|Monaco GP – A challenge for seventy years|
| At the previous round of the championship in Barcelona, where Fernando Alonso produced yet another fantastic drive in his Ferrari F2012 to take second place, the majority of teams had introduced new packages to coincide with the first European race of the season. If some elements had failed to deliver a clear picture of their benefits, there was usually talk of waiting to see how they would perform in Canada. Had the designers and engineers forgotten that, before going to Montreal, the F1 circus stops off at its most famous venue in Monte Carlo? Not at all, it's just that the Monaco Grand Prix throws up such a unique technical challenge it simply does not fit into the overall picture of how the season is evolving. 'You have to set the car up quite differently for Monaco,' explains Scuderia Ferrari's Technical Director, Pat Fry. 'On the street circuit you don't attack all the corner entries as hard as you would on a normal circuit, because the barriers are so close to the track at the entry and exit. However, trying to get the right car balance is as difficult as at the other venues.'
The Monaco Grand Prix is older than the World Championship itself and in fact it celebrates its seventieth birthday this year. One element that has not changed in all that time is that the lap is short and very slow, the slowest on the calendar in fact. 'This means it is more about downforce and less about efficiency and engine power,'' continues Fry. 'You need as much downforce as possible and a car that behaves consistently.' Even if Monaco is unique, many of the updates introduced on the F2012 in Spain were aimed specifically at generating aerodynamic downforce and will therefore prove useful this weekend. 'As a result of a lot of work in the wind tunnel and on the track, we had a lot of updates including a different front wing, floor, turning vanes, brake ducts and a new rear wing. All in all, we're reasonably happy with the update we made, but obviously we've still got a long way to go and we have to keep on working at a similar rate. In fact, we will have a few more small updates this weekend to add a bit more downforce to the car and, as usual this season, it will be interesting to see how each car uses its tyres.'
It is true that tyre behaviour has been the single most influential factor on the evolution of the five races so far this year and Monaco's unique characteristics will not make this weekend's race immune to that. 'We have seen that just a small change in track temperature can have a large effect on tyre performance,' maintains the English engineer. 'And apart from this sensitivity to temperature, they are also quite sensitive to the way the drivers use them. In a race where three pit stops would be considered the norm, if the driver is very very careful on the rear tyres, you might be able to keep them in good enough shape to do just two stops. But if you push hard on the tyres they degrade and a driver can damage them a little bit by pushing. So, when you are fighting in traffic, you take more out of the tyres than you would do if you're running in clean air.' Given that Monaco is synonymous with traffic, whether or not a race is taking place, finding that elusive clean air is the main challenge for the strategists. 'Monaco is a short lap, so your thinking time is reduced,' says Fry turning to the subject of race planning. 'While you look at all the usual factors such as tyres degradation, you have to be very aware of trying to keep the drivers out of traffic so as to try and give them a clear run. So if you are starting from the mid-field it's always a challenge, therefore starting at the front of the grid makes the job a little bit easier.'
After two pairs of back-to-back races to kick start the season, we are now back in the classic routine of a race every fortnight all the way through to the Germany-Hungary double-header at the end of July. Therefore, while for Fry and the team the immediate focus is on Monaco, the work never stops on developing the car for each coming race. 'In the medium term we are constantly driving to bring in updates, as indeed is the case for all teams,' reveals Fry. 'For Canada, we will have a different rear wing and front wing package, which will deliver a slightly different downforce level for this circuit. Work on the exhaust system is ongoing and we have new versions to test. Having learned a lot at the start of the year, we were able to address some of our problems at the Mugello test prior to the Spanish GP and I think now we have a good understanding of our car, trying to add performance to it in a constant drive that will go all the way through to the final race.'
|WORLD ENDURANCE CHAMPIONSHIP VISITS AUDI'S LARGEST MARKET◾Final sprint in FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC)|
◾China is Audi's largest sales market
◾Audi victorious in 6-hour race at Shanghai a year ago
Ingolstadt, October 27, 2014 – The FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) is wound up to a high pitch. Within the space of three weeks, sports car fans have been thrilled by the lead in the manufacturers' championship changing twice. Following two one-two victories in succession, Audi had taken the top spot in the standings at the season....
|Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion Named a Finalist for International AwardMONTEREY, Calif., Oct. 21, 2014 — An international panel of experts of the International Historic Motoring Awards released their shortlist today and selected the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion as a finalist for the Motorsport Event of the Year. The winner will be named at the awards gala in London on November 20.|
Launched in 2011, the International Historic Motoring Awards, in association with EFG private bank and Octane magazine, recognize and celebrate the skills and achievement....
|END OF AN ERA: CHAMPION PEPPER WINS FINAL RACE IN VOLKSWAGEN'S TOURING CAR SCHOOL◾Time to turn over a new leaf after 17 years and 166 races|
◾Kremer finishes second in the championship, Møller Madsen wins Junior title
◾Guest appearances from Albert von Thurn and Taxis and Pierre Casiraghi
At precisely 17:35 on Saturday evening, spectators at the Hockenheimring were witness to the end of an era: Jordan Lee Pepper (ZA) won the final race in the history of Volkswagen's touring car school. It was only fitting that the champion of the 2014 Scirocco R-Cup should triumph in the....
|ALBERT PRINCE VON THURN UND TAXIS AND PIERRE CASIRAGHI TO LINE UP AS GUEST STARTERS IN HOCKENHEIM◾Head of the royal house von Thurn und Taxis started his racing career with Volkswagen|
◾Pierre Casiraghi making his second appearance in this year's Scirocco R-Cup
◾'Been a part of motorsport history with Volkswagen'
Two royals will add a little extra glamour to the grand finale of the Volkswagen Scirocco-R Cup in Hockenheim. Albert von Thurn und Taxis (31) and Pierre Casiraghi (27) of Monaco will line up as guest starters, as the Scirocco R-Cup forms part of the support programme for the D....
|Luigi Musso: Talented, Tempting and TroubledFollowing Alberto Ascari's back-to-back titles in 1952 and 1953 there have been no Italian Formula One World Champions. While there has been a great amount of hope throughout the years, Italians have been left without a World Champion. Perhaps, it could be argued, all such hopes died with Luigi Musso on the 6th of July in 1958.|
Since Ascari there have certainly been some notable Italian drivers within Formula One history books. Such names as Michele Alboreto, Elio de Angelis, Alex Zanardi, Ri....
|AUDI COMPETES IN JAPAN AS WEC LEADER OF THE STANDINGS◾Challenging conditions in the foothills of Mount Fuji|
◾Second half of the season begins in Japan
◾Fuji still missing on Audi's motorsport success map
Ingolstadt, October 6, 2014 – Audi looks at a good interim tally. In the FIA World Endurance Championship that has been held since 2012, the brand has now clinched 13 victories in 20 races. The most recent success at Austin (USA) marked the turnaround in the battle for the title and Audi, for the first time this season, took the lead in the m....
|Fiat Chrysler Automobiles key player in the Classic Days in GermanyConcours d'elegance, parades and special races on roads closed to traffic: this is the packed programme reserved for the historic cars arriving at the medieval Dyck castle|
• Alfa Romeo takes part with four precious models: the prototype 750 Competizione (1955), the 8C 2900 Le Mans (1938), the Giulietta SZ (1960) and the 1900 Sport Spider (1954)
• Under the spotlight the Lancia 037 Rally (1984 - group B) and the Formula 1 Lancia D50 (1955)
• At the German event also the Abarth 1000 Monomille ....
|Eager anticipation of Audi drivers' favorite track• DTM to visit Zandvoort on the North Sea coast this weekend |
• Many Audi drivers have special memories of the track
• Dieter Gass, Head of DTM: 'Manufacturers' title remains our goal'
The battle for the prestigious title of the best manufacturer is intensifying. Before the penultimate round of the DTM at Zandvoort next weekend (September 27 to 28) Audi and BMW are separated by only 18 points. The advantage for the four rings: There is no other track of which the Audi ....