INDY CAR

ALEXANDER ROSSI SIGNS WITH THE INDYCAR SERIES

Rossi fills out Andretti Autosport driver quartet for 2016: Alexander Rossi has been named as the fourth driver to compete for Andretti Autosport in the 2016 Verizon IndyCar Series. The 24-year-old American will drive the No. 98 Honda, following a merger last week with Bryan Herta Autosport that moved the entry into the Andretti stable.

Rossi boasts an impressive racing portfolio. He drove in five Formula One races in 2015 for Manor while also finishing runner-up in GP2, the top developmental series for aspiring F1 drivers. The California native has made 209 career open-wheel starts, with 42 wins, 75 podiums, 36 poles and an impressive win percentage of 20.1 percent.

“I’m very much looking forward to making my (Verizon) IndyCar Series debut this season and am proud to be racing with a team of such high caliber and pedigree as that of Andretti Autosport,” Rossi said. “As a racer through and through, I cannot wait to get started. Our goal is to be competitive immediately at the first race in St. Petersburg.”

To watch Rossi talk about his opportunity with Andretti Autosport, click here.

Rossi will not participate in the Feb. 26-27 promoter test at Phoenix International Raceway, instead getting his first time in an Indy car March 1 in a private test at Sebring (Fla.) International Raceway. He becomes part of the team that features the last three American-born drivers to race in Formula One, along with team owner Michael Andretti and Andretti’s Global Rallycross driver Scott Speed.

“We’re really excited to have Alexander join the team,” Andretti said. “His credentials speak for his ability and we’re confident he’ll transition seamlessly into Indy car racing. It’s neat to have the last three American F1 drivers in 25 years to be under one roof. I think it speaks to the level of talent we have.”

Rossi joins Marco Andretti, Ryan Hunter-Reay and Carlos Munoz as the team’s drivers in the Verizon IndyCar Series. Herta, a former driver for Andretti, will serve as Rossi’s pit strategist.

“I’m really pleased at how well all these pieces have come into place for this group,” said Herta. “Adding Alex as a driver is going from strength to strength for us. We can’t wait to get on track together and start our preparation for the 2016 season.”

FORMULA 1

SAHARA FORCE INDIA BARCELONA TEST REPORT DAY ONE

Sahara Force India started its pre-season test programme today as the VJM09 made its track debut in the hands of Alfonso Celis, the team’s development driver. The young Mexican completed 58 laps on his way to setting the fifth fastest time of the day. Sergio Perez will take over the cockpit of the VJM09 tomorrow.
Chassis: VJM09-02
Laps: 58 laps
Mileage: 270 km
Best lap: 1:26.298 (P5)
Alfonso Celis: “I’m feeling very happy with how things went today. The start of the day was special when we launched the VJM09 and it was a big honour to be the first to drive the car. It was only my second day in a Formula One car, but I was able to enjoy the experience more than last time because I knew what to expect and I had a bit more confidence. The car was perfect today and I want to say a big ‘well done’ to everybody in the team for all their work over the winter to deliver this car. We managed to work through the whole plan with good reliability. I could not think of a better way to start the season and I’m really looking forward to getting back in the car on Thursday.”
Tom McCullough, Chief Race Engineer
“We took a cautious approach to the start of the day due to the overnight rain with the track taking quite a while to dry out. When we did get out in the middle of the morning, Alfonso worked through a lot of the systems checks needed for a new car before we moved to an aero correlation programme with various test instrumentation fitted to the VJM09. The aero work took up most of the day and it required Alfonso to make frequent adjustments on the steering wheel to help with the data gathering. As first days with a new car go, today has been remarkably smooth and Alfonso has done an excellent job. His approach was very mature and he steadily built up his speed during the day. We look forward to working with him again on Thursday.”

