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Welcome to 2015! :D With the Rolex 24 at Daytona starting later this month, Formula E in the middle of its season (with the next race being next Saturday in Buenos Aires), and F1 and IndyCar starting a couple of months from now, let get this thread started with some racing news:

-Formula E and ex-F1 driver Franck Montagny tests positive for a cocaine derivative. I think it is a shame of what has happened. I hope he had learned his lesson (whether he gets kicked out or not).

-V8 Supercars has a new logo for 2015 (since this is a logo site, I thought it would be appropriate):

header-logo.jpg

The old logo:

V8_Supercars_logo.jpg

Thoughts on the news, logo, and the new year of racing?

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First off.... Nice going on throwing away your career Montagny. I wouldn't be surprised if this ended his racing career.

Now as for V8 supercars, I like the new logo but its also a change to the system once gen 2 goes into effect. Although I believe this is the final season for Ford :(

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I have to agree...excellent job throwing away your driving career Montagny. I believe this will end his racing career, barring some miracle outside intervention.

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I'm not a guru, yet I've always appreciated the idea of FIA's F1 season - it has to be the most international sporting entity on the planet (soccer is the most played yet clubs aren't traveling around the world nor are they competing with clubs from other countries; WC is a finite event every 4yrs doesn't count)

I've wondered why don't they create an award for the quickest driver from the first race to the finish of the last - as a proxy timed 'race around the world'. Like the Tour de France.

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Well, I came across some interesting news in F1 today...

http://www.racer.com/f1/item/112145-fia-allows-2015-f1-engine-upgrades

However, the situation changed dramatically when it was suggested to the FIA that the engine rules did not actually stipulate when a final engine had to be lodged for 2015. Although the FIA had always been under the impression that new engines would have to be homologated for the first race, this was never explicitly laid down in the rules.

It means that manufacturers now have the option of introducing upgrades to their engines throughout the season – as long as they stick to the 32 development token limit that is laid down within the rules and do not exceed the four-engine per car limit for the campaign.

In a note that was sent from the FIA's Charlie Whiting to all teams over the holiday period, it was made clear that the upgrades would be allowed to come on tap at any point over 2015.

"As it is not specifically stated... when a power unit may be modified in accordance with appendix 4 [of the technical regulations], we feel that the weighted items (32 in this case) may be introduced at any time during the 2015 season," said the note.

However....

The interpretation that allows Mercedes, Ferrari and Renault to bring in developments over the course of 2015 will not apply to Honda, because it is a new manufacturer.

Although the regulations do not specifically state dates for the Japanese car maker to submit its homologated unit, the FIA is standing by its view that it must stick to the Feb. 28 date that the current manufacturers faced last year.

The Whiting note added: "As the existing manufacturers were obliged to homologate their power units by February 28, 2014 it would seem fair and equitable to ask a new manufacturer to homologate their power unit before February 28, 2015. We therefore consider this to be a requirement for a new power unit manufacturer."

Merc also has a back up plan in case Lewis goes elsewhere...

http://www.grandprix247.com/2015/01/02/wolff-alonso-is-the-first-alternative-then-theres-bottas/

New McLaren signing Fernando Alonso (above) is at the top of Mercedes’ shopping list, should Lewis Hamilton not stay with the dominant German team beyond this year, with Valtteri Bottas also a candidate.

That is the admission of team boss Toto Wolff, in comments that might be interpreted as a ‘hurry up’ to F1’s new reigning world champion.

Briton Hamilton’s Mercedes deal runs out at the end of 2015, and Wolff had said recently that he wanted to renew it as soon as possible.

But whilst holidaying in the Austrian ski town of Kitzbuhel, he has now told La Gazzetta dello Sport: “There’s no hurry. We will talk about it during the year.

The crazy world of Formula 1.

On a side note, I'm interested to see how this season of Formula 1 will be now that Honda is in plus the engine freeze has been taken care of. Now with Alonso back at McLaren & Vettel with Ferrari, this should make for an interesting season. Now the questions coming up...

- How will Alonso & Vettel do with their new teams?
- Can Hamilton repeat or will it be Nico's time?

- Can Mercedes still be dominant?

- Will the cars stay ugly? ( I think we all sadly know the answer....)

We shall see in March in Melbourne.

