Elvington to Appeal F1 Restrictions

A remote airfield in the English countryside is to appeal a recent court order restricting F1 testing at the venue. In November we reported upon the court order which would limit testing at the Elvington Aerodrome to just ten days a year.

Elvington, which hosted 16 days of F1 ‘straight line’ and aerodynamic testing during 2006, as well as filming for the popular BBC Top Gear programme, has been targetted by local villagers upset by the noise pollution.

It is thought that McLaren, who threatened to cease all UK based F1 testing at the first trial, are likely to provide evidence at the appeal.

The appeal by Elvington Park Ltd will be heard at York Crown Court sometime in the New Year. Given the age of the airfield, you have to ask why villagers moved to that location, what exactly did they expect?

Facts:

  • Handley Page Halifax heavy Bombers flew from RAF Elvington during WW2
  • The USAF turned the airfield into a ‘Basic Operation Platform’, extending the runway to 3094m (10,152ft)
  • In September, it was the location of Top Gear Presenter Richard Hammond’s 300mph accident

Berger Behind Hakkinen Test

According to autosport.com, Gerhard Berger instigated Mika Hakkinen s recent test with McLaren. Speaking about the Finn s return to GP racing, the Scuderia Toro Rosso Boss admitted to coercing the driver to drop his DTM career and try F1 again.

Speaking to Autosport, Berger said, “Let’s put it this way, I had some discussions with him and asked why he was mucking around in the DTM and not doing a proper job again, I rate him as an extremely competitive guy, and so we started to talk and discuss if it was the right thing for him to stay in the DTM. I told him that if he was going to the gym and training hard then he might as well get in a proper car! That was how it all started.”

After travelling to watch Michael Schumacher s final race in F1, Hakkinen’s interest in a comeback grew and was rumoured to approach several key McLaren personnel to discuss potential roles with the Woking-based team. Following several days in the team’s simulator back at Paragon, he finally tested a 2006 spec car at a test in Barcelona.

Alonso Quickest of Current Field…

Fernando Alonso is the fastest active driver, and the eighth quickest of all time, according to a survey conducted by F1 Racing magazine. The ‘quick-list was conducted by the British magazine in order to identify the sport’s fastest fifty racers.

Alongside statistical evidence of how drivers performed against their team-mates, F1 pundits including the FIA s Max Mosley, Ferrari s Jean Todt, retired F1 driver Keke Rosberg and former team-owner Eddie Jordan, were consulted.

Aryton Senna was found to be the fastest driver, with seven times World Champion Michael Schumacher in second place. Alongside Alonso, four other drivers from the current field had a mention, Kimi Raikkonen (13th), Jarno Trulli (42nd), Mark Webber (43rd) and Jenson Button (49th).

Alonso was found to out-perform his team-mate on 67 percent of outings, and as such found his way to the top of the listings, above Gilles Villeneuve (11th), Alain Prost (14th) and Niki Lauda (18th), but behind Juan Manuel Fangio (6th) and Mika Hakkinen (7th). Of course, had we all had Fisichella as our benchmark, we d all score better than Fangio!

www.f1racing.co.uk

Ferrari: Drivers Are Equal in 2007

FerrariFerrari s Stefano Domenicali has ended weeks of speculation over his drivers 2007 contracts. Pit lane gossip had suggested that the drivers’ contracts included a clause stipulating that both team drivers would be treated equally next season, and this has now been confirmed by the Sporting Director.

For the last few seasons Michael Schumacher had always received the latest technology and the benefit of support from team-mates Felipe Massa and Rubens Barrichello.

With Raikkonen on almost five times the salary of his Brazilian team-mate, it s a surprise that Ferrari hasn t extended this policy to the advantage of the young Finn. Domenicali said, “Both drivers will receive the same material and the same support from us, at least at the beginning of the season.”

Stefano went on to say that Kimi will be seen “smiling more often” now that he is driving for the Italian team. Whether he’ll be smiling on the podium or just on the way to the bank remains to be seen!

Medical Provisions

Medical support during Formula 1 races has changed dramatically over the last 20 years and is now one of the highest priorities at a race weekend.

Motorsport injuries can be incredibly severe. Speedy medical help is therefore vital to saving lives as every second counts. This means that the Formula 1 now has tiers of medical staff on hand. Paramedics and doctors will be based at various points around the circuit. They will provide initial first aid to drivers and marshals. There will also be a few specialist medical teams who are based in high speed cars who can be ferried to accidents if they are required. There will also be a medical helicopter on stand by in case anyone needs to be airlifted to hospital. These teams will also carry specialist equipment to cut free the drivers from their cars if required. The FIA’s chief medical delegate (at time of writing, Doctor Gary Hartstein) will be present at every race in his Medical Chase Car and he will be driven to the scene of any major accident on the track.

On top of all this, every circuit has it’s own full-equipped medical centre which contains resuscitation equipment as well as an operating theatre. Local hospitals will also be on stand-by so that they are on alert in case a serious accident does occur. All medical staff will carry their own radios and they will keep in contact with each other and race control.

F1 in Schools

The mission: “To help change perceptions of engineering, science and technology by creating a fun and exciting learning environment for young people to develop an informed view about careers in engineering, science, marketing and technology.”

What is ‘F1 in Schools’?

‘F1 in schools’ is a competition for teams of three to six school children to design and manufacture miniature CO2 powered racing cars. Pupils will then meet at regional, national and international levels to race their cars.

