Monday, January 31, 2011

Coming soon... The RB7


Everything set for the F150’s track debut

Cheste, 31 January – In just a few hours time, the lights will go green to officially get the 2011 season underway. 10 o’clock tomorrow morning sees the start of the first of four test sessions, this one at the “Ricardo Tormo” circuit, at Cheste, on the outskirts of Valencia, prior to the opening round of the Formula 1 World Championship, the Bahrain Grand Prix.

All the teams are here in Cheste, however not all of them have their new car ready. Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro was first to lift the veil on its latest creation, running the F150, which has already tasted track action with a few dozen kilometres at Fiorano, in a session aimed at acquiring film footage for promotional use. The car which will be entrusted to Fernando Alonso tomorrow and Wednesday will be in the same configuration seen last Friday in Maranello at the launch presentation.

The work schedule for this first session will focus mainly on the overall reliability of the F150 and on increasing understanding of the new Pirelli tyres. There was some rain today, but the weather is due to improve over the next few days.

Schumacher plays down simulator sickness struggles

Michael Schumacher says that he is not the only driver on the grid to suffer from motion sickness as a result of driving Formula One simulators.

Reports last week linked Schumacher's struggles in keeping pace with Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg last year to his limited time in the team's Brackley simulator before the start of the season.

But the seven-time world champion played down the connection between his motion sickness and his disappointing return to the sport.

"I think almost all the drivers that I know have had it [motion sickness]," Schumacher told Telegraph Sport. "When we had our first simulator at Ferrari I had exactly this feeling already so it's nothing to do with age. People get used to it by going through certain processes."

Although the majority of teams use simulators to help drivers to get to grips with new circuits, Schumacher also cast doubts about the usefulness of the technology.

"As far as I understand there are some other top teams that have a simulator but make very little use of it. For us drivers the main benefit of them would be to get used to a track. But for me personally that has never been an issue. I don't see the big advantage of them."

Source: ESPNF1

Videos: Sauber C30 launch - Shakedown in Valencia

Source: NextgenAuto

Photos: Lotus Renault GP R31 launch 2011

Lotus Renault GP R31 launch Today!


Lotus Renault GP unveils its 2011 challenger

The world’s media got their first glimpse of Lotus Renault GP’s 2011 challenger this afternoon as the R31 was presented in the pit lane of the Circuit de la Comunitat Valenciana Ricardo Tormo.

Robert and Vitaly joined Gerard Lopez (Chairman of LRGP) and Eric Boullier (Team Principal and Managing Director) to pull back the covers and present the car the team hopes will continue the squad’s push towards the front of the grid.

“For Genii Capital and Lotus Renault GP, the 2011 season will be the one in which we achieve our aims,” said Gerard Lopez. “We now have 100% ownership of the team, and we’re tackling the coming championship with the intention of continuing to do things our way – but always with humility. I would like to welcome Lotus Cars, a new ambitious title sponsor with us for the long term. Renault and Total have also chosen to accompany us again in this adventure and we thank them for their valuable contribution. Our aim for 2011 is to continue our march towards the front of the grid, seize the slightest opportunity and do better than last season in both the drivers’ and constructors’ championships. We feel we are well prepared for the challenge ahead.”
Eric Boullier echoed those sentiments and paid tribute to the enormous effort back at the team’s base in Enstone: “All the hard work over the winter has been focused on delivering a big improvement for 2011. The result is a car with more than 92% new parts compared to the R30. But technical innovation isn’t the only key to performance. Since last year, we have reviewed all our internal processes and our overall efficiency has now improved by 15%. That means we should be more competitive than last year, on the track and at the factory.”

Technical Director, James Allison, explained how the team approached the design of the R31: “Words like ‘aggressive’ and ‘innovative’ are very much in vogue in Formula 1 at the moment, but where the R31 is concerned we feel those adjectives are appropriate. It’s true to say that the car has been designed in an ambitious manner and a quick glance at the layout will confirm that its entire concept differs considerably, not just from last year’s car, but from any car this team has ever produced.”

Both Robert and Vitaly were enthusiastic as they got acquainted with their new car and eager for the season to get underway.

“After a long winter break you always feel ready to jump back in the car,” explained Robert. “At the moment it’s difficult to know just how competitive our package will be, but the engineers have decided to go for an innovative design, which is good.”

