As we carry on with the Red Bull Racing 2017 review…..
As we carry on with the Red Bull Racing 2017 review…..
Lewis Hamilton is on cruise control mode, his steering wheel seems to have an extra hidden button, and the British found it and pressed it with his thumb. At the Italian Grand Prix, Hamilton took his 69th pole-position, he is now the driver with the most pole positions in Formula One, he also became the first driver, in 2017, who won two consecutive races and now he is leading the drivers’ championship by three points from Sebastian Vettel.
In Belgium, Lewis looked comfortable and unbeatable, even at the re-start, after the safety car, when Vettel made his move, the Britt managed to defend his first position and a couple of laps later he increased the gap between him and Sebastian Vettel. By seeing the final gap between the two drivers, after 44 laps, someone might assume that Vettel was pushing and was very close to Lewis, but the reality was totally different. The German, was close but still that was not enough for him to make his move and attack for the first place.
At Monza, the Tifosi were expecting to see a fast and competitive Scuderia Ferrari, but instead of that, Ferrari was not even close to Mercedes. The Silver Arrows, were not stopped by the rain and the hours of delay which took place in the FP3 and during the qualifying session. Lewis Hamilton claimed his 69th pole position, followed by Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo. Lance Stroll and Esteban Ocon qualified fourth and fifth respectively, but after the grid penalties which applied almost to every driver on the grid, Stroll promoted to the second position and became the youngest driver who started from the front row.
The two Ferraris qualified seventh (Kimi Raikkonen) and eighth (Sebastian Vettel), both drivers promoted to fifth and sixth respectively. Max Verstappen dropped down to 13th position, while his team-mate started the race from the 16 position.
Lewis Hamilton had a clean start and remained first after lights out, Lance Stroll lost his second position by Esteban Ocon and dropped down to third place. A few laps later Max Verstappen had a collision with Felipe Massa, Max suffered a puncture which cost him time and dropped him at the back of the grid. The stewards decided to take no further action for the incident between the two drivers. Verstappen managed to recover at the end of the race, the Dutch finished 10th ahead of Kevin Magnussen.
Valtteri Bottas, who qualified sixth, had a good start and gained two positions on the first lap of the race. He was behind Hamilton, Ocon and Stroll and it was a matter of time until he was able to attack the two drivers in front of him. The Finn, had a good pace during the race, he completed Mercedes’ 1-2 as he finished second behind his team-mate.
Daniel Ricciardo started the race from the 16th place and finished fourth, a few seconds, behind Sebastian Vettel. The Australian had an amazing race, he passed the slower cars on the first part of the race, while he was on softs. He had the advantage of fresher and faster tyres during the final laps of the Italian Grand Prix. Twelve laps before the chequered flag, the Australian made his move on Kimi Raikkonen, the Finn was unable to defend his fourth position, Daniel took the inside at the first chicane and with an incredible move, he promoted to fourth place. Ricciardo, was gaining on Vettel lap by lap, but he didn’t have enough laps to close the gap with the German, and finished fourth, about four seconds, behind Vettel.
Both McLaren’s drivers watched the end of the race from the garage. Vandoorne and Alonso retired on 33th and 50th lap respectively. Stoffel had electrical issues, whilst Fernando had problems with his McLaren’s clutch.
The next race will take in Singapore, a circuit which suits more to the Ferrari than to Mercedes, Sebastian Vettel is looking to win his fifth race in 2017 and retake the lead in the drivers’ championship. Lewis Hamilton from the other hand, has the momentum. The British driver, looks very strong, he will have to fight hard to keep his lead and his aim will be to expand his winning streak in Singapore.
Twitter – @FP_Passion
Nikolas Tombazis born in Greece on April 22nd in 1968, his father, Alexandros Tombazis was an architect. In 1989, Nikolas graduated from the Trinity College in Cambridge as an engineer, a few years later (1992) he completed his PhD in aeronautical engineering at the Imperial College London.
