Tag: F1

By on July 6, 2020

With McLaren scrounging for cash and cutting 1,200 positions from its ranks in the hopes of prolonging its own existence, it would be an understatement to claim 2020 has been unkind to the automaker. Most nameplates are having a rough year. And almost all are seeking ways to turn things around before the situation becomes untenable and their fate becomes sealed.

The plan for McLaren involved a £150 million loan from the National Bank of Bahrain and more than a few empty seats.

Autocar now claims the brand has even considered selling part or all of McLaren Applied and Automotive. While the outlet admits this likely hinges on its evolving financial situation, a company insider confirmed advanced discussions are focused on selling a minority stake in the Racing division.  (Read More…)

By on May 26, 2020

McLaren says circumstances have encouraged it to get fairly aggressive in its restructuring efforts. Coronavirus lockdowns forced the company, like so many others, to postpone production and forego sales.

While an undesirable scenario for any manufacturer, McLaren Group already faced additional headwinds by being a relatively small manufacturer dependent on low-volume specialty products with astronomical price tags and having its racing program kneecapped the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA).  (Read More…)

By on January 31, 2020

2019 was not a good year for Aston Martin’s balance sheet. As the British automaker struggled to get new product out the door, its stock decided to mimic the final plunge of the Edmund Fitzgerald. A second profit warning greeted accountants and shareholders as the New Year dawned.

As reported Friday morning, the company’s outlook is suddenly much sunnier. (Read More…)

By on September 17, 2019

Image: Toyota

Toyota Motor Manufacturing Texas is slated to receive a $391 million investment earmarked for streamlined pickup production. The manufacturer wants to merge the Tacoma and Tundra models onto a common platform, something we’ve mentioned in the past, and Toyota’s Tuesday announcement solidifies those rumors.

The new platform is meant to make hybridization easier and provide the basis for the entirety of the automaker’s global truck line — including SUVs like the Sequoia. (Read More…)

By on June 18, 2018

1992 Pontiac LeMans sedan decklid emblem in California junkyard, © 2016 Murilee Martin/The Truth About Cars

Whether it’s a job, car, or food, trying something new often takes a dose of courage. It’s that reason why I always sit up and take notice when a racer steps out of the machine in which they normally compete and turn a wheel in a different environment.

Fernando Alonso did just that this weekend with Toyota at LeMans. The Spaniard appeared in the LMP1 class, part of a team that took the overall win. Not shabby at all.

(Read More…)

By on June 14, 2018

Over the weekend, model Winnie Harlow mistakenly waved the checkered flag a lap early at otherwise dull Canadian Formula One Grand Prix. While not the first incident of its kind, the error has pushed the FIA into considering the adoption of a digitized checkered flag, leaving the black-and-white banner to serve in a more symbolic capacity.

Apparently, Harlow had been informed by an official that the race was ending and prematurely flew the flag — an understandable mistake on her part.

Sebastian Vettel still nabbed his 50th career grand prix win, despite the confusion. However, there are dangers stemming from accidentally calling a race early that the FIA wants to address. With drivers perpetually plugged into their team via radio headsets, it’s unlikely most would automatically assume the event was over. But risks remain if the pilot of a lead car suddenly assumes victory has been cinched. Bleeding off speed for a victory lap could result in pursuing cars passing or even striking the vehicle.  (Read More…)

By on April 9, 2018

Räikkönen post Bahrain DNF

It’s easy to forget that, like drivers, pit crew members frequently put themselves in harm’s way for the big win. We saw a brutal reminder of this on Sunday when Ferrari mechanic Francesco Cigorini had his leg run over by driver Kimi Räikkönen post-release. While the incident wasn’t life threatening, it did serve to show that the pit lane is not for the faint of heart (nor is the video, seen below).

Räikkönen had come in for his second tire swap of the Bahrain Grand Prix and was given the go ahead to launch before Cigorini had finished his work. He and another mechanic were still attempting to remove the left rear tire when the car was released and Francesco was struck. The car was stopped while still in pit lane and retired immediately, killing any hope of a podium finish. The normally calm Räikkönen removed his steering wheel and threw it into the cockpit in anger after realizing he’d be stuck with a DNF. (Read More…)

By on February 5, 2018

f1 america 2017

Late last month, Formula One announced it would no longer be using the professionally employed models colloquially known as grid girls, starting with the 2018 season. The rationale, according to managing director of commercial operations Sean Bratches, was that times had changed.

“While the practice of employing grid girls has been a staple of Formula 1 Grands Prix for decades, we feel this custom does not resonate with our brand values and clearly is at odds with modern day societal norms,” Bratches explained in a release. “We don’t believe the practice is appropriate or relevant to Formula 1 and its fans, old and new, across the world.”

