Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Getting back to the team

When the race winner returns to the pits, he is always treated to a hero�s welcome. The team has often cracked open a few bottles of champagne (for drinking this time, not spraying) and will be patting each other on the back when the driver returns.
Still in his sweat- and champagne-soaked overalls, the driver shakes hands with all his mechanics and team members and gives a congratulatory speech in which he thanks everyone for their hard work. Then he rushes back to his motorhome to have a shower and change into casual clothes before a final sit down with his team to run through how the race went. This post-race debrief is important because it is the final chance the team has to discuss and analyse exactly how they won that day � so that they can do it again and again. Some of these debriefs can actually go on longer than the races themselves!
Finally, when the debrief is finished, the driver is free to do what he wants to do. If he�s flying out of the country early, he may make a dash for the airport, or he may choose to sit around with the team and join in the post-race party. There are also usually more interviews with the media and hundreds of autograph hunters waiting for him outside the motorhome because he has suddenly become the most in-demand man to meet at the track.

F1 press conferences

Although the race winner may be very tired and soaked in champagne, he is still not allowed to return to his garage and get changed because it is time to meet the world�s media. And like everything else in Formula One, this takes place to a rigid timetable.
TV interviews, first
As soon as the drivers have finished on the podium and perhaps dropped their trophies and bottles of champagne down to their team members below, they are rushed off to a special television interview room. This is the first chance the world will have to hear just what went on in the race from the drivers� perspective � and that�s why so many people tune into this interview. This is the one interview that is always broadcast straight after the podium ceremony on every single television channel. The drivers are always asked two questions each in English about their race before the winner is handed his final moment of glory by being asked about either his championship prospects or the next race. Afterwards those drivers whose first language is not English are asked to speak a few words in their own languages, specifically for their fans back home.
Press conference, next
After the television interview has taken place, the drivers have to go to another press conference room for written media and radio. Track commentator Bob Constanduros hosts the first part of this press conference, before it opens to questions from the floor. Some drivers dread this moment, because they can be asked some difficult questions � especially if something controversial has taken place on the track.
One of the most amazing post-race press conferences was after the 2002 Austrian Grand Prix, when Ferrari controversially imposed team orders in the closing stages of the race to ensure that Michael Schumacher won the event. The top three drivers had just endured being booed and jeered on the podium when they got exactly the same reception from the press!
Then more questions from more folks
Even when this press conference has finished, which can sometimes last more than half an hour, the drivers are still not free to return to their teams. In the main paddock, just outside the media centre, officials set up a special fenced-off area for the drivers. Here television crews can ask the drivers their own questions for a few minutes before the drivers can finally walk back to celebrate with their teams.

Joy on the podium

There was a time when drivers would turn up for the podium only if they wanted to, but in modern Formula One, this special post-race ceremony is organised with military precision. Of course, it has to be with several million people tuned in around the world and wanting to share the joy with the winning drivers.
The podium is usually set-up high above the pits and in front of a main grandstand, so that as many fans as possible can see the top three drivers. At most tracks, after the cars have returned to the pits, the fans are allowed to run onto the track so they too can get close to the action.
Everyone lines up
On the podium are three steps, one each for the top three finishers of the race. The middle step is the highest, and this is designed for the winner. To the right of the winner is a slightly shorter step that the second place finisher stands on. To the left of the winner is the shortest step for the third place finisher. When the ceremony is ready to kick off, the three drivers step out onto the podium followed by a representative of the winning team. Out on the podium as well will be between one and three VIPs, whose job it will be to hand out the trophies.
A few patriotic tunes are played
The first national anthem to be played is that of the winning driver, followed by the national anthem of the winning team. After this, the race winner and team representative are presented with their trophies, followed by the second and third placed driver.
Someone breaks out the bubbly
Finally comes the moment that everyone has waited for: the champagne, which gets sprayed everywhere � not a surprise with a bottle for each of the top three finishers. Usually the focus is on the race winner � who will find his rivals pouring champagne over his head, over his overalls, and down the back of his neck. It is a small price to pay for winning the race!

Geneva Debut: Rinspeed BamBoo concept

Rinspeed has announced plans to introduce the BamBoo concept at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show.

