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Red Bull takes maiden F1 win – KERS dropped by all but three cars

Red Bull Racing finally took its maiden Formula One victory in a rain-soaked Chinese Grand Prix in Shanghai today. German prodigy Sebastian Vettel took his second career win in the wet (he won in the rain at Monza last year for the other Red Bull Team, Torro Rosso), followed home by team mate Mark Webber to give the team a 1-2 finish. Only three cars elected to use the KERS hybrid systems after Ferrari, Renault and one BMW car dropped the system for the race.  Read More

Diffusers are creating controversy in the 2009 F1 season

Only two rounds into the 2009 FIA Formula One World Championship and the largest number of rule changes in the history of the sport have well and truly reshuffled the deck. We took a close look at the Kinetic Energy Recovery System (KERS) before the opening round got underway in Melbourne, Australia, but it turns out the biggest news in Formula One at the start of the season is the rear diffusers being used by the Brawn, Toyota and Williams teams. The diffusers in question were cleared by the FIA as long ago as January but the matter will again be considered by the FIA's International Court of Appeal on April 14. Paul Evans investigates.  Read More

The Virgin Brawn GP team's spectacular first up effort

The feats of Brawn GP at Albert Park in the team's inaugural race at the first round of World Formula One Championship on March 29, 2009 will surely go down in the pantheon of spectacularly successful first-up sporting efforts. A month ago they were all unemployed, but in just 28 days they put two cars on the track, tested them over a normally-inadequate 2000 km and qualified them 1-2 for the first race, at the same time announcing a heavyweight backer in the form of Sir Richard Branson's Virgin Group and involvement with a new Virgin Fuel, reportedly a clean-burning petroleum replacement. Next day, success fueled more success with a 1-2 finish for the team, and engine supplier Mercedes. Mastermind Ross Brawn was in tears after the race, as no doubt were Honda.  Read More

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

JJAD's P1-E

From the country with more cottage industry sports car manufactures per capita than anywhere else in the world, the British are at it again. No sooner has the much publicized British Lightning GT - an all electric Aston Martin look-a-like with four wheel motors - vanished from sight following wheel motor manufactures PML flight link being put into administration another previously unknown British sports car hopeful has announced an all electric sports car. Former McLaren employee Jim Dowle whose company JJAD first released details about his P1 sports car in February 2008 has now announced the P1-E. The P1 was originally conceived as a 200hp 870 kg petrol powered challenger to the Lotus Exige but Dowle has obviously seen the writing on the wall and the P1 has now been reincarnated as an All Wheel Drive battery electric sports car.  Read More

Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren Roadster 722 S

Mercedes-Benz has announced a new limited edition version of the SLR McLaren Roadster supercar with the promise of breathtaking power and performance characteristics above that of its stunning predecessor. Improved dynamic suspension tuning and aerodynamics combined with a hand-built, supercharged, 5.5-liter Mercedes-AMG V8 engine that delivers 478 kW/650 hp (up from 460kW) give the new variant a top speed of 335 kmh with acceleration from 0 to 100 kmh in 3.7 seconds and 0-200 kmh 10.6 seconds. Why "722"? The number is a reference to the SLR racing models from the 1950s from which the two-seater cabriolet draws inspiration - Stirling Moss and his co-driver Dennis Jenkinson carried this number when they drove to victory in a Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR at the classic Mille Miglia long-distance race in 1955.  Read More

A 787-9 Dreamliner depicted in Etihad Airways' livery
 Photo: Boeing

Soaring oil prices might be putting the squeeze on margins for airlines around the world, but that hasn't deterred United Arab Emirates national carrier Etihad from splurging more than $20 billion on orders for Boeing and Airbus aircraft.  Read More

BRABUS SLR McLaren roadster gets a smart tender

So the traffic's a little heavy and you don't feel like taking the SLR McLaren roadster BRABUS to the shops. The solution: take the high-performance smart fortwo "tender". The yachting term has made its way into the automotive world via the latest offering from German performance specialist BRABUS. On World debut at the 2008 Geneva Motor Show, the BRABUS “tender to the SLR” package consists of two identically painted and equipped vehicles - an aerodynamically enhanced, finely tuned, 211mph SLR McLaren Roadster BRABUS (the yacht) and the BRABUS ULTIMATE 112, a drop-top two-seater based on the latest smart fortwo Cabrio that puts out 112 hp and achieves 0-62mph in under ten seconds (the tender).  Read More

Vodafone McLaren Mercedes MP4-23 Formula 1 car unveiled

January 9, 2008 Vodafone McLaren Mercedes has presented the team’s 2008 Formula 1 car at the Mercedes-Benz Museum in Stuttgart. The MP4-23 was completed just in time for the event where drivers Lewis Hamilton and Heikki Kovalainen were joined on stage by Pedro de la Rosa and fellow test driver Gary Paffett to unveil the car.  Read More

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