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      2015 F1 game to feature in-season updates

Next year’s official Formula One video game will be available on new-generation platforms and will feature live, in-season updates for the first time, Codemasters have confirmed. The game, which will be playable on the Xbox One, Playstation 4 and PC, will also be released earlier in the season
via Formula1.com - Latest News

      Ferrari announce reshuffle of power unit department

Luca Marmorini is to leave his role as the director of Ferrari’s engine and electronics department as the Italian team restructure their power unit department. The move, which was announced on Thursday, sees Mattia Binotto assume the role of chief operating officer, whilst Lorenzo Sassi retains his position as chief designer of the power unit
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Making tracks for the beach

The Fifth Driver

Sun. Sand. Surf… Sidepods?

While everybody in the Formula 1 paddock is rubbing their hands in glee at the prospect of a few hard-earned weeks away from the racetrack, for the rest of us, the prospect of a whole month without a grand prix is a long and empty one.

So why not combine the two? After all, the history of Formula 1 is littered with classic seaside tracks. Or, to be more precise, it’s full of great circuits located just close enough to the beach to make staying late for that end-of-day set-up meeting seem rather less palatable than a quick dip in the sea and a lazy siesta in the sun.

So if you’re about to set off on your summer hols, let McLaren’s very own FifthDriver guide you through our list of Formula 1’s most memorable beachside venues…

Rio de Janeiro

The Copacabana is arguably the most famous beach in the world (any location name-checked in a Barry Manilow song has to be big-time, right?) and Jacarepagua – the venue for the Brazilian Grand Prix inbetween its two stints at Interlagos – is literally just down the road. Sadly, Barry never wrote a song entitled ‘Jacarepagua’, although it probably would’ve scanned a bit better than the track’s other name – the Autodromo Internacional Nelson Piquet…

Melbourne

What could be more pleasant that a tram ride out of downtown Melbourne into St Kilda’s Albert Park, followed by a walk down Fitzroy Street with an ice-cream before watching the sunset over Port Philip Bay accompanied by a meal of freshly caught seafood and a nice cold glass of Yarra Valley Sauvignon Blanc? Not much really, which is why the F1 paddock collectively adores its annual visit to Melbourne for the Australian Grand Prix – there is no better venue at which to kick off a new season.

Abu Dhabi

Even though it’s built on an island (Yas Island), there aren’t any beaches around the stunning Yas Marina circuit. However, a quick blast down one of Abu Dhabi’s broad and usually empty motorways will transport you into the capital city, where a wealth of stunning strips of white sand and turquoise waters await. The hot, dry climate – even in November, when the race visits – makes it the perfect location for a spot of winter sun. And if beach holidays aren’t your thing, there are miles and miles of desert to explore in dune-buggies!

Monte-Carlo

To be fair, despite its fantastic coasts, few people head to Monaco for the sand. After all, there’s a lot to pull you away from the beach – the vertigo-inducing hills around La Turbie are ready to lure cyclists away into Tour de France territory, the infamous Casino is a nightlife magnet, and Monte-Carlo boasts some of the best restaurants on the Med. Anyway, why bother with a beach if you can get out on a super-yacht?

Paul Ricard

It’s not exactly within spitting distance of the coast (the circuit lies on the flats above Marseille, about 12km from the seaside, and is accessed by a sinuous rock-lined road), but there can be few more classic holiday locations that the south of France in high summer. The region of Provence is a culinary and artistic mecca, too – check out the works of Paul Cezanne, who famously painted the villages and mountains of the region at the end of the 19th century.

Zandvoort

Built among the sand dunes (Zandvoort translates as, literally, ‘sand fort’, fact fans!), this classic Dutch venue is just a stone’s throw from the beach. Indeed, the sand often blows onto the track, causing problems as racers struggle for grip. While the bracing North Sea winds and cold waters aren’t for everyone, Zandvoort is a major coastal resort, with all sorts of shops and hotels populating the seafront. For those of a more adventurous disposition, the bigger cities of Haarlem and Amsterdam are easy bus rides away.

Long Beach

Most would probably claim the name is rather over-optimistic – after all, the Long Beach race was created to revive the prospects of an industrial portside area of downtown Los Angeles, injecting it with a fizz and glamour that it was sadly missing. Still, there is a beach there, and it is long, and it’s simply a hop over the Armco from the curving straight of Shoreline Drive, so it definitely joins our list of contenders. And the lights and sparkle of Tinseltown LA are just a short drive away. 

Valencia

This beautiful and historic port town made a name for itself as the host venue of the America’s Cup between 2007 and 2010, but its bland and unforgiving circuit failed to ignite passions when it held the European Grand Prix between 2008 and 2012. While we wouldn’t recommend you dip into the marina (too many boats!), a wide strip of golden sand lies just a few hundred metres to the north of the track. Need more tempting? Well, the local area’s tapas and paella are both fantastic, and who can resist some Spanish sol? 

So, we didn’t pick all of Formula 1’s seaside venues – we could have included Casablanca’s Ain Diab, East London in South Africa, Estoril – a few miles from Portugal’s capital city Lisbon, and even the Sakhir circuit on the tiny island of Bahrain – but we picked the ones where you’d most likely spend an afternoon gazing at the Tarmac while applying the suntan lotion.

Have we missed any? Get in touch with us @McLarenF1 and let us know what else we should have included!



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Team McLaren Fan Blog: Hungarian Grand Prix 2014

News & Offers

Every year the Hungarian fans get four days of happiness, so similar to last year I wouldn’t pass them up!

The Hungarian GP starts on Thursday with a public grid walk, usually there’s a big crowd even if the temperature is high and the staunchest fans have to wait several hours to get onto the track. Around 5pm the drivers appear and some autographs are given. During this time the teams prepare for Friday for example they practice pit stops and work on the cars while every one of their movements is closely examined by the fans.

After a long-stretched Thursday afternoon the cars finally came to life on Friday morning – the first free practice of the weekend started on the Hungaroring.

We could watch all the actions from the best place thanks to our SuperGold tickets. We were lucky enough to get Paddock Passes so we were able to follow the events of the second practice from inside. We could also look around in the motorhomes and wait for the pilots in the parking lot. Here I met with Kevin Magnussen, Jenson Button and Jessica Mitchibata. They were all really nice and kind enough to stop for a picture.

We sat in front of the podium on both Saturday and Sunday so we had a spectacular view of not just the qualifying session but also of the race.

The atmosphere was splendid because of the Finns and Germans around us who were willing to stay for the GP2 race, too.

The race on Sunday was quite exciting due to the rain as the half-wet half-dry conditions brought us great fights. In the end two of my favourite drivers, Fernando Alonso and Daniel Ricciardo managed to finish in the top three which made me really glad.

On Sunday I left with a bittersweet ache in my heart and I’ve already started counting down until the 30th Hungarian Grand Prix, which I hope will bring as much excitement as the one in this year!



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      Exclusive Vijay Mallya Q&A: Force India can catch Williams

Force India have continued their tradition of punching above their weight this season, and head into the summer break lying fifth in the constructors’ table on 98 points - 39 up on this time last year. Although the team failed to score through either Nico Hulkenberg or Sergio Perez for the first time in 2014 in Hungary, team boss Vijay Mallya is confident his Mercedes-powered squad can continue to take the fight to the Formula One frontrunners
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