Rolls-Royce celebrates British music legends

Nine unique Rolls-Royce Wraith cars have been commissioned to celebrate icons of the British music industry.

The first four Wraith ‘Inspired by British Music’ cars have been unveiled at a star-studded event in London by the artists who created them, in partnership with Rolls-Royce Motor Cars.

The stars involved in the project were personally invited to the home of Rolls-Royce in Goodwood, England, and worked in close partnership with Rolls-Royce’s design experts to conceive deeply personal expressions of their music legacies.

The unique cars created represent the ultimate collectors’ items for the most ardent fans of each artist and will be sold later in 2017, with Rolls-Royce donating a proportion of the value of each to charities selected by each artist, including the Teenage Cancer Trust.

The first artists honoured were The Who frontman Roger Daltrey, Sir Ray Davies of The Kinks, and producer and “fifth Beatle” Sir George Martin.

The final batch of hand-built Wraith models unveiled later in 2017 will feature Dame Shirley Bassey, Status Quo’s Francis Rossi and Ronnie Wood of the Rolling Stones.

Rolls-Royce Wraith Inspired by British Music

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Hamilton wins British Grand Prix

Heading into this weekend’s 50th British Grand Prix, Lewis Hamilton was facing what a seminal race for the 2008 world champion. Lodged 29 points behind his teammate, Nico Rosberg, and slowly drifting backwards in a year which could easily be another championships given the clear domination of the Mercedes AMG Petronas car.

On Saturday the British weather wreaked havoc on qualifying and Lewis made a grave mistake by aborting his final lap in Q3 while five other drivers, including his teammate, chose to go for it. This gritty determination paid dividends with Nico Rosberg securing pole position leaving Hamilton to start from 6th on the grid. It was a decision that left Hamilton visibly stunned.

On Sunday, fortunes reversed as Hamilton and his side of the garage had chosen to use a strategy that ran longer than Rosberg but in the end, it was simply sheer pace that kept Lewis in tow and headed to victory as Rosberg experienced a DNF with a gearbox failure. Regardless, just as qualifying proved, you have to make your own luck in Formula 1 and being determined to recover from 6th place at the start was always Hamilton’s mission. Lewis caught himself on the podium when he said he won Sunday because “you never give up” and then quickly recalled his “giving up” just 24 hours earlier but explained that was different. Not really, Lewis.

A seminal race now became a launching pad back into the world championship as Hamilton cut his point deficit to just four points. As the series heads to Germany, things will begin to get tight and it continues to point toward that final race in Abu Dhabi for double-points as a possible disruptive element in either driver’s championship bid.

Hamilton claimed his 27th career victory at the 50th British Grand Prix.

The race was red-flagged following an accident on the opening lap, with an hour’s delay for barrier repairs. Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen crashed after running off circuit and re-entering at speed. The Finnish driver complained of ankle pain and it is unclear as to if he will participate in next week’s scheduled testing session or in Germany in two weeks.

A two-stop strategy was used by Hamilton to win the race, but the rest of the podium – and seven out of the top 10 – was made up of one-stoppers, at one of the toughest circuits of the season. Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo, who finished third, made his final set of medium tyres last for 37 laps.

The teams will now remain in Silverstone for a two-day in-season test on Tuesday and Wednesday.



Valtteri Bottas started 14th and drove and outstanding race to finish 2nd which is only his second podium appearance if his career in F1. While his teammate, Felipe Massa, was collected in the Raikkonen debacle, Bottas held the flag high for local team Williams F1 in a stellar performance of composure and tire management.

Another big win was that of Jenson Button who has been slightly at odds in the press lately with his McLaren team’s boss, Ron Dennis. The British champion also faced what might be a seminal race for his career and securing 4th was the best the McLaren has looked in quite a while. If Dennis felt beating his rookie teammate was important, Button certainly did that in spades.

While things were rather pedestrian up front until Rosberg’s gearbox issue, Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso and Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel put on a great display of passing, defense and radio frustration for several laps.

Daniel Ricciardo drove another great race on worn tires to secure the final podium position in what is becoming a theme this year of beating his 4-time championship winning teammate, Sebastian Vettel—who seemed to be more interested in crying foul against Alonso than getting on with the program.

