Category Archives: Original Pieces

Refueling? It’s a Great Idea (Five of Them Actually)

Jos Verstappen in 1994, Felipe Massa in 2008 and his team-mate Kimi Raikkonen a year later in Brazil. All three drivers have had their share of pit stop horrors. Both Jos and Kimi  were engulfed in burning high-octane fuel while Felipe miss-timed his release in the inaugural Singapore Grand Prix to take the fuel hose and two mechanics along with him on exit. All exciting, but dangerous.

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Six Things to Look Forward to in 2016

Dane Hansen takes a moment to reassure you – Formula One’s ultimate fans – that despite the long wait of more than 100 days before Melbourne, there is much to look forward to in 2016.

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“Because in a split second, it’s gone.” RIP, Jules Bianchi.

It is with a very heavy heart that I must report the passing of a phenomenal talent, and an even greater human being, Jules Bianchi. With hands that feel like lead, it’s difficult to remain composed while writing this. Where do you begin? How do words make a good compromise for feelings? How do you explain somebody’s life in black and white? This won’t be a piece filled with creative flare. This is a tribute to one of my favourite names in motorsport, Jules Bianchi. OTL 101B Read the rest of this entry

The Magic 8 Spectacle

[Part 1/8]

A lot of unseen effort goes into Formula One. Multi-million dollar deals, driver contracts and immense scrutinizing to keep the protagonists on the grid in check. F1 is a peculiar business. Drivers are employees and their sole objective is to win, whilst their employers are tasked with developing competitive cars and maintain solid sponsorships to fund their endeavours. All at the same time, hundreds of personnel are “back at the factory” working day and night through the year, be it in the sweltering heat of summer or the cold recesses of winter. Here are eight spectacles that run through the heart and veins of Formula One.

Formula One is a scene of an organised chaos. Filled with roughly 2000 people, during a season teams travel across the globe from corner to corner. Once only 8 races filled the F1 calendar, but now there are around twenty each year, beginning in March and ending in November, spanning a massive distance of 160 000km across the rondures of the Earth. But even after the rush of a year traveling around the world chasing a trophy, it is only the racing that stops. Then it is a battle against time for engineers, mechanics and aerodynamicists just to name a few, fill the factory to continue developing a car that has already been conceptualised around July/August of that same year.

Monaco

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Cotton Couches to Carbon Race Seats

Historically, an entry into the world of proffesional motorsport has come with immense sacrifice and expence. What if there was a new alternative to aspiring drivers? Well, now there is.

Driving fast cars for a living is a dream that is kept by many a fan and young child. Funding a career going into Motorsport can be an arduous and difficult task. In Formula Ones’ premature years, drivers found their way into racing cars through working as a mechanic at a successful garage, or perhaps owning a road car dealership. This type of entry into the sport was quite normal and accepted. In fact, it spawned triple world champion, Jackie Stewart. The flying Scot began his early days as an apprentice mechanic with the family business in his father’s motor repair shop. Barry Filer, a trusted customer of Stewart’s garage offered Jackie a number of opportunities to test his cars at English race track, Oulton Park. This sowed the seeds of Stewart’s racing career. It was only in the twilight of the seventies when a new crop of drivers, the most famous driver being young Ayrton Senna, took to karting – a new alternative for Grand Prix training. The Brazilian worked his way through each tier of racing before hitting the big league of Formula One. Beginning in karts was a fresh and respectable style of entry. Thereafter he graduated to more prestigious Formulae and then finally, F1.

GT1

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Top 12 Most Dominant Formula One Cars

Every once in a while, an F1 team produces something different. A car that is so great, it cannot even be termed competitive.They were simply to good. Some dominated for just a season, whilst others remained and were developed for years. 

Formula One is sports automated gift to mankind. Heroes from all populated continents have competed in some spectacular machinery over the years. Remarkable designers and architects of cars have bred some creative and awe-inspiring initiatives. The challenge for engineers to work their way around the rules and regulations has been a constantly fascinating journey. Some innovations were so ingenious that scrutineers failed to nullify any unwanted loopholes found by teams. Some names that have emerged over the decades have helped create Formula One into the household name it is today. Here are the top twelve most dominant cars in Formula One.

