Alfa Romeo makes a welcome return to Formula One

Sauber 2017 1Alfa Romeo are set to make their return to top level motorsport next year in a partnership with the Sauber Formula One team. The last time the Alfa name was associated with Formula One was way back in 1988, but Alfas history in the sport stretches way back to before WWII. Alfa Romeos new partnership with the Sauber F1 team means the Swiss team will be renamed Alfa Romeo Sauber.

alfa-romeo-giulia-quadrifoglioAfter Saubers 2017 season you could be mistaken for thinking Alfa Romeo was already part of the team with their reliability issues. The new partnership will see the team using Ferrari engines, with technology being passed between the two companies to not only improve performance on the track but to introduce Formula One technology into Alfas road cars. Sergio Marchionne CEO of FCA said: “The Alfa Romeo engineers and technicians, who have already demonstrated their capabilities with the newly-launched models, Giulia and Stelvio, will have the opportunity to make that experience available to the Sauber F1 team. At the same time, Alfa Romeo fans will once again have the opportunity to support an automaker that is determined to begin writing an exciting new chapter in its unique, legendary sporting history”.

Sauber 2017While its unlikely this new partnership will mean that Alfa Romeo Sauber will be competing with the likes of Mercedes and Ferrari at the top of the championship standings, the added influx of funds and technology may mean that the team could up their standings against the likes of Haas, Toro Rosso and Force India.

Aston Martin ValkyrieAlfas sudden interest in returning to Formula One is not alone though, 2017 saw Aston Martin try to make its mark on the championship with Red Bull with both technology and ideas combining to form the Aston Martin Valkyrie. In the 2018 Formula One championship Red Bull will compete as Aston Martin Red Bull racing.

What do you think of Alfas return to motorsport let us know in the comments.

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Jaguar set for a motorsport return

 

Jaguar Formula E

Jaguar are about to return to the racetrack, with a new team in the Formula E race series. Jaguar is planning on developing their own electric road cars whilst racing, with many expecting the first reveal as early as the 2016 Geneva Motor Show. Jaguar has had a rather rocky relationship with motorsport in the past, with the highs of the mid 1950’s at Le Mans to incredible lows of their Formula 1 outing.

Jaguar Formula E 2

Jaguar join a very competitive field with Audi, Renault and Mahindra all competing in the series. Jaguar are yet to announce their drivers but have appointed James Barclay as team director “We are proud to be one of the first vehicle manufacturers to commit to a series with our own team. We look forward to welcoming a whole new generation of Jaguar fans.” Jaguar’s new electric drivetrain is expected to be fitted to many of its cars including the XE, XF, XJ and the F-Pace. Although it’s unlikely to be fitted to the F-Type so don’t expect a new electric sports car.

Jaguar F1 Car

Jaguar’s first electric car is thought to be an electric crossover vehicle and is expected to try and take on Tesla’s own Model X. There are also rumours that the car will cost around £60,000 and will have a range of 300 miles, beating Tesla’s current record of 270 miles. Jaguar’s first outing into motorsport since the really rather tragic attempt at Formula 1 will have the worlds eyes on it, and with a growing series like Formula E it could spell a great new beginning for the company’s sporting triumphs it may take a few years to see it but the futures looking bright for Jaguar.

The Return of TVR

TVR

I spoke last week about the return of the sport car, and this week I’m talking about the return of one of the greats TVR.

I never really cared about TVR during their final years, I always recognised that they were cheap loud and fast, and nothing more. But after they died I did start to care about them again, I would look up old Sagaris and Tuscans on ebay wondering if I could afford one. It was sort of a, you don’t know what you’ve got until its gone situation. Finally there does appear to be hope for the old girl though from none other than Gordon Murray, yes of McLaren F1 fame. The new rumours going round are that the TVR name will return to our roads, with a Murray designed body and a Cosworth V8 engine.

So it sounds as if it will be more of the same good looking and fast, the rumoured price tag for the 2017 car is between £55,000 and £85,000. Hopefully this will mean good things for not only the company but also the employees up in Blackpool. I really hope TVR returns there as they were born there and they died there its only right to re-invigour the old girl back in her hometown. The involvement of both Gordon Murray and Cosworth also brings an air of prestige to the brand, and if Murray sees a future for the brand it’s a good sign for everybody.

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Women in Motorsport

Danica Patrick News Conference

Equality between men and women should always be important whether it be within the workplace in the home or just generally in life, however one place where women are seriously under used is top-level motorsport. Women are rarely seen in the driving seat of a racing car, they are much more likely to be draped over it for a photo shoot. But why, the cars are getting easier and easier to drive, so why isn’t a women racing in Formula 1 or the BTCC or even the WRC. In the past women drivers were welcomed in racing Pat Moss, sister of Stirling Moss was quite successful in rallying. It seems over time women have been ousted from racing. In F1 there have only been five female racing drivers to start a race since 1958. No woman has ever won a Formula 1 race.