The Rinspeed BamBoo is a 'grown-up golf cart' and as the name suggests, many of its interior components are made from bamboo fibers. However this is not some kind of weight saving measure, as the idea behind the Rinspeed BamBoo was to create an open top vehicle, light and easy to maneuver, reminiscent of the 70s for people who love the summer and the beach.

Since the vehicle is called BamBoo, it�s easy to guess that the material will be found somewhere in the workings of the car. Rinspeed states that bamboo fibers are a part of major components of the interior, but we�ll probably have to wait for Geneva to get more information. In fact, we�ll have to wait until the Geneva Motor Show in March to find out a lot about this open-top vehicle. The only other information we could pull from the press release is that, if produced, this vehicle will more than likely be electric for that little bit of modernization needed for this retro design.

These are about all the details released regarding the Rinspeed BamBoo concept, the manufacturer leaving room for speculation. We're sure the Rinspeed BamBoo will be completely revealed next year.

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Press Release

"BamBoo" - the Pure Roots of Mobility

The names of the concept cars from Swiss car visionary Frank M. Rinderknecht are more than marketing-driven slick onomatopoeia that polls well with focus groups. At Rinspeed names often have a deeper meaning. That is also true for the latest creation from Rinderknecht. "BamBoo" is the name of his latest �baby' that resembles a grown-up golf cart and is bound to evokes plenty of admiration at the next Geneva Motor Show which runs from March 3rd through 13th, 2011.

Nomen est omen - the name says it all - is immediately apparent: Many interior components are made from bamboo fibers. But the four-seater "BamBoo" takes it to a whole new level - to the Meta level so to speak: This open-top vehicle awakens the longing for sun, summer, for lightness and easiness, the desire to be at the beach. It is a reminiscence of the Seventies, of the south of France and St. Tropez. And one would expect to find Brigitte Bardot behind the wheel with playboy Gunther Sachs at her side heading towards Tahiti beach..

Anyone who might think that this is simple retro design for nostalgia's sake underestimates the boss of the Swiss concept powerhouse. Yes, Rinderknecht incorporates the automobile references of the time. But he doesn't leave it at that. He reinterprets them and evolves them into the future. And he focuses in them the yearning to get back to the roots, paired with the absolute desire to be in harmony with creation. That makes electric drive, also for the onboard foldable two wheeler for the last "mile", a must.

Anyone not blinded by horsepower orgies, chrome tinsel and top-speed frenzy should take a closer look. "BamBoo" pushes the �reset' button, clears the mind for a new way of thinking. It sports simple, clean lines. No bells, no whistles. Nothing is superfluous. Plain aesthetics in their purest form. As stated before and even in a figurative sense: Nomen est omen. Simply bamboo.

car-evolutioncars Tuner Report: NOVITEC

NOVITEC is a German based tuning firm that is known for modifying Italian cars. Whether they are Ferraris, Alfa Romeos or Fiats, NOVITEC tuned cars are known for their high performance, drivability and understated good looks.

Below is the press release of their latest creation:

Brand-new from NOVITEC: 212 HP and Sporty Accessories for the Abarth 500

Engine tuning with up to 212 hp / 156 kW and an extensive range of sporty accessories for the Abarth 500 are now available from NOVITEC, the worldwide leader in customizing the cars from Fiat, Alfa Romeo and Lancia. Stainless steel sport exhaust systems, 17- and 18-inch tire/wheel combinations and matching suspension modifications are also part of the program.

The NOVITEC engine specialists developed various performance kits for the 135 hp / 99 kW Abarth 500 which boost power in different stages between 164 hp / 121 kW to 212 hp / 156 kW. They unleash the true power of the 1.4-liter T-Jet four-cylinder engine without compromising durability.

The NOVITEC NT4-CORSE power kit costs 3,016 Euros and delivers an increase in power output of 77 hp / 57 kW. It consists of a special turbocharger, a more efficient fresh air supply, an optimized air-cleaner box with sport air-filter cartridge, the NOVITEC CORSE high performance exhaust system, larger injection nozzles and a special fuel pressure control. In addition the engine electronics is upgraded with the NOVITEC POWERJET 2 auxiliary control unit.

The NOVITEC NT4-CORSE tuning kit boosts power of the turbocharged 1.4-liter four-cylinder engine to 212 hp / 156 kW. Maximum torque grows from standard 206 to 325 Nm at 3,400 rpm. Thus equipped the tuned Abarth 500 will accelerate in just 6.8 seconds from rest to 100 km/h and will reach a top speed of 223 km/h.

