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Video: Tom Cruise test drives Red Bull Racing F1

He even has time to do some helicopter stunts.

Tags: tom cruise, red bull, f1, formula one, video, other

Video: Tom Cruise test drives Red Bull Racing F1
Earlier in the week, Tom Cruise spent time chatting with David Coulthard and getting comfortable with a Red Bull F1 car. Now, Red Bull has release video of Mr. Cruise's somewhat less than impossible mission at California's Willow Springs raceway.

Want to know what's equally impressive? When the Red Bull crew lets Tom take the helm of their helicopter for some stunt flying. Check out the vid below.

Source: AutoBlog

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F1 U.S. Grand Prix in Austin, Texas

Formula 1 racing is coming back to the U.S. and in an unexpected place: Austin.

Tags: f1, racing, formula one, other

F1 U.S. Grand Prix in Austin, Texas
The U.S. Grand Prix, absent from the Formula 1 calendar since the 2007 running at Indianapolis, will be reprised in 2012 at a new track to be built near the Texas state capitol.

That was the substance of surprise announcements Tuesday from F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone, via the Internet, Gov. Rick Perry and other government sources in Texas, and Tavo Hellmund, managing partner of Full Throttle Productions LP, which is to stage the event. More in the jump!

The announcements made no mention of F1's negotiations with Monticello Motor Club, which already has a 3.5-mile road course in upstate New York and which received a letter from Ecclestone March 24 describing MMC as "an excellent candidate to host the FIA Formula One World Championship."

Ecclestone also wrote, "New York is our preferred venue for a USA round of the FIA Formula One World Championship. We hope that you are able to quickly secure the commitments required so that we can have our inaugural MMC F1 event by 2012."

As of early Wednesday morning, there was no reaction from MMC chairman Bill McMichael.

Nor were there any specifics about the course to be built in Texas, other than to proclaim it as an unprecedented venture. "For the first time in the history of Formula 1 in the United States, a world-class facility will be purpose-built to host the event," Ecclestone stated on the official F1 website.

ESPN quoted Hellmund as saying the track would be built within 10 miles of Austin's airport and would be privately financed.

The announcement was met with at least as much skepticism and astonishment as enthusiasm, according to various Internet forums. A string of failed efforts to land an American race since the final event at Indianapolis and the American team, US F1, which never made it to the grid this year were all cited as reasons for doubt.

Source: InsideLine

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Fernando Alonso Gets Thumbs Insured

Gotta protect them!

Tags: fernando alonso, ferrari, f1, formula one, racing

Fernando Alonso Gets Thumbs Insured
It's not terribly uncommon for famous people to insure a body part (or, ya know, a pair of 'em) that's necessary for them to continue moving forward with their career. For instance, we have no qualms whatsoever with Heidi Klum's policy that insures her priceless legs for $2.2 million. On the other hand, we're not so sure Michael Flatley's kickers are worth their reported $39 million policy.

Sports figures are also keen to keep their body parts in good working order; David Beckham's legs and feet are insured for the princely sum of $70 million. Apparently, we can add Formula One racing star Fernando Alonso to the aforementioned list, as his thumbs are now protected with a £9 million (nearly $14 million U.S.) policy from Ferrari F1 sponsor Santander.

Says a spokesperson for Alonso, who is currently tied with Lewis Hamilton for third place in the F1 Driver's Championship:

"Alonso's thumbs are a big symbol as, apart from being essential when driving a Formula One car, they represent a sign of victory and that everything is under control and well protected."

Source: AutoBlog

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First image of Lotus F1 car

It's been awhile.

Tags: lotus, f1, formula one, racing

First image of Lotus F1 car
The first Lotus Formula 1 car for 15 years hit the race track on Tuesday as Fairuz Fauzy completed a secret shakedown for the team's 2010 challenger at Silverstone.

As AUTOSPORT's exclusive spy shot of the new car shows, the so-far unnamed machine was running in the historic green and yellow colours that were so synonymous with Lotus in the 1950s and 1960s.

It is not clear, however, whether the team will keep these colours for the season or they have just been used for the initial run.

The successful shakedown of the car marked an emotional moment for the Lotus team, which was only granted an entry for the 2010 season back in September.

Having undertaken the first engine fire-up of the car on Saturday, the team travelled to Silverstone to get some mileage on it before its official launch in London on Friday.

Team principal Tony Fernandes admitted that the first run with the new car had meant a lot to him. "Shakedown started. Quite a few tears," he wrote on his official Twitter feed.

Lotus is scheduled to begin proper testing of the car at next week's third pre-season F1 test at Jerez in Spain.

