Today, Honda made millions of hardcore F1 fans and Ayrton Senna fans’ dreams come true when they announced that not only are they returning to F1 in 2015 but they will rekindle their partnership with McLaren! Awesome news right? But the question remains: why does Honda want to come back?
If you remember, Honda’s last stint in F1 did not go so well. Instead of working with a partner, they attempted an “all Honda” effort and did all the development on the engine and chassis in-house. Like Toyota, Honda was spending tons of money and not seeing great results despite having talent like Jenson Button and Rubens Barrichello. When those struggles were compounded with a faltering economy Honda backed out of Formula 1 and most knew it would take something major to bring them back.
Well it turns out that “major” thing is the new 1.6 liter energy recover V6 engine mandate that will hit F1 in 2015. Honda sees the new engine setup as a great R&D opportunity for their road cars which is great news for Honda fans. My only gripe is that Honda didn’t do this sooner, otherwise we might have been expecting a McLaren edition NSX in 2015 as well!
I think with a team like McLaren behind them Honda will have a much better time in F1 than they did in their last bout with the sport.
Honda Motor Co., Ltd. today announced its decision to participate in the FIA Formula One (F1) World Championship from the 2015 season under a joint project with McLaren, the UK-based F1 corporation.
Honda will be in charge of the development, manufacture and supply of the power unit, including the engine and energy recovery system, while McLaren will be in charge of the development and manufacture of the chassis, as well as the management of the new team, McLaren Honda.
From 2014, new F1 regulations require the introduction of a 1.6 litre direct injection turbocharged V6 engine with energy recovery systems. The opportunity to further develop these powertrain technologies through the challenge of racing is central to Honda’s decision to participate in F1. Throughout its history, Honda has passionately pursued improvements in the efficiency of the internal combustion engine and in more recent years, the development of pioneering energy management technologies such as hybrid systems. Participation in Formula 1 under these new regulations will encourage even further technological progress in both these areas. Furthermore, a new generation of Honda engineers can learn the challenges and the thrills of operating at the pinnacle of motorsport.
Commenting on this exciting development, Takanobu Ito, president and CEO of Honda Motor Co., Ltd. said:
“Ever since its establishment, Honda has been a company which grows by taking on challenges in racing. Honda has a long history of advancing our technologies and nurturing our people by participating in the world’s most prestigious automobile racing series. The new F1 regulations with their significant environmental focus will inspire even greater development of our own advanced technologies and this is central to our participation in F1. We have the greatest respect for the FIA’s decision to introduce these new regulations that are both highly challenging but also attractive to manufacturers that pursue environmental technologies and to Formula One Group, which has developed F1 into a high value, top car racing category supported by enthusiastic fans. We would like to express our sincere gratitude to Mr. Jean Todt, the President of FIA and to Mr. Bernie Ecclestone, the CEO of Formula One Group who showed great understanding and cooperation to help realize our participation in F1 racing. The corporate slogan of Honda is “The Power of Dreams”. This slogan represents our strong desire to pursue and realize our dreams together with our customers and fans. Together with McLaren, one of the most distinguished F1 constructors, Honda will mark a new beginning in our challenges in F1.”
Also, Martin Whitmarsh, CEO of McLaren Group Limited said:
“The names of McLaren and Honda are synonymous with success in Formula One, and, for everyone who works for both companies, the weight of our past achievements together lies heavily on our shoulders. But it’s a mark of the ambition and resolve we both share that we want once again to take McLaren Honda to the very pinnacle of Formula One success. Together we have a great legacy – and we’re utterly committed to maintaining it.”
Jean Todt, president of FIA said:
“I am very happy to hear about Honda’s important decision to return to Formula One with McLaren from 2015. The introduction of the new power train next year, in the form of a 1.6 litre, 6 cylinder engine with direct injection and energy recovery, is a very exciting challenge and demonstrates a vision for the future of the sport. I am sure that Honda will become a strong contender in the years to come.”
Bernie Ecclestone, CEO of Formula One Group said:
“It is a great pleasure to see Honda back in Formula One. Their engine technology and passion for motor sports make them a natural Formula One contender.”
