Tips for Getting Into F1 Racing

carl-turnley-f1Formula One racing is one of the world’s biggest entertainment pastimes — a competitive sport that demands dedication and perseverance from its participants. If you’re just looking for a new hobby, Formula One racing might not be right for you – but if you have the drive to succeed and the patience to train for years, these tips can lead you to victory.

Consider Racing School

If you’ve been driving on normal roads for years, you might think that you have an understanding of what it takes to drive a Formula One car – after all, it’s just faster, isn’t it? Not exactly. Formula One cars require faster reflexes than normal driving and involve higher stakes, not to mention the inherent differences in the designs of the vehicle platforms. Racing schools can give you an opportunity to refine your skills and see what you’re made of – not only that, but they allow access to vehicles you might not be able to try out otherwise. This is a great way to make sure this is the right path for you.

Start Slow in a Kart

Some suggest that you should train with a go-kart before you actually start Formula One racing – while this can be a valuable way to train your skills, it isn’t always necessary. That said, if you do need to start out slow, try earning a go-kart certification and finding a nearby course that has their own karts. That way you’ll save money overall and you’ll always have somewhere to train – and some go-kart races even have cash prizes, meaning you could earn back the price of your membership to the course.

Meet Racing License Standards

Since this is a rather dangerous sport, you’ll need to meet a number of requirements to become a Formula One racer – you’ll need to spend two years of licensed racing in a junior class of single-seat vehicles, like go-karts, as well as 40 race points from victories. You’ll also need 300 hours in a Formula One car itself on a course or as a junior member of a team – and, of course, you’ll need to be a legal adult.

Keeping all of this in mind, Formula One looks like a hard hobby to break into – but if you’ve got the skill and the commitment to go the extra mile, those steps should help you get started.

A History of Formula One Racing

carl-turnley-f1historyFormula One racing uses the fastest one-seater cars developed for road racing, deriving most of their speed from the fact that they can take corners with immense speed and create aerodynamic push that further bolsters their velocity. All vehicles in Formula One races must follow a set of standards first devised in 1946 before several revisions.

These 1946 standards led into the first Formula One events, namely the 1950 race at Pau in southwest France and subsequent world championship at Silverstone. From there, interest was piqued, and seasons started in earnest – the big developments in this era were mostly derived from alterations to the vehicle models.

Early races saw domination by Italian manufacturers like Alfa Romeo and Ferrari, and although the former managed to outspeed the competition during the 1950 season, Ferrari soon developed a new methodology that gave them a massive advantage over the competition.

Enzo Ferrari realized that increasing the engine power of their super-cars would mean lowered fuel efficiency, and that the resulting time spent refueling would ultimately neutralize any advantage from their more powerful cars. As a result, he equipped the Ferrari Formula One team with V12 4.5-litre 375s that saw nearly four times the miles per gallon and decreased pit time hugely.

Things changed again in 1958 when Stirling Moss breezed across the finish line in the 1958 Argentine Grand Prix, marking the first major win by a driver whose engine was mounted behind the driver’s seat. The British had realized that rear-mounted engines could give their cars better handling and weight, putting them at a sizable advantage over the formerly titanic Italian teams.

Dozens of minor alterations and changes to the platform continued until the late 1960s, when a new issue arose – the ever-growing speeds at which drivers moved meant that crashes were often fatal, and safety became more of a focus than it ever had before. Changes to the supercars led to better handling and more focus on protecting drivers.

Over the next several decades, titans rose and titans fell – names like Niki Lauda, James Hunt and John Watson proved their skill on the road and made Formula One racing a titan of world entertainment.

A Review of the 2019 Bahrain Grand Prix

carl-turnley-grandprixLet’s take a moment to recap the 2019 Bahrain Grand Prix, a race that was certainly exciting and action-packed:

The winner of the race was Lewis Hamilton driving for Mercedes. Lewis admitted it wasn’t his finest weekend until the final 10 laps of the race. He insisted Ferrari were “incredibly quick” during the race. During the middle stint of the race, he had a competitive race with Sebastian Vettel. Fortunately, Hamilton was able to perform a dazzling move on the brakes to surpass Sebastian and take second place. On lap 48, Hamilton passed Charles Leclerc to take first place. On the final stretch, Leclerc’s vehicle had a loss of power, due to cylinder failure, which resulted in not taking the victory lap.

