2014 Mid-Season Analysis – Caterham

From the outset of the season, Caterham had earmarked 2014 as their do or die season. A quick glance at their championship standings and points tally reveals that the back-marker has, in a sense, died. Continue reading

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Roland Ratzenberger: the other half of Imola, part 3

San Marino 29 April 1994

Rubens Barrichello endured a horrible accident in practice that foreshadowed the rest of the weekend.

Rubens Barrichello endured a horrible accident in practice that foreshadowed the rest of the weekend.

Considered by many to be the darkest weekend in the history of Formula 1, the 1994 San Marino Grand Prix at Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari began to go wrong during the Friday qualifying session. Continue reading

Roland Ratzenberger: the second half of Imola, part 2

Having gained no small amount of notoriety for his achievements at Le Mans and unyielding devotion to racing over the years, Ratzenberger finally found himself with a route to Formula 1. Barbara Belhau, a sports manager from Monaco, got in touch with the Austrian and began working to help him find a place on the grid. Continue reading

Roland Ratzenberger: the second half of Imola, part 1

1 May 1994, the day of the San Marino Grand Prix, saw three-time Formula 1 world champion Ayrton Senna suffer a severe crash that would claim his life a few hours later. The loss of the man widely considered to be the fastest race car driver of all time shook Formula 1 down to its core, spurring massive safety regulation changes to avoid any such tragedies again. To this day, Ayrton Senna da Silva remains the most recent casualty of a Formula 1 event. Continue reading

F1 2014: Mercedes on the attack

Even before heading into the off-season, there were rumors swirling about Mercedes already showing a spectacular affinity for the new engine formula. Many dismissed the claims as sheer nonsense, others (mainly Red Bull’s detractors) held onto a quiet modicum of hope that it would be true. How the hopeful would be rewarded.

Straight from the start of pre-season testing, the silver arrows looked to be in an entirely different league from the rest of the field. Their dominating speed was matched only by their unrivaled reliability. Though Bahrain and the Australian Grand Prix would reveal glitches in the machine of last year’s runner-up, there can be no mistaking the likelihood that Mercedes AMG Petronas are already looking likely to cart off with the championship. Continue reading

F1 2014 Preview: Lotus’ struggles continue

Pound for pound, no team was better than the small Enstone squad last season. Having pulled Kimi Raikkonen out of retirement, put in the effort to transform Romain Grosjean into a driver who could drive with the best and built a superb team on a relatively small budget, the team was looking like a championship contender..

Amid the podiums and win last year, troublesome news did surface about the team: funds were so low that they were unable to pay Raikkonen. Proposed deals with the Quantum Motorsport consortium seemed to provide hope that the team would be able to pull itself together. Nothing came of it, and as a result the team lost many key personnel such as aerodynamicist James Allison, team principle Eric Boullier. Lotus is in for some chop. Continue reading

F1 2014 Preview: McLaren’s year of transition

On the back of building a lackluster car last year, McLaren had one big announcement that managed to keep the enthusiasm of their fans high: Honda will be returning as their engine supplier next year. Exciting as the thought of F1’s most dynamic team-engine combination returning is, it is still a year away. With one year left of Mercedes power, no title sponsor (yet) and Ron Dennis back at the reigns, the Woking team has finally started a new chapter.

Dennis’ return as team principle might be the biggest news so far this year. Naturally, that brings an end to the Martin Whitmarsh era and the general lack of order that the well-meaning technocrat brought to the team. In tow, former Lotus team principle Eric Boullier has been snapped up. A great addition for the team, as the unimposing Frenchman has demonstrated the ability to run a team more effectively than anyone else on the grid.

Getting the team back to the way it was when Dennis was running the show will take some time. Already change can be seen trickling into the team. Continue reading