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 March 2, 2018

Image: 1991 Jaguar XJR-15We’re having a Jaguar kick in the Rare Rides series, and by that I mean two cars in a row from the leaping cat.

Though most everyone’s heard of the XJ220, fewer are likely aware of its predecessor: the XJR-15. It’s not slow, it isn’t cheap, and it’s not luxurious.

You want it!

(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 22, 2017

Image: 1979 BMW M1In our last Rare Ride entry we covered the difficult conception and birth of the BMW M1 at the hands of a financially faltering Lamborghini. In Part II, we talk about the second issue BMW faced, which would ultimately alter (and shorten) the M1’s life.

(Read More…)

By on November 21, 2017

Image: 1981 BMW M1BMW presently sells the hybrid i8 to the eco-conscious performance driver. It is mid-engined, has butterfly doors and what have you, and it’s quite striking.

But did you know that it’s not the first mid-engine BMW? No, that title goes to our Rare Ride today — the M1, from all the way back in 1981. Don’t worry, it’s not all that Malaisey.

(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 September 8, 2016

Formula One (Leo Hidalgo/Flickr)

New details about the Formula One purchase trickled out last night after the buyer, Liberty Media Corp., agreed a deal to take over the sport.

The U.S.-based entertainment and telecommunications giant will initially pay $4.4 billion for a controlling stake in the franchise, The Guardian reports, and a familiar white-haired figure will keep his job. (Read More…)

By on September 7, 2016

Bernie Ecclestone (Ryan Bayona/Flickr)

Longtime Formula One chief executive Bernie Ecclestone will remain involved with his beloved sport, even after an imminent takeover by a U.S.-based media company.

Ecclestone, head of Formula One for the past four decades, says he’s been asked to stay on for three years after the takeover, Reuters reports. (Read More…)

By on August 3, 2016

helicopter (Calflier001/Flickr)

In old mystery novels, it’s usually the butler, gardener or maid that police nab for committing a dastardly crime. In 21st Century São Paulo, Brazil, it’s the helicopter pilot.

After rescuing Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone’s mother-in-law from kidnappers earlier this week, Brazilian authorities arrested the racing tycoon’s pilot on suspicion of involvement, the BBC reports. (Read More…)

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