Tag Archives: Caterham F1

F1Weekly podcast # 667

Clark speaks with Nasir about his trip to Texas and his experience at the 2014 United States Grand Prix. Fernando Alonso is not left out of the conversation! It’s obvious to everyone that he has signed a huge contract with McLaren Honda…And we have special interview with up and coming young American driver Logan Sargeant. Don’t forget to get your 2015 Formula 1 calendars here: Samba & Tango

Logan Sargeant: Logan made an impressive junior debut at the SuperNats and has made the move up in Europe as well. Logan will be competing with Ward Racing on a Tony Kart in KF Junior. “Logi” is no stranger to running at the front in Europe and even though he is making a big jump up his natural talen will keep him at the front of the grid.

[audio:http://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/mp3.f1weekly.com/podcasts/11-11-14f1weekly667.mp3]

Formula 1

Caterham F1 Team Confirms Charles Pic As Race Driver On Multi-Year Contract…

Charles Pic has today been announced as one of Caterham F1 Team’s race drivers for the 2013 season and beyond. The talented French driver joins the Anglo / Malaysian team on a multi-year contract after impressing in his first season in the Formula 1 World Championship.

Cyril Abiteboul, Team Principal of Caterham F1 Team: “We are thrilled that Charles has decided to join us for his second season in F1 and beyond. We are all looking forward to working with a young driver who has clearly shown in his first season in F1 that he has the pace, racecraft and demeanour to help us achieve our goals.

“Throughout the 2012 season we have been monitoring the progress that Charles has made, challenging us on several occasions in qualifying, and it is clear that he is a special talent. As the year has progressed he has performed extremely well against a very experienced teammate and we are looking forward to seeing him develop further within the environment we will provide in 2013 and beyond. We will continue growing together, and the energy and image he will bring to our team and his partners will be a very positive influence on the seasons that lie ahead. Being able to make this announcement before the end of the current season gives us the chance now to allow Charles and the team to prepare fully for the 2013 season and quickly learn how to maximise the performance benefits of the Renault Sport F1 and Red Bull Technology powertrain that will be new to him.”

Charles Pic: “I am very proud to be able to confirm that I am joining Caterham F1 Team next year and I’m looking forward to many seasons of successful racing cooperation. I’m enthusiastic to have the opportunity to continue to grow in a team that has a technical relationship with a number of French global companies, including Renault and Total, plus an Official Partnership with EADS. It is clear that the team has great ambitions for the future: the investments already made and the decisions taken in the last few months show how committed the shareholders are to succeed and demonstrates their willingness to keep going forward.

“The prospect of the automotive industry project nurtured by Caterham Group to produce sports road cars in conjunction with Renault is another reason for my decision to join the team. I would like to thank Tony Fernandes and Kamarudin Meranun for the roles they have played in helping make this dream come true.

“I am very excited about starting my second year in F1 with a team that has so much potential. Caterham F1 Team has everything in place to help it move into a position to fight with a number of teams ahead. I know how determined the team is to keep progressing and I am looking forward to playing my part in helping them move up the grid.”

Jean-François Caubet, Managing Director of Renault Sport F1, added; “We are always motivated to see promising drivers in our partner teams and Charles is no exception. Additionally, France remains the largest Renault market and having another young, dynamic French driver join the Renault ‘stable’ will give us further branding, marketing and PR opportunities, both for our F1 involvement and road car range in France and the rest of Europe. We look forward to working with him closely over the coming years.”

Formula One

Caterham F1 Team has confirmed that Reserve Driver Giedo van der Garde will be taking part in the City Racing Rotterdam event on 26th August in Holland.
 
Both the Caterham F1 Team race drivers have taken part in previous City Racing events, with Heikki Kovalainen driving a Renault F1 car in 2008 and Vitaly Petrov also in a Renault F1 car in 2010 in the Netherlands’ largest Formula 1 event.
 
