Archive for the 'Formula 1' Category

F1, just like a Sunday drive…

Wednesday, November 28th, 2012

Kimi Raikkonen – Brazil Grand Prix 2012

It’s not everyone that gets paid millions of Euros to race a car around a track every fortnight. Finnish F1 driver, and ever talkative Kimi Räikkönen is one such lucky fellow. Or is he? At the 2012 Brazilian Grand Prix last weekend, the former F1 World Champion found himself off the track. Deciding to go for a pit stop, he seems to have taken an alternative exit into the Porsche Super Cup paddock, except the gate kept him out. Poor Kimi was taken aback because in previous races the gate had been unlocked and he proceeded through.


Video of the week: Hybrid Ferrari

Monday, March 29th, 2010

It should be of little surprise that Ferrari is announcing a hybrid version of the 599 model. At the Geneva Auto Show this year, the company known best for Formula One racing, introduced a more environmentally friendly drivetrain that draws from technology borne out of the company’s F1 motorsports division. The technology utilizes kinetic energy produced under breaking to recapture energy and store it in a battery. The HY-KERS systems as Ferrari markets it produces 35% fewer carbon emissions than the standard 599.

Source: Ferrari

VOTW: McLaren’s F1 team tests the new MP4-12C

Monday, March 22nd, 2010

Let’s say you have £175,000 burning a hole in your pocket. Let’s say you have a penchant for great sports cars. And let’s say that you fancy yourself as a sort of middle-aged bloke that plans to make his debut one day in Formula 1 racing. If that’s the case, you probably want to drive the same kind of car that F1 drivers are driving. After all, you can’t show up to a black-tie party wearing pajamas (unless you’re Hugh Hefner perhaps). So what do you do? So many choices for supercars out there. You might choose a Porsche GT2 or a Ferrari 458. Or you might choose the same car F1 champions Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton have been driving, the 2011 McLaren MP4-12C.

See video for details!


Early Fall auto news round-up

Saturday, November 7th, 2009



VW in an effort to promote the tons of eco-friendlier cars launched at IAA in Frankfurt in September has decided to pursue eco-sales with a new eco-friendly racing series. The company is starting a single-make racing series where all of the cars run on bio-produced compressed natural gas. The model used in the series is the new Scirocco and should reduce racetrack CO2 output by 80 per cent over today’s racing fuels. The 2.0-liter 4-cylinder cars will have 220 horsepower on tap. Not bad for an alt fuel car!


On other green fronts, VW Group is working with Stanford University in California in a US$5.75 million project to make VW the largest carmaker with R&D in Silicon Valley. Already the two companies have produced autonomous (read self-driving) versions of the VW Passat and now the Audi TT-S. The Audi TT-S will attempt to drive itself up the 14,110-foot Pike’s Peak next year, according Wired.



Audi’s Johan de Nysschen, critical of the Chevy Volt, took an interview with Time recently to express his views on the state of the luxury auto industry. He stated that Audi’s goal is to be the “top” German luxury manufacturer, but not necessarily in terms of sales. He also reiterated the push for more fuel-efficient vehicles leading to Zero emissions cars in the not so distant future.



Bugatti has unleashed a new concept car the 4-seat, 4-door (can you believe it???) Galibier 16C. Autocar magazine claims the production will start in 2013 at £900,000. We will believe it when we see it! Interestingly, the car’s engine will be the same as in the Veyron but will only sport 800BHP. Apparently, 200 get lost when adding 2 doors.


Rarely does Caterham make the news, except when they unleash new, wildly fun lightweight roadster, but unfortunately, Caterham’s found Graham Nearn died in late October. Nearn has been selling the then-titled Lotus 7 since its introduction in 1959, and then when the car was discontinued in 1973, Nearn bought the rights and has been producing the car ever since and in more exciting, evolving versions. You can even buy a kit and put a Caterham 7 together yourself. If you are not familiar with this brand, you should be!

Top Gear featured it in a segment awhile back:



Beyond the KM has previously marveled at the sales resiliency of the Ferrari nameplate. But even THIS economy has the prancing stallion kow-towing to the bear market of Wall Street.

Its third quarter results for 2009 showed revenues of 396 million euros (£359m) – down from 450m euros (£408m) in the same period last year. It sold 1454 cars, down 4.3 per cent year on year.

However, Ferrari announced that it has grown its market share in every market it monitors, against a drop in supercar sales of around 40 per cent.


Video of the Week: Does your spouse hate your driving?

Monday, September 15th, 2008

Try being married to an ex-Formula One driver…


LOTW: Training for a Racing Career

Friday, May 9th, 2008

Wired has posted an excellent article on how race car drivers physically prepare for for a race. You’ll be amazed how important every single muscle is to a racer.

Renault F1 + Information Technology = Success

Wednesday, March 28th, 2007

You probably knew that Renault has been responsible for championships in F1 during the last two seasons. But did you know that Renault’s F1 team spends just one-fifth of other F1 teams?

Check out this link:

2007 Renault F1 Car

ING Loves Renault

Monday, January 29th, 2007

Maybe ING saw our posting and saw the benefit of a sponsorship with the Renault Formula 1 team. Maybe they are just making too much money and need to “make an investment.” Either way the Dutch Banking and Insurance giant has signed a 3-year deal with team Renault for some prime ad space, and name sponsorship, on the next series of cars.

