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Lotus Launch their E23 Hybrid (Update: 17:02 GMT)
OTD Lite 1945 – Birth of a true British Hero
It is unlikely that many people will have heard or remember the name David Purley. He competed in just 11 Grand Prix in the mid 70’s and would suffer an accident which at the time was the highest recorded G-force survived by a human being.
In only his second Grand Prix, at Zandvoort in Holland 1973, Roger Williamson’s car flipped on to its side after a tyre exploded. His car caught fire and Purley abandoned his own race to attempt the rescue of the stricken man. The harrowing images were captured on film and are not for the faint hearted. Purley would receive the George medal for his bravery.
In 1977 during a British Grand Prix practice session, his throttle stuck open as he approached Becketts corner at Silverstone. He decelerated from 108mph to 0 in just 26 inches sustaining a then record 179.8G.
After his recuperation he raced again before turning to competition acrobatics for his thrills. He crashed fatally off the coast of England in July 1985.
The Grumpy Jackal.
Lewis Hamilton plans for his musical debut
Lewis Hamilton has long been associated with the music industry. Not only via is his ‘significant other’ ex Pussycat Doll – Nicole Scherzinger – but he often is seen mixing with music celebrities on Twitter and in the paddocks of the world.
Over the years a multitude of rap stars – including Ice Cube – have attended as Hamilton’s guest and it is no secret that he has spent time working on his own first album.
After parting from his father’s management, Hamilton signed up to Simon Fuller’s XIX Entertainment company and until late last year had been represented by the company that established the Spice Girls in popular culture some twenty years ago.
Britain’s Telegraph newspaper is reporting that since breaking his association with XIX, Hamilton is negotiating his own terms with Mercedes but has been signed by Mayfair-based Purple PR. Their clientele include pop royalty such as Adele, Beyonce, Calvin Harris, Dizzee Rascal and the aforementioned Ice Cube, though girlfriend Scherzinger is not part of Purple’s portfolio.
The 30 year old World Champion has been in Paris this week at the Louis Vitton menswear fashion show. Representatives of Purple have been working with him before he begins his title defence year next week in Southern Spain. As ever – beyond his F1 aspirations and his desire to increase his charitable work – his signing to this new agency shows where his focus lies in regards his future.
Haas F1 2016 plans progressing well
First was a rebuttal of rumours which indicated that Haas had bought the rights to the defunct Marusia team, “We have not bought the intellectual property, all the rumours are untrue and we are developing our own car.”
With the team’s employees currently numbering 50, Haas still searching for a lead designer but any new car will not run before the 2016 winter tests. “We don’t want a car before everybody else, it makes no sense. Before the test the car would already be obsolete so we are aiming to build it as late as possible so as to develop it as well as we can. It would be a waste of time and money to build a car merely for testing. “
“At the moment, everything is going according to plan. We are working closely with Ferrari and they have the knowledge which we want to learn. They are a good partner. The collaboration could extend to the drivers too. Gutierrez is most likely the favourite but there are options in Marciello as well as Vergne and Sutil who although not in F1 have vast experience.”
“It’s a difficult decision as we won’t know who will be available in four months time but ultimately our aim is we want to be respected, do the best we can and not be embarrassing. I’m confident but again, there could be a last minute rush or something that could pose a problem but that’s racing. Our team will be able to overcome these obstacles but there is no doubt we will be on track in 2016.”
Haas will benefit from a change in the deadline for the 2016 technical and sporting regulations to be agreed. In previous years this has been in June, however, the FIA have brought forward this date to March 31st, This means the team’s can begin their planning much earlier.
Marussia looking to be present on Melbourne grid
According to reports in the Italian press, Marussia may well be saved and turn out at the start of the 2015 season after all – if the unknown investors that the administrators are currently speaking to step forward.
Speculation suggests that a consortium from India is currently speaking to Ferrari about the outstanding debts from the non payment for the supply of their power unit last year.
John Booth, the team principal of the team is seeking to return – with Marussia being rechristened to its earlier name of Manor. The team would have to move from its current base in Banbury to a new factory based in Sheffield as their old facility has been purchased by the Haas F1 team.
With the prize money that would be available for the team’s 9th place last year, this allows the team’s creditors to be paid and makes finding a solution somewhat easier. With Bernie Ecclestone working hard to have 11 teams present on the grid in Australia, the team is currently updating their designs for the 2015 car which in part explains why the auctions were cancelled recently.
As ever in F1, the search for funds is relentless and Booth is looking for drivers that have sponsorship money to pay for their F1 drive. Obviously not an ideal situation but the intoxication of being part of this global circus has made fools of many a man.
The Usher’s Caption Competition
for an alternative view on F1, follow TJ13’s Usher
Latin flair for Sauber
It is often said, how you dress reveals a lot about who you are; and the same argument could be made for Formula One car liveries.
Sauber have for a number of years not had the most adventurous or exciting livery with its rather drab grey and white colouring. Yet with the recruitment of Brazilian driver, Filipe Nasr, the Swiss based F1 team are set to clad their cars with some Latin flair.
Having lost certain Mexican sponsor’s Sauber will benefit from Nasr’s major backer, Banco de Brazil, shoes logo colours are blue and yellow. In 2014 Nasr drove for Carlin in GP2 and the car’s livery reflected this colour scheme.
