A festive atmosphere prevailed at India’s new Buddh International Circuit for the inaugural Formula One race held there on Sunday. Drivers were lavish in in their praise for the smooth and fast new course, and random interviews among the crowd confirmed the day to be a total success. With a crowd of more than 90,000 spectators giving the track their undivided attention, Sebastian Vettel of Team Red Bull took the checkered flag – once again. As his 11th win of the 2011 Formula One season, his 35th podium finish and 21st career Formula One win, it seems that nothing can stop the celebrated German driver as he claimed all the first of the day – pole position, fastest lap, lap leader and first place.
With the Buddh International Circuit meeting the stringent requirements set out by the FIS, offering world-class facilities for competitors and spectators, organizers, Jaypee Group, are looking to the future and promoting auto racing as a sport in India. They will also be looking at other options to monetize the new sports venue. One of the options in the pipeline for the Buddh International Circuit is a Mercedes-sponsored academy to train potential F1 drivers. Mercedes will also be considering co-hosting auto racing events on a revenue-sharing basis with Jaypee Sports. Mercedes completed the Indian Grand Prix in fifth and sixth places, expressing their satisfaction with the result. Michael Schumacher moved from eleventh on the grid to finish one spot ahead of his Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg, who had started the rate from seventh on the grid.
Jaypee also hopes to attract the wealthy class in India, many of whom have more than a passing interest in sports cars, by offering special memberships at the Buddh International Circuit. Auto racing fans who become members of this exclusive club will have secure parking at the track for their racing cars. Riding high on the success of the inaugural Formula One race, the organizers plan to recoup their costs of building the circuit, and break even within three years.
Race winner, Sebastian Vettel, made no secret of the fact that he was very impressed with India, not only as hosts of the prestigious race, but as a country and a nation, noting that he found the time he spent in the country to be inspiring. Judging from the success of the event, India is likely to be a permanent fixture on future Formula One Championship calendars.
Born on 27 June 1985 in Wiesbaden, Germany, Nico Rosberg is the son of F1 World Champion Keke Rosberg. Nico has certainly made a name for himself in the world of auto racing. He began karting at eleven years of age in 1996. In 2002 Nico Rosberg made his single-seater debut and won the Formula ADAC Championship after nine wins that season. This victory earned him a test with the Williams team.
In 2003 Rosberg moved on to the Formula Three Euro Series on his father’s team, finishing eighth overall. He continued in the series in 2004, gaining three victories. Then, in 2005, Nico Rosberg went on to take part in the inaugural GP2 Series as part of ART Grand Prix team. He won title!
Toward the end of 2005, it was announced that Rosberg would be a driver for the Williams team in 2006. It proved to be a challenging F1 debut season for Rosberg, who finished 14th overall, but also became the youngest F1 driver to set the fastest lap at the Bahrain Grand Prix. The next year proved to go much more smoothly, with Rosberg coming in ninth overall and scoring his career-best fourth place in Brazil. 2008 saw Rosberg take 13th overall. In 2009 he continued to fight for the podium, only achieving fourth places. By the end of the season he was in 7th place, with 34.5 points, having scored all of the Williams team’s points for 2009. Nico Rosberg announced on 23 November 2009 that he would be Mercedes GP team’s first driver, and was later joined by Michael Schumacher as his teammate for the 2010 season.
The Mercedes GP Petronas Formula One Team made its re-launch debut at the 2010 F1 Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix, with both of its drivers scoring points for the fledgling team. Nico Rosberg finished the race in fifth place, scoring 10 points, with seven-time World Champion Michael Schumacher hot on his heels in sixth place, scoring 8 points.
Having competed in Grand Prix motor racing in the 1930s, Mercedes-Benz first entered the F1 racing scene back in 1954. The team enjoyed a measure of success that season, as well as the following season, after which it withdrew from the sport, although Mercedes continued with part ownerships and supplied engines through the 1990s and into the new century.
The team is based in Brackley, Northamptonshire, UK. The CEO of the team is Nick Fry, with Ross Brawn (of former Brawn GP – winner of the 2009 Constructors championship) and Norbert Haug as team principals. The legendary Michael Schumacher and Nico Rosberg are the team’s drivers, with Nick Heidfeld as test driver. Interestingly, all three drivers are German.
Certainly, with the wealth of talent in the team, and the excellence of the Mercedes product, there is plenty of excitement ahead for the Mercedes GP Petronas F1 Team as the Formula One Championships progress.
Bruce McLaren was the founder of the McLaren F1 Team. He was born on 30 August 1937, and started his interest in racing by competing in motorcycle races, before moving over to cars. It was the heritage he left behind after his death in 1970 that formed the platform for a world known racing team, and a name that is carried with pride.
