Michael Schumacher

February 9, 2009 by  
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Michael Schumacher is without a doubt one of the world’s most outstanding Formula One drivers. Statistically speaking Schumacher is F1’s greatest driver ever. World Champion seven times over, Michael Schumacher has received worldwide recognition and has a massive following of fans. Schumacher was also well-known as the first billionaire athlete in the world with his 2004 annual salary coming in at $80 million. A name spoken of widely, Michael Schumacher will always be a Formula One racing legend.

Formula One driver Michael Schumacher was born on 3 January 1969 in Germany. At the tender age of 4 he began using his father’s homemade kart in races. A whiz behind the wheel of the simple pedal-kart with a motorcycle engine, Michael won his first championship when he was 6 years old. His racing talents were soon recognized by his parents and others who sought to sponsor him. As a youngster he went on to claim a number of European and German kart championships. In the year 1988 Michael Schumacher competed in the Formula Ford series and later won the German Formula 3 series in 1990. At the end of that year he became a member of the Mercedes junior racing program. He gained victory in both 1990 and 1991.

Schumacher as a F1 driver for Benetton won two championships. In 1996 he joined Ferrari. In no time at all Schumacher turned the flailing team around, winning a number of championships for them. What made Michael Schumacher such a remarkable Formula One driver? He became renowned for taking his car to its limits, for creating fast laps at vital times and excellent driving skills even in wet conditions. In fact his mastery over wet tracks gained him the title “Regenmeister” or “Rain Master”. Throughout his career Michael Schumacher has taken home a number of awards and titles. In 2002 and 2004 he was the recipient of the prestigious Laureaus World Sportsman of the Year. The FIA Gold Medal for Motor Sports was awarded to Schumacher. Currently Michael Schumacher has gained practically every F1 record including most races won in a season, fastest laps, most drivers’ championships, pole positions and race victories.

Sadly, Michael Schumacher suffered a serious head injury while skiing in December 2013 and remained in a coma for nearly six months. As of December 2014, he is said to be making some cognitive progress in that he is starting to recognize people he knows, but he remains paralyzed and wheelchair bound.

Racing Manufacturers

February 9, 2009 by  
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Many auto manufacturers also design and build cars for the race track. Some of these racing manufacturers are Ferrari, Alfa Romeo, Lotus, Porsche, and more. Ferrari, especially, has been at the forefront of auto racing since the early years of the 20th century. The Prancing Horse has been a regular fixture of Winner’s Circle celebrations in many types of auto racing, most prominently Formula One racing and endurance road racing such as the famed 24 Hours of Le Mans. Some racing manufacturers, such as Toyota, Chevrolet and Ford, limit their activities to producing specialized racing engines. The Ford-Cosworth engine used in many kinds of race cars is just one of these ventures.

There are many types of auto racing and therefore manufacturers have to create designs for the most efficient function of these vehicles in different situations. Off-road and rally racing cars require excellent suspension and have to be able to handle unusual terrain, for example. Of course, these ventures are very expensive since the volume of cars or engines is low compared to that of regular production vehicles and their parts. Even so, the prestige and fame that accrues to automakers from having their names associated with winning racers is well worth the significant expense.

Racing manufacturers design sports cars for high performance, fast speeds and reliability. They are specially designed for light weight, a balanced chassis and innovative suspension for exceptional handling in extreme situations. Racing manufacturers need to be concerned with precise, exacting design and make use of only top quality components to ensure the safety and success of race car drivers.

Below is a list of links to pages about specific Formula One Car Manufacturers. You are certain to find the details interesting and informative.

FORMULA 1 MANUFACTURERS

BMW Sauber
Ferrari
Honda
McLaren Mercedes
Renault

Phil Hill

February 9, 2009 by  
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Phil Hill is credited with becoming the first American to become World Champion – yet he was not the flashy, colorful sort of person you would expect such a title to belong to. In fact, Hill wasn’t entirely sure that he really enjoyed racing. An intelligent and sensitive introvert, he openly admitted to having inner demons which plagued him throughout his racing career. Still, despite his mental obstacles, Phil Hill was truly a champion of the sport.

Born in 1927 to a prominent family in California, Philip Toll Hill Junior became an introvert at a very young age. He feared failure and often felt inadequate. He turned to music as an outlet for his problems before becoming absorbed in the world of cars. He received his first car at the tender age of twelve. The Model T Ford was a gift from his aunt and he dismantled it several times before learning to drive it. After dropping out from the University of California, Phil Hill went to work for garage owner who was also an amateur racer. Before long he started racing and in 1951 he was able to purchase a 2.6 litre Ferrari with money he inherited after the death of his parents. Despite his regular wins, Hill was plagued by the dangers of racing – to the extent that he had to stop racing for ten months in order for his stomach to recover from multiple stomach ulcers. When he returned to the track, he was making use of heavy doses of tranquillisers. He always attributed his success to the car.

In 1955 Phil Hill was invited to join Ferrari as an endurance racer. It was a slow start towards his Formula One racing career since Enzo Ferrari hesitated to put him in single-seaters. However he soon started racing Formula One and he won the Italian Grand Prix at Monza after just two years in the driver’s seat. During his entire career, Hill was strikingly candid about his personal demons and emotional troubles. His introspection resulted in some unflattering comments on his personality but for the first time in his life, he was able to leave his inferiority complex behind. Before a race, Hill was nervous and edgy – but as soon as he was behind the wheel he seemed calm and tranquil. He often drove the best on the worst tracks in the worst weather conditions.

