Posts Tagged ‘f1’

McLaren F1 Kept Alive with a Laptop from the 90’s

mclaren f1

The McLaren F1 is undisputedly the most iconic high performance supercar of the 90’s. It was the car that was on the posters hung up on the walls of teenage motorheads. Funny enough that the same supercar is now being kept alive by a 20 year old computer that is less sophisticated than the iPhone you have in your pocket.

It was recently disclosed that the McLaren needs to be hooked up to an obsolete Compaq LTE 5280 laptop which contains a custom car in the computer which interfaces with the F1 to run all the engine diagnostics for maintenance. The problem is that particular laptop is no longer manufactured and the interface card is no longer available which creates quite the maintenance nightmare.

McLaren realizes that this is clearly a problem and they are working on updating the F1 so it can interface with modern day computers.


Pristine McLaren F1 for Sale

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McLaren Special Operations Heritage Division is selling McLaren F1 number 69, one of the last production cars back in 1998, and it has only covered 2,800 miles. Chassis number 69 is the 60th McLaren to be built by McLaren and the car was ordered with a specific look in mind.

With the design of the McLaren F1 striking at every heartstring of a car enthusiast, number 69 pushes the visual boundaries one further by being an all Carbon Black car with matching black magnesium 17 inch wheels. The interior has also been wrapped in black leather throughout with red accents.

Number 69 will come with it’s factory bespoke luggage, specially designed titanium toolkit and box, and a numbered Tag Heuer watch which every McLaren owner received one when they took delivery of their F1.

This car is truly a one of a kind in every way imaginable. And being for sale, it’s just waiting for the next lucky person to call it theirs.


Takuma Sato Thinks IndyCar More Exciting than F1

Takuma+Sato

Takuma Sato, former Formula One driver for the Jordan and Super Aguri teams, says that IndyCar is more exciting for drivers and challenging for engineers that Formula One is today. One can’t argue that the close racing, whether on an oval or on a road course, and aggressive overtaking seen in the IndyCar series makes for great entertainment and adrenalin rush for both drivers and fans.

According to Sato, “I do not see F1 as attractive as before, but I understand that today the economic situation and the sophisticated technology have changed things. The fans don’t like them, but I’m not totally against it because F1 is always a technological challenge that I love.” He goes on to say that IndyCar is a more exciting series because the cars are all so similar. This makes for closer racing, but also creates more challenges for engineers as the rule of the game is different than Formula One.

Sato says “What is certain is that F1 is fast on the straights, but the cornering forces are lower than in IndyCar, and this is multiplied on the ovals. We are at 6G now, and I’ve never seen that in F1. There, you take a bend but in two seconds it’s over; but on an oval it never seems to end.”

But at the end of the day, Sato still loves F1. They just need to find their way again.


Jacques Villeneuve Concerned with Formula One’s Direction

Jacques-Villeneuve

Jacques Villeneuve, 1997 Formula One World Champion, is the latest person to voice their opinion about the direction the top tier motorsport is taking and the outlook of the sports future if it continues down this road. According to Villeneuve, the sport has been on a steady decline over the last decade as continuous rule changes have been made to the sport which have more of a Hollywood show factor than for the excitement of the motorsport itself.

Villeneuve said, “It’s going the wrong way with trying to add more show. We are trying to be the X-Games, appealing to teenagers who spend their lives doing something different every 10 minutes on the Internet. But Formula One will never be a show like that with exploding cars and drifting and 10,000 overtakes. F1 is not artificial Hollywood and going in that direction will destroy it.”

“What is needed is to restore F1’s former glory and prestige and, above all, its credibility.”


Redbull’s Canopy Concept Revealed

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We have seen design images as well as a production version make its way onto a F1 car for recent testing. Ferrari’s halo concept is nothing near what I would describe as visually appealing but it does offer some added safety for additional driver head protection. Red Bull has put their design in the hat for FIA to review as well.

What Red Bell proposes is still an open cockpit design, but the halo is replaced with something that’s more of an acrylic canopy resembling a larger windscreen. Visually, this design lends much better to the lines of an F1 car while still adding the improved head protection the design was meant for. Drivers have complained about visibility with the Ferrari halo design, but Red Bull’s design seems to offer much better visibility based on design images.

Ultimately, the FIA will have to decide which design to go with and adopt the designs into manufacture requirements. So far, Ferrari’s design has received the most traction.


Chrysler Pacifica Hellcat

Pacifica-Hellcat

We like that Ralph Gilles, the Global Head of Design at Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, is a dreamer. The more he dreams and the more he sketches the more consumers get rewarded with some of the most amazing vehicles to scorch the tarmac. Recently, a crayon sketch of a Chrysler Pacifica on steroids created a storm on the internet. With all the recent talk about the release of a Cherokee Hellcat, one could only be led to think that this sketch is the initial imagining of a Pacifica Hellcat.

