Formula 1

The First Rimac Nevera Was Just Delivered to Former Formula 1 Champ Nico Rosberg

The First Rimac Nevera Was Just Delivered to Former Formula 1 Champ Nico Rosberg

It’s a long journey from prototype to production car and the Rimac Nevera has finally completed it with the first delivery going to Formula 1 champ Nico Rosberg. 

Not that the Nevera hasn’t already impressed us plenty—the world record setting, Robb Report Best of the Best-winning EV hypercar has already proved its mettle as a highly functional, extraordinarily capable speed machine, as confirmed in our first drive. But delivering a production-spec car to a paying customer is easily the steepest milestone any carmaker faces, and paves the way for the inevitable gauntlet of real world durability, build quality and reliability.

The Croatian-built Nevera touts some astounding specs—0 to 62 mph in 1.85 seconds, nearly 2,000 hp and a seven-figure price tag. Rosberg’s stats aren’t bad either, as his 11 years in F1 included 206 races, 57 podiums, 23 wins and a 2016 World Champion title. The German-Finnish former racer is a near-ideal debut customer for the outrageous Nevera, the first product from Bugatti Rimac, which has helped raise $500M on the company’s valuation of $2B.

The first Rimac Nevera delivered 

Bugatti Rimac

Interestingly, though Rosberg’s 20-minute YouTube video of the delivery process feels like a sponsored sales pitch for the company, he reveals that he foolishly opted out of an early opportunity to invest in the company. Rosberg does, however, express genuine wonder at its organ-compressing acceleration, remarking that a YouTube drag race against a Ferrari SF90 made the Italian supercar look like “it’s some kind of Renault Twingo or something.” 
“Ever since I first met Mate and truly understood the genius behind Nevera, I knew I wanted car number one,” Rosberg says in Rimac’s official press release. Based on his business track record, it appears his passion for EV life is real: Rosberg has invested in more than 20 mobility startups, as well as Formula E. Furthermore, his 2021 championship-winning Extreme E race team is currently leading in points.

Rosberg and Rimac discussing the Nevera 

Bugatti Rimac

CEO Mate Rimac adds that “… we set out to build a car that impress even the best drivers in the world. Nico was on that list, and it’s a great feeling to know that someone who has mastered the most focused and cutting-edge motorsport in the world gets such a thrill from the car we’ve created.” Even better? Mate won’t have to worry about bad PR from reckless pileups when the ex-F1 champ maneuvers his new Rimac through the streets of Monaco. We hope.

The 1,049 HP Mercedes-AMG One Hypercar May Take on the Nürburgring Record

The 1,049 HP Mercedes-AMG One Hypercar May Take on the Nürburgring Record

The Mercedes-AMG One is a complex bit of kit. Touting a Formula 1-derived plug-in hybrid drivetrain with 1.6-liter V-6 that spins to a dizzying 11,000 rpm, the heavily scooped, spoilered, and finned hypercar has experienced serious setbacks since it first dropped cover at the Frankfurt Motor Show in 2017. Daimler’s then-boss Dieter Zetsche and Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 ace Lewis Hamilton touted the car as a race car disguised as a road car, and by all accounts the consumer product is actually more mechanically ambitious than its F1 counterpart. Hence development hell through the intervening years.

There’s no shortage of interest in the sold-out road car, which went into production this year after a beleagured development process. While spy shots of the imperious hypercar have surfaced over the years, new footage points to a potential stab at setting a record at the infamous Nürburgring Nordschleife racetrack. 
[embedded content]
Why is this important? In a word, history. When Porsche’s uncorked 919 Evo Four set the Nürburgring record in 2018 with a gobsmacking time of 5:19.55, AMG’s then-honcho Tobias Moers calmly said his baby could go ‘round the ‘Ring even faster. “It’s not a production car and ours is,” he told Motoring.com.au. “We have to meet full homologation rules. We could do some things to the aero and take out the air conditioner and fit some slightly different tires and then I’d be confident about it. But we’re not going to do that.” 

Moers is the legendary speed whisperer who left AMG to lead Aston Martin, only to depart the Gaydon-based carmaker last May. With no telling what internal discussions are being had at Mercedes-AMG, one universal truth remains: Despite the temptation to take the high road and not engage in a war of numbers, there’s a certain cachet to claiming the top spot at an esteemed circuit.

First deliveries of the Mercedes-AMG One are anticipated to be right around the corner, so don’t be surprised if the 1,049 horsepower hypercar validates its rumored $2.7 million price tag with a record-breaking run at the ‘Ring. 

Car of the Week: Michael Schumacher’s Undefeated Formula 1 Ferrari Could Fetch $8 Million at Auction

Car of the Week: Michael Schumacher’s Undefeated Formula 1 Ferrari Could Fetch $8 Million at Auction

The auction tents set up during Northern California’s upcoming Monterey Car Week promise to be brimming with Ferraris of every model, age, rarity and provenance. This parade of Prancing Horses will, in almost every instance, be accompanied by the ripping-silk sound of strident V-12 engines, as each car, with the blip of the throttle, drives across the auction block. One Ferrari, however, is so special that it likely won’t make a peep, so high-strung is its demeanor and so rigorous its starting regimen. That car, one of the most significant Ferrari race cars in existence, is the 1998 Ferrari F300 Formula 1 machine driven to victory four times by seven-time Formula 1 World Champion Michael Schumacher.

