How a fist shake may have cost F1’s youngest poleman a win

On April 4th 1982 Andrea de Cesaris started the US GP West in Long Beach from the only pole position he would ever earn.

Had he converted it into victory, the Italian’s career might have taken a different direction – but not only did he lose the lead to a brief fit of road rage, he ended the afternoon in the wall, as he so often did.

Instead that race morphed into a memorable first comeback victory for Niki Lauda, by a stroke of fate the man who had replaced de Cesaris at McLaren.

The win vindicated the decision by Ron Dennis to lure Lauda out of retirement, and set the Austrian on the path to his third World Championship a couple of years later.

De Cesaris would start 208 Grands Prix in a career that stretched from 1980 to 1994, and encompassed spells at no fewer than 10 teams, namely Alfa Romeo, McLaren, Ligier, Minardi, Brabham, Rial, Scuderia Italia, Jordan, Tyrrell and Sauber.

Try as he might, he would never fully shake off the wild reputation that he created for himself in his first full season with McLaren in 1981, when a series of accidents tested the strength of John Barnard’s composite MP4 chassis, along with the patience of the team.

Long before the end of the season Dennis launched his ultimately successful plan to persuade Lauda to come on board, and thus there was no place for de Cesaris in 1982.

Andrea de Cesaris, Alfa Romeo 179D

Photo by: Motorsport Images

However de Cesaris always had Marlboro support behind him, so it was no great surprise when he was moved across to the cigarette company’s other team, Alfa Romeo. Indeed he had driven his first two F1 races for Alfa at the end of 1980, so he already felt at home in the camp.

The big change at Alfa since then was the arrival of former Ligier chief designer Gerard Ducarouge, who had an immediate impact on the hitherto ramshackle outfit. He came up with a new 182 carbon chassis, and mated to the proven V12 – a torquey engine that was always good on street circuits – it was a decent package.

De Cesaris and teammate Bruno Giacomelli had the old car for the opening race of 1982 in South Africa, and the first outing with the new model in Brazil was inconclusive.

However at the third round at Long Beach, the Alfa was quick from the off, with Giacomelli second in the first free practice session, and de Cesaris sixth.

Thanks to some issues they were only 10th and 12th in Friday qualifying, but when it mattered on Saturday, everything fell into place for de Cesaris.

In the closing minutes of the final qualifying session Lauda put in a typically neat and tidy lap to apparently secure pole, and TV crews were already gathering around him when there was an unexpected change at the top of the timing monitors. De Cesaris was on pole, 0.120s ahead of the man who had replaced him.

When he returned to the pitlane he was in tears as a huge celebration erupted in the Alfa camp, and the emotions for all concerned were clear to see. His prize haul included a special trophy, $1000, a bottle of brandy, and a razor…

It was a big moment for Ducarouge, vindicated after being sacked by Ligier the previous year. And the Marlboro folk were also happy. Not only had their faith in Lauda had been justified, and now they had two competitive cars at the front of the field.

There was a brief panic when it emerged that an unmarked tyre had been used on the pole-winning car – de Cesaris had brushed the wall early in the session and had required a replacement – but a marshal admitted that it was his fault, so all was well.

At 22 de Cesaris was the youngest pole man ever, a record he would hold until it was beaten by Rubens Barrichello in 1994.

“I don’t want to think about the first lap,” he noted. “Otherwise I won’t sleep.”

Andrea de Cesaris, Alfa Romeo 182 leads Niki Lauda, McLaren MP4/1B-Ford Cosworth, Rene Arnoux, Renault RE30B, Alain Prost, Renault RE30B, Bruno Giacomelli, Alfa Romeo 182, Gilles Villeneuve, Ferrari 126C2, Nelson Piquet, Brabham BT49D-Ford Cosworth and Keke Rosberg, Williams FW07C-Ford Cosworth, at the start

Photo by: Motorsport Images

He now had to get the job done in the race. Lauda was determined to get himself into the lead – but he was well aware of his rival’s reputation, and didn’t want to get tangled up with him on the first lap.

Lauda even took the trouble to speak to his rival before the race in an attempt to ensure that there would be no first corner fireworks, making it clear that if he couldn’t get the lead off the line, he wouldn’t try anything at Turn One.

“In that case I’ll have to be patient and not try to overdo things,” he told journalist Heinz Pruller before the start. “Above all, there’s no question of taking chances with de Cesaris.”

In the event the pole man made a good start and drove a faultless first lap, while from third on the grid Renault’s Rene Arnoux slipped into second place.

Lauda thus ran third initially, ahead of Giacomelli. On the sixth lap the second Alfa driver, keen to get a move on and perhaps concerned that his teammate was escaping up front, made a successful passing move on Lauda – and promptly ran into the back of Arnoux, putting both himself and the Frenchman out of the race.

Lauda was now a safe second. The gap to the leader opened up to 4.8s, then came down to 2.8s on lap 13. On the next lap de Cesaris lost some time when he came up to lap the Arrows of Brian Henton. Suddenly from nowhere Lauda was right with him – and the pressure was on.

De Cesaris then caught Raul Boesel’s tardy Rothmans March at the new chicane that had been installed early on the pit straight. He almost came to a halt behind the Brazilian in the first right hand part, then tried to go round the outside in the left hander that followed, only for Boesel to stick to the line and force de Cesaris to stay wide.

He finally passed him coming out of the final right-hand part of the complex onto the straight, but he was off the ideal line, and had lost momentum – and was busy telling Boesel exactly what he thought.

“De Cesaris overtakes the slower car and shakes his fist at the driver,” Lauda said in his autobiography To Hell and Back. “I see him raise his hand in a threatening gesture and I say to myself: he should be changing gear now.