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I know the F1 world is crazy but that's why it's the highest followed motorsport in the world. The sport is constantly evolving. Most notibly with the nose regulations in 2015. In the video I saw posted on the F1 site, Ferrari is the only manufacturer who was within 2015 regulations in 2014.

With the upgrade loop hole with respect to the four engine limit, I think this is a win win situation for the sport. And it's going to be a year of attrition (more than 2014) with respect to making the engines lasting longer and going longer distances.

I can't wait for March in Melbourne...it's going to be amazing.

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Stupid question I haven't wiki'd yet: Have they altered their lawnmower sounding 2014 engines FIA weren't thrilled about? Or are they just pretending all's well?

I read an idea they'd try to make them artificially noisier- that's to say the same engine only louder noises having nothing to do with performance.

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^I'm pretty sure they haven't altered the sound. I think the lower sound volume comes from the exhaust energy recovery system being really efficient at recovering exhaust energy, therefore muffling the sound a quite a bit* (this is an important piece of technology for the power unit, and if you remove it at this point just because "OMG, the sound sucks", you might as well have F1 relinquish its title as the pinnacle of motorsports, IMO).

*Disclaimer: What I just said, I'm not completely sure about it, I am no engineer. I just wanted to be and sound (no pun intended) intelligent at about 3:45 am, though I bet this is how it somewhat works, based on what I had read. How has this turned into a mild rant, I'll never know. I'm sorry if I sound rude.

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-Formula E and ex-F1 driver Franck Montagny tests positive for a cocaine derivative. I think it is a shame of what has happened. I hope he had learned his lesson (whether he gets kicked out or not).

It has come out of Andretti Autosport that Franck Montagny is suspended indefinitely from the team and Marco Andretti (Michael's son) will be stepping up the the drive this upcoming weekend. The FIA not Formula e controlling partners have not made any comments on the drug positive testing.

On a side note, does any participate in fantasy Formula One during the World Championship, either online or offline with buddies? Just wondering how popular the fantasy F1 racing is for people on CCLSC from around the world.

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After the uproar and some criticism from the paddock after Toro Rosso signed 17-year old Max Verstappen, the FIA has announced the changes to the Super License System to take affect in 2016:

  • From next year, any new applicant for a super licence must be the holder of a valid driving licence and at least 18 years old by the start of the first F1 race weekend.
  • The driver must answer questions on the international sporting code and regulations
  • Have completed at least 80 percent of two full seasons of qualifying championships.
  • New drivers must also have covered at least 300km in a representative F1 car at racing speeds and over a two-day period.
  • Drivers will acquire points from the junior categories, with 40 points needed in a three-year period before a super licence can be granted.
  • The junior categories eligible for points, in order of weighting, are: a future FIA F2 championship (60 points for winner), GP2 (50), FIA F3 European championship (40), FIA WEC (LMP1 only) (40), IndyCar (40), GP3 (30), Formula Renault 3.5 (30), Japanese Super Formula (20), national FIA-certified F4 championships (10), national F3 championships (10) and Formula Renault (EuroCup, ALPS or NEC) (5).

I can see from this that the FIA is now going to be restricting more of the sponsored rich drivers and allowing more of the experienced drivers in the lower race series a chance at getting a super license. If this system was in use in the mid 2000's, Kimi Raikkonen wouldn't have been able to drive in 2001 for Sauber nor Ricciardo for Red Bull in 2011.

http://www.grandprix247.com/2015/01/06/fia-super-licence-points-system-emerges/

In sad news, former Formula 1 driver Jean-Pierre Beltoise, who won the Monaco Grand Prix in torrential rain in 1972, died in Senegal on Monday at the age of 77.

http://www.grandprix247.com/2015/01/06/seventies-f1-star-jean-pierre-beltoise-dies/

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Now if this brings somewhat of a end to pay drivers, I'm for it. F1, even any racing should be based on the talent of the driver & the not the size of their wallet. It just sickens me that a talented driver gets passed over due to money.

Meanwhile, it seems changes are abound.

http://www.racer.com/f1/item/112242-f1-keen-to-have-1000hp-engines

Formula 1 has moved a step closer to the return of 1000-horsepower turbo cars, following a meeting in Geneva this week by key figures to discuss future rules.

As part of a push by F1's Strategy Group to make grand prix machinery more challenging, it asked F1's engine chiefs to get together this week to discuss ways of giving cars more power. The belief is that by ramping up engine power above the 1000hp level that proved so spectacular in the past, F1 cars will be harder to drive – and therefore more attractive to fans.