With or without engine tuning: the NOVITEC stainless-steel sport mufflers and high performance exhaust systems, available with one or two tailpipes in various shapes, lend the Abarth 500 a more exciting rear appearance, a more powerful engine sound and optimized performance.

NOVITEC also adds even more sporty character to the suspension of the turbocharged model: Abarth 500 customers can choose between NOVITEC sport springs, which lower the ride height by some 35 millimeters, and the height-adjustable NOVITEC sport suspension made from stainless steel. The latter includes somewhat stiffer gas-pressure shocks and gives the top-of-the-line model of the 500 range even more agile handling characteristics.

Perfectly matched to the sportier suspension settings are custom-tailored one-piece NOVITEC N10 light alloy wheels with 17- or 18-inch diameters. The 7.5Jx17 wheels can be fitted with low-profile tires in sizes 215/40 R 17 in front and rear. The wheels are optionally available as silver polished or matte black painted versions. A NOVITEC set of wheels with tires is available starting from 1,106 Euros.

Especially extravagant requests can be fulfilled with NOVITEC N10 8Jx18 wheels and 215/35 R 18 tires which make full use of the available space in the wheel wells. The rim design with eight double spokes is available in different colors or polished versions.

The Abarth 500 will soon look even more sporty with the NOVITEC front spoiler lip made from Carbon which attaches to the underside of the standard front fascia. In addition to the more pronounced passing image the front spoiler also offers aerodynamic advantages: The refined shape reduces lift on the front axle and improves directional stability at high speeds.

Black-tinted lateral turn signals complete the sporty look of the Abarth.

Further NOVITEC tuning options for the Abarth 500 are in preparation. NOVITEC also offers an extensive customizing program for all Fiat 500 versions.

Press release courtesy of NOVITEC

See more at NOVITEC

2012 Audi A6 Official Pictures Leaked

The new A6 will make its market debut in early 2011 and will be available with a raft of engine options including a hybrid, which Audi says will have the performance of a V6 and fuel efficiency of a four cylinder.

The new sedan will primarily be based on the design cues drawn from the A7 Sportback which looks chiseled and angular, as an aberration from the traditional Audi design language. The A6, as we would like to assume will be the A7 Sportback with a boot. And that, we assure you cannot be a bad thing as even with those angular lines, the A7 Sportback is one hell of a handsome (and charismatic) car.

The chassis has been engineered to combine sports precision and comfort, and the wheel control arms and many other components are made of lightweight aluminium. The body itself is 20 percent aluminium, including the front bumper, bonnet, boot lid and doors.

The 2012 Audi A6 will be offered with five engine choices including three gasoline units and three TDI diesel units � output will range from 177-hp to 300-hp. The engines obtain their fuel through direct injection; the 3.0 TFSI employs a supercharger to achieve boost, and the 2.0 TFSI and TDI operate with turbochargers. Which is the most powerful and which is the most efficient?

Inside, the cabin echoes the A7 and comes nicely equipped with automatic climate control, MMI, a 6.5-inch monitor, and "micrometallic platinum" trim (aluminum and wood are optional). If that isn't impressive enough, you can order a 1,300-watt Bang & Olufsen sound system, internet connectivity (via a UMTS module), MMI navigation plus (with an 8-inch monitor and MMI touch), and individual rear seats.

The 2012 A6 sedan measures 4.92 meters (16.14 ft) long, 1.87 meters (6.14 ft) in width, it is only 1.46 meters (4.79 ft) tall and has a wheelbase of 2.91 meters (9.55 ft). The harmonious proportions � the long engine hood, the short overhangs, and the sweeping roofline � embody a character of athletic elegance.

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Press Release

The new Audi A6 Sedan: setting the standard in innovation

Audi has redesigned its flagship executive class model. The new A6 is set to make its market debut in early 2011. With its light body, sporty chassis and a wide array of new assistance and multimedia systems, the full-sized sedan is packed with innovative solutions in every area of technology. The range of available engines and drivetrains is equally extensive. Combining the power of a V6 with the fuel efficiency of a four-cylinder engine, the soon-to-be-available A6 hybrid will be one highlight of the lineup.

