Time is of the essence in a sport that is measured in the one thousandth of a second and to change all four wheels in under two seconds is a terrific feat by anyone's measure. Teams practice pitstops regularly and in Austin you could catch some of those practice sessions during the pit walk on Thursday.
The rumors of illegal traction control, torque vectoring and other crafty KERS/transmission linking still move like a fog through the pit lane of Formula 1 this week in Japan. As the series gets set for the Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka, Red Bull is still discounting accusations that they have created a traction control, of sorts, using KERS and the suspension of their car which is not controlled via the FIA regulated ECU...
Dreams do come true. At 30, my sister Susie Wolff is a development driver for the Williams Formula One team and had her first F1 test last year. Susie trusted me to film over a year of her racing life for my documentary Driven: The Fastest Woman in the World filmed over a year of Susie's racing life, including her testing for Williams.
This weekend the 2013 season starts in Melbourne, Australia and we get to see whether any great strides have been made during the off season. I'm only going to make one prediction in this preview and that is who will win the title: Sebastian Vettel and Red Bull Racing. I am NEVER correct at making predictions so... go Vettel!
I am very happy to report that both our newbies have done just that, and we now head to Melbourne in as good a shape as we could be for this stage of the season. While the work has been going on in Spain, everyone back at the factory has also been pushing as hard as they can to prepare for the season ahead.
This is an incredibly intense week leading up to the first test when the 2013 race car finally takes shape. The chassis is built, checked and painted and then the tens of thousands of parts that make up a modern F1 car are fitted to the chassis, all under a stopwatch that is counting down until the moment the car has to leave our factory.