I will try my best to provide detailed info on various cars and what is like to live with them, I have already produced a few for Jaguar-car-forums, I will do my best to be unbiased, but it will be hard for some cars. I will re-produce press releases and copy from other motoring news.

Friday, 22 May 2015

Infiniti Red Bull Racing Previews the Monaco Grand Prix.

Daniel Ricciardo
Q1: So, you're the unofficial chief cheerleader for the Monaco circuit, what makes you like it so much?

Ricciardo: From the driver's point of view – and maybe teams see it differently – the best thing about coming to Monaco is that it's a circuit where the driver has more influence on events. Driving a Formula One car anywhere is special: The speed, the power and the acceleration just blows you away. But here it's like trying to do a lap in a supermarket, and that's just so, so cool. 

I know there's that quote about racing at Monaco being like riding a bicycle around your bathroom. Well, when I was a kid, I used to love riding my little bike around inside the house. It was more fun. There were more obstacles and a bit more danger. 

That really is what this is like. You have the walls around the circuit and the bumps on the track that make it a bit more real. The circuit has a lot of character. You can feel that in the car. You can't afford mistakes. 

Your concentration levels rocket and you tend to amaze yourself with how quickly you manage to do everything. Just completing a lap feels like an achievement. It feels like a challenge.

Q2: Is it all about the track?

Ricciardo: Not at all. The Monaco Grand Prix is the real deal. There's so much energy surrounding it: the big boats, the big spenders, the cool people, the Hollywoods – it's all there. I wouldn't say I'm massively into that stuff at any other time of the year, but it creates a crazy atmosphere over the weekend here, and that really makes the adrenaline rocket.

Q3: You're now a resident of Monaco. Will you walk down to the paddock and take it all in over the weekend?

Ricciardo: I could – but I won't. I'll be in team kit and I reckon I'd end up stopping for a chat every 10 paces and get to work a couple of hours late. People in the garage tend to frown on that! Maybe I could wear a disguise. Hey! Perhaps I'm that guy with the moustache, sunglasses and baseball cap standing next to you right now.

Q4: What's Monaco like for the other 11 months of the year? Where do you hang out?

Ricciardo: You'll be shocked to hear that there are some cool clubs and restaurants. You can't see it from TV but there's a really nice place – it keeps changing its name but I think it's one of Flavio's – underneath the entrance to the tunnel with a really nice view out into the Mediterranean. 

Then there's the bars around Rascasse; they're always fun – not that I'm a big hitter on the club scene or anything.

Another fairly regular place for a lot of the guys is Sass Café. It has the advantage of being open seven nights a week and even on a Sunday night it's open until 3 a.m. That can be pretty handy if you're getting back late from a race or team event and don't fancy a dinner of instant noodles.

Daniil Kvyat
Q1: It's often said that Monaco presents drivers with the ultimate test. Is that a fair description? Is it a daunting prospect for a racer?

Kvyat: It's a real "confidence" circuit. You need to be in tune with it. You need to find yourself – find the flow. You need to find the right approach mentally, and with the car you just have to make it happen.

In the beginning it's a big test. To go out and find that confidence is not easy, and you always question yourself, asking: "When is it going to happen? When am I going to feel it enough to really go for it?" But at some point in the weekend, it just happens. You find the rhythm and the lap time comes. When it works like that, when you get yourself in the right place and you find a good understanding with the track, it's great.
Q2: It's a circuit you've only ever raced in Formula One. Are you still discovering new things about it?

Kvyat: Yes, definitely. I did pretty well in qualifying last year (9th), but I only did a handful of laps in the race because I had a problem with the car, so I would yes. I'm not sure there's a special secret about it, and there's no one area that holds the key. It's just a really massive lap. The whole thing seems to go by in one breath. It's just as well it's a short lap.

Q3: What about the sense of history in Monaco and the crazy atmosphere on the streets? Do you find yourself getting caught up in those things or do they get in the way?

Kvyat: In terms of the atmosphere and so on, I'll be perfectly honest and say that, for me, it's not the best. It's really confined and there's not much chance to get some space for yourself. It is totally unique, and it is an amazing place, but for me the trick is to try to remove myself from that and focus on what we're there to do.

McLaren Previews the Monaco Grand Prix.

