Around this time last year, I jetted to Newark, CA to witness the first dozen Lucid Air customer handovers at company HQ. The usual Silicon Valley fanfare was on display, with CEO Peter Rawlinson delivering a rah-rah speech and new owners gushing over their shiny new EVs. While the startup hype unfolded according to script, one thing caught me off guard: How the Lucid Air Dream Edition drove like a complete, well-thought-out car. Car critics earn their stripes by criticizing; calling out faults, it’s what we do. And sure, my drive in the Air revealed a few pre-production niggles, the annoyances the PR department say they’ll soon sort out. In this case, I experienced some inconsistent brake pedal feedback, an unexpectedly stiff ride over rough roads, and a few multimedia system glitches. But the $169,000, 1,111-horsepower top model still managed to make a killer first impression, especially considering it came as a bolt out of the blue in a segment where mainstream manufacturers have … [Read more...] about Is the Lucid Air Worth the Hype?
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Listen to this article A drive for the 1997 title winner aboard a Vanwall Vandervell LMH was described as “a possibility” by team boss Colin Kolles after Villeneuve’s test with his squad at Barcelona last week. Kolles would not elaborate on the prospects of 51-year-old Villeneuve returning to top-flight sportscar racing for the first time since his two-year stint with the Peugeot LMP1 squad in the 2007 and 2008 seasons. He stressed that the test at Barcelona last Wednesday was organised to see if Villeneuve got on with the Gibson-engined non-hybrid LMH developed by the German ByKolles squad under the Vanwall Racing banner. “The purpose of the test was to see if he enjoyed driving the car, not about how quick he was,” Kolles told Motorsport.com. “And I think he did enjoy it: he drove in the morning, had a chance to digest it and then got back in the car in the afternoon.” Villeneuve shared the car on the first day of the three-day test with Tom Dillmann and Esteban … [Read more...] about F1 world champion Villeneuve in frame for Vanwall WEC seat
McLaren chief Zak Brown has urged Formula 1 officials not to put just any venue in China’s vacant spot, saying it has to be the “right race”. After weeks of speculation with Formula 1 monitoring the Covid situation in China, the sport confirmed last week that the 2023 Chinese Grand Prix “will not take place due to the ongoing difficulties presented by the COVID-19 situation.” The country is once again dealing with a rise in Covid numbers and has implemented a zero-Covid policy in which anyone testing positive has to isolate in a centre for five days followed by a short period at home. The statement added: “Formula 1 is assessing alternative options to replace the slot on the 2023 calendar and will provide an update on this in due course.” Brown says he is open to the sport finding a replacement race if it goes to the “right race” he told Sky Sports. “We shouldn’t just fill it for the sake of filling it.” The Chinese Grand Prix was last held in early 2019, with the 2020 … [Read more...] about Zak Brown: F1 shouldn’t fill China’s spot for the sake of filling it
Despite holding the record for the most F1 starts without a podium, Sebastian Vettel believes Nico Hulkenberg has “absolute potential”, he was just never in the right car. The last time Nico Hulkenberg won a single-seater race was back in 2009, the German taking the GP2 Series title with five race wins. That was also the last year he even stood on the podium in single-seater racing. Promoted to Formula 1 the following year, he raced for Williams, Force India, Sauber and Renault over the course of nine seasons but never once had the opportunity to spray the celebratory champagne on the podium. He had a few near misses, sometimes undone by bad luck with reliability problems or punctures, although it must be said a few were of his own doing. “It hurts and it’s going to hurt even more tomorrow,” he said after crashing while chasing down third place at the 2019 German Grand Prix. After losing his Renault drive at the end of that season he signed with Aston Martin as their … [Read more...] about Sebastian Vettel talks up Nico Hulkenberg’s potential: Maybe he wasn’t in the right car