Vitaly added: “It feels exciting to be starting my second year of Formula 1 and I can’t wait to try this beautiful car for the first time tomorrow. Now that I have a year of F1 experience behind me, I feel more confident and ready to deliver. I’m determined to do well and fight hard for this team.”

The team’s new third drivers were presented as well, with Bruno Senna and Romain Grosjean adding further strength to the team’s driver line-up. The team’s reserve drivers (and members of the LRGP Academy) were confirmed as Jan Charouz, Ho-Pin Tung and Fairuz Fauzy (who was unable to attend the launch due to his GP2 Series commitments).

The team also welcomes two important new partners in SunCore and Sibur, while Genii Capital promotes its Business Exchange platform through more significant branding on the car.

Source: Nextgen

Video: Sauber C30 launch - Highlights

Source: Nextgen

Photos: Sauber C30 launch 2011

Sauber C30 launch 2011 today!


Kobayashi and Pérez unveil the Sauber C30-Ferrari

Today, the day before the start of the official Formula One testing, the Sauber F1 Team presented the Sauber C30-Ferrari at the Circuit Ricardo Tormo in Cheste near Valencia, Spain.

Two thousand and eleven sees the Sauber F1 Team embark on its 19th Formula One season. Leaving behind the upheavals of 2010 that followed the metamorphosis from a works to a private team, the aim is to present itself in 2011 with renewed stability.

Team Principal Peter Sauber outlines the targets: “We want to finish in the points regularly and clearly improve our position in the FIA Formula One Constructors’ World Championship.” He goes on to elaborate: “Two thousand and ten marked the 41st year of our company history and one of the most difficult. But we managed to overcome these difficulties in the second half of the season. We implemented some well-considered structural changes. The appointment of James Key as Technical Director already bore fruit last season, and he is now in charge of development of the Sauber C30-Ferrari. At the same time, we have managed to secure our business foundation for the 2011 season. In these economically straitened times that is something we can be proud of too.”

Young drivers

As for the drivers, the team looks forward with keen anticipation to continuing to work with Kamui Kobayashi, and with eager curiosity to Sergio Pérez. The Japanese driver, who turns 25 in September 2011, is embarking on his second full Formula One season. In 2010 he drew attention to himself with his high speed on track, stunning overtaking manoeuvres and reliable implementation of race strategies. He made very few mistakes and earned 32 of the team’s 44 World Championship points. “My rookie season is now behind me,” says Kobayashi. “I learned a lot, gained a lot of self-confidence, and my target for 2011 is not to make any mistakes.”

The team’s new rookie is Sergio Pérez. He hails from Mexico and celebrated his 21st birthday in January 2011. He took his first Formula One test with Sauber in Abu Dhabi in November 2010, having finished as runner-up in the GP2 Championship. “I’m aware how challenging Formula One is from both a driver’s point of view and technically,” says Pérez. “I’ve got a lot to learn, and in Kamui I have an excellent yardstick. My personal goal is to make steady progress. The support I’m getting back in my home country is huge, and I don’t want to disappoint anyone over there either.”

Pérez isn’t the only Mexican in the Sauber F1 Team: Esteban Gutièrrez is standing by as test and reserve driver. Born in August 1991, he is a good one-and-a-half years younger
than his compatriot. Sauber had already taken Gutièrrez under its wing in 2010 as an affiliated driver. The youngest member of the team swept up a commanding GP3 Championship win last year and will be competing in GP2 in 2011. “I’ve still got a long way to go,” Gutièrrez is only too aware, “but ever since the two days of testing with Sauber, at the end of 2009 and the end of 2010, Formula One has been my goal.”

New car

The aim is for the Sauber C30-Ferrari not just to prove more reliable than its predecessor; there were a number of other weaknesses to be banished as well. One of the overriding targets is to improve aerodynamic efficiency, low-speed cornering, mechanical grip and to gain more flexibility in suspension tuning.

The new technical regulations certainly presented the engineers with a tricky assignment, since the ban on double diffusers fundamentally alters the car’s aerodynamic concept. Another tough challenge was the switch to Pirelli tyres, which meant the engineers had to make decisions during the concept phase before the teams had a chance to test the tyres out on track. Further changes stipulate a ban on the F-duct and the adjustable front wing. Instead, the
rear wing may now be adjusted by the driver, and the KERS (Kinetic Energy Recovery System) is once again available to run.

