F1 Team Facts: HRT

April 22, 2012 § Leave a comment

The HRT Formula 1 Team, formerly known as Campos Meta 1 and Hispania Racing, is a Spanish team that was founded by driver Adrián Campos. In 2010, the team was sold to José Ramón Carabante and later to Thesan Capital in 2011. The HRT is the first team to participate in the F1 race. They were granted entry in 2010, but struggled with financial difficulties that inhibited them from participating in pre-season testing. The HRT struggled to get started and place in the first few series.

In January 2010, Narain Karthikeyan joined the team for the 2011 season. In 2005, he drove for the Jordan team. He left Formula 1 in 2007 and went on to drive for Team India in A1GP where he won two races. In 2010, he competed in a number of competitions, including the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series in the USA and Superleague Formula in Europe. He was the first local driver to race at the inaugural F1 Grand Prix in India in 2011.

In November 2011, Pedro de la Rosa signed a two-year contract to drive for HRT. He is the first Spanish driver to race for Spain’s first F1 team. De la Rosa has been in Formula 1 for over 12 years. He has raced in the Grand Prix a total of 85 times for Jaguar, Arrows, Vodafone McLaren-Mercedes and BMW-Sauber for 8 seasons. He has helped to develop winning cars in 35 Grands Prix including in 2008 when Lewis Hamilton won the Driver’s Championship.

At the Australian Grand Prix in 2012, both HRT drivers were not allowed to race because they both failed to lap within 107% of the fastest time in the first part of qualifying. They will be driving for HRT in the 2012 Bahrain Grand Prix.

F1 Team Facts: Williams

April 22, 2012 § Leave a comment

Frank Williams founded Williams Grand Prix Engineering in 1977 and since then the team has won 16 FIA Formula One World Championships. The Williams business model is different from other F1 teams, as Williams is an independent company and not an extension of larger manufacturers such as Mercedes and Lotus. Because Williams focuses solely on racing, the company is driven to win.

Current Williams driver Pastor Moldonado joins Williams for his second season this year. He began his racing career in 2003 in Formula Renault championships, eventually to move up to Italian F3000, Formula Renault 3.5 and GP2. In 2010, Moldonado captured the GP2 championship and the interest of the Williams team.

Bruno Senna is a Brazilian F1 driver and the nephew of three-time F1 world champion Ayrton Senna. Bruno’s racing career paused when his uncle crashed and died in the 1994 San Marino Grand Prix. However, he resumed racing in 2004 in the Formula BMW UK series and then in Formula Three and the GP2 Series. He made his F1 debut in 2010 for Hispania Racing and moved to Renault the following year. Now with Williams, he earned sixth place at the Malaysian Grand Prix earlier this year and earned the team more point than they had in the entire 2011 season.

F1 Team Profiles: Lotus

April 21, 2012 § Leave a comment

The 2012 season is the first season the Lotus team is racing under its new name. Previously known as “Benetton Formula,” in 2002 the team was renamed to “Renault F1” and again to “Lotus Renault GP” in 2011. Now the team is officially known as the “Lotus F1 Team.”

Driver Kimi Raikkonen of Finland is in his 9th year on the Grand Prix circuit. After only participating in 23 junior races, he made his F1 debut in 2001 with Sauber. He took a break for two seasons to try a hand in the FIA World Rally Championship and NASCAR. Now back in Formula One racing with Lotus, Kimi has a total of 18 race wins, 62 podiums, 16 pole positions and 35 fastest laps and won the 2007 Drivers’ Championship.

Romain Grosjean raced with the ING Renault team in 2009 and this year joined Lotus after taking a few years off to refocus. Romain has two GP2 Asia Series wins under his belt, a GP2 Series championship and was the 2007 Formula Three Euroseries champion. Romain doesn’t think of himself as a rookie even though 2012 will be his first full year on the circuit. “Let’s say that I am a young driver who still has plenty of things to learn in Formula One, but we are all expecting a good season,” he says.

F1 Team Facts: Force India

April 21, 2012 § Leave a comment

Created in 2008, Sahara Force India has notched a series of steady improvements during its time on the circuit. In 2011, the team achieved its best result to date, claiming sxith place in the championship. Based in Silverstone, England, the team was established following the purchase of the Spyker F1 team by a consortium led by Indian businessman Vijay Mallya for $100 million. Following 29 races in which the team did not score a point, Force India captured its first championship points and podium placement when Ginacarlo Fisichella finished second in the 2009 Belgian Grand Prix.