The loser of the race was deemed to be Sebastian Vettel. He had an incredible start; however, it was downhill beginning on lap 38. His vehicle spun out, which resulted in Lewis Hamilton passing him up. The effects of the spin out caused the front wing to break off. From that point on, his hopes of getting a podium position were eliminated, he finished the race in fifth place. On a positive note, he finished the race one short of 100 races in his career. A feat only accomplished by Hamilton (130) and Michael Schumacher (142).

The race team considered the winner would be Mercedes. Mercedes was off to a great start during the season-opener; however, when they arrived in Bahrain the dust seemed to have settled. Ferrari was apparently no match for the Mercedes cars. Ferrari excelled during practice and in qualifying. Ferrari secured the front row during qualifying. It was expected for Hamilton to at least earn a podium spot, but not for his teammate Bottas. To much a surprise, it was Mercedes that took first and second place. This one-two finish was a first for Mercedes since 2014. It earned Mercedes 39 points clear of their rivals Ferrari in the constructor’s championship.

The overall winner was considered the Bahrain International Circuit. The usual warm desert sun was not out on Sunday, before the Grand Prix. Nevertheless, the climate was forgotten as the Bahrain International Circuit produced a stormy race of their own. The race was exciting throughout the event, especially the final 10 laps.

The Impact of Data Analytics on the Auto Industry

carl-turnley-dataThere’s been a big impact in the automotive industry that involves data analytics. As of today, there’s vehicles that are capable of collecting massive amounts of data for their analysis. Vehicles contain around 50 sensors that are used to collect information of the driver’s pattern. For example, it can collect the speed, emissions, distance, resource usage, style of driving, and fuel usage. When this information is combined with predictive analytics, data scientists are able to utilize the information for the private and public sector.

Data Analysis is currently and going to have a major role in the auto industry. The data science is going to be utilized across the board. It will be used to build smarter vehicles for the consumer, auto racing, smart cities, and the insurance industry. For the consumer it means smarter vehicles. The data analysis can be used to predict potential issues before they become problems. This will benefit the consumer for negating the need of a costly repair. In F1 Racing, the team is using the analysis to collect information on the vehicle’s performance.

This technology has its pros and cons. For example, some may view it as big brother because insurance industries will have access to the information as well. The insurance industry point of view is it will lower the driver’s costs based on their safety record and safe driving habits.

Since 5G is right around the corner, big data is going to be able to take advantage of the technology. It’ll have the ability to update the vehicle’s software remotely, monitor and respond to engine performance. When it comes to interconnected highways, the data can inform the driver of incoming construction, accidents and intersections. This lead data will benefit the driver to effectively navigate the vehicle seamlessly through expected traffic congestion. The end result is traffic flow will be efficient and safer.

Data analytics is also sparking the connected cars. Connected cars will be able to provide local information to the driver from gas stations to retail outlets. Essentially, the automobiles will be using localized data to concoct customized suggestions based on the driver’s preference. For example, it’ll suggest a flower shop offering a 20% discount on your nearby route for your upcoming anniversary.

Ten Crucial Car Maintenance Tips

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Having a car is a tremendous privilege, but comes with great responsibility. Here are some tips to bear in mind to make sure your car’s maintenance is up to date.

  1. Check Your Air Filter

Whenever you want to pop on the air conditioner, you will want to make sure the filters in your car do not suffer much wear and tear. It is recommended that you change them every 12 months or so to prevent breathing in unhealthy air.

  1. Spark Plugs

Any issues that you may face with your engine can most likely be attributed to the spark plugs. Spark plugs are typically good for around 30,000 miles.

  1. Brakes

Cars that last longer typically have strong brakes. Every two years, ensure that your brakes are replaced. Checking your brake fluid can also be helpful.

  1. Cover It

Covering your car can ensure that the paint stays fresh and that your car remains stylish. This is more of an aesthetic tip, but it could save you money.

  1. Practice Better Driving

You could save money that you’d have to pay for damages to car by simply driving better and avoiding accidents. It reflects well on you, and saves you money in the long run.

  1. Exterior Engine Cleaning

Cleaning the exterior of your car can prevent excess debris from entering the internal compartment. Remove any debris or garbage that should not be there.

     7. Oil

Your oil should be amber in color, and you can refer to your owner’s manual in regards to when and how often your oil should be changed.

  1. Headlights

The headlights provide you with safety, allowing you to see what’s up ahead of you at night. Make sure the battery is up to date and that it is actually working before driving off.

  1. Windshield Wipers

The windshield wipers are one of the more vulnerable parts of your car that can wear out quickly. However, they can be easily replaced with a wiper blade.