“I hear the ugly whine of his rev limiter as it hits 11,000rpm. I pull out past him, giving him a wide berth. After all, you have to watch yourself when you pass someone who is so busy shaking his fist that he forgets he has to change gear.”

Lauda blasted past on the right and was able to stay in front at the end of the long pit straight. It was the first time he had led a race on the road since Sweden 1978 with the Brabham fan car.

Thereafter he edged away from the Alfa, as de Cesaris – still in only his 19th Grand Prix – made heavy going of getting through traffic.

Nevertheless he was still running a strong second when on lap 34 he noticed some smoke in his mirrors, possibly caused by burning plastic around the brakes.

Distracted, he crashed heavily, wiping the right hand side off the car, and writing off the new chassis. The frontal damage was such that his right boot came adrift as he climbed out of the smoking wreck, and he paused to put it on again. It was a sad end to his day, but the consensus was that he’d given his reputation a boost – he was far from the only driver to hit the wall.

Lauda meanwhile cruised around in front in typically unruffled style, backing off in the late stages to preserve his equipment. He still had a 14.6s advantage over runner-up Keke Rosberg. With victory in his third race after a two-year break, Lauda was back.

Niki Lauda, McLaren MP4/1B-Ford, second place Keke Rosberg, Williams, third place Gilles Villeneuve, Ferrari

Photo by: Motorsport Images

Just a few weeks later in Monaco de Cesaris had a chance of redemption. He drove a controlled race, surviving a late shower. As car after car hit trouble in the closing minutes victory nearly came his way, only for a lack of fuel to leave his Alfa parked on the last lap, as eventual winner Riccardo Patrese passed by. He was classified third.

There would be some other good days. Indeed the following year he would lead the opening stages at Spa, and earn second places in Germany and South Africa.

Late in his career he would earn a place in the history books as Michael Schumacher’s first F1 teammate at Jordan at Spa in 1991 – and had his engine not failed that day, he would have been on the podium again. However, that first win never came.

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How McLaren shattered all F1 records in 1988

On this day in 1988, McLaren kicked off the most dominant campaign by a team in the history of Formula 1, winning nearly all 16 races with the legendary MP4/4. Giorgio Piola and Matt Sommerfield reflect on the season, using the extensive archive of Motorsport Images.


Photo by: Rainer W. Schlegelmilch

The only running that the MP4/4 had had ahead of the first race at Rio was on the last day of testing at Imola. As such, everything was still very raw for the team going into this race, with Senna later disqualified during the race having switched to the T-Car when he suffered gear shift issues on the parade lap. McLaren still won convincingly though, as Prost cruised to victory nearly 10 seconds ahead of Gerhard Berger in the Ferrari.

You’ll note that the Titanium rollover hoop wasn’t painted for the first round either, a detail that Ron Dennis had resolved for the second race: not only having them painted in white but also emblazoned with the drivers name and a sponsors logo too.

McLaren favoured a medium downforce arrangement for Jacarepagua, supplementing the trailing edge of the rear wing element with a Gurney flap too.


Photo by: Motorsport Images

Imola was where McLaren really flexed its muscles, demolishing the rest of the field as they lapped everyone, taking their first 1-2 finish of the season, with Senna taking the spoils.

The team ran a medium downforce setup once again but this time it didn’t add the Gurney flap on the trailing edge of the wing.


Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Senna’s lasting legacy is further enshrined with his performances at the Monaco Grand Prix, his innate ability to thread the car through the barrier-lined streets clear to see. And, whether he was at the wheel of the double winged Toleman TG184, that ought not have been able to compete with the front runners, or in the dominant McLaren MP4/4, he commanded them in a way that demands almost mythical status.

This freshly colourised artwork from the Giorgio Piola is now available for you to own


Photo by: Rainer W. Schlegelmilch

The 1988 Monaco Grand Prix weekend was no exception, with Senna clearly on a different planet to Prost that weekend, as the Brazilian was able to extract a great deal more performance from the MP4/4 than his counterpart. Prost did close the gap during the second qualifying session from just under two seconds on Thursday, to just under one and half seconds on Saturday.


Photo by: Motorsport Images

Visible in the previous image but abundantly clear in this one, is a rear wing trialled by McLaren for the Monaco GP but not raced. The biplane rear wing arrangement had become a feature elsewhere on the grid. But it was placed in a much lower position than the one seen here on the MP4/4, although it does bear an uncanny resemblance to the high downforce arrangement used by Tyrrell that season.


Photo by: Motorsport Images

The startling fact is that footage of Senna’s now almost mythical lap doesn’t exist, as the broadcaster was following other action at the time and, whilst onboard cameras were being used during this time period, they weren’t mounted to every car as they are today. Surely though, this only adds to the legend, as we are only left to imagine his almost superhuman feat…


Photo by: Sutton Images

Race day: Prost had a decent start but struggled to engage second gear, allowing Gerhard Berger to pounce. The Austrian kept Prost at bay as they tussled throughout the race for second place, as Senna duly disappeared down the road. On lap 54 Prost was able to stick a move into Saint Devote and set about reeling in his teammate, who was now more than 50 seconds away.

Prost knew that barring a failure or accident he couldn’t take victory, as overcoming Berger with the pace advantage he had was troublesome, so overtaking Senna, who had been quicker than him all weekend, would be impossible.

The drivers traded fastest laps in a psychological game of cat and mouse, before Ron Dennis intervened and told both drivers over the radio that they must slow down, look after their cars and bring home the 1-2.