Facts & Stats: Circuit de Monaco
The Circuit
Monaco is unlike any other venue in Formula One. It’s the shortest and slowest circuit on the calendar, but it’s also one of the most challenging, owing to the narrowness of the Principality’s streets and the proximity of the barriers.

The 3.340km/2.075-mile layout has remained largely unchanged since it first hosted a world championship grand prix in 1950. There have been minor alterations over the years in the name of safety, such as the easing of Rascasse and the introduction of TecPro barriers, but the original challenge and character of the circuit remain intact.

Technically, the circuit is very demanding. There are many short bursts of acceleration from low speed, all of which put an emphasis on traction, and the bumps in the road force teams to run their cars with much softer suspension than at a conventional racetrack. The steering angle of the front wheels has to be increased as well, in order to make it round the Loews Hairpin.

Much of the track has been re-surfaced since last year, but the asphalt is expected to remain slippery. Grip levels will improve as more rubber gets laid down over the course of the weekend, but the teams will be chasing the mechanical grip provided by Pirelli’s two softest compounds, the Soft (Prime) and Supersoft (Option). Engine driveability will also have a large bearing on performance.

McLaren is the most successful constructor in the history of the Monaco Grand Prix, having won the race 15 times. Five of those victories came with the late, great Ayrton Senna; of the team’s current line-up, Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button have both previously won the race.
Vital Statistics
Monaco Grand Prix
21st - 24th May

Circuit de Monaco
Race distance 78 laps
Start time 14:00 (local)/13:00 (GMT)
Circuit length 3.340km/2.075 miles
2014 winner Nico Rosberg
2014 pole Nico Rosberg
2014 Fastest lap Kimi Raikkonen 1m18.479s 153.213km/h
First race 1950
Don’t put the kettle on... Between laps 25-27. With it being so difficult to overtake around Monaco, track position is king. Last year’s race was won using a one-stop strategy, the top four cars starting on the Supersoft tyre and then switching to the Soft
Full throttle 50 per cent
Fuel consumption 1.5kg per lap, the lowest fuel consumption of the year
Brakewear Medium. There are 12 braking events, of which six are quite severe
Weather It’s unpredictable in Monaco at this time of year. However, the guidebooks tell us that the Principality receives 300 days of sunshine per year, so there’s more chance of sun than rain
DRS zones One – on the approach to Turn One
Top speed 295km/h on the approach to the chicane
Safety Car likelihood High. Statistically, there’s an 80 per cent chance of a Safety Car – largely due to the lack of run-off. There was one Safety Car period last year, following an accident involving Adrian Sutil
McLaren at the Monaco Grand Prix
Wins 15 (1984, ‘85, ‘86, ‘88, ‘89, ‘90, ‘91, ‘92, ‘93, ‘98, ‘00, ‘02, ‘05, ‘07, ‘08)
Poles 11 (1984, ‘86, ‘88, ‘89, ‘90, ‘91, ‘98, ‘99, ‘01, ‘05, ‘07)
Fastest laps 10 (1986, ’88, ’89, ’90, ’98, ’99, ’00, ’01, ’03, ’07)
Team Talk
#14 Fernando Alonso
Age 33 (July 29 1981)
GPs 238
Wins 32
Poles 22
FLs 21
Fernando Alonso
“Monaco is one of those circuits that’s in its own league. Although it’s almost impossible to overtake there, it still produces one of the most impressive and exciting shows on the Formula 1 calendar. As a circuit and as a place, it’s completely unique, and this is what makes it so special. There are three areas you have to focus on for this grand prix – qualifying, concentration, and strategy. Saturday is where you can increase your chances of getting a good result from the weekend, so this will be our first objective, and I’m hopeful we can continue to strengthen our qualifying performance and improve our starting position.

“On Sunday, the most important thing is concentration – the streets are so narrow and twisty that there is no margin for error – so if you can do this and also maximise your strategy, you have the best chance of moving up the order by the end of the race. 

My home race in Barcelona was obviously a frustrating weekend for the whole team; we were unlucky with how my race ended and we firmly believed we could’ve achieved a positive result there. 

Our fighting spirit is still strong though, and we’re determined to take that to Monaco and see how much progress we can make there. I’m hopeful our car will perform better there than in Spain, and we’ll be pushing again to get into the points.

