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British Technology Drives Austin’s Grand Prix

The McLaren Technology Center in Woking, England (Patrick Gosling)

The Austin Grand Prix is honored to present this special guest blog by Sir Peter Westmacott, the British Ambassador to the United States. Sir Westmacott is a strong supporter of the technology industry in England and is committed to the expansion of high-technology into new sectors of the British Economy. Sir Westmacott will be hosting a special F1 TechRally symposium and Best of Britain reception along with the British Consulate-General and the UK Trade & Investment department in Austin next Friday, Nov 16, during the Formula 1 United States Grand Prix™ weekend.

McLaren "Tooning Up" Their Image

Sometimes I get very envious of the unique coverage that F1 fans overseas are privy to. I've seen the BBC F1 coverage before and it is uninterrupted, non-stop F1 action for a nice chunk of time on race day. It is fantastic. But alas, I'll save that discussion for another day.

Before yesterday's British GP, SKY Sports F1 (which I've also heard pulls out all the stops for F1 coverage) aired a new McLaren animation series, "Tooned." It's a CGI-animated series, in Pixar fashion, that features Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button, as well as British actor and comedian Alexander Armstrong.

I'm amused to see Ron Dennis talking so candidly about cartoon characters. Enjoy this behind the scenes look, and the full video also below.

This looks like a great opportunity to reach a whole new demographic: future F1 Fans!

And who can argue with a spot of British humor?

Blast From The Past at Formula Expo

Bud Moeller with Historic Grand Prix at Formula Expo from The Austin Grand Prix on Vimeo.

Learn more about the Historic Grand Prix, "The World's Fastest Museum," with F1 Pilot Bud Moeller.

The goal of the Historic Grand Prix is to preserve motorsports history while showcasing the 3.0 litre era of F1 during 1966-1983. HGP had an amazing collection of Formula 1 cars at Formula Expo in Austin, Texas. What was most interesting to me is that the owners of these rolling artifacts get to personally race them, sometimes competing against former racers!

Some of the handsome cars on display included a Lotus 79 once driven by Mario Andretti, Ferrari 312-T5 driven by Gilles Villenevue, McLaren M-30 driven by Alain Prost and March 821 driven by Jochen Mass. You can see more in our Formula Expo Picture Gallery.

Check Historic Grand Prix's schedule to see if they are coming to a track near you. They will be at Lime Rock Park in Connecticut over Labor Day weekend and at Watkins Glen the following weekend. Hopefully we will see them bring history alive at Circuit of The Americas in the near future.

Barcelona Testing: Day 4


//The following is a featured article from guest contributor Jamey Price, Jamey Price Photography, an American sports photojournalist on his first Formula 1 project.  You can read more about Jamey and his passion for his work in our feature: Intro to an American F1 Photojournalist - Jamey Price.

February 24, 2012

Formula one is a secretive world. It is the biggest, loudest and most expensive circus in the world and they do a great job promoting the sport. But a lot of money is spent developing these cars and the teams come up with interesting ways to keep their technology secret.

In testing especially, teams are developing new parts for the cars and the goal would be to develop something no one else has or has seen. Mostly the teams wage a war against the photographers. Each time a car comes and parks in the pitlane, the team quickly run and cover the rear of the car to keep people with cameras from taking photos of it. McLaren even went as far as to not paint the back of their rear wing so that it becomes close to impossible to take a photo of it as the contrast is too high for the camera. It actually makes it challenging to shoot the McLaren from behind because the camera pretends it doesn't exist and won't focus on it. Like I said, it’s a secretive sport. The funny thing is that as soon as the car is on track it's fair game for me to take a photo of. Many of the cars would stop at the end of the pitlane and do practice starts which has them standing still with the tail facing me, and I can take photos of it whether they like it or not. So much ado about nothing?

I have so many people to thank for making this week a special one, so I won't even try and name them all but again, thanks to everyone for the support and I can't wait to be back in the F1 paddock soon.


Barcelona Testing: Day 2



//The following is a featured article from guest contributor Jamey Price, Jamey Price Photography, an American sports photojournalist on his first Formula 1 project.  You can read more about Jamey and his passion for his work in our feature: Intro to an American F1 Photojournalist - Jamey Price.

Feb 22, 2012

There's nothing like the sound and smell of formula one engines in the morning. It's such a distinct smell and absolutely a distinct smell. Hear it once and you'll never forget.

After getting my kit set up in the press room, I headed to the roof of the media centre, which runs the entire length of the pits and over looks the front stretch. With a few minutes left on the clock before the first of two sessions started, I took some time to look around and survey the countryside from the roof top vantage. Rolling Spanish hills surround the circuit. It is a gorgeous place to spend a day, much less four. I'm incredibly lucky to be where I am.

For the first sessions, I chased the light around the track looking for the best spots to shoot from. Eventually walking most of the corners on the outside access road. It's a haul and a grueling few hours on your feet carrying that much gear. Some of my morning was spent shooting turns 1, 2 and 3. Though not knowing most of the lap times, it is evident by the way the car looks sounds and feels to the naked eye who is fast and who is not. Red Bull is blindingly quick. As is McLaren. Ferrari looks to have a strong car, but a difficult one to handle. Alonso was struggling with it through most of the first sector.

My day wrapped up covering the last sector. The light is gorgeous at that time of day and I had to take advantage of it with most of the drivers being replaced by their teammates tomorrow.

I'm still in heaven being here and covering this test. I've worked for so hard and for so long that it's been a dream come true in so many ways....and I have two more days to cover!"