Tag Archives: Formula One

Report: Ferrari chairman ticked off by Alonso

By Brandon Turkus

Ferrari President Luca Cordero di Montezemolo speaks at the Ferrari department factory in Maranello, Italy, Wednesday, May 8, 2013. Ferrari will limit sales of its high-performance street cars this year to protect the brand's aura of exclusivity, Chairman Luca Montezemolo said Wednesday. Wealthy people around the world are snapping up Ferrari's and the company is worried the brand might lose its appeal as a symbol of rarefied luxury. As a result, it will scale back production to below 7,000 units this year, compared with 7,318 last year.

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Luca Cordero di Montezemolo does not strike us as the kind of person we’d want to cross. We imagine the Chairman of Ferrari as sort of like an automotive Don Corleone, a thought that is further confirmed when we hear about the aftermath of last weekend’s Hungarian Grand Prix.

Fernando Alonso and his eyebrows made some unsubstantiated remarks that have angered his team, with The Daily Mail reporting that when asked after the race what he wanted for his birthday, the Spaniard responded “Someone else’s car.” And while no one seems to know exactly what was said, it was enough to prompt a personal phone call from the boss of Ferrari on Alonso’s birthday for a dressing down.

Montezemolo reminded Alonso that, “All the great champions who have driven for Ferrari have always been asked to put the interests of the team above their own. This is the moment to stay calm, avoid polemics and show humility and determination in making one’s own contribution, standing alongside the team and its people both at the track and outside it.”

The Italian wasn’t done, though, presenting each of the team’s engineers with a symbolic gift – a knife to put between their teeth. We think there’s a pirate reference here, but aren’t certain. According to Sky Sports, he opened the post-race meeting by informing team principal Stefano Domenicalli that, “The Ferrari I saw in yesterday’s race doesn’t sit well with me.” We aren’t the only ones imaging the threatening undertones here, right?

Formula One is entering its summer break, meaning that each team has four weeks to get itself sorted out before the end-of-season grind kicks in. There’s no doubt that after this very public display from Montezemolo, that Ferrari will have its nose to the grindstone.

Ferrari chairman ticked off by Alonso originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 31 Jul 2013 11:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Report: Indian Grand Prix in jeopardy?

By Brandon Turkus

2011 Indian Grand Prix first corner

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BBC Sport is reporting that Bernie Ecclestone, Formula One boss and indicted briber, has said the Indian Grand Prix will “probably not” happen in 2014. The race, which takes place at the purpose-built Buddh International Circuit, is in danger due to a combination of reasons, including Ecclestone’s desire to move India from its current slot in October to the beginning of the season, in March or April.

According to the BBC, this is to accommodate a schedule envisioned by Ecclestone that adds races in Austria, New Jersey and Russia, in addition to the current 19-race calendar. Why the shuffle, though? The teams aren’t too excited about a longer season, and Ecclestone is hoping that by moving India to the start of the season, with China, Malaysia and the season opener in Australia, he can knock out four of the seven Asia-Pacific-region races in one fell swoop.

This poses a problem for India, though, as it’d be forced to run a race in October of 2014 and then do the whole thing over again in six or seven months. According to the head of India’s motorsports federation, Vicky Chandhok, that doesn’t give the country enough recovery time, with Chandhok going so far as to say the early season date “would be impossible for us in terms of finances and resources.”

There’s also a dustup over India’s import tax, that could hamper this year’s race. The Indian government is attempting to tax teams on their Indian earnings rather than on their profits, which would result in teams having to paying considerably more in taxes.

2013 marks only the third F1 race at the Buddh Circuit. But if Bernie doesn’t get his way, and the tax issues aren’t sorted, the track could go the way of Turkey’s Istanbul Park, another circuit built solely to attract F1, that lasted a mere six seasons before being dropped from the calendar.

Indian Grand Prix in jeopardy? originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 29 Jul 2013 17:59:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Video: McLaren's origin story gets the Tooned treatment

By Damon Lowney

Second episode of Tooned features McLaren origin story.