Photo by: Sutton Images

Crash: On lap 66 the unthinkable happened. Senna, who’d been untouchable all weekend was climbing out of his MP4/4 having crashed going through Portier. The left side of the car and its suspension crumpled in the impact with the Armco barrier and with that Prost went on to take victory.


Photo by: Motorsport Images

As we look inside the cockpit of Senna’s MP4/4, you’ll note the adjustable suspension mechanism on the left-hand side. This allowed the driver to change the front anti-roll bar settings on the fly, providing each driver with their own dedicated setup option at any point they chose fit.


Photo by: Rainer W. Schlegelmilch

McLaren did look at the option of running its high downforce rear wing configuration for the Mexican GP but went on to use the medium downforce option instead. It also ran different sidepod bodywork, opening up the radiator and intercooler inlets and exits.

Whilst the RA168E engine only had a limited lifespan that didn’t stop Honda from developing race specific variants, with Mexico high on that agenda due to the rarefied air at the high altitude circuit. It created an entirely new spec engine that could breath more easily at altitude and, whilst this led to a corresponding increase in fuel consumption, it was a sacrifice worth taking, as it took another 1-2 finish with their closest competitor almost a minute down on race winner – Alain Prost.


Photo by: Motorsport Images

It was more of the same from McLaren at the Canadian GP, with only the result reversed, as Senna led the 1-2 this time around but still clear of the next competitor by 50 seconds. It ran in a medium downforce configuration once again, whilst this image gives a good view of the curved Jabroc rubbing strip mounted on the underside of the front wing endplate.


Photo by: Motorsport Images

The Detroit street circuit saw a return of the high downforce rear wing on the MP4/4 with a Gurney Flap also affixed to the upper flap to increase downforce and balance. Prost wasn’t as comfortable with the many 90 degree corners and short straights that posed the challenge around this street circuit, but having recovered from a poor showing during qualifying, he rose from 4th to maintain McLaren’s 1-2 finishing streak.

Meanwhile, Senna drove off into the distance lapping everyone in the field aside from his teammate, who languished nearly 40 seconds behind the Brazilian.


Photo by: Motorsport Images

The front brakes glow as Alain Prost, at his home GP, romps to victory. You’ll also note Prost’s more forward seating position in this shot of the Frenchman.



Photo by: Rainer W. Schlegelmilch

Senna went on to dominate the British Grand Prix but the team’s 1-2 finishing streak was brought to a climax, as Prost retired from the race on lap 24, citing handling issues and a lack of power.

The team had decided to run different downforce configurations for this race too, as whilst Prost’s car (left) was outfitted with the medium downforce setup, Senna had a low downforce variant (right). It was also the first time that the trialled a new sidepod solution, ditching the snorkels that fed the turbochargers but it continued to race with them, having had some instability issues throughout the weekend.


Photo by: Motorsport Images

Both drivers opted for a lower downforce setup for the German Grand Prix, as they returned another 1-2 finish, Senna claiming a 13 second advantage over his teammate and a 52 second advantage over their closest rivals.


Photo by: Rainer W. Schlegelmilch

The Hungarian GP saw Senna on pole but by the smallest margin so far, as Nigel Mansell was just a tenth away. Meanwhile, Prost was down in seventh place, a factor that meant very little during the race, as the team romped home 1-2 once more with Prost just half a second behind his teammate.

Both drivers utilised the high downforce rear wing with a Gurney flap for this event, whilst peculiarly the MP4/4’s wing mirrors were painted white, the only and only race that occured. Meanwhile, the panel alongside the cockpit, usually painted in white was painted black instead, matching its surroundings, but this feature was retained for the rest of the season.


Photo by: Rainer W. Schlegelmilch

This picture of Senna at Spa gives a real sense of the speed as the drivers straightened their car and fired it onto the Kemmel straight. The team ran its low downforce package for this race and dominated once more, with Senna 30 seconds clear of Prost and 1:15 seconds clear of Ivan Capelli in his March 881.


Photo by: Motorsport Images

This side shot of Senna at Monza shows the now black panel attached to the chassis, in front of the sidepod and how it blends with the monocoque ahead. Also note how far back Senna sits in the cockpit when compared with the earlier shot of Prost.


Photo by: Motorsport Images

The McLarens were both outfitted with the low downforce rear wing for Monza, as it looked to shed as much downforce and drag as possible around the temple of speed. However, even given McLaren’s best efforts, this would be the race that denied its clean sweep, with an engine failure for Prost and Senna getting tangled up in an accident that ended his race prematurely.


Photo by: Ercole Colombo

Prost leads Senna as the pair do battle for the lead of the race, in a heated affair that saw tempers flare both on and off the circuit. Prost runs out the eventual victor, with Senna left down in seventh place having backed off due to a faulty fuel readout.

Medium downforce setups were favoured by both, whilst Gurney Flaps were applied to the outer trailing edges of the rear wings.


Photo by: Motorsport Images

Senna and Prost were both unhappy with their cars during Friday, but Senna still managed to edge out Mansell by around a second, whilst Prost languished two seconds off the pace. Saturday was a different story though, as the Frenchman had instructed a batch of changes that would see him close the gap to his teammate to within a tenth of a second.

High downforce setups with a full Gurney Flap across the trailing edge of the rear wing were employed by both drivers and fuel consumption would be a major factor heading into the race. Prost went on to win the race, whilst Senna slipped back down the order, suffering once more with his fuel readout.


Photo by: Motorsport Images

The drivers championship could be won on Honda’s home soil, a track itand McLaren were immensely familiar with given the amount of testing they’d conducted there throughout the season. Honda had created another one-off engine specification for the race too, whilst both drivers would use a medium downforce setup.

