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F1 2009: the biggest number of rule changes in the history the sport

The 2009 FIA Formula One World Championship starts this weekend with round one in Australia where we are about to witness the biggest number of rule changes in the history the sport. The front and rear wings have been significantly changed in size and height to reduce the aerodynamic effect on cars following each other. Many of the aerodynamic 'extras' added by teams last season around the side pods will be banned and after 11 years of grooved tires slicks will make a return. The aerodynamic changes include a first in F1, driver adjustable front wing flaps, but the rule changes we're most interested in are those concerning the introduction of the Kinetic Energy Recovery System (KERS) that will eventually make every future Formula One race car a hybrid.  Read More

Rubens Barrichello, Ross Brawn and Jenson Button - write the new team off at your peril

March 23, 2009 The first cars were unloaded onto the pit apron at Albert Park yesterday in preparation for next weekend's first Formula One Grand Prix of the 2009 season. It already shapes up as the most intriguing F1 season ever. Technologically, despite a raft of changes this year, the wild card not yet fathomable is the implementation of the Kinetic Energy Recovery System (KERS), a fancy name for regenerative braking, and a technology that will ultimately force all F1 cars to use hybrid power sources, most likely during 2009, but not necessarily. Only a few teams will arrive in Melbourne ready to race with electronic KERS systems that offer approximately 80 bhp extra for six seconds a lap, but we're not even sure which teams they will yet be. The biggest intrigue of the weekend though, will be the performance of the newborn Brawn F1 team. Everyone always knew Ross Brawn was a special talent, but no-one saw this one coming. Brawn is poised to deliver one of the greatest motorsport fairy tales ever.  Read More

The Ascari Race Resort

The Ascari Race Resort seems to have been transplanted from a motorsport enthusiast's wildest playboy fantasies into a rolling valley among southern Spain's magnificent Andalusian mountains. An immaculate, 5.425km, FAI-compliant private racetrack awaits its wealthy patrons with 25 demanding and technical turns per lap, some designed to replicate famous turns from F1 tracks around the world. A fleet of hire cars that ranges from a "beginner" race-prepped Lotus Elise up to ex-Formula One machinery sits growling in the pits beside a full-time pit crew, tempting the anointed and the unworthy alike. And in a world first, Ascari's seven-star hotel complex includes serious entertainment, luxury and recreation to keep the whole family occupied as you exorcise your speed demons on the tarmac. As Fernando Alonso described it: "Unusual, exciting, beautiful."  Read More

Marcus Cunnington and his ultra-light creations

May 13, 2008 Drawing on a background that ranges from experience as an aerospace technician to a stint in research and development on the Williams F1 team, Marcus Cunnington has designed and built the 6.3kg (around 13.9 pounds) Free Spirit - a carbon fiber composite design that claims the mantle of the world's lightest manual rigid wheelchair.  Read More

From legendary F1 rides to iconic Bond cars

The wheels are in motion for this year's Goodwood Festival of Speed which will be held between 11-13 July under the theme ‘Hawthorn to Hamilton – Britain’s Love Affair with World Motor Sport’.  Read More

MotoGP night race testing begins

February 28, 2008 For all the thrill of attending a Formula One (F1) or MotoGP event, the majority of the live spectators view the races on TV, and the majority of both sports’ income comes from television rights. F1 and MotoGP are both broadcast to more than 200 countries with Formula One attracting television fees of around US$380 million annually for a cumulative season audience of around 580 million unique viewers. In order to “optimize” television rights revenues, both sports are now moving to night Grands Prix in some time zones so the races can be broadcast live in prime time in the key European markets. The first night “test” begins today in Qatar and presents some interesting logistical problems for the teams.  Read More

First ever night-time GP

February 1, 2008 The timetable has been set for September's Formula 1(TM) Singapore Grand Prix, the first ever Grand Prix to be held at night.  Read More

BERU f1systems Factor 001 bicycle

Performance engineering specialist BERU f1systems has provided a glimpse of its intriguing new project - the Factor 001 bicycle. Best known for its involvement in Formula 1 racing and as a supplier for supercars like the Bugatti Veyron, the company's latest innovation rolls advanced electronics into a high-tech package that includes carbon chassis, ceramic brakes and bespoke drivetrain. Marked by square, clean lines and its completely metallic finish, the prototype is designed primarily as an advanced training tool, with stored biometric data such as heart and respiration rate available for downloaded for post-training analysis.  Read More

Kimi Raikkonen at the 2007 Australian Grand Prix
 Photo: Ferrari

December 10, 2007 Last Friday, at the World Motor Sport Council in Monaco, the FIA, which governs Formula One racing, made a decision to immediately freeze engine development for the next 10 years. Unbelievably, the engine each F1 team presents and homologates by the end of next March will be the engine that team races until 2017 – and the billions of Euros normally spent on engine development will be channeled into peripheral systems. The FIA sees development outside the engine, such as with Kinetic Energy Recovery, as a far more valuable contribution to road car development than spending money on squeezing another 1000rpm and 30 horsepower out of an engine that's already spinning three times as fast as the one in your family sedan.  Read More

Caparo’s T1 lays claim to Top Gear’s lap record

News from Caparo that its T1 high-performance two-seater sports car has smashed the leading lap time on the BBC's Top Gear motoring program by seven seconds. But there is a catch – the car wont appear at the top of the lap board because the car's inability to negotiate a speed hump doesn't meet the criteria specified by the programme makers. Drawing on its formidable power-to-weight ratio of more than 1000 bhp/tonne, the T1's lap time of 1:10.6 unofficially beat the previous record held by a modified Koenigsegg CCX.  Read More

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