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.

Hendrick Motorsports

February 9, 2009 by  
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The story of Hendrick Motorsports started in 1984. Rick Hendrick was a businessman with a passion for racing, and a dream to be a part of the racing world. Harry Hyde, a veteran racing driver, was not ready to retire from the sport he loved. Together, they created All Star Racing, just a small company that would only compete in a few events. But All Star Racing was not destined to take a back seat. Hendrick Motorsports, or HMS, raced only Chevrolets, and were seen in the Busch Series and the Nextel Cup circuits.

With nine Sprint Cup Series Championships, one Busch (now Nationwide) Series crown and no less than three Craftsman (now Camping World) Truck Series titles, Hendrick Motorsports has become one of the leading and celebrated racing organisations in the world of stock car racing. Starting with only one entry into a series, HMS now boasts four Sprint Cup Series vehicles.

Situated in Concord, which is in North Carolina, is the 250 000 square meter HMS complex, where all their racing cars are built from scratch. The entire manufacturing process takes place here. Each year, more than 550 engines are either built or rebuilt at this facility, with other NASCAR outfits leasing them from the team.

At present, HMS has over 500 employees that each contribute to the success of the company. They are the people who manage, take care of the team store, do the marketing, ensure the licensing, stay on top of the merchandising, run the public relations department, update the company’s website, and look after the HMS museum, which is 1400 square meters in size.

The drivers of the cars and the sponsors such as Corporation, Pepsi, Go Daddy, Lowe’s, DuPont, Delphi, National Guard and Carquest all play an important role in the success and growth of the company. It never occurred to either Rick Hendrick or Harry Hyde that the little “All Star Racing” company would grow up to be the mighty Hendrick Motorsports, but just as with many success stories, it started with a dream, loads of passion and a strong sense of commitment.

Red Bull Racing F1 Team

February 9, 2009 by  
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Still a relatively new to the F1 racing scene, the Red Bull F1 Racing Team is one of two teams owned by Red Bull. Red Bull is an Austrian beverage company which focuses on the sale of an energy drink said to boost energy and mental vitality. It enjoys a good global marketing campaign and is known for sponsoring and supporting adrenaline-pumping sporting activities around the globe. The Red Bull Racing team is currently managed by Christian Horner and is set to give up their British flag soon in favour of an Austrian one.

The team started when Red Bull made the decision to purchase Jaguar Racing at the end of the 2004 racing season. Up until that stage, Red Bull had been in a long-term partnership with the Sauber Formula One team. This partnership was broken with the establishment of the new team. Red Bull is dedicated to their F1 team and also to the development of the sport as a whole. The company currently also owns the Toro Rosso team for the development of promising F1 drivers and the Red Bull Junior Team for the development of young drivers. Red Bull Racing also reached a political high-ground with the signing of the Concorde Agreement which will come into effect in 2008. Thus far only four teams have signed this agreement which commits to long-term involvement in the sport.

Red Bull Racing made their debut in the 2005 racing season with David Coulthard in the driving seat. Backing him up in the team’s second car was Christian Klien, who had driven for Jaguar during the previous year, and Vitantonio Liuzzi. By the end of the year it was decided that Liuzzi should drive for the Scuderia Toro Rosso team while Klien would remain with the Red Bull Racing team. In their first year they came sixth in the Constructors Championship and their final number of points outshone Jaguar’s performance over the past two years combined. They even contended for a place on the podium for much of their debut season. In 2006 the team made the decision to switch to Ferrari engines which would help them comply with a rule change mandating the use of V8 engines. 2006 also saw McLaren’s technical director, Adrian Newey, join the ranks of the team, which finished the season 7th in the FIA Constructors Championship, with driver David Coulthard finishing in 13th place.

Having used Ferrari engines in 2006, Red Bull Racing passed the Ferrari contract to Scuderia Toro Rosso, and took the decision to use Renault engines for the 2007 F1 Championships season. Principle drivers for 2007 were David Coulthard and Mark Webber, with Robert Doornbos as the third driver for the team. Despite some problems with the team’s cars during the season, it finished in 5th place in the 2007 FIA Constructors Championship. Using the same drivers in 2008, Red Bull Racing saw one of its driver’s up on the winning podium again when David Coulthard took third place in Canada. However, the team started questioning the wisdom of changing over to Renault engines, especially when the Red Bull ‘B’ Team with their Ferrari-powered cars passed them in points by the season’s end.

The 2009 season started off better for Red Bull Racing as Sebastian Vettel won the 2009 Chinese Grand Prix, with Mark Webber taking second place in their Renault-powered RB5 cars. The team followed up with points victories at the Spanish, Turkish, British, German, Brazilian and Abu Dhabi Grand Prix events, finishing in 2nd place in the FIA Constructors Championships. The 2010 F1 Grand Prix Championships saw Vettel taking the World Championship for the Red Bull Racing F1 team.

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