Tombazis, entered to the Formula One world on November 1992, he became aerodynamicist at the Benetton Formula 1 team, a couple of years later he promoted to Head of Aerodynamics. In 1994, he was a member of the team, which celebrated Michael Schumacher’s world title. The following season Benetton won both the constructors’ and the drivers’ championships.
In 1997, Tombazis followed Michael Schumacher and moved from Benetton to Ferrari. One year later he became Ferrari’s Chief Aerodynamicist and he was responsible for Ferrari’s dominance from 1998 to 2003, Nikolas celebrated six constructors’ titles and five drivers’ championships with the Scuderia Ferrari.
In 2004, the Greek designer, moved to McLaren, he remained in Woking for two years and then returned to Ferrari as Chief Designer. At that period Ferrari, won two constructors’ titles and Kimi Raikkonen won the drivers’ championship in 2007.
Manor, was Tombazi’s final team in Formula One. Nikolas, joined Manor as Chief Aerodynamicist but he was unlucky as the team didn’t take part to the 2017 championship, due to financial problems.
I have the honour to host an interview with one of the best Greek engineers, and the person who played a major role to Ferrari’s dominance.
When did you realise that you wanted to interact with Formula One and what influenced you?
I was hooked to this sport as a kid, when I was around 10 years old. In those days the TV did not show that many races, and of course there was no Internet, so finding all the information required quite a lot of research. These were also the years of the start of ground effect (Lotus 78 and Lotus 79) and the subsequent heavy emphasis on aerodynamics. So I guess that also influenced quite a lot the direction that I followed subsequently.
What were your worst and your best memory during your years in F1?
Best memories: championship wins… 2000 with Schumacher, 2007 with Raikkonen (my first car as Chief Designer), stand out. Most wins were very special, but these championships had something extra.
For sure the worse moments were when a driver was killed. Senna’s death (which was very early in my career) shocked me even though I never had the luck to meet him. But there have been other difficult moments: periods when the car was uncompetitive, losing championships in the last race, retiring from races while leading…
How much role plays the physical characteristics of a driver in the designing of a car?
Depends exactly what you mean. If you mean his actual body dimensions (height, width, etc.) we do need to package the bigger / taller driver in our cars, and to make them comfortable. This is not a major exercise, but it has to be done.
If you mean the driving characteristics, some times drivers have a particular sensitivity to a certain aspect of the car and we try to make sure that we do not design something that they will be uncomfortable driving. But this is not perhaps as frequent as it used to be: nowadays we rely a lot more on telemetry and measurements.
In 1998 you became Ferrari’s Chief aerodynamicist, Scuderιa had not celebrated a title since 1983, how much pressure did you have and how easy was for you to keep “producing” a winning car for six consecutive years?
The pressure was always high in Ferrari. The constructors’ championship in 1999 was bitter-sweet, because we had also lost the drivers’. The real special moment came in 2000, and I still remember the feeling when I saw Michael come out of his final pit stop in Suzuka ahead of Hakkinen.
Who was the best driver that you have worked with and why?
Schumacher and Alonso. Difficult to compare them, but their understanding of the car and their speed was on another planet. There were numerous other drivers I enjoyed working with (and most were very good) but these two were something special.
What is your opinion about Halo and how much can affect the aerodynamics of a Formula One car?
The aerodynamic effect is not massive, and the teams will do what they can to keep it to a minimum. Every time a driver has been killed or seriously hurt we wonder why we did not do certain things earlier. So while the aesthetics are clearly not its strong point, we need to do what we can to keep the drivers safe.
They are saying that to be an aerodynamicist in Formula 1 is one of the most challenging jobs because you have to combine downforce with low drag. Which part of an F1 car is the most important and how long does it takes to design a car?
The design of the car never really finishes, it is a continuous process of development. All the areas close to the ground are difficult, the front wing and the area between the diffuser and the rear wheels are particularly complicated.
Being an aerodynamicist is very challenging (and also satisfying when things go well), but there are many jobs in Formula 1 which are very difficult and important for the final result.
Many kids and students are dreaming to work in Formula One, what would you advise them?
Work hard, take your studies at university seriously, participate in a Formula SAE or some other minor category, learn a lot of skills (CAD, CFD, simulations, etc.)
