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All posts by Hadlee Simons

  • 1960 Belgian Grand Prix: F1’s other dark weekend

    The 1994 San Marino Grand Prix is widely considered to be one of F1's darkest weekends -- with just cause. Aside from Ayrton Senna's death during the race, the weekend also saw rookie Roland Ratzenberger die in qualifying and Rubens Barrichello almost dying on Friday. But before that horrible weekend in Imola, the 1960 Belgian Grand Prix was one of the most infamous weekends. A far cry from today's era of safety The 1960 season took place at a dangerous time, when drivers didn't wear full-face helmets, fireproof overalls weren't mandatory and roll hoops weren't used. Hell, many drivers didn't care for seat belts,...

  • Nvidia’s neural network taught itself to drive cars

    Self-driving cars are quickly becoming one of the hottest things in the automotive industry. But is driving easy enough for a neural network to learn with little human input? Well, Nvidia has done just this. The tech company fed data from the steering wheel and a front-facing camera in the car to "convolutional neural networks" (CNNs). The neural networks then conducted steering commands in reaction to said data. "This powerful end-to-end approach means that with minimum training data from humans, the system learns to steer, with or without lane markings, on both local roads and highways. The system can also operate in areas with unclear visual guidance...

  • These might be the road signs of the future…

    From bus lanes and yield notifications to stop signs and speed limits, road signs haven't changed much over the years, it would seem. But automotive innovation is moving at a rapid pace, so UK-based website Car Keys came up with several road signs we might see in the future... Autonomous cars only Between Google, Tesla and other firms dabbling in this field, it seems like a matter of time until we get lanes for autonomous cars only. Expect these lanes to be the safest - unless a human driver decides to get in on the action. Charging lanes to be a thing? Much like autonomous technology, several firms are experimenting with...

  • How will 2017’s F1 cars look compared to 2016’s racers?

    The F1 season has passed the halfway mark, and several teams are already looking to the 2017 season. Next year brings a raft of rule changes that will change the way cars look in a rather dramatic way. Technical illustrator Giorgio Piola teamed up with Motorsport.com to show off the 2017 cars and how they stacked up to your average 2016 model. So then, how do they compare? Watch the video and read all about the changes below... Wings? Perhaps the biggest visual change is a longer nose with a wider, swept front-wing. This was done in a bid to boost overtaking. The rear wing also...

  • Michael Schumacher: The real King of Spa?

    The Formula One summer break is in full swing, featuring a three week break from the German Grand Prix to the upcoming Belgian Grand Prix at Spa-Francorchamps. The Belgian circuit is widely considered to be one of the greatest racetracks in the world, offering drastic elevation changes, iconic corners (Eau Rouge/Radillon), high-speed sections and notoriously tricky weather. Winning here is thus considered a badge of honour compared to almost all the other races on the calendar - only Monaco can possibly compare. In terms of race victories, Michael Schumacher can stake a claim to being the King of Spa, at six victories. But wins...

  • Watch Ayrton Senna’s ‘message’ for Brazil’s Olympians

    Three time F1 World Champion Ayrton Senna may have died over 20 years ago, but he still managed to deliver a 'message' for Brazilians competing at the Olympics. In a partnership between the Ayrton Senna Institute, JWT and Le Cube, a video was produced, chronicling Senna's epic 1991 Brazilian Grand Prix win. In that race, the F1 legend managed to take victory despite being stuck in 5th gear and suffering from shoulder spasms. The video was meant to inspire Brazil's athletes to win at home as well. "Ayrton Senna lost eight times before winning the Brazilian GP, and when he did, it was with...

  • Want to get into endurance racing? WEC now has a feeder series

    Finding a path to Formula One usually means being successful in GP3 and GP2, but what if you want to join the World Endurance Championship (WEC)? The route to the championship has become a lot clearer with news that the Formula V8 3.5 open-wheel series will serve as a feeder series from 2017. The deal will see Formula V8 3.5 races taking place in support of WEC events. "The agreement includes a minimum of three overseas rounds in Mexico, Japan and Bahrain, the last being the final event of the endurance championship, in addition to three of the four European events on the WEC...