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British television network Sky has aired the second episode of Tooned, and this time, the digitally animated cartoon follows the story of McLaren founder Bruce McLaren and his early life in New Zealand. McLaren drivers, who were the focus of the first episode, take a back seat on this one.

The fable shows a young McLaren attempting to build his car to go 100 miles per hour through trial, error and fierce determination, knowing that he’d hit a few bumps along the road before he could become successful. His first race was in a modified Austin Seven that his father built, however, which is animated into the cartoon in the form of an old, red car.

Check out the video of McLaren’s child-friendly Formula One promo below. Parents, consider this a good time to introduce your children to the world of motorsports.

Continue reading McLaren’s origin story gets the Tooned treatment

McLaren’s origin story gets the Tooned treatment originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 29 Jul 2013 17:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Video: Hot lap the Hungaroring with Codemasters' F1 2013 and Anthony Davidson

By Jonathon Ramsey

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Au courant with the Hungarian Grand Prix running this weekend, Codemasters has released in-game footage from F1 2013 of a hot lap video of the Hungaroring driven by Scuderia Toro Rosso’s Daniel Ricciardo and narrated by ex-Formula One driver and current Sky F1 commentator and sportscar racer Anthony Davidson. The graphics have improved over F1 2012, Davidson’s commentary is just as good as it was last year, and the rear-view mirrors are still huge.

There are also hot lap vids of the Nürburgring driven by Kimi Räikkönen in his Lotus and Silverstone piloted by Jenson Button in his McLaren. The game hits shelves October 8, but you can watch the hot lap videos below right now.

Continue reading Hot lap the Hungaroring with Codemasters’ F1 2013 and Anthony Davidson

Hot lap the Hungaroring with Codemasters’ F1 2013 and Anthony Davidson originally appeared on Autoblog on Sun, 28 Jul 2013 13:13:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Video: Snake and Mongoose is this summer's other motorsports movie

By Brandon Turkus

Dragster on a run in Snake & Mongoose.

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Rush is the Formula One epic that everyone in the auto industry is talking about, thanks to its A-list director and star actor (Ron Howard and Chris Hemsowrth, respectively). But just because Rush has Opie Taylor and Thor involved, doesn’t mean it’ll be the only racing movie of the year.

There’s another flick, and we’ve covered it before. It’s called Snake & Mongoose, and it’s about as far removed from F1 as possible. It’s theatrical trailer has just hit the internet, and we thought you’d like a look.

Starring Jesse Williams and Richard Blake, Snake & Mongoose tells the story of a pair of southern California drag racers that revolutionized the sport, both in terms of their rivalry and the way they marketed themselves. See that Hot Wheels dragster sitting on your desk? You can thank these two guys for it.

The production value doesn’t look quite as impressive as Rush, but the story looks every bit as gripping. Snake & Mongoose hits theaters on September 6. Click below for the full trailer.

Continue reading Snake and Mongoose is this summer’s other motorsports movie

Snake and Mongoose is this summer’s other motorsports movie originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 19 Jul 2013 17:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Official: Michael Andretti signs on to field Formula E team

By Brandon Turkus

Andretti Autosport Spark-Renault SRT_01E Formula E Car - overhead front three-quarter view

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The FIA’s Formula E World Championship is picking up steam. We reported earlier this week that the series had confirmed a ten-race calendar that would start in 2014 and bring the series to North and South America, Europe and Asia. We also mentioned that Formula E’s boss Alejandro Agag was in the process of recruiting teams for the new series, with a particular focus on the front runners of Formula One.

What we didn’t know was that Agag was also going after the cream of the crop in other open-wheel series, too. Now comes news that Andretti Autosport will be taking part in the inaugural season of the new championship. Michael Andretti’s outfit is the first American team to sign up for the championship, joining the United Kingdom’s Drayson Racing and China Racing (we’ll let you guess where that team calls home).