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Scream: The end of an era

Formula 1 is indeed entertainment. It comes with a balanced romance of thrills and speed, danger and talent. However there can be an entirely separate appreciation for the noise alone that a Formula 1 engine expels.

It is easy to be thankful of lateral and vertical G-forces, cornering speeds and breaking distances, but nothing can measure against the 147db of a Formula 1 car’s drive by. Any louder and the vibrations become nearly impossible for a person to close his/her throat. Over the years, we have seen regulations change, and with that there have been deviations in the pitch and loudness of engines – each with its very own unique traits. In the 50’s drivers, engineers and fans alike were treated to the rugged, coarse sounds of a v16 BRM. Its noise was so imperfect and unrefined it was simply beautiful. One can only imagine how it could have shattered the delicate silence of British countryside all those years ago. Then came more developments in regulations which brought the shrieking sound of the v12 Ligier Matra to Formula 1’s ears during the 70’s and was a difficult benchmark tone for any engine maker to equal. Not many have been lucky enough to be graced with the prompt blare of a Ligier Matra in the flesh. Hearing driver vs. machine shifting through gears and away into the distant regions of a track is a pleasure that only a lucky handful have had the privilege to listen to. Then, during the 1980’s, we witnessed Formula 1’s first era of turbo charged cars, and with it, came its own distinctively terrifying racket. Cars reached roughly 1400 bhp during qualifying days. Twin turbo engines would have a deafening roar with flames spitting and licking the air around the rear exhausts. It was so frightening it looked almost sinister. Come 1989, the world of F1 was set to return to the pleasures and sounds of naturally aspirated engines. Fans were treated to the high pitched revving screams of the cars that would make the 90’s and the first decade of the 2000’s an infamous chapter of Formula 1.

F1 fire

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The Rise of the Pay Driver

Money is the driving force of all business, and now in the modern world, it drives sport. Once talented athletes were praised by many, but moving through into the 21st century, drivers are now becoming monetary assets supplying large funds, instead of bringing the car home for points, podiums and wins. The pay driver is now becoming a bigger reality for F1 than ever before…

Formula 1 is sport of which has seen some of the greatest drivers ever known with the names of Fangio, Prost, Senna and Schumacher. Yet, it has also seen some courageous and heroic drivers who have been favourites to win championships, but never did. The list includes Gurney, McLaren, the Rodriguez brothers, Cevert and Gilles Villeneuve. They all had battles which saw cars sliding sideways, tyres that would touch and where the lead of the drivers’ championship would sway from one driver to another like a pendulum.  Drivers were worshiped by fans and had Godly auras about them. We ask ourselves why this racing could have been more enjoyable to watch all those years ago, and the simple straight forward answer would be “because they were better than they are today”.  It was the raw ruthless competitiveness that was the backbone of Formula 1 which aided its immense success.

senna-lotus-renault-12

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Where Has Formula 1 Disappeared To ?

Formula One is an international sport that has touched the tarmac on every populated continent on Earth. The smell of burnt rubber and spilled fuel that once intoxicated the minds of fans in Europe, Scandinavia and Africa has been disappearing for some time now, and is feared to be lost for good unless a certain somebody (Bernie Ecclestone) does something about it.

What has happened to Formula One? Once a sport that took teams, drivers and spectators to the most exclusive F1 venues in the world, it now has a flip side. Where hosts such as France, Holland, Sweden and South Africa once held some of the most classic races on the most classic tracks that vibrated with buzzing atmospheres. Tracks were adored by spectators and respected by drivers. With long straights, fast bends and swaying chambers, the Formula 1 of yesteryear gives the sport the fantastic and heroic history it deserves. The modern era has sadly seen somewhat of a downturn. Yes, Formula 1 should spread to the far corners of the world, but do races need to be staged there? Possibly not.
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