Source: AutoSport

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Michael Schumacher will return to F1 in 2010

Shocked. Stunned. Say whaaaaaaaaa?

Tags: schumacher, f1, formula one, racing

Michael Schumacher will return to F1 in 2010Mercedes GP has confirmed Michael Schumacher as its driver for next season, in a deal he said was three years long and believed to be worth €7 million (US$10 million).

The much-anticipated move will reunite Schumacher, who turns 41 in January, with team principal Ross Brawn, with whom he has secured all seven of his world championships. He will be part of an all-German team with 24-year-old Nico Rosberg, who agreed a deal with Mercedes last month.

"The motivation I think is pretty straightforward," Schumacher said. "Our aim can only be to fight for the championship. We are talking about a three-year deal, it is not a one-off thing. We are obviously looking for continuity.

"The call I got from Ross at the end of November concerning the chance to go racing, Mercedes being involved, I felt great. I never left the race track. I was tired of F1 by the end of 2006, but in three years of absence I got back all the energy that I am feeling right now. I played around with motorbikes and I feel ready for some serious stuff now."

Schumacher was expected to return with Ferrari last year as a replacement for the injured Felipe Massa. But his comeback was cancelled after a neck injury, sustained in a motorbike test in February, turned out to be more serious than previously thought. He has recently undergone extensive medical tests, and has now declared himself fit to race.

"It is obviously a topic that I understand is questioned, and I want to understand," Schumacher said when asked about his neck. "Before I gave a final okay I made sure that I was sure myself, and I can say 100% the neck is no further issue. Unfortunately it was too close to the accident in the summer when I tried for Ferrari, but the time now is enough to have healed completely. I can do everything I used to do, and no problem."

More in the jump..

Brawn said he now had one of the best driver line ups in F1 and was confident Schumacher could challenge for the title next year.

"[Schumacher] is the best judge of what he can do," Brawn said. "I trust him explicitly and he told me he can do it. He has always been his own best critic, the man himself knows what he is capable of. I am very comfortable and confident and put my trust in Michael, and it won't be misplaced."

Brawn won both drivers' and constructors' titles in 2009 with Jenson Button, but the British driver left the team last month to drive for McLaren. When asked, Brawn denied Button was pushed out of the team to make space for Schumacher.

"We made a good effort to try to find a solution with Jenson and it didn't work out," he said. "Jenson made his decision in the end not to stay. We made a big effort to keep him but it wasn't possible in the end.

"It overlapped to be honest. I had a loyalty to Jenson but when that started to look difficult I started talking to Michael, and things developed from there. Michael and I kept very close over the years and I saw from his disappointment over the summer, when he couldn't drive a Ferrari, how much passion he still has for the sport. We're incredibly excited now about the prospect of Michael being part of the team."

Although initially for one year, the deal is thought to allow Schumacher a chance to renew, should his comeback be as successful as many expect. Mercedes is likely to be covering its bases with the big-name signing, until Sebastian Vettel is free from his Red Bull contract in 2012.

Source: ESPN

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Renault stays in Formula One

You'll see them in 2010.

Tags: renault, f1, formula one, racing, other

Renault stays in Formula One
The Renault name will remain on the Formula One grid when the series resumes in 2010 thanks to a deal announced on Wednesday. There had been considerable speculation in recent months that Renault would shut down its F1 effort and follow Honda, BMW and Toyota out the door. These rumors hit a fever pitch after the "Crash-Gate" controversy and the sudden departure of primary sponsor ING.

However, in the past couple of weeks it became plausible that Renault could stay in the sport although in a scaled down fashion. Luxemborg based Genii Capital will buy a majority stake in the team which will retain the automaker's name. The exact percentage hasn't been disclosed although the earlier speculation had Renault retaining only 25 percent of the team.

Renault will retain the engine building operation and continue to supply the Red Bull Racing team in 2010. Press release at the source!

Source: AutoBlog

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Toyota withdraws from Formula 1


Tags: toyota, f1, formula one, racing, import, other

Toyota withdraws from Formula 1
Toyota has announced it is withdrawing from Formula 1 with immediate effect, becoming the third carmaker to quit the sport in less than 12 months.

Following months of rumours about the Japanese manufacturer’s future, the F1 team’s parent company the Toyota Motor Corporation revealed following a board meeting on Wednesday that it had taken the decision to pull out of the sport following eight seasons without a win.

In its statement announcing the move, Toyota said that while it had remained determined to compete in F1 in the face of the worldwide recession that started towards the end of last year, it had now revised its position with the F1 spend not fitting into its mid-term business plans.

“Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) announces it plans to withdraw from the FIA Formula One World Championship (F1) at the end of the 2009 season,” the Toyota statement said.

