MIKA27

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About MIKA27

  • Rank
    Pelo De Oro
  • Birthday 04/26/1976

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    Melbourne
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    My Son/Friends/F1/Movies/ Single Malts

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  1. MIKA27

    FORMULA 1

    Mid-season review: Red Bull's feast or famine Red Bull recognised the 2017 regulations as an opportunity but initial correlation problems skewered its prospects, and it took until mid-season to recover, after which it was able to compete for wins. It targeted a stronger start this year and has thus avoided spending the year playing catch-up, though it remains at a disadvantage to Ferrari and Mercedes – the deficit of which it firmly dumps on Renault’s shoulders. It is simply not as quick in qualifying – owing to the lack of boost modes – and that has usually left Red Bull’s drivers at the lower end of row two or row three. That leaves it at a disadvantage for race trim in normal circumstances, while inferior reliability has also been costly in the context of the modern area. Red Bull’s management has seen enough from Renault and decided that Honda is the future – though faced a side-swipe of its own in the wake of Daniel Ricciardo’s departure. Red Bull is fed up of being the distant bridesmaid; time will tell whether its Honda marriage will yield the desired leap forwards. This has been a typical Daniel Ricciardo season: stunningly opportunistic, limited by machinery, or on the sidelines. Of the 12 Grands Prix held this year he has either won, finished fourth or fifth, or retired – perhaps epitomising Red Bull’s form in the hybrid era. Ricciardo grasped his chance with both hands in China to thrillingly carve past rivals, and in Monaco he was simply peerless all weekend, achieving a sort of redemption after his 2016 heartache. Elsewhere it has been a case of bagging the points, in an often lonely fashion, or parking up his stricken RB14 – and there was also the high-profile clash with Max Verstappen in Azerbaijan, for which he internally copped more blame than externally. Off-track much of Ricciardo’s year has been focused on his 2019 decision (the first questions came pre-season) and after Hungary he sprung a surprise by defecting to Renault. Now out of title contention, let’s hope we get a few more Ricciardo divebombs and another win before the partnership ends. It has been a half season of two halves for Verstappen. Across the first events every decision he made seemed to be the wrong ones, as he wrecked weekends with mistakes and clashes. In Australia he spun, in Bahrain he crashed in qualifying and hit Lewis Hamilton in the race, in China he spun Sebastian Vettel, having already gone wide, in Azerbaijan he collided with Ricciardo, in Monaco he crashed in practice, side lining him from a qualifying session he could have topped – or at least taken second. Since then he has taken a trio of podiums – including a brilliantly well-judged win on Red Bull’s home turf in Austria. It would appear that he has been through the rough patch, learned the lessons, and emerged from the other side as a stronger driver, without blunting his naturally aggressive driving style. And it is still terrifying to remember he is only 20…
  2. MIKA27

    FORMULA 1

    Renault can't back off upgrades for 2019 car Renault cannot afford to let its 2019 work compromise its 2018 car's development because of the pressure it is under in Formula 1's midfield battle, says chassis chief Nick Chester. The French manufacturer consolidated fourth in the constructors' championship heading into the summer break with 82 points to its name, 16 more than fifth-placed Haas. Renault is already 25 points clear of last year's tally as its progress continues since rejoining the F1 grid in 2016, but chassis technical director Chester says switching to the 2019 car, which must have a very different front wing concept, could impact its fight for fourth. Asked in Hungary by Motorsport.com how soon he thought Renault could switch, Chester said: "We know we can't really. We have to develop. "We have already got things in the pipeline that are going to hit after shutdown. "Maybe once we can get to race 15 [Singapore] or 16 [Russia] we can review it but by then most things will be in process anyway to the end of the year. "It's just too tight. An Austria result [Haas finished fourth and fifth while Renault recorded a double-DNF] and you've wiped that [gap] out. "We've got to keep going and pushing and getting pace on the car." Renault has been effective in scoring regular points this season while its midfield rivals rise and fall out of the top 10 depending on whether the circuit suits their cars. Haas has regularly had the fourth-quickest car, and is particularly strong on medium and high-speed tracks, but mistakes and misfortune have set it back. It has also benefitted from engine supplier Ferrari appearing to overtake Mercedes, and pull away from Renault, in terms of performance. Chester admitted that the boost Ferrari is giving Haas, and surprise sporadic top-10 contender Sauber, "does give us a concern". He said that even once the 2019 car's development does escalate, "anything that we can find and develop on that that we can put back on this car, we'll try and do". "A lot of the work is moving over to '19 now anyway and it just depends what we find," he said. "Probably from now on, there'll be a few more updates and then after that will probably be smaller parts that can come out of the windtunnel programme that working on '19. But we know we're going to have to keep going all year." Renault introduced a new front wing concept in Germany and may bring "a couple more development" to complement that. It has further upgrades planned further down the car that are independent to that concept.
  3. MIKA27

