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All posts by Hadlee Simons

  • Valtteri Bottas joins Mercedes, Massa returns

    Yes, the rumours were true, as Finnish driver Valtteri Bottas has joined the Mercedes F1 team to replace Nico Rosberg. The 27-year-old moves over from Williams, where he made his debut back in 2013. However, in another oft-rumoured move, Felipe Massa has decided to delay his retirement and fill the gap left by Bottas. The Finn has achieved nine podiums thus far in Formula One and beaten all of his teammates (Maldonado and Massa), but the elusive win has yet to occur. "He has an impressive track record in the junior categories and nine podiums in F1. But now it's time for...

  • Bumped from Haas, Esteban Gutierrez joins Formula E

    Esteban Gutierrez may have lost his Haas F1 seat to Kevin Magnussen, but the Mexican will continue single-seater racing by moving to Formula E. The former F1 driver will race at "a number of select events for the remainder of the season", including his home race in Mexico on 1 April. It's unclear whether the Mexican race will be his first race, with the Argentine ePrix taking place on 18 February. The racer is also in talks for a full-time drive for next season. "Gutierrez joins the series as an official ambassador and is in advanced discussions with a number of teams, currently...

  • Some F1 corners will no longer be corners in 2017 – McLaren

    2017's Formula One cars will have so much downforce and grip that some corners will no longer be classified as corners, a McLaren representative said. The 2017 season will see cars have wider wings, wider tyres, larger bargeboards and several other changes. The result is that lap times are set to be faster by three to five seconds. Now, McLaren-Honda technical director Tim Goss has revealed one particularly interesting tidbit. "The drivers say that these new cars will be more challenging to drive, and that they'll have to work harder and concentrate more to get the best from them," he was quoted as...

  • Formula E: first virtual race dishes out big prize money

    The first Formula E esport race took place over the weekend at CES 2017 in Las Vegas, with Dutch driver Bono Huis winning the event and the big US$200 000 cash prize. The Faraday Future Dragon Racing sim driver also earned a cool US$25 000 for pole position. In a rather cool touch, the field comprised of 10 sim racers and 20 real-world Formula E drivers. Felix Rosenqvist was the highest placed Formula E driver, finishing in second place. The race was initially won by sim racer Olli Pahkala, who was handed a 12-second penalty after the race, dropping to third place. "Pahkala...

  • CES 2017: Cortana set for BMW, Nissan cars

    Cars are becoming smarter and smarter, with voice commands being one of the more convenient ways to take advantage of said smarts. Now, BMW and Nissan have used CES to announce that they'll be integrating Microsoft's Cortana into their suites. "BMW Connected demos will feature a visionary concept of an in-car voice-controlled personal digital assistant that customers are familiar with in other areas of their daily life. The system being presented at CES 2017 is the in-car application of Microsoft’s Cortana," the automaker wrote in a press statement. The German marque says that Cortana's existing capabilities on...

  • FF 91: Faraday Future finally reveals electric car

    Chinese-backed electric car firm Faraday Future has been in the news for all the wrong reasons lately. But the brand has finally showed off its first car in the form of the FF 91 at CES. The electric station wagon of sorts is packed with technology, starting with the so-called FFID profile, which saves your data to learn about you. The non-car stuff "Your unique FFID profile encompasses an extensive range of your drive preferences and content choices -- from your seat setting to your song list," the company wrote on its website, adding that climate control and routes are also tied...

  • Watch: the craziest motorsport crashes of 2016

    Ah, motorsport crashes... As long as no-one is killed or seriously injured, you have to admit they make for some interesting viewing. Fortunately, YouTuber crambno29 R has done the legwork, compiling footage from various motorsport disciplines to create the ultimate 2016 crash compilation. The compilation covers everything from F1, Nascar and Indycar to motorbikes, touring cars and trucks. Check out the 37-minute-long video below, before YouTube inevitably removes it.

  • That was quick! Felipe Massa set for return to F1

    Talk about a short-lived retirement... Felipe Massa has reportedly agreed to a Williams drive for the 2017 season. According to Motorsport.com, Massa has taken up a Williams offer for next season, almost a month after what would've been his last Grand Prix. Final contracts haven't been completed yet, the publication reported. The move is set to open the door for current Williams driver Valtteri Bottas to join Mercedes, following Nico Rosberg's shock retirement earlier this month. Bottas is the front-running candidate for the second Mercedes seat, having handily beat Massa this year. However, Mercedes Motorsport boss Toto Wolff is also a member of his...

  • You can now rent BMW i3 from Europcar in Cape Town

    Want to go for the cutting-edge car rental? Or maybe you just want the environmentally responsible car during your business trip. Either way, Europcar now offers the BMW i3 at Cape Town International Airport. It's not the first time that the vehicle has been offered by a car rental service in South Africa, but Avis only offered the BMW i3 as part of its chauffeur service. "We have introduced the fully-electric, 0% emissions BMW i3 to our fleet, with sustainability in mind and looking at future trends in mobility. The BMW i3 is a unique, cost effective and innovative vehicle option for...

  • How long until traffic light changes? Audi cars know

    It sounds rather crazy, but Audi cars will soon be able to tell you how long until a traffic light changes. The innovation comes via the Traffic Light Information system, which effectively creates a connection between supported traffic lights and selected Audi models. Las Vegas is the first city to implement the technology across its traffic lights, having launched this month, the automaker confirmed in a press statement. "When approaching a connected traffic light, Traffic Light Information displays the time remaining until the signal changes to green in the driver instrument cluster, as well as the head-up-display (if equipped)," Audi wrote. "Providing the...

  • Watch: 2016 F1 season review in 8-bit gaming form

    It hasn't exactly been as crazy a season as 2012, but the 2016 F1 season still had plenty of drama, spills and general crazy moments. Now, you could watch the traditional season review, or you could opt for the official 8-bit season review, published on the Formula 1 YouTube channel. From the season-opening Haas/McLaren crash to the final showdown, all the big moments are here. There's even a rather cheeky Daniel Ricciardo minigame in there. Check it out below...

  • Watch: all the major crashes, mishaps from 2016 F1 season

    Let's be honest: nothing will top Fernando Alonso's dramatic crash at the season-opening Australian Grand Prix. Still, there were plenty of thrills and spills throughout the 2016 F1 season. From the Mercedes drivers colliding in Spain to the white-knuckle smashes in the Brazilian Grand Prix, there was no shortage of smashes this season. Fortunately, YouTuber hutterjoel has stepped up and delivered a lovely compilation of crashes and mishaps. Check it out below.

  • David Perel: interview with SA’s Blancpain GT racer

    When it comes to the SA racing scene, there are a few prominent drivers making a name for themselves overseas. One of the standout racers in this regard is David Perel, having finished second in the 2015 Italian GT series and competing in the Blancpain GT Series Am Division. We interviewed Perel via email, covering local obstacles to racing, Forza versus Gran Turismo and much more. Hadlee Simons (HS): What challenges are there for aspiring and budding racers from an SA perspective? David Perel (DP): Primarily it's a case of finding the necessary budget to go racing. When you are a rookie you...

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