The striking visual features of the Sauber C30 are a raised front, slender waist, compact rear, new rollhoop and downward-sloping engine cover. Propelling the car as before is the Ferrari 056 engine, while power delivery is courtesy of a new Ferrari transmission. The KERS also comes from the Maranello factory.

Technical Director, James Key, summarises: “In order to take a step forward in 2011, we were already systematically tackling the C29’s weaknesses over the last season – and we’ve made progress. The insights we gleaned were taken into account when the concept for the new C30 was being drawn up. Since some of the changes decreed by the regulations – particularly regarding the tyres – can only be analysed out on track, it was important for us to build, firstly, a fundamentally predictable car and, secondly, one that would provide sufficient flexibility to respond to ongoing findings at the track and during further development stages.”

One thing is clear: the status of the car at the rollout in Valencia on 31st January 2011 is only the start. As part of the development programme, the team will be fitting the C30 with a new aerodynamic package before the curtain raiser in Bahrain.

New partner

New on the car are the logos of Telmex, Claro and Telcel – all three brands belong to America Movil, the Central and Latin American telecommunication group. Interproteccion is an insurance group from Mexico. Also a new partner from Mexico is the Tequila brand Jose Cuervo. Familiar, as they have appeared on the team’s cars for a long time, are the Swiss names of sport watch manufacturer Certina and automotive group Emil Frey AG. Also known from last season is the logo of Mad-Croc (Energy Gum, Chews and Drinks).

Source: Nextgen

Williams and Ferrari used Toyota wind tunnels

Two teams have recently utilised the facilities of the departed formula one team Toyota, it has emerged.

The German-language Speed Week said Cologne based Toyota Motorsport GmbH, whose impressive facility including two wind tunnels is available for external parties to hire, has counted Williams and Toyota among its latest clients.

The report said Ferrari has confirmed that some of the development of Ferrari’s new F150 car was done after booking time in the Toyota tunnels.

Technical director Aldo Costa has reportedly confirmed that Ferrari turned to Toyota due to the cost-cutting limitations placed on staff and wind tunnel time.

Williams, meanwhile, has two wind tunnels of its own at its Grove headquarters, but Speed Week said the British team "has developed parts for its new car at Toyota".

The report said as many as six other teams will also use the Toyota facilities.

Source: Motorsport

Photos: Team Lotus T128 launch 2011

Team Lotus T128 launch today!


Team Lotus unveils 2011 car

Team Lotus on Monday revealed its 2011 car.

In an edition of its online magazine Team Lotus Notes, the team published the first photographs of the new green and gold T128 featuring a Mercedes-style unconventional airbox shape.

The new livery features more yellow and prominent Renault signage, reflecting its new engine partnership with the French marque.

The car itself, with a rear end supplied by Red Bull, has a high and straight nose similar to the other designs seen so far including the Ferrari and Mercedes.

The special launch edition of the team’s magazine has a number of first-see images of the 2011 car and insights from key players within Team Lotus into the design and build process of the new car, including people from the Aero, R&D and Vehicle Dynamics, Design and Senior Management Teams.

Here are a few selected highlights, but click on this link to the launch edition on the homepage of for the whole story.

Marianne Hinson, Head of Aerodynamics: "In aero we started thinking about the new car around Spring last year, a bit before any of the other departments. The start of the process is a really fun period, when you’re looking through the new rules, thrashing out ideas and trying to find loopholes."

Lewis Butler, Chief Designer: "The biggest design challenge was trying to package everything a bit smaller. We were trying to get that area around the driver really tight so the aerodynamicists were happy with it."

Elliot Dason-Barber, Head of R&D and Vehicle Dynamics: "We’re definitely going to take a step forward with this car. Quite how much we’ll close the gap to the teams in front of us we’ll see, but my hope is we’ll be competing with the teams that were a second or two ahead of us last season."

Keith Saunt, Chief Operating Officer: "You can just see that this car will be faster than last year’s. It’s got the right sweeps and curves on it - it’s the very latest iteration of what an F1 car should be."

Mike Gascoyne, Chief Technical Officer: "I think that basically this car looks like a front-running car in every area. We said very clearly that we want to start challenging the established teams and I think that’s very achievable."

