Relive the Australian Grand Prix on Twitter

Here are some selected tweets from the live reporting on Twitter:

Read all the tweets here.


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Michael Schumacher in coma after ski accident

Formula One racer Michael Schumacher was hospitalized after suffering “severe head trauma” in a skiing accident.





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Developing story on BBC here.

Mercedes statement on Michael Schumacher.

Steve Mason on Formula One

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In an interview with Q Magazine discussing his new album, Steve Mason also talked about Formula One:

As it’s about your life you sneaked some Formula 1 in there too, sampling some vintage Prost/Senna commentary on one of the interludes. I’ve always been surprised you’re such a fan, it’s a real rich man’s sport…

“That was my nod to the destruction of sport by capitalism. For me the death of Senna was the ushering in of the Schumacher era. I’m not saying there wasn’t money or sponsorship before that, but there was a change in the way things were carried out after that. Now drivers are essentially muzzled by sponsors. The sponsors tape their interviews to make sure they say the right thing, that’s an oppressive regime to work under and the outcome of that is you have incredibly uninspiring sporting people. It’s ruined football too. Formula 1 drivers used to be heroes, now it’s just this sanitised parade. It’s still exciting and I still love it but something is missing.”

[Source]

Felipe Massa pays tribute to his father with helmet livery

Felipe Massa: “Ever since I was little my father has always been a hero to me and if I’m here now, it’s down to him. Even though he only raced for fun, he gave me my passion for motor sport, as I always wanted to copy him. I am sure that he will be very pleased to see his colours back on track at a race which means a lot to me and my family.”

[via Im a die hard F1 Fan]

Preview of 2012 Formula 1 Brazilian Grand Prix Autódromo José Carlos Pace

The 2012 Formula One World Championship grand finale between Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso.

Interlagos circuit

The final battle in this season has come to South America in Brazil. It is just a blink of an eye since the first race of this season in Australia. Unlike in 2011, the world champion deciding race has moved to Brazil where Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso are battling for it with Sebastian Vettel having a 13 point lead against Fernando Alonso. Meanwhile, Ferrari and McLaren are also fighting for the second place in the constructors standings with Ferrari having a 14 point lead against McLaren. Brazil has been producing one of the most exciting races due to the high altitude circuit and tricky weather. And this year, with the unpredictable 2012 Pirelli tyres, Red Bull Racing multiple alternator failures, McLaren reliability and pit stop issues as well as Ferrari’s underpeforming car  and inaccurate wind tunnel, the world champion deciding race here in Brazil will be the most memorable and spectacular ever.

The circuit is situated on high altitude terrains, about 800 metres above sea level and the thin atmosphere will cause the engine to lose about 8% of the maximum power output. The big elevation changes throughout the circuit makes it very tricky to find the perfect aerodynamic set up for the cars. Generally, the cars will have a medium-low downforce set up for the weekend. The track is very technical particularly in Sector 2 where there are a lot of medium speed corners with elevation changes. Turn 14, the slowest corner on the track, is the most challenging one as the cars are heading uphill, it is easier to lose the rear wheels and get into a wheelspin. Pirelli will be bringing their P Zero Silver hard and White medium tyres to Brazil. The tyre wear of the circuit is quite low so a two stop strategy is expected for the race in the given combination.

Rain is predicted to fall on the race day and this will add a little spice to the already exciting battle between the title contender. Fernando Alonso, hailed as one of the masters of rain, may have an advantage over the younger Sebastian Vettel if it did turned out to be a wet race. There are also some other memorable events in Brazil such as Michael Schumacher’s second retirement and Lewis Hamilton’s last race in McLaren. After all, it will mark the conclusion for 2012.

Lap Record : 1:11.473 – Juan Pablo Montoya (2004)

interlagos circuit diagram

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Preview of 2012 Formula One United States Grand Prix Circuit of The Americas

The inaugural United States Grand Prix in the 202nd decade.

Circuit of the americas

The 19th 2012 Formula One Championship has come to a brand new racing circuit, Circuit of the Americas, in Austin, Texas. It can be said as the first United States Grand Prix in the 202nd decade, the last US Grand Prix is held in 2007 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The circuit has only been lapped by Lotus reserve driver, Jerome d’Ambrosio. All engineers and drivers have no experience on this circuit except some simulations so everybody have a tight schedule of 3 practice sessions to do all the required practising and testing to get an optimum set-up for the race.

