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  2. Enjoying a TEB Nov 08 BCJ with a pineapple soda.
  3. First Partagas 898 in abut a year and what a great cigar. TUO OCT 12. Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  4. I have no idea what this means but it is a fascinating interpretation brother. Hat Trick is hockey for 3 goals. ERDM. RyJ Cazadores. Quinteros for a wth.
  5. World’s First AR F1 Garage Tour with Epson Moverio! Since their integration in 2015, Epson’s awesome Moverio smart glasses have allowed Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport to offer the only augmented reality tour in the Formula One paddock, giving people a unique insight into the fascinating world of F1! As part of the Moverio experience, guests are guided around the garage with an interactive commentary of the anatomy of the Silver Arrows cars, the various roles of the race team, pit stop explainers, driver profiles and much more! #DrivenByEpson
  6. Had a BPC earlier today so no pictures to enter the contest but it was almost 1.5 hours. Last one from that box and it was one of the best ones in the box. Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  7. Gallery: The classic cars that will star in F1 2017 This is the full line-up of classic cars for the F1 2017 game, featuring four Ferraris, four McLarens, two Williamses and a car each from Red Bull and Renault. Enjoy!
  8. Gee, I just smoked my only Siglo II yesterday...tasty little bugger that came from a contest sampler thanks to Rob & Crew How about I start timing a Siglo III when it gets down to proper length?
  9. Yesterday
  10. Belgian GP set for sell-out thanks to 'Verstappen effect' The Belgian Grand Prix is set for its biggest crowd since the Michael Schumacher era, as 'Max Verstappen mania' shows no sign of calming down. For the first time since Schumacher's glory years with Ferrari, Spa has sold out all grandstand seats and only has general admittance tickets left for Friday and Saturday. Belgian GP promoter Andre Maes said that predictions are for a sell-out crowd of more than 250,000 for the weekend, something that has not happened since 2001. "It's correct that all the grandstand seats are sold out. Not just for Sunday, but for the entire weekend," Maes told Motorsport.com. "At the request of the authorities, and for security reasons, we are forced to limit the amount of tickets sold. This number we have practically already reached, with over 260,000 spectators likely across the three days." Belgium's ticket sales have been helped by arrival of Stoffel Vandoorne and the absence of the German GP from the calendar this year, although Maes says the impact of Verstappen is much bigger. Last year many grandstands turned orange, with an estimated 25,000 Dutch fans flocking to the Belgian Ardennes to cheer on the Red Bull star. "The Max Verstappen effect continues to be a reality. It's far more important for us than the disappearance of the German Grand Prix," Maes explains. Schumacher car demo The 2017 Belgian Grand Prix is the 50th edition held at Spa-Francorchamps, and fans have been promised a bigger show that before. Part of the new on- and off-track entertainment includes a demo run of the 1992 Benetton B192, which Michael Schumacher drove to his first of a record six wins at the venue. "Novelties are a fan zone which has two to three times the number of attractions compared to previous years", Maes adds. Despite the increase in spectators, the grand prix made a 8.62 million Euro loss in 2016 compared to 6.78 million Euro in 2015. According to Belgian business newspaper L'Echo, the deficit grew because of increased security measures and a contractual hike of the race fee, which grew by four million Euro due to a strengthening dollar. Since 2007 the difference is paid every year by the regional government of Wallonia. A study by audit firm Deloitte revealed the economic benefits of the race are north of 27 million euro. Motorsport.com understands the organisers have started early talks with Formula 1 on a new contract as the current deal runs out after the 2018 race, although Maes declines to go into further detail. Asked about the state of talks, he said: "Our relations with Liberty Media are excellent."