The Ferrari F300 race car driven by Michael Schumacher to four Grand Prix victories during the 1998 Formula 1 season. 

Kevin Van Campenhout, courtesy of RM Sotheby’s.

It’s no secret that Enzo Ferrari built street cars to support his racing efforts—especially Formula 1, which was, from the marque’s beginning, at the top of the motorsports pyramid. Historic F1 cars are the big game of the collector car world, though they pose none of the legal or ethical challenges like bagging a bull elephant or a mother white rhino. The latter might be stuffed, mounted and dramatically spot-lit in some ghoulish man cave, but many former F1 cars—once-furious machines whose raison d’être was to be faster than their competitors—often meet a similar inanimate end, relegated to private displays in clean-room-like garages. No matter, they remain some of the most coveted race cars in the world.

The cockpit where Schumacher controlled the car’s 800 hp V-10 power train. 

Kevin Van Campenhout, courtesy of RM Sotheby’s.

Maranello introduced the motoring press to its F300 Formula 1 car at the beginning of 1998, and the design saw continuous development through the race season. It’s powered by a new-at-the-time 3.0-liter V-10 engine that makes 800 hp and revs to a blender-like 17,500 rpm. The power train and the car’s advanced aerodynamics prefigured Ferrari’s domination of Formula 1 into the new century. Of course, that success was due in large part to the indefatigable Schumacher.
Chassis No. 187 saw its first checkered flag in the Canadian Grand Prix in Montreal, with Schumacher setting the fastest lap with a 16-second lead. Subsequent victories in France and Britain pit Ferrari squarely against McLaren-Mercedes for Drivers’ and Constructors’ titles. Shortly after, Schumacher won the Italian Grand Prix, securing a career win for the 33rd time.

With chassis No. 187, Schumacher won with a 16-second lead in the 1998 Canadian Grand Prix. 

Kevin Van Campenhout, courtesy of RM Sotheby’s.

In 1999, Scuderia Ferrari privately sold its F1-champion race car directly to its first owner in unrestored, as-raced condition, the same state of preservation in which the vehicle remains today. Kept discreetly away from view, it is being offered for the first time in a public sale by RM Sotheby’s on Saturday, August 20, and is estimated to fetch as much as $8 million.
Click here to see all the photos of Michael Schumacher’s Undefeated Formula 1 Ferrari Heading to Auction.

Michael Schumacher’s undefeated 1998 Ferrari F300 Formula 1 race car. 

Kevin Van Campenhout, courtesy of RM Sotheby’s.

Here’s What Formula 1 Racer George Russell Thinks About the Monaco Grand Prix

Here’s What Formula 1 Racer George Russell Thinks About the Monaco Grand Prix

While Formula 1’s groundswell of newfound popularity in the United States is growing exponentially, fueled further by the inaugural Miami Grand Prix earlier this month, one overseas race in the series transcends all of motorsport. Since its debut in 1929, the Monaco Grand Prix has come to embody exclusivity and a lavish lifestyle—an event emblazoned on the psyche and calendars of both the jet-set and ardent gearheads alike.

Of late, one Formula 1 team in particular has seen its own renown rise in tandem with that of the event itself. Mercedes-AMG Petronas has taken every World Constructors’ Championship title since 2014, along with its driver Lewis Hamilton garnering a record-tying seven Drivers’ championships, six of which have been with Mercedes.

For the next running of the fabled race, which takes place on May 29, the official hospitality partner of the team, Marriott Bonvoy, is offering its rewards members a rare opportunity to enjoy the race from the Mercedes-AMG Petronas yacht and stay four nights at the JW Marriott Cannes, all part of its Monaco Grand Prix VIP package.

To help get the word out, the newest member of the Mercedes team, racer George Russell, recently spoke with Robb Report. The 24-year-old phenom, who came over from the Williams team this season, is no stranger to Mercedes, having been a junior driver under its banner a few years back. Recently finishing third in Australia and currently ranked fourth overall, Russell shares what it has been like switching sides, adjusting to the new mandated car modifications, and why the Monaco Grand Prix is so monumental.

Formula 1 racer George Russell of the Mercedes-AMG Petronas team. 

Jiri Krenek, courtesy of Marriott Bonvoy.

How has the transition been from the Williams team to Mercedes-AMG Petronas, and what has been the greatest challenge, if any?
The transition between the two teams has actually been pretty smooth. I think that’s because I’ve been part of the Mercedes family for quite some time now and already knew everybody so well, but for sure, it’s been fantastic to see how this team operates. For me, it’s easy to understand straightaway why it’s been so successful for so long.