  1. Tire Rotation

The general rule of thumb is to have your tires rotated and properly aligned every 5,000 miles. Doing so will also help your car’s fuel economy as well.

 

The Top Five F1 Races of All Time

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Formula 1 began in 1950 and has seen its fair share of classic events. After all, there have been nearly 900 Formula 1 races over the years. With so much content, and with so much history, you’re sure to find dozens of exciting, timeless moments.

However, we aren’t looking for classic moments here. We are looking for incredible races – races that are exciting, incredible displays of racing skill from beginning to end.

2008 Brazilian Grand Prix

The 2008 Brazilian Grand Prix was the conclusion to a tightly fought season. Lewis Hamilton was only 7 points ahead of Felipe Massa. Hamilton had to finish in the top 5 to maintain his lead. Felipe Massa started the race on the pole; Hamilton started in fourth. Even is Massa won the race, if Hamilton finished in the top five, Massa would lose the championship.

After rain stalled the race, Hamilton came out of the pits in sixth position. Massa ended up taking first place home; however, in the last turn, Hamilton took 5th position and took home the championship by just one point.

2012 Brazilian Grand Prix

The season was a tight one between Fernando Alonso and Sebastian Vettel. The only thing stopping this race from being higher on the list is the fact that it finished under caution. Vettel ended up becoming a triple world champion at the conclusion of this race.

1988 Japanese Grand Prix

A stalled engine, a close finish, and tight season standings make this race stand out from others. Ayrton Senna ultimately won the race and the championship.

1957 German Grand Prix

This is arguably the best Formula 1 race to ever take place, and it happened only seven years after the racing organization was formed. Legendary driver Juan Manuel Fangio displayed what he was known for: incredible racing.

Fangio was driving a Maseratti and started on the pole. Fangio had a unique strategy: he used softer tires and never filled up past half a tank. This gave him greater speed around corners due to the softer tires and lighter load.

Fangio had a 30 second lead on the competition during his first pit stop, but things went terribly wrong. His pit team lost a tire. Fangio exited 48 seconds behind first place. Fangio broke the fastest lap record 9 times to take back first place and go home with the Championship.

1981 Spanish Grand Prix

Gilles Villeneuve’s journey from qualifying seventh and taking home the victory is another legendary race.

Villeneuve’s car had the clear advantage on straight stretched, but he was lacking speed around corners. It was his excellent strategy that earned him the victory. Villeneuve’s car was in the right places at all the right times, stopping Laffite from ever being able to pass him.

Not everyone will agree with these choices because there are countless classic races in Formula 1.

 

Changes Coming to F1 for 2019 Racing Season

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Those who are fans of Formula One racing are well aware of one of the problems the sport faces. In most Formula One races, those who start in the first rows almost always win unless there is an accident on the track.

There are two reasons for this. Formula One teams are experts at what they do. They know how to pace out a race to make sure that nothing goes wrong from start to finish. Another problem is that it is very hard to pass and overtake on the track.

In order to make it easier for drivers to pass, and to add some more excitement to F1, there are changes being made to the setup of the cars for the 2019 racing season. These changes are in anticipation of more extensive changes that are to be implemented in the 2021 season.

For 2019, the front wings on an F1 car will be wider, and there will be fewer flaps. This is being done in order to make it more aerodynamically possible for a driver to follow another driver closely. Right now, the setup of the cars causes turbulence when in the following position. This makes it harder for drivers to maintain the position that they need to be in to take advantage of passing opportunities.

There will also be a change in the design of the front brake ducts. There are currently small wings on the brake duct assemblies. In 2019, these will no longer be used. With this redesign, the brake ducts will be more apt to serve their intended purpose of providing cooling. It is hoped that this change will also help to end the problem of blown front axles that plagued several of the racing teams such as Ferrari, Force India and Haas during the current racing season.

There will be changes in the rear wing of the cars in 2019 as well. The rear wings will be taller and wider. The design of the rear wing will be simplified. This change will increase the downforce on the vehicle. This will stop the practice of coasting that some drivers currently use to make sure that they don’t run out of fuel.

With these changes in place for the 2019 Formula One season, the racing should be more exciting. There may be more chances for drivers to make a move resulting in fewer pole to win situations.

Avoiding Common F1 Racing Mistakes

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Formula One racing is exciting. Drivers race around the twisting and turning tracks to gain position and obtain a coveted place on the podium. Each year, there are a few new drivers in Formula One as some drivers retire and others realize that they just don’t measure up. It is important for new drivers to learn from the mistakes of others so that they have the potential for a long and successful Formula One career.