Much of the body of the new Audi A6 consists of aluminum and high-tech steels, rendering it exceedingly light, stiff and safe. State-of-the art design methods and materials ensure extremely low interior noise levels. Precision tuning of all components and systematic hydraulic damping in the axle and drivetrain bearings provide excellent vibrational comfort.

The design of the new Audi A6 embodies athleticism and elegance. The sedan is 4.92 meters (16.14 ft) long and 1.87 meters (6.14 ft) wide, but just 1.46 meters (4.79 ft) high - sporty proportions that are unrivaled by the competition. The long engine hood, the low, sweeping roofline and the prominent lines on the flanks create a dynamic overall appearance. Optional LED headlights emphasize the striking expression at the front.

The roomy interior of the new Audi A6 echoes the sinewy style of the exterior. The salient element is the "wrap-around" - an inlay encircling the driver and the front-seat passenger. The elegantly curved dash panel places the driver at the center of the interior.

Every detail of the interior is a testament to the care that Audi invests in carmaking. All materials, including an innovative layered-wood veneer, have been selected and crafted with the utmost care. As an option, the front seats can be equipped with ventilation and massage functions. Classy ambient lighting in the lighting package provides small points of light throughout the interior.

The new Audi A6 features the logical ergonomics concept that distinguishes all of the brand's models. A highly efficient automatic air conditioning system and the latest-generation MMI radio operating system are standard; Audi also offers an optional head-up display, which projects important information onto the windshield. The MMI touch operating system is also available as an option. This enables much of the hard-drive MMI navigation plus system to be controlled by means of a touchpad.

The online services, developed though a partnership between Audi and service provider Google, connect the full-sized sedan to the Internet via the Bluetooth car phone online. A UMTS module pulls images and information from Google Earth up on the monitor and integrates them with the navigation route. A WLAN hotspot provides contact to mobile terminals on board. The top of the hi-fi line is the Bang & Olufsen Advanced Sound System.

MMI navigation plus works closely together with the optional assistance and safety systems in the new A6. It forwards the route data to the control units for the headlights, the automatic transmission and the adaptive cruise control with stop & go function. This enables these systems to recognize complex scenarios and assist the driver. In many situations, the Audi pre sense safety system is able to reduce accidents and their consequences, or even prevent them altogether. The Audi active lane assist helps the driver keep the A6 on course, and the park assist system relieves the driver of the chore of steering when parallel parking.

Audi offers the A6 with a choice of five powerful, highly efficient engines: two gasoline engines and three TDI units. These powerplants develop between 130 kW (177 hp) and 220 kW (300 hp). All of these engines make use of important technologies from the brand's modular efficiency platform - the start-stop system, the energy recovery system, and the innovative thermal management concept.

Throughout the entire model line, fuel consumption in the A6 has decreased by up to 19 percent compared to the previous model. In terms of consumption figures, the A6 outperforms the competition.

The most powerful unit in the range is the 2.0 TDI. In conjunction with a manual transmission, it requires on average just 4.9 liters of fuel per 100 km (48.00 US mpg) and emits just 129 g CO2 per km (207.61 g/mile). The A6 hybrid will be available from Audi at a later date. Serving up 180 kW (245 hp) of system performance, its 2.0 TFSI plus electric motor will achieve efficient and sporty acceleration with an average fuel consumption of only 6.2 liters per 100 km (37.94 US mpg) (provisional figure).

As was the case with the previous model, the new Audi A6 is also available with a wide range of drivetrains. The choice, based on the engine version, will include a manual six-speed transmission, the continuously variable multitronic, and the brand-new, sporty S tronic. Each unit is precisely tuned and features a wide gear-ratio spread, thereby making a significant contribution to the sedan's efficiency.

Depending on the engine version, power is funneled via the gears to the front wheels or to the quattro permanent all-wheel drive, whose crown-gear center differential and torque-vectoring function achieve the ultimate traction, stability and dynamic response. For the top-of-the-line engines, Audi will offer an optional sport differential.

The chassis of the new A6 combines sporty precision with supreme comfort. Its links are made of aluminum; the redesigned power steering features a highly efficient electromechanical drive. The executive sedan has wheels ranging from 16 to 20 inches in diameter.

The Audi drive select dynamic handling system is standard, and the front-wheel-drive models have the sporty ESP with electronic limited-slip differential on board. For enhanced comfort, adaptive air suspension with controlled damping is available as an option. Dynamic steering will be available soon, also as an option.