November 20, 2014

Bye Fred, Seb in Red

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Ferrari officially confirm 2015 driver lineup.

Vettel drove a classic Ferrari at the red Bull Ring this past summer

It's the official start of a new cycle for the Scuderia with Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen.  That Vettel was a long term, post Alonso target for Ferrari was something that had been whispered for quite some time but nobody thought it would happen in 2015.

There is yet to be an official announcement for Alonso's future.

Maranello, 20 November 2014 – Scuderia Ferrari announces that it has reached an agreement of three years duration with Sebastian Vettel, who will drive for the team as from the 2015 season.

The driver line-up next season will consist of Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel.

“Scuderia Ferrari has decided to put its faith in the youngest multiple champion in the history of Formula 1” – commented Scuderia Ferrari Team Principal, Marco Mattiacci. “In Formula 1 terms, Sebastian Vettel is a unique combination of youthfulness and experience and he brings with him that sense of team spirit which will prove invaluable when, together with Kimi, they tackle the challenges awaiting us, as we aim to be front runners again as soon as possible. With Sebastian, we all share a thirst for victory as well as enthusiasm, a strong work ethic and tenacity; key elements for all the Scuderia members to write a new chapter in the history of Ferrari.”

“The next stage of my Formula 1 career will be spent with Scuderia Ferrari and for me that means the dream of a lifetime has come true,” said Sebastian Vettel. “When I was a kid, Michael Schumacher in the red car was my greatest idol and now it’s an incredible honour to finally get the chance to drive a Ferrari. I already got a small taste of what the Ferrari spirit means, when I took my first win at Monza in 2008, with an engine from the Prancing Horse built in Maranello. The Scuderia has a great tradition in this sport and I am extremely motivated to help the team get back to the top. I will put my heart and soul into making it happen.”

November 18, 2014

Rosberg crowned champion at the last race.

Winning a world championship at the last race could become a Rosberg family tradition.

It was Kimi Raikkonen who, at the beginning of the season, said  about double points: "it doesn't matter, it's the same for everybody".  But will it matter this week end in Abu Dhabi?

If Nico Rosberg wins the title, not only will it drive Hamilton fans livid with rage but will make the FinnGerman polyglot only the second son of an F1 champion to become champion himself, after Damon Hill.

In 1982, the epically mustachioed Keke Rosberg won the championship in the final race by finishing fifth after having won only one race the whole season.     One win may sound bad but, again in parallel to this year, it represented half the number of victories scored by rivals Didier Pironi and John Watson.

It was also a year marked by an astounding number of retirements: 152 retirements between the 26 point scoring drivers (because I got tired of counting),  over 16 races.

By contrast this year there have been 72 retirements among all 22 drivers over 18 races.  But it's the last possible DNF that might be the key.    If that happens to one of the two Mercedes on Sunday, double points will have made no difference *.

*unless the DNF hits Hamilton and Rosberg finished lower than 5th.

November 17, 2014

Open Letter to Ken Block 7


We first issued this about two years ago.  Just saw Gymkhana 7, liked it but we feel we must issue this once more.

Dear Ken

Your Gymakana videos are some of the most awesome automotive footage ever filmed and what you have accomplished in terms of exposing hundreds of millions to... well, hooning, is beyond description.

But let's face it,  as fantastic as your videos have been, they are a variation on the same theme: awesomely produced shots of a monster 4WD rally car dodging assorted obstacles on a closed course.

As you are certainly planning future hooning excellence, let us humbly propose a new challenge for you:

Axis will gladly provide a polo shirt, white socks and loafers for you to properly recreate what is possibly the one video that got us all started thinking sideways:  Stefan Roser's classic RUF Yellowbird run at the Nürburgring.

Picture it,  Schwedenkreuz sideways at 140 this time in glorious multi camera HD. Maybe you could throw in a loop around a biker!

I know you have a deal with Ford, I know you have your own line of shoes and clothes but you're Ken Block, you can do anything you want at this point, will you not find a way make the most rabid of your fans happy?

Axis of Oversteer

November 16, 2014

Macau F3 off with a bang!

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Forty cars barreling at top speed on a four lane boulevard into narrow two lane street...  what could possibly go wrong?

November 15, 2014

Crowdfund my ass: Caterham fires all employees same day it announces fundraising success.


I wonder how many of those who sent money to Caterham feel like they have been played today?

On the same day the British team triumphantly announced it had met its crowdfunding goal and would be show up at the season finale in Abu Dhabi, it appears they fired all employees at the factory in the UK.  Not only was the entire workforce sacked but they were let go being owed the last seven weeks salary.
“It is dismaying to see the amount of publicity surrounding the success of the crowdfunding on the same day that there entire workforce was made redundant while owed seven weeks salary. The cynic in me would suggest that the two are not unrelated and the good news has served as a convenient opportunity to bury the bad news. If this is the case then it seems to have worked as there hasn’t been a peep anywhere"

That is an excerpt from an email sent to Joe Saward by a "former" Caterham F1 employee,  you can read the rest here

The reason Caterham desperately wanted to go to Abu Dhabi is because if they don't sow up they will forfeit any funds owed to them as part of the Concorde agreement,  The owners are in debt and they need any money to put a dent in those debts.  But by firing all their employees they are in effect killing the team.

Now my question is a simple one: if they fired all their employees, who is going to unpack everything and put tires on the cars?

More embarrassment for Formula 1.

Speciale is spectacular


When he's not ripping in the family LaFerrari, our favorite Italian supercar hooner might be in his Ferrari 458 Speciale.

Monza again and I know some American viewers might have a cow watching but, European track day rules are less nanny state dictated than the US versions.

The car just looks so balanced and is driven, often sideways, with great skill.     Towards the end of the clip M comes up behind a LaFerrari driven by someone who is only fast on the straights....

the 458 Speciale is no slouch but,  good god the LaFerrari is a beast!  (check it out around the 2:20 mark).

Have a nice week end!

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