Mercedes GP F1 Team

March 23, 2010 by  
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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.

Virgin Racing

March 23, 2010 by  
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Virgin Racing made its F1 debut as one of the four new teams granted entry to the 2010 Formula One Championships. Originally granted entry as Manor Grand Prix on 12 June 2009, the team changed its name to reflect its title sponsor – Richard Branson’s Virgin Group – with the FIA releasing a revised entry list with the team’s new name on 30 November 2009.

Virgin Racing is based in Dinnington, South Yorkshire, England, with John Booth as the team principal and Nick Wirth as the technical director. The team’s drivers are Timo Glock of Germany, and Lucas di Grassi of Brazil, with test drivers being Luiz Razia (Brazil) and Andy Soucek (Spain). The team boasts cars designed entirely using computational fluid dynamics (CFD). Its chassis is the VR-01 with Cosworth CA2010 engine and sporting Bridgestone tires. While the team is based in Dinnington, the development and production of the cars is handled by Wirth Research, based in Bicester. Virgin owns eighty percent of the team, with other sponsors being Lloyds Banking Group, Bridgestone, UST Global, Carbon Green, and CSC.

Both drivers were forced to retire from their debut race at the 2010 Bahrain F1 Grand Prix. Nonetheless, the entire team has displayed a positive attitude noting that while they have some teething problems to overcome, the season is still young and there is plenty of opportunity to show that Virgin Racing has what it takes to compete in this demanding, and exciting, sport.

Lotus Racing

March 23, 2010 by  
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Lotus Racing made its F1 Championship debut at the 2010 Bahrain F1 Grand Prix, with drivers Heikki Kovalainen and Jarno Trulli finishing in fifteenth and seventeenth place respectively. The CEO of Lotus Racing is Riad Asmat, with Mike Gascoyne as the technical director. The team’s drivers are Italian Jarno Trulli and Heikki Kovalainen of Finland, with Malaysian Fairuz Fauzy as test driver. The Lotus T127 chassis is powered by a Cosworth CA2010 engine, with Bridgestone supplying the tires.

While the name Lotus may be a familiar one to racing enthusiasts, Lotus Racing is not a resurrection of the original Team Lotus that was so prominent on the F1 scene between 1954 and 1994. It is a new team that is an initiative of the Malaysian Government to promote national unity, and is backed by a consortium of Malaysian entrepreneurs, including Proton (the owner of Lotus Cars and the connection to the original team), Tune Group, Sepang International Circuit, Naza Motors, the Automobile Association of Malaysia, and the Motorsports Association of Malaysia.

Lotus Racing was a late entry into the 2010 F1 Championships, and pulled out all the stops to have its cars on the grid for the first race of the season. Having successfully completed their debut event, the future looks promising for this new team, with a legendary name.

Joe Gibbs Racing

February 9, 2009 by  
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Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) is a NASCAR racing team which first appeared on the NASCAR circuit in 1991. The team, which is owned by Joe Gibbs, was originally started as a way for Gibbs to spend more time with his family. Gibbs was a man of many talents in his youth and besides owning the team he was also a successful coach for the Washington Redskins for many years. He started his team shortly after meeting up with Don Meredith who went on to become his business partner. The first people to race for the team were Jimmy Johnson and Richard Petty. Since then, JGR has seen the likes of legendary drivers such as Dale Jarrett, Bobby Labonte and Tony Stewart. Current drivers include Kyle Busch, Denny Hamlin, Brad Coleman, Joey Logano and Matt DiBenedetto.

The team headquarters for Joe Gibbs Racing is located in Huntersville, North Carolina. J.D. Gibbs, Joe’s son, is currently the president of JGR. His brother Coy has raced for the team in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series and currently coaches football in Washington. Over the years JGR has won the following championships: the Nationwide series twice, three Sprint Cups, one Camping World East Series and 2 NHRA.

J.D. Gibbs is credited with expanding the team since beginning his presidency in 1997. He has managed to increase the one-car operation to a three-car team of Chevrolets which are numbered 20, 18 and 11 and are sponsored by Home Depot, Interstate Batteries, Fed Ex, M&Ms, NOS and Z-Line Designs.

JGR also supports a number of Christian-based charitable organisations – many of which are designed to appeal to youths. The Joe Gibbs Racing team continues to be a favourite amongst fans and will likely continue to operate for years to come.

Honda F1 Team

February 9, 2009 by  
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Honda withdrew from F1 racing in 2008.

Honda F1 racing team is run by Japanese car manufacturer Honda, and is based in Brackley, United Kingdom. Honda uses the former British American Racing’s facilities, which they purchased recently in 2005. The actual engines are built at Honda R&D facility in Tochigi, Japan. Nick Fry runs the Honda team and has Rubens Barrichello and Jenson Button driving for the team.

Honda first took part in Formula One racing in 1963, but like Renault, has over the years left and re-entered the sport as engine supplier and as a constructor. From 1993 to 1998 Honda supplied engines through its associates Mugen Motorsports, to teams like Prost and Jordan and Ligier. By 1999, Mugen-powered cars had won a total of four Grand Prixs. Honda team has consistently used the same white racing color that it first used in the 1960s up until this present moment.

Honda took all by surprise when it entered the Grand Prix in 1963 and then three years later brought out their first road car. Another surprise came in the form of their all-Japanese factory team, excepting their American drivers Richie Ginther and Ronnie Bucknum, considering that all other Formula One garages where predominantly European. They also startled the other teams because of having built their own chassis and engine, something only BRM and Ferrari had ever done.

In 2004 Honda bought up 45% of the BAR team owned by British American Tobacco. At this point BAR had just completed its best season and was nominated second place in the constructors standing in 2004. The following year Honda purchased the other 55% of BAR, and raced in 2006 as Honda Racing F1 Team. They entered the RA106 with the RA806E V8 Honda Engine, an engine similar to the previous engines used throughout its F1 history.

The Honda team had a roller coaster season, with Jenson Button taking his first win at the Hungarian Grand Prix and Rubens Barrichello performing steadily throughout the year. Although the team finished the season in fourth place it had poor reliability throughout 2006 and its performance early in the pit stops was nothing to talk about.

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