In Formula One racing, initial race position is of critical importance. The best racers on the best teams will do everything in their power to hold off drivers trying to come up from the back of the pack. Unless there is an accident or major error by a driver in the front two rows, those in the back of the pack rarely win a Formula One race.

New drivers should make sure to drive to the best of their abilities during the qualifying rounds. Any let down in performance will result in a poor starting position and few race points.

Another key for a new driver is to get the most out of the best tires for the track. Formula One drivers are required to use two different types of tires during the course of the race. One type is usually a hard tire while the other is a soft or super soft tire.

Invariably, one type of tire will perform better on a track on a given day. It is important that the driver make the most of the drive time available on the better performing tire.

A new driver to Formula One needs to make sure that all of the intangibles are working in his favor. Everything in Formula One is calculated by the team. The team engineers know just how much fuel is needed, when to make a pit stop and how the car needs to be set up for the race.

A new driver needs to make sure to listen to the team at all times. It’s vital that a driver get in for pit stops when they’re called by the team. Any mistake can cost position and points.

Finally, a new driver should review as much film as possible of previous races on a track. This is the next best thing to on track experience. Seeing how great drivers of the past raced is an important learning experience.

Debunking halo device myths

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Formula One (F1) Racing has been going through some big changes lately including the changing of their historic logo to the addition of a safety guard on the cars above the driver’s heads known as “the halo”. This has led many to begin passing around some myths about the sport that couldn’t be further from the truth. So what are these myths and what is the truth? The myths are as follows:

  • The Halo Device Goes Against The Rich History Of F1 Racing
  • It Will Permanently Destroy The Aesthetics Of The F1 Cars
  • The Halo Device Could End Up Trapping Drivers After A Wreck

The Halo Device Goes Against The Rich History Of F1 Racing

F1 racing fans are proud of the rich history of the sport. F1 racing represents the very best in both driving and engineering that the world has to offer. This is one of the biggest reasons that they seem to be so against the change in the design of the car. Although there has always been an element of danger in the sport, there is nothing more important than the safety of the drivers. This has been reiterated year after year as additional safety measures are taken so that fans can enjoy the sport while minimizing the risk of injury to drivers.

It Will Permanently Destroy The Aesthetics Of The F1 Cars

This myth is based on the misconception that the halo will remain in its current form for eternity. In fact, F1 racing officials are actually very open to the idea of racing teams designing their own halo guard systems and presenting them to a committee for consideration. The only caveat to this is that all teams would have to be given access to the designs so as to not give one team an unfair advantage over another.

The Halo Device Could End Up Trapping Drivers After A Wreck

While this is a very valid concern, all tests indicate that the halo device would actually aid drivers in getting out of the car easier if it were to flip onto its roof during a race. This is because the halo will keep the nose of the vehicle up higher thus allowing more room for a driver to escape before emergency responders arrive.

Keeping Auto Racing Relevant

Auto racing has evolved from its roots of loud cars circling dirt tracks in the Deep South to what it is today — a multibillion dollar industry with fans from across society.

Just how can racing adapt even as new series or track seems to be popping up virtually everywhere, especially at a time when people have shorter attention spans and more choices of how and where to spend their entertainment dollars?

Race cars are sleeker and more technologically advanced than they ever have been. Drivers are stronger, more physically fit and better trained. And, the sport itself is more competitive than it ever has been, with more and more races being decided on the final lap.

Even with all that said, some of the luster has worn off of the sport. Safety advances, while always a good thing, have lessened the likelihood of spectacular crashes on the racetrack. And, let’s face it, many trackside spectators and at-home viewers wanted to see those crashes just for the excitement they add to the race. Race rules themselves have also changed to ensure greater parity among teams by slowing cars down rather than speeding them up.

One way to get that luster back and people watching auto racing is to bring the experience to them where they are and when they want it via live streaming, video on demand, 30-minute videos of the race or even a five minute highlight reel. Many teams and drivers are also active on social media, regularly interacting with fans with behind the scenes videos and responding to questions online.

Many racing promoters also understand that anyone who is able to drive can race, meaning that racing schools and amateur races are available virtually everywhere and serve to attract people to the sport.

Another way to bring spectators back to the track is to give people more bang for their buck. Pre-race festivities now include concerts and other entertainment, including additional races before the main event to keep fans engaged.

No matter how racing adapts, one thing is certain: There will always be a market for the sport because people are always going to care about driving. There is something almost primal about seeing who is faster and will capture the checkered flag on the final lap.