Radiohead releases new album The King of Limbs

The latest and eighth album from the great British band Radiohead has just been released as a digital download. A physical CD version will be release in March while a special ‘newspaper’ edition will be available in May.

The ‘newspaper’ edition sounds interesting and will contain two 10-inch vinyl records in a special record sleeve, many large sheets of artwork, 625 tiny pieces of artwork, a compact disc, and a colour piece of oxo-degradable plastic package.

The King of Limbs was first announced on the band’s official website on February 14th, five days before it was going to be release to the surprise of many Radiohead fans.

The artwork is by Stanley Donwood, who along with producer Nigel Giodrich is considered a honorary member by most fans. The cover is certainly distinctive.

The first single taken from The King of Limbs is the beautiful Lotus Flower and in the music video (YouTube link) Thom Yorke has an interesting dancing moves when performing the new song.

As for the album, it features eight tracks with the highlight being Codex, Lotus Flower and Morning Mr Magpie. It just sounds fantastic with the groovy, dance feel. The Telegraph posted a track-by-track review with the overall impression as positive.

Next request, please announce a new live tour Radiohead! I want to see these tracks perform live.

Force India targets fifth position with new VJM04

This is the new VJM04 from Force India and the first to be designed by new technical director Andrew Green. Its predecessor achieved the team’s best-ever constructors’ championship position of seventh.

This season Force India is aiming for a top five result with the Mercedes-powered car.

Chairman Vijay Mallya said: “This year there is even more to be optimistic about. We’ve got three race drivers that are hungry to take the next steps in their careers, whether that be points, podiums or wins.

“We have an experienced technical team that have the ingenuity, flexibility and drive to adapt to the new wave of rule changes, and we also have the tools and resources in our partnerships with McLaren Applied Technologies and Mercedes-Benz High Performance Engines to aim even higher.

“Not to mention the very special event, and one that I personally can’t wait for, the inaugural Indian Grand Prix. What better place would there be to reach some of those aims than on our home soil?”

Adrian Sutil said he hopes to finish in the top ten in the drivers’ championship for the first time this year:

“The progress the team has shown over the past two years has been very impressive and what I’ve seen in the factory and at the wind tunnel over the past weeks indicates that the rate will continue this year.”

Paul di Resta makes his Formula One debut with Force India this year. The 2010 DTM champion said: “‘I don’t want to say exact targets on record as there are so many factors that can come into play.

“What I do want to do is to have a positive approach, finish, be consistent and contribute strongly to the team’s overall performance. We’ve got high aims of finishing in a good constructors’ championship position and I know that I’ve got to play my part in this.”

Technical director Andy Green explained some of the changes on the VJM04:

“The most obvious visual change is that we’ve gone away from a conventional roll-hoop to a blade. This gives us a small packaging improvement compared to a more conventional style.

“The engine cover is different, in-line with the abolition of the F-duct system. But there are a lot of differences under the skin that people won’t necessarily notice.”

“We’ve recovered a lot of the aerodynamic performance, we believe. We still have a little bit to go, but we are still in the process of the realignment after the end of last season, because it does take a long time to move aerodynamically from one position to another.

“The movable wing is a whole new game, and we’ll be trying to exploit its performance to the max.

“Exhaust management will also be a big area of development this year. There will be an upgrade for the first race, so there are some changes that will come into effect at the Bahrain test. Further down the line there are some big updates for the front of the car coming in for the first European race.”

Force India have also recruited a new senior tyre engineer, Jun Matsusaki, to help with the switch to Pirelli tyres.

Green also confirmed the new car will use a Kinetic Energy Recovery System: “The Mercedes KERS system looks very strong, and we’re really happy with it.

“We’ve done a lot of running in the simulator, so the drivers are well up to speed with how to use it. We’re well developed with what we have to do for harvesting and deployment. It’s smaller and lighter than in 2009, and packaging required very few vehicle compromises.”

Hispania Racing reveal F111

This is the new HRT F111 from Hispania Racing. Team principal Colin Kolles said: “The F111 represents a significant step forward for Hispania Racing.

