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Formula Fun: Malaysian Grand Prix Edition

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Well well, now isn’t this the Formula 1 we were all hoping for? The choice of music for this weekend not only refers to the amazing comeback by the Scuderia, who just a week ago were talking about far off they still were from the Mercedes duo, but the comeback of F1 in general. No talk of it being more of a Hunger Games survival of the fittest, now it was an all out Battle Royale, with great fights all throughout the field. This is F1 baby, and mama (Bernie) made it a knockout.

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Formula Fun, First edition

Welcome everyone to the very first edition of a regular feature I am calling Formula Fun. “What is the purpose of all this?” you might be asking. Well, as someone who loves this great sport, I often find any writing about Formula 1 to be mostly doom and gloom these days. There are budget crises, Red Bull threatening to take their ball and go home, or Sauber looking like it has more drivers than sense.

There is another side to this series that I love. I want to showcase the weird, the fun, and the irreverent side of this sport. This isn’t to say that I will be ignoring the current goings on in the lovely circus that is F1, but again, no doom and gloom here. You can go get that everywhere else.

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The Curious Case of the 2015 Australian Grand Prix

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Here we were, the long winter almost over, Caterham F1 was dead, Marussia, now Manor Marussia, was undead. Honda was back, recreating the legendary McLaren Honda partnership, the most dominate force of the late 80’s and early 90’s. And to top it all off, Sebastian Vettel had left Red Bull Racing, and followed in the footsteps of his mentor and friend, Michael Schumacher and joined the Scuderia Ferrari. All of this, plus the promise of the continued dual between the two Mercedes drivers, Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton, means this race should have been an explosive start to the season.

But that isn’t what happened. Let’s take a look at this upside down Grand Prix.

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Relive the glory of Formula 1’s testing at Imola in 1994

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The San Marino Grand Prix of 1994 is known as one of the worst weekends in all of motorsport – certainly within Formula 1. That weekend (April 29 – May 1, 1994) earned its reputation with three horrific on-track accidents that claimed the lives of two drivers and nearly claimed a third. Rubens Barrichello miraculously survived his crash on Friday, but Roland Ratzenberger and Ayrton Senna – a promising driver in his first F1 season and a legend looking for his fourth championship, respectively – did not survive theirs on Saturday and Sunday.

But that’s history we’re all very [painfully] familiar with. For now, let’s rewind a bit back to March of 1994. It’s a full day of Formula 1 testing at Imola, which in about two months will host the San Marino Grand Prix. Most teams and drivers are in attendance and they didn’t go all the way there to drive easy. And it’s all caught on glorious 90’s VHS by Georg Metz, one of many spectators who were there to soak it all in.

The video quality is obviously bad by today’s standards, but the sounds are still captured clearly and you can see well enough to pick out Barrichello, Ratzenberger, and Senna. Towards the beginning of the film, you can even see Ratzenberger and Senna driving together – through the corner where Ratzenberger was killed, no less.

For pure Formula 1 action and the heavenly sounds of a Ferrari 412T1 dive bombing into Tosa, you’re going to want to set aside eight minutes to watch this. It’s hauntingly beautiful.

[Source: Georg Metz, YouTube]

Ayrton Senna – Twenty Years after His Death

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May 1st, 1994. San Marino Grand Prix at the Autodromo Internazionale Enzo e Dino Ferrari, more commonly known as Imola. Tamburello corner, a high speed left turn which hosted its share of accidents. Nelson Piquet, Gerhard Berger, Michele Alboreto, Riccardo Patrese, and Rubens Barrichello just two days prior, have had accidents right there, on that very corner.

On the seventh lap of the Grand Prix, while in first place, just ahead of Michael Schumacher, Ayrton Senna’s number 2 Williams FW16, went off track and hit the concrete wall of the curve at 135mph.