FORMULA 1

INTRODUCING THE RB12

Commenting on the new car and the season ahead, Team Principal, Christian Horner said: “Obviously the late engine decision last year was a challenge but we found a solution in time and the whole team has worked incredibly hard to recover over the winter. Therefore, we’re looking to build on the significant progress we made in the second half of 2015 and to carry that momentum into the early races of this season.
“My hopes for this season are that we genuinely make progress from where we were last year; that we get our heads down and we really develop the car well and hopefully with some performance coming on the power unit side as well, that will allow us to get closer to some of our immediate rivals.”
RB12 FRONT
Speaking about the design of the RB12, Chief Technical Officer, Adrian Newey added: “I’m often asked what area of the car I’m most pleased with, but with the stable regulations we have at the moment it’s difficult to find any major new areas to exploit. Therefore, what we’ve really tried to concentrate on with this car is getting a cohesive package for all the parts – the suspension, the chassis dynamics, aerodynamics – that they all work together in harmony. I think we’ve managed to build on the lessons of last year and all the indications from our simulations suggest that this year’s chassis should be strong.”
Chief Engineering Officer, Rob Marshall added: “With the RB12, we are optimistic that we have made some good gains, but the difficulty is the wind tunnel and CFD numbers we’re seeing are our numbers and unless you can see everyone else’s numbers you don’t know where you are. We are happy that we are going in the right direction from our own point of view, but we won’t know until Melbourne. As far as this car is concerned, I hope we can win some races. That might sound farfetched after last year, where we struggled at the beginning of the year, but I hope this year we can make a bit of a step power-wise and that will level the playing field a bit.”
Commenting further on simulation work with the RB12, Dan Fallows, Head of Aerodynamics, said: “So far, the numbers coming out of the wind tunnel and CFD are encouraging. It’s a function of everyone understanding the car that we had last year but also identifying the challenges we had and really focusing on those and I think we have made some fairly big steps forward.
“My hopes for the RB12 are that it continues the form that we had with the RB11. Obviously we didn’t get the results we hoped for but we all knew we had a good foundation in the car, in the chassis, and I’d like to see that continue. Also, the thing I’d really like to see is that the car give us a good foundation for any upgrades we get on the power unit side, from aero and everything else.”
Pierre Waché, Chief Engineer, Performance Engineering added: “To be satisfied with the numbers from aero is a big word, we are never satisfied. It is a continuous development process and we are not looking for absolute numbers, we are looking for relative numbers compared to others. The progress is significant and we will see if it’s enough.”
Looking ahead to the new season, Paul Monaghan, Chief Engineer, Car Engineeringconcluded: “My hopes for the RB12? I think we have to focus on just making sure we go to Australia in the best state we can be, well prepared and then get the most out of the car we can at each race and put ourselves in a position where we can challenge for a podium or benefit from anything that happens around us.”

FORMULA 1

THE VF-16, HAAS F1 TEAM’S FIRST RACECAR, HAS ARRIVED

BARCELONA, Spain (Feb. 21, 2016) – The VF-16, Haas F1 Team’s first racecar, has arrived. The car officially broke cover today via Haas F1 Team’s social media channels and Website. It hits the track Monday for the first day of preseason testing at the Circuit de Barcelona – Catalunya.

The origin of naming the car “VF-16” goes back to the first CNC machine manufactured by Haas Automation, the VF-1, launched in 1988. The “V” stands for vertical, which is an industry standard designation for a vertical mill. Gene Haas, founder of Haas Automation, added “F1” to the name to unofficially designate it as the company’s “Very First One”.

HAAS F1 SIDE

Now as chairman of Haas F1 Team, the “F1” moniker of that first machine takes on new significance as Haas joins the 2016 FIA Formula One World Championship, becoming the first American-led Formula One team in 30 years.

“From an international standpoint, Formula One is the highest echelon of racing, and Haas Automation builds the highest-quality machine tools,” said Haas, who has grown Haas Automation into the largest machine tool builder in North America with more than $1 billion in annual sales. “When you hear ‘F1’ you know exactly what it is – a global racing series that showcases the latest technology and attracts the best talent in engineering and design. Haas Automation has an excellent reputation in the United States and I want that reputation to grow worldwide. Connecting Haas Automation with F1 in name and in practice is the best way to grow our business and elevate Haas Automation to a premium, global brand.”

The dark gray, light gray and red-toned livery of the VF-16 was derived from the scheme of Haas Automation’s complete line of vertical and horizontal machining centers, turning centers and rotary tables and indexers. Approximately 1,300 employees encompass Haas Automation, with the Oxnard, California-based company exporting those machines to more than 60 countries. The VF-16 showcases Haas Automation’s commitment to technology and innovation to a passionate, global audience.

“Just as Haas Automation’s products continually evolve, becoming better and more efficient, our methodology behind the VF-16 was to make it the best evolution of a good F1 car,” said Guenther Steiner, team principal, Haas F1 Team. “We’re a new team, so we looked at what the successful teams were doing to give us a baseline of the direction we needed to go with our design.