Despite his worries about the dangers of the sport, it was something which he was just too passionate about to stop. Thus, after a short period of inactivity, he simply found he had to race again. Things started well but after the tragic accident at Monza wherein his old team mate Count Wolfgang von Trips was killed in a collision with Jim Clark, his career started on a slow downward spiral. He raced for a number of companies before eventually retiring from Formula One and then from racing altogether. In 1971 he married his girlfriend and settled down to start a family. He thereafter led a quieter and happier life, restoring old cars as part of a rather lucrative business. — Phil Hill died on 28 August 2008.

Formula One Manufacturers

February 9, 2009 by  
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It is quite obvious that vehicle manufacture plays a vital role in the sport of Formula One racing. Certain Manufacturers such as Ferrari and Renault completely manufacture their own Formula One cars. Other teams will form close working relationships with manufacturers. Millions are spent on creating excellent cars, able to handle the road well and reach remarkable speeds. Formula One manufacturers therefore form an integral part of the success and safety of the Formula One drivers who pilot the cars produced. The global motorsport ruling body, Federation Internationale d’Automobile or FIA, introduced a new commission into the world of Formula 1 in 2007. A number of senior position employees from F1 manufacturers were invited to represent their companies on the commission. FIA representatives are Max Mosley, Tony Purnell, Peter Wright and Charlie Whiting.

Whilst Ferrari, Renault and Toyota are “factory” teams, that is, they manufacture their entire F1 car, “independent” teams such as Sauber, Williams and McLaren need to purchase engines. BMW, Honda and Mercedes are popular engine suppliers.

The final touch to the vehicle is the tyres. Two renowned F1 tyre manufacturers are Bridgestone and Michelin. Formula One drivers compete each season for the honorary Drivers’ Championship. However, Formula One car manufacturers are not left out, they can compete for the prestigious Constructors’ Championship. Cars racing for the season are awarded points depending on their finishing position. By the end of the season the points are added up and the Formula One manufacturer with the most points is winner of the Constructors’ Championship.

Manufacturers

Ferrari

February 9, 2009 by  
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When we hear the name Ferrari, we immediately picture legendary drivers such as Niki Lauda, John Surtees, Nigel Mansell, Alain Prost, Rubens Barrichello and Michael Schumacher. However, there is more to Ferrari, than a successful racing team. When Enzo Ferrari established Scuderia Ferrari in 1929, he did not do so with road vehicles in mind. He wanted to be part of the racing world and by 1938, Enzo Ferrari headed up the Alfa Romeo racing department. During the war, Alfa Romeo became absorbed by the government in their war efforts, and the little division run by Enzo Ferrari passed by unnoticed. He was not permitted to participate in racing for a period of four years, but he nevertheless built the Tipo 815. In 1943 Enzo Ferrari moved his operations to Maranello, where it still remains today. After the factory was bombed in 1944, it was rebuilt, and included a division for the production of road vehicles, even though this was just to generate the money needed to fund Enzo’s passion for racing. The name Scuderia Ferrari, means Ferrari Stable, but is translated, in a figurative form, to mean Team Ferrari.

The 125S, is the very first road vehicle that Ferrari produced in 1947. Enzo disliked the fact that he was producing vehicles that people bought for prestige and not for how the car performed, but his vehicles continues to grow in popularity, becoming famous for their style, excellence and speed. Today, the rich and the famous ensure that they add a Ferrari to their collection as a status symbol.

The world famous Ferrari emblem has been a source of speculation. All badges have a prancing black horse on a yellow background. The letters SF (Scuderia Ferrari) appear on either side of the horse, with the national colors of Italy (Green, white and red) appearing at the top of the logo.

To know the naming of the Ferrari vehicles, will definitely make you an expert. Until the 1990’s, car engines were named on engine displacement. For example, the V6 and V8 car models were total displacements. That would mean that a 206 would be a 2.0 L V6 and a 348 would be a 3.4 L V8. Displacement is measured in deciliters. On the V12’s displacement is measured in cubic centimeters, of one cylinder, making the 365 Daytona, a 4380ccV12. Flat 12’s were in liters. Body style would also play an integral role in naming a car, and over the years the styles and names have changed, but the excellence and performance has remained top quality.

Working at the Ferrari Factory in Maranello, Italy, is the job of dreams. Even though workers are free to wear what they choose, you will not see anything but red. Workstations are decorated in Ferrari logos, racing team memorabilia and everyone works with a smile on their face. There are approximately 30 stations that a car visits before completion, and the production of a Ferrari is not rushed. State of the art machines will ensure a beautiful finish on a paint job, but installations of the custom made seats and dashboards are fitted by hand and installed to perfection. The engine shop produces approximately fifty engines a day, due to its fully automated production line, that employs close to a hundred staff. The automation ensures a decrease in mistakes, and a faster production line. The factory itself is a combination of the old meticulous ways, and the latest technology, incorporated in a relaxing, spacious working environment. The manufacturing of a Ferrari might be faster today, than in Enzo’s day, but the love, pride and the passion that goes into every Ferrari, remains unmatched.

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