All posts in “F1”

Red Bull’s Adrian Newey leaves F1 team, shifts focus to RB hypercar

Red Bull Racing’s Chief Technical Officer Adrian Newey is officially departing the team in the first quarter of 2025. Rumors of his departure have swirled for the past few days, and now the news is official. But there’s more. Red Bull also revealed that Newey will be shifting his focus to the RB17 hypercar (a road car project) and seeing that project out through its completion.

It’s been 19 years of Adrian Newey designing Red Bull Formula 1 cars, and in that time he’s been a part of seven F1 Drivers’ titles, six Contructors’ championships, 118 victories and 101 poles. Those are the sort of numbers that make you a legend of the sport, especially considering that Red Bull was merely a startup F1 team when he joined. 

“Ever since I was a young boy, I wanted to be a designer of fast cars,” Newey said in a statement. “My dream was to be an engineer in Formula 1, and I’ve been lucky enough to make that dream a reality.”

Of course, the real question everybody wants the answer to is where Newey is headed next. Ferrari and Aston Martin are the two teams that seem to be in the running going by the most recent rumors. However, there’s no real sure indication of where he might eventually land, assuming he stays in Formula 1.

As for why Newey is leaving, the official statement follows below.

“For almost two decades it has been my great honour to have played a key role in Red Bull Racing’s progress from upstart newcomer to multiple title-winning team,” Newey starts. “However, I feel now is an opportune moment to hand that baton over to others and to seek new challenges for myself.”

Of course, there are the reported reasons of him leaving due to being unsettled by the Christian Horner misconduct investigation that stole headlines leading up to this season of racing. Newey’s statement upon leaving mentioned Horner calling him a “business partner but also a friend to our respective families.”

We’ll be waiting impatiently for further news on where Newey might be headed once the dust at Red Bull has settled, because where he goes, success in Formula 1 is almost sure to follow.

McLaren F1 for sale

I’m sure you’ve read our article on the Gordon Murray Automotive T.50s Niki Lauda supercar posted recently, with that trademark center seating position, and I’m also confident you know where we’ve all seen that before, right? In the original McLaren F1 road car from the Nineties … with only 64 built for the streets, getting your hands on one of the latter isn’t easy, and chances are rare and far between … but Issimi has one listed for sale right now.

Photo courtesy of Issimi

Personally, I would prefer a silver metallic finished McLaren F1, just like the factory demonstrators, but with only very few changing hands at any given time, you can’t be picky when it comes to finding one of these for sale, so the red over black finished 1995 McLaren F1 listed by Issimi on their website.

Photo courtesy of Issimi

When Gordon Murray created the McLaren F1, his intention was to create the ultimate driver’s car and with the 6.1-Liter V12 engine underneath the gold-insulated engine cover, I would say he succeeded in doing just that, this red sample is one of only 7 cars that were originally sold in the United States of America, and it has been maintained by an expert and currently is still in perfect condition despite being over 25 years old.

Photo courtesy of Issimi

The McLaren F1 set the world record for the fastest production car in 1998 with a speed of 240.1 mph, verified by the Guinness World Records, and with an acceleration from 0 to 100 km/h in a mere 3.7 seconds, this 25-year-old lady is still considered very fast today.

Photo courtesy of Issimi

Powering the McLaren is a quad-cam, 48-valve, 6.1-litre BMW V12 engine with variable valve timing. It produces a staggering 627 bhp. The F1’s engine uses competition-inspired dry-sump lubrication. More complex than a conventional wet sump, it shaved vital inches from the oil pan, allowing the engine to be mounted lower.

Everywhere you look at the McLaren, attempts have been made to reduce weight. Like the front and rear wishbones which are machined from solid aluminum alloy; or the wheels, constructed out of magnesium alloy.

Photo courtesy of Issimi

To show off McLaren’s dedication and Formula heritage, Murray used a central driver’s seat and provided an option for two seats on either side. Like a race car, this provided the best possible view and was a good example of how uncompromising the F1 was. Additionally, the McLaren wasn’t equipped with any driving aids which meant it lacked traction control, ABS, power brakes, and power steering.

Make sure to check our extensive McLaren F1 – Ultimate guide published earlier to get an in-depth look into this amazing car, and if you are really adamant about adding this rare car to your collection, you might want to get in touch with someone at Issimi, just get ready to open that checkbook as this car will not come cheap.