“We have very experienced designers who worked hard to develop all the little things from an aerodynamic perspective that, collectively, add up to a lot. And our technical partner, Ferrari, provided our power unit, and that really defined the rear end of the car and how big it needed to be.

“Our goal with this car is to score points,” Steiner states. “First, we need to go out there and show that we can do the job, that we can finish races, that we are respected by the fans and other teams in the paddock. Then, we want to score points. That is the ultimate goal.”

The VF-16 tests at Barcelona Feb. 22-25 and again March 1-4 before its debut race, the season-opening Australian Grand Prix March 20 in Melbourne.

 

F1Weekly podcast # 698

CLARK AND NASIR ARE GIDDY ABOUT THE BEGINNING OF PRE SEASON TESTING IN BARCELONA NEXT WEEK OF COURSE ANOTHER GREAT MOTORSPORTS MONDIAL AND A BONUS FOR THE LISTENERS!…INTERVIEW WITH ALAN MCNISH…

McNish began his career in karting like fellow Dumfries and Galloway driver David Coulthard. McNish credited the start given to both of them and Dario Franchitti as being largely down to David Leslie senior and junior.

McNish and Coulthard both were recognised with a McLaren/Autosport BRDC Young Driver of the Year award having moved up to car racing. In 1988 he won the Formula Vauxhall Lotus championship and in 1989 finished runner up to David Brabham in a close fought British Formula 3 Championship. During the late 1980s McNish shared a house with team mate Mika Häkkinen.

Tipped as a future Formula One driver, he tested with both McLaren and Benetton, whilst also competing in F3000, then the recognised second tier of European motorsport, in 1990–1992. Whilst racing his first season in F3000, McNish suffered a crash at a race in Donington Park where a bystander was fatally injured. He went on to finish fourth overall in the championship that season. Concentrating on Formula One opportunities meant he appeared in F3000 only once during 1994, at Pau.

When a Formula One drive failed to materialise, he returned to F3000 in 1995 with Paul Stewart Racing (run by the son of Sir Jackie Stewart who went on to formStewart Grand Prix). While he was arguably the fastest driver of the year, a series of mishaps saw him well beaten by Super Nova drivers Vincenzo Sospiri andRicardo Rosset in the title race. McNish’s career appeared to stall in early 1996 after a deal to race in Formula Nippon fell through and Mark Blundell was preferred for a drive with the PacWest CART team. He also tested for Benetton during the year

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FORD MSA FORMULA

FORD MSA FORMULA CHAMPION WINS INAUGURAL HENRY FORD TROPHY

  • Lando Norris recipient of award following his British FIA F4 title winning campaign
  • Trophy commissioned by Ford Motor Company to acknowledge human endeavour in the field of motorsports
12 February, 2016 – 2015 Ford MSA Formula Champion Lando Norris was the proud recipient of the inaugural Henry Ford Trophy at the BRSCC Awards last Saturday. It capped off a phenomenal year for the driver, who claimed five poles and eight race victories on his way to an emphatic title in his Ford EcoBoost powered single seater.

Norris operated at an incredibly high level throughout the 2015 season, using the Ford MSA Formula Championship to achieve his goals and become champion. Using the F4 concept exactly as the FIA designed, the young kart champion and now FIA F4 British Champion looks destined to climb to the top of the FIA pyramid.

The Henry Ford Trophy has been commissioned by Ford Motor Company to acknowledge human endeavour in the field of motorsports.

Awarded annually this trophy recognises the person that Ford believes has shown extraordinary endeavour throughout the year.

Said Ford Europe Racing Director Gerard Quinn who presented the award: “Henry Ford founded his company on the back of his racing exploits and we are proud that his legacy means that Ford can maintain its enablement of grass roots entry level motorsports.

“The recipient of the trophy in its inaugural year is a young man who epitomises the famous quote that Henry himself said in 1923 and which is inscribed on the trophy: ‘If people really set their minds on anything it is impossible to prevent them getting what they want.’”

A thrilled Lando commented: “I would like to say a big thank you to everyone that’s supported me this season. It’s been a great year. It’s been a very exciting year.

“Coming away with the championship and now the Henry Ford Trophy is quite an honour. To be the first of what will be a great collection of drivers to have their name upon the trophy means so much to me.”

The Premiere Motorsport Podcast