2015 F1 Calendar revealed

Remember when a full race calendar was edging in to double figures?

You may be hard pressed in the world of Formula 1, where we have seen one and sometimes two races a month for nigh on 50 years.

After a brief dip back into the teens, 2015 will again see 20 races on its calendar, spanning Australia, Malaysia, Bahrain, China, Europe, Singapore, Japan, Russia, Brazil, Abu Dhabi, new addition Mexico, and the United States. A big campaign in one of the world’s most expensive sports, that’s for sure!

FIA FORMULA ONE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP

15 March Grand Prix of Australia
29 March Grand Prix of Malaysia
05 April Grand Prix of Bahrain
19 April Grand Prix of China
10 May Grand Prix of Spain
24 May Grand Prix of Monaco
07 June Grand Prix of Canada
21 June Grand Prix of Austria
05 July Grand Prix of Great Britain
19 July Grand Prix of Germany
26 July Grand Prix of Hungary
23 August Grand Prix of Belgium
06 September Grand Prix of Italy
20 September Grand Prix of Singapore
27 September Grand Prix of Japan
11 October Grand Prix of Russia (Sochi)
25 October Grand Prix of USA (Austin)
1 November Grand Prix of Mexico
15 November Grand Prix of Brazil
29 November Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi

Haas F1 to be powered by Prancing Pony

The US-based Gene Haas Formula One team is one step closer to achieving it’s spot on the grid in 2016, announcing an engine deal with Ferrari.

The deal appears to be for the entire powerplant including ERS, and possibly the gearbox as well, which would make sense, and should have a positive flow-on effect for Sauber and Marussia who also use the engine tech.

With Mercedes engines all the rage this year, and Renault relinquishing its domination but still running a strong second in the powerplant department, it may be the boost Ferrari needs to keep pushing its R&D to make its current engine more powerful and reliable - and Ferrari - in 2015 and beyond.

OFFICIAL RELEASE: Maranello, 3 September – Scuderia Ferrari announces that it has reached a technical collaboration agreement with Haas F1 Team to supply it with Formula 1 engines. The multi-year agreement is for the supply of the entire power unit starting from 2016.

“We’re delighted to announce this important strategic partnership with Haas F1 Team and to welcome an American player as a new entrant in Formula 1″, said Scuderia Ferrari Team Principal Marco Mattiacci. Read the rest of this entry »

Jaguar’s new mid-sizer set for debut

Finally logged for reveal next week is the new smaller entrant for Jaguar, the XE, which is set to take on the more compact five-seaters from Audi (A4), BMW (3 Series) and Mercedes-Benz (C-Class).

The midsize luxury sedan is the smallest passenger car we’ve seen from Jag in some time, and utilises a new monocoque chassis made from over 75 percent aluminum allowing for around 75 miles per gallon and a CO2 footprint of less than 100g/km in the most miserly engine variant.

The launch will be streamed live globally, in the way these things now are with the demise of the Motor Show, on September 8 at 2:15pm EDT here - http://www.jaguar.com.au/jaguar-range/xe.html

Woman gets more than she bargained for in used car bargain

Here’s a very different buyer beware story - Charlie Wise, from Thatcham in Berkshire, UK, thought the previous owner of her £200 ($330) Volkswagen Golf had left a joke in the boot along with some other unwantables when she stumbled across a metre-long toy snake in the right corner.

Only when it moved its tongue did she realise it was a real python.

Screaming and slamming the boot and Boa in a panic, she called a friend - we can only imagine the phone call - who came to the rescue with a towel and a steel nerve.

Wise also contacted the previous owner, who admitted to losing the snake when he was moving it to a friend’s house. He claimed to have searched the car inside and out - not thoroughly enough, it would seem.

Bentley drops GT3-R on Monterey

Bentley has unleashed another lim-ed Continental GT3 at Monterey this week, dubbed the GT3-R.

The vehicle pushes a further 51 horses and 14 pound feet, up to 572hp and 516pft from its twin-turbo V8.

It claims a 0-60 mile per hour sprint in 3.6 seconds, on its way to a top end of 170 mph - not bad for a vehicle weighing in at over two tonnes (though Bentley have shaved 200 pounds from the GT3-R compared to the roadgoing GT).

Only 300 will be made and distributed worldwide, with no word yet on pricing.