New teammates Lewis Hamilton and George Russell. 

Marriott Bonvoy

In your opinion, how does the Monaco Grand Prix stand out from other races in the season, and what makes it so special?
The Monaco Grand Prix is one of the most iconic sporting events in the world, if not the most iconic. It’s just such a surreal location. At the top of the hill, before turn No. 2, you look down and see the cliffs, the harbor and all of these superyachts everywhere, right on the sidelines of the racetrack. And to think you have 20 Formula 1 cars driving around at 200 mph in the midst of all of the houses. As a driver, when you race around the circuit and see the people standing from their balconies up 20 to 30 stories, it’s just such a unique experience. It feels like something from a movie. [As a fan], it’s something you need to say you’ve done, to have experienced Monaco during the Grand Prix weekend—it’s truly something else.

Do you approach the race differently than you do others in the season?
You have to approach Monaco with a bit more respect, especially during practice, compared to another circuit. It’s so thrilling because we’re driving 200 mph between areas that are just 10 meters wide. You’re having to be millimeter-perfect lap after lap, so your concentration level is on the limit. If you’re a millimeter out, you end up in the wall, and that is the end of your session; huge amounts of damage and it really puts you on the back foot for the rest of the weekend. But by the time you get to qualifying, you’re absolutely flat out and have one vision, the walls are almost a blur. It’s just so exhilarating. It’s definitely among my top three favorite races.

Russell competing at the 2021 Monaco Grand Prix for Williams Racing. 

Hoch Zwei/picture-alliance/dpa/AP Images

And the other two would be?
One of my favorites is Silverstone, my home race. The fans are incredible. It’s an amazing circuit and I have a lot of positive memories there from when I was younger. The other one would probably be Austin, it’s a really vibrant city and, again, the fans are just awesome.
What are some of the pros and cons of all the modifications to the cars this season?
With all the changes to the car this year, it’s been very challenging for a number of teams. We’re struggling with the bouncing of the car, which is a new phenomenon that we’ve never experienced before. There’s so much force sucking the cars to the ground, then you hit the ground and the car reacts, and then you come down again.
That’s been a real challenge because we’re having to run the cars much higher to not get into this scenario, and then we just lose performance. The team members are working their socks off day and night to try and resolve this issue and find a solution. So from a driver’s perspective, that’s been very different because you don’t feel very settled within the car when you’re bouncing around so much; you feel it in the back and through your neck and head.

A look at Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes-AMG Petronas race car, newly modified to meet regulation requirements for the 2022 season. 

Marriott Bonvoy

Overall, how do these machines differ from their predecessors?

Generally, these cars are much slower than those of previous eras, and there are a number of reasons for that. One is that there’s been an increase in weight because of safety, and the cars are much stronger this year, which makes us feel more secure. But, obviously, from a driver’s perspective, you want the lightest and fastest car possible. Then, with this ground effect underneath the floor, you have more performance when the car is going faster, compared to last year, but when the car is going slower, there’s not quite as much downforce as before. In time, when teams start developing the cars [with new stipulated changes] more and more, we will get back to the lap times we saw in previous eras. But it’s a step behind where it was last year.
How does the partnership between Marriot Bonvoy and Mercedes-AMG Petronas benefit you personally?
Getting to stay in a luxurious hotel is a huge part of it for us. We travel around the world, and there’s so much preparation that goes into the race weekend, along with the millions spent. As a performance group, we put so much effort and energy into getting every single last detail optimized on the race car that to be going into a hotel and not having a good night’s sleep just seems ridiculous. With the Marriott Bonvoy group and the Ritz-Carlton, we’re looked after brilliantly, and it really does bring performance. If you have a bad night’s sleep, you’re not going to be at the top of your game.

Aboard the Mercedes-AMG Petronas team’s yacht in Monaco. 

Jiri Krenek, courtesy of Marriott Bonvoy

What is your favorite travel destination?
I love the United States, it’s a place I haven’t explored enough of. I’ve been to California, to Los Angeles, and love the climate and the people. Apart from the States, I’d say Northern Italy, around the lakes.
What are your thoughts on the Marriott Bonvoy Monaco Grand Prix VIP Package being offered?
You’d be silly not to sign up. You have to get it off your bucket list, and this is such an incredible opportunity.

The yacht’s main salon offers another viewing option for the race. 

Marriott Bonvoy

What message do you have for any kid who wants to become a Formula 1 racer?

Work hard, don’t give up and believe in yourself. It’s as simple as that. Practice, practice, practice, and don’t be afraid to make mistakes—you learn from your mistakes. But first and foremost, just work hard.

Formula 1 Miami Preview: Tag Heuer and Red Bull Racing Tag Team on the Fan Experience

Formula 1 Miami Preview: Tag Heuer and Red Bull Racing Tag Team on the Fan Experience

There’s a renaissance occurring in the US, a cultural awakening to the international fervor that is Formula 1—and it’s at full throttle. Launched in 1950, the world’s top-tier motorsport has always lagged in the rearview when it came to stateside popularity, especially compared to homegrown NASCAR and IndyCar. That is, until now.