Senna was on top during qualifying but only by three tenths from Prost but, drama would befall the Brazilian on race day, as he stalled his MP4/4 at the start. Managing to bump start the car, due to the track falling away towards turn one, he found himself down in twelfth place. He charged back through the pack as it began to rain lightly, favourable conditions for the Brazilian who’d become known for his skills in changeable conditions.

Senna went on to haul in Prost who was suffering with a gear shift issue and with a certain inevitability about it the Brazilian went on to win the race and the drivers championship.


Photo by: Motorsport Images

The last race of the season was hosted at Adelaide and provided McLaren with the opportunity to showcase its superiority once more. Senna led Prost during qualifying by just a tenth but the Brazilian’s poor start allowed Prost to take the lead into turn one. This would be its finishing position, as both battled through the field, Prost lapping everyone up to Patrese in fourth place, whilst Senna suffered from gearbox issues that left him 30 seconds adrift of his teammate.


Photo by: Motorsport Images

The McLaren team crowd around the championship winning cars

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How To Refurbish Your Engine Bay – Hot Rod

With a lot of elbow grease you can look good when you pop the hood.

When our classics rolled out of the factory, the engine bay was designed to be functional, but not really what we would consider visually stunning. It was simply a place to house the drivetrain with maybe a few chrome widgets to spruce it up a bit. Of course, 50 years of wear and tear means it’s most likely time to refurbish your engine bay.

Now, there’s two ways you can go: custom or restored. Restored would be getting back to looking how it did from the factory, while custom would let you do as little or as much as you want and can afford. Either path requires planning and a fair amount of old-fashioned elbow grease.

How to clean up your dirty engine bay

As you would expect with a 50-year-old engine bay, the one on this Camaro was just worn out and tired looking. How good your project comes out will come down to how much effort you’re willing to expend and how many parts you are able to remove.

The engine bay was sound, meaning no rust, large dents, or other damage, but it was covered in 50 years of oil, grime, and surface rust. The process here is simple but messy (putting down a tarp under your car is good move). Spray with degreaser, scrape, spray, scrape some more, and just keep going until you’re down to clean metal. Pulling the engine makes all of this much easier and will give you a chance to clean up and detail the engine as well (as well as replace any leaking gaskets such as the one for the oil pan).

A real time-saver is using a pressure washer loaded up with some grease cutting soap. We wouldn’t advise doing this in your driveway. Also, if the engine is in place, be sure to protect areas from water intrusion.

After a long day of scraping and blasting you’ll be left with a clean, though still ugly, engine bay. Keep in mind that any exposed metal will quickly develop surface rust, so work fast with some paint. You can also use a rust inhibiting spray or surface rust converter.

Making your engine bay look great is more than just fresh paint. Replacing the worn bits with fresh ones will make a huge overall impact. The best part is that small widgets like these hood bumpers are cheap and easy to find.

Stock wiper motors are pretty ugly, and while painting them will help, we would suggest, if the budget allows, replacing it with either a unit from Detroit Speed or one of the hidden systems from Raingear. Either way you go, remove it from the firewall so you can do a better job.

Of course, it’s best to do these repaints before you install pretty parts, such as tubular control arms, but if those parts in place then be sure to mask them off to prevent overspray.

When dealing with the brake booster or master, we would unbolt it from the firewall, pull it forward a bit, and wrap it in a bag. Removing all the way is better, but then you’ll have to deal with brake fluid and bleeding the system when you’re done.

The more sanding and work you put in before paint, the better the results will be in the end. There are really no shortcuts here unless you own a media blaster.

With the engine bay completely sanded, we moved on to paint. You can just rattle-can it, or you can try some of the new products from Eastwood. Our bay was nearly rust free, but we hit a few surface rust areas with their Rust Encapsulator. To use it, we simply sprayed it directly over the surface rust. The encapsulator is a great product because it neutralizes the rust and keeps it from spreading.

Before painting we wiped down the surfaces with Eastwood’s Low Voc Pre Painting Prep. This cleaner helped remove any last wax, grease, or dirt from the surfaces. After all, paint sticks great to metal, not so much to contaminants. We simply sprayed the surface and then wiped it down with a clean rag.

Eastwood’s 2K Aero-Spray line of paints use a two-component system to create a very durable paint similar to what you would get from a spray gun. To activate the paint, we used the red cap to push in a plunger on the bottom of the can that punctured a bladder inside the can. You need to shake the can for around two minutes to mix the catalyst with the paint; once opened you’ll have around 48 hours to use it up. Because this product is the same as what comes out of a spray gun (contains isocyanates), Eastwood states you should wear eye, skin, and respiratory protection when using it. You’ll also want to do it in a very well-ventilated area. If this isn’t for you, then we highly recommend SEM Trim Black because it’s easy to use, covers evenly, and looks great. You can buy the SEM online or at many automotive refinishing suppliers.

For a better final product, we gave most of the major areas a layer of Eastwood’s epoxy primer (PN 14149 Z). The spray pattern was much broader than a typical spray can, which made covering the areas easier. Make sure you mask off everything to prevent overspray. Once dry, we hit it with some 500-grit sandpaper. Again, painting is all about the amount of prep work you’re willing to do.

We then sprayed the core support, inner wheelhouses, and firewall with the low gloss under-hood paint (PN 14147 Z). For the frame, we used their satin-black Chassis Black two-part paint (PN 14145 Z). It will take more black paint to cover the grey primer, so if you want to save some cash skip it (or find a black primer) and go directly to paint. In our case, we used almost three cans of the low-gloss under-hood paint and two cans of the Chassis Black.