On the occasion of the announcement, Michael Andretti himself chimed in to say, “I look forward to further exploring the series and helping build the future of open-wheel racing across the world.” Agag is pleased to have an American team in the series, and hinted at further additions in the coming months saying,” “As well being the first team from the US, today’s announcement now means we have three teams from three different continents and we’re looking forward to announcing many more over the coming months.”

Andretti, Drayson, and China are set to fill just three of the ten spots for the series first season, so we can expect to hear a lot more as additional teams are confirmed for the 2014 season. A spec car, the Spark-Renault SRT_01E, will be the used by each team for the inaugural season.

Continue reading Michael Andretti signs on to field Formula E team

Michael Andretti signs on to field Formula E team originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 19 Jul 2013 08:59:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Report: F1 Supremo Ecclestone indicted on bribery charges

By Brandon Turkus

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Bernie Ecclestone, the elderly head of Formula One, has been indicted by German courts on charges of bribery. This follows reports that had the UK citizen in trouble over payments to Gerhard Gribkowsky, a former German banker with Bayern Landesbank.

Gribkowsky, who will be resting comfortably in a Munich prison for the next eight-and-a-half years, naturally has a story that conflicts with Ecclestone’s. According to the German, who oversaw the sale of F1 from Bayern Landesbank in 2006, Ecclestone paid him to undervalue F1’s shares while it was sold to CVC Capital Partners. The BBC says Gribkowsky was paid $41.4 million in commissions along with an undisclosed payment from the Ecclestone family’s trust.

According to Ecclestone, though, the money paid to Gribkowsky was extorted by the German banker. Ecclestone believed that false information was going to be leaked to the British government regarding illicit tax dealings, which according to Forbes, could have cost Ecclestone up to $3 billion.

Ecclestone has until the middle of August to reply to the charges. It’s then up to the German courts to decide whether a trial will be necessary. Based on the he-said-she-said nature of the charges, we wonder how much trouble Bernie is actually in. If found guilty of bribery, Ecclestone could face 10 years in prison.

F1 Supremo Ecclestone indicted on bribery charges originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 17 Jul 2013 17:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Bernie Ecclestone — indispensable F1 supremo

Bernie Ecclestone started out as a simple second-hand car salesman and went on to transform Formula One motor-racing into one of the most profitable sports the world.

German prosecutors on Wednesday indicted the British magnate on a bribery charge, but the 82-year-old has refused to resign as Formula One boss, despite facing a trial and a possible prison sentence.

However, the prospect of having to find a replacement for Ecclestone, on whose F1 decisions hang billion of dollars, sent shivers through the motor racing fraternity.

“F1 is what it is thanks to Bernie Ecclestone, to the way he has built this sport over the past 35 years,” said his compatriot Christian Horner, team principal at world champions Red Bull, when asked about a possible succession.

“Everything we see here is based on what he did and succeeded in doing. I think that without him we would have big problems.”

Despite his age, Ecclestone has brushed off suggestions that he is soon to retire and has insisted that his legal woes will not lead him to resign.

“I don’t see why I should do that, I will do what I have always done: keep working and do my job,” Ecclestone told German newspaper Bild.

Ecclestone has been charged by Munich prosecutors in relation to a $44 million (33.6 million euro) payment he made to German banker Gerhard Gribkowsky which was linked to the sale of the Formula One rights in 2006.

Dubbed “Napoleon” due to his 1.63-metre (five foot, four inch) stature and firm control over Formula One, Ecclestone was valued by Forbes magazine at $3.8 billion in March 2013, making him one of the richest 500 people in the world.

He is no stranger to controversy.

He was in the spotlight in late 1997 owing to a donation of 1.5 million pounds ($2.3 million, 1.75 million euros) to the Labour Party of then prime minister Tony Blair, which subsequently authorised the continued use of tobacco advertising by the sport.

Holder of a degree from Woolwich Polytechnic in southeast London, Ecclestone, known for his trademark white shirt and black trousers, began his career selling cars and motorcycles in the capital, and also briefly drove race cars himself.

