This is Ferrari’s quickest and most powerful car ever. It also is a plug-in hybrid with the power of a 1000 thoroughbred Italian prancing horses It’s called the SF90 Stradale, and it’s wicked! This is Ferrari’s first plug-in hybrid, and the first time the Italian manufacturer is wading into these waters.
The Ferrari SF90 is a 986-horsepower, all-wheel-drive, plug-in hybrid missile that will teleport from 0 to 62 miles per hour (96.5 kph) in just 2.5 seconds and on paper has a top speed of 211mph. The SF90 can travel up to 25km (16 miles) on electricity alone, thanks to its 7.9-kilowatt-hour, lithium-ion battery pack. The SF90 Stradale pairs a 4.0 litre V8 with three electric motors. The battery sends power to the three electric motors, and even with the ICE switched off the SF90 can still hit 84mph. Ferrari’s control logic manages the power flows depending on the sanity of the driver and splits it across four different driving modes eDrive, Hybrid, Performance, and Qualify. The SF90 is adaptive and can rip around the circuit howling or in complete silence depending on the mode you choose.
Mechanically, the engine bay is deep and low the body and is only partially visible unlike other Ferrari’s that boast their glorious engine from the rear window.
Another first is the steering wheel which has a touchpad and a range of haptic buttons that allow the driver to control everything about the car using just their thumbs. The central instrument unit is now digital with the first automotive application of a 16″ curved HD screen which can be fully configured and controlled using the controls on the steering wheel
The Ferrari SF90 is extreme on every level. It raises the bar not only as the new production Ferrari supercar pushing into hypercar territory, but also for every other supercar maker…And this is just the beginning as this is the Stradale, which means that there would be track-focussed versions, Apertas and Speciales still coming our way.
Red was the color of last weekend at Monaco. We saw a lot of red caps during the weekend as a tribute to the late Austrian driver Niki Lauda who passed away at the beginning of last week. A vast majority of teams paid tribute to him on their liveries, Sebastian Vettel and Lewis Hamilton had a special helmet for the occasion. There was also a minute’s silence before the race where the drivers where in circle in front of Lauda’s legendary helmet, a moment that was really emotional. This sad new couldn’t go out of our minds but Formula 1 recovered doing honor to the Austrian Lauda with a beautiful race weekend.
This Grand Prix is always particular. First of all, it’s a street circuit which is legendary and the scenery is outstanding with its sea, harbour and promontories. It’s also a race full of glamour, celebrities and big yachts which are part of the landscape. You either love it or hate, it’s an absolute unique setting not to be found anywhere else through the season.
On a motorsport point-of-view, this race was really impressive. Seeing these modern-day F1 cars going at crazy speeds on this tight track is quite something ! With a top speed of nearly 300 km/h at the exit of the tunnel, the drivers push their cars to the limit on the Monaco Circuit, millimetres away from the barriers. It’s even more crazy now that the cars are a lot wider than before, which is not necessarily good for overtaking, testing hard on the judgement of drivers.
The weekend didn’t start particularly well for Ferrari on Thursday, we quickly saw that Mercedes was definitely ahead. After a few kisses to the barriers, Vettel even crashed in Practice 3 on Saturday but Leclerc gave hope to the Scuderia getting the fastest lap in this last session before qualifying. And qualifying arrived…
Due to a wrong strategy from Ferrari, Leclerc did qualify 16th for his home race because of overconfidence from his team which made him fall in the standings as other drivers were improving their lap times. Vettel qualified 4th. Without any surprise, the two Mercedes drivers locked out the front row, Lewis Hamilton getting the pole. Verstappen did a really qualifying lap, taking the third place on the grid.
Things didn’t get any better for Leclerc during the race. Succeeding in two great overtakes at La Rascasse, trying to go up in the classification, a third attempt on Hülkenberg made his right rear tire touch the wall and he got a puncture. Having to do a full lap to go in the pits, the tire was totally destroyed by that time and caused a lot of damages to his car, the race will end prematurely for him. For the most part of the race, Vettel was behind Verstappen and couldn’t do anything more than watching the intense battle between Hamilton and the Dutchman, he will finish second. Hamilton managed to keep Verstappen behind him with tires degraded, an impressive drive which did take him to the win. During the race, Verstappen got a 5-second penalty for unsafe release in the pits as Bottas was going out and they made contact, he will cross the line in second position but end up being 4th in the classification. Valtteri Bottas, just behind Vettel finished third.