With the engine bay painted you’re ready to reinstall your painted and detailed original engine or a new mill. We also need to paint the rusty cast iron brake master. The project took two very long days, but it was time well spent.

In our case, we’re dropping in a shiny new Chevrolet Performance 383 crate engine. We also added one of Chevrolet’s super-affordable small-block serpentine drive systems.

And after adding the rest of the needed bits, including a radiator close out panel from Detroit Speed, the engine bay in our Camaro was looking great and nothing like the mess we started with.

Another sad engine bay we refurbished was the one in this 1969 Nova. Even with the cool stickers, and new fuel filter, it was a complete mess.

Unlike the Camaro, we went all out on this engine bay by pulling the front sheet metal and professionally painting everything to match the car. The engine is basic 350 crate engine from Chevrolet that we dressed up with a billet serpentine drive system from Eddie Motorsports.

We also went further on this project by adding billet hood hinges and fancy fasteners from Eddie Motorsports. When doing a custom engine bay, these little touches really add up to set you apart from the crowd.

Even hood bumpers can get the custom treatment.

As you can see, this route, while more expensive, yielded an even better end result. Whatever direction you decide to go with your engine bay be sure to have fun giving your car your own personal touch.

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How ‘PAS’ system shows Ferrari was on to DAS benefits

When Mercedes revealed its DAS system during pre-season testing, many expected its closest rivals to instantly go marching to the FIA to demand the system be banned.

But whereas Red Bull has made clear it intends to protest Mercedes when racing action resumes, Ferrari has been far more sanguine about the affair – and indeed the team suggested it had looked at and rejected the DAS idea in the past.

Some questioned whether Ferrari was simply covering its back by those comments, but investigative work has now uncovered why the Italian outfit has not been so alarmed: because it has been running a system that mimics much of the benefits of DAS since the middle of last year.

In fact, as can reveal, the concept – codenamed PAS (Power Assisted Steering) by insiders – has been so solid that it has been taken by Haas for its 2020 VF-20 car.

While PAS is not as advanced as DAS, it was this type of system that Mercedes first began running from the start of 2019 and became the precursor to what it has developed for this year.

The W10’s power steering arrangement was equipped with a double rack and pinion setu-p, creating a variable Ackermann system that made it possible to make one wheel steer independently of the other, depending on the given steering input.

In hindsight, the W10 seemed particularly agile and reactive in slow corners when compared with its predecessors, which was clearly a response to its new steering system.

This not only improved agility but also helped to keep the tyres in their optimum working range, lessening wear and improving performance.

Ferrari, having understood Mercedes concept relatively early on, decided to develop its own system, adopting PAS from the French GP onwards.

As it meant a larger, heavier and more complicated steering unit, there must have been more than one benefit to cancel out any drawbacks.

Having the ability to vary the Ackermann angle depending on the corner’s profile can have some interesting aerodynamic implications.

Given that the shape of the wake turbulence created by each wheel and tyre will also be altered according to path they draw, this could perhaps result in a similar wake profile across the board, allowing the overall aerodynamic map of the car to be tuned to increase downforce.

The timeline of the arrival of these variable Ackermann solutions shows how the introduction of DAS is an expansion of the original concept, allowing the driver to realign the steered wheels for the straights and eliminating any tyre scrub and/or drag that may occur when running even more aggressive Ackermann angles.

That Ferrari has made PAS available to Haas, proves that there must be good competitive benefits from it, and that the Italian outfit is fully comfortable with what it has produced.

DAS however, will have a limited shelf life, as Mercedes has agreed to uphold its ban in 2021 even though it’s likely that the chassis will have to be carried over from 2020.

This will come as a relief to many in the paddock who fear an escalation in costs will be detrimental to the sport in the wake of the impact caused by the coronavirus.

Haas F1 Team VF-20 front detail

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Haas planned to use the ‘PAS’ system for 2020, with the steering assembly seen mounted to the VF-20 during testing

Ferrari SF1000 front suspension

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Ferrari’s 2020 challenger, the SF1000, has been fitted with its ‘PAS’ system from the get-go.

Haas F1 Team VF-20 front detail

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

The Alfa Romeo C39 fitted with a more conventional steering assembly.

Ferrari SF90 front detail

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Ferrari introduced its ‘PAS’ system at the French GP, the two different versions of its steering assembly that can be seen here alongside the chassis for comparison.

Mercedes AMG F1 W11 power steering DAS

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Mercedes W11 with its DAS system in view, which is a secondary layer of complexity to the variable Ackermann system, allowing the drivers to realign the front wheels on the straights.

Mercedes W09 front suspension

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Mercedes’ more conventional steering assembly was last seen here on their 2018 challenger, the W09.

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How to choose your best F1 image when you have taken millions

When you have captured some of the most iconic moments of F1 history with your camera, images that have been enjoyed by millions of fans in magazines, online and in social media, it must be hard to pinpoint which is your favourite.

We put two of F1’s legendary photographers on the spot for a documentary film “Enduring Legacy” and asked them: Out of the millions of images you have taken of F1, which one would come to a desert island with you?

Michael Tee was active from the first ever F1 race at Silverstone in 1950 until the mid 1980s and his son Steven started at San Marino GP 1984 and is still active today. Between them they have photographed every single F1 driver from the great champions like Fangio, Senna, Schumacher and Hamilton to the oddball drivers who only started one of two races.

The technology each used was very different: Michael was shooting on a 35mm camera with rolls of film, while Steven’s career spanned the transition from film into the ultra-high spec digital cameras used today. But the basic art of motorsport photography hasn’t changed. It’s about being in the right place at the right time and getting something unique and distinctive that no-one else has.

