Formula One Teams

February 9, 2009 by  
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The world of Formula One racing consists of a number of F1 teams. These teams are responsible for their own promotion, developing their vehicles, organizing drivers and obtaining sponsorships. Formula One racing fans, if they do not support an individual driver, will root for a particular F1 team. Many of the Formula One teams make a great name for themselves by consistently producing excellent cars and top-standard drivers. This section of Autoracing.com takes a closer look at a number of Formula One’s leading racing teams.

Formula One racing teams typically develop a close working partnership with car manufacturers. Together they work on designing effective, fast and reliable vehicles, set to take drivers to the max. Team managers ensure that everything runs smoothly, from advertising to racing events. F1 racing teams hire several mechanics to keep the Formula One car in top condition. They also work in the pits on racing day, making repairs, changing wheels and adding fuel. F1 drivers may change between teams due to better offers or to pursue greater ambitions. Exceptional Formula 1 drivers have been known to pull flailing teams from the bottom right to victory positions. It is vital however that the entire F1 team work together if they are to do well. From developing strategy right to the finish line on race day, the F1 team makes every effort to boost both car and driver to their highest potential.

Amongst the world’s top-rated F1 teams are Ferrari, Williams, McLaren, Renault and Red Bull. Many drivers dream of attaining a position on these excellent teams. Formula One teams are easily identifiable by their distinctive colors and helmet designs. Who can ignore Ferrari’s bright red outfits and car. Cars, clothing and helmets are emblazoned with the logos of the team’s sponsors. Sponsors are vital to the continuation of a team, as Formula One is an extremely expensive sport. Sponsorship is not difficult for top-ranking teams. Formula One Teams also sell a variety of merchandise from clothing to key-rings and posters. Keep your eyes on the Formula One Grand Prix World Championships to see which F1 team takes the lead this year.

Teams

Formula 1

February 9, 2009 by  
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Formula One is considered by many to be the apex of auto racing and motor sports. Highly specialized and designed for top speeds, watching Formula One race cars gliding around circuits is nothing less than thrilling. Formula One, also referred to as Grand Prix and F1, is a million dollar sport, attracting numerous big-name sponsors and massive crowds lining up for their F1 tickets. Enjoyed throughout the world, most people know at least the big names in the sport of F1.

Formula One racing falls under the governing body of the Federation Internationale de l’Automobile or FIA. The FIA sets out a number of rules and regulations for both cars and participants, ensuring safety and fairness in races. Formula One circuits or tracks are scattered throughout the world. During the F1 world championship several races are held at these circuits. By the end of the Grand Prix season all the results are added up. World Championship titles are awarded to the winning driver of the season as well as to the winning constructor. The world of F1 is divided into Formula One teams, typically with two main drivers. These F1 teams establish close relationships with F1 race car manufacturers so as to test and develop the best racing cars. Successful Formula One drivers earn large amounts of money especially through sponsorships. Well-known names such as Michael Schumacher, Mika Hakkinen and Fernando Alonso have shot to Formula One fame.

The history of Formula One racing extends back many years. Road races were held as long ago as the 1890s in France. The original race cars weren’t designed with aerodynamics in mind and were quite heavy. Races took place along public roads and drivers had to bring mechanics along. The first ever Grand Prix was hosted at Le Mans in 1901. World War One brought a brief end to auto racing in Europe. A number of drivers decided to compete in the USA’s Indianapolis 500. Two of the best manufacturers during the 1920s were Bugatti and Fiat. The 1930s were marred by the Great Depression. Reduced money led to a decrease in Grand Prix’s fan base. However, 1933 witnessed a remarkable win by Tazio Nuvolari at Monaco. Germany began to emerge as an F1 leader in 1934 with teams such as Mercedes-Benz and Auto Union. The German’s also brought aerodynamics into the design of Formula One vehicles.

Modern Formula One racing is said to have begun in 1950 with the Pau Grand Prix. For some time British F1 teams dominated the sport, gaining victory in 12 World Championships. Wings were added to F1 cars in 1968 to improve traction through downforce. In 1978 ground effects were also introduced but later banned in 1983. 1977 saw turbo chargers on the track. These too were banned in 1989. Since those times Formula One vehicles have been improved and developed greatly.

Formula One is an extremely popular sport that is set to continue drawing large crowds to F1 circuits and TV sport channels. Broadcast worldwide, Formula One racing and drivers have a global following.