Giedo is delighted to be taking part in such a big event in front of his home crowd: “For years I have been following City Racing Rotterdam and I’m delighted that the organization has invited Caterham F1 Team and me to take part. I will make sure that the huge crowd will not be short of excitement! Last weekend I took part in the Goodwood Festival of Speed in England and I am looking forward to showing all the fans the Caterham F1 Team car and we will make sure we put on a spectacular show.”
 
Rotterdam Racing is delighted Caterham F1 Team and Giedo will be at the event on 26th August. City Racing co-organizer Herman Vaanholt said: “We are happy to add Giedo and his team to our line-up. He is joining a list of Dutch drivers who have taken part in our previous events including Albers, Doornbos, Tung and Verstappen. We are proud that yet again a Dutch driver will be driving a Formula 1 car at a City Racing event and with Caterham F1 Team and Mercedes AMG Petronas team also taking part, with Nico Rosberg driving, we are showing that even in challenging times for the event business City Racing keeps our standards at the highest possible level.”
 
Preparations for the eighth edition are in full swing and everyone associated with the event is working hard to put on a spectacular program. Besides Van der Garde and the Caterham F1 Team car a number of other names have already been confirmed including Mercedes AMG Petronas with Nico Rosberg. In addition to the Formula 1 cars stunt driver Terry Grant will be taking part and will again put on a spectacular show for the fans. More names will be added to the line-up in the next few weeks for the eighth edition of City Racing. For all fans who want to make sure they do not miss a thing, VIP and grandstand tickets are now on sale at www.cityracing.nl

 

Formula One

Caterham Group Announces Graham Macdonald As New CEO Of Caterham Cars

Caterham Group, the parent company of Caterham Cars, Caterham F1 Team, Caterham Composites and CTI (Caterham Technology & Innovation) has today confirmed that Graham Macdonald, previously CFO of Caterham Cars will step up to the role of CEO after current Chief Executive Officer Ansar Ali leaves the business by mutual consent.

Graham has played an active role with Ansar in helping create Caterham Cars into its modern-day guise as a core element of the Caterham Group and will now lead Caterham Cars as CEO.

Ansar will leave his post as CEO after leading Caterham Cars following a management buy-in which assumed control of the business in 2005 from the Nearn family who originally founded Caterham Cars. Ansar oversaw a program which initiated a fundamental shift in the engineering focus of the business, a move which revitalised the legendary Seven range. He also oversaw the long-term stability of Caterham Cars, building on its historic spirit of innovation, entrepreneurial endeavour with a core motorsport base and dedicated to the notion of serving the ‘unserved’, making racecar performance accessible to everyone.

Ansar has now decided to move on to new challenges and Caterham Group thanks him for the integral role he played in building Caterham Cars into a globally respected automotive brand and helping form Caterham Group in its present-day guise. Tony Fernandes, Caterham Group Chairman, said: “I want to take this chance to thank Ansar for everything he has done for the Caterham brand over many years. Without his leadership Caterham Cars would not be the world renowned, profitable business it is today and we would almost certainly not be working under the Caterham name if he had not initiated the discussions with us that led to the enviable position Caterham finds itself in today.

“Now we move on to the next phase of the expansion of Caterham Group and Caterham Cars. Graham is the perfect person to take over and lead the company and his experience and dedication will help us make a smooth transition into the next chapter of the Caterham Cars story.”

Motorsports Mondial

Renault Sport F1 preview to the Monaco GP

The Principality plays host to the sixth round of the championship, which has so far produced a different winner each time out. Williams F1 Team’s Pastor Maldonado sealed victory at the last event, marking the debut win for the Williams-Renault package in its latest incarnation.

Williams, along with Red Bull Racing, Lotus F1 Team and Caterham F1 Team, will require a highly responsive engine to be delivered by Renault Sport F1 to suit the tight, sinuous bends of the 3.340km Monte Carlo circuit. As such, the challenge is to deliver a highly responsive engine through maps that target torque through the lower rev limits of the engine (around 15 – 17,000rpm) rather than the top end (16 – 18,000rpm) to give drive and response on the entry and exit to the corners.