“The art is still there because you still need to be a good photographer,” says Steven. “You need to know where to go, when to be there. You need to be able to frame the picture in your head before you take it. You can move the process along a lot quicker now. As you go along, you’re seeing what you’re shooting so you repeat stuff less.

“A lot of it is the decisive moment and you never know when it’s going to come. So you’ve just got to be ready for it and try and put yourself into an area of the circuit, particularly during the race, where things might happen and be ready to capture them when they do.”

So what are the two photographers’ favourite images?

Juan Manuel Fangio, Maserati 250F

Photo by: Michael Tee / Motorsport Images

Michael Tee: “I think my favourite picture was the picture of Fangio at Rouen in 1957 because it was not just a car doing 150, or 160 miles an hour with the tail hanging out. But on the left hand side you had a bank which went straight up and on the right hand side, because the road had been cut into the hillside, the right hand side there was a 30-foot drop down.

“And to be doing that, knowing that, if you lost it, unless you were very very lucky you would have lost your life… you realise that, in that particular moment it was not just the skill and all the rest of it. It was pure bravery and believing that you had that sort of ability.”

Ayrton Senna, Lotus 97T-Renault celebrates 1st position with Team Manager Peter Warr in parc ferme, portrait

Photo by: Motorsport Images

Steven Tee: “People often ask me what my favourite photos are and its really difficult to say after 30 years of doing this and millions of photos. But, if I had to pick one, I think it would be 1985 Portuguese Grand Prix. Ayrton Senna winning his first Grand Prix in the rain. I luckily managed to capture the moment he came into the parc ferme area. He’s half out the car, Peter Warr (Lotus team boss) is ecstatically looking at him and there’s two mechanics in the back ground leaping up and down. That moment is encapsulated in that photo.”

  • You can view the full documentary “An Enduring Legacy” here.

The images taken by both photographers and their LAT colleagues as well as the collections of Rainer Schlegelmilch, Ercole Colombo, Giorgio Piola and the Sutton Images archive are all part of Motorsport Images collection. It’s the world’s largest with 26 million pictures, dating back to 1895. There are images of the first ever Grand Prix in France, 1906. And it holds continuous coverage of Grand Prix racing throughout its history.

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How Baku hopes to get back on the F1 2020 calendar

Last week the Azerbaijan GP became the latest 2020 Formula 1 race to be postponed as a result of COVID-19, leaving Canada on the bubble and the next in line for any announcement.

The Baku organisers are now in limbo, awaiting any news on an alternative date – and they are ready to press the button and prepare the venue should it prove to be possible to hold the race within 2020.

Of the eight Grands Prix lost thus far only Monaco has formally declared that it is not seeking a replacement date in 2020. However, Australia is not regarded as a serious candidate, due to the sheer scale of the operation involved readying Albert Park for the second time in a calendar year.

Four of the remaining events on the waiting list are permanent circuits, and two – Hanoi and Baku – are temporary street venues. In both cases they face greater logistical challenges than the established tracks when accepting new dates, due to the time required to build up their facilities.

It was that extended lead time that forced Baku City Circuit’s hand and led to a relatively early call on a postponement, before any physical preparation work had commenced.

“It became a bit clearer after the unfortunate turn of events in Australia,” BCC boss and race promoter Arif Rahimov tells

“I guess it was quite devastating for the promoter in Australia, putting up all the work and effort and spending all that time and money to get ready for the event, only for it to be cancelled at the last minute.

“That’s a situation that I would never want to put my own team into, and I really felt sorry for what they had to go through. After that it became clearer, the direction that things were going, and then we saw more cancellations of global events worldwide, including Euro 2020, and now the Olympic Games. There was pressure from all the different sides.”

Setting up a street circuit is a huge operation, and Rahimov knew that a definitive call had to be made before any work started and bills had to be paid.

“We had to make the decision now,” says Rahimov. “Because we’re certainly not a circuit that can make the decision late, because we need to set it up, and we need a bit of time to do that.

“It takes from two to three months just to get the circuit ready. I’m not even talking about all the commercial aspects, the spectator entertainment aspects, that are more artist related. These things we can’t do at the last minute.

“In our first masterplan we were planning to start setting up the circuit by March 15th, so with the turn of events we decided to postpone it one week, and in that week there was a lot of back and forth between ourselves and F1 and the government of Azerbaijan trying to figure out what was going to happen. We went through all the different scenarios and then we decided to stop.”

While the event is government-backed and a key annual promotional tool for both the country and the city, the politicians had other priorities – even if there was still a chance that it could take place in June 7th, it obviously wasn’t the right time to be promoting it.

“We had to make a decision, with all the government advice, which actually switched from advice to decrees by the cabinet ministers to introduce the preventative actions that would not allow us to host a race. That was the final dot above the ‘i’ to make sure that we need to postpone the race until further notice.”

Alexander Albon, Toro Rosso STR14

Photo by: Simon Galloway / Motorsport Images

On the positive side by not starting on the circuit build-up, Baku avoided the situation that Albert Park was in, with a ton of money spent and nothing to show for it.

“Indeed, yes. We had made some orders, but these are things that we can use next year or at a later stage if the race is coming up later.

“But all the expenses that we would have incurred that would have been just a waste, they haven’t happened. So we haven’t incurred any direct financial loss as of now.”

Baku has joined the other postponed races in waiting for news on an alternative date. Rahimov says there’s some flexibility.

“We’ve already had the race in April and June. The critical thing in Azerbaijan particularly is the schools, if it’s the school season. That’s what influences the race date the most. However, we’ve had races in April when there’s still school, so we’ve seen both cases.