The discussions between the Power Unit Working Group and the FIA are understood to have been positive, although it is unlikely that any of the changes being talked about will come into force until 2017. However, there is a belief that the 1000hp target could be achieved without the need for a total redesign of the current turbo V6 engines nor a complete new engine formula, which would be expensive.

Instead, an increase to the fuel flow rate, higher revs, minor design tweaks such as to crank firing, plus increasing the maximum fuel allowance beyond 100kg, would be enough for the current engines to hit the 1000hp target.

Plus just to make sure everything is alright...

http://www.racer.com/f1/item/112240-f1-fia-set-for-engine-talks-with-honda

Honda will hold talks with the FIA next week to discuss Formula 1's engine homologation rules, although it is understood its chances of winning any concessions are very slim.

The manufacturer is unhappy that motor racing's governing body has given the green light for rivals Mercedes, Renault and Ferrari to be able to develop their F1 power units over the course of 2015 rather than having to hit the previously expected pre-season deadline. Such a move will allow Honda's opposition to make progress with their engines throughout the campaign, while Honda's own power unit will have to remain to the same specification as that which is lodged with the FIA on Feb. 28.

It and partner team McLaren have written to the FIA to express their view that they feel the situation is unfair, and representatives are scheduled to meet with F1 race director Charlie Whiting next week to talk about the matter. However, it is thought unlikely that a rule break will result, with the FIA suggesting that there are no grounds to offer Honda anything extra.

SN: We should have some cars unveiling in a few weeks, Force India & Ferrari are up first. Speaking of paint...

http://www.grandprix247.com/2015/01/05/mercedes-and-mclaren-to-change-colours-in-2015/

At least two top teams will enter the 2015 Formula 1 world championship season with fundamentally different colour schemes, it has emerged.

El Mundo Deportivo reports that new reigning champions Mercedes intend to switch from silver to a striking mirror-like chrome paint-job this year.

The report said the special chrome paint for the 2015 livery is called ‘Kromo’, and will also be supplied to wheel supplier OZ for the title-defending W06 raced by world champion Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg.

The same Spanish sports newspaper reports that with Mercedes stepping up its iconic silver look, Woking based McLaren is tipped for a complete livery U-turn in 2015.

There are rumours the car could be orange (as shown above), McLaren’s traditional colour, for testing. But it could also be white, in a double-tribute: to Honda and also because McLaren’s first F1 car was that colour” in 1966.

“The final choice could depend largely on whether McLaren has a major sponsor in 2015 or not,” the report added.

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I would love to see the power units achieve 1000 hp as the current V6 turbocharged engines could easily achieve that power. As for making the cars more difficult to drive, yes it will be with the added hp thus increase in top end speed. But that would allow teams to develop the top drivers in the world plus welcome the top cream of the crop developmental drivers.

As for the change in liveries, I think McLaren would look good in the orange car but I always think that they should go back to the original red and white of the days of Senna. Now those were beautiful cars.

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And let the car unvielings to begin.

McLaren have become the first team to confirm details of their 2015 car launch, with the wraps set to come off their new Honda-powered machine in a digital launch on Thursday January 29.

Ferrari have become the second team to confirm the launch date for their 2015 Formula One car, announcing an online reveal of their new machine for January 30.

The actual cars will be revealed in person in Jerez, Spain February 1-4 during the first testing session of the 2015 season.

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So a quick update cause the roar before the 24 is happening.

http://www.racer.com/imsa/tudor-united-sports-car-championship/item/112383-imsa-saturday-roar-before-the-24-notebook

The Corvette DP's and Ford's are looking good so far. Joey Hand was the fastest on day one.

Next up is footage from the new P2 from Honda!

Now, I don't know if anyone follows BTCC but I couldn't help but share this since Infiniti is now using their Q50's in BTCC but I was blown away by it...

nlahjm.jpg

Lastly, just a quick question, I know most of us follow 4 wheels, but does anyone else hear follow Motorcycle racing such as Moto GP or WSBK?

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Honestly, I don't really follow Motorcycle racing. Though I think I watched a MotoGP race on TV sometime last year.