History of Honda Participation in F1 Racing:
Participated as an “all Honda” team including both the engine and chassis
Participated as an engine supplier (Won both the driver’s and constructors’ championship titles for four consecutive years from 1988 through 1991)
Participated as an engine supplier and joint developer of the chassis
Participated as an “all Honda” team including both the engine and chassis
At last year’s E3 Playseat revealed that their coveted Red Bull Racing branded F1 sim-racing chassis would be coming to the US market. While that was great news it was salted a bit with the additional news that it would come with a $1,999 price tag which pretty much put it in the “out of reach” realm for most of us.
However, Playseat recently announced on their Facebook page that a new seat (very similar to the Red Bull unit) will be coming to PlayseatUSA.com and Playseat.com on May 1st. The new seat, dubbed the “Grand Prix” has a similar design and seating position as the Red Bull rig but minus the branding and hard shell for the seat itself. There may be other differences as well but so far all the details have not been made public. Playseat does say that the Grand Prix will cost less than its Red Bull Racing branded brother but as far as how much less remains a mystery.
Given that the non-branded shell edition of the F1 seat retails for $1,799, I would make a guess that the new “softer” version may likely come in between $1,000 and $1,200. Those prices are just speculation on my part though. I guess we will not know for sure until the Grand Prix is released next Wednesday (May 1st 2013).
For a closer look just click the thumbnail below for a large picture.
If you are like me, you have probably spent a lot of time wondering what it is really like to sit in a formula one car. All I really know of it is how it is described by commentators during a race. From what I gathered it seemed like it is actually a pretty uncomfortable experience. However, if you ask Lewis Hamilton, he will tell you the complete opposite. In the video below where he explains the seating position in his Mercedes GP PETRONAS car he actually admits to nodding off occasionally while in the garage. Check it out below.
Did you happen to miss the Chinese GP over the weekend? Did you forget to record it too? Ok well then we apologize that you suck but again we are here to help. Below are the official results and a post race recap from the NBC Sports boys.
WARNING: SPOILER BELOW
Unfortunately Lewis Hamilton could not repeat as the China winner. Instead it was Fernando Alonso who pushed his Ferrari to victory over the weekend. He was followed (distantly) by Kimi Raikkonen and Lewis Hamilton managed a third place finish. There were a few good battles and a few hiccups as well. Learn all about it in the post race report below!
It feels like forever-ago that the world first caught news that Ron Howard would be directing a feature film highlighting the rivalry between driving legends James Hunt and Niki Lauda during the dangerous late 70s era of F1 racing. Today we finally get our first real taste of what we can expect when RUSH hits theaters in September. If this trailer is any indication, I would say we are in for one epic telling of a real life rivalry that remains the stuff of legend.
RUSH stars Chris Hemsworth (Thor, Avengers, The first 5 minutes of Star Trek) as the Devil may care, brash but talented James Hunt facing a focused, calculating, and eternally confident Niki Lauda played by Daniel Bruhl (Inglorious Bastards). To get a sneak peek at how the two drivers faced off watch the international trailer below. We will have an update when the U.S. trailer premieres this Thursday.
If you did not get a chance to catch round two of the Formula One world championships and you need to know who wins then I am here to help! WARNING: SPOILER ALERT..
Sebastian Vettel took the victory in a damp (sometimes very wet) Malaysia this weekend with his teammate Mark Webber taking second and Lewis Hamilton grabbing third. Last weekend’s winner Kimi Raikkonen struggled in the wet but still managed to stay in the points by taking 7th place.
For highlights check out the video below and for a post race wrap-up with three very familar F1 fans check out the second video below!
After what seemed like an eternity, Formula One finally resumed over the weekend. All the speculation, rumors, and storylines all came to a head as F1 returned to Australia to kick off the 2013 season. Even though most of the “silly season” was about who would end up where and why certain decisions were made, the common denominator amongst all the talk was that those who showed speed last season would be even faster this year.
That prediction turned out to be true as all the top guys were super quick around Melbourne but it looked like Sebastian Vettel was going to be fastest as he put on a pretty strong qualifying performance and captured pole position. Mark Webber completed a Red Bull lock out of the front row by qualifying second and Lewis Hamilton with his new Mercedes GP team took third spot.
However on Sunday Vettel, Webber, and Hamilton all struggled with tire durability issues. The two Ferraris and Kimi Raikkonen all capitalized on those struggles and inserted themselves into the fight at the front. In the end it was “The Iceman” Kimi Raikkonen who captured the first win of the season while Fernando Alonso grabbed second place and Sebastian Vettel nabbed third.