However, his career was cut short by an accident.

In the early 1970s, Ecclestone set up the Brabham team.

Then, with competitors, he established the Formula One Constructors Association, gathering around him the other chiefs of motor racing stables to defend their interests against what became the International Automobile Federation (FIA).

One of the first to recognise the potential in sponsorship, he became the exclusive manager of F1 rights, taking the helm of Formula One Management, negotiating with circuits, advertisers and television stations.

“The contracts he negotiated, the circuits and the countries to which he brought F1, are remarkable. As long as he has the passion and enthusiasm to continue it is in our interests that he does it as long as possible,” Horner said.

“The day he is no longer there our sport will go much less well,” said the man some see as a potential successor to Ecclestone.

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Source: FULL ARTICLE at Fox World News

Ecclestone charged with bribery in Germany

Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone was on Wednesday charged with bribery by German prosecutors.

The 82-year-old motor racing magnate has been charged by state prosecutors in Munich in relation to a $44 million (33.6 million euro, ??29 million) payment he made to German banker Gerhard Gribkowsky, which was linked to the sale of the Formula One rights in 2006.

Last month, Gribkowsky was sentenced to eight-and-a-half years in jail in Munich and Ecclestone has always denied bribing the German to avoid a British tax inquiry into the sale of Formula One, claiming he was blackmailed by Gribkowsky.

Ecclestone has already told the Financial Times newspaper he will be defending the indictment having spoken to his lawyers.

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Source: FULL ARTICLE at Fox World News

Report: Formula E calendar set at ten races, top F1 teams being courted

By Brandon Turkus

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Formula E, the open-wheel EV racing series has finalized the calendar for its inaugural season. Set to kick of in 2014, the races looks like to have been distributed quite evenly across the globe.

Two American races (LA and Miami) along with a pair of South American races in Rio and Buenos Aires round out the contests in the New World. London, Berlin and Rome make up the European leg of the championship, while Beijing, Bangkok and Putrajaya cover Asia.

This news follows a report from Autoweek that Formula E is courting some of the top Formula One teams. According to AW, series organizer Alejandro Agag is already in talks with McLaren, and is of the opinion that one day the likes of Ferrari and Red Bull will take part in the emissions free series.

Despite the current lack of big names, the parts of the Formula E cars look promising. Batteries from Williams are mated to electric motors from McLaren, while Dallara provides the chassis. Like F1, there’s only one tire supplier, although we’re happy to announce it’s Michelin rather than Pirelli. Series test driver Lucas di Grassi showed us just what the FE cars can do with an in-car video a few months ago.

As for drivers, we don’t see Sebastien Vettel leaving his gas-powered racer soon. Formula E could see an influx of retired F1 drivers and GP2 veterans, although Agag told Autoweek “I can’t say any names yet.” The series will kickoff in 2014, in the Italian capital of Rome.

Formula E calendar set at ten races, top F1 teams being courted originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 16 Jul 2013 18:02:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Video: F1 2013 game to feature 'classic' cars from '80s and '90s

By Brandon Turkus

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Codemasters’ series of Formula One games focus heavily on realism, both in terms of physics and appearance. Every team, every car and every driver are represented, with every track recreated in high definition and exacting detail.

This attention to detail is only reflected if you’re looking at modern F1, though. The market for video games that show the sport’s past is disappointingly bleak. For F1 2013, the latest installment in the yearly franchise, that’s set to change.

For the first time, Codemasters will explore F1’s past with cars, drivers, and tracks from the 1980s and 1990s. This is, of course, in addition to the modern content the game is known so well for. The content from the 1980s is available regardless of which version of F1 2013 is bought, giving gamers access to five cars from Ferrari, Williams and Lotus. Ten drivers will also be added to the game, including greats like Nigel Mansell, Mario Andretti, and Gerhard Berger. Finally, Circuito de Jerez and Brands Hatch, former homes of the Spanish and British Grands Prix, respectively, have been added.