I'm also aware of the BTCC (I heard it has much closer racing than the WTCC, though it is somewhat "argy bargy" like NASCAR is/was), and that Infiniti, I like that Infiniti, though I think the livery is a placeholder.

Also, has anybody watched yesterday's Formula E race in Buenos Aires? It got crazy in the latter half of the race...

First, leader Sébastien Buemi clips the inside of the last chicane and broke his right-front suspension, then the next leader, Lucas di Grassi, broke his right-rear suspension going over the last chicane (just like Karun Chandhok did earlier in the race), and then the second-to-last leader Nick Heidfeld got hit with a drive-through penalty for speeding in the pit lane. All of this was happening while there was plenty of passing further back. This season has been interesting.

Congratulations to António Félix da Costa for winning the race. On to Downtown Miami in 2 months.

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I am not much for motorcycle racing but I did watch a few MotoGP last year (Portuguese and US Grand Prix's) on TV but not really follow it. I also watched a few Monster Energy Supercross events on Saturday evenings. I'm more of an F1 fan than anything, but I do like following V8 Supercars and WEC.

I have followed BTCC as well as WTCC series over the years. I have noticed over the last few seasons, the cars reliability have increased, more power and the technology upgrades have increased as well. Ik now they both had the NASCAR stigma attached to them but I enjoy watch WTCC and BTCC as well as DTM. Best of the best are touring car drivers are in one of the three. The Infiniti will be a good addition to BTCC. But the Chevy Cruze is still a formable force in touring. Usually on Speed Channel, they normally show both the WTCC and BTCC events back to back on Sundays during the racing calendar.

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Ladies & Gentlemen.... Ford dropped a bombshell today....

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lPW0s4kEU04

The king is back & will be racing once again!

http://blackflag.jalopnik.com/there-are-plans-to-race-the-brand-new-ford-gt-this-year-1679039031

The Ford GT is the star of the Detroit Auto Show this year. But what wasn't announced is when it'll hit the race track. What we can now reveal is that Ford is planning to race the GT this year. In 2015. Yes. You heard that right.

According to someone familiar with the matter, Ford is planning on racing the GT in 2015 and they've done preliminary work to have it be able to race.

Yes. You read this correctly.

In North America, it would be raced in IMSA in the Tudor Sports Car Championship, but if it was powered by the 3.5 liter V6 it would have to receive a waiver to compete, as cars in the GTLM class cannot be turbocharged (EDIT: Apparently you can run turbos for less than 4.0 liters. Sorry!). They'd also need to get around homologation regulations.

Eventually the next rumor is LeMans in time for the 50th anniversary.

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Qatar has given the green light for ambitious plans to hold a Formula 1 grand prix on a new street circuit in the city of Lusail. Lusail is the city that was named as the Final venue for the 2022 FIFA World Cup. If this comes true, Qatar would be the third Middle Eastern country to host a race in the F1 calendar. As you can see money talks, no cares about the state of immigrant workers in Qatar and they irresponsible treatment.

1421060846.jpg

http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/117346

And for people who didn't hear, the Korean Grand Prix got dropped from the 2015 calendar. Meaning there will be a confirmed 20 race season.

http://www.bbc.com/sport/0/formula1/30698154

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In some news today:

Porsche president and CEO Matthias Muller has rubbished speculation parent group Volkswagen could soon be on the Formula 1 grid. Muller stating “We think LMP1 is the future" explaining that F1 in contrast appears to be “in more and more difficulty”. I am not surprised with Muller's comments has LMP1 is more financially sound than F1 in the last few years. But the rumors of Audi still being the leader from VAG to take a grid position within F1.

http://www.grandprix247.com/2015/01/14/porsche-boss-denies-volkswagen-f1-project/

Mercedes pays the highest entry fee for the 2015 F1 season. The champion team now pays a hefty $6,194 per point scored, meaning that Mercedes’ bill for simply entering the 2015 world championship is nearly $4.9 million. While every other team pays with each point accumulated in 2014 now costing teams $5,161. With Mercedes and Red Bull paying $8 million combined in entry fees, the remainder of the teams will pay a combined total of $16 million. But that is a drop in the pan for what Mercedes received as a prize bonus for winning the constructors title, collecting $102 million. And the FIA and FOM wonder why teams are in financial trouble and folding.

http://www.grandprix247.com/2015/01/14/mercedes-pays-record-f1-entry-fee-for-2015-season/

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