At the beginning of the year, Manor’s staff posted a 50 percent scale model of the MRT07 as a goodbye to F1, how hard was that for you, and do you believe that Liberty Media should offer more funds to smaller teams in order to avoid situations like Manor’s?
It was a shame that Manor collapsed, and that we did not see the fruit of our effort. There were a couple of hundred people who suffered this big disappointment, and all the difficulties being left without a job caused them.
Formula 1 should become more sustainable both for the small teams but also for the big ones. How this will happen we just have to wait and see.
With what are you working now?
I am currently consulting a number of clients, and I find the varying range of problems very enjoyable. For reasons of confidentiality I cannot say who my clients are.
Twitter – @FP_Passion
After a short break for the drivers and long for the fans, Formula One is back at our lives. The action returns to one of the most thrilling circuits on the calendar, at Spa in Belgium. Everyone is looking forward to watch a battle between Sebastian Vettel and Lewis Hamilton for the drivers’ championship.
Ferrari is willing to keep their driver line-up same for the next year, they started with Raikkonen’s contract. The Finn, extended his contract for one more season and he will remain with Scuderia Ferrari until 2018. Next on the schedule is Sebastian Vettel.
Mercedes will try to respond to Ferrari’s 1-2 in Hungary. The Silver Arrows, are aiming to gain points in order to extend their lead in the constructors’ championship which is currently at 40 points. Lewis Hamilton, has to win at least one of the two upcoming races (Spa, Monza) in order to stay close or even pass Sebastian Vettel. Valtteri Bottas looks confident and able to challenge the two contenders and win his first title in his Formula One career.
Toto Wolff – “The summer shutdown came at the perfect time for us to make a step back and take stock of our season so far. It has been a good one – and has shown a lot of the qualities of our team. On paper, people will assume that Spa should suit our car because it is a circuit where aerodynamic efficiency is extremely important. But assumptions are dangerous – we have seen too many times already this season that the form book can be rewritten from one weekend to the next. So we will be making no assumptions; we have to tick off the items on our work list and make sure we do the best job to maximise our potential points score. The motivation and determination in the factory are greater than ever. Hungary showed the strength of our team – and we intend to use the second half of this season to prove that strength.”
CIRCUIT DE SPA-FRANCORCHAMPS
Circuit Length: 7.004 km
Race Length: 308.052 km
Lap Record: 1:47.263 (Sebastian Vettel – 2009)
Tyre sets available: Soft (Yellow), Supersoft (Red), Ultrasoft (Purple)
Spa-Francorchamps is one of the most historic circuits on the Formula One calendar, hosted a non-championship race in 1924. Spa it is also one of the longest circuits (7.004 km), it combines a mix of long straight and fast corners which makes it an attractive and challenging track for the drivers. The most famous corner is known as “Eau Rouge” and it is one of the most technically demanding corners, because of the evaluation change and the high speed.
Fernando Alonso – “I love the first race after the summer break! It’s a great feeling to come back feeling rested, relaxed and recharged, and ready to go again for the second half of the season. I’ve enjoyed time away with family and friends, worked hard on my training and now I’m really looking forward to getting back in the car. Spa is incredible – for many of us it’s one of our favourite tracks. It’s got a legendary reputation and it’s totally deserved. The feeling when you drive Eau Rouge is completely different to any other corner on the calendar. You’re so low in the car and the gradient is so steep that as you go up it you can only see the sky – it’s completely surreal. As the season goes on we’re getting stronger and stronger, and I hope the second half of the year will bring us some more points-earning finishes. This race is a difficult challenge for the whole team – the engineers and the mechanics – as you’re on the throttle for almost three-quarters of the lap, which makes it’s a tough circuit for both the car and the driver. We know we’ll have to work hard to get any kind of result there, but it’s a long lap and there are plenty of overtaking opportunities, so we’ll keep pushing to get everything we can from the weekend.”
McLaren will try to repeat their success and score more points in Belgium, Fernando Alonso and Stoffel Vandoorne finished sixth and tenth respectively in Hungary.
