % / wet: 11 % / 2 % development tyres

Total numbers of tyres used: Dry tyres: 21,400; wet tyres: 2,100

Number of tyres recycled during 2012: All, i.e. 31,800 race tyres plus 6,600 test tyres

Average life span of a dry compound this season: 180 km

Average life span of a wet compound this season: 140 km

TRACKS, RACES AND TESTS

Longest continuous energy input into a tyre: India (turn 10-11)

Longest race of the year: Malaysia in 2h 44:51.812

Shortest race of the year: Great Britain in 1h 25:11.288

Most laps run on Pirelli tyres:
Hard - Kobayashi (798); Medium - Senna (869); Soft - Ricciardo (1,012);
Supersoft - Raikkonen (237); Intermediate - Alonso (145); Wet - Kobayashi (104)

Highest top speed reached by a P Zero F1 tyre: 248.241 kph (154.254 mph) Hamilton / Italy Qualifying

Slowest top speed reached by a P Zero F1 tyre: 161.828 kph (100.558 mph) Schumacher / Monaco

Most fastest laps in 2011: Sebastian Vettel (5 in race / 6 in qualifying)

Distance covered by Pirelli's Renault R30 test car in 2012: 7,012 kms (4,537 miles)

Number of different test tracks visited by Pirelli staff this year (incl. private tests): 9

PIT STOPS

Total number of pit stops for the year: 957 (of which 14 were a Drive Through and 2 a Stop & Go penalty)

Total average number of stops per race: 47.9, i.e. 1.9 per driver

Most pit stops in a race: 76 (Malaysia)

Least pit stops in a race: 24 (United States)

Fastest pit stop time: 2.31s (McLaren / Jenson Button at the German Grand Prix)

OVERTAKING

Number of overtaking manoeuvres in 2012: 994 (not including Brazil)

Most overtaking manoeuvres in a dry race: 90 at the 2012 C hinese Grand Prix

Most overtaking manoeuvres in a wet race: 76 at the 2012 Malaysian Grand Prix

Least overtaking manoeuvres in a dry race: 12 at the Monaco Grand Prix

OTHERS

Total kilometres driven by all the P Zero compounds in 2012 (races and tests): Hard - 101,692 (63,190
miles); Medium - 121,840 (75,709 miles); Soft - 123,270 (76,598 miles); Supersoft - 21,993 (13,666
miles); Intermediate - 13,770 (8,556 miles); Wet - 7,930 (4,927 miles)

Coldest track/ground temperatures Pirelli P Zero tyres have run: United States Grand Prix at 11 degrees
Celsius (17.11.); coldest overall: Jerez winter testing at 0 degrees C elsius (10.02.)

Hottest track/ground temperatures Pirelli P Zero tyres have run: Brazilian Grand Prix at 55 degrees Celsius (23.11.)

Coldest air/ambient temperatures Pirelli P Zero tyres have run: United States Grand Prix at 4 degrees Celsius (17.11); coldest overall: Jerez winter testing at -2 degrees C elsius (10.11.)

Hottest air/ambient temperatures Pirelli P Zero tyres have run: Grand Prix of Europe at 37 degrees Celsius (21.06.)

Amount of time spent downloading all tyre data on the RTS system this year (incl. tests): 92 hrs

Number of track/air temperature taken by tyre fitter per race weekend: 124

Total distance travelled by all F1 tyres in 2012 (off-track): 216,967 kms (134,820 miles)

Total number of tweets from Pirelli Media: 5,400

Words written on Pirelli press releases in 2012: 79,744

Total number of Pirelli recipe books produced (incl. translations): 10,000

PIRELLI F1 AND ITS PEOPLE

Total number of Pirelli people travelling to each race: 52

Total number of nationalities within the Pirelli F1 team: 10

Average amount of hours spent by each Pirelli staff member on a plane this year: 192 hrs (or 8 days!)

Number of Pirelli wristbands given out during the season in the paddock: 4,450

Total number of hotel nights booked for the Pirelli team: 1,498

PIRELLI F1 TRUCKS AND HOSPITALITY

Total amount of trucks at European races: 13

Total average kilometres travelled by each Pirelli truck in 2012: 31,125 kms (19,340 miles)

Numbers of meals served at the Pirelli F1 hospitality (incl. tests): 24,132

Number of coffees served by Pirelli hospitality during the season: 28,350

Number of different pasta recipes cooked by Pirelli's chef this year: 314

Amount of mascarpone used for tiramisu and other dolci: 205 kgs

PIRELLI IN F1 SINCE 1950

Races started: 242

Wins: 83

Pole positions: 86

Podium places: 256

Fastest laps: 90

Monday, December 3, 2012

2013 FIA FORMULA ONE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP ENTRY LIST - UPDATED FEB 2013



Giedo van der Garde has secured the second race seat at Caterham for 2013, completing the team's line-up alongside Charles Pic. Which mean Caterham is effectively running 2 rookies this year, a situation that is unavoidable due to financial constraints. Although Petrov should have brought more money but I have a feeling that his sponsors have abandoned him, therefore Caterham did not retain him.

So that leaves only 2 more seats available - 1 at Force India and 1 at Marussia, although it is possible that Luiz Razia has secured that seat at Marussia as his official website has claimed it so (funnily enough ahead of the team announcement).
Below list has been updated as of today (Bold = Officially confirmed)

Driver
Entrant
Constructor
Vettel
Red Bull Racing
RBR-Renault
Webber
Red Bull Racing
RBR-Renault
Button
Vodafone McLaren Mercedes
McLaren Mercedes
Perez
Vodafone McLaren Mercedes
McLaren Mercedes
Alonso
Scuderia Ferrari
Ferrari
Massa
Scuderia Ferrari
Ferrari
Hamilton
Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team
Mercedes
Rosberg
Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team
Mercedes
Raikkonen
Lotus F1 Team
Lotus-Renault
Grosjean
Lotus F1 Team
Lotus-Renault
Di Resta
Sahara Force India F1 Team
Force India-Mercedes
TBC
Sahara Force India F1 Team
Force India-Mercedes
Hulkenberg
Sauber F1 Team
Sauber-Ferrari
Gutierrez
Sauber F1 Team
Sauber-Ferrari
Ricciardo
Scuderia Toro Rosso
STR-Ferrari
Vergne
Scuderia Toro Rosso
STR-Ferrari
Maldonado
Williams F1
Williams-Renault
Bottas
Williams F1
Williams-Renault
Van De Garde
Team Caterham
Caterham Renault
Pic
Team Caterham
Caterham Renault
Razia
Marussia F1 Team
Marussia-Cosworth
Chilton
Marussia F1 Team
Marussia-Cosworth