Toyota F1 Team

February 9, 2009 by  
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Toyota has withdrawn from F1 racing, with its last race being the 2009 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

Japanese vehicle manufacturer, Toyota, is based in Cologne (Germany) and runs the Formula One team, Toyota F1. The Toyota team is also known as Panasonic Toyota Racing. The racing life of the Toyota team started in 1972. Ove Anderson, a Swedish driver, represented Toyota in the RAC Rally of Great Britain. Their original name was Toyota Team Europe that would later become Toyota Motorsport. Together with drivers Didier Auriol and Carlos Sainz, Toyota Motorsport secured a few Drivers’ titles, but was banned from the FIA in 1995. They were banned due to running on illegal parts, and their struggle with rival teams started to increase. They failed twice, in winning the Le Mans 24 Hours, and decided to end their Rally efforts.

Toyota F1 then turned their attention to the Formula One circuit. Instead of teaming up with legendary outfits such as McLaren or Williams, Toyota F1 chose to build up their own team. They managed to secure a 12th entry in the Formula One Championship for the year 2002. In their debut season, Toyota F1, had drivers Mika Salo and Allan McNish but only managed to score two points throughout the year. Even though both drivers did outstanding jobs for the Toyota teams’ debut year, they were not offered positions for 2003. Instead, the Toyota team recruited Cristiano da Matta and Oliver Panis. During the 2003 season, Toyota did secure a few points finishes and managed to increase their two points, from the previous season, to sixteen. On the Constructors Championship, they ended in 8th position.

In 2004, Toyota was once again in trouble with the running of illegal parts, and was disqualified from the Canadian Grand Prix race. Matta left the Toyota Team, after the German Grand Prix. Ricardo Zonta replaced Matta, but was replaced by Jarno Trulli after four rounds. Oliver Panis decided that it was time to retire from racing, and Zonta completed the final race of the season. More controversy hit the team, as it was accused of industrial espionage, after complaints that the Toyota TF04 was very similar to the Ferrari F2003-GA. Strangely enough, during investigations, Toyota refused to send information to Italy, in fear the Ferrari might take advantage of their data that they had mixed together with Ferrari’s data.

Jarno Trulli remained with the Toyota F1 team for the 2005 season, but Ralf Schumacher replaced Ricardo Zonta. Even though the season started well, Toyota soon saw themselves falling by the way side, unable to remain at the same pace, as the ever developing rivals. Despite the set backs, it still remained a successful year for the Toyota Team.

The Toyota F1 team changed from Michelin to Bridgestone tyres in 2006. It was thought that the early release of their new car would give them a head start on the rival teams, but the car did not perform as expected. They did still manage to secure thirty-five points and a 6th place position.

Both Jarno Trulli and Schumacher will remain with the Toyota team for the 2007 season. Toyota will also be supplying the William team with engines, replacing the Cosworth engines that the Williams team was running with in 2006.

Richard Childress Racing

February 9, 2009 by  
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Richard Childress Racing is a NASCAR team that fields various Chevrolets. Kevin Harvick drives #29, Jeff Burton drives #31, Clint Bowyer drives #33, John Wes Townley is in the #21, and Austin Dillon drives #3. Businessman Richard Childress, who was a former driver, owns the team.

Richard Childress Racing made its debut at the 1969 Talladega 500 with a 1968 Chevy, numbered 3. Childress drove and finished 23rd due to axle problems. Between 1972 until just before the end of the 1976 season, Childress competed for the team in fourteen races. He made eleven top-ten finishes and finished the year ranked eleventh. Then in 1981 Richard Childress ended his career and gave over the #3 ride to the defending Winston Cup champion, Dale Earnhardt.

With car #29 Earnhardt made six top-tens and then moved, with Ricky Rudd taking his place for the 1982 season. Rudd ended both 1982 and 1983 placed ninth in points and the next two years he won. When the season ended Rudd was replaced with former RCR driver Earnhardt. He had a successful two decades, winning six championships but later on his performance slowed down. On February 18, 2001, Earnhardt was on the finishing lap of the Daytona 500 when he crashed head-on into a wall, dying immediately.

Jeff Green was selected to drive the #07 car, which debuted at California Speedway, finishing 21 in total points. Green made pole position at the Sharpie 500, with six top-tens and finishing 17th the following year. Later Green was replaced with Steve Park but with not much potential he was not re-assigned. Jeff Burton later became available and was snapped up by Childress, finishing off the rest of the year. With Robby Gordon moving, Burton decided to leave, which meant that Childress had two spaces to fill. Jack Daniels took up sponsorship and by 2006 Clint Bowyer took over the car.