    FORMULA 1

    Rivals "bitching" to undermine Magnussen have failed - Steiner Kevin Magnussen's rivals have tried to knock his confidence by complaining about his driving, reckons Haas Formula 1 team boss Gunther Steiner. Magnussen is starring in his second season with Haas, scoring 45 points and sitting eighth in the championship, but has received ongoing criticism from several of his fellow drivers. Steiner told Motorsport.com that Haas is happy to see Magnussen fighting hard on-track and believes complaints over the radio or to the media are just tactics to undermine him. "We want him to race and sometimes you have to ruffle feathers if you want to get something," Steiner said. "Nobody gives anything for free here. People say he does it on purpose: no. "He wants to make a mark but he doesn't drive aggressive. He doesn't say, 'I'm going to go aggressive here, I'm not a pushover'. "That creates more criticism [from] the established drivers. 'Is this young guy coming and wanting to tell me, I cannot get pass? I will bitch about it'. "Everybody plays the game here and you need to. I'm not critiquing other drivers, they try their best to knock his confidence but they don't achieve it. "A lot of them let go already, because they see there's no point, he's not a pushover anymore." While Magnussen has been involved in some high-profile flare-ups, such as his clash with Nico Hulkenberg in Hungary last year or Pierre Gasly in Azerbaijan this season, he is not suffering particularly badly at the hands of the stewards. That clash with Gasly earned him two penalty points on his licence, taking his current tally to three, with 12 triggering an automatic one-race ban. Magnussen's points tally is nowhere near teammate Romain Grosjean's and Sauber driver Marcus Ericsson's - both are on seven points - and is also lower than Kimi Raikkonen (five) and Lance Stroll, Sergey Sirotkin and Gasly (all on four). "I respect the other drivers, and in particular of course the ones that had success and those who have achieved what I want to achieve, the world champions," Magnussen told Motorsport.com. "I have huge respect, but I really don't care personally what they think. "What matters most to me is that I extract the most out of myself and that I do the best that I can. "If the team thinks I've pushed too hard, they'll let me know. If the stewards think that I've pushed too hard, they'll let me know. "I base my opinion on that and I try and improve like that. I'm not perfect and I don't think I'm perfect. I know I make mistakes and I know I cross the line sometimes. "But I have to find that balance in myself and in my own opinion, and not be influenced by what other drivers think."
  4. MIKA27

    FORMULA 1

    Mid-season review: Renault on the rise Renault has almost stuck to the plan it implemented upon its acquisition of the dilapidated Lotus squad at the end of 2015, improving from ninth to sixth last year, and now holding fourth at the midway point of 2018. It has yet to take the podium finish it initially targeted way back when, though that owes much to the chasm it faces to the leading three squad – signalling that it still has substantial ground to make up. That it has acquired the services of Daniel Ricciardo (his signing undoubtedly its greatest achievement this year) acutely demonstrates that it is determined to close, and overhaul, such a deficit. Renault finished 2017 as the fourth-fastest package and it is therefore little surprise to see it replicate such a position this season, having already comfortably surpassed last year’s points tally. The car has been capable of points at each event though when tyre wear is marginal it appears to struggle more so than others. Reliability has been vastly improved, though the acid test will surely come when an attempt to substantially ramp up performance is undertaken. Hulkenberg’s laid-back persona (that would see him ably cast in a high-brow scripted reality show) masks a hardworking individual capable of a stunning turn of speed on track. Hulkenberg has scored points in eight of the 12 Grands Prix to lead Renault’s charge and see off the threat posed by younger team-mate Carlos Sainz Jr. In Azerbaijan his own prang (his now customary once-a-year-error) frustratingly put him out of a race that turned into a lottery, while next time out in Spain he was a victim of Romain Grosjean’s hot-headedness. An exploding turbo in Austria and a Q2 mechanical gremlin in Hungary were at fault for his other failures to score. Formula 1’s current era far more suits Hulkenberg’s style than the previous tyre-saving phase, and Hulkenberg can be depended upon to deliver the goods for Renault – at least 90 per cent of the time. The impending Hulkenberg-Ricciardo battle is already one to savour, and we still have to wait another seven months. Statistically, Sainz Jr. is having a worse season than 2017, all while equipped with a better car. Now thrust into a manufacturer team, and having had the benefit of a late-2017 stint with Renault, Sainz Jr. has largely been a step behind Hulkenberg through the first half of this year, as reflected in the qualifying head-to-head, lap time difference and points table. Albeit partly politically motivated, that Renault was eager to bring in Esteban Ocon, before ultimately recruiting Ricciardo, did not paint Sainz Jr. in a good light, nor has Red Bull’s decision to evaluate 2019 options further. That is not to say Sainz Jr. has had a lamentable season. He avoided trouble to take a fine fifth in Azerbaijan, scored strongly on home turf, and would have classified higher in France but for a faulty turbo that relegated him to eighth late on. However, for a driver so eager to prove his worth in a manufacturer team this time last year a little bit of gloss has been taken off his reputation.
  5. MIKA27