Nicolas “Nico” Hulkenberg joined the Force India team in 2011 after a year driving for the Williams Team. Despite winning the first pole position for Williams in over 5 years, Hulkenberg was not retained for the 2011 season. He was also the 2009 champion of the GP2 Series, and was a previous champion of both the Formula 3 Euro Series and the A1 Grand Prix. His one of only three drivers to win the GP2 series championship in his inaugural season.

Paul di Resta joined the Force India team for the 2010 season as its test driver. In 2011, di Resta drove full time for the team and enjoyed a number of strong finishes, including eighth place finishes in Italy and Brazil, and a career-best sixth place finish in Singapore. di Resta has had a strong start to the 2012 season, placing 10th in Australia and seventh in Malaysia.

F1 Team Facts: Marussia

April 21, 2012 § Leave a comment

The Marussia F1 Team, previously known as Marussia Virgin Racing or Virgin Racing, is based in Banbury in the United Kingdom. This is the first year the team will race as “Marussia” in the Formula One. The team placed twelfth and last place in its debut season in 2010. It wasn’t until 2011 that they joined the Formula One commission so they could change their name to reflect their change in ownership – from Virgin to Marussia.

Timo Glock, a German driver, joined the Formula One in 2004 when he signed as Jordan’s Grand Prix test driver and made his debut at the Canadian Grand Prix, where he placed 11th but was moved to 7th due to the disqualification of other racers. After winning the GP2 in 2007, Glock was involved with several F1 teams. He signed a three-year contract with the Marussia team in July 2011.

Glock was joined by teammate Charles Pic for the 2012 season after the 2011 Brazilian Grand Prix. Pic, a racer originally from France, raced in Formula Renault in France in 2006 and finished third. He then moved onto the French series where he placed fourth and then the championship where he placed third. Pic also participated in the Formula Renault 3.5 Series and the GP2 Series. In 2009, he won the sprint race for Arden International in the first Bahrain round. He won his second main series win in 2011 at Catalunya and again at the Monaco sprint race later that season.

The team was unable to perform in the final testing session for the 2012 season in Barcelona due to car troubles. In Australia, they placed 14th and 15th. In Maylasia, they placed 17th and 20th.

F1 Team Facts – Catherham

April 20, 2012 § Leave a comment

Catherham is a Malaysian-owned Formula One team that is based in the United Kingdom. The team was originally known as Team Lotus, but was renamed in 2011. The 2012 Formula One season will be the first time the team will race under its new name.

They entered Formula One in 2010 as Lotus Racing. In 2011, the team finished 10th in the Constructors Championship with three 13th place finishes – two from Jarno Trulli and the other from Heikki Kovalainen. In Februrary 2012, the team announced that Vitaly Petrov would replace Jarno Trulli for the season.

Heikki Kovalainen raced in the British Formula Renault Championship in 2001, bringing two wins for the team, and fourth place overall.  He also received the 2001 Finnish Automobile Sports Federation “Rookie of the Year” award. Heikki made his F3 debut later that year at the Macau Grand Prix, finishing 8th. He moved on to race in the British F3 Championship in 2002 and won the F3 support race at the British Grand Prix. In 2003, he competed with Nissan in the World Series and won third overall.  He continued to race in a number of series over the years and eventually joined the Lotus Racing team in 2009 and raced for Team Lotus in 2011.

F1 Team Facts: Scuderia Toro Rosso (STR)

April 20, 2012 § Leave a comment

Italian for Red Bull, Scuderia Toro Rosso , also known simply as Toro Rosso or by its abbreviation STR,is one of two teams owned by Red Bull. The team made its racing debut in 2006 following the establishment of a 50/50 joint ownership deal between Red Bull Racing and former F1 driver Gerhard Berger. Red Bull assumed full ownership of the team after purchasing Berger’s share back in November 2008. Before moving over to Team Red Bull, World Champion Sebastian Vettel began his driving career with Team STR.

Today, team STR is represented by drivers Daniel Ricciardo and Jean-Eric Vergne. A former British Formula 3 Champion, Ricciardo made his Formula One debut in 2009, when he tested for Red Bull Racing at the young driver’s test at the Jerez Circuit that December. After a year racing for HRT in 2011, Ricciardo joined STR for the 2012 season. Ricciardo became the first native of Western Australia to secure World Championship points when he vinished 9th at the Australian Grand Prix in March.

Following a highly successful career in the juniors, French driver Jean-Eric Vergne joined team STR as a test driver during the 2011 season. After being promoted to the driver’s seat for the 2012 season, Vergne scored his first World Championship points in Malaysia, where he finished in eight place.

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