  11. Force India begins Perez contract renewal talks Force India has begun contract talks with Sergio Perez about extending his stay with the Formula 1 team into next season. Perez left it until last October to confirm he would be staying at Force India for a fourth consecutive year, after the conclusion of commercial agreements with the team. The Mexican was heavily linked with a move to Renault last year but committed to Force India, partnering Esteban Ocon, who joined for 2016 on a multi-year deal. Perez is believed to be on the radar of at least two other teams on the grid for a seat next season, but Force India team boss Vijay Mallya is keen to retain him. "We have already commenced talks with him for the renewal of his contract," said Mallya. "When I have to take a new driver I like to leave it late, when I returning a driver I like to do it early. "Checo is a highly talented and experienced driver. There's no question about that and I'm glad Esteban is pushing him." Seats at Mercedes and Ferrari are potentially up for grabs in 2018, with Valtteri Bottas, Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen out of contract at the end of the season. Mallya said he would not stand in the way of his drivers if a top team came calling, but if such an offer is not forthcoming, he sees little reason for his drivers to want to leave. "I like to believe that my drivers are happy in this team," said Mallya. "We give them a good car to race. If there is a Mercedes or a Ferrari seat, they'll obviously jump at the opportunity. "I'm not going to stand in their way but other than that I think we have the best car. We give them an atmosphere where they are comfortable, they enjoy the team, their colleagues and they enjoy working together. What's the reason to move?" Mallya echoed the thoughts of chief operating officer Otmar Szafnauer that Ocon has delivered quicker than expected since joining the team. Ocon completed nine races for Manor last year before joining Force India, scoring points on debut and in nine of the 10 races so far this season, leaving him eighth in the drivers' standings. "Esteban has come up to speed really well and is quicker than I thought - it's fantastic," said Mallya. "We had a tough call to make over the winter about who our driver was going to be. "There were only rookies available and I think we made the right choice. He's only going to mature and get better. You know that experience is hugely important, and the more experience he gets the better he's going to become. "He has the talent, which has showed already. I'm happy we have him signed up on a multi-year contract, so I'm expecting regular point-scoring finishes from him."
  12. I completely agree.
  13. Ferrari offer Vettel $138.5m, three-year deal Sebastian Vettel has reportedly been offered a three-year deal worth $138.5m as Ferrari look to resolve the four-time World Champion's future. Vettel's current deal with the Scuderia expires at the end of the current season, prompting speculation that he may move to title rivals Mercedes. But, according to Autoweek, Vettel has a new bumper contract on the table and Ferrari awaiting his decision. The German has not been too forthcoming about his future when asked in the paddock, but is said to want team-mate Kimi Raikkonen, who is also out of contract at the end of the season, to stay alongside him should Vettel decide to stay with Ferrari. Vettel's future is also key to drivers' market for the 2019 season, too, with Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen having a year-and-a-half left on their respective Mercedes and Red Bull deals. 'Silly season' has sparked rumours of Hamilton and Verstappen being team-mates at Ferrari, with Vettel driving for the Silver Arrows. Yet once Vettel's future is resolved, the rest of the puzzle will start to fall into place for 2018 and beyond.
  14. I don't own a single one...guess I will be sitting this one out. Edit: I just remembered a lone box of PLPC that was stashed away!! Time to dig...
  15. PIRELLI TESTING AT SILVERSTONE AND MAGNY COURS With the hustle and bustle of the British Grad Prix over, Pirelli were hard at work testing Formula 1 wet weather tyres at Silverstone and Magny Cours. As part of their 2018 tyre testing campaign, Pirelli were running McLaren’s Stoffel Vandoorne at the former French Grand Prix venue, evaluating the full wets earmarked for the 2018 Formula 1 season. Vandoorne, circulating alone, completed 135 laps on Wednesday, with another full day scheduled for Thursday. On Tuesday and Wednesday at Silverstone, Ferrari reserve Antonio Giovinazzi, at the wheel of a Haas, and Williams driver Lance Stroll were also on testing duty for Pirelli. In dry and warm conditions, on Tuesday, with the track temperature peaking to 39 degrees, the pair covered 225 laps testing a variety of 2018 protoype tyres. On Wednesday rain fell over Silverstone which enabled the two drivers to complete 103 laps between using prototype slick, inter and wet tyres.
  16. Totally agree Mika. What a stupid idea and is more the type of misguided reaction you'd expect from a politician or city planner. Brutal. Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  17. WEHRLEIN: MY TARGET IS TO BE IN A TEAM WHERE I CAN WIN Pascal Wehrlein is somewhat off the radar as he toils at the wrong end of the field in his second year of Formula 1, this year at Sauber he has scored points twice for the Swiss team and still dreams of one day winning races with a big team. The Mercedes junior driver told the official F1 site, “My target is to one day be in a team where I can win races, get on the podium regularly and fight for championships. Right now I don’t have these tools to make it happen.” “The weekends where we score points are very, very special for us because we don’t have the car to finish in the top ten often – only if the stars are in the right place!” “And then we have to take the opportunity and bag the points. I am very happy that when the chance was there I was able to grab it. I want to be there when it counts.” Wehrlein admits that he does not know what 2018 holds for him and accepts that right now a drive for his backers, Mercedes, is not something he thinks about, “I have no idea what is happening next year. Of course, I have heard all these rumours as well.” “I cannot influence such a decision, so worrying about things that you cannot influence is wasting your time and wasting your strength and efforts. Yes, Valtteri is doing a good job and he deserves it.” As for his second season at the pinnacle of the sport, Wehrlein was honest in his summary, “It is no secret that my start to the season was very difficult. The injury matter was pretty tough. Going to Australia and not driving was hard and having to skip China was another notch on the horror scale.” The start to 2017 in Bahrain was not bad. It felt like I had never been away, never been injured. The first qualifying took me to Q2 and I nearly finished in the points with P11- with the Sauber car! Since then it is going smoothly and pretty much in the right direction.” “Twice I scored points, with the clear highlight of Barcelona, which was exceptional for us finishing in P7 – even if with the penalty it was finally P8. But imagine: P7 with the Sauber!” “Yes there have been difficult races since then, but we knew that this would happen,” revealed the 22 year old, whose points scorning means that Sauber lies ahead of McLaren in the championship standings.