    FORMULA 1

    Fernando Alonso set for IndyCar test next month - Report Fernando Alonso’s announcement that he is to retire from Formula 1 at the end of 2018 was immediately met by speculation of a Verizon IndyCar Series ride for 2019. After an open invitation from the series, Alonso is reportedly partaking in an IndyCar test. The news comes several weeks after rumours first surfaced regarding a fall IndyCar test for Alonso. RACER reports that multiple sources have linked Alonso to an IndyCar test, possibly at Barber Motorsport Park before the season ends in September. Having only competed on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway oval, a test at Barber would be crucial to Alonso’s move to the series regarding how he feels in the car on road courses. Also, Alonso has yet to drive in the current aero kit used in the Verizon IndyCar Series as he competed in a more downforce-heavy chassis in the 2017 Indianapolis 500. While there is no indication of which teams the test would take place for, the likeliest option is Andretti Autosport. Alonso ran with Andretti in the 2017 Indy 500 in a joint program with McLaren. Regardless of the IndyCar team in question, a partnership with McLaren is likely due to the driver’s connection to the team and the team’s interest in IndyCar. Other rumoured rides include Harding Racing, who continue to explore options to run a second car for the 2019 season. The #88 Harding Racing Chevrolet has remained a possible rotating seat for the remainder of the season as a full-time driver search continues.
  6. MIKA27

    FORMULA 1

    BRIATORE: IN FORMULA 1 ONE SHOULD NEVER SAY NEVER While Fernando Alonso has apparently closed the door in Formula 1, he did leave a slight door open for a possible return in his official message in the McLaren announcement press release and now his longtime mentor and associate Flavio Briatore is also hinting that the door is not firmly shut as yet. Alonso left the door open for a return, hinting that if McLaren found the magic bullet he would be back, “My heart is with the team forever. I know they will come back stronger and better in the future and it could be the right moment for me to be back in the series; that would make me really happy.” Andrea Cremonesi of dello Sport asked Briatore about Alonso’s decision, to which the former Renault F1 team chief responded: “I can explain Fernando’s decision – it just made no sense to keep on racing for seventh and eighth plus. A driver loses the motivation.” “But I also find it strange that in this Formula 1 era there is apparently no place to be found on the grid for a talented driver such as Fernando.” Red Bull chief Christian Horner said recently that Alonso was a driver who would be difficult to manage, and creates “chaos” wherever he tends to go – which echoes the sentiment of a large portion of the media and knowledgeable F1 fans, but Briatore disagrees. The 68-year-old Italian entrepreneur and former team manager, who played an instrumental role in the Spaniard’s career, said, “I’m friends with Christian, but here Horner is not one to speak. He talks the good talk!” “If there is a racing team that cannot handle their drivers, then it is Red Bull. That’s exactly why Daniel Ricciardo is leaving. Fernando drove for me and he glorified the Renault team, he was an exemplary teammate for the other drivers, a benchmark for the engineers.” As for Alonso’s future beyond Formula 1, Briatore said, “Let’s see. First, it is time to finish the F1 season and the World Endurance Championship. I could understand it if he takes a break. Anyway, talking about a final farewell is too early. In Formula 1, things change very fast so one should never say never.” Early in the year, around the time of their ‘home’ grand prix in Bahrain it was clear that McLaren had failed miserably with their 2018 car. Last year they boasted the best chassis but no power unit to measure up against as they were solo with Honda engines. But this year the team that expected to challenge for wins are struggling to crack it beyond Q1 in qualifying and then scrapping for the minor positions in the races. Briatore recalled, how shortly after the race in Manama, he had said, “The terrific fourth place of Pierre Gasly in the Toro Rosso-Honda shows that McLaren has no more excuses. McLaren have to sort out their car, it most certainly is not the drivers. ” “Alonso is constantly driving at the highest level, he is at least as strong as Hamilton and drives very consistently. I would like to witness Fernando in a Mercedes or Ferrari,” added Briatore.
  7. MIKA27