  • Ecclestone’s mother-in-law kidnapped for ransom – reports

    Formula One head Bernie Ecclestone's mother-in-law has been kidnapped in Brazil. According to Brazilian magazine Veja and other reports, Aparecida Schunck (67) was kidnapped in Interlagos, with the captors demanding a ransom of 120 million reals (US$36-million). Schunck is the mother of Fabiana Flosi, who met Ecclestone at the 2009 Brazilian Grand Prix and married him in 2012. If paid, the ransom could be the biggest ever paid in Brazil. Unfortunately, the Ecclestone family is no stranger to plots of this nature. In 2012, Martin Peckham was jailed for demanding £200 000 from Ecclestone to prevent daughter Tamara from being kidnapped. Peckham, a dental technician, claimed that he...

  • BREAKING: SA race driver Gugu Zulu dies on Kilimanjaro trip

    South African race driver Gugu Zulu has died before the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro. Zulu and wife Letshego were taking part in Trek4Mandela, an initiative by the Nelson Mandela Foundation that sees several people climb Kilimanjaro to raise funds. "It is with a heavy heart that we announce that one of the climbers on the Trek4Mandela, Gugu Zulu lost his life early this morning in his attempt to summit Kilimanjaro," the Nelson Mandela Foundation announced in a statement. The foundation added that not much was known about the circumstances surrounding his death just yet. "Details are sketchy. What we do know is that Gugu...

  • What’s new and overhauled in F1 2016 video game?

    Codemasters has quite the motorsports pedigree and its previous F1 games were rather fantastic. So some people were rather disappointed with the way F1 2015, the first current-gen F1 game, turned out. It wasn't necessarily a bad game by any stretch, but fans lamented the loss of features compared to previous entries. Fortunately, F1 2016 looks like it's on the right track (heh) at the very least. So here's what you should expect from the new game, which is set for an August release. Upping the simulator ante The latest F1 title seems to be going all-out in an attempt to win over...

  • Here are the winningest British drivers of the British Grand Prix

    Winning your home race is always a moment to savour, but the British Grand Prix is also rather special, being the first Grand Prix ever run in F1's history. Either way, winning the British Grand Prix as a Brit is something you won't soon forget, but who are the most successful drivers to do so? Jim Clark (1962, 1963, 1964, 1965, 1967) Praised for his smooth driving style, F1 legend Jim Clark made an indelible mark on the sport before his passing, winning two world championships. However, Clark also holds the record for the most overall British Grand Prix wins (albeit tied with Alain...

  • Have you ever seen a championship decided due to fastest lap?

    The final event on the Formula E calendar took place at London's Battersea Park, featuring a double-header that took the championship down to the wire. The second race of the weekend and the final race of the season, saw Renault's Sebastian Buemi and Audi Sport Abt's Lucas di Grassi tied on 153 points apiece. Unfortunately, di Grassi rear-ended Buemi's car on the first lap, knocking the rear wing off the Renault e.dams car and damaging the front of Di Grassi's car in the process. If the race ended there, di Grassi would be the winner due having more third place finishes - both were tied on victories and...

  • Did you know these neat tech features are in the new Astra? [Sponsored]

    We've already looked at its drastic weight cut and the practical safety features, but the new Opel Astra packs far more punch than that. In fact, the new car is bristling with high-tech tools so we looked at a few of the more prominent cutting-edge features. Who knew a camera could do this? The Opel Eye is essentially a front-facing camera that looks out onto the road ahead, but why would you want this sort of thing in your car? For starters, the Opel Eye is capable of reading traffic signs, warning you about speed limits and no-passing zones by displaying them in the instrument panel. The...

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How will 2017's F1 cars look compared to 2016's racers?

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