Thursday, 31 October 2013

Redbull Racing RB7 in Cape Town

The Stunning RedBull Racing RB7 being prepared in the Garage at Killarney, Cape Town.
Photograph by: Junaid Samodien

On 27 March 2011, RedBull Racing brought their show car to Killarney, Cape Town and I've captured some amateur footage of the stunning RB7 show car in action. 

                                                                              Engineers put on the engine cover and wheels.
                                                Neel Jani strapped into the RedBull Racing RB7 and ready to come out onto the circuit.

                                                        Neel Jani streching the legs of the stunning Redbull Racing RB7 on circuit. 

 These brief clips were filmed by me at Killarney Racetrack in Cape Town, South Africa.


Saturday, 26 October 2013

Records and Statistics of the 2013 ETIHAD AIRWAYS ABU DHABI Grand Prix

Safety in Formula 1: Clothing (Part One)


From the end of time safety has always been a factor in Formula 1, and since the death of Ayrton Senna in 1994, there has been no other fatalities due to the introduction of a variety of safety measures and precautions such as:  Helmets, HANS, Clothing, Cockpit safety and crash testing. I’ve decided to draw up a series of Articles, where these Safety Measures can be discussed in detail.

The Helmet and HANS safety gear.
Clothing in the world of Formula 1 is often disregarded when considering the enormous collection of other high tech safety equipment. Hence me starting my series with a segment about “Clothing”. The Formula 1 safety clothing also has a primary purpose; to protect the driver in case of serious fire. Since 1975 the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA) has required that driver clothing be flame retardant so as to offer protection in the event of a fire. Now-a-days the key material used for Formula 1 and other racing suits is Nomex - a fire-resistant, lightweight artificial fibre. It is subjected to an open flame with a temperature of 300 to 400 degrees Celsius that acts on the material from a distance of three centimetres - only if it fails to ignite within 10 seconds can it be used in a driver’s overalls.

The fireproof balaclava used in Formula 1
Fires have become less of a problem for Formula 1 in recent years but this has not led to a disregarding of safety clothing. The clothing that is used in Formula 1 today is made from fire-proof materials that are so efficient they can protect a driver as his car burns around him. The items of clothing include overalls, gloves, boots and balaclavas in an attempt to shield every part of the driver's body in the event of a fire. It’s not just the driver that has to wear the levels of safety clothing. Pit crews must wear equal amounts of safety gear as the pit lane is the most dangerous place on a Formula 1 racing track.

According to Formula – “The zip on the suit must also be able to withstand the same temperatures and must not melt or transfer heat close to the driver's skin. Even the thread used to sew it together must be fire resistant, as must any patches, although the majority of sponsor logos are now printed on - a change that has helped cut the weight of overalls by over half a kilo in the past few years. But not only are modern race suits light, they’re also breathable to in order to allow the several kilos of sweat produced by the driver during a race to escape.” The racing suits should also have two large ‘handles’ on the driver’s shoulders. These straps should be capable of supporting the combined weight of the driver and his seat, which in the event of an accident can be removed from the car by marshals ‘as one’, in order to minimise the risk of complicating injuries.

Underneath his race suit the driver wears a further layer of flameproof underwear, and under his helmet a fireproof balaclava. Gloves may appear as an insignificant piece to Formula 1 safety clothing but are disputably the most important of all. According to Formula – “They must be made as thin as possible to ensure the driver can maintain his connection to the car whilst also remaining fire-proof enough to protect. The same can be said for Formula 1 boots as the soles of these are made extremely thin so the driver has the closest contact with the pedals of the car.” 

There is no doubt that the safety clothing has made Formula 1 far safer, looking back to the fifties when drivers wore cloth overalls, goggles and leather driving caps the advance in technology is almost unbelievable. In one of the most dangerous sports in the world it is reassuring to know that so many designers are producing items of clothing with the driver's safety as their primary concern.

Sunday, 6 October 2013

RUSH - Review

Release Date: 04 October 2013 (South Africa)
Running Time: 202 minutes
Genre: Action/Drama
Cast: Chris Hemsworth, Alexandra Maria Lara, Daniel Brühl and Olivia Wilde
Directed by: Ron Howard
Rating: 9.5/10

When first hearing about the making of Rush, I was a bit sceptical about how the story and plot will be put together, but after seeing it I have to say that Ron Howard has captured the essence of Formula 1 and the strong history between Niki Lauda and James Hunt.

Rush is a return to form for Ron Howard after his successful movies Apollo 13, How the Grinch stole Christmas and Cocoon. Similar any great sports movie, Rush breaks the boundaries of its genre. Where most racing films leave it all on the track, Rush smartly makes the story about the drivers behind the wheels and there alive surrounding the sport.