This said, the winter has not been trouble free for Sauber, and there is some uncertainty as to whether they will make the test starting this weekend coming in Jerez.
That is the claim of the Portuguese-language publication Universo, claiming the Swiss team’s colour choice is in deference to new driver Felipe Nasr’s major backer Banco do Brasil. When asked about this deadline, a spokesperson for the team would merely state they were “working to have the car ready for the first test in Jerez.”
Ferrari ‘666’ has a proper name
The informal working title given to the Scuderia Ferrari’s 2015 F1 challenger has been the source of much amusement amongst Formula One fans and the topic of ‘Comment of the Week’ on a recent TJ13 podcast.
Project ‘666’, the number of the beast became the Maranello race engineers’ nickname for the 2015 car and was first divulged in the Autumn of 2014.
The ‘S’ stands for Scuderia and is designated to pay homage to the race team, and as was the case last year the ‘T’ is reference to the turbo engine.
Ferrari fans voted from a short list for the 2014 name, however this year, Sergio Marchionne has made the decision. The car is set for an online launch this Friday, before Sebastian Vettel takes it for a run in Jerez on the first day of testing this weekend.
2011:150° Italia (changed from F150, after Ford enforced its branding rights)
2014: F14 T
The world of F1 tech awaits with baited breath to see if the Italian team persist with the pull rod suspension system – or have decided ditched it.
Lotus Launch their E23 Hybrid Update: 17:02 GMT)
Today the world saw Lotus’ newest family member, the Lotus E23 Hybrid.
Gone is the double pronged nose and this is replaced by a shorter one, with an bit of a step at the tip.
Note on this picture the addition air intake ovals on each side of the roll bar. This design has now split the air intake into three to direct to different areas under the engine cover. Further, this bulier air intake results in smaller side pods, assisting air flow around the car to the diffuser.
The car does look rather sparse in terms of sponsors names. Gone are Total, Rexona, Clear and Burn – though the Microsoft Dynamics logo has grown somewhat.
Matthew Carter, Lotus F1 Team CEO:
“The E23 Hybrid represents a new era for Lotus F1 Team, not only in the change to a Mercedes Benz Power Unit, but also it is the fruition of a busy winter behind the scenes. Improvements within our Design, Aero and Simulation departments have all contributed to the development of a car which is a huge step forward.
As a team we are confident that the new car coupled with additions to the Race team will enable a huge leap forward and we are full of optimism going into the new season. It is time to put the disappointment of last season behind us and benefit from 12 months of hard work; we are ready to return to our rightful place at the pinnacle of the sport.”
Nick Chester, Lotus F1 Team Technical Director:
“The E23 Hybrid represents a massive step forward for us. It’s no secret that we struggled with last year’s car so we’ve targeted every area that caused us an issue. We’ve made strong progress in the wind tunnel as well as in areas such as packaging and cooling.
We expect the E23 to perform far, far better than its predecessor. In terms of what’s new, obviously a massive change for us is a new Power Unit supplier. We made this change as it looked and looks to be the one area of the car which could bring us the greatest performance gain. It’s not just performance, but reliability and driveability as well as packaging and cooling too.
The E22 did deliver good figures in the wind tunnel, even if it was difficult to unlock its potential, so we’ve paid more attention to making the characteristics of the car more adaptable. In terms of the suspension, we were delivered something of a blow last year when the front-rear interconnected suspension was outlawed mid-season. The E23’s suspension design is specific to the updated regulations so we’re not trying to update a system originally intended to work a different way.
We learnt a lot in many areas of the car over the course of 2014 so there are many lessons which have been applied. We know we’ve made a big step. We won’t know how our car will fare in relative terms until we’re out in action at a Grand Prix, but we certainly expect to be much more competitive than last year.”
Finances and Performance
Matthew Carter also reveals that the teams finances are on a better footing than in 2013. “Our budget for this year, although reduced compared to 2013, is similar to last season. We have a couple of new sponsors that, although not featured on the car today, will be there for the first race.
“A lot of the back office work at the business is producing results, so financially we are looking good.
“And it is important to say that if we do get more money, then that will go straight on to improving car performance.
“In previous years such additions may have gone in to the black hole of debt, but now it can go straight on to the car.”
Having shifted engine supplier, Carter is bullish the team will make a leap forward on what was a woeful 2014.
“We are hoping that we can challenge and get around where Williams are,” said Carter, who revealed that windtunnel figures for the new E23 had been hugely encouraging.
“I don’t want to be too optimistic, because it is important to be realistic, but finishing third or fourth in the constructors’ championship is really our target.
“But that is largely dependent on how Red Bull cope with Renault, what Honda do with McLaren and where Ferrari get to.”
Update GMT 17:02
Lotus and Force India will run Mercedes 2014 engine in Jerez, whilst Williams and Mercedes AMG F1 will be running a 2015 development power unit.
Ferrari engine fired up
There is definite change in the air at Maranello. After what has been a decidedly dated social media presence from the Scuderia, today they release this very 21st century piece of teaser material and marketed it on twitter.
That said, the noise resembles something which may have haunted both Raikkonen and Alonso in the dreams during 2014