    FORMULA 1

    VILLENEUVE: FERRARI MUST KEEP RAIKKONEN The summer break that never was, has served us a savoury selection of Silly Season tidbits, first Mercedes confirmed their boys for 2019, then Renault bombed us with the Daniel Ricciardo scoop and most recently Fernando Alonso has decided to say adiós to Formula 1. The next piece of the puzzle to fit is expected to be confirmation that Kimi Raikkonen will spend another year at Ferrari alongside Sebastian Vettel, a scenario that 1997 F1 World Champion Jacques Villeneuve is encouraging Maranello to maintain. Meanwhile, time waits for nobody, in the F1 paddock a new generation of impressive young guns is emerging, one among them is Charles Leclerc who has made a strong case for himself to be considered for promotion to Ferrari amid an excellent rookie season with Sauber. The Monegasque would be the first graduate to the Scuderia from the team’s in-house Ferrari Driver Academy (FDA), thus some believe it is a toss-up between the two – Leclerc or Raikkonen – but the smart money is on the veteran Finn getting the nod because he ticks all the boxes, including a healthy relationship with Vettel and a strong ally in team chief Maurizio Arrivabene. Villeneuve was asked during an interview on “Beyond the Grid” podcast if the Ferrari driver deserved another year with Reds, he replied, “Of course! Look how well he has been doing.” “He is third in the championship, his often quicker than Vettel and when he is not he is a tenth or so behind, he is paramount in the development of the car. The whole team works fantastically well now.” “Put a young cub next to Vettel, what will Vettel do? He will try to eat him alive, he will either destroy the young cub or it will end in tears and the team will end up going slower within two years.” Leclerc looks destined to be a Ferrari driver at some point in the future, but right now Villeneuve says the 20-year-old needs more grooming, “Charles is still making a few mistakes. It would be great for Leclerc, it would be amazing for him but it will be two years of Ferrari preparing him. Ferrari is like Mercedes, it is not a team to prepare drivers.” “It’s a top team, top teams pay for the drivers when they are at their best and when they want them. That’s why you have junior teams to prepare them.” Legend (or be it myth?) suggests that racing drivers slow down once they have kids, but according to Villeneuve quite the opposite is happening with the 38-year-old, “Kimi has been quite chatty now, he makes full phrases and they are coherent, so now I think you see more who he is now than in the past. He also is doing his best driving this way.” “I think having a kid some people will say you lose one second per kid, with Kimi it looks more like he has been gaining and his work is better having kids.” “Maybe it gave him a reason in life to do something positive, to become better at something, to show… I don’t know but it seems to have tied the line.” “You never know what will affect you psychologically and sometimes in the most unlikely situations will have averse or a positive result. You never know how it will turn out,” added Villeneuve. Raikkonen was the last driver to win the world championship for Ferrari when he triumphed in 2007, He departed the team at the end of 2009 to be replaced by Fernando Alonso at Maranello. He spent a couple of years in the wilderness before returning to F1 in 2012 with Lotus where he impressed enough for Ferrari to lure him back to the team for 2014, where he remains alongside Vettel.
  8. MIKA27

    FORMULA 1

    MCLAREN SET TO ANNOUNCE SAINZ TO REPLACE ALONSO A veteran Spaniard is set to make way for a young compatriot when Fernando Alonso brings to an end his Formula 1 career at the end of this season with McLaren and in his place will step Carlos Sainz. An announcement is expected on Thursday which will confirm Sainz on a two-year deal with the beleaguered Woking outfit. McLaren’s big bucks bid for Daniel Ricciardo was snubbed by the Red Bull driver who has instead taken up with Renault for the next couple of years. This freed up Sainz whose paymasters, Red Bull, are not keen to pair up the Spaniard with Max Verstappen as the potential for conflict between the pair is great, to say the least. At McLaren, it is clear that Stoffel Vandoorne has not stepped up to the plate and delivered on expectations thus he will be lucky not to be reduced to the list of great junior drivers who never had what it takes to deliver in the top flight. Alonso rates Vandoorne and his departure may afford the Belgian a reprieve to keep him on alongside Sainz to have some form of continuity within the team. They also have Lando Norris waiting in the wings. The plan would then to give the teenager several FP1 sessions during the course of the season, before making a call on his future while keeping Vandoorne honest. Ricciardo’s shock move to Renault triggered a frenzied ‘summer break’ of Silly Season info overload. Where do we stand now? More questions than answers: Fernando Alonso leaving the circus at the end of this season who to replace him? Force India being saved by the Lawrence Stroll led consortium and the drivers will be Lance and? Nicolas Latifi’s father buying a chunk of McLaren so when does his son get a ride? Who to partner Verstappen at the Bulls? Who for Toro Rosso if Pierre Gasly gets promoted to Red Bull? Charles Leclerc or Kimi Raikkonen for Ferrari? End of the road for Romain Grosjean? Sergio Perez to Haas?
  9. No need to join a gym @MoeFOH if you're willing to shell out a little cash for some equipment for the home. I personally as a single parent working 5 days a week, don't have the time to get to a gym that isn't a 24/7 seedy type establishment, so I recently purchased a good quality home rower. Every morning when I wake I row 2-3Km (When you start out even doing 1Km is a great start) and every evening I row another 3 Km. Rowing pretty much works out the entire body, builds muscle, sheds fat and is great cardio all in one. No stress on your joints either. After every work out, I have a drink of Whey Protein Isolate shake with water, not milk. Also I found that cutting back on minor things makes a huge difference: I have never liked fizzy sugary drinks so thats easy for me, I cut out sugar from my coffee completely and just generally food proportions for dinner, I've cut that down a little. Otherwise, I eat pretty much everything I like, just being a little more sensible about it combined with my daily exercise.
  10. MIKA27