Pierre Gasly finished the race in 5th position, his best result since he joined Red Bull. The Frenchman also got the fastest lap of the race which gave him an extra point. In Monaco, the “best of the rest” was McLaren with a great performance from Carlos Sainz finishing 6th, his teammate Norris will finish near the points. The two Toro Rosso drivers got the top 10 with the 7th and 8th place for Kvyat and Albon respectively. This weekend was a disappointment for Renault as Ricciardo only finished 9th, Hülkenberg 13th. Haas also managed to put one of their car in the top 10 with Romain Grosjean, he is the last driver to get a point. Disappointment too on Alfa Romeo Racing’s side with Kimi Raïkkönen finishing 17th and Giovinazzi being last. Neither Racing Point nor Williams finished in the top 10, but we saw a great performance from George Russell and Robert Kubica, the British driver finished 15th and the Polish driver finished in 18th position.
With this race, Hamilton extends his lead in the championship with 137 points in front of Bottas who now has 120 points. Vettel completes the top three with 82 points, not far is Verstappen with 78 points. On the constructor’s side, Mercedes is by far ahead of Ferrari with 257 points against 139 points for the Scuderia. Also, Red Bull is only 29 points behind the Italian manufacturer.
Next Grand Prix is Canada, will Ferrari take its first win of the season ? Answer on June 9th !
Another edition of the Grand Prix de Monaco has gone by for the race that blew out its 90th birthday candle this weekend. In mourning after legend Niki Lauda passed away on Monday, Formula 1 honoured his memory throughout the weekend to end with a race which captivated us from start to finish. Lewis Hamilton won this race for the third time in his career, he dedicated his win to the late Austrian driver.
The classic and prestigious race that is Monaco Grand Prix offered motorsport fans and amazing session, who’ve been waiting for a long time to see a battle between Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen. Finally that happened! In trouble with tires during most part of the Grand Prix, Lewis Hamilton managed to keep Verstappen behind him with his epic driving, but also to the particular layout of the track which makes overtaking specially difficult. In the penultimate lap, the Dutchman tried to overtake the British driver for the win at Nouvelle Chicane but made contact. In any case, Verstappen probably wouldn’t have won the race as he got a 5-second penalty for unsafe release in the pits. To win, he would have had to manage an overtake on Hamilton a few laps before the end and extend his lead to more than five seconds. In the end, Verstappen crossed the line in second position without taking further risks in the final lap and ended up finishing 4th after his penalty.
Now after the Monaco Grand Prix the updated points stand were Lewis Hamilton extends his lead from Valtteri Bottas to 17 points, Sebastian Vettel is in third place with 82 points. On the constructor standings side, Mercedes has 257 points, then Ferrari has 139 points in front of Red Bull with 110 points.
If you thought that the stock Mustang parked at your neighbourhood dealership was monstrous, then here’s one that’s going to blow it out of the park! This here is a 1973 Ford Mustang Trans-Am car, and it’s as raw, visceral and barbarically brutal as a thoroughbred American racing car should be.
Now more commonly known as Trans-Am, Trans-American Sedan Championship cars was a racing series that served as the sports car club of America’s first attempt at a manufacturer’s championship formula for modified sedan’s and coupes. This series has run on a wide array of different courses, including streets, airports and race tracks. Things changed in 1973, and the cars became more serious. In 1980, another change hit, and the cars became what was knows as “silhouette series” – nothing more than tube-frame cars that somewhat resembled the originals.
This 1973 Ford Mustang was built to race in the Trans-Am series with a heavy duty frame developed by the Le Mans winning Ford GT40 veterans Kar Kraft, while the engine was modified by Jack Roush to proper racing specification. From a historic perspective, this 1973 Ford Mustang Trans-Am is quite significant, as it’s one of the very last chassis designed by Kar Kraft prior to their contract expiring with Ford. This particular example goes on sale at the RM Sotheby’s Auburn Spring sale.
