The 2015 Formula One season has drawn to a close but if you are a keen enthusiast you must have followed the debate on the modern F1 CAR. There is so much fuss, from the low noise levels, to its aerodynamics and electrical control. Were F1 cars always this complicated?
A Journey Back In Time
To get more insight you have to go back in time and learn about one of the most dominant racing cars in F1 history; the Auto Union F1 Racing Car. It is most likely that you have seen numerous pictures of the Auto One as the trailblazer of the pre World War II racing but you never appreciated the rich heritage behind its success.
Its story goes back to World War one which devastated the German economy. There was therefore a need for collaborations between car makers. While Mercedes and Benz amalgamated, a rival union was formed by Horch, Audi, Deutsche Kraftfahrzeng-Werke (DKW) and Wanderer. However, this outlook misses something because Horch was the one who later formed Audi after disagreements with shareholders at Horch.
The Auto Union F1 Racing Car is born
With the Auto Union in place, development of cars with common parts became possible. While the first machines were passenger cars, the Auto Union F1 Racing Car was born shortly. The factory based at Zwickau produced V16 road monsters which were later replaced by V12s providing 550hp.
The racing program enjoyed state support and the early engines were heavily tweaked to reduce over steer. The intense Auto Racing program from 1933 saw the dream of racing materialize. While the union had budgetary and design limitations they used clockwork and paper discs to collect data.
The collaboration with Porsche in the Auto racing program had started earlier and technical development such as independent suspension and cylinder block designs were collaborations that followed what Mercedes was also doing.
The Golden Racing Era
The Type A to D Auto Union Racing machines that were developed through close workings with Porsche were developed as racing cars and never let down the sports enthusiasts. From 1934, the car started featuring in races against Mercedes. Led by the experienced driver Hans Stuck, the team won 25 races between 1935 and 1937. The Silver Arrows had incredible drivers including Bernd Rosemeyer and many records were broken along the way.
The Demise of Auto Racing Era
From 1938 challenges emerged including the introduction of the new 3.0-litre engine and death of the sensational Rosemeyer. During the war, it became impossible to develop further and most factories were destroyed.
You only have to look at the records broken by the Auto Racing cars to appreciate why they were so sensational. The 1935 record breaker clocked 200mph, the 1937 record breaker 235 mph and the 1938 record breaker hit 250mph.
Looking at Auto Racing car’s simple yet effective design, you have to wonder whether it is the way to go to save modern day F1.
France is a nation which loves different types of sports and Formula Racing and Grand Prix is no exception. In this article we will have a closer look at the history of the French Grand Prix and how it has graduated from being a novice to its current position. The current Formula One race that is held on France today has its roots way back to 1906 when the first Grand Prix Formula racing was held. It would be pertinent to mention here that the first Grand Prix was held on June 26, and June 27, 1906.
Sarthe River Was Witness To It
It would be pertinent to mention that it was held very close to the Sarthe river in the public roads as it existed at that point in time. Hence over a period of time the place where the event was held later was known as Sarthe Circuit. In those days, there was only one more event that could be called international in nature and it was the Gordon Bennett Series. This was started by the famous James Gordon Bennett Jr. who was the owner of New York Herald. This international event allowed only three cars from each country though there were not any mechanical or other limitations that one could think of.
It Did Not Go Well With French Pride
When the international circuits were being organized by James Gordon, France felt cold shouldered because of a few obvious reasons. France at that point of time had a number of car makers and therefore they felt slighted when only three car makers were allowed to participate in this international car racing event. To add insult to injury, Germany was permitted to send six cars because Mercedes had one more factory in Australia. However, the new Grand Prix had no such requirement. But there was a catch to it and as of 1906, the cars should not have a weight of more than 1,000 kilograms.
Hotels Chipped In With Funds
Thus started the journey of Formula 1 in France and it has well and truly travelled quite a distance after that. It would be pertinent to mention here that when the first event was organized by the Automobile Club Of France it was done more at the insistence of the various French automobile manufacturers than anything else. A few renowned hotels joined together to donate funds for holding off the event, which eventually would become one of the most famous F1 event not only in the country but also across the world.
The entire circuit of the first international race was around 64 miles and it covered only the local roads. The route was triangular in shape and each leg of the entire circuit was roughly around 20 miles. There were some sharp angles which made turning to the next leg quite difficult and many competitors fell along the way. Hence, there is no doubt that what started as a balm to soothe the ruffled French ego has today become a very famous international car racing event
The Austrian Grand Prix story starts, just like with many Grand Prix tales, with a group of individuals that were passionate about motor racing in the 1950s. These local folks created a very simple L-shaped circuit with hay bales and cones in Zeltweg town. The maiden race for the international sports cars took place in 1958. Wolfgang von Trips won this premier race in a Porsche. Nonetheless, the remarkably bumpy track attacked plenty of criticisms. This did not stop the circuit from holding two more rounds of Formula Two Championship (1959 and 1960).
The organizers had a dream of hosting an interesting Formula One race. In 1961 and 1963, Zeltweg town played host to non-championship events. Jack Branham and Innes Ireland won the races in 1963 and 1961 respectively.
Jochen Rindt, an Austrian superstar, rose as a result of the two events. As Rindt ascended through the F1 ranks, Zeltweg town pushed for a championship event. In 1964, the town realizes this great dream. Lorenzo Bandini went on to claim his only victory in motor racing. In 1965, Formula One did not return. However, the sportscar event still ran. Rindt, a local hero, won the race in a Ferrari.