    FORMULA 1

    Mika Salo on missing out on that GP victory in Germany By rights, Mika Salo should have gone back to Hockenheim recently not just as the FIA’s driver steward but as the winner of the 1999 German Grand Prix. That was the closest he ever came to winning in F1, and when he quit the sport in 2002, he did so without tasting a triumph. So what happened that day? Famed F1 journalist David Tremayne sat down with him to relive the race... Today, Mika Salo is remembered more as the man who handed that win to his Ferrari team mate Eddie Irvine, but a fairer memory of the likable Finn is the battle he had with two-time world champion Mika Hakkinen in their Formula 3 days back in 1990. In his Alan Docking Racing Ralt-Mugen, he led Hakkinen’s similar West Surrey Racing version until mid-season, when he spun while leading at Snetterton. Hakkinen eventually took the title after setting 11 poles, 10 fastest laps and nine wins. But with four poles, six fastest laps and six wins, Salo kept him honest throughout and finished a valiant runner-up. "I had a really good start and I was second after the first corner," Mika Salo on Germany 1999 That was why it was so apposite that it should be the two Finns fighting for that victory at Hockenheim in 1999, with Salo finally getting an F1 car worthy of his talents. But, first, let’s examine the circumstances leading up to that battle. They unravelled two races earlier at Silverstone when Michael Schumacher, not knowing that the race had been red flagged as Alex Zanardi’s Lotus and Jacques Villeneuve’s BAR were left stalled on the start line, was still fighting his way past Irvine and had just done so when he crashed heavily at Stowe. The German’s Ferrari was destroyed and he broke his right leg. Salo had already stood in at three 1999 races for the injured Ricardo Zonta at BAR, with a best result of seventh at Imola. He was thus the perfect choice when Ferrari suddenly needed a replacement for Schumacher, and qualified seventh on his debut in Austria. He got caught up in the aftermath of pole-sitter Hakkinen’s first-lap clash with team mate David Coulthard, collided with Johnny Herbert’s Stewart, and had to fight back up to ninth. Hockenheim went much better next time out, however. Hakkinen once again took pole position, from Heinz-Harald Frentzen’s Jordan and Coulthard’s McLaren. Salo was fourth, a couple of tenths faster than Irvine’s sister F399. “I qualified well,” he recalls. “But, really, I knew already, before I drove even one metre, that the kind of situation which arose would be coming, so that I would have to do what I had to do. I was there just to help Eddie and the team to win the drivers’ and constructors’ world championships. “But I had a really good start and I was second after the first corner. And Mika and I were just straight away pulling away from everybody else. It was like our old Formula 3 days.” Hakkinen led the first 24 laps then pitted for fuel and fresh tyres. Salo had pitted a lap earlier, and when Hakkinen’s fuel rig malfunctioned, the Ferrari stand-in found himself leading a Grand Prix for the first time by the 25th lap. But it did not last. "I was there to help Eddie and the team win the world championships" Mika Salo “I’d passed Mika in the pits, and was ahead of him when his tyre blew up on lap 25 and he crashed. So I was leading and was completely alone. But even before Mika crashed that lap, I had a little call from the pits…” It came from Ferrari’s Ross Brawn, asking him to let Irvine pass. “I’d seen from my mirrors on the main straight that there’s a red car behind me, but really far away, but then it didn’t take long before I heard Ross Brawn’s calm voice asking me to slow down. It still p****d me off. They said, ‘Not very fast this lap, Mika.’ I went, ‘s**t!’ “And then after Eddie went by he was driving so slow, I had to keep telling the team all the time if they can get him to go faster, because Frentzen was getting very close to me. I kept telling them can you tell Eddie to go faster because I’m stuck behind him now. Then he did speed up a little bit…” In the end, Irvine led Salo over the finish line in a Ferrari 1-2 by 1.007s, with Frentzen’s Jordan five seconds further back. And the Ulsterman, embarrassed by the circumstances of his victory, handed his team mate the winner’s trophy. “He did it on the podium, which I thought was a nice gesture. Actually, I ended up at home with both of the trophies, first and second! Then a few weeks later Eddie called me and said can he have the second-place one? So I sent it to him. “People say it must have been frustrating for me, but I didn’t think of it that way at that time. I just thought that’s my job, so it’s okay. That’s how it was. It’s a team sport. “And I sacrificed some other races also for Eddie and the team, like Spa. I could have been also on the podium there easily, but I had to do a little bit of a lift off there. So I took some bullets there, too.” "Eddie gave me his winner's trophy on the podium, which was a nice gesture" Mika Salo But he did have the satisfaction of completing the podium, behind winner Frentzen and runner-up Ralf Schumacher, on Ferrari’s home ground at Monza. So how does he look back on that episode of his F1 career? “After the season, when Eddie didn’t win the championship, then of course I was a little bit sad because I could have kept that win at Hockenheim, after all!” His two stand-out performances in the F399 played a significant role in Ferrari winning their first world championship – the constructors’ – since 1983, and earned him a ride with Ferrari-powered Sauber for 2000. He’d come into F1 with the fading Team Lotus back in 1994 at Peter Collins’ behest and drove superbly on his debut in the sodden Japanese GP in the unloved 109. “I was living in Japan at that time and it was a week before Suzuka, when Johnny [Herbert] went to Benetton. So Peter called me suddenly in the middle of the night and said, ‘Are you in Japan?’ I said I was. He said, ‘You’re gonna do the next race.’ I said, ‘Yes!’ So, that was it. “I’d never been in a Formula 1 car in my life, until that first practice. But it was good. I qualified only 25th and it was a hard race in the rain, I stopped halfway through when Martin Brundle crashed into a tractor. I finished 10th, in front of my team mate Alex Zanardi. “I think that the most fun I had was with Tyrrell, from 1995 to 1997. It was really nice, Steve Nielsen and all those guys. It was a small group and we were having a lot of fun. That was good times. We still managed to take points, even when only the top six scored.” He was fifth in Italy and Austria and sixth in Japan in 1995, fifth in Brazil and Monaco and sixth in Australia in 1996, and fifth in Monaco in 1997. “The car was pretty good, just underpowered. But now, if you were a small team like that you would be lost every race.” "The most fun I had was with Tyrrell, from 1995 to 1997" Mika Salo In 1998 a switch to Arrows yielded fourth place at his happy hunting ground of Monaco, while the move to Sauber for 2000 saw him finish fifth in the Principality and in Germany, and sixth in Imola and Austria. “The Sauber was pretty good, too, though Jean [Alesi] did most of the development the year before, so it was a bit funny. But we made it pretty good during the year. It was just a little bit of chaos there all the time, and I didn’t get along with Peter [Sauber] so well.” Sauber led to the chance to work with Toyota in 2001, developing their car ready for a championship campaign in 2002. “At the beginning it was quite hard because everybody came from sports cars or rallying. We were testing a lot of really stupid stuff. With Ferrari we were testing for the future already, like five years later, and they would test some parts and put them on the shelf just in case it’s allowed in five years’ time or something like that. But in Toyota it was really bad. The test car was really bad. It was heavy and very difficult to work with. But it was good people, and we got along very well. But overall it wasn’t good enough.” His best results came early, with sixths in Australia and Brazil, but the team decided to change both drivers for 2003, leaving Salo and Allan McNish out of F1. “That p****d me off actually, because we did only one year racing and then they said they don’t need us anymore and we had been working making the cars the way we wanted them to be and could have done some really good results the next year. Then they changed the drivers and it was really stupid because then they sacrificed the next year also, because maybe the new drivers don’t like ‘our’ cars.” Subsequently, Salo’s career took him to CART, Le Mans and the World Endurance Championship, V8 Supercars and Bathurst, establishing him as a fast all-rounder. In 2008 and 2009 with Risi Competizione he helmed a Ferrari to GT2 class victory at Le Mans (with Gianni Bruni and Jaime Melo, and Melo and Pierre Kaffer respectively), while one-off appearances for Ford Performance Racing in V8 Supercars Down Under yielded second at Surfer’s Paradise in 2011, and victory there in 2012. Two years later he shared a Maranello Motorsport Ferrari F458 GT3 with Craig Lowndes, John Bowe and Peter Edwards to win the Bathurst 12 Hours. Today, he’s happy working with SMP Racing, being an FIA driver steward at selected races, doing some television commentary and his Finnish TV show, Test Drive by Mika Salo. "It was a small group and we were having a lot of fun. That was good times" Mika Salo on Tyrrell “I’m a sporting director for SMP Racing, with the team and about 30 young drivers around the world. I advise them, and with my contacts I can help them. It’s nice. That’s why I like doing the steward’s job, to keep me in contact with other people here. I’m happy.” He likes the way F1 is going, too. “Looking at the new owners, I think it’s good. It’s more show now and there’s more action here. And I think it looks nice. The competition could be a little bit better. Now there’s six cars that can fight for a win. But then there’s a big gap. It would be nice to have everybody there. Give everybody the shot of doing well. But it’s been always like that, basically. In the past it’s been McLaren, Williams and Ferrari always there. In the old days if you got fifth or sixth it was a big deal, wasn’t it?” So what would his optimum 2021 Formula 1 be? “I don’t know. I would probably have a bit less technology. A little bit less things on the steering wheel and ban the computers from the paddock, or something like that. There’s still too many things to do. “Drivers are totally dependent on the team, what they tell them on the radio. They’re on the radio constantly. And the driver is totally lost if the team don’t talk to him all the time. So, I don’t like this part. It should be just flat-out racing. No saving tyres, no saving fuel. You go flat-out from start to finish, and maybe bring the refuelling back and softer tyres. So, do shorter stints and have more pit stops and make it more team work that way. More chance of different strategies, more dependence on the driver. That would be ideal.” Once a racer, always a racer.
  11. MIKA27