  18. CAREY: WE WOULD LIKE TO HAVE MORE GERMAN TEAMS Despite being a relative novice when it comes to motorsport, the Formula 1 chief Chase Carey is well aware of Germany’s legacy in the history of the sport and apart from seeking to establish the German Grand Prix on the roster, he is also keen to attract more German manufacturers to the pinnacle of the sport. Speaking to Sport Bild Carey said, “We have a reigning German champion, a German car as world champion, a German who is fighting for the title this year, the German Grand Prix has a great history and we would like to have more German teams.” Mercedes were world champions with Juan Manuel Fangio in the fifties. The three pointed star also powered Mika Hakkinen to two world titles and Lewis Hamilton in 2008 with McLaren, and then were champions again with Jenson Button and Brawn GP. In the current era, the Silver Arrows star have been the dominant force in the sport for the past four years, however they are not alone with German success in Formula 1 over the years. BMW enjoyed success powering the Brabham of Nelson Piquet to the F1 title in 1983. They also powered Sauber in a factory effort from 2006 to 2009. Porsche built TAG engines dominated for three years in the eighties, claiming F1 titles with Niki Lauda (1984) and Alain Prost (1985 and 1986). These three manufacturers have the pedigree, capacity and know-how to return to Formula 1 under the right conditions. As does Audi who recently terminated a hugely successful stint in the World Endurance Championship, where they pioneered and developed hybrid technology to the highest level. Carey said, “Naturally our goal is that such companies are enticed to own race teams in Formula 1. That is why we will adjust the technical and financial conditions to make this an attractive prospect.” The American F1 chief is also well aware of Germany’s greatest legend, “Michael Schumacher defines the ultimate Formula 1 racing driver. We will name one of the conference rooms at our headquarters, in London, as a tribute to him.”
  19. LAUDA: THE HALO IS THE WRONG DECISION Formula 1’s decision to introduce the halo cockpit protection device as from next year is a mistake, according to former world champion Niki Lauda. The Austrian, who is non-executive chairman of world champions Mercedes, told Auto, Motor und Sport on that he recognised safety had to be improved where possible. However a convincing solution had yet to be found to protect drivers’ heads from debris. “We tested the Halo, the Red Bull Aeroscreen and Ferrari’s Shield as a cockpit protection. None has convinced 100 percent. You have to make the right decision in such a situation. The halo is the wrong one,” he said. Lauda, a triple world champion who retired from racing in 1985 after a near-fatal fiery crash in 1976, said the halo destroyed the “DNA of a Formula One car”. “The FIA has made Formula 1 as safe as it gets. Also the danger of flying wheels is largely eliminated, because the wheels are always more firmly attached. The risk to the drivers has become minimal. “We are just trying hard to get new fans for the sport with fast cars and getting closer to the spectators, and now this is destroyed by an overreaction.” The governing FIA announced on Wednesday that the halo would be introduced for 2018 rather than the transparent ‘shield’ tested at Silverstone last week. The halo, which is fixed to the car at three points including a central pillar in front of the driver that supports a protective loop above his head, has been widely criticised on aesthetic grounds. Some have compared its appearance to the toe strap of a flip-flop. Former Dutch F1 racer Giedo van der Garde posted a photograph on Twitter of himself holding a sandal to his head as an example. Commentator and former racer Martin Brundle said it was ‘plain ugly’.