Believe us, though, you want to spend however much extra is demanded for the Classic Edition of F1 2013. The 1990s content, which is standard with the Classic Edition, adds new cars from Ferrari and Williams, along with seven legendary drivers, like David Coulthard, Alain Prost and others (that being code for Ayrton Senna, we think). Two extra tracks have been added, as well. Estoril, former home of the Portuguese Grand Prix, joins the legendary Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari, the track more commonly known as Imola.

F1 2013 hits stores the fall, and will be available for Playstation 3, XBox 360, and PC. There’s no word on whether it will be ported to the next-gen systems. Scroll down for the official trailer of F1 2013 Classic Edition, as well as the official press release.

Continue reading F1 2013 game to feature ‘classic’ cars from ’80s and ’90s

F1 2013 game to feature ‘classic’ cars from ’80s and ’90s originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 15 Jul 2013 15:33:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Report: RON Automóviles shows off RXX and R7 sports cars for Mexico

By Damon Lowney

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Occasionally we learn about a new car manufacturer starting up in Mexico, but usually the country’s most significant involvement in the auto industry is relegated to building vehicles and parts for other auto companies. RON Automóviles de México hopes to change that with its new line of sports cars. The flagship model, the RXX, resembles an Ariel Atom with bodywork, while the R7 was inspired by the Lotus 7.

The RXX will be built and sold in three different versions, the RXX, RXX-S and RXX-R. The company states on its Facebook page that the model variants will be differentiated by their finish, equipment and power, but their specifications haven’t been released yet. Not much else is known about the RXX except that it is expected to be a lightweight, high-performance roadster with two tandem seats (that’s right; the driver sits in front of the passenger), an aluminum chassis with carbon-fiber bodywork and a carbon-fiber interior. RON states the RXX will be a street-legal machine that brings the excitement of driving a Formula One car to the masses.

The R7 will follow a more traditional mold, as it was inspired by the Lotus 7 and is based off of the 7’s chassis; no tandem seating here. From the photos, we can tell the R7 retains features that would be found on an old Lotus 7, such as rear drum brakes and a live rear axle. Let’s just hope that third-generation Volkswagen Jetta parts don’t find their way into the build.

RON Automóviles shows off RXX and R7 sports cars for Mexico originally appeared on Autoblog on Sun, 14 Jul 2013 09:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Official: Fangio F1 car sells for record $29M at Goodwood auction

By Jeffrey N. Ross

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Rare gems of automotive history are always popping up at the Bonhams auction at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, but the racecar you see above just made a little more history. This Mercedes W196R was driven by Juan Manuel Fangio to wins in the 1954 German and Swiss Grand Prix races, and when the hammer fell at auction yesterday, the $29.65 million price it fetched made it the most expensive car ever sold at auction. It’s also earned the honor of being the most expensive F1 car ever sold and the most valuable Mercedes-Benz in the world.

Still battered by racing and time, this car in an important piece of history to both Formula One and Mercedes-Benz alike. According to Bonhams, Fangio’s wins gave Mercedes its first back-to-back post-war Grand Prix victories, and it introduced F1 cars to fuel-injection, tubular spaceframe chassis and inline eight-cylinder engines. Robert Brooks, Bonhams Chairman, called this car the “most important historic Grand Prix racing car ever offered for sale.”

Based on our own records, the Mercedes W196R came close to almost doubling the prior record holder for the most expensive car sold at auction, a 1957 Ferrari 250 TR Prototype that sold for $16.39 million at Gooding & Company’s Pebble Beach auction in 2011. The Mercedes even came kinda-sorta close to the record price for a car sold privately, the current big seller being a 1962 Ferraro GTO built for Sterling Moss that went for a reported $35 million in a private sale last year.

Scroll down for more information about the Mercedes W196R F1 car, and be sure to check out the trio of images (including one of the car in action).