Kimi’s victory could be a sign of things to come as he has consistently gotten faster since his return to F1. We will have to wait until next week at Malaysia to see if Kimi can keep the momentum going or if Fernando, Sebastian, or Hamilton will make themselves a bigger part of the 2013 fight.
Yesterday was the final race of a crazy and unpredictable 2012 Formula One season. We saw 8 different winners in 8 races at the begining of the season as well as tremendous ups and downs at the front and back of the grid. There was controversy, triumph, elation, and anger. When it was all said and done it would come down to one final race in the home country of Ayrton Senna. Sebastian Vettel came into the weekend holding onto the points lead but thanks to Lewis Hamilton’s win at the USGP and Fernando Alonso’s strong finish, the Spaniard was still very much alive for the championship.
The weekend started off with Lewis Hamilton capturing the pole and his teammate Jenson Button coming in P2, locking out the front row. Right behind the two McLarens were the Red Bull’s of Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber respectively. In order for Fernando to win the title he needed to finish the race or finish at least 5 positions ahead of Vettel. When the race started the clouds opened up and provided a wet track for the start. As the pack bunched up at turn 1 Vettel spun which opened up a massive ray of light for Fernando.
For a long time it looked like Fernando might just pull through and get the points he needed to get his third world championship. However, staying ahead meant staying out on dry tires on a track that was becoming increasingly damp. Eventually Fernando had to switch to intermediate tires and just when he did the track dried up again. In fact the entire field made several tire changes to try and cope with very indecisive weather. Despite the shoe swapping Fernando managed to make it to second place while Jenson Button was leading the race. Although, Sebastian Vettel was in 7th place, exactly where he needed to be to finish 3 points ahead of Fernando and win the championship.
Just when it looked like Fernando might start pushing for the race win Vettel moved up to 6th place. Then on the final lap an accident brought out the safety car, locking in the positions thus giving Sebastian Vettel his third straight world championship title. Vettel is only the third driver in Formula 1 history to win three titles in a row. The other two are the great Fangio and none other than Michael Schumacher. To achieve such a task at only 25 years old will definitely put Vettel in the history books.
The finish of this race also meant the end of Michael Schumacher’s F1 career as a driver, Lewis Hamilton’s final race with McLaren, and the end of SPEED’s broadcast coverage of F1 in the United States. Times certainly are “a changin’” Let us hope they are changing for the better.
It was back in 2010 when an investment group announced that they had designs on building a world class race track near Austin, Texas in an effort to bring Formula 1 back to the United States after a 5 year abscence. Along the way there were ups and downs but in the end they got the track finished and it was finally ready to hold its first official F1 event; which took place yesterday in front of over 100,000 fans. As a matter of fact the event sold out completely. Every last cheap seat to the super luxury suites were sold and accounted for by the time race weekend arrived.
So now that it is Monday, what happened? Did it all go off without a hitch? To put it shortly: Yes. The teams and drivers descended upon Austin, Texas at the beginning of the week and glitz & glamor aside it was business as usual. The only real talking point as far as the track went was the fact that the surface was very slippery since it was so very new. Before the F1 event only a few race cars have run the circuit so the asphalt was not “rubber-ed in” at all, making for a slick track. This made practice and qualifying very interesting! However, despite the slippery asphalt the cream still rose to the top as Red Bull, McLarren, and Ferrari still topped the charts.
On Saturday it was Sebastian Vettel who captured the pole position. Lewis Hamilton put up a valliant effort but missed Vettel’s time by a tenth of a second. Mark Webber qualified third which put Lewis in dangerous territory.
Then, we have the points battle. Sebastian Vettel came to America with a mission to clinche the driver’s title for himself and the constructor’s title for Red Bull. After the math was done it was determined that in order for Vettel to clinche the driver’s championship he had to win the race and Fernando Alonso had to finish 5th or worse. If Vettel finished second then Fernando could do no better than 9th, and if Vettel finished 3rd then Fernando would have to score no points at all. The third scenario seemed pretty unlikely so Vettel had to concentrate on winning.
Once the race went under way and the drivers charged up “Phil Hill” things seemed to go Red Bull’s way as Vettel and Webber began to run away from the group. However, Fernando charged his way from 9th place up to 4th. About mid way through the race Hamilton made his way around Webber then set his sights on Vettel. Meanwhile Fernando started to smell blood as Mark Webber’s race car started to have issues. The Aussie’s car finally gave up and Fernando Alonso grabbed third place and held on for all it was worth.