Rush is based on the true story of Formula One racing rivals James Hunt played by Chris Hemsworth and Niki Lauda played by Daniel Brühl. Rivals since their early days in Formula Three, the story centers around their battle for the 1976 World Championship.

Based on the real-life rivalry between Hunt and Lauda is indeed a gripping one. Lauda buys a seat in Formula 1 and through his superior knowledge of mechanics he is able to make any car run faster than any other team could, but then makes the jump to the top-level Formula One first.
Lauda is able to drive any car faster than anyone else on the circuit, except perhaps Hunt. Hunt is an equally talented driver on the track, but is a much bigger risk taker. Lauda’s talent is seen quickly and very early in his career and he signs a prestigious deal with Ferrari. Hunt struggles to sign on with a team due to his high risk state and his partying reputation, though he finally gets a drive after a team (McLaren) decides to take a chance on him.

Rush is a very gripping story in the way that it portrays the two drivers.
Where it would be the obvious choice for Hemsworth’s to play the charismatic James Hunt as the hero and Brühl as the unlikable Niki Lauda as the villain. Audiences will find themselves cheering for both drivers at different points in the film.

The acting, particularly from the two leads, is fantastic. Hemsworth is very convincing as portraying the high-spirited British driver. Brühl is able to match his performances and is a far more reserved one. Olivia Wilde is great in her brief time on screen as supermodel Suzy Mille.

The music used is really effective. This was necessary as the story that revolves around the 1976 Formula 1 season. Overall, Rush is a brilliantly put together movie and a definite must WATCH!!!!!

Friday, 26 July 2013

Understanding Understeer from Oversteer

Graphic Illustration of Understeer vs. Oversteer
Source: Google Images

As a car enthusiast, I literally eat, sleep and dream cars, but I always tend to struggle with understanding the terms: Understeer and Oversteer. Whenever one watches a car related programme you always tend to hear the motoring terms: Understeer and Oversteer. With this blog, I will attempt to explain: Understeer and Oversteer. I hope that you enjoy the read!

Top Gears: Richard Hammond explains Understeer and Oversteer

What is Understeer and Oversteer? These are predominantly vehicle dynamics terms used to describe the sensitivity of a vehicle to steering. Simply put, oversteer is what occurs when a car steers more than commanded by the driver. Whereas, understeer occurs when a car steers less than the amount commanded by the driver. Some motoring journalists attribute “Understeer” to Front Wheel Drive (FWD) cars, whereas Rear Wheel Drive (RWD) cars predominantly “Oversteer”, which makes them the ideal car to use for drifting.

Now that you are aware of what “Understeer” and “Oversteer” is, I will now go about explaining Oversteer and Understeers, as well as the causes and methods to correct both Oversteer and Understeer if are faced with the situation.

Explaining Oversteer
As a driver it’s unlikely that you’ll ever experience oversteer unless you’re driving/pushing a car over its limits of grip. According to, You can recognise oversteer if:

·         The rear of the vehicle becomes unstable and ‘light’ due to lack of grip.
·         The car starts to rotate so the driver is facing towards the inside of the corner.

There are four major causes of oversteer:
1.    Entering the corner too fast.
2.    Accelerating into the corner, too early or too aggressively.
3.    Braking into the corner or mid corner.
4.    Lifting off the throttle mid-corner.

Correcting Oversteer. explains how to correct oversteer: “Whatever the cause of oversteer it is important to keep the front wheels pointing in the direction you're hoping to go. If you fail to do this, the most likely result is a spin. You should apply enough steering lock to point the wheels in the direction of the slide. Too little and you're likely to spin as the back continues to come round, too much and the car will rapidly over-correct, often resulting in a spin in the opposite direction. The skill can only be mastered with plenty of practice and should become instinct if you're planning to drive fast on a track.”

Explaining Understeer
As stated previously Understeer will not happen if you aren’t pushing a car to its limit. Understeer is most likely to result from these situations:
·         Accelerating into a bend
·         Braking into a corner
·         Ploughing into a corner too fast
·         Low traction conditions on the corner such as ice or oil

Active causes of Understeer
·         Cornering speed
·         Throttle
·         Braking
·         Steering inputs
·         Weight transfer
Recommended ways to correct understeer are:
  • Be as smooth as you can
  • Don't enter corners flat out, and accelerate as you exit
  • Don't brake in a corner. The only exception to this is if you are using trail braking...