Continue reading Fangio F1 car sells for record $29M at Goodwood auction

Fangio F1 car sells for record $29M at Goodwood auction originally appeared on Autoblog on Sat, 13 Jul 2013 08:57:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Police, students clash in Bahrain after raid

Police in Bahrain‘s capital have raided a boys’ high school and fired tear gas in clashes with students angry over a fellow student’s arrest the day before.

Tuesday’s violence comes as the Gulf nation boosted security in preparation for next week’s Formula One race.

Police are clashing with students at the school, located close to the U.S. Embassy in a residential southern district of Manama full of parks and nurseries.

Mohamed Jaber, a father of one of the students, says he came to pick up his son but police told him and other parents to leave.

On Monday, police arrested 17-year-old student Hassan Humidan at the school.

Bahrain has been wracked by more than two years of unrest between the Sunni-led government and majority Shiites seeking a greater political voice.

From: http://feeds.foxnews.com/~r/foxnews/world/~3/X0mxJ2KIUCo/

Teased: Icona Vulcano teased again before Shanghai reveal [w/video]

By Jonathon Ramsey

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It used to be that New York marked the end of the auto show season, but after the Shanghai show has moved so as not to compete with NYC, we’ve settled in for a few more weeks of teasing. Here we have another glimpse of the Vulcano, the supercar created by Shanghai-based boutique carmaker Icona that we’ll see revealed at the Shanghai Motor Show.

It’s a fuller view of the back end than we glimpsed in the first teaser, covered in “Red Magma” paint. We’re looking forward to finding out what that central hatch hides since the Vulcano’s V12 engine – the work of Claudio Lombardi, whose resume includes powertrain engineering for World Rally Championship Lancias and the Formula One and GT Programs at Ferrari – is mounted in front. That engine is mated to electric motors and the whole shebang kicks out 900 horsepower.

The Vulcano is said to be an evolution of the all-electric Fuselage concept that Icona showed at the 2011 Shanghai Motor Show. “Evolution” is a broad term, especially when we’re going from a zero-emissions vehicle to a 900-horsepower hybrid sports car, but to at least check out where the company has been there’s a video of the Fuselage below.

Continue reading Icona Vulcano teased again before Shanghai reveal [w/video]

Icona Vulcano teased again before Shanghai reveal [w/video] originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 15 Apr 2013 19:31:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Vettel-Webber Rift And Tire Complaints May Signal Trouble Ahead For Red Bull Racing

By Chris Smith, Forbes Staff

Red Bull Racing has been Formula One‘s greatest success story both on and off the track in recent seasons. The team has collected the last three constructors’ championships, and that success has helped make RBR the third-most valuable team in Formula One, worth $400 million as of our most recent valuations of the sport’s teams.

From: http://www.forbes.com/sites/chrissmith/2013/04/15/vettel-webber-rift-and-tire-complaints-may-signal-trouble-ahead-for-red-bull-racing/

Report: Stirling Moss doubts whether women have the mental strength to race F1

By Zach Bowman

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In the latest episode of, “Do us a favor and keep your mouth shut,” Stirling Moss has been quoted as saying that he believes women lack the mental fortitude to compete in Formula One. “I think they have the strength, but I don’t know if they’ve got the mental aptitude to race hard, wheel-to-wheel,” Moss said during a BBC Radio 5 special on women in F1. He went on to say that F1 drivers needed tremendous concentration in his day. He continued by saying, “The mental stress I think would be pretty difficult for a lady to deal with in a practical fashion. I just don’t think they have aptitude to win a Formula 1 race.”

We’re sure it has nothing to do with the mountain of sexism that stands between women and success in motorsports in general.

Susie Wolf, who is currently in her second season as a test driver with Williams, disagreed with Moss’s statements. “It makes me cringe hearing that,” she said. “I’ve got a lot of respect for Sir Stirling and what he achieved, but I think we’re in a different generation. For Moss, it’s unbelievable that a female would drive a Formula One car, which is enough.”

Stirling Moss doubts whether women have the mental strength to race F1 originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 15 Apr 2013 15:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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