Vettel must have been shaken by the news that his teammate was no longer there to protect him because Lewis Hamilton caught Sebastian in lapse of concentration and pulled off a brilliant pass to take the lead. Hamilton went on to win the race with Vettel taking second place and Fernando Alonso kept his championship hopes very much alive by finishing third. Despite Mark Webber’s DNF, Vettel’s second place finish was enough for Red Bull to secure the constructor’s title and secure them a heafty check to add to next year’s budget.
The driver’s championship on the other hand will all come down to the final race of the season in Brazil next week. Without clinching in Texas, Vettel cannot drive with his “nothing to lose” attitude that he had in the final race of last year. Meanwhile Fernando Alonso will be racing with every ounce hes got to try and win his third championship.
A while back I showed you some pics and video for the upcoming F1 Race Stars game from Codemasters. If you haven’t been doing your reading, F1 Race Stars basically takes Formula One racing and crosses it with your favorite “kart style” racing games to create a new experience. If you want a better idea of what the gameplay is like then check out the video below which explains all the power ups, tracks, and characters. Better yet you can just download the demo right now on Xbox Live today and Playstation Network tomorrow! If the demo is enough to convince you then you will be happy to know that if you pre-order the game from GameStop then you will get a free DLC pack consisting of the two European tracks Valencia and Spain! Otherwise, if I am on the review list I will give you guys my take on F1 Race Stars soon.
F1 RACE STARS™ DEMO LAUNCHES – EXPERIENCE FORMULA ONE™ GOING OVER THE TOP!
PLUS: NEW GAMEPLAY VIDEO REVEALED AND ALL-NEW TRACK ANNOUNCED AS PRE-ORDER BONUS
Los Angeles, Calif. – Nov. 6, 2012– Today Codemasters® announced that a demo for F1 RACE STARSwill be available for download this week ahead of the game’s race into retail on November 13th. In the demo players will experience FORMULA ONE powered-up on the F1 RACE STARS Germany track in both single-player and up to four-player split-screen. On every straight, hairpin and jump, players will experience F1 RACE STARS’ unique brand of superfast FORMULA ONE racing as they race through a Bavarian castle, accelerate on the autobahn and fly through a forest.
The F1 RACE STARS demo will be available for download today for the Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft in Europe and North America. The demo will then be available from Steam for Windows PC on Wednesday, November 7; the demo will arrive for the PLAYSTATION®3 computer entertainment system in North America on Tuesday, November 13.
In the demo players can race as Jenson Button, Fernando Alonso, Sebastian Vettel or Kimi Räikkönen and compete against with other official and fictional FORMULA ONE drivers, transformed into heroic caricatures that are bursting with personality.
In the sprint for the checkered flag, gamers can utilize a range of fantasy and FORMULA ONE themed power-ups, from calling in Wet Weather to slow the pack, deploying DRS to speed past rivals and using a range of sneaky bubbles to trap other drivers. If their car takes damage, gamers can race through the pit lane to get back up to speed, whilst a variety of different routes, boost pads and shortcuts will all slingshot players ahead.
NEW GAMEPLAY VIDEO REVEALED
To mark the news, Codemasters has released a new gameplay video showcasing some of the features set to take FORMULA ONE over the top. The trailer shows FORMULA ONE stars zooming past giant sumo robots in Japan, racing through a carnival in Brazil and dodging a Truckosaurus in the USA on F1 RACE STARS’ unique circuits. In a super-charged sprint for the checkered flag, the trailer shows the drivers using different power-ups – including Safety Car, Teleport and DRS – to gain the advantage on their rivals and race around special KERS corners to get a speedy boost. The video is now playing at www.F1racestars.com.
ALL-NEW TRACK ANNOUNCED AS PRE-ORDER BONUS
Gamers who purchase from www.gamestop.comand at Gamestop retail stores will receive the F1 RACE STARS Valencia Street Circuit Edition as a gift with purchase, while supplies last. Those that preorder are guaranteed to get this special edition, which includes a free download code for an additional European Track set around the speedy city streets of Valencia, Spain, where gamers can race through a marina, speed across super-slippery ice and dodge flying tomatoes in single-player, split-screen and online.