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.

Toro Rosso F1 Team

February 9, 2009 by  
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Austrian beverage company Red Bull is the owner of both Scuderia Toro Rosso and Red Bull Racing. Having made its racing debut in the 2006 F1 season under the joint ownership of Red Bull’s owner Dietrich Mateschitz and former F1 driver Gerhard Berger, Red Bull became the sole owner of the team in November 2008. Scuderio Toro Rosso is considered to be Red Bull’s ‘B’ team, as it focuses on developing the skills and realizing the full potential of new young drivers, with a view to promoting them to the senior team, Red Bull Racing.

The new team’s very first point was scored by Vitantonio Luizzi at the 2006 US Grand Prix, with the first pole position and victory being scored by Sebastian Vettel at the Italian Grand Prix in 2008. Vettel had moved across from BMW Sauber, where he was third driver, in the middle of the 2007 F1 racing season. The other driver for Toro Rosso in 2008 was Sebastien Bourdais, winner of four Champ Car Championships. In the 2009 season Sebastien Buemi replaced Vettel, who had moved up to the Red Bull Racing Team. Bourdais was replaced by Jaime Alguersauri after the German Grand Prix, with poor performance being given as the reason for the parting of the ways with Bourdais.

Both Buemi and Alguersauri will continue driving for Toro Rosso in the 2010 season. Some have expressed surprise that such an inexperienced driver as Alguersauri was signed up for 2010, especially in light of the fact that he failed to score any points during the 2009 season. No doubt team officials, under the direction of team principal, Franz Tost, and technical director, Giorgio Ascanelli, have seen the potential in this young Spanish driver and are willing to give him the opportunity to prove himself. Certainly 2010 is set to write another interesting chapter in the history of F1’s youngest team – Scuderia Toro Rosso.

Petty Enterprises

February 9, 2009 by  
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Petty Enterprises merged with Gillett Evernham Motorsports in 2009 to form Richard Petty Motorsports.

Petty Enterprises is one of NASCAR’s many racing teams and is owned by Richard Petty as well as his son Kyle Petty. Petty Enterprises is based in Randleman, North Carolina. Richard and Kyle supervise the operations of their two NEXTEL Cup Dodge Chargers: the number 45 Marathon Petroleum Company Dodge, which Kyle Petty drives himself and the number 43 Cheerios/Betty Crocker Dodge, driven by Bobby Labonte. It was 1969 when the team was officially named Petty Enterprises. Throughout NASCAR’s history, Petty Enterprises has always been know and famous for its success, but in recent years they have been struggling.

The team has been operating as far back as 1949 when Richard Petty’s father, Lee Petty, first formed Lee Petty Engineering as a NASCAR Grand National Division team with the number 42. Not only was the company formed that year but also the team won their first win at Heidelberg Raceway, finishing second in points that season. 1950 and 1951 saw Petty’s team win one race each season with a victorious three wins in 1952. With this success the team expanded by incorporating another vehicle, the Plymouth, which Jimmie Lewallen drove. The following years saw a major increase in races won by Petty Enterprises. By 1979 the team had won 10 championships in NASCAR premier series.

From 1980 to 1984 Richard Petty drove hard and won several races, but from there on till his retirement he did not win another race. This bad fortune did not stop there, it continued after Richard’s retirement with Petty Enterprises only winning another three races. In 2006 Petty Enterprises hired Bobby Labonte, after he won the NEXTEL Cup, to drive the #43 car and hired Robbie Loomis, who had served as a crew chief for Jeff Gordon, to be executive vice president.

The Petty Family created the number 43 car, hence its name Petty Blue. The blue color is distinct and was created apparently by mistake because of not having enough paint to cover the whole car. It was rumored that the famous paint scheme came about when Richard Petty would not allow sponsors to sponsor his car unless they agreed to keep part of the car blue and the rest they could paint STP Red.

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