Childress used car #31 for research and development. Its debut was at North Carolina Speedway in 1988. The next time the car was seen was in 1993 with Neil Bonnett driving at Talladega Superspeedway. Three years later Mike Skinner made a return with the car but having suffered injuries during the 1998 season Morgan Shepherd and Mike Dillon, Childress’ son-in-law, took over. With the injuries Skinner was never able to excel and eventually Robby Gordon took over with a spectacular race in 2001, where he battled against Jeff Gordon near the closing-laps to win the season finale at New Hampshire International Speedway.

By the end of 2009, Richard Childress Racing had managed to rack up the following championships: 6 Sprint Cups, 5 Nationwide Series and 1 Camping World Truck Series.

AT&T Williams F1 Team

February 9, 2009 by  
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The AT&T Williams F1 team, was established by Sir Frank Williams, together with Patrick Head. It was known at that time as the Williams Grand Prix Engineering team, and has since then become one of the three top contenders in the world of Formula One. In its history of Formula One racing, the Williams Team has walked away with nine Constructor’s titles. Their first race was at the Spanish Grand Prix in 1977, with Clay Regazzoni (from Switzerland) securing the first win for the team in 1979 at the British Grand Prix. The Williams team’s 100th win was made possible by Jacques Villeneuve in 1997 at the Hungarian Grand Prix. Together with McLaren and Ferrari, the Williams team consistently features amongst the top contenders. The chassis for the Williams F1 team, always has a “FW” followed by a number, being the initials for the proud team owner, Frank Williams.

Frank Williams had tried his hand in Formula One racing twice before founding Williams F1 in 1977. He previously had been running two operations, namely Walter Wolf Racing and Frank Williams Racing Cars. But it was the Williams team that brought him success. Many famous drivers have been behind the wheel of a Williams car, and to name a few: Nigel Mansell, Alain Prost, Keke Rosberg and Ayrton Senna. In 1994, Patrick Head, Frank Williams and the Williams designer, Adrian Newey, faced manslaughter charges, after the tragic and fatal accident at the San Marino Grand Prix in 1994, that took Ayrton Senna’s life. The three men were cleared of all charges in 2005.

The Williams team did not only have different drivers contributing to their success, but also different engines. Williams was able to win five Constructor titles with a Renault engine. Frank Williams did not achieve the success he so desired with his Frank Williams Racing Cars operation. He established the Walter Wolf Racing outfit after many promises from the millionaire, but due to the uncompetitive cars and unfulfilled promises, Williams relocated to Didcot, and the birth of Williams F1 had started. Williams recruited Patrick Head as engineer of his new project and the “William-Head” partnership lasted throughout the years. The following years would see many successes and many disappointments and heartbreaking losses, but despite all the challenges of the changing times, Williams has always come through.

2007 was a year of changes for the Williams F1 Team – Toyota supplied the engines for the season; Alexander Wurz moved up from his position as test driver to the team’s second driver, thereby replacing Mark Webber; Kazuki Nakajima took the position of test driver; and AT&T became the primary official sponsor of the team, after having withdrawn its sponsorship of McLaren when they signed with competitor Vodafone. Nico Rosberg remained the number one driver of the team and tallied up a respectable number of points for the Williams F1 Team. Wurz did not perform as well and upon announcing his retirement, test driver Nakajima took over for the final race of the season in Brazil where he started near the back of the grid and managed to finish in tenth spot.

With Nico Rosberg and Kazuki Nakajima as principle drivers, the Williams F1 Team had its fair share of both successes and disappointments in 2008, finishing the season eighth in the constructions championship. Despite a disappointing 2008 season and rumblings of discontent from Rosberg, both drivers stayed on with Williams for the 2009 season. Towards the end of the 2009 season it was announced that the team would not be renewing its partnership with Toyota and would be looking for a new engine supplier for 2010. This turned out to be the UK-based private company Cosworth, an automotive engineering company specializing in auto racing engines that supplied the Cosworth CA2010 for the Williams FW32 cars. By the end of 2009 the Williams F1 Team had claimed 9 Constructors’ Championships, 7 Drivers’ Championships, 113 race victories, 125 pole positions and 130 fastest laps. Drivers for the 2010 season are Rubens Barrichello and Nico Hulkenberg, with Valtteri Bottas as test driver.

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