So what’s involved?

Pupils are expected to manage the whole project from scratch, construct a Business Plan, secure sponsorship, as well as design and build the cars themselves. CAD software (computer aided design) and CFD (computational fluid dynamics) are used in the design process, the same used by Formula 1 designers, and the cars are manufactured on a CNC machine. For schools without this equipment, there are manufacturing centres around the country where the students can watch the car being made via video conferencing. All teams must submit documentation supporting their cars, including 3D rendering of the final concept and orthographic projections of the car.

Eventually, the miniature race cars will be timed over a 20 metre course. The current record for such a car is 1.1 seconds – an average speed of 18.18 m/s! Teams will initially compete regionally, with the winners going through to national, before international finals.

Prizes are not only awarded for the overall winner, prizes are also awarded to the winners by age group, fastest car, the best engineered car, and best team sponsorship and marketing.

Is it an officially backed project?

‘Formula 1 in Schools’ was set up in 2000. With fewer engineering graduates than ever before, the scheme was launched to encourage budding F1 designers and mechanics to follow such curriculum. Since its inauguration, over two million school children have taken part, from over twenty countries.

‘Formula One in Schools’ is supported by aficionados from the sport itself. Bernie Ecclestone has officially endorsed the scheme and ITV’s commentator James Allen is patron, other such names including Ross Brawn (formerly of Ferrari), Sam Michaels (Williams) and Mike Gascoyne (formerly Toyota’s head of engineering) have actively supported the scheme.

Why it is a good initiative?

It allows young minds a unique chance to do something that is not traditionally available to them, whilst promoting the sport. It provides students a chance to promote their own technological skills, as well as inspire their creative and innovative traits, potentially launching their journey into Formula One.

The scheme is open to both boys and girls, with female students now making up 40% of all entrants, a proportion unmatched in modern day F1.

For more information, the Official ‘F1 in Schools’ website can be found here: https://www.f1inschools.com/

Spyker Seat Sealed

Adrian Sutil has been given a chance to shine as he is to partner Christijan Albers in the Spyker F1 team next season. The 23-year-old German will replace the outgoing Tiago Monteiro who had expected to race for the team in 2007.

Sutil impressed the newly renamed team with his Friday drives at the European, French and Japanese GP and managed to lift the Japanese F3 title this year. This news ends weeks of speculation as to who was to partner Albers at the Spyker team.

It is believed that Colin Kolles, Team Boss with the Silverstone-based team, admiration for Sutil’s talents led to him being given the seat.

“This is a great signing for team but also a proud one for me personally,” Kolles said. “Adrian made his F3 debut with Team Kolles in 2004 and quite obviously had huge potential when he scored his first pole position in his third race. “He has driven for two great teams since then and matured very quickly.”

Sutil admitted he was shocked, as well as delighted, by the news.

“I really enjoyed being in the F1 paddock this year and to be honest I thought I would be a test driver in 2007,” he said. “Colin Kolles and (team owner) Michiel Mol have been fantastically patient and supportive while this package became reality.”

“I look forward to repaying their faith in me but right now I’m just going to enjoy the best Christmas present ever.”

Some F1 drivers to lose licenses?

The FIA’s president Max Mosley has reiterated his threat to strip some of Formula 1’s driver’s Super Licenses over arguments about safety in the sport.

Earlier this year, the GPDA angered Mosley by complaining about safety at Monza. Now, the drivers are threatening to boycott tests because of lagging safety. In his latest column for magazine F1 racing, Mosley has said that they will always listen to the drivers’ views, however the final decision would always lie with the FIA. He also said that he would have no qualms if they had to lose a race or two, or remove a few licenses to make a point as it would be better for Formula 1 in the long-term.

The warning comes are David Coulthard insisted that the GPDA would not be intimidated by the FIA. Mosley has responded by saying that it wasn’t “the most intelligent of responses, you may think, to a gentle warning. We obviously cannot have two bodies telling circuits what is required.”

Spyker Fashion

Spyker F1 have agreed a three year sponsorship deal with the McGregor Fashion Group. The deal consists of both a sponsorship agreement and a licensing agreement – McGregor Fashion are planning to release a new fashion line called ‘Spyker F1 by McGregor’ in 2007.

The Director of Spyker Michiel Mol said, “It is our aim to have strong and promising brands on our racing cars, brands that fit our strategy to become one of the most attractive F1 teams. McGregor is a famous brand with dominant distribution world-wide. We are happy that McGregor will use the Spyker F1 Team to increase their brand awareness and global presence. Outside this the ‘Spyker F1 by McGregor’ line will support the Spyker F1 brand and bring it closer to the fans.”

The Commercial Director at McGregor, Jan-Paul ten Hoopen, said, “McGregor and Spyker share a unique heritage and ‘pure passion’ for craftsmanship, design and exclusivity. We already had a close relation with the Spyker Squadron that is very successful. When Spyker Cars became the owner of an F1 Team we immediately decided that this would be a unique opportunity for us to make the McGregor brand even stronger. At the moment we are finalising the new ‘Spyker F1 by McGregor’ collection which will be launched Spring 2007. We are really happy with this cooperation and proud that our brand is associated with this unique project. We are looking forward to the launch of the new orange F1 car and we like to wish Spyker F1 Team lots of success with their mission.”