Rindt’s success, combined with an ever-growing interest of Formula One racing was enough to attract funding. The funding led to the creation of a purpose built circuit. A natural basin was the location of the Osterreichring. Over time, it proved to among the fastest tracks worldwide. Its demand on driver skill, wonderful aesthetics, and impressive corners were some of the reasons for the high popularity of this circuit.
In 1970, the maiden Formula One race was held at the track. Rindt was highly dominant throughout the race. Actually, a win was expected for the Australian. Nonetheless, to the disappointment of home fans, this was not to be. Jacky Ickx took the chequered flag for Ferrari. The good thing is that there was always a next year. Sadly, at the same year’s Italian Grand Prix, Rindt died after a crash. He became the first racer of the sport to die during a race.
Consequently, the entire Austrian nation and sport fraternity were quite devastated. Fortunately, sooner than expected, NikiLunda would become Austria’s new hero. During the mid-1970s, home fans turned up in huge numbers expecting Lauda to win. This did not happen.
In the 1975 motor racing event, Vittorio Brambilla won in March’s torrential conditions.
All hail the might Hercules because legend has it that this god gave us Monaco. If you have been to this city you understand why any traveller would be so enthusiastic to go back there because you can never get enough of the French Riviera and the Monaco Grand Prix hospitality.
Finesse in Holidaying
There are many good destinations in the world but none comes close to Monaco in terms of grandeur, elegance, fun, prestige and of course hospitality. From the Monaco GP to the exquisite beaches there is no limit of the fun you can wring out of this principality.
Simply put Monaco can be termed the epitome of elegant living and once you visit you will want to go back. Whatever tickles your fancy be it the thrill of F1 speeds, incredible night life, marina or amazing casinos it will be available for you.
Unlike most destinations where you visit amazing sights but hospitality levels let you down, Monaco offers you a complete package. To sample the best out of the city you should always find the best hotels to pamper your body after a tiring day exploring the city.
The hotels in Monaco offer thousands of rooms but that’s just a tip of the iceberg. The architecture ranging from belle, Mediterranean to Classical makes them sights to behold. Their exquisite personalized service makes the whole experience ethereal.
Some of the incredible hospitality offers can be found in facilities such as:
Yacht experience: How would you like to dine like royalty on water? This is exactly what you get especially during the Monaco GP. You not only get a breathtaking view of the race but also champagne breakfast, 5-star catering, champagne open bar, menus designed by Master Chefs from 5-star hotels and much more.
Thermes Marin Spa: Hospitality is not all about food and dining in Monaco but also health. At this world famous spa, there are heated marine pools, vast treatment options including sea-peels with Dead Sea salts, algae baths and much more.
Hotel De Paris’s Wine Cellar: Enjoy the world’s most storied wine cellar dating back to the 1870s. With over 450,000 bottles and 55 types of champagne there will of course be something to tickle your bud.
World-class hotels: You have a chance to enjoy personalized service at the world’s most exclusive hotels. These include the Metropole which has ESPA spa services, Hermitage which was built in the 1900s and is centrally located, Monte Carlo Bay, Columbus, Le Meridien Beach Plaza to mention but a few.
Super car experience package: Nothing beats travelling around this great city in a supercar. The dream car you have always ogled at in Motoring Magazines is within your reach here. In fact you will get a package that comes with accommodation, VIP tables during Monaco GP after parties and much more.
It is impossible to capture all of Monaco’s hospitality in one article. You just have to fly down there and experience the glamorous and luxurious service to appreciate what it is all about.
What would you do if you were given a chance to recreate a popular event that was last held a century ago? This is the question Russia has had to deal with since the inclusion of the Sochi Autodrom in the 2014 Grand Prix circuit.
A Look at History
While most fans regard the Russian GP as a new phenomenon it dates back to 1913 and 1914 at St. Petersburg Square. It can thus be referred to as one of the oldest races but one that has also missed from action for the longest time.
These first races were won by G. Suvorin and Willy Scholl respectively but with the outbreak of WW1 it was abandoned. Plans to revive the circuit in the F1 calendar have been in the pipeline for over three decades.
Though plans to build a track have existed this long only after a meeting between FIA bosses including Ecclestone and President Vladmir Putin was an agreement signed. The city to host the track is the Black Sea resort city of Sochi which hosted the Winter Olympic Games.
Interesting Circuit Facts
Circuit length: The proposed length is a 5.853-kilometre track designed by renowned Hermann Tilke.
Location: Sochi and integrated around the Olympic Park infrastructure. The size of the circuit reduces to 13 meters at the narrowest point to 15 meters at the start and finish line.
Challenge: With 12 right and six left hand corners drivers are already predicting these to be the main challenges on the track.
Top speed: Expected top speed is 320 km/h
Last winner: Willy Scholl in 1914 still holds the record as the last winner.
When BBC’s David Coulthard joined Sebastian Vettel to try out the circuit the driver felt the track resembled Korea in layout. To come up with a prediction using this experienced driver’s feel of the track any driver who exceled in the Korean GP 2013 can make history on this track.
Vettel was of course the 1st in the Korean GP 2013 followed by Raikkonen and Grosjean. Hamilton who is experiencing explosive form this season was 4th. You can bet with all these other drivers in the list not competing for honors the battle between Rosberg and Hamilton will be renewed.
Politics aside the Russian GP can join the great races with a rich heritage including Monaco GP if it beats the usual teething problems that come with new tracks.
Come October 12th all eyes will be on Sochi to see what it has to offer both fans and drivers.