The governing body FIA over Formula 1 released that the sport will be introducing the much debated and anticipated new cockpit technology which will improve driver head protection. The Halo design has been circulating for quite some time now with two prominent designs making headlines. First was the halo which partially encloses the top of the cockpit to provide drivers with added head protection from the open cockpit should they be involved in an accident. The second design is a visor design which enclosed the front of the cockpit much like a motorcycle windshield.
FIA has decided that the 2018 season will be the official introduction of the halo which will provide ample time for manufacturers to plan, design and implement the new safety feature. The design has not yet been chosen and FIA states that they are still open to design concepts. Ultimately, the decision will be made based on which design provides the best balance between design and driver protection with safety taking precedence.
The FIA has not yet made a decision on which cockpit device to incorporate into it’s 2017 rules. The purpose of the cockpit device is to help protect the driver’s head in the case of flying debris or an accident. So far two designs have been the front runners, Red Bull’s Aeroscreen, and Ferrari’s Halo.
According to Bernie Ecclestone he has stated that he does not like Red Bull’s Aeroscreen design, but he doesn’t have the final say. The FIA will make a decision on which design is used moving forward by July 1. Ecclestone has made lots of remarks about the desire of FIA wanting to improve cockpit safety. Specifically, he’s said “I don’t like any of them, the sport should do nothing with regard to cockpit protection.”
What do you get when you mix racing with a Russian Billionaire? Well the purchase of a German race track of course. Viktor Kharitonin, a Russian business man, already owned a large stake in the historic Nurburgring race track, but recently he forked out some more cash and now has 99% ownership.
Kharitonin began acquiring stakes in the Nurburgring starting in 2014, purchasing large quantities of shares from a then failing German autoparts company Capricorn Group. The majority owner will likely bring about some changes. One of which is talks with a fellow billionaire Bernie Ecclestone on bringing Formula 1 back to the ring. The Nurburgring has played host to Formula 1 in the past, and has been a mainstay in motorsport history. It is only right for the sport to come back and entertain fans at undoubtedly one of the best courses in the world.
You’ll be hard pressed to find a Canadian car maker with a more dedicated and loyal following than Honda. I don’t say that because the Civic has been the best selling passenger car in Canada for 5 years running. I say it because the Civic hasn’t been the best car in the segment for all of those 5 years, but people kept on buying them.
Prior to the global recession of 2007, Honda could boast a reputation of performance with cars like the NSX, Integra Type R and S2000. Unfortunately, once money became tight the name of game became selling as many cars as possible, and that meant putting performance and fun on the back-burner. Honda stopped making the S2000, pulled out of Formula 1 and began an era of cheap and boring vehicles for the everyman. They rode the 8th generation Civic for as long as they could before releasing arguably the worst Civic ever in the 2012 North American model. It felt cheap, it looked old and it handled worse than anything else in the class. The 2012 was so poorly received that they did a refresh the very next year. How often does that happen? During this downturn of fun (frownturn, if you will) they did their best to ride the NSXbuzz trying to convince people they still knew how to go fast. Sorry guys, but droning on about a prototype for 5 years doesn’t fool anybody.
Well lucky for the Honda fanboy, and the enthusiast in general, the company has clearly had a change of heart and decided that fun is back on the menu. The new NSX was finally unveiled in production trim and it looks stunning, but looks aren’t what we care about right now. The performance they’re claiming is on par with current exotics, and that’s right where it needed to be. Its hybrid powertrain, with electric motors individually powering the front wheels, is similar to the million dollar Porsche 918, though Honda’s version only makes about 550 horsepower. Speaking of hybrids, Honda also entered the new era of Formula 1 with some of the most complex energy recovery systems in the world. The results aren’t coming to them yet, but just the fact that they’re competing again is evidence that their attitude has changed for the better. It’s more than a step in the right direction, it’s leaps and bounds.
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.
The drama in China unfolded on Saturday during qualifying, where Lewis Hamilton ran a perfect lap to grab pole from Kimi Raikkonen. Jenson Button, Sebatian Vettel, and Nico Hulkenberg both did not set a lap, which allowed them to start the race on the Medium tires, while the top cars were forced to start on the Soft tires that they qualified on. As the race progressed, this turns out to be a key strategic decision that helped the Red Bull, Sauber, and McLaren drivers through the race.
The track for the 2012 Race of Champions is all paved and ready to go at Bangkok’s Rajamangala Stadium. If you’re not familiar with the RoC, you’ll want to check out their website but the basic premise is to bring together the greatest drivers from around the world–from Formula 1, rally, touring car, Le Mans, MotoGP, IndyCar and X-Games–and then pit them against each other on the same track and in the same car.
The weekend will begin on Friday with the RoC Thailand and RoC Asia events followed by the RoC Nations Cup on Saturday and then what we all look forward to, the individual Race of Champions on Sunday. This year organizers are putting on the inaugural “RoC Rocks” festival right next door to the Rajamangala Stadium featuring stands from their partners including Red Bull, Singha, Toyota and Yamaha.
Starting in 2013, Rolex will become the Official Timekeeper and Official Timepiece of F1 in a new multi-year marketing deal with Formula One Group. There were rumors that Hublot was not going to renew for 2013, as they tighten up their marketing focus by signing on with Ferrari as the official watchmaking partner in November of last year. LG has also dropped out as Formula 1′s technology partner.
This new sponsorship by Rolex will allow them to focus their marketing efforts on a global sports brand. “The brand’s prestige, the excellence of its watches as well as Rolex’s passionate and long-standing commitment to motor sports gives it true credibility”, said Bernie Ecclestone, CEO of the Formula One group. “This partnership is something that many people interested in Formula One will have been waiting for and should rightly be excited about. Rolex has incredible sporting heritage and therefore Formula One is the right place for Rolex to be.”
For Rolex, the partnership will allow the company to display the time around each F1 circuit. The Rolex logo will be positioned around the tracks at several corners during F1 races. Rolex will continue to increase their presence in Formula 1 over the next few seasons.
The last race of the 2012 Formula 1 season promises to be a nail biter. With the promise of rain, there are multiple stories to make this one of the most intense races of the 2012 season. The top battle is for the driver’s championship between Alonso and Vettel. Next, we have the Ferrari vs McLaren battle for 2nd place in the Constructors championship. Finally, Hamilton’s delivered a stunning pole lap in his last race with McLaren in hopes of giving the team that gave him a chance in F1 the perfect parting gift of a win.
When you think of go-karting games only one name comes to most people, Mario Kart. Since 1992 Mario Kart has gone relatively unchallenged as the standard kart racing game, packed with wacky characters, hilarious items and over-the-top tracks. This month a new challenger appeared with Codemasters releasing F1 Race Stars. Combining the fun-filled arcade karting genre with their exclusive Formula 1 license, Codemasters has released a game that people of all ages and levels of racing experience can enjoy.