“Monaco is a tough challenge, mentally, but that’s what makes it even more rewarding when you hook up a perfect lap. I’ve always enjoyed racing there and I’ve enjoyed victory there twice – in 2006 with Renault, and the year after with McLaren. 

Winning there is an unforgettable experience. It’s also a truly unforgiving circuit, so making mistakes comes at a high price. But Monaco is Monaco, one of the best races of the year, and the reason that the drivers love going back there each season.”
#22 Jenson Button
Age 35 (January 19 1980)
GPs 270
Wins 15
Poles 8
FLs 8
Jenson Button
“It’s true what they say – Monaco is the jewel in the crown of the Formula 1 calendar in every sense. It’s a real test of man and machine working in harmony to hook up the best lap, and maintain that consistency lap after lap. 

It’s very easy to make mistakes there, and you need complete confidence in the car and incredible control and accuracy to get the most out of a lap.

Qualifying is so important because overtaking is famously tricky; we’ve been steadily improving our starting positions since the beginning of the season, so I’m hopeful we’ll see further progress on Saturday.

“Monaco is a low-speed circuit that doesn’t rely that much on aerodynamic performance, but you do need good balance and driveability. 

I’m hopeful we can sort out the balance issues we had on my car in the last race, so Monaco should see an improvement. After a disappointing race in Barcelona, naturally it’s easy to be frustrated when you step out of the car, especially when you feel you deserved more. 

I firmly believe that we’re making solid progress, which is why having a difficult race is hard to take. However, we’ve put that race behind us and I think we’ve a decent chance of continuing our upward trend in Monaco.

“I love Monaco; I won there in 2009 and the feeling you get driving there is absolutely mega. While nothing beats the feeling of racing at your home grand prix, Monaco has become an adopted home race for me, so driving around these famous streets so close to where I live makes it even more special. 

Racing at Monaco is an incredible challenge – being precise on turn-in, hitting the apex and balancing the throttle, while being as patient as possible to get the best exit, is a real art. 

The flow of corners in the middle sector – from Mirabeau, into the Hairpin and on to Portier – is particularly tricky, as it’s so easy to go a foot off the racing line and end up in the wall. Monaco always produces great drama, which just adds to its legendary status as one of the best grands prix on the calendar.”
Eric Boullier
Racing director, McLaren-Honda

“After the disappointment of Barcelona, the whole team is looking forward to Monaco, to put the last race behind us and keep working on improving our package. Barcelona is a gruelling track for a Formula 1 car, so our relative performance was encouraging until we discovered the problem with Fernando’s brake overheating. We were certainly unlucky, but we’re still able to take with us some positives and focus our attention on our next challenge – Monaco. It’s a tough, demanding street circuit that requires teams to take a totally different approach, but that’s what makes it even more special.

“The nature of Monaco’s narrow streets means there’s less focus on outright power and more on driveability and balance. On this circuit there are even more factors at play than elsewhere – traffic, Safety Cars, unusual strategies – so our first target is to maximise our performance on Saturday. Qualifying positions can often dictate the outcome of a race there as overtaking is so difficult, so it’s important we focus our efforts there first and foremost.

“The Monaco circuit evokes so many good memories for McLaren: 15 wins, 11 poles and 10 fastest laps. It’s a special place for us in every sense. The combination of legendary corners – Tabac, Rascasse, Casino Square, the Swimming Pool, and of course the Tunnel – and the unique challenge it presents, makes it the circuit every team wants to win at. We’ll approach the weekend in the same way we always do, with maximum effort and determination to progress.”
Yasuhisa Arai
Chief officer of motorsport, Honda R&D Co Ltd
"Monaco has multiple low- to mid-speed turns, braking and acceleration, with a unique street circuit layout. The fine line between success and failure on this track will be the driveability of the car.

“Honda will do our utmost to fine-tune the driveability of the power unit to match each turn during all 78 laps of the race, the highest numbers of laps of the season.”

Concours of Elegance 2015 will celebrate Sir Jackie Stewart, with a display of his F1 championship-winning cars.