“It would probably be a bit tougher to have a race just at the beginning of the school season, which is September 15th. However, I think there are a lot more complications involved in setting up the calendar, so we’re trying to provide as much flexibility as we can.”

However, that doesn’t extend to running the race in the winter months.

“The main concern is to make sure that given we have the clarity quite soon, that we are given two and half or three months’ notice, that’s really important.

“And the second part is that it’s in the warm season when people don’t have to freeze outside, or we will have empty grandstands, which we really don’t want. So we would want the race before the middle of October.

“That COVID-19 will go away is something that no one can predict, but the other two depend on it clearing up early in the summer.”

Charles Leclerc, Ferrari SF90

Photo by: Jerry Andre / Motorsport Images

Rahimov insists that he’s not yet been given a heads-up on possible alternatives: “We cannot have the new date until things clear up, we can’t just speculate on a new date.

“That’s quite logical, and it wasn’t a debate, it was something that we put on the table and everyone agreed with it. It’s not just us, I think they agreed with all the other promoters whose races have been postponed, we’re not going to speculate about the date, we can only set the date when the situation with COVID-19 is clear.

“There is very unfortunately no way to know about it. I hope that it’s going to clear up by the summer. It’s a matter of when it will clear up, if we can see the downturn in early June that’s one thing, but if it stays with us until the end of August, it’s definitely going to be a no-go for our race. We cannot postpone it as late as November.”

Azerbaijan is known to pay the Formula 1 organisation one of the highest hosting fees of any event, and as with all races, the funds are transferred well in advance.

In theory what happens to that cash in the event of a complete cancellation depends on who made the final call. However, it’s now understood that in the exceptional current circumstances venues will not be expected to forfeit their fee for a race that doesn’t happen.

“I think it will be a major revenue loss for F1, unfortunately,” says Rahimov. “But it is force majeure, it’s something that’s outside our control. And it’s not just local, it’s a global force majeure.

“These sorts of situations are accounted for in the force majeure clause of the contract. Our government certainly will not lose money if the race doesn’t happen. The fact that the race won’t be hosted will be beyond our control.

“It’s not just a promoter decision to stop the race, we had several decrees from cabinet ministers to stop all gatherings. We’re in a quarantine regime, similar to most of western Europe.

“It’s illegal for us to even promote the race right now, so we’re in a situation where we’re prohibited to make any actions to host the race, which would have happened in two months, so it’s literally beyond our control.”

What will happen to the cash that’s already been paid?

“If the race isn’t happening one option would be to ask for the money to be returned to our accounts, but another would be to postpone it to next year, and then we wouldn’t have to pay for next year. There’s a bunch of things we can do.”

For any races that are lost completely in 2020 there’s also a potential legal complication to overcome – does the lost race count as part of an ongoing contract, or will it roll over and an extra year be added to the term?

For the moment Rahimov remains committed to hosting the race within 2020, although he concedes that it may have to be a scaled down event, with fewer sideshows for fans such as live concerts. Even allowing for that, it’s not going to be easy to host the race on a new date.

“It is extremely complicated, but I think there are more complicated things happening in the world right now. This is one of the side effect of the pandemic. But given that the whole world is in this situation, I think the expectation for the race will be a little bit lower.

“People will understand if we skip one or two bits. We’ll still provide the entertainment for the TV audience, but obviously all the entertainment on the ground for the spectators at the race will probably be on a slightly reduced scale, it will just be a matter of what we can do at this time, and what we cannot.”

Pierre Gasly, Red Bull Racing RB15

Photo by: Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images

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Car Reviews

Tesla Model X Accident: How Good Is Tesla Collision Service?

This family has had good and bad luck with Tesla service, so they’re skeptical about the repair process.

While Dan Markham and the What’s Inside Family? are huge Tesla fans, they’re not unwilling to admit when they have issues with the company. Markham reminds us that he’s had positive and negative experiences with Tesla service. However, he’s never had to deal with a Tesla collision. Someone recently hit his Model X and it needs the doors repaired, so he takes us through the process.

It’s important to note that when you need your Tesla repaired following a collision, you typically don’t visit a Tesla Service center, though there are exceptions. Most often, you have to get the vehicle repaired at a Tesla-approved body shop. Just like all other businesses, there are good ones and bad ones. Added to the equation, depending on where you live, what parts you need, and various other factors, the timeline can range from relatively quick to ridiculously long.

With that said, Markham was lucky to have an actual Tesla repair facility near his home. The shop is in Las Vegas and is one of few locations of its kind. It repairs Tesla vehicles, but has to take them elsewhere to be painted. Markham takes us through the process to give us an idea of the repair costs and timeline.

Tesla estimated the process would take 10 days. It actually took 16 days, but that’s counting weekends, plus the coronavirus situation escalated right in the middle of the process. The insurance company originally estimated the damage at $4,200, but internal damage pushed the total cost up to $5,000. Fortunately, Markham didn’t have to pay anything out of pocket.

Video Description via What’s Inside? Family on YouTube:


I wrecked my Tesla, how good is Tesla Auto Body Service?

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Car Reviews

How to clean alloy wheels

Alloy wheels can get dirty pretty quickly. Here's how you can keep them looking fresh with an alloy wheel cleaner

If you buy a new car, chances are it'll have a snazzy set of alloy wheels as standard. But these shiny (often) silver rims can soon start look grubby, mainly because they're perfectly positioned to collect more dirt than the rest of a car. Not only does an alloy wheel have to deal with everyday grime from the road and air, these drab brown deposits are mixed with dust from the brakes and can soon get baked on to your wheels, thanks to the oven-like temperatures created by the brakes and tyres.

So how do you clean your wheels? You can use the same cleaner that you wash the rest of your car with, but it will only remove the surface dirt. To get rid of the baked-on dirt, you need a specialist alloy wheel cleaner. Some people may be tempted to use vinegar-based household products, while a can of WD40 is good for removing hard tar deposits. But a dedicated wheel cleaner is the best option if you want really clean wheels, as these products shift the dirt with just one application, and simply rinse off when they're done.

• Best alloy wheel cleaners

If you're cleaning your wheels, you're probably doing the rest of the car at the same time. A pressure washer is a great way to blast most of the dirt off your car, including the wheels, but it won't take the baked-on brake dust with it. But an alloy wheel cleaner will deep-clean the wheel, getting into all the narrow gaps and penetrating the dirt. They can do this without damaging the lacquer or paint, too, saving you an expensive refurbishment in the future.

We'd recommend wearing rubber or latex gloves while cleaning your wheels, so you don't get covered in dust or cleaning product – some can cause skin irritation, while the fine dust particles can easily get ingrained in your fingers and under your nails.

Our favourite wheel cleaners simply spray on, and you leave them to do their work before rinsing off. The best cleaners also change colour to show you exactly how much dirt is being lifted, while the ingredients they use mean they don't damage your tyres, and can simply be washed down the drain once finished.

We'd recommend giving the wheels another wash after using an alloy wheel cleaner, but again wear some rubber or latex gloves while you're doing it, because brake dust is made up of very fine particles that can get ingrained in your fingers and under your nails.

Once spotlessly clean, you could treat your wheels to a specialist wheel wax. This will add a protective layer that will help prevent brake dust from building up. Once you're done with your wheels, give your tyres a coat of tyre shine to get them back to their lustrous best.

Now your wheels will be looking good, hopefully for a long time, while regular washing will help prevent the brake dust from baking on.

How to clean your alloy wheels: top tips

  1. 1. Get a specialist alloy wheel cleaning product.
  2. 2. Use a pressure washer to remove any loose dirt.
  3. 3. Put on some rubber or latex gloves.
  4. 4. Apply your alloy wheel cleaning product as directed.
  5. 5. Leave for the designated about of time.
  6. 6. Rinse it off.
  7. 7. Clean your wheels again to ensure all of the cleaner and any residual dirt is removed.
  8. 8. Apply a wheel wax to add an extra layer of protection.

Need help deciding which alloy wheel cleaner to buy? See our best alloy wheel cleaners here…

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Auto News

Here's How You Can Drive A McLaren Elva Fast Without Destroying Your Face

Mclaren - Here's How You Can Drive A McLaren Elva Fast Without Destroying Your Face - Supercars and Hypercars

If you’re losing track of all the new open-top hypercars, we won’t blame you. The McLaren Elva is one of many windscreen-less Swiss bank balance liberators to emerge in the last year or so – joining the likes of the Ferrari SP1 and Aston Martin V12 Speedster – but it does have something of a USP hidden up its carbon fibre sleeves.

It’s an ‘Active Air Management System’ which ensures that the alfresco supercar experience doesn’t make it feel like your skin is being torn to shreds each time you venture over 30mph. McLaren has explained how it works in this new video.

Welcome to McLaren Tech Club, a series of short films you can enjoy in your own home. Join us weekly for a behind the scenes look at the incredible technology in our cars.

Tech Club is for those who want to take their automotive knowledge further, delve deeper and get to the core of what every McLaren car is about – using technology to help deliver the incredible driving experiences for which the pioneering supercar company is renowned worldwide.

This week, we kick things off with the just launched McLaren Elva. An incredible car, with its world first ‘Active Air Management System’ which uses aerodynamics to deliver a comfy drive at 70mph, without a windscreen.’

Who better to take you through this new tech than McLaren Automotive’s Design Engineering Director, Dan Parry Williams.

Want to know more about #McLarenTechClub – post your questions below and each week the videos’ presenter will respond and react to them. Dive into the conversation on social using #McLarenTechClub and we will respond.

We’d recommend having a watch through – it’ll be easier to visualise thanks to all the snazzy CGI plus McLaren Automotive design engineering boss Dan Parry Williams pointing out the inlets and outlets. But to sum up, the Elva is hiding a “hook-shaped” duct in its nose, which takes high-pressure air from the front, turns it 120 degrees, and spits it out of a vent in the top of the clamshell.

This creates a barrier of air just in front of the cabin. Oncoming airflow hits it and curves up and over the occupants, making life much more pleasant. Parry Williams says that at 70mph, driver and passenger will be left “in relative calm” with their hair (providing they have some) “unruffled”.

Mclaren - Here's How You Can Drive A McLaren Elva Fast Without Destroying Your Face - Supercars and Hypercars

How far over that point you need to go before proceedings take a much breezier turn, we’re not sure – with an 803bhp twin-turbo V8 borrowed from the Senna, the Elva is capable of reaching much higher speeds awfully quickly. But regardless, it’s an impressive system.

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How new tech is helping the WRC solve one of its oldest issues

The scale of spectator misbehaviour has diminished since the crazy days of Group B, but it’s still an issue – so broadcasting technology is being employed to help keep the stages safe

As the World Rally Championship safety delegate, Michele Mouton holds responsibility for overseeing the safety of every stage mile on WRC events. But, as remarkable as it seems, the behaviour of fans is no less of a concern now than it was in her heyday at the wheel, when spectators would virtually stand in the middle of the road as cars hurtled towards them at terrifying speeds.

Across social media in particular, there is a senseless celebration of the very thing that blighted the existence of Group B in the 1980s and regularly caused stage cancellations in the era of Colin McRae, Richard Burns and Carlos Sainz: lunatic fans.

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