Oh my and what a car that would be to go get some groceries in, or to lug the kids around to soccer practice! To be honest, the likelihood of a Pacifica Hellcat being produced is slim to none. First, engineers would have to figure out how to stuff a 6.2L V8 Hemi into the engine bay. If they can get that done, they’ll have to contend with getting the eight speed automatic transmission in there to send all 707hp and 650lb/ft of torque to the rear wheels. Just a reminder, the Chrysler Pacifica is designed to be a front engine front wheel drive car, with an optional all wheel drive configuration. Thinking about the driveline reminds me of Renault’s attempt at a supercar minivan called the Espace F1 from the mid-90’s. And as predicted, Renault’s monster minivan was also purely a concept and never slated for production.

Regardless if a Pacifica Hellcat is to ever be produced, it’s dreamers like Gilles who continue to keep the automotive industry pushing forward to new limits and keeps the enthusiasts and car lovers dreams alive.


Celebrating a Legacy: McLaren F1

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The McLaren F1 is like the Jennifer Aniston of cars in that she’s looking better and better with age. But that’s about as far as the comparison goes. The F1 has been with us for 24 years one doesn’t have to argue too hard to say that esthetically it holds its own against today’s hypercars. The F1’s beauty is defined beyond what’s on the outside. Look deeper and you’ll see one of the only production cars with a center seating position, a cabin filled with titanium and carbon fibre goodies, and a gold lined engine bay that encases a BMW 6.1L V12.

To celebrate the legacy that is the McLaren F1, and its creator Gordon Murray, a display of some ultra rare F1s will be presented at the London Classic Car Show between February 18-21. The exhibit will include a pair of standard road cars, two GTR race cars, and the unicorn of them all a long tail F1 GT road car. Unique artifacts will also be showcased such as JJ Lehto’s race suit that he wore during the 1995 Le Mans 24hr which he won piloting an F1. Rare technical drawings will also be on display to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Le Mans win.

Event director Bas Bungish said “All those involved in what’s clearly going to be a very special homage to the F1 believe it will be by far the best, and most complete, insight ever put together for the public.”


McLaren F1 GT Experimental Prototype #056 in New York

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One of three. Seeing a McLaren F1 in person is rare enough, but to see the most rare of all, the McLaren F1 XPGT (Experimental Prototype GT) definitely tops some sort of list. McLaren had brought this F1 out at the Geneva Auto Show to showcase the new McLaren 675LT “Longtail”, as this was the prototype Longtail that McLaren needed to build for homologating the F1 GTR race car. McLaren didn’t even need to build any more F1 GT’s, but they built 2 more to satisfy their wealthy clientele, hence, one of three.

The XPGT, owned by McLaren, rarely leaves the factory. It rarely leaves Europe, so seeing it displayed at the New York Auto Show in Manhattan was just something else. It was only out in the open for a single non public day, so unfortunately, the chance to see her is gone.

You can read more on the history and story of the XPGT #056 over at the McLaren website. We were able to get some close up shots of her, check it out after the jump.

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Remembering Ayrton Senna

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20 years ago, racing history was made. Not all history is good, for Ayrton Senna, one of the most revered names in Formula One, died doing what he does best. Leading on lap 7, Senna’s Williams left the track at Tamburello, ran straight into a wall, and perished in front of live viewers. Ask me where I was 20 years ago, and I simply have to point out the window at my office, where I could see my apartment where I lived across the street, and you would see me chain smoking on the balcony, flipping every TV channel hoping to see news that the racing hero I’ve followed since as far I can remember, has come out of the accident alive. Sadly, that wasn’t the case.

Senna was legendary in the world of Formula One even before his death. His natural talent, work ethic, and inhuman focus changed the way Formula One drivers approached the sport. His dedication to fitness, telemetry analysis, and ruthlessness on the track is common place today, but in his era of racing, it was an exception rather than the norm. It was this dedication that allowed him to rise above his peers, even when racing against greats such as Nigel Mansell, Nelson Piquet, a young Michael Schumacher, and his racing nemesis, Alain Prost. Even though it was 2 decades ago that Senna died, he is still remembered to this date as if he was still alive by several generations of F1 fans.


Formula 1: Vettel Takes Bahrain Again


The 2013 Bahrain Grand Prix is the 2nd back to back race of the year. An interesting race, which was cancelled due to anti-government protests in 2011, the race has been won 3 times by Fernando Alonso, once by Sebatian Vettel, and once by Jenson Button. The track temps are always hot, being in the desert, and there is no chance for rain, and a very low chance for a safety car. Being in the desert, the track is dusty, and conditions improve significantly as the race progresses.

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