  20. Wow, very generous. I wouldn't normally get out your way but I will definitely keep it in mind and let you know if I can find a reason or way to make it out your way. Thanks [emoji106] Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  21. INSIDE LINE: THE HALO MARKS THE END OF AN ERA FOR FORMULA 1 Confirmation that the halo cockpit safety device will be mandatory, from 2018 and beyond, is sure to trigger heated debate among Formula 1 fans, I for one am saddened by the fact that the system will further hide drivers from view but at the same time have to acknowledge that if is saves one life then it is worth it. I was privileged to have photographed the sport (above) during an era when you could see straight into the cockpit, drivers toiling at the wheel as they attacked the track. It’s been a while since those days when you could view into a driver’s workplace, since then the cockpit ‘grew’ to almost submerge the driver behind protection as it is these days. Granted the halo does not hide the driver much more, but in my mind it further divorces the man inside the cockpit from viewers on TV and those attending a grand prix live. The ethos of single-seaters will shift radically when the halo is bolted on to F1 cockpits permanently, as per the rules soon to be published. Reuters reports that the FIA said in a statement that it had tested a large number devices over the past five years and it had “become clear that the halo presents the best overall safety performance”. The decision to implement the halo comes less than a week after a transparent cockpit ‘shield’ was tested for the first time on track at Silverstone last Friday in British Grand Prix practice. Cockpit protection has become a priority since the deaths of drivers in other series after being hit by wheels and flying debris. The halo, which is fixed at three points including a central pillar in front of the driver that supports a protective loop above his head, was extensively tested last season with a mixed response. The halo was first not universally accepted by drivers, with Lewis Hamilton saying in March last year, “It’s the worst modification in Formula 1 history. If it is going to come in I hope we have an option to use it or not because I will not be using it on my car.” But persistent lobbying by the FIA turned his opinion, and six months later his views had reversed, “The FIA have done a fantastic job in the last 20-odd years in always making increments and steps and while it doesn’t look great, we know that, but that 17 percent we can’t ignore.” He was referring to a demonstration in which the FIA claimed the halo would protect them in all recent accidents in which a driver’s head was vulnerable to impact from a large object, such as a wall or loose wheel, and that it reduced their risk of injury by 17% even from small flying debris. But in February this year others who tried the device were not all convinced: Fernando Alonso: “When I tried the halo in Singapore, one of the things I noticed was getting out of the car is a little bit uncomfortable, where you have to put the feet and where you have to jump.” Lewis Hamilton: “Apart from getting into the car, I didn’t notice much difference. I didn’t really notice it, apart from blocking my mirrors – I couldn’t see the rear wing.” Nico Rosberg: “It doesn’t disturb me when driving. I could go fast straight away and even set the best time of the session with it this morning so I think that was a success. My opinion is that it represents a big step forward in terms of safety. Following the fatalities we have experienced in recent years in racing that halo would have saved lives, so we absolutely need it.” Kimi Raikkonen: “First impression on the visibility test is positive. The structure does not hamper [visibility].” Romain Grosjean: “As drivers we certainly do not want safety to stop improving, but we also cannot delete the DNA of Formula 1.” Sebastian Vettel: “It was not great. There is quite a bit of impact in terms of visibility.” But the FIA are carrying this torch with relentless commitment and in the end, no matter what, you cannot argue against a device that augments safety for drivers. No doubt the clever people researching and developing the device have thought this through thoroughly and fears that the halo may trap a driver in an overturned car or should a fire engulf the cockpit are perhaps unfounded. However, I am curious to know if in an emergency the ability of a driver to alight a cockpit or marshals/ medical teams access a stricken driver rapidly, is at all hindered by the halo. I would like some proof that in scenarios such as this, and of fire engulfing the cockpit, a driver is not compromised. In other words: this halo one solution does not create a host of other dangerous problems. But, as mentioned, I am sure the halo ticks all the boxes on the FIA’s list of checks, and sincerely hope they have also thought this concept out the box too. I for one accept that the halo is another episode in the inevitable march of the progress of safety in our sport, but at the same time am saddened by the end of an era in Formula 1.