British GP Thursday 03/07/14

It is America surprisingly were we find that motorsport is more welcoming to the female drivers with Danica Patrick racing full time for the Stewart-Haas race team in NASCAR, Patrick has also raced in the American IndyCar series. But whilst Patrick races for a top team she is still forced to appear scantily clad draped over race cars. I don’t think we’d expect Lewis Hamilton to strip down to his pants and lie on a car, so why do we expect it of the women drivers. Suzie Wolf the Williams test driver and Carmen Jorda the Lotus test driver have both been involved in similar photo shoots. At what point do women become as respected as men in Motorsport. Whilst it is a male dominated sport there is no reason for no female drivers racing.

Carmen Jorda

P1 vs LaFerrari vs 918

Who will win this will be the biggest fight of this generation, like the Thriller in Manila but for cars. They all have had millions put into their development and all are competing for the title of King Hyper car but which is best here’s my verdict:

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The Ferrari is easily the most glamorous with its bright Rosso red paint job it can’t be missed but it isn’t a drivers car its one of those cars like the F50 and the Enzo its so epic to look at and to drive feels epic but your always worried you’ll damage it so its kept in a garage with a cover over it never to turn a wheel again. It has the super star quality but its so fragile it’s kept hidden away.

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The Porsche 918 however is the complete opposite. This car is so high-tech it could destroy the universe and rebuild it in under a week beating Gods record. But it doesn’t look quite as good as the other two in its dark grey paint job its subtle and understated. A hyper car needs to be flamboyant and out there and absolutely mental but this car isn’t you just cant imagine it in an exciting way just try and imagine a bright Lambo green one you can’t can you. I don’t want to say its boring, because its not in any sense of the word but its not got that special something that gets me going.

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The McLaren P1 on the other hand is a mixture of the two it has the amazing looks of the Ferrari and the brains of the Porsche but it doesn’t go to far either way. The P1 is amazing to drive but has the feel that you could drive it everyday using clean and friendly electric power. I feel the P1 does hark back to the good old McLaren F1 it’s a massive step forward in motoring engineering just like the F1 was back in the day. The P1 is truly the best of the three and I think its fastest aswell.

Sebastian Vettel, A Worthy Champion?

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So unsurprisingly Sebastian Vettel has won the Formula 1 World championship for a 4th time. Some people are putting him up there with the greats of Schumacher, Prost and Fangio, I think not. Sebastian Vettel hasn’t had to fight for anything in his career he easily beat out Mark Webber to become the number one in team Red Bull. But he has never had to fight for a win he either leads from the start or the other teams break down. His car is monumentally faster than the rest of the pack making his life easy.

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This world championship is the Red Bull teams not Vettel’s they are the ones who gave him the world beating cars. He had little to do with the outcome, you could put a 70 year old lady behind the wheel and she could have won the championship. There were no real battles this season and most of the cars were really reliable. But with the championship all wrapped up we can concentrate on Mark Webbers retirement from F1. I’m not a fan of Vettel, I never have been, I think there are much better drivers on the grid. Lets hope that the new regulations coming in next season will end Red Bulls dominance. Hell maybe Daniel Riccardo will destroy Vettel from inside the team. One thing we can be sure of Vettel is a bad loser we’ve seen this before and I hope we see it again.

Caterham have found a new design

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Caterham have revealed a new car at the Singapore Grand Prix and it’s not what you’d expect. No it’s not just there normal design that’s been around since the 1950’s they’ve actually designed a new shape. Caterham call it the AeroSeven and its due to arrive next year.

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It’s based around the current CSR, except with the new awesome body that generates real down force. This is also a sign of a new breed of Caterham as it comes with ABS and traction control, the AeroSeven is basically a track car this is proved by the fact that it comes with a pit limiter.

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Caterham can no longer be seen as a snotty little British car brand that can be monstered by the bigger more powerful companies Caterham, have recently made a deal with Renault to bring back the old Alpine name. With the new AeroSeven I truly hope Caterham can be taken more seriously as they are truly brilliant little cars that now have the clout to take on the big boys even in F1.

 

Why Sebastian Vettel is world champion

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Sebastian Vettel won the Formula 1 world championship for the third time at the weekend, and well done to him. It was a hard fought battle between him and Fernando Alonso all season, and came down to the final race with Vettel leading the championship. Even though Fernando did his best in the race finishing 2nd to Lewis Hamilton, he couldn’t steal the title.

Now well done to Vettel, but I don’t think the German is a worthy champion or even a talented driver. If you look at Alonso or Hamilton even, they are much more talented drivers. The only reason Vettel has won three championships in a row is because he had a superior car, and because every other team seemed to mess it up the only thing Vettel is good at is not crashing which isn’t that hard to be honest. If you put Vettel in a different car he would not stand a chance. So yes hats off to Red bull for managing to create a great car but the driver wouldn’t have mattered you could put Narain Karthikeyan in the Red bull car and he could win the championship.

Yes people may be screaming at the screen now WHAT ABOUT TOP GEAR and yes Vettel may have beaten all the previous drivers round the track, however Lewis Hamilton raced in the wet with oil on the track as well, Mark Webber raced in the wet. Barrichello is about 500 years old and still beat the Stig who is nothing more than a jumped up movie stuntman with a diary. So its no wonder Vettel beat them round the track.