The partnership between McLaren and Mercedes started in 1995. It was a year full of new beginnings that not only included Mercedes as their new engine partner, but new regulations as well. Mercedes was the fourth engine partner since the 1970’s and there was a lot on the line. The new Mercedes engine, which was designed and built according to the new regulations, was smaller than the engine McLaren had used previously. This made the car design teams’ life a lot simpler. Refinement details on the engine and chassis meant that the units were almost completely new, and McLaren Mercedes worked hard on the balancing problems that came to the forefront in 1996. The new engine was modified with regard to its mid-range torque, and McLaren Mercedes managed to make the unit lighter and increase its power by 5%. By 1999, McLaren Mercedes had become a force to be reckoned with on the racing track.
The new century kicked off with close rivalry between McLaren’s Mika Häkkinen and Ferrari’s Michael Schumacher. Following Häkkinen’s retirement from Formula One at the end of the 2001 season, Kimi Räikkönen stepped into his position on McLaren’s F1 Team. The 2003 F1 season started off well enough with teammates Coulthard and Räikkönen each claiming a victory for the first two races, but rival teams soon caught up. The unreliability of McLaren’s newly developed MP4-18 put the team at a disadvantage as they were forced to use the older MP4-17D model car. Nevertheless, Räikkönen proved his impressive driving skills by consistently finishing in the points, closing the season just two points short of victory. Car problems continued to plague McLaren during the 2004 season, but Räikkönen managed to clinch a victory at the 2004 Belgian Grand Prix breaking the winning streak of Michael Schumacher. 2005 saw Colombian driver Juan Pablo Montoya teaming up with Räikkönen for most of the season, but persistent car problems robbed Räikkönen of possible victories. The 2006 F1 season presented a number of challenges, including Montoya crashing into Räikkönen on the start line, putting them both out of the United States 2006 Grand Prix. This resulted in Montoyo parting company with the team. After the Italian Grand Prix that same year, Räikkönen signed with Ferrari to replace Michael Schumacher.
Dissent in the McLaren team during 2007, as well as a scandal regarding the team being found guilty of obtaining technical information of a rival team, were some of the setbacks to be dealt with, and at the end of the season, Fernando Alonso was released from his contract after just one season. Both the 2008 and 2009 season saw the McLaren F1 team recover to some extent, with Lewis Hamilton and Heikkii Kovalainen as drivers. At the end of the 2008 season, Hamilton became the youngest ever driver to win the Formula One Driver’s Championship. It was also the first time in nine years that McLaren had clinched this title.
For 2010, the McLaren F1 Team has a contract with Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button, both world champions with promising careers ahead of them. This double champion driver line-up, the first for McLaren since the Senna/Prost partnership in 1989, along with the new MP4-25 car, promises great things for the coming year.
The McLaren Motor Racing team was first founded in 1963 by New Zealander Bruce McLaren. The team’s Grand Prix debut was made at the Monaco track in 1966 and, despite some early technical difficulties, Team McLaren has never looked back. By 1968 the team had earned their first win with Bruce McLaren himself behind the wheel at the Belgium Grand Prix. Today the McLaren F1 Racing Team is seen as one of the most successful Formula One teams. Their Grand Prix successes are surpassed only by Ferrari and for quite some time they dominated the world of Grand Prix racing.
Not long after McLaren’s first Grand Prix win in 1968, driver James Hunt won the team’s first Driver’s Championship. That was in 1976 and the win was a sign of things to come. By 1984, Niki Lauda won a Grand Prix Championship on behalf of the McLaren team, and the 1980’s proved to be a phenomenal decade for the team. In fact, McLaren emerged to completely dominate the Formula One racing scene. However, the team’s success started to fade about midway through the 1990’s when Honda decided to drop out of Formula One racing. The team then went through a period of experimentation – switching from manufacturer to manufacturer in an attempt to find a winning combination. Eventually McLaren found that the Mercedes-Ilmor engine showed promise and they started a slow climb back to success. At about this time Team McLaren also lost their Marlboro sponsorship and subsequent trade-mark red and white livery. The team took up the silver Mercedes livery in its place and the change could be said to be an appropriate display of the ending of one period for the team and the beginning of another.
Mercedes has continued to supply the team’s engines and today the full name of the team is Vodafone McLaren Mercedes, acknowledging both of its primary sponsors. It is based in Woking, Surrey in the UK and the team principle is Ron Dennis. As at the end of the 2009 season, McLaren had won 8 Constructor Championships, 12 Driver Championships, and notched up 164 victories. The McLaren team has World Championship winners Lewis Hamilton (2008) and Jenson Button (2009) as its principle drivers for the 2010 F1 Grand Prix Championship, with the new MP4-25 as the car of the year.