Retro livery for new Renault R30

The classic Renault yellow and black colours made a welcome return to Formula One with the team unveiling the new R30 at Valencia.

The French-based squad also announced that GP2 driver Vitaly Petrov as the new team-mate to Robert Kubica, forming an exciting driver line-up for the 2010 season.

Twenty-five year-old Petrov, the 2009 runner-up in the GP2 series, becomes the first Russian Formula One driver in the history of the sport.

Petrov will be partnering Polish star Kubica at Renault, who is hoping to turn around the team’s fortunes following a frustrating 2009 season in which Renault only scored 26 points on its way to eighth place in the championship.

The crashgate scandal didn’t help matters, in which title sponsor ING and partner Mutua Madrilena pulled out with immediate effect following the controversy.

In an attempt to put the past behind, the new livery signals a fresh new start for the team. It looks fantastic and in fact, the colour scheme resembles what the old Renault team used when it first entered Formula One back in 1977.

Just like the BMW Sauber and McLaren, the new Renault features the shark fin engine cover.

New team boss Eric Boullier has said he is looking forward to the new Formula One season.

“The start of a new Formula 1 season is always a time of great anticipation,” said Boullier. “For Renault, this is particularly true of the 2010 season as we begin a new era for the team.

“With a new structure in place, new drivers, and new colours, there is a lot to be excited about and a lot to look forward to in the year ahead.

“Setting objectives is never easy, but it’s clear that we have high ambitions for 2010 as we aim to take Renault back to the front of the grid. However, this is not going to happen overnight and our ambition is to make this journey one step at a time.

“The R30 should be a competitive, strong and reliable car and we’ve opted for an aggressive development strategy. The factories in Enstone and Viry have been working flat-out during the long winter months to ensure that we begin the new season in the best shape possible. These factories have been successful in the past and they haven’t forgotten how to win in Formula 1.”

Can Renault return back to winning ways? Well the paint job certainly looks the part. It is now down to the driving talent of Petrov and Kubica to deliver the results.

The new C29 from BMW Sauber

The third Formula One team to show off its 2010 challenger for the upcoming new season is BMW Sauber.

The new C29, which features a shark fin engine cover similar to the MP4-25 as used by McLaren, will be powered by Ferrari for the first time this season.

Even though the German engine manufacturer quit the sport at the end of 2009, the Swiss squad is still committed in competing in Formula One.

But the lack of sponsors based on the BMW livery is a worrying issue. Despite this, the car does feature two brands – Scalp-D (a Japanese shampoo) and Certina (a Swiss watch maker).

Experienced test driver Pedro de la Rosa and the promising Kamui Kobayashi form the team’s driver line-up, with Peter Sauber back in charge of the Hinwil-based squad following the German car maker’s exit.

Technical director Willy Rampf has commented that the C29 has been designed using the experience gathered last year, when the team struggled for performance.

“The development of the BMW Sauber C29 has seen the team build on the experience gained last year and the improvement in performance over the final third of the season,” Rampf said.

“However, the new regulations banning refuelling during the race and stipulating a reduced width for the front tyres have required significant changes to the car’s design.”

“The increased length of the fuel tank means the car has grown longer overall. And because they are slimmer, the front tyres will be more heavily worked, requiring weight to be shifted further towards the rear of the car.

“An eye-catching feature of the C29 is its highly intricate raised nose. Also very distinctive is an extremely long undercut at the transition from chassis into underbody. These and other aerodynamic measures also help to ensure optimum airflow to the double diffuser. Further changes were required to integrate the Ferrari engine and, in particular, the Ferrari gearbox.”

Whether the new aero tweaks on the C29 will improve the performance remains to be seen. Hopefully the old Sauber organisation will reward better results compared to BMW’s disappointing and frustrating final season in 2009.

McLaren’s new aggressive MP4-25

Proudly displaying the number one status, this will be the car that world champion Jenson Button will be defending his drivers’ title. The radically looking MP4-25 features a high shark-fin engine cover that seems to be part of the rear wing.

The silver/chrome livery remains on the McLaren despite rival Mercedes’ ‘Silver Arrows’ treatment, which was unveiled earlier this week.

Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button represent the Vodafone McLaren Mercedes team this season, with the latter joining the squad from Brawn GP. It will be fascinating to see how these two British world champions will get on as team-mates and on track.

Hopefully the MP4-25 will provide confidence to the drivers as last season’s car was quite a challenge to drive.

It will be interesting how McLaren will fare against its German rival using the same engine. In addition, the rivalry between Michael Schumacher and Ross Brawn will be intriguing for the current world champion who is now representing the British-based team.

Ferrari unveils new 2010 challenger

This is the brand new 2010-spec Ferrari. Will it be able to translate its aggressive looks to on track success following a difficult 2009 season? The new F10 certainly looks the part with the Red Bull Racing’s inspired high nose and long wheelbase design. The F10 was unveiled to the public via the official Ferrari website from the team’s base in Maranello, Italy.

New signing Fernando Alonso and the returning Felipe Massa will be hoping the new 2010-spec Prancing Horse can deliver better results after a frustrating campaign last season.

Ferrari took only a single victory in 2009 courtesy of Kimi Raikkonen at the Belgian Grand Prix but that was the only highlight for the Italian team.

With the F10, the Maranello-based outfit are feeling pretty confident that the new car will win races and hopefully the title.

“This championship will be very important for us,” said team boss Stefano Domenicali. “The last championship, for different reasons, was not very positive, that is why we are dealing with this one looking to be competitive – and this is what Ferrari deserves to have.”

He added: “We have two new drivers, why two new drivers? Fernando Alonso, is a twice world champion and we will say after the second one he will have a third one. He already appears among the big champions in F1, it is the right moment for him, for us, he wants to be successful and we want to repeat what the team concept is in our group.