“We have made a big improvement for starting our second season in Formula 1 and what you see in our new car confirms Hispania Racing´s commitment to F1.”

Designed by Geoff Willis and Paul White, the F111 will feature the adjustable rear wing but not the Kinetic Energy Recovery System.

Team president Jose Ramon Carabante said: “We feel really proud of the car our drivers will run this forthcoming season.

“Despite a challenging first year, we managed to finish on the eleventh position in the World Constructors Championship. Now, we are very pleased to introduce the first specification of the F111, which means a huge design-effort from our side.

“This is only a first step as we are planning several updates during the season.”

The car’s distinctive livery was designed by Daniel Simon of Cosmic Motors. He said: “I miss fearless visual statements and large beautiful numbers on today’s racing cars.

“Playing with the restrictions of what you can do to a complex F1 body is fun. There are many don’ts, but I found a way to lay courageous racing essence on the car.”

However aside from sponsorship from Tata, thanks to new driver Narain Karthikeyan, the F111?s bodywork features few sponsors.

Instead the bodywork shown includes the messages: “This could be you” and “This is a cool spot”.

Virgin Racing’s new MVR-02

This is the new computational fluid dynamics designed MVR-02 from Virgin Racing. The team launched the 2011 racer in an event at the BBC Television Centre in London today (February 7th).

During the first official testing session at Valencia last week, Virgin Racing ran an interim car to give itself extra development time to work on the new design. The new MVR-02 will make its track debut when testing resumes at Jerez this week.

The MVR-02 features a slightly lower nose compared to the others but it does feature a tighter packaging in the rear end than its predecessor, the VR-01.

The change from ‘VR’ to ‘MVR’ in the chassis designation reflects the team’s new partnership with Russian sportscar firm Marussia Motors, which has also led to a slightly revised livery for this season.

Virgin Racing finished at the bottom of the constructors’ championship standings in its maiden Formula One season, with early-season reliability issues costing it crucial ground in the battle against fellow newcomers Lotus and Hispania.

The Nick Wirth-led design team have stuck with the unique CFD approach for the MVR-02, a car they hope will elevate Virgin Racing to a position where it can threaten the established midfield teams for championship points.

As for the driver line-up, Timo Glock will lead the team with Jerome d’Ambrosio promoted to the second seat in place of Lucas di Grassi after impressing in several Friday practice appearances in late-2010 Grands Prix.

McLaren’s radical MP4-26

The Vodafone McLaren Mercedes team unveiled their latest car, the MP4-26, during a press event in Berlin today (February 4th).

The new MP4-26 features some interesting concepts including a long flat high nose, radical, high L-shaped sidepods and airbox tweaks. In addition, a more standard exhaust layout, unlike the Renault R31 seen in testing at Valencia this week

By opting to wait until after the first pre-season Formula 1 test to unveil the MP4-26, McLaren made use of the time with an interim MP4-25 to focus on tyre development from Pirelli in Valencia this week.

And although the decision means that McLaren’s main rivals have had three days of running so far with their new cars, Jenson Button believes that the team have an advantage. The reason? By having more development time with its 2011 challenger, McLaren were able to benefit more R&D leading to a better understanding on the Pirelli tyre characteristics.

“I am sure they are saying also that they have got an advantage because they are driving the new car already, and doing set-up work, KERS work and rear wing work, but I think that for us as a team we understand KERS and that is important,” Jenson said.

“I think it was important for us to spend as much time as possible building our car and that when we get it on the circuit it is competitive.

“For us it was the best situation to go to Valencia with the old car and to drive the new Pirellis, and it is good because we can compare the tyres – and you can get lost if there is so much going on.

“We have had to limit also some set-up changes and really think about what we are doing, because you are just getting used to the tyre the whole time. But we found some really interesting things at the test and we should be happy with what we have learned.”

Button added that he feel far more integrated with McLaren this year because he has had a whole winter of preparation.