I am expecting a close battle between Ferrari and Mercedes, but the Silver Arrows might have a small advantage at the Spa.
Don’t miss our live race coverage on Sunday!
He is currently competing in the World Endurance Championship for Toyota, the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship for Rebellion and has competed for the Venturi and Techeetah Formula E Teams. He has raced at the 24 Hours of Le Mans sixteen times and competed at the 24 Hours of Daytona. He has also competed in the World Rally Championship and in V8 Supercars, but Stephane Sarrazin only ever had one Formula One race to his name.
Sarrazin was a test driver for the Prost Formula One team when a chance came to race at the 1999 Brazilian Grand Prix. Luca Badoer had sustained an injury during testing and Minardi asked for Sarrazin to replace him in Brazil.
Badoer had raced for Minardi in Australia, he retired with gearbox issues. The Grand Prix was won by Eddie Irvine in the Ferrari, he was joined on the podium by Heinz-Harald Frentzen (Jordan-Mugen-Honda) and Ralf Schumacher (Williams-Supertec). Now it was onto Brazil and the call came through from Minardi for Sarrazin to step in and replace Badoer.
“I was reserve driver for Prost and suddenly Minardi called for a drive,” Sarrazin was quoted as saying.
As the teams took to the track for practice it was Ricardo Zonta who would receive an injury after a big crash in Saturday practice that would see him out of the race.
Sarrazin qualified 17th out of the 21 drivers, he out-qualified his team mate, Marc Gene but the Minardi was over three seconds off Hakkinen who took pole. Sarrazin was over a second slower than the next car in front of him, the Williams-Supertec of Alex Zanardi.
It was Hakkinen who went off into a commanding lead, Coulthard stalled on the grid and he was pushed into the pit lane where he rejoined on lap 4. On lap 10 Benetton’s, Alexander Wurz and Jordan’s Damon Hill collided which ended Hill’s race.
Sarrazin entered the straight on lap 31, there two reports that either his throttle stuck or he had a wing failure, but whatever the problem was, it sent him crashing into the wall and this effectively ended his only Formula One Grand Prix.
It was the disappointment afterwards that hurt Sarrazin. After Brazil, Minardi asked him to complete the 1999 season with them. He states they called the Prost team many times but team principal, Alain Prost was adamant that Sarrazin would be driving for Prost. He placed a block on him moving to the Minardi team. Sarrazin decided to be patient.
The following season he finished second in the Formula 3000 championship behind Nick Heidfeld. Prost told Sarrazin, “Sorry, I cannot take you, I have to take Nick for Mercedes engines for the year after.”
Sarrazin was heartbroken. He felt that he should have been stronger and taken the decision to join Minardi when the opportunity was presented. Despite this and the fact he only ever race once in Formula One, Sarrazin has gone on to have a successful racing career in other forms, he has finished 2nd on four occasions at Le Mans.
Just the single F1 Grand Prix but Sarrazin had many other races about him.
See you at the chequered flag
“Aerodynamics are for people who cannot build engines” Enzo Anselmo Ferrari
Enzo Anselmo Ferrari, born in Modena on the 18th of February 1898, his birth registered two days later due to heavy snow. When Ferrari was 10 years old, his father, took him and his brother Alfredo, to watch a motor race in Bologna. The race is won by Felice Nazzaro and that moment was enough to create a spark and a secret love in Enzo’s heart about Motorsport.
The following decade was a tragedy for Enzo and his family. In 1916, the flu killed his father and his brother, Enzo forced to quit his studies in order to look for a job. He found a place as an instructor in Modena’s fire service workshop. The following year, Ferrari joined the Italian army, he became a member of the 3rd Alpine Artillery Division, but he was seriously ill and after two operations he was honourable discharged.
In 1919, Ferrari moved to Milan to join the C.M.N ( Costruzioni Meccaniche Nazionali). In his debut as a racing driver, Enzo finished fourth at the 1919 Parma-Poggio di Berceto hill climb race. On November 23rd he took part in the Targa Florio but he lost due to a leak in his fuel tank. One year later he left from C.M.N in order to join Alfa Romeo.