Today was race day in Monte-Carlo, and what a great race the Monaco Grand Prix 2019 was! Lewis Hamilton won the race in front of Sebastian Vettel and Valtteri Bottas. Max Verstappen crossed the finish line in second position but got a 5 seconds penalty for unsafe release in the pits, he touched the Mercedes of Bottas – the Dutchman ended up finishing in 4th position.
During the major part of the race, Lewis Hamilton was under big pressure from Max Verstappen, that was a great and intense battle with both drivers even touching on lap 77. Things didn’t go as well for Charles Leclerc, who sadly had to retire at his home race. While trying to overtake Hulkenberg, Leclerc touched the barrier with his right rear tire, caused a puncture. That’s not all as there were further damages caused to his car too, forcing him to retire a few laps later.
For Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas, the contact with Verstappen in the pits damaged his front right tire and he had to pit for a second time during the race to come in for a quick tyre change. While Bottas finally finished on the podium, Verstappen held on to position 4 behind him followed by his teammate Pierre Gasly on 5th, securing two top 10 spots for Red Bull at Monaco. Carlos Sainz too was able to place his McLaren in the top 10 at position 6 while the two Toro Rosso; Kvyat and Albon rounded up 7th and 8th place respectively. Aussie Daniel Ricciardo and Romain Grosjean concluded the race at position 9 and 10 respectively completing the Monaco Grand Prix. From here, Formula One now heads to Circuit Gilles Villeneuve for the next round 2019 championship on June 9.
Today was qualifying day for Formula 1 in Monaco ! After the third and last practice session at midday which saw Charles Leclerc at the top of the timesheet, in front of the two Mercedes of Bottas and Hamilton, the big moment of the day started at 3pm.
After a promising result in Practice 3 for Leclerc in his home race, the qualifying didn’t turn his way… He qualified 16th after a Q1 exit. Ferrari decided to make him stay in the pits while other drivers were improving their lap times, thinking he would stay qualified for Q2, but that was an error of judgement. On his side, Sebastian Vettel got the 4th position on the grid, finding himself in trouble during the session as he brushed the barriers a few times.
Not a big surprise, the two Mercedes were at the front; Hamilton securing the pole in front of Bottas, followed by Max Verstappen with a great performance taking 3rd place on the grid. Pierre Gasly qualified 5th (though, he was given a three-place grid penalty after the session for holding up Romain Grosjean during qualifying). Toro Rosso managed to put their two cars in the Top 10 with an 8th place for Kvyat and 10th place for Albon. Haas, Renault and McLaren have a car in the top 10 too, Magnussen is 6th, Daniel Ricciardo qualified 7th and Carlos Sainz 9th.
The day ended with the second Formula 2 race of the weekend which saw Anthoine Hubert wining it. Nyck De Vries won the first race yesterday. Today was a big day as qualifying is really important, especially on this track, but tomorrow it’s race day ! Let see what happens. Photos: Xavier Soquet
Today was the start of race weekend at Monte-Carlo for the 77th Monaco Grand Prix. This race is always special due to its historical significance, where legends of motorsport have been competing since 1929. It’s even more true this year as the Grand Prix is celebrating its 90th anniversary !
Arriving here, we are wondering who could take the win apart from Mercedes who have been so strong for the 2019 season? Regarding the fact that they won the first five races of the season, in doing each time a 1-2, I can’t think thing of a better contender to place one’s bet on! But Monaco is unpredictable, less-power dependent, we could maybe see a Red Bull win just like last year, or maybe, could Ferrari end Mercedes winning spree this weekend? In fact, Charles Leclerc will probably get that extra boost in front of his fans as it’s his home race so that could be the perfect opportunity for a first Scuderia win this year.