Photo courtesy of Issimi

Just to prepare you for the shock, Bonhams sold chassis SA9AB5AC5S1048044 at auction in 2017 for US$ 15,620,000, which is astonishing as the MSRP back in the Nineties was about $815,000, and it gets even better, in 2019 RM Sotheby’s sold chassis SA9AB5AC1R1048018, which was a little special for being one of only two cars that were converted into LM-Specs by the factory … the hammer came down at $19,805,000 including fees.

Renowned Hagerty lists the value of a ‘normal’ McLaren F1 around the $22,000,000 mark today, with special ones valued even higher … I would be really interested to learn just how much hard-earned money would need to be exchanged to park this red one on your driveway.

Alpine F1 for 2021

I don’t know about you, but I rather like the Netflix series Formula 1: Drive to Survive, I’ve seen both season 1 and season 2 and now I’m eagerly awaiting to start viewing season 3 when they release it on March 19 … and while I don’t normally watch the races when they happen, I do enjoy watching these behind the scenes series on Netflix.

So I might not be an avid F1 fan, but I’m a car guy, so I keep up with what’s happening anyway. Earlier this week I saw Mercedes releasing their new car for the 2021 season, the Mercedes-AMG F1 W12 E Performance, the first car to use the ‘E PERFORMANCE’ designation. The new car will be driven by Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas, entering their fifth season as team-mates, a second year for the black base livery on the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team car it seems.

But today there is other breaking news, if you’ve followed the previous seasons of Formula One, you will have seen those bright yellow cars from the Renault F1 team … well, those are gone for 2021, it’s now called the Alpine F1 team, and their A521 race car comes in a blue, white, and red livery, which are both the official Alpine colors, but also the colors on the French national flag.

The A521 will use a Renault E-TECH 20B 1.6-Liter V6 engine, the car is an evolution of the R.S.20 that ran the 2020 F1 championship in the yellow Renault livery but with serious modification to the rear in line with the new aerodynamic regulations from the FIA, the new Alpine F1 will be driven by Esteban Ocon and Fernando Alonso.

The first-ever Alpine F1 Team car will make its on-track debut on March 3, 2021, with Esteban Ocon at a filming day at Silverstone Circuit, two weeks ahead of official pre-season testing at the Bahrain International Circuit.

New Porsche hypercar could use F1-spec hybrid powertrain

Not long after the Porsche 918 Spyder went out of production in 2015, the automaker began internal debate about what kind of powertrain it would use in the follow-up. Four years later, the debate is ongoing. In 2017, Porsche voiced its desire to move its hypercar game on with a battery-electric powertrain, beyond the hybrid 918. The problem — echoed by McLaren — was that battery technology wouldn’t make such a BEV possible until at least the middle of the 2020s. In 2019, the same issues remain, with solid-state battery tech not progressing as quickly as hoped. Autocar reports that Porsche could switch to Plan B in the meantime, that being an as-yet-unused 1.6-liter V6 hybrid engine Porsche Motorsport developed in order to return to Formula One as an engine supplier.

Porsche has been mentioned as a potential new F1 entrant for years, but uncertainty at the Volkswagen Group and in the F1 rulebook compelled the German sports car maker to walk away from the opportunity, opting for Formula E instead. However, after leaving LMP1, 40 Porsche engineers from the Le Mans effort began working on a six-cylinder version of the 2.0-liter four-cylinder hybrid from the 919 Hybrid. That work turned into the creation of a 1.6-liter V6 hybrid along the lines of an F1 engine but without “the complex and expensive” MGU-H unit that converts exhaust heat into electrical energy. Motorsport chief Fritz Enzinger says that engine is still in development, having got as far as running on a test bench for “analysis with regard to series production relevance.”

There’s no info on the hybrid component yet, but Stefan Weckbach, who oversees Porsche’s EV projects, said the company could turn to its partnership with Rimac for that aspect.

Even though Porsche has a motor ready, the board hasn’t decided on whether to go electric or hybrid, and sports car boss Frank-Steffen Walliser says he doesn’t care what kind of powertrain goes into the car as long as it can tick off a 6:30 lap time at the Nürburgring. So according to Autocar, what kind of bodywork might surround this powertain “remains at conceptual stage, with an introduction unlikely before 2023 at the earliest.” We don’t think the 917 Concept from 2014 would be a bad place to start. If Porsche goes with the 1.6-liter hybrid, though, the market would get a clearer competitor to the Mercedes-AMG One, and the platform could provide entries to the ACO’s new so-called Hypercar class in the World Endurance Championship and to IMSA’s Daytona Prototype class. 

McLaren Applied Technologies Envisions the Future of F1 in 2050

Things Could Get Weird

Looking like a mashup of TRON and every futuristic racing video game you can imagine, McLaren Applied Technologies has a vision for F1 racing in 2050. It is nothing if not exciting. The company talked with fans, racecar drivers, engineers, and others intimately involved in Formula 1 racing to create a vision of the future for the sport. 