“It has been a good year actually,” he explained. “Before Christmas I spent a lot of time at the factory driving the simulator and getting fitted into the new car. And I feel a lot more at home in the car.

“I haven’t driven it yet, but the position in the car I am properly in it. I feel very comfortable and I can feel the car has been built around me, and that is something that wasn’t possible last year because I arrived so late.

“I am the tallest driver so I am the limiting factor, but I fit in very well and I am in a much more comfortable position, which is important.

“We have just been making steps forward in many different areas. Lewis and myself have been giving a lot of feedback and it has been a good winter of simulator work, and we have a good simulator model of this tyre, which is very lucky.

“If all that set-up effort works when we put it on the car in reality we will be in a very good position already in Jerez.”

Button also thinks McLaren’s chances of success are boosted by the good working relationship he has enjoyed with team-mate Lewis Hamilton.

“We have both achieved a lot in our careers already, but we want to achieve a hell of a lot more,” he said. “We want to be beat each other, but we also want to work together because two technically minded people, rather than one, makes a big difference.

“You can throw comments out there, and really work against each other, or you can work with each other. It has really helped us learn over the year in 2010 and you will see this year we will be a lot stronger.”

We will find how competitive the MP4-26 compares to the others in the next testing session at Jerez.

The 2011 Silver Arrows

The Mercedes GP team officially launched its new MGP W02 chassis in the Valencia pitlane, ahead of the start of the official Formula One testing.

In the team’s first season as the factory Mercedes outfit, following the takeover of Brawn GP, the 2010 season was a disappointment for team boss Ross Brawn, race driver Nico Rosberg and the seven-time world champion Michael Schumacher.

Development work shifted from the W01 following a difficult 2010 campaign and all focus was spent on making the W02 a better car.

Notable features on the new W02 include changes to the airbox and sidepod plus, the higher nose that has been common on 2011 chassis so far.

The Silver Arrows livery has also received slight adjustments for the new season, with a larger amount of green colouring for title sponsor Petronas.

Nico Rosberg and Michael Schumacher will both get a chance to drive the car in the opening testing session at Valencia, with Schumacher keen to discover whether the W02 is better suited to his driving style compared to last year’s car.

Williams reveal interim coloured FW33

The Williams team has released some information on its new Cosworth-powered FW33, which is set to join several other new cars when testing begins in Valencia today (February 1st).

The FW33, painted in the team’s traditional navy blue interim testing colours, follows this season’s trend of high noses, detailed airboxes and scupulted sidepods.

Rubens Barrichello will shakedown the car in the opening day of testing and will share testing duties with rookie and GP2 champion Pastor Maldonado the following day.

Toro Rosso’s new racer

Scuderia Toro Rosso unveiled its 2011 racer, the STR6, to the media’s attention at Valencia today.

The junior squad to Red Bull Racing, the STR6 follows this season’s style for higher-nosed design.

This is the second car to be produced entirely in-house by Toro Rosso since the team’s arrangement to use chassis provided by Red Bull Technologies had to be brought to an end.

Sebastien Buemi and Jaime Alguersuari remain with Scuderia Toro Rosso for the 2011 season, with former British Formula 3 champion Daniel Ricciardo promoted to a third driver role that will see him running in Friday practice at each Grand Prix.

Red Bull Racing’s new RB7

The world championship winner team Red Bull Racing has unveiled its latest car, the RB7, in front of the media at the Valencia circuit’s pitlane.

Designed by Adrian Newey and powered by the Renault V8 engine, the RB7 will have the unique opportunity to defend its titles this season.

The car features a high nose, an even higher engine cover compared to the previous Red Bull, the RB6, plus a concept rear wing.

The RB6 dominated the 2010 season, taking nine victories in the hands of world champion Sebastian Vettel and third-place finisher Mark Webber. In addition to this winning performance, last year’s car started on pole position 15 times from 19 Grands Prix.

Can this new RB7 continue that impressive result this season? The new car certainly looks great and Vettel will have the chance to shakedown the RB7 during the opening day’s official practice session at Valencia. Let see how it compares to the other 2011 cars.