“Formula 1 was always very tightly controlled and did not have a lot of access to fans, and we’ve tried to change that,” says Greg Maffei, president and CEO of Liberty Media, the company who bought Formula 1 in 2016 for a reported $4.4 billion. In a recent panel discussion with Robb Report and Sportico, Maffei went on to say: “Some things we were smart with, like fan experiences, e-racing and fan festivals; some things we got very lucky on, like Drive to Survive [the Netflix reality-TV show], which built a whole new base of a much younger and gender-diverse audience. Lastly, the product on the track has gotten a lot better; we’ve seen a lot of competitive racing.”

The circuit for the 2022 Formula 1 Miami Grand Prix. 

Kirby Lee

Indicative of this seismic shift in what’s traditionally been a Euro-centric race series, boasting storied names like Ferrari, McLaren and Alfa Romeo, is this weekend’s inaugural Miami Grand Prix. And looking to further build its own legacy is the relatively new yet already dominant Red Bull Racing team which has partnered with Swiss watch brand Tag Heuer. The six-year-old relationship, extended through 2024, has just experienced it greatest success to date last season.

Max Verstappen putting in track time before the Formula 1 Miami Grand Prix. 

Hasan Bratic

Even many unfamiliar with racing got drawn in to the drama of the 2021 campaign and the rivalry between seven-time champion Lewis Hamilton, with Mercedes-AMG Petronas, and Red Bull’s Max Verstappen. Reflective of their incredibly close battle for supremacy all year, Verstappen took the 2021 Drivers’ Championship title on the last lap of the last race, but not without enough controversy to have race director Michael Masi eventually replaced.

Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen after the latter was named Formula 1’s 2021 Drivers’ Champion. 

Hassan Ammar

That backstory promised to fuel a renewed dual between the rivals this season, but regulation changes to the cars have seemed to hamper Mercedes. And Red Bull’s Verstappen has been boom or bust, failing to finish two of the four races so far, though winning both he’s completed. So far, the fledgling season has Ferrari and its driver Charles Leclerc leading in the Constructors’ Championship and Drivers’ Championship, respectively, while Red Bull and Verstappen hold second place in each.

Saturday’s qualifying fell lockstep with the overall standings. On a day with temperatures peaking at 92 degrees and nearly 50 percent humidity, several racers were knocked out of the top ten starting positions early, including Alpine’s Fernando Alonso, Mercedes’s George Russel and Aston Martin’s Sebastian Vettel. Near the end of the third and final qualifying stage, Verstappen was in pole position until oversteer with his car resulted in Ferrari’s Leclerc and Carlos Sainz garnering the top two spots for Sunday, while Hamilton will start in sixth.

Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc on his way to earning pole position during Saturday’s qualifier. 

LiveMedia

“You do two runs in the final qualifying, and there was a moment in turn five, so the second run didn’t really turn out,” Verstappen told Robb Report later in the evening. When asked about the new changes to the cars for 2022, Verstappen says, “the racing, in general, is a bit better this year, you can follow better; the cars are heavier, which is not great, but as long as the racing is better, I think that’s what we all wanted.”
Hoping to manifest Red Bull’s goal of dominating the track around Miami’s Hard Rock stadium on Sunday, Tag Heuer has laid claim to the Miami Design District’s Jungle Plaza and transformed it into a go-kart circuit complete with machines not unlike the ones that gave Verstappen and Hamilton their own competitive start at a young age. In line with Maffei’s comments about fostering greater interest in Formula 1 through enhanced experiences, Tag Heuer has opened the venue to the public, free of charge, with roughly 350 aspiring racers cycling though each day since May 3.

The TAG Heuer go-kart experience in the Miami Design District’s Jungle Plaza. 

TAG Heuer S.A.

“We really wanted to take part in the activation of the first-ever Miami Grand Prix, which is why we put together this go-kart experience,” says Benjamin Beaufils, president of Tag Heuer Americas. “We needed to give the sense of racing to the local community.”
On Saturday night, the atmosphere of collaboration between the two brands was fueled even more when Verstappen and teammate Sergio “Checo” Perez both clocked a few laps in the all-electric rides. Says Beaufils, “They started their careers in go-karts, Max was seven years old and Checo was six, so I think it brought back a lot of memories for those two.”

Red Bull Racing’s Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez at TAG Heuer’s go-kart experience. 

Joe Schilborn, courtesy of TAG Heuer S.A.

The mini circuit also features a mural backdrop of Verstappen’s race car artistically reimagined, along with gas-pump-like displays of Tag Heuer timepieces that pay tribute to automotive competition—the latest being its Formula 1 Red Bull Racing Special Edition. The commemorative watch—sporting a 43 mm brushed-steel case—features aesthetics specific to the team’s livery, duplicated with the blue sun-brushed dial and red accents. Splashes of yellow take the form of the 1/10 second chronograph at the six o’clock position, and the central second hand. The other two counters comprise a second indicator at three o’clock and a minute counter at nine o’clock.