OFFICIAL RELEASE: BENTLEY CONTINENTAL GT3-R DEFINES A NEW CHAPTER IN PERFORMANCE-FOCUSED LUXURY

- Inspired by the Continental GT3, the ultimate GT: Two seats, 580 PS, 700 Nm and 100 kg lighter than a GT V8 S
- Limited to just 300 examples for guaranteed exclusivity
- Torque vectoring combines with shorter gearing for the most dynamic Bentley road car in history
- Hand built in Crewe and finished by Bentley Motorsport

(Crewe, 17th June 2014) Bentley announces the rarest and most dynamic member of the esteemed Continental family of Grand Tourers with the arrival of the new Continental GT3-R. It is inspired by the new Continental GT3 race car that stormed to victory at the second round of the Blancpain Endurance Series at Silverstone, the first UK race for Bentley for 84 years. Blending proven track and road credentials, the Continental GT3-R is a highly exclusive and unique interpretation of performance-focussed luxury, limited to just 300 examples.
Read the rest of this entry »

The 250 GTO keeps getting hotter

Records were shattered at the at Bonhams auctions at  Monterey Car Week, in California, as a 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO, chassis number 3851 GT, was sold for $38,115,000 USD.

This is the most ever paid for an automobile at auction, marking the Ferrari 250 GTO effectively as the most valuable and coveted car in the world.

This particular car was the 19th Ferrari GTO to be completed and was invoiced on September 11, 1962. It was originally finished in metallic pale grey with lengthwise red, white and blue centerline stripes when acquired by its first owner, French privateer Jo Schlesser, who was also a Formula 1 driver.

Henri Oreiller, a former French Olympic skiing champion, was killed behind the wheel of the car when he was racing with it in 1962.

The car was then rebuilt by the Ferrari factory and made its way into the hands of Fabrizio Violati, an amateur driver from Italy that possessed the vehicle for most of its existence.

Suspect in stolen Schumacher medical records found dead

A man suspected to be involved in the case surrounding Michael Schumacher’s stolen medical records has been found hanged in his prison cell.

Prosecutors in the case state the man was in the employment of the Swiss air ambulance service Rega, which was involved in the secretive transfer of Schumacher from his long-term respite in a Grenoble hospital to his home in Switzerland on June 16.

Schumacher’s confidential medical files had been shared with all the medical and rescue teams involved in his relocation. In the week that followed his move, however, Schumacher’s long-time manager Sabine Kehm issued a release regarding the theft, and some reports allege that the reports were offered to media outlets for around 60,000 Swiss francs.

A statement said the suspect, who was charged with violations to patient privacy and medical secrecy, but was yet to be officially questioned over the charges, was found dead in his cell the day after his apprehension on August 6.

SVR SUV slays the Ring in sedan-worthy time

Since its opening teaser at the Goodwood FoS, we have been waiting for evidence that the new debutant from Jag/LR’s performance stable - be it a warhorse not a thoroughbred - has the goods to back up its early promise.

Of course, the way to do this, and gain some awesome footage and bragging rights in the process, is to take the car to the Nurburgring.

The super SUV has lapped the Ring in just  8 minutes 14 seconds, making it the fastest production SUV to tackle the track.

Check out the video - the thing is simply raucous. Enjoy.

OFFICIAL RELEASE: RANGE ROVER SPORT SVR: FASTEST PRODUCTION SUV AROUND NÜRBURGRING Read the rest of this entry »

Blow for GM with another 720K worth of recalls, 30m to date

Poor old GM can’t catch a break, with more possibly broken vehicles added to the recall list today.

Six separate safety recalls on 717,950 U.S. vehicles have been issued: the 2011-2012 Chevrolet Camaro, 2010-2012 Chevrolet Equinox and GMC Terrain; 2011-2012 Buick Regal and LaCrosse; and 2010-2012 Cadillac SRX models.

The recall is to do with a loose bolt in the power height front seat adjuster, and an incomplete weld on a seat hoot bracket in some additional vehicles.

None of the recalls were related to the ignition switch issues that have caused nearly 15 million recalls of GM vehicles worldwide this year.

On February 7, GM recalled about 800,000 of its small cars due to faulty ignition switches, which could shut off the engine during driving, which also stops the airbags from inflating if it results in an accident.

The new set of recalls brings GM’s recalls worldwide this year to nearly 30 million.

Schumacher’s wife breaks silence

Michael Schumacher’s wife Corinna has broken her media silence about the recovery of her husband, writing a message to F1 fans in the official program for this weekend’s German Grand Prix.

It is the first family statement released since the skiing accident which put her husband in a coma seven months ago.

“This is a message to all of you who have lived a passion for Michael’s sport in all the years together with him, and who have supported him in the past half year off the track as well,” she wrote.

“The German Grand Prix gives me the perfect opportunity to cordially thank you all for the good wishes and positive energy you keep sending to Michael. I have to say your sympathies literally blew us all away! Good to know that together we made it through the hardest time!

“Now we are facing a phase which will presumably take a long time. We trust that – as for so many years in F1 – time will be Michael’s ally in this fight. Until then I would like to wish you and your families all the best as well.”