One can now establish that “Understeer” and “Oversteer” are will most likely to occur when pushing your car to the limit. In conlusion, I believe that you should only experience these driving dynamics on a racetrack, because tracks are there for racing and many tracks are open to the public. Therefore, I suggest rather push your car on a track/circuit than on the street because you’d be much safer. I hope that you have enjoyed this new blog!   

Monday, 19 November 2012

Speeding...............NASCAR racing

Caption: Nascar Races begin with rolling starts, as seen here.
Source: Googleimages

Racing is my passion, as some of you may know, but this blog is a tribute to American Stock Car Racing (NASCAR). The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) is a family-owned and -operated business venture that sanctions and governs multiple auto racing sports events. It was founded by Bill France,  in 1947–48. As of 2009, the CEO for the company is Brian France, grandson of Bill France. NASCAR is the largest sanctioning body of stock car racing in the United States. The three largest racing series sanctioned by NASCAR are the Sprint Cup Series, the Nationwide Series, and the Camping World Truck Series. It also oversees NASCAR Local Racing, the Whelen Modified Tour, the Whelen All-American Series, and the NASCAR Series. NASCAR sanctions over 1500 races at over 100 tracks in 39 US states and Canada. NASCAR has presented exhibition races at the Suzuka and Motegi circuits in Japan, Mexico, and Calder Park Raceway in Australia.
Caption: A 2009 Sprint Cup NASCAR
Source: Googleimages 
NASCAR's headquarters are located in Daytona Beach, Florida, although it also maintains offices in four North Carolina cities; Charlotte, Mooresville, Concord, and Conover. Regional offices are also located in New York City, Los Angeles, Bentonville, Arkansas, and international offices in Mexico City and Toronto. Additionally, owing to its Southern roots, all but a handful of NASCAR teams are still based in North Carolina, especially near Charlotte.
Caption: Accidents do happen!
Source: googleimages
NASCAR is second only to the National Football League amongst professional sports franchises in terms of television ratings in the United States. Internationally, NASCAR races are broadcast in over 150 countries. In 2004 NASCAR's Director of Security stated that NASCAR holds 17 of the top 20 regularly attended single-day sporting events in the world. NASCAR has 75 million fans who purchase over $3 billion annually in licensed products. Fortune 500 companies sponsor NASCAR more than any other motor sport, although this has been in decline since the early 2000s.
I trust that you enjoyed this read, because I truly believe that NASCAR is amazing form of motorsport. 

Source: Official Website - NASCAR

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Formula 1 drivers profile: Fernando Alonso

Caption: This is Fernando Alonso, who is currently battling Sebastien Vettel for the 2012 Championship title.
This week, we turn our attention to a current Formula 1 racing driver: Fernando Alonso who was born on 29 July 1981 and is a Spanish Formula One racing driver and a two-time World Champion, who is currently racing for Scuderia Ferrari.
Alonso started in karting from the age of 3. He won three consective karting championships in Spain from 1994 to 1997, and he became world karting champion in 1996. He made his Formula One debut in the 2001 season with Minardi, and then moved to the Renault as a test driver the next year. Starting in 2003 Alonso then became one of the main drivers of the team. On 25 September 2005, he won the Formula One World Driver's Championship title at the age of 24, at the time making him the youngest Formula One World Drivers' Champion. After retaining the title the following year, Alonso also became the youngest double Champion at the time. He joined McLaren in 2007, before returning to Renault for two seasons in 2008 and 2009, and in 2010, he joined Scuderia Ferrari who he continues to race for to date.
Caption: Fernando Alonso in his Scuderia Ferrari 2010
Fernando Alonso also had become the youngest driver to win a grand prix and pole position respectively in the 2003 Malaysian Grand Prix and the 2003 Hungarian Grand Prix., before both records were broken by Sebastian Vettel in the 2008 Italian Grand Prix. I truly hope that you have enjoyed this read!
Source: Formula 1 world

Ferrari – the history behind the ‘Pranching Horse’

 Caption: Ferrari's logo the pranching horse
Source: google images
Ferrari S.p.A. is an Italian sports car manufacturer based in Maranello, Italy. Founded by Enzo Ferrari in 1929, as Scuderia Ferrari, the company sponsored drivers and manufactured race cars before moving into production of street-legal vehicles as Ferrari S.p.A. in 1947. Throughout its history, the company is recognized for participation in a number or racing series, especially in Formula 1. Ferrari road cars are generally seen as a symbol of luxury and wealth.            
The Ferrari headquarters is based in Maranello, Italy. Key people within Ferrari are: Luca di Montezemolo (Chairman) and Piero Ferrari (Vice Chairman), but something you should also note is that Luca di Montezemolo also oversees the Scuderia Ferrari Formula 1 team. 
 For further information, feel free to log-onto: Ferrari World (official website)