“Felipe, we are talking of a new version of Felipe, but after such a dramatic championship like last year with the accident in Hungary and such a fantastic season, Felipe has all the assets to prove that he is a very successful one, he can prove that he wants to restart his pathway that destiny interrupted it in Hungary. Good luck to both of them.”

Technical specifications on the F10:


Carbon-fibre and honeycomb composite structure
Ferrari longitudinal gearbox
Limited-slip differential
Semi-automatic sequential electronically controlled gearbox – quick shift
Number of gears: Seven, plus reverse
Brembo ventilated carbon-fibre disc brakes
Independent suspension, push-rod activated torsion springs front and rear
Weight with water, lubricant and driver: 620 kg
BBS Wheels (front and rear: 13-inch)


Type: 056
Number of cylinders: eight
Cylinder block in sand cast aluminium: V 90°
Number of valves: 32
Pneumatic distribution
Total displacement: .2398 cm3
Piston bore: 98 mm
Weight: > 95 kg
Electronic injection and ignition
Fuel: Shell V-Power
Lubricant: Shell Helix Ultra

Mercedes GP reveals 2010 colours

This is the new colour scheme for the Mercedes GP Petronas team. As expected, the ‘Silver Arrows’ treatment has been added along with the shades of green due to the new sponsorship deal with the Malaysian oil company.

Even though the car presented at the Mercedes-Benz motor museum in Stuttgart is basically last year’s BGP-001 with a new paint job, the proper 2010 Mercedes – to be called the MGP W01 – will be officially unveiled on February 1st at the Valencia race track.

The colour scheme is a tribute to the German’s manufacturer rich motor sport history, in particular the 1955 championship. That season, Juan Manuel Fangio and Stirling Moss represented the ‘Three-Pointed Star’ with the W196 and it marked the last season in which the manufacturer competed in Grand Prix racing.

By returning to Formula One this season, it signals a return as a team in its own right after ending its long-time partnership as an engine supplier with McLaren, which dated back to 1995.

Hopefully the new livery will reward success for both Nico Rosberg and seven times world champion Michael Schumacher as the car hits the tracks this coming season.

Goldfrapp’s latest single and album

This is a surprise! Thanks to Alison Goldfrapp’s blog and the popular we7 music website, you have the unique opportunity to listen to her new track Rocket from the forthcoming fifth Goldfrapp album Head First.

According to a press release issued ahead of the new album, it describes Head First as their “most powerful trip to date, a speedy rush of synth optimism, euphoria, fantasy and romance. With life affirming lyrics and stellar production it lifts off at full tilt and takes us on a journey to the heart of 2010.”

Judging by the initial response after listening to Rocket – full of 1980s synth – I believe the press release has hit the spot on the band’s new musical direction.

In fact, high expectations are set on the new album with a possibility that it might sound a mix between Seventh Tree and the earlier synth-based album such as Supernature.

As to the track listing, here is the full list:

Head First
Shiny And Warm
I Wanna Life

Head First will be release on March 22. In the meantime, check out the album cover art (the post’s main image). Simply beautiful.

UPDATE: See the official music video to Rocket via YouTube by clicking on this link.

New season of 24 returns to Sky1 on January 24th

Jack Bauer’s new nightmare day returns to Sky1 on January 24th with a two-hour episode set in the Big Apple.

Season eight sees a new threat to Bauer and after watching this brief teaser trailer via YouTube, it promises to be more tense and dramatic.

As to what we should expect in the next 24 episodes, the official Sky1 website has provided some details on Day 8. See the full extract below:

When we last saw Jack Bauer (Golden Globe® and Emmy® winner Kiefer Sutherland), his life was hanging in the balance. But, true to form, the hardest man in television is back for another heart stopping, action-packed series of the award-winning US drama series 24. With a relocation to New York, the return of CTU and new exciting cast additions, this season looks set to follow Day 7 in being one of the best yet when it returns to Sky1 HD and Sky1 on Sunday 24 January.

At the start of 24’s new, eighth season, Bauer is hoping for a quiet life with his daughter Kim (Elisha Cuthbert, Captivity) and his granddaughter. However, a group of terrorists have other plans and an assassination plot against a visiting Middle Eastern leader Omar Hassan (Anil Kapoor, Slumdog Millionaire) is uncovered. It’s not long before Bauer is called upon to help prevent Hassan’s murder.

Kiefer Sutherland said: “Season 7 and 8…are really connected together. The storylines from Season 7 really do play all the way through into Season 8. The setup for [this season] is the most realistic political thing that I think we’ve ever done since we started the show. This season is more grounded in what possibly could happen. There’s a sense of reality that almost brings it back to Season 1.”

CTU is back in action and based in New York, headed up by Special Agent Brian Hastings (Mykelti Williamson, Forrest Gump). He is joined by brainy bombshell Dana Walsh (Katee Sackhoff, Battlestar Galactica) and her fiancé, head of field operation Cole Ortiz (Freddie Prinze Jr, I Know What You Did Last Summer).

Returning for Day 8 are CTU devotee Chloe O’Brian (Mary Lynn Rajskub, Little Miss Sunshine), Renee Walker (Annie Wersching, General Hospital) and President Allison Taylor played by Cherry Jones (Ocean’s Twelve) fresh from her Emmy® win for her work on Day 7. Plus, villainous ex-president Charles Logan (Gregory Itzin, The Mentalist) is set to return when Taylor enlists him to assist with an escalating crisis. “The opportunity for these two remarkable actors to share the stage was simply too compelling to pass up,” said executive producer Howard Gordon of the unison of the current and previous presidents.

It all sounds great and I look forward to seeing Bauer Action Hour every Sunday night from January 24th!