Enzo won the Circuit del Savio, in 1923, after his victory, he met the parents of WWI flying ace Francesco Baracca, they suggested him to use the emblem that decorated their son’s plane for good luck. The emblem, which is now known in the whole world, was a prancing horse. In the same year Ferrari married Laura Dominica Garello.
One year later, Enzo Ferrari became a Cavaliere (Knight) for his sporting achievements, it was the first official title which he received from the Italian authorities. In 1925, he made a Cavaliere Ufficiale and his passion about journalism lead him to become the main founder of the Italian newspaper Corriere dello Sport in Bologna.
The Born of Scuderia Ferrari
In 1929, Enzo founds the Scuderia Ferrari in Modena, the purpose of his company was to give the ability to owner drivers to race. His idea was very successful and after a while he created an official team. Scuderia included both cars and motorbikes. A few years later, in 1933, Scuderia became the official racing department of Alfa Romeo.
Ferrari’s final race as a driver was at Circuito Tre Province on August 9th, 1931, one year later he became a father, Alfredo or also known as Dino, was born on January 19th 1932. Enzo had to close his Scuderia, in 1937, because Alfa Romeo claimed back its racing department, five years later he left from Alfa Romeo, but he was not allowed to use the name Ferrari as a racing team, for at least four years.
After his departure from Alfa Romeo, Ferrari had a secret passion, he wanted to create his own racing cars. He opened Auto Avio Costruizioni in Modena, Ferrari forced to move his factory in Maranello, because during the WWII the government interfered with his plans. In his new factory in Maranello, Enzo decided to focus on grinding machines.
At the end of the Second World War, Enzo returned to designing racing cars, the first official Ferrari was the 125 S which was tested in March 1947. Ferrari had to wait a few months in order to celebrate his first victory in Rome at the Rome Grand Prix. A series of great victories were achieved the following seasons. In 1948 Ferrari won at the Mille Miglia, the next year he won the 24 Hours of Le Mans and in 1951 Ferrari won the British Grand Prix.
Alberto Ascari was signed, in 1951, by Enzo and won Ferrari’s first world championship in 1952. During those years Enzo was also started designing cars for commercial use.
A serious illness cost the life of Enzo’s beloved son, Alferdo. In 1956, Dino died from muscular dystrophy. Ferrari was designing the new 1500 cc V6 engine alongside with his son, the engine made its debut 10 months after the Dino’s pass, all the V6 engines were named in his honour.
It was the hardest years of Enzo’s life, six of his drivers were killed between 1955 and 1965, he was also accused for manslaughter in 1957 as nine spectators lost their lives after one of his Ferraris lost control due to a puncture and crashed onto the spectators.
Some years later, in 1969, Ferrari decided to partner with Fiat Group, he knew that he needed a strong partnership in order to continue developing his company. Enzo, gave the 50% of his company to Fiat Group.
The End of Ferrari’s Legacy
Enzo Ferrari decided to build the Fiorano Circuit, which was officially launched on April 8th 1972. Ferrari, resigned as a company from his company in 1977, even though he retired, he still had the control of Scuderia Ferrari.
The F40 was the final car which was launched (1987) under Enzo Ferrari’s management. Enzo also received an honourable degree in Physics from the University of Modena in 1988. The August of the same year Enzo passed away in Maranello at the age of 90.
The first official entry of the Scuderia Ferrari in Formula 1 championship was in 1950 at the Monaco Grand Prix, since then Scuderia has celebrated 16 constructors’ championships and 15 drivers’ titles. Ferrari has scored 228 race victories and 211 pole positions.
“No one remember who took second place and that will never be me.” Enzo Ferrari
Victor Archakis – @FP_Passion
Check out the newest video from Mobil 1 The Grid in which Max Verstappen shows Red Bull Racing team base at Milton Keynes.