Source: ITV

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Danica Patrick Will Stick Around in IndyCar

Expect to see her there for at least 3 more years.

Tags: danica patrick, indycar, f1, formula one, nascar, racing, other

Danica Patrick Will Stick Around in IndyCar
Everyone wants Danica Patrick. Or so it would seem, as Internet and media rumors have swirled for months that the IndyCar star would jump to a new American-based Formula 1 team or sign on with NASCAR. Now it appears she has signed a three-year contract extension with Andretti Green Racing and will continue beyond her fifth year in the IndyCar series, which concludes next month.

Patrick had already stated publicly in recent weeks that she intended to stay with IndyCar. The official announcement has not yet been made, but the Indianapolis Star reported that Patrick signed the contract for three more years in the Motorola-sponsored No. 7 car last weekend, during the Twin Ring Motegi event in Japan.

The IndyCar season finale takes place at Homestead-Miami Speedway on October 10.

Indianapolis Motor Speedway CEO Jeff Belskus was quoted by Sports Illustrated today as saying, "She is great for our series.... My hope is she will be an IndyCar driver first and foremost, even when she tries to run in other series." Patrick has made no secret of the fact that she wants to be the first woman to win the Indianapolis 500.

Reportedly her contract will let her compete in NASCAR in a limited way, such as in the Camping World Truck Series, Nationwide Series and ARCA events.

Source: Edmunds

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Mercedes to follow BMW and Honda out of F1

It's not clear how this would affect McLaren

Tags: f1, formula one, mercedes, mercedes benz, mclaren, racing

Mercedes to follow BMW and Honda out of F1
The combination of the continuing global economic recession and the in-fighting in Formula could soon cause another manufacturer to drop out of Formula One. Mercedes-Benz is considering whether to stay on F1 or follow BMW and Honda in withdrawing. Automakers are questioning the relevance and benefits of competing in F1, and the debate at Mercedes has been going on for several months although no decision has been made... yet. Perhaps if relevance is what Mercedes is looking for, they may go back to sports car racing which is increasingly embracing alternative drivetrains, particularly in the American Le Mans Series.

Mercedes-Benz owns 40 percent of the McLaren team and supplies the engines to both McLaren and Brawn. If Mercedes does decide to pull out, it's not clear how that would affect McLaren. McLaren was an F1 stalwart long before Mercedes came on board and could conceivably continue, perhaps using engines from Cosworth. Interestingly, the withdrawal of automakers could take F1 back to the 1970s when most of the teams were independent and aside from Ferrari and Renault most used Cosworth DFV V8s.

Source: AutoBlog

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FIA accepts amended Concorde Agreement

New contract for F1, BMW yet to sign

Tags: formula one, f1, racing, jenson button, lewis hamilton, bmw, other

FIA accepts amended Concorde Agreement
No one could have predicted what has happened so far in the Formula 1 this year. Brawn GP, a team that didn't even exist a few weeks before the season started, dominated the first half of the season, Jenson Button, who scored just three points in 2008, has won six of the first seven races, and the Formula One Teams Association threatened to leave and start their own series.

It appears that along with Lewis Hamilton's and McLaren's return to form in Hungary, normalcy has also come in the form of an amended Concorde Agreement that was approved by the World Motor Sport Council and the FIA late Friday night. The new contract between the F1 teams and CVC Capital, which is the commercial rights holder for the series, determines how revenue is distributed and sets the sporting and technical regulations through December 31, 2012.

Few details were given about the specifics of the agreement (though they should be released shortly on the FIA's website), but it has been announced that the teams agreed to restrict resources as an alternative form of cost cutting to budget capping. The only team yet to sign the agreement is BMW-Sauber, the principals of which have already announced that they will exit the series at season's end. According to the FIA, the team has until Wednesday to sign the agreement to allow a new operator of the team to race in the series next year.


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BMW Quitting Formula 1

Withdrawing from competition at the end of 2009

Tags: european, bmw, formula one, f1, quitting, 2009

BMW Quitting Formula 1
BMW's Board of Management met this week and voted to to wind down its Formula One team at the end the of the 2009 series after just four seasons. According to a statement from BMW, the resources that had been expended on the company's F1 program will instead be re-directed to the "development of new drive technologies and projects in the field of sustainability." That means we will likely be seeing a significant ramp-up of work on electrification and efforts like Project I which first spawned the MINI E.

After returning to F1 as an engine supplier first to BMW in 2000 and later to Sauber, BMW took over the Sauber team prior to the 2006 season. Since then, BMW Sauber has only managed a single win and has struggled in 2009 under the series' revamped technical rules. BMW has not yet given any indication that it is open to selling the team and its assets the way Honda did last year to Ross Brawn.

