Formula One driver David Coulthard has performed a heart-thumping stunt in Dubai. The Scottish driver performed “donuts” in an Infiniti Red Bull Racing’s 750bhp Formula One car, 210 metres above sea on the helipad of Dubai’s iconic Burj Al Arab hotel. In the video, Coulthard spins the car at high speed, burning rubber and sending tyre smoke into the air, with the Arabian Gulf and Dubai’s skyline in the backdrop. [Source]
In some countries, hotel staff leave a chocolate on your pillow for you; in other countries they turn down the covers on your bed. But as account manager Amanda found out this evening, in India they do things a little differently. On arriving back in her hotel room, she was surprised to find her towel had been lovingly folded into the shape of an elephant. “It’s not every day you come home and find an elephant in your room!” was Amanda’s cheeky response.
CNN’s Ben Wyatt explores the popularity of F1 in India and what the future might hold.
Two pole positions and two race victories provided Kevin Magnussen with the perfect sign-off to his stunning championship-winning season.
The newly crowned World Series by Renault title winner, and one of McLaren’s Young Driver hopefuls, has utterly dominated the junior series, continually tightening the grip on the championship with a string of stunning results towards the season’s conclusion.
Understandably, after such a strong year, all eyes are on the young Dane’s future.
“I’m very proud about my record in 2013,” says Kevin. “Now the aim is for Formula 1 next year. That’s what I’ve been aiming at for a long time. The time is now – I’m as ready as you can get.”
Don’t mistake his self-assurance with arrogance, though. There’s a streak of steely determination that runs through Kevin’s veins – but his is not the table-thumping fire that you see in some drivers; it’s more of an utter assurance with his abilities that gives him a zen-like calmness.
Get beyond the slightly wary smile and engage the 21-year-old in conversation, and you’ll be left in no doubt that he knows what is coming to him.
At the start of the year, that singular focus was directed towards winning the World Series by Renault title. WSR, as it’s commonly known, is one of Formula 1’s principal feeder series, providing wannabe grand prix drivers with gobfuls of power and downforce, and a calendar that takes in a smattering of classic European racetracks. Like its GP2 counterpart, this really is a mini-F1.
Like GP2, too, race weekends are run as double-headers – so, with a maximum of 50 points available at each race meeting (WSR also follows F1’s scoring system), having an off-weekend can have a disastrous impact on title hopes.
This was something Kevin quickly twigged. Going into his second year in WSR (he won one race and finished seventh in the 2012 championship), he openly admitted that overall consistency was his highest priority for 2013. It was perhaps a sign of his self-confidence that Kevin didn’t consider raw pace his most immediate concern, doubtless reasoning that speed was already fully under his control.
Unsurprisingly, he was right on each count.
“At the start of the season, I set out with the aim to be consistent everywhere,” he says. “I really wanted to win the title through consistency. Looking back at my year, I’m extremely proud that I was able to realise that ambition.
“Really, I don’t think I had a bad weekend all season. Of course, I had weekends when I wasn’t the fastest – but I still got points. In fact, I got a podium at every race weekend – with the exception of Monaco, when I finished fourth.”
Like any true racing driver, Kevin knows that the backbone of his challenge was provided by his team, DAMS, who supplied a supple and consistent car with which Kevin could excel.
He adds: “I must say a big thank-you to the team – they gave me a car that was extremely quick at every single race. That was incredibly important, and really underlined my ambition to be consistent.
“I think the last two race weekends were the most satisfying for me,” he continues. “I dominated every single session [Kevin took four pole positions and four victories in the last four races, albeit losing one victory due to a car irregularity], so I was completely on top-form for those weekends.
With the dust now settled on the WSR title fight (fellow McLaren Young Driver Stoffel Vandoorne also underlined his credentials by finishing as series runner-up), Kevin’s focus now switches to Formula 1.
He is characteristically unambiguous about his intentions:
“Whenever I’m asked about Formula 1, I always reply that, yes, I feel ready. I look at this way: I’ve done everything I could to prove myself in World Series – now it’s up to somebody else to make a decision.”
Given his determination, is he prepared to take a side-step, and train as a Formula 1 test driver for 2014 ahead of a race seat for ’15?
Again, the reply is unequivocal: “No, I need to race – that’s when I can fully prove myself.”
Champions don’t accept second-best…
The track and the fans.
It’s incredible how Formula One has grown in India, especially as cricket is such a big sport there. They are still massively into racing, we get a really big crowd of enthusiastic fans. It’s a cool place to go; the people are very welcoming and look after us really well. I’ve enjoyed it every time I have been.
Physically it’s definitely a warm circuit, but not a killer compared to some.
The play by play.
So with the track, you need a wide entry into 13, the last corner, to get a really good exit down the straight. Give it a bit of KERS close to the line and brake really late into turn 1. You carry a lot of speed through there and the car kind of slides a little bit.
It’s important to keep the speed up and get a good exit out of turn 1, use the curb on the exit and then go straight into the left hander that goes uphill.
You are trying to brake for turn 2 but you can’t see the Apex as you come uphill, it’s over a blind crest, so it’s tough to know where to brake and when to turn. It’s important to get a good time on the exit and not lose too much on the entry.
The long straight is the most important one. You can break late and deep into turn 3 as it opens up so much on the way in, so it’s great for overtaking.
You KERS on the turn 3 exit as it gets short and narrow, then go flat out turning into 4. You then lift and downshift, getting on the power for 5 and 6 which is a fast chicane.
You go flat out through the entry of turn 6, lift, and flat out through 7 which is where it’s good to have a car that’s good with changing direction. Then you’re flat out to turn 8. You have that lift between 8 and 9, then a small lift through 9 as it’s a really long right hander.
You accelerate, down shift into turn 10 and go flat out to 11. Then it’s up the hill, braking nice and deep into 12.
It’s important to carry lots of speed through there and keep it nice and low to get the downforce, then brake late for the last corner.
India’s a track where you need good speed on the straight so the downforce level is important. You also need a really good medium and low speed downforce, its a medium/low speed circuit.
In terms of overtaking it’s difficult to follow through turn 1, but the exit of turn 2 down the long straight is the best place. Generally the best opportunity is down the straight or possibly into turn 4.
It is possible to overtake into the last corner, but it’s very difficult to follow up there.
This track isn’t too difficult on the brakes. You can use quite a stiff car here as it’s very small, it’s a new circuit so it is relatively easy to set the car up for it.
Click on the car parts to explore our INTERACTIVE Cutaway F1 Car infographic! Don’t miss the download links to our infographics below! And don’t forget to SHARE this blog link if you like it. Featured car parts: pitot tube, lap trigger / FIA transponders, drivers’ seat, airhorn / airbox / air inlet, team radio, GPS receiver, telemetry data transmitter, pedals (accelerator and brake), security data recorder, Correvit optical sensor, SECU (Standard Electronics Control Unit), damping system, knee padding / leg protection, antennas, steering wheel. Once again, one of our fans contributed the amazing sounds and sound effects to this video. Thanks a bunch to Jonathan from Boobrez ProdActions!
The Japanese GP in pictures here:http://tinyurl.com/mt326qc