The TAG Heuer Formula 1 Red Bull Racing Special Edition. 

TAG Heuer S.A.

Additional motorsport-inspired embellishments on the watch include the Arabic indexes reflective of those on a speedometer, and the starting-line grid markers above the five o’clock and seven o’clock positions. Along with Formula 1 badging on the face, the blue tachymeter fixed bezel is fittingly engraved with the word “Speed,” while the caseback is inscribed with the special-edition moniker and Red Bull Racing logo.

Max Verstappen during Saturday’s qualifying session. 

Doug Murray/Icon Sportswire

“When you look at the DNA of both Tag Heuer and Red Bull in terms of performance and being avant-garde, it’s such a match from that perspective,” says Beaufils. And the fact that we have the worldwide champion in Max is a perfect fit for us.”
How does the current title holder feel about this new race in Miami? “The city is amazing,” says Verstappen, though he adds that “the course is challenging because of very low grip, but not a lot of fun.” Perez agrees, saying, “the tarmac is not spectacular, if you go a bit off line, you tend to lose downforce.” Regardless of whether Red Bull’s duo has a winning time, the roughly 85,000 spectators certainly will when the action starts at 3:30 p.m. ET this afternoon.

First Drive: Ferrari’s First V-6-Powered Production Car Inhales the Track Like a Beast

First Drive: Ferrari’s First V-6-Powered Production Car Inhales the Track Like a Beast

Surely, the thinking always went, a Ferrari that rolled off the line with a V-6 engine, a power plant common in Camrys and Kias, would signal the end times for Maranello. Yet the 819 hp Ferrari 296 Gran Turismo Berlinetta (GTB)—not just the marque’s first V-6-powered production car, but a plug-in hybrid V-6 production car—is a cracking start to a new age. More than that, it’s a revelation, and not only because of the way it inhales sections of track like a far heavier-breathing beast.

Ferrari built its early legacy on cars with 12-cylinder bravado up front, but it’s had great motorsport success placing a V-6 behind the cockpit, introduced with the Targa Florio–winning 246 SP in 1961; that same year, Ferrari took the Formula 1 Drivers’ and Constructors’ Championships with the six-cylinder 156 “Sharknose.” (Then, of course, there was the road-going Dino, which debuted in 1967 with a 2.0-liter V-6 making 178 hp, but those cars were never officially branded with the Prancing Horse badge until the later eight-cylinder versions.)

Hybrid? Yes. V-6? Yes. Crazy Ferrari performance? Oh yes. 

Lorenzo Marcinno

As with many of Ferrari’s motorsport champions, the 296 GTB enjoys the stability and balance of a mid-rear-engine layout. Its twin turbochargers are nestled in the 120-degree gap between cylinder banks with the exhaust sitting on top, a “hot-vee” configuration that cuts weight, lowers the center of gravity and improves output. The 165 hp electric motor ( juiced by a 7.5 kwh battery) sits between the engine and the eight-speed dual-clutch transmission; with the 654 hp from the 2.9-liter mill, total output is 109 hp more than the F8 Tributo. And with a $318,000 price tag that runs roughly $40K above that car, the 296 GTB is certainly no entry-level model. Nor is it some transitional footnote in the interregnum between mechanical and all-electric—not when Cristiano Pompucci, Ferrari 296 GTB Power Train Project lead, refers to it as “the next chapter in the history of our sports berlinettas.”
Of course, the automaker had some unasked-for help writing this particular chapter, with Pompucci acknowledging that the car was a direct response to Europe’s newest emissions regulations. But quash any thoughts of compromise, or the 296 GTB will quash them for you.

The 3,241-pound (dry weight) model is among the nimblest in Ferrari’s stable, with balletic handling owed in large part to the 102.3-inch wheelbase, shortest in the current lineup. The hybrid system’s continuous power delivery erases turbo lag and allows the six-shooter to fire from zero to 60 mph in an estimated 2.9 seconds, devouring the main straight of Spain’s Monteblanco Circuit along the way. Engaging the brake-by-wire system—the hefty calipers are shared by the SF90 Stradale—in conjunction with the new ABS Evo assist and Ferrari’s six-way Chassis Dynamic Sensor brings the machine from 124 mph to a standstill in 351 feet, besting the lighter F8 by nearly 33 feet. Along with the active rear spoiler, which deploys for up to 220 additional pounds of downforce, this makes the 2.76-mile circuit’s hairpins far less hairy.

A closer look at the Ferrari 296 Gran Turismo Berlinetta. 