  • Concours of Elegance 2015 will pay tribute to Sir Jackie Stewart, with a display of his Formula One championship-winning cars
  • Sir Jackie’s 1969 Matra MS80, 1971 Elf Team Tyrrell 003 and 1973 Elf Team Tyrrell 006 will all be on display – a world-first
  • Alongside Sir Jackie’s cars, the helmets he wore when he drove them will also be displayed
  • Concours of Elegance 2015 is raising money for various charities, including Sir Jackie’s Springfield Motor Racing’s Club for Young People.

The Concours of Elegance 2015, held at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh, will pay tribute to one of Scotland’s finest racing drivers, Sir Jackie Stewart. On display will be all three of the cars that Sir Jackie drove to his three Formula One Driver’s Championships, along with the helmets he wore when he won them.

Sir Jackie raced in Formula One between 1965 and 1973, winning the Driver’s World Championship in 1969, 1971 and 1973. On display in the grounds of the Palace of Holyroodhouse from September 4-6 will be his 1969 Matra MS80, 1971 Elf Team Tyrrell 003 and 1973 Elf Team Tyrrell 006.

Throughout his career, Sir Jackie’s famous tartan-striped helmet became just as recognisable as the car’s he was racing, so each of the three helmets from his Driver’s Championship-winning years will be on display. It’s the first time this collection of cars and helmets has ever been shown in Scotland.

Sir Jackie Stewart, Vice Patron of the Concours of Elegance said: “I can’t think of a better place to showcase some of my championship-winning Formula One cars – the Concours of Elegance celebrates the best of the motoring world, and this year’s event does that at one of Scotland’s most picturesque venues – Edinburgh’s Palace of Holyroodhouse.”

A main focus of the Concours of Elegance is to raise money for charity, with this year’s money raised going to Walking with the Wounded, Action on Addiction and Sir Jackie Stewart’s charity, Springfield Motor Racing’s Club for Young People. Over the course of its three past events, Concours of Elegance has raised more than £600,000 for charity.

The countdown to EU6 Compliantcy starts now, who will fail ?

  • Toughest ever standards for new car emissions come into force in September 2015.
  • 70% of UK’s 10 best-selling models registered in April 2015 boasted Euro-6 tech.
  • Car manufacturers demonstrate latest tech at key industry event today.
This weekend begins the 100-day countdown to the official launch of the strictest-ever European vehicle emissions regulation, Euro-6. From 1 September 2015, all new car models sold in the EU must meet this low emissions standard, making them the cleanest vehicles in history.

With three months still to go before the new standard becomes mandatory, the latest figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) show that UK vehicle manufacturers are ahead of the game, with around half of new car buyers opting for a Euro-6 car last month.

In a show of commitment to the latest standards, car manufacturers are demonstrating their latest Euro-6 cars today at SMMT Test Day – a key industry event.

Consumers are doing their bit for air quality, too, by opting to buy these low emission vehicles in increasing numbers. In April, almost one out of every two new cars registered (45.9%) boasted next-generation Euro-6 technology, compared with fewer than one in five (18.7%) in September 2014. 

Meanwhile, a staggering 70.4% of the UK’s top 10 best-sellers registered last month met the standard.

Next-generation Euro-6 technology vehicles not only boast the lowest CO2 emissions on record, but they emit virtually zero particulate matter, while nitrogen oxides emissions are more than half those of previous generation motors built in the past five years.

Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said, “With 100 days still to go until the new Euro-6 standard becomes mandatory, new car buyers are shifting to these next-generation vehicles. This is the result of huge investment from manufacturers in clean technology – and the quicker we get these Euro-6 cars onto the roads, the quicker we’ll see improvements in air quality.”

*Euro standards refer to the European legislation for vehicle emissions, which has been in place – and constantly tightening – since 1992.

Euro-6 is the latest in the line of legislation, and applies to many vehicles available to buy today. From 1 September 2015, all new cars registered will be required to meet Euro-6 standards. 

Since 1992, when the very first Euro-1 legislation was introduced for cars, trucks and buses, the EU has regulated – and led to significant reduction of – a range of emissions produced by vehicles: carbon monoxide (CO), hydrocarbons (HC), nitrogen oxides (NOx) and particulate matter (PM). 

Manufacturers have also been required to meet tough targets for CO2 emission reduction.