The decision was mocked as a prudish response to PC culture by some, while others praised it as a major victory against the objectification of women. Regardless, the women won’t be coming back in March. However, there will be a replacement. In a recent announcement, F1 said it will replace its grid girls with “Grid Kids.”  (Read More…)

By on November 26, 2017

f1 logo for 2018

With the conclusion of the 2017 season, Formula One decided it was time to unveil its new logo at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. The change underlines a “new era” for the sport under Liberty Media and, admittedly, does seem to be a bit more with the times.

While it was a fine race, Valtteri Bottas beat both Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel, there was no upset in the final standings. Hamilton had secured ultimate victory for himself and Mercedes earlier in the season, while Vettel and the Ferrari team held onto second place. Bottas took third overall, leaving the new logo as the only genuine surprise of the day. (Read More…)

By on November 11, 2017

F1 Nov 2017 Redbull

Last week, Ferrari CEO Sergio Marchionne expressed his distaste for what he perceived as a less-than-desirable update to Formula One’s engine rules. He even suggested the brand might remove itself from the sport if Liberty Media doesn’t reconsider some of its proposals for 2021.

“I understand that Liberty may have taken these into account in coming up with their views,” Marchionne said. “But I think it needs to be absolutely clear that unless we find a set of circumstances, the results of which are beneficial to the maintenance of the brand, and the marketplace, and to the strengthening of the unique position for Ferrari, Ferrari will not play.”

Still in the midst of discussions, Formula One took time to defend itself against Ferrari’s claim that the new rules would make it the global equivalent of NASCAR. (Read More…)

By on November 3, 2017

ferrari f1

Ferrari, the company that has participated in every single Formula One championship since its inaugural season in 1950, is threatening to give up the sport if U.S.-based Liberty Media follows through with its new engine rules. Depending on how you like your motorsport, Ferrari is either completely vindicated in its criticisms or overacting like a spoiled child.

Evolving rules are nothing new in Formula One. Changes are often made between seasons to bolster safety or improve competitiveness. But Ferrari NV isn’t interested in what’s to come after F1’s concorde agreement ends in 2020. Liberty Media has been pushing for engine rules that would make powerplants noisier and higher revving but also more uniform between teams. With a focus on a cheaper and simpler engine, F1’s new owner is also expected to suggest revenue caps on teams next week. The end result should be closer races. But that places it at odds with the Italian manufacturer’s goals of winning all the time.  (Read More…)

By on July 2, 2017

McLaren Ron Dennis 1990 Phoenix Grand Prix

British automotive magnate and principal of McLaren’s Formula One team for all the years that really matter, Ron Dennis, has cut his remaining ties with the company he is so synonymous with.

Having helped lead the F1 team to victory since the 1980s with legendary drivers like Niki Lauda, Alain Prost, Ayrton Senna, Mika Häkkinen, and Lewis Hamilton — while also serving as CEO, chairman, and founder of McLaren Technology Group — it was almost unfathomable to see him removed from his position as head of the company last year. However, we assumed he’d be sticking around on the board for a while.

That hasn’t turned out to be the case. Dennis is selling his remaining stock to Mumtalakat, the Bahrain sovereign investment group, and the French-Saudi entrepreneur Mansour Ojjeh for an estimated £275 million ($362 million).  (Read More…)

By on January 23, 2017

Bernie Ecclestone (Ryan Bayona/Flickr)

Formula One super-magnate and extremely old person Bernie Ecclestone was just ousted from his position as chief executive by Liberty Media — F1’s new owners.

Having bought the company and the voting rights, the American media group’s board of directors designated Chase Carey as Formula One’s new CEO. Unlike Ecclestone, who has been active in motorsport since the 1940s, Carey has a ridiculous mustache and no racing experience whatsoever.  (Read More…)

By on January 3, 2017

Formula One USA

If you live in the United States, odds are that you prefer NASCAR over Formula One. However, if you occupy space anywhere else in the world, the opposite is likely true.

Liberty Media, the American company that purchased Formula One for $8 billion earlier this year, is planning to flip the script and revamp the motorsport to better appeal to everyone — especially Yankees.

The strategy revolves around stretching the traditional weekend of practice, qualifying, and actual race into a full week’s worth of events and coverage, aping the stock car strategy of turning a single competition into an automotive Burning Man.   (Read More…)

By on December 29, 2016

1995 Ford Transit Supervan 3, Image: Ford

There comes a dreaded moment in many automobile enthusiasts’ lives when the reality of having a family and the need for practicality outweighs all other considerations.

Enter that dreaded “V” word.

Getting a van — especially a minivan — is for many the automotive equivalent of getting neutered. You’ve given up, capitulated. Your desires to apex corners and outrace sports cars are now parked firmly in the third-row tier of importance, and haulin’ ass has been replaced by just hauling asses.

But getting a people-hauler doesn’t have to be all bad. In fact, there are quite a few vans people claim are “good to drive.” While I’ll take their word on such things for the time being and soldier on with my wagon addiction, let’s take a look at some more inspired options for heavy-duty hauling that made the prospect of a van actually seem quite cool.

(Read More…)

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