The average speed round the track is the lowest of the year, just 160kph, and the engine spends a touch over 50% of the lap at full throttle, compared to around 70% at the purpose-built facilities. The top speed peaks at only 290kph through the tunnel section compared to well over 320kph (with DRS-activated) at the last event in Spain.

The curved pit straight is not really a straight at all and the run to the first corner from pole position is the shortest of the season: only 140 metres. The pole sitter will cover this distance in approximately four seconds, which will not give a significant amount of time for KERS to be activated fully.

The run from the first corner to Casino Square sees the circuit climb over 30m in just 10secs. A responsive engine is key here and engine maps will be designed to work with short gear ratios to hit the rev limit at the top of the hill. There could be a possibility to use KERS on this climb, but the steep gradient will reduce its effectiveness.

The streets of Monaco are notoriously bumpy and the engine will hit the rev limiter on several occasions throughout the lap. This is particularly hard on the internals of the engine, which become highly stressed. Even if it’s just for a nano second, running over a bump could cause the car to take off. With no load running through the wheels the engine suddenly hits the rev limiter, causing a loss of time and potential damage to the engine. Drivers try to avoid the largest bump on the run down from Casino into the Mirabeau by running off line.

The Grand Hotel Hairpin sees the engine running at the lowest speed and revs it reaches on track at any point in the year; just 44kph and around 6,500rpm. It is also the only point on the calendar where the driver needs to shift his hands on the wheel to get enough lock on the steering wheel.

The tunnel section is the only chance the cars get to hit top speed and maximum rev limit apart from the short pit straight. The driver exits Portier in 2nd gear and shifts up through the gears through the tunnel. The engine needs to have good acceleration here so the driver can reach vMax quickly; the ‘straight’ is very short – only 670m from the exit of Portiers to the chicane, or around eight or nine seconds.

While the tunnel section provides a welcome breath of air for the engine as it reaches the top speed, it’s not clean air – the enclosed nature of the tunnel means the air going into the engine through the airbox is as hot as the ambient temperatures seen in Malaysia or Abu Dhabi.

Romain Grosjean, Lotus F1 Team

Every driver loves Monaco – the precision needed on each lap is just phenomenal, both from yourself and from the engineering team. In any formula this is the case, but even more so in F1 where the cars are so sensitive. Even though I know the track from GP2, it’s my first time driving an F1 car in Monaco, so I have been spending a lot of time preparing. We need to have confidence in the engine and know that it will deliver the power and grip into and out of every single corner so you can attack the track. In fact, I expect it will be the race where I spend the most amount of time working with the engine engineer as getting the right response out of the slow corners can win you tenths of a second.

Rémi Taffin, Renault Sport F1 head of track operations

Monaco is a massive challenge to get right. In terms of man power hours Monaco is the race that RSF1 engineers spend the most time preparing – anything from two to four days in the dyno and the design office compared to around one day for an average race such as Spain.

It’s incredibly slow so the focus is on delivering driveability through the lower rev ranges but also getting the gear ratios right to give effective acceleration between the corners. Getting the correct ratios is always a compromise; the right gear ratio for one corner is not necessarily right for the others.

In addition we have to provide effective cooling solutions as the high number of turns means that the engine isn’t given any respite over the course of a lap and systems can overheat if not monitored correctly. The dirt and debris from being a street track means the inlets can become blocked, but we can’t afford to put any cooling holes or additional louvre panels to help out – the tight corners demand such high downforce settings that every bit of bodywork affects performance.

The bumps are also a major issue for engine engineers. The drivers will run over manhole covers, kerbs, white lines and sometimes even huge bumps so the engine hits the rev limiter much more than we do at a permanent track like Sepang or Monza. To avoid this we pay particular attention to the shift light pattern and even encourage the driver to shift early.

It’s a difficult one to get right but we’re really keen to do well. So far this year our partners have been having a good run and we are pleased that our contribution has helped in some way. Renault engined teams have scored more than any other engine over the championship, with two wins and six podiums so we naturally very motivated to continue this form in Monaco.