Refuelling coming back to F1?

Recently, as part of discussions about 2021 F1 rules, the FIA President Jean Todt brought up the possibility of bringing back refuelling. This is a very controversial part of racing but one that some fans really love.

Back in The Day

A lot of people look back to the old days and say things were more exciting when refuelling was allowed. The cars could race lighter, there were tactics around fuelling stops just like there still are around tyre use and changes. Yes, Schumacher used to use some cunning moves to get the drop on people with pit stops but just because it happened then doesn’t mean it would happen now. There were certainly a lot of moves made and running out of fuel did add another layer of excitement in a sport that many say is seriously lacking it at the moment.

The Dangers

There is simply no getting away from the fact that refuelling adds danger to racing, and not in a good way. Refuelling isn’t the same as faster corner speeds, or less downforce. It’s just a huge fire risk during a process that is not much fun to watch.

The Drivers

It does seem that a number of drivers are interested in bringing back refuelling. Often, the reasons are based around the fact that with less need to manage fuel the drivers can push harder and race more. Ultimately, the drivers are also just hoping to be able to run lighter cars because…well they love to race and they love to go fast.

The Reality

Whilst there is no doubt the cars would be running lighter and drivers could potentially push harder, the modern F1 world is very different in terms of the data available to teams since refuelling was in place. There is a rose tinted ideal that refuelling will lead to the unknown, gambles that don’t pay off, big upsets etc. But the reality is that with the kind of processing power each team is packing these days, they will be able to predict fuel use to the second, while other teams will be watching pit stops to calculate fuel volumes and be planning stops off the back of the data. It may bring back some action but the constant drive to win by the teams will no doubt mean any gaps are soon plugged and the racing goes back to how it was before.

Handling Fuel

While we may not have mid-race refuelling, if you do any kind of racing at all you will find yourself handling fuel. We offer a range of fire suppression systems that are needed to race in MSA and FIA competitions, but are also very important for any kind of motorsport including non-competitive events such as track days. Please get in touch to ask about how we can make your refuelling safer!

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Sunshine and Plenty of Grip!

Jaguar E-Type Interior on Vintage Car Parade

Yes, it’s that time of year again. The time when all the historic and classic car owners can pull the covers off, open the garage doors and bring their cars out to enjoy. We love the summer!

Spotted

Being fairly close to Goodwood, we do get to see quite a lot of stunning classics and we also get a lot of customers coming to us to have a subtle fire extinguisher fitted. But we still get excited when we spot something on the road and the minute the weather gets hot we get treated to all sorts!

We have already seen two pristine E-Types, which are still as stunning as ever, if not more so. Some very hot looking Caterham 7s, not classics as such but so much fun. We even saw some 80s classics together nearby – a Sierra Sapphire Cosworth, a 205 1.9 GTi and Escort Cosworth. Whatever your taste in cars, it is great to see something older still running and being looked after.

Warm Tarmac

What better way to enjoy a classic than when the roads are warm and grippy? Yes, there is a bit of a worry that some older cars might overheat but the rip roaring fun of a good corner on a dry road far outweighs the worry!

Dry

It is certainly dry most of the time in the summer and that means less rust risk. The days of salt all over the roads is now gone and the more fragile classics can come out to play. Of course, we do get the odd shower, so make sure you know how to put up the roof quickly. There can be some dangers for older cars on dry roads that get a soaking. The surface can get really slippery if it hasn’t rained for a while and in something like an Austin Healey or TR6 the back might well want to come out a bit!

Fire Safety

As always, it is critical that these cars are kept for future generations and installing a fire extinguisher can make the difference between losing a bit of history and cleaning up a few marks and replacing a part or two. The summer does carry with it the risk of fire, especially as we are about to see some very hot days. If you are unsure about what kind of extinguisher you may need or want in your classic car then please get in touch and we can help.

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Rally Seeding Change

A couple of years ago, rally fans and drivers are unlikely to not have noticed the change to the seeding rules. Without going into too much detail, let’s just say that the changes were not good for the sport.

Generally, the result of the original change lead to some teams actually leaving cars in the garage rather do their next run and risk sustaining damage for no racing gain. This really hit the sport hard, leaving fans as annoyed as the teams.

In order for any sport to thrive it needs action and lots of it, but it also needs promotional time for sponsors to get the money coming in to keep things going. When cars are not out on the course the sponsors are not getting coverage, and this can lead to them looking for coverage elsewhere or, worse, to invest in other sports.

Thankfully, late one Friday night the national governing body, the Motor Sports Association (MSA) have finally decided to relax the seeding rule from 1st July. It is fair to say that national rallying has been under quite a bit of pressure since changing the rules. That being said, no one would argue that after some fatal crashes action did need to be taken. It was just the form of that action and the long-term damage it has and could continue to do to the sport.

This change may seem small, but it will be enough to really give the sport a desperately needed boost. This relaxation will be welcomed by everyone, from fans to team bosses. We certainly hope to see more cars on track, more rallying and more happy fans and sponsors this year and for many years to come.

At FEV, we have extensive experience in rallying and providing fire extinguishers for teams as well as privateers across all disciplines including rally cross. Why not give us a call or email us your enquiry to find out more?

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Is Hamilton as Good as Senna?

Is Hamilton as good as Senna? Well, according to the mighty Gerhard Berger, yes he is! In fact, in a recent interview DTM series head honcho Berger said that of all the world champs over the years since he raced with Aryton Senna, Lewis Hamilton is the only one to ever be on the same level as the much loved and respected Senna.

Why is He So Good?

According to Berger, it isn’t really about why or where. It’s about the fact that Hamilton is simply always “there”. No matter the conditions – wet, fast, street, open circuit, dry… – he is always competitive and, barring any very uncommon mistakes, he is always in the running. You might think after all his wins he might be happy to take his foot off, literally. But no, he is as driven (excuse the multiple puns) now as he always was.

Berger went on to discuss the fact Lewis can handle a 2nd place, he knows he gets the points and he simply puts them in the bank and gets right back in there for another round. Berger is also keen to point out that Hamilton makes far less mistakes than others. While he does have his moments, making fewer mistakes means the odds are better every time he races.

Will He Beat Schumacher’s Record?

Mr Berger thinks he might do! He may well go past the 7th world championship point provided he is healthy, and he is still able to race. In fact, he goes on to say that while there have been a handful of true racing legends including Michael Schumacher, Lewis is a cut above and sits on a different level with only one companion: Senna!

It’s the Car!

We all know Mercedes have had an amazing car for quite a few seasons now but the interview claims it is more than that. Yes, the engine is great but it needs Lewis to be behind the wheel to create the magic he has shown time and again. He is “outstandingly fast” and will carry on winning for some years to come.

People so often focus on football when they think of England and Britain in sport but they should all take a moment to remember we have a British driver who just might be the best driver of all time if he keeps going. Now that’s something to be proud of!

The team at FEV are passionate about motorsport, and that includes all the safety aspects that go with it. For more information about our MSUK and FIA approved fire suppression systems, why not contact us today on 01243 555566.

British Driver Lewis Hamilton Mercedes Sprays Champagne to Celebrate Award Presentation

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Summer is on the Way!

Road on a sunny day

Yes, it’s official, the clocks have changed and we can finally look ahead to some warmer weather. While this may be something everyone is pleased about there is a special frisson of excitement for any classic car owner. It is the time when the covers can come off and these wonderful cars can be enjoyed without worrying about salted roads, water ingress or a distinct lack of traction.

Dry Roads

Summer in the UK isn’t exactly arid but classic car drivers can, at least, be hopeful about getting some clear, warm and dry days. We all know a lot of older cars don’t have the traction modern cars do and while this can be fun the thought of having an off in a cherished and valuable classic really isn’t very nice.

Car Shows and Meets

The summer is also the season for car shows and owners club meets. Whether you are taking your classic to the local village fair or to Goodwood it will be fun and something to really look forward too. It is a chance to meet other owners, show off your car and have a good look at all the other cars in display.

Coming Out of Hibernation

As summer looms the excitement is often tempered with the issues surrounding getting a car out from its winter covers and making sure everything is as it should be. It may be time for a good service and a thorough check, and this also includes the fire extinguisher. A lot of classic car owners are having handheld fire extinguishers installed as a method of combating a small fire that could get out of hand. But as with cars, extinguishers also need servicing periodically. If you have one of our extinguishers then please check the date the service is due and get in touch as soon as possible so we can make sure it is all done in time for those summer jaunts.

If you have not thought about getting a fire extinguisher fitted then drop our friendly team a line and find out more. We offer a range of systems from small hand-held units to fully plumbed in options. While the later are primarily for FIA racing a lot of people who do track days and hill climbs also choose them.

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It’s Here! The New F1 Season is Finally Underway

F1 Car Racing Image

It is no secret that as a company we work with a number of F1 teams to produce their fire suppression systems. But we also love watching F1 as fans too and a new season is always good news. High hopes for a big title battle, lots of over taking and a good smattering of drama are always there, and we are very rarely disappointed.

The Champ

It is fair to say Hamilton has dominated the last few seasons which is both good and bad. Good because he is an amazing driver and he is British. But it is a little bad because things can get a little predictable. The same can be said for Mercedes as a whole and that certainly doesn’t look like its going to change any time soon. That being said, Bottas grabbed the first win of the season so let’s see how it all pans out.

Goodbye Charlie

It was so sad to hear about the death of the mighty Charlie Whiting. He was quite rightly described as the centre of gravity for any F1 season, race and the whole community. He cared deeply about the sport and took safety very seriously. He walked the tightrope of enforcing rules and understanding the drivers and the sport and it was and always will be a very tough job, one that will be hard to fill.

Outwashing

This is the term used to describe the air movement behind an F1 that make it very hard to get close and overtake. It has been said that much of the aero kit around the cars was designed to cause this and the new rules for 2019 are set to combat it. The idea will hopefully lead to the reduction in the loss of downforce as cars approach from the rear and more over taking!

Bring it On

Whatever the new season brings we will be enjoying it and we hope you will too. Racing is racing and there will be some bad moves, some amazing moves and a lot in between. There will be fuss about various teams using different bits of kit and a few drivers will no doubt fall out but it is all part of the fun and we are already loving it.

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Is the Classic Car Market Slowing Down?

https://www.pinterest.co.uk/pin/824651381742803969/?lp=true

We provide fire extinguishers for a lot of different sections of the motorsport world and one of them is the classic and historic car market. People naturally want to make sure they have the best chance of minimising damage if a fire does break out, even during normal road driving.

We also supply race spec extinguisher systems that are compulsory for historic racing, so we know a thing or two about classic cars. One thing has been certain for a long time: buy a classic and you will make some money. However, we have been reading recently that the market may be slowing down.

2018

A report from last year suggested that out of all the classic car models that were studied only 52% had actually increased in value that year. Now this comes from a market that was able to make the bold claim of prices growing by 192% in a decade – more than fine wines and art! So, it does seem like something is happening.

Did It Peak?

The numbers suggest the growth peaked in 2015 and has been slowing since 2017. The last Hagerty Price Guide showed the market had almost stalled completely. However, these things do go up and down so the word ‘peak’ is perhaps a little strong. For all we know, prices could well jump higher than 2015 next year.

Winners and Losers

Some of the models that seem to be losing out are the stunning Lagonda series Aston Martins, which is very surprising. Some Ferraris that were thought to be a sure thing are also suffering; the mighty Testarossa (see below) is one such model, as is the brilliantly 80s 308 GTB. In more recent years, the MK III Ford Capri saw a big rise but that too has slowed down along with the Mini Cooper.

However, there is one winner that we could have all predicted but most of us never acted on and that is the MK I Mazda MX5. 89-94 1.6 models have seen an 8.5% growth over the last year, which is pretty amazing. The photo above is a British Racing Green beauty from 1990.

Anything British post 1994 has a lower powered engine so is best avoided. This cracking little car seems to be bucking the trend, perhaps because it’s so much fun to drive or maybe it’s just growing into a real classic and people are getting interested.

Whatever is happening is irrelevant for many people, ourselves included. We love classic cars and it really isn’t about the money. If anything, a drop in prices might be a good thing, and many cars that have been whisked away into temperature monitored storage might be sold and come out to play again, so we can all enjoy them!

Ferrari 512B testarossa Car

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Top 5 F1 Liveries of all time

Classic Lotus F1

As a company, FEV has worked with a number of F1 teams over the years, supplying FIA approved fire suppression systems to the motorsport industry. As a team, we also love watching F1 so we are doubly connected to the sport. Whilst, like everyone else, we want to see the racing, there is something fascinating about the colours and liveries the teams use. For people outside the sport it may not seem important, but it really is.

The colours can cause emotional responses from other drivers, they can even give a team the mental upper hand. They also play a very important role in the sponsorship and ultimately the continuation of the sport. So we thought we would just mention a few of our favourites over the years!

1972 John Player Special Lotus

Just look at the image above. This has to be one of, if not, the best livery of any F1 car…ever. The black and gold was just so stylish and sleek and it oddly still works today. It wasn’t that long ago the newer Lotus F1 team adopted it with Raikkonen and Grosjean, and the fans loved it. It is worth noting the 1972 Lotus was a brilliant car too.

1984 Marlboro McLaren

There were a lot of versions of this one and obviously some were driven by the mighty Senna (see image below). This particular year was one of the earlier ones and it just worked. The chevron pattern and strong red against white would become a truly iconic F1 image.

Ayrton Senna's McLaren MP4 4

1994 – Rothmans Williams Renault

This is once again a long-standing colour scheme and has a number of iterations but it was this year that really looked perfect. It is a more complex design than the McLaren and Lotus but the flashes of gold work so well with the blue. One earlier version even had Sonic the Hedgehogs legs on the side where the drivers would be which not a lot of people noticed!

FEV Blog Image f1

2002 HSBC Jaguar Racing

There is no doubt this is a great colour scheme but we always felt it would have looked better without the HSBC bit! That being said it would have then just been an unsponsored Jaguar team car and would never have run. They were very clever to mix HSBC with the Becks logo that have the same colours…was that planned when the sponsorship pitches went out?

FEV f1 becks and hsbc

2014 – Williams Martini

In recent years, this livery has been the best. With undertones of the mighty Gulf colours using the baby blue in the stripe, this car came out looking effortlessly cool and the fans really took notice. It had been some time since a car really stood out like this without just being plastered with logos and, as with all good designs, it lasted a good few seasons.

Williams Martini Racing F1 Team Felipe Massa 2015

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Fast Cars to Look Out For in 2019

Seeing as it’s January, the motoring world is full of talk about what’s coming out this year. While a recent post talked about the EV market, we wanted to mention a few slightly more traditional cars on the horizon this year.

Toyota Supra

It’s finally here! The new Toyota Supra is coming out after many years of waiting. The previous model has gained iconic status, not for how it came out of the factory but for how easy it was to modify. There are various videos online showing people in old Supras pushing nearly 1000 bhp and leaving Lamborghinis for dust. It is perhaps a car for the “tuner” culture, but we all love a real road beast!

The new Supra is certainly not coming out of the box breathing fire like its modded predecessor but it does look very, very nice – see the video clip above. It was actually developed alongside BMW who were working on their new Z4 with Toyota so it will have some German underpinnings. We are pleased to hear it is going to have a 3.0 litre turbo charged straight 6, so it is certainly coming out fighting.

340 bhp as standard isn’t a bad start either. 0-60 seems to be in just under 5 seconds which isn’t as fast as it could have been but there may be other factors at play bringing the figure up. We can’t wait for the first one to arrive in the workshop asking for a full fire extinguisher system, so we get to have a good look.

Ferrari 488 Pista Spider

The 488 was stunning; it was even prettier than the 458 and we all thought that was probably as good looking as a new Ferrari was ever going to get. But now Ferrari are launching a Spider version. The folding hardtop roof will take 30 seconds to go down, which is a lifetime longer than the car will get to 60 mph…2.9 seconds!

The 710 bhp 3.9 litre twin turbo V8 means the stats are the same as the hardtop version even though it weighs 100 kg more. It is a stunning car and losing the roof really doesn’t damage the styling too much! I think we would still go for a hard top but the noise with he roof down must be sublime!

Porsche 911

Yes, the 992 is coming. It is wider, longer and taller and uses the engines from the previous model for the first model types coming out. But there is more power and more torque so that’s good news. But, the really big news is that the car has been designed to accommodate some kind of electric power train in the future. We are not sure when, but this is a big deal…the 911 is going to go EV, be it a hybrid or full fat electric.

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Is 2019 The Year of the Electric Vehicle?

We all know electric cars have been something that has been growing, but is 2019 really the year they start becoming normal rather than a novelty? Looking at the list of cars to watch out for this year, we think it might be.

Electric and Hybrids

While we deal almost entirely with sports cars in one form or another, from classics to modern F1 cars, we do also have an ear to the ground when it comes to general motoring news. Here at FEV UK, We love cars and we welcome new technology, though we do prefer it when it means cars go a bit faster! That being said, many of our customers who do track days and club racing use day-to-day cars to tow the trailers, so racers don’t always drive racing cars.

EVs to Watch Out For

The race is now well and truly on to create EVs that have long ranges but are also cool cars. Tesla basically produced the only cool EVs for quite some time but now the German brands are in on the action and things are hotting up!

Audi are releasing the new e-tron SUV (see the video above) which will be a snip at just £70,000! But with a range of 250 miles and a thumping 402 bhp we think it might be worth it! 0-60 is under 6 seconds too! Anyone who assumes electric motors are slow is very wrong. The massive amount of torque they can deliver and the fact they don’t need gears as such means they provide a big, smooth power delivery.

To compete with the Audi, Mercedes are launching the EQC. While this may sound like the name of a government body, it is actually an EV SUV based on the GLC platform. It is also packing 402 bhp but will get to 60mph in just 5.1 seconds. No top speeds are being discussed but our money is on it being faster than the Audi.

Of course, the Jaguar I-PACE came out last year, so the German brands were either behind the curve or just wanted to see how the Jag did before launching.

There is also the long wait for the Tesla Roadster, which is meant to be out in 2020. With a reported 0-60 of 1.9 seconds the electric market will be well and truly part of motoring life when it comes out. F1 cars have been using hybrid tech for a few years now and it is clearly filtering down into the world of normal cars. Will we see a fully electric F1 in the next 10 years? Maybe….but it would be a shame to loose the engine altogether!

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