Lorenzo Marcinno

Off the track, while exploring the countryside outside Seville, the GTB demonstrates its grand-touring prowess. It’s here that the eDrive and Hybrid modes excel. Accelerating from a stoplight under full electric power, I pass a small funeral procession making its way down a side street. The car is respectful in its silence, with the ability to remain decoupled from the engine for 15 miles. Less impressive: the interior’s underwhelming JBL sound system, lacking the souped-up audio of some other OEM-supplied setups, and the diminutive infotainment screen, both of which feel uninspired. And traditionalists will surely bristle at the all-digital dash, though it suits the vehicle’s nod to the future and I for one am thankful for the head-up display.
No matter how great the car, the biggest hurdle Ferrari may need to clear is the perception that its latest release is the result of procrastination, with the marque having vacillated on its messaging regarding pure EVs. One Ferrarista, who owns the 458 and F8, worries that despite its claimed 2025 target date, “Ferrari will hit late in the all-electric fight and get a black eye.” But this model is a demonstration of what the automaker can do in spite of restrictions, not because of them. And with its ferocious performance, beautiful proportions and grand-touring comfort, the 296 GTB feels like Enzo himself saying, “Bring it on.”

Always Wanted to Drive a Formula 1 Car? Here Are 4 Places Where You Can

Always Wanted to Drive a Formula 1 Car? Here Are 4 Places Where You Can

With Formula 1’s 73rd season just off the starting line, motorsport’s premier race series is in the midst of a turbocharged popularity surge thanks to last year’s riveting battle between seven-time champion Lewis Hamilton and heir apparent Max Verstappen—not to mention the Netflix documentary series Formula 1: Drive to Survive, with its focus on the real-life drama both inside and outside the cars.

But for the ultimate thrill, try a turn behind the wheel of an actual pedigreed F1 racer. Even decades-old competition chassis remain among the most high-tech, demanding and rare vehicles on the planet, and with the ability to pilot them around some of the world’s most famous circuits, you can consider the rest of your automotive bucket list obsolete.

1. Bovingdon Airfield

Hertfordshire, England
Instead of an F1 circuit, TrackDays will have you flying around England’s Bovingdon Airfield in the same Jordan EJ12 that Takuma Sato piloted through his rookie season in 2002. Before drivers take on the ex-Sato sled and its nearly 600 hp, 10,500 rpm V-10, the five-hour curriculum (starting at approximately $1,300) includes a preparatory 14 laps of skill-honing drills in a sports car, plus another 20 laps in an open-wheel F1000. For the finale, 10 laps in the Jordan await, though up to 20 more can be added for a supplemental charge.
Race Car: Jordan EJ12
Engine: 3.0-liter naturally aspirated Judd V-8
Power: 600 hp
2. Circuit Paul Ricard

Le Castellet, France
Founded and run by former F1 test driver and Formula 3 champion Laurent Redon, LRS Formula offers three levels of action. The Bronze experience includes a 650 hp Benetton B198 from 1998 or a 2001-season Prost AP04, while the Silver option introduces the 750 hp Jaguar R3, circa 2002. But it’s the Gold selection, priced from around $6,500, that unleashes the real fury: a 2011 Williams FW33 producing 750 hp at 18,000 rpm. (That’s down from the KERS-enhanced 830 hp on hand when Rubens Barrichello and Pastor Maldonado were in the cockpit, but don’t flatter yourself that you’ll miss it.) Drive days take place at acclaimed circuits in France, Spain and Portugal, and begin with stints in 200 hp Formula Renault 2.0 cars, the type Kimi Räikkönen raced prior to finding F1 glory.

Race Car: Williams FW33
Engine: 2.4-liter naturally aspirated Cosworth V-8
Power: 750 hp
Other Circuits: Dijon-Prenois; Nevers Magny-Cours; Barcelona-Catalunya; Portimão
3. Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps

Stavelot, Belgium
With 22 years in operation, Italy’s Puresport Racing School puts you behind the wheel of the A18 racer campaigned by 1996 World Drivers’ Champion Damon Hill during his 1997 season with the Arrows team. Originally fit with a 700 hp Yamaha V-10, the car is now propelled by a 3.0-liter Cosworth V-8 delivering 500 hp at 9,000 rpm. (Prior to buckling in to Hill’s former ride, drivers warm up with 10 laps in a 255 hp Formula 3 machine.) With sessions starting at $4,300, set dates are available across famed European circuits in Belgium, Germany and Italy, where participants experience the tracks in their entirety. There’s also the option of a camera car to record your personal Grand Prix performance.
Race Car: Arrows A18
Engine: 3.0-liter naturally aspirated Cosworth V-8
Power: 500 hp
Other Circuits: More than a dozen, including Hockenheimring, Imol and Monza
4. Dubai Autodrome

Dubai, UAE
Although the United Arab Emirates (UAE) currently hosts Formula 1 in its capital of Abu Dhabi, neighboring city Dubai is home to what is known as “the heart of UAE motorsport,” the Dubai Autodrome. Through the latter’s F1 experience, starting from about $2,700, drivers will familiarize themselves with the Autodrome’s 1.52-mile Club Circuit configuration in both a BMW 330i and a Radical SR3; after that, the real deal: a stint in a 550 hp version of the R1 race car used by the Jaguar team during the 2000 season. (You can also climb into an Arrows A23, also with 550 hp, from that team’s short-lived 2002 campaign.) That means a minimum of four laps around the FIA-sanctioned track, in the same type of vehicle British driver Johnny Herbert finished his career, and the exact car driven by his teammate Eddie Irvine.

