Tag Archives: McLaren

Team Principals Speak on the State of F1

It’s a chilly Saturday morning here at Circuit of The Americas, and for the first time since 2005, only 9 teams will be qualifying for a grand prix.  A lack of finances at Caterham and Marussia has created a situation that provided the backdrop for one of the most revealing Q&A sessions with team principals representing both the front and what’s left of the rear of the grid.

As money takes center stage in any endeavor at the expense of it’s genuine focus, in this case. how can fans enjoy a pure competitive F1 experience?

Watching the interview from one team’s hospitality center, it is clear that the paddock is following this story closely in the hopes of keeping the sport about racing, and not just about the shrinking grid (transcript):



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Filed under American F1 Events, F1 and business, United States Grand Prix in Austin

A Supercar Rental for an F1 Grand Prix Weekend

When the Grand Prix rolls through Circuit of The Americas there won’t be a bigger stage in a bigger state for well-heeled Formula 1 fans around the world to make their entrance – Texas style.

For the lucky few, a Grand Prix weekend will include all the trimmings and that means everything from the best seats at the race to the best seats to the race, and for this demand, there’s one rental brand Americans are familiar with that’s meeting it … abroad, anyway.

Hertz UK has announced they’ve added the latest Formula 1 inspired car from McLaren Automotive to their lineup at selected locations in the Commonwealth:  The MP4-12C.


Now available to rent from Hertz (UK)


Michel Taride, President, Hertz International and Executive Vice-President, Hertz Corporation, said:

“Hertz aspires to offer truly innovative rental experiences to our customers, and the spell-binding McLaren MP4-12C provides an opportunity of a lifetime to experience Formula 1 race-bred technologies on the road.”

Yes, that yellow (ahem, Gold) license plate looks familiar, and in more than one way the numbers are impressive: 0-62 in 3.3 seconds will run you rates starting at £1134.30 (~$1800) for a single day mid-week and range to £906.30 (~$1400) per day for rentals lasting over 28 days.

Stateside, the MP4-12C starts at around $229,000 and the first customer cars were shipped to dealers earlier this year.  America is an important market for McLaren, and their celebrated return to full production road cars brings a brand known for exclusivity and performance to a much wider audience than it’s legendary predecessor, the F1.

It’s not impossible to imagine a supercar like the MP4-12C available from Hertz especially around an F1 based marketing drive, but typically the American supercar rental market is addressed by smaller niche operations and clubs catering to customers and members through automotive timeshares and exclusive pricing.  In this case, Hertz UK has partnered with Premiere Velocity, a smaller luxury car rental firm based in London.

Could such a car be offered in Austin from Hertz, Avis or, Dollar Rental?  It will be interesting to see if there’s an effort to meet the opportunity.  Imagine a Bentley airport shuttle to whisk you from your airline (or airplane)  to your supercar rental – it sure sounds like a nice way to transport your luggage.


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Filed under American F1 Events, brand strategy in F1, Circuit of the Americas, F1 and business, Formula 1 New Jersey, GP of America, Uncategorized, United States Grand Prix in Austin

Ron Howard’s ‘Rush’ Gathers Momentum


James Hunt, Niki Lauda, Sweden © The Cahier Archive


In the midst of last Summer’s release of the critically acclaimed ‘Senna’ and a new grand prix at Circuit of the Americas, another Formula 1 project was taking shape with a production and cast directly from Hollywood.  ‘Rush’, a new film about the 1976 F1 season, is Oscar-winner Ron Howard’s latest project, and it was announced this week that principal photography has begun in Europe.

The story will focus on the battle between legendary playboy James Hunt (played by Chris Hemsworth) and the meticulous Niki Lauda (played by Daniel Brühl), with the movie’s story taking place both on and off the track.


Niki Lauda © The Cahier Archive

Daniel Brühl

Daniel Bruhl (Inglorious Basterds) plays the 3 time world champion Niki Lauda.


James Hunt © The Cahier Archive

Australian Chris Hemsworth (Thor) has been cast as legendary playboy and 1976 world champion James Hunt.

Chris Hemsworth


Details of the film’s release date are not official, but a Hollywood / Formula 1 opening sometime before or at the inaugural Grand Prix of America in June of 2013 wouldn’t be a surprise.

If you can’t wait that long for the sights of F1 in the 70’s, good news:  @RealRonHoward is the director’s official twitter account and has been featuring a steady stream of behind-the-scenes action recently featuring vintage cars and sets:


"@RealRonHoward: Setting one of over 25 camera positions today ... "


Before filming began, Variety reported ‘Rush’ had been sold in 30 international markets for distribution, a feat not surprising with the top-level talent involved.  Since interest in the sport has also been growing domestically, American moviegoers and F1 fans alike will be following ‘Rush’ to the silver screen next year to see F1 history through the lens of one of Hollywood’s great directors.


Daniel Brühl as Niki Lauda


Chris Hemsworth as James Hunt


Filed under American F1 Events, American F1 history, American release of 'Rush', Uncategorized