Based on initial impressions, Circuit of The Americas is a combination of both the elevation changes of Spa Francorchamps and the high speed corners of Silverstone. Turn 1 will be the signature corner at the start of the race. The track is going uphill upon entry and the drivers cannot see the blind apex when braking for it. The track also goes downhill at the exit, the fact that the drivers cannot see the entry and exit makes throttle control a main priority. Turn 3 to Turn 6 are like Becketts at Silverstone, very quick corners but once the driver goes off the track during the race, he will need to wait before joining back safely. Turn 12, the end of the DRS long straight is the obvious overtaking point of the circuit. Starting from Turn 12 to Turn 15 is a series of technical corners with Turn 15 the slowest. Turn 15 is actually made up of 1 main corner and 1 “mini” corner before the main one, the driver has to ignore the first “mini” corner and go as wide as possible before attacking the main Turn 15 to clear the corner as fast as possible. It should be the slowest corner in the circuit. Turn 16 is a multi-apex corner like a slower version of the Spoon in Suzuka. Turn 20 should be another possible overtaking point before going down the main straight in full throttle.

Circuit of The Americas is highly praised among the F1 drivers due to the technical corners and elevation changes. Jenson Button reckons it is better to qualify second for the race as the driver can use the first car as a reference point to negotiate the technical Turn 1. The circuit has been rumoured to be another Red Bull track  but we will see which team can get the most out of their set-ups. The most guessed winner of 2012 United States Grand Prix is still the main 4 drivers: Sebastian Vettel, Lewis Hamilton, Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen, provided that his engineer doesn’t annoy him again.

Lap Record : N/A

Circuit diagram

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Preview of 2012 Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Yas Marina Circuit

The 18th Formula One Grand Prix has come to United Arab Emirates which means the Asian F1 series is over. Being one of the most unique circuit, the circuit is built on Yas Marina Island, a 2500 hectares artificial island with the iconic Ferrari World. The circuit is designed to be like the Arabic version of Monaco and Singapore, a twisty circuit surrounded by amazing architectures like the Yas Viceroy Abu Dhabi Hotel.

Like a typical street circuit, there are 21 corners in one lap of Yas Marina Circuit but with two long straights for DRS activation. Generally, it is still a slow circuit as one lap takes about 1 minute 40 seconds, almost as slow as Singapore Marina Bay Street Circuit. The circuit has a number of potential overtaking spots, at Turn 5/6 before the hairpin at Turn 7, at Turn 8 at the end of long straight DRS zone and at Turn 11, also at the end of another long straight DRS zone. Grip level is generally high as the high grip surface material is being used. The circuit is well balanced and that’s why Yas Marina Circuit is chosen for testing. Pirelli has allocated P Zero Medium and Soft tyres for the race due to the twisty and high-downforce circuit. Many has regarded Yas Marina Circuit as a Red Bull Racing circuit since Red Bull F1 cars are considered to have the most downforce. A good mechanical balance is also very important here due to the rapid changing directions.

The race is first debuted in 2009 and has also won by Sebastian Vettel and Lewis Hamilton. As in Singapore, both drivers have a very good pace in a similar circuit. In India, both Red Bull and McLaren also locked out the front row in the qualifying session and race. So, we might see a similar front row lock out again in Abu Dhabi. Qualifying is more important here since overtaking is quite difficult in the race. With 3 more races to go in this season, Ferrari and McLaren are still challenging Red Bull in the constructors’ standings and we will see what improvements can both teams bring to Abu Dhabi.

Lap Record : 1:40.279 – Sebastian Vettel (2009)

 

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Preparing for The Next Generation Safety Features in F1 Cars

Formula One can be considered as one of the most dangerous sport in the world. The most recent near-fatal accident is in 2009 Hungarian Grand Prix where Felipe Massa was seriously injured after he got struck by a spring. As a result, a Zylon strip has been added to the visor area of the helmets. Zylon has 1.6 times the tensile strength of Kevlar which is able to provide sufficient protection for the drivers’ heads. Another infamous accident is the first lap crash in 2012 Belgian Grand Prix where Fernando Alonso is very lucky to have a near miss with the airborne Romain Grosjean’s Lotus and as a result, Grosjean was given a one race ban. Also, not to forget the epic flip from Mark Webber in 2010 European Grand Prix in Valencia. Safety concerns have been raised again after Belgian GP and discussions have been made whether to cover the cockpit with a canopy.

FIA Institute has been researching to improve driver-cockpit safety. One of the tools used is a nitrogen gas cannon which can be fired at a pressure of 1200 psi.

The test is conducted by firing a F1 tyre at about 225 km/h towards a polycarbonate windshield and a fighter jet canopy. You can see the windshield shatters but the canopy still remain intact.

Another tests is conducted by firing a F1 tyre at 225 km/h towards a forward roll hoop. This is the most promising safety feature to be incorporated in a F1 car without causing a closed cockpit.

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Internal Components of a F1 Car

Here is an infographic for the all the internal components on a modern F1 car. Click to view it in full size.
(Source : Sauber F1 Team Official Facebook Page)

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Michael Schumacher Career Tribute Trailer

A YouTube user has created a trailer for Michael Schumacher’s career tribute from 1991 to 2012. The actual one will be released after Brazilian Grand Prix, his last race in Formula 1.


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