Which reminds me…if I heard Alonso’s radio communication properly after being passed by Vettel, he appears to share the same love of DRS that Paul Charsley and I do and that’s a big win in my book. Alonso alleged that Vettel’s flap was opening where it shouldn’t be.



Certainly one could look at Rosberg’s gearbox failure as a low-light of the race as he had matters in control and looked to be sailing to a victory. No one likes to see DNF’s but then Lewis has had his share this year so perhaps it was time for the boot to be on the other foot for change and it does tighten up the championship—if only between two cars nonetheless.

Another fail had to be Lotus F1 this weekend with a disqualification for Pastor Maldonado in qualifying for a lack of a fuel sample after running—which is required by the FIA and no mystery to any team. Ultimately Maldonado retired from the race with an exhaust problem while his teammate, Romain Grosjean, puttered around to 12th place.

Not to be outdone, Sauber’s Esteban Gutierrez tried his hardest to ruin Pastor Maldonado’s race by launching him into the air and then promptly retiring with damage. The young Mexican driver will face a 3-space grid penalty for the German Grand Prix.

Placed to do well, Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg, as well as teammate Sergio Perez, struggled with car handling the entire race and couldn’t turn luck into fortune with a great qualifying position. Hulkenberg nearly lost his 8th place finish to a charging Daniil Kvyat in the Toro Rosso as wel who finished just 0.6s behind the German.


Certainly Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen has to be a “WTH” moment of the race as race-driving basics tell you to ease your way back on track. The Finnish driver kept his foot in it and attempted to re-enter the track at the exact spot there was a large bump which unsettled the rear end causing his crash and the end of Felipe Massa’s race as well.

Another WTH moment had to be the Gutierrez clash with Maldonado which most likely ended both driver’s races.

Another odd WTH moment was Marussia’s call to bring Max Chilton in as the race was red flagged. The British driver cruised down pitlane at the exact time that team personnel were trying to get out to the grid to stage their cars for a re-start. This situation could be very dangerous indeed and the race stewards handed Chilton a penalty because of it.

The world feed gets my WTH finger as well as coverage was slightly disjointed trying to find action on track. It got choppy and failed to catch a few key moments that I felt would have been nice to see.


Power Units Used – Update before British Grand Prix

The new for 2014 Power Units comprise six components:

1.6  litre Internal Combustion Engine (ICE);
Turbocharger (TC);
Motor Generator Unit – Kinetic (MGU-K);
Motor Generator Unit – Heat (MGU-H);
Energy Store (ES);
Control Electronics (CE).

While the longer term aim is to limit drivers to four Power Units per season (and this limitation starts next season), for the first year of these new regulations the FIA allowed each driver to use five Power Units for the year.  The components can be used in any combination (if for example a turbo fails, the driver doesn’t need to change a whole Power Unit, just the TC).  However if a sixth unit is required of any of the components, then the driver gets a ten place grid penalty the first time it is used.  If an additional component from the sixth power unit is required, then the driver takes a five place grid penalty for each component used.  Similar penalties apply each time a new power unit (7th 8th 9th etc) is used.

On the Thursday prior to each Grand Prix, the FIA issues a report showing the components used to date.  This is the reports prior to the British Grand Prix (so following eight of the nineteen races this season, or 42% of the season):

Delegate report

Taking the components in turn, seven drivers used a new ICE last time out (both Mercedes, both McLaren and Both Force India drivers together with Pastor Maldonado).  For the Mercedes powered teams this looks like their planned change (only Williams of the Mercedes powered teams used a third ICE in Canada).  Maldonado though is now on his fourth ICE, joining Vettel, Kvyat and Bianchi in running short of this component.  Both Caterham drivers have still only used two ICE (so are making the engines last for four GP weekends) which is actually on target to get to the end of the season without penalties, however they have done less miles than most through the year to date, so that may explain some of it.

It is a very similar story for the TC, with the only difference being Gutiérrez who went up to his third TC last time out.