Race Car: Jaguar R1
Engine: 3.0-liter naturally aspirated Judd V-8
Power: 550 hp

Here’s Why 2022 Formula 1 Will Be the Hottest Ticket Anywhere

Here’s Why 2022 Formula 1 Will Be the Hottest Ticket Anywhere

After only three days of preseason testing, Formula 1 auto racing this year has come to be defined by these three words: “Porpoising,” “ground effect” and “turbulence.” But the one word that best encompasses the expectations for the 2022 season, which starts at the Bahrain Grand Prix this weekend, is “Uncertainty.”

December saw the close of 2021 competition with one of the most emotional championship finales in the series’ history. With that dramatic conclusion still fresh in the minds of both fans and participants, the pinnacle of single-seat, open-wheel racing promises another unpredictable and wild 22-race season.

Of course, there’s the prospect of a tense rematch between last year’s protagonists, Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen, racers whose title was decided on the last lap of the last race. But anticipation is also high over the biggest technical regulation changes in decades, ones designed mainly to lower costs and spice up the show. After the testing in Bahrain, however, it seems that the regulations have only added further questions about what to expect.

Lewis Hamilton leads the field at the start of the 2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. 

Photo by AP Photo/Hassan Ammar.

What is clear is that, for the first time in ages, the new cars look radically different to the previous ones: They’re heavier, with larger wheels and tires, longer noses, and above all, far fewer elaborate aerodynamic appendages. In short, they’re simpler and more streamlined.
While the 1970s and ’80s were marked by crazy innovations like six-wheeled cars, fan cars and teapot cars, those days are long gone due to increasingly stringent rules. Despite that, teams have devised a relatively large spectrum of different interpretations this season. Overall, however, the new approach in aerodynamics has made the cars resemble their ancestors from the early 1990s. The new Ferrari F1-75, with its Coke-bottle-shaped side pods, calls to mind the F1-90 (also known as the 641) of 1990, which is on display in the Museum of Modern Art in New York. In other words, the machines are more beautiful than ever.

Alpine’s new car for 2022. 

Photo by XPB / James Moy Photography Ltd, courtesy of Alpine F1 Team.

But if the complexity of their wings and other appendages have been subdued, the emphasis on aerodynamics itself has not. This year marks a big return to the “ground effect,” where the cars gain more grip through the underfloor design—with tunnels using a Venturi effect to suck the car to the track—and rear diffuser, while drawing less from the wings.  Ground effects were particularly exploited in the late 1970s, until they were outlawed as too dangerous in 1983. The idea now is for the cars to be less affected by the turbulent air created by the wings of the car ahead, in order to facilitate overtaking and improve the overall spectacle.

Members of the Mercedes-AMG Petronas team during preseason testing in Bahrain prior to the start of the 2022 Formula 1 season. 

Photo by Sebastian Kawka, courtesy of Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd.

Yet during preseason testing, drivers found that, while it was easier to get closer to another car, there is now a moment of extreme loss of grip when they are just about in a position to pass. That loss of grip then returns as they get slightly closer, making the maneuver potentially more dangerous. The cars are also much more difficult to control through the slow-speed corners than in the past.
Another new problem linked to the ground effect is defined by what’s referred to as “porpoising.” The term was coined by Mario Andretti during the previous period of ground-effects cars, when he was testing his Lotus at the Silverstone track in England. While on the high-speed straights, when the cars get very close to the track, they suddenly lose grip, then regain it, then lose it, which leads to bouncing up and down. This costs in both speed and wear on the driver. It has been widely reported that Ferrari racer Charles Leclerc recently stated, “It feels like turbulence on an airplane, going up and down the whole straight,” adding that it made him feel a bit ill.

Aston Martin driver Lance Stroll prepares for Sunday’s Formula 1 Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix 2022. 

Photo: Courtesy of Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant F1 Team.

Another change is that the tire size has grown from 13 inches to 18 inches this year, also to reduce the “dirty air” of the car in front. But some drivers complain of less traction and potential problems of durability. Whatever happens on the technical side, the soap opera among drivers is certain to provide surprises, and possibly even a paradigm shift.
After nearly a decade of domination by the Mercedes team and its star driver Hamilton, expectations are high for a generational change that was already foreshadowed by Verstappen finishing in first last season. That win deprived Hamilton of a recording-breaking eighth title in a highly controversial manner. The race director appeared to fumble over the rules in the final moments of the contest during a safety-car period, which appeared to hand the 24-year-old Dutchman victory on a silver platter, while snatching it from Hamilton.

Lewis Hamilton, seven-time Formula 1 champion, responds to reporters after losing to Max Verstappen in a controversial finish at the 2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. 

Photo by AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili, Pool.