McLaren chose 2050 as the year to focus on. It chose that because 2050 marks 100 years for F1 racing. The car that the company came up with is called the MCLExtreme. The car has an open-wheel design and includes a driver, but uses futuristic technology. That tech includes shapeshifting active aerodynamics, an onboard advanced AI co-pilot, all-electric powertrain with 500 km/h inductive charging, autonomous and mixed reality technology and a whole lot more. 

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McLaren noted that a car could even steal electrical energy from the car ahead of it. That would further enhance race strategy for the drivers and their racing teams. The company sees the future of the sport shifting from how to get the most out of the stored power, to how to maximize the power itself.

McLaren says cars of the future may still use actual plug-in charging tech to get to full charge. However, at least some of the charging will be wireless. Additionally, the company says the cars themselves could glow the color of the driver’s emotions and the tires could be self-repairing.

It Won’t Just Be the Cars

The tracks will change too. Fans expressed a want for longer and wider tracks with steep banking. McLaren thinks this will come to fruition by 2050. With the popularity of street races, the company thinks smart cities with banked streets will be the future. 

=McLaren Applied Technologies 2050 racetrack=McLaren Applied Technologies 2050 racetrack
Image from McLaren Applied Technologies

“Smart cities will give us the chance to put the track action on people’s doorsteps,” said Rodi Basso, Motorsport Director at McLaren Applied Technologies. “We’re going to see more racing take place where the fans are, as part of a continued effort to bring the show to them…”

It’s clear that the future of F1 is full of possibilities. I highly doubt all the things McLaren envisions will come true. 2050, like it or not is not that far away, and the company is talking seriously large-scale changes. While technology moves fast, I doubt it will move this fast.

Maybe this is more like 2100 instead of 2050. With that said, we’re seeing the beginnings of this technology already added to cars, and it could be the future of F1. I just think it’s unlikely for changes like this to hit in only a little more than 30 years time. 

Mercedes-AMG One delayed: Surprise, Formula One engine not ideal for emissions

Putting a Formula One engine into a road car has always felt unrealistic, and now that Mercedes is actually trying to do it in the AMG One, the engineers are finding out how difficult it really is. Passing emissions is the biggest roadblock. In total, the car formerly known as the Project One fell prey to a nine-month delay in development because of the challenges faced with this specific issue.

In an interview with Top Gear, Tobias Moers, CEO of AMG, says that finding a stable idle was the toughest part.

“Getting a stable idle at 1,200 rpm, that’s challenging. To give you a simple example. You have leakage in the throttles in Formula One, and nobody cares, because it runs at a 5,000 rpm idle. At a 1,200 rpm idle, you have to meet the emissions regulations. You need a stable, proper idle. If it’s unstable, your emissions are unstable.”

When the objective is to make maximum power, emissions don’t matter all that much. Still, a 1,200 rpm idle is really high for a road car. It’s clearly worth it to AMG and its customers to make it work with this engine, though. Here’s what Moers said about feedback from the people who are waiting for their cars: “You know what they tell me? ‘Make sure that the car works. Because of what we experienced in the past with hybrid cars, take your time.'”

So, Mercedes still intends on delivering an incredible hypercar with a modified Formula One engine, but it doesn’t appear to be going silky smooth. We don’t think anybody’s surprised about that, though; Formula 1 engines were never intended for a road car application.

Related video:

FIA introduces ‘Hypercar Concept’ for World Endurance Championship

One of the most common jabs at hypercars is the question, “Where can you drive them to their potential?” Imagine the answer being: to the checkered flag in the 24 Hours of Le Mans. We’re not there yet, but the FIA World Motor Sport Council took a step closer to the possibility during its second annual meeting in Manila, the Philippines. One of three initiatives the WSMC announced for the 2020 World Endurance Championship was “Freedom of design for brands based on a ‘Hypercar’ concept.” This “Hypercar concept” would replace LMP1 as the premier class in the WEC.

The dream, of course, would be seeing racing versions of the AMG Project One, Aston Martin Valkyrie AMR Pro, Bugatti Chiron, Koenigsegg Regera, McLaren Senna GTR, Pagani Huara BC, and the rest of the gang trading paint and carbon fiber through Dunlop in a heinously expensive version of “Buy on Sunday, sell on Monday.” The reality is that we don’t have all the details yet on the set of regulations called “GTP,” but the FIA wants race cars more closely tied to road cars, albeit with the performance level of today’s LMP1 cars.