    FORMULA 1

    Improving Haas attracting more interest from drivers – Steiner Who will lead Haas’ charge next season? Not only is it a popular topic of paddock conversation, it is also a question plenty of interested drivers have been asking, according to Team Principal Guenther Steiner. However, he has remained tight-lipped on his 2019 line-up… The American team are enjoying an impressive third season in Formula 1, notching up their best ever result in Austria, and they are currently Renault’s closest challengers in the race for fourth in the constructors’ standings. Kevin Magnussen has been the standout performer for them, delivering seven points-scoring finishes, and it is expected that he will remain with the team next season. However Romain Grosjean’s mixed performances – with just three top-ten finishes - has led to doubts over his future with Haas. Steiner maintained his stance that Haas will decide on their partnership following the summer break, but he did reveal that their progression this year has seen them attract plenty of interest. “I wouldn’t say we are shopping around. You know, a lot of people are shopping with us, put it that way,” he said, speaking during the Hungarian Grand Prix weekend. “There are people asking for obvious reasons and they want to see what we are doing and if somebody is asking that doesn’t mean they want to come, in my opinion, they might just be asking to see what other people are doing. “We will decide after the holiday what we are going to do but at the moment we don’t think about it. There are a lot of people asking and it is part of my job to know what is happening in the market place. “Yeah (there is more interest), but I have a good relationship with a lot of these guys anyway. I’ve got relationships with people and you just talk and they ask what is going on here and I give them the same answer.” Midfield rivals Renault recently confirmed the surprise arrival of Daniel Ricciardo to partner Nico Hulkenberg next year, meaning Spanish driver Carlos Sainz is now available. Steiner, however, did not comment on which drivers have shown interest. He added: “It’s all ‘potentially’ and I don’t know where they are. For sure, they go round and say I’m potentially on the market but it doesn’t make it a fact. "At the moment it’s more gossip, because nobody has pulled the trigger yet on anybody. Everyone is looking everywhere but no one has decided what to do, so somebody has to make the first move.” Haas are currently fifth in the standings, trailing Renault by 16 points. They’ll have the chance to close that gap when F1 returns to action at the Belgian Grand Prix on August 24-26.
  12. MIKA27

