Toro Rosso launches STR10 on the eve of pre-season testing

Toro Rosso STR10

This is the new Scuderia Toro Rosso STR10 unveiled on the eve of the pre-season Formula 1 testing at Jerez.

The Renault-powered STR10 will be driven by all new line-up featuring two youngsters in the shape of Carlos Sainz Jr and Max Verstappen.

It’s a big risk from Toro Rosso to have two Formula 1 rookies. An experienced hand would have helped but the team decided not to retain Jean-Eric Vergne. As for promising Daniil Kvyat, he has been promoted to the Red Bull Racing for 2015.

Scuderia Toro Rosso’s team boss Franz Tost has declared the “unique” STR10 the best race car yet.

Toro Rosso STR10 side

“I am convinced it will be the best car we have ever built at Toro Rosso,” he said.

There has been a lot of hard work and a lot of investment in a unique design.

“The design looks clean. And if it looks clean and nice it should be fast.”

Carlos Sainz Jr will have the unique opportunity to shakedown the STR10 first come pre-season testing on February 1.

Scuderia Ferrari unveils the SF15-T

SF15-T car

The most famous motor racing outfit has unveil their 2015 challenger with the SF15-T.

Ferrari hopes that this new Formula 1 car can get back into the winning circle thanks to a driver line-up in the shape of Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen.

After a disappointing 2014 season that has prompted a major management and staffing overhaul, the Maranello-based outfit is determined that the changes it has made will help move it back up the grid.

The James Allison-designed SF15-T features a long protruding nose and an aggressive sidepod concept.

Allison has commented that the main focus from the team is to resolve the issue regarding the “unacceptably large gap in our performance” last season, when Ferrari failed to win a race for the first time since 1993.

“We’ve tried to make sure the weaknesses we felt were particularly notable on the ’14 car were put right for the ’15 car,” he said.

SF15-T drivers

Allison added that the team have made major gains with the packaging of the car at the rear.

“The back of the car is something that is noticeably different from the 2014 car where we have been successful in pulling the bodywork much tighter to everything underneath the skin,” he explained.

“That’s been done through a lot of work not just in the wind tunnel but also in the design heart of the company to try and find radiator designs that were fundamentally more efficient. So for every square centimetre of radiator we’re able to extract more cooling this year than last and therefore able to close the car down at the back significantly.”

The front of the SF15-T features a long, smooth nose which is familiar from other designs which have already appeared following another change in the regulations.

“I think all the cars on the grid this year are going to be more appealing around the front,” said Allison, “because after after a few years of trying I think we’ve finally invented a regulation that gets what we wanted from a safety point of view but also doesn’t create the rather unappealing features of the last few years”.

“So I think everyone will look a lot prettier from the front and the 2015 Ferrari is, I think, nice in that regard.”

New signing Sebastian Vettel will be given the unique opportunity to shakedown the car in the first official run at Jerez.

Sauber C34 goes bold and blue

Sauber C34

This is the new bold look for Sauber. The familiar fifty shade of grey over the last couple of seasons has been replaced by blue as the team unveiled images of its new C34 online.

Following a disappointing 2014 Formula 1 campaign, where it failed to score a single world championship point, the Swiss-based outfit is hoping it can rediscover the form that had it fighting for podiums in previous seasons.

Sauber has opted for a fresh new look for the 2015 championship ahead, with its colour scheme switching from white and grey to blue and yellow.

The Ferrari-powered car also has a striking nose design – featuring a more rounded front edge than seen on the other 2015 cars so far.

Sauber’s design team has focused on three areas for improvement over last year’s car: better performance in slow-speed corners, weight reduction and improved braking stability.

The car features slimmer sidepods compared to the C33, and the team has overhauled its radiator concept and now mounted them horizontally.

Packaging around the rear of the car is much tighter, and Sauber’s quest to get under the weight limit to allow maximum ballast has been boosted by the raising of F1’s minimum weight limit to 702kg.

The team also has an all-new driver line-up for 2015, as Marcus Ericsson joins Formula 1 rookie Felipe Nasr in place of Adrian Sutil and Esteban Gutierrez.

Ericsson will be the first man to drive the car when he takes to the track at Jerez on Sunday.

Sauber plans to use an interim version of the car for the first test, which will include some parts still from the C33. These will be replaced with bespoke 2015 components ahead of the season.

Sauber C34 side

Mercedes W06 Hybrid exposed in Silverstone testing

W06 front

The 2014 Formula 1 champions provided a sneak view of their new race car during a shakedown test with the W06 Hybrid at Silverstone.

Mercedes hopes that this new car can defend their constructors’ title as well as giving the chance for Lewis Hamilton to seek his third drivers’ championship.

These images were provided by the outfit’s social media channel as Mercedes conducted a filming day with Nico Rosberg and champion Hamilton behind the wheel.

The W06 Hybrid covered 18 laps in icy conditions at the home of British motor racing.

Mercedes will officially launch the 2015 challenger on the first day of pre-season testing at Jerez on February 1.

W06 side

McLaren-Honda reveal the MP4-30

McLaren MP430 front

The famous Formula 1 team and motor manufacturer are reunited for the upcoming season. This is the new McLaren-Honda MP4-30 which was unveiled on the team’s social media network.

