The Formula One documentary 1 was first shown in Austin last year in advance of the inaugural US Grand Prix. Speaking to more F1 personalities than have ever been put in one film together, from John Surtees, Jackie Stewart and Jacky Ickx to Sebastian Vettel, Max Mosley and Martin Brundle, and produced by an award-winning crew of documentary makers, 1 focuses on the sport's safety and how it has moved on from the deadly game of the sixties and seventies to a far safer endeavor today.
Check out I'm not talking about encountering a wild series of hairpins, mind you, but rather higher speed roads nonetheless filled with satisfying curves and stunning countryside. First, however, right at the start of the day's driving leg, I had a stop at the former grand prix circuit Reims-Gueux.
We don't need to remind you that saving weight in vehicles is pretty much the same thing as saving fuel. The hard part, of course, is building a vehicle that comes from the factory with as little excess weight as possible while still providing all the safety features and other options that people expect in their cars today. Maybe young designers can help us figure out the best way to thread this needle.
BMW 320d EfficientDynamics – Click above for high-res image gallery
Carsforagrand.com's time-lapse cross-country drive – click above to watch video
Mired in what is officially a nightmarish recall fiasco, Toyota's getting gang-tackled as it wraps up a really bad week. General Motors, smelling blood in the water, is offering incentives specifically targeting Toyota drivers through the end of February. Likewise, Ford is adding $1,000 to the trade-ins of any Toyota, Lexus, or Scion (as well as Acura and Honda, for good measure). Rental fleets are yanking Toyotas from circulation. The House of Representatives will officially grandstand hold a h
Fun though it may be, racing is still an applied science. Perhaps this is most evident in the tech heavy F1 cars. BMW uses a very trick wind tunnel to test their Sauber F1 car in virtually all dynamic conditions to ensure that the aerodynamics give the desired result. This video has a bit of a Kubrick/2001 feel to it, but it's fascinating watching the car "drive" on this gigantic treadmill. As usual, the video does a much better job than a whole bagful of words, so check it out after the jump.
Next year's Formula 1 calendar could contain an unprecedented 20 races. One of those races will be held for the first time on the island state of Singapore, and according to Bernie Ecclestone, it will be held at night. Both IRL and NASCAR have night races, so why not Formula 1? The reasons aren't just for spectacle, either: a night race in Asia will be more convenient for viewers in Europe and the US, and after all, for Bernie this is all about television revenue.
Looks like the oil-rich sheiks of Abu Dhabi are getting more serious about the prospect of hosting a Formula One grand prix than we thought. Last week we reported that they're adding an FIA-regulation race track to the Yas Island project that will also host the Ferrari World theme park, and with big question marks rounding off the one main restriction, they could be planning on hosting a grand prix very soon.
It just doesn't stop – now every country and their neighbor seems to want to host a grand prix, and lucky Bernie Ecclestone gets to decide who gets one and who doesn't. Following recent reports of Singapore, India, Abu Dhabi and Portugal all seeking to bring Formula One to their countries, the latest to join the fray is Greece, where the government has pledged its support to seeking the establishment of a Greek Grand Prix.
The venues just keep on lining up for grands prix. After bringing you news of Singapore's impending bid and progress on India's plans, the next contender is Portugal, which had a grand prix at Estoril from 1984 to 1997 but withdrew from the F1 calendar after that due to prohibitively high costs to get the track up to spec. Rather than sinking more money into an old track, the coastal town of Portimao is moving ahead with plans to build a brand new facility.