The two practice sessions from today saw the two Mercedes in good shape. Lewis Hamilton got the fastest time of the two sessions, Valtteri Bottas was third in the morning and second on Practice 2. They definitely showed a much better pace than Ferrari and Red Bull in Practice 2. For Red Bull, Max Verstappen ended first practice in second position and Pierre Gasly ended fourth on Practice 2. For Ferrari, Charles Leclerc got fourth fastest time in the morning session but seemed to struggle in the afternoon with only the tenth fastest lap; Vettel got fifth fastest time in the morning and third in the afternoon.
For now, Mercedes seem to have a big performance advantage but that’s only first day here in Monaco ! Photo credits: Xavier Soquet
I really am a mixed bag of automotive culture. On one hand, I enjoy classic cars; their details, design, curves and the unique story that every example has to tell. On the other hand, I also enjoy the destructive side of motoring, shredding tyres, uncouth and loud, burnt rubber… that is drifting. While I’ve been constantly involved in documenting and writing about classic cars, it’s been almost 4 years since I wanted to put myself behind the wheel of a drift car and learn the dark arts. It’s not like I haven’t tried, including building my own drift car (Mazda Miata MX5) which failed miserably as we were always struggling to find parts as importing is the only option, which is painfully slow and unreliable here in India.
So this year I decided that I will finally do it in the right way by attending one of the best drifting schools in the world – Prodrift Academy UAE. While the organisation was setup 13 years ago, in the last half-decade, they have really set themselves apart by establishing some pretty impressive records. Back in 2014, Prodrift drivers James Deane and Ahmad Daham set the Guinness World Record for the longest twin drift at 28.52km. Then again in 2016 they teamed up with Nissan Middle East to smash the world record for the fastest drift ever performed. For this, they actually found someone loony enough to drift a Nissan R35 GT-R Nismo at an unbelievable speed of 304.96kmph. In short, these guys know what they are doing, and thus they would be the perfect people to go and learn drifting from.
I broke 3 drift cars while learning drifting in Dubai at Prodrift Academy UAE - YouTube
Our two days of academy didn’t go without its own challenges though. On day one while steadily progressing towards Level 3 certification, we broke the first of the two Nissan 350Z drift cars. Nearing the end of the day, its exhaust manifold came off and we had to stop the sessions. Returning next day, while progressing towards higher difficulty of level 4, I managed to break the second 350Z too, this time over a broken driveshaft. It wasn’t what I had in mind, but thankfully, we had one last car to continue our practice sessions… sadly that too had a puncture before training could come to an end.
One of the biggest challenges (for me) however was not the training itself, but the coordination between keeping mindfulness to document the proceedings on film while at the same time focusing on the actual training. Filming alone is where sometimes you come across such challenges where you might have to do one before the other. Between the limited amount of time I had to learn technique, overcome 3 breakdowns and film the entire experience. So of course, there were delays and we ended up falling short on time for completing Level 6 which is intermediate skill certification. That said however, I did overcome Level 5, which is if not more, but equally exciting as at this stage, one is required to perform a complete lap of the designed circuit. And this is difficult as it involves you to stitch whatever you’ve learned over the last 2 days into once seamless attempt that involves initiating the drift, weight transfer, proximity to the clipping points over two separate sections of the lap that are designed to test one’s skill under varying speeds and approach angles.
Learning drifting has been an experience second to none. In my opinion drifting is one of the easier ways of understanding car control that is taught on a closed circuit with not much around to hit and damage. It definitely isn’t the same glory as say taking Eau Rouge flat out, but then it makes you a step closer to understanding a car’s balance, its limits as well as you own. Photos by Raghav Sangwan
This is a question I’ve been chewing on since this incredible event on Saturday. I’ve been to my fair share of car shows, over 130 shows last year alone. Many of these are in car parks, much like the same situation where Luft started, in the car park of Deus Ex Machina in Venice. Others end up in grassy parks or golf courses, but rarely do you find a location as considered as the content.
Luftgekuhlt prides itself on this very thing, providing amazing backdrops for their highly curated displays, like the Modernica’s designer furniture factory, Brouwerij West’s brewery in San Pedro, and last year’s location at the Ganhal Lumber yard in Torrance. This year, they managed to convince Universal Studios to open up access to its backlot filming area usually only seen by production staff or briefly via a bus as part of the studio tour.
