14
Sep
09

Miscellaneous Monday motorsports mumblings, vol. 20

I can’t say I’m a big fan of the Monza circuit.  Sure, it’s a storied classic like Spa-Francorchamps, and the longest-running circuit on the Formula One calendar, but the combination of long flat-out segments separated by chicanes leaves me cold — partly, I think, because it tends to lead to the sort of racing we saw yesterday.  A high-speed track (average speed over 150mph) with a long time-sucking pit lane makes for more passes in the pits than on the track.

Oh well.  Another BrawnGP 1-2 — we haven’t seen that sort of thing since the start of the year — added a bit of interest to the championship fight.  Kubica took out another Red Bull car — we haven’t seen that since the start of the year, either — and ended up getting called into the pits by the marshals to repair his front wing, which I’ve never seen.  And just when the end of the race starts to look exciting, Lewis Hamilton overcooks it coming out of the first Lesmo and stuffs his car into the tire wall with three to go — again, taking the pressure off of Jensen Button in the same way we saw at Albert Park.

Adrian Sutil did well to finish 4th, and Kimi Raikkonen did well to keep Sutil behind him.  (Both of them ran over members of their pit crews, which I found rather tacky; see also “long time-sucking pit lane”, above.)  Sutil’s new teammate Vitantonio Liuzzi had a better run in the Force India than Fisichella did in the Ferrari — at least until the Force India’s gearbox shat the bed coming out of Curva Grande.  It shows how much of the F60’s speed comes from its driver, just as Hamilton and Kovalainen demonstrated with the MP4-24 earlier this year.

Bleh.  On to Singapore and its gimmicky night-time street race.  After that, though, we’ll first be treated to the joys of Suzuka and then to the joys of Interlagos.  Those are worth waiting for.

——

Speaking of “fast plus chicanes” circuits, it looks like the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve is back on the Formula One calendar:

Grand Prix F1 du Canada Inc. and F1’s governing body have reached a settlement in their financial dispute, which forced the cancellation of the 2009 Canadian Grand Prix.

In a news release, local promoter Normand Legault said Montreal is back on the F1 schedule, adding an announcement is forthcoming.

It’ll never happen, but I’m amused to consider the Canadian Grand Prix relocating to Edmonton’s airport circuit.  (While I’m dreaming: how ’bout we reinstate the USGP at Road Atlanta?)

For all my bitching, this is fantastic news.

——

Keeping with the open-wheel theme, how’s this for a publicity stunt: a Formula Three car built largely from carrots and fueled by chocolate will compete at Brands Hatch in October:

(Hat tip: Jalopnik)

The engine is a heavily modified BMW turbodiesel tweaked to run on biofuel, while the body uses vegetable fibres (cellulose nanofibres in science-speak) and carbon fibre recycled from the aerospace industry.

The cockpit, wheels and tyres conform to normal F3 specifications, although the steering wheel is made from carrots (no, we can’t believe we’ve just written that either). Of course, in accordance with the time-honoured rules of vegetable comedy, the steering wheel is not orange. “We don’t know why it turned out purple,” says Kerry Kirwan, a senior researcher on the project. “Perhaps there was some beetroot in it.”

Flying Carrot cost £500,000 to develop and has been built by the Warwick Manufacturing Group at Warwick university with the financial and technical support of more than 50 companies, including Lola and Scott Racing.

[…]

The Flying Carrot can reach 60mph in 2.0sec (quicker than a regular F3 car) and manages 35mpg at race speeds.

Awesome.

——

And finally, some car porn.  Ladies and gentlemen, McLaren’s new road car — the MP4-12C:

MP4_12C_011_2(Image link goes to Jalopnik gallery)

Ostensible successor to the legendary McLaren F1, the name-dropping MP4-12C is built around a twin-turbocharged 3.8l V8 producing 600hp with a wide powerband, hooked up to a 7-gear seamless sequential gearbox.  All that lives in a 176lb carbon-fibre monocoque sitting on the sort of active suspension system that’s been banned in Formula One for the last decade or so.

And if the McLaren F1 GTR is anything to go by, this’ll end up as a GT car in short order.


1 Response to “Miscellaneous Monday motorsports mumblings, vol. 20”


  1. September 17, 2013 at 20:57

    Very good article! We will bee linking to this great article onn our site.
    Keeep up the great writing.


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