Exterior design freedom would shelter internals designed to reduce costs, the FIA planning to mandate less complex hybrid systems and allow the purchase of spec systems. One of the FIA’s primary goals is lowering LMP1 budgets to a quarter of their present levels. Audi and Porsche budgets exceeded $200 million, while Toyota – the only factory LMP1 entry this year and next – is assumed to have a budget hovering around $100 million. Reports indicated that Aston Martin, Ferrari, Ford, McLaren, and Toyota sat in on the development of the proposed class. If the FIA can get costs down to around $25 million, that would compare running a top IndyCar team and have to be hugely appealing to the assembled carmakers.

The initiative represents another cycle of the roughly once-a-decade reboot of sports car racing to counter power or cost concerns. The FIA shut down Group 5 Special Production Sports Car class in 1982 to halt worrying power hikes, and introduced Group C. In 1993, Group C came to an ignoble end over costs; manufacturers were spending $15 million on a season, back when that was real money and not one-fifth of a Ferrari 250 GTO. Then came the BPR Global GT Series that morphed into the FIA GT Championship, which would see the last not-really-a-road car take overall Le Mans victory in 1998, the Porsche 911 GT1. That era would be most aligned with a future hypercar class. After that, the FIA created the LMP classes that would take those previous stellar budgets supernova.

We’ll get more details on the proposal next week when the Automobile Club de l’Ouest, the Le Mans organizer that worked with the FIA on the ideas, hold’s its pre-Le Mans press conference.

Elsewhere on the WMSC docket, the FIA approved aero changes to 2019 Formula 1 cars to improve overtaking. An even bigger shock: the FIA World Rallycross Championship will go electric-only from 2020. The WRX will use silhouette cars provided by Oreca, powered by two 500-kW electric motors sourced from Williams Engineering, and a common battery. Ex-World Rally Championship maestro Sebastien Loeb, now a World Rallycross team owner and driver, said of that move, “We don’t dream about electric cars, but if the future for all cars is to be electric then it’s normal that we’d make the swap. And in this case I think Rallycross is the best series to do it because it’s very short, you have a lot of power, very fast cars and an intense fight…”

Related Video:

The Mercedes-AMG hypercar will require a full service at 31,000 miles

When shopping for your next Mercedes-AMG hypercar, you might want to opt for the extended warranty, or at the very least inquire about regular maintenance costs. AMG boss Tobias Moers told Motor 1 that the F1-derived turbocharged V6 will require a significant overhaul after about 31,000 miles. While that may not seem like a lot of miles, the new AMG is a multi-million dollar car rumored to make in excess of 1,000 horsepower, so you can’t expect Toyota Camry-like maintenance intervals.

The 1.6-liter turbocharged hybrid V6 that’s rumored to power the 300 new cars is derived from the championship winning Formula One engine, though revs would be limited to a measly 11,000 rpm. Expect electric motors to power at least the front wheels, meaning the 0-60 mph time should be ridiculously quick. We won’t see the car until the Frankfurt Motor Show, but expect more hype and teasers in the meantime.

Most of these multi-million dollar hypercars (like the Porsche 918, McLaren P1, LaFerrari, or Bugatti Chiron) won’t touch 10,000 miles, much less 31,000. AMG has to know that going in, which is why it focused more on performance and less on maintenance costs. Also, if you’ve got a few million to blow on a car, you can afford to have trained techs maintain it.

Related Video:

Hublot F1 King Power Great Britain

Sx-Z | Hublot F1 King Power Great Britain

Hublot is at it again, this time honoring the home of Formula 1 and most of its teams by presenting the F1 King Power Great Britain.

The watch is a limited edition with 250 numbered pieces. The F1 King Power Great Britain isn’t your average piece. It’s executed in a range of high-tech materials directly inspired by Formula 1, such as the carbon fiber and ceramic bezel with a circular-grained satin finish, adorned with multiple holes evoking a high performance brake disc, push-buttons for starting and resetting, and a 30-minute to 3-hour counter. The strap is made from black alligator horn back stitched onto black rubber, with red stitching. Fusion of the materials, the case is made of 18K King Gold – the type of exclusive 18 carat gold alloy used by Hublot – which is even redder than the traditional 5N red gold.

Sx-Z | Hublot F1 King Power Great Britain

Sx-Z | Hublot F1 King Power Great Britain

VIDEO: Evolution of the F1 Car

This video pays homage to the visual design of F1 by artistically showing the evolution of the F1 frames from 1950 to present day. Combined with the sound of background racing, it’s car porn without the actual cars.