Formula 1 Race Weekend kicks off in Austin on Wednesday with a number of not to be missed events!
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Sahara Force India
Fresh off a second place finish in the GP3 series at Silverstone this past weekend, American Conor Daly is making his way up the ranks with a potential American seat in Formula 1. Son of former F1 and CART driver Derek Daly, Conor is testing today with the Sahara Force India Team in England. This will be the second testing session the American will undergo in a Formula 1 car, inching his way closer to a permanent position in the sport. Obviously excited to pilot the car just two months after his first run with the team, Conor had this to share about his work with the team:
"Formula One cars are very complex, just learning how to operate the steering wheel takes time. These tests help me understand what it takes to drive an F1 car and of course the biggest contribution I want to make is to the team's ongoing improvement over the season," said Daly. "It's amazing how much work we get through in a day as I spend most of the time in the car."
In today's session, Conor will do a series of runs to test various aerodynamic components of the car and give the team more data on how the car is performing at top speeds. To maximize the speed and decrease the potential of incidents, this type of session is conducted on an airstrip where the track is long and easy to reach top speeds, as well as plenty of run-off space to correct mistakes.
With this session being Conor's second piloting the Force India VJM-05, there's an ever increasing chance the young American could see a more permanent role in the top racing series. His GP3 performance shows he has the chops to hang with the best in his class, so any time in an F1 car should give him an edge over other young drivers looking to make the jump from other amateur series.
Though it's not from the Sahara Force India Team, this video from Team Lotus at Duxford with Caterham shows what a straight line aero testing session looks like. Included are some interviews and a Caterham doing some doughnuts.
It's not often that I get to talk about hairpin in an F1 post. When the opportunity comes up, I can't let it pass. You see, I own quite a few hairpins, in different colors, shapes and some even with fabric flowers attached to it. Really, what's not to love about hairpin?
Alright, alright. Back to the real topic at hand - Monaco Grand Prix this weekend. The Hairpin I want to talk about is actually the Hairpin at the Monaco street circuit aka Turn 6. Turn 6 demands the race drivers to slow down to snail speed and negotiate a sharp 180 degree turn and then accelerate onto the next turn. Lucky guests (with the luckiest ones hanging out on the rooftop swimming pool) at Fairmont Monte Carlo get the best view of this challenging turn. I swear, one day I will be there, live-blogging the race from the rooftop swimming pool.
Even more challenging than Turn 6 is The Tunnel. One moment you're high-speeding through a winding tunnel, next moment you're hurtling through open road again with blinding sun in your eyes. How the race drivers manage to follow their racing lines without a moment of hesitation is beyond my comprehension. I'm amazed every lap of the way.
"The track is always asking you to give more." said Red Bull's Mark Webber. "If you bite and try to give it more then you crash so it’s a very, very challenging circuit mentally."
While the Monaco Grand Prix is set in the most glamorous of locations, the Monaco street circuit is no doubt unforgiving. I can't wait to see the drivers coming through the Hairpin and the Tunnel on the Monaco Grand Prix. I hope Hamilton will finally get to the top of the podium, it's time for a win for him, don't you think? Alas, it's really anyone's race to win though, if the last five races are any indications. Who are you rooting for this race weekend?
Coming off of a spectacular win in the GP3 series at Barcelona, American racer Conor Daly is getting his chance to join the Formula 1 club as the Sahara Force India team announced that Conor will be testing some car configurations tomorrow in England. Conor will be helping Force India test out various aerodynamic options and collecting data as they look to improve the VJM05 car for the 2012 season.
Yesterday, Conor was fitted for a seat in preparation for Thursday's test and had the following to say about the opportunity:
Someone seriouisly might have to pinch or kick me because I feel like I'm dreaming! So thankful for this opportunity.
Over the weekend, Conor secured his first win for the Lotus GP team at the Barcelona GP3 Series race, garnering the attention of many in the Formula 1 scene, including Stefano Domenicali, the Ferrari team principal, and former F1 world champion and American driver, Mario Andretti, who tweeted:
Conor's performance in the GP3 series has proven he is a great fit for the sport, and entering as a testing role for an up-and-coming team like Force India will be a great match for him. With Alexander Rossi testing with the Caterham F1 Team and now Conor Daly's position with Force India, evidence is mounting that the teams are keen to gain American eyes on their cars. It could be just a matter of months before we see one of these talented Americans on the grid for the United States Grand Prix at Circuit of The Americas.