For the MGU-K again we have the same seven drivers using a fresh component last time (the six Mercedes drivers using their third, and Maldonado his fourth).  This time it is only Maldonado and Kvyat who are in trouble on four components used, with everyone else bar the Caterham pair on three.  The Ferrari runners have been using their third MGU-K for four race weekends, so may need a fresh one this weekend?

Mercedes again used a third MGU-H in all their power units (although once again Williams had first used theirs in the previous race weekend in Canada).  Vettel and Maldonado were the other two drivers to need a fresh component last time out, both now on four MGU-H joining Räikkönen and Bianchi who first used their fourth component in Canada.  Once again the Caterham pair have only used two to date, but this time they are joined by Grosjean and Gutiérrez.

The ES seems the most reliable of all the components in the power units, regardless of manufacturer.  Only the works Mercedes drivers and Chilton needed a fresh component at the last race weekend, both now using their third.  This is possibly the one component that will not cause any driver to suffer a grid penalty come the end of the year.  Even if Kobayashi has been using his third ES since the second race weekend.

Once again Mercedes unwrapped their third CE for the works drivers last time out (it really does look like a planned change), with only Massa of the customer drivers needing to join them.  The only other driver to make a change is this component was Vergne, who also used his third CE in Austria.  Vettel and Kobayashi are the ones in trouble with this component, Kobayashi has been on his fourth component since using it in Malaysia (seven GP weekends), and the World Champion has been using his fourth unit since Monaco (three weekends).

We are unlikely to see grid penalties this weekend unless someone has two or more failures of the same component, and that hasn’t happened since the second race.  However even Mercedes look doubtful to reach the end of the season without penalty (they have changed their complete power unit after three and a half race weekends on average, so five power units wouldn’t even last eighteen races, and there are nineteen on the calendar this season (unless Wolff or Lauda know something we don’t?).


Silverstone…from an engine’s point of view

(with 1 being the easiest, 5 being the most severe)













Silverstone overview:

Rémi Taffin, Renault Sport F1 head of track operations:

Silverstone is one of the most interesting circuits from a Power Unit point of view. Over the years it has become known as a power track and this year will be no different with the hybrid units. In fact the high torque, low downforce cars should produce even quicker speeds than we have seen in previous years.

Over 60% of the circuit is taken at full throttle; in fact from Luffield to Stowe the ICE, turbo and MGU-H will be flat out for a total of almost 40secs. After going through Luffield the driver will accelerate down the old pit straight, reaching speeds of well over 310kph before a short lift off for Copse. The time taken from the driver lifting off to being fully back on it again is less than one second. The challenge for Renault’s engine engineers is therefore to allow the engine to effectively function as a switch, going from “fully off” to “fully on” almost instantaneously.

After Copse the car will have another 10secs of wide open throttle before the high speed turns of Maggots and Becketts. Enormous pressures will go through the internals here as the driver shifts from side to side at an average of 200kph. Then it’s back on the gas for another 15secs down the Hangar Straight. The only other place we will see this long distance of open throttle is Spa. We’ll be looking to the MGU-H to feed the MGU-K throughout this period of acceleration, not only to increase top speed but also to reduce fuel consumption.

The Wellington Loop complex will give opportunity for the MGU-K to recover energy through braking and recharge the battery. In fact this new complex is a blessing for the new PUs since the percentage of wide open throttle and quick corners would otherwise make this a very tricky race to manage in terms of the 100kg fuel limit.

It’s always a pleasure to visit Silverstone. The crowds are always huge and very passionate and knowledgeable about the sport, plus we have the added bonus of being on the home ground for three-quarters of our clients. Equally it is particularly poignant to be back here with the turbo engines after Renault debuted the first-ever F1 turbo back in 1977. We are going there in a positive frame of mind. It’s fair to say that Austria was frustrating and disappointing but we’ve looked at every scenario in a very detailed manner and are confident the failures won’t happen again. There have been changes on two levels; both technically in terms of software evolution and in terms of procedures to ensure we catch an issue before it becomes a major problem. We go there with a clean sheet of paper.