Riad Asmat, Chief Executive Officer: "T128 takes Team Lotus in exactly the right direction. We have said since day one of the Team Lotus dream that the plan for our second year was to take the fight to the midfield, and with this car we are all confident that is what we will be able to do."

Team Principal Tony Fernandes: "There has been so much focus off-track it’s a thrill to be able to get back to talking about racing. The launch of the T128 is a big step forward for Team Lotus and I want to thank the whole team for the amount of hard work that has already gone into the car, and I want to thank Renault and Red Bull Technology for their tremendous support in helping us make this step forward and for being such great team partners."

Source: Nextgen

Kimi Räikkönen to drive in Coffs Coast World Rally event

The Australian leg of the World Rally championship on the Coffs Coast this year has attracted some high profile motor sport stars

Finland's former Formula One champion Kimi Räikkönen will be driving for team Citroën.

Räikkönen switched from Formula One to World Rally in 2010.

His teammate Petter Solberg will also drive in the September World Rally event on the mid north coast.

Räikkönen, the 2007 Formula 1 World Champion known as "The Iceman", and 2003 World Rally champion Solberg, nicknamed "Hollywood", both will drive works-built Citroën

DS3 WRC rally cars, according to team management.
They promise to bring massive fan and media attention to the 8-11 September event, which will be round 10 of the 2011 World Rally Championship.

Rally Australia General Manager Michael Masi said it was wonderful news that Räikkönen and Solberg would compete in Australia.

"These two drivers are both World Champions and motorsport mega-stars.

"To see them driving their million-dollar rally cars on the roads of the Coffs Coast will be a huge attraction," he said.

Räikkönen won the 2007 Formula 1 World Championship, including the Australian Grand Prix, for the Ferrari team before putting his hard-earned reputation on the line in a switch to the WRC in 2010.

Courtesy: luieluv

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Mercedes GP MGP W02 - Interview with Schumacher, Rosberg & Brawn

S0urce: NextgenAuto

Senna film wins prestigious US award

The documentary film of the life of Ayrton Senna has won the World Cinema Audience Award for Documentary Film at the prestigious Sundance Film Festival.

The film, which was released in Japan and Brazil last year, will be released across the rest of the world in 2011. In the UK the release is being timed to coincide with the British Grand Prix in July.

The reaction in the USA has been favourable. "Technical and musical aspects are first-rate," said the Hollywood Reporter. "A fine documentary about one of auto racing's greats will please fans and make some new ones."

The LA Times was even more enthusiastic. "Sometimes a documentary will unexpectedly reach out and grab you by the throat, not giving you a second to breathe. That's that way it was with Senna."

Source: ESPNF1

Newspaper reveals photo of 2011 Mercedes

Two days ahead of the rest of the world, a German newspaper has revealed the first photo of Mercedes’ formula one car for 2011.

Bild am Sonntag published a photo showing the W02 with a very high and wide nose, a shinier silver livery and a reversion to a more conventional airbox.

The car will only be officially launched on Tuesday morning before it is tested for the first time as pre-season testing kicks off at Valencia.

"It has a shiny new silver paint, which really illumates the beautiful shapes," said the German marque’s motor sport vice-president Norbert Haug.

He said the goal is to race with the front-runners this season, and team boss Ross Brawn revealed that designers have been aggressive with the W02.

"Last year I had to turn down some of the engineers’ interesting suggestions. Now it’s different. We are much better organised," said the Briton.

Added Michael Schumacher: "The guys have done a very good job, I am very satisfied.

"We decided to start work on the car very early last season. We knew quite quickly what was wrong with the 2010 car and have improved significantly in all of those areas."

And Brawn said of of the W02’s proudest boasts is its KERS system.

"It is very light, very compact, and will affect the balance hardly at all. It is a big step," he revealed.

Source: Nextgen

Vettel hints at Red Bull stay for ’next few years’

Sebastian Vettel on Sunday appeared to agree that rumours of a Ferrari switch some time soon can be put to rest.

Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo said earlier that there was "nothing" to the speculation that new world champion Vettel could be Maranello’s next driver.

At a sponsor event in Austria, the 23-year-old indicated he is happy at Red Bull, where if he finishes in the top three in 2011, he is contractually bound also for next year.

"I feel very good, both contractually as well as in my mind for the next few years," he is quoted by the German news agency SID.

"At the moment there is not much to discuss, but I’m still young," added Vettel when addressing his immediate future in F1.

Source: Nextgen