F1 2015 Bahrain Grand Prix Results – Ferrari continue to grow!

A very interesting weekend at Bahrain.  Mercedes were kept honest by an increasingly competitive Ferrari.

At the start of the race day the two Mercedes cars were split by Ferrari on the grid. Mid race was dominated by tactical tyre choices and pit stops. And on the final lap  simultaneous brake failures on both Mercedes meant that Hamilton just managed to cliing on to his first place, with Raikkonen overtaking Rosberg to finish second.  Vettel made lots of mistakes (uncharacteristically) to claim 4th.

Other items of note:

  • Williams continue to grow following a great fifth place for the excellent Valtteri Bottas.
  • Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo took sixth even though his engine EXPLODED as he approached the finish line!!!
  • A dramatic improvement for McLaren-Honda with Alonso finishing the race and looking to be in contention for points until the last third of the race.

So Hamilton has won three of the first four races.  However with growing competition from Ferrari, and possibly Williams, it could be the start to the best season in years.

The next F1 race weekend is Friday 8th May in Spain.

What Car? Auto Reliability Survey Results

What Car? have issued the results of their 2015 UK warranty survey on the reliability of cars of between 3 to 8 years old.  It showed that autos made by Japanese manufacturers were the most reliable, and (surprisingly) those made by the Germans amongst the worst.

The top three were Top of the poll was Honda, Suzuki and Toyota.  Whilst the worst was the (German owned) Bentley, with Porsche, Mercedes Benz and Audi just above.

It should be noted that repair costs were a factor in the scoring mechanism, and spare parts for a Bentley or a Porsche are going to be a lot more than for a Honda or a Suzuki.

1 Honda
2 Suzuki
3 Toyota
4 Chevrolet / Mazda
6 Ford
7 Lexus
8 Skoda
9 Hyundai / Nissan / Subaru
12 Daewoo / Peugeot
14 Fiat
15 Citroen
16 Smart
17 Mitsubishi
18 Kia
19 Vauxhall
20 Seat
21 Renault
22 Mini
23 Volkswagen
24 Rover
25 Volvo
26 Saab
27 Land Rover
28 BMW / MG
30 Jaguar
31 SsangYong
32 Mercedes-Benz
33 Chrysler
34 Audi
35 Jeep
36 Porsche
37 Bentley

 

Wheeler Dealers – The US Car Episodes

In the UK there is a great TV show made by The Discovery Cannel called Wheeler Dealers. There are two presenters, Mike Brewer and Ed China, and the premise of the program is very simple but effective. Each episode Mike buys a second hand motor on a budget, Ed works on its bodywork and mechanicals to bring it up to scratch, then Mike sells it on, hopefully for a profit.

The thing that sets this program apart is that it doesn’t shy away from the details. Mike gives lots of great tips on how to locate, test drive and bargain for the car. Ed then goes through all the details of the work required to fix the car. And finally Mike goes through the details of how to secure a sale.

Highlights of the program to date have included:

  • a Lamborghini Urraco purchased in Poland
  • a Ferrari Dino 308 GT4
  • Lancia Delta HF Integrale 8v
  • DeLorean DMC-12

Series 1 was first aired in 2003, and to date 11 series have been aired (up to March 2014). However we are about to be treated to a new series, series 12, starting in March 2015 in which Ed and Mike set up a temporary workshop in Huntington Beach, CA.

To celebrate the start of the new series we wanted to give you a run down of the US cars they have tackles to day (series 1 to 11):

Series Vehicle Budget Purchase Price Repair Costs Selling Price Profit/Loss
1 1967 Chevrolet El Camino $9,600 $9,600 $808 $9,900 -$508
1 1967 Chevrolet Camaro $17,201 $15,000 $100 $27,142 $9,292
2 Willys Jeep $19,950 $10,000 $48 $10,435 $387
3 Chevrolet Opala $20,337 $5,217 $6 $6,522 $1,319
3 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray $21,655 $17,000 $440 $22,500 $5,060
3 Chevrolet Apache $26,715 $11,000 $940 $14,500 $2,560

Don’t miss series 12…

2015 Formula 1 Season Starts This Week

 

A sport that has been growing in popularity in North America is Formula 1.  And for good reason.  The years proceeding the 2014 championship were dominated by the Red Bull Racing Team and their driver Sebastian Vettel.  Whilst the visceral wail of the V8 engines was intoxicating, the drivers and constructors championships were becoming predictable.

However that all changed for the 2014 session, in which the FIA took the brave decision to radically change the series.  By removing the V8s and swapping for 6 cylinder plus electrical hybrid systems and introducing stringent fuel efficiency rules the FIA made F1 relevant to the challenges facing today’s motor industry.

But what would the racing be like…?

Well 2014 proved to be one the most exciting years for F1 ever.  The once dominant force of Red Bull was over shadowed by Mercedes.  And the once dominant driving skills of Sebastian Vettel were overshadowed by the Australian Daniel Ricciardo (possibly spurred on by the thought of .

And to crown it we had one of the most exciting season-long team-mate driver battles ever in the history of F1.  The rivalry between Mercedes drivers Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg was up there with the likes of Alain Prost vs. Nigel Mansell, and James Hunt vs Niki Lauda.

The head to head battle was full of acrimony, crashes, and season long jostling for position.  In the end it was Hamilton who was victorious as he managed to secure his 2nd world championship in the final race of the season.

So tune in for the start of 2015 in Australia:

  • Practice Friday 13th March
  • Qualifying Saturday 14th March
  • Racing Sunday 15th March

If you don’t want to miss any races you can view the full calendar here.

Road Atlanta Announces 2015 Spectator Schedule

Sept. 30 – Oct. 3. 2015.

Vintage racing. Drifting. Sportscar racing. And now, after a short hiatus, Road Atlanta welcomes top-tier two-wheeled racing back to the 2015 schedule! MotoAmerica, the new premiere North American motorcycle championship, joins the lineup of spectator events at Road Atlanta this season and begins a new chapter in their rich motorcycle racing history. MotoAmerica is seeking to reinvigorate professional motorcycle racing in North America by assembling a season-long roster of the best competitors in the world at some of the most challenging and scenic race tracks across the country.

You can register for more information here.

Geneva Motor Show 2015

 

The 85th International Motor Show opened this week.  Running from 5th to 15th March 2015, it provides the world premiere for some of the best launches from the car industry this year.

Highlights include:

For those of us not lucky enough to be able to attend, we can see the cars at the official website.

Or watch a great walk-through of the show by Chris Harris here.

2015 Porsche GT3 RS – The low down

Today Porsche unveiled the much awaited 911 (991) GT3 RS.  With a 4 litre, 500 BHP engine, magnesium roof and some carbon fibre panels, it is 10kg lighter than the GT3 and capable of a 7:20 ring time.  That is fast!!!

Unfortunately if you want one you are too late.  They have already all been sold.

Read more here.

What’s the best Pickup Truck 2014?

 

Car and Driver announced their editors choice.

If you’ve got stuff to haul or tow – take a look at their choices for the best full-size pickup trucks and best mid-size pickup trucks of 2015.

What about the Ford F-150 I hear you ask?  Check out the Hennesy fettled VelociRaptor here.  Wow!