The Woking-based outfit hopes that progress in its design structure, as well as its new relationship with Honda, can help Jenson Button and Fernando Alonso move back to the competitive end of the grid.

The silver, red and black race car features a long low nose design without the thumb extension seen on the Williams FW37 – and a tightly packaged rear end around the new power unit.

It also features a split roll-hoop inlet. The MP4-30 has been heavily influenced by chief engineer Peter Prodromou, who arrived at McLaren from Red Bull Racing.

McLaren MP430

Honda is returning to Formula 1 after a six-year absence, and is renewing a relationship with McLaren that delivered multiple victories and world titles from 1988 to 1992.

Honda’s motorsport chief Yasuhira Arai said that the design of the MP4-30 was one of no-compromise as the Japanese manufacturer bid to make a success of its return.

“As you can see with the new MP4-30, we’ve dedicated ourselves as one team with McLaren to creating a new car that compromises on nothing – either power or aerodynamics,” he said.

“Yet, in the midst of the excitement, both myself and our engineers are 100 per cent focused in both Sakura and Milton Keynes to prepare for Jerez and beyond. We’re confident that the technology is there, and I’m looking forward to see how it will perform.

“We’re about to commence a long season, with numerous challenges, but Honda is determined to face them head-on. After all, we’re here to drive Formula 1’s technology forward and give our fans a thrilling ride.”

Button Alonso McLaren 2015

With Fernando Alonso back to McLaren after a period with Renault (2008-2009) and Ferrari (2010-2014), the double world champion hope that this car can deliver that third title. As for Jenson Button, this is a great opportunity for him to remain commitment to the sport despite the off-season rumors of retirement.

It’s going to be a fascinating to see if this experience world champion partnership, along with the Honda engine, will return back to the glory days. Huge expectations is on everyone at McLaren to succeed and win that elusive championship this season.

Lotus F1 reveals first images of the new Mercedes-powered E23 Hybrid

Lotus E23 car 2015

Lotus F1 became the third team to unveil their 2015 challenger by releasing images of the new Mercedes-powered E23 Hybrid via social media.

The Enstone-based outfit are hoping that this new car will a be more competitive following a disappointing 2014 championship. A switch to a new engine manufacturer is certainly a positive step.

In addition, Lotus has spend much of last season consolidating its finances and restructuring its technical organisation so as to ensure that it returned to form this year.

The E23 Hybrid looks very beautiful, especially the front nose. This is a major contrast to that ugly and now-outlawed twin-tusk concept in 2014.

Lotus E23 side

Lotus technical director Nick Chester described the car, which will be powered by Mercedes’ V6 hybrid turbo, as “a massive step forward”.

“It’s no secret that we struggled with last year’s car so we’ve targeted every area that caused us an issue,” he said. “We’ve made strong progress in the wind tunnel as well as in areas such as packaging and cooling.”

“We expect the E23 to perform far, far better than its predecessor.”

Chester said the new power unit “looks to be the one area of the car which could bring us the greatest performance gain”.

“It’s not just performance, but reliability and driveability as well as packaging and cooling too,” he explained.

Romain Grosjean and Pastor Maldonado have been retained for another season while the first shakedown of the new car will take place at Jerez, as part of pre-season testing.

Fingers crossed the E23 goes as quicly as it looks at the race tracks this season.

Lotus E23 front

Force India’s new 2015 look

VJM08 2015

This is the new striking livery for Force India as the Silverstone-based team unveiled it’s new look for the upcoming Formula 1 season.

The colour scheme is predominantly silver and black, with flashes of orange. The look is very similar to the McLaren-Mercedes when it was sponsored by West cigarettes back in the early 2000s.

Just like the Williams FW37, the Force India has the 2015-spec nose, to comply with this season’s FIA rules.

By looking closer at the Mercedes-powered car, the VJM08 features a modified sculpting of the sidepods, new cooling intakes, and a revised rear suspension layout with a hydro-mechanical system replacing the torsion springs.

Technical director Andrew Green commented that the change in regulations at the front of the car had “caused a loss in terms of downforce and we’ve been working to claw back all that performance”. The front of the VJM08 has been lowered compared to the 2014 design.

Team principal Vijay Mallya said he hoped that 2015 would give an opportunity for Force India to challenge the big teams again, after it came close to beating McLaren last season in the constructors’ championship.

“The 2015 car is a refinement of what we learned in 2014,” said Mallya, ahead of drivers Sergio Perez and Nico Hulkenberg pulling the covers off the car.

“Another major step forward is the technology change, in that we are now using a 60 per cent windtunnel in Cologne, Germany which is a far bigger step than we have ever taken before.

“Traditionally we have been in Brackley, England, where we used to develop our car with a 50 per cent model and an outdated windtunnel.

“With this new and important tool available to use, we hope the 2015 challenger will really prove its worth in competing with the big boys of F1 when we start the European season.

“We are lucky to have two exceptional drivers who will hopefully steer the Sahara Force India challenger to the front of the grid, and hopefully a few podiums during the current year.”

The driver line-up remains the same for this season with Sergio Perez and Nico Hulkenberg. Both are determined to challenge the top teams in the upcoming championship.

Force India enjoys greater backing from Mexican companies in 2015 ahead of the return of Mexico’s round of the Formula 1 World Championship on November 1. Alcohol brand Jose Cuervo has joined the team from Sauber alongside Claro and Telcel which are both part of the America Movil telecommunications group.

VJM08 car

First image of the 2015-spec Formula 1 is revealed

FW37 front

The first official image of the 2015-spec Formula 1 racing car has been revealed courtesy of a tweet featuring the Mercedes-powered Williams FW37.

The FW37, which was fired up for the first time earlier today by the team at their factory, appears on the front cover of February’s issue of F1 Racing magazine.

The most distinctive feature on the new race car is the radically shortened nose tip, designed to comply with the revised 2015 regulations.

FW37 side

Martini Racing continues to be the main sponsor with addition partners featuring Rexona and Hackett.

Williams are hoping the FW37 can continue the previous season’s success after numerous podium finishes which resulted in third place in the constructors’ standings.

Hopefully that elusive first win with Mercedes power and running the iconic Martini Racing colours will come in this year’s Formula 1 championship.

Whiplash – Review

My music tastes are pretty eclectic. I like a bit of everything but a bit more of metal. Jazz however is low on the list and big band jazz even less.

So remind me again why am I going to see Whiplash?! Well, it’s down to two things. One is that it is drum based and drums fascinate me. I can’t play them for toffee, but love seeing people who can. Secondly, it’s been tagged Full Metal Jacket meets drums. So now I’m interested.

The story follows a young musician and a maniacal teacher with the most outrageous teaching methods at a high-end music college.

We first see Andrew (Miles Teller) practicing drums alone in the Shaffer Conservatory of Music. Hearing a sound he stops, looks up and we get to see the infamous teacher himself. Terrance Fletcher, (J.K. Simmons) then asks him why did he stop. This prompts Andrew to continue playing, which is met by our first insight to Fletcher’s mindset when he retorts with “I asked you why you stopped and then proceeded to play like a wind up monkey.”

We see Fletcher use much nicer words later in the film in a couple of scenes (yeah that’s about it), but it’s a gentle subtle introduction to the grand master teacher, as later you get to see him in full bore Full Metal Jacket insult mode.

Fletcher’s belief is fear and intimidation is key to getting the most out of his band members. Shouting and chairs flung at his band when they make a mistake is par for the course. However, playing in Fletcher’s class comes a pathway to greatness such is his influence in the music industry.

Our real introduction to Fetcher comes when we hear the band play for the first time and someone’s instrument is out of tune. Your really not prepared for what follows as we see the enraged teacher work his way through band increasing his anger as no-one owns up. Utterly enraged, full bore shouting; nose-to-nose with each student has you flabbergasted. This really is like the lineout in Full Metal Jacket and Sgt Hartman introducing himself to Private Pyle.

After he finds the culprit and sends them packing (after a great Mars Bar joke), your left open jawed at the expletives Fetcher has just unloaded on his own students. Wow.

Having been handpicked, we assume Andrew on his first day might be excused from such behavior. No. Not even slightly. Crying it seems creates even more abuse. Each time Andrew plays, Fletcher comes forth with “Not quite my tempo” and the tension increases each and every time those words are uttered. From now on, I will forever try and work that saying in whenever the need arises!

As a viewer you are as shocked and stunned silent as much as the other band members looking on and just like them, relieved you’re not the target.

While the film doesn’t quite fully advocate Fletchers’ teaching methods, you get to see how much it drives Andrew to play out of his skin, quite literally until it bleeds as he tries to emulate some of his (real life) drum idols, one of which being Buddy Rich.

As the film progresses we follow Andrew as he practices all hours and Fletcher doing whatever it takes to get the best out of his core drummer. This culminates is a simply incredible last scene. Instead of your jaw dropping from the abuse, it’s dropped with awe as Andrew drums for his life. I damn near jumped up punching the air.

What’s more incredible is that Miles Teller is a self taught drummer and all the drumming is for real. However, he played as a rock drummer and as he found out, jazz drumming is a whole new ball game which involved weeks and weeks of teaching and practising.

It’s a fascinating film, loosing based director’s Damien Chalelle music school experience, isn’t perfect. Beyond the shouting there isn’t a much else to the film apart from a great “family meal” which has football playing sons taking centre stage, with drumming being seen as rather laughable by the football son’s parents. You only wish is to put them in front of Fletcher for some abuse.

But you are drawn into Fletchers’ performance and of course Andrew’s drumming skills. J.K. Simmons is just fantastic and given the outrageous abuse he gives face to face with his students must take a lot more skill than it looks. It feels so real, not at all just put on for show. He is very consistent in his role and while you might not think it is the right way of teacher, you totally believe he does not think there is any other way.

Rotten Tomatoes
Empire Magazine

J.K. Simmons
Miles Teller and on-screen girlfriend
Cast and Director

Buddy Rich drum solo’s:
Buddy a few days before his death
Nine minute solo 

Reviewed by invisiblekid