  22. TECH TALK: SAY HALLO TO PROBLEMS WITH THE HALO The FIA announced that the highly controversial halo cockpit protection will be introduced in 2018, despite nine of the ten Formula 1 teams voting against it for introduction in 2017 – now apparently they have all agreed. The late decision (teams would ideally have known about this early this year) will provide constructors with significant aerodynamic and structural challenges in the design process for the 2018 cars. Putting aside the visual reservations for a moment, the halo will most likely result in cars that are slower next year than this. Firstly, the bulky structure will increase drag, reducing straightline speed for a given power unit and wing level. More importantly, the weight of the car will rise; it is often suggested that for every 10 kg extra of fuel added to a car’s tank, there is a 0.3 of a second loss in laptime. Given that the halo will be mounted very high up (raising the Centre of Gravity), and the weight penalty will be at least 10 kg, it can be assumed that more than half a second per lap per lap will be lost in this regard. But perhaps the largest problem will be a significant loss in aerodynamic downforce, as airflow to the rear wings is disrupted by the unstreamlined shape of 2018’s cockpit protection. Unlike fully closed cockpits in Le Mans, where the entire car is integrated with this concept, the halo is very much an afterthought, both in terms of appearance and engineering. With the rear wings losing downforce, in order to ensure balanced aerodynamics, load from the front wing will also be reduced, lowering the overall grip of the car. Expect teams to use devices such as mirror stalks to divert as much air inboard and outboard of the halo, minimising disruption to rearward aerodynamics. Ultimately, the cars should be noticeably slower than this year, although not quite back to 2016 levels. However, with a great deal of this year’s championship excitement being about the faster, better looking cars, especially at a venue like Silverstone, it appears that the FIA has lost touch with reality here. There will be those who argue that Mercedes was still fastest in FP1 at Spa last year with the halo, but the team was dominant, the rear wings were higher and less affected by the cockpit protection, while the halo was not a structural part at that stage, but merely made from carbon fibre. For now the junior single seater series, where drivers are less experienced and more likely to crash, will not have the halo, and nor, at this stage, will Formula E, another FIA series run largely on narrow street tracks where debris is more likely to enter the cockpit area. Thanks to the disruption caused by the halo, teams will be looking to maximise the distance between the back of the halo and the rear wing, resulting in longer wheelbases (they have already been increased for this year thanks to the greater bargeboard area freedom), making overtaking even more difficult as the driver behind has a larger distance to make up in the braking zone. Where will the halo actually prove beneficial? It was the only protection to remain largely unaltered when a tyre-wheel arrangement was fired at the structure at 150 mph. But this is highly unlikely to happen – it is almost impossible for the tyres to come off the car during a crash thanks to wheel tethers and their subsequent strengthening. This could be taken a step further for enhanced safety. Jules Bianchi’s fatal head injuries, incurred in the tragic accident at Suzuka, would not necessarily have been prevented by the halo. The spring which hit Massa’s helmet in 2009 may have been diverted, but the halo still leaves a significant opening through which debris can fly and hit the driver. Additionally, when a pit-stop goes wrong and a wheel is not properly secured, drivers and teams often realise by the time a car has reached the end of the pitlane, before it is safely stopped – think Kimi Räikkönen at last year’s United Sates Grand Prix. It would be much more sensible to prescribe a minimum pitstop time of five seconds, all but preventing human error. Further to this, the late timing of the decision means that those teams with tall drivers who sit high up in the car, most notably Hulkenberg (Renault) and Ocon (Force India), will have to redesign their chassis at a stage when they would almost be signing it off. This is because the driver will have to be as low down as possible next year such that the top of the halo does not obscure their vision. Of course, this favours the better resourced teams, furthering widening the gap on the grid. The FIA also stated that the drivers have repeatedly supported the halo, but this is not the full story. When a vote was held among drivers over the winter, the conclusion on the halo cockpit protection was one against its introduction, with a vote of seven against to four in favour, with five abstaining. To make matters worse, Formula 1 fans are thoroughly opposed to the halo, and this decision will more than undo all of Liberty’s good work so far. MIKA: I am at a complete loss and shock at this stupid and ugly concept. No words, but my thoughts bring the below to mind...
  23. I wonder what millionaire is going to be able to buy those beautiful punch DC's
  24. Last weekend we did the Robusto. This weekend we will do the mareva (ensure it is a mareva..42 gauge) That should be enough in terms of information/data we need. So...pick your Mareva/Petit Corona and let's go over the objectives again. __________________________________________________________________ This weekend, lets try a little experiment in order to gauge where we all sit in terms of how fast we smoke a cigar. This is not a contest....it is not how quickly you smoke it ....or how slowly (Marko Bilic will think I am cutting into his World Slow Smoking gig ) I am amazed at the different amount of time that cigar lovers take to get through the same cigar. So this weekend, pick a Cuban Mareva/Petit Corona (must be 42 gauge) if in doubt www.cubancigarwebsite.com is your friend) Time it. From lighting to just below the band or wherever you are comfortable in that region. Post a photo and your time. Into the draw for a little sampler drawn Tuesday ...do a review of the cigar at the same time....I will give you an extra ticket in the draw! Post your results (and review if you wish) on this thread. The word is that a PC takes 45 minutes on average. Let's put it to the test. Again.....you are doing this for science! Have a cracker weekend! Rob
  25. Well today is our big day so if any FOHers are close by, come and say Hi! I'll try to make myself obvious in some way lol. If necessary pm me and I'll give you my number. 6-9pm in Balmain, details are above. This is the sort of artwork you can see. Below is the same piece, back and front etc Cheers, Nik
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