The automaker's other motorsports programs will continue in 2010 and beyond with efforts in touring cars, the American Le Mans Series and Formula BMW.

Hit the source to read a full press release and statement from CEO Dr. Norbert Reithofer.


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Max Mosely reportedly forced to quit F1

Bye bye Mr. Mosely!

Tags: other, formula one, racing, fia, mosely, f1

Max Mosely reportedly forced to quit F1
After all of this year's soap opera stories in Formula One, it appears there will be a unified championship series next year after all. According to The Times UK, controversial F1 boss Max Mosley has been "forced into a humiliating climbdown as president of the FIA," and his reign is over effective today.

Apparently, with the Formula One Teams Association's (FOTA) plan to build its own breakaway series and take most of its highest-profile (and highest-dollar) draws away with it, the FIA realized that something had to be done. Eight teams, including Ferrari, McLaren, BMW Sauber, and Brawn GP had pulled out of the series over concerns relating to a new £40m budget cap.

With Mosley's departure effective immediately, F1 teams and the sanctioning body have agreed to cost cuts with the goal of getting spending outlays back down to the that of the early Nineties within two years.

Mosley has agreed to end his 16 year term at the FIA and not seek re-election to another office.

Source: Autoblog

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Banks leaving Formula One

Desperate times means desperate funding.

Tags: bank, formula one, f1, racing, other

Banks leaving Formula One
ING's departure from Formula One represents the end of an era for the sport, according to former Grand Prix driver turned Swiss commentator Marc Surer. Following the Dutch bank's announcement on Monday morning, the Flavio Briatore-led Renault team said the news justifies the current moves for a ‘restructuring of our sport’ and ‘drastic cost reductions’.

"With the ongoing programme of measures we are confident we can guarantee a solid future for our team and for Formula One," Briatore, whose outfit commenced a three-year contract with ING in 2007, insisted.

With Credit Suisse also now departed, however, and speculation that the troubled Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) may soon follow suit, Surer is adamant that "all banks will disappear" from the grid within time.

"As the causes of the (financial) crisis, they simply no longer fit with Formula One's image," the 57-year-old is quoted as saying by the German news agency SID.

The report estimated ING's annual spend on F1 at about 50 million Euros, and representing at least half of Renault's total sponsorship bill.

Source: F1 Live

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Report: Alonso may join Ferrari Team in 2011

Who knows - this could even happen in 2010.

Tags: alonso, ferrari, f1, formula one, racing, other

Report: Alonso may join Ferrari Team in 2011
Two-time F1 world champion Fernando Alonso has reportedly inked a secret deal with Ferrari that will see the Spaniard joining the Scuderia Ferrari team in 2011. According to Reuters, the contract is for a four year stint, however there are several clauses that will allow both Ferrari and Alonso to abandon the deal should they wish.

Reports have been streaming in for the past two weeks about Alonso's ambitions to join the most successful team this decade on the grid. Today, Alonso' manager mentioned that "Fernando has expressed some interest in racing for Ferrari", but emphasized that things were not completely set in concrete yet, reminding reporters that "2011 is still a long way away".

Should the deal go ahead, then Ferrari would have a formidable set of drivers for the 2011 season. Earlier this month, Alonso was crowned the best F1 driver of 2008 by respected Italian sports outlet La Gazzetta dello Sport. The newspaper claimed Alonso's potential was stunted by "the handicap of Renault engine power. Had he driven a Ferrari, the title would certainly have been his." Full story at the source.

Source: Motor Authority

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Honda quits F1 amid economic slowdown

Japanese automaker says it needs to concentrate on core business.

Tags: honda, f1, formula one, import, racing

Honda quits F1 amid economic slowdown
The global economic slowdown has taken an early toll on Formula One, with Honda quitting the high-cost sport to focus more on making and selling cars at the expense of racing them.

Honda CEO Takeo Fukui said Friday that the Japanese automaker was unable to continue backing a team in the high-cost F1 competition and wanted to put it up for sale.

"The automobile industry is experiencing very difficult times,'' Fukui said. "Demand started to dry up in November and we can't see the light at the end of the tunnel.''

The withdrawal of one of the world's biggest car manufacturers will send shock waves through F1, which is already under mounting pressure to put the brake on spiraling costs and could start the season with only 18 cars on the grid.

“This is a wake-up call,” F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone told Sky News television. “If you and I wanted to run a Formula One team, we wouldn’t need to have to spend what they are spending at the moment — probably ($2.94 million) a year to do it.

Source: MSNBC

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FQuick Blog Staff