    FORMULA 1

    The ground-breaking Brabham BT52 Thirty-five years ago Nelson Piquet became the first turbo-powered world champion, driving Gordon Murray’s beautiful BMW-engined Brabham BT52. The BT52 has gone down in history as one of the most original and iconic of all F1 cars. But its simple dart-like contours – with the radiators sited well behind the cockpit, giving a pencil-thin front and a fanned-out rear – came as Murray’s practical response to an 11th hour regulation change. As a result of massively increased cornering speeds and G-forces, the sport’s governing body was intent on banning ground-effect cars for 1983 - but even into the 1982 off-season the British teams were fighting this. Brabham’s owner Bernie Ecclestone was leading this resistance and had confidently told Murray to design a ground-effect machine for ’83. This was almost complete when the bombshell came from the FIA in November that flat-bottom cars were to be regulated in from the start of ’83. So the ground-effect BT51 was shelved and in the space of just six weeks, the totally new BT52 was conceived and built. The first race was at Rio, Brazil on March 13th – and Piquet won. Nelson Piquet won the 1983 drivers' title in the BT52 - a car conceived and built in a scarcely believable six weeks. Note the ultra short sidepods, with the radiators pushed as far back as possible to put more weight over the rear axle and improve traction. Because the flat bottom regulations outlawed the venturi sections of the floor beneath the sidepods that had featured on all F1 cars for several years (following the original innovation of the Lotus 78 in 1977) and banned the nylon side skirts that had sealed the under-floors to give negative pressure, downforce was drastically reduced. Murray reasoned the downforce reduction would have an adverse effect on traction – particularly important with a turbocharged BMW motor that could approach 1,000bhp in qualifying trim. Accordingly, he sought to put as much of the car’s weight as possible on the rear axle. Because the sidepod venturis had been banished, the sidepods were no longer needed, and so Murray moved the radiators as far back as possible. He also extended that axle line much further back (giving the car the longest wheelbase of all the ’83 contenders) so as to give a flatter deck to better feed the rear wing. To make the car simple to work on and rebuild, designer Gordon Murray conceived the BT52 in a modular fashion. The new car also had to incorporate the mid-race refuelling concept Murray had re-introduced to F1 in 1982. Hence it had a less than full-size tank, with a pressurised nozzle system that allowed the fuel to be fed in at up to 5-bar of pressure. In this way, over 30 gallons could be delivered in around 3s. Having introduced this system mid-way through ’82, Murray was certain all the other teams would have copied the idea for their ’83 cars. “I was amazed when we got to Rio and realised that everyone still had these full tank cars,” recalled Murray years later. The smaller tank allowed the car to be packaged better – and created the space that better facilitated the lower engine cover ahead of the rear wing, a crucial part of its aero performance. Because Brabham was such a small team, Murray paid particular attention to how quickly engine, gearbox and suspension changes could be made. The immensely powerful ‘grenade’ engines used for high-boost qualifying were typically junked afterwards and multiple engine changes per weekend were the norm. Murray created a modular system that was subsequently widely copied. The whole rear end – engine, radiators, intercoolers, transmission, suspension – could be built-up off the car as a single self-contained unit, with liquids all sealed, and then simply bolted into place as required. At the front, the suspension fed into a single-piece magnesium casting that likewise could be bolted on or off. Spring/damper units were held in place by a pin on the rocker that could be pulled back and released to allow a spring change to be made in a matter of seconds. The BT52 featured a unique arrow-shaped front wing. In contrast to other cars on the grid, including Renault's championship challenging RE40, the driver wasn't flanked by sidepods. The modular aspect of the car’s design and construction can be properly appreciated in the drawing further up the page, showing how the entire rear end bolts onto the bulkhead behind the cockpit. This bulkhead was formed from aluminium, as was the lower part of the chassis, with the upper part in carbon fibre, with aluminium body panels. Although Murray had been incorporating carbon fibre in his cars’ constructions for four years by this point, he was still reluctant to follow McLaren’s 1981 lead of an all-carbon fibre chassis, given the facilities at his disposal. The underbody diffuser sections (allowed aft of the rear axle) slotted in beneath the gearbox. “Aerodynamically, it was probably the least adjustable car of all time,” recalls Murray. “We just had front wing flap adjustment to balance it out.” Brabham's principle rivals in 1983 couldn't have produced more different looking machines. ...Ferrari's 126 C2B was lean and muscular.. ...while Renault RE40, raced by Piquet's main rival Alain Prost, was decidedly chunky. However, the BT52 proved well balanced and powerful enough for a vivacious Piquet to win three of the 15 races, surrendering a fourth victory in the final round at Kyalami to team mate Riccardo Patrese as he clinched the championship from beneath the noses of Renault and Alain Prost. And you could argue there hasn't been a more beautiful title-winning car since...
  13. SHAKEN: DRINKING WITH JAMES BOND & IAN FLEMING Cocktails are at the heart of every James Bond adventure, and Shaken: Drinking with James Bond and Ian Fleming is the official cocktail book of 007. The book features 10 classic cocktails from Bond novels from The Vesper to the classic vodka martini which spawned the instructive "shaken, not stirred" catchphrase. 40 new recipes are also included that were created by the mixologists at London's award-winning bar Swift, and each one sits alongside related excerpts from Bond author Ian Fleming. $20
  14. SYLVESTER STALLONE’S RM 25-01 TOURBILLON ADVENTURE WATCH While many of his movie characters are known for their sheer physical prowess and power of will, Sylvester Stallone is actually quite a bit more refined. In fact, he’s a card-carrying member of Mensa, the high IQ society. And now, he’s put those smarts to good use by helping create the RM 25-01 Tourbillon Adventure Watch with his friend and watchmaker, Richard Mille. For those unfamiliar, a tourbillon is a watch feature that helps counter the effects of gravity on a wristwatch. It’s also one of the most complex mechanical complications ever envisioned and is widely regarded as being an impressive if unnecessary addition. While this watch has one tucked within its gears, its only one part of the many that make this watch an altogether insane feat of watchmaking. The RM 25-01 also features magnetic shielding, a titanium-carbon TPT case, a detachable compass, a level, and even an emergency compartment that houses a water-purification tablet. That, plus a dozen or so more features, give this watch a price of $983,000. Oh yeah, and only 20 will ever be made.
  15. Scientists Are Trying to Make Beer from the Oldest Beer Evidence Ever Discovered Archaeologists have found traces of beer in Iraq that are super old, dating back 2,500 years to ancient Mesopotamia and the Babylonian Empire. While texts from those forgotten days speak of fermented drinks, this is the "oldest direct evidence" of beer discovered, Smithsonian reports. And now the archaeologists who discovered the traces are trying to replicate the recipe for us to enjoy in the modern era. Eons pass and civilizations fall, but beer is always good. Elsa Perruchini, the lead author on the study announcing the discovery, used a process called gas chromatography, which has never before been used to identify beer residue in ancient remains. It allowed her to see past contamination like sunscreen from archaeologists working the dig to identify different compounds in the remains. Lo and behold, barley residue from beer was discovered in clay pots, as well as signs of fermentation. Past research has uncovered hints that beer existed, like signs of a Mesopotamian brewery dating back 4,000 years, but it was never as conclusive as Perruchini's discovery of fermented barley compounds. Beer was important back then because fermentation kept barley good for longer, and made it more nutritional. There is also the obvious reason: It was fun to drink. Some things never change. Now, Perruchini and study coauthor Claudia Glatz are trying to brew a beer that matches the residue. So far, they haven't discovered the right recipe, nor have they tried to drink any of their concoctions. "It smells so terrible,” Perruchini told Smithsonian. But if they're successful, there's a chance modern-day beer and history lovers would pay good money for a taste. After all, more than 17,000 people wanted to drink the gunk water from an ancient Egyptian sarcophagus, and that was more likely to kill you than get you buzzed. Cheers!

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