Two weeks. What could happen…?

Apparently, a mishmashed medley of automotive mayhem.

It was only two weeks but in the scope there was a lot of racing, and a lot of driving, for us and for the top series around the world.

For us, it was a trek around a foreign country in a TDI (diesel) VW Golf. Foreign, but still within the language of the King’s English. The land of elves, faeries and leprechauns. Ireland. Left side driving, left side shifting and an added appreciation for driving skill were experiences taken away among the castles and landscapes. The roads are narrow, the cars are agile (most, anyway…) and the driving is on a different level than in the States. Imagine a VW Golf, a Ford Focus, a Chevy Cruze… a 3 series Bimmer… Now add 6 inches to each side. That is your lane at 60 mph. A vertical hedge with no shoulder is on the left. A truck on a blind curve is on your right coming at you. That is driving in Ireland, the UK and much of Europe. It may give a clue as to the European racing style.

And, to begin in Europe, pull up a pint as we catch up… (more…)

Formula 1 raced Silverstone for the British Grand Prix. The weather was bright with temps in the mid-upper 70’s which, on the average, was a bonus for the often damp UK. Lewis Hamilton had the #10 Mercedes on the pole for the homeland. All seemed right in the world for English racing fans.


The F1 Mercedes team with drivers Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg ran through a test with tire supplier Pirelli back in May. The FIA (Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile ) were a little upset as the test was private in the sense that only Mercedes was involved and they used a current season F1 car for the tests. This crossed some kind of line in the rule books. (more…)

Ferrari went to Spain to race. Fernando Alonso at the wheel put the established strategy in the garage in favor of riding the limit and going for the run.

It seems Formula 1 in recent races, even seasons, has moved toward a technical form of racing. Tire strategy and conservation had taken the driver’s seat away from driving for speed and challenging the race.

The Ferrari teams of Alonso and Massa flipped that strategy and went out to race the car, the track and the other drivers. They went out fast from the start and kept the throttle on while trusting their crews to get the changes in the pits done in the same way. (more…)

The unmistakeable pitch of a Formula 1 race hasn’t been heard from tarmac in the United States since 2007. Now, it is back.

The opening run at the Circuit Of The Americas and the United States Grand Prix has been run with full grandstands and fanfare. The course proved to be a challenge not only because of the unfamiliar racing characteristics but also with brand new… everything.

Sebastion Vettel seemed to take to it just a little quicker than the others with fast practice times and the pole from qualifying. Lewis Hamilton also took to the new course with good laps and a 2nd position from the start. (more…)

England seems to have invaded Germany with weather. Just like Silverstone two weeks earlier, the Grand Prix of Germany was taken over by rain and wet conditions for practices and qualifying only to open with a dry, green track for race day. Formula 1 was primed for a good race as teams scrambled once again for set-up and tire use strategy. They all had a good stock of Pirelli dry tires as the wet conditions earlier left the smooth tires in the stacks.

The softer compound adds grip but the harder compounds give better wear. Tire strategy timed to have traction and speed in the final laps was on tap in Germany. The earlier rain had left no rubber on the course so holding or gaining through the 67 laps had to play within that strategy also. (more…)

Renault and Mercedes are trading jabs so far in F1. Bahrain was all Renault in the top 4 slots. Mercedes in the 5th and 6th slots. The previous week in China it was Mercedes in the top 3 followed by Renault in the next five slots. The season opener in Australia traded spots among the two, with Mercedes in first and third and Renault in second and fourth.

Those upstarts with Ferrari took the top two slots in Malaysia. However, third through seventh were Mercedes and Renault. (more…)