|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.'
|SRT MOTORSPORTS PRE-RACE REPORT - BRICKYARD GRAND PRIX AT INDIANAPOLIS MOTOR SPEEDWAYJuly 22, 2014 , Indianapolis - The SRT (Street and Racing Technology) Motorsports Dodge Viper SRT GTS-Rs visit historic Indianapolis Motor Speedway hunting their first victory of the season in Friday's Brickyard Grand Prix after posting consecutive double podium finishes in the previous two events.|
As SRT Motorsports makes its first appearance at the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the team enters the track with confidence coming off its best-ever, two-race span – results of second....
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|'AWESOME FUN' IN HOCKENHEIM FOR SEB AND DANHOCKENHEIM, Germany – Sebastian Vettel and Daniel Ricciardo both delivered thrilling performances in an action-packed German Grand Prix that saw Seb finish fourth and Dan sixth.|
At the front, Nico Rosberg took a fourth win of the season ahead of Williams' Valtteri Bottas. But with the championship leader finishing 20 seconds ahead of the Finn, spectators had to look further down the order for excitement. Lewis Hamilton in the second Mercedes delivered his share, powering through from 2....
|FORMULA E PARTNERS WITH PRINCE ALBERT II OF MONACO FOUNDATIONMONACO (July 8 2014) – Organisers of the FIA Formula E Championship have today announced a joint partnership with the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation, showing their support for the environmental actions led by the Foundation and helping to raise funds for future projects.|
The Foundation, created by HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco in 2006, is dedicated to the protection of the environment and the promotion of sustainable development. The Foundation's efforts focus on three main sec....
|AUDI IN THE DTM: AIMING FOR FIRST PLACE AT MOSCOWFive Audi drivers hunting leader of the standings Marco Wittmann|
◾Audi at the top of the teams' and manufacturers' classifications
◾Dieter Gass, Head of DTM: 'First victory of the season is overdue'
Ingolstadt, July 7, 2014 – The Audi squad is traveling to the DTM's second round in Russia with a clear aim: After seven podium places in the first four races, the first victory of the season is to follow at Moscow next weekend (July 11 to 13). The event marks the season's midpoint and wi....
|Podium for Dan, Seb fifth after epic duelNORTHAMPTON, England – Daniel Ricciardo took a deserved fourth podium finish of the season at the British Grand Prix after switching to a one-stop strategy that saw him fend off pressure from rivals behind and hold together his final set of tires for 37 laps until the checkered flag.|
Sebastian Vettel, meanwhile, finished fifth, the champion winning an epic battle with Ferrari's Fernando Alonso that defined the last third of the race.
The race was won by Lewis Hamilton, who took his ....
|RAIKKONEN AND SURTEES PAIR UP WHILE HAMILTON WOWS CROWD ON FINAL DAY OF FESTIVAL OF SPEEDThe final day of the 2014 Goodwood Festival of Speed more than lived up to its theme of 'Addicted to Winning' as two Ferrari Formula 1 legends, John Surtees and Kimi Raikkonen, were united for a unique moment on the iconic 1.16-mile Hillclimb on Sunday.|
The 50th anniversary of Surtees' 1964 F1 title was marked with a special run up the hill in his Ferrari 158 in tandem with Raikkonen's 2007 title-winning F2007 that the Finn drove right behind him.
Current title contender Lewis Hamilton per....