Formula One steering wheels are now awash with buttons including engine map settings, brake bias settings and paddles to shift gears. These are all now things we take for granted as Formula One cars become more like computers and get more and more complicated. As with everything in Formula One, it took one piece of genius to set the ball rolling with this technological innovation that we now see as the norm.
Ferrari have been pioneers for a lot of things in Formula One but one of the most ground-breaking was the semi-automatic, electronic gear shift system that we now know as the flappy-paddle gearbox. After fabled designer John Barnard joined Ferrari from McLaren in 1987, the Englishman quickly set to work on what became Ferrari’s 1989 challenger after arriving too late to influence the 1987 car and reliability issues with new transmission hampering 1988. With 1988 being the last of the turbo years, Barnard wanted to focus in detail on 1989 and beyond.
Formula One cars used to have a clutch pedal and stick shift as are in most road cars and Ferrari’s technical chief felt that the wider cockpits that came with this system unnecessarily increased drag. The system was fist tested during 1988 and hit reliability problems as Ferrari’s pioneering technology encountered the expected hiccups. Despite that, Barnard elected to run the F1-89, or 640, with the revolutionary transmission from the start of 1989, although not expecting it to make the finish of the season-opening Brazilian Grand Prix. Even with the low expectations, the F1-89 was the most eagerly anticipated car of 1989 as teams and drivers watched and wondered about the new technology. Both Williams’ of Thierry Boutsen and Ricciardo Patrese fell by the wayside while Ayrton Senna also hit mechanical strife to leave Nigel Mansell out front.
Mansell wasn’t expected to stay there as in testing the gearbox had only lasted around half a race distance, but to the surprise of many including a large number of Ferrari personnel the Brit held off Alain Prost’s McLaren and the semi-automatic transmission won on debut. That would be the only points for the Scuderia until Round Seven at the French Grand Prix as they sought to solve the gearbox teething problems. The problem was found to be a lack of power from the battery to the electrical gearbox, and results including a further two victories came with reliability as the car proved to be fast.
For 1990 Ferrari challenged for the title with Alain Prost and had a clear head start in electronic transmission, but the years 1991-94 proved to be fruitless and other teams caught up in the new electronic era of Formula One. Every team had electronic gearshift technology by 1995, and the concept is now a staple of the modern motorsport world. The equipment has even made it onto many road cars we use today.
And it all came from a drawing in a workshop in Guildford.
After much speculation, today Renault Sport F1 team confirmed that Robert Kubica will be driving the R.S. 17 in Hungary on August 2nd as part of the two days of mid-season testing for the teams. After a series of private tests in older Renault machinery, this announcement marks the next step in what many hope will be the Pole’s full comeback to Formula 1.
Cyril Abiteboul, Managing Director at Renault, previously labelled Kubica as an “option” for Renault in 2018, and claimed that he saw no “obvious roadblocks” to the return of the Polish driver, who was a race winner back in 2008. Kubica himself claimed that he believed he could drive again at the level he did before his career stalling rally crash in 2011, and was quoted as estimating his chances of a return to F1 as “80%-90%”.
This test will mark the first time Kubica completes laps in up-to-date Formula 1 machinery, and will give both Renault, and the general public, a chance to see how he fares in the newer, more physical cars. It will also be the first time he will drive in a public testing session, where his competitiveness will be displayed to the world for the first time.
While rumours are abound that this is Renault’s way of gauging whether or not Kubica is fit to replace current driver Jolyon Palmer, with some placing the switch happening as soon as Spa. This seems unlikely however, as Abiteboul claims the test is merely to see whether it would be possible for Kubica to return in “the upcoming years”. But nevertheless, the announcement marks a huge step forward in the Pole’s quest to return to racing in Formula 1 full time.
Still, fans will be watching very closely to see how his times compare to those of Palmer, and whether or not he manages to last a full race distance. And regardless of whether it leads to a race seat or not, few will not enjoy seeing Robert Kubica back driving a Formula 1 car again. It looks more and more likely that what people once thought was impossible, might become a reality.
Renault also announced that Canadian Formula 2 driver, Nicholas Latifi, will test the Renault R.S. 17 on the other day of the two day test at the Hungaroring.