News from Total

Limiting internal engine friction can improve performance and unleash power. Lubricant viscosity plays a decisive role by determining the performance of the moving parts such as the crankshaft, connecting rods and pistons. The oil film that coats the junctions between metal parts must be sufficiently robust to ensure high speed motion without contact. The physical constraints the mechanical parts and lubricants are subject to are infinitesimal: some are separated only by a few thousandths of a micron!

Renault Energy F1-2014 Fast Facts:

  • Fuel consumption at Silverstone will be high since the lap is long and quick and every part of the Power Unit will be put through its paces at some point. Unlike Austria and Canada, however, there should be enough chance for the MGU-K and H to recover energy through the corners.
  • At Silverstone the phenomenon of ‘engine overloading’ will however come to the fore. To create more electrical power, slightly more fuel than necessary is put into the ICE. Running the ICE at a higher fuel flow produces more overall power, which in turn allows the MGU-K and MGU-H to recover more energy to recharge the battery. It may sound counterproductive to use more fuel to become more efficient but just a small percentage more fuel leads to greater car efficiency through improved driveability. Overloading is particularly useful at circuits were there are few corners and therefore chances to recover energy.
  • Cooling is not a particular issue here as the temperatures are not too hot and there are plenty of opportunities where the engine is given a breath of fresh air on the straights.
  • Renault engines have won the British GP on 12 occasions. Alain Prost scored the first victory with the RE40 turbocharged engine in 1983. Williams dominated the 90s, winning six times with the V10 between 1991 and 1997. Johnny Herbert added another win for Benetton in 1995. The Renault V8 powered four victories between 2006 and 2012.

The Return of the Turbo!

Turbos will return to Silverstone for first time in 25 years this year. In 1977 Renault created F1 history when it debuted the revolutionary and highly experimental RS01 at the British GP on 17 July 1977. It became the first-ever manufacturer to race a turbocharged car in the championship. An option for 1.5-litre V6 turbocharged engines has been in the rules for many years but most teams were running 3.0-litre normally aspirated engines.

Frenchman Jean-Pierre Jabouille became the first driver to ever compete in a championship race with the EF01 turbocharged engine locked into the back of the distinctive yellow and white car. The car retired after 16 laps but not before it had made a big impression. Just two years later the RS01 scored its first win on home ground in the 1979 French GP at Dijon. A move to twin turbos, improvements in cooling and reductions in vibrations and friction allowed power and speeds to reach unprecedented levels, with more than 1,000bhp seen on race day and 1,300bhp in qualifying by the mid-80s – just seven years after the turbo made its first appearance.

Via formula1blog

More ‘noise’ about F1 sound

It seems the quest for the improvement of the sound of a Formula 1 car is continuing with an acoustic consultancy working in hand with Ferrari to achieve what was lost—namely the sound of F1.

While the FIA, pundits and teams have all tried to marginalize the impact the new 2014 regulations have had on the sound of the cars by insidiously using the word “noise” to connote a negative impression of past F1 car sound levels, it still remains a major issue in F1. Even AUTOSPORT has reduced itself to using the word “noise”. Sad days indeed.

At least Kimi Raikkonen knows it is and uses the appropriate word “sound” when describing it telling AUTOSPORT:

“When you ask people who came before what the first thing is they notice, they say the sound was amazing, and if they go to a corner to see it, it looks very fast,” he said.

“Now, when they come, it doesn’t look as fast because there’s no sound anymore.

“I’m sure it’s not so nice for them and so exciting and different, so I’m sure there are a lot of areas that can be made much better for people, and more interesting.”

In order to achieve a better sound, the acoustic consultant and Ferrari have devised a new system and according to AUTOSPORT, it will hopefully be tested at the British Grand Prix. The system will require a change to the regulations because it uses a dual exhaust configuration that is currently against the regulations.

The dual exhaust will also use the megaphone or trumpet feature that failed to impress when attempted by Mercedes at the Spanish Grand Prix. The dual exhaust would be located between the turbocharger and wastegate.

Adding a second exhaust may have an impact but in the end, nothing can replace revs and unlimited energy production in order to achieve those revs. It’s not rocket science but it may take rocket science to achieve a sound anywhere near the former V8 levels if you run a V6 turbo at 11,000 rpm and expect it to sound magnificent.