It is quite clear that Formula One reaches far more people than NASCAR in the US or GT racing in Europe. Despite running 2007 sans Fernando Alonso (two-time F1 champion), Renault has a full-sponsorship. ING CEO Michel Tilmant is right to think that F1 is an opportunity to build the ING brand globally in a quick way. The Shell-Ferrari relationship is a similar example.

Lessons in brand management that when you spend marketing dollars, they should be spent to gain positive exposure for the brand. The idea is to associate the brand with a winning concept. Renault has certainly proven itself a winner the last two years. It is estimated that the contract was equivalent to 5% of ING’s global marketing budget. We estimate that such a deal is worth over $85 million per annum.

One final note: our earlier analysis stated that sponsorship opportunities would come as a result of big tobacco being forced out of F1 racing in most countries. That foresight has proven correct as ING will replace a number of previous Renault sponsors, including Japanese Tobacco.

The New Formula 1

Sunday, October 29th, 2006

For the last billion years, motor sports, and more specifically Formula 1, has been dominated quite solidly by Scuderia Ferrari and its hallowed driver, Michael Schumacher. Last weekend marked the end of Michael Schumacher’s career and the end of Scuderia Ferrari.

That’s not to say that Ferrari won’t be returning to racing next year. Quite the opposite, actually. Felipe Massa will return to Ferrari next year along with a new teammate, Kimi Raikkonen. Both racers have achieved great respect and success of the GP circuit. Ferrari, despite coming in second in the constructor’s championship this year, will be powering more vehicles for next year. Unfortunately for Scuderia Ferrari, much of the technical team that helped Michael Schumacher win dozens of races and six championships is splitting up.

With so many changes, on might ask: will Formula 1 ever be the same? To answer this is to realize which changes will be made. First, no Schumacher in 2007. Fernando Alonso may be the best driver next year, and for all we know, he may eventually become the best of all time, but he is unlikely to have the same pull or marketing appeal to the sport that Schumacher brought.

Second Renault and Ferrari are both suffering from major team changes at the end of this year. Renault stands to lose everything with the change of its champion drive. Ferrari is likely to be diluted by having to produce more engines for more teams, assembling a new management team, and leaving Massa to take over for a top driver.

Third and most importantly, the money that pours into Formula 1 will be changing. New EU rules outlaw the Marlboro type of advertising. These new rules have prompted an exodus from F1 by tobacco companies including British American Tobacco (producer of Lucky Strike cigarettes), once a title partner with the Honda team will exit. Marlboro has promised to stay on with Ferrari, but will be severely limited in advertising for the 2007 season onward. This regulation means that some teams will have a very difficult time finding major sponsors for next year. Formula 1 after all, is not cheap to run. On the upside, Speed TV in the U.S. has succeeded in paying a lot of money to the Formula 1 Administration to broadcast races next year, so no team is likely to be starving.

Massa Wins, Alonso is Champion, & Schumacher Goes Out in Glory

Sunday, October 22nd, 2006

There was little surprise in today’s final Formula 1 race of the season. There were however many retirements, several car failures and accidents.

The important story of the day was Felipe Massa’s win, the first by a Brazilian since Ayrton Senna in 1993 on the home track. Massa dominated from the beginning and finished with a substantial lead over Fernando Alonso who finished second followed by an impressive third place finish by Jensen Button.

The finish meant that Fernando Alonso won the 2006 F1 Championship and Renault walked away with the Constructor’s Championship. It also meanth that with Schumacher finishing fourth, up from his 10th place start, that Ferrari finished second in the Constructor’s competition.

As for Michael Schumacher, today marked his last F1 race, but also represented an impressive display of driving. Early in the race, Schumacher’s left rear tire was nicked resulting in a very early pit stop, costing him dearly. He rejoined at the back of the pack. Combined with several retirements and what can only be described as amazing driving, Schumacher worked his way from 17th (after the pit stop) to fourth by the end of the race.

It is the end of the 2006 season and the end of Schumacher’s career, but 2007 will hold new challenges for Formula 1 with many changes for many teams and changes to the sport, some of which will affect the business-side of Formula 1.

Check back soon when Beyond the KM discusses implications of changes that F1 will make over the break and how that will affect the sport.

Schumacher’s Last Stand

Saturday, October 21st, 2006

In just a few short hours Michael Schumacher will start (and hopefully complete) his last race as a Formula 1 driver in Brazil, the last F1 race of the season. Schumacher holds many F1 records. Most notably, he holds 7 F1 titles.

Schumacher has also had the opportunity to take his 69th and final career pole, but due to an engine blowout, his hopes were dashed at the start of his final qualifying round.

Interestingly, Schumacher’s teammate at Ferrari, Felipe Massa took the pole despite also having problems. Massa’s problem required the changing of the gearbox, a process that took a mere minutes. In Formula 1 though, exchanging an engine, despite all of the money spent on R&D and technicians/engineers, still takes a long time. Moreover, an engine change means that Schumacher would drop from his previously guaranteed 5th row start to a more harrowing, and difficult 10th row start.

Meanwhile for Schumacher to win the title, he would have to have a flawless race AND Fernando Alonso would have to drop out. With those odds, Ferrari will have to settle for second place in both the individual and constructor’s championships.

Stay tuned for more analysis on the Brazil Grand Prix to follow after the race Sunday.

Update: Schumacher’s Ferrari suffered a fuel pump failure rather than an all out engine failure. This means that he will start 10th as he was unable to make a final round qualifying run.