The British driver is now 37 years old, and he said that the new Mercedes car is not ready to win races. Additionally, he has a new young teammate, 24-year-old George Russell, who is keen to prove himself after arriving from the weaker Williams team.
Moreover, the Red Bull car of Verstappen and Sergio Perez finished testing in the same place it ended last season: at the top of the time sheets. And for the first time in two years, the Ferrari of Leclerc and Carlos Sainz Jr appears to be ready to win again. McLaren also looks to be continuing its renaissance, building on the strength of last year when Daniel Ricciardo, 32, took a surprise victory at the Italian Grand Prix in Monza. And McLaren driver Lando Norris, 22, is another member of the next wave in talent.

Max Verstappen hoists his trophy after winning the 2021 Formula 1 Drivers’ Championship. 

Photo by AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili, Pool.

There have been very few major changes at the teams, except for US-owned Haas, which dropped both its Russian sponsor, Uralkali, and its Russian driver, Nikita Mazepin, due to the war. To replace Mazepin, Haas rehired Kevin Magnussen of Denmark, who drove for the team from 2017 to 2020. Then there is Valtteri Bottas, who will race for Alfa Romeo after driving alongside Hamilton at Mercedes for the last five years. He is joined by rookie Guanyu Zhou, 22, of China. Alexander Albon, 25, returns from a year away—after leaving Red Bull—to replace Russell at Williams.
The 2022 season was originally set to run 23 races, which would have made it the longest to date, but the war in Ukraine provoked the cancelling of the race in Sochi, Russia, set for September. In May, Florida’s cultural epicenter, Miami, will host its first race, while the US Grand Prix will return to Austin, Tex., in October. This is the first time since 1984 that the US will stage more than one race. And races in Australia, Canada, Japan and Singapore, which were cancelled for two years due the Covid pandemic, are all back on track.

An AlphaTauri race car gets put through its paces during practice for the 2021 Formula Aramco United States Grand Prix in Austin, Tex. 

Photo by Dave Clements/Sipa USA/AP Images.

The shadow of the pandemic remains, however, as Ricciardo tested positive for the virus just last week, barely escaping elimination from this first race in Bahrain; while on Thursday, Aston Martin’s Sebastian Vettel tested positive, and will be replaced this weekend by Nico Hülkenberg.

Among the tweaks to the sporting regulations, the race direction takes center stage. Michael Masi, the race director who made the controversial call in Abu Dhabi in December, has been replaced by two race directors, Niels Wittich and Eduardo Freitas, who will alternate in the job. In addition, an old hand at the sport, Herbie Blash, has returned from retirement to act as an advisor. Finally, the rule that decided the title in that last race has now been clarified, and done so in a way that would have ensured that Hamilton, not Verstappen, won the title last year. How it all unfolds this season is anyone’s guess. One thing you can be certain of, though, is that after the curtain rises again on Motorsport’s largest stage, Formula 1 will put on quite a show.
Editor’s note: Writer Brad Spurgeon spent more than two decades covering Formula 1 for the International Herald Tribune and The New York Times, and is also the author of Formula 1: The Impossible Collection, from Assouline.

McLaren’s Formula 1 Car Gets the Lego Treatment Ahead of the New Racing Season

McLaren’s Formula 1 Car Gets the Lego Treatment Ahead of the New Racing Season

Formula 1 fans now have their very own Lego car.

Ahead of the upcoming season, Lego and the McLaren Formula 1 team have teamed up to create the first-ever Technic model based on a F1 car. The collaboration has resulted in a scale mini-sized version of a Formula 1 car inspired by McLaren’s MCL35M and its eye-popping papaya livery.
Designed by engineers from both brands, the Technic McLaren F1 car is nothing if not detailed. For starters, there are 1,432 pieces in all, so you’re assured of hours of building entertainment. Once complete, the model car will showcase several key features of the rea; F1 racer, including the intricate V-6 cylinder engine, with moving pistons, steering, suspension and a differential lock.  Sitting at over five inches tall, 25.5 inches long and 10.5 inches wide, it also comes with all the sponsor stickers you’d find on the real F1 race car.

Lego’s Technic McLaren Formula 1 model showcases the same sponsor decals as the real-life model. 

Lego/McLaren Racing

For those hoping to get an early glimpse of the marque’s new racer, you’ll have to wait a little longer. The Technic model’s release led to speculation that it might be based on this year’s McLaren, the MCL36. The automaker’s racing division squashed that rumor in a email provided to Robb Report, saying that LEGO’s Technic model features an image of a generic 2022 inspired car using McLaren’s 2021 livery. (So, no spoilers here.)
Like other Technic sets, the F1 model’s $179.99 price is far more friendly than the cost of the real thing. You can buy it on the Lego website starting March 1, shortly before the new F1 season revs back up with the Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix on March 20.  Even better, McLaren said that this year’s F1 car will be unveiled on Friday. Who knows? Maybe there will be two Technic McLaren F1s in the family before long.

PHP Code Snippets Powered By : XYZScripts.com