Ayrton Senna’s death remains the most recent, and certainly the highest profile, Formula 1 race driver death. There have been other deaths in Formula 1 since then however, specifically that of John Dawson-Damer and Fritz Glatz, each one of whom was driving a vintage Forumla 1 cars in exhibition races. The more recent death of María de Villota, who succumbed to her injuries more than a year after her accident during a test, is the only one involving modern Formula 1 vehicles.

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Opinion: 2014 Formula 1 Predictions

Bradley Brownell March 13, 2014 Formula 1

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We already discussed the facts about the 2014 Formula 1 season, so now we will discuss some opinions. We’ve already determined that our predictions don’t count for much, and making them before any of the teams turn a wheel in anger is always a fool’s errand, but we’ll give it a shot. Here are some possible outcomes this year.

1. I predict that Red Bull will have an abysmal start to the year, but will pick up the ball and start running toward the front around the time they get to Spain (mid-season updates are usually figured out by then, and Newey is a smart cookie).

2. Reliability will come into play in the first part of the season, but won’t be much of a concern after a half-dozen races. Australia this weekend should prove to be in Mercedes’ wheelhouse, as they have the most testing mileage on their engines. Ferrari have proven relatively reliable as well. Only the teams running with Renault power have been having real struggles with power and reliability.

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Enthusiast’s Guide To The 2014 Formula 1 Season

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The 2014 Formula 1 season is upon us, with the opening round this weekend in Australia. With it, we continue our series of articles covering the various road racing series and important races all over the world. Previously we covered The TUDOR United Sports Car Championship, the 12 hours of Sebring, and the Bathurst 12 hour and this round is all about Formula 1.

While the U.S. racing season started back in January at the Daytona 24 hour, the true start of the international racing season comes when Formula 1 gets back at it. Agree or disagree, F1 has always been the absolute pinnacle of motorsport; it absorbs the best of drivers, the best of teams, and the most money. Huge budgets do not always equal great racing, and the last couple of years have been dominated by Red Bull. Leading into this season, indications are that the new regulations will throw a wrench in the works, and it just might be anybody’s game.

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Motorsports Weekend Guide: March 14 to March 16

Eric Rood March 12, 2014 Formula 1, Motorsports

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Beer-related rally repairs aside, last weekend didn’t feature much excitement in the motorsport world. The World Rally Championship wrapped up a dusty round in Mexico (Spoilers) while Trans Am enjoyed another large field at Homestead-Miami (Spoilers). On Las Vegas Motor Speedway’s oval, another NASCAR driver qualified for the season-ending Chase (Spoilers) and Dale Earnhardt Jr. continued on his romp through the 2014 season with his second-straight runner-up finish after winning the Daytona 500.

This coming weekend is far busier with two marquee events held on opposite sides of the globe. In addition, more than 300 nutters will challenge the Nevada desert in a long-distance race and a growing GT series will host its a 12-hour race at a gem of an Italian racing circuit. Follow the jump for more. … Continue Reading

Lotus F1 Team Proposes Amendments to 2014 Formula 1 Regulations

Kamil Kaluski December 11, 2013 Formula 1

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These should be amended as soon as possible.

Are there any new F1 rules that you would like to see?

I think that during a random race somewhere in the middle of the season, the starting grid should be reversed. Those that worked hard and managed to qualify first would start last.

[Source: Lotus F1]

VIDEO: The Last Of The V8’s, Formula One Edition

Last weekend’s Brazilian Grand Prix marked the end of an era. Since 2006, Formula One has required the “formula” of a 2.4 Liter, 90-degree V8. Eventually limited to about 18,000 RPM, these engines still scream with a demonic wail on course while spitting out around 750 horsepower. 

As a final farewell, the Redbull and Caterham teams removed the RPM restrictors, and let the motors sing somewhere lost in the 20,000+ RPM range.

I can only describe this as truly, amazingly wicked. You want to make this jump,  trust me.

[Source: Car Throttle and Caterham F1 Team]

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