If you’ve ever seen a Hollywood film, it is likely that you are familiar with this location. The lot itself is split into several different themed areas including, New York brownstone, the Courtyard, Mexican street, Western town, and perhaps most famously, the Back To The Future clock tower square. Howie Idelson and Patrick Long, along with Jeff Schwartz’s photographic eye, were able to gain access to most parts of the backlot, a feat I can’t imagine being easy to broker.
917 K corner.
The trajectory of Luftgekuhlt is staggering. The initial purpose was to lift a car show from it’s typical car park locations, now it is an international effort that is leading the way on what the ideal car show could be. Luft is now in Germany and the UK too, but Los Angeles will alway be its spiritual home. This leaves that burning question, how is it possible to top this location for Luft 7?
Let’s talk about the special cars on display and how the cars were posed. For the moment, lets try to ignore the 300+ additional cars that participated and instead, let’s focus on the star cars. These were placed well in advance at specific locations making it easy to frame incredible shots. Singer took over the first corner you see when stepping off the shuttle bus. Take a couple more steps and a 1969 Gulf liveried 917 K catches your eye to the left. Glance right to see Rod Emory’s latest outlaw build, a freshly completed twin turbo’ed 356, a vision of what a RSR version of the car might look like.
On the same corner as the 917 K, a 935 that Paul Newman raced in Le Mans sits pretty (now owned by Adam Carolla). I’m already overwhelmed, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg of colossal content. Other cars included an all original unmolested 550 Spyder (valued at $55 million USD), Several more 917’s included a super rare 1973 Porsche 917/30, a red Can Am version and the Vasek Polak 1969 Porsche 917 P/A car.
Some of these key cars provided an anchoring point for a theme, take the 914 area. The most successful pairing of cars, and backgrounds were perhaps the Safari and other off-road Porsche in Mexican Town. Matt Farah’s (from the Smoking Tire fame) Safari’ed 911SC was appropriately covered in dust visually validating its abilities. Just across from that, two rally spec’ed 911s were placed on the wood displays first spotted at the lumberyard. This is the visual indicator of a special display car. A wild Targa with tank track rear wheels and ski’s for front wheels was perhaps the craziest car there, the orange aerodynamic faired tractor definitely the most unusual.
I’m not a people spotter, but there were plenty of notable folks wondering around including Seinfeld, Jason Statham, and automotive legends like Steve McQueen’s son, Bruce Canepa, and a long list of others with the except one of LA’s greatest Porsche representatives, Magnus Walker. Would I miss this show for the Mille Miglia? Sounds like the next question for me to chew on.
Ferdinand Porsche and Volkswagen are well known to share a common page in the history of German cars, but there’s been a rather unknown piece of history between him transforming from being the creator of the Volkswagen Beetle to the birth of the first production Porsche, the 356. This gap can only be fulfilled by a single machine that’s survived the test of time – the 1939 Porsche Type 64.
The Type 64, or the KdF-Wagen was specially commission by then government-owned Volkswagen as a long distance competition car that would prove its might with speed and lightness, something Porsche is known for even to this day. Built by the same engineers who worked on the Porsche 356, the company’s first production car, Type 64 was built at Reutter Works, right across the street from Zuffenhausen.
Type 64 used air-craft style riveted lightweight aluminium body panels that housed an air-cooled flat-four engine from the Volkswagen Type 1. Three cars were prepared for the Berlin-Rome race, but just a few weeks before the start, World War II was declared and the first Type 64 was acquired by German labour front. In the following years during WWII, Ferdinand Porsche had relocated headquarters to Austria, where he kept the remaining two examples. While the first car was destroyed by the Managing Director of Volkswagen and the second car lost in time, No.3 is the only example that survives 80 years after its inception.
The 1939 Porsche Type 64 was in truth the first car to bear the Porsche badge, a few years before the Porsche 356. It is a quintessential part of the German carmaker’s history as without it, there might have never been a 356. This historically significant machine head to auction at the RM Sotheby’s Monterey Car Week sale scheduled between August 15-17.