Archive for the ‘Cars’ Category

Red Bull to launch RB6 in Jerez

January 27th, 2010 No comments

Red Bull have announced that they will miss the first test and release their 2010 challenger on 10 February at Jerez.

Designer Adrian Newey said that because the RB6 is an evolutionary design following on from last year’s radical RB5 he didn’t feel they needed to be at the first test to “establish the basic concept of the car.”

Instead, the team will save their engines and tyres while they further research the car in the wind tunnel back at Milton Keynes.

For now, here’s some hot RB5 on ice action. They obviously can’t wait to get back to Montreal…

Video: Red Bull

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Mercedes launch their new team (pictures)

January 25th, 2010 No comments

Today’s launch at the Mercedes-Benz Museum in Stuttgart was a team and livery launch – not, unfortunately, the launch of their 2010 car. For that, we will have to wait until 1 February when the MGP W01 will make its track debut at Valencia.

Nevertheless even without a new car on display the first (sort-of) launch of the new season was still enough to bring down the Mercedes GP website. McLaren is planning to live stream the launch of their MP-25 at Vodafone UK’s headquarters in Newbury on Friday January 29. I hope their servers are up to it…

Still, it was a chance to see what the new car’s paint will look like and also for Michael to say how excited he is to be driving for Mercedes-Benz again and how it is a “dream come true” for Nico. It will be very interesting to watch the dynamic between these two drivers once they get on track.

The new livery looks great: Mercedes’s traditional silver with flashes of green for new sponsor Petronas. On the nose and other parts of the car, the silver paint has been removed to allow traces of black carbon fibre show through. This is a nice touch – a reminder of the first Silver Arrow of 1934.

There is a (probably apocryphal) story about how the 1934 Mercedes Silver Arrows racing cars got their colour.  Before the introduction of sponsorship, racing cars had always been painted in the traditional colour for their country; Britain was British Racing Green, France was French Blue and Italy was, of course, Rosso Corsa.  German cars were painted White.

From 1934 onwards a maximum weight limit of 750kg was introduced and Mercedes-Benz found that their W25 weighed 751kg.  After puzzling over what they could do to lose weight, racing manager Alfred Neubauer came up with the idea of scraping off all the paint to leave the silver aluminium exposed.  This supposedly saved the 1kg required and the Silver Arrows were born.

Images: Mercedes GP

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For Sale: Schumacher’s Benetton F1 Car (no time wasters)

November 12th, 2009 No comments

Michael Schumacher, Australia, 1994We have covered some rare and exotic racing cars for sale on f1buzz before but if you missed out on picking up Jenson Button’s old Honda here is another chance to buy some Formula One history.

Michael Schumacher’s old Benetton B194 that he drove to his first World Championship in 1994 is on eBay and the current bid is a bit over €2.5 million (+ €10,000 postage.)

The B194 was designed by Rory Byrne specifically to suit Michael Schumacher’s driving style although he would later comment that it was quite tricky to drive being prone to sudden unexpected oversteer.

1994 was one of the most controversial and tragic seasons in Formula One’s history. Like Jenson Button in 2009, Schumacher won six of the first seven races. The other teams were a bit suspicious of this and following an FIA investigation it was discovered that Benetton had illegal launch control software on the car but as it could not be proved it was ever used the team faced no punishment.

The eBay listing includes “a laptop with software for configuration of the race car” but it doesn’t mention anything about launch control…

Schumacher would later be disqualified from the British Grand Prix for ignoring a black flag and also stripped of his win in Belgium for excessive wear on the skid block but it is the final race of the season in Adelaide that this car is most remembered for. Schumacher’s infamous ramming of Damon Hill at the Flinders Street corner forced both drivers out of the race and sealed the Championship for Schumacher.

Image: Williams

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Lotus 2010 Formula One car first pictures

October 15th, 2009 No comments

Senna, JPS LotusLotus F1 Racing, the Malaysia-based team granted the 13th entry in the 2010 Formula One World Championship, has revealed a scale model of its new Formula One car.

The model, a product of the recent collaboration between Lotus F1 Racing Chief Technical Officer Mike Gascoyne and the team’s technical partners, will be used for wind tunnel testing.

Considering the team’s application was only approved a month ago they seem to be making remarkable progress although, as Gascoyne says, the car has already been in development for some time:

The  start  of  any  windtunnel  testing  is  an  important  step  in  the  development  of  a  new  Formula  1  car,  but  it  is  particularly  exciting  for  us  as  we  continue  preparations  for  our  first  season.  It  has  been  a  very  busy  time  since  our  entry  was  confirmed  by  the  FIA.

We  had  been  working  on  the  entry  for  several months so we already had aspects of the team infrastructure in place; the finances, the factory and the top  management.  Once  our  entry  was  confirmed  in  mid?September,  we  were  able  to accelerate  our  recruitment and car development process and this is really where we are at now.

While other teams have started development on their 2010 cars, Lotus is the first to release any pictures. We will have to wait until next year to see the final paint job (and I know it’s not really the same team) but I hope they go with the old black and gold livery of the John Player Special years.

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Wheel covers to be banned in 2010

October 9th, 2009 No comments

David Coulthard's brakes glow red, China, 2008Along with KERS, it seems the teams have agreed to ban wheel covers for 2010.

This is a good thing!

Extended rim shields first started to be used on the rear wheels in 2006 and were designed to increase brake cooling and reduce turbulence.

In 2007 Ferrari added covers to the front wheels of their F2007. These front rims or ‘spinners’ were different from the rear rims in that they were designed to direct airflow underneath the car to the diffuser and so increase downforce.

Williams’s technical director, Sam Michael, has said that the wheel covers can have “quite an adverse effect on the following car” and this is no doubt the reason behind the ban.

Personally, I think there is an even better reason for banning them. They look awful.

Wheel covers look bad on road cars and they look even worse on racing cars. At least Ferrari painted theirs to look like the wheels they were covering. Those fluorescent yellow things on the Brawn cars make me want to claw out my eyes.

Image: Red Bull

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