- A1 Grand Prix
Chassis and Engines
The A1GP formula provides a single "spec" car for each team. Each car is mechanically identical, built with many technical restrictions designed to limit performance, reduce running costs, and prevent any one or number of teams gaining an advantage through better equipment. This regulation provides a level playing field in which driver skill and team effort becomes the primary factor for success. Ferrari will be designing and manufacturing the cars through to 2014.
Specifically, the cars have an aluminium honeycomb
chassisbased on the Formula 1 Ferrari F2004chassis, riding on control slick tires from Michelin. The 4.5-litre FerrariV8 engine is capable of delivering up to 600 bhp in PowerBoost mode - a mechanism to provide short bursts of increased power to create additional overtaking opportunities and action throughout the race.
A1 Grands Prix of Nations take place over a three-day period, from Friday to Sunday. The teams are given five sets of dry weather
slick tires, and two sets of wet weather treaded tires per weekend. However, if the weather is extreme, the team can be given more wet weather tires at the expense of the slick tires. The race weekend starts with two one-hour practice sessions held on the Friday, and then another on the Saturday morning. A two-hour qualifying session takes place on Saturday afternoon, and two races take place on Sunday. Primarily, the three practice sessions are for car setup and track familiarisation before the official competition begins with Saturday qualifying. Three different drivers may participate in the three practice sessions; the driver elected for qualifying or for one of the races must have taken part in at least one such practice session.
A1 Grand Prix uses a unique qualifying format, which begins at 14:00 local time on the Saturday of the race weekend, to determine the
gridlineup for Sunday's races, the Sprint Race and the Main Race. The qualifying period is split into four, ten-minute sessions. Each car is permitted three laps per session; including the laps required for leaving the pits, and for re-entering it, this allows one lap to set a competitive time. There is a five minute break between sessions, which adds up to a total of 55 minutes for qualifying. The grid for the Sprint Race is set based on the car's fastest time from either the first or the second session. The grid for the Feature Race is determined the same way, but using sessions three and four. However, if there is a red flag due to an accident on the circuit, the timing to the end of qualifying will continue to run.
The Sprint Race uses the grid determined in sessions one and two of the previous day's qualifying session, and is held in the early afternoon. The race begins from a
rolling start, and its duration is a maximum of 24 minutes plus one additional lap. Additionally, each team must make one mandatory pit stop between laps four and eight. Drivers are permitted four uses of PowerBoost during the Sprint Race.
The Feature Race uses the grid determined in sessions three and four of the previous day's qualifying session, and is held mid-afternoon. The race begins from a
standing start, and is a race of approximately 180 kilometres, with a maximum time limit of 69 minutes plus one lap. Teams must make two mandatory pit stops during the Feature Race, one between laps eight and sixteen, and another during a pit window, which is not announced until the first window has closed. Drivers are permitted eight uses of PowerBoost during the Feature Race.
Each team must complete three compulsory
pit stops over the course of the race weekend - one during the Sprint Race, and two during the Feature Race. During the pit stop, all four tires on the car must be changed. A total of 8 mechanics may be used during the stop, however, only 4 are allowed to 'touch the car'. None of which (save the so-called "lollipop man" that directs the car into its pit) may be present in the pit lane before the car comes to a complete halt. Refuelling is also not permitted; infringements of these rules or of the pit-lane speed limitresult in the imposition of a drive-through penalty.
At the end of Season 3, A1GP released the results of the season's pit stop times. Although having never won a race,
A1 Team Australia, had the fastest pit crew of all teams [cite web|url=http://www.a1gp.com/News/NewsArticle.aspx?newsId=41731|title=Who were the pit stop kings?|accessdate=2008-07-31|author=a1gp.com] .
Unlike almost all other forms of auto racing, drivers do not score points individually; instead the points they earn are ascribed to their national team. This means that teams can change drivers between rounds, which is often necessary because some drivers have commitments in other formulae, and still accumulate points to their score.
Points are awarded for the first ten places but the amounts have changed: 15 for the winner, 12 for second place, 10 for third place, 8 for fourth place, 6 for fifth place, 5 for sixth place, and so on with 4, 3, 2, and one point for tenth place. Points are awarded in a different way for the Sprint Race: 10 for the winner, counting down 8, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, and 1 point for eighth place. In addition, one point is awarded to the team that sets the fastest single lap time in either the Sprint or Main Race. Cash prizes are also awarded.
Tony Teixeirahas announced that Italian manufacturer Ferrariwill design and build the engines for the 2008-09 season. They will also be involved in the design of the new chassis for both, however it will not be built by them. A six-year agreement was confirmed [ [http://www.a1gp.com/News/NewsArticle.aspx?newsId=39186 "Ferrari joins A1GP"] , A1GP official website, 11 October 2007] by A1GP itself although Ferrari has not commented in any official capacity. The supposed partnership with Ferrari extends to an exclusive licensing agreement for all A1GP merchandise to use the Ferrari name and phrase ‘Powered by Ferrari’ from 1 January 2008 even though that date passed without A1GP's use of any Ferrari marks on their merchandise.
Announcing the Ferrari involvement is intended to ease some of the concerns regarding A1GP's ongoing financial viability and the continued input of existing backers. Teixeira reported a USD 212 million loss for the initial season, [ [http://www.speedtv.com/articles/auto/roadracing/25916/ "A1GP's First Season Loss over $200 Million"] , Speed Channel website, 6 June 2006] with A1GP officials announcing a debt financing initiative and an
initial public offeringbacked by the Nomura Groupand RAB Capital hoping to finance both the initial debt and the 2005-06 season loss. [ [http://www.motorsport.com/news/article.asp?ID=219162&FS=BUSINESS "London financial institutions back A1 Grand Prix"] www.motorsport.com, 25 May 2006]
Richard Dorfmanis the A1GP's director of broadcasting.All broadcaster information is correct for the 2008-09 season. [cite news|url=http://www.a1gp.com/News/NewsArticle.aspx?newsId=42064|title=Where to watch A1GP this season|publisher=a1gp.com|date=2008-09-22|accessdate=2008